Archive for 2016

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)

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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)

 

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)

Winners from Screen Actors Guild Awards 2017

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 3, 2017 by vincentloy

Screen Actors Guild Awards is one of the five major annual Hollywood film awards with the other four being the Critics Choice, Golden Globes, BAFTA and of course the Oscars. It is an important precursor to the Academy Awards every year. The 2017 Screen Actors Guild Awards or simply known as SAG is held last weekend on 29th January 2017. Here below is the full list of nominees for the awards with the winner highlighted in bold for each categories. This awards also honours the television section. As usual, I will be putting in my opinions in some categories.

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Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Captain Fantastic
Fences
Hidden Figures
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

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Opinion: ‘La La Land’ not nominated here is already a big surprise, but that still doesn’t take away its position as the frontrunner for best picture in the Oscars later. People are expecting ‘Manchester by the Sea’ or ‘Moonlight’ to take this, but in the end, ‘Hidden Figures’ emerged as the winner. That is surprising. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

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Opinion: Another shock. Casey Affleck has been the clear frontrunner in this race from the very beginning. And suddenly, SAG decided to honour Denzel Washington who has been nominated many times in the past but has not win before. So, it is confirmed that the Oscars next month for best actor will be the battle between Casey and Denzel. 

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Amy Adams, Arrival
Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

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Opinion: Congratulation to Emma Stone who I find is a hardworking actress. However, I think her role in ‘La La Land’ is not that hard to portray and is not challenging compared to the other nominees. I don’t understand why she is the frontrunner and even winning this one. People just love her, and in the end, not judging by the true performances. The popularity of ‘La La Land’ pushed her to this victory. I’m still choosing Natalie Portman as my pick for best actress in the coming Oscars. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
The Crown
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
Westworld

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Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Claire Foy, The Crown
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Robin Wright, House of Cards

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Opinion: I did watch a bit of this drama and I can say she is truly brilliant in this series portraying as the young Queen Elizabeth II. Young, beautiful and talented. 

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
John Lithgow, The Crown
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

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Opinion: Rather a weak category this year. As expected, they will award this to a veteran actor and also to compensate ‘The Crown’ loss in the ensemble category. ‘The Crown’ winning just one seems to be not ideal, hence this one too for John Lithgow from ‘The Crown’.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Sterling K. Brown, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
John Turturro, The Night Of
Courtney B. Vance, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a TV Movie or Limited Series
Bryce Dallas Howard, Black Mirror
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
Sarah Paulson, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion

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Opinion: It looks like it is a lock for Mahershala Ali to win supporting actor in the coming Oscars too unless the Academy wants to give us another surprise just like last year in this category by handing the Oscars to an unpopular choice, Mark Rylance.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

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Opinion: While there may be still surprise in the supporting actor category, this one appears 100% in hand for Viola Davis. She has been snubbed few years ago in lead actress race in the Oscars. It’s time to hand out one to her finally. Her win here in SAG is expected. 

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Blackish
Modern Family
Orange Is the New Black
Veep

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ty Burrell, Modern Family
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge
Jason Bourne
Nocturnal Animals

Opinion: Yes. I’m happy that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ is getting at least an award here. I love this film and it certainly has great and intense action performances (of course since it is a war film).

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series
Game of Thrones
Daredevil
Luke Cage
The Walking Dead
Westworld

Lifetime Achievement Award

Lily Tomlin

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Two remaining major awards to look forward to before wrapping up films released last year (2016); the BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards) and the Oscars (Academy Awards). I didn’t watch this Screen Actors Guild Awards because I was away for a vacation in Vietnam but I do heard that many speeches by the winners are politically-motivated and in direction against their current US President Donald Trump, Hollywood hates him and there are many good reasons for it.

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

Nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2017 by vincentloy

Here below is the full nomination list for the 89th Academy Awards alongside with my predictions and thoughts. The awards ceremony will take place on February 26, 2017.

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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

Predicted to win: Moonlight

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: 9 nominees for best picture this year. Academy voters love to vote for movies dealing with serious or heartfelt issues, and to cope with strong criticism last year for being pure White in their nomination list, I’m quite confident the Academy this year will award their most prestigious best picture prize to a movie about Black people. Deep down in my heart, I still wish ‘La La Land’ to win as it is a musical masterpiece.

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

Predicted to win: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

My choice: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Opinion: This one looks like a lock for Damien Chazelle who has been sweeping all precursor awards for his directing work in ‘La La Land’. Since I think it is unlikely for ‘La La Land’ to emerge as best picture winner, it is highly likely that Damien will take this best director award as a consolation.

