The Oscars 2014: Thoughts and Predictions

With the Oscars just a few days away, I thought it might be a good idea to give my opinion on who I believe firstly; will take home at least one of the famous golden statues, and secondly who I think actually deserves to win (as these are not always the same). Also I won’t be commenting on any of the categories that I am less interested in, or feel I simply don’t know enough about to pick a winner. For instance I will leave out the award for ‘Best Foreign Language film’, simply because I haven’t seen any of the nominations.

Best Visual Effects

The Nominations:

–        Gravity

–        The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

–        Iron Man 3

–        The Lone Ranger

–        Star Trek Into Darkness  

My Prediction: Gravity

With some of the most sophisticated and convincing visual effects to ever grace the big screen, Gravity is nominated for multiple categories this year and rightly so.

My Choice: Gravity

With some genuine classics being released over the last 12 months Gravity will have  its work cut out to beat some of the more narrative and character based films to ‘Best Film’ but visually, nothing came close to Alfonso Cuarón’s space epic.

 

Best Original Song

The Nominations:

–        Happy (Despicable me 2)

–        Let It Go (Frozen)

–        The Moon Song (Her)

–        Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

My Prediction: Let It Go (Frozen)

If you haven’t been living on another planet or floating round outer space Gravity style, then you will have heard this song played at some point. With well over 100 million views on YouTube, Idina Menzel’s Disney hit is surely the obvious choice for this award.

My Choice: Let it Go (Frozen)   

Admittedly, this song is a huge guilty pleasure for me. As a rule, musicals aren’t really my sort of film, but I think a combination of having a Girlfriend that plays this song 24 hours a day 7 days a week and Idina Menzel’s stunning voice has meant that I might even go as far as saying I like it………. maybe.

 

Best Film Editing

The Nominations:

–        American Hustle

–        Captain Phillips

–        Dallas Buyers Club

–        Gravity

–        12 Years a Slave

My Prediction: Captain Phillips

I have a feeling that this film will pick up at least a few of the 6 Oscars it is nominated for, and in terms of editing, this film is just as worthy as the rest of this list of brilliant nominations.  

My Choice: 12 Years a Slave

‘12 Years a Slave’ is quite rightly expected to dominate this year’s Oscars. I genuinely believe that when people look back at this period in cinema, Steve McQueen’s take on slavery will be considered a classic. The film is fantastically edited and put together, and although I don’t think it will win everything it is nominated for, it possibly deserves to.

 

Best Directing

The Nominations:

–        David O. Russell (America Hustle)

–        Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

–         Alexandra Payne (Nebraska)

–        Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)

–        Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street)

My Prediction: Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) OR Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave)

In an amazing year for film, a case could certainly be made for any one of these directors. Based on popularity alone I would predict that Scorsese or McQueen will take the trophy, but every director on this list should take great pride in knowing that if they get beaten, they will have been beaten by one of the best.

My Choice: Steve McQueen

As I have already said, this film will be remembered for a very long time. If the other directors in question had released their films in another year then it would be almost too close to call, but McQueen’s masterpiece should, in my opinion, secure him his first Oscar win.

 

Best Costume Design

The Nominations:

–        American Hustle

–        The Grandmaster

–        The Great Gatsby

–        The Invisible Women

–        12 Years a Slave

My Prediction: The Great Gatsby

I hated this film, but if I had to pick out one thing (other than Di Caprio) that I was actually impressed by, it would be the costumes. Having said that, I still don’t think that ‘The Great Gatsby’s’ costumes justified an Oscar, I fear judges may see it differently.

My Choice: American Hustle

I was less blown away by this film than a lot of people, but the costumes are superb and my personal favourite…….. and no that’s not just because of Amy Adams cleavage…. Though it didn’t do any harm.

 

Best Cinematography

The Nominations:

–        The Grandmaster

–        Gravity

–        Inside Llewyn Davis

–        Nebraska

–        Prisoners

My Prediction: Gravity

Oscars are not always given to the most deserving films, but Gravity was in such a class of one in terms of Cinematography and I can’t see it being beaten.

My Choice: Gravity

Gravity was a huge success this year and its visual effects were only matched by its cinematography. As a piece of art it is breath taking.

 

Best Animated Film

Nominations:

–        The Croods

–        Despicable Me 2

–        Ernest and Celestine

–        Frozen

–        The Wind Rises

My prediction: Frozen

Disney’s hit winter musical has been too successful and is now too loved by too many people to not win this award. Not a personal favourite, but if it is beaten I will be hugely surprised.

My Choice: Despicable Me 2

This film was not everyone’s cup of tea, and though it lacks some of the charm of the original, it still kept me laughing and was my favourite animation of the year.

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

The Nominations:

–        Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine)

–        Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

–        Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)

–        Julia Roberts (august: Osage County)

–        Une Squibb (Nebraska)

My Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle)

Hollywood’s favourite young actress gave another great performance in American Hustle and considering her popularity amongst a huge following of fans, the pressure will be on to land her with another academy award.

My Choice: Lupita Nyongo’o (12 Years a Slave)

’12 Years’ is an amazing film with amazing performances. Though she might not quite manage to beat Jennifer Lawrence, Lupita Nyongo’s performance is rightly acclaimed by many critics and fans and would be my choice.

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

The Nominations:

–        Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips)

–        Bradley Cooper (American Hustle)

–        Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)

–        Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)

–        Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

My Prediction: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club)

The 30 Seconds to Mars frontman’s performance as a transgender Woman named Rayon has been hugely praised since day one and he remains my favourite to pick up the academy award.

