My final prediction for the 2019 Oscars.


The 91st Academy Awards is finally happening this weekend. All the 13 guilds have handed out their prizes and major precursor awards (Golden Globes, Critics Choice, SAG, BAFTA) have announced their winners in the past several weeks.

‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ topped at the guild wins with 4 but these wins are mostly at the lesser important technical categories. The movie also won best motion picture – drama at the Golden Globes. ‘Green Book’ won at the Producers Guild Awards (PGA) and also won best motion picture – musical or comedy at the Golden Globes. ‘Roma’ won at the Directors Guild Awards (DGA) and also won Best Picture at the Critics Choice and the BAFTA. ‘Black Panther’ won Best Cast in Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG). So which film is going to win best picture this Sunday at the Oscars? Predicting the winner this year is super challenging as there is no clear frontrunner even after all the precursors. Now, this is really an exciting year.

I have previously published the full nomination list for the 2019 Oscars some time ago with my prediction but that wasn’t quite updated. Here, I will publish it again with my latest and final prediction of who will win and who should win.

Best Picture
“BlacKkKlansman”
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”
“Vice”

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: In term of statistic, ‘Roma’ is at a very slight upper edge over the other nominees in terms of winning in the precursor awards. This movie is beautiful, intimate and is a technical masterpiece. Since preferential system is applied for this category, ‘Roma’ has the advantage for being a movie that is not divisive or heavily hated by anyone (unlike Bohemian Rhapsody, Black Panther, Vice and Green Book) and is expected to take up a lot of 1st, and also crucial 2nd and 3rd pick by the voters. Out of the 8 nominees, I enjoyed ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ the most because it is highly entertaining. But other than that, I don’t think that it is best picture material. ‘Roma’ has my pick. ‘The Favourite’ or ‘Blackkklansman’ may upset but I think their chances are quite far behind.

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Should win: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

Will win: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

Opinion: There is no doubt that Alfonso Cuaron is getting his second directing Oscars. The dark horse here would be Spike Lee but I don’t think he has that momentum to take down Cuaron at this point since the latter has been sweeping all the precursor awards already.

Best Actress
Yalitza Aparicio, “Roma”
Glenn Close, “The Wife”
Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
Lady Gaga, “A Star Is Born”
Melissa McCarthy, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Should win: Glenn Close (The Wife)

Will win: Glenn Close (The Wife)

Opinion: Only losing the best actress to Olivia Colman in the BAFTA (due to Colman being a British and has the home advantage), Glenn Close is certainly the frontrunner (she won at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and SAG) and my pick to win the best actress. This would be her first ever win in her 7th nomination. That is crazy and unbelievable that such an amazing actress has never won an Oscar before. She is winning this not because of the overdue factor but because she delivered an excellent performance in ‘The Wife’. I have to admit that the overdue factor is also giving her an advantage over the other nominees. I will scream if she doesn’t get to go up on stage to take that Oscar this Sunday. Looking forward to a standing ovation for her. She is a phenomenal actress. This shall be her year!

Best Actor
Christian Bale, “Vice”
Bradley Cooper, “A Star Is Born”
Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Rami Malek, “Bohemian Rhapsody”
Viggo Mortensen, “Green Book”

Should win: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Will win: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Opinion: Rami Malek is the frontrunner after winning Golden Globes, BAFTA and SAG. He only lost the Critics Choice (to Christian Bale). Forget about Critics Choice. The critics have been seriously panning ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but the film industry people have shown the opposite reaction to the movie instead (by giving it multiple major awards). I am with the industry people this time. The critics are wrong. Rami Malek didn’t just imitate Freddie Mercury but he brought the character to life with fantastic acting. His performance there is beyond imitation or lip-syncing. He made us believe that Freddie Mercury himself was in that movie.

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, “Vice”
Marina de Tavira, “Roma”
Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Emma Stone, “The Favourite”
Rachel Weisz, “The Favourite”

Should win: Emma Stone (The Favourite)

Will win: Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Opinion: Regina King may still win this but I think Rachel Weisz will prevail especially after her recent BAFTA win. It gave her a lot of momentum. Between her and Emma Stone (both from the same film;The Favourite), I would slightly prefer the latter more because her role is slightly more complex and her performance slightly more engaging. But I don’t think she can win as she has just won best actress not long ago. The other nominees can pull off upset here too as this race is wide open till now.

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, “Green Book”
Adam Driver, “BlacKkKlansman”
Sam Elliott, “A Star Is Born”
Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Sam Rockwell, “Vice”

Should win: Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Will win: Mahershala Ali (Green Book)

Opinion: Mahershala Ali has been taking all the supporting actor prizes, making him the clear frontrunner in this category. He is certainly going to win (this will be his second supporting actor Oscar) but I would prefer Richard E. Grant to prevail. He is superb in ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ alongside Mellisa McCarthy.

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Joel Coen , Ethan Coen)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)
“Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Barry Jenkins)
“A Star Is Born” (Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters)

Should win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Will win: Blackkklansman.

Opinion: Can You Ever Forgive Me? won at the Writers Guild Awards (WGA) and that’s my choice too. However, I think the Academy wouldn’t want ‘Blackkklansman’ to go home empty-handed since it is also a best picture nominee (Can You Ever Forgive Me? is not a best picture nominee).

Best Original Screenplay
“The Favourite” (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara)
“First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)
“Green Book” (Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)
“Vice” (Adam McKay)

Should win: The Favourite

Will win: The Favourite

Opinion: ‘The Favourite’ is the frontrunner here but ‘Green Book’ or even ‘Roma’ can pull off a surprise win here too. ‘The Favourite’ is a quirky, unconventional period film and its screenplay helps a lot for its success. If the love for ‘Roma’ is super strong, then it may also possible to take this one too.

Best Cinematography
“Cold War” (Lukasz Zal)
“The Favourite” (Robbie Ryan)
“Never Look Away” (Caleb Deschanel)
“Roma” (Alfonso Cuaron)
“A Star Is Born” (Matty Libatique)

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: No debate. It’s going to be ‘Roma’. Another foreign film ‘Cold War’ is the dark horse here. English film has no chance for this category this year. Opps.

Best Costume Design
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” (Mary Zophres)
“Black Panther”(Ruth E. Carter)
“The Favourite” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Sandy Powell)
“Mary Queen of Scots” (Alexandra Byrne)

Should win: Black Panther

Will win: Black Panther

Opinion: This is going to be battle between ‘Black Panther’ and ‘The Favourite’. Academy will certainly find a way to reward ‘Black Panther’ which is the first superhero film nominated for best picture ever (but unlikely to win best picture) and this is the category for it (also possible on the ‘best production design’ category). I’m giving the edge for ‘Black Panther’ due to their creative and futuristic looking costumes and I’m bored of seeing period movies keep on winning this from their typical massive traditional dresses.

