life of pi

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2013 Oscar Watch: 85th Academy Awards Nominations

In: Donovan, Movies

Let the official Oscar campaigning begin. Even though the race started long before today, with the nominations now revealed, the handshaking and butt kissing to Academy voters kicks into high gear. This is exactly the part Joaquin Phoenix criticized when he slammed the Oscars. Despite that dig, as predicted by him, Phoenix snagged an Oscar nod for his work in The Master. Can he parlay his “unique” campaigning to Oscar glory when the winners are announced on February 24, 2013 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood?

Oscar host Seth Macfarlane and Emma Stone woke up extremely early today to read out the nominations for the 85th Academy Awards. Side note: Macfarlane is the first host to announce the nominations since Charlton Heston did double duty back in 1972. As widely predicted, Lincoln dominated with 12 nominations including Best Director, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor. Coming in second was Life of Pi with 11 nods. Unlike Lincoln, Life of Pi didn’t score any acting nods and their haul came mostly from the creative categories. Check out all the nominations and my commentary including snubs in all the major awards below.

check out all the nominations after the jump

The BAFTAs aka British Academy Film Awards really don’t factor too much in the Oscar race. It’s just another excuse to dress up and publicly campaign for your chances at securing an Academy Award. That being said, their nominations fall mostly in line with many of the Oscar precursors. Even across the pond, Steven Spielberg’s film about an American president is the one to beat. Lincoln dominated with 10 nominations. The historical drama secured nods for Best Film, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress to name a few.

The musical Les Miserables and Ang Lee’s Life of Pi came in second with 9 nominations a piece. The 23rd installment of the James Bond franchise, Skyfall, picked up 8 BAFTAs including nods for Javier Bardem and Dame Judi Dench in the supporting acting categories. Anna Karenina which has been mostly shut out in many Oscar precursors, racked up several nominations mostly in the creative categories such as makeup, production design, costume design etc…

The BAFTAs, hosted by Stephen Fry, will take place on Sunday, February 10 at London’s Royal Opera House and be broadcast on BBC One. Check out all the nominees below.

check out all the nominations after the jump

2013 Oscar Watch: Directors Guild Awards

In: Donovan, Movies

If there was an Oscar precursor that was the most reliable, hands down it’s the Directors Guild Awards. Since 2000, they have only been wrong once when matching up Best Directing honors with the Academy Awards. Ang Lee who won for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon lost the Oscar to Steven Soderbergh for Traffic. As a side note, Lee later won in 2005 for Brokeback Mountain. Once again, the director finds himself in the running for this year’s race. He’s one of the lucky five nominated by the Directors Guild of America.

Even though the DGAs are bang on when predicting the eventual Oscar winner, their nominations don’t always line up with the Academy’s. Usually, there is one director who gets snubbed. Last year, David Fincher was nominated for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, but Terence Malick was the one who received an Oscar nod for The Tree of Life. Same thing happened in 2010 when Christopher Nolan (Inception) was swapped out for Joel and Ethan Coen (True Grit). Given that there are so many directors in the running this year, I fully expect this tradition to continue. Find out all the nominees below.

check out the nominees after the jump

It only took 23 tries, but 007 has finally found his groove. Not only has the latest James Bond flick, Skyfall, become the first in the franchise to pass the $1 billion mark, but the film might also be headed for Oscar glory. In a surprising twist, Skyfall earned a nomination from the Producers Guild for Best Film. It’s the first Bond film to be honored by the PGA in its 24-year history.

Since 2007, five winners of the Producers Guild Awards have gone on to also nab Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Last year, only three films didn’t line up with the Oscar nominees. Bridesmaids, The Ides of March and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo were snubbed by the Academy. The year before that, the PGAs were only off by one with The Town losing a spot to the Academy’s choice of Winter’s Bone. Better dust off that tuxedo Daniel Craig, you might be headed to the big event this year.

The Producers Guild Awards ceremony, which will be produced by Michael De Luca, will take place on Jan. 26. Check out all the films nominated this year below.

check out all the nominees after the jump

2013 Golden Globes Nominations Announced

In: Donovan, Movies, TV Shows

Not only did the Hollywood Foreign Press Association debut the first promo for the 70th Golden Globes featuring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but they also revealed their nominations. Leading the pack with seven nods is Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln. Not surprising, given all the other Oscar precursor love. On the flip side, Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained shockingly earned five nominations including one for Leonardo DiCaprio.

