Film, List, News, Opinion

OSCARS 2016

So, the Oscar’s are over for another year. The 88th Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock, was an eventful night filled with some the usual safe bets and surprises, but the night was owned by Leonardo DiCaprio, who finally brought home an Oscar, simultaneously breaking the hearts of GIF creator’s the world over.  

Rock was a strong host, hitting the ground running with an opening monologue that tackled the #OscarsSoWhite scandal that has dominated awards season head on, introducing the Academy as the “white people’s choice awards.”

Comedy has long been an effective means of exploring serious issues and Rock did so wonderfully. His speech was effective and well needed, addressing the nature of institutionalised racism and also tackling the calls that he himself resign as host, quipping that he didn’t want to “lose another job to Kevin Hart.”

But what about the actual awards? Here is the lowdown of the big wins from the night…

Best Picture:

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source: E Online

Winner: Spotlight

Nominated: The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Bridge of Spies, The Big Short, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Picture was a strong category this year and there have been various favourites over the course of the season, but it was Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight that came out on top.

The film is deserving of the top award – a sobering look at the true life child abuse scandal uncovered by the Boston Globe’s spotlight team in 2001. It would have been a shame to see a film that feels so undoubtedly important go home empty handed, and whilst more understated than some of the nominees – The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road being the obvious examples – the film packs an emotional gut punch.

I was holding out on futile hopes for underdog Brooklyn, my personal favourite from the nominees, but I don’t think there can be any real qualms about Spotlight’s deserved victory.

Best Actor:

Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

Nominated: Matt Damon (The Martian), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Bryan Cranston (Trumbo)

Could it really be anyone else? The six-time nominated Leonardo DiCaprio has been the hotly tipped favourite to win for months now, and his long-awaited win for his lead role in The Revenant delivered on the promise.

At the end of the day, he deserved it. He should have received one years ago, and The Revenant shows the actor take on yet another challenging role that required him to push himself more than ever before.

His speech was fantastic, a testament to the fact that DiCaprio genuinely seems to be a very humble man. From his shoutout to “my brother in this endeavour” Tom Hardy to the passionate conclusion where he homed in on the climate issues that got him interested in The Revenant, the speech was one of the highlights of the night.

The reception from the crowd spoke volumes – DiCaprio received a standing ovation when he was announced as the winner, and the camera showed the reactions of his comrades as he made his speech. Particularly lovely was the pride on Kate Winslet’s face and the pure unadulterated glee from Hardy.

Had it been another year, I believe Bryan Cranston could have been in with a real chance for his fabulous turn as Dalton Trumbo, but this year was all about DiCaprio, meaning that the strong performances from the other nominees have been somewhat lost in translation.

Best Actress:

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source: E Online

Winner: Brie Larson (Room)

Nominated: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

Another fully deserving winner, Brie Larson was incredible in Room. Playing a young woman who was kidnapped as a teenager and has a child (Jacob Tremblay), fathered by her captor, that she attempts to shield from the horrors of their reality, Larson gave without a doubt one of the standout performances of the cinematic year.

Every actress gave a great performance, but it was Larson who stuck out as the most raw and emotional of the lot. Her speech was also hopelessly endearing, as is her cute friendship with young co-star Tremblay.

Best Supporting Actor:

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source: Forbes

Winner: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

Nominated: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

Probably one of the biggest surprises of the night (to me at least) was Mark Rylance scooping the Best Supporting Actor award in an insanely tough category that included Tom Hardy, Christian Bale and Mark Ruffalo.

Whilst I haven’t seen Bridge of Spies and am sure that Rylance gave a great performance, I can’t help but feel that the award is out of a sense of obligation that any film by Steven Spielberg should not only receive nominations but must win something.

Every actor in this category gave a performance that stood out in some way – Ruffalo and Hardy in particular really could easily have won – but the nostalgic choice would have been to honour Sylvester Stallone for his turn in Creed, 40 years on from his win for the original Rocky.

