Category Archives: Awards, Mostly Academy

Free-Talking on Cinema, Movies, and Film (March, 2011)

by HELEN GEIB

Free-Talking Series: Next Post

[Note: The monthly Free-Talking post is updated every five days, give or take a day every now and then.]

MARCH 28, 2011- MARCH, OR WHY I REALLY NEED TO SEE A GOOD MOVIE NEXT WEEK

I realized something this week that’s got me pretty depressed over the state of multiplex moviegoing. Continue reading

Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (February 18, 2011)

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

An American comedy, two collections of Academy Award-nominated short subjects, and two Indian movies about two very different killers- those are the new limited-release films opening in Indiana theaters this week. The other big news is that the (mostly) completely-restored version of Metropolis finally makes it to a big screen in Indiana this week (even if two of the three screenings are already sold out)- and that some Academy Award nominees will be at the Indianapolis Museum of Art next Saturday (see the “special feature” below for more on that). For all this and much more, keep reading on below…. Continue reading

Free-Talking on Cinema, Movies, and Film (February, 2011)

by HELEN GEIB

Free-Talking Series: Next Post

[Note: The monthly Free-Talking post is updated every five days, give or take a day every now and then.]

FEBRUARY 26, 2011- AND MY LEAST FAVORITE MONTH OF THE YEAR DRAWS TO A CLOSE

Last night I saw Memento at the IMA. I hadn’t seen it since it was new and had forgotten all but the broad outline. That’s not a memory joke, but a preface to saying how much I enjoyed being taken by surprise again by the plot twists. It was the closing film of the “Winter Nights” series, theme: noir and neo-noir, and also gave my group our best post-movie discussion of the series. We sat around for well more than an hour (until the Starbucks kicked us out) deconstructing the plot, analyzing the themes, teasing out noir tropes and influences…. Continue reading

82nd Academy Awards (for 2009): Predictions and Winners

by HELEN GEIB

edited March 8, 2010 to add the winners (we called best picture/director, we were solid on acting, we failed totally with screenplay, and the Academy threw a curveball again this year with foreign-language picture)

And now for the annual Commentary Track Oscar predictions post! Who will win? Who should win? Nir, Tom, Geoff, and I participated in the making of this post, which will be updated with the winners after the awards show broadcast (coming this Sunday, March 7). Our predictions match in all but one vote in one category so we stand or fall together in the strength of our predictive powers. Our “should win” picks, on the other hand, are all over the map.

Picture
Avatar
The Blind Side
District 9 (2d review)
An Education
The Hurt Locker – All WINNER
Inglourious Basterds
Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire
A Serious Man
Up
Up in the Air

Should win: The Hurt Locker – Nir, Geoff, Helen; Inglourious Basterds – Tom Continue reading

New Poll – Best Picture “Should Win” Pick

by HELEN GEIB

If you were an Academy voter, which movie would you vote for for Best Picture?

Oscar Season Reader Polls

by HELEN GEIB

Which movie do you think is going to win the Oscar for best picture this year? That’s right, it’s the first ever Commentary Track poll! Cast your vote in the sidebar for “The Oscar Will Go To….” In a couple of weeks, the question will change to which movie should win the Oscar (sorry, no write-ins; overlooked nominations is a whole ‘nother ballgame). After that I have a series of polls planned in conjunction with our best films of the decade project, so vote early and often – we want to hear from you! Oh, wait, that first part didn’t come out quite right…

82nd Academy Awards (for 2009): Nominations

by HELEN GEIB

Oscar season officially re-opened today with the announcement of the Academy Award nominations for films released (officially) in 2009. The nominations are the usual mix of the deserving, the less deserving, the suspect, and the that-movie-hasn’t-opened-where-I-live-yet. (To be fair, the proportion of “the suspect” might be unusually low this year.) Meanwhile, the people who pushed for the best picture category’s expansion from five nominees to 10 were rewarded with the nominations of surprise popular hits The Blind Side and District 9 plus this year’s Pixar film Up, a double best picture nominee with a second nom for animated feature.

Speaking of the animated feature category, it also expanded (from three back to five), decidedly a good thing considering the overall high quality of 2009’s slate of animated films. Finally, the Academy made me personally happy by nominating Un Prophete for best foreign film, thus significantly increasing my chances of seeing it in the theater.

The nominee list for the big 10 categories (a/k/a the combination of categories most talked about and categories which the Commentary Track staff predicts the winners of) follow after the break: picture; animated feature; directing; the 4 acting categories; the 2 screenplay categories; and foreign language film. Read the full list of nominees at Oscar.com’s nominations page. The awards broadcast is March 7; check back a week or so before the awards show for our predictions and “should win” picks. Follow the title links to read our reviews of the nominated films. Continue reading

10 Best Picture Nominees?!

by HELEN GEIB

This past Wednesday the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that the Academy Awards Best Picture category will double in size next year from five to ten nominated films. The prevailing interpretation of the thinking behind this change is that it’s a desperate attempt to improve Oscar’s ratings by packing the top category with audience favorites. Adding Best Picture nominees won’t make the awards show any shorter – excessive length being one of the most frequently cited complaints by people who have and people who haven’t been watching the broadcast the last few years – so it’s tempting to read the subsequently announced sideways move by the honorary career-achievement award to a separate event as a temporal offset. Continue reading

81st Academy Awards (for 2008): Predictions and Winners

by HELEN GEIB

edited February 23 to add the winners

This post lists our predictions for who will win – and our picks for who should win – the Oscar in the categories of best picture, animated feature, director, actress, actor, supporting actress, supporting actor, original screenplay, and adapted screenplay. We also call out some films and people overlooked in the nominations. Title links are to Commentary Track reviews (title linked at first nomination only). Post will be updated with the winners list after the broadcast.

BEST PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button – Helen
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire – Geoff, Rishi, Tom, James

Who should win: Slumdog Millionaire – Geoff, Helen, Rishi, James; Milk – Tom

Winner: Slumdog Millionaire

Overlooked: The Wrestler, The Dark Knight

Continue reading

81st Academy Awards (for 2008): Nominations

by HELEN GEIB

The Academy Award nominees for 2008 for best picture, animated feature, director, actress and actor, supporting actress and actor, and original and adapted screenplay are after the break. The awards ceremony is Sunday, February 22 at 8ET. Check back the week before the broadcast for our “will win” and “should win” picks. Comments to this post grumbling over the Academy’s most egregious oversights in the nominations are encouraged. Continue reading