Kamis, 28 Februari 2013

GAME OF THRONES Season 3 Episode Titles Revealed

Eight of the ten episode titles for Season 3 of Game of Thrones have been announced. These are as follows (with airdate and writer/director information):

Paul Kaye as Thoros of Myr

301: Valar Dohaeris
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Airdate: 31 March

302: Dark Wings, Dark Words
Written by Vanessa Taylor
Directed by Daniel Minahan
Airdate: 7 April

303: Walk of Punishment
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Airdate: 14 April

304: And Now His Watch is Ended
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Alex Graves
Airdate: 21 April

305: Kissed by Fire
Written by Bryan Cogman
Directed by Alex Graves
Airdate: 28 April

306: tbc
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Alik Sakharov
Airdate: 5 May

307: The Bear and the Maiden Fair
Written by George R.R. Martin
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Airdate: 12 May

308: tbc
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by Michelle MacLaren
Airdate: 19 May

309: The Rains of Castamere
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by David Nutter
Airdate: 26 May

310: Mhysa
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Directed by David Nutter
Airdate: 2 June

For those wondering, 'Mhysa' is a Ghiscari word from the book, which translates as 'Mother'.

STORMLIGHT ARCHIVE #2 gets a title

Brandon Sanderson has announced that his second Stormlight Archive novel, the sequel to The Way of Kings, will be entitled Words of Radiance. He'd previously suggested The Book of Endless Pages and Highprince as War as possible titles, but settled on this title for the reasons given at the link.

Assuming Sanderson completes the novel on schedule, it should be released this November.

2013 Robert Award Winners

Pulling up post as awards are in progress right now. Just a few minutes ago Amour by Michael Haneke won a Robert! Until this moment tech awards have gone mainly to A Royal Affair and A Hijacking.

Winners are in *BLUE. To learn winners in all film and TV categories go to official site.

Best Film
10 timer til Pardis (Teddy Bear), Mads Matthiesen
Den skaldede frisør (Love is All You Need), Susanne Bier
En kongelig affære (A Royal Affair), Nikolaj Arcel
*Kapringen (A Hijacking), Tobias Lindholm
Undskyld jeg forstyrrer (Excuse Me), Henrik Ruben Genz

Best Director
*Nikolaj Arcel for En kongelig affære (A Royal Affair)
Susanne Bier for Den skaldede frisør (Love is All You Need)
Tobias Lindholm for Kapringen (A Hijacking)
Kaspar Munk for You & Me Forever
Lotte Svendsen for Max pinlig på Roskilde

Best Actress (tie)
Alicia Vikander in En kongelig affære (A Royal Affair)
Birgitte Hjort Sørensen in Marie Krøyer
*Bodil Jørgensen in Hvidstengruppen (This is Life)
Sara Hjort in Undskyld jeg forstyrrer (Excuse Me)
*Trine Dyrholm in Den skaldede frisør (Love is All You Need)

Best Actor
Jens Jørn Spottag in Hvidstengruppen (This is Life)
Lars Mikkelsen in Viceværten (A Caretaker's Tale)
Mads Mikkelsen in En kongelig affære (A Royal Affair)
*Søren Malling in Kapringen (A Hijacking)
Søren Sætter-Lassen in Marie Krøyer

Winners in other categories

Best Supporting Actress: Trine Dyrholm in Den skaldede frisør (Love is All You Need)
Best Supporting Actor: Mikkel Boe Følsgaard in Den skaldede frisør (Love is All You Need)

On January 23 the Danish Film Academy announced the nominations for this year's edition and nominees confirm that 2012 was an outstanding year for Danish cinema as there are many extraordinary films that were produced -some with huge local box office success and highly honored in the awards/festival circuit- during the year, including one film that is not honored this year as was NOT released in Danish theaters during the last calendar year; I'm talking about Thomas Vinterberg's Jagten (The Hunt) that surely will be honored in the 2014 edition.

Nikolaj Arcel's A Royal Affair leads with 15 nominations, which is remarkable as the award has 16 film categories and the Oscar nominated movie got a nod in all but one categories. Arcel's film is followed by A Hijacking by Tobias Lindholm with 12 nods and as happened in the Bodils, for the first time acting brothers Mads and Lars Mikkelsen will compete against each other for the Best Actor award.

Award ceremony will take place on February 28th in Copenhagen’s Tivoli Hotel and Congress Centre and will be broadcasted by TV2 from 8:50pm local time

To check nominees in all categories go to Academy site or Danish Film Institute site, available only in Danish. Not related to film but very interesting is that for the first time the Academy will give Roberts in five television categories; believe is a great honor for television that just complements the great ratings and financial success some very famous Danish TV series have been getting overseas, some really worth watching even if are dubbed - series should be subtitled but we know television loves to dub instead of small hard-to-read subtitles BUT is time we all realize that TV size has become a lot bigger than not so long ago and subtitles have become very easy to read. Sigh.

Selasa, 26 Februari 2013

How the Next Generation Could Kill Gaming (as we know it)

Back in the 1980s, when I started gaming, it took a few people perhaps a few weeks to make a good game. Even the mighty Elite - the first proper 3D game and arguably the first proper open-world game - took two guys a few months to put together. A few years later, during the 16-bit era of the Commodore Amiga, SNES and Megadrive (Genesis for you American types), this had increased to teams of a dozen or so taking a few months to a year, tops, to put together a game. The gaming industry was in the good health, with the biggest mega-hits making tens of millions of dollars but even a game selling just a few thousand copies could still turn a profit.

How times have changed. Today, it takes teams of several dozen people anything from two to six years to make a game, with budgets in the tens of millions of dollars. Dozens of game development studios have closed over the course of the last generation of gaming (which began in 2005 with the release of the X-Box 360), in many cases despite selling millions of copies of games. It's no longer enough to be successful. Now you have to produce a fast-selling megahit from day one, otherwise your company might go bust.

It's been a disturbing period. Several of my favourite games of all time are Hostile Waters, Anachronox, Planescape: Torment, Freespace 2 and the Homeworld trilogy, all moderately-budgeted games that sold reasonably well on release but nothing to write home about. Those games simply would not exist in today's publisher-driven marketplace. The entire midlist of gaming - those games that are well above the indie level in terms of both cost and sales but below the mega-hits - has simply evaporated.

A good example of this is Rockstar's May 2012 release Max Payne 3. This game cost an estimated $105 million, not including marketing. The game was required to sell 3 million copies at full price in its first few weeks on sale to break even, which it rather spectacularly failed to do: the game 'only' shifted 440,000 copies in its first month. It is questionable if the game has broken even yet, and if it has it's only a moderate success, especially by Rockstar's standards. Their previous game Red Dead Redemption (released in 2010 had sold 8 million copies since release and, before that, Grand Theft Auto IV (2008) has sold more than 25 million.

