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Nomination list for the 90th Academy Awards and my predictions.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2018 by vincentloy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has just released its nomination list for the upcoming 90th Academy Awards (The Oscars) to be held on March 4th, 2018. After months of speculations and predictions on which movies, actors or actresses getting nominated for this prestigious awards, the nomination list is finally revealed. There are some snubs as expected, but overall, the nomination list this year is mostly predictable.

Here below is the full nomination list alongside with my picks on preferred choice and predicted winner and my personal opinions for most of the categories:

NOMINATION LIST FOR THE 90TH ACADEMY AWARDS (aka THE OSCARS)

Best Picture

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: There are 9 movies getting the nomination for this top honor. I am surprised that ‘Phantom Thread’ and ‘Darkest Hour’ are able to sneak in. Notable omission includes ‘I, Tonya’, ‘The Big Sick’, ‘Mudbound’ and ‘The Florida Project’. The frontrunner in this race so far is ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’. However, the movie didn’t get a directing nomination which could hurt its chance to win best picture. That also makes way for ‘The Shape of Water’ to climb to the top to snatch best picture as the dark horse. However, I think even without a best director nomination, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is still predicted to win.

Directing

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

Preferred choice: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Predicted winner: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Personal opinion: It’s going to be Guillermo del Toro. He has outpaced Christopher Nolan by winning best director at Golden Globes and Critics’ Choice. Christopher Nolan is still a potential spoiler and is another wonderful film director. But this year, it has to be Guillermo del Toro. I’m shocked to see Paul Thomas Anderson getting nominated but not Martin McDonagh who has directed ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’, the best picture frontrunner. Steven Spielberg is also missing here from his directing work in ‘The Post’.

Actor in a Leading Role

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

Preferred choice: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)

Predicted winner: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Personal opinion: Academy can put ‘Gary Oldman’ name on the Oscar statuette already. There is nothing in the path to obstruct him on getting his first ever Academy Award. His performance is good in ‘Darkest Hour’ but I actually prefer Timothee Chalamet for his very real, raw and emotional performance in ‘Call Me By Your Name’. Anyway, he is too young for an Oscar (he is only 22 years old) and there’s a long bright path for him after this. So, it’s certainly time to give this to a deserving veteran actor, and that is Gary Oldman. I’m surprised to see James Franco got snubbed here from his role in ‘The Disaster Artist’ (he won Golden Globe for best actor in musical/comedy) and I’m tired of seeing Denzel Washington getting nominated (his way of delivering loud performances is boring to me).

Actress in a Leading Role

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

Preferred choice: Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water)

Predicted winner: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Personal opinion: Frances McDormand is the clear favourite and frontrunner after winning most of the precursor awards by now. This will be her second Oscar. She is good in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ but I don’t really like her strong and slightly aggressive attitude. It’s a pity that Sally Hawkins is not getting that much love from her inspiring work as a mute cleaner in a laboratory who felt in love with an amphibian in the movie ‘The Shape of Water’. I’m saddened that the voters out there didn’t realize how hard it is to portray a mute character while being able to deliver all the emotions perfectly and Sally Hawkins did that. On the other hand, Meryl Streep is nominated yet again. When there is Oscars, there is Meryl Streep. It is her 21st nomination (the most for any actors/actresses) and she did deserves it from her role in ‘The Post’.

Actress in a Supporting Role

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

Preferred choice: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Predicted winner: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Personal opinion: I’m giving the slight edge to Allison Janney over Laurie Metcalf because the former has a more prominent appearance and a character with louder personality in ‘I, Tonya’. Allison Janney has also won the Golden Globe, Critics Choice and the SAG. Hence, Laurie Metcalf’s position as the frontrunner previously is immediately replaced by Allison Janney.

Actor in a Supporting Role

  • 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
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Predicted winner: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Personal opinion: Willem Dafoe is losing momentum and is also giving the frontrunner status to Sam Rockwell by now already as the latter has won Golden Globe, Critics Choice and SAG. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is going strong here with 2 nominations.

