Academy Awards

Prominent producer/writer/director Judd Apatow was recorded while speaking at some sort of L.A. Times sponsored press event recently, and he had some interesting comments about The Academy and how he thinks comedies are treated unfairly at the Oscars. You can head over to 24 Frames to watch the whole thing, or just read below and I’ll give you the gist of what was said. Apatow is of the opinion that there should be a new Oscar category created for “Best Comedy,” much like an Oscar for “Best Animated Film” was created in 2001. His reasoning: “Why not?” Okay, that isn’t his entire reasoning. He goes on to say that because “a comedy has only won Best Picture 5 times in a zillion years” he doesn’t think it would be “screwing up Schindler’s List for Hangover to have its own category.” And he goes even further to say that once a new Comedy category was created the Academy could “get rid of the Key Grip category,” a comment that elicits some boos from a tech-appreciative crowd gathered around the interview area. In response to the booing Apatow explains, “I love the key grips, they do a fantastic job, but in hour four I would rather see Zach Galifianakis show up rather than my friend Curtis.”

read more...

The last forty-eight hours have been tumultuous ones for this year’s Academy Awards telecast. First, the show’s producer Brett Ratner was unceremoniously asked to step down from his position after the world realized that he was a creep. Then his host, Eddie Murphy, soon followed, wishing the new producer and new host the best of luck. Fans all over the web were in an agitated state, debating who should take their places, with a large contingent actively campaigning for a very Muppet Oscars. The Academy seems to be in a bit of a panic though, because less than a day later they’ve already locked their choices down, and the replacements they found can most accurately be described as safe. First, it was announced that Brian Grazer would be the new producer. After this, speculation began to run rampant that Billy Crystal would be the most logical and easy choice for Grazer to plug in as host, seeing as he’s done the job so many times and has a seemingly endless enthusiasm for the gig. Sure enough, earlier today Crystal took to his @BillyCrystal Twitter account and made the following announcement, “Am doing the Oscars so the young woman in the pharmacy will stop asking my name when I pick up my prescriptions. Looking forward to the show.” Since then, the Academy’s official account has retweeted Crystal’s claims, making things pretty official.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that isn’t holding out hope that it will be chosen to host the 84th Academy Awards. It has never had a good working relationship with Brian Grazer. Earlier today the entire film world was talking about Brett Ratner’s departure as producer of the Oscars because of a whole bunch of controversy over some comments he made that offended fans of rehearsals. Everyone wanted him out, and they got it. The also got the bonus of Eddie Murphy jumping ship as host, two-for-one discount style. And now they’re getting something else, which might be seen as a bonus. The Academy confirmed this evening via a press release that Brian Grazer will produce the 84th Academy Awards telecast. The odds on Tom Hanks hosting just went through the roof.

read more...

I know that just the act of using the words “credibility” and “The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences” in the same sentence feels completely ludicrous, but on Tuesday the Academy’s governors voted in a new set of rules that lends a little bit more credibility to the act of choosing the nominees for Best Picture. It was just two years ago that they changed their long-standing tradition of having five nominees to a new standard of nominating ten films. Seeing as there are only ever two, maybe three movies that actually have any sort of chance at winning, upping the number of nominees to ten looked very transparently like a stupid marketing ploy. From one side of things, the Academy could give nominations to more “mainstream” films that Joe Six-Pack might complain never get recognition on the show. And from the other, now five more films a year could use the phrase “Academy Award Nominee for Best Picture” in their marketing. Theoretically, that would lead to more interest in the ceremony, more people buying tickets to theaters, and everybody in the industry winning. Except that the idea is totally stupid because Joe Six-Pack won’t give a crap about The Oscars no matter what they do, and having ten nominees can’t help but make at least three or four of the films look like completely pathetic afterthoughts. It further ruins the credibility of an already oft-derided process.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that refuses to turn its back on Michael Bay and Doctor Who, but also wants to keep you interested. With that in mind, tonight is only half text. The rest if videos and pictures, sights and sounds. Only the best for your ADD-afflicted minds. The news is out, and Arnold Schwarzenegger is now being closely linked to another episode in the Terminator franchise. He and director Justin Lin are attached to a project that, for all intents and purposes, has studios like Universal, Sony and Lionsgate pulling out their big daddy checkbooks. In unrelated news, we aren’t sure that movie studios still use checkbooks. They may have moved on to direct deposit for price tags over $25 million.

read more...

Watch enough foreign language movies and you’re bound to develop some (usually incorrect) perception of that particular country’s citizens. Korean people are more likely to kick you than they are to smile. French folks will cheat on each other at the drop of a pastry. There are no schools for acting in Thailand. You get the idea. Japanese films are no different and in fact offer up more than one assumption about the culture. And no, they don’t all have to do with lactation or the enticing aroma of girls’ underwear. Some are about the overwhelming fear that Japanese society appears to have towards its own children. The youth of the nation are alternately dangerous to others (Battle Royale) or to themselves (Suicide Club), but the one constant is the complete lack of connection or understanding the adults have for their teenage counterparts. It’s an intriguing idea and one writer/director Tetsuya Nakashima (Kamikaze Girls) has decided to embrace with his latest movie, Confessions. His film is far more subtle than those mentioned above, but no less dangerous or dark, and he melds it seamlessly with another popular theme in Asian cinema…

read more...