Rockstar obviously aren't going bust over this disappointment. Their latest game, Grand Theft Auto V, launches in September and will likely be the biggest-selling game of the year (this year's Call of Duty title notwithstanding). However, with a much vaster gaming environment that GTA4 and with three major protagonists to voice and write rather than one, GTA5's budget is likely considerably larger than even the $100 million of its predecessor.

Last week, Sony announced the existence of the PlayStation 4 console, due for release later this year (probably November). In April Microsoft are expected to announce the release - either this Christmas or early next year - of their successor to the X-Box 360. Both of the new consoles are going to be more powerful and more impressive than their forebears. The PS4 has 16 times the memory and a vastly more powerful graphics card and CPU than its forebear. Crucially, it's also based around off-the-shelf PC hardware rather than dedicated technology, keeping costs down and making games development and porting between the platforms much easier. Nevertheless, the arrival of the new consoles is hugely problematic for studios. Games will now require more advanced graphics and even more resources to make them look as good as possible. Some gaming companies are already warning that budgets for the next generation of gaming could balloon out of control and leave very few companies and franchises standing. The massive popularity of Facebook games and mobile games is also begging the question: do gamers really want even moar graphics? Sony desperately need the PS4 to be a huge hit to help arrest their company's decade-long decline, but it's far from certain it will be.

Some companies are already taking avoiding action. Obsidian Entertainment are developing their new epic fantasy RPG, Project Eternity, for PC and Mac alone (but don't be surprised to see mobile/tablet versions later on), forsaking the console race altogether. Project Eternity is a game using hand-drawn 2D artwork for its background and 3D character models. This keeps costs and development time down immensely. The game was greenlit (via the Kickstarter service) only in October, but is expected to ship in early 2014, after less than 18 months of development. The Dragon Age games, on the other hand, are full 3D titles, which each item in the game taking anything from hours to weeks to create and texture. The original Dragon Age title took about five years to make, with its sequel re-using many of its assets. Dragon Age III, due in 2014, will have taken about three years to develop. All three games had budgets comfortably in the tens of millions, whilst Project Eternity's budget is only about $5 million ($4.1 million or so of that from Kickstarter). As the above screenshot shows, Project Eternity is still a good-looking game by any measure. Obsidian have simply been a lot more careful about where to put its money and to minimise its risks.

If a lot more companies take steps like these, the next generation could be a fruitful time for innovation in gaming. However, the blunt forces approach taken so far by Sony, and likely by Microsoft as well, is not encouraging. If sales of the new consoles and their games are down whilst budgets continue to escalate past the point of sustainability, we could see the entire notion of a video game console disappear altogether. Of course, that may not entirely be a bad thing if it results in more rewarding and original games appearing on other platforms. As always, time will tell.

2013 Oscars Accountability, My Predictions and Some Stats

As many do, usually post my predictions before one day or same day as Oscar show and call them "very late predictions"; but this year things got very clear days ahead, so end up doing predictions on the Wednesday before the Sunday or 5 days before show began. My certainty was not that bad as when we compare winners with predictions the score is pretty good: 22 out of 24. The results give me a 92% accuracy rating. If you wish to check my predictions go here.

Production Design and Sound Editing were the categories where predictions and winners did not coincide as Lincoln won first category and second was a tie between Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall. The second category was the most unexpected result for me as never imagined a tie (has happened only four times) much less that the Academy could honor Zero Dark Thirty in any way. But it happened and yes, I'm SO glad that what I consider the best American movie in 2012 did not went empty handed, no matter what I think about the most "popular" awards in the world.

As predicted the big winner of the night was Life of Pi that got 4 awards (predicted 6) most in tech specs but also in one top category, Best Director. Sharing the second position, Argo with 3 awards, 2 tech and the notorious Best Picture, and Les Miserables that also got 3, 2 tech and Best Supporting Actress. But truth is that this Oscar edition spread the wealth among several movies that obtained at least one award.

It is impossible not to notice that Lincoln almost came empty handed as from being the most nominated film (12 nods) only got two awards, one for a tech spec, Production Design, and the other more visible, Best Actor. The other two timers are Django Unchained winning Best Supporting Actor and best Original Screenplay, and Skyfall which won Best Song and Sound Editing making movie the only multi-award winner that did not had a Best Picture nomination.

From the nominated to Best Picture only one went empty handed, Beasts of the Southern Wild as Amour, Silver Linings Playbook and Zero Dark Thirty won one award each.

2013 Pundittracker

Yesterday Pundittracker publish the list of the 22 pundits they track and TO MY SURPRISE, the highest score was guessing 21 out of 24 categories (88% accuracy rating), an accomplishment that was shared by Anthony Breznican from Entertainment Weekly and Scott Feinberg from Hollywood Reporter. IF they had followed me, I would have ended on top of the list as got one more category than them. To check the list go here.

This year I was quite apathetic about playing the guessing game with prizes and most "serious" world sites were also apathetic, so they didn't play this year. But yes, I have won before and the best award for me was FREE movies at great VOD sites. Maybe next year nominated movies will have more quality and those sites will play again so I can win FREE watching at their sites. Sigh.

2013 Oscar edition broke some records and here are some of them.

Daniel Day-Lewis became the first actor to win three Best Actor awards. The highest achieving actor is Katherine Hepburn who won four Best Actress Oscars. Day-Lewis joins other three timers, Jack Nicholson (2 lead, 1 supporting), Meryl Streep (2 lead, 1 supporting), Walter Brennan (3 supporting) and Ingrid Bergman (2 lead, 1 supporting).

Brenda Chapman is the first woman to win an Oscar for Best Animated Picture, she directed Brave along Mark Andrews.

Quvenzhane Wallis, aged 9-years-old, became the youngest ever Oscar nominated for Best Actress; only two Oscar nominated young male actors, aged 8 and also 9 -but a few days younger than Wallis is- are younger than her, Justin Henry in Kramer vs. Kramer (Supporting Actor) and Jackie Cooper in Skippy (Best Actor).

Contrary to what many think Emmanuelle Riva is not the oldest person/woman to receive an Oscar nomination, the honor belongs to Gloria Stuart in Titanic -she was 87 when nominated- but her nomination was for Supporting Actress which makes Riva the oldest woman nominated for Best Actress. Previous record belonged to Jessica Tandy (80) in Driving Miss Daisy, a record that she still holds as the Oldest Best Actress Award winner.

Documentary Searching for Sugar Man becomes the first Oscar winner that has some scenes filmed with a telephone, well a smart telephone with a US$1.99 app, and the first that was partly edited using a Mac. Facts that made film must be seen for me and after watching was absolutely amazed by the documentary for the extraordinary tech specs, great story, great storytelling and an impressive director that did almost everything in the process.

