The First Oscar Predictions 2017 – Best Pic #1

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.As promised, I’ll take a little more detailed look to upcoming Oscar hopefuls. Here are the first seven Best Picture hopefuls that I think have good chances to end up being nominated.

First, but surely not least, is Damien Chazelle’s La La Land starring always adorable Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. Right now La La Land’s hype is huge! The most of the Oscars are its to lose at the moment. I just hope it actually is as good as everyone is saying. It’s going around festivals now and was in official selection at Venice and won the best actress for Emma Stone in there as well as People’s Choice at Toronto International Film Festival. It has critics and audience by its side already.

emma_stone_ryan_gosling

La La Land is a musical set in LA and apparently it’s made in style of those oldies goldies like Singin’ in the Rain. I, myself, can’t wait to see it. I love Emma and Ryan together and here they even sing. Stone plays an aspiring actress and Gosling a jazz pianist. And they fall in love. And the tagline of the film is “Here’s to the fools who dream.” Two greatest films of this decade for me are Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, and Whiplash, directed by Damien Chazelle, so, talking about high hopes…

Next up is Manchester by the Sea that already got raves in Sundance, back in January. It still looks like it’s going strong. The film is directed and written by Kenneth Lonergan who’s been nominated two times for an Oscar, both for writing. And Manchester by the Sea seems to be another hit. I believe it will be nominated again at least for writing and for the lead actor, Casey Affleck. Besides Affleck, the flick stars Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler and Lucas Hedges whom all might have a change to get nominated. I like the trailer a lot, it looks like it’s well acted and especially well written. It will probably make you cry but also laugh. It feels like life.

Silence. A passion project of 20 years by none other than Martin Scorsese. Starring Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver and Ciáran Hinds. Synopsis from IMDb says “In the seventeenth century, two Jesuit priests face violence and persecution when they travel to Japan to locate their mentor and propagate Christianity.” Opening in the late December. Everything just screams Oscar, doesn’t it? No trailer available yet, only couple of photos.

liam-neeson-silence

#OscarsSoWhite will be THE THING at the next year’s Oscars. Or better said it will not be and thus there probably will be multiple nominations to the films that handle the subject of minorities facing thread from the majority. The Birth of a Nation being one of them. The longer synopsis of the film says:

“Set against the antebellum South, THE BIRTH OF A NATION follows Nat Turner (Nate Parker), a literate slave and preacher, whose financially strained owner, Samuel Turner (Armie Hammer), accepts an offer to use Nat’s preaching to subdue unruly slaves. As he witnesses countless atrocities – against himself and his fellow slaves – Nat orchestrates an uprising in the hopes of leading his people to freedom.”

According to critics the film is good or even better and obviously, the subject matter is hot and current with everything going on in the world at the moment. The film launched in the States yesterday and according to Box Office Mojo, it performed well and got a cinemascore “A” from the audience which bodes well. The director/writer, Nate Parker, has been under public eye lately because of rape charges in his youth and that might hurt the film’s chances at the Oscars. At least his personal chances. The film also won both, Grand Jury and Audience Awards at Sundance.

Ang Lee is back with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. And at least the trailer looks amazing! I love it. And I hope it will deliver. I’m also super excited that Lee chose a newcomer to play the lead role of Billy Lynn. Joe Alwyn must be good.

The film is shot with 120 frames per second, so Ang Lee is again pushing his boundaries. And if the film delivers, which I believe it will (we’ll know better in a week when it will be shown at New York Film Festival), technical categories are a sure thing. Then it’s all up to the story which is based on awards winning novel. The synopsis says “19-year-old Billy Lynn is brought home for a victory tour after a harrowing Iraq battle. Through flashbacks the film shows what really happened to his squad – contrasting the realities of war with America’s perceptions.” According to the test audience, the war scenes are apparently harrowing. I wasn’t a big fan of Life of Pi, except the visuals, but like said, I love this trailer and again I have high hopes.

The second to the last of this post’s films is Loving by Jeff Nichols. It is one of those topical films of the season telling a-based-on-a-real-life story of a mixed-race married couple who were sentenced to prison in 1958 because they married. According to the critics both leads, Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga, are great. Jeff Nichols as a writer and director has been making better and better films lately from Take Shelter to Mud and again to Midnight Special, so maybe this is his final breakthrough. But to be honest, I doubt it. I might be wrong but the hype is just not big enough. Then again, Focus Features has had those great smaller films at the Oscars almost every year and have won especially for the actors and actresses (Vikander for The Danish Girl, Leto and McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, Redmayne for Theory of Everything), so I might really be wrong. And I kind of hope I am.

