Tag Archives: Academy Awards

The Oscars – How Did I Do?

We had company over the house to watch the Oscars, and nine of us put money into a pool to see who could pick the most winners and I won (17 out of 24).  Below are the details:

1.  Best Picture:  “The Artist” – I picked “Midnight in Paris” (don’t ask) – Majority picked “The Artist” (66.67%)

2. Leading Actor:  Jean Dujardin – I picked Jean – Tie between Jean & George Clooney (44.44%)

3.  Supporting Actor:  Christopher Plummer – I picked Plummer – Majority picked Plummer (88.89%)

4.  Leading Actress:  Meryl Streep – I picked Streep – Majority picked Viola Davis (55.56%)

5.  Supporting Actress:  Octavia Spencer – I picked Spencer – Majority picked Spencer (77.78%)

6.  Animated Feature:  “Rango” – I picked “Chico & Rita” – Plurality picked “Rango” (44.44%)

7.  Art Direction:  “Hugo” – I picked “Hugo” – Plurality picked “Hugo” (44.44%)

8.  Cinematography:  “Hugo” – I picked “The Tree of Life” – Plurality picked “Tree of Life” (44.44%)

9.  Costume Design:  “The Artist” – I picked “The Artist” – Majority picked “The Artist” (88.89%)

10. Directing:  “The Artist” – I picked “The Artist” – Majority picked “The Artist” (66.67%)

11. Documentary:  “Undefeated” – I picked “Undefeated” – Tie between “Undefeated” and ” Hell and Back Again” (33.33%)

12. Doc-Short:  “Saving Face” – I picked “Saving Face” – 4-way Tie between “Saving Face”, “The Barber of Birmingham”, “God is the Bigger Elvis”, and “The Tsunami” (22.22%)

13. Film Editing:  “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – I picked “The Artist” – Majority picked “The Artist” (66.67%)

14. Foreign:  “A Seperation” – I picked “A Seperatation” – Plurality picked “A Seperation” (44.44%)

15. Make-Up:  “The Iron Lady” – I picked “Harry Potter” – Plurality picked “Albert Nobbs” (44.44%)

16. Original Score:  “Hugo” I mean “The Artist” – I picked “The Artist” – Plurality picked “The Artist” (33.33%)

17. Orignal Song:  “Man or Muppet” – I picked “Man or Muppet” – Majority picked “Man to Muppet” (66.67%)

18. Short-Animated:  “The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris” – I picked “The Flying Books” – Plurality picked “La Luna” (44.44%)

19. Short-Live Action:  “The Shore” – I picked “Tuba Atlantic” – Plurality picked “Raju” (44.44%) – actually, no one picked the winner

20. Sound Editing:  “Hugo” – I picked “Hugo” – The Plurality picked “Hugo” (44.44%)

21 Sound Mixing:  “Hugo” – I picked “Hugo” – The Plurality picked “Transformers” (44.44%)

22. Visual Effects: “Hugo” – I picked “Hugo” – The Majority picked “Hugo” (55.56%)

23. Adapted Screenplay:  “The Descendants” – I picked “The Descendants” – The Majority picked “The Descendants” (66.67%)

24:  Original Screenplay:  “Midnight in Paris” – I picked “Midnight in Paris” – The Majority picked “Midnight in Paris” (55.56%)

Where Have I Been and How Did I Do?

I’ve been neglecting my reviews, but for good reason.

My second (unpaid) job is Co-Chair of the Program Committee for a local film festival in Miami.  Last week was the deadline for submissions, and we are in a time crunch to finalize the Program so we can lock down the films and go to press.  With the exception of this past Sunday, literally all of my free time has been sent screening shorts, docs, and features, and imputing the rating sheets into the master spreadsheet from the other committee members.  I’m looking forward to this Thursday and the weekend when we finalize our dream schedule.

The fun part of the scheduling process is going to be when the different committee members–myself included–have to go to bat for certain films because there are only so many slots.  I definitely have my favorites that other members do not agree with.

Look for a multi-part series I am going to entitle “How to get your Film into a Film Festival” in the upcoming weeks.

Switching subjects, I watched an advanced screening of “John Carter” on the 22nd.  All I will say for now is Disney is doing a poor job of marketing the film.  As for my review, look for it March 8th.

Switching subjects one last time, I got 17 out of 24–though I think I posted 15/24 on my Facebook page–last night at my Oscar Party and won the pool.  I was very happy.