Stallone delivered his best performance in years and was genuinely as deserving of the award as any other nominee, and the romantic in me would have loved to see him take it home. Congratulations to Rylance, but I feel this may be a choice that will be looked back upon with befuddlement in the future.

Best Supporting Actress:

alicia-vikander-oscars-2016-2

source: Variety

Winner: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Nominated: Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

The Danish Girl really wasn’t that good, but without Alicia Vikander I am pretty sure it would be near unwatchable. The drone fest, which does no justice to the interesting characters it is based on, is such because of Tom Hooper’s uninspired direction, but Vikander is extremely strong as Gerda.

I still feel she should have been a contender for Best Actress as she is undoubtedly a main character, but she probably would not have been victorious in that category. Vikander brings nuance and emotion to her performance and the Oscar win is the perfect pay-off to what has been an incredible year for the actress (she also appeared in the critically acclaimed Ex Machina and fun caper The Man From U.N.C.L.E).

I would have liked to see Jennifer Jason Leigh get some love for what was a sensational turn in The Hateful Eight, but it is hard to begrudge Vikander’s thoroughly deserving win (even if the film itself isn’t great).

Best Adapted Screenplay:

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source: NY Times

Winner: The Big Short (Adam McKay and Charles Randolph)

Nominated: Brooklyn (Nick Hornby), Carol (Phyllis Nagy), The Martian (Drew Goddard), Room (Emma Donoghue)

The Big Short has been somewhat divisive, with many of the directorial choices McKay made being what some loved and others reviled about the film, but there aren’t many who can claim that it isn’t well written, condensing immensely complicated financial jargon and presenting it in an interesting way. McKay, who has been known for his comedy work until this point, used his acceptance speech to get political, saying:

“If you don’t want big money to control your government, don’t vote for candidates that take big money from banks, oil or weirdo billionaires.” 

Best Original Screenplay:

spotlight.jpg

source: CBS Local

Winner: Spotlight (Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy)

Nominated: Ex Machina (Alex Garland), Bridge of Spies (Matt Charman, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen), Inside Out (Josh Cooley, Pete Doctor, Meg LeFauve), Straight Outta Compton (Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff)

A well deserved winner, and one of Spotlight’s two wins of six nominations. The strength of the film lay in the writing – the very nature of investigative journalism made it a challenging story to bring to the screen and Singer and McCarthy crafted a script which communicated the story effectively without ever feeling like it was spoon feeding the audience.

The Revenant:

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source: The Verge

Nominations: 12

Wins: 3 – Best Actor, Best Director, Best Cinematography

Leading the pack with 12 nominations, The Revenant seemed like a sure-thing for winning plenty of awards, but the decision to grant Mad Max: Fury Road the majority of the technical categories meant that the film ended up only taking home three Oscars.

The three wins were fully deserving – Emmanuel Lubezki took home his third consecutive cinematography award following his work on Gravity and Birdman – and high profile. The lack of awards could also be down to the fact that the films Oscar campaign has mostly been focused on finally bagging DiCaprio his (fully deserved) award.

Alejandro G Inarritu won Best Director for the second year running, and whilst The Revenant may have failed to take home Best Picture there is no doubt that his dedication and attention to detail made him fully deserving of the statuette.

Mad Max: Fury Road:

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source: Metro

Nominations: 10

Wins: 6 – Best Costume Design, Best Make-Up and Hair Styling, Best Production Design, Best Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing

In terms of number of awards, Mad Max: Fury Road was the winner of the night after receiving a surprising 10 nominations and scooping up six of them. It is great to see the Academy open its mind to the action genre, and whilst I haven’t seen the film it has been lauded as a genre best, so it is fitting that it did so well.