My Choice: Daniel Bruhl

My favourite performance as a supporting actor failed to even reach the nominations this year. Jared Leto may be basically nailed on to take the prize, but in my opinion Daniel Bruhl’s portrayal of Formula One supremo ‘Nikki Lauda’ in ‘Rush’ was superb. I was gutted that Ron Howard’s sports epic missed out on any Oscar nominations to begin with, but if it was ever going to win an academy award, Daniel should have at least been in the running for this one.

 

Best Actress in Leading Role

The Nominations:

–        Amy Adams (American Hustle)

–        Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)

–        Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

–        Judi Dench (Philomena)

–        Meryl Streep (August: Osage Country)

My Prediction: Sandra Bullock (Gravity)

Sandra Bullock wouldn’t be my personal choice for this award but if she did win I don’t think I could complain as she gives a great performance.

My Choice: Amy Adams (American Hustle)

As a viewer I hated Amy Adams character (Sydney Prosser), but that shouldn’t take away anything from her superb performance.

 

Best Actor in a Leading Role

The Nominations:

–        Christian Bale (American Hustle)

–        Bruce Dern (Nebraska)

–        Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

–        Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)

–        Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)

My Prediction: Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave)  

Amazing performance, but still not who I would give the Oscar to.

My Choice: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Could this be the year for Leonardo? His performance in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ is yet another worthy showing and surely it is just a matter of time until the award stops eluding him.

 

Best Picture

The Nominations:

–        American Hustle

–        Captain Phillips

–        Dallas Buyers Club

–        Gravity

–        Her

–        Nebraska

–        Philomena

–        12 Years a Slave

–        The Wolf of Wall Street

My Prediction: 12 Years a Slave OR Dallas Buyers Club

Films most prestigious award is likely to go to one of these two films and both would be worthy winners but there can be only one.

My Choice: 12 Years a Slave

With one of the most amazing years for film in a decade, 12 Years a Slave would be my personal choice for Best Picture. Fantastically written, superbly acted and emotionally draining, McQueen’s masterpiece will be remembered for many years to come.

 

(Images from:http://www.eurweb.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/12_years_a_slave_poster1.jpg  and http://www.thevoormanproblem.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/the-oscars.jpg )

 

 

 

Advertisements

BFI Film Academy: London to Glasgow trip review Part One

The sound of my alarm clock going off so early last Wednesday made me want to cry. Only the prospect of an action packed schedule, full of trips to top end film companies and exciting screenings, gave enough motivation to drag myself onto the train to London.

Day One: At midday we finally arrived at Kings Cross Station, tired and starving but raring to go. Stop number one was Universal Distributors, and unfortunately I would have to say that following a talk on the subject, distribution is not an area of the film industry that I would want to work in. Simply put, Mondays and the subsequent holdovers that need to be sorted sound stressful enough to leave me curled up in a corner rocking backwards and forwards, in need of a cuddle. Having said that though, the talk was very interesting and even in the small time we got to spend with Universal, it became very clear that the one thing everyone working there had in common was a huge love for all things cinema. To top it all off, a screening of the classic ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, rounded off a very enjoyable experience.

Next up was Picture House, another distribution company based in London which runs over 20 cinemas around the UK. Again this was very interesting and we really got a sense of how much research needs to be done about target audiences, just to keep a cinema successful.

So after a great start to the day, what could possibly be better for a group of young film enthusiasts than a screening at the ICA? Well in this case pretty much anything….. seriously, light torture would have been better than what we got. ‘Leviathan’ is a 2012 documentary arts film directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel. It is an experimental work about the North American fishing industry and relies on nothing but raw footage from various angles and perspectives, of workmen, on a small boat. With no narrative to speak of, this arts film was entertaining for a good 2 minutes. Sadly the rest of the 85 minutes were so dull, repetitive and boring that it sent most of the admittedly small audience into deep sleep. Those who managed to sit through the whole thing waited in vain, as it didn’t get any better as the seconds snailed by. I was even more surprised after ‘googling’ this title, to find a flood of high ratings and positive reviews. Different? Yes. Successfully makes the audience feel lonely and isolated? Yes. Fascinating piece of work? Perhaps, but for the majority of man kind I still feel interest would be lost within seconds, and though many critics seem to see fantastic art, expression and passion, I will always remember ‘Leviathan’ as an 87 minute snooze fest that fully justified our ironic celebrations at its finish. But never mind it was erm….. an experience, and by comparison, every film I see for the rest of my life will be compelling and interesting.

Overall, day one was a fantastic, and as I will illustrate in parts 2 and 3, the trip only improved over the next 2 days.

(Image from: http://kidsforkidsuk.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/BFI_FILM-ACADEMY_LOGO_NEG.jpg)

I’m Back! (Hopefully)

Its been a long time since I posted on this blog. With the stresses of A level life my reviews have had to take a back seat, but hopefully I’m back to stay (for now at least). There have been lot of great films that have been released recently and I hope to have my say on all of them!

Update! Today I was given the wonderful news that I have an essay due in tomorrow and dailies for my A2 short film on Thursday so yet again blogging has had to fall down my list of priorities 😦 but never mind half term is coming up so fingers crossed my teachers will be merciful and give me a break in the holidays. Until then, reviews are again on hold but I’m doing my best!

Sorry.