Paramount via Everett Collection
With so many different awards organizations announcing their nominations one after the other, it's difficult to remember how heavily to weigh each one's picks when filling out your Oscar pool sheet. Generally speaking, the BAFTAs are a fairly safe guide when it comes to the Best Picture category. Since 2008, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has accurately predicted the Academy's top winners, with (even more impressively) only two discrepancies in Best Picture nominations throughout those five years (both in 2012, interestingly enough). Looking at this latest batch of BAFTA's chief nominees — which includes...
American Hustle,Captain Phillips,Gravity,Philomena,and 12 Years a Slave
— we're not especially surprised by any of the films included in as much as we are a bit displaced over the absence of one of this past year's biggest titles: The Wolf of Wall Street. By now, everyone with his ear close to the conversation is predicting that Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is a lock for the Best Picture Oscar, but the consideration rarely comes without honorable mention of Martin Scorsese's Wolf. Still, the satirical picture is far from awards fodder. Called far too "extreme" for the Academy's liking, the 3-hour tour de force of mortifying hedonism would be a far cry from an Oscar even without the competition of 12 Years. Instead, as suggested by BAFTA's list of Best Picture nods, organizations are leaning towards the safer, sweeter, more palatable, less controversial, and effectively less good spiritual counterpart to Wolf of Wall Street: American Hustle.
Hustle is a fine movie all its own — it's fun, dynamic, well-acted, and does indeed feel "lived in." But it falls shy of the artistic reach represented by fellow con man epic Wolf, to which comparisons are inevitable (you can hear a terrific discussion on the matter on the latest episode of Fighting in the War Room). While we'd be hard pressed to deny David O. Russell's funny, campy, emotionally charged picture its due recognition of quality, the choice to nominate it for Best Picture over Wolf of Wall Street seems like a statement of fear: "We don't want to nominate that large, messy, outrageous picture that's got everybody all in a huff," mutters a nervous BAFTA. "But what about the one with the hair? That's sorta like Wolf of Wall Street, but cleaner. Jolly good!"
The choice is a scary one, if only that it suggests the possibility that BAFTA has veered away from Wolf of Wall Street due to the volatility associated with the movie rather than due to the quality therein. By this token, would a few more Armond Whites have robbed 12 Years a Slave of its nomination? How about a few more Neil deGrasse Tysons stealing the nod from Gravity?
Hopefully, the Academy will not emulate this aversion to Scorsese's movie — one that more than deserves mention, and would even take home a few trophies in a just system. Peruse the rest of BAFTA's nominations below (which also, obscenely, omit Her in the Original Screenplay category) and share your thoughts on the matter.
BEST FILM12 YEARS A SLAVE Anthony Katagas, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueenAMERICAN HUSTLE Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, Jonathan GordonCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De LucaGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, David HeymanPHILOMENA Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward
DIRECTOR12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueenAMERICAN HUSTLE David O. RussellCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Paul GreengrassGRAVITY Alfonso CuarónTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Martin Scorsese
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAYAMERICAN HUSTLE Eric Warren Singer, David O. RussellBLUE JASMINE Woody AllenGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás CuarónINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Joel Coen, Ethan CoenNEBRASKA Bob Nelson
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY12 YEARS A SLAVE John RidleyBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Richard LaGraveneseCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Billy RayPHILOMENA Steve Coogan, Jeff PopeTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Terence Winter
LEADING ACTORBRUCE DERN NebraskaCHIWETEL EJIOFOR 12 Years a SlaveCHRISTIAN BALE American HustleLEONARDO DICAPRIO The Wolf of Wall StreetTOM HANKS Captain Phillips
LEADING ACTRESSAMY ADAMS American HustleCATE BLANCHETT Blue JasmineEMMA THOMPSON Saving Mr. BanksJUDI DENCH PhilomenaSANDRA BULLOCK Gravity
SUPPORTING ACTORBARKHAD ABDI Captain PhillipsBRADLEY COOPER American HustleDANIEL BRÜHL RushMATT DAMON Behind the CandelabraMICHAEL FASSBENDER 12 Years a Slave
SUPPORTING ACTRESSJENNIFER LAWRENCE American HustleJULIA ROBERTS August: Osage CountyLUPITA NYONG’O 12 Years a SlaveOPRAH WINFREY The ButlerSALLY HAWKINS Blue Jasmine
