Oscar Winner Martin Landau Dies at 89


Martin Landau passed away on Sunday at 89. Landau won an Oscar for playing Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. His credits also include Crimes and Misdemeanors, Mission Impossible and North by Northwest. 
Landau was nominated for an Oscar 3 separate times. First for Best Supporting Actor in Tucker: The Man and His Dream in 1989. He was nominated again and won Best Supporting Actor the following year for Crimes and Misdemeanors.  He also took home the Supporting Actor Oscar in 1995 for Tim Burton’s Ed Wood.

Landau appeared in numerous TV shows including Mission: Impossible. 

Will Leonardo DiCaprio Finally Win an Oscar?

This will be the million dollar question throughout the upcoming Oscar season. Most agree that Leonardo DiCaprio is long over due for an Oscar win. He has been nominated 5 times.

1993– Best supporting actor- WHAT’S EATING GILBERT GRAPE. (Tommy Lee Jones won for THE FUGITIVE)

2004– Best actor nomination- THE AVIATOR (Jamie Fox won for RAY)

2006 -Best actor nomination – BLOOD DIAMOND (Forest Whitaker won for LAST MAN IN SCOTLAND)

2013 – Best Actor – THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (Matthew Mcconaughy won for DALLAS BUYERS CLUB)

There are several Tumblr pages dedicated to his plight :
Poor Leo Tumblr Page
Leonardo Oscar

This year DiCaprio tries again in THE REVENANT.  Alejandro González Iñárritu’s follow-up to BIRDMAN, last years best picture winner.

Based on the novel by Michael Punke, THE REVENANT is based on true story.  DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who is injured in a fight with a bear. His colleague John Fitzgerald played Tom Hardy robs him and leaves him for dead, but Glass survives and promises revenge on Fitzgerald.

The trailer was released this week, officially kicking off his Oscar campaign.

Winter Sleep Wins 2014 Cannes Film Festival

winter sleep poster

 

The Cannes Film Festival wrapped up on Saturday with the announcement of this years Palme d’Or winner. The Turkish film WINTER SLEEP took home the festivals highest honor. The 3 hour and 16 minute film was directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

Summary of plot from IMDB:

Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce. In winter as the snow begins to fall, the hotel turns into a shelter but also an inescapable place that fuels their animosities.

 

This years jury included Sofia Coppola, Willem Dafoe and Nicolas Winding Refn chose the winners from this years selection of 18 films.

Quentin Tarantino and Uma Thurman announced the winner of the Palme d’Or.

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It’s doubtful that WINTER SLEEP will be a movie that Americans run out to see. Deborah Young of The Hollywood Reporter writes a mostly positive review, but also notes:

Here, things are different. The 3½ hour running time takes no prisoners even among art house audiences and demands a commitment to attentive viewing that, despite the film’s sometimes terrible longeurs, pays off in the end. But the challengingly long dialogue scenes, shot in brazenly elementary shot-countershot style, will further challenge audiences who lack excellent subtitle-reading skills.

 

Past Palme d’Or winners rarely make it to the Oscar race. Mostly because the Oscar world and the Cannes world look at films completely differently. Hollywood is about big stars and the almighty dollar. The “real” cinema world rewards the art. Although many would disagree, the Oscars are a part of Pop Culture. Something Cannes juries could care less about. Only 2 movies that have won the Palme d’Or went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars. Billy Wilder’s 1945 LOST WEEKEND and MARTY starring Ernest Borgnine in 1955. Plenty of Cannes winners have gone on to get Oscar nominations, including TAXI DRIVER, ALL THAT JAZZ, THE PIANO, PULP FICTION and M*A*S*H. Last years winner BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR turned out to not be eligible for an Oscar because of it’s late release. In 2012 Palme d’or winner AMOUR was nominated for 5 Academy Awards including Best Picture. The year before, THE TREE OF LIFE was also a Best Picture nominee.

While WINTER SLEEP may not go to the Oscars, other festival winners like FOXCATCHER, MAPS OF THE STARS and MR. TURNER just might.

