Archive for February, 2017

Winners for the 89th Academy Awards (2017)

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2017 by vincentloy

The 89th Academy Awards finally took place just now, ending the awards season for 2016 films. Here below is the full list of nominees with the winner in each categories highlighted in bold. I put in my opinion on most of the categories too.

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

Opinion: A huge mistake in the ceremony when ‘La La Land’ is first announced as the winner. It turned out that ‘Moonlight’ is the winner. I prefer to just stay with the mistake and have ‘La La Land’ winning this.

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

Opinion: An expected outcome. Damien Chazelle is a young director with huge talent, particularly in movies related to music. I first heard of his name from his writing in ‘Whiplash’ movie. He is now the youngest director to win the Academy Award at age of 32.

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

Opinion: Pleased for Casey to win. He is great in ‘Manchester by the Sea’. There is a moment when I’m afraid that Denzel may win this. But hey…great performance not necessarily translates to loudest performance. It is incredibly challenging to put on a very subtle yet strong expression in the acting. And Casey Affleck did that in ‘Manchester by the Sea’.

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

Opinion: Natalie Portman isn’t even present in the ceremony. She knew her chance is very little, but in my mind, I’m still hoping she win this for her extraordinary performance in ‘Jackie’. Now, as expected, Emma Stone won. She is a wonderful person but I don’t think her performance in ‘La La Land’ is the strongest among the 5 nominees.

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

Opinion: Didn’t watch ‘Moonlight’ but it was a predictable result. Mahershala Ali has been taking a lot of major precursor awards before this. However, I prefer Dev Patel to win this actually as I’m very amazed by his emotional performance in ‘Lion’.

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

Opinion: I guess everyone would protest if Viola didn’t win this. I didn’t watch ‘Fences’ but I heard that she was exceptional in that movie and some even thought she should be in lead category. Besides than her, I’m rooting for Michelle Williams to win actually.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Opinion: A very unique and depressing story. But for me, that script for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ is not dramatic enough.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Moonlight’. Hence, my preferred choices would be ‘Hidden Figures’, ‘Arrival’ or ‘Lion’.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Opinion: Yup…great cinematography in ‘La La Land’. The colours and lighting in ‘La La Land’ amplified the beauty of the whole movie.

BEST FILM EDITING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Opinion: Didn’t see this coming, More love for ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is in third place behind ‘La La Land’ and ‘Arrival’ in my opinion.

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

Opinion: Already expected. All that came from the breathtaking scenery and realistic looking animals that can talk in the movie.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers

Opinion: ‘La La Land’ is great, but not in its production design. It was just colourful in some short scenes, and that’s it. They are without much effort like the other nominees.

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

Opinion: I thought ‘Jackie’ would win this as the sole Oscar for the movie. ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ sneaked in successfully. Everything in ‘Fantastic Beasts’ are good, but not eye-catchy or ‘fantastic’ enough including its costumes.

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING
A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Opinion: Oh…’Suicide Squad’ winning an Oscar. Eventhough the movie is generally bad, but its makeup and hairstyling is cool. The Academy should expand this too to 5 nominees like all the other categories.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Opinion: Very well deserved. ‘La La Land’ truly excels in its score. Very appealing and beautiful musical score that still makes me humming to its music now.

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

Opinion: A short yet beautiful song. Another well deserved win for ‘La La Land’. It’s almost impossible to see a great musical film like ‘La La Land’ not winning this.

BEST SOUND EDITING
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

Opinion: Good to know ‘Arrival’ is not left out. Its sound editing especially from the aliens in the movie is cool and really feels ‘out of the world’.

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

Opinion: I’m glad that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ win something. It is really a good movie and for a war movie like this one, the sound work is to be loud and significant. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ nailed that and totally deserves this award.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Opinion: NO! A BIG NO! ‘Zootopia’ is just an average animated movie with a theme that is politically-related and at the right timing. Nothing else. ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ is a much better animated movie in nearly all aspects. The ceremony this year is too politically charged. Hollywood should just stick to its business and stay out of politics for a while.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
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 DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT
Ennemis Entreniers
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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‘La La Land’ is the biggest winner with 6 wins while ‘Moonlight’ won the coveted Best Picture. Some great movies that are totally snubbed are ‘Hidden Figures’, ‘Lion’ and ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’. These films at least deserve an award each.

