Tuesday, 30 December 2008

My Top 15 songs of 2008

Because I am not a fan of 10.

In Alphabetical order too.


Adele – ‘Hometown Glory’

This is a song that is so beautiful and dramatic, that even on a rainy cold day, you can still love the city you’re in.


Christian Falk feat Robyn – ‘Dream On’
Robyn continues to dominate with Falk on this lovely dance pop ballad what just makes you wanna sing along with her.


Cyndi Lauper – ‘Raging Storm’
This is one of the most complex dance songs out all year. The lyrics are astonishing. Something intelligent to listen to on the dance floor.


Duffy – ‘Mercy’
The British soul invasion continues with this 60’s throw back. No other song this year was able to get under your skin quite like this.


Elbow – ‘Weather to Fly’
I have already waxed lyrical about this song, but my God is it ever beautiful and dramatic. I can’t get enough of it…could be 15 minutes longer.


Grace Jones – ‘Williams Blood’
The woman comes back with one of the most personal and honest songs in years. An anthem for the freaks in all of us.


Hercules and Love Affair – ‘Blind’
Anthony’s voice sounds like beautiful despair. I would never have guessed how perfect it would fit 80’s disco. Brilliant.


Keane – ‘Spiraling’
The 80’s continue with a complete turn of face for the British band. From quiet melancholy tunes to this….fantastic.


Kings of Leon – ‘Closer’
Another one of those songs you expect to be hearing in TV shows and movies anytime soon. So chilling and powerful.


Lykke Li – ‘Little Bit’
Swedish chicks owned 2008. Not only is the song brilliant, and the album, but so are her video’s. The quietest dance song ever.


Madonna – ‘Incredible’
The album, let’s face it, was rubbish. However this was the track that I have not stopped listening to all year. With recent news it becomes heartbreaking.


MGMT – ‘Kids’
I do not know a single person who does not love this track. Really….I don’t. Everyone I have played it to has fallen in love.


Santogold – ‘L.E.S. Artistes’
Should have been much bigger than it was. A combination of brilliant productions, wonderful lyrics and a killer hook. Pop never sounded so fresh.


Solange – ‘I Decided’
Beyonce who? Solange wiped the floor with her sister in terms of quality with this. Such a shame it didn’t catch on.


The Streets – ‘The Escapist’
Whenever I hate the city, I close my eyes and think about my vacation in Spain, and play this track and all is right with the world.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Oscar Prediction Updates

Over to yer right hand side

This way >>>>>>

Updated from Pic through to supporting actor. Still need to update screenplays from last year!

Voting Time

Ok, Christmas is over. Now you can bring your full attention to voting in my Poll's!

The first one I has asked you to pick the 5 actresses who you honestly think is going to be nominated for best actress. (someone picked just 1 which threw the whole thing off!)





The second one I ask you who should have won the 1993 Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Friday, 26 December 2008

RIP Eartha Kitt

Read this to understand how great the woman was.


Thursday, 25 December 2008

My Christmas Message

Well not mine, but stolen from my favourite Christmas story.
"Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before!
Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas...
perhaps...
means a little bit more! "


May you all have the most wonderful holiday season!

All my love,

Michael

P.S. Posting will continue well after the festivities (like the 28th or something)

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Best Actress Race

'State of Play' trailer



I mean oh dear. This looks like it is going to be an abortion of a movie. Too much is given away early, and I just do not remember so many gun fights and chase scenes in the original British mini series.

Entertainer of the Year

And who will argue?




'9' Trailer



Did you hear that sound? Did you? That clunking? Well that was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor.

Best Actress Race

Best Actress Race

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Seasonal Song

Just a few of my favourite Christmas songs to help spread the cheer!





From Left to Right:

Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child
Nat King Cole – Oh Holy Night
Ella Fitzgerald – Christmas Song
The Ronettes – Frosty The Snowman
Judy Garland – Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Madonna – Santa Baby
Vanessa Williams – What Child is This.
Barenaked Ladies feat Sarah McLachlan - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings
The Muppets and John Denver – 12 Days of Christmas

Tis the season

Monday, 22 December 2008

Best Actress Race

Where the stats are now.

Remember my geeky (sad) little numbers game with the precursors?

Well I thought I would let you all know where we are standing in term of our top ten contenders in the top six categories. To make a long story short..LIST TIME PEOPLE!!!

Best Picture:

1 - Slumdog Millionaire
2 - WALL-E
3 - The Dark Knight
4 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5 - Milk
6 - Frost/Nixon
7 - Happy-Go-Lucky
8 - The Wrestler
9 - Doubt
10 - Rachel Getting Married

Best Director:

1 - Danny Boyle
2 - Christopher Nolan
3 - Gus Van Sant
4 - David Fincher
5 - Ron Howard
6 - Andrew Stanton
7 - Stephen Daldry
8 - Jonathan Demme
9 - Mike Leigh
10 - Sam Mendes

Best Actress:


1 - Sally Hawkins
2 - Anne Hathaway
3 - Kate Winslet
4 - Meryl Streep
5 - Angelina Jolie
6 - Melissa Leo
7 - Kristen Scott Thomas
8 - Cate Blanchett
9 - Emma Thompson
10 - Michelle Williams

Best Actor:

1 - Sean Penn
2 - Mickey Rourke
3 - Frank Langella
4 - Richard Jenkins
5 - Clint Eastwood
6 - Leonardo DiCaprio
7 - Brad Pitt
8 - Dustin Hoffman
9 - Josh Brolin
10 - Michael Fassbender

