Sunday, January 26, 2014

Best Actress Overall Winners: Part 3

On my former blog Oscarfan way back in 2010 , I published a post about  who is the most loved winner nowadays, or the most overall winner. All of the Best Actress nominees in their year have their supporters of course, but there are some years that are barely discussed and one nominee seems to take it all (Or the winner for that matter).  I think it would be fun to delve back into this idea and continue until the more recent years (Although I think the 2010's are too recent to really evaluate this yet). I will start from where I left off all those years ago, with Best Actress 1964. Here's a link to the first post: and a link to the second post:

Best Actress 1964:   When I first started to be active on the internet Oscar world, I was enormously surprised that everyone seems to hate Julie Andrews.  Although now I agree that she isn't quite Oscar-worthy, I think she is quite undeserving of the enormous hate thrown at her. Never the less, she  is certainly not the overall winner.  As for the bloggers around here, Sage picked Stanley and Dinasztie picked Andrews (!).  I think both Stanley and Bancroft have their share of supporters, but if pressed, I'd go with Bancroft.

Oscar winner: Julie  Andrews

Overall Winner:  Anne Bancroft

Best Actress 1965:  Hmm, a difficult one. I would say Andrews, because the performance has become so iconic and beloved. But Elizabeth Hartman and the winner Julie Christie have their share of supporters.   Sage picked Christie, Alex from Alex In Movieland  also picked Christie,  and Fritz picked Elizabeth Hartman. I've also started this year on here, and I plan to finish it up at some point!

Oscar Winner:  Julie Christie

Overall Winner: Julie Andrews.

Best Actress 1966:  Do we even need to ask? Elizabeth Taylor.

Oscar winner: Elizabeth Taylor

Overall winner: Elizabeth Taylor

Best Actress 1967:  Katharine Hepburn won this year and she is one of the most hated winners from this decade.  I didn't think she was terrible, but the role is very thin which makes her efforts underwhelming at best.  All of the other nominees have their strong fanbases, but it's clear that Anne Bancroft gets the most love (Both Fritz and Sage went for her).

Oscar winner: Katharine Hepburn

Overall Winner: Anne Bancroft

Best Actress 1968: Another year where all the nominees have strong fan bases. I'd almost say all of them, but since I'm biased, I'd go with Hepburn as the nominee most people seem to love. Out of all her wins, this is one that is universally loved and decreed as deserving.  (Sage went with Hepburn, and I did as well).

Oscar Winner: Katharine Hepburn And Barbara Streisand

Overall Winner: Katharine Hepburn

Best Actress 1969:  Another incredibly strong year. I think Maggie is the one most people would go for, but Jane rivals her for sure (I went with Smith,  Dinasztie went with Fonda,  Sage went with Liza, and Fritz went with Maggie).

Oscar Winner: Maggie Smith

Overall Winner: Maggie Smith

Best Actress 1970:  Glenda Jackson's win seems to be widely supported in a weak-looking and little discussed year , although Carrie Snodgrasss is praised as well (Sage is the only blogger who's done this year so far and she went with Glenda).

Oscar winner: Glenda Jackson

Overall Winner: Glenda Jackson

Best Actress 1971:  Ah, this is Jane's year for sure.  Although Glenda and Christie have some support, Jane's fans are too crazy to ignore (I'm looking at you Dinasztie!).  Fritz went with Christie, Sage had Fonda at first but then switched to Glenda, and Dinasztie went with Fonda.  I haven't finished this year yet either, so my lips are sealed.

Oscar Winner: Jane Fonda

Overall Winner: Jane Fonda

Best Actress 1972:   Liza is definitely the winner, although I think all the rest have supporters. But in terms of the overall winner, Liza wins clearly here .  Sage and Dinasztie both gave it to Liza, deservedly of course :).

Oscar Winner: Liza Minnelli

Overall Winner: Liza Minnelli

Best Actress 1973: One of the least discussed years ever.  I'm going to say Ellen is the overall winner because she seems to be most people's pick, but Glenda and Barbara have gotten love as well. (Sage picked Glenda, and Dinasztie, it says on your blog you've done this year, but I don't see your ranking, only the profiles?).

Oscar Winner

Overall Winner: Ellen Burstyn.