Jimmy Kimmel is doing a good job hosting the ceremony that took nearly 4 hours. I do laughed at most of his hilarious and on-point lines. Seeing Jackie Chan along with three other honorees getting a standing ovation from the audiences is awesome as the received Life Achievement Awards not long ago in the Academy’s Governors Ball.  It’s also interesting to see the unknown tourists getting into the Dolby Theatre with the ceremony happening (don’t know whether that is a staged event or not). Snacks dropping from the ceiling is a fresh, functional and hilarious act to the lengthy ceremony (I laughed when Jimmy Kimmel said ‘now, release the coffee’…haha). As for the speeches, I’m fed up with the excessive politically-charged statements in the ceremony. Like I said earlier, the Academy should just stays out of politic for a moment and sticks to its business. This went overboard. The Oscars is not a platform for you to voice out your dissatisfaction to the government. You can do it, but not this much until I find that it affects the real judgement of some winners this year.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

3 major potential upsets tomorrow at the Oscars.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2017 by vincentloy

The 89th Academy Awards is finally just around the corner. It will take place tomorrow and to watch it live, I have to purposely wake up early on Monday morning (time difference). Fortunately, I don’t have any class to attend on Monday for this semester. I have been staying closely with the awards season this year and it gets more exciting day by day as the Oscars gets nearer. I had in the past posted the full nomination list of this coming Academy Awards alongside my predictions on who should and who will win on that evening.

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Just a day before the ceremony, I’m here to write on 3 major potential upsets that may happen tomorrow in the Oscars.

First one would be ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ winning the Best Animated Feature over the frontrunner, ‘Zootopia’. ‘Zootopia’ has been leading the race in this category ever since with wins in many precursor awards including some major ones like Annie Awards, Golden Globe Awards and Critics’ Choice Awards. However, do not look down on ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ that has been in the second place to many people’s predictions in winning the best animated film. The movie has also won multiple precursor awards including the BAFTA which is a strong indicator of Oscar winner in animated film category. I myself love ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ much more than ‘Zootopia’ and I would love it if it really takes home the award tomorrow. In my opinion, it has a much more better story, better visual, better style, better characters, better animations, and better effort than ‘Zootopia’ and the remaining three other nominees; ‘Moana’, ‘The Red Turtle’ and ‘My Life as a Zucchini’. I would love this upset to happen. It’s time to reward Laika, the production company behind this work. Their past works are three also great stop-motion animated films (all were nominated but didn’t win); ‘Coraline’, ‘Paranorman’ and ‘Boxtrolls’.

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Next major upset will be in Best Actress category. The frontrunner now is Emma Stone from her wonderful performance in ‘La La Land’, a film that has been getting a lot of love as shown from the 14 nominations it gets in this Academy Awards. She has won best actress in Golden Globes (musical and comedy), Screen Actor Guild and BAFTA. She is great in that movie. However, her performance is not the strongest compared to the other nominees in this category. It is very obvious. People are just voting her because it is Emma Stone and she is likable, and is not voting based on performance in the film. I would like to see Natalie Portman to win this as a major surprise of the evening. Her performance as Jackie Kennedy in ‘Jackie’ is tremendously good. People just think that it is too fast to award her the second Oscar since she won it few years back from her performance in ‘Black Swan’. Hey…stop that mentality. If she deserves it, then she deserves it..no matter how many she has won before. Another ‘dark horse’ contender will be Isabelle Hupert from ‘Elle’. Deep down in my heart, I still think Natalie has a shot at it because Academy usually loves people who acts as a real-life historical figure and Natalie nailed that role effectively and with a lot of effort. Seen as the early favourite as Natalie won best actress at the Critics Choice, her momentum went downward because the movie ‘Jackie’ is not getting a lot of attention unfortunately.

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The last major potential upset I foresee is in best supporting actor. Currently, Mahershala Ali is the one to beat from his performance in ‘Moonlight’. I didn’t see that movie. He has been also sweeping many precursor awards and hence many see him as a lock in this category, up until when he lost the award surprisingly in Golden Globes (to Aaron Taylor-Johnson in ‘Norturnal Animals’) and in BAFTA (to Dev Patel in ‘Lion’). Mahershala is still in the lead position to win supporting actor as he did won at Critics Choice and at Screen Actors Guild. However, Academy usually love to award Best Supporting Actor to someone many didn’t see it coming. Hence, get ready to watch some drama when the name in the envelope tomorrow is not stating ‘Mahershala Ali’. I’m thinking that all the other nominees has a chance for it except Lucas Hedges since he is too young for it, and I’m wishing for Dev Patel to win it. It’s because I watched ‘Lion’ and I’m amazed by his performance in there.

