July 27, 2016
        A Teaser Trailer for "Justice League" suggests a really fun blockbuster                "Blair Witch" and "Wonder Woman": Comic-Con unleashes a ton of buzz worthy Trailers                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actress contenders                "Star Trek Beyond" is a rare success for the 2016 summer movie season                The 2016 New York Film Festival will open with Ava Duvernay's documentary "The 13th"                Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make us swoon as "La La Land" drops a luminous Teaser Trailer                "Loving" announces itself as an awards player with a great Trailer                Hollywood Contenders: New Oscar Predictions for July                Woody Allen has another crowd pleaser on his hands with "Cafe Society"                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Actor contenders                Kristen Stewart shines in the sci-fi love story "Equals"                'Ghostbusters' is an excellent re-invention of the classic franchise                Hollywood Contenders: Looking at potential Best Director contenders                "Captain Fantastic" is one of the year's most pleasant surprises                This week brings an adorable bit of animation in "The Secret Life of Pets"        

Tag Archives: Rooney Mara

Bruce Dern and Mark Ruffalo: Who’s most overdue for an Oscar now?

As you all know by now, plenty of folks in the industry can go a whole career without ever winning an Oscar. As such, that makes for a ton of heavyweights in Hollywood who are very overdue for wins. Much like I did last week with people who have never been nominated, I’m going to be citing today ten actors or actresses who have yet to win Oscars but deserve to already have one on their mantle. All of these previous nominees were in contention at some point this year, believe it or not, and many will hopefully be winners within the next few years. Keep in mind that this is just my humble opinion, but take a look below at who I think is most overdue a little gold man…

Here now are ten actors/actresses who are overdue for an Academy Award:
10. Carey Mulligan – It might surprise a lot of you to know that Mulligan only has one Oscar nomination, for her breakthrough performance in An Education. She seems like she’s been nominated more than that, right? Well, that hasn’t happened, and while Suffragette didn’t do it for her this year, it feels like many more nominations are in her future, and as such, a solid chance at a win. I’d be shocked if she doesn’t wind up with an Oscar one day.
9. Johnny Depp – For a bit, it seemed like Depp was going to finally win for his role this year in Black Mass. Mostly though, it served as a reminder that he’s out there and still without a victory. Depp has a pocket of supporters who always push him when he’s in an awards friendly vehicle, so while I might prefer his recent outings in Kevin Smith movies, he’s probably only one safe prestige project away from getting to that stage.
8. Ellen Page – Another talented actress with only one nomination, she potentially should have won for Juno, but since then has been shut out. Had Freeheld been more of a contender, I think Page not only would have gotten a Best Supporting Actress nomination, she’d have easily been the frontrunner. Her time is still to come, it seems, but never count her out…
7. Will Smith – Much like with Depp, but to a greater extent, it seemed at one point in 2015 like it was finally going to be Smith’s year. Concussion wound up getting […]

Hollywood Contenders: Potential nomination morning snubs

As much as we tend to focus on who and what might get in on Oscar nomination morning, there’s also another factor to consider…who and what might wind up missing. Yes, for all but the most locked in of contenders, there’s the chance that a snub might be coming their way on the big day. Every single year, there’s always at least one, be it Ben Affleck in Best Director for Argo, John Hawkes in Best Actor for The Sessions, or The Lego Movie in Best Animated Feature, you can all but bank on something surprising, if not outright shocking, happening. Below you’ll see my best attempt at guessing what the shock might be this time around…
Here now is five (or technically six, as you’ll see below) instance of potentially surprising snubs that could happen on nomination morning:

Matt Damon in Best Actor – For a moment it seemed like Damon was potentially going to emerge as the frontrunner in Actor for The Martian, but despite a strong shot at the Golden Globe win, he’s still in line to possibly be one of the casualties on the big morning. I don’t think it’s especially likely, but it’s something to certainly consider. We’re still not sure just how big a contender the film is…

Roger Deakins in Best Cinematography – This would be a cruel crime, but with Sicario assured of nothing right now, it’s hard to consider Deakins a full on lock. I don’t think this is likely at all, but it’s a possibility, if nothing else. It pains me to even think about it, but think I must. Is this probably going to happen? No. Is it worth worrying about still? Sure.