Documentary Short Film Inocente is the first ever Kickstarter-funded film to win an Oscar. A milestone that is making waves in social media and giving hope to many filmmakers.

With his best pic nomination George Clooney joins Warren Beatty as the only powerhouses to have nominations for best picture, directing, writing and acting. The difference is that as of Sunday night George Clooney has two Oscars, one for Argo and another for supporting role in Syriana, while Beatty has one for directing Reds.

Thomas Newman's nod for original score for Skyfall is his 11th and brings the total for members of the musical Newman family to 87 nods. Second place belongs to Moonrise Kingdom screenplay nod for Roman Coppola's family with a total of 24 nods.

With this post officially close the American award season to continue covering awards with more interesting movies from other countries around the world. Great! Ah! One last thing, did NOT open the champagne bottle as there was NOTHING to celebrate on Sunday night as Amour only won foreign language category.

Hugo Nominations 2013

As a paid-up member of Loncon 2014, I was able to participate in the nominating process for this year's Hugo Awards (though not the final vote). Here's what I have nominated so far, although I'm still mulling over a few other categories:

Best Novel
Existence by David Brin
2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett
Kings of Morning by Paul Kearney
Railsea by China Mieville

Best Dramatic Presentation - Long Form
Game of Thrones: Season 2*
The Walking Dead: The Episodic Adventure Game
The Dark Knight Rises
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form
Game of Thrones Episode 209: Blackwater*
Game of Thrones Episode 210: Valar Morghulis*
The Walking Dead Episode 210: 18 Miles Out
The Walking Dead Episode 213: Beside the Dying Fire
Merlin Episode 513: Diamond of the Day, Part II

* Game of Thrones is eligible in both categories, but if it receives more votes in one category than the other, it will be disqualified from the other, as happened last year.

Best Professional Artist
Marc Simonetti for the 2013 Song of Ice and Fire calendar

Best Fancast
Sword and Laser

Best Fan Writer
Aidan Moher for A Dribble of Ink
Graeme Flory for Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
Niall Alexander for the Speculative Scotsman
Ken Neth for Nethspace

Also worth a look is Beyond the Wall, edited by James Lowder, a collection of excellent essays (and one by me) about A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. Modesty prevents me from nominating for it myself, but that doesn't mean I can't urge others to do the same :)

Senin, 25 Februari 2013

2013 Oscars Award Ceremony

Last night show did something that hasn't happened in previous years, it did NOT put me to sleep. So there was something new for an Oscar show as the ceremony lasted three hours and thirty-five minutes, making it one of the longest telecasts of the past 20 years.

Without getting into what I think of Seth McFarlane, there was something REALLY new in the show, he REALLY was a host as he never "disappeared" as has happened with many American awards shows where the host does a monologue/introduction, we see him/her a few times, disappears to sometimes show his/her face at the end. McFarlane was the host that also introduced presenters during the entire show, making the ceremony to seamless flow in a normal, common way, like many entertaining variety shows do.

Can't recall where I read it but I was aware that this year instructions for the show called for "an entertainment show that gives awards" instead of "an award ceremony that sometimes has entertaining moments". In this sense I have to admit that the purpose was accomplished as definitively the show was more about entertainment than "giving awards". Was a good purpose? I do not know yet as ratings are not available at this hour; but based only in my own experience it was a good purpose as did not put me to sleep, even when almost everything I predicted will win, won. Update: according to early estimates, rating is up 4%, making the best score since 2007; also, according to Twitter, Oscars generated 8.9 million tweets, 2.1 during red carpet and 6.8 during awards show but BIG winner was the Best Picture moment (thanks to the presenter) with 85,300 tweets per minute (TPM), followed by Adele's Skyfall performance with 82,300 TPM and Best Actress for Jennifer Lawrence with 71,600 TPM.  For reference Super Bowl was the subject of 24 million tweets and the Grammys, 14 million; so third place is not really a good place to be on social media (used mostly by the younger generations).

So according to me the show structure worked, but what about substance?

Me for one highly enjoyed some of the musical moments, from gorgeous looking Charlize Theron dancing, to Jennifer Hudson singing the song that gave her an Oscar, Dame Shirley Basset singing Goldfinger (yes, still today I'm humming the song) and Barbra Streisand (looking so young) performing one of her classics, The Way We Were. Sorry but We saw your Boobs song bombed for me, the only thing I liked was the sarcasm behind it as the all male chorus was none other than the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles (that obviously do not care about seeing any woman boobs).

Did not enjoy out-of-sync Catherine Zeta-Jones Chicago performance (Oscar show producers are also movie producers) nor the awful Les Mis cast singing (who told them that they can sing? - alright, there are two or three that can sing); there was something wrong with Nora Jones (I like her quite a lot) and believe that was the song she was singing that was simply not one that I could like and talking about sound mixing, Adele performance had terrible tech specs, orchestra should have been lowered and/or microphone sound risen.

But what was highly disappointing was James Bond's 50 years anniversary celebration, not even Bond deserved such a lame collection of movie clips that reduced the very successful franchise to a few minutes of nothing much. Of course, Dame Shirley Basset sang Goldfinger and I highly enjoy it, but is that what James Bond means? Only one song? No.

Have a soft spot for crooners, so when crooner Seth McFarlane sang non-stupid lyrics he was alright for me but find his humor highly unfunny, many times offensive and totally deprecating. Please recall that I highly enjoy Ricky Gervais that when compared to McFarlane becomes the King of offensive material as Gervais really has "class" to say the most offensive things in very well-delivered, well-timed way. McFarlane timing and deliverance was truly on the most bad side of the scale. Won't get into analyzing the jokes, many have done that, nor will comment on the use of the future to tell host what he does wrong for him to fix it as for me was most unfortunate use of viewers time. But if you check youth-oriented sites you will find readers polls that name him a "Genius", like in MTV site. Sigh.

Usually gay sites praise the Oscars show but this year to my surprise and as of this moment, not many are praising last night show; most have the news with what seems like editorial describing what happened during the show. That is unusual. Then you have dispatches from what could be the American right press that trash the show as they claim is sold for "Family Viewing" and definitively was not. Morning TV news were mostly polite saying that "is hard to please everyone" but also saying that show was "controversial".

So the second most viewed TV show in the "domestic" market (meaning USA) and the first in the world was again in general, disappointing for many viewers. But no matter what you read or hear people saying, for many show was also not a sleeping pill (I am not alone in this), so there is something new that perhaps the Academy should consider for future shows, keep the structure but change the substance. If they do that then perhaps someday we will have a show that evenly mixes structure and substance, translates into good ratings (like in the "old" days) and pleases many. Sigh.

