Movie Maniac

December 15, 2013

SAG, Golden Globe nominations signal Oscar chances

Two more high-profile groups announced their awards nominations this week, kicking movie awards season into high(er) gear.

Two more high-profile groups announced their awards nominations this week, kicking movie awards season into high(er) gear.

First, the Screen Actors Guild revealed its choices Wednesday, showering love on “12 Years a Slave” with four nominations, including outstanding cast, the SAG’s version of best picture. Other outstanding cast nominees were “American Hustle,” “August: Osage County,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” and “Dallas Buyers Club.”

The nominations further signaled Oscar chances, even though some notable performances were overlooked (most noticeable was Robert Redford for “All Is Lost” and Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Wolf of Wall Street”).

The SAG awards will be handed out Jan. 18 and televised live on TBS and TNT.

On Thursday, the Golden Globe Awards nominations were announced. These awards, given annually by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are widely viewed as having less merit but no less star power. People watch the awards show because stars show up; stars show up because people watch the awards show. And it’s usually a tipsy party.

It’s also a given that critics generally like to poke fun at the Golden Globes, which sometimes have questionable nominees and winners. But this year, critics in general are saying that the Globes have gotten it (mostly) right, and that they have nothing to be ashamed of, even if the Globes are mostly viewed as a stop on the way to the Oscars instead of a precursor to them.

“12 Years a Slave” and “American Hustle” led the pack with seven nominations each. Those films’ casts also fared well in acting nominations.

The Golden Globe Awards will be handed out Jan. 12, with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler again hosting the telecast, which will be broadcast live on NBC.

It’s all leading to the Academy Awards, and those nominations will be announced Jan. 16.

For land’s sake — The independent comedy “Ghost Phone” is trying a unique approach to movie marketing.

The film is now in limited release in nine theaters across the country through Thursday, self-distributed by the Taos Land & Film Co.

Here’s the marketing hook: Everyone who buys a ticket to the film is automatically entered into a contest to win five acres of land in Taos, N.M. Really!

Moviegoers keep their ticket stubs, a drawing will be held Dec. 23, and the winner will be announced on What a great Christmas present! Unless the land is radioactive or something, which I seriously doubt.

The film follows a man (Nelson Franklin) who suddenly gets phone calls from the dead on a cellphone his recently deceased fiancee (Melissa Ordway) left behind.

“Ghost Phone” is playing at the Chisholm Trail 8 theaters, 601 SE 36th St. in Newton. For more information on the film and show times, go to

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