January 01, 2015

Tag Archives: David Fincher

The best films and performances of 2014

We’ve come to the end of the line, ladies and gentlemen. 2014 is about to be put into the books, with 2015 upon us in mere few hours. To close out the year, I wanted to pile on to the seemingly never ending group of articles filled with Top Ten lists and the like. I don’t want it to just be my list though, so below you’ll see that, but also my thoughts on the year as a whole, along with my picks for the best performances of the year as well a few specific category awards. Basically, this would reflect sort of what my Oscar ballot would look like in the major categories, though I’ll perhaps save that full look at a personal ballot for a more specific piece when voting comes to an end in a few weeks. We’ll see. Anyway, time to get this show on the road!
The cinematic year that was 2014 has been considered by some to be a real high water mark of late, while others felt that it was a severe let down. Me? I’m stuck in the middle. I had less films that I feel completely in love with than usual, but at the same time I had more films overall that I liked than in many of the prior years. As such, the movies sort of feel on par with the last few years to me. The very best of 2014 was incredible to me, featuring a few modern classics, so I can hardly call it a down year. Perhaps it was just that a handful of the most praised titles were ones that I didn’t go as nuts over, so that contributes to an odd feeling about 2014? Whatever the case, there were plenty of flicks that I adored, despised, and just plain scratched my head over. That makes for a full meal of a film year, so I can’t complain. That’s the year in a nutshell to me though…more of the same.
Obviously, there are a ton of things to look forward to in 2015, so perhaps at this time next year we’ll all be remarking about how much better of a cinematic slate it was, but at the same time, there’s always the chance of a big let down. In that case, we’d be reminiscing about the halcyon days of now. It’s all a shot in the dark when […]

Golden Globe post nomination predictions for December

As we move from Phase One to Phase Two of the awards season, things begin to take a new turn. Now, it’s not only predicting who and what is going to be nominated, but also now a focus on potential winners comes into play. In a few categories, the winner has more or less been clear as day, but in the majority of them it’s an open race still. As such, I’m going to take a shot today at attempting to predict the Golden Globe awards. The members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made their nomination picks recently, so now I get to sort through them and try to figure out how the Globes will turn out…
Before I show you the predictions, I’ll quickly give you my train of thought. Essentially, I tried to split things between Birdman and Boyhood, since I’m not sure how the voters are going to deal with The Imitation Game, Into the Woods, and The Theory of Everything. I don’t think all three will get shut out of wins, but at least one likely will. There are a few safe bets here, with the Globes likely to cite Patricia Arquette in Best Supporting Actress for one of Boyhood’s wins, Julianne Moore in Best Actress (Drama) for Still Alice, and J.K. Simmons in Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash. Those are close to locks. The other categories, give or take Best Animated Feature for The Lego Movie, are certainly up for grabs. As such, for now I’m looking to Birdman to do very well in the Comedy/Musical fields while Boyhood leads the charge in Drama. A lot remains to be seen though, so sit tight. The race is far from over at this still early juncture. Technically it’s not even Phase Two yet! We have a long way to go.
Alright, enough talk. Time for the good stuff, right? Here now is how I currently see the Golden Globe awards going down:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Boyhood
2. The Theory of Everything
3. The Imitation Game
4. Selma
5. Foxcatcher
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Into the Woods
4. St. Vincent
5. Pride
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
3. David Oyelowo – Selma
4. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
5. Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Michael Keaton – Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Bill […]

Which film will lead the nomination totals for Oscar this year?

As we move closer to the Academy Awards announcing their nominations, it bears mentioning that we don’t yet know which movie will lead the nomination totals when all is said and done. Most years, there’s one obvious contender that you can presume will hit double digits (or close to it) and lead the field, if not more than one, but this year is as wide open in that regard as ever. There are at least a half dozen films that could conceivably fall into this category, so I figured I’d run them down for you, with a few extra thrown in for good measure. Consider that an early Christmas present.
Here now are the ten most likely films to lead the field in terms of nominations when oscar makes its announcement:
1. Birdman – If you had to place a wager on which big Oscar contender would lead the nomination totals, this one has to be the odds on favorite. Honestly, I’d be a bit surprised if Birdman wasn’t the overall leader, but there’s a chance it could come up just short. Still, no other player has a better chance to wind up with double digit citations than this one from Alejandro González Iñárritu. This is the flick that the odds favor to lead the field, though it’s hardly a foregone conclusion.
2. Interstellar – Once the likely frontrunner for this honor, it’s now very much become a dark horse of sorts. Interstellar should make a great showing in the technical categories, perhaps even getting at least a half dozen nominations there alone. As such, it’ll come down to if Christopher Nolan’s epic can remain in the Best Picture hunt, along with other places like Best Original Screenplay. If it can, then a ten spot could still be realistic. Stay tuned…
3. Selma – For a moment, it appeared as though this powerful biopic of sorts was headed straight to the top. Then, a few issues cropped up with its late year release, but still…Selma is set to do very well with the Academy. If it can get into Best Original Screenplay alongside its probable Best Picture and Best Director categories, that’ll help the cause for Ava DuVernay and company.
4. The Theory of Everything – Slowly but surely, this biopic is making a play to really dominate nomination morning. The Theory of Everything could score in the seven to eight nomination range, which will […]

