September 03, 2015

Tag Archives: philip seymour hoffman

Re-ranking the contenders in Best Supporting Actor

As I’ve been mentioning to you all over the past couple of weeks, with the festival season well underway/now nearing completion 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 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 few 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 mostly 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 Supporting Actor field, which, like the other categories, won’t necessarily match up with Best Picture in any major way, but likely won’t be too far off from the pack in the end either. Read on to see what I’m talking about for this one…
One special note about Best Supporting Actor this year is that, unlike all of the other categories, it seems like there’s a fairly likely winner already. There are plenty of worthy contenders (with the top three being locks), so this isn’t a barren field, but it appears like the race is all but over already. You’ll see what I mean…
Here are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actor, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) – Barring something unforeseen, Simmons is just a matter of months away from not just receiving his first Oscar nomination, but also his first win as well. Simmons is explosive and downright phenomenal in Whiplash, giving easily one of the best performances that I’ve seen this year. His nomination is a sure thing, mark my words, with the Academy Award win almost certainly next to follow. I’d be shocked if he didn’t win Best Supporting Actor in a walk.
2. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) – For much of the season Ruffalo has basically been the de facto frontrunner in this category. Part of that was due to his film being baity, while part was due to Ruffalo being seen as someone who’d make a good winner. Now, having seen Foxcatcher, I […]

Joaquin Phoenix: Oscar veterans hoping for another nomination this year

Each and every single awards season, there are tons of both newcomers and veterans to the Oscar game. Tomorrow I’ll be taking a bit of a look at those seeking their first nominations from the Academy, but today I’m going to be going ahead and listing some of the major players who’ve already been nominated before, and in some cases are already winners. It’s leading up to me re-ranking the contenders in the major categories next week, but right now it’s just going to be a preview of which old hands to the Oscar ranch are saddling up for another ride on the awards season pony.
In the Best Actor race, the highest profile former nominee is Joaquin Phoenix, who will look for his first win this year with Inherent Vice. He represents the most likely non first time nominee who could win the Oscar in this category, though one level down we have Bradley Cooper for American Sniper and Bill Murray for St. Vincent, with Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler and Brad Pitt for Fury as other possibilities, plus Ben Affleck, who I’m counting here since he’s an Oscar winner, even if he’s never received an acting citation to date. Longer shots for nominations who’ve been to the dance before include Christian Bale for Exodus: Gods and Kings, Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Philip Seymour Hoffman for A Most Wanted Man, Matthew McConaughey for Interstellar, Al Pacino for Manglehorn, Jeremy Renner for Kill the Messenger, and Mark Walhberg for The Gambler. Those fellas will be fighting it out with a bunch of first timers in this category, and it’s going to be a bloodbath.
Over in Best Actress, we have perennial bridesmaid Amy Adams hoping that this year she’ll finally be the bride with her work in Big Eyes. She’s going to be getting a challenge from both Jessica Chastain (for either The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Miss Julie, or A Most Violent Year) and Reese Witherspoon for Wild though. One level down you have Julianne Moore for Still Alice and Meryl Streep for Into the Woods, with other former nominees/winner on the hunt including Marion Cotillard for The Immigrant or Two Days One Night, Keira Knightley for Begin Again, Hilary Swank for The Homesman, Kate Winslet for A Little Chaos, and Robin Wright for The Congress. The newbies could seriously vie for a win here, but the vets have […]

