Sunday, 31 January 2016


The evening of the 30th of January 2016 could go down in history as a watershed for diversity in the American film industry. Alongside an astonishing display of support for inclusion from the Screen Actors Guild, there were wins in a similar vein at the conclusion of the Sundance Film Festival. Nate Parker's The Birth of a Nation won both jury and audience awards in the U.S. Dramatic section of the fest, and there were acting awards for Craig Robinson for Morris from America and Joe Seo for Spa Night. Furthermore, both top jury awards in the World Cinema sections were presented to women. What a heartening show of support for progression in American film. Check out all the winners right here:

U.S. Dramatic Awards

Grand Jury Prize
The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker)

Special Jury Prize
As You Are (Miles Joris-Peyrafitte)

Directing Award
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (Swiss Army Man)

Special Jury Award - Individual Performance
Melanie Lynskey (The Intervention)
Craig Robinson (Morris from America)

Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award
Chad Hartigan (Morris from America)

Special Jury Award - Breakthrough Performance
Joe Seo (Spa Night)

Audience Award
The Birth of a Nation (Nate Parker)

U.S. Documentary Awards

Grand Jury Prize
Weiner (Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg)

Directing Award
Roger Ross Williams (Life, Animated)

Special Jury Award - Writing
Robert Greene (Kate Plays Christine)

Special Jury Award - Editing
Penny Lane and Thom Stylinski (Nuts!)

Special Jury Award - Social Impact Filmmaking
Trapped (Dawn Porter)

Special Jury Award - Verite Filmmaking
The Bad Kids (Keith Fulton and Louis Pepe)

Audience Award
Jim: The James Foley (Brian Oakes)

World Cinema Dramatic Awards

Grand Jury Prize
Sand Storm (Elite Zexer)

Directing Award
Felix van Groeningen (Belgica)

Special Jury Award - Acting
Manolo Cruz and Vicky Hernandez (Between Sea and Land)

Special Jury Award - Screenwriting
Ines Bortagaray and Ana Katz (My Friend from the Park)

Special Jury Award - Unique Vision and Design
The Lure (Agnieszka Smoczynska)

Audience Award
Between Sea and Land (Manolo Cruz and Carlos del Castillo)

World Cinema Documentary Awards

Grand Jury Prize
Sonita (Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami)

Directing Award
Michal Marczak (All These Sleepless Nights)

Special Jury Award - Cinematography
Pieter-Jan de Pue (The Land of the Enlightened)

Special Jury Award - Editing
Kamitsuna Mako and John Maringouin (We Are X)

Special Jury Award for Debut Feature
Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel (When Two Worlds Collide)

Audience Award
Sonita (Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami)

Other Awards

Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize
Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra)

Best of Next Audience Award
First Girl I Loved (Kerem Sanga)


Treasure of stage and screen alike, British actor Frank Finlay died yesterday, the 30th of January 2016, aged 89. A RADA graduate, and frequent performer with the National Theatre in the West End, Finlay was a popular and prominent presence on the London stage, but was known the world over for his roles on television and in film. A mere few years into his big screen career, he was nominated for an Oscar for playing Iago in Laurence Olivier's Othello, an adaptation of the theatre production in which he had starred alongside his blacked-up co-lead and director. He went on to appear in such film titles as Gumshoe, The Three Musketeers, The Pianist and Norman Jewison's The Statement. Alongside his Oscar nomination, Finlay received nods from BAFTA, twice for film and twice for TV (including one win), the Golden Globes, and the San Sebastian International Film Festival for Othello. He is survived by his three children from deceased wife Doreen, Stephen, Cathy and Daniel. His absence will be felt within the dramatic community, and those around the world who follow it.


