Thursday, November 26, 2015

The FAC: Supporting Players and Screenplays / The Independent Spirit Nominations and Telluride

Good Thanksgiving Day to everyone and thanks for reading...


I ran the last FAC analysis of the Supporting Acting  and Screenplay categories on Oct. 26th so here;s the latest status for those categories.

For the purpose of The FAC I gather data from the publicly posted predictions of the following:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Peter Knegt/Indiewire
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood

TFF #42 films are in Bold.

The positions that these possible nominees had in our last look at these categories is indicated in parenthesis.


1) Alicia Vikander/The Danish Girl (1)
2) Rooney Mara/Carol (2)
3) Kate Winslet/Steve Jobs (3)
4) Jane Fonda/Youth (5)
5) Jennifer Jason Leigh/The Hateful Eight (4)

6) Elizabeth Banks/Love and Mercy (7)
7) Rachel McAdams/Spotlight (6)
8) Joan Allen/Room (8)
9) Julie Walters/Brooklyn (9)
10) Jessica Chastain/The Martian (NR)

Hot: Chastain
Not: Kristen Stewart/Clouds of Sils Maria
Comment: Chastain's jump onto the list might signal the strength of "The Martian" while the resilience of Vikander suggests that my theory that "Danish Girl" is weak may be compeltely off. Additionally, Winslet stays steady, so "Steve Jobs" may not be as weak as a lot of people have been thinking.  Finally, Rooney Mara's Indie Spirit nomination in the lead category might signal that she could move out of this category come Oscar nomination morning.


1) Mark Ruffalo/Spotlight (3)
2) Michael Keaton/Spotlight (1)
3) Mark Rylance/Bridge of Spies (4)
4) Tom Hardy/The Revenant (2)
5) Jacob Tremblay/Room (6)

6) Paul Dano/Love and Mercy
7) Bencio Del Toro/Sicario (8)
8) Sylvester Stallone/Creed (NR)
9) Idris Elba/Beasts of No Nation (5)
10) Harvey Keitel/Youth (10)

Hot: Ruffalo and Stallone
Not: Hardy, Elba and Joel Edgerton/Black Mass-who dropped off the top ten.
Comment:  The big story here is there serious emergence of Stallone as a player in the category.  As I write this on Thanksgiving morning, "Creed" is reportedly opened to banging box office and the reviews have been good.  Lookout for Stallone!


1) Steve Jobs (1)
2) Room (3)
3) Brooklyn (2)
4) The Martian (7)
5) The Revenant (4)

6) Anomalisa (6)
7) Carol (5)
8) The Big Short (9)
9) The Danish Girl (8)
10) 45 Years (NR)

Hot: "The Martian" and "45 Years"
Not: "Carol" and "Beats of No Nation"
Comment: "Beasts falls out of the top ten.  It'll be interesting to see if it gets a boost from its Indy Spirit nominations (see below)


1) Spotlight (1)
2) Inside Out (2)
3) The Hateful Eight (4)
4) Bridge of Spies (5)
5) Joy (3)

6) Youth (6)
7) Sicario (7)
8) Love and Mercy (9)
9) Son of Saul (8)
10) Trainwreck (NR)

Hot: "Trainwreck"
Not: "Joy" and "Suffragette" which drops way off the top ten list.
Comment:"Spotlight" in this category is the only leader in any of the dozen categories that The FAC has looked at over these past three months since Telluride concluded to hit a perfect score.

If The FAC is 100% accurate, TFF #42 films would earn seven nominations in these four categories and have the potential for another seven.


The Independent Spirit Awards nominations were announced earlier this week and Telluride was very well represented. Telluride films that scored nominations were:

"Carol" (6 nominations, the most of any film): Best Feature, Director, Screenplay, Best Lead Actress for both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, and Cinematography.

"Beasts of No Nation (5): Best Feature, Director, Lead Actor (Abraham Attah),  Supporting Actor (Elba) and Cinematography.

"Spotlight" (4 plus a special honor): Best Feature, Director, Screenplay and Editing.  "Spotlight" will also receive the Robert Altman Award for Ensemble Acting.

Anomalisa (4): Best Feature, Director, Screenplay and Supporting Actress (Jennifer Jason Leigh).

"Room" (3): Best Lead Female (Larson), First Screenplay and Editing.

"Heart of a Dog" was nominated for Best Documentary.

"Son of Saul" was nominated as Best International Film.

