Here’s a true story. When The Witches came out in 1990, it scared the crap out of me, and I don’t think I have seen it since. That might be something I should rectify now, as Robert Zemeckis has directed a new adaptation of the Roald Dahl story.
Interstellar is probably the most ambitious film I’ve seen all year. It aims high in terms of scientific accuracy, storytelling, and cinematic scope, and it very nearly succeeds. But not quite. That’s not to say it’s a bad movie, but I was hoping for a great movie and this is just a good one.
WE still don’t 100% know what Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is really about (saving the world?) and this trailer doesn’t feature much in the way of new footage but on the other hand all the footage is amazing and you get to hear Michael Caine read Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night so just watch it already because that’s awesome.
Christopher Nolan’s next film has a new trailer and holy shit is it gorgeous.
We still know very little about this movie other than the fact that it’s going to be friggin’ gorgeous.
I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. He’s a brilliant actor and he’s been in some of my favourite films of the last few years. Now he’s taken a step behind the camera and wrote, directed and starred in Don Jon, a movie that looks like it might be seriously good.
The Oscars are later tonight and Simon and I will be live blogging them. Just for fun, I’m going to lock myself into a few predictions.
Without going into too much detail on these ones here are how I’d like to see a few of the categories with less fanfare to play out.
- “Skyfall” to win Best Original Score.
It’s the only memorable one of the nominees.
- “Skyfall” to win Best Original Song.
Best Bond Song in years and just a great song. Outside chance for Everybody Needs a Best Friend from Ted, but doubtful.
- Roger Deakins to win Best Cinematography for “Skyfall”.
There’s lots of reasons to love Roger Deakins, but more to the point he’s never won the awards despite some brilliant work and Skyfall is a gorgeous film.
- “Prometheus” for Best Visual Effects.
Prometheus is not a good film, but it’s a gorgeous film and the effects are seamless.
- Animated Movies
I haven’t seen all the nominees for best Animated Feature, so I have no idea who will win. I have hoever seen all the nominees for Best Animated Short and I really hope that Paperman wins.
And now, on to the big ones.
Best Adapted Screenplay
- “Argo” – Chris Terrio
- “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
- “Life of Pi” – David Magee
- “Lincoln” – Tony Kushner
- “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell
I want to say Argo, but it will probably be Lincoln. In the battle between American heroism and America’s most beloved president, I think it’ll go to the president.
Best Original Screenplay
- “Amour” – Michael Haneke
- “Django Unchained” – Quentin Tarantino
- “Flight” – John Gatins
- “Moonrise Kingdom” – Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
- “Zero Dark Thirty” – Mark Boal
Quentin Tarantino has to win this one. Django is almost entirely overlooked in the nominations, but there’s no denying the screenplay is the best this year. Tarantino’s dialogue is amazing as always. You can question his directorial choices but you can’t question how he writes.
Actress in a Supporting Role
- Amy Adams – “The Master”
- Sally Field – “Lincoln”
- Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
- Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
- Jackie Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Are you kidding me? Anne Hathaway. Everyone here is great, I wish that Amy Adams will win because she is as amazing as everyone else in The Master, and also because I’d really like to see the Academy slightly embarrassed by having all the actors win while their movie nor director is nominated, but Anne Hathaway plays a hooker with a heart of gold, doing everything for her kid, with a debilitating disease, in an adaptation of a beloved stage musical.
Yeah, it’s Anne Hathaway’s year.
Actor in a Supporting Role
- Alan Arkin – “Argo”
- Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
- Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
- Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”
No clear winner here. Everyone is amazing and everyone has won before. I don’t see Christoph Waltz winning since he did just a couple years back for a very similar role, I don’t see Robert De Niro winning because unlike Jennifer Lawrence (whose performance is elevated above the movie she is in) he’s good but not great.
Alan Arkin was great but also was how Alan Arkin always is.
