Edoardo Ponti & Bryce Dallas Howard live action shorts among 11 movies still in Oscar contention
A Brazilian inmate trying to convince his mother to get him a cell phone, two young Afghans’ rite of passage to manhood, and the relationship between a couple of European mountaineers and heart-surgery survivors are among the topics featured in the 11 movies still in contention for the 2013 Academy Award in the Best Live Action Short category. Why 11 instead of 10 semi-finalists? As per the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ press release, that odd number was the result of a tie in the nominations balloting. The release adds that 125 live-action shorts had originally qualified.
The 11 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title:
- The Factory / A Fábrica, Aly Muritiba, director (Grafo Audiovisual)
- Asad, Bryan Buckley, director, and Mino Jarjoura, producer (Hungry Man)
- Buzkashi Boys, Sam French, director, and Ariel Nasr, producer (Afghan Film Project)
- Curfew, Shawn Christensen, director (Fuzzy Logic Pictures)
- Death of a Shadow / Dood van een Schaduw, Tom Van Avermaet, director, and Ellen De Waele, producer (Serendipity Films)
- Henry, Yan England, director (Yan England)
- Kiruna-Kigali, Goran Kapetanovic, director (Hepp Film AB)
- The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars, Silvia Bizio and Paola Porrini Bisson, producers (Oh! Pen LLC)
- 9 Meter, Anders Walther, director, and Tivi Magnusson, producer (M & M Productions A/S)
- Salar, Nicholas Greene, director, and Julie Buck, producer (Nicholas Greene)
- When You Find Me, Ron Howard, executive producer, and Bryce Dallas Howard, director (Freestyle Picture Company)
Best Live Action Short Oscar 2013 contenders and ‘names’
When it comes to Oscar nominations in any category, it never hurts to have big (or at least mid-sized) names attached to the movies in contention. The inclusion of the family tale When You Find Me has already caught the attention of bloggers and twitterers, for it’s a live-action short directed by Bryce Dallas Howard – at this stage, best known less as When You Find Me executive producer Ron Howard’s daughter and more as one of the ensemble performers in last year’s The Help, and for playing Eclipse‘s vicious vampire Victoria, bent on tearing to pieces Kristen Stewart’s Bella.
Yet, When You Find Me isn’t the only Best Live Action Short contender with “names” attached to it. Henry, about a pianist whose “great love” mysteriously disappears, was directed by television actor Yan England. Rust and Bone‘s Matthias Schoenaerts stars in Tom Van Avermaet’s Death of a Shadow. Shawn Christensen, whose screenwriting credits include the Taylor Lautner movie Abduction, directed, wrote, and acts in Curfew. Based on an original story by novelist Erri De Luca, The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars stars Julian Sands (A Room with a View), Nastassja Kinski (Tess), and Enrico Lo Verso (the Oscar-nominated Farinelli). And the film’s director, Edoardo Ponti, is the son of 1961 Best Actress Oscar winner Sophia Loren (Two Women) and Oscar-winning producer Carlo Ponti (Best Foreign Language Film La Strada).
Best Live Action Short voting procedures
According to the Academy’s press release, the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee “viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting at screenings held in Los Angeles.” Following screenings in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in December, Branch members will select three to five nominees from among the 11 semi-finalists. Last year’s Best Live Action Oscar winner was The Shore, directed by Oorlagh George and Hotel Rwanda filmmaker Terry George.
The 2013 Academy Awards nominations will be announced on January 10, 2013. The Oscar ceremony will take place on February 24.
Rome Film Festival winners: Larry Clark movie & controversial Italian ‘Shame’
Larry Clark’s Marfa Girl, a loosely structured drama featuring intertwining stories, boozing, spanking, and teen sex in a small Texan border town, won the Marcus Aurelius Award for Best Film at the 2012 edition of the Rome Film Festival. Instead of finding its way into theaters in the United States, Marfa Girl will be made available (for $6 or so) via Clark’s website.
The Jeff Nichols-led International Jury chose to hand the Best Director Award to Paolo Franchi for the sexless marriage drama E la chiamano estate (And They Call It Summer), which according to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Eric J. Lyman, was booed “in at least one of its Rome screenings.” One problem with Franchi’s film, at least in the minds of some, is that its (extra-marital) sex scenes have been considered akin to those in a “porn movie.” Also as a result of its sexual content, E la chiamano estate, starring Jean-Marc Barr, Isabella Ferrari, and Luca Argentero, has been labeled by some as “the Italian Shame.”
Whether or not that’s a fair label, things didn’t get much better for the “Italian Shame” when Isabella Ferrari was announced as Best Actress, which, as per the Reporter, “prompted shouts of Vergogna! Vergogna!” (Shame! Shame! – probably not in reference to the Steve McQueen /Michael Fassbender movie) from those present at the awards ceremony. I should add that a whole array of film festival winners have been booed in the last several decades, ranging from Jacques Demy’s classic The Umbrellas of Cherbourg to David Cronenberg for the still controversial Crash. So, Isabella Ferrari is in good company.
