The Best Picture Reviews: Arrival & Manchester by the Sea

2017oscarsYes, I’ve been absent again for a while but let’s get back to that later. It’s the Oscars week and I’m so behind. Here are my thoughts on the first two best picture nominees that I saw. And what are their chances on Sunday evening.

arrivalposterARRIVAL (2016)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Written by Eric Heisserer
Starring Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner & Forest Whitaker

Denis Villeneuve’s last two films I liked a lot. His style is extraordinary and in Arrival it is on its full potential. Arrival is astonishing. I absolutely loved it! It will probably be at least in top-3 of my films of 2017 or if not, this will be helluva year. I think Arrival deserves every praise it gets and then some more.

First of all, Villeneuve obviously is the master here, it’s his vision that shines through. Also the screenplay is spellbinding. I was totally hooked. At some point I had grabbed the seat on front of me (in cinema) and was sitting right on the edge of my own seat without realising that I was doing that, I was so absorbed into the film. And that’s what I talk about when I say it is Villeneuve’s vision. Unbelievable. And to support that there’s beautiful production design, simple but effective.

arrival_cinematography

Cinematography. Well, of course. If you’ve seen the film, you know how suitable eerie it looks. And editing obviously clearly makes the pace, perfectly. Sometimes dwelling in feeling, sometimes throwing the viewer in the middle of a mess. And again here we can see how cleverly the script is written. The film never lets you off the hook. And it makes you think. And feel. And perhaps, if you think and feel hard enough, understand. It is actually hard to write about it as it is that kind of a film you need to use all your senses and no words would do honour for it.

arrival-smoke

What still makes me angry, is that Jóhann Jóhannsson wasn’t eligible for the score because it’s stunning! He is quickly becoming one of my favourite composers if not the one. In Arrival music and sounds are so, so important. And that’s why I really feel that it should win for the sound editing at least and also for mixing.

arrival-villeneuve

It bums me out that Amy Adams wasn’t recognised as she is as good as ever. She’s my favourite actress and I don’t think she’s ever bad and surely she wasn’t here. But thankfully it’s been a very good year for female leads as there were too many to choose from. Adams is the player here, everyone else is just there to make the story go further. Except the aliens. They’re important. And I never complain when I see Mr. Renner on screen.

amy_adams_arrival

So, to sum it up. I would love to see Arrival to win for cinematography, maybe editing, both sounds and as I appreciated its simplicity, also production design. And tie with directing. I think. I still haven’t seen all the nominees (yeah, I know, so late!!!), so it’s hard to say yet plus there was one that I also loved, so…But still, perfection.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

manchesterbythesea

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (2016)

Directed by Kenneth Lonergan
Written by Kenneth Lonergan
Starring Casey Affleck, Lucas Hedges, Michelle Williams & Kyle Chandler

So, I saw these two films in a row and in this order. That might have affected somehow how I viewed Manchester by the Sea. I can’t really say if I’d liked it more if I hadn’t watched Arrival just before it. Or maybe I wouldn’t have liked it as much as I did because I was already in the mood to watch great movies. I don’t know but I know I did like Manchester quite a lot. It was a good cinema day.

realmanchesterbythesea

Manchester by the Sea is nominated for six Oscars and will most probably win for the leading role for an actor as Casey Affleck is impressive. It is his show as much it is director-writer Lonergan’s. Affleck is mesmerizing. He does so little but tells so much. All those suppressed feelings are there for the viewer to see and feel. Manchester by the Sea is heartbreakingly sad story of ordinary people. People who are like anyone of us. Besides Affleck, Hedges and especially Williams have earned their nominations. That scene in the movie poster is perhaps the most moving scene in the film and it’s such a showcase for Affleck and Williams; they’re so authentic, so raw, so full of emotion. If Arrival is a story of human kind, Manchester by the Sea is a story of humans.

caseyaffleck

Besides acting, Manchester is nominated for the original screenplay, directing and the best picture. It could win for all and I wouldn’t really mind. But I think it will win for the screenplay and it definitely should. I adored it. I loved the way the story was told the way that it just began, like when meeting a new person. And then you get to know them, little by little. You start to understand why they do something, why they say something, why they like or don’t like something. Manchester is like that. At first you are like “who the f is this guy and why he is there” but then, a little by little, you start to understand and sympathize. Life is life and you just have to live it. Also, big points for the ending.

michelle_williams_elle_magazine

This has nothing to do with the film but she’s beautiful. From January Elle magazine.

