Person of the Day – Martin Scorsese

It’s Mr. Scorsese’s birthday today. So, Happy Birthday, Marty!

martin_scorsese

It took a while, approximately 25 years for me to understand the art of Scorsese. And I still haven’t watched all of his masterworks but these days he’s definitely one of my very favourite directors. When I explain what I want to do as my work, I always describe it the way that “I want to do something that I really love, that I really don’t want to quit doing ever, I want to be Martin Scorsese, who still at age of 74 keeps doing the most inspiring stuff.” So, I basically want to be Marty.

So, here’s to celebrate his amazing career and all those great things to become, my top-3 Scorsese films:

CAPE FEAR (1991)

I already saw this back in when it was released and I was only something like 12, so probably I shouldn’t have. But I did and I was so scared of Robert DeNiro’s Mad Cady but I also found him awfully attractive, especially when he was seducing this teenage girl played by always a bit dirty Juliette Lewis. Good stuff.

cape_fear1_juliette_lewiscapefear_robertdeniro

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013)

When I reviewed Wolf I’ve never gotten that much comments on any of my reviews. I know the film is still kind of wrong but I absolutely loved it! I don’t think any film that long has gone by so fast. And that drug scene! It is my favourite scene of Leo DiCaprio, who I obviously love, of all time. It is so funny! I need to watch this movie again.

the-wolf-of-wall-street-extended-editionwolfofwallstreet_dicaprio_drugscene

HUGO (2011)

If you love cinema like I do, or like Marty does, there’s no way you won’t like this film. Or love it, to be exact. It is one of the most heart-felt and the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Truly amazing work and such a love letter to the art of moving images. ❤

hugo_parishugo1hugo2

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The Oscar Nominations – how did I do and what else went wrong?

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.It’s been few days and let’s reflect now how I did with my predictions and other thoughts concerning the Oscar nominations 2016.

All in all I did ok. BUT I should never trust my gut feeling or change things during the last couple of days because apparently they will go wrong. I was 75% correct this year. Not my best but not my worst either.

BEST PICTURE I predicted following:

  1. Spotlight
  2. Mad Max Fury Road
  3. Carol
  4. The Martian
  5. The Revenant
  6. The Big Short
  7. Bridge of Spies
  8. Inside Out
  9. Brooklyn
  10. Straight Outta Compton

I got Carol, Inside Out and Straight Outta Compton wrong and left Room out. I’m genuinely surprised by Carol’s omission, I thought it would be shoo-in. I saw Carol tonight and well, I’m not that surprised anymore. I’ll write a review later. I’m glad Room is in, I believe it’s worth of it even though I haven’t seen it yet. And I’m sad Inside Out is out. I still need to see half of the best picture nominees until I can have proper opinion here. HERE you can see all the nominations.

roomthemoviewithbrielarson

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  2. Spotlight – Thomas McCarthy
  3. Carol – Todd Haynes
  4. The Revenant – Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu
  5. The Martian – Ridley Scott

I had two wrong ones; Ridley Scott and Todd Haynes. I’m a bit surprised of both but especially Scott, he should be there but it’s nice that Lenny Abrahamson of Room got in and well, now, after seeing The Big Short last night, I’m very happy that Adam McKay got in. The film is great!

BEST ACTOR

  1. The Martian – Matt Damon
  2. Steve Jobs – Michael Fassbender
  3. The Revenant – Leonardo DiCaprio
  4. The Danish Girl – Eddie Redmayne
  5. Trumbo – Bryan Cranston

bale

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. Bridge of Spies – Mark Rylance
  2. Creed – Sylvester
  3. Beasts of No Nation – Idris Elba
  4. 99 Homes – Michael Shannon
  5. Spotlight – Mark Ruffalo

The best actor I got 5/5 and with supporting 3/5. I’m sad that they passed Idris Elba, the Academy should have included him. Well, I love Hardy and Bale who got in instead, so can’t complain a lot. And after seeing Bale’s performance yesterday, well, he’s fantastic in The Big Short. Then again, isn’t he always?