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These are my last opinions before the Academy Awards tomorrow. What do you think? My biggest wish is still to see ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ winning Best Animated Feature. It totally deserves it way more than the others. ‘Zootopia’ has the edge just because of its right timing to the current political situation in USA. It’s just an ordinary animated film, and no where near the excellence delivered by ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ in nearly all aspects.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

 

Goodbye Malaysia….I’m back to Perth.

Posted in Interesting Encounters on February 22, 2017 by vincentloy

Goodbye Malaysia! I have come to Perth for my final year of postgraduate study. I arrived here yesterday early morning and got back to my house accommodation in the afternoon. I spent the whole day yesterday unpacking my stuff and buying the needed groceries. It was tiring but it’s really good to come back to the same room I had stayed on last year. It’s also lovely to know that the laundry in my accommodation is now free! Yes!

Once I got here, the first thing I’m surprised with is the weather. It is right now summer in Australia but the weather is chilling. It is supposed to be nearing 40 degree celsius in the afternoon but the temperature couldn’t even get past 25 degree celsius. I felt like I am on Genting Highlands right now with the current temperature. At night, the temperature even dropped to around 10 degree celsius. Well, I don’t need to be that happy so soon for not encountering extremely hot weather. It’s because the weather forecast stated that this weekend is going to be hot with temperature rising to nearly 40 degree celsius to match the supposed-to-be summer season now.

The semester hasn’t started yet and so I’m still quite free right now. I will take the time to walk around in the campus and visit the city once again. I can’t wait to meet back my fellow classmates and also to get to know two new housemates in my flat this year. My first class of the semester is on next Tuesday and I’m informed recently that there is no orientation session for us this year. Damn…if I knew it earlier, I would not be coming to Australia so soon so that I can enjoy my break in Malaysia a bit longer.

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Time flies. I still remembered very well how much I’m anticipating to return to Malaysia on the past November for my long break. Now, the break was over and I’m back here. Very soon, I will be finishing the programme and graduates.

(Copyright reserved to the image in this blog post. Kindly request permission if you intend to use it for any purpose.)

Last night in Malaysia before going back to Perth.

Posted in Explosive News and Results on February 19, 2017 by vincentloy

My nephew is giving us a very gloomy expression throughout the whole dinner time we had just now. Well, it’s understandable since it is Monday tomorrow. Monday blues start right on Sunday night for everyone especially for him who is still not used to studying for long hours in Standard One (primary school). A full week is looming ahead and just now is the time for him to showcase his ‘acting’, showing all the ‘falling sick’ expression so that his mom (my sister) will let him be absent for school tomorrow. This trick didn’t work anymore.

It’s also a great ‘Monday blues’ mood for me right now as I will be finally flying back to Perth tomorrow to continue my study. No more holiday and it’s time for me to be prepared to welcome incoming huge amount of assignments in this final year of my master programme. I have done packing earlier and there is still some stuff for me to pack tomorrow morning before setting off to the airport. A lot of stuff to carry tomorrow to the airport as expected.

I managed to watch the last part of the 2016 TVB International Chinese New Talent Singing Championship just now. It is aired simultaneously from Hong Kong and it has two Malaysians competing in it. The two Malaysians are the ones finishing first and second place in Astro Star Quest 2016; Wendyy and Brian. Our home champion, Wendyy lost in the earlier round surprisingly but fortunately, we still have one Malaysian standing on the stage. He eventually won the competition beating out competitors from Hong Kong, Singapore and United States. Wow…congratulations! This is the third consecutive win for Malaysia in this annual competition held in Hong Kong. Uriah won the 2014 edition, Jacqueline won the 2015 edition, and now Brian won the 2016 one.

By tomorrow at this time, I would be in the plane en route to Perth. This time, I will only be spending about four months over there for one semester before flying back to Perth by mid of the year. I won’t be staying there during the winter break like last year. Looking forward to commence my third of the four semesters in my Master of Architecture programme.

