Here Are the Gay and Lesbian Critic Association Nominees!


Here are the nominees for the GALECA Dorian Awards!

Film of the Year
Birdman – Fox Searchlight
Boyhood – Sundance Selects/IFC
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Fox Searchlight
The Imitation Game – The Weinstein Company
Pride – CBS Films

Film Performance of the Year – Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher – Sony Pictures Classics
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game – The Weinstein Company
Jake Gyllenhaal, Nightcrawler – Open Road
Michael Keaton, Birdman – Fox Searchlight
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything – Universal

Film Performance of the Year – Actress
Essie Davis, The Babadook – Sundance Selects/IFC
Anne Dorval, Mommy – Roadside Attractions
Julianne Moore, Still Alice – Sony Pictures Classics
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl – 20th Century Fox
Reese Witherspoon, Wild – Fox Searchlight

Film Director of the Year
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel – Fox Searchlight
Ava DuVernay, Selma – Paramount
David Fincher, Gone Girl – 20th Century Fox
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman – Fox Searchight
Richard Linklater, Boyhood – Sundance Selects/IFC

LGBTQ Film of the Year
The Imitation Game – The Weinstein Company
Love is Strange – Sony Pictures Classics
Pride – CBS Films
Stranger by the Lake – Strand Releasing
The Way He Looks – Strand Releasing

Foreign Language Film of the Year
Force Majeure – Magnolia Pictures
Ida – Music Box Films
Mommy – Roadside Attractions
Stranger by the Lake – Strand Releasing
Two Days, One Night – Sundance Selects/IFC

Unsung Film of the Year
Obvious Child – A24
Love is Strange – Sony Pictures Classics
Pride – CBS Films
The Skeleton Twins – Roadside Attractions
Snowpiercer – Radius/TWC

Documentary of the Year
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
The Case Against 8 – HBO
CitizenFour – Radius/TWC
Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me – Sundance Selects
Life Itself – Magnolia Pictures
Regarding Susan Sontag – HBO

Visually Striking Film of the Year
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)
Birdman – Fox Searchlight
The Grand Budapest Hotel – Fox Searchlight
Interstellar – Paramount
Snowpiercer – Radius/TWC
Under the Skin – A24

Campy Flick of the Year
Annie
Gone Girl
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Tammy

Here are the DGA Nominations!


The DGA nominations were announced today and the big news will probably be that Ava Duvernay was not nominated for Selma.  Though I’m sure that Sasha Stone will claim this is because the Tea Party has somehow taken over Hollywood, others are suggesting that it could be that the majority of the DGA members did not receive a screener for Selma.

(I haven’t seen Selma yet so I can’t say anything about whether it deserves to be nominated or not.  I have to admit that it worries me to see how stridently the people at Awards Daily are pushing it because I have a theory that the editor of that site promotes films that she knows won’t be nominated so she’ll have an excuse to be all holier-than-thou as a result.  Case in point: the site’s  fanatic insistence that David Fincher’s offensively sexist rehash of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was best picture-worthy,  which needless to say is an interesting position for someone who claims to be a feminist to take.)

Anyway, here are the directors who were nominated:

Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel

Clint Eastwood for American Sniper

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

Eastwood

 

 

A Few Thoughts On The 2015 Golden Globes!


GG

So, normally, this where I’d make a few disparaging remarks about the nature of celebrity in American society and also a few jokes about how my boobs are the real golden globes.  But I’m not going to do that.  (Or, at the very least, I’m not going to do that right now.)  At this moment, as I think back on the Golden Globes, I am too excited to be snarky.

This was a historic night.

For perhaps the first time in Golden Globe history, both of the winnings films — The Grand Budapest Hotel for comedy and Boyhood for drama — were directed by native Texans.  Richard Linklater grew up around Houston and lives in Austin.  Meanwhile, Wes Anderson was raised in Dallas and, along with Owen and Luke Wilson, attended St. Mark’s!

That’s right, America.

Two great films won tonight and you have my homestate to thank for both of them.

Take that, Vermont!

(Just kidding, Vermont.  I remember how sensitive people are up there.)

(Because, God forbid, there should ever be a moment when anyone dares joke about a state north of West Virginia.)

(Love you, mean it.)

