10 July 2016

Cinema v Television: Dawn of Justice

Twitter dustup! It got a tad unwieldy at 140 per, so I'm writing a lengthier response to several folks here; most of the rest of you can safely ignore this.

The article Scott praises here, written by filmmaker Alex Ross Perry (The Color Wheel, Listen Up Philip, Queen of Earth) mostly bemoans The Neon Demon's poor box-office performance, seeing it as symptomatic of the industry's general failure to support visionary cinema. That's an argument I'm sympathetic toward, but Perry annoyed me mightily at the end by taking what I perceived as a needless potshot at television:

"It isn’t just that the film could not be farther away from the nondescript look and feel of practically everything on television: it is that the film exists in such furious opposition to television’s straightforward imagery and linear storytelling as to make television seem obsolete and irrelevant. It is a tragic irony to imagine The Neon Demon eventually living forever on Amazon alongside their stable of low-key, relatable sitcoms and dramas (that I have not watched)."

[Note to people who insist that the various solecisms in Listen Up Philip's narration are intentional (which they are not): Perry means "further" in his first sentence, not "farther." Of course, a copy editor should have caught that, but what's a copy editor, you ask? Good question. I forget.]

Now, I could easily write a 1500-word essay refuting the above paragraph—there's a lot to say. Nobody's currently offering me money to do that, though, so instead I'm just gonna skim the surface as it relates to the Twitter debate that my reply to Scott subsequently sparked. The main thing that annoyed me, to be honest, was the parenthetical "(that I have not watched)," the ostensible purpose of which still escapes me. Is Perry trying to be fair, noting that he hasn't seen the shows he's disparaging, and thus could conceivably be mistaken in his assumptions about their formal merits, or lack thereof? I really kind of doubt that. But the only alternative I can think of is that he's bragging about not watching them, as a way of signaling his coolness. Plus I generally think the whole TV vs. cinema debate is dopey, about which more below. So I replied to Scott as follows:

Consternation ensued. There was some incredulousness from Scott:

First of all, I doubt I'd rank among the top 20 of The Most Learned Cinephiles Scott Knows. ("These are the nerds I know I know / These are the nerds I know.") More to the point, though, my decision to concentrate primarily on cinema doesn't mean that I view it as superior to every other artistic medium on earth. My entire childhood was devoted to reading—so much so that I was widely known in my neighborhood as the weird kid who always had his nose buried in a book, even when skateboarding around the cul-de-sac where we lived (because my stepfather insisted on my getting some exercise). My obsession with movies developed later, and to some extent I chose to focus on them because cinema seemed far more manageable—only one century of history, and most movies take less than two hours to watch vs. novels that take days or weeks to read. There was never any implicit value judgment involved. I love movies and TV and literature and music and theater and etc. Sorry if that horrifies anyone.

Comparing movies and television in particular always seems tempting, because there's a fair bit of crossover. But they're really completely different media with radically different strengths and weaknesses. (Here's where I could write the lengthy essay, though I'm not gonna pitch it to anyone, because I feel like the points I'd make are fairly obvious; no doubt it's already been written many times.) That's the crux of my disagreement with Daniel Goldhaber (@chronopics), a filmmaker who pushed back hard at me about the whole TV thing. I admire Daniel's passion about what cinema can and should be; I just think he's misidentified the bogeyman.

He and I went back and forth for a while, but before I get to that, let me note some things that (I think) we completely agree on:

The Neon Demon is a formally audacious movie. (Neither of us actually likes it that much, but that's sort of irrelevant.)
• It should ideally be seen in a theater, not on a TV set or a laptop or an iPad.
• Persuading people to see bold, adventurous films like The Neon Demon in movie theaters is getting harder and harder.

No argument from me on any of that—the whole reason I travel to Sundance and Cannes and Toronto every year (in most cases at significant personal expense; I'll spend roughly $1500 on TIFF this year, for example, which I'm not covering for anyone) is to see a hefty number of the year's most important art films on the big screen, in (mostly) superior presentations. And it saddens me that one increasingly must travel to major festivals to have that experience. But I don't think that prestige TV is to blame.

One of our big disagreements is best summarized here:

Yes, most TV is disposable and a celebration of mediocrity. But so are most movies. I feel like Daniel is comparing "highly acclaimed art films" to "all of television" and finding the latter wanting by comparison, which duh. But speaking as someone who's been reviewing movies for just shy of 20 years now, I can assure you that the vast majority of them are just as bland and forgettable as the vast majority of TV shows. Excellence is rare in every medium. At the present moment, I honestly find it more difficult to keep up with the first-rate TV out there than with the first-rate movies, though that's largely because TV is so much more volume-heavy—10 great movies take maybe 20 hours to watch, whereas 10 great TV shows, seen start to finish, could easily take 450 hours to watch. (I multiplied 45 minutes per episode x 60 episodes per show x 10 shows. Obviously just an estimate, but in the ballpark, I think.)

And then dialogue kind of broke down when I called the following...

..."a load of horseshit." Which was overly harsh, but "prestige TV" is, if anything, a symptom of indie film's troubles, not the cause of them. (Admittedly, that can eventually become a feedback loop.) Major filmmakers—including stylists like Soderbergh and the Wachowskis—are increasingly turning to TV because theatrical exhibition has shifted almost exclusively to branded tentpoles. Breaking Bad did not cause that shift, or the resulting migration, and I don't believe, as Daniel does, that the (wholly deserved imo) critical celebration of Breaking Bad is preventing films like The Neon Demon from being made and released. TV is not working to sabotage cinema, and those seeking to make adventurous, challenging indie films are wasting their energy by complaining that people who say "TV is so good right now" are making their lives harder. Never in the history of cinema has it been anything other than incredibly difficult to achieve something worthwhile. Just two nights ago, I watched Cassavetes' Opening Night, which barely got released in 1977 and reportedly played to mostly empty houses. That's not because so many people were too busy watching James at 15 on NBC. Hell, there wasn't even any Internet back then. People still didn't go. It has always been thus, and while the current influx of must-see TV certainly isn't helping matters, neither is it worth shaking an angry fist at.