Best Actress 1974:  I think that Dunaway, Burstyn, and Rowlands all have strong and passionate acclaim from all areas of the Oscar world, but  I think Rowlands gets the most love. Dinasztie picked Rowlands, Sage picked Burstyn, and I picked Rowlands (Although I think I was a bit rushed  with myself and a little inexperienced when I did that year, so I might  re-do  it on here).

Oscar Winner: Ellen Burstyn

Overall Winner:  Gena Rowlands

Best Actress 1975:  A year that's usually considered weak or just undiscussed. Fletcher's win seems loved by most, but she has some detractors as well (Sage, Dinasztie, and myself).  Fritz picked her though, Dinasztie went with Isabelle Adjani, and Sage went with Glenda Jackson.

Oscar Winner: Louise Fletcher

Overall Winner: Louise Fletcher

Best Actress 1976:  Faye won  the Oscar this year, and I would say most agree with that  but I think Sissy and Liv have their supporters too.  I would go with Liv personally, but Faye is fantastic.  Sage picked Faye, but now has Sissy as her winner and Dinasztie went with Spacek.

Oscar Winner: Faye Dunaway

Overall Winner: Faye Dunaway

Best Actress 1977:  Diane Keaton is the clear winner here, and I think it's well deserved, because she certainly is fantastic, and she deserves her iconic status.  Jane and Marsha are liked, but they don't come close to unseating Keaton. Sage  and Alex went with Marsha, me and Dinasztie went with Diane.

Oscar winner:  Diane Keaton

Overall Winner: Diane Keaton

Best Actress 1978: Jane Fonda's win here is the anti-thesis of her win for Klute. Most dislike the performance a great deal, but some like it as well, while with Klute, it's the other way around . I think Ingrid gets the most love, but Jill Clayburg anf even Geraldine Page are well liked too. Sage went with Fonda, Alex and  Dinasztie went with Ingrid.

Oscar Winner: Jane Fonda

Overall Winner: Ingrid Bergman

Best Actress 1979:  Some love Bette Midler here and feel that she was robbed, but Field is loved by so many I feel that her win is considered deserved.

Oscar Winner: Sally Field

So, that's it for now. Best Actress 1980-1994 will be posted soon as well as Best Actress 1995-2012 soon after that.  But what are your thoughts? Who do you think is the most popular nominee from various? Do you think I'm right on with my thoughts or am I completely wrong?  Who are your favorite nominees and winners?

Friday, January 24, 2014

Best Actress 2013: Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

Cate Blanchett received her 6th Oscar nomination for playing Jeanette "Jasmine" Francis in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine.

Sometimes, there's  a performance that seems to be all locked up for the Oscar before any of the awards season starts. Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, Monique in Precious, and Christopher Plummer in Beginners come to mind.  This year, it look's like it's Cate Blanchett, who has been able to stay buzzed about all season long, not to mention winning  nearly all the critics awards, the Golden Globe, and the SAG for her performance in Blue Jasmine. She's made sure Sandra Bullock  nor anyone else was able to put a wrench in her awards sweep  and unless someone gets a late surge (Even if someone else wins the BAFTA), expect her to win on Oscar night.

Blue Jasmine was a film I did not like when I first saw it. I usually love Woody Allen, but some of his newer pieces have been disappointing and although I thought this was well made and well acted, I couldn't care about or like any of the character's in it. On a rewatch, my opinions changed. I don't think it's a masterpiece or one of Woody's best, but it is still an  entertaining and interesting piece with excellent acting. It's about a woman named Jasmine (Blanchett) whose husband was arrested by the FBI  for banking fraud (This scenario is based off real life Bernie Madoff)and killed himself in jail  shortly after.  Jasmine, left broke and desperate, goes to live with her sister (Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco, who is a recently divorced mother of two who can't get her romantic life under control.  The film follows Jasimine's attempts to try to create a new life for herself and also flashes back to Jasmine's days as a rich, wealthy woman.

Blanchett plays Jasmine with the perfect amount of snobishness and shallowness. Jasmine is a very  selfish   woman who puts on airs about her wealth constantly in order to feel good about herself again and Blanchett plays all of these moments very well.   You can tell that she understands the character perfectly and knows exactly how to execute it.  This might seem  like a calculated performance, but Blanchett makes it all work.

