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Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 12-17-12


 
Still of Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”

Still of Daniel Day-Lewis in “Lincoln”

Jessica Chastain at a “Zero Dark Thirty” event

Jessica Chastain at a “Zero Dark Thirty” event

Star of “The Hunger Games” Jennifer Lawrence

Star of “The Hunger Games” Jennifer Lawrence

Awards arena: All it takes is a quick look at today’s movie ads to see how quickly the awards arena is heating up.

On the heels of last week’s nominations by the Hollywood Foreign Association (Golden Globes), the Screen Actors Guild (SAG Awards) and the Broadcast Film Critics Association (Critics’ Choice Movie Awards), Oscar front runners are emerging and awards marketers are gearing up for action. Besides these most recent noms, there also have been awards from high profile critics groups in New York and Los Angeles as well as honors from the National Board of Review (NBR) and the American Film Institute (AFI).

Here’s a picture-by-picture overview of nine leading contenders for Oscar nominations (in no particular order) at this point:

(1) The Weinstein Company’s comedy drama “Silver Linings Playbook” may not have the most nominations of all, but with TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein overseeing its Oscar marketing it’s certainly got great prospects. Harvey’s an Oscar force to be reckoned with after winning the best picture Academy Award last year for “The Artist” and the previous year for “The King’s Speech.”

Directed by David O. Russell (“The Fighter”), it stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro. The film’s awards buzz began last September when it won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Russell was a best directing Oscar nominee in 2011 for “Fighter.” “Silver” has grossed about $17 million in domestic theatres after five weeks of limited release.

“Silver” received four Globes noms, including: Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical, Best Actress — Comedy or Musical (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Actor — Comedy or Musical (Bradley Cooper) and Best Screenplay David O. Russell).

In the SAG nominations, there were three for “Silver,” including: Outstanding Performance by a Cast (SAG’s equivalent of a best picture nod), Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Cooper), Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Lawrence) and Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Robert De Niro).

In the Broadcast Film Critics’ nominations, “Silver” was honored in 10 categories, including: Best Picture, Best Actor (Cooper), Best Actress (Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (De Niro), Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director (Russell), Best Adapted Screenplay (Russell), Best Comedy, Best Actor in a Comedy (Cooper) and Best Actress in a Comedy (Lawrence).

In addition, “Silver” was named as one of AFI’s 10 best films of the year, Lawrence won Best Actress in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s vote and the NBR awarded it wins for Best Actor (Cooper), Best Adapted Screenplay (Russell) and as one of nine movies designated as the year’s Top Films.

(2) Universal’s PG-13 rated romantic musical drama “Les Miserables,” which opens wide Dec. 25, is high on the list of best picture Oscar frontrunners and some Oscar handicappers have already gone out on a limb predicting it will win. The film is already tracking in double digits and doing best with 25-plus females and nearly as well with under-25 females.

Directed by Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech”), “Les Mis” stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway and Amanda Seyfried. It’s adapted from the hit stage musical based on Victor Hugo’s classic novel set in 19th Century France. Hooper won the best directing Oscar in 2011 for “King’s Speech.”

In the Globes vote, “Les Mis” received four noms, including: Best Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Comedy or Musical (Jackman), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Hathaway) and Best Original Song (“Suddenly”).

SAG voters gave “Les Mis” three noms, including: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Jackman), Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Hathaway) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast.

The Broadcast Film Critics voted 11 noms to “Les Mis,” including: Best Picture, Best Actor (Jackman), Best Supporting Actress (Hathaway), Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director (Tom Hooper), Best Cinematography (Danny Cohen), Best Art Direction (Eve Stewart/Production Designer and Anna Lynch-Robinson/Set Decorator), Best Editing (Melanie Ann Oliver and Chris Dickens), Best Costume Design (Paco Delgdo) Best Makeup and Best Song (”Suddenly”).

“Les Mis” was named one of NBR’s top films of the year and won its Best Ensemble award. It also was voted one of AFI’s best movies of the year.

