Archive

Posts Tagged ‘carey mulligan’

“Tinker Tailor” Leads the 2012 BAFTA Nominations

January 18, 2012 Leave a comment

I suppose it is a little misleading to say that Tomas Alfredson’s film led the nominations with 11 when “The Artist” actually had 12, but then again, does anyone really want to read another headline about the little silent-film-that-could dominating yet another awards body? I didn’t think so. And while it had been expected that the British Academy Awards would give a little push to the waining “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” this is certainly much more than anyone could have expected. It’s quite possible that this kind of support from the British contingent of the AMPAS might be enough to boost the film over the rim in several different categories, including Best Actor for Gary Oldman.

There’s a few other surprises and shakeups amidst the nominees. “Hugo” received a total of nine nominations, including Best Director for Martin Scorsese and yet failed to be mentioned for Best Picture or Adapted Screenplay. Meanwhile, “Drive” picked up four nominations including Picture and a fairly weird mention for Carey Mulligan. Why she was nominated for mediocre work here and not for her show-stopping performance in “Shame” is absolutely beyond me. What’s even stranger about the “Drive” nominations is the lack of Albert Brooks. This is the second highbrow snub of the man who was taking down critics awards left and right. I might not even feel bad about it if it wasn’t for his being replaced by the goofy and almost unnecessary performance by Jim Broadbent in “The Iron Lady.”

I was a bit disappointed to see “Moneyball” miss out on a Best Picture nomination. Though, it’s not exactly something that Europeans would respond to as much as American do. On the other hand, Jonah Hill’s nomination, coupled with his equivalent mentions from the SAG and Golden Globes, puts him among the top contenders for an Oscar nomination. If asked a couple months ago, I never would have expected this as a reality.

Of all these nominations, I don’t think anything has spawned more outrage, and rightfully so, then the disgusting snub of Olivia Colman for Best Actress. It’s true, not many know her name yet (though hopefully that will change soon) and the film itself is tiny enough that you may have had to drive across multiple states just to see it. Therefore, exclusion in the USA is understandable. But for the Brits to deny even a nomination to what might be the best performance of the year, in a place where the film is widespread and thriving, is absolutely appalling and degrading. Without a doubt, the BAFTA has dropped the ball like it never has before.

The official awards ceremony is being held in London on February 12th. I might actually set aside the time to watch the live stream, this year. With that said, here are all of the nominees:

Best Film
“The Artist”
“The Descendants”
“Drive”
“The Help”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best British Film
“My Week With Marilyn”
“Senna”
“Shame”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist”
Nicolas Winding Refn – “Drive”
Martin Scorsese – “Hugo”
Tomas Alfredson – “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy”
Lynne Ramsay – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

Best Actor
George Clooney – “The Descendants”
Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
Michael Fassbender – “Shame”
Gary Oldman – “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball”

Best Actress
Bérénice Bejo – “The Artist”
Viola Davis – “The Help”
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady”
Tilda Swinton – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Michelle Williams – “My Week With Marilyn”

Best Supporting Actor
Kenneth Branagh – “My Week With Marilyn”
Jim Broadbent – “The Iron Lady”
Jonah Hill – “Moneyball”
Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Ides of March”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners”

Best Supporting Actress
Jessica Chastain – “The Help”
Judi Dench – “My Week With Marilyn”
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
Carey Mulligan – “Drive”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Artist”
“Bridesmaids”
“The Guard”
“The Iron Lady”
“Midnight in Paris”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“The Descendants”
“The Help”
“The Ides of March”
“Moneyball”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Incendies”
“Pina”
“Potiche”
“A Separation”
“The Skin I Live In”

Best Documentary
“George Harrison: Living in the Material World”
“Project Nim”
“Senna”

Best Animated Feature
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Arthur Christmas”
“Rango”

Best Art Direction
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Best Cinematography
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Best Costume Design
“The Artist”
“Hugo”
“Jane Eyre”
“My Week With Marilyn”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best Film Editing
“The Artist”
“Drive”
“Hugo”
“Senna”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”

Best Makeup & Hair
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“The Iron Lady”
“My Week With Marilyn”

Best Music
“The Artist”
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Best Sound
“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”
“War Horse”

Best Visual Effects
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
“War Horse”

Best Debut by a British Director, Writer or Producer
Joe Cornish – “Attack the Block”
Will Sharpe, Tom Kingsley and Sarah Brocklehurst – “Black Pond”
Ralph Fiennes – “Coriolanus”
Richard Ayoade – “Submarine”
Paddy Considine – “Tyrannosaur”

Advertisements

NEW “Shame” Trailer

October 14, 2011 Leave a comment

I know that I said I would have my new Oscar predictions up, and I am working on that. However, this is something that any self-respecting movie aficionado should not miss. It’s almost a plain and simple fact that no film has been more talked about on the festival circuits then Steve McQueen’s visceral and provocative “Shame.” Michael Fassbender took home the Volpi Cup for Best Actor and the film had to have come close to taking down the grand prize both at Venice and Toronto. When Fox Searchlight picked up the distributing rights for the film, it was going to be very curious as to how they would go about marketing it. It seems that they have hit the nail on the head.

