The Oscars Nominations Predictions 2017

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.Here we are again. The best time of the year, the Oscars time! And here are my final nominations. In few hours we’ll be hearing what the Academy picked.

BEST PICTURE

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Moonlight
  • Arrival
  • Fences
  • Lion
  • Hidden Figures
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hacksaw Ridge

  • Silence
  • Deadpool

I couldn’t pick my 10th option because I’m hopeless optimistic and actually think they would go for R-rated comic book movie. Right yeah? I kind of wanted to leave Hidden Figures out as well but this is where the final list now. At the moment it’s either La La Land’s or Moonlight’s to lose.

lalaland

DIRECTOR

  • La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  • Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Longergan
  • Hell or High Water – David McKenzie
  • Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  • Moonlight – Barry Jenkins

  • Hacksaw Ridge- Mel Gibson
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Silence – Martin Scorsese
  • Lion – Garth Davis

By far the hardest category to predict this year. The three of them are absolute locks (Chazelle, Lonergan and Jenkins) but the two others… I believe that Villeneuve is due with a nomination (I haven’t seen Arrival yet but I’m only hearing good things plus he’s done great job with previous films that were nominated, Prisoners and Sicario) but the last slot was hard to decide. I played a wild card.

ACTORryan_gosling_hot

  • La La Land – Ryan Gosling
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Manchester by the Sea – Casey Affleck
  • Hacksaw Ridge – Andrew Garfield
  • Captain Fantastic – Viggo Mortensen

ACTRESS

  • La La Land – Emma Stone
  • Jackie – Natalie Portman
  • Arrival – Amy Adams
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Meryl Streep
  • Elle – Isabelle Huppert

Loving – Ruth Negga

Because of the story of Loving, I wanted to give a slot for Ruth Negga but Huppert has been really strong and one can never leave Streep out, especially when she gave amazing speech at the Golden Globes in the middle of voting of the Oscars nominations.

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Lion – Dev Patel 10
  • Moonlight – Mahershala Ali
  • Hell of High Water – Jeff Brigdes
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Hugh Grant
  • Nocturnal Animals – Aaron Taylor-Johnson

  • Manchester by the Sea – Lucas Hedges

I just might be hopeful here again but if Nocturnal Animals will soar at least a bit, Taylor-Johnson will be in. And the Academy has avoid to nominate younger actors in this category like Tremblay last year. But Hedges has been strong so far, so this is a game.

aaron

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Hidden Figures – Octavia Spences
  • Fences – Viola Davis
  • Manchester by the Sea – Michelle Williams
  • Naomi Harris – Moonlight
  • Lion – Nicole Kidman

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Manchester by the Sea
  • The Lobster
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Captain Fantastic

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Moonlight
  • Fences
  • Lion
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Arrival

  • Hidden Figures

OK, I have a thing for Nocturnal Animals even I haven’t seen it, so again, I’m putting it ahead of probably stronger contender.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • La La Land
  • Silence
  • Arrival
  • Lion
  • Moonlight

arrival-smoke

EDITING

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Arrival
  • Moonlight
  • Hacksaw Ridge

 

COSTUME DESIGNjackie_costumes

  • Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
  • Jackie
  • La La Land
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Allied

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • La La Land
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • The Handmaiden
  • Jackie
  • Arrival

 

MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING

  • A Man Called Ove
  • Deadpool
  • Florence Foster Jenkins

  • Star Trek Beyond

I asked my make-up artist friend’s opinion here and she chose Deadpool instead of Star Trek Beyond. I’ll blame her if I’m incorrect.

SOUND MIXING

  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • Rogue One
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Deepwater Horizon

SOUND EDITING

  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • Roque One
  • Arrival
  • The Jungle Book

 

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Rogue One
  • The Jungle Book 5
  • Arrival
  • Strange
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 

SCORE

  • Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)
  • Jackie (Mica Levi)
  • La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
  • The BFG (John Williams)
  • Rogue One (Michael Giacchino)

 


 

  • Lion (Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka)

I’m still a bit annoyed that Jóhann Jóhannsson is not eligible for Arrival as he is these days one of my definite favourite composers. Love his work! I wanted to leave John Williams out but you know, you just can’t. And it’s traditional that the composers branch always vote for their own and already now there are THREE new comers. I hardly see that happening but I don’t know who else to pick. Justin Hurwitz all the way, I looooooove La La Land’s soundtrack!

 

SONG

  • Moana – How Far I’ll Go
  • La La Land – Audition (The Fools Who Dream)
  • La La Land – City of Stars
  • Sing Street – Drive Like You Stole It
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling

  • Sing – Faith
  • Hidden Figures – Runnin’

Always hard category to predict. I gave a chance to Sing Street’s 80’s sounds, it’s a gamble, I know. I hope that the song above wins, I can’t get enough of it.

