28th Feb2015

Gods and Monsters – Theatre

by timbaros

James Whale was famous for directing the Frankenstein films. But he’s also known for being the subject of the hit 1996 film Gods and Monsters. Now it’s a play, produced for the first time and currently playing at the Southwark Playhouse theatre.

The play, as well as the film, deals with the platonic relationship Whale has with his gardener in 1950’s Los Angeles. Whale, played by an excellent Ian Gelder, and in the film played by the Oscar nominated Ian McKellan) is a man of older persuasion, a bit lonely who only has his housekeeper Maria (Lachelle Carl) to keep him company. One day along comes young reporter Kay Joey Phillips) who wants to know all about the Frankenstein films. But for every tidbit of information that Whale gives to him, Whale cheekily demands that he takes off a piece of clothing. But reminiscing, not only about his films but also about the time he served in the army reminds him when of he when he fell in love with a fellow soldier. And unfortunately, not all is well with Whale, he’s got some sort of medical problem, which is confirmed when he goes to see his doctor (Will Rastall).

Enter the new gardener Clayton Boone (Will Austin). He’s young, virile, sexy, muscular (perhaps a bit too much), and of course Whale takes a shine to him, asking him into the house for a cup of cold iced tea. Soon enough Whale invites Boone into the house for lunch, then he asks if Clayton would pose for him, as Whale enjoys painting. But Boone makes it clear that it’s only the face that Whale will paint as Boone won’t be taking off his shirt or pose, as he says, “In his birthday suit.” But of course eventually Whale gets him to do so, first topless, but then near the end of the show, in a very dramatic moment, at Boone’s insistence does he take off all of his clothes, asking Whale if this is what he wanted, while Whale is in the midst of one of his attacks. Whale gets his chance to seduce Boone but is unable to do so, and it appears that Boone wants to be seduced. Whale gets his wish, a wish that he has pined for, but is unable to do anything.

Russel Labey, writing an original script for the stage, does a good job incorporating the relationship Whale has, or would like to have, with these young men who come in and out of his life. Labey also smartly executes the wartime flashbacks Whale has that include both Phllips and Rasall playing the younger Whale and his love interest. This production is very well done in it’s small space, and it is Gelder who carries the show. He’s almost a dead ringer for McKellan, very believable in the part and even more so when he’s up to seducing the young boys. The rest of the cast is strong as well, though once Austin takes his shirt off its hard to imagine anyone having bigger muscles than him – to say its a bit distracting is an understatement. The male nudity in this show is not gratuitious – all of the young actors get naked – it’s all part of telling Whale’s story. Gods and Monsters is a well done production – not quite four stars but worthy enough to see.

Gods and Monsters is playing up until March 7th. To buy tickets, please visit:


28th Feb2015

Superman – Theatre

by timbaros

It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no – it’s Superman the Musical.

Playing until this weekend at the Leicester Square Theatre, Superman is not just a musical but it is also a comical look at the man we all know and love as the saviour of Gotham City, preventing disasters and capturing criminals.

Originally produced for the Broadway stage in 1966, and coming directly from Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre where it played last year, it’s transfer to the West End brings with it a set made up of cardboard props, and a cast who mostly struggle with the all encompassing singing, dancing and acting.

Craig Berry plays Superman. Sure, he’s got the look down – the black gelled-back hair and the chiselled chin, but Berry just doesn’t have much stage presence for playing such a larger than life character. Sure, the costume fits him, but that’s about it. Michelle LaFortune doesn’t fare much better. Her Lois Lane is bland. LaFortune can sing, but it doesn’t help when she forgets a line or two.

So what’s the plot you ask? We should know it as we’ve all seen those Superman movies. Lane is in love with Superman but not with Clark Kent, who works with her at the Daily Planet, and you see Clark Kent is actually Superman! Another man in the office – Max Mencken (a good Paul Harwood) – is the office lethario and vies for Lane’s affections, though he’s with Sydney (a good Sarah Kennedy), a clueless co-worker who’s looking for love in all the wrong places. However, when Mencken teams up with Dr. Abner Sedgwick (an excellent Matthew Ibbotson) to devise a plan to turn Superman into an ordinary mortal, one who would obey Dr. Sedgwick’s every command, things don’t look too good for Superman, and it is Lane who happens to fall in love with Dr. Sedgwick’s assistant Jim (Charlie Vose), and forgets all about Superman.