Jasmine is a mess of a character though, and Blanchett wonderfully lets us see her darker, more disturbed side when Jasmine is close to breaking down.  These scenes are deliciously funny to watch, yet also incredibly depressing as well as awkward, and Blanchett plays it all perfectly. She  makes us feel for Jasmine by showing  us glimpses of Jasmine's sadness and anger at her life turning out the way it has. Mind you, I never liked Jasmine, but one can't help but feel sorry for her and her terrible situation.  Her flashback scenes are quite  brilliantly played by her as well: We see Jasmine much more confident, in her element among the rich, glamourous world of New York and we see her selfishness in a different way then how we see it in the beginning. Blanchett also shows us that Jasmine loves her husband very much and has powerful anger at him for the way he is treating her. It's a side of Jasmine that is particularly  interesting, given she is often not assertive an  character in most of her scenes, and Blanchett handles this superbly.  Her chemistry with Sally Hawkins is also terrific: We don't know much about their background, but the two actresses work extremely well together to create a strong relationship between them.  I'm listening to some interviews with her right now, and she talks about working with the tone of Allen's films. Blanchett sets the tone and blends in with the tone of this film wonderfully.

It's a terrific, brilliantly executed performance, but I don't find her to be amazing here. As good as she is and as perfectly as she fits the part (Who else can you picture as Jasmine?), I didn't find that the role was particularly challenging for her, nor did it blow me away. Never the less, Blanchett gives a marvelous performance full of rich  layers  that is extremely effective and carries the film wonderfully. She gets

Best Actress 2013: Amy Adams in American Hustle

Amy Adams received her 5th Oscar nomination (Her first in Best Actress!) for playing Sydney Prosser/Edith Greensly in American Hustle.

When Adams was being touted as the person to bump off Meryl (Or Emma) as the 5th Best Actress nominee this year ,  she seemed to be  gaining a lot of momentum, perhaps enough to unseat Cate at the Oscars. But now I think her  buzz was more  about  snubbing Meryl then about actually winning.  Cate is nearly unstoppable at this point and it would take massive buzz, as well as winning the BAFTA to make Adams the frontrunner.  She'll win someday , but just not yet.

American Hustle is a great film. It's brilliantly directed by David O. Russell and the film is enormously entertaining and filled with such visual detail (Not to mention the music Russell uses!) that it is truly a terrific movie experience. The script's seams do show though: I think it should have been reworked to make all the interactions between the characters make more sense.  The pace of the film is wonderful, but sometimes, you wish it could give the plot time to simmer down a little bit.

Adams plays Sydney Prosser, who we first see as a young woman meeting  Irving (Christian Bale)for the first time.  The first thing that I noticed about this performance is how subtle Adams is.  The rest of the character's get juicy, very dramatic scenes, but Adams uses her face and onscreen presensense to create this character.  It's a beautifully subtle performance that Adams excels in.  She is really playing multiple roles here and the radiance that she brings to Edith is truly  perfect. You can tell that Sydney enjoys the confidence and status that Edith's persona gives her, much more then who she used to be, and Adams injects Edith with so much radiance, magnetism, as well sexiness, not just with her words and actions, but with her body. The way Adams holds herself and all of the ticks that she adds to the character are brilliant.

Adams also shows her strength as a dramatic actress in her scenes with Christian Bale.  Adams is truly fantastic here, making us see her love for him as well how much he makes her feel better about herself. When's she angry with him, wanting him to pay attention to her and wanting her to be happy, she is a force to be reckoned with. Her scenes with Jennifer Lawrence (Who is superb by the way) are truly great to watch  too.

The only problem and perhaps the greatest strength of the performance is this: Her character is a constant enigma.  Is she really in love with Irving or is she manipulating him? Is she in love with Ritchie (Bradley Cooper) or is she really using him for the sake of possibly needing him in the future? Or is she doing it for her own sake? I guess we never really know, even by the end of the film, but Adams make us keep guessing throughout.   It's something that works about the performance, but I also think doesn't work because the script doesn't know what to do with the character at some points, or rather we don't get enough hints about who Sydney Prosser is and what she wants. Her Edith is wonderful and I understand that Sydney is a pathetic character whose playing Edith is really her own way of being confident, but I think that if there had been more scenes with her as Sydney, more chances to develop her background and her truth, that the roles of both Sydney and Edith would have made a lot  more sense. Perhaps Adams could have worked a little harder on bridging the gaps, but I think it is really the script's fault.

