January 01, 2015

Tag Archives: bradley cooper

Spotlight on the Stars: Bradley Cooper

First of all, Happy Holidays everyone. For this week’s new spotlight piece, I wanted to cite a modern A-lister who also happens to have some classical charm to him. It’s Bradley Cooper, a newly minted leading man who’s continuing to impress the more we get to see from him. He was once considered a pretty boy of sorts, someone you’d never expect to be an Oscar favorite, but in the span of less than a decade, he’s gone from a lightweight to an absolute A-list star, one who’s now considered basically due for an Academy Award. As such, he’s more than a perfect candidate for the spotlight today.
Cooper got his start mostly on television (though he did appear in the film Wet Hot American Summer), showing up in things like Sex and the City, where he made his debut. There were also parts on a few different versions of Law & Order as well as on short lived shows such as Jack & Bobby and Kitchen Confidential, though he really broke through with the series Alias. There were other movie parts, like The Comebacks, Failure to Launch, The Midnight Meat Train, New York I Love You, The Rocker, Wedding Crashers, and Yes Man, but that spy show opposite Jennifer Garner really set him up to be a star.
He had parts in misfires All About Steve and Case 39, but that same year he also became a future A-lister with his part in the massive success that was The Hangover. That comedy was a huge hit, paving the way for Cooper to get a chance to branch out and explore his talents a bit. Initially, it didn’t go too well, with The A-Team and Valentine’s Day underwhelming, but Limitless proved he could be a leading man, while The Hangover 2 cemented that franchise’s bankability, and in turn…his. He took that industry sway and began to essay the second act of his career. The Words was an attempt at straight drama, while Hit and Run had him steal scenes in a comedy he didn’t lead. They were set up though for what would be the last few years, when he dominated Hollywood.
Cooper not only changed a lot of minds about him with David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook, he also scored his first Academy Award nomination. The citation in Best Actor really let people know that he was something special, which Cooper […]

A December Oscar Predictions Update

Well, the calendar has turned to December folks, so now we’re getting serious here in terms of Oscar predictions. Precursor awards are in full swing now, so expect the Academy Award picture to begin to clear itself up little by little. As I keep saying, that doesn’t mean that from now on we’ll suddenly know how the whole thing will go down, but we’re close to the point where things should make more sense. Without any unseen contenders left, all that’s left is figuring out how these various Oscar hopefuls will do. Well, that’s what I’m here for ladies and gentlemen, so let’s figure it out!
The big new piece of information here is that I’ve now seen and digested Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken. Honestly, I’m skeptical that it’ll be a major player, which is why I now have it snubbed in the Best Picture category and not going home with a single win. I could be wrong, but I also think that Jolie will fall short in Best Director and Jack O’Connell won’t be able to break through in the Best Actor race. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a good movie, because it is, but it doesn’t feel like something that can stand up to the major players in this race. As such, voters might leave it behind.
This leaves us mostly with a race that’s going to come down to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, and Ava DuVernay’s Selma in terms of Best Picture as well as Best Director. You can make the case that Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a potential dark horse, but aside from that, it’s those three. You’ll see what I think will happen below, but get used to seeing those titles a lot, because those are the names that will compete for Oscar glory.
Anyway, it’s time to get down to business, right? Without further delay, here is how I see the Academy Award nominations going at this current juncture, with once again my next in line picks listed for completion/as a bonus. Behold:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Selma
3. The Imitation Game
4. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Interstellar
6. Gone Girl
7. Whiplash
8. The Theory of Everything
9. Foxcatcher
10. A Most Violent Year
Next in line: 11. Unbroken 12. American Sniper 13. Into the Woods 14. Fury 15. Rosewater 16. Wild 17. Mr. Turner 18. Inherent Vice 19. Nightcrawler […]

