And the Oscars 2014 went to…

I’m re-watching the Oscars of last night (morning to us here in Finland) and Lupita Nyong’o, the Queen of the evening and Best Actress in a Supporting Role, is about to get her Oscar again. She was so graceful, so beautiful. Here is her speech if you haven’t heard it, it’s worth to listen (I’m so awfully tired that I’m crying here, again):

Let’s see what else happened.

The Best Picture went deservedly to 12 Years a Slave. That was the option number one according to Ellen and so it was. (Option number two was that everyone in the hall is Pitt and the rest of the cast including director and producer McQueen accept the Oscar for best picture at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywoodracist.) All in all I had 18 out of 24 correct because I took some chances, wrongly, against all odds. The winners were not surprising. And this year it was just fine. I kinda hoped that Leo DiCaprio would have won Best Actor in a Leading Role instead of Matthew McConaughey, especially after his acceptance speech, but because Dallas Buyers Club was great, I don’t mind. Cate Blanchett won Best Actress in a Leading Role. Besides Lupita, Jared Leto, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, gave great speech. See here:

Best Director went expectedly to Alfonso Cuarón and Best Adapted Screenplay, also expectedly, to 12 Years a Slave. And even though I had predicted that American Hustle would take Original Screenplay, I’m so unbelievably happy that it didn’t but Her did. For once it went right.

Frozen took home Best Animated Feature and Best Song, so I didn’t need to become angry at any time of the evening. John Travolta named Idina Menzel Adela Dazeem (that person has her own Twitter account now) who sang Let It Go of Frozen (unfortunately not so well as I hoped; it looked like she was nervous) and other singing acts did nice job in their performances. Especially Pharrell Williams who jammed with the front row:

The Best Foreign Language Film went to Italy, to La Grande Bellezza. And Best Documentary to 20 Feet from Stardom which was, to me, the most annoying price of the evening. They could have chosen something a bit deeper meaning… Shorts: Live Action went to Helium (I changed my prediction yesterday, before that I had Helium, how very annoying), Animation to Mr. Hublot (only real surprise to me but nice one because it was my favourite of the bunch) and Documentary to The Lady in Number 6 (again good acceptance speech). Ooooh, Cumberbatch is in telly! Thanks to The Academy for adding him to the show and thanks to him for photobombing U2:

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch jumps behind U2 at the 86th Academy Awards in Hollywood

Quite many people have been complaining about heros theme, I don’t. I liked it. It reminded me why they make movies and how many great, uplifting films there are. I need to watch my indys, bonds and potters again. And nolans, marvels and georgebaileys too. And In Memoriam, that was beautiful. I really liked Glenn Close’s short speech before the montage. Like was the tribute to The Wizard of Oz. And the fact that real Philomena and Captain Phillips were present. All in all, I  and rest of our viewing party was very happy. And kudos to Ellen DeGeneres for that, she did a great job!

Alfonso-Cuaron-Oscar-GravityBack to the trophies. Best Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects (duh!), Sound Mixing and Editing and Score went to Gravity. I thought that editing might go to Captain Phillips but was not surprised that Gravity took it. Gravity was, with seven wins, the biggest winner of the night. But for sure, not the only one.

Dallas Buyers Club took home Best Make-up and Hairstyling (thankfully!) and The Great Gatsby both; Best Production Design and Costumes.

Here are all of the winners once more:

  • Best Picture “12 Years a Slave”
  • Direction Alfonso Cuarón, “Gravity”
  • Actor Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • Actress Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
  • Supporting Actor Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”
  • Supporting Actress Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
  • Adapted Screenplay “12 Years a Slave,” John Ridley
  • Original Screenplay “Her,” Spike Jonze
  • Cinematography “Gravity,” Emmanuel Lubezki
  • Production Design “The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin and Beverley Dunn
  • Film Editing “Gravity,” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger
  • Visual Effects “Gravity,” Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk and Neil Corbould
  • Costume Design “The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin
  • Makeup “Dallas Buyers Club,” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews
  • Sound Editing “Gravity,” Glenn Freemantle
  • Sound Mixing “Gravity,” Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead and Chris Munro
  • Score “Gravity,” Steven Price
  • Song “Let It Go” from “Frozen,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • Foreign Language Film “The Great Beauty” (Italy)
  • Animated Feature “Frozen”
  • Documentary Feature “20 Feet From Stardom”
  • Animated Short “Mr. Hublot”
  • Documentary Short “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life”
  • Live Action Short “Helium”

