Friday, January 29, 2016

'MAD MAX: FURY ROAD' AND 'THE BIG SHORT' WIN ACE EDDIES

Here's the complete list of feature film winners and nominees for the ACE Eddie Awards:

Best Edited Feature Film – Dramatic
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (Margaret Sixel) - WINNER
“The Martian” (Pietro Scalia, ACE)
“The Revenant” (Stephen Mirrione, ACE)
“Sicario” (Joe Walker, ACE)
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Maryann Brandon, ACE & Mary Jo Markey, ACE)

Best Edited Feature Film – Comedic
“Ant-Man” (Dan Lebental, ACE & Colby Parker, Jr., ACE)
"The Big Short” (Hank Corwin, ACE) - WINNER
“Joy” (Jay Cassidy, ACE, Alan Baumgarten, ACE, Christopher Tellefsen, ACE & Tom Cross, ACE)
“Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” (David Trachtenberg)
“Trainwreck” (William Kerr, ACE & Paul Zucker)

Best Edited Animated Film
“Anomalisa” (Garret Elkins)
“Inside Out” (Kevin Nolting, ACE) - WINNER
“The Good Dinosaur” (Stephen Schaffer, ACE)

Best Edited Documentary – Feature
“Amy” (Chris King) - WINNER
“Cobain: Montage of Heck” (Joe Beshenkovsky & Brett Morgen)
“Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” (Andy Grieve)
“He Named Me Malala” (Greg Finton, ACE, Brian Johnson & Brad Fuller)
“The Wrecking Crew” (Claire Scanlon)

Sunday, January 24, 2016

'THE BIG SHORT', 'INSIDE OUT', 'AMY' WIN PGA AWARDS

The Big Short took home one of the most important awards in the Oscar race last night winning the Producers Guild Award. Over 70% of the time over the last 25 years the winner of this award has gone on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Also winning awards last night were the producers of Inside Out (Animated Feature) and Amy (Documentary Feature), both of which look likely to repeat as winners come Oscars Sunday.

Friday, January 22, 2016

ACADEMY MAKES CHANGES IN ORDER TO INCREASE DIVERSITY

Lifetime voting rights reframed; new governor seats added and committees restructured

Goal to double number of diverse members by 2020

In a unanimous vote Thursday night (1/21), the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences approved a sweeping series of substantive changes designed to make the Academy’s membership, its governing bodies, and its voting members significantly more diverse.  The Board’s goal is to commit to doubling the number of women and diverse members of the Academy by 2020.

“The Academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “These new measures regarding governance and voting will have an immediate impact and begin the process of significantly changing our membership composition.”

Beginning later this year, each new member’s voting status will last 10 years, and will be renewed if that new member has been active in motion pictures during that decade.  In addition, members will receive lifetime voting rights after three ten-year terms; or if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award.  We will apply these same standards retroactively to current members.  In other words, if a current member has not been active in the last 10 years they can still qualify by meeting the other criteria.  Those who do not qualify for active status will be moved to emeritus status.  Emeritus members do not pay dues but enjoy all the privileges of membership, except voting.  This will not affect voting for this year’s Oscars.

At the same time, the Academy will supplement the traditional process in which current members sponsor new members by launching an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity.  

In order to immediately increase diversity on the Board of Governors, the Academy will establish three new governor seats that will be nominated by the President for three-year terms and confirmed by the Board.

The Academy will also take immediate action to increase diversity by adding new members who are not Governors to its executive and board committees where key decisions about membership and governance are made. This will allow new members an opportunity to become more active in Academy decision-making and help the organization identify and nurture future leaders.

Along with Boone Isaacs, the Board’s Membership and Administration Committee, chaired by Academy Governor Phil Robinson, led the efforts to enact these initiatives.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

'SPOTLIGHT' WINS BEST PICTURE AT CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

BEST PICTURE: “Spotlight”

ACTOR: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

ACTRESS: Brie Larson – Room

DIRECTOR: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

COMEDY: The Big Short

ACTOR IN A COMEDY: Christian Bale – The Big Short

ACTRESS IN A COMEDY: Amy Schumer – Trainwreck

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Sylvester Stallone – Creed

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short 

ACTING ENSEMBLE: Spotlight

YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS: Jacob Tremblay – Room

SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE: Ex Machina

ACTION MOVIE: Mad Max: Fury Road

ANIMATED FEATURE: Inside Out

ACTOR IN AN ACTION MOVIE: Tom Hardy – Mad Max: Fury Road

ACTRESS IN AN ACTION MOVIE: Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road

CINEMATOGRAPHY: The Revenant – Emmanuel Lubezki

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson

EDITING: Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel

COSTUME DESIGN: Mad Max: Fury Road – Jenny Beavan

HAIR & MAKEUP: Mad Max: Fury Road

VISUAL EFFECTS: Mad Max: Fury Road

SONG: Furious 7 – See You Again

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Son of Saul

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Amy

SCORE: The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone

Thursday, January 14, 2016

FOUR GREAT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATED FILMS OVERLOOKED BY OSCAR

Every year there are way more than five or ten great movies so naturally we are bound to have "snubs" at the Oscars. Luckily we also have the Film Independent Spirit Awards to pick up some of the awards recognition slack. If you haven't seen them already check out Love & Mercy, Beasts of No Nation, The End of the Tour and the documentary Best of Enemies. All four films are fantastic and they prove that great cinema is great regardless of whether the film or performance gets nominated for that little gold man holding the sword or not.