List of Cannes Film Festival winners:

Palme d’or
Winter sleep, directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Best Director
Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Grand Prix
Les Merveilles (Le Meraviglie) directed by Alice Rohrwacher

Jury Prize
Xavier Dolan for Mommy
Jean-Luc Godard for Goodbye to Language

Best Actress
Julianne Moore for Maps to the Stars

Best Actor
Timothy Spall for Mr Turner

Prix du scénario
Andrei Zviaguintsev et Oleg Negin for Leviathan

Camera d’or
Party Girl from Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger, Samuel Theis

The Best Acting Performances of the Year

Regardless of which actors and actresses win on Sunday night, everyone has their own personal favorites. Here are some of mine:

Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years A Slave)

Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave)

Leonardo Dicaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)

Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke (Before Midnight) **spoiler***

Forest Whitaker (The Butler)

Sarah Paulson (12 Years A Slave)

Bruce Dern (Nebraska)

BAFTA Award Winners (Spoilers)

BAFTA-Logo

The BAFTA awards air tonight at 10pm EST on BBC America.  Warning! The winners are posted below.

 

The 67th annual British Academy Film Awards (Britain’s equivalent of the Oscar) were held today at London’s Royal Opera House.  Nobody really paid attention to the BAFTA’s when they were held after the Oscars. In the year 2000 they moved them to before the Oscar ceremony and they have become the last predictor of the Academy Awards.  Since then, they have chosen 7 out of the last 12 Best Picture winners. One reason could be that Many of the BAFTA’s 6500 members also vote in the Oscars.

GRAVITY took home the most awards with 6.  AMERICAN HUSTLE won 3 and 12 YEARS A SLAVE won 2. They went with the Director/Picture split that most are saying will happen at the Oscars. 12 YEARS for Best Picture and Alfonso Cuarón for Best Director.

The biggest travesty was Jennifer Lawrence winning Best Supporting Actress over Lupita Nyong’o.  God help us if this happens on Oscar night! And AMERICAN HUSTLE wins for Best Original Screenplay? I thought there had to be a screenplay to win!

 

Best Picture – 12 Years a Slave
Best Director – Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Best Actor – Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
Best Actress – Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Best Supporting Actor – Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Best Supporting Actress – Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Best Adapted Screenplay – Philomena, Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope
Best Original Screenplay – American Hustle, Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell
Best Cinematography – Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
Best Documentary – The Act of Killing
Best Animated Feature – Frozen
Best Music – Gravity, Steven Price
Best British Film – Gravity
Best Editing – Rush
Best Production Design – The Great Gatsby
Best Costume Design – The Great Gatsby
Best Sound – Gravity
Best Hair & Make – American Hustle
Best British Short, Live Action – Room 8
Best British Short, Animation – Sleeping with the Fishes
Outstanding British Debut – Kelly & Victor
BAFTA Rising Star – Will Poulter

BAFTA Nominations

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The British Academy of Film and Television Arts announced their nominations today.  These nominations look very close to how the Oscar noms might look.

BEST FILM
12 YEARS A SLAVE Anthony Katagas, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueen
AMERICAN HUSTLE Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, Jonathan Gordon
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca
GRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman
PHILOMENA Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
GRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman, Jonás Cuarón
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM Justin Chadwick, Anant Singh, David M. Thompson, William Nicholson
PHILOMENA Stephen Frears, Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward, Jeff Pope
RUSH Ron Howard, Andrew Eaton, Peter Morgan
SAVING MR. BANKS John Lee Hancock, Alison Owen, Ian Collie, Philip Steuer, Kelly Marcel, Sue Smith
THE SELFISH GIANT: Clio Barnard, Tracy O’Riordan

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
COLIN CARBERRY (Writer), GLENN PATTERSON (Writer) Good Vibrations
KELLY MARCEL (Writer) Saving Mr. Banks
KIERAN EVANS (Director/Writer) Kelly + Victor
PAUL WRIGHT (Director/Writer), POLLY STOKES (Producer) For Those in Peril
SCOTT GRAHAM (Director/Writer) Shell

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
THE ACT OF KILLING Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval
THE GREAT BEAUTY Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima
METRO MANILA Sean Ellis, Mathilde Charpentier
WADJDA Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul

DOCUMENTARY
THE ACT OF KILLING Joshua Oppenheimer
THE ARMSTRONG LIE Alex Gibney
BLACKFISH Gabriela Cowperthwaite
TIM’S VERMEER Teller, Penn Jillette, Farley Ziegler
WE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS Alex Gibney

