The big movie news this week relates to a little film called The Interview and a little country called North Korea. Luckily, The Interview’s Oscar hopes were nonexistent, so I have nothing more to add.
It’s been a fairly slow week. With Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG nominations already out, the Oscar race is very much on hold. Low-importance critics awards are trickling in (Can you believe that Gone Girl won the Nevada Film Critics Society award for Best Film? Probably.) and the next major group to announce nominations is the American Cinema Editors (ACE) in early January. The best thing to do in the upcoming week is to catch up on the movies you’ve been meaning to seen and to monitor the Rotten Tomatoes scores of three movies out on Christmas with Oscar hopes: Selma, Unbroken and Into the Woods. (Of the 45 reviews counted for Into the Woods, 31 were “fresh” and 14 were wrong.)
Spotlight on Boyhood
Since it premiered at Sundance, Boyhood has been the little movie that could. It was filmed with the same actors over the course of 12 years, and it chronicles the childhood of a boy (named Mason) until he starts college. More a cinematic achievement or experience than a movie, Boyhood had a budget of just $4 million and has since made $43 million. (The Academy loves small films that make a big impact.) Boyhood has met near-universal critical acclaim (starting off the season winning the New York Film Critics Circle award and picking up many, many more critics awards along the way), and it should be considered the frontrunner for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress.
Spotlight on Jennifer Aniston
Spotlight on Nightcrawler and Jake Gyllenhaal
- Screeners: A really interesting article in the Hollywood Reporter analyzes different tactics studios use while sending out movie screeners to potential voters. Some films, like Frozen River (2008), Animal Kingdom (2010) and A Better Life (2011) and this year’s Snowpiercer, send out screeners very early on in the race in the hopes that they will be seen at all. Others, like The Hurt Locker (2009) and this year’sBirdman and Wild, are not sending out screenings until quite late in order to encourage voters to see the film in theaters.
- Aaron Sorkin: A plausibly misogynistic email from the Oscar winner was unveiled in the Sony hack. He told Maureen Dowd that in recent years, “the guy who wins the Oscar for Best Actor has a much higher bar to clear than the woman who wins Best Actress” and that “Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep can play with the boys but there just aren’t that many tour-de-force roles out there for women.” To which Eliana Dockterman responds, “Write one yourself.”
- Black List: According to the Washington Post, the 10th annual list of top unproduced scripts was announced last week, “and the winner was, for the first time, a woman. Kristina Lauren Anderson received 51 votes for her script about Catherine the Great.” If that isn’t a Jennifer Lawrence vehicle, then nothing is.
- Writer’s Guild: Paul Haggis will be honored with the Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement in early 2015. According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Haggis is the only person in Oscar history to have written back-to-back best picture winners in 2005’s Million Dollar Baby and 2006’s Crash.”
- Harry Potter: OK, to be fair, this is not Oscars-related, but this is a big moment in my life. Last week, J.K. Rowling announced something that I have known for years: There is a Jew at Hogwarts, and he is a Ravenclaw named Anthony Goldstein. (I always believed in you Anthony! Happy Hanukkah!)