Liebster Award #2

Liebster-Award-copie

Great JW at Film & Nuance nominated me for a Liebster Award for the second time in my blogging history. THANK YOU! It’s nice to be recognized. 🙂 Check out his site! And if you’re up to it, here’s my previous Liebster post.

Here are the questions he set up for all of us nominated:

1.What is your favourite movie in your least favourite genre. And why?

  • This is kinda hard to answer. There are three genres that I don’t like that much: western, war movies and mafia related films. But to be honest, all the films I’ve watched in the last genre mentioned, I’ve liked, so I should probably stop saying that I don’t like it. And I don’t remember watching any westerns that I actually liked. So, let’s say… Atonement. Can I call it a war movie? No? Well, hmmm, what about Inglourious Basterds? Still no? Ok, I’ll change genres back to western as I just realised (after checking my  IMDb ratings) that there is one western that I liked a lot: True Grit, Coens’ version. There you go, found it.

True Grit - Hailee Steinfeld -

2.If you had to favour a certain style (for directing a film,writing a book or any other art form of your choice), would you prefer a no-frills and direct approach, or an artistic and ambiguous one. Why?

  • I’d had to go with no-frills and direct as I enjoy those kind of films more than artsy ones. I do love beautiful writing in a book but without obvious story it just doesn’t work for me.

3.Name a movie you can watch any day.

  • That would be something silly and easy to watch like Legally Blonde, Mean Girls, Love Actually, Trainwreck etc.

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4.If you could keep an object that you had previously but by now either lost it,sold,misplaced,had it stolen or destroyed, what would it be?

  • Nevermind album by Nirvana. I used to listen to it all the time and got fed up with it and for some idiotic reason sold it. Same goes for special edition of Green Day’s Dookie. Idiot.

5.Pick an era to live in.

  • Hippietime, sometime around 60s to 70s. Interesting times, a lot of political changes, freedom and great music.

6.The best film you’ve seen this year and an unreleased 2016 film that you think might beat it.

  • Spotlight and I doubt there will be one but possible contenders are The Light Between Oceans, Silence, Arrival, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and La La Land. I’m really picky about films that I give 10/10 and there have been years when I haven’t awarded full points to any film. But La La Land is my the most awaited film of the year as I absolutely love both Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone and Whiplash, that was made by same man, Damien Chazelle, was my absolute favourite from 2015.

7.Name a memory you would keep till your death.

  • I don’t think I can single out one memory. I have a lot of those that I’d like to keep. I haven’t done anything THAT spectacular that I could point it out.

8.Ice-cream or popsicles?

  • Ice-cream

9.Where do you stand on the Harambe case?

  • I wasn’t aware of this case but went and read about it. Idk, to me zoos are no-no anyway, so… But I think the staff acted the best way they thought was suitable at the moment. In case there’s someone as clueless as me, here’s the story.

10.Favourite type of music? And what does it mean to you?

  • These days I listen to all kinds of music from classical music to hard rock and anything between, also EDM. But I guess my favourite kind is still rock especially classic rock e.g. Led Zeppelin.

11.How do you cool off after being upset/angry?

  • Music. It always works. My ex-roommate aka one of my best friends used to say it was easy to know my mood by the music I was listening to. I use music to manipulate my feelings. It affects me a lot.

There you go. Something about me. Now it’s your turn. I should nominate ten blogs I guess but I’ll settle with half of them. Here are the blogs I love to follow and I hope they will get a lot more followers! I know it should be under 200 followers but I choose not to care. 😉 Check them out!

So, here are my questions for you guys and girls:

  1. What kind of a role in a film would be the most interesting to you to play?
  2. If you read, what is the book you always go back to?
  3. Three things that would make your life better?
  4. Who is your ultimate celebrity crush and why?
  5. Who’s your favourite dead director?
  6. If you could choose to study whatever despite the future earnings/finding a job/the place of the study/etc. what would you study?
  7. What film do you think will win the best picture Oscar next February?
  8. Your dream vacation spot?
  9. The best movie memory?
  10. Do you have a schedule for blogging?

