Oscur Buzz: The Contenders- an update

It’s October, so pretty much the start of Oscar season, yay!

With the recent release of Gone Girl, I suddenly remembered that, earlier this year, it was one of five films that I predicted to be making a splash across the awards circuit. I am still yet to see it, due to various time commitments, but I’m still pretty sure it will be a major player.

So what about the other four films? Interstellar’s buzz obviously continues to be strong, and Foxcatcher still looks to be a shoo-in for plenty of awards attention. Inherent Vice looks to be a little divisive after its screening at the New York Film Festival, but it’s still one of my most anticipated and the trailer is fantastic. The only one I’m not so sure about anymore is Big Eyes, which from early reactions seems to be a kind-of-ok-but-not-great film. As someone who loves Amy Adams and really wants Burton to bring his game up again, that’s a bummer.

Anyway, I always meant to choose another five films that I think will be the big cheeses this awards season, but never got round to it. So I’m doing it now. Voilà:

Birdman

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After seriously impressing critics at the Venice Film Festival, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) looks to have firmly set itself amongst Best Picture predictions. In the film Michael Keaton, who made his name playing Batman, seems to be poking fun at himself by playing an actor trying to make his comeback after playing another superhero, Birdman. With Oscar-winning Emmanuel Lubezki in charge of cinematography, and a delightful looking cast including Edward Norton and Emma Stone, the film has a lot of pros. I am seriously hoping for a Norton nom in supporting.  Love that guy. 

Watch the trailer here.

The Imitation Game 

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Benedict Cumberbatch! World War II Drama! I Historical biopic! The Weinstein Company! Benedct Cumberbatch! There is so much going in this film’s favour. I can’t be cynical though, it does look pretty darn good and I am a big fan of man-of-the-moment Cumberbatch, and with a supporting cast including Charles Dance and Mark Strong, that’s enough to keep me happy. So will mathematician Alan Turing crack Nazi Germany’s Enigma code or is that a massive spoiler? Hmmmm.

Watch the trailer here.

The Theory of Everything

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Another biopic, this time on physicist, cosmologist, author and wonderful man Stephen Hawking. The Theory of Everything stars Eddie Redmayne as Mr Hawking and deals with his years studying in Cambridge as well the difficulties in his life after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Based on a book written by wife Jane Hawking, their love story is at the centre of the film, and I am really interested to see the portrayal of their relationship from Redmayne and Felicity Jones (who, I am always proud to say, went to my school), I think Redmayne may be a very strong contender in the Best Actor race, and I really hope Jones gets some awards attention too.

Watch the trailer here.

Unbroken

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Angelina Jolie’s war drama screams Oscar bait. This film is a potential awards contender for many reasons. It’s based on a true story, adapted from a much-loved, inspirational book, has the Coen brothers as screenplay writers, Roger Deakins bossing the cinematography, and  Jolie beating out much competition to become the director. The story concerns Louis Zamperini, an olympic runner who survived a plane crash during WWII only to find himself  taken into Japanese prisoner of war camps. This is a powerhouse, I just hope British star Jack O’Connell gets a piece of that awards season cake.

Watch the trailer here.

Boyhood

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With the reception that this wonderful film has received, I will be very surprised if the film, and its Director, Richard Linklater, don’t get some awards recognition. This time-lapse study of a boy growing from 5 to 18 took 12 years to make and is so ambitious, and inspires so many feelings, that it has wowed many. Back in March, despite the film being on my radar, I wasn’t sure if it would be a bit too Indie for serious Oscar attention. I am hoping I will stand corrected.

Watch the trailer here.

“You ain’t never had a friend like me.” RIP Robin Williams

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After weeks and weeks of procrastination, it’s quite poignant that the thing that’s spurred me on to blog again is the horrible news of Robin Williams’ death yesterday. His passing has struck me hard, as it seems to have done … Continue reading

Screen Sunday Previews: The Double and Calvary

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Well I have been a lucky girl over the last few days.

On Thursday night I went to a preview of Richard Ayoade’s second feature, The Double, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Mia Wasikowska. The film was followed by a satellite Q+A with the director himself.

