CINEJABBER: Where’s the exit?

Posted by · 11:34 am · January 8th, 2011

Catch up with the idea behind these weekend posts here.

A busy week that one was.  And an even busier one on the way.  DGA and VES Monday, ASC Tuesday, Critics’ Choice Movie Awards and ACE Friday, Golden Globes Sunday — whew!  And today we’ll have the National Society of Film Critics put a bow on the critics awards circuit (well, save for the Iowa Film Critics, but…)

It’s almost like I’m ready for a vacation again already, though maybe that’s because the holiday “break” wasn’t much of a break for me at all this year.  It’ll all be over in T-minus 50 days.  (50!)

The Rudin/Steinfeld thread was a hit thanks to a lot of smart discussion from you guys yesterday.  Props to you for that.  And speaking of “True Grit,” Paramount has thrown together a preview screening of the PBS “American Masters” featuring Jeff bridges with a Q&A and reception to follow this evening.  Yep, the circuit is officially creeping into my weekends.

What can I tell you?  It’s all happening.

One or two outlets have already begun poking their noses into the potential 2011 Oscar season.  I’m blissfully unaware of any possibilities other than the stuff that is naturally in my zone of familiarity.  If I dig into the new seaason at all it’ll be in the form of another set of contender lists the day after this year’s Oscar ceremony, but most likely, it’ll all just wait until post-Cannes.  However fun it might be to take one’s mind off the current season, it’s just felt more and more pointless to go there from so far out.

Hey, Nathaniel Rogers and myself were the first guys on the block doing it, so I’m aware it’s a beast I’m largely responsible for creating.  But ducking out of the year-in-advance predictions game last year was…nice.

Maybe you can use this space to “go there” if you like, but regardless, you know the drill.  Open thread.  Have at it.

[Photo: Universal Pictures]

→ 36 Comments Tags: , , , , | Filed in: Cinejabber

36 responses so far

  • 1 1-08-2011 at 11:59 am

    Fitz said...

    The Critic’s ChoiceAwards is looking to be predictable. Maybe a surprise win for an acting dark horse?

  • 2 1-08-2011 at 12:02 pm

    americanrequeim said...

    season of the witch looks like the front runner in all categories for the mvies that have been released so far in 2011

  • 3 1-08-2011 at 12:03 pm

    DylanS said...

    I finally have my top 10 films of the year, after finally catching “127 Hours” the other night, my top 10’s always tend to lean towards consenus picks, but what can I say, they’re the movies I liked best. I would love to hear peoples opinions.

    1. “The Social Network”
    2. “Inception”
    3. “The Fighter”
    4. “Black Swan”
    5. “Exit Through the Gift Shop”
    6. “127 Hours”
    7. “The Kids Are All Right”
    8. “True Grit”
    9. “Never Let Me Go”
    10. “The Town”

  • 4 1-08-2011 at 12:14 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Here’s my Top 10 (without yet having seen Another Year, The Way Back, or Blue Valentine). I’m assuming any or all of those could jump into my 10.

    1 – Inception
    2 – Black Swan
    3 – The Social Network
    4 – Shutter Island
    5 – Toy Story 3
    6 – The Fighter
    7 – The King’s Speech
    8 – The Ghost Writer
    9 – How To Train Your Dragon
    10 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 1

    I finally caught ‘Animal Kingdom’ last night. And geez, much ado about nothing.

    Also, I wonder if my meandering feelings on Winter’s Bone would have been clearer had I seen it on the big screen. I wonder if I would have been more taken with it. Does anyone have a film that they’ve seen on dvd this year that they think they would’ve appreciated more had they first seen it in a theater?

  • 5 1-08-2011 at 12:16 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Oh, and can’t wait for the Critics Choice Awards on Friday. Will we see you again, Kris?


  • 6 1-08-2011 at 12:20 pm

    Hans said...

    The Critic’s Choice might shed some light on a few of the crafts categories I’m unsure about. It’ll be great to watch Portman and Bale accept their (first of many) awards, though!

  • 7 1-08-2011 at 12:27 pm

    Bryan said...

