Here Are The Chicago Film Critics Association Nominations!


Happy Valentine's Day!

Finally, from the former hometown of Al Capone and President Obama, here are the Chicago Film Critic Associations Nominations!

BEST PICTURE
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Under the Skin
Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
David Fincher, Gone Girl
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Christopher Nolan, Interstellar

BEST ACTOR
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton, Birdman
David Oyelowo, Selma
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Scarlett Johannson, Under the Skin
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
Laura Dern, Wild
Agata Kulesza, Ida
Emma Stone, Birdman

BEST ORIGNAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Calvary, John Michael McDonagh
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
Under the Skin, Walter Campbell
Wild, Nick Hornby

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
Force Majeure
Ida
Mommy
The Raid 2
Two Days, One Night

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Citizenfour
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Last Days in Vietnam
Life Itself
The Overnighters

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

BEST ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
Into The Woods
Only Lovers Left Alive
Snowpiercer

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Inherent Vice
Interstellar

BEST EDITING
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Whiplash

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Under the Skin

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Belle/Beyond the Lights
Jack O’Connell, Starred Up/Unbroken
Tony Revolori, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jenny Slate, Obvious Child
Agata Trzebuchowska, Ida

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Jennifer Kent, The Babadook
Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin
Justin Simien, Dear White People

What Do They Like in San Diego? Let’s Find Out…


Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

And finally, here are the San Diego Film Critics Nominations!

(Insert your own clever and snarky analysis here because I’m exhausted.  Maybe point out that they nominated Alejandro Inarritu for best director and Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, and Emma Stone but they didn’t nominate Birdman for best film…)

(h/t to awards circuit)

Best Film

  • “Boyhood”
  • “Gone Girl”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “Nightcrawler”
  • “Selma”
  • “The Theory of Everything”

Best Director

  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, “Birdman”
  • Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
  • David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
  • Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”

Best Actor

  • Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • Brendan Gleeson, “Calvary”
  • Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
  • Tom Hardy, “Locke”
  • Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
  • Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

Best Actress

  • Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
  • Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
  • Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
  • Hilary Swank, “The Homesman”
  • Mia Wasikowska, “Tracks”

Best Supporting Actor

  • Riz Ahmed, “Nightcrawler”
  • Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
  • Edward Norton, “Birdman”
  • J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
  • Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”

Best Supporting Actress

  • Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
  • Carrie Coon, “Gone Girl”
  • Keira Knightly, “The Imitation Game”
  • Rene Russo, “Nightcrawler”
  • Emma Stone, “Birdman”

Best Original Screenplay

  • “Birdman”
  • “Boyhood”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “Locke”
  • “Nightcrawler”

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “The Fault in Our Stars”
  • “Gone Girl”
  • “The Theory of Everything”
  • “Unbroken”
  • “Wild”

Best Foreign Language Film

  • “Force Majeure”
  • “Heli”
  • “Ida”
  • “Two Days, One Night”
  • “Venus in Fur”

Best Documentary

  • “CITIZENFOUR”
  • “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”
  • “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”
  • “Last Days in Vietnam”
  • “Life Itself”

Best Animated Film

  • “Big Hero 6″
  • “The Boxtrolls”
  • “How to Train Your Dragon 2″
  • “The LEGO Movie”
  • “The Nut Job”

Best Cinematography

  • “Force Majeure” (Fredrik Wenzel)
  • “Interstellar” (Hoyte van Hoytema)
  • “Gone Girl” (Jeff Cronenweth)
  • “Nightcrawler” (Robert Elswit)
  • “Unbroken” (Roger Deakins)

Best Editing

  • “Boyhood” (Sandra Adair)
  • “Edge of Tomorrow” (James Herbert, Laura Jennings)
  • “Gone Girl” (Kirk Baxter)
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Barney Pilling)
  • “Nightcrawler” (John Gilroy)

Best Production Design

  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pincock)
  • “Into the Woods” (Dennis Gassner & Anna Pinnock)
  • “The Theory of Everything” (John Paul Kelly)
  • “The Imitation Game” (Maria Djurkovic)
  • “Interstellar” (Nathan Crowley)

Best Score

  • “Birdman” (Antonio Sanchez)
  • “Gone Girl” (Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross)
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (Alexandre Desplat)
  • “The Imitation Game” (Alexandre Desplat)
  • “Nightcrawler” (James Newton Howard)

Best Ensemble

  • “Birdman”
  • “Boyhood”
  • “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
  • “The Imitation Game”
  • “Selma”

Here Are the St. Louis Film Critics Nominations!


Birdman

The Golden Globes weren’t the only precursors to be announced today!  Here are the St. Louis Film Critics Nominations.  One thing that I like about the St. Louis Film Critics is that they give out an award for “best scene.”  Personally, I would vote for the prison break from Guardians of the Galaxy.

