June 27, 2016

Tag Archives: angelina jolie

The best of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt

There aren’t many power couples in Hollywood anymore, but Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are certainly one of them. They haven’t worked on the same project together since Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but tomorrow they co-star in By the Sea, which Jolie also wrote and directed. I wrote briefly about this one last week, and honestly the film itself isn’t anything special, but it is an excuse to talk about some of their work, so in that regard, I’m glad it’s coming out. Both have Academy Awards to their credit and both are among the biggest A-listers we have, so there should be plenty to discuss…
In case you’re not aware what By the Sea is, here’s a short refresher. The film is a 1970’s set look at a married couple unraveling/trying to save their union while vacationing in a small seaside town after an untold tragedy. Jolie (or as she’s credited, Jolie Pitt) plays Vanessa, a former dancer while Brad Pitt is Roland, a writer, both of whom are dealing with the tragedy in their own way. She lies in bed and he drinks, basically. They’re essentially caught in stasis, though the arrival of newlyweds Lea (Melanie Laurent) and Francois (Melvil Pouopard) stirs them somewhat, particualry when voyeurism comes into play. Jolie writes, directs, and stars with Pitt here, while other members of the cast include Niels Arestrup, Sarah Naudi, and more. Cinematography is by the great Christian Berger. Overall, it winds up feeling like a vanity project for the actress (more so than the couple), but voters have gone for that sort of a thing in the past and as an A-lister, she’s earned this chance.
First up, this is what I would say would be the top ten performances Jolie has given so far:
10. The Bone Collector
9. Mr. and Mrs. Smith
8. Beyond Borders
7. Wanted
6. Beowulf
5. Pushing Tin
4. Changeling
3. The Good Shepherd
2. A Mighty Heart
1. Girl, Interrupted
When it comes to Jolie, she’s given less outstanding performances than you’d think, but she’s also shown a lot of range by tackling almost every single genre out there. Without question, her best work came in Girl, Interrupted, which won her an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Other top tier performances from Jolie include Changeling (which got her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress), The Good Shepherd, and A Mighty Heart. The Academy has also given her an honorary Oscar, namely the Jean […]

Hollywood Contenders – Angelina Jolie’s “By the Sea” is finally revealed

Last night, the very first look at Angelina Jolie’s passion project of sorts By the Sea was given to folks at AFI Fest. As one of the last titles to have not shown itself to basically anyone (along with The Hateful Eight, Joy, and The Revenant), it’s been an X factor for basically all of 2015. Now that it has been seen by some, it’s a perfect time to take a look at if the Academy will be considering this one at all. Initially reviews have been mixed at best, so that’s not an immediately positive sign, but it does have a lot of ingredients that could still appeal to Oscar. With it hitting theaters next week, now’s the perfect time to discuss just that…
The film is a 1970’s set look at a married couple unraveling/trying to save their union while vacationing in a small seaside town. Jolie (or again, Jolie Pitt) plays Vanessa, while Brad Pitt is Roland, both of whom are dealing with tragedy in their own way. They’re essentially caught in stasis, though the arrival of newlyweds Lea (Melanie Laurent) and Francois (Melvil Pouopard) stirs them somewhat. Jolie writes, directs, and stars with Pitt here, while other members of the cast include Niels Arestrup, Sarah Naudi, and more. Cinematography is by the great Christian Berger. Overall, it does seem like a vanity project for the actress, but voters have gone for that sort of a thing in the past.

What will determine the fate of By the Sea, more so than these first reviews (which veer towards being unkind as opposed to kind) is whether audiences will come see something like this. If there’s a notable box office and proof that this duo brings butts into seats, Oscar voters could take notice. When it comes to the Academy Awards, money doesn’t mean everything, but it does mean something with middle of the road titles like this one. Voters used to go for actors or actress who wrote and directed their own passion projects all the time, but they had to be financially successful first. That will be the biggest hurdle for this flick here.
Awards wise, I think the odds favor a shut out for By the Sea more than anything else, give or take some mild precursor attention. That being said, a campaign will likely be mounted for it all the same. Look for it to be at […]

