Spirit Award Nominations

For the films of 2013
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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Sabin » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:49 pm

My favorite edited film this year was Frances Ha, but Upstream Color is a very good choice. I would also give Best Feature to either Inside Llewyn Davis or Frances Ha.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:13 am

OscarGuy wrote:Your votes match mine almost exactly. I voted Short Term 12 for Best Editing and I cannot recall what I voted for in Documentary or Foreign Film.


Best Editing was HARD, mostly because the nominators came up with a very un-Oscar like field that had very little correlation to the Best Picture lineup. If 12 Years a Slave, Inside Llewyn Davis, or Nebraska had been cited in that race, my enthusiasm for those movies might have made this choice a little easier.

It's not that the actual editing nominees were actively bad or anything, but they were very curious. I liked a lot about Short Term 12 and Frances Ha, but I found it pretty odd that both were cited here, when so many more notable elements of those films (Short Term 12's direction and script, Frances Ha's direction, actress, script, and cinematography) were overlooked; I didn't think either movie was really an editing knockout. The assembly of images in Museum Hours seemed to be part of what made it such a unique thing, but films this slowly paced don't tend to get recognition for their editing. And Una Noche had some jazzy rhythms, but they did feel part of a style that seems pretty standard for material like this.

I considered all of these movies, but in the end, I went with Upstream Color, a movie I actually didn't like very much, but one that felt undeniably crafted in the editing room -- the kaleidoscopic juxtaposition of images gives the movie an utterly entrancing sense of flow, and that was enough in this field to get my vote.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby OscarGuy » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:30 am

Your votes match mine almost exactly. I voted Short Term 12 for Best Editing and I cannot recall what I voted for in Documentary or Foreign Film.
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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:01 pm

I submitted my ballot today. I have to say, it was exciting to vote for awards that actually mean a great deal to people, but I will also say that it was challenging as well. There were some categories where I really debated over which nominee to choose, whether because of enthusiasm for multiple candidates (Foreign Film & Cinematography), or lack thereof (Editing). But, at the end of the day, you have to cast a ballot and you only get one choice in each category, and so I did my best. And while obviously anyone could take issue with my selections (including me, if I have buyer's remorse by next weekend), I gave everyone a fair shot -- I saw every nominee and I thought long and hard about who I chose and why.

I also wanted to share a bit about the experience of seeing these films as a voter, because it was NOT easy to get to all of them. For starters, the DVD screeners didn't go out until the end of January, which gave voters just over a month to get through them. (I find this incredibly bizarre given that the nominations came out at the BEGINNING of awards season). Furthermore, the studios only sent us screeners for 14 of the nominated movies. Now, many of the big Oscar candidates we didn't get I had already seen, either in regular release or Film Independent preview screenings. But the smaller titles weren't so readily available. Many of those weren't released on DVD until the last couple weeks or so, so I had a bit of a mad dash to make sure I was scheduling my Netflix queue so I'd get all of them in time. And there were several titles that had left theaters but would NOT arrive on DVD before voting. Luckily, Film Independent had screenings of all the nominated films, but here's the tricky part -- there was only ONE for each movie, so you have to make sure to schedule your life accordingly to make it to that one screening for those films you HAVE to see that way. And it's not as if those screenings were the easiest to get to either, whether because of timing (9:45 PM on a work night?!), cost (the screenings are free, but the only available parking in downtown LA isn't cheap, especially if you have to stay for more than one movie), or outside circumstances (Film Independent scheduled a full day of screenings on Grammy Sunday at the theater right next door to the awards!) My conclusion based on all this -- I bet a lot of people cast ballots without having seen all of the nominees in each category, just because you REALLY have to be devoted to do so.

