Friday, February 28, 2014

And the winners are...the 86th Academy Awards

Picture
Win: 12 Years a Slave
Upset: Gravity or American Hustle (in that order)
Wish: Captain Phillips or Her

Director
Win: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity
Upset: Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave
Wish: Alexander Payne for Nebraska

Actor in a Leading Role
Win: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club
Upset: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street
Wish: I'd be happy to see any of the five nominees win

Actress in a Leading Role
Win: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
Upset: Amy Adams for American Hustle
Wish: Amy Adams (or any of the nominees, they're all deserving)

Actor in a Supporting Role
Win: Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club
Upset: None
Wish: Jared Leto

Actress in a Supporting Role
Win: Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave
Upset: Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle
Wish: Lupita Nyong'o

Foreign Language Film
Win: The Great Beauty
Upset: The Broken Circle Breakdown
Wish: The Great Beauty (I haven't seen the other nominated films but I can't imagine any being more worthy)

Adapted Screenplay
Win: 12 Years a Slave
Upset: Philomena
Wish: Before Midnight

Original Screenplay
Win: Her
Upset: Nebraska
Wish: Blue Jasmine, Her or Nebraska

Animated Feature Film
Win: Frozen
Upset: The Wind Rises
Wish: Frozen (again, I haven't seen the other nominated films but I can't imagine any being more worthy)

Production Design
Win: The Great Gatsby
Upset: 12 Years a Slave
Wish: Her

Costume Design
Win: The Great Gatsby
Upset: American Hustle
Wish: American Hustle

Cinematography
Win: Gravity
Upset: None
Wish: Gravity

Sound Mixing
Win: Gravity
Upset: The Hobbit
Wish: Gravity

Sound Editing
Win: Gravity
Upset: All is Lost
Wish: Captain Phillips

Original Score
Win: Gravity
Upset: Her
Wish: Gravity

Original Song
Win: Frozen
Upset: Despicable Me 2
Wish: Frozen

Documentary Feature
Win: The Act of Killing
Upset: Cutie and the Boxer

Filming Editing
Win: Gravity
Upset: 12 Years a Slave
Wish: Captain Phillips

Make-up and Hairstyling
Win: Dallas Buyers Club
Upset: The Lone Ranger
Wish: Dallas Buyers Club

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Smile.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Pause.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

10 thoughts on...Nymphomaniac Part I and II

  1. Uma Thurman is perfect for the world of Lars von Trier. The internet is going to treasure that performance. (Although wouldn't it have been wonderful to have seen Nicole Kidman in that role?)
  2. Jamie Bell is a handsome man.
  3. Von Trier has matured and has made, with Part II in particular, a film that avoids his usual method of provocation whilst retaining his flare for exploring the human condition in a surreal world. This may be his most balanced film to date.
  4. The final moments lead the audience into a rather tedious retread of what we've already learned until that 'twist', which makes a joke of the central 'asexual' relationship that we've been shown across four hours. Incredible.
  5. There are so many penises. (Too many vaginas).
  6. I'd really like to know what accent Shia LaBeouf was attempting to imitate. It's awful. Otherwise his performance is fine, although overshadowed by much stronger performances by the rest of the cast, notably Charlotte Gainsbourg.
  7. This new style of beautiful photography does not suit von Trier's usual style of editing. I wish he would stop the jump cutting. Perhaps in his next film?
  8. It is refreshing to see sex portrayed on screen in such a frank way. There are obvious moments of extreme sex but there is never judgement appointed to the actions. In fact the discussion on paedophilia purposely shows another side that is rarely shown in any form in western society.
  9. I would like to hear how African people will react to the representation of the African men...
  10. I am happy to be a gay man. Sexuality may not be simple but it is definitely less complicated that the world faced by heterosexual people, especially women.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

An irresistible statement.

"Well... sometimes I have the feeling I can do crystal meth, but then I think, mmmm... better not."

Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kiss.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Smile.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Monday, February 17, 2014

10 thoughts on...The LEGO Movie

  1. I love LEGO.
  2. Chris Pratt is perfectly cast as the everyman construction worker who is actually something/someone quite special (and charming). Here's hoping his career continues to rise as he deserves all of the opportunities that have been coming his way. 
  3. I'm almost embarrassed about my level of giddiness when a range of people/characters I love (including Cleopatra, Gandalf, Wonder Woman, Shakespeare and Superman) were brought together in one scene.
  4. The Green Lantern will never have more success on screen than he does in this film.
  5. Suicide bombing isn't something that I expect to see suggested as a positive thing in a film aimed at families/children. Not that I'm wholly against it, but I don't think the simple hint towards it here was developed enough
  6. I wish C3PO would pop up in more movies...
  7. ...speaking of which, I was in awe when the Millennium Falcon turned up. Amazing.
  8. This was going so well (amazingly well)...and then there had to be the overly sentimental introduction of a human father and son whose change in dynamic resolved the narrative's conflict.
  9. Will Ferrell doesn't do emotional scenes well. Why was he cast in this role?
  10. SPACESHIP!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Pause.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

10 thoughts on...BAFTAs 2014

  1. Jennifer Lawrence is very likely to win a second Oscar this year. It will be a shame that Lupita Nyong'o would be overshadowed by the popularity and success of Lawrence, but she is impressive in American Hustle. Sadly I think a win for Lawrence will damage her career more than a win for Nyong'o would benefit hers...if that makes sense. Either way a terrific performance and talented actor will be celebrated.
  2. Tom Hardy is a beautiful man. With or without the beard.
  3. When will Amy Adams have her time to be celebrated and awarded with countless prizes? Cate Blanchett deserves the recognition for Blue Jasmine but I can't help but think that Adams was hoping that the tide was about to turn in her favour. One day, right?
  4. BBC need to improve their presentation of the awards. Why do we need to be constantly reminded that there are American movie stars in the audience?! Especially when the winners are referring to people who are also there, albeit without any celebrity clout. Also I'll never understand why they broadcast the awards an hour later with some 'minor' awards cut out. When will this change?
  5. Christoph Waltz presenting Best Film?!
  6. The Great Beauty completely deserved its award for Best Foreign Language Film. I know people will begrudge it because of Blue Is the Warmest Colour but these people probably never watched both films. 
  7. Uma Thurman is a stunning woman.
  8. It seems as if Gravity is gaining momentum towards a Best Picture win at the Oscars. Which breaks my heart in a year where I love every other nominee. I understand why it would take Best Director but Best Picture? No. 12 Years a Slave deserves it. And I hope it pulls through.
  9. Where was Jennifer Lawrence?
  10. Captain Phillips deserved to be a bigger contender than it turned out to be. Such an incredible film.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Smile.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Thursday, February 13, 2014

And the winners are...BAFTAS 2014

Best Film
Win: 12 Years a Slave
Upset: American Hustle
Wish: Captain Phillips

Best British Film
Win: Philomena
Upset: Gravity
Wish: The Selfish Giant

Best Director
Win: Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave
Upset: Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity
Wish: Steve McQueen

Best Leading Actor
Win: Chiwetel Ejiofer for 12 Years a Slave
Upset: Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street
Wish: Tom Hanks for Captain Phillips

Best Leading Actress
Win: Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
Upset: Amy Adams for American Hustle
Wish: Amy Adams

Best Supporting Actor
Win: Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
Upset: Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave
Wish: Bradley Cooper

Best Supporting Actress
Win: Lupita Nyong'o for 12 Years a Slave
Upset: Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine
Wish: Lupita Nyong'o

Adapted Screenplay
Win: 12 Years a Slave
Upset: Philomena
Wish: 12 Years a Slave

Original Screenplay
Win: Inside Llewyn Davis
Upset: Nebraska
Wish: Blue Jasmine

Animated Film
Win: Frozen
Wish: Frozen

Foreign-Language Film
Win: Blue Is The Warmest Colour
Upset: The Great Beauty
Wish: The Great Beauty

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My favourite shot...Her

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Smile.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Subtitled wisdom.