It's a very minor complaint though because Adams pulls off a fantastic, beautifully done performance that, to me, is the best she's ever done.  She gets

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Best Actress 2013: Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Sandra Bullock received her 2nd Oscar nomination for playing Dr. Ryan Stone in Gravity.

Although Cate Blanchett has been far and away the frontrunner for most of the season, Sandra Bullock was considered her strongest competition given the difficulty of the role and the fact that Gravity was such a blockbuster hit that seemed destined to get Oscar attention (Which of course, it did).  But Blanchett has had such a strong lead throughout the season and the SAG was really Bullock's last real chance to knock her off her pedestal. Although we never know until the envelope is opened, I doubt Sandra Bullock's name will be in it. But never say never :).

Anyways, Gravity is certainly one of the best movie experiences of the year. Alfonso Cuaron has made one of the most innovative and gripping movies in a while.  His direction is fantastic and  a win would be very deserving. The amount of fear that I and the rest of the audience had for Bullock and Clooney was the kind of on the edge fear that I haven't felt for a while.  Unfortunately, the script is underwritten and filled with unbelieveable and annoying cliches.  With such a well made film that's focus isn't really plot, I guess it doesn't really matter, but I personally felt the film could have been a masterpiece if it had developed it's plot more and started on earth or developed the characters in space more before plunging straight into the action.

The film is about Dr. Ryan Stone and her crew who are conducting experiments in space until suddenly , pieces of debree from the Russian's fly off and hit them,  leaving many of the crew dead and Bullock (SPOILER ALERT!) eventually told to leave Clooney's character and save herself, which she eventually does.

Sandra Bullock pulls off what is probably her best performance: She beautifully develops her character, having Dr. Ryan Stone go through all the various emotions the film requires to go through, her biggest success being she never relies on the special effects, instead creating a real character.  I could feel the fear and  panic she had when going through space, and I could feel the fear for her as well.  Bullock shows how Ryan has never been the type of person to have been prepared for THIS type of situation and we see Ryan's journey from  being highly  unsure and inexperienced to  having the confidence to pull off finally getting back to earth.  I think her best moments  are when she is all alone in the escape pod, thinking she is going to die and wanting to.  These scenes are kind of Oscar bait scenes, but Bullock plays it so well that it doesn't really matter.  When she finally  decides to go back to earth, Bullock wonderfully shows the strength that Ryan now has, as well as the determination that she has to succeed.

But I don't quite think Bullock is perfection here: The script holds her back in a lot of ways such as the fact that some of the scenes are cliched and as I've said, Oscar baity. We also never get to know hardly anything about Stone's background.  We get vague hints from her discussions with Clooney (Whose charascter is totally unbelievable, BTW), but we never really know who this woman is. Which is a pity, because  Bullock could have been amazing.

But what Sandra Bullock does in the part is certainly great work and I don't want to disregard any of it. She gives a powerfully emotional performance which is able to rise above  the trap of being totally held by the script and she gets

Monday, January 20, 2014

Best Actress 2013


   The next Best Actress year I will be doing is, low and behold, this year's race,  2013 and the nominees are :

Amy Adams in American Hustle

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Judi Dench in Philomena

Meryl Streep in August Osage County

So, who do you predict?  Who do you think will be my winner? Will I go with the frontrunner or with any of these other actresses? What do you think my ranking will be?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The 78 Oscars: A Look Back

So, to shake things up a little bit from the constant awards tracking, I've decided to look back at one of the most controversial Oscars in history.  I  love doing these and expect more in the future.  

Best Picture:  Before the Oscars, Brokeback Mountain won everything:  The Golden Globe, The Critics Choice Award, DGA, PGA, BAFTA, and countless other critics awards.  But a film called Crash, which came out in May but still had solid support from audiences and key critics (Ebert And Roeper, among others) was able to get 6 Oscar nominations and bested Brokeback at the SAG's for Best Ensemble Cast, making many believe it to be the only film that could  beat it on Oscar night. But given the film's brilliant ensemble cast and also that this was a hugely actor based film, pundits didn't think much of it.  But when Jack Nicholson  opened the envelope, it wasn't Brokeback that was in it. It was Crash.  I was shocked as everybody else in the world was that it wasn't Brokeback. as mentioned above, it won everything. How could it lose?  Firstly, I think people didn't notice that there was not a lot of passion amongst people in regards to Brokeback Mountain. Despite all of it's wins, I doubt that people were so moved and shaken by the film given it's slowness and overall somber tone. It's certainly heartbreaking, but it isn't moving  or gut-wrenching like Crash is. That's the other reason: Crash riveted people and that's the reason it won.  It reaches inside us and moves us by the end.  I personally love the film, although I admit it's coincidences are a bit unbelievable towards the third act of the film, but that's a minor complaint.  As for the homophobia angle, I can't lie and say that I think homophobia wasn't a reason in SOME voters minds. The Academy is largely  older and comprised of males, so it could have played a part in the reasons why it won, but they could have voted for G.A.G.L or Munich or even Capote (Although that has homosexuality in it too). But as I've said,  it was the lack of passion for Brokeback as well as the support  for and the quality of Crash  that put it over the top. One of the most deserving Best Picture wins.  

