January 01, 2015

Tag Archives: channing tatum

A look at some potential first time Academy Award nominees this year

One of the most enjoyable things about the Oscars each and every single year is that a number of overdue veterans are finally cited with their first Academy Award nominations. These nods are sometimes for career best work and sometimes almost life achievement citations, but it’s very rare that the noms aren’t actually fully deserved. This year, there are no shortage of very deserving first timers who are only a matter of weeks away from hearing their name called out at long last. As such, I wanted to give you all a look at a number of them, mostly in the major categories, though not exclusively.
Here now are a dozen (well, technically more, as you’ll see in a moment) potential first time Oscar nominees for this year:
1. (Almost) The entire Best Actor field – With the exception of prior nominees Bradley Cooper, Ralph Fiennes, and Jake Gyllenhaal, every realistic contender for a Best Actor nomination (not to mention the win) would be a first time nominee. They mainly include Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, David Oyelowo, and Eddie Redmayne, but also Ellar Coltrane, Oscar Isaac, Jack O’Connell, Timothy Spall, Channing Tatum, and Miles Teller as well. An embarrassment of riches here, so while perhaps the entire lineup in Best Actor will be first timers, more than a few will be snubbed as well.
2. J.K. Simmons – If there’s a slam dunk win to be found among the big eight Oscar categories, it’s first timer Simmons finally getting his due from the Academy. His role in Whiplash is perhaps the best he’s ever gotten, though it’s no surprise at all that he knocks it out of the park. You can put him down for his first nomination and first win in ink. It’s happening.
3. Felicity Jones – With The Theory of Everything poised to do very well on nomination morning, it seems exceedingly likely that Jones will receive her first citation from voters. At one point she was considered a potential winner too, and while that time has probably come and gone, she’s still almost certain to be nominated. From there, we’ll just have to see what happens. Snubbed a few years ago for her breakthrough performance in Like Crazy, I’m glad that Jones is getting in now.
4. Hoyte Van Hoytema – Even if Interstellar winds up snubbed in most of the big eight categories, if not all of them […]

“Foxcatcher”: What’s Up with the 2015 Awards Race

Directed by: Bennett Miller
Written by: E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
Main Cast: Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo Vanessa Redgrave, and Sienna Miller, among others…
Past Oscar relations: Futterman, Miller, and Ruffalo are previous Oscar nominees, while Redgrave is an Academy Award winner on top of her multiple citations
Today we have another brand new article in this ongoing series of mine concerning certain high profile 2014 releases hoping to compete for some sort of actual Oscar attention as a contender at the upcoming 2015 ceremony. Next up for here for us is one of the more honored contenders of the year already in Foxcatcher. It’s a festival favorite that’s hoping to become one of the top prestige works in the Best Picture race. Does it have a strong chance? Well, let me get into that a little bit right now…
This movie is a drama based on the infamous true story of Jon du Pont and brothers David and Mark Schultz. In short, du Pont is a disturbed millionaire who becomes interesting in coaching wrestling and recruits Mark to be his prized pupil. He eventually also hires well respected coach David to head up the team, though he quickly feels inferior to him, much like Mark has as well. Tension rises until the real life tragedy occurs. It’s a powerful film, to say the least. Bennett Miller directs, while Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo Vanessa Redgrave, Sienna Miller, and Anthony Michael Hall head up the cast. E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman co-wrote the screenplay, and now the film begins its official run this weekend, hoping to attract solid Oscar attention.
What this film has going in its favor is the top notch performances by Carell, Ruffalo, and Tatum, as well as the direction from Miller. They’re all at the top of their game, doing tightly wound and uncomfortable yet unforgettable work. There’s an undercurrent of humor here as well that really gives it an added bit of darkness. It’s uncompromising, but in the best way possible. Miller won Best Director when the film premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, so the pedigree is already there. If Oscar voters are as taken as the jury at Cannes was, Best Picture, Best Director (for Miller), Best Actor (for Carell and/or Tatum), Best Supporting Actor (for Ruffalo), Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, and Best Original […]

