September 19, 2015
        “Inside Out”: Looking at potential Best Animated Feature Contenders                "Black Mass" could get Johnny Depp back in the Oscar game                J.J. Abrams and Denis Villeneuve: Ten potential first time writer/director nominees for Oscar in 2015                Roger Deakins offers up some of his very best cinematography in "Sicario"                "The Martian" launches itself as an awards hopeful at the Toronto Film Festival                "Steve Jobs": Oscar predictions for September                "Sleeping with Other People" is one of the most charming films of 2015                Sandra Bullock looks like a contender in the Trailer for "Our Brand is Crisis"                Sam Smith will sing the theme song for the upcoming 007 film "Spectre"                Richard Gere is an under the radar Best Actor contender for "Time Out of Mind"                Telluride and Venice launch festival debuts into the Oscar race                “The Hateful Eight”: Looking at potential Best Original Screenplay Contenders                David O. Russell and Ridley Scott: Which filmmaking contenders this year are most due for their first win?                Telluride Announces 2015 Lineup - Steve Jobs, Black Mass, Suffragette                “Sicario”: Ten Films to see in September        

Tag Archives: Steve Carell

“Freeheld,” starring Julianne Moore enters the Oscar race with a touching Trailer

Issue driven films with a ton of heart usually find their way into the awards season one way or another. Hopefully, it’s because they’re good movies and legitimately important, either for the culture or the world in general. Sometimes though, it’s just due to how shamelessly manipulative they can be on an emotional level. Hopefully, one new entry into the former category will be Freeheld, which is hitting the awards season at a very timely moment in history. A Trailer hit last week (which you can see below) and it appears to be hitting all of the right notes in order to appeal to Oscar in a potentially significant way come its October theatrical release.
The film is about same sex marriage and centers on two women fighting for the benefits that straight couples take for granted. Laurel Hester (Julianne Moore) is a Lieutenant in the New Jersey police force who encounters a struggle when she attempts to pass on her pension to her partner after developing terminal cancer. Her partner is a woman named Stacie Andree (Ellen Page) and is only her domestic partner (yes, it’s a period piece from less than a decade ago), so she’s denied. Thus begins a level fight that spurred a documentary on the subject. Peter Sollett directs, while Ron Nyswaner wrote the screenplay. In addition to Moore and Page, the cast includes Steve Carell, Josh Charles, Luke Grimes, Michael Shannon, and more. It’s prestige through and through.
Considering the leaps and bounds that we’ve taken as a society in terms of LGBT rights, this is an interesting look back at a time when we as a nation weren’t fully formed on the issue. Assuming Sollett and Nyswaner have nailed the material, there’s no reason to think that this won’t be an emotional an thought provoking cinematic experience. If that’s the case and it’s not just overt manipulation in the pursuit of awards, we very well might see this become a pretty notable contender with Oscar and all along the precursor season. The ingredients are most certainly all there, to say the least.
Assuming we have a worthy player on our hands, there are plenty of possibilities for the Academy to latch on to here in terms of awards. Obviously there’s Best Picture, along with Best Director (for Sollett), Best Actress (either Moore or Page, likely the former), Best Supporting Actor (Carell or Shannon), Best Supporting Actress […]

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
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 […]

Who’s still overdue for their first Academy Award nominations/wins?