If that wasn’t enough of a treat for one week, this morning I went to a Picturehouse members free screening of Calvary, John Michael McDonagh’s latest, with Brendan Gleeson returning to play the lead role.

Both films are really impressive, so much so that I have decided to take a break from my Oscar nominees marathon and do a quick write-up on each film. The conclusion will be the same for both. Go see these films.

First up- The Double

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I’ve been a big fan of Richard Ayoade since I first started getting into The IT Crowd, so I was really glad I managed to free up some time to see this film and his Q+A on Thursday, and he did not disappoint.

The Double is a clever, dark adaptation of a Dostoyevsky novella, all about a socially awkward individual called Simon James (Eisenberg), who nobody notices and who is barely recognised by the object of his affections, Hannah (Wasikowska). Then along comes James Simon,  his double in appearance but not in personality. James is confident, well-liked and flourishes in every social encounter where Simon does not. The film tracks how James comes to take over Simon’s life.

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The Double is a really well-crafted film, which relies heavily on its style. I don’t mean that as a bad thing, in fact I think the style is the film. It has David Crank, who worked on Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and is currently crafting Inherent Vice, as its production designer, and he does an incredible job. The dystopian universe presented is detailed with dingy, grim colours and effective lighting techniques, and it works well to reflect the tense nature of Simon’s relationship with the world around him. The use of sound is also very noticeable, and adds to the eerie atmosphere (this was noted in the Q+A, with the first ten or fifteen minutes purely being an interesting discussion on the use of sound in the film).

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Eisenberg is fantastic, both at playing timid Simon and cocky James, and Wasikowska is a perfect addition to the cast as sultry yet troubled Hannah. There are also some cameos in the film that will fill any fans of Ayoade’s TV career with glee.

During the Q+A Ayoade joked that his job as a director is easy, saying anyone could do it as he just gives opinions on other people’s work and takes the credit. This is clearly a load of poop, as he has done a fantastic job with The Double, and he evidently had a masterplan and meticulously deisgned every aspect of the film. I really enjoyed it, and cannot wait for whatever he has planned next.

8.5/10

Calvary

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At the beginning of Calvary we see Brendan Gleeson, playing Father James Lavelle, sat in a confession booth and listening to a man describe the horrors of his abuse at the hands of another priest. He then tells Father James that, as a current representative of the Church, he will kill him the following Sunday (“There’s no point in killing a bad priest,” he says, “I’m going to kill you because you’re innocent”). Father James knows who the man is, but we don’t, and what follows is a strange kind of Cluedo in which we are introduced to a bunch of atheists, arsonists and adulterers in this small Irish town, any of whom could be the potential murderer.

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McDonagh’s follow up to The Guard, which also starred Gleeson, is a black comedy that is a powerful reflection of the struggles of Catholocism in an increasingly Atheist world. In my mind, however, it is more importantly a portrayal of a man who is trying to live by his morals and his faith in a place where they are constantly attacked questioned.

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I imagine that getting the balance between witty comedy and quietly devastating drama is no mean feat, but I think McDonagh manages to achieve it well. I laughed many times, but I also cried, finding myself a lot more emotionally invested in the film than I expected. Gleeson is magnificent, and I could have looked at held frames of his downtrodden face for quite a while longer than the film allowed. Kelly Reilly is also really good as his troubled daughter, and there are interesting turns from Chris O’Dowd, Aidan Gillen and Domhnall Gleeson, Brendan’s own son, who is a very perverse casting choice in playing the horrific rapist and cannibal prisoner who Father James goes to visit.

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Calvary was an unexpected gem, and I really liked it. It has a brilliant screenplay, and is beautifully well made with superb performances, not least of all from Gleeson. I guess all I can add is that I am very glad I decided to forfeit my Sunday morning lie-in to catch it.

9/10

Every Best Picture Nominee Challenge #4: Dangerous Liaisons (1988)

Apologies for the long hiatus in blog posts, real life took over temporarily.