(3) Steven Spielberg’s PG-13 biographical drama “Lincoln” from DreamWorks, Fox, Reliance Pictures and Participant Media, released through Walt Disney Studios, is another top awards contender. Starring are Daniel Day Lewis as Abraham Lincoln, Sally Field and David Strathairn. After six weeks in wide release, “Lincoln” has grossed about $108 million.

Spielberg won the best directing Oscar in 1994 for “Schindler’s List” and in 1999 for “Saving Private Ryan.” Day Lewis was a best actor Oscar winner in 1990 for “My Left Foot” and in 2008 for “There Will Be Blood.”

There were seven Globes noms for “Lincoln,” including: Best Motion Picture — Drama, Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama (Day-Lewis), Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Field), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Tommy Lee Jones), Best Director (Spielberg), Best Screenplay (Tony Kushner) and Best Original Score (John Williams).

“Lincoln” took home four SAG noms, including: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role (Day-Lewis), : Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Jones), Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Field) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast.

In the Broadcast Film Critics vote there were 13 noms for “Lincoln,” the most ever by this group, including: Best Picture, Best Actor (Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actor (Jones), Best Supporting Actress (Field), Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director (Spielberg), Best Adapted Screenplay (Kushner), Best Cinematography (Janusz Kaminski), Best Art Direction (Rick Carter/Production Designer and Jim Erickson/Set Decorator), Best Editing (Michael Kahn), Best Costume Design (Joanna Johnston), Best Makeup and Best Score (Williams).

In addition, “Lincoln” received three New York Film Critics wins, including: Best Actor (Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Field) and Best Screenplay (Kushner). It also was named one of the year’s best films by NBR and AFI.

(4) Warner Bros.’ “Argo,” a political thriller set during 1979’s Iran hostage crisis, instantly became a likely best picture Oscar nominee when it opened Oct. 12. It’s directed by Ben Affleck, who stars with Bryan Cranston, John Goodman and Alan Arkin. After 10 weeks in theatres, “Argo” has grossed about $105 million.

“Argo” world premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September to great reviews and began generating an Oscar buzz there. Affleck was an Oscar nominee in 1998 for co-writing “Good Will Hunting” with Matt Damon.

There were five Globes noms for “Argo,” including: Best Motion Picture — Drama, Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Arkin), Best Director (Affleck), Best Screenplay (Chris Terrio) and Best Original Score (Alexandre Desplat).

SAG gave “Argo” two noms, including: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Arkin) and Outstanding Performance by a Cast.

There were seven Broadcast Film Critics noms for “Argo,” including: Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Arkin), Best Acting Ensemble, Best Director (Affleck), Best Adapted Screenplay (Terrio), Best Editing (William Goldenberg) and Best Score (Desplat).

“Argo” won best screenplay (Terrio) in the Los Angeles Film Critics vote. NBR named it one of its top films of the year and gave its Special Achievement in Filmmaking Award to Affleck and its Spotlight Award to Goodman. It also was voted one of AFI’s top films of the year.

(5) The Weinstein Company and Columbia Pictures’ western drama “Django Unchained” is directed by Quentin Tarantino (“Pulp Fiction”) and stars Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington and Samuel L. Jackson. It opens wide Dec. 25. “Django” is tracking solidly and doing best with 25-plus females.

“Django” received five Globe noms, including: Best Motion Picture — Drama, Best Director (Tarantino), Best Screenplay (Tarantino) and Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (for both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christoph Waltz).

The Broadcast Film Critics gave “Django” two noms, including: Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay (Tarantino).

“Django” did not receive any SAG noms and did not win any awards from the L.A. or N.Y. critics. It did, however, win Best Supporting Actor (DiCaprio) in the NBR vote. It was also named one of the year’s best films by both the NBR and AFI.

(6) Columbia and Annapurna Pictures’ action drama “Zero Dark Thirty” is another high profile top contender for Oscar consideration. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow and written by Mark Boal, the team that made the Oscar winning “The Hurt Locker,” it stars Chris Pratt, Jessica Chastain and Joel Edgerton in the controversial story of the decade-long hunt for Osama Bin Laden. It goes into limited theatrical release Dec. 19 and will go wider Jan. 11.

