Off the Red Carpet: Week of 11/7 – 11/14

We’re at the point where there’s going to be a big movie opening every week until the end of the year now, so get excited.

“Skyfall” has biggest Bond opening ever

“Skyfall” earned $86.7 million at the Box Office this weekend, sending it on its way to trounce even the inflation added record of the fourth Bond, “Thunderball.” It’s popular appeal as well as its just plain awesome quality has lead some to speculate the possibility of nominating Judi Dench, Javier Bardem and Roger Deakins for their respected Oscars, as well as a push for the movie itself for Best Picture. It’s a long shot, but I would be on board.

Best Animated Short shortlist revealed

Could we soon be saying, Oscar Winner Maggie Simpson? The shortlist for the Best Animated Short category was revealed last week, and it includes “The Simpsons” short “The Longest Daycare” and the lovey Disney short “Paperman.” The Pixar short film this year that screened before “Brave,” “La Luna,” was nominated and lost last year. But I can guarantee you now that the little underdog movie no one’s heard of and no one will see will almost definitely win this category. Here’s the full list: (via In Contention)

“Adam and Dog”



“The Eagleman Stag”

“The Fall of the House of Usher”

“Fresh Guacamole”

“Head over Heels”

“Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare'”



Christoph Waltz in Best Actor race

I said last week that for some reason people already want to count “Django Unchained” out of the race before anyone’s even seen it. Why no one would consider Christoph Waltz owning “Django” just like he did “Inglourious Basterds” is beyond me, but the difference this year is that he’s being pushed for the Lead Actor race now rather than supporting. Yes, it’s a crowded field, but he was just that good before, and I don’t see why he can’t be again. This also means that Leonardo DiCaprio and even Samuel L. Jackson are people to keep an eye on in the Supporting race. (via In Contention)

Image Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

The Hollywood Reporter Airs Annual Actor Roundtable

Each year The Hollywood Reporter puts together an extended interview roundtable with a collection of actors, usually Oscar hopefuls for that year. Last year they interviewed George Clooney, Viola Davis, Christopher Plummer, Charlize Theron and Michael Fassbender, and this year they’ve interviewed Jamie Foxx, Matt Damon, Denzel Washington, Richard Gere, Alan Arkin and John Hawkes. All six are potential Oscar candidates for acting, three more likely than the others, but their discussion veered much more intellectual. They talked acting on stage, what they would do if they couldn’t act, family and whom they admired. It’s a stirring hour-long discussion between smart actors being very candid in a setting you won’t see anywhere else. (via The Hollywood Reporter)

Gurus ‘O Gold released

The Gurus ‘O Gold have been my go to barometer for Oscar predictions for the last few years. Collectively, they are probably better at anticipating the awards and forecasting changes than any one of them individually. This is their first time forecasting the major categories this year since Toronto. Things are bound to change as a few other movies set in and are seen by the public, but the universal consensus right now is unsurprisingly “Argo,” followed closely by TIFF winner “Silver Linings Playbook.” The surprise I see in the list is the inclusion of “Flight” in 10 spot and “Moonrise Kingdom” on the outs. 10 is probably a generous number for nominees anyway. Take a look at the full list if you’re like me and love charts and spreadsheets and stuff, and avoid it if you think it has the potential to suck all the fun out of the Oscars. (via Movie City News)

Will Best Picture match Screenplay?

A blogger at “Variety” observed that last year was a surprising anomaly in the trend for nominees for Best Picture and Best Original or Adapted Screenplay. The movie with the BP nod always gets the screenplay nod, with historically very few exceptions. Last year alone matched the last 10 years in terms of gaps between the two categories, and it’s worth noting that this year may go the same. “Moonrise Kingdom,” “The Master,” “Amour,” “Django Unchained,” “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and “The Sessions” are all questionable nominees for Best Picture, and that’s just listing the front runners in the screenplay races. (via Variety)

Ben Affleck to receive “Modern Master Award”

For a guy gunning for an Oscar for Best Director with a film set in the ‘70s, it’s got to feel good to win an award called the “Modern Master Award” at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Ben Affleck will receive the award on January 26, conveniently not long before the Oscar ceremony itself. (via The Race)

Week 5 PredictionsBest Picture

Front Runners

Silver Linings Playbook



Life of Pi

Les Miserables


Moonrise Kingdom

Zero Dark Thirty

Beasts of the Southern Wild


The Master


Long Shots



The Dark Knight Rises

Anna Karenina

Django Unchained

The Sessions

The Impossible

The Hobbit

I think “Skyfall” is now a serious contender in the Best Picture race, probably more serious than either “The Dark Knight Rises” or “The Hobbit.” I still think “Moonrise Kingdom” is a fairly sure thing (more so than “Beasts”) even if the Gurus O’ Gold don’t. I am however listening to them and striking “Not Fade Away,” “Rust and Bone” and “Promised Land” from my list of long shots. I’ve also seen “Flight” now, and although I love it, I don’t see it happening.


Best Actor

Front Runners

Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln

John Hawkes – The Sessions

Joaquin Phoenix – The Master

Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook

Denzel Washington – Flight


Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained

Anthony Hopkins – Hitchcock

Matt Damon – Promised Land

Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables

Jean-Louis Trintignant – Amour

Long Shots

Richard Gere – Arbitrage

Jake Gyllenhaal – End of Watch

Bill Murray – Hyde Park on Hudson

Jack Black – Bernie

Denis Lavant – Holy Motors

Christoph Waltz is now in this race. If he really has a spot is hard to say. This news was announced after the Gurus announced their picks, so I think the next chart will have some shakeups. And really, the movie just needs to open already.


