Road to the Oscars
The golden man seems to favor films debuting right here in Marin.
BY CYNTHIA RUBIN
Slumdog Millionaire, 2008.
Also won for best cinematography, director (Danny Boyle),
screenplay, editing, original
score, sound mixing, song.
A Mumbai slum boy aces
India’s version of Who Wants
to Be a Millionaire — only to
be arrested and skeptically
interrogated for his trouble.
prove he didn’t cheat. Like its
hero, a true sleeper hit, and it
won eight Oscars — the most
for any movie that year.
The King’s Speech, 2010. Also
won for best actor (Colin Firth),
director ( Tom Hooper), screen-
play (David Seidler). Historical
drama about England’s
stammering King George VI,
who, thrust into the throne,
engages a speech therapist
(Geoffrey Rush) in order to
orate in his new job. Major
gig: radio declaration of war
on Germany in 1939. Director
Hooper appeared at MVFF
The Artist, 2011. Also won
for best director (Michel
Hazanavicius), best actor (Jean
Dujardin), original score, costume design. Silent film star
meets ingénue dancer in this
French comedy-drama; when
the talkies arrive, their career
paths diverge. First all-black-and-white Best Picture since
The Apartment in 1960.
Argo, 2012. Also won for
screenplay (Chris Terrio) and
editing. Proving that truth is
stranger than a Holly wood sci-
ence-fiction film, Ben Affleck
directed this real-life thriller
about a CIA agent posing as
location-scouting movie pro-
ducer to rescue diplomats in
the 1980 hostage crisis in Iran.
Tense, even though we kind
of know how it ends. Bryan
Cranston appeared for the
12 Years a Slave, 2013. Also
for supporting actress (Lupita
Nyong’o), screenplay (John
Ridley). Wrenching drama
based on a memoir by a free
abducted into slavery in 1841.
His ordeal puts him in the
path of plantation owners,
overseers and other troubled
Fassbender, Paul Dano)
before his eventual release.
BESIDES INTRODUCING the world to indie treasures like Strictly Ballroom and Stand and Deliver, the Mill Valley Film Festival has a notable Midas
touch for picking future Oscar wins. Five of
the last six Best Pictures previously showed
here, with directors and actors attending, and
Variety recently called the festival “a strategic
pit stop en route to the Academy Awards.”
Indeed, 2013’s Oscar winner, 12 Years a Slave,
drew prior festival representation here by
director Steve McQueen and actors Chiwetel
Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o, who won the
best supporting actress prize. Here’s a look
at the latest finds, in the festival’s famously
noncompetitive showcase, that went on to win
the industry’s most competitive contest of all.
BEST PICTURE FEATURE FILMS
Lupita Nyong’o appears
for 12 Years a Slave.