“Bridge of Spies” represents one of the few unseen Oscar hopefuls left

As of today, there are only a small handful of titles vying for Oscar consideration that have yet to be seen by anyone. Specifically, I can think of ten films that have awards aspirations, to one degree or another. Some are very likely Best Picture nominees, while others are likely technical players or bust. Still, at this point, here in early October, there aren’t too many unseen movies left, so this is worth taking note of. As such, below you’ll see a bit on all of the flicks that are still mysteries or X factors to us. A couple are only days away from revealing themselves, but a few will be unseen for quite some time still…
Take a look at these ten unseen 2015 contenders:

The Big Short – The newest entry into the race, this financial criss flick could be just what the season needs. With possible acting contenders like Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, and Brad Pitt, along with a legitimate chance to compete in the Best Picture field if all goes well, there’s a lot to like here. AFI Fest will be where this reveals itself, so it’ll be about a month until find out if this is a contender or a pretender.
Bridge of Spies – In just two days time I’ll be seeing Steven Spielberg’s latest at the New York Film Festival. All eyes are on this one, since it feels like a ready made winner in a ton of categories, even if that’s not what I’m currently predicting. Tom Hanks could return to the Best Actor lineup, among many other aspects of this film, so stay tuned for my Tweet out of NYFF this weekend. It could foreshadow if we have a big time threat or a small scale player here.
By the Sea – This passion project from Angelina Jolie stars herself and husband Pitt as a married couple, instantly aligning this one with some of the classic pairings of yesteryear. This will also debut at AFI Fest, which always reveals one or two late stage players. Could this be one of them? We’ll find out in November, but if you ask me now, I think it’s a bit of a long shot. That’s just a hunch though, so sit tight for the actual answer next month.
Concussion – A lot of the chatter about this one has centered on its relationship with the NFL during […]

Jennifer Lawrence: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders

HOLLYWOOD CONTENDERS: Ladies and gentlemen, as you all know from the last year or so as well as my handful of articles again during this year, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s a whole other thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket. It’s probably old hat to you by now, I’m sure, but hey…
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger ones that’s out there…the Best Actress category.
Here are the ten lovely ladies that I have in play for Best Actress, with the top five of course cracking the presumed lineup at this point:
1. Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) – You can go in any number of directions with your top pick, but I think the obvious choice right now is Lawrence. She’s been nominated both times previously working with David O. Russell, with a Best Actress statue on her mantle already. She nearly won Best Supporting Actress two years ago as well, so the Academy clearly loves this combination. With as baity a part as ever, if she nails it there’s no reason not to think she could run away with a second Oscar.

2. Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) – For some reason, I feel like Ronan is almost a surefire nominee for this romantic drama period piece, and while I know she could certainly contend for the win, I just can’t put her up top yet. Maybe it’s the thought of how dominant a Lawrence steamroller could be, but I just need to see how this one does during the precursor season. Ronan has a great shot though, no one can deny that.

3. Cate Blanchett (Carol) *Could go Supporting – The safe pick of the group right […]

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie: “By The Sea” New video

Written, directed and produced by Academy Award® winner Angelina Jolie Pitt, By the Sea serves as her directorial follow-up to Universal Pictures’ epic Unbroken. The dramatic film stars Brad Pitt and Jolie Pitt, who are supported by an international ensemble led by Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup and Richard Bohringer.
By the Sea follows an American writer named Roland (Pitt) and his wife, Vanessa (Jolie Pitt), who arrive in a tranquil and picturesque seaside resort in 1970s France, their marriage in apparent crisis. As they spend time with fellow travelers, including young newlyweds Lea (Laurent) and François (Poupaud), and village locals Michel (Arestrup) and Patrice (Bohringer), the couple begins to come to terms with unresolved issues in their own lives. In its style, and its treatment of themes of the human experience, By the Sea is inspired by European cinema and theater of the ’60s and ’70s.

