‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Wins Big At Independent Spirit Awards

This news article was published on ToppicalTodd.com 2/24/2013

It was a big night for Silver Linings Playbook at the 28th annual Film Independent Spirit Award. Along with winning “Best Feature,” the film’s writer and director David O. Russell took home both “Best Director” and “Best Screenplay” awards. Jennifer Lawrence was also awarded for her performance with the “Best Female Lead” trophy. Lawrence beat out fellow Oscar nominee, Quevenzhane Wallis, star of Beasts of the Southern Wild.



The awards ceremony was held in Santa Monica Saturday night. Saturday Night Live alum Andy Sandberg hosted the show. Other actors in attendance included Amy Pohler, Bradley Cooper and Salma Hayek.

Playbook won the show’s top prize despite a crowded field of favorites that included Best Picture Oscar nominee Beasts of the Southern Wild, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, Richard Linklater’s Bernie and the Ira Sachs drama Keep The Lights On.

This marks the second-straight “Best Feature” win for The Weinstein Company, with controversy over the wins coming in both years. Many argued that last year’s big winner, The Artist should have been relegated to the international category due to it’s french origins. Silver Linings Playbook had a budget of $21 million, placing it over the usual $20 million limit for submissions. The Spirit Awards Nominating Committee is allowed to make exceptions to this requirement.

The comedy, The Sessions also took home multiple awards with stars John Hawkes and Helen Hunt winning the “Best Male Lead” and “Best Supporting Female” awards. Matthew McConaughey took home a trophy for his supporting turn as the male strip club emcee in Magic Mike.

Oscar-nominated films typically fare well at the Spirit Awards with The Artist, Black Swan and Precious winning in the past few years. However, very rarely do the Saturday winners carry over to Sunday.

Join us on TopicalTodd.com for the latest new movie release news. Bookmark us and friend us on Facebook or Twitter for all our latest updates. Read more from Tyler Lyon on Twitter.


The Topical Todd Oscar Live Blog!

This feature was originally published on TopicalTodd.com 2/24/2013.

Join us right here on Oscar Sunday where movies contributor Tyler Lyon (Hey, that’s me!) will live blog the 85th Annual Academy Awards. Here you’ll find updates on the winners as well as the presenters, host Seth MacFarlane and any other happenings throughout the evening. Be sure to bookmark this page and come back at 7:30 PM ET/6:30 CT. To stay on top of everything here, be sure to refresh the page – hit the ‘F5’ key – throughout the evening for all the latest updates and show impressions.



In the meantime, check out Tyler’s thoughts leading up to the show:

I haven’t been this excited for the Oscar’s in a long time, due in large part to 2012 being the best movie year since 2007. Unlike that year, which was very top-heavy thanks to There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men, the quality is spread out to the point where it will only be disappointing if someone loses, not if another nominee wins. I’m really pulling for Jessica Chastain to win Best Actress for Zero Dark Thirty but front runner Jennifer Lawrence was fantastic in Silver Linings Playbook, leaving little room for disappointment when she likely walks up the stage. With Argo being the big winner as of late, this could also be the first time in six years where the Best Director didn’t direct the Best Picture (Ben Affleck wasn’t nominated for directing). It’s a rare case where I can’t imagine being upset over any of the winners. That being said I’m still holding out for my favorites which include any of the three actors for The Master, Django Unchained for “Best Picture,” Wreck-It Ralph and the short that accompanied it, Paperman.

I’m also all-in on Seth MacFarlane hosting. His SNL monologue is a good example of what he’ll bring to the stage and it’s just what the academy and producers want in their show. MacFarlane is the closest thing we have to a contemporary Rat Pack entertainer with his musical talent along with his sharp humor. I don’t expect the show to be as blue as his TV shows or his hit Ted but it will be just enough to keep both younger viewers and their parents engaged.

It’s going to be a good one. See you tonight!

7:30 PM: Happy Oscar Sunday everyone! Remember to refresh this page throughout the night by hitting refresh on your browser or ‘F5’ on your keyboard to see the latest updates. Also leave comments below on what you think of the show!