One thing that I didn’t really like was the music, it’s too hard. It annoyed me. But otherwise, beautiful film and sad story about life that I think I will definitely see again. And I’ll be mad if Lonergan won’t win for the screenplay and Affleck for the lead actor, they are THAT good.

Rating: ****½

P.S. 2017 is already better movie year for me (as I’ve seen all nominees this year) than the last year was. Yay for that!

The Oscars Nominations Predictions 2017

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.Here we are again. The best time of the year, the Oscars time! And here are my final nominations. In few hours we’ll be hearing what the Academy picked.

BEST PICTURE

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight
  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Lion
  • Hidden Figures
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hacksaw Ridge

  • Silence
  • Deadpool

I couldn’t pick my 10th option because I’m hopeless optimistic and actually think they would go for R-rated comic book movie. Right yeah? I kind of wanted to leave Hidden Figures out as well but this is where the final list now. At the moment it’s either La La Land’s or Moonlight’s to lose.

lalaland

DIRECTOR

  • La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  • Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Longergan
  • Hell or High Water – David McKenzie
  • Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  • Moonlight – Barry Jenkins

  • Hacksaw Ridge- Mel Gibson
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Silence – Martin Scorsese
  • Lion – Garth Davis

By far the hardest category to predict this year. The three of them are absolute locks (Chazelle, Lonergan and Jenkins) but the two others… I believe that Villeneuve is due with a nomination (I haven’t seen Arrival yet but I’m only hearing good things plus he’s done great job with previous films that were nominated, Prisoners and Sicario) but the last slot was hard to decide. I played a wild card.

ACTORryan_gosling_hot

  • La La Land – Ryan Gosling
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Manchester by the Sea – Casey Affleck
  • Hacksaw Ridge – Andrew Garfield
  • Captain Fantastic – Viggo Mortensen

ACTRESS

  • La La Land – Emma Stone
  • Jackie – Natalie Portman
  • Arrival – Amy Adams
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Meryl Streep
  • Elle – Isabelle Huppert

Loving – Ruth Negga

Because of the story of Loving, I wanted to give a slot for Ruth Negga but Huppert has been really strong and one can never leave Streep out, especially when she gave amazing speech at the Golden Globes in the middle of voting of the Oscars nominations.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Lion – Dev Patel 10
  • Moonlight – Mahershala Ali
  • Hell of High Water – Jeff Brigdes
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Hugh Grant
  • Nocturnal Animals – Aaron Taylor-Johnson

  • Manchester by the Sea – Lucas Hedges

I just might be hopeful here again but if Nocturnal Animals will soar at least a bit, Taylor-Johnson will be in. And the Academy has avoid to nominate younger actors in this category like Tremblay last year. But Hedges has been strong so far, so this is a game.

aaron

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Hidden Figures – Octavia Spences
  • Fences – Viola Davis
  • Manchester by the Sea – Michelle Williams
  • Naomi Harris – Moonlight
  • Lion – Nicole Kidman

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Manchester by the Sea
  • The Lobster
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Captain Fantastic

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Moonlight
  • Fences
  • Lion
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Arrival

  • Hidden Figures

OK, I have a thing for Nocturnal Animals even I haven’t seen it, so again, I’m putting it ahead of probably stronger contender.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • La La Land
  • Silence
  • Arrival
  • Lion
  • Moonlight

arrival-smoke

EDITING

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Arrival
  • Moonlight
  • Hacksaw Ridge

 

COSTUME DESIGNjackie_costumes

  • Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
  • Jackie
  • La La Land
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Allied

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • La La Land
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • The Handmaiden
  • Jackie
  • Arrival

 

MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Deadpool
  • Florence Foster Jenkins

  • Star Trek Beyond

I asked my make-up artist friend’s opinion here and she chose Deadpool instead of Star Trek Beyond. I’ll blame her if I’m incorrect.

