|PETE HAMMONDTHE FRONTOSCAR1917|
A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit.
Well it is all just about over but the counting, and in fact I would guess PriceWaterhouse accountants have even finished that at this point. What that means is two numbers crunchers out of everyone in the whole world are now looking at every pundit’s predictions, including mine I suppose, and laughing hysterically about how we got it all wrong. Or not. One Academy member called me this week to say essentially this looks to be one of the most predictable years ever. “I think just about everyone is probably going to win their office pool,” he laughed.Shutterstock
He might have a point because the four acting categories appear to be in the bag, at least if we are to go by every precursor show preceding the Oscars that have chosen , in lockstep, Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt, and Laura Dern . And with all its guild wins, plus the Golden Globes and BAFTA 1917 seems as close to a lock for Best Picture and a possible sweep as we have seen in some time . So the difference in glory or disgrace with your Oscar pool ballot just might come down to who wins Best Live Action Short. A lot of the talk at various parties including last night’s Universal and Focus Features celebration at Spago, as well as today’s Publicists Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton revolved around possible upsets. Are all of the indicators incorrect this year? Can there be a shocker looming Sunday? That would be fun , but don’t bet the condo on it. This is a year where there seems to be some fairly unanimous agreement in terms of those soothsayers who try to foretell what names will be in those envelopes.
WHAT YOUR BOOKIE SAYS ABOUT THE OSCARSTodd Wawrychuk/AMPAS
If you want to drive yourself crazy though try checking the various oddsmakers who are out there giving us the book on winners, apparently using whatever data they have picked up by listening to prognosticators. You can actually bet money in New Jersey , Indiana, and the UK , even though technically those two PriceWaterhouse accountants could probably clean up knowing who the winners are already. And while you are at it a lot of the bookies are taking bets on things other than just the winners. For instance you can wager on stuff like the gender of the first presenter on stage Female 2/5 , Male 2/1, Transgender 20/1; How many times Kobe or Mamba will be said 5/6; Presenters who put on glasses before reading the cue card Under 2 1/2 -1/4 – Over 2 1/2 – 5/2; Who will Best Actor thank first Academy 1/1- husband, wife, partner 5/2-director 3/1-mother 7/1- God 10/1; Will “Trump” be said during the broadcast? NO 2/3...
This weekend, the 31st Producer’s Guild Awards honored achievements in producing film and television from last year. This is one of the key awards that start to give us an idea of what movie is likely to take home Best Picture when the Oscars are handed out, so everyone was waiting to see what movie won The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures, the equivalent of Best Picture among the 2020 PGA Awards winners.
In a turn that was a little less surprising after its victory at the Golden Globes a couple weeks ago, Sam Mendes‘ war drama 1917 landed the top prize. But who walked away with awards for animated and documentary features, as well as all the television awards? Get the full list of 2020 PGA Awards winners below.
Director and producer Sam Mendes accepted the award along with Pippa Harris, and Mendes offered up this thanks during his speech via The Hollywood Reporter:
“To work with so many artists all working at the peak of their craft — led, of course, by Roger Deakins — was humbling and joyful and by far, the best experience of my professional life.”
Indeed, the work of cinematographer Roger Deakins and the incredible visual effects team is what makes 1917 such a magnificent achievement in film. While some aren’t sure that necessarily makes it better than some of the other movies in the conversation for Best Picture, it’s clearly impressive enough to those in the industry.
Eight out of the last ten winners of the top prize at the PGA Awards have gone on to win Best Picture. The only two years that diverged from that pattern were in 2018 and 2017 when the PGA Awards honored La La Land and The Big Short. But when the Oscars rolled around, Best Picture went to Moonlight and Spotlight, respectively. There’s still a chance 1917 doesn’t walk away with Best Picture, but the odds are certainly in its favor.
As for the rest of the winners of the 2020 PGA Awards, you can find the full list below. Winners appear in BOLD.
The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
1917 Ford v Ferrari The Irishman Jojo Rabbit Joker Knives Out Little Women Marriage Story Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Parasite
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Abominable Frozen II How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World Missing Link Toy Story 4
The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Picture
Advocate American Factory Apollo 11 The Cave For Sama Honeyland One Child Nation
The Norman Felton Award for Outstanding Producer of Episodic Television – Drama
Big Little Lies Season 2 The Crown Season 3 Game of Thrones Season 8 Succession Season 2 Watchmen Season 1
The Danny Thomas Award for...
