For decades, Daniel Day-Lewis has been one of Hollywood’s most widely respected working actors — and with this weekend’s Phantom Thread, he’s taking what he says will be his final bow, bringing an end to a remarkable career that includes some of the best-reviewed movies of the last quarter century. In honor of it all, we’re dedicating this feature to a fond look back at some of his brightest critical highlights while inviting you to create your own rankings. It’s time for Total Recall!
This week, Chadwick Boseman stars in Marshall, a new drama chronicling an early case in the career of Thurgood Marshall, the man who would become the first African-American US Supreme Court Justice and preside over several milestone cases, including Brown v. Board of Education. To mark the occasion, we’ve put together a list of 10 more films about Americans whose monumental accomplishments and lasting legacies have impacted the country in immeasurable ways.
(Photo by Britta Campion/Newspix/Getty Images)
Former American Congressman, Senator, and Vice President Al Gore has been involved in environmental issues since the beginning of his career, working on pro-environment legislation, founding environmental advocacy groups, and even organizing benefit concerts. A little over a decade ago, his campaign to educate the public about global warming was the center of Davis Guggenheim’s documentary An Inconvenient Truth, which went on to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature (and, incidentally, Best Original Song).
This week, Al Gore returns to theaters in An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, an examination of the progress made since the first film and a profile of Gore’s continuing efforts to enact effective measures against climate change. To celebrate the release, and in an effort to get more young people invested in the planet’s future, the film partnered with Snapchat to offer two free tickets to Snapchat users under the age of 18. Having originally seen the film at Sundance this year, RT’s own Grae Drake met with Al Gore earlier this week to chat about the film, and he gave us his Five Favorite Films that are both educational and entertaining. Read on for the full list.
The subprime mortgage issue triggered the credit crisis, which in turn caused the Great Recession. And yet, it was so complicated that I would not be surprised if quite a few storytellers had despaired of their ability to elucidate it, but The Big Short did it so brilliantly and made it accessible and understandable, and in the process, inspired demands for reform. I thought it was extremely well done.
Next, I would pick Spotlight, because the tragedy it explained in very personal and compelling ways is one that also needs to be more widely understood. And in the process, it threw light also on the importance of high-quality investigative journalism.
Right. It almost seems like kind of an era long gone, in the majority of cases. Being an online journalist, I really admire those kinds of journalists.
Yeah, and you know the guy who ran that team subsequently has been chosen to be the editor of the Washington Post. And the Washington Post has now reinvigorated the incredibly intense competition between the Post and the New York Times that was a big factor in Watergate, and now it is needed again.
Choice number three may or may not surprise you, but I absolutely loved, loved, loved Hidden Figures. If I were a young African-American woman, I would ask the question: Why did I not know about this story before now? And even as a 69-year-old white male, I want to know why I didn’t know about that story. It’s so inspiring. It’s almost like a fact-checked Frank Capra movie for the 21st century, and really, really, really got me psyched up about it.
I loved the portrayal of John Glenn in the movie as well. I’m always so excited to see people who are in positions of power having such a deep respect for the people that helped them become who they are. I liked that portrayal of him, and I choose to believe that’s how he really was.
I had the privilege of serving with John Glenn in the United States Senate, and he was really like that. His wife, Annie, overcame a stuttering disability when she was young. He was really quite, quite something.
Next, I would cite Lincoln. And I have two connections to the movie, so that’s part of the reason I’m including it on the list. My college roommate Tommy Lee Jones did an amazing job in the movie.
So fascinated by that fact, by the way. I have tried to get him to talk about it, and he’s just cranky with me. He’s very discreet.
It’s hard for me to believe that Tommy Lee has been cranky with a journalist.
I’ve gotten nothing out of him. But he’s marvelous.
Oh, my gosh. He’s an actor’s actor. And it was a Participant movie. They were part of the producing group, and I’m pretty fond of Participant.
