Monday, January 05, 2009

Producers Guild Nominations

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

exactly as I've been predicting for Best Picture since December 10th. I was hoping for something mildly surprising like WALL•E... or a shock addition since we're always hoping for the Oscars to be less than entirely predictable. But that's your shortlist. Full steam ahead to the Kodak.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Booooooooooring.

Anonymous said...

I've been pretty amazed how well Frost/Nixon has been doing in the precursers so far. It's a well made film, but there was no WOW factor to it!

Happy for Milk since I thought it might be left out, but it looks like it will grab a slot afterall.

Is it true that WALL*E was ineligible since they have an animated (GHETTO) category with no crossover allowed? Just what I've heard from other sources...

NATHANIEL R said...

wall-e is ineligible for DGA but i don't know about PGA

VS said...

I still think one of those wont be at the academy shortlist. And I think this one will be Frost/Nixon. Who will put this movie at # 1?????
I know the Academy is mostly made of old guys who remember the interview but still, no one will put it at number #1. I truly expect the Academy to throw a curveball.

VS said...

You got to be kiddin that WALL-E is ineligible for DGA? This is ridiculous!!!
The work of guys like Brad Bird, John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton is at no point diferent of the work of any live action director.

Bernardo said...

This is so boring...

I want excitement! I want last year when Juno, Atonement, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly and Into the Wild were all fighting for a spot.

mrripley said...

frost/nixon was ok but now the real interview tapes are on dvd theres a whole whats the point to the film even for langella.penn wins the oscar.

YH said...

Yeah, that's the final 5.

Yippee!/Yawn.

(But that's a strong lineup still.)

Ryan said...

I’m actually quite pleased. Would have been nice to see WALL-E knock FROST/NIXON out (they gave a freakin nod to “Shrek” in ’01) but at least MILK and DARK KNIGHT made the cut. In terms of Oscar, I’m fairly sure this is our Best Picture lineup.

The real question is, will there be a “lone director” or will Oscar’s Picture and Directing match 5 for 5? It’s a longshot, but I’m still thinking Aronofsky bumps Howard—just like Figgis did in ’95. Wishful thinking?

Anonymous said...

Nice, but bring on the BAFTAs!

mrripley said...

nat your main bugbear at the oscars is category fraud why then in 1991 did you put hopkins in lead when it's a supporting role with 18 mins of screen time,come on nat fess up!!!

Joe Reid said...

Okay, but PGA never matches up 5/5, right? So you figure something's gonna give.

mrripley said...

checked baftas website and frozen river is not in for the eligible films and perfs does that mean hawkins replaces her at the oscars.

Christine said...

This is the most boring award list contender's ever. There are a few movies I like okay, but all of the daring of last year seems to have vanished. What happened?

NATHANIEL R said...

mrripley -- as far as i'm concerned screentime is not the be all and end all of 'lead'

silence of the lambs is about the battle of wills between Hannibal & Clarice. They're both leads.

just like both frances mcdormand & william h macy are leads in FARGO (even though the academy said supporting on Macy and McDormand actually doesn't showup for quite awhile)

NATHANIEL R said...

joe --i think PGA didn't use to match up but like most precursors they've been working their way towards becoming "predictive" for awhile.

they used to be more moved by box office gross but only DARK KNIGHT is a big hit here (with slumdog & curious shaping up to eventually be)

i think gone are the days when they'll nominate something like my big fat greek wedding.

Rob said...

I guess 'Frost/ Nixon' will appeal to older voters. Those who loved Michael Clayton.

I always thought it was safe. At least there are no rotten eggs here.

I can cope with these. I guess we have to look for our drama in the acting catergories on 22 Jan !

Rick said...

I don't think the movies this year have been all that great.. I have been disappointed in most that I have seen..

Seen all but "The Wrestler" and "CCOBB"

Glenn said...

This year reminds me of 2006, actually when I was surprised by how well Capote get doing and thought "it can't make the Oscar final five, can it" and then voila.

Also, that year had 5/5 match between Picture and Director, which looks likely again this year. Both years have a queer-centric film, a multi-lingual time-fractured movie and... well, I don't know how The Dark Knight and Letters from Iwo Jima fit. They both made it in despite great odds?

Sally Belle said...

The Dark Knight...really.

Well that is a depressing state of affairs in my book.

BBats said...

I'm way behind on movies but im seeing doubt and benny button soon at some free screenings but I haven't seen milk or RGM or Let the right one in cause I'm broke and cheap.

mrripley said...

what suits nat!!

