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Best Picture Archives -

Best Picture Archives -

Mariana Dussan


2014/01/21 at 3:13pm

How Will Hispanic Talent Fare At The Oscars?

This year the Golden Globes had three opportunities to recognize Hispanic talent, yet they took only one giving the Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón the award for Best Director. Now with the Oscars soon arriving will Hispanics have a better chance? Read More

Jack Rico


2013/01/10 at 12:00am

Exclusive! Argo’s Real Tony Mendez: “I’m Not Hispanic”

01.10.2013 | By | 2 Comments">2 Comments

For the Latino moviegoers who have already seen Argo or those who will now see it due to the 7 Oscar nominations it received today from the Academy, you might be submerged into the controversy that has arisen from the big reveal in the movie… Ben Affleck who directs and stars in “Argo“, is named Tony Mendez, an obvious Latino. So why did Affleck (an Irish guy) play him as opposed to a true Latino actor? What did Tony Mendez, the real life CIA agent that inspired the film, think? And is he really Latino (I couldn’t find any detailed news on his heritage on the web)? Many Latinos are upset at Affleck’s logic here so I decided to go to the main source – Mendez himself. In this exclusive interview, I asked him about his Latino roots, Affleck’s decision not to hire a Latino thespian to play the lead role and much, much more. Read More

Jack Rico


2012/01/24 at 12:00am

Complete list of 2012 Oscar nominations

Complete list of 2012 Oscar nominations

Fresh new Latino faces were represented at the Oscar nominations with the Argentinian Berenice Bejo (THE ARTIST) getting a nod for Best Supporting Actress, Mexican Demian Bichir (A BETTER LIFE) received a Best Actor nomination, and Chico y Rita obtained a Best Animated Film nom. 

But before you continue reading, I need to get a few things off my chest. I like Demián Bichir’s work in A BETTER LIFE, but even he would tell you that he was nominated for the wrong film! Fidel Castro in CHE was his best performance in his career to date.

The Buenos Aires born Bérénice Bejo selection is understandable but hard to swallow for me. I hate to confess this but Bejo didn’t impress me in The Artist. Compared to every other actor in the cast, she was the weakest link. Her mannersisms seemed force and unnatural. Obviously, I’m not a fan. But for the sake of Latinos surging in a white film universe, I wish her a win. 

One thing I have not even remotely heard from anyone is that RODRIGO GARCIA directed ALBERT NOBBS! He’s Colombian! Why isn’t anyone talking about him?

Glad to see HUGO get its due with 11 nominations. It begins slow, but boy does it leave an impression on you for days. 3D is pretty sick too.

BTW, I have a major issue with MONEYBALL and its story. Why was this made into a movie? Moneyball didn’t help the Oakland Athletics even pass the first round of the playoffs!

Speaking about Moneyball, Jonah Hill was very good. I’d argue he was the best part of the irrelevant film. But over Albert Brooks? He was robbed. The one who wasn’t was Nick Nolte. Well deserved. Max Von Sydow? BS.

Another travesty is Steven Spielberg not being nominated for Best Director: War Horse is as close to a masterpiece as we’re going to get 2011.

Michael Fassbender not getting a nod for BEST ACTOR is tragical. It was between him and Jean Dujardin for the win. His performance was powerful!

‘Extremely Loud’ is unbearable to watch. It shouldn’t even be nominated. Why do you think no other film organization awarded it? The film possesses so many problems so many holes. Hanks, Bullock, Daldry no noms, ha!

Also, Oscars picked 9 films. Why not just go for the full 10!? Drive, Dragon, The Ides of March, My Week with Marylin, Potter, were all worthy option.

Shocking moments from Oscar list: Dicaprio, Fassbender, Brooks, Spielberg, Tintin no nods. Hill, Bichir, McCarth, Glenn Close getting nods. Many surprises!

Moving on… here is the complete list of nominations for the 84th Academy Awards.

