Tag Archives: zero dark thirty

James Gandolfini’s Film Career Remembered

48987-james-gandolfini-637x0-1Wednesday June 19, 2013 the entertainment and acting world lost a true giant when James Gandolfini succumbed to a massive heart attack and fell asleep in death. Gandolfini will forever be remembered as Tony Soprano on one of the greatest television shows of all time and his character may be one of the best as well. Tony was superbly written and thought out. The depth that went into the character could only be written so deep, Gandolfini brought it to a different level all together.

While being remembered as Tony Soprano is a phenomenal legacy to have, it is also a little bit sad that some people will never know what a terrific actor Gandolfini was. Tony Soprano is a key example of how great he really was but only looking at his other work shows how good he really was as Tony. I’ve decided to take a look at some of my favorite Gandolfini roles and some of his most diverse.

5. The Mexican (Winston Baldry)th-4

Winston is a hitman, true, and that is close to the Soprano character but Winston has a twist, he’s gay. He not only is gay, he has a conscience and doubts his way of life. He brought a humanity to the character that was desperately needed. It was the character that stood out and made the movie better than it was.

welcome_to_the_rileys01 4. Welcome To The Riley’s (Doug Riley)

Doug Riley is stuck in a 30 year marriage with a wife who has never gotten over the loss of their 15 year old daughter and while Doug has become numb to his life as well he begins to show signs of breaking out. On a business trip to New Orleans he unexpectedly get’s hooked up with a 16 year old prostitute and begins to help change her life. This character is so complex on the inside while being bland on the outside and near emotionless. He does a beautiful job letting his inner self come through a little bit at a time.

3. Zero Dark Thirty (C.I.A. Director)james-gandolfini-zero-dark-thirty

There isn’t much more opposite of the head of a mafia crime family than the head of the C.I.A. Therefore when he played the Director in the award winning film about the 10 year hunt for Osama Bin Laden his brief time on film had to make an impact. The few words he spoke resinated and gave credibility to different characters and where they stood and what empowered them. Usually when a bigger name actor is cast in a smaller role it is because the expertise is needed despite the size of the role. His expertise was just what that character and film needed and got.

allthekingsmen3 2. All The Kings Men (Tiny Duffy)

When I said that being C.I.A. Director was as opposite as you could get I meant it but playing a crooked southern politician in 1950’s Louisiana is just about as opposite as well. Tiny Duffy is a crooked man working with major politicians to help swing an election but when it doesn’t go their way he is forced to join the man trying to bring them down and he has all but become his lap dog. With a pretty decent southern accent he had the ability to play the character with the confidence of Tony Soprano until it was needed for him to be brought down to the low level and he filled those shoes just as well.

1. Cinema Verite (Craig Gilbert)cinema-verite-poster

Gandolfini returned to HBO for this film which did well at the Golden Globes and various festivals. Craig Gilbert was a true life person who was a television producer who is credited with creating what is now known as reality TV. He had the idea to follow a seemingly normal family and when the cameras come the normal goes away. He struggles with the morality of what he is doing and trying to keep his feelings for the wife and mother of the family, in check.

Gandolfini will be greatly missed and it is safe to assume now that a Sopranos movie is not going to happen. So as we reflect on his career and the things he did, remember these words from The Sopranos theme song: “ She said, you’re one in a million. You got to learn to shine.” Shine he did.

Oscar Predictions, Director and Best Picture

81st Academy Awards¨ Press Kit ImagesBefore we examine the final two of the major categories it should be noted that the best director category is in the midst of one of the biggest oversights in the history of the awards. Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow both are without nominations despite the overwhelming and immense praise, awards and nominations they have received  throughout the current award season.

The best director category is one of the most wide open and tightest races of the night. It would, upon first notice, appear to be Steven Spielberg’s to lose. However it truly could and SHOULD be the night of one of the lesser known directors on the nominee list. While it very well could go to Spielberg my prediction is that the young and first time nominee Behn Zeitlin will walk away with the award for the masterfully done, Beasts Of The Southern Wild. He managed to make a visually striking film with a marvelous story and direct the young star, Quvenzhane Wallis to the youngest leading acting nomination ever at the age of nine in her brilliant performance. With that said almost anyone else could very well walk away with Oscar. While it most certainly should be Ben Affleck’s night and award to win, we know that is not possible so I will be rooting for and predicting Ben Zeitlin.

This leads us to the big category of the night, Best Picture. With a list of ten nominees, very very worthy nominees, this has been one of the best lists of nominees in  quite a while. While early in the award season all signs were pointing towards two movies as the front runners in the form of Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty. However as the awrds started rolling in it has become very clear that this award almost certainly belongs to Afflecks phenomenal film, Argo. With what has been a near clean sweep of almost all awards it has been nominated for, it’s almost a certain lock that it will take the top prize Sunday night. There is no one more humbled and surprised by every win than Affleck and it has been fun to watch his reactions. With a career that was headed down a very disappointing path, when Affleck stepped behind the lens a whole new man and career was born and the fruits of his labors are being rewarded this season and rightfully so.

So there you have it. Those are my predictions for the six major award categories. I hope you enjoy all the nominees films and Oscar night as much as we will.


List Of Predictions


Best Picture: Argo


Best Director: Behn Zeitlin, Beasts Of The Southern Wild


Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln


Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook


Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables


Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained


Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained


Best Adapted Screenplay: David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook


Best Animated Film: Frankenweenie


Best Documentary: Searching For Sugar Man

Oscar Prediction Acting In Leading Roles

e983667e-93af-340d-8d2c-62c50c60fad7To continue my look at the major categories of the Academy Awards this year I examine two races that are possibly the least tight amongst the major six. The leading actor and actress awards seem to be a little more clear cut.

The most decisive of all the races is the best actor award. I fully believe and have fully believed that this award will go to Daniel Day-Lewis for his incredibly brilliant portrayal of the beloved president in Lincoln. Daniel Day-Lewis is without question the most talented and greatest actor currently working in Hollywood. His track record is second to none and amongst the most respected. However his fellow nominees pull out performances that in any other year would be runaway winners most likely. Joaquin Phoenix makes his triumphant comeback in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master as a lost veteran who is drawn in by Philip Seymour Hoffman’s group of followers.joaquin-phoenix-the-master

Bradley-Cooper-in-Silver-Linings-Playbook-2The other fantastic performance that stands out is Bradley Cooper in Davis O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook as a released  bi-polar patient with a history of criminal issues directly resulted from his condition. His performance and the film is maybe one of the most important this year due to its subject matter with a sensitive subject in the mental health category. His nomination is without question an award to him and all who benefit from this excellent film.

jennifer_lawrence_silver_linings_playbook_a_lThe lead actress category has a slightly tighter case but this years award season has shown quite a bit of separation. Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook plays almost perfectly opposite Bradley Cooper. Lawrence has clearly been on the rise the last couple years and this is not her first nomination. She came to the forefront with her role in the haunting Winter’s Bone. She looks to go head to head against Jessica Chastain from the years political triumph Zero Dark Thirty. Despite both being phenomenal performances it’s clearly Jennifer Lawrence’s award to lose. She is without a doubt Hollywood’s future and her ability to play a wide variety of roles is the reason she is such a hot commodity.jessica-chastain-zero-dark-thirty

It’s a breath of fresh air that this will most likely be Silver Linings Playbook only award of the night that is a great thing because of what the film represents not only form a movie making aspect but how it may help others understand people suffering from mental illness despite how serious it may be.

One thing will be for sure look for two wonderful acceptance speeches from both of them who have delivered some of the best of award season so far.