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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


Manchester By The Sea

Best Motion Picture Musical Or Comedy

20th Century Women


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


Nocturnal Animals
Best Motion Picture Animated

Kubo And The Two Strings


My Life As A Zucchini



Denzel Washington Hits A New High With Fences

fences_teaser-posterWhen the discussion arises about the best actors who are working, nine times out of 10 the name Denzel Washington will be brought up. He has been loved ever since he came into American families homes on the series St. Elsewhere as Dr. Philip Chandler. His Star only continued to climb as he made the transition into films. St. Elsewhere ran from 1982-1988 and before the series ended Washington already had been nominated for his first Oscar and a year after the series ended he would have his first win. I could ramble on and on about Denzel and his place on the Mount Rushmore of acting, but I’m going to solely focus on his latest film in which he stars and directs.

Fences is adapted from the play which debuted in 1983 and won the7uoir0twclbi Pulitzer and Tony award in 1987. It is the story of time, place, and culture I have no experience or much knowledge about. Set in the 1950’s it is about a working class African American man and his life while raising a family and dealing with lost chances in his life. Denzel plays Troy Manson, a hard-working husband, and father who has only one mission in his life and that is to provide everything his family needs to survive and to make their way in the world. A former convict and Negro league baseball player, Troy has experienced first hand all that racial injustice can give to one man, and he is determined not to let that happen to his family, especially his son Cory. Cory is a high school student who has dreams of playing college football. Troy doesn’t want any part of Cory associated with sports because he feels his race will hold him back from being able to be successful. Because of this, he is afraid he will miss out on getting the education and skills he needs to get through and be a good man. Cory, on the other hand, wants nothing more than to feel some small sense of love from his father, and to make him proud. Showing love is something Troy doesn’t feel is necessary and that giving him what he needs physically is where his responsibility ends.

fences-f-01ne-galleryThere is a unique relationship between Troy and every character in the film from his wife to his disabled brother to his best friend Bono, wonderfully played by Stephen Henderson. Troy is a man who is slightly disgruntled at the world and wants it to be different but sees only the futility in trying to make that change even in himself.

There have been plans for years to adapt the play Fences into a feature film, in fact, the script for this project was written over ten years ago by the original author August Wilson even though he passed away in 2005. Fences is without question one of Denzel’s biggest passion projects he’s ever had, and it shows. From the perfect delivery of every line of dialogue to the feelings towards each character that the viewer feels. Each performance is pitch perfect on all fronts, and while Denzel is front and center on and off screen, it’s Viola Davis who breathes life into the picture. Viola has been an active force in film and now TV for quite some time now, but Fences is going to cement her place amongst Hollywoods elite. Look for Davis to receive her third Oscar nomination as well as collect her first win.

While it took so long for this film to get made, it needed Denzel Washington and this cast at this time to make it great. The complexity of the character needed Washington at 62 years old not 45; it was a perfect storm that brought this film out. While he may be more than worthy of a third Academy Award for his acting in Fences, it’s only because of the powerhouse performance of Casey Affleck that is keeping him from winning. Don’t count him out of the best director race either. Awards buzz aside this should be the film mentioned when talking about Washington and Davis deep into their careers.

Golden Globe Predictions 

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

Picture Drama

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

    Tom McCarthy


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.

David O. Russell Continues His Hot Streak With American Hustle

american_hustle_banner__1_by_zviray-d66o5loWithout question, David O. Russell has really come into his own the last few years with hits like, The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. He is once again back in the awards and highly acclaimed films list with his latest effort, American Hustle. His style has really developed a unique way with these films as opposed to some of his early work. With a concentration on character development he has produced more award nominations for his actors than any director in the last 5-6 years. This may lead some to call him an actors director, but I believe he is just letting great actors do what they do best.

American Hustle is loosely based on the true story of the long running FBI sting operation in the late 70’s and early 80’s known as ABSCAM. When a highly skilled con man (Christian Bale) is trapped by an ambitious FBI agent (Bradley Cooper), the FBI agent, Richie, enlists the con man, Irving and his British accomplice, Sydney (Amy Adams) to help him trap high profile politicians and white collar criminals. As they attempt to take down a New Jersey mayor (Jeremy Renner) things begin to take many different turns and seemingly spiral out of control for all parties involved.

