Friday, 30 January 2015


Foxcatcher, 2014
Directed by Bennett Miller
Nominated for 5 Oscars including Best Director, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor

Foxcatcher is the strange true story of Olympic wrestling brothers, Mark and Dave Schultz, and eccentric millionaire, john du Pont, who recruits them to Faxcatcher Farms, a wrestling training camp. Mark and Dave are both gold-medal winners at the 1984 Olympics. But Mark has fallen on hard times after the Olympics. He is broke and jobless, training for Worlds. But when Mark gets an out-of-the-blue call saying that john du Pont (of the du Pont family) would like to meet him and offer him a coaching position, Mark jumps on board. A chance to finally outshine his golden older brother and live a better life, Mark and John du Pont strike up an interesting relationship.

Foxcatcher is a film I've been excited about for a long, long time. Moneyball is one of my favourite movies, and I also immensely enjoyed Capote. Also, I kind of love Steve Carell and have been waiting to see him take on a great role for a long time.

However, Foxcatcher is a film that just didn't seem to connect with me. Don't get me wrong, it's an extremely well made film, but there's just something I can't put my finger on about why I walked out of the theatre and just kind of shrugged. The acting was excellent, the story was twisted and weird, it's beautifully shot and well directed. Part of me thinks it's maybe because I just simply didn't understand Mark Schultz or John du Pont.

Channing Tatum as Mark was quite good. Tatum finally has an opportunity where he is pushed by the actors and the director working on this film. He gives a pretty good performance but just the amount of presence he had on screen was quite incredible, itself. I'm not really sure how to describe it, but Tatum's character is really quite silent and sullen, yet we are always drawn to him and just sense him in the shot. He dominates. With his slack jaw (which I hate but it works well here) and this strange slouchy yet controlled posture, Mark is someone not to be reckoned with. And not a lot of people do. Lonely, except for his brother Dave. Except he's not exactly warm with Dave either. An older brother who seems to constantly be in the limelight and have his life together, Mark seeks to break free of the association. However, when he meets du Pont and decides to move to Foxcatcher Farms, we get this eerie sense of "what is he thinking?" Mark seems to have very little detail about du Pont or what the job is at Foxcatcher or anything. It seems to make little sense as to why Mark would take this job out of the blue. And it sets up this feeling that resonates throughout the rest of the film. This sense of "something isn't quite right...".

Steve Carell as John du Pont is incredible. So unlike anyone Carell has played before and often completely unrecognizable. There are a few times in the movie where I'm just looking at him and I just don't see Carell at all. The make up in incredible and Carell has really nailed the glazed and unregistering look. du Pont, like Mark, is also lonely. Surrounded by wealth, mansions and a snooty mother (who loves horses and disproves of wrestling), it also doesn't really seem to make a lot of sense, on the surface, why du Pont would start at training camp for the Team USA wrestlers. He knows very little about wrestling. And it only seems to be Dave who asks the question "what doe he get out of all of this?" du Pont is someone who is vicariously living through others, and this is the ultimate way to do it. John du Pont is an extremely unsettling person, to the audience. Like Tatum, Carell has such a presence on screen, but for an extremely different reason. Carell has the unsettling and almost creepy (but not quite) presence, balanced expertly. We don't initially have any reason to suspect du Pont is a bad person, but we find him unsettling (for reasons we can't intially explain) all the same. Carell seems to easily balance du Pont and gave him nuance that could easily have been left behind. Nuance is key to a character like du Pont and Carell nails it with perfection. However, and this is no complaint or dig against Carell's performance, but there were just a handful of times where it felt like these lines could've easily been something Michael Scott would've said. The line of "horses are stupid!" had me cracking up a little bit. This was simply because I know the Office so well and knew it was Carell rather than Carell not being compeltely absorbed. In fact, Carell seemed to be completely absorbed and completely not himself. While I don't think he necessarily deserves to win the Oscar for Lead Actor this year, but he could've given JK Simmons a run for his money had he decided to campaign in that category.

Dave Schultz is the sole voice of reason. But also a cause for a lot of drama (though not explicitly said so by many of the characters). I'm sure being overshadowed by a sibling is a difficult thing and this is what brings a lot of the tension between various characters. Mark Ruffalo gave a subtle performance as Dave. He really embraced the late 80's and he reminded me so much of old family photos I've seen from that time period. Ruffalo made it all look so easy and subtle. There was nothing overly flashy about his role or his character. But that's what makes the performance so good, that it doesn't really seem like a performance at all, but just a person being.