“Zero” received four Globes noms, including: Best Motion Picture — Drama, Best Director (Bigelow), Best Screenplay (Boal) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Drama (Chastain).

It was honored with five Broadcast Critics noms, including: Best Picture, Best Director (Bigelow), Best Original Screenplay (Boal), Best Actress (Chastain) and Best Editing (Dylan Teichenor and William Goldenberg).

SAG gave the film a nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role (Chastain).

“Zero” won three New York Film Critics awards, including: Best Picture, Best Director (Bigelow) and Best Cinematographer (Greig Fraser). It received the Best Editing award (Dylan Teichenor and William Goldenberg) from the Los Angeles Film Critics. It also won three NBR awards, including: Best Film, Best Director (Bigelow) and Best Actress (Chastain) and was named one of the year’s best films by AFI.

(7) 20th Century Fox and Fox 2000 Pictures’ live action PG rated 3D adventure “Life of Pi” is also on Academy members’ radar thanks to its recent nominations. It’s directed by Ang Lee, an Oscar winner in 2006 for directing “Brokeback Mountain,” and is based on the best selling book by Yann Martel. Starring are stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain. After four weeks in theatres, “Pi” has grossed nearly $70 million.

Globes voters gave “Pi” three noms, including: Best Motion Picture — Drama, Best Director (Lee) and Best Original Score (Mychael Danna).

The Broadcast Film Critics provided nine noms, including: Best Picture, Best Director (Lee), Best Adapted Screenplay (David Magee), Best Art Direction (David Gropman/Production Designer and Anna Pinnock/Set Decorator), Best Cinematography (Claudio Miranda), Best Editing (Tim Squyres), Best Score (Danna), Best Visual Effects and Best Young Actor (Suraj Sharma).

There were no SAG noms for “Pi” and no wins from the New York and Los Angeles critics or the NBR. It was, however, one of AFI’s top films of the year.

(8) The Weinstein Company’s R rated “The Master,” which generated a major awards buzz when it arrived last fall, is also in the mix of potential Oscar contenders. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (“There Will Be Blood”), it stars Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams. The film opened last Sept. 14 and has grossed nearly $16 million.

“Master” received three Globes noms, including: Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture — Drama (Phoenix), Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Hoffman) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Adams).

The Broadcast Film Critics gave “Master” seven noms, including: Best Picture, Best Actor (Phoenix), Best Supporting Actor (Hoffman), Best Supporting Actress (Adams), Best Original Screenplay (Anderson), Best Cinematography (Mihai Malaimare Jr.) and Best Score (Jonny Greenwood).

The film received a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Hoffman).

The L.A. Film Critics honored “Master” with four wins, including: Best Director (Anderson), Best Actor (Phoenix), Best Supporting Actress (Adams) and Best Production Design (David Crank and Jack Fisk).

“Master” did not have any wins in the votes by the NBR, AFI or New York Film Critics.

(9) While all of the above films have been generating an Oscar buzz since the awards season got underway with film festival showings in the early fall, there always are surprises as the months go by.

Perhaps the biggest surprise to surface in the recent nominations is Fox Searchlight’s PG-13 comedy drama “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” directed by John Madden, an Oscar nominee in 1999 for “Shakespeare in Love.” Starring are Judi Dench, Bill Nighy and Maggie Smith. The film opened last May 4 and has grossed $46.4 million in domestic theatres.

“Marigold” received two Globes noms, including: Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy (Dench).

The Broadcast Film Critics nominated it for Best Acting Ensemble.

SAG honored “Marigold” with two noms, including: Outstanding Performance by a Cast and Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role (Smith).

The film did not surface in the votes by AFI, NBR or the New York or Los Angeles critics. Nonetheless, its strong showing with the Globes and SAG has now put it on Academy members’ radar screens as a film they should see before voting. Oscar ballots are due Jan. 3 and noms will be announced at 5:30 a.m. Jan. 10.

Bottom line: It’s a highly competitive year for Oscar consideration and with lots of campaigning still ahead the race is still wide open.