Best Picture

2014 Academy Award Best Picture Nominees Cartoon

After all the handwringing and concern, this year’s Oscars were reasonably even-handed. After all, the directors for Adaptation, Shame and Children of Men all got to make acceptance speeches — and they got to give them while representing incredibly strong pieces of cinema, standing alongside some stridently beloved performers. The next morning, there was a general perception that the whole program had been “fair” after a few years where the politicking (and its results) were too overt, where decent had replaced outstanding, where ossification had set in. The Academy had finally gotten it right. Whatever that means. The thing is, to think of any given stack of Oscar ballots as being wrong is both faulty and perfectly natural. We do it every year with gusto even knowing that — for all the pomp and ceremony — the Academy Awards aren’t a final or definitive word on quality. They’re one group’s opinions, but they feel like something more. Something that has the power to solidify cultural merit or spark an artistic legacy. It’s why the digital pitchforks come out for “snubs.” With that in mind, Scott Beggs, Rob Hunter and Landon Palmer got together to argue what movies should have had their names etched in Oscar history, to do a calculation on Academy accuracy — admittedly with the benefit of clear-eyed hindsight and correct opinions. That didn’t make some years easier or anything. Some bad picks were obvious, but most years led to a lot of verbal fisticuffs. Still, we managed to come out with […]

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Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Picture

This is it. The big one. The most coveted award in Hollywood. The one only the greatest of the great win. You know the ones I mean. The Artist, The King’s Speech, Crash, Chicago, Million Dollar Baby. Classics, all of them. It reads like a list of the best films of the 2000s don’t you think? Right? Yeah? This year sees nine nominees up for Best Picture, and a whopping two thirds are films based on true stories. Perception is such that a basis in fact would be an advantage, but while playing real people helps actors win awards, only five films based on true stories have taken home Best Picture in the past two decades. I’m guessing this year will make six. As has been the case since the Academy opened this category to more than five nominees, we once again have a field of players stuffed with titles well out of their depths (sorry Nebraska), so while there are nine titles listed, there are realistically only three contenders. Keep reading for a look at all of this year’s nominees for Best Picture along with my predicted winner in red…

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Argo

The Producers Guild of America just awarded Ben Affleck‘s Argo with two honors. The first is their award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture, and the second is the statistical advantage of winning the Academy Award for the same prize. Since 1989, the PGA and the Oscars have only disagreed 7 times when it comes to Best Picture, and they’ve picked the same winner for the past 6 years straight. It’s not a certainty, of course (and Daniel has made strong cases for Life of Pi and Amour), but it’s a 70% historical chance that Affleck’s movie about a fake CIA movie might win big on February 24th. Now, just for fun, here are the 7 times that the PGA and the Oscars didn’t pick the same flick to win:

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Amour Movie

Amour is a very difficult movie. I would go so far as to say it’s the toughest, most painful Best Picture nominee in an awfully long time. It’s so heartbreaking and uncomfortable that I was somewhat taken aback when it pulled five Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Sure, Emmanuelle Riva seemed like a good bet and it was certainly going to be ahead of the pack in the Foreign Film category, but that top-tier nomination? Only eight foreign language films have been nominated for Best Picture in the past, and only one of them (Ingmar Bergman’s Cries and Whispers) is as profoundly upsetting as Michael Haneke’s blunt portrait of love and death. It just didn’t seem likely. Obviously, I was wrong. Let’s hope that isn’t the theme of the season. In hindsight, the impressive crop of nominations for Amour makes a ton of sense. It makes so much sense that I think it has a very good shot at winning three Oscars. Here’s the case:

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Kathryn Bigelow Oscar

Editor’s Note: We’ll be updating this in real-time as the nominees are announced. Make sure to refresh for the complete list. Will killing Osama Bin Laden mean more Oscar gold for Kathryn Bigelow? Was taking on Scientology Definitely Not Scientology enough for the Academy to recognize Paul Thomas Anderson this year? Does Oogieloves have a shot at all? These are the questions that Awards Season devotees have swirling around inside their heads, but with Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane announcing the nominees in the wee hours this morning…all of those questions still haven’t been definitively answered. Except the Oogieloves one. Get to ready to smile, ball your fists with snubbed rage, or be generally unsurprised. Here they are. The 2013 Oscar nominees:

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This new era of re-releases has definitely got its perks. Whether it’s seeing a modern classic like Jurassic Park return home to theaters or a movie from out of the mist of the past, it’s the kind of cash-grab that should be celebrated. What other time in your life would you be able to see the 1927 silent flick about pilots in WWI bravely battling (and kissing each other) as it was meant to be seen? Cinemark Theaters will play Wings – the first Best Picture Oscar winner – in select theaters on Wednesdays May 2nd and 16th. Those participating theaters can be found on the Cinemark website. The print has been completely restored. What’s crazy is that they’re showing in their Extreme Digital auditoriums, which means they much have restored the hell out of it.

