September 18, 2015
        "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September                Will Smith crusades for Best Actor in the "Concussion" Trailer        

Tag Archives: Black Swan

Why the Academy shouldn’t go back to five Best Picture nominees

One of the most fiercely debated subjects when it comes to the Oscars, aside from the actual films and performances in contention, is what the Academy should do with the size of their Best Picture slates. Recently, rumors have been swirling that AMPAS members have been considering again adjusting the potential lineup, perhaps even going back to having five nominees in Picture. I know there are plenty of fans out there who back that idea, while there are plenty more who want Oscar to go back to a straight ten. I certainly know which one I prefer, but I don’t agree that either idea beats the sliding scale that we currently have. Personally, I feel that going back to five would be a big mistake. In fact, I want them to do the exact opposite.
Why do I say that? Well, I truly believe that a bigger group of Best Picture nominees leads to better selections. There’s a ripple effect that I’ll discuss in the next paragraph, but when more films are in contention, it creates a better group overall. Especially when there was a guaranteed ten, you knew that voters were looking at their favorite movies of the year and keeping their minds open about what they traditionally thought a Best Picture nominee should be. That got us District 9 in a lineup, for example. I also reject the notion that it led to poor choices. If The Blind Side and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close are the worst nominees in an expanded field, we’re still doing pretty well. They’re weaker nominees, but far from bad ones. The Academy has plenty of history with ten nominees, if not quite as much as it does with five. It’s just the sliding scale that’s new and not well liked. If Oscar goes back to five, it runs the risk of diluting the overall field, in a way I’m not sure they’re even considering.
For example, the biggest issue with going back to five is how much it would impact the smaller contenders. Look at just this past year and consider the case of Whiplash. If there were only five spots, I doubt it gets a big campaign coming out of Sundance like it did, leading to perhaps only J.K. Simmons getting in, if that. No nomination for Best Picture. It definitely doesn’t overcome category confusion to show up in Best Adapted Screenplay. The […]

The scariest movies ever nominated for an Academy Award

Since it’s Halloween (Happy Halloween everyone), I wanted to do something horror centric but also still relating to Oscar in some way. As such, I wanted to take a look at which scary movies, to one degree or another, were embraced by the Academy Awards. Ideally I’d have focused on Best Picture, but as I’m sure you all know, the pickings there will be mighty slim. Instead, I’ll bounce around, trying to stick to bigger categories whenever possible, but still looking for the most overt examples of genre fare ever cited. I might bend the rules once or twice, but hey…it’s Halloween. I hope you all enjoy.
Here’s the ten scariest movies to catch the attention of Oscar:
1. The Silence of the Lambs – Any list like this has to start with this one, since it almost swept the Oscars in its year. Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay…it won five of the big eight categories, part of seven nominations in total. An iconic piece of cinema, it deserves a place at the top of any article of this nature. It’s a perfect representation of horror (though it’s hardly just that) that the Academy thankfully embraced.
2. The Sixth Sense – One of the Academy’s most overt embraces of horror, it received a whopping half dozen citations, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay. It was a fleeting embrace as opposed to ushering in a more open minded line of voting by Oscar, but it’s still cool to remember nonetheless.
3. Black Swan – Psychological terror is still terror, so when this film that should be miles away from an Academy member’s tastes got five nods (including Best Picture and Best Director) and won Best Actress, it was an incredibly pleasant surprise. It does harken back to some other movies that they’ve been fond of in the past, so that was a plus, but still…can you believe this was a nominee alongside the likes of The King’s Speech and The Kids Are All Right?
4. The Exorcist – Let me blow your mind for a second…this horror film scored double digit Oscar nominations. Yes, it was nominated for ten Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress) and won a pair of them, for Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay. That’s horrifically […]

Diane Keaton: The Top 25 (Best Actress)

It’s almost over folks. Yes, this penultimate time around I’ll be tackling one of the very biggest of the big eight categories, one of the only two left. This one is arguably the second or third biggest of them all…it’s the Best Actress field. This is really about as prestigious a category as there is ladies and gentlemen, give or take how you stack Picture/Director/Actor. I could go on and on in preparation right now, waxing poetic, but at this point I know how the game works here for everyone. You all mostly just want to see the lists that I do anyhow, so I have no problem obliging you good people there in that particular regard once again. All you have to do is just be patient over the next paragraph or two and you’ll get the goods front and center for your reading pleasure…
I’ll basically just skip burying the lead this time around and just discuss my top ten a bit here now. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been Diane Keaton in her iconic performance in Annie Hall. She creates an unforgettable character alongside Woody Allen and wins both your heart and your mind. It’s unquestionably the best winner in this category’s history, at least in my eyes. A classic performance in a classic film. Not far behind is Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry, which I think is not just one of the all time best bits of acting, but somehow an underrated one despite winning Swank her first Oscar. Swank actually has two performances in my top ten (and she’s not the only multiple honoree here, but I’ll get to that in a moment), but this is her crowning achievement. Rounding out the top five we have Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs (who has two performances on my list), Elizabeth Taylor for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Charlize Theron for Monster. They’re all tremendous performances, and they’re joined in an absolutely stacked top ten by the likes of Louise Fletcher for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind, Natalie Portman for Black Swan, Meryl Streep for Sophie’s Choice, and Swank again for Million Dollar Baby. Besides Swank’s two mentions, Foster also shows up again just outside the top ten for The Accused, while Leigh has one more in […]