Best Film Editing
“BlacKkKlansman” (Barry Alexander Brown)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (John Ottman)
“The Favourite” (Yorgos Mavropsaridis)
“Green Book”(Patrick J. Don Vito)
“Vice” (Hank Corwin)

Should win: Vice

Will win: Vice

Opinion: It’s between ‘Vice’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. It’s too close to call but I’m picking ‘Vice’ in the end for its more obvious editing effort throughout the entire movie while ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has splendid and spectacular editing only particularly at its end during the Live Aid segment.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Border”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Vice”

Should win: Vice

Will win: Vice

Opinion: Same scenario as ‘Darkest Hour’ last year. Huge makeup to turn an actor unrecognizable and particularly into a fat politician and you are winning this.

Best Original Score
“Black Panther” (Ludwig Goransson)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Terence Blanchard)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Nicholas Britell)
“Isle of Dogs” (Alexandre Desplat)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (Marc Shaiman)

Should win: Isle Of Dogs

Will win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Opinion: It is absurd that ‘First Man’ is not nominated here. I would have pick that to win here easily. This is the category where ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ has the higher chance of winning (besides than the very tight race in the supporting actress category).

Best Original Song
“All The Stars” from “Black Panther” by Kendrick Lamar, SZA

“I’ll Fight” from “RBG” by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

“Shallow” from “A Star Is Born” by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

“When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” by Willie Watson, Tim Blake Nelson

Should win: Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Will win: Shallow (A Star Is Born)

Opinion: 100% sure that Lady Gaga (and Bradley Cooper) will still have their moment on stage to receive an award (rather than just performing the song live during the ceremony). They won’t have chance to win for the acting categories. ‘Shallow’ is a beautiful and powerful song (I love this song too) and it will secure the only win for the overrated ‘A Star Is Born’.

Best Production Design
“Black Panther” (Hannah Beachler)
“First Man” (Nathan Crowley, Kathy Lucas)
“The Favourite” (Fiona Crombie, Alice Felton)
“Mary Poppins Returns” (John Myhre, Gordon Sim)
“Roma” (Eugenio Caballero, Bárbara Enrı́quez)

Should win: The Favourite

Will win: The Favourite

Opinion: Similar to the ‘best costume design’ category, this is the battle between ‘Black Panther’ and ‘The Favourite’. The other nominees wouldn’t stand a chance at all. I’m fine with any of these two winning. If ‘The Favourite’ won here, I prefer ‘Black Panther’ to win for costume design. Hence, that’s my prediction right now.

Best Sound Editing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“A Quiet Place”
“Roma”

Should win: A Quiet Place

Will win: A Quiet Place

Opinion: The only nomination for ‘A Quiet Place’ and I have a feeling that many voters will put a tick for it. The movie has great sound editing despite its content being mostly quiet due to its plot. Now, that is what makes the sound work from the movie so awesome and noticeable. ‘First Man’ or ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ may stun us with a win here too.

Best Sound Mixing
“Black Panther”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“First Man”
“Roma”
“A Star Is Born”

Should win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Will win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Opinion: All the way for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. The sound mixing work in this movie is brilliant! Period.

Best Visual Effects
“Avengers: Infinity War”
“Christopher Robin”
“First Man”
“Ready Player One”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Should win: Avengers: Infinity War

Will win: Avengers: Infinity War

Opinion: The visual effect on Thanos alone is enough for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ to win. I must say that I’m also impressed by the visual effects from ‘Ready Player One’. But hey, this mega blockbuster (Infinity War) has to be rewarded!

Best Foreign Language Film
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)
“Roma” (Mexico)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)

Should win: Roma

Will win: Roma

Opinion: Definitely ‘Roma’. This film is even in contention at best picture category and is even projected to win there. So, it should take this one easily without any competition.

Best Animated Feature
“Incredibles 2,” Brad Bird
“Isle of Dogs,” Wes Anderson
“Mirai,” Mamoru Hosoda
“Ralph Breaks the Internet,” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Should win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider- Verse.

Will win: Spider-Man: Into The Spider- Verse.

Opinion: No competition. ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is going to win due to its brilliant story and unique animation. The other nominees are pretty ordinary.

– No comments or predictions for the last 4 categories below as I’m not interested in them and have not watched any of them too.-

Best Animated Short
“Animal Behavior”
“Bao”
“Late Afternoon”
“One Small Step”
“Weekends”

Best Documentary Feature
“Free Solo,” Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
“Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” RaMell Ross
“Minding the Gap,” Bing Liu
“Of Fathers and Sons,” Talal Derki
“RBG,” Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short
“Black Sheep,” Ed Perkins
“End Game,” Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
“Lifeboat,” Skye Fitzgerald
“A Night at the Garden,” Marshall Curry
“Period. End of Sentence.,” Rayka Zehtabchi

Best Live Action Short
“Detainment,” Vincent Lambe
“Fauve,” Jeremy Comte
“Marguerite,” Marianne Farley
“Mother,” Rodrigo Sorogoyen
“Skin,” Guy Nattiv

So, it looks like each of the 8 best picture nominee is going to win at least one award. That is good. No one is going home empty handed. Everyone will be happy at the end of the ceremony (except for the non best picture contender which lost in the categories they are contending). ‘Roma’ is projected to be the biggest winner with 4 wins (picture, director, foreign language film and cinematography). ‘The Favourite’ is expected to win 3 awards (production design, original screenplay and supporting actress). ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is to win 2 (lead actor, sound mixing) and ‘Vice’ is predicted to do the same (makeup & hairstyling, film editing).

So now, I have made my final prediction for the 91st Academy Awards (2019 Oscars) in 20 out of the 24 categories. Let see how many out of 20 that I got it right. The awards ceremony is happening this Sunday, 24th February 2019 at 8pm (will be the next day morning at local time). I will be watching it live. This year’s competition is intense and many categories are still wide open. It makes the awards to be more exciting than previous years.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

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Recap of films in 2018 and my personal selection of the best.


It’s the last day of the year and it’s time for me to again continue with my blog’s tradition to have a post that compiles all the films released in that particular year that I have watched along with my star rating and my personal selection of the best for the year. This post will as usual, generally be updated from time to time to capture more 2018 films that I will have watched later on after the original publishing date of the post.

