Finally! DFW Weighs In On The Oscar Race

It’s Oscar season and we’ve finally reached the moment that you all know you’ve been waiting for.  That’s right — my hometown has finally made its voice heard!

The DFW Film Critics Association is made up of film critics who work for media outlets in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex and throughout North Texas.  Every December, they announce their picks for the best in cinema.

Here are their picks for 2012.  There’s a few pleasant surprises (like the fact that  Life of Pi, Skyfall, and the Master all made their top ten) and a few annoying shocks (because seriously, if Texas critics can’t appreciate Bernie, who can?) but, for the most part, the winners are pretty much what you would expect.  I think some of this might be because I’m not a member of the DFW Critics Association.  Fortunately, I’ll be announcing my own picks for the best in 2012 during the first week of January.

Best Picture:

1) Lincoln

2) Argo

3) Zero Dark Thirty

4) Life of Pi

5) Les Miserables

6) Moonrise Kingdom

7) Silver Linings Playbook

8) Skyfall

9) The Master

10) Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Actor:

1) Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln

2) Joaquin Phoenix in The Master

3) John Hawkes in The Sessions

4) Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables

5) Denzel Washington in Flight

Best Actress:

1) Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty

2) Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook

3) Helen Mirren in Hitchock

4) Emmanuelle Riva in Amour

5) (tie) Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild and Naomi Watts in The Impossible

Best Supporting Actor

1) Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln

2) Phillip Seymour Hoffman in The Master

3) Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained

4) Alan Arkin in Argo

5) Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook

Best Supporting Actress

1) Sally Field in Lincoln

2) Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables

3) Amy Adams in The Master

4) Helen Hunt in The Sessions

5) Ann Dowd in Compliance

Best Director

1) Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty

2) Steven Spielberg for Lincoln

3) Ben Affleck for Argo

4) Ang Lee for Life of Pi

5) Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom

Best Foreign-Language Film

1) Amour

2) A Royal Affair

3) The Intouchables

4) Holy Motors

5) The Kid With A Bike

Best Documentary

1) Searching For Sugar Man

2) Bully

3) How To Survive A Plague

4) West of Memphis

5) The Invisible War

Best Animates Film

1) Paranorman

2) Frankenweenie

3) Pirates: Band of Misfits

Best Screenplay

1) Zero Dark Thirty

2) Django Unchained

Best Cinematography

1) Life of Pi

2) Skyfall

Best Musical Score:

1) Lincoln

The Russell Smith Award:

Beasts of the Southern Wild


This Holiday Season, Giovanni Lombardo Radice Needs Your Help!

If you’re a fan of Italian horror, then you know who Giovanni Lombardo Radice is.  He danced for you in The House On The Edge of the Park.  He came back from the dead and helped to destroy the town of Dunwich in City of the Living Dead.  He went on an eating binge at a movie theater in Cannibal Apocalypse.  He’s appeared in three films directed by Michele Soavi, he recorded one of the greatest DVD commentaries ever for Cannibal Ferox, and he was a contributor to one of the most important books about Italian horror cinema, Eaten Alive.

However, there’s more to Giovanni Lombardo Radice than just a resume of showy roles in bloody movies.  He’s also a director, a writer, and an animal lover.  As anyone who follows him on Facebook knows, he can discuss the intricacies of William Shakespeare with the best of them.  He has appeared in films directed by people like Martin Scorsese and he is one of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite actors.

Most importantly, while he has always claimed to be somewhat bewildered by the popularity of some of his films, Giovanni Lombardo Radice is an actor who has always been kind and gracious to his fans.   I’ve met several Italian horror fans who have told me about how excited they were to get a reply to a question from Giovanni or how touched they were to get a gracious message from him.  Myself, I can still remember how excited I was when Giovanni responded to a rather odd dream that I had posted in my online dream journal.  (The dream and his response can be read here and here.)

Recently, Giovanni posted the following on his Facebook page:

MY dog Tommy has hernia and most probably must have surgery. Just what I needed….if you read that someone robbed a bank to cure his dog it will be me.

Anybody who is lucky enough to be friends with Giovanni on Facebook knows how much he loves animals and how much he loves Tommy.  Speaking as someone who spends 8 hours a day looking at cute cat pictures, my heart went out to him.

Earlier today, Giovanni announced (again on Facebook) that Tommy’s operation had been a success!  However, Giovanni is also flat broke.  People tend to assume that a cult film star like Giovanni Lombardo Radice must be rich but that’s rarely the case.  It’s been over 30 years since Giovanni made (and was paid for) the films that most people know him from and films like The House On The Edge of the Park and Cannibal Apocalypse didn’t become cult films until several years after they were first released.  When someone buys a DVD or a Blu-ray of a film like The House On The Edge of the Park, the money goes to the film’s distributor, not to the actors who appeared in the film.  Though Giovanni Lombardo Radice is definitely a star to many of us, he’s also just a working actor who struggles to make ends meet just like everyone else.

So, Giovanni Lombardo Radice is currently asking for help.  He has set up a paypal account connected to his e-mail address, and he is accepting donations of any amount to help pay for Tommy’s surgery.

As an actor, Giovanni has always been there for his fans.  Hopefully, some of them will now be there for him.

Thank you for reading this and for your consideration.  And, to Tommy and Johnny, I wish both of you all the best this holiday season.  Buona fortuna!