ANIMATED FILM
DESPICABLE ME 2 Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin
FROZEN Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee
MONSTERS UNIVERSITY Dan Scanlon

DIRECTOR
12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueen
AMERICAN HUSTLE David O. Russell
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Paul Greengrass
GRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Martin Scorsese

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
AMERICAN HUSTLE Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
BLUE JASMINE Woody Allen
GRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás Cuarón
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
NEBRASKA Bob Nelson

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
12 YEARS A SLAVE John Ridley
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Richard LaGravenese
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Billy Ray
PHILOMENA Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Terence Winter

LEADING ACTOR
BRUCE DERN Nebraska
CHIWETEL EJIOFOR 12 Years a Slave
CHRISTIAN BALE American Hustle
LEONARDO DICAPRIO The Wolf of Wall Street
TOM HANKS Captain Phillips

LEADING ACTRESS
AMY ADAMS American Hustle
CATE BLANCHETT Blue Jasmine
EMMA THOMPSON Saving Mr. Banks
JUDI DENCH Philomena
SANDRA BULLOCK Gravity

SUPPORTING ACTOR
BARKHAD ABDI Captain Phillips
BRADLEY COOPER American Hustle
DANIEL BRÜHL Rush
MATT DAMON Behind the Candelabra
MICHAEL FASSBENDER 12 Years a Slave

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
JENNIFER LAWRENCE American Hustle
JULIA ROBERTS August: Osage County
LUPITA NYONG’O 12 Years a Slave
OPRAH WINFREY The Butler
SALLY HAWKINS Blue Jasmine

ORIGINAL MUSIC
12 YEARS A SLAVE Hans Zimmer
THE BOOK THIEF John Williams
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Henry Jackman
GRAVITY Steven Price
SAVING MR. BANKS Thomas Newman

CINEMATOGRAPHY
12 YEARS A SLAVE Sean Bobbitt
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Barry Ackroyd
GRAVITY Emmanuel Lubezki
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Bruno Delbonnel
NEBRASKA Phedon Papamichael

EDITING
12 YEARS A SLAVE Joe Walker
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Christopher Rouse
GRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
RUSH Dan Hanley, Mike Hill
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Thelma Schoonmaker

PRODUCTION DESIGN
12 YEARS A SLAVE Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
AMERICAN HUSTLE Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Howard Cummings
GRAVITY Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woodlard
THE GREAT GATSBY Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn

COSTUME DESIGN
AMERICAN HUSTLE Michael Wilkinson
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Ellen Mirojnick
THE GREAT GATSBY Catherine Martin
THE INVISIBLE WOMAN Michael O’Connor
SAVING MR. BANKS Daniel Orlandi

MAKE UP & HAIR
AMERICAN HUSTLE Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-Bell
BEHIND THE CANDELABRA Kate Biscoe, Marie Larkin
THE BUTLER Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace Neal
THE GREAT GATSBY Maurizio Silvi, Kerry Warn
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater

SOUND
ALL IS LOST Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian Arthur
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver Tarney
GRAVITY Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff
RUSH Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
GRAVITY Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny
THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
IRON MAN 3 Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick
PACIFIC RIM Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel Sumner
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
EVERYTHING I CAN SEE FROM HERE Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam Taylor
I AM TOM MOODY Ainslie Henderson
SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa

BRITISH SHORT FILM
ISLAND QUEEN Ben Mallaby, Nat Luurtsema
KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina Lim
ORBIT EVER AFTER Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len Rowles
ROOM 8 James W. Griffiths, Sophie Venner
SEA VIEW Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
DANE DEHAAN
GEORGE MACKAY
LUPITA NYONG’O
WILL POULTER
LÉA SEYDOUX

 

Best Picture Voting Explained

Vote

Oscar voting began on Friday and will end Wednesday January 8th. Each branch of the Academy their own number of votes needed for a film to get a nomination.  Best Picture is the only category that all 6,028 members can vote on.  They use the preferential ballot system to come up with up to 10 nominees. The entire process is difficult to understand, but Paul Sheehan explains it pretty well:

Academy members don’t merely cite their favorite films on a blank ballot that they complete online or ship back to the accountants at PricewaterhouseCoopers by January 8. Rather, they rank up to five films on ballots which are then counted by a complicated method. So, take a deep breath, as we dive into the Oscar pool.
While nominees in most of the other races are determined by the traditional system of preferential ballot that winnows the contenders down to a final five, the Best Picture finalists are arrived at by a separate system of tabulation.