We have ourselves an Oscar race! The feeling that The Big Short could have the Best Picture category locked down after its PGA award a week ago was upset tonight by closest rival Spotlight's Ensemble Cast prize at the Screen Actors Guild awards. SAG rarely gives this award to a film that doesn't win one of its four individual acting categories, but this was far from the biggest surprise of the evening: Idris Elba's Supporting Actor win for Beasts of No Nation (one of two for Elba, including a TV award for Luther) makes him the first person in history to win a SAG award for film without a corresponding Oscar nomination. Pair that with the fact that only one TV award for which no POC were nominated went to a white person, and you have quite the statement to the Academy... Check out SAG's film nominations here, and their film awards below:

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Brie Larson (Room)

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Billy Crudup, Brian d'Arcy James, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery and Stanley Tucci (Spotlight)

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
Mad Max: Fury Road

Saturday, 30 January 2016


It was a done deal, lbr. Hank Corwin for The Big Short and Margaret Sixel for Mad Max: Fury Road both won ACE Eddie awards yesterday, cementing their position as joint frontrunners in the Oscar Best Editing race. That award will be tougher to call, though, with potential spoiler The Revenant right at their heels. Check out the American Cinema Editors' nominations at this link, and their winners below:

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road)

Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy)
Hank Corwin (The Big Short)

Best Edited Animated Feature Film
Kevin Nolting (Inside Out)

Best Edited Documentary (Feature)
Chris King (Amy)

Friday, 29 January 2016


You have Jacques Rivette to thank for the films you watch. Credited by many, including Francois Truffaut, as perhaps the progenitor (among many) of the enormously influential French New Wave movement of filmmaking, M. Rivette died today, the 29th of January 2016, due to complications from Alzheimer's. He was 87 years of age. Despite never receiving the same level of international fame as his Cahiers du Cinema colleagues and fellow New Wave filmmakers, Rivette's diverse and experimental features rank among the most important works in film history. In particular, his rarely-screened thirteen-hour 1971 film Out 1, and his '74 Surrealist comedy Celine and Julie Go Boating have endured as two classics of their era, and prized pieces within the art form. Later works include The Gang of Four, La Belle Noiseuse, considered by some as his return to form, and Va Savoir (Who Knows?). During his career, Rivette was the recipient of a FIPRESCI prize, a Special Jury Prize and a Leopard of Honour from the Locarno International Film Festival, and other festival titles including two from Cannes and one more from Berlin. He is survived by his wife, Veronique, and will surely be missed by so many more.


I admire Daniel Dencik. I think he's a decent director. He knows where to place his camera. He knows how to elicit strong performances from his entire cast of actors. He knows how to instill a palpable sense of place and atmosphere in his films. But I don't admire Gold Coast. It both undermines his skill and draws attention to the deficiencies therein. It provides obvious opportunities for technical excellence, and a wealth of meaty characters for select members of its ensemble, but stops far short of providing similar opportunities for greatness - the kind of greatness to which surely all historical epics aspire. On these grounds, Gold Coast is a tolerable effort, neither as good as it wants to be nor as bad as it could have been. On broader grounds, however, it transpires that it is only said technical excellence, and said strong performances from the cast that keep Gold Coast afloat - its most damning deficiency resides in the very core of its conceit. Alas, this is yet another cinematic paean to white triumph, a film that exalts its Caucasian hero above all others, only praising its native African characters for exceeding what lowly expectations we're primed to have of them. The white man struggles and we're supposed to feel for him, he becomes enlightened and we're supposed to respect him, he only doesn't abuse the slaves he nevertheless maintains and we're supposed to applaud him; is there not something fundamentally awry when a majority of a film's ensemble is black and yet we're only supposed to even notice them when its white leads do? The intentions in Dencik and Sara Isabella Jonsson Vedde's screenplay are as respectful as they are reductive, and plainly ignorant. Only for the adequacy of Daniel Dencik's technique and the commitment of Jakob Oftebro (pants literally clinging to peen) in the lead, does Gold Coast survive the impossible challenge it sets itself: how to be a good movie when you're also racist as fuck?

