a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Birdman’

Live-Blogging SAG(Screen Actors Guild) Awards tonite.

SAG 1The Screen Actors Guild Awards are tonight, and I’m going to be live-blogging them, dear readers, dear cineastes.  In NYC, they are on the TBS or TNT channels at 8pm EST. Check your local listings.

There should be MANY surprises tonight. We’ll see if the #Oscarssowhite controversy is going to impact the awards.

Black British Actor Idris Elba is the man of the hour tonight. He’s nominated for Best Supporting Actor on the film side for “Beasts of No Nation.” And on the TV side he’s nominated for “Luther”. He’s against Mark Rylance in both categories and I feel he is going to take home at least ONE “actor” as they call their awards. If “Beasts of No Nation” wins Best Ensemble, then Elba might be taking home three!

Mark Rylance 1
Rylance, a stage legend in Britain and multiple Tony winner on Broadway, is his main competition tonight for “Bridge of Spies” for Best Supporting Actor Film, and for “Wolf Hall” TV series.

Unfortunately, Elba was NOT nominated for an Oscar. (He’s a magnificent actor. He should have been.) None of this awful Oscarssowhite scandal would’ve happened if he had been nomminated. It’s rumored that he may be the first Black James Bond.

Here’s an interview I did with Idris a few years back at the Toronto Film Festival.

As for Best Picture Film, it’s back and forth and forth and back between “Spotlight” and late riser “The Big Short.” Which is what it was like last year with “Birdman” and “Boyhood.” Up til the last second. And then “Birdman” won by a beak at the Oscars. I still can’t believe that happened.

Me? I’d vote for “Spotlight” if I was a voting member of SAG. But I’m not, so we’ll see. Unlike the Academy, SAG voters DO have a sense of humor. So “The Big Short”s cutting edge wit would not be held against it tonight. We’ll see.

And if Leonardo wins Best Actor here tonight, he’ll win the Oscar, too. Ditto Brie Larson.

But if it’s Bryan Cranston for “Trumbo” LOOK OUT! All bets are off. And Leo could kiss his Oscar good-bye. At least for “The Revenant”Revenant 3

And I think Alicia Vikander will triumph here in Supporting Actress for “The Danish Girl.”Alicia 6

 

 

 

 

 

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Oscars, in Conclusion…

Oscars 2015It’s been a very long night. My hands have nearly fallen off from typing, or should I say Oscar Blogging? til all hours. It was more fun last year. And my friend, Eddie Redmayne, won. So it was all worth it.

In case you haven’t heard “Birdman” won Best Picture, which I didn’t predict, and it also won Best Director, which I DID predict…and “Boyhood” only won for Best Supporting Actress, Patricia Arquette.

For a complete list of winners go immediately to http://www.awardsdaily.com

I know Sasha was behind “Boyhood,” too, so even though she got to go to the Oscars themselves for the first time in her life tonight, I’m sure she’s very bummed about “Boyhood”s loss.

But Eddie won the miracle win. So yes, Virginia, there IS a Santa Claus, and sometimes things do turn out right. And quality and talent triumphs as it did tonight in the Best Actor category.

And “Grand Budapest Hotel” won FOUR awards, including Alexandre Desplat’s evocative musical score. I think that was as many as (blech) “Birdman” won.

But GOD, was this a lonnnnnng show? One of the longest ever.

And congratulations to Jeffrey Wells at htttp://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com.

He was all about “Birdman” from the minute he saw it at, I think it was Tellluride. He championed it and wrote about INCESSANTLY! It was driving his writing, like the percusssive score was driving “Birdman” the movie. And the character. I bet Jeff feels like HE won an Oscar himself tonight. But for a major Oscar blogger to go after a film and help and espouse it against all odds, initially, and for it to actually win is really, really an important thing for all us other bloggers. Makes them take our writing and our WORK much more seriously. Thank you for that, Jeff.

I wish I had liked “Birdman” more. It was about an actor, and I love actors. Everybody knows that. But I think this film demeaned actors and the theater. And I love the theater. Everybody knows that, too.

*sigh* Well, maybe I’ll see it again someday. But I doubt it.

My heart goes out to Richard Linklater “Boyhood”s visionary director. I can’t imagine how he feels tonight….and Sasha…

But as Scarlett O’Hara said “Tomorrow is another day.”