Honestly, this is a tough one for me. Everything I seem to want to say about this film, everything that comes close to negative, I feel was essential and used purposely and pointedly in the film. Yes, it's slow and methodical. It isn't trying to force everything down your throat, it just laying the story out as is. You get to see everyone's point of view, and you get to make up your own mind about each of the characters. Foxcatcher is underwhelming, but I felt like that's the point. It's bleak, and that's the point. It moves slowly, and does not play out like you'd expect it to, but that's also the point. This movie tells a story, but it's not here to entertain us. It's a retelling of a tragic and twisted story that involved an eccentric millionaire and Olympic wrestling brothers. Just everything negative I want to say about this film, that was the exact point it was trying to hit and it hit it so well. And I feel like all of these points are valid. The more I seem to think and write about this, the more I feel myself being pulled in to try and understand what happened. The film doesn't really try to validate the events or explain motives or it's characters. And the more I think about it, the more powerful that is.

I'm not really sure I can give Foxcatcher a rating. It's a film that is a different and more bleak telling of the story than I initially expected. All the cast and crew are on top form and have made a beautiful and horrifying film. While I initially walked out the theatre shrugging, it has also had me constantly questioning what exactly it is about this film that I simultaneously didn't care for but also highly respect and keep thinking about.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015


Whiplash, 2014
Directed by Damien Chazelle
Nominated for 5 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor

What can I really say about Whiplash that hasn't already been said? Whiplash is about Andrew Neiman, a freshman at Shaffer, the best musical school in the country. A drummer, he's obsessed with becoming one of the greats and spends all the time he has practicing drumming. Terrence Fletcher is a teacher at Shaffer who helms the schools most prestigious jazz ensemble. Fletcher comes across Andrew in a practice room one evening and Andrew finds himself recruited into Fletcher's band. His initial elation is quickly turned to terror and obsession. Fletcher has a notorious temper, is incredibly picky, and can (and will) reduce any student to tears if they are not playing to perfection. This pushes Andrew farther than he has been pushed before, determined to become great and to impress his teacher. But we start to wonder, at what cost does Andrew pursue greatness?

You've probably heard this all over the place. Whiplash is a fantastic movie. Seriously, I love this movie. Just everything about it is so energetic and electric and passionate. Who knew a movie about jazz drumming could keep you on the edge of your seat?

Miles Teller as Andrew is wonderful. The fact that he hasn't gotten more attention (or just any attention) kind of baffles me. Teller did much (if not all) the drumming himself and the way he was able to act while drumming like he was, is incredible. He's mentioned in interviews that he didn't realize there were so many close ups of him for the film and that this explains why he's making the faces he does. But this is one of the things I loved about his performance. He was just so completely absorbed by the role, by the physical toll that this kind of drumming is taking on him. It felt so real and it felt so raw.

JK Simmons as Fletcher. Again, what else is there to be said? Fletcher is a complex yet monstrous character. He's an absolute monster, a complete psychopath, and his opinion means the world to Andrew. Simmons just absolutely nailed it. What could've easily just been the part of a yelling teacher, Simmons was able to give some weird, twisted complexity that I never really come to understand. Fletcher is someone that is never quite understood. You're never quite sure where exactly he will go next, or what will make him tick. But you do always know something will piss him off and you tiptoe around him. Simmons is fantastic and his upcoming Best Supporting Actor win is definitely deserved.

This is a movie about two people and the effect they have on each other. Andrew has never been pushed harder by anyone in his life. A lot of people argue it's too far. But Fletcher will tell you it's never too far and it will either produce results that were always there, or you'll walk away because you never actually had the passion or drive for it in the first place. And it's a film that leaves me asking the question of whether or not this statement is true. Is there ever a limit to how far and hard we are pushed? And even if it does produce incredible results, is it ever worth it? Is there ever room for compassion? Fletcher is the anti-thesis of the phase of "everyone's a winner" thing that the school systems, and just society itself, seems to hang on to. You need to be pushed in order to become better, and if no one ever pushes you, we're depriving the world of greatness. There is much to discuss on this point and the film leaves you with an uncomfortable and open ending on where exactly the line is (if there is one at all). But the overarching question of "at what cost?" seems to be the theme of the film.