Best Director:  Unlike Best Picture, this was always a slam dunk for Ang Lee.  Brokeback was considered to be a great achievement and Ang Lee had made such great films in the last 10 years that people thought that it was time to honor him.  I'm guessing Haggis was the runner up given the fact Crash won Best Picture, but maybe George Clooney picked up a few votes?  

Best Actor:  Phillip Seymour Hoffman was a big lock here and he deserved it.  At the time, people thought Heath Ledger could take it, but his work was too subtle to triumph over Hoffman. Joquain Phoenix was most likely third but I think voters felt a win for Witherspoon would be enough to honor them both.    However, I think Hoffman won by a landslide given the quality of his work and the fact that they wanted to spread the wealth and honor Capote somewhere.  Straitharin and Howard were not contenders.

Best Actress:  Reese Witherspoon won the majority of the critics prizes and the Musical/Comedy Globe, but when Huffman won at the Globes as well, I'm sure people thought that it would be a two horse race between them.  Although I agree that Huffman was second, I think, like Hoffman, Witherspoon won by a landslide given her wins at SAG and BAFTA, as well as Walk The LIne's immense popularity. It was the most sucessful and widely seen film by far of the five nominees. Felicity Huffman gave a great performance, one that should have won, but Transamerica was widely under the radar at the Oscars.  And Witherspoon was showing unexpected range and depth as well as doing her own singing, although I honestly find neither to be overly impressive. I'm guessing Dench was third, given their love of her, and Theron and Keira were last.  

Best Supporting Actor:  This was one of the only times in  the mid to late 2000's that Best Supporting Actor was actually a somewhat open race.  Alan Arkin's win aside, the winners in that period were all sure things. Excluding Waltz,  the rest of the winners in the 2010's were all locks too. This year though was a race  between SAG  winner Paul Giamatti and Golden Globe and eventual Oscar winner George Clooney. I think voters wanted to honor Clooney somewhere. His work on Good Night And Good Luck must have impressed them a lot and he'd been loved in Hollywood for so long that the Academy wanted to finally give him an Oscar.  As for Giamatti, I think Cinderella Man was an absolute  flop  and there wasn't much going for him besides his SAG win. I think the Actor's branch may have  liked him, but the rest of the branches gave Clooney overwhelming support. I think Gyllenhaal and Dillon had equal chances at winning, although I'd say that Gyllenhaal might have had a little more  going for him, given his BAFTA win, but it just wasn't likely for either of them. William Hurt winning was highly unlikely.   

Best Supporting Actress: An interesting race this year for sure. I think Rachel Weisz won because of her wins at G.G and the SAG.   Probably the thing that made voters rally  around her performance is that that her role is the largest out of all them.  I don't know if she has the most screen-time (if anybody does, tell me!), but her character  has  the largest impact on  her film film by far out of any of these nominees, so much that one could consider her a lead (i do not not, but I get the legitimacy of the argument, although I personally would say she's supporting). I'd say the runner up was Amy Adams who was a fresh breakout star who could have been the surprise  winner this year, but I think not enough voters saw Junebug  to put her over the top. Michelle Williams was most likely third and she could have been Brokeback's best shot at an acting  win, but her role is too subtle and also too unimportant to win the award.   Keener and  especially McDormand had no chance.   

Best Orignal Screenplay: Crash won here, and it was an obvious win given it's precursor awards and that pundits thought that it was here where the Academy would honor it. I'd say Goodnight And Good Luck was the runner up, although I guess Squid And The Whale could have gotten some votes too. 

Best Adapted Screenplay:  Brokeback Mountain was a sure thing here as well, although if there was an upset, I would say Capote would have won. It's a great adaptation and a win would have been very deserving.  