Superman plays like an amateur production (a high school production) with a few talented members of the cast (Harwood, Kennedy and especially Ibbotson), but it’s the ones who aren’t as talented that bring this show down. And the backup dancers do their darndest, all trying very hard to keep things moving (especially the adorable Christine Harris), but they just can’t save this production. Music by Charles Strouse with lyrics by Lee Adams help the show move along, but the end just doesn’t come soon enough.

24th Feb2015

Academy Award Winners – Film

by timbaros

Birdman surprised the industry (and all of us here at The Entertainment Website) by winning Oscars in three top categories, stealing them right out of Boyhood’s hands, at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday.

It was supposed to Boyhood’s night, as it had won almost every single Best Picture award (including the BAFTA), but alas, it was not meant to be. Birdman, which had gained momentum over the past month, scooped Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu) and Best Original Screenplay. Richard Linklater, director of Boyhood, went home empty handed. But his film did win in one category; Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette. She truly deserved to win, she gave an exceptionally nuanced performance – a performance that she gave for over 12 years – to see her son in the movie grow from a boy to a man.


There were no other surprises on the night. Eddie Redmayne was expected to, and won, Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of everything. However, as Birdman was winning on the night, it could’ve been a first-time Oscar for Michael Keaton, but alas it wasn’t meant to be – Redmayne’s acting was more complicated, more powerful, and was a much better performance. He gave a very animated speech during the Oscar ceremony where he cutely said that he will be the custodian of the Oscar for the Hawking family.


Speaking of powerful performances, Julianne Moore so truly deserved to win an Oscar for her portrayal of a woman suffering from Alzheimer’s in Still Alice. After four nominations, she has finally won one, and this award and her performance in the film cements her status as one of the best actresses we have around today.


J.K. Simmons was, without a doubt, expected to win Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash. None of the other four nominees were even close. And as he had won every single Best Supporting Actor Award for this film, this was no shock.


Best Adapted Screenplay was won by The Imitation Game’s screenwriter Graham Moore, who gave an excellent speech during the ceremony about what it feels like to be different and how when he was a teenage he wanted to kill himself because he was different. It was a fitting speech in tribute to the man the film is based on – Alan Turing – who ended up committing suicide in 1954 at the age of 42 because he was gay.

Selma took home one Oscar on the night – for Best Original Song – called Glory. Written by Common and John Legend, they performed the song during the ceremony and when they were done there was not a dry eye in the house. Glory is perhaps one of the best original songs to win this award in a very long time.

The Grand Budapest Hotel won in four categories, including Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Original Score and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Disney’s Big Hero 6 took Best Animated Feature while Whiplash took the Best Film Editing award. American Sniper won the Best Sound Editing award and Best Visual Effects went to Interstellar. Ida deservedly won the Best Foreign Film and Citizenfour, about Edward Snowden, won the Best Documentary award.

So all of the eight films nominated in the Best Picture category won at least one award. So there were no real big winners on the night, just Birdman practically stealing the statuettes away from Boyhood. And Academy, if you are reading this, please bring back Ellen Degeneres next year, please.

19th Feb2015

Academy Award Predictions – Film

by timbaros

The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, will be presented on Sunday, February 22nd live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It’s hard to believe that these awards have been given out for the past 87 years, and are still going strong. Some years, of course, are more popular than others depending on which films are nominated. This year there is a glut of well-made films, more so than in year’s past. But having said that, it’s very easy to pick the frontrunners this year as they each stand out in the respective categories. But herewith are my predictions:

“American Sniper”
“Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”

There are eight nominees in this category this year when the Academy could’ve nominated ten. Why did they go with eight when they left off the beautifully made Mr. Turner or the excellent Still Alice? In any case, Boyhood will win. It just won the BAFTA for Best Film and has won practically every Best Picture award given this awards season. It took 12 years to make, which shows dedication on the part of the filmmakers and the actors. The Theory of Everything is a better film, but it’s going to be Boyhood’s night.



