TIFF #2 – The Oscars 2016 Update vol. 3

Finally. Toronto Update 2. And the Oscars 2016 update 3. Or basically 4 because I believe that The Martian will get multiple nominations. So, which films triumphed at TIFF? Same that triumphed at the earlier festivals already. Mostly Room and Spotlight. The latter has become the forerunner for the best picture and the first got People’s Choice Award at Toronto that usually goes to films like 12 Years a Slave or Slumdog Millionaire (both winners of the Best Picture Oscar). I already wrote both of the films, read it here!

Beautiful Elizabeth Olsen

Tom Hiddleston hot as hell

Anything new then? Well, yes, but nothing really spectacular. I Saw the Light, that I hoped would be fantastic, plummeted. Too bad because it apparently still includes great performances from Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.

Jean-Marc Vallée’s  (Dallas Buyers Club) Demolition got bumped to 2016 and according to Rotten Tomatoes it stinks (53%). It also, like I Saw the Light, has solid work from Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role. Denis Villeneuve’s (Prisoners) Sicario then again might be one to get some nominations despite the fact that it is supposedly quite dark and gritty. Emily Blunt might have a chance in crowded Best Actress category and Benicio Del Toro his in Supporting Actor. Might. I kind of doubt it but we’ll see. Trailer beneath. Sicario is out around Europe and US now or soonish.

Another transgender flick besides The Danish Girl (talked about it here) this year is About Ray which, according to people, who saw it in Toronto, is too light-hearted to be taken seriously enough. Elle Fanning is good in it but I doubt it helps to gain an Oscar nomination this year when a lot of ladies are giving their best works. And one other film that deals with minority issues (same heritage rights to same-sex couples) is Freeheld, led by always good Julianne Moore and supported by Ellen Page. Unfortunately the film itself doesn’t carry. Michael Shannon in another supporting role is said to be great too. But again, that is probably not enough. But you never know.

Michael Moore screened his new documentary at TIFF too. Where to Invade Next is a flick about how Moore will in the name of the USA invade other countries to get their best stuff to his country. My Finland is there as well as punch of others. I’m not sure it the film already has a distributor but if it does, it’s a candidate for documentary nomination.

Ok, let’s save rest of TIFF stuff, the better half, I think, to the next post. Check out my updated predictions here and stay tuned.

Oh, another big player was revealed today when The Big Short, film starring small names like Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, will premiere at AFI Fest. I do hate those hairstyles a lot but the story is a true story based on same author’s, Michael Lewis, book who wrote The Blind Side and Moneyball (both Best Picture nominees. According to Variety’s Kristopher Tapley The Big Short “as I hear it, could be an awards play for Christian Bale and particularly Steve Carell, with other hopes for best picture and best adapted screenplay lingering.” Trailer with horrible hairs:


And the Oscars 2014 went to…

I’m re-watching the Oscars of last night (morning to us here in Finland) and Lupita Nyong’o, the Queen of the evening and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, is about to get her Oscar again. She was so graceful, so beautiful. Here is her speech if you haven’t heard it, it’s worth to listen (I’m so awfully tired that I’m crying here, again):

Let’s see what else happened.

The Best Picture went deservedly to 12 Years a Slave. That was the option number one according to Ellen and so it was. (Option number two was that everyone in the hall is Pitt and the rest of the cast including director and producer McQueen accept the Oscar for best picture at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywoodracist.) All in all I had 18 out of 24 correct because I took some chances, wrongly, against all odds. The winners were not surprising. And this year it was just fine. I kinda hoped that Leo DiCaprio would have won Best Actor in a Leading Role instead of Matthew McConaughey, especially after his acceptance speech, but because Dallas Buyers Club was great, I don’t mind. Cate Blanchett won Best Actress in a Leading Role. Besides Lupita, Jared Leto, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, gave great speech. See here:

Best Director went expectedly to Alfonso Cuarón and Best Adapted Screenplay, also expectedly, to 12 Years a Slave. And even though I had predicted that American Hustle would take Original Screenplay, I’m so unbelievably happy that it didn’t but Her did. For once it went right.