7:35 PM: Not that we needed reminding but 2012 was a great year for movies! Though I have a feeling some important aspects of the big nominees are going to be glossed over, i.e. slavery in Django Unchained, the poverty in Beasts are going to be ignored.

7:39 PM: We already knew this from Silver Linings and The Hangover but Bradley Cooper can wear the hell out of a suit and beard.

7:40 PM: Nicole Kidman looked fantastic as always even if she and Keith Urban gave nothing for the red carpet reporter to work with in that interview.

7:50 PM: Unlike Bradley Cooper, Hugh Jackman doesn’t do the beard well unless he’s pulling a boat. Also, my money is that the mystery box is something to do with Alfred Hitchcock since they are giving Psycho a tribute tonight.

7:55 PM: Robert De Niro continues to prove he’ll wear his hair however he wants because he’s Robert *&@#^% De Niro.

8:00 PM: Moms seem to be the go to date for the single men tonight. I would do the same.

8:08 PM: I’m happy to see live performances are coming back, if only to see Adele perform.

8:15 PM: And the Oscar mystery is the ruby slippers from Wizard of Oz. Good stuff, if a little predictable.

8:26 PM: The show’s about to start. Be sure to leave your thoughts on Seth MacFarlane’s opening performance in the comments below.

8:30 PM: Robert Downey Jr. is ready for whatever Seth MacFarlane can throw at him.

8:32 PM: Keeping the jokes pretty tame so far.

8:34 PM: Nevermind. Here are the Django Unchained jokes.

8:37 PM: Seth MacFarlane is best when he mixes silliness with the crude. Also, 12 year old boys everywhere just made a list of all those movies.

8:40 PM: I just saw Flight yesterday so that sock puppet sketch was pretty great.

8:45 PM: Seth MacFarlane is effectively using the “one for you, one for them,” method tonight.

8:47 PM: Quick review of the opening: Not bad but it lacked the momentum of previous years.

8:48 PM: Again, I’m pulling for Philip Seymour Hoffman, sadly I don’t think it will happen.

8:50 PM: Christoph Waltz wins “Best Actor in a Supporting Role” for Django Unchained.

8:53 PM: Happy to see Waltz win for Django Unchained which was a surprise considering he just won for Inglorious Basterds. Unfortunately, that will likely be the only award for the film and it looks like The Master will be shut out.

8:56 PM: Also, it looks like MacFarlene is doubling as the PA announcer tonight.

8:57 PM: Now that I think about it, it is weird Paul Rudd hasn’t been in an animated film yet.

8:58 PM: Paperman,wins “Best Animated Short.” Check it out on YouTube if you haven’t seen it yet.

9:00 PM: Brave wins the award for “Best Animated Feature.”

9:00 PM: Really happy for Paperman and I’m not surprised Brave won. As a gamer, I was really pulling for Wreck It Ralph. It would have been a huge win for the medium.

9:05 PM: You know Clooney is drinking that mini bottle of Jack.

9:07 PM: Claudio Miranda wins “Best Cinematography” for Life of Pi.

9:08 PM: Cinematographer Roger Deakins‘ Oscar-less streak continues. This is getting ridiculous.

9:10 PM: Life of Pi wins the award for “Best Achievement in Visual Effects.”

9:11 PM: Brilliant choice using the Jaws theme to play off the winners.

9:17 PM: Jacquline Duran wins the award for “Achievement in Costume Design” for her work in Anna Karenina.

9:20 PM: Lisa Westscott and Julie Darnell win the award for “Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling” for Les Miserables.

9:22 PM: I’m pretty shocked that last Bond girl joke got through.

9:27 PM: Really enjoyed the “Goldfinger” performance, it’s definitely my favorite Bond theme. Put yours in the comments below.

9:32 PM: Shawn Christensen wins the award for “Best Live Action Short Film,” for Curfew.

9:36 PM: Sean Fine and Andrea Nix win the award for “Best Documentary – Short Subject” for Inocente.

9:37 PM: Like many of the jokes tonight, that last one was funny in premise but weak in execution.