Golden Globe predictions for November

It’s Black Friday, so I know you’re all mostly concerned with taking advantage of various sales, but since it’s also the end of November, I wanted to bring some new Golden Globe predictions to you as well. We’ve been doing these for a while now, but this represents likelythe final one I’ll be doing before the actual nominations are announced in about two weeks on December 11th (unless I preview the announcement with a final set of predictions…we’ll see). As such, I’m hoping to really nail them this time around, and try to figure out how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association might go with their nods. The HFPA can go in some odd directions too, so these noms might even be a little more Oscar friendly than they wind up being. We’ll see though.
The biggest addition this time around is accounting for Selma in the race. I still had it shut out last time around, and while I don’t necessarily think it’s going to dominate the Globes, I do think a shut out isn’t going to happen. I also had to try to figure out what to do with Unbroken, which I don’t see until Monday. As such, I left it alone for the most part. If I do indeed do one last update to these predictions, it’ll be due at least in part to a need to account for the film, one way or another. Perhaps I’ll need to predict it for some wins? Perhaps I’ll need to drop it completely? Somewhere in between? I’ll find out at the beginning of next week and report in on the film itself, but if I do update Globe predictions, reflections on that movie will be involved for sure.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part (since as always we know that you’re really here just to see what I have below in each of the categories), are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe nomination predictions to pour over. Behold:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. The Imitation Game
2. Selma
3. Boyhood
4. Gone Girl
5. Unbroken
If there’s a sixth: Interstellar
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Whiplash
4. Begin Again
5. St. Vincent
If there’s a sixth: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
2. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
3. David Oyelowo – Selma
4. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
5. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
If […]

A Mid-November Oscar Predictions Update

I’m going to keep it short and sweet today folks, or at least a bit shorter than usual in terms of set up. You all know by now that it’s time for my middle of the month Oscar predictions update piece. Sometimes, there’s only a tinker or two to be done, but today…today I have a seismic shift to include, namely in the arrival of Selma on the scene. It’s gone from being shut out (what was I thinking?) to contending for wins in multiple major categories. In fact, more than one of the big eight categories have new winners listed, so this is a definite change in thinking. Some of it might be short lived, but that’s what the upcoming new set of predictions next month is for, right? I’ve also added the three short form categories (Animated Short, Documentary Short, and Live Action Short), though I know that’s not quite as big a selling point. Still, they’re there now, so don’t ignore them.
Anyway, let’s get down to business, shall we? Without further delay, here is how I see the Academy Award nominations going at this current juncture, with once again my next in line picks listed for completion. Behold:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Selma
3. The Imitation Game
4. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Interstellar
6. The Theory of Everything
7. Gone Girl
8. Whiplash
9. Foxcatcher
10. Unbroken
Next in line: 11. A Most Violent Year 12. Rosewater 13. Into the Woods 14. Fury 15. American Sniper 16. Inherent Vice 17. Mr. Turner 18. Wild 19. Nightcrawler 20. Still Alice
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2. Ava DuVernay – Selma
3. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
4. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
5. Christopher Nolan – Interstellar
Next in line: 6. David Fincher – Gone Girl 7. Damien Chazelle – Whiplash 8. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher 9. Angelina Jolie – Unbroken 10. James Marsh – The Theory of Everything
BEST ACTOR
1. David Oyelowo – Selma
2. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
3. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
4. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Next in line: 6. Jack O’Connell – Unbroken 7. Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler 8. Bradley Cooper – American Sniper 9. Matthew McConaughey – Interstellar 10. Kevin Costner – Black or White
BEST ACTRESS
1. Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
2. Julianne Moore – Still Alice
3. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
4. Reese Witherspoon – Wild
5. […]

A November Oscar Predictions Update

The calendar has turned to November folks, so now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty of Oscar predictions. Precursor awards have begun to be given out, so expect the Academy Award picture to slowly begin to clear up. That doesn’t mean that from now on we suddenly know how the whole thing will go, but we’re closing in on the point where things should begin to make more sense. We can still guess to our heart’s content, but certain long shots just won’t happen and certain likelihoods are even more likely now. That’s just the name of the game. By nomination morning I should have things pretty accurate, but for now, it’s still a matter of fine tuning. This is just the first phase of the game too, keep that in mind. Once the nominations are announced, the whole situation changes and it becomes all about figuring out winners. Nominees are one thing…winners are a whole other.
For this particular update, I tried to decide if there were any surprises to consider. For one thing, I backed away from American Sniper quite a bit. On the flip side, I’ve gotten pretty bold with Interstellar, including Christopher Nolan’s first Best Director nomination. I also am sticking with my next in line bonus little thing in each category, since it give you all a further look at what I’m thinking as the weeks progress. Knowing the top ten in a given category (double that in Best Picture, obviously) can help assess the whole situation, so I think it’s a help overall.
In terms of my winners, I just want to say once again that I think just about every race is still wide open (give or take Best Supporting Actor) and I refuse to predict a split between Best Picture and Best Director this early in the game, so when I switch one, I have to change the other as well. As such, you’ll see a new winner or two throughout the big eight categories, but mostly the status quo from last time around. They could just be temporary, but time will tell in that regard. For now, that’s just how I see the race…
Well, enough talk though my friends. I know you all just want to see how the predictions have changed, even if only a little bit, so let me oblige you. Here now are my most up to date Academy […]