It was a good night.  Not only were my fellow Texans honored but so were my fellow redheads.  Amy Adams won Best Actress (Comedy) for Big Eyes.  Julianne Moore won Best Actress (Drama) for Still Alice.  I have yet to see either one of those films so I can’t really say much about either performance but, for me, it doesn’t matter.  After spending years of having to deal with the rampant anti-redhead prejudice that runs through this society, it was good to finally to see some of my flame-haired sisters getting some recognition.

In other news, Michael Keaton won for Best Actor (Comedy) for Birdman and he gave a speech that nearly made me cry.  Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood and gave a speech that did make me cry.  And then Amy Adams gave her acceptance speech and it was so heartfelt and eloquent that it should be the speech by which all future speeches are judged.  Before any of those three won, J.K. Simmons picked up Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Whiplash and he gave an acceptance speech that left me amazed that such an intimidating actor could also be such a nice guy.

In many ways, it was a great night.

And then, in some other ways, it most definitely was not a great night.

For the most part, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler seemed to just be going through the motions, secure in the knowledge that people would laugh and applaud regardless of what they actually said because, at this point, people feel obligated to do so. However, good for them for calling out Bill Cosby on his bullshit and saying what everyone knows is true.

I was not a fan of Margaret Cho’s North Korean observer.  Not only was it offensive but it was a bit hypocritical as well.  This is an industry that, up until three weeks ago, was terrified of North Korea, to the extent that they were even willing to shut down movies to avoid offending a dictator who is a legitimate contender for the title of Worst Living Human Being.  However, the Alamo Drafthouse — a Texas theater, I might add — had the guts to show The Interview, the world did not end, and now suddenly Hollywood wants credit for standing up to North Korea.

Of course, the main reason that the film industry is willing to make fun of North Korea is because there’s no money to be made there.  The people who are patting themselves on the back for “standing up” to North Korea are probably the same people who rationalize doing business with equally oppressive but far more financially lucrative regimes across the world.

Finally, I guess my main problem with the Golden Globes this year is that it just wasn’t the type of train wreck that we’ve come to expect from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.  All of the presenters (except for Ricky Gervais) appeared to be sober.  Only one winner had to have his speech censored.  (A lot of people on twitter loved Kevin Spacey’s acceptance speech.  I thought it came across as being calculating and manipulative — which, I guess, is one reason why Spacey makes for such a convincing Frank Underwood.)  Everyone was on their best behavior.

And I can understand that.  With the murders in Paris and the worldwide attacks on free speech, this was perhaps the time for everyone to be serious.  But, still, I wanted to see just one thoroughly incoherent speech.  That’s what we watch the Golden Globes for, isn’t it?

So, ultimately, a mixed review for the Golden Globes.  Ultimately, though, it was a good night for Texas filmmakers so I’m happy.

Add to that, it gave me my annual excuse to arch my back and declare, “I’ll show you a pair of golden globes!”

It was a good night.

A Few Very Late Thoughts On Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel


grand-budapest-hotel

It took me a while to come around to appreciating The Grand Budapest Hotel.

When I first saw Wes Anderson’s latest film, way back in March, I have to admit that I was somehow both impressed and disappointed.  The film’s virtues were obvious.  Ralph Fiennes gave a brilliant lead performance as Gustave, the courtly and womanizing concierge of the Grand Budapest Hotel.  As played by Fiennes, Gustave came to represent a certain type of old world elegance that, I’m assuming, died out long before I was born.  As is typical of Anderson’s film, The Grand Budapest Hotel was visual delight.  Even when the film’s convoluted storyline occasionally grew self-indulgent, The Grand Budapest Hotel was always interesting and fun to watch.

At the same time, I had some issues with The Grand Budapest Hotel.

One of the major ones — and I will admit right now that this will seem minor to some of you — is that halfway through the film, a cat is killed.  The evil Dimitri Desgoffe von Taxis (Adrien Brody) is attempting to intimidate a nervous lawyer, Kovacs (Jeff Goldblum).  Kovacs’s owns a cat and, at one point, Dimitri’s henchman, Jopling (Willem DaFoe), tosses the cat out of a window.  Kovacs runs to window and sees his dead cat splattered on the sidewalk below…

And this is when the audience in the theater laughed and I got very angry.

