Past-Oscar Thoughts And Some for the Future too…

leonardo-dicaprio-oscarsIt’s over again. The awards season and especially the Oscars weekend. This year I was “forced” to spend it alone compared to those past Oscar weekends that I’ve spent with friends watching films and eating well and debating about dresses and who should or should not win. But thanks to social media, it was very easy to stay touch with my girls and continue debating during the red carpet and show itself even when there’s 1000 km between us. 🙂

Thoughts… Well, apart from Sam Smith winning over Lady Gaga I thought all winners were deserving and none of the wins made me angry, quite the opposite. Especially happy I was obviously for Leo (I think everyone was!), Lubezki (again), Mark Rylance (which I predicted correctly!), Morricone for music, Ex Machina for visual effects and of course for the Best Picture going to Spotlight which was my favourite film of the season! Here’s my review of it if interested. I still don’t get why people were so surprised by its win? Justin Chang of Variety puts it to words why it was the best choice to win.

When it comes to the show itself, I wasn’t a fan. I don’t like Chris Rock and especially now when the whole attention was on #OscarsSoWhite discussion, the show was awfully repetitive and not very funny. And really; bringing out all these minority representatives? Kind of obvious and a bit weird. At least to me. Thankfully many of the attendees made the point clear; there should be better offers for people of minorities in movies and from my point of view, I believe we’re on a right track where TV is leading the field (think of Scandal or anything from Shonda Rhimes or Orange is the New Black or Modern Family etc.). It’s good to make people think but as the winners proved, Hollywood hardly is the racist part of the US as already the best director and cinematographer  of the year (and the year before that too) are Mexican.

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In reference to my predictions, this year I got 75% correct which is good but not my best (that being 82% if I remember correctly). The ones that I got wrong were the best song, visual effects (wonder if anyone got that right?!), two short categories I predicted wrong (hard ones as I hadn’t seen any of them) and I got sound mixing wrong when I chose The Revenant instead of Mad Max and also editing when I had The Big Short instead of Mad Max. Oh, I’m also very glad that Mad Max won that many Oscars! Go Aussies! ❤ Btw, I always predict at Gold Derby site and again those “experts” lost to users and I keep wondering why they call them Experts?! Even I beat most of them…

What about the future? Well, I already have my short list of possible contenders here at IMDb, check it out! There’s Michael Fassbender with two films, The Light Between Oceans from Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) with bo and brand new Oscar winner, Alicia Vikander, and Weightless from Terrence Malick with cinematography by Lubezki and co-acting by e.g. Natalie Portman, Benicio Del Toro, Christian Bale, Holly Hunter, Rooney Mara, Ryan Gosling and Cate Blanchett (some cast, huh?!). There’s also (for techs) Star Wars spin-off and new X-Men and Star Trek movies coming out this year and there’s Morten Tyldum’s (The Imitation Game) Passengers with JLaw and Chris Pratt (he’s also in Magnificent Seven this year). Btw, I just noticed that this girl, Haley Bennett, is in three of these films mentioned so far, ryangosling_emmastonebet she’s the It Girl of 2016. Never heard of her before, remember the name! What else?! There’s already Sundance certified Manchester by the Sea (Casey Affleck getting the most of the mentions and also Michelle Williams), another Michelle Williams vehicle in Certain Women and of course The Birth of the Nation that was bought by Fox Searchlight with $17,5 million and will be released in October to be ready for the awards season. And there’s also my “the most awaited” film, La La Land, a film by Damien Chazelle who did amazing Whiplash, the best debut for ages, and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. ❤ There’s also so, so many other “looks great on a paper” films that makes 2017 look promising again. Go and see yourself. I’ll get back to that list in May when Cannes has had its say.

P.S. I liked Cate Blanchett’s dress the best but only she could’ve wear that dress. Only she.

Cate Blanchett

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.