Rome Film Festival’s other winners: Jérémie Elkaïm, The Motel Life
The Rome Film Festival’s less controversial Best Actor was Jérémie Elkaïm for Hand in Hand / Main dans la main, a musical directed by his companion Valérie Donzelli, co-written by Elkaïm and Donzelli, and starring the couple alongside Valérie Lemercier.
The Special Jury Prize went to Claudio Giovannesi’s crime drama Alì ha gli occhi azzurri (Ali Has Blue Eyes), with Nader Sarhan and Stefano Rabatti as two small-time teen hoodlums, while Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue won the Best Screenplay Award for The Motel Life. Directed by Gabe and Alan Polsky, The Motel Life follows two working-class brothers who quickly leave their Reno motel after getting themselves involved in a hit-and-run accident. Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, Stephen Dorff, and Kris Kristofferson star. The Motel Life also happened to be the Rome Film Festival’s Audience Award winner.
And finally, Marilyne Fontaine took home the Emerging Actor or Actress Award for Jacques Doillon’s Un enfant de toi (A Child of Yours), and cinematographer Arnau Valls Colomer won the Best Technical Contribution prize for his work on Enrique Rivero’s Mexican family drama Mai morire (Never Die; it’s unclear why only the Italian-language title is used on both the Rome Film Festival website and the IMDb.)
Rome Film Festival jury
Besides Chair Jeff Nichols, the Rome Film Festival’s International Jury was comprised of Timur Bekmambetov, Valentina Cervi, Edgardo Cozarinsky, Chris Fujiwara, Leila Hatami and P.J. Hogan. Former Venice Film Festival director Marco Mueller organized this year’s Rome Film Festival.
Isabella Ferrari, Jean-Marc Barr E la chiamano estate photo: Pavarotti & Friends.
Visual Effects Oscar 2013 semi-finalists: The Avengers & The Dark Knight Rises + Life of Pi
Joss Whedon’s The Avengers, Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, and Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman are among the ten semi-finalists for the 2013 Academy Award in the Visual Effects category, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced earlier today.
The ten movies still in contention for the 2013 Oscar for Best Visual Effects are listed below in alphabetical order:
- The Amazing Spider-Man
- Cloud Atlas
- The Dark Knight Rises
- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
- John Carter
- Life of Pi
- The Avengers
- Snow White and the Huntsman
Best Visual Effects Oscar: Omissions
Missing from the above list are several high-profile movies that make use – at times extensive use – of special visual effects. Among those are Peter Berg’s Battleship, Bill Condon’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, Gary Ross’ The Hunger Games, Barry Sonnenfeld’s Men in Black 3, Brad Peyton’s Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Simon West’s The Expendables 2, Jonathan Liebesman’s Wrath of the Titans, Len Wiseman’s Total Recall, and Tim Burton’s Dark Shadows.
I should mention that none of the Twilight movies has managed to be listed among the semi-finalists for the visual effects Oscars. This year was no exception, though another Kristen Stewart star vehicle, Snow White and the Huntsman, was shortlisted and will quite possibly end up with a nomination. In 2012, Taylor Kitsch also starred in two special-effects-driven movies: Battleship and John Carter. Only the latter remains in contention.
Also worth mentioning is that of the top ten live-action movies at the North American box office, five are to be found on the list above: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man, Skyfall, and Snow White and the Huntsman. Note: Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has yet to open.
Visual Effects Branch members to vote in early January 2013
According to the Academy’s press release, Visual Effects Branch will be invited to watch 10-minute excerpts from each of the ten semi-finalists on Thursday, January 3. Following the screenings, they will vote to nominate five films.
The 2013 Academy Award nominations in every category will be announced live on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013. The Oscar ceremony will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.
Oscars’ Best Animated Short Film category has ten films vying for a nomination
The Fall of the House of Usher, Adam and Dog, and Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” are three of the ten animated short films vying for a nomination for the 2013 Academy Awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Between three and five of those animated shorts will land an Oscar nomination. (Image: Mikey Please’s The Eagleman Stag.)
Among Oscar 2013’s Best Animated Short Film category contenders, topics range from the “transforming familiar objects into fresh guacamole” (PES’s appropriately titled Fresh Guacamole) to the “quickening perception of time and the extreme lengths [a man] goes to in order to counter the effect” (Mikey Please’s BAFTA Award and Chicago Film Festival winner The Eagleman Stag).
List of the animated short films in contention
The 10 animated short films in contention for an Oscar 2013 nomination are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their respective directors, producers, and production companies:
- Adam and Dog, Minkyu Lee, director (Lodge Films)
- Combustible, Katsuhiro Otomo, director (Sunrise Inc.)