Michael Shannon picked up a Best Supporting Actor nomination for TFF #41 film "99 Homes".   TFF #41 was also represented by a Best Documentary nomination for Joshua Oppenheimer's "The Look of Silence".

The complete list of nominations and analysis can be found via these links to Variety, Awards Daily, Indiewire and Thompson on Hollywood:

That's do for Turkey Day!  More to come on Monday.  Have a safe, happy and healthy Thanksgiving weekend...

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Film Awards Clearinghouse Major Category Thanksgiving Update / Oscar Experts / Todd Haynes Interviewed by Gus Van Sant

Good Monday to everyone and welcome to Thanksgiving Week 2015...


Nearly a month has passed since our last snapshot of the four major Oscar categories and there have been some developments.  "Steve Jobs" took a dive at the box office and that has definitely altered the view among Oscar experts regarding its chances in the Best Picture and Directing categories.  "The Martian" appears to be coming on strong.  Let's take a look.

For the purpose of The FAC I gather data from the publicly posted predictions of the following:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Peter Knegt/Indiewire
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood

TFF #42 films are in Bold.

The positions that these possible nominees had in our last look at these categories is indicated in parenthesis.


"Spotlight" trailer via YouTube

1) Spotlight (1)
2) The Revenant (3)
3) The Martian (12)
4) Room (5)
5) Bridge of Spies (6)
6) Brooklyn (4)
7) Joy (7)
8) Steve Jobs (2)

9) Inside Out (11)
10) Carol (10)
11) The Hateful Eight (9)
12) The Big Short (NR)

Hot: "The Martian", "Inside Out", "The Big Short"
Cold: "Brooklyn", Steve Jobs", "The Hateful Eight" and "The Danish Girl" which dropped off the list entirely.
Comment:  "The Martian" change and the "Steve Jobs" box office debacle have really shaken this race up.  I'm not so sure that "Jobs" is completely out of this as Fassbender still has a lot of Best Actor support (see below).  At this point, I could see any of the top four films taking the big prize...and yes, I'm including "Room" in that assessment.  People really love the film and its strength is reflected in Lenny Abrahamson's climb in the director's race and Brie Larson's support in the Best Actress race.  Remember too, that it won the Toronto audience award and finished in the top spot in my collection of viewers' ratings for The People's Telluride.


"Room" trailer via YouTube

1) Tom McCarthy/Spotlight (1)
2) Alejandro Inarritu/The Revenant (3)
3) Ridley Scott/The Martian (7)
4) Steven Spielberg/Bridge of Spies (5)
5) Lenny Abrahamson/Room (NR)

6) David O. Russell/Joy (4)
7) George Miller/Mad Max: Fury Road (10)
8) Todd Haynes/Carol (8)
9) Danny Boyle/Steve Jobs (2)
10) Quentin Tarantino/The Hateful Eight (6)

Hot: Scott, Abrahamsom and Miller.
Cold: Russell, Boyle and Tom Hooper (Danish Girl)
Comment:Danny Boyle's fall also underscores the drop in prospects for "Steve Jobs" as Abrahamson's ascendance emphasizes the popularity of "Room".  Also, "The Danish Girl" is taking a hit in both Picture and Directing categories.  Eddie Redmayne still seems to be competitive in the Best Actor category (see below).


"Carol" trailer via YouTube

1) Brie Larson/Room (1)
2) Jennifer Lawrence/Joy (2)
3) Saorise Ronan/Brooklyn (3)
4) Cate Blanchett/Carol (4)
5) Charlotte Rampling/45 Years (6)

6) Carey Mulligan/Suffragette (5)
7) Blythe Danner/I'll See You in My Dreams (10)
8) Lily Tomlin/Grandma (7)
9) Maggie Smith/The Lady in the Van (9)
10) Cate Blanchett/Truth (8)

Hot: Danner
Cold: Blanchett in "Truth"
Comment: A remarkably steady category.  Larson is the closest thing to a lock in any of the four major categories in a year where "locks" have been few and far between.


"Steve Jobs" trailer via YouTube

1) Leonardo DiCaprio/The Revenant (3)
2) Michael Fassbender/Steve Jobs (1)
3) Eddie Redmayne/The Danish Girl (2)
4) Johnny Depp/Black Mass (4)
5) Matt Damon/The Martian (6)

6) Michael Caine/Youth (5)
7) Will Smith/Concussion (8)
8) Tom Hanks/Bridge of Spies (7)
9) Ian McKellen/Mr. Holmes (9)
10) Steve Carell/The Big Short (10)

Hot: DiCaprio
Cold:  No one really.
Comment:  Both Fassbender and Redmayne stay in the thick of the race despite their films having suffered some serious doubts in the Picture and Directing categories.  The same could be said for Johnny Depp.

