Tag Archives: awards

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

Golden Globe Predictions 

It’s a little late and very last minute but here are my 2015 Golden Globe predictions 

Picture Drama

    Spotlight 
Picture Comedy

   The Big Short
Actor Drama 

    Leonardo Di Caprio
Actress Drama 

    Cate Blanchett
Actor Comedy

     Steve Carrel
Actress Comedy

    Jennifer Lawrence 
Actor Dupporting

   Sylvester Stallone 
Actress Supporting 

    Jennifer Jason Leigh
Director 

    Tom McCarthy
Screenplay 

    Spotlight 

*Re-Post* Some Roles Deserve More Recognition Than They Got: Dennis Quaid

wyattearpdoneIf there is one tragedy to award seasons (and I understand there are multitudes of tragedies) it’s that sometimes truly wonderful performances, award worthy performances, get over looked and fall through the cracks, the failure to garner any nominations let alone even one statue. It may take time to come up with a list but there is one performance that pushes to the forefront of my mind when this topic is brought up, and that is Dennis Quaid in the often panned Wyatt Earp.

The film itself has been criticized from it’s release on even by some of it’s stars, I think of Michael Madsen in particular. It is long and can be dry at times and isn’t Kevin Costner’s strongest performance but none the less it has several high points. Two that come immediately to mind are the performances of Gene Hackman and Dennis Quaid. Part of the criticisms of Wyatt Earp is it’s release timing. It was released 6 months after the very popular and highly praised film, based on roughly the same subject, Tombstone. Tombstone also turned in a magnificent performance from Val Kilmer, who played the same role as Dennis Quaid, the infamous, Doc Holliday.

I could write all day about the differences between the Wyatt Earp and Tombstone films but the focus here is on Dennis Quaid’s portrayal of Doc Holliday, one of the most notorious gunfighter’s in the old west.

Doc was well know for a few things. First was his name, John Holliday was given the name Doc, because he was, in actuality a dentist before a famed gunfighter. After Doc contracted tuberculosis he turned to the outlaw life as a way to thumb his nose at his illness and God whom he blamed for his illness. Being the most famous old west figure to hail from great state of Georgia, there is a special place in Dixie’s heart for Doc. There are museums and monuments342034.1 to Doc in his hometown of Griffin, Georgia.

The factors that lead me to feel the way I do about Quaid’s role in the film are several but I will only examine a few. My goal is not to compare it  to the favored Val Kilmer performance because I feel that would be unfair to Quaid.

First is the effort that Quaid put into this role. A normally thick well built man, Quaid lost over 30 pounds to play the dying and sickened gunfighter. With a gaunt look and spot on Georgian accent (I would know I heard it growing up), Quaid almost doesn’t eve look like himself, rather his is a shell of a man, almost as if he had tuberculosis. Quaid became someone different and looked and sounded more different than ever, he had become Doc.

My next thought lies within his performance and compared to historical recored, Quaid captured the ornery disposition that Holliday possessed. With a strong opinion and easy ability to offend, Doc truly on made one friend late in his short life and that was Wyatt Earp. The scenes in the film between Wyatt and Doc are what makes the film worth the entire experience. Costner and Quaid played against and with each other so naturally you are overcome with the wyatt-earp-483196thought that it truly was Doc and Wyatt. This has very little to do with Costner’s acting and everything to do with his trust and faith in Quaid to carry each scene.

Quaid will never get an award for his role of Doc Holliday despite whether or not he deserved one but from this fan’s viewpoint, it wouldn’t have hurt or been out of line to  give recognition where recognition was due.

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The James Bond Franchise Comes Full Circle 

IMG_4040For the last nine years, Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson have been on a mission to restore the James Bond franchise to the heights it knew When Barbara’s father and Wilson’s stepfather, Albert R. ‘Cubby” Broccoli, was the man in charge of bringing James Bond off the pages and onto the big screen. After some disappointing numbers and subpar films with Pierce Brosnan they decided to make a change. The new Bond would be entrusted with the responsibility of breathing life back into the world’s most famous spy. In step Daniel Craig, a blonde haired, blue eyed actor not enormously famous and not what every other Bond had looked like or been described like in the books. Needless to say the fan base was not happy. Jump to present day and it’s not out of reach by any means to give Daniel Craig the title of the best Bond ever. Rebooting the franchise with Casino Royale, the first of the books, fans would quickly be sold on their new Bond and the new look of the films. Casino Royale would be followed up by another franchise first, a direct sequel with Quantum Of Solace. Again fans were up in arms just with the title. Though not as strong as Royale, Quantum did successfully finish what Royale started.

Then came the crown jewel for Craig, Skyfall. Its massive success and incredible reviews, it was no question that Broccoli and Wilson were accomplishing their goal. Bond had a new look not only physically, but esthetically on film. With Oscar winners like Paul Haggis and Sam Mendes lending their talents to the franchise, there was no question Bond was back and better than ever.

