January 20, 2017

Tag Archives: Youth

74 candidates will fight it out for Oscar nominations in Best Original Song

Right at the tail end of last week, another short list hit the web, this one having to do with Best Original Song. This establishes which tunes from the flicks of 2015 will be eligible for Academy Award nominations. Voters now officially have 74 songs to sift through, all in the name of Oscar consideration. There’s a noticeable snub in the lot, but we’ll get to that later. For now, we’ll focus in a bit with a handful of the songs that seem to be the main contenders here. At the same time though, keep this in mind…it’s really just a shot in the dark with this category.
Though there’s no way to be sure, these are the songs I’d be most inclined to assume have a chance at a nod here. There’s “None Of Them Are You” from Anomalisa, “Fighting Stronger” from Creed, “Hey Baby Doll” from Danny Collins, “Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey, “See You Again” from Furious Seven, “Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground, “I’ll See You In My Dreams” from I’ll See You in My Dreams, “Flashlight” from Pitch Perfect 2, “Cold One” from Ricki and the Flash, “Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre, “Mean Ol’ Moon” from Ted 2, and “Simple Song #3” from Youth. Those dozen contenders are hardly the only ones in prime position for a nom, but I think they’re definitely among the top players here. For those wondering, at the Golden Globe nomination announcement, we saw the songs from Fifty Shades of Grey, Furious Seven, Spectre, and Youth among the nominees, so make of that what you will…

The one really notable omission here is One Kind of Love from Love & Mercy being excluded from the long/short list. Considering how beloved Brian Wilson is, I’d have assumed that this one was more or less a lock. Turns out, it was ineligible I believe, due to where in the movie it plays. The film is still definitely in play elsewhere, but this is the big snub of the year. Had it been included, we might have listed it as the frontrunner, but that’s not happening. Sadly, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Alas. There aren’t really any other notable omissions here in Original Song for 2015, so this one will get all the more attention, especially considering it could win at the Globes, […]

WGA rules a number of Oscar hopefuls ineligible

As is the case around this time each year, the Writers Guild of America has released their list of eligible titles for their Writers Guild Awards, which in turn clues us in to with scripts were ruled ineligible for consideration. Late last week, the WGA’s list of films not up for their award was revealed on a few sites, with it working as a factor not just in predicting their guild’s award, but also in seeing how this could impact the larger Oscar race. Remember, perception is important, so if you aren’t nominated here, even if it’s just due to a silly rule, it can have an effect…
The guild always declares a number of movies not eligible for their award, normally either because of the writer not being a member, too much improvisation/changes from the script, a lack of filed paperwork, as well as a production done with an animated or foreign company that the guild doesn’t have an agreement with. That usually knocks out a handful of fringe contenders, one or two likely nominees, and a few that were probably never getting cited by Oscar anyway. It can confuse Academy members at times, but the side effect is that the WGA award nominees can sometimes be a more interesting bunch than the ones cited by AMPAS.
These here are the titles that are not part of the 51 Adapted Screenplay contenders that the WGA has approved of:
45 Years
The Danish Girl
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
From this group, only really Brooklyn and Room were locked in, though Anomalisa certainly has a shot with Oscar. 45 Years, The Danish Girl, plus Me and Earl and the Dying Girl were definitely in contention, so this hurts them, though it’s not a crippling blow or anything of the sort. The negatives are for Brooklyn and Room, either of which could have used a win here to boos their chances of winning the Academy Award as well. They’ll still be nominated, but the path to win might be a bit bumpier than they were previously expecting. That being said, this omissions were hardly surprises, so perhaps they had already factored this in?
Next, these are the titles not among the 61 Original Screenplay contenders from the Writer’s Guild:
99 Homes
Clouds of Sils Maria
Ex Machina
The Hateful Eight
I’ll See You In My Dreams
Inside Out
Ricki and the Flash
Son of Saul
This is a larger group obviously, though it’s a less […]

Hollywood Contenders – Has “Youth” been underestimated?