Best Picture

War Horse
The Artist
The Descendants
The Tree of Life
Midnight in Paris
The Help
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Actress

Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Viola Davis, The Help
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Best Actor

Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Supporting Actress

Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Supporting Actor

Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Best Director

Michel Hazanivicus, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Best Original Screenplay

Michel Hazanivicius, The Artist
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumulo, Bridesmaids
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
J.C. Chandor, Margin Call
Asghar Farhadi, A Separation

Best Adapted Screenplay

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, The Descendants
John Logan, Hugo
George Clooney, Beau Willimon and Grant Heslov, The Ides of March
Steven Zaillian, Aaron Sorkin and Stan Chervin, Moneyball
Bridget O’Connor and Peter Straughan, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Best Foreign Feature

In Darkness
Monsieur Lazhar
A Separation

Best Animated Feature

A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Art Direction

The Artist
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Midnight in Paris
War Horse


The Artist
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Costume Design

The Artist
Jane Eyre

Documentary Feature

Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Documentary Short Subject

The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God Is the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Film Editing

Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Kevin Tent, The Descendants
Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Thelma Schoonmaker, Hugo
Christopher Tellefsen, Moneyball


Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle, Albert Nobbs
Edouard F. Henriques, Gregory Funk and Yolanda Toussieng, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland, The Iron Lady

Music (Original Score)

John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse

Music (Original Song)

“Man or Muppet” from The Muppets, Bret McKenzie
“Real in Rio” from Rio, Sergio Mendes, Carlinhos Brown and Siedah Garrett

Sound Editing

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
War Horse

Sound Mixing

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
War Horse

Visual Effects

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Real Steel
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

Short Film (Animated)

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Short Film (Live Action)

The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Jack Rico


2012/01/13 at 12:00am

‘The Artist’ wins Best Picture at Critics Choice Awards

'The Artist' wins Best Picture at Critics Choice Awards

LOS ANGELES, CA. – January 13, 2012 – The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) announced the winners of the 17th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards earlier this evening. Hosted by comedians Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel, the star-studded ceremony was held at the Hollywood Palladium and aired live on VH1. “The Artist” was named the year’s Best Picture and Michael Hazanavicius won Best Director honors for the film.

Other big winners of the night included George Clooney, who took Best Actor for his role in “The Descendants” and Viola Davis, who won Best Actress for her role in “The Help.” Also honored was Christopher Plummer with the Best Supporting Actor award and Octavia Spencer for Best Supporting Actress both for her work in “The Help.”

Additional awards included a tie for Best Cinematography, going to both “The Tree of Life” and “War Horse.” Best Art Direction went to “Hugo” and Best Editing went to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” “The Help” was honored with Best Acting Ensemble and Best Original Screenplay honors went to Woody Allen for “Midnight in Paris.” Best Young Actor/Actress went to Thomas Horn for “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close.” “Rango” won Best Animated Feature and Best Comedy went to “Bridesmaids.”
Academy Award winner, film director and humanitarian Sean Penn was honored with the fifth annual Joel Siegel Award, presented by George Clooney.  The BFCA created this award to honor those in the film community whose actions demonstrate that the greatest value of celebrity is the ability to do good work for others.   This award pays homage to beloved “Good Morning America” film critic and BFCA member Joel Siegel, who lost his struggle with cancer in June, 2007.

The 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards also included a special nod to “Hugo” director Martin Scorsese, who received the Critics’ Choice Music+Film Award, presented by Leonardo DiCaprio and Olivia Harrison in addition to a special musical tribute from Bob Dylan. The Critics’ Choice Music+Film Award was created to honor a single filmmaker who has not only inspired moviegoers with his cinematic storytelling, but has heightened the impact of film through the brilliant use of source and soundtrack music.