Best Actress

Front Runners

Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone

Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook

Helen Mirren – Hitchcock

Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty


Emmanuelle Riva – Amour

Keira Knightley – Anna Karenina

Mary Elizabeth Winstead – Smashed

Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Long Shots

Anne Hathaway – The Dark Knight Rises

Meryl Streep – Hope Springs

Rachel Weisz – The Deep Blue Sea

Maggie Smith – Quartet

So it looks like Judi Dench in “Best Exotic” isn’t happening anymore. I’m not sure why, but the Gurus don’t even have her on their radar. I’m hearing a lot of great stuff about Emmanuelle Riva in “Amour,” that she’s a legacy actor that the aging Academy will remember from years ago, possibly taking away Helen Mirren’s place in “Hitchcock.” There are also a bunch of people holding out faith that Naomi Watts in “The Impossible” is happening. Anthony Breznican of EW has her as the number one most likely nominee, but I don’t buy it having seen the movie myself.


Best Supporting Actor

Front Runners

Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master

Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

Alan Arkin – Argo

Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook

Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained


John Goodman – Argo/Flight

Samuel L. Jackson – Django Unchained

Javier Bardem – Skyfall

Matthew McConnaughey – Magic Mike

Jude Law – Anna Karenina

William H. Macy – The Sessions

Irrfan Kahn – Life of Pi

Jim Broadbent – Cloud Atlas

Long Shots

Chris Tucker – Silver Linings Playbook

Tom Holland – The Impossible

James Gandolfini – Zero Dark Thirty/Not Fade Away

Aaron Paul – Smashed

Omar Sy – The Intouchables

Dwight Henry – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Russell Crowe – Les Miserables

Michael Caine – The Dark Knight Rises

Michael Fassbender – Prometheus

With Waltz out of the Supporting race, it frees up votes for Leo, so he’s moving up a bracket, whereas Goodman, who is excellent in “Flight,” has a very small part and is outshone by Arkin in “Argo.” Leo could still face competition from Samuel L. Jackson once the movie is seen though. Matthew McConaughey has had such a good year that he’s seeming more and more likely to be recognized. I really love his work in “Bernie” personally. And like I said, pay attention to Bardem. His performance in “Skyfall” will remind people of Anton Chigurh for better or worse, either that he was even better in “No Country” or that he really is a terrific actor and deserves recognition again. All my other long shots at this point are practically wishful thinking.


Best Supporting Actress

Front Runners

Amy Adams – The Master

Helen Hunt – The Sessions

Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Sally Field – Lincoln

Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables


Judi Dench – Skyfall

Jackie Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

Kelly Reilly – Flight

Long Shots

Frances McDormand – Promised Land

Kerry Washington – Django Unchained

Shirley MacClaine – Bernie

God this is an awful category this year. The Gurus were all over the place trying to even come up with five names, so there’s a lot of One Vote Wonders on their list. Anne Hathaway was adorable on “SNL” this week and is on a lot of people’s radar. Plus, Breznican of EW has seen “Les Mis” already and seems to confirm that she is awesome.



Front Runners

Ben Affleck – Argo

David O. Russell – Silver Linings Playbook

Steven Spielberg – Lincoln

Tom Hooper – Les Miserables

Ang Lee – Life of Pi


Robert Zemeckis – Flight

Paul Thomas Anderson – The Master

Michael Haneke – Amour

Kathryn Bigelow – Zero Dark Thirty

Wes Anderson – Moonrise Kingdom

Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild

Quentin Tarantino – Django Unchained

Gus Van Sant – Promised Land

Long Shots

Juan Antonio Bayona – The Impossible

David Chase – Not Fade Away

Dustin Hoffman – Quartet

Ben Lewin – The Sessions

Joe Wright – Anna Karenina


Best Original Screenplay

Front Runners

Moonrise Kingdom – Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola

The Master – Paul Thomas Anderson

Amour – Michael Haneke

Zero Dark Thirty – Mark Boal

Django Unchained – Quentin Tarantino


The Intouchables – Olivier Nakache, Eric Toledano

Flight – John Gatins

Magic Mike – Reid Carolin

Looper – Rian Johnson

Seven Psychopaths – Martin McDonagh

Promised Land – Matt Damon, Dave Eggers, John Krasinski

Long Shots

Smashed – James Ponsoldt, Susan Burke

Arbitrage – Nicholas Jarecki

Take This Waltz – Sarah Polley

I’m starting to think now that if something doesn’t show up in Best Picture, it’ll show up here. So pay attention to “Flight,” pay attention to “Django” for sure, and even pay attention to “Arbitrage.”

Best Adapted Screenplay

Front Runners

Argo – Chris Terrio

Silver Linings Playbook – David O. Russell

Beasts of the Southern Wild – Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeithlin

Lincoln – Tony Kushner, John Logan, Paul Webb

The Sessions – Ben Lewin


Skyfall – John Logan

Life of Pi – David Magee

On the Road – Jose Rivera

Anna Karenina – Tom Stoppard

Les Miserables – William Nicholson

The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

This is 40 – Judd Apatow

Long Shots

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Ol Parker

Hitchcock – John J. McLaughlin

Cloud Atlas – Tom Tykwer, Andy and Lana Wachowski

Team “Skyfall!” Kick out “The Sessions,” please!


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