SOUND MIXING

  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • Rogue One
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Deepwater Horizon

SOUND EDITING

  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Roque One
  • Arrival
  • The Jungle Book

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Rogue One
  • The Jungle Book 5
  • Arrival
  • Strange
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 

SCORE

  • Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)
  • Jackie (Mica Levi)
  • La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
  • The BFG (John Williams)
  • Rogue One (Michael Giacchino)

 


 

  • Lion (Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka)

I’m still a bit annoyed that Jóhann Jóhannsson is not eligible for Arrival as he is these days one of my definite favourite composers. Love his work! I wanted to leave John Williams out but you know, you just can’t. And it’s traditional that the composers branch always vote for their own and already now there are THREE new comers. I hardly see that happening but I don’t know who else to pick. Justin Hurwitz all the way, I looooooove La La Land’s soundtrack!

 

SONG

  • Moana – How Far I’ll Go
  • La La Land – Audition (The Fools Who Dream)
  • La La Land – City of Stars
  • Sing Street – Drive Like You Stole It
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling

  • Sing – Faith
  • Hidden Figures – Runnin’

Always hard category to predict. I gave a chance to Sing Street’s 80’s sounds, it’s a gamble, I know. I hope that the song above wins, I can’t get enough of it.

ANIMATED

  • Zootopia
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • The Red Turtle
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini

  • Finding Dory

Yes, I left out a Pixar film. I’m aware.

 

DOCUMENTARYoj_madeinamerica

  • Cameraperson
  • I am Not Your Negro
  • 13th
  • OJ: Made in America
  • The Eagle Huntress

  • Weiner

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland)

  • It’s Only the End of the World (Canada)

I have a feeling I should not count out Xavier Dolan but I don’t know what else to do.

 

ANIMATED SHORT

  • Inner Workings
  • Piper
  • Blind Vayasha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pearl

 

LIVE ACTION SHORT

  • Graffiti
  • Nocturne in Black
  • Sing (Mindenki)
  • Timecode
  • The Way of Tea

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • White Helmets
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Extremis
  • The Mute’s House
  • Watani: My Homeland

 

Agree, disagree? We’ll now soon enough how I did this year.

The Best of the Best – Disney Company Films

To celebrate 93rd birthday of The Walt Disney Company I wanted to list my favourite films produced by the company. Walt Disney is one of my biggest heroes. He was the man who made fairytales to become live. My all time favourite quote is his

waltdisney_quote

and I always try to keep that in mind when it feels I can’t. We all can. 🙂

There might be some films missing but I blame IMDb if not my fave Disneys are on the list, as these were the ones the search of ever reliable IMDb gave me. There are some minor SPOILERS in videos.

10)

ratatouille

Ratatouille (2007)

9)

Enchanted (2007)

8)

freakyfriday_lindsaylohan

Freaky Friday (2003)

7)

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

6)

Mary Poppins (1964)

5)

frozen

Frozen (2013)

4)

pirates-of-the-caribbean-the-curse-of-the-black-pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

3) (This breaks your heart. The best montage ever.)

Up (2009)

2)

The Lion King (1994)

1)

walle

Wall-E (2008)

Lovely, lovely films! It’s great that there are still people who make you feel good with creating this kind of films.

And there’s more to come like live-versions of Beauty and the Beast, Tim Burton’s Dumbo or Cruella with Emma Stone starring. Even the trailer for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean looked promising. Mary Poppins also returns and Lasse Hällström is going to direct Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, that should be interesting. And yes, the live version of  The Lion King sounds scary idea.

The First Oscar Predictions 2017 – Best Pic #2

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.Let’s continue. In the last post I previewed some of the Best Picture hopefuls that I think have good chances to get nominated. Here are some more.