Golden Globe predictions for October

With the month of October almost complete and the precursor season having officially kicked off yesterday morning with the Gotham Award nominations (I’ll be writing about that on Monday or Tuesday as part of something more substantial about precursors), now’s a perfect time for my monthly set of Golden Globe predictions. Some might consider it a bit too early still, but not me. It’s time. Especially considering some of the embargoed things I’ve seen this month (including one big one I can’t talk about yet), it’s high time to discuss the Globes again.
To reiterate the basics to you all one more time, the biggest difference that you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions, as well as more European fare at times. So yes, some films that do better here might not do quite as well with Oscar. Certain titles will do about the same with both groups, like potentially Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, or Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game. You also still might lose certain indie players here, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (though that one can go either way considering it’s potentially a frontrunner for Best Picture), just as one example, though others could be movies like J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows longer shot work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent to have a shot at not just contention for nods, but actual noms, as well as wins. Nominations that would have been wishful thinking with the Academy and AMPAS (or just harder to come by) are very much in play with the categories that the HFPA deals in. That’s just the nature of the beast here folks.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part (since we all know that you’re really here just to see what I have below in each category), are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions. Behold:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. The Imitation Game
2. Interstellar
3. Unbroken
4. Boyhood
5. The Theory of Everything
If there’s a sixth: Gone Girl
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Whiplash
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. […]

A look at Screen Actors Guild predictions

I’ve been tackling Academy Award and Golden Globe predictions for a substantial portion of the year now, but there are of course other awards and/or precursors worth mentioning. Over the rest of the season, I’ll be trying to figure those out too, with today marking the starting point as I attempt to decode what the Screen Actors Guild might do. SAG is one of the most important precursors, mainly because it shows off what the acting branch of the Academy might be thinking. This year, with such a wide open race in almost all categories, you have to imagine that SAG will be one of the biggest guild announcements of the year.
Below you’ll see my predictions in all of the SAG categories, but keep in mind that it’s early and they’re completely subject to change. For example, I’ve hung back on some films like Selma while going out on a few limbs that make more sense now than they likely will during crunch time. In any event…here you go:
Best Actor is so packed this year, whomever is snubbed in this category could find their chances crippled. Last year, SAG went three out of five (nominating Bruce Dern, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tom Hanks, Matthew McConaughey, and Forest Whitaker…Hanks and Whitaker were swapped out for Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio in Oscar’s lineup), so they clearly help. McConaughey won here on his road to the Academy Award win, so that’s worth noting as well. At this point, it’s wide open…
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Prediction: Michael Keaton
With Best Actress, we’re going to have to look to see which direction voters go, though last year won’t provide any help. Last time around SAG went four out of five with Oscar (only having to sub out Emma Thompson for Amy Adams, as Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, and Meryl Streep all made the cut), so I’d expect a close relationship between the two awards. Still, it’s going to be hard for them to resist the veteran here.
Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars
Prediction: Julianne Moore
Best Supporting Actor is a slam dunk this year, so unless SAG pulls a shocker, we know who’s winning. Much like last year, there’s basically […]