Adapted Screenplay

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Logan
  • Molly’s Game
  • Mudbound

Preferred choice: Call Me By Your Name

Predicted winner: Call Me By Your Name

Personal opinion: Surprised to see ‘Logan’ getting its nomination here. Anyway, this category is weak this year and that makes way for ‘Call Me By Your Name’ to win this for sure as it is the only movie nominated here that is also nominated for best picture. Enough said.

Original Screenplay

  • The Big Sick
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: Get Out

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: Out of these 5 nominees, both ‘Get Out’ and ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ had script with brilliant fresh new idea respectively. I favor ‘Get Out’ more as it has a more engaging storyline. However, ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ will win this and it’s a hint that this movie will win best picture too (to my disappointment). I couldn’t really get myself into this movie. I find it overrated.

Animated Feature Film

  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco
  • Ferdinand
  • Loving Vincent

Preferred choice: Coco

Predicted winner: Coco

Personal opinion: Definitely ‘Coco’. The other nominees are just filling in the spots because they are far behind from ‘Coco’ in everything. ‘Coco’ is not only the best animated film in 2017, but also among the best of all the animated movies that I have watched. Besides that, this category is very weak this year.

Foreign Language Film

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

Documentary Feature

  • Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
  • Faces/Places
  • Icarus
  • Last Men in Aleppo
  • Strong Island

Cinematography

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Mudbound
  • The Shape of Water

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: Blade Runner 2049

Personal opinion: I didn’t watch ‘Blade Runner 2049’ but I have heard a lot of good reviews particularly on its technical achievements. The dark horse in this category is certainly ‘The Shape of Water’.

Film Editing

  • Baby Driver
  • Dunkirk
  • I, Tonya
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: I, Tonya

Predicted winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Personal opinion: I am amazed by the editing in ‘I, Tonya’ but I think people have forgotten that and kept remembering how great ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ has performed in the major precursor awards earlier. I have a feeling that voters wanted to give out more awards for ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ and this may be one of them.

Production Design

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

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: The Shape of Water

Personal opinion: ‘The Shape of Water’ stunned me with its amazing production design. The sets are awesome and gave me the feels to get myself immersed into the story and the movie. I would be mad if this movie lost here.

Costume Design

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Darkest Hour
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Shape of Water
  • Victoria & Abdul

Preferred choice: Beauty and the Beast

Predicted winner: Phantom Thread

Personal opinion: ‘Phantom Thread’ is in race for best picture and also in some other categories but it looks like it will not win anything. Costume design is the best shot for the film. The Academy will vote for it just for the sake of giving a consolation (a single win) to the movie.

Makeup and Hairstyling

  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria & Abdul
  • Wonder

Preferred choice: Darkest Hour

Predicted winner: Darkest Hour

Personal opinion: ‘Darkest Hour’ will take this one simply because the transformation of Gary Oldman to portray as Winston Churchill in the movie is phenomenal. I couldn’t even recognize that it was Gary Oldman in there and I have to compliment the very realistic make-up work put on him (must be a lot of effort). Hairtstyling? I think that make-up achievement in that movie is already enough for it to win. Academy should have extended this category to the normal 5 nominees, rather than just 3.

Original Score

  • Dunkirk
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Preferred choice: The Shape of Water

Predicted winner: The Shape of Water

Personal opinion: The simple yet magical soundtrack for ‘The Shape of Water’ should and will win this. Alexandre Desplat has yet produced another amazing film score here.

Original Song

  • “Mighty River,” Mudbound
  • “Mystery of Love,” Call Me by Your Name
  • “Remember Me,” Coco
  • “Stand Up for Something,” Marshall
  • “This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Preferred choice: ‘This Is Me’ (The Greatest Showman)

Predicted winner: ‘This Is Me’ (The Greatest Showman)

Personal opinion: Although ‘Remember Me’ is a very moving song, but ‘This Is Me’ is more powerful, meaningful and resonates more with the current society in the idea of respecting and treating minorities equally. Hence, I’m giving the edge to ‘This Is Me’. ‘Remember Me’ from ‘Coco’ is still a strong contender.

