Posts Tagged ‘j. edgar’

Updated Oscar Predictions – 10/13

October 17, 2011 2 comments

Another month has passed, and many of the biggest potential candidates have yet to be released to the general public (or the people who actually vote on them). However, there have definitely been a few shifts in the state of the race. Several horses have solidified themselves while others have fallen from grace. Meanwhile, most still remain a mystery.

One film has certainly been securely planted into the Best Picture race after a decent showing in the box office and nearly unanimous praise from critics (including this one). That movie is “Moneyball.” Aaron Sorkin looks to make it two nominations in a row with his fantastic script shared with Stephen Zallian. For sure, Brad Pitt, Bennett Miller and even Jonah Hill also have chances for nominations as well. The film is far from a lock in terms of a Best Picture nomination, especially with the potentially smaller field. Yet, it has definitely sky-rocketed into contention.

While certain films are on the rise, others are falling fast. One of the season’s early hopefuls has hit a series of brick walls on the festival trail. David Cronenberg’s “A Dangerous Method” had a lot of potential, but is mostly coming across critics and audiences that simply like it or don’t. Rave reviews are an elusive find. While Keira Knightley is definitely getting the majority of the raves, keeping her in the game, the studio is attempting to campaign her in the leading category, which I personally see as a mistake. Maybe “Method” still has a shot at a few nominations, but overall, it seems to be fading fast into limbo.

One major question, awaiting a final judgment, is whether or not “The Adventures of Tin Tin” will be ruled as an animated film or as live action due to its motion capture. This will have a huge impact on at least Best Animated Feature, for if it is ruled a cartoon, expect it to win in a walk. If not, then “Rango” becomes the frontrunner. For now, I will keep it in the category and I hope it stays. God help us when the Academy and people as a whole start to lose track of what is animated and what isn’t. I mean, seriously.

Finally, one movie that was originally poised for a potential victory on the big night was “The Ides of March.” However, now that the film has come and nearly gone, it doesn’t seem to have made as big of a splash that it would have liked. box office was relatively poor and reviews are missing a positive consensus. It seems as though the idea of the film (a political thriller, very much in the moment with George Clooney in nearly every single credit) is keeping it afloat more so than the film itself. Since critics will most likely pass it over when their awards come along, the buzz will have to survive until the guilds for it to have any kind of chance.

As far as “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close,” I really don’t know what to do with it, yet. As much as everyone else sees it becoming THE frontrunner for pretty much everything, I could just as easily see it missing completely. For now, I’m leaving it out of most categories, but that may change if the buzz increases once critics actually start to see it.

Well, enough talk. I will let the rest of my predictions speak for themselves. Check out the full list after the jump or up in the predictions tab in the corner of the page. Enjoy!


1. War Horse
2. The Descendants
3. J. Edgar
4. The Artist
5. The Ides of March
6. The Help
7. Moneyball
8. Midnight in Paris
9. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
10. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Alt 1: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Alt 2: The Tree of Life

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My 25 Most Anticipated Films of the Season

September 21, 2011 1 comment

Tis the season. What season is that? It’s kind of hard to say. I suppose it’s a combination of fall and winter. I suppose it’s when the awards season really starts to heat up. More than that, however, it’s the time of year when good movies are released. That’s what it is, primarily. It’s the season of good movies, and I look forward to it all year long.

In honor of that, I thought I’d throw up a little list entailing the movies that you absolutely should not miss. Now, these are not necessarily films that you’re guaranteed to like. I’m not even guaranteed to approve. Neither is this an Oscarish type of list, for its guaranteed that nearly half of these movies will never even see a nomination at the Kodak.

What these films do have in common is that they have not yet been released to the general public and from trailers, stills, stories, festival performances and what some critics have already said about them, they look pretty good to me. These are the movies that I really cannot wait to see. With each title in the countdown, I’ve included a few words about why I find these films so promising. I’ve also posted each film’s trailer (except for the small few that have yet to release one). So without further adieu, enjoy, and remember this list if you plan on seeing at least twenty-five movies in the next few months.

