Oscar Predictions 2017: Winners

2017oscarsOK, so I totally ran out of time, so let’s just cut to the chase. Here are my predicted winners and the ones that I wish would win. I missed a lot of films this year, so my wish-list is limited.

lalalandBest Picture

Winner: La La Land
Wish: La La Land

Directing

Winner: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Wish: Tie between Chazelle & Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Actor in a Leading Role

Winner: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Wish: Casey

emmastonestageActress in a Leading Role

Winner: Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Wish: Emma Stone, La La Land

Actress in a Supporting Role

Winner: Viola Davis, Fences
Wish: I don’t care

Actor in a Supporting Role

Winner: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Wish: Don’t care

Adapted Screenplay

Winner: Moonlight, Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney
Wish: Arrival, Eric Heisserer

arrival-villeneuve

Original Screenplay

Winner: Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
Wish: Manchester

Animated Feature Film

Winner: Zootopia
Wish: Kubo and the Two Strings

Foreign Language Film

Winner: The Salesman (Iran)
Wish: No opinion as I haven’t seen any of these

oj_madeinamericaDocumentary Feature

Winner: O.J.: Made in America
Wish: Again, no opinion

 

Cinematography

Winner: La La Land, Linus Sandgren
Wish: Arrival, Bradford Young

Film Editing

Winner: La La Land, Tom Cross
Wish: La La Land

Production Design

Winner: La La Land, Davis Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
Wish: Arrival, Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte

Costume Design

Winner: Jackie, Madeline Fontaine
Wish: La La Land, Mary Zophres

Makeup and Hairstyling

Winner: Star Trek Beyond, Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
Wish: ?

Original Score

Winner: La La Land, Justin Hurwitz
Wish: La La Land

LLL d 12 _2353.NEF

Original Song

Winner: “City of Stars,” La La Land, music by Justin Hurwitz, lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
Wish: “Audition (The Fools who Dream),” La La Land, music by Justin Hurwitz, lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Sound Editing

Winner: Arrival, Sylvain Bellemare
Wish: Arrival, Sylvain Bellemare

Sound Mixing

Winner: La La Land, Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, and Steve A. Morrow
Wish: La La Land

Visual Effects

Winner: The Jungle Book, Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Dan Lemmon
Wish: Kubo and the Two Strings, Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean, and Brad Schiff

piperAnimated Short Subject

Winner: Piper
Wish: Don’t care

Live Action Short Film

Winner: Silent Nights
Wish: ?

Documentary Short Subject

Winner: The White Helmets
Wish: The White Helmets

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 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:

 

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!

The First Oscar Predictions 2017

Here we go again! I did some predictions last spring right after the Oscars 2016 but so much have changed since then! So, here are my endless lists. The films are in random order in every category and as you can see, there are much more of them that is allowed in every category. I will get into them during the next 10 days, so bear with me. Here’s the first look.

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.The Oscar Predictions 2017 

updated October 6th

BEST PICTURE

  • La La Land
  • Manchester by the Sea
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • The Birth of a Nation
  • Arrival
  • Silence
  • Fences
  • Moonlight
  • Lion
  • Jackie
  • Loving
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Hidden Figures
  • Hell or High Water
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Sully
  • Passengers
  • Live by Night

lalaland

DIRECTOR

  • La La Land – Damien Chazelle
  • Manchester by the Sea – Kenneth Longergan
  • Silence – Martin Scorsese
  • The Birth of a Nation – Nate Parker
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Ang Lee
  • Loving – Jeff Nichols
  • Arrival – Denis Villeneuve
  • Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford
  • Moonlight – Barry Jenkins
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Passengers – Mortem Tyldum
  • Live by Night – Ben Affleck
  • Jackie – Pablo Larráin
  • Lion – Garth Davis

ACTOR

  • La La Land – Ryan Gosling
  • devpatel_lionSully – Tom Hanks
  • Lion – Dev Patel
  • Fences – Denzel Washington
  • Manchester by the Sea – Casey Affleck
  • The Founder – Michael Keaton
  • Loving – Joel Edgerton
  • Silence – Andrew Garfield
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Joe Alwyn
  • Captain Fantastic – Viggo Mortensen

ACTRESS

  • La La Land – Emma Stone
  • Jackie – Natalie Portman
  • Hidden Figures – Taraji P. Henson
  • Fences – Viola Davis
  • Loving – Ruth Negga
  • Arrival – Amy Adams
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Meryl Streep
  • Elle – Isabelle Huppert
  • 20th Century Women – Annette Bening
  • Miss Sloane – Jessica Chastain

SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Manchester by the Sea – Lucas Hedges
  • Silence – Adam Driver
  • Silence – Liam Neeson
  • Sully – Aaron Eckhart
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Steve Martin
  • Moonlight – Mahershala Ali
  • Manchester by the Sea – Kyle Chandler
  • Nocturnal Animals – Michael Shannon
  • Fences – Stephen Henderson
  • Hell of High Water – Jeff Brigdes
  • Florence Foster Jenkins – Hugh Grant
  • Fences – Jovan Adepo
  • Live by Night – Chris Cooper
  • Live by Night – Brendan Gleeson

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Hidden Figures – Octavia Spences
  • Hidden Figures – Janelle Monáe
  • Nocturnal Animals – Laura Linney
  • Nocturnal Animals – Amy Adams
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Kristen Stewart
  • Manchester by the Sea – Michelle Williams
  • Naomi Harris – Moonlight
  • Aja Naomi King – The Birth of a Nation
  • Lion – Nicole Kidman
  • Live by Night – Sienna Miller
  • 20th Century Women – Elle Fanning

nocturnal-animals_amyadams

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Manchester by the Sea
  • The Lobster
  • Moonlight
  • Loving
  • Jackie
  • Hell or High Water
  • La La Land
  • Patterson
  • I, Daniel Blake
  • 20th Century Women
  • Captain Fantastic

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Hidden Figures
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Live by Night
  • Silence
  • Fences
  • Lion
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Love & Friendship
  • Hidden Figures

CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • La La Land
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Arrival
  • Passengers
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Moonlight
  • Fences

billylynn1

EDITING

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Live by Night
  • La La Land
  • Fences
  • Jackie
  • Arrival
  • Lion
  • Moonlight

COSTUME DESIGN

  • Hidden Figures
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Love & Friendship
  • fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them-posterFantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
  • Jackie
  • Silence
  • La La Land
  • Florence Foster Jenkins
  • Hail, Ceasar!

PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Hidden Figures
  • La La Land
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Rogue One
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Allied
  • Jackie
  • Arrival

MAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING

  • Hidden Figures
  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
  • Love & Friendship
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Deadpool
  • Jackie
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Rogue One

SOUND MIXING

  • deepwaterhorizonposterBilly Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Live by Night
  • La La Land
  • Arrival
  • Passengers
  • Sully
  • Rogue One
  • The Jungle Book
  • Allied
  • Hacksaw Ridge
  • Deepwater Horizon

SOUND EDITING

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Live by Night
  • Deepwater Horizon
  • La La Land
  • Roque One
  • Arrival
  • Passengers
  • The Jungle Book

VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Rogue One
  • The Jungle Book
  • Star Trek Beyond
  • Arrival
  • A Monster Calls
  • Strange
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  • Assassin’s Creed

MUSIC

  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
  • Silence
  • Nocturnal Animals
  • Arrival
  • The BFG
  • The Light Between Oceans
  • Finding Dory
  • Rogue One
  • Hell or High Water

SONGpharrell_williams

  • Hidden Figures – Victory
  • La La Land – Audition (The Fools Who Dream)
  • La La Land – City of Stars (or some other songs…)
  • Moana – We Know the Way
  • Sing – ?
  • Trolls – Can’t Stop the Feeling
  • The Eagle Huntress – Angel by the Wings

ANIMATED

  • Zootopia
  • Kubo and the Two Strings
  • The Secret Life of Pets
  • Finding Dory
  • Sing
  • The Red Turtle
  • Moana
  • Miss Hokusai

DOCUMENTARY

  • Fire at Sea
  • Cameraperson
  • Risk
  • Gleason
  • Miss Sharon Jones
  • Amanda Knox
  • Weiner
  • Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey
  • Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
  • Tickled
  • 13th
  • Jim: The James Foley Story
  • Holy Hell
  • Under the Gun
  • Before the Flood
  • Life, Animated
  • OJ: Made in America

fire-at-sea-poster

FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  • Elle (France)
  • Julieta (Spain)
  • Fire at the Sea (Italy)
  • Toni Erdmann (Germany)
  • Neruda (Chile)
  • The Age of Shadows (South Korea)
  • The Salesman (Iran)
  • It’s Only the End of the World (Canada)
  • Ma’Rosa (Philippines)
  • Land of Mine (Denmark)
  • The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Finland)
  • Chevalier (Greece)
  • From Afar (Venezuela)
  • Death in Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina)

ANIMATED SHORT

LIVE ACTION SHORT

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • White Helmets

Films of the Week Vol. 12

I’ve been so lazy at watching films. Then again, I’ve been working 7 days in a row and today is one more. But then I have some time off. And the last time I had time off, I watched some TV, read about it here. But during the last week I saw two films; The Hunger Games (again) and a bit newer stuff, Florence Foster Jenkins. Here’s my thoughts on them.

hungergamesposterTHE HUNGER GAMES (2012)

Directed by Gary Ross

Written by Gary Ross, Billy Ray & Suzanne Collins

Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Wes Bentley & Lenny Kravitz

Synopsis (IMDb): “Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games, a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death”

Yeah, I know, everyone has seen the films already and bla bla bla but as I’ve reviewed three other parts already (here, here and here), then why not do the first one as well. I’ve already mentioned before I liked it, so there’s not much to add but as I still liked it, after seeing it, I don’t know, probably tenth time, I may as well say something about it.