Here’s the list of 2018 films that I have watched (updated on 19th March 2019) along with my star rating (maximum of 5).

Hollywood films in 2018 that I have watched: (The ones in bold are my top 10 favourites)

  1. Maze Runner: The Death Cure. *****
  2. Guardians of the Tomb. **
  3. The Cloverfield Paradox. ***
  4. Midnighters. *
  5. Game Night. ****
  6. Tomb Raider. ****
  7. Black Panther. ***
  8. Annihilation. ***
  9. Pacific Rim: Uprising. ***
  10. A Quiet Place. *****
  11. Fifty Shades Freed. **
  12. Deep Blue Sea 2. **
  13. Rampage. ****
  14. Red Sparrow. ***
  15. Winchester. ***
  16. Early Man. ****
  17. Truth Or Dare. ***
  18. Tremors: A Cold Day In Hell. *
  19. Avengers: Infinity War. ****
  20. Ready Player One. ****
  21. Deadpool 2. ****
  22. The Strangers: Prey At Night. ****
  23. Love, Simon. ****
  24. Sherlock Gnomes. ***
  25. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. ****
  26. Isle Of Dogs. ***
  27. The Lodgers. ***
  28. Ant-Man And The Wasp. *****
  29. Mission Impossible: Fallout. ****
  30. Extinction. ****
  31. Skyscraper. ****
  32. The Meg. ****
  33. The First Purge. ***
  34. Lake Placid Legacy. **
  35. The Nun. ****
  36. Solo: A Star Wars Story. ****
  37. Sicario: Day Of The Soldado. **
  38. Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation. ****
  39. Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. ****
  40. American Fright Fest. **
  41. Frenzy. **
  42. Johnny English Strikes Again. ****
  43. A Star Is Born. ****
  44. Venom. ****
  45. The Spy Who Dumped Me. ***
  46. Slender Man. **
  47. Primal Rage. **
  48. The Hurricane Heist. ***
  49. Incredibles 2. ****
  50. Halloween. ****
  51. Our House. ****
  52. Hunter Killer. *****
  53. Crazy Rich Asians. ****
  54. The Predator. ****
  55. Blood Fest. **
  56. Searching. *****
  57. Bohemian Rhapsody. ****
  58. Alpha Wolf. **
  59. Curse Of The Scarecrow. *
  60. First Man. ****
  61. The House With A Clock In Its Walls. ***
  62. Mowgli: Legend Of The Jungle. ***
  63. Under The Silver Lake. **
  64. The Mermaid: Lake Of The Dead. **
  65. Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween. ***
  66. Fantastic Beasts 2: The Crimes Of Grindelwald. ***
  67. Aquaman. *****
  68. Hell Fest. ****
  69. Bumblebee. ****
  70. Replicas. ****
  71. Bird Box. ****
  72. Ralph Breaks The Internet. ***
  73. Beautiful Boy. ***
  74. Rust Creek. *
  75. Jonathan. ****
  76. The Favourite. ***
  77. The Wife. ***
  78. Vice. ***
  79. Time Freak. ***
  80. Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. *****
  81. Boy Erased. ****
  82. The Nutcracker And The Four Realms. ***
  83. Robin Hood. ***
  84. Can You Ever Forgive Me? ****
  85. The Grinch. ***
  86. End Of The World. *
  87. Dead In The Water. **
  88. Night School. **
  89. Instant Family. ***
  90. Bad Times At The El Royale. ***
  91. Overlord. ****
  92. Discarnate. ***
  93. Mary Queen Of Scots. ****
  94. Mary Poppins Returns. ***
  95. Book Of Monsters. ***

Chinese films in 2018 that I have watched: (The one in bold is my top favourite)

  1. A Beautiful Moment. *** (Hong Kong film)
  2. Agent Mr Chan. ** (Hong Kong film)
  3. Lee Chong Wei: Rise Of The Legend. **** (Malaysian film)
  4. Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings. **** (China film)
  5. Master Z: The Ip Man Legacy. **** (Hong Kong film)

Other foreign films in 2018 that I have watched: (The one in bold is my top favourite)

  1. What The Waters Left Behind. *** (Argentinian film)
  2. The Quake. *** (Norwegian film)
  3. Rampant. **** (South Korean film)
  4. Roma. **** (Mexican film)

As of 19th March 2019, I have watched a total of 104 films that are released in year 2018. I managed to break the 100-mark. Years have go on and I’m still clearly a movie fans. It’s my hobby, my favourite thing to do in leisure time and is my great source of entertainment.

Moving on, here’s the list of top 10 highest grossing films of 2018 (as of 19th March 2019):

  1. Avengers: Infinity War. $ 2.048 billion.
  2. Black Panther. $ 1.346 billion.
  3. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. $ 1.309 billion.
  4. Incredibles 2. $ 1.242 billion.
  5. Aquaman. $ 1.143 million.
  6. Bohemian Rhapsody. $ 879 million.
  7. Venom. $855 million.
  8. Mission Impossible: Fallout. $ 791 million.
  9. Deadpool 2. $ 785 million.
  10. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald. $ 653 million.

A record 5 films joined the 1-billion dollar club this year. Avengers: Infinity War topped the table with a huge comfortable margin and is the 4th movie to surpass the 2-billion milestone and is currently also the 4th highest grossing film of all time. Incredibles 2 becomes the 2nd highest grossing animated film of all time (only behind 2013’s Frozen). Out of the 10 films above, 6 of them are based on superheroes (including the animated film Incredibles 2). That shows that the world audiences aren’t tired of superhero genre yet.

So now, to the final section of this post is where my personal selection of the best of films in 2018 is. Here, I’m pretending to be a professional film academy voter.

Best Film: A Quiet Place

Best Director: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)

Best Leading Actor: Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Best Leading Actress: Glenn Close (The Wife)

Best Supporting Actor: Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)

Best Supporting Actress: Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased)

Best Young Performer: Ansel Elgort (Jonathan)

Best Original Screenplay: A Quiet Place

Best Adapted Screenplay: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Film Editing: Vice

Best Cinematography: Roma

Best Production Design: Isle of Dogs

Best Action Choreography: Aquaman

Best Visual Effects: Aquaman

Best Original Score: First Man

Best Original Song: Shallow from ‘A Star Is Born’ 

Best Sound Mixing and Editing: Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Costume Design: Black Panther

Best Make-up and Hair-styling: Vice

Best Youth or Superhero Film: Aquaman

Best Horror or Supernatural Film: A Quiet Place

Best Musical or Comedy Film: Johnny English Strikes Again

Best Sci-fi or Fantasy Film: Ready Player One

Best Action or Thriller Film: Hunter Killer

Best Animated Film: Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

(This post is originally published on 31st December 2018 and is updated on 19th March 2019)

Oasia Hotel Downtown won ‘Best Tall Building Worldwide’ at 16th CTBUH Awards.