BEST ACTRESS

  1. Carol – Cate Blanchett
  2. The Danish Girl – Alicia Vikander
  3. 45 Years – Charlotte Rampling
  4. Room – Brie Larson
  5. Brooklyn – Saoirse Ronan

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Carol – Rooney Mara
  2. The Hateful Eight – Jennifer Jason Leigh
  3. Steve Jobs – Kate Winslet
  4. Spotlight – Rachel McAdams
  5. Trumbo – Helen Mirren

With the best actress I got Alicia Vikander wrong and I think that’s wrong. Both, Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander should be within the leading ladies. Their parts are HUGE! Mara’s even bigger than Blanchett’s… Idiotic. But I like Jennifer Lawrence and she’s great in Joy which to me was generally more enjoyable film than The Danish Girl or Carol. In supporting I had Mirren wrong which I’m glad about. I still need to see Spotlight of those in supporting category but I hope Alicia Vikander will win, she’s extraordinary in The Danish Girl. Review coming later.

BEST SCREENPLAY (original)

  1. The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino
  2. Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve & Josh Cooley
  3. Spotlight – Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer
  4. Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman & Coen brothers
  5. Ex Machina – Alex Garland

BEST SCREENPLAY (adapted)

  1. Carol – Phyllis Nagy
  2. Room – Emma Donoghue
  3. The Martian – Drew Goddard
  4. Steve Jobs – Aaron Sorkin
  5. The Big Short – Charles Randolph & Adam McKay

 In original screenplay category I got 3/5 correct and in adapted 4/5. In the latter I’m hugely amazed that Aaron Sorkin was left out, I have no idea what happened there?! No words for that. I’m also surprised that Tarantino was left out in original category especially because the writing of Straight Outta Compton is a bit clumsy… Oh well. My favourites to win are Inside Out and The Big Short. Any film that has Margot Robbie in a bubble bath should win an Oscar.

margotrobbie_inabubblebath

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY I got 5/5

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight

BEST EDITING was 4/5 The Force Awakens replacing The Martian

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • The Martian
  • Spotlight
  • The Big Short

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN was also 4/5 The Martian replacing Carol which I easily understand now after seeing Carol tonight.

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • Carol
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BEST COSTUME DESIGN again 4/5 The Revenant replacing Brooklyn

  • Cinderella
  • Carol
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Danish Girl

BEST MAKEUP

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Holmes
  • The Revenant

Here I should have predicted  A 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared because it was so “out-there” option. So, 2 out of 3.

madmax_makeup

BEST SCORE

  • Carol – Carter Burwell
  • The Danish Girl – Alexander Desplat
  • The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
  • Inside Out – Michael Giacchino
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

Well, here I had 3/5 and I’m a bit sad that Alexander Desplat is not nominated for The Danish Girl, it’s beautifully composed. And I predicted Giacchino for Inside Out but I’m soooooo much happier that Jóhann Jóhannsson got nominated for Sicario because that is one of my favourite soundtracks of the year. That guy is becoming one of my favourite composers quickly. Yay!

BEST SONG I got 3/5 correct here which is good enough for me as this category is always so tricky. I’m sad for See You Again because it’s a great song. I hope Lady Gaga wins.

  • Spectre – Writings on the Wall
  • The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
  • Youth – Simple Song #3
  • Fifty Shades of Grey – Love Me Like You Do
  • Furious 7 – See You Again

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Hateful Eight
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BEST SOUND MIXING

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Revenant

 In sound editing I had 4/5 missing Sicario and putting The Hateful Eight in. And in mixing I had 5/5. Cool.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Jurassic World
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant

I missed Ex Machina which I changed back to Jurassic World during the last day. I should never do that!

star-wars-mad-max-revenant

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE I got one wrong. That was Theeb from Jordan that won over Labyrinth of Lies from Germany. Not so surprising actually.

  • Son of Saul (Hungary)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  • Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
  • A War (Denmark)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Inside Out
  • Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet
  • Anomalisa
  • The Good Dinosaur
  • The Peanuts Movie

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • Best of Enemies
  • Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief

The animated feature category keeps surprising me and I should probably remember that the next year. I also have no opinion here except that I wish Inside Out will win. I got 3/5 also in documentary category. I’m a bit surprised that scientology doc Going Clear didn’t make it… Maybe so many of those Academy members are actually members?