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Oscar Factfile

Year Nominated: 1989

Director: Stephen Frears

Stars: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves

Winner?: No (Rain Man)

Other Nominations: Adapted Screenplay*, Art  Direction- Set Decoration*, Costume Design*, Actress (Close), Supporting Actress (Pfeiffer), Original Score

7 noms, 3 wins

Synopsis: Rich and bored aristocrats in Rococo France play high-stakes games of passion and betrayal

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I was looking forward to seeing this film mainly because of the cast, and the fact that I love a good period drama every now and again, especially if it’s a bit saucy. Frears’ decadently sinful adaptation of Christopher Hampton’s West End and Broadway play, and 18th century epistolary novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses, should, in theory, have been right up my street. In reality I wasn’t that overwhelmed.

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Dangerous Liaisons is a very scandalous affair encompassing sexual power-play, manipulating mind-games and John Malkovich giving me the creeps on more than one occasion. Glenn Close is the Marquise de Merteuil, who challenges Malkovich’s Vicomte de Valmont to seduce the innocent sixteen year old fiancée of a former lover (Uma Thurman). He decides that’s not challenging enough, and sets himself the task of bedding the ultra-religious, virtuous Madame de Tourvel (Michelle Pfeiffer). If he succeeds, he gets to bed the Marquise de Merteuil. What ensues is a chess game of strategy and sexual manipulation. download (1)

What I really liked about this film was the production design and direction, and the general display of privileged debauchery that is clear from the beginning to the end. Glenn Close is marvellous playing the villainous central character obsessed with power, though I still haven’t quite figured out if I liked Malkovich as the sly Vicomte de Valmont. (Side note: a lot of critics were not impressed with Malkovich’s  use of an American accent, but that didn’t really bother me, especially when I was so perplexed as to why all the servants seemed to have Scottish accents…)

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Other than Close and Malkovich, there’s no real depth to any of the other characters. Pfeiffer and Thurman play one-dimensional women who are simply pawns in the sexual chess game and Keanu Reeves occasionally turns up looking a bit like he’s on set by mistake.

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I felt that once we got into the swing of Close and Malkovich’s sex-war, the film was entertaining, but that took a long time to actually happen. I also have real problems with a particular seduction scene which was a little too close to depicting rape and made me feel slightly uncomfortable.

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Overall I think there’s quite a bit to like in this adult drama, but I may be in the minority for finding quite a few things not to like.  I don’t think I’ll be giving it a rewatch anytime soon, but can appreciate Frears’ skillful direction and know there are a couple of other films on the list where I can hopefully justify my general admiration for Malkovich.

Os-core: 6.5/10

Time to move on. Next awards contenders?

I’m still very unnecessarily emotional about the Oscars on Sunday night, but as I’m pretty late in the game and anyone and everyone has written about the pizza, the selfie and the photobombing, I thought it’s better to only dedicate a small part of this blog post to a post-Oscar round-up. Then I will have to move on (sigh)… but only to talk about potential awards contenders for next year. Then this time next year I can look back and laugh at myself for my sheer stupidity.

Anyway. Here is what I liked about  Sunday night’s Oscars. Note that I have only allowed myself to make eight points, and that was very hard.

1. 12 Years a Slave won. Deservedly. Absolutely amazing.

2. All the acting categories were superb.  This may be the first time since I started getting into the Oscars that I was not disappointed with any of them.

3. Lupita Nyong’o. I have to admit I got a little teary when she won and made that amazing speech. I really hope she is given many opportunities to keep on wowing everyone.

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4. Jared Leto. Good God I couldn’t be more in love.

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5. The awesome Spike Jonze won Original Screenplay. This is so important to me, not least of all because…

6. …AMERICAN HUSTLE WON NOTHING. NOT A THING.

7. John Travolta introducing Idina Menzel. If you would like to ‘Travoltify’ your name, click here and be forever amused. My name is Yusuf Orteez, and I am laughing at that way more than I should.

8. All the other stuff that everyone has talked about non-stop. That selfie, Benedict Cumberbatch, the pizza affair. All great.

Notice I have not said a single thing about fashion, and that’s because my blog buddy and awesome friend Kate has, and she has written not one, but two incredible posts on fabulous Oscar dresses. Please check it out at katiecharlotteblogs.co.uk!

