August 28, 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: Julianne Moore

Jennifer Lawrence: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders

HOLLYWOOD CONTENDERS: Ladies and gentlemen, as you all know from the last year or so as well as my handful of articles again during this year, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen six or so months from now, but it’s a whole other thing entirely to actually know something about what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m once again running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket. It’s probably old hat to you by now, I’m sure, but hey…
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger ones that’s out there…the Best Actress category.
Here are the ten lovely ladies that I have in play for Best Actress, with the top five of course cracking the presumed lineup at this point:
1. Jennifer Lawrence (Joy) – You can go in any number of directions with your top pick, but I think the obvious choice right now is Lawrence. She’s been nominated both times previously working with David O. Russell, with a Best Actress statue on her mantle already. She nearly won Best Supporting Actress two years ago as well, so the Academy clearly loves this combination. With as baity a part as ever, if she nails it there’s no reason not to think she could run away with a second Oscar.

2. Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn) – For some reason, I feel like Ronan is almost a surefire nominee for this romantic drama period piece, and while I know she could certainly contend for the win, I just can’t put her up top yet. Maybe it’s the thought of how dominant a Lawrence steamroller could be, but I just need to see how this one does during the precursor season. Ronan has a great shot though, no one can deny that.

3. Cate Blanchett (Carol) *Could go Supporting – The safe pick of the group right […]

“Freeheld,” starring Julianne Moore enters the Oscar race with a touching Trailer

Issue driven films with a ton of heart usually find their way into the awards season one way or another. Hopefully, it’s because they’re good movies and legitimately important, either for the culture or the world in general. Sometimes though, it’s just due to how shamelessly manipulative they can be on an emotional level. Hopefully, one new entry into the former category will be Freeheld, which is hitting the awards season at a very timely moment in history. A Trailer hit last week (which you can see below) and it appears to be hitting all of the right notes in order to appeal to Oscar in a potentially significant way come its October theatrical release.
The film is about same sex marriage and centers on two women fighting for the benefits that straight couples take for granted. Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) is a Lieutenant in the New Jersey police force who encounters a struggle when she attempts to pass on her pension to her partner after developing terminal cancer. Her partner is a woman named Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and is only her domestic partner (yes, it’s a period piece from less than a decade ago), so she’s denied. Thus begins a level fight that spurred a documentary on the subject. Peter Sollett directs, while Ron Nyswaner wrote the screenplay. In addition to Moore and Page, the cast includes Steve Carell, Josh Charles, Luke Grimes, Michael Shannon, and more. It’s prestige through and through.
Considering the leaps and bounds that we’ve taken as a society in terms of LGBT rights, this is an interesting look back at a time when we as a nation weren’t fully formed on the issue. Assuming Sollett and Nyswaner have nailed the material, there’s no reason to think that this won’t be an emotional an thought provoking cinematic experience. If that’s the case and it’s not just overt manipulation in the pursuit of awards, we very well might see this become a pretty notable contender with Oscar and all along the precursor season. The ingredients are most certainly all there, to say the least.
Assuming we have a worthy player on our hands, there are plenty of possibilities for the Academy to latch on to here in terms of awards. Obviously there’s Best Picture, along with Best Director (for Sollett), Best Actress (either Moore or Page, likely the former), Best Supporting Actor (Carell or Shannon), Best Supporting Actress […]

Oscar Predictions for the month of May, 2015

Almost five full months into the 2015 movie season and I’m happy to report that we know zilch about the Oscar race. Why happy? Well, it means there’s plenty of fun guesswork to be done, and I’m all about that. The Cannes Film Festival has gotten underway and that can be used for a hint or two, but right now, it’s only eliminated one film (The Sea of Trees, which seems to be out of it entirely, outside of perhaps Matthew McConaughey) and made another a question mark (Woody Allen’s Irrational Man), with some other contenders like Carol still to screen. As such, your guess is as good as mine, which is part of the early year fun, at least in my book.
The one thing of note that I want to make mention of for this latest Oscar prediction update is that I expanded the fields a bit. The Best Picture lineup I’ve bumped up to 30, actually, with 15 for the other seven remaining categories that make up the “Big Eight”. As a bonus, I even went with ten for Best Animated Feature, just to have things as open as possible, which is what things are like right now, no question about it. My winners are still largely the same, including Steven Spielberg and his film Bridge of Spies, while something like Brooklyn or Carol is making its way up my rankings, slowly but surely. It’ll be a few months still until we have some semblance of an idea about the Oscar race, but right now, it’s a ton of fun to speculate…

