Oscars 2014 – The Festival Update

12 years a slaveIt’s been a week since Toronto International Film Festival ended. I’m a bit late with my update but better now than never, huh? After Venice Film Festival, Telluride in Colorado  and Toronto, it very much seems like this is going to be one hell of a year for awards season and movies all in all. The people who were lucky enough to see films at some of the festivals, especially in Telluride and Toronto, are raving about couple of films and praising a bunch of others. And there are still a few that hasn’t even come out yet. This awards season looks crowded. I already made my first predictions for the Best Picture (here, here and here) and will continue update them during the season and hopefully manage to do pages at least to all of the main categories.

So, the clear winner of Toronto (and Telluride) was Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. I have already showed my excitement towards it at Twitter and on my FB page (for the blog and my personal as well.) I can hardly wait for it. It will be out in October in the States and UK but I have to wait until January. It’ll be a long one. The reviews have been amazing for the film; there are a lot of people saying that it’s the film that will be essential viewing in the future whenever talking about slavery. Besides the film will be (I’m 99,9% sure of that) the best picture nominee, it’ll might end up getting nominations for McQueen for directing,fassbender Chiwetel Ejiofor for the best actor, Michael Fassbender for the best supporting actor (and I gotta say, I don’t care if there are going to be better performances than his, I’m gonna root for him because this is his year with 12 Years a Slave and The Counselor plus he is so extremely talented actor that it’s time to recognize that), Lupita Nyong´o for the best supporting actress, the adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing and the score at least. I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t comment more about the technical categories but those ones at least should be obvious possibilities.

Yeah, as you can see, I’m hugely excited about that film… The other one that got “you haven’t seen anything like this” –raves was Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. And Sandra Bullock in the lead role should end up with the nomination again. As well as the director himself. And if I’ve understand correctly the technical side of the film is impeccable. Can’t wait to see this one either, thankfully the wait is only until October.

The other movies that lived up to the expectations are Dallas Buyers Club that apparently includes the career-best performances from Matthew McConaughey (the lead) and Jared Leto (the supporting), Blue Jasmine for Cate Blanchett and maybe even Sally Hawkins in captain phillipssupporting role and Captain Phillips that didn’t even got the premier at any of the festival but still screened at the same time with Toronto and got sucked in to the hype. Tom Hanks is after over a decade in Oscar winning or at least nomination mode and will probably end up nabbing a nomination for the lead role.  The newcomer Barkhad Abdi has gotten some good reviews for his supporting role as a nowadays pirate and might end up with the nomination too.  If Captain Phillips is as good as is the first reviews, the director Greengrass, the scripters Billy Ray and the man himself Captain Richard Phillips and the sound department might get the nominations as well.

The most surprising of the festival films has been dark thriller Prisoners. The most of the viewers have been waiting for normal crime thriller with nothing special but it looks like Prisoners has taken people by surprise and shown that it might be an award winner too. This one I’m waiting a lot too. I already liked the trailer and after reading the reviews telling me that all the actors, especially Hugh Jackman, are doing superb job and that the story is twisting the ways that it’s almost hard to keep up, it seems like the one that I’ll enjoy a lot. And it’ll be in theaters in three weeks in Finland too. And so will Captain Phillips, so after a three weeks, keep up for my reviews for both of the films!

The other film that got standing ovation at Toronto, was Ron Howard’s Rush that I saw few days ago. I would have clapped with the audience at the festival; the movie is very entertaining, very well done and very thrilling. Read more of my review. Or go see it yourself; it’s totally worth of your time!

benedictThe only one that didn’t really lived up the hype was The Fifth Estate, the story of Wikileads. The only one in that that got praise was Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role of Julian Assange but because the category of lead actor will be full, I doubt he’ll make the cut. And to me it seems like August: Osage County is not living up to the hype either. They are also talking about changing the ending, that just can’t be good. But sure nomination for Meryl Streep anyway.

That’s it for now. During this weekend I’m working as a volunteer at Helsinki International Film Festival and hopefully I’ll be able to catch some films, even though the ones that I’m mostly interested are already sold-out (or screening when I’m on duty).  When it comes to the potential Oscar contenders, I still need to see Blue Jasmine and Before Midnight that are already out here in north too. Have a great rest of the weekend! Remember to follow me in Twitter to keep updated!

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