ANIMATED

  • Zootopia
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • The Red Turtle
  • Moana
  • My Life as a Zucchini

  • Finding Dory

Yes, I left out a Pixar film. I’m aware.

 

DOCUMENTARYoj_madeinamerica

  • Cameraperson
  • I am Not Your Negro
  • 13th
  • OJ: Made in America
  • The Eagle Huntress

  • Weiner

 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
  • My Life as a Zucchini (Switzerland)

  • It’s Only the End of the World (Canada)

I have a feeling I should not count out Xavier Dolan but I don’t know what else to do.

 

ANIMATED SHORT

  • Inner Workings
  • Piper
  • Blind Vayasha
  • Borrowed Time
  • Pearl

 

LIVE ACTION SHORT

  • Graffiti
  • Nocturne in Black
  • Sing (Mindenki)
  • Timecode
  • The Way of Tea

 

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • White Helmets
  • Joe’s Violin
  • Extremis
  • The Mute’s House
  • Watani: My Homeland

 

Agree, disagree? We’ll now soon enough how I did this year.

The Best of the Best – Films of 2016

Gosh, I’ve been away again for ages. There’s a reason for that but I’ll get back to that later. Now it’s time for the traditional best of the best in the end of the year. Mine is so sad, though. As I live here in the middle of nowhere (that’s Finnish Lapland to you who don’t know), I haven’t been to cinemas for over two months and haven’t seen the latest, like Rogue One for example. Or Arrival. Or Nocturnal Animals. As said, my list is sad but here it is anyway. And yes, I know that some of these came out in the States in 2015 but not in Europe or at least in those countries that I go to.

10)

lobsterwhishawreillyfarrellhunt-0

The Lobster

9)

stevejobs_michael-fassbender

Steve Jobs

8) 

revenant-leo

The Revenant

7)

sonofsaulcannes

Son of Saul

6)

hero_the-invitation-2016

The Invitation

5)

doctor_strange-h_2016

Doctor Strange

4)

spider-man-captain-america-civil-war

Captain America: Civil War

3)

big-short-photo

The Big Short

2)

deadpoolshocked

Deadpool

1)

spotlight_cast

Spotlight

Not a very good year as the number one is the only one with total 5/5 (or 10/10 at IMDb) and I’ve given 9/10 only five films this year. Sad. Let’s hope the next year will be better. And in February I’ll have a chance to see all those films I’ve missed during the last couple of months.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

The Oscars 2017 – The Best Pic #3

It’s been over a month since I did parts two and one. And here’s finally the last part of somewhat-early look on the best picture candidates.

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

Hidden Figures tells a story of “a team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.” (IMDb). It’s starring Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson from Empire (series) and Janelle Monáe who has a part in this year’s Moonlight that has gotten great reviews. The trailer looks nice mix of emotion and vibe, not too serious but not too light either. It’ll be interesting to see how this one turns out. There’s music made by Pharrell Williams, so at least the best song category should be a lock.

Hacksaw Ridge has Rotten Tomatoes score of 85% and tells a true story of “WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to win the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.” (IMDb) Andrew Garfield seems to be having a strong year with this and upcoming Scorsese’s Silence.Hacksaw is said to be a comeback of Mel Gibson who directed the film. The film even has a average of 8.7/10 at IMDb which means it’s liked by audience and critics, so it’ll be hard for the Academy to pass it by.

I’m not sure if this should be on the list or not. It might be too much of sci-fi and to be honest, I’m not sure if Chris Pratt is that kind of an actor who’ll stars in Oscar-worthy films but I didn’t think of that of Bradley Cooper, who is now a three-time nominee, so… But anyway, Passengers also stars bona fide Oscar-girl, Jennifer Lawrence, and is directed by Morten Tyldum, who’s last film, The Imitation Game, got eight nominations, so let’s not count this out yet. IMDb describes the film: “A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.”

Live by Night is a film I just don’t want to count out as it’s directed by Ben Affleck and as a director he hasn’t made a bad film. He hasn’t even made an OK film, he has only made really good ones. So no way I’m not including this one too. The film opens widely in January but has it’s limited run in December to be an eligible. IMDb synopsis says: “A story set in the Prohibition Era and centered around a group of individuals and their dealings in the world of organized crime.” The cast is promising, besides Affleck there’s Zoe Saldana, Chris Cooper, Sienna Miller, Brendan Gleeson and Elle Fanning. If the film delivers, one or two of them will be surely nominated.