After multiple (much briefer) exchanges, I suggested to Daniel that Twitter wasn't the best forum for this argument, and we called it a day. The following day, however, Brandon Nobles (@MrBrandonNobles) came upon the thread and resuscitated it, focusing on the style aspect and asserting

My response to this was "How many truly televisionistic quality films are there, out of that equal wilderness of shit?" Which Daniel didn't understand—hence this long post. It's really just a recapitulation of my point above: that TV and cinema are different media with radically different strengths and weaknesses. Yes, the nature of television is such that formal ambition is scarce—a stand-alone feature can spend several months crafting 90 or so minutes of footage, whereas a TV series generally has to churn out 10 times that amount of footage (or much more) over the same time period (or much less). So there aren't many TV shows that look as remarkable as the very best art films. Conceded. But neither are there many movies that can—to cite just one possible example—match the richness of characterization found in the very best TV shows. Having dozens of hours to create a character provides much more opportunity for depth and complexity and shading than does a mere two hours. Not every show takes advantage of this, to be sure...but, again, neither does every movie take advantage of the opportunity for visual dynamism. The whole comparison seems goofy to me. They're doing completely different things; they just happen to look superficially similar, in that both involve images that move. It's like comparing prose and poetry because both involve words arranged on the page, and complaining that The Recognitions lacks the piercing concision of "No Second Troy." That's certainly true, but so what?

In short, I just don't see the point of viewing TV as an enemy of cinema. It isn't. It's its own mostly unrelated thing, in the same way that, say, theater is its own mostly unrelated thing. At this historical moment, it happens to be offering more creative freedom to established professionals who'd like to do work they care about that has a shot at also making them some money. But that's not television's fault. It's the movies' fault. The barriers that exist have always existed. There's just a new alternative in town.

23 February 2016

Skandiewrap, or More Than You Wanted to Know

Well, that was predictable. Some years, I have no idea which film will win Best Picture; other years, I have a pretty good guess, but am well aware that it might be wrong (which it sometimes is). This was the first year in a long time—since 1999, probably, the year of Being John Malkovich—that I've had zero doubt about the result in that category. Wouldn't have bet my life on it, but if somebody had wanted to wager, say, twenty grand, I don't think I would have hesitated (and that's a substantial portion of my net worth, I'm afraid). Action movies as virtuosic and flat-out insane as Mad Max: Fury Road come around maybe once in a generation; with only a handful of exceptions among the AVB (cut to reaction shot of Michael Sicinski gritting teeth, shaking head), its greatness couldn't be denied.

Other races were more contentious. I honestly had no clue who was going to win Best Actor, and would have had a hard time even guessing the likely "nominees" (mostly because I saw virtually no great performances by leading men last year—for me, there was Jason Bateman in The Gift and then pretty much everybody else in a tie for who cares). Given the whole #OscarsSoWhite brouhaha, Michael B. Jordan's win feels like a corrective, though it's not as if the Skandies have been super diverse over the years. (I'd actually thought Jordan was our first African-American champ ever—forgot that Shareeka Epps won Supporting Actress for Half Nelson.) Actress, meanwhile, turned out to be a real nail-biter, the lead shifting among Rampling, Hoss, and Mara throughout balloting; Mara ultimately squeaked out the narrowest victory since 2010, when David Fincher pipped Darren Aronofsky by a single point in Director (even though neither one directed that year's Best Picture, which was Dogtooth). Alex Fung, who used to calculate what he called Impact stats back in the day (basically how many points a film/person received out of how many possible points they could have received, given how many people saw the film in question), pointed out that four of the five people who saw She's Lost Control (myself included) voted for Brooke Bloom, which is pretty impressive even though that was too few for her to make the main list. Sarah Snook, who placed 11th, managed the exact equivalent, receiving points from 8 of the 10 folks who caught Predestination. (What the hell is wrong with the other two of you?)

Last year, I expressed concern that the AVB was getting a tad too aggressively auteurist, as Picture and Director overlapped in 18 of 20 slots, whereas Picture and Screenplay did so in only 13 instances. Well, you heard me loud and clear. Seven directors made the cut in 2015 despite voters being less enamored of the films they directed: Aleksey German, Michael Mann, Pedro Costa, László Nemes, Guillermo Del Toro, the Safdie brothers, and (in something of a shocker, given that The Act of Killing placed 7th two years ago while he didn't make the top 20) Joshua Oppenheimer. We also loved the scripts for 45 Years, Bone Tomahawk, The Big Short, The Kindergarten Teacher, Bridge of Spies, Spotlight, and Results more than we did any of those pictures as a whole. Same number in both cases. That pleases me. Good job everyone. Also good job showing little love for The Revenant, even though I enjoyed it more than most of you did. My hypothetical prediction of the Actor "nominees" would surely have included DiCaprio (who won the category two years ago and nearly won for The Departed); instead, he failed to even make the top 20—as firm a repudiation of suffering-for-my-Oscar as I could have imagined or desired. I don't really get the passion for this particular Oscar Isaac performance, but at least Richard Jenkins was in the running for a while. No anger or major disappointment to report, really, apart from wishing Scott "sorry, I thought I'd be at the office today to retrieve my shortlists and it didn't happen" Renshaw and Sky "stuck outside of Sundance with the snowstorm blues again" Hirschkron had heeded my annual plea to create a provisional ballot that I can use in the event that something goes wrong right before the deadline...which, as you can see, it sometimes does, life being much less predictable than this year's Best Picture contest. FULL CIRCLE!

Okay, on to the number-crunching. (Many of you will want to check out at this point.) What follows are the stats I used to send out to voters (via snail mail!) back in the '90s, which I still maintain for my own obsessive amusement.

(includes only films receiving a minimum of ten votes)

01. 3.65 The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
02. 3.61 Being John Malkovich (1999)
02. 3.61 A Separation (2011)
04. 3.58 Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996)
05. 3.57 In the Company of Men (1997)
06. 3.56 Secrets & Lies (1996)
07. 3.53 La Promesse (1997)
08. 3.52 Yi Yi (A One and a Two…) (2000)
09. 3.50 From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1996)
10. 3.49 Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

It's still nearly impossible for new films to make this list, due to a significant uptick in voter stinginess with high ratings since the '90s, but Mad Max: Fury Road just barely managed it, displacing what had been a three-way tie for 10th between Irma Vep, Lone Star and Margaret.

