Oscar Predictions 2015

boyhood

Are you paying attention? Good. You will listen closely and you will not judge me until you are finished.” Benedict Cumberbatch in ‘The Imitation Game’

Why, hello there! Wow. Haven’t been around this place for quite some time. I literally had to dust off a few things. What can I say…I’ve been busy with a lot of stuff (thesis, travel, work). This, however, will always remain my happy place for writing. :) So! First post of 2015 will be my annual Oscar picks. Ceremony will take place tomorrow evening so, as past years, I will post my humble predictions. I chose 16 categories this time, I will leave the technical ones to the experts.

The year 2014 was a great for movies and I’m proud to say I was able to see all nominated films. From biopics, superheroes, dark comedies and out-of-this-world fiction, last year had it all. The Oscars usually give us a few surprises from time to time…leaving us either extremely happy or just annoyed. Nevertheless, they always tend to give three hours of entertainment and…what’s most important: a huge shout-out for movies everywhere.  I will take this little space to say that…if Whiplash wins a huge amount of awards, I will go to bed happy. That is all.

But…enough talk! Here are my 2015 picks (in red). See you after the ceremony!

[UPDATE Feb. 24th] Well, that was a huge disappointment. I only got 8 out of 16 right. Just half! Not my best year exactly. I’m really happy Big Hero 6 finally got some recognition and that Whiplash got the awards it deserved, but I’m a little upset Boyhood left the ceremony with just one award. In my humble opinion, Richard Linklater did a lot more that Iñárritu. I enjoyed watching Birdman…the whole concept of the film was outstanding, but Boyhood did it with a little more heart. Oh, well.

BEST FILM
American Sniper
Birdman (Winner)
Boyhood
Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory Of Everything
Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR
Alexandro G Iñárritu – Birdman (Winner)
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

BEST ACTOR
Steve Carrell – Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper – American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory Of Everything (Winner)

BEST ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard -Two Days One Night
Felicity Jones – The Theory Of Everything
Julianne Moore – Still Alice (Winner)
Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon – Wild

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Duvall – The Judge
Ethan Hawke – Boyhood
Edward Norton – Birdman
Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
JK Simmons – Whiplash (Winner)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood (Winner)
Laura Dern – Wild
Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game
Emma Stone – Birdman
Meryl Streep – Into The Woods

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman (Winner)
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
American Sniper
The Imitation Game (Winner)
Inherent Vice
The Theory Of Everything
Whiplash

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman (Winner)
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr Turner
Unbroken

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Ida – Poland (Winner)
Leviathan – Russia
Tangerines – Estonia
Timbuktu – Mauritania
Wild Tales – Argentina

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Big Hero 6 (Winner)
The Boxtrolls
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Song Of The Sea
The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Everything Is Awesome – The Lego Movie
Glory – Selma (Winner)
Grateful – Beyond The Lights
I’m Not Going To Miss You – Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
Lost Stars – Begin Again

COSTUME DESIGN

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Winner)
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Turner
Inherent Vice

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
CitizenFour (Winner)
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

ORIGINAL SCORE
The Grand Budapest Hotel (Winner)
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Mr. Turner
The Theory of Everything

SHORT FILM ANIMATED
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast (Winner)
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

86th Academy Awards Predictions

Her Joaquin Phoenix

[Insert Bob Saget’s voice here] Kids, it’s that time a year again. The time to pick the best of the best…in film. The 86th Academy Awards were announced on January 16th, and being only two days away from the big show (March 2nd), I’ve decided to give this prediction thing another go, since I did so well last year.

I’ve seen most nominated films, so I have a good idea of the ambiance this year. I admit I wasn’t able to see any documentaries or foreign films, so I’m not going to comment on those categories. There were some great films and performances last year, so as you will see in a few seconds, I had some tough decisions to make. Nevertheless….I’m taking the risk. Feel free to comment on any of my picks. I’m always game for a movie/Oscar talk.

Let’s see how my hunch does this year, shall we?

Best Picture
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Should Win: The Wolf of Wall Street
12 Year has all the ingredients to win: historic biopic with a strong script and outstanding performances. However, The Wolf of Wall Street should be given a chance for its versatility.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Will Win: Matthew McConaughey
Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
This decision was hard to make. Both performances were highly memorable and well performed. Leo deserves it more, he has been wanting this for a long time, but The Academy will reward McCounaghey
for his life-altering role.

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Will Win: Cate Blanchett
Should Win: Cate Blanchett
Cate Blanchett surprised me very much in her ‘Blue Jasmine’ role. Funny at time and very emotional in others.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Will Win: Jared Leto
Should Win: Barkhad Abdi
This category was another difficult one. Abdi was the revelation of the year with his performance in such a serious role, but sadly my vote will go for Leto in this one, especially for his commitment.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence
Should Win: Lupita Nyong’o
Jennifer Lawrence is everyone favorite girl right now. I think she did an incredible job in American Hustle, but not as strong a Lupita in 12 Years. Could we maybe skip JLaw this year?

Best Animated Feature
Will Win: Frozen
Should Win: Frozen
Finally a film with the old-school techniques: beautiful story, fun characters and Disney-style songs.

Best Cinematography
Will Win: Gravity
Should Win: Gravity
The question here is why Gravity SHOULDN’T get this award. Slow pace? I don’t think so. All space shots and scenes were amazing and beautifully made.

Best Costume Design
Will Win: American Hustle
Should Win: The Great Gatsby
The early 20’s vs. the 70’s. Tough choice. The outfits for The Great Gatsby are more elegant and sophisticated, on the other hand the dresses in American Hustle were also sophisticated, but in a sexier way. I really want Gatsby to win, but I’m thinking voters will go for Hustle instead. Let’s hope I’m wrong in this one.

Best Directing
Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron (Gravity)
Alfonso Cuaron deserves this award. Period.

Best Original Score
Will Win: Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)
Should Win: Her (William Butler, Owen Pallett)
Arcade Fire did an excellent job in this film. The score is so futuristic and mellow to the ear, you could easily listen to it any time a day.

Best Original Song
Will Win: Ordinary Love (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)
Should Win: Let It Go (Frozen)
This one was another difficult decision. ‘Let It Go’ has all the ingredients to win and SHOULD win, but I fear the political and humanitarian story behind ‘Ordinary Love’ and ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ will win this one. Another prediction I hope I’m wrong.

Best Visual Effects
Will Win: Gravity
Should Win: Gravity
Gravity will win this one for all the quality effects done for this film.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Will Win: 12 Years a Slave (John Ridley)
Should Win: The Wolf of Wall Street (Terence Winter)

Best Original Screenplay
Will Win: Her (Spike Jonze)
Should Win: Her (Spike Jonze)

You can also read my picks in The Young Folks page HERE and compare them with picks of my other staff colleagues. See you on Sunday!

The 30’s Playlist

thirtycollage

As the hours and minutes keep getting closer and closer to my 30th birthday, I decided to create a list all my favorite songs that ALSO turn thirty this year. You wouldn’t believe all the titles I found. 1983 was a very busy year for a lot of bands.. I figured that, if these great songs turn the big 3-0, me turning that age could not be so bad, right? I should be proud to have been born in such a great year!

I actually enjoyed doing a little research about these songs, trying to decide which ones to put on the list, that is another story. After hours of listening to a-lot of New Wave and Rock n’ Roll….I think the list below sums up pretty well that year, don’t you think? From The Police, U2, UB40, Styx and a little from Hombres G, 1983 was…and still is a great year for music.

Happy Birthday Cris.