 BEST ANIMATED SHORT I had 4/5, Carface instead of We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

  1. World of Tomorrow
  2. Sanjay’s Super Team
  3. Bear Story
  4. Carface
  5. Prologue

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY was also 4/5, Minerita instead of Body Team 12 (I don’t even know why I chose that?)

  1. Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  2. Last Day of Freedom
  3. Minerita
  4. Chau Beyond the Lines
  5. A Girl in the River

 chaubeyondthelines

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

  • Ave Maria
  • Bis Gleich
  • Shok
  • Stutterer
  • Winter Light

In the last category I got two wrong, they were Bis Gleich and Winter Light and the nominees are instead Day One and other German short Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut). Again I have no opinion.

That’s it folks. I will continue reviewing the nominees for the next month and write other Oscars stuff. Again, HERE you can see the nominees and later on also my own wishes for the winners and my eventual predictions before the Gala on 28th of February.

The Oscar Predictions 2016 #4

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.And the last predictions are here before the actual nominations announcement.

BEST SCORE

  1. Carol – Carter Burwell
  2. The Danish Girl – Alexander Desplat
  3. The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
  4. Inside Out – Michael Giacchino
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams
  6. Mad Max: Fury Road – Junkie XL
  7. Sicario – Jóhann JóhanssonSpotlight – Howard Shore
  8. The 33 – James Horner
  9. Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman

Composers are known to vote the same guys (yes, guys) every year. It’s very hard to break into this category. Carter Burwell has never been nominated for an Oscar but he has been nominated for BAFTA, Golden Globe and Emmy, so I reckon this is his year. All of the others have been nominated, John Williams for 49 times (he has won five times). This year I believe it’ll be Morricone’s. The music of The Hateful Eight was the best in the film. I do hope Junkie XL would make the cut but I doubt it. Sicario’s score is really good, so I kept it there but Jóhann Jóhansson just won the last year, so maybe they won’t nominate him again. James Horner unfortunately died last year in an accident and he might get a nomination because of that. Such a loss. Shore is always an option and so is Thomas Newman who’s been nominated for 12 times but never won. We’ll see.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  1. Mad Max Fury Road
  2. Carol
  3. Bridge of Spies
  4. The Danish Girl
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  6. Cinderella ???
  7. The Martian
  8. The Revenant
  9. Crimson Peak

artisansbridgeofspies_clean

Again some question marks. I have been going back and forth with this category. Cinderella and Crimson Peak both look amazing and I also appreciate how Mars looks in The Martian. And apparently The Revenant works too. But I think this one goes to Bridge of Spies, its set decoration is beautiful and everything is in its place. But I haven’t seen Carol and The Danish Girl yet, so I might chance my mind.

7fa5a9336e440c4abab068973ebbbd5fBEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Carol – Rooney Mara
  2. The Hateful Eight – Jennifer Jason Leigh
  3. Steve Jobs – Kate Winslet
  4. Spotlight – Rachel McAdams
  5. Trumbo – Helen Mirren ????
  6. Clouds of Sils Maria – Kristen Stewart ????
  7. Ex Machina – Alicia Vikander
  8. Youth – Jane Fonda
  9. Love & Mercy – Elizabeth Banks

7e736b8dd9de643fc32fd6ea542bcbf7BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. Bridge of Spies – Mark Rylance
  2. Creed – Sylvester
  3. Beasts of No Nation – Idris Elba
  4. 99 Homes – Michael Shannon
  5. Spotlight – Mark Ruffalo
  6. The Big Short – Christian Bale
  7. Spotlight – Michael Keaton
  8. Love & Mercy – Paul Dano
  9. Sicario – Benicio del Toro

My two least favourite categories this year. Not because they’re bad but because I can’t decide. As you can see there are too many possibilities. And I’m not sure at all I chose correctly. With guys all of them are deserving, all nine of them what I’ve read and seen. I’m gambling on Shannon even though in the end the last spot will probably go to Bale or Keaton but this is my gut feeling and I’ll go with it. And when it comes to ladies, I have Vikander in leading category now with The Danish Girl and I really, really wanted to put her here too but as I can’t see Rachel McAdams missing the slot and I think older folk of actors branch will vote for Mirren, I just couldn’t fit her there because the first three are definite. But to be honest, if any of these people get the nod, I’m happy (except maybe in case of Mirren because I thought she over-did her character in Trumbo). Mara and Rylance for awards. I think..?