Fences is a film based on a Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play. It is directed by six-times Oscar-nominee Denzel Washington, who won twice and is also starring in the film. The other lead role belongs to the Oscar-winner Viola Davis. According to Wikipedia Fences “explores the evolving African-American experience and examines race relations“. The trailer looks like it’s not an easy view. Need I say more?

Lion is one of my own favourites. Obviously I haven’t seen it but I really liked the trailer and I’m a bit of fan of Dev Patel. And it’s also a story that is not American. I kinda like it. Lion is based on a true story and IMDb describes the story: “A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.” Besides Patel, who is playing the main character when he is an adult, the casting includes Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham. Unfortunately Lion hasn’t got that solid reviews and sits at 71% at Rotten Tomatoes at the moment, so it might lose its appeal come January.

Next up is Natalie Portman vehicle, Jackie, that, unsurprisingly, tells a story of former first lady of the United States. But it tells the story after JFK gets shot and how Jackie handled the situation. Apparently Portman is doing her best role so far and that is a lot to say if you think how deeply she went into her role in Black Swan. I have my doubts if Jackie will land on the best pic competition but I have been underestimating these biopic films before, so I try to keep my mind open.

Back to we-need-diversity topic and we have another possible winner in Moonlight. Moonlight tells “a timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.” (IMDb) The director, Barry Jenkins, has been nominated for Moonlight at Toronto, London and New York film festivals. The story is also interestingly told as the main part is played by three apparently very different looking actors. And according to critics who’ve seen the film, it is very beautifully shot. The production company, A24, just scored big the last year with Amy, Ex-Machina and especially Room, so they know what they are doing.

I still haven’t watched Tom Ford’s first outing, A Single Man, that was nominated for an Oscar back in 2010 but Ford is back with a new film that has gained some praise during festival tour. Nocturnal Animals stars big names like Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Laura Linney. I absolutely love the trailer and it sounds a lot like David Fincher -film like Se7en or Gone Girl, brutal but so cool. For sure it will at least look amazing, Ford is always stylish. I might be biased as again there’s Adams and the one of my “future husbands” (see my last post for explanation) but I do hope this succeeds. It did win a Silver Lion at Venice.

Sully has already been to cinemas and has nice average of 7.9 at IMDb and 82% at Rotten Tomatoes. Its hype is basically non-existent at the moment but after all it’s Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks in based-on-a-real-life film of Chesley Sullenberger, the guy who managed to land to Hudson River back in 2009, so I would be an idiot to count it out. It looks like a solid piece but nothing more to me at least. But then again, I don’t like Eastwood and I find Hanks to be quite boring these days.

Stay tuned, one more take on Best Pic hopefuls coming later!

The First Oscar Predictions 2017 – Best Pic #1

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.As promised, I’ll take a little more detailed look to upcoming Oscar hopefuls. Here are the first seven Best Picture hopefuls that I think have good chances to end up being nominated.

First, but surely not least, is Damien Chazelle’s La La Land starring always adorable Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Right now La La Land’s hype is huge! The most of the Oscars are its to lose at the moment. I just hope it actually is as good as everyone is saying. It’s going around festivals now and was in official selection at Venice and won the best actress for Emma Stone in there as well as People’s Choice at Toronto International Film Festival. It has critics and audience by its side already.

emma_stone_ryan_gosling

La La Land is a musical set in LA and apparently it’s made in style of those oldies goldies like Singin’ in the Rain. I, myself, can’t wait to see it. I love Emma and Ryan together and here they even sing. Stone plays an aspiring actress and Gosling a jazz pianist. And they fall in love. And the tagline of the film is “Here’s to the fools who dream.” Two greatest films of this decade for me are Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, and Whiplash, directed by Damien Chazelle, so, talking about high hopes…

Next up is Manchester by the Sea that already got raves in Sundance, back in January. It still looks like it’s going strong. The film is directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan who’s been nominated two times for an Oscar, both for writing. And Manchester by the Sea seems to be another hit. I believe it will be nominated again at least for writing and for the lead actor, Casey Affleck. Besides Affleck, the flick stars Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Lucas Hedges whom all might have a change to get nominated. I like the trailer a lot, it looks like it’s well acted and especially well written. It will probably make you cry but also laugh. It feels like life.