So that leaves Tommy Lee Jones and Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’d love to see Philip Seymour Hoffman win because he and Joaquin Phoenix are both spectacular in The Master, but Tommy Lee Jones I think might win for Lincoln because Daniel Day-Lewis isn’t going to win his trophy.
Actress in a Leading Role
- Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
- Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
- Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of Southern Wild”
- Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”
Do we even have to talk about this? I’m pretty sure this is Jennifer Lawrence’s award to lose as of this moment. Silver Linings Playbook may not be a great film however Jennifer Lawrence is great in it. She’s already been robbed once (have you seen winter’s Bone? She’s amazing) too so that pretty much locks it down.
So here’s hoping that Jessica Chastain wins next year, because Jennifer Lawrence is going to win this year.
Actor in a Leading Role
- Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
- Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
- Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
- Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
- Denzel Washington – “Flight”
As with the Best Supporting Actor category there doesn’t seem to be a clear front runner here. Everyone did great. I was particularly surprised by Bradley Cooper who is getting better and better. However, I think it’s going to go to Hugh Jackman because say what you will about Les Mis, he acted the shit out of it.
It’s too bad too, because Joaquin Phoenix was amazing in The Master.
- “Amour” – Michael Haneke
- “Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Benh Zeitlin
- “Life of Pi” – Ang Lee
- “Lincoln” – Steven Spielberg
- “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell
Steven Spielberg. Honestly, of all the directors eligible to be nominated this year he’s the only one on this list that would also be on mine. Paul Thomas Anderson, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow, and Quentin Tarantino are all missing for the record.
- “Django Unchained”
- “Les Miserables”
- “Life of Pi”
- “Silver Linings Playbook”
- “Zero Dark Thirty”
- “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
Argo has already won almost every major award there is in this category, including the Golden Globe, Producers Guild, Directors Guild, and SAG awards. You know why? Because it’s a great film and it deserves to win.
It’s also the safest bet because unlike Zero Dark Thirty, which I think is a better movie, it’s a story about one man’s heroism and the Academy eats that up.
Outside chance for Les Miserables, but for all the fanfare at its release no one is talking about it anymore.
So, Argo it is.
Later tonight we’ll be live blogging the show so you can watch in real time to see how I did with my predictions then! In the mean time, do you guy have any predictions or movies you are pulling for to win?
The 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards were this past weekend. I know I’m a few days late but here’s a quick roundup of the winners for movies and some thoughts to go with them.
Note: I’m not going to talk about the TV awards, but the coles notes version is this: Hooray for Kevin Costner, Bryan Cranston and Alec Baldwin.
Winners shown in bold a the top of each list.
You can read the full list of winners here.
Screen Actors Guild 49th Annual Life Achievement Award
- Dick Van Dyke
I grew up watching Dick Van Dyke movies my parents had recorded off the television so this makes me smile.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
- Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln as Abraham Lincoln
- Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook as Pat Solitano
- John Hawkes – The Sessions as Mark O’Brien
- Hugh Jackman – Les Misérables as Jean Valjean
- Denzel Washington – Flight as Whip Whitaker
This isn’t a surprise to me in the slightest. Say what you will about Lincoln but Daniel Day-Lewis was amazing playing the man. At this point I’d be surprised if he doesn’t win the Oscar.
It’s nice to see John Hawkes get the nod for The Sessions as well.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
- Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook as Tiffany Maxwell
- Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty as Maya
- Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone as Stéphanie
- Helen Mirren – Hitchcock as Alma Reville
- Naomi Watts – The Impossible as Maria Bennett
At this point Jennifer Lawrence has won the Golden Globe and the SAG award for playing Tiffany Maxwell. The Oscar is now hers to lose if it wasn’t already and I think that’s how it’s going to go. I’d love to see Jessica Chastain win because I preferred Zero Dark Thirty to Silver Linings Playbook and I think that Maya was a far more complex character to play, but Tiffany is exactly the kind of quirky, loveable, bird with a broken wing but still independent and strong, feel good, cliche character that people love.