Jolie Pitt is joined behind the scenes by a key crew that includes cinematographer Christian Berger (The White Ribbon), who used his Cine Reflect Lighting System to shoot the film; production designer Jon Hutman (Unbroken); editor Patricia Rommel (The Lives of Others); and costume designer Ellen Mirojnick (Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps). Pitt joins her in production duties, while Chris Brigham (Inception), Holly Goline-Sadowski (Unbroken) and Michael Vieira (Unbroken) serve as executive producers.

Cast: Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie Pitt, Mélanie Laurent, Melvil Poupaud, Niels Arestrup and Richard Bohringer

Ridley Scott: Looking at potential Best Director contenders

Ahoy! As you folks all know from last year as well as my article last week, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing with the second biggest one that’s out there…the Best Director category.
Here are the ten filmmakers that I have in play for Best Director, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Ridley Scott (The Martian) – Yes, I’m out on a limb with this one, but I’m sticking with it for a while longer. Scott hasn’t made a truly great film in a very long time, but all it takes is the right material, and this one is amazing source material. If the film manages to be in play for a Best Picture nomination, Scott could be right there with the movie itself. I’m fascinated to see if it can contend like I think it can, so stay tuned there…
2. Steven Spielberg (Bridge of Spies) – You really can’t make a list of the contenders in this category and not have Spielberg somewhere high up in your top five. Sure, this is perhaps a bit too standard of an Oscar bait type flick, but it’s that way at least in part because the formula works. As long as the film doesn’t disappoint, you can expect Spielberg and the project itself to be heavily in play all year long.
3. David Gordon Green (Our Brand is Crisis) *Possible 2016 release – A total hunch of mine, but if it winds up ready for release/dated for 2015, it could be an under the radar player to contend with. A political dramedy/satire can be […]

KUNG FU PANDA 3 First Trailer

The star-studded cast returns to this franchise with Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, and David Cross; joined by newcomers Bryan Cranston, Rebel Wilson, and J.K. Simmons.
KUNG FU PANDA 3 hits theaters everywhere on JANUARY 29, 2016!
Check out the first trailer and get ready for the hilarious adventure to continue in 2016!

In 2016, one of the most successful animated franchises in the world returns with its biggest comedy adventure yet, KUNG FU PANDA 3. When Po’s long-lost panda father suddenly reappears, the reunited duo travels to a secret panda paradise to meet scores of hilarious new panda characters. But when the supernatural villain Kai begins to sweep across China defeating all the kung fu masters, Po must do the impossible, learn to train a village full of his fun-loving, clumsy brethren to become the ultimate band of Kung Fu Pandas!
KUNG FU PANDA 3 Official Socials
Facebook: facebook.com/kungfupanda
Twitter: twitter.com/dwanimation
Instagram: instagram.com/dreamworksanimation
Tumblr: dreamworksanimation.tumblr.com
Snapchat: dwanimation
Hashtag: #kungfupanda

Oscar Predictions for the month of May, 2015

Almost five full months into the 2015 movie season and I’m happy to report that we know zilch about the Oscar race. Why happy? Well, it means there’s plenty of fun guesswork to be done, and I’m all about that. The Cannes Film Festival has gotten underway and that can be used for a hint or two, but right now, it’s only eliminated one film (The Sea of Trees, which seems to be out of it entirely, outside of perhaps Matthew McConaughey) and made another a question mark (Woody Allen’s Irrational Man), with some other contenders like Carol still to screen. As such, your guess is as good as mine, which is part of the early year fun, at least in my book.
The one thing of note that I want to make mention of for this latest Oscar prediction update is that I expanded the fields a bit. The Best Picture lineup I’ve bumped up to 30, actually, with 15 for the other seven remaining categories that make up the “Big Eight”. As a bonus, I even went with ten for Best Animated Feature, just to have things as open as possible, which is what things are like right now, no question about it. My winners are still largely the same, including Steven Spielberg and his film Bridge of Spies, while something like Brooklyn or Carol is making its way up my rankings, slowly but surely. It’ll be a few months still until we have some semblance of an idea about the Oscar race, but right now, it’s a ton of fun to speculate…