I hope that you will be understanding when I mention my fifth choice, which is An Inconvenient Truth. Davis Guggenheim justly received the Oscar for his work on that movie. He’s a great friend; I was with him last night. He’s so talented, and he did such a good job in that movie. Of course, I’m hopelessly biased in including that in the list, but I’m encouraged by how many positive comments people made about how it affected them.
Grae Drake for Rotten Tomatoes: When I saw An Inconvenient Sequel at Sundance, I was shocked at how many things from the first film have come true. When you were speaking to everyone after the show, there was, I felt, a real need for hope. Now that we’re six months past that, what’s your perspective right now? What can we do? Where are we now? Everyone who’s helping you — what’s their spirit like? Just give me some hope here.
Al Gore: There’s a law of physics that sometimes operates in politics: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The reaction to Donald Trump has included an amazing upsurge of activism, especially among progressive forces who are now organizing in a way that I haven’t seen since the Vietnam War.
You know the Indivisible group? They’re partnering with us during the launch of this movie. We are using the movie as a major organizing event to try to get people to go to the movie, to take others to the movie, to learn about the crisis and the solutions, and then use their voices to win the conversations on climate. That’s how social revolutions begin. To use their votes and their political activism to let candidates and office holders know that it’s really important to them, and that will bring the change we need. And then to use their choices in the marketplace; for example, by sending a signal to business that they want more responsible, climate-friendly products. I hope people will go to the website, inconvenientsequel.com, and buy advance tickets. It opens this Friday.
Did you hear what Snapchat did?
RT: No, tell me.
Gore: They just announced it today that anybody 18 or under who’s on Snapchat can go to their feed and get two free tickets to the movie.
RT: That’s great, because we need to feel what it’s like to support a cause.
Gore: Yeah. What a fun job you have.
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power opens today, July 21, in limited release.
From peacetime to frontlines, from coming home to left behind: Rotten Tomatoes presents the 100 best-reviewed war movies of all time, ranked by Adjusted Tomatometer with at least 20 reviews each.
For the entire month of November, dudes everywhere get a free “get out of social jail” card to grow mustaches however they please. We call it “Movember.” So guys, let your upper lip hair prickle forth in order to raise awareness of men’s health issues and… stick it to shaving cream lobbyists in Washington? Anyways, here’s our photo gallery of at least 30 mustaches for 30 days of Movember 2016.
At the ripe old age of 35, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is already a grizzled Hollywood veteran, having made his film debut nearly 25 years ago in the slobbery family comedy Beethoven. And he’s a busy guy, too — although this weekend’s Snowden marks his first trip to theaters in 2016, he also juggles a variety of responsibilities to his online collaborative HitRecord. Clearly, the time has come for us to take a fresh look at the critical highlights from Mr. Gordon-Levitt’s growing filmography, and you know what that means: It’s time for Total Recall!
He’s a preening lunkhead and she’s obsessed with romantic comedies, but as portrayed by Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Barbara Sugarman and Jon Martello are far from the empty cinematic stereotypes they might seem like on paper — and their story (written and helmed by Gordon-Levitt in his feature-length directing debut) has much more on its mind than your average boy-meets-girl picture. In fact, as many critics saw it, Don Jon managed to impart some thought-provoking messages about addiction, technology, and the difficulties of modern relationships while also providing an effortlessly entertaining showcase for its appealing young stars; the Boston Globe’s Ty Burr, for one, believed it accomplished the former so well that “R rating aside, it should be required viewing for every 15-year-old boy on the planet.”
Gordon-Levitt raised a lot of eyebrows with 2005’s Brick, but he started erasing memories of Third Rock from the Sun the year before, with this bleak drama from Doom Generation director Gregg Araki. A favorite on the festival circuit, Mysterious Skin delves into the harrowing aftermath of sexual abuse, following the struggles of two teen boys (Gordon-Levitt and Brady Corbet) to come to grips with the actions of an emotionally disturbed baseball coach (Bill Sage). Understandably not a huge box office draw, Skin was still appreciated by critics such as the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Steven Rea, who applauded what he saw as a film that “manages to deal with its raw, awful subject matter in ways that are both challenging and illuminating.”
