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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Germain’s Top Ten Movies of 2012

2012 was an incredibly good year at the movies. Looking back at the almost 200 films I saw that were released this calendar year, many were in contention for this list. But in the end, there can be only 10. These ten films, ranked in reverse order, are the ones that most stuck with me during 2012 and will continue to do so in 2013 and beyond. Some were pure jolts of entertainment. Others nestled their way into my brain and made me think for weeks on end. But either way, like most top 10 lists, mine is extremely personal and exceedingly different. From Jump Street to Neo Seoul, check it out below. Read More »

I was delighted to finally have the chance to catch Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables last night and despite a few significant missteps (e.g. Russell Crowe as Javert), I found it totally brilliant and engrossing. Nonetheless, I’ve been reading a bunch of criticism on the internet about Hooper’s directorial decisions, most pointedly regarding the look and sound of the film.

In Anthony Lane’s slam of the film in the New Yorker, Lane writes, “The actors were recorded live as they belted out the big numbers, and Hathaway, in particular, takes full advantage, turning in precisely the sort of performance, down to the last sniff, that she would be the first to lampoon on ‘Saturday Night Live.'” Over at The Atlantic, Christopher Orr writes, “The second or third time we watch a face fill the screen with notes tender or tragic, the effect is genuinely arresting. The 22nd or 23rd time…” Critics all over are having a ball blasting the unconventional directorial decisions made in the film. As someone who loved the movie, I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on some of these decisions.
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In this episode, Dave and Joanna Robinson from Pajiba discuss their love of Tom Hooper’s Les Misérables.

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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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 »

This holiday season Samuel L. Jackson and Anne Hathaway both have prominent supporting roles in films that aren’t exactly cheerful. In fact, it’s safe to say, with no spoilers, that in both Django Unchained and Les Miserables, characters played by both actors experience some horrid moments.

The video below might give away a couple small things about Django Unchained, but it’s worth it to see Jackson and Hathaway get into a verbal dust-up over whose film is more sad. They’ve both got points, but in terms of the arguments put forth it’s hard to argue that Jackson is anything other than the clear winner. I went into this expected a giggle or two, but I got a lot more than that, thanks to Jackson and Hathaway both being game for the “fight.” Read More »

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This morning Megan Fox, Ed Helms, and Jessica Alba announced the nominations for the 2013 Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the event, is famous for nominating films and performances simply based on their star factor — if there’s an actor that members of the HFPA want to hang out with, they’re sure to get a nomination.

But the HFPA is great at putting on a show, and so the Golden Globes generate a lot of attention every year. And, as the NY Times points out, with the Globes nominations coming just days before Oscar nomination voting starts, there’s a possibility that nominations here could affect Oscar voting. The Best Picture nomination set includes what is already becoming a standard set of awards favorites, such as Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty, but there are also nominations for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Django Unchained. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen picked up a few nominations, actually, which was one of  the big surprises.

The Golden Globes will air on January 13, 2013, hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. The full nomination list is below. Read More »

The end of the year is approaching and that means award season. Every year it starts with regional critic groups and then slowly gets to the bigger, more influential groups leading up through the Academy Awards. If a film hopes to gain an Academy Award nomination, its first major hurdle is the Screen Actors Guild. Actors make up the majority of Academy voters so it’s an important group of champions to win over heading towards the Dolby Theater (formerly the Kodak Theater).

This year, the Screen Actors Guild has nominated actors from Argo, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Les Misérables, Lincoln and Silver Linings Playbook for its top award, Best Ensemble, with those last two leading all other films with four nominations each. Noticeably absent? Zero Dark Thirty, the current Oscar front-runner. Does this hurt its chances? See how the film did in all the other categories below. Read More »

There’s a moment about 30 minutes into Tom Hooper‘s musical adaptation of Les Miserables where you’re either with it or not. Anne Hathaway, beaten and bruised, hair raggedly cropped short, sings the iconic song “I Dreamed a Dream.” She does so on her own, in a single long-take close-up that lasts at least three minutes. It’s Hooper’s way of telling the audience this film is going to be dark, it’s going to be dirty, it’s going to have emotions, and yes, it’s going to be these actors (who we know better as Wolverines, Catwomen, Gladiators or Mean Girls) singing — and only singing — their hearts out for almost three hours.

In this moment, Hathaway provides one of the most stirring and impressive emotional moments of 2012, perfect capturing the tone and wonder of Les Miserables. It’s mesmerizing, moving and magical. Read More »