August 28, 2015
        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...                Lily Tomlin in 'Grandma' represents a true Best Actress contender        

Tag Archives: Marion Cotillard

A Post Oscar Nomination Prediction Update

A full day later, it’s still hard to completely make sense of the Academy Award nominations that went down yesterday morning. Oscar voters nominated who and what they wanted to, seemingly without much of the traditional rhyme and reason that they utilize. As such, one might be tempted to say that the field is wide open for wins all over the place. However, it seems like almost all of the frontrunners still stand in their pole positions, so it’s more a matter of figuring out where we have categories with upward mobility. As such, this updated set of predictions as well as the ones still to come, might not change too much, but the instances of change that they feature will be all the more important. I’ll keep my commentary short, but below I do have some thoughts to share on the big eight categories.
Right now, I have Boyhood way out in front in the Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress categories. I also have it winning Best Original Screenplay and Best Film Editing, though those are less surefire wins. Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay will see some competition from Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, so it’s possible that in the Screenplay category one of those players could sneak by Richard Linklater’s film. Acting wise, it’s probably a two horse race in Best Actor between Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything), but watch out for Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), who will look to surge in this second phase. Best Actress is a lock for Julianne Moore (Still Alice), while Best Supporting Actor is as well for J.K. Simmons (Whiplash). The other category up in the air is Best Adapted Screenplay, since presumed frontrunner Gone Girl got snubbed. My brain defaults to The Imitation Game, but watch out for Whiplash here. Voters are clearly very fond of that one.
Anyway, there will be plenty more talk still to come for me. Here now is my first crack at predicting the winners of this year’s Academy Awards:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. The Imitation Game
5. American Sniper
6. The Theory of Everything
7. Selma
8. Whiplash
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
4. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
5. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
BEST ACTOR
1. Michael […]

Making sense of the Academy Award nominations

Wow. After all that build up, including months of analysis, the Academy still managed to surprise us. I knew that we were going to get a shocker or two, but early this morning the Oscar nominations threw everyone, myself included, for a bit of a loop. I’m sure you all have seen the nominees by now, but what is there to take from all of this? I’ll be updating predictions tomorrow to reflect who’s in better or worse position for wins now, but today I’m going to just give some quick reactions and try to make sense of it all. Wish me luck…
First of all, here’s who did the best. The nominations were led by Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel, which each received nine citations. Next in line with eight was The Imitation Game, while both American Sniper and Boyhood scored six each. Foxcatcher, Interstellar, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash claimed five, while Mr. Turner took four. Finally, Into the Woods and Unbroken scored three, leaving every other contender with two (like Inherent Vive, Selma, and Wild) or fewer. Suffice to say, this wasn’t necessarily the combination that pundits like myself expected. We knew Birdman would do well, for example, but American Sniper, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Imitation Game all exceeded expectations. On the flip side, Gone Girl (one nomination) and Selma were snubbed all over the place.
Of course, the big category was Best Picture, where for the first time we had eight nominees, not the presumed nine due to the sliding scale (side note…can we just go back to ten?). The nominees here were American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash. That left Foxcatcher and Nightcrawler just shy as probably the numbers nine and ten contenders, and as such out in the cold. I managed to get these picks right, but it’s just an odd looking lineup to me. It more or less locks in Boyhood for the win too, but more on that in the coming days and weeks.
Best Director blew me away by having the return of the Lone Director. For those of you who don’t know the reference, it means a filmmaker nominated for Best Director without their movie getting into Best Picture. When there were only five spots in Picture, it happened here and there, but when it went to […]