Moving on… 

Well now that the 2014 awards season is all done and dusted I have stupidly chosen some films that I think are potential awards contenders for 2015. I am probably wrong, in fact I am definitely wrong, but I thought it would be interesting to see which of these turn out to be as good as they sound, and which really don’t. Potential nominees to add to my every-best-picture-nominee-ever challenge? We will see. Here are the first five:

1. Inherent Vice

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I already want this film to win. It’s directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and stars Joaquin Phoenix, so in my eyes it cannot go wrong. The film is about a drug fuelled detective (Phoenix), who investigates the disappearance of an ex-girlfriend. I’m excited.

2. Interstellar

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Christopher Nolan and his team have kept very tight-lipped about his latest production, but although we know very little about it, I’m pretty sure the creator of Inception has made another corker. All about a group of space travellers who travel through a wormhole, it looks like Matthew McConaughey has chosen another great project, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the rest of the impressive cast, particularly Jessica Chastain.

3.  Foxcatcher

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This project really interests me. Based on actual events, Foxcatcher is a psychological drama that tells the story of wrestler Mark Schultz (played by Channing Tatum), whose more celebrated brother, David (Mark Ruffalo), was murdered by amateur sports fan and multi-millionaire schizophrenic, John du Pont (Steve Carell). There’s plenty of early buzz for oscar-nominee Bennett Miller’s latest film, and Steve Carell really does look as you’ve never seen him before. This is definitely no Despicable Me or 40 Year Old Virgin

4. Gone Girl

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This is one of my most anticipated films for two reasons: 1) I loved the book, 2) David Fincher. Some of the casting choices are questionable, but I’m trusting Fincher completely. After all, he did make The Social Network.

5. Big Eyes

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After the not-as-great-as-I-expected Alice in Wonderland, Tim Burton has the chance to wow me once more with Big Eyes, a drama about painter Margaret Keane and and the heated divorce battle that came when she accused husband Walter of stealing her paintings. Margaret is going to be played by Amy Adams, and Walter by Christoph Waltz. Sold.

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I’ll post another five tomorrow, but in the meantime let’s all appreciate the real King and Queen of Sunday Night’s Oscars.

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Much Love,

Y

xxx

Oscar time! The non-prediction predictions

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Even if I wasn’t already aware, the internet is telling me that it’s Oscar time. Twitter is buzzing, The Guardian have released their Oscar drinking game (18 shots every time Meryl Streep’s mentioned? Good luck guys), and Buzzfeed is just killing it with various posts about worst/best/craziest oscar moments. I am LOVING it.

Ironically, at the time when I thought I would post every single day, several times a day, I have been extremely busy and not able to post a single thing about the Oscars. So here is my last-minute addition to the blogosphere, where I’m going to put some final nonsensical thoughts together about the Big 8 awards. I’m not going to go any further than that. because, as my BAFTA post demonstrated, that takes frickin’ forever. I also don’t consider these predictions, because they’re just my ramblings and I have already said I suck at predictions. Nevertheless, some of my ramblings contain sort-of predictions, so I guess they are in a way.

ANYWAY, here goes…

BEST PICTURE

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I have now watched all 9 Best Picture nominees, and have to say they are an impressive bunch of films overall, which is nice. I wouldn’t quite go as far as some media publications and say this year brings the highest quality of films since *insert year here*, because I’m nowhere near knowledgeable enough, but the standard is high. Here’s how I rank them:

1. Her

2. 12 Years a Slave

3. Nebraska

4. The Wolf of Wall Street

5. Gravity

6. Dallas Buyers Club

7. Captain Phillips

8. Philomena

9. American Hustle 

To be honest I’m not sure why I bothered ranking them. I wasn’t sure about nos 4-7, because I enjoyed them all similarly, so they’re in a random order. I watched Gravity so long ago I can’t remember how much I liked it, and that’s why I stuck it in the middle, and I actually think Captain Phillips should probably be higher, but have no idea what to replace it with. So this was a pointless exercise.

Hey, all that matters is that those three films are my top 3, and that American Hustle is dead last (no surprises there). 