Real-life daredevil Philippe Petit’s death-defying tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers made headlines in 1974 — and astonished viewers all over again when documentarian James Marsh offered an inside look at the story with his 2008 release Man on Wire. Sensing untapped cinematic potential in the tale, director Robert Zemeckis decided to dramatize it with 2015’s The Walk, casting Gordon-Levitt as Petit and bringing the latest and greatest IMAX 3D technology to bear on dazzling scenes depicting the stunt. That technical wizardry rightly received a ton of attention, but some of the film’s charms are decidedly old-fashioned: “Gordon-Levitt beguilingly captures Petit’s irresistible charisma,” wrote Calvin Wilson for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “in a performance that completes his transition from indie-film favorite to big-budget star.”
Yeah, you knew this one would be here. Gordon-Levitt was almost an afterthought in Inception, but that had everything to do with the fact that it was a Christopher Nolan joint, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and nothing to do with his own performance as Arthur, DiCaprio’s partner in high-tech corporate espionage. A rare opportunity for Gordon-Levitt to play with choreographed stunts, trippy special effects, and blockbuster expectations, Inception earned four Academy Awards against eight nominations — not to mention more than $825 million in box office receipts, as well as praise from critics like Amy Biancolli of the Houston Chronicle, who called it “only the latest indication that Christopher Nolan might be the slyest narrative tactician making movies today.”
Indie boy meets indie girl at their quirky office (a greeting card company, for goodness’ sake) and they start an adorably star-crossed relationship. It’s the kind of thing, at least in its bare outline form, that we’ve seen countless times before — so why was (500) Days of Summer such a hit with critics and audiences? Well, partly because it boasts a smarter, more sensible script than your average Hollywood romance — and partly because Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel had enough soulful chemistry to inspire the New Republic’s Christopher Orr to write that it “Captures with such immediacy the elation and anxiety of new love, the tingle and the terror, the profound sense that you have never been more alive and the occasional wish that you could die on the spot.”
A little like Memento without a riddle sitting in the middle of the plot, writer/director Scott Frank’s The Lookout revolves around a brain-damaged protagonist (Gordon-Levitt) haunted by a troubled past — and whose friends and/or enemies might not be everything they seem. As a former homecoming king whose shattered life has led him into a dead-end job that makes him a natural target for a gang of unscrupulous ne’er-do-wells, Levitt brought a melancholy heart to what might have been a fairly ordinary heist flick; as Jack Mathews observed for the New York Daily News, “Though The Lookout is eventually a genre film, with a tense, bang-up ending, it is also a thoughtful study of a young man trying to make sense of a world that he is having to learn all over again.”
Trilogy-concluding sequels don’t come much more highly anticipated than 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises, which put Christian Bale’s gravel-voiced Batman on a backbreaking collision course with the nefarious Bane (Tom Hardy) while setting up the cataclysmic conflict that brought the story Christopher Nolan started with Batman Begins to an appropriately senses-shattering conclusion — and introducing audiences to the upstanding young cop (Gordon-Levitt) who just might become the next Dark Knight. Although Rises couldn’t quite match its predecessor’s critical standing, it still did pretty well for itself, racking up over a billion dollars in worldwide box office while amassing an impressive number of accolades from the likes of the Los Angeles Times’ Kenneth Turan, who called it “A disturbing experience we live through as much as a film we watch” and added, “This dazzling conclusion to director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy is more than an exceptional superhero movie, it is masterful filmmaking by any standard.”
He presided over the most tumultuous time in our nation’s history, accomplished great things while in office, and ended his administration — and his life — in violent tragedy. Needless to say, Abraham Lincoln’s life is the stuff that Oscar-winning films are made of — and with Steven Spielberg at the helm, directing a stellar cast that included Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, Sally Field, and an almost unrecognizable Daniel Day-Lewis as the man himself, Lincoln was a virtual shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination even before it arrived in theaters. Of course, it helped that the finished product was one of 2012’s best-reviewed films thanks to critics like Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, who wrote, “It blends cinematic Americana with something grubbier and more interesting than Americana, and it does not look, act or behave like the usual perception of a Spielberg epic.”
