July 10, 2015

Tag Archives: Meryl Streep

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 […]

Meryl Streep: Trailer drops for “Ricki and the Flash”

As is almost always the case, it seems like we’re going to have a Meryl Streep performance in contention for another Academy Award nomination. Luckily for us though, this year it appears like Streep has a bit of a change up in store here, as opposed to overly serious melodrama or biopic type work. Later this year, she’ll be starring in the dramedy Ricki and the Flash, which got a Trailer this week. It looks like she’s as good as ever, but having a ton of fun as well, which certainly could rub off on audiences as well. If so, I’ll be thrilled to have her in the Oscar race for what feels like the 50th time. It won’t feel like tradition this time around.
In case you’ve yet to hear anything about this one, it’s a musically tinged dramedy surrounding a musician named Ricki who gave up on the family life in order to pursue a rock and roll career. When her daughter winds up in a tough spot, her ex husband calls her and she returns home in order to try and make things right. The Trailer, which you can see below, shows off some solid heart, humor, and music to boot. Streep plays the title character, while the strong supporting cast includes Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, Sebastian Stan, and Rick Springfield. The director here is Academy Award winner Jonathan Demme, while the screenplay is by fellow Oscar winner Diablo Cody. Throw in the statues that Streep already has, as well as the one belonging to Kline, and this is a gold plated flick if ever there was one.
What has me interested here is the combination of Streep getting to let loose a bit, as well as her reciting Cody’s distinctive dialogue. The script doesn’t seem to be as “Cody-ish” as some of her other ones, but it appears like a pretty good one, regardless. Streep sometimes lacks the screenplays to really knock it out of the park for me (I’m in the minority there, I realize), but this could change that up. If so, there’s a ton of potential here, possibly even offering up one of Streep’s juiciest roles to date. She’s at her best when she’s having fun, which looks to be the case here.
If Ricki and the Flash turns out to be a high quality film, there are definitely some awards possibilities here. Besides Best Picture, […]

“Trainwreck”: Ten Original Summer Movies to look forward to

As you all know by now, the summer movie season is getting longer and longer each and every single year. At the same time, the films being released are getting less and less original as well. It’s not necessarily a knock on quality, but everything seems to be a prequel or a reboot or a sequel, leaving very little room for originality. Sure, there’s original takes on things, but original ideas themselves appear to be in short supply. As such, I wanted to highlight some of the 2015 summer releases that seem to buck this trend. There’s a handful of titles that aren’t based on existing material, and that’s delightful to me.
Below you’ll find a list of ten flicks hitting theaters between the beginning of May and the end of August that aren’t comic book adaptations or anything even close to that. I might do a separate list of films like that next week, as the summer movie season basically officially kicks off, but for now, I’m going with this list. They tend to be mainstream outings, though there’s one or two small indies thrown in there to mix it up, for good measure, of course. Take a gander and use this as a way to plan out a well round couple of months of going to the cinema…
In alphabetical order, here are ten original concept movies to look forward to this summer:
Aloha – As a huge Cameron Crowe fan, I’m certainly eager to see his latest romantic comedy that’s sure to have a great soundtrack. Bradley Cooper stars alongside Emma Stone, with Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray among the top notch supporting cast. Crowe hasn’t been the king of the rom-com in a while, so perhaps this will be his return to wide level acclaim? We’ll find out at the very end of May.
Digging for Fire – Indie filmmaker Joe Swanberg always makes original films, but they rare show up on summer movie lists. This year, however, he continues his trend of working with bigger actors on slightly more mainstream a scale. He’s finally being noticed, so another teaming with Jake Johnson could continue that upswing. I believe this one comes out in August.
Inside Out – Pixar goes back to their non-sequel roots with this look inside the mind of a young girl, particularly at her emotions and how they control/interact with her. It has a spot at the […]

Shailene Woodley and “The Fault in Our Stars” rule at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards

Last night, the 2015 MTV Movie Awards were held, with Amy Schumer given the hosting duties (hopefully in preparation for one day hosting the Oscars) and a wide variety of films up for honors. Frankly, it was a better group of nominees than usual for MTV. That being said, the winners more or less were who you expected them to be. Luckily though, the most successful film of the night was The Fault in Our Stars, which happens to be a phenomenal movie, in addition to being pretty MTV friendly. That’s a win/win situation for this particular awards show, if you ask me.
I usually don’t pay too much attention to this awards show, but over the past few years, they’ve been doing a better job with their nominations. A lineup for Movie of the Year (their Best Picture slate) this time around was American Sniper, Boyhood, The Fault in Our Stars, Gone Girl, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Selma, and Whiplash. Give or take a title or so here, that would represent the sort of diverse lineup that some have suggested the Academy needs to strive for with Best Picture at the Oscars. They’ll never tilt that far towards the blockbuster/mainstream, but for a lesser body like the MTV Movie Awards, it’s a pretty respectable lineup.
In terms of their winners, they mostly came up with strong choices. The Fault in Our Stars took Movie of the Year, while Bradley Cooper won Best Male Performance for American Sniper and Shailene Woodley took Best Female Performance for her role in The Fault in Our Stars. Woodley was also given the Trailerblazer Award and shared Best Kiss with her costar from The Fault in Our Stars Ansel Elgort. Robert Downey, Jr. was given the Generation Award and Meryl Streep was awarded Best Villain for her work in Into the Woods. Those were the “prestige” winners of note, while you can also applaud Channing Tatum winning Best Comedic Performance for 22 Jump Street. It’s hard to not be at the very least satisfied with those picks.
On the flip side, this is still the MTV Movie Awards, so there were plenty of wins that were iffy at best, or just catered to teenagers. They’re not worth getting into, as you’ll see them below in the full list of victors, but they don’t dominate the lineup like they might have […]

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. […]

The 82nd Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

As I mentioned last time out, this series has officially returned. Yes, once again I’m going to be taking a look back at a recent (or now recent-ish) Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories we all follow so intently each season. I previously mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be attempting to do just that, time will still tell if it’s something that gets stuck with or not. Again, if nothing else, this continues to give you an interesting look into my cinematic tastes. Over the course of the year you can sort of get a feel for what my current favorites are, but now we can look to the past a bit more.
Alright then, here goes nothing folks…behold my picks for this particular ceremony:
Best Picture – Up in the Air
The nominees here were A Serious Man, An Education, Avatar, The Blind Side, District 9, The Hurt Locker, Inglourious Basterds, Precious, and Up. The main snub here, in my book at least, was (500) Days of Summer, and I nearly went with the actual winner in The Hurt Locker, but Up in the Air was my #1 film of this year, so that made it pretty academic in the end.
Best Director – Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker
A history making and diverse category this time out, the field consisted of Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, James Cameron for Avatar, Lee Daniels for Precious, Jason Reitman for Up in the Air, and Quentin Tarantino for Inglourious Basterds. I believe Marc Webb was snubbed for (500) Days of Summer and really wish that Reitman had come closer to winning, but when you come right down to it, I can’t argue with Bigelow. The first woman to ever win Best Director gets my vote here as well.
Best Actor – George Clooney for Up in the Air
Here the nominees were Jeff Bridges for Crazy Heart, George Clooney for Up in the Air, Colin Firth for A Single Man, Morgan Freeman for Invictus, and Jeremy Renner for The Hurt Locker. The Academy missed the boat on nominating Sam Rockwell for Moon, but aside from him, I’d have to go for Clooney.
Best Actress – Carey Mulligan for An Education
The big snub to me here was Zooey Deschanel for (500) Days […]

2015 MTV Movie Award nominations are more respectable than usual

Yesterday, the MTV Movie Award nominations were announced for 2015. Normally, that’s not the sort of thing that I care even a little bit about, but lo and behold…the films and performances cited happen to be far more respectable than normal. The nominations were led by The Fault in Our Stars, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Neighbors, which each came away with 7 citations. There also happened to be multiple nominations scored for Boyhood, Gone Girl, Selma, and Whiplash, among others. This will never become any kind of noteworthy precursor, for sure (especially when it happens after the Oscars are already held), but hey…a step in the right direction is a step in the right direction.
Let me be perfectly clear, there are still plenty of terrible choices here, but the overall list is far better than you’d ever expect it to be. In fact, aside from an obvious bent towards some teen centric movies, this more or less resembles what a number of precursors with a mainstream tilt look like. It’s not inconceivable that in the next year or so these awards will gain a small measure of respect. Think closer to the People’s Choice Awards as opposed to even the Golden Globe Awards, but hey…it’s a start. Every awards show needs to start somewhere, right?
Sure, you could focus on the nominations for things like Annabelle, The Boy Next Door, Horrible Bosses 2, The Maze Runner, The Other Woman, The Purge: Anarchy, and The Wedding Ringer, but why do that? They also went for all of those aforementioned Oscar contenders, so that’s where the focus should be. This isn’t a nomination list to pay too much attention to, but a quick glance does give you a bit of confidence that the next generation of filmgoer isn’t solely concerned with YA franchise adaptions.
Here now is the full nominations list for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards:
Movie of the Year
American Sniper
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Guardians of the Galaxy
Gone Girl
The Fault In Our Stars
Boyhood
Whiplash
Selma”
Best Female Performance
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Emma Stone – Birdman
Shailene Woodley – The Fault In Our Stars
Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Scarlett Johansson – Lucy
Best Male Performance
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Chris Pratt – Guardians of the Galaxy
Ansel Elgort – The Fault In Our Stars
Miles Teller – Whiplash
Channing Tatum – Foxcatcher
Best Scared-As-S**t Performance
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Annabelle Wallis – Annabelle
Jennifer Lopez – The Boy Next Door
Dylan O’Brien […]