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

Predicted to win: Casey Affleck (La La Land)

My choice: Casey Affleck (La La Land)

Opinion: Casey Affleck is the clear frontrunner as he has been winning multiple best actor prizes for his subtle yet strong performance in ‘Manchester by the Sea’. Denzel Washington is a dark horse contender here. It’s good to see Andrew Garfield on his first nomination here as he is one young good actor. However, this is not the time yet but I’m sure he will be rewarded in near future.

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

Predicted to win: Isabelle Huppert (Elle) / Natalie Portman (Jackie)

My choice: Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Opinion: This is a very competitive and tough race. I’m surprised to see Amy Adams get snubbed for her solid work in ‘Arrival’. That slot has been given to Ruth Negga. I think this will be a three-way fight between Isabelle (Globes best actress-drama), Emma (Globes best actress-comedy or musical) and Natalie (Critics Choice best actress). And Meryl Streep may just take that advantage and sneak in to clinch her historic 4th win. This is also her record-breaking 20th Oscar nomination.

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

Predicted to win: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

My choice: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Opinion: Mahershala, Jeff, Lucas and Dev are the four lock-in for this nomination. The fifth slot goes to Michael Shannon. Hugh Grant from ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ and Aaron-Taylor Johnson from ‘Nocturnal Animals’ (Globes best supporting actor) couldn’t snatch that fifth slot unfortunately. Academy will certainly vote for Mahershala Ali since they are now determined to make sure their awards are as diverse as possible.

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

Predicted to win: Viola Davis (Fences)

My choice: Viola Davis (Fences)

Opinion: For the diversity reason mentioned earlier and also to compensate for Viola Davis for losing few years ago, this is certainly the year for her. The other four nominees are simply here just to fill in the remaining slots and to be audiences for the ceremony next month.

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

Predicted to win: Manchester by the Sea

My choice: Hell or High Water / The Lobster

Opinion: I don’t really find any greatness in ‘Manchester by the Sea’ for its script. I would then prefer for ‘Hell or High Water’ to win since it would stand no chance in other categories or ‘The Lobster’ since this is the only category it is nominated in.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Arrival
Fences
Hidden Figures
Lion
Moonlight

Predicted to win: Fences

My choice: Arrival

Opinion: ‘Fences’ will win here because there is no other categories for it to shine and I feel that this movie must be rewarded for Academy to achieve their diversity objective. My prefered choice would be ‘Arrival’ for its unique approach to an extraterrestrial-themed film and also for its briliant plot with deep subject and mind-fucked plot twist.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence

Predicted to win: Arrival / La La Land

My choice: Arrival

Opinion: Hard to choose from this 5 nominees. I pick ‘Arrival’ because I do think this is the only category in high possibility for this particular movie to get rewarded.

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

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: All the way for ‘La La Land’. The brilliant editing work in ‘La La Land’ is very obvious from the start (continuous shot of musical sequence on a congested highway) to the end (alternate reality of the two leads over the years) of the movie.

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

Predicted to win: The Jungle Book

My choice: Doctor Strange

Opinion: ‘The Jungle Book’ is predicted to win due to its realistic talking animals and the beautiful scenery throughout the whole movie. My own choice would be ‘Doctor Strange’ for its exceptional and out-of-this-world visual treatments.

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

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: Passengers

Opinion: No one has predicted ‘Passengers’ to get nominated at all in the Oscars and yet it does. I enjoyed that film and I’m glad it receives a nomination here eventhough I think it is unlikely for the movie to win. The heavy favourite ‘La La Land’ is going to take this award home but I actually don’t think the production works for ‘La La Land’ are that amazing.

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

Predicted to win: Jackie

My choice: Jackie

Opinion: If Natalie Portman didn’t win best actress, then this is the only category for ‘Jackie’ to win. The movie shown to us some great costumes in 1960s.

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

Predicted to win: A Man Called Ove

My choice: Star Trek Beyond

Opinion: Academy doesn’t like blockbuster movies that much, hence ‘A Man Called Ove’ suddenly stand a strong chance to win. I’m also surprised that ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ and ‘Deadpool’ didn’t get nominated here.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: La La Land

Opinion: Also surprised to see ‘Passengers’ get another nomination here. It looks like ‘Passengers’ is getting surprising love from the Academy and I’m fine with it. But I don’t think it will win anything. At least getting some nominations is already a great news for this under-rated movie. ‘La La Land’ is certainly going to win this for its beautiful and inspiring background music.

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

Predicted to win: ‘City of Stars’ (La La Land)

My choice: ‘City of Stars’ (La La Land) / ‘How Far I’ll Go’ (Moana)

Opinion: Two nominations for ‘La La Land’ in this category alone. Would it be harmful to the movie as the votes are split to the two songs in it? Probably. ‘How Far I’ll Go’ from ‘Moana’ may just sneak in and take this award.

