The Martian Preview (Toronto Update #1)

The_Martian_2014I had a though of doing three posts of Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) premieres but I have to admit, I don’t know where to start because there are so many films getting their first showings there… So I ended up writing a piece of The Martian, upcoming Ridley Scott blockbuster. At the moment, after 20 reviews, it still has 96 fresh percentage at Rotten Tomatoes and IMDb ca is 8.8 (only 605 votes, though). Critics are loving it and the trailer makes it look like a good ride. And funny one, I might add.

The Martian synopsis goes (IMDb): “During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.”

It stars Matt Damon in the lead role and names like Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Michael Peña and Sean Bean in supporting roles. It’s, like said, directed by Ridley Scott and shot by very talented Dariusz Wolski, who has shot films like The Crow, Alice in Wonderland, Sweeney Todd and Pirates of the Caribbean films (and I would guess knows Johnny Depp quite well…). It’s based on the bestseller (which is apparently really good) by Andy Weir and adapted skillfully by Drew Goddard. The editor, Pietro Scalia, has four noms, two wins in the Oscars. Set decoration is basically NASA or Mars/space and guys responsible of that also have done previously nominations worthy work. It sounds like a winner now when I take a deeper look. Then again, in my opinion, Scott hasn’t done anything good since Gladiator (then again; it was amazing film!) and I’m accustomed not to wait anything from him anymore. Seems like he’s back.

I’m not a big fan of Matt Damon or Ridley Scott. Not even sci-fi films but this one looks very good, I’m excited now! Take a look at the trailer and tell me what you think?

Oh, and when it comes to the Oscars, anything’s possible. It can score big but I’m quite sure it will score at least in some technical ones like sounds (both; mixing and editing especially), visual effects (I’m sure of that) and probably cinematography. At least. But at the moment I think Matt Damon will be there with Scott and the best picture too. They need one blockbuster there, you know?

Premieres around the world in the end of Sep or at the beginning of Oct.

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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!

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.

Early Oscars Predictions 2015

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.I wasn’t actually planning to write this one yet but because there are already “experts” (they usually get less correct than the users of the site) predictions for some categories in Gold Derby, I got to have a look how it looks at the moment. And about time, the big festival season (Venice-Telluride-Toronto) are about to start in no time.

So, it seems that there are four to seven films this year that the most of the people are predicting to get nominations in several categories. Some of those we (by that I mean some people) have already seen, like The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson. The film have gotten raves all around and is at the moment at number 162 on IMDb’s top-250, so it must be goooood. I haven’t seen it yet as I’m not a big fan of Mr. W. Anderson but I did like his previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, quite a lot. He certainly is unique. So it seem this one is the lock for the Best Picture nomination already. And probably some other nominations too, like writing at least, maybe some acting and so on.

boyhoodThe other one out already is the much talked about Boyhood by Richard Linklater. A film made in 12 years of time, filming a growing of a young boy. Can’t wait to see this one! Hopefully I’ll catch it at Helsinki International Film Festival. Another lock. And assumingly nominations for Linklater as well as Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette for supporting roles. At least.

Then the ones that we have not seen yet. The one that has been on my list for ages: Unbroken. A film directed by Angelina Jolie and written by Coen brothers. Oh, and it’s a true story including WWII. And the man, who story this is, just died this summer. Another much talked about is, of course, new film from Christopher Nolan, Interstellar, starring Oscar winners Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Multiple nominations, I bet.

Damn, that looks good. The first time I saw the latest trailer. Can’t wait! Jessica Chastain is also in that one. As well as she is in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby and The Most Violent Year, possible contenders both. Maybe not in the Best Picture race but in others I think. The other actress who is arguably going to have a great year, is Reese Witherspoon. She will probably gain a nomination as a Best Actress for Wild, a film directed by Dallas Buyers Club helmer, Jean-Marc Vallée and scripted by Nick Hornby. I don’t have it in my top-10 best pictures yet but I probably should… Witherspoon is also going to be in The Good Lie and Inherent Vice directed by always good Paul Thomas Anderson. Also starring Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Jena Malone and Benicio del Toro. Multiple nominations, I bet. Again.