The 85th Academy Awards: If I had been a voter

Today I’ll be going back once again and looking at a recent Oscar lineup and explaining what my vote would have been in each of the big eight categories. I mentioned that potentially I could do this once a week with previous Academy Award ceremonies, and while I’m going to be doing that here and there, there’s a chance that this could turn into a long running thing. Again, if nothing else, this gives 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, here goes nothing:
Best Picture – Argo
The nominees here for this ceremony were Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty. When you factor in that it was my favorite film of 2012, a vote for Best Picture winner Argo would be a pretty clear and decisive choice here (the rare occasion when my favorite movie of the year actually wins the Oscar). I wouldn’t argue with a vote for Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook, or Zero Dark Thirty, but Ben Affleck’s flick was far and away my number one.
Best Director – David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook
I’d have voted for Affleck here, but shockingly (and insanely) he wasn’t nominated. The actual nominees were Ang Lee for Life of Pi, Michael Haneke for Amour, David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, Steven Spielberg for Lincoln, and Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild. Without Affleck, I very nearly went with Spielberg here, but in the end I just like Russell’s movie better. The aforementioned Affleck is easily my personal pick overall, but Russell is my choice of the actual nominees.
Best Actor – Joaquin Phoenix for The Master
In an absolutely perfect world, I’d have seen Denis Lavant in the lineup for Holy Motors and subsequently he’d have been my vote, but that was always a super long shot. The actual nominees here though were Bradley Cooper for Silver Linings Playbook, Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln, Hugh Jackman for Les Miserables, Joaquin Phoenix for The Master, and Denzel Washington for Flight. Everyone is very worthy here and I actually really came close to selecting eventual winner Day-Lewis, but Phoenix was just so incredible and showed me […]

12 Films still to look forward to this summer

With the second half of the year underway, it’s tempting to also declare the summer movie season all but over as well. While we may only have a few big blockbusters still to go, the independent films still to be released offer some interesting options, with at least one excellent option that I can vouch for (though I’ve actually seen all but four of the titles on the impending list). As such, I figured I’d take this moment to give you all 12 flicks that you can still look forward to between now and the end of August. There’s plenty out now to see, between Boyhood, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Life Itself, just to name three excellent new releases, but now I’ll give you some other things to anticipate.
Below you’ll see a dozen films that you should still have marked down on your calendars as must sees…
12. I Origins – Even though I’m not a huge fan of this science fiction tinged indie drama, it’s certainly interesting and worth seeing. Filmmaker Mike Cahill impressed me last time around with Another Earth, so anyone who liked that one should check out this new one, which also features Brit Marling once again, though Michael Pitt is the star this time around. It begins its rollout next week.
11. Love Is Strange – Back at the Tribeca Film Festival I saw and very much enjoyed this small scale love story. Both John Lithgow and Alfred Molina are excellent here as an older couple trying to make it in New York City. It’s well worth seeing, trust me there. It hits at the end of August.
10. A Most Wanted Man – One of the final performances we’ll ever see from the late great Philip Seymour Hoffman is in this thriller. At one point this was thought of as a potential awards player, but its reception at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year was rather muted. Still, it opens at the beginning of next month and should be worth checking out.
9. The One I Love – An offbeat dramedy with a number of plot twists I won’t spoil, it captured my interest at Tribeca. Mark Duplass and Elisabeth Moss are strong as just about the only folks in the movie. It’s out in the middle of August and is a nice change of pace option for audiences.
8. Calvary – The previous […]

Mark Ruffalo: 2015 Best Supporting Actor contenders

As you fine folks all already know by now, it’s one thing to just read early Academy Award predictions at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen in six months, but it’s an entirely separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that particular regard, I’m continuing to run down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what or who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might potentially take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing with another of the bigger acting categories…yes, it’s Best Supporting Actor.
Here are the ten particular thespians that I have in play for Best Supporting Actor, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher) – Especially considering that I’ve recently been informed that Channing Tatum (who I’d previously been predicting for one of the other Supporting slots) is going Lead here, this category seems like Ruffalo’s to lose right now. He’s someone who fits as a winner, apparently is excellent in Foxcatcher, and is just a warm person to be around. That’s a big help, as he’d be great on the campaign trail. At this juncture, Ruffalo makes a lot of sense as the number one here, so that’s where I have him currently.
2. J.K. Simmons (Whiplash) – If there’s an under the radar contender of sorts who can really upend the race, it’s Simmons, who blew folks away at Sundance in Whiplash. A few people out there even have him winning (including myself at one earlier point), though right now he has to be behind Ruffalo. Simmons is overdue his first citation, so I have a feeling that his run of bad luck is about to come to an end. He deserved to be in bigger play for Juno, but now could very well be his time.
3. Christoph Waltz (Big Eyes) *could go Lead – It seems a little unlikely that Waltz could wind up winning his third Best […]

