03rd Jan2016

The Danish Girl (Film)

by timbaros


Oscar-winning Director Tom Hooper (‘The Kings Speech’) and Oscar-winning Actor Eddie Redmayne (‘The Theory of Everything’) bring us the life of a male Dutch artist who, with the support from his wife, becomes a woman, in the new film ‘The Danish Girl.’

Based on the book of the same name by David Ebershoff, ‘The Danish Girl’ tells the real life story of Einar Wegener (Redmayne) who never felt right as a man so he decides to transition into a woman, being one of the first known recipients ever of sex reassignment surgery. It was with the support of his wife and fellow painter Gerde Wegener (Alicia Vikander) that gave him the courage and hope that helped him through the transition to live the rest of his life as Lili Elbe. But the film portrays Einar’s transition and Gerde’s acceptance as a dull one, there are no real revelations, nothing exciting about the story, and even Redmayne’s performance is a bit under the radar. It’s Vikander who steals the movie right from under Redmayne’s corset.

The movie tells us that Einar’s interest in all things Transgender suddenly happened when Gerde asked him to fill in for a female model who didn’t show up for one of her painting sessions. So she asks him to put on a dress so that she can finish the painting. He likes the way it feels, but more importantly he likes the way he looks in it, and this suddenly (a bit too suddenly) awakens Einar’s inner woman. This takes place in 1926 while the couple was living in the liberal land of Copenhagen, though such things were not done, nor not even discussed back then. But with Gerde’s full support, and help, Einar starts dressing up as a woman outside of their house. Things get a bit more complicated when another man, Henrick (Ben Whishaw) takes an interest in Einar, who by this time has started calling himself Lili.

Gerde is asked to go to Paris so that she can work for a local art dealer, and while her career flourishes, their marriage slowly dissolves. And a childhood friend of Einar’s/Lili’s, Hans (Matthias Schoenaerts) shows up and forms a complex triangle with the couple. And it’s not long before Einar goes ahead with the surgery that will take away his manhood.

‘The Danish Girl’ is dull. It’s not a sweeping European love story where love conquers all in the midst of one man’s gender confusion and one woman’s loyalty to such man. Hooper’s direction can’t bring Lucinda Coxon’s boring script to life. Not even the actors can accomplish this. Redmayne is good as Einar/Lili, yet there were times when I thought I was still watching him play Stephen Hawking. It’s his eyes, he blinks them quite a lot in this film, just like the way he did in ‘The Theory of Everything.’  However, ‘The Danish Girl’ is pretty much Vikander’s movie. She’s beautiful and emotional and accepting when the times call for it – it’s just as good a performance as Felicity Jones was as in ‘The Theory of Everything.’ Vikander’s star is on a meteoric rise, having appeared in three films this past year (‘Ex Machina,’ ‘The Man from U.N.C.L.E.’ and ‘Burnt’). She’s currently filming the fifth Bourne Identity film with Matt Damon and Tommy Lee Jones and has two other features coming out in 2016. I was very disappointed that ‘The Danish Girl’ was not as good as I had hoped, perhaps it might be better to read the actual book, and skip the movie.

16th Mar2015

The Entertainment Website Readers Choice Best in Film

by timbaros

images-346Voting in The Entertainment Website Readers Choice Best in Film ended last week and the readers have spoken. You’ve chosen American Sniper as the Best Film last year. It easily won this category, taking 33% of the vote. Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game and Whiplash all tied for second.

images-311Eddie Redmayne was the overwhelming choice for Best Actor – taking 50% of the vote in this category – for his performance in The Theory of Everything (which recently won him an Oscar). Ben Affleck for Gone Girl and Jack O’Connell for ’71 (surprisingly) were next.

images-347Rosamund Pike was chosen as your favorite performance by an Actress. The Gone Girl star was the overwhelming favorite in this category. Julianne Moore for Still Alice and Reese Witherspoon for Wild were behind Pike’s win.

JK Simmons took 75% of the best performance by a Supporting Actor vote – the highest percentage of all the winners – for his role in Whiplash. Ethan Hawke was far behind for second place.

There was a three-way tie for Supporting Actress. Recent Oscar winner for Boyhood Patricia Arquette tied with Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game and Emma Stone for Birdman.

Your choice for Best Director was NOT recent Oscar winner Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu for Birdman, nor was it critic’s darling Richard Linklater for Boyhood, it was Clint Eastwood for American Sniper. The 84 year-old Eastwood proves that age doesn’t matter and that he’s still on top of his game.

The Lego Movie was chosen as your favorite Animated film.

Thanks to you, the readers, for taking the time to vote. We can’t wait to see your choices next year!

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!

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.