The Red Carpet

Was very surprised to find so many live streaming of the infamous red carpet which suggests that we are arriving to a "real" starting point of live streaming, which is great as slowly but surely we are reaching the moment when device watching will become a real choice for viewers. This fact allowed me to follow whatever I was interested in watching in many sites, including TV channels, and was most fascinated by being able to follow Charlize Theron all over the place (lol!).

Backstage Pass

Most disappointed by my first experience with (ABC) Oscar app that allowed us to go backstage, not even the six cameras made something worth watching. Today's multiple videos have better backstage entertaining moments than the ones I saw, but then to be honest got so bored that turned off my iPad as was distracting me from watching the show (lol!). Now is time to do the winners post but was more interesting doing this one first.


I am truly glad the American award season is over, was not one of my favorite seasons at all for all the "changing of opinion" by critics, the mixing of politics and (fictionalized) movies, the mediocrity of many honored movies, performances, etc. and on top, another uneven show. So let's close in a positive note with some spectacular photos (love black and white photos) and one interview I saw on TV this morning and made me laugh hard, Jennifer Lawrence and Jack Nicholson moment. Lawrence is so refreshing in Hollywood mostly "plastic" world. Note: Last photo does not have good quality but is here anyway (lol!)

Redshirts by John Scalzi

Andrew Dahl is a newly-assigned crewman on the Intrepid, the flagship of the Universal Union. Initially what appears to be a plum assignment turns into a nightmare. Almost every away mission turns into a lethal showdown with hostile aliens and crewmen are frequently killed, although oddly the bridge crew seem to survive every one of these encounters. As the situation becomes more bizarre and crew are slain by robots, alien worms and - somewhat unexpectedly - ice sharks, Dahl becomes determined to find out what the hell is really going on.

Redshirts is John Scalzi's tribute to all of those unfortunate extras and minor characters whose sole purpose in life is to show up for ten minutes and then die in a feeble attempt to make the audience believe the main characters might be in danger. It's a huge, nerdy in-joke that anyone who's ever sat through an episode of Star Trek should appreciate. Anyone who hasn't (and Star Trek and its cheesier tropes - distressingly - are getting a bit long in the tooth these days) might find the book pretty pointless.

The book starts off as a look at the workings of such a ship from the POV of the regular crewmen rather than the command crew (and yes, The Next Generation did a whole episode about that) but rapidly escalates into being a funny commentary on the aforementioned TV tropes before moving into a metafictional storyline about fictional characters coming to life before skewing sideways into a very ill-advised attempt at pathos (which falls completely flat due to a lack of decent characterisation, meaning we don't care). Scalzi seems to be aping funny SF authors like Harry Harrison, Terry Pratchett (whose Guards! Guards! pursues a vaguely similar premise, but altogether more successfully) and Douglas Adams. However, the premise of the novel is one that Douglas Adams threw into a TV documentary about his own life, explored and moved on from in about five minutes. Stretched over 300 pages, the premise becomes rather thin. Scalzi is a funny writer (though not in the same league as the aforementioned writers) and the laughs keep things ticking over, but despite a couple of attempts to make serious points (most notably in the codas, where the laughs dry up but the prose style improves markedly) the novel is pretty lightweight and disposable.

Redshirts (***) is an entertaining, easy read which will make you laugh for a bit but you will also completely forget about within a week. The novel is available now in the UK and USA.

Minggu, 24 Februari 2013

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

A failed assassination attempt on the Dragonborn hints that an ancient evil has returned to the island of Solstheim, located off the north-eastern coast of Skyrim and north of Morrowind's foreboding Red Mountain. The Dragonborn sets sail for the island and is confronted by a mystery that will take them across the island and into the Oblivion realm of Apocrypha to confront Miraak, the first Dragonborn.

Dragonborn is the third piece of DLC (downloadable content) for Skyrim, the monstrously successful fifth game in The Elder Scrolls. Unlike Hearthfire, which simply added the ability to build houses to the game, and Dawnguard, which was a short, linear quest adding the ability to transform into a vampire lord, Dragonborn is a proper expansion like we used to get in the good old days. The setting is Solstheim, previously the setting for Bloodmoon, an expansion to The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. The island has changed a lot in the subsequent 200 years, with the eruption of the Red Mountain covering much of the southern half of the island in ash. However, the central mountains and the north coast retain that mountainous, sub-arctic feel that Skyrim evoked so successfully.

Dragonborn starts when your character - the Dragonborn - is attacked whilst going about his or her daily business (the Dragonborn questline only starts once you have completed a few of the main storyline quests in Skyrim itself and been proclaimed Dragonborn). Clues on the attackers lead you to a boat moored in Windhelm. The captain - reluctantly - agrees to sail you to Solstheim. Upon arrival in the main settlement at Raven Rock, you are confronted by houses built out of the shells of long-dead giant crustaceans and a wizard living inside a gargantuan mushroom. You are not in Skyrim any more.

The dominant race in the southern half of the island are the dunmer or dark elves, who were allowed to settle on Solstheim by the Nord High King after being driven out of their homeland. After 200 years living together with the Nords and other races, a tolerant multi-racial community has grown up that is a pleasant change after the prejudices of Skyrim proper (where the Nords treat any non-Nord characters with disdain, if not outright hostility). The smaller size of Solstheim - a fraction the size of Skyrim but still big enough to contain dozens of main quests, side-quests and missions, as well as dozens of locations and vast quantities of loot - also allows for a more focused game without sacrificing the freedom the series is renowned for.

As is traditional with the gameplay of the series, you can completely ignore the main storyline in favour of the side-quests. I actually did this for about eight or nine hours, simply traipsing around the island pursuing optional missions or just exploring and checking out locations I'd discovered. Dragonborn does a good job of adjusting to where you are in the main game's quests: being a member of the Thieves' Guild immediately gave me an 'in' to the town, with the local blacksmith being related to one of the senior guild members. A bunch of hunters living up in the mountains have a quest that will only be activated if the player is a werewolf. There are different dialogue options depending on if you play the expansion before or after the defeat of Alduin in the main game's storyline. In particular, Dragonborn improves upon Skyrim by making its NPCs more memorable and interesting than that in the main game. The aforementioned mushroom-dwelling wizard is a total nutjob, with some very amusing lines, whilst it's possible for the player to win the allegiance of a tribe of Rieklings (think of a race of demented Ewok-goblins) who will then follow the player around and randomly help out in combat.

As well as Solstheim itself, the game features sequences set in Apocrypha, the home of the daedric prince Hermaeus Mora. This is an alternate dimension made up of stacks of billions of books, guarded by psychotic librarians known as Seekers (Cthulu-like tentacled horrors). Traversing these chunks of Apocrypha - accessed by the foreboding Black Books - rewards the player with different powers and effects, and is required to find and defeat Miraak. Unlike the repetitive Oblivion Gate towers in Oblivion, these sojourns to Apocrypha are shorter, more concise and more imaginative. You also only need to do a couple of them to finish the expansion's storyline, at which point finding more of them becomes purely optional.