Some will be disappointed that director George Miller didn’t scoop Best Director for his meticulous work, but the gratitude and respect bestowed upon him in the acceptance speeches for each award made it clear how revered he is amongst those who made the film. With such a strong Best Director batch this year it was always going to be difficult to secure a win, but the nomination should not be taken lightly considering worthy candidates such as Todd Hayes didn’t make the cut.

A particular highlight was Miller’s wife Margaret Sevel receiving the Best Editing award and whilst the film may not have scooped any of the bigger awards, it is a positive step to see that the Academy did not ignore a summer blockbuster in the way it has tended to in the past.

Best Original Song:

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source: The Guardian

Winner: Writing’s On The Wall – Spectre (Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes)

While the latest Bond theme wasn’t welcomed by all fans, it shot to the top of the UK charts – a first for a Bond song – but it is hard not to find Sam Smith’s acceptance, which he dedicated to the LGBT community, endearing.

That said, Writing’s On The Wall is a decidedly weak entry into the Bond repertoire (which was going to be the case for anything that came after Adele and Skyfall), so whilst the win was unsurprising it would be a stretch to say it was deserving.

Empty Handed…

The Martian, Carol, Star Wars: The Force AwakensBrooklyn, SicarioSteve Jobs were just some of the films to go home empty handed in what has been, for better or worse, an extremely strong year in cinema. Until next year!

What did you think of the Oscars 2016? Share your comments below! 

 

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Film, Reviews

FILM REVIEW: TRUMBO

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Bryan Cranston as Dalton Trumbo. source: TV Daily 

Trumbo tells the story of Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten who was put to prison for defying the House of Un-American Activities Committee and placed on the blacklist. McCarthyism was a dark period for Hollywood, a time of paranoia and fear that saw many lives ruined, and whilst there have been countless cinematic adaptions of the period, Trumbo still feels like an important story to tell.

Jay Roach, probably best known for the Austin Powers movies, is confident in his direction.Aesthetically, the film has a gloss associated with the nostalgia of old Hollywood only to pull the rug as the narrative means the veneer gives way to the darkness beneath. Pair the polished visuals with a jazzy score and Trumbo is a treat for both the eyes and the ears.

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The real life Dalton Trumbo. source: Stuff

Cranston is nothing short of magnificent as Trumbo, perfectly embodying the spirit of the man who’s stubborn nature was both greatest strength and weakness. He anchors the entire film, keeping it strong through its wobblier moments. Particular highlights include a bittersweet speech and a magnificent display of the artistic process.

The supporting cast are a mixed bag, though John Goodman almost steals the show as B-movie producer Frank King, who perfectly conveys the more satirical and amusing moments. Helen Mirren almost threatens to go into pantomime villain area with her take on gossip columnist and HUAC-advocate Hedda Hopper, but it’s still fun to see her take on a bitchy role.

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Helen Mirren as Hedda Hopper. source: Screen Prism

Diane Lane is understated but strong as Cleo, Trumbo’s long suffering wife who, along with his children, has to deal with the reality of the blacklist, but also of Trumbo’s own stubborn idealism. Elle Fanning also brings a lot to what could have been a shallow background role as daughter Niki.

The film doesn’t work all the time – sometimes it feels like the glossy exterior is also masking some of the real horrors of the era. We see the impact on Trumbo’s family, but it feels isolated and it can be hard to forget that the blacklist impacted thousands. Louis C.K’s character can also be a distraction – whilst his deadpan deliveries are funny, his style is so associated with his stand-up that it can take you out of the film.

Trumbo is a good film that uses a comedic touch to tell a very serious story and with Cranston’s Oscar-worthy performance providing the beating heart, it is perpetually on the edge of greatness.