The Best of the Best – Films of 2014

bestof2014There are so many films that I missed this year in cinema that hasn’t come out yet in small format. So, there will be no Nightcrawler, The Grand Budapest Hotel or even How to Train Your Dragon 2. And I’m sad for that. And because of the fact that I live here in north, I haven’t seen the most of the Oscar hopefuls yet, so no Theory of Everything or Birdman either. And because of that same fact there will many Oscar nominees from last year. So, let’s take a look what I liked this year.

The first of all, I can be happy this year compared to the last year when I said I didn’t see any films worth of 10/10 at IMDb (although after seeing Frozen again this Christmas I’m quite willing to give it full stars, it was even better now). This year I saw three! That’s a lot. Roll down to the top 3 and you’ll see which ones I liked the best but before that some honorable mentions like always at my best of the best lists.

I liked a lot of Philomena that was last year’s Oscar nominee, same goes for Inside Llewyn Davis and American Hustle, both of them from last year too. The Lego Movie I only saw a week ago but I thoroughly enjoyed it, great script. And finally one of those outside of my top-10 is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that was very good and well done technically.

And now, to the ten:

10)

 

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

This one took me totally by a surprise. I thought I wouldn’t like it but I fell in love like rest of the world (or so it seems). The whole gang is genius. And Chris Pratt is the best guy in the world. And Groot. Well, all of you who have seen the film, knows what I mean and if you don’t, just check that video clip above. He’s the most adorable thing. I think I will like this film even more in the future. It will hold.

9)

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HER

The most of the people saw Her already 2013 but unfortunately it only came out here this year. Or maybe not so unfortunately because this has been a very good year in films to me. I even tried to make the worst of list but I couldn’t because I haven’t seen that many bad films this year. But back to Her. Well, read my review.

8)

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THE WOLF OF WALL STREET

The Wolf of Wall Street is the most debated film in my review history. And I quite like that. And I also liked the film itself despite the off-putting main character and quite misogynistic view. It was an entertaining couple of hours. And DiCaprio was so good.

7)

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GONE GIRL

This and the next one could be other way around too but because the number six has more soul in it, I gave it a higher rank. But I liked everything about Gone Girl, it looks good, it feels toxic and everyone make very good work, especially Rosamund Pike who well deserves that Oscar nom that she’s going to get. Oh, and apparently I haven’t done a review of this. Well, like I stated, I liked it a lot. There was only casting of Neil Patrick Harris that just didn’t fit and it bothered me thorough the whole film but otherwise it was guaranteed David Fincher who can make even Ben Affleck, the actor, works magic.

6)

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DALLAS BUYERS CLUB

Well, everyone knows by now that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto killed in Dallas Buyers Club. They were so good. And the story is great. Here’s my review.

5)

boyhood

BOYHOOD

Ok, I do understand the thing in this film but still. And I’m a bit afraid to say this, because I think the most of the people (who watch a lot of films) will think me shallow or stupid or something, but anyway: I thought it was a bit boring. Like normal life is. Even though I like a lot Alexander Payne’s films that are usually about normal people, his characters are still larger than life, Linklater’s are not. They are just that size. And even though Boyhood is a remarkable piece of future cinema history and something that hasn’t been done before and so on, it was still boring. And that it the reason I only gave it 9/10. And there were four superior films this year. But I do think Patricia Arquette should get an Oscar for her performance, I think it has been the most real mom portrait on film ever.

4)

 

X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

This was the most entertaining piece of cinema this year. Oh, all those men that I already appraised in my review. The cinematography and CGI. And Evan Peters. And above is the making of clip of my very favourite scene of the film. Fassbender. Oh, Fassbender. I can’t wait for the next installment. I loved this film. Still do. And now I just have to put a girly heart in here: ❤

3)

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12 YEARS A SLAVE

My 10 out of 10 films. The Best Picture winner of Oscars 2014: 12 Years a Slave. A beautiful work. Well, read my thoughts from the review. It did deserve all the praise it got and some more. And this time Fassbender because, man, that man can act.

2)

 

BEGIN AGAIN

Again, total surprise like Guardians. I absolutely adore this little film. It was such an uplifting experience and I still listen to the soundtrack, above is the best song of the bunch. And yes, Keira Knightley sings herself. My review. I still promote this film as often as I can because it makes good to your soul.

