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Posts tagged ‘Imitation Game’

Oscar Nomination Predictions~ The Supporting Actors & Actresses

Oscars 2015It’s really much harder predicting the Oscar NOMINATIONS which are coming out tomorrow morning before the dawn breaks over Hollywood 5AM PST. They are announcing ALLLL 25 categories tomorrow so they may start even earlier. But right now I’m going to predict the way that the four Acting categories are going to go.

Believe it or not, my feeling for biggest surprise may be from Renee Russo, who, due to the ever-increasing popularity of “Nightcrawler” may just snatch that fifth slot in Best Supporting Actress away from Jessica Chastain, who may have unfortunately split her own vote three ways by having three exemplary examples of her stellar work in “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby”, “The Most Violent Year,” and “Interstellar.”

The other more or less agreed upon four ladies, front-runner Patricia Arquette (“Boyhood”), Emma Stone (“Birdman”), Meryl Streep (“Into the Woods”) and Keira Knightley (“Imitation Game”).

Supporting Actor has five men who have dominated this category since the beginning, but again, that pesky fifth slot I think is going to contain a surprise. Like for instance Steve Carrell(“Foxcatcher”) being dropped down to from Best Actor, as he was by the BAFTAS.

The 84-year-old Robert Duvall is the shakiest IMHO, because his film “The Judge” was not as much seen by audiences, i.e,  it was NOT perceived as successful. So if there were one too many screeners to see in an extremely limited amount of time “The Judge”, even though it opened the Toronto Film Festival, may very well be the one they skip.

Edward Norton was  terrific as the most over-acting actor of all time in “Birdman” and is a sure slam-dunk. Also many are gathering around Mark Ruffalo’s character in “Foxcatcher.” He’s playing a family man, and he gets tragic come-uppance which he doesn’t deserve. IOW, people are finding him the only sympathetic character in this dark, jerky movie.

Ruling the roost of The FIVE is J. K. Simmons for his blistering portrayal of a seemingly sadistic teacher, who then has also a tragic arc of sorts in the terrific “Whiplash”, a film I feel will get nominated, too, for Best Picture. But more about that category later!

Also, the Academy all did get the controversial “Selma” screeners, so they all got a chance to watch how good it is, and you just might find Tom Wilkinson’s portrait of LBJ turning up here. He’s got the only other significant, sizeable part, and Wilkinson has had two previous nominations, so they all know him and respect him.

All this “Selma” back-and-forth-ing may pay off in this category. But perhaps not with the directors branch.

If there is indeed an attempt to rally ’round “Selma” by the Actor’s Branch Carmen Ejogo who plays Coretta Scott King so beautifully might surprise here, too, and knock out – wait for it – Meryl Streep!

They may not want to give her her 19th(!) nomination. Then, again, they always nominate her for just about getting up in the morning. And she always turns up, and smiles, and laughs. But will Meryl be laughing on Oscar Nomination morning? Her terrific performance as the Witch was aided by many, many dazzling special effects…the Actor’s Branch doesn’t like special effects. They like ACTING! With a capital “A”, which Meryl WAS doing and singing as well.

Keira Knightley has the Weinstein Co. behind her. So she’s in. They still wield a mighty awards sword, despite their weak showing Sunday night with the Golden Globes. Only Amy Adams won, from TWC’s film slate. Best Actress for “Big Eyes” a nomination that is probably NOT going to be repeated on Thursday morning. But more on that category later!

Emma Stone is the Girl-Of-The-Year in “Birdman” as Michael Keaton’s mouthy teenaged daughter. She was very good in this, as she wasn’t in Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight,” but she got acclaimed for even THAT weak portrayal but not by me.

So in conclusion I think we have for Supporting Actress, Patricia Arquette, Emma Stone, Keira Knightley, Renee Russo and MAYbe Meryl Streep. MAYbe.