If you think about it, DiCaprio along with a few other out of left field nods aren’t too earth-shattering given that the HFPA have a reputation of being HUGE star f*ckers. They love to honor A-list celebs in hopes that they’ll attend, making their event the most star-studded one of the awards season.

On the TV front, the HFPA have a couple of head-scratchers as well. Mad Men for the first time isn’t nominated but NBC’s polarizing Smash is. Granted they’re competing in different categories, but still. The Debra Messing musical beat out Parks & Recreations, Suburgatory, Community and a whole whackload of other worthy sitcoms. Fans of ABC’s Nashville will be elated that both Hayden Panettiere and Connie Britton were recognized. While Modern Family dominates the Emmys, only Sofia Vergara and Eric Stonestreet earned nominations in the acting categories.

Without further ado, check out all of the 2013 Golden Globe nominations below which were revealed by presenters Jessica Alba, Megan Fox and Ed Helms this morning. You’ll also find my commentary for most of the major movie categories and how they differ from the recently announced SAG nominations. Be sure to leave your comments afterward. I would to hear your thoughts on the HFPA’s nods.

check out the complete list after the jump

Another day, another Oscar precursor. This time it’s the American Film Institute’s turn. Unlike the previous awards, the AFI doesn’t pick one winner. Rather the group of critics, scholars, film artists and those in television pick the Top 10 in both cinema and on the small screen. All ten winners in each respective category will be honored at an invitation-only luncheon on Friday, January 11, 2013 in Los Angeles.

In the film category, you have your core group of movies dominating early critics awards. Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln and Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty once again are honored. Joining the Oscar Best Picture race is Christopher Nolan’s final Batman film The Dark Knight Rises. I believe it’s the first nod the superhero flick has earned at a major Academy Awards precursor.

The biggest snub, IMHO, is Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master. The Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman film recently nabbed Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics. Sadly for them, the film was ignored by the AFI. Check out what else made the AFI’s list of Best 10 films of 2012, along with the cream of the crop on television.

check out the complete list of winners

Movie Screening Held At Paris Indoor Pool

In: Donovan, Movies

Leave it to the French to come up with this innovative idea. After all, they did give the world berets, croissants and French fries ;) Seriously though, this is probably one of the wickedest ideas ever.

Since Life of Pi is movie about a young Indian man shipwrecked in the ocean, someone came up with the brilliant idea to hold a movie screening involving water. Audience members boarded boats inside Paris’ indoor swimming pool, Piscine Pailleron, to watch the film. Wearing 3-D glasses and life preservers, Parisians immersed themselves in the spirit of the flick.

While probably not the most comfortable way to watch a movie, the unique experience would definitely make up for it. It’s like going to a drive-in with your car, except it’s a boat and you’re on water. As the movie-goers left the screening, “magnifique” and “formidable” were the consensus of the evening. Check out a few photos from the event along with a video. I’m surprised no one fell in the water. At least they didn’t show it in the clip ;)

check out pictures from the screening below

Back when I was in high school, I read a little book titled “Life of Pi.” At the time, the book didn’t really make sense to me. It was written in three parts and while it was fascinating, I didn’t really get it. A few years ago, I read the book again as an adult and my mind totally changed. Author Yann Martel really takes the reader on a religious allegorical journey that is both mesmerizing and self-reflecting.

Pi is the son of a zookeeper. His family decides to move to Canada after political problems in India begin to arise. Shortly after their boat leaves the Japanese harbor, it sinks. Pi is left onboard a life raft with a barrage of characters – animals actually. A hungry hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan and a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker. Let’s just say that Pi is left onboard with only the tiger after a few days. The story of Pi on this life raft becomes quite adventurous as the two try and survive for over 200 days on the ocean.

Playing the role of Pi is newcomer actor Suraj Sharma who prior to this role, has no acting experience whatsoever. It will be interesting to see what he brings to the table for the adaptation. Also in the film is Tobey Maguire who plays the role of Yann Martel, the author of the book. I’m not sure how he will be integrated into the story so we’ll have to wait and see. The film is set for release in theatres this November. Catch the action packed trailer below.

Check out the “Life of Pi” movie trailer after the jump.

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