As Her has no chance in hell of winning, I hope 12 Years a Slave takes it and I think it has the strongest chance, but Gravity is a really strong threat, and for some insane reason a lot of the academy seem to like American Hustle. It will be interesting to see where this goes in the end.

Best Actor in a Leading Role

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If it was up to me, Leonardo DiCaprio would win this, but it’s not, so Matthew McConaughey is. And it is deserving. In fact, I would be happy if anyone won other than Christian Bale won (he was ok, but just ok… and he’s in American Hustle). I really liked Ejiofor, McConaughey, DiCaprio and Dern, so I think I’ll be quite content on the night.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

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Let’s not pretend that anyone other than Cate Blanchett is winning this. And she should be winning, because she’s marvellous. All hail Queen Cate.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

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I look forward to seeing the beautiful Jared Leto accept his award tomorrow.

Ok, it might not be truly set in stone, as Abdi and Fassbender are potential party poopers, but their chances are tiny (even though they would both be deserving winners).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. 

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DING DING DING! Nyong’o vs Lawrence, who will win? If people have any sense at all then this is Nyong’o’s time to shine, but BAFTA didn’t, so this could easily go to Lawrence. Damn. The funny thing is, I would be happy if anyone other than Lawrence won. I was really surprised by Julia Roberts’ powerful performance in August: Osage County, enjoyed Sally Hawkins in Blue Jasmine, and thought Squibb was really good in Nebraskaeven though she didn’t have much to do. Lawrence was fine in Hustle, but a little all over the place in parts. Plus she’s just won an Oscar, and as someone who likes her in general, I think it would damage her to win another one this soon.

Nyong’o, on the other hand, broke my heart in 12 Years a Slave. She was tremendous, and just has to win.

Best Achievement in Directing

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Between Cuaron and McQueen, I don’t mind who wins this one, as they are both really deserved. I think I would give the edge to McQueen, but Cuaron’s probably going to win and I think he really deserves it.

Best Adapted Screenplay

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The only film I haven’t seen represented in the Big 8 awards is Before Midnight, so I don’t know where to put it among the other nominees, but I would like to see 12 Years a Slave win this.

However, never underestimate the power of Harvey Weinstein. Philomena could come out of nowhere and steal this one.

Best Original Screenplay

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This deserves to belong to Spike Jonze for Her, without question.

Unfortunately, American Hustle‘s screenplay is a strong competitor, but I obviously don’t want that to win. I wouldn’t mind if Bob Nelson won for Nebraska, but really, I am so passionately behind Her that I would love for it to win this award, particularly as it’s the only one it’s really got a shot at winning.

And my final wishlist…

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For the show not to be boring. Let’s have some surprises, please. Can you imagine if McQueen takes Director, or DiCaprio Actor? That would be awesome. Let’s have some celebrities getting drunk and messing up their speeches, or some awkward moments with dancers flying off stages in the musical moments. The more things that don’t go as planned, the better.

So, what are your thoughts? Who do you think will take the prizes? Who do you want to? Let me know below, and whatever you’re doing, enjoy the show!

Much Love,

Y

xxxx

#3 Her (2013)

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Not going to bother beating around the bush here, I loved this film. Oscar Factfile  Year Nominated: 2014 Director: Spike Jonze Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara,Olivia Wilde Other nominations: Original Score, Original Song (Spike Jonze, Karen O- ‘The Moon Song’), … Continue reading

Road to the Oscars: BAFTA Breakdown

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So the ceremony is over, the stars are probably drunk out their minds at the after party, and it’s time to ‘reflect’.

Well, just how do I sum up the BAFTAs tonight?

I only predicted 14 of the 22 awards correctly, but I did say that I suck at predictions so that’s no surprise really. I think the best way to quickly sum up my thoughts is to break them down into the good, the bad, and the Bubba Sparxx ugly. I promise I will try to make this as coherent as possible.

