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.

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The Oscar Predictions – Winners

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

It’s been a tradition that I open up my predictions a bit before making the final ones on Sunday before the actual awards time.

BEST PICTURE

  1. Spotlight
  2. Mad Max Fury Road
  3. Room
  4. The Martian
  5. The Revenant
  6. The Big Short
  7. Bridge of Spies
  8. Brooklyn

Well, I already made it clear that I hope that Spotlight will win. I still haven’t seen Room and Brooklyn but I will watch them both before The Oscars on Sunday but I doubt either of them will be better for me than Spotlight. The Best Picture will go to Spotlight, The Big Short or The Revenant. The most of the people are predicting that it’ll go to The Revenant but I have my doubts… I might change my prediction but at the moment I’m also predicting that the eventual winner will be Spotlight.

BEST DIRECTOR

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller
  2. Spotlight – Thomas McCarthy
  3. Room – Lenny Abrahamson
  4. The Revenant – Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu
  5. The Big Short – Adam McKay

Three words: Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu. (Ok, a slight change for George Miller, I guess but I don’t think so.)

Alejandro-González-Iñárritu

BEST ACTOR

  1. The Martian – Matt Damon
  2. Steve Jobs – Michael Fassbender
  3. The Revenant – Leonardo DiCaprio
  4. The Danish Girl – Eddie Redmayne
  5. Trumbo – Bryan Cranston

No competition here, it’s finally his year. All salute to Mr. DiCaprio!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  1. Bridge of Spies – Mark Rylance
  2. Creed – Sylvester Stallone
  3. The Big Short – Christian Bale
  4. The Revenant – Tom Hardy
  5. Spotlight – Mark Ruffalo

I think and I predict that sentiment will win in this category and thus the Oscar will go to Sylvester Stallone. I don’t really know what I think about it as he’s not that good in Creed but he did come up with Rocky Balboa and didn’t win for him all those years ago. Mark Rylance was scene stealing in Bridge of Spies and all three others were better than Stallone in their films. I’d like to see Rylance to win.

BEST ACTRESS

  1. Carol – Cate Blanchett
  2. Joy – Jennifer Lawrence
  3. 45 Years – Charlotte Rampling
  4. Room – Brie Larson
  5. Brooklyn – Saoirse Ronan

This one is Larson’s to lose. I have no personal opinion yet.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  1. Carol – Rooney Mara
  2. The Hateful Eight – Jennifer Jason Leigh
  3. Steve Jobs – Kate Winslet
  4. Spotlight – Rachel McAdams
  5. The Danish Girl – Alicia Vikander

I think Kate Winslet might upset in this category. She’s been winning some precursor awards but she hasn’t been competing against Vikander’s role in The Danish Girl. Then again Vikander won SAG and she’s THE IT girl of the season. And her role was very, very good. Hmmm… I guess I’m still predicting her. At the moment at least. I thought Winslet was very good too.

kate

BEST SCREENPLAY (original)

  1. Straight Outta Compton – Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S.Leigh Savide & Alan Wenkus
  2. Inside Out – Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Ronnie Del Carmen & Josh Cooley
  3. Spotlight – Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer
  4. Bridge of Spies – Matt Charman & Coen brothers
  5. Ex Machina – Alex Garland

Should go to Spotlight.

BEST SCREENPLAY (adapted)

  1. Carol – Phyllis Nagy
  2. Room – Emma Donoghue
  3. The Martian – Drew Goddard
  4. Brooklyn – Nick Hornby
  5. The Big Short – Charles Randolph & Adam McKay

Should go to The Big Short. In both writing categories there is a chance to award the directors of Spotlight and The Big Short as they have writing credits of their films as well.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight

Three in a row! Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you Mr. Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezki! (Oh, if you didn’t know, he shot The Revenant.)

