91st Oscars: ‘Green Book’ took Best Picture. Rami Malek is the best actor while Olivia Colman prevailed with best actress win over heavy favourite Glenn Close.


Finally, the Oscars is here. The 91st Academy Awards took place just a moment ago with some surprising wins. This year’s ceremony runs half hour longer than the anticipated 3-hours period. The ceremony also comes with no host. Here’s below is the full winners list along with my comments:

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

 

Opinion: I haven’t watch ‘Green Book’ (now I think I should). My first choice is ‘Roma’. I have a feeling many would be fine with ‘Roma’ winning since it is not as divisive as ‘Green Book’ (this film has some controversy). I’m surprised. I have to admit that ‘Roma’ is more of a technical masterpiece while the Academy just wanted to go away from that since they had done so last year (as many viewed ‘The Shape of Water’ more of a technical masterpiece too).

Best Director
Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”

Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
Adam McKay, “Vice”
Pawel Pawlikowski, “Cold War”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Favourite”

Opinion: Expected. It’s so nice to see Guillermo del Toro (last year winner) to present this to Alfonso Cuaron. Both are great friends and are from Mexico. Very well deserved win to Cuaron. It’s his second directing win! So many Mexicans rule in this category for the last couple of years.

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?”

Opinion: Oh my god! I was so shocked when I heard ‘Olivia Colman’. Poor Glenn…she is amazing in ‘The Wife’ and everyone thinks she is going to get it this time due to the huge overdue factor (me included). But she isn’t. That is shocking. I was really hoping she will win after 7 nominations. And yet, not again. She is a a wonderful actress and has been unfortunately overlooked by the Academy once again. Felt really bad for Glenn Close. Congratz, Olivia Colman; win in first nomination! I love her acceptance speech (she is a very likable and fun person). She is excellent in ‘The Favourite’ too but I still wanted Close to win her first Oscar in her long amazing career.

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”

Opinion: Happy for Rami Malek. He is phenomenal in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. Some people criticized that he just impersonates Freddie Mercury and lip-sync throughout the entire movie. To these people, have you watched the entire movie? His performance in it is much more than that and I’m glad that the Academy recognizes that.

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”

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ but have heard a lot of good reviews particularly for Regina King’s performance in it. She is snubbed at the SAG and BAFTA surprisingly. I would have prefer Emma Stone from ‘The Favourite’ to win this one but I knew she won’t. The 5 ladies here are all very deserving.

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”

Opinion: No. Although I knew Mahershala Ali is going to win as he sweeps all the major precursor awards, but I prefer Richard E. Grant. My judgement is a bit biased here as I have not watched ‘Green Book’. Ali has already won the same award just few years ago and I think it’s too quick for him to win another one.

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)

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘Blackkklansman’. My choice is ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’.

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)

Opinion: Haven’t watch ‘Green Book’ and I would prefer ‘The Favourite’ to win this. Its script is brilliant. It just doesn’t feel right when ‘The Favourite’ is not winning anything at all.

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

Opinion: Expected. The camerawork and lighting in ‘Roma’ are brilliant. The black-and-white style further expresses the cinematography of the film.

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)

Opinion: Good for ‘Black Panther’. The only fascinating thing from the film is its unique costumes.

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

Opinion: I predicted ‘Vice’ while ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is my second choice. I was wrong. I find that the editing in ‘Vice’ is much more obvious but Academy is very in love with the editing for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (mostly due to the amazing Live Aid scene).

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

Opinion: Expected. The same formula last year; do a huge transformation to a leading man in a movie (particularly turning one into a fat politician – Winston Churchill last year and Dick Cheney this year) and you got 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)

Opinion: ‘Black Panther’ has best score?! This is a joke. ‘If Beale Street Could Talk’ or even ‘Isle of Dogs’ are much more worthy. I have a feeling that Academy wanted to give a lot of awards to ‘Black Panther’ just to show that they are very serious in celebrating diversity. This is not right. Quality should be the priority.

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

Opinion: Definitely ‘Shallow’. Very deserving as the song is simply amazing! The only win for ‘A Star Is Born’ which has been predicted to be a strong contender in the early award season but fails.

