Monday, January 23, 2017

The Riddle of the Noms

Each year, the list of as-yet-unseens-before-Oscar-nom-morning grows, with each precursor added to the season making the whole exercise more of a chore (you can only watch your not-favs clean up while your favs look on from the sidelines so many times before you stop investing in the whole affair). But there are still things I saw, and loved, this year and seeing any of these names pop up tomorrow morning would reel me, foolishly, back in once more. Onwards!

Best Picture

THE LOBSTER
LOVE & FRIENDSHIP
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
MOONLIGHT
MY LIFE AS A ZUCCHINI
O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA
SING STREET


Best Director

Yorgos Lanthimos - THE LOBSTER
Kenneth Lonergan - MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Barry Jenkins - MOONLIGHT
Ezra Edelman - O.J.: MADE IN AMERICA
John Carney - SING STREET


Best Actor

Colin Farrell - THE LOBSTER
Casey Affleck - MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
Mads Mikkelsen - MEN & CHICKEN
Trevante Rhodes - MOONLIGHT


Best Actress

Rachel Weisz - THE LOBSTER

(the rest after the jump)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Noms are on the Wall

Five short hours away, so let's not waste any time! (Except to say that, as evident by the list below, I have a shamefully long list of to-sees remaining, so I will be revisiting and revising this ballot as I get my act together within the next four to six weeks, weather permitting.)


Best Picture

'71
45 YEARS
ANOMALISA
INSIDE OUT
 MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
SON OF SAUL
SPOTLIGHT
TOM AT THE FARM

Special mentions:

THE HATEFUL EIGHT
SPY


Best Director

Andrew Haigh - 45 YEARS
Charlie Kaufman, Duke Johnson - ANOMALISA
Quentin Tarantino - THE HATEFUL EIGHT
George Miller - MAD MAX: FURY ROAD  
Laszlo Nemes - SON OF SAUL

Special mentions:

Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen - INSIDE OUT
David Robert Mitchell - IT FOLLOWS
Paul Feig - SPY
Xavier Dolan - TOM AT THE FARM


Best Actor

Jack O'Connell - '71
Tom Courtenay - 45 YEARS
Kurt Russell - THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Géza Röhrig - SON OF SAUL
Bill Hader - TRAINWRECK 

Special mentions:

Ed Oxenbould - THE VISIT


Best Actress

Charlotte Rampling - 45 YEARS
Juliette Binoche - CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA
Jennifer Jason Leigh - THE HATEFUL EIGHT
Amy Poehler - INSIDE OUT
Charlize Theron - MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

(the rest after the jump)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ballothood - 12 months in the making

Less than four hours until the 2015 Oscar nominations are announced! Dream ballot, pour forth:

Best Picture

BOYHOOD
FOXCATCHER
GONE GIRL
NIGHTCRAWLER
SELMA
STRANGER BY THE LAKE
UNDER THE SKIN
WHIPLASH

Special mentions:

THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM
OBVIOUS CHILD


Best Director

Richard Linklater – BOYHOOD
Bennett Miller – FOXCATCHER
David Fincher – GONE GIRL
Jonathan Glazer – UNDER THE SKIN
Damien Chazelle - WHIPLASH

Special mentions:

Ava DuVernay – SELMA
Alain Guiraudie – STRANGER BY THE LAKE
Dan Gilroy – NIGHTCRAWLER


Best Actor

Channing Tatum – FOXCATCHER
Steve Carell – FOXCATCHER
Jake Gyllenhaal – NIGHTCRAWLER
David Oyelowo – SELMA
Miles Teller - WHIPLASH

Special mentions:

Michael Keaton – BIRDMAN
James McAvoy – THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM
Joaquin Phoenix – THE IMMIGRANT
Joaquin Phoenix – INHERENT VICE

Nicolas Cage – JOE
Alfred Molina – LOVE IS STRANGE
John Lithgow - LOVE IS STRANGE
Jesse Eisenberg – NIGHT MOVES


Best Actress

Jessica Chastain – THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY: THEM
Marion Cottilard – THE IMMIGRANT
Jenny Slate – OBVIOUS CHILD
Scarlett Johansson – UNDER THE SKIN
Reese Witherspoon - WILD

(the rest after the jump)

Monday, February 10, 2014

A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES OF SUGGESTIONS



The Nostalgia for the Present/21st Century Love Edition 



Watch: Frances Ha
If You Like: Clever, awkward and quirky films, Greenberg or The Squid and the Whale, Woody Allen, Wes Anderson, Whit Stillman 