Monday, February 10, 2014

My favourite shot...the opening of the 1974 Academy Awards

Monday, February 10, 2014

10 moments to cherish...The Great Beauty

  1. The introduction of Jep (Toni Servillo) in one of the most overwhelming and impressive party scenes on film. It effortlessly tops Baz Luhrmann's much more opulent The Great Gatsby (and perhaps my beloved Moulin Rouge! too).
  2. "The most important thing I discovered a few days after turning 65 is that I can't waste any more time doing things I don't want to do." A poignant end to another short lived or insignificant relationship.
  3. The response to Jep when Stefania (Galatea Ranzi) asks him to explain what is false and fragile about her overt opinions on her success and life, which she has used to devalue Jep's own.
  4. The botox sequence. It's an almost religious experience, one that the horrifies yet inspires some awe. 
  5. Romona's (Sabrina Ferilli) glitter body suit and cape. She is a fascinating character befitting such an outfit.
  6. Jep giving advice on how to behave at a funeral.
  7. "It's a trick" with the disappearing giraffe, departure of Romano and increasing uncertainty of Jep.
  8. Jep's reaction to the exhibition where one man has taken a photograph of himself every day of his life. The impact of life and how this is communicated through art makes a final impact on him, and the audience.
  9. The female impersonator preferring to go to listen to the history of a Princess she imitates rather than going home.
  10. Sister Maria/Saint (Giusi Merli) struggling to climb a staircase. Beautifully intercut with Jep's return to the coast where he lost his virginity and fell in love. As with the begining, a perfect combination of cinematic skill and ending with Toni Servillo's performance.
Note: Making ten for this film was incredibly hard. Fanny Ardent's cameo didn't even get mentioned. Such a beautiful film.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

How do you describe a feeling?

Oppression (but thankfully less fear than Elsa).

It seems that homophobic actions, attitudes and laws have been given more much media attention recently (thanks to the Winter Olympics in Russia no doubt). I would not consider myself an activist or a campaigner, and I am very aware that I have a mostly charmed life. But the reaction to an interview on Ireland's national television station with Rory O'Neill/Panti Bliss (read more here) has stirred something within me that I cannot calm...society deems me less equal than others for no reason other than my sexual preference. I no longer accept that and must do my bit to make change happen. Not just for myself but for other gay men and women, particularly younger people who have to face a world where they will be treated as an exception. In hindsight this is how I looked at the world, although I (thankfully) never believed that my sexuality was something that should have made me so. Here's hoping that the next step will make it even easier for young gay people.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

10 thoughts on...the 2013 Vanity Fair cover

  1. Lupita Nyong'o is such a beautiful woman. I know she has the central position but my eyes are drawn towards her, even when trying to look at Julia Roberts.
  2. George Glooney could have been replaced with a more exciting (and, dare I say it, fresher) male start such as Michael Fassbender or Bradley Cooper.
  3. Jared Leto does not look 42. He is an incredibly beautiful man.
  4. I'm hoping for great things for Chiwetel Ejiofer, Naomi Harris and Margot Robbie (as well as Lupita obviously).
  5. Julia Roberts has great legs.
  6. Jared Leto and Lupita Nyong'o look good together. Here's hoping it's repeated on Oscar night.
  7. Lea Seydoux is dressed very French. Right?
  8. I would love to be responsible for selecting the movie stars for this cover on year. Diane Keaton, Amy Adams, Julie Walters, June Squib, Diane Lane, Judi Dench...so many great people to showcase. And this is why I'm not responsible.
  9. Margo Robbie's dress looks really uncomfortable.
  10. Michael B Jordan is a pretty cool guy. I can't wait to see Fruitvale Station.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Pause.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Kiss.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Top of the class. Philip Seymour Hoffman performances.

Anyone that glances at this blog will know that I have a preference for actresses but there will always be a spot for the best actors, one of those was Philip Seymour Hoffman who was thrilling to watch on screen. He perfected the 'outsider', and it is a huge loss to cinema. I thought this would be a fitting way to remember his talent, celebrating my favourite performances...

10. Doubt

9. Boogie Nights

8. Capote

7. Punch-Drunk Love

6. The Savages

5. Happiness

4. The Talented Mr. Ripley

3. Magnolia

2. Synecdoche, New York

1. The Master