28th Jan2017

Oscar Nominations announced (Film)

by timbaros

la-la-land-2016-001-couple-spin-dancing-twilight

Damien Chazelle’s vibrant musical La La Land has been nominated for a whopping 14 Academy Award nominations – the joint record for any film in history. This include nominations for best picture, best director, best actor for Ryan Gosling and best actress for Emma Stone.

Barry Jenkins’ coming-of-age drama Moonlight and Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi Arrival follow on eight nominations each.

Here is a complete list of the nominations:

Here are the nominations in full.

Best Picture

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women
Best Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootropolis

Best Film Editing

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Best Documentary Feature

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th

Best Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann
Best Original Score

Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Best Original Song

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La LAnd
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Best Cinematography

Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Best Production Design

Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers
Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Best Costume Design

Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Sound Editing

Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Best Sound Mixing

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Documentary Short

Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short

Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

Best Animated Short

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

 

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22nd Jan2017

Lion (Film)

by timbaros
Sunny Pawar stars in LION Photo: Mark Rogers

Sunny Pawar stars in LION
Photo: Mark Rogers

A young man attempts to trace his roots in the moving and excellent film ‘Lion.’

Dev Patel is Saroo Brierley. He’s adopted by Australian couple John and Sue Brierley (David Wenham and Nicole Kidman) and vaguely aware that he had a life in India when he was a very young boy – it’s all just a very distant memory. Now in his 20’s, and in college, him and his friends (including girlfriend Lucy – Rooney Mara) have a discussion about their origins, and Saroo tells his classmates that he was adopted and born in India, and probably still has family there, but he hasn’t been there since when he was a little boy. This puts a spark in his head to try to found out where in India he comes from. There are still a few very vague images in his mind he can recall from his childhood, and especially from when he got separated from his brother (a water tower, a train station). Saroo sets about determined to discover where he’s from and starts to map out India until he can pinpoint an area where he believes he came from.

But this is the not the entire movie. The first half of the film has Saroo as a little boy (played amazingly by Sunny Pawar), who along with his brother Guddu (Abshishek Bharate), are lost, so Guddu goes in search of help, and leaves Saroo on a train platform. Saroo falls asleep, then wakes up a bit disoriented, and calls out for Guddu, but he’s nowhere to be found. Saroo walks around the train station calling out for Guddu, but then ends up falling asleep on a train that accidentally takes him 1,000 miles away to Calcutta, taking him far away from home, far away from Guddu, and far away from his life.

‘Lion,’ as mentioned above, is a film with two halves; Saroo as a child and Saroo as a young man. And the first half of the film is simply amazing. It’s all down to Pawar, who as the young Saroo, after losing his big brother Guddu, is lost and confused and scared and aimlessly wandering around looking for food and trying to survive. He knows no one, is totally lost and alone, and is very very frightened. Eventually he is taken in by an orphanage which is where the Brierley’s adopt him and take him to their home in Australia, which is when the second half of the film begins.

Pawar deserves a Supporting Actor nomination or a special child Oscar for his sensitive and heartbreaking portrayal of Saroo (Jacob Tremblay in last year’s award-winning ‘Room’ didn’t receive either but deserved one). Pawar is excellent. Patel is very good as the grown-up Saroo who is determined to find out where he comes from. Patel here proves that he was not just a one-hit wonder in the Oscar-winning ‘Slumdog Millionaire.’ Kidman is fine as his adoptive mother, but it’s hard not to look at her on screen and think you’re seeing Nicole Kidman and not the character she is playing. The screenplay, adapted from the book ‘A Long Way Home, ’written by Saroo Brierley, and adapted by Luke Davies, tells the story in a way that will tug at your hearts more than any other film this year. Director Garth Davis (who has done mostly television shows) directs with such a fine balance of drama and emotion that it’s a perfect film which tells a true story that truly deserved to be told. It’s the best film of the year.

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06th Oct2016

BFI London Film Festival has started (Film)

by timbaros

bfi-london-film-festival-2016This year’s BFI London Film Festival looks to be one of the best in recent memory. The schedule is loaded with lots of must-see films by A-list filmmakers and A-list stars.

Here’s just a small selection of what’s on offer:

20151102-_auk0605_h_color-1mgThe Opening Night Gala on Wednesday October 5th is ‘A United Kingdom.’ David Oyelowo plays Sir Seretse Kharma, an African president who marries a white English woman – it’s a postwar relationship that shocked two continents. Rosamund Pike plays the English woman; the film is directed by Amma Asante (‘Belle’).

‘King Cobra’ is definitely one of the most scandalous films shown at the festival. A young man travels to Los Angeles at the urging of a sleazy gay porn producer (Christian Slater) to be his next star. A parallel story has James Franco as another gay porn producer who is in a relationship with his young male star. There’s lots of skin in this film which is based on the real life story of former gay porn star Brent Corrigan.

A film getting lots of excellent buzz is ‘Moonlight.’ It takes place in Miami in the 1980’s and focuses on one man’s journey through three stages of his life. He’s black and gay, and we witness key moments that made him the man he is. Compelling, with excellent performances all around. Naomie Harris plays his crack-addicted mother.