Birdman by Alejandro González Iñárritu has also been an early favourite. Trailer looks amazing! Though it might be a bit too weird. But Iñárritu is a genius and if everything goes as hoped, Michael Keaton will also get a nomination and possibly also Emma Stone and Edward Norton for supporting roles. We’ll see but it does look promising, doesn’t it?

foxcatcher-steve-carellBennett Miller won in Cannes for directing Foxcatcher. And it seems that this is also a film that is going to be a lock for the Best Picture. A nom should also go for Steve Carell who apparently plays against the role. It is also said that always reliable Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum are making solid acting jobs in the film. The other one that is quite popular is David Ayer’s Fury. And for some reason, I really hope it delivers. I don’t even like war movies and nobody likes Shia LaBeouf but I still hope it will be as good as I hope. We’ll see.

And then there’s Gone Girl. By David Fincher who also directed The Social Network, Se7en and Fight Club and who also happens to be one of my favourite directors of all time. I like all of his films and some of them I absolutely love. So, it is only natural, that my hopes are high and I also fear the worst. It will be good because it’s Fincher’s but will it be great? I don’t know. Many of those so-called experts think it will deliver. Oh, I so hope so.

The last one in my top-10 at the moment is Into the Woods that surely has a cast that usually nail it: Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt and Chris Pine and a director that has already been nominated for an Oscar, Rob Marshall. But it’s a family musical that combines different fairytales… And it’s not animated. So… I’m not so sure.

benedict-cumberbatch-hotRight out of my top-10 there’s The Imitation Game, where the-it-man, Benedict Cumberbatch, is playing Alan Turing trying to solve the enigma during the WWII. Good s*it, if you ask me but we don’t actually know yet. The Theory of Everything might be the star vehicle for Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones and I do hope it is good. Men, Women & Children is directed by Jason Reitman and he hasn’t yet done a bad film. The others bubbling under are Exodus: Gods & Kings, Big Eyes (Amy Adams will hopefully finally get her Oscar for this one!), Mr. Turner, Selma, Whiplash, The Homesman, Love Is Strange and American Sniper.

My top-10 for the moment is:

1. Boyhood

2. Unbroken

3.The Grand Budapest Hotel

4. Foxcatcher

5. Birdman

6. Gone Girl

7. Interstellar

8. Into the Woods

9. Fury

10. Inherent Vice

Oscar nominations 2014 and how did I do?

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.I did bad. I got only 71% correct but then again, there were quite a lot surprises. And that’s why I don’t feel too bad. I actually thought the nominations were better than I predicted. For example, I love Christian Bale and it’s great that he was nominated (especially because he took Tom Hanks’ place from Captain Phillips that was to me only a mediocre film). Same goes for Alexander Payne, who is my favourite director and who also directed my favourite film of the last year.

Let’s go through all of the categories:

Picturephilomena

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Her
Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
The Wolf of Wall Street
Nebraska
Captain Phillips
Saving Mr Banks
Dallas Buyers Club

Philomena was the one that I did not predict. I did have it on my list and I finally diched it in favor of Saving Mr. Banks. I shouldn’t have. But I’m glad it got the nod. I like British films. And Judi Dench.

Director

Gravity – Alfonso Cuarón
12 Years a Slave – Steve McQueen
The Wolf of Wall Street – Martin Scorsese
American Hustle – David O. Russell
Captain Phillips – Paul Greengrass

Again, Alexander Payne, who was the one that was nominated, was sixth on my list. And again, I’m not complaining, I loved Nebraska.

Best Actress in Leading Role

Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine
Judi Dench – Philomena
Sandra Bullock – Gravity
Emma Thompson – Saving Mr. Banks
Amy Adams – American Hustle

This one does make me a bit sad. Meryl Streep, again? Really? I love the lady but it’s becoming a bit boring, don’t you think?

baleBest Actor in Leading Role

Bruce Dern – Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor – 12 Years a Slave
Oscar Isaac – Inside Llewyn Davis
Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf of Wall Street

Here, I did a mistake. I was supposed to pick Tom Hanks, like I did in Gold Derby but instead there were Isaac. In the end it didn’t matter because neither was nominated but Christian Bale of American Hustle was. And I like that!

