RTIndie: With Critics Awards to Mirren and Whitaker, Will Golden Globes Go Small?

by | December 13, 2006 | Comments

It’s no secret that Helen Mirren and "The Queen" are primed to reap big time this awards season, but are the Hollywood Foreign Press and their Oscar-influencing Golden Globes headed towards indie-land and the art house?

Maybe, maybe not. But the fact is that in recent years, the HFPA has begun to trend away from Oscar-type nominees in favor of those critical darlings — gilding Felicity Huffman Best Actress last year for "Transamerica" and agreeing with (most) critics that "Brokeback Mountain" deserved top honors. The year before, the Golden Globes for Best Comedy and Screenplay went to "Sideways," another favorite across the board among many prominent critical groups (including the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics, and more).


2004’s critical fave, "Sideways"


Variety’s Steve Chagollan writes
that this trend is partly due to an evolution within the HFPA, a collection of 90-odd film journalists representing markets all over the world, whose awards voting have historically been both influential and eccentric. The HFPA’s membership has been increasingly younger, says Chagollan, and their voting responsibilities subsequently taken more seriously; whereas many Academy (Oscar) voters are film industry professionals with less time to spend watching "For Your Consideration" screeners or attending screenings, HPFA voters — journalists covering said films — see "99 percent of the films, if not 100 percent."

So will the Golden Globes start mirroring the preferences of critics? And how will such a trend affect the composition of the Oscars, which historically take at least some cues from the nominations/winners of the Globes?


Ken Watanabe in Best Pic contender "Letters From Iwo Jima"

This week a handful of critics associations weighed in with their end-of-year honors, with a few notable patterns. As expected, there were some disparities: both the LA Film Critics Association and the National Board of Review named Clint Eastwood‘s "Letters From Iwo Jima" as the year’s Best Picture, while the New York and Washington D.C. critics went regional with "United 93." Bostonian critics went the homegrown route as well, picking Martin Scorsese‘s "The Departed" for the top honor.

There was a bit more consensus choosing Best Director, as four of six lists named Scorsese (NY, DC, Boston, and the NBoR); California critics in LA and San Francisco went with Paul Greengrass for "United 93."

But when it came to naming the year’s best performances, there’s even more agreement. Five of the six groups chose Forest Whitaker as Best Actor for his portrayal of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin in "The Last King of Scotland," a Fox Searchlight release filmed for a paltry $6 million.


Whitaker in "The Last King of Scotland;" Mirren in "The Queen"

More impressively, all six groups chose awards season-dominatrix Helen Mirren as their unanimous Best Actress pick for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in "The Queen," a well-performing Miramax acquisition filmed for an estimated $15 million.

Other critics picks that could translate into Golden Globes are Al Gore‘s global warming flick, "An Inconvenient Truth" (picked as Best Documentary by four of the six groups) and Guillermo del Toro‘s Spanish language fantasy "Pan’s Labyrinth," which garnered three groups’ awards for Best Foreign Film and two for Guillermo Navarro’s cinematography. Both are modestly budgeted, by Hollywood standards — with "Pan" estimated at $14.5 million and "Truth" at a cheap $1 million.

The HFPA will announce its nominations this Thursday, with the awards ceremony broadcast live on January 15, 2007.

ELSEWHERE IN INDIE NEWS THIS WEEK:

InDigEnt To Cease Production in January


Fairuza Balk in InDiGent’s "Personal Velocity" (2002)

Even tiny budgets are too high if there’s a low rate of return. InDigEnt, the company that brought you such films as "Tape" and "Pieces of April," will shut down in January. Producer-Director Gary Winick said the company, which championed edgy projects shot on digital for generally under $1 million, was still having trouble getting backing for projects. "The studios want the ‘Capotes’ and the ‘Sideways,’" he said. "They want the $8-million film to make a $100 million instead of the $1 million to make $10 (million). That’s the problem." InDigEnt, short for Independent Digital Entertainment was founded in 1999; Winick’s latest project is "Charlotte’s Web."