Sound Editing

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

Preferred choice: Baby Driver

Predicted winner: Baby Driver

Personal opinion: I am still confused by the difference between sound ‘editing’ and ‘mixing’. Anyway, I’m putting my bet on ‘Baby Driver’ as the movie did triumphed in sound categories and here is the only chance for it to come on top. I remembered the intentional synchronization of music with the actions by the cast in that movie. That was brilliant.

Sound Mixing

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

Preferred choice: Dunkirk

Predicted winner: Dunkirk

Personal opinion: Suddenly, I remembered that ‘Dunkirk’ also excelled in sound categories. ‘Dunkirk’ has loud, intense and climax-building sound works.  I think it will be battle between ‘Baby Driver’ and ‘Dunkirk’ in these two categories. So, why not each one winning one to make things sound fair.

Visual Effects

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

Preferred choice: War for the Planet of the Apes

Predicted winner: War for the Planet of the Apes

Personal opinion: I’m surprised to see ‘Kong: Skull Island’ getting a nomination here but I have to say that the movie do have some pretty visuals. But it won’t win. I’m putting my bet on ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ as it is the last film in the reboot ‘Planet of the Apes’ franchise (time to acknowledge it) and that the apes in it really look very real.

Animated Short Film

  • Dear Basketball
  • Garden Party
  • Lou
  • Negative Space
  • Revolting Rhymes

Live Action Short Film

  • DeKalb Elementary
  • The Eleven O’Clock
  • My Nephew Emmett
  • The Silent Child
  • Watu WoteAll of Us

Documentary Short Subject

  • Edith and Eddie
  • Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
  • Heroin(e)
  • Knife Skills
  • Traffic Stop

That’s it for the nomination list. ‘The Shape of Water’ leads with 13 nominations. It almost ties the record for being the film with most nominations which now stands at 14 (several other films in the past had reached that record before). It is still an astonishing feat for ‘The Shape of Water’ with that many number of nominations as expected earlier.  ‘Dunkirk’ has the second most nominations, and it is actually far behind with 8 nominations. ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’ is closely behind with 7 nominations and is predicted to win in most of the categories it is nominated, particularly in the acting ones and also for best picture. ‘Phantom Thread’ is getting more love than I expected with 6 nominations. ‘Darkest Hour’ also has 6 nominations. ‘Lady Bird’ has 5 nominations, while ‘Get Out’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’ has 4 nominations respectively. ‘The Post’, the remaining contender for best picture has 2 nominations only (best actress and best picture) and it is obvious that this movie is not getting much love from the Academy. Overall, there is not much major surprises for this year’s nomination list.

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

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Had just watched the first two Oscar-bait films of the year, and they are both coincidentally LGBT-themed.

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2017 by vincentloy

A lot of Oscar-bait films are usually released in December to leave more impression and effects to the critics and awards’ voters. This is also the month when film studios would release a lot of screeners for guilds and film’s associations to vote for the best of the year. Hence, you would see some films that have recently or have not yet been released to the public and yet have their clear-version copy out there in the torrent sites. The first two Oscar-bait films of the year that I have recently watched are ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ and ‘Call Me By Your Name’. They are both coincidentally LGBT-themed. This particular theme is getting a lot of love recently as the general public is now more open towards accepting it.

‘Battle Of The Sexes’ is a biographical sports film loosely based on the 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Robert Larimore Riggs. The film dramatizes the events leading up to that match between King (Emma Stone) and Riggs (Steve Carell), and their personal lives, particularly touching on the affair between King (she is married) with her female hairdresser. Billie Jean, a successful female tennis player, fights for the equality treatment of women and challenges the general perception during that period of time that women are ultimately weaker than men in sports. She accepts the challenge by a veteran male player, Riggs who boasts a lot of himself and relaxes before the tournament. King defeated Riggs in the legendary match.