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)

Opinion: Not hugely disappointed but would have prefer ‘The Favourite’ to take this. Looks like the love for ‘Black Panther’ is strong. There’s a lot of reliance on green screen for most setting in ‘Black Panther’ and less on practical set-up and that’s why I don’t really agree with it winning production design.

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

Opinion: ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is my third pick and it ends up prevailing even in this category. ‘A Quiet Place’ and ‘First Man’ have better sound editing in my opinion.

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

Opinion: Expected. The sound mixing for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is amazing. Music-themed film usually win here. Sorry ‘A Star Is Born’. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has much more obvious sound work and in much larger quantity and volume.

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

Opinion: Wow. This is so surprising. Academy tends to favour low-key supporting visual effects (same like when ‘Ex Machina’ won some years ago). I disagree totally. ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ is robbed. The CGI on Thanos alone is enough to win. ‘First Man’ is like my 4th pick (at the bottom).

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

Opinion: Expected again. ‘Roma’ is even in best picture contention.

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

Opinion: No competition. ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ is certainly at the top this year. ‘Incredibles 2’ is fun but ordinary. I have high expectation for ‘Isle of Dogs’ but it came out being fine although it has unique animation. ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ is here just to fill in the slot.

– No comments 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

I got 11 correct and 9 incorrect for my prediction (can check out my final prediction in my previous blog post). That is not good. I got almost half of my prediction wrong. The 91st Academy Awards gave us a lot of surprise in a year where a lot of races are wide open.

‘Green Book’ took the top honor (winning best picture), defeating ‘Roma’ which is thought to be the frontrunner (‘Roma’ has most nominations and has won quite a lot of major precursor prizes). ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ has the most wins at the night with 4 (lead actor, film editing, sound mixing, sound editing). ‘Green Book’, ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Roma’ ties with 3 wins each. Each of the best picture nominees won at least an award this year which is quite rare.

So now, that’s the official end of the 2018 Hollywood film awards season.

(Images in this post are from various online sources)

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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)

Golden Globes 2019 gave us some seriously shocking outcome. ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is the champion while ‘A Star Is Born’ dims.