(includes only films receiving a minimum of five votes)

01. 0.20 Date Movie (2006)
01. 0.20 America (2014)
03. 0.58 Miss March (2009)
04. 0.60 Dragonfly (2002)
05. 0.61 The Roommate (2011)
06. 0.67 3000 Miles to Graceland (2001)
06. 0.67 The Human Centipede III (Final Sequence) (2015)
08. 0.70 Beastly (2011)
08. 0.70 Left Behind (2014)
10. 0.75 The Mod Squad (1999)

The final Human Centipede installment knocks out the aging-bro "thriller" I Melt With You.

(std. deviation >= 0.75; minimum 2 votes 3.5 or higher, 2 votes 1.5 or lower)

  • Aloha (0.90)
  • Tangerine (0.89)
  • Horse Money (0.79)
  • The Tribe (0.79)
  • The Duke of Burgundy (0.78)
  • Anomalisa (0.77)
  • Magic Mike XXL (0.75)

  • Those last three are all on my top ten list, so apparently I myself am pretty divisive.

    (lowest-ranked film seen by at least 75% of respondents)

    1996: Twister (1.80)
    1997: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (2.33)
    1998: He Got Game (2.59)
    1999: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (2.18)
    2000: Nurse Betty (2.31)
    2001: Vanilla Sky (2.20)
    2002: Storytelling (2.03)
    2003: The Matrix Reloaded (2.29)
    2004: The Village (2.30)
    2005: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2.49)
    2006: Little Miss Sunshine (2.52)
    2007: Ocean's Thirteen (2.52)
    2008: Milk (2.83)
    2009: The Hangover (2.35)
    2010: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2.71)
    2011: Midnight in Paris (2.47)
    2012: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2.37)
    2013: American Hustle (2.50)
    2014: Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2.44)
    2015: While We're Young (2.67)

    Though Trainwreck, which was just shy of 75%, has a much lower average than Baumbach's film, and is probably the real winner here.

    (lowest average among top 20 films in Picture voting)

    1996: Dead Man (2.94)
    1997: Crash (2.52)
    1998: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (2.68)
    1999: The End of the Affair (2.96)
    2000: Requiem for a Dream (2.73)
    2001: Amélie (2.71)
    2002: 8 Women (2.79)
    2003: The Good Thief (2.81)
    2004: I ♥ Huckabees (2.84)
    2005: Oldboy (2.68)
    2006: Manderlay (2.69)
    2007: Once (2.79)
    2008: Funny Games (2.83)
    2009: A Serious Man (2.83)
    2010: The Exploding Girl (2.75)
    2011: Shame (2.63)
    2012: Damsels in Distress (2.76)
    2013: Spring Breakers (2.72)
    2014: Goodbye to Language (2.64)
    2015: The Assassin (2.73)

    I keep waiting for a film to beat Crash's record for the lowest average ever, but it may never happen. Remember, that's Cronenberg's Crash, not Haggis'.

    (highest-ranked film by average rating not to place in Picture voting [10+ voters] )

    1996: Get on the Bus (3.29)
    1997: Forgotten Silver (3.36)
    1998: The Kingdom II (3.14)
    1999: My Name Is Joe (3.18)
    2000: Erin Brockovich (3.14)
    2001: No Man’s Land (3.19)
    2002: Roger Dodger (3.14)
    2003: The Weather Underground (3.18)
    2004: Bright Leaves (3.16)
    2005: Howl's Moving Castle (3.15)
    2006: The Devil and Daniel Johnston (3.18)
    2007: The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters (3.25)
    2008: The Duchess of Langeais (3.20)
    2009: Night and Day (3.07)
    2010: Another Year (3.21)
    2011: Senna (3.07)
    2012: The Imposter (3.10)
    2013: Drug War (3.17)
    2014: National Gallery (3.25)
    2015: The Look of Silence (3.28)

    Interestingly, The Look of Silence scored a significantly higher average than The Act of Killing (3.13), but the latter placed 7th in Best Picture voting while the former finished 25th.

    (lowest average among films seen by at least 10 respondents)

    1996: Twister (1.80)
    1997: Batman & Robin (1.28)
    1998: The Avengers | Stepmom [tie] (1.50)
    1999: Jawbreaker (1.14)
    2000: Pay It Forward (1.41)
    2001: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (1.26)
    2002: Scooby-Doo (1.08)
    2003: Bad Boys II (1.60)
    2004: Exorcist: The Beginning (1.21)
    2005: Undead (1.29)
    2006: The Hills Have Eyes (1.65)
    2007: Smokin' Aces (1.64)
    2008: Jumper (1.54)
    2009: Gigantic (1.00)
    2010: The Last Airbender (1.05)
    2011: Vanishing on 7th Street (1.55)
    2012: This Means War (1.50)
    2013: Gangster Squad (1.29)
    2014: That Awkward Moment (1.45)
    2015: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (1.79)

    Not really a "damn the reviews" situation this year, but a case of the AVB actively hating a film that many critics (inexplicably) loved.

    (lowest average for a film that screened at the New York Film Festival)
    (post-expansion: Main Slate only)

    1996: Flirt (2.20)
    1997: Kiss or Kill (1.79)
    1998: Voyage to the Beginning of the World (1.80)
    1999: Dogma (1.89)
    2000: Before Night Falls (2.31)
    2001: La Ciénaga (1.95)
    2002: In Praise of Love (1.95)
    2003: Chi-Hwa-Seon: Painted Fire (2.19)
    2004: Free Radicals (2.08)
    2005: Palindromes (2.15)
    2006: Rolling Family (1.83)
    2007: The Go Master (1.93)
    2008: Married Life (2.25)
    2009: The Windmill Movie (2.13)
    2010: Hereafter (2.05)
    2011: We Are What We Are (1.64)
    2012: Hyde Park on Hudson (1.69)
    2013: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1.92)
    2014: Child of God (2.00)
    2015: The Princess of France (2.42)

    Odds are good that My Name Is Hmmm... would have won the title this year, but almost nobody saw it.