And for Supp. Actor ~ J.K. Simmons, Edward Norton, Mark Ruffalo,

Ethan Hawke(for “Boyhood”) and the surprise ~ Tom Wilkinson for “Selma.”

The Academy does not shy away from the kind of press that “Selma” has been getting of late, which, as I said, may hurt its’ chances in the Best Director category but not Best Picture, and perhaps not here.

Wilkinson is a controversial LBJ? What the H! Let’s nominate to show how tough we really are, and he’s very good in the film.

We shall see.

David Poland thinks its btwn. “Boyhood”, “Theory of Everything” and “Imitation Game”

Boyhood 2Theory2David Poland, the great Oscar prognosticator, of “Movie City News”, who was one of the ones who practically founded today’s Oscar race online, has just posted his “Settling” analysis of this year’s race. Something I always look forward to. Previously, he has called it “The Great Settling” and this year however he calls it “The Soft Settling.”

David, full disclosure, was once my boss. Yes, I was once a Guru o’ Gold, and then a Guru 2.0. Well, anyway, I digress…

David has his ear closer to the ground and hears more from more people who are actually Academy voters, and to sum up, he calls it “The Soft Settling”, because he thinks the race is still wide open. I wonder about that.

He interestingly has of course, this year’s de rigueur choice, “Boyhood” in #1, but thinks it’s between that film and the two “Brit pics” “Theory of Everything” And “The Imitation Game.” Which he feels are going to cancel each other out.

But he doesn’t think “Birdman” has an outside chance, though he thinks it will get nominated. He is hearing that the Academy types are resisting it as “too weird” and “too out there”. I think he’s right. But we soon shall see and tomorrow TA DA! The Producers Guild announce their top ten, or IOW their ten nominees which is really, really important. But he does think that the four movies I’ve mentioned above plus “Selma” will all be in. The other five are what’s up in the air still. Can’t wait til tomorrow when we find out!

Check out David’s great piece at the link below ~

http://moviecitynews.com/2015/01/20-weeks-to-oscar-the-soft-settling/

Independent Spirit Awards Announced, No “Imitation Game,”No “Wild”, No Reese

Tilda 2Marion Oscar1Birdman 1The Independent Spirit Awards were announced this morning in L.A. No surprise that “Birdman” & “Boyhood” did very well, but “Selma” which STILL is in post-production broke through in several categories. However, the TWC’s big awards player “The Imitation Game” was nowhere to be seen!

Some faves of mine did pop up. Tilda Swinton, who is being honored at the Gothams here in NYC on Monday and Marion Cotillard. Both were nominated for Best Actress for “Only Lovers Left Alive” and “The Immigrant.” Would that Mlle. Marion could crack the OSCAR best actress race for ANOTHER incredible performance in the Belgian film “Two Days, One Night” which was another of her incredible performances in French. C’est la Vie! C’est la Guerre!

However, I was NOT surprised to see that neither “Wild” nor its’ leading lady, Reese Witherspoon turned up. It was a VERY tedious film. I watched the whole damn thing and STILL didn’t know why she was doing all that hiking. No Laura Dern in Supporting either for “Wild.” So not only was “Imitiation Game” shut out, “Wild” was, too!

Shut in, IOW, nominated also in as many categories as “Boyhood” was Jake Gyllenhaal’s marvelously creepy “Nightcrawler.” Yay!

THx to Hitfix for the list!

See the full list of nominations below:

Best Feature
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
“Boyhood”
“Love is Strange”
“Selma”
“Whiplash”

Best Director
Damien Chazelle, “Whiplash”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
David Zellner, “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter”

Best Screenplay
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, “Big Eyes”
J.C. Chandor, “A Most Violent Year”
Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Jim Jarmusch, “Only Lovers Left Alive”
Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias, “Love is Strange”

Best First Feature
Ana Lily Amirpour, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Justin Simien, “Dear White People”
Dan Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Gillian Robespierre, “Obvious Child”
Anja Marquardt, “She’s Lost Control”