Frozen took home Best Animated Feature and Best Song, so I didn’t need to become angry at any time of the evening. John Travolta named Idina Menzel Adela Dazeem (that person has her own Twitter account now) who sang Let It Go of Frozen (unfortunately not so well as I hoped; it looked like she was nervous) and other singing acts did nice job in their performances. Especially Pharrell Williams who jammed with the front row:

The Best Foreign Language Film went to Italy, to La Grande Bellezza. And Best Documentary to 20 Feet from Stardom which was, to me, the most annoying price of the evening. They could have chosen something a bit deeper meaning… Shorts: Live Action went to Helium (I changed my prediction yesterday, before that I had Helium, how very annoying), Animation to Mr. Hublot (only real surprise to me but nice one because it was my favourite of the bunch) and Documentary to The Lady in Number 6 (again good acceptance speech). Ooooh, Cumberbatch is in telly! Thanks to The Academy for adding him to the show and thanks to him for photobombing U2:

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch jumps behind U2 at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood

Quite many people have been complaining about heros theme, I don’t. I liked it. It reminded me why they make movies and how many great, uplifting films there are. I need to watch my indys, bonds and potters again. And nolans, marvels and georgebaileys too. And In Memoriam, that was beautiful. I really liked Glenn Close’s short speech before the montage. Like was the tribute to The Wizard of Oz. And the fact that real Philomena and Captain Phillips were present. All in all, I  and rest of our viewing party was very happy. And kudos to Ellen DeGeneres for that, she did a great job!

Alfonso-Cuaron-Oscar-GravityBack to the trophies. Best Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects (duh!), Sound Mixing and Editing and Score went to Gravity. I thought that editing might go to Captain Phillips but was not surprised that Gravity took it. Gravity was, with seven wins, the biggest winner of the night. But for sure, not the only one.

Dallas Buyers Club took home Best Make-up and Hairstyling (thankfully!) and The Great Gatsby both; Best Production Design and Costumes.

Here are all of the winners once more:

  • Best Picture “12 Years a Slave”
  • Direction Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity”
  • Actor Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • Actress Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
  • Supporting Actor Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Adapted Screenplay “12 Years a Slave,” John Ridley
  • Original Screenplay “Her,” Spike Jonze
  • Cinematography “Gravity,” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Production Design “The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn
  • Film Editing “Gravity,” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  • Visual Effects “Gravity,” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
  • Costume Design “The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin
  • Makeup “Dallas Buyers Club,” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
  • Sound Editing “Gravity,” Glenn Freemantle
  • Sound Mixing “Gravity,” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
  • Score “Gravity,” Steven Price
  • Song “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • Foreign Language Film “The Great Beauty” (Italy)
  • Animated Feature “Frozen”
  • Documentary Feature “20 Feet From Stardom”
  • Animated Short “Mr. Hublot”
  • Documentary Short “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
  • Live Action Short “Helium”

And finally, the best thing of the evening, crashing down Twitter with the most re-tweeted selfie ever (that’s 2,7 millions at the moment!):


And the Oscars 2014 goes to… Or so I hope

(and what I hope to win)

12-years-a-slaveBest Motion Picture of the Year

American Hustle (2013)
Captain Phillips (2013)
Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
Gravity (2013)
Her (2013)
Nebraska (2013)
Philomena (2013)
12 Years a Slave (2013)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

I have seen all of the best picture nominees and I’m hoping 12 Years a Slave will win the Best Picture. The second favourite of mine was The Wolf of a Wall Street, quite surprisingly. I had a blast with it. Nebraska was my favourite of the last year films and I liked Dallas Buyers Club more than I expected. So basically if any of those wins, I’m alright with it. I just hope it won’t be American Hustle or Captain Phillips. In the end, the whole awards season has been great success.

wolf1Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale for American Hustle (2013)
Bruce Dern for Nebraska (2013)
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

I do believe Matthew McConaughey will win but I’m going against the odds and betting DiCaprio. I think he finally deserves the win. And he was better than ever in The Wolf. All of the nominees were good.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams for American Hustle (2013)
Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine (2013)
Sandra Bullock for Gravity (2013)
Judi Dench for Philomena (2013)
Meryl Streep for August: Osage County (2013)

cateCate Blanchett. Nothing more to say.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

letoBarkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips (2013)
Bradley Cooper for American Hustle (2013)
Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

It seems like I’m betting my own favourites. Well, what can you do? Leto was stunning in Dallas Buyers Club.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine (2013)
Julia Roberts for August: Osage County (2013)
Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle (2013)
June Squibb for Nebraska (2013)

jenniferAnother one that I’m betting against the odds is Jennifer Lawrence. I do hope Nyong’o wins but for some reason I have a hunch it’s gonna be J-Law. Maybe I’m wrong. I doubt anyone else will win. I haven’t seen Julia Roberts’ performance but she hasn’t got any preceding awards, so guess she won’t win.