Best Supporting Actress:

1 - Viola Davis
2 - Penelope Cruz
3 - Rosemarie DeWitt
4 - Marisa Tomei
5 - Kate Winslet
6 - Amy Adams
7 - Taraji P. Henson
8 - Alexis Zegerman
9 - Samantha Morton
10 - Anjelica Huston

Best Supporting Actor:

1 - Heath Ledger
2 - Robert Downey, Jr.
3 - Josh Brolin
4 - Philip Seymour Hoffman
5 - Dev Patel
6 - Michael Shannon
7 - Eddie Marsan
8 - Ralph Feinnes
9 - James Franco
10 - Brandon Walters

Best Original Screenplay:

1 - Milk
2 - Rachel Getting Married
3 - Synecdoche New York
4 - The Visitor
5 - Gran Torino
6 - In Bruges
7 - Happy-Go-Lucky
8 - WALL-E
9 - The Wrestler
10 - Frozen River

Best Adapted Screenplay:

1 - Slumdog Millionaire
2 - Frost/Nixon
3 - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4 - Doubt
5 - The Reader
6 - The Dark Knight
7 - Elegy
8 - Revolutionary Road

And do you know there are ever only eight mentioned!

The most surprising thing I would have to say is the very strong showing for 'Happy-Go-Lucky' and its makers and Andrew Stanton. Fingers crossed.

Best Actress Race

Best Actress Race

Where the girls are.

So once again bloggers across the world are having the same rant we have every single year.
this rant still never fails to upset, enrage and sadden us, even though it is something we all know as fact.
It seems it never changes. I mean EVER! Yet I still feel the fresh anger, especially as we are fully in awards season and can actually see it taking shape.

Yes there is a complete lack of female driven films this year. Out of 15 films vying for that elusive Best Picture nomination, only a handful are female driven films. ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’, ‘Changeling’, ‘Doubt’, ‘Rachel Getting Married’ and ‘Frozen River’ and this is stretching it a little. Other films like ‘Revolutionary Road’, and ‘The Reader’ are male/female driven.

The only real shot at the big 5 would be ‘Revolutionary Road’ (but lack of critical support means it is unlikely) and ‘Doubt’ which although swept the SAG’s still only has an outside chance at a nomination (‘Happy-Go-Lucky’ could surprise, as Leigh films can, but this is wishful thinking).

Why is this? Is Hollywood, in 2008 still a sexist industry?
It would seem so.
Pictures directed by women are reserved to either rom com summer flicks or small independent films that, aside from a few critic win and actress buzz, usually fail to get nominated for any of the big prizes aside from screenplay.
Since 2000 only 6 films have been mainly female driven (‘Chocolate’, ‘Erin Brockovich’, The Hours’, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘The Queen’, and ‘Juno’) with only 1 win (‘Chicago’).

Sure gay men and women would flock to female driven pics like droves, but what about straight women? Are they just following men to the blockbusters? Do they only want to see rom coms?

Come on ladies! Treat your sex with respect. Remember Hollywood goes where the money is. Lets have 2010 filled with strong womens pics and lets say goodbye to the sausage fest we call the Oscars.

Just because

My God she was robbed. Who won't they give her a great role? Why do they give her ok roles that she then has to make great?



And just because I haven't said much about Toni lately here is her from 'Wild Party'

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Best Actress Race

Best Actress Race

Best Poster Campaign EVER?

I know it is still 2008 but one of the most brilliant and striking poster campaigns I have seen in a long long time is the 'Coraline' alphabet posters. Each poster dedicated to a letter of the alphabet with a little rhyme in keeping with the dark of the story. Well done Focus!




Click here to see all the posters in their glory.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Best Actress Race

Except my Oscar. I'll give up all that other stuff, but only if I get to keep my Oscar.

I thought the voting for the 1993 Best Actress race was going to be a lot closer than it ended up being. I know you are all waiting with breath that is baited for the results. So with out further adieu:

In 5th place with no votes at all we find this year Best Supporting Actress Oscar hopeful Debra Winger for 'Shadowlands'

In 4th Place with not much better results we have Stockard 'I should work more than I do' Channing with 2% of the votes for 'Six Degrees of Separation'.

In 3rd place previous winner and Oscar winner Emma Thompson comes in with 7% of the votes for 'The Remains of the Day'.

In 2nd place we have the eventual Oscar winner Holly Hunter in 'The Piano' with 31% of the votes

So that means ladies and gentlemen that the first place winner is

Angela Bassett as Tina Turner in 'What's Love Got to Do with It?' with a whopping 61% of the votes.

And it is not surprising. The woman was so unforgettable and brilliant as Turner that by the end of the film you have actually forgotten what the real Tina Turner looks like. She became the woman both on and off stage.
This performance went beyond mere mimicry and set a very high bar for bio pic performance.

Well done Angela. May you get you chance to actually win the damn thing soon!

Now to the Best Supporting Actress of 1993:



WALL-E for Best Picture






Without a doubt, this is really one of the the best pictures of the year. Will Oscar feel the same way? Will it allow an Animated film to transcend it's category ghetto to the pic leagues? I do not think there is a movie studio out there more deserving of this that Pixar.
The film has racked up enough Best Picture wins from the critics to be taken VERY seriously as a contender for the big prize. I am sure the Producers Guild will show it some love as well. So I ask thee....