Tom Hanks: The Top 25 (Best Actor)

Yes, this time around I’ll be tackling one of the biggest of the big eight categories in an effort not to save them all for very last, much like with last week. This one is arguably the second biggest of them all…the Best Actor field. This is as prestigious a category as there is ladies and gentlemen. I could go on and on in preparation right now, but at this point I know how the game works here. You all mostly just want to see the lists that I do anyhow, so I have no problem obliging you good people there in that particular regard once again. All you have to do is just be patient over the next paragraph or so and you’ll get the goods front and center…
This time around, I’m once again going with the ever popular overview route for the discussion as you might have guessed. Also, it really just comes down to taste again here (surprise surprise), with your opinion influencing what sort of winner you’re particularly partial to. It’s pretty much a matter of taste once again for us all, which is commonplace at this point and even more so with acting. I know a couple of of my selections are going to seem a bit on the odder side of the equation, especially again when you see how high I ranked certain gentlemen, but that’s just the way it is. You can’t please everyone with this sort of a thing, so I won’t lie to myself in order to try.
I’ll basically just discuss my top ten a bit here now. To me, the best winner of this category so far to date has been Tom Hanks and his stunning performance in Philadelphia. Frankly, I wish I could basically have a tie throughout my entire top five, which also includes Marlon Brando for On The Waterfront (as opposed to his more widely praised turn in The Godfather) Nicolas Cage for Leaving Las Vegas (easily the most underrated winner in history to me), Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln (controversially ahead of There Will Be Blood), and Robert De Niro for Raging Bull (to some the best ever). They’re almost all tied, they’re so phenomenal. I give the slight edge to Hanks though, just because of how long that turn has stayed with me. Rounding out the top ten we have the other beloved performances of Day-Lewis […]

Hollywood: Welcome to Hard Times

By ROBERT W. WELKOS
These are strange times in Hollywood. Turbulent times.Grieving times. Warring times. Bieber times. Noah times.
To be sure, Hollywood wouldn’t be Hollywood without being a little off its axis. But the events of recent weeks make Tinseltown seem almostas if the tectonic plates are shifting and we’re all about to be swallowed upin a giant, sucking sinkhole along with those vintage Corvettes.
There was Fast and Furious star Paul Walker dying senselessly in a horrible car crash.
There was the shocking news that the brilliant award-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman had died. In New York. In his Greenwich Village apartment. In the bathroom. A syringe in his arm. Five empty packets and dozens more full of heroin. The lights of Broadway were dimmed in his honor.
Then, like a Dementor swooping down on the Hogwarts Express,bespectacled Woody Allen found himself dueling with his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow, 28, who accused the celebrated actor/director of molesting her when she was only 7 years old. Allen flatly denied it but the accusations made everyone feel creepy and wondering who wastelling the truth? The feud even spilled over into the Oscars with Best Actressnominee Cate Blanchett, the star of Allen’s Blue Jasmine being singled out by Farrow for professionally associating with Allen. ‘What if it had been your child, Cate Blanchett?’she wrote, listing other celebrities who had also worked with Allen over the years.
It was left to Page Six to supply more details on the untimely death of Julia Roberts’ half-sister Nancy Motes, who is said to have tweeted ‘Just so you all know ‘America’s Sweetheart’ is a B***H’ in the weeks before Motes died of a drug overdose. In October last year Motes also spoke about a family rift, reportedly tweeting: ‘It’s a shame when you get more support from strangers than you do from your family. I can’t wait to officially belong to another family!’ It sounded all the more poignant when you read that Motes had once harbored her own Tinseltown dreams.
The grieving poured forth again this week with the deaths oftwo icons: Shirley Temple and Sid Caesar.
Shirley and Sid were, of course, now elderly so their deathswere not unexpected, but it tugged at the heartstrings because they stillentertain us whenever their films or TV shows are aired on television.
Shirley, arms pumping with that curly top and dimpled chin,couldn’t extend her appeal beyond youth, but in adulthood she managed to […]

Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967-2014)

Very sad news has been confirmed today as the tremendously talented actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead at the much too young age of 46. No cause of death is currently known, but Hoffman has struggled with substance abuse in the past and an overdose is suspected here. Few in the business had a more diverse filmography than him, so as tragic a loss as it always is whenever an entertainer is taken from us, this one just seems all the more depressing and hard to process due what he still had left to share with the world.
A Best Actor Oscar winner for his lead performance in the biopic Capote, Hoffman was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his scene stealing turns in Charlie Wilson’s War, Doubt, and last year for The Master as well. Along with multiple BAFTA, Golden Globe, Independent Spirit, and Screen Actors Guild citations, he was easily ranked among the greatest and most deservingly honored of his time. His Academy Award winning performance is often spoken of as one of the better choices that Oscar voters ever made.
Hoffman got his start in 1991 on an episode of Law & Order, and from there, it was onward and upward. He even made his directorial debut in 2010 with the underrated Jack Goes Boating. There’s really no shortage of top notch works of his to marvel at, including 25th Hour, Almost Famous, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, Boogie Nights, The Ides of March, Magnolia, Moneyball, Owning Mahowny, Pirate Radio, The Savages, and we still have a few performances left in the next year or so.
This is certainly a massive loss for the industry, so be sure to value the work he still has to share with us in 2014 and beyond, namely completed roles in A Most Wanted Man, God’s Pocket, and the conclusion of The Hunger Games franchise with Mockingjay. These will no doubt be bittersweet experiences, much like watching Enough Said in 2013 was after James Gondolfini passed away. They’ll once more highlight his talents, but they’ll also be a sad reminder of what we won’t get nearly enough of in the future.
He will be missed in a big way, that’s for sure. Take some time and consider his body of work today, whether you were a fan or not, really noticing the range that he was capable of. The industry is poorer […]