Denis Villeneuve is another up and coming director that one hopes to gain all the success. He has directed great films like Prisoners and excellent Sicario the last year and this time he is in the game with Amy Adams starring Arrival. This time it’s a classic aliens coming the earth story but not one with (just) blasts and bombs but one with communication and slow-burning tension. We’ll see how it will go through. Some say it’s too clean and emotionless but at least the trailer looks interesting and in a good-way eerie. And I’m officially biased as there’s my favourite lady in the lead role and my longtime movie-love in supporting.

There you go. The first seven out of 14 films I have chosen for my first Oscar predictions for 2017. New York Film Festival is about to start the next week and there will be a bunch of films having their first screening. We’ll be much smarter after those. I’ll be back with the latter half of the best pic hopefuls.

Any thoughts?

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Early Oscars Predictions 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My top-10 for the moment is:

1. Boyhood

2. Unbroken

3.The Grand Budapest Hotel

4. Foxcatcher

5. Birdman

6. Gone Girl

7. Interstellar

8. Into the Woods

9. Fury

10. Inherent Vice

Time to Get Excited! (Aka what was going on in Comic Con 2014)

San Diego International Comic-Con is over again and it gave us some treats again! Here are a few that I appreciated.

As a huge Marvel fan, especially The Avengers, I always, always love to see these guys:

The Hollywood Reporter has the highlights of Marvel’s part of Comic-Con.

Obviously some of the most anticipated films of this year and the next were presented in teasers or full trailers. Let’s take a look.

Katniss is going to go to a war in the next installment of Hunger Games saga:

Things are not looking good in the final part of The Hobbit either:

Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron are looking fierce in Mad Max: Fury Road, out in 2015:

Other semi-interesting news were that there will be more monster movies after the success of Godzilla. I didn’t like that, so I don’t really care of those. Guardians of the Galaxy is going to get a sequel. Haven’t seen the first one yet, so not that excited. Batman vs. Superman revealed Wonder Woman and she’s hot!

The Walking Dead trailer for season five is apparently great. Not following the show due to horrible second season, I can’t tell. But I can tell that Norman Reedus was Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. 

A lot of other stuff happened too. Check out this adorable gallery of Entertainment Weekly and also a blooper reel for Game of Thrones:

Some year I will be attending!

 

Alphabetic Movie Meme

It’s Sunday and I have nothing mandatory to do, so let’s list some movie related things for a change.

I ran into this at Elina’s Films and Coke blog that I enjoy to read and I just need to answer those questions myself. You can find the original Alphabetic Movie Meme at The Drama Llama blog of Katy’s. I think I need to follow her too from now on. Btw, I just realised, everyone is introducing themselves by their first names. So, hi, I’m Satu.

Anticipating Movie of 2014

Interstellar. Well, Christopher Nolan. Do I need to say more?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABook Adaptation I’d Like to See

I’d like to see live action version of Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman. The series were one of my favourites when I was a teenager and I remember trying to cast a movie based on the first novel. There is an animated feature and a lot of Dungeons & Dragons stuff or something like it already existing but I’d like to see a proper film now when there actually are great fantasy films existing.

milaCelebrity I’d Most Like to Meet

This is hard… I’d like to choose someone that’s not too intimidating and by that I mean, no one too charming because it would be hard not to blush all the time (that leaves out Clooney, Hiddleston, Law, Downey Jr. etc.). So, I’m gonna go with Mila Kunis. She would probably be a blast to hang out with and wouldn’t mind to have a beer or two at local sports bar.

Dream Director/Actor Pairing

David Fincher and Christian Bale. That would be some chillingly dark stuff. christianfincher

Essential Classic Film

I need to agree with Elina here and choose Gone with the Wind. I’ve seen the film at least ten times if not more and I love it. Scarlett is my ultimate heroine. Sometimes you just need to sacrifice things for the greater good. Although it would be better to understand a bit earlier what a blind cow you’re being.

Watching that trailer made me want to watch that again. I love that film!

Favourite Film Franchise

Lord of the Rings is the reason why I want to pursue a career in the film industry.