To me, there was nothing funny about killing that man’s cat.  But the more I’ve thought about it, the more that I’ve come to realize that my reaction had more to do with the audience than the film.  The film was not saying that the cat’s death was funny.  The film was saying that Dimitri and Jopling were evil and dangerous, as their actions throughout the film would demonstrate.  It was the audience that decided, since Grand Budapest Hotel is full of funny moments and has the off-center style that one has come to expect from Wes Anderson, that meant every scene in the film was meant to be played strictly for laughs.  The fact of the matter is that a typical Wes Anderson film will always attract a certain type of hipster douchebag.  They were the ones who loudly laughed, mostly because they had spent the entire movie laughing loudly in order to make sure that everyone around them understood that they were in on the joke.

But that’s not the fault of the film.  Despite what you may have heard and what the Golden Globes would have you believe, The Grand Budapest Hotel is not a comedy.  For all the deliberately funny and quirky moments, The Grand Budapest Hotel is actually a very serious film.  For all of the slapstick and for all of Ralph Fiennes’s snarky line readings, The Grand Budapest Hotel ultimately ends on a note of deep melancholy.

When I first saw The Grand Budapest Hotel, it seemed like it was almost too quirky for its own good.  And, to be honest, I could still have done without some of Anderson’s more self-indulgent touches.  The sequence at the end, where Gustave, who has been framed for murder, gets help from a series of his fellow hotel concierges started out funny but, as everyone from Bill Murray to Owen Wilson put in an appearance, it started to feel less like the story of Gustave and more like the story of all of Wes Anderson’s famous friends.

However, the more I’ve thought about it (and The Grand Budapest Hotel is a film that I’ve thought about a lot over the past year), the more I’ve realized that the quirkiness is only a problem if you made the mistake of thinking that the film is meant to be taken literally.

The more I thought about it, the more obvious it became that the most important scenes in The Grand Budapest Hotel were to be found at the beginning and the end of the film.

The film opens with a teenage girl sitting in front of the grave of a great author.  She opens a book and starts to read.

As soon as the girl starts to read, we flashback 29 years to 1985 where the author (Tom Wilkinson) sits behind his office desk and starts to talk about the time that he visited the Grand Budapest Hotel.  

We flashback again to 1969, where we see how the author (now played by Jude Law) met the owner of the Grand Budapest Hotel, a man named Zero (played by F. Murray Abraham).  Over dinner, Zero tells the author the story of how he first came to the Grand Budapest and how he eventually came to own the hotel.

And again, we go back in time, this time to 1932.  We see how the young Zero (Tony Revolori) first met and came to be the protegé of Gustave (Ralph Fiennes).  We see how Gustave taught Zero how to be the perfect concierge.  Eventually, Gustave would be framed for murdering a guest, Zero would meet and fall in love with Agatha (Saoirse Ronan), and then Zubrowska (the fictional Eastern European country in which this all takes place) would be taken over by fascists who would eventually claim the hotel as their own.

After the story of Gustave, Zero, and Agatha has been told, we suddenly flash forward to the author talking to Zero and then to the old author telling the story to his grandson and then finally back to the teenage reader sitting in the cemetery.

In other words, the Grand Budapest Hotel may be the story of Zero but we’re experiencing it through the memories of the author as visualized by the reader.  Gustave, Zero, and the entire Grand Budapest Hotel are not just parts of a story.  Instead, they become symbols of an old way of life that, though it may have been lost, still exists in the memories of old travelers like the author and the imaginations of young readers like the girl in the cemetery.

As I said at the start of this, I was vaguely disappointed with The Grand Budapest Hotel when I first saw it but, perhaps more than any other movie that I saw last year, this has been a film that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind.  Having recently rewatched the film on HBO, I can also attest that both The Grand Budapest Hotel and Ralph Fiennes’s performance not only hold up on a second viewing but improve as well.

I still stand by some of my original criticisms of The Grand Budapest Hotel.  I still wish that cat had not been thrown out the window, even though I now understand that Anderson’s main intent was to show the evil of Dimitri and Jopling.  And I still find some of the cameos to be jarring, precisely because they take us out of the world of the film.

But you know what?

Despite those flaws, The Grand Budapest Hotel is still a unique and intriguing film.  When I sat down tonight and made out my list of my top 26 films of 2014, I was not surprised that Grand Budapest Hotel made the list.  But I was a little bit surprised at how high I ended up ranking it.