For those that don’t know, the film tells the story of Brandon (Michael Fassbender) a rising New York City businessman who has an insatiable and unwavering addiction to having sex. Things become more complicated when his needy sister (Carey Mulligan) moves in with him and attempts to help fight his situation. The film has been heralded as a masterpiece, while also cited for its unrelenting sexuality. It will indefinitely receive an NC-17 rating, with little doubt of a fight from its maverick director. Usually, this would potentially injure an independent film quite badly in its fight for viewers. However, if Searchlight continues to pump out incredible trailers like the one below, they should have no problem building up a cult army of box office supporters. All this is making a Best Actor nomination for Michael Fassbender more and more likely.

I will definitely be first in line when it is released. In the mean time, I think I’ll watch this trailer again. Enjoy.

Venice Film Festival Winners

September 12, 2011 Leave a comment

Three down, one to go. After the Sundance and Cannes Film Festival announced their choices for best of the year, Venice has joined in. The 68th Annual Venice Film Festival had a lot on its plate and picked some interesting winners. It’s hard to tell what the frontrunner was in this battle, given the festival’s international diversity. If there was an American favorite, it would probably have been “The Ides of March.” George Clooney’s political thriller did pick up some descent reviews and some steam, but not enough to take down the big one. The festival’s grand prize went to Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov’s “Faust,” an adaptation of the classic German tale of Doctor Faustus. Little is yet known about this film in the states, but several reviews have called it a life-changing experience. I remain a bit speculative.

The award for Best Actor was a bit more interesting. A number of contenders were abound at the start of the festival. However, once it debuted and its’ themes began to sink into audience’s minds, it was clear that Steve McQueen’s “Shame” held the front-running performance. Michael Fassbender has been generating enormous amounts of buzz ever since his breakthrough performance in Steve McQueen’s previous film “Hunger.” Since then, he has delivered electrifying work in films like “Fish Tank,” “X-Men: First Class” and “Inglorious Basterds.” Fassbender also starred in Venice entry “A Dangerous Method,” however, it was his role as a sex addict in “Shame” that won him the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. The young performer even beat out the veteran Gary Oldman for “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” Michael did give props to his idol during his acceptance speech, saying that Oldman has inspired him since he was fifteen years old.

This news of Fassbender comes on the heels of an important announcement concerning Fox Searchlight picking up the distributing rights for “Shame.” This is a very bold stroke by the studio, considering the film will almost assuredly carry an NC-17 rating. Unlike “Blue Valentine’s” absurd and easily overturned brand, this one will most likely stick, considering the apparently graphic sex scenes and more than a little full frontal nudity. It will probably not do very well in box office terms, but this win definitely puts Fassbender into contention for the Oscar. This is good news for him considering that “A Dangerous Method,” while not DOA, is certainly taking a hit from a fairly lackluster response from critics and audiences.

As far as the rest of the victories go, nothing really exciting that will likely transmit into Oscar potential. The under-the-radar British “Wuthering Heights” adaptation won for Cinematography, but will probably fly under the radar in the U.S.. Giorgios Lanthimos’ follow-up to his disturbing Oscar nominee, “Dogtooth,” entitled “Alps” took down Screenplay. Overall, considering how outside the box and, no offense to Giorgios, weird his films seem to be, I’m surprised the AMPAS even embraced his last film. We’ll see how this one turns out.

Here’s the breakdown of the substantial winners:

Golden Lion for Best Film
Faust by Aleksander Sokurov (Russia)

Silver Lion for Best Director
Shangjun CAI
 for the film Ren Shan Ren Hai (People Mountain People Sea) (China – Hong Kong)

Special Jury Prize
Terraferma by Emanuele Crialese (Italy)

Coppa Volpi for Best Actor
Michael Fassbender
 in the film Shame by Steve McQueen (United Kingdom)

Coppa Volpi for Best Actress
Deanie Yip in the film Tao jie (A Simple Life) by Ann Hui (China – Hong Kong)

Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best New Young Actor or Actress
Shôta Sometani and Fumi Nikaidô
 in the film Himizu by Sion Sono (Japan)

Osella for the Best Cinematography
Robbie Ryan
 for the film Wuthering Heights by Andrea Arnold (United Kingdom)

Osella for Best Screenplay
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
 for the film Alpis (Alps) by Yorgos Lanthimos (Grecia)

“Drive” Red Band Trailer

One of the big surprises at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was the award for Best Director going to the young Nicolas Winding Refn for his new film “Drive.” This is not because Refn is unqualified, for he certainly proved his worth directing Tom Hardy in the psychedelic mind-trip “Bronson,” which more than probably got the actor his role as Bane in “The Dark Knight Rises.” Nor is it because of the film’s high profile cast that includes the brilliant and all-powerful Ryan Gosling, as well as other Oscar nominees Carey Mulligan and Albert Brooks.

