July 29, 2016
        "Jason Bourne" brings back Matt Damon to the franchise                Mike Mills' "20th Century Women" is the Centerpiece of the 2016 New York Film Festival                A Teaser Trailer for "Justice League" suggests a really fun blockbuster                "Blair Witch" and "Wonder Woman": Comic-Con unleashes a ton of buzz worthy Trailers                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders                "Star Trek Beyond" is a rare success for the 2016 summer movie season                The 2016 New York Film Festival will open with Ava Duvernay's documentary "The 13th"                Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make us swoon as "La La Land" drops a luminous Teaser Trailer                "Loving" announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for July                Woody Allen has another crowd pleaser on his hands with "Cafe Society"                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders                Kristen Stewart shines in the sci-fi love story "Equals"                'Ghostbusters' is an excellent re-invention of the classic franchise                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Director contenders        

Tag Archives: bradley cooper

Bruce Dern and Mark Ruffalo: Who’s most overdue for an Oscar now?

As you all know by now, plenty of folks in the industry can go a whole career without ever winning an Oscar. As such, that makes for a ton of heavyweights in Hollywood who are very overdue for wins. Much like I did last week with people who have never been nominated, I’m going to be citing today ten actors or actresses who have yet to win Oscars but deserve to already have one on their mantle. All of these previous nominees were in contention at some point this year, believe it or not, and many will hopefully be winners within the next few years. Keep in mind that this is just my humble opinion, but take a look below at who I think is most overdue a little gold man…

Here now are ten actors/actresses who are overdue for an Academy Award:
10. Carey Mulligan – It might surprise a lot of you to know that Mulligan only has one Oscar nomination, for her breakthrough performance in An Education. She seems like she’s been nominated more than that, right? Well, that hasn’t happened, and while Suffragette didn’t do it for her this year, it feels like many more nominations are in her future, and as such, a solid chance at a win. I’d be shocked if she doesn’t wind up with an Oscar one day.
9. Johnny Depp – For a bit, it seemed like Depp was going to finally win for his role this year in Black Mass. Mostly though, it served as a reminder that he’s out there and still without a victory. Depp has a pocket of supporters who always push him when he’s in an awards friendly vehicle, so while I might prefer his recent outings in Kevin Smith movies, he’s probably only one safe prestige project away from getting to that stage.
8. Ellen Page – Another talented actress with only one nomination, she potentially should have won for Juno, but since then has been shut out. Had Freeheld been more of a contender, I think Page not only would have gotten a Best Supporting Actress nomination, she’d have easily been the frontrunner. Her time is still to come, it seems, but never count her out…
7. Will Smith – Much like with Depp, but to a greater extent, it seemed at one point in 2015 like it was finally going to be Smith’s year. Concussion wound up getting […]

“Joy”: Is the third time the charm for Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell?

Few filmmaker/acting teams have gotten the recent attention that Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell have received, with equal parts love and derision coming their way. As a fan of their collaborations American Hustle and Silver Linings Playbook, I was greatly looking forward to Joy, potentially as the instance where Russell would finally be awarded by the Academy. Obviously, Lawrence has been nominated both times before, and so has Russell in both writing and directing categories, but only Lawrence has won an Oscar. Could this finally be the time for them both of them to win, or even just for Russell? Well, with the film hitting theaters this week, I’ll be discussing just that…
For those completely unaware, the film is a slightly fictionalized look at businesswoman and inventor Joy Mangano (though the filmmakers have made this more of a composite character and not strictly about her, as explicitly stated in the opening title cards), a successful entrepreneur who hit it rather big with a special self wringing mop she designed. Lawrence portrays Joy as she goes from a young single mother in a dysfunctional family to the founder and matriarch of a powerful family business that will be a dynasty for generations to come. Through it all, she’s had to be a powerful woman in a decidedly male dominated world, dealing with adversity, failure, and those who constantly told her to quit while she was behind. Russell obviously directs the movie and co-writes with Annie Mumolo (who, as I’ve mentioned in a few previous articles, penned the initial script but now only receives a Story By credit here), while the supporting cast includes Bradley Cooper, De Niro, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Edgar Ramirez, Elisabeth Röhm, Isabella Rossellini, and many more.