The Best Actress Race

Friday, 19 December 2008

Kate - Non Fug - Winslet


The Go Fug Yourself girls have topped even themselves.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Angelina and the Best Actress race.

How do you accurately guess the nom for Oscar? Especially the Best Actress race. On Oscars preferential ballots the top five nominees have to score enough number 1 points in order to get a nomination (or so I understand).

Will enough people think Angelina Jolie gave the number 1 best performance by an actress in a lead role in 2008? I cannot imagine that. I can see it for Meryl Streep, Sally Hawkins, Anne Hathaway, Kate Winslet and Melissa Leo, but just not for Jolie. Sure her film and role is more Oscar friendly, but Oscar has (albeit slowly) been changing.

Sure Cate Blanchett scored a nom for ‘Elizabeth: The Blah di Blah’, but the Academy obviously LOVE her (she is after all the apparent next Meryl Streep – I’ll be the judge of that), and they do not seem to feel the same way for Jolie. Will they feel she is owed? I think not. Do they really want Brad and Angela there? Doubtful really, I mean they hardly show a lot of love for the Pitt.

Sure there are the pro’s to her getting a nomination:
1 – Making up for an injustice last year
2 – Oscar baity role
3 – Part of Hollywood power couple
4 – Directed by Clint

But there are some glaring cons:
1- Overall reaction to the performance is iffy
2 – Reaction to the film is less than good
3 – She is not that loved in Hollywood
4 – There are plenty more deserving Actresses vying for the position
5 – The role, although baity, does seem a little ‘been there, done that’

Who do you all think are the most likely nominees for Best Actress?

Chicago Film Critics WINNERS!!

Note: The past five winners of this award have gone on to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.

BEST PICTURE: WALL-E
BEST DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
BEST ACTOR: Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
BEST ACTRESS: Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Kate Winslet - The Reader
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Slumdog Millionaire (Simon Beaufoy)
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Let the Right One In
BEST DOCUMENTARY: Man On Wire
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: WALL-E
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: The Dark Knight (Wally Pfister)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: WALL-E (Thomas Newman)
MOST PROMISING PERFORMER: Dev Patel - Slumdog Millionaire
MOST PROMISING DIRECTOR: Tomas Alfredson - Let the Right One In

Can WALL-E really go all the way? Is it possible? Can it be? Can this be the year of the genre film?

SAG noms!

Actor
Richard Jenkins, The Visitor
Frank Langella, Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn, Milk
Brad Pitt, Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke, The Wrestler

Actress
Anne Hatahway, Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
Melissa Leo, Frozen River
Meryl Streep, Doubt
Kate Winslet, Rev Road

Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin, Milk
Robert Downey , Jr., Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Doubt
Heath Ledger, The Dark Night
Dev Patel, Slumdog Millionaire

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Doubt
Penelope Cruz, Vicky Cristina
Viola Davis, Doubt
Taraji P. Henson, Benjamin Button
Kate Winslet, The Reader

Ensemble
Benjamin Button
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire

Great news for Taraji P. Henson, Dev Patel, and Amy Adams. Not so great news for 'The Dark Knight' and Sally Hawkins. Surprised by the double nom for Kate, but well done to the Great Kate!

SAG Predictions


Or how I am trying to shake things up a little (even though I will score horrendously in these). How cool would it be if they did this though. Trying anything not to think about it being the same ole same ole.....plus the SAG's usually throw a curve ball in somewhere.

Best Ensemble

The Dark Knight
Doubt
Milk
Rachel Getting Married
Vicky Christina Barcelona

Best Actress
Anne Hathaway
Sally Hawkins
Melissa Leo
Meryl Streep
Michelle Willams

Best Actor
Clint Eastwood
Richard Jenkins
Frank Langella
Sean Penn
Mickey Rourke

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz
Viola Davis
Rosemarie DeWitt
Taraji P. Henson
Deborah Winger

Best Supporting Actor
Josh Brolin
Robert Downey, Jr.
James Franco
Heath Ledger
Brandon Walters

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Can Michelle Do It?

Ok, I know I am probably one of the only people who is thinking it could happen, but it is that far fetched? Michelle Williams has been getting across the board raves for her understated performance in ‘Wendy and Lucy’. Of course when it comes to understated performances, Oscar usually doesn’t take notice (they like screaming crying women – so I guess Jolie is in), but with all the buzz surrounding Heath Ledger could there be a sway of sympathy towards giving Williams a nomination? Last time either of them was nominated it was in the same year for ‘Brokeback Mountain’.

With Steep and seemingly Hathaway and Hawkins almost locks could it not be possible that Jolie, Scott Thomas, Leo and Winslet could all lose votes to Williams?
Jolie has her loud detractors (although that did not hurt Blanchett last year for ‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’ – or as I like to call it, ‘Elizabeth: The Movie in which Samantha Morton is the only one to walk away with any Dignity’).
Winslet could cancel herself out completely, Scott Thomas seems to have drifted out of minds a bit (and also has her detractors) and Leo is in a small film as well, and Williams is younger and much higher profile.

Am I crazy?

Precursors, by the numbers...thus far


So every year, when the various awards bodies and the critics and the top ten lists get announced, I get my little XL spreadsheet tracking thing and tally up the numbers just to see who is leading in the race. It is all very mathematical, with wins from certain precursors counting as higher than others, and noms from some counting as higher. Than others as well. Plus the top tem list add a completely different dimension.

