Sunday, January 27, 2013

SAG Results!!!

Yay for Anne!! I'm so happy to see her win!!

Anyway, this makes Argo the official frontrunner to win Best Picture now and it also makes Anne and Daniel Day-Lewis near locks. And I'm, so glad for Jennifer!!! What a deserving win! It seems like she's edged out Chastain, but it's not over yet for Jessica or Jennifer for that matter. This also puts Best Supporting Actor as the most mysterious category this year. It'll be really cool if the BAFTA goes to somebody else too :).

Anyway, what did you think? Are you happy about the winners?

19th Annual Sag Predictions

So, here they are!!! Competition is keen in several categories, and I'm guessing I'll be wrong in some races as well, but here's my predictions:

Best Ensemble Cast: I think Silver Linings Playbook will win here: It's a great ensemble movie and it's those films that deserve to win this award, not just Best Picture frontrunners (Slumdog Millionaire, No Country, The King's Speech to a certain extent). I could still see Argo winning easily, especially since it just won the PGS, but I'm guessing this is S.L.P's chance to shine. Lincoln has a slim shot, but I doubt it'll win.

Who Should Win: S.L.P, because as I've said, it's a great ensemble movie.

Best Male Actor In A Leading Role: D.D.L for sure. if he wins here, he'll become a total lock. I guess Jackman or Cooper could surprise, but I doubt it. The reason why Clooney was overlooked here last year was because people didn't love him as much as D.D.L which will help him in the long run.

Who Should Win: Bradley Cooper!

Best Female Actor In A Leading Role: This is a tight one between Lawrence and Chastain. i'm going to say Chastain, although I could easily see Lawrence winning.

Who Should Win: Since Wallis is out of this lineup, I've only seen 3 and I'd go with Lawrence.

Best Male Actor In A Supporting Role: The toughest race here!! I'd say Robert De Niro, because he's a sentimental favorite and few veterans have a SAG award. But Hoffman and Jones could win too, this being the latters last chance to get back his leading status.

Who Should Win: I've only seen De Niro and Jones and I'd easily go with De Niro.

Best Female Actor In A Supporting Role: Anne Hathaway for sure and she is very deserving!!

Who Should Win: ANNE!!!!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Best Actress 2012: Who Will Win?

Given Best Actress is shaping up to be the toughest category this year besides Best Supporting Actor, and given it's my favorite category, I've decided to post an analysis of sorts on all the nominees, inspired by Entertainment Weekly:

Jessica Chastain in Zero Dark Thirty:

Why She Will Win: She's an extremely talented actress, just hitting her peak and is a major presence in Zero Dark Thirty. She's won the G.G and the lions share of critics prizes. She also is so charming and interesting in her interviews which always helps.

Why She Won't Win: It's a very subtle performance, and as Viola Davis and Julie Christie can tell you, those don't win that often, particularly now a days. Also, Zero Dark Thirty's lack of a director nomination (GRRRRRR) and continuing controversy puts a stick in her momentum. There's also that horror movie Mama coming out, which could hurt her chances if gets terrible reviews.

Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook:

Why She Will Win: Silver Lining's Playbook has gotten nominations in ALL the most important categories and like Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence has been doing extremely well in the precursors. She has left over goodwill from Winter's Bone as well the box office clout from The Hunger Games. And last but not least, it's just a great performance.

Why She Won't: She's still very young and the Academy could reward her later. And it's not really the type of character or performance they go for.

Emanuelle Riva in Amour: Amour's surprise Oscar nominations give her a big boost and she gets raves across the board from all those who have seen it. Also, the role is very juicy and challenging, something that always helps. Although she isn't a super well known actress, she could still collect the sentimental vote given her age and how long she's worked for. Marion's win proved that foreign language performances can pull it off....

Why She Won't Win: But foreign performances still hardly ever win, and all the buzz around Chastain and Lawrence makes a vote splitting situation hard, though not impossible. She need the BAFTA badly if she wants to win.

Quezyane Wallis in Beasts Of The Southern Wild:

Why She Will Win: The performance seems to be loved by a great many people, and like Riva, the surprise support for her film could help her a lot. If the Academy can get really crazy and give it to her...

Why She Won't Win: Many would be outraged if she did pull off a shocking upset. Yes, the Academy can give Best Supporting Actress to Anna Paquin, Patty Duke, and Tatum O'Neal, but I doubt they'll give Best Actress to somebody so young.