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  2. Spotlight – Thomas McCarthy
  3. Carol – Todd Haynes
  4. The Revenant – Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu
  5. The Martian – Ridley Scott
  6. Bridge of Spies – Steven Spielberg
  7. The Big Short – Adam McKay

george_miller_mad_max_MAIN

Everyone’s betting on McKay after BAFTA, Golden Globe and Directors Guild nominations. Well, I disagree. I believe that Miller will get a lot of number one votes because Mad Max has been such a long production from the idea back in 12 years ago or so. I also believe that Scott, Iñarritu and McCarthy are shoo-ins and that leaves only Haynes’ place open and I think he deserves it more. To me the real dark horse is Spielberg and I have a tiny feeling that I’m just underestimating how liked he is. Heck, I love the man myself and would probably give him all the prices you could. He is the best director of all time if I just check the ratings I’ve given to his film. And I love his enthusiasm.  And Bridge of Spies is not bad. Still, I predict he’s out this year. How’s going to win? Your guess is as good as mine…


BEST PICTURE

  1. Spotlight
  2. Mad Max Fury Road
  3. Carolstraightouttacompton
  4. The Martian
  5. The Revenant
  6. The Big Short
  7. Bridge of Spies
  8. Inside Out
  9. Brooklyn
  10. Straight Outta Compton
  11. Room
  12. Trumbo
  13. Sicario
  14. Steve Jobs
  15. The Hateful Eight
  16. Ex Machina

16 films in the running. Still. Maybe 14 if I take out Steve Jobs and Ex Machina that are really long shots which is stupid especially in case of Steve Jobs that will be nominated for the best actor, supporting actress and screenplay at least. Possibly also editing. So it kind of must be one of the best of the last year… Room I took away only today and replaced it with Straight Outta Compton. I don’t believe Compton is better but it’s different and I hate to say this, but it is the only film that has African Americans in the leading roles. Plus it was a pleasant surprise. I think the first six are locks and from the next seven I could put into top-10 any of them. Inside Out is there because I have a gut feeling that this is the one of those rare years when animation will make it to the Best Picture. And winner? Spotlight. The Martian? Mad Max (I wish!). Carol? Or The Revenant? I don’t know. We’ll see.

That’s it folks! Here you can see only the ones that I’m predicting without bubbling unders. Have a happy Oscar time! The stream of  the announcement for the nominations tomorrow (14th) at 5.30AM Pacific Time (that’s 2.30 in Amsterdam, 1.30 in GMT and 3.30 in Finland) can be found here.

The Oscar Predictions 2016 #3

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.OK, I skipped yesterday with my predictions, so it’s two posts today. Here’s the first one.

Let’s quickly go through short categories because unfortunately I haven’t seen any of them. I’ve watched the trailers for the most of them and I’ve read about them and here are my uneducated predictions:

Sanjay's_Super_Team_posterBEST ANIMATED SHORT

  1. World of Tomorrow
  2. Sanjay’s Super Team
  3. Bear Story
  4. Carface
  5. Prologue
  6. If I Was God

 Here I think Sanjay has the upper hand. It’s Pixar and is playing before The Good Dinosaur. 

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

  1. Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  2. Last Day of Freedom
  3. Minerita
  4. Chau Beyond the Lines
  5. A Girl in the River
  6. Body Team 12
  7. 50 Feet from Syria

These are total guesses. Some of them have won more awards and are mentioned more times in the world wide web. Personally I really, really like Chau’s story.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

  1. Ave Maria
  2. Bis Gleich
  3. Shok
  4. Stutterer
  5. Winter Light
  6. Contrapelo
  7. Day One

Bis Gleich is my personal favourite but Shok has cleaned the plates at festivals and Stutterer and Winter Light have professional actors in them plus have been doing well at the festivals too.

joyBEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  1. Inside Out
  2. The Prophet
  3. Anomalisa
  4. The Good Dinosaur
  5. The Peanuts Movie
  6. Shaun the Sheep Movie
  7. When Marnie Was There