Ringstrilogyposter

Genre I Watch the Most

Skeleton in my closet; I watch romantic comedies. I love them. I mean the ones that are actually good. That’s probably 10 films or so. But I still watch them, even the really bad ones.

10-Romantic-Comedy[1]

Hidden GemIn_America_movie

In America. There are more of them, actually a lot of them but this one was the one that came to my mind instantly. It’s kind of funny that it’s “hidden gem” because it did get three Oscar nominations back in 2002. It is wonderfully written and acted. A real tearjerker but the one that leaves you uplifted anyway. I truly recommend it.

Important Moment in My Film Life

(includes a minor spoiler in case you haven’t seen Return of the King)

This is not really important to my life but it’s the most memorable moment that I’ve had within the movies. I went to see Return of the King second time on a Christmas Day and the cinema was full. All of those people who attended were actually there to see the film, not to chat or having a snack. And at that moment when Aragorn and company are at the Black Gates and Sauron speaks to Aragorn, the big movie hall was entirely silent, you couldn’t even hear people breathe. And when Aragorn whispers “for Frodo”, it was like sudden relief and people started to sob at the same time, you could hear everyone inhaling loudly. It was the best movie moment ever:

Legally_blondeJust the Right for a Rainy-Day

Legally Blonde. I think this one is still the best role of Reese Witherspoon and the movie gives you such a push, like you could achieve anything. This is my “theme movie” like Ally McBeal had a theme song in the series.

Kiddie Movie I still Shamelessly Enjoy

To me couple of first Harry Potters are actually kiddie movies and all those great animated features are for both, adults and kids alike. But because those great Disney animations are counted as kids’ films, I’ll go with Lion King as well. It’s superb.

Location I’d Most Like to Visit

Again, I need to steal. I also want to go to Hogwarts. There is no place like it.

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Marathon I Watched

I don’t believe I’ve watched any movies in a row. I have, of course, watched six films in a day but they didn’t have anything in common. Well, the best I can say is that I watched the first two parts of Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was spending the night at the cinema to get the ticket to the midnight screening of the third one.

Netflix Movie I Actually Watchededwestwick

Let’s see if I’ve watched any of them. I usually only watch television series on Netflix… Yay, I found one! Chalet Girl. I’m quite a fan girl of Ed Westwick (or probably more like a fan girl of Jack Bass) and I wanted to see that. It was ok. I gave it 2,5 stars or five (that’s good for romantic comedy).

One Movie I Saw in Theatres More Than Once

The best I’ve done is with the first part of Lord of the Rings; The Fellowship of the Ring. I’ve seen it seven times in the theatre. I told you, that trilogy changed my career plans.

Preferred Place to Watch a Movie

Obviously in a cinema. There is no other answer except if you’re afraid of other people.

Quote that Inspires Me

“He save me in every way a person can be saved.”  -Rose from Titanic

I like the idea that a random meeting of another person can thoroughly change your life. Yes, in Titanic huge things happens, emotionally and around, but in the end, this quote is about it that a person needs to live a life that he/she finds fulfilling and never mind what others think what he/she should do.

titanic

Remakes – Friend or Foe?

Usually foe but it is also a good thing to introduce some classics to new audience in a form of a remake and perhaps they will end up watching the original one that is usually superior to the remake.

missäxSnack I Enjoy Most

I’m not a fan of people eating in cinemas. I tolerate it, if they keep the noise in minimum. But I do get snacks when watching some action-adventure flicks like Pirates of the Caribbean or Marvel movies. My favourite is this candy called Missä X. They’re Finnish marmalade (I think?) with this sour sprinkling… Kind a hard to explain but here’s a picture:

Thrilling Movie that Blows My Mind

Argo. It was total “edge-of-your-seat” ride from the beginning until the end.

jakeUnapologetic Fan person for

This varies, I get overly excited about different persons from time to time but if I’d needed to pick one, I’d guess it would be Jake Gyllenhaal. I just love him. He can even do really lousy films but it’s ok.

Very Excited for Award Show Season?

Well, check some other posts in this blog and guess.

Wish I Never Watched

Shallow Hal. I’m still offended by that film.  I truly hate it.