On December 4th, 2014 when the title of the newest Bond film and its cast would be announced, it was the first time there didn’t seem to be any backlash from the faithful Bond enthusiasts. SPECTRE let everyone know that everything they loved about Bond was on its way back and in a big way. With two time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz as the villain and Sam Mendes returning to direct the anticipation was at a fever pitch.

Eleven months later the time has arrived. Would it deliver? Would it bomb? Or would it be exactly what it should be? The trouble is that Bond fans are almost always split one way or another when it comes to the films on first release. In the end, though, they love them all in their own way. This will be true even with SPECTRE.

SPECTRE is the culmination of the vision Barbara and Michael set out to deliver. Where it appeared that Quantum was the end of Casino Royale and Skyfall was a new stand alone Bond like all the others, SPECTRE would prove otherwise. The re-boot truly is complete now.

In the new film Bond is on a private mission that is unsanctioned by MI6 and it couldn’t come at a worse time as the 00 division is under fire and being accused of being outdated and unnecessary. While making headlines in all the wrong places, Bond is grounded by M, played excellently by Ralph Finnes, and forbidden from leaving London. However Bond is ultimately fulfilling one last mission for M’s predecessor. With the help of Q and Moneypenny, he ventures out all over Europe to fulfill his mission without any idea what he will find. What Bond slowly uncovers is an organization unlike any he has seen before and a look into his past he never expected to find.

The return of the criminal organization SPECTRE makes true Bond enthusiasts more excited than can be described. As the filmIMG_4037 goes on, the things fans were wondering and predicting begin to unfold. I don’t consider this a spoiler because no Bond film has ever had many surprises because that’s not their goal.

I made a point to not read any critics reviews until after I experienced the film for myself. I was and yet I wasn’t surprised to see it get panned by most of the “major” or “expert” critics. They seemed to pick it apart bit by bit. Skyfall was repeatedly mentioned and one critic even mentioned Orson Welles. This is simply unfair to the film. To pick apart a Bond movie and analyze it so deeply like a piece of art is unrealistic. Bond films are not pieces of art, not to say they aren’t great, but they also aren’t Citizen Kane.

When reviewing a Bond film you need to look at the details as well as the ridiculous. SPECTRE really does deliver on all fronts. From the opening sequence, which has always been a staple of the franchise, is eye popping with every bit of action one could hope for. It will ultimately be as memorable as Goldeneye’s bungee dive off the damn and subsequent airplane dive.

The one truly great thing about SPECTRE are the very subtle and very slight recreations of moments from almost every Bond film ever. For example, a train ride is abruptly interrupted by a hand to hand combat battle with the muscle end of the villainous side. This is very much an homage to the classic battle between Sean Connery and Robert Shaw in From Russia With Love. Hardcore Bond fans will recognize many of these references.

If there is anything negative about SPECTRE it would be two things I noticed. The length of the film could have easily been cut down by half an hour. It is the longest running Bond film at 2 hours 28 minutes. The second disappointment would be the theme song which is only slightly saved by one of the most beautiful opening title sequences in Bond history. In fairness to the theme song, it did have very large shoes to fill following Adele’s theme for Skyfall which earned her the Academy Award (which had never been done before despite some memorable theme songs).

SPECTRE is one hell of a good ride and if you go into the film with an open mind and not the idea that it should trump Skyfall or Goldfinger, you will be engrossed and leave the movie feeling more than satisfied. Enjoy James Bond because he is… James Bond. He is not Hamlet and never will be.

Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Once Again Host The Party Of The Year

golden_globes_2014While the Oscar is still the gold standard in movie awards, the Golden Globes have become almost as important. The Globes is of course the best party of the year with food and drinks a plenty. The Hollywood Foreign Press has consistently thrown a good party and usually has a hit with it’s hosts as well.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler returned this year to host for their second consecutive year after Ricky Gervais hosted two years in a row. Their jokes were humorous and well timed. They were not edgy but were able to take the shots at the stars. The trouble the Oscars have is that it is such a formal event it’s hard to mix the formalness with great light roasting humor. It is also tough because the Oscars had such successful hosts in the past in Bob Hope, Johnny Carson and Billy Crystal that fit their style. Todays comedians are too edgy for the Academy and when they are tamed it comes across as uncomfortable. But I digress.

The show started off with Jennifer Lawrence winning her second Globe in as many years. This award was slightly more surprising than last year, which was all but guaranteed. Watching her win is always fun because she is having so much fun in her success and doesn’t take her success to serious nor herself.

Another highlight was Cate Blanchett and Leonardo Di Caprio winning for such great performances. They are two of classiest people in the way they handle themselves. Their acceptance speeches were just right. Di Caprio was given a particularly big ovation because of how often he is nominated and so few he wins.