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 […]

Felicity Jones: Oscar newbies hoping for a first citation this year

Much like I took a look yesterday at veterans in contention for Oscar love the year, today I’m going to be turning my attention to the newbies who hope to receive some awards love. As I mentioned in the last piece, this is leading up to me doing a re-ranking of the contenders in all of the major categories beginning next week, but right now it’s just going to be a preview of which rookies to the Oscar season are gearing up to hopefully make their big debuts on the awards circuit. Some are even in a position to win Academy Awards.
First up is Best Actor. In this race, the highest profile would be first time nominee would be either Steve Carell for Foxcatcher or Michael Keaton for Birdman. They’ve been frontrunners to many for basically this entire season. A tiny level down are more recent additions to the first timer’s party in Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. Other contenders here with a strong chance include Oscar Isaac for A Most Violent Year, Jack O’Connell for Unbroken, David Oyelowo for Selma, Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner, and Channing Tatum for Foxcatcher. Rounding out the list, we have the likes of Gael Garcia Bernal for Rosewater, Ellar Coltrane for Boyhood, John Cusack for Love and Mercy, Richard Gere for Time Out of Mind, Bill Hader for The Skeleton Twins, and Miles Teller for Whiplash. Much like with the veterans, it’s going to be rough seeing how many worthy contenders don’t crack the lineup. This category is absolutely stacked.
Over in Best Actress, there are two major first timers right at the top of the list. They are Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything and Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl. They both represent major threats in this category, with Scarlett Johansson for Under the Skin and Shailene Woodley for The Fault in Our Stars one level down. Also hovering around this category are Rosemarie DeWitt for Men Women & Children, Anne Dorval for Mommy, Mia Wasikowska for Tracks, and Kristen Wiig for The Skeleton Twins. The majority of the women in the ultimate Best Actress lineup this year will be vets, but the winner could very well turn out to be a first time nominee.
With the Best Supporting Actor contenders, the field is potentially being led by a first timer, with J.K. Simmons […]

“Birdman” by Alejandro González Iñárritu: A July Oscar Predictions Update

Now that we’re into July and the second half of 2014, it’s high time that I’m coming to you again with some new and even more up to date Oscar predictions. Hopefully they’ll represent a bit of a change from speculation to educated guesswork now that awards season is not too far away. We still have a very long way to go in the season overall and these new predictions will likely be wrong more than right anyway, but with each passing update I’m getting more and more confident in backing particular horses as opposed to previous ones I’ve mentioned. If that sounds a bit repetitive, well…that’s still kind of the nature of the beast right now. If nothing else, this continues to sort of show where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to change and evolve into something truly competitive and quantifiable, especially when precursor season kicks into gear later on in 2014.
Continuing the trend I’ve had all year, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have pegged to be the biggest winners at this year’s ceremony, though it’s now joined by Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman as well. Overall, my predictions still begin with Foxcatcher dominating at this early point in the season, though Unbroken still should do decently well too, at least in terms of nominations. Birdman is one of the year’s potential X factors though, so I wanted to make sure it got a bit of an extra mention here. A lot can and will still change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, it’s really either Foxcatcher or Unbroken right now in my mind, though evolutions are coming. There are some small changes elsewhere in most categories, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still about those two contenders here for me.
I could go on about the more substantial changes that I’ve made (there’s again a noticeable change in a number of big categories) this time around, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up to look like at this midway juncture in the year:
BEST PICTURE
1. Foxcatcher
2. Unbroken
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Gone Girl
5. Birdman
6. Rosewater
7. Big Eyes
8. Interstellar
9. Fury
10. Inherent Vice
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Bennett […]