A December Oscar Predictions Update

Well, the calendar has turned to December folks, so now we’re getting serious here in terms of Oscar predictions. Precursor awards are in full swing now, so expect the Academy Award picture to begin to clear itself up little by little. As I keep saying, that doesn’t mean that from now on we’ll suddenly know how the whole thing will go down, but we’re close to the point where things should make more sense. Without any unseen contenders left, all that’s left is figuring out how these various Oscar hopefuls will do. Well, that’s what I’m here for ladies and gentlemen, so let’s figure it out!
The big new piece of information here is that I’ve now seen and digested Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken. Honestly, I’m skeptical that it’ll be a major player, which is why I now have it snubbed in the Best Picture category and not going home with a single win. I could be wrong, but I also think that Jolie will fall short in Best Director and Jack O’Connell won’t be able to break through in the Best Actor race. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a good movie, because it is, but it doesn’t feel like something that can stand up to the major players in this race. As such, voters might leave it behind.
This leaves us mostly with a race that’s going to come down to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, and Ava DuVernay’s Selma in terms of Best Picture as well as Best Director. You can make the case that Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a potential dark horse, but aside from that, it’s those three. You’ll see what I think will happen below, but get used to seeing those titles a lot, because those are the names that will compete for Oscar glory.
Anyway, it’s time to get down to business, right? Without further delay, here is how I see the Academy Award nominations going at this current juncture, with once again my next in line picks listed for completion/as a bonus. Behold:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Selma
3. The Imitation Game
4. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Interstellar
6. Gone Girl
7. Whiplash
8. The Theory of Everything
9. Foxcatcher
10. A Most Violent Year
Next in line: 11. Unbroken 12. American Sniper 13. Into the Woods 14. Fury 15. Rosewater 16. Wild 17. Mr. Turner 18. Inherent Vice 19. Nightcrawler […]

“Boyhood” takes Best Picture, Director, and Supporting Actress from the New York Film Critics Circle

It’s officially precursor season folks. As such, prepare to hear a lot about various critics groups chiming in with their picks for the best of 2014. This will go on until the major guilds more or less decide things early next year, but for now, it’s the critics stage of the precursors. As such, earlier today the New York Film Critics Circle (or NYFCC for short) announced their winners for the year, crowning Richard Linklater’s Boyhood as the big victor of the afternoon. They also brought a few contenders back to life, like The Immigrant for example, but it was mostly a triumphant precursor for Boyhood.
Linklater’s film was the big winner for sure, one of only two titles (along with the aforementioned The Immigrant) to have multiple citations. Boyhood led the awards with three wins, showing up in Best Picture, Best Director for Linklater, and Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette. As such, the fuel to the “Boyhood is the Best Picture frontrunner” fire can burn even brighter, particularly since its main competition in Birdman, The Imitation Game, and Selma all were shut out by the NYFCC voters. Score one for Linklater and company, without a doubt. It’s too early to say if this is the beginning of a sweep, but this is the start that the film needed this awards season.
As I’ve hinted, the other title that did the best was James Gray’s The Immigrant, which picked up a Best Cinematography win for Darius Khondji as well as being half of Marion Cotillard’s Best Actress win (the other half belonging to Two Days, One Night). I don’t think this suddenly makes The Immigrant a serious player again, but it’s a hint that we might see it show up here and there this season. If nothing else, it does help boost Cotillard’s chances in Actress for her other performance.
Among the other major categories, NYFCC bestowed their Best Actor prize upon Timothy Spall for Mr. Tuner (which was a bit of a surprise considering the top tier competition he had), J.K. Simmons took Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash (which wasn’t a surprise at all, at least to me), and The Grand Budapest Hotel pulled off an upset Best Screenplay win. Presumed frontrunners Citizenfour, Ida, and The Lego Movie also won in Best Documentary (or in this case Best Nonfiction) Film, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Animated Film, respectively.
Here now […]

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 […]

“Birdman”, “Boyhood”, “Nightcrawler”, and “Selma” lead the 30th Spirit Awards nominations

Just a few moments ago, the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards announced their nominations for their 30th annual ceremony, once again providing a mix of future Academy Award nominees and smaller contenders getting their moment in the sun. In terms of the former, Birdman (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) lead the nominations with a half dozen citations, followed by Boyhood and Selma with five each. Nightcrawler also scored a total of five, with Whiplash not far behind at four. They mixed with more fringe contenders like Love is Strange (also at four) and the aforementioned smaller players that won’t even sniff Oscar love, such as A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (three nominations). Overall, it was an eclectic mix, to say the least.
I won’t speculate about potential winners just yet, but I will do a quick bit of analysis. Obviously, Birdman, Boyhood, and Selma solidified their causes as top tier Academy Award players, while Nightcrawler and to a lesser degree Whiplash strengthened theirs. There isn’t really a film, filmmaker, or performance that really announced itself as an Oscar contender here, but if you want to stretch, you could say that Big Eyes popping up in Screenplay keeps that potential player afloat.
As always, there were plenty of snubs, particularly in the acting categories, where Oscar Isaac is a notable one, missing for A Most Violent Year. Also, a shutout for The Skeleton Twins boggles my mind. That being said, for the most part bigger names tend to miss for smaller contenders, so it’s hard to get too upset about that sort of thing. As such, I won’t go into who missed out today, though perhaps later in the week I’ll come back to that…
Here now are the full nominations for the Spirit Awards:
2015 FILM INDEPENDENT SPIRIT AWARD NOMINATIONS
BEST FEATURE
(Award given to the Producer. Executive Producers are not awarded.)
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole
Boyhood
Producers: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland
Love is Strange
Producers: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy
Selma
Producers: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey
Whiplash
Producers: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak
BEST DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle
Whiplash
Ava DuVernay
Selma
Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Richard Linklater
Boyhood
David Zellner
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter
BEST SCREENPLAY
Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Big Eyes
J.C. Chandor
A Most Violent Year
Dan Gilroy
Nightcrawler
Jim Jarmusch
Only Lovers Left Alive
Ira Sachs & […]