Culture Warrior

Dear Mr. Franco, Before I say anything else, I just want to say, at the risk of sounding like a brown-nosing blogger writing a hypothetical letter to a movie star who most definitely will not read it, that I actually do appreciate what you’re trying to do. Many people would start a post like this heavy on the snark and in total dismissal of a star’s decision to construct their career as performance art. But I don’t. I think it’s kind of interesting. Kind of. We know you’re talented. And we know you like to explore a variety of avenues of expression. It’s not just that you’re actor, but an actor who can play Aron Ralston and Alan Ginsberg, convincingly, in the same year. It’s not just that you’re a filmmaker, but the filmmaker that made Saturday Night, which is more enjoyable than anything SNL has produced in years. It’s not just that you’re pursuing a PhD, but…well, I’m actually not familiar with your scholarship, but I’m sure you’ll publish something someday. Anyway, this is to say I’m writing from the perspective of a reluctant fan. But after Sunday night, you and everybody that respects you deserves a damn break.

read more...

Boiling Point

Every year about this time it’s become custom for me to spew a whole lot of vitriol, venom, and curses about the Academy Awards. Some of my most vile diatribes have been brought to the surface by the Oscars – Juno is still a pile of shit. As you’re probably starting to glean, this year is no different. They’re still the same old Oscars and I’m still the same young handsome boy modeling school graduate who’s got shit to say about them.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

read more...

The Week That Was

This week our Saturday tradition known as The Week That Was takes on a new look. And as I’m sure you probably won’t notice (because I’m not entirely convinced that anyone reads this column), I will be the first to point out that the new format was at least in part inspired by a new feature I read over at Cinematical. And because sometimes the best ideas are stolen, I’m not sorry. I just can’t apologize for finding a better way to help you catch up on all of the excellent content you may have missed here on Film School Rejects. I won’t do it. Now lets forget all about this nonsense and focus on what matters: the best articles of the week, as brought to you by the lovely and talented FSR contributors.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

read more...

While we may not see a non-fiction film nominated for Best Picture anytime soon, the Best Documentary Feature has for many risen from a minor category rarely given its due attention to a battleground for some of the most important movies in a given year. 2010 was no exception, and in this year and in this category there are an impressive collection of docs addressing a variety of subjects in unique ways that truly exemplify the personalities of the filmmakers behind them. If no other year has convinced you the documentary is a great art form, this one should. But perhaps more significantly, this year exhibits such a variety of films that it throws the simplistic notion that a documentary should occupy one single mode of address out the window: here we have ambitious and stylish massive doc about a very complex subject, an intimate biographical advocacy piece, some on-the-ground investigative journalism, some trash art, and that film everyone’s been talking about all year that puts the entire notion of artistic truth into question. Only one of these films will take home the gold at the end of the night, but I’ll be damned if they’re not all impressive pieces of non-fiction filmmaking. And the nominees (with my prediction in red) are…

read more...

Two years ago, we were on a boat in the middle of a lake somewhere near Austin, Texas. Last year, we were in an abandoned 6th century church somewhere deep in the heart of Eastern Europe. This year, we’ll be in our living rooms. Times have been tough all over. Still, that shouldn’t stop you from joining us for our getting-slightly-more-infamous-every-year Live Blog of the Oscars! What else are you going to be doing that night besides yelling every time you “called it” and driving your friends crazy? Now you can do that and enjoy the hilarious antics of the Rejects. Participate in meaningful polls about the armpit hair of presenters, test your wits with our trivial challenges, and scratch your head as Adam Charles accidentally live-blogs the movie Oscar featuring Sly Stallone. Check out our full Oscar coverage up until now and mark your calendars for Sunday:

read more...

There has been much hullabaloo over speculation as to what will happen if the Banksy directed doc Exit Through the Gift Shop ends up winning the Academy Award for Best Documentary. Banksy is a popular street artist who maintains a lot of his mystique through hiding his identity. He narrated Gift Shop shrouded in a hood and with voice modulation. Whenever pictures are shown of him, he is usually wearing a ridiculous monkey mask. Most likely, if Banksy were ever to be unmasked, we would all be faced with the stunning realization that he is… some guy. That’s why it’s very important that he maintains his secrecy. Mystery equals intrigue; intrigue equals people shelling out boatloads of cash for his work. The Academy has been around show business for quite some time. They understand what Banksy is doing here. And yet, up until this point, they have made it clear that showing up to the Oscars wearing a monkey mask would be completely unacceptable. Academy president Tom Sherak reportedly told Banksy’s representatives, “We suggested to them that it might be a good idea that if he did win, one of them would accept in his place – that it would not be dignified for the Academy to have somebody come up wearing a monkey’s head.”

read more...