Academy Nominations – What I think

I was planning to post my review of The Iron Lady today, but I wasn’t happy with it so I decided to post my thoughts on the Oscar nominations.  Her we go.

Best Picture: 
War Horse“ – too manipulative
The Artist” – worthy, but I don’t think the Academy will award the top prize to a “silent” film
“Moneyball,” – of these, this is my choice
“The Descendants“  – good movie, but not re-watchable
The Tree of Life” – I did not like this movie at all. I respect the craft, but not the story
Midnight in Paris“ – one of Woody Allen’s best in years
”The Help“ – overrated
“Hugo” – visually stunning, but I don’t think the story is strong enough
”Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” – haven’t seen it

A category that can now include ten nominees nominates nine.  What happened to Drive?

Best Actress: 
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs” – haven’t seen it
Viola Davis, ”The Help” – good performance, but not the best
Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – any other year and this would have been the winner
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady” – it’s been a while, and she deserves it
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn” – haven’t seen it

Best Actor:
Demian Bichir, “A Better Life” – haven’t seen it
George Clooney, “The Descendants” – I think this is a three-way race and he is one of the horses
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist” – one of the other horses, and I think he’ll get it.  Clooney & Pitt made their performances look too easy
Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” – not enough people watched this movie
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball” – the last horse

Michael Fassbender anyone, anyone?

Best Supporting Actress: 
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist” – great performance, but I can’t imagine two “silent” actors winning the top prizes in Acting
Jessica Chastain, ”The Help” – her performance was not better than Octavia’s
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”  – should be the winner, but it’s tough for comedies and comedic actors to win
Octavia Spencer, ”The Help – probable will win, and would deserve it
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs” – haven’t seen it

Best Supporting Actor: 
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn” – haven’t seen it
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball” – great an unexpected performance, my choice
Nick Nolte, “Warrior” – haven’t seen it
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners” – strong performance, and most likely the winner–more of a life-time achievement award
Max von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” – haven’t seen it

Albert Brooks where are you?  Really, where are you?

Best Director:  – I think this is the toughest category
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist” – it takes talent to make a silent film that is both good and a movie people want to watch – I thin he’s got it
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants – great director of actors, but not of pictures
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo” – a visually stunning film
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris” – his best work in years
Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life” – like Scorsese, a visually stunning film

Writing (Adapted Screenplay):
“The Descendants” Screenplay by Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash – well written but nothing special
“Hugo” Screenplay by John Logan – the movie was better than the book – my pick for winer
“The Ides of March” Screenplay by George Clooney & Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon – haven’t seen it
“Moneyball” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin  Story by Stan Chervin – strong script.  It’s tough to make a movie about baseball and statistics
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Screenplay by Bridget O’Connor & Peter Straughan – no chance.  The film is difficult to follow for most audiences

Writing (Original Screenplay):
“The Artist” Written by Michel Hazanavicius – it takes talent to write an excellent “silent” film
“Bridesmaids” Written by Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig – the script was too long
“Margin Call” Written by J.C. Chandor – haven’t seen it, but from what I have heard it stands a good chance
“Midnight in Paris” Written by Woody Allen – my choice.  The story was fun & original, and I like that he never tried to explain the time travel
“A Separation” Written by Asghar Farhadi – haven’t seen it

Animated Feature:
“A Cat in Paris”  – haven’t seen it
Chico & Rita”  – my choice.  Unfortunately I don’t think enough people have seen it.  Also, adult cartoons don’t do well in the USA
Kung Fu Panda 2”  – haven’t seen it, but I can’t believe it has a chance
Puss in Boots” – haven’t seen it
Rango” – haven’t seen it, but will probably be the winner

Music (Original Score):
“The Adventures of Tintin” John Williams – haven’t seen it, but I am over John Williams
“The Artist” Ludovic Bource – the winner.  No film was as dependent of its score like this one.  And the score rose to the challenge
“Hugo” Howard Shore – I’m sure the film sounded good, but I don’t remember it
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” Alberto Iglesias – by second choice.  If not for The Artist and the fact not many people watched this movie, this would have won
“War Horse” John Williams – a cliché of his own work

Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross should have been nominated for Girl with the Dragon Tattoo instead of John Williams for War Horse.

Music (Original Song):
“Man or Muppet” from “The Muppets” Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie – When there are only two choices and one of them is a Muppet song, then the Muppet song must win
“Real in Rio” from “Rio” Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown Lyric by Siedah Garrett – haven’t seen it