Oasia Hotel Downtown in Singapore has been selected by the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) end of last month as the winner of ‘Best Tall Building Worldwide’ in its 16th Annual CTBUH Awards. Oasia Hotel Downtown was chosen from among the four regional Best Tall Building winners.

American Copper Buildings won for Best Tall Building Americas, Oasia Hotel Downtown is named the Best Tall Building Asia & Australasia; Best Tall Building Europe went to The Silo; and Zeitz MOCAA for Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa.

The visually-striking Oasia Hotel Downtown stands out amongst the gray and blue high-rises of Singapore with its plant-covered façade of red and green, which connects to the green of the cityscape. Landscaping is used extensively as an architectural surface treatment, and forms a major part of the development’s material palette, with a total of 54 species of plants climbing along the aluminum mesh façade screen. With a substantial commitment to outdoor communal space through the incorporation of “skyspaces” along its height, the tower provides respite and relief to its occupants, neighbors, and city. “This project won not only because it incorporates 60 stories of green walls along the exterior,” said CTBUH Executive Director and Awards Juror Antony Wood, “but because of its significant commitment to communal space. The tower has given over 40 percent of its volume to open air communal terraces in the sky.”

I have the opportunity to view this building a couple of times as it is located right at the downtown of Singapore. Although it is not as tall as some of its neighbouring buildings, but it stood out from its distinctive red-coloured aluminium mesh facade coupled with greens all over the four sides of the building. The appearance breaks away from typical glass tower block or monstrous solid mass while the detailed design thought to the communal spaces is a plus point.

American Copper Buildings is a dual-tower residential skyscraper in New York City, USA. It is a venturesome and highly visible architectural statement clad in copper that addresses the area’s dual need for affordable housing and climate resiliency. The two towers are designed such that they appear to “dance” with each other. They are also connected by a bridge approximately 300 feet from the ground, which will be three levels in height.

The Silo in Copenhagen, Denmark is a 17-storey former grain silo that is now turned into a residential apartment. Exterior of the existing silo is reclad, while its interior has been preserved as raw and untouched as possible. An angular faceted exterior facade made of galvanized steel has been installed to serve as a limate shield. This has allowed the building’s characteristic slender tall shape to be maintained.

Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town, South Africa underwent a similar approach with The Silo in Copenhagen. Zeitz MOCAA is formerly a grain silo building too and is now trasnformed into a contemporary art museum. Using a variety of concrete-cutting techniques, the interior of the building was carved out to create a number of galleries and a large central atrium. The remaining concrete shafts were capped with strengthened glass in order to allow natural light to enter and create a “cathedral-like” interior. I am in awe of the result of this concrete-cutting design approach. The space created looks awesome and I personally find that this is more deserving to win Best Tall Building Worldwide.

In addition to the regional and overall Best Tall Building winners, a number of other award recipients were recognized at the conference, including the World Trade Center Master Plan for the Urban Habitat Award; MULTI for the Innovation Award; The EY Centre for the Construction Award; New York Times Tower for the 10 Year Award (2007 Completions); and Shanghai World Financial Center for the 10 Year Award (2008 Completions). In all, the 10 awards winners were chosen from a group of 48 Finalist projects representing 28 countries.

Reference:

http://tallinnovation2018.com/winners/

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

Full winner list for the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards, and my quick opinions for some categories.


The 37th Hong Kong Film Awards was held yesterday to honor the best of Hong Kong films in 2017. I was very free on the Sunday’s evening and so I watched the whole awards ceremony which lasted for almost 4 hours (definitely overrun). I am not interested in most parts of the ceremony because I actually didn’t watch any of the nominated films (no love to Hong Kong films last year, I only watched very few but not the nominated ones). I am only excited and curious on who will win the best actor and actress this time. Here below is the full list of winners and nominees along with my comments in several categories:

Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan
The Great Buddha (Taiwan) (WINNER)
The Bold, the Corrupt, and the Beautiful (Taiwan)
Youth (China)
Duckweed (China)
Wolf Warrior 2 (China)

Best New Director
Kearen Pang — 29+1 (WINNER)
Jonathan Li — The Brink
Chapman To — The Empty Hands
Derek Hui — This Is Not What I Expected
Chan Tai-lee — Tomorrow Is Another Day

Opinion: I think this category should be removed because it is way too early to reward first-time director. There can be many other ways to reward first-time director rather than an award immediately.

Best Visual Effects
Henri Wong, Eric Xu — Wu Kong (WINNER)
Park Young-soo, Kim Wook — Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back
Jang Seong-ho, Park Young-soo, Son Oh-young — The Thousand Faces of Dunjia
Yee Kwok-leung, Chui Tak-piu, Jules Lin, Loki Ho — Shock Wave
Victor Wong, Eman Tse — The Founding of an Army

Opinion: When you do a movie about the mythical Monkey King legend and you place in heavy amount of CGI, you will win. The quality of visual effects in Asia is still quite far behind compared to Hollywood production. Every CGI scenes look fake especially in these kind of fantasy movies.

Best Sound Design
Kinson Tsang, George Lee — Paradox (WINNER)
Tu Du-chih, Wu Shu-yao — Our Time Will Come
Kinson Tsang, Yiu Chun-hin — Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back
Nip Kei-wing, Ip Siu-kei — Shock Wave
Hao Gang, Wang Chong — Wu Kong

Best Original Film Song
“An Unheard Melody” — Concerto of the Bully (WINNER)
Composer: Peter Kam
Lyrics: Keith Chan Siu-kei
Performer: Ronald Cheng
“Fake a Smile (For Hector)” — 29+1
Composer: Subyub Lee
Lyrics: Subyub Lee
Performer: Subyub Lee
“Flowers in Blossom” — Love Education
Composer: Kay Huang
Lyrics: Lam Kwun-fan
Performer: Sitar Tan
“Jeung Seung Si Sau” — Vampire Cleanup Department
Composer: ToNick
Lyrics: Leung Pak-kin, Gingerlemon Cola
Performer: ToNick
“When I Love You” — This Is Not What I Expected
Composer: Chan Kwong-wing
Lyrics: Han Han
Performer: Cheer Chen

Best Original Film Score
Joe Hisaishi — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Wong Ngai-lun, Janet Yung — 29+1
Peter Kam — Concerto of the Bully
Veronica Lee — The Empty Hands
Kay Huang — Love Education