But then I thought about it and it all made sense.

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-580

 

 

Here Are The Central Ohio Film Critics Nominees!


Birdman

Yesterday, the Central Ohio Film Critics announced their nominees for the best of 2014 and they really liked Birdman!  I wonder if the Central Ohio Film Critics ever have fights with the Southwestern Ohio Film Critics or the Ohio/Kentucky Border Critics…

Here are the nominees!

Best Film

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • A Most Violent Year
  • Nightcrawler
  • Selma
  • Snowpiercer
  • Whiplash

Best Director

  • Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
  • Ava DuVernay – Selma
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Best Actor

  • Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
  • Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • David Oyelowo – Selma
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Best Actress

  • Essie Davis, The Babadook
  • Scarlett Johansson, Under the Skin
  • Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Best Supporting Actor

  • Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice
  • Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
  • Edward Norton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
  • J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress

  • Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
  • Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer

Best Ensemble

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Foxcatcher
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy

Actor of the Year (for an exemplary body of work)

  • Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Interstellar, Miss Julie, and A Most Violent Year)
  • Benedict Cumberbatch (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and The Imitation Game)
  • Jake Gyllenhaal (Enemy and Nightcrawler)
  • Chris Pratt (Guardians of the Galaxy and The LEGO Movie)
  • Tilda Swinton (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Only Lovers Left Alive, Snowpiercer, and The Zero Theorem)

Breakthrough Film Artist

  • Damien Chazelle – Whiplash – (for directing and screenwriting)
  • Ava DuVernay – Selma – (for directing)
  • Jennifer Kent – The Babadook – (for directing and screenwriting)
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw – Belle and Beyond the Lights – (for acting)
  • Justin Simien – Dear White People – (for directing and screenwriting)

Best Cinematography

  • Benoît Delhomme – The Theory of Everything
  • Hoyte Van Hoytema – Interstellar
  • Daniel Landin – Under the Skin
  • Emmanuel Lubezki – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Robert Yeoman – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Film Editing

  • Sandra Adair – Boyhood
  • Spencer Averick – Selma
  • Kirk Baxter – Gone Girl
  • Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Tom Cross – Whiplash

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • Paul Thomas Anderson – Inherent Vice
  • Bong Joon-ho and Kelly Masterson – Snowpiercer
  • Gillian Flynn – Gone Girl
  • Nick Hornby – Wild
  • Graham Moore – The Imitation Game

Best Original Screenplay

  • Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • J.C. Chandor – A Most Violent Year
  • Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, and Armando Bo – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Paul Webb – Selma

Best Score

  • Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Theory of Everything
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Gone Girl
  • Antonio Sanchez – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Hans Zimmer – Interstellar

Best Documentary

  • Citizenfour
  • Dinosaur 13
  • Finding Vivian Maier
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune
  • Life Itself

Best Foreign Language Film

  • Force Majeure (Turist)
  • A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
  • Ida
  • Two Days, One Night (Deux jours, une nuit)
  • We Are the Best! (Vi är bäst!)

Best Animated Film

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Book of Life
  • The Boxtrolls
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2
  • The LEGO Movie

Best Overlooked Film

  • The Babadook
  • Blue Ruin
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Enemy
  • Locke

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Award Season Continues! Here Are The Winners From Georgia!


selma

Yes, awards season is still going on and critics and guilds from across the country and the industry are still announcing their picks for the best of 2014!

The latest group to make their picks known?  The Georgia Film Critics Association!  Here are their nominees for the best of 2014!

Best Picture
BIRDMAN
BOYHOOD
GONE GIRL
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
IDA
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
NIGHTCRAWLER
SELMA
SNOWPIERCER
WHIPLASH

Best Director
Richard Linklater BOYHOOD
David Fincher GONE GIRL
Wes Anderson THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Ava DuVernay SELMA
Damien Chazelle WHIPLASH

Best Actor
Ralph Fiennes THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
Jake Gyllenhaal NIGHTCRAWLER
Michael Keaton BIRDMAN
David Oyelowo SELMA
Eddie Redmayne THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT
Scarlett Johansson UNDER THE SKIN
Felicity Jones THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
Lisa Loven Kongsli FORCE MAJEURE
Julianne Moore STILL ALICE
Rosamund Pike GONE GIRL