Best Actor
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

All men nominated in this category are well-deserving, and even some men who were left off (Timothy Spall for Mr. Turner and Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler). But this award is going to go to Redmayne for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking. It’s an amazing, incredible performance that won his the BAFTA earlier this month. It would be nice to see Michael Keaton up on the podium but Redmayne truly deserves the award.

The best performance of the five nominees is Redmayne’s. Michael Keaton comes a distant second but Redmayne’s performance is more memorable and moving.


Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon, Wild

Moore will finally win an Oscar, after having been nominated four other times in the past 18 years (including being double nominated as Best Actress for Far From Heaven and Supporting actress for The Hours in 2002). Moore gives a devastating performance as a woman stricken with Alzeihmer’s, and expect her to look radiant on that podium. It’s the one award where you might need tissues next to you.


Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall, The Judge
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Edward Norton, Birdman
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

While it would be nice to see Ethan Hawke win for his portrayal of the father in Boyhood, it’s Simmon’s performance as the maniacal music teacher in Whiplash that is the Best Supporting Actor performance of the year. Simmons has been around for quite some time, cutting his teeth in television (Law & Order, Oz) before hitting big in film (The Spiderman franchise, Juno). Simmons won the Golden Globe, the BAFTA and the Screen Actors Guild Award, and he will win the Oscar.


Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
Laura Dern, Wild
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Emma Stone, Birdman
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Arquette, just like Redmayne, Moore and Simmons, have all taken home the trifecta of awards – BATFA, SAG and Golden Globe – and like them Arquette will take home the Oscar for her portrayal of the mother in Boyhood. She gave a memorable performance, her best yet, and the Arquette family has been acting for generations in Hollywood. Emma Stone actually gives the best performance in this category, but Arquette will win on the coattails of a Boyhood sweep.
Best Director
Alexandro G. Iñárritu, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

Lots of deserving men (sorry ladies) were left off this list ( ) however, give this one to Richard Linklater and his dedication to getting this film done over a 12-year period. Linklater has also won almost every Director trophy award this season (except the all-important Directors Guild award – which went to Iñárritu, whose direction in Birdman was so off the charts, while Marsh did a beautiful job bringing Stephen Hawking’s life to the big screen in The Theory of Everything. But Linklater is the favorite here.

Foreign Language Film
Wild Tales

Two Days, One Night is the best Foreign Film of the year and is lead by a powerful performance by Marion Cotillard but it’s not nominated. Ida will take the prize because of it’s story about the Holocaust, plus it won the BAFTA.

Writing – Adapted Screenplay
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

This is one of the toughest categories to call but I will go with Anthony McCarten for his screenplay for The Theory of Everything. It’s a beautifully scripted film about Stephen and Jane Hawking’s relationship, plus it won the BAFTA in the same category. Though Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash has been picking up momentum over the past few weeks to he could easily sneak in and win.

Writing – Original Screenplay
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Nicolas Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, Birdman
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman, Foxcatcher

It’s easy to think that Linklater will take this one for Boyhood. But this is one of the toughest categories to predict. Birdman’s screenplay was so original and different that it deserves to win just on that basis, while Foxcatcher told the eerie tale of a very rich man who perhaps had too much money on his hands (and was clearly not sane). But when it comes down to it, The Grand Budapest Hotel’s screenplay was very original. And it will be the only major award that this film will win, and deservedly so.
Music – Original Song
‘Glory’ by Common and John Legend, Selma
‘Lost Stars’ by Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley and Nick Southwood, Begin Again
‘Everything Is Awesome’ by Shawn Patterson, The LEGO Movie
‘I’m Not Gonna Miss You’, by Glen Campbell, Glenn Campbell: I’ll Be Me
‘Grateful’, Beyond the Lights
Glory from the movie Selma will win. It’s shocking that Selma failed to get nominated in many of the major categories, but it does deserve to win this one, it’s a great song with gorgeous vocals by Legend.

Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Boxtrolls
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Song of the Sea

The Boxtrolls was dark and grimy, so I would give this one to Big Hero 6, which is now the third highest grossing animated film of all time.

With Neil Patrick Harris emceeing the show for the first time, expect a very funny and entertaining show!

19th Feb2015

Gone Girl – DVD

by timbaros

Sept. 29, 2014 – Went to a screening of the new Ben Affleck film ‘Gone Girl.’

July 5th, 2012 – Nick Dunne (Affleck) comes home to find a smashed coffee table and a few other things in disarray in his house in St. Louis, Missouri, and there’s no sign of his wife, the beautiful Amy (Rosamund Pike). For some reason, he’s slow to call the authorities and doesn’t even bother to call Amy’s parents. Detective Rhonda Boney (a very good Kim Dickens) and Officer Jim Gilpin (Patrick Fugit) immediately arrive on the scene. The investigation begins.

Flashback to Jan. 8, 2005 – Nick and Amy meet at a party in Manhattan, and instantly fall in love. She calls him her ‘Irish Prince.’ During one sexual encounter they have, he tells her ‘I really like you’ while he has his face in her crotch.

July 5th, 2012 – This is Nick and Amy’s wedding anniversary – 5 years – but there’s no Amy. She’s either missing or dead. There is, however, an envelope with a clue to find the anniversary present she bought for Nick the she left for him in her panty drawer. Meanwhile, Detective Boney puts post-it notes all over the house where evidence is found that may help in determining what happened to Amy. Nick tells the police ‘should I be concerned’ while being questioned in the police station. Unbeknownst to him is that his father is yards away, in the same police station, who had wandered out of his nursing home and was picked up the police. Amy’s parents (Lisa Banes and David Clennon) don’t look too hysterical or upset, but they stand by Nick. Within one day a hotel ballroom is transformed into a findamazingamy.com nerve center. At a press conference the police hold – Nick stands next to a poster of his wife and displays a creepy grin. Is he guilty?

Jan. 8, 2007 – Nick proposes to Amy, two years after they had met. They are happily engaged and soon enough are a married couple, with an amazing sex life. Amy becomes a best-selling children’s book author (Amazing Amy) and Nick continues his work as a writer. Things take a turn for the worse as Nick loses his job and Amy has to lend her parents $1 million from her trust fund as an investment they made has gone sour. It’s not made clear in the movie where the trust fund comes from. And at one point Nick says that his wife has a ‘world class vagina.’

Sept. 23, 2010 – In Ben’s hometown in Missouri, Nick’s mother is very sick with stage 4 breast cancer, so Nick and Amy move there. They rent a large, beautiful two-story house, beautifully furnished within one day of moving in. I wish my movers were that quick.

July 6, 2012 – It turns out that Ben has a mistress – she’s 20-year old student Andie Hardy? (an extremely sexy Emily Ratajkowski, a student at the school where Nick teaches at. And Nick is not able to stay at his home as it is a crime scene – so he stays at his sister Margo’s (Carrie Coon) house, where him and Andy have passionate sex all night. It’s amazing that his sister doesn’t hear them.

Oct. 2, 2011 – Nick’s mother passes away. Nick and Amy fight about having a baby – she wants to have one but he doesn’t. During the fight he hits her and she hits the floor hard, yet she stays with him. Gone Girl is setting in motion Nick’s motive in the disappearance of his wife, making us think he’s guilty. He could possibly be, as he had just increased the life insurance policy on Amy, and they have credit card debt up to here. And Amy did buy him a bar in town, called The Bar, where his sister works at, and he manages.

July 7, 2012 – The investigation into the disappearance of Amy continues.

Gone Girl, at 149 minutes in length, is a film that takes a lot of twists in turns. And it’s told in a timeline – we are given the dates at the bottom of the screen when the series of events take place. But the series of events above is just the first part of the movie. Gone girl is basically told in four story arcs: Nick and Amy’s early relationship and marriage, the time when she goes missing, and two more story arcs that if I mention here would give the plot away. So Gone Girl goes from being a movie about a man who is suspected of murdering his wife into so so so much more. It’s twists and turns will make you dizzy. And Gone Girl takes a turn for the more mysterious after Amy’s diary is found in a furnace in a wooden shack (anniversary five is wood – get it?).