And finally… The ones that read my blog regularly would’ve guessed that the best film of the year (and one of the best ever) to me is:

interstellar

INTERSTELLAR

I already celebrated it highly in my review but I can’t do it enough. I still think it was the best movie going experience since Return of the King and that’s the highest compliment I can give. I’m quite sad that I can’t see this one in the cinema again because it truly is the one that needs to be seen in the biggest possible screen. Like said, it was an experience not just a film.

So, there. It’s kind of funny that this year I liked the best a huge film and the last year I enjoyed the most a little film that embraces the story, not the grandeur. But both almost equally good. And I’m so glad I still get to see so many great films. Hopefully the next year will be as good as this one was. And I believe it will.

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Films of the Week Vol. 9

I saw a couple of blockbusters this week. Another one was one of the best in genre, the other… not so much. Here are the reviews for X-Men: Days of Future Past and Godzilla. 

x-mendaysoffuturepastX-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

directed by Bryan Singer
written by Simon Kinberg, Jane Goldman & Matthew Vaughn
starring Hugh Jackman, James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Peter Dinklage, Ellen Page, Evan Peters, Shawn Ashmore etc.

I love this film. It has gotten everything right. It’s not perfect, it didn’t bunch me in the face or leave me heartbroken or specially exhilarated. Well, a bit. And a little more. Ok, it did leave me exhilarated. But it’s not perfect.

I know there are people who’ve read the comics and I’ve read that the scriptwriters have taken a quite a lot of liberties with the screenplay but I don’t care. I haven’t read the comics and even though I usually like that films stand on their own, I’m sure the clues in this one will be explained later. I’ve seen all of the previous X-Men movies except Wolverine’s own and I didn’t feel a bit that I was lost at any point. To me it was just good that everything was not explained. There’s a reason to see the previous instalments.

jamesmcavoypatrickstewart

So, firstly, I really liked the sound of it. It rocked my world. And the chairs of the cinema. And I love it! That is what a proper summer blockbuster should do! Take you out of your world and suck you into its. So good. And the beginning of the film is very intensive, no need for too much explanations, just dive in to the deep side of the pool. Cool. Cool is actually good word for this one. The cinematography and the CGI. They blended perfectly together. I’m not usually a big fan of artificial computer generated images but come on! in this one they just look so pretty. There is one scene involving Jackman, McAvoy, Fassbender and Peters that just blew my mind. Perfection, especially the song. You have to see it, I don’t want to spoil it. I just realised that the cinematographer is Newton Thomas Sigel who was responsible of cinematography of Drive that is by far the best cinematography I’ve seen. I think I mentioned him already in my post of the best cinematographers. 

jackmanfassbendermcavoyThe acting. Oh, the acting. Well, just look at the cast. That’s 15 Bafta nominations. 21 Primetime Emmy nominations with four wins. Or 22 Golden Globes nominations with five wins. And also ten (!) Oscar nominations with four wins. Quite normal amount of awards for a summer blockbuster, huh? Obviously the talent is there. From McKellen and Stewart to younger guys like Hoult or Peters (who by the way is hilarious!). But the show belongs to the trio of Jackman, McAvoy and Fassbender. It almost makes me cry right now how good those guys are. The scenes involving those three (and there are plenty) just melts the screen. I can’t describe how good especially the latter two are, or how amazing the scenes involving their dialogue are. Go and see it yourself.

And on the unprofessional side; how good-looking those guys are! Wow! There’s also naked Hugh Jackman, that body is inhuman. Dinklage is so charismatic it’s a bit hard to watch. McAvoy wears his long hair with an ease. And there is a scene of Fassbender walking with the hat on, it just made me squirm (in a good way) in my seat. Hothothot. Obviously there’s also Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique.

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P.S. Remember to stay after the credits. It is, after all, a Marvel film.

