Category Archives: Awards

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2017 Golden Globe Predictions

golden-globes-2017-nominations-full-list-of-nominees-here-500x282The start of award season truly kicks off tonight with the biggest party in Hollywood at The Golden Globes. With Jimmy Fallon hosting in front of a room full of some of his closest friends, he has a lot to live up to since the past hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as well as Ricky Gervais were some of the best in awards show history. So here is my list of predictions.
Best Motion Picture Drama

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell Or High Water

Lion

Manchester By The Sea

Moonlight
Best Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy

20th Century Women

Deadpool

Florence Foster Jenkins

La La Land

Sing Street
Best Actor Motion Picture Drama

Casey Affleck – Manchester By The Sea

Joel Edgerton – Loving

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge

Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington – Fences
Best Actress Motion Picture Drama

Amy Adams – Arrival

Jessica Chastain – Miss Sloane

Ruth Negga – Loving

Natalie Portman – Jackie

Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Best Actor Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Colin Farrell – The Lobster

Ryan Gosling – La La Land

Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins

Jonah Hill – War Dogs

Ryan Reynolds – Deadpool
Best Actress Motion Picture Musical or Comedy

Annette Bening – 20th Century Women

Lily Collins – Rules Don’t Apply

Hailee Steinfeld – The Edge Of Seventeen

Emma Stone – La La Land

Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
Best Supporting Actor Motion Picture

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight

Jeff Bridges – Hell Or High Water

Simon Helberg – Florence Foster Jenkins

Dev Patel – Lion

Aaron Taylor-Johnson – Nocturnal Animals
Best Supporting Actress Motion Picture

Viola Davis – Fences

Naomi Harris – Moonlight

Nicole Kidman – Lion

Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams – Manchester By The Sea
Best Director Motion Picture

Damien Chazelle – La La Land

Tom Ford – Nocturnal Animals

Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By The Sea
Best Screenplay Motion Picture

Hell Or High Water

La La Land

Manchester By The Sea

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals
Best Motion Picture Animated

Kubo And The Two Strings

Moana

My Life As A Zucchini

Sing

Zootopia

Nicolas Cage Top 5 BEST Performances

imageLast week I went into a little detail about how Nicolas Cage wasn’t always making the worst movies out right now. At that time, I created a list of what I felt were the five best directors he had worked with, especially during his prime years. I have now decided to create a list of his five best performances in his career. This list is judged strictly on HIS performance. It may not create many surprises, but nonetheless, I feel I should clarify exactly what I am basing this list on.

5. The Family Man   Jack Campbellimage Continue reading Nicolas Cage Top 5 BEST Performances

The 88th Annual Academy Award Predictions

imageThe biggest night of the year for Hollywood is upon us. Everyone from casual fans to big time movie buffs, have opinions on the Oscars, whether it is predictions or having disdain for the awards themselves. As much as I love the Oscars, I also understand those who despise the entire essence of the show.

This has turned out to be one of my favorite years for all the nominated films in all of the categories, despite the controversy surrounding, there are many, many wonderful films deserving of awards. Here are my predictions for tonight’s big show.

 

88th Academy Awards Ceremony
February 28, 2016
Host: Chris Rock

 

Best Cinematographyimage

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Mad: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario

 

 

Best Animated Feature Filmimage

Anomalisa

O Menino e o Mundo

Inside Out

Shaun The Sheep Movie

Omoide no Mânî

 

 

 

Best Adapted Screenplayimage

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room

 

 

 

Best Original Screenplayimage

Bridge Of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

 

Best Director  Full Commentary Here image

Adam McKay (The Big Short)

George Miller (Mad Max:Fury Road)

Alejandro González Iñárritu (The Revenant)

Lenny Abrahamson (Room)

Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

 

 

Best Supporting Actress  Full Commentary Here image

Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight)

Rooney Mara (Carol)

Rachel McAdams (Spotlight)

Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

 

Best Supporting Actor  Full Commentary Here image

Christian Bale (The Big Short)

Tom Hardy (The Revenant)

Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight)

Mark Rylance (Bridge Of Spies)

Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

 

Best Leading Actress  Full Commentary Here image

Cate Blanchett (Carol)

Brie Larson (Room)

Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)

Charlotte Rampling (45 Years)

Saorise Ronan (Brooklyn)

 

Best Leading Actor  Full Commentary Here image

Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)

Matt Damon (The Martian)

Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs)

Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

 

Best Picture  Full Commentary Here image

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Bridge Of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

The Best Picture Race Will Come Right Down To The Wire

image

After taking a look at all the other major categories, we arrive at the biggest award of the night. The award for best picture has always been the category everyone wants to know the winner too, even people who barely care are curious what won the next day. The Academy has even recognized that the category is so big and has the most possible winners, that they allow for up to ten nominees, twice the max for all other categories. This year they have determined that there are eight possible winners for this most coveted of awards.