I’ve been teasing it out for a few weeks, but I absolutely adored Youth. Paolo Sorrentino’s film is a beautiful feast for the eyes, incredibly well acted by the quartet of Michael Caine, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, and Harvey Keitel, not to mention incredibly poignant. Reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival had been mostly positive, but I was very nearly blown away by how great this was. Not only is it among the top dozen things I’ve seen this year, I think it has a good chance to be an under the radar Oscar contender in the acting categories, among other places. I’d watch out for Youth, which opens in limited release on Friday…
The movie is a drama with comedic tinges. We follow retired orchestra composer Fred Ballinger (Caine) as he spends an annual holiday at a resort in the Alps. He’s joined, as always, by his longtime friend, film director Mick Boyle (Keitel), though this year he also has daughter Lena Ballinger (Rachel Weisz) in attendance. The resort is home to many a famous person, including American actor Jimmy Tree (Dano), but Fred spends most of his time either alone or with Mick. When an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform his “Simple Songs” for Prince Philip’s birthday comes in, we start to find out more about just who he is. In addition to those cast members and the aforementioned Fonda, Paloma Faith is on hand, among others. Sorrentino writes and directs, making this his second English language feature.

I’m a huge fan of the performances here, along with the visuals. Again, the group of Caine, Dano, Fonda, and Keitel are outstanding. Caine is the lead and delivers one of his very best performances to date, with the same being said for Keitel’s supporting turn. Dano is mellow and a completely different energy in the flick, but also is incredibly strong. As for Fonda, she absolutely steals her single scene. This takes nothing away from Weisz, who’s very good too, keep that in mind. Between the acting and the look of the film, courtesy of cinematographer Luca Bigazzi, Sorrentino has an almost embarrassment of riches at his disposal. Throw in the score from David Lang and there’s tons to love here. I know some have found it a little lacking, but I’m not one of them. I even have a hunch that Oscar voters are going to be […]

Hollywood Contenders – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”: Ten Films to see in December

First of all, I hope all of you enjoyed your turkey yesterday! Now, with the month of November all but over, it’s time to turn our attention to December, the final month of the year. After this, we start fresh, with a whole new set of releases, but with the next few months to come being on the weaker side, this is really the pinnacle. Oscar contenders, blockbusters, it all hits theaters between December 1st and December 31st, and I’m running down the best for you. Below you’ll see the ten top titles opening this month, along with some bonus picks as well. Take a look and make sure you schedule your cinema going accordingly…
Here now are the ten best bets for flicks to see in the month of December:
10. Concussion – Can Will Smith take home a Best Actor trophy? Will folks turn on the NFL after they see this drama? Time will tell on both accounts, but many are anticipating this one, even after a somewhat mixed debut at AFI Fest. Provided it does well at the box office, I suspect it’ll keep Smith in the Oscar conversation all year. Stay tuned to see what happens…
9. Son of Saul – In all likelihood the inevitable winner in Best Foreign Language Feature, this holocaust set tale from up and coming filmmaker László Nemes is rather beloved by most who have seen it. I find it very good, not great, but that’s really just splitting hairs. Expect to see this one honored quite a bit over the course of the precursor season.
8. In the Heart of the Sea – A potential X factor in the race, Ron Howard’s story of what inspired the book Moby Dick was pushed to December as a show of confidence by the studio. A real big campaign is planned, so if this one gets some strong critical word of mouth going, we’ll have one more Academy Award hopeful to consider this year. If nothing else, it looks like an exciting flick for the holiday season.
7. Youth – I loved this moving film when I saw it a few weeks ago and can’t say enough about the performances from Michael Caine, Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, and Harvey Keitel. All do nomination worthy work, with Caine, Fonda, and Keitel potential threats in their categories. I’ll be writing a lot more about this one next week, so sit […]

A Second November Oscar Predictions Update – 1. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant, 2. Matt Damon – The Martian, 3. Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs, 4. Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl, 5. Michael Caine – Youth