Usually, I don't really notice editing. I noticed it in Selma when the cuts were strange, and I noticed it in Gravity and Birdman when there were lots of long shots. But the editing for Whiplash is incredible. The cuts are quick and harsh, just like the music featured. It's a constant back and forth, stop and start. It almost seems to mirror the film's title itself, constantly flinging you back and forth, with this sort of Whiplash effect. I'm not even sure how to describe the editing, but the cuts were fantastic and it made the film feel so alive and electric. I can't be happier that this is up for Best Editing at the Oscars. I would absolutely love it if it won.

Anyway, Whiplash is just a perfect, solid movie. It's a movie about passion and obsession, about pushing yourself farther than you've ever been pushed, and a movie about two people who seemingly need each other, in a very strange and twisted way. Just everything about this film is so well made, is so fitting with the story it wants to tell. It doesn't drag on too long, and it thrives on the fact that it is simply telling a single story, with minimal side stories involved. Actually, the lack of side stories (and all of them had specific purposes to the main story) is what made me like this film so much. It's a concentrated character study on two men, nothing to detract from that, no fluffy filling. Whiplash knows exactly the story it wants to tell, exactly what it wants to say and do, and does exactly that.


Tuesday, 20 January 2015

January Blindspot: Girl, Interrupted

Girl, Interrupted is a movie I decided to watch for this Blindspot series, not because it's a critically-acclaimed film or because it's really popular (it's neither), but more because I just really wanted to see why Angelina Jolie has an acting Oscar. This is fair, right? I mean, I'm a big fan of her husband, Brad Pitt, and don't really understand why he hasn't won an (acting) Oscar yet. So I was just really curious as to what kind of performance Angelina Jolie gave. I admit, before this, I hadn't really seen her in very many movies. I've seen Mr and Mrs Smith, and I've seen Maleficent. Also, the first half hour of both Salt and the Tourist. So I was going in with not a lot of knowledge of her acting and abilities.

The story of Girl, Interrupted is a true one. It's about a young woman named Susanna Kaysen who gets admitted to Claymoore, a private mental hospital, for a variety of reasons. Claymoore is filled with lots of loud and crazy people, but none are more captivating (and persuasive) than Lisa, a diagnosed sociopath.

Angelina Jolie plays Lisa, the sociopath. Lisa is constantly in and out of Claymoore. She's wild and energetic, persuasive and manipulative and is suddenly taking Susanna "under her wing". Honestly, Jolie completely rocked the part of Lisa. It was just such a no holds barred, giving it everything performance. But Angelina didn't just go crazy and play it the easy way. It wasn't just a one note performance or a performance lacking nuance, like it very easily could've. Lisa could've easily been almost a caricature. But Angelina gave Lisa such depth and complexity. There are just so many different things going on with her. Honestly, Angelina Jolie deserved that Oscar. She really did.

Maybe it's because Angelina, these days, just seems so classy and regal and put-together is what made this performance so striking. Lisa is just the complete opposite of how I picture Angelina. It's so striking and absorbing.

Unforuntately, I can't really make the same praise for the rest of the movie. Honestly, every time Angelina left the screen, things got dull. It was much less exciting and much less passionate. The story was a bit blah and you didn't really care for anyone else besides Lisa.

Although, it was fun to see actors that I recognized for things they had done recently (namely Jared Leto and Elisabeth Moss). But overall, the film itself was only just passable and mediocre. It's Angelina Jolie who brings all life and electricity to the movie, and the Oscar it earned her is 100% deserved.

Friday, 16 January 2015


Selma, 2014
Directed by Ava DuVernay
Nominated for 2 Oscars (Best Picture, Best Original Song)

Seeing Selma the day that Oscar nominations came out, with people's complaining about snubs extremely fresh in my mind was maybe not the best idea. It meant that I was focused on how good the acting was, the directing, the screenplay, etc, and wondering whether I'll walk out outraged at all the snubs or just shrugging my shoulders and shaking my head at the claims of racism when really the film just didn't deserve nominations.