NOTE: Two films most would expect to be on here, are not. “Moneyball” would have made a spot on the list, but I have already caught an advance screening of it (AND LOVED IT). “Drive” would also certainly find its place on here, since I have not yet gotten a chance to see it, but since it has already been released, it excludes itself from the rest of films featured.


25. “Margaret”

September 30th (limited)

WHY IT’S  HERE: Pretty weird situation here. The film looks to have an interesting plot, a great cast. However, after being delayed release for six years, you’d think this film’s going to have some severe flaws and issues. The winning flip side is that after that much time of waiting and hoping, the amount of anticipation this film carries with it is more than enough reel me in.

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NEW “J. Edgar” Trailer

September 20, 2011 1 comment

Well, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for…well at least I have. Perhaps the Oscar season’s biggest contender has finally shown its face. Now that we have a glimpse, from this point in the game, anyone not putting this film at the head of the pack for practically every single award should take a good long look in the mirror and rethink themselves.

This trailer does not disappoint. It displays absolutely phenomenal performances by DiCaprio, Dench and the man who I have said will be the key to this film all along, Armie Hammer. On top of that, the lavish costumes, production design, cinematography and, surprisingly, the music, if that is in fact the film’s score, appear to all be top notch.

At this state of the race, this is not only the film to beat, but the film to see as well.

Check out the HD trailer below or watch the gorgeous Apple version below that.


Apple HD

My First Round of 2012 Oscar Predictions

August 27, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s officially that time of year. Actually, I won’t lie about the fact that I’m showing up a bit late to the party. Some of my fellow prognosticators laid out their first set of predictions the day after the last Oscars closed the curtain, or at least when a few contenders began to emerge during the course of the summer. However, I have been plagued by indecision, distaste over the last event’s disappointments and general fatigue, overall. Yet, it’s time to lift the veil and get back to what I’m good at. It’s time to get down to business.

Where to begin? Everything written up to and including now should be considered speculation or strong theory, at best. However, before we dive too deep into what we haven’t even seen, yet, there have definitely been a few films already released that might have a decent run at the gold.

Perhaps the first big contender to emerge in the Best Picture race is “Midnight in Paris.” While Woody Allen has made far better films, this is certainly both an original and different pass for him. It doesn’t hurt that it’s easily the highest grossing film he’s ever made. Voters might enjoy seeing his mighty return to the Best Picture category for the first time in 25 years and could use this film as a platform to do it. I’m personally not buying into that logic, quite yet.

However, while “Midnight in Paris” seems like a long shot, another film seems almost assured to go all the way. That, movie is “The Help,” and it is a piece of cinema that the Academy will likely eat up with a spoon. Even if it somehow falls out of Best Picture contention, one should already consider Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer to be surefire contenders. But the film is burning through the box office and leaving audiences with a sweet taste in their mouths. This is the type of phenomenon that can easily survive all the way to the heart of the awards season.

Aside from Best Picture contenders, the summer has produced its usual slew of blockbusters that will have their way with the technical awards. Expect both “Transformers 3” and “Super 8” to sweep nominations in Best Sound, Sound Editing and Visual Effects. While I never bought into the brief debate over “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” and its Best Picture status, I’d guess that the franchise’s last hurrah will make stabs for several awards including Best Art Direction and Cinematography. Finally, perhaps the strongest lock for a nomination and perhaps the win is this season’s biggest surprise, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” and it’s extraordinary CG effects.

Now that we’ve gone through what we know, it’s time to move on to what’s important: what we don’t. A handful of question marks remain hovering above many titles. However, several films have emerged as being close to sure things as possible. Steven Spielberg’s “War Horse” has been on radar screens for a while now, but after the trailer hit the web a few months ago, expectations have exploded. Based on a Tony Award-winning play, the film must pack a powerful story, while the visuals look absolutely astounding. If the film is as good as it is expected, a clean-sweep is not out of the cards. Yet, voters may feel like holding off of awarding Spielberg again with his next film, “Lincoln” finally getting the go-ahead for next year.

