January 01, 2015

Tag Archives: Kristen Wiig

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 […]

Oscar Isaac – The biggest snubs from this week’s Spirit Award nominations

First of all, Happy Turkey Day to you all! With a Thanksgiving mention out of the way, let’s talk movies. Whenever there is a big precursor announcement that isn’t just a winners list, there’s going to be some glaring omissions. Such was the case with the 30th annual Independent Spirit Awards, which made some excellent picks but also some head scratchers as well. That’s always the name of the game, but this year there especially was some unexpected shut outs. As such, I’m going to be running down ten of the most egregious ones that I noticed. A few will be personal surprises, but the others will be ones that were clearly noticed by others. The Spirit Awards do a solid job, but like any other precursor, they’re far from perfect.
Here now are the ten biggest snubs from the Spirit Award nominations:
1. Oscar Isaac for A Most Violent Year – Voters apparently liked the film, but they didn’t like what I felt was the best part in Isaac’s performance. Strange, to say the least. Isaac is the lead and a huge reason why the movie works. His co-star Jessica Chastain was cited, but not him. For me, it was the biggest omission and one of the bigger head scratchers as well. It just makes no sense.

2. The Skeleton Twins – If ever there was an under the radar title in need of a Spirit boost, it’s this one. Not just the film itself, but even more so the lead performances of Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, both of whom could have at least stayed in the Oscar conversation had they turned a nomination into a surprise win. That didn’t happen though, so this contender is now pretty much DOA.
3. Bill Murray in St. Vincent – I’m sure The Weinstein Company was hoping that Murray popped up here in order to further their Oscar hopes for him. Considering all of the frontrunners are first time nominees (if they even get nominated), had Murray gotten nominated here and won, that could have helped fuel a potential Golden Globe win for Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, which in turn would have made him a likely Oscar nominee. That narrative is gone now though, so it’s the Globes or bust for Murray.
4. The Imitation Game – Easily the most surprising shut out, TWC saw their first chink in the armor for this big time […]

Predictions for the 2015 Spirit Awards

One of the most interesting precursors to me is always the Independent Spirit Awards. They don’t always cite the same things that the Academy does, so it’s a chance to see smaller and more eclectic fare given a moment in the sun. Even though the Spirit Award have matched up with Oscar more often in the recent past than was usual, it’s still a place where you can see honors for films that wouldn’t otherwise have a chance. Personally, that’s one of the my favorite things about certain precursors, the fact that they bestow citations on worthy cinema that could have been ignored entirely.
Before I give you my shot in the dark predictions for this year’s Spirit Awards (which will announce their nominees in under two weeks…specifically on November 25th), I just wanted to further my point about the choices made by this group. Last year for example, while they awarded the likes of 12 Years a Slave, Blue Jasmine, Dallas Buyers Club, and Nebraska, they also had room to give prizes to Blue is the Warmest Color and Short Term 12 as well. Sure, Cate Blanchett, Jared Leto, Matthew McConaughey, and Lupita Nyong’o won their acting prizes just like with the Academy, but the nominees included the likes of Julie Delpy, Melonie Diaz, Will Forte, Oscar Isaac, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, and Shailene Woodley. The winners may tend to match up with what Oscar voters cite, but many of the nominees are far more eclectic, which is always a good thing in my book.
Anywho, here are the best guesses I have for who and what might be cited at this year’s Independent Spirit Awards, with names and titles done alphabetically for now. When the nominations are officially announced and the actual awards show comes in February, I’ll get into potential winners. For now though, behold:
Best Feature
Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
A Most Violent Year
Whiplash
Best Director
J.C. Chandor – A Most Violent Year
Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Jonathan Glazer – Under the Skin
Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Best Male Lead
Ellar Coltrane – Boyhood
Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Oscar Isaac – A Most Violent Year
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Miles Teller – Whiplash
Best Female Lead
Jessica Chastain – The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby
Scarlett Johansson – Under the Skin
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Jenny Slate – Obvious Child
Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins
Best Supporting Male
Albert Brooks – A Most Violent Year
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – […]

Golden Globe predictions for October

With the month of October almost complete and the precursor season having officially kicked off yesterday morning with the Gotham Award nominations (I’ll be writing about that on Monday or Tuesday as part of something more substantial about precursors), now’s a perfect time for my monthly set of Golden Globe predictions. Some might consider it a bit too early still, but not me. It’s time. Especially considering some of the embargoed things I’ve seen this month (including one big one I can’t talk about yet), it’s high time to discuss the Globes again.
To reiterate the basics to you all 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 at times. So yes, some films that do better here might not do quite as well with Oscar. Certain titles will do about the same with both groups, like potentially Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, or Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game. You also still might lose certain indie players here, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood (though that one can go either way considering it’s potentially a frontrunner for Best Picture), 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, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and Theodore Melfi’s St. Vincent 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 (or just harder to come by) 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 (since we all know that you’re really here just to see what I have below in each category), are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions. Behold:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. The Imitation Game
2. Interstellar
3. Unbroken
4. Boyhood
5. The Theory of Everything
If there’s a sixth: Gone Girl
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Whiplash
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. […]

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 […]

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 […]

