May 27, 2016

Tag Archives: leonardo dicaprio

The best moments from the 88th Academy Awards

Now that a little bit of time has been removed from the actual ceremony, I think it’s only right to look back on the 88th Academy Awards for a moment. Yes, I’m going to be looking at the positives of the event, as opposed to the negatives. We can always pick out what we don’t like about something, but today is a day for positivity. We follow the awards season, all the way up to Oscar night, because we enjoy it, so it’s prudent to focus on that. There will never be a perfect Academy Award telecast, but each and every single year we see things that make us laugh, smile, or just feel good about film. Below you will see the five things that I took away from the show in the most positive light. Your choices might be different, obviously, but these are mine. I suspect you’ll all agree with some, but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, enjoy…
Here are the five best moments from the Oscar ceremony:
5. Chris Rock’s opening monologue – All eyes were on Rock as he opened the show. We knew he would address the racial controversy about the acting lineups, and while he touched on that pretty directly, he also just came up with an effective and entertaining monologue. Rock is a very solid host and I hope we see him do this again soon. He wasn’t the comedy highlight of the evening, but he wasn’t far off, that’s for sure. Rock knew what he needed to do and did it quite well.
4. Ex Machina winning Best Visual Effects – One of the biggest upsets I’ve ever seen, the presumed least likely winner in the Visual Effects category wound up taking the prize. It wouldn’t have been my personal choice, but I loved seeing this sort of shock happen. Moreover, Ex Machina is, without question, one of the most unique winners to date here, so that’s a real plus as well. I’m not sure what it means for the future of the category, but in general I’m all for surprise upsets.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio’s speech after winning Best Actor – At long last, folks got to see DiCaprio win an Oscar. Not only that, but they got to see him give a powerful speech at the Academy Awards, centered around climate change. Politics and the Oscars can be an odd mix, but DiCaprio made […]

The 88th Academy Awards offered up surprise after surprise

Wow. That’s about as appropriate a one word reaction to what happened last night as anything else. After a full year basically of predictions, guessing, analysis, and precursors, it all came down to waiting for Morgan Freeman to announce the Best Picture winner at the 88th Oscars. Recent events had made us initially think it would be The Big Short, then The Revenant, but go figure, it turned out to be the original frontrunner all along, Spotlight. The Academy saved their biggest shocker for last, but it was hardly the only one. Yes, it was a night filled with unexpected events, which thrills a prognosticator like myself. It’s easy to get bored, but you really couldn’t get bored with this one. It was one for the ages!
It was an Academy Award ceremony filled with surprises, that’s for sure. In addition to Spotlight upsetting The Revenant in Picture, we saw Mark Rylance upset Sylvester Stallone in Best Supporting Actor, Mad Max: Fury Road nearly sweep the technical categories, and Ex Machina pull off an absolute stunner in Best Visual Effects. Of course, there were coronations as well, including Leonardo DiCaprio finally getting his Oscar, winning Best Actor for The Revenant. That film also saw Alejandro G. Iñárritu expectedly take Best Director, while Brie Larson surprised no one with her Best Actress win for Room. Of the Best Picture nominees, only Brooklyn and The Martian went home empty handed, so the love was more or less spread out here as well. I only went 16/24 with my predictions this time around, but considering how it was almost impossible to ace these, along with my prediction of Spectre winning Best Original Song coming true, I can deal with that low total. Overall, it was a solid group of winners, but what will be spoken of for some time is how the show offered up surprises that not all of the pundits saw coming…

Here you go. These are the results of the 88th annual Oscars:
Best Picture
“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Brooklyn”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“The Revenant”
“Room”
“Spotlight” (WINNER)
Best Actor
Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo”
Matt Damon, “The Martian”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant” (WINNER)
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs”
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl”
Best Actress
Cate Blanchett, “Carol”
Brie Larson, “Room” (WINNER)
Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy”
Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years”
Saoirse Ronan, “Brooklyn”
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, “The Big Short”
Tom Hardy, “The Revenant”
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight”
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies” (WINNER)
Sylvester Stallone, “Creed”
Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight”
Rooney Mara, “Carol”
Rachel McAdams, […]

Golden Globe results: Surprises and Upsets everywhere as ‘The Martian’ and ‘The Revenant’ emerge victorious