I found the movie to be a mixed bag, definitely “lesser” Russell, but Lawrence again shines, having the filmmaker bring out the best in her. De Niro is very good as well, showing that Russell has a magic touch with him as well, but Lawrence is definitely best in show. She’s able to take a complicated character and portray her with a deep humanity, never betraying her roots. She’s tough when required, wounded when required, and always believable. Even when things around her are crumbling (both plot wise and also sometimes the film itself), Lawrence soars. The flick is a showcase for how she’s one of the best in the business, […]

Jennifer Lawrence looks like a major Best Actress threat in the latest Trailer for “Joy”

As one of the very last unseen Academy Award contenders this year, David O. Russell’s film Joy is among the most scrutinized of 2015 holiday releases. More than just another shot for Russell to score that elusive first Oscar after a bevy of recent nominations, it’s also a high profile star vehicle for Jennifer Lawrence. Judging by the new Trailer, which you can see below, it very well might make her a two time winner in the Best Actress category. Yes, she looks that good in it. As such, I wanted to discuss Joy again a bit, since we’re still about two months away from really knowing anything concrete about it…
The film is a somewhat fictionalized look at businesswoman and inventor Joy Mangano (though the filmmakers have apparently made this more of a composite character and not strictly about her), a successful entrepreneur who hit it rather big with a special mop she designed. Lawrence will portray Joy as she goes from a young single mother to the founder and matriarch of a powerful family business that will be a dynasty for generations to come. Through it all, she’s had to be a powerful woman in a decidedly male dominated world. Russell obviously directs the movie and co-writes with Annie Mumolo (who as mentioned in a previous article penned the initial script but oddly only receives a Story By credit here), while the supporting cast seems top notch, led by Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro while also including Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Edgar Ramirez, Elisabeth Röhm, Isabella Rossellini, and many more.
I obviously can’t know if this flick is any good, but the buzz has gotten better since this new Trailer dropped this week. Initially met with some skepticism and perhaps even some hand rubbing by pundits eager to see the duo of Lawrence and Russell fail, the ship has been righted. Some of that is due to the better new Trailer, which also highlights how good De Niro might be here, as well as Lawrence, but some of this newfound love might be due to the race itself. With no real frontrunner in many categories, a high profile X factor like this becomes a sexy pick for some to make. It’s all a crapshoot, but Joy is riding a nice little wave at the current moment. If it keeps up through the theatrical release, Oscar could very well take […]

Bradley Cooper will try to cook up another hit with “Burnt”

Over the past half decade or so, Bradley Cooper has gone from an up and coming supporting player to one of Hollywood’s biggest A-listers. Right now, he’s a huge movie star, one who is a favorite of both Academy members as well as theater goers. With the release starting this week of his new star vehicle Burnt, I wanted to discuss that flick as well as his standing in the industry currently. Cooper is as big an A-list actor as anyone in the business, so I’m sure this won’t be the last time we discuss him. If this new film does well, we may even be talking about him as an Oscar nominee once again.
The movie in question is a culinary drama starring Cooper as chef Adam Jones, who was once a rising star in the kitchen but flamed out, partially due to bad behavior and partially due to drug addiction. Newly clean, he sets out to dominate the food industry once again, starting by opening a restaurant in London that can gain the elusive rating of three Michelin stars. John Wells directs a script from Steven Knight (with story credit going to Michael Kalesniko as well), while the cast besides Cooper includes Daniel Brühl, Sarah Greene, Lily James, Sienna Miller, Matthew Rhys, Omar Sy, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, and Alicia Vikander. Of course, the star here is Cooper, with this a vehicle here for his charm and talents.
What gives me hope here is that Cooper has more or less been catnip for Oscar voters. He’s been nominated three years running, with a total of four nominations to his credit. First up was his Best Actor citation for Silver Linings Playbook, with the year after being a Best Supporting Actor nod for American Hustle, while last year he got a pair of noms, one being for producing American Sniper while the other was in Best Actor for his performance in that flick. At this point, he’s due for a win, so a classy star vehicle like this could potentially have him in the running once again.
In terms of awards, it could be one shot or nothing for Burnt. If it turns out that The Weinstein Company has a hit on their hands, which is possible, if not amazingly likely, they could try to campaign the film in Best Picture, Best Director (for Wells), Best Actor (for Cooper), Best Supporting Actor […]

“Steve Jobs”: Ten Films to see in October

Folks, it’s just about to become October, and that’s crazy to me. It’s the thick of the fall festival season, which means that we’re also officially knee deep in awards season now. I think this month is one of the very best of the year so far, especially in terms of new releases, though that sort of goes without saying as we move deeper into the fall. As you’ll see, a multitude of Academy Award possibilities are hitting theaters, so that alone is a major boost to cinema offerings. Of course, there’s no assurance of Oscar attention, but I’m of the opinion that whenever we have a bunch of contenders circling the wagons, as it were, it’s a good thing. As such, this could be a really good month indeed. Take a look below and I’ll be more than happy to show you what October has to offer up for you all…
Here now are the ten best bets for flicks to see in the month of October:
10. Suffragette – One of a handful of civil rights related awards hopefuls for 2015, this one I can’t quite figure out. Reviews have been fine, the cast has been praised, but something about it seems slightly too on the nose for the Academy too fully embrace. Carey Mulligan might be its main hope, but we shall see. I had originally been scheduled to see it today, but now that’s happening early next week, so stay tuned there.
9. The Walk – I enjoyed Robert Zemeckis’ latest flick, particularly the third act, when the spectacle takes over and you see things you’ve never seen on screen before. This is probably not a contender outside of the technical categories, which is bad news for those hoping to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt nominated, but it’s a very entertaining film nonetheless. Just wait until you see the third act…
8. Our Brand is Crisis – Yes, I was predicting this to win Best Picture and Best Director for a fair bit of time. That time has seemingly come and gone, but perhaps the precursors will revive its chances? Sandra Bullock at least seems like a potential Best Actress nominee still, so there’s that. I tend to be a David Gordon Green fan, so even if it’s not his Oscar winner, it still could be a quirky good time at the movies.
7. Burnt – This is a big curiosity for me. […]

Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio – Which acting contenders this year are most due for their first win?

Of the many storylines that begin during awards season, few are usually as compelling as the ones centered around who’s most due for an Academy Award. I think that it’s usually pretty satisfying to see a former bridesmaid finally become a bride, as it were. As such, below I’ve made up a list of ten actors or actresses who’ve previously been nominated for Oscars but have yet to win one who are in contention this year. I’ve more or less ranked them by how due they are, and just to be fair, I’ve excluded anyone who has already won a prize elsewhere (sorry Matt Damon, for example), or any of the myriad contenders who are seeking their first ever nomination by the Academy. Take a look below and I hope you enjoy!
Here now are the ten actors and actresses most due for their first Oscar win:
10. Bradley Cooper – With three acting nominations already under his belt, Cooper has now officially gotten the “due” label. A previous Best Actor nominee for American Sniper and Silver Linings Playbook, as well as a Best Supporting Actor nominee for American Hustle, he has two opportunities for a win this year. He’ll be in the Actor hunt with Burnt and the Supporting Actor hunt with Joy. It may not happen this year for Cooper, but it will eventually, you can count on that.

9. Carey Mulligan – I’m sure it surprises a lot of people that Mulligan only has one nomination, which was in Best Actress for An Education. She just missed in Supporting Actress when her strong work in both Drive and Shame essentially canceled each other out. This year she’ll hope that her performances in Far From the Maddening Crowd and Suffragette don’t do the same to her. Regardless, despite the solo citation previously, she’s due to take home the gold one day.
8. Will Smith – Here’s a case of someone who can not only remind the Academy of his existence, but cement his status as one of the all time great A-listers with a win. Previously nominated in Best Actor for Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness, that elusive victory has escaped him so far. This year he has Concussion, which is a pretty baity premise. Taking the Actor prize would certainly put him up there as one of our best movie stars ever, but either way…he’s due.
7. Jessica Chastain – Few […]

“Joy” is the latest Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell project in the Oscar hunt

Between Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, it’s undeniable that Jennifer Lawrence and filmmaker David O. Russell have a tremendous thing going. Their working relationship is as strong as any other in the business. I’m of the opinion that they’ve put forward two Oscar worthy projects, one of which was able to get Lawrence an Academy Award for Best Actress (for Silver Linings Playbook). Both times, Russell found himself nominated for Best Director and in either Best Adapted Screenplay or Best Original Screenplay, while the other time Lawrence was up for Best Supporting Actress. That’s a winning formula if ever there was one. Later this year, they’ll attempt to go three for three with Joy, a biographical dramedy that will also be the third time they’ve worked together with Bradley Cooper (who also has been nominated twice, as well as co-starred with Lawrence in Serena earlier this year) as well as Robert De Niro. Right now, it’s hard to believe this won’t be another big awards juggernaut for them.
The movie is a fictionalized look at Joy Mangano (though the filmmakers have apparently made this more of a composite character and not strictly about her), a successful entrepreneur who hit it big with a special mop. Lawrence will portray Joy as she goes from a young single mother to the founder and matriarch of a powerful family business that will be a dynasty for generations to come. Russell obviously directs and co-writes with Annie Mumolo (who penned the initial script but oddly only receives a Story By credit here), while the supporting cast, in addition to the aforementioned Cooper and De Niro includes Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen, Edgar Ramirez, Elisabeth Röhm (returning from American Hustle), Isabella Rossellini, and more.
First and foremost, this has to be labeled a contender due to the track record of Lawrence and Russell, especially when paired together. Two of Lawrence’s three nominations are while working with Russell, while he’s been up for the biggest prizes each time since he paired up with her. He’s been on a big run of nominations since The Fighter, without having gotten an Oscar of his own, so he’s a filmmaker who’s very much do for a statue. Could it be this time? Could Lawrence win her second Academy Award? These are distinct possibilities at this point, along with potentially getting Cooper his first prize as well. The potential for this one […]