A Mid-October Oscar Predictions Update

Ladies and gentlemen, as I’ve been saying over the past few months…oscar predictions are a rather funny thing. Sometimes you have to just update them all wholesale in order to not be way off the mark/behind the times, while sometimes they only require a relatively small bit of tinkering as to be on the right track and not out on crazy limbs. That’s simply the nature of the beast, one where a single new contender on the horizon can upend the race, one way or another. With only a small amount of Oscar hopefuls still to be seen, we’re again waiting for a new contender to potentially change the landscape (I’m looking at you, American Sniper), now that we’re in a world where Inherent Vice has already unveiled itself and not particularly changed things at all. In any event, it’s time for a new predictions update!
If you look at what I have in this particular update, you’ll see that I’ve made some changes, but not a complete overall. Once again though, a special thing I have for you all is the addition of who I have next in line in the major categories. This will give you a better idea of what the larger landscape looks like. I’ll obviously need to update these all again in a few weeks, particularly after I hopefully see things like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, but that’s one step ahead of the game for me. Until then (as well as when the other unseen contenders reveal themselves), the educated guesswork will just have to continue on a little bit longer.
In terms of my winners, I just want to say that I think just about every race is still wide open (give or take Best Supporting Actor) and I refuse to predict a split between Best Picture and Best Director this early in the game, so when I switch one, I have to change the other. As such, you’ll see a handful of new winners throughout the big eight categories. They could just be temporary, but time will tell in that regard. For now, that’s just how I see the race…
Well, enough talk though folks. I know you all just want to see how the predictions have changed, even if only a little bit, so let me oblige you. Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. The Imitation Game
3. Birdman or […]

An October Oscar Predictions Update

Just as I said last month…oscar predictions are a funny thing. Sometimes you have to just update them wholesale in order to not be way off the mark, and sometimes they only require a relatively small bit of tinkering to be on the right track. That’s the nature of the beast, one where a single new contender can upend the race, one way or another. With only a day to go until Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice is finally seen (yours truly will be there at the New York Film Festival), we’re waiting for a new contender to change the landscape, what with Gone Girl last week turning out great, but not as a game changer. In any event, it’s time for a predictions update!
If you look at what I have in this particular update, you’ll see a lot of what I had a few weeks ago, with small changes here and there. The big new thing I have for you all is the addition of who I have next in line in the major categories. This will give you a better idea of what the larger landscape looks like. I’ll obviously need to update this in a few weeks, particularly after processing Inherent Vice, but that’s one step ahead of the game. Until then, the educated guesswork will just have to continue a little bit more.
Well, enough talk though. I know you all just want to see how the predictions have changed, even if only a little bit, so let me oblige you. Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Gone Girl
2. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Foxcatcher
4. The Imitation Game
5. Boyhood
6. The Theory of Everything
7. Whiplash
8. Unbroken
9. American Sniper
10. Interstellar
Next in line: 11. Men, Women & Children 12. Inherent Vice 13. Into the Woods 14. Fury 15. Selma 16. Mr. Turner 17. Rosewater 18. A Most Violent Year 19. Wild 20. Nightcrawler
BEST DIRECTOR
1. David Fincher – Gone Girl
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
4. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
5. Clint Eastwood – American Sniper
Next in line: 6. Christopher Nolan – Interstellar 7. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game 8. Damien Chazelle – Whiplash 9. James Marsh – The Theory of Everything 10. Angelina Jolie – Unbroken
BEST ACTOR
1. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
3. […]

Re-ranking the contenders in Best Actor

As I mentioned last week and the week prior to that, with the festival season well underway and a good portion of the major contenders for the Academy Awards having screened or about to screen, now seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the big eight categories and see what’s what in an updated and more expanded fashion. I did this with the major categories a couple of months back, but that was when almost everything was still speculation. We have some facts to go on now, so while much of this is still just an educated guess, I’m not completely relying on overt hunches this time around. It’s more of an even mix, depending on the film/director/performer in question, of course. Today I’m turning my attention once again to the Best Actor field, which won’t necessarily match up with Best Picture in any major way, but perhaps won’t be too far off either. Read on to see what I mean…
One special note about Best Actor this year is that it’s as deep as I’ve ever seen it to be at this point in the season. Each of the ten men that I have cited as the ones with the best chance at a nomination could presumably even wind up winning, and I’d go so far as to say that extends to the next few as well. When have we been basically in October previously and had a dozen viable contenders to win an Oscar? Besides that, you can go nearly 20 deep in terms of who could legitimately wind up getting nominated. It’s going to be a bloodbath when we whittle this down to the ultimate lineup…
Here are the ten gentlemen that I have in play for Best Actor currently, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point and time:
1. Michael Keaton (Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – You really can’t write a better narrative for a comeback performance than this one. Not only is Keaton a former typecast superhero turned critical darling in this film, his character is an actor trying to emerge from the shadow of the hero that he played. It’s the perfect storm not just to get him nominated, which almost surely will happen now, but the right combination of things to result in a win. Right now, he makes the most sense for this […]

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