Monday, October 10, 2016

'Gleason' 'OJ' and '13th' top list of Critics' Choice doc nominees

LOS ANGELES – The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA) have announced the nominees for the inaugural Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards. The winners will be presented their awards at a gala event on Thursday, Nov. 3, at BRIC, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“It is an amazing time for documentaries, with the ever-increasing number of platforms enabling producers to reach enthusiastic and growing audiences for non-fiction storytelling,” said BFCA and BTJA President Joey Berlin. 

“This is clearly demonstrated in the depth and quality of our inaugural nominees. We have a wealth of brilliant creators who are bringing to light some of the most entertaining and illuminating stories being told today.  Indeed, documentary filmmaking is modern investigative journalism. We look forward to celebrating all these fine and important achievements.”

Leading the nominees this year are "Gleason," "13th," and " 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America," with five noms each.  Critics’ Choice Documentary Awards Nominations include:  '

13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)
30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)
Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)
Fire at Sea (Kino Lorber/Stemal Entertainment/21 Unofilm/Cinecittà Luce/Rai Cinema/Les Films d'Ici/Arte France Cinéma)
Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)
Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)
Tickled (Magnolia/A Ticklish Tale/Fumes Production/Horseshoe Films)
Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna)
Weiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)
The Witness (FilmRise/Five More Minutes Productions)

Ezra Edelman – 30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)
Ron Howard – The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Hulu/Imagine Entertainment/Apple Corps)
Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)
Keith Maitland – Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna Film)
Clay Tweel – Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)
Roger Ross Williams – Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)

Otto Bell  The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)
David Farrier and Dylan Reeve –  Tickled (Magnolia/A Ticklish Tale/Fumes Production/Horseshoe Films)
Adam Irving  Off the Rails (The Film Collaborative/Zipper Bros Films)
Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg  Weiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)
James D. Solomon  The Witness (FilmRise/Five More Minutes Productions)
Nanfu Wang  Hooligan Sparrow (The Film Collaborative/Little Horse Crossing the River)

13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)
30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)
Audrie & Daisy (Netflix/Actual Films)
Newtown (Abramorama/Mile 22/Independent Television Service)
Weiner (Sundance Selects/Motto Pictures/Edgeline Films)
Zero Days (Magnolia/Jigsaw Productions/Participant Media)

13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)
30 For 30: Fantastic Lies (ESPN)
Amanda Knox (Netflix/Plus Pictures)
Audrie & Daisy (Netflix/Actual Films)
Before the Flood (National Geographic/Appian Way/Insurgent Docs/RatPac Documentary Films)
Holy Hell (CNN/WRA Productions)
Into the Inferno (Netflix/Herzog-Film/Matter of Fact Media/Spring Films)
Jim: The James Foley Story (HBO/Kunhardt Films)
Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (HBO/Film Manufacturers/World of Wonder Productions)
Rats (Discovery Channel/Dakota Group/Submarine Entertainment/Warrior Poets)

Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato –  Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (HBO/Film Manufacturers/World of Wonder Productions)
Rod Blackhurst and Brian McGinn – Amanda Knox (Netflix/Plus Pictures)
Ava DuVernay – 13th (Netflix/Kandoo Films)
Werner Herzog – Into the Inferno (Netflix/Herzog-Film/Matter of Fact Media/Spring Films)
Morgan Spurlock – Rats (Discovery Channel/Dakota Group/Submarine Entertainment/Warrior Poets)
Fisher Stevens – Before the Flood (National Geographic/Appian Way/Insurgent Docs/RatPac Documentary Films)

