Posts Tagged ‘Idina Menzel’

My Big Bold 2014 Academy Award Winner Predictions

March 1, 2014

12 chewitAs usual, I have to apologize for the lack of posts. Gratefully I have been busy working, auditioning and prepping several new projects. I’m in pre-production on the feature Like You Mean It (as a Producer) and the short Jack (as a Producer/Star) and I will be shooting an episode of one of my favorite dramatic TV shows next week. So, that’s all great. However, I know you would rather know what I think is gonna happen at Sunday’s big Oscar ceremony hosted by the hilarious Ellen Degeneres.

Well, this year has been an incredibly competitive one with lots of split winners in the Best Picture race at the precursor awards. In fact Gravity, 12 Years a Slave, and even the lackluster and overrated American Hustle could win the big race. Luckily that means we could have a lot of surprises come Sunday night. As such, there are several big races that are too close too call (Best Picture, Adapted Screenplay, Original Screenplay, Score, Editing, Documentary, Supporting Actress and even Best Actor could surprise). So, just who will and should win the Academy Awards this year after an incredibly great year for film? Check out my Big Bold Oscar Winner Predictions below.

My Big Bold 2014 Oscar Winner Predictions~

Best Picture:
12 Years A Slave, American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Her, Philomena, Nebraska, The Wolf of Wall Street
Will & Should win: 12 Years a Slave
Spoiler: Gravity
* Seriously, either of those two could win. Thankfully, I just don’t think American Hustle can upset them.

Best Actor:
Christian Bale (American Hustle), Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Chewitel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)Jared-Leto-Matthew-McConaughey-Dallas-Buyers-Club
Will & Should win: Matthew McConaughey
Spoiler: Leonardo DiCaprio

*McConaughey  has had the edge all season but Ejifor just won the BAFTA and DiCaprio is overdue and has had a big spending campaign. This one might actually go down to the wire…

Best Actress:
Amy Adams (American Hustle), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August Osage County)

Will & Should win: Cate Blanchett

Spoiler: Amy Adams (but yeah, that’s not gonna happen)

Best Supporting Actor:
Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

Will & Should win: Jared Leto

Spoiler: Michael Fassbender (but yeah, that’s not gonna happen)

Best Supporting Actress:
Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle), Lupita N’yongo (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August Osage County), June Squibb (Nebraska)
Will & Should win: Lupita N’yongo
Spoiler: Jennifer Lawernce
* This race is crazy close. Most pundits are now predicting Lawrence, but I think it is way too soon for her to win two lupitaOscars, let alone back to back. So, hopefully people will vote for the actual Best performance in SAG and Critics Choice Award winner N’yongo

Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), David O’Russell (American Hustle), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)
Will & Should win: Alfonso Cuaron
Spoiler: Steve McQueen

Best Adapted Screenplay:
12 Years a Slave, Before Midnight, Captain Phillips, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall Street
Will & Should win: 12 Years a Slave
Spoiler: Philomena

Best Original Screenplay:
American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Nebraska
Will win: Her
Should win: Dallas Buyers Club
Spoiler: American Hustle
* This one is also a toss-up between Her and Hustle, but I think the sheer originality of Her will win the day.

Best Score:
The Book Thief, Gravity, Her, Philomena, Saving Mr. Banks
Will & Should win: Philomena
Spoiler: Gravity
* I’m going out on a limb here and think the actual best score, Philomena, will eek out a win. However, smarter money might be on Gravity.

Best Song:
“Let It Go” (Frozen), “Ordinary Love” (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), “The Moon Song” (Her), “Happy” (Despicable Me 2)
Will & Should win: “Let It Go”
Spoiler: “Happy”
* This race has become incredibly close of late. “Ordinary Love” is by powerhouse U2, won the Golden Globe and has a frozen-let-it-go-full-scene-watch-nowhuge campaign behind it. “Happy” is the # 1 song in the country by Grammy Golden boy Pharrell Williams. However, you just can’t deny the phenomena that is Frozen and it’s amazing anthem sung by Tony winner Idina Menel.

Best Cinematography:
Gravity, The Grandmaster, Inside Llewyn Davis, Nebraska, Prisoners
Will & Should win: Gravity
Spoiler: Prisoners

Best Editing:
American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Dallas Buyers Club, 12 Years a Slave
Will & Should win: Gravity
Spoiler: Captain Phillips
* Captain Phillips has come on very strong of late in this race and I wouldnt be surprised if it pulled this one out.