A Mid-December Oscar Predictions Update

We’re almost at the point where it’s time for weekly Oscar prediction updates folks. It’s not quite that time, but before long it’ll be bi-weekly at least, with some precursor winner predictions thrown in for good measure. Anyway, since it’s the middle of the month, it’s time for new Academy Award predictions. With the precursors in full swing, there’s no shortage of things to consider, so expect a bit of a change in how a number of my categories look. There’s only a matter of weeks left to nail down who the nominees will wind up being, so the final time to play games is now. Once we hit January, things are far more serious. There’s no way to get things 100% accurate, but I certainly aim to come as close as I can.
What you’ll mainly see here in this latest update is a real swing in the favor of Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel. What I once had all but getting shut out could now be in line for perhaps a half a dozen nominations. I highly doubt that a total as high as that will actually occur, but the possibility is officially there. If the precursors did one thing (aside from solidifying Richard Linklater’s Boyhood as the current frontrunner/one to beat), it was to give Anderson and his movie a second life. We’ll see if it lasts, but it’s certainly been something that I took notice of. Other new things reflected here include slightly tinkered with Best Original Score and Best Original Song predictions, with the latter showing the actual song now, since the long list has now come out (along with the bake off titles for Best Hairstyling and Makeup having been announced as well). There’s still the Best Foreign Language Feature long list that we need to see, but that could be basically at any moment now, so if it hits soon I’ll just update here and make a notation. (It came out, so that’s reflected here too)
Here now, without any further delay, are my brand spanking new/up to date Academy Award predictions. Behold:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Selma
4. The Imitation Game
5. The Theory of Everything
6. Whiplash
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel
8. Gone Girl
9. Foxcatcher
10. Interstellar
Next in line: 11. A Most Violent Year 12. Into the Woods 13. Unbroken 14. Wild 15. American Sniper 16. Nightcrawler 17. Mr. Turner 18. […]

Which films could be in for big Oscar snubs?

Every single year, multiple Oscar snubs appear on the big morning. That’s just a fact of the matter. Historically, no matter what year we look at, there’s at least one or two fairly shocking omissions when looking at the Academy Award nominations. A perfect world would prevent this, but as you all know, our world is far from perfect, to say the least. As such, pretty much each and every Oscar category contains at least one glaring miss, though by the time nomination morning rolls around many of them are easy to predict. Still, that doesn’t make them right. In an effort to try and prepare for the eventuality of the snubs, I’ve got five films listed below that could be in for some sort of a shock that morning, and not in a good way either. That doesn’t mean that they necessarily will happen, only that they could happen…
Here now are five films that could be in for a shocking snub come nomination morning:
Gone Girl – Right now, I seem to be one of the few who still have David Fincher’s film pegged as not just still a Best Picture nominee, but one of the top five or six as well. Now, I think my logic is sound, considering Fincher is still very much in play for Best Director and Gillian Flynn’s script is perhaps the frontrunner in Best Adapted Screenplay, but a number of precursor misses have hurt this contender for sure. It’s made a lot of money to miss, but a miss is very much a possibility in Best Picture. Gone Girl could still wind up with over a half dozen nominations, but it also could wind up with just one or two as well. Stay tuned…
The Imitation Game – At one point, a bunch of my colleagues were predicting this to win Best Picture. I never went that far, but I was up their in considering it a top tier nominee. Now, I’m starting to at least ponder if it could be in line for one big miss somewhere. My best guess is that it’ll miss for Morten Tyldum in Best Director. There’s a teensy tiny chance that Benedict Cumberbatch is one of the decade’s most shocking omissions in Best Actor, but I wouldn’t bet on that one, even if I’m tempted to try predicting it. We shall see with The Imitation Game.
Interstellar – Despite my […]

Updated Oscar predictions after the Golden Globe and SAG announcements

Happy Friday everyone! With the nominations for the Golden Globe awards and the Screen Actors Guild awards really giving a bit more shape to the Academy Award race, I thought it was time to break in a bit early with some new predictions. Yes, consider this a bonus Oscar prediction update. Enough has changed that I really think it’s apt to begin putting these up a little more often. I’m not sure I’ll do it every week just yet, but we’re closing in on that sort of time period. Obviously we’ve seen certain titles/performances really come on strong this week, while others have really faded. As such, there’s a fair amount of movement in this update.
Most notably, I’ve boosted Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Nightcrawler, while backing away from The Imitation Game, Interstellar, and Selma, to one degree or another, not to mention almost completely abandoning Unbroken. The Imitation Game and Selma are still viable Best Picture winners, but Birdman has jumped past them for now. Obviously, everything is in the shadow of Boyhood until further notice, but the jockeying below it is going on hot and heavy. Lots can and still will happen between now and the Oscar nominations being announced, so it’s hardly a set field by any stretch of the imagination.
Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions, reflecting the Globe and SAG nomination results (including a quick additional update to reflect the scores and songs deemed eligible by the Academy):
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Selma
4. The Imitation Game
5. Whiplash
6. Gone Girl
7. Foxcatcher
8. The Theory of Everything
9. A Most Violent Year
10. Interstellar
Next in line: 11. Unbroken 12. The Grand Budapest Hotel 13. Into the Woods 14. American Sniper 15. Fury 16. Wild 17. Mr. Turner 18. Inherent Vice 19. Nightcrawler 20. Rosewater
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Ava DuVernay – Selma
4. David Fincher – Gone Girl
5. Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Next in line: 6. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game 7. J.C. Chandor – A Most Violent Year 8. Clint Eastwood – American Sniper 9. Christopher Nolan – Interstellar 10. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST ACTOR
1. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
3. David Oyelowo – Selma
4. Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
5. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Next […]

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 […]

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