That’s it! Good luck and haveagreatweek_minion

 

SCREEEEEAM!!!!! (x5)

I was totally inspired by Zoë at The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger to check out Scream films after she reviewed all four parts. And I continued by watching MTV’s and Netflix’s collaboration series based on the films. And I was kind of pleasantly surprised. All of them weren’t total waste of time.

scream posterSCREAM (1996)

Directed by Wes Craven

Written by Kevin Williamson

Starring Neve Campbell, Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Skeet Ulrich, Rose McGowan & Matthew Lillard

Synopsis (provided by IMDb): “Attempting to cope with her mother’s murder, Sydney and her horror movie-obsessed friends are stalked by a murderer who seems to have a hard time letting the past go.”

If you haven’t seen Scream, you should watch it. It’s a classic. Craven and Williamson redefined horror genre with this flick. I remember when I saw it for the first time. It was the first day of the year and I guess I felt a bit hangovery and kind of relaxed because I remember laughing out loud a lot. Scream combines all cliches of horror genre and laughs at them. But it’s still a bit exciting. At least if you watch it alone.

“What’s your favorite scary movie?”

Scream has survived the time. It looks very much ’90’s but it’s as the new series (reviewed later in this post) shows it could as easily be happening now with a bunch on technological advances. Craven was a master horror director but to me Scream works because Williamson is an excellent writer (on and off though; do never see Cursed if you haven’t yet). He’s at his best in horror/high school genre, but I also love Dawson Creek where he made his characters much older dialogue-wise than annoying teens usually are. But Scream is his master work, I think. It’s also his first writing job. It’s funny as hell but still surprising and very interesting to follow. You sure don’t know what’s going to happen next. What I and I think the most of the viewers like the best is how Scream reminds us how horror flicks usually go and Skeet-Ulrich-photo-222x300then shows it. Hilarious.

Of course all actors play nicely. Sidney is great example of good girl from neighbour and so are the usual characters from horror genre. I enjoyed how they are build and how they are played. It also helps that Skeet Ulrich was such a hottie back then.

I’m blabbing. Anyway, Scream works. I liked it even more this time around that I did the first time or in between. It might be a bit nostalgic but who cares?! Just enjoy the script, it’s a rare treat.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

SCREAM 2 (1997)

Directed & Written by same guys

Starring: same guys and some more

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I just realised that the less you know who is in, the less spoilers there are in case you haven’t seen these films.

Scream 2 is by far not as good as the original. For some reason I found its beginning hugely annoying and supporting characters that are new just are not interesting enough to carry the story. And the biggest fail is the obvious one. According to the greatest film critic Robert Ebert “each film is only as good as its villain” and that is so true. Scream 2 (and actually 3 and 4 as well) forgets that. Or then they just wrote way too good villain to number one and the sequels just couldn’t compete with that one. Good thing is that all sequels make fun of that fact and the villain in number one is remembered thorough. But again, the dialogue clicks and there are some memorable moments in the second film too. Though I’m just trying to remember some and it’s a bit hard. So maybe not. At least there’s Sarah Michelle Gellar whom I love!

Rating: **½ 

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SCREAM 3 (2000)

Directed by Craven

Written by Ehren Kruger (characters obviously by Williamson)

Starring same folk and some

This part is made more like a comedy. And not very good one. And it feels much cheaper than the previous installments. Then again, if you look Scream 3 that it is intentionally made over-the-top like its tagline says “the final scream will be the loudest”, it works a bit better. I kind of hate all the characters, including Sidney the protagonist. She steps up her game quite a lot from the second part but she’s still a whiner. No Ellen Ripley there.

But the positive side is that I remembered this to be much worse. It actually wasn’t. I enjoyed it enough. I don’t really know what to say. Nothing new here. We go through the same cliches, how the film should go when it’s the final part of trilogy and then it’s rolling.

Rating: **½

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SCREAM 4 (2011)

Made by same folk plus some stars of today like Emma Roberts, Hayden Panittiere & Alison Brie plus bunch of cameos

11 years and several Courtney Cox’s plastic surgeries later we have the final Scream for now. And it’s back to its roots surpassing parts 2 and 3. Even the villain is almost there. But the scariest thing still is that modified face of Mrs. Cox. Kind of sorry about that as I like her. I watched parts three and four in a row last night and her face really popped out.