Thursday, 28 January 2016


It's France, so what else did you expect? Festival titles dominate the nominations for the 41st Cesar Awards, with Xavier Giannoli's Marguerite and Arnaud Desplechin's My Golden Days - Venice and Cannes debuts respectively - dominating the field with 11 mentions apiece. Voters were clearly of similar minds this year, as a hefty six films scored more than seven nominations: Cannes Palme d'Or recipient Dheepan and Oscar-nominated Mustang both secured nine, while Emmanuelle Bercot stars in Mon Roi and directs Standing Tall, both up for eight awards. But listen up: what a thrillingly diverse selection! Three of the Best Film nominees feature people of colour in leading roles! Three of them are directed by women; all of those women are also competing for the Best Director award! There are more leading women among the Best Film nominees than men! Two women are nominated for Best Cinematography, an award which no woman has ever been up for at the Oscars! The annual ceremony will this year be held on the 26th of February. Check out the full list of nominees below:

Best Film
Dheepan (Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux and Gregoire Sorlat)
Fatima (Philippe Faucon and Yasmina Nina-Faucon)
The Measure of a Man (Philip Boeffard, Stephane Brize and Christophe Rossignon)
Marguerite (Olivier Delbosc, Xavier Giannoli and Marc Missonier)
Mon Roi (Yvain Attal and Maiwenn le Besco)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Erguven and Charles Gillibert)
My Golden Days (Pascal Caucheteux, Arnaud Desplechin and Gregoire Sorlat)
Standing Tall (Emmanuelle Bercot, Francois Kraus and Denis Pineau-Valencienne)

Best Director
Jacques Audiard (Dheepan)
Emmanuelle Bercot (Standing Tall)
Stephane Brize (The Measure of a Man)
Arnaud Desplechin (My Golden Days)
Deniz Gamze Erguven (Mustang)
Xavier Giannoli (Marguerite)
Maiwenn le Besco (Mon Roi)

Best Actor
Jean-Pierre Bacri (The Very Private Life of Mister Sim)
Vincent Cassel (Mon Roi)
Francois Damiens (Les Cowboys)
Gerard Depardieu (Valley of Love)
Anthonythasan Jesuthasan (Dheepan)
Vincent Lindon (The Measure of a Man)
Fabrice Luchini (Courted)

Best Actress
Loubna Abidar (Much Loved)
Emmanuelle Bercot (Mon Roi)
Cecile de France (Summertime)
Catherine Deneuve (Standing Tall)
Catherine Frot (Marguerite)
Isabelle Huppert (Valley of Love)
Soria Zeroua (Fatima)

Best Supporting Actor
Michel Fau (Marguerite)
Louis Garrel (Mon Roi)
Benoit Magimel (Standing Tall)
Andre Marcon (Marguerite)
Vincent Rottiers (Dheepan)

Best Supporting Actress
Sara Forrestier (Standing Tall)
Agnes Jaoui (The Sweet Escape)
Sidse Babett Knudsen (Courted)
Noemie Lvovsky (Summertime)
Karine Viard (Families)

Best Original Screenplay
Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain and Noe Debre (Dheepan)
Emmanuelle Bercot and Marcia Romano (Standing Tall)
Arnaud Desplechin and Julie Peyr (My Golden Days)
Deniz Gamze Erguven and Alice Winocour (Mustang)
Xavier Giannoli (Marguerite)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Samuel Benchetrit (Asphalte)
Stephane Cabrel and Vincent Garenq (The Clearstream Affair)
Philippe Faucon (Fatima)
David Oelhoffen and Frederic Tellier (L'Affaire SK1)
Benoit Jacquot and Helene Zimmer (Diary of a Chambermaid)

Best Cinematography
David Chizallet (Mustang)
Irina Lubtchansky (My Golden Days)
Eponine Monmenceau (Dheepan)
Christophe Offenstein (Valley of Love)
Glynn Speeckaert (Marguerite)

Best Editing
Laurence Briaud (My Golden Days)
Simon Jacquet (Mon Roi)
Cyril Nakache (Marguerite)
Mathilde van de Moortel (Mustang)
Juliette Welfling (Dheepan)

Best Production Design
Toma Baqueni (My Golden Days)
Michel Barthelemy (Dheepan)
Martin Kurel (Marguerite)
Jean Rabasse (L'Odeur de la Mandarine)
Katia Wyszkop (Diary of a Chambermaid)

Best Costumes
Pierre-Jean Larroque (Marguerite)
Catherine Leterrier (L'Odeur de la Mandarine)
Nathalie Raoul (My Golden Days)
Anais Roman (Diary of a Chambermaid)
Selin Sozen (Mustang)