Rooney Mara and/or Alicia Vikander miss in both Best Actress as well as Best Supporting Actress – This is the one to pay attention to, frankly. Right now, I think Mara and Vikander are the frontrunners in Supporting Actress (for Carol and The Danish Girl, respectively), but both are also up in Actress here and there. Category confusion could abound, with one or both winding up missing out all together. Mara has Cate Blanchett in Actress to split other votes, while Vikander also has her performance in Ex Machina to complicate Supporting Actress. I still have them both getting in, but they have the possibility of missing certainly on the table.

George Miller in Best Director – I never fully believed […]

Hollywood Contenders – Where does “Carol” fit into the awards season now?

It’s been a very interesting year so far for Todd Haynes’ film Carol. Beginning at the Cannes Film Festival, it was feted as one of 2015’s biggest Oscar contenders, and throughout the festival season (including the New York Film Festival), that has more or less continued. The thing is, slowly the buzz has died down as more Academy Award hopefuls have been released, creating a more competitive market and perhaps making this movie a bit late to the party. It’s still a major player, but is it still a sure thing in the race across the board? Well, let’s talk about that a bit right now…
The film is a high profile adaptation a Patricia Highsmith novel called The Price of Salt and concerns the taboo relationship between two women in 1950’s New York City. One is young department store clerk Therese Belivet (played by Mara), while the other is an older married woman named Carol Aird (Blanchett). What starts as a friendship of sorts (though Carol seems to clearly be interested in more, with Therese more than just along for the ride) slowly blooms into something more, even if they can’t explicitly speak it out loud. From there, it’s a choice of whether or not to risk everything for love in a time where this was not acceptable behavior. The decisions that follow are not what you’d expect, and that’s putting it mildly. Haynes directs from a Phyllis Nagy screenplay, with the cast in addition to Blanchett and Mara including Kyle Chandler, Jake Lacy, John Magaro, and Sarah Paulson, among others. The score is by Carter Burwell, while the cinematography comes from Edward Lachman.
What works here, without question, are the aesthetics put forward by Haynes and the performances from the cast, in particular Blanchett and especially Mara, who is best in show. The script is a bit on the nose at times and the pacing is a bit lax, but Mara more than makes up for that. She will break your heart in two. Haynes definitely puts forward another authentically period film, both in terms of the look and the feel, but it’s the acting that sets this one apart. Carol is the success that it is because of the way Blanchett and Mara interact with each other. It’s a dance that works in a big way.
I do wonder if this would have been better served by hitting earlier in […]

Hollywood Contenders – Which films could have multiple nominees in the same category?

It doesn’t often happen, but every so often a category in the Oscar race will have multiple contenders from the same feel competing for nominations. Ironically, this year seems to have an abundance of them, making for a potentially interesting Academy Awards race when all is said and done. In fact, a number of these players actually have realistic chances as well, with Carol, The Hateful Eight, and Spotlight chief among them. I figured that today was a good time to take a look at these contenders and see just who could potentially go ump against each other in the various acting categories…
Right now, the one to place a bet on for this particular situation is Spotlight. It seems that both Michael Keaton and Mark Ruffalo are sitting in excellent spots to be not only nominated in Best Supporting Actor, but the main players to win the Oscar there as well. That doesn’t even take into consideration the rest of their male cast, which is all going Supporting as well. It’s likely that Keaton and Ruffalo are it in Supporting Actor, but you could at least make the claim that Billy Crudup, Liev Schreiber, and Stanley Tucci are somewhat in the mix as well. It’s almost an embarrassment of riches for Spotlight, and rightly so. If there’s one close to sure thing in regard to this situation,it’s this film getting two nominees in Supporting Actor. Right now, I’d all but bank on it happening.