It is a very solid film. It stands out without requiring any over-dramatic scenes but relies heavily on excellent performances by Emma Stone and Steve Carrell. Emma Stone is fantastic in this role and her performance here is even better than her last year’s role in ‘La La Land’ that won her Best Actress at the Academy Awards. Up till now, I still disagree on her Oscar win. She just won because she is popular, well liked by a lot of people, and ‘La La Land’ is getting a lot of love. Her performance in ‘La La Land’ is nothing extraordinary. Her role here is much better and challenging. Does that mean she will have a chance to win it again this year? Nope. She just won it last year (Academy wouldn’t want to award a young actress another trophy that soon). Steve Carrell is also wonderful but I think getting nominations is the furthest he can go. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Battle Of The Sexes’ a total of 7.5. This is an Oscar-bait film but is not getting much buzz lately. Hence, it will get a number of nominations in the coming awards but will mostly likely not winning much.

‘Call Me By Your Name’ is different. This movie is getting more buzz and has received standing ovation during its premiere in film festivals earlier. It is a romantic coming-of-age drama film that chronicles the romantic gay relationship between Elio Perlman (Timothée Chalamet), a 17-year-old living in Italy, and his father’s American assistant, Oliver (Armie Hammer). The story is set in Northern Italy in 1983. The movie explored the tension between pain and pleasure experienced by Elio whom is a teenage boy and in the midst of experimenting with his sexuality and falling in love with a guy.

Timothee Chalamet is a young actor whom nobody will recognize on the streets. Now, you have to remember his name. He is the star of the film. At such a young age and with such a daring role, he portrayed Elio with absolutely genuine acting. He is getting Best Actor nominations in a lot of places and having won some. He truly deserved it. The ending scene alone is enough to make audiences weep for his story with Oliver in the movie, and be moved by his performance. Armie Hammer has also done a great job as Oliver and delivered his character in an intimate and restrained way. The chemistry between the two of them is exceptional. Some scenes are quite graphic in the movie but I think it’s fine as in the end, no explicit content is shown. This self-discovery story is moving and is enhanced with great cinematography, scores and performances as highlighted earlier. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘Call Me By Your Name’ a total of 8.0.

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

 

Oscar season is back with line-up of many great movies coming soon…

Posted in Interesting Encounters with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2015 by vincentloy

As we are approaching the last few months of the year, it is also the time when we shall get ourselves prepared for many upcoming movies to be released before the end of 2015 that are tipped for Oscar glory early next year. ‘Birdman’, Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore winning Oscars early this year will become history as attention is now redirected to potential films this year that could score big in the world’s most prestigious film awards, the Academy Awards next year.

Well, some of you would say that it is a bit too early now to talk on this topic as the next Oscars is still more than five months away. However, there have been already many polls, forums and websites out there debating and making their early predictions for 2016 Oscars, much earlier than me. I have been a keen follower of the Oscars in these recent years by watching many of the Oscar winning and nominated films in the past. I have had also many of my predictions for Academy Awards early this year accurate.

The first film that made its mark as a strong contender for next year’s Oscars is ‘Carol’, a film that received critical acclaim after being premiered in Cannes Film Festival in the past May. The film about a woman falling for an older, married woman starred Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara. Rooney had already won the Best Actress from Cannes from her role in this film. But everyone is expecting her to be better if placed in supporting actress category for Oscars next year, and she looks like an unbeatable frontrunner in that particular category. This will eventually allows Cate Blanchett to potentially shine again in leading actress category next year for her similarly astonishing performance as judged by the critics in Cannes. Cate Blanchett is one of my favourite actresses and I’m looking forward to watch ‘Carol’. Ohh…by the way, she’s the evil stepmother in ‘Cinderella’ film early this year too.