Everything is Copy - Jacob Bernstein and Nick Hooker (HBO/Loveless)
Holy Hell - Will Allen (CNN/WRA Productions)
Mavis! - Jessica Edwards (HBO/Film First Co.)
My Beautiful Broken Brain - Sophie Robinson and Lotje Sodderland (Netflix)
Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four - Deborah Esquenazi (Investigation Discovery/Motto Pictures/Naked Edge Films)
Team Foxcatcher - Jon Greenhalgh (Netflix/Hattasan Productions/Madrose Productions)
30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)
The Circus: Inside the Greatest Political Show on Earth (Showtime/Left/Right)
The Eighties (CNN)
The Hunt (BBC America/Silverback Films/NDR Naturfilm)
Jackie Robinson (PBS/Florentine Films)
Soundbreaking: Stories From the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music (PBS/Higher Ground/Show of Force) 

            30 for 30 (ESPN)
Frontline (PBS)
Last Chance U (Netflix) 
Morgan Spurlock Inside Man (CNN) 
This Is Life with Lisa Ling (CNN)

“Angel by the Wings” – The Eagle Huntress – Written by Sia – Performed by Sia (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)
“The Empty Chair” – Jim: The James Foley Story – Written by Sting and J. Ralph – Performed by Sting (HBO/Kunhardt Films)
“Flicker” – Audrie & Daisy – Written by Tori Amos – Performed by Tori Amos (Netflix/Actual Films)
“Hoping and Healing” – Gleason – Written by Mike McCready – Performed by Mike McCready (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)
“I’m Still Here” – Miss Sharon Jones! – Written by Sharon Jones – Performed by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)
“Letters to the Free” – 13th – Written by Common, Karriem Riggins and Robert Glasper – Performed by Common featuring Bilal (Netflix/Kandoo Films)

30 For 30: Fantastic Lies (ESPN)
30 For 30: O.J.: Made in America (ESPN/Laylow Films)
Dark Horse (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Eagle Huntress (Sony Pictures Classics/Kissaki Films/Stacey Reiss Productions)
Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)
Jackie Robinson (PBS/Florentine Films)
Keepers of the Game (Tribeca Digital Studios/Flatbush Pictures)

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years (Hulu/Imagine Entertainment/Apple Corps)
Gimme Danger (Magnolia/Amazon)
Miss Sharon Jones! (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)
The Music of Strangers (Participant Media/Tremolo Productions)
Presenting Princess Shaw (Magnolia)
We Are X (Drafthouse Films)

Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)
Kate Plays Christine (Grasshopper Film/4th Row Films/Faliro House Productions/Prewar Cinema Productions)
Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)
Nuts (Amazon/mTuckman Media/Cartuna/Gland Power Films)
Tower (Kino Lorber/ITVS/Meredith Vieira Productions/GTS Films/Diana DiMenna Film
Under The Sun (Icarus Films/Vertov Studio/Saxonia Entertainment/Hypermarket Film)

As part of the gala awards ceremony the BFCA and BTJA also will be honoring this year’s Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary. Honorees are as follows:

Danny Fields - Danny Says (Magnolia/Outre Films)
Iggy Pop - Gimme Danger (Magnolia/Amazon)
Kirsten Johnson – Cameraperson (Janus Films/Fork Films/Big Mouth Productions)
Owen Suskind - Life, Animated (A&E IndieFilms/The Orchard/Motto Pictures/Roger Ross Williams Productions)
Sharon Jones - Miss Sharon Jones! (Cabin Creek Films/Starz Digital Media)
Steve Gleason – Gleason (Open Road/Amazon/Exhibit A)
Theo Padnos - Theo Who Lived (Zeitgeist Films)

Qualified members of BFCA and BTJA will choose the winners from among the nominees in voting through Nov. 1.

The BFCA is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300 television, radio and online critics. The BTJA is a partner organization to the BFCA and includes TV, radio and Internet journalists who cover television on a regular basis.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

BFCA, BJTA kick off awards season with 'Critics' Choice' show

A&E Network, home of the Critics’ Choice Awards for the past two years, today announced a significant shift in the year-end awards season calendar. The 22nd annual Critics’ Choice Awards show now will be the first to hand out important entertainment hardware as the initial major award show, honoring the best in film and television, when it airs live at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, immediately following “Critics’ Choice Red Carpet Live” on A&E at 7.