Mark Ruffalo: 2015 Best Supporting Actor contenders

As you fine folks all already know by now, it’s one thing to just read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen in six months, but it’s an entirely separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that particular regard, I’m continuing to run 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 or 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 potentially 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 another of the bigger acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actor.
Here 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. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) – Especially considering that I’ve recently been informed that Channing Tatum (who I’d previously been predicting for one of the other Supporting slots) is going Lead here, this category seems like Ruffalo’s to lose right now. He’s someone who fits as a winner, apparently is excellent in Foxcatcher, and is just a warm person to be around. That’s a big help, as he’d be great on the campaign trail. At this juncture, Ruffalo makes a lot of sense as the number one here, so that’s where I have him currently.
2. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) – If there’s an under the radar contender of sorts who can really upend the race, it’s Simmons, who blew folks away at Sundance in Whiplash. A few people out there even have him winning (including myself at one earlier point), though right now he has to be behind Ruffalo. Simmons is overdue his first citation, so I have a feeling that his run of bad luck is about to come to an end. He deserved to be in bigger play for Juno, but now could very well be his time.
3. Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes) *could go Lead – It seems a little unlikely that Waltz could wind up winning his third Best […]

A first stab at Golden Globe predictions

We’re still a week and change away from a new set of Oscar predictions, so I figured today I’d mix it up and give you all my first set of Golden Globe predictions. One of the most noteworthy (if not the most important) precursors in terms of testing out winners, the Globes are the second biggest show out there, so you have to take note of them. As such, they get this early treatment in a way that not ever other precursor does.
The big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they sometimes go for the bigger names or the bigger production. As such, I’ve moved Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here, even though I have the opposite for Oscar. You also lose certain indies, as you’ll see by smaller nomination totals for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, for example. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, and Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods to have a shot at not just nominations, but wins.
Here now though, without further delay, are my initial Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Unbroken
2. Foxcatcher
3. Big Eyes
4. Rosewater
5. Interstellar
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Inherent Vice
2. Into the Woods
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Begin Again
5. Jersey Boys
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
2. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
3. Gael Garcia Bernal – Rosewater
4. Ben Affleck – Gone Girl
5. Oscar Isaac – A Most Violent Year
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
2. Adam Sandler – Men, Women, & Children
3. Mark Ruffalo – Begin Again
4. Seth Rogen – Neighbors
5. John Lloyd Young – Jersey Boys
Best Actress (Drama)
1. Amy Adams – Big Eyes
2. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
3. Michelle Williams – Suite française
4. Reese Witherspoon – Wild
5. Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars
Best Actress (Comedy or Musical)
1. Keira Knightley – Begin Again
2. Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
3. Rosemarie DeWitt – Men, Women, & Children
4. Emily Blunt – Into the Woods
5. Rose Byrne – Neighbors
Best Supporting Actor
1. Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
2. Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes
3. Channing Tatum – Foxcatcher
4. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
5. Takamasa Ishihara – Unbroken
Best Supporting Actress
1. Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
2. Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
3. Jennifer Garner – Men, Women, & Children
4. Laura Dern – The Fault in Our Stars
5. Jena Malone – Inherent […]

Steve Carell: 2015 Best Actor contenders

As you folks all know by now, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions (including my own) at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen in six months, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m 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 arguably the biggest of the acting categories…Best Actor.
Here are the ten thespians that I have in play for Best Actor, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) – I tried to stay away from this obvious pick early on, but after the phenomenal reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival, it’s silly not to have Carell in your top spot. There’s a small chance he could go Supporting in order for Foxcatcher to maximize potential nominations/wins, but right now he’s the clear frontrunner here. It’d be folly to bet against him at this point.
2. Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice) – I think we can all agree that Phoenix will win an Oscar one day, it’s just a matter of when. With his second collaboration with Paul Thomas Anderson, an opportunity is front and center, provided of course that the material isn’t too out there for the average Academy member. We shall see, but rightt now you have to at least be considering him heavily.
3. Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner) – The other leading man to really benefit from Cannes reviews, Spall seems more likely than not to score his first nomination for this biopic. Some have speculated that he could really challenge for the win too. I don’t quite see that happening, but hey…stranger things have certainly happened. Spall is probably the only person besides Carell that’s closing in a lock for a nomination this early.
4. Ben Affleck (Gone Girl) – Affleck is still without an acting […]