    (suggested by Alex Fung; lowest average for a film that received a 4-star rating

    1996: The Stupids (2.30) | Bryan “Frankenseuss” Theiss (ret.)
    1997: Kissed (2.46) | Alex Fung
    1998: Psycho (2.11) | Erik Gregersen (ret.)
    1999: Twin Falls Idaho (2.28) | Milton Lawson (ret.)
    2000: Beautiful People (2.29) | Keith Collins (ret.)
    2001: The Road Home (1.88) | Erik Gregersen (ret.)
    2002: In Praise of Love (1.95) | Jeremy Heilman
    2003: Gigli (1.92) | Jeremy Heilman
    2004: The Passion of the Christ (2.18) | Victor J. Morton
    2005: The Brothers Grimm (2.29) | Bilge Ebiri
    2006: The Fountain (2.21) | Peter Reiher
    2007: Southland Tales (1.88) | Dave Cowen; Jeremy Heilman
    2008: Jellyfish (2.36) | Daniel Waters
    2009: 12 (2.29) | Bilge Ebiri
    2010: Somewhere (2.41) | Nictate
    2011: A Serbian Film (1.81) | Daniel Waters
    2012: Alps (2.43) | Don Marks
    2013: Maniac (2.50) | Jeremy Heilman
    2014: Vic + Flo Saw a Bear (2.43) | Victor J. Morton
    2015: The Tribe (2.43) | Daniel Waters


    Cannes Palme d'Or

    1995: Underground (#15, 1997)
    1996: Secrets & Lies (#2, 1996)
    1997: Taste of Cherry (#15, 1998)
    1997: The Eel (did not place)
    1998: Eternity and a Day (did not place)
    1999: Rosetta (did not place)
    2000: Dancer in the Dark (#10, 2000)
    2001: The Son's Room (did not place)
    2002: The Pianist (did not place)
    2003: Elephant (did not place)
    2004: Fahrenheit 9/11 (did not place)
    2005: L'Enfant (The Child) (#6, 2006)
    2006: The Wind That Shakes the Barley (did not place)
    2007: 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (#1, 2008)
    2008: The Class (did not place)
    2009: The White Ribbon (did not place)
    2010: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (#9, 2011)
    2011: The Tree of Life (#1, 2011)
    2012: Amour (#6, 2012)
    2013: Blue Is the Warmest Color (#8, 2013)
    2014: Winter Sleep (#15, 2014)
    2015: Dheepan (TBD)

    Venice Golden Lion

    1995: Cyclo (#14, 1996)
    1996: Michael Collins (did not place)
    1997: Fireworks (Hana-Bi) (#5, 1998)
    1998: The Way We Laughed (N/A, not theatrically released during window of eligibility)
    1999: Not One Less (did not place)
    2000: The Circle (did not place)
    2001: Monsoon Wedding (did not place)
    2002: The Magdalene Sisters (did not place)
    2003: The Return (did not place)
    2004: Vera Drake (#6, 2004)
    2005: Brokeback Mountain (#3, 2005)
    2006: Still Life (#18, 2008)
    2007: Lust, Caution (did not place)
    2008: The Wrestler (#13, 2008)
    2009: Lebanon (did not place)
    2010: Somewhere (did not place)
    2011: Faust (did not place)
    2012: Pieta (did not place)
    2013: Sacro GRA (N/A, not theatrically released during window of eligibility)
    2014: A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (did not place)
    2015: From Afar (TBD)

    Sundance Grand Jury (Dramatic)

    1995: The Brothers McMullen (did not place)
    1996: Welcome to the Dollhouse (did not place)
    1997: Sunday (did not place)
    1998: Slam (did not place)
    1999: Three Seasons (did not place)
    2000: Girlfight (did not place)
    2000: You Can Count on Me (#3, 2000)
    2001: The Believer (did not place)
    2002: Personal Velocity (did not place)
    2003: American Splendor (#20, 2003)
    2004: Primer (#10, 2004)
    2005: Forty Shades of Blue (did not place)
    2006: Quinceañera (did not place)
    2007: Padre Nuestro (did not place)
    2008: Frozen River (did not place)
    2009: Precious (Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire) (did not place)
    2010: Winter's Bone (#2, 2010)
    2011: Like Crazy (did not place)
    2012: Beasts of the Southern Wild (did not place)
    2013: Fruitvale Station (did not place)
    2014: Whiplash (#20, 2014)
    2015: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (did not place)

    Most Appearances in Top 20 (Actors)
    (ties for number of appearances broken by average placement)

    01. Philip Seymour Hoffman (15)

    1s. The Master
    3s. Charlie Wilson's War
    5. Capote
    6. Synecdoche, New York
    6s. The Talented Mr. Ripley
    6s. Almost Famous
    10s. Magnolia
    10s. 25th Hour
    11. Doubt
    12. Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
    12s. State and Main
    15s. Happiness
    15. Owning Mahowny
    18. A Most Wanted Man
    19s. Mission: Impossible III

    02. Tilda Swinton (13)

    1. Julia
    4s. Michael Clayton
    4s. Snowpiercer
    5. The Deep End
    5. We Need to Talk About Kevin
    7. Only Lovers Left Alive
    9s. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
    11. I Am Love
    12s. Burn After Reading
    13s. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    18. Female Perversions
    19s. Thumbsucker
    19s. Trainwreck

    03. Isabelle Huppert (12)

    2. The Piano Teacher
    2s. 8 Women
    4. Gabrielle
    8. Abuse of Weakness
    8. The School of Flesh
    12. White Material
    13s. I ♥ Huckabees
    13s. Amour
    15. La Cérémonie
    17. Time of the Wolf
    17. In Another Country
    19. Home

    04. Kate Winslet (10)

    3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    8. Titanic
    9. Jude
    9s. Steve Jobs
    10. Revolutionary Road
    10s. Quills
    12. Little Children
    13. Holy Smoke
    16s. Hamlet
    17. Hideous Kinky

    (Was also a Supporting Actress nominee for Sense and Sensibility in 1995, when the survey employed Oscar-style voting.)

    05. Julianne Moore (10)

    1. Far From Heaven
    3s. Boogie Nights
    6. Still Alice
    8s. Magnolia
    11. The End of the Affair
    13s. The Big Lebowski
    15s. An Ideal Husband
    16s. A Single Man
    19. Savage Grace
    19. The Kids Are All Right

    (Also won Best Actress for Safe in 1995, when the survey employed Oscar-style voting.)