Currently, if The FAC is 100% accurate Telluride #42 films will get 10 nominations from these major categories with another four possibilities.

I'll update the Supporting and Screenplay categories on Thursday so come back for that.


The latest Oscar assessments in detail from the pros: Kristopher Tapley, Scott Feinberg and Sasha Stone:


Todd Haynes and Rooney Mara at the Patron's Brunch 

For Issue Magazine, Todd Haynes sat down with film maker Gus Van Sant to talk about "Carol" and other topics.  It's here:

That's a wrap for Monday...remember to come back for Thursday's MTFB for a look at where The FAC says we are in the Supporting Acting and Screenplay races.

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

"Son of Saul" Has a Trailer / Future Telluride: "Battle of the Sexes" News / Best Reviewed Films and Telluride

Good Thursday everyone...


Perhaps the best film that played TFF #$2. Laszlo Nemes "Son of Saul" is considered by most Oscar watches to be the favorite for a Best Foreign Language statue next February.  The inventive Holocaust drama has finally gotten a trailer out.  You can check it out in this post from The Playlist:


Fox Searchlight announced yesterday that Emma Stone has re-entered the casting for "Battle of the Sexes" a dramatization  of the televised 1073 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King.  Stone would be acting with Steve Carell as Riggs.

I've had this potential film on my Telluride radar for months.  Now, perhaps it will actually take off and be a TFF consideration for #43 or #44.

Take a look at the story from Variety:


Awards Daily's Sasha Stone re-posted  a list of the 25 best reviewed films of the year according to their metascore.  Telluride films rank in the list as follows:

1) "Anomalisa"
2) "Carol"
4) "Spotlight"
5) "45 Years"
10) "Room"
15) "Steve Jobs"
20) "Beasts of No Nation"

Pretty impressive, eh?  The complete list is here:

That'll do for Thursday.  Come back for more on Monday and have a great weekend.

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via Twitter @Gort2 OR to

Monday, November 16, 2015

Oscar Matters: Updates and Podcasts / Focus on "Carol" / "Directors: "Sherpa" and "Rams" / Sorkin on "Steve Jobs"

Welcome back from the weekend on this Monday, November 16th.


With the close of the American Film Institutes's Film Festival this last weekend, the last of the so-called fall film festivals has come to and end.  Possible contenders "By the Sea", "Concussion" and "The Big Short" made their first appearance in public.  The sense I got over the last couple of weeks was that none of them necessarily re-wrote the narrative for this year's Oscars.  "By the Sea" seems DOA while "Concussion" and Will Smith and ""Big Short" seem to have made enough of an impression to be a part of the Oscar conversation but, again, my sense isn't that they'll be a substantial part of the conversation.  We'll have a better idea about them in a couple of weeks.  "The Big Short" opens Dec. 23 and  "Concussion" on Dec. 25.

Here's the latest updates of various predictions from The Gurus of Gold as well as individual updates from Oscar pundits Sasha Stone/Awards Daily and Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter:

Meanwhile, I have also linked audio and video from three Oscar oriented posts:  The Awards Pundits from The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline's AwardsLine and Indiewire:


"Carol" trailer via YouTube

As Todd Haynes' "Carol" edges closer to its opening this coming Friday, the web has filled up with posts and articles about the film that could be a major force in Oscar's race this year.  Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara would seem to be virtual locks for acting nominations and the film could also see nominations in a number of other categories as well.  As a matter of fact, if things break the right way for "Carol" it could possibly be this year's most nominated Telluride film.

So here's your dose of some of this week's "Carol" onslaught:


The Hollywood Reporter talks to the director of the documentary "Sherpa", Jennifer Peedom,  and Awards Circuit talks to "Rams" director Grimur Hakanarson.  Enjoy those here:


"Steve Jobs" trailer via YouTube

Aaron Sorkin is on the record about his script for "Steve Jobs" including answering claims about distortions and he also talks about the last scene of the film.  That came in the form of Sorkin's appearance on Jeff Goldsmith "The Q + A" podcast.  I have included this report of that from The Playlist:

That'a wrap for Monday.  Return here Thursday for more...

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

The FAC and Other Oscar Categories / Oscar Matters: Pods / Focus On: "Spotlight", "Suffragette" and "Black Mass"

It's Thursday.