On the negative side of things, Miraak is a dull enemy and the expansion's biggest selling-point, being able to ride around on dragonback, is severely underwhelming. There's also perhaps an over-relianced on draugr (undead) as enemies in the new dungeons, when they'd already become quite played out in Skyrim itself. Fortunately, these make for surprisingly tiny parts of the expansion and it gets just about everything else right, breathing fresh life back into a game that was starting to feel a little stale.

Overall, Dragonborn (****) makes for a very welcome return to the world of Skyrim. The changes to the game's visual style are refreshing, and there's some better writing and characterisation than in its parent game. The expansion takes that everything that worked well in Skyrim and packages it into a smaller, more focused and more concise (though, at well over 30 hours worth of content, in no way tiny) gaming experience. Recommended to all fans of Skyrim, especially those underwhelmed by Dawnguard and Hearthfire. The game is available via Steam for PC owners, PSN for PS3 owners and X-Box Live for X-Box 360 owners.

85th Academy Award Winners

To keep post clean here are the winners in *BLUE.

Feature Films

Best Picture
Amour (Love), Michael Haneke
*Argo, Ben Affleck
Beasts of the Southern Wild, Benh Zeitlin
Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino
Les Misérables, Tom Hooper
Life of Pi, Ang Lee
Lincoln, Steven Spielberg
Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell
Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow

Animated Feature Film
*Brave, Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman
Frankenweenie, Tim Burton
ParaNorman, Sam Fell and Chris Butler
The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Peter Lord
Wreck-It Ralph, Rich Moore

Foreign Language
*Amour (Love), Michael Haneke, Austria
Kon-Tiki, Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg, Norway
NO, Pablo Larraín, Chile
En kongelig affære (A Royal Affair), Nikolaj Arcel, Denmark
Rebelle (War Witch), Kim Nguyen, Canada

Michael Haneke for Amour
Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
*Ang Lee for Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg for Lincoln
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook

Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty
*Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva in Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts in The Impossible

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in The Master
Sally Field in Lincoln
*Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables
Helen Hunt in The Sessions
Jacki Weaver in Silver Linings Playbook

Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook
*Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln
Hugh Jackman in Les Misérables
Joaquin Phoenix in The Master
Denzel Washington in Flight

Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin in Argo
Robert De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master
Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln
*Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained

Seamus McGarvey for Anna Karenina
Robert Richardson for Django Unchained
*Claudio Miranda for Life of Pi
Janusz Kamiski for Lincoln
Roger Deakins for Skyfall

Original Screenplay
Michael Haneke for Amour
*Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained
John Gatins for Flight
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for Moonrise Kingdom
Mark Boal for Zero Dark Thirty

Adapted Screenplay
*Chris Terrio for Argo
Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild
David Magee for Life of Pi
Tony Kushner for Lincoln
David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook

Film Editing
*William Goldenberg for Argo
Tim Squyres for Life of Pi
Michael Kahn for Lincoln
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Sruthers for Silver Linings Playbook
Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg for Zero Dark Thirty

Production Design
Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer for Anna Karenina
Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent and Simon Bright for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Eve Stewart and Anna Lynch-Robinson for Les Misérables
David Gropman and Anna Pinnock for Life of Pi
*Rick Carter and Jim Erickson for Lincoln

Visual Effects
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton and R. Christopher White for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
*Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R. Elliott for Life of Pi
Janek Sirrs, Jeff White, Guy Williams and Dan Sudick for Marvel’s The Avengers
Richard Stammers, Trevor Wood, Charley Henley and Martin Hill for Prometheus
Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, Philip Brennan, Neil Corbould and Michael Dawson for Snow White and the Huntsman

Sound Editing (tie)
Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn for Argo
Wylie Stateman for Django Unchained
Eugene Gearty and Philip Stockton for Life of Pi
*Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers for Skyfall
*Paul N.J. Ottosson for Zero Dark Thirty

Sound Mixing
John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Jose Antonio Garcia for Argo
*Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes for Les Misérables
Ron Bartlett, D.M. Hemphill and Drew Kunin for Life of Pi
Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom and Ronald Judkin for Lincoln
Scott Millan, Greg P. Russell and Stuart Wilson for Skyfall

Costume Design
*Jaqueline Durran for Anna Karenina
Paco Delgado for Les Misérables
Joanna Johnston for Lincoln
Eiko Ishioka for Mirror Mirror
Colleen Atwood for Snow White and the Huntsman

Makeup and Hairstyling
Howard Berger, Peter Montagna and Martin Samuel for Hitchcock
Peter Swords King, Rick Findlater and Tami Lane for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
*Lisa Westcott and Julie Dartnell for Les Misérables

Music – Original Score
Dario Marianelli for Anna Karenina
Alexandre Desplat for Argo
*Mychael Danna for Life of Pi
John Williams for Lincoln
Thomas Newman for Skyfall

Music – Original Song
"Before My Time" from Chasing Ice Music and Lyric by J. Ralph
"Everybody Needs A Best Friend" from Ted Music by Walter Murphy; Lyric by Seth MacFarlane
"Pi's Lullaby" from Life of Pi Music by Mychael Danna; Lyric by Bombay Jayashri
*"Skyfall" from Skyfall Music and Lyric by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
"Suddenly" from Les Misérables Music by Claude-Michel Schönberg; Lyric by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

5 Broken Cameras, Emad Burnat and Guy Davidi
The Gatekeepers, Dror Moreh
How to Survive a Plague, David France
The Invisible War, Kirby Dick
*Searching for Sugar Man, Malik Bendjelloul

Short Films

Live Action
Asad, Bryan Buckley and Mino Jarjoura
Buzkashi Boys, Sam French and Ariel Nasr
*Curfew, Shawn Christensen
Dood van een Schaduw (Death of a Shadow), Tom Van Avermaet and Ellen De Waele
Henry, Yan England

Adam and Dog, Minkyu Lee
Fresh Guacamole, PES
Head over Heels, Timothy Reckart and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly
Maggie Simpson in The Longest Daycare, David Silverman
*Paperman, John Kahrs

*Inocente, Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine
Kings Point, Sari Gilman and Jedd Wider
Mondays at Racine, Cynthia Wade and Robin Honan
Open Heart, Kief Davidson and Cori Shepherd
Redemption, Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill

As predicted and expected Lincoln leads the pack with 12 nominations, two short of the record holder Titanic; Life of Pi follows closely with 11, then Silver Linings Playbook with 8 and Les Misérables and Argo with 7 each. Most nominations were expected BUT there are HUGE surprises.