The Good

  • Barkhad Abdi winning Supporting Actor, mainly because I was almost moved to tears by Tom Hanks’ reaction and he looked so chuffed. Abdi seems like a really great guy, and I was thrilled to see him win. Plus I called it in my predictions. Added plus- it’s brought about this wonderful picture:abdi thompson
  •  Queen Cate Blanchett dedicating her win to Philip Seymour Hoffman. Absolutely beautiful speech.
  • 12 Years a Slave at least winning Actor and Film, I was getting very worried it would be a shut-out.
  • Leonardo DiCaprio standing up for Ejiofor’s win and taking it like a champ.
  • Actually, the general reaction from the whole audience to Ejiofor’s win was amazing.
  • Helen Mirren. Just Helen Mirren.

The Bad

  • 12 Years a Slave not getting nearly enough love. Especially when…
  • Jennifer Lawrence won Supporting Actress over Lupita Nyong’o. What the actual fudge. This is the award that I knew- if it happened- I would have a big problem with. I mean, COME ON. I really like Jennifer Lawrence, don’t get me wrong, but American Hustle is an unremarkable film and although she is fine in it, she is not awards-worthy at all. Nothing in the film is apart from maybe the hair (which, funnily enough, it won). And then Lupita Nyong’o looked absolutely gutted for the rest of the ceremony, which was very disheartening.
  • Some of the outfits. What the hell was Maggie Gyllenhaal wearing?

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(Speaking of outfits, my amazing friend and blogging superstar Kate has just done a post on the best and worse dressed at the BAFTAs. Like the rest of her blog, it’s marvellous- please go and take a look here!)

The Bubba Sparxx Ugly

  • Tinie Tempah’s opening performance. So cringeworthy I had to look away.

Anyway, that’s all I will say on that for today, though I may think of more tomorrow after a suitable amount of time has been spent brooding.

What did you think of the ceremony? Did you agree with the choice of winners, or do you think BAFTA has lost the plot? Comments are always welcome.

Much Love,

Y xxxx

Road to the Oscars: BAFTA Predictions

So, we’re getting to crunch time folks! With the Oscars only two weeks away, expect many posts from me in the next couple of weeks as I last-minute watch some of the nominees and get super excited about everything in general. I imagine there will be a a lot of nonsense appearing here on a day-to-day basis.

It’s a beautifully sunny Sunday, which I hope means that we’re in for a treat with the BAFTAs today. The BAFTAs can be pretty unpredictable sometimes so I’m not sure why I’m bothering with predictions, especially when I am notoriously bad at awards predictions in general. Nevertheless, I figured it would be pretty amusing to see just how wrong I am later. I’ve gone bold and thrown a couple of wildcards in there too, just for funsies. For the full list of nominees, click here.

Enjoy!

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Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Good Vibrations: Colin Carberry, Glenn Patterson

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Potential Party Pooper: Saving Mr Banks: Kelly Marcel 

I’m not going to pretend that I have any idea who’s going to win this one, and I haven’t seen many of the films nominated, so I decided to ditch the obvious success of Saving Mr Banks and go for something I know Mark Kermode loves.

EE Rising Star Award: Will Poulter

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Potential Party Pooper: Dane DeHaan

Again, I’m not really sure where this will go, but I’ve got an inkling Poulter will take it, or maybe DeHaan. George MacKay is pretty unknown to me and Nyong’o is too much of a contender in Supporting Actress. Lea Seydoux would be a nice win, but again, I’m not sure if people are really aware of her.

Best Documentary: The Act of Killing

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Potential Party Pooper: Blackfish

I’m not going to lie, I haven’t seen any of the Documentary nominees, though I’ve heard a lot about The Act of Killing and Blackfish, and they’re on my to-watch list. From what I’ve heard about The Act of Killing, and with its win at the London Film Critics Circle Awards, I think it’s in for the win, but who knows?

Best Animated Feature Film: Frozen

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Potential Party Pooper: Despicable Me 2

Again, I haven’t seen any of the nominees, though the massive love for Frozen taking over my dashboard on Tumblr makes me feel like it’s a crime I’ve not seen it yet. I don’t see anything else winning here or at the Oscars.

Best Film not in the English Language: Blue is the Warmest Colour

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Potential Party Pooper: The Great Beauty

The Great Beauty is a stong contender for the Oscar, but Blue is the Warmest Colour was not eligible for the Oscars so I am going with the London Film Critics Circle and predicting this to win.