Few more days in Malaysia before flying back to Perth

Posted in Interesting Encounters on February 16, 2017 by vincentloy

My excessively long three-months school break is finally ending soon. Next week is already the Orientation Week at the campus but that is none of my business since it is for newcomers. The semester will only start on the week after, but I will be flying back to Perth next Monday already. Hence, I have only few more days here in Malaysia to enjoy before all the stress from the study strikes again for this final year.

What I have mostly done in the past three months?

Changed my room’s appearance

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Once I’m back to my home last November, I couldn’t stand the messiness and the past poor arrangement of furniture in my small little bedroom. Besides than cleaning up the whole room to make it pleasant to atay in, I also bought new study table, chair, bedside table and some accessories from IKEA while throwing away some old stuff. I also hanged an image of Hong Kong city skyline in puzzle I completed some time ago, and placed some decorations on wall mounted planes (also from IKEA). Now my room doesn’t look like a store room anymore.

Watched a lot of movies

movies

Yes, I watched a lot of movies since I have all the time in this long holiday. This period (November to January) is the best time for me to catch up on some last year’s films that I have missed earlier as well as chasing all the Oscar-bait films that were typically released within that period too. Watching movie is one of my most favourite things to do as you tend to forget about everything else and just immerse into the drama and fun of those films.

Went for vacations

midtown-luggage-storage

During the Chinese New Year, I went to Hanoi, Vietnam with my parents and got to see breathtaking places like Tam Coc and Halong Bay. That 5 days 4 nights trip was a great one. We followed a tour group of only 14 people (the lesser the better) and we find it was worth the price that we have paid. Another new country checked on my list of countries that I have traveled to before. Not long after that, I also went up to Genting Highlands (I count that as a vacation too) to enjoy the colder air up there, visit the new Sky Avenue shopping mall and to try my luck (I won a bit in the end).

Rot at home

first-world-problem-bored-lazy

Most of the time, I was just in my home, rotting. Well, that is the essence of holiday when you just get to do nothing. Afternoon nap, watching a movie or two in a day, Hong Kong series marathon, playing games, searching for random stuff online, surfing Facebook twice in an hour and not setting any clock alarm are all possible in this break. The next time I got to have this kind of break again is on this end of June for my mid-year break. Now, I have to be prepared to turn off my ‘lazy’ mode.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web) 

70th British Academy Film Awards (BAFTA) 2017 honours ‘La La Land’ with best film.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2017 by vincentloy

The 70th British Academy Film Awards, or simply known as BAFTA is held yesterday at Royal Albert Hall, London. It is the fourth of the five major annual awards celebrating the best of Hollywood films. It is also an important precursor award to the coming OSCARS as there is an overlapping of over 500 members voting for the BAFTA and also at the OSCARS. Stephen Fry is hosting the awards ceremony again. Here below is the full nomination list with the winners highlighted alongside with a bit of my thoughts.

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BEST FILM
ARRIVAL Dan Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde, Aaron Ryder
I, DANIEL BLAKE Rebecca O’Brien
LA LA LAND Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt – WINNER
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward, Kevin J. Walsh
MOONLIGHT Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski

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Opinion: Deserving win for ‘La La Land’, an energetic and heartfelt musical masterpiece. It looks like this Oscar frontrunner is unstoppable as the momentum of ‘Moonlight’ is going downhill now. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ should be at least getting a nomination here and replace ‘I, Daniel Blake’. Well, British tend to be biased towards their own productions and so there must be at least one British film contending for the top honour here. 

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM
AMERICAN HONEY Andrea Arnold, Lars Knudsen, Pouya Shahbazian, Jay Van Hoy
DENIAL Mick Jackson, Gary Foster, Russ Krasnoff, David Hare
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM David Yates, J.K. Rowling, David Heyman, Steve Kloves, Lionel Wigram
I, DANIEL BLAKE Ken Loach, Rebecca O’Brien, Paul Laverty – WINNER
NOTES ON BLINDNESS Peter Middleton, James Spinney, Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison, Steve Jamison
UNDER THE SHADOW Babak Anvari, Emily Leo, Oliver Roskill, Lucan Toh

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Opinion: Since ‘I, Daniel Blake’ is even getting nominated for best film, it is a 100% certainty that it is going to take home this one. 