    Winslet moves into 4th place, knocking out Edward Norton.

    Most Films Landed in Top 20 (Directors)
    (again, ties broken by average placement)

    01. Joel [& Ethan] Coen (9)

    1. Inside Llewyn Davis
    2. No Country for Old Men
    4. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    5. The Man Who Wasn't There
    6. Fargo
    7. A Serious Man
    11. Burn After Reading
    12. The Big Lebowski
    12. True Grit

    02. Richard Linklater (7)

    3. Before Sunset
    3. Boyhood
    4. Before Midnight
    9. The School of Rock
    12. A Scanner Darkly
    15. Waking Life
    18. Bernie

    03. Lars von Trier (7)

    1. Breaking the Waves
    1. Dogville
    7. Melancholia
    10. Dancer in the Dark
    17. Nymph()maniac Vol. I
    19. The Five Obstructions
    20. Manderlay

    04. Quentin Tarantino (6)

    1. Inglourious Basterds
    2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
    4. Kill Bill Vol. 2
    4. Grindhouse
    8. The Hateful Eight
    9. Django Unchained

    05. Wes Anderson (6)

    2. Rushmore
    2. Fantastic Mr. Fox
    2. Moonrise Kingdom
    2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
    8. The Royal Tenenbaums
    17. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

    Tarantino moves into 4nd place, knocking out Paul Thomas Anderson (who also has placed six films in the top 20—all in the top 8, in fact—but still has weaker average placement than QT or Wes, because only two of them are top 5).

    And finally. Back when I started the survey, I remember looking forward to the time, a decade or so later (i.e. now), when there'd be tons of accumulated data to wade through. In particular, I was excited about the prospect of being able to compare how various films from major directors had been received over the years. Granted, that process isn't exactly definitive—the AVB has mutated over the years and even the diehards tend to be stingier with their star ratings than they were back in the mid-'90s. But perhaps my favorite task after receiving the averages is updating my Directors' Gallery, plugging this year's films into various post-'94 oeuvres. Here are the entries that saw additions this year—every filmmaker who's ever placed in the Director top 20. 2015 films are in bold. Numbers in parentheses indicate how the film placed in Best Picture that year, if applicable; if the film title is in parentheses that means it received fewer than 10 votes and hence the result is a bit less meaningful. N/A (not applicable) means it was eligible but didn't even get five votes and so didn't make the main list.

    Woody Allen

    Everyone Says I Love You: 3.09
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona (19): 2.98
    Match Point (13): 2.93
    Blue Jasmine (19): 2.82
    Sweet and Lowdown: 2.63
    Deconstructing Harry: 2.61
    Cassandra's Dream: 2.60
    Midnight in Paris: 2.47
    Magic in the Moonlight: 2.47
    Irrational Man: 2.46
    Small Time Crooks: 2.37
    The Curse of the Jade Scorpion: 2.33
    To Rome With Love: 2.29
    Scoop: 2.28
    Whatever Works: 2.24
    Anything Else: 2.13
    Hollywood Ending: 2.13
    Celebrity: 2.04
    Melinda and Melinda: 2.00
    You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger: 1.93

    Michael Almereyda

    Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story (14): 3.02
    Hamlet: 2.87
    (This So-Called Disaster: Sam Shepard Directs "The Late Henry Moss"): 2.60
    (Cymbeline): 2.31

    Lisandro Alonso

    Jauja (16): 2.83
    Liverpool: 2.54

    Roy Andersson

    Songs From the Second Floor (9): 3.23
    You, the Living: 2.96
    A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence: 2.92

    Olivier Assayas

    Irma Vep (5): 3.48
    Summer Hours (3): 3.23
    Carlos (6): 3.21
    Clouds of Sils Maria (9): 3.16
    Late August, Early September: 2.88
    Something in the Air: 2.82
    Les Destinées: 2.79
    Clean: 2.78
    demonlover: 2.45
    Boarding Gate: 2.35
    Paris je t'aime: 2.24

    Noah Baumbach

    Frances Ha (3): 3.32
    The Squid and the Whale (6): 3.21
    Mistress America (19): 2.94
    Margot at the Wedding: 2.92
    Greenberg: 2.84
    Mr. Jealousy: 2.72
    While We're Young: 2.67

    Brad Bird

    The Iron Giant (11): 3.24
    The Incredibles (8): 3.13
    Ratatouille (14): 3.08
    Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol: 2.91
    Tomorrowland: 2.23

    Bertrand Bonello

    House of Pleasures (5): 3.40
    Saint Laurent (13): 3.11

    Danny Boyle

    Trainspotting (11): 3.19
    Millions: 2.93
    28 Days Later: 2.90
    127 Hours: 2.76
    Sunshine: 2.74
    Steve Jobs: 2.62
    Slumdog Millionaire: 2.42
    (A Life Less Ordinary): 2.22
    The Beach: 2.08
    (Trance): 1.88

    Kenneth Branagh

    Hamlet (9): 3.29
    (A Midwinter's Tale): 2.83
    (Cinderella): 2.75
    Thor: 2.39
    Love's Labours Lost: 2.10
    Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: 2.05
    Sleuth: 1.40

    Andrew Bujalski

    Computer Chess (13): 3.10
    Mutual Appreciation (15): 2.93
    Results: 2.78
    Funny Ha Ha: 2.76
    Beeswax: 2.75

    Pedro Costa

    (Ne change rien): 3.17
    Colossal Youth: 2.77
    Horse Money: 2.73

    David Cronenberg

    A History of Violence (7): 3.11
    Cosmopolis (15): 2.76
    eXistenZ: 2.74
    Eastern Promises: 2.73
    Crash (18): 2.52
    A Dangerous Method: 2.48
    Maps to the Stars: 2.48
    Spider: 2.34

    Cameron Crowe

    Jerry Maguire (10): 3.27
    Almost Famous (15): 2.99
    We Bought a Zoo: 2.50
    Aloha: 2.28
    Vanilla Sky: 2.20
    Elizabethtown: 1.90