Best Action Choreography
Sammo Hung — Paradox (WINNER)
Li Chung-chi — The Brink
Yuen Cheung-yan, Yuen Shun-yi — The Thousand Faces of Dunjia
Ku Huen-chiu — Wu Kong
Yu Kang, Yuen Bun, Yan Hua — Chasing the Dragon

Best Costume & Make Up Design
Bruce Yu, Lee Pik-kwan — Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back (WINNER)
Man Lim-chung, Polly Chan — Our Time Will Come
Bruce Yu, Lee Pik-kwan — Wu Kong
Yee Chung-man, Bruce Yu, Kwok Suk-man — Chasing the Dragon
Dora Ng — This Is Not What I Expected

Best Art Direction
Man Lim-chung, Billy Li — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Yoshihito Akatsuka, Liao Huei-li, Guo Zhongshan — Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back
Irving Cheung — The Empty Hands
Eric Lam — Wu Kong
James Cheung — Chasing the Dragon

Best Film Editing
Li Ka-wing — Chasing the Dragon (WINNER)
William Chang, Shirley Yip — In Your Dreams
Azreal Chung — Shock Wave
Mary Stephen, Kong Chi-leung — Our Time Will Come
Wong Hoi — Paradox

Best Cinematography
Jason Kwan — Chasing the Dragon (WINNER)
Nelson Yu — Our Time Will Come
Tam Wai-kai — The Empty Hands
Mark Lee Ping-bing — Love Education
Kenny Tse — Paradox

Best Screenplay
Sylvia Chang, You Xiaoying — Love Education (WINNER)
Kearen Pang — 29+1
Ho Kei-ping — Our Time Will Come
Pang Ho-cheung, Jimmy Wan, Luk Yee-sum — Love Off the Cuff
Cheung King-wai — Somewhere Beyond the Mist

Opinion: Since Sylvia Chang won here, it looks like she will lose the best actress trophy later. It’s okay because she has won it before many years ago.

Best New Performer
Ling Man-lung — Tomorrow Is Another Day (WINNER)
Larine Tang — The Yuppie Fantasia 3
Stephanie Au — Love Off the Cuff
Hanna Chan — Paradox
Rachel Leung — Somewhere Beyond the Mist

Opinion: I didn’t watch the film, but I am already amazed by Ling Man-lung’s acting just by seeing the short clip of his performance as an autistic son in ‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’ alone. Hence, I think he deserved this award.

Best Supporting Actress
Deanie Ip — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Joyce Cheng — 29+1
Estelle Wu — Love Education
Susan Shaw — Vampire Cleanup Department
Baby Bo — Somewhere Beyond the Mist

Opinion: Deanie Ip is a wonderful actress and it’s lovely to see her return to the stage again after winning best actress few years ago.

Best Supporting Actor
Philip Keung — Shock Wave (WINNER)
Philip Keung — Concerto of the Bully
Yasuaki Kurata — The Empty Hands
Paul Chun — Love Off the Cuff
Gordon Lam — Paradox
Yasuaki Kurata — God of War

Opinion: I have seen quite a number of Hong Kong movies in the past with Philip Keung in it. In most of those movies, he is not that noticeable because he is always playing average roles. Hey..not this time. This time, he got a role that won the recognition he deserves.

Best Actress
Teresa Mo — Tomorrow Is Another Day (WINNER)
Chrissie Chau — 29+1
Zhou Xun — Our Time Will Come
Stephy Tang — The Empty Hands
Sylvia Chang — Love Education

Opinion: Teresa Mo deserves this award. She has placed a lot of effort in Hong Kong film industry in all these years. After failing to win in previous occasions (has been nominated several times in the past), she finally prevailed this time. I’m glad for her. She too is a wonderful actress. I particularly like her comedic roles (although this award-winning role is not).

Best Actor
Louis Koo — Paradox (WINNER)
Ronald Cheng — Concerto of the Bully
Andy Lau — Shock Wave
Tian Zhuangzhuang — Love Education
Ling Man-lung — Tomorrow Is Another Day

Opinion: I already expected this. Louis Koo has been the frontrunner in this category after winning several best actor prizes in some other awards earlier for his role in ‘Paradox’. He has been nominated several times in the past too (but never win before) and no one is of doubt that he is a lead actor material. His time came and I’m happy for him winning his first Film King  in Hong Kong Film Awards. He has also won TV King many years ago from TVB.

Best Director
Ann Hui — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Kearen Pang — 29+1
Herman Yau — Shock Wave
Sylvia Chang — Love Education
Wilson Yip — Paradox

Opinion: Ann Hui again. She is a great director but at this point, I’m tired of hearing her name again. She has won the best director for a total of 6 times (most wins in directing). I think the voters tend to choose only the familiar name in this category (and also in some other categories too). This is discouraging to other directors who also did great jobs.

Best Film
Roger Lee, Stephen Lam, Ann Hui — Our Time Will Come (WINNER)
Alvin Lam, Andy Lau, Chan Pui-wah, Esther Koo, Alice Chan, Jeffrey Chan, Simon Li, Thomas Tang, Chang Bin, C.K. Wong, Xingbo Guan — Shock Wave
Patricia Cheng — Love Education
Wong Jing, Donnie Yen, Andy Lau, Connie Wong — Chasing the Dragon
Soi Cheang, Paco Wong — Paradox

Opinion: Yet, another film by Ann Hui winning best film again. Usually those artistic and historical movie (and usually boring) will win. I’m not against it but again, I’m tired of seeing the similar type of movie taking the top honor. The voters should opt for innovative (boundary pushing) or truly moving (warm and relatable) works next time.

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

90th Academy Awards: ‘The Shape of Water’ wins best picture.


The 90th Academy Awards took place on March 4th, 2018 (Sunday) in Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles. Well, it’s Monday’s morning (the next day) for us in Asia to catch the ceremony live. I am very excited for this year’s result as I watched a lot of the nominated films this year including all the 9 films nominated for best picture. Well, for your information, the films nominated are the ones released last year (in 2017). Jimmy Kimmel hosted the ceremony for the second time consecutively and he did quite well. The best picture mix-up error made last year became the highlight of his talks this year besides than the currently viral issue of empowering the females in Hollywood.