Best Achievement in Special Visual Effects: Gravity

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Potential Party Pooper: None. I think this is a given.

Best Sound: Gravity

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Potential Party Pooper: All is Lost

The fact that All is Lost has no dialogue and therefore relies so much on other audio work may give it the win here, but something tells me that the Gravity-love will extend to Sound.

Best Makeup/ Hair: American Hustle

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Potential Party Pooper: Behind the Candelabra 

The only award that American Hustle deserves to be nominated for, let alone win.

For more of my thoughts on American Hustle, check back here in just over a week’s time😉.

Original Music: The Book Thief

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Potential Party Pooper: I don’t know, any of them.

I really haven’t got a clue with this one, and I’ve not really been paying attention. I don’t know why I’ve even picked The Book Thief- it might just be because I’m surprised its even nominated when it’s not out in the UK for another month.

Best Costume Design: Behind the Candelabra

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Potential Party Pooper: American Hustle

This could easily be American Hustle’s, but I’m giving Behind the Candelabra a shot, because in my mind it needs one win somewhere.

Best Production Design: The Great Gatsby

great gatsby production

Potential Party Pooper: American Hustle

This is one where I picked at random, because I genuinely don’t have a clue. Going against the grain, just because I can.

Best Editing: Gravity

gravity editing

Potential Party Pooper: Captain Phillips

I’ve picked Gravity here just because I think BAFTA loves it so much that it will take most of the technicals. 

Best Cinematography: Gravity

gravity cinematography

Potential Party Pooper: 12 Years a Slave

Ditto above, I think Lubezki probably has this in the bag. It would be nice to see Sean Bobbit win for 12 Years a Slave however since he was left out of the Oscar noms.

Best Screenplay (Adapted): 12 Years a Slave

12 years a slave

Potential Party Pooper: Philomena

In my opinion this award is anyone’s game, but I’m gonna predict Ridley just because I think general 12 Years a Slave love will help him out here.

Best Screenplay (Original): American Hustle

american hustle screenplay

Potential Party Pooper: Gravity

Unfortunately, I can see Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell taking this for American Hustle, as I don’t really see anyone else wining. Gravity’s screenplay was the weakest thing about the whole film, but there’s still a possibility Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón could win this.

David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity

cuaron

Potential Party Pooper: Steve McQueen, 12 Years a Slave

I wouldn’t actually call Steve McQueen a Party Pooper, as I’d quite like to see him win for the excellent 12 Years a Slave. However, Cuarón has been winning at many important pre-cursors, and no one can deny that it would be a deserved win, as the direction in Gravity is outstanding.

Best Supporting Actress: Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

lupita-12-years-a-slave

Potential Party Pooper: Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle

I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I won’t be stupidly annoyed if Lawrence wins this, as she is still a large threat in the Supporting Actress race and that in general annoys me. Hopefully BAFTA will have some sense here and go for Lupita.

Best Supporting Actor: Barkhad Abdi, Captain Philips

barkhad abdi

Potential Party Pooper: Michael Fassbender, 12 Years a Slave

I don’t really understand why the beautiful Jared Leto is not in this nominees list. In fact, I don’t understand the Dallas Buyers Club shut-out in general, and it greatly upsets me. Anyway, this is between Abdi and Fassbender in my mind, and although it’s most likely that Fassbender will take it, I’m throwing in Abdi as a curve ball because of his recent London Film Critics Circle win, and I figure Captain Phillips gets a win somewhere. Plus I’d really like to catch the look on his face if he does win.

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

cate blanchett

Potential Party Pooper: Judi Dench, Philomena

The question here is, will BAFTA follow Queen Cate’s current awards reign and give her the win, or will they go for Judi Dench, who they clearly adore? The general love for Philomena could mean that Dench surprises here, but I’m sticking with Queen Cate.

Best Actor: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave

chiwetel 

Potential Party Pooper: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street

With McConaughey wrongly snubbed in this category, it’s between Ejiofor and DiCaprio, and I’d be quite happy to see either of them win.

Alexander Korda Award for Outstanding British Film of the Year: Philomena

philomena

Potential Party Pooper: Gravity

Ok, I know I’m probably wrong here, but I just don’t think Philomena should be underestimated. Plus, to some it’s more ‘British’ than Gravity, which may sway some of the voters.