    Guillermo Del Toro

    Pan's Labyrinth (8): 2.95
    Crimson Peak: 2.76
    The Devil's Backbone: 2.66
    Blade II: 2.63
    Hellboy II: The Golden Army: 2.53
    Hellboy: 2.33
    Pacific Rim: 2.18
    Mimic: 2.06

    Jonathan Demme

    Rachel Getting Married (4): 3.28
    Neil Young: Heart of Gold: 2.94
    (Neil Young Journeys): 2.93
    (Storefront Hitchcock): 2.92
    Ricki and the Flash: 2.76
    The Manchurian Candidate: 2.70
    (Man From Plains): 2.67
    Beloved: 2.64
    (A Master Builder): 2.64
    Neil Young Trunk Show: 2.50
    The Truth About Charlie: 2.48
    (The Agronomist): 2.39
    Enzo Avitabile Music Life: N/A
    I'm Carolyn Parker: N/A

    Pete Docter

    Up (4): 3.17
    Inside Out (4): 3.12
    Monsters, Inc.: 3.06

    Bruno Dumont

    Hadewijch: 3.00
    Flanders: 2.96
    Camille Claudel 1915: 2.79
    Humanité (13): 2.79
    Li'l Quinquin: 2.79
    Outside Satan: 2.60
    Twentynine Palms: 2.42
    (Life of Jesus): 2.19

    Miguel Gomes

    Tabu (13): 3.13
    Arabian Nights: Volume Two, The Desolate One: 2.92
    (Our Beloved Month of August): 2.64
    Arabian Nights: Volume One, The Restless One: 2.57
    Arabian Nights: Volume Three, The Enchanted One: 2.54

    Alejandro González Iñárritu

    Amores Perros (17): 2.82
    21 Grams: 2.49
    The Revenant: 2.45
    Birdman, or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance): 2.44
    Biutiful: 2.00
    Babel: 1.95

    Debra Granik

    Winter's Bone (2): 3.24
    (Stray Dog): 3.10
    Down to the Bone: N/A

    David Gordon Green

    George Washington: 3.05
    All the Real Girls (15): 2.93
    Pineapple Express: 2.71
    Joe: 2.69
    (Manglehorn): 2.58
    Undertow: 2.56
    Snow Angels: 2.56
    Prince Avalanche: 2.50
    (Our Brand Is Crisis): 2.19
    (The Sitter): 2.00
    Your Highness: 1.89

    Todd Haynes

    Far From Heaven (4): 3.37
    Carol (2): 3.35
    I'm Not There (10): 2.92
    Velvet Goldmine: 2.43

    Hou Hsiao-hsien

    Flight of the Red Balloon (15): 3.04
    Three Times: 2.85
    Millennium Mambo: 2.83
    The Assassin (17): 2.73
    Café Lumière: 2.55

    Jean-Pierre Jeunet

    (The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet): 2.80
    Micmacs: 2.75
    Amélie (13): 2.71
    A Very Long Engagement: 2.55
    Alien Resurrection: 2.39

    Charlie Kaufman

    Synecdoche, New York (7): 2.93
    Anomalisa (10): 2.87

    Neil LaBute

    In the Company of Men (2): 3.57
    Possession: 2.78
    Your Friends & Neighbors: 2.62
    (Some Velvet Morning): 2.50
    Lakeview Terrace: 2.43
    Nurse Betty: 2.31
    The Shape of Things: 2.27
    The Wicker Man: 1.79
    Death at a Funeral: N/A
    Dirty Weekend: N/A

    Spike Lee

    25th Hour (1): 3.42
    Get on the Bus: 3.29
    (4 Little Girls): 3.14
    Inside Man (16): 2.99
    (Passing Strange): 2.94
    Chi-Raq: 2.74
    The Original Kings of Comedy: 2.73
    (Bad 25): 2.60
    He Got Game: 2.59
    Summer of Sam: 2.57
    Oldboy: 2.46
    Red Hook Summer: 2.42
    (Girl 6): 2.28
    Bamboozled: 2.13
    Da Sweet Blood of Jesus: 2.13
    Miracle at St. Anna: 2.00
    She Hate Me: 1.32
    Jim Brown: All American: N/A

    Guy Maddin

    The Forbidden Room (7): 3.26
    My Winnipeg (8): 3.22
    Cowards Bend the Knee: 3.11
    The Saddest Music in the World: 3.01
    Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary: 2.93
    Brand Upon the Brain!: 2.90
    Keyhole: 2.56

    Michael Mann

    The Insider: 3.07
    Ali: 2.82
    Collateral: 2.81
    Miami Vice: 2.79
    Blackhat: 2.71
    Public Enemies: 2.58

    Sam Mendes

    American Beauty (16): 2.97
    Skyfall: 2.93
    Road to Perdition: 2.82
    Revolutionary Road: 2.65
    Jarhead: 2.44
    Spectre: 2.29
    Away We Go: 2.19

    Takashi Miike

    Audition (6): 3.22
    13 Assassins: 3.03
    Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai: 2.80
    Dead or Alive: 2.79
    Ichi the Killer: 2.74
    The Happiness of the Katakuris: 2.73
    Gozu: 2.61
    The City of Lost Souls: 2.56
    Yakuza Apocalypse: 2.54
    Three...Extremes: 2.47
    Sukiyaki Western Django: 2.32
    The Great Yokai War: 2.25
    (One Missed Call): 2.20
    (DOA: Final): 2.17

    George Miller

    Mad Max: Fury Road (1): 3.49
    Babe: Pig in the City (9): 3.13
    Happy Feet: 2.42
    (Happy Feet Two): 2.20

    David Robert Mitchell

    It Follows (15): 3.00
    The Myth of the American Sleepover: 2.66

    Gaspar Noé

    Irreversible (1): 3.12
    I Stand Alone: 2.94
    Enter the Void (11): 2.78
    Love: 2.41

    Joshua Oppenheimer

    The Look of Silence: 3.28
    The Act of Killing (7): 3.13

    Jafar Panahi

    Offside (11): 3.25
    Crimson Gold (11): 3.20
    (The Mirror): 3.20
    The White Balloon: 3.14
    This Is Not a Film: 3.00
    Jafar Panahi's Taxi: 2.84
    The Circle: 2.70
    Closed Curtain: 2.63

