Oscar Predictions

Preview: The Potential of “Birdman”

birdman-2014-still-636-380Preview: The Potential of “Birdman”

Given the accolades by the presence of Oscar-nominated director Alejandro González Iñárritu and a strong above-the-line crew including 2013 Oscar-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki (he won for “Gravity”).  From pre-production “Birdman” sounded like an Oscar contender.

The story follows a washed up actor who used to play an iconic superhero. He decides to bring together a broadway play while fighting his ego and his family problems. It’s a bizarre premise, but putting Michael Keaton in the role of an insane person, sounds like a perfect fit. (more…)

Film: The Monuments Men

george-clooney-the-monuments-men-9__oPtThe Monuments Men
(Dec. 20 2013; Warner Bros.)

Summary:
In a race against time, a crew of art historians and museum curators unite to recover renowned works of art stolen by Nazis before Hitler destroys them.

Oscar Prospects: Best Supporting Actress, Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing

Runner Up: Best PictureBest Director, Best Adapted ScreenplayBest Makeup and Hairstyling

Long Shots: Best Supporting ActorBest CinematographyBest Film Editing,

IMDB

Early Word: The film just looks fantastic, with an all-star cast/crew along with a very helpful Mid-December release. Not to mention its theme of art preservation will play well with the Academy. It’ll be difficult for this film to miss  even if it is critically average.

Projected Metacritic: 83

The Players

Director: George Clooney
Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Robert M. Edsel
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin
Cinematographer: Phendon Papamichael
Production Designer: James D. Bissell
Editor: Ruy Diaz, Stephen Mirrione
Original Music: Alexandre Desplat

Film: Gravity

z073013gravity_posterGravity (2013; Warner Brothers)

Summary: A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space.

Oscar Prospects: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects

Runner Up: Best Original Screenplay, Best Production Design

IMDB

Early Word: Destined to repeat the same successes of “Life of Pi,” “Gravity” had a successful screening out of Venice that was met with raves across the board. It will definitely be a technical success, but can it go beyond that? We’ll see.

Projected MetaCritic: 80

The Players

Directed by: Alfonso Cuaron
Writen by: Alfonso Cuaron, Jonas Cuaron
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki
Production Designer: Andy Nicholson
Editor: Alfonso Cuaron, Mark Sanger
Original Music: Steven Price

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Awards/Review: The Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts of 2013

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Awards/Review: The Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts of 2013

On Oscar night there are going to be three instances where they ceremony will take its moment to award short films in the categories of Animated, Live-Action and Documentary. And at this moment, the average home viewer will probably not be paying full attention, or care. I mean if Clooney or Jolie or Affleck isn’t on stage then who cares right?

One of the reasons the Golden Globes gets so much hate is because of its lack of technical categories and honoring the shorts, its a marketable Hollywood festival to award actors, actors that the home-viewer will watch. Not the Sound Mixer or the Editor.. This is where the Academy Awards are better (but usually not by much) the moment when they honor the achievements in film for the previous year that the majority of the population won’t recognize, even though the films and filmmakers fully deserve the attention.

Enough ranting, on to the reviews of the Oscar nominated Animated Shorts of 2013

(more…)

Film Preview: Spielberg’s “Lincoln” receives praise from NYFF

Film Preview: Lincoln
by Matthew Durham

About a month has past since Lincoln had its trailer premiere through Google Hangout succeeded by a Q&A with director Steven Spielberg and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (playing Robert Todd Lincoln.) The trailer was received with mixed reaction from fans and critics alike.

What provoked this mixed reaction was the after-thought of his previous film War Horse which earned six Oscar nominations, but no wins. Reading reviews and processing the reactions of the trailer it can be deducted that War Horse can now be considered ‘under-rated.’

