Thursday, April 4, 2013

Upcoming 2013 Awards Season Preview

     Now, I know it seems like we just put the 2012-2013 Awards Season to bed, but Sundance is behind us and Cannes is right around the corner (not to mention the release of To The Wonder and Before Midnight in the theaters).  With this in mind, I am left with no choice but to dive right into a new Awards Season and check out what 2013 has to offer us.  In this series I will also be revealing what films are on my viewing/reviewing itinerary for the coming year.  Please feel free with each upcoming installment to let me know which pictures I missed in the comments section.
     The Movie Frog's online coverage of the Oscar race only really got going full throttle about this time last year.  However, it was in 2009, when I saw Precious in the theater, that my love affair with Oscar in particular and the cinema in general was really rekindled.   I didn't know it at the time, but it was while I was carefully watching and predicting (to anyone who would sit still and listen) that year's race that The Movie Frog was first conceived.  In the meantime, I've seen four very different seasons come and go, and I've decided to honor each of those years (and this coming one, sort of) in one of five sections I'll be dividing this year's previews into.

Part One - Pulpy Players
     During 2009, Precious was my horse in the Oscar race (although I was quite satisfied with The Hurt Locker's win), but the year was most memorable as the greatest year for science fiction so far in the twenty-first century (maybe ever).  We were treated to five really good to great movies in the genre: District 9 (which also would have been a good choice for the Best Picture win), Avatar, Star Trek, Moon and (at least in my opinion) Splice.  But that was just the cream of a crop that included such high profile (and in many cases high-grossing) selections as 2012, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Terminator: Salvation, Pandorum, Surrogates and The Fourth Kind.  2013 is also stocked with a bumper crop of heavy hitting sci-fi possibilities.  In honor of 2009, the first bunch of 2013 selections will be called Pulpy Players and will cover an array of genres that often don't get the respect that they deserve from the Academy including science-fiction, action thrillers, mysteries, westerns and horror films.  In recent years this section would have covered the above mentioned 2009 films as well as The Lovely Bones, Shutter Island, The Book of Eli, Inception, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (English version), The Ghost Writer, Winter's Bone, The Town, Black Swan, True Grit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Hannah, Red State, Attack the Block, Drive, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Another Earth, The Cabin in the Woods, Looper, Killing Them Softly, The Impossible, Cloud Atlas, Skyfall and Django Unchained.

Part Two - Specialties That Might Spellbound
     2010 was certainly notable for having a great Best Picture line-up. I was personally rooting for Inception to win, but would have picked several of the other possibilities over Best Picture winner The King's Speech. The REALLY exceptional thing about 2010, however, was that it was The Year of the Documentary as films such as The Oath, The Lottery, Restrepo, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, Catfish, Gasland, Waiting For Superman, Inside Job, Waste Land, The Tillman Story, Precious Life, and especially Exit Through the Gift Shop popularized, expanded, and changed the genre like never before.  In honor of 2010, the second set of 2013 previews will be called Specialties That Might Spellbound and will include Documentaries, Foreign Language Films, and Animated Features.  Obviously, this category would have recently covered such films as the docs listed above, Up, The Fantastic Mr. Fox, Coraline, The Cove, Food, Inc. The White Ribbon, A Prophet, Il Divo, Madeo, the swedish versions of The Millenium Trilogy, How To Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, Mary and Max, Micmacs, Biutiful, White Material, Incendies, Undertow, In a Better World, Carlos, Chico and Rita, A Separation, Pina, Rango, Senna, Bullhead, 13 Assassins, Cave of Forgotten Dreams, The Skin I Live In, Certified Copy, The Adventures of Tin-Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn, 3, Nostalgia For the Light, We Were Here, Miss Bala, Arthur Christmas, Monsieur Lazhar, Project Nim, Footnote, A Cat in Paris, Undefeated, Marley, Jiro Dreams of Sushi, Oslo August 31rst, The Queen of Versailles, Wreck-It Ralph, How To Survive a Plague, Alps, Ai Wei-Wei: Never Sorry, Paranorman, Rust and Bone, Elena, Brave, Frankenweenie, Searching For Sugar Man, 5 Broken Cameras, The Kid With the Bike, A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman, Samsara, Holy Motors, Amour and A Simple Life, and A Royal Affair.