12 Years A Slave winning only one award despite 7 nominations was a bit of a surprise , but it’s one win was the biggest award of the night with best Tina-Fey-Amy-Poehler-Golden-Globe-Quotes-2014movie, drama.

The night had some other nice moments like Breaking Bad going out with a bang and Brooklyn Nine9 pulling the biggest surprises of the year. The night although had the awkward moments and just bad ones. Jacqueline Bisset winning her first Globe looked like it was gonna be a nice moment but her general erratic speech and refusal to get off the stage became very uncomfortable quickly and then turned disastrous when she swore and still just kept rambling. It truly was the worst moment of the night. Diane Keaton would do her best to try and equal Bisset when she accepted Woody Allen’s Cecil B. DeMille award for him which included her own rambling segment and then she sang what seemed to be a children’s song. Making a well deserved life achievement award moment seem just bad.

For me personally, the highlight was Michael Douglas winning for his performance as Liberace in Behind The Candelabra. A stellar performance and considering how much he has been through since his cancer diagnosis, it was good to see he still has got the skills to dominate.

Overall it was an enjoyable night that flowed pretty well and for the most part everything that deserved recognition and awards got it. Now it’s on to the SAG awards and then we will begin to see which way the Oscars will start taking shape.

Out Of The Furnace Burns Up The Screen

Out-of-the-furnaceGreat, diverse, game changing actors are hard to find and seeing them flex their muscle in the middle of their career and prove their greatness is even more rare. Christian Bale is in the throws of that period in his career. After winning an Oscar for his role in The Fighter, one might take it a little easy and make a little money before continuing his conquest of acting. Bale has not.

Bale would go on and make The Dark Night Rises and to conclude his great run at Bruce Wayne/Batman. The role in the Dark Knight series is the role of a lifetime and along with an Oscar would settle any actor down and let him just make his money in his and career because everything has been accomplished. Bale is not of that sort. He continues to challenge himself. Bale’s newest film is just proof that he is not done challenging himself and his fans.

In Out Of The Furnace, Bale plays Russell Baze, a good man who is jailed after a drunk driving accident leaves a person dead. Upon his release he once again feels the need to keep what little family he has, together. His family consists of his younger brother Rodney and his uncle. When Rodney, a veteran who is troubled by his time in Iraq, finds himself in deep water with the worst kind of people, Russell is forced to enter this world and take vengeance on those people.

Rodney is just as wonderfully played by Casey Affleck as Russell is by Bale. The raw emotion burned on the screen by both men is seared into the minds and emotions of the viewer as well. Taking place in the “Rust Belt”, which is a particularly heart breaking area of the country,  is a near perfect location in that it lends itself to the hardship in Russell’s life and mirrors his struggles.

Directed by Scott Cooper, who previously directed Jeff Bridges in his Oscar winning role in Crazy Heart, proves he is among directors to be noticed. Cooper has again brought out top performances from his actors. At the same time he has made a visually stunning and even haunting film. His vision of the battered and worn out “Rust Belt” area truly shows the hardship of the area that was at one time a thriving area. He has made the community in which they live a character itself.

This is a film that could possibly hold some heavy Oscar nominations but at the same time it wouldn’t be a shock to see it shut out. Never the less, it is strong, powerful film that shows suffering and hardship in a way and world many only hope doesn’t exist but does. With outstanding performances top to bottom the unflinching and real heart and emotion that comes through is unquestionable. The other side is the truly terrifying side of humanity shown in Woody Harrelson”s character and the world he lives in and rules. It is a film not to be missed and experienced. It will leave you quite moved.

Award Season Is Once Again Upon Us

Well movie fans we are in the throws of yet another award season. Most people think award season starts when the awards shows like the Golden Globes and the Oscars air on Tv, But this is a slight misconception. In early and mid December, all the critics in various cities and online communities begin handing out their awards for the years films. These awards give us a glimpse into what the awards shows will likely be putting on display.

There appear to be very few surprises in the groups that lead the way. While this years crop of films doesn’t appear to be as large of a group as last years, but it’s strength in it’s front runners just may be.

The group is lead by everyone from the veterans of the Coen Brother’s, the every improving Spike Jonze and continuing his rebirth of his newly embraced style, David O. Russell. The group is not without controversy though as the very strong and daring film maker Steve McQueen has made his presence, not only known, but appears to be leading the way with his latest effort, 12 Years A Slave. McQueens biggest competition for picture appears to be Her starring a revived Joaquin Phoenix in the slightly askew love story.

Two of the strongest leaders right now seem to be from the same film, Dallas Buyers Club from which Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto both appear to be almost locks for best actor and best supporting actor.

The final three major categories of best actress, supporting actress and director, really appear to be very wide open. Look for reviews of all the films in the awards game.