I want to nominate six. Can I? I really can’t decide between The Prophet and Shaun the Sheep. The Academy has had the habit of nominating one “outsider”, in this case The Prophet (or Marnie). I think Shaun is probably more deserving but I don’t know. I think that Inside Out will be an eventual winner and Anomalisa a lock for a nomination but any of the other three could lose their place for Shaun or even Marnie.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  1. Cinderella
  2. Carol
  3. Brooklyn
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road
  5. The Danish Girl
  6. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  7. Crimson Peak

cinderella_costumes

I have tiny doubts about this category. Crimson Peak had some nice costumes, especially the ones on ladies. And I have a doubt that Brooklyn and Carol are so close to each other that they’re too similar. And there’s also The Danish Girl but I think it’s in. And Carol, as it’s Sandy Powell’s who’s been already awarded three times and will get at least one nomination (Cinderella) this year. I hope she’ll win for that as the costumes in that are amazing! Like seriously amazing!

BEST MAKEUP

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Holmes
  3. The Revenant
  4. The 100-Year-Old Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared
  5. Black Mass

I hate this category. I never know who is going to win or be nominated. Mad Max, I think, will win. I hope. I don’t know. I think Johnny Depp’s make up in Black Mass was great but I’m not a professional in the field, so what do I know? And after watching this featurette of Mr. Holmes’ make-up work, I tend to believe it’ll be nominated.

BEST SOUND EDITING

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Martian
  3. The Hateful Eight
  4. The Revenant
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  6. Sicario
  7. Jurassic World
  8. Bridge of Spies
  9. Inside Out
  10. Spectre

BEST SOUND MIXING

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. The Martian
  3. Bridge of Spies
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  5. The Revenant
  6. Straight Outta Compton II
  7. The Big Short
  8. The Hateful Eight
  9. Sicario

I’m not a fan of these categories. Mainly because I don’t really understand a lot about sound work. It is really interesting to read and watch videos about it though and I’d like to learn more. A few years ago IMDb ran this series before the Oscars where they went through all the categories and explained what they’re about. It was cool. But anyway, to the categories; Max should be a lock in both of the categories, so should Star Wars. I’m guessing that for The Revenant and The Martian as well and when watching Bridge of Spies, I actually paid a lot attention to the sounds and I think it’s deserving at least in mixing. And the sounds in The Hateful Eight are noticeable, though I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Any of the bubbling under could be in the mix though.

Later tonight I’ll do my final predictions for the best score, production design, both of the supporting acting categories, the best director and obviously the best picture.

The Oscar Prediction 2016 #2

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.The second part. Let’s take a look into some other categories where I’ve almost made up my mind.

BEST EDITING

  1. Mad Max Fury Road
  2. The Revenant
  3. The Martian
  4. Spotlight
  5. The Big Short
  6. Steve Jobs ????
  7. Sicario

The question marks there tell me and to you now as well that I’m not very comfortable putting said film under the line. It should be above. It has great editing. But I believe that Spotlight, Mad Max and The Revenant will have their nominations and other indicators are saying that the editing in The Big Short is superb. So that leaves The Martian which I actually think has all the chances to win the Best Picture gong. And thus it should be nominated in editing category. History has told us that if the film is not nominated in this category, it will not win the Best Picture. Then again, the last year’s big winner, Birdman, wasn’t nominated in this category… Anyway, I might change my mind here. And hopefully Mad Max will win, that is some insane editing.

BEST SONG

  1. Spectre – Writings on the Wall
  2. The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
  3. Youth – Simple Song #3
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey – Love Me Like You Do
  5. Furious 7 – See You Again
  6. Pitch Perfect 2 – Flashlight
  7. Shaun the Sheep Movie – Feels Like Summer
  8. Concussion – So Long

This category is basically “all the same”. It’s impossible to get it right because there can be anything between 2 to 5 nominees and they are chosen from something like over 70 songs or so. Personally I like that Bond song but there are a lot of people who don’t. Lady Gaga and Dianne Warren (if you don’t know her, you should google her, she’s a big deal) co-wrote Til It Happens to You, should be shoo-in nomination. And possible winner. I prefer See You Again, I still like the song plus it’s dedicated to Paul Walker. And when it comes to Fifty Shades of Grey, that’s Ellie Goulding. She’s a big deal. The song is also better than the ones under the line. (P.S. If you haven’t yet, you should watch that video, it has a message that should be taken seriously.)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Jurassic World
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  4. The Martian
  5. The Revenant ???
  6. The Walk
  7. Ex Machina
  8. Ant-Man