(more…)

Oscar Predictions – August 2012

 

 

Oscar Predictions – August 2012

 

Best Picture

Argo

Django Unchained

Les Miserables

Lincoln

The Master

Moonrise Kingdom

Zero Dark Thirty

 

RUNNER UPS

Beasts of the Southern Wild

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Cloud Atlas

Life of Pi

Anna Karenina

The Dark Knight Rises

To The Wonder

Silver Linings Playbook

The Sessions

Trouble with the Curve

Hyde Park on Hudson

 

Best Director

Ben Affleck, Argo

Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master

Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom

Tom Hooper, Les Miserables

Steven Spielberg, Lincoln

 

RUNNER UPS

Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Kathyrn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty

Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, Cloud Atlas

Joe Wright, Anna Karenina

Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Peter Jackson, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises

Terrence Malick, To The Wonder

Ben Lewin, The Sessions

David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook

Michael Haneke, Amour

 

 

Best Actor

Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

John Hawkes, The Sessions

Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables

Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson

Joaquin Phoenix, The Master

 

RUNNER UPS

Richard Gere, Arbitrage

Clint Eastwood, Trouble with the Curve

Denzel Washington, Flight

Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi

Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook

Jamie Foxx, Django Unchained

Joel Edgerton, Zero Dark Thirty

Tommy Lee Jones, Hope Springs

 

 

Best Actress

Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina

Elizabeth Olsen, Therese Raquin

Maggie Smith, Quartet

Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

 

RUNNER UPS

Emanuelle Riva, Amour

Helen Hunt, The Sessions

Naomi Watts, The Impossible

Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone

Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Rachel McAdams, To The Wonder

Laura Linney, Hyde Park on Hudson

 

Supporting Actor

Jim Broadbent, Cloud Atlas

Bryan Cranston, Argo

Russell Crowe, Les Miserables

Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained

Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master

 

RUNNER UPS

David Straithairn, Lincoln

Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild

Jude Law, Anna Karenina

Aaron Johnson, Anna Karenina

Woody Harrelson, Seven Psychopaths

Sacha Baron Cohen, Les Miserables

John Goodman, Argo

Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike

Samuel L. Jackson, Django Unchained

Tom Courtenay, Quartet

James Gandolfini, Killing Them Softly

 

Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, The Master

Samantha Barks, Les Miserables

Annette Bening, Imogene

Sally Field, Lincoln

Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

 

RUNNER UPS

Olivia Williams, Hyde Park on Hudson

Kelly Macdonald, Anna Karenina

Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty

Vanessa Redgrave, Song for Marion

Helena Boham Carter, Great Expectations

 

Original Screenplay

Amour

Django Unchained

The Master

Moonrise Kingdom

Zero Dark Thirty

 

RUNNER UPS

Imogene

Hope Springs

Flight

Seven Psychopaths

To The Wonder

Trouble with the Curve

 

Adapted Screenplay

Anna Karenina

Argo

Beasts of the Southern Wild

Les Miserables

Lincoln

 

RUNNER UPS

Life of Pi

Cloud Atlas

The Sessions

Quartet

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Silver Linings Playbook

Hyde Park on Hudson

The Dark Knight Rises

This is 40

 

 

So, I gave Beasts of the Southern Wild a little less love this time. I did this because it feels like the buzz is already dying down for it, I can only imagine of Oscar voters will even remember it at this rate. Still very possible, we’ll just have to wait and see as time goes on through Oscar season. If a lot of these potential award winners are really good, Beasts could fade into the early year background.

Gave Zero Dark Thirty a little more love. The trailer was alright, but the more I think about the films timeliness the more I am persuaded to go with it for award season.

Giving Argo more love because Ben Affleck hasn’t made a bad film yet, while a lot of these are still potentially not good. Argo is also a timely subject and the more times I see the trailer the better it looks. Also gave Cranston a spot because someone pointed out that an actor has always got a nomination from an Affleck film.

 

2013 Oscar Predictions – July

2013 Oscar Predictions – July

Looking like a very interesting award season coming. By the end of 2012 we will have new films from Spielberg, Tarantino, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Ben Affleck, Joe Wright, Ang Lee, Tom Hooper, Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan, and more. A lot of these films will be coming out during the cluttered award season of October – December, with some sneaking in.