The Big Shortimage

This is one of the top three in the close running to take home the prize, but, it is in third place at this point. I labeled the movie as the scariest movie of the year, because of its blunt and honest portrayal of the country and those holding all its wealth and their terrifying means to which they will go to keep their wealth and to make more. The movie is wonderfully acted from top to bottom. In my opinion the biggest award The Big Short will take home on Oscar night will be best adapted screenplay, but Oscar does have a history of pulling off shockers and if that’s the case, don’t count this one out. Read my full review here.
Brooklynimage

The story of a 1950’s Irish immigrant who falls in love and is faced with the struggle to be back home in Ireland and make a full life in America, has gained momentum in recent weeks, especially for its lead actress, Saorise Ronan. She is without a doubt an up and coming force that many people are only hearing about just now, despite this being her second Academy Award nomination. I don’t expect this to take many, if any, awards, but, it is not going away at all. Let’s just hope John Travolta doesn’t have to pronounce her name at any point during the night.
Bridge Of Spiesimage

The successful team of Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg has once again brought forth a best picture nomination. The true story of the inner workings of the Cold War and a hostage exchange and the unlikely attorney who managed to bring it all together. A very fine film and quite an interesting story that isn’t that well known, but this is likely the least likely film to win best picture. Nevertheless, it is not UNworthy of its nomination, but, one could also make the argument that there may have been a couple others that could have slid into this slot.
Mad Max: Fury Roadimage

Mad Max has been one of the biggest surprises this award season for most people and that didn’t stop when it has earned the second most nominations this year. The return George Miller made to the Mad Max franchise has really taken things by storm and if there ever was a dark horse in this category, Mad Max is it. It is highly unlikely, but for someone to not think there is an outside chance, just wouldn’t be very smart. Read my full review here.
The Martianimage

Ridley Scott and Matt Damon tell the story of an abandoned astronaut on the red planet of Mars and the elaborate rescue that takes place, has been one of the most liked movies of the year. The Martian would have been the highest grossing movie of the year if it were not for Star Wars smashing records left and right. The Golden Globe winning film was a slight favorite following its Globe victory, but its momentum has cooled off since. It’s not a likely winner, but no doubt a hit with audiences. Read my full review here.
The Revenantimage

When you get right down to it, this category comes down to two films essentially and The Revenant is without question one of them. The story of frontiersmen Hugh Glass and his impossible struggle to remain alive in the wilderness despite facing insurmountable odds. This film has been trading shots all season with Spotlight and it appears it will be coming down to the final award show and the final award of the show to see who comes out on top.
Roomimage

Room can easily be described as, the little film that could. With its small budget, young director, very young supporting actor and young, though not by any means, inexperienced, leading lady. The story of a captive woman who has never left her small room since capture and even had her son in captivity. Her struggle to re-adapt to the everyday outside world is no doubt, gut wrenching and moving and will most likely bring its lead actress, Brie Larson a best actress statue. It won’t win best picture BUT, everyone who is involved will have their careers advanced more than could ever imagine.
Spotlightimage

I have in no way tried to hide the fact that Spotlight is my favorite movie of the year. It has all the elements I love, a perfect cast, flawless acting, an intriguing story and the fact that it leaves you thinking and filled with every emotion. The story of how a group of Boston Globe reporters uncovered a decades long cover up by the Catholic Church and the enormous amounts of pedophile priests, is possibly the most important film of the year. After the 15 rounds it has gone with The Revenant, I believe Spotlight will be the last film standing. Read my full review here.