And the last but not the least, there’s Hell or High Water that is out on DVD this week (the States). It’s raved by the critics and has RT score of 98% and impressive cast of Jeff Bridges, Chris Pine and Ben Foster. And apparently all of them deliver. For some reason this reminds me of No Country for Old Men. I guess that’s a good thing. Synopsis says: “A divorced father and his ex-con older brother resort to a desperate scheme in order to save their family’s ranch in West Texas.”

Here we are. Those are my picks for the Best Picture of 2017. I have already dropped one of them, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk as it sank when it opened and is rotten in Rotten Tomatoes, so let’s just forget it. And La La Land got another lovely trailer:

 

Person of the Day – Martin Scorsese

It’s Mr. Scorsese’s birthday today. So, Happy Birthday, Marty!

martin_scorsese

It took a while, approximately 25 years for me to understand the art of Scorsese. And I still haven’t watched all of his masterworks but these days he’s definitely one of my very favourite directors. When I explain what I want to do as my work, I always describe it the way that “I want to do something that I really love, that I really don’t want to quit doing ever, I want to be Martin Scorsese, who still at age of 74 keeps doing the most inspiring stuff.” So, I basically want to be Marty.

So, here’s to celebrate his amazing career and all those great things to become, my top-3 Scorsese films:

CAPE FEAR (1991)

I already saw this back in when it was released and I was only something like 12, so probably I shouldn’t have. But I did and I was so scared of Robert DeNiro’s Mad Cady but I also found him awfully attractive, especially when he was seducing this teenage girl played by always a bit dirty Juliette Lewis. Good stuff.

cape_fear1_juliette_lewiscapefear_robertdeniro

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (2013)

When I reviewed Wolf I’ve never gotten that much comments on any of my reviews. I know the film is still kind of wrong but I absolutely loved it! I don’t think any film that long has gone by so fast. And that drug scene! It is my favourite scene of Leo DiCaprio, who I obviously love, of all time. It is so funny! I need to watch this movie again.

the-wolf-of-wall-street-extended-editionwolfofwallstreet_dicaprio_drugscene

HUGO (2011)

If you love cinema like I do, or like Marty does, there’s no way you won’t like this film. Or love it, to be exact. It is one of the most heart-felt and the most beautiful films I’ve ever seen. Truly amazing work and such a love letter to the art of moving images. ❤

hugo_parishugo1hugo2

Doctor Strange Review

doctor_strange_posterI should go back to my Oscar predictions but let’s take a look to another Marvel Cinematic Universe movie first.

DOCTOR STRANGE (2016)

Directed by Scott Derrickson

Written by Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill & based on Marvel comics by Steve Ditko

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams,  Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mads Mikkelsen & Benedict Wong

Synopsis: A former neurosurgeon embarks on a journey of healing only to be drawn into the world of the mystic arts. (IMDb)

I didn’t know anything about Doctor Strange beforehand. I’m not a fan of comics, I find them kind of silly. I used to find comic films silly as well but Marvel changed it. Since The Avengers I always have high hopes for MCU film and sometimes I’m a bit disappointed (meaning I give a film 8 out of 10 at IMDb) but usually I’m not and Doctor Strange is not exception. It’s a solid film with great visuals, interesting story and well, with that cast, obviously strong performances.

doctor_strange-h_2016

I kept thinking during Strange that it is quite an achievement from film industry to make these huge blockbusters with actors who have been recently nominated for Oscars or some have even won some like Tilda Swinton in this case. No wonder characters in these kind of films are not bland anymore like they used to be. There is much more depth to them even if scripts are weak. The script of Doctor Strange is probably the simplest thing in it. And for some reason, villains in recent comic movies have been on the weaker side too. And Doctor Strange is no exception. But at least its villains are not black or white. What brings me to the point of Doctor Strange being accused of “white washing”. What? There’s Ejiofor, there’s Wong and there’s a woman as an Ancient One. And internationality more than most of the films.

Marvel Studios Hall H Panel

The best element in Strange is the pace. I was never bored. The story starts right away, you get the feeling who we’re dealing with Dr. Strange and Cumberbatch draws the character perfectly. We see how he deals with others, what kind of a person he is. And we don’t really like him but we get to know him and see him grow and we definitely start to care about him. I also liked a lot of McAdams’ character even though she’s quite on the side. And there are some very, very nice one-liners. As always when it comes to MCU movies.

rachel_mcadams_drstrange_beautiful

In general Doctor Strange is great! It might lose some of its magic (ha haa) when watching it again (and again which I will probably do) and on the first time, I loved it. Is it perfect? No, but it’s entertaining as hell. I recommend. Half of the star in rating is given because I got overly excited because of the first end-credits scene, it sure was the best one so far!