Here are the nominees:

(h/t to awards circuit)

BEST PICTURE 
Birdman
Boyhood
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Morten Tyldum, “The Imitation Game”

BEST ACTOR
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
Tom Hardy, “Locke”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

BEST ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard, “Two Days, One Night”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin, “Inherent Vice”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Tony Revolori, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Carrie Coon, “Gone Girl”
Mackenzie Foy, “Interstellar”
Kiera Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman
Boyhood
Locke
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler
Whiplash

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Gone Girl
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Unbroken

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Interstellar
Nightcrawler
Unbroken

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS 
Birdman
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
Noah

BEST ART DIRECTION
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner
Nightcrawler
Snowpiercer
Under the Skin

BEST MUSIC SCORE
Birdman
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Interstellar
Under the Skin

BEST MUSIC SOUNDTRACK
Begin Again
Boyhood
Get On Up
Guardians of the Galaxy
Into the Woods
Whiplash

BEST FOREIGN FILM 
Force Majeure
Gloria
Human Capital
Ida
Two Days, One Night

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie
Penguins of Madagascar

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Citizenfour
Finding Vivian Maier
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Life Itself
Red Army
Rich Hill

BEST COMEDY
22 Jump Street
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Obvious Child
St. Vincent

BEST ARTHOUSE
Boyhood
Calvary
Frank
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Locke
Whiplash

BEST SCENE 
22 Jump Street – End Credits
Birdman – Times Square
The Guardians of the Galaxy – Prison Break
Selma – Church Bombing
Whiplash – Finale drum solo
X-Men: Days of Future Past – Quicksilver Pentagon Escape

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-rocket-with-gun

Here Are The Golden Globe Nominees!


214053-the-2013-golden-globe-award-nominations

The Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning and the big news is that Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken was totally and completely snubbed.  Knowing the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, I figured that they’d nominate Jolie just to get her and Brad Pitt on the show.

(Does anyone remember when they nominated The Tourist for Best Comedy Film of 2010?  For that matter, does anyone remember The Tourist?)

Also, it’s interesting to note that David Fincher was nominated for best director for Gone Girl but Gone Girl itself did not receive a nomination for best picture.

(As of this writing, Sasha Stone has yet to post her analysis on Awards Daily but I’m sure when she does, it will be depressing.)

Anyway, below you can find the Golden Globe nominations for the best films of 2014.  (If you want to see a complete list with all of the television nominations, you can click here.)

BEST DRAMA FILM
“Boyhood”
“Foxcatcher”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”

BEST DRAMA ACTOR
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”

BEST DRAMA ACTRESS
Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

BEST MUSICAL/COMEDY FILM
“Birdman”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“Pride”
“St. Vincent”

BEST MUSICAL/COMEDY ACTOR
Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Bill Murray, “St. Vincent”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice”
Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”

BEST MUSICAL/COMEDY ACTRESS
Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey”
Julianne Moore, “Maps to the Stars”
Quvenzhane Wallis, “Annie”

BEST FILM SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

BEST FILM SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”

BEST DIRECTOR
Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava Duvernay, “Selma”
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

BEST SCREENPLAY
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“Gone Girl”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Big Hero 6”
“The Book of Life”
“The Boxtrolls”
“How to Train Your Dragon 2”
“The Lego Movie”

BEST SCORE
“Birdman”
“Gone Girl”
“The Imitation Game”
“Interstellar”
“The Theory of Everything”

BEST SONG
“Big Eyes” from “Big Eyes” (Lana Del Ray)
“Glory” from “Selma” (John Legend, COmmon)
“Mercy Is” from “Noah” (Patty SMith, Lenny kaye)
“Opportunity” from “Annie”
“Yellow Flicker Beat” from “The Hunger Games, Mockingjay Part 1” (Lorde)

The Brief Thrill Of The Phoenix Film Critics Nominations


Lego MovieI have to admit that, when I first looked at the just-released Phoenix Film Critics Nominations for 2014, I got really excited.  I saw The LEGO Movie listed among the nominees for best picture and I thought to myself, “Oh my God!  Could The LEGO Movie be set to be the fourth animated film to score a best picture nomination from the Academy!?”

Seriously, my inner movie trivia lover was so excited!

Then, of course, I remembered that critical recognition doesn’t necessarily translate into Oscar nominations.  And I was forced to admit that The LEGO Movie probably will not be nominated for best picture, though it definitely remains a front runner for best animated feature.

But, for a few moments there, I was truly an excited Oscar watcher.

Anyway, here are the Phoenix Film Critics Nominations!

