24th Jan2015

The Gambler – Film

by timbaros

images-329Mark Walhberg proves again that he is one of the hardest working men in Hollywood by starring in yet another film – this one is called “The Gambler.”

Wahlberg is Jim Bennett, a college lecturer who also has a gambling problem (hence the name of the film). Bennett doesn’t gamble small, he gambles big, and ends up owing a couple powerful people huge amounts of money. He owes $260,000 to the owner of an illegal Chinese gambling hall, and another $50,000 to a loan shark. So Bennett decides to get advice from another loan shark – Frank (John Goodman). Bennett meets Frank in a man’s bathhouse – with Frank wrapped up in a towel. Ladies, if you ever wanted to see John Goodman half naked, then this film’s for you. With no other way to get the money he owes, he decides to ask his rich mother for money (a very tired and unglamorous looking Jessica Lange). She reluctantly gives him the money, literally handing him a bag of cash right outside the bank, and giving him an ultimatum that he better pay his debts with the money or she never wants to see him again. So what does Bennett do? He takes the money, and instead of paying back his debts, he decides to take one of his students – Amy (Brie Larson) and gambles all the money away. One last hope for him is if he can get one of his other students, who happens to be a star on the college’s basketball team, to fix a game. Needless to say,and either way, Bennett is screwed.

The Gambler is a remake of the 1974 film of the same name which starred James Caan which got very good reviews. This version will not be as lucky. While Wahlberg is good, we’ve seen this type of movie plot before oh so many times: lonely man with a problem who romances a much younger woman and then tries to redeem his life. However, nothing can redeem this movie. The scenes between Walhberg and Lange and Wahlberg and Goodman look forced. Wahlberg is not believable as a literature professor, his character looks too gruff and unprofessional – he even ridicules some of his students in class. Lange is not at her best, but John Goodman does do a good job in the few scenes that he is in (towel or not). Director Rupert Wyatt brings nothing new to the theme of the movie, we’ve seen it all before. So don’t gamble with your time and money to see The Gambler.

24th Jan2015

Boyhood – DVD

by timbaros

images-199Boyhood was filmed over the span of 12 years (one week per year) to capture the story of a young boy, who right before your eyes, turns into a young man. But that’s the only revelation this film brings us.

Clocking in at two hours and forty-five minutes, Boyhood is a bit of a struggle to sit through. It’s an ingenuous idea, getting the same actors to commit to taking part in the filming of Boyhood over the course of 12 years of their careers, but it’s epic length destroys any sense of realness the film is trying to convey and you’ll find yourself looking at your watch several times, and when you think it is over, another year in their lives is tacked on. Even The Wolf of Wall Street, which was three hours long, didn’t feel as long as Boyhood.

Directed by Richard Linklater, he started shooting Boyhood in 2002, with Ellar Coltrane as Mason Jr., Lorelei Linklater (his daughter) as Samantha – Mason’s sister, and as their parents Olivia (Patricia Arquette) and Mason Sr. (Ethan Hawke). Every year Linklater would gather the cast and crew together to capture another year in their lives, and especially Mason’s life. As very young children, Mason and Samantha are adorable, especially Samantha as she teases Mason and hits him but then turns the tables on him and tells their mom that it was Mason who had started it. Of course their mom believes her. The kids grow up through the divorce of their parents and the ups and downs of adolescence. They also endure their mother’s second marriage to an aggressive controlling alcoholic, fleeing from their home after he becomes violent and hits Olivia, not for the first time. But as Boyhood continues, and the older Mason and Lorelei get, the less adorable and fun they are, and they are complete bores when they reach puberty, with very little personality to match. There is nothing interesting going on with them as they get older, and they less confident and less adorable on screen, whether they were forced to take part as they got older and didin’t want to, it appears this way on the screen. Luckily for them, and us, Hawke appears every so often to take the kids out, whether it be bowling, or to sit around in a cafe and talk about grown up stuff, Hawke easily steals every scene he is in. But it’s near the end of the film where where Olivia breaks down as Mason is about to leave for college and proclaims to him “what have I done to my life, why am I here.” It’s a strange moment that I didn’t quite understand, made even more strange when Coltrane looks into the camera. We wonder why she’s saying this at the moment that her son is leaving the nest and going off to college.