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILMGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman, Jonás CuarónMANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM Justin Chadwick, Anant Singh, David M. Thompson, William NicholsonPHILOMENA Stephen Frears, Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward, Jeff PopeRUSH Ron Howard, Andrew Eaton, Peter MorganSAVING MR. BANKS John Lee Hancock, Alison Owen, Ian Collie, Philip Steuer, Kelly Marcel, Sue SmithTHE SELFISH GIANT: Clio Barnard, Tracy O’Riordan
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCERCOLIN CARBERRY (Writer), GLENN PATTERSON (Writer) Good VibrationsKELLY MARCEL (Writer) Saving Mr. BanksKIERAN EVANS (Director/Writer) Kelly + VictorPAUL WRIGHT (Director/Writer), POLLY STOKES (Producer) For Those in PerilSCOTT GRAHAM (Director/Writer) Shell
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGETHE ACT OF KILLING Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge SørensenBLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent MaravalTHE GREAT BEAUTY Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca CimaMETRO MANILA Sean Ellis, Mathilde CharpentierWADJDA Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
DOCUMENTARYTHE ACT OF KILLING Joshua OppenheimerTHE ARMSTRONG LIE Alex GibneyBLACKFISH Gabriela CowperthwaiteTIM’S VERMEER Teller, Penn Jillette, Farley ZieglerWE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS Alex GibneyANIMATED FILMDESPICABLE ME 2 Chris Renaud, Pierre CoffinFROZEN Chris Buck, Jennifer LeeMONSTERS UNIVERSITY Dan Scanlon
ORIGINAL MUSIC12 YEARS A SLAVE Hans ZimmerTHE BOOK THIEF John WilliamsCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Henry JackmanGRAVITY Steven PriceSAVING MR. BANKS Thomas Newman
CINEMATOGRAPHY12 YEARS A SLAVE Sean BobbittCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Barry AckroydGRAVITY Emmanuel LubezkiINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Bruno DelbonnelNEBRASKA Phedon Papamichael
EDITING12 YEARS A SLAVE Joe WalkerCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Christopher RouseGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Mark SangerRUSH Dan Hanley, Mike HillTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Thelma Schoonmaker
PRODUCTION DESIGN12 YEARS A SLAVE Adam Stockhausen, Alice BakerAMERICAN HUSTLE Judy Becker, Heather LoefflerBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Howard CummingsGRAVITY Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne WoodlardTHE GREAT GATSBY Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
COSTUME DESIGNAMERICAN HUSTLE Michael WilkinsonBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Ellen MirojnickTHE GREAT GATSBY Catherine MartinTHE INVISIBLE WOMAN Michael O’ConnorSAVING MR. BANKS Daniel Orlandi
MAKE UP & HAIRAMERICAN HUSTLE Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-BellBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Kate Biscoe, Marie LarkinTHE BUTLER Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace NealTHE GREAT GATSBY Maurizio Silvi, Kerry WarnTHE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater
SOUNDALL IS LOST Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian ArthurCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver TarneyGRAVITY Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris MunroINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg OrloffRUSH Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTSGRAVITY Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki PennyTHE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric ReynoldsIRON MAN 3 Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan SudickPACIFIC RIM Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel SumnerSTAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett
BRITISH SHORT ANIMATIONEVERYTHING I CAN SEE FROM HERE Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam TaylorI AM TOM MOODY Ainslie HendersonSLEEPING WITH THE FISHES James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa
BRITISH SHORT FILMISLAND QUEEN Ben Mallaby, Nat LuurtsemaKEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina LimORBIT EVER AFTER Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len RowlesROOM 8 James W. Griffiths, Sophie VennerSEA VIEW Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot
There's no question that superheroes are a lucrative bunch. From Spider-Man to The Dark Knight, crime-fighters on the big screen often translate to big bucks at the box office. But how much does it actually cost to be a superhero? To celebrate Superhero Week — and May 4's all-star blockbuster The Avengers — Hollywood.com delves into the sustainability of our favorite heroes' super extracurricular activities. Would they have the funds — and good health — to keep up with their secret lifestyles? We’ve brought you Spider-Man, Batman, Iron Man, and the Hulk, and now, it’s time for the Man who’s faster (and thriftier) than a speeding bullet: Superman. We break down Bryan Singer’s 2006 film, Superman Returns , and discover that being Superman’s life is pretty much the best. In fact, with this post comes my resignation and an application to take over his duties and general lifestyle.