If You Like: Touching romdramedies, Last Night, 500 Days of Summer




Thursday, January 16, 2014

Hooka Dooka, Soda Cracker, Does Your Mama Chew Tobacker

Dave Van Ronk as sung by Oscar Isaac. Which can only mean it's that time of year again: Oscar Nominations Eve. My dream ballot is below, chosen from AMPAS' list of eligible films. There are some titles still outstanding that I'd like to get around to (OUT OF THE FURNACE, SPECTACULAR NOW, FRUITVALE, BLING RING, FROZEN, WALTER MITTY, WAY WAY BACK) and some that I may or may not bother with, depending on which names are read in a few hours' time (PHILOMENA, SAVING MR. BANKS, RUSH). Onwards!

Best Picture


AMERICAN HUSTLE
BEFORE MIDNIGHT
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
FRANCES HA 
GRAVITY


HER
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
MUD
NEBRASKA
SHORT TERM 12

Special mentions:

ENOUGH SAID
THE HEAT 

Best Director



Joel and Ethan Coen - INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Alfonso Cuaron - GRAVITY
Spike Jonze - HER
Alexander Payne - NEBRASKA
David O. Russell - AMERICAN HUSTLE



Special mentions:



Noah Baumbach - FRANCES HA
Destin Cretton - SHORT TERM 12
Paul Greengrass - CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Richard Linklater - BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Jeff Nichols - MUD 



Best Actor


Christian Bale - AMERICAN HUSTLE
Matthew McConaughey - DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
Bruce Dern - NEBRASKA
Oscar Isaac - INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Joaquin Phoenix - HER


Special mentions:



Tye Sheridan - MUD
Leonardo DiCaprio - THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Tom Hanks - CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Ethan Hawke - BEFORE MIDNIGHT
Simon Pegg - THE WORLD'S END
Mark Wahlberg - PAIN & GAIN


Best Actress



Cate Blanchett - BLUE JASMINE
Sandra Bullock - GRAVITY
Julie Delpy - BEFORE MIDNIGHT 
Greta Gerwig - FRANCES HA
Brie Larson - SHORT TERM 12


Special mentions:

 

Sandra Bullock - THE HEAT
Julia Louis-Dreyfus - ENOUGH SAID
Melissa McCarthy - THE HEAT

(the rest after the jump)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Hold your breath and count to ten...

Mere hours away from the big announcement! Which means it's dream ballot time. Unfortunately this year I do this having yet to see ZERO DARK THIRTY (opening tomorrow here in Tarannah). Also LES MIZ, though not so unfortunately. Could not be bothered. On to the categories!

Best Picture



Amour
Argo
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Bernie
Damsels in Distress


Holy Motors
Magic Mike
The Master
Rust and Bone
Silver Linings Playbook



Best Director



Paul Thomas Anderson, The Master
Leos Carax, Holy Motors
Michael Haneke, Amour
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
David O. Russell, Silver Linings Playbook


Special mentions:


Ben Affleck, Argo
Jacques Audiard, Rust and Bone
Richard Linklater, Bernie
Steven Soderbergh, Magic Mike
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained
Benh Zeitlin, Beasts of the Southern Wild



Best Actor



Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
Denis Lavant, Holy Motors
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Matthias Schoenaerts, Rust and Bone
Jean-Louis Trintignant, Amour


Special mentions:


Jack Black, Bernie
Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Mark Duplass, Your Sister's Sister
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Channing Tatum, 21 Jump Street



Best Actress



Linda Cardellini, Return
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
Nina Hoss, Barbara
Emmanuelle Riva, Amour
Quvenzhané Wallis, Beasts of the Southern Wild


Special mentions:

Emily Blunt, Your Sister's Sister
Rosemarie DeWitt, Your Sister's Sister
Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

(the rest after the jump)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cajun Style!

THE WAR ROOM (1993)
Criterion Collection

Dir. Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker


At a brisk 95 minutes, ‘The War Room’ is an engaging and informative behind-the-scenes look at the 1992 presidential campaign of then-governor Bill Clinton, from his shaky beginnings in the democratic primaries to his landslide victory against incumbent George H. W. Bush on election night. The events that unfold throughout out the campaign are seen primarily from the perspective of Clinton’s Director of Communications, George Stephanopoulos, and a fiery Lead Strategist by the name of James Carville, introduced as the Ragin’ Cajun. Both men have since become household names in the American political sphere, but the documentary affords the audience the opportunity to get a first-hand glimpse of the incredibly bright, ambitious, charismatic and visionary minds behind the very successful campaign that reminded the voters that “It’s the economy, stupid” and circumvented the attacks from the Bush campaign on Clinton’s character, including numerous allusions to the draft.


