My Thoughts On The 82nd Oscar Telecast

March 8, 2010

Well, my predictions were pretty decent. If you look at the ones on this site, there’s a slight difference: I ended up going with The Hurt Locker for Best Original Screenplay. My computer has been down the past few days and didn’t think to change it. At my school every year they project the Oscars in the multi-purpose room, and have a contest for prizes. The people who can guess the most correct winners get the prize. I ended up with second place, correctly guessing 17/24 categories in total. The ones I missed:

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THE 82nd ACADEMY AWARDS – Nomination Reactions and First Official Award Predictions

February 5, 2010

So it’s taken me long enough, but they’re finally here! My official Oscar Predictions. They’re only in the major categories: Best Picture, Animated Picture, Director, Acting Awards and Writing Awards. I feel I have the knowledge and information to properly predict those. The other awards… Not so much. I could try, but frankly, I’m going to be lazy for the moment and just focus on the major ones. Maybe before the official Oscar telecast I’ll make predictions in other areas. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Remember, if you want to see these predictions later, just check out the page at the top labeled “The Oscars.” That will take you right there. Or just click here.

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The Top 10 Films 0f 2008 I Still Want/Need To See

December 6, 2008

I know I’ve been putting (what seems to me) like a lot of lists lately. But this one is a personal one. It’s the top 10 films of 2008 that I still want/need to see. They’re not in any particular order. I pretty much want to see one as much as another, so I just put them in alphabetical order.

The reasons for why Doubt is on the list are obvious, I think. Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour-Hoffman and Amy Adams. Streep and Seymour-Hoffman are, without a doubt, two of the best actors working today. Bring in Amy Adams, someone who’s bound for great things and one has to wonder: how can this combination go wrong? The fact that the film is written and directed by John Patrick Shanley, based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name only makes things more exciting.

Already being touted as a huge Best Picture contender for the Oscars, it seems doubtful that it won’t receive a number of Oscar Nominations. Ron Howard’s directing is being touted as his best, which considering some of his other films, is very high praise indeed. Of course, the acting here is the real key to why I want to see this film so badly. Although Michael Sheen’s turn as David Frost is receiving praise, it’s Frank Langella’s turn as Richard Nixon that’s being hailed as the performance of a lifetime. One of those, “he doesn’t so much imitate _____ as he does embody him” performances. I’d truly love to see it.

Frozen River
Earlier in the year, this small movie was released, and immediately, people were declaring that it was the beginning of Oscar season. Why? Melissa Leo’s performance. This is a movie I wanted to see when it was first released. It’s a film that I still want to see. The fact that my desire to see it is still pervading is enough. The fact that Leo’s performance is still being talked about can only mean one thing: Oscar.

I recently watched Mike Leigh’s film Vera Drake, which received huge praise and admiration. Of course, most of that praise was directly for Imelda Staunton, but Leigh’s directing was subtle, controlled and precise. I immediately wanted to see more of his work (and I know there’s other films of his I probably already should have seen). Of course, besides Mike Leigh behind the helm, it’s a surprise turn by Sally Hawkins that has me curious and excited to see this movie. I’ve heard such great things, including the possibility that she might sneak in a Best Actress nod come time for Oscar Nominations. For me, that seals the deal.

Gus Van Sant is back with something a little more mainstream that most of his recent outings. By “mainstream”, I mean in the sense of Good Will Hunting. From what I’ve heard, the entire cast here shines, but especially Sean Penn, who gives one of his best (if not his best) performance. Very possible. The trailer definitely makes it seem possible in my opinion. There’s so much Oscar buzz surrounding this that it’s impossible not to want to see it. Could it be Van Sant’s first Oscar? Quite possible.

Rachel Getting Married
How could I not want to see Jonathan Demme’s new film, which appears to be his best in years? How could I not want to see what appears to be Anne Hathaway’s best performance? After Brokeback Mountain, I had a feeling she might be doing some really good things in the future, and it appears as if that’s come to fruition. Definitely one I’ve wanted to see since I watched the trailer for it oh so long ago.