Comedian T.J. Miller will return as host of the star-studded three-hour show, celebrating the best in movies and television for the second consecutive year.

T.J. Miller returns to host this year's Critics Choice Awards on Dec. 11.
“The BFCA and BTJA are very excited about moving the Critics’ Choice Awards from the traditional mid-January date to Dec. 11,” said Joey Berlin, President of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. “This is the logical time for the show to be presented in the vanguard of the awards season.

"The role of critics is to assess new films and television shows and advise the public when they are initially released. So, this new date is actually the most appropriate time for our annual year-end assessment of the finest achievements in both media. Dec. 11 will be the first time all of the year’s major award contenders will be gathered together to celebrate the best of the best.”

Returning host Miller, a nationally touring stand-up comedian, stars in HBO’s Emmy and Critics’ Choice Award-winning series “Silicon Valley,” which will begin shooting its fourth season this fall. The series took home the award for “Best Comedy Series” at last year’s Critics’ Choice Television Awards, and Miller himself won Best Supporting Actor.

Miller also starred opposite Ryan Reynolds in this year's hit Marvel feature, “Deadpool,” and his voice can be heard on the big screen in the Academy Award-winning “Big Hero 6” and “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Previously, he appeared in a number of major studio films, including “Transformers 4,” “Cloverfield,” “She’s Out of My League,” “Extract,” “Seeking a Friend for End of the World,” “Our Idiot Brother,” “Yogi Bear 3D,” “Unstoppable,” and “Get Him to the Greek.” 

A&E Networks partnered with the BFCA and BTJA to become the exclusive home to the 2015 Critics' Choice Movie Awards” and Critics' Choice Television Awards.” That partnership continues through 2017, with the newly formatted three-hour ceremony that brings together both sets of accoladesand for years to come.

The BFCA is the largest film critics' organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 300 television, radio and online critics. BFCA members are the primary source of information for today's film-going public. BTJA is the collective voice of almost 100 journalists who regularly cover television for TV viewers, radio listeners and online audiences. Historically, the“Critics' Choice Awards” are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New 'Magnificent Seven' will open 41st Toronto Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival today announced that Antoine Fuqua’s "The Magnificent Seven" will open the 41st annual fest with its world premiere on the evening of Sept. 8.

The new "Magnificent Seven" rides into Toronto on Sept.8.
The remake of the legendary John Sturges western was among an initial batch of 68 films announced for this year's festival by Piers Handling, director and CEO of TIFF, and festival Artistic Director Cameron Bailey. “We are pleased to welcome acclaimed filmmaker Antoine Fuqua back to the Festival, and have been proud to present audiences previously with his feature films, including Training Day" and "The Equalizer,” Handling said. “Fuqua has delivered an exciting character-driven film on a grand scale, while putting his own unique spin on the genre making for a thrilling opening night.” 

Added Bailey: “Fuqua’s ability to effortlessly blend visceral action and the emotion of drama is what makes him such a compelling storyteller, and this film is no exception. With an incredible ensemble cast who deliver commanding performances, our audience is certainly in for a ride.”

Fuqua himself delivered a statement on screen before this morning's press gathering watched a trailer for his latest film, which stars Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Vincent D’Onofrio, Byung-Hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Martin Sensmeier, Haley Bennett, and Peter Sarsgaard.

"This will be my third time bringing a film to Toronto," Fuqua said, "and having 'The Magnificent Seven' selected as the opening night film is a true honor, I can’t think of a better place, or a better crowd, for the film’s world premiere.” 

Fuqua's modern vision of the 1960 to a classic has the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Sarsgaard), before the desperate townspeople, led by Emma Cullen (Bennett), employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers, and hired guns — Sam Chisolm (Washington), Josh Faraday (Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Hawke), Jack Horne (D'Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Lee), Vasquez (Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Sensmeier). 

