And Michel Hazanavicius and his film The Artist take one more step towards total awards dominance. The film has topped critic lists since it premiered at Cannes in May of 2011, and in the past couple weeks has become an awards juggernaut.

Last weekend The Artist won the PGA award for best picture of 2011, and last night Hazanavicius took the Director’s Guild award for Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film in 2011. Given that it has been almost a decade since someone won the DGA award and didn’t take the Best Director Oscar we can safely bet on the outcome of the Academy Awards, which are still a month away. (On average, the DGA award and Oscar go to different people once a decade.)

For those disappointed that the documentary Project Nim, from Man on Wire director James Marsh, didn’t get an Oscar nod, his win for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary might be considered a great consolation. And Patty Jenkins, who was booted from Marvel’s Thor 2, took a DGA award for directing the pilot for The Killing.

The full list of winners is below. Read More »

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Here’s your best indicator yet as to what the crop of nominations for the Best Picture Oscar is likely to be. The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has announced its nominations for 2011 awards, which will be doled out on January 21.

The ten films nominated for the PGA’s top honor include expected pictures such as The Artist, The Descendants and War Horse. There are no real surprises, but the growing Oscar chances for The Help won’t be hurt by getting a PGA nomination (would be slightly wild to see Chris Columbus, a producer on The Help, with an Oscar), and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris makes an appearance on the list, too. There are a couple surprises, though, in the form of Bridesmaids and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — the Judd Apatow and Scott Rudin effects in full force there. With 5-10 Best Picture nominations possible for this year’s Oscars, most of the films in the PGA’s top list are likely to end up in the race.

The full PGA press release, with the full slate of nominations, is below. Documentary and animation nominations are there, too, though the slate of nominations in each category is more or less exactly what you’d expect to see at this point. Read More »

Every single year come awards season, it’s always upsetting to see the blatant misfires on the Academy’s short list of films eligible for the Best Documentary Oscar. Just last year, the big story wasn’t so much that Exit Through the Gift Shop or Restrepo were up for the award, it was that films like Catfish, Best Worst Movie and Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work were snubbed.

This year it’s more of the same. Much more. Fifteen films have been chosen that will be narrowed down to five to tangle for the Oscar itself and on that list are several exceptional documentaries: Bill Cunningham New York, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and Project Nim (above) just to name a few.

Not on the list, however are Constance Mark’s Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, Steve James’s The Interrupters, Werner Herzog‘s Into the Abyss, Errol Morris’ Tabloid, Ian Palmer’s Knuckle, Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Andrew Rossi’s Page One: Inside the New York Times, Michael Rapaport’s Beats, Rhymes and Life, Disney’s African Cats, Jon Chu’s Justin Bieber Never Say Never, Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam Twenty, Peter Richardson’s How To Die In Oregon, Mark Landsman’s Thunder Soul, Kevin Macdonald’s Life In A Day and, most notably out of all of those, Asif Kapadia’s extraordinary Senna. Just to name a few.

Those films didn’t make the cut. Read what did after the jump. Read More »

One of the most talked-about documentaries at this year’s Sundance was Project Nim, director James Marsh‘s follow-up to 2008′s acclaimed Man on Wire. The film centers around a chimp named Nim Chimpsky, who was the subject of a famous animal language acquisition experiment in the 1970s. Nim was raised from infancy as a human child and taught American Sign Language so that he could communicate with people. Unsurprisingly, the experiment raised profound, occasionally disturbing questions about ethics, language, and the line between humans and animals.

At time of writing, Project Nim is scoring an astounding 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, with 50 reviews counted. Our own David Chen gave it a positive review from Sundance, saying “There are moments of absolute magic in Project Nim”; more recently, Russ Fischer had nothing but praise for the full-length trailer. But just in case all that isn’t enough to convince you to check it out when it hits your city, the first six minutes have now landed online. Watch after the jump.

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‘From the director of Man on Wire‘ is all a film needs to get my attention, and Project Nim definitely does not look like it is going to disappoint. The film, which explores the relationship between man and other species through the lens of a loose experiment designed to teach sign language to a chimp, premiered at Sundance to very good notice. Now there’s a trailer, and I think any of you that watch it will be ready to see the film afterward. Read More »

Sundance Invades The Summer of 2011

Everyone’s talked ad nauseam about how the summer of 2011 is going to be a blockbuster bloodbath. Week after week of high concept, big budget sequels featuring superheroes, robots and wizards. But those aren’t the only movies that’ll be playing at your local theater during the long, hot months of May, June, July and August. A huge chunk of movies we reviewed in January at the Sundance Film Festival – from award winners to our personal favorites – are also finding their way into theaters during that time. As the heat quickly approaches, we’ve decided to highlight over 20 Sundance films that are scheduled to open opposite the traditional Hollywood fare. See images, read reviews and find release dates all below. Read More »

Does someone have a case of the Mondays? We understand. Going back to work sucks but while you probably had the weekend off, Slashfilm hasn’t stopped working. If you can call watching movies non-stop working.

Myself, Peter Sciretta and David Chen have been all over Park City Utah at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival which continues through next Sunday. We’ve reviewed over a dozen movies, quested for tickets, done video blogs and much more. Did you miss any of the coverage? No worries. We’ve created this convenient rundown of everything we’d published so far including reviews of the recently acquired films Project Nim and Margin Call, hidden gems like Win Win and Bellflower and, of course, all the Red State coverage you can handle.

Later today, be on the look out for reviews of My Idiot Brother, Like Crazy, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and more. But until then, see the roundup of all our coverage below:

Thursday January 20

Why do we come to the Sundance Film Festival? We explain it’s allure.

We have arrived at Sundance, and here’s what we are most excited for. Video Blog.

Friday January 21

Getting tickets to Red State was quite the ordeal.

The opening night film was James Marsh’s Project Nim. Here’s our review.

Ever see a horror movie all done in one shot? It’s called Silent House and here’s a review.

Margin Call stars Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons, Stanley Tucci and was reviewed here.

Saturday January 22

Bloody revenge came to Sundance in the way if I Saw The Devil. Our review is here.

It’s got big stars like Liv Tyler and Patrick Wilson but does The Ledge deliver big? Find out here.

Around here we call it the Four M’s or MMMM. The real title is Martha Marcy May Marlene and it’s supposed to be amazing.

A mini-review roundup featuring The Future by Miranda July and Bobby Fischer Against the World.

Sunday January 23

Peter loved it at Toronto and a whole bunch of people, including David, loved it at Sundance. It’s a Submarine Video Blog!

Between movies, David was walking around Park City talking to movie fans. Here’s what they had to say.

My favorite film of the festival so far is Tom McCarthy’s Win Win with Paul Giamatti and Amy Ryan. Amazing movie.

Peter generated controversy by calling Bellflower “500 Days of Summer for the Jackass Hipster Generation,” read exactly what he meant.

Red State

Right after the movie ended, here’s what we all thought about Red State.

Kevin Smith made some major, big time, groundbreaking revelations about his film and its distribution. Read them here.

Here’s my full review of Red State and probably not the last.

Director James Marsh wowed critics and audiences and scored an Academy Award for his marvelous 2008 documentary Man on Wire (Marsh went on to direct one of the Red Riding films). That’s why I was psyched to learn that his newest documentary, Project Nim, would be opening the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Project Nim, which centers on one researcher’s attempt to teach a chimp English using sign language, has already been scooped up by HBO, and it is very likely you’ll get to see this movie at some point this year.

So how is Marsh’s follow-up to Man on Wire? Hit the jump to find out.
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