Rating: ****½ (out of 5)

 

godzilla-posterGodzilla (2014)

directed by Gareth Edwards
written by Max Boremstein & Dave Callaham
starring Bryan Cranston, Aaron-Taylor Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins & Juliette Binoche

I have to admit, I don’t feel like reviewing this now. Not after X-Men. Then again, I actually saw these two in two days. In this order. So, some of the things I didn’t like in Godzilla might go to the fact that I’ve just seen almost perfect blockbuster that is still, after five days, giving me chills. But in conclusion, Godzilla was not my cup of tea.

Apparently Godzilla bows a lot to the old movies of the subject. I don’t know, I have not seen them. If they do, I don’t want to see them. I’m not big fan of monster movies anyway and I kept comparing Godzilla to Jurassic Park and even though it’s done 20 years later is pales in comparison. Jurassic Park is so much more effective.

Let’s start with the same subject that in last review. The sound. It was bad. How come when there are bombs and huge monsters on the screen, the biggest noise that comes is from tanks? Really? That was just sad. CGI was well done, great monsters, and I did like the cinematography too but I did have a little higher hopes towards it, after all, the cinematographer is Seamus McGarvey, who definitely is one of my favourites of all time. godzilla-2014-2The music sounds like it could be from the older films but then again, I don’t think Desplat does a bad job. I’m very glad that the director, Gareth Edwards, was given this kind of chance, by no means, it’s not crappy job, but it’s not good either. It’s whatever.

The reasons to that it is whatever are the script (well, what can you wait from the guy who scripted all Expendables movies..?) and the total lack of charisma in the lead actor. And Cranston is not the one in the lead even though it might seem like it. Unfortunately. I just started to like Aaron Taylor-Johnson because he was quite good in Anna Karenina ja well, he is going to be in the next Avengers film. But omg, how totally completely blah that man can be. I kind of wished he would have died after five minutes of screen time… That was the main problem with the film, it didn’t feel catastrophic at all because I just didn’t care. And I’m usually fan of big summer catastrophes. I didn’t feel the danger, it would have been fine by me if the whole world would have stop existing. Whatever. I did yawn a lot.

aaron-taylor-johnson-hot

Rating: **½ (out of 5) and only because it does look good

The Best of the Best – Future Husbands

Ok, even that heading made me laugh. But yeah, because nice looking fellas with something extra are nice things to exist, here we go. I’ll introduce my Top-10 plus of those male actors who have at some point of my life made their ways to my daydreams and of whom I know way too much when thinking of that I’ve never met them. Let’s open the doors:

aragorn

Sorry, had to start with that one. But even though I admire Mr. Mortensen A LOT, it’s Aragorn who made me all tingling. And like always with my Best of the Best lists, I have to mention few out of actual Top-10.

I tried to consider my whole life. Like many have loved Jared Leto in My So Called Life or Jonathan Taylor Thomas of Home Improvement but those were kinda no ones to me. I did like Keanu Reeves but that was more because he was this rocker dude in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. It looks like I’ve been a fan of musicians more than fan of actors. And I wanted to keep this strictly in acting zone. Although one actor/musician I have to mention now is Justin Timberlake whom I’m actually listening right now to set the mood right for writing this post. But I got into him through his music, so I guess he doesn’t count.

robloweLuke Perry from Beverly Hills 90210 was the first one that I remember from telly. Bad boys. Though I can’t remember if he was like that in real life, so maybe that was too more about the character… And on film, I loved Rob Lowe in St. Elmo’s Fire; who doesn’t love a bad boy with saxophone? And I did watch all the other movies of his after seeing that film (come to think of it, I was quite a fan of Emilio Estevez too after seeing Young Guns II; that one I watched because Bon Jovi was my ultimate favourite band back then). And now because that reminded of me about that, I want to post this video of Blaze of Glory by Jon Bon Jovi who made the soundtrack to that film. I watched that movie like three times a week at one point when I was 11 or 12… Oooh (now I’m all misty eyed here):

I liked Kiefer Sutherland too. I remember being pissed because Julia Roberts dumped him. Lol. Back to the list I did collect before starting to write.