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER
The Girl With All the Gifts: MIKE CAREY (Writer), CAMILLE GATIN (Producer)
The Hard Stop: GEORGE AMPONSAH (Writer/Director/Producer), DIONNE WALKER (Writer/Producer)
Notes on Blindness: PETER MIDDLETON (Writer/Director/Producer), JAMES SPINNEY (Writer/Director), JO-JO ELLISON (Producer)
The Pass: JOHN DONNELLY (Writer), BEN A. WILLIAMS (Director)
Under the Shadow: BABAK ANVARI (Writer/Director), EMILY LEO, OLIVER ROSKILL, LUCAN TOH (Producers) – WINNER

Opinion: No comment. Didn’t watch any of these works above.

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
DHEEPAN Jacques Audiard, Pascal Caucheteux
JULIETA Pedro Almodóvar
MUSTANG Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Charles Gillibert
SON OF SAUL László Nemes, Gábor Sipos – WINNER
TONI ERDMANN Maren Ade, Janine Jackowski

Opinion: ‘Son of Saul’ won the Oscars last year for best foreign language film  in 2015 but it is only released in UK last year (2016). Hence, it is a year late and that doesn’t take away its position as the best in this category. 

DOCUMENTARY
13th Ava DuVernay – WINNER
THE BEATLES: EIGHT DAYS A WEEK- THE TOURING YEARS Ron Howard
THE EAGLE HUNTRESS Otto Bell, Stacey Reiss
NOTES ON BLINDNESS Peter Middleton, James Spinney
WEINER Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg

Opinion: No comment. Didn’t watch any of these works above.

ANIMATED FILM
FINDING DORY Andrew Stanton
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS Travis Knight – WINNER
MOANA Ron Clements, John Musker
ZOOTROPOLIS Byron Howard, Rich Moore

kubo-and-the-two-strings-is-a-film-that-will-be-appreciated

Opinion: Very happy for ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ to win. It is certainly a much better choice than the Oscar frontrunner, ‘Zootopia’ (or called ‘Zootropolis’ here in UK). ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ was better in story, style, and of course in visuals. I hope it will win in the coming Oscars too.

DIRECTOR
ARRIVAL Denis Villeneuve
I, DANIEL BLAKE Ken Loach
LA LA LAND Damien Chazelle – WINNER
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Kenneth Lonergan
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Tom Ford

Opinion: A very predictable win. Damien Chazelle has been taking all the director awards for his work in ‘La La Land’.

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
HELL OR HIGH WATER Taylor Sheridan
I, DANIEL BLAKE Paul Laverty
LA LA LAND Damien Chazelle
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Kenneth Lonergan – WINNER
MOONLIGHT Barry Jenkins

Opinion: Another expected result. Deserving win for ‘Manchester by the Sea’ that has a fantastic script and amazing performances by the cast.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
ARRIVAL Eric Heisserer
HACKSAW RIDGE Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
HIDDEN FIGURES Theodore Melfi, Allison Schroeder
LION Luke Davies – WINNER
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Tom Ford

Opinion: Not only that ‘Lion’ is getting a lot of love from the Oscars in their nomination list, but also here with a win in adapted screenplay, beating out all other excellent nominees. 

LEADING ACTOR
ANDREW GARFIELD Hacksaw Ridge
CASEY AFFLECK Manchester by the Sea – WINNER
JAKE GYLLENHAAL Nocturnal Animals
RYAN GOSLING La La Land
VIGGO MORTENSEN Captain Fantastic

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Opinion: With Denzel Washington not being nominated here, it is unsurprising for Casey Affleck to take home best actor easily. Well, he deserved it too for his amazingly restrained performance in ‘Manchester by the Sea’. It will be a battle between Denzel and Casey in the coming Oscars and I still prefer Casey. Denzel has won Oscar twice in the past. 

LEADING ACTRESS
AMY ADAMS Arrival
EMILY BLUNT The Girl on the Train
EMMA STONE La La Land – WINNER
MERYL STREEP Florence Foster Jenkins
NATALIE PORTMAN Jackie

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Opinion: It looks like Emma Stone is going to take the Oscar for best actress too. While I love ‘La La Land’, I find that her performance in it was not challenging, not a breakthrough and not an eye-opener. People just voted for her due to her adorable persona and not based on true performances. I’m still hoping for Natalie Portman to win in the coming Oscars for her splendid performance in ‘Jackie’ as the titular character. 