So in the main 6 categories here are the top five….and yes there are a lot of ties…..it happens in maths! Ask Barbara Streisand.

Best Picture

1 – Slumdog Millionaire
2 – WALL-E
3 - The Dark Knight
4 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
5 – Milk

(Frost/Nixon, The Wrestler, Happy-Go-Lucky, Doubt, ad Rachel Getting Married round out the top 10 in that order)

Could this be the final 5? Could very well be…. Keeping optimistic about WALL-E’s chances

Best Director

1 – Danny Boyle (way out ahead)
2 – Gus Van Sant
3 – Christopher Nolan
4 – David Fincher
5 – Ron Howard

(Stephen Daldry, Andrew Stanton, Jonathan Demme, Mike Leigh and Sam Mendes round out the top 10)

Can Stanton get in (How cool would it be?)

Best Actress

1 – Sally Hawkins
2 – Anne Hathaway (coming in for the kill)
3 – Meryl Streep
4 – Kate Winslet (Revolutionary Road)
5 – Angelina Jolie

(Melissa Leo, Kate Winslet (The Reader), Kristen Scott Thomas, Cate Blanchett and Michelle Williams round out the top 10)

Is this Kates year? Sally’s? Anne? Or will Meryl finally win her 3rd?


Best Actor

1 - Sean Penn
2 - Mickey Rourke
3 – Richard Jenkins
4 – Frank Langella
5 – Clint Eastwood

(Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, Dustin Hoffman, and Josh Brolin (W) round out the top 10)

Give or take Leo this looks like the final 5 to me. I think it will be either Richard or Leo who face the axe.

Best Supporting Actress

1 – Penelope Cruz
2 – Viola Davis
3 – Marisa Tomei
tie
3 – Rosemarie DeWitt
5 – Kate Winslet (The Reader
tie
5 – Amy Adams (Doubt)
tie
5 – Taraji P. Henson

I think these are the seven players in the game, unless Winger makes a surprise.

Best Supporting Actor

1 – Heath Ledger
2 – Robert Downey, Jr.
3 – Josh Brolin
4 – Philip Seymour Hoffman
5 – Dev Patel
tie
5 – Michael Shannon
tie
5 – Eddie Marsden

Perhaps there will be upsets from James Franco, Ralph Feinnes or Bill Irwin

Best Original Screenplay

1 – Milk
2 – Rachel Getting Married
3 – The Visitor
4 – Synecdoche, New York
5 – Gran Torino
tie
5 – In Bruges

Also in serious contention is WALL-E and Happy-Go-Lucky.

Best Adapted Screenplay

1 – Slumdog Millionaire
2 – Frost/Nixon
3 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
4 – Doubt
5 – The Reader
tie
5 – The Dark Knight

These are really the major players in this category. Perhaps a last minute surge for Revolutionary Road can change things.

'X-Men Origins: Wolverine' Trailer


Well I am just so excited about this you have no idea. This does look like it is going to be really really good, I mean it isn't often a movie trailer makes me clap my hands and leave me with my mouth hanging open.

Everything looks perfect. Gambit....fantastic! Blob...how cool, and Leiv as Sabertooth is just brilliant casting.

Don't you think? I have no other words other than 'Hugh Jackman is bloody fit'.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

She's so Unusual


Cyndi Lauper is a treasure.

When she came out with her latest album 'Bring Ya To The Brink' some people got excited and proclaimed it her big comeback. It didn't happen, mainly because why would radio play Cyndi Lauper, even Madonna struggles getting airplay.

This is a shame because this album is everything 'Hard Candy' should have been. The track 'Lay Me Down' is one of the best club tracks I have heard in ages and it is such a shame this album has not warrented huge club play, because it could keep me dancing forever.



An empty street, a quiet smile
Without steady feet
You know the reckless kind
Keep coming, coming back
To the same old place
With that wild eyed stare
Up in your face

Lay me down, let me down
In a big old town
Lay me down, let me down
In a big old town

He must have lost his soul
When he found the rent
He wrestles with control
Still hasn't pinned it yet
Once in, once in a while
Loose that cigarette
There's always some strange smile
Underneath his breath

Lay me down, let me down...

... passion's fist against a wall
The crush of a kiss, the rise and fall
Take me there, take me there
To that wounded sound
It's just love's despair
Gone and hit the ground

Lay me down,, let me down
In a big old town... in a big old town...

Elbow

You know that dream where you are flying? Not superman flying, but doing a series of really long graceful jump. You kick off and glide through the sky for ages then slowly sink back down to the surface, and then you kick off again. Well this song by Elbow called funnily enough 'Weather to Fly' captures that feeling exactly.

This English alternative rock band uses innovative sound and front-man Guy Garvey's candid, evocative lyrics capture lifes moments in pure eye watering cinematic glory.

Listen



Are we having the time of our life?
Are we having the time of our lives?
Are we coming across clear?
Are we coming across fine?
Are we part of the plan here?
Are we having the time of our lives?
Are we coming across clear?
Are we coming across fine?
Are we having the time of our lives?
Are we part of the plan here?

We have the driver and time on our hands
One little room and the biggest of plans.
The days were shaping up,
Frosty and bright.
Perfect weather to fly.

Perfect weather to fly.