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 […]

The Ten Best Moments from the 87th Academy Awards

As is always the case, there was plenty to complain about once the Oscars came to an end on Sunday night. That’s all well and good, but right now I want to focus on the positive take a quick look at the very best moments from the Academy Awards. They’ve done this 87 times now, and without fail, there’s at least a few things that you know you’ll remember from the ceremony. Below you’ll see the ten moments that I think were the very best from Oscar over the weekend, but they’re hardly the only ones. It was a bit of a mixed bag, but one with plenty of pleasures as well…
Here are the ten best moments from the Oscars on Sunday night:
10. Every nominated film for Best Picture took home an award – I’m a sucker for fairness, so seeing each of the eight nominees for Best Picture not go home empty handed pleased me. Sure, American Sniper, Boyhood, The Imitation Game, Selma, and The Theory of Everything only won a single Oscar each, but Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Whiplash managed to become multiple Academy Award recipients. Some of the awards may have gone in different directions than hoped, but the love was sufficiently spread around.
9. Big Hero 6 wins Best Animated Feature – Once we knew The Lego Movie wouldn’t be in the race, it was then a matter of if the pseudo Marvel superhero cartoon Big Hero 6 could pull off the win. Many, including myself, predicted How to Train Your Dragon 2, but Big Hero 6 deservingly took it in the end. In my mind, the best movie won, so that’s always a plus.
8. The reaction to Patricia Arquette’s speech – There was just something about Meryl Streep pumping her fist while Arquette rightly pushed for gender equality. It was a political moment, for sure, but it’s hard to be against equal pay for equal work, regardless of the job. Sure, actors are well paid, but equality should be across the board. There, done with my little soapbox.
7. Keeping the suspense going almost all night – The way the categories were organized left everything up in the air until well past 11pm on the east coast. Once we got to Best Film Editing and Boyhood came up short to Whiplash, we had our first hint, but there was suspense for literally hours. That’s rare, […]

A Mid February Oscar predictions update

We’ve come to the penultimate update to my predictions folks. With Academy Award voting going on hot and heavy, it’s really time to buckle down and try to work out some last minute Oscar hunches before final predictions next week, right? Much like I said last week, it’s pretty serious crunch time here, so once again aside from a guild announcement tomorrow (the Writers Guild of America awards) there won’t be any new information at all to go on, and there might not even be much this weekend, depending on what the folks at the WGA wind up doing with their two prizes. Essentially, at the end of the road. I’ve tried out some small changes and a few big ones, but the feel of the show remains pretty similar. The big question is still how Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay will go, and if Birdman or Boyhood will sweep those…plus the potential for Original Screenplay to wind up in the hands of The Grand Budapest Hotel. Geez, I’m sweating already.
As you can see below, I’ve once again opted to go with Birdman in the big three spots, giving it Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay wins. I definitely feel like Boyhood will win at least one of those, with The Grand Budapest Hotel even being a threat in the Screenplay category. The other notable changes I’ve made surround Whiplash, which I have doing way better than I think most expect it to, including pulling off a Best Adapted Screenplay upset win and a Best Film Editing surprise victory as well. That would give it four wins, second only to Birdman, which I have taking home five statues right now. This all can and likely will change more before Oscar night, so take it as still a work in progress. That being said, it’s the second to last crack that I have at it, so I’m making my speculating count…
Without any further delay, here now are my up to date 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. The Theory of Everything
8. Selma
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. […]

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