Somehow, we’re almost done with the month of November. There’s only about six weeks or so left in 2015, which means the awards season is in full swing. As you all know, we’re awaiting the final big three releases of the year in The Hateful Eight, Joy, and The Revenant (which I’ll actually be seeing early next week, though under embargo until December), but the picture is starting to clear up, slowly. Winners are still hard to figure out in many of the categories, but the likely (or at least more likely) nominees are starting to become less and less vague to the trained eye. As such, it’s the perfect time for a new set of my Academy Award predictions, right? Right. So let’s have at it!
I’ll keep it short and sweet here and just reiterate that Spotlight is in the best position right now, as per the article I published earlier today. It seems poised to potentially do very well, though The Martian and Room pose definite threats (and to a lesser extent, Brooklyn) among the already seen contenders. Having recently seen The Big Short, I think it has a clear path to a nomination in the big category, but elsewhere might prove difficult. We shall see though, as it represents something very unique in the race. Other things popping up here and there are some of the cast members of Youth, for example, but you can see what I mean below…
Here now are my most up to date Oscar predictions:
1. Spotlight
2. The Martian
3. Room
4. The Revenant
5. Brooklyn
6. Joy
7. The Big Short
8. The Hateful Eight
9. Steve Jobs
10. Bridge of Spies
Next in line: 11. Carol 12. The Danish Girl 13. Inside Out 14. Son of Saul 15. Sicario 16. In the Heart of the Sea 17. Youth 18. Mad Max: Fury Road 19. Beasts of No Nation 20. Star Wars: The Force Awakens 21. Love & Mercy 22. Black Mass 23. 45 Years 24. Concussion 25. Suffragette 26. Trumbo 27. Straight Outta Compton 28. Truth 29. Anomalisa 30. Creed
1. Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
2. Ridley Scott – The Martian
3. Lenny Abrahamson – Room
4. John Crowley – Brooklyn
5. David O. Russell – Joy
Next in line: 6. Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant 7. Quentin Tarantino – The Hateful Eight 8. Danny Boyle – Steve Jobs 9. Steven Spielberg – Bridge of Spies 10. Todd Haynes – Carol 11. Adam McKay […]

Which categories will be the most competitive this year?

Of the many things that you can consider when thinking about the Oscar race, one that I like to ponder from time to time is which categories will be the most competitive. I hinted at this in another piece this week, but certain categories are shaping up to be stronger than other ones. That being said, instead of looking at strengths and weaknesses, I figured today I’d see which ones seem like they’ll be the most competitive. That opens things up to more combine quality and quantity, as it were. This is a wide open year in general, so it’s only fitting that so many categories seem to be that way as well…
Below are the half dozen most competitive categories, as it stands right now:
6. Best Actress – After a bit of a drought, we have a group of Actress contenders that we can be quite proud of. Of course, who will win is wide open, but it’s not a situation where there’s only six or seven legitimate contenders for a nod. Vying for a nom here are the likes of Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Blythe Danner, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, Carey Mulligan, Charlotte Rampling, Saorise Ronan, Maggie Smith, Lily Tomlin, and more. That’s ten right there. Nothing to sneeze at, right? It’s a tight race, and one that’s certainly among the most competitive that the Academy will have to offer us this year.
5. Best Visual Effects – Here’s a category that will really be an embarrassment of riches. Basically, there’s a bunch of different styles on display that voters will have to choose from. Contenders like Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, In the Heart of the Sea, Jurassic World, Mad Max: Fury Road The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Walk, and more will be up for a nomination. Usually, this category has one or two frontrunners and then some also rans, but that’s not the case this year. I can see it going any number of different ways, and that’s a delight.
4. Best Supporting Actor – As jam packed as any category this year, Supporting Actor could be a photo finish. Among the large number of contenders, there are the likes of Paul Dano, Benicio del Toro, Bruce Dern, Joel Edgerton, Idris Elba, Sam Elliot, Ryan Gosling, Tom Hardy, Michael Keaton, Harvey Keitel, Seth Rogen, Mark Ruffalo, Kurt Russell, Mark Rylance, and Jason Segel. That’s […]