XXX Movie I First Watched at Young Age

I saw this film when I was about six or seven. My father was renovating my room upstairs quite late at the evening and I was alone in the living/bedroom and I think he didn’t know I was awake watching this film:

Btw, you can find the entire film on YouTube. I wouldn’t recommend except if you like bad horror movies.

cumberbatch1Your Latest Movie Related Obsession

Benedict Cumberbatch. I’m a bit sorry that I got hooked on him as well like hundreds of thousands of other women around the world. But what can you do, he is the hottest star in Hollywood, at least according to Critics’ Choice Awards.

ZZZ-Catchers

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. I really had to fight with myself to stay awake. This is a pity because the franchise began really promising way, I love the first part and the second is also hilarious. I’m sorry they are still continuing to make them.

The Best Picture Vol.3 – The Oscar Predictions 2014

beforemidnightOk, let’s finally go through those that I had a month ago bubbling under of my top-10 best films of the year. I’ve been total lazy-ass when it comes to the movie world during the last month (think I’ve watched like five films?!) but when the autumn really gets going, the going gets tougher (…). I already did my parts one and two to predict the best picture Oscar for the year 2014 and here is the last part for now.

The first I have new Steve McQueen pic, the man who does not shy from the tough stuff. 12 Years a Slave tells a true story of a once free man who was again forced to slavery. If it’s not too heavy for the Academy it’s a solid contender with its dramatic score and amazing cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, AlfreWoodard and Quvenzhané Wallis. Come to think of it, this one can’t really be bad.

The other one that I had almost in the top ten is Gravity. Alfonso Cuarón directing basically Sandra Bullock. And a little bit of George Clooney. The clips they are showing at the cinemas are varyingly distressing. This one might be a huge failure, a snoozfest or the very different from anything else we’ve seen. Gravity will have its world premier in three days at Venice Film Festival, after that we’ll be wiser of its status in the race.

The one in the bubbling under team is Blue Jasmine, that I already mentioned in my post Vol.1 because of the apparently (still waiting for that one to come out in Finland) splendid performance of Cate Blanchett. Also in the running is Before Midnight (the pic at the beginning of the post), the third instalment of the Richard Linklater-Ethan Hawke-Julie Delpy collaboration that tells the story of a young girl and a boy meeting in the train and what happens afterwards with the one of the best dialogues ever on the screen. A lot of it but it’s gooood. I just watched the first two parts and didn’t even remember how good the second part especially was (guess it’s the age thing, I’m around that age myself) and it’s said that the third one is the best of the bunch. Hope so.

counselorThen there’s The Counselor that I mentioned in the last post. The new Ridley Scott with acting ensemble including Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz and that is based on Cormac McCarthy novel. I enjoyed the latest trailer a lot and I’m keeping fingers crossed that Scott does not make this as cold as Prometheus. Thankfully there’s Fassbender who was the best thing in Prometheus and will probably be in this one too. And I’m really looking forward the performances of the ladies there. Naked or not. Looks promising. The other one that has a very showy (without actually being it) trailer is All Is Lost that already premiered at Cannes and got rave reviews especially to the star Robert Redford. And after watching the trailer, I can’t see how it’s possible not to give him the nom for the part, it looks tremendous:

The last three ones that I had on my list in July are The Fifth Estate, Lee Daniels’ The Butler and Le Passé aka The Past. The Fifth Estate is to be said to be based on a true story of Wikileads and it’s (in)famous founder Julian Assange. Benedict Cumberbatch will for sure be good if not great in the lead role but then again the director Bill Condon just made the last two parts of Twilight saga… We’ll see after Toronto. Lee Daniels’ The Butler already got its wide release in US and it looks to be a crowd pleaser, it was the most watched on the opening weekend and looks like it’s going to be on the top spot again after the Sunday estimates of this weekend. But it has 6.1 rating in IMDb and that’s not good enough in a long haul. And 73% with critics at Rotten Tomatoes is quite weak as well but then again, the film has Oprah.

bereniceLe Passé got the best actress award at Cannes to beautiful Bérénice Bejo who already has one Oscar nomination from the best pic winner The Artist couple of years ago. The Past is directed and written by Asghar Farhadi who also directed the best foreign language feature film A Separation and even got nominated himself in the writing category. I hope the Academy will remember Bejo after the year’s end even if the film itself won’t get nominated. But we will (again) be much wiser how the race will continue after Venice and Toronto. I’ll be posting the predictions to the other categories meanwhile and will get back to this one after the festivals are over.