It was a bit surprising that The Hunger Games still works. It was on TV and I watched it “live” with commercial breaks (I know! So weird.) and it took something like three hours but that time flew by. It is that good film. The pace is perfect, the introduction of situation
hot_jennifer_lawrenceis over quickly and in no time Katniss is on her way to the Capitol where they waste no time in introducing more characters and how our heroine works together with others. We even get couple of nice twists and then it’s game time. Even the emotional pace works nicely. So, well done Gary Ross, that’s the way you direct a film based on a youth novel.

And as said 1001 times, Jennifer Lawrence is perfect as Katniss. She’s strong and vulnerable at the same time but she’s also genuine and manipulative. And a spectator can’t be sure of her motives. Josh Hutcherson’s Peeta is no match to her but I’m still totally Team Peeta. He’s still somewhat endearing. And those youngsters from areas one and two actually feel dangerous.

I also like how the film is set, the production design, make-up, costumes and obviously the music are nice too. The film is a bit one-dimensional and goes on a bit too long and some of the actors are wooden but otherwise; no complaints.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

florence-foster-jenkins

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS (2016)

Directed by Stephen Fears

Written by Nicholas Martin

Starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg & Rebecca Ferguson

Synopsis: “The story of Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress who dreamed of becoming an opera singer, despite having a terrible singing voice.”

I have no idea how truthfully Florence Foster Jenkins is told but if it is, it is quite amazing which lengths people would go for their loved ones. That’s beautiful and quite moving.

florence-foster-jenkins-2016-meryl-streep

First of all, Meryl Streep is still amazing actress. I’m quite sure she again will gain an Oscar nomination for this role. She’s fearless and can, apparently, act anything. I also appreciated Simon Helberg’s work here and I’m so glad he gets recognition from somewhere else too than The Big Bang Theory. And it was refreshing to see Hugh Grant playing something else than single douchebag. I’m not sure how much make-up he has here but he’s old and that’s weird.

simon_helberg_cute

Simon Helberg

I liked the way the film looked, it’s very pretty with all those clothes from 1940s and always fabulous New York and its Carnegie Hall. The film is nicely told, the pace is ok and it made me feel good. But that’s about it. I was a little bit bored, there’s not enough of story to be told, I think, and as the film is not too emotional, it’s a bit bland. I really wanted to like it more but it’s one of those films you will forget you even saw. Streep is great but as she is always, it’s nothing exceptional. Oh, there’s some nice music if you like classical music. There’s not much to say about it. I saw it and I’m quite sure I will never watch it again, it is just not interesting enough. I also wanted to give it 2,5 stars but as everything works, it deserved more.

Rating: *** 

February Films Watched

Update!

So, in February I watched following films:

  1. Enough Said (2013) ***
  2. The Martian (2015) ****
  3. The Voices (2014) **½
  4. The Riot Club (2014) ***
  5. About Time (2013) ***½
  6. The Joneses (2009) ***
  7. The Imitation Game (2014) ****½
  8. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) ****
  9. Clueless (1995)
  10. Pride (2014) ***½
  11. Room (2015) ***½
  12. Brooklyn (2015) ***

Bones header

And five seasons of Bones. Yes, Bones is ruining my goal of watching 200 films this year like I decided in my 50/50 challenge this year. I also didn’t manage to read a book in February. I’m still in the beginning of one which is not very good and as an excuse, as I forecasted in my previous update from January, my life changed a bunch when I moved to northern Finland, Lapland, to work at a restaurant during the high tourism season. So, I’ve basically been working and sleeping and watching some Bones during few spare hours since the middle of February. david_duchovny_sexy

Looking that list, you can see I didn’t manage to watch any of the films on IMDb-list of Top-250 and the ones that I saw for the first time weren’t that good. They were OK but not great. The Imitation Game, though, was as good as it was a year ago.  And The Joneses was the best surprise of the month as I had never even heard of the film when we run into it while browsing Canal+ Go selection. It’s always nice to look David Duchovny.

Oh, I did spend hours for this list of possible future Oscar contenders, take a look! 😉