I think I met somewhere in the middle. Selma is a good film with a moving story. It has moments of greatness and moments that move you. But the whole is not the sum of it's parts.

The film launches us into the life of Martin Luther King Jr. He's already extremely well known and has made a lot of progress. He's winning the Nobel Peace Prize and meets with the President (and is isn't his first time, clearly). The film makes no attempts to try to explain what has happened before this point. It simply launches you into what's happening right now. And what's happening right now is that King has met with President Johnson. Johnson has signed an act to end segregation and blacks legally have the right to vote. However, they still aren't allowed by their local voting offices to even register to vote. However, Johnson says this is not what he can focus on right now and this issue will have to wait. Displeased, King decides to move his cause to Selma, Alabama and to lead a march to gain equal voting rights.

This chapter in King's life seems a complex one. The entire cause they are fighting and the use of non-violence is very complex. And the film doesn't hold back from showing all the webs that are weaved and all the little things that need to happen before things can change. However, the film almost tried to show too much. It went back and forth from showing King as a man and as a figure. We get more casual scenes of King with his wife and their marital issues, but these scenes seem to be disconnected from the rest of the film, from the scenes involving the march and his meetings. In those moments, King is more of a figure, though one who has tough decisions to make. But the scenes (save one) with Oprah felt forced and unnecessary.

As well, the main thing I took away from this film was that it tried very hard to be important, impactful and emotional. There are so many scenes that have this unecessary use of slow motion that I know was supposed to make us feel emotional about what was happening. But I felt the moments leading up to that, or just after, were always more effective. The moments of utter chaos during the marches were more effective than the tearful speeches or the slow motion of the cops beating or shooting someone and them falling to the ground. Just seeing literally the utter brutality and chaos of what happened, untouched, is the most moving. But DuVernay just tried too hard, a few too many times. Her work was really great when it wasn't focused on just one thing, but the picture as a whole. Had DuVernay stepped back and left it more natural, I think I would've actually been moved more.

That's not to say the film wasn't effective, though. It had some extremely well done scenes, most of these being King's speeches at the church, particularly during a funeral and at the end of the film. David Oyelowo excelled during the various speeches he gave. They were delivered with such passion and vigor that I could feel myself just really getting angry all over again about how terribly the White South treated the black community. There were several scenes that were actually extremely moving, and were minimally touched and forced. The phone message scene, the night march, the marches on the bridge, etc. There were snippets of greatness and of overall potential to be overall great. As well, some of the supporting characters (who I can't name because a lot of people weren't introduced, so therefore started to blend together as they all held similar roles in the film). Carmen Ejogo was really great as King's wife. She was married to such a controversial figure, and while I felt the film either should've just touched on this a lot more or a lot less, Ejogo was such a force.

But the Selma snubs... were they really snubs? My big problem with the movie is that I enjoyed it and was moved by it, but was it really better than some other films that were nominated? As mentioned, I felt DuVernay just tried too hard and often got in the way of actual emotion, instead of manufactured ones. Her "snub" I don't consider a snub. While I don't think Tyldum was a particularly great choice for director, I'd still put people like David Fincher over both of them. As well, David Oyelowo was fantastic, but I still preferred Ralph Fiennes, as well as Cumberbatch, Redmayne and Keaton (I have not seen Cooper or Carell's performances... yet). Again, it did so many things really well, but I'm not sure they did it better than the films that were nominated or even some of the films that were also snubbed.

Overall, Selma is a good movie. It's one I left feeling mixed about because of the lack of nominations still heavy in my mind and watching the movie extremely critically and waiting to be blown away so that I could join the outrage. Selma is a good film. And probably one that can be shown in history classes alongside 12 Years A Slave. It made me extremely frustrated by all the racism that happened back then, something I can't even begin to understand. Racism is something I truly do not understand why people would think these certain ways and deny people basic rights. We are all the same, we are all equal. I don't understand why this is so difficult for people to understand. And the film did that effectively. This film tells an important story, a chapter in King's life. There was extraordinary potential to be overall great, but there were a few moments too many of overstepping and manufactured moments of emotion But it's a film that more had moments of greatness than actual overall greatness.


Thursday, 15 January 2015

2015 Oscar Nominations

So the Oscar nominations finally came out today! As always, it feels like some sort of a whirlwind and there's always at least one or two things that make you go "whaaaaaaa?" So below are the nominations with how well I did on predictions, and a few thoughts. 