Based on the best-selling book of the same name by Gillian Flynn, she’s also responsible for the screenplay. It’s been said that the script stays true to the book. So Director David Fincher (The Social Network, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) is responsible for making us believe, or question, Nick’s guilt or innocence, and Amy – is she really the girl next door who happens to be a victim? As I mentioned before, saying anything more would give away the story – so if you read the book you’ll know what happens on Feb. 14, 2012 and the days after July 7th, 2012.

As Gone Girl continues, it veers into Fatal Attraction territory times ten….yes, it’s that kind of movie, and it’s not what you see in previews. So how good is it? I really can’t believe that this film is getting rave reviews – as mentioned above it’s frustrating at how the plot veers from the dramatic and suspenseful to the bizarre and unbelievable. A few things I found wrong with the film: Amy’s parents are so wooden and barely show any emotion when she disappears; Nick’s father is introduced at the police station but then disappears from the rest of the film; there’s a vigil for Amy at a park that looks entirely staged, especially when Andie yells that she is his mistress; and the last 20 minutes of the movie are just preposterous and unbelievable.

Having said that, the performances are extraordinary. Affleck can’t do no wrong. He recently won an Oscar for Argo (as Producer, his second Oscar after his first win for the screenplay of Good Will Hunting). In Gone Girl, his Nick is either very guilty or very innocent, and he plays it for all it’s worth, and as the second half of the movie unfolds, he makes his character unfold in the same way the plot does. It’s a very believable performance. Pike is also very good as Amy. She loves her husband – or does she? Pike, having previously starred in supporting roles, comfortably takes the lead in this film. She’s exposed, in more ways than one. Is she the victim or not?
Boney makes a very effective detective Dickens. All the evidence points to Nick, so why shouldn’t she be pursuing him and following him? Neil Patrick Harris joins the film in the second half as a former boyfriend of Amy’s who is very wealthy and who we are led to believe stalked her and held a candle for her all these years. Harris, star of television’s ‘How I met your mother,’ which is ending it’s run soon, definitely has a film career ahead of him. He’s a bit both creepy and loveable.

Near the end of the film, we are told that ‘When 2 people love each other and can’t make it work, that’s the real tragedy,’ well the real tragedy, for me anyway, is how disappointed I was in this film. At the end, one of the main characters says ‘What were we thinking, what will we do,’ hell I don’t know what the filmmakers were thinking!

Pike has received an Academy Award nomination for her performance.

19th Feb2015

The Way He Looks – DVD

by timbaros

A046_C002_0101D2High school student Leonardo is blind. He relies on his parents and his best friend Giovanna to literally guide him through life. His world changes dramatically when new student Gabriel enters his classroom. A slow moving love story begins in the new film The Way He Looks.

Leonardo, played convincingly by non-blind actor Ghilherme Lobo, is a young man who doesn’t have much independence. He is guided everywhere by his best friend Giovanna (Tess Amorim), including making sure he gets home ok after school. They even investigate the possibilities of going on an exchange program to another country together. When Leonardo’s home, he’s got his parents calling him to make sure he’s arrived safely. He’s doesn’t lead much of an independent life – and his parents nix his idea of going on the exchange program. At school, he’s bullied by the other boys in his class, they tease and taunt him and follow him and make fun of him. And no one wants to sit in the empty desk behind him as he uses a typewriting machine to get through the lessons. One day new student Gabriel (played by a confident Fabio Audi) arrives in the class and takes the only seat that is available – behind Leonardo.

