It’s official: 2012 is the year we all learn to pronounce ‘Hazanavicius.’ That’s because Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, is one of the five people nominated for the Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film by the Directors Guild of America (DGA). The DGA award nominees almost always mirror the Oscar ballot for Best Director, so between this and the PGA nominations announced last week we’ve basically got the final Oscar contention list locked down.

The full nomination list for the DGA awards is Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), David Fincher (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), and Martin Scorsese (Hugo). Read More »

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Michel Hazanavicius has been best known for his spy comedy OSS 17 series, but that all changed last year when his black and white silent comedy/romance The Artist opened big at Cannes. The movie has become an audience and critical darling, and is one of the big Oscar front-runners, which means it will only get more big promotion and word of mouth interest as the next couple months go on.

But Hazanavicius is starting to think about his next project, and it looks like he’s going to use his Artist clout to make a film that might be tough going otherwise. He’s going to do a contemporary take on Fred Zinneman’s 1948 Oscar-winner The Search, about a mother’s attempt to reunite with her son after World War II. Read More »

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 »

Germain’s Top 10 Movies of 2011

In 2011, I saw more new movies than I ever have in the past. Previous years I’d flirted with roughly two per week but, this year, thanks to a full Sundance Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Butt-Numb-A-Thon and other events like AFI Fest and the Los Angeles Film Festival, that number jumped up to 167. Several of those won’t be released until 2012 and others won’t get released at all, but it’s still a more than sufficient cross section of 2011 releases to adequately speak on the state of film in 2011 and give my top ten movies of the year. (Note: Any film that didn’t get an Oscar qualifying 2011 theatrical run did not qualify for this list. That’s just my personal rule.)

For me, 2011 was the year of “good, but not great.” You know the type. A film that does everything right, is entertaining, emotional, but doesn’t stick with you once you’ve left the theater. We’re lucky to have films like that because, alternatively, we could get films that are total garbage. Looking back at the year as a whole, though, very few 2011 films will stick with me as all-time favorites. It was a good year, but not great.

The films after the jump were the ones that stayed with me more than most though and, because of that, earned a place as my top ten films of 2011. Read More »

Maybe it’s just because I got a cat this year — the first living, breathing creature I’ve owned since I failed to keep a hamster alive circa 1995 — but I couldn’t help noticing that the films of 2011 featured some damn great animals. Some were the stars of their films, like Rango (Johnny Depp) in Rango, while others played second fiddle to less interesting, or at least less adorable, human stars, like Rosie (Tai) in Water for Elephants, but all deserve special mention in my book.

And yeah, okay, the fact that they also serve as a convenient excuse to post cute animal photos during a slow news week happens to a nice little bonus as well. Read on after the jump.

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This week, Dave Chen, Devindra, and Adam discuss The Dark Knight Rises prologue, praise the rarely seen Enlightened, and reflect on shows that have come back from the dead, creatively. Special guest Tasha Robinson from AV Club joins us for this episode.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Live broadcasts will resume in 2012.

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Roger Ebert’s Top 20 Movies of 2011


With just days to go until the end of 2011 (Where did the year go???), legendary film critic Roger Ebert has announced his top 20 movies of the year. Just as you’d expect from Ebert, his list runs the gamut from mainstream blockbusters to more obscure foreign or arthouse projects — with enough in the latter category to offer up some useful suggestions for your Netflix queue. Read his list after the jump.

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Yup, that’s Michael Giacchino striking the goofy pose in the header image, but don’t let the silliness fool you — he’s one of the hottest film and TV composers working today, and one of the main reasons you should be excited about the rest of this post. After the jump:

  • Listen to ten minutes of Michael Giacchino’s score for John Carter
  • Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained could be getting an unusual take on Frank Sinatra’s “My Way”
  • Wes Anderson reunites with Fantastic Mr. Fox composer Alexandre Desplat for Moonrise Kingdom
  • The Artist ponders a concert tour with live orchestra

Read More »

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