(h/t to Awards Circuit)

BEST PICTURE/ TOP TEN FILMS OF 2014

  • A Most Violent Year
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Lego Movie
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • David Fincher, Gone Girl
  • Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman
  • Richard Linklater, Boyhood

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
  • Brendon Gleeson, Calvary
  • Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Amy Adams, Big Eyes
  • Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Hilary Swank, The Homesman
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Logan Lerman, Fury
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • J. K. Simmons, Whiplash

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
  • Carrie Coon, Gone Girl
  • Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone, Birdman

BEST ENSMEBLE ACTING

  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Into the Woods

BEST SCREENPLAY WRITTEN DIRECTLY FOR THE SCREEN

  • A Most Violent Year
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Whiplash

BEST SCREENPLAY ADAPTED FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM

  • American Sniper
  • Gone Girl
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Wild

BEST LIVE ACTION FAMILY FILM

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent
  • Muppets Most Wanted

BEST ANIMATED FILM

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • The Lego Movie
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

OVERLOOKED FILM OF THE YEAR

  • Calvary
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Obvious Child
  • The Skeleton Twins
  • Snowpiercer

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Force Majeure
  • IDA
  • Mood Indigo
  • The Raid 2

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Citizenfour
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune
  • Life Itself
  • Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • Everything is Awesome, The Lego Movie
  • Immortals, Big Hero 6
  • Lost Stars, Begin Again
  • Miracles, Unbroken

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Birdman
  • Gone Girl
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • The Theory of Everything

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • A Most Violent Year
  • Birdman
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Unbroken

BEST FILM EDITING

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Snowpiercer

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Inherent Vice
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent
  • The Theory of Everything

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar

BEST STUNTS

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • John Wick
  • Need for Speed
  • The Raid 2

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE ON CAMERA

  • Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Jenny Slate, Obvious Child

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE BEHIND THE CAMERA

  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
  • Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child
  • Jon Stewart, Rosewater

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH – MALE

  • Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
  • Daniel Huttlestone, Into the Woods
  • Jaeden Lieberber, St. Vincent
  • Ed Oxenbould, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Tony Revolori, The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH – FEMALE

  • Lilla Crawford, Into the Woods
  • Mackenzie Foy, Interstellar
  • Sterling Jerins, And So It Goes

grand-budapest-hotel

Here are The Washington D.C. Film Critics Picks For The Best of 2014!


I like the Washington D.C. Film Critics because they don’t just give out awards.  Instead, they nominate multiple films and leave everyone in suspense until they get around to giving out their awards.  Just like the Oscars!

Anyway, here are their nominees for 2014!

WDC

Best Film:
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
Gone Girl
Selma
Whiplash

Best Director:
Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
Ava DuVernay (Selma)
David Fincher (Gone Girl)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

Best Actor:
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year)
Michael Keaton (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
David Oyelowo (Selma)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

Best Actress:
Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

Best Supporting Actor:
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
Andy Serkis (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)
Laura Dern (Wild)
Emma Stone (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Tilda Swinton (Snowpiercer)

Best Acting Ensemble:
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Into the Woods
Selma

Best Youth Performance:
Ellar Coltrane (Boyhood)
Mackenzie Foy (Interstellar)
Jaeden Lieberher (St. Vincent)
Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Noah Wiseman (The Babadook)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl)
Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
Nick Hornby (Wild)

Best Original Screenplay:
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Phil Lord & Christopher Miller (The LEGO Movie)
Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)

Best Animated Feature:
Big Hero 6
The Book of Life
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The LEGO Movie

Best Documentary:
Citizenfour
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Last Days in Vietnam
Life Itself
The Overnighters

Best Foreign Language Film:
Force Majeure
Ida
Mommy
Two Days, One Night
Wild Tales

Best Art Direction:
Production Designer: Kevin Thompson, Set Decorator: George DeTitta Jr., SDSA (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Production Designer: Adam Stockhausen, Set Decorator: Anna Pinnock (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Production Designer: Nathan Crowley, Set Decorator: Gary Fettis (Interstellar)
Production Designer: Dennis Gassner, Set Decorator: Anna Pinnock (Into the Woods)
Production Designer: Ondrej Nekvasil, Set Decorator: Beatrice Brentnerova (Snowpiercer)

Best Cinematography:
Emmanuel Lubezki, ASC, AMC (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Robert Yeoman, ASC (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Hoyte Van Hoytema, FSF, NSC (Interstellar)
Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC (Unbroken)
Daniel Landin, BSC (Under the Skin)

Best Editing:
Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione, ACE (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Sandra Adair, ACE (Boyhood)
Kirk Baxter, ACE (Gone Girl)
Lee Smith, ACE (Interstellar)
Tom Cross (Whiplash)

Best Original Score:
Antonio Sanchez (Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance))
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross (Gone Girl)
Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (The Theory of Everything)
Mica Levi (Under the Skin)

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC:
Anita
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Kill the Messenger
Selma
X-Men: Days of Future Past

WDC2

Quick Review: Gone Girl (dir. by David Fincher)


gone-girl-posterI stumbled onto the novel for Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl in a mall. It sat near the front of the store with the rest of her books, emblazoned with one of those “soon to be a major motion picture” stickers and a “#1 New York Times Bestseller” label on top. I figured I try it, unaware that David Fincher was involved on the project. During that read, I ran to the Barnes & Noble in Union Square to pick up Flynn’s other books, Sharp Objects and Dark Places. After a co-worker and I finished these (I haven’t read Sharp Objects yet), we agreed that we enjoyed them, overall.