This Could Be The Year For The First Back To Back Director Win

The one category at this years Academy Awards that I really find the most interesting is for best director. The reasons I’m so intrigued are because four of the nominees have never been nominated before for directing, the fifth director could be the first director to win best director two years in a row and finally it’s the names that weren’t nominated. The category is so filled with great work this year that even critically acclaimed and best picture nominee films by legendary directors Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg and they are not up for the award. The other director that could have easily been nominated was newcomer Ryan Coogler for the astonishing new installment in the historic Rocky franchise, Creed. Unfortunately, only five can be nominated and those are the three that didn’t make the cut. Here are the ones who did make it.
imageAdam McKay   The Big Short

McKay has been primarily known for his great collaboration with the always hysterical, Will Ferrell. Taking a step away from the extreme comedy, he has become accustomed to, is one of the biggest transformations for a director since Jonathan Demme went from semi trashy comedies to the terrifying and brilliant, Silence Of The Lambs. McKay most likely won’t complete the transition the way Demme did, with a win, but he has definitely expanded his range and has shown he can hang with the best of them.

imageGeorge Miller   Mad Max: Fury Road

George Miller is a legend and you probably don’t even know it. He created an entire genre with the post apocalyptic style when he created the first Mad Max movie over 35 years ago. He has returned to his roots and made it better than ever. The thing you might not know about Miller is his softer side. He has made some great family films as well, including the huge hit Happy Feet and its sequel. This is his first nomination for directing, but he is no stranger to the Oscar experience. He’s been nominated for writing and even picture of the year. He’s the dark horse in this category, but not completely out of it.

imageAlejandro Gonzalez Inarritu   The Revenant

Inarritu is the front runner as of right now and is poised to become the first director to win the award in back to back. It’s an extremely hard feat due to the fact that great directors rarely put out work at that high quality so quickly back to back. The Revenant is once again a perfect storm just like Birdman was last year. Career performances by the whole cast just prove Inarritu’s talent and ability. If I was asked immediately after the Golden Globes I would have almost guaranteed his win, but as more awards have been handed out the tide is slowly turning. He is still the favorite, but only slightly.

imageLenny Abrahamson   Room

The newcomer to the group has really caught everyone’s attention with the heart wrenching and difficult story, Room. Tasked with shooting half his movie in a small, cramped room and making you feel the little comfort Brie Larson’s character has tried to create for her son, yet maintaining the horrifying feeling that needs to be felt. He also did a wonderful job showing their life on the outside while they have the challenge of adapting and trying to feel free and no longer contained. He is the longest shot to win, but look for him to do well at the independent spirit awards.

imageTom McCarthy Spotlight

Character actor turned director finds himself at the helm of one of the most powerful and important movies of the last few years. Most recognizable as Dr. Bob from the Meet The Parents films, he has directed five feature films and had much critical acclaim with four of them and now has an Oscar nomination to show for his good if yet brief work. He is the closest threat to Inarritu’s chance at two in a row. As award season has gone on, Spotlight Hamas gained more and more momentum and could very well be the winner of quite a few major awards including this one.

2016 Appears To Be (Finally) For DiCaprio To Get What He Deserves

The category of best actor this year has with it, a question that has been asked in years past. Is this the year Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins the Oscar? In the past, when he has been nominated, he has seemed to come up against an actor who has given the performance of their career and everyone just assumes DiCaprio will be back again, and he has been. The field in this category is very, very strong and loaded with veteran talent.
imageBryan Cranston   Trumbo

Bryan Cranston is still in the midst of the highlight of his career, even after the end of his greatest role and arguably one of the best television shows of all time, in Breaking Bad. He has been steadily working and making his way to leading man, on the big screen. In Trumbo he plays famed blacklisted screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo. Trumbo and nine others made up the famous, Hollywood ten who went to jail amidst accusations that they were communists. His portrayal of the famed writer is a wonderful representation of the eccentrics that made him such a unique person. It is a performance worthy of the award, but this is a year where the nomination is going to be its reward.

imageMatt Damon   The Martian

This marks Damon’s third nomination for his acting and first in over 5 years. The role of astronaut Mark Watney also earned Damon his first Golden Globe for acting as well. Damon has been one of Hollywoods most consistent actors, rarely making a bad film which is why it feels odd that he doesn’t have more nominations. Teaming up with Ridley Scott Damon had the challenge of having to carry every one of his scenes by himself. Just like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, he is what makes you not able to stop watching. He mixes humor and very technical dialogue so smoothly you feel he actually is an astronaut. It’s once again a very worthy nomination and is one of two who poses a threat to the front runner.

imageLeonardo DiCaprio   The Revenant

While Leo is playing a real life character, it might as well be a fictitious one since there is no point of reference as to anything about Hugh Glass’ personality and demeanor. All that is really known are a few facts and the record of the incomprehensible journey he took, that is what The Revenant is an account of. After being mauled by a grizzly bear and left for dead, Glass manages to get just well enough to track through the wilderness in an attempt to find the convoy he was a part of and confront those who left him behind. The depths which Leo went through to bring complete authenticity to the role will make one cringe. In short? Leo’s drought on Oscar night is without a doubt… over.

