Friday, January 30, 2015

Monday, January 26, 2015

An irresistible question.

"Wouldn't it be wondrous if perfectly commonplace people gave each other a round of applause at the end of the day?"

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saturday, January 24, 2015

10 thoughts on...Testament of Youth

  1. It is incredibly refreshing (and oh so rare) that a film as great as this will appear so unexpectedly...
  2. ...which is an unfortunate scenario for the film which was rushed into British cinemas before a proper route through festivals and finding an international distributor. This film deserves better and I hope word of mouth and a US release will give it the audience it deserves.
  3. This is better than all of the Oscar nominated films on UK release right now. 
  4. James Kent (who also directed the wonderful Margaret for BBC TV) is a director with a very exciting future. 
  5. As do the majority of this cast. Particularly the always outstanding Alicia Vikander and the charming Taron Egerton. 
  6. War is terrible.
  7. Every element of this film is incredibly delicate yet powerful. The cinematography, the performances, the music...swoon.
  8. I can't wait to watch this again.
  9. There are many handsome men to lust over.
  10. Will this film find the audience it deserves with a wider release elsewhere and, no doubt, discovery on British television?

Friday, January 23, 2015

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

10 thoughts on...Foxcatcher

  1. A solid, masterfully directed film that is serviceable. Where are the great films?
  2. I like the decision to forgo much straightforward exposition so that the relationships between the three man characters evolve in a more gentle manner. A compelling approach.
  3. This is a rather cold film. Similar to Bennett Miller's previous work. Perhaps he should follow in the footsteps of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and direct a comedy next...
  4. What is Sienna Miller doing in that thankless role as 'wife'?
  5. Otherwise the cast is terrific, particularly Mark Ruffallo.
  6. I agree with Vanessa Redgrave, wrestling is a low sport.
  7. Horse are beautiful to watch. Is it time we had another horse centered film released?
  8. I am enjoying watching the careers of Channing Tatum, Steve Carrell and Mark Ruffalo. They're very interesting actors and movie stars.
  9. Cool Runnings may be my favourite sports film.
  10. It's a shame that this dark, mature film has been released in the midst of award season movies. It deserves a less packed period to attract a wider audience.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Top of the class. Performances in Moonrise Kingdom.

10. Bob Balaban

9. Larry Pine

8. Kara Hayward

7. Jared Gilman

6. Tilda Swinton

5. Jason Schwartzman

4. Bruce Willis

3. Edward Norton

2. Frances McDormand

1. Bill Murray

Saturday, January 17, 2015

How do you describe a feeling?

"Double shit!"

Saturday, January 17, 2015

10 thoughts on...The Theory of Everything

  1. This suffers the same fate of too many biopics and suffers from an unfocused narrative that is more interested in detail than cinematic storytelling...
  2. ...yet it has much more heart than many of the other examples I can think of. And it's impossible not to be charmed, even if the mechanics behind the sentimentality are rather too visible.
  3. I like fireworks on film.
  4. Felicity Jones delivers an impressive performance despite a poorly written character. The scene where she presents the newly mute Stephen Hawking with a 'letter board' is an example of great acting. I may now be a fan.
  5. Charlie Cox is very handsome.
  6. I would like to see another version of this film where they focused on the experience of Jane. That is where the interesting element to the 'personal' story exists.
  7. Emily Watson deserves better parts.
  8. Outside of Jones' performance this never feels authentic.
  9. What is the point of this film? There are many references to religion versus science, to commitment, to love, to work and (rather oddly once at the end) family but the film never settles to explore any in great detail. It's a bit of a mess.
  10. This is most definitely an Oscar bait film, but not the worst I've seen.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

10 thoughts on...87th Academy Award nominations

  1. I really underestimated the popularity of American Sniper. How does Clint Eastwood do it?
  2. I was very excited to see Alfonso Cuaron and J. J. Abrams announcing the awards and hearing all of the nominees. All categories are important.
  3. I am sad for Nightcrawler, but am (somewhat) consoled that it exceeded expectation by being so prominent during the awards season.
  4. Marion Cotillard being nominated for Two Days, One Night is joyous.
  5. Gone Girl deserved a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay at least.
  6. It seems that the main categories are already sewn up with Boyhood, Richard Linklater, Eddie Redmayne, Julianne Moore, J. K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette winning. Right?
  7. What happened to The LEGO Movie?...
  8. ...But Tom Moore surprises again with Song of the Sea. Hoorah!
  9. That Best Song category looks rather strong. Will Keira Knightley be singing on Oscar night?
  10. I'm not sure how I feel overall.

Thursday, January 15, 2015


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

10 thoughts on...Whiplash

  1. This is an incredibly well polished film, but one without heart. Rotten or otherwise. Why should we be interested in this story?
  2. I will be sad to see JK Simmons continue his award sweep for this role. I'm a big fan of his work (particularly in Juno) but it feels more like a showcase than an actor. 
  3. Austin Stowell is very attractive. 
  4. There are plenty of incredible films about ambition and selfish sacrifice. I think people should rewatch one of those instead.
  5. Are the actions of these characters supposed to be believable?
  6. Miles Teller is so good in Rabbit Hole.
  7. I wish homophobia was something of the past. 
  8. Where are the women?
  9. I'm going to have heated conversations about this film in future.
  10. If there's one film I wouldn't recommend to people this award season then this is it!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

6 wishes for...87th Academy Award nominations

  1. Nightcrawler continues its surprisingly successful awards season with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay. 
  2. Ralph Fiennes is nominated for Best Actor. (He is just so good in The Grand Budapest Hotel!)
  3. That people don't turn on Amy Adams if she is nominated for Best Actress.
  4. Whiplash is snubbed. Even for Best Supporting Actor.
  5. Song of the Sea is nominated for Best Animated Feature.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