Not long ago, a movie trailer for ‘The Revenant’ is released, starring Leonardo diCaprio and Tom Hardy, which is about a frontiersman setting out on a path of vengeance against those who left him for dead after a bear mauling. Directed by the most recent Academy Award winning director, Alejandro G. Innaritu, people see this film as finally a smooth road for Leonardo diCaprio to get his Best Actor statue. He is definitely long overdue and if he is really doing absolutely great in this movie, then I have no problem anticipating him to get the trophy. But wait…as usual, the competition for best actor race is always tight and compacted every year. Who is there to prevent that from happening again?

He is Eddie Redmayne, who had just won the most recent Academy Award in best actor from his portrayal as Stephen Hawking in ‘The Theory of Everything’. He is now looking good to win back-to-back Oscars as he has one wonderful film coming up by this November. The movie is ‘The Danish Girl’, one of my most anticipated films this year after looking at the first teaser image of Eddie portraying as a woman in the movie. The movie, inspired by a true story of Lili Elbe, one of the first people to undergo gender change surgeries is tipped for Oscar glory. The first trailer for the movie had just been released yesterday, and many were already abuzz about it. Here’s the trailer that got me watching it for about 5 times.

Directed by Academy Award winning director Tom Hooper, starring Academy Award winner Eddie Redmayne and also Alicia Vikander, an exceptionally great newcomer actress that is predicted to make it big in Hollywood very soon, there is no way Academy members would put this movie aside. The movie’s release is also considered very timely as this is a big year of America’s transformation in LGBT issue. It has all the Oscar-bait elements, and if the movie is really good in the end, then I’m quite sure it will be receiving multiple nominations in 2016 Academy Awards. The 2-minutes long trailer of the movie is already very touching and captivating. The movie will premier in Venice Film Festival this weekend.

Other films that could be in the slot for Best Picture nominees are ‘Steve Jobs’, ‘Bridge of Spies’, ‘In The Heart Of The Sea’, ‘Suffragette’, ‘The Hateful Eight’, ‘Joy’, ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’, etc. Well, this is just my very preliminary prediction as all of the films mentioned above have not been released yet except for Mad Max which is surprisingly good. Check out trailers for ‘Steve Jobs’ and ‘In The Heart Of The Sea’ below too.

It’s certainly a good day for many nice movie trailers! Haha….

Movie review: The Theory of Everything (2014)

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2014 by vincentloy

‘The Theory of Everything’ is a 2014 British biographical romantic drama film directed by James Marsh and written by Anthony McCarten. The film was inspired by the memoir ‘Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen’ by Jane Wilde Hawking, which deals with her relationship with her ex-husband theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, his diagnosis of motor neuron disease, and his success in physics. This biopic on Stephen Hawking starred Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Charlie Cox, Maxine Peake, David Thewlis, etc.

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I first get to know of this film when people started sharing its trailer not long ago and everyone is already like praising and talking good about it. The trailer looks promising and since then, I have already sensed Oscar buzz for it. And after watching its two-hour film, I can say that this biopic is excellent, and is on the right track to Oscar glory early next year. Even if it couldn’t perform well in Academy Awards, it may still shines well in BAFTA.

This film is a good and a solid platform for me to know better on the life and challenges Stephen Hawking and his first wife had. The plot had successfully delivered that without being feeling empty or shallow. It also didn’t go over the top and stays with the flow for a moving and a touching 2-hour experience watching the film. To be honest with you, there should be nothing much dramatic, exciting or interesting for this kind of film, but it still captures my attention and my emotion very well.

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Besides than the good direction, screenplay and cinematography, I believe the most praise for the film still goes to the acting. Eddie Redmayne contributed an extraordinary performance to this extraordinary true-life character as Stephen Hawking. It’s a very challenging role, and he nailed it with his superb tackling of his facial expressions, body movements, and speaking gestures. It comes to no question that his performance in there is more than enough to be called Oscar-worthy in Best Leading Actor race. On the other hand, Felicity Jones whom acted as his first wife, Jane in the film did exceptionally amazing too. The others (supporting casts) are also great. It’s all top-notch acting in this particular film especially from the strength of the two leads highlighted earlier.