“Birdman” Wins Best Cinematography at Indies

Indie LogoAnd the Indie Awards keep coming! “Birdman” wins for Best Cinematography as it did also at the BAFTAS. Emmanuel “Chivo” Lubezski won the Oscar last year for his camera work on “Gravity.” And he’s nominated for an Oscar in this category Best Cinematography this year. So should I say tomorrow night?

If any other film wins in this category, that will be a sign that “Birdman” is in trouble later on in the night.

Justin Simien won Best First Screenplay for “Dear White People” which is nominated for no Oscars whatsoever. This was one of the Sundance hits from the past year that just kept on going and going. Remember “Boyhood” AND “Whiplash” BOTH debuted there a year ago last month.

“Ida” won Best International Film which is the Indies’ equivalent of Best Foreign Film. Looks VERY good for this Black and White Polish film to also repeat tomorrow night at the Oscars.

Is “Birdman” Surging or Is It Oscar Hooey?

Birdman 1Is “Birdman” really experiencing a last-minute surge or is it all just Oscar hooey? Put out mainly by the hugest “Birdman” supporter of all, Jeff Wells at http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com. If you read him, and I do, daily, he’s a terrific writer, even if I don’t agree with him half the time, you’d think it’s “Birdman,Birdman,Birdman” all the way. But I wonder…

He and the greatest, most obsessed Oscar prognosticator of  them all Tom O’Neil at http://www.goldderby.com  have a very interesting phone chat they’d turned into a pod-cast, and it’s worth listening to.

Especially when JW reluctantly agrees that it’s Eddie Redmayne for Best Actor and not Michael Keaton. TON feels it’s now “Birdman”s to lose. Both Oscarologists function from deep in the heart of Hollywood as presumably they are hearing more than I do here on the East Coast. But here, I hear, it’s still “Boyhood.”

Their podcast is very interesting to hear the dynamic between the two men. They both are very respectful of each other. Tom more so than with any one else he’s podcasted with. And Jeffrey is much more tentative, nicer, in person, as I know him to be. He’s been a guest on my show. And Tom I’ve met many times at Oscar parties here in NYC.

Jeff’s writings on Hwd are fierce, fiery, bracing blasts of vitriol. And they’re so well written, you find yourself just agreeing with him, even when you don’t, because of the power of his angry missives.

But Tom, especially, I thought was less secure in his predicting “Birdman.” I was surprised. He even admits as much in the conversation.  So it STILL could be “Boyhood” despite “Birdman”s winning the PGA, DGA and SAG. But it LOST the Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical to “Grand Budapest Hotel” and it lost the BAFTA to “Boyhood.” Stats not to be trifled with. And it didn’t get nominated for Best Film Editing, which it seems you HAVE to have to win.

It’s been “Boyhood” for so long, that people think that’s it’s won already. The voting for the Oscars of 2015 closes FINALLY tomorrow. This has seemed like a particularly long year.

Well, “Whiplash” opened at Sundance last year last January and so did “Boyhood.” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” opened right around NOW last year, too. So we’ve been living with these films for a LONG time. “Oscar Island” as Sasha Stone calls it.

Even SHE is thinking that’s it’s both “Birdman” for Best Picture and also it’s director Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu for Best Director. And that if that’s the case “Boyhood” just gets Best Supporting Actress, for Patricia Arquette.

I can’t wait til this whole things draws to a close. I can’t believe I’m saying that I’m tired of Oscar season. But this year I really am.

But I’ll be live-blogging it anyway. As far as I know. Stay tuned.

Final Oscar Predictions ~ A Week Away from The Big Day

Well, dear readers, dear cineastes,  it’s almost over. Last week I was really beginning to feel Oscar burn-out as opposed to Oscar fever. And really since TIFF, which was now nearly six months ago, we Oscarologists, or Oscar Ninnys as the late lamented David Carr called us, have been writing over and over again about the same small group of films.”Oscar Island,” Sasha Stone calls it. And it gets smaller and smaller and also more crowded every year, and it’s not because of Global Warming.