The biggest surprise is the absence of critics most honored directors: Kathryn Bigelow and Ben Affleck but as you can imagine just love that Michael Haneke got a nomination! Not easy for me to understand why Benh Zeitlin can be considered above Bigelow, Affleck and many more, but well is the only indie that got in. So, the Academy softened and nominated Spielberg, that’s news. Notable is that the five directors nominated have also their pictures nominated

Nine films got into the Best Picture category and there are no blockbusters nominated and as expected plus predicted, The Master did not got into the list. For me there are no surprises in this category.

The BEST surprise is in the Foreign Language category as France did NOT got a nomination! Of course now my interest in category is back and just hope Amour wins as honestly the other four nominees are not even close to Amour’s quality. But I’m very glad that NO and Rebelle got nominated.

Other surprises come from supporting actress category as with Jacki Weaver nod is the first time in 31 years that a film scored ALL four acting categories, putting Silver Linings Playbook in a league with Sunset Boulevard and Streetcar Named Desire.  Notable is that Silver Linings Playbook is labelled as a comedy, which probably makes movie the most honored comedy in many years -will confirm-.

The most negative surprise is Marion Cotillard not being nominated as in my opinion the young girl in Beasts of the Southern Wild is good but not as good as Cotillard in Rust and Bone; suspected that Naomi Watts could be nominated because the high buzz, but definitively can’t agree as The Impossible best performance is the older kid, Tom Holland, who absolutely steals the movie. Very glad Emmanuelle Riva got a nod as her performance quality is well-above standards. Won’t be easy to guess who could win in this category.

Another surprise is Joaquin Phoenix getting a nomination, which indeed I’m pleased with; but that meant John Hawkes out of the race and he was great in The Sessions. No surprises in supporting actor for me.

Today we got a preview of the humor the awards ceremony will have and well, definitively is NOT my kind of humor, but imagine that will please many, especially Americans and maybe will rise ratings for ABC network in the younger demo.

Later will do an in-depth analysis with more stats and info; check official press release here.

28th Film Independent Spirit Award Winners

Thanks to Spain's press, yesterday I learned that Michael Haneke was not going to attend the premiere of his Mozart opera Cosi Fan Tutte on Saturday because he was going to be in Los Angeles to attend the Oscars. What they didn't mention at all is that he was also going to be in the Spirit Awards, but he was there to receive the honors for his film. Great.

As we are about to close the American award season it is not surprising that Silver Linings Playbook was the big winner with four awards but the best news is that The Sessions was honored with two awards for the main actors.

Winners are in *BLUE.

Today actors Anna Kendrick, Zoe Saldana and Common presented the nominees in a press conference at The W Hotel in Hollywood. In these awards only Film Independent members vote to determine the winners.

The live-to-tape Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday, February 23 and will premier later that evening on IFC at 10:00 pm ET/PT. So we will have to learn winners on twitter again, just like today we had to learn nominations from organizers live tweets.

It's kind of strange that nowadays a film event does not stream live, as those that could be interested in watching live have to resign to use social media to learn nominations/awards live and we will do it to most likely skip the later TV broadcast.

Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook lead with five nominations each, which is understandable; however, how about Matthew McConaughey getting two nominations, one for Magic Mike (?!) and the other for Killer Joe, not really understandable. Seems that we started with the complications as I wonder if Helen Hunt has a supporting role in The Sessions, for me she is one of the two leads so she should be in the Best Actress category, but being considered here for the supporting role makes me think that she has very little possibilities for an Oscar Best Actress nod.

It is remarkable that three of the five directors nominated for the John Cassavettes award are women, but then is kind of sad that they are in the category that honors films with under US$500,000 budgets; still have to admit that there are more female filmmakers nominated in different categories with the most notable exception, Best Feature were all are male directors.

These are the nominees.

Best Feature
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Keep The Lights On
Moonrise Kingdom
*Silver Linings Playbook

Best Director
Wes Anderson for Moonrise Kingdom
Julia Loktev for The Loneliest Planet
*David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
Ira Sachs for Keep the Lights On
Benh Zeitling for Beasts of the Southern Wild

Best Screenplay
Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola for Moonrise Kingdom
Zoe Kazan for Ruby Sparks
Martin McDonagh for Seven Psychopaths
*David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
Ira Sachs and Mauricio Zacharias for Keep The Lights On

Best First Feature
Lemale et ha'halal (Fill the Void), Rama Burshtein, Israel
Gimme The Loot, Adam Leon
Safety Not Guaranteed, Colin Trevorrow
Sound of My Voice, Zal Batmanglij
*The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Best First Screenplay
Rama Burshtein for Lemale et ha'halal (Fill the Void), Israel
*Derek Connolly for Safety Not Guaranteed
Christopher Ford for Robot and Frank
Rashida Jones and Will McCormack for Celeste and Jesse Forever
Jonathan Lisecki for Gayby

John Cassavetes Award (given to film made for a budget under US$500,000)
Breakfast With Curtis, Laura Colella
*Middle of Nowhere, Ava DuVernay
Mosquita y Mari, Aurora Guerrero
Starlet, Sean Baker
The Color Wheel, Alex Ross Perry

Best Cinematography
Yoni Brook for Valley of Saints
Lol Crawley for Here
*Ben Richardson for Beasts of the Southern Wild
Roman Vasyanov for End of Watch
Robert Yeoman for Moonrise Kingdom

Best Female Lead
Linda Cardellini in Return
Emayatzy Corinealdi in Middle of Nowhere
*Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook
Quvenzhané Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild
Mary Elizabeth Winstead in Smashed

Best Supporting Female
Rosemarie DeWitt in Your Sister's Sister
Ann Dowd in Compliance
*Helen Hunt in The Sessions
Brit Marling in Sound of My Voice
Lorraine Toussaint in Middle of Nowhere

Best Male Lead
Jack Black in Bernie
Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook
*John Hawkes in The Sessions
Thure Lindhart in Keep the Lights On
Matthew McConaughey in Killer Joe
Wendell Pierce in Four

Best Supporting Male
*Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike
David Oyelowo in Middle of Nowhere
Michael Pena in End of Watch
Sam Rockwell in 7 Psychopaths
Bruce Willis in Moonrise Kingdom

Best International Film
*Amour, Michael Haneke, France, Austria and Germany
Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Tukey and Bosnia Herzegovina
De Rouille et d’Os (Rust & Bone), Jacques Audiard, Belgium and France
L'enfant d'en haut (Sister), Ursula Meier, Switzerland and France
Rebelle (War Witch), Kim Nguyen, Canada

Best Documentary
How to Survive a Plage, David France
Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Present, Matthew Akers
The Central Park Five, Ken Burns and Sarah Burns
*The Invisible War, Kirby Dick
The Waiting Room, Peter Nicks

Robert Altman Award: Starlet, Sean Baker

16th Piaget Producers Award
Alicia Van Couverign for Nobody Walks
*Mynette Louie for Stones in the Sun
Derrick Tseng for Prince Avalance

19th Someone to Watch Award
David Fenster for Pincus
*Adam Leon for Gimme The Loot
Rebecca Thomas for Electrick Children

18th Stella Artois Truer Than Fiction Award
Lucien Castain-Taylor and Véréna Paravel for Leviathan
*Peter Nicks for The Waiting Room
Jasonyyee Tipet and Elizabeth Mimms for Only The Young

Find Your Audience Award
Sara Lamm and Mary Wigmore for Birth Story
*Laura Colella for Breakfast With Curtis
J. Anderson Mitchell for History of Future Folk

A total of 49 films have nominations and all but 6 films have no distributor yet, with Fox Searchlight topping the ranking with 9 nominated films; but, as always, is The Weinstein Company the one that captures my attention as only has ONE film nominated but is not other than Silver Linings Playbook that collected five nods. If you wish to read the official press release go here and to check stats about the nominees use the link to a pdf file. But if you wish to read about each film go here.