Best Production Design:
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, Gravity, The Great Gatsby, Her
Will & Should win: The Great Gatsby
Spoiler: Gravity

Best Costume Design:
12 Years a Slave, American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, The Grandmaster, The Invisible Woman
Will & Should win: The Great Gatsby
Spoiler: American Hustle
* with 10 nominations, Hustle has its other great chance of winning in this category. However, I think Gatsby will still have the edge.

Best Makeup & Hairstyling:
Dallas Buyers Club, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, The Lone Ranger
Will & Should win: Dallas Buyers Club
Spoiler: Bad Grandpa

Best Sound Editing:
All is Lost, Captain Phillips, Gravity, Lone Survivor, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Will & Should win: Gravity
Spoiler: Captain Phillips

Best Sound Mixing:
Captain Phillips, Gravity, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Inside Llewyn Davis, Lone Survivor
Will & Should win: Gravity
Spoiler: Captain Phillipssandra-bullocks-new-movie-gravity-is-an-extreme-4-d-thrill-ride-1

Best Visual Effects:
Gravity, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Iron Man 3, Lone Ranger, Star Trek Into Darkness
Will & Should win: Gravity
No spoiler

Best Animated Film:
The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Ernest and Celestine, Frozen, The Wind Rises
Will & Should win: Frozen
Spoiler: The Wind Rises

Best Documentary:
20 Feet From Stardom, The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, Dirty Wars, The Square
Will & Should win: 20 Feet From Stardom
Spoiler: The Act of Killing
* Killing is the critical favorite, but audiences and yours truly loooooved Stardom. So, this is another tight race.

Best Foreign Film:
The Broken Circle Breakdown, The Great Beauty, The Hunt, The Missing Picture, Omar
Will win: The Great Beauty
Should win: the Hunt or Broken Circle Breakdown
Spoiler: Broken Circle Breakdown
* any of those 3 I mentioned could win. Don’t bet on my choice for this one people.

And as for the shorts, that’s all up to you. I cant tell you everything. lol

So, there you go~ My Big Bold Oscar Winner Predictions. Use ’em or lose ’em, but enjoy the show on Sunday night!
J

My Top Films and Kudos for 2013

January 9, 2014

Hey everyone,12 years

Again, sorry for the lack of posts. However, to make up for it, I promise to be better during this upcoming Awards Season. With that said, here are my top films and some kudos for the year in film 2013.

My Top 10 movies of 2013:
1. 12 Years a Slave
2. August Osage County
3. Philomena
4. Gravity
5. Dallas Buyers Club
6. Fruitvale Station
7. Blue Jasmine
8. Saving Mr. Banks
9. Captain Phillips
10. Frozen (yes, I’m kinda shocked it’s here too)

Honorable mention~ The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Enough Said, The Great Gatsby

Best Documentary: Bridegroom
runner up: 20 Feet From Stardom
Best Comedy: The Heat
runner up: Enough Said
Biggest Tear Jerker: Philomena
runner up: Saving Mr Banks
* 12 Years a Slave easily much wins the most emotional film experience of the year by a landslide as well cuz yeah, I bawled watching that one.

Best Lead Male Performance: Chewitel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
runner up: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Lead Female Performance: TIE~ Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) & Meryl Streep (August Osage County)
Best Supporting Male: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)august j m
runner up: Chris Cooper (August Osage County)
Best Supporting Female: Lupita Nyongo (12 Years a Slave)
runner up: Julia Roberts (August Osage County)
Best Ensemble: August Osage County
runner up: 12 Years a Slave
Best Performances No One is Talking About: Idris Elba & Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

Best Debut Film: Fruitvale Station
Best Song from a Movie: “Let It Go” (Frozen) sung by Idina Menzel

runner up: “Bleed for Love” (Winnie) sung by Jennifer Hudson


Best Hidden Gem: The Sapphires
Most Overrated Movie: American Hustle

Worst 5 Films I saw:
1. Stoker
2. Out of the Furnace
3. Nebraska
4. 2 Guns
5. Jack the Giant Slayer

* didn’t see all of Wolf of Wall Street yet (the showing was cancelled half way thru due to a sound issue)
** also haven’t seen Her

Glee v. kd Lang ~ “Constant Craving”

November 30, 2011

On last night’s great Glee episode focusing on the coming out of Naya Rivera’s Santana, there were several great musical moments. There was the slowed down version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”  by Cory Monteith (Finn) and Blaine (Darren Criss) & Kurt’s (Chris Colfer) great duet on Pink’s “Perfect”. However, my favorite was the show’s beautiful take on k.d. Lang’s Grammy winning 1992 classic “Constant Craving”. Sung by Rivera and Idina Menzel (Shelby) with a little assist by Colfer at the end, the song was just fantastic. Check it out below and then takee a listen to Lang’s brilliant original as well. Both are available at iTunes now too.

