The Social Network

Oscar Week Best Director

If there’s one thing that’s really great about the Academy Awards it’s the manner in which they decide who gets nominated and, ultimately, who wins for each category. It makes little sense to have directors vote on who did the best acting, or musicians deciding on who had the most splendid photography, or screenwriters deciding who made the best non-scripted picture. Professionals in their field decide on which other professionals in their same field did the most exemplary work to represent their profession.

And thank God, because I can’t imagine how you would define what constitutes great directing. The job encompasses so much that great directing can be equally applied to someone obsessively anal about their “vision” just as much as someone who relies on spontaneity and ad-lib to achieve the best results. It can be applied to someone with incredible photographic technique and an eye for scene setup, and another who seems to have little regard for visual appeal. As the matter of fact, as of last year it no longer even matters whether you have a penis or not.

I absolutely have no clue what constitutes great directing despite having my own opinion, which carries no weight because I’ve never done it in my life. I probably couldn’t direct traffic let alone tell someone to film me doing it from a specific spot and focus on my anxiety in close-up and then cut to a slow-mo clip of me weeping when drivers don’t pay attention to me. If I could do that then maybe I’d have an idea what a great director really does.

Thankfully, I don’t have to as the Best Director is decided upon by others who have been there, done it and conquered it in their own way to acknowledge how difficult it must have been to focus all collaborators’ attention to the right areas at the right times to arrive altogether at the same, desired destination; which is ultimately arriving at a final product they can all be proud of.

Here are this year’s nominees for Best Director:

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Oscar Week Best Adapted Screenplay

This article is part of our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. The process of making a film involves thousands of moving parts and pieces from the actors to the director to the caterers and beyond, but arguably the most integral aspect of the process is the script. I say arguable, but I’m only being polite. The script is the most important part of a film… it’s responsible for the words coming out of the actors’ mouths, for the shifts in story, for the very tale itself. Actors bring it to life and the director makes it a visual reality, but it all starts from the script. An argument could be made that scripts adapted from a previous source have most of the heavy lifting already done for them, but the ones making that case have most likely never written a script. It may be an advantage to have the story beats clearly marked out for you in advance, but it doesn’t make the process of writing a smart, entertaining, and well crafted screenplay any easier. This year sees a mixed bag of nominees in the Adapted category, and while one film seems to be a lock to win there’s at least one nominee that just don’t belong on the same stage. I’m looking at you Toy Story 3. The nominees are listed below with my prediction for the winner in red…

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2011 Oscar Predictions

This article is part of our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. As you may know, Robert Ebert is promising $100,000 to anyone who can predict every single Oscar win this year. Going 24 for 24 is an impressive feat, unless you have an ethically questionable friend that works at PricewaterhouseCoopers. But, if you have that, why would you be wasting your time on a measly $100,000? Exactly. I don’t have that friend, but I have a graphing calculator and a lot of free time, so I came up with the predictions that I’ll be submitting to Ebert’s contest. I’d better not get a subscription to Red Book or something  for sharing my email information with him. Check out who I think will win the awards on Sunday (written in bold), tell me why I’m dead wrong, and put your money where your mouth is by entering the contest yourself.

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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 […]

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Oscar Week Best Actor

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…

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vaderfromvulcan

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?

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mnad-superman

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?

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mnad-badassdinklage

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?

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mnad-groundhog

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?

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Awards Season junkie and editor-in-chief of In Contention, Kris Tapley, joins us to shoot the bull on the Oscars. We’ll be roasting that bull on a spit and serving it for our live-blog next month. Could Natalie Portman lose her sure-thing Oscar? Why did Inception never have a chance at Best Picture? Who will win Best Costume Design?!? We ask the tough questions. And then answer them. Plus, we also review The Mechanic in case you’d rather see something blow up besides an actor giving a thank you speech. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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academy_award_poster

At the end of the 90s, famous Oscar show writer and Celebrity Fit Club contestant Bruce Vilanch claimed that, “Generally with the Oscars…there isn’t much you can do until the nominations are announced. Then you know what kind of year you’re dealing with – what’s been overlooked, what the issues are.” He was talking about preparing to write the show, but it applies to everyone from the directors, producers and stars on down to the fans. It’s fun to guess around the water cooler (your office still has a water cooler?), but until now, it’s all been speculation. Thankfully, almost all that speculation has been spot on, so we can all continue our conversations about whether Black Swan will beat The Social Network for Best Picture. Whether Natalie Portman has any true competition for Best Actress. Whether, most importantly of all, Colleen Atwood will beat Mary Zophres for Best Costume Design. Here they are. The 2011 Academy Award nominees:

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sucker-punch-posters92

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?