As we hit the mid-point of November, we're edging ever closer to the releases of a slew of year end critic's Ten Best lists.  December is rife with those and that's just around the corner.  They act as a constant reminder that the race for Oscar is about to get really serious.

Consequently, I thought I'd take the time today to run the numbers on a four Oscar categories that we haven't considered here at the FAC thus far for this season.  So today we look at Film Editing, Cinematography, Foreign Language Film and Documentary Feature.

For the purpose of The FAC I gather data from the publicly posted predictions of the following:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Peter Knegt/Indiewire
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood

TFF #42 films are in Bold.


1) The Revenant
2) Spotlight
3) Mad Max: Fury Road
4) Bridge of Spies
5) Steve Jobs

6) The Martian
7) Joy
8) Sicario
9) The Hateful Eight
10) Jurassic Park

Comment: The category that has become semi-mythical in terms of its pairing with the eventual Best Picture winner seems to be among the top six films here.  Though, any of these ten could get in.


1) The Revenant
2) Sicario
3) Mad Max; Fury Road
4) Carol
5) Bridge of Spies

6) The Hateful Eight
7) The Martian
8) In the Heart of the Sea
9) The Danish Girl
10) Son of Saul

Comment:  The five nominees probably come from the top seven listed here.


1) Son of Saul
2) Labyrinth of Lies
3) Mustang
4) Second Mother
5) The Assassin

6) Rams
7) Viva
8) Goodnight Mommy
9) The Club
10) A Pigeon Sat on a Branch...

Comment:  This category is largely believed to be about narrowing the field down to the four films that eventually lose to "Son of Saul".  In a year where most categories are still fairly unpredictable, "Saul" might be the surest bet for Oscar of any film in any category.


1) Amy
2) The Look of Silence (TFF #41)
3) Going Clear
4) Best of Enemies
5) The Hunting Ground

6) Where Do We Invade Next?
7) He Named Me Malala
8) Listen to Me Marlon
9) Miss Simone
10) Cartel Land

Comment: Reflecting the sense that I got at Telluride this year, there's only one TFF #42 documentary that seems to have a shot this year and "Malala" is playing from behind.  TFF #41's "Look of Silence" looks solid.

If The FAC is 100% on the money, TFF #42 films earn another five nominations from these four categories with another four possibilities.


Continuing our Thursday theme focused on the latest Oscar info, here are links to Oscar Poker with hosts Sasha Stone of Awards Daily and Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere and with special guest Erik Anderson of Awards Watch:

and Awards Chatter featuring The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg:

And here's a handy overview of over thirty films culled by the staff at Variety that they believe have the largest Oscar potential.  The list includes Telluride #42 films: "Anomalisa", "Beasts of No Nation", "Black Mass", "Carol", "45 Years", "Room", "Son of Saul", "Spotlight", "Steve Jobs" and "Suffragette".  Here's the link to the complete list:


This section includes interviews from "Suffragette" director Sarah Gavron, "Black Mass' star Johnny Depp and "Spotlight" director Tom McCarthy.  There's also a link to a dissection of "Spotlight" from Uproxx:

Sarah Gavron:

Johnny Depp:

Tom McCarthy:

"Spotlight" feature:

That's the Thursday edition of MTFB/FAC.  Come back on Monday for more and have a great weekend...

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via Twitter @Gort2 OR to

Monday, November 9, 2015

More Spotlight on "Spotlight" / Joan Allen and "Room" / "Rams" Trailer / Oscar Matters: InContention's Latest Predictions

Welcome back to the week after the weekend...It's Monday people!


Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight' continues to be one of the most talked about films that screened this year at Telluride and those conversations picked up over this past weekend owing to its opening in a limited release to generally solid numbers.  The film will expand now and try to keep its momentum building as a probable Best Picture nominee and a possible BP winner.

Because of its opening, there was a good deal of press for the film on the interwebs this weekend.  I have included interviews here from Michael Keaton, Tom McCarthy and co-writer Josh Singer from The New York Times, HitFix, Entertainment Weekly and Awards Daily.

"Spotlight" television spot via YouTube





Criminally underused actress Joan Allen is making a splash in Lenny Abrahamson's "Room" to the point that she is getting some fairly serious Oscar buzz for her role as Brie Larson's mother in the small film that has been making big noise since Telluride.  Larson may well be the favorite to win Best Actress and young Jacob Tremblay is a serious player for a Best Supporting Actor nomination.

"Room" also looks good for a number of other possible Oscar bids Picture, Director and Adapted Screenplay come to mind.