In stark contrast to most contemporary documentaries, no names appear onscreen to guide the audience through the numerous cast of characters on either side of the political spectrum, but dedicated CNN viewers and other political enthusiasts will recognize less well-known personalities such as Paul Begala and John King. The film also focuses briefly on Mary Matalin, the Deputy Campaign Manager for the Bush/Quayle ticket and Carville’s significant other. The relationship between the two has always been the subject of much interest, due to their vast political differences, and the film shows both in peak form attacking the other side in their professional roles, while keeping their personal relationship intact. There is ample footage of the politicians themselves, including Clinton and his family, but the hub of activity and excitement is the War Room itself, where the campaign strategy sessions occur, not to mention the campaign offices, where the many unnamed staff and volunteers work tirelessly alongside Stephanopoulos and Carville towards the common goal. ‘The War Room’ is a feat, not least of all because it shows the audience how campaigns were run before the advent of the 24-hour news cycle. American politics has changed significantly since the events of this film, and Hegedus and Pennebaker have created a piece of work that perfectly encapsulates the state of American political discourse at a crucial point in recent history. It is valuable viewing for all.

Monday, January 23, 2012

It's That Time of Year Again...

Less than 12 hours to go, which means it's dream ballot time!

Best Picture


The Artist
Drive
Jane Eyre
Martha Marcy May Marlene
Moneyball


A Separation
Submarine
Take Shelter
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Weekend


Best Director


Tomas Alfredson, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life
Bennett Miller, Moneyball
Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive


Best Actor


Demián Bichir, A Better Life
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Peyman Moaadi, A Separation
Michael Shannon, Take Shelter


Special mentions:


Tom Cullen, Weekend
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Drive
Woody Harrelson, Rampart
Peter Mullan, Tyrannosaur
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball


Best Actress


Olivia Colman, Tyrannosaur
Adepero Oduye, Pariah
Elizabeth Olsen, Martha Marcy May Marlene
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids


Special mentions:

Viola Davis, The Help
Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia
Keira Knightley, A Dangerous Method
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin


Best Supporting Actor


Albert Brooks, Drive
Patton Oswalt, Young Adult
Brad Pitt, The Tree of Life
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Special mentions:


Benedict Cumberbatch, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Armie Hammer, J. Edgar
Tom Hardy, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Mark Strong, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy


Best Supporting Actress


Jessica Chastain, The Help
Elle Fanning, Super 8
Anna Kendrick, 50/50
Carey Mulligan, Shame
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Special mentions:


Bryce Dallas Howard, The Help
Amy Ryan, Win Win


Adapted Screenplay


Jane Eyre - Moira Buffini
Moneyball - Story by Stan Chervin; Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin, Steve Zaillian
The Muppets - Jason Segel, Nicholas Stoller
Submarine - Richard Ayoade
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan


Original Screenplay


Bridesmaids - Annie Mumolo, Kristen Wiig
A Separation - Asghar Farhadi
Take Shelter - Jeff Nichols
Weekend - Andrew Haigh
Win Win - Thomas McCarthy, Joe Tibani


Special mentions:

50/50 - Will Reiser
Pariah - Dee Rees
Rango - Story by James Ward Byrkit, John Logan, Gore Verbinski; Screenplay by John Logan
Young Adult - Diablo Cody


Cinematography


Drive - Newton Thomas Sigel
Jane Eyre - Adriano Goldman
Melancholia - Manuel Alberto Claro
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - Hoyte Van Hoytema
The Tree of Life - Emmanuel Lubezki


Special mentions:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Jeff Cronenweth
Moneyball - Wally Pfister
Rampart - Bobby Bukowski


Original Score

A Better Life - Alexandre Desplat
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Jane Eyre - Dario Marianelli
Moneyball - Mychael Danna
The Skin I Live in - Alberto Iglesias


Animated Feature

Rango


Documentary Feature

Bill Cunningham New York
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
Pina
Project Nim


Foreign Language Film

A Separation


Until tomorrow!