Naomi Watts in The Impossible:

Why She Will Win: She's been in quite a few films and is arguably the veteran in this race. Her role in The Impossible is the most baity and also the most physically laborious as well.

Why She Won't Win: The fact that it's the film's only nomination and she's in a category filled with nominees from Best Picture contenders make her last place I'm afraid.

Right now, I have a hunch Emanuelle Riva will pull off an upset. Why? I'm not sensing any overwhelming support for Lawrence or especially Chastain at the moment, and it seems like voters really love Amour. I could still see Lawrence winning, and that would make me very happy, although I haven't seen Watts or Riva yet. What do you think?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Angels In America

Given the Oscar race is not too exciting until the SAGS and I haven't seen anything lately, (Although I will watch Beasts Of The Southern Wild soon and will see either Lincoln, Argo, or The Impossible, which one would you want me to review? Please tell me!) I've decided to write about Angels In America, Tony Kushner's  famous Pulitzer  Prize winning and Tony winning play that I read about a month ago and can't stop thinking about. I've also seen the movie, which I really like  and will review as well.

Anyway, it is about two gay lovers  in the 1980's  named Prior and Louis and Prior has discovered he has aids and Louis, who is not the kind of person who can bear disease and sickness, walks out on him and starts a relationship with a deeply closeted man named Joe Pitt, who is a republican and a mormon. His wife Harper is extremely  delusional  and troubled, given she came from an abusive home and is suffering from the lack of meaning or even recognition in their relationship, given it is all based on a lie. Meanwhile, Prior is being visited by an angel telling him he is a prophet which pushes him close to over the edge. Throw in Joe's  boss the famous lawyer Roy Cohn, Joe's  strict but kind mother Hannah, Prior's best friend and Roy's nurse  Belize, and the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg haunting Roy for exploiting the trial proceedings , and you've got one amazing play!!

Angels In America is so epic and rich and layered. It's amazing how Tony Kushner can develop all these characters and not get any of them lost or bogged down. Every one of them is perfectly developed and every one of their situations is so interesting and dark and funny. It mixes politics, homosexuality, and what it means to be alive in such a seamless and flawless way.  It's truly mind-blowing to read it. The first play, Millenium Approaches chronicles the self-destruction of all the characters which causes the Angel to come Prior's bedroom and tell him to preach against the terrible crushing mindset of humanity at this time,presenting the idea that by being so driven by greed, we were destroying the world and everything in it. You would think that these  ideas would be dated given it is so topical to 1980s America , but it all holds  up. The 2nd play, Perestroika , is about the healing and changing of all of these characters and how they surive the tests and burdens that life has given them, eventually coming to a heart-rendering conclusion.

The film version of it is spectacular as well. I'd say the characters are more likeable in the film version and it's a little less dark, but the impact of the piece is still very strong. The actors are amazing : You never see one bit of Al Pacino in his portrayal of Roy Cohn, Meryl Streep again shows her amazing versality by playing three roles with incredible brilliance and strength (A  male Rabbi, Ethel Rosenberg, and Hannah Pitt), Mary Louise Parker is incredibly vulnerable and real as Harper, and Justin Kirk is a perfect and extremely stirring Pirior. Emma Thompson is also terrific playing the important role of the Angel  and giving excellent work with two smaller parts (Prior's nurse Emily and a homeless woman). The rest of the cast is great too, but these are the standouts.

I just can't say or get enough out of this amazing piece of work! Have any of you read it or seen the film?  If so, tell me your thoughts! If not, SEE IT IMMEDIATELY!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Golden Globe Results!!!!

Well, Argo has now become a strong contender and the new frontrunner for Best Picture!! I had a feeling it would win after Ben Afleck did, and I have a feeling it could take Best Picture as well. I think Speilberg will win Director though. This was actually a really great and funny Golden Globes show, much better then last years.

Anyways, the Globes simply made DDL a bigger lock and Chastain and Lawrence the frontrunners for Best Actress, eclipsing Naomi Watts. In fact, I feel that she has the least chance of the nominees now, given Wallis, Rivera, Lawrence, and Chastain are all in Best Picture nominees. Hugh's win makes him the runner-up to Day-Lewis, though I doubt anyone can beat him now. Poor Bradley Cooper!! It also helps Anne, and makes Christoph Waltz look stronger too. That was a shock! I know you must be happy, Louis!!! I missed Meryl tonight by the way! And congrats to Les Mis!