Kevin Smith’s “Tusk”: Ten Films to look forward to in September

Believe it or not, we’re now into the month of September, which is insane if you ask me. I’ll be updating my Oscar predictions later on this week, but right now, I’m going to preview the films of the month ahead. There’s no shortage of interesting flicks hitting screens, so we’re entering the start of the very best season for cinema. Tis the season for high quality movies, with the upcoming New York Film Festival really kicking off Oscar season for me. That’s not to say that the next week or two won’t have plenty to talk about, but once we’re in October it’s really the heat of the moment then, as it were. Even so, the whole month of September has plenty to be excited about, I assure you of that much. There’s no shortage of quality coming our way, so be excited folks.
Below you’ll see a total of ten titles (plus a pair of honorable mentions) that I feel represent the best of the month. I’ve seen a handful of the films to be discussed, so I can vouch for those personally. The rest? Well, I’ll be reporting in on them real soon. In the meantime, here you go:
10. The Guest – A throwback thriller, I saw this film from up and coming genre filmmaker Adam Wingard (who blew me away with You’re Next last year) recently and liked it a lot. It feels like a B movie from the 1980’s, a slow burn through and through. If you like the sort of thing where you laugh and cringe in equal measure, this one will be for you. It hits on the 17th.
9. The Zero Theorem – Any new work from filmmaker Terry Gilliam is worth taking note of. Even if this isn’t my favorite one of his (I’m currently embargoed from saying too much more), it’s far from boring and has a top notch cast (led by Christoph Waltz). This one comes out on the 19th and likely will divide audiences. Something tells me that Gilliam wouldn’t have it any other way though…
8. Two Night Stand – Another movie I’ve already seen, this romantic comedy is actually a lot better than the ads would lead you to believe. The flick is really charming, with winning turns from Miles Teller and Analeigh Tipton. Ignore the mediocre trailer and trust me here when I say this is rather good. […]

The Best of the first two thirds of 2014

Can you believe that it’s the end of August already? Yes, by the time this weekend comes to a close, it’ll be September and two thirds of the year will be gone. As such, I figured I would do something you won’t see many other places…an article on the best of the first two thirds of 2014. Eight months have passed in the year and we’ve only got the top tier Oscar contenders left to see, so it felt natural to run down what’s been top drawer from the rest of the bunch. I’ll be giving you a look at what my current top ten of the year so far looks like, as well as what my own personal awards ballot at this juncture would look like. Hopefully it’s something fun that you enjoy reading…I know it’s the sort of thing that I enjoy writing!
As a note, I’ve included everything I’ve seen so far in 2014 (something approaching 200 films), regardless of if it’s been released yet. There’s one exception to that which I explain below, but aside from that it’s all there for you to see in black and white.
The Top Ten of the Year So Far:
10. The Lego Movie – Up until the third act reveal, I was wondering why this animated film was as beloved as it was. Then, I understood why, and this became so much more than a high energy bit of fun. This is clearly the frontrunner for Best Animated Feature, and it deserves every single award it’s likely to receive.
9. Begin Again – Though not quite as phenomenal as Once, filmmaker John Carney has another winner here in this musical dramedy. Both Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo are excellent, plus there’s once again tremendous music on display. I’ve praised this one a lot before, but it’s a winner…plain and simple.
8. The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby – I’m combining all three versions of this project here (Him, Her, and Them), one that I’m going to be talking about more soon, in order to praise how unique it is. Filmmaker Ned Benson, along with leads Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy have partnered on a love story that’s unlike any other. Stay tuned for more on this movie, but trust me when I say that it’s something to be on the lookout for.
7. Chef – An incredibly pleasing little gem from Jon Favreau, it’s quickly become […]

“How to Train Your Dragon 2”: What’s Up with the Awards Race

Directed by: Dean DeBlois
Written by: Dean DeBlois
Main Cast: Voices of Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Djimon Hounsou, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, and others
Past Oscar relations: The first film in the franchise was nominated for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Score
Here now we have a brand new article in this series of mine on 2015 contenders hoping to compete for some sort of Oscar attention at the upcoming 2015 ceremony. Next up for us is the sequel How to Train Your Dragon 2, which looks to please audiences as much as the first one did. From there, it’s potentially on to Oscar contention!
This is the second film in a now franchise, based on a highly popular series of books. How to Train Your Dragon 2 features a top notch voice cast, with folks such as Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Djimon Hounsou, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, T.J. Miller, Kristen Wiig, and many others lending their talents to the movie. All signs point to this being a big success and a likely player in the Best Animated Feature field. Can it go further though?
What this flick has going in its favor is highly positive reviews and a built in audience that tried to make the last one an awards contender. The early word says that this one is just as good, if not a bit better, than the first How to Train Your Dragon, which is no small achievement. This makes it more or less a surefire nominee in Best Animated Feature and perhaps even the frontrunner right now (give or take how The Lego Movie ages over the course of the rest of the season). Only halfway through the year, that’s a a pretty solid spot to be in.
Working against How to Train Your Dragon 2 is the fact that animation has had a tougher time of late. Since the sliding scale in Best Picture has been implemented, no cartoon has gotten into the major categories, so it’s possible that the time for that sort of a citation has come and gone. If Frozen couldn’t do it last year, one has to think that this year we won’t see anything from the animated category particularly break through. It’s not impossible, but I wouldn’t bet on it happening.
So, can this be a player at all? I’d say […]

Rihanna, Adele make ‘Time’s’ 100 Most Influential list

HollywoodNews.com: ‘Time’ magazine has released their list of the 100 Most Influential people and some major Hollywood stars are included on this one.
Both Rihanna and Adele made the list as female singers making music the way they want it done, states RadarOnline.com. But women in other industries also showed up strong on the list as Kristen Wiig and Chelsea Handler were also on it.
And the list would not be complete without Kate and Pippa Middleton on it as they have captured plenty of attention in the last year.
Are you surprised by anyone on the list?
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