Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Best Actress 1987

The next Best Actress year I'll be doing a profile/ranking on is 1987 and the nominees were:

 Cher in Moonstruck
 Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction

Holly Hunter in Broadcast News
Sally Kirkland in Anna

 Meryl Streep in Ironweed


So who are you rooting for?  Who do you think will be my pick? What is your preference/thoughts on the quality of this year and on the  awards race in this category this year? 

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thoughts On The Oscar Season

Hello everyone!!! It's literally been forever, I know, but I'm very active on Golderby, covering this year's Oscar season and seasons from the past.  I'll try to post as much as I can about my thoughts on the films I'm seeing and this year's Oscar race and there may even be some sort of profile activity in the future.  I can't make any promises, but we'll see.

Anyway, this Oscar season has been very exciting in terms of how open this season is.  With no clear frontrunner for Best Picture and Best Director as well as an exciting race for Best Supporting Actress makes a more interesting season  then we've had in quite a while.  I'm hoping that it'll stay that way, but we all know it could turn very predictable very quickly. Anyway, here's my predictions for this year.

Best Picture:  A three way race between The Revenant, Spotlight, and The Big Short.  It's all down to momentum- The Revenant has it with 12 Oscar nominations, box office success, and an epic sweep to it, but will the Academy embrace it enough to honor it? Spotlight most certainly recovered from its spotty precursor performance with being able to gain two acting nominations and that editing nomination, but it needs to do well with the guilds in order to win. The Big Short is very popular and I can see it winning SAG and then going on to win more at the Guilds, but we'll see. We can't make any  confident predictions until the guilds happen.

Best Director: I can definitely see Miller winning this one, since Alejandro had quite a big year last year. It's not impossible for him to win, but right now I'm not betting on it. If Spotlight or The Big Short dominate the guilds and become the BP frontrunner,  I could easily see McKay or McCarthy winning.  Again, I think DGA will help clear things up.

Best Actor: Leo is largely locked here. If Trumbo was more well liked by the Academy, Cranston could have a better chance, but The Revenant is way too strong right now and Leo's extremely popular. I could still see SAG going for him, but I think Leo is too strong to lose right now.

Best Supporting Actor: Stallone has a lot going for him, but with no precursor love from SAG or BAFTA makes me not believe that he is a lock like others do. However, if the awards split between contenders whose support is soft, he most likely will win, unless Hardy can really ride the momentum of The Revenant here.

Best Actress: Larson seems to be winning this one. Ronan still has a slim chance, but she needs to beat her at SAG and right now, I don't see that happening. Room has stronger Oscar support then Brooklyn does and Larson seems to have a home turf advantage: She's much more popular then Ronan. If Larson wins SAG (and I expect she will), she's winning the Oscar.

Best Supporting Actress: A hard category right now that does come down to SAG. Kate looks like a really strong contender with her now being a 7 time Oscar nominee and after winning the Golden Globe, but she needs to win another precursor to get the Oscar. Both Vikander and Mara have shots, but both need SAG to win. I'm more skeptical about Mara since Carol was snubbed in Best Picture and she also gives a very restrained performance.  I don't think Jennifer Jason Leigh is winning, but she's not out of it just yet.

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight is most likely picking this one up unless white guilt causes an upset for Straight Outta Compton.

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short is the likely winner here unless Room upsets.

What do you guys think? What films are you rooting for? Who are you not rooting for?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

87th Oscar Predictions

Hello everyone! I have been long absent all season long and I honestly will not be doing too much blogging for quite a while because I am a full time performing arts student and I don't have any time for  it unfortunately. However, this does not mean I haven't been watching films or  following the Oscar season this year, even though I have not seen nearly as much as I would have liked.  And I'll be posting my predictions here although it's an extradinarily  difficult year  for predictions and I may not do as well last year, but hopefully I won't do terribly.

Best Picture:  Although Boyhood was the overwhelming frontrunner for most of the season and I know voters like the film, I don't think it will win.  The across the board support for Birdman at the guilds is very strong and although it's not a loveable movie per se,  that support I think will trump the reception to Boyhood, which many have been underwhelmed by.  This is a close race though and if support for these films could split and The Grand Budapest or Whiplash could benefit from that. But I'm sticking with Birdman.

Best Director:   The DGA award is a huge statistic that can't be looked over and I feel that Alejandro will win even though Linklater has a lot of admiration as well as  winning all the other precursor awards besides the DGA, but the DGA is just too strong of a precursor to go against. I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong here though.

Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne is most likely winning. Michael  Keaton does have a chance  of winning and there's a lot of support for him in the industry, but he has lost too much momentum to Eddie after his SAG win and the performance is so in the Academy's wheelhouse: It's such a baity, transformative role. Some are thinking that Cooper could surprise, but I don't think he will unless this race is much tighter then it looks.

Best Supporting Actor: J.K Simmons is winning. Moving on...

Best Actress: Julianne Moore will most likely  finally wining  an Oscar. Her performance is great, but I do wish Marion Cotillard could have won this year. It's bittersweet  since Moore is one of the best actresses out there, but Marion was amazing.  I'll be cheering though if Moore wins (Which she most likely will).

Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette is winning. Moving on...

Best Original Screenplay: Grand Budapest will most likely win here: I think the Academy will want to honor Wes Anderson and  quircky comedies often win in this category (Her, Little Miss Sunshine, Midnight In Paris, Django Unchained). If not, then Birdman will win.

Best Adapted Screenplay: A very tricky category. I'm going with Whiplash, but the Imitation Game as well as The Theory Of Everything are strong contenders as well.

You can check out the rest of my predictions on Gold Derby!  So what are your very last minute thoughts/predictions?

Friday, October 10, 2014

Coming Soon: Glenda Jackson in Women In Love

I saw Women In Love yesterday...  such a weird, flawed, yet  beautifully sensual  film, love the imagery too.  Have to rewatch it though, so I can follow Glenda's arc more clearly now that I understand more of the story.  Also, expect a review of Gone Girl  (Seeing it again tonight!)  and Sissy Spacek in Coal Miner's Daughter very soon!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Performance Review: Jane Fonda in Coming Home

Jane Fonda received her fourth Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for  playing Sally Hyde,  a wife of  a  Vietnam war captain who  goes to volunteer for a veteran's hospital  in Coming Home.

From what sources tell us about the 1978 Best Actress race,  Fonda was in  a  close race with Ingrid Bergman in Autumn Sonata.  Ingrid Bergman had won awards at the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle , and the National Society Of Film Critics and Fonda won the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award  and the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress In A Drama.  Ingrid had sentiment on her side given she was dying from cancer at the time, but Fonda was at her height as an actress and was starring in a film that was one of the frontrunners for Best Picture and Autumn Sonata  wasn't nominated.  I think that was what gave Fonda the edge.

Coming Home is a  strong film, but its also  flawed.  There are some rather phony moments in the film that don't ring true  and it feels so anti-vietnam  that one can call it a preachy, soap box movie.  That said, it is still very well directed and well acted, and the script does create a compelling entertaining story  that reaches  its target by the end.  I don't think it fully deserved  Original Screenplay, but Jon Voight's fantastic performance was more then deserving of the  Oscar.  I think its one of those movies that is flawed, but through its flaws, something powerful and even great comes out of it,  even if it is a mixed bag.

Jane Fonda is an actress who has highly impressed me in her performances.  She is  fantastic in Klute and excellent in Julia, They Shoot Horses Don't They?,  and Agnes Of God.  She excels at playing strong,  opinionated, and multi layered women that are also vulnerable and layered.  So, for me, its hard to  agree with the choice of having her play Sally Hyde,  a perfectly ordinary army wife whose experiences change her for the better.  I just don't think Fonda's extremely technical  style of acting fits with such a simple  character who could have used someone more natural and vulnerable.  She fails to be convincing for the majority of the first half of the film,  even though she is very good technically,  using her face and mannerisms to convey Sally's awkwardness at  caring for veterans.  I just never feel she becomes the character in the beginning and it works against her heavily.

But Fonda greatly improves in the second half as she becomes closer with Voight's character.  The growth and changes in her character that come from her volunteer work, from becoming close with Luke  are  convincing and Fonda  is wonderfully natural and expressive in the performance.  Her presence is  quite strong and her relationship with Voight is beautiful to watch.  Both actors are terrific and very believable as lovers and they both achieve a  beautiful emotional connection that strengthens the film.   But  when her husband comes back home,  her performance becomes less interesting given how cliched and also unbelievable the conclusion of the film is.  She is still very interesting to watch and better then she was in the beginning, but the material sinks her.

So, it's a  very good performance that is quite strong on a technical level,  but unfortunately  the role of Sally Hyde is too cliched and Fonda's acting skills  just aren't the right fit for a role like this,  which required someone who  could create  a more spontaneous, more emotional portrayal.  She's still very watchable though.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Performance Review: Christoph Waltz in Django Unchained

Christoph Waltz received his 2nd Oscar nomination and won his second Oscar for playing Dr.  King Shultz in  Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained.