    Finally saw White Material (thoughts:

    and Black Swan for the second time (

    It was still as visceral and tense as the first.

  • 8 1-08-2011 at 12:36 pm

    Silencio said...

    Speaking of Portman (and a few others, really), I’m curious what makes a certain performance a “tour de force”. Bening’s performance has been called a tour de force by some, as well as previous perfs like DDL in TWBB, and Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine, not to mention Charlize Theron in Monster. Does anyone have a clear standard they’ve set before calling a certain perf a tour de force? I’m not sure I do yet.

  • 9 1-08-2011 at 1:15 pm

    Mitchell said...

    Fun fact: Season of the Witch has the highest Rotten Tomatoes rating of any 2011 release so for.

  • 10 1-08-2011 at 1:16 pm

    Mitchell said...

    *so far, not so for.

  • 11 1-08-2011 at 2:10 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I caught Legend of the Guardians earlier today. Didn’t really have much of any expectations and I have to say I wonder wonderfully, overwhelmingly surprised in the most positive way. Not only is it quite a lot better than the fairly similar How To Train Your Dragon, but it’s probably the most visually stunning digitally animated film I’ve ever seen. Never thought I’d say this, but someone beat Pixar at their own game. Well, in one way, at least. On the whole I still think Toy Story 3 is the better film, but Legend of the Guardians isn’t too far behind. Now that I’ve seen it I’m really rather shocked it didn’t get better reviews, especially when they gushed so over How to Train Your Dragon.

  • 12 1-08-2011 at 2:13 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Anyway, very excited for this coming week, especially for the DGA and ASC nominations. We’ve hardly gotten any guidance for the latter, save for the odd critics award here and there.. Should be very interesting to see their picks.

  • 13 1-08-2011 at 2:16 pm

    Michael said...

    @ DylanS and JJ1

    Yay I love looking at people’s top ten lists! Interesting choices both of you, and some that are included in my own list. It seems like both of you are heavy on Oscar fare, which is not a bad thing at all (since they wouldn’t be Oscar films if they weren’t good ;^P)

    My own top ten list:
    1. Enter The Void
    2. Black Swan
    3. Exit Through the Gift Shop
    4. Let Me In
    5. Dogtooth
    6. Catfish
    7. Monsters
    8. The Social Network
    9. Carlos
    10. Hadewijch

    (Honorable Mentions: Tangled, Machete, The Killer Inside Me, Inception, Toy Story 3, Wild Grass, and Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World)

    I personally don’t think this year was a weak year AT ALL for movies. In fact I have been extremely satisfied with the films that came out, although I did feel that it wasn’t until September that I started to see things that really impressed me. There wasn’t enough good films spread throughout the year, or enough good films that came out in theaters near me. If I hadn’t sought out some of the films (which I wouldn’t have heard about many of them without film sites like this) then I would not have been that well off.

    I’m with Kris though – it is way too daunting to even try to think about predicting next year’s Oscar films at this point. I like to see how the year shapes up, I just hope there will be better things that come out sooner than the Fall.

  • 14 1-08-2011 at 2:35 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Michael, very nice list, as well.

    I would say that I normally lean towards Oscar fare; though, I guess it’s just my personality/personal tastes. In other years, my lists have been more varied.

    I can’t wait to see Enter the Void and Dogtooth.

  • 15 1-08-2011 at 3:09 pm

    Patriotsfan said...

    I kind of wanted to wait to see more films that will come to my area in the next few weeks (Somewhere, Rabbit Hole, Another Year, Buitiful, The Illusionist, Blue Valentine, as well as some foreign films and documentaries) before I made my top ten, but since people are posting theirs now, here is my tentative list.

    1. The Social Network
    2. 127 Hours
    3.Shutter Island
    4. Black Swan
    5. The American
    6. Inception
    7. Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
    8. Toy Story 3
    9. True Grit
    10. Winter’s Bone

    Note: If I was to count The Secret in their Eyes as a 2010 movie, it would be 2.

  • 16 1-08-2011 at 3:22 pm

    Speaking English said...