SUPPORTING ACTOR
AARON TAYLOR-JOHNSON Nocturnal Animals
DEV PATEL Lion – WINNER
HUGH GRANT Florence Foster Jenkins
JEFF BRIDGES Hell or High Water
MAHERSHALA ALI Moonlight

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Opinion: Mahershala Ali is a frontrunner in this category all along until British Academy decided to award it to someone else. What a surprise. It makes the race in this category very exciting. The winner, Dev Patel deserves this award too for his excellent performance in ‘Lion’.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
HAYLEY SQUIRES I, Daniel Blake
MICHELLE WILLIAMS Manchester by the Sea
NAOMIE HARRIS Moonlight
NICOLE KIDMAN Lion
VIOLA DAVIS Fences – WINNER

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Opinion: This is the only acting category that is a lock. Viola Davis all the way. 

ORIGINAL MUSIC
ARRIVAL Jóhann Jóhannsson
JACKIE Mica Levi
LA LA LAND Justin Hurwitz – WINNER
LION Dustin O’Halloran, Hauschka
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Abel Korzeniowski

Opinion: Very much expected. A film that is all about music should win this one easily. ‘La La Land’ presented to us amazing score and songs. Enough said.

CINEMATOGRAPHY
ARRIVAL Bradford Young
HELL OR HIGH WATER Giles Nuttgens
LA LA LAND Linus Sandgren – WINNER
LION Greig Fraser
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Seamus McGarvey

Opinion: Yup…’La La Land’ again. Beautiful camera work throughout the whole movie.

EDITING
ARRIVAL Joe Walker
HACKSAW RIDGE John Gilbert – WINNER
LA LA LAND Tom Cross
MANCHESTER BY THE SEA Jennifer Lame
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Joan Sobel

Opinion: I thought that ‘La La Land’ would win this as well. Fine. I’m glad that British Academy decided to spread the wealth and award something to ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ which is also another great film. 

PRODUCTION DESIGN
DOCTOR STRANGE John Bush, Charles Wood
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Stuart Craig, Anna Pinnock – WINNER
HAIL, CAESAR! Jess Gonchor, Nancy Haigh
LA LA LAND Sandy Reynolds-Wasco, David Wasco
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Shane Valentino, Meg Everist

Opinion: Well, British Academy would want to award ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ at least in one category and this is it. It’s a British film and British Academy would not want it to be completely shut out. 

COSTUME DESIGN
ALLIED Joanna Johnston
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Colleen Atwood
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS Consolata Boyle
JACKIE Madeline Fontaine – WINNER
LA LA LAND Mary Zophres

Opinion: ‘Jackie’ presented to the audiences amazing costumes in that period of 1960s in the US, especially the glamorous ones worn by Natalie Portmna as Jackie. A deserving win. 

MAKE UP & HAIR
DOCTOR STRANGE Jeremy Woodhead
FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS J. Roy Helland, Daniel Phillips – WINNER
HACKSAW RIDGE Shane Thomas
NOCTURNAL ANIMALS Donald Mowat, Yolanda Toussieng
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY

Opinion: Happy for ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ to win this. Great make-up and hairstyling works in that movie. I’m surprised this film is not even getting a nomination in the Oscars in this category. BAFTA did it right more than the Oscars here.

SOUND
ARRIVAL Claude La Haye, Bernard Gariépy Strobl, Sylvain Bellemare – WINNER
DEEPWATER HORIZON Mike Prestwood Smith, Dror Mohar, Wylie Stateman, David Wyman
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Niv Adiri, Glenn Freemantle, Simon Hayes, Andy Nelson, Ian Tapp
HACKSAW RIDGE Peter Grace, Robert Mackenzie, Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright
LA LA LAND Mildred Iatrou Morgan, Ai-Ling Lee, Steve A. Morrow, Andy Nelson

Opinion: Surprised to see ‘La La Land’ losing this one. Still happy for ‘Arrival’ to win with its unique and interesting sound work.

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS
ARRIVAL Louis Morin
DOCTOR STRANGE Richard Bluff, Stephane Ceretti, Paul Corbould, Jonathan Fawkner
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM Tim Burke, Pablo Grillo, Christian Manz, David Watkins
THE JUNGLE BOOK Robert Legato, Dan Lemmon, Andrew R. Jones, Adam Valdez – WINNER
ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY Neil Corbould, Hal Hickel, Mohen Leo, John Knoll, Nigel Sumner

Opinion: A very deserving win for ‘The Jungle Book’, a movie filled with great scenery, realistic talking animals, and breathtaking visuals overall. 

BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION
THE ALAN DIMENSION Jac Clinch, Jonathan Harbottle, Millie Marsh
A LOVE STORY Khaled Gad, Anushka Kishani Naanayakkara, Elena Ruscombe-King – WINNER
TOUGH Jennifer Zheng

Opinion: No comment. Didn’t watch any of these works above.

EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)
ANYA TAYLOR-JOY
LAIA COSTA
LUCAS HEDGES
RUTH NEGGA
TOM HOLLAND – WINNER

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Opinion: I knew that Tom Holland will win this eventhough I find that Ruth Negga is more deserving of this recognition. All the British girls will just vote for Tom Holland while the boys also will vote for him, anticipating his upcoming Spiderman role in ‘Spiderman: Homecoming’. He is actually great in ‘The Impossible’, a disaster film few years ago when he was still a child. Now, he is a young adult and there is a bright future for him ahead.

OUTSTANDING BRITISH CONTRIBUTION TO CINEMA
CURZON CINEMAS

Opinion: Curzon Cinemas is a chain of cinema that specializes in art house films. Didn’t know anything about it since I’m not living in London. Hence, no comment for its win.

BAFTA FELLOWSHIP (Lifetime Achievement Award)
MEL BROOKS

Opinion: I don’t know who is Mel Brooks and so no comment too.

‘La La Land’ is the biggest winner of the ceremony with 5 wins including taking home the best film prize. ‘Nocturnal Animals’ and ‘Moonlight’ are completely empty-handed without any win respectively. But overall, this awards has been spreading the wealth with many nominated films winning at least one award in the evening respectively.

(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Movie review for ‘Allied’, ‘Lion’, ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ and ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ (2016)

Posted in Miscellaneous on February 13, 2017 by vincentloy

The British Academy Film Awards 2017 is just few hours away and I managed to watch four more films of 2016 before that awards ceremony. They are ‘Allied’, ‘Lion’, ‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ and ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’. The latter two are not getting any awards buzz or nominations simply because they are not good films. Some may argue and said that two films are also not considered 2016 films because their major release dates were in 2017. However, I decide the year of the film based on its first ever release date and both of them had their first ever release in 2016. Hence, they are rightfully 2016 films. Here, I’m going to give a quick review to these 4 films.

‘Allied’ is a World War II romantic thriller film about a Canadian intelligence officer who encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite and get married in London, the officer is told that his wife may be a German spy. The film starred Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, etc. Before watching this movie, I was thinking that this movie may be like a ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ version in a period piece (Brad Pitt also starred in ‘Mr and Mrs Smith’ and that movie was exciting to watch). However, ‘Allied’ is a disappointment with lack of actions and lack of love drama between Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Allied’ a total of 6.5. It receives an Academy Award nomination for Best Costume Design.

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‘Lion’ is a drama film based on a true story about a five-year-old Indian boy who was lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia. 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family and his plan succeeded with the help of Google Earth. The film starred Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, etc. Before watching the movie, I find it very weird for this movie of such story is given the title of an animal; lion. After watching it, you will understand why this film’s title is ‘Lion’. It is a touching story that comes with wonderful score and exceptional performances by Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman. The child portraying the main character before Dev Patel taking over was also very good. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Lion’ a total of 7.8. This movie is getting a lot of love from the Academy by receiving 6 Oscar nominations; best picture, best supporting actor (Dev Patel), best supporting actress (Nicole Kidman), best adapted screenplay, best original score and best cinematography.

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‘Underworld: Blood Wars’ and ‘Resident Evil: The Final Chapter’ are both identical movies with story about killing zombies or vampires. They are also very similar by having the lead, a sole female hero on saving the world at the end of the day. This kind of movies never appeal to the critics due to the lack of emotions, shallowness of characters and variety of other reasons. I’m going to combine my thoughts to these two movies together and I’m going to rate them equally at 6.0 out of 10 points. Just sit back and enjoy the actions and then you are fine. If not, you will think these two as unnecessary sequels with rubbish plot and quality created just to earn some money from movie audiences. ‘Resident Evil’ film franchise began very well with its first movie that was interesting. Then, it goes downhill as more sequels came in. As for ‘Underworld’ film franchise, I can’t even remember what has happened in the past before this latest movie.

underworld

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(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)