Both of George Clooney’s vehicles, “The Descendants” in which he stars and “The Ides of March” which he also co-wrote and directed, seem primed for glory. The last time Clooney took to the director’s chair with a serious topic, the film earned 6 nominations. His new feature also bolsters a stellar cast and very relevant subject matter. Meanwhile, “The Descendants” features what seems to be fantastic, heartfelt story written and directed by Alexander Payne, who appears to be at the peak of his career and possibly primed for Oscar glory. Both films have issued trailers that tease strong potential for taking home the grand prize.

Ironically, the film that has, by far, the strongest pedigree is the one that we have seen the least from. Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” has all of the chops of a Best Picture winner. It’s a biopic that shines a light on the little-known aspects of its subject. It has a solid cast including Leonardo DiCaprio (who might finally be poised to win his first Oscar), Naomi Watts, Armie Hammer and Judi Dench. It’s a period piece, sure to be flush with lavish costumes and set dressings. Yet, most of all, it has Clint Eastwood,  who has reached a point in his career in which it’s almost unlikely for him not to be the frontrunner for Best Director. Of all films this year, this one seems to have the most potential. Now all we need is a glimpse of it.

After those four principle films, any number of possibilities could round out the final spots. There’s Roman Polanski’s character study, “Carnage,” Tomas Alfredson’s thriller, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy,” Lynn Ramsay’s vicious drama “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” and Bennett Miller’s baseball biopic “Moneyball.” Not to mention the period piece, “A Dangerous Method,” centering on the rivalry between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. David Cronenberg has been passed over a lot for Oscar. Could this finally be his vehicle that will take him to his first Best Director nomination? We’ll see.

Meanwhile, two movies stand with a fog of uncertainty around them due to their subject matter. The Cannes smash hit “The Artist,” is the first mainstream silent film to be released in, well, nearly a century. While undoubtedly phenomenal, it’s unclear whether the Academy will embrace such a curveball of a narrative and stylistic choice.

Then there is the hugely anticipated “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” remake. Some say that it will be too brutal,grisly and depressing for the Academy. In its defense, I must point attention to “The Silence of the Lambs” which defied odd to be come the first horror movie to ever win Best Picture, twenty years ago. Others will believe that the Oscars won’t go for an American remake of such a recently released foreign film. Yet again, I must refer to the “The Departed” which remade an Asian film only four years after the original’s release. A lot of factors weigh against it, but I believe that David Fincher will not only pull off the film, but carry enough guilt over from last year’s outrageous snub to take the movie all the way.

Well, I’ve gone on for quite a bit so I’ll leave my discussion of this year’s acting contenders for another piece. Below, I have my full list of predictions which I will try to update at least once every month until nominations are announced. Remember that these are just speculation, but take heed that I’ve still put a lot of thought into them.

Enjoy the rest after the jump or view them under the prediction tab, here.


1. J. Edgar
2. War Horse
3. The Descendants
4. The Ides of March
5. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
6. The Artist
7. The Help
8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Alt 1: A Dangerous Method
Alt 2: Carnage

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EW 25 Movies They “Can’t Wait to See”

August 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I really do enjoy Entertainment Weekly’s periodic lists. Last year, they announced what they felt were the ten most undeserving Best Picture wins of all time and I offered my own up for comparison. Also, I’ve thought that their piece on the 25 most controversial films ever made is worth taking another look at every once in a while. Every year, I look forward to their categorical opinions on filmmaking.

Recently, they released a preview list of some of their most anticipated films of the upcoming Oscar season. The article features some exclusive photos and info that I haven’t come across for certain features. In particular, my excitement towards Clint Eastwood’s Hoover biopic “J. Edgar” has reached a fever pitch. News that Leonardo DiCaprio will be donning a large amount of prosthetic make up to portray the crime-buster in his later years is highly enticing.

EW hasn’t ranked their list, and I definitely can’t say that all of these look very appetizing (“Abduction”? Really?), but I’d say my top five from these selections would look like:

5. “Drive”
4. “Contagion”
3. “J. Edgar”
2. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”
1. “The Ides of March”

I will try to come out with a list of my own must-see list, soon. In the mean time, check out some of the new photos and tidbits over at EW’s official site, here.