Gurus make their lists, female critics look into nudity and Academy Screenings hit the road.
Going away for the holidays, Academy members? Don't want to tote a stack of screeners through the airport? If you're going to Aspen or Hawaii, you're in luck: both places have now launched their annual holiday-season Academy Screenings, which are clearly designed to lure vacationing voters away from the slopes or the beaches. Aspen: nine days of screenings courtesy of AspenFilm, which will screen everything from "The Fighter" and "True Grit" to "The King's Speech," "Blue Valentine," "The Way Back" and "Biutiful," plus "Black Swan" on New Year's Eve. Hawaii: First Light Academy Screenings on Maui have six days of screenings left; most of the big movies have already screened, leaving a lineup that includes "Somewhere" (left), "Winter's Bone," "Rabbit Hole" and the documentary "Waste Land."
The last Gurus o' Gold chart of the year, and "The Social Network" slips by "The King's Speech" to claim the top spot. The Gurus seem to think it's an 11-picture race, with "Winter's Bone," "127 Hours" and "The Town" dueling for those last two openings, "Another Year" getting a couple of mentions and "Shutter Island" securing one lone 10th-place vote. The voters also get to ask "Oscar Claus" for one thing each, and I'd say that more than half the choices – most of which involve nominations for folks like Lisa Cholodenko, Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, Debra Granik and Javier Bardem – actually have some chance of happening. (Movie City News)
Chris Beachum advances a theory we haven't heard before this year: that Christopher Nolan's "Inception," which is ranked fifth by the Gurus, will win Best Picture. He thinks it's guaranteed nine nominations, may well be the most-nominated film, has made tons of money and will get major support from the Hollywood guilds – and he also says "The Social Network" is too "cold and unfeeling" and reaction to "The King's Speech" reminds him of how voters viewed "The Queen." In fact, the year reminds him of 2000, when the likes of "Traffic," "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Erin Brockovich" fell short and a big-money summer release, "Gladiator," won. Maybe so, but the Academy has changed a lot in that last decade. (Gold Derby)
The awards groups with the "smartest, artiest, sexiest insights into film this year" have been the Alliance of Women Film Journalists and the Women Film Critics Circle, says Tim Appelo. The two groups don't really agree – the first of them seems to like "Black Swan" quite a bit, and the second definitely doesn't – but Appelo finds them refreshing, whereas he thinks "Most critics' lists resemble the fanboy arguments over the Top 5 Best Side One Track Ones in 'High Fidelity.'" (Hey, what's wrong with those arguments? "Thunder Road," "Like a Rolling Stone," "Mannish Boy," "Gloria," "Station to Station.") After all the ballyhoo their naked hi-jinks prompted, I wonder if Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal are upset that their scenes from "Love and Other Drugs" were left off the list of nominees in the Alliance's Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction category. (The Hollywood Reporter)