If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


Leave a comment

My 5th Annual Film Awards: Your Winners, My Winners, and My Rankings for Each Category

It’s time.

I was going to have a survey here, but I’ll save that for Monday.

A quick thanks to all of you who voted and all of you who got the vote out. The turn-out this year was lower than last year’s, but I must attribute some of that to my getting the polls up so late. I’ll see if I can’t do better next year.

Click that button to see our results.

Continue reading

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Golden Globes Results + Analysis

Steve Jobs poster

Not the biggest winner of the night, but perhaps the biggest success story of the night. (Source)

We’ve got a lot to talk about.

There were some real surprises this year.

And by that, I mean that I was proven wrong.

And I’d like to understand why.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Screen Actors Guild Nominations: 2015

Trumbo poster

A stronger showing than anyone could’ve expected.

SAG announced their nominations today.

Historically, the film that wins Best Ensemble here has to be considered the Best Picture frontrunner. Looking at that category, it seems pretty likely.

But as far as the individual acting categories are concerned…things can get strange. Sometimes SAG nominates actors who seemed primed for an Oscar nod and failed to connect (Oprah in The Butler, for one), and other times they nominate someone seemingly out of the blue (Naomi Watts in St. Vincent, Nicole Kidman in The Paperboy).

I can’t speak about the former, but the latter is surely on display today.

Continue reading


1 Comment

TRAILER SALAD X: THE HYPER-ULTRA-SUPER-SUPREME-ULTIMATE-PLUPERFECT COMBO-MEGAPACK including THE REVENANT and JOY

We all knew this would be a major Oscar contender from the outset. Last year’s winner for Director (and Picture, and Screenplay) teams up with a cinematographer who’s just won back-to-back Oscars, a star who’s widely considered damnably overdue, a co-star who’s very hot at the moment (and has two other major films this year), and a strong up-and-comer (Domhnall Gleeson). They shoot on location in Canada in the dead of winter, and planned to shoot in sequence (apparently, they weren’t able to), and release the film right in the thick of December.

They know what they’re doing.

And, while I really need to see this trailer in a theater to get the maximum effect, I won’t lie; my interest is being maintained. I could see this being overwrought and too self-serious, but I could also see it being surreal and haunting. It’s a little hard to tell just how good a performance DiCaprio is giving, but I doubt he’ll disappoint. Hopefully future trailers will show more of the rest of the cast, but for now we’ve got Lubezki’s incredible cinematography and Iñárritu’s vivid direction to whet our appetites. The mountain of skulls in particular could be one of the year’s defining images.

I’m predicting many nominations, with Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actor, Supporting Actor, Cinematography, Editing, Makeup/Hairstyling, Score, Sound Mixing, and Sound Editing being the strongest possibilities.

And here we’ve got the latest from my nemesis…David O. fucking Russell. Read on:

Continue reading


Leave a comment

Some last-minute Oscar thoughts:

You can get this one right, Academy. Don’t be foolish, now.

Best Picture:

  • American Hustle: Not a bad movie–a pretty good one, to be honest–but it’s “edgy” and “wacky” only by the most white-bread metrics. This winning might be worse than Argo winning, and that was a ridiculous choice.
  • Captain Phillips: A fine thriller. Would’ve actually been a decent contender had they given Greengrass the nomination. But I’m glad it got in.
  • Dallas Buyers Club: Easily the weak link in this category for me. I wasn’t in love with Inside Llewyn Davis, but it should’ve gotten this slot instead.
  • Gravity: I still say it’s basically a theme-park ride classed up a little, but I won’t deny how well-made it was. So I can let it slide.
  • Her: There was actually some concern this wouldn’t make it on. But thankfully, this was one of those years where the best films were so obvious even the Academy couldn’t fuck it up too badly. So they gave this lovely film some attention. Already, with two **** films in the lineup, this year is as good as 2011 and 2012 put together.
  • Nebraska: And baby makes three. After a rough start, it becomes a funny, deeply touching allegory for the death of the small-town Midwest, and a fine showcase for Bruce Dern.
  • Philomena: What seemed on the outside to be a trifle meant to showcase a cutesy Judi Dench performance instead was an effective true story of a woman trying to right a long-buried wrong. It should never win, but I’m cool with it being here.
  • 12 Years a Slave: This is the film that should win. Why? Because it’s the best.
  • The Wolf of Wall Street: Another film that some people thought wouldn’t make it, because it was “too much” for the older members of the Academy (or, really, anyone who liked American Hustle). Thank God it did, though, because it’s vintage Scorsese–and, if you ask me, much better than Hugo. I just wish it had a little more of a chance to win.