And the nominees are...87th Academy Awards

Best Picture
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Upset: Into the Woods, Whiplash

Best Director
Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ava DuVernay for Selma
David Fincher for Gone Girl
Alejandro Gonzalex Inarritu for Birdman
Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Upset: Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler, James Marsh for The Theory of Everything, Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

Best Actor
Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler
Michael Keaton for Birdman
David Oyelowo for Selma
Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
Upset: Steve Carell for Foxcatcher, Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

Best Actress
Jennifer Aniston for Cake
Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore for Still Alice
Rosamond Pike for Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon for Wild
Upset: Amy Adams for Big Eyes

Best Supporting Actor
Ethan Hawke for Boyhood
Ed Norton for Birdman
Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher
JK Simmons for Whiplash 
Tom Wilkinson for Selma
Upset: Josh Brolin for Inherent Vice, Robert Duvall for The Judge

Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
Jessica Chastain for A Most Violent Year
Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game
Rene Russo for Nightcrawler
Emma Stone for Birdman
Upset: Laura Dern for Wild, Meryl Streep for Into the Woods

Best Original Screenplay
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Upset: Foxcatcher, Ida

Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper
Gone Girl
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Upset: Wild

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

10 thoughts on...Into the Woods

  1. I am so very relieved that Rob Marshall has decided to embrace the notion that character in film can simply burst into song...
  2. ...and that he seems to understand that a film should can be cinematic. Even if some of the camerawork was distracting (particularly during the 'It Takes Two' number).
  3. I'm not sure why but I would have liked to see David Cronenberg's version of this film instead.
  4. Is this the best vocal cast of all modern movie musicals?
  5. Am I alone in thinking Meryl Streep is rather weak as The Witch?
  6. This could have been much darker. How exciting would that have been? (And how frightening for the largely child audience that somehow found their way into the screening I attended?)
  7. Emily Blunt is the stand out here, her performance a perfect combination of wishful yet neurotic. She deserves a bigger career.
  8. It's a shame the third act doesn't quite work on film. There are many earlier moments when the film soars.
  9. What musical will Marshall approach next?
  10. I still think Merrily We Roll Along would make a fantastic film. But not by Marshall.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

5 wishes for...BAFTA nominations 2015

  1. That they're not afraid to break away from the Oscar frontrunners. Or support films that may not be the Oscar frontrunner but deserve to be (Selma?).
  2. Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton are nominated for Pride.
  3. Under the Skin does well. Would it be too much to hope for Director and Actress nominations?
  4. Ralph Fiennes is nominated for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
  5. Excitement.

Thursday, January 08, 2015

And the winners are...Golden Globes 2015

Film - Drama
Win: Boyhood
Upset: The Imitation Game or The Theory of Everything
Wish: Boyhood (although I've not seen Foxcatcher or Selma)

Actress - Drama
Win: Julianne Moore in Still Alice
Upset: Jennifer Aniston in Cake
Wish: Julianne Moore

Actor - Drama
Win: Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything
Upset: Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game
Wish: Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

Film - Comedy or Musical
Win: Birdman
Upset: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Wish: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Actress - Comedy or Musical
Win: Julianne Moore in Maps to the Stars
Upset: Emily Blunt in Into the Woods
Wish: Julianne Moore

Actor - Comedy or Musical
Win: Michael Keaton in Birdman
Upset: None
Wish: Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel or Michael Keaton
Animated Feature Film
Win: The LEGO Movie
Upset: None
Wish: The LEGO Movie

Foreign Language Film
Win: Ida
Upset: Leviathan
Wish: Leviathan

Supporting Actress
Win: Patricia Arquette in Boyhood
Upset: Meryl Streep in Into the Woods
Wish: All of them (if only!)

Supporting Actor
Win: J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
Upset: Edward Norton in Birdland
Wish: Ethan Hawke in Boyhood or Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher

Win: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Upset: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman
Wish: Richard Linklater

Win: Boyhood
Upset: The Imitation Game
Wish: Gone Girl

Original Score
Win: Birdman
Upset: The Theory of Everything
Wish: Birdman

Original Song
Win: Annie
Upset: Selma
Wish: Selma

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

10 thoughts on...Exodus: Gods and Kings

  1. Sigourney Weaver deserves better than this.
  2. Where Darren Aronofsky embraced the more surreal elements of Noah, Ridley Scott takes a more reserved take here. Which is a shame. Wouldn't it have added some personality to the film if the curses were a bit more surreal?
  3. Scott shouldn't have romantic subplots in his films.
  4. I wish I rewatched The Prince of Egypt instead...
  5. ...musical sequences are much more efficient ways to present a bloated story such as this.
  6. I forgot that Tony Scott was no longer with us until the dedication at the end of the film.
  7. For some reason I'm not a fan of Christian Bale unless he's playing a fully fledged character (no Moses or Bruce Wayne please).
  8. Ben Mendelsohn as Hegep is a rather disconcerting performance/character. Overtly camp and, as you would expect from a mainstream Hollywood film of yesteryear, mischievous and greedy.
  9. There is one good scene where Moses prevents Rameses from harming a slave. Otherwise this film is sadly full of missed opportunities. 
  10. I hate to be such critical. 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Friday, January 02, 2015

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Top of the class. Most anticipated films of 2015.*

  1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  2. Carol
  3. Inside Out
  4. The Early Years
  5. Chappie 
  6. Knight of Cups
  7. Suffragette
  8. The Hateful Eight
  9. Pitch Perfect 2
  10. The Walk
*Not including films that have already had their releases in other territories

Thursday, January 01, 2015