July 11, 2015

Tag Archives: emily blunt

Re-ranking the contenders in Best Actress

As I’ve been mentioning over the last few weeks or so, with the festival season well underway and just about all of the major contenders for the Academy Awards having screened or about to screen, now seems like as good a time as any to move forward and take a look at the big eight categories to see what’s what in an updated/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 Actress field, which is another category that won’t necessarily match up with Best Picture in any major way, but likely won’t be too far off either. Read on to see what I mean for this one…
One special note about Best Actress this year is that, on the flip side to best Actor, it’s a fairly barren race. Each of the ten women that I have cited as the ones with the best chance at a nomination have some chance at a nod, but only a few of them can realistically win. It’s going to be interesting to see if any surprise noms wind up shaking up this category when all is said and done…
Here are the ten ladies that I have in play for Best Actress currently, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point and time:
1. Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) – If you ask a dozen pundits who the frontrunner is in Best Actress, you’ll probably get one of about five answers (hint, my top five), but if you ask me, I think this could turn into a walk for Jones. It’s just a hunch, but Oscar loves their supportive wives, something this performance apparently does incredibly well. Jones in the sweet spot of the age the Academy enjoys honoring, so that doesn’t hurt too. We have a long way to go before anyone in this category starts to separate themselves from the pack, but at this juncture, I’m backing Jones ever so slightly.
2. Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) – Now that folks are able to see […]

The first Fall stab at Golden Globe predictions

It’s that time again…time to take a stab at Golden Globe predictions. As I previously mentioned in my last installment, I was originally planning on waiting to take a new look at Golden Globe predictions until the summer was over (so basically now), but I just couldn’t resist. Fast forward to today and I’m back now with what’s my fourth look at the Golden Globe Awards, with this time around, another new theory to try and drum up some different/more accurate predictions. Anyway, here goes nothing!
To reiterate one more time, the biggest difference that you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions, as well as more European fare. So yes, films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, David Fincher’s Gone Girl, and Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher are here, but they’re now joined by things like James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything and Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, potentially at the expense of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. You also still potentially lose certain indie players here, 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, Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent, 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 delays on my part (since we all know that you’re really here just to see what I have below), are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. The Imitation Game
2. Gone Girl
3. Foxcatcher
4. The Theory of Everything
5. Unbroken
If there’s a sixth: Mr. Turner
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Inherent Vice
4. St. Vincent
5. Begin Again
If there’s a sixth: Neighbors
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
2. Eddie Redmayne – The […]

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 […]

An end of the summer stab at Golden Globe predictions

Hi everyone! As previously mentioned in my last installment, I was originally planning on waiting to take a new look at Golden Globe predictions until the summer was over (so basically September), but I couldn’t resist. I’m back now with what’s my third look at the Golden Globe Awards, with this time around, a new theory to try and drum up some different predictions. Here goes nothing!
To reiterate once again, the big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions. As such, I’ve again got Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and David Fincher’s Gone Girl ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here. You also still 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. The one tweak here is that I’m trying to focus on some European contenders, since they often can do well with the HFPA. This could benefit contenders like The Imitation Game, Mr. Turner, and The Theory of Everything.
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. The Imitation Game
5. Mr. Turner
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Inherent Vice
3. Men, Women & Children
4. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Begin Again
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
2. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
3. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
4. Gael Garcia Bernal – Rosewater
5. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
2. Michael Keaton – Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Mark Ruffalo – Begin Again
4. Ralph Fiennes – […]

A Mid-August Oscar Predictions Update

Here we are again. Since we’re now in the middle of August folks, you must know what time it is. Yup, it’s time for me to come to you all once again with some new and (hopefully) even more up to date Oscar predictions, my second one this month. As usual, I hope they’ll represent another bit of a change from speculation on towards educated guesswork now that awards season is fast approaching us. We still have a long way to go in the season overall, and these new predictions will likely be mostly wrong in the end anyway, but with each passing update (two a month now) I’m trying to figure it all out and get more and more confident in backing particular horses. If that sounds a bit repetitive to you, well…it’s still kind of the nature of the beast for this thing. If nothing else, this endeavor 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.
Continuing on with the trend that I’ve had all year so far (including earlier this month), you can see films like David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have poised to be among the most nominated at this year’s ceremony. Overall, my predictions are only a little bit different this time around, since last time out I totally swapped out all my winners. I’m mixing and matching here now, trying to find the right match. It might not wind up particularly accurate yet, but until the festival season begins next month and more of these movies actually screen for critics, we’re still guessing more often than not. It’s just a matter of trying to make the guesses more and more educated as the season progresses.
By now, you all obviously know that I could go on and on about all of the changes I’ve made or considered making, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is just how I see the Academy Awards shaping up to look like at this midway juncture in the year:
BEST PICTURE
1. Gone Girl
2. Unbroken
3. Foxcatcher
4. Boyhood
5. Birdman or The Unexpected […]