Soon Leonardo, Gabriel and Giovanna all become close friends. And before you know it, Leonardo and Gabriel start hanging out together, leaving Giovanna out. Gabriel starts walking Leonardo home, and they take on a class assignment together which makes them spend more with each other after school. Giovanni decides to stop speaking to them. Meanwhile, Leonardo and Gabriel’s friendly relationship starts to grow – Gabriel takes Leonardo to ‘see’ his first film – narrating it for him, scene by scene. Leonardo also sneaks out of his home very late one night to go ‘see’ an eclipse with Gabriel – it’s a moment that brings their friendship closer together. Meanwhile, Gabriel’s got Karina (Isabela Guasco) chasing him. Giovanna calls her a slut, meanwhile Giovanna also has a crush on Gabriel, leading her to steal a kiss from him at Karina’s house party. He doesn’t reciprocate – but in turn he steals a kiss from Leonardo – after Leonardo was humiliated by the young partygoers during a game of spin the bottle where they almost made him kiss a dog. A few days later, the class goes on a camping trip, and finally Giovanna comes around and makes up with Leonardo, leaving Gabriel to be with Karina. Yet, Gabriel isn’t interested in her, he’s quite aloof when it comes to girls. And when Gabriel showers naked next to Leonardo, it’s Gabriel’s eyes that start to wander and it’s at that moment, touchingly, that we realize that Gabriel wants to be more than a friend to Leonardo.

The Way He Looks is a very lovely film, quite quiet yet very moving. What makes it so are the performances. Lobo is just so sweet as the blind boy who wants to start exploring life on his own. It’s a delicately nuanced performance. And Audi as Gabriel is just the opposite. He’s a confident yet not cocky young man who takes Leonardo under his wing and guides him through new experiences in life – something no one else has done. Director Daniel Ribeiro has structured a film where homosexuality is not the central theme – the theme throughout is Leonardo’s blindness, it’s the love story between Leonardo and Gabriel that is very subtle. The Way He Looks is Ribeiro’s debut feature film. It’s based on his 17-minute short film “I don’t Want To Go Back Alone’ which tells the same story. It won the 2011 Iris Prize (a prize given to a short film with an LGBT theme). Using the same actors, Ribeiro has gifted us with a longer version of his short film that explores a subject not seen in the cinema, gay or straight, the sexual awakening of a blind teenager. The Way He Looks is not just a gay love story, it’s a universal love story that everyone can, and will, relate to.

06th Feb2015

BAFTA Predictions – Film

by timbaros

baftasThis Sunday night the BAFTA’s will be handed out live from London’s Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. This year’s races don’t seem to be as hotly contested as in years past, but there are a couple categories that could pull off surprises. Here are my predictions:


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

Boyhood has the momentum in this category. It’s won practically every Best Picture award and continues to pick up steam. There’s no stopping Boyhood, and none of the other Best Picture nominees even comes close. Though I would say The Theory of Everything is a much much better film.


’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

I’m hoping The Theory of Everything wins in this category. It’s the best film of the lot, much better than the slightly disappointing The Imitation Game. I’m not even sure why Pride is a nominee – Mr. Turner was much much better. Shame on the Academy for leaving this one out.


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


Again, not too sure what Pride is doing on this list, but Gregory Burke should take it for his excellent retelling of a young British soldier in the army in Ireland in 1971. And it’s starring the hot Jack O’Connell who’s on everyone’s radar at the moment.


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

Two Days, One Night is lead by a powerful performance by Marion Cotillard, though Ida could take it because of it’s story about the Holocaust.


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

I’ve not seen all of the nominees but I think that 20,000 Days on Earth (about a couple days in the life of Nick Cave) is a masterpiece. But Citizen Four, a documentary about Edward Snowden), looks like it will win, plus it just won at the London Critic’s Circle Awards back in January.


BIG HERO 6 Don Hall, Chris Williams

THE BOXTROLLS Anthony Stacchi, Graham Annable

THE LEGO MOVIE Phil Lord, Christopher Miller

The Boxtrolls was dark and grimy, so I would give this one to The Lego Movie, which has made tons of money for Warner Bros.


BIRDMAN Alejandro G. Iñárritu

BOYHOOD Richard Linklater



WHIPLASH Damien Chazelle

Give this one to Richard Linklater – he (and his cast) devoted 12 years to making this film – talk about dedication. And Linklater has won almost every Director trophy award this season. However Iñárritu’s directing in Birdman was so different, and Marsh did a beautiful job bringing Stephen Hawking’s life to the big screen in The Theory of Everything.