BEST EDITING

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Spotlight
  • The Big Short

Eddie Awards (given out by American Cinema Editors) went to Mad Max and The Big Short and I can’t see those two losing here either. I just don’t know which one will. Both have notable editing, even for people who usually don’t pay attention to things like that. In The Big Short it is the main story telling tool, so at the moment my money’s there. But it could be Mad Max too. I just don’t know. And I can’t decide which one I prefer, both are cool.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Mad Max Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl
  • The Revenant

Precursors tell me that this one is to Mad Max’s to lose. I personally liked the production design of Bridge of Spies a lot. But just the sake of those cars, I predict Mad Max to win.

mad-max-fury-road-production-design

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Cinderella
  • Carol
  • The Revenant
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Danish Girl

I love Cinderella’s dresses! They’re so beautiful. But precursors say Mad Max again. And then again, like I wrote in my review, the clothes in The Danish Girl are like characters themselves. So, a bit hard one. And Carol is very much stylish. But I think I will bet on Mad Max again.

cinderella_costumes

BEST MAKEUP

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • A 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
  • The Revenant

Mad Max. At least should be. The Revenant has cool work as well. I haven’t seen the third option but I think nomination is enough for it.

BEST SCORE

  • Carol – Carter Burwell
  • Bridge of Spies – Thomas Newman
  • The Hateful Eight – Ennio Morricone
  • Sicario – Jóhann Jóhannsson
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens – John Williams

This one has to go to Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight has cool soundtrack. John Williams also managed to compose a nice one, again. And my personal favourite is Sicario’s soundtrack but as  Jóhann Jóhannsson just won the last year, I don’t see it happen this year again. So Morricone.

BEST SONG

  • Spectre – Writings on the Wall
  • The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
  • Youth – Simple Song #3
  • Fifty Shades of Grey – Earned It
  • Racing Extinction – Manta Ray

Weeknd just won Grammy for his song in Fifty Shades of Grey but I still think this one will go to Lady Gaga and Til It Happens To You (co-writer Diane Warren). Only three of these songs will be performed at the show, it’s all about the star status and stage is set only for Lady Gaga, Weeknd and Sam Smith.

BEST SOUND EDITING

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Sicario
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Mad Max, The Martian or Star Wars? Or The Revenant? I have no clue. Sound editors will have their Golden Reels awards given away only on tomorrow. I hope I’ll be wiser after that.

BEST SOUND MIXING

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Revenant

According to the precursors, this one goes to The Revenant. I don’t know otherwise and I have to admit that Bridge of Spies was the only one where I paid attention to the sound mixing, it worked really well.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ex Machina
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant

I think this one goes to Star Wars. Mad Max has a change as well as does The Revenant but still, I’m predicting Star Wars.

starwars

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  • Son of Saul (Hungary)
  • Mustang (France)
  • Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  • Theeb (Jordan)
  • A War (Denmark)

Son of Saul. I haven’t seen any of these, so I got no opinion.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Inside Out
  • When Marnie Was There
  • Anomalisa
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • Boy & the World

 Should go to Inside Out, anything else is a surprise.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • Winter on Fire

Amy is the only one I’ve seen but it was also one of the best films that I saw last year. I hope it wins and I’m also predicting it.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

  1. World of Tomorrow
  2. Sanjay’s Super Team
  3. Bear Story
  4. We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
  5. Prologue

I hope Sanjay’s Super Team wins as it looks cool and would be one of those awards that would go to minorities but World of Tomorrow has a good change as well, I think. I didn’t really like it despite the good message.

Sanjay's_Super_Team_poster

BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY

  1. Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  2. Last Day of Freedom
  3. Body Team 12
  4. Chau Beyond the Lines
  5. A Girl in the River

I love Chau but it looks like other people like Body Team 12 or Claude Lanzmann more. According to Scott Feinberg of Hollywood Reporter, many of those voters who haven’t seen short films might just vote for Lanzmann because of his name and Shoah, so at the moment I’m predicting Lanzmann.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

  • Ave Maria
  • Day One
  • Shok
  • Stutterer
  • Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)

I have no clue. Stutterer sounds like easy one to predict.