As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money in the screenplay by Nic Pizzolatto and Richard Wenk.

"The Magnificent Seven" is presented by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures and Columbia Pictures, in association with LStar Capital and Village Roadshow Pictures. The 41st Toronto International Film Festival runs Sept. 8-18. Festival ticket package info is available online 24 hours a day and at 888-599-8433.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Wan conjures up nothing but solid gold, with 'Aquaman' next

LOS ANGELES  -- Director, producer and writer James Wan, whose latest film, "The Conjuring 2," debuts Friday, remains on a huge roll.
Not only is this nifty horror sequel almost as spine-tingling as the fresh original, but talented Aussie Wan also comes off helming "Furious 7," the $1 billion (worldwide) action flick that likely cemented his future in gold.
Still, during an interview last Saturday at the plush Four Seasons Hotel, the creator of the "Saw" and "Insidious" franchises admitted that he was glad to be back at his scary home.
" 'Furious 7' was an incredible experience for me," Wan begins. "It was the opportunity to go off and play on a huge canvas and take over a beloved franchise in front of the studio and producers who trusted me to not screw it up. With all the logistics and even the heartbreak (the Paul Walker tragedy occurred during filming) of that ride, it made me believe that I could tackle any movie because of the big budget, the movie stars and even those more unfortunate obstacles."
Wan comes back home with Farmiga and Wilson in "The Conjuring 2."
Maybe because of the personal pressures resulting from all of the above, though, Wan quickly jumped on another opportunity.
"Honestly," he says. "there was a big part of me emotionally that just wanted to go back and get a big hug. I just felt I needed to go off and do something for my soul, and the idea of going back to work with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson would do that.
"They're people I had so much fun with working on the first movie and, to be fair, everything I had done up to 'Furious 7' had been my own creation. I guess I didn't really appreciate the creative freedoms I had enjoyed previously.
"Besides, creating characters we care about is the most important thing, no matter what genre we're talking about," he continues. "I look at other filmmakers who I truly idolize and aspire to be like, particularly Steven Spielberg, who works in so many different genres, but yet all his characters become so dynamic in all those worlds."
Well, guess what? Wan next gets an opportunity to jump into a water world when he directs the long-talked-about but only imagined "Aquaman," as part of Warner Brothers' Justice League series of superhero films.
"The great thing about Aquaman," Wan says, "is how he's perceived as the butt of so many jokes. That actually gives me a lot of freedom to create a character that no one's really seen before. You know, it's harder when you're doing a story or movie about Spiderman or Superman or Batman, right? Everyone is so well-versed on them because there has been so much already done about them.
"But, no one's ever done a story about Aquaman," Wan concludes, "and that certainly makes it more interesting for me. I don't just want to make a superhero movie simply for the sake of making a superhero movie because there's just so many of them. The fact that it's never been done before makes it all the more exciting, at least for me."
For the record, "Aquaman," with Jason Momoa in the starring role, will debut in 2018. A side note: it's being co-written by Mansfield, Ohio's own David Leslie Johnson, the co-screenwriter on "The Conjuring 2."
(Read John's review of "The Conjuring 2" here.)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Amy Adams has a memorable scene for all the wrong reasons