Silence. A passion project of 20 years by none other than Martin Scorsese. Starring Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Ciáran Hinds. Synopsis from IMDb says “In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity.” Opening in the late December. Everything just screams Oscar, doesn’t it? No trailer available yet, only couple of photos.

liam-neeson-silence

#OscarsSoWhite will be THE THING at the next year’s Oscars. Or better said it will not be and thus there probably will be multiple nominations to the films that handle the subject of minorities facing thread from the majority. The Birth of a Nation being one of them. The longer synopsis of the film says:

“Set against the antebellum South, THE BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself and his fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.”

According to critics the film is good or even better and obviously, the subject matter is hot and current with everything going on in the world at the moment. The film launched in the States yesterday and according to Box Office Mojo, it performed well and got a cinemascore “A” from the audience which bodes well. The director/writer, Nate Parker, has been under public eye lately because of rape charges in his youth and that might hurt the film’s chances at the Oscars. At least his personal chances. The film also won both, Grand Jury and Audience Awards at Sundance.

Ang Lee is back with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. And at least the trailer looks amazing! I love it. And I hope it will deliver. I’m also super excited that Lee chose a newcomer to play the lead role of Billy Lynn. Joe Alwyn must be good.

The film is shot with 120 frames per second, so Ang Lee is again pushing his boundaries. And if the film delivers, which I believe it will (we’ll know better in a week when it will be shown at New York Film Festival), technical categories are a sure thing. Then it’s all up to the story which is based on awards winning novel. The synopsis says “19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks the film shows what really happened to his squad – contrasting the realities of war with America’s perceptions.” According to the test audience, the war scenes are apparently harrowing. I wasn’t a big fan of Life of Pi, except the visuals, but like said, I love this trailer and again I have high hopes.

The second to the last of this post’s films is Loving by Jeff Nichols. It is one of those topical films of the season telling a-based-on-a-real-life story of a mixed-race married couple who were sentenced to prison in 1958 because they married. According to the critics both leads, Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, are great. Jeff Nichols as a writer and director has been making better and better films lately from Take Shelter to Mud and again to Midnight Special, so maybe this is his final breakthrough. But to be honest, I doubt it. I might be wrong but the hype is just not big enough. Then again, Focus Features has had those great smaller films at the Oscars almost every year and have won especially for the actors and actresses (Vikander for The Danish Girl, Leto and McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, Redmayne for Theory of Everything), so I might really be wrong. And I kind of hope I am.

Denis Villeneuve is another up and coming director that one hopes to gain all the success. He has directed great films like Prisoners and excellent Sicario the last year and this time he is in the game with Amy Adams starring Arrival. This time it’s a classic aliens coming the earth story but not one with (just) blasts and bombs but one with communication and slow-burning tension. We’ll see how it will go through. Some say it’s too clean and emotionless but at least the trailer looks interesting and in a good-way eerie. And I’m officially biased as there’s my favourite lady in the lead role and my longtime movie-love in supporting.

There you go. The first seven out of 14 films I have chosen for my first Oscar predictions for 2017. New York Film Festival is about to start the next week and there will be a bunch of films having their first screening. We’ll be much smarter after those. I’ll be back with the latter half of the best pic hopefuls.

Any thoughts?

The First Oscar Predictions 2017

Here we go again! I did some predictions last spring right after the Oscars 2016 but so much have changed since then! So, here are my endless lists. The films are in random order in every category and as you can see, there are much more of them that is allowed in every category. I will get into them during the next 10 days, so bear with me. Here’s the first look.