Skeet Ulrich in Scream was hothothot. Apparently I’ve always had have a thing to serial killers… And when they cast Elijah Wood as Frodo I was over the moon, he was the cutest thing. Still is (I’m not sure if he ages at all?). Daniel Radcliffe is also one of those guitar playing actors I like a little bit more. Though he’s really young. Christian Bale is always hot and quite scary too. I’m not sure I’d like to meet him in real world. Ryan Gosling. Michael Fassbender (I’m sure he’ll get to my top-10 at some point). And I’ve always liked Jeremy Irons (especially after seeing version of Lolita where he plays Humbert Humbert) but he’s my dad’s age, so… Another older man that I like is Alan Rickman. Of course. Who doesn’t like him? I so understand this assistant of his character’s in Love Actually.

franco2I’ve never getting to actual Top-10 but I can’t leave these three without mention. First, James Franco, he would be number 11. I loved and totally admired him before he ruined the Oscars the other year. Shame on him! I still admire him though. Plus he’s weird, I’m still following him in Twitter and Facebook. I don’t get how he has time for everything he’s doing… And then the two who every other woman interested in film loves tompuppybenedictat the moment; Tom Hiddleston and Mr. I’m the sexiest in the world Benedict Cumberbatch. Because of their talent, I’ve already decided to move to England instead of Canada that I was planning before, they just make so much better films and television in UK. And they’re both charismatic, well-educated men who care about what is happening around them. Kind of gives me hope of  someday maybe finding a man with brains, ambition, style and sense of humour.Thanks for that to those guys.

10) EDWARD FURLONG

Terminator 2. I loved (still do) Guns n’ Roses, so of course I needed to see T2. It was also really hyped film back then (James Cameron was the man already 23 years ago) and it had made Edward Furlong a heart throb of the moment. Unfortunately only for a moment as the following picture shows. That’s sad.

furlong

9) ORLANDO BLOOM

Unfortunately he’s not very good actor (just my opinion) but he did have the looks. Though I just watched some footage of making of Hobbit 2 and he doesn’t seem that brainy either… But if you’ve ever seen him or his wax figure, you know that he’s suitably proportioned (that sounded really horrible, sorry). Plus very nice to look at.

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8) NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU

“Jaime Lannister” is the newest edition to my “future husbands”. Although he seems to be happily married and for some weird reason that is the line where my daydreaming goes. But because of him, I already went to Copenhagen to check if the men in there are that good-looking. They are.

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7) JOSHUA JACKSON

It’s a bit hard to decide if this is due to character of Pacey Witter in Dawson’s Creek (who was also in my list of best TV characters) or Joshua himself. But I did read a lot about him diane-kruger-hot-1back in the years of Dawson’s Creek. And he did end up catching this hottie Diana KrĂĽger.

And I have still Fringe to watch. Bet he’s good in that too, there’s something boyishly charismatic about him. At least he hasn’t really changed in these years since Pacey.

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6) JONATHAN RHYS MEYERS

He has been my dirty dreams no. 1 for so long. I don’t even remember where it all began. Maybe Match Point? Or Bend It Like Beckham? I can’t remember. But I like men to take their ladies. Properly.

jrm1

5) ROBERT DOWNEY JR.

I first liked him in Only You. That’s 20 years ago. That man just gets better. Have you seen this:

4) MILO VENTIMIGLIA

I fell in love with him when he played Jess in Gilmore Girls (my favourite show of all time). And then he was in Heroes! That was so great surprise. I’ve even watched Cursed because of him. And they make these weird videos with his friends… He seems way too healthy for me but who cares, lovely guy! And looks still good.

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3) JEREMY RENNER

It was so hard to decide between Jeremy and the number two. But because number two, well, is better actor I chose him (horrible). All men in top four are really dear to me. I’ve loved them either A LOT or for A LONG time. I got into Renner-wagon sometime between Hurt Locker and The Avengers I guess… I did love him in S.W.A.T. already but only realised that it’s the same guy about two years ago. In real life I had way too young guys in my life and then suddenly there’s this manly street fighter kinda guy with hot bod, musical talents and this slightly bad guy attitude. Mmmm…. Yep. He was my favourite for a loooooong time.

