Connect with us

Awards

The Diary of an Awards Socialite

Published

on

It’s a tough, dirty chore going to glamorous awards events but, hey, someone’s got to do it.

So, during this awards season I will selflessly slip on a party dress, smear ‘ socialite red’ lipstick on my lips and sashay on down a red carpet or two. All for the noble cause of bringing you, lovely Movie Marker readers, news from the back slapping ‘you were marvellous darling’ extravaganzas that movie stars will whirl through over the next six weeks or so.

On Sunday evening I attended the London film critics awards, possibly my favourite event of the season. Less frenetic than the BAFTAs, the event has mastered the art of being as fun and informal as the Globes but with the credible seriousness of a festival prize giving ceremony.

I’ve attended the event for many years now and have had the most amazing experiences; calming the nerves of a tiny, fragile French actress called Marion Cotillard before the rest of the world woke up to her magnificent performance in La Vie en Rose, chatting about South Korean films with Martin Scorsese like it was the most natural thing in the world, listening to Helen Mirren telling us about her €49.99 ‘hooker shoes’, Jean Dujardin being impossibly French and charming……it’s always been a great evening.

imageThis year was just as good. The glamour came courtesy of Kate Beckinsale who hit us with the triple whammy of being beautiful, funny and nice. She won the award for best British actress for her splendid turn as a scheming matchmaking mother in Jane Austen’s Love and Friendship.

Not many women can tell a joke in their acceptance speech about an intimate part of the anatomy as being like a ‘dropped trifle’ and still look classy and ladylike but Kate managed it.

Also class personified was legendary French Actress Isabelle Huppert who was given the Dilys Powell Excellence in film award. She went up to the stage a second time when she won the best actress gong. If she follows the Cotillard route, she’s taking that Oscar right out of Emma Stone and Natalie Portman’s hands on February 26th.

Ken Loach brought the gravitas and social conscience to the evening with his best British film win with I, Daniel Blake but having sat behind him during the ceremony, I can confirm he also knows how to have fun and he so clearly loves film. It was touching to see.

Loach briefly touched on serious politics in his acceptance speech but inevitably it was President Trump who inspired the evening’s best jokes. Welcoming us to the ceremony the hosts, Alice Lowe and Steve Oram looked out at the 150 strong audience and declared it a great turnout – about 1.5 million, easily!

1.5 million x 10 will probably be the number of awards Casey Affleck will pick up en route to the Oscars. His win here for best actor pretty much confirms him as the shoo in for the same award at the Academy awards. His quietly devastating, multi layered performance in Manchester by the Sea is a tour de force. In lesser hands it might have been a whirlwind of histrionics. In his, it is a powerful study of grief, guilt and suppressed rage.

Best British actor went to Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge. While Silence, his film with Scorsese, has died a quiet death at the box office and been shut out at awards nominations, Hacksaw has seen the return of the prodigal son, Mel Gibson to the Hollywood fold and Garfield is reaping the rewards. He described his win, via video link, as a hearty pat on the back and seemed genuinely chuffed to be recognised in this way.

Although Damien Chazelle lost best director to Laszlo Nemes for Son of Saul, his film La La Land won film of the year from a tough category.

In total the ceremony lasted about an hour and was all the better for it.Oscars take note.

After the awards, of course, comes the party and the London critics know how to let their hair down as well as anyone. But, of course, what happens at parties stays in the champagne glass…..

Tuesday lunchtime saw the first live stream of the Oscar nominations to journalists around the world instead of the usual event in Los Angeles for a small group of invitees.

I attended the one in Soho Square. Watching live nominations with a group of opinionated journos and film makers is quite an experience. Oohs, Aaahs and urghs abounded with each category.

No Aaron Taylor Johnson in the best supporting actor group? Disappointed murmurs all round. As one man said to me, he should have made the cut, he was like an ‘audible Tom Hardy in that film’!

There was applause for the inclusion of Toni Erdmann in the best foreign film group. And a big cheer for Viggo Mortenson in the best actor category. He won’t win, probably ever but it’s always good to see Aragorn get recognition.

Amy Adams’ exclusion from the best actress race did not meet with approval and people shared their outrage over the cheese and mayonnaise sandwiches we were served. Not quite Wolfgang Puck at the Governors Ball but it was good enough fare to take the edge off our Amy-less pain. The inclusion of the excellent Hell or High Water in several categories almost made up for Amy’s snub but not entirely.

Otherwise it was all pretty much as expected and we can all start taking bets now on any likely upsets. I’m going with Huppert walking away with best actress because I doubt even Hollywood could live in a world where Natalie Portman has two Oscars and Amy has none.

Awards News

Black Panther Aiming For Best Picture, Not Best Popular, According To Chadwick Boseman

Published

on

It’s Hollywood’s worst-kept secret; Marvel Studios’ chief Kevin Feige wants an Oscar. And not just a technical Oscar either. Following in the footsteps of Walt Disney, Feige’s ultimate goal is for one of his movies to win Best Picture. With Black Panther being a cultural juggernaut, the producer-extraordinaire sees it as his best chance yet and has reportedly hired veteran award strategist Cynthia Schwartz’s company – Strategy PR – to push for the nomination.