Kelly Says "Southland Tales" Cuts Completed


Sarah Michelle Gellar as a porn star on a date with destiny in "Southland Tales"

It looks as if "Southland Tales," Richard Kelly‘s followup to "Donnie Darko," will see the light of day after all. A 160-minute cut of the film had a disastrous premiere at Cannes, but Kelly said he’s trimmed nearly a half hour from "Southland" and kept some sense of narrative cohesion as well. "We still have some visual-effects work to do, but expect a release date and a trailer soon," Kelly wrote on his MySpace blog. "Expect some big announcements soon!" The film, a sci fi/fantasy/musical/comedy, stars Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Justin Timberlake, and half the population of California. It will likely hit theaters in April of next year.

Von Trier Pioneers New Cinematic Concept: Find The Mistakes


"Manderlay" is 49 percent on the Tomatometer: where was the ‘lookey’ then?

With the creation of Dogma 95, Danish auteur Lars Von Trier challenged filmmakers to make movies with more purity and no special effects. Now he’s issuing a challenge to audiences: find the mistakes. In his latest, "The Boss of It All," Von Trier says he’s created a new concept, "lookey," in which intentional mistakes have been placed into the film. But that’s not all: the first Dane to find all the mistakes wins 30,000 Danish kroner (roughly equivalent to $5,300). Von Trier is best known for "Breaking the Waves" and "Dogville"; the trailer for "The Boss of All" is online here.

Tomatometers For Last Week’s Limited Releases

Opening last week in limited release: "Bergman Island," a feature-length interview with Ingmar Bergman, arguably the world’s greatest living director, is at 83 percent with six reviews; "Days of Glory," an Algerian World War II film, is at 80 percent with 15 reviews; the Argentine import "Family Law," about the trials and tribulations of a father-son relationship, is at 76 percent with 17 reviews; "Screamers," a doc about System of a Down’s efforts to stop genocide, is at 75 percent with eight reviews; "The Empire in Africa," a doc about civil war in Sierra Leone, is at 63 percent with eight reviews; "Off the Black," starring Nick Nolte as an alcoholic baseball umpire, is at 61 percent with 23 reviews; "Ever Again," a doc about contemporary anti-Semitism, is at 54 percent with 13 reviews; and "Inland Empire," David Lynch‘s latest assault on cinematic convention starring Laura Dern, is at 53 percent with 30 reviews.


"Days of Glory"’s cast, whose five leading actors shared this year’s Cannes honors

Top Performing Limiteds

"Volver" held onto the top spot in last week’s indie box office battle. Pedro Almodovar‘s meditation on womanhood made $8,450 per screen in 44 theaters, pushing its six-week total to $2.76 million. The runner up was Jean-Luc Godard‘s nouvelle vague classic "Two or Three Things I Know About Her," which raked in $5,905 on one screen; it’s made $57,700 in its four weeks in re-release. In third was the debut "Screamers," at $5,902 per on four screens, for a total of $23,609. Rounding out the top five were "The History Boys," which made $4,036 per on 50 screens (its total is $500,432 in three weeks of release); and "Flannel Pajamas," which took in $3,994 on one screen, for a total of $49,279 in four weeks since its debut.


Carmen and Penelope, women on top (of the indie box office)