American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

This is hard to score because I predicted all 8 of these, but had predicted 9 being nominated. So overall, I did pretty well. Some of the weird inclusions/exclusions don't seem as weird if only looking at this list, but if looking with the context of all the nominations, it's a little strange. Selma only received one other nomination for Best Original Song. It feels a little pointless to have it included here... I had wondered if there might be some sort of Selma snub, and while it still managed to get in here, I'm not overly surprised it missed everywhere else. Also, Foxcatcher being left off here is one of the more bizarre things of this morning. While I didn't have it predicted, it did manage a Best Director nod, as well as Original Screenplay and 2 acting nods. Must've been a tight race for that last slot. I imagine Foxcatcher only just missed. Also, Gone Girl was left off here (which I had predicted would get in) but as it was left out so many other categories (aka only 1 nomination) it isn't overly surprised, but still disappointing. 

Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)
Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher)

Wes Anderson!!! Guys, Wes Anderson is a Best Director nominee!!! I mean, I figured it would happen but I'm so happy! His movies are some of my favourites and I'm so happy to see him included and finally get recognition. Also, Bennett Miller was a big surprise for me. He wasn't on a lot of peoples radars for getting in here. Especially since Foxcatcher didn't end up with a BP nomination. Snub for Ava DuVernay is not overly surprising, but still a little sad. I like seeing women nominated here. 

Steve Carell (Foxcatcher)
Bradley Cooper (American Sniper)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
Michael Keaton (Birdman)
Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

The big thing here for me is Steve Carell! I'm just so darned happy he got included here. I can't speak for the "snubs" of David Oyelowo and Jake Gyllenhaal since I've seen neither Selma nor Nightcrawler but I know a lot of people are not happy. Also, Bradley Cooper's inclusion is only somewhat surprising, to me. I figured it wouldn't get just sound nominations and Picture. Again, I haven't seen American Sniper so I have no idea if this is a worthy inclusion, but I will be seeing it soon.  

Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)
Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
Reese Witherspoon (Wild)

I'm really kicking myself for originally having Marion Cotillard here but then changing it. But I was right, I just really couldn't see Jennifer Aniston getting nominated here. Otherwise, no big surprises here. 

Robert Duvall (The Judge)
Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
Edward Norton (Birdman)
Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Literally no surprises here. Just still happy to see Ethan Hawke nominated. He was the one who really stuck with me. 

Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
Laura Dern (Wild)
Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
Emma Stone (Birdman)
Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)

Only surprise here is Laura Dern getting in over Jessica Chastain. 

Jason Dean Hall (American Sniper)
Graham Moore (The Imitation Game)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Inherent Vice)
Anthony McCarten (The Theory of Everything)
Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)

I really should've put American Sniper here. I'm not overly surprised to see it included since it got in for Picture. The surprise, for me, here is Inherent Vice. 

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo (Birdman)
Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman (Foxcatcher)
Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Dan Gilroy (Nightcrawler)

I had Selma in here, which was a mistake. I also, for whatever reason, didn't see both Foxcatcher and Nightcrawler getting here, but they did. 

Big Hero 6
The BoxTrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Of all the snubs, the biggest one comes from here. Where is the Lego Movie????? I seriously do not understand. AT ALL. 

Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

I haven't seen any of these. I just know I had originally put Virunga on here but swapped it off in the end. 

Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach (American Sniper)
Sandra Adair (Boyhood)
Barney Pilling (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
William Goldenberg (The Imitation Game)
Tom Cross (Whiplash)

Again, another place I should've seen American Sniper coming. I also swapped off Whiplash at the last moment for Gone Girl. Mistake, it seems. 

Emmanuel Lubezki (Birdman)
Robert D. Yeoman (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Ryszard Lenczewski and Lukasz Zal (Ida)
Dick Pope (Mr. Turner)
Roger Deakins (Unbroken)

I only missed out on Ida here, originally having Interstellar here over it. 

Alexandre Desplat (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Alexandre Desplat (The Imitation Game)
Hans Zimmer (Interstellar)
Johann Johannsson (The Theory of Everything)
Gary Yershon (Mr. Turner)

Happy to see double nominations for Desplat. Can he please win for The Grand Budapest Hotel? I love love love that score. Disappointed at lack of Gone Girl here. Another fab score this year. 