LOS ANGELES -- It won't be giving away too much to mention that Lois Lane takes a bath -- kinda with Clark Kent -- in the new Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. After all, the movie's trailer briefly spilled the beans. Then, Amy Adams, the talented actress who has played the intrepid reporter/girlfriend since "Man of Steel," broke everyone up about it during a Friday press conference after someone asked cast members to name their most memorable sequence in the film.
Amy Adams relaxes in the arms of her man in "Superman v. Batman."
"I’m gonna go with the bathtub scene," Adams answered coyly while reporters, most of whom had seen the movie the night before, broke out in waves of laughter. 
"Hey, I’m just trying to lighten up the moment, but actually it was horrible for me," Adams continued. "I mean, here I was, trying to protect my modesty and unflattering bum while this demigod (Henry Cavill as Superman alter ego Kent) stood above me with his shirt off. 
"I had low self-esteem for two weeks after that. It's true; I really was like, ‘I’m hideous.’"
Certainly the lovely Adams has nothing to worry about, but she did come back to mention how much she legitimately enjoyed a much more quiet scene with Diane Lane, who reprises her role as Superman's stepmom, Martha Kent.
Lane, meanwhile, answered the original question by explaining that a certain screen moment she actually shared with Ben Affleck was the first scene filmed with the actor in full Batman mode.
"I'll never forget how fabulous Ben looked in all that regalia," she said.
On his end of the dais, Affleck thanked Lane for the kind words, as well as for her support in that early scene. "It was really nice to have Diane there -- a friendly face and a great actress -- to kind of comfort me," he said. "She looked at me as if to say, ‘It’s gonna be all right.’ I really appreciated that, Diane."  
Of course, ever the uh . . .  joker, Affleck also reminded everyone there how he first "discovered" the beauty of Lane in another movie, "Hollywoodland." Ironically, he starred in that one as "Superman" TV actor George Reeves, and Lane portrayed the married woman having an affair with him.
Look for more from John M. Urbancich about Superman v. Batman right now at and right here at

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Editing category may hold key to tonight's Best Picture

Will the "Spotlight" remain on the movie of the same name when the curtain comes down on tonight's 88th Academy Awards? Or will "The Revenant" run rampant, with "The Big Short" also coming up, er, well . . . short?

Less than 10 hours until showtime and any of those three, among eight Best Picture nominees, still could take home the big prize at the end of what looks to be another lengthy telecast on ABC-TV. Going in, "The Revenant," the much-lauded frontier epic, leads the mix with 12 nominations, and its director, Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, already has won the Oscar-potent Directors Guild of America Award.
"The Big Short," meanwhile, with its smart and funny take on the 2008 banking crisis, has another bellwether in its moneybag after walking off with last month's Producer's Guild Award.
Of course, in addition to earning the Best Feature statue at yesterday's Film Independent Spirit Awards, "Spotlight" owns the Screen Actors Guild's important Oustanding Ensemble Award, not to mention the "Critics' Choice" Best Picture tag from the usually spot-on BroadcastFilm Critics Association.
You can read what I think about the big category below, but the Oscar show itself might actually give away the winner early on when it reveals the victor for Best Achievement in Film Editing. 
In fact, Academy Award history probably dictates that "Spotlight" and "The Big Short," both nominated in that category along with "The Revenant," "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," actually might need an editing win to then emerge as Best Picture. 

That's because only one "Best Picture" in more than 60 years, "The Greatest Show on Earth" in 1953, has won the top prize with less than two other awards. And, unless there's a big upset in either the directing or acting categories, neither "Spotlight" nor "The Big Short" can count seriously on winning anything other than respective original and adapted screenplay awards. On the other hand, "The Revenant" certainly expects to win even more than the requisite three.
Right now, only those famous accountants at Pricewaterhouse Coopers have any answers but, until all is revealed, here are some thoughts on key races:
BEST ACTOR: Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”), Matt Damon (“The Martian”), Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”),
Michael Fassbender ("Steve Jobs”), Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”).
SHOULD WIN: DiCaprio's body took a beating as the put-upon mountain man, but his eyes spoke volumes, too.
WILL WIN: Finally, Leo gets the gold.

BEST ACTRESS: Cate Blanchett (“Carol”), Brie Larson (“Room”), Jennifer Lawrence, (“Joy”), Charlotte Rampling (“45 Years”), Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”).
SHOULD WIN: Too few voters actually saw the marvelous Rampling do wonders opposite Tom Courtenay. 
WILL WIN: Young Larson wins in a walk out of "Room."

