27th Feb2017

Academy Award Winners (Film)

by timbaros

1051065393The Academy Awards were handed out last night and it was almost La La Land that took Best Picture but the true winner was Moonlight and the mix up was quickly resolved to allow Moonlight’s producers to graciously accept their award.

La La Land did not leave empty-handed; it won six awards on the night, including Best Director (Damian Chazelle) and Best Actress (Emma Stone), among others. Casey Affleck won for Best Actor while Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor. Best Supporting Actress was awarded to Viola Davis for Fences.

Here is a complete list of winners:




“Hacksaw Ridge”

“Hell or High Water”

“Hidden Figures”

“La La Land”


“Manchester by the Sea”

“Moonlight” (WINNER)



Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”

Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”

Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”

Denzel Washington in “Fences”



Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”

Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight” (WINNER)

Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”

Dev Patel in “Lion”

Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”



Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”

Ruth Negga in “Loving”

Natalie Portman in “Jackie”

Emma Stone in “La La Land” (WINNER)

Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”



Nicole Kidman in “Lion”

Viola Davis in “Fences” (WINNER)

Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”

Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”

Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”



“Kubo and the Two Strings”


“My Life as a Zucchini”

“The Red Turtle”

“Zootopia” (WINNER)



“La La Land” (WINNER)






“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” (WINNER)

“Florence Foster Jenkins”


“La La Land”



“Arrival” – Denis Villeneuve

“Hacksaw Ridge” – Mel Gibson

“La La Land” – Damien Chazelle (WINNER)

“Manchester by the Sea” – Kenneth Lonergan

“Moonlight” – Barry Jenkins


“Fire at Sea”

“I Am Not Your Negro”

“Life, Animated”

“O.J.: Made in America” (WINNER)




“4.1 Miles”

“Joe’s Violin”

“Watani: My Homeland”

“The White Helmets” (WINNER)



“Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)

“Hell or High Water”

“La La Land”



“Land of Mine”

“A Man Called Ove”

“The Salesman” (WINNER)


“Toni Erdmann”


“A Man Called Ove”

“Star Trek Beyond”

“Suicide Squad” (WINNER)



“La La Land” (WINNER)





“Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”

“Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”

“City Of Stars” from “La La Land” (WINNER)

“The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”

“How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”



“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“Hail, Caesar!”

“La La Land” (WINNER)



“Blind Vaysha”

“Borrowed Time”

“Pear Cider and Cigarettes”


“Piper” (WINNER)


“Ennemis Intérieurs”

“La Femme et le TGV”

“Silent Nights”

“Sing” (WINNER)



“Arrival” (WINNER)

“Deepwater Horizon”

“Hacksaw Ridge”

“La La Land”




“Hacksaw Ridge” (WINNER)

“La La Land”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”


“Deepwater Horizon”

“Doctor Strange”

“The Jungle Book” (WINNER)

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”




“Hidden Figures”


“Moonlight” (WINNER)


“Hell or High Water”

“La La Land”

“The Lobster”

“Manchester by the Sea” (WINNER)

“20th Century Women”

25th Feb2017

Academy Award Predictions (Film)

by timbaros

464191912_oscar-academy-awards-zoom-bb836c56-be14-43f3-9559-a4bd8253d5b7It’s been a great year for movies, and it all culminates on Sunday night with the award show to end all award shows – the Academy Awards. Herewith are my annual predictions as to what should win, and more importantly, what will win:

Best Picture:
The Academy saw it fit to nominate 9 films in this category (why not round it to 10? Perhaps Jackie or The Lobster?).
Almost all the films nominated in this category deserve to be here, with the exception of Arrival – it just wasn’t that good!
Should win: Moonlight – a beautifully told film about a young black man growing up gay in Miami. It could slip through and win on the heals of it’s rave reveiws and the ‘Oscars so White’ campaign of last year, but ‘La La Land’ is still the odds-on favorite to win.
Will win: La La Land. Hollywood loves films about itself (remember the all-star movie ‘Crash’ which shockingly won ten years ago over Brokeback Mountain?) La La Land has picked up the BAFTA and the Golden Globe awards – and it’s on track to win this category – even though it is not an excellent film.
Other nominees: Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, Lion and Manchester by the Sea

Best Actor:
There is no contest in this category. Casey Affleck will deservedly win for his performance as a man struck by tragedy and who who has to raise the teenage son of his dead brother in Manchester by the Sea. None of the other acting nominees stand a chance as Affleck has won every award for this performance. He’s a much better actor than his brother, Ben.
Should and will win: Affleck
Other nominees: Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge, Ryan Gosling for La La Land, Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic and Denzel Washington for Fences.