"Lost Stars" from Begin Again
"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" from Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me
"Everything is Awesome" from The Lego Movie
"Glory" from Selma
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights

The fact that Lego Movie got in here and then didn't in Animated Feature is what really had me going whaaaaa? Disappointed Boyhood didn't make it in here, but overall I don't care about this field. 

American Sniper


American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Captain America: The winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

I'm kind of surprised at the amount of Superhero movies in here. However, this feels like a fairly solid line up. 

Milena Canonero (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Mark Bridges (Inherent Vice)
Colleen Atwood (Into the Woods)
Anna B. Sheppard (Maleficent)
Jacqueline Durran (Mr. Turner)


The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner


The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy


Wild Tales


Crisis Veterans Hotline: Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Boogaloo and Graham
Butterfly Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)

The Phone Call

So overall, out of the 106 predictions to get right (8 Picture nominees) I got 75 of them right (with a -1 for predicting 1 too many BP nominees). In comparison to last year, I predicted 97 nominations and got 76 of those correct. So I did better last year, but doing less good is always kind of interesting though. It means not everything was too predictable, which is always fun. Overall, the fact that The Grand Budapest Hotel tied for top nominations makes me really happy. As well, the inclusion of Steve Carell as Best Actor also makes me happy. Everything else is interesting and I have a few nominees to see (where the heck am I going to see Whiplash before the Oscars??) I'm hoping the winners are as predictable as they seem to be currently, I'm really hoping for some game changes in the next few weeks. As much as I love Boyhood, how fun would it be if The Grand Budapest Hotel won? We'll see in roughly a month!

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Final Oscar Predictions!

      The time has come! There are my final Oscar Predictions. I'm nervous because it feels like such a crapshoot and I have no idea what'll happen. Nomination day always brings crazy snubs and curve balls. Chances are things will be way off, but here's what I have to offer anyway. I have second guessed all of these like crazy. The amount of times that I've opened and closed and editing this list is kind of ridiculous, so I'm posting it now so that I stop. Good luck to everyone making predictions. It's definitely a tricky one this year!

      -The Grand Budapest Hotel
      -The Imitation Game
      -The Theory Of Everything
      -Gone Girl
      -American Sniper

      This list is in order of likelihood. And the top 5 films are pretty much locked in and I'd be surprised if they didn't get it. After Theory of Everything, things get a little murky. Just a few weeks ago Selma seemed all but locked in. But it's been snubbed left, right and center, due to late screenings. And I have a small feeling it could just get completely shut out, but a larger part can't see it happening. Gone Girl I just really want to happen, and, with a Best Adapted Screenplay nod locked in, would they really leave it out of here? I don't think so. I originally had American Sniper in here, but I don't really have it up for anything else besides Sound Editing/Mixing. Then I also have Foxcatcher with it's only other predicted nomination being Supporting Actor. A bigger nomination, but honestly not much better. I'm back and forth on who to pick, but will go with American Sniper. That DGA nomination (along with the PGA) makes me think this could be the one getting in, barely.

      -Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
      -Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman)
      -Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
      -Damien Chazelle (Whiplash)
      -Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game)

      I really want to see Fincher here. So badly! But with Selma fading and with the DGA nod for Tyldum and Whiplash getting the right kind of hype, I filled my last two slots with Chazelle and Tyldum. Again, only really sure of the top 3. But Tyldum got the DGA nomination, and I'm just simply taking a risk with Chazelle. I'd also like to see Ava DuVernay here, mainly because it means another woman gets nominated, which is always great to see. But Selma has really been missing with the precursors, so I think it may miss out here. But don't be surprised if she does make it in in the end.  

      -Michael Keaton (Birdman)
      -Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)
      -Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
      -David Oyelowo (Selma)
      -Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)

      It was killer leaving Steve Carell off here. I just really want to see Steve Carell up for an Oscar, darnit! But this could be completely up in the air. Oyelowo hasn't gotten as much love from the Guilds (no SAG nomination), but I think he'll end up getting in over Carell. Bummer (not that I've seen either film...). Gyllenhaal is getting the right kind of love, and I think the Academy might just go for it.

