a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Posts tagged ‘TIFF’

Beautiful, Heart-rending “Rainbow Kid” at TIFF

I’m not usually deeply affected by movies….well, lately, but this new film “The Rainbow Kid” which is at TIFF, just blew me away completely. It’s topic is a bit off-putting, seemingly. It’s about a plucky kid with Down’s Syndrome and the actor Dylan Harmon, really does have Down’s Syndrome. But he’s a very good actor, and his affecting journey to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is a heart-breaker.

It’s an amazing first feature by young Canadian film-maker Kire Paputts. (That’s pronounced Kir-RAY). I first encountered him at the now essential Eye on TIFF that Telefilm Canada holds every year in New(and now, also in LA) for about a dozen or so Canadian cinematic new-comers. Although veteran Patricia Rozema (“I Can Hear the Mermaids Singing”) was also there.

And I met Kire and he sent me a link pre-TIFF, when I’m not as crazy/busy as I am at TIFF, where time, every minute, every moment is precious.

Anyway, back to “Rainbow Kid” it’s difficult subject matter is challenging to say the least, but Dylan Harmon, is incredibly charismatic and engaging. And director Paputts really brings you inside Dylan’s character’s head and keeps you there for the entire length of the film.

To say that this film re-creates a genre, i.e., the disease film, is an understatement and is not fair to the great achievement of film and heart that “The Rainbow Kid” is. I can’t praise it highly enough.

Inspired by a children’s cartoon book that he is reading at the beginning of the film which I think was called “Meatball and Raindrop”, Dylan is convinced beyond a doubt that there is truly a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And after tragic events force him on this heart-breaking solo road trip through the wilds of southern Ontario to find that pot of gold, because he sees rainbows every where. And he wants to be as he puts it “Independent” and feels that the police are following him and are about to lock him up somewhere at any moment. And they are.

SH Rainbow 1I’ll never think the same way about Down’s Syndrome people again. “The Rainbow Kid” is deeply effecting, genuinely moving and Dylan’s performance is haunting.

I hope it gets distribution in the States and everyone can see what a beautiful film it is. It’s a great achievement by Kire Paputts, who is definitely a director to watch.

Oscar Mystery ~ Why Isn’t “Carol” at TIFF?

Oscar questions answered and unanswered at TIFF. Like why isn’t the Cannes lesbian sensation “Carol” playing TIFF? It’s conspicuous by its’Cate Carol 1 absence, seems to me. A natural fit for TIFF, you’d THINK. But no “Carol” here. It’ll be seen next month at the NYFF, but not here. Are they, the savvy Weinstein Co., hiding it? There are over 1000 journalists at TIFF. And Oscar hopefuls “The Danish Girl” and “Brooklyn” and “Black Mass” are all playing here. But no “Carol”…. And “Carol” which WILL show up at the NYFF is not in the coveted Opening Night or Closing Night or Centrepiece slots.

Is what seemed a sure-fire Oscar front-runner now suffering Awards fatigue already? Me, I’m DYING to see it.

And there’s the sticky situation of “Carol” having TWO leading ladies. Two time Oscar Winner Cate Blanchett in the title role, and Rooney Mara. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” is now the girl with a Cannes award for Best Actress. And the Weinsteins are campaigning Cate Blanchett for Leading Actress and putting Rooney Mara, who is said to have the larger and better part(and the Best Actress Cannes award) is being put in Supporting.

I wonder what they Academy will think of that distinction? They may do a “Kate Winslet” and put Rooney AND Cate in lead. Where they could possibly cancel each other out? As many have done before, unfortunately.

But there’s no question that the Weinstein Co. is low-balling Cannes favourite “Carol.” Something’s up.

OR something’s not up. With “Carol.” Hmmmm……

One Last Oscar Moment ~ A Dream Comes True for Eddie Redmayne

Eddie & Oscar 1Wow! Just Wow! And congratulations to one of the best young actors in the world! It was such a privilege working with you and getting to know you. Your future is so bright, it’s blinding. Or should I say, dazzling.

And Ladies and Gentle-persons, between Big Time gigs like “Theory of Everything” and “Les Miserables”, Eddie returns to his roots and does Shakespeare in the West End in London.

And this boy never went to Drama School! The nicest and gentlest of gentlemen.

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!

Eddie Redmayne Wins Best Actor SAG!!!!!!

Theory 6WOWOWOW! Eddie Redmayne just won the Best Actor Award at SAG for “The Theory of Everything.” Playing the multi-disabled astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, Redmayne had to literally twist himself into a pretzel, literally and figuratively. Congratulations, Eddie!

This is a very important win for him. People kept saying it w as going to go to Michael Keaton for “Birdman” which just won the Producer’s Guild Award LAST night for “Best Picture” trouncing “Boyhood”, the presumed front-runner.

But this is his FELLOW actors chiming in. And the actors know, Redmayne was playing a CHARACTER, whereas Keaton was playing himself in “Birdman.” Not such a difficult feat.

“The Degree of Difficulty” the actors always go for that. This is just tremenous good news!!! I’m so happy for Eddie!

And also if we throw ourselves back a couple of years ago, this is where Jean DuJardin won for “The Artist.” And then he went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor.

The guild awards reveal A LOT. What the industry, not the critics are thinking. And now this puts Eddie in the pole position to win at the Oscars. And he’s only 33! Plus, lest we forget he just won the Golden Globe Award, too, for Best Actor Drama.

WOWOWOW!!!

Marion Cotillard Gets Surprise Best Actress Nomination! Eddie Redmayne Nominated for Best Actor!

Two Days 2Eddie & GlobeOscar Nomination Day! And the biggest most delightful surprise, for me, was my darling Marion Cotillard getting nominated for Best Actress for “Two Days, One Night” the powerful Dardennes Brothers movie from Belgian. Acting superbly in French, Marion once again breaks your heart and getting a nomination that effectively knocked out Jennifer Aniston for “Cake” is no mean feat. Bravo Marion! Felicitations! Marion of course also won an Oscar in this category already for “La Vie En Rose” in 2007.

Also, I’m so happy that Eddie Redmayne did also score a Best Actor bid in a super crowded field. One of the most jammed categories ever, competition-wise! Congratulations too to him and to all from “The Theory of Everything” that also got nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress Felicity Jones, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Score for Iceland’s Johan Johansson. He also won a Golden Globe on Sunday as did Eddie.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” tied for the most nomination with “Birdman” and this year the Academy only decided to nominate eight films not nine or ten as in year’s past.

“Nightcrawler” was left out completely except for a screenplay nomination. And the controversial “Selma” only got two nominations, Best Picture and Best Song, which it won at the Golden Globes.

For a complete list see http://www.awardsdaily.com

I got all eight Best Picture nominees right. Only I thought it would be nine, adding in “Nightcrawler.” Neither Renee Russo nor Jake Gyllenhaal made it in.

And I saw Jake G. last night being great on Broadway in “Constellations”. More on that soon!Oscar & tiles

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 16,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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