Anyway, Scream 4 is updated to suit the time and it suits quite nicely. The story is familiar from the original one and it works well. No one is particularly annoying but you don’t really care about them either. I’m trying to think of something more to say but I can’t really figure out anything original. Williamson writes better than he did in part two and there is a hint of originality in this installment and some relevant commenting of the world we are living right now with our obsessions of ourselves.

Rating: ***½

Scream-Header-02-Pilot

SCREAM – The series (2015)

Created by Jay Beattie, Jill E. Blotevogel & Dan Dworkin (Williamson wrote the pilot)

Starring Willa Fitzgerald, Bex Taylor-Klaus, John Karna, Carlson Young, Amadeus Serafini, Tracy Middendorf, Tom Maden, Amelia Rose Blaire, Connor Weil & Bobby Campo

First of all, I love the fact that this series Scream is paying serious respect to original movie. The mood is there, the dialogue is there, the characters are like they could be in the first film, everything is pure homage to original material and that works! It’s not a masterwork but it surely is entertaining pop culture piece.bobby campo

Secondly, I love that they used (some very handsome ->) new faces in the series. When you don’t know the players, you never know who’s going to get it and how soon. That is a trend today (see Game of Thrones for example) and it is great! It is actually pointed out in the script how much it hurts when one of your favourite characters is killed after you started to love the character and root for her/him:

Noah Foster: Gotta remember that the whodunit may not be as important in our story… You need to figure that it’s a horror story, that someone might die at every turn. You have to care if the smokin’ hot lit teacher seems a little too interested in his female students. You have to care if the team wins the big game. You have to care if the smart, pretty girl forgives the dumb jock.

Riley Marra: Sounds like Friday Night Lights

Noah Foster: Exactly. You root for them, you love them, so when they are brutally murdered, it hurts.

And as you can see from that clip of dialogue, the series is full of references to other series and films. I love that! Make sure your up to your viewing though or you might get spoiled. Not badly, thankfully.

Unfortunately, Scream fizzles out of steam at some point between sixth and seventh episode (altogether 10) and fills in too much drama. That very annoying teenage girl kind of drama. Ugh. But it picks up again in the last episode. I did knew the killer though, so I hope they will be more inventive in the second season that I will be, for sure, watching.

Oh, and the soundtrack. They do make good music still! Yay for that. Listen to this nice playlist in YouTube from the first season. And the mask! Oh yeah, so much better than the original Ghostface’s.

Rating: ***½ (I would have given four without that annoying teenage girl drama.)

TIFF Update #4 – The Oscar Predictions continue

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.I’m so behind! New York Film Festival is already on and I haven’t even updated Toronto yet! So here it goes the last update from Toronto. Which films soared, which fell flat? Any Oscar nominations on their way?

Well, Bryan Cranston might be looking at his first Oscar nomination with Trumbo, a true story about Hollywood screenwriter who was blamed to be a communist in 1940’s. Hollywood loves Hollywood. Cranston plays the title role. Trumbo is at the moment fresh at Rotten Tomatoes with a score of 86% but it looks like the film will be nominated for the best actor and maybe for the best screenplay but shut out at the other categories. What I’ve read it might be too light and entertaining. Helen Mirren in supporting role but apparently plays it over-the-top.

And to the ladies. Sandra Bullock’s Our Brand Is Crisis bowed at TIFF and for a moment it looked like it might be another Sandy-moment there but after couple of days, not so much. Sad RT score of 29%. It’s still said that Bullock is doing fine job even though the rest of the film sucks more or less. No nominations, I predict.

The Lady in the Van is a film based on a play about a woman living in her car that’s parked in one man’s driveway. Sounds weird but I absolutely love the trailer and hope so much that always fantastic Maggie Smith (check Downton Abbey, she’s the best thing in a superb series) will get a nomination for her lead role.