The 76th Golden Globe Awards had just taken place yesterday (this morning at local time) with some seriously major shocks. However, I’m actually very delighted by that. Golden Globes is the first major Hollywood film awards (out of 5) in annual award season and the result is determined by votes from the 90+ members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA).
I always like the Golden Globes ceremony because it is more fun, less formal and always deliver very hilarious opening monologue in the past years. Same goes to this year. Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh hosted the ceremony. So, here’s the full list of Golden Globes 2019 winners (only for film section as I’m not interested on TV section) along with my thoughts:
Best Motion Picture – Drama
“Black Panther”
“BlackKklansman”
“Bohemian Rhapsody” *WINNER
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“A Star Is Born”
Opinion: Sometime, I have just got to go with my gut. My personal preference is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ but it has the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score among the five nominees. So, I didn’t have any expectation at all for it to win. Everyone is picking ‘A Star Is Born’ because it is an easy pick and the movie received universal acclaim. I myself is predicting ‘A Star Is Born’ to win due to all the positive reviews it had and all the love it received. People were already surprised when ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ manages to score a nomination, and now the whole world is in shock that it won too. I’m happy with this surprise. After this shocking win, no one should play down the probability of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ winning some major hardware in the following awards although ‘A Star Is Born’ is still the heavy favourite.
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
“Crazy Rich Asians”
“The Favourite”
“Green Book” *WINNER
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“Vice”
Opinion: Nothing much to comment on this category as I have only watched ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘The Favourite’.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Glenn Close (“The Wife”) *WINNER
Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Rosamund Pike (“A Private War”)
Opinion: Well, another surprise! Lady Gaga is tipped to win this but she lost it to a great veteran actress, Glenn Close. Now, it makes the best actress competition in the Oscars an interesting three-way race; Glenn Close, Lady Gaga and Olivia Colman. Vote splitting is sure to happen in this scenario and any one of the three can win.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”)
Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”)
Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”) *WINNER
John David Washington (“BlackKklansman”)
Opinion: Very happy for Rami Malek. I’m very impressed by his performance in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. It was as though I watched the real Freddie Mercury in that movie. He dissolves himself fully into the character and his transformation is simply splendid. A very deserving win. Now, it looks like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ may not win any more best film in the coming awards, but Rami Malek is the strong frontrunner for best actor. A lot are praising Bradley Cooper but I think his performance in ‘A Star Is Born’ is just average.
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) *WINNER
Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”)
Charlize Theron (“Tully”)
Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”)
Opinion: I had just watched ‘The Favourite’ last evening. Olivia Colman is good as Queen Anne but I think the movie’s success comes not from a single person but from the three ladies altogether; Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. Since Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz lost in supporting actress race, this is the chance to award ‘The Favourite’.
Best Director
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”) *WINNER
Peter Farrelly (“Green Book”)
Spike Lee (“BlackKklansman”)
Adam McKay (“Vice”)
Opinion: Didn’t watch ‘Roma’ but I knew Alfonso Cuaron is a great director. I still remember very well his past work especially ‘Gravity’.
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Christian Bale (“Vice”) *WINNER
Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
Vigo Mortensen (“Green Book”)
Robert Redford (“The Old Man and the Gun”)
John C. Reilly (“Stan and Ollie”)
Opinion: Didn’t watch ‘Vice’ but I’m supposed that this is the only reasonable category to reward ‘Vice’ so that it won’t go home empty handed despite scoring the highest number of nomination at 6.
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams (“Vice”)
Claire Foy (“First Man”)
Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) *WINNER
Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)
Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)
Opinion: I realize this pattern where award voters love to award black person for best supporting actor or actress in recent years. I’m not stressing on anything racially but it’s true. Emma Stone and Rachel Weiz are great but I think they cancelled each other out, leaving room for Regina King to emerge as winner. Claire Foy’s role is a bit too bland in ‘First Man’ although she is a great actress while Amy Adams just doesn’t have luck in awards.
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”) *WINNER
Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)
Adam Driver (“BlackKklansman”)
Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Sam Rockwell (“Vice”)
Opinion: Didn’t watch Green Book and I personally prefer Timothee Chalamet to win from his heartbreaking performance in ‘Beautiful Boy’. Golden Globe decided to compensate for Mahershala Ali this time when he lost in the same race 2 years ago when he was the heavy favourite from his performance in ‘Moonlight’.
Best Original Score in a Motion Picture
Marco Beltrami (“A Quiet Place”)
Alexandre Desplat (“Isle of Dogs”)
Ludwig Göransson (“Black Panther”)
Justin Hurwitz (“First Man”) *WINNER
Marc Shaiman (“Mary Poppins Returns”)

Opinion: This is the only category to reward ‘First Man’. The score is really incredible. End of story. No other score can get close to that.
Best Original Song in a Motion Picture
“All the Stars” (“Black Panther”)
“Girl in the Movies” (“Dumplin'”)
“Requiem for a Private War” (“A Private War”)
“Revelation” (“Boy Erased”)
“Shallow” (“A Star Is Born”) *WINNER

Opinion: Easy pick. From the moment ‘Shallow’ song is released to the public, everyone is already in love and saying that it is going to win in this category for all the awards. I am in that same opinion. ‘Shallow’ is such a powerful and beautiful song. The only win for ‘A Star Is Born’ which came with a strong 5 nominations.
Best Screenplay in a Motion Picture
Barry Jenkins (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Adam McKay (“Vice”)
Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (“The Favourite”)
Peter Farrelly, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie (“Green Book”) *WINNER
Opinion: I have only watched ‘The Favourite’ out of all the five nominees. Hence, nothing much to comment for ‘Green Book’ win here.
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“Capernaum”
“Girl”
“Never Look Away”
“Roma” *WINNER
“Shoplifters”
Opinion: Very much expected. ‘Roma’ is tipped to win all the ‘best foreign language film’ awards easily this year.
Best Animated Film
“Incredibles 2”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mirai”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” *WINNER
Opinion: I haven’t watch ‘Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse’ but I have heard a lot of good things for it. So, yeah, I’m fine for it winning. ‘Incredibles 2’ is entertaining, ‘Isle of Dogs’ is unique, ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ is good but they are still not enough to be deemed awesome.
‘Green Book’ is the biggest winner of the ceremony with 3 wins while ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ surprises everyone by winning two out of two nominations it received (and they are the big ones; best motion picture – drama and best actor – motion picture drama). ‘A Star Is Born’ fails to take off with only one win and it lost out in all the major categories (Bradley Cooper must be really sad as he has three nominations and lost them all – director, producer, and actor). ‘Vice’ also didn’t do well with just one win despite scoring the highest number of nomination at 6.
The next major Hollywood film awards to look out for is the Critics Choice which is set to take place on this weekend, 13th January 2019.
(Images in this post are from various online sources)