Plenty of people would love to take the opportunity to travel back in time and see our younger selves, but Rian Johnson’s Looper takes this premise and adds a nasty twist. When a hit man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) realizes his latest quarry is his older self (Bruce Willis) — an event known among his peers as “closing the loop” — he muffs the job, allowing him(self) to escape and setting in motion a high-stakes pursuit that puts a widening circle of people in danger. Tense, funny, and surprisingly heartfelt, Looper may suffer from some of the same scientific story flaws as other time travel movies, but it also manages to turn its by-now-familiar basic ingredients into an uncommonly affecting and thought-provoking sci-fi drama. “Looper imagines a world just near enough to look familiar,” mused Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum, “and just futuristic enough to be chillingly askew.”
Cancer, generally speaking, isn’t all that funny. So kudos to screenwriter Will Reiser for finding the humor in his own diagnosis — and then using the experience as the grist for 50/50, a dramedy about a pair of best pals (played by Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen) whose relationship is irrevocably altered after one of them learns he has cancer. Director Jonathan Levine’s deft handling of the story’s tonal shifts keeps the movie from straining for laughs or straying into mawkish territory, while Rogen offers able support for Gordon-Levitt as the best friend of a guy who’s fighting for his life. “What ensues is Beaches meets Pineapple Express,” wrote Mary Elizabeth Williams for Salon. “Which, I’ve got to tell you, is pretty much what living with cancer is like.”
This weekend’s Hello, My Name Is Doris brings Sally Field back to the big screen after far too many years between leading roles, and in honor of this happy occasion, we decided to turn our attention to some of the most definitive performances in this two-time Oscar winner’s illustrious filmography. It’s time for Total Recall!
Field started her strong 1970s run with an appearance in Bob Rafelson’s Stay Hungry, a Jeff Bridges dramedy about a layabout whose duties for a shady real estate developer lead him into a below-board deal that’s supposed to lead to the shutdown of a gym — until he falls for the gym’s receptionist and strikes up a friendship with one of the biggest bodybuilders (Arnold Schwarzenegger). It would be misleading to suggest that anything truly unexpected happens here, but Stay Hungry goes a long way on the youthful charms of its talented cast, and you can’t really go wrong with a movie that asks you to believe Schwarzenegger as a bluegrass fiddler. “It has its slack spells,” admitted Time Out’s Nigel Floyd, “but Rafelson’s sure feel for the inexpressible subtleties of emotional relationships is evident throughout.”
A man, a plan, a whole bunch of beer — Smokey and the Bandit! At the time, this cheerfully knuckleheaded road-trip comedy about a scofflaw (Burt Reynolds) who bets he can speed a shipment of beer across state lines (and against the law) under the nose of a sputtering sheriff (Jackie Gleason) may have seemed like an awfully thin excuse to make a movie, but its artful blend of cornpone humor and high-octane action can be found imprinted upon the DNA of countless films to follow. Bandit inspired a pair of sequels and legions of imitators, yet while some of them may have had cooler stunts and sleeker cars, very few could come close to finding a starring duo with the breezy chemistry enjoyed by Reynolds’ Bandit and Sally Field as Carrie, the runaway bride whose spurned dimwit of a fiance just happens to be Gleason’s son. The end result, chuckled Marjorie Baumgarten for the Austin Chronicle, is “the king of the ‘good ol’ boy’ movies.”
Media-bashing has become so trendy that you’d almost never know that being part of the Fourth Estate was once regarded as an honorable profession — a public service, even. Of course, that isn’t to say reporters haven’t always been dogged by questions of ethics — and few directors were better at framing a thorny ethical debate than Sydney Pollack. In Absence of Malice, Paul Newman plays the son of a Mafia boss who is outed as the subject of a murder investigation by an ambitious (and somewhat scruple-deficient) reporter played by Sally Field. Though a large number of critics felt Pollack and screenwriter Kurt Luedtke failed to present a truly compelling picture — and some, like Dennis Schwartz of Ozus’ World Movie Reviews, dismissed it as a “well-meaning liberal message story” — others praised its strong performances and overall intelligence. As James Rocchi wrote, “the ultimate conclusion of the film will leave you thoughtful and even perhaps a touch sad — rare for any film, and even more rare for a thriller.”