David Giancarlo said...

Epic fail. With the exception of Milk, I guess.

Anonymous said...

if it's nothing to do with screen time why the fuss over winslet this year blanchett,mcavoy etc in the past.

Douglas Racso said...

i still think that wall-e has a solid fanbase and could still sneak in beating out the dark knight and nolan will get the lone director spot.

or was that too much of a wishful thinking?

changetheworld360 said...

Wow, so predictable. Anyone think this could potentially repeat with DGA (Fincher, Boyle, Van Sant, Nolan, Howard)? Based on previous years, I think no, but something tells me it might, unless DGA wants to throw a surprise at us.

NATHANIEL R said...

mrripley ... I think i am pretty committed (at least a helluva lot more committed than most) to my standards in the lead/supporting division. it's not about "what suits me" believe me. it broke my heart not to nominate Jake Gyllenhaal for Brokeback Mountain but he was not a f***ing supporting actor.

my standards have remained the same:

1. if you are the main protagonist you are the lead.

2. If the film is primarly ABOUT the relationship between two people, rather than about one of those two people, both are leads. For example: There are extremely few romantic dramas/comedies or buddy comedies for example that don't have two leads.

GRAY AREAS
ensembles...
films with 3 to 4 equal size "leading" roles can usually be interpreted in different ways

i'm totally ok with gray areas going different ways in terms of campaigning. in those cases i just call it like i see it.

but no interpretation of THE READER that I can see allows Kate Winslet to be a supporting character. Because even though michael berg is the protagonist his entire journey is about her. In other words it's just like a romantic drama abotu the relationship between two people so both are leads. the only reason the reader is confusing at all is that two actors play one part. but that's not even kate's part. she's LEAD.

i assume with mcavoy and blanchett you're referring to LAST KING and NOTES. in both cases those were clearly two lead films... the only reason anyone is claiming that they weren't is they like to nominate people if they like the performance and they will find a way to nominate it if the performance isn't deemed strong enough to get a double nom in the lead category.

the easiest way to look at this is to just think of old movies.

No sane person would ever claim that BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID, SLEUTH, THE TURNING POINT or THELMA & LOUISE didn't have two leads. Nobody would claim this.

unless these same exact movies came out now.

... it is only the modern circus of Oscar campaigning that has distorted people's views about what supporting characters are.

NATHANIEL R said...

changetheworld i assume that's the dga lineup too. because Stanton can't be nominated there and also because the DGA predicts Oscar's best picture more accurately than it predicts Oscar's best director ... so it'd be kind of surprising to see someone other than those 5 nominated.

NicksFlickPicks said...

Well, swapping Dark Knight and Milk for Reader and Revolutionary Road at least goes a long way toward improving the Golden Globes (Drama) lineup. But I still think this is a pretty smelly list, and I still think WALL•E's in on Oscar's ballot.

dead man/flowers said...

All these precursors are doing is throwing you people off track. Here comes the surprise attack of In Bruges. The Dark Knight's legitimate surfacing has already begun.

Kent said...

I think WALL-E can be the spoiler for THE DARK KNIGHT. Anyone see it coming? If Best Director doesn't match 5/5 with Best Picture this year, it's because of WALL-E taking THE DARK KNIGHT's slot.

Bernardo said...

I respect Nat so much in his attacks on catgeory fraud. I've eprsonally given my award to James McAvoy as lead for Last King of Scotland and nominated the three The Hours ladies in Lead. However, most of the times I often just follow the category placements of the studios because it's easier for me and I don't have to go on all sorts of moral dilemmas. (However, I still feel wrong about claiming Jake Gyllenhaal and Casey Affleck as the best supporting actors in 2005 and 2007 respectively...)

Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, I agree with you on that leading/supporting point, but screentime is very important too. Just imagine The Reader were faithful to the book - Michael Berg's journey would still be about HER, but you wouldn't see Hanna very often. It'd be like, let's say, Apocalypse Now.

Think about The Constant Gardener - I still think Weisz's part is a leading one, but cut three scenes and she disappears...

- cal roth

adam k. said...

I also think WALL•E could still sneak in... not in DGA but in Oscar best pic. The odds are against it, but it's film #6 in a distinctly 6-film race. And I think it'll get more #1 votes than some of the top 5. I actually think it could replace Frost/Nixon, Dark Knight OR Milk. Any of them. Or none. I'm actually starting to think the most vulnerable is Milk. I think it's a distinct possibility that it could end up the snubbed critical favorite of the year, and Gus Van Sant could be the lone director.