      -Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
      -Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything)
      -Reese Witherspoon (Wild)
      -Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)
      -Jennifer Aniston (Cake)

      I don't really see Jennifer Aniston getting in here, but just don't really know who to fill the slot with...

      -Ethan Hawke (Boyhood)
      -Edward Norton (Birdman)
      -JK Simmons (Whiplash)
      -Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher)
      -Robert Duvall (The Judge)

      I'd love to see Steve Carell pop up here like he did with the BAFTAs. Sadly, I don't think it'll happen. I'd love to see me proved wrong!

      -Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)
      -Emma Stone (Birdman)
      -Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
      -Meryl Streep (Into the Woods)
      -Jessica Chastain (A Most Violent Year)

      Again, I'm unsure about Jessica Chastain. I love her, so her getting nominations is great. But it could be Rene Russo, Tilda Swinton or Laura Dern in here.

      -The Imitation Game
      -The Grand Budapest Hotel
      -Gone Girl

      -The Grand Budapest Hotel 

      -The Imitation Game 
      -Gone Girl
      -The Theory of Everything

      -Wild Tales
      -Force Majeure

      -Mr Turner
      -The Grand Budapest Hotel

      -The Grand Budapest Hotel
      -Into the Woods
      -The Imitation Game 

      -American Sniper
      -Into the Woods

      -American Sniper
      -Guardians of the Galaxy

      -The Grand Budapest Hotel
      -Into the Woods
      -The Imitation Game
      -The Theory of Everything

      -The Imitation Game, Alexandre Desplat
      -The Theory of Everything, Johann Johannsson 
      -Gone Girl, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
      -The Grand Budapest Hotel, Alexandre Desplat
      -Interstellar, Hans Zimmer

      Can Desplat please take up 4 of the 5 slots? Actually, everything listed here is so fantastic. It was a great year for Original Score, unlike last year which was sadly lacking.

      -Life Itself 
      -Keep On Keepin' On
      -Last Days in Vietnam
      -The Case Against 8

      -The LEGO Movie
      -How to Train Your Dragon 2
      -Big Hero 6
      -The Boxtrolls
      -The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

      -Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
      -Guardians of the Galaxy
      -The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies

      -The Grand Budapest Hotel 
      -The Theory of Everything 
      -Guardians of the Galaxy

      -Selma- "Glory"
      -Begin Again- "Lost Stars"
      -The Lego Movie- "Everything is Awesome" 
      -Big Eyes- "Big Eyes"
      -Boyhood- "Split the Difference" 

      Friday, 9 January 2015

      True Detective + Golden Globe Predictions

      Yeah, it's been a few weeks since I've done one of these. Between all the holidays, I just didn't really have time. Plus I've been down with a cold for about a week now.

      But one thing I did do over those holidays is finally got around to watching True Detective. Oh man, what a show! It started off a little slowly, but I got majorly sucked in. McConaughey and Harrelson were the perfect match-up, in like every way. They're so different from each other but I feel like they worked so well together. Both gave such incredible performances and the story was so complex and layered. Which is always my favourite! However, did anyone else think Marty Hart looked like an
      older Peeta from the Hunger Games? Anyone? Still, the show was amazing and I'm pretty bummed that McConaughey lost out to Bryan Cranston at the Emmys.

      Anyway, Award season is full steam ahead. I try to watch all the potential (and actual) Best Picture nominees every year, so trying to figure out what those are and trying to see them while still in theatres has proved extremely difficult this year. Of all the potentials, I've only see The Theory of Everything, the Imitation Game, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Gone Girl. Movies like Whiplash and Nightcrawler were films that weren't on my radar when released in theatres and Foxcatcher still hasn't made it's way anywhere close enough for me to venture to see. I feel like this year has so many more limited releases (and smaller releases) than the past few years. Last year it wasn't too hard to find everything in theatres.

      Anyway, since the Globes are this Sunday, I thought I'd do a quick little Will Win/Should Win for the Film section (because I haven't seen pretty much anything in the TV category besides True Detective). I feel like these predictions are going to be a complete crapshoot. Between the category splits and the HFPA always picky a few wacky winners and really enjoying their celebrities, I just never really know.

      Best Picture (Drama)
      Will Win: Boyhood
      Should Win: Boyhood

      I almost, almost, almost went with The Imitation Game on this one. Boyhood feels a little too indie for the Golden Globes, but it's just too strong not to win. And I fully support a win here.