Field won a Best Actress Oscar and John Malkovich earned a Best Supporting Actor nomination for their work in this 1984 drama, which tells the story of a widowed woman who struggles to keep her Texas farm afloat during the Great Depression while her sister (Lindsay Crouse) deals with her crumbling marriage to a carouser (Ed Harris). The kind of film whose plot doesn’t seem to cover a lot of ground, but which deals with some unmistakably weighty themes (in this case racism, adultery, and family commitment), Places in the Heart wasn’t necessarily one of the most exciting pictures of the year, but it was an Academy favorite — Field’s Best Actress win prompted her oft-lampooned “you like me” speech — and a source of admiration for critics like Vincent Canby of the New York Times, who wrote, “Out of the memories of his boyhood in Waxahachie, Tex., during the Great Depression, and within the unlikely tradition of the old-fashioned ‘mortgage’ melodrama, Robert Benton has made one of the best films in years about growing up American.”
Even back in 1985, they weren’t making ’em like Murphy’s Romance anymore — which would be reason enough to celebrate this quiet, small-town tale of a divorced single mom who finds love with an older man even if it didn’t serve as a showcase for the talents of Sally Field and James Garner. Predictably, Field (who also served as a producer) had to fight to get it made her way, up to insisting on casting Garner (who earned an Oscar nomination for his work), but she was vindicated by the overall favorable reviews that greeted Murphy’s Romance during its reasonably successful box-office run. “The whole point of this movie,” observed Roger Ebert, “is how it looks at those characters, and listens to them, and allows them to live in a specific time and place.”
The over-the-top melodrama of soaps is part of their enduring appeal, but what if things were just as crazy behind the scenes? That’s the novel twist imagined by Soapdish, in which a daytime drama’s longtime star (played by Field) finds herself under professional attack by a rival (Cathy Moriarty) and her disenchanted producer (Robert Downey, Jr.). Their efforts unearth real-life secrets after the return of an old star (Kevin Kline) and the ascent of a new cast member (Elisabeth Shue) — all of which have the unintended effect of making the show, and Field’s character, more popular than ever. “Soapdish is pure joy,” wrote Rita Kempley for the Washington Post, calling it “a lemon-fresh spoof of daytime drama that does the dishing and may even soften your hands.”
It was Robin Williams who undoubtedly got most of Mrs. Doubtfire’s laughs — and carried the movie, as well as several pounds of latex, while wearing a dress — but aside from offering proof that Williams would have made a fairly convincing elderly woman (and delivering cinema’s first recorded run-by fruiting), this dramedy takes a bittersweet look at the wreckage left behind after Williams’ man-child antics push his wife (played by Field) beyond her breaking point. With Pierce Brosnan adding additional support as Field’s dashing boyfriend, Doubtfire offers a deceptively even-handed picture of post-divorce parenting between the guffaws. “In terms of plot, the film is rather feeble,” admitted ReelViews’ James Berardinelli. “But sometimes there’s more to a movie than story, and this is one of those rare occasions when all the other elements pull together and lift the production.”
All things considered, Sally Field probably shouldn’t have been playing Forrest Gump’s mom — she is, after all, only a decade older than Tom Hanks — but setting that bit of Hollywood chicanery aside, there isn’t a thing wrong with her performance in this Oscar-winning hit. After all, who better to personify the precise blend of sweetness and determined pragmatism that leads Mrs. Gump to get it on with a reluctant principal in order to get young Forrest into public school? A massive hit that was later the victim of a backlash, Gump earned mostly positive reviews from critics who, while far from blind to the film’s flaws, were powerless to resist its good-natured charm. “It might hit you right in the feels, even as your eyes are rolling,” wrote Slant’s Rob Humanick. “To quote one of Forrest’s truest pieces of wisdom: Maybe both is happening at the same time.”