Also, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE CHECK OUT MY MERYL STREEP IN THE IRON LADY REVIEW. I'm capitalizing because people hardly ever comment on recent older posts, and I've been moving fast and doing a lot of coverage of the awards season lately. But I think you'll be interested in Meryl's review, :).

Performance Review: Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady

Meryl Streep received her further record breaking 17th nomination and won her third Oscar playing Margaret Thatcher, the fierce, conservative Prime Minister of Britian in The Iron Lady.

Meryl Streep was able to pull off a slightly surprising win last year for this film. She was in a tight race with The Help's Viola Davis, having won the Globe and the BAFTA and Davis having won the SAG and the Critics Choice Award. Given the fact that The Help was a strong Best Picture favorite and Davis's campaign was on a roll, not to mention The Iron Lady's poor reception, many gave Davis the edge. But it was Meryl, not Viola, who won. I'd say people felt Davis was not the real lead of her film and the academy doesn't often reward subtle performances. Also,Meryl had the Weinstein's on her side and after having been nominated 13 times without winning since her 2nd win nearly 30 years ago, voters felt it was finally time to honor Meryl.

Anyways, The Iron Lady is not a popular film around Oscar watchers and critics. However, I really liked it!! I felt it was wonderfully entertaining and well made. My only quibble would be with the fact that the film distances itself from her political beliefs and scenes, so they're not as involving as they should be or creative as they could have been. But it still doesn't take away from it's quality and you guessed it, from Meryl's performance.

I think Meryl Streep does a terrific job here. She really inhabits and nails all of Thatcher's mannerisms without making it too gimicky. It is mimicry, but I believed it every second, unlike Julie and Julia. She shows such great flair and attitude in all of Thatcher's polititical scenes, and they're very entertaining to watch. You can tell that she really understands the character of Margaret Thatcher, something that is really worth seeing in a performance. I love the humor that she brings to these scenes too.

Now, for the Old Lady scenes. Meryl truly milks these for all it's worth. She is incredibly convincing as an old woman batting with losing her memory and some of these scenes are truly heartbreaking. We can still see that these two women are the same, though she is much changed since retiring as Prime Minister and losing her husband (Jim Broadbent).

So, this is fantastic work by Meryl Streep that I liked much more then I thought I would. Although I'd say her Prime Minster get a bit repetitive due to the script, it's a minor complaint and Meryl rises above it to deliver a great performance.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Oscar Nomination Thoughts and Golden Globe Predictions

First of all, let me just say I was pleased with most of the Oscar nominations. They seem to be showing more imagination and creativity in their picks, and I think the reason why is because the G.G's and all the campaigning seems to be happening either after or too much earlier before the Oscar nominations. If they kept it at their old schedule, I'm sure things would have turned out different. Still, some things bother me like Bigelow not making it as well as Hooper being snubbed and all this Life Of Pi love. The film is fine, but not Oscar-worthy, besides a few tech awards (it is gorgeously made). Anyway, here's my G.G predictions for tomorrow!

Best Picture: With Zero Dark Thirty out of the Director race (GRRRR) and the idiotic controversy surrounding the film, this seems to make Lincoln the frontrunner to win Best Picture. But if Argo takes the globe, it could pull off an upset. Many are talking about LIfe Of Pi being a spoiler, bur I doubt it. My Preference: Zero Dark Thirty right now, have not seen Argo or Django.

Best Director: I think Speilberg will pull it off, but I could see Afleck win too. It would be coll if he won all the precursors wouldn't it? Then we woouldn't know who'd win the actual oscar! My Preference: Bigelow.

Best Actor In A Motion Picture Drama: Daniel Day-Lewis for sure! Preference: Have no others, so DDL, lol!

Best Actress In A Motion Picture Drama: I'll say Jessica Chastain, but watch out for Naomi Watts. If she can pull off a win here, this race could change direction drastically. My preference: Chastain, have not seen any of the others.

Best Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy: Les Miserables will most likely win, but I wouldn't rule out an upset from Silver Linings Playbook either. The others have no chance. My preference: Les Mis, but I wouldn't mind a win for Silver Linings.