P.S: I usually post my picks for these as well, but I need to see some of the other nominees and rewatch a lot from this year so I decided to not post them quite yet. Tell me yours below though! What are your thoughts? Picks and preferences? Do you hate Crash just as much as everybody else does?  Or is it Witherspoon's win that grates on you the most?  Do you like Brokeback and Crash, but prefer one of the other nominees?  What did you think, LOL, of It's Hard Out here For A Pimp winning Best  Original Song?  

Saturday, January 18, 2014

SAG Predictions

Here they are:

Best Ensemble Cast: American Hustle

Best Actor In A Leading Role: Bruce Derm in Nebraska

Best Actress In A Leading Role: Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine

Best Actor In A Supporting Role:  Jared Leto in The Dallas Buyer"s Club

Best Actress In A Supporting Role:  Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

Friday, January 17, 2014

Thoughts On Oscar Nominations

Hello everyone!  I would  like to say that I am  pleased with the Oscar nominations, although I still haven't seen nearly as much films as I would like (I'm still waiting on Phiolmena, Nebraska, Gravity, The Dallas Buyers Club, Her, ect)   and I also need to rewatch Blue Jasmine, but here are my current thoughts on the race.

Best Picture:  I was overall expecting this lineup, but Her's inclusion is a little surprising to me given I thought it didn't have THAT much love in the race,  but the rest are what I expected.  I agree with the current Oscar pundits that it's a three way race between 12 Years As A Slave, American Hustle, and Gravity. I think the former two are the frontrunners though, I don't see Gravity winning unless it wins some major precursors. I just don't see them honoring a sci fi film just yet.  This could be the first, but I think that if there's any movie that will bump off 12 Years As A Slave's frontrunner status , it will be American Hustle which seems to be on a roll right now. I just saw it last night and I thought it was fantastic (Sorry Louis!). I'm hoping it'll win  some big awards , but I think 12 Years As A Slave is more deserving of a win and I think it still will.  If there's any movie that could unseat these three, it would be  The Dallas Buyer's Club which could be the dark horse, sleeper movie of the year.  It just depends on how strong everyone's campaign is this year and how the BAFTA's end up because it'll be a month until the actual voting starts, so SAG and the other guilds could not matter as much anymore. On the other hand, they could all go for the same contenders and BAFTA  may differ alightly, but will agree with most, just like in 2010 when Firth and Mulligan won the leading awards, but everything else matched up with the Oscars and with every other precursor award.  We'll see though!

Best Director:  I'm surprised Greengrass didn't make it and Scorsese did, but I think that it's Cuaron's to lose right now, although I could easily see McQueen winning.  The dark-horse is probably O. Russell who if the film wins Best Picture, he could end up victorious as well.

Best Actor:  It's looking like McConaughey has unseated Ejiofor for Best Actor, which is a shame because even though I haven't seen D.B.C, Ejiofor is truly fantastic.  He still has a chance, but he needs the SAG or/and the BAFTA to triumph at the Oscars.  The other person I could see winning is Bruce Dern, who has sentiment as well (as the fact that they'll want to give Nebraska) something on his side. However, he needs the SAG badly in order to have a strong shot at winning.  I don't see Leo or especially Bale winning here.

Best Supporting Actor: It looks like the tradition of this category often being locked up by Oscar night will continue with Jared Leto, although Fassbender or even Cooper could surprise. Watch out for Abdi though!  We'll see how the precursors go. Out of the two that I've seen, I think Cooper was great, although Fassbender is probably more deserving.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett is definitely the frontrunner to win, although she is not a lock yet.  With Amy Adams in, she could be  in serious trouble.  If A.H win's Best Picture, but loses in the  all the other acting categories, she could triumph. I thought she was outstanding , but a win seems less likely. She needs a really strong campaign as well as a surprise BAFTA win in order to get the Oscar.  Sandra Bullock still has a shot, but even though I haven't seen Gravity, I think that voters may feel that it was more the direction and the visual effects that make the film great  and her performance may  be dismissed as just a stunt. Not to mention her recent, head-scratching win for The Blind Side could still be on voters minds (as it is on my mine. How could she win?).  Another scenario? Judi Dench could ride the sentimental wave as well as love for her film but that probably won't happen.  Meryl?  Just sit back and relax because you won't be winning this year.  Too bad. She's my pick right now so it's a bummer her win for The Iron Lady will cost her a win for this.