He presided over the most tumultuous time in our nation’s history, accomplished great things while in office, and ended his administration — and his life — in violent tragedy. Needless to say, Abraham Lincoln’s life is the stuff that Oscar-winning films are made of — and with Steven Spielberg at the helm, directing a stellar cast that included Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and an almost unrecognizable Daniel Day-Lewis as the man himself, Lincoln was a virtual shoo-in for a Best Picture nomination even before it arrived in theaters. Of course, it helped that the finished product was one of 2012’s best-reviewed films thanks to critics like Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune, who wrote, “It blends cinematic Americana with something grubbier and more interesting than Americana, and it does not look, act or behave like the usual perception of a Spielberg epic.”
We at Rotten Tomatoes freely admit we’re not the world’s greatest Oscar prognosticators. Still, we did a bit better than usual this year; while there were some surprises (Sound Editing was a tie?!) and a few winners that aren’t all that surprising in retrospect, most of our predictions came true at the 85th Annual Academy Awards. Read on to see how our forecast squared with the final results!
Momentum has been building for Argo in the past few weeks; it took home best picture honors at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs, and the Critics’ Choice Awards (and not to toot our own horns, but it won the Golden Tomato Award for Best Wide Release as well). Argo hits several sweet spots that the Academy voters find irresistible: it’s inspirational, but loaded with historical gravitas; it was both a mainstream hit and a critical favorite; and, perhaps most importantly for voters, it’s a celebration of the power of movies and the people who make them. Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook have enjoyed some dark horse cache, but we think Argo will be the first film since Driving Miss Daisy to win Best Picture without garnering a Best Director nod.
This category has been in the bag since the ink was dry on Daniel Day-Lewis’ contract.
This was the toughest category for RT editors to whittle down. At opposite ends of the age bracket, Emmanuelle Riva and Quvenzhané Wallis each gave remarkable performances, and Riva in particular could muster some votes. Even more likely is Naomi Watts, whose physically grueling work in The Impossible has also generated buzz. Early on, it looked like Jessica Chastain had this category all sewn up, as critics societies around the country were heaping praise on her. However, in the last couple months, all the Oscar mojo has seemingly shifted toward Jennifer Lawrence; with a Golden Globe, a Critics Choice, and a SAG award under her belt, we think Lawrence will walk away with the Oscar as well.
Each of the nominees has an Oscar to his credit, so there aren’t any unjustly ignored sentimental favorites to choose from. Christoph Waltz won the BAFTA and the Golden Globe, but it seems unlikely he’ll win just a few short years after his breakout role in Inglourious Basterds. Robert DeNiro has a strong chance, especially since his work in Silver Linings Playbook helped to erase memories of the great actor’s string of mediocre films. However, we think Tommy Lee Jones – who was already honored by the Screen Actors Guild –will ultimately claim the Oscar.
INCORRECT – Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained. We shouldn’t have discounted Waltz’s previous award season victories.
Anne Hathaway has enjoyed almost universal Oscar buzz since before Les Misérables even hit theaters, and her wins at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs confirm her status as the front-runner here. It’s possible, though unlikely, that either Helen Hunt or Jacki Weaver will steal this category; if Weaver wins, it could be an early sign that Silver Linings Playbook will have a huge night.
Since Ben Affleck was inexplicably snubbed in this category, we think Steven Spielberg will take home the hardware as a consolation prize.
INCORRECT – Ang Lee, Life of Pi. It just wasn’t Lincoln‘s night, and the Academy was obviously more enamored with Life of Pi overall. It’s still a mystery why Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated in this category.
The Usual Suspects, Fargo, Lost in Translation, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Juno… The screenplay awards are the place where the Academy honors innovative stuff that’s a little too wild and wooly for Best Picture. Quentin Tarantino’s consolation prize for Pulp Fiction losing to Forrest Gump was a Best Original Screenplay trophy, and he’ll pick up another one for Django Unchained this year.
Following up on the last entry, we must make note of the fact that because there are two screenplay awards, it makes sense that one goes to something a little left of center, and the other goes to whatever won Best Picture. So chalk up Argo for the Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).