Best Sound
Nicolas Cantin, Sylvain Malbrant and Stephane Tiebaut (My Golden Days)
Emanuel Croset, Nicolas Provost and Agnes Ravez (Mon Roi)
Valerie Deloof, Cyril Holtz and Daniel Sorbino (Dheepan)
Olivier Goinard, Ibrahim Gok and Damien Guillaume (Mustang)
Gabriel Hafner and Francois Musy (Marguerite)

Best Music
Warren Ellis (Mustang)
Raphael Haroche (Les Cowboys)
Gregoire Hetzel (My Golden Days)
Ennio Morricone (Come What May)
Stephen Warbeck (Mon Roi)

Best Animated Feature
Adama (Simon Rouby)
Avril and the Twisted World (Christian Desmares and Franck Ekinci)
The Little Prince (Mark Osborne)

Best Documentary
Cavanna (Denis Robert and Nina Robert)
A German Youth (Jean-Gabriel Periot)
The Missing Picture (Panh Rithy)
The Pearl Button (Patricio Guzman)
Tomorrow (Cyril Dion and Melanie Laurent)

Best Foreign Film
Birdman (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu)
The Brand New Testament (Jaco van Dormael)
I'm Dead But I Have Friends (Guillaume Malandrin and Stephane Malandrin)
Mia Madre (Nanni Moretti)
Son of Saul (Nemes Laszlo)
Taxi (Jafar Panahi)
Youth (Paolo Sorrentino)

Best First Film
L'Affaire SK1 (Frederic Tellier)
Les Cowboys (Thomas Bidegain)
Mustang (Deniz Gamze Erguven)
The Wakhan Front (Clement Cogitore)
All Three of Us (Kheiron Tabib)

Best Breakout Actor
Swann Arlaud (The Anarchists)
Quentin Dolmaire (My Golden Days)
Felix Moati (All About Them)
Finnegan Oldfield (Les Cowboys)
Rod Paradot (Standing Tall)

Best Breakout Actress
Camille Cotin (Connasse, Princess of Hearts)
Sara Giraudeau (Les Betises)
Zita Hanrot (Fatima)
Lou Roy Lecollinet (My Golden Days)
Diane Rouxel (Standing Tall)

Best Short Film
Back Alley (Cecile Ducrocq)
Le Dernier des Cefrans (Pierre-Emmanuel Urcun)
Essaie de Mourir Jeune (Morgon Simon)
Guy Moquet (Demis Herenger)
Mon Heros (Sylvain Desclous)

Best Animated Short
La Nuit Americaine d'Angelique (Joris Clerte and Pierre-Emmanuel Lyet)
Le Repas Dominical (Celine Devaux)
Sous Tes Doigts (Marie-Christine Courtes)
Tigre a la Queue Leu Leu (Benoit Chieux)

Wednesday, 27 January 2016


The truth of the matter: before the spin, beyond the hyperbole, beneath the bias. Believe what you want, but the truth exists still - unchanged, undeterred, unheard of by those who insist on believing only what they want. The truth of James Vanderbilt's Truth: before the misinterpretations, beyond the misinformation, beneath the mismanagement of a story founded upon the principle of truth - this is a good movie, with a good heart, besieged by bad handling. Vanderbilt leans too heavily on what we can glean for ourselves, layering the heroism on thick and hard, spinning a story that was already spoilt by spin. He buries the truth his film seeks, discovers and otherwise delineates effectively, and almost buries the entire film as a result. The Spielbergian touch is present, there in the inquisitive (male) youth, and the dogged, integrity-driven (male) journo; the acting meets the low standard set by the writing, save the mighty Cate Blanchett. She takes a leaf from her character's book, struggling against the weight of a system determined to destroy her, propelled through each scene by sheer drive to overcome, to allow Truth to truly get to that truth it wishes to tell. The first half of Truth is all trailer-ready soundbites and cute, insincere edits; the second half settles somewhat, fuelled less by the desire to ignite the box office, more by the desire to ignite fury in the viewer. It's no artistic triumph, but it's at least worth the wait. And here, James Vanderbilt genuinely does get to the truth of the matter. It's a good movie, but you'd be forgiven for missing that.