9:41 PM: The Lincoln joke was just the type of thing Macfarlene needs to sprinkle in the rest of the night.

9:44 PM: Malik Bendjelloul and Simon Chinn win the award for “Best Documentary – Feature” for Searching for Sugarman.

9:46 PM: As someone who was lukewarm with Prometheus, I really enjoyed that last dig.

9:51 PM: Michael Haneke wins the Oscar for “Best Foreign Language Film” for Amour.

9:52 PM: I highly recommend readers go check out Michael Haneke’s work, in particularly Cache or The White Ribbon.

9:57 PM: These are good songs but I would rather see Adele do “Skyfall.”

10:03 PM: I know I’m in the vocal minority but I thought Russell Crowe did a fine job in Les Mis.

10:10 PM: The Ted appearance was just what the show needed.

10:13 PM: Andy Nelson, Mark Patterson and Simon Hayes win the Oscar for “Achievement in Sound Mixing,” for Les Miserables.

10:14 PM: In a tie for the Oscar for “Achievement in Sound Editing,” Paul N.J. Ottosson wins for Zero Dark Thirty along with Karen Baker & Per Hallberg for Skyfall

10:22 PM: Anne Hathaway wins the award for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” for Les Miserables.

10:23 PM: Hathaway was the best only great thing about Les Mis. Great win.

10:31 PM: Happy to see someone from Chicago amongst the college winners.

10: 33 PM: William Goldenberg wins the award for “Best Achievement in Film Editing,” for Argo.

10:35 PM: Finally! They could have saved time though by making the last medley just Les Mis.

10:47 PM: Even when they combine, the best picture montages seem unnecessary.

10:49 PM: Rick Carter and Jim Erikson win the Oscar for “Best Achievement in Production Design” for Lincoln

9:50 PM: We’re two and a half hours in. What do people think of the show?

9:57 PM: It might be me but I got the sense that Clooney’s first line of his intro to the I”n Memorium” was hinting that the show was running long.

9:59 PM: I appreciate that they no longer save the most popular of the departed for last.

10:02 PM: Though I guess they do tie one into a performance, though it was very well done.

10:08 PM: Don’t worry. I had to google “Rex Reed” too.

10:11 PM: Mychael Danna wins the award for “Best Original Score,” for Life of Pi.

10:16 PM: Adele and Paul Epworth win the award for “Best Original Song,” for Skyfall

10:18 PM: Was that the first time Denzel Washington was on camera? Weird.

10:24 PM: Chris Terrio wins the Oscar for “Best Adapted Screenplay” for Argo

10:25 PM: This pretty much makes “Best Picture,” Argo’s to lose.

10:26 PM: Quentin Tarantino wins the Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay” for Django Unchained.

10:27 PM: Really happy to see Tarantino win. He hasn’t made a bad movie yet. Django for “Best Picture!”

10:32 PM: Oscar Trivia to Impress Your Co-Workers: Tonight was the first tie at the Oscars since 1994 when two live action shorts won.

10:34 PM: Ang Lee wins the Oscar for “Best Achievement in Directing,” for Life of Pi.

10:39 PM: Just because Lee won for directing Life of Pi, doesn’t mean it will win best picture. He won for Brokeback Mountain which ended up losing to Crash.

10:44 PM: Jennifer Lawrence wins the Oscar for “Best Actress in a Leading Role,” for Silver Linings Playbook.

10:46 PM: Daniel Day-Lewis wins the Oscar for “Best Actor in a Leading Role,” for Lincoln.

10:48 PM:Daniel Day-Lews wins the Oscar because Meryl Streep said so!

10:52 PM: The last time Jack Nicholson presented Best Picture was when Crash upset Brokeback Mountain. I furiously ran to my room. I don’t anticipate it will happen again.

10:55 PM: Argo wins the Oscar for “Best Picture.”

11:03 PM: Nice touch with the song at the end. Good night!

What did you think of the show? Did your favorites win? If not, what should have won? Leave your comments below.

Join us on TopicalTodd.com for the latest movie news. Bookmark us and friend us on Facebook or Twitter for all our latest updates. Read more from Tyler Lyon on Twitter.