Here now are my newest set of Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Bridge of Spies
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Carol
4. The Light Between Oceans
5. Joy
6. The Martian
7. The Hateful Eight
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Revenant
10. Brooklyn
Next in line: 11. The End of the Tour 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Black Mass 17. By the Sea 18. Demolition 19. Freehold 20. Trainwreck 21. The Danish Girl 22. The Walk 23. Southpaw 24. In the Heart of the Sea 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 26. Bleed for This 27. Sicario 28. Irrational Man 29. Suffragette 30. Ex Machina
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Derek Cianfrance – The […]

Ridley Scott and “The Martian”: Early Oscar Predictions for April

After taking the month of March off in terms of Oscar predictions, I’m back taking a new look at what the Academy could do with this upcoming year in film. Again, it’s super early and probably silly to be focusing in on them like I am currently, but it’s also fun and gives us an idea of what movies to potentially look forward to. I’m keeping it mostly short and sweet today, just basically posting an update to the predictions (with a slight detour to discuss one contender), plus the next in line list that I know is popular as well. All of this can and likely will change in the near future, possibly even in the summer when things first begin to shape up, so stay tuned on that front. For now, enjoy these Academy Award predictions and cross your fingers that we have a good year for prestige films. I know that’s always my hope, so it should be yours as well.
Quickly though, before the predictions, let me just say that my big X factor that I’m looking forward to is Ridley Scott’s adaptation of The Martian. He hasn’t had an outright success in some time, but I love the source material so much, I’m hopeful that it sparked something inside him. Honestly, he’d have to go out of his way to ruin as good a novel as that one. Matt Damon will have a baity role and Scott should be plenty engaged, so my fingers are crossed!
Here now is my second crack at early Academy Award predictions…
BEST PICTURE
1. Bridge of Spies
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Joy
4. The Hateful Eight
5. The Martian
6. Carol
7. The Light Between Oceans
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Revenant
10. The End of the Tour
Next in line: 11. The Sea of Trees 12. Irrational Man 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Black Mass 15. Demolition 16. Trainwreck 17. The Walk 18. Freeheld 19. Southpaw 20. Brooklyn 21. By the Sea 22. MacBeth 23. Bleed for This 24. Snowden 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans
Next in line: 6. Todd Haynes – Carol 7. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 8. Ridley Scott – The Martian 9. Woody Allen – Irrational Man 10. […]

Year in advance Oscar Predictions

I know this seems nuts, but here I am with some Academy Award predictions for next season. We’re a long way out, yes…but for me, this is the absolute most fun time of the year, in terms of forming predictions. Why? Simply put, it’s because anything is possible. If you want to see how an odd nominee would look, you need only predict it. Right now, we’re just as likely to see Steven Spielberg’s latest St. James Place take Best Picture as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s kind of a brilliant thing, really. Even so, I’ve tried to be as logical as possible here, foregoing a number of quirkier picks in favor of the contenders I really feel good about, even if it really is only February still.
Which films are in contention? You’ll be able to see below, but the biggest contender right now seem to be the aforementioned St. James Place from Spielberg, David Gordon Green’s Our Brand is Crisis, David O. Russell’s Joy, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant, and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs. Acting wise, all of those movies have contenders, while the big player right now seems to be Jake Gyllenhaal, who could score for either Demolition or Southpaw. An X factor to keep an eye on? Ridley Scott’s The Martian, which is based on an outstanding book and could either fall flat or be a huge player. Sit tight on that one…
Here now is my first set of Oscar predictions for awards season to come:
BEST PICTURE
1. St. James Place
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Joy
4. The Hateful Eight
5. The Revenant
6. Steve Jobs
7. Demolition
8. The Martian
9. The Sea of Trees
10. The End of the Tour
Next in line: 11. Carol 12. Irrational Man 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Black Mass 15. Snowden 16. Money Monster 17. The Walk 18. Freeheld 19. Southpaw 20. Brooklyn 21. By the Sea 22. MacBeth 23. Bleed for This 24. Aloha 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steven Spielberg – St. James Place
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
5. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Next in line: 6. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs 7. Gus Van Sant – The Sea of Trees 8. Ridley Scott – The Martian 9. Woody Allen – Irrational Man 10. Jean Marc Vallee – Demolition
BEST […]

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