Tag Archive: oscars 2016


bridge

Here are the nominees for Best Picture:

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

Who Should Win: All things being equal, out of these eight the film I think we’ll remember the most is ‘Mad Max’.

Who Will Win: Actors are the biggest branch.  Based on that I would think ‘Spotlight’ looks good, with ‘the Big Short’ right behind it.

Who I’m Cheering For: It would be nice to see a populist film when since that doesn’t happen too often.  Out of these eight, I’m cheering for ‘Mad Max.’

Have a good weekend and enjoy the show (if you’re watching).

cranston

Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Cate Blanchett – Carol

Brie Larson – Room

Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

Who Should Win: Cate has been here. You can kind of feel the people are wearing on J.Law.  No more ‘Hunger Games’ helps, but she may need to do the Natalie Portman/Anne Hathaway ‘lay low’ move for a minute (and she’s still really young which is part of it).  Brie should win here.

Who I’m Not Cheering For: Charlotte Rampling.

Who I’m Cheering For and Who Will Win: She’s paid her dues (which actors love) and from the Q&A I went to, she seems to have remain grounded from all the years before this.  Brie Larson.

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Leading Role:

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

Matt Damon – the Martian

Leonardo Dicaprio – the Revenant

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – the Danish Girl

Who Should Win: By degree of difficulty…it should be Redmayne going back to back right? That might be my Method bias…

Who I’m Not Cheering For: Matt Damon

Who I’m Cheering For and Who Will Win:

tom-mccarthy-interview-300

Here are the nominees for Best Directing:

The Big Short – Adam McKay

Mad Max: Fury Road – George Miller

The Revenant – Alejandro G. Innaritu

Room – Lenny Abrahamson

Spotlight – Tom McCarthy

Who Should Win: In a fairly competitive year, most agreed ‘Mad Max’ was amazing (especially on the big screen), which should favor George Miller.

Who Will Win: All due respect, the only name that would complete shock me to be called would be Abrahamson. Could make a compelling case for the other four based on actors preference (McCarthy) or building an elite reputation (Innaritu).

Who I’m Cheering For:

Straight Outta Compton

(Full disclosure: one of the nominees today is one of my social media ‘friends’.  But that’s really our relationship; haven’t met in the real world as I recall.)

Here are the nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay:

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room

Who Should Win: The Margot Robbie scene was a little cute by a half in my opinion, but the point of it was very true: a story about the financial bubble bursting just isn’t very cinematic.  So by the definition of ‘adapting’ a story for film, ‘The Big Short’ was the best of the five here.

Who Will Win: ‘The Big Short’ is popular with the right folks, and this is probably the best chance to honor the film.

Who I’m Cheering For: ‘The Big Short.’

Here are the nominees for Best Original Screenplay:

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

Who Should Win: So now this is interesting.  I tell you from experience, it is HARD to write a solid science fiction piece. Based on that I’d say ‘Ex Machina.’

Who Will Win: If ‘Spotlight’ has one of those ‘we’re running things’ kind of nights, it’s starts here.

Who I’m Cheering For:

The-Big-Short-25

CHRIS: And here to present the next two awards, here is Academy Award nominee Emma Stone, and the Associate Producer of ‘Trojan War,’ Malik Aziz!

(audience applause as they take the stage)

EMMA: An outlaw trying to survive in a room of seven Hateful men. A woman supporting and coming to grips with her husband’s changing sexual identity.  A partner trying to reel in one of the greatest creative minds of the last century. A few of the great performances from this year.

MALIK: That’s right! And you know what else they all have in common?

EMMA: (awkwardly fidgeting) Um…what?

MALIK: They’re all nominated tonight for Best Supporting Actress!

EMMA: (relieved) Yes. Yes!

MALIK: Wait, what did you think I was going to say?

EMMA: Nothing. Nothing.

Here are the nominees for Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

Alicia Viklander – the Danish Girl

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

Who Should Win: Probably Jennifer Jason Leigh.

Who Will Win: One of this year’s ‘It Girls: Viklander

Who I’m Cheering For: A small chance based on the movie that McAdams wins, and she’s pretty solid in everything (including last year’s True Detective).