 

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Film, List

FEBRUARY IN FILM

A lowdown of the films hitting UK cinemas this month…

Dad’s Army

downloadDirected: Oliver Parker

Starring: Catherine Zeta Jones, Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon, Toby Jones, Tom Courtenay, Sarah Lanarcshire, Mark Gatiss

Will it be good?: Based on the beloved BBC sitcom of the same name, which ran from 1968 to 1977 and depicted the British Home Guard during WWII, the big-screen remake of Dad’s Army has a solid cast in its favour. UK acting veterans including Bill Nighy and Michael Gambon make up an ensemble cast which also features Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison. Director Oliver Parker and writer Hamish McColl have previously collaborated on 2011’s Johnny English Reborn, whilst the latter also penned Mr Bean’s Holiday (2007). With some proven talent both behind and in front of the camera, Dad’s Army looks set to be an enjoyable adaption for anyone fond of the original series, though the challenge comes in creating something that strikes the right balance between nostalgia and something new. The characters from the sitcom are also relatively iconic, leaving big shoes to fill for the actors who are taking on the roles – though their combined comedic talents suggest the new cast should be up to the challenge.

Goosebumps

goosebumps_xlg-655x1024Directed: Rob Letterman

Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Amy Ryan, Ryan Lee, Jillian Bell

Will it be good?: Based on the famous children’s book series by R.L Stein, Goosebumps is the latest vehicle for Jack Black. Director Rob Letterman has worked on the likes of Monsters Vs Aliens (2009) and Shark Tale (2005), as well as the critically reviled Jack Black starring Gulliver’s Travels (2010), suggesting a mixed bag that makes it hard to tell if this Goosebumps adaption will be successful. Then of course there is the issue of Jack Black, who’s back catalogue is so inconsistent it is almost impossible to predict what direction his latest venture will go in. The Goosebumps series has a whole array of different stories which would look good on the big screen, and the US reviews (the film was released last October stateside, making most of the Halloween market) suggest that the director has made the most of the selection. Critical reception in the US has also been surprisingly positive, suggesting that both Letterman and Black may have somewhat redeemed themselves whilst doing the Goosebumps series proud.

Point Break

pntbr_poster4Directed: Ericson Core

Starring: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Ray Winstone

Will it be good?: Kathryn Bigelow’s 1991 film Point Break starring Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves is looked back upon as a fun action classic – why Ericson Core has felt the need to remake it is something we will never know. The film has opened to negative reviews in the US, which comes as little surprise based on the trailers, which suggest that the film leans heavily on 3D to provide shallow thrills and, well, that;s about it. For anyone who wants gravity defying action with little substance, Point Break is the film for you. Critic reviews has summed the film up as a shallow and unnecessary remake of Bigelow’s much-loved original, and whilst Edgar Ramirez’s career is looking promising with his recent supporting role in Joy, it doesn’t look like he is enough to save this from becoming a forgettable bargain bin flick.

Trumbo

trumbo-poster-bryan-cranston-2Directed: Jay Roach

Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Elle Fanning, Helen Mirren, John Goodman, Louis C.K

Will it be good?: Since he broke bad and forever shook of the image of loveable buffoon Hal in Malcolm in the Middle, Bryan Cranston has been a sought after property in Hollywood, and he has earned himself a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his leading role in Trumbo. Based on the book Dalton Trumbo by Bruce Cook, the film tells the true story of the blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter. It’s an immediately interesting premise – the paranoia of McCarthyism is an inherently interesting concept, as dark as it was – and Cranston is sure to be magnificent in the lead role. Pair that with a strong supporting cast that includes the likes of Diane Lane, Helen Mirren and John Goodman and it is clear that this is a film with plenty of star power behind it. Jay Roach is best known for his work on comedies including the Austin Powers films and the first two installments in the Meet the Parents franchise. Much like the case with Adam McKay and The Big Short, Trumbo’s success will be largely based on Roach’s ability to balance comedic moments with the dramatic heft required to tell this story.