Best Supporting Actress:  The most interesting  and unpredictable category this year.  After seeing American Hustle, I can say that Jennifer Lawrence is truly fantastic. It's a true scene stealing  performance  and she is just so  great. I could easily see her winning again due to all the intense love for her as a person/actress  not to mention the box office clout she has for  Hunger Games.  Her strongest competition is Lupita, who needs precursors and to realy advocate for herself on the campaign trail order to win.  Could June Squib take the Tilda Swinton route and win for Nebraska if Dern or the script won't win?  Perhaps, but we'll see.  Again, she needs something else (SAG or BAFTA) as well staying fresh in voter's minds in order to pull that off. Hawkins and Roberts won't win here, but I'm glad to see they made it, though I don't necessarily  like their performances.

Best Original Screenplay:  Her seems to be the indie, quirky movie that'll be honored with this win, but wins for Nebraska and Dallas Buyer's Club are possible as well.  It depends on if voters will want to honor those films with acting awards instead with Her obviously can't compete in.

Best Adapted Screenplay:  12 Years As A Slave will win, but a surprise is always possible. But don't bet on it.

So, what are your thoughts? Are you disappointed with the Oscar nominations this year? Who are you rooting for? Who are you not rooting for? Do you agree/disagree with my predictions?  What should I see next?

Thursday, January 16, 2014

BFCA Predictions

BFCA Predictions:

Best Picture: 12 Years As A Slave. I think it's critics love will be consumated with this win.  I could see American Hustle winning, but I doubt it will, at least not here.

Best Director: I think this is Steve McQueen's. If not, Alfonso Cuaron will obviously win.

Best Actor: A race that's looking pretty competitive as of this moment. I'm going to predict Ejiofor, but McConaughey and Dern are hot on his heels and people are putting those two ahead  of him in the real race. However, I think 12 Years will triumph at the critics awards  more then anywhere else this season and I think Ejiofor will easily fall into that mix.

Best Actress::  Cate Blanchett will probably add this sparkling jewel to her crown of critics awards, although she is not as locked up for the Oscar as people seem to think.  I wouldn't know who would win here if she doesn't though. Dench perhaps?

Best Supporting Actor:  Jared Leto.  This category has some room for surprises, but I think he will win here.

Best Supporting Actress:  I would go with Lupita Nyong'o and I think I'll stick with her, although Lawrence, Squib, or even Roberts could surprise her.

Best Original Screenplay: Her, although Nebraska could surprise.

Best Adapted Screenplay: 12 Years As A Slave, I don't think it'll lose this one.

Best Acting Ensemble: I'm hoping August will win here, but I think American Hustle will triumph  here, as it most likely will at the SAGS on sunday as well.

And that's it! I think Sandra Bullock will win Best Actress In An Action Movie for sure though!  "Thoughts On The Oscar Nominations" will be the post after these awards are over! Stay tuned and post your predictions and thoughts here!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

VERY Last Minute Golden Globe Predictions

Golden Globe Predictions: 

Best motion picture Drama: gravity 

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity 

Best Actor in a motion picture drama: Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years As A Slave 

Best Actress In A Motion Picture Drama:  Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine 

Best Actor In A Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy: Leonardio Dicaprio in Wolf Of Wall Street. 

Best Actress In A Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy: Amy Adams in American Hustle 

Best Supporting Actor:  Jared Leto in The Dallas Buyers Club 

Best Supporting Actress: Jennifer Lawrence just won, but I would have predicted Lupita Nyong'o. 

Best Screenplay: 12 Years As A Slave. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

August Osage County Review

Ah, this piece of work. It's such amazing material. I WORSHIP Tracy Letts. I read the play 6 years ago and I still love it. What an incredibly funny and memorable piece of work. I saw it in San Francisco with my father about 6 years ago as well with the Oscar winning actress Estelle Parsons as Violet. And it was fantastic. It's one of my VERY favorite plays, right up there with Angels In America and Long Day Journey Into Night.

Anyway though, could I not love the film as well? It's hard to go wrong with such great material and to me, the film does a terrific job of capturing all they can capture of it. I completely disagree with the critics that think that it's overcooked or too stagey. I think the story is so amazing and it stays so remarkably faithful to the play that everything works. Yes, I missed some scenes (The scenes between Jonna and Jean) as well as the internal relationship that one has with these great characters through reading the play so many times, but it definitely was a great movie.