Allen , who has been previously nominated for Best Actress for "The Contender" and Supporting Actress for "The Crucible" and "Nixon" is interviewed here for Thompson on Hollywood:


Official U.S. trailer for "Rams" via YouTube

Iceland's entrant for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film is "Rams" which seemed to be well liked by The People in my annual survey of the films that play TFF.  It finished in the bottom half of the poll but was ahead of "Steve Jobs" and "Suffragette".

Nevertheless, I expect it to likely be one of the five Foreign Language finalists next January.  The film had its U.S. trailer drop since my last post and you can see that above.  Additionally, I have linked stories about the film and its trailer release from and The Film Stage:


Oscar expert Kristopher Tapley has his latest iteration of Oscar prognostication up at Variety's InContention.  Here's what happens regarding Telluride #42 films on nomination morning if Tapley is 100% accurate:

"Spotlight": Best Picture, Supporting Actor (twice), Original Screenplay, Direction, Film Editing and Original Score.  Total noms-7.

"Black Mass": Best Picture, Actor, Makeup/Hair.  Total noms-3

"Room": Picture, Director, Actress, Adapted Screenplay.  Total noms-4

"Steve Jobs": Best Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing.  Total noms-5

"Carol": Best Actress, Supporting Actress, Costume.  Total noms-3

"Anomalisa": Best Animated Feature.  Total noms-1

Best Foreign Language Film: "Son of Saul", "Rams", "Viva"  Total noms-3

Total TFF #42 nominations: 26 (which is about average).

Best Doc Feature: "The Look if Silence" (from TFF #41)

Frankly, I think "carol" will get more attention.  Maybe "Room" will as well.   I wouldn't be surprised if "Anomalisa" gets a Screenplay nomination.  I could also see "Son of Saul" breaking into other categories in addition to Foreign Language.

That's a wrap for Monday...More to come on Thursday...

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

"Anomalisa" Trailer / Abi Morgan and "Suffragette" / "Spotlight" in the T.V. Spotlight / Oscar Matters: The Gurus Speak and Oscar Poker

Good Thursday to All...


A lot of fanfare occurred this week with the release of a trailer for Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's stop motion animated "Anomalisa" which was a big hit among the Professionals at Telluride according to their responses to my informal survey posted last month.  Check the trailer here and a number of stories that announced its release below:

"Anomalisa" trailer via YouTube


"Suffragette" scribe Abi Morgan talks to Word and Film about the film:


"Spotlight" from director/writer Tom McCarthy dropped a 30 second television spot this week.  The film opens Friday.  Check the exclusive online posting of the T.V. spot at Indiewire here:


Movie City News has their first installment of The Gurus of Gold posted for the 2015-16 Oscar campaign.  The first pass includes Best Picture, Director and all four Acting categories.  Of interest to Telluride aficionados might be the following about TFF #42 films from the various categories:

Best Picture: "Spotlight" at #1 (barely edging "The Martian"), "Room" at #3, "Steve Jobs" at #8 and "Carol" at #9.  "Son of Saul" is at the #13 spot and "Beasts of No Nation' and "45 Years" each had a vote from the Gurus.

Best Direction: McCarthy/"Spotlight" #1, Haynes/"Carol" #7, Boyle/"Jobs" #8, Abrahamson/"Room" #9 and Nemes/"Saul" #10

Best Actress: Larson/"Room" #1, Blanchett/"Carol" #3, Mulligan/"Suffragette" #5, Rampling/"45 Years" #7.

Best Actor: Fassbender/"Jobs" #1, Depp/"Black Mass" #6.  Geza Rohrig from "Son of Saul" gets a vote.

Best Supporting Actress: Mara/"Carol" #1, Winslet/"Jobs" #3, Allen/"Room" #6, McAdams/"Spotlight" #8.  Juliette Nicholson from "Black Mass" gets a vote.

Best Supporting Actor: Keaton/"Spotlight" #2, Ruffalo/"Spotlight" #3, Elba/"Beasts" #5, Tremblay/"Room" #8 and Edgerton/"Black Mass #10.

If the Gurus are 100% accurate (and there are nine Best Picture nominations) then Telluride 2015 films will earn 14 nominations from these five categories.

The complete Gurus of Gold can be found here:


And Sasha Stone/Awards Daily and Jeffrey Wells/Hollywood Elsewhere are up with their latest edition of their podcast "Oscar Poker".  Here's the link to that:

That's all for Thursday...and actually ON Thursday this week (unlike last week).  Have an excellent weekend and come back to see what I've got on Monday...

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