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Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Academy Awards broadcast. Please join us for our Live-Blog tonight (because we ask nicely), and while you wait for the winners, check out our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. It’s finally here! The time of year where I can write a paragraph that no one will read because they’ve already scrolled down to see who’s won. But even though this won’t be seen by humans, here’s a personal reminder that this night may be about politics and back-slapping, but it’s also about the splendor of cinema. It’s about the magic of movies. The genius of thousands of images all strung together with blood, sweat and tears to create characters and a journey through the heart of a story. There are some great stories on display tonight. That’s what matters second most. What matters most, of course, is crushing your enemies, seeing them driven before you and hearing the lamentation of their women. Let’s get to the winning, right? And the Oscar goes to…

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President Obama and Bill Murray

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a silly little thing. Just a thing that some people read. Nothing special, really, just the world’s foremost late-night independent movie news and editorial round-up. You know, the usual. We begin tonight with a picture of President Obama and Bill Murray meeting at the Towson v. Oregon State basketball game this past weekend. I wonder if the Prez got a chance to grill him about all the recent Ghostbusters 3 rumors. We’ve already submitted a formal inquiry to the White House, with no response as of time of our publishing deadline.

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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.

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Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Academy Awards broadcast. Please join us for our Live-Blog tonight (because we ask nicely), and while you wait for the winners, check out our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. Tonight’s the night! You find out if you will take top prize in your office pool, and, you know, you’ll get to see which fantastic films are most celebrated with little naked statues of gold. If you love the Oscars, hate them, or pretend to hate them while sitting riveted to the broadcast, one thing is clear: tonight is a night to celebrate the best in filmmaking. We love movies. So do you. Tonight we can all celebrate our favorites of 2010 even if they don’t win and even if they weren’t nominated. As for those in the running, they are all beautiful works of art, they’re all winners tonight, they went out on the field and gave 110%…and…yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s get to the winning, right? And the Oscar goes to…

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Every Sunday in February, Film School Rejects presents a nominee for Best Picture that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This week, Old Ass Movies presents the movie behind the movie that everyone else knows in an attempt to prove that remakes aren’t necessarily all bad. Also to prove that the Academy doesn’t always know what they’re doing even when they know what they’re doing.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as THEFANFROMLONDON and DinoDNA007 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the two tackle the fact that no documentary has ever been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Why all the hate, AMPAS? Sure, it has its own category, but that doesn’t deny it entry into the big game. Is there an internal bias against non-fiction? Should Jackass 3 been facing off against The Social Network? Will we see a documentary nominated for Best Picture in our lifetime?

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You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at editors@filmschoolrejects.com. The Oscars are coming up quick. Nominations are out this week. So, let’s say you have a time machine and can go back to any year to nominate a movie for Best Picture that didn’t get nominated. What would you pick? Me? Probably ALIEN. – Johnathan K.

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Culture Warrior

With the release of Pixar’s Up, last year saw a great deal of conversation surrounding the ghettoization of animated movies at major awards shows. This debate resulted in something of a minor, qualified victory for animated cinema of 2009, as Up was the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture since Beauty and the Beast, but then again it sat amongst a crowded bevy of nine fellow nominations, and animated films remain unthreatening to their live action competitors because of the separate-but-unequal Best Animated Feature Category. I’d like to take this space to advocate for the big-category acceptance of yet another marginalized and underappreciated category around awards time: non-fiction films.

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oscar

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has changed the way members will vote on the Best Picture. Here’s a dirty explanation of how it works that will either clear it all up or make it far, far more confusing for you.

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movieswelove-thesting

Who doesn’t love a good con movie? Robert Redford and Paul Newman partner to make one of the best ever made – all while creating a movie that won Best Picture, can be re-watched infinitely and has popcorn appeal.

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Disney is looking to nab the Best Animated Feature nod and consideration for the Top Prize at the Oscars. Is it a good idea?

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poster-nocountry02.jpg

Will the brothers Coen take home the little golden guy on Sunday night? We break it down for you.

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published: 04.19.2014
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published: 04.19.2014
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published: 04.18.2014
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