5 **** films in one lineup. That’s pretty damn good. And really, as long as American Hustle doesn’t win (or Dallas Buyers Club, but that’s incredibly unlikely), I could live with any outcome. But they really should take 12 Years.

Continue reading


Leave a comment

My 3rd Annual Film Awards: The Official Nominees

Picture:

  • Captain Phillips
  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners
  • Short Term 12
  • Spring Breakers
  • A Touch of Sin
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Upstream Color
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Director:

  • Shane Carruth (Upstream Color)
  • Spike Jonze (Her)
  • Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers)
  • Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)
  • Jia Zhangke (A Touch of Sin)

Actor:

  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (Her)

Actress:

  • Sandra Bullock (Gravity)
  • Judi Dench (Philomena)
  • Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha)
  • Brie Larson (Short Term 12)
  • Amy Seimetz (Upstream Color)

Supporting Actor:

  • Paul Dano (Prisoners)
  • Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)
  • James Franco (Spring Breakers)
  • Matthew McConaughey (Mud)
  • Keith Stanfield (Short Term 12)

Supporting Actress:

  • Amy Adams (Her)
  • Kaitlyn Dever (Short Term 12)
  • Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
  • Julia Roberts (August: Osage County)
  • Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station)

Original Screenplay:

  • Her
  • Nebraska
  • Prisoners
  • Spring Breakers
  • A Touch of Sin

Adapted Screenplay:

  • Captain Phillips
  • Philomena
  • Short Term 12
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Cinematography:

  • Prisoners
  • Spring Breakers
  • To the Wonder
  • A Touch of Sin
  • 12 Years a Slave

Editing:

  • Captain Phillips
  • Spring Breakers
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Upstream Color
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Production Design:

  • The Great Gatsby
  • Her
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Pacific Rim
  • 12 Years a Slave

Costume Design:

  • American Hustle
  • 47 Ronin
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Saving Mr. Banks
  • 12 Years a Slave

Makeup:

  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Lone Survivor
  • Prisoners
  • 12 Years a Slave

Original Score:

  • All Is Lost
  • Her 
  • Nebraska
  • 12 Years a Slave
  • Upstream Color

Original Song:

  • “Love Is an Open Door” – Frozen
  • “The Moon Song” – Her
  • “Ordinary Love” – Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.
  • “So You Know What It’s Like” – Short Term 12
  • “The Money Chant” – The Wolf of Wall Street

Sound Mixing:

  • All Is Lost
  • Lone Survivor
  • Rush
  • Spring Breakers
  • Upstream Color

Visual Effects:

  • Elysium
  • Gravity
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Man of Steel
  • Pacific Rim

Sound Effects:

  • All Is Lost
  • Lone Survivor
  • Pacific Rim
  • Spring Breakers
  • Upstream Color

Continue reading


1 Comment

Longlists to Nominees: Actor

Best Actor. One of the toughest categories out there. And this is no exception. As it was with Original Screenplay, any 5 of these, chosen at random, could be a decently respectable category. In fact, I’ll do that, but first, the contenders:

  • Christian Bale (American Hustle)
  • Bruce Dern (Nebraska)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)
  • Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips)
  • Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis)
  • Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station)
  • Jude Law (Side Effects)
  • Joaquin Phoenix (Her)
  • Robert Redford (All is Lost)
  • Toni Servillo (The Great Beauty)
  • Tye Sheridan (Mud)
  • Forest Whitaker (The Butler)

Continue reading