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



WHIPLASH Damien Chazelle

Birdman is the most original film of the five nominees, though Boyhood could take it as it’s expected to sweep the night.



GONE GIRL Gillian Flynn



The best film of 2014 is The Theory of Everything, and it’s screenplay adaptation of the book by Stephen Hawking’s ex-wife Jane was beautifully told in every aspect of the film.



EDDIE REDMAYNE The Theory of Everything



RALPH FIENNES The Grand Budapest Hotel

The best performance of the five nominees is Redmayne’s. Michael Keaton comes a distant second but Redmayne’s performance is more memorable and moving.



FELICITY JONES The Theory of Everything




Moore should and will win in this category in her portrayal of a woman stricken with Alzeihmer’s. It’s the kind of performance that many an actress could not pull of, but Moore does, and it’s a devastating performance.




J.K. SIMMONS Whiplash



Sentiment may be with popular actor Hawke who plays the father in Boyhood, but Simmons has wowed many a film critic as the bullying and sadistic music teacher in Whiplash. It’s a true actors acting role. So Simmons will win, just like he won the Golden Globe.




KEIRA KNIGHTLEY The Imitation Game


RENE RUSSO Nightcrawler

Arquette will win for Boyhood. And while the performances in this category are not as strong as last years (Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave shockingly lost out to Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle), Arquette gives the most eloquent and memorable performance, though Stone was excellent as the messed up daughter in Birdman.

EE Rising Star in 2015

Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Jack O’Connell

Shailene Woodley

Margot Robbie

Miles Teller

This award has to go to Jack O’Connell. Not only was he excellent in both ’71 and Starred Up, but he was handpicked by Angelina Jolie to star in her film Unbroken, which shockingly received no nominations.

06th Feb2015

Selma – Film

by timbaros

images-337Selma, now in theatres, does not quite pack a powerful punch as one would’ve hoped.

Selma focuses on the three months in 1965 when Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) (played diligently by David Oyelowo) pushed for the passage of voting rights legislation not just in Selma, Georgia but also across the United States, amidst some anti-black sentiment in the country. And it came right after the 16th Street Baptist Church murders where four young black girls were killed by a bomb in Birmingham, Alabama.

So Selma is more about the movement and less about MLK. It’s very effective in providing viewers with the drama and humility that blacks had to endure in the U.S. south during this time (which was unbelievably only 50 years ago). A great cast brings this story to life. They include Oyelowo, Billionaire Oprah Winfrey who plays Annie Lee Cooper, a black woman who goes to register to vote but is denied, thus igniting the movement, Carmen Ejogo as Coretta Scott King – MLK’s long-suffering wife, and other actors who play leaders of the movement, among them Colman Domingo as Ralph Abernathy and Common as James Bevel.

Director Ava DuVernay helms her first big Hollywood production, and it’s credit to Winfrey’s Harpo Productions and Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment to give her the reins to this retelling of an important historical event in the U.S. But she doesn’t quite pull it off. While it does have its share of emotional moments, it lacks one huge one to sweeps the viewer off his feet. The first Selma to Montgomery march the activists lead is taut and dramatic. But the second time they do is less so. A standoff between the activists in front of the courthouse looks a bit staged, hence unrealistic. And the final scene that has King giving what should be a powerful speech is drowned out by background music. It’s a moment when the viewers should be moved, but King’s words are barely heard. And Director DuVernay decided to play with history by making President Lyndon B. Johnson (Tom Wilkinson) reluctant to make the Voting Rights act a top priority, when in reality Johnson was all for it.

Selma is a bit like A Long Walk to Freedom (the story of Nelson Mandela) – a good film that cannot live up to it’s subject.

The performances, however, are excellent. It’s too bad that Oyelowo missed out on a Best Actor Oscar nomination for this film – he’s that good, but it was a very competitive year for actors. The film does deserve more than it’s two Oscar nominations (Best Picture and Best Song) – but unfortunately the production company was slow in getting DVD screeners out to members of the academy, a delay which meant that not every Academy member was perhaps not at home during the holidays to receive theirs. But Selma is worth a watch to get a grasp on what it was like in the deep south in American back then.