And finally, the best thing of the evening, crashing down Twitter with the most re-tweeted selfie ever (that’s 2,7 millions at the moment!):



Helsinki International Film Festival

hiffAs I told you before I participated to Helsinki International Film Festival aka Love & Anarchy as a volunteer. I worked four days at the info of one of the cinemas they had screenings. It didn’t really feel like a job because you had so much free-time to talk about movies with your fellow workers. Because I also met my stepdad and –sister while I was in Helsinki (I live in Tampere that is about two hours from Helsinki) and celebrated the birthday of my best friend, I had only very limited time to see the actual films and in the end, ended up seeing only three. And here are my thought about them.

Una Pistola en Kada Mano (Gun in Each Hand) (2012)

directed by Cesc Gay

written by Tomás Aragay & Cesc Gay

starring Ricardo Darín, Luis Tosar, Javier Cámara, Leonor Watling, Eduardo Noriega, Leonardo Sbaraglia, Candela Peña, Eduard Fernández, Alberto San Juan, Cayetana Guillén Cuervo, Jordi Mollà, & Clara Segura

unapistolaThe first film I saw was this Spanish dramedy, A Gun in Each Hand. Clara Segura from the film was present at the screening and there was a short Q & A (that’s Questions and Answers to all of you who don’t know the term) after the film. She told us that the actors in the film are very popular in Spain and the film did fairly well at the box office in its home country. She also told that they shot the movie within a year but it actual time it took only four weeks to shoot it because the director wanted those actors and made it possible to them to participate by scheduling the shooting based on that how the actors were available.

The film itself is made out of conversations. A lot them. There are many separate scenes with two people talking in a one place like in a car or walking on a street. And talking. The film is about men and the position they have in their own lives and in others. The concept was quite interesting but I guess you would probably have to be a bit older or more experienced in life to really relate to the subject. But in the end the film was good enough and I didn’t feel like my time was wasted. But I wouldn’t probably recommend this one to anyone.

Rating: **½ (out of 5)


Simon Killer (2012)

directed by Antonio Campos

written by Brady Corbet, Antonio Campos & Mati Diop

starring Brady Corbet & Constance Rousseau


The second one that I saw right after the first, was a waste of time. It’s a bit sad to me because I actually had been waiting to see Simon Killer. As you might remember, I like psychopaths, and this film is about one. Or at least about that how he becomes one. But it’s very poorly executed. There’s this unbelievably annoying shaky cam following our anti-hero. That worked in Black Swan (barely) but in this one, I just wanted to punch somebody every time they used that. Really annoying. The script was horrible. No one talks like that. It felt like the characters had been interviewed. There was nothing authentic. And how it is possible to make Paris look ugly? Gosh, it makes me angry just to write about this. Only good thing was the lead, Brady Corbet, he managed sometimes feel real. But only sometimes. And the soundtrack was okeyish. Otherwise this movie felt like a nightmarish wet-dream of a future psychopath and that’s not a good thing. Don’t watch this.

Rating: *½


Nebraska (2013)

directed by Alexander Payne

written by Rob Nelson

starring Bruce Dern & Will Forte

nebraskaI loved Nebraska. Alexander Payne just never disappoints me. He is one of my favourite directors and he hasn’t done wrong since 1999’s Election and I haven’t even seen his work before that. The way he handles his actors (especially older men) is… indescribable. You have to see it. In this one or the others, the actors are always on top of their game. So good. Oh, so good.