Pounding the streets where my fathers feet still
Ring from the walls,
we'd sing in the doorways,
or bicker and row
Just figuring how we were wired inside
Perfect weather to fly.

So in looking to stray from the line
we decided instead
we should pull out the thread that was
stitching us into this tapestry vile,
And why wouldn't you try?
Perfect weather to fly.

We have the driver and time on our hands
One little room and the biggest of plans.
The days were shaping up,
Frosty and bright.
Perfect weather to fly.

Perfect weather to fly.

Pounding the streets where my fathers feet still
Ring from the walls,
we'd sing in the doorways,
or bicker and row
Just figuring how we were wired inside
Perfect weather to fly.

So in looking to stray from the line
we decided instead
we should pull out the thread that was
stitching us into this tapestry vile,
And why wouldn't you try?
Perfect weather to fly.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Mini Review – ‘Slumdog Millionaire’

Not so much a review as a very brief summary.

What could have been a typical triumph over adversary movie is greatly helped by a non explanative direction, stunningly vibrant cinematography and a smart un-sappy screenplay.

This is the film that has been sweeping the precursor awards this season and currently looks like the picture to beat come Oscar time, and with good reason. IT is one of the most uplifting films to garner this much critical praise since, well, ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, but this is not a comedy.

Dev Patel makes an impressive (not necessarily 'Oscar' impressive) debut as the older hero, as is Anil Kapoor as the game show host, but it is the kids in the pic that really shine (and Iffran Khan - but doesn't he always)

This is the story of how love and honesty can drive you to do great things, no matter who you are.

For me, this film did not blow me away, but I can understand how the critics have gone gaga over this. In a year of dark dark film making, this is a beacon of hope and reminds us of all things good and pure while not shying away from life's seedy underbelly
Grade: B

Chicago Film Critics nominations

Have no real idea what to make of these, except these are much better that the Golden Globes. 'The Dark Knight', 'Doubt' and 'Slumdog Millionaire' are in the lead with 5 noms a piece, and 'WALL-E', 'Milk', 'Rachel Getting Married' and 'Benjamin Button' each have 4. Pretty damn cool I have to say!


BEST PICTURE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Milk
Slumdog Millionaire
WALL*E

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle–Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher–The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Christopher Nolan–The Dark Knight
Andrew Stanton–WALL*E
Gus Van Sant–Milk

BEST ACTOR
Clint Eastwood–Gran Torino
Richard Jenkins–The Visitor
Frank Langella–Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn–Milk
Mickey Rourke–The Wrestler

BEST ACTRESS
Anne Hathaway–Rachel Getting Married
Sally Hawkins–Happy-Go-Lucky
Angelina Jolie–Changeling
Melissa Leo–Frozen River
Meryl Streep–Doubt

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Downey Jr.–Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman–Doubt
Bill Irwin–Rachel Getting Married
Heath Ledger–The Dark Knight
Michael Shannon–Revolutionary Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams–Doubt
Penelope Cruz–Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis–Doubt
Rosemarie Dewitt–Rachel Getting Married
Kate Winslet–The Reader

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
In Bruges–Martin McDonagh
Milk–Dustin Lance Black
Rachel Getting Married–Jenny Lumet
Synecdoche, N.Y. –Charlie Kaufman
WALL*E–Andrew Stanton & Jim Reardon

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button–Eric Roth
The Dark Knight–Jonathan Nolan and Christopher Nolan
Doubt–John Patrick Shanley
Frost/Nixon–Peter Morgan
Slumdog Millionaire–Simon Beaufoy

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
The Band’s Visit
Che
A Christmas Tale
I’ve Loved You For So Long
Let the Right One In

BEST DOCUMENTARY
American Teen
Dear Zachary
IOUSA
Man On Wire
Standard Operating Procedure

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Bolt
Kung-Fu Panda
Tale of Desperaux
WALL*E
Waltz with Bashir

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Australia–Mandy Walker
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button–Claudio Miranda
The Dark Knight–Wally Pfister
The Fall–Colin Watkinson
Slumdog Millionaire–Anthony Dod Mantle

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button–Alexandre Desplat
The Dark Knight–Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard
Milk–Danny Elfman
Slumdog Millionaire–A.R. Rahman
WALL*E–Thomas Newman

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Russell Brand–Forgetting Sarah Marshall
David Kross–The Reader
Lina Leandersson–Let the Right One In
Dev Patel–Slumdog Millionaire
Brandon Walters–Australia

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Tomas Alfredson–Let the Right One In
Lance Hammer–Ballast
Courtney Hunt–Frozen River
Martin McDonagh–In Bruges
Steve McQueen–Hunger

New York Film Critics Online Awards

I have no idea how the online New York film critics differ from the NYFCA but here are their picks. Notice how 'Slumdog' is again leading (saw it last night...my thoughts later on). This film is dominating the awards race thus far. Once again Sally Hawkins dominates the critics awards. Who would have thought?


Picture: “Slumdog Millionaire”
Director: Danny Boyle w/ Loveleen Tandan - “Slumdog Millionaire”
Actor: Sean Penn - “Milk”
Actress: Sally Hawkins - “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger - “The Dark Knight”
Supporting Actress: Penelope Cruz - “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”
Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire - Anthony Dod Mantle
Screenplay: “Slumdog Millionaire” - Simon Beaufoy
Foreign Picture: “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days”
Documentary: “Man on Wire”
Animated Feature: “Wall-E”
Score: Slumdog Millionaire - “A.R. Rahman”
Breakout Performance: Sally Hawkins - “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Debut As Director: Martin McDonagh - “In Bruges”
Ensemble Performance: Milk”
10 Best Pictures (alphabetical):
“Che”
“A Christmas Tale”
“The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”
“The Dark Knight”
“Happy-Go-Lucky”
“Milk”
“Rachel Getting Married”
“Slumdog Millionaire”
“Wall-E”
“The Wrestler”

Boston Film Critics Announce winners.