Tag Cloud

Podcast Crunchyroll TCM TV renewals Brie Larson Reality BBC BET binge Spring TV Apple 2019 boxoffice criterion LGBT Photos transformers quibi game of thrones natural history Fantasy screen actors guild franchise supernatural American Society of Cinematographers Election YouTube Tubi Logo ABC Family Pop TV Creative Arts Emmys composers 2020 christmas movies TLC History dark FXX Turner 21st Century Fox cinemax Lucasfilm children's TV technology harry potter President Avengers Musicals Pixar Musical hispanic concert werewolf Set visit DC streaming service TIFF spain Food Network HBO Max robots DGA VICE AMC OWN San Diego Comic-Con SXSW Oscars Heroines social media 71st Emmy Awards 45 Syfy DirecTV Rocketman strong female leads CW Seed Columbia Pictures talk show Mystery Comics on TV cats PaleyFest festivals First Reviews series Biopics Marathons Family 2015 TruTV Crackle Dark Horse Comics stoner science fiction anthology cults Western Star Wars singing competition USA Network television Netflix Trophy Talk anime Emmy Nominations Valentine's Day Superheroe jamie lee curtis Chernobyl Sci-Fi Women's History Month Television Academy CNN Nat Geo CBS Certified Fresh Film RT21 Drama asian-american The Arrangement Classic Film 2017 Winter TV disaster A24 NYCC Britbox Trailer MTV psycho renewed TV shows Watching Series diversity Teen doctor who Writers Guild of America aliens YouTube Red facebook adventure miniseries First Look biography nature animated Amazon Studios critics green book adaptation historical drama crime drama cancelled TV shows Star Trek cars all-time Acorn TV true crime movies Action Winners Pop Stephen King spanish language Pirates TV Land justice league Horror Disney Channel casting Amazon Prime TCA 2017 Animation Calendar DC Comics See It Skip It GIFs Marvel Studios Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Awards Premiere Dates Superheroes Thanksgiving Mary Poppins Returns Freeform Mary Tyler Moore cartoon Disney medical drama ghosts Lifetime NBC docudrama Black Mirror Fox News 007 Netflix Christmas movies space Rom-Com FOX Schedule Baby Yoda screenings war sitcom New York Comic Con Rock sag awards breaking bad versus Year in Review Holiday Tarantino theme song A&E BBC America discovery Martial Arts Universal documentary Rocky Lifetime Christmas movies period drama Cannes Sundance Bravo YouTube Premium ratings WarnerMedia Epix Music Tumblr Film Festival Hear Us Out Disney Plus The Walking Dead Polls and Games National Geographic Sundance Now Tomatazos comic MSNBC Sundance TV Sneak Peek travel romantic comedy dceu serial killer Disney streaming service Country richard e. Grant Showtime 2016 Vudu TBS blaxploitation romance WGN canceled politics Discovery Channel Box Office El Rey Starz Quiz mission: impossible Nickelodeon canceled TV shows SDCC comics Marvel Paramount Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TV toy story child's play TNT dc USA Reality Competition comedies name the review 20th Century Fox Sony Pictures Hulu reboot Anna Paquin FX on Hulu Arrowverse Peacock Video Games Toys Nominations streaming Extras game show Ovation foreign finale directors 24 frames stand-up comedy 2018 Disney+ Disney Plus police drama blockbuster sequel CMT Pride Month TCA Captain marvel video political drama Marvel Television TCA Winter 2020 Funimation E! south america SundanceTV chucky Opinion Amazon Prime Video Comedy Character Guide IFC Elton John dramedy rotten movies we love joker vampires Emmys crime cooking Comic Book The Purge hist Summer batman parents Endgame zombies Infographic zero dark thirty spy thriller movie a nightmare on elm street crossover MCU Comedy Central Fall TV CBS All Access Mary poppins ABC what to watch reviews comiccon Song of Ice and Fire LGBTQ witnail Pet Sematary YA DC Universe Cosplay Cartoon Network Spike Warner Bros. ESPN 4/20 Holidays halloween free movies Ghostbusters Black History Month teaser award winner GoT ITV Mindy Kaling The CW VH1 Amazon GLAAD mockumentary Trivia spider-man Masterpiece Lionsgate book HBO Shondaland unscripted Red Carpet based on movie dogs Paramount Network Esquire zombie Hallmark mutant crime thriller Hallmark Christmas movies Mudbound X-Men psychological thriller Kids & Family independent Binge Guide Awards Tour Ellie Kemper sports Adult Swim latino golden globes cancelled television Interview cancelled TV series Christmas revenge Best and Worst die hard Countdown Grammys cancelled indie Spectrum Originals PBS Turner Classic Movies IFC Films tv talk dragons Walt Disney Pictures Academy Awards RT History universal monsters best elevated horror APB The Witch Travel Channel Shudder FX kids thriller Super Bowl Apple TV Plus Apple TV+ cops scary movies E3 slashers OneApp spinoff