Actress in Supporting Role

Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave
June Squibb – Nebraska
Julia Roberts – August: Osage County
Jennifer Lawrence – American Hustle
Oprah Winfrey – The Butler

Again, yay! I picked Oprah because she’s Oprah but I hoped she wouldn’t get nominated and she didn’t! Instead the Academy chose Sally Hawkins of Blue Jasmine. And she definitely deserves the recognition. Good for her!

Actor in Suppoerting Role

Michael Fassbender – 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club
Bradley Cooper – American Hustle
Daniel Bruhl – Rush
Barkhad Abdi – Captain Phillips

This one is again bit sad but not so much because I like Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street (review coming up) and it was nice to see him getting the nod. 

Adapted Screenplay

12 Years a Slave
Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street

100% right! But that was the only category.

EXCLUSIVE: Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto film scenes together for The Dallas Buyers Club in New Orleans.Original Screenplay

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Her
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska

Can’t complain. I think Dallas Buyers Club earns all the attention it is getting even though I haven’t seen it yet.

Best Cinematography

12 Years a Slave
Prisoners
Inside Llewyn Davis
Gravity
Captain Phillips

I made a change to this one in a last minute. I changed Nebraska, that did get the nod, to Captain Phillips. Mistake! And I’m quite surprised the Academy picked The Grandmaster instead of 12 Years especially when they did not choose it in Foreign Language Film category… But hurray for Roger Deakins for Prisoners!

Production Design

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
The Great Gatsby
Gravity
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle

No love for The Hobbit in this category but I guess Her does have a nice production design. I’ll be seeing that in three weeks.

Editing

American Hustle
Gravity
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Captain Phillips

I picked Wolf because Thelma Schoonmaker is very widely known and appreciated and you need to get a nod in Editing if you want to win the best pic. Dallas Buyers Club still has that option.

grandmasterBest Costume Design

Saving Mr. Banks
The Great Gatsby
The Invisible Woman
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle

There was no love for Saving Mr. Banks. Instead they chose The Grandmaster. I don’t know what to think of that. It does look good in that pic, doesn’t it?

Best Hair & Make-up

American Hustle
Dallas Buyers Club
The Great Gatsby

This is the “what the f*** category. The Lone Ranger (really?!) and Jackass: Bad Granpa got the nominations. I don’t want to comment any more. Hopefully Dallas will win.

Best Score

12 Years a Slave – Hans Zimmer
All Is Lost – Alex Ebert
Gravity – Steven Price
Saving Mr. Banks – Thomas Newman
The Book Thief – John Wiliams

Here again I made a last minute change. All Is Lost replaced Her. Mistake again! (I really should not make any last minute changes…) But that really bums me out that Zimmer didn’t get recognition. He deserves it. But then again, I haven’t heard Desplat’s Philomena score, I usually like his stuff too.

Best Song

Frozen – Let It Go (Idina Menzel)
Mandela: A Long Walk to Freedom – Ordinary Love (U2)
The Great Gatsby – Young and Beautiful (Lana Del Ray)
Short Term 12 – So You Know What’s It Like (Keith Stanfield)
Despicable Me 2 – Happy (Pharrell Williams)

Alone Not Yet Alone? Who has heard of that? No one, apparently. If you want to know something, here’s an article about it in Hitfix including the song itself. The Moon Song from Her was my sixth option. (I tend to leave out the right ones, at least it looks like it, doesn’t it?)

Best Sound Mixing

Gravity
Captain Phillips
Rush
All Is Lost
Inside Llewyn Davis

It’s sad that they left out Rush, it was a very good film, technically too. But I’m glad they picked The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, I enjoyed it. I have no opinion of Lone Survivor.