Best Actor In A Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy: Hugh vs Bradley Cooper. I'll just go with Hugh, but I'm hoping Brad can pull an upset. My preference: Brad!!

Best Actress In A Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy: Jennifer Lawrence is a near certain winner here. If not, then maybe Meryl or Maggie. My preference: Jennifer!

Best Supporting Actor: I think P.S.H can actually win a 2nd Oscar and I think a 2nd globe as well. My preference: Tommy Lee Jones is the only one I've seen so far.

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway will most likely win, or is it me or buzz isn't as strong for her right now? Tell me your thoughts!!

Best Screenplay: The most exciting category this year! I think Lincoln will win, but S.L.P could win as well.

Anyway, when these are announced, the Oscar race will be a little bit more clearer in terms of frontrunners, though I doubt any locks will be established. Isn't it exciting?!! Finally, a wide-open Oscar Race! P.S: Check out my Z.D.T review below and expect a review of Lincoln tomorrow!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Zero Dark Thirty Review

This was a movie that I highly anticipated. And I tried to keep an open mind on it, and I think I succeeded . I thought the film was fantastic. it really does a terrific job of presenting the capture of Osama Bin Ladan without any bias or fear of holding back. It is brilliantly made from start to finish and there is a lot of great suspense towards the end. It's not an enjoyable movie experience, but a rewarding and fascinating one for sure. And the whole cast is great.

However, I must mention that the film is a little phony and hollywood like with some of it's characters: It's hard to believe that Jennifer Ehle would be that excited about a new informant who is coming to see her at a fully armed and guarded military base, yes before hand, but not jumping up and down and everything during the actual meeting. I also think the attack soldier's attitudes are bit phony, though less so. But it doesn't derail from the power of the movie though.

Anyway, as for Jessica Chastain, the character of Maya is somewhat problematic. There is not much explanation of her motivations or her background and from what I've heard, it was all for security reasons. However, I don't understand how a fictionalized Maya could not have worked. But the character is not one dimensional and is supposed to be rather reserved and un-emotional . Chastain really does a great job of capturing her character and her mannerisms and body language are perfect. As I've said, Maya is rather a mystery, but this approach is still effective and the subtlety that Chastain brings to the performance make it work. She slowly develops the character over time, and Maya increasingly becomes more and more stressed over the situation, not to mention more attached emotionally and much more determined to catch him, which she does. When we finally come to the part where Osama is being discovered however , the script unfortunately makes her a bit too stereotypical by having her be the woman who knows it all and won't take any attitude. Regardless of that, Chastain still is basically believable here and she plays all of her scenes well here. I don't think she'll win the Oscar though.It's a very subtle performance, and although she is great, I don't see voters giving it to her just yet. But I wouldn't mind a win for her, although my vote would go to jennifer at the moment

The Bigelow snub is a TOTAL TRAVESTY!!! How could she not been nominated?!!! That's the best direction I've seen all year, period. If you want to snub something , snub the script which I think is good, but uneven for reasons i've stated above. Anyway, you've got my vote Kathyrn Bigelow.

Overall Grade: 4 and A Half and I'd say this and Les Miserables are my favorite films so far.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

B.C. C. A. predictions

Although the results are being shown right now by those cunning little east Coast oscar Watchers, I'm going to make my very late predictions anyway :). Also there is a spoiler ahead but just one!

My Predictions:

Best Picture: Zero Dark Thirty. It probably won't be winning the Oscar now, but I have a feeling that it'll crown it's critics sweep by taking this one. However, I could easily see Lincoln taking this and I'm going out on a limb!! .

Best Director: Bigelow, Lol, but Speilberg could and probably will be the winner.

Best Actor: DDL.

Best Actress: Interesting! I could see Rivera, Lawrence, or Chastain winning. I'm gonna play it safe and go with Lawrence.

Best Supporting Actor: I'll throw a bone to Robert De- Niro but who knows really? This category is wide open. When was the last time that happened????! For 5 years, Supporting Actor has been extremely to predict, although you could bump off 2010 since Bale had competition from Geoffrey Rush in The King's Speech.

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway will probably win or SPOILER ALERT

she has already :) .

Best Screenplay: Zero Dark Thirty, most likely given the nominees.

