Sunday, January 22, 2017

10 thoughts on Lion.

 
1. All hail Sunny Pawar
As is regularly said, child acting is a tough gig but Sunny gives a charismatic and moving performance that gives the film its true heartbeat. The film rests on his shoulders and he never falters. Hoorah.

2. Some wigs just never feel right
Nicole Kidman's first two wigs distract from her performance and the film...

3. ...but she delivers one of her best performances
I'll always be in awe of Nicole but it is rare that she delivers performances showcasing the best of her talents, and she does wonders her. Often it feels the film shifts its focus to her character in an inorganic way but the rewards are moments of beauty, where the movie star disappears and we're watching a person. 

4. What a brave film
Half the film is in a foreign-language where there are no 'stars'. There's no easy cultural appropriation of Indian culture. There are no heroes or villains, characters are people. This is rare with a high-profile film aimed at a wide audience.

5. Garth Davis
I'll be watching his career excitedly.

6. India is a beautiful country
An obvious thought. I must try my best to visit soon!

7. Diversity in film
I was lucky enough to go to an event where Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman spoke about this film and their career, the most striking aspect of this conversation of their mutual desire for diversified audiences and stories on screen. Both actors have done great work to support this, but it is Dev that should be especially celebrated as the stories that he is telling of India is truly significant in changing audience (and therefore studio) minds about cultures different to their own. I am a fan of things such as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel but think there must be integrity to portrayals of 'exotic' locations for western audiences.

8. Parenthood
I have mentioned this before, but I think it's important that films show the many ways a family can exist. All families, however they came together, are complicated and special.

9. How will it perform with Oscar?
After its surprise DGA nomination, Lion is likely to be a large nominee but perhaps will go home empty handed...which would be a shame if it wasn't competing against some of cinemas great films: La La Land and Moonlight.

10. Distribution of films competing for Oscars
Yesterday I saw two films (this and Jackie) and today I'll be seeing Moonlight by the Sea. I wish their releases were spread out so I could enjoy the wealth of quality outside of Oscar time.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Pause.

 

Saturday, January 21, 2017

10 thoughts on Jackie.

 
1. Natalie Portman
Believe the hype, she delivers one of the bravest and most captivating performances in recent years. She is one of America's great actors.

2. I want a cigarette
Doesn't Jackie showcase smoking in a glamorous way that's rare in contemporary film?

3. Biopics don't need to be Oscarbait
All praise Pablo Larraín who delivers a biopic that has more independent and creative spirit than it had any right to. Terrific filmmaking, although...

4. It's a shame it wasn't released a year or two ago
This hasn't been a prominent fixture on award lists nor played too well with audiences and I'd say that's because its focus (that the US Presidency and the First Lady are a historically significant responsibility) seem irrelevant in the face of Donal Trump's reign. Under the Obama administration this film may have much better.

5. How will it perform at the Oscars?
Unless it pulls off an upset similar to Beasts of the Southern Wild with nominations in Picture and Director, this may find itself with a handful of nominations but not as many it probably deserves. 

6. The cinematography and editing
These work seamlessly whilst jumping around different times to give a sense of time and, more importantly, feeling. You are with Jackie throughout her emotional journey, despite it being extraordinary.

7. Deborah Findlay
It's always fun to see celebrated theatre actors pop up in films like this, and here there was Deborah Findlay as the childminder to Jackie's children. Good for her.

8. John Hurt, his accent and those scenes
I know religion is a significant aspect of society, but I would be happy if it wasn't used as a default plot device as here. Also, John Hurt fails at an Irish accent. On that note: priests don't have to Irish.

9. The music
Along Natalie and the direction, the music should be celebrated as an integral and brave part of this film's success. Kudos.

10. History is important
It's refreshing to see a film talk about the importance of history without focusing on tradition or nostalgia, instead Jackie suggests history is significant when looking to the future. 

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Kiss.

 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

And the nominees are...89th Academy Awards

 
It's been an interesting race so far but I have the feeling this will change as La La Land locks its status as front runner in the next batch of ceremonies with Emma Stone, Casey Affleck, Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali taking most acting prizes. But for now we have many possibilities with the nominations...and I'm personally interested in how many nominations La La Land gets, how the Academy react to Nocturnal Animals and Best Actress.

Picture
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight 
Upset: Fences, Loving
Would love: Jackie, Nocturnal Animals

Director 
Damien Chazelle for La La Land 
Garth Davis for Lion
Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve for Arrival
Upset: Jeff Nichols for Loving (could be a surprise nominee in major categories, right?), Paul Verhoeven for Elle (I think this could be the big surprise!)
Would love: Tom Ford for Nocturnal Animals and/or Pablo Larraín for Jackie and/or Ken Loach for I, Daniel Blake
Refusing to acknowledge: Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge

Actress
Amy Adams for Arrival
Isabelle Huppert for Elle
Ruth Negga for Loving
Natalia Portman for Jackie
Emma Stone for La La Land
Upset: I can't see Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins not being nominated but I can't make sense if the above with her, would Huppert or Negga go? And could Viola Davis change categories for Fences? There's also: Annette Bening in 20th Century Women, Emily Blunt in Girl on the Train and Taraji P Henson in Hidden Figures

Actor
Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea 
Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling for La La Land 
Viggo Mortenson for Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington for Fences
Upset: Joel Edgerton for Loving
Would love: Sunny Pawar for Lion 