What made it seem surprising is the nature of the film, itself. IMDB’s synopsis reads: “A Hollywood stunt performer who moonlights as a wheelman discovers that a contract has been put on him after a heist gone wrong.” The plot seems more like a vehicle for a Jason Statham spinoff than a prestigious Cannes winner.

However, after certain select clips were released on Youtube, as well as few early reviews (or “rave” reviews, is more like it), it appears that this film might have more to offer than meets the eye. One scene in particular that I viewed absolutely floored me as a critic. Now, with the debut of this red band trailer, I’m starting to get the feeling that this could end up being one of the best movies of the year and perhaps one of the greatest straight-up action films in recent cinema.

Check out the trailer below:

I’ve also included the clip that first grabbed my attention. It’s easy to see here how the material, if read off of the script, could have been completely generalized and fumbled by a lesser director. Instead, Refn molds the action into a form of gripping entertainment of the likes I’ve never seen before. Enjoy:

“Never Let Me Go” Review

October 3, 2010 1 comment

Many a film has been made in the past about dystopian societies, perfect worlds where nothing bad ever happens. Tales of people lucky enough to live forever in harmony with themselves and each other. Hardly ever are there stories of the unlucky ones, those who are locked out in the cold. People who not only never get to experience the sweet life, but are literally thrown in the fire for civilization’s expense. This is one such story.

“Never Let Me Go” is the sophomore effort of music-video director Mark Romanek, the creator of the very sub-par thriller “One Hour Photo” starring Robin Williams. It would seem that he had bitten off more than he could chew by helming the adaptation of what Time Magazine called the best novel of the decade. However, the inevitable disappointment never occurred. The film excels on a number of different levels.

It is set in the backdrop of a reality in which a breakthrough medical miracle provides a cure for a great number of human illnesses, allowing people to live longer and happier lives. This world, however, comes at the cost of a very small fraction of the population, individuals who are genetically cloned, raised healthily behind closed doors and eventually harvested for their vital organs.

Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield play three of these unfortunate souls, Kathy, Ruth and Tommy (names ordered respectively). While children, given a privileged upbringing at the pleasant Hillsham Academy, they are kept completely sheltered from the rest of the world. It is here that the mousy Kathy develops a crush on Tommy, who is outcasted from the other boys. However, her emotions are stifled when her best friend Ruth moves in and steals Tommy out from under her nose. It is around this time when, from a leak in the faculty, the children learn the reason of their existence and perhaps realize how short life is…literally.

As they grow older, they begin to move out and experience a bit more of the real world. They also discover that for select couples that graduate from Hillsham and can prove their love for each other, a deferral could be available from the point at which they must begin their “donations.” Now, the love triangle that began years ago becomes less romantic and more vital for survival as the countdown to their lives’ completion continues to tick down.

All around, the film is an honorable achievement. The first thing that is noticed is not only the subtle, yet fantastic acting, but the wonderful casting of the three leads, both as adults and children. Each individual knows their character’s limits and boundaries and meticulously stays within them. Romanek also works from a very subdued perspective and never allows the story to become sentimental or melodramatic. In fact, one of the film’s strongest facets is its ability to portray this horrible place in such a matter-of-fact way. The film becomes so much more haunting when treated as a reality that must be faced eventually by the protagonists. Even the sought-after deferrals are only effective for a few years, and then it’s back to square one.

The cinematography, while for the most part dull and fairly uninspired, does lens as gray and bleak a dystopian society has ever seen in its own mirror. However, the truly technical standout in the film is its beautiful score. Always lurking in the background and yet never overpowering the acting or visuals, the music will leave you moved and even a bit shaken. Pay close attention to the haunting strings in use at the bleakest moments of the film and you realize that they are driving the emotional core. While the film is becoming less of an Oscar contender each week, this nomination for Rachel Portman should be assured.

If one qualm could be made of this solid production, it would be a plea for just a bit more of an emotional wallop. Without descending into complete melodrama, more needed to be made by the screenplay of the fact that every one of these kids is doomed. This is a sad story. No one can deny that. And yet as haunting and dreary as it is, the film is never really a tearjerker, and this is one that’s truly allowed to be. Yet even if it won’t make you cry, see this film for what it does make you do: realize that every gift, no matter how amazing and brilliant, comes at a horrible price.

GRADES:         B+         * * * * / * * * * *         8.0 / 10.0