Part 3 - Little Pics That "Might Could"
     The thing that really set 2011 apart (besides the worst Best Picture line-up in recent memory) was that most of the best films were too little to even make Oscar's radar.  Even The Artist, which won Best Picture (my second choice for the win, after The Tree of Life), started out this way on the festival circuit.  That was just the tip of 2011's indie iceberg with films like Margin Call, 50/50, A Better Life, Beginners, Albert Nobbs, Take Shelter, Melancholia, Martha Marcy Mae Marlene, Tyrannosaur, Shame, In the Land of Blood and Honey, We Need To Talk About Kevin and Margaret all just beneath the surface.  In honor of 2011's nineties-like "Indie Spirit", the third set of 2013 previews will be call "Little Pics That 'Might Could'" and will cover all the potential under dog contenders particularly independant dramas and dramedies (its a word and genre now, live with it).  In other recent years it would have highlighted such movies as Precious, The Messenger, A Single Man, In the Loop, Crazy Heart, An Education, The Young Victoria, Please Give, The Kids Are Alright, Easy A, Buried, The King's Speech, Animal Kingdom, Blue Valentine, Another Year, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Sessions, Natural Selection, Sound of My Voice, Ruby Sparks, Arbitrage, Cosmopolis, Liberal Arts, Compliance, Keep the Lights On, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Celeste and Jesse Forever, Robot & Frank, Middle of Nowhere, and On the Road

Part 4 - The Usual Suspects
     2012 was perhaps the most unusual sort of film year of them all: one in which most of the obvious "Oscar-bait" type movies lived up to the hype.  This resulted in a year which had a fantastic Best Picture slate.  I was really rooting for Beasts of the Southern Wild, but wouldn't have been enraged by seeing any of them win.  Pictures in this vein that didn't disappoint (at least TOO much) included: Moonrise Kingdom, Life of Pi, Anna Karenina, Hope Springs, Lincoln, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Miserables, The Master and Silver Linings Playbook. In honor of 2012, part 4 of my 2013 preview will be titled "The Usual Suspects" and cover all the movies we EXPECT big things from sight unseen.  This will mostly include films with actors, writers and/or directors attached who are "always in the mix".  It is primarily the home turf of epics, dramas based on best sellers, costume dramas, and war films but exceptions are sometimes made if the director is big enough. Steven Spielberg could direct a porno and I'd probably cover it in this section.  Other recent films of note that would have appeared in this category include: Inglorious Basterds, A Serious Man, Up in the Air, Nine, 127 Hours, The Social Network, The American, The Fighter, Rabbit Hole, Jane Eyre, Midnight In Paris, The Ides of March, Moneyball, War Horse, The Descendants, Hugo, and Young Adult.

Part 5 - Because I Said So
     Who knows what 2013 will be?  At this point it is still a BIG question mark.  So in honor of 2013 I am closing out this series of posts with a group of films whose article will be titled "Because I Said So" which will basically cover everything that doesn't quite fit into the other categories.  This will include super-hero fare, comedies, fantasies not directed by Peter Jackson, and things too weird to categorize.  You know, the stuff the Academy REALLY ignores.  Films of this type that failed (almost or completely) to get their due in the past few years include: 500 Days of Summer, The Hangover (Part ONE), The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, Where the Wild Things Are, Sherlock Holmes, Ondine, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts One and Two, RED, Love and Other Drugs, The Help, Captain America, Bridesmaids, The Hunger Games, 21 Jump Street, The Dark Knight Rises, God Bless America, Snow White and the Huntsman, The Amazing Spider-Man, and Magic Mike.

     And that's basically that.  Look for Part 1 - Pulpy Players in a couple of days (after a few reviews) and look below for links to reviews of many of the numerous blasts from the past that I mentioned above.