Anyway, here's my ballot. I acknowledge it's not the most idiosyncratic, but I tried to look at each category individually and pick the work I thought was the best. And this is what I got:

BEST FEATURE
12 Years a Slave

BEST DIRECTOR
Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

BEST SCREENPLAY
John Ridley, 12 Years a Slave

BEST FIRST FEATURE
Fruitvale Station

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Bob Nelson, Nebraska

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

BEST MALE LEAD
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Bruno Delbonnel, Inside Llewyn Davis

BEST EDITING
David Lowery & Shane Carruth, Upstream Color

BEST DOCUMENTARY
The Act of Killing

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
Blue is the Warmest Color

I learned when I voted that the John Cassavetes Award wasn't voted on by the general membership, so I didn't get to cast a vote in that race. But I had seen all of the nominees and I would have gone for Museum Hours if I had had the chance.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby ITALIANO » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:31 pm

flipp525 wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:I mean - can I be honest? There's all this talk about James Gandolfini, and what a great career he had, and how even the Academy could honor him with a posthumous nomination (something which happens very rarely), and my only, humble question is... Who on Earth is James Gandolfini?! It's true that I don't see ANY American movie, but still I see many movies, and I only vaguely remember a James Gandolfini in a bad movie with Brad Pitt years ago. Ok, maybe I just see the wrong movies, but if JAMES GANDOLFINI had a great careeer, then Jean-Louis Trintignant should have won ten Oscars.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby flipp525 » Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:26 pm

ITALIANO wrote:I mean - can I be honest? There's all this talk about James Gandolfini, and what a great career he had, and how even the Academy could honor him with a posthumous nomination (something which happens very rarely), and my only, humble question is... Who on Earth is James Gandolfini?! It's true that I don't see ANY American movie, but still I see many movies, and I only vaguely remember a James Gandolfini in a bad movie with Brad Pitt years ago. Ok, maybe I just see the wrong movies, but if JAMES GANDOLFINI had a great careeer, then Jean-Louis Trintignant should have won ten Oscars.

Have you ever heard of Google or Wikipedia? Look him up if you're not familiar with his oeuvre.
Last edited by flipp525 on Thu Dec 05, 2013 1:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Nov 28, 2013 6:03 am

I've never considered the Spirit Awards much of an Oscar precursor. The nominations tend to be an uneasy mix of Oscar bound films and little movies that won't get anywhere near the Oscars. Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just not much of an indicator of how the Academy will vote.

Given the expanded ten film field Oscar now has to play with, four of the five Spirit Award nominees for Best Picture - All Is Lost; Inside Llewyn Davis; Nebraska and 12 Years a Slave, which would easily make the cut in a five film slate, will likely feel the warmth of Oscar's embrace if not in Best Picture, certainly in other categories, but that was true before these nominations were announced. Only Frances Ha is a true likely Oscar outsider. The other categories, however, come short as Oscar bellweathers.

Best Director has two likely contenders in McQueen and Payne. Best Screenplay has three in Before Midnight; Blue Jasmine and 12 Years a Slave. The acting awards favor likely Oscar bound men more than women. Among male actors, six of them, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Robert Redford, Bruce Dern, Michael McConnaughey, Jared Leto and Michael Fassbender are prime Oscar front-runners. Only two of their female counterparts, Cate Blanchett and Lupita Nyong'o are in the same category although both Sally Hawkins and June Squibb are also strong contenders.

As to the brouhaha over James Gandolfini, I really don't see Oscar jumping on board, although stranger things have happened. While it's true that the best writing and acting in America in recent years has been on TV, there's still an invisible wall between film actors and TV actors that is difficult to breach for actors who make it big on TV. Genuine movie stars like Meryl Streep, Glenn Close, Helen Mirren, William Hurt and Al Pacino can go back and forth between the two mediums with impunity, but Claire Danes, Bryan Cranston, Jon Hamm and other beloved TV stars can't do the same. Gandolfini could possibly nab a nomination from SAG where the membership is heavily comprised of actors more likely to get their next job on TV than in the movies, but the Academy is likely to maintain its distance from a TV actor, recently departed or not, starring in a little movie opposite another TV star lacking box office clout.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby ITALIANO » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:32 pm

mlrg wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:
mlrg wrote: :D sure there are. And I can proudly say that my country is the only one in Europe were everything is subtitled and nothing is dubbed (but that's a whole different conversation)


Yes, it doesn't have much to do with James Gandolfini... But most impotrtantly, Portugal is a wonderful country and can be proud of so much more than just this (which I wouldn't be proud of by the way).