However, The Academy themselves threw a spanner in the works last month, when they announced the introduction of a brand new category at next year’s awards ceremony: Best Achievement in Popular Film. With Black Panther presently the highest-grossing film of the year domestically, and the second-highest internationally, it’s the clear favourite to win in the new category (at least, to the best of everyone’s knowledge – The Academy have, frustratingly, refused to define the new award). However according to King T’Challa himself, Black Panther actor Chadwick Boseman, that’s not the goal.

“We don’t know what [Best Popular] is, so I don’t know whether to be happy about it or not,” Boseman told The Hollywood Reporter, “What I can say is that there’s no campaign for Popular Film; like, if there’s a campaign, it’s for Best Picture, and that’s all there is to it.”

“A good movie is a good movie,” the Get On Up star continued, “and clearly it doesn’t matter how much money a movie makes in order for it to be ‘a good movie’ because if [it did], the movies that get nominated and win [predominantly low-grossing, highly-praised art-house fare] wouldn’t get nominated; and if it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter on both sides. For my money, the only thing that matters is the level of difficulty.”

“What we did was very difficult. We created a world, we created a culture … we had to create a religion, a spirituality, a politics; we had to create an accent; we had to pull from different cultures to create clothing styles and hair styles. It’s very much like a period piece. … So, as far as that’s concerned, I dare any movie to try to compare to the difficulty of this one. And the fact that so many people liked it — if you just say it’s [only] popular, that’s elitist.”

Chadwick has a point – the gross of a film has never, and should not, affect a film’s chances at winning Best Picture. However, whilst The Academy has made clear that a film can be nominated for both Best Film and Best Popular (frustrating many members who have then rightfully asked what the point is), they have somewhat written themselves into a corner when it comes to Black Panther. See, through a very specific sequence of events, The Academy have manufactured a situation where the most likely events to play out on the night will be Damien Chazelle’s buzzy First Man, a movie with an all-white cast and crew, winning Best Picture… whilst the all-black cast and crew of Black Panther accept the new ‘separate but equal’ award for Best Achievement in Popular Film. Yikes.

Black Panther is available on Digital, DVD, Blu-Ray and 4K now, and is rated 12A.

Continue Reading

Awards News

Danny DeVito To Receive Lifetime Achievement Award At The San Sebastian Film Festival

Published

on

Batman Returns star Danny DeVito is set to receive the coveted Donostia Award, honouring him for his career achievements, at the sixty-sixth annual San Sebastian Film Festival this September.

“The award recognizes a career of almost five decades related to acting in theatre, film and television, telling stories as an actor, producer and director,” the Spanish festival’s organisers said in a statement, “The Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner is known for his roles in television series Taxi and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and movies such as One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Terms of Endearment, Romancing The Stone, Twins, Ruthless People, and Tin Men.”

“He has also directed – and starred in – hugely emblematic films, including The War of the Roses (1989), Hoffa (1992), Death to Smoochy (2002), Throw Momma From the Train (1987), Curmudgeons (2016), Duplex (2003), The Ratings Game (1984), and The World’s Greatest Lover (1977).”

The San Sebastian Film Festival will run from the 21st to the 29th of September. Danny DeVito can next be heard in animated children’s flick Smallfoot, which will premiere on the 23rd at the Festival.

Continue Reading

Oscars 2018

THE BURDEN OF OSCAR: POLITICS AND FILM.

Published

on

2017 was not overly kind to Hollywood. A drop in cinema audiences. Dismal summer box office. Increasing competition from the rise of Netflix and compelling television shows. Decreasing ratings for movie awards shows. Justice League.
And please, nobody even mention Harvey Weinstein or Kevin Spacey.

In short it all went a bit Pete Tong for La La Land last year.
In fact the La La Land /Moonlight mix up at the Oscars in February now seems a rare bright spot in the 2017 tinsel town calendar. Reading out the wrong best picture winner? Light relief! Oh, how we can laugh now at a ‘wrong envelope mishap’ in the wake of #metoo and #sheknew

So, where and when did the rot start?
I’d suggest November 2016. On 8th November to be precise. Hollywood was tux and gown ready to celebrate the presidential victory of the woman whose campaign many A listers had funded to the tune of millions. However, 60 million Americans had a different plan. Enter the Donald!
The rest is outrage history.

Hollywood has since used Twitter, late night chat shows the press and most of all, awards shows to bash Trump……….and by association the 60 million who voted for him. 60 million potential movie fans.

Some love the political content of awards shows. Some are infuriated by it. But for many the politics has just got old really quickly. All they want from their movie and tv stars is entertainment. Yet the one industry that has the power to bring polarised communities together isn’t managing it. Nor does the entertainment media help.