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2) LEONARDO DICAPRIO

I was 17 when Titanic came out. You can guess the rest. I’ve seen most of his films. And he’s still hot. And he only tweets about important stuff like environment. Plus he was really funny in The Wolf of Wall Street (review still coming up). Give him the Oscar already!

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1) JAKE GYLLENHAAL

From Donnie Darko to Prisoners. He’s always good. He seems smart, he has gone to Columbia (I even have this dream of meeting him there by accident; that’s my dream school too), Maggie Gyllenhaal is his sister, he has those amazing eyes and Prince of Persia body. He seems a bit arrogant but very very funny at the same time. He might not have this English charm but something there is that made me say in the screening of Prisoners: “Oh, how I missed you.”

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Who do you dream of? For more men of my liking, check my Pinterest. 

12 Years a Slave review

12-years-a-slave12 Years a Slave (2013)

Directed by Steve McQueen

Written by John Ridley (Story by Solomon Northup)

Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti & Brad Pitt

Gosh, I’ve been away again. I finally got to see 12Years a Slave that I’ve been waiting to hit the Finnish cinemas for ages (or so it feels). And it was the best new film since Drive (that’s 1,5 years)! I do admit, I have enjoyed some films more than this but the way Steve McQueen handles the subject is spectacular. In hands of incapable director this one could’ve been a mess or at least overly dramatised. Now it’s almost perfect.

The story itself is interesting, brutal and honest in the way that it is sometimes hard to watch. I did close my eyes at least in one scene. And I felt bad, well, almost through whole film. Or not actually bad, more like, embarrassed. Because, you know, we still tend to act that way. And that’s the best side of this film. It makes you think. Me and my friend ended up talking about our own behaviour towards foreign people, people with different culture and even people with different skin colour. It is no wonder if refugees or other people from different cultures that are minority act out poorly when that is exactly what the major population is expecting them to do. Like in Finland, it’s really hard to get a job if you don’t speak Finnish and then what choices do you have other than get the money from the government (when Finnish people complain that you’re here only for free living), steal or beg. I thought about Solomon Northup beforehand and wondered why he just didn’t leave. Well, I know now why.

twelve-years-a-slave-michael-fassbenderWhen it comes to film making, 12 Years a Slave is beautifully shot; eg. there are some extra lovely shots of the nature of deep south that are so beautiful yet same time so creepy when compared to the horrors happening in the scene. Everyone of the actors and actresses are making their best job. I truly believe Lupita Nyong´o deserves her Oscar and Fassbender would too. His portrait of this sadistic character is unbelievably human. None of the white characters of the film are without soul (Sarah Paulson is also fantastic). You kind of understand where their behaviour arise from. And same time you just can’t understand how anyone can do that to another person. I liked a lot of Benedict Cumberbatch’s character (although he was not in his best) especially because his character made me think how I would have acted at those circumstances. I’d like to believe I’d been braver. Hopefully I’ll never come across to that kind of situation.

The only thing that was a bit too much in the film is, surprisingly, music. It’s too much. And I love Hans Zimmer and his compositions usually but because the story of Solomon is told quite a subtle way, the music is too dramatic. It does work in some of the scenes but not in all. McQueen is basically stating “this happened” but Zimmer is building up much more and for this once it doesn’t work. But that’s my only complaint.

12yearsIf they don’t give the Best Picture Oscar to this film, it’ll be injustice. Gravity is amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it and I’m sure American Hustle is a riot with great actors but 12 Years a Slave is a film that has a point to make. It should be shown to everyone, so we could, as human beings, think how we could start treating each other as equals.

Oscars 2014 – The Festival Update

12 years a slaveIt’s been a week since Toronto International Film Festival ended. I’m a bit late with my update but better now than never, huh? After Venice Film Festival, Telluride in Colorado  and Toronto, it very much seems like this is going to be one hell of a year for awards season and movies all in all. The people who were lucky enough to see films at some of the festivals, especially in Telluride and Toronto, are raving about couple of films and praising a bunch of others. And there are still a few that hasn’t even come out yet. This awards season looks crowded. I already made my first predictions for the Best Picture (here, here and here) and will continue update them during the season and hopefully manage to do pages at least to all of the main categories.