Name: Clark Kent
Occupation: He’s a pavement-pounding reporter for Metropolis’ Daily Planet, though he’s lucky to have the job after his unannounced five-year “vacation” — the one no one seems to notice matches up perfectly to Superman’s five-year hiatus.
Income: Well, it’s not much. The man’s an average reporter at the Daily News of Metropolis. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the average reporter makes approximately $35,000 a year, but that includes television reporters and those fancy folks at the New York Times. Considering that Kent is replacing an old reporter and he’s been missing for an exorbitant amount of time, we’re going to place him on the lower end of the scale, above the kids fresh out of college and below the solid $35k-ers. Salary: $30,000 a year.
Housing: Get ready to start tearing your hair out and screaming at that bird, or plane, or flying man in sky because Superman is about to blow your mind with the hidden superpower you can’t even try to possess (no matter how many times your dad sends you Yahoo! Articles about how to save money on everyday necessities): penny pinching. When he first crash lands back on Earth, he says rent free with his mama and when he returns to the big city, he’s ambiguously “still looking” for an apartment. He does take a little nap in Earth’s mesosphere, where he closes his eyes and hangs out like a confused, right-side-up bat just waiting to hear a crime to disturb his slumber so he can swoop down and save the day. He also throws some crystals into the water in Antarctica, which yields a giant crystal mansion which you might call the Fortress of Solitude. This magnificent palace costs him approximately nothing. Rent: $0 (The bastard.)
Costume: Keep up the fist-shaking and the screaming, because Superman doesn’t even need to buy his super suit. Why? It comes from space. Yes, as in that big mystery in the sky. The invulnerable material comes from Krypton, and unfortunately, no foreign currency exchange was willing to crunch the numbers to determine how many American dollars fit into one Kryptonian Ruble or Peso or Rupee or whatever Kryptonians use for currency. Superman does, however, (spoiler!) sustain a sizable rip in his suit when Lex Luthor stabs him with a Kryptonite crystal, and considering a sewing needle would be no match for the space-age fabric, he’d probably have to run home to Krypton to get it repaired. Then again, he does manage to shape his coif into that shiny do with the signature flirtatious curl at his temple, so he’s probably got an emergency tube of Dep on hand at all times. Cost: Year’s supply of Dep at $39.69, plus One Vacation Day for travel to Krypton.
Weapons: Did you not catch the part where he’s Superman? He doesn’t need weapons because he was born with invulnerability to everything but Kryptonite, the ability to fly, x-ray vision, heat vision, ice breath, super strength, ridiculously sensitive hearing, and the ability to disguise himself with only a terrible hairdo and some hipster glasses. Cost: $0
Disguise: This is likely where all of Clark Kent’s discretionary spending goes. In the comics, Superman had a pouch under his cape in which to hide his regular clothes, but Singer’s version doesn’t exactly explain that. Besides, ripping one’s clothes off while running has to have some sort of incidental loss. With that margin of error in mind, let’s assume he loses his outfit once every three or four quick changes. And Clark’s not fancy, so that’s $99 dollars for a London Fog Big and Tall overcoat, $240 for his Sears brown suit and shirt, $40 dollars for his leather loafers, and $14 for Urban Outfitters prescription-less “readers” black frame glasses. Cost: $353 (Chump change, considering he doesn’t pay for anything else.)