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ben_mezrich_0714

With as many romantic comedies featuring speeches about stealing the moon for a loved one (and at least one where the main character, as God, actually does pull that big rock closer to the Earth), Thad Roberts had a pretty great idea. He’s the former NASA scientist who worked up a scheme to sell pieces of the moon. Apparently if you walk down the street with your left pant leg rolled, it means your holding. According to the LA Times, Sony has purchased the rights to the forthcoming novel from Ben Mezrich (author of “The Accidental Billionaires”), and he’ll be reteaming with Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti (all producers of The Social Network) and Kevin Spacey (who worked with Mezrich previously on 21). The story here is similar to the founding of facebook. Huge ambition, a crazy scheme vaulted into reality by young love. However, the success is a bit less questionable considering Roberts failed and failed hard. Sex on the Moon sounds like a typical heist film with the stakes raised just enough to steal away an entire planet. It’s unclear where the sex comes in (maybe they place some moon rocks under the bed?), but with the right director and cast, this could be another winner.

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goldenglobe2

I love the Golden Globes despite never wanting to watch them. They are irrelevant in a way that’s completely freeing – meaning that the host can get drunk, the honorees can get drunk, and a lot of yelling can take place during the celebration. I imagine it’s a lot like what the Oscars used to be before they were ever televised. Don’t get me wrong. For the winners, it’s an auspicious occasion. It’s one more group (a diverse one at that) honoring great work done. For movie fans though, the broadcast is pure spectacle, and as someone who has stood next to Foreign Press members asking about what type of underwear Daniel Radcliffe wears, it’s also difficult to take the night all that seriously. Here in the sober light of day, are the winners. Feel free to speculate as to what this means for the Oscars.

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captain-america-running

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 shit late at night, what do you expect?

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TheSocialNetworkScript

Brace yourself. Before downloading this explosive piece of writing, simply know that it goes from Cover Page to 60 in under 6 seconds. Sorkin does not waste time taking a breath, either. His script for The Social Network is an incredible piece of writing, and reading it from the bare white pages has a completely different feel than watching the movie. Enjoy the Social Network script for yourself, and give thanks to Deadline Denton for posting it up for all movie fans to enjoy, dissect, and debate.

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arrow

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 shit late at night, what do you expect?

read more...

thor-french-poster

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 shit late at night, what do you expect?

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bd-crusoeonmars

In this edition of This Week in Blu-ray, we’re going travelin’. We will take a trip to Mars, where a resourceful astronaut has been stranded and must breath with the aid of yellow rocks. We will head out west, where the story for Avatar was birthed by Kevin Costner. We will head back in time, when things were simple and Facebook didn’t rule our lives. And we will travel to a miscellaneous Spring Break destination, where a bunch of agitated pre-historic Characiformes are waiting to take a bite out of our favorite porn stars’ silicon implants. And Jerry O’Connell’s junk. Of course this will all make sense, as long as you hit ‘read more’ below and check out this week’s Blu-ray slate.

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51N9sn4n9VL._SL500_AA300_

Welcome to another light week of DVD releases! It may appear lacking in quantity, but it does feature the film that might be winning the Academy Award for Best Film in a couple months. No, not Piranha. David Fincher’s The Social Network reaches shelves just three and a half months after hitting theaters, and in addition to being an incredibly good movie it’s also the closest I’ve ever been to Facebook. Other titles out this week include a fantastic French romantic comedy (Heartbreaker), an animated flick nobody saw (Alpha and Omega), three TV shows you’ve probably never heard of before, and more.

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published: 02.01.2015
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published: 01.31.2015
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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.30.2015
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