Among all the nominees we have one film that has lesbian-interest, Mosquita y Mari, one with clear gay-interest, Keep the Lights On and another with some gay-interest, Gayby. I was not aware that non-American films can be nominated as is surprising to find an Israel produced film among the nominees.

Nevertheless the most interesting category for me is the International Film as has to be really hard to choose between films by Haneke, Audiard, Ceylan and Meier, all directors that I closely follow as highly enjoy watching their films.

These nominations not necessarily reflect possible Oscar nominations as not many independent films make it to the Oscar, nevertheless believe there is at least one performance that could be considered for Oscar, John Hawkes in The Sessions. Still there is another possibility, Silver Linings Playbook getting some recognition mainly because WHO is behind the film, but also know that Oscar usually does not honor comedies.

To see the video with the nominations announcement go here.


Michael Haneke interview

Sabtu, 23 Februari 2013


HBO have finally released a 'proper' trailer for Season 3 of Game of Thrones:

The trailer has a lot of great bits in it, but my favourites were our first proper look at Dragonstone in the daylight:

And this shot of Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) climbing the Wall is quite impressive:

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly has reported that the second season has sold more than 241,000 copies on its first day on sale in the USA, a 44% increase on the first season. More than 350,000 episodes were also bought from digital vendors, more than twice that of the first season. This bodes well for the Season 4 renewal (which is expected after the first few episodes of Season 3 airs, but pre-production has already started).

Jumat, 22 Februari 2013

2013 César Awards - Les Révélations Selection

Today at the César Awards ceremony Les Révélations were announced and here they are:

Izïa Higelin in Mauvaise Fille (photo)
Matthias Schoenaerts in De rouille et d’os


As announced yesterday in *BLUE are the Newcomers that were nominated in the 38th César Awards.

Today the French Academy released the list with the 32 actors that made the selection for this year newcomers. The 4,199 Academy members will vote to select the nominees in the 2013 César Awards Best Female Newcomer and Best Male Newcomer categories.

Laurence Arné in Bowling
Alice Belaïd in Les Kaïras
Agathe Bonitzer in Une bouteille à la mer
Lola Créton in Après mai
*Alice de Lencquesaing in Au galop
*Lola Dewaere in Mince alors!
Arta Dobroshi in Trois mondes
*Julia Faure in Camille Redouble
*India Hair in Camille Redouble
*Izïa Higelin in Mauvaise Fille
Sarah Le Picard in Alyah
Sofiia Manousha in Le noir (te) vous va si bien
Noémie Merlant in L’orpheline avec en plus un bras en moins
Alice Pol in Un plan parfait
Clara Ponsot in Bye Bye Blondie
Camille Rutherford in Low Life

Ben in Superstar
Emile Berling in Comme un homme
Jonathan Cohen in Un plan parfait
Mehdi Dehbi in Le fils de l’Autre
Vincent Lacoste in Astérix et Obélix au service de sa Majesté
Benjamin Lavernhe in Radiostars
Côme Levin in Radiostars
Clément Metayer in Après mai
*Félix Moati in Télé Gaucho
Grégory Montel in L’air de rien
*Kacey Mottet Klein in L’enfant d’en haut
*Pierre Niney in Comme des frères
*Matthias Schoenaerts in De rouille et d’os
Mahmoud Shalaby in Une bouteille à la mer
Stéphane Soo Mongo in Rengaine
*Ernst Umhauer in Dans la maison

There are too many films that I have not seen but from the ones I have there is no doubt in my mind that Matthias Schoenaerts (photo) and Kacey Mottet Klein are two actors that deserve the honor this year; in the actress category and from the movies I have seen, I do not believe they deserve the honor, but haven't seen most of the selection films. Nevertheless I will not be surprised if Arta Dobroshi (photo) gets a nomination as she deserved the honor since she had the lead role in the Dardennes' Le silence de Lorna (Lorna's Silence).

On January 24, 2013 Les Révélations gala will take place and we will learn the nominees for the 2013 César Awards categories.

38th César Award Winners

Award ceremony was really fun to watch and only hope that next Sunday ceremony is as funny as this one was. BIG winner was Amour by master filmmaker extraordinaire Michael Haneke. BRAVO!

Winners are in *BLUE. Check post bottom for some pictures.

Yesterday the French Academy announced the nominations for the current edition and Noémie Lvovsky's Camille Rewinds leads with 13 nominations followed by Michael Haneke's Amour and Benoît Jacquot's Farewell My Queen with 10 nods each; with 9 nominations each Holy Motors by Léos Carax, In The House by François Ozon and Le Prénom by Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patellière.

Poster for the 38th edition is truly outstanding with an awesome Simone Signoret photo that made me recall how beautiful this remarkable actress was in so many movies and how great actress she was in her whole career.

Awards ceremony will be on February 22 at Théâtre du Châtelet and will be broadcast live by Canal +; again Antoine de Caunes will host the ceremony and the Gala Dinner will be at Fouquet. Let's hope this year we will be able to watch a live streaming or maybe TV5 Monde will broadcast it live and not only deferred; however we always have Twitter that has become the best social media to learn winners when organizers do not stream live their ceremonies.

Absolutely another great year for French Cinema as there are many excellent films in this list plus some more mainstream movies that are equally great to watch and enjoy. These films are my kind of French films, the ones that have made me fall and continue to LOVE great French Cinema. Long Live Great French Cinema!

