a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘Boyhood’

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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Lupita Nyong’o Presents Best Supp. Actor to J.K.Simmons

Lupita Oscars 15The lovely Lupita Nyong’o, last year’s winner for Best Supporting Actress, just presented Best Supporting Actor to J.K.Simmons, who won of course, as all and sundry predicted for the much-loved “Whiplash.”

Lupita looks more classier and majestic than ever in a white-gown that seemed to be made up entirely of pearls! She looked like a huge necklace. A subtle shout-out through-the-ages to the late Josephine Baker. Hmmm? I wonder if Lupita might play that role in a film someday.

The always start off the show with Best Supporting Actor, and it starts it off with a bang. Of course, the wonderful Neil Patrick Harris knocked it out of the ball-park, too, with his salute to “Hollywood’s best and the WHITEST!”

The Eva Duvernay and David Oyelowo snubs have turned into one of the biggest events of Oscars 2015. Possibly, because the rest of The Race seemed soooo predictable. Although, they’ve rumored “surprises.” One hopes so, as I’ve said.

But isn’t everyone getting a little sick of J.K.Simmons at this point? But then he totally redeemed himself with a very touching tribute to his wife and his children. And to parents every where.

He told everyone to call their mother or father, “if they are still on this planet.” Mine aren’t. I ended up being very moved. I could see Lupita, in a side shot, was crying.

Motherhood, fatherhood, parents, children. Is this going to be the theme of the night? Is J.K. trying to tell us something? Well, clearly he is. I mean about the Best Picture winner tonight…?

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!

“Grand Budapest”, “Boyhood” Win A.C.E.Eddies. “Birdman”s momentum stopped

Gustav H. & ZeroThis is certainly the bumpiest road to Oscar I have ever seen. The Race has taken ANOTHER severe, right-angle turn, with “Boyhood” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” winning the A.C.E. Eddie awards last night. Effectively stopping “Birdman”s new- found momentum from last weekend’s the PGA and the SAG Award in its’ tracks.

Why? The Film Editors are considered the most important voting group after the MASSIVE Actors Branch and Guild (who dominate and who gave out its’ SAG awards last Sunday) and for “Boyhood” it was a very, very important turn-around in fortune, and for “Grand Budapest Hotel” too.

A.C.E. is the organization that represents the Editors Guild. Which has a lot of members as opposed to the Academy’s Editors branch, which is smaller and more elite. And the Eddie is the name they call their award.

It broke down like this ~ Best Edited Feature Film, Dramatic, “Boyhood” Sandra Adair.

And Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical), “The Grand Budapest Hotel” Barney Pilling.

This means that “Boyhood” is still very much in the race, with “Grand Budapest” nipping at its’ heels. “Grand Budapest,” you may remember got an equal amount of Oscar nominations (nine) to “Birdman.”

“Birdman,” of course, has those long(some would say ENDLESS) tracking, stedicam shots, which makes the film look like it isn’t edited, but of course, it is. It wasn’t shot in one, long, continuous take. But it was meant to look like it was… which is kind of an anti-editing stance, if you think about it.

And “Boyhood” shot over 12 years…can you IMAGINE the Degree of Difficulty of editing THAT much footage into something watchable? Of course, some could say that didn’t happen. That it’s a mess rather than a melange.

And “Grand Budapest” has all those nifty, changing aspect ratios. Of these three films, “Grand Budapest” is still far and away my favorite. But a shift of momentum, for “Boyhood” to “Birdman” is now NOT officially happening. At least according to the all-important editors.

Next stop, BAFTA! Where “The Theory of Everything” will probably sweep.

Why “Birdman” Will Have a Lot of Trouble at the Oscars

Birdman 1Despite the apparent benefice of its’ upsets this past weekend, “Birdman” is not the Oscar slam-dunk it appears to be. Not by a mile.

You see, it unexpectedly won the Producers Guild very important precursor award, on Saturday night, then also won Best Ensemble at the SAG Awards on Sunday night.

HOWEVER!

It didn’t win Best Actor. The Birdman himself lost to Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything”, and that was a VERY big loss for Michael Keaton.

Especially coming from the SCREEN ACTORS, the guild that you would think would be behind his Riggan Whathisname’s character, that of a veteran actor trying to make a comeback.

That spoke volumes to the effect that support of “Birdman” wasn’t THAT deep.

Keaton won THREE Critics Choice Awards at BFCA a couple of weeks ago and now, this defeat.

It’s bad for Keaton and bad for “Birdman”s supposed late groundswell.

Also, let me point out that it does NOT have the all-important Film Editing Nomination, without which no film has won Best Picture since “Ordinary People” 30 years ago.

So with the Editors against it, and also, apparently the Actors, Keaton is NOT winning Best Actor, nor does “Birdman” have a cake-walk to Best Film.

Also between now and Oscar Night Feb. 22, Sunday, on ABC-TV, the BAFTA awards will happen in London and Eddie Redmayne is sure to win Best Actor there. And it’s possible that “The Theory of Everything” will sweep its’ six categories, Best Film, Best Actor, Best Actress, Felicity Jones, Best Screenplay, Best Director, James March and Best Score for Johan Johansson.

On top of which it is a Fantasy Film, a Magical Realism film, if you will, which the super-serious Academy does not go for historically at all, except for “Lord of the Ring: Return of the King.”

It’s quirky. It’s divisive, and I personally was put off by its’ sort of “holier-than-thou” attitude to the theater, which supposedly it was celebrating, but I felt its’ attitude disdainful.

And the ending! He shoots off his nose, ends up in a hospital and jumps out the window. Did Birdman finally fly away or was it a suicide? Will the Academy vote Best Picture to a film that is saying, insidiously, that all Riggan’s efforts lead to this? Self-annihilation? Or pursuing a career in the theater equals death?

I just don’t see this film winning Best Picture for all these reasons.

What will win? Something else. But not this sanctimonious mess.

ETA: Sasha Stone herself commented on this article on FB by saying to me: “Another thing to note, it didn’t win Best Comedy at the Globes…”

That was, of course, won by the GRAND “The Grand Budapest Hotel.”

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