“The Martian”: Oscar predictions for August

It’s almost crunch time folks! Yes, this is the last set of predictions before we start to get into fall festival season (pay close attention to the New York Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, and Toronto Film Festival), which in turn launches the Oscar race. As such, you won’t see a ton of changes here this time around, but be prepared for a lot of contenders to move around during the next update or two. I might be going to twice a month for predictions come September, so it’s going to be interesting seeing how these potential players do or do not shape up in the race. As such, this update represents a definite demarcation in the year. From here on out, it’s truly awards season for all of us…
The latest Trailer for The Martian (which you can see below) keeps it at the tip top for me right now, and that’s I suppose the most noteworthy aspect here. I’ve been tempted to try something else up at the top, but I’m going to wait until I see otherwise from Ridley Scott’s film or something else truly blows me away. When that day comes (possibly during NYFF or TIFF), I’ll amend as necessary, but for now, it remains. You’ll see everything below, and obviously sit tight, as more predictions will be coming in just a few weeks!
First off, here’s that new Trailer for The Martian:

Here now are my latest Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. The Martian
2. The Revenant
3. Bridge of Spies
4. Our Brand is Crisis
5. Carol
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. Steve Jobs
9. Inside Out
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 12. By the Sea 13. Miles Ahead 14. The Walk 15. MacBeth 16. The End of the Tour 17. Freeheld 18. Trainwreck 19. The Danish Girl 20. Lion 21. Spotlight 22. In the Heart of the Sea 23. Southpaw 24. Sicario 25. Black Mass 26. Suffragette 27. Mad Max: Fury Road 28. I Saw The Light 29. Straight Outta Compton 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Ridley Scott – The Martian
2. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
3. Todd Haynes – Carol
4. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
5. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
Next in line: 6. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 7. David O. Russell – Joy 8. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 9. John Crowley […]

Bradley Cooper will heat up the Oscar race in “Burnt”

By now, it seems like a perennial contender for Oscars is none other than Bradley Cooper. He’s on quite the run of late, between his collaborations with David O. Russell, the stunning success that was American Sniper, and just being one of our most charismatic A-list stars. Later this year, he’ll look to again appeal to Academy voters, not just with a supporting turn for Russell in Joy, but also in the culinary comedy/drama Burnt, which has taken a bit to develop. Cooper has helped shepherd it to the screen (it’s now test screening, leading to some early reactions to his performance), and judging from the recent Trailer that dropped (which you can see at the end of the piece), this is going to be one intense flick. If things break the right way for it, you could also see it becoming another Oscar vehicle for Cooper.
The film is a look at the obsession that can go into being a chef. Adam Jones (Cooper), was once considered to be one of the best chefs in the world, but his fast rising career flamed out when he got lost in diva antics, drug addictions, and other such bad behavior. Now having cleaned himself up, he’s determined to essay a rags to riches redemption story by taking a top level restaurant and making it even better, earning the elusive full level Michelin Star rating in the process. John Wells directs from a script by Steven Knight (with a story credit going to Michael Kalesniko), while the cast besides Cooper includes Daniel Brühl, Lily James, Sienna Miller, Omar Sy, Emma Thompson, Uma Thurman, Alicia Vikander, and more.
Without question, the big selling point here for Burnt is Cooper. He’s become one of our bigger A-list stars over the last handful of years, so anything he chooses to make is of course noteworthy in and of itself, but this one seems especially worthy of our time. Not only is he again playing a chef after having done so briefly on television before he hit it big, he’s utilizing his star power as the sole big star here. He’s carried movies before, but perhaps never to this extent. The film could be an interesting test of his drawing power, not only at the box office but with awards season voters as well.
Awards wise, it could be Cooper or bust for this flick. That being said, if […]

Bruce Dern: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actor contenders

HOLLYWOOD CONTENDERS:Here we go again folks. It’s time for another category to get a somewhat in depth look at what/who its top contenders might be. I’ve gone over what this is a number of times, but in case you’re new to it all, here it is in short: 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 that you can use as you see fit.
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actor. Hot on the heels of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight dropping a first Trailer that offers up tons of Supporting Actor possibilities, this seems like a perfect bit of timing. You can see the Trailer in question now, by the by, but there are plenty of other contenders on hand as well. You’ll see what I mean momentarily…
First up, the Teaser Trailer for The Hateful Eight:

Here now are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actor, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Bruce Dern (The Hateful Eight) – After seeing that Trailer, you have to think that the whole ensemble could be in play, but I think the secret weapon for Tarantino might be Dern. He’s quiet and in the background, but within the film could really steal some scenes. Few others in this category fit the form of a winner more aptly than Dern, as he’s a veteran still looking for that elusive statue. He came close a few years ago with Nebraska, and if he’s half as good here as he was there, he can certainly contend for a win now. If you veer […]

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