Here below is the full result of the 90th Academy Awards along with the list of nominees and my opinions:

BEST PICTURE

Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
Get Out
Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
The Post

WINNER: The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Opinion: I’m so delighted that ‘The Shape of Water’ wins best picture for this year when the race is too close to call. This movie is certainly my best out of the 9 nominated films. It has a daring story, amazing performances by lead and supporting cast, beautiful score, mesmerizing production design, great cinematography, and fantastic direction. What more can you ask for? The movie excels in almost all categories and it is further proven by securing 13 nominations in the Academy Awards (the biggest ever this year) and winning 4 (also the biggest winner). I’m predicting earlier that ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ will win after its triumphant victory in Golden Globes, SAG and BAFTA although I don’t wish too because I didn’t enjoy the movie. I’m very happy for ‘The Shape of Water’ winning in the end to my excitement. It has now won the Golden Lion, Critics Choice, PGA, DGA and the Oscar.

LEAD ACTRESS

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
WINNER: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Meryl Streep, The Post

Opinion: I’m okay with Frances McDormand winning (also very much expected) but I would prefer to give this win to someone else who has not win an Oscar before. Sally Hawkins is incredible in ‘The Shape of Water’ and it’s a pity that she lost here. Frances McDormand is amazing in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ by the way. I like her more and more after seeing her going on the stage in the past two months receiving Best Actress trophies and giving speeches with style.

LEAD ACTOR

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
WINNER: Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Opinion: Expected again. It is finally the year for Gary Oldman, a great actor to take home an Oscar. Although I do not enjoy his performance as Winston Churchill in ‘Darkest Hour’ (the movie is also boring to me), but I’m still fine with him winning just like how I was fine with Frances McDormand winning. It is more like a career award for him. Timothee Chalamet is actually the best among these 5 nominees in performance wise but he is too young and too early for an Oscar. I believe there is much more chance for him to get nominated and winning later in his future career (which is going to be bright).

DIRECTOR

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
Jordan Peele, Get Out
WINNER: Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Opinion: Expected outcome too. I’m happy that Guillermo del Toro wins for his amazing directing in ‘The Shape of Water’. I think only his visionary mind would be able to accomplish such movie. Now all the Three Amigos (Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro G. Innaritu and Guillermo del Toro) from Mexico have won best director in the Oscars.

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
WINNER: Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Opinion: Also expected. Allison Janney gave a memorable performance as a fierce mother in ”I, Tonya’. Her character stood out more than the other strong contender, Laurie Metcalf who also portrayed a mother (in ‘Lady Bird’).

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
WINNER: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Opinion: Yes…expected too. Besides Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell steals the show in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. Now, Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Allison Janney and Sam Rockwell became the first group in history to have a clean sweep in all the five major televised awards show in the same year. All four of them won in Golden Globes, SAG, Critics Choice, BAFTA and the Oscars.

ORIGINAL SONG 

Mighty River, from Mudbound (Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson)
Mystery of Love, from Call Me By Your Name (Sufjan Stevens)
WINNER: Remember Me, from Coco (Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez)
Stand Up for Something, from Marshall (Diane Warren and Lonnie R. Lynn)
This Is Me, from The Greatest Showman (Benj Pasek and Justin Paul)

Opinion: I’m fine with ‘Remember Me’ winning but I actually prefer ‘This Is Me’ to win instead for the more powerful and catchy the latter is. I somehow find that ‘Remember Me’ is moving but has too simple lyrics and is overused in the movie ‘Coco’.

ORIGINAL SCORE

Dunkirk, Hans Zimmer
Phantom Thread, Jonny Greenwood
WINNER: The Shape of Water, Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, John Williams
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Carter Burwell

Opinion: Yup! A very deserving win. Alexandre Desplat’s score for ‘The Shape of Water’ is unique, magical and it suits the movie’s vision very well.

CINEMATOGRAPHY

WINNER: Blade Runner 2049, Roger A. Deakins
Darkest Hour, Bruno Delbonnel
Dunkirk, Hoyte van Hoytema
Mudbound, Rachel Morrison
The Shape of Water, Dan Lausten

Opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and hence not much comment on this but I have heard a lot of good feedback to this movie especially on its visuals and cinematography (lighting design).

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
WINNER: Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig
The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh

Opinion: I’m happy that ‘Get Out’ is not going home empty handed with this win here. A very competitive category. This is a very close race between ‘Get Out’, ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. A horror movie that is so intelligent and achieves a level higher than all the other films in this genre should be acknowledged and I’m glad that the Academy did.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

WINNER: Call Me By Your Name, James Ivory
The Disaster Artist, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Logan, Scott Frank, James Mangold and Michael Green
Molly’s Game, Aaron Sorkin
Mudbound, Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Opinion: Competition is so much more less intense in adapted screenplay. ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is the clear favourite already because it is the only film which is also nominated for best picture. Enough said.

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

DeKalb Elementary
The Eleven O’Clock
My Nephew Emmett

WINNER: The Silent Child
Watu Wote: All of Us

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

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Edith+Eddie
WINNER: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Heroin(e)
Knife Skills
Traffic Stop

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

WINNER: Dear Basketball
Garden Party
Lou
Negative Space
Revolting Rhymes

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

WINNER: A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
The Insult (Lebanon)
Loveless (Russia)
On Body and Soul (Hungary)
The Square (Sweden)

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE) 

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Faces Places

WINNER: Icarus
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

ANIMATED FEATURE

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner

WINNER: Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Opinion: There is no competition this year for animated features. ‘Coco’ excels by a mile. It is a wonderful (both colourful and moving) animated movie and Pixar always do well here. Anyway, this movie reminds me a lot of 2014’s ‘The Book of Life’ (also an animated film…very similar theme and vibe).

FILM EDITING 

Baby Driver, Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos
WINNER: Dunkirk, Lee Smith
I, Tonya, Tatiana S. Riegel
The Shape of Water, Sidney Wolinsky
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Jon Gregory’

Opinion: I prefer ‘I, Tonya’ to win. I find that ‘I, Tonya’ has much more obvious masterful editing than the other nominees. The Academy seems to have deep fascination to war films and will keep choosing them to win in technical categories like this ‘film editing’ and both ‘sound mixing’ and ‘sound editing’.

VISUAL EFFECTS

WINNER: Blade Runner 2049
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Kong: Skull Island
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes

Opinion: Bad outcome for ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise. After three attempts, this franchise still couldn’t manage to win an Oscar for their brilliant visual effect (the apes really look very realistic). This final film of the series delivers the highest chance for it to win but lost to ‘Blade Runner 2049’ in the end for the more futuristic looking visuals in the latter.

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
WINNER: The Shape of Water

Opinion: Another victory for ‘The Shape of Water’. Very well deserved. The sets in the movie are incredible and adds up a lot to let the audiences immerse into the story and the setting.