Spotlight on Indonesia as Asian Games 2018 began.


Yesterday is a very auspicious day as its date is 18.08.18. It is also picked as the day for the opening ceremony of the 18th Asian Games; Jakarta Palembang 2018. For the first time in the history of the games, the games are being co-hosted in two cities. In the original bidding for this edition of the games, Hanoi is declared the winning host city after defeating Surabaya, Indonesia. However, not long after, Hanoi dropped out of the hosting duty due to financial constraint. Indonesia is then selected to host the games and two cities have been brought forward to the task; Jakarta (its capital) and Palembang.

This is the second time Indonesia is hosting the games. The country previously hosted the 4th Asian Games back in 1962 at Jakarta. How many times have Malaysia hosted Asian Games? None. It is quite an embarrassing fact that my country have not hosted it before. We have the sports infrastructure, we have all the other supporting facilities, we have the manpower, and we have the capability to do so and yet we have not done it before. Our glory in hosting mega sporting event stopped at 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. That was already 20 years ago.

Malaysia should look seriously into bidding for another large-scale international sporting event and should start with this Asian Games. I don’t think we will need to spend a lot since we already have most of the infrastructure in place. The KL Sports City (Bukit Jalil complex) is capable of handling most of the games. Our neighbouring country, Thailand had hosted it four times and we are still at zero. We should really set sight on hosting Asian Games. Hangzhou (China) has been selected to host the 2022 edition will Nagoya (Japan) is also chosen to host the 2026 edition. Malaysia should come forward with huge effort to bid for the 2030 edition. And then, let’s carry on the tide by bidding for 2032 Summer Olympic Games (need to work together with Singapore for a single bid on this one).

Anyway, best of luck to all the participating 449 Malaysian athletes in 2018 Asian Games. We are among the ten largest contingent in this games and we should be having no problem to get into top 10 position in the overall medal tally too. We have to do much better than our previous participation in the Incheon 2014 edition that only won 5 gold medals, 14 silver medals and 14 bronze medals for a 14th place finish.

Jakarta Palembang 2018 opened yesterday with an opening ceremony that saw a unique entrance moment by Indonesian President, Joko Widodo on a cool motorbike ride. Next, the synchronization of the performers is something to be praised and I always love this kind of performances where a huge number of performers are involved to make the synchronization works beautifully. By the way, I only watched the highlight of the ceremony (not able to watch the whole thing as I couldn’t find any platform to watch the whole ceremony online). A huge stage setup of a volcanic mountain, waterfall and vegetation became the centrepiece of the show as the volcano forms the cauldron for the symbolic torch lighting segment. There were also some singing and performances showcasing Indonesian culture. The ceremony ended with typical fireworks display.

The games will run until 2nd September 2018 (day of its closing ceremony).

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

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games began and it marked the fifth time Australia is hosting the games.


I realized that there is going to be a lot of international sporting events this year. We have seen the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at South Korea two months ago. Now, we came into the period of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Later on, we would observe FIFA World Cup in June and July at Russia, Asian Games at Palembang (Indonesia) in August and September and also the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires at Argentina in October. So many sports to look out for in this year alone.

