news//AWARD SEASON CALENDAR 2014/2015

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The award season is here and the accolades start being given out just over a month from now!

Here's a handy guide to all of the dates you'll need to know for the 2014/15 awards season. As more dates get added, the list will be updated. You can also always find a quick reference guide located on AllTheHitsSoFar to the right, just under the Twitter feed.

OCTOBER

23 - Gotham Award nominations announced

30 - Britannia Awards, Beverly Hilton Hotel

NOVEMBER

3 - British Independent Film Awards nominations announced

15 - Governors Awards, Hollywood and Highland Center


25 - Independent Spirit Award nominations announced


DECEMBER


1 - Gotham Awards, Cipriani Wall Street


2 - National Board of Review voting and awards announced


7 - British Independent Film Awards, Old Billingsgate (London)


8 - American Film Institute Awards announced


10 - Screen Actors Guild nominations announced


11 - Golden Globe nominations announced


13 - European Film Awards, Riga (Latvia)


JANUARY


2 - ACE Eddie Awards nominations announced


5 - Producers Guild Awards nominations announced


6 - National Board of Review Awards Gala


7 - BAFTA Awards nominations announced

11 - Golden Globe Awards, Beverly Hilton Hotel

13 - Directors Guild Awards nominations announced

15 - 87th Academy Awards nominations announced

24 - Producers Guild Awards, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel

25 - Screen Actors Guild Awards, Shrine Exposition Center

30 - ACE Eddie Awards, Beverly Hilton Hotel

31 - Art Directors Guild Awards, Beverly Hilton Hotel

FEBRUARY

2 - Oscar Nominees Luncheon

7 - Directors Guild Awards, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel

8 - BAFTA Awards, Royal Opera House (London)

8 - Grammy Awards, Staples Center

14 - Writers Guild Awards, Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel

21 - Independent Spirit Awards, Santa Monica beach

22 - 87th Academy Awards, Dolby Theatre

predictions//87th ACADEMY AWARDS

 
The 2015 Oscar season is here and with it comes one of the biggest guessing games in the world. With the Toronto and Telluride film festivals behind us, the New York Film Festival ahead of us, and lots of Oscar buzz already floating around, this year looks to be just as exciting as last year. While there isn't a major player just yet, like last year's Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, there are a few films on the brink of frontrunner status.

Check back often as these predictions will be continuously updated. 

Make your voice heard in the comments section to let us know if we've forgotten a major player!
(Updated: September 16, 2014)

BEST PICTURE

Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
Fury
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
The Theory of Everything
Unbroken

POSSIBLE UPSETS: Big Eyes; Gone Girl; Interstellar

BEST DIRECTOR

Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman  
Angelina Jolie, Unbroken
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

POSSIBLE UPSETS: Christopher Nolan, Interstellar; David Fincher, Gone Girl; Tim Burton, Big Eyes


BEST ACTOR

Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Joaquin Phoenix, Inherent Vice
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
 
POSSIBLE UPSETS: Timothy Spall, Mr. Turner, Miles Teller, Whiplash; Ben Affleck, Gone Girl



BEST ACTRESS

Amy Adams, Big Eyes
Jessica Chastain, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

POSSIBLE UPSETS: Hilary Swank, The Homesman, Anna Kendrick, The Last Five Years

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Josh Brolin, Inherent Vice
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J. K. Simmons, Whiplash
Christoph Waltz, Big Eyes

POSSIBLE UPSETS: Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher; Ethan Hawke, Boyhood; Logan Lerman, Fury


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Emily Blunt, Into the Woods 
Anna Kendrick, Into the Woods
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods


POSSIBLE UPSETS: Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year; Carmen Ejogo, Selma; Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
 
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Big Eyes
Birdman
Boyhood
Interstellar
Mr. Turner

POSSIBLE UPSETS: Fury; Foxcatcher; A Most Violent Year 
 
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Gone Girl
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Unbroken

POSSIBLE UPSETS: Men, Women, & Children; Wild; Kill the Messenger 
 
BEST ANIMATED FILM

Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
Home
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Lego Movie

POSSIBLE UPSETS: The Book of Life; The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart


OTHER CATEGORIES WILL BE ADDED SOON!

review//THE CAPTIVE

Grade: D-

THE CAPTIVE
Directed by Atom Egoyan
Starring Ryan Reynolds, Mireille Enos, Rosario Dawson, Scott Speedman

The Captive has all of the right ingredients. Director Atom Egoyan is Oscar-nominated. Ryan Reynolds is in major need for a career resurrection and he offers some of his best work here. The cinematography by Paul Sarossy is bitter and cold. But, like the box of puzzle pieces in your grandmother's living room, there's a crucial ingredient missing. What should be a captivating drama is actually just a confusing, desperate mess.

Matthew and Tina are well-meaning parents. They work hard to provide a great life for their daughter, Cassandra. When Matthew leaves Cassandra in the truck while he goes inside their favorite food joint to grab a pie, Cassandra vanishes. Taking place in the bitter winter of North America, Matthew is left with zero clues, not even footprints in the snow. Of course, authorities question Matthew and work to eliminate him as a suspect. Years later Tina and Matthew experience a certain number of incidents that begin to unravel what really happened that day.

As Matthew, Reynolds chews each line as much as he can. While there is some genuinely great moments provided, it's scenes like the one when he can't take the authority's questions anymore and he breaks out into an physical outrage that shift this from a well-written mystery/drama to an over-dramatic piece of fluff. Rosario Dawson and Scott Speedman, as the detectives put on the case, fail even worse. Speedman, especially, has his drama face turned to the highest notch.