Best Actress:
This category is hard to call. It’s a three-way race, and it’s anyone’s guess as to whose name will appear on the envelope. Emma Stone has won the BAFTA and Golden Globe (Comedy or Musical) for La La Land, however, Isabelle Huppert also won a Golden Globe (Drama) and is the sentimental favorite for her performance in Elle where she plays a woman who tracks down the man who raped her. A few months ago this award would’ve gone to Natalie Portman for her stunning performance in Jackie, however, the film was not great and it failed to get Best Picture, director or writing nominations. I’m not too sure why Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenikins was included, her performance was OK but Viola Davis for Fences really does belong in this category and not Supporting Actress.
Should win: Huppert – she is one of the France’s most iconic actress of all time and she’s been ignored by the Academy until now. She’s been nominated for the César Award (French Oscars) 16 times.
Will win: Stone. She will piggy-back on La La Land’s momentum on the night and win in this category.
Other nominee: Ruth Negga for Loving.

Best Supporting Actor: This is a category where any one of the actors nominated deserves to win. Dev Patel just won the BAFTA for Lion, while Mahershala Ali is gaining momentum for his portrayal of a drug dealer who befriends a young black child in Moonlight, and Jeff Bridges’ rancher in Hell or High Water has won several film critics awards. Michael Shannon was the second best thing in Nocturnal Animals – however, it was Aaron Taylor Johnson who had the meatiest role – he should’ve also been nominated in this category (he won the Golden Globe) but wasn’t.
Should win: Mahershalla Ali’s performance was exquisite.
Will win: Ali.
Other nominee is Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea

Supporting Actress: This is the easiest category to call. Viola Davis has it all sewn up for her role in Fences where she plays Denzel Washington’s suffering wife. It’s a role thats leading and not supporting, but she’s in this category and will win. The other women don’t even stand a chance.
Should and will win: Davis
Other nominees: Naomie Harris for Moonlight, Nicole Kidman for Lion, Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures, and Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea.

Best Director: Damien Chazelle will win for La La Land as it’s the film to beat, an award he’s getting for his celebration of Los Angeles/Hollywood in his film. He’s won almost every other directing award this year, including the all-important Directors Guild of America Award which guarantees him a win in this category.
Should win: Barry Jenkins for Moonlight. It’s a film that’s different in so many ways – it’s about struggle, race, discrimination, acceptance, homophobia – themes that are so relevant in today’s crazy political environment, and Jenkins captures it beautifully.
Will win: Chazelle
Other nominees: Denis Villeneuve for Arrival, Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge and Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea.

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): Moonlight will and should win this award for the reasons mentioned above. Jenkins, with the story by Tarell Alvin McCraney, is the standout in this category. Other nominees: include Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures and Lion.

Writing (Original Screenplay): Chazelle will take the statuette in this category for a film that is as original as they come.
Should win: Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea because it’s a pull at your heartstrings kind of film that’s packs a strong punch.
Will win: Chazelle
Other nominees include Hell or High Water, The Lobster and 20th Century Women.

Best Animated Feature Film: Zootopia should and will win this award. It’s Disney and they’ve got a good track record in this category. Other nominees include Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini and The Red Turtle.
The 89th Annual Academy Awards will be shown live on television here in the UK on Sunday night/Monday morning on Sky Cinena (channel 304) at 1:30 a.m. For those of you who are unable to stay up all night to watch the show, an Oscar highlights show will air on Monday night at 10:00 p.m. on Sky Living (221).

28th Sep2013

Prisoners – Film

by timbaros

hugh_jackman_in_prisoners_38370Two young girls are snatched right outside their homes and their parents, along with the police, frantically try to find them in the very dramatic and highly suspenseful new film, Prisoners.