The Oscars Reviews: Spotlight & The Revenant

It’s been a month since I saw these two, so it feels a bit silly to write about them now but as I will go through their Oscars chances at the same time, let’s do it anyway.

spotlight_posterSPOTLIGHT (2015)

Directed by Tom McCarthy

Written by Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy

Starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, Stanley Tucci, John Slattery & Brian d’Arcy James

Synopsis (by IMDb): “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.”

I wish Spotlight would win the Best Picture on Sunday. To me it is the best picture of the season. I came out of the cinema trembling. From time to time I get physical reaction to movies and this one was one of them and the physical reaction (if not puking) is the mark of remarkable film. Spotlight is remarkable and should be awarded because of that.

When you read the synopsis of Spotlight or hear what it is about, it sounds boring, doesn’t it? And it is actually made that way. It tells a story what happened and I don’t believed it’s hugely dramatized either, it doesn’t look like it and it doesn’t feel like it, but at least to me it affected much more deeply than any other film this year. It engaged me into the story so fully and in a way that I didn’t even realise it did it before I was feeling so much it was a bit hard to bear. Masterful filmmaking.

spotlight_cast

Like I said, I hope it gets the best picture Oscar on Sunday’s Oscars. Spotlight is not parts, it’s a whole. Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams got supporting nods but they are just part of the great cast and I don’t believe any of them is better than the other. Ruffalo’s part is a bit more flashier than others and draws the attention while McAdams is basically the only woman on the screen; they’re both great but I so is the whole cast. I believe McCarthy is also worth of an Oscar but I have to admit (as you can read in the following review) that he will most probably not win it except maybe for the best screenplay where Spotlight has the best chance of winning. The editing Oscar is still wide open, I think, it could go to Spotlight or The Big Short or Mad Max.

All in all, Spotlight to me was a perfection. It’s not Star Wars, it doesn’t change your life but there’s nothing wrong with it, quite the opposite, everything works so well that it’s a bit hard to realise it. To me the best thing was that it affected to my feelings so deeply it felt bad and it should feel bad. Like said, masterful.

Rating: ***** (out of 5)

revenant-leo

The Revenant (2015)

Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu

Written by Mark L. Smith & Alejandro González Iñárritu

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio (and Tom Hardy & Domhnall Gleeson)

Synopsis: “A frontiersman on a fur trading expedition in the 1820’s fights for survival after being mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team.”

There were approximately 10 minutes for me between seeing Spotlight and The Revenant. I still wonder if it affected my liking of The Revenant. I guess I only find outleo1 if I ever watch it again. And I’m not sure if I ever want to watch it again.

Well, first of all: Leonardo DiCaprio will win his Oscar this year. For sure and very much deservingly so. I still think he was better in The Wolf of Wall Street as it was comedy, something I didn’t think Leo is capable of doing, but yes, of course, his role in The Revenant is… um… Excellent? First-rate? Like he always is. Anyway, I’m glad he finally gets the statue, he’s one of the best ones in the industry. Tom Hardy is nominated in the supporting category and I’m glad he is, he’s really good in this one (but then again, isn’t he always?) but I doubt he’ll win this time.

It seems to me that it’s a bit hard for me to write this review, so I’ll just go straight ahead to the Oscar nominations and review The Revenant via them. 12 nominations including best picture, director, actor, supporting actor, cinematography, editing, makeup, costumes, 2 x sound, production design & visual effects. That’s a lot. The Revenant already won in the Golden Globes for the best picture, director and Leo as well as in BAFTAs for all of those plus cinematography and sound. Lubezki got the statue from American Society of Cinematographers too and I believe that he will get it again (third time in a row!) from the Academy and yes, he again deserves it, shooting in natural light is a pain in the ass and The Revenant looks amazing (although, I wasn’t a big fan of those “nature stills” like melting snow etc., they kind of felt like “this looks pretty, let’s put it in”…). All in all, all those technical achievements in The Revenant are top notch. I can’t deny that. And it will probably win a bunch of those awards, for sound I guess at least and I liked the makeup and hair styling, both looked authentic. The bear didn’t but I think it must have influenced my viewing that I knew it was made with CGI.