Nominations for the 63rd Motion Picture Sound Editors awards have been announced - yes, that's 63 years of awards for sound editors, and how many of them can you even recall? It's also 63 years of practice for the MPSE, yet they still can't perfect the names of their own nominees, crediting What Happened, Miss Simone? as 'What Happened to Miss Simone', bizarrely. Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant and Star Wars: The Force Awakens nab the total number of nominations available to each - three - and will face off against one another in all of those categories. Also claiming three nods are ace sound editor Martin Hernandez (all for The Revenant), who has worked on some of the most notable soundscapes in film since his debut on collaborator Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Amores Perros in 2000 (I've made my feelings on The Revenant pretty clear, but it thoroughly deserves all these sound nominations), and Paul Apelgren, whose work on three of 2015's blockbuster films sees him recognised with three mentions in the Music Score Editing category. Winners will be announced on the 27th of February, one day before the Oscars. Check out the nominees below:

Best Sound Effects & Foley
Lon Bender, Martín Hernández and Randy Thom (The Revenant)
Scott Hecker and Mark A. Mangini (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Daniel Laurie and Shannon Mills (Ant-Man)
Alan Robert Murray (Sicario)
Al Nelson and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle (Jurassic World)
Oliver Tarney (The Martian)
Mandell Winter (Southpaw)
Matthew Wood (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Best Dialogue & ADR
Lon Bender, Martín Hernández and Randy Thom (The Revenant)
Niall Brady (Room)
Scott Hecker and Mark A. Mangini (Mad Max: Fury Road)
Greg Hedgepath and Mark P. Stoeckinger (Straight Outta Compton)
Richard Hymns (Bridge of Spies)
Alan Robert Murray (Sicario)
Oliver Tarney (The Martian)
Matthew Wood (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)

Best Music Score Editing
Paul Apelgren (Jupiter Ascending)
Paul Apelgren (Jurassic World)
Paul Apelgren (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Bob Badami (Mad Max: Fury Road)
John Finklea (Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation)
Martín Hernández (The Revenant)
Tony Lewis (The Martian)
Ronald Webb (Creed)

Best Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue & ADR – Animation
Christopher S. Aud and Aaron Glascock (Anomalisa)
Anthony Bayman and Adrian Rhodes (Shaun the Sheep Movie)
Ren Klyce and Shannon Mills (Inside Out)
Dennis Leonard (Minions)
Shannon Mills (The Good Dinosaur)
Geoffrey G. Rubay (Hotel Transylvania 2)
Randy Thom and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle (The Peanuts Movie)

Best Sound Editing – Documentary
Christopher Barnett and Tim Nielsen (Racing Extinction)
Bob Bronow (The Wrecking Crew)
Cameron Frankley (Cobain: Montage of Heck)
Luke Gibleon and Mark P. Stoeckinger (A Faster Horse)
Stephen Griffiths and Andy Shelley (Amy)
Pete Horner (Best of Enemies)
Oleg Kulchytskyi (Winter on Fire)
Tony Volante (What Happened, Miss Simone?)

Best Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue & ADR – Foreign Film
Amrit Pritam Dutta and Resul Pookutty (Unfreedom)
Markus Glunz and Peter Staubli (Northmen: A Viking Saga)
Enrique Greiner and Frédéric le Louet (Days of Grace)
Zányi Tamás (Son of Saul)

Best Music Editing in a Musical
Amanda Goodpaster (Pitch Perfect 2)
Nicholas Renbeck (Love & Mercy)
Jason Ruder (Straight Outta Compton)