Best Picture: WALL•E and Slumdog Millionaire (tie)
Best Actor: Sean Penn for Milk and Mickey Rourke for The Wrestler (tie)
Best Actress: Sally Hawkins for Happy-Go-Lucky
Best Supporting Actor: Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight
Best Supporting Actress: Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Best Director: Gus Van Sant for Milk and Paranoid Park
Best Screenplay: Dustin Lance Black for Milk
Best Cinematography: Christopher Doyle and Rain Kathy Li for Paranoid Park
Best Documentary: Man on Wire
Best Foreign-Language Film: Let the Right One In
Best Animated Film: WALL•E
Best Film Editing: Chris Dickens for Slumdog Millionaire
Best New Filmmaker: Martin McDonagh for In Bruges
Best Ensemble Cast: Tropic Thunder


I love how Boston have praised WALL-E and Milk, and once again given Hawkins a much deserved win!

American Film Institute announce top 10

And here they are. Interesting to see 'Wendy and Lucy' in the mix.

THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
THE DARK KNIGHT
FROST/NIXON
FROZEN RIVER
GRAN TORINO
IRON MAN
MILK
WALL*E
WENDY AND LUCY
THE WRESTLER

Friday, 12 December 2008

Gays Across the World Celebrate

Hugh Jackman is hosting the Oscars.


PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP, PLEASE LET TOWEL DROP,

Made my Friday

I am still laughing. These women deserve their own show I swear!

How I feel today


Work Christmas Party Wednesday night and still feeling rough!

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Golden Globe noms

Or how they totally f*cked things up.

1. BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
b. FROST/NIXON
c. THE READER
d. REVOLUTIONARY ROAD
e. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

The snub for 'Milk' and 'The Dark Knight' is inexcusable.

2. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. ANNE HATHAWAY - RACHEL GETTING MARRIED
b. ANGELINA JOLIE - CHANGELING
c. MERYL STREEP - DOUBT
d. KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS - I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG
e. KATE WINSLET - REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

Meh - Be nice to see someone other than the predictable Jolie show up here - like Melissa Leo

3. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

a. LEONARDO DICAPRIO - REVOLUTIONARY ROAD
b. FRANK LANGELLA - FROST/NIXON
c. SEAN PENN - MILK
d. BRAD PITT - THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
e. MICKEY ROURKE - THE WRESTLER

Sad for Richard Jenkins, but this looks like the line up.

4. BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. BURN AFTER READING
b. HAPPY-GO-LUCKY
c. IN BRUGES
d. MAMMA MIA!
e. VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA

I hope this is 'Happy-Go-Lucky's.

5. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. REBECCA HALL - VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
b. SALLY HAWKINS - HAPPY-GO-LUCKY
c. FRANCES MCDORMAND - BURN AFTER READING
d. MERYL STREEP - MAMMA MIA!
e. EMMA THOMPSON - LAST CHANCE HARVEY

Great to see Hall here. Was still hoping for some Anna Faris love

6. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL

a. JAVIER BARDEM - VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
b. COLIN FARRELL - IN BRUGES
c. JAMES FRANCO - PINEAPPLE EXPRESS
d. BRENDAN GLEESON - IN BRUGES
e. DUSTIN HOFFMAN - LAST CHANCE HARVEY

Very respectable

7. BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

a. BOLT
b. KUNG FU PANDA
c. WALL-E

Meh

8. BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

a. THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX (GERMANY)
b. EVERLASTING MOMENTS (SWEDEN/DENMARK)
c. GOMORRAH (ITALY)
d. I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG (FRANCE)
e. WALTZ WITH BASHIR (ISRAEL)

Shocked by the omission of 'The Class'

9. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

a. AMY ADAMS - DOUBT
b. PENELOPE CRUZ - VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
c. VIOLA DAVIS - DOUBT
d. MARISA TOMEI - THE WRESTLER
e. KATE WINSLET - THE READER

No real complaints here. Would have been nice to see Henson here though.

10. BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE

a. TOM CRUISE - TROPIC THUNDER
b. ROBERT DOWNEY JR. - TROPIC THUNDER
c. RALPH FIENNES - THE DUCHESS
d. PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN - DOUBT
e. HEATH LEDGER - THE DARK KNIGHT

Totally bizarre and random. No love for 'Milk'....bastard star f*ckers.

11. BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

a. DANNY BOYLE - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
b. STEPHEN DALDRY - THE READER
c. DAVID FINCHER - THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
d. RON HOWARD - FROST/NIXON
e. SAM MENDES - REVOLUTIONARY ROAD

'Rev Road' makes an appearance. They completely f*cked over Gus Van Sant and Christopher Nolan.

12. BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

a. SIMON BEAUFOY - SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
b. DAVID HARE - THE READER
c. PETER MORGAN - FROST/NIXON
d. ERIC ROTH - THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
e. JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY - DOUBT

Lordy lordy lordy.

13. BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

a. ALEXANDRE DESPLAT THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
b. CLINT EASTWOOD CHANGELING
c. JAMES NEWTON HOWARD DEFIANCE
d. A. R. RAHMAN SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE
e. HANS ZIMMER FROST/NIXON

No 'WALL-E' no 'Dark Knight' BASTARDS.

14. BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE

a. “DOWN TO EARTH” — WALL-E
b. “GRAN TORINO” — GRAN TORINO
c. “I THOUGHT I LOST YOU” — BOLT
d. “ONCE IN A LIFETIME” — CADILLAC RECORDS
e. “THE WRESTLER” — THE WRESTLER

Whatever.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

New York Film Critic Awards


Best Picture - Milk
Best Director - Mike Leigh (Happy-Go-Lucky)
Best Actor - Sean Penn (Milk)
Best Actress - Sally Hawkins (Happy-Go-Lucky)
Best Supporting Actor - Josh Brolin (Milk)
Best Supporting Actress - Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Best Screenplay - Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married)
Best Cinematographer - Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Best Foreign Film - 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days
Best Animated Film - WALL-E
Best First Film - Courtney Hunt (Frozen River)
Best Documentary - Man on Wire

Go Sally and Mike!!

'Terminator: Salvation' Trailer

New York Film Critic Predictions


Lets see how I do with these shots in the dark.

Best Picture: They have liked Mike Leigh films before so I am thinking ‘Happy Go Lucky’ will be high on their list. Or will they go Epic Blockbuster and reward ‘The Dark Knight’. Perhaps they will listen to the pulse of the nation and allow ‘Slumdog’ or ‘Milk’ in.

I predict: ‘The Dark Knight’ alt ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’

Best Director: They seem to go for Directors that have been able to handle what could have been a very difficult story, and making it seen easy. Does Danny Boyle win this? Perhaps David Fincher will impress them with the challenge he faced? Will the return to form of Jonathan Demme impress them? I think it may be between two ‘genre’ films that broke out of their respective boxes and became something else.

I predict. Christopher Nolan – ‘The Dark Knight’ alt ‘Jonathan Demme – Rachel Getting Married’

Best Actor: I am thinking this is mainly between Richard Jenkins and Mickey Rourke, with a possible upset from Clint Eastwood. They like the performance to be epic (Daniel Day Lewis) and also very very quiet (Heath Ledger).

I predict: Mickey Rourke – ‘The Wrestler’ alt Richard Jenkins – ‘The Visitor’

Best Actress: They seem to like a quiet emotional performance. A performance that leaves it’s mark and makes you think that no-one else could play it.

I predict: Sally Hawkins – ‘Happy Go Lucky’ alt Michelle Williams – ‘Wendy and Lucy’

Ugh…getting tired of typing…hung over. I am just going to shorten things now.

Best Supporting Actor: They like a comedy and they like a villain

I predict. Heath Ledger – ‘The Dark Knight’ alt Robert Downey, Jr. – ‘Tropic Thunder’

Best Supporting Actress: They LOVE an underdog in this category. Good actresses giving great performances.

I predict. Viola Davis – ‘Doubt’ alt Rosemarie DeWitt – ‘Rachel Getting Married’

Best Screenplay: Smaller films about family and friends do well here, and well as unusual stories

I predict. ‘Rachel Getting Married’ alt ‘Happy Go Lucky’

What do you think???

LAFCA loves WALL-E, Batman, and SALLY


AWESOME - I feel you Sally

Picture: “Wall-E”
Runner-up: “The Dark Knight”

Director: Danny Boyle, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Runner-up: Christopher Nolan, “The Dark Knight”

Actor:
Sean Penn, “Milk”
Runner-up: Mickey Rourke, “The Wrestler”

Actress: Sally Hawkins, “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Runner-up: Melissa Leo, “Frozen River”

Supporting actor: Heath Ledger, “The Dark Knight”
Runner-up: Eddie Marsan, “Happy-Go-Lucky”

Supporting actress: Penelope Cruz, “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” and “Elegy”
Runner-up: Viola Davis, “Doubt”

Screenplay:
Mike Leigh, “Happy-Go-Lucky”
Runner-up: Charlie Kaufman, “Synecdoche, New York”

Foreign-language film: “Still Life”
Runner-up: “The Class”

Documentary: “Man on Wire”
Runner-up: “Waltz With Bashir”

Animation:
“Waltz With Bashir”

Cinematography: Yu Lik Wai, “Still Life”
Runner-up: Anthony Dod Mantle, “Slumdog Millionaire”

Production design: Mark Friedberg, “Synecdoche, New York”
Runner-up: Nathan Crowley, “The Dark Knight”

Music/score: A.R. Rahman, “Slumdog Millionaire”
Runner-up: Alexandre Desplat, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”

New Generation: Steve McQueen, “Hunger”

Douglas E. Edwards independent/experimental film/video: James Benning, “RR” and “Casting a Glance”

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

BFCA Announce!!