Best Film: 12 Years a Slave

12 years a slave film

Potential Party Pooper: Gravity

Ok, so I’m hoping for a 12YAS win, because if it loses to Gravity here then it’ll probably lose the Oscar too. Gravity is a very large threat, and it’s clear BAFTA love it with its 11 nominations, but hopefully they’ll award it elsewhere, and let 12 Years a Slave take the big prize.

***

WOW, this blog post took me forever to write. Looking over it, I think I’m actually wrong in many cases, but hey ho, it’s all part of the fun and games.

Who do you think will win the big prizes later tonight? Or,  as the show starts very soon and I left this post very late, what do you think of the eventual winners? I’ll be live tweeting while the show is aired on BBC 1 at 9 o’clock British time, follow here.

Until tomorrow, much love🙂

Y xxxx

#2 Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

“This here’s Miss Bonnie Parker. I’m Clyde Barrow. We rob banks.”

Bonnie and Clyde Poster

Oscar Factfile:

Year Nominated: 1968

Director: Arthur Penn

Stars: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons

Best Picture Winner?: No (winner was In the Heat of the Night)

Other nominations: Supporting Actress (Parsons)*, Cinematography*, Actor (Beatty), Actress (Dunaway), Supporting Actor (Pollard), Supporting Actor (Hackman), Director, Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen, Costume Design

10 noms, 2 wins

Synopsis: A bored small-town girl and a small-time bank robber leave in their wake a string of violent robberies and newspaper headlines that catch the imagination of the Depression-struck Mid-West in this take on the legendary crime spree of these archetypal lovers on the run.

images

When Warner Bros reluctantly decided to finance Bonnie and Clyde, a studio executive apparently asked “who’d want to see the rise and fall of a couple of rats?”.  Looking at the above photo, I’m thinking, who wouldn’t? That’s a pretty badass shot right there.

Bonnie and Clyde has always been one of those pop culture references that I smile and nod at without really knowing much about the backstory, other than a quick thought to a glamourous couple and lots of killing. The real Bonnie and Clyde apparently weren’t that glamorous, but Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway certainly are.

The real Bonnie and Clyde

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in a similar but not really similar pose

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in a similar but not really similar pose

Anyway, this film is stylish, funny, shocking and tragic all at once. On the one hand, it has slapstick comedy, getaway scenes set to crazy banjo music and Gene Wilder popping up and complaining about an under-cooked hamburger. On the other hand, it has desperate scenes of survival, painful reminders of the Great Depression, and scenes that are surprisingly violent. There are scenes where flesh is literally being ripped apart by bullets- something quite unusual for 1960s American cinema- and its quite painful to watch. This strange juxtaposition of comedy and tragedy kind of works, and I imagine it’s one of the reasons why Bonnie and Clyde became such an American classic.

Gene Hackman, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.

Gene Hackman, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway

Another reason would definitely be the characters and performances. Dunaway is stunning, Beatty manages to stay cool even with scenes implying sexual impotence, and I really like Michael J. Pollard as the sort of lovable gang member C.W. Moss. Estelle Parsons won Best Supporting Actress for her somewhat over-the-top, though strangely brilliant, depiction of Blanche, the wife of Clyde’s brother. The best description I can find for this comes from the real Blanche herself, who called it “a screaming horse’s ass”. If you watch the film I’m sure you’ll understand why this is hilarious.

Estelle Parsons as Blanche

Estelle Parsons as Blanche

I wasn’t completely crazy about the film, as sometimes I felt the direction was a bit messy in places, but it’s really good fun to watch. Plus it has Gene Wilder. I seriously can’t go on enough about how much I love that cameo.

download

“I’m gonna tear them apart!”

Kind of embarrassed to admit that this was my first thought, but does anyone else think that the scene above may have influenced Tommy Wiseau in The Room? You know which bit I mean.

Anyway, the film is good fun if a little sketchy, and definitely worth a watch. If you have seen it, do share your thoughts below!

Os-core7.5/10

2 down, only 511 more to go!