gravityBest Achievement in Directing

Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity (2013)
Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave (2013)
David O. Russell for American Hustle (2013)
Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Alexander Payne for Nebraska (2013)

Cuarón. I think. I did like McQueen a lot too. Which ever.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

american-hustle-posterAmerican Hustle (2013): Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
Blue Jasmine (2013): Woody Allen
Her (2013): Spike Jonze
Nebraska (2013): Bob Nelson
Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack

I’m really torn in this category. I want them to give the statue to Her but is it too much? Is Jonze too much for the Academy? I was disappointed to American Hustle but maybe voters are not. And there were some witty writing or was it improvised? I’ll go with Hustle now. It could be Her or DBC too.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

12yearsBefore Midnight (2013): Richard Linklater
Captain Phillips (2013): Billy Ray
12 Years a Slave (2013): John Ridley
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013): Terence Winter
Philomena (2013): Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope

I loved Philomena’s script but it has to be 12 Years a Slave. Otherwise it would probably win only the Best Picture according to me and that’s not enough.

FROZN_014M_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddBest Animated Feature Film of the Year

The Croods (2013)
Despicable Me 2 (2013)
Ernest et Célestine (2012)
Frozen (2013)
Kaze tachinu (2013)

Frozen. Got to be. It was my second favourite of the ones I saw last year after Nebraska. And we are watching it right now while awaiting to the actual show to begin. And everyone loves it! And btw, Frozen just went over billion bucks at box office.

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

The Broken Circle Breakdown (2012): Felix Van Groeningen(Belgium)
L’image manquante (2013): Rithy Panh(Cambodia)
Jagten (2012): Thomas Vinterberg(Denmark)
La grande bellezza (2013): Paolo Sorrentino(Italy)
Omar (2013): Hany Abu-Assad(Palestine)


I have to admit, I haven’t watched any of these. But The Great Beauty has won most of the awards that hasn’t been won by Blue is the Warmest Color (and that is not nominated).

Gravity 1Best Achievement in Cinematography

Gravity (2013): Emmanuel Lubezki
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013): Bruno Delbonnel
Nebraska (2013): Phedon Papamichael
Prisoners (2013): Roger Deakins
Yi dai zong shi (2013): Philippe Le Sourd

I think Gravity will win because it looks amazing and The Academy tend to award one with the flashiest look. I like Inside Llewyn Davis’s cinematography the best. Just saw it today and it’s a beautiful thing to look at.

captain phillipsBest Achievement in Editing

12 Years a Slave (2013): Joe Walker
American Hustle (2013): Alan Baumgarten, Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers
Gravity (2013): Alfonso Cuarón, Mark Sanger
Captain Phillips (2013): Christopher Rouse
Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Martin Pensa, John Mac McMurphy

The pace of Gravity was thrilling and that has to be partly thanks to editing. But Captain Phillips has been praised that much that it might win. Don’t know. I’ll go with this now.

gatsbyBest Achievement in Production Design

12 Years a Slave (2013): Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker
American Hustle (2013): Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
Gravity (2013)
The Great Gatsby (2013): Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
Her (2013): K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena

I loved the look of Her. It looks very convincing. Like the way that could be the future. But then again The Great Gatsby has this lavish look. It is sparkling one. And the easiest to recognise.

Best Achievement in Costume Design

THE GREAT GATSBYAmerican Hustle (2013): Michael Wilkinson
The Great Gatsby (2013): Catherine Martin
12 Years a Slave (2013): Patricia Norris
Yi dai zong shi (2013): William Chang
The Invisible Woman (2013): Michael O’Connor

Again, same reason to nominate Gatsby as the winner; it’s spectacle. But like I told in my review of Hustle, I loved the costumes of it. I hope it wins this.

beautiful-jared-letoBest Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club (2013): Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa (2013): Steve Prouty
The Lone Ranger (2013): Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua Casny

Did you know Dallas Buyers Club had 250 dollars budget for make-up? That’s nothing. And very cool. It looked real.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

The Book Thief (2013): John Williams
Gravity (2013): Steven Price
Her (2013): William Butler, Andy Koyama
Saving Mr. Banks (2013): Thomas Newman
Philomena (2013): Alexandre Desplat

At first I didn’t like Gravity’s score that much but after listening to it quite a lot, I’ve come to like it. And it’s different. Philomena has beautiful music too.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Despicable Me 2 (2013): Pharrell Williams( “Happy”)
Frozen (2013): Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez(“Let It Go”)
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013): Bono, Adam Clayton, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jr., Brian Burton(“Ordinary Love”)
Her (2013): Karen O(“The Moon Song”)