Best Film
Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell My Queen), Benoît Jacquot
*Amour (Love), Michael Haneke
Camille redouble (Camille Rewinds), Noémie Lvovsky
Dans la maison (In The House), François Ozon
De rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone) Jacques Audiard
Holy Motors, Léos Carax
Le prénom, Matthieu Delaporte and Alexandre de la Patellière

Best First Film
Augustine, Alice Winocour
Comme des frères, Hugo Gélin
*Louise Wimmer, Cyril Mennegun
Populaire, Régis Roinsard
Rengaine, Rachid Djaïdani

Best Animated Film
Edmond était un âne, Franck Dion
*Ernest et Célestine, Benjamin Renner, Vincent Patar and Stéphane Aubier
Kirikou et les hommes et les femmes, Michel Ocelot
Oh Willy, Emma de Swaef and Marc Roels
Zarafa, Rémi Bezançon and Jean-Christophe Lie

Best Foreign Film
The Angels' Share, Ken Loach
A perdre la raison (Our Children), Joachim Lafosse
*Argo, Ben Affleck
En kongelig affære (Royal Affair), Nikolaj Arcel
Laurence Anyways, Xavier Dolan
Oslo, 31. august (Oslo, August 31st), Joachim Trier
Rundskop (Bullhead), Michael R. Roskam

Best Director
Benoît Jacquot for Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell My Queen)
*Michael Haneke for Amour (Love)
Noémie Lvovsky for Camille redouble (Camille Rewinds)
François Ozon for Dans la maison (In The House)
Jacques Audiard for De rouille et dos (Rust & Bone)
Leos Carax for Holy Motors
Stéphane Brizé for Quelques heures de printemps (A Few Hours of Spring)

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard in De rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone)
Catherine Frot in Les saveurs du palais (Haute Cuisine )
Noémie Lvovsky in Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
Corinne Masiero in Louise Wimmer
*Emmanuelle Riva in Amour (Love)
Léa Seydoux in Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell my Queen)
Hélène Vincent in Quelques heures de printemps (A Few Hours of Spring)

Best Supporting Actress
*Valérie Benguigui in Le prénom
Judith Chemla in Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
Isabelle Huppert in Amour (Love)
Yolande Moreau in Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
Edith Scob in Holy Motors

Best Female Newcomer
Alice de Lencquesaing in Au galop (In a Rush)
Lola Dewaere in Mince alors!
Julia Faure in Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
India Hair in Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
*Izia Higelin in Mauvaise fille

Best Actor
Jean-Pierre Bacri in Cherchez Hortense
Patrick Bruel in Le prénom
Denis Lavant in Holy Motors
Vincent Lindon in Quelques heures de printemps (A Few Hours of Spring)
Fabrice Luchini in Dans la maison (In the house)
Jérémie Renier in Cloclo (My Way)
*Jean-Louis Trintignant in Amour (Love)

Best Supporting Actor
*Guillaume de Tonquedec in Le prénom
Samir Guesmi in Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
Benoît Magimel in Cloclo (My Way)
Claude Rich in Cherchez Hortense
Michel Vuillermoz in Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)

Best Male Newcomer
Félix Moati in Télé gaucho
Kacey Mottet Klein in L’enfant d’en haut (Sister)
Pierre Niney in Comme des frères
*Matthias Schoenaerts in De rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone)
Ernest Umhauer in Dans La Maison (In the House)

Best Original Screenplay
Bruno et Denis Podalydès for Adieu Berthe ou l’enterrement de Mémé (Granny's Funeral)
*Michael Haneke for Amour (Love)
Noémie Lvovsky, Florence Seyvos, Maud Ameline and Pierre-Olivier Mattei for Camille redouble (Camille Rewinds)
Léos Carax for Holy Motors
Florence Vignon & Stéphane Brizé for Quelques heures de printemps (A Few Hours of Spring)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Lucas Belvaux for 38 Témoins (38 Witnesses)
Gilles Taurand and Benoît Jacquot for Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell My Quee)
François Ozon for Dans la maison (In The House)
*Jacques Audiard and Thomas Bidegain for De rouille et d’os (Rust & Bone)
Matthieu Delaporte & Alexandre de la Patellière for Le prénom

Best Cinematography
*Romain Winding for Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell my Queen)
Darius Khondji for Amour (Love)
Stéphane Fontaine for De rouile et d’os (Rust & Bone)
Caroline Champetier for Holy Motors
Guillaume Schiffman for Populaire

Best Editing
Luc Barnier for Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell my Queen)
Monika Willi for Amour (Love)
Annette Dutertre and Michel Klochendler for Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
*Juliette Welfling for De rouile et d’os (Rust & Bone)
Nelly Quettier for Holy Motors

Best Original Soundtrack
Bruno Coulais for Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell my Queen)
Gaetan Roussel for Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
Philippe Rombi for Dans la maison (In the House)
*Alexandre Desplat for De rouile et d’os (Rust & Bone)
Rob and Emmanuel d’Orlando for Populaire

Best Sound
Brigitte Taillandier, Francis Wargnier and Olivier Goinard for Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell my Queen)
Guillaume Sciama, Nadine Muse and Jean-Pierre Laforce for Amour (Love)
*Antoine Deflandre, Germain Bouylay and Eric Tisserand for Cloclo (My Way)
Brigitte Taillandier, Pascal Villard and Jean-Paul Hurier for De rouile et d’os (Rust & Bone)
Erwan Kerzanet, Josefina Rodriguez and Emmanuele Croset for Holy Motors

Best Costumes
*Christian Gasc for Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell my Queen)
Pascale Chavanne for Augustine
Madeline Fontaine for Camille Redouble (Camille Rewinds)
Mimi Lempicka for Cloclo (My Way)
Charlotte David for Populaire

Best Set Design
*Katia Wyszkop for Les Adieux à la reine (Farewell my Queen)
Jean-Vincent Puzos for Amour (Love)
Philippe Chiffre for Cloclo (My Way)
Florian Sanson for Holy Motors
Sylvie Olivé for Populaire

Best Documentary
Bovines ou la vraie vie des vaches, Emmanuel Gras
Duch, le maître des forges, Rithy Panh
*Les invisibles, Sébastien Lifshitz
Journal de France, Claudine Nougaret and Raymond Depardon
Les nouveaux chiens de garde, Gilles Balbastre and Yannick Kergoat

Best Short Film
Ce n’est pas un film de cow-boys, Benjamin Parent
Ce qu’il restera de nous, Vincent Macaigne
*Le cri du homard, Nicolas Guiot
Les meutes, Manuel Schapira
La vie parisienne, Vincent Dietschy

As has been proven across the pond, this is the YEAR when Michael Haneke is being recognized as the filmmaker extraordinaire he truly is; his master opus Amour has been collecting so many honors that makes me believe it's a record and when the awards season is over will confirm it as I'm willing to count each and all the awards the movie collected plus other honors. Let's hope that French Academy members also highly honors Haneke's "perfect" film but I do recognize there are some categories were film was nominated that have great competition.


In Photos: Winners, Emmanuelle Riva, Valérie Benguigui, Guillaume de Tonquedec, Matthias Schoenaerts, and Jacques Audiard