August 29, 2015
        "Carol": Looking at potential Best Adapted Screenplay contenders                What were the Ten Best summer releases of 2015?                Eddie Redmayne: The Danish Girl / Official US Poster                Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep: SUFFRAGETTE New Poster                Spike Lee, Debbie Reynolds, Gena Rowland to Receive Academy's 2015 Governors Awards                Johnny Depp, Leo DiCaprio - Which acting contenders this year are most due for their first win?                "Joy" is the latest Jennifer Lawrence and David O. Russell project in the Oscar hunt                "Straight Outta Compton" is making the case for Oscar consideration                "The Martian": Oscar predictions for August                Rooney Mara: Looking at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders                Bradley Cooper will heat up the Oscar race in "Burnt"                "Carol" gets a Teaser that firmly puts Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in the Oscar race                Carey Mulligan is an Oscar contender                Hollywood Contenders for 2015 Best Actor: Leo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Eddie Redmayne, Michael Fassbender                Hollywood Contenders: 2015 Best Movie Blockbusters: Jurassic World, Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Fast & Furious 7...        

Tag Archives: David Fincher

A second stab at Golden Globe predictions

I was originally planning on waiting to take another look at the Golden Globe awards and my predictions for that precursor until the summer was over, but with the festival announcements in full swing, it seems like a nice time to approach these again. Next week brings new Oscar predictions on my part (also informed by the New York and Toronto Film Festival announcements), so this is a good way to bide our time until then. There’s certainly a bit of a separation between the two, so it’s a far cry from the same sort of predictions, as you’ve probably already gathered by now. The Globes and the Oscars are very different animals, to say the least. You can argue about the actual impact that the former has on the latter, but at the very bare minimum, it influences perception, so it must be reckoned with to some degree.
Once again, the big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they sometimes tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions. As such, I’ve got Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and David Fincher’s Gone Girl ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here, even though I won’t have the same sort of lineup when you see my Oscar predictions at the start of August (stay tuned for that, obviously). You also potentially lose certain indie players, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, just as one example, though others could be movies like J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows longer shot work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and maybe even Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight or Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here to have a shot at not just contention for nods, but actual noms, as well as wins. Nominations that would have been wishful thinking with the Academy and AMPAS are very much in play with the categories that the HFPA deals in. That’s just the nature of the beast here folks.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part, are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Unbroken
2. Gone Girl
3. Foxcatcher
4. Interstellar
5. Rosewater
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Inherent Vice
2. Into the Woods
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Birdman […]

The New York Film Festival is upping its Oscar game this year

With only three announcements, the annual New York Film Festival has managed to make their 52nd fest probably the biggest one of the year. I’ve been going the past few years and it’s slowly transformed into an awards season destination, but 2014 seems primed to be the year they really start to challenge the Toronto Film Festival for Oscar launch pad supremacy. Their Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing selections are always top notch selections, but this year they really seem to have outdone themselves. NYFF may very well have their best slate ever, and they’re still announcing the rest of their lineup at some point in the next few days.
In the Opening spot, they’re debuting David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Fincher has been there before with The Social Network, so he certainly knows how bit a launching pad this can be. When that movie debuted, it almost ran away with the entire Oscar season, at least until The King’s Speech stole the show at the end of the precursor season. This time around, his mystery/thriller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike will seek get him back into the Best Picture and Best Director lineup. From the early looks of it (as well as this big time slot), the odds of that seem pretty good for Fincher and Gone Girl.
In the normally more low-key Centerpiece spot, they’ve shocked a lot of folks by landing the premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. This isn’t Anderson’s first NYFF rodeo either, as both Boogie Nights and Punch Drunk Love were shown at previous installments of the festival. PTA has made more difficult to embrace than normal flicks the last few times out, and while There Will Be Blood was nominated a ton by the Academy, they ignored everything but the performances in The Master. This time, my guess is that they split the difference, to some degree. A comedic mystery of sorts, Inherent Vice stars Joaquin Phoenix and will look to establish itself as a critical favorite once this NYFF bow occurs.
Finally, their Closing selection is the North American launch of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman (or as it’s apparently also called: Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Iñárritu is an NYFF veteran, as this will also be his third time showing a film there. He previously brought Amores Perros as well as 21 Grams to the fest. A dramedy starring Michael Keaton, it’s a […]