- Dripped, Léo Verrier, director (ChezEddy)
- The Eagleman Stag, Mikey Please, director, and Benedict Please, music scores and sound design (Royal College of Art)
- The Fall of the House of Usher, Raul Garcia, director, and Stephan Roelants, producer (Melusine Productions, R&R Communications Inc., Les Armateurs, The Big Farm)
- Fresh Guacamole, PES, director (PES)
- Head over Heels, Timothy Reckart, director, and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, producer (National Film and Television School)
- Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”, David Silverman, director (Gracie Films)
- Paperman, John Kahrs, director (Disney Animation Studios)
- Tram, Michaela Pavlátová, director, and Ron Dyens, producer (Sacrebleu Productions)
According to the Academy’s press release, AMPAS’s Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee watched “all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting at screenings held in New York and Los Angeles.” The second round of Short Films and Feature Animation Branch screenings will be held in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco in December. Fifty-six films had originally qualified in this year’s Best Animated Short category.
Oscar 2013 nominations will be announced at 5:30 a.m. PT Thursday, January 10, in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. The Oscar 2013 ceremony will be held on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Mikey Please The Eagleman Stag image: Royal College of Art.
Leos Carax-Denis Lavant & David Cronenberg-Robert Pattinson white limo collaborations top ‘Cahiers du Cinéma’ list
Leos Carax’s Holy Motors, starring Denis Lavant, and David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson, the two much talked-about “limo movies” screened at the Cannes Film Festival, topped the list of Top Ten Movies of 2012 found in the December issue of Cahiers du Cinéma. Assuming the list was compiled in October, that means late-year releases not screened at French film festivals will, with luck, be included in next year’s roster. (Image: Denis Lavant Holy Motors.)
The episodic Holy Motors, which follows an entity that incarnates various characters in various situations, was the Cahiers du Cinéma critics’ no. 1 choice. The eclectic Holy Motors supporting cast includes Kylie Minogue, Edith Scob, Eva Mendes, Jeanne Disson, Elise Lhomeau, veteran Michel Piccoli, and Carax himself.
The semi-episodic Cosmopolis, which follows a young New York billionaire (Robert Pattinson) on his way to a fateful haircut, was the no. 2 movie on the Cahiers du Cinéma top ten list. The just as eclectic Cosmopolis supporting cast includes Juliette Binoche, Paul Giamatti, Jay Baruchel, Mathieu Amalric, Sarah Gadon, Samantha Morton, Kevin Durand, and Emily Hampshire.
I should add that neither Holy Motors nor Cosmopolis won a single Official Competition award at Cannes. This year’s Palme d’Or winner was Michael Haneke’s Amour, a more stylistically conventional drama starring veteran Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva as a married couple facing encroaching illness and death. I should also add that Amour is not to be found among Cahiers du Cinéma‘s top ten movies of 2012.
Holy Motors, Cosmopolis: North American critics and audience reception
North American critics have been generally enthusiastic about Holy Motors, which enjoys a 92 percent approval rating and 8.3/10 average among Rotten Tomatoes‘ top critics. On the other hand, Cosmopolis’ English-language reviews have been a mixed bag: at Rotten Tomatoes, David Cronenberg’s latest has a mediocre 50 percent approval rating and 5.7/10 average.
Perhaps not coincidentally, Cosmopolis, which had a mostly disappointing run at the international box office, found its most receptive market – by far – in France: approximately 355,000 tickets sold (vs. Holy Motors’ 123,000). Now, a key reason for Cosmopolis’ relative popularity in France was the presence of Robert Pattinson, whose Breaking Dawn - Part 2, co-starring Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, opened with more than $300 million worldwide this past weekend. (In US dollars, France was the last Twilight movie’s fourth biggest market.) But what probably did the trick in that particular territory was the combination of Robert Pattinson, strong Cannes Film Festival buzz, and generally positive reviews. And possibly French moviegoers’ openness to more challenging fare and savvy promotion by the film’s local distributor, Stone Angels.
Other Cahiers du Cinéma Top Ten Movies of 2012
The other entries on the Cahiers du Cinéma list of top ten movies of 2012 are the following:
- Francis Ford Coppola’s Twixt at no. 3.
- Abel Ferrara’s 4:44 Last Day on Earth; Jeff Nichols’ Take Shelter; and Hong Sang-Soo’s In Another Country, starring French icon Isabelle Huppert (who also has a key role in Amour), tied at no. 4.
- Another Abel Ferrara-directed entry, Go Go Tales (originally screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007), at no. 7.
- Miguel Gomes’ Tabu at no. 8.
- Alexander Sokurov’s Faust at no. 9.
- Ira Sachs’ Keep the Lights On at no. 10.
Cahiers du Cinéma top ten movies of 2012 via mubi.com.
Denis Lavant Holy Motors image: Indomnia.
The Avengers visual effects image: Walt Disney Studios / Marvel Studios.
Edoardo Ponti, Nastassja Kinski, Enrico Lo Verso The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars image: Oh! Pen LLC.