This is the category that I will be most pissed off if something else wins. I’ve said it hundreds of times how much I adore Idina Menzel and Let It Go is great great musical number. And I’m gonna post it right here once more:

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Gravity (2013): Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson
Captain Phillips (2013): Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro
Inside Llewyn Davis (2013): Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland
Lone Survivor (2013): Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow

I believe Gravity will win because it’s the biggest one in technical things but I really liked Inside Llewyn Davis’ sound. You could hear the mixing. And apparently Captain Phillips has great sound too but because of the grand size of Gravity, I’ll go with it.


Best Achievement in Sound Editing

All Is Lost (2013): Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns
Captain Phillips (2013): Oliver Tarney
Gravity (2013): Glenn Freemantle
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Brent Burge
Lone Survivor (2013): Wylie Stateman

Same reason. And I think the silence works here.

debris-gravityBest Achievement in Visual Effects

Gravity (2013): Timothy Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013): Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
Iron Man Three (2013): Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Daniel Sudick
The Lone Ranger (2013): Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier
Star Trek Into Darkness (2013): Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton

Is there any other possibility here? NO.

Best Documentary, Feature

actofkillingThe Act of Killing (2012): Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen
Cutie and the Boxer (2013): Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher
Dirty Wars (2013): Rick Rowley, Jeremy Scahill
The Square (2013): Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer
20 Feet from Stardom (2013): Morgan Neville

I’m gonna go with popular opinion here. The easiest subject. But I want The Act of Killing to win.

lady6Best Documentary, Short Subject

Cavedigger (2013): Jeffrey Karoff
Facing Fear (2013): Jason Cohen
Karama Has No Walls (2012): Sara Ishaq
The Lady In Number 6 (2013): Malcolm Clarke, Carl Freed
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall (2013): Edgar Barens

I haven’t wathed any of these but on paper The Lady sounds like winner.

mickeyBest Short Film, Animated

Feral (2012): Daniel Sousa, Dan Golden
Get a Horse! (2013): Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim
Mr Hublot (2013): Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares
Tsukumo (2012): Shuhei Morita
Room on the Broom (2012) (TV): Max Lang, Jan Lachauer

Mr Hublot has beautiful animation but I liked Get a Horse! too and everyone has seen it.

The Voorman ProblemBest Short Film, Live Action

Aquel no era yo (2012): Esteban Crespo
Avant que de tout perdre (2013): Xavier Legrand
Helium (2014): Anders Walter
Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? (2012): Selma Vilhunen
The Voorman Problem (2012): Mark Gill

Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa? is from Finland. So obviously it is my favourite. We don’t get that much Oscars coming to this way. But I go with The Voorman Problem because it has Martin Freeman in it.

Dallas Buyers Club Review

Dallas_Buyers_Club_posterDallas Buyers Club

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée
Written by Craig Borten & Melissa Wallack
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto & Jennifer Garner

Yesterday I finally saw six-time Oscar nominee, Dallas Buyers Club. I’ve had hard time deciding who will win the Best Actor in a Leading Role and seeing DBC didn’t make it any easier. McConaughey is very good in the leading role as Ron Woodroof, he could easily beat the competition to win the golden boy on Sunday. But Jared Leto should win. He is heartbreaking in the Supporting Role as Rayon. Truly amazing. His final scenes in the film are remarkably vulnerable. I absolutely loved his flawed character. And I hope he will win the Oscar. He deserves it. All of the other actors are good too but are outshined by Leto.

I’m so glad they managed to do this film. And I think everyone should see it (I’ve said that quite often lately but that just shows how good the films of this award season actually are). It is a story of people willing to live even when the whole world around them turn on them. I’m an admirer of not giving up and this film is all about it. And about humanity against bureaucracy and greedy people. There have been so many films that I’ve seen lately that makes you think and this is definitely one of them. It makes good to your soul to see people who are ready to take a stance for others even if it starts as a selfish act.


There are flaws in Dallas Buyers Club like the sound mixing (it is amazing how easily we can hear even the whispers in the noisy places) and in general I hate this ugly look that the whole film has. To me it’s not natural but maybe it really is that way. I don’t know. My own world has always had more colours in it. But those are just technicalities that can’t hide the huge heart of this film. Again, I’m so glad they made this and that it has gotten the recognition. It’s worth of every mention it gets.

Rating: ****½ (out of 5)