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

Predicted to win: Hacksaw Ridge

My choice: Hacksaw Ridge

Opinion: This is the only category that ‘Hacksaw Ridge’ has high chance of winning. Let it win then. The sound work in the movie is brilliant.

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

Predicted to win: La La Land

My choice: Hacksaw Ridge

Opinion: ‘La La Land’ should win this without any heavy competition. ‘Sound mixing’ and ‘Sound editing’ will be distributed equally to ‘La La Land’ and ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. I still think the Academy should just combine ‘sound editing’ and ‘sound mixing’ into one award.

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

Predicted to win: Kubo and the Two Strings / Zootopia

My choice: Kubo and the Two Strings

Opinion: ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ gets nominated in best visual effects’ category too and also shortlisted last time for best costume design category eventhough didn’t get nominated in the end. So, this movie stands a higher chance now to win this one, giving a strong competition to earlier frontrunner ‘Zootopia’. ‘Zootopia’ still has the chance to win due to the appeal from its box office success.

No predictions and comments for the remaining 4 categories above.

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

What do you think of the nomination list? Do you agree to my predictions and thoughts? You may post your comment and it is very welcomed.

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There are some surprises in the nomination list as expected since the Academy likes to give us some shock every year. But the shock this year is not that much as most of the list are predicted from earlier on. ‘La La Land’ gets the most love from the Academy with most number of nominations at 14. The movie sets the record for film with most Oscar nominations and ties with ‘Titanic’ (1997) and ‘All About Eve’ (1950). ‘Arrival’ and ‘Moonlight’ each gets 8 nominations. ‘Hacksaw Ridge’, ‘Manchester by the Sea’ and ‘Lion’ each gets 6 nominations. Surprising entries into the list with multiple nominations include ‘Deepwater Horizon’ (didn’t expect it to be nominated at all in any categories), ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ (only expected it to be nominated in one category – animated feature film), ‘Passengers’ (didn’t expect it to be nominated at all in any categories) and ‘A Man Called Ove’ (only expected it to be nominated in one category – make-up and hairstyling) with two nominations each. ‘Deadpool’ is snubbed as I expect this movie to get one or two nominations.

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

Movie review for ‘Jackie’ (2016), and have you heard of Razzies?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 24, 2017 by vincentloy

‘Jackie’ is the last Oscar-type films of 2016 that I watched before the announcement for the nomination list of the 89th Academy Awards later on. ‘Jackie’ is a biographical drama film that starred Natalie Portman as the titular character, following her life after the 1963 assassination of her husband John F. Kennedy. John F. Kennedy was famously known to be the fourth and the last President of the United States to be murdered while still in office. And on the other hand, nothing much have been known about his wife, Jackie Kennedy, the First Lady before, during and after the infamous assassination. I’m interested to know more on that, and so, I’m interested to watch this movie.

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The other reason I watched ‘Jackie’ is also because I’m amazed by Natalie Portman’s scenes in the movie trailer alone. She is one great actress and I love her since her award-winning performance in ‘Black Swan’ several years ago. I already sense huge Oscar feel to her performance just by watching the trailer. And after watching the whole movie just now, I have no doubt that her performance here will land her another best actress nomination in the Oscars and I don’t mind her winning it again too. She is phenomenal as Jackie. The whole movie is seriously focusing on her with many close-up scenes of her face (though I find it unnecessarily too much at some point) to show her emotions and expressions in dealing with all the issues after her husband’s shocking death. She not only mastered that, but also nailed the accent and posture that the real Jackie Kennedy had. She put in a lot of effort in this role and she delivered. The only imperfection is that her face didn’t resemble Jackie Kennedy’s face at all.

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Peter Sarsgaard is solid for his supporting role as Robert, the younger brother of John F. Kennedy in this movie. An unknown Danish actor who portrayed John F. Kennedy in this movie shocked me because his face really resembles closely to the late President himself. While watching the movie, it was really as though John F. Kennedy himself was in there. The costumes are great, the production design is excellent, and the way they used old recordings of Jackie’s introduction to the interiors of the White House and putting in the same scenes in the movie with Natalie Portman as replacement is commendable. As for the story and its editing, they are just average. The overall feel is a bit bored and plain (like too many scenes of Natalie walking around in the White House). There is no greatness in this film besides than Natalie Portman. But she faces strong competition from Emma Stone and Isabelle Hupert for the Oscar trophy for best actress next month. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Jackie’ a total of 7.1. This kind of movies makes me wanted to do a quick online research on the real information behind such historical events.

