The Best Picture Reviews: La La Land & Lion

2017oscars

I wrote my thoughts yesterday on the two first nominees, read them here!  Now it’s time for the next two.

LA LA LAND (2016)

Directed by Damien Chazelle
Written by Damien Chazelle
Starring Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling

Synopsis (IMDb): “A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.”

I’ve been waiting to see Chazelle’s next move since seeing Whiplash about exactly two years ago. Whiplash blew me away, I couldn’t move after seeing it for the first time, that strong was the impact. And then I heard he is going to do a musical with the best on-screen couple of today. OMG! I only saw La La Land 10 days ago, so you can imagine how my expectations have been rising and rising. The film just couldn’t be THAT good. How unbelievably happy I’m to say it so was. This movie was made for me. Once a dreamer, always a dreamer.

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La La Land is up to record-tying 14 Oscars and is loved by the cinema-going audience (IMDb Top-57 of all-time) as well as critics (Rotten Tomatoes score of 93%), so it would be silly to bet against it. There’s a chance that the Academy will spread the love but I still would predict that La La Land will be the big winner of the night. As I wrote yesterday, I haven’t seen all nominees yet but I hope that Emma Stone will get her Oscar, she’s dazzling. I love her anyway, so I might be a bit biased but to me she was perfect. And I’m not complaining about Ryan Gosling either but his characters in other movies are similar to Sebastian, so it is a fact he can do those roles. I did love Sebastian’s passion. Passion is the key to living, in my mind. Whatever it is, you need to have passion.

LLL d 12 _2353.NEF

When it comes to technical categories, I would predict that La La Land will take home at least editing as Chazelle knows how to use editing when intensifying the story (see Whiplash right now if you haven’t seen it yet!). It has a great chance with costume design (Jackie is, though, a real competitor), cinematography (the first scene!), production design (that is, of course, over-the-top) and sound mixing as it is a musical. There shouldn’t be competition in music categories, Justin Hurwitz should be shoo-in for the score (although I have to say, we have had great music in films this Oscar season) and I bet “City of Stars”
will win the best song, I hope it’ll be “Audition” because I like it more but I’m putting my money on “City of Stars”. Also they should stage a pier on the stage at thedamien_chazelle_a_p
Oscars where Gosling starts to sing “City of Stars”, Stone joins him and after his part he leaves and Stone performs “Audition”. I’d love that.

Like I wrote yesterday, I absolutely worshipped Arrival and its director Villeneuve. And I think I’m in love with Damien Chazelle. He is SO talented. I wish they would share the best director Oscar. As it’s not likely to happen, I bet Chazelle will win this time. His work is so purely a work of passion. And as it seems, everyone is in love with La La Land and chasing your dreams, especially in Hollywood, so I also predict that La La Land will win the best picture Oscar.

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

lionposterLION (2016)

Directed by Garth Davis
Written by Luke Davies
Starring Dev Patel, Sunny Pawar, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham & Abhishek Bharate

Synopsis (IMDb): “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.”

Before going to see Lion, I was told I should take a towel with me because tissues wouldn’t be enough. True enough, Lion makes you cry. You have to be one hard boiled egg, if it doesn’t. And what is the coolest point here, it’s a true story. And it’s told well.

Sunny Pawar stars in LION
Photo: Mark Rogers

To me Lion is a bit like The Imitation Game of two years ago. Very well-made, with everything working but there’s nothing spectacular. The Imitation Game was up for 10 Oscars, Lion is up for six and I agree, there is that much difference in quality. I did enjoy Lion a lot but not as much as I thought I would. I absolutely loved the music, if Oscar goes that way, I’m not complaining. I did like the cinematography a lot too, so they could win that too. It’s a hard category to predict this year. Overall Lion is beautiful to look at and listen, it breaks your heart a bit and is tremendous accomplishment for a first time director.

devpatel_hotWhich I don’t like with the Academy again is that, that Dev Patel is in the lead role. Yes, Sunny Pawar, who was robbed by the way, might have more screen-time but the story is about how the adult Saroo found his family. And still they placed Patel in supporting actor category. I like that he is recognised but those category breaches still annoy me.

Lion should be watched as it’s a good story of never giving up (although that obsession was getting to my nerves a bit). I have a lot of friends who liked it much more than I did. Maybe I just don’t get the importance of your roots or something. Anyhow, good film and even though I think it’ll go home empty handed on Sunday, I wouldn’t mind giving it a statue or two.

Rating: **** 

P.S. Dev Patel has gotten so hot!

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 Oscar Predictions – Winners

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

It’s been a tradition that I open up my predictions a bit before making the final ones on Sunday before the actual awards time.

BEST PICTURE

  1. Spotlight
  2. Mad Max Fury Road
  3. Room
  4. The Martian
  5. The Revenant
  6. The Big Short
  7. Bridge of Spies
  8. Brooklyn

Well, I already made it clear that I hope that Spotlight will win. I still haven’t seen Room and Brooklyn but I will watch them both before The Oscars on Sunday but I doubt either of them will be better for me than Spotlight. The Best Picture will go to Spotlight, The Big Short or The Revenant. The most of the people are predicting that it’ll go to The Revenant but I have my doubts… I might change my prediction but at the moment I’m also predicting that the eventual winner will be Spotlight.