After being in Italy three times, your country is my favourite in Europe and Rome my favourite european capital


Thanks. Lisbon is dear to my heart for many reasons, including a torrid love affair I had there for one unforgettable year. And it's a very beautiful city of course.

I will visit Porto soon for the first time. I hope it's also a beautiful place.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby mlrg » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:28 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
mlrg wrote: :D sure there are. And I can proudly say that my country is the only one in Europe were everything is subtitled and nothing is dubbed (but that's a whole different conversation)


Yes, it doesn't have much to do with James Gandolfini... But most impotrtantly, Portugal is a wonderful country and can be proud of so much more than just this (which I wouldn't be proud of by the way).


After being in Italy three times, your country is my favourite in Europe and Rome my favourite european capital

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby ITALIANO » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:21 pm

The Original BJ wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:And - humbly but even more strongly now that I see that the majority here thinks like this - I repeat: I refuse to think that an actor who has never made ONE memorable movie in his life is suddenly due for an important film award for his career ON TV.


The majority here are not making this argument. In fact, not one person here has made this argument.



Ah ok. Good to know. I felt some defensiveness but I was probably wrong.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby The Original BJ » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:18 pm

ITALIANO wrote:And - humbly but even more strongly now that I see that the majority here thinks like this - I repeat: I refuse to think that an actor who has never made ONE memorable movie in his life is suddenly due for an important film award for his career ON TV.


The majority here are not making this argument. In fact, not one person here has made this argument.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby ITALIANO » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:15 pm

mlrg wrote: :D sure there are. And I can proudly say that my country is the only one in Europe were everything is subtitled and nothing is dubbed (but that's a whole different conversation)


Yes, it doesn't have much to do with James Gandolfini... But most impotrtantly, Portugal is a wonderful country and can be proud of so much more than just this (which I wouldn't be proud of by the way).

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby mlrg » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:08 pm

ITALIANO wrote:
mlrg wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:Ok, I was just asking... Now I know that he had a recurring role in a successful TV series (which I've never heard of, and like me, I'm sure, several other Europeans).


just a quick note to say that The Sopranos was a major hit in Portugal and is considered here probably the best american TV series ever



Well, ok... There are other countries in Europe though...


:D sure there are. And I can proudly say that my country is the only one in Europe were everything is subtitled and nothing is dubbed (but that's a whole different conversation)

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby ITALIANO » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:02 pm

The Original BJ wrote:I would agree that there is very much about popular culture (especially American pop culture) that is horrible.


Italian pop culture right now is even worse.

As for the Oscars, it's true that I find them often frustrating - but masochism is a form of pleasure I'm afraid, and pleasure is something very personal. Plus, the Oscars have sometimes - especially in the past - gone to movies which, in the context of American cinema, WERE works of art. It happens less often today, maybe, but that's because American cinema isn't as good as it used to be - still, MY personal standards are always the same, they wouldn't change even if Sandra Bullock wins a second prize next year.And it's according to my personal standards that I judge performances, movies, cultural issues, etc. Which is what we all do here, by the way - when we make predictions, we try to think like the Academy does, but otherwise it's our our own judgements and ideas and tastes that we express.

And - humbly but even more strongly now that I see that the majority here thinks like this - I repeat: I refuse to think that an actor who has never made ONE memorable movie in his life is suddenly due for an important film award for his career ON TV. If he's been great in this last movie, good, give him an Oscar then. I'll be glad. But James Gandolfini IS NOT an Oscar-worthy actor.

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Re: Spirit Award Nominations

Postby ITALIANO » Wed Nov 27, 2013 2:33 pm

mlrg wrote:
ITALIANO wrote:Ok, I was just asking... Now I know that he had a recurring role in a successful TV series (which I've never heard of, and like me, I'm sure, several other Europeans).


just a quick note to say that The Sopranos was a major hit in Portugal and is considered here probably the best american TV series ever



Well, ok... There are other countries in Europe though...


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