With a reuniting of casts from The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell shows that he has a core of actors that he works best with, which include his version of Scorsese’s De Niro with Christian Bale. While it’s no doubt that Christian Bale is one of the best and most, on fire actor AMERICAN-HUSTLE-Imagein Hollywood, his best work has undoubtedly come in Davis O. Russell’s films. Bradley Cooper again shows his chops off with another stellar performance and Russell may bring another statue in Jennifer Lawrence near future despite her limited screen time.

There isn’t too much wrong with the film, it brings great performances and they execution of the story line is well produced but it clearly is Russell’s best. That isn’t to say it’s a bad movie by any means. The trouble is that it will be compared to The Fighter and Silver Linings. This one just doesn’t measure up the same as those. But as always the acting and character, development is great. Bale is outstanding as is most of the other main principles. My biggest problem with acting, unfortunately was Amy Adams, whose in and out british accent I found almost annoying.

My negative thoughts should not suggest that it’s not a great film or that it isn’t worthy of it’s accolades. I am at fault of being of those who expect so much out of Russell. I hate when people judge film makers on their previous films, but I just can’t help myself since he had such stellar films his last two and I loved the premise of this film so much I regrettably went in expecting so much more. Thats not to ay I didn’t enjoy myself or like the film, I just expected more. Im none the less in love with the casts that Russell puts together and will watch whatever he puts together with these actors.

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.

Bill Murray Carries His Latest Film While Proving He Is An Actor As Well As A Funny Guy

hyde_park_on_hudsonBill Murray is a comedy LEGEND and an American favorite. Everyone just about has a favorite Bill Murray moment or movie. Whats not to like he has a style that is truly his own and a swagger that draws you despite not being the type that craves the labels. While always being a good actor it’s only in the last 15 or so years that people have stood up and taken notice that he can act beyond his comedic roots. With a few roles several years ago that showed this such as Where The Buffalo Roam in which he portrayed Hunter S. Thompson and 1984’s The Razor’s Edge he primarily stuck with his comedic roots, and why not it had served him so well for so long. in 1998 he made Rushmore with visionary director Wes Anderson and suddenly he wasn’t Carl Spackler or Dr. Peter Venkman anymore, he was an actor.

In 2004 he was honored with his first Academy Award nomination for his outstanding performance in Lost In Translation for which he was visibly disappointed that he was the recipient. 9 years later he just may be poised for his second Oscar nomination for his unbelievable portrayal of former president Franklin D. Roosevelt. A most unlikely choice on the film maker behalf, but one that will prove to be a proud choice. The film is Hyde Park On Hudson with whom he co-stars along side the always great Laura Linney.

The story is one of an affair the president had with an extremely distant cousin that carried on for years when he would retreat to Hyde Park, NY of which he was quite fond of doing much of his work from there. During the early stages of the affair a monumental occasion occurred when the new king of England became the first king to visit American soil in history. King George VI affectionately known as Bertie, who was recently portrayed by Academy Award winner Colin Firth in The Kings Speech, was very new to his position and felt it best to visit the US and the president to keep up relations. Over a weekend in Hyde Park the king and president formed a very special relationship that proved vital as WWII would shortly break out a few weeks later.

What is most intriguing was that you had to fine men in positions of great power that at the same time had great flaws, Bertie with his stutter and Roosevelt with his partial paralysis. The film has a fine moment when the two converse late one night and the president clearly seems to instill a great confidence in the king when they both realize many similarities in each other.

Over the same weekend the president’s affair with his cousin, Daisy quickly becomes threatened and almost comes to a complete halt.

The film is a fine story and well told but it’s not without rhythmic issues and has several slow moments. It is without question carried on the shoulders of Murray’s performance. It’s not a story that has you drawn in within seconds and has some difficulty keeping you there. It is though a good movie that deserves to be soon for Murray alone.hyde-park-on-hudson

Murray shows the often unknown and unseen humorous side the president Roosevelt and does it with great perfection. His portrayal is one of the great performances of a historical figure in recent years. The one flaw in his award chances may be he happens to be against another fine actor playing an iconic president in Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln. It’s a story every years where a deserving actor comes away empty handed because someone just happens to be on another level.

Murray’s day will come at some point. His commitment to taking great roles and being someone different every time only proves that. Unfortunately we will have to wait a little longer.