Question marks again. I really don’t know which ones to choose. With visual effects it’s also political, kind of. According to Variety, Marvel is not that liked in the field and there are a lot of those traditional effect guys who appreciate other stuff than just plain CGI and also films that have basics in real life like The Revenant. Did you know they used motion capture with raptors in Jurassic World? Imagine your CV: “raptor in Jurassic World”, how cool. 😀 Star Wars will win? Or? I think so. (I really want to put Ant-Man there but if they don’t like Marvel…) Video here contains major SPOILERS!

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  1. sonofsaulSon of Saul (Hungary)
  2. Mustang (France)
  3. Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  4. Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
  5. The Fencer (Finland)
  6. Viva (Ireland)
  7. The Brand New Testament (Belgium)
  8. A War (Denmark)
  9. Theeb (Jordan)

The foreign language category is like the Best Song, you never know what is going to happen. Good thing is that they have limited the semifinalist to nine. I believe the first three there are locks or at least the first two. And I chose Finland because I’m from there. I might change it later. All four bubbling under are totally worthy. Son of Saul should win.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  1. amyposterAmy
  2. Cartel Land
  3. The Look of Silence
  4. Best of Enemies
  5. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
  6. The Hunting Ground
  7. Listen to Me Marlon
  8. Where to Invade Next

I really want to put The Hunting Ground there but to be honest, it’s not very good journalism. It doesn’t give any kind of chance to the opposite players. I liked it but at the same evening I watched Going Clear and it was very easy to see the difference there where they actively tried to get some comments from active scientologists. Btw, you should watch that documentary, it’s terrifying. Though not that terrifying as Cartel Land is. That is deep shit. But I hope Amy wins. It’s a very, very sad but beautiful and respectful documentary of a very talented person. I still need to see The Look of Silence and Best of Enemies though. I’m sure both will be excellent.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow again! Any thoughts?

The First Look – The Oscars 2016!

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

Yay, it’s that time of a year again! Well, at least it starts now with big festivals of autumn. Yes, of course I’m talking about the Oscars. The Oscars season. It stars within ongoing film festivals In Venice and in Telluride, Colorado and continues with Toronto International Film Festival beginning in few days. So, let’s have the first look to the Oscars 2016.

There have been a bunch of eagerly awaited films in line-up of both, Venice Film Festival and Telluride. And the reception has not been bad to most of them.

First out of the oven was Johnny Depp vehicle Black Mass, a gangster story based on true events. Johnny Depp plays Whitey Bulger, a notorious gangster from Boston who ruled the streets back in 70’s. And according to critics, he does it very well (Rotten Tomatoes score atm 100%). So, seems like Johnny-boy is back in contention. The cast in the film is exceptional (well, not really because this year has a massive amount of exceptional casts) including names like Benedict Cumberbatch,  Joel Edgerton, Peter Sarsgaard, Kevin Bacon, Adam Scott, Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple and Corey Stoll. To me it seems like Joel Edgerton might be one to consider in supporting actor category but only time will tell. Other possible nominations include best picture (maybe), cinematography, score (people are hoping to Junkie XL, who score both Black Mass and Mad Max: Fury Road, to get a nomination this year but composers are a hard group to please if you’re not inside already) and most certainly make-up and hair styling. Just look at the look of Depp!

Next one that received solid enough reviews was Suffragette which, I’m very sure, will get Carey Mulligan a nomination if not a win in best actress category. Unfortunately it seems like the script is not strong enough and the whole film suffers because of that. We’ll see. At the moment Rotten Tomatoes score is only 63 % fresh but the subject of the film is so strong it is very hard to ignore. IMDb’s synopsis: “The foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State.” Let’s see how it goes down in box-office. Possible nominations besides Mulligan: best film, director (Sarah Gavron), supporting actresses (Helena Bonham-Carter and/or Anne-Marie Duff), cinematography, production design, costume design & score composed by always great Alexander Desplat.

