QCinema screens ‘How to Survive a Plague’ free Thursday night

QCinema kicks of its 2013 season with a free screening (not $10 as usual!) of the Oscar-nominated chronicle of the fight against AIDS, How to Survive a Plague. It’s an excellent film, you really should see it, so get over to the Four Day Weekend Theater in Fort Worth by 6:30 p.m.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

The Oscar noms: Tons of surprises

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has been trying desperately to shake up their Oscar nominations, and they finally succeeded. In what was generally considered one of the strongest movie years in a decade, the nominations this morning had tons of surprises — many exactly of the kind they wanted, including a powerhouse appearance by indie hit Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Still, many of the predicted frontrunners did expectedly well, with Lincoln scoring the most nominations (12, including three for acting — tied for the most ever acting noms from a Steven Spielberg-directed film), followed closely by my favorite film of the year, Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, which, with 11 nods, has the most ever for a film that didn’t receive a single acting nomination. Also, the dreadful Silver Linings Playbook did well, largely via the push by Harvey Weinstein, despite being the worst movie of 2012Bernie and Cloud Atlas were completely snubbed, as was Matthew McConaughey, who did four films with some buzz last year.

The biggest upsets were in the direction category, with four of the frontrunners — former Oscar winners Kathryn Bigelow, Tom Hooper, Quentin Tarantino and Ben Affleck — all being passed over for inferior work from David O. Russell for SLP, and Beasts‘ Ben Zeitlin in his film debut.

Some good surprises include gay filmmaker David France’s AIDS movie How to Survive a Plague nominated for best documentary feature and The Simpsons‘ cartoon The Longest Daycare snagging a nom for animated short.

All the nominations after the jump.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

DFW Film Critics bestow 2012 awards

The Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association, a rough assemblage of about 30 print, online and broadcast film commentators from across the Metroplex (including yours truly), released the results of their annual poll this morning for their awards of the best of the year at the movies, and the big winner was Lincoln, taking five prizes. Here are the results for our collective picks (not mine, mind you, though I had my say as well — my own top 10 will come out next week) for 2012:

Best Picture: Lincoln came in first place, followed by Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Life ofPi and Les Miserables rounding out the top 5. Dallasite Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Skyfall, The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild complete the top 10

Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty, with Steven Spielberg in second for Lincoln and Argo‘s Ben Affleck, Life of Pi‘s Ang Lee and Wes Anderson rounding out the top 5.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln. Following him were Joaquin Phoenix, The Master, John Hawkes, The Sessions, Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables and Denzel Washington, Flight.

Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty, followed by Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook, Helen Mirren, Hitchcock, Emmanuelle Riva, Amour, and a tie for fifth between Quvenzhane Wallis for Beasts of the Southern Wild and Naomi Watts for The Impossible.

Best Supporting Actor: Texan Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln, then Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master, Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained, Alan Arkin, Argo and Robert DeNiro, SLP.

Best Supporting Actress: Sally Field, Lincoln, then Anne Hathaway for Les Miserables, Amy Adams for The Master, Helen Hunt for The Sessions and Ann Dowd for Compliance.

Best Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty‘s Mark Boal, who also wrote The Hurt Locker for director Bigelow. He beat Quentin Tarantino for Django Unchained.

Best Cinematography: Life of Pi, followed by Skyfall.

Best Musical Score: Lincoln.

Best Foreign Language Film: Amour, followed by A Royal Affair, The Intouchables, Holy Motors and The Kid with a Bike.

Best Animated Feature: ParaNorman, which features a gay character — though we only find out at the end. Frankenweenie came in second.

Best Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man beat out two gay-themed docs: Bully and How to Survive a Plague. The other two in the top 5 were West of Memphis and The Invisible War.

The Russell Smith Award, presented for outstanding in cutting-edge independent filmmaking (named for the late gay film critic for the Dallas Morning News), went to Beasts of the Southern Wild.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones