Posts Tagged ‘Oscars’

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 Crazy Early November 2014 Oscar Predictions

November 29, 2013

rs_560x415-130510133213-1024.MerylJulia.mh.051013Ok, as you know, I’ve been very bad at keeping up with my blogging. I’m thrilled to be doing so much film and television work and pursuing lots of projects like my films Dirty Talk and Jack. However, I cant help but return to you for some Awards season talk. I’m seriously obsessed with this time of year and this year we have an outstanding crop of films vying for that little golden guy Oscar. While the Golden Globes and SAG Award nominations, etc will likely clear up the race in the next few weeks, let’s take a look at my crystal ball and see who I think is in the lead. (Oh and a FYI~ my favorite Oscar contenders thus far are 12 Years a Slave, August Osage Country, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Blue Jasmine and Fruitvale Station)… So, without further ado, let’s see my crazy early totally big and bold 2014 Oscar nomination predictions.

My Big Bold November 2014 Oscar Nomination Predictions~

Best Picture:
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
August Osage Country
Captain Phillips
Lee Daniels’ The Butler
Fruitvale Station
Gravitygravity-movie-review-sandra-bullock-suit-2
Inside Llewyn Davis
Saving Mr. Banks
The Wolf of Wall Street
~ Spoilers: Dallas Buyers Club, Blue Jasmine, Nebraska, Philomena

Best Actor:
Bruce Dern (Nebraska), Chewitel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave), Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), Robert Redford (All is Lost)
~ Spoilers: Forrest Whitaker (The Butler), Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station), Joaquin Phoenix (Her), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street), Hugh Jackman (Prisoners)
* This category is insanely full of contenders. I could list another 8 that could factor in quite easily

Best Actress:
Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Sandra Bullock (Gravity), Judi Dench (Philomena), Meryl Streep (August Osage County), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks)
~ Spoilers: Amy Adams (American Hustle), Adele Exarchopolous (Blue is the Warmest Color), Kate Winslet (Labor Day), Julia Louis Dreyfuss (Enough Said)

Best Supporting Actor:
Chris Cooper (August Osage County), Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave), James Gandolfini (Enough Said), Tom Hanks (Saving Mr. Banks), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)dallas-buyers-club-la-8-27-13
~ Spoilers: Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips), Bradley Cooper (American Hustle), John Goodman (Inside Llewyn Davis), Jake Gyllenhaal (Prisoners), Dainel Bruhl (Rush), David Oywelo (The Butler), Matthew McConaughey (Mud)

* This category seems to be the most wide open, and also has an insane amount of contenders

Best Supporting Actress:
Margo Martindale (August Osage County), Lupita Nyongo (12 Years a Slave), Julia Roberts (August Osage County), Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station), Oprah Winfrey (The Butler)
~ spoilers: Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine), June Squibb (Nebraska), Naomie Harris (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom), Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Best Director:
Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips), Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), David O’ Russell (American Hustle), Martin Scorcesse (The Wolf of Wall Street)
~ Spoilers: Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station), Lee Daniels (The Butler), Spike Jones (Her), Joel & Ehtan Cohen (Inside Llewyn Davis)

Original Screenplay:
American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Enough Said, Fruitvale Station, Inside Llewyn Davis
~ spoilers: Her, Saving Mr. Banks, Dallas Buyers Club, Nebraska

Adapted Screenplay:
12 Years a Slave, August Osage County, Before Midnight, Philomena, The Wolf of Wall StreetFilm Review 12 Years a Slave
~ spoilers: Captain Phillips, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

So, there ya have it. My first stab at this year’s incredibly competitive Oscar race. Things could change in a heartbeat and with the first critics prizes coming next week, we may have a whole new race… In the meantime, take a look and let me know who you think will be getting the golden boy this year in the comments.

Jason

Check out the Amazing Chicago/Dreamgirls/Les Mis Medley from the Oscars Again

February 26, 2013

My favorite moment of Sunday’s Oscar telecast was the musical medley of the fantastic and Oscar-winning musical films Chicago, Dreamgirls and Les Miserables. Oscar winner Catharine Zeta-Jones did a nice job opening the segment with “All that Jazz” but it really kicked into gear with an astounding performance by Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson singing her iconic Dreamgirls song “And I Am Telling You I am Not Going”. It was a brilliant moment that netted her a much deserved standing ovation. Following J Hud, was the wonderful ensemble of Les Miserables featuring newly minted Oscar winner Anne Hathaway, Oscar nominee Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Russell Crow, Samantha Barks, Aaron Tveitt, Sacha Baron Cohen and Helena Bonham Carter with a medley of “Suddenly/I Dreamed a Dream/One Day More” that also yielded a standing O. I have to say that Barks and Tveitt stole that number which is not too surprising considering they’re the seasoned stage performers of the group. All in all, I absolutely loved the whole musical shebang and I’m thrilled that these amazing movies and performers were singled out again. It’s an incredible moment and I have it for you again below. Enjoy!

Chicago/Dreamgirls/Les Miserables Oscar Medley

“Argo” Wins Best Picture at a Surprisingly Unsurprising Oscars

February 25, 2013

argoOn what was a night many said there could be several big upsets, tonight’s Academy Awards was actually rather predictable. With only Christoph Waltz beating out Tommy Lee Jones and Robert DeNiro in the Supporting Actor race, most of the other winners were pretty easy to guess. Argo took Picture, Editing and Adapted Screenplay while Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence and Anne Hathaway won their respective races. Ang Lee topped Speilberg for Best Director while Quentin Tarantino won Original Screenplay for Django Unchained. One big surprise was a tie (only the 6th tie in Oscar history) for Sound Editing between Zero Dark Thirty and Skyfall… Take a look at all the winners below and watch here for more on the show, Seth MacFarlane’s decent hosting debut and the amazing performances by Jennifer Hudson and the cast of Les Miserables tomorrow.

2013 Academy Award Winners:

Best Picture: Argo
Director: Ang Lee (Life o Pi)
Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Original Screenplay: Django Unchained
Adapted Screenplay: Argo
Editing: Argo
Cinematography: Life of Pi
Score: Life of Pi
Song: “Skyfall”- Adele (Skyfall)
Production Design: Lincoln
Makeup & Hair: Les Miserables
Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Sound Editing: TIE~ Zero Dark Thirty & Skyfall
Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Visual Effects: Life of Pi
Documentary: Searching for Sugar Man
Animated Film: Brave
Foreign Film: Amour
Doc Short Subject: Innocentelesmis-dream630-jpg_220136
Animated Short: Paperman
Live Action Short: Curfew

Most Wins~
Life of Pi: 4
Argo: 3
Les Miserables: 3
Lincoln: 2
Django Unchained: 2

They’re Here~ My Big Bold 2013 Oscar WINNER Predictions

February 20, 2013

lesmis-dream630-jpg_220136It’s been one heck of a topsy-turvy Oscar season. Since September, there seemed to be a different film out in front each week with Lincoln, Les Miserables, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and Silver Linings Playbook all looking like the film to beat. However, after all of the Guild Awards (SAG, DGA, PGA) and the Golden Globes, it has become clear that Argo is the true front-runner and likely will win Best Picture. If it does, it will be the first film to do so without a Best Director nomination since Driving Miss Daisy in 1989. And it may also be one of the only wins the film takes home. It has a shot in Screenplay, Editing and Score, but we’ll see… There are other sure things but there are 3 big races totally up in the air and we may see the awards spread over several different films… So, just who do I think will win? Take a look at my big, bold and totally unscientific Oscar predictions below and watch the big Academy Award show Sunday the 24th on ABC.

Best Picture:
Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty
Will win: Argo
Should win: Les Miserables
~ spoiler: Lincoln

Best Actor:
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight)
Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis
Should win: Hugh Jackman (hello, degree of difficulty people)
~ spoiler: Hugh Jackman, but let’s be honest. Daniel Day-Lewis has this in the bag.

Best Actress:
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Quevanzhane Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Naomi Watts (The Impossible)
Will win: Jennifer Lawrence
Should win: Jessica Chastain
~ spoiler: Emmanuelle Riva
* This race is really becoming a toss-up. Lawrence is the smart money, but many feel Chastain deserves it more and Riva has the growing buzz and would be the oldest Best Actress winner ever…

Best Supporting Actor:
Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings Playbook), Tommy Lee Jones (Licoln), Phillip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Will win: Robert DeNiro
Should win: Tommy Lee Jones
~ spoiler: Christoph Waltz
* this is the biggest toss-up race of all. Any of the five could win (even Arkin if there’s an Argo sweep). Weinstein company is spending tons of $ to remind voters that DeNiro hasn’t won in 32 years, so I think that may give him the edge.

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)
Will & Should win: Anne Hathaway
~ spoiler: Sally Field, but let’s be honest Hathaway can not lose.

Best Director:
Michael Haeneke (Amour), Ang Lee (Life of Pi), David O’Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Benh Zeitlan (Beasts of the Southern Wild)
Will win: Steven Speilberg
Should win: Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow or Tom Hooper (oops they’re not nominated!)
~ spoiler: Ang Lee
* this race is also incredibly close with Spielberg, Lee and Russell all having a strong shot…

Best Original Screenplay:
Amour, Django Unchained, Flight, Moonrise Kingdom, Zero Dark Thirty
Will win: Django Unchained
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty
~spoiler: Amour

Adapted Screenplay:
Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook
Will win: Argo
Should win: Lincoln
~ spoiler: Silver Linings Playbook

Editing:
Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty
Will win: Argo
Should win: Zero Dark Thirty
~ spoiler: Zero Dark Thirty

Cinematography:
Anna Karenina, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall
Will win: Life of Pi
Should win: Skyfall
~ spoiler: Skyfall

Production Design:
Anna Karenina, The Hobbit, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln
Will & Should win: Les Miserables
~ Spoiler: Anna Karenina

Costume Design:
Anna Karenina, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Mirror Mirror, Snow White and the Huntsman
Will & Should win: Anna Karenina
~ Spoiler: Les Miserables

Makeup & Hair:
The Hobbit, Les Miserables, LincolnSkyfall_wallpaper
Will & Should win: Les Miserables
~ spoiler: The Hobbit

Original Score:
Anna Karenina, Argo, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall
Will win: Life of Pi
Should win: Skyfall
~ spoiler: Lincoln (it’s John Williams after all)

Song:
“Before My Time” (Chasing Ice), “Everybody Need’s a Friend” (Ted), “Pi’s Lullably” (Life of Pi), “Skyfall” (Skyfall), “Suddenly” (Les Miserables)
Will & Should win: “Skyfall”
~ spoiler: “Suddenly”

Sound Editing:
Argo, Django Unchained, Life of Pi, Skyfall, Zero Dark Thirty
Will & Should win: Zero Dark Thirty
~ spoiler: Skyfall

Sound Mixing:
Argo, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Skyfall
Will & Should win: Les Miserables
~ spoiler: Life o Pi

Visual Effects:
The Avengers, The Hobbit, Life of Pi, Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman
Will win: Life of Pi
Should win: The Hobbit
~ spoiler: The Hobbit

Animated Film:
Brave, Frankenweenie, ParaNorman, The Pirates: Band of Misfits!, Wreck it Ralph
Will win: Wreck it Ralph
Should win: ParaNorman (but, hey Wreck It Ralph was pretty damn good)
~ spoiler: Frankenweenie

Foreign Language Film:wreck-ralph-poster-trailer
Amour, Kontiki, No, A Royal Affair, War Witch
Wil win: Amour
Should win: No
~ spoiler: A Royal Affair

Documentary:
5 Broken Cameras, The Gatekeepers, How to Survive a Plague, The Invisible War, Searching for Sugar Man
Will win: Searching for Sugar Man
Should win: How to Survive a Plague
~ spoiler: The Gatekeepers

Breaking Down the 2013 Best Actress Race

February 9, 2013

jennifer_lawrence_silver_linings_playbook_a_lThis Oscar season has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable races in recent history. While it seems that Argo, Daniel Day-Lewis and Anne Hathaway now look like sure things in their respective categories, there are a few races that remain a serious horse race. The two biggest question marks are the Best Supporting Actor race where a different contender has won in each of the precursors (Tommy Lee Jones, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Christoph Waltz) and the Best Actress Race which has been a serious catfight between Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence. Today, I will take a look at the latter race which could end up with a truly surprising winner.
When the race began in earnest last fall, the word was that Jennifer Lawrence would win hands down for her wonderful, emotionally naked work in Silver Linings Playbook. However, that was before the very secretive Zero Dark Thirty finally began screening and Jessica Chastain’s fierce, intelligent and controlled performance wowed critics and audiences. Both women have won a number of pre-cursors that have put them squarely in a duel for the Oscar win. Among the biggest wins, Lawrence took home the Golden Globe (Musical/Comedy), Critic’s Choice (Actress in a Comedy Film) and the all-important SAG Award while Chastain grabbed a Golden Globe (Drama) and the overall Critic’s Choice Award for Best Actress.
They are both up for the BAFTA Award this evening as well. I’d say Chastain has the edge there as her film received more nominations from the British Academy and they tend to honor more “important” films and performances. For example, last year Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady) took home the Best Actress BAFTA over Viola Davis (The Help) after Davis had just won the SAG Award… I could see the same turnover happen here for Chastain. If that happens, then Chastain could follow Streep’s path to an Oscar victory.
Both Chastain and Lawrence have several factors working in their favor. Both women are attractive young actresses with a “babe factor”zerodarkthirty-clip-jumbo-jpg_165549 that the Academy loves, reaching a peak in their careers which has helped actresses like Halle Berry, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Nicole Kidman to take home the big prize in the past. Both are also previous nominees. Chastain was nominated last year for Supporting Actress for The Help while Lawrence was nominated for Best Actress two years ago for Winter’s Bone. Plus, both have worked the awards circuit like a pro this season.
Where they differ is in their “industry status”. While Lawrence is now a bona-fide box office star with The Hunger Games franchise, Chastain is seen as the more serious actress with a bigger body of lauded work. She could’ve received Oscar noms for practically all of her seven films released in 2011 and Chastain is also building box office clout with hits ZD30, The Help and Mama. It just seems like it may be too “early” in Lawrence’s career to give her Hollywood’s highest honor while Chastain seems to have “earned” it more. So, with all of that said, I’m going out on a limb and giving the edge to Chastain for the win.
However there remains one big obstacle in their way. They both will have to fend off another critical favorite, French icon Emmanuelle amour-poster2Riva for her harrowing and physically demanding work as a woman suffering from Dementia at the end of her life in Amour. This performance could be the real key to this Oscar race. Riva could easily usurp both of them at the BAFTAs and set the stage for a crazy three-way fight on Oscar night.
As for the final two nominees, Quevanzhane Wallis should be thrilled she got a nomination in the first place for her debut performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild over more deserving heavy weights like Marion Cotillard (Rust & Bone) and Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), and while she was amazing in The Impossible, and I’d love to see her win, Naomi Watts will probably be an also ran. (No worries though Naomi, you should be back in the race next year for playing Princess Diana!)
To sum up, it’s a serious race this year. Lawrence and Chastain are in the best position to win with Riva as a potential spoiler. And if there is crazy vote splitting, maybe Watts can sneak in. Yet, I’m still betting on Chastain. See if I’m right Sunday night February 24th when the Oscars air on ABC.

The LA Film Critics Embrace French Love

December 10, 2012

amour-poster2The LA Film Critics went super art house with their choices for the Best of 2012 this year honoring the French drama Amour with Best Picture. The incredibly difficult film to watch features a great performance from lead actress Emmanuelle Riva which propelled her into a tie for Best Actress with one of this year’s Oscar front-runners Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook). The other big winner was the atrocious and self-important Paul Thomas Anderson film, The Master, which took home Director, Actor (Joaquin Phoenix… really? ugh), Supporting Actress (Amy Adams... ok, I’ll accept that) and Production Design (um, did they not see The Hobbit, Anna Karenina, Les Mis, or Lincoln?)… Winning Best Supporting Actor was newcomer Dwight Henry for Beasts of the Southern Wild which also took home Best Score. The screenplay award went to Argo. Head to the LA Film critics site here for more info on their awards which have a VERY spotty record in terms of forecasting Oscar winners (They only got Christopher Plummer for Supporting Actor right of the big 8 categories last year). Then, check out all the winners below.

2012 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award Winners~

BEST PICTURE
“Amour”
Runner-up: “The Master”

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson (“The Master”)
Runner-up: Kathryn Bigelow (“Zero Dark Thirty”)

BEST ACTOR
Joaquin Phoenix (“The Master”)
Runner-up: Denis Lavant (“Holy Motors”)

BEST ACTRESS
TIE~ Jennifer Lawrence (“Silver Linings Playbook”) & Emmanuelle Riva (“Amour”)

BEST MUSIC/SCORE
Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”)
Runner-up: Johnny Greenwood (“The Master”)

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
“Holy Motors”
Runner-up: “Footnote”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Frankenweenie”
Runner-up: “It’s Such a Beautiful Day”

BEST DOCUMENTARY/NONFICTION FILM
“The Gatekeepers”
Runner-up: “Searching for Sugar Man”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Dwight Henry (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”)
Runner-up: Christoph Waltz (“Django Unchained”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams (“The Master”)
Runner-up: Anne Hathaway (“The Dark Knight Rises”; “Les Miserables”)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Chris Terrio (“Argo”)
Runner-up: David O. Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”)

BEST EDITING
Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg (“Zero Dark Thirty”)
William Goldenberg (“Argo”)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roger Deakins (“Skyfall”)
Runner-up: Mihai Malaimare Jr. (“The Master”)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
“The Master”
Runner-up: “Moonrise Kingdom”

“Twilight” Opens Big but “Lincoln” is the Real Surprise at the Box Office

November 18, 2012

As expected the final installment in the craptastic Twilight series, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2, opened to a big number at the box office this weekend. However, the more interesting news is just how well Lincoln did in its first weekend in wide release… Breaking Dawn took in a giant $141 million for the second highest opening in the franchise’s history (behind New Moon) and the 8th biggest opening of all time. As usual, the grosses are likely to be front loaded for the film, but it should finish with a respectable sum making this series one of the most profitable (despite the lack in quality) in film history…. Aside from the vamps and werewolves, a President was making some news of his own this weekend as Steven Spielberg‘s Oscar bait Lincoln far surpassed expectations to rope in a very strong $21 million. That makes it the third big studio drama after Argo and Flight to pull in very good grosses this fall. Hopefully that will be a sign that quality dramatic films should be made by the studios, not just mindless popcorn flicks… Holding up quite well in its second weekend was the James Bond smash Skyfall which took in another $41.5 million for a total of $161 million and will become the highest grossing Bond pic in the next two days…. For more on all these numbers, head to Box Office Mojo here and check out the new top ten below.

TW LW Title (click to view) Studio Weekend Gross % Change Theater Count / Change Average Total Gross Budget* Week #
1 N The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 Sum. $141,300,000 – 4,070 – $34,717 $141,300,000 $120 1
2 1 Skyfall Sony $41,500,000 -53.0% 3,505 – $11,840 $161,337,000 $200 2
3 15 Lincoln BV $21,000,000 +2,123.9% 1,775 +1,764 $11,831 $22,419,000 $65 2
4 2 Wreck-It Ralph BV $18,312,000 -44.5% 3,622 -130 $5,056 $121,479,000 $165 3
5 3 Flight Par. $8,615,000 -41.7% 2,612 +565 $3,298 $61,336,000 $31 3
6 4 Argo WB $4,070,000 -38.5% 2,210 -553 $1,842 $92,022,000 $44.5 6
7 5 Taken 2 Fox $2,100,000 -47.7% 2,063 -424 $1,018 $134,624,000 $45 7
8 8 Pitch Perfect Uni. $1,260,000 -51.0% 1,122 -269 $1,123 $62,000,000 $17 8
– 9 Here Comes the Boom Sony $1,200,000 -52.4% 1,350 -694 $889 $41,019,000 – 6
6 Cloud Atlas WB $900,000 -66.1% 920 -1,103 $978 $24,894,000 – 4

My Still Ridiculously Early November 2012 Oscar Nomination Predictions

November 1, 2012

It’s November and the Awards season is in full swing. I have a seen a bunch of the big contenders this year and many of them are living up to their promise (Argo, Lincoln). However, some are on shaky ground (can we talk about the atrocious mess that is The Master? It’s a very divisive film, but I think it’s in big trouble. At least the performances are still good bets for nods.) So, just how does this shake up my take on who will and won’t get nominated this year? Take a look at my new list below and compare it to my October predix here…. And tune in next month for another updated list.

My Ridiculously Early 2012 November Oscar Nomination Predictions~

(Note, they are listed in order of most likely to be nominated, and I’ve noted where they have climbed, fallen and debuted on the list.)

BEST PICTURE:
1. Argo (+ 2)
2. Les Miserables (-1)
3. Lincoln (+ 1)
4. The Silver Linings Playbook (-2)
5. Zero Dark Thirty (-)
6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (-)
7. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (+1)
8. The Impossible (new)
9. The Life of Pi (new)
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (-1)
Next in line: Django Unchained, The Master, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Flight

BEST ACTOR:
1. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln (+1)
2. John Hawkes, The Sessions (-1)
3. Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables (-)
4. Denzel Washington (new)
5. Joaquin Phoenix, The Master (-) * he is on real shaky ground as he publicly derides the Awards season and is generally a jerk.
Next in line: Richard Gere (Arbitrage), Bradley Cooper (The Silver Linings Playbook), Tommy Lee Jones (Hope Springs), Anthony Hopkins (Hitchcock)

BEST ACTRESS:
1. Jennifer Lawrence, The Silver Linings Playbook (-)
2. Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone (+ 1)
3. Naomi Watts, The Impossible (- 1)
4. Keira Knightley, Anna Karenina (+ 1)
5. Quevanzhane Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild (- 1)
Next in line: Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Helen Mirren (Hitchcock), Meryl Streep (Hope Springs), Emmanuel Riva (Amour)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
1. Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln (new)
2. Phillip Seymour Hoffman, The Master (- 1)
3. Russell Crowe, Les Miserables (-1)
4. Ewan MacGregor, The Impossible (+ 1)
5. Robert DeNiro, The Silver Linings Playbook (- 1)
Next in Line: Leonardo DiCaprio (Django Unchained), Alan Arkin (Argo), Eddie Redmayne (Les Miserables), Dwight Henry (Beasts of the Southern Wild), Michael Pena (End of Watch), Christopher Walken (Seven Psychopaths), Tom Wilkinson (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel)
* this category remains by far the most competitive. I could list another ten actors who could all factor in to the race.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
1. Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables (-)
2. Samantha Barks, Les Miserables (+ 1)
3. Helen Hunt, The Sessions (- 1)
4. Amy Adams, The Master (-)
5. Sally Field, Lincoln (new)
Next in line: Maggie Smith (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), Pauline Collins (Quartet), Jacki Weaver (The Silver Linings Playbook)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
1. Moonrise Kingdom (-)
2. Django Unchained (+ 1)
3. Beasts of the Southern Wild (new)
4. Seven Psychopaths (- 2)
5. The Master (- 1)
Next in Line: Flight, Brave, Amour, The Dark Knight Rises

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
1. Lincoln (new)
2. Argo (-)
3. The Silver Linings Playbook (- 2)
4. Les Miserables (-)
5. The Perks of Being A Wallflower (-3)
Next in line: Zero Dark Thirty, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Life of Pi

BEST DIRECTOR:
1. Ben Affleck, Argo (+ 2)
2. Tom Hooper, Les Miserables (-1)
3. David O’ Russell, The Silver Linings Playbook (- 1)
4. Steven Spielberg, Lincoln (+ 1)
5. Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty (new)
Next in line: Ang Lee (The Life of Pi), Peter Jackson (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey), Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight Rises), Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master), Quentin Tarantino (Django Unchained)

So, there you have it… my current and likely to totally change predictions… What are yours?

“The Impossible” Could Pull Off the Improbable at the Oscars

October 25, 2012

So far this Oscar season, most of the talk has been about a number of big films that fit the Awards season bill in practically every way: Argo, Lincoln, Les Miserables and The Silver Linings Playbook. There are also several smaller films that are making some big noise like The Sessions, Beasts of the Southern Wild and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. While all of those pictures will likely score some several nominations, one film be a strong dark horse and land a host of nominations, the tsunami disaster picture and ultimate story of improbable survival, The Impossible. The film, directed by Juan Antonio Bayona,  is incredibly harrowing and gut wrenching but it’s also inspiring, beautiful and fantastic. The Impossible follows the true story of one family that is caught up in the devastating Indonesian tsunami in 2004 that took the lives of over 100,000 people. Naomi Watts and Ewan MacGregor star as the parents of three sons who struggle to survive after the tsunami hits. Watts and MacGregor both give incredible performances that should put them at the forefront of the Best Actress and Supporting Actor races, but we might see newcomer Tom Holland in the Supporting Actor race as well. Playing their oldest son, Holland is simply astonishing and should have a very bright future in Hollywood. The film should contend in many different categories and won’t leave a dry eye in the house. I highly recommend it and I gave it an “A” grade. Check it out when it hits theaters in December and take a look at what Oscars I think the film should contend for and the trailer below. It could end up being a big spoiler in this year’s race.

Oscar chances for The Impossible~

Likely Noms:
Best Picture
Best Actress (Naomi Watts)
Best Supporting Actor (Ewan MacGregor)
Best Visual Effects

Good Shot:
Best Director (Juan Antonio Bayona)
Best Cinematography
Best Original Score
Best Sound

Other Possible Nods:
Best Supporting Actor (Tom Holland)
Best Editing
Best Production Design

The Impossible trailer