“Unbroken” by Angelina Jolie: Best Adapted Screenplay contender

As you fine folks all must know by now, it’s one thing entirely to read early Academy Award predictions in order to see what pundits like myself think will happen this winter, but it’s a whole separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that specific 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 on from the acting categories and hitting the writing ones…starting with Best Adapted Screenplay
Here are the ten particular films/scripts that I have in play for Best Adapted Screenplay, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Unbroken – Angelina Jole’s World War II epic has a heavyweight group of writers involved, namely Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, William Nicholson, and Richard LaGravenese. That’s perhaps the most A list screenplay ever, and one of the many reasons why I have this as a huge Oscar contender. Right now, it has to be one of the top players in Adapted Screenplay. I have it winning right now, but some other options could certainly wind up heavily challenging it before all is said and done.

2. Inherent Vice – Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has never won an Oscar, despite having a few screenplays in contention previously, but maybe this is the year for him. PTA seems like more of a hopeful in Best Director usually, but his move from Original to Adapted (There Will Be Blood was his first) screenplays might give him a new and better opportunity. If the movie winds up a big player, I can see him potentially getting the win here.
3. Rosewater – Can Jon Stewart write a film? We know he can write comedy, but this is something completely different. I’m cautiously optimistic, since if he hits this one out of the park, it’s a surefire contender. We won’t know for a while now about this hopeful, but once […]

“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 […]

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 – […]

Bennett Miller: 2015 Best Director contenders

As you folks all know, 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 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 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 the second biggest one out there…Best Director.
Here are the ten filmmakers that I have in play for Best Director, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher) – I have Miller in the top spot for Foxcatcher due to how well received it was at the Cannes Film Festival. The director himself took home a prize, and for an awards bait American movie to do that, it shows some potentially strong legs to me. Miller is probably the closest thing to a lock that we have so far this year.
2. Angelina Jolie (Unbroken) – It’s basically a tie between Jolie and Miller for me, but I give the Foxcatcher director the edge due to his aforementioned Best Director win at Cannes. Without that, I’d probably have Jolie in the top spot. Her directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey showed off her skills and this war film seems tailor made for the Academy. If she nails it, she’s a surefire nominee in the directing category.
3. David Fincher (Gone Girl) – I think we can all agree that Fincher is going to win an Oscar one day, it’s just a matter of when. While I doubt he’ll be able to do it this year, he seems like he’ll very much be in contention for a nomination at least here. A lot will depend on if this is a Best Picture player or not. If it is, my guess is that he makes it in here.
4. Jason Reitman (Men, Women, & Children) […]

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 […]

An April Oscar Predictions Update

As promised last week, here I am again with some more up to date Oscar predictions. They’re not amazingly different from what I debuted with, but they do already show a change in focus, at least in terms of some of the second tier contenders. We’ve still got a long way to go and these new predictions will likely be completely wrong anyway, but I feel ever so slightly more confident in backing these sorts of horses as opposed to other ones. If nothing else, this sort of shows where I’m going from as the months pass and the race begins to evolve into something actually competitive…
The big difference that you’ll notice besides the changes that I made in each category is that I’m also listing predicted winners now. As such, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I’ve pegged to be the big winners, with Unbroken dominating at this early point in the season. A lot can and likely will change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, that’s the one.
I’ve also included the tech categories as well, so you’re really getting a full look at how I see things going at this moment. It also shows more of the contenders in play that might not have a shot at Best Picture, but at the very least can hope for some sort of technical citation if nothing else. For example, the new Godzilla fits perfectly into that category.
Here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up at this early juncture:
BEST PICTURE
1. Unbroken
2. Foxcatcher
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Gone Girl
5. Big Eyes
6. Rosewater
7. Boyhood
8. The Homesman
9. Interstellar
10. Fury
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Angelina Jolie- Unbroken
2. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
3. Jason Reitman – Men, Women, & Children
4. David Fincher – Gone Girl
5. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
BEST ACTOR
1. Jack O’Connell – Unbroken
2. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
3. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
4. Michael Keaton – Birdman
5. Ben Affleck – Gone Girl
BEST ACTRESS
1. Amy Adams – Big Eyes
2. Jessica Chastain – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
3. Michelle Williams – Suite française
4. Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars
5. Hilary Swank – The Homesman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
2. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
3. Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes
4. Robert Duvall – The Judge
5. Takamasa Ishihara – Unbroken
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
2. Jena Malone – […]

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