Best First Screenplay
Desiree Akhavan, “Appropriate Behavior”
Sara Colangelo, “Little Accidents”
Justin Lader, “The One I Love”
Anja Marquardt, “She’s Lost Control”
Justin Simien, “Dear White People”

John Cassavetes Award
Jeremy Saulnier, “Blue Ruin”
Eliza Hittman, “It Felt Like Love”
Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens, “Land Ho!”
Dave Boyle, “Man From Reno”
Chris Mason Johnson, “Test”

Best Female Lead
Marion Cotillard, “The Immigrant”
Rinko Kikuchi, “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter”
Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Jenny Slate, “Obvious Child”
Tilda Swinton, “Only Lovers Left Alive”

Best Male Lead
André Benjamin, “Jimi: All Is By My Side”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
Michael Keaton, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
John Lithgow, “Love is Strange”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”

Best Supporting Female
Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”
Carmen Ejogo, “Selma”
Andrea Suarez Paz, “Stand Clear of the Closing Doors”
Emma Stone, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”

Best Supporting Male
Riz Ahmed, “Nightcrawler”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Alfred Molina, “Love is Strange”
Edward Norton, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”

Best Cinematography
Darius Khondji, “The Immigrant”
Emmanuel Lubezki, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
Sean Porter, “It Felt Like Love”
Lyle Vincent, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Bradford Young, “Selma”

Best Editing  
Sandra Adair, “Boyhood”
Tom Cross, “Whiplash”
John Gilroy, “Nightcrawler”
Ron Patane, “A Most Violent Year”
Adam Wingard, “The Guest”

Best Documentary
Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, “20,000 Days on Earth”
Laura Poitras, “CITIZENFOUR”
Debra Granik, “Stray Dog”
Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and Wim Wenders, “The Salt of the Earth”
Orlando von Einsiedel, “Virunga”

Best International Film
Ruben Östlund, “Force Majeure”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Ida”
Andrey Zvyagintsev, “Leviathan”
Xavier Dolan, “Mommy”
Lav Diaz, “Norte, the End of History”
Jonathan Glazer, “Under the Skin”

Robert Altman Award
“Inherent Vice”

Special Distinction Award
“Foxcatcher”

Piaget Producers Award
Chad Burris
Elisabeth Holm
Chris Ohlson

Someone to Watch Award
Ana Lily Amirpour, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night”
Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia  , “H.”
Chris Eska, “The Retrieval”

Truer Than Fiction Award
Amanda Rose Wilder, “Approaching the Elephant”
Darius Clark Monroe, “Evolution of a Criminal”
Dan Krauss, The Kill Team”
Sara Dosa, “The Last Season”
Read more at http://www.hitfix.com/in-contention/birdman-boyhood-selma-lead-the-2015-independent-spirit-awards-nominations#v4s51biGLUv5lUet.99

Oscar Chances of “Birdman” Yes? No?Maybe?

Dear Readers, dear cineastes, dear lovers of theatre, I don’t know quite what to say about “Birdman”. I liked it. It’s shot in my hood, the theater district in Manhattan. It’s all about the theater, But somehow it also seems quite critical of the theater. Not that the Academy would mind that at all. It’s also extremely critical of Hwood, too. “The Artist” is this not.

This was the film that got the most Oscar buzz and internet chatter going at the New York Film Festival so far this year.

Filmed almost entirely(it seems) at the St. James theater, which I overlook, I can’t believe it missed all this just going on right downstairs.

But the Academy will probably like this a lot. Especially the dominant Actor’s Branch. While it is critical of the theater, it revels in the Art of the Actor. And they will go for that hook, line and sinker. Or will they?

I think Michael Keaton is going to get nominated for Best Actor for sure. Having finally seen his performance, I can say that. But will he win? It’s a) a comedy and b) he’s got the stiffest competition imaginable this year in that category c) he’s playing a likable/unlikeable self-centered asshole.