And as Boyhood winds down, Mason meets his college roommate in their dormitory and off they go, with two girls, to explore the local mountains. And as Mason and one of the girls sit on a rock and talk and then kiss, we immediately know that this is the girl for him.

Boyhood is an ambitious project. Director Linklater has been successful in the past with his Before Sunrise and it’s sequel films, also starring Ethan Hawke – Before Sunrise was released in 1995 with Before Sunset coming out in 2004 and then Before Midnight in 2013, all to very good reviews. At least these three films had superb acting and plots that made sense. In Boyhood, nothing really happens. The screenwriter, Linklater, seems to have decided to let the scenes in each year of their lives play out without achieving much, and that’s what the whole film feels like. Not much of an achievement for sitting through two hours and forty five minutes.

It’s a mystery to me why this film is racking up so many awards. It has just recently won Best Picture and Best Director at the London Film Critics and Golden Globe Awards, and it’s a shoo-in for the Academy Awards in the same categories. Sure, it took 12 years to film, but is this the reason for all the hype? Sure, there is a great performance by Hawke, who definitely deserves the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, however, to call Boyhood the best film of 2014 is something I don’t agree with.

18th Jan2015

American Sniper – Film

by timbaros

Add American Sniper to the list of very good Clint Eastwood movies.

While it’s not his best film ever (see Unforgiven and J. Edgar) nor his worst film (see the recently poorly received Jersey Boys), it’s a loyal and factual re-telling of the true story of Chris Kyle, a member of the elite Nave SEALS. He was the most lethal sniper in the history of the U.S. Military, having 160 confirmed kills. He was also a husband and the father of two children, but being the best sniper and serving his country were the most important things in his life.

Kyle (played valiantly by Bradley Cooper) in the beginning of the film is a ranch hand in Texas. His life doesn’t amount to much, especially after her finds his girlfriend in bed with another man. But after getting his arm injured, he decides to join the navy. His commitment for his countries becomes imbedded in him after the catastrophic events of 9/11. After months of gruelling training, him and his team are sent to Iraq to fight the enemy. And they are tasked with some of the most dangerous missions in the military. This includes heading directly into enemy territory and looking for a man called Shiekh Al-Obodi (Navid Negahban), one of the leaders of the Taliban.

Kyle serves four tours, in between each one going home to be with his family but getting the pull to serve again. He’s urged against it by his pretty wife Tanya (an amazing Sienna Miller). Even the birth of his two children doesn’t keep him home. He continues increasing his sniper kill tally, which includes women and children who threaten to kill U.S. soldiers. Kyle is also determined to kill
a man called Mustafa (played by Sammy Shiek). Mustafa is a Syrian shooter who had competed for his country in the Olympics. He’s also killing the insurgents (the Americans on the ground). Kyle is determined to kill him as he has killed one of his fellow soldiers. The film then becomes a cat and mouse story to dramatic effect, where Mustafa aims to shoot the soldiers but Kyle aims to shoot him. It all culminates in an amazing shootout between the U.S. soldiers trapped on a rooftop in Sadr City while the enemy comes in from all sides, all in the midst of a massive sandstorm. It’s one of Eastwood’s best film sequences I’ve ever seen.

However, American Sniper doesn’t end there. Kyle, after getting shot in the massive shootout, returns home, but has a hard time rejoining society, and his wife has a hard time getting connected with him. He’s a changed man, but seems to slightly recover after he starts helping soldiers at a local veterans hospital and also helps to train them on weapons and combat tactics to lift their spirits. American Sniper would’ve had a better impact if the film ended after the shootout in Sadr City. This last bit of the film seems to be tacked on to tell the rest of Kyle’s story.

Cooper excellently plays Kyle though he’s a bit too old to be playing Kyle in his younger years. It’s a performance that has just won him an Academy Award nomination for the Best Actor Oscar. Miller is also excellent as Tanya – it’s the best performance of her career. And while American Sniper looks and feels like a good film, it’s the last ten minutes that don’t need to be there. American Sniper is adapted by the book of the same name by Kyle by actor turned-screenwriter Jason Dean Hall. Kyle was shot and killed in Texas in 2013 by a 25-year old Marine Corps Veteran, a veteran he was trying to help.