TheTheoryOfEverything

There is also those great musical scores for the film that elevates all the feelings for us to be more immersed into the story. Simply wonderful. Its production values are also to be complimented. The movie about Stephen Hawking obviously could not run away from showing some science stuff and crazy equations. But fortunately, the movie didn’t go too much in this as we (normal audiences, not physicist or cosmologist) could not really understand the depth of those science. But the movie still has that ‘science’ to stay true to Hawking’s profession. Generally, the film did amazing in almost all the aspects I can think of for now. It stays simple and humble but it turns out astonishing, moving and inspirational. Definitely one of the best films this year. Out of 10 points, I rate ‘The Theory of Everything’ a total of 8.0.

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

 

 

Undeniable success of Disney’s ‘Frozen’.

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2014 by vincentloy

‘Frozen’ is animated feature film released end of last year that tells the story of a fearless princess who sets off on an epic journey alongside a rugged, thrill-seeking mountain man, his loyal pet reindeer, and a hapless snowman to find her estranged sister, whose icy powers have inadvertently trapped the kingdom in eternal winter. You may read my movie review of this film here: https://vincentloy.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/movie-review-frozen-2013/.

frozen__let_it_go_by_tasukiakana-d6xf0gm

(Image source: http://www.cleverprocrastination.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/frozen__let_it_go_by_tasukiakana-d6xf0gm.png)

I enjoyed this movie. The film was met with widespread critical acclaim, with several film critics considering it to be the best Disney animated musical since the studio’s renaissance era (1989 to 1999 when Disney produced many successful animated films that restored public and critical interest in the company). Also a big congratulation to the film for winning the Best Animated Feature on 86th Academy Awards two days ago, beating out other nominees; The Croods, Despicable Me 2, etc. It also won at various other awards including Golden Globes and BAFTA.

The film also won another Oscars; in Best Original Song for ‘Let It Go’. This particular song by Idina Menzel has been reaching extreme worldwide popularity recently. Now, you can even hear over hundred of cover versions of this song recorded internationally at YouTube. If I’m not mistaken, this song is now available in over 30 different languages across the globe. The song is powerful, influential and I’m sure many children would love it. Let it go…Let it go…Can’t hold it back anymore….

Its achievement hasn’t come to a stop yet. On its 101th day of release (few days ago), the film crossed USD 1 billion in box office, hence becoming the 18th film in movie history to break the 1-billion milestone. That is really not easy. It is also now the second highest grossing animated feature film (behind Toy Story 3) As of April 2014, with grossing intake of nearing USD 1.1 billion, it is now the world’s highest grossing animated film (putting ToyStory 3 to second placing) and the second highest grossing film for year 2013 (behind Iron Man 3). Incredible! Truly a nice movie, and I’m looking forward to more of animated films of such quality from Disney.

Oscar Niemeyer, a highly influential architect dies at the age of 104

Posted in Explosive News and Results with tags , , , , , on December 6, 2012 by vincentloy

Oscar Niemeyer, one of the key figures in the development of modern architecture passed away yesterday at the age of 104. He dies on 5th December 2012, ten days before his 105th birthday. He, who had outlived his contemporaries to become the world’s oldest practicing architect of international stature, died Wednesday at a Rio de Janeiro hospital due to respiratory infection which is common for people of his age. For architects like us who usually do not have a healthy life due to this career, it would be almost impossible to have live that old, but Niemeyer did it. Hence, his career spans for many decades and his contribution to modern architecture is extensive and priceless. His works have also influenced many other younger architects who admired his unique design approach.

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(Image source: http://adbr001cdn.archdaily.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/1351111137____oscar_niemeyer-530×321.jpg)

During his long and productive life, Niemeyer was revered as well as ridiculed for his daring designs, but the creativity and sheer volume of his works ultimately spoke for him. In 1988, at 80, he shared architecture’s biggest prize, the Pritzker. This award is the biggest achievement to any architects, and is like a Noble prize to people in this career. He is a passionate man and he lived in protest of the right angle “and buildings designed with the ruler and the square.” He had once said this, that generally explains his design interest and direction:

I am not attracted to straight angles or to the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. I am attracted to free-flowing, sensual curves. The curves that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuousness of its rivers, in the waves of the ocean, and on the body of the beloved woman. Curves make up the entire Universe, the curved Universe of Einstein.

