The Detroit Film Critics Society has joined the chorus of superlatives for "The Artist," giving the film Best Picture and Best Director after it racked up five nominations from the group. "Take Shelter," which led the nominees, only won as part of Jessica Chastain's Breakthrough Artist award. Check out the full list of winners below.
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Guy recently called attention to top 10 season in a recent post. I tend to block all of that out until I finish my own year in review, and so now that I've done that (closing things down with the annual superlatives post later this morning), I've enjoyed perusing what other journalists and critics are chalking up as the year's best. Roger Ebert's list is always a good barometer of a certain demographic, I think, and its was nice to see that he recently tapped Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" as the year's best film. Not only that, but he made room for my #1, Kenneth Lonergan's "Margaret," a little further down the list. I'm really hoping more and more critics are willing to go to bat for that one, but we'll see. [Chicago Sun-Times]
With "The Artist" breathing down its neck and buzz growing for "Hugo," "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" and "War Horse," the beginning of December wasn't the best of times for Team "Descendants." The critically acclaimed film had lost both the best picture honors of the NYFCC and the National Board of Review and while box office was fantastic, best picture hopes were fading fast. What a difference the last week has been.
I am dying to see how "Jack The Giant Killer" plays out next year, both as a movie and as a commercial release, because both things are important to the ongoing development of Bryan Singer as a filmmaker.
Creatively, I feel like Singer's one of the most successful guys working who doesn't really have what I can point at as a particular, recognizable voice, nor is there any special theme that runs through his work, aside from perhaps an odd preoccupation with Nazis. And one could argue that his two biggest films were big because of a general interest in X-Men, not because of Singer.
He's also been one of those guys who has developed a number of fairly pricey films that haven't come to fruition, big movies like a "Logan's Run" remake or a "Battlestar Galactica" bigscreen reboot. And his "Superman Returns" was a very very expensive almost, well-crafted but generally underwhelming. He's in a position right now where he is still considered an A-list filmmaker, but it's about time he starts actually being that filmmaker.
"Burn Notice" just wrapped up its fifth season, and I have some thoughts on the finale and the current state of the show coming up just as soon as I'm smarter than a keypad...
"It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" wrapped up its seventh season in style tonight, with the gang trying desperately to show up their tormentors at their high school reunion. The switch in perspective in the final scene was one of the biggest laughs the show gave me all year, and that's saying something, considering how strong this seventh season was. There was only one outright bad episode, "Frank's Brother," and even there I can respect that they were at least trying something different that didn't work. (That, or I can again note that Frank tends to be much more useful for generating stories than generating laughs.)
"Community" technically isn't gone from NBC just yet. On the East Coast, NBC just got finished rerunning "Abed's Uncontrollable Christmas," and we'll have at least one or two other repeats before "30 Rock" takes over the timeslot in January and "Community" goes on an indefinite hiatus. As I said last week, this isn't forever. NBC will have 12 episodes sitting around, and some of their scheduling moves are going to fail, and "Community" will be back to at least finish out this third season.
Sitting down to talk to Jared Harris about his work in the new film "Sherlock Holmes - A Game Of Shadows," I was excited not just because he's playing Professor Moriarty in the sequel to Guy Ritchie's first big hit adventure with the pulp detective, but also because of the full body of work that Harris has been putting together.
It must be hard as an actor when your father is not just a well-known person, but an undeniable legend. There's no other way to describe Richard Harris, though, and a career like his casts a shadow over the entire English film community, not just the career of his son.
Despite that, Jared Harris has been very good over the course of his career at defining himself on terms totally removed from his father's identity. He's been great on "Mad Men" the last few seasons, and he's always been a bit of a chameleon, vanishing into roles in a way his father never could. I still remember being impressed by his run of films around '95, '96, when he was in "Smoke" and "Dead Man" and especially "I Shot Andy Warhol," and he seemed like such a great new presence.
(UPDATE: It's been pointed out to me by the competition is open to US readers only. Sorry -- I don't make the rules.) It was clear from your response to our SAG and Globe-related open-floor posts recently that many of you can't resist a prediction opportunity, so here's your chance to put that urge to profitable use. HitFix is holding an Awards Pool for the upcoming Golden Globe Awards next month, inviting readers to submit their best guesses in the film and television races -- with a shiny new Kindle Fire waiting for the person with the most accurate forecast. You have little to lose but your own credibility -- plus, it's the Globes, where cred hardly comes into it. Your guesses are literally as good as mine in the TV categories, but the comedy-musical film races are a walk in the park, right? Enter here.
It never fails. Every week we gather together on Thursday and I say that we're on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty and every week something gets in the way and Marcus Canty survives.
But tonight, we're TOTALLY on the verge of saying farewell to Marcus Canty, aren't we?
Let's find out...
This year's race for Best Animated Feature Film is a bit of a full one. After only 15 titles qualified last year (yielding just three nominees), the total number of qualifying films in the hunt this time around is 19, meaning we'll have a set of five contenders when the nominees are announced in January.
And yet, I can barely think of five films worth being included. It's a rather weak year in general for animation (despite two animated contenders popping up in my top 10). I've been pushing through the ones I've missed along the way, as well as those that came from the fringe. So it seems to me a good enough time to really set the field.
An interesting note on this year's field of contenders is the presence of live action filmmakers and outsider animation teams in the mix. And two key entries in that light both come from Paramount: Gore Verbinski's "Rango" and Steven Spielberg's "The Adventures of Tintin."