Where Have I Been?

I hate these “state of the union” posts. There are more on this site then I’d like but this time it’s warranted. I’m now contributing at the entertainment news site, Topical Todd where I’m going to be helping out with their film coverage, possibly more. The main reason I’m doing this is so I can work with an editor other than myself, stretch my writing across different types of articles and get greater exposure.

This doesn’t mean I won’t be posting here. If an article doesn’t fit within that site, it will post here. In the mean time go check out their site and read my stuff. I’ll be live blogging The Oscars so be sure to check that out.

Thanks for reading! More is on the way.

When you’re alone you can always go “Downton”: The transition to a binge watching culture

Last week, I watched a video by College Humor in which a couple discusses the pros and cons of starting “Breaking Bad,” much in the way a young couple would discuss the pros and cons of having a child.

Starting a show is a big commitment for a couple.

Starting a show is a big commitment for anyone, more so for a couple. Click to watch the video. Screen grab taken from CollegeHumor.com

This, along with the basis for one the “B.S. Report’s” Half-Baked Ideas, brought me back to an old relationship I had with a girl, coming out of college. She’s a year younger than me so we did the long distance thing for a while. Whenever I visited her for the weekend, we watched a couple of episodes of “Freaks and Geeks.” We broke up with episodes to spare. I had seen the show multiple times but one of my first thoughts after we ended   was concern for how/if she would finish the series because it’s a pantheon show and her seeing it was more important than our relationship. It’s a wonder we aren’t still together.

I had a similar experience with an old roommate and THE pantheon show, “The Wire.” He had the second season on DVD despite not owning or having seen the first season. We agreed to watch the show together but we were in the process of moving out so I had to take matters in my own hands.I marathoned through the first season so I could do the same with his second season discs before we parted ways. I know this was insensitive and a display of a skewed priorities but there was no way he had the required dedication or endurance to finish in time. In case you’re wondering, we’re still good friends.

Netflix’s decision to release the entire first season of it’s new show, “House of Cards,” at once draws attention to the changes in the way we watch TV that began with the “24” DVD sets. TV became a weekend activity as well as a weekly one.

Binge also turned out to be  a very different experience than watching week to week. Shows became movies rather than a one-hour entry. Seeing Niki and Paulo on DVD is as easy to get over as hitting next on the remote but seeing them on air is all you get for 167 hours (although I like that episode as a standalone piece of Hitchcock-ian drama).

The Game changer. Image taken from Amazon.com

With “House of Cards,” the only way to watch it is in a few giant gulps . It’s possible to space the episodes out to one or two a week but why would you? From my own experiences, It’s nearly impossible to leave a good cliffhanger alone. If I can find out how it ends by watching the next episode, I will.

This is strange since discussing TV drama’s is more than half the fun of the process. Cubical neighbors are disappointed if their discussion about last night’s “Mad Men,” is interrupted by “I haven’t seen it yet,” forcing the an end to the conversation. We’re always in different places in our shows, making it necessary to watch in solitude (or with those who can simulate the experience) as well as to develop our own ideas before joining the conversation.  This is why episode reviews/recaps on sites like The AV Club (hence their mention in video) have become so popular. They simulate these discussions but with someone of authority on the subject.

Heads up, spoilers in the video below:

Netflix’s distribution method is “audience Darwinism.” It makes sense the platform that changed the way we consume movies and TV would spark such a change. Watching the first two episodes of “House of Cards,” I know it would be my dad’s second favorite current show TV (behind “The Americans”) but his abandoning Netflix after a lack of use, means he will never enjoy it even though he is barely aware of it. This isn’t a tragedy by any means – it is just TV after all – but this format will phase-out traditional viewers, for lack of a better phrase.

Once this transition finishes – though at the rate these things change, it might never have a chance to – and binge watching becomes the norm and in doing so, a social experience just as TV viewing once was.

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below. You can follow me on Twitter at @TylerLyon or by clicking the “follow” button below. Feel free to shoot me an email at tylerlyonblog@gmail.com. Finally if you like what you read, like it on WordPress, share it on social media and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!