Revolutionary Road
Sam Mendes + Leonardo DiCaprio + Kate Winslet = Gold. How else can I describe it? It’s Sam Mendes’ first film since Jarhead back in 2005, and it reunites Kate and Leo for the first time since Titanic. On top of that, it’s supposed to be a very good film. Its trailer certainly suggests that to be true. Leonardo DiCaprio has become one of my favorite actors in recent years, so I look forward to practically everything with him. It’s impossible, given the circumstances, that I wouldn’t want to see this film.

Slumdog Millionaire
It’s hard to pinpoint why I want to see this film so badly. Besides the obvious, being Danny Boyle having directed it, it really comes down to word-of-mouth, reviews and Oscar buzz. It seems more than likely that it’ll be nominated for Best Picture, and probably come out with a few other nominations. It’s received universal acclaim from critics. It also wasn’t widely touted around, didn’t receive a lot of attention upon its release, but since, it’s just gotten a ton of talk and momentum. I want to see it.

Synecdoche, New York
Charlie Kaufman’s latest project. This time, it’s his directorial debut. If I wasn’t excited, I wouldn’t be the film junkie I am. It’s heightened by the fact that Philip Seymour-Hoffman is the leading man, and then even more so by the fact that it’s probably the most debated film of 2008. I’m curious as to why. I’ve heard its bizarre, confusing, an enigma. Really, I just want to know why.

The Wrestler
I’ve heard nothing but good things about this film. In fact, most of the things I’ve heard are wonderful. Darren Aronofsky is one of the most interesting directors working today. This film seems nothing like his previous films. Less visual. More grounded. I’m intrigued. The acting is supposed to be stupendous, especially by Mickey Rourke, who is being hailed as the “comeback kid” of 2008. Even better than Marisa Tomei is supposed to do a fantastic job, with Oscar buzz surrounding her performance as well. What’s most surprising is the praise going to Evan Rachel Wood here. Oscar contender? Possibly. I would love to see it and find out for myself.

Deep Vote Predicts The Oscars

November 24, 2008

Roger Ebert atests to meeting with an anonymous Hollywood insider in the Anime section of a small Blockbuster in an anonymous Midwestern city. He slyly codenames him, “Deep Vote” and claims that he can predict the Oscar nominations and/or wins. Ebert claims that last year, Deep Vote “batted 1000”. Pretty crazy. I guess we’ll have to wait and see whether he does so again this year. His predictions are as follows:

Best Picture
Slumdog Millionaire
Revolutionary Road
The Reader

(Extremely strong possibility of The Dark Knight, maybe The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, WALL-E and Synecdoche, New York)

Best Director
Jonathan Demme (Rachel Getting Married)
Ron Howard (Frost/Nixon)
David Fincher (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button)
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Gus Van Sant (Milk)

Best Actor
Frank Langella (Frost/Nixon)
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino)
(One of the following: Brad Pitt, Josh Brolin, Richard Jenkins, Ralph Fiennes)

Best Actress
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Kate Winslet (The Reader or Revolutionary Road)
Kristen Scott Thomas (I’ve Loved You So Long)
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Melissa Leo (Frozen River) — Predicted as winner.
(Maybe Sally Hawkins in Happy Go Lucky)

Best Supporting Actor
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight) — The other nominees don’t matter. Ledger will win hands down.

Best Supporting Actress
Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona)
Marisa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Rosemary DeWitt and/or Debra Winger (Rachel Getting Married)
Viola Davis (Doubt)
Sophie Okonedo (The Secret Life of Bees)

Now, I guess the question is, do I agree? I haven’t seen most of the films mentioned here. I probably won’t see some of them by the time The Oscars come around. I hope to see most of them, though, as I did last year. But my personal opinion? These guesses are as good as any, and for the most part, slightly along with conventional wisdom. There are a couple of points he makes that should be paid attention to, though.

He predicts that Heath Ledger will win the award for Best Supporting Actor, and his confidence is such that the other nominees aren’t of any importance in comparison.