The other potential big chance for this to happen is if Carol does indeed end up seeing Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara go Lead for their performances. Right now, that’s only happening at the Golden Globes, but the Oscar could wind up following. Currently, Blanchett is in Best Actress and Mara is in Best Supporting Actress, where both are all but locked in, though if both ultimately are in Actress, anything could happen. Conventional wisdom centers on Blanchett getting in alone or both of them sneaking in, but I have a sneaky suspicion that we could see a situation much like the Cannes Film Festival where only Mara winds up getting in. It’s just a hunch at the current moment, but don’t sleep on Mara if this somehow comes to pass. It would be a close call though, I’ll concede that. They’re in different categories right now anyway, so keep that in mind as well here. Plus, […]

Hollywood Contenders – Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander will be Lead not Supporting at the Golden Globes!

Only hours after I posted my latest set of Golden Globe predictions on Friday, word came down the pike that the two main contenders for the Best Supporting Actress prize wouldn’t be in the running. Yes, both Rooney Mara (for Carol) and Alicia Vikander (for The Danish Girl) have had their candidacies switches from Supporting to Lead. As such, both are now hoping for nominations in Best Actress in a Drama instead. The other change? I have to tinker a bit with my Golden Globe predictions, which I’ve done now. One is more important than the other, but both led to this update, so there’s that…
Essentially, this affects not only the Best Supporting Actress race, but potentially both of the Best Actress fields as well (though likely only Best Actress – Drama). With the Supporting Actress lineup, when you remove surefire nominees like Mara and Vikander, it opens the race up in a big way, as they were among the likeliest winners. There’s no frontrunner now at all, and even more so, the last slot or two could go to just about anyone. On the flip side, there’s now even less room for maneuvering in Actress. At least one of the two will take a spot, at the expense of someone there. It makes things potentially very fluid, which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, but it is a notable thing.

Here you go again ladies and gentlemen, my now up to date 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 Danish Girl
4. Johnny Depp – Black Mass
5. Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
If there’s a sixth: Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw
If there’s a seventh: Will Smith – Concussion
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Matt Damon – The Martian
2. Steve Carell – The Big Short
3. Bill Hader – Trainwreck
4. Joaquin Phoenix – Irrational Man
5. Bill Murray – Rock the Kasbah
If there’s a sixth: Bradley Cooper – Burnt
If there’s a seventh: Al Pacino – Danny Collins
Best Actress (Drama)
1. Brie Larson – Room
2. Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
3. Cate Blanchett – Carol
4. Alicia Vikander – […]

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 […]

A first crack at Golden Globe predictions

Now that we’re well into the fall months and about to enter the tail end of the 2015 movie release season, I wanted to take my first crack at some Golden Globe predictions. I’ll be mixing these in with Oscar predictions going forward, but early Globe picks are always interesting to me, especially since sometimes you’re still guessing category placement and just what the tastes of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will look like at the time. They’re almost impossible to accurately guess off the bat the first time around, but that little factoid has yet to stop me from trying all the same. Here goes nothing!
What you’ll notice below is that things more or less reflect how I see the Academy Awards going, but with some slight changes. Obviously, the Comedy or Musical categories open things up to some other contenders, though we won’t know for a bit still how certain contenders will decide to compete. We know that Joy is likely to go Drama, but The Big Short and The Martian, for example, are two that could go the Comedy route. I have pretty much the same winners here as with Oscar, with the exception of Ridley Scott winning Best Director, on the potential strength of The Martian going Comedy and winning Best Picture in that area and getting Matt Damon that Best Actor win as well. The Drama category at the Globes still is where the Best Picture winner for Oscar likely will come from, with Spotlight and Steve Jobs facing off for now, though The Revenant is an X factor spoiler here. We’ll have more HFPA analysis coming soon, but these predictions should suffice for now…
Here you go folks, my initial look at how the Golden Globe awards could shape up:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Spotlight
2. The Revenant
3. Steve Jobs
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Joy
If there’s a sixth: Brooklyn
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. The Martian
2. Trainwreck
3. The Big Short
4. Love & Mercy
5. Our Brand is Crisis
If there’s a sixth: Grandma
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
2. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
3. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl
4. Johnny Depp – Black Mass
5. Jake Gyllenhaal – Southpaw
If there’s a sixth: Tom Hanks – Bridge of Spies
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Matt Damon – The Martian
2. Paul Dano – Love & Mercy
3. Bill Murray – Rock the Kasbah
4. John Cusack – Love & Mercy
5. Bill Hader – Trainwreck
If there’s a […]

