23 January 2009

Announcement: Revanche

From The Criterion Current to all the respected film-house's followers, a new brief tells of the label's codistributed (with Janus Films) Revanche (2008): a film "both an existential thriller and a quiet, character-driven rumination on fate and grief," detailing the capricorn relationship between a thief and his meretricious girlfriend. The film, the ninth feature from Austrian director Götz Spielmann, is described as being a "classic crime flick" and one that has just been nominated for an Academy Award in the Foreign Language Film category. As the brief goes on to note, the film therefore "joins a long lineage of Janus first-run releases that have received attention from the Academy [hyperlink added] (from nominees Dodes’ka-den and The Horse’s Mouth to winners Through a Glass Darkly and The Virgin Spring)."
Though Revanche has yet to be released publicly on this side of the Atlantic, it has already won a slew of praises and prizes from festivals around the world. So, while there will no doubt be much revelling in it when it does finally reach our U. S. theaters (i. e., this Spring), until it does, be sure to check out its official website, here, where you can view its trailer as well as read all sorts of other interesting information about it - including commentary from its director, quotes from its critics, and even a production diary from its script supervisor.

As for the folks at Criterion, thanks for the heads up - we definitely look forward to seeing it - and good luck on Oscar night!

Caricature: The Academy

From The Film Experience via Awards Daily, we have a pointed little caricature of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences: too right.

22 January 2009

Immediate Reaction: The Oscar Nominations

People are definitely pouting out there, in the blogosphere, for The Dark Knight's lack of Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay nominations - and I can't disagree that that film belongs there, among the lists of nominees, above some of the ones who were given nods - but that's just the way the Oscar cookie crumbles. One knows, there were all sorts of films that I would have seen on those lists, ones that I believed to be far more worthy that those that have their slots (and than The Dark Knight), but it's not in my hands nor was it in their hands (i. e., the hands of those in the blogosphere that were so salient about The Dark Knight's chances) either. The best one can do on Oscar-nominations' morning is hope, not that they (i. e., the Oscar voters) get it all "right," according to one's own perspectives, but rather that they get only a little "wrong."
In that spirit, here is where in my opinion the Academy averted disaster:

  • Michael Shannon's Supporting Actor nomination for Revolutionary Road - totally deserved and on my list as well
  • Melissa Leo's Leading Actress nomination for Frozen River - as much deserved as its more expected Original Screenplay nomination
  • Danny Glicker's Costume Design nomination for Milk - somewhat unexpected, despite their quality, as the film is a recent period piece
  • Wylie Stateman's Sound Editing nomination for Wanted
  • ZERO nominations for the abysmal Gran Torino
And for notes on where I think the Academy went wrong, one need only contrast my list of little nominations in the sidebar with the full list of official nominations by the Academy, found here and reproduced below:

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Original Screenplay