Best Sound Editing

Gravity
Captain Phillips
Rush
Pacific Rim
12 Years a Slave

This is the category that was my biggest failure this year. Only two out of five. I did have All Is Lost at my list before narrowing it to five and I should’ve guess that Lone Survivor will get some technical recognition. And well, I’m just glad that The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug got any nominations.

benedictBest Visual Effects

Gravity
Elysium
Pacific Rim
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3

I haven’t seen The Lone Ranger but I very much doubt it has better visual effects than Pacific Rim. Does it? And Star Trek Into Darkness I had sixth on my list, just dropped it in favor of Elysium…

Foreign Film

The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)
The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
The Grandmaster (Hong Kong)
Omar (Palestine)

I don’t get how you (read: the Academy) nominate one film in two different categories but not in the one that it should be nominated. Maybe The Missing Picture (Cambodia) is actually better but it’s still weird to me.

Best Documentary Feature

20 Feet From Stardom
The Act of Killing
The Square
Blackfish
Stories We Tell

In this category I always make wrong predictions but then again, it is really hard to understand the minds of the Academy. They didn’t choose two of the most talked about documentaries, instead they chose two that no one has heard of: Cutie and the Boxer and Dirty Wars. (I’m a bit angry when it comes to this category.)

Animated Feature

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Frozen
Monsters University
The Wind Rises

I got Monsters wrong but I’m glad about it, Ernest & Celestine is the cutest animation. Well-deserved nod.

Best Animated Short

possessionsGet a Horse
Room on the Broom
Mr. Hublot
The Missing Scarf
Feral

I did surprisingly well because I have only seen Get a Horse. The one that I didn’t predict is Possessions.

Documentary Short

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Slomo
Facing Fear
Cavedigger
Karama Has No Walls

Again, surprisingly well done. The only one that I left out is Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall.

Live Action Short

The Voorman Problem
Tiger Boy
Dva (Two)
Kush
Aquel No Era Jo (That Wasn’t Me)

And the last one went sadly too. But I don’t mind because a Finnish short film, Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa? (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?), got a nomination! That is just fantastic! The production company behind it, Tuffi Films, is run by women and they already had one short film awarded at Sundance last year, I wrote about it last March during Tampere International Film Festival. This kind of recognition gives hope to us all dreaming of film career up here in north. Two other that I didn’t guess were Avant Que De Tout Perdre (Just Before Losing Everything) and Helium.

Short trailer of Pitääkö Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?:

What do you think of the nominations? Were they correct? Did someone get snubbed? How did you do with the predictions? And if you want to see the nominations the way it is easier to read, go to Oscars.com.

The Oscar Predictions 2014 – Shorts, Frozen and Documentary

Ok, Animated Feature for those of you who like other contenders better. I want Frozen to win. Anyhoo, here are my last predictions explained:

FROZN_014M_G_ENG-GB_70x100.inddBest Animated Feature

Frozen
Wind Rises
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Monsters University

These are in order of likehood of winning. I believe Frozen will get the statue. It’s a comeback story of Disney, with great songs and nice story and couple of fierce female leads. Plus it’s making big bucks at the box office; at the moment it’s collected $712,680,546 worldwide. Not bad. Only upset could be Miayazaki’s Wind Rises because it is said that it’s his last work. The other three are there only because Gold Derby tells you to pick five. I’m not sure the Academy will actually pick five or if they will just pick three.

actofkillingBest Documentary Feature

20 Feet From Stardom
The Act of Killing
The Square
Life According to Sam
Blackfish
Stories We Tell
Tim’s Vermeer

These are not in particular order. I will probably end up ditching Tim’s Vermeer and Life According to Sam tonight after revaluading all of the contenders but I want to give myself a bit more time because this is one of those categories you can’t be sure what they will pick and also one of those that might make you the owner of $1,000 gift card. I believe The Act of Killing will win. But Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell has also been succesful around the world and Blackfish has gained a lot of attention. Let’s see.

Best Animated Short

Get a Horse
Room on the Broom
Mr. Hublot
The Missing Scarf
Feral
Subconsious Password

I have seen only the first one, it was showed before the screening of Frozen and I really liked it. It was a mix-up with the classic Disney and today’s world of excellent 3D. Room on the Broom looks fab and it’s voiced by famous British actors, so I believe it’s good. If you want to check trailer for all of the short-listed contenders, visit Rope of Silicon. Mr. Hublot looked also great and it has nice 8.0 grade at IMDb. The Missing Scarf has won some awards at the festival circuit and I think I’ll choose Feral instead of Subconsious Password just because I like the look of it more. But I think Disney will win this one.