Best Supporting Actor
Riz Ahmed NIGHTCRAWLER
Ethan Hawke BOYHOOD
Edward Norton BIRDMAN
Mark Ruffalo FOXCATCHER
JK Simmons WHIPLASH

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette BOYHOOD
Jessica Chastain A MOST VIOLENT YEAR
Rene Russo NIGHTCRAWLER
Emma Stone BIRDMAN
Tilda Swinton SNOWPIERCER

Best Original Screenplay
BOYHOOD
CALVARY
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
NIGHTCRAWLER
SELMA

Best Adapted Screenplay
GONE GIRL
THE IMITATION GAME
INHERENT VICE
SNOWPIERCER
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
WILD

Best Cinematography
BIRDMAN
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
IDA
INHERENT VICE
INTERSTELLAR

Best Production Design
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
INHERENT VICE
INTERSTELLAR
INTO THE WOODS
SNOWPIERCER
UNDER THE SKIN

Best Original Score
BIRDMAN (Antonio Sánchez)
GONE GIRL (Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross)
INTERSTELLAR (Hans Zimmer)
LIFE ITSELF (Joshua Abrams)
UNDER THE SKIN (Mica Levi)

Best Original Song
“Everything is Awesome” from THE LEGO MOVIE
“Glory” from SELMA
“We Will Not Go” from VIRUNGA
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from GLEN CAMPBELL: I’LL BE ME
“Something So Right” from MUPPETS MOST WANTED

Best Ensemble Cast
BIRDMAN
BOYHOOD
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
GONE GIRL
SELMA

Best Foreign Language Film
FORCE MAJEURE
IDA
SEPIDEH
TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT
WE ARE THE BEST!

Best Animated Feature Film
BIG HERO 6
THE BOOK OF LIFE
THE BOXTROLLS
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
THE LEGO MOVIE

Best Documentary Feature Film
CITIZENFOUR
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER
KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON
LIFE ITSELF
SEPIDEH

Breakthough of the Year
Ellan Coltrane
Ava DuVernay
Gugu Mbatha-Raw
Jenny Slate
Tessa Thompson

Selma

 

The National Society Of Film Critics Honors Goodbye to Language!


Goodbye to Lanugage

Earlier today, the National Society of Film Critics announced their picks for the best films of 2014!  By one vote, they named Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye To Language as best picture of the year.

Thank you, National Society of Film Critics, for reminding us that, occasionally, unexpected things do happen!

Check out the winners and the runner-ups below!

BEST PICTURE
*1. Goodbye to Language 25 (Jean-Luc Godard)
2. Boyhood 24 (Richard Linklater)
3. Birdman 10 (Alejandro G. Iñárritu)
3. Mr. Turner 10 (Mike Leigh)
BEST DIRECTOR
*1. Richard Linklater 36 (Boyhood)
2. Jean-Luc Godard 17  (Goodbye to Language)
3. Mike Leigh 12 (Mr. Turner)
BEST NON-FICTION FILM
*1. Citizenfour 56 (Laura Poitras)
2. National Gallery 19 (Frederick Wiseman)
3. The Overnighters 17 (Jesse Moss)
BEST SCREENPLAY
*1. The Grand Budapest Hotel 24 (Wes Anderson)
2. Inherent Vice 15 (Paul Thomas Anderson)
2. Birdman 15 (four co-writers)
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
*1. Mr. Turner 33 (Dick Pope)
2. The Immigrant 27 (Darius Khondji)
3. Goodbye to Language 9 (Fabrice Aragno)
BEST ACTOR
*1.Timothy Spall 31 (Mr. Turner)
2. Tom Hardy 10 (Locke)
3. Joaquin Phoenix 9  (Inherent Vice)
3. Ralph Fiennes 9 (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
BEST ACTRESS
*1. Marion Cotillard  80 (Two Days, One Night)
2.  Julianne Moore 35 (Still Alice)
3. Scarlett Johansson 21 (Lucy; Under the Skin)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
*1. J.K. Simmons 24  (Whiplash)
2. Mark Ruffalo 21 (Foxcatcher)
3. Edward Norton 16 (Birdman)
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
*1. Patricia Arquette 26 (Boyhood)
2. Agata Kulesza 18 (Ida)
3. Rene Russo 9 (Nightcrawler)