The Playground of Hollywood

The Playground of Hollywood

Friday, November 9, 2012

10 Animated Shorts move on in this year's race.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences today announced that 10 animated short films will advance in the voting process for the 85th Academy Awards®. Fifty-six pictures had originally qualified in the category.

The 10 films are listed below in alphabetical order by title, with their 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)

The Short Films and Feature Animation Branch Reviewing Committee viewed all the eligible entries for the preliminary round of voting at screenings held in New York and Los Angeles.

Short Films and Feature Animation Branch members will now select three to five nominees from among the 10 titles on the shortlist. Branch screenings will be held in Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco in December.

The 85th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2012 will be presented on Sunday, February 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre™ at Hollywood & Highland Center®, and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscar presentation also will be televised live in more than 225 countries worldwide.

Lincoln is officially a top-tier, front-runner contender for the crown this year

LINCOLN has officially joined ARGO as the two most-likely candidates for a Best Picture nomination so far this year. The film opens in limited release this week, and goes wider next.

Almost every single major movie publication is gushing over the film, over Spielberg's direction, and over several of the performances, highlighted by Daniel Day-Lewis in what several are calling a "sure-bet" Best Actor winning performance. Whether that is proven at Oscar time, we shall see. Don't forget, no man has even won 3 Best Actor awards. Several have two (including Day-Lewis, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Penn, Jack Nicholson & Marlon Brando), but no man has ever taken home a 3rd Best Actor. But here's one thing that's clear...Lincoln is no War Horse. (Meaning War Horse was still quite good, but didn't live up to the hype for many)

As of this writing, Lincoln is running at a 93% positive review rating on RottenTomatoes, with the "Top Critics" just besting that with a 94.

To put that into perspective, that is the best score for a Spielberg film in a decade, since 2002, when both Catch Me If You Can AND the sadly under-appreciated Minority Report both score is the 90s as well. Since 02, in his directing canon, you have...

Minority Report (2002) - 92
Catch Me If You Can (2002) - 96
The Terminal (2004) - 60
War of the Worlds (2005) - 74
Munich (2005) - 78  [Best Picture & Best Director nods]
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - 78   (yes, it did that well. Lots of people liked it, including me)
The Adventures of Tintin (2011) - 75
War Horse (2011) - 78  [Best Picture nod]

So yeah, I'm excited for a week from now. There was unfortunately only 1 public screening in Atlanta this week, and I was already engaged with work, so I was unable to attend. So I get to see it next week with most of the lot of you. Here's hoping it not only fulfills our expectations, but surpasses them.

Friday, November 2, 2012

21 Animated Films in the race = 5 nominees this year

21 Animated Features were submitted for this year's Oscar Race, which under the new category rules, all but guarantees a year of 5 nominees.  (16+ films = 5)

There is one high-profile snub, and that's The Secret World of Arrietty. It actually wasn't snubbed, but the submission dates didn't work out, and unfortunately because it was released in Japan in 2010, and not in the U.S. till 2012, it was deemed ineligible. Had it had a theater run last year instead, it would have been. And any time a studio Ghibli film isn't in the running, it's a tough one to swallow.


However, this year we still have 21 submissions, which if I'm not mistaken, is a record.

The submitted films, in alphabetical order, are...

  • "Adventures in Zambezia"
  • "Brave"
  • "Delhi Safari"
  • "Dr. Seuss' The Lorax"
  • "Frankenweenie"
  • "From Up on Poppy Hill"
  • "Hey Krishna"
  • "Hotel Transylvania"
  • "Ice Age: Continental Drift"
  • "A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman"
  • "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted"
  • "The Mystical Laws"
  • "The Painting"
  • "ParaNorman"
  • "The Pirates! Band of Misfits"
  • "The Rabbi's Cat"
  • "Rise of the Guardians"
  • "Secret of the Wings"
  • "Walter & Tandoori's Christmas"
  • "Wreck-It Ralph"
  • "Zarafa"

A lot of foreign submissions, and quite a few high-profile, big box-office U.S. films thrown into the mix. Should be an interesting race. Being a Pixar film, "Brave" should be considered a contender, and the good reviews for "Frankenweenie", "ParaNorman" and "Wreck-It Ralph" could very possibly help out there as well. I personally would love to see a nod for "The Pirates!", but I'm not holding my breath. A few smaller films I'm not very aware of yet (will have to do my research now), and a couple of releases still yet to come (including "Rise of the Guardians", with has already won a high-profile festival award). I personally LOVE animation, so any time this category gets to strut it's stuff with 5 nominees, I'm all for it.


November time!

I hope everyone had a fun Halloween, and now that we're heading into the holiday season, a lot of the big Oscar releases will be coming out, and the updating for the site will hopefully be much, much more regular. Like...every day regular. Like....maybe more than once a day regular. Would be a nice change. I always end up looking at last post dates and feeling bad that it's been that long.