Given that Amour was also nominated for Best Picture (not to mention noms for Michael Haneke in the direction and screenwriting categories), this one seems like a lock.
This was another contentious award for RT editors. In a year of particularly strong choices, we think it’s down to a three-way race between Searching for Sugar Man, The Invisible War, and The Gatekeepers, with the feel-good vibes of Sugar Man carrying the day over its more somber, issue-oriented peers.
Another tough call. We think the competition is ultimately between Brave and Wreck-It Ralph. However, because graying Academy voters can’t tell Call of Duty from The Call of the Wild, we’re gonna go with the little redhead. (It must be noted that RT editor-in-chief Matt Atchity insists Frankenweenie will win, loudly telling the rest of the staff, “You’re all wrong.” Sure thing, chief.)
Life of Pi‘s visual splendor is so mind-blowing that it seems improbable that anyone could steal this category from its cinematographer, Claudio Miranda.
Argo already took home the BAFTA in this category, and we think three-time nominee William Goldenberg will add to the film’s Oscar haul.
John Williams is one of the most nominated figures in Academy history, and hasn’t won in a long time. We think he’ll win Oscar number six, but Mychael Danna’s eclectic score for Life of Pi could surprise some people.
INCORRECT – Life of Pi. We had a feeling Mychael Danna could steal this one, especially since John Williams has so many Oscars to his name already.
These days, award shows exist for one reason, and one reason alone: to bestow trophies upon Adele.
This looks like a tossup between Anna Karenina and Les Misérables. We decided to go with the period piece based on a classic novel. And when we realized we were being forced to choose between two period pieces based on classic novels, we picked Anna Karenina, because Leo Tolstoy had cooler facial hair than Victor Hugo.
INCORRECT – Lincoln. We got this one completely wrong. Probably should have considered the painstakingly recreated period detail of Civil War-era Washington.
Take this one to the bank, comrades.
The controversy over Zero Dark Thirty‘s politics have hurt its Oscar chances in a number of categories. Still, few questioned the film’s technical brilliance, and we think it’s here that Zero Dark Thirty will take home the hardware.
HALF CORRECT – Ties are rare in Oscar history, but not unprecedented. Zero Dark Thirty split the honor with Skyfall.
A big deal was made about the fact that the cast of Les Misérables sang their songs live on camera. That’s pretty tough to record, especially with canons going off everywhere.
Dude, remember the tiger in that movie? It was all CGI. Pretty cool, huh?
Those ears didn’t get pointy all by themselves.
INCORRECT – Les Misérables. We were so focused on the pointy ears we neglected to take note of the grit and grime that accumulated on the faces of the actors portraying 19th Century Gauls.
An idiosyncratic dramedy about a depressed writer tasked with babysitting his precocious niece, Curfew has racked up a bunch of festival awards, and we think it will add an Oscar to its haul.
Paperman is the wistful tale of an office drone who goes to great lengths to reconnect with a beautiful woman he glimpsed on the subway. It’s sweet, it’s beautifully animated, and it had the benefit of being the opening act for Wreck-It Ralph in theaters.
This is a particularly solemn year for documentary shorts. We think Open Heart, the tale of eight Rwandan children traveling to Sudan for heart surgery, will earn both tears and votes from Academy members.
INCORRECT – Inocente, the story of a homeless girl who dreams of becoming an artist, took home the Oscar.
For our full Oscar coverage on the day, go to RT’s Awards Tour page
The 85th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on Sunday, February 24th in Los Angeles, and if you’re looking for the winners, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll be updating this article with each of the Oscar winners as they are announced, so if you don’t have easy access to the telecast, be sure to check back here!
the Southern Wild
Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
The SAG Awards ceremony — the only televised awards ceremony in the industry that focuses only on performers — was held at the Los Angeles Shrine Exposition Center on Sunday, January 27th. No one movie or TV show ruled the day, though NBC’s 30 Rock took home both Comedy Acting awards and Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln earned honors for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor. See below for the full results!