So it is WAY to early to tell, but so far statistically I believe 2013’s Oscars will look like this:


Best Picture

Anna Karenina
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Lincoln
The Master
Moonrise Kingdom

RUNNER UPS
Zero Dark Thirty
The Hobbit
The Sessions
The Dark Knight Rises
Silver Linings Playbook
The Great Gatsby
Hyde Park on Hudson

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Tom Hooper, Les Miserables
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spielberg, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

RUNNER UPS
Kathyrn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ben Affleck, Argo
Benh Zeitln, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom
Peter Jackson, The Hobbit
Joe Wright, Anna Karenina

Best Actor
Daniel-Day Lewis, Lincoln
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Bill Murray, Hyde Park on Hudson
Joaquin Pheonix, The Master

RUNNER UPS
Phillp Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Great Gatsby
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Clint Eastwood, Trouble with the Curve
Suraj Sharma, Life of Pi
Denzel Washington, Flight

Best Actress
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Laura Linney, Hyde Park on Hudson
Quvenzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild

RUNNER UPS
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs
Amy Adams, Trouble with the Curve
Maggie Smith, Quartet

Best Supporting Actor
Russell Crowe, Les Miserables
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Dwight Henry, Beasts of the Southern Wild
Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
David Straithan, Lincoln

RUNNER UPS
Woody Harrelson, Seven Psychopaths
Samuel L. Jackson, Django Unchained
Aaron Johnson, Anna Karenina
Matthew McConaughey, Magic Mike
Jude Law, Anna Karenina
Sacha Baron Cohen, Les Miserables
John Goodman, Argo

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, The Master
Samantha Barks, Les Miserables
Annette Bening, Imogene
Sally Field, Lincoln
Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

RUNNER UPS
Olivia Williams, Hyde Park on Hudson
Isla Fisher, The Great Gatsby
Kelly MacDonald, Anna Karenina

So far everything is hard to tell. Predictions are based on the talent of the actor a small percent, the talent of the director a good percent, but mostly the politics of the Oscars. There are probably upcoming films that’ll have performances that will blow everyone away like Beasts of the Southern Wild did.

The year is long from over. For now here’s what it’s looking like. Comments?

In August I will have an updated prediction article with the remaining categories.

Film Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Film Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Loved it. I couldn’t tell you what it is about Wes Anderson films that  really moves me. I laugh the whole time, I am woefully depressed by the troubled characters situations, sometimes I even tear up. People have a knack for not liking things that are different, the thing is I can’t criticize any particular person for that because I’m sure I have criticized plenty of things for being different.

Wes Anderson films are the Ash of the Film Industry (Fantastic Mr Fox reference) they are different. In this case for me personally, different is not bad at all. I am a fan of the dramedy genre primarily because it’s realistically adjacent to reality. While the situations can be awkward or amusing for the characters in Moonrise Kingdom you can also empathize or sympathize with the characters situation. Everything Anderson has done, every character he has artistically created I have empathized with completely. That’s why his films move me.

In Moonrise Kingdom Anderson has his usual, satisfying, quirks. He is also tackling the risky genre of pre-teen hormones. Having had several college classes about filmmaking I couldn’t help but think about all the paperwork the parents of these two star actors had to sign to participate in a couple of the things. While it’s awkward to think of it that way, story-wise it is realistic. These characters are young a naive to romance, yet they are in love. They are conflicted.

A real interesting thing about this movie is the parallels between the runaway children and the grieving adults. What the kids do doesn’t compare to some of the adultery and moral crimes of the adults. The actors in this film portray there parts really well and are all developed in their own way. The acting was perfect, the writing was mind-blowing, and it was funny. Wes Anderson does it again. The man hasn’t created a bad film yet.

Watch for this film to be mentioned in future Oscar articles.

 

Final Score: 5/5