      Best Picture (Comedy/Musical)
      Will Win: Birdman
      Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

      I just really love Wes Anderson. GBH is not my favourite movie from him but any wins for Wes Anderson makes me happy. However, Birdman is definitely going to be taking this one.

      Best Actor (Drama)
      Will Win: Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game)
      Should Win: Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything)

      Having seen both films, I do honestly think Redmayne's performance was superior, but I see Cumberbatch winning here. Having almost put Imitation Game as Best Picture (Drama) I do see it winning here. Though I honestly wouldn't be shocked if any of these nominees win. Seriously, any of them could win and I wouldn't really blink.

      Best Actress (Drama)
      Will Win: Julianne Moore (Still Alice)
      Should Win: Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl)

      Again, I feel like pretty much anyone could win this, especially someone like Jennifer Aniston or Reese Witherspoon. If Julianne Moore is going to lose any major award this year, it'll be here. However, I still think she will win. But wouldn't it be awesome if Rosamund won? Pleaaaaase.

      Best Actor (Comedy/Musical)
      Will Win: Michael Keaton (Birdman)
      Should Win: Ralph Fiennes or Michael Keaton

      Honestly, I don't think there's any stopping Michael Keaton, but I know we've all thought that in other years about other actors. Michael Keaton was indeed wonderful in Birdman, but I just loved Fiennes in GBH and he looked like he had so much fun. I'd love to see this upset.

      Best Actress (Comedy/Musical)
      Will Win: Emily Blunt (Into the Woods)
      Should Win: I have literally not seen any of the movies up, so I'm going to go with Blunt because I love her.

      I feel like Julianne Moore, Amy Adams and Emily Blunt all have shots at winning. But I think Blunt should take it here.

      Supporting Actor
      Will Win: JK Simmons (Whiplash)
      Should Win: Edward Norton or Ethan Hawke

      As always, I am suspicious of the HFPA and wonder if this will go to a bigger celebrity (like Norton) but I do see Simmons taking this.

      Supporting Actress
      Will Win: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood)
      Should Win: Patricia Arquette or Emma Stone

      I'm unsure of my pick for Arquette here. I feel like Emma Stone, Keira Knightley or Meryl Streep could all take this but I'm going to go with Arquette.

      Will Win: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)
      Should Win: Richard Linklater (Boyhood)

      I feel like Linklater is going to have no problem bagging all the director prizes this year, similar to Cuaron last year.

      Animated Film
      Will Win: the Lego Movie
      Should Win: the Lego Movie

      Seriously, this movie is winning. And it so deserves to!

      Will Win: Birdman
      Should Win: Any of the nominees!

      Honestly, anyone could win this and I think I'd be happy. The more love for Boyhood/GBH/Gone Girl the better, I say. Originally, I had picked Boyhood, but I think Birdman might just win out here. This is my wild card pick!

      Foreign Language
      Will Win: Ida
      Should Win: ????

      I need to start trying to watch the Foreign language films. Because I never do.

      Original Score
      Will Win: Antonio Sanchez (Birdman)
      Should Win: Any!

      Honestly, every single nominee in this category is fantastic and I'd be happy if any of them win. But I see Sanchez snagging it here. He's ineligible for the Oscar, so I see him winning here.

      Original Song: 
      Will Win: Glory (Selma)
      Should Win: Everything is Awesome! (the Lego Movie)

      Wait, Everything is Awesome isn't a nominee? What??? Anyway, this category is always stupid to me and I haven't listened to any of the songs so I don't really care. Selma seems like the best bet?

      Anyway, there's my predictions. All safe picks for the most part. But honestly, they could go really safe, or they might not. I don't have any idea. I'm really unsure about my pick in Cumberbatch winning. I know GoldDerby predicts Redmayne (which I'd be super happy to see) but I'm going to stick with Cumberbatch. I guess that's my risky pick (is it really, though?)

      Anyway, sadly I won't get to watch the whole show (I get up super early for work so I'll have to go to bed before the show is over), but I'm super looking forward to it. I just wish the TV nominations weren't so weird (seriously, why the absence of Brooklyn Nine-Nine when it freaking won last year?) It'll be fun, whatever wins! And goodness knows there will be a few weird wins!