Darkest Hour stands apart from more routine historical dramas.
"Dear Mr. Spider;I am profoundly sorry to have taken you from your home in the woods, when I was picking Himalayan Blackberries on Monday afternoon. I didn't see you fall into my bucket and which was entirely my fault; I must have bumped into your web while reaching for a berry. Needless to say, I was surprised upon returning home with my bucket full, to suddenly see you there standing on a blackberry and looking up at me." - Marie
(photo recreation of incident)
Since Moses brought the tablets down from the mountain, lists have come in tens, not that we couldn't have done with several more commandments. Who says a year has Ten Best Films, anyway? Nobody but readers, editors, and most other movie critics. There was hell to pay last year when I published my list of Twenty Best. You'd have thought I belched at a funeral. So this year I have devoutly limited myself to exactly ten films.
His code name is Deep Vote. He reads the mind of the Academy. He will reveal to me the names of this year's nominees. Our annual rendezvous is in the Anime section of a small Blockbuster in an obscure Midwestern city. He pulls on latex gloves and uses a fingernail knife to slit open a fresh pack of 3X5 cards. He writes down his predictions.
TORONTO -- Mike Leigh is 65 years old and universally acclaimed as one of the leading British directors, although "Happy-Go-Lucky" is only his tenth theatrical feature sine 1971. There's a reason for that. He went another 17 years before making "High Hopes" in 1998, although he kept busy with BBC films and stage work. His problem was, he couldn't get financing to make a film without a screenplay, and he famously has two conditions to make a film: (1) No outside interference, and (2) the screenplay is devised in collaboration with the actors, after the project has started.
TORONTO, Ont.--Danny Boyle's "Slumdog Millionaire" hits the ground and never stops running. After its first press screening early Saturday morning, it became a leading contender for the all-important Audience Award, which is the closest thing the Toronto Film Festival has to a top prize. And an Oscar best picture nomination is a definite possibility.
Q: As you mention in your "Outguess Ebert" Oscars column, Jamie Foxx was actually the lead in "Collateral," but was nominated for best supporting actor. I can't help being reminded of Samuel L. Jackson getting a mere best supporting actor nomination for "Pulp Fiction" while John Travolta, who did not have a larger part, received a best actor nomination. I suppose with "Ray" it was impossible not to give the best actor nomination to Foxx. Is the mere presence of a white actor in a role of similar size enough to cause a black actor not to be nominated for best actor?Justin Young, Syracuse, N.Y.
Last year was the Year of the Hobbit at the Academy Awards. This year the academy will move away from the land of blockbusters and honor a film whose budget was less than the cost of the opening week's ads for just one-third of the "Rings" trilogy. Clint Eastwood's "Million Dollar Baby," which seemed to appear out of nowhere in mid-December, which had no pre-release publicity, which played no festivals and was screened for no focus groups, will win the Oscar as best picture.
Among the influential awards and honors we will be tracking here:
"The Aviator" leads with 11 nominations. Jamie Foxx was nominated in two categories. A little film named "Sideways" won five nominations, but one of them was not for its star, Paul Giamatti. "Finding Neverland" was the dark horse, in a tie with "Million Dollar Baby" with seven nominations apiece.
January 24, 2005: The nominees for the 77th Academy Awards were announced this morning, and the "The Aviator" received a leading 11 Academy Award nominations.
PARK CITY, Utah -- Sundance, which parties late, will be up early and groping for the coffee Tuesday morning to watch the announcement of the 77th annual Academy Awards.
TORONTO -- Moviegoers at this festival who have seen "Hotel Rwanda" talk about it in a hushed tone, and their eyes turn away as if remembering the images. (One person I know walked out of the theater and skipped her next movie and went back to her hotel room and cried.) Here is a film about a brave and good man, but it is also a howl of rage against the crimes of men against men.