Steven Spielberg's Lincoln

Oscar Nominations

The nominees for the 85th Academy Awards were announced this morning, and over 60 nominations went to films that have played at Film Society of Lincoln Center this year! Click here for our recap and a full list of nominees.

BAFTA Nominations 2013

Across the pond yesterday, the BAFTA Award nominees were revealed. With a selection that is usually similar to the Oscar nominees, the BAFTA's are also known as the British Oscars and looking at the films competing for awards, the nickname does seem quite fitting. Leading the pack with a whopping ten nominations is Steven Spielberg's Lincoln, landing nods, as expected, for three of its actors (Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, and Tommy Lee Jones) along with cinematography, production design and more. In a year that found Agent 007 ushering Queen Elizabeth into the London-set Summer Olympics and the 50th installment in the James Bond series, it shouldn't be a surprise that Skyfall received some recognition. But, aside from the usual technical nominations associates with action films, the Sam Mendes-directed thriller crossed over into the main categories, scoring acting nods for Judi Dench and Javier Bardem for their respective supporting roles. The winners will be revealed on February 10 in a BBC-televised ceremony hosted by Stephen Fry. 

Toronto Film Critics Association Awards

On Tuesday night the film critics of Toronto gathered for the TFCA Awards and among the winners, there was one film that took home a big prize. The award for Best Canadian Feature went to Sarah Polley for her documentary Stories We Tell, and as prestigious as the prize itself is, it also comes with $100,000. It's been quite a year for Polley, whose Take This Waltz was a favorite among Film Society filmgoers last summer, and whose Stories We Tell popped up on the fall festival circuit at Venice and Toronto to rave reviews. Just last week, the Toronto-based actress-turned-filmmaker took part in an hour-long conversation with Cameron Bailey, Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, before a special screening of the film. For those of us south of the Canadian border, this writer included, Roadside Attractions is set to release Stories We Tell this spring. 

Joe Wright's Anna Karenina

ASC Awards

When many of us look back on our favorite films of the year, some of the first things we remember are specific images and shots. While directors, actors, and writers are deservedly given credit for their respective achievements, the cinematographers are sometimes pushed to the back of our minds during awards season. Today, the American Society of Cinematographers announced the nominations for the 27th annual ASC Awards. The five nominated directors of photography are Claudio Mirando (Life of Pi), Seamus McGarvey (Anna Karenina), Danny Cohen (Les Miserables), Janusz Kaminski (Lincoln), and Roger Deakins (Skyfall). Some may surprised by the omission of Mihai Malăimare, Jr., the Romanian cinematographer responsible for the lush, overwhelming imagery of The Master, which was projected in the full splendor of 70mm. Deakins, whose work on Skyfall marks his third collaboration with Sam Mendes, has been nominated for 11 ASC awards and 9 Oscars. The ASC Award winners will be announced on February 10.

Tony Kushner's Toughest Scene

For Tony Kushner, a writer who's won a Pulitzer Prize and two Tony Awards, it's hard to believe that anything is terribly difficult to write. But New York Magazine makes a case against this notion in the latest installment of their “Toughest Scene I Had to Write” series, which features the verbally virtuosic Kushner, who penned the screenplay for Lincoln. Despite having written a verbose screenplay that centers on one of the most eloquent people in American history, Kushner's toughest scene to write is a small scene towards the end of the film in which Lincoln and his wife travel by buggy to the theater where Lincoln will be assassinated. On what he and director Steven Spielberg were going for with this scene, Kushner said: “it was important that it not sound like they knew the movie was ending or that Lincoln was going to be assassinated, because for them it was a new beginning. It was the end of the war and the beginning of a life after the war.” The article contains some very interesting insights into scene along with an excerpt from the script featuring the scene in discussion, which, despite its brevity, is beautifully written.