imageMichael Fassbender   Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender has really been making a strong name for himself for the last five years when he appeared in Steve McQueen’s very controversial film, Shame. His first nomination came two years ago for playing a slave owner in McQueen’s Oscar winning, 12 Years A Slave. This year he took on playing Apple founder, Steve Jobs, and excellently showed the darker side to the famous idea man. What made his performance so good, is that he in no way attempted to do any kind of imitation of Jobs. He delivers the infamous amount of dialogue that goes along with an Aaron Sorkin script, so perfectly, it’s no wonder he is the other actor that has a shot, albeit a long one, at stealing Leo’s thunder. Read my full review of the movie here

imageEddie Redmayne   The Danish Girl

Last year’s winner in this category for playing famed genius, Stephen Hawking was in early discussions to possibly be the first back to back winner since Tom Hanks did it just over twenty years ago. He plays a transgender man during a time when not only did people not talk about that sort of thing, many did not even know what that word meant. Lukewarm reviews of the film and the fact that DiCaprio has come on very strong, has made the possibility of back to back wins a long shot by a lot.

The Best Actress Category Has A Clear Front Runner

The category of best actress is quite an eclectic mix of veterans, perennials and new comers. Their films for which they are nominated are as eclectic as the group of actresses themselves. While this category does seem to have a clear front runner, it is worth noting that there very well could be a surprise here. Two of the actresses are not at all strangers to being nominated, while the others are experiencing all of this for the first time.
imageCate Blanchett   Carol

Cate is a two time Oscar winner and this is her seventh nomination and sixth in the last eleven years. This puts her in very elite company, with the likes of Meryl Streep and Kate Winslet and even Jennifer Lawrence, who is also nominated in this category once again. This year she plays the role of Carol Aird who is a 1950’s woman of means who is stuck in a marriage she doesn’t want. She eventually meets Therese (fellow nominee Rooney Mara) a younger woman who is quiet and shy, but has aspirations to be much more. The two find a connection and have a torrid love affair. Blanchett is probably the biggest threat to the favorite when it comes to winning.

imageBrie Larson   Room

While considered a newcomer, Brie Larson has been around much longer and is much more experienced than most realize. Room is without a doubt her breakout role and has made everyone stand up and take notice. In Room she plays a mother to a five year old boy named Jack. She gave birth to Jack while she has been held captive in a small room. She was abducted two years before Jack was born and has been there ever since. After they manage to escape, she struggles to adapt to life back on the outside and helping her son accept a world he has never seen. The emotion and depth to which Larson gives her character are so strong and palpable, you can’t help but feel them. It is those aspects that have Larson as the clear front runner to walk away an Oscar winner after her first nomination.

imageJennifer Lawrence   Joy

This is Jennifer Lawrence’s fourth nomination in the last five years. She has been one of the most successful and hardest working actresses all while becoming America’s sweetheart. Lawrence has one Oscar under her belt for the brilliant film, Silver Linings Playbook. That was her first film with David O. Russell and she has managed a nomination for every movie she has made with him. This may be the most successful actor/director pairing since De Niro/Scorsese. Her portrayal of Joy Mangano, the inventor of the miracle mop, who created an empire all while juggling her family and financial disarray. Lawrence is not likely to win, despite winning the Golden Globe once again. This is one of the weaker nominations despite her being a wonderful actress. Check out my full review here

imageCharlotte Rampling   45 Years

Charlotte Rampling has been a wonderful actress for 50 years and surprisingly, this is her first Academy Award nomination. She is an actress who has undoubtedly challenged herself her entire career, which has led to the fact that she has made films that aren’t usually mainstream types. In 45 Years she plays a wife who is about to celebrate an anniversary when life changing events are about to take place. If Rampling were to pull out the upset, the auditorium would without a doubt erupt into a standing ovation (as it will hopefully do for fellow veteran, Sylvester Stallone).

imageSaoirse Ronan   Brooklyn

Most people will recognize Ronan from her role in Atonement, where she played the young Briony, who changed lives by accusing her sister of a false crime for jealous spite. Well, she has grown up and has forced everyone to learn how to pronounce her first name (hint it rhymes with inertia). This is her second nomination, the first being for Atonement, and she is clearly poised to become a major star. In Brooklyn, she plays an Irish immigrant who has a secret past and can only avoid it for so long. Not likely to win, but having two time Oscar nominee before her name will have to offers pouring in.