15th Jan2015

Oscar Nominations Announced – Film

by timbaros

Oscars-560x315LOS ANGELES, CA — Directors Alfonso Cuarón and J.J. Abrams, actor Chris Pine and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced the nominations for the 87th Academy Awards® today (January 15). For the first time, nominees in all 24 categories were announced live.

“Birdman” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” led nominations for the 87th Academy Awards, each earning nine nominations to top all films.

“Birdman,” subtitled “The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance” stars Michael Keaton as a former superhero actor trying to revive his career and his life by mounting a Broadway play.

It earned nominations for best picture, best actor for Keaton, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, supporting actor (Edward Norton), supporting actress (Emma Stone), original screenplay and cinematography, as well as some technical nods.

Others receiving nominations for best picture are “American Sniper,” “Boyhood,” “The Imitation Game,” “The Theory of Everything,” “Selma,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and “Whiplash.”

“The Grand Budapest Hotel,” about the denizens of a European hotel in the years between the world wars, has just won best comedy/musical at the Golden Globes (defeating “Birdman,” among others). The film was nominated for best picture and director (Wes Anderson), along with original screenplay, cinematography, score and a host of other awards.

“The Imitation Game” received eight nominations. The drama stars Benedict Cumberbatch as British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped break the Germans’ Enigma coding machine in World War II and was a pioneer of computer science.

Cumberbatch earned a best actor nomination to go along with the film’s nods for picture, director (Morten Tyldum) and supporting actress (Keira Knightley).

“Boyhood,” which won the Golden Globe for best drama, also performed well, earning six nods. Director Richard Linklater picked up a nomination, as did supporting performers Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette. The movie follows the maturation of a child over 12 years and was filmed for a week or two each year so that audiences could see the actors age in real time.

There were no major surprises in the big categories, though Mr. Turner was shout out of the major awards, and Selma only picked up a Best Picture nomination. Meryl Streep, as expected, picked up a Best Supporting Actress nomination for Into the Woods – her 19th nomination.

The 87th Academy Awards will take place Sunday, February 22, at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre. Neil Patrick Harris will host. The show airs on ABC.

Best Picture
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Best Actress
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Best Supporting Actor
Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
JK Simmons, Whiplash
Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Best Director
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Best Adapted Screenplay
American Sniper, Jason Hall
The Imitation Game, Graham Moore
Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson
The Theory Of Everything, Anthony McCarten
Whiplash, Damien Chazelle
Best Original Screenplay
Birdman, Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance), Alejandro G. Inarritu, Nicholas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., and Armando Bo
Boyhood, Richard Linklater
Foxcatcher, E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman
The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness
Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy
Best Animated Feature
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Best Foreign Language Film
Wild Tales
Best Documentary Feature
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Best Production Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel Adam Stockhausen (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
The Imitation Game Maria Djurkovic (Production Design); Tatiana Macdonald (Set Decoration)
Interstellar Nathan Crowley (Production Design); Gary Fettis (Set Decoration)
Into the Woods Dennis Gassner (Production Design); Anna Pinnock (Set Decoration)
Mr. Turner Suzie Davies (Production Design); Charlotte Watts (Set Decoration)
Best Cinematography
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner
Best Costume Design
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into The Woods
Mr. Turner
Best Editing
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Best Makeup And Hairstyling
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Score
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything
Best Original Song
“Everything is Awesome,” The LEGO Movie
“Glory,” Selma
“Grateful,” Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You,” Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars,” Begin Again
Best Sound Editing
American Sniper Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Brent Burge and Jason Canovas
Interstellar Richard King
Unbroken Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro
Best Sound Mixing
American Sniper John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga
Interstellar Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten
Unbroken Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee
Whiplash Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley
Best Visual Effects
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist
Guardians of the Galaxy Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould
Interstellar Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher
X-Men: Days of Future Past Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer
Best Animated Short
The Bigger Picture Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees
The Dam Keeper Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Feast Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed
Me and My Moulton Torill Kove
A Single Life Joris Oprins
Best Documentary Short
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry
Joanna Aneta Kopacz
Our Curse Tomasz Śliwiński and Maciej Ślesicki
The Reaper (La Parka) Gabriel Serra Arguello
White Earth J. Christian Jensen
Best Live Action Short
Aya Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis
Boogaloo and Graham Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney
Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak) Hu Wei and Julien Féret
Parvaneh Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger
The Phone Call Mat Kirkby and James Lucas