The 21st Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast 2018 began yesterday in a glitzy opening ceremony held in Carrara Stadium. The games will be held from 4th to 15th April 2018 in Gold Coast, a city famous for beautiful beaches in Queensland, Australia. This is the fifth time that Australia is hosting the games. The last time Australia hosted the Commonwealth Games is on 2006 in Melbourne (12 years ago). I have to admit that the Melbourne 2006 games was much more grander (more spectacular ceremonies) but Gold Coast 2018 also didn’t disappoint with an opening ceremony that shines a light on the aboriginal people of Australia and also presenting the diverse culture and beautiful nature of the country.

The games is officially opened by Prince Charles on behalf of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II. He is joined by his wife, Camillia and Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia. There will be 275 events in 19 sports available in this games which saw 71 participating teams representing the various countries and territories which were once under the reign of British empire. My country, Malaysia has a pretty good record in this games and its capital, Kuala Lumpur has also hosted the games once in 1998. It would be nice if Kuala Lumpur has the chance of hosting it again in near future. In the first day of the games (today), Malaysia has already won one gold medal.

I only watched the highlights of the opening ceremony and I realized that there is no cauldron lighting (a tradition observed in other events like the Olympics) but rather a segment where the Queen’s Baton Relay ends with a message from the Queen read by Prince Charles in the ceremony to officiate the games. Typical with the other recent ceremonies, Gold Coast 2018 emphasizes on vibrant and colourful light projection in its opening ceremony. There is no specific ‘shockingly majestic’ moment in the ceremony but it is still a success considering the recent games’ objective (including other games like the Olympics, Asian Games, etc) to minimize the budget and scale of events to prevent the host from running into deficit and ‘white elephant’ issues to the venues.

Now, I wish all the best to the athletes (especially the Malaysian athletes that I’m supporting). In the previous edition (Glasgow 2014), Malaysia won 6 golds, 7 silvers and 6 bronzes for a 12th place finish in the overall medal tally. I think Malaysia will perform slightly better in this edition and let’s hope that it will break into the top 10 spot this time.

(Images in this post are from The Guardian. More images here: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/gallery/2018/apr/04/commonwealth-games-2018-opening-ceremony-in-pictures)

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)

 

Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games ended with Norway leading the medal tally.


The 23rd Winter Olympic Games, Pyeongchang 2018 concluded yesterday with a spectacular closing ceremony. This winter games did not receive much media exposure and hence I find it difficult to find any website to watch the ceremony last evening. In the end, I only managed to watch highlights of the closing ceremony from one or two news.

Norway led the medal tally with 14 gold, 14 silver and 11 bronze for a total of 39 medals. Norway, which came in second place at Sochi 2014 emerged as the overall champion in this latest edition of the games. Germany came in second with 14 gold, 10 silver and 7 bronze while Canada made it to third place finish with 11 gold, 8 silver and 10 bronze. The host nation, South Korea had 7th place finish with 5 gold, 8 silver and 4 bronze. This winter games are usually dominated by European and Western countries as winter sports are more common and popular over there than in Asia. With a bit of home advantage, South Korea emerged as the top Asian nation in this games.

This is the first Winter Games for Malaysia. I am not expecting any medal finish since my country is very new to this. There are only two athletes representing Malaysia and I can see they have placed their effort in it although they lost in the end. Malaysia do not have winter season and so it’s much harder for us to take part in winter sport. Anyway, I’m still looking forward to more participation by the Malaysians in winter sports in near future.

I have noticed one sport that looks weird to me. I have never seen it before. After a bit of research, the sport I mentioned is called ‘curling’. Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. The curler can induce a curved path by causing the stone to slowly turn as it slides, and the path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brooms who accompany it as it slides down the sheet, using the brooms to alter the state of the ice in front of the stone. The action of the brooms is the one that made me laugh a little. It’s really the strangest Olympic sport I have ever seen and this is the first time I’m seeing it from Pyeongchang 2018 although this sport has been contested in the previous games before.

So now, this Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games has ended. The next edition will be in Beijing for 2022 Winter Olympic Games. Beijing, China will be the first city in history to have hosted both Summer Olympic Games (in 2008) and Winter Olympic Games (in 2022, 4 years from now).

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