Last year, I wrote a pair of pieces looking at the folks in Hollywood who were due for their first Oscar nominations or the their first wins. At the most recent Academy Award ceremony, two of those names got moved off of the list, so I wanted to take a look back and see who’s still on those lists and what they might have coming for us this year. I’ll update the lists with some new people next month, but for now…let’s go look at if the Oscars gave us some long overdue citations. If you were paying attention, you definitely noticed two of them.
As a quick refresher for you all, here are the ten names that I had down as overdue for their first nods from the Academy:
10. Channing Tatum
9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt
8. Kevin Smith
7. Jennifer Jason Leigh
6. Jeff Daniels
5. Hoyte Van Hoytema
4. Steve Carell
3. Scarlett Johansson
2. John Cusack
1. Robin Wright
I’ll address those momentarily (including the one who did score a nom), but here also are the ten names that I put down as being overdue for their first Oscar wins:
10. David O. Russell
9. Julianne Moore
8. Christopher Nolan
7. Tom Cruise
6. Paul Thomas Anderson
5. Amy Adams
4. Greg P. Russell
3. David Fincher
2. Roger Deakins
1. Leonardo DiCaprio
Now, let’s get into the nitty gritty of it all. Obviously, the two names that come off of these lists are Steve Carell (unless you want to say he’s due to win now) and Julianne Moore. Again, I’ll add to/amend the list next month (perhaps highlighting names like Oscar Isaac among first timers and Jake Gyllenhaal among the due for a win peeps), but for now, we can look at which of the men and women on each list could find their way off of it within the next 12 months. Honestly, aside from a handful who don’t have 2015 releases currently scheduled, it could wind up being nearly all of them. It won’t…but it could be.
The non-nominated so far to focus in on are Jeff Daniels, Jennifer Jason-Leigh, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Hoyte van Hoytema. Of the group, Gordon-Levitt seems the most likely to score a nod, as he’s got baity lead roles in Snowden and The Walk, both of which could be big Oscar players. As for Daniels, he’s got a supporting role in Steve Jobs, while van Hoytema is lensing the James Bond film Spectre. Jason-Leigh is an X factor, as she could be a […]

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:
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
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
1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. […]

Updated Oscar Predictions going into February

After all of the guild excitement last week, I figured it was high time to take a new look at the Academy Award race and update my Oscar predictions. The Producers Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild both cited Birdman over Boyhood with their top prizes, while the latter precursor opted for Eddie Redmayne over Michael Keaton in the Best Actor race. With the Directors Guild of America and the Writers Guild of America still to announce, nothing is set in stone, but right now we’re looking at some extremely close races in Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Adapted Screenplay. In fact, they could go down to the wire, and likely will. Quite a change of pace from where we were just a few weeks ago, right?
The major changes to look for in my updated Oscar predictions are highlighted by my first real switch in Best Picture since the fall. I’ve put Birdman into the top spot, ever so slightly over Boyhood. I’m not sure how comfortable I am with that pick, especially since I have Boyhood’s Richard Linklater winning Best Director still, over Birdman’s Alejandro González Iñárritu. I hate predicting a split between Picture and Director, but we very well might have another one of those this year. The other main change is that I’ve given the aforementioned Redmayne the top spot in Best Actor for The Theory of Everything, over Keaton in Birdman. They’re super close together, but that SAG win for the former could put him over the top. Birdman also beats Boyhood in Best Original Screenplay here, but again…a super tight race. There are some other small picks that I’ve tinkered with below, but those are the main ones to really look out for…
Anyway, enough talk. Here now are my latest Academy Award predictions:
1. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Boyhood
3. The Imitation Game
4. American Sniper
5. The Grand Budapest Hotel
6. The Theory of Everything
7. Whiplash
8. Selma
1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
4. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
4. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
5. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
1. Julianne Moore – […]

Screen Actors Guild predictions

On Sunday night, the Screen Actors Guild will hand out their prizes, beginning the portion of phase two for the awards season where the guilds chime in. SAG is a particularly noteworthy one due to how they don’t just attempt to clear up the acting categories…they also can be a Best Picture harbinger as well. Their Best Ensemble category is basically their Best Picture, so sometimes they opt to try and crown a frontrunner there as opposed to solely focusing on the best cast of the year. This year, there’s the potential for SAG to really crown the person to beat in Best Actor, so between that and Picture, there’s plenty to look at here.
For comparison’s sake, here’s what they did last year. There was heavy and almost total crossover between SAG and Oscar, as Matthew McConaughey won both Best Actor prizes for Dallas Buyers Club, Cate Blanchett won both Best Actress prizes for Blue Jasmine, Jared Leto won both Best Supporting Actor prizes for Dallas Buyers Club, and Lupita Nyong’o won both Best Supporting Actress prizes for 12 Years a Slave. The only difference was that Best Ensemble saw American Hustle upend eventual Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave. I expect something similar to happen this time around, with the acting winners lining up and perhaps the Ensemble/Picture situation not being the same.
This year, the Best Actor category is one of the most competitive for SAG. One can probably assume that Jake Gyllenhaal is out of the running for Nightcrawler, but aside from that, there’s potential for everyone else. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) and Benedict Cumberbatch (for The Imitation Game) will likely come up short, so it’s a dead heat essentially between Michael Keaton for Birdman and Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything. It’s almost a coin flip, but right now I think Keaton is ever so slightly in the lead. The winner here becomes our frontrunner for Oscar.
Best Actress is a slam dunk. Julianne Moore is winning this one for Still Alice, plain and simple. One can argue about if Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) or Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) is the main runner up, but they’ll be surely joining fellow nominees Jennifer Aniston (Cake) and Reese Witherspoon (Wild) in applauding as Moore hits the stage to pick up her statue, on her way to doing the same at the Academy Awards.
In Best Supporting Actor, […]