I’ve been Iñárritu’s fan since Amores Perros and I really, really wanted The Revenant to be his best work to date but unfortunately, to me, it isn’t (Amores Perros still is). It feels like he has lost “the loving feeling” when trying to achieve something that has never been done before. He is one of the best directors working today and his films are technical marvels but like Birdman last year, The Revenant also left me cold. In the end I just didn’t care who lived or who died, I just wished it would be over. But yay for Leo!

Rating: **** 

 

The Oscar Prediction 2016 #2

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.The second part. Let’s take a look into some other categories where I’ve almost made up my mind.

BEST EDITING

  1. Mad Max Fury Road
  2. The Revenant
  3. The Martian
  4. Spotlight
  5. The Big Short
  6. Steve Jobs ????
  7. Sicario

The question marks there tell me and to you now as well that I’m not very comfortable putting said film under the line. It should be above. It has great editing. But I believe that Spotlight, Mad Max and The Revenant will have their nominations and other indicators are saying that the editing in The Big Short is superb. So that leaves The Martian which I actually think has all the chances to win the Best Picture gong. And thus it should be nominated in editing category. History has told us that if the film is not nominated in this category, it will not win the Best Picture. Then again, the last year’s big winner, Birdman, wasn’t nominated in this category… Anyway, I might change my mind here. And hopefully Mad Max will win, that is some insane editing.

BEST SONG

  1. Spectre – Writings on the Wall
  2. The Hunting Ground – Til It Happens To You
  3. Youth – Simple Song #3
  4. Fifty Shades of Grey – Love Me Like You Do
  5. Furious 7 – See You Again
  6. Pitch Perfect 2 – Flashlight
  7. Shaun the Sheep Movie – Feels Like Summer
  8. Concussion – So Long

This category is basically “all the same”. It’s impossible to get it right because there can be anything between 2 to 5 nominees and they are chosen from something like over 70 songs or so. Personally I like that Bond song but there are a lot of people who don’t. Lady Gaga and Dianne Warren (if you don’t know her, you should google her, she’s a big deal) co-wrote Til It Happens to You, should be shoo-in nomination. And possible winner. I prefer See You Again, I still like the song plus it’s dedicated to Paul Walker. And when it comes to Fifty Shades of Grey, that’s Ellie Goulding. She’s a big deal. The song is also better than the ones under the line. (P.S. If you haven’t yet, you should watch that video, it has a message that should be taken seriously.)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road
  2. Jurassic World
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  4. The Martian
  5. The Revenant ???
  6. The Walk
  7. Ex Machina
  8. Ant-Man

Question marks again. I really don’t know which ones to choose. With visual effects it’s also political, kind of. According to Variety, Marvel is not that liked in the field and there are a lot of those traditional effect guys who appreciate other stuff than just plain CGI and also films that have basics in real life like The Revenant. Did you know they used motion capture with raptors in Jurassic World? Imagine your CV: “raptor in Jurassic World”, how cool. 😀 Star Wars will win? Or? I think so. (I really want to put Ant-Man there but if they don’t like Marvel…) Video here contains major SPOILERS!

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE

  1. sonofsaulSon of Saul (Hungary)
  2. Mustang (France)
  3. Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
  4. Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
  5. The Fencer (Finland)
  6. Viva (Ireland)
  7. The Brand New Testament (Belgium)
  8. A War (Denmark)
  9. Theeb (Jordan)

The foreign language category is like the Best Song, you never know what is going to happen. Good thing is that they have limited the semifinalist to nine. I believe the first three there are locks or at least the first two. And I chose Finland because I’m from there. I might change it later. All four bubbling under are totally worthy. Son of Saul should win.