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  2. Spotlight – Thomas McCarthy
  3. Room – Lenny Abrahamson
  4. The Revenant – Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu
  5. The Big Short – Adam McKay

Three words: Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu. (Ok, a slight change for George Miller, I guess but I don’t think so.)

Alejandro-González-Iñárritu

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

No competition here, it’s finally his year. All salute to Mr. DiCaprio!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. Bridge of Spies – Mark Rylance
  2. Creed – Sylvester Stallone
  3. The Big Short – Christian Bale
  4. The Revenant – Tom Hardy
  5. Spotlight – Mark Ruffalo

I think and I predict that sentiment will win in this category and thus the Oscar will go to Sylvester Stallone. I don’t really know what I think about it as he’s not that good in Creed but he did come up with Rocky Balboa and didn’t win for him all those years ago. Mark Rylance was scene stealing in Bridge of Spies and all three others were better than Stallone in their films. I’d like to see Rylance to win.

BEST ACTRESS

  1. Carol – Cate Blanchett
  2. Joy – Jennifer Lawrence
  3. 45 Years – Charlotte Rampling
  4. Room – Brie Larson
  5. Brooklyn – Saoirse Ronan

This one is Larson’s to lose. I have no personal opinion yet.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Carol – Rooney Mara
  2. The Hateful Eight – Jennifer Jason Leigh
  3. Steve Jobs – Kate Winslet
  4. Spotlight – Rachel McAdams
  5. The Danish Girl – Alicia Vikander

I think Kate Winslet might upset in this category. She’s been winning some precursor awards but she hasn’t been competing against Vikander’s role in The Danish Girl. Then again Vikander won SAG and she’s THE IT girl of the season. And her role was very, very good. Hmmm… I guess I’m still predicting her. At the moment at least. I thought Winslet was very good too.

kate

BEST SCREENPLAY (original)

  1. Straight Outta Compton – Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S.Leigh Savide & Alan Wenkus
  2. Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Ronnie Del Carmen & Josh Cooley
  3. Spotlight – Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer
  4. Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman & Coen brothers
  5. Ex Machina – Alex Garland

Should go to Spotlight.

BEST SCREENPLAY (adapted)

  1. Carol – Phyllis Nagy
  2. Room – Emma Donoghue
  3. The Martian – Drew Goddard
  4. Brooklyn – Nick Hornby
  5. The Big Short – Charles Randolph & Adam McKay

Should go to The Big Short. In both writing categories there is a chance to award the directors of Spotlight and The Big Short as they have writing credits of their films as well.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

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

Three in a row! Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you Mr. Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki! (Oh, if you didn’t know, he shot The Revenant.)

BEST EDITING

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Spotlight
  • The Big Short

Eddie Awards (given out by American Cinema Editors) went to Mad Max and The Big Short and I can’t see those two losing here either. I just don’t know which one will. Both have notable editing, even for people who usually don’t pay attention to things like that. In The Big Short it is the main story telling tool, so at the moment my money’s there. But it could be Mad Max too. I just don’t know. And I can’t decide which one I prefer, both are cool.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl
  • The Revenant

Precursors tell me that this one is to Mad Max’s to lose. I personally liked the production design of Bridge of Spies a lot. But just the sake of those cars, I predict Mad Max to win.

mad-max-fury-road-production-design

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

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

I love Cinderella’s dresses! They’re so beautiful. But precursors say Mad Max again. And then again, like I wrote in my review, the clothes in The Danish Girl are like characters themselves. So, a bit hard one. And Carol is very much stylish. But I think I will bet on Mad Max again.

cinderella_costumes

BEST MAKEUP

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • A 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
  • The Revenant

Mad Max. At least should be. The Revenant has cool work as well. I haven’t seen the third option but I think nomination is enough for it.

BEST SCORE

  • Carol – Carter Burwell
  • Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman
  • The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
  • Sicario – Jóhann Jóhannsson
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

This one has to go to Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight has cool soundtrack. John Williams also managed to compose a nice one, again. And my personal favourite is Sicario’s soundtrack but as  Jóhann Jóhannsson just won the last year, I don’t see it happen this year again. So Morricone.

BEST SONG

  • Spectre – Writings on the Wall
  • The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
  • Youth – Simple Song #3
  • Fifty Shades of Grey – Earned It
  • Racing Extinction – Manta Ray

Weeknd just won Grammy for his song in Fifty Shades of Grey but I still think this one will go to Lady Gaga and Til It Happens To You (co-writer Diane Warren). Only three of these songs will be performed at the show, it’s all about the star status and stage is set only for Lady Gaga, Weeknd and Sam Smith.

BEST SOUND EDITING

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

Mad Max, The Martian or Star Wars? Or The Revenant? I have no clue. Sound editors will have their Golden Reels awards given away only on tomorrow. I hope I’ll be wiser after that.