12th Jan2015

Foxcatcher – Film

by timbaros

John du Pont was a multi-millionaire, a scion of the very wealthy American family that made their fortune in chemicals. He also died in prison 2012 while serving time for murdering a famous Olympic athlete.

Foxcatcher tells the riveting story of du Pont and his involvement in the sport of wrestling in the late 1980’s. It’s also a tale of how one man with so much money can buy whatever he wants. And du Pont pretty much buys Mark Schultz, an Olympic Gold Medal-winning wrestler in Athens in 1984. Du Pont Schultz (played by Channing Tatum) away from his post Olympic miserable life and places him on his amazing estate called Valley Forge in the hopes of transforming him back into a world class athlete. Du Pont lures Schultz by offering him practically whatever he wants, including his own lodge on the estate as well as a newly-built state of the art wrestling auditorium. And Du Pont tells Schultz that he’s in charge. But there’s something more that seems to be taking place between Du Pont and Schultz. There is not only a business relationship between them, but Du Pont seems to have had a homoerotic fixation with Schultz. And while there are no explicit homosexual scenes in the film, Du Pont’s fascination with Schulz and with the sport of wrestling is homoerotic and at the same time very creepy. It becomes more so when Du Pont starts sharing cocaine with Schulz and even has him speak the opening remarks at an important speech in front of politicians and wealthy people.

But things turn sour when all of a sudden Du Pont says he’s not happy with Schulz’s way of coaching as he catches all of the wrestlers taking a morning off, and he slaps Schultz in front of the men. It’s an action that sets off something in Schultz in which he (probably) realizes that Du Pont sees their relationship as something more. It gets more complicated when Du Pont brings in (at any cost) Schulz’s brother David, who was also an Olympic Gold Medal winning wrestler. Du Pont has David coach the team, while Mark goes through the motions, trying to stay out of Du Pont’s way but at the same time focusing on his training. His goal is to get to the next Olympics – Seoul – and he does, but things don’t turn out the way Du Pont had in mind. And it all leads to a devastating conclusion.

Foxcatcher is the name the du Pont’s gave to their racing horses. It’s also an appropriate name for this film – what was the Fox trying to catch. Is du Pont the fox who was trying to catch something with his sudden and strange interest in wrestling? The lure of money was all that was needed for him to catch Mark Schultz, who was down on his luck living in a small apartment on the top of a garage years after his Olympic win. David Schultz had a happy life with his wife and two kids, but it was also the lure of money that got him to go work for Du Pont, a job that cost him his life at the hands of Du Pont.

Foxcatcher is an excellent movie. It’s also excellent because of the performances of it’s three leading men. Tatum has never been better. His Mark Schultz is vulnerable, bold, athletic, infantile yet very masculine – Tatum pretty much carries the whole movie. Ruffalo gives David Schultz a face – a family man who heeded the call to coach a world class team which included his younger brother. And Ruffalo does a very good job in the role. The performance, however, that everyone is talking about is Steven Carrell as Jon du Pont. Carrell, unrecognizable, wears a prosthetic nose to match the large nose that du Pont had. Everything about Carrell’s performance is all Jon du Pont – even down to his gait. Carrell, the star comedic movies such as Anchorman, Date Night, Knocked Up, among others, is completely amazing. And it’s a transformation that needs to be seen to be believed. It is, unfortunately, Carrell’s performance that is getting all the attention, but in my opinion Foxcatcher is Tatum’s movie. He’s the actual star of the film as he’s in most of the film. Foxcatcher begins with him and ends with him, and throughout his performance is consistent, solid, and amazing. Tatum deserves the Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild Best Actor nominations as much as Carrell does, yet Tatum’s not been nominated. Ruffalo performance is gentle, simple, low key, the kind of performances that Ruffalo always gives, successfully.