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


Art through the eyes of an artist: an experience of education and enlightenment, and also an exercise in solipsistic indulgence. Aleksandr Sokurov has forever traded in bedazzlement and befuddlement, but while the purpose of Francofonia feels sound, the intentions behind it naturally evident in this wondrous catalogue of sumptuous artworks, its delivery is fundamentally wrong. Truly, the last thing that any of Sokurov's films needs is a sensation of triviality; Francofonia is as restless, as ephemeral, as innately indistinct as anything he's done before, but it's all undercut by a jarring inconsequentiality. The director's rambling narration neither illuminates nor compliments, blighted by insights that feel alternately obvious and irrelevant, and musings on art and history that come across far more narcissistic than they ought to, coming from one of cinema's most singular artists himself. The flippancy that this inspires in the film only encourages distance on the viewer's part, rendering Francofonia less the immersive experience it was surely intended to be, more of an unfocused essay piece. Dips into modern abstraction don't work well; better are the scripted scenes, where Sokurov's inimitable appreciation of how to link the complexity of human thought and emotion with a legitimate, unintrusive artistic scheme is allowed to flourish. And the film is sprinkled with moments of genuine inspiration and dramatic pull - it's far from a write-off. But perhaps so direct a focus on something much more easily distinguishable than human psychology has proved too simplistic, too distinct for this filmmaker, whose idiosyncratic indistinction does little to flatter it.

Sunday, 24 January 2016


Here's the confirmation you needed - this Oscar race could go any which way from here. Beating Critics' Choice champ Spotlight and Golden Globe winner The Revenant, The Big Short takes the top prize from the Producers Guild of America. It's an important win for the film, as it failed - like last year's winner, Birdman - to win the Comedy / Musical Globe earlier this month, and because no PGA winner has missed the Best Picture Oscar since the two groups simultaneously expanded their lineups and adopted a preferential ballot seven years ago. Check out the PGA nominees at this link, and the award winners below:

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures
The Big Short (Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Brad Pitt)

Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Inside Out (Jonas Rivera)

Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
Amy (James Gay-Rees)

Friday, 22 January 2016


Here are the results of Artios Award voting by the Casting Society of America. Seven categories, seven different winners as no film was eligible to compete in more than one field. Major awards season players intermingle with lesser-celebrated titles, which is a pleasant and refreshing change from the usual slate of usual suspects. Check out the CSA's nominations for 2015 here, and their award winners below:

Best Casting (Big Budget - Drama)
Meagan Lewis, Pat Moran, Carolyn Pickman, Beth Sepko, Lucinda Syson, Victoria Thomas and Cindy Tolan (Straight Outta Compton)

Best Casting (Big Budget - Comedy)
Meagan Lewis and Francine Maisler (The Big Short)

Best Casting (Studio or Independent - Drama)
Robin D. Cook, Jonathan Oliveira and Fiona Weir (Room)

Best Casting (Studio or Independent - Comedy)
Angela Demo, Nancy Mosser and Katie Shenot (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)

Best Casting (Low Budget - Drama)
Angela Demo (The Stanford Prison Experiment)

Best Casting (Low Budget - Comedy)
Kim Coleman (Dope)

Best Casting (Animation)
Natalie Lyon and Kevin Reher (Inside Out)


The thrill of watching a completed work that's also a work-in-progress. Sherpa is practically produced before our eyes, ostensibly one out-of-the-ordinary true story transformed into an extraordinary true story by tragedy and turmoil. Jennifer Peedom is uncovering a deeper, more resonant truth than the ephemeral relationship between obnoxious Westerners and their magnificent subject, Mt. Everest; her subjects are the Sherpas, and the truth she relays of their relationship with Chomolungma is, too, transformed by tragedy and turmoil, and in an infinitely more profound manner. The final side to the triangle completes Sherpa in a most satisfactory way, chronicling the interaction between these two groups of people, uncovering deeper truths still about humanity, confirming suggestions and suspicions and transforming this film into a psychological study that's even more unexpected than the avalanche that engenders it. Jennifer Peedom's film is, by turns, horrifying, terrifying and triumphant, not merely by virtue of a smart choice of subject in a remarkable, accidental circumstance, but by a genuine respect for the Sherpa people. She enters into this project with clarity, humility and respect; in depicting Sherpa culture with simplicity, honesty, a lack of ambiguity yet an appreciation that this depiction could never fully capture every last essence of its subject, she forms an understanding of it that is far greater than that of this film's arrogant foreign invaders. By and large, they cannot appreciate the legitimacy of this culture, too entrenched are they in their entitlement - Peedom is as perceptive here as elsewhere, and her unintrusive empathy as a filmmaker allows her to allow others to hang themselves, or to save themselves, as they see fit. It's the unexpected thrill of the unexpected, so much so that even Sherpa's real-life characters don't truly see any of it coming.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016