For that approach, he had produced many daring and distinctive designs. Some of his famous works are National Congress of Brazil, Cathedral of Brasilia, United Nations headquarter at New York City, Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum, and two buildings in dedication to himself, Oscar Niemeyer Museum in Brazil and Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre at Spain. His exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of reinforced concrete was highly infuential on the architecture of the late 20th and early 21st centuries too. An image of National Congress of Brazil, a masterpiece designed by him:

APTOPIX Brazil Obit Niemeyer

(Image source: http://stmedia.startribune.com/images/1brazil120612.JPG)

The BBC’s obituary of Niemeyer noted that he “built some of the world’s most striking buildings – monumental, curving concrete and glass structures which almost defy description”, also acclaiming him as “one of the most innovative and daring architects of the last 60 years”. The Washington Post described him as “widely regarded as the foremost Latin American architect of the last century”. His death is certainly saddening as the world losses another great architect that had shaped our built environment for so many years. His contribution to the modern architecture will never be forgotten, and he is truly blessed for have live to such an age that many couldn’t do so. May he rest in peace.

(Information source: http://www.latimes.com/news/obituaries/la-me-oscar-niemeyer-20121206,0,554245.story)

World’s oldest living architect: Oscar Niemeyer

Posted in Architectural Territory with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2011 by vincentloy

Oscar Ribeiro de Almeida Niemeyer Soares Filho, or popularly known as Oscar Niemeyer is currently 103 years old and would be celebrating his 104th birthday on December this year. At 103 currently, he is the world’s oldest living architect whom are still contributing to designs in his company through his sketches and explanations. He is a Brazilian architect whom had worked in the field for over 70 years, specializing in international modern architecture. He is a pioneer in exploring the formal possibilities of reinforced concrete solely for their aesthetic impact.

His buildings are often characterized by being spacious and exposed, mixing volumes and empty space to create unconventional patterns and often propped up by pilotis. Both lauded and criticized for being a “sculptor of monuments”,  he has been praised for being a great artist and one of the greatest architects of his generation by his supporters. Here below is a quote from the architect himself describing his approach in architecture:

‘It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve — the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman.’ 

His first work (Gustavo Capanema Palace with Le Corbusier) came in 1936 which is now over 75 years ago, and his latest masterpiece is the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre in Spain on 2011 (this year). The latter is a big cultural centre which is ‘an open square to the humankind, a place for education, culture and peace’ (Oscar Niemeyer). In total, he has designed well over 80 buildings or structures which is an impressive record of his contribution to the built environment, particularly in Brazil and Europe. One more thing I wish to highlight is Oscar Niemeyer is the architect of a building in Malaysia, built back in 1980, which is the Penang State Mosque eventhough his contribution in Asia is very minimal.

Two structures which he designed and dedicated to himself are the Oscar Niemeyer Museum at Parana, Brazil and the International Cultural Centre mentioned on the previous paragraph. The former is a museum resembling an eye-shaped tower with ramp leading to it from the reflecting pond below as well as a rectangular gallery behind. The museum features many of Niemeyer’s signature elements: bold geometric forms, sculptural curved volumes placed prominently to contrast with rectangular volumes, sinuous ramps for pedestrians, large areas of white painted concrete, and areas with vivid murals or paintings. His major and famous works are as follow:

At this age and still helping on design contribution, he is often being criticized of the lower quality of his later (recent) works which is definitely affected by his old age. Anyway, the scale of his contribution to architecture is extensive and he can be considered as one of the fathers of modern architecture along with Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius. He had also won 1988 Pritzker Prize, the highest honour to an architect every year. Living for over a century which is seldom acquired by many others, his works and name as a great architect would be eternal. (His hands must be very shaking when sketching something, but his creative mind on design still presents)