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  1. amyposterAmy
  2. Cartel Land
  3. The Look of Silence
  4. Best of Enemies
  5. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
  6. The Hunting Ground
  7. Listen to Me Marlon
  8. Where to Invade Next

I really want to put The Hunting Ground there but to be honest, it’s not very good journalism. It doesn’t give any kind of chance to the opposite players. I liked it but at the same evening I watched Going Clear and it was very easy to see the difference there where they actively tried to get some comments from active scientologists. Btw, you should watch that documentary, it’s terrifying. Though not that terrifying as Cartel Land is. That is deep shit. But I hope Amy wins. It’s a very, very sad but beautiful and respectful documentary of a very talented person. I still need to see The Look of Silence and Best of Enemies though. I’m sure both will be excellent.

That’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow again! Any thoughts?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

hobbitThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Directed by Peter Jackson

Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, novel by J.R.R. Tolkien

Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans & Benedict Cumberbatch

Again, we have the privilege in Finland to see one of those big blockbuster ahead of the main markets and this time it was The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I saw it yesterday or maybe I should say today because it was the midnight screening. Still a bit of light headed after only few hours of sleep. But back to the business.

The second installment of Hobbitses is very good. It’s not, by no means, perfect but it is better than the first one during which I tried hard not to fall asleep. But I love original Lord of the Rings trilogy, they are THE films for me. The same way like someone has Star Wars that changed their view of living. LotRs are for me those films why I wanted to pursue the career in film. And they remind me everytime how I should not give up my dreams. I consider them as the ultimate reason why anyone should make films; they are the purest escapism entertainment that there is. So, against that, you can understand, I have huge hopes for the second trilogy. And that’s why it probably can never be as good as I wish.

thandruil2Martin Freeman is perfect as Bilbo. I really need to take better look to his career, he’s always better than good yet still so subtle and realiable. Ian McKellen is Gandalf but in this installment he’s a bit wasted. Richard Armitage does a fine job but his character is starting to be quite an ass. And same goes for Legolas and Thandruil (played by gloriously beautiful Lee Pace) as elves, they’re really dislikeable. Evangeline Lilly as an only female elf is beautiful and very likeable as well. Luke Evans as an only proper human in the movie, is nice to look at and I so hope (I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know) he is the one that saves the day. And Cumberbatch, oh Cumberbatch, he is impeccable as Smaug. They really should have a category for voice-overs in Oscars, the Middle Earth folk has very much proven that.

There are way too many plot lines in The Desolation of Smaug. And that brings the problem, there’s way too many characters. And when there’s too many characters, you don’t really as a viewer have time to bond with any of them. The only one in this movie, thathobbit2 got my eyes a bit misty, was Balin (played by Ken Stott). And as you might know from my previous reviews, that’s a minus to me. But then again, the set is fabulous. The scenery is again amazing. And all the actors do very nice job. But unfortunately, this is, like someone pointed, the middle section, and as it, it is a bit of a mess.

Even though it is a mess, it’s looks so fabulous that it’s hard to believe there actually is a land like New Zealand (I so want to travel there!). Jackson is master in details. I saw this one in HFR (high-frame resolution) and like my friend who saw something in that format for the first time, the difference in HFR and 3D is like the difference in 2D and 3D. You need to see it yourself. And I encourage you to see it that way. It’s so real that it’s almost offensive. Sometimes it feels like you’re watching actors on a very fancy stage. The first Hobbit still had problems with the details but this one is just amazing. I haven’t seen anything that real and at the same time so not real on the screen ever. You just wanted to touch Galdalf’s hair because he seemed to be sitting in front of you. The post-production of this scale must have been huge. Gravity will probably win the Best Visual Effects Oscar, but this one has to get a nomination. If not otherwise, then at least because of Smaug. He’s a beauty. And the camera just loves him, the detail in that particular creature is unbelievable. He very much deserves a film that’s named after him.

Eye of Smaug

Rating: ****½ (out of *****)

Photo credits to Warner Bros Pictures & Weta Digital