With the FINAL three guild societies weighing in over the week, Sound, Hair and Make-Up and the Writers Guild, I think, we have to pause and note that “The Grand Budapest Hotel” won in all three races. That really says something. I think that “Grand Budapest” is going to be, astonishingly, the film that wins the most Oscars next Sunday night. It’s not a blockbuster sci-fi film with a lot of explosions and special effects, but it’s going to sweep I think all the below-the-line categories.

The outstanding group of artists and artisans that idiosyncratic filmmaker Wes Anderson assembled to create this uber-charming town (really Goerlitz Germany) will all be following each other, one right after the other, to the Dolby podium, to accept their golden statuettes.Oscar & tiles Now as to my main predictions, I think it’s pretty clear that Julianne Moore, J.K. Simmons and Patricia Arquette are all locked down, signed sealed and delivered for the categories of Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Actress for respectively “Still Alice”, “Whiplash” and “Boyhood.”

I think Golden Boy Eddie Redmayne is going to get a l’il golden guy of his own for his extraordinary, heart-wrenching portrayal of Stephen Hawkings in “The Theory of Everything.”Theory 6The main, brain-teasing question is what is going to win Best Picture and Best Director, and this year has been so close and so crazy that I’m predicting a split between the two supposed front-runners “Boyhood” and “Birdman.” And that one will win Best Director and the other Best Picture.

True I didn’t really LOVE either film, but I think it’s going to be “Boyhood” for Best Picture, simply because as Sasha Stone says “The heart wants what it wants” and the Best Director award will go to Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu for “Birdman.”

One of the three Mexican directors known as the Three Amigos, Innaritu saw his fellow countryman Alphonse Cuaron win Best Director last year for “Gravity.”

I think it’s going to break down this way because the Academy has been so stung this year by accusations of racism for not nominating Ava DuVernay or David Oyelowo as Best Director and Best Actor for “Selma.” So by giving the Best Director award to ANOTHER minority director, Innaritu, who is Hispanic, that particular accusation can be quelled. Somewhat.

But Oscar always brings a surprise or two along. Although this year has been so over-analyzed and yes, even over-covered, that will probably be nothing new to us Oscar Ninnys that follow all this. Except that. Except that. “Grand Budapest Hotel” which has been quietly picking up award after award in the third place position (it also just won Best Screenplay at the BAFTAs, and Best Original Screenplay last night at the WGA) could surprise and cancel out the two battling competitors. It’s true. It could happen.

Tilda GrandOscar I love it when you surprise!

“Boyhood” Wins Best Picture at BAFTA! Julianne Moore Wins Best Actress!

Linklater 1It’s all over! The BAFTAS, I mean. And “Boyhood” pulled out a much-needed victory for Best Picture as well as noted earlier, Best Director for Richard Linklater and Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette.

Julianne Moore won Best Actress, as she has won all Awards season-long for “Still Alice” an immaculate, moving performance as a brilliant Columbia University prof who is experiencing early on-set Alzhemeimers disease.

“The Theory of Everything” tied with “Boyhood” for number of wins. Three. Best Actor, Eddie Redmayne, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best British Film, as noted earlier.

And the most wins was “The Grand Budapest Hotel” with five. Including Best Screenplay, Best Costumes, Best Production Design, Best Score and Best Hair and Make-Up.

“Birdman” which won big last night at the DGA Awards(Directors Guild) only got one, Best Cinematography, which is kind of shocking, but not to me. I thought “Birdman” was going to turn out to be this year’s “American Hustle.” And it certainly suddenly looks that way. At least at the BAFTAs.

This is the last big awards before the actual Oscars themselves on Feb.22. Can’t wait!

 

Eddie Redmayne Wins Best Actor BAFTA! Richard Linklater Wins Best Director!

Theory 1So it happened. It was inevitable. The wonderful, powerful actor Eddie Redmayne has just won the Best Actor Award at BAFTA for “The Theory of Everything.” He’s won the Golden Globe, the SAG award and now this. There’s nothing stopping him now on his road to Oscar in only two weeks!

Richard Linklater also just won Best Director for “Boyhood.” After “Birdman”s DGA win last night for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, it looked like everything was shifting “Birdman”s way after the SAG Ensemble and PGA wins. Guess not.And I have to ad, Richard Linklater is one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met in this business. Who’s a director/writer I mean. I’ve met plenty o’ wonderful actors. Like Eddie!

It’s definitely a two horse race. Only Best Actress and Best Picture left to be announced!

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