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.The Oscar Predictions 2017 

updated October 6th

BEST PICTURE

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • The Birth of a Nation
  • Arrival
  • Silence
  • Fences
  • Moonlight
  • Lion
  • Jackie
  • Loving
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Hidden Figures
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Sully
  • Passengers
  • Live by Night

lalaland

DIRECTOR

  • La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  • Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Longergan
  • Silence – Martin Scorsese
  • The Birth of a Nation – Nate Parker
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Ang Lee
  • Loving – Jeff Nichols
  • Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  • Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford
  • Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Passengers – Mortem Tyldum
  • Live by Night – Ben Affleck
  • Jackie – Pablo Larráin
  • Lion – Garth Davis

ACTOR

  • La La Land – Ryan Gosling
  • devpatel_lionSully – Tom Hanks
  • Lion – Dev Patel
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Manchester by the Sea – Casey Affleck
  • The Founder – Michael Keaton
  • Loving – Joel Edgerton
  • Silence – Andrew Garfield
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Joe Alwyn
  • Captain Fantastic – Viggo Mortensen

ACTRESS

  • La La Land – Emma Stone
  • Jackie – Natalie Portman
  • Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson
  • Fences – Viola Davis
  • Loving – Ruth Negga
  • Arrival – Amy Adams
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Meryl Streep
  • Elle – Isabelle Huppert
  • 20th Century Women – Annette Bening
  • Miss Sloane – Jessica Chastain

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Manchester by the Sea – Lucas Hedges
  • Silence – Adam Driver
  • Silence – Liam Neeson
  • Sully – Aaron Eckhart
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Steve Martin
  • Moonlight – Mahershala Ali
  • Manchester by the Sea – Kyle Chandler
  • Nocturnal Animals – Michael Shannon
  • Fences – Stephen Henderson
  • Hell of High Water – Jeff Brigdes
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Hugh Grant
  • Fences – Jovan Adepo
  • Live by Night – Chris Cooper
  • Live by Night – Brendan Gleeson

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Hidden Figures – Octavia Spences
  • Hidden Figures – Janelle Monáe
  • Nocturnal Animals – Laura Linney
  • Nocturnal Animals – Amy Adams
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Kristen Stewart
  • Manchester by the Sea – Michelle Williams
  • Naomi Harris – Moonlight
  • Aja Naomi King – The Birth of a Nation
  • Lion – Nicole Kidman
  • Live by Night – Sienna Miller
  • 20th Century Women – Elle Fanning

nocturnal-animals_amyadams

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Manchester by the Sea
  • The Lobster
  • Moonlight
  • Loving
  • Jackie
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Patterson
  • I, Daniel Blake
  • 20th Century Women
  • Captain Fantastic

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Hidden Figures
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Live by Night
  • Silence
  • Fences
  • Lion
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Love & Friendship
  • Hidden Figures

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • La La Land
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Arrival
  • Passengers
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Moonlight
  • Fences

billylynn1

EDITING

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Live by Night
  • La La Land
  • Fences
  • Jackie
  • Arrival
  • Lion
  • Moonlight

COSTUME DESIGN

  • Hidden Figures
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Love & Friendship
  • fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-posterFantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
  • Jackie
  • Silence
  • La La Land
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Hail, Ceasar!

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Rogue One
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Allied
  • Jackie
  • Arrival

MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING

  • Hidden Figures
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Love & Friendship
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Deadpool
  • Jackie
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Rogue One

SOUND MIXING

  • deepwaterhorizonposterBilly Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Live by Night
  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • Passengers
  • Sully
  • Rogue One
  • The Jungle Book
  • Allied
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Deepwater Horizon

SOUND EDITING

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Live by Night
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • La La Land
  • Roque One
  • Arrival
  • Passengers
  • The Jungle Book

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Rogue One
  • The Jungle Book
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Arrival
  • A Monster Calls
  • Strange
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Assassin’s Creed

MUSIC

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Arrival
  • The BFG
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • Finding Dory
  • Rogue One
  • Hell or High Water