Rating: ****½ (out of 5)

The Best of the Best – Disney Company Films

To celebrate 93rd birthday of The Walt Disney Company I wanted to list my favourite films produced by the company. Walt Disney is one of my biggest heroes. He was the man who made fairytales to become live. My all time favourite quote is his

waltdisney_quote

and I always try to keep that in mind when it feels I can’t. We all can. 🙂

There might be some films missing but I blame IMDb if not my fave Disneys are on the list, as these were the ones the search of ever reliable IMDb gave me. There are some minor SPOILERS in videos.

10)

ratatouille

Ratatouille (2007)

9)

Enchanted (2007)

8)

freakyfriday_lindsaylohan

Freaky Friday (2003)

7)

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

6)

Mary Poppins (1964)

5)

frozen

Frozen (2013)

4)

pirates-of-the-caribbean-the-curse-of-the-black-pearl

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

3) (This breaks your heart. The best montage ever.)

Up (2009)

2)

The Lion King (1994)

1)

walle

Wall-E (2008)

Lovely, lovely films! It’s great that there are still people who make you feel good with creating this kind of films.

And there’s more to come like live-versions of Beauty and the Beast, Tim Burton’s Dumbo or Cruella with Emma Stone starring. Even the trailer for the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean looked promising. Mary Poppins also returns and Lasse Hällström is going to direct Keira Knightley and Helen Mirren in The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, that should be interesting. And yes, the live version of  The Lion King sounds scary idea.

The First Oscar Predictions 2017 – Best Pic #2

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.Let’s continue. In the last post I previewed some of the Best Picture hopefuls that I think have good chances to get nominated. Here are some more.

Fences is a film based on a Pulitzer- and Tony-winning play. It is directed by six-times Oscar-nominee Denzel Washington, who won twice and is also starring in the film. The other lead role belongs to the Oscar-winner Viola Davis. According to Wikipedia Fences “explores the evolving African-American experience and examines race relations“. The trailer looks like it’s not an easy view. Need I say more?

Lion is one of my own favourites. Obviously I haven’t seen it but I really liked the trailer and I’m a bit of fan of Dev Patel. And it’s also a story that is not American. I kinda like it. Lion is based on a true story and IMDb describes the story: “A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.” Besides Patel, who is playing the main character when he is an adult, the casting includes Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman and David Wenham. Unfortunately Lion hasn’t got that solid reviews and sits at 71% at Rotten Tomatoes at the moment, so it might lose its appeal come January.

Next up is Natalie Portman vehicle, Jackie, that, unsurprisingly, tells a story of former first lady of the United States. But it tells the story after JFK gets shot and how Jackie handled the situation. Apparently Portman is doing her best role so far and that is a lot to say if you think how deeply she went into her role in Black Swan. I have my doubts if Jackie will land on the best pic competition but I have been underestimating these biopic films before, so I try to keep my mind open.

Back to we-need-diversity topic and we have another possible winner in Moonlight. Moonlight tells “a timeless story of human connection and self-discovery, Moonlight chronicles the life of a young black man from childhood to adulthood as he struggles to find his place in the world while growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami.” (IMDb) The director, Barry Jenkins, has been nominated for Moonlight at Toronto, London and New York film festivals. The story is also interestingly told as the main part is played by three apparently very different looking actors. And according to critics who’ve seen the film, it is very beautifully shot. The production company, A24, just scored big the last year with Amy, Ex-Machina and especially Room, so they know what they are doing.

I still haven’t watched Tom Ford’s first outing, A Single Man, that was nominated for an Oscar back in 2010 but Ford is back with a new film that has gained some praise during festival tour. Nocturnal Animals stars big names like Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal and Laura Linney. I absolutely love the trailer and it sounds a lot like David Fincher -film like Se7en or Gone Girl, brutal but so cool. For sure it will at least look amazing, Ford is always stylish. I might be biased as again there’s Adams and the one of my “future husbands” (see my last post for explanation) but I do hope this succeeds. It did win a Silver Lion at Venice.

Sully has already been to cinemas and has nice average of 7.9 at IMDb and 82% at Rotten Tomatoes. Its hype is basically non-existent at the moment but after all it’s Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks in based-on-a-real-life film of Chesley Sullenberger, the guy who managed to land to Hudson River back in 2009, so I would be an idiot to count it out. It looks like a solid piece but nothing more to me at least. But then again, I don’t like Eastwood and I find Hanks to be quite boring these days.

Stay tuned, one more take on Best Pic hopefuls coming later!