Here now are my newest set of Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Bridge of Spies
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Carol
4. The Light Between Oceans
5. Joy
6. The Martian
7. The Hateful Eight
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Revenant
10. Brooklyn
Next in line: 11. The End of the Tour 12. Ricki and the Flash 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Lion 15. MacBeth 16. Black Mass 17. By the Sea 18. Demolition 19. Freehold 20. Trainwreck 21. The Danish Girl 22. The Walk 23. Southpaw 24. In the Heart of the Sea 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 26. Bleed for This 27. Sicario 28. Irrational Man 29. Suffragette 30. Ex Machina
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Todd Haynes – Carol
5. Derek Cianfrance – The […]

Ridley Scott and “The Martian”: Early Oscar Predictions for April

After taking the month of March off in terms of Oscar predictions, I’m back taking a new look at what the Academy could do with this upcoming year in film. Again, it’s super early and probably silly to be focusing in on them like I am currently, but it’s also fun and gives us an idea of what movies to potentially look forward to. I’m keeping it mostly short and sweet today, just basically posting an update to the predictions (with a slight detour to discuss one contender), plus the next in line list that I know is popular as well. All of this can and likely will change in the near future, possibly even in the summer when things first begin to shape up, so stay tuned on that front. For now, enjoy these Academy Award predictions and cross your fingers that we have a good year for prestige films. I know that’s always my hope, so it should be yours as well.
Quickly though, before the predictions, let me just say that my big X factor that I’m looking forward to is Ridley Scott’s adaptation of The Martian. He hasn’t had an outright success in some time, but I love the source material so much, I’m hopeful that it sparked something inside him. Honestly, he’d have to go out of his way to ruin as good a novel as that one. Matt Damon will have a baity role and Scott should be plenty engaged, so my fingers are crossed!
Here now is my second crack at early Academy Award predictions…
BEST PICTURE
1. Bridge of Spies
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Joy
4. The Hateful Eight
5. The Martian
6. Carol
7. The Light Between Oceans
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Revenant
10. The End of the Tour
Next in line: 11. The Sea of Trees 12. Irrational Man 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Black Mass 15. Demolition 16. Trainwreck 17. The Walk 18. Freeheld 19. Southpaw 20. Brooklyn 21. By the Sea 22. MacBeth 23. Bleed for This 24. Snowden 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans
Next in line: 6. Todd Haynes – Carol 7. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 8. Ridley Scott – The Martian 9. Woody Allen – Irrational Man 10. […]

Who’s still overdue for their first Academy Award nominations/wins?

Last year, I wrote a pair of pieces looking at the folks in Hollywood who were due for their first Oscar nominations or the their first wins. At the most recent Academy Award ceremony, two of those names got moved off of the list, so I wanted to take a look back and see who’s still on those lists and what they might have coming for us this year. I’ll update the lists with some new people next month, but for now…let’s go look at if the Oscars gave us some long overdue citations. If you were paying attention, you definitely noticed two of them.
As a quick refresher for you all, here are the ten names that I had down as overdue for their first nods from the Academy:
10. Channing Tatum
9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
8. Kevin Smith
7. Jennifer Jason Leigh
6. Jeff Daniels
5. Hoyte Van Hoytema
4. Steve Carell
3. Scarlett Johansson
2. John Cusack
1. Robin Wright
I’ll address those momentarily (including the one who did score a nom), but here also are the ten names that I put down as being overdue for their first Oscar wins:
10. David O. Russell
9. Julianne Moore
8. Christopher Nolan
7. Tom Cruise
6. Paul Thomas Anderson
5. Amy Adams
4. Greg P. Russell
3. David Fincher
2. Roger Deakins
1. Leonardo DiCaprio
Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty of it all. Obviously, the two names that come off of these lists are Steve Carell (unless you want to say he’s due to win now) and Julianne Moore. Again, I’ll add to/amend the list next month (perhaps highlighting names like Oscar Isaac among first timers and Jake Gyllenhaal among the due for a win peeps), but for now, we can look at which of the men and women on each list could find their way off of it within the next 12 months. Honestly, aside from a handful who don’t have 2015 releases currently scheduled, it could wind up being nearly all of them. It won’t…but it could be.
The non-nominated so far to focus in on are Jeff Daniels, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Hoyte van Hoytema. Of the group, Gordon-Levitt seems the most likely to score a nod, as he’s got baity lead roles in Snowden and The Walk, both of which could be big Oscar players. As for Daniels, he’s got a supporting role in Steve Jobs, while van Hoytema is lensing the James Bond film Spectre. Jason-Leigh is an X factor, as she could be a […]