The most likely winner out of the many nominations this film would seem to be heading towards is Edward Norton for Best Supporting Actor. His no-holes-barred, over-the-top(almost) hysterical depiction of a narcissistic theatre(with an re) actor may be the big award that “Birdman” gets. It may get nominated for Best Picture, and probably will. But it seems about nothing more(nor less) of the inside of his aging actor’s head. Keaton, I mean. The ego that eats everyone around it alive. It’s fun, but also not fun to see this. One moment I was screaming with upexpected laughter, the next I was gagging at its’ excesses…Call it stedicam nausea.

Emma Stone is also proably assured of her first Oscar nomination for playing Keaton’s smart, sexy,mouthy teenage daughter.Compare this to her tepid performance in Woody Allen’s “Magic in the Moonlight” where she seemed completely at sea. Innaritu really directed the hell out of his actors in this, and in a very good way.

But this film is filmed annoyingly in steadicam. It makes you dizzy, and it’s also a fantasy. And the ending is, well, equivocal, to put it spoiler-free.

I can see it losing to a film with more social relevance. Like for instance “The Theory of Everything” and I think it’s a battle for Best Actor between Eddie Redmayne’s superb Stephen Hawkings and Keaton’s aging asshole.. Redmaybe is young. That’s the only thing standing in his way.”Everything” is a triumphant movie in a big way. It’s uplifting. “Birdman” is icky. But it’s still fun…but…

“The Theory of Everything” is probably going to “My Left Foot” its’ way all the way to the Oscars. I thought that when I saw it at TIFF as they crowd went wild. And it’s NOT the terribly disjointed, depressing, but also socially relevant film that “Imitation Game” is. The Academy doesn’t vote Best Picture to gay films, which is what “Imitation Game” is. But Benedict Cumberbatch will be nominated. AND Keira Knightley, who will join Emma Stone in Best Supporting Actress. Which they will both lose to Patricia Arquette in “Boyhood.”

But I found”Birdman”  enjoyable  almost in spite of myself. It’s my kinda film.I love films about the theater. And I couldn’t identify more with the character’s quest to do great Art on Broadway.  But is it the Academy’s taste? Theater? Theatre? Does it justify all this awards hype? Well, yes,no and maybe.

Comedy can win, and often does, in Best Supporting Actor. So Edward Norton get your acceptance speech ready. Michael Keaton, um, not so fast.Birdman 1 Birdman 1

TIFF Announces 2014 Slate! Foxcatcher, Maps to the Stars, more

Foxcatcher 1Julianne Moore 1TIFF logo 1Imitation Game 1It’s a starry line-up as always as TIFF today announced its’ upcoming slate of Galas, which always take place at the Roy Thomson Hall, and formal dress is required, and Special Presentations, which almost always happen at the classic Elgin(pronounced “El Gin” with a hard “g”) theatre.

Three of the films I’m most looking forward to seeing are David Cronenberg’s “Maps to the Stars” which netted Julianne Moore the Best Actress award at Cannes,

Bennett Miller’s follow-up to “Moneyball” “Foxcatcher” which is about wrestling, not baseball, and the British WWII spy film “Imitation Game” with Benedict Cumberbatch( PBS’ Sherlock Holmes to many) as the lead character who is a closeted homosexual.

There are many, many films more that were announced today. Go to Sasha Stone’s invaluable Oscar site http://www.awardsdaily.com for more info. Toronto always has soooo many films, you can’t see them all.

One movie I’ve already seen, today as a matter of fact, was the Dame Maggie Smith, Kristen Scott Thomas & Kevin Kline starrer “Me and My Old Lady” with Dame Maggic pulling out all the stops in yet ANOTHER tour-de-force performance that is soooo good I’m glad they are including it at TIFF. She deserves it.

And so now, the Oscar Race officially begins! Could Dame Maggie surprise and make it into the Best Actress race? She certainly deserves it. She’s plays a 92-year-old English woman living in France.  And I’m SOOOO glad I saw it today!

 

 

 

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