a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Archive for the ‘Swedish’ Category

Oscar Chances of Casey Affleck,”Manchester by the Sea” Boosted by Early Critics Awards

Well, the first critics awards of the season have come rollin’ in, and the Big Winner so far is Casey Affleck, who has just racked up Best Actor from the Gotham Awards and the National Board of Review. Right behind him is his beautiful film “Manchester by the Sea” and I couldn’t be happier or prouder of this fierce little Indie’s overcoming all the studio behemoths to reap these much-deserved rewards.

“Manchester by the Sea” also was just named Best Picture of the Year by the National Board of Review. It landed in its’ top Ten Films and Lucas Hedges as Affleck’s truculent but funny nephew got Best Breakthrough Performer also for “Manchester.”manchester-by-the-sea-5

It’s such a good film. And its’ filmmaker, playwright/director Kenneth Lonergan is one of the best talents we have working today. “Manchester” is a film that grows in the memory. It lasts. It stays with you, as all great films do. It’s a comedy that contains its’ characters going from one funeral after the other.

To reveal more of the plot is to spoil it, so I’ll stop here and say that Casey Affleck’s performance of the grief-stricken Boston janitor certainly deserves these accolades and I’m sure he’s got more on the way. No more “Ben’s little Brother” fleck really comes into his own in “Manchester.”Such a searing portrait of grief, I don’t think we’ve ever seen on the screen quite so indelibly.

Also gaining some surprising and much needed traction from these early awards is “Moonlight”s Naomie Harris, who I’ve been mentioning over and over in previous Oscar blogs as the crack addicted mother of the central character.

naomie-harris-1

Also rollin’ in to the National Board of Review is Jeff Bridges’ nominated for his crusty, West Texas retiree lawmaker in “Hell or Highwater” for Best Supporting Actor. hell-or-high-water-5The Independent Spirits nominated Ben Foster also from “Hell” in this same slot, but not Bridges. And as previously stated the entire ensemble of “Moonlight”s actors received a special award for excellence at the Gothams.

“Moonlight” was also the Big Winner at the Gothams last night with four awards. It’s Out Gay writer/director Barry Jenkins scoring in both categories.

It’s also interesting to note that neither of the millennial actresses who are considered front-runners Emma Stone for “La La Land” and Natalie Portman for “Jackie” won in this busy past 24 hours. French actress Isabelle Huppert triumphed for “Elle” at the Gothams and six-time Oscar loser Amy Adams won the NBR Best Actress Award for “Arrival.” Could this FINALLY be her year?arrival-1

For a list of all Gotham Award Winners and the National Board of Review’s, too, go to http://www.awardsdaily.com.

#Casey Affleck

#Oscars

#Manchester by the Sea

#Lucas Hedges

#Naomie Harris

 

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Oscar Winner “Danish Girl” now on DVD & It’s Glorious!

The Danish Girl 1My Number One Film of the Year “The Danish Girl” is now out on  DVD & Blu-Ray and it’s glorious! Its’ sumptuous, heart-breaking love story maintains all its’ lush simplicity on the small screen, making it even a more intimate yet stupendous experience as it relates the star-crossed story of two Danish painters Einar and Gerde Vegener in the 1920s in Copenhagen & Paris. Eddie Redmayne got an Oscar Nomination for Best Actor for playing Einar, who transitions into Lili Elbe, one of the first known transgendered male-to-females.

And I’m so happy that the luminous Swedish actress Alicia Vikander won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her tour-de-force as Gerde, his stalwart, beloved wife. Who encourages her husband to start cross-dressing as a lark, then begins to turn into something deadly serious, which confounds and confuses her as much as it does him.Alicia & Oscar 1

As Redmayne changes into Lili, every beat, every heart beat is beautifully rendered by director Tom Hooper, and matched in heartbreak, confusion and love by Vikander’s superb performance.

The story, in case you haven’t heard, has a tragic, heart-stopping ending. It’s no walk in the park. The pain and suffering of both leading characters’ true story has echoed down the ages. A transgendered tale such as this has never been translated into a major feature film and with such delicacy and respect. And with such magnificence and splendor by Production Designer Eve Stewart and costume designer Paco Delgado, who both also got Oscar nominations.Danish Girl Duo

Danny Cohen is the genius cinematographer, who captures all the various lights and colors of both early 20th century Copenhagen and the demimonde of Paris art salons with breathtaking accuracy. His camera just PUTS you there, and enthralls as vibrantly as the two leading players.

