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If there is any yearly awards event that usually reflects this writer's cinematic leanings it would be the BAFTA Film Awards. In fact, the U.K.'s version of the Academy Awards has had a special place in my heart since they awarded Sigourney Weaver for a best supporting actress honor for the "Ice Storm" in 1998 after the U.S. Academy didn't even nominate her (sigh). This year's 2012 BAFTA nominations delivered lots of love for "The Artist," "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "The Descendants" and "My Week with Marilyn" as expected, but there were some major surprises as well. Considering there is significant overlap between BAFTA and Academy membership (enough that studio consultants take the nods very seriously), today's nominations may be a sign of some intriguing surprises when the Oscar nods are announced seven days from now. Let's review, shall we?
As ever with their nominations announcement, BAFTA giveth, and BAFTA taketh away. Excited to see "Drive" up for Best Film and Best Director? Sure, but in return we have to accept Jim Broadbent nominated, ahead of Albert Brooks, for a career-worst performance in "The Iron Lady," which also somehow copped a Best Original Screenplay nod. (Despite this showing, the film mercifully didn't crack their Best British Film lineup.)
Glad to see a strong showing at last for "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy?" Yes, but the flipside of that is zero nominations for "The Tree of Life" -- no, not even a cinematography nod for Emmanuel Lubezki. Even when trying to anticipate the Oscar race, BAFTA remain a law unto themselves -- which can be as exasperating as it is occasionally rewarding.
The frontrunners, of course, could have been spotted from space. Oscar favorite "The Artist" naturally leads the way with 12 nominations -- the (mostly) silent film scored even in the Best Sound category -- while British loyalty netted an impressive 11 nods for domestic hit "Tinker, Tailor." The two will fight it out for the top award, though with the latter primed for the consolation prize of Best British Film, I think we know how this is going to go.
When the 69th Golden Globes began Sunday night, this pundit wasn't at a viewing party at the Beverly Hilton. He wasn't live-blogging the show from the comfort of home (less than two miles from the Hilton) either. Instead, and no disrespect to the never met a cologne they didn't like Hollywood Foreign Press Association, but Awards Campaign was in the middle of a championship final at a Las Vegas basketball tourney that was a tad more pressing (we all need lives people). And while the LA United pulled out an impressive win in over time (booyah), "The Iron Lady's" Meryl Streep found herself pulling away with an equally impressive win for best actress drama.
With the Golden Globes a memory and the announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations on January 24 just on the horizon, perhaps it's time to take a bit of the piss out of awards season. The validity of certain awards shows and organizations aside, it is an incredible professional accomplishment to be included in the hunt at all. It speaks to a level of success that most only dream of in a profoundly competitive industry. At the same time, perspective is often in order.
I have worked in entertainment for my entire adult life and have as great a passion for film today as I did in the throes of dreamy youth. No one’s feeding babies here, however. Even in an arena as large as the one the artists under discussion here dwell in, it’s important to have at least some measure of humor and ability to self-deprecate to season the inevitable neurosis that comes with working in a creative field
Oh joy, it's time for Lisa's big opening of Sur. After months of demo work, painting and polishing, what better way to show off this lovely new space than a private party? Yeah, and the gods laughed hard at that one. Let's just say that if Pandora's wedding is even half as eventful, she might want to think about scrapping the whole thing and getting hitched at a drive-thru wedding chapel in Vegas. I'm fairly sure we will never see a gray hair on Lisa's head, but this evening would have turned most people's hair pure white.
It's off to San Francisco for the final 16 girls, which is sure to end in either a nervous breakdown in the City by the Bay or, possibly, someone jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. Given how cray-cray this season has been thus far, I just can't rule it out.
I posted my review of FOX's "Alcatraz" this morning. Now it's your turn. On the J.J. Abrams continuum (whether or not you want to include non-sci-fi stuff like "Felicity" and/or stuff he was only tangentially involved in like "Six Degrees" and "What About Brian?"), where does this rank? Were you engaged by the two cases investigated by the team? Happy to see Jorge Garcia playing such a Hurley-esque character? Is Sarah Jones a compelling lead? Did the final moment of the second episode excite you or make you shrug?
Have at it. As I said in the review, I imagine I'll check back later in the season to see if it's gotten any less formulaic.
Fifty years ago today, Terence Young stood on a set in Jamaica and rolled film for the very first time on a feature film about Ian Fleming's creation, James Bond. It was the scene where Bond arrives at the Kingston airport and tries to avoid being photographed. It was a significant day at the end of a long search for the right man to play the part and even though Ian Fleming wasn't convinced at first, Sean Connery not only turned out to be a nascent movie star, but he made Bond an icon that endures even now.
Fifty years later, EON Productions and Sony are in production on the latest film in the series, with Daniel Craig playing Bond for the third time. And today, Sony Pictures released a terse but interesting summary of what we can expect when "Skyfall" opens later in the year.
I've been a Bond fan since my first exposure to the character. I was seven years old when my dad took me to see "The Spy Who Loved Me" in the theater, and it was love at first sight. Sure, part of the kick was the idea that my dad was taking me to see a "grown-up" movie with him, just the two of us. And part of it was because I could tell how important the character was to him. Mostly, though, the whole thing was just so damn cool.
After all, he had a car that turned into a submarine. When you're seven, that's the most insanely mind-blowing idea possible.
I'm not bothering to predict the BAFTA nominations this year because 1) the longlists largely take the guesswork out of that for us; 2) no voting group that thinks "Midnight in Paris" had better visual effects than "The Tree of Life" deserves too much of our time and attention; and 3) I mean, seriously. But anyway, they're a few hours away -- a breakfast-time announcement for the Brits, a pre-midnight one for Hollywood -- and if you have any last-minute thoughts, hopes or projections about the British Academy's selections, here's the place for them.
One thing we can be certain of: after struggling to gain traction on the US precursor circuit, "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," which jointly led the longlists with 16 mentions, will finally receive a warm embrace here. The combination of literary cache, old-and-new-school British acting elite and spectacular box-office should set it up as the chief BAFTA rival to all-purpose frontrunner "The Artist," which can also expect a bucketload of nominations.
“Going solo” can be a pretty loaded term. Sometimes it points to loneliness, or alienation. Sometimes it’s a breaking-free, an inner-wildness. For Craig Finn, the tendency is simply one of being “alone and separate,” a “highway” individualism.
Wilco will return with its Solid Sound Festival in 2013 after taking this year off.
The group announced the hiatus on its website, but added that the band will play a summer concert to benefit MASS MoCA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, Mass.
Solid Sound Festival 3 will take place June 21-23, 2013 at MASS MoCa.
Wilco introduced the Solid Sound Festival in 2010, with the first event featuring the band as well as such acts as Mavis Staples, The Autumn Defense , The Nels Cline Singers and Kristen Schaal.