Best Documentary Short

The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life
Slomo
Facing Fear
Cavedigger
Karama Has No Walls
Jujitsu-ing Reality

Same thing as with the list above, I will left out the last one on this list but I wanted to show it to you anyway. I basically picked these according to the subject matters. The first one sounds like a winner to me and to the most of the Top24 Users of Gold Derby too. Here are introductions to all of the films by Anne Thompson of Indiewire. Here’s the whole documentary of The Lady in Number 6:

Best Live Action Short

The Voorman Problem
Tiger Boy
Dva (Two)
Kush
Throat Song
Aquel No Era Jo (That Wasn’t Me)
Do I Have to Take Care of Everything

Well, The Voorman Problem seems like a winner in this category. A short film with Martin Freeman (who’s hot out of third season of beloved BBC’s Sherlock and also can be seen in The Hobbit trology) and a BAFTA nomination from last year. Tiger Boy and Dva (Two) has quite equal support among the people predicting this category. I especially like the story of the latter. Kush and Throat Song are also quite a tie. The first one is inspired by a true story and seems like the one that the Academy would like. The latter won Genie that is a Canada’s answer to the Oscars. Aquel No Era Jo got the Goya award equivalent to the Oscar in Spain. I have hard time deciding between it and Throat Song. And I just included Do I Have to Take Care of Everything because it’s made in Finland. Here’s some thoughts of this category at Film School Rejects and a trailer for The Voorman Problem:

That’s it. Tomorrow is THE day. Last year I was seventh amongs the a few thousand participants in Gold Derby. Tomorrow I’ll know how it went this year. Check the final predictions at Oscar Predictions 2014. I’ll be updating it shortly.

 

 

The Best of the Best – The Films of 2013

summer-movies-2013-01End of the year 2013. To me in general it was quite a good one. But I’ll tell you about that later. Let’s check now how it was movie wise. My list is a bit different because I have to deal with the Finnish premiers, so some of the movies that I’ll be writing about have come out in 2012 in the States but later in here. That also means that most of the Oscar contenders of 2013 I have actually seen during the year 2013. Well, except Argo, that was my favourite of the bunch.

I have few honourable mentions that didn’t get into my top-10. Those are the ones that I rated four out of five stars aka eight stars in IMDb but I still liked a lot and were almost worth of nine. Unfortunately to me, I didn’t see any films worth of full points. The last one that I enjoyed that much was Drive back in the summer of 2012. That’s a long time. Maybe I’ve just become really picky. But to those honourable mentions…

perksFirst I want to mention Perks of Being a Wallflower that came out in Finland only on dvd/bluray. And that’s a pity because the movie is very good especially in its genre of YA films. The whole cast of Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and always great Ezra Miller did a splendid job and as the first feature, the director Stephen Chbosky did very well too. I love the novel and the film was solid work. Same goes for the pleasant surprise known as Warm Bodies. I’m not a big fan of zombies but that one is probably my favourite zombie movie ever. So funny and warm. The others that I enjoyed a lot were the best actor and actress Oscar winners Silver Linings Playbook and Lincoln. The first one I have seen twice this year and it’s still good. I also liked Anna Karenina A LOT! It’s so beautiful and the music in it was to me worth of an Oscar. Plus I like to look at Aaron Taylor-Johnson. He’ll be in the next installment of The Avengers! Like that film needs anymore good-looking guys. But I’m not complaining.

aaron

And just out of my top-10 there is The Impossible that looked amazing too. And Tom Holland, who acted the part of the oldest son of the family, was tremendously good. I’m looking forward to see where he is heading up.  And the one that I loved (but I have to admit, it wasn’t as good as I hoped) is Thor: The Dark World. You might already know that I love Loki and there’s nothing wrong with Thor either. And I’m a huge fan of Marvel movies, so to leave that out of my top-10 is quite an accomplishment. And now, my

TOP-10 Movies of 2013:

10) Prisoners

prisoners-posterHugh Jackman is great. I have a thing to Jake Gyllenhaal, so he’s good even if he is not great but in this one he is. Melissa Leo is also great. The cinematography is beautiful. The story right up until the very end is intriguing. Unfortunately there is that end. But a very good film anyway. Here’s my review.