Hollywood Film Awards: Jane Fonda to receive the Hollywood Suppporting Actress Award for “Youth”

Among the many famous actors and actresses being honored at the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards, few are as legendary as Jane Fonda. She’s hoping to be in contention for another Oscar this year with Youth, and the Hollywood Supporting Actress Award she’s receiving certainly won’t hurt those chances. She’s now almost guaranteed to be in the running for at least an Academy Award nomination, though as much as anything this honor just shows how viable she still is decades into her career. Fonda is one of the best in the business at her craft, plain and simple. As such, this 2015 moment in the sun for her is unlikely to be even close to her last…
Here’s part of the press release once again announcing this honor:
Academy Award® winning actress Jane Fonda will receive the “Hollywood Supporting Actress Award” for her role Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth. The “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards” will be hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late-night talk show host, James Corden. The awards ceremony will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on Sunday, November 1, 2015.
The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season®, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 18 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars. More than one hundred honorees have gone on to garner Oscar® nominations and wins.
“Will Smith and Jane Fonda, two of Hollywood’s finest actors, deliver tour de force performances in Concussion and Youth,” said Allen Shapiro, CEO of dick clark productions. “We are thrilled to have them join the star-studded list of honorees at this year’s ceremony.”
About Jane Fonda
Jane Fonda, is a two- time Academy Award® winner (Best Actress in 1971 for Klute and in 1978 for Coming Home), a three-time Golden Globe® winner, and was the 2014 recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award. Along with starring roles in dozens of highly acclaimed productions, Fonda also took on responsibilities as a film and television producer. Her credits include Coming Home, The China Syndrome, Nine to Five, Rollover, On Golden Pond, The Morning After and The Dollmaker. In 2007 Fonda received an Honorary Palme d’Or from the Cannes Film Festival, one of only three people ever to be granted this honor until then. In 2009 she received a Tony Award nomination for her role in Moisés Kaufman’s 33 Variations, on Broadway. In 2011, Fonda […]

The Hollywood Film Awards Series: Jane Fonda and Will Smith could be on their way to Oscar?

Good afternoon folks! Yes, we’ve got another installment of the Hollywood Film Awards Series for you today, this one coming on the heels of two big announcements. Yes, the decision makes for the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards have decided to bestow two of their remaining big prizes on Will Smith and Jane Fonda. The former is a Best Actor contender for Concussion, while the latter is a Best Supporting Actress hopeful for Youth. Both now have precursors to their credit and figure to be in the Oscar conversation all season long. This was just a boost to their Academy Award push to come…
Here’s the two honors announced for the upcoming Hollywood Film Awards:
“Hollywood Actor Award”
Will Smith for Concussion
“Hollywood Supporting Actress Award”
Jane Fonda for Youth
Both are contenders in fields wide open for the taking, so let’s discuss that now…
First up, we have Smith’s candidacy in Best Actor. Usually the most jam packed of categories, things are a little less crowded this year, especially at the front, so that’s an opportunity. No one can say for sure if Smith’s work in Concussion is win worthy, but this is the first promising sign. Unless you think Johnny Depp can win for Black Mass or Matt Damon can ride the box office of The Martian to a win, the only current contenders who seem poised to take the Oscar here are Leonardo DiCaprio (mostly sight unseen for The Revenant) and Michael Fassbender (the current frontrunner for Steve Jobs). That’s a definite opportunity for Smith, not just to get a nod, which would be his third, but to turn that nom into his first Academy Award win. Concussion is still an X factor, but this is a promising turn for the movie in advance of its World Premiere at AFI Fest.
As for Fonda, she’s in the Best Supporting Actress race and honestly doesn’t face too much competition. It’s a weak field, this Supporting Actress one, so her chances are strong if the precursors are kind to her. Another sight unseen contender is considered the frontrunner in Jennifer Jason Leigh (for The Hateful Eight), so aside from Rooney Mara (for Carol), I don’t think anyone else has any winner’s buzz surrounding them. That’s a definite boon to Fonda. If she gets enough love on the precursor circuit, a nomination is easily attained, which would be her eight, with a potential third win more or less […]