“Gone Girl” by David Fincher: An August Oscar Predictions Update

Welcome to August folks. Now that we’re well into the second half of 2014 and reaching the end of the summer, it’s time for me to come to you again with some new and (hopefully) even more up to date Oscar predictions. I sincerely hope that they’ll represent another bit of a change from speculation on towards educated guesswork now that awards season is fast approaching us. We still have a long way to go in the season overall, don’t me wrong, and these new predictions will likely be wrong more than right in the end anyway, but with each passing update I’m getting attempting to figure it all out and get more and more confident in backing particular horses as opposed to other ones that I’ve mentioned previously. If that sounds a bit repetitive to you, well…that’s still kind of the nature of the beast for this. If nothing else, this endeavor 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 so far, 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 among the most nominated at this year’s ceremony, though it’s now joined by Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman as well and David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Overall, my predictions are a bit different this time, in a purposefully experimental way. I’m predicting new winners in each of the major categories (and all of the technical ones as well, so it’s brand new winners all around), seeing how they look as compared to what I’ve been saying so far this year. It might not wind up particularly accurate, but until the festival season begins next month and more of these movies actually screen, we’re still guessing more often than not. It’s just a matter of trying to make the guesses more and more educated as the season progresses.
Obviously, you al know that I could go on about all of the major changes that I’ve made (basically all over the place, which translates to everywhere, at least in terms of winners) this time around, particularly with titles like MacBeth and Suite française opting to delay until next awards season, but […]

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 […]

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 […]

Amy Adams: 2015 Best Actress contenders

As you folks all know full well by now, it’s one thing to read my Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know something about who and what will be in contention for nominations. To help out in that regard, at least somewhat, 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 another of the biggest categories of them all…this time it’s Best Actress.
Here are the ten lovely ladies that I have in play for Best Actress, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Amy Adams (Big Eyes) – I don’t know that there’s an actress who more clearly seems to be next in line for an Oscar win than Adams. She probably came the closest in her career so far last year with American Hustle, so she’s basically the de facto number one right now. The material is right up the Academy’s alley, early word is strong, and the timing is right. Everything is set up for Adams to almost steamroll through the season, so stay tuned to see if she actually does!
2. Jessica Chastain (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them) – In a rather short span of time, Chastain has become basically an awards mainstay. Just about every project she joins is labeled a contender and she’s got a pretty solid batting average so far, in terms of nominations at least. She’s beginning to seem due for a win, and it’ll likely happen sooner rather than later. This project is very ambitious and could wind up staying under the Academy’s radar, but if they see it, she most likely will get nominated once again.
3. Michelle Williams (Suite française) – Another overdue actress, Williams always seems to be close to an Academy Award win before someone else winds up becoming the flavor of the season. That could again […]

“Looper” blends film noir with twisty sci-fi; Our review: TORONTO ’12

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: It’s an age-old question: If you could travel through time and murder Adolph Hitler – possibly preventing the dictator’s atrocities – would you have the nerve to complete the deed?
That moral dilemma is but one of the many, many open-ended questions noodled over by writer-director Rian Johnson in the fuzzy (to borrow one of its own terms) time-travel thriller “Looper.” The movie opens this year’s Toronto International Film Festival by reuniting Johnson with his “Brick” lead Joseph Gordon-Levitt. And while the collaborators maintain the shadowy, malicious air of the crime noir genre – which they perfected back in 2005 – they shift gears and embrace a whole new field: Futuristic science-fiction.
The year, to be exact, is 2044. Time travel exists, but it’s highly illegal and only available to underground criminal syndicates of the 2070s. In the future, we’re told, it’s impossible for mobsters to properly dispose of a murdered victim. So instead of offing a rival in 2074, the forward-thinking criminals transport their targets back in time, where Loopers like Joe (Gordon-Levitt) pull the trigger.
Before you have too much time to process the moral complications of men who earn dangerous livings murdering mysterious individuals as a career, one of Joe’s colleagues, Seth (a nervous Paul Dano), comes knocking on his door late at night. It appears Seth’s latest target was the future version of himself, and instead of offing his victim (or “closing your loop”), Seth let him escape (of “let his loop run”).
Bad news for Seth. And some disturbing foreshadowing for Joe.
As you likely already know if you’d paid any attention to “Looper,” Gordon-Levitt will have to contend with the future version of his own character, played by Bruce Willis. And it needs to be said that JGL does a fantastic Willis impersonation. He gets the seasoned actors shruggish mannerisms, his lackadaisical whisper of dialogue delivery, and his devil-may-care, don’t-give-a-shit weariness that Willis has brought to so many roles. Johnson gives his leading men a scene in a diner where they sit across from each other and try to hash out what they know. It’s an important, info-laden conversation that tries to explain the dense, convoluted science of “Looper,” and the men don’t forget to have some fun with the iconic moment.
It’s in this conversation, however, that Willis’ future-version of Joe tries to emphasize that the time-travel conundrums presented by Johnson’s […]

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