‘The 13th’ is a documentary that uses archival footage and contemporary interviews to discuss what the American constitution’s 13th amendment means to people of color in this day and age of Black Lives Matter.

la_la_land_dancingExpect ‘La La Land’ to garner lots of acclaim during next year’s awards season. It’s Director Damien Chazelle’s (‘Whiplash’) bitter-sweet love letter to Los Angeles and the golden era of Hollywood musicals, bringing together an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) and a struggling musician (Ryan Gosling).

‘Manchester by the Sea’ has Casey Affleck giving an indelible performance as Lee, a man whose sparse existence is suddenly ruptured when the death of his brother Joe forces him to return to the hometown he abandoned years ago. Also stars Michelle Williams.

Lupita Nyong'o and Madina Nalwanga star in the triumphant true story QUEEN OF KATWE, directed by Mira Nair.

Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga star in the triumphant true story QUEEN OF KATWE, directed by Mira Nair.

‘The Queen of Katwe’ is based on the true story of young Ugandan chess champion Phiona Mutesi. Despite being unable to read or write, she has a natural aptitude for strategic thinking. Starring Lupita Nyong’o and introducing Madina Nalwanga as Mutesi.

Science fiction film ‘Arrival’ has Amy Adams, alongside scientist Jeremy Renner, as a linguistics professor who is brought into the government to decipher the language when a group of extra-terrestrials make contact. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario).

‘London Town’ is set in 1979 when a bright-eyed teenager attempts to juggle too many responsibilities and falls for a confident punk and together they experience the music scene that’s a whole new world to them.

Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire) plays a man who was orphaned in India and brought up by adoptive parents in Australia in ‘Lion.’ He soon discovers the truth about his origins. It’s a real-life story on the life of Saroo Brierly; Nicole Kidman plays his adoptive mother and Rooney Mara plays his girlfriend.

What would happen if a famous and well-known footballer was gay? Well, in ‘The Pass,’ two aspiring Premier League footballers (Russell Tovey and Arinzé Kene) share a passionate night while sharing a hotel room right before a big game, a night which profoundly impacts Tovey’s characters life. Hard-hitting stuff with great performances.

Wonderkind director Xavier Dolan (Lawrence Anyways) presents his latest film ‘It’s Only the End of the World.’ A terminally ill writer returns home to break the news of his debilitating condition to his estranged family. It’s lots of sadness and sorrow – typical of a Dolan movie. With Marion Cottilard.

50805_AA_4609_v2F Academy Award nominee Amy Adams stars as Susan Morrow in writer/director Tom Ford’s romantic thriller NOCTURNAL ANIMALS, a Universal Pictures International release. Credit: Merrick Morton/Universal Pictures International

Tom Ford presents his second film (the first was the well-received ‘A Single Man’) with ‘Nocturnal Animals.’ One of the festivals must-see films, the film focuses on Susan (Amy Adams), a glamorous and accomplished Los Angeles gallery director whose current marriage appears to be unravelling, and who fuels her insomnia by reading the manuscript of a disturbing novel – written and sent to her by her ex-husband (Jake Gyllenhaal). Expect lots of lush scenery and fabulous costumes. With Aaron Taylor-Johnson.

Sacha_9240.NEF

Sacha_9240.NEF

Oliver Stone directs and Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars in ‘Snowden,’ a supercharged political thriller about Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who leaked classified information from the United States National Security Agency in 2013. This film is a dramatic recreation of ‘Citizen Four’ – the documentary about reporter Laura Poitras (played by Melissa Leo) and journalist Glenn Greenwald (Zachary Pinto) and their many meetings with Snowden.

The Closing Night gala, on Sunday October 16th, is Ben Wheatley’s ‘Free Fire’ (he directed last year’s poorly received ‘High Rise’). It’s the tale of gangsters and guns set in Boston in the 1970’s. A top level cast includes Cillian Murphy and recent Best Actress Oscar winner Brie Larson.

The 60th BFI London Film Festival will screen a total of 193 fiction and 52 documentary features, including 18 World Premieres, 8 International Premieres, and 39 European Premieres. There will also be screenings of 144 short films, including documentary, live action and animated works.

Taking place over 12 days, the Festival’s screenings are at venues across the capital, from the West End cinemas – Vue West End and the iconic Odeon Leicester Square; central London venues – BFI Southbank, BFI IMAX, Picturehouse Central, the ICA, Curzon Mayfair, Curzon Soho, Haymarket, Prince Charles Cinema and Ciné Lumière; and local cinemas – the Ritzy in Brixton, Hackney Picturehouse and Curzon Chelsea. Festival visitors will be able to enjoy a brand new cinema experience with Competition and Strand Galas presented at the new Embankment Garden Cinema, in the beautiful Victoria Embankment Gardens.
Stars so far confirmed to walk on the red carpet include: Oyelowo, Pike, Sigourney Weaver and Liam Neeson (A Monster Calls), Casey Affleck, Adams, Tovey, Nyong’o, Renner, Kidman, Patel, Ford and Taylor-Johnson, and Cotillard.
Festival Information & Ticket Booking:

Telephone Bookings: 020 7928 3232 between 10:00 – 20:30
Online: www.bfi.org.uk/lff

In person: BFI Southbank Office: 11:00 – 20:30

THE 60TH BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS®

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