'THE REVENANT', 'MAD MAX: FURY ROAD', 'SPOTLIGHT' LEAD 88TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS NOMINATIONS

87th Oscars Nominations

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Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Matt Damon - The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl

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Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn

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Christian Bale - The Big Short
Tom Hardy - The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone - Creed

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Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs

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FIVE STAR FLICKS PREDICTS THE 88TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS


Here they are, my list of Oscar predictions for all the major awards (plus some films, performances and technical work I'd love to see get recognized):

BEST PICTURE
Spotlight
The Big Short
The Martian
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Carol
Bridge of Spies

(if more than seven nominees)
Straight Outta Compton
Sicario
Brooklyn

Would love to see nominated: Son of Saul, Ex Machina, Love & Mercy

DIRECTOR
Ridley Scott - The Martian
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu - The Revenant
Adam McKay - The Big Short

Would love to see nominated: Todd Haynes - Carol, Lazlo Nemes - Son of Saul

LEAD ACTOR
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Matt Damon - The Martian
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Steve Carell - The Big Short

Would love to see nominated: Geza Rohrig - Son of Saul, John Cusack - Love & Mercy

LEAD ACTRESS
Brie Larson - Room
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years

Would love to see nominated: Charlize Theron - Mad Max: Fury Road, Daisy Ridley - Star Wars: The Force Awakens

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone - Creed
Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
Christian Bale - The Big Short

Would love to see nominated: Paul Dano - Love & Mercy, Jason Segel - The End of the Tour, Richard Jenkins - Bone Tomahawk

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Rooney Mara - Carol
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Jane Fonda - Youth
Helen Mirren - Trumbo

Would love to see nominated: Alicia Vikander - Ex Machina, Rachael Weisz - Youth

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Big Short
Steve Jobs
The Martian
Carol
Room

Would love to see nominated: Brooklyn, Beasts of No Nation

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Spotlight
Inside Out
The Hateful Eight
Ex Machina
Trainwreck

Would love to see nominated: Son of Saul, Bridge of Spies

FILM EDITING
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
The Martian
Sicario
Spotlight

Would love to see nominated: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Bridge of Spies

CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Revenant
Mad Max: Fury Road
Carol
Sicario
The Hateful Eight

Would love to see nominated: Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Mad Max: Fury Road
Bridge of Spies
Carol
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Crimson Peak

Would love to see nominated: Brooklyn, The Revenant

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Son of Saul
Mustang
A Brand New Testament
Labyrinth of Lies
Theeb

ANIMATED FEATURE
Inside Out
Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Shaun the Sheep
The Peanuts Movie

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Amy
The Look of Silence
Cartel Land
He Named Me Malala
What Happened, Miss Simone?

Would love to see nominated: Winter on Fire, Best of Enemies


*FINGERS CROSSED*

FIVE STAR FLICKS PREDICTS 7 BEST PICTURE OSCARS NOMINEES


It is finally here! After weeks and weeks of awards and speculation we will finally know who is nominated for this year's Academy Awards in a few short hours. Who's in? Who's out? Remember the Oscars no longer have a set in stone five or ten best picture nominees but rather a system that allows for at least five but no more than ten nominees. Here's a quick recap of what has happened so far in the race to help us figure out which five, six, seven, eight, nine or ten films might get picked. Below is a grid showing the nominees and winners (if announced already) of fifteen of the most important and influential film awards, from critics groups to industry guilds.


Taking every single award into account, the clear favorites are Spotlight and Mad Max: Fury Road, which each landed at least a dozen nominations and scored multiple wins. Carol, The Martian and The Big Short round out the top five, each coming in with nominations at least 60% of the time. No other films scored nominations from at least half of the possible awards. If we are going to assume (for now) that the previous five films are "safe", than the next most likely nominees would be The Revenant, Bridge of Spies and Sicario, as all three were nominated for the Critics Choice awards plus multiple major guilds.

After that the board thins out with all remaining films landing five or fewer nominations (out of fifteen possible). This group of possible "spoilers" is lead by Room, Straight Outta Compton, and Brooklyn, with Inside Out, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Trainwreck left as real outside chances. The rest of the field is limited to films like Beasts of No Nation, Ex Machina, Trumbo and Steve Jobs that snagged one or two major nominations along the way. That's eighteen films with seemingly a legitimate chance at a best picture nomination. To make it an even twenty I'd throw in Joy and Creed as the final outliers.