Director Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and writers E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman have crafted a film that succeeds on every level. It’s directed and shot tight, the story never gets dull, and it’s intensity builds up to shattering conclusion. Miller has directed three actors who all come from different cinematic backgrounds into one film where they all excel in ways they have never done before. Foxcatcher is one of the best films of the year.

09th Jan2015

BAFTA Nominations announced – Film

by timbaros

_30A4636The nominations have been announced for the EE British Academy Film Awards in 2015.

The Grand Budapest Hotel receives 11 nominations. Birdman and The Theory of Everything are each nominated in ten categories. The Imitation Game has nine nominations. Boyhood and Whiplash are each nominated five times. Mr. Turner, Nightcrawler and Interstellar receive four nominations. Pride has three nominations.

The Grand Budapest Hotel is nominated in the following categories: Best Film, Director and Original Screenplay for Wes Anderson, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, Make Up & Hair and Sound. Ralph Fiennes is nominated for Leading Actor.

Birdman is nominated for Best Film, Director for Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Original Screenplay, Original Music, Cinematography, Editing and Sound. Michael Keaton is nominated for Leading Actor. Edward Norton is nominated for Supporting Actor and Emma Stone is nominated for Supporting Actress.

The Theory of Everything receives nominations for Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Director for James Marsh, Adapted Screenplay, Original Music, Editing, Costume Design and Make Up & Hair. Eddie Redmayne is nominated for Leading Actor, whilst Felicity Jones receives a nomination for Leading Actress.

The Imitation Game is nominated in Best Film, Outstanding British Film, Adapted Screenplay, Editing, Production Design, Costume Design and Sound. Benedict Cumberbatch is nominated for Leading Actor and Keira Knightley is nominated for Supporting Actress.

Boyhood completes the Best Film line-up, with four further nominations in Director and Original Screenplay for Richard Linklater, with Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress nominations for Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette respectively.


BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, James W. Skotchdopole
BOYHOOD Richard Linklater, Cathleen Sutherland
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales, Jeremy Dawson THE IMITATION GAME Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten



’71 Yann Demange, Angus Lamont, Robin Gutch, Gregory Burke
THE IMITATION GAME Morten Tyldum, Nora Grossman, Ido Ostrowsky, Teddy Schwarzman, Graham Moore
PADDINGTON Paul King, David Heyman
PRIDE Matthew Warchus, David Livingstone, Stephen Beresford
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING James Marsh, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Lisa Bruce, Anthony McCarten UNDER THE SKIN Jonathan Glazer, James Wilson, Nick Wechsler, Walter Campbell



ELAINE CONSTANTINE (Writer/Director) Northern Soul
GREGORY BURKE (Writer), YANN DEMANGE (Director) ’71
HONG KHAOU (Writer/Director) Lilting
PAUL KATIS (Director/Producer), ANDREW DE LOTBINIÈRE (Producer) Kajaki: The True Story STEPHEN BERESFORD (Writer), DAVID LIVINGSTONE (Producer) Pride


IDA Pawel Pawlikowski, Eric Abraham, Piotr Dzieciol, Ewa Puszczynska LEVIATHAN Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky, Sergey Melkumov
THE LUNCHBOX Ritesh Batra, Arun Rangachari, Anurag Kashyap, Guneet Monga TRASH Stephen Daldry, Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier
TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Denis Freyd


20 FEET FROM STARDOM Morgan Neville, Caitrin Rogers, Gil Friesen 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard
FINDING VIVIAN MAIER John Maloof, Charlie Siskel

VIRUNGA Orlando von Einsiedel, Joanna Natasegara


BIG HERO 6 Don Hall, Chris Williams
THE BOXTROLLS Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable

THE LEGO MOVIE Phil Lord, Christopher Miller


BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu
BOYHOOD Richard Linklater



BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris Jr, Armando Bo BOYHOOD Richard Linklater

WHIPLASH Damien Chazelle


GONE GIRL Gillian Flynn


BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH The Imitation Game EDDIE REDMAYNE The Theory of Everything JAKE GYLLENHAAL Nightcrawler