A November Oscar Predictions Update

The calendar has turned to November folks, so now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty of Oscar predictions. Precursor awards have begun to be given out, so expect the Academy Award picture to slowly begin to clear up. That doesn’t mean that from now on we suddenly know how the whole thing will go, but we’re closing in on the point where things should begin to make more sense. We can still guess to our heart’s content, but certain long shots just won’t happen and certain likelihoods are even more likely now. That’s just the name of the game. By nomination morning I should have things pretty accurate, but for now, it’s still a matter of fine tuning. This is just the first phase of the game too, keep that in mind. Once the nominations are announced, the whole situation changes and it becomes all about figuring out winners. Nominees are one thing…winners are a whole other.
For this particular update, I tried to decide if there were any surprises to consider. For one thing, I backed away from American Sniper quite a bit. On the flip side, I’ve gotten pretty bold with Interstellar, including Christopher Nolan’s first Best Director nomination. I also am sticking with my next in line bonus little thing in each category, since it give you all a further look at what I’m thinking as the weeks progress. Knowing the top ten in a given category (double that in Best Picture, obviously) can help assess the whole situation, so I think it’s a help overall.
In terms of my winners, I just want to say once again that I think just about every race is still wide open (give or take Best Supporting Actor) and I refuse to predict a split between Best Picture and Best Director this early in the game, so when I switch one, I have to change the other as well. As such, you’ll see a new winner or two throughout the big eight categories, but mostly the status quo from last time around. They could just be temporary, but time will tell in that regard. For now, that’s just how I see the race…
Well, enough talk though my friends. I know you all just want to see how the predictions have changed, even if only a little bit, so let me oblige you. Here now are my most up to date Academy […]

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. […]

A Mid-October Oscar Predictions Update

Ladies and gentlemen, as I’ve been saying over the past few months…oscar predictions are a rather funny thing. Sometimes you have to just update them all wholesale in order to not be way off the mark/behind the times, while sometimes they only require a relatively small bit of tinkering as to be on the right track and not out on crazy limbs. That’s simply the nature of the beast, one where a single new contender on the horizon can upend the race, one way or another. With only a small amount of Oscar hopefuls still to be seen, we’re again waiting for a new contender to potentially change the landscape (I’m looking at you, American Sniper), now that we’re in a world where Inherent Vice has already unveiled itself and not particularly changed things at all. In any event, it’s time for a new predictions update!
If you look at what I have in this particular update, you’ll see that I’ve made some changes, but not a complete overall. Once again though, a special thing I have for you all is the addition of who I have next in line in the major categories. This will give you a better idea of what the larger landscape looks like. I’ll obviously need to update these all again in a few weeks, particularly after I hopefully see things like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, but that’s one step ahead of the game for me. Until then (as well as when the other unseen contenders reveal themselves), the educated guesswork will just have to continue on a little bit longer.
In terms of my winners, I just want to say that I think just about every race is still wide open (give or take Best Supporting Actor) and I refuse to predict a split between Best Picture and Best Director this early in the game, so when I switch one, I have to change the other. As such, you’ll see a handful of new winners throughout the big eight categories. They could just be temporary, but time will tell in that regard. For now, that’s just how I see the race…
Well, enough talk though folks. I know you all just want to see how the predictions have changed, even if only a little bit, so let me oblige you. Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. The Imitation Game
3. Birdman or […]

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 […]

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