Nominees in attendance included: Berenice Bejo, Kenneth Branagh, Albert Brooks, Asa Butterfield, Jessica Chastain, George Clooney, Stephen Daldry, Viola Davis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jean Dujardin, Elle Fanning, Judy Greer, Michael Hazanavicius, Ellie Kemper, Nick Krause, Thomas Horn, Matthew Lillard, Melissa McCarthy, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Penelope Ann Miller, Nick Nolte, Elizabeth Olsen, Patton Oswalt, Alexander Payne, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer, Maya Rudolph, Andy Serki, Octavia Spencer, Steven Spielberg, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Tilda Swinton, Charlize Theron, Michelle Williams, Evan Rachel Wood and Shailene Woodley

Presenters at the gala included: Vin Diesel, Kirsten Dunst, Donald Glover, Dustin Hoffman, Mindy Kaling, Ben Kingsley, Diane Kruger, Elizabeth Olsen, Patton Oswalt, Paul Rudd, Maya Rudolph, Jason Segel, Owen Wilson and Robin Wright.
The show featured Fitz and The Tantrums as this year’s house band. Bob Dylan also performed “Blind Willie McTell” during the Critic’s Choice Music+Film Award tribute to Martin Scorsese.

Since its inception in 1995, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards has been a star-studded bellwether event of the movie awards season.  Historically, the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations. Last year, for example, all four of the acting category winners at the Oscars – Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo – first accepted their awards in the same categories at the Critics’ Choice Movie Awards.  In all, 18 of the 20 actors nominated for Oscars were first Critics’ Choice Movie Awards nominees.

About The Broadcast Film Critics Association:
The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) is the largest film critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 250 television, radio and online critics.  BFCA members are the primary source of information for today’s film going public.  The very first opinion a moviegoer hears about new releases at the multiplex or the art house usually comes from one of its members.


“The Artist”
George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Viola Davis – “The Help”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”
Thomas Horn – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
“The Help”
Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist”
“Midnight in Paris” – Woody Allen
“Moneyball” – Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin
“The Tree of Life”
“War Horse”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”

“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“A Separation”
“George Harrison: Living in the Material World”
“Life’s a Happy Song” – The Muppets
Performed by Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Walter
Written by Bret McKenzie and The Muppets
“The Artist”
Sean Penn
Martin Scorsese

Jack Rico


2011/12/11 at 12:00am

New York Film Critics Online chooses ‘The Artist’ Best Pic

New York Film Critics Online chooses 'The Artist' Best Pic

The digital film organization that I am a member of, the NYFCO (New York Film Critics Online), voted today for the best of the best in film for 2011.

There were some surprises for me, in particular, the animated category. I voted for Rango as the best, but the rest of my collegues felt strongly for Spielberg’s Tintin. I agree that on a visual, Tintin is extraordinary, but as a whole movie, the film dragged to point of boredom. Rango was intellectual, funny, unique, and had very adult themes.

Also interesting was Michael Shannon for ‘Take Shelter’ in the Best Actor category. He wasn’t  a favorite, but nevertheless, I’m happy he took the award as opposed to undeserved Clooney. Shannon is one hell of an actor. He was excellent in Revolutionary Road and was the best part of The Runaways. He should’ve been nominated for Best Supporting actor at the Oscars in 2010.

So many more deserved and surprising moments such as Melissa McCarthy for ‘Bridesmaids’ over Octavia Spencer from ‘The Help’ in the Supporting Actress category. Read on and enjoy the beauty that is film criticism during award season.

“The Artist”

TOP PICTURES OF 2011 (alphabetical)
“The Artist” (The Weinstein Company)
“The Descendants” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“Drive” (Film District)
“The Help” (Walt Disney Pictures)
“Hugo” (Paramount Pictures)
“Melancholia” (Magnolia Pictures)
“Midnight in Paris” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“Take Shelter” (Sony Pictures Classics)
“The Tree of Life” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
“War Horse” (Dreamworks Pictures)
Michael Hazanavicius for “The Artist”
Michael Shannon for “Take Shelter”
Meryl Streep for “The Iron Lady”
Albert Brooks for “Drive”
Melissa McCarthy for “Bridesmaids”
“The Tree of Life” – Emmanuel Lubezki
“The Descendants” – Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash
“A Separation”
“Cave of Forgotten Dreams”
“The Adventures of Tin Tin”
“The Artist” – Ludovic Bource
Jessica Chastain for “The Tree of Life, “The Help,”The Debt,” “Take Shelter”
Joe Cornish for “Attack the Block”

Mack Chico


2009/06/25 at 12:00am

The Oscar’s: From 5 there will be 10

The Oscar's: From 5 there will be 10

And the winner is… well, actually there are lots of winners with the decision to broaden the best-picture Oscar race to 10 films.