SOUND MIXING

Baby Driver
Blade Runner 2049
WINNER: Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

SOUND EDITING

Baby Driver, Julian Slater
Blade Runner 2049, Mark Mangini and Theo Green
WINNER: Dunkirk, Richard King and Alex Gibson
The Shape of Water, Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce

Opinion: I still couldn’t find the difference between ‘sound mixing’ and ‘sound editing’. Academy, just combine them into a single category. The winner and all the nominees in the two categories are the exact same. What’s the point?! ‘Dunkirk’ is exceptionally good in sound and is right to win these two although I find it overrated (I didn’t enjoy the movie).

COSTUME DESIGN

Beauty and the Beast, Jacqueline Durran
Darkest Hour, Jacqueline Durran
WINNER: Phantom Thread, Mark Bridges
The Shape of Water, Luis Sequeira
Victoria & Abdul, Consolata Boyle’

Opinion: The only win for ‘Phantom Thread’ as predicted. The movie about costumes is winning ‘Costume Design’. Well, what more can I say?

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

WINNER: Darkest Hour, Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick
Victoria & Abdul, Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
Wonder, Arjen Tuiten

Opinion: A deserving win for ‘Darkest Hour’ for its amazing work on Gary Oldman in transforming him into Winston Churchill. The Academy should expand the nominees to 5 just like the other categories.

Well, the 90th Oscars has ended. The major awards season for 2017 Hollywood films is over too. ‘The Shape of Water’ becomes the biggest winner with 4 wins including the coveted ‘Best Picture’ title. ‘Dunkirk’ slightly over-performed with 3 wins while ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ slightly under-performed with only 2 wins. ‘Coco’, ‘Darkest Hour’ and ‘Blade Runner 2049’ each has 2 wins. ‘Call Me By Your Name’, ‘I, Tonya’, ‘Phantom Thread’ and ‘Get Out’ each has 1 win. ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘The Post’ are the two films nominated for best picture and not winning anything at all. I find that there is no clear favourite for this year’s Oscars and the awards are well distributed to a lot of movies. This year’s outcome is one of the most satisfying in my personal opinion as most of the results is much expected.

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

 

71st British Academy Film Awards: List of winners and my overall opinion on the final race to the Oscars.


The 71st British Academy Film Awards, or simply known as BAFTA took place on 16th February 2018 at London’s Royal Albert Hall. This is the fourth of the five major televised awards in recognizing the best of Hollywood films every year.
‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is the biggest winner with 5 wins including the coveted ‘Best Film’ prize. The film also won ‘Outstanding British Film’, completing the difficult feat of nailing both the best film prizes BAFTA offered. Its big win here reinforces its position as the Oscar frontrunner particularly in the best picture race where ‘The Shape of Water’ is another serious contender. After winning Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Screen Actors Guild for Best Cast for Motion Picture, and then this BAFTA for Best Film, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ now is predicted to win Best Picture in the coming Oscars as well. The only major televised award it missed out is Critics’ Choice for Best Picture that went to ‘The Shape of Water’. I’m still hoping that ‘The Shape of Water’ will upset ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ in the Oscars.
As for the four acting categories, it is a lock. Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney can now safely practice their Oscar speech. There is no more competition. It is very unlikely that other nominees will win after they won all the major precursor awards leading up to the Oscars. James Ivory is sure to win ‘Adapted Screenplay’ in the Oscars too for ‘Call Me By Your Name’ while competition for ‘Original Screenplay’ remain heated with ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and ‘Get Out’ battling each other. On the other hand, I’m 100% confident that ‘Coco’ will win Best Animated Feature in the Oscars without any further explanation required.
Leading with 13 nominations, ‘The Shape of Water’ is now expected to take only ‘Best Director’, ‘Best Production Design’ and ‘Best Original Score’. This movie deserves more in my opinion (including ‘Best Picture’, ‘Best Actress’, etc) but it looks like no one can block the immense love to ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ from the industry people. On the other hand, it’s a pity that Timothee Chalamet lost the Rising Star Award to Daniel Kaluuya because the latter is a homegrown (definitely an advantage since this category is voted by the public). Timothee Chalamet definitely had a more stellar year (2017) in films (‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’). ‘Blade Runner 2049’, ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Dunkirk’, ‘Phantom Thread’, ‘The Shape of Water’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ win in the remaining technical categories. Notable highlight here is ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ losing ‘Best Visual Effects’ to ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and this hurts its chance in the coming Oscars.
Here below is the full list of winners for the 71st British Academy Film Awards (2018):
Best Film
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Outstanding British Film
“Darkest Hour”
“The Death Of Stalin”
“God’s Own Country”
“Lady Macbeth”
“Paddington 2”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer
“The Ghoul Gareth Tunley”
“I Am Not A Witch” *Winner
“Jawbone Johnny Harris (Writer/Producer), Thomas Napper (Director)
“Kingdom Of Us”
“Lady Macbeth”
Film Not In The English Language
“Elle”
“First They Killed My Father”
“The Handmaiden” *Winner
“Loveless”
“The Salesman”
Documentary
“City Of Ghosts”
“I Am Not Your Negro” *Winner
“Icarus”
“An Inconvenient Sequel”
“Jane”
Animated Film
“Coco” *Winner
“Loving Vincent”
“My Life As A Courgette”
Director
“Blade Runner 2049,” Denis Villeneuve
“Call Me By Your Name,” Luca Guadagnino
“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro *Winner
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin Mcdonagh
Original Screenplay
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“I, Tonya,” Steven Rogers
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape Of Water,” Guillermo Del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin Mcdonagh *Winner
Adapted Screenplay
“Call Me By Your Name,” James Ivory *Winner
“The Death Of Stalin,” Armando Iannucci, Ian Martin, David Schneider
“Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool,” Matt Greenhalgh
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Paddington 2,” Simon Farnaby, Paul King
Leading Actress
Annette Bening, “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”
“Frances Mcdormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape Of Water”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Leading Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour” *Winner
Jamie Bell, “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Supporting Actress
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya” *Winner
Kristin Scott Thomas, “Darkest Hour”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape Of Water”
Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, “All The Money In The World”
Hugh Grant, “Paddington 2”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” *Winner
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Original Music
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape Of Water” *Winner
Cinematography
“Blade Runner 2049” *Winner
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk Hoyte”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Editing
“Baby Driver” *Winner
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk Lee Smith”
“The Shape Of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)
Daniel Kaluuya *Winner
Florence Pugh
Josh O’Connor
Tessa Thompson
Timothée Chalamet
Make Up & Hair
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Darkest Hour” *Winner
“I, Tonya”
“Victoria & Abdul”
“Wonder”
Costume Design
“Beauty and the Beast”
“Darkest Hour”
“I, Tonya”
“Phantom Thread” *Winner
“The Shape of Water”
Sound
“Baby Driver”
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk” * Winner
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Visual Effects
“Blade Runner 2049” *Winner
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape of Water”
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)

Exciting Best Picture race for the upcoming 90th Oscars.