Beautifully shot, The Captive should be a film in the mix of an Oscar buzz conversation. It looks just right. There's the right temperament of  anguish. Even the cold, snowy, wintery setting serves as a character of sorts. But, as with many films of pedigree, even a movie that looks good at first has to be able to live up to the expectations. Despite impressive shots, the story isn't strong enough and relies too much on a forgiving audience. We've seen missing children movies before. We've seen fathers suffer with guilt for what has happened to their child. We've seen evildoers wrestle and struggle with their own upbringings and guilt for the actions they've done. All of these things were present in last year's Prisoners, a much better film.

When we get glimpses at the older, teenage Cassandra, locked into a cinder block bedroom full of little girl remnants like pink, frilly bedding and stuffed animals, director Egoyan seemingly jumps ship, allowing his film to follow an eye-rolling trail begging you, as the audience, to give in. Audiences are smarter than this movie allows.

The Captive isn't the worst movie of the year and isn't a complete waste of time. It is, however, the most disappointing movie of the year, so far. Reynolds, especially, deserves better material. He needs to be careful before he fades into John Cusack oblivion.

Rating: R
Runtime: 112 minutes

news//TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL NAMES 'THE IMITATION GAME' THE BEST PICTURE

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While it's not the first film festival of the year, or even the Oscar season, the Toronto International Film Festival is historically known as one of the best indicators of how the award season will shape up. The most prestigious prize from the fest is the People's Choice Award, the fest's version of a Best Picture. Festival goers "vote" by inserting their ticket stub into a box as they exit a film they liked or by voting online. In the years since TIFF began over 100 Oscar nominations have resulted from films honored at the end of the fest. Five of those have gone on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, including last year's winner of both 12 Years a Slave. Other winners of both include American Beauty, Chariots of Fire, and The King's Speech.

This year the honor was bestowed upon Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley. The WWII-era film follows Alan Turing (Cumberbatch), the British code-breaker who helped put an end to the war. The Weinstein Company will distribute the film in November. The film held its world premiere at the Telluride Film Festival just before hitting Toronto.

Here's a look at the rest of the fest's winners:

People's Choice Award: The Imitation Game
People's Choice Award, First Runner-up: Learning to Drive
People's Choice Award, Second Runner-up: St. Vincent
People's Choice Documentary Award: Beats of the Antonov
People's Choice Midnight Madness Award: What Do We Do in the Shadows
People's Choice Midnight Madness Award, First Runner-up: Tusk
NETPAC Award for World or International Asian Film Premiere: Margarita, with a Straw
FIPRESCI Jury Prize for Best Special Presentation Film: Time Out of Mind
FIPRESCI Critics Prize: May Allah Bless France!
Best Canadian Feature: Felix and Meria
Best Canadian First Feature: Bang Bang Baby
Best International Short Film: A Single Body
Best Canadian Short Film: The Weatherman and the Shadow Boxer

review//ARE YOU HERE

Grade: C-

ARE YOU HERE
Directed by Matthew Weiner
Starring Owen Wilson, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Poehler

The cast has an incredible roster of films under their belts, individually, but that doesn't necessarily mean magic. Somewhere in the story of Are You Here is probably a great tale of family, friendship, and growing up. Too bad director Matthew Weiner loses it all under the circumstance of having too many types of storytelling structures combined into one package.

Zach Galifianakis stars as Ben Baker, a manchild combination of every character the actor has become famous for playing. When Baker's father dies, he inherits an incredible fortune, including a nice slab of property. Baker is not the kind of person, mentally, you'd ever want to leave a fortune to. And he knows it. He's unstable and unwelcome to the attention and responsibility it would entail. Enter Owen Wilson's Steve Dallas, a womanizing, alcoholic, weather man who realizes he's ina bit of a financial emergency. Since he's Baker's best friend and the only person Baker trusts, Dallas crosses the line, attempting to convince Baker to take the inheritance and use it towards both of their advantages. Now enter Amy Poehler's Terri Coulter, Baker's uptight, business-savvy sister. She sees the wreck that Baker would be at managing property and millions of dollars, plus she, herself, would like more than the $100,000 left to her. The spitfire fight for the rights to the inheritance becomes the backdrop for a strange drama/comedy that ultimately leads to a mental, spiritual, and emotional awakening for all three.

The underlying study of family in adulthood and friendship beyond all measure would make for a great black comedy, especially with the comedic wit of those in the cast. The major problem is that, scene by scene, the ebb and flow of the film's feelings are about as unstable as Baker. A slapstick conversation or over-the-top interaction is immediately followed by a slow paced, introspective moment more befitting of August: Osage County. It's great when films find a way to successfully join the two genres. It makes the film more honest and real. Too bad the ingredients never mix too well here.

And just to set the record straight, the ones to blame aren't the actors. Poehler plays against type, being the prissy older sister to every level. She could've used a little more time to truly shine. Galifianakis shows why he's best playing the strange, weird family member. Wilson is the one who seems to be confused at what type of extreme to pay his character. The blame for that comes more from the structure and writing than anything else.

Are You Here is the kind of movie you catch on TV on the weekends. It's nothing spectacular, but you like the actors and the only other thing on is golf. There are some great moments and, luckily, nothing too standard, plus the actors are charming in their own special way. It won't be a complete waste of time to catch this while folding your laundry.

Rating: R
Runtime: 112 minutes