  Related Articles: Upcoming 2012 Awards Season PreviewRise of the Planet of the Apes reviewAnother Young Project (Another Earth, Young Adult, and Project Nim reviews), The Cabin With the Goods (The Cabin in the Woods review), Killing Them Affordably (Killing Them Softly review), "Impossible"y Well CraftedArantino Explained (The T is Invisible) (Django Unchained review), Senna, Take 13 (Senna, 13 Assassins & Take Shelter reviews), Immortal Skin, Forgotten Dreams (The Skin I Live In & Cave of Forgotten Dreams reviews), Martha's Certified Method (Certified Method and Martha Marcy Mae Marlene reviews), Cloudy Connections (Cloud Atlas review), 23? You Don't Play Like a Sequel Over 2! (Skyfall review), 3 Future Adventures of Tin-Tin (Adventures of Tin-Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn & 3 reviews), 21 Chronicled Footnotes (Footnote and 21 Jump Street review), Restless Nostalgia is the Key (Nostalgia For the Light review), Pariah's Were Here On The Rampart (We Were Here, Pariah & Rampart reviews), We Need To Interrupt Miss Bala (Miss Bala and We Need To Talk About Kevin reviews), Monsieur Cat-Hunter (Monsieur Lazhar and A Cat In Paris reviews), Breaking the Undefeated Motors (Undefeated and Holy Motors reviews), Perks of Being Samsara's Impostor (Samsara & Perks of Being a Wallflower reviews), Promarlius Kingdom (Marley & Moonrise Kingdom reviews), Jiro Waltzes With Vampires (Jiro Dreams of Sushi review), Savage Men In Oslo (Oslo August 31rst review), Seeking the Queen Raven (The Queen of Versailles review), If It Ain't "Wrecked" (Wreck-It Ralph review), Surviving the Alps is a Rush (How To Survive a Plague & Alps reviews), Never Trouble With the Cosmopolitans (Ai Wei-Wei: Never Sorry and Cosmopolis reviews), The Perfect Para-Killer (Paranorman & Killer Joe reviews), Rent and Honed (Rust and Bone review), Elena's Brave Law (Elena and Brave reviews), To Rome, Sugarweenie! (Frankenweenie and Searching For Sugar Man reviews), The Kid With Broken Compliance (Compliance, The Kid With the Bike & 5 Broken Cameras reviews), Keep the Liars at the End of the Street (A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story on Monty Python's Graham Chapman and Keep the Lights On reviews), Above All, Like a Bullheaded Man (Bullhead review), Twist Until You Are Loopey (Looper review), To Royal Effect (A Royal Affair review), Beautiful Melancholy Conspirator (Melancholia review), Edgar, the Mysterious Tyrant (Tyrannosaur review), Innkeepers of Blood and Shame (Shame and In the Land of Blood and Honey), Being Margaret's Mirror (Margaret review), Best That the Summer Wields? (Beasts of the Southern Wild review), The Best Huntsman's Shadow (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Snow White and the Huntsman reviews), 360 Horse Selection (Natural Selection review), The Sound That Hope Sparks (Sound of My Voice, Ruby Sparks, and Hope Springs reviews), Henry's Invisible Arbitrage (Arbitrage review), The Great Zac Efron Film Festival of 2012 (Liberal Arts review), Hello, Celestial Robots (Celeste & Jesse Forever and Robot & Frank reviews), Fantasy "Life of Pi"? (Life of Pi review), Anna Conundruma (Anna Karenina review), "Lincoln" PerksCan You "Master" Your Nature?The Habit: A Much Expected Returning (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey review), Zeroing in On a Dark Decade (Zero Dark Thirty review), Les Mostlyables (Les Miserables review), Dark Clouds Beautify "Silver Linings"The Help reviewFeeding the Public Hunger (Hunger Games review), The Dark Knight TranscendsHaywire Gods Blessed Le Havre (God Bless America review), Where Did the Magic Spider Go? (Amazing Spider-Man and Magic Mike reviews)

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