Wow. Just…wow. As much as I try to prepare myself for the unexpected, last night’s 73rd Golden Globe Awards was still something else. My predictions, along with everyone else in the industry, were way off, as curveball after curveball came our way. It turned out to be a very good night for The Revenant, with The Martian also having a strong showing. As good as it was for those two, it was a poor night for both The Big Short and Spotlight, as shut outs were pitched. Hell, even Steve Jobs managed to come back from the dead and take home a pair of prizes. It was impossible to see all of this coming, though a few things were potential upsets heading into the night. Still…wow.
Where to start? Well, at the beginning, I guess. Nothing turned out as we expected it to, leading the night to be anything but routine. The Globes gave a big boost to Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s film The Revenant, as it led the way with three wins, emerging victorious in Best Motion Picture (Drama), Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama) for Leonardo DiCaprio, and Best Director for Iñárritu himself. The Martian and Steve Jobs were the only other two movies to win multiple awards, as the former took Best Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) and Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) for Matt Damon, while the latter took Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture for Kate Winslet and Best Screenplay for Aaron Sorkin. Other big wins went to Brie Larson for Room with the Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama) category, Jennifer Lawrence for Joy with the Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy or Musical) category, and Sylvester Stallone for Creed in Best Supporting Actor. Most of those were surprises too, to one degree or another. We even got an upset in Best Original Song, as “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre won. The only non surprises, outside of DiCaprio and Larson, were Inside Out winning Best Animated Feature Film, Son of Saul winning Best Motion Picture (Foreign Language), and Ennio Morricone for The Hateful Eight taking Best Original Score.
Below you’ll see all of the aforementioned wins in the film categories (even though that really does cover it), along with the television categories, which was highlighted for me by Oscar Isaac winning an award for his performance in […]

Updated Golden Globe predictions

Believe it or not, the Golden Globe awards are coming, sooner than you think. Yes, it seems like just yesterday the nominations were announced, but now the actually ceremony is only a few weeks away (less than three weeks now, in fact). As such, it’s definitely time to update my predictions, reflecting for the first time the actual nominees. I’m not sure anything is obvious just yet with the Globes, though some potential frontrunners have definitely emerged. With the early date for the ceremony, we’ll possibly get to see new frontrunners put forward, or else the strongest contenders will just get stronger. Either way, it’ll most certainly contribute something to the awards season.
It seems like it’ll be Spotlight and The Martian emerging with big wins, though Mad Max: Fury Road and The Big Short could prove to be party poopers. My hunch is that both wind up with the Best Picture prizes here, with either Spotlight’s Tom McCarthy or The Martian’s Ridley Scott taking Best Director, though George Miller is a possible spoiler for Mad Max: Fury Road. Acting wise, things are less set in stone, though the Actor prizes potentially seem wrapped up for Leonardo DiCaprio in The Revenant and Matt Damon in The Martian. That being said, the former has competition from Bryan Cranston in Trumbo and the latter has from Steve Carell in The Big Short. Actress wise, I think Brie Larson in Room and Jennifer Lawrence in Joy seem like the safe bets, though neither is locked in. The same goes for Supporting Actor with Mark Rylance in Bridge of Spies and Supporting Actress with Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight, now that I mention it. Essentially, nothing is a sure thing right now, and that’s exciting!
Obviously, the Academy Awards correlation is fairly limited here since it’s a completely different group of voters. Also, ballots are due a few days before the Globes have their show, with the Oscar nominations being announced a couple of days later, so if anything, this functions more as a potential barometer for the ultimate winners, not the nominees. Speeches can be tried out and victories are tried on for size by members of the Academy. It’s not nearly as important as the guilds are to the process, but it’s not quite as easy to dismiss as something like the Critics Choice Awards, so there’s that.
Here now is my first […]

Oscar predictions for December

The final month of 2015 is upon us, and as such, we’re beginning truly the crunch time for Academy Award predictions. I may very well be moving to weekly updates if precursors and such dictate as much, but at the very least, I’m here now with an update to my Oscar predictions. Having seen firsthand all of the contenders except for Concussion, In the Heart of the Sea, and Joy (all of whom I should see in the next 10 days or so), it’s becoming less and less of a guessing game, though plenty is still up in the air, don’t get me wrong. It’s an interesting time, so let’s try to break it down a bit now, shall we?
The big additions here are that I’ve seen The Hateful Eight (which I can’t talk about) and The Revenant (which I can, and did earlier today), both of whom hope to be major Oscar darlings. With the former, you’ll have to try to read between the lines of these predictions to try to see if I have strong feelings, while with the latter, I can be more specific. Essentially, I think it’s a real good thriller with awards potential, but no threat to current frontrunners Spotlight and The Martian. If there’s wins to be found, it’s in Best Actor for Leonardo DiCaprio (solidly the leader of the pack now) and Best Cinematography. Everything else will depend on what voters think, which more or less goes for every aspect of the Academy Award nominations, when you get right down to it…

Here now are my current Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. The Martian
3. Room
4. Brooklyn
5. The Revenant
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Carol
8. Steve Jobs
9. The Big Short
10. Bridge of Spies
Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. Joy 13. Inside Out 14. Son of Saul 15. Sicario 16. In the Heart of the Sea 17. Youth 18. Mad Max: Fury Road 19. Beasts of No Nation 20. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 21. Love & Mercy 22. Black Mass 23. Creed 24. 45 Years 25. Trumbo 26. Concussion 27. Suffragette 28. Straight Outta Compton 29. Anomalisa 30. Truth
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Ridley Scott – The Martian
3. Lenny Abrahamson – Room
4. John Crowley – Brooklyn
5. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
Next in line: 6. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 7. Todd Haynes – Carol 8. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs 9. George […]