This article is part of our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. The Best Supporting Actor category is one of the most interesting. As Cole and I discussed last week, there really is no stable definition of what constitutes a “supporting” role, so this category can run the gamut from scene-stealers (Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight) to memorable parts with a limited amount of screen time (Hal Holbrook for Into the Wild) to nominations that seem only to be banking off the presence of a film in other categories (Matt Damon for Invictus). Fortunately this year saw five pretty strong nominees (and three first-time nominees), but this year also exhibits the potential variance of the category. Here we have a crack addict, a sperm donator, a townie gangster, an unqualified speech therapist, and somebody named “Teardrop.” Let’s see how these five incredibly different performances size up against one another. With my winner prediction in red, here are the nominees:

read more...

There’s no secret that the certified sub-sections of “best picture” are not only somewhat backhanded, they’re getting increasingly more robbed of any shred of surprise at who the potential winner is as the Academy expands the number of films qualifying for the biggest prize. Increasing the number of nominees to ten whilst retaining the sub-categories of, generally, the same award (best animated *film*, best foreign *film*, best documentary *film*…) seems nearly needless; especially in this particular category because Pixar has removed any degree of competitiveness the past two years.

It isn’t because Pixar has a stronghold on the award of Best Animated Film itself (despite their current 4 for 6 record and running on 3 consecutive), but mainly because now that the Best Picture category has been extended to 10 films they’re more likely to have already announced the winner of a sub-category film by having announced the nomination of one (and only one) of the sub-category films in the larger category.

It is still nice to see as many films as possible get deserved recognition even though there’s about as close to a guarantee that they will lose as can possibly be without actually being able to guarantee a guarantee. Though, assuming the illogical can actually occur it would be interesting to see the black hole in the Oscarverse that would develop if Toy Story 3 is not announced as the victor.

As such, the Winner and two “Waydagoers” are…

read more...

Culture Warrior

Famed British filmmaker Mike Leigh recently received his fifth screenwriting nomination for Another Year. Another Oscar nomination for a highly celebrated filmmaker should be surprising to no one except, in this special case, for the fact that precisely zero of Leigh’s nominated films actually use screenplays. Leigh’s films are constructed through a painstaking and long-term process of creating characters and scenarios with his cast and creative team. His films aren’t improvised in the sense of, say, a Christopher Guest film, where a basic framework exists and actors are allowed to ad-lib and play with(in) that paradigm. Leigh’s films are instead created from the outset through an involved collaborative process. Leigh’s regular team of actors bring to each individual film their construction of a character from scratch. Details arise eventually through this collaboration, and the final work projected onscreen is the end result of a long selection of various possibilities. The only reason Leigh’s films even qualify for screenwriting awards is because of the written script that Leigh creates after the end product has been made. The physical screenplay, in this case, is nothing more than a transcription written after the fact, or a record of a much larger event (whose details are largely unknown to the audience). While Leigh is the sole nominee for Another Year, the creation of the script (or, in this case, the transcript) is just as indebted to the creative efforts of other individuals involved. Stars Jim Broadbent and Lesley Manville are, in a sense, just […]

read more...

This article is part of our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. If you want to separate the actors who are just good from the ones who are truly great, the best way to do it is to look at the winners of the Best Actor Oscar. Without exception the greats are the ones who win the award, and the ones who don’t are proven to just not be elite level actors. It’s science. Or, probably, none of that is true at all. The fact is: there are a lot of reasons someone might be nominated for an Academy Award and someone else might not be. And there are even more reasons why one of those nominees goes on to win and the others don’t. Quality of performance is not necessarily the end-all be-all. But the Best Actor award is probably one of the Oscars that has best retained its credibility over the decades. There aren’t a lot of stinker performances that have been wrongly praised muddying up the list. To have your name appear alongside greats like Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Humphrey Bogart, Marlon Brando, Sidney Poitier, Paul Newman, Robert De Niro, and Sir Nicolas Cage is still seen as being a rare honor. So what does the field look like this year? With my guess highlighted in red, the nominees are…

read more...

This article is part of our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. Some of you might be confused as to what the Best Actress category is exactly. Don’t worry; it’s easy enough to explain. You see, Best Actress is just like the award for Best Actor, except it’s for people with lady parts only. Why there needs to be a gender distinction when it comes to giving out awards for acting performances is beyond me. Is there something inherent in one of the genders that would give them the edge when it comes to acting? Or maybe this is a relic of an older Hollywood where all of the really meaty roles were written for men and actresses didn’t have much more to do than be the object of affection? I think we’re past that point now. I would argue not just that female actors put out work equal to male actors in 2010, but also that they were on the whole given more interesting characters to play. I say that this is the year where we need to band together and call for the end of award discrimination. Who’s with me? Maybe you should look over the nominees first. They are as follows, with my winner prediction in red.

read more...

Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as CriterionCollector85 and JP2themax in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, they puzzle over how to define a Best Supporting Role. What does that support mean? Or look like? Does it matter how long someone is on screen or how big a catalyst they are? Since the Oscars don’t seem to know…what the hell is a supporting role anyway?

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3