Year in advance Oscar Predictions

I know this seems nuts, but here I am with some Academy Award predictions for next season. We’re a long way out, yes…but for me, this is the absolute most fun time of the year, in terms of forming predictions. Why? Simply put, it’s because anything is possible. If you want to see how an odd nominee would look, you need only predict it. Right now, we’re just as likely to see Steven Spielberg’s latest St. James Place take Best Picture as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s kind of a brilliant thing, really. Even so, I’ve tried to be as logical as possible here, foregoing a number of quirkier picks in favor of the contenders I really feel good about, even if it really is only February still.
Which films are in contention? You’ll be able to see below, but the biggest contender right now seem to be the aforementioned St. James Place from Spielberg, David Gordon Green’s Our Brand is Crisis, David O. Russell’s Joy, Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, Alejandro G. Inarritu’s The Revenant, and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs. Acting wise, all of those movies have contenders, while the big player right now seems to be Jake Gyllenhaal, who could score for either Demolition or Southpaw. An X factor to keep an eye on? Ridley Scott’s The Martian, which is based on an outstanding book and could either fall flat or be a huge player. Sit tight on that one…
Here now is my first set of Oscar predictions for awards season to come:
BEST PICTURE
1. St. James Place
2. Our Brand is Crisis
3. Joy
4. The Hateful Eight
5. The Revenant
6. Steve Jobs
7. Demolition
8. The Martian
9. The Sea of Trees
10. The End of the Tour
Next in line: 11. Carol 12. Irrational Man 13. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 14. Black Mass 15. Snowden 16. Money Monster 17. The Walk 18. Freeheld 19. Southpaw 20. Brooklyn 21. By the Sea 22. MacBeth 23. Bleed for This 24. Aloha 25. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Steven Spielberg – St. James Place
2. David Gordon Green – Our Brand is Crisis
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Alejandro G. Inarritu – The Revenant
5. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
Next in line: 6. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs 7. Gus Van Sant – The Sea of Trees 8. Ridley Scott – The Martian 9. Woody Allen – Irrational Man 10. Jean Marc Vallee – Demolition
BEST […]

Where do the new Oscar winners stack up with previous winners?

Today, in an effort to combine the past and the present, I wanted to take a look at how the winners in the big eight categories of this most recent Academy Awards ceremony compare to the all time best. To try and figure this out, I’m actually going with the lists of the top 25 in each category that I put out last year. It’s an interesting exercise, since it’s impossible to know which will and which won’t stand the test of time, but there’s a few educated guesses that can be made. For my money, a few of the performances will certainly be remembered for years to come.
I don’t think it’s impossible for you to have forgotten already, but here are the big eight winners: Best Picture went to Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Best Director went to Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Best Actor went to Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything, Best Actress went to Julianne Moore for Still Alice, Best Supporting Actor went to J.K. Simmons for Whiplash, Best Supporting Actress went to Patricia Arquette for Boyhood, Best Adapted Screenplay went to The Imitation Game, and Best Original Screenplay went to Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. Those are the victors in the major categories, but do any of them rank with the all time greats?
For my money, three of the four acting performances are definitely worthy of inclusion on my “greatest” lists, along with potentially Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance in Best Picture. Honestly, the only performance not worthy in my mind is Moore’s, as she’s been far better in the past. Iñárritu’s direction is borderline, but I’ll keep it off the list for now. Anyway, as a reminder, here’s how I ranked Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress:
Picture
25. Rain Man
24. Shakespeare in Love
23. The Godfather
22. Marty
21. The Godfather Part II
20. Ordinary People
19. Kramer vs Kramer
18. Forrest Gump
17. The Departed
16. Midnight Cowboy
15. The Deer Hunter
14. On the Waterfront
13. The French Connection
12. Casablanca
11. Platoon
10. Million Dollar Baby
9. Argo
8. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
7. Rocky
6. The Hurt Locker
5. American Beauty
4. The Apartment
3. Schindler’s List
2. The Silence of the Lambs
1. Annie Hall
Actor
25. Colin Firth – The King’s Speech
24. Jack Nicholson – As Good As It Gets
23. Forest Whitaker – The Last King of Scotland
22. Dustin Hoffman – Rain Man
21. Cliff Robertson – Charly
20. Ben […]