    Saw “Blue Valentine” today. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are amazing, and it is a powerfully observed study in the vein of Bergman’s “Scenes from a Marriage.” I’m not quite sure what the point of it was, yet, but it was quite good.

    And as a sidenote, anyone who can’t see why this was originally rated NC-17 wasn’t watching closely enough.

  • 17 1-08-2011 at 3:39 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Joel and Ethan Coen joined the $100m club today.

    ! ! ! ! !

  • 18 1-08-2011 at 4:11 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I’ve been wondering about Bale lately. Best Supporting Actor seems less locked for him than before, but do you think critics just don’t take him or the role seriously enough? I know he has a lot of detractors and some downright enemies in the critical community, but if he wins the Globe and/or SAG is he more of a lock then? Maybe I’m over-thinking it, but there’s really only two things I have a real interest in this season, which are Bale winning and Nolan getting a Director nod.

  • 19 1-08-2011 at 5:20 pm

    Michael W. said...

    “today we’ll have the National Society of Film Critics put a bow on the critics awards circuit (well, save for the Iowa Film Critics, but…)”

    Hey now, don’t forget about Women Film Journalists, Denver, London, North Texas and Vancouver!

    We got a long way to go! :D

    And speaking of next years’ Oscars, I wonder if Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo could be a contender for the 10 (if they keep the 10. I’m assuming so). The original has done so well both financialy and awards wise and with Fincher being this years critics darling, I’m beginning to wonder if he can get three pictures in a row nominated for the Oscar.

  • 20 1-08-2011 at 5:34 pm

    James D. said...

    We are doing top ten lists?

    1. I’m Still Here
    2. I Am Love
    3. A Prophet
    4. True Grit
    5. Sweetgrass
    6. Machete
    7. Fish Tank
    8. Everyone Else
    9. Eccentricities of a Blonde-Haired Girl
    10. Bluebeard

    I still haven’t seen Carlos, Another Year, Dogtooth, Somewhere, and so many others.

  • 21 1-08-2011 at 6:35 pm

    Speaking English said...

    ***Hey now, don’t forget about Women Film Journalists, Denver, London, North Texas and Vancouver!***

    Women Film Journalists and Vancouver already announced. Not sure about the others.

  • 22 1-08-2011 at 7:03 pm

    /3rtfu11 said...

    Does one failed Best Actress nomination make you a primary candidate for a Supporting Actress win? Melissa Leo is the default front running in her category based on the above question alone. Renee Zellweger, Cate Blanchett, Penelope Cruz won their Oscars after failed Best Actress nominations; in Renee’s case two failed Best Actress nominations.

  • 23 1-08-2011 at 7:25 pm

    DylanS said...

    Michael: I actually saw “Into the Void” last night, It is truly one of those life altering movies that we rarely get the likes of. Excellent #1 choice.

  • 24 1-08-2011 at 9:08 pm

    Matthew Starr said...

    Somehow SNL managed to butcher a Black Swan skit with Jim Carrey.

  • 25 1-09-2011 at 12:19 am

    Michael said...

    @James D. – I know I don’t speak for everyone, but I couldn’t possibly get sick of looking at top ten lists – especially one as eclectic and interesting as yours! I still need to see I’m Still Here, Sweetgrass, Eccentricities of a Blonde Haired Girl, and Another Year, all of which I plan to do so hopefully soon. I can vouch for Carlos, Dogtooth, and Somewhere in saying they are all amazing and think you will like them (considering the films that ended up in your top ten…)

    Has anyone seen The Strange Case of Angelica yet? I really want to see both that and Eccentricites of a Blonde Haired Girl asap b/c I’ve heard they are both really good. Something about filmmakers in their prime (or extreme old age) that are still making films really makes me happy – I just watched Film Socialisme and Wild Grass recently and was really impressed by both, even when considering the overall work of Godard and Resnais. Even if they aren’t getting the attention they used to, there is something about the perspective they bring to films that cannot be matched by newer filmmakers.

    Also, thanks DylanS and I agree, Enter The Void will blow away your mind if you let it. Every cinephile should watch it at least once.

  • 26 1-09-2011 at 7:34 am

    Andrew M said...

