The National Board of Review Falls For Her


The National Board of Review announced their picks for the best films and performance of 2013 earlier today and the results are a bit … unexpected.

For best picture, they picked Spike Jonze’s Her, a film that has not exactly been seen as being an Oscar front-runner.  Meanwhile, the two presumptive frontrunners — 12 Years A Slave and Gravity — had to make due with just being mentioned in the NBR’s Top Ten list.  Also, it’s interesting to note that the NBR totally snubbed American Hustle which, just yesterday, was named best film of the year by the NYCC.

Despite the impression that one might get from a lot of breathless film bloggers (like me, to cite just one example), winning a critic’s prize does not automatically translate into Academy recognition.  It’ll be interesting to see if the acclaimed but reportedly offbeat Her manages to turn the NBR prize into Oscar momentum.

BEST PICTURE
“Her”

BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Jonze, “Her”

BEST ACTOR
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”

BEST ACTRESS
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Will Forte, “Nebraska”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia Spencer, “Fruitvale Station”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Terence Winter, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST ENSEMBLE
“Prisoners”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Wind Rises”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 
“The Past”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Stories We Tell”

SPOTLIGHT AWARD
Career collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCES
Adele Exarchopoulos, “#Blue is the Warmest Colo#r”
Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station”

DEBUT DIRECTOR
Ryan Coogler, “Fruitvale Station”

CREATIVE INNOVATION IN FILMMAKING 
“Gravity”

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
“Wadjda”

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“12 Years a Slave”
“Fruitvale Station”
“Gravity”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Lone Survivor”
“Nebraska”
“Prisoners”
“Saving Mr. Banks”
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Beyond the Hills”
“Gloria”
“The Grandmaster”
“A Hijacking”
“The Hunt”

BEST DOCUMENTARY NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“20 Feet from Stardom”
“The Act of Killing”
“After Tiller”
“Casting By”
“The Square”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILMS (alphabetical)
“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“In a World…”
“Mother of George”
“Much Ado About Nothing”
“Mud”
“The Place Beyond the Pines”
“Short Term 12”
“Sightseers”
“The Spectacular Now”

It’s The 2014 Independent Spirit Nominations!


46-frances-ha

The nominees for the 2014 Independent Spirit Awards were announced earlier today.  While the Spirit noms aren’t exactly the most accurate of Oscar precursors (and the rules of Indie Spirit Awards are pretty much specifically designed to honor the type of low-budget films that are often ignored by the Academy), more than a few of the Spirit nominees are usually remembered when the Oscar nominations are announced.

The winners will be announced, by Patton Oswalt, on March 1st.

Myself, I’m just happy to see Frances Ha and Upstream Color’s Shane Carruth nominated.

Best Feature:
“12 Years a Slave”
“All Is Lost”
“Frances Ha”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Nebraska”

Best Director:
Shane Carruth, “Upstream Color”
J.C. Chandor, “All is Lost”
Steve McQueen, “12 Years a Slave”
Jeff Nichols, “Mud”
Alexander Payne, “Nebraska”

Best Screenplay:
Woody Allen, “Blue Jasmine”
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater, “Before Midnight”
Nicole Holofcener, “Enough Said”
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, “The Spectacular Now”
John Ridley, “12 Years a Slave”

Best Female Lead:
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Julie Delpy, “Before Midnight”
Gaby Hoffman, “Crystal Fairy”
Brie Larson, “Short Term 12″
Shailene Woodley, “The Spectacular Now”

Best Male Lead:
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Oscar Isaac, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Robert Redford, “All Is Lost”

Best Supporting Female:
Melonie Diaz, “Fruitvale Station”
Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Yolonda Ross, “Go for Sisters”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Best Supporting Male:
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Will Forte, “Nebraska”
James Gandolfini, “Enough Said”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Keith Stanfield, “Short Term 12”

Best First Feature:
“Blue Caprice”
“Concussion”
“Fruitvale Station”
“Una Noche”
“Wadjda”

Best First Screenplay:
“In a World,” Lake Bell
“Don Jon,” Joseph Gordon-Levitt
“Nebraska,” Bob Nelson
“Afternoon Delight,” Jill Soloway
“The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete,” Michael Starrbury

John Cassavetes Award:
“Computer Chess”
“Crystal Fairy”
“Museum Hours”
“Pit Stop”
“This Is Martin Bonner”

Best Cinematography:
Sean Bobbit, “12 Years a Slave”
Benoit Debie, “Spring Breakers”
Bruno Delbonnel, “Inside Llewyn Davis”
Frank G. DeMarco, “All Is Lost”
Matthias Grunsky, “Computer Chess”

Best Editing:
Shane Carruth & David Lowery, “Upstream Color”
Jem Cohen & Marc Vives, “Museum Hours”
Jennifer Lame, “Frances Ha”
Cindy Lee, “Una Noche”
Nat Sanders, “Short Term 12”

Best Documentary:
“20 Feet From Stardom”
“After Tiller”
“Gideon’s Army”
“The Act of Killing”
“The Square”

Best International Film:
“A Touch of Sin”
“Blue Is the Warmest Color”
“Gloria”
“The Great Beauty”
“The Hunt”

Robert Altman Award (given to a film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)
“Mud”

Piaget Producers Award:
Toby Halbrooks & James M. Johnston
Jacob Jaffke
Andrea Roa
Frederick Thornton

Someone to Watch Award:
“My Sister’s Quinceanera,” Aaron Douglas Johnston
“Newlyweeds,” Shake King
“The Foxy Merkins,” Madeline Olnek

Truer Than Fiction Award:
“A River Changes Course,” Kalvanee Mam
“Let the Fire Burn,” Jason Osder
“Manakamana,” Stephanie Spray & Pacho Velez

Cannes 2012: The Winners


Earlier today, the winners of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival were announced:

Palme d’Or — Amour by Michael Haneke

Grand Prix — Reality by Matteo Garrone

Best Director — Carlos Reygadas for Post Tenabras Lux

Best Screenplay — Beyond the Hills by Christian Mungiu

Best Actress — Cristina Fluter and Cosmina Stratan in Beyond the Hills

Best Actor — Mads Mikkelson in The Hunt

Jury Prize — The Angels’ Share by Ken Loach

Interestingly enough, considering that a whole lot of the coverage of this year’s festival centered on the large number of American films in competition, not a single American film won any of the competitive awards.  Even the widely acclaimed Moonrise Kingdom was shut out.  It’s also interesting to note that this is 2nd of Haneke’s film to win the Palme d’Or in less than a decade and that all Ken Loach has to do to win an award in Europe is show up.

Personally, just from the reports coming out of the festival, Beyond the Hills is the Cannes winner that I am most enthusiastic about seeing in the future.