The dumbest question on the movie red carpet in 2017 was one that was repeated the most, earnestly each time as if it was something unbelievably profound: what do you think will Trump voters make of your film?
Alexander Payne when asked it at the Venice film festival was one of the few who refused to be baited. He said he hoped that he made films for everybody. Unfortunately for him, his film Downsizing didn’t exactly please everybody but at least he recognised that his role is as a filmmaker not political campaigner. Similarly, while other stars have lost fans due to their relentless political tirades, Frances McDormand has been gaining them by being funny, entertaining and making it clear that her politics are her private business. But Payne and McDormand are rare. Too many stars and filmmakers take the media bait or can’t resist lecturing the world on the cause du jour when it isn’t the time and place to do so.

That is the issue. There is a time and place to make earnest speeches, to berate, to demand change, to highlight injustice. The Oscars podium isn’t it.

I’ve been lucky enough to go to the Oscars. It was a terrific experience. It was everything I’d imagined the Oscars to be; glamorous, fun, starry and an escape from the norm. The dresses were colourful and gorgeous. The jokes were funny. Everyone was out to party!
Was it frivolous, unreal and superficial. Yep. And it was all the more wonderful for that because I’d come to the event from conducting a 15 day case in the High court about a paedophile ring. So I know about the real world, thank you. And so do the millions who watch the Oscars on television around the world. The Oscars is their escape from the real world, as it was mine.

Yes, the Oscars has always been political to a degree; Marlon Brando sending a Native American woman to collect his Oscar for The Godfather, Michael Moore leading the charge against President Bush and the Iraq war, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon highlighting Haiti and many more issues. But those were moments in a lengthy ceremony. The rest of the show remained light and fun. The atmosphere overall wasn’t somber, even funereal. In the last 3-4 years the politics has completely overshadowed the films and the film stars.

The Oscars now seems to be first about race, sexuality, political affiliation, hashtag movements with the actual work second.

The #oscarssowhite in 2016 campaign was the first year that I can remember when a cause dominated the coverage, pushing the films and actors in contention for the awards out of the limelight. But it has continued. Last year the subject was President Trump. This year it’s #metoo and #TimesUp.
Around Oscar time I get asked 3 main questions: which of the nominated films do I recommend? Who do I think will win? Who had the best dress?

The first suggests that being nominated/winning really does help a film’s box office. And since the Oscars is essentially an industry event at which the film business shows off its wares, that’s a good thing. The second shows that humans are a competitive lot at heart. It’s why we love sport. No one truly likes ‘participation prizes’. We want there to be a ‘best’ so we can endlessly argue about it for evermore afterwards.
And yes, the third question is every bit as legitimate as the first two. Hollywood is the epitome of glamour. Fashion is big business that employs many people. The Oscars brings the two together on a world stage. And yes, women get asked about their dresses because it’s what many people tune in to see. The men’s tuxedos are the same each year. They aren’t the draw.
Funnily, the questions that don’t crop up are ‘what does Chris Hemsworth think about Brexit’ or ‘ What are Rebel Wilson’s views on the fiscal crisis’.
Maybe, just maybe, people don’t really care.

As I write this, some media outlets are reporting that Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster will present the best actress award this year instead of Casey Affleck. He withdrew recently from the tradition of the previous best actor winner presenting the new best actress winner with her gong, most likely, because he didn’t want or need the media coverage that would have dogged him in respect of allegations of sexual misconduct which were subject to an agreement between him and two women. None of the trio are legally allowed to speak publicly about the agreement. No one outside their respective close circles and legal advisers knows what the terms of the agreement were. Affleck could have agreed terms because he’s guilty as hell and didn’t want a court trial to prove it. The women could have been lying through their teeth and didn’t want a court trial to prove it.

Or, you know, the truth could lie somewhere in the middle. As it often does. Point is, we will never know.

That, of course didn’t stop hysterical speculation last year on social media of what Casey Affleck was ‘definitely, absolutely, 100% guilty of” – because – wait for it- he always plays creepy guys on screen! And it wouldn’t have stopped it this year, specially in the wake of #metoo. So Affleck stepped aside.

If it’s true that Lawrence and Foster will replace him, has the Academy really thought it through? What’s the message here:

That it takes two women to replace one man?

That there are no men left in Hollywood who can even safely present a woman with an award?

That only women can present an award to a woman because gender segregation is where we’re at in 2018??!!

See, this is what happens when you add politics to the mix. You may think you’re doing something right but it can come out all wrong.

On Oscar night on Sunday, armed police and security guards will protect stars who will go on stage and speak passionately against guns. Actresses who cheered and gave standing ovations to convicted child rapist Roman Polanski will now speak passionately against sexual predators. The list is endless of hypocrisies Hollywood can be called out for, so the wise thing to do might be to leave politics outside the door and, you know, entertain on the biggest night of the glamour industry.

However, I’m not betting on it.

Continue Reading

Trending