A first crack at SAG predictions

Ahoy folks. I’ve been tackling Academy Award and Golden Globe predictions for a while now, as you all know, but there are of course other awards and/or precursors worth mentioning. Over the rest of the season, I’ll be trying to figure those out too, with today marking the starting point for 2015 as I attempt to decode what the Screen Actors Guild might do (with today also Black Friday, as we all do shopping, voters in various precursors are watching screeners). SAG is one of the most important precursors, mainly because it shows off what the acting branch of the Academy might be thinking. This year, with such a wide open race in almost all categories, you have to imagine that SAG will be one of the biggest guild announcements of the year.
Below you’ll see my predictions in all of the SAG categories, but keep in mind that it’s early and they’re completely subject to change. For example, I’ve hung back on going overboard on some films like Joy while going out on a few limbs that make more sense now than they likely will during crunch time. In any event…here you go:
Best Actor isn’t nearly as packed as in prior year, so make of that what you will. Last year, SAG went four out of five (nominating Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Keaton, and Eddie Redmayne…Gyllenhaal was swapped out for Bradley Cooper in Oscar’s lineup). Redmayne won here on his road to the Academy Award win, so that’s worth noting as well. At this point, it’s wide open for the win folks…
Michael Caine – Youth
Matt Damon – The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
Alternates: Johnny Depp (Black Mass) and Will Smith (Concussion)
Prediction: Leonardo DiCaprio
With Best Actress, we’re going to have to look to see which direction voters go, though in year’s past they haven’t been too much help. Last time around SAG went four out of five with Oscar (only having to sub out Jennifer Aniston for Marion Cotillard, as Felicity Jones, Julianne Moore, Rosamund Pike, and Reese Witherspoon all made the cut), so I’d expect a close relationship between the two awards once again. Still, it’s going to be hard for them to resist the younger ladies here here.
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room
Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
Lily Tomlin – Grandma
Alternates: Blythe Danner (I’ll See […]

A second crack at Golden Globe predictions

Here in the heart of the month of November, I think it’s high time to take my second crack at some Golden Globe predictions. As previously mentioned last month, I’ll be mixing these in with Oscar predictions somewhat consistently going forward, but early Globe picks are always really interesting to me, especially since sometimes you’re still guessing category placement (which is slowly being reported in the trades this week) and just what the tastes of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will look like at the current time. They’re almost impossible to accurately guess off the bat the first couple of times around, but that little factoid has yet to stop me from trying all the same. Here goes nothing once again!
What you’ll notice below this time around with the predictions is that we have some noticeable changes as well as some films/contenders that are settling in for a long awards run. Category swaps have come and affected Joy, Love & Mercy, and Trumbo, for example (not to mention confirmation of where The Martian is competing), but we still have the major players in Spotlight and such to look at. My hunch right now is that Spotlight is still able to do very well with the HFPA in advance of Oscar, with The Martian not far behind. This would set up the narrative that the two of those are going head to head for the big Academy Award statues. That can certainly change, especially if one of The Hateful Eight, Joy, or The Revenant really blows voters away, but there’s no reason not back that pair right now. As a bonus, I’m including a seventh potential slot in predictions for now, just to open the race up a bit. I may or may not keep it going forward (if so, it’ll likely only be as we get closer to nominations, not initially), but it’s there at the current moment, as you’ll see below…
Here you go ladies and gentlemen, my latest look at how the Golden Globe awards could shape up:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Spotlight
2. The Revenant
3. Brooklyn
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Room
If there’s a sixth: The Danish Girl
If there’s a seventh: Bridge of Spies
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. The Martian
2. Joy
3. The Big Short
4. Trainwreck
5. Grandma
If there’s a sixth: Our Brand is Crisis
If there’s a seventh: Spy
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
2. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
3. Eddie Redmayne – The […]

Which categories will be the most competitive this year?