I'll post a full thoughts on Oscar nominations post later and expect a review of Zero Dark Thirty by tomorrow or Saturday!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook, Life Of Pi, and The Silence Of The Lambs Review

I'll be posting these film reviews once I see all the Oscar contenders so you should expect to see reviews of Zero Dark Thirty, The Impossible, Lincoln, and possibly Argo very soon :). I'll also maybe throw in a random Oscar film like The Silence Of The Lambs which will be reviewed here:

Silver Linings Playbook: It's such a strange, weird, and off the wall movie, but somehow it all works!! Both bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence have fantastic chemistry together and both are superb. Jennifer (Who did not impress me in Winter's Bone) did a fantastic job here: She adds so much life and strength to her acting and completely understands and is the character. She is simply terrific. Bradley Cooper was also really great, I couldn't imagine anyone else playing him and he nails every little quirk. I also love Robert De-Niro who is incredibly funny and really entertaining in his part. My Hopes For Oscar Nominations: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay.

Life Of Pi: This was a dazzling film! I got to see it in 3D so it was all really spectacular. The story itself isn't particularly amazing, but the strength of the actor playing Pi and the Tiger (Yes, I am being serious) make it worth seeing. Try to see it in 3D if you can! My Hopes for Oscar nominations: Best Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects.

The Silence Of The Lambs: I was debating between watching this or Dead Man Walking last night and I chose Dead Man Walking originally, but then I found out that the copy i have is a VHS video with only the directors commentary. Ugh!! So I chose the Silence Of The Lambs instead. It was a truly terrific film. Really suspenseful and brilliantly made. I thought Anthony Hopkins was really amazing and the script was great too. I also really like Jodie Foster as well, though I don't like her quite as much as others do. Perhaps that affected my opinion a little bit. I'd probably give her a 4 and a half, but I need to rewatch her focusing on her performance specifically to be sure. Perhaps if I ever do 1991 we'll see if she's my winner. However, the Buffalo Bill character disturbed me very much and it was a litte offensive, given I am a gay man myself and although I don't think the film targets homosexuals, I think it was unecessary to show the scene where he puts the skin suit and makeup on. I also think the film should have explained that Bill wasn't a transexual, mereley a self-hating man, as Demme said in interviews in regards to the controversy. Tell me your thoughts on this!

Anyway, it's an exciting and much better quality wise Oscar Season this year! Expect more reviews soon and G.G, B.C.C.A, SAG predictions, and perhaps nominee predictions this next week. See ya soon!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Oscar Predictions

Given the Critics Awards have winded down and the nominations are slowly approaching, I've decided to post my predictions as of now. Given the globes, the critics choice awards, and the Sags (?, are all next week as well, I think some of them could change, but we'll just have to wait and see!!

Here they are:

Best Picture: Right now, I'd say Zero Dark Thirty will be the winner given it's precursor attention and topical relevance, but Lincoln is a strong contender as well. Les Miz could still win, but I think it'll need to sweep the guilds and the BAFTA to overcome the mixed responses. It's possible that if these 3 films split support, Argo could sneak in, but I doubt it.

Best Director: I think Steven Speilberg will win if things are still this up in the air when it comes to Oscar night. Yes, he's won 2 already, but both Bigelow and Hooper won fairly recently, and Speilberg truly did a superb job with Lincoln.

Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis is a lock. Just like Speilberg, he's won 2 already, but this performance has gotten so much support and acclaim, and I doubt he'll lose. The only way he could is if Jackman gains more momentum, but I don't think it'll happen.

Best Actress: It's Jessica Chastain vs Jennifer Lawrence right now and I think Jessica has the edge given she just exciteningly broke out onto the scene last year and many seem to love and respect her. People are also realizing she's been around for a while, she didn't just pop out of nowhere. But Lawrence could still win if precursors go her way, but I don't think so somehow because she seems so young and she'll have other chances.

Best Supporting Actor: Many are touting Tommy Lee Jones rigt now, but I'm going to say Phillip Seymour Hoffman just for the hal of it. He's a great actor, and many are raving about him for his performance in The Master (Anybody see it).

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway will most likely get it and she deserves it. It's a near-sure thing at this point. If Sally Field gets more support for her great performance, then perhaps she could win, but I don't think people will forget she has 2 already and Lincoln will probably be honored other places.

This is all I'll say for now, but tell me your thoughts!!! Who do you think will win? Do you agree or disagree? Are you excited? That should be a loud YES!!!