That’s not to say Lawrence isn’t an amazing actress or that she wasn’t amazing in the film, because she was and this is one of those parts designed to win Oscars.
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
- Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln as Thaddeus Stevens
- Alan Arkin – Argo as Lester Siegel
- Javier Bardem – Skyfall as Raoul Silva
- Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook as Pat Solitano Sr.
- Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master as Lancaster Dodd
Nice to see Tommy Lee Jones take home the trophy. Also cool to see Javier Bardem get the nod for his roll in Skyfall. He was brilliant as Silva and thats not the type of roll that usually gets recognized.
This is going to make the Oscar race in this category a little more interesting. Alan Arkin already took home the Golden Globe and everyone who’s nominated (swap out Javier Bardem for Christoph Waltz and its the same list) had already won to this one is anyone’s game.
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
- Anne Hathaway – Les Misérables as Fantine
- Sally Field – Lincoln as Mary Todd Lincoln
- Helen Hunt – The Sessions as Cheryl Cohen-Greene
- Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy as Charlotte Bless
- Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as Muriel Donnelly
No surprises here. Anne Hathaway has already taken home all the awards for this role. If she doesn’t win all the awards that are left I will be incredibly surprised.
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
- Argo – Ben Affleck, Alan Arkin, Kerry Bishé, Kyle Chandler, Rory Cochrane, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Denham, Tate Donovan, Clea DuVall, Victor Garber, John Goodman, Scoot McNairy, and Chris Messina
- The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – Judi Dench, Celia Imrie, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Ronald Pickup, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, and Penelope Wilton
- Les Misérables – Isabelle Allen, Samantha Barks, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Daniel Huttlestone, Hugh Jackman, Eddie Redmayne, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Tveit, Colm Wilkinson
- Lincoln – Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, David Strathairn
- Silver Linings Playbook – Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Anupam Kher, Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Tucker, Jacki Weaver
In a year where Lincoln, a timely political story about America’s most beloved president came out I didn’t see this happening but Argo has now won the Golden Globe and the SAG Award for best picture.
It’s well deserved. It’s a brilliantly crafted film from start to finish and I’m glad to see it getting all the recognition it deserves.
It’ll be interesting next month to see if it takes home the Oscar as well, since Ben Affleck isn’t nominated for best director. That might end up being this years big “wtf” moment.
Awards Season this year has been interesting so far. The films I thought would be a lock haven’t been winning and the ones I thought were entirely deserving but would get passed over have. The ladies categories are pretty much locked in for the Oscars at this point I assume, but the gentlemen’s categories as well as the best picture and director categories are up in the air as far as I can tell.
I like the SAG awards as well because you get films like Skyfall, which is a great film and completely overlooked by the Oscars and the Golden Globes, getting recognition from their peers. Make no mistake Skyfall was one of last years must-see movies but it’s no surprise that it’s only up for technical Oscars.
Make all the jokes you want about millionaires giving each other statues, but I enjoy watching great films win accolades (and Simon and I will be live blogging The Oscars on 24th Feb. while they air).
What are your guys thoughts on the matter? Do you agree with the wins here? How do you think the Oscars are going to play out?
I was meant to have seen a new movie this week but I’m on vacation and things got out of hand so I did not (yet).
Because I’m on vacation though I have seen a boat load of movies and thought I’d briefly talk about some of the ones I have seen, specifically the three I watched which are nominated for best picture at this years Oscars.
I can see why Les Misérables is nominated for all the awards. It’s a big budget production of one of the most beloved musicals of all time. Hugh Jackman is great and Anne Hathaway is amazing as Fantine and they are both deserving of their actings nominations. The entire cast is pretty great in point of fact, with the debatable exception of Russell Crowe who while he isn’t bad does appear a bit uncomfortable throughout. Maybe that makes sense for Javert but it didn’t sit right with me.