The two girls are the daughters of two couples, one white couple, the Dovers (Keller and Grace, played by an amazing Hugh Jackman and Mario Bello), and one black couple, the Birches (Franklin and Nancy, played by Terrence Howard and Viola Davis). A mysterious R.V. was seen parked in their neighborhood earlier that morning, and the girls were last seen playing outside of their homes on Thanksgiving Day.

Once both families realize the girls are missing, they notify the police and band together to search the surrounding area, including the woods, for them. The police investigation, headed up by Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal), is quick to find the van and it’s driver Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but there is no sign of the two girls. After attempting to run away from Loki, and not doing a good job of it as he smashes his van into a tree, Jones is quickly arrested and held for 48 hours. Jones has child kidnapper written all over his face: he has long hair, with glasses too large for his face, he is extremely introverted, and just very scary-looking, but he is adamant that he had nothing to do with the kidnappings. Keller Dover thinks otherwise. He knows in his gut that Jones is guilty, and once Jones is released after not being charged, Keller gets obsessed and follows him everywhere.

Then one night after he sees Jones trying to strangle a dog near his home, he kidnaps Jones and takes him to a run-down apartment building that Keller’s father once owned. Keller ties him up and repeatedly beats him, asking for the whereabouts of the two girls. Franklin Birch reluctantly helps Keller and for a few days both of them continue to beat and torture Jones, but Jones continues to not say anything helpful. In the meantime, at a candlelight vigil for the girls, Loki notices a young man acting funny. The man sees that he was noticed, and he drops his candle and runs away. Loki goes after him but loses him. Could this be the guy who kidnapped the girls?

Loki gets just enough information about the guy to find out who he is and where he lives. He is finally captured and taken into police custody, but he grabs Loki’s gun in the interrogation room and shoots himself in the mouth. Meanwhile, a search of his house reveals an unusual collection of snakes, and graffiti all over. Is this the end of the investigation?

Meanwhile, Keller continues to be very angry at Loki for not doing enough in the investigation, and blows up after he catches Loki following him. So who kidnapped the two girls? Are they still alive? Why doesn’t Loki do more to search for Jones who has been missing for days? As for Jones’ aunt whom he lives with, Holly (Melissa Leo), why doesn’t she seemed too concerned for Alex’s whereabouts? Why did Keller Dover meet detective Loki the day after the girls went missing and not on the night day they went missing? And the one question I really want to know the answer to: Why were the dirty dishes from Thanksgiving still in the kitchen a few days after the girls went missing? Didn’t the family have other family members/friends who could’ve helped with cleanup for the distraught parents?

The problem with Prisoners is that it raises more questions than it answers. There are several plot holes in the film, especially in the last 30 minutes when the resolution of the mystery of the disappearance of the two girls take place. But then more questions come up. Why didn’t Alex Jones speak up? What was the Aunt’s reasoning behind what she did? Why wasn’t Grace Keller upset that her husband went missing? And my question: Why was this film close to two hours and twenty six minutes long? When Prisoners is at its conclusion, it is not really concluded, as there is one major character who is missing and had not been found by the end of the film. Will he be found? We will never know.

The performances in Prisoners are what save it from being a really bad film. Hugh Jackman is riveting as the father of one or the missing girls. The horror on his face when he realizes that they are missing is so real, so emotional, so raw. He is the star of this film, and it won’t surprise me if he gets nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award. His performance overshadows all other performances in this film and is his best performance ever. Paul Dano is also excellent as the creepy Alex Jones, who seems to be hiding something but won’t/can’t say what it is. Also his best performance ever.

Viola Davis as Nancy Birch is also very good as the mother who is in pain, longing for her daughter to return, as does Maria Bello as Nancy Birch. All other performances in this film are just okay. Gyllenhaal as Detective Loki gives an under-the-radar performance, not his best role, as does Terence Howard as Franklin Birch, and Melissa Leo as Holly Jones. But fault is found with writer Aaron Guzikowski for his long-winded script, and to director Denis Villeneuve for not realizing that the story he is trying to tell starts becoming unbelievable as the film goes on, and on, and on.