    Christian Petzold

    Phoenix (6): 3.24
    Barbara: 3.00
    Jerichow: 2.82
    (Yella): 2.29

    David O. Russell

    Three Kings (9): 3.18
    Flirting With Disaster: 3.12
    I [Heart] Huckabees (14): 2.84
    The Fighter: 2.76
    Silver Linings Playbook: 2.63
    Joy: 2.54
    American Hustle: 2.50
    Accidental Love: 2.11 [unfinished/disowned/pseudonymized]

    Josh Safdie & Benny Safdie

    Heaven Knows What: 3.02
    Daddy Longlegs: 2.25

    Ridley Scott

    Gladiator (20): 3.04
    The Counselor: 2.91
    The Martian: 2.89
    Black Hawk Down (20): 2.78
    Matchstick Men: 2.78
    American Gangster : 2.50
    Body of Lies: 2.50
    G.I. Jane: 2.42
    Kingdom of Heaven: 2.33
    Prometheus: 2.26
    (White Squall): 2.22
    (Exodus: Gods and Kings): 2.00
    Hannibal: 1.94
    (A Good Year): 1.93
    Robin Hood: 1.91

    Paolo Sorrentino

    The Great Beauty (15): 3.00
    This Must Be the Place: 2.91
    Il Divo: 2.74
    Youth: 2.46

    Steven Spielberg

    Saving Private Ryan (8): 3.27
    Minority Report: 2.92
    AI (7): 2.91
    Munich (14): 2.88
    Lincoln (19): 2.86
    Bridge of Spies: 2.85
    Amistad: 2.83
    War of the Worlds: 2.82
    Catch Me if You Can: 2.79
    War Horse: 2.79
    The Adventures of Tintin: 2.78
    Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: 2.39
    The Lost World: Jurassic Park: 2.33
    The Terminal: 2.10

    Peter Strickland

    The Duke of Burgundy (3): 3.22
    Berberian Sound Studio: 2.72

    Quentin Tarantino

    Inglourious Basterds (1): 3.46
    Kill Bill Vol. 1 (2): 3.21
    Kill Bill Vol. 2 (4): 3.16
    The Hateful Eight (8): 3.13
    Django Unchained (9): 3.09
    Grindhouse (4): 2.93
    Jackie Brown: 2.90

    Johnnie To

    Drug War: 3.17
    Exiled (18): 2.97
    Mad Detective: 2.95
    Vengeance: 2.87
    Election: 2.79
    Fulltime Killer: 2.74
    Election 2: 2.73
    (Breaking News): 2.50
    Office: 2.47
    (Throwdown): 2.33
    Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2: N/A

    Denis Villeneuve

    Sicario (12): 3.09
    (Polytechnique): 2.71
    Incendies: 2.67
    Enemy: 2.43
    Maelström: 2.29
    Prisoners: 2.08

    Thomas Vinterberg

    The Celebration (14): 3.24
    Far From the Madding Crowd: 2.79
    The Hunt: 2.61
    Dear Wendy: 2.14
    It's All About Love: 1.77

    The Wachowski Siblings

    Bound (16): 3.29
    The Matrix: 2.96
    Speed Racer: 2.57
    Cloud Atlas: 2.45
    The Matrix Reloaded: 2.29
    The Matrix Revolutions: 2.21
    Jupiter Ascending: 1.88

    Joe Wright

    Pride & Prejudice: 3.02
    Atonement (20): 3.00
    Hanna: 2.57
    Anna Karenina: 2.56
    (The Soloist): 2.14
    Pan: N/A

    Robert Zemeckis

    Cast Away (12): 3.06
    Contact: 2.83
    The Walk: 2.68
    The Polar Express: 2.65
    (Disney's A Christmas Carol): 2.61
    Flight: 2.55
    Beowulf: 2.47
    What Lies Beneath: 2.00

     Zhang Yimou

    Hero (5): 3.15
    Not One Less: 3.03
    House of Flying Daggers (20): 3.00
    Curse of the Golden Flower: 2.65
    Coming Home: 2.56
    (Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles): 2.50
    (Happy Times): 2.44
    (The Flowers of War): 2.42
    (A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop): 2.19
    The Road Home: 1.88

    19 February 2016

    Skandies: #1

    Best Picture: Mad Max: Fury Road (357/24)

    Best Director: George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road (425/26)
    Skandie history: #8, Babe: Pig in the City (1998). (Do more sequels, George!)

    Best Actress: Rooney Mara, Carol (283/24)
    Skandie history: #20s, The Social Network (2010); #15, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011); #14s, Side Effects (2013).

    Best Actor: Michael B. Jordan, Creed (223/19)
    Skandie history: None.

    Best Supporting Actor: Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina (190/15)
    Skandie history: #2, Inside Llewyn Davis (2013); #13, A Most Violent Year (2014). That's three years in a row.

    Best Supporting Actress: Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria (402/26)
    Skandie history: #18s, Adventureland (2009); #16s, Still Alice (2014).

    Best Screenplay: Phyllis Nagy, Carol (222/19)
    Skandie history: None.

    Best Scene: "Speak Low," Phoenix (253/19).

    (Scene is on YouTube, but embedding is disabled. Also, as Theo observed in the comments, this scene is completely meaningless out of context, whereas in context it ranks among the most powerful endings in recent film history—some would say in all of film history.)

    Complete results available here. Thanks to all voters, and especially to Mark Pittillo for programming the automated ballot and maintaining the website. The big post-mortem will be up in the next day or two.

    Skandies: #2

    Picture: Carol (254/22)
    Director: Todd Haynes, Carol (275/24)
    Actress: Nina Hoss, Phoenix (280/22)
    Actor: Josh Lucas, The Mend (203/16)
    S. Actor: Benicio Del Toro, Sicario (163/13)
    S. Actress: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight (191/17)
    Screenplay: Olivier Assayas, Clouds of Sils Maria (170/16)
    Scene: Donnie vs. Leo (single shot), Creed (123/13)

    Best I can do is a NYT clip in which Coogler provides commentary on top of the first three minutes.


    Haynes came in 2nd for Far From Heaven (2002) as well, losing that year to Spike Lee. He also placed 7th for I'm Not There (2007).