The women have strong presence this year. Or those who want to be women like Danish Lili Elbe, the first ever person to have male to female sex reassignment surgery in The Danish Girl. Elbe is played by the last year winner of the best actor, Eddie Redmayne, who will, for sure, gain a nomination again this year. He and his work look amazing. The film is directed by Tom Hooper, helmer of King’s Speech (which he won the best directing) and Les Misérables that gained eight Oscar nominations and won three. So, high expectations again for Mr. Hooper and according to critics (Rotten Tomatoes 86% atm) it’s a solid piece of art house cinema. Apart from nomination to Mr. Redmayne the film could get nominations for best film, director, supporting OR lead actress, depending which category they choose to compete for Danish Alicia Vikander, adapted screenplay, cinematography, production and costume design as well as make-up and hair styling. I could bet on those three last ones that those are basically locks already. And the score is of course another possibility, it’s Desplat competing against himself but then again, the last year he got nominated twice and won for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

And lastly for today and to me, the most importantly, let’s have a look what critics are saying about new Dabby Boyle directed and Aaron Sorkin scripted Steve Jobs film. “An enthralling performance by Michael Fassbender fuels this brilliant, infuriating and richly unconventional take on the life of an American visionary.” –Justin Chang, Variety. “Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who’s written about America’s Great Flawed Men with such fire and hyperarticulate pathos that he’s threatened to become one himself, outdoes his work on The Social Network with an even sharper and more savage script.” –David Ehrlich, TimeOut. Soooo, looks like we have a winner here! Or at least I hope so. I’m huge huge fan of Michael Fassbender and I would so like to see him win for the best actor. He’s always so good. And Steve Jobs, despite his reputation, is a hero of mine. Steve Jobs (the movie) is definitely in contention with best actor, best (basically already won) adapted screenplay, film, director, supporting actress (Kate Winslet) and supporting actor (Seth Rogen probably). Cinematography, editing and score have also gotten multiple mentions. I just can’t wait to see this. Hope it delivers.

There were also Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation, Room, Everest and Spotlight that got premieres in Venice or Telluride. I’ll tackle them in the next post. But if you’re interested, here is my updated, very long list of Oscar predictions for 2016.

Begin Again Review

I should probably hop on the board again and what’s the better way to do it than review the film I think is one of the best ever made.

beginagainposterBegin Again (2013)

directed by John Carney
written by John Carney
starring Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley & Adam Levine

John Carney is an Irish musician. Yes, a filmmaker too, but like Begin Again and Once, man’s earlier hit (check it out, it’s alright too and even won an Oscar for the best original song AND was made only with over 100 000 €!) show, he has a passion for music. And while watching Begin Again, you can easily see how much he loves film too. After seeing this film, I actually might love this man.

Begin Again used to be called Can a Song Save Your Life and I think that was much more suitable name for this little gem. Begin Again is just lame. But never mind the name, the film itself is truly beautiful. You probably have to know what it is to have passion for something that over runs everything else to really understand this film but if you do, well, I don’t know, there should be no reason to not to like this. begin-againBegin Again is unbelievably uplifting yet authentic. I didn’t even for once feel this Hollywoodian “gimme a break” -feeling when there is something too much movielike happening on the screen. It was so easy to relate to everything happening on the screen even when there were Cee Lo Green.

Begin Again is about music. And love of the music. The original title says it all. And Keira Knightley sings herself. Not badly, I might add. And the songs. Oh, the songs. I loved the lyrics a lot. The most of the songs are written at least partly by lead singer of New Radicals, Gregg Alexander, a superbly fitting part of this film. Begin Again has same tones as this hit single of New Radicals:

nevergiveupOk, this review seems to be quite a rambling. But what I was trying to say was that the cast is great, especially Mark Ruffalo. The script is so good I couldn’t wait what the characters say next. The ending does not ruin it. The music is perfect. Keira Knightley can sing and play. New York is heaven and hell on earth and this film shows it. I miss that city so much and Begin Again did not make it any easier. I cried and laughed a lot but never because I was sad. I was almost flying when coming out of the cinema. And send sms to my wannabe musician roommate that “I will never ever tell you to stop playing that guitar again.” And I mean it. You should never give up on your passion.

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

P.S. I was going to add the trailer here but I don’t want to, it’s not worth of this film. Don’t watch it, just go and see the film.