Glee Cast “Constant Craving”

k.d. Lang “Constant Craving”

Glee Preview~ “Somewhere” from West Side Story

September 27, 2011

Glee has gone all musical theatre in season 3 and I’m loving it. Last week it was Anything Goes, Hairspray and The Wizard of Oz. This week, they take on one of the biggies, West Side Story, and I have your first peak at Emmy nominee Lea Michelle (Rachel) dueting with on-screen mom Shelby (played by Tony winner Idina Menzel) on the iconic song “Somewhere”. Check out the brilliance below and watch Glee Tuesday night at 8pm on Fox.

Glee “Somewhere”

Idina v. Lea “What I Did for Love”

October 27, 2010

They play mother and daughter on Glee and are both acclaimed theatre stars, but which one sang the classic “What I Did for Love” from A Chorus Line better? That’s the question I’m posing to you today readers as I just got video of Idina’ Menzels brilliant performance of the song on the PBS special A Broadway Celebration: In Performance at the White House where she sang for the First Family alongside a number of Broadway vets including fellow Tony winners Audra McDonald, Nathan Lane, Elaine Stritch and Tony nominee Brian d’Arcy James. Menzel also performed her signature song from Wicked “Defying Gravity”. Now, a few weeks back Emmy nominee and former Broadway baby Lea Michele sang “Love” on her the season premiere of her smash hit show Glee and after reviewing both, I think this round goes to mommy. Love you Lea, but Idina has more gravity and emotional resonance if you ask me. But now I’m asking you. Who do you think sang “What I Did for Love” better? Let me hear it after the videos below.

Idina Menzel “What I Did for Love”

Lea Michelle “What I Did for Love”

Ok, I’ll admit it… I love me some Josh Groban

September 18, 2010

No, I am not afraid to admit it. I love me some Josh Groban. The classical pop singer songwriter has an undeniable voice whether soaring on opera classics or dueting with divas like Celine Dion, Charlotte Church and Sarah Brightman. He may not seem all that hip, but I don’t care. I have all his albums and I’m excited about his upcoming 6th release. Following up his three studio albums, a Christmas collection and a live set, Groban unleashes his new record in November and it’s preceded by the first gorgeous single “Hidden Away” which is already climbing the AC charts and is currently available at iTunes and other digital retailers. This Grammy nominated performer has sold nearly 20 million albums in the U.S. since 2003 and is sure to have major success with his latest entitled Illuminations.
And he’s not just a celebrated singer. He’s a young funny guy who has skewered his own persona in a guest spot on Glee, participated in the “I’m Fucking Matt Damon” song with Sarah Silverman, and dated Mad Men star January Jones. Of course he is best known for those pipes which have been featured on film (the Oscar nominated Theme song to The Polar Express “Believe”) on TV (his guest spots on Ally McBeal) and stage (in his recent appearance in the musical Chess in Concert with Tony nominee Adam Pascal and Tony winner Idina Menzel). Yes, Josh Groban is everywhere and he’s about to return to my iPod. Take a listen to his new single below and then look at my countdown of my favorite Josh Groban songs.

Josh Groban “Hidden Away”

My favorite Josh Groban songs
1. “You’re Still You” (his first top 10 AC hit from the album Josh Groban)
2. “You Raise Me Up” (his signature song and a # 1 AC hit from the second album Closer)
3. “Broken Vow” (from Josh Groban)
4. “The Prayer” (the live version with Celine Dion)
5. “Remember When it Rained” (a #15 AC hit from Closer)
6. “To Where You Are” (a # 1 AC hit from Josh Groban)
7. “February Song” (a #13 AC hit from the third album Awake)
8. “Anthem” (live from Chess in Concert)
9. “Don’t Give Up, You are Loved” (a top 10 AC hit from Awake)
10. “When You Say You Love Me” (a top 15 hit from Closer)

SPOILER ALERT~ The GLEE season premiere songs!

September 8, 2010

The return of Glee is just 13 days away and the clues about the new season just keep trickling in. We know that John Stamos is joining the cast as Emma’s (Jayma Mays) dentist and new love interest and that pop star Charice and newcomer Chord Overstreet will show up as well. Plus we should see the returns of Idina Menzel and Emmy nominee Kristin Chenowith sometime during the season and Emmy nominee Mike O’ Malley (Kurt’s father) has been made a series regular along with Heather Morris (Brittany) & Naya Rivera (Santana). We will also see a Britney Spears tribute episode on Sept 28 and Broadway stud Cheyenne Jackson (Xanadu, Finian’s Rainbow) will guest as the new rival choir director. Along with all of that, the songs the cast will sing in the season premiere have been leaked. Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know…. But if you do, here they are!