He predicts Melissa Leo to win for Best Actress. A bold prediction, if I do say so myself. Frozen River got quite good reviews, it’s true. It’s possible… Perhaps I’m just more cautious, but I don’t know if I would make such a prediction myself.

Clint Eastwood might very well get a nomination for Gran Torino. I’ve seen the trailer for the film, and I must say, Deep Vote might well be on to something. Of all the nominations, I think this is the one to watch out for. I personally think Gran Torino is a film to look out for in general, especially given the lackluster response to Changeling, Eastwood’s other film this year.

In the end, though, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens with both the nominations and awards. Will Deep Vote be right? How accurate will he be? We’ll find out eventually.

You can read the original article on Roger Ebert’s website here.

Some Thoughts on The Wrestler

November 23, 2008

One of my favorite internet passtimes is to watch movie trailers. My favorite place to do that is’s movie trailers website. The HD-quality trailers make it a must for those that care about such things. (I prefer it if I have the ability to watch something in HD. But who wouldn’t?) The point of this is simply to offer some context to my finding the trailer to The Wrestler, Darren Aronofsky’s new film. If you haven’t seen it, I highly suggest watching it, either below, or if you prefer, watch it here in HD.

I knew nothing about this film. I have not been as up-to-date as I would like to be about upcoming films. But, as a result, I was pleasantly surprised to learn of a film that looks to be wonderful. And a wonderful turn for Mickey Rourke, who some think might be nominated for an Acting Oscar.

Rourke was, I think, denied a Supporting Actor nomination for his turn in Sin City. I think it would certainly be a good thing if he ended up getting nominated this time around. As David Ansen of Newsweek notes, “To say this is a great comeback for an actor whose talent was exceeded only by his self-destructiveness is obvious.”

Given the fact that The Wrestler currently holds a 100% with 17 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, it would not surprise me in the least if we do, in fact, see Rourke show up on the ballot come Oscar day.

A LOT To Talk About

November 23, 2008

Well, I guess I’m back. I really apologize for pretty much abandoning my work here. But I am back now. I’m going to try to write more reviews and write more articles on upcoming films, The Oscars, etc. This IS Oscar season, after all.

Ok, so… My reasons for not being here… Mainly, it had to do with my relocating to Missouri to work on Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign. Now that he’s been elected, I can return to other (non-politics-related) subjects, such as film.

I know I’ve been bad in keeping this place going. I hope to really get some cool things started here in the near future. There’s only about a month and a half left before all the films vying for Oscar glory have been released. December 31st is the deadline. After that, there will be a huge scramble to predict which films will be nominated for what. There’s still a bit of a scramble, but it’s harder to tell what will happen right now, since even some of the films we think will be big Oscar contenders end up getting horrible reviews and audience reception, and as a result, lose any hope they had of winning anything.

That happened with Changeling. Although many thought it was destined for Oscar glory as a result of it being a Clint Eastwood-directed drama starring Angelina Jolie in (what appeared to be) an intensely well-acted role, the critics seem to have thought otherwise once they actually got their eyes on it.

We’ll see what happens from here on out. I’ll be giving my (prelimiary) Oscar predictions soon and work from there.

Oscars – The Dark Knight to get pre-Oscar re-release

September 11, 2008

Reuters is reporting that Warner Bros. is planning a January re-release of The Dark Knight in a push to get it nominated and perhaps win some Oscars.

Warner Bros. domestic distribution president Dan Fellman acknowledged ongoing talks with Imax execs over the prospect of restoring the Christian Bale starrer to some giant-screen venues in January. It’s uncertain if “Dark Knight” also will reappear in conventional venues at that point.

Though apparently, the plans are not finalized, and a wide re-release in conventional theaters looks doubtful, as the film is getting released on DVD in December. But even if a limited Imax re-release is done, it could generate some good momentum for the film.

This is also more evidence that The Dark Knight has better chances of getting nominated that some might think. I doubt Warner Bros. make this kind of push if it didn’t believe it had merit.

For more information on The Dark Knight‘s chances, see my previous post on the subject.