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: bradley cooper

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:
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
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 […]

Leonardo DiCaprio: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders

Folks, as you all know from last year as well as my articles again so far 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 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. It’s 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 for us…the Best Actor category.

Here are the ten gentlemen that I have in play for Best Actor, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant) – Everyone pretty much agrees that DiCaprio will win an Oscar one day, it’s just a matter of when. Could it be this year? He’s the odds on favorite for many, and while I’m not sure it will happen, I can’t argue that he seems to be the most likely contender right now. The Trailer we saw suggests a physical and intense role, so if he can impress as much as we think he potentially can here, it might just be his time.
2. Michael Fassbender (The Light Between Oceans or Macbeth or Steve Jobs) – A lot will depend on which film asserts itself as Fassbender’s prime vehicle. Steve Jobs seems like it’ll be the one most likely to work for him, but that remains to be seen. I can’t shake the feeling that Fassbender isn’t going to win for that role, so perhaps The Light Between Oceans or Macbeth will wind up making a late charge? His candidacy is one of the more interesting subplots in this year’s Best Actor race, if you ask me…
3. Matt Damon (The Martian) – Perhaps a bit of wishful thinking on my part, […]

Cameron Crowe returns to the big screen with “Aloha”

One of my favorite filmmakers out there is Cameron Crowe, bar none. He’s responsible for some of the most enjoyable and memorable cinema of the past few decades, so whenever a new film of his arrives, it’s something that I look forward to in a big way. As such, this week’s release of Aloha is one that’s been on my movie calendar for a while now. The director is returning to a project that he’d originally intended to be his follow up to Elizabethtown (a film that I unabashedly love, even if I’m in the minority), so it’s clear it means something to him. When I see it later tonight (we’re embargoed on discussing it until later in the week, by the by), hopefully that passion is reflected.
The film (once called Deep Tiki and rumored to star Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon before being shelved for a while and re-emerging from Crowe’s mind as Aloha) is a Hawaii set romantic dramedy, sure to be filled with memorable music. It centers around a military contractor (played by Bradley Cooper) who returns to the Hawaiian location of one of his greatest career triumphs. While there, he re-connects with a long-ago love (played by Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling in love with the Air Force watchdog (played by Emma Stone) who is assigned to him be with him at all times. Crowe obviously writes and directs, while the cast, aside from Cooper, McAdams, and Stone, features Bill Murray, Alec Baldwin, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, Elizabeth Marvel, and many more.
Throughout Crowe’s career, he’s had a great sense of music, relationships, and just filmmaking on the whole that makes you want to stand up and cheer. If any of that is once again in evidence here, it’ll make for a very entertaining film. Even if this is one of his lesser features, like the still enjoyable We Bought a Zoo, for example, it’ll still be something likely worth seeing. Factor in how great of a run Cooper is on of late, and that only makes this something more interesting. When Crowe is at his best, we get all time classics like Almost Famous and Jerry Maguire, so even if he’s not on that level, expectations should still be high.
Yes, the trailers so far have made this feel a bit on the generic side, but sometimes that actually winds up working in a movie’s favor. Without […]

Bradley Cooper, Rachel McAdams and Emma Stone in ALOHA

In Aloha, a celebrated military contractor (Bradley Cooper) returns to the site of his greatest career triumphs – the US Space program in Honolulu, Hawaii – and reconnects with a long-ago love (Rachel McAdams) while unexpectedly falling for the hard-charging Air Force watchdog (Emma Stone) assigned to him.
From Academy Award®-winner Cameron Crowe, the writer-director behind such films as Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, Aloha also stars Bill Murray, John Krasinski, Danny McBride, and Alec Baldwin.

“Mad Max: Fury Road”: Ten Films to Look Forward to in May

With the end of April upon us next week, I wanted to turn our attention to May and the cinematic treats that might be held there. It’s essentially the start of the summer movie season, so there’s a slight turn that takes place in terms of what comes out. There are a few less notable indies, while the mainstream titles veer towards blockbuster status. In fact, a nice grouping of the biggest Hollywood smash hit hopefuls are hitting in May. You’ll see the ones below, clearly, but I tried to mix it up, going from tiny indie horror to massive comic book franchise sequel, with plenty in between. Enjoy!
Here are ten May releases to anticipate…
10. The Ladies of the House – A small independent horror film from John Stuart Wildman and Justina Walford, it offers a welcome throwback to the days of exploitation. I feel like Russ Meyer and Eli Roth would appreciate this in equal measure. It’s genre fare and not for everyone, but those who have a stomach for this sort of thing will likely enjoy discovering some new filmmaking voices. Look for it on May 1st.
9. San Andreas – Dwayne Johnson vs an Earthquake? I’m sure that’s enough to sell a ticket for many of you. I haven’t heard much buzz about this one, but on May 29th we can watch all hell break loose. It’s fair to say that this one could wind up being really entertaining, if likely in a dumb sort of way. We’ll find out on May 29th.
8. Good Kill – I saw this drama at the Tribeca Film Festival (after it came there following a debut at the Sundance Film Festival earlier on in 2015) and on May 15th, you can too. It offers up Ethan Hawke as a drone pilot, which is timely, if nothing else. The movie is solid too, so I can recommend it on its merits as well.
7. Pitch Perfect 2 – The sequel to the surprise hit from a few years ago, this is basically fan service, but we rarely get that in the form of a girl power mid level dance comedy, so you can’t take issue with it at all. Anna Kendrick and company are all back, so if you dug the first one, you can see it on May 15th.
6. Welcome to Me – Kristen Wiig wins the lottery and gets own talk show. […]

“Trainwreck”: Ten Original Summer Movies to look forward to

As you all know by now, the summer movie season is getting longer and longer each and every single year. At the same time, the films being released are getting less and less original as well. It’s not necessarily a knock on quality, but everything seems to be a prequel or a reboot or a sequel, leaving very little room for originality. Sure, there’s original takes on things, but original ideas themselves appear to be in short supply. As such, I wanted to highlight some of the 2015 summer releases that seem to buck this trend. There’s a handful of titles that aren’t based on existing material, and that’s delightful to me.
Below you’ll find a list of ten flicks hitting theaters between the beginning of May and the end of August that aren’t comic book adaptations or anything even close to that. I might do a separate list of films like that next week, as the summer movie season basically officially kicks off, but for now, I’m going with this list. They tend to be mainstream outings, though there’s one or two small indies thrown in there to mix it up, for good measure, of course. Take a gander and use this as a way to plan out a well round couple of months of going to the cinema…
In alphabetical order, here are ten original concept movies to look forward to this summer:
Aloha – As a huge Cameron Crowe fan, I’m certainly eager to see his latest romantic comedy that’s sure to have a great soundtrack. Bradley Cooper stars alongside Emma Stone, with Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray among the top notch supporting cast. Crowe hasn’t been the king of the rom-com in a while, so perhaps this will be his return to wide level acclaim? We’ll find out at the very end of May.
Digging for Fire – Indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg always makes original films, but they rare show up on summer movie lists. This year, however, he continues his trend of working with bigger actors on slightly more mainstream a scale. He’s finally being noticed, so another teaming with Jake Johnson could continue that upswing. I believe this one comes out in August.
Inside Out – Pixar goes back to their non-sequel roots with this look inside the mind of a young girl, particularly at her emotions and how they control/interact with her. It has a spot at the […]

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