    So now Reznor is scoring The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, which will most likely be one of the biggest movies of the year. So if the score is anywhere close to TSN, if he doesn’t get in this year I think he’ll get in next year.

  • 27 1-09-2011 at 8:01 am

    Michael W. said...

    *”Women Film Journalists and Vancouver already announced”*

    Yeah, nominees. Right? If they have announced their winners I have missed that.

  • 28 1-09-2011 at 11:54 am

    JJ1 said...

    Well, I saw ‘Season of the Witch’ with my cousin.

    I know, I know. It was a favor.

    So, yeah, not as atrocious as I thought it’d be.

    I expected to be eye rolling it from beginning to end.

    But it actually wound up being a decently entertaining “bad” movie with over-the-top dialogue.

    Didn’t hate it. 4 or so out of 10 rather than say, a 1.

    I also saw ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ on dvd. Umm, words can not describe how abysmal I thought this was. Didn’t laugh once. Cringe-worthy.

  • 29 1-09-2011 at 12:36 pm

    Graysmith said...

    I was actually pleasantly surprised by Dinner for Schmucks. I really didn’t have any expectations on it, and I found it far better than I was expecting, mostly thanks to Carell. It’s not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination, but I did like how oddball it was, especially the scenes with a really bizarre Zach Galifianakis.

  • 30 1-09-2011 at 12:39 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Jealous of everyone putting up top ten lists, who’ve then seen everything they wanted to see.. That’s the crappy thing about living in Europe, a lot of those year-end movies take awhile to get here. I still have 20+ movies on my list of films to see before even contemplating a top ten list.

  • 31 1-09-2011 at 1:40 pm

    Fitz said...

    1. Shutter Island
    2. Inception
    3. The Social Network
    4. Toy Story 3
    5. True Grit
    6. The Town
    7. The Tillman Story
    8. Let Me In
    9. Easy A
    10. Casino Jack and the United States of Money

  • 32 1-09-2011 at 2:04 pm

    JJ1 said...

    I feel you, Graysmith. I’m seeing Blue Valentine tonight and then Another Year and The Way Back in the coming 2 weeks, then I’d say I’m done.

    Of course, there are always foreign/docs I haven’t gotten to yet, either.

  • 33 1-09-2011 at 2:27 pm

    Graysmith said...

    Yeah I’m trying to make my way through the more obscure stuff while I bide my time, movies like I Am Love, Mother and Fish Tank.

    Black Swan doesn’t open here until March. I’m sure it’s nice publicity if Portman wins the Oscar at the end of February, but at the same time it’d probably be better if it was already in theaters before the Oscars.. Oh well. At least I got to see Somewhere back in November, waaaaay ahead of most in the U.S. ;)

  • 34 1-09-2011 at 5:01 pm

    Michael said...

    @Graysmith – I think you are going to enjoy I Am Love, Mother, and Fish Tank a lot. They are definitely worth the effort to seek out.

    Also, it is really tough for anyone else besides a film critic to really put up a comprehensive top ten list at the end of the year, b/c no one else besides critics have access to that many “prestige” films before the end of December (they usually trickle out by January and February). I like to put up another top ten list around the Oscars b/c I feel like by that time more of the smaller indie releases (with any Oscar hopes) are usually released by then. This year I am really hopeful that I will have the chance to see Blue Valentine, Biutiful, Another Year, Rabbit Hole, and The Illusionist by the time the Oscars get here.

  • 35 1-09-2011 at 7:51 pm

    JJ1 said...

    Just saw Blue Valentine, Graysmith. Another good one for you to look forward to. Excellent film. But wooooo, tough one. Tough movie to watch. IF I ever see it again, it will be with someone who hasn’t seen it yet and I’d get to see the performances again. I don’t think I’d ever choose to watch it again by myself.

  • 36 1-09-2011 at 10:04 pm

    Nicolas Mancuso said...

    I finally watched “How to Train Your Dragon” for the first time… and it’s good, but nothing revelatory. And Jay Baruchel’s voice was a bit grating. I honestly think “Tangled” is better.

    The score was amazing, though.