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:
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
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
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 […]

Final Golden Globe Awards Predictions

This weekend, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will announce the winners of their Golden Globe Awards in a big televised event. As you’ve all seen over much of the past year, I’ve been attempting to nail down what the group (HFPA for short) will do on Sunday. Frankly, the nature of the films in competition have me not certain at all what’s going to happen. Still, this is the last chance to get Globe predictions on the record, so I’ve settled on my picks and have them for you below. First, I’ll explain myself, but I’ll keep it short, since you’re here for the good stuff, I know.
Certain categories seem pretty obvious to me, like the Supporting categories. J.K. Simmons seems very likely to win Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash, while Patricia Arquette is the clear favorite in Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood. Similarly, I feel good about The Lego Movie winning Best Animated Feature and Ida winning Best Foreign Language Feature. After that, however…it gets dicey. Sure, Michael Keaton seems set to win Best Actor in a Musical/Comedy for Birdman, while the film itself should take home Best Picture (Musical/Comedy), but I could see upsets occurring. Best Actress in that same Musical/Comedy field is wide open, with Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, and Julianne Moore close together. I have Adams winning for Big Eyes, but Blunt could easily win too for Into the Woods, with Moore’s work in Maps to the Stars a potential spoiler. Best Director and Best Screenplay are both super hard to predict too, with each contender a possibility (Screenplay has my only true upset pick of the night, with Gone Girl winning that category).
Then we have the drama categories. Best Picture (Drama) and Best Actor (Drama) are as tight as can be. I’m leaning towards Boyhood to continue its run to Oscar with some big wins here, but any of the Picture nominees could win, while actor will potentially show us who the prime competition to Keaton at the Academy Awards might be. My hunch is that Picture is between Boyhood and The Imitation Game, but it’s just that…a hunch. Anything can happen this weekend with the Globes. The HFPA have some tough choices to make.
Here now are my final Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Boyhood
2. The Imitation Game
3. Selma
4. The Theory of Everything
5. Foxcatcher
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. […]

Golden Globe post nomination predictions for December

As we move from Phase One to Phase Two of the awards season, things begin to take a new turn. Now, it’s not only predicting who and what is going to be nominated, but also now a focus on potential winners comes into play. In a few categories, the winner has more or less been clear as day, but in the majority of them it’s an open race still. As such, I’m going to take a shot today at attempting to predict the Golden Globe awards. The members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made their nomination picks recently, so now I get to sort through them and try to figure out how the Globes will turn out…
Before I show you the predictions, I’ll quickly give you my train of thought. Essentially, I tried to split things between Birdman and Boyhood, since I’m not sure how the voters are going to deal with The Imitation Game, Into the Woods, and The Theory of Everything. I don’t think all three will get shut out of wins, but at least one likely will. There are a few safe bets here, with the Globes likely to cite Patricia Arquette in Best Supporting Actress for one of Boyhood’s wins, Julianne Moore in Best Actress (Drama) for Still Alice, and J.K. Simmons in Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash. Those are close to locks. The other categories, give or take Best Animated Feature for The Lego Movie, are certainly up for grabs. As such, for now I’m looking to Birdman to do very well in the Comedy/Musical fields while Boyhood leads the charge in Drama. A lot remains to be seen though, so sit tight. The race is far from over at this still early juncture. Technically it’s not even Phase Two yet! We have a long way to go.
Alright, enough talk. Time for the good stuff, right? Here now is how I currently see the Golden Globe awards going down:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Boyhood
2. The Theory of Everything
3. The Imitation Game
4. Selma
5. Foxcatcher
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Into the Woods
4. St. Vincent
5. Pride
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
3. David Oyelowo – Selma
4. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
5. Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Michael Keaton – Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Bill […]

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