There’s been a debate about it if Bruce Dern should run for Oscar in the leading category or the supporting. Even though Will Forte probably has more screen time in Nebraska, the story is about Dern’s character, so I say lead. And he should be nominated at least. His performance is heartbreaking to watch. And otherwise, there’s really nothing wrong with the film. Everyone is acting their butts off. The humour is precious, the lines makes you laugh out loud. The soundtrack is more suitable and the scenery is beautifully shot as are the lingering moments of silence. The only thing to me is that I don’t really get why Payne wanted to film in black and white because the rural area where the movie is shot, would’ve already been plain and quite colourless itself. And the film would have been easier to sell. But it didn’t matter, this is still if not the best film I’ve seen this year, the one of the bests anyway. Go see it. It makes you cry, laugh and smile. And leaves you feeling good about life in general.

Rating: ****½

If you’re interested in my other ratings, check my IMDb profile or keep up at Twitter.

Oscars 2014 – The Festival Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There’s Always a Reason to Celebrate

And today it’s that my blog has survived six months and a day, so that’s half a year celebrationcelebration time! Toast to that!

To properly celebrate my success at keeping up my blog, maybe not as well as I had hoped for, I added a bunch of stuff to the sidebar.

The first it’s easier for everyone to follow my blog now. Via e-mail is the way I like the best when it comes to the blogs that I really like. It’s easier to keep up. Or there are now options to follow on Facebook or Twitter! I made the FB page a couple of hours ago and I will be posting a lot (I assume) of film and television news and rumours to that page. I’m already doing that in my personal FB profile and now when I have a page to do that, I can maybe give a little rest for my friends and not to force them to read all kinds of (not) so interesting news. So, if I were you, I’d “like” my FB page. Another option is Twitter. I registered to Twitter three years ago and posted one tweet and then stopped using it. I have on my 101 Things -list that I need to start using it and now I have. There’s already four new tweets! Anyway, I try to keep up there too from now on, so if you prefer it, follow me there. Or on Pinterest. I very much like my board for The Hottest. An example:

In and out beautiful Jennifer Lawrence

In and out beautiful Jennifer Lawrence

Besides the places to follow me there is now “Themes” that makes it easier to people find my so-called series. Apparently I’m not the only one who likes lists because The Best of the Best rankings are the most read posts of my blog. The ones about the TV shows were posted about a week ago and is already the fifth most read post of my blog. Guess I’m gonna wrote few more of those. I’m glad I enjoy doing lists as well. Any suggestions? What kind of rankings would you like to read and comment about? Or any other subjects you think I should write about? My readers seem to also enjoy my almost monthly (well…) updates of my life with lists that I try to carry out, so the List Lover will continue fulfill her dreams and the other goals.

At the sidebar there’s also the list of the most liked posts recently and the one that’s important to me: the other pages that I enjoy reading. I’ve ment to do that list for a while already but just haven’t gotten around it. But now it’s there! IMDb is, of course, like a Google to me and I do read The Hollywood Reporter and Rope of Silicon daily as well. And Rotten Tomatoes! I forgot that… I’ll add it there later. But yeah, check out my fave websites theconjuringif you like movies, there’s a lot of good stuff. And talking about RT, anyone seen The Conjuring yet? Is it as scary as critics are saying? It has 85% Fresh score at RT.

The Liebster Award picture has been there a while and if you’re interested, by clicking it you end up reading my answers to movie related questions. I kinda like that post myself… And the last there are tags of my favourite subjects. Like Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Or maybe travelling would be more interesting to other people or what you think? How do you like the blog so far? Or the sidebar, is it readable enough? Any bugs? I’d love to get some feedback if you have any.

I have now 47 followers. About 12 readers per day even the days when I’m not posting anything. From Finland to Guam. They’ve found me via Walt Disney’s immortal words and viewed my blog 1855 times so far. Because of them I love doing this even when I’m awfully slow (like today) and finding or editing images is taking forever, it’s definitely worth it. I promise to try to write a bit more often.