There will be between five and 10 nominees for Best Picture. To reap a bid, a film has to be one of the top choices of at least 5% of the members taking part in the nomination phase. To illustrate how this system works, let’s look at last year’s race when there ended up being nine nominees.

All 6,028 members of the Academy get to fill in nomination ballots for Best Picture and are asked to list up to five films.

Last year, it was reported that a record number of members took part in the process, so let’s assume that 90% of members submitted their ballots; that would make for 5,425 ballots in all and 5% of this total is 272 votes.

There are three ways to get to 272:

– be listed first on a ballot;
– be listed second on a ballot with a film in first place so popular it triggers the surplus rule; or
– be listed second on a ballot with a film in first place that is tops with less than 1% of voters.

Ballots are sorted by the first choice and only those films listed at the top of at least one ballot remain in play.

The maximum number of Best Picture contenders is 10. In our scenario, the initial threshold for a nomination is set at 494 votes (5,425 divided by 11 and rounded up). If each of 10 films reached this cut-off, they would account for 4,940 ballots, making it mathematically impossible for an eleventh film to get the requisite 494 first place votes.

The surplus rule is applied to all films that are listed first on at least 10% more ballots than the initial threshold required for a nomination. (For other categories, the trigger is 20%). The rationale for this rule is so that someone can vote for a hugely popular picture without fear that their ballot doesn’t matter.

In our scenario — where the threhold is 494 votes — the surplus rule would apply to those films which received at least 543 first place votes. Each of those ballots is apportioned as follows: a share goes to the first place film such that it reaches the initial nomination threshold and the remaining share goes to the second place film if it is still in play (otherwise to the next film on the list that is still in play).

Of our 28 Experts predicting the Oscars last year, 15 had “Lincoln” in first place. Let’s assume it was tops on 25% of the ballots returned; that would give it 1,356 first place votes. It only needed 494 first place votes to reach the initial threshold so each ballot was apportioned with .36 of the vote going to “Lincoln” and .64 to the second place film if it was still in play (otherwise to the next film listed which is still in play). Those fractional votes were the equivalent of 862 ballots in all.
Seven of our Experts ranked eventual winner “Argo” in first place. Let’s assume it made the grade with 15% of the voters; that would give it 814 first place votes. That total also triggered the surplus rule with .61 of the vote going to “Argo” and .39 to the second place film if it was still in play (otherwise to the next film listed which is still in play). Those fractional votes were the equivalent of 320 ballots in all.

Which films were likely to be listed second on those ballots that trigger the surplus rule? Did members who loved “Lincoln” like “Django Unchained” almost as much? Were those fans of “Argo” also enamored with “Zero Dark Thirty”?

Those films that have less than 1% of the ballots following the surplus rule redistribution (in our scenario, that would be 55 ballots) are out of the running. These ballots are redistributed to the next film listed which is still in play (i.e. they will not be shifted to other films with less than 1% support found lower down on these ballots).

The counting is over at this point and all those films with at least 5% of the total ballots cast (in our scenario, 272 ballots) were the Best Picture nominees.

Among them, our 28 Experts were predicting 15 different films to be nominated for Best Picture. (Compare that to the previous year, when 21 films landed on at least one Expert’s list, here.)

Of those contenders with the broadest support, six — “Argo,” “Les Miserables,” “Life of Pi,” “Lincoln,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “Zero Dark Thirty” — made the grade with all of our Experts.

These half dozen films all ended up reaping Best Picture nominations leaving, at best, four slots open.

“Django Unchained” got 26 votes, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” earned 25 votes and “Amour” logged 18 votes. That trio also landed in the Best Picture lineup, which had nine contenders in all.

The tenth slot might have gone to “Moonrise Kingdom,” which made the cut with 17 of our Experts but failed to cobble together the 5% needed for a nom by a combination of first place votes and second place positioning behind films that triggered either the surplus or minimal rule.

Now it all makes perfect sense.