Damages: In most cases, Superman diminishes the damage from some near catastrophe by being, well, super. But on a few occasions, he makes a mess all on his own. His fiery return to earth destroys what I’ll estimate at about two acres of perfectly good corn-growing farmland. According to Bloomberg news, farmland is averaging at about $2,350 an acre, so if he’s the nice guy he swears he is, he’ll buy the damaged land off the owner’s hands — even if the owner is his mama. Then there’s the cost of at least a year of corn. According to the Iowa Corn Growers Association, an acre of land yields about 183 bushels of corn per harvest and the University of Illinois places each bushel at approximately $7 a bushel. Cost of making it right: $5,981
Transportation: He. can. fly. He doesn’t do the subway and taxis are for suckers. (Sorry, Lois Lane. He’ll still help you hail one if you want.) Cost: $0
Risks: He’s pretty damn invulnerable. Of course, that pesky Kryptonite causes problems from time to time, and when Lex stabs him, Superman winds up in critical care at the hospital. A visit like this could run him up to $20,000, especially since he is most definitely without health insurance, considering modern medicine can’t do much for death by Kryptonite. Superman, however, escapes in the middle of the night, good as new, without the proper discharge papers. And when all is said and done, even if the hospital wanted to charge him for medical services after he just saved the whole city, where would they send the bill? And who’d be audacious enough to hand the Man of Steel a whopping hospital bill? That’s what I thought. Cost: $0 (I repeat, the bastard.)
Perks: Is the fact that he’s netting $23k and change not enough of a perk? He’s got it made.
Entertainment: He doesn’t really have much fun because he spends so much time staring starry-eyed at Lois and fighting crime around the world, but he does make time for a few beers with Jimmy Olsen when he finds out Lois is seriously dating James Marsden. And he even gets a little tipsy, and since he’s so strapping, I’d say he’d need at least six beers to get saucy (that’s about $5 dollars a beer, plus a $2 tip per drink because he’s so super). He also steals a little date with Lois Lane, but he’s such a baller that all he has to do is fly her around through the dark (romantic) night, which costs him — you guessed it — absolutely nothing. Total: $42
Miscellaneous: In case you missed the last hour of the movie, Lois Lane’s little boy is actually Superman’s son. So for good measure, let’s say good ol’ Superman pays Lois Lane secret child support. Based on his $30k salary in the state of Kansas, he’d owe Miss Lane about $318 a month. Cost for a year: $3816
Sustainability: Clark Kent could sustain this until the end of time. His life is a charmed one — minus that part where he’s got a handful of vengeful enemies and (sigh) deadlines. But I’d fight 10-foot-tall fire-breathing tree people all day everyday if it meant I could stop paying $1,000 dollars a month in rent, okay? (Just don’t quote me on that when the Tree People Apocalypse comes.)
Final Calculation: He’s up $19,771.31 at the end of the year. Maybe next time he takes Lois out, he could finally spring for a steak dinner and some champagne. Verdict: Can I be Superman?
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler.
[Image: Warner Bros.]
The Hulk Spends What? The Price of Being a Superhero
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This weekend, Anna Faris hosted the SNL Halloween episode (which wasn't all that Halloween-y) with musical guest Drake. Sure, we enjoyed the opening monologue in which Fred Armisen took a whack at New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city's methods in dealing with the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Sure, Faris was her usual adorable self and Drake only took on two sketches, so he didn't quantitatively out-host her. But it was a pretty lackluster episode, so we're pitting two sketches against eachother: the double Anna Faris monologue and Drake's variety of interviews in the SNL Digital Short. It's basically cute and self-depreciative humor versus charming and self-depreciative humor with slightly better jokes. Take a look at these sketches and decide for yourself -- but the interview video is funnier.
Well this one’s a real ball buster. Okay, I had to make one inappropriate joke and I made it; I’ll stop now, I promise. Remember when MTV announced that they were going to drop Snooki inside of their own New Year’s Eve ball in New York? Apparently that didn’t sit well with the City of New York, because they’ve announced that the pickle-loving (no that’s not a euphemism), half-pint Jersey Shore star will not drop in an alternate NYE ball in Times Square. Apparently the reality show spin on the NYE ball is tainting the legacy of the official one, officiated by Dick Clark and Mayor Bloomberg. I can hear fist pumping hearts breaking everywhere.
Will they just relocate the ball? Will they still try to set the record for having the greatest number of people fist pumping at one time? I don’t think they’ll have trouble with that first one, but MTV’s headquarters and NYE celebration have been in Times Square for years, so I’m guessing they’re just going to drop the ball from the celebration this time. Whoops, another lame joke slipped in there. I guess I lied.
Source: Huffington Post