Deadpool

download (1)Directed: Tim Miller

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Moerna Baccarin, Ed Skrein, T.J Miller

Will it be good?: Everything appears to be in place and it looks like fans are finally getting the Deadpool film they have been seeking so desperately ever since the cult favourite character was butchered in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Test footage and trailers suggest that things are finally being done right – writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese have a strong back catalogue that includes the critically adored Zombieland (2009). The film is the directorial debut of Tim Miller, who is best known for his work as the creative director on opening sequences of films such as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011) and Thor: The Dark World (2013). This suggests Miller has a real creative flair – but can a first time director carry the weight of expectations from fans who have been disappointed before? Ryan Reynolds is back in the role, and it is clear that the charismatic leading man is determined to nail it second time around, so the chances of the film totally missing the mark are low.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

download (2)Directed: Burr Steers

Starring: Lily James, Sam Riley, Jack Huston, Bella Heathcoate, Douglas Booth, Suki Waterhouse, Matt Smith, Lena Heady

Will it be good?: Probably one of the weirdest films to be coming out this month, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is based on the parody novel by Seth Grahame-Green, which is based on the famous Jane Austin novel. A comedy horror which envisions the Victorian era as one that is in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, the film won’t appeal to everyone. That said, it has a decent cast attached to it with the likes of former Doctor Who star Matt Smith and Game of Thrones alumni Lena Heady. It’s a fun twist on a classic novel and it will be fun to see the prim propriety of the era juxtaposed with gory zombie horror – think Sean of the Dead (2004) set a century earlier. Burr Steers is best known for his teen comedy 17 Again (2009), so it is hard to tell how he will handle the horror elements, but fans but fans of the book are likely to enjoy this thoroughly different release.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip

alvin-road-chip-poster-2Directed: Walt Becker

Starring: Jason Lee, Tony Hale, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, Justin Long, Jesse McCartney

Will it be good?: There’s a good chance that, like all previous Alvin and the Chipmunk movies, this is a film that most likely won’t appeal to anyone over the age of five. Why do they keep making these movies? The film opened in the US at the end of last year to resoundingly negative reviews (big surprise there) and it has also been nominated for a total of three Razzie awards, including nominations for the voice work of Jason Lee and Kaley Cuoco. Hopefully this will be enough to bring the sorry franchise to a halt – though the fact that it has managed to make it to a fourth film suggests that this might not be the end.

A Bigger Splash

a-bigger-splashDirected: Luca Guadagnino

Starring: Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Matthias Schoenaerts, Dakota Johnson

Will it be good?: The latest film from Italian director Luca Guadagnino – frequent collaborator with Tilda Swinton – looks set to be interesting. Mixing established talents such as Swinton and Ralph Fiennes with the rising talents of Matthias Schoenaerts and Dakota Johnson, the film is loosely based on 1969 film La Piscine. The erotic thriller was released in Italy last November to generally positive reviews and the trailers suggest it will be an edgy affair. The trailers look like Fiennes in particular is having the time of his life and with such a heady mix of talent, A Bigger Splash is sure to be an intense affair.

Jem and the Holograms

JemposterDirected: Jon M Chu

Starring: Audrey Peeples, Stefanie Scott, Aurora Perrineau, Hayley Kiyoka, Ryan Guzman, Molly Ringwald, Juliette Lewis

Will it be good?: Based on the 1980’s animated TV series, Jem and the Holograms tells the story of a young singer who becomes an overnight Youtube sensation. Nashville actress Aubrey Peeples is in the lead role, and 1980’s sweetheart also shows up for a rare supporting gig. Jon M Chu’s previous work includes a couple of the Step Up sequels and Justin Beiber film Never Say Never (2011). It has taken the film months to make it to the UK after it opened in the US to negative reivews. The trailer doesn’t offer anything particularly promising and it appears that at best the film is a paint by numbers musical drama that is unlikely to appeal to anyone outside of its tween target audience.