Cannes 2015 Palme d’Or predictions

Over the course of the next few days, the jury at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival will be deliberating and deciding on the newest group of award winners for the classy fest. Led by the incredibly prestigious Palme d’Or prize (their version of Best Picture), Cannes could just as easily launch something into the Oscar race as opposed to merely highlighting a smaller title. Historically, the festival has given us a bit of both, which makes it hard to accurately predict what a new jury will do each year. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen head up this one, so perhaps that favors English language contenders? But, perhaps that doesn’t matter? Predictions here are an even more inexact science than awards shows that have precursors of sorts. I’m still going to try, of course. Just know that these are basically shots in the dark. Regardless, enjoy them!
In short, there’s no guaranteed winners, but I think the main contenders to keep an eye on across the board are Todd Haynes’ Carol, Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin, László Nemes’ Son of Saul, Paolo Sorrentino’s Youth, and Denis Villeneuve’s Sicario. Those five, along with perhaps Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster are the likeliest ones to contend for the Palme d’Or as well as possibly some acting prizes as well. The most buzz seems to surround Carol, Son of Saul, and Youth, but Sicario represents an interesting X factor. It would be a slightly mainstream pick, but with the sort of reviews out of the fest for it, anything is possible. One thing is for sure though…Cannes could very well hold a surprise or two, so all eyes are on the Coen Brothers and company on the jury. It’ll be interesting to compare this to the ultimate winners, which is what I’ll likely do early next week.
Here now are my Cannes award predictions, with brief commentary:
Palme d’Or
I’ve narrowed this down to Carol, The Lobster, and Son of Saul. Haynes’ romantic melodrama is the favorite right now, so I’m not going to go against my fellow pundits, but both The Lobster and Son of Saul would represent family unique choices. Nothing would surprise me here, but those three seem the most likely right now, though don’t count out Youth as well. I’m picking Carol, but I really kind of want to go on a limb with The Lobster. If only I were a bit bolder, I’d […]

Which films could play this year at the Cannes Film Festival?

When it comes to film festivals, there is arguably none more prestigious than the Cannes Film Festival. Each year, critics and the like descend on the south of France hoping to discover the classiest in cinema, which in turn can begin to fuel the impending Oscar speculation. 2015 likely will be no exception, as perhaps a few more Academy friendly projects than usual could wind up at Cannes. Sometime either this month or next, the fest will reveal the titles scheduled to play, so I wanted to get a head start and speculate a bit about what the festival could have in its lineup. Tribeca will be on my mind soon enough, but for now…Cannes gets my attention for the day.
Here now are ten films that could very well play at the Cannes Film Festival, in just a simple alphabetical order:
1. Carol – One of the most anticipated Oscar hopefuls of 2015 is the new movie from Todd Haynes. Based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, it stars Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in a very unique love story. So yeah, this is a big player, provided the quality is there. Assuming it’s done, I’d be shocked if it didn’t debut at Cannes. Personally, I can’t wait to see it.
2. Erran – The new film from Jacques Audiard, the director of both A Prophet as well as Rust and Bone, makes perfect sense for Cannes. He’s been there before, garnering awards buzz, so this should wind up at the fest as well. The only question is if it’ll be ready in time or not. I’m definitely curious about this one, that’s for sure.
3. Lawless/Untitled Terrence Malick Project – There’s no doubt that the fest would love a new Terrence Malick film, so if it’s actually somewhere close to completion…count this one in for sure. With a cast led by Ryan Gosling and potentially some members of his Knight of Cups cast, there’s plenty of intrigue here. I’m not always wild about Malick, but I love Gosling, so consider me intrigued.
4. The Lobster – I’ve been fascinated with filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos ever since seeing Dogtooth a few years ago. His follow up Alps was solid, but this new one seems like it could very well be his masterpiece. An English language feature (one of a bunch from foreign directors coming out in 2015), the cast is eclectic, including John C. Reilly, the […]

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