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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Oscars Reviews: Spotlight & The Revenant

It’s been a month since I saw these two, so it feels a bit silly to write about them now but as I will go through their Oscars chances at the same time, let’s do it anyway.

spotlight_posterSPOTLIGHT (2015)

Directed by Tom McCarthy

Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery & Brian d’Arcy James

Synopsis (by IMDb): “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.”

I wish Spotlight would win the Best Picture on Sunday. To me it is the best picture of the season. I came out of the cinema trembling. From time to time I get physical reaction to movies and this one was one of them and the physical reaction (if not puking) is the mark of remarkable film. Spotlight is remarkable and should be awarded because of that.

When you read the synopsis of Spotlight or hear what it is about, it sounds boring, doesn’t it? And it is actually made that way. It tells a story what happened and I don’t believed it’s hugely dramatized either, it doesn’t look like it and it doesn’t feel like it, but at least to me it affected much more deeply than any other film this year. It engaged me into the story so fully and in a way that I didn’t even realise it did it before I was feeling so much it was a bit hard to bear. Masterful filmmaking.

spotlight_cast

Like I said, I hope it gets the best picture Oscar on Sunday’s Oscars. Spotlight is not parts, it’s a whole. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams got supporting nods but they are just part of the great cast and I don’t believe any of them is better than the other. Ruffalo’s part is a bit more flashier than others and draws the attention while McAdams is basically the only woman on the screen; they’re both great but I so is the whole cast. I believe McCarthy is also worth of an Oscar but I have to admit (as you can read in the following review) that he will most probably not win it except maybe for the best screenplay where Spotlight has the best chance of winning. The editing Oscar is still wide open, I think, it could go to Spotlight or The Big Short or Mad Max.

All in all, Spotlight to me was a perfection. It’s not Star Wars, it doesn’t change your life but there’s nothing wrong with it, quite the opposite, everything works so well that it’s a bit hard to realise it. To me the best thing was that it affected to my feelings so deeply it felt bad and it should feel bad. Like said, masterful.

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

revenant-leo

The Revenant (2015)

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Written by Mark L. Smith & Alejandro González Iñárritu

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (and Tom Hardy & Domhnall Gleeson)

Synopsis: “A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.”

There were approximately 10 minutes for me between seeing Spotlight and The Revenant. I still wonder if it affected my liking of The Revenant. I guess I only find outleo1 if I ever watch it again. And I’m not sure if I ever want to watch it again.

Well, first of all: Leonardo DiCaprio will win his Oscar this year. For sure and very much deservingly so. I still think he was better in The Wolf of Wall Street as it was comedy, something I didn’t think Leo is capable of doing, but yes, of course, his role in The Revenant is… um… Excellent? First-rate? Like he always is. Anyway, I’m glad he finally gets the statue, he’s one of the best ones in the industry. Tom Hardy is nominated in the supporting category and I’m glad he is, he’s really good in this one (but then again, isn’t he always?) but I doubt he’ll win this time.

It seems to me that it’s a bit hard for me to write this review, so I’ll just go straight ahead to the Oscar nominations and review The Revenant via them. 12 nominations including best picture, director, actor, supporting actor, cinematography, editing, makeup, costumes, 2 x sound, production design & visual effects. That’s a lot. The Revenant already won in the Golden Globes for the best picture, director and Leo as well as in BAFTAs for all of those plus cinematography and sound. Lubezki got the statue from American Society of Cinematographers too and I believe that he will get it again (third time in a row!) from the Academy and yes, he again deserves it, shooting in natural light is a pain in the ass and The Revenant looks amazing (although, I wasn’t a big fan of those “nature stills” like melting snow etc., they kind of felt like “this looks pretty, let’s put it in”…). All in all, all those technical achievements in The Revenant are top notch. I can’t deny that. And it will probably win a bunch of those awards, for sound I guess at least and I liked the makeup and hair styling, both looked authentic. The bear didn’t but I think it must have influenced my viewing that I knew it was made with CGI.

I’ve been Iñárritu’s fan since Amores Perros and I really, really wanted The Revenant to be his best work to date but unfortunately, to me, it isn’t (Amores Perros still is). It feels like he has lost “the loving feeling” when trying to achieve something that has never been done before. He is one of the best directors working today and his films are technical marvels but like Birdman last year, The Revenant also left me cold. In the end I just didn’t care who lived or who died, I just wished it would be over. But yay for Leo!