The board’s decision to double the category to 10 nominees “may make it more interesting and less cloistered,” said Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences prexy Sid Ganis at a press conference Wednesday morning.

Ganis speculated that the longer list could include a documentary, foreign-lingo film, animated feature and, he deadpanned, “maybe even a comedy.”

The expansion to 10 slots increases the chances of films in those three categories, which have long been eligible for best-pic bids but may have missed out because they have their own categories, as some Oscar voters have said in the past. And indie films gain, because there’s more room for “little” movies.

The other big winners could be the TV audience — and, by extension, the Academy — if the expanded list includes more populist fare. And it can’t hurt that more films will be in line for a potential Oscar bump at the box office.

What’s more, one Acad member in the know predicted that this change is just the first in Oscar’s world.

Ganis’ “less cloistered” observation was a deftly phrased acknowledgment that the org has been charged in recent years with being elitist in some of its choices. After the 2008 noms came out, many media pundits, industry workers and film fans bemoaned the omission of such crowd-pleasing films as “The Dark Knight” and “Wall-E.”

Conventional wisdom says that when well-known films are nominated, such as “Titanic” or “The Lord of the Rings,” ratings for the Oscarcast rise. As for answers to other questions being asked around town Wednesday:

  • The foreign-language, feature doc and feature toon races will not be affected.
  • The nomination ballot will have space for 10 entries instead of five. That’s the only change, and the awards schedule will remain the same, since PricewaterhouseCoopers won’t need more time to count ballots.
  • Acad execs said they don’t feel the move will add significantly to the running time of the show, and the idea of cutting some categories from the telecast didn’t even come up.
  • No other categories — such as director — will be expanded to 10 nominees.

One awards pundit said the move makes the director race the one to watch, since it’s still five slots and could be a better indicator of the favorites. (However, it’s rare when the five director nominees exactly mirror the pic race.)

On Wednesday, many kudos vets were surprised but positive about the change. A few had qualms: The Acad will need more seats for more nominees, and the additional best pic clips could add to the ceremony’s running time. A few skeptics worried that the voters may have to scrounge around to come up with 10 worthy films (unlikely, since about 300 films qualify annually).

And one pundit said that with 10 nominees, a pic could win with only 11% of the vote.

That’s absolutely true. But a close race among 10 films is unlikely, and in the past, with five movies, there always seemed to be two or three front-runners. (The PWC accountants are too discreet to ever reveal how close or lopsided some of the races have been.)

Asked whether “Dark Knight” was a factor in the move, Ganis said that many titles were mentioned in the post-mortem, including that one.

“We’ve been mulling what we can do to make everything more valid,” Ganis said.

Though the move sounds radical, Ganis began his remarks at the confab by saying that the Academy is returning to an old tradition — a fact emphasized by two posters flanking him that gave the titles of the 10 best-pic contenders for 1939. The titles showed the breadth of choices, including “Gone With the Wind,” “Love Affair,” “Stagecoach” and “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

The Acad had 10 pic nominees between 1931 and 1943.

Every year, an AMPAS awards committee does a post-mortem on lessons learned from the recent show. Ganis said this year’s Oscarcast producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark suggested to the committee that it would be great if “the spectrum was wider” for best-pic contenders. Ganis said some at the Academy had been thinking the same thing, invoking the ’39 race. (The org is currently doing a tribute to those 10 contenders.)

It’s likely that Acad honchos were particularly receptive to Mark and Condon’s ideas since they came in the wake of their show, which changed the DNA of the Oscarcast by jettisoning many old traditions — which resulted in a positive reaction and improved ratings. And those changes opened up a lot of possibilities elsewhere.

Acad exec director Bruce Davis said Wednesday that the awards-review committee was enthused by the expansion of the best pic nominees. There were no dissenting votes at the board meeting held Tuesday night, Davis said.

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