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Christian Bale (“The Big Short”), Tom Hardy (“The Revenant”), Mark Ruffalo ("Spotlight”), Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”), Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”).
SHOULD WIN: Little-known British theatrical star Rylance enjoyed many terrific moments as a Russian operative.
WILL WIN: Stallone gets a kind of People's Choice Award for one last go-round as "Rocky," his most famous role.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”), Rooney Mara (“Carol”), Rachel McAdams (“Spotlight”), Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”), Kate Winslet  (“Steve Jobs”).
SHOULD WIN: Vikander steals the picture from the actor-nominated Eddie Redmayne.
WILL WIN: Only Winslet might stand in the way, but it looks like a well-deserved Vikander victory.

BEST DIRECTOR: Adam McKay ("The Big Short”), George Miller ( “Mad Max: Fury Road”), Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revenant”), Lenny Abrahamson (“Room”), Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”).
SHOULD WIN: Inarritu certainly helmed one beautifully crafted epic.
WILL WIN: Inarritu, unless there's some reluctance to give it to the same winner again. (He won last year for "Birdman.")

BEST PICTURE: “The Big Short,” “Bridge of Spies,” “Brooklyn,”  “Mad Max: Fury Road,” “The Martian,” “The Revenant,”  “Room,” "Spotlight."
SHOULD WIN: "Spotlight" tells of shocking crimes with a scintillating take on the kind of investigative journalism you can't read much anymore.
WILL WIN: Regardless, "The Revenant" looks like the bear to beat.

BEST ANIMATED FILM: "Anomalisa,” “Boy and the World,” “Inside Out,” Shaun the Sheep Movie," “When Marnie Was There”
SHOULD WIN: "Inside Out," the best animated film in years.
WILL WIN: "Inside Out" emerges from the finest animated field in years.

The rest of the probable winners:

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy ("Spotlight"); BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay ("The Big Short"); BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:  Emmanuel Lubezki (“The Revenant”); BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: "Son of Saul"; BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: "Amy"; FILM EDITING: "Mad Max: Fury Road”; MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: “Mad Max: Fury Road”; BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Ennio Morricone,"The Hateful Eight"; BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Till It Happens To You” (“The Hunting Ground”)

COSTUME DESIGN: Mad Max: Fury Road”; PRODUCTION DESIGN: “Mad Max: Fury Road”; VISUAL EFFECTS: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens";  SOUND EDITING: “The Revenant”; SOUND MIXING: “The Revenant”

BEST SHORTS: "Sanjay's Super Team" (Animated); "Body Team 12" (Documentary); "Ave Maria" (Live Action)

Happy viewing! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

'The Force Awakens' gets late nod for BFCA best picture

Daisy Ridley as the heroic Rey
The Broadcast Film Critics Association today announced that “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has earned a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Picture.  Winners will be revealed at the 21st annual Critics’ Choice Awards show on Jan. 17. It will be televised  live at 8 p.m. on A&E, Lifetime and LMN and hosted by T.J. Miller.  

The film was not screened for BFCA voters in time for the initial nominations balloting but, after members of the nation’s largest film critics group saw “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” last week, it was decided to hold a special referendum yesterday to determine if it would have been nominated if the BFCA membership had been able to consider it.
Harrison Ford as Han Solo -- again.

The exception was made for only the Best Picture
category. All other Critics’ Choice Award nominations remain as previously announced.

While making an amendment to the Critics’ Choice Awards nominations is highly unusual, having an 11th Best Picture nominee is not unprecedented. In 2000, “Cast Away” was similarly screened too late for normal consideration and the BFCA included it among 11 Best Picture nominees.

It is the purpose of the Critics’ Choice Awards to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement.  Making this exception to our rules serves this purpose. Historically, the “Critics' Choice Awards” are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

Click here to read John M. Urbancich's review of the film.