Here are the nominees for Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Christian Bale – The Big Short

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Who Should Win: Hmmm.  I could make a case for Ruffalo. I could make a case for Rocky.

Who Will Win: Everything’s lined up for Sly, and if Mike and Ryan are happy for him then I am too (I guess).

Who I’m Cheering For: 

‘Room’

the-room

Brie Larson first showed up on my radar when someone turned me on to ‘The United States of Tara.’  ‘Short Term ’12’ put her on everybody’s radar in terms of ‘OK, she can act.’  And now, ‘Room’ is justifiably giving her the chance to really do anything she wants.

Told from the point of view of a child, ‘Room’ tells the story of a young woman taken into abduction, who tries to give her child as ‘normal’ a life as possible. Jacob Tremblay plays the narrator here; along with Abraham Attah in ‘Beasts of No Nation’, this is one of the two best performances by an actor this year, regardless of age.

Joan Allen and William H. Macy (the master of playing someone in over his head) round out the main cast of one of the best acted films of the year.

Worth checking out.

spikeartfradieu

Nope wasn’t in the room Saturday night, I was (literally) down the street.

But thank you internet (and the Academy) for letting us see this.  I’m big on letting people know you appreciate them while they’re here to feel your appreciation.

Your East Coast bias aside Spike, I can personally attest to two of the seeds you helped plant and nourish getting those standardized test scores high enough to grow into a movie producer and a movie director (and a LOT more).

And as you know there are hundreds if not thousands more. So thank you.

First, I could watch this introduction all day…

And then, his actual acceptance speech…

Enjoy!

nina-simone

I could tell you more about Nina Simone as a ‘symbol’ than I could as an actual person.  ‘What Happened Miss Simone?’ is a nice in to her life story for those of you like myself.  Archival footage and interviews with her musical collaborators and family fill out the story of this incredibly complex woman.

A child of the segregation era South, her ambition to be a great classical pianist was the first of many great (for lack of a better term) ‘complications’ that would define the woman who would rechristen herself ‘Nina Simone’ when she hit the Big Apple.  Through her own diary and the recollections of her daughter, we get a great glimpse of how Nina’s relationship with her husband/manager was both the best and worst thing that probably ever happened to her.

The talent and the respect to become a major crossover star, her fiercely independent streak drew her (as a woman and an artist) into the Movement and made her beloved by the community she stood up for.  (From my own generation, I thought about Lauryn Hill more than once watching this.)

Streaming on Netflix. Definitely worth checking out.

charlizemadmax

George Miller (again!) to the action film genre and its audience:

Just my two cents, but ‘Fury Road’ is the best kick in the ass to the genre since the first ‘Bourne’ film (i.e., ‘the rest of you have gotten lazy and keep falling on the same cliches, this is how you keep the audience fired up and engaged for 2 hours.)

I’ve been down for Tom Hardy going back to ‘Warrior’ at least.  Hooking up with the genius Christopher Nolan for ‘Inception’, and bringing cinematic redemption to Bane certainly won a lifetime of respect with yours truly. Getting to play Mad Max as an internally tormented survivor who rarely speaks…my actor envy/film geek admiration was in the red for the whole movie.  He’s earned this headlining spot.

Speaking of earning the right to be here, Charlize Theron.  Been around for a minute and a half, forever pretty enough to collect them checks playing ‘The Girlfriend/Wife’ to the main character of whatever you got.  The title of this film got it financed and put asses in the seat, but without question this is her (character’s) movie.  Beyond empathy, I don’t know if it’s my place to go too deep into the feminism angle I’ve heard thrown around a lot with this film. But it was not lost on me that the weakest character in the film is the bride who had no sense of self without her man.

There’s still so much I haven’t even covered.  That cinematography and those images!  The overall style in general!  That MF just posted up to play rock guitar during the chase scenes!  Zoe Bella Kravitz!  (Oh yes, I saw you young lady.  Your mama still fine?  I’m just teasing, but next time you go by the house, tell her Mister Aziz said hello.)

As much as it’s my natural instinct to rebel when ‘everybody’ likes something, in this case everybody was right.

Go see ‘Fury Road.’  If you’ve seen it, go see it again.