Monday, September 30, 2013

Oscars and the power of friends

Lets talk about what the power of friends does for you if you are an Oscar contender. The voting for the Academy Awards is the high-brow version of a high school presidential campaign. If you are a member of the Academy and you have a chance to vote for someone you have worked for or with for twenty years then why wouldn't you?

Take the case of Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem in the 2010 Oscar season. After working together on Eat Pray Love and becoming fast friends, Julia Roberts told anyone who would listen that they needed to nominate Bardem for Best Actor at that year's Oscars for his brilliant performance in Mexico's Foreign Language entry (and eventual FL nominee) Biutiful. Getting a nomination for a foreign language performance is usually pretty difficult but he eventually got the nomination (Colin Firth for The King's Speech was always going to win). Javier's performance was outstanding and as a past winner he had a bit of an advantage, but he would not have received the spotlight of attention and press for the role that he did without the support of his friend Julia.

I have had this conversation with my brother Nic. We hope that isn't what they do, but you can kind of expect it can't you? The best Oscar campaign is a friendship group full of members. If I was an actor and Nic was an actor, if he was up for Best Actor potentially I could not honestly say that I would vote for Tom Hanks over my own brother. What kind of brother would I be?

Now, this is of course not founded on any evidence of course, it is merely opinion. I am not writing an expose of the Academy I am just pushing a little discussion. I think the Academy voting system is the fairest way to conduct the decision. The members of the Academy most likely aren't going to vote for someone to win an Oscar just so they show up to the awards ceremony i.e The Hollywood Foreign Press.

When trying to predict winners ask this my friends. Is the person good enough? Who do they know?

Leave a comment below, lets hear what you think.

A Birthday in Pictures - Marion Cotillard

Saturday, September 28, 2013

FlashBackFlash - Gone with the Wind

  • Nominated for 13 competitive Oscars; winning 8 - Best Picture, Director (Victor Fleming), Actress (Vivien Leigh), Adapted Screenplay (Sidney Howard), Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), Color Cinematography, Film Editing and Art Direction.
  • William Cameron Menzies received a Special Award for "outstanding achievement in the use of color for the enhancement of dramatic mood in the production of Gone with the Wind"
  • Don Musgrave and Selznick International Pictures were awarded a Technical Achievement Award for "pioneering in the use of coordinated equipment in the production of Gone with the Wind"
  • Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Oscar. Despite this achievement, the United States still had a way to go and she was required (with her escort) to sit at a separate table, apart from other film folk in attendance.
  • Sidney Howard became the first person to win an Academy Award posthumously. He died during filming.
  • Origin of the best film quote of all time "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn."
  • The longest film to win Best Picture at 3 hours and 54 minutes.
  • First film completely in colour to win Best Picture.
  • Director Victor Fleming replaced George Cukor after he was fired shortly after filming began; coincidentally, Fleming also replaced Cukor as the director of The Wizard of Oz.
  • After 74 years, still holds the record for the most tickets sold worldwide; the only film to have sold over 200 million.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Lee Daniels' The Butler - Oscar Spotlight

The development of Lee Daniel's The Butler has been a dramatic one. After an MPAA claim made by Warner Bros. because of a silent film they made in 1916 called 'The Butler' the 2013 film was forced to change it's name to 'Lee Daniels' The Butler'. Petty as it may seem, that is copyright for you.

The weather in New Orleans during September of last year caused a delay in production pushing the cost to $30 million. The cume at the box office is at 107.6 million as of Thursday. When Columbia Pictures put the film into turnaround The Weinstein Company purachased the distribution rights. The development drama aside Lee Daniels' The Butler is creating some Oscar buzz.

Strongly tipped for a Best Picture Nomination, an outside chance for an Original Screenplay nom for Danny Strong and the running favorite for the Best Supporting Actress statue for Oprah Winfrey 'Lee Daniels' The Butler has pushed past the drama and made itself an Oscar contender.

Lee Daniels' The Butler is out now in the US and is released in Australia on October 31st.

Box Office Update USA

This is a list of the top 5 films playing in US cinemas at the moment

1. Prisoners: 27.6 million
2. Insidious Chapter 2: 62.7 million
3. The Family: 28 million
4. Lee Daniels The Butler: 107.8 million
5. We're the Millers: 139.5 million

Thursday, September 26, 2013

HBO renews 'Boardwalk Empire'

HBO has announced earlier today that it has renewed the smash hit Drama 'Boardwalk Empire' for a fifth season. HBO is home to some of the best one hour dramas on television, you can read more about the importance of the format here.

The series has won 17 Emmy awards out of 40 nominations including a Best Supporting Actor win for Bobby Cannavale this year.

Boardwalk Empire has been a successful series for HBO but has recently dropped off in viewership when up against Breaking Bad and the record breaking ratings it brings to the time slot.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Breaking Bad breaks record.

Even whilst competing against the Emmy's on Sunday night AMC's Breaking Bad scored a series high 6.6 million viewers. The AMC production won Best Drama series on Sunday at the Emmy Awards which also drew in a high number of viewers. The Emmy's rated higher than they have in over 8 years. 

Breaking Bad broke the record it had set the week before when it raked in a huge 6.4 million viewers. This past Sunday, out of the 6.6 million who tuned in 4.5 million were in the key 18-49 demographic. Can anyone say Ad revenue?

Breaking Bad has it's season finale this coming Sunday and will likely post even bigger numbers in the penultimate episode of one of the greater drama series' of the past decade. 

A Birthday in Pictures - Anthony Mackie

Sunday, September 22, 2013

65th Primetime Emmy Awards Main Category Winners!

Breaking Bad

Modern Family

Behind the Candelabra

The Colbert Report

full list after the jump!

Emmys Lead Comedy Statues Get it Right

Julia Louis-Dreyfus has taken the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Comedy series at the 65th Emmy Awards happening right now. She is the first actress to win three Emmy's for three different roles. The first was Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Seinfeld and the second came for The New Adventures of Old Christine which was for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

Louis-Dreyfus was nominated for an Emmy every single year Seinfeld was on the air. An Emmy frequent she won today's award for her role on Veep.

The Lead Actor in a Comedy Series award went to Jim Parsons for playing the charismatic and pleasurably awkward Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory. This is Parsons third Emmy win out of five nominations. He has won for the same role all three times. The show was not nominated for any Emmy's during its first season but since then have produced numerous winners and nominees.