And the BAFTA Award Winners are…

Argo was named Best Film at tonight’s EE British Academy Film Awards hosted by Stephen Fry, held at London’s Royal Opera House. And the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award winners are…
BEST FILM
WINNER – ARGO Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck, George Clooney
LES MISÉRABLES Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh
LIFE OF PI Gil Netter, Ang Lee, David Womark
LINCOLN Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal, Kathryn Bigelow, Megan Ellison
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
ANNA KARENINA Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Paul Webster, Tom Stoppard
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL John Madden, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, Ol Parker
LES MISÉRABLES Tom Hooper, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Debra Hayward, Cameron Mackintosh, William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer
SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS Martin McDonagh, Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin
WINNER – SKYFALL Sam Mendes, Michael G. Wilson, Barbara Broccoli, Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
WINNER – BART LAYTON (Director), DIMITRI DOGANIS (Producer) The Imposter
DAVID MORRIS (Director), JACQUI MORRIS (Director/Producer) McCullin
DEXTER FLETCHER (Director/Writer), DANNY KING (Writer) Wild Bill
JAMES BOBIN (Director) The Muppets
TINA GHARAVI (Director/Writer) I Am Nasrine
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
WINNER – *AMOUR Michael Haneke, Margaret Ménégoz
HEADHUNTERS Morten Tyldum, Marianne Gray, Asle Vatn
THE HUNT Thomas Vinterberg, Sisse Graum Jørgensen, Morten Kaufmann
RUST AND BONE Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
UNTOUCHABLE Eric Toledano, Olivier Nakache, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky, Yann Zenou, Laurent Zeitoun
DOCUMENTARY
THE IMPOSTER Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis
MARLEY Kevin Macdonald, Steve Bing, Charles Steel
McCULLIN David Morris, Jacqui Morris
WINNER – SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN Malik Bendjelloul, Simon Chinn
WEST OF MEMPHIS Amy Berg
ANIMATED FILM
WINNER – BRAVE Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
FRANKENWEENIE Tim Burton
PARANORMAN Sam Fell, Chris Butler
DIRECTOR
AMOUR Michael Haneke
WINNER – ARGO Ben Affleck
DJANGO UNCHAINED Quentin Tarantino
LIFE OF PI Ang Lee
ZERO DARK THIRTY Kathryn Bigelow
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
AMOUR Michael Haneke
WINNER – DJANGO UNCHAINED Quentin Tarantino
THE MASTER Paul Thomas Anderson
MOONRISE KINGDOM Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola
ZERO DARK THIRTY Mark Boal
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
ARGO Chris Terrio
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin
LIFE OF PI David Magee
LINCOLN Tony Kushner
WINNER – SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK David O. Russell
LEADING ACTOR
BEN AFFLECK Argo
BRADLEY COOPER Silver Linings Playbook
WINNER – DANIEL DAY-LEWIS Lincoln
HUGH JACKMAN Les Misérables
JOAQUIN PHOENIX The Master
LEADING ACTRESS
WINNER – EMMANUELLE RIVA Amour
HELEN MIRREN Hitchcock
JENNIFER LAWRENCE Silver Linings Playbook
JESSICA CHASTAIN Zero Dark Thirty
MARION COTILLARD Rust and Bone
SUPPORTING ACTOR
ALAN ARKIN Argo
WINNER – CHRISTOPH WALTZ Django Unchained
JAVIER BARDEM Skyfall
PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN The Master
TOMMY LEE JONES Lincoln
SUPPORTING ACTRESS
AMY ADAMS The Master
WINNER – ANNE HATHAWAY Les Misérables
HELEN HUNT The Sessions
JUDI DENCH Skyfall
SALLY FIELD Lincoln
ORIGINAL MUSIC
ANNA KARENINA Dario Marianelli
ARGO Alexandre Desplat
LIFE OF […]

Actors for Actors and the SAG Awards winners are…

The 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards is taking place at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles, California.
And the 19th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards winners are…:
MOTION PICTURE
Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Silver Linings Playbook
Lincoln
Les Miserables
* WINNER – Argo
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
* WINNER – Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Hugh Jackman, Les Miserables
Denzel Washington, Flight
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust and Bone
* WINNER – Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin, Argo
Javier Bardem, Skyfall
Robert De Niro, Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
*WINNER – Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Sally Field, Lincoln
* WINNER – Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy
Maggie Smith, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
TELEVISION
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
* WINNER – Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Ed Harris, Game Change
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gellhorn
Bill Paxton, Hatfields & McCoys
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gellhorn
* WINNER – Julianne Moore, Game Change

Charlotte Rampling, Restless
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
Alfre Woodard, Steel Magnolias
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
* WINNER – Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
Damian Lewis, Homeland
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
* WINNER – Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
* WINNER – Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Louis C.K., Louie
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
* WINNER – Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Edie Falco, Nurse Jackie
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Betty White, Hot in Cleveland
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
* WINNER – Downton Abbey
Homeland
Mad Men
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
30 Rock
Glee
The Big Bang Theory
* WINNER – Modern Family
The Office
Nurse Jackie
STUNT ENSEMBLES
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
The Amazing Spider-Man
The Bourne Legacy
The Dark Knight Rises
Les Miserables
* WINNER -Skyfall
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
Boardwalk Empire
Breaking Bad
* […]

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