Oscars®: Noah – What’s up with the 2015 Awards Race

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky
Written by: Darren Aronofsky and Ari Handel
Main Cast: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Ray Winstone, Douglas Booth, Marton Csokas, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis, and Frank Langella
Past Oscar relations: Crowe won Best Actor for Gladiator and has two other acting nominations, Hopkins won Best Actor for The Silence of the Lambs and has three other acting nominations, Connolly won Best Supporting Actress for A Beautiful Mind, Nolte has three acting nominations, Langella has one acting nominations, Aronofsky has a nomination for Best Director, and DP Matthew Libatique has a nomination for Best Cinematography
Here we go now with our first true article in this new series on 2014 contenders. First up is Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, which again brings him together with the likes of Jennifer Connelly, composer Clint Mansell, co-writer Ari Handel, and cinematographer Matthew Libatique, along with newcomers like Russell Crowe, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, and Logan Lerman. It’s a retelling of the story of Noah (shockingly enough), though apparently more in line with Aronofsky’s prior work like The Fountain than more straightforward biblical tales to date.

What this movie has going in its favor is quite simply Aronofsky. He’s a visionary director and this has long been a passion project of his. I’ll have a bit more to say about passion projects this weekend, but I’m someone who’s always interested in them and how much potential they have. Aronofsky finally caught the Academy’s attention last time around with Black Swan (though both Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler scored acting citations), so if Oscar voters are now on his wavelength, we could see them look to honor his ambition here.
Working against Noah is publicity that the flick will get because of its origins, as opposed to the final product itself. Early reviews have been mixed but mostly positive, so it’s not a question of if the film is any good or not, but if it’ll be given a real chance. My heart wants to say that folks will look past the potential protests from the religious right, but my head thinks that it’ll become something all too easy to ignore for voters. Taking into account that it’s an early year release as well, and the movie clearly will have an uphill battle for any major recognition, to say the least.
So, can this be a player at all? My gut says […]

“THE MONK” with Vincent Cassel – Official Trailer and Poster

Watch the corruption of a 16th Century, pious Capuchin Monk as he is led down a dangerous path of sin in THE MONK, the supernatural thriller adapted from Matthew G. Lewis’ classic cult novel.
Raised in a monastery, Brother Ambrosio (Vincent Cassel) grows up into a preacher admired for his fervor and feared for his righteousness, until arrival of a mysterious apprentice undermines his convictions with dark consequences. Get a look at the film by checking out the official trailer and poster now:
Starring Vincent Cassel (BLACK SWAN, MESRIN: KILLER INSTINCT), and directed by Dominik Moll, THE MONK will be in select theaters, On Demand, and available for download starting Friday, March 8th.

Mila Kunis facing pregnancy rumors Mila Kunis’ romance with Ashton Kutcher has received a lot of scrutiny considering he is still married to Demi Moore and allegedly split with her when he was caught in a cheating scandal.
Now that the two have been happily showing off their budding relationship, they are facing more scrutiny than ever, states RadarOnline. While out for a walk, Kunis sparked pregnancy rumors as her shirt clung to a seemingly rounder than usual stomach.
She has been open about her body being different since filming ‘Black Swan,’ but it is looking even more different than usual.
Do you think they will have children together?
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Natalie Portman’s wedding dress designed by Rodarte Natalie Portman married Benjamin Millepied this weekend, and the lucky design she wore was a Rodarte wedding dress.
Portman wore a dress from the label designed by her good friends, Laura and Kate Mulleavy, states The dress was reportedly a white A-line dress that included sheer sleeves.
Portman also reportedly wore flats with her dress along with a veil and a floral crown.
Rodarte has been working with Portman for some time now as the designers created her ‘Black Swan’ tutus along with the dresses she wore to the 83rd Annual Academy Awards and the 20120 Venice Film Festival.
Portman and Millepied had a traditional Jewish ceremony this weekend near Big Sur, California.
Do you like her choice of designer?
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Natalie Portman has married Benjamin Millepied Natalie Portman is officially a married woman as she has reportedly wed fiance and father of her son Benjamin Millepied.
The two allegedly had a traditional Jewish ceremony this weekend at a private home near Big Sur, California, states RadarOnline. They already have a 13-month-old son together, Aleph.
Portman and Millepied originally met while working on ‘Black Swan’ together as he helped to choreograph the film and also had a small role as a dancer.
They welcomed their first son last year after she earned an Oscar for her role in ‘Black Swan.’
We wish them the best in their marriage.
Do you like them as a couple?
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Mila Kunis talks conflicts with losing, gaining weight for ‘Black Swan’ Mila Kunis lost a lot of weight for her role in ‘Black Swan,’ but it seems now that she has gained it back, she is realizing a lot about how people look at weight.
Kunis opened up to ‘Glamour’ about losing the weight and how people looked at her, states RadarOnline. “What was crazy was, when I was shooting ‘Black Swan,’ everyone was like, ‘Gosh, you’re really too skinny,’” Kunis said.
However, as soon as she gained it back, people flipped on her: “Then my weight started bouncing back and they’re like, ‘She looked better when she was anorexic-looking.’”
But Kunis knows she will only be the weight she wants to be: “You can’t please anyone!”
Do you like her outlook?
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Mila Kunis allegedly gaining weight for movie role Mila Kunis famously dropped weight for her role in ‘Black Swan,’ and now it seems that she is packing on the pounds for another movie role.
Kunis is allegedly working on the film ‘Blood Ties’ where she will be playing a frumpy 1970s auto repair shop worker, states RadarOnline. She has reportedly already been spotted showing off a fuller face and curvier figure.
Kunis dropped about 20 pounds for her ‘Black Swan’ role and was always honest about being willing to do it again.
Do you like how she dedicates herself?
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