Where the film fails for me is the directing. Sure, the film looks pretty amazing and to be honest I really like the live singing aspect –if you hadn’t heard already, everyone sang their parts live on set rather than lip syncing pre-recorded performances– as it means they had more leeway to actually act out their performances rather than match what they did before. However, a great deal of the film is shot in closeup on the performers face.
I dreamed a dream, in particular, a song that would do well by some staging/movement, is filmed with Anne Hathaway just sitting there belting it out with the camera pointed at her face. Valjean’s Soliloquy is a little better in that he gets the move around but the camera is locked on his face and he’s looking right at the camera the entire time so you don’t really get to see any of what’s going on other than his lips moving.
I think I get what director Tom Hooper was going for, trying to make it intimate, however in the end it’s weird to think that a musical with such grandiose songs is filmed in such a small way and to be honest I don’t think it really works.
Conclusion: See it. It’s worth seeing just for the singing. Oscar is Anne Hathaway’s to lose at this point, and while I respect it’s nomination for best picture I don’t think it should win. Tom Hooper isn’t nominated for best director and I am fine with that.
I like stories about heroism, but what I love about Argo is that it’s such a quiet story about heroism. No epic gun fights, no explosions, no car chases, just the constant threat of being caught.
Ben Affleck directs and stars as Tony Mendez, the man who orchestrated the rescue of 6 diplomatic officers in hiding in 1979 revolutionary Iran. The idea is to get them out by claiming they are a film crew scouting exotic locations for a Star Wars rip off called Argo.
The story is brilliant from start to finish. It mixes just the right amount of humour into the dramatic script, mostly supplied by Alan Arkin as the hollywood producer recruited to help sell the idea of the fake movie to the public.
Arkin is gold here, it’s the type of role he excels at playing. He’s nominated for an Oscar and it’s well deserved.
Affleck himself is good too, playing Mendez very reservedly, reflecting a man under stress from being responsible for these peoples lives but also going through a separation and trying to maintain a relationship with his kid.
I happen to think that Affleck is a great director as well. Yes, he’s made a lot of better acting choices lately but this is his their feature film and the third time he’s hit it out of the park.
I love spy films, but in particular a spy film that’s executed in such a way to be entirely believable with real stress and peril for the characters (even when you know how it ends) is a difficult thing to pull off.
Conclusion: Must see. Irksome that Affleck, who already won a Golden Globe for directing this, isn’t nominated for the Oscar. Make no mistake, this is a much better film that the one I’m about to talk about.
Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook is a good movie. Maybe even a great one, and i can see why so many people are connecting with it. It’s a fantasy story, that’s why.
This is a movie that for 2 whole acts shows us characters with real problems and then in the third act everyone lives happily ever after and everything s fine and all the problems seem to be gone.
Jennifer Lawrence is an amazing actress and I’m going to say right now that she deserves the Golden Golden Globe she won and the Oscar I think she will win, but this is a role tailor made to win Oscars, the slightly crazy receiving sex addict “bird with a broken wing who is just quirky enough to counteract the male leads crazy” character. Hell, it might be more tailor made than the “prostitute with a heart of gold struggling to support her child in a situation that grows ever more dire with each frame that passes” that Anne Hathaway gets to play as Fantine.
Well, maybe not, but she’s still amazing and Bradley Cooper and Robert de Niro both stand out as well. Make no mistake, they all acted the shit out of this.
It’s just that the third act is both entirely predictable and doesn’t really jive with the rest of the movie for me. It devolves from something interesting into a series of movie cliches. There is literally a point in this movie where I could have turned it off because I knew everything else that was going to happen.
I can see why people connect with this movie, but I don’t see why it’s nominated for best picture of the year.
Conclusion: Definitely see it. Worth it for Jennifer Lawrence alone even if her character is unbelievable. Just maybe don’t expect it to be as good as everyone told you it is.
I’ve seen almost all the best picture nominees now and am starting to have a better idea what I think should win. More on that closer to the date in question. In the mean time, what did you guys think of these three films? Are they worthy of the nomination? Did any performances stand out? Comment below!