Rating: **** 

 

The Oscars reviews: Bridge of Spies & The Big Short

bridgeofspiesReviews, as promised.

BRIDGE OF SPIES (2015)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Written by Ethan & Joel Cohen & Matt Charman

Starring Tom Hanks & Mark Rylance

Synopsis (via IMDb): “During the Cold War, an American lawyer is recruited to defend an arrested Soviet spy in court, and then help the CIA facilitate an exchange of the spy for the Soviet captured American U2 spy plane pilot, Francis Gary Powers.”

Bridge of Spies is nominated for six Oscars: best picture, supporting actor, original screenplay, production design, original music and sound mixing and to me this film is worthy of all of those nominations. I predicted it will get five out of those six and I only left music out as there just wasn’t enough slots for Thomas Newman who scored the film. But the soundtrack of Bridge of Spies is beautiful and deserves to be nominated. And even possibly might win as Newman has been nominated for 13 times but has never won. Though, unfortunately for him, I doubt he will win this year either. Morricone’s music for The Hateful Eight is just way too good.

Bridge of Spies is guaranteed Spielberg. By far it’s not his best work but solid still. Spielberg doesn’t really do bad films, does he? I don’t think so… Oh, well, the last Indy. Ugh. OK, so he does but not often. Bridge of Spies is quite close to Spielberg’s last effort, Lincoln. It’s more entertaining and light and doesn’t have that many long monologues but it also doesn’t have Daniel Day Lewis. Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks, the everyman, in the role of James B. Donovan. And he nails it but it’s nothing spectacular. Then again, Mark Rylance as Rudolph Abel is a perfection, I loved his work and despite the fact that all the guys in supporting category are probably deserving, I hope Rylance will win, he’s so good. Other actors are irrelevant to the story and I don’t really even remember their faces anymore. But all solid, obviously, it’s Spielberg’s film after all and I doubt his casting has ever really gone wrong.

ST. JAMES PLACE

The writing is interesting enough and actually well-done as I was so frustrated to Americans while watching this. The flow of the film works. But it will not win the Oscar. But I hope it will win for the Production Design, it deserves it. Nice job! And even though I’m not the girl to truly understand sound design, in this film I did pay attention because it felt real. All the noises around that you hear were there and they felt real, like a traffic outside of your apartment. All in all, Bridge of Spies is good but not spectacular. I was moved by it and felt a bunch of other emotions, so that’ll do. Plus it looks very good.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

thebigshort_poster

THE BIG SHORT (2015)

Directed by Adam McKay

Written by Charles Randolph & Adam McKay, book by Michael Lewis

Starring Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, John Magaro & Finn Wittrock

Synopsis: “Four denizens of the world of high-finance predict the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s, and decide to take on the big banks for their greed and lack of foresight.”

The Big Short kind of came out of nowhere. Surely as soon as they announced that the film will be out this year, it got some hype already because of the actors but then nothing and then suddenly it was getting nominated all around. And finally for the Oscars where it is nominated for five Oscars including the best picture, supporting actor, directing, adapted screenplay and editing. Big ones! And again, deservedly so.

Since Whiplash this has been the biggest surprise to me and in a positive way for sure! I had my doubts, it’s a film about housing market collapsing after all, how exciting that can be? Apparently, very. I wasn’t at all fond of Adam McKay, the director, before seeing The Big Short and I really didn’t believe that this film can be any better than his previous films. I’m glad to say, I was wrong. The Big Short is a very, very good film. It’s entertaining, thrilling, fun, sad, frustrating and glitzy at the same time. And very smart. The writing is top-notch and I wish it’ll win for the best adapted screenplay, it earns it. I still can’t believe how they managed to explain those complicated financial matters involved in housing markets to us less aware of stock exchange or insurance markets. And doing it by very entertaining way. Thumbs up! Besides writing, I think it will take home the Editing award, it should. It’s THE thing in this film that drives it forward and makes it as fast-paced as it is. Super important and extremely well-done.

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I tend to always forget how good of an actor Christian Bale is when I don’t see his films for a while. He just is, really good, a chameleon. Great supporting role here again. Others are good too, but he’s better.

I don’t know what else to say. I loved The Big Short, I think I want to see it again. It’s that entertaining. And surprisingly relevant, read the last texts.

Rating: ****½ 

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

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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 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?