Emma Stone and Seth MacFarlane woke up at the crack of dawn this morning to announce the nominees for the 85th Academy Awards. Academy members nominated nine contenders for Best Picture, with Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty all in the mix. The choices aren’t totally surprising, but it’s still a strong group of competitors.

It’s always interesting to see how the Best Picture category correlates to the Best Director one, and the notable names shut out this year include Kathryn Bigelow, Ben Affleck, Tom Hooper, and Quentin Tarantino — the first three of whom were all nominated for the DGA prize earlier this week. Another notable snub that I know /Film readers will be all over is the lack of recognition for Looper, which scored in none of the major categories.

On a happier note, The Master hasn’t been getting much love so far but it managed to score three Oscar nominations, all in the acting categories. The Best Actress group proved a historic one, with both the oldest (85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva) and youngest (9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis) nominees in the category. And the animated field went exactly the way you’d suspect, but I’m just happy to see ParaNorman get a nod. Hit the jump to read the list of nominees.

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Quentin Tarantino‘s new film Django Unchained is a big beast, but it was once bigger. The original script, widely leaked last summer, is a 166-page monster that features characters and situations that didn’t make the final cut at all, and others that appear in significantly altered form. And then there’s stuff in the film that wasn’t in the script at all, but which was planned to be bigger or more detailed at one point.

If you want to read the script, you can grab it from the Weinstein Company’s “for your consideration” site for the film. Then you can cross reference it with a lot of the info that’s floating around now. For instance, we knew that Sacha Baron Cohen was cast in the film but had to drop out. We’ve got a brief story from him about why he couldn’t play Scotty, a character ultimately cut. And Walton Goggins talks about scenes he shot that didn’t make the final film.

Finally, there’s a secret about the mute character played by Zoe Bell, under a bandanna, which helps reveal why she didn’t have any lines in the film. Vague spoilers follow, but by this point you’ve seen Django, yes? Read More »

We’re already at the point in the award season where a few films have been solidified as the big winners and prime Oscar candidates. Zero Dark Thirty, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, and Lincoln have been awards frontrunners for weeks, and will likely continue to dominate slates of official accolades until the season ends with Oscars being handed out on February 24.

The Best Picture category in the Oscars is based around the efforts of producers, and so the Producer’s Guild of America nominations are a pretty good indicator of what we’re likely to see as a nomination slate for the Best Picture Oscar when AMPAS announces noms next week.

Today the PGA announced its nominations (one day early) and the ten films that were highlighted for what amounts to the PGA’s “best picture” award are: Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty.

Nothing there for The Master, but that isn’t even much of a surprise at this point, given how things have been going. The inclusion of Skyfall is a bit of a surprise, but mostly for the fact that it is the big commercial outlier rather than The Avengers. Marvel’s The Avengers was a success on many levels, but if any one position should get a sage nod in appreciation of a job well done on that movie, it’s the producers. Same goes for Skyfall, however, so even that “surprise” is a small one.

The press release featuring all of the nominations is after the break.

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The Alamo Drafthouse Picks the Top 10 Films of 2012

The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.

With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.

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‘Django Unchained’ – What Did You Think?

It’s been three and a half years since the Cannes debut of Inglourious Basterds, and now Quentin Tarantino has returned with Django Unchained. The film might be the unlikeliest Christmas Day release ever, as it stars Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz as a freed slave and his bounty hunting benefactor who are seeking to free Django’s wife (Kerry Washington) from the man (Leonardo DiCaprio) who owns her.

The film is a screed against slavery — with Tarantino’s penchant for violence and exaggerated depictions of history, this vision of America’s most awful historical institution can’t be seen as anything but horror. But as this is a Quentin Tarantino movie, it is a movie first and foremost, with vivid, energetic violence punctuating long verbal encounters between the characters as the director riffs on westerns and revenge movies in his own unique style.

Django Unchained is hitting top ten lists and creating some heated conversation thanks to the nature of the story, but now we want to hear what you thought of the film. Speak up in the comments below, where spoilers are encouragedRead More »

The /Filmcast: Bonus Ep. – Django Unchained

slashfilmcast550

Dave, Devindra, and Adam tackle Quentin Tarantino’s latest historical epic, Django Unchained.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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Seeing a slave blast away a bunch of white slavers for money might not seem like your ideal family Christmas movie, but Quentin Tarantino is gonna show it to you anyway. Django Unchained opens next week and it’s a brutal, violent and tense tale of a slave (Jamie Foxx) who teams up with a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz) to save the woman he loves (Kerry Washington) from an sly slave owner (Leonardo DiCaprio). Only from the mind of Tarantino could something so devilish sound so delightful.

Once you see the film, odds are you’ll be wondering about the mood on set for such an intense, polarizing film. Well, look no further. Twelve minutes of behind the scenes B-roll has popped online that shows the making of the film including the master, Tarantino himself, directing his cast.

(Update from Russ: After Germain filed this, a final trailer dropped for the film, and the song that Frank Ocean cut for the film, but which Tarantino couldn’t find a place for, went online. There’s also a full stream of the soundtrack with song introductions from Tarantino. I’ve added all these below at the end of Germain’s original post.)

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Around this time every year, for as far back as I can remember, I pick and write about the ten movies I’m most looking forward in the coming year. Here on /Film I did it for the movies of 2011 as well as the movies of 2012 and, in the coming days, I’ll do it for 2013.

Before that, though, we thought it would be fun to look back at the films I chose as my ten anticipated for this year and see how well I did. Did any of these films make my top ten of the year? Did they at least meet expectations? Check out some of my embarrassing, and not so embarrassing, picks after the jump.  Read More »

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