Concussion

concussion2015Directed: Peter Landesman

Starring: Will Smith, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Luke Wilson

Will it be good?: Concussion tells the real life story of Dr.Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian forensic pathologist who went up against the NFL after discovering a disorder known as ‘Game Brain’. It is Peter Landesman’s second film and has Will Smith in the lead role, with a strong supporting cast that includes Alec Baldwin. Reviews in the US have been positive, with Smith in particular being singled out for his strong central performance (there have been comments that he may have been snubbed by the Academy and is deserving of a Best Actor nomination). From my point of view, Smith hasn’t been at the top of his game for a long time and his performances as of late are increasingly reminiscent of clutching at straws, but it seems like Concussion is an interesting role for the actor and could be a return to Smith at his best. With the #OscarsSoWhite scandal continuing to rage on it will be interesting to see if his performance lives up to the hype.

Zoolander 2

zoolander-2-posterDirected: Ben Stiller

Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Benedict Cumberbatch

Will it be good?: Comedy sequels are notoriously hard to get right – most fall into the trap of becoming a blow by blow repeat of the original (The Hangover 2 being a prime example), whilst the other danger is being unable to live up to the often insane levels of hype (Dumb and Dumber To, coming in over a decade after the original, was blighted by this issue from the start). Zoolander 2 has arguably already succumbed to the latter issue, but who knows if it will be able to deliver. Ben Stiller is back in the directors chair and titular role, and just like the first installment he has an all-star cast behind him. Establishing a new story whilst remaining faithful to fans of the original will be the biggest challenge, but there is no doubt that people will turn out to see the long awaited sequel.

The Finest Hours

TheFinestHoursTheatricalPosterDirected: Craig Gillespie

Starring: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Eric Bana

Will it be good?: Telling the true story of the 1952 US coastguard rescue of the 55 Pendleton during a huge storm, The Finest Hours looks set to be a good old fashioned rescue story. Craig Gillespie is best known for much smaller scale films including Lars and the Real Girl (2007) and the 2011 Fright Night remake, so it will be interesting to see how he handles film-making on a larger scale. The film boasts an impressive cast including Chris Pine and Casey Affleck, but there is plenty of room to fall into done to death cliche with a story of this nature. The film has been produced by Disney and is set to be released in both 3D and IMAX formats, which suggest that it will be family friendly and attempting to cash in on the sea-faring visuals. It is likely that The Finest Hours will be as enjoyable as it is unoriginal.

How to be Single

How-To-Be-Single-Movie-PosterDirected: Christian Ditter

Starring: Rebel Wilson, Dakota Johnson, Alison Brie, Leslie Mann

Will it be good?: How to be Single is the latest Drew Barrymore produced romantic comedy from the writer behind numerous films including He’s Just Not That Into You (2009). The film is based on the book by Liz Tuccillo, who also wrote self-help book, you guessed it, He’s Just Not That Into You. The film’s cast includes rising star and 50 Shades of Grey (2015) actress Dakota Johnson, alongside Rebel Wilson of Pitch Perfect fame and Leslie Mann. It looks like a fairly straightforward film about a girl who is faced with a break-up and must be taught by her friends how to deal with the single life. The film looks set to be decidedly average, but will be sure to be a fun Friday night movie.

Grimsby

3351_the-brothers-grimsby_2DD7Directed: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Sacha Baron Cohen, Mark Strong, Rebel Wilson, Isla Fisher

Will it be good?: The latest comedy vehicle for Sacha Baron Cohen will see him play a typical Englishman from Grimsby, who finds his long-lost twin (Mark Strong), a special agent. Baron Cohen is a divisive comic – whilst some find his various characters, which include Borat (2006), Bruno (2009) and The Dictator (2012), hilarious, whilst others find him tedious and offensive. This latest film looks like more of the same and is therefore likely to appeal to the actors existing fans without attracting many new ones. Louise Leterrier is known for his work on the first two Transporter films (2002/05) and The Incredible Hulk (2008), so he is at least likely to produce well-handled action scenes, but don’t expect much in the way of laughs (if it’s not obvious, I’m not a huge Baron Cohen fan).