Supporting Actress
Viola Davis for Fences
Naomi Harris for Moonlight
Nicole Kidman for Lion
Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea
Upset: Greta Gerwig for 20th Century Women, Janelle Monae for Hidden Figures

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water 
Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel for Lion
Upset: Aaron Taylor Johnson or Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals 
Would love: Trevante Rhodes for Moonlight 

Original Screenplay
20th Century Women
Hell or High Water
La La Land
TheLobster 
Manchester by the Sea
Upset: I, Daniel Blake, Zootopia

Adapted Screenplay
Arrival 
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion 
Moonlight
Upset: Loving, Nocturnal Animals
 
Animated Film
Kubo and the Two Strings 
Maona 
The Red Turtle
Your Name
Zootopia 
Upset: My Life as a Courgette 

Foreign-language Film
It's Only the End of the World
A Man Called Ove 
Land of Mine
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Editing
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight
Upset: Lion, Nocturnal Animals

Cinematography
Arrival
Hell or High Water
La La Land 
Moonlight
Nocturnal Animals
Upset: LionSilence

Costume Design
Florence Fostsr Jenkins
The Handmaiden
Jackie
La La Land
Nocturnal Animals 
Upset: Hidden Figures, Silence

Production Design
Arrival
Florence Foster Jenkins
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Silence
Upset: Jackie, Nocturnal Animals

Visual Effects
Arrival
The BFG
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Rogue One
Upset: Fantastic Bears and Where to Find ThemKubo and the Two Strings

Hairstyling and Make-up
Deadpool
Florence Foster Jenkins
Star Trek Beyond
Wouldn't it be swell if this was nominated: The Dressmaker 

Original Score
The BFG
La La Land
Moonlight
Nocturnal Animals
Zootopia
Upset: Florence Foster Jenkins, Lion
Would love: JackieRogue One

Original Song
Hidden Figures
La La Land
La La Land 
Maona
Sing Street
Upset: Trolls

Sound Mixing
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
The Jungle Book
La La Land
Rogue One 
Upset: Hell or High Water, Sully

Sound Editing
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
The Jungle Book
Rogue One
Upset: Sully

Monday, January 16, 2017

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Monday, January 09, 2017

Kiss.

 

Monday, January 09, 2017

10 thoughts on the Golden Globes 2017.

 
  1. Meryl Streep is a credit to Hollywood. There aren't many movie stars who would have gone up to receive a life time achievement award and used the opportunity to criticise their country's new leader whilst praising their industry. Shame she did diss other industries in the process but hopefully her words don't fall on deaf ears.
  2. The La La Land backlash is going to get increasingly worse after its seven wins last night. Shame.
  3. I would have been happy with any of the women nominated for Best Actress - Drama, but what a joy to see someone as monumental as Isabelle Huppert win in a foreign-language film against some awards favourites is special. She could win the Oscar.
  4. Ryan Gosling's acceptance speech was terrific. What a gent.
  5. Will Aaron Taylor-Johnson find himself with an Oscar nomination now? I'm a big fan of Nocturnal Animals but I'm not sure if his performance is the one I'd single out, even though I seem to like it more than most people online.
  6. Ruth Negga is magnetic. Loving better lead to more leading roles.
  7. Also, did Meryl Streep say 'Ireland' with an accent?
  8. I know I don't focus much on television but great to see The Crown, Olivia Colman and Claire Foy win.
  9. I'm not sad Mel Gibson didn't win.
  10. Can Moonlight win the Best Picture Oscar?

Saturday, January 07, 2017

And the winners are...Golden Globes 2017

 
This will probably be La La Land's night and I just hope there is no backlash against the deserving front runner. Not that I have anything against Moonlight or Manchester by Sea winning the Oscar in the end, even if my heart will be behind La La Land.

Film - Drama
Win: Moonlight
Upset: Manchester by Sea
Wish: Moonlight

Film - Comedy/Musical
Win: La La Land
Upset: None
Wish: La La Land 

Director
Win: Damien Chazelle for La La Land 
Upset: Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge
Wish: Damien Chazelle

Actor - Drama
Win: Casey Affleck for Manchester by Sea
Upset: Denzel Washington for Fences

Actress - Drama
Win: Natalie Portman for Jackie
Upset: Amy Adams for Arrival
Wish: Amy Adams (I haven't Jackie)

Actor - Comedy/Musical 
Win: Ryan Gosling for La La Land
Upset: Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins
Wish: Colin Farrell for The Lobster 

Actress - Comedy/Musical
Win: Emma Stone for La La Land
Upset: Annette Bening for 20th Century Woman
Wish: Emma Stone 

Supporting Actor
Win: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Upset: Dev Patel for Lion
Wish: Mahershala Ali

Supporting Actress
Win: Viola Davis for Fences
Upset: Naomi Harris for Moonlight
Wish: Viola Davis 

Screenplay
Win: Moonlight
Upset: Manchester by Sea
Wish: Moonlight

Animated film
Win: Zootopia 
Upset: Moana

Song
Win: La La Land
Upset: Trolls
Wish: La La Land 

Score
Win: La La Land
Upset: None
Wish: La La Land

Foreign-Language film
Win: Toni Erdmann
Upset: Elle

Friday, January 06, 2017

Wednesday, January 04, 2017