“Foxcatcher” by Bennett Miller: A June Oscar Predictions Update

Now that we’re well into the month of June, I’m coming to you again with some new and even more up to date Oscar predictions. They won’t be too different from what I put up last month, or obviously what I’ve written about in my articles on the Best Picture and Best Director fields, but honestly, that’s kind of the point. We still have a very long way to go in the season and these new predictions will likely be mostly wrong anyway, but with each passing update I’m getting a bit more confident in backing these particular horses as opposed to the previous ones I’ve mentioned. If that sounds repetitive, well…that’s the nature of the beast right now. If nothing else, this sort of shows where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to change and evolve into something truly competitive, especially when precursor season kicks into gear in the fall/winter.
Continuing the trend I’ve had all year, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have pegged to be the biggest winners at this year’s ceremony, with Foxcatcher now dominating at this early point in the season, though with Unbroken still doing terrifically as well, at least in terms of nominations. A lot can and will still change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, it’s really either Foxcatcher or Unbroken right now. There are some small changes elsewhere in most categories, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still about those two contenders here for me.
I could go on about the tinkering that I’ve done (there’s a noticeable change in Picture and Director, one of which goes against a recent article of mine, but I’m experimenting) this time around, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up to look like at this eearly juncture:
BEST PICTURE
1. Foxcatcher
2. Unbroken
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Big Eyes
5. Rosewater
6. Gone Girl
7. Interstellar
8. Mr. Turner
9. Boyhood
10. A Most Violent Year
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
2. Angelina Jolie – Unbroken
3. David Fincher – Gone Girl
4. Jason Reitman – Men, Women, & Children
5. Tim Burton – Big Eyes
BEST ACTOR
1. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
2. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
3. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
4. Oscar Isaac – […]

The 2015 Awards Race: Best Picture contenders – Unbroken, Foxcatcher

It’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions to see what folks like myself think will happen at the end of the year, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know which films will be in contention. To that end, once or twice a week for the next month or so I’ll be running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category. 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. Consider this a sort of pre awards season cheat sheet.
Today I’m beginning with the big one…Best Picture.
Here are the ten films that I have right now cracking the Best Picture lineup:
1. Unbroken – To me, Angelina Jolie’s sophomore directorial outing is the one to beat out right now. It’s a World War II survival tale starring up and comer Jack O’Connell, written by a group that includes the Coen Brothers, and is shot by legendary cinematographer Roger Deakins. There’s such a tremendous pedigree on display, this would have to be an absolute disaster not to crack the lineup. As it stands now, it’s the one I have winning it all.

2. Foxcatcher – Bennett Miller’s passion project got a nice boost this past week at the Cannes Film Festival. Raves were given not just for Miller, but for star Steve Carell and co-stars Mark Ruffalo/Channing Tatum as well, so there’s across the board potential here. Right now, it’s the only film that I’m basically 100% sure will be in the Best Picture lineup, barring something unexpected.
3. Men, Women, & Children – I’m perhaps higher on Jason Reitman’s latest than most, but I’m also a big fan of the book by Chad Kultgen and see real potential here. Along with giving Adam Sandler a rare chance to be serious, the talented ensemble cast includes Rosemarie DeWitt, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, Dean Norris, Emma Thompson, Kaitlyn Dever, Ansel Elgort, Dennis Haysbert, and J.K. Simmons, so Reitman has tons of toys to play with here. If Oscar can handle the sexual frankness of the story, Ivan’s son could again be a nominee and see his film nominated for Best Picture.
4. Big Eyes – Of late, Tim Burton movies have been the exact opposite of Oscar bait, but this sees him returning to something […]

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