Re: category fraud... it's only the most egregious examples that really burn me. I can sort of excuse the cases like Cate Blanchett, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rachel Weisz, Kate Winslet, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, etc. in which the films are about two people BUT more about the other (lead) person... if you had to choose. Then there's at least some rationalization. You're saying the other lead is the lead because it's about how this supporting character affects THEM. I don't really support this kind of borderline fraud, but at least it's not flat-out foolish and embarrassing... it's just opportunistic.

But the James McAvoys, Anne Hathaways, Dev Patels, and Jamie Foxxes of the world... those really burn me. It's just plain wrong. How can you say they're supporting with a straight face? They are the PROTAGONISTS of their films. They're in like every scene. It's not just just a lead, but THE lead. It would be like saying Christian Bale is a supporting actor in The Dark Knight because his character's not as interesting as The Joker. Ugh.

It's SO beyond the pale. Those actors should just flat-out reject the campaigns and say "no, that's stupid, I want no part of that." I realize it's hard to pass up free award nominations, but come on. It just makes you look either totally stupid or totally craven. Ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I'm perfectly fine with Dev Patel's supporting placement. The argument's been made that the three actors playing one character are all supporting each other in the ensemble, and either way, I'm not losing any sleep over that supporting push or the others. The voters accept it, and it's their award to bestow, not ours. Call it rationalization, but that's the way I've always viewed the situation.

And for me, "Frost/Nixon" was a hell of a lot better than "Doubt" was. I'm fine with the BP possibilities of the film, and these voters are more likely to go for that than to make the risk of picking "Wall-E."

Towelie said...

I don't consider Dev Patel a category fraud. He could go both ways. The first half of the film he barely speaks. OK, he's the most important one, appearing in every scene of the 2nd half, but I've seen worse frauds than this.

I'm totally for Wall-E to take The Dark Overhyped Knight's place.

Glenn said...

Yeah, somebody needs to pull a Katherine Heigl and refuse consideration on grounds that they think their performance is being pigeonholed into the wrong category and that they wouldn't want to take a spot away from somebody who actually IS a supporting player.

"And I think it'll get more #1 votes than some of the top 5."

I'm so sick of this #1 votes thing. Why would this phenomenon stop Frost/Nixon when movies like Seabiscuit, Chocolat and The Green Mile have stamped their place in history as Best Picture nominees despite nobody seemingly ever - even in their respective years - clamouring to hail them as the best films of their year and I can't imagine many people thought long and hard about putting The Cidar House Rules as their #1 movie and yet there it is. Honestly.

RC said...

pga was super predictable this year, eh?

i thought they might throw in something like doubt...i guess not.

adam k. said...

"pull a Katherine Heigl"... Hee. And who better to do it than Katherine Heigl herself?

Katherine Heigl for Best Supporting Actress in 27 Dresses! Let's start a push, and see if she'll bite. Although knowing her and her tendency to bitch only after she's benefited from said situation, she may just wait until she was nominated and then go, "you know, my part's really not supporting at all... it's kind of ridiculous that I got nominated in this category over some great supporting actresses... the system is so messed up". Way to rub it in.

And yeah, Glenn, you have a point about how there've been so many uninspiring choices made in recent years. I think the truth is that there just really are THAT many people who love those movies.

I still have a feeling WALL•E could surprise. But I'm starting to think Frost/Nixon would not be the one to fall.

mrripley said...

the lead support is v odd i always felt blanchett was lead in the aviator ditto mario bello in a hisory of vilolence same in 77 redgrave was co lead with fonda in julia.

The Know Nothing Know It All said...

I agree that gone are the days when they would have the balls to nominate two people from the same film in the same lead acting category. If "Terms of Endearment" had been released today, Debra Winger's role would have been in supporting and they both would have won.

Pablete said...

I will be very happy if "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", "Slumdog Millionaire" and "Frost/Nixon" are not missed at the Oscars.

"The Dark Knight" might deserve the Producers' award more than the others, but I would not like to see it getting in the Academy's Best Picture selection.

Pablete said...

I think "Australia", among many other movies, is not being hailed as these movies because a woman (the splendid Nicole Kidman), who does not need any kind of introductions) leads the cast list.

This award season started looking like 2002's, and it is heading to an extremely similar race to that of the last three years.

What would we, men, do without women? Should it be reflected in movies? Thank Heaven for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "Slumdog Millionaire" that seem to relate to this idea in such an eloquent manner.