“Birdman” soars at the Spirit Awards and Oscar ceremony

Well, it happened folks. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) took Best Picture from Richard Linklater’s Boyhood last night at the Academy Awards. It also managed to win Iñárritu Best Director over Linklater, as well as Best Original Screenplay as well, beating back Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel there. After a brief tease the night before at the Independent Spirit Awards, where the two big films split (Birdman took Best Feature and Boyhood/Linklater took Best Director), it was basically down the line with Oscar. For once, my predictions turned out to be right. I was one of the few to avoid predicting a split, so even though I wound up having one of my worst statistical nights ever, going just 17 out of 24, I got it right when it counted.
So, why did Birdman win? Well, it comes down to two factors for me. One is that it’s a movie about actors/Hollywood/movies to some degree, and that’s catnip to the Academy. Second is that they just plain liked it best. For that first factor, you need only look at recent winners like Argo and The Artist, alongside something like Chicago, and you can see that it’s something Oscar voters did on. For that second factor, it’s pretty self explanatory. Yes, individual honors might have gone elsewhere, including a snub in the Best Film Editing category, both technical sound categories going elsewhere, and Michael Keaton losing Best Actor to The Theory of Everything’s Eddie Redmayne (not to mention both Supporting nominees Edward Norton and Emma Stone coming up short), but overall it turned out to be the favorite. Sure, The Grand Budapest Hotel got plenty of love too, but not in the major categories. Collectively, Birdman was the one most beloved, and that resulted in Picture/Director/Original Screenplay going its way, and thus the big crown for the year.
On that same front, why did Boyhood wind up losing? Simply put, voters weren’t quite as fond of it as critics were. During the precursors, the critics award anointed it the frontrunner, something that the Golden Globe Awards bought into as well. Then, when the guilds got involved, which consist of many members of the Academy, they opted to go in a different direction. I’m sure the vote totals in Best Picture were close, with the ones in Best Director probably as tight as ever, but in the end, […]

87th Academy Award winners

There will be full Oscar commentary coming tomorrow (plus a look at this weekend’s Spirit Awards results) in the next few posts, and basically all during the week, but for now, here simply is the full list of winners at the 87th Academy Awards ceremony that just went down. Take a gander:
87th Academy Awards
BEST PICTURE: Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
BEST DIRECTOR: Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
BEST ACTOR: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
BEST ACTRESS: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Armando Bo, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Nicolas Giacobone and Alejandro G. Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Graham Moore – The Imitation Game
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Big Hero 6
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
BEST COSTUME DESIGN: The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST FILM EDITING: Whiplash
BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING: The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST SOUND MIXING: Whiplash
BEST SOUND EDITING: American Sniper
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Interstellar
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “Glory” – Selma
BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Citizenfour
BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE: Ida
BEST ANIMATED SHORT: Feast
BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT: The Phone Call
Congratulations to all of the winners and stay tuned for analysis all week long!

OSCARS 2015 : Final Predictions for the Academy Awards

It’s time folks. I can’t delay it any longer, even if I’d like to. I must put out my final Oscar predictions. There’s no more time to go back and forth on if Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or Richard Linklater’s Boyhood will win Best Picture, as well as if Iñárritu or Linklater will take Best Director. It’s just down to this. As such, I’m not going to be giving any more analysis or reasoning for my picks, except to say that I ultimately couldn’t bring myself to predict a split. Does that mean I went all in on Birdman or went back to Boyhood? You’ll see below, but I’ll be saving the discussion points for Monday when I look at what the Academy choose to do, and why. Oscar voters have made their choices, so I’ve made mine as well. The Academy Awards are on Sunday night, so all we have to do is wait. I know I’m super excited and nervous, and I’d imagine you all are as well. Suffice to say, this was a unique season. Anyway, here’s to the Oscars!
Without any further delay at all, here now are my up to date and very last set of Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Boyhood
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. The Imitation Game
5. Whiplash
6. American Sniper
7. Selma
8. The Theory of Everything
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
3. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
5. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
BEST ACTOR
1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
4. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
5. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
BEST ACTRESS
1. Julianne Moore – Still Alice
2. Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
3. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
4. Reese Witherspoon – Wild
5. Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
1. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
2. Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
3. Edward Norton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
4. Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
5. Robert Duvall – The Judge
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
1. Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
2. Laura Dern – Wild
3. Emma Stone – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
4. Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
5. Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1. The Grand Budapest Hotel
2. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Boyhood
4. Foxcatcher
5. Nightcrawler
BEST ADAPTED […]

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