When it comes to Meryl Streep, she was certainly fantastic as Violet Weston, the pill-popping wife of Beverly Weston, a man who kills himself in order to end the terribleness of their lives together. Meryl does such a wonderfully detailed, job at playing all of the layers and the details of the part and she certainly has excellent delivery of Lett's brutally mean, yet incredibly funny dialogue. I guess it's perhaps I love Violet so much, but I think that Meryl captures her so well. I think her big scenes, the scenes where she's very high on pills, are a little over the top and "Meryl" like, but she's so good that I don't care. What a great performance. I also really liked Margo Martindale as Mattie Fae which is a such a fabulous part and she certain;y gets everything out of it. It's too bad that she most likely won't be nominated. My only complaint would be that she doesn't always make her as fun or as strong as she could be (part of it is that they cut one of her big scenes that I'm partial to), but she is terrific none the less. I also really thought Misty Upham was a standout as well playing such a mysterious character, and Julianne Nicholson was quite good as well. Julia Roberts sometimes felt a bit too one note for me and part the reason why is that I missed the relationship that I have with her character in the play. But she was still very strong and a nomination is worthy.

I would highly reccomend this film: It is a wonderful one. Don't listen to the critics! READ THE PLAY!! If you haven't figured it out, I'm a big fan of it!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Greetings And Happy Oscar Season!

Hello, everybody! I'm sorry it's been so long, but with a job and with my father having recently passed away (and as well as working on my singing and acting in my little free time), limits my time considerably. It'll be a while until I find the time to work on doing a Best Actress year again, so I will be back in other ways such as reviewing the recent films that I've seen and predicting who will win the big awards. I have seen 12 Years As A Slave as well as Saving Mr Banks, but I have not seen much else. I plan on seeing American Hustle soon and August Osage County (!) soon though! Here are my frontrunner preditions so far :

Best Picture: 12 Years As A Slave seems to be winning everything so far and it is most certainly the frontrunner. It was a fantastic film, and one that is worthy of Best Picture, but not a movie I would want to see again. People are saying Gravity can win, but I have my doubts. I have not seen it yet, but I doubt it will be honored, due to the fact that it's a sci fi film. Only if it gets some crucial wins at the Globes and PGA.

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron is sweeping up the race and he is such a great director that I would be very happy to see him win. I love his work on Harry Potter And The Prizoner Of Azkaban and although I have not seen Gravity in it's entiriety, I've seen a lot of parts of it from doing theatre checks at my job and it look superb from the director's angle so it would most likely be deserved. I have to see it though! To bad it's not playing at the theatre where I work anymore!

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor will probably win here: It's a great performance and would be very well deserved.

Best Actress: Ah, here comes the best and most favored category. Cate Blanchett has been sweeping up most of the wins, and she certainly was fantastic. She didn't have the "Wow" factor for me, but she delivered brilliantly. Sandra Bullock is cited as her strongest competition and I think that could definitely happen. People love her and the degree of difficulty for the role could work in her favor (Or it could work against her). Emma Thompson is the third horse, but I doubt that she'll win. She was fantastic as well, but it's nothing that she hasn't done wonderfully before and I doubt she'll win. If August Osage County was better recieved, Meryl would be more of a threat. It seems it's ultra late release date has set it back a long way (So much that people are even talking about her being snubbed! AHHHH!). If it gets more momentum, a Meryl win is possible, I guess, but only if they REALLY love her. I'm interested in seeing Philomena, I'm so glad Judi is back in the mix after 7 years (Too Long!), but she will most likely not win. If Streep or Dench gets snubbed, look for Amy Adams to take her place.

Best Supporting Actor: Jared Leto seems to be winning everything here, but I have absolutely no idea what the film is about or his role. Anyone care to help me?

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong'o is also winning everything. But Jennifer Lawrence and maybe even Oprah could derail her.

Best Original Screenplay: A race between Her and Blue Jasmine.

Best Adapted Screenplay: I expect 12 Years As A Slave to follow in the tradition of many films that have also swept up this award (Argo, Slumdog, No Country, The Departed, Lord Of The Rings, A Beautiful Mind, ect).

What are your predictions? What films have you seen? Which films do you want to see? Which performances wowed you the most? Which would you want to see win the most?