The 2006 Oscars will forever be remembered as the infamous ceremony where “Crash” beat “Brokeback Mountain” for Best Picture. Ang Lee’s groundbreaking gay romance was the critical favorite and it won three of the eight Oscars it was nominated for that year: Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. Headlining actors Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both earned Oscar nominations for their performances. The actors were asked to present during the 2007 Oscars telecast, but Gyllenhaal revealed in a recent interview with Another Man magazine via NME that Ledger turned down the opportunity because it would mean making jokes at the expense of the gay “Brokeback” love story.
“I mean, I remember they wanted to do an opening for the Academy Awards that year that was sort of joking about it,” Gyllenhaal said. “And Heath refused. I was sort of at the time, 'Oh, okay... whatever.' I'm always like, ‘It's all in good fun.’ And Heath said, 'It's not a joke to me — I don't want to make any jokes about it.’”
Gyllenhaal, “That's the thing I loved about Heath. He would never joke. Someone wanted to make a joke about the story or whatever, he was like, 'No. This is about love. Like, that's it, man. Like, no.'”
Ledger was nominated in the Best Actor category but lost to “Capote” star Philip Seymour Hoffman. Gyllenhaal lost to George Clooney in “Syriana” for Best Supporting Actor. “Brokeback Mountain” marked the first Oscar nominations for both actors. Ledger would go on to be nominated and win his Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor race for his role as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight.” Ledger received the Academy Award posthumously. “Brokeback” remains Gyllenhaal’s sole Oscar nomination to date.
Gyllenhaal has previously spoken about Ledger’s disdain for “Brokeback Mountain” jokes, but this is the first time the actor has revealed his late co-star turned down the Oscars. Gyllenhaal told “Today” in July 2019 that “Brokeback” marked a pivotal moment in his career. “It opened tons of doors,” he said. “It was crazy. It was amazing. It's defined my career in different ways. [But the film] is bigger than me...It has become not ours anymore. It's the world's.”
Read Gyllenhaal’s latest interview in its entirety on the Another Man website.
The “hidden man” is how editor Lee Smith sees himself in 1917. Not for a second did Smith want audiences paying attention to his cuts or tricks, but to instead immerse themselves in director Sam Mendes‘ World War I story, which is constructed to take place in one seemingly unbroken take. Despite the obvious technical wizardry and razzle-dazzle, they pulled it off. Audiences were caught up in the feeling and exhilaration of 1917, not the craft of 1917.
The war pic isn’t the first time Smith and Mendes collaborated. The two worked together on Spectre, which involved a long take that gave the editor and filmmaker some ideas of how to accomplish 1917. Outside of Smith’s collaborations with Mendes, he’s edited several Christopher Nolan films, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and an underrated gem from the early 2000s, Buffalo Soldiers.
Recently, Smith spoke to us about his intense work on 1917, a few of the movie’s standout sequences, and doing what hasn’t been done before.
Congratulations on the movie. I think it’s an incredible accomplishment.
Thank you. I was definitely the hidden man on that one if I did my job correctly.
That’s what you always want anyway, right?
It’s impressive how you can admire the craft while watching it, but not in a way that makes the movie feel artificial.
That was the thing we always spoke about. The film itself had to be front and center. We never really wanted anyone thinking about how it was made while watching it because our leading thought was just making a great story with great performances. That’s what we were aiming for. As we started to test screen the movie, we realized we achieved that. A lot of people around us were talking about the technique before we started screening, so I’d go, “We gotta stop banging on about technique and make sure the movie works.” As soon as we started screening it, we realized everything is working and all the audience can do is talk about the film. That’s exactly what we wanted to do.
You were editing as they were filming and on the set often. Usually, you have so much time to decide on a take, so how intense was moving at that speed?
Yeah, you could say you’re flying by the seat of your pants. Every day I would watch the shoot the day before the shoot, which could run for two hours worth of material and 39 takes for big sequences. I’d have to talk to Sam in the morning. He’d tell me what he likes, I’d tell him what I like, and we’d ask each other why we liked certain takes. It was a fun conversation, but we had to make up our minds because they were setting up for the next shot.
Generally speaking, you want the shot you’re...