Of the many things that you can consider when thinking about the Oscar race, one that I like to ponder from time to time is which categories will be the most competitive. I hinted at this in another piece this week, but certain categories are shaping up to be stronger than other ones. That being said, instead of looking at strengths and weaknesses, I figured today I’d see which ones seem like they’ll be the most competitive. That opens things up to more combine quality and quantity, as it were. This is a wide open year in general, so it’s only fitting that so many categories seem to be that way as well…
Below are the half dozen most competitive categories, as it stands right now:
6. Best Actress – After a bit of a drought, we have a group of Actress contenders that we can be quite proud of. Of course, who will win is wide open, but it’s not a situation where there’s only six or seven legitimate contenders for a nod. Vying for a nom here are the likes of Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Blythe Danner, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Rampling, Saorise Ronan, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin, and more. That’s ten right there. Nothing to sneeze at, right? It’s a tight race, and one that’s certainly among the most competitive that the Academy will have to offer us this year.
5. Best Visual Effects – Here’s a category that will really be an embarrassment of riches. Basically, there’s a bunch of different styles on display that voters will have to choose from. Contenders like Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, In the Heart of the Sea, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Walk, and more will be up for a nomination. Usually, this category has one or two frontrunners and then some also rans, but that’s not the case this year. I can see it going any number of different ways, and that’s a delight.
4. Best Supporting Actor – As jam packed as any category this year, Supporting Actor could be a photo finish. Among the large number of contenders, there are the likes of Paul Dano, Benicio del Toro, Bruce Dern, Joel Edgerton, Idris Elba, Sam Elliot, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy, Michael Keaton, Harvey Keitel, Seth Rogen, Mark Ruffalo, Kurt Russell, Mark Rylance, and Jason Segel. That’s […]

Hollywood Contenders – “Steve Jobs”: Oscar predictions for November

Maybe I was just distracted by watching the New York Mets in the playoffs this fall, but I think the time is flying folks. It’s already November, which is getting to be late in the game. A couple of precursors have already announced their nominees, we only really have four unseen major contenders left (The Big Short, The Hateful Eight, Joy, and The Revenant), and some presumed frontrunners in a couple of categories have emerged. At the same time though, we’re almost done with the year and no category is locked up yet (yes, not even Best Animated Feature…the closest one would be Best Foreign Language Feature). Simply put, it’s an exciting time and a perfect moment to update my Academy Award predictions yet again.
The big thing people have been debating (besides if The Martian can actually win in the big categories, but I’ll be tackling that in an article early next week) is how much Steve Jobs is hurt by the lack of a strong box office. Some think it’s barely been affected, some think it’s dead in the water. Me? I think the truth is somewhere in between. I’m of the opinion that wins might be a struggle now without the public interest that was expected, and even a few down the line nominations might be tougher to get, but the majority of its campaign should remain the same. Voters don’t consider box office like analysts do, so this is more perception than actual reality. Steve Jobs was hurt by bombing financially, but it’s still very much in the race. It’s certainly something to keep in mind though, moving forward…
Here now is how I see the Oscar nominations, as of the beginning of November:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. The Martian
3. Room
4. The Revenant
5. Joy
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Steve Jobs
8. Brooklyn
9. The Big Short
10. Carol
Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. Son of Saul 15. Sicario 16. In the Heart of the Sea 17. Concussion 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Beasts of No Nation 20. Macbeth 21. Mad Max: Fury Road 22. Black Mass 23. 45 Years 24. 45 By the Sea 25. Suffragette 26. Truth 27. Straight Outta Compton 28. Our Brand is Crisis 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Ridley Scott – The Martian
3. David O. Russell – Joy
4. Quentin Tarantino – […]

A second October Oscar predictions update

With only a week or so to go until Halloween, we’re really racing to the end of the 2015 awards season. As such, I think it’s more than prudent to take another look at my Oscar predictions today, something I’ll be doing more and more often going forward. Obviously, a number of X factors make predicting the Academy Awards in October little more than educated guesswork, but that’s how you slowly move towards answers. I’ve got a few big question marks still, but this represents one of my more fact based takes on what the race could ultimately shape up to be like. That’s something, right?
What I really tried to focus on this time was nailing down a potentially weak Best Actor race as well as where to put those pesky unseen contenders like The Big Short, Concussion, The Hateful Eight, Joy, The Revenant, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Currently, I have them all scoring nominations, with all but one getting cited in multiple categories. You obviously can’t quite know what to do with them, but with some awards hopefuls like Carol, Spotlight, and Steve Jobs being known entities, it pays to be a bit bullish. I’m playing it a little bit conservatively with Joy right now, but in the next update I might be going close to all in on that one. Sit tight for more on that hunch, but take a gander at what I currently think Oscar will do below…
Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Steve Jobs
3. The Revenant
4. The Martian
5. Room
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. Joy
9. The Big Short
10. Carol
Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. Son of Saul 15. Beasts of No Nation 16. Sicario 17. Concussion 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. By the Sea 20. Our Brand is Crisis 21. In the Heart of the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Black Mass 24. 45 Years 25. Suffragette 26. Truth 27. Straight Outta Compton 28. Mad Max: Fury Road 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs
3. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
4. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight
5. Ridley Scott – The Martian
Next in line: 6. John Crowley – Brooklyn 7. David O. Russell – Joy 8. Todd Haynes – Carol 9. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of […]

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