Of Gone Girl the Motion Picture, Flynn herself handles the screenwriting duties and she presents an adaptation so close to her novel that I wouldn’t be shocked if the film receives the same response as the first Harry Potter film. I only spotted 2 distinct changes, and these don’t damage the film in any way. They just may make you say..”Oh, crap, she didn’t keep that.”, If anything.

“But Lenny..” You might say, after hearing me tell you this over pizza and soda. “You’re losing me again, you’re talking too much. I never read Gone Girl. I could care less about the book, I just want to know about the movie because tickets are expensive, dammit! Wrap it up. Is it worth seeing or not?”

In a word, yes. Flynn’s story and Fincher’s direction are like Wine and Cheese here. Flynn’s machine gun writing and Fincher’s pacing method could make them as hot a duo as True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto and Cary Joji Fukunaga. If actress / producer Reese Witherspoon was involved in getting these two together, she may have another gem under her belt to put next to her film Penelope.

Gone Girl is the story of Nick and Amy Dunne, a happily married Missouri couple on the verge of their 5th Anniversary. When Nick suddenly discovers his wife is missing, the investigation into her disappearance seems to lead back to him, presenting the question of whether our hero may or may not be involved. Just as with the novel, the audience is given glimpses into Amy’s story through flashbacks of their life together. The movie dances from chapter to chapter (or scene to scene, I should say) in this fashion and does so pretty well. You’ve a love story wrapped in a mystery.

The casting is spot on. There’s not a single person in this film that seemed like they didn’t fit their part. Both Ben Affleck (Argo) and Rosamund Pike (Jack Reacher, The World’s End) are magnetic when theyre not dealing with each other and if the movie manages to stumble into Awards season, their names could get thrown into the hat.

The supporting cast in Gone Girl is somewhat strong. Carrie Coon does a fine job as Nick’s sister Margo, which was definitely a good choice. It’s Kim Dickens (Hollow Man, Treme), Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry who have the best screen time of any one outside of the leads. Every one of them help to pick up the story when you think it might waver a bit.

“Great!” you may say, getting up to leave. “I’ll check it out. Thanks for letting me know.”, To which I’d ask..”Don’t you want to know about the direction? Cinematography?” You might sit back down, sigh and roll your eyes, as if to say…”Sure, not like you’d let me leave without telling me anyway, right?”

At this point, everything is technical.

Fincher’s direction is straightforward. Working with Jeff Chernoweth, his cinematographer from Fight Club & The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the lighting is what you come to expect from the two. Colors in the present are muted, muddied and almost clinical. By contrast, Amy’s flashbacks appear bright and colorful, but the audience may notice this changing as the story progresses. You could almost say it’s the Zodiac color scheme layered on a different story. Gone Girl doesn’t feel like a “Fincher” movie in the way The Shining was Kubrick’s. It’s more of a Flynn story that would look really good if Fincher put it on screen. I’m not sure if there’s a better way to describe it, actually.

Gone Girl falters in the dialog at times. I had a few moments where scenes that felt fine in the novel fell flat in the film, particularly in some of the flashbacks. Have you ever had a moment where you watch a film, see two people talk to one another and say to yourself (or the person next to you), “Who says that, really?” The relationship of Nick and Amy was a hard, abbreviated sell for me, probably because of the time constraints. You know they’re together, and love is implied (and sexually displayed, I might add), but I can’t say that I recognized a big chemistry between Pike and Affleck. When acting around everyone else they’re great, but between each other, they lost me a little in the beginning. If it were a Blu Ray, I’d be tempted to tap that Chapter Forward button. Mind you, this is coming from a book to movie comparison, so a viewer that hasn’t read the book may respond differently to what’s on screen.

I will say that separately, Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck are wonderful in this as Nick & Amy. I hope that this gets Pike some more lead dramatic roles, as she was more than memorable here.

Both Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross handled the scoring duties for Gone Girl. In their 3rd go around with Fincher, the sounds are similar to The Social Network, though a bit more subdued. They have a few standout tracks, and their music blends well in Gone Girl, though.

Overall, Gone Girl makes for a interesting night at the cinema, but it’s best viewed if you can manage to avoid the hype and catch it just to sate a curious mind.