Brooklyn already had its first screening in Sundance back in January but has maintained its popularity among critics until this day. It looks like a big gamer with possible nods to the lead actress (Saoirse Ronan), screenplay (adapted by Nick Hornby from the novel of Colm Tóibín), cinematography, production design and costume design (the safest bet) plus possibly editing and score. And obviously with that many nominations, the best picture as well. I love the trailer, again, it looks so pretty. And Domnhall Gleeson is a good thing too. Check it out:

Cate Blanchett has a problem. She’s apparently great in Truth (RT 78%) and in Carol (96%) that bowed already in Cannes and not at all in Toronto but I think I should bring them both up with Cate’s problem. The thing is that an actress (or actor) can’t be nominated twice in the same category. In Truth Blanchett is for sure playing the main role and what I’ve read, she’s scene stealing, again. There has been talk about putting Blanchett to supporting category for Carol (different distributors, obviously) but she IS playing Carol after all… So, the question is NOT “will she be nominated?” but “which film she will be nominated for?”. I’m betting on Carol because it looks like it will be major contender with possibilities in the best pic, director, actress, supporting actress (it looks like Rooney Mara has this one to lose), screenplay, cinematography, production design, costumes and music (was that 10? I had it 10 times on my prediction list). Oh, possibly editing. Trailer for Carol underneath, here you can check the one for Truth.

What do you think, who and what will be nominated come January? Blanchett at least. New York Film Festival opened on Saturday with The Walk and will be the host for premiere of new Spielberg flick Bridge of Spies starring Tom Hanks. Sounds like an Oscar, huh?
This week I will be seeing The Martian and The Walk myself and on Sunday I’m off to London and will be seeing Suffragette, Beasts of No Nation and Trumbo when London Film Festival kicks-off on Wednesday 7th of October. I’ll be more wise after couple of weeks.

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TIFF #2 – The Oscars 2016 Update vol. 3

Finally. Toronto Update 2. And the Oscars 2016 update 3. Or basically 4 because I believe that The Martian will get multiple nominations. So, which films triumphed at TIFF? Same that triumphed at the earlier festivals already. Mostly Room and Spotlight. The latter has become the forerunner for the best picture and the first got People’s Choice Award at Toronto that usually goes to films like 12 Years a Slave or Slumdog Millionaire (both winners of the Best Picture Oscar). I already wrote both of the films, read it here!

Beautiful Elizabeth Olsen

Tom Hiddleston hot as hell

Anything new then? Well, yes, but nothing really spectacular. I Saw the Light, that I hoped would be fantastic, plummeted. Too bad because it apparently still includes great performances from Tom Hiddleston and Elizabeth Olsen.

Jean-Marc Vallée’s  (Dallas Buyers Club) Demolition got bumped to 2016 and according to Rotten Tomatoes it stinks (53%). It also, like I Saw the Light, has solid work from Jake Gyllenhaal in the lead role. Denis Villeneuve’s (Prisoners) Sicario then again might be one to get some nominations despite the fact that it is supposedly quite dark and gritty. Emily Blunt might have a chance in crowded Best Actress category and Benicio Del Toro his in Supporting Actor. Might. I kind of doubt it but we’ll see. Trailer beneath. Sicario is out around Europe and US now or soonish.

Another transgender flick besides The Danish Girl (talked about it here) this year is About Ray which, according to people, who saw it in Toronto, is too light-hearted to be taken seriously enough. Elle Fanning is good in it but I doubt it helps to gain an Oscar nomination this year when a lot of ladies are giving their best works. And one other film that deals with minority issues (same heritage rights to same-sex couples) is Freeheld, led by always good Julianne Moore and supported by Ellen Page. Unfortunately the film itself doesn’t carry. Michael Shannon in another supporting role is said to be great too. But again, that is probably not enough. But you never know.

Michael Moore screened his new documentary at TIFF too. Where to Invade Next is a flick about how Moore will in the name of the USA invade other countries to get their best stuff to his country. My Finland is there as well as punch of others. I’m not sure it the film already has a distributor but if it does, it’s a candidate for documentary nomination.

Ok, let’s save rest of TIFF stuff, the better half, I think, to the next post. Check out my updated predictions here and stay tuned.

Oh, another big player was revealed today when The Big Short, film starring small names like Christian Bale, Brad Pitt, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling, will premiere at AFI Fest. I do hate those hairstyles a lot but the story is a true story based on same author’s, Michael Lewis, book who wrote The Blind Side and Moneyball (both Best Picture nominees. According to Variety’s Kristopher Tapley The Big Short “as I hear it, could be an awards play for Christian Bale and particularly Steve Carell, with other hopes for best picture and best adapted screenplay lingering.” Trailer with horrible hairs:

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.