Eight films make the Chlotrudis Society's Best Movie slate for 2015, one more than the usual. It was a good year for films, if you believe the Chlotrudis voters - not that you'd need them to tell you that! The Duke of Burgundy leads all 47 nominated films with seven nominations; the only other film to score more than four mentions is Tangerine. Reflecting the high quality of eligible titles and the wonderfully varied tastes of society members, you'll find a number of curiosities among their choices: Carol appearing only in Best Director and a few tech categories, Room turning up in Best Editing only, and seemingly rogue mentions for Demet Akbag in Winter Sleep, and Me and Earl and the Dying Girl up for its screenplay. No word yet on when the winners are due to be announced; due to this, points will be taken for the SOS Critics' Tally now, and amended when winners are revealed. Check out the nominations below:

Best Movie
The Assassin
The Duke of Burgundy
White God
Wild Tales

Best Director
Todd Haynes (Carol)
Hou Hsiao Hsien (The Assassin)
Mundruczó Kornél (White God)
Abderrahmane Sissako (Timbuktu)
Peter Strickland (The Duke of Burgundy)
Damián Szifrón (Wild Tales)

Best Actor
Christopher Abbott (James White)
Jemaine Clement (People Places Things)
Paul Dano (Love & Mercy)
Oscar Isaac (A Most Violent Year)
Bruce Greenwood (Wildlike)
Jason Segel (The End of the Tour)

Best Actress
Ronit Elkabetz (Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem)
Nina Hoss (Phoenix)
Kikuchi Rinko (Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter)
Bel Powley (The Diary of a Teenage Girl)
Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)
Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)
Karidja Touré (Girlhood)

Best Supporting Actor
Emory Cohen (Brooklyn)
Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation)
Michael Fassbender (Slow West)
Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)
Michael Shannon (99 Homes)

Best Supporting Actress
Demet Akbag (Winter Sleep)
Cynthia Nixon (James White)
Kristen Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria)
Mya Taylor (Tangerine)
Katherine Waterston (Queen of Earth)

Best Original Screenplay
Jemaine Clement and Taiki Waititi (What We Do in the Shadows)
Ronit Elkabetz and Shlomi Elkabetz (Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem)
Deniz Gamze Ergüven and Alice Winocour (Mustang)
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Spotlight)
Mundruczó Kornél, Petrányi Viktória and Wéber Kata (White God)
Peter Strickland (The Duke of Burgundy)
Damián Szifrón (Wild Tales)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jesse Andrews – based on his novel (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)
Emma Donoghue – based on her novel (Room)
Nick Hornby – based on the novel by Colm Tóibín (Brooklyn)
Charlie Kaufman – based on his play (Anomalisa)
Donald Margulies – based on the book by David Lipsky (The End of the Tour)

Best Cinematography
Sean Baker and Radium Cheung (Tangerine)
Nicholas D. Knowland (The Duke of Burgndy)
Edward Lachman (Carol)
Lee Ping Bin (The Assassin)
Gökhan Tiryaki (Winter Sleep)

Best Editing
Matyas Fekete (The Duke of Burgundy)
Affonso Gonçalves (Carol)
Julien Lacheray (Girlhood)
Nathan Nugent (Room)
Chris Wyatt (’71)

Best Production Design
Roy Andersson (A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence)
Judy Becker (Carol)
Huang Wen Ying (The Assassin)
François Séguin (Brooklyn)
Pater Sparrow (The Duke of Burgundy)

Best Use of Music in a Film
Boy Meets Girl
The Duke of Burgundy
Love & Mercy

Best Performance by an Ensemble Cast
About Elly
What We Do in the Shadows

Best Documentary
Best of Enemies
Call Me Lucky
Red Army
Stray Dog
What Happened, Miss Simone?

Buried Treasure Award
Appropriate Behaviour
Charlie’s Country
People Places Things