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  • Hidden Figures – Victory
  • La La Land – Audition (The Fools Who Dream)
  • La La Land – City of Stars (or some other songs…)
  • Moana – We Know the Way
  • Sing – ?
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling
  • The Eagle Huntress – Angel by the Wings

ANIMATED

  • Zootopia
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Finding Dory
  • Sing
  • The Red Turtle
  • Moana
  • Miss Hokusai

DOCUMENTARY

  • Fire at Sea
  • Cameraperson
  • Risk
  • Gleason
  • Miss Sharon Jones
  • Amanda Knox
  • Weiner
  • Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey
  • Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
  • Tickled
  • 13th
  • Jim: The James Foley Story
  • Holy Hell
  • Under the Gun
  • Before the Flood
  • Life, Animated
  • OJ: Made in America

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FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  • Elle (France)
  • Julieta (Spain)
  • Fire at the Sea (Italy)
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)
  • Neruda (Chile)
  • The Age of Shadows (South Korea)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • It’s Only the End of the World (Canada)
  • Ma’Rosa (Philippines)
  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Finland)
  • Chevalier (Greece)
  • From Afar (Venezuela)
  • Death in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

ANIMATED SHORT

LIVE ACTION SHORT

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • White Helmets

American Hustle Review

American Hustle (2013)

Directed by David O. Russell

Written by Eric Warren Singer & David O. Russell

Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence & Jeremy Renner

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American Hustle was the last Best Picture nominee that I had yet to see this year’s Oscars. And I got to say, I was a little bit disappointed. I obviously had huge expectations but then again not because I know how Russell makes his films. They are not exactly these stories of great success. They are more about stories of tiny success, that kinda success that gets you through the life. But I was still a bit disappointed. I rolled (that’s what you do when you have the app) my IMDb starring back and forth between eight and seven and ended up giving eight because my parents, after seeing what were the other films that I’ve recently given seven, said: “Come on, it was much better that Little Miss Sunshine.” Guess it was.

The biggest problem in American Hustle is pace. It doesn’t flow. And it should flow especially because it is a con-movie. Con-movies should be as sleek as its characters. The characters sure were cool. Even Christian Bale with his hair-do. And belly (how that good-looking guy can look that repulsive; that’s a talent). Amy Adams did look f***able. And she and Bale were good as always. And it was so nice to see Renner in a good guy’s role for a change. Him and Cooper were good too, like everyone else. And like my mum said jenniferlawrencehustleafter the film: “That Rosalyn was my favourite, she was really good.” Yeah, Lawrence did a bit steal the show. Her character had the best lines and she delivered them. Though not in the Oscar worthy way, so let’s hope Nyong’o get the statue on Sunday (I don’t mind if J-Law gets it though, I still adore her).

It was really refreshing to see a movie with people who don’t watch movies the way I do. My parents, in this case. Another thing that my mum pointed out was that the film happened only in a few locations. If I would be a producer I would give money to Russell. He always delivers and he even though he spends big bucks to actors, his sets are always only few and inexpensive looking. And apparently he shoots his films very quickly (few weeks is what I’ve read). And I would think that these days actors are lining up to perform in his films considering his track record to get the Oscar nominations to his actors (11 nominations in three latest films; that’s A LOT). And his films are always good. Maybe not spectacular but good. So he is definitely worth of every penny that production company puts in. After watching THR’s directors roundtable, I’m a bit more in love with him, he seems very interesting.

american_hustle_lawrence_adams_costumesAmerican Hustle looks good. I loved hair-dos, make-up and especially clothes. I’d love to wear those outfits that Amy Adams’ character is sporting. If I’d had the guts. I don’t. It could win the costume Oscar but then again, The Great Gatsby looks stunning and the other nominees are not bad either. Otherwise I don’t know. I think I’ll go with Lawrence when it comes to the Best Supporting Actress but the script of AH is not good enough to beat the competition and in other categories too there are much better films. I’ll do the final predictions later tonight, we’ll see if I end up predicting American Hustle in any other category. I doubt it.

Rating: **** (out of 5)