Glee Season Premiere (9/21) songs…

“Empire State of Mind” – Jay Z & Alicia Keys (a # 1 smash from earlier this year)
“Telephone”- Lady Gaga & Beyonce (the top 5 smash and # 1 pop hit from earlier this year)
“Billionaire”- Travis McCoy w/Bruno Mars (the recent top 5 hit)
“Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”- Poison (the # 1 smash from 1989)
“What I Did For Love” (from the classic Tony winning musical A Chorus Line)
“Listen”- Beyonce (the Oscar nominated song from the film version of Dreamgirls)
“Getting to Know You” (from the classic musical The King and I)

There’s your first look at the new music from Glee. Seems like they’re getting a little more current with song selections to go along with our musical theatre and 80’s faves. Who else is Gleeking out?! Watch the new season of Glee Tuesdays on Fox beginning 9/21!

Tony’s Top TV Stars

June 11, 2010

The annual Tony Awards honoring the best on Broadway air this Sunday on CBS. The show has been a tradition for the network for years and it not only will be celebrating the best of theatre, but also showcasing a number of TV stars who are stretching their legs on the boards. The show is hosted by Emmy winning Will & Grace star and Tony nominee Sean Hayes and features several TV faces as nominees this year including Laura Linney (Showtime’s upcoming The Big C), Kelsey Grammer (Frasier), Valerie Harper (Rhoda, etc), Linda Lavin (Alice), David Alan Grier (In Living Color), and 5 time winner Angela Landsbury (Murder She Wrote). All of these honorees had me wondering just what current TV stars have won Tony Awards. So, I did some digging. Take a look at the list of Tony Winning and Tony Nominated stars from some your favorite TV programs below. Now, I’m sure I’m missing some, so head over to the Tony’s website if you want to check and call me out.

Current TV Stars who’ve won Tony Awards:

Glenn Close (Damages)~ she has 3 Tonys including Best Actress in a Musical for Sunset Boulevard
Sara Ramirez (Greys Anatomy)~ won Best Featured Actress in a Musical for Spamalot
Alan Cumming (The Good Wife)~ won Best Actor in a Musical for Cabaret
Audra McDonald (Private Practice)~ she has 4 Tony Awards!
Jane Krakowski (30 Rock)~ she won Featured Actress in a Musical for Grand Hotel
Kristen Chenowith (Glee)~ She won Featured Actress in a Musical for You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown
Idina Menzel (Glee)~ the original Elphaba in Wicked, she landed the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical for the role (beating costar Kristen Chenowith)

Other TV Actors who’ve won in Plays include: Edie Falco (Nurse Jackie), Eve Best (Nurse Jackie), B.D. Wong (Law & Order: SVU) and Mary Louise Parker (Weeds)

And here are a bunch of your fave TV Actors who’ve landed Tony nominations…
Laura Linney (The Big C) has 3 Tony noms to her credit, Oliver Platt (Th Big C), Matthew Morrison (Glee) nomm’d for A Light in the Piazza, Jonathan Groff (Glee) nomm’d for Spring Awakening, and Vanessa Williams (Ugly Betty) nomm’d for Into the Woods.

That’s just a sampling of your TV talent Tony nominated stars. I’m not even gonna start with Tony-nominated movie stars. This year alone we have a ton (Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Liev Shcriber, Christopher Walken, Jude Law, Scarlett Johannson). In the meantime, watch the Tonys this Sunday on CBS at 8pm and enjoy the brilliant Sara Ramirez in her big Tony winning performance from Spamalot below.

Sara Ramirez in Spamalot

An incredibly powerful “GLEE” episode takes on the “F” word and Gaga

May 26, 2010

Check out last night’s full Glee Episode featuring Idina Menzel and the songs of Lady Gaga and Kiss below. The episode also featured a great storyline that takes on the slander and hurt of the word “faggot”. It’s brilliant and Mike O’Malley’s performance as Kurt’s protective father is Emmy worthy. Such a great powerful message and so well done.

Last night’s Full GLEE episode “Dream On”

May 19, 2010

Check out last night’s great GLEE episode directed by Joss Whedon of Buffy fame featuring the hilarious Neil Patrick Harris and an amazing duet of “I Dreamed a Dream” by Lea Michelle and Idina Menzel.