“The Big Short”: An October Oscar predictions update

Happy Friday friends! It’s not only the end of the week, but the beginning of the month of October as well, so obviously it’s time for a new set of Academy Award predictions. It’ll be an interesting new set as well, considering the things that I’ve seen since last time. Honestly, with Miles Ahead debuting tomorrow at the New York Film Festival, the list of unseen titles is shrinking by the day. As such, there’s hopefully a bit of clarity in the race, while also suggesting which categories will be the stronger ones this year and which ones will be the weaker ones (in fact, look for a piece on that next week). Right now though, I’ll give you a quick preview and then dive right into these Oscar predictions!
The big things to keep in mind with this Academy Award nominations update is that I’ve seen Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Son of Saul, Steve Jobs, and more firsthand. That can help clarify things a bit. What’s most noticeable here this time around is that Spotlight and Steve Jobs seem like the frontrunners for the major non acting categories right now (Aaron Sorkin especially seems like he could have Best Adapted Screenplay in the bag). I’ve also dropped Bridge of Spies from most categories, just to see how that feels. The new addition of note here is The Big Short, obviously, which I think could be our late year surprise. A lot will depend on how things like The Hateful Eight, Joy, and The Revenant do, but assuming they’re up to snuff, the one unexpected hit could be The Big Short. We’ll see, but it’s something to keep in mind…
Here now is how I see the Oscar nominations going down, as of today:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Steve Jobs
3. The Revenant
4. The Hateful Eight
5. Brooklyn
6. Room
7. The Martian
8. Joy
9. The Big Short
10. The Danish Girl
Next in line: 11. Carol 12. Bridge of Spies 13. Inside Out 14. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 15. Son of Saul 16. Beasts of No Nation 17. Sicario 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Our Brand is Crisis 20. Truth 21. By the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Suffragette 24. The Walk 25. In the Heart of the Sea 26. Trainwreck 27. Freeheld 28. The End of the Tour 29. Anomalisa 30. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Danny Boyle – Steve […]

“Spotlight”: Another September look at Oscar predictions

My oh my how things can change! Just a few weeks ago, I put up Oscar predictions for September that I thought I was pretty confident in. Alas, nothing stays the same, so now I’m back with an updated look at what the Academy Award nominations could look like. I’m going to two a month from now on, with potentially one a week by the end of the season, but right now, it’s time to get serious. You’ll notice a bunch of changes in the predictions, mostly spurred on by having seen some of the contenders, a few of which are now pretenders, quite honestly. That’s the name of the game though, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to either you or me. On my end, I’m just still trying to get a feel for the race. What you’ll see today reflects a more realistic look at the field than before, so there’s that as well. It’ll get updated again next month, obviously, but for now…this is it.
The main thing to notice below is my new winner. Having seen Spotlight, which is a masterpiece, I honestly think it could go all the way. The film will be among the most beloved this year, has important subject matter, sharp direction by Tom McCarthy, and incredibly acting, especially from Michael Keaton as well as Mark Ruffalo, the latter giving the performance of the year so far. I could easily see it winning Best Picture, as it is undeniably the frontrunner at this point. You’ll also notice me backing off of Our Brand is Crisis completely and settling in on a new middle ground for The Martian, as well as placing The Big Short in the running for things in a bunch of categories. Things have been tinkered with all around, but there will be more done soon enough, so stay tuned…
Here now is how I see the Academy Award nominations going down, as of today:
BEST PICTURE
1. Spotlight
2. Bridge of Spies
3. Steve Jobs
4. The Revenant
5. Carol
6. The Hateful Eight
7. Brooklyn
8. The Martian
9. Room
10. Joy
Next in line: 11. The Danish Girl 12. The Light Between Oceans (possible 2016 release) 13. Inside Out 14. The Big Short 15. Truth 16. Beasts of No Nation 17. Sicario 18. Miles Ahead (possible 2016 release) 19. Our Brand is Crisis 20. The Walk 21. By the Sea 22. Macbeth 23. Suffragette 24. The End of the […]

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