BEST SOUND MIXING

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

According to the precursors, this one goes to The Revenant. I don’t know otherwise and I have to admit that Bridge of Spies was the only one where I paid attention to the sound mixing, it worked really well.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ex Machina
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant

I think this one goes to Star Wars. Mad Max has a change as well as does The Revenant but still, I’m predicting Star Wars.

starwars

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  • Son of Saul (Hungary)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  • Theeb (Jordan)
  • A War (Denmark)

Son of Saul. I haven’t seen any of these, so I got no opinion.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Inside Out
  • When Marnie Was There
  • Anomalisa
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • Boy & the World

 Should go to Inside Out, anything else is a surprise.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • Winter on Fire

Amy is the only one I’ve seen but it was also one of the best films that I saw last year. I hope it wins and I’m also predicting it.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

  1. World of Tomorrow
  2. Sanjay’s Super Team
  3. Bear Story
  4. We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
  5. Prologue

I hope Sanjay’s Super Team wins as it looks cool and would be one of those awards that would go to minorities but World of Tomorrow has a good change as well, I think. I didn’t really like it despite the good message.

Sanjay's_Super_Team_poster

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

  1. Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  2. Last Day of Freedom
  3. Body Team 12
  4. Chau Beyond the Lines
  5. A Girl in the River

I love Chau but it looks like other people like Body Team 12 or Claude Lanzmann more. According to Scott Feinberg of Hollywood Reporter, many of those voters who haven’t seen short films might just vote for Lanzmann because of his name and Shoah, so at the moment I’m predicting Lanzmann.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

  • Ave Maria
  • Day One
  • Shok
  • Stutterer
  • Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)

I have no clue. Stutterer sounds like easy one to predict.

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.

After Venice and Telluride – The Second look on The Oscars 2016

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

My promised second update on upcoming Oscar films.

TIFF aka Toronto International Film Festival has begun couple of days ago and already showed new Michael Moore documentary Where to Invade Next as well as new Ridley Scott film, The Martian. I will go through how those films and other new ones from TIFF were received in my next post. This post however is still dedicated to films from Venice and Telluride Film Festivals. See the first part here.

Cary Fukunaga. I have no idea if he is gay or straight, married or in a relationship but if he’s willing, I could marry him. He already directed amazing first season of True Detective but now he has finished his passion project Beasts of No Nation. He did not only direct it, he also has written the screenplay and shot it. And as you might know I’m a big fan of cinematographers (my list of top-10). And apparently Beasts of No Nation is a winner! I watched the trailer (synopsis from IMDb: “A drama based on the experiences of Agu, a child soldier fighting in the civil war of an unnamed African country.”) and it already made me feel bad, so I guess the film itself will be very hard to watch but nonetheless I will watch it as soon as it gets its premiere on Netflix on October 16th world-wide. Idris Elba apparently does career best work in the film as well as total newcomer, Abraham Attah from Ghana, where they shot the film, is supposedly very good in the lead role. I believe the cinematography works as well because previous films of Fukunaga have looked so good. Rotten Tomatoes says 100% fresh right now. Oh, and when it comes to Fukunaga, he’s also hot! Or what do you think?

Hot pic of Cary Fukunaga

Brie Larson is one of my favourite actresses working today and she is only 25 years old. I fell in love with her within 21 Jump Street but after that she has just gone better with Short Term 12, Trainwreck and The Spectacular Now. And now with Room (synopsis from IMDb: “A modern-day story about the boundless love between mother and child; young Jack knows nothing of the world except for the single room in which he was born and raised.”) she might be looking for her first Oscar nomination. I haven’t even seen the film yet but I’m ready to campaign for her. Besides her, critics are saying that a newcomer Jacob Tremblay in other lead role is a find. The screenplay is adapted by the writer of the original book, Emma Donoghue, so it should have a chance for a nomination as well. It all depends how the film will be received by audience. Rotten Tomatoes says 100%.

I had high hopes for Everest but according to mixed reviews after Venice it looks like it’s not the best but I have a gut feeling that wider audiences will like it. Everest is a film about surviving on Everest, based of true events, I think. Starring character actors as well as heavy hitters like Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Josh Brolin, Sam Worthington and, my all-time future-husband, Jake Gyllenhaal. It will probably still score with technical categories like effects and sounds as well as possibly in cinematography. We’ll see. In theaters on September in most of the countries. Rotten Tomatoes: 76% (that’s not really bad…).

And the last but for sure not the least: Spotlight. IMDb says: “The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.” Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Michael Keaton, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Billy Crudup and Stanley Tucci. Yeah, sounds like an Oscar film, doesn’t it? And it should get a nomination at least to Keaton, perhaps even a win. We don’t know yet. There are changes for Ruffalo and McAdams too. Critics are comparing it to All the President’s Men that went winning four Oscars back in 1977 after gaining eight nominations. There is no reason why Spotlight couldn’t do the same. RT: 94%.

And again, my updated predictions HERE!