On the other hand, have you heard of Razzies? It is a name for the Golden Raspberry Awards, an annual awards presented to honour not the best, but the worst films. It’s like the total opposite of the Oscars. I guess many of you do not know of such existence. It even has its nomination list for the worst for films in 2016 released yesterday. The awards usually took place a day before the Oscars. Among the films with most nominations (hence being regarded the worst movies in 2016) are ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice’, ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’, ‘Gods of Egypt’, ‘Zoolander 2’, ‘Alice Through The Looking Glass’, ‘Suicide Squad’, ‘Dirty Grandpa’, etc. ‘Winners’ will be famous for the other way round. This is the only awards that nobody wants to get nominated or even involved in.

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

Movie review for ‘La La Land’ and ‘Patriots Day’ (2016)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 14, 2017 by vincentloy

My blog especially in this month will be filled with more posts on movie reviews. Why? This is the month when all the remaining Oscar-bait films will be released all together before the awards ceremony next month and I love to review on those films. This is also the month for me to catch up back on some 2016 films that I have missed last year. ‘La La Land’ and ‘Patriots Day’ were released recently in the cinemas here in Malaysia but they are considered 2016 films because they have been released last year in other regions or has opened up in some film festivals. And these two movies are so far my top 2 best films of 2016.

I seldom enjoy a musical movie. This genre isn’t an appeal to me much. However, ‘La La Land’ is a total exception as I enjoyed this film very much. It is a romantic musical comedy-drama film with the plot that follows a musician and an aspiring actress who meet and fall in love in Los Angeles. A lot of people including myself are curious on why such film’s title? Then, after a bit of research, I discovered that ‘La La Land’ refers both to the city of Los Angeles and to the idiom for being out of touch with reality which is very related to the message of the movie. I decided to watch this film eventhough its not my appealing genre because it received overwhelming critical acclaim and that it had just won big in Golden Globe Awards recently.

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I watched it, and I can say it is truly an outstanding contemporary musical film. The opening sequence that shows a continuous shot of unexpected massive musical performance on a congested highway in LA is brilliant and immediately sets the right tone for the audiences on what to expect from the remaining of the movie. The story looks ordinary, but once you mix it with musical numbers, excellent performances by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling and a wonderful ‘alternate-reality’ (what if) ending, then the film becomes extraordinary. The film also excelled in all other technical categories like cinematography, production design, costume design, music (songs and background score), etc. The score may sometimes feel repetitive but the melody is so beautiful and it magically gets you immersed into the story. The ending is sad and moving, and it somehow relates very well to the present reality of Hollywood. Sacrificing all others (including your true love) for career. People who watch this movie without thinking a bit further will see this movie as just a typical musical piece. Once you start digesting the inner message, then you will realize that this movie is awesome. But I can assure you that this movie is not complicated. And also great directing with Damien Chazelle. Looks he is locked to be winning the Oscars next month for his directing work here. This movie is look to get a lot of nominations in Oscars too and it certainly deserves it. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘La La Land’ a total of 8.3. And yup…this is my highest-rated film of 2016 so far.

My next movie to review is ‘Patriots Day’. This is an action movie that will appeal to all, including those who doesn’t like to think too much while watching a movie. Well, this movie actually delivered beyond that. The movie is an account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it. It is based on the true tragic event of Boston Marathon Bombing in April 2013 that killed 3 civilians and injured 264 others. Its subsequent manhunt activity to capture the two brothers behind the bombing resulted in the death of 2 police officers too. I eventually searched online for more details regarding this tragedy after watching the movie.

patriots-day

I don’t know exactly how much fictional drama is added to the story to makes it more intense and dramatic but I can see that the film did stays true and accurate to the real events of the bombing and its aftermath including the selection of cast that matches closely to the real persons. It’s also nice to see real footages throughout the movie to give out a more real experience to viewers that this ‘shit’ do really happened. It is sad to watch this film that is actually based on something real and I must say that terrorism should end not only in US but also in all parts of the world. I’m deeply moved by a dialogue spoken by the real surviving victims of the tragedy in the end of the movie that says ‘people are not the victims of violence, but ambassador of peace’ after learning of many terrorist attacks in the past. That is what the movie is trying to deliver besides than the typical explosive and action-packed scenes. The story is engaging, the manhunt and shooting scenes are intense, and the scene showing that the whole Boston city is strong after the attack is touching. Mark Wahlberg did another good job in his main role here as a police officer. This movie reminded me of ‘Deepwater Horizon’, another based-on-real-tragedy movie released last year too that also starred Mark Wahlberg and also with Peter Berg directing (he directed this ‘Patriots Day’ too). ‘Deepwater Horizon’ is a good movie but not as good as this ‘Patriots Day’ that stood out with a more engaging and suspenseful plot. It is a solidly crafted tribute to the people who died or affected from the tragedy. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Patriots Day’ a total of 8.0.

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