The 90th Academy Awards honouring the best of 2017 films will be held on 4th March 2018, which is less than a month from now. The voting will open on 20th February (2 days after the British Academy Film Awards, the BAFTA)  for all Academy members to cast their votes until 27th February. A number of major film communities (Gold Derby, Awards Circuit, Indiewire, etc), critics group and news reporters had revealed their Oscar predictions. I had also released my predictions in this post here alongside with the nomination list (https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2018/01/23/nomination-list-for-the-90th-academy-awards/) about two weeks ago.

There have been many discussions out there on analyzing which film will win ‘Best Picture’, the last and most coveted prize of the Oscars’ evening. I too have my own thoughts on this topic after seeing some of those discussions and debates. This year’s race for ‘Best Picture’ is intense and exciting as there is no clear frontrunner at this stage unlike in previous years. Some pointed out that it will be a tight battle between ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and ‘The Shape of Water’. This is reminiscent to the ‘Moonlight vs. La La Land’ last year, ‘Spotlight vs The Revenant’ in 2016, ‘Birdman vs Boyhood’ in 2015, and ’12 Years A Slave vs Gravity’ in 2014.

After looking at the 9 nominated films (I watched all of them) this year and seeing their performances in the past major precursor awards, I attempt to break them down into three tiers. The two films in the first tier has the most probability to win, while the four films in the second tier may have the chance to sneak in for the win, while the remaining three films in the third tier will be in a long shot for the win.

FIRST TIER

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The Shape of Water

Opinion: ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ won Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Cast at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG). The movie had also won scores of awards in acting races (Frances McDormand in best actress and Sam Rockwell in best supporting actor). The disadvantages to the film are that it didn’t get a crucial director’s nomination in the Academy Awards and it is currently receiving several backlash and criticisms over Sam Rockwell’s racist character who tries to redeem himself at the end of the movie.

‘The Shape of Water’ won Best Picture at Critics’ Choice, and won top honours at Producers Guild Awards (PGA) and Directors Guild Awards (DGA). The movie also excelled in a lot of technical achievements, and hence collecting up to 13 nominations at the Academy Awards (film with highest number of Oscar nominations this year). The disadvantages to the film are that it did not manage to win anything at SAG (also not getting a nomination at all in the crucial Best Cast category) and that its premise of a woman falling in love with an amphibian may turn off some voters.

There are pros and cons to these two films. For right now, I think the Oscar for Best Picture will be handed to ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ while the Director prize will go to Guillermo del Toro for his work in ‘The Shape of Water’. The Academy always deliver a split here in recent years. In my personal opinion, I would prefer ‘The Shape of Water’ to take both the Best Picture and Best Director because I find it superior (much better) than ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. I didn’t enjoy the latter at all. The preferential ballot by the Academy may also be helping ‘The Shape of Water’ as some voters may place ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ in the lower ranking of their best picture picks (that will seriously hurt its chance) due to its controversy and some who find it overrated. Yup…I find ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ over performed in the major precursor awards too. 

SECOND TIER

Lady Bird

Get Out

Dunkirk

Phantom Thread

Opinion: There is a possibility that the two films at the first tier above will cancel each other out and make way for one of these four films in this second tier that I have predicted. ‘Lady Bird’ and ‘Get Out’ are beloved by many critics group. However, they have not been receiving much love at the major televised awards. I myself didn’t have huge excitement for them too because I find ‘Lady Bird’ to be a very ordinary coming-of-age story of a high school female student while I think that ‘Get Out’ only managed to deliver a level above the typical horror flick which is still not deserving enough to get Best Picture win.

‘Dunkirk’ may stand a chance too but I find it overrated too. I don’t enjoy the movie and find it boring. There is literally not much drama at all in this war movie. As for ‘Phantom Thread’, it suddenly gained a lot of love from the Academy as proven by multiple number of nominations it received to everyone’s surprise. This period drama film that starred Daniel-Day Lewis (his final film) may sneak in to win in the end but the possibility at this point is still quite low. I find this movie boring too.

THIRD TIER

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

The Post

Opinion: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ is not getting much love from major precursor groups. However, it is receiving a lot of attention from online communities that comprise mostly of the younger generations that may have different takes with the older ones that form these major precursor groups as well as the Academy. Its queer love story may disturb many conservative voters. Remember back then when ‘Brokeback Mountain’ lost to ‘Crash’ for the Best Picture although everyone is rallying behind the former. Fortunately, the film is still receiving some Oscar nominations and is also a frontrunner to win ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’.

On the other hand, ‘Darkest Hour’ is certainly to pull off wins in ‘Best Actor’ (for Gary Oldman) and ‘Best Make-up and Hair-styling’  but is certainly not a best picture material to many. ‘The Post’ is first seen as a strong contender but loses all the momentum it needs in the major precursor awards. It didn’t win anything and has only two nominations at the Oscars (including Best Picture). I didn’t expect that this movie has under-performed to such level although it is directed by the mighty Steven Spielberg and starred the great Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep (nominated for best actress). So, it will be a long shot for either of these three films to win ‘Best Picture’. If it does, the world will be in shock. 

Conclusion…this year’s best picture race is certainly an intriguing one because there is no one clear frontrunner at all. All films in my first and second tier groups have their chance to win (6 of the 9 nominated films). However, the awards buzz is following more on ‘The Shape of Water’ followed by ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. The former is now the frontrunner to win best picture according to Gold Derby and Awards Circuit predictions. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is now losing some crucial momentum although standing up tall in the earlier major precursor awards. It still has a high chance of winning. I predict it to win but I would personally prefer ‘The Shape of Water’ as I’m very engaged and amazed by all the aspects in the latter from its story, performances, directing, production designs, score, etc. What do you think?

By the way, the Academy should just include one more nominee in the best picture race to round it up to 10 films easily. ‘I, Tonya’ should be in the list too. I’m really excited to know which film will prevail in the end…But before the Academy Awards, there will be one more major precursor that many will be paying attention to; the BAFTA (British Academy Film Awards) which is set to take place on 18th February 2018.

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