Christoph Waltz's victory  last   year was slightly surprising, though  not a huge upset.  Best Supporting Actor was a wide-open category that year, but it narrowed  down to a three-way race between Waltz, Tommy Lee Jones, and Robert De-Niro.  Some cited Jones as the favorite given his long-term career  and SAG award, but I just didn't see him winning a second Oscar for such an un-showy performance.   Many pundits went with De-Niro and I did too at first, but what Waltz had over him was the fact that he was able to win two precursors, both the Globe and the BAFTA.  None of the other contenders took home a second major precursor, and it just seemed momentum was with him.   So, Waltz pulled off the win as I predicted (Don't mean to brag, but I'm still so proud of this prediction!).

Django Unchained is a fantastic film that I was really surprised at  how much I liked : It's brilliantly made, it's entertaining, and it has great  acting from all around.  Tarantino highly deserved his  2nd Original Screenplay Oscar and I would have loved to have seen DiCaprio and Samuel Jackson nominated.

From the moment Waltz comes on screen, he holds your attention: There's just a dynamic focused quality to this performance which I think comes from the fact that this roles fits him like a glove.  There's no one else who could have played this part like Waltz and it shows.  He makes the character fiendishly devil-like, but charming and even loveable.  Waltz nails his character's  fake persona and he is convincing all the way through. He and Fox both are outstanding together, making them such a natural pair of bounty hunters that you root for, despite their immoral acts.

It's a great performance from Waltz, but unfortunately, it loses some of its impact because of the shifted focus: I loved watching Waltz take the lead in the film, romping through it with such confidence and humor, but he takes a backseat to DiCaprio, Foxx, and the rest of the ensemble because of how the plot shifts. It's dissapointing, because we as an audience love Waltz and don't want him to be away from the spotlight, even though all the other actors are terrific.  It's a testament to how strong Waltz was in the  first half of the film, how strong he made us like his character.  But I just wish there was more.

But it's a still great and wonderful performance that I highly enjoyed, just like the film .  His win was very  deserving.

Congrats to Christoph Waltz for giving  the  first male performance to be reviewed on this blog!  Next Performance Review: Forest Whitaker in The Last King Of Scotland.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Performance Review: Julia Roberts in Erin Brokovich

Julia Roberts received her third Oscar nomination and won the Oscar for playing  the real life Erin Brokovich,  a woman with a big mouth and no patience.  She has three kids and is struggling to make ends meet.  She gets a job working for her former lawyer and she ends up investigating a case where PG & E  is responsible for poisoning  a whole town.

Just like Cate Blanchett this last year, Julia Roberts was a huge lock for Best Actress that year: She had been nominated and lost twice before, she gives a very dramatic  and entertaining performance ,  she was in a  Best Picture nominated movie that voters were able to reward  with her win, and Hollywood wanted to honor one of their biggest stars. I'm guessing she won in a landslide.

Erin Brokovich is a terrific film: It tells a very entertaining, moving story with excellent acting.  Soderbergh's brilliant visual style does wonders to the film, making it have a very realistic and perfect look.   I feel the movie is highly deserving of it's Oscar nominations, although Traffic was the best that year.

Julia Robert's win is one of the most hated ever.   I guess I can see why: Erin Brokovich is hardly a likeable woman, at least the one thats portrayed in this film and Julia Roberts is a star whose usually considered obnoxious  and arrogant.  If we were judging her by her speech, I'd agree, but here Roberts hits a  high note here,   at least with me.  Erin is supposed to be over the top, throwing herself around and being rude to people. And Roberts nails this. She is terrific and very convincing.  Seriously, could anyone else have played this part?  Her big scenes are excellent, she really shows us that she cares about what she's doing and that it means so much to her.  We see the wonderful self-worth and confidence that her job gives her and Roberts is wonderful at showing the woman behind Erin's confident persona.  The vulnerability and depth she gives to her is  very noteworthy.  I love the scene where Eckart is describing her baby daughter's first word. She beautifully shows the happiness this brings her  and she does it so naturally.  She has great chemistry with Aaron Eckhart and with Albert Finney, although she overshadows both of them, given its so much of her movie.

That said, I do think that  the performance becomes a bit repetitive. It is isn't Julia's fault, but there are so many scenes where she has such a strong opinionated attitude that it gets a bit wearing after a while. It's still impressive, but it does take some points away from her.  There are also times where I think she knows it, which makes some of her scenes unconvincing.

But  overall, Roberts commands the movie with a wonderful performance.  She is entertaining, she has energy, and she understands the character so well that the results are truly great.