Not all awards are the same though. Let's throw out the less reliable at prognosticating the Oscars awards like the New York, L.A. and National Society of Film Critics and just focus on the larger, more reliable critics and industry awards like the BAFTAs, the Critics Choice and the Golden Globes. We'll save the Guilds for later. With this smaller look at the five most important and influential non-guild awards you see Carol and Spotlight are the clear favorite, landing all five major nominations. The Big Short also does well, scoring nominations from everyone except the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Since we need at least five nominations let's assume Bridge of Spies, The Revenant, The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road and Room are the likely choices then, as each scored 3 nods. That gives us a total of eight possible nominees.


Are these really the eight most likely nominees? Let's check out what the guilds grid looks like first, since they include actual academy voters and their results are more likely to reflect how the Oscar voters may have cast their ballots. Looking at the big five guilds (Producers, Directors, Editors, Actors and Writers) the only film to score nominations from every single one is The Big Short. I know, right? The Adam McKay film started slow out of the gate getting ignored by the National Board of Review as well as the New York, Los Angeles and Online film critics groups, but once it landed the SAG ensemble nod it has never looked back. The Martian and Spotlight also did very well with the guilds, getting kudos from four of the five groups. To get to our minimum cutoff again of five we add Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Sicario and Straight Outta Compton, bringing us to seven likely nominees with solid support from the industry. You'll notice Carol and Bridge of Spies slip down the list a little here, and Room doesn't appear once, which means those three may not be as strong a contender as some people believe.


Now that we've broken down the awards, what do the Oscar pundits think? Taking a look at the final predictions from GOLD DERBYGURUS O' GOLDVARIETYAWARDS WATCH and AWARDS CIRCUIT we see four films rise to the top: Spotlight, The Revenant, The Big Short and The Martian. All four of those films rank in the top five from all five "expert" sites. It goes without saying that these four then should be considered locks then. After that there is some disagreements. Mad Max: Fury Road ranks #3 with the Gurus O' Gold but is ranked all the way down at #8 with Variety. Bridge of Spies also cracks two top fives but ranks as far down as eighth. Seeing that we've had at least eight nominees in each of the last three years I think you can consider both of them relatively safe as well.


Now it gets a little iffy, as none of the other films rank in the top five with any of the major pundits. When the Academy members submit their ballot they are only allowed to vote for five films, so if we are to take the word of these master prognosticators that these six films are most likely to snag most of those top five votes than we are left with the distinct possibility of only six nominees this year. If we want to branch out and stay within the "no more than ten" rule than we can consider Carol, Brooklyn and Straight Outta Compton as the final contenders. After that the pundits name Room, Sicario and Inside Out as the primary "spoilers". A half dozen other films including Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Ex Machina and Trumbo appear to be real outliers with only a small chance at a nomination.

So what does all of this mean? What films are in and which ones are out? I decided that I'd add up the star ratings of all four charts and any film that scored at least ten out of twenty was a likely nominee. When everything was added up I ended up with a list of seven films, so that's my prediction, WE WILL HAVE SEVEN BEST PICTURE NOMINEES THIS YEAR: Spotlight, The Big Short, The Martian, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Carol and Bridge of Spies.



Here's a complete tally of how many stars each film earned over the four charts (ties broken by pundit chart ranking):

1. SPOTLIGHT = 19 (out of 20)
2. THE BIG SHORT = 18
3. THE MARTIAN = 16
4. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD = 15
5. THE REVENANT = 14
6. CAROL = 14
7. BRIDGE OF SPIES = 12
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8. STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON = 9
9. SICARCIO = 9
10. BROOKLYN = 7
11. ROOM = 7
12. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS = 6
13. INSIDE OUT = 5
14. TRAINWRECK = 5
15. TRUMBO = 4
16. BEASTS OF NO NATION = 4
17. EX MACHINA = 3
18. STEVE JOBS = 3
19. JOY = 3
20. THE HATEFUL EIGHT = 2
21. ANOMALISA = 2
22. ANT-MAN = 2
23. ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL = 2
24. SPY = 2
25. TANGERINE = 2
26. CREED = 1

We'll know in a matter of a few hours if I was right or not when the 88th annual Academy Awards nominations are announced starting at 5:30 am PST. You can watch the livestream of the nominations announcement HERE.
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Let me know what you think in the comments below or contact me on Twitter at @FiveStarFlicks or @5StarFlicks

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Iñárritu, McCarthy, McKay, Miller, Scott Nominated for DGA Award

Here are the five nominees for the Directors Guild of America's annual award:

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian

#ShuttleGate

Sunday, January 10, 2016

R.I.P. DAVID BOWIE

He was quite aware of what we were going through. It's why he mattered. He gave a voice to the voiceless. Singer. Songwriter. Actor. Artist. Chameleon. Husband. Father. Icon. Legend. He will be missed. He will not be forgotten.

R.I.P. David Bowie