  • images-322RALPH FIENNES The Grand Budapest Hotel


FELICITY JONES The Theory of Everything JULIANNE MOORE Still Alice







RENE RUSSO Nightcrawler


BIRDMAN Antonio Sanchez


BIRDMAN Emmanuel Lubezki
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Robert Yeoman IDA Lukasz Zal, Ryzsard Lenczewski INTERSTELLAR Hoyte van Hoytema
MR. TURNER Dick Pope


Due to a tie in voting in this category, there are six nominations BIRDMAN Douglas Crise, Stephen Mirrione THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Barney Pilling THE IMITATION GAME William Goldenberg NIGHTCRAWLER John Gilroy



BIG EYES Rick Heinrichs, Shane Vieau
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock THE IMITATION GAME Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana MacDonald INTERSTELLAR Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
MR. TURNER Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts


MR. TURNER Jacqueline Durran



GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou, David White INTO THE WOODS Peter Swords King, J. Roy Helland
MR. TURNER Christine Blundell, Lesa Warrener


AMERICAN SNIPER Walt Martin, John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff, Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman BIRDMAN Thomas Varga, Martin Hernández, Aaron Glascock, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Wayne Lemmer, Christopher Scarabosio, Pawel Wdowczak THE IMITATION GAME John Midgley, Lee Walpole, Stuart Hilliker, Martin Jensen

WHIPLASH Thomas Curley, Ben Wilkins, Craig Mann


DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Erik Winquist, Daniel Barrett GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner, Nicolas Aithadi
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, R. Christopher White

INTERSTELLAR Paul Franklin, Scott Fisher, Andrew Lockley
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Tim Crosbie, Cameron Waldbauer


THE BIGGER PICTURE Chris Hees, Daisy Jacobs, Jennifer Majka
MONKEY LOVE EXPERIMENTS Ainslie Henderson, Cam Fraser, Will Anderson MY DAD Marcus Armitage


BOOGALOO AND GRAHAM Brian J. Falconer, Michael Lennox, Ronan Blaney EMOTIONAL FUSEBOX Michael Berliner, Rachel Tunnard
THE KÁRMÁN LINE Campbell Beaton, Dawn King, Tiernan Hanby, Oscar Sharp SLAP Islay Bell-Webb, Michelangelo Fano, Nick Rowland

THREE BROTHERS Aleem Khan, Matthieu de Braconier, Stephanie Paeplow

THE EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)


Nominations are correct at the time of going to print. BAFTA reserves the right to make changes to the names listed at any time up until 8 February 2015

02nd Jan2015

The Theory of Everything – Film

by timbaros

The Theory of Everything is not just the story of Stephen Hawking, it’s also the story of his relationship with his first wife Jane.

The Theory of Everything can simply be described as beautiful. Eddie Redmayne, in an Oscar-winning performance, plays Hawking, who at the age of 19 was found to have Motor Neuron Disease and was given just two years to live. But the film does not specifically deal with his struggle with the disease, it very successfully deals with, and is entirely focused on, him and Jane (played very well by Felicity Jones).

While the Theory of Everything does not include a timeline (as The Imitation Game did), we are swept up through Hawking’s life as a young healthy man to, at the end of the film, an accomplished and highly celebrated scientist. It’s beautifully told, shot, acted and crafted (the film is based on the memoir by Jane titled Traveling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen).

The film begins with Hawking meeting Jane at a party. It’s a year or so into their courtship, and after his professors realize that Hawking is a genius, 30 minutes into the film his body starts giving him signals that all is not right. One day while at university he falls flat on his face on the pavement and is taken to the hospital, where’s he diagnosed. Feeling sorry for himself, he doesn’t want to see Jane anymore, but she tells him she loves him no matter what. They end up getting married, have a few kids, while Hawking is being lauded all over the world for his scientific theories. All the meanwhile Jane takes care of him, lovingly, careingly, without reservation. And these emotions are displayed in Jones’ performance.

