No, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences hasn’t set up a new category to honor writing about film. The Oscars of the title are my dog, Oscar the Groucho Marx Campbell (who is in no way named for the awards of the same name), and one of Kate’s two cats, Oscar Erbland (the other is named Felix, by the way, so you can guess what he’s named after). The two animals will be joining us next month for some actual Academy Awards fun, but for now they’re just being introduced to bring you the latest Reject Recap. Which, not coincidentally, reviews the week the Oscar nominations were announced.
And of course we did report and comment on those nominations. But before we get to all that, the Oscars want to remind you to read our reviews of new releases, including Gangster Squad, 56 Up and Let My People Go, and our interviews with The Impossible director J.A. Bayona, Struck By Lightning (and Glee) star Chris Colfer, Looper writer/director Rian Johnson and Gangster Squad director Ruben Fleischer.
Oh, and definitely take a listen to the brand new podcast from Managing Editor Scott Beggs and his co-host, screenwriter Geoff Latulippe. It’s called Broken Projector, and you can listen to the very first episode, which includes a debate on the best Indiana Jones sequel, here.
Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week, as most definitely chosen by a dog and a cat:
Thursday morning brought the unveiling of the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards. And we left it to Daniel, our awards expert, to tell us what they mean for the Best Picture race: “Often by this point we have a clear front-runner and a film or two waiting (usually hopelessly) on the sidelines. This year is a grand, glorious mess. Lincoln is at the head of the pack with 12 nominations, but Life of Pi is right behind with 11. No one thought Ang Lee’s film was a major contender, but now he’s in and Affleck, Bigelow, and Hooper are out. This means that the year’s most admirable 3D extravaganza has a decent shot at running away with the whole thing. Silver Linings Playbook also has a bit of hope, having been dealt quite the hand in the acting categories. It’s the first film since 1981’sReds to score a nod in each acting category. There are an awful lot of actors in the Academy, and we already know they love the film.”
Also check out:
Film Jockeys #5: The Snubbies
Meatball Subs and Breakaway Clothing: Tina Fey and Amy Poehler Create Perfect Golden Globes Drinking Game
Directors Guild Apparently Not Fans of Tarantino, Russell, or P.T. Anderson This Year
The 33rd Annual Razzie Awards Nominate All the Usual Crap
The Sundance Film Festival is only days away, and so this week our three critics who will be on the ground in Park City for the event shared lists of the films they’re most excited about. Topping Allison’s curtain raiser is Mud: “We here at FSR declared Matthew McConaughey the Performer of the Year for 2012 and it looks like McConaughey has no intention of letting that title slip in 2013. Playing a downtrodden outlaw hoping to make an easy escape, McConaughey seems well poised to bring the film’s title character, Mud, to life. Writer/director Jeff Nichols made quite the stir at the festival two years ago with Take Shelter and Mud looks to be an impressive follow-up.”
One of Kate’s most anticipated is Stories We Tell: “I’ve been writing obsessively about Sarah Polley‘s first documentary since its Venice premiere was announced last July, and my desire to see the film has not abated in the slightest since then. Polley has already proven herself adept at portraying thorny emotional issues with grace and honesty, as she did with her Away From Her and Take This Waltz, and Stories We Tell seems poised to do the same. But with real people. No, really real people – like Polley’s actual family real.”
And among Rob’s choices is Upstream Color: “I couldn’t tell you what this movie’s about even if I wanted to. The trailer is a thing of beauty that avoids any amount of detail as to the plot, and I refuse to read the synopsis on the Sundance site because I want to go in completely blank on this one. What I do know is that this is Shane Carruth‘s long awaited (nine years) follow-up to his debut film, Primer, which not only won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance that year but is also one hell of a cool and deceptively simple sci-fi movie. I’m a sucker for movies that surprise me and make me think, and the odds are this one will do both.”
It’s time for some new series to debut on television as midseason replacements of those fall shows that were quickly canceled or just new blood in general. Will any of the new crop be more successful? Our TV columnist, Amber, gives us five hopefuls, including FX’s The Americans: “With shows like Louie, Sons of Anarchy, and Justified, FX has emerged as a powerful force in TV. Aside from Charlie Sheen’s anomalous Anger Management, each new series is reliably entertaining, complex, and inventive. So, The Americans has FX’s solid track record backing it up. Added to this, Justified’s Graham Yost is executive producing. If The Americans is even half as gripping as what has been going down in Harlan County for the past three years then it should be a hit.”