 

 

 

9) Pitch Perfect

pitch_perfect_one_sheetI’m always looking for movies that entertain me the way that I want to watch them again and again. This is one those movies. I adore it. It makes me feel good, it makes me wanna dance and sing. It has a heart, even though it is kinda lightweight one, but it still is a big heart. My review.

 

 

 

8) The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

There has been a lot of complaining about this one. I didn’t see it. Within the first part I almost fell asleep but this kept me wide awake. And I can’t help marvelling the amazing details that the team of filmmakers have accomplished when doing this movie. Beautiful. The review.

7) Amour

amourI never ever want to see this film again. But that doesn’t mean that it was bad. Quite the opposite. It is THE love story of the decades but my good it was hard to look, I didn’t at some points, I had to look elsewhere, it was too painful, too private. But I still suggest that everyone should watch this one. It’s cruel but that is what love is.

 

 

6) Gravity

gravityThis one should probably be higher on the list but I just couldn’t put it there. I am a huge fan of visuals but when we go to those films that make the lasting impact, there needs to be more heart. Gravity is the film to see this year (or next if you haven’t seen it yet) but more because it is stunningly beautiful and the technical aspects are amazing but at least to me it lacked the soul. And the ending was a bit too much. Review.

5) Zero Dark Thirty

30dtEven though I love Jennifer Lawrence and hope all the best for her, I still think that Jessica Chastain was worth of an Oscar in this film. Especially in the end, she is amazing. The subtlety in her acting. That’s a master in work. The film is exciting but it feels real. The technical things are top-notch and the script flows. Truly beautiful work.

 

4) Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I keep thinking I should add more artsy films to my list but to be honest, I’m the entertainment kind of girl. To me movies have always been about escapism. And this one was just that. I cried, laughed, got excited and felt for everyone on the screen. Plus this was better than the first part. And I watched the first part four or five times in a year. Not bad. The review.

hemsworth13) Rush

I’m still quite sad that people didn’t find this movie. It’s perfectly made, especially the editing and music are great. And Chris Hemsworth is making the best role of his life so far. And Daniel Brühl is worth of an Oscar nominations (thankfully he still has a chance to that). I just hope this one will get more recognition during the following years. It totally deserves it. And again, my review if you have missed it .

 

 

2) Frozen

I just saw this yesterday but boy, is it one perfect film to watch this time of a year! I loved it! Looks like Disney is finally back in the game. The story is fabulous and the characters so lovely especially Olaf, the snowman-sidekick. And I had no idea that the voice of the leading lady, Kristen Bell, is that kind of singer! Wow. And Idina Menzel, well, that I knew, and it was so great to hear her sing some musical tunes again. I can’t wait for the Broadway version of this. And yes, I’m 100 % sure there will be one. I debated with myself if this actually was the best of the year but as you can see, it lost, but just by an inch. If you wanna feel good, go see this one. I think I’ll go see it again next week (good thing about Christmas is that you’ll get a lot of prepaid cinema tickets). And yes, I’ve already posted this once (btw, it’s actually a scene from the movie) but I’ll do it again because this has to win the Oscar for the best song (and I hope they get Idina Menzel to sing it at the gala):

1) Nebraska

Nebraska posterAlexander Payne is still my favourite director. He is perfect in making characters real (which is kind of funny, that I always admire those kinds if you think that I also appreciate the escapism of movies…). There was so much soul in this one. And it was also the funniest film of the year which is kind of funny itself. I hope it’ll get a lot of Oscar attention even though it won’t probably win anything. I’m glad I saw this during the Helsinki International Film Festival because sadly it won’t come out in cinemas in Finland. The review.

 

 

So that’s that then. If were really like the next year will be even better when it comes to movies. To me it’s nice because I have still a lot of Oscar contenders to see, starting on Saturday with The Wolf of Wall Street. It’s two hours before midnight here, so

new year