Jane Hawking’s mother encourages her to get back to singing, so she joins a chorus, led by the handsome Jonathon Jones (Charlie Cox). He takes an interest in Jane, and her family, and helps out with the constantly getting worse Hawking. Slowly Jane and him develop feelings for each other. At a concert in Bordeaux where Hawking is invited, and while Jonathon and Jane have taken her children camping, Hawking stops breathing and is rushed to the hospital. It is then determined that Hawking needs a full-time nurse, and not Jonathon, to take care of him, so Jane hires nurse Elaine Mason (Maxine Peake). And eventually, Hawking fall for Elaine’s sense of humor, beauty and style. It is a bittersweet moment when Hawking breaks the news to Jane, she says she saw it coming so she accepts it. And it is Jane’s last relationship moments with Hawking, and it’s also a poignant moment for we know that whilst they have built a life with each other, Hawking still has more life left in him to fall in love all over again.

It’s amazing, and a miracle, that Hawking is still alive today, at the age of 72, after having been given 2 years to live at the time his diagnosis. And what is almost as amazing is Redmayne’s performance. Redmayne’s performance excellently captures Hawking’s progression of his disease – the slurred speech, the bent fingers, the inability to walk or to do anything for himself, and even to go the bathroom without help. Redmayne also captures Hawking’s excitement and thrill of making his discoveries, including the time in his life when Hawking wrote the highly successful and multi-million selling book A Brief History of Time, about the Big Bang and black holes. Redmayne is almost certain to win the Oscar for this performance. Jones, previously seen in Like Crazy and The Invisible Woman, ups her acting game in this film, which should excel her to Carey Mulligan league-like status. Director James Marsh, who previously directed Shadow Dancer and Academy Award winning documentary Man on Wire, gives us a story that is historical, memorable and beautiful.

02nd Jan2015

Enemy – Film

by timbaros

Jake Gyllenhaal’s last film, Nightcrawler, was a critical and commercial success, earning him some of the best reviews of his career. His new film, Enemy, won’t.

Actually, Enemy is a strange movie. It’s a Canadian-Spanish film that was released in the U.S. in 2013 to generally good reviews, but only took in $3.4 million at the box office. It’s a psychological thriller, gripping, yet a bit silly. But it’s an original story, loosely based on a 2002 novel called The Double, which would’ve been a more appropriate name to call it. You see, Gyllenhaal plays two characters in the film; one is Adam Bell – a college professor/lecturer who lives in an almost unfurnished apartment (even his mother tells him ‘how could you live in a place like this’) with a pretty part-time blond girlfriend Mary (Melanie Laurent). Gyllenhaal also plays Anthony Claire, an actor (who goes by the name Daniel Saint Claire), who lives in a glamorous high rise with his blond pregnant wife Helen (Sarah Gadon). How do these two characters meet? One of Adam’s fellow teachers recommends a film to Adam that he recently saw called Where There’s a Will There’s a Way. Upon watching the film, Adam recognizes the actor playing a bellman – and the actor looks just like him! So Adam becomes obsessed on finding and actually meeting this guy – his double! And they do meet, in a motel room. But in keeping with Gyllenhaal’s shy Adam Character, he gets nervous and bolts out of the room. Eerily enough, one day Anthony follows Mary to work, and then he goes to Adam’s apartment and tells him that he’s going to be him for a night (and to sleep with his girlfriend), and that Adam will be Anthony for the night.

Confusing? Yes, a bit. But we never learn why Anthony wants anything to do with Adam and his girlfriend. What does he gain out of it? A night away from his pregnant wife? And Adam, who appears to be afraid of his own shadow, can he perform the charade and be Anthony for the night, and fool Anthony’s wife?

The best part of Enemy is the gripping soundtrack. It knaws at the viewer to expect an even more gripping scene is coming up. Yes, there gripping scenes come up, but it’s all for naught as the final scene has something to do with a spider, a spider that is seen in a previous scene in the film that felt a bit out of context. Gyllenhaal is fantastic in both roles (of course he is) and the two female co-stars are also very good, as is Isabella Rossellini in her too brief role as Adam’s mother. But Enemy is a bit of a let down when it all adds up. But both Jake, and the city of Toronto where this film was shot, look good.