    Del Toro is a previous Skandie winner in Supporting (for Traffic, 2000); he's also placed in that category at #10 (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 1998) and #13 (21 Grams, 2003), and squeaked into the lead category at #19 for Che (2008). Hoss' performance in Petzold's previous film, Barbara (2012), landed her at #10. (Note that only three points separate her and Mara; Actress was by far the closest race this year.) Leigh's history can be found below at #6. Lucas is new.

    Assayas' screenplays for Irma Vep (1997) and Summer Hours (2009) both placed at #6. He also placed 8th in this category for Carlos: A Movie That Creepy Greek Somehow Still Hasn't Seen (2010, co-written with Dan Franck)

    18 February 2016

    Skandies: #3

    Picture: The Duke of Burgundy (172/13)
    Director: Peter Strickland, The Duke of Burgundy (164/14)
    Actress: Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years (211/17)
    Actor: Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight (194/15)
    S. Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies (155/11)
    S. Actress: Cynthia Nixon, James White (147/12)
    Screenplay: Peter Strickland, The Duke of Burgundy (167/14)
    Scene: "The Final Derrière," The Forbidden Room (105/10)


    Strickland didn't make the cut for Berberian Sound Studio, in either Director or Screenplay (and his first feature was never released in the U.S.).

    As previously noted, Rampling also placed 3rd in 2001 for Under the Sand; her only other nod was at #10 for Swimming Pool (2003). Jackson makes his third appearance, all in Tarantino films; he previously placed 18th for Jackie Brown (1997) in addition to the aforementioned 4th-place finish in Supporting three years ago for Django Unchained. (Pulp Fiction predates the survey by one year. He almost surely would have won Supporting Actor.) Rylance placed 11th in the lead category for Angels and Insects way back in 1996, and thus sets a new record for the longest elapsed time between top 20 appearances (19 years, currently the maximum possible*). Nixon is not a crook. Sorry. Nixon is new.

    * Actors who could best it in future, which is to say those who made the list in 1996 but haven't since: Danny Aiello, Brenda Blethyn, Sandrine Bonnaire, Kenneth Branagh, Richard Briers, Robert Carlyle, Jeffrey Combs, Vincent D'Onofrio, Illeana Douglas, Christopher Eccleston, Gary Farmer, Janeane Garofalo, Cuba Gooding Jr., Karron Graves, Irma P. Hall, Deborah Harry, Bonnie Hunt, Hwang Sin-hye, Derek Jacobi, Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Alice Krige, Kris Kristofferson, Virginie Ledoyen, Téa Leoni, Courtney Love, William H. Macy, Heather Matarazzo, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Debbie Reynolds, Mitch Rouse, Gena Rowlands, Meg Ryan, Winona Ryder, Noah Taylor, Jennifer Tilly, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Faye Wang, Dwight Yoakam. Gives you an idea of how hard it is to get recognized, even with 20 spots in four categories. Three actors who placed that year have since died, sadly (two of them quite young): Elizabeth Peña, Chris Penn, and Paul Scofield.

    17 February 2016

    Skandies: #4

    Picture: Inside Out (136/10)
    Director: Guy Maddin, The Forbidden Room (136/13)
    Actress: Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road (207/19)
    Actor: Christopher Abbott, James White (165/12)
    S. Actor: Sylvester Stallone, Creed (151/15)
    S. Actress: Lucy Owen, The Mend (128/12)
    Screenplay: Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig, Mistress America (152/13)
    Scene: Border crossing, Sicario (92/10)


    Maddin previously placed 15th for Dracula: Pages From a Virgin's Diary (2003) and 6th for My Winnipeg (2008).

    Theron bests her 5th place finish for Monster in 2003; she's also previously placed 12th for Young Adult (2011). Everyone else is new.

    In addition to his numerous nomations (see post below) Baumbach has placed 10th for The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou (2004, co-written with Wes Anderson) and 7th for Greenberg (2010). Gerwig's non-Baumbach scripts, co-written with Joe Swanberg, were Hannah Takes the Stairs and Nights and Weekends; neither made the cut.

    BONUS: Pixar history (since that won't be part of the big wrap post):

    Toy Story (1995): Oscar-style inaugural year, was not one of the five nominees.
    A Bug's Life (1998): did not place
    Toy Story 2 (1999): #4
    Monsters, Inc. (2001): did not place
    Finding Nemo (2003): #13
    The Incredibles (2004): #8
    Cars (2006): did not place
    Ratatouille (2007): #14
    WALL•E (2008): #2
    Up (2009): #4
    Toy Story 3 (2010) : #9
    Cars 2 (2011): did not place
    Brave (2012): did not place
    Monsters University (2013): did not place
    Inside Out (2015): #4
    The Good Dinosaur (2015): did not place (and is the lowest-rated Pixar film ever, in terms of average rating)

    Pretty impressive track record, though Inside Out breaks an unprecedented three-film dry spell.

    16 February 2016

    Skandies: #5

    Picture: The Mend (129/11)
    Director: Denis Villeneuve, Sicario (119/12)
    Actress: Cate Blanchett, Carol (202/18)
    Actor: Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs (147/10)
    S. Actor: Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk (146/10)
    S. Actress: Rebecca Ferguson, Mission: Impossible—Rogue Nation (124/13)
    Screenplay: Pete Docter & Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley, Inside Out (145/13)
    Scene: "Diamonds," Girlhood (90/7)


    This is Villeneuve's first appearance (because all of his previous movies stunk).

    In addition to her many "nominations" (see post below), Blanchett has placed 16th for Oscar and Lucinda (1997), 11th for Heaven (2002), and 17th in Supporting for Notes From a Scandal (2006). In addition to his several nominations (see same post below), Fassbender has previously placed three times in Supporting: 14th in 2009 for Inglourious Basterds, 12th in 2010 for Fish Tank, and 16th last year for Frank. Jenkins landed at #16 in the lead category for The Visitor (2008), his sole previous nod. Ferguson is new.

    Docter helped conceive the story for several beloved Pixar films (Toy Story 2; Monsters, Inc.; WALL•E), but his only previous actual screenplay credit is for Up, which placed 7th in 2009. LeFauve and Cooley have no previous credits.