And I think it’s a crime that Hair and Make-Up Designer Jan Sewell did not get an Oscar Nomination for her transformative styling of Eddie Redmayne, turning him from a man into a woman, and all the stages in between with the utmost believability and subtlety. Sewell is also responsible for turning the dark-haired, olive-skinned Vikander into a pale Danish blonde.The Danish Girl 2

I also want to mention Ben Whishaw’s charmingly quiet and touching performance as Henrik,  the gay artist in Copenhagen, who is the first male to fall for Lili at an Artists’ Ball that serves as her coming out into public for her first nervous appearance as the shy country cousin of Einar’s.The Danish Girl 3

Whishaw and Redmayne’s first kiss, and indeed all their subsequent ones made the ground quake and the earth shake as they both don’t quite know what is happening between them. And of course, Vikander as Gerde sees this tryst. And her character goes through as many transitions and changes as Redmayne’s Lili, as she tries to understand and adjust to this cataclysmic situation the husband she loves has put himself, and HER into.Alicia 8

“The Danish Girl” moved me beyond tears as it did when I first saw it in Toronto. I’m so glad the Academy embraced Alicia Vikander and made her a star. And if Eddie Redmayne hadn’t won the Oscar last year for “The Theory of Everything,” he would have certainly won Best Actor for his beautiful “Danish Girl.”Alicia Oscar 1

 

Just What Is Embroidered on Alicia’s Oscar Dress?

Alicia Oscar 1Alicia's Oscar DressAlicia & Oscar 1I love this yellow princess dress with the puffed waist that Alicia Vikander won her Oscar in for “The Danish Girl,” but just WHAT are the silver designs embroidered into it? They seem  to shimmer like diamonds? Are they? Or is it just bright silver thread?

And WHAT are those intriguing patterns? Leaves? sheaves of wheat? Leaves of grass? Palm leaves? Symbols of peace? I guess we’ll never know. It’s Louis Vuitton, so perhaps somebody out there, dear readers, dear cineastes, might know what it is? Or it’s supposed to be?

Some Swedish symbol? Palm fronds, anticipating Easter? It’s mysterious and only adds to Alicia’s allure.

Any guesses?

 

It’s Moments Like This….

Alicia & Oscar 1

It’s moments like these that make it all worth it…

Above, Alicia Vikander who just won Best Supporting Actress for “The Danish Girl” Not necessarily a sure bet. And below the COMPLETELY unexpected win by most, (but not me, I PREDICTED it!) Mark Rylance winning Best Supporting Actor for “Bridge of Spies.” And then “Spotlight” winning Best Picture! Sublime justice!

Mark Rylance & Oscar 1

“Spotlight” wins Best Picture! I predicted this! AND Mark Rylance!

Finally! Best Director is announced by J.J. Abrams, director of “Star Wars” ~ Alejandro G. Inarritu! Who also won the DGA, the Director’s Guild Award. He’s making history again. He won these awards LAST year. Only two other directors have won two-in-a-row. This is for “The Revenant.” So it’s not a sweep. It’s only won one other award, Best cinematography.  This $64,000 question, as they used to say back in the day, is whether “The Revenant” which will win Best Actor for Leo in a few minutes, is whether or not Brie Larson 4will win four with Best Picture.

And of COURSE, Brie Larson won Best Actress! As she has won everything else and deservedly so. She starts off with “Oh Wow!” and then then thanks the Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals!!!!!!!!!!!Unheard of! “For giving us such a great platform to start our film.”!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And yup, Leonardo Di Caprio just won his first Oscar. He gave a rather wonderful speech…”I do not take this for granted.”He got a standing ovation, too.

And FINALLY “Spotlight” wins BEST PICTURE!!!!!!!!!!!! Just as I predicted! It’s over! The Good Guys won!Spotlight 6

“Son of Saul” Wins Best Foreign Film!Lady Gaga Stops the Show with Standing O!

Son od SaulSon of Saul 3“Son of Saul” the Halocaust masterpiece, wins Best Foreign Film! Filmmaker Laszlo Nemes gave a nice short speech, thanking Geza Rohrig, his leading actor. I knew it was going to win since I saw it at its’ first screening at TIFF. This is why I keep going to Toronto.

Vice-President Joe Biden now enters, quite unexpectedly, and gets a standing ovation and jokes “I’m the least qualified person here.” He then introduces Lady Gaga,Lady Gaga 2

who stops the show with a Standing Ovation, for “(You Don’t Know How I Feel_ Until It Happens to You,” Best Song Nominee, which she co-wrote from “The Hunting Ground” a powerful doc about rape, and surviving it. In white, at a white piano, she moved me to tears and the audience to its’ feet! WOW! My interest in this show is growing exponentially, after all those boring tech awards.

It’s 11:19 and they still haven’t given out the BIG awards of the night!Dream in Gold 1

Mark Rylance Wins Best Supporting Actor! As I predicted!!

Army of OscarsPatricia Arquette who seems drunk, or something, is announcing Best Supporting Actor. She Mark Rylance & Tonymispronounced “Rocky Balboa.” And the Oscar goes to…MARK RYLANCE!!! I knew It! I knew it! I knew it!

Maybe that was why Patricia Arquette was stumbling so  badly in her announcement speech. She knew it WASN’T going to be Rocky Balboa!

And I predicted this! And nobody else did! CONGRATULATIONS, MARK! Check my last few predictive posts. I knew people were voting for him! The Academy really got this one right! Wow! A victory for class, taste, and brilliance, and Rylance gave an actual speech this time. Thanking Steven Spielberg very beautifully, who was giving him a one man standing ovation, IN THE AISLE!

Nobody else was standing! Maybe Patricia Arquette was just afraid of what was going to happen after she said the name Mark Rylance!

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