So, the clear winner of Toronto (and Telluride) was Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave. I have already showed my excitement towards it at Twitter and on my FB page (for the blog and my personal as well.) I can hardly wait for it. It will be out in October in the States and UK but I have to wait until January. It’ll be a long one. The reviews have been amazing for the film; there are a lot of people saying that it’s the film that will be essential viewing in the future whenever talking about slavery. Besides the film will be (I’m 99,9% sure of that) the best picture nominee, it’ll might end up getting nominations for McQueen for directing,fassbender Chiwetel Ejiofor for the best actor, Michael Fassbender for the best supporting actor (and I gotta say, I don’t care if there are going to be better performances than his, I’m gonna root for him because this is his year with 12 Years a Slave and The Counselor plus he is so extremely talented actor that it’s time to recognize that), Lupita Nyong´o for the best supporting actress, the adapted screenplay, cinematography, editing and the score at least. I haven’t seen the film, so I can’t comment more about the technical categories but those ones at least should be obvious possibilities.

Yeah, as you can see, I’m hugely excited about that film… The other one that got “you haven’t seen anything like this” –raves was Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity. And Sandra Bullock in the lead role should end up with the nomination again. As well as the director himself. And if I’ve understand correctly the technical side of the film is impeccable. Can’t wait to see this one either, thankfully the wait is only until October.

The other movies that lived up to the expectations are Dallas Buyers Club that apparently includes the career-best performances from Matthew McConaughey (the lead) and Jared Leto (the supporting), Blue Jasmine for Cate Blanchett and maybe even Sally Hawkins in captain phillipssupporting role and Captain Phillips that didn’t even got the premier at any of the festival but still screened at the same time with Toronto and got sucked in to the hype. Tom Hanks is after over a decade in Oscar winning or at least nomination mode and will probably end up nabbing a nomination for the lead role.  The newcomer Barkhad Abdi has gotten some good reviews for his supporting role as a nowadays pirate and might end up with the nomination too.  If Captain Phillips is as good as is the first reviews, the director Greengrass, the scripters Billy Ray and the man himself Captain Richard Phillips and the sound department might get the nominations as well.

The most surprising of the festival films has been dark thriller Prisoners. The most of the viewers have been waiting for normal crime thriller with nothing special but it looks like Prisoners has taken people by surprise and shown that it might be an award winner too. This one I’m waiting a lot too. I already liked the trailer and after reading the reviews telling me that all the actors, especially Hugh Jackman, are doing superb job and that the story is twisting the ways that it’s almost hard to keep up, it seems like the one that I’ll enjoy a lot. And it’ll be in theaters in three weeks in Finland too. And so will Captain Phillips, so after a three weeks, keep up for my reviews for both of the films!

The other film that got standing ovation at Toronto, was Ron Howard’s Rush that I saw few days ago. I would have clapped with the audience at the festival; the movie is very entertaining, very well done and very thrilling. Read more of my review. Or go see it yourself; it’s totally worth of your time!

benedictThe only one that didn’t really lived up the hype was The Fifth Estate, the story of Wikileads. The only one in that that got praise was Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role of Julian Assange but because the category of lead actor will be full, I doubt he’ll make the cut. And to me it seems like August: Osage County is not living up to the hype either. They are also talking about changing the ending, that just can’t be good. But sure nomination for Meryl Streep anyway.

That’s it for now. During this weekend I’m working as a volunteer at Helsinki International Film Festival and hopefully I’ll be able to catch some films, even though the ones that I’m mostly interested are already sold-out (or screening when I’m on duty).  When it comes to the potential Oscar contenders, I still need to see Blue Jasmine and Before Midnight that are already out here in north too. Have a great rest of the weekend! Remember to follow me in Twitter to keep updated!