The Forest

download (3)Directed: Jason Zada

Starring: Natalie Dormor, Taylor Kinney

Will it be good?: A supernatural horror starring Game of Thrones actress Natalie Dormor, The Forest has received generally negative reviews since it was released in the US. It is Jason Zada’s directorial debut and horror is a hard genre to stand out in, though Dormor is somewhat of a rising star with her supporting role in the latter films of the Hunger Game franchise and her performance has received praise in spite of the lackluster reception to the rest of the film. The Forest will be a welcome outing to horror films, with January being a somewhat horror-free month for cinema released, but the chances of it being remembered as a genre classic is somewhat low.

Secret in Their Eyes

download (4)Directed: Billy Ray

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofer, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts

Will it be good?: A remake of the 2009 Argentine film of the same name, which is based on the 2005 novel, Secret in Their Eyes boasts an all star cast and boasts a director and co-writer who’s previous credits include penning The Hunger Games (2012) and Captain Philips (2013), the latter of which won him an Oscar. This all points towards a strong final product, but the film has so far been met with mixed reviews from critics. That said, it is hard not to take note of such a strong cast and it looks like Secret in Their Eyes could be a more than passable thriller.

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Film, List, Opinion

OSCARS 2016: ACTING PREDICTIONS

PicMonkey Collage

The nominations are in! Yesterday saw the 2016 Academy Award nominations finally be announced ahead of the ceremony next month. There were plenty of sure bets, with The Revenant leading the pack at 12 nominations, but also some welcome surprises with Mad Max: Fury Road getting 10 nominations. Now that we can all be done speculating over who would be nominated, we can get onto speculating about who will win – here are my predictions for the acting categories…

Best Actor

Bryan Cranston Trumbo (1st nomination)

Matt DamonThe Martian (3rd acting nomination)

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant (6th nomination)

Michael FassbenderSteve Jobs (2nd nomination)

Eddie RedmayneThe Danish Girl (2nd nomination)

Who will win? It’s a tough call between DiCaprio and Redmayne. All hilarious jokes aside, DiCaprio probably deserves it more as it looks like his work on The Revenant was another level, but The Danish Girl is as oscar-baiting as they come and that could see DiCaprio losing out for another year.

Best Actress:

Cate BlanchettCarol (7th nomination)

Brie LarsonRoom (1st nomination)

Jennifer LawrenceJoy (4th nomination)

Charlotte Rampling 45 Years (1st nomination)

Saoirse RonanBrooklyn (2nd nomination)

Who will win? I think Blanchett probably has this in the bag, especially given the fact that Carol has been snubbed for Best Picture. That said, it’s an extremely tough category and I could see any of them winning, but my bet is on her.

Best Supporting Actor:

Christian Bale The Big Short (3rd nomination)

Tom Hardy – The Revenant (1st nomination)

Mark RuffaloSpotlight (3rd nomination)

Sylvester StalloneCreed (2nd acting nomination)

Mark RylanceBridge of Spies (1st nomination)

Who will win? I’m pretty firmly in the belief that Hardy will take this one home, as The Revenant is all but guaranteed to sweep up at the awards next month, but I’m sure I’m not the only one who would love to see Stallone come out of nowhere to bag the prize (he did win the Golden Globe after all).

Best Supporting Actress:

Jennifer Jason LeighThe Hateful Eight (1st nomination)

Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl (1st nomination)

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs (7th nomination)

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight (1st nomination)

Rooney Mara – Carol (2nd nomination)

Who will win? I’m willing to bet Vikander, who frankly should have been up in the Best Actress section for her role in The Danish Girl, which was easily equal to Redmayne’s. Like Best Actress though this is an extremely tough category where they are all deserving, and in with a decent chance, of winning.

Who do you think will take home the Academy Awards next month? Let me know in the comments section!

 

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