BEST PICTURE
Changeling
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Doubt
Frost/Nixon
Milk
The Reader
Slumdog Millionaire
Wall-E
The Wrestler

BEST ACTOR
Clint Eastwood - Gran Torino
Richard Jenkins - The Visitor
Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon
Sean Penn - Milk
Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler

BEST ACTRESS
Kate Beckinsale - Nothing But the Truth
Cate Blanchett - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Anne Hathaway - Rachel Getting Married
Angelina Jolie - Changeling
Melissa Leo - Frozen River
Meryl Streep - Doubt

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Josh Brolin - Milk
Robert Downey, Jr. - Tropic Thunder
Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt
Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
James Franco - Milk

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Viola Davis - Doubt
Vera Farmiga - Nothing But the Truth
Taraji P. Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
Kate Winslet - The Reader

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
The Dark Knight
Doubt
Milk
Rachel Getting Married

BEST DIRECTOR
Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon
Christopher Nolan - The Dark Knight
Gus Van Sant - Milk

BEST WRITER (Original or Adapted Screenplay)
Simon Beaufoy - Slumdog Millionaire
Dustin Lance Black - Milk
Peter Morgan - Frost/Nixon
Eric Roth - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
John Patrick Shanley - Doubt

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Bolt
Kung Fu Panda
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
Wall-E
Waltz With Bashir

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS (Under 21)
Dakota Fanning - The Secret Life of Bees
David Kross - The Reader
Dev Petal - Slumdog Millionaire
Brandon Walters - Australia

BEST ACTION MOVIE
The Dark Knight
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Iron Man
Quantum of Solace
Wanted

BEST COMEDY MOVIE
Burn After Reading
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Role Models
Tropic Thunder
Vicky Cristina Barcelona

BEST PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
John Adams
Recount
Coco Chanel

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
A Christmas Tale
Gomorrah
I’ve Loved You So Long
Let the Right One In
Mongol
Waltz With Bashir

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
I.O.U.S.A.
Man On Wire
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired
Standard Operating Procedure
Young At Heart

BEST SONG
“Another Way to Die” (performed by Jack White and Alicia Keys, written by Jack White) - Quantum of Solace
“Down to Earth” (performed by Peter Gabriel, written by Peter Gabriel and Thomas Newman) - Wall-E
“I Thought I Lost You” (performed Miley Cyrus and John Travolta, written by Miley Cyrus and Jeffrey Steele) - Bolt
“Jaiho” (performed by Sukhwinder Singh, written by A.R. Rahman and Gulzar) - Slumdog Millionaire
“The Wrestler” (performed by Bruce Springsteen, written by Bruce Springsteen) - The Wrestler

BEST COMPOSER
Alexandre Desp lat - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Clint Eastwood - Changeling
Danny Elfman - Milk
Hans Zimmer/James Newton Howard - The Dark Knight
A.R. Rahman - Slumdog Millionaire


What is the most interesting is the snub of 'Revolutionary Road'. Shut out completely. Leo, Kate and Michael all snub snubby snub snubbed. Also snubbed was poor Kristen Scott Thomas. Saddest snub for me though was for Sally Hawkins. If one performance has been heralded this year, out of all lead actresses it is her and Melissa Leo.

Also interesting is the strong showing of 'Changeling' considering many people wrote it off (even managed a score nod).

Also 'Nothing But The Truth' managed noms for Lead Actress (Kate Beckinsale) and Supporting Actress (Vera Farminga). Can they make it through in the end?

'Milk' and 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' each got 6 nods, and 'The Dark Knight', 'Slumdog Millionaire' and 'Doubt' each got 6. Is that our Best Pic line up?

Important Week Ahead!

Not only do we have the BFCA (Broadcast FIlm Critics) and the LAFCA (L.A. Film Critics Association) announcing today, but later in the week we hear from the HFPA (Golden Globes).

How will all this play out? We know the Globes are star f*ckers for one thing, so expect bigger names over smaller (better) actors. But how will the other two go? Will it be more 'Slumdog' love, or will they mix it up a little and reward other films such as 'The Wrestler', 'Milk' or something out of left field?

We will wait and see.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Washington Critics Sound in.


And it is all about 'Slumdog Millionaire'. This film is slowly looking stronger and stronger in this exciting awards hoopla.

Here are the winners.

Best Film:
Slumdog Millionaire

Best Director:
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Actor:
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)

Best Actress:
Meryl Streep (Doubt)

Best Ensemble:
Doubt/Miramax

Best Supporting Actor:
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

Best Supporting Actress:
Rosemarie DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married)

Best Breakthrough Performance:
Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Simon Beaufoy (Slumdog Millionaire)

Best Original Screenplay:
Jenny Lumet (Rachel Getting Married)

Best Animated Feature:
Wall∙E

Best Foreign Language Film:
Let The Right One In

Best Documentary:
Man On Wire

Best Art Direction:
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

This most exciting this is the appearance of 'genre' films this year. 'The Dark Knight' and 'Let The Right One In' are making all sorts of appearances which is a great thing to see. Perhaps this means people are slowly looking past genre and looking at actual quality.

Am I the only one thinking that Dev Patel is going to make the final 5? (makes him sound like a Cylon)

Saturday, 6 December 2008

What's That Under My Radar?

So there are some serious contenders out there, and then there are those contenders who are on the fringe. They may have gotten a few citations here and there, but no one thinks too highly of their Oscar chances.

Out of these lot, who stands the best chance?

"What Doesn't Kill You" trailer

Ahhh so this is the Mark Ruffalo pic that the Satellite Awards went gaga over. Interesting. It seems that indeed Mr. Ruffalo is very good in this, perhaps Oscar good, but that is still not going to get him a nomination. Sometimes, when an actor makes it look to easy (ala Toni Collette) awards bodies do not notice.