WGA Rewards ‘Her’ and ‘Captain Phillips’

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By this point in the awards race, it’s usually pretty clear who the frontrunners are. Most of the guilds have already thrown their support behind a few favorite films, which typically then go on to fare well at the Academy Awards. Nevertheless, there were a couple of mild surprises when the WGA announced its 2014 Writers Guild Award winners this weekend.

In the original screenplay category, Spike Jonze beat out the likes of David O. Russell and Woody Allen to pick up a prize for Her. That bodes well for Jonze on Oscar night, as the list of Oscar nominees perfectly matched the list of WGA nominees this year. A more unexpected result is Billy Ray‘s adapted screenplay win for Captain Phillips, but that doesn’t really make him the Oscar favorite. He didn’t have to compete against 12 Years a Slave or Philomena, both of which were deemed ineligible for the WGAs. Hit the jump to see who else won in the film and TV categories.

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American Hustle

Following SAG and the PGA, the Writers Guild of America has just unveiled its list of nominees for the 2014 nominees. For anyone who’s been watching the awards race, the list won’t contain many surprises. The WGA likes American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club just as much as everyone else does. Additionally, several of the most notable absences can be chalked up to disqualifications. 12 Years a Slave, considered a favorite for the Best Picture Oscar, was deemed ineligible, as was Golden Globe nominee Philomena.

One that did qualify but failed to secure a nomination nonetheless was the Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis, which similarly struck out with both SAG and the PGA. And one unexpected outcome was a nomination for Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, which hasn’t come up in too many awards seasons conversations as of yet.

Hit the jump to read the full list.

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Watch This: David’s Top 10 Films of 2013

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It’s been an amazing year for films, possibly the best one since I started writing/talking about film seriously back in 2007. Devindra and I had a spirited discussion of our top 10 films of the year, but for those who prefer a shorter, 9-minute long version of that podcast episode, you can find a video version of my top 10 films of 2013 after the jump.

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The /Filmcast’s Top 10 Films of 2013

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In this episode (#255) of the /Filmcast, Dave and Devindra run down their top 10 films of 2013, discuss the movies they’re looking forward to in 2014, and argue about how terrible The Lone Ranger was, relatively speaking. Be sure to check out this piece by Scott Mendelson on his worst films of 2013. 

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook! Download or listen to the episode after the jump.
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Germain’s Top Ten Films of 2013

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Looking back on 2013, it’s hard to spot one overriding trend other than “great.” Like any other year, the superhero movies, sequels, adaptations and remakes were present, but most of them were disposable and forgettable. The greatness in 2013, not surprisingly, was from the original and unexpected movies. Films born out of the mind of talented, creative people which were executed to delightful and sometimes heartbreaking perfection. Those unique wonders of cinema make up the majority of my top films of the year, but don’t fret. There are some adaptations and sequels on there too. It’s a list that hopefully represents 2013 as one of the best in recent memory.

Over the course of the year, I saw almost 150 films that had theatrical releases. Below you can read about my ten favorites. Read More »

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Dave, Devindra, and Jen from Deadline discuss some bold new horror anthologies, reflect on how Arrested Development has changed in its fourth season, and praise the brilliantly constructed Stories We Tell. Be sure to check out Matt Singer’s thoughts on why this series is so complex, Wesley Morris’s explanation on why this is a post-racial film, and also see Jen Yamato’s previous Fast and Furious reviews.

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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Sarah Polley Stories We Tell

When I first saw Stories We Tell I was stunned. When I saw it again, I knew that reaction was warranted. And when I talked to the film’s director, everything was further illuminated. That director is Sarah Polley, who is probably best known for roles in films like Go and Dawn of the Dead. Polley is undeniably great in those movies, but after seeing her third feature film Stories We Tell, there’s no doubt she’s an even better director.

Polley approaches Stories We Tell with brilliantly layered execution. On the surface, it’s a personal documentary about her family history, featuring accounts from her brothers, sisters, parents, and friends. The basic story follows how her mother and father met, and started a family. From there, Polley questions the construction of story and truth. She breaks down the structure, turning the camera on herself. Finally, Polley uses this pleasant, thought-provoking documentary to pose surprising questions regarding the essence of cinema. Stories We Tell is now playing in select cities nationwide, so you can finally see what I mean for yourself.

Which brings us to a warm May morning poolside at a Beverly Hills hotel. I was lucky enough to sit down with Polley to discuss her wonderful film and ask all the burning questions I had after seeing it. You can read the conversation below. Read More »

The calendar might only say “March,” but I doubt I’ll see many movies this year better than Sarah Polley‘s Stories We Tell. Since I saw it at Sundance (read my review here) I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, or accurately convey to people – without spoilers – just why it’s so great. What I’ve been saying is Polley’s documentary is, on one level, a exploration of her family history. At the same time, it’s a commentary on how she’s telling that story as she cuts between traditional documentary scenes and footage of her shooting them. But even that’s not everything.

Thankfully, Roadside Attractions has finally released a trailer that’ll do a much better job of selling the movie than I could. Stories We Tell opens in New York on May 10 and then starts rolling out on May 17. Check out the trailer below.
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