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The 69th Annual Golden Globe Nominations

December 15, 2011 3 comments

Once again, I’ll have a full opinion piece out in a few hours. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the nominees (including a tally of how many I correctly predicted). Also, there’s one jarring thought that’s kind of occupying my mind right now?

WHERE THE HELL IS MELISSA McCARTHY!?!?!?!?!?! HFPA, just what were you thinking?

…and the nominees are…

BEST PICTURE: DRAMA  (4/5 + 1 alternate)
“The Descendants”
“The Help”
“Hugo”
“The Ides of March”
“Moneyball”
“War Horse”

BEST PICTURE: MUSICAL/COMEDY (5/5!!!)
“The Artist”
“Bridesmaids”
“50/50”
“Midnight in Paris”
“My Week With Marilyn”

BEST DIRECTOR (4/5 + 1 alternate)
Woody Allen – “Midnight in Paris”
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”
Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
George Clooney, “The Ides of March”

BEST ACTOR: DRAMA (4/5 +1 alternate)
George Clooney, “The Descendants”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “J. Edgar”
Michael Fassbender, “Shame”
Ryan Gosling, “The Ides of March”
Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

BEST ACTOR: MUSICAL/COMEDY (3/5)
Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
Brendan Gleeson, “The Guard”
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, “50/50”
Ryan Gosling, “Crazy, Stupid, Love.”
Owen Wilson, “Midnight in Paris”

BEST ACTRESS: DRAMA (4/5)
Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”
Viola Davis, “The Help”
Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”

BEST ACTRESS: MUSICAL/COMEDY (4/5 + 1 alternate)
Jodie Foster, “Carnage”
Kristen Wiig, “Bridesmaids”
Charlize Theron, “Young Adult”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”
Kate Winslet, “Carnage”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (3/5 + 1 alternate)
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Albert Brooks, “Drive”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Viggo Mortensen, “A Dangerous Method”
Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (3/5 + 1 alternate)
Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”
Octavia Spencer, “The Help”
Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”

BEST SCREENPLAY (4/5)
Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, “The Descendants”
George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, “The Ides of March”
Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian, “Moneyball”

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM (N/A)
“The Flowers of War”
“In the Land of Blood and Honey”
“The Kid With a Bike”
“A Separation”
“The Skin I Live In”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE (5/5!!!)
“The Adventures of Tintin”
“Arthur Christmas”
“Cars 2”
“Puss in Boots”
“Rango”

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (3/5)
Ludovic Bource, “The Artist”
Trent Reznor and Attivus Ross, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Howard Shore, “Hugo”
John Williams, “War Horse”
Abel Korzeniowski, “W.E.”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG (N/A)
“Lay Your Head Down,” “Albert Nobbs”
“Hello Hello,” “Gnomeo and Juliet”
“The Living Proof,” “The Help”
“The Keeper,” “Machine Gun Preacher”
“Masterpiece,” “W.E.”

“The Ides of March” Trailer

I don’t think that there was ever any doubt in my mind that of all the films slated for a 2011 release, none of them has grabbed my attention more than George Clooney’s “The Ides of March.” Maybe it’s the sustained energy leftover from Obama’s 2008 campaign. Perhaps it’s my undying passion for the socio-political TV drama “The West Wing” for the vibes from this movie tickle me with a similar sensation that Sorkin once did (and still does. Who am I kidding?).

On the other hand, maybe it all just comes down to a film that is written and directed by as well as starring the great George Clooney (a man I have very much grown to respect in front and behind the camera, as well as in the real world) and starring a collection of the greatest performers of our time, crossing several generations.

From the looks of this trailer, the film is not going to disappoint anytime soon. The spirit of Sorkin’s political style of wit seems to be well intact, accented by Clooney and Heslov’s razor-sharp edginess. Gosling, Clooney, Tomei, Wood, and especially Giamatti all seem at the top of their game, while Philip Seymour Hoffman looks to be headed straight for his third Oscar nomination. Yet, I doubt that he will be the only individual waking up to that distinction in January. This film is going to be powerhouse of all forms of talent producing stellar entertainment.

Check out the HD trailer, below:

“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:

NEW Trailer for “Crazy Stupid Love”

Yes, another movie trailer. What can I say? I love them. Who doesn’t? However this one, after you watch it, you will definitely not be sorry that I posted it.

Directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa rose to the very top of my watchlist last year when they finally got a chance to release their much-anticipated film “I Love You Phillip Morris.” The film was as inventive as it was hilarious and should have easily netted Jim Carrey his first Oscar nomination. Now, the pair of artists has seemed to further their quest to ultimately change the face of the romantic comedy and turning it into something someone with taste and self respect can enjoy.

“Crazy Stupid Love” tells the story of a man (Steve Carell), down on his luck, whose marriage is officially ending. He’s forced to get back into the dating game in who knows how long. He enlists the assistance of a five star player who can seemingly get with any girl he pleases. Carell completely changes his appearance and personality, but cannot change his inner self as he realizes that he cannot change what he really wants. Meanwhile, Gosling is discovering that love might actually be in the cards for him, forever changing his lifestyle and putting him in a situation that he doesn’t know how to control.

This film looks phenomenal on more levels than I can count. Who knew that throwing two guys like Carell and Gosling into a film together could create such a dynamite composition. Bolstered by the acting (and star, for that matter) power of Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei and Kevin Bacon, this film is literally gushing with potential. Yes, at times, the film does look like a higher brow remake of “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” an outstanding romantic comedy, in its own right. However, I feel that there’s something more at work here that could blow the above-mentioned film out of the water. It looks funny, touching and more than a little original. The film is set to be released on July 29th, and you can bet that I’ll be there opening weekend. I have a feeling that you all should, too.

Check out the trailer embed, below, or the link to the high quality Apple version below it.

Apple HD Trailer

My Top Ten List – 2010

February 15, 2011 1 comment

Last year, I can remember the huge uproar against the AMPAS extending the amount of Best Picture nominees to ten. I can also remember, that through it all, I was one of this notion’s strongest supporters. I recognize the faults in the logic. It allows for lesser films that have no business being considered one of the year’s best to fight their way in due to endless campaigning and the votes of stupid people. This flaw took shape last year in the form of “The Blind Side” getting nominated for Best Picture.

However, the upsides of the expansion are far greater. It gives the field a more diverse look, for one. It’s nice to see films from a wide range of directors and collaborators. If allows also a mix of both intelligent box office hits and scrappy indy favorites. More than anything else, however, is that five films is just two few to sum up a year in cinema. Had the Academy enacted this ruling ten years ago, one would look back on certain films and think it a crime had they not been nominated, which they haven’t. Imagine a world if films like “The Wrestler,” “The Dark Knight,” “WALL-E,” “Into the Wild,” “Once,” “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly,” “United 93,” “Little Children,” “Children of Men” and “Pan’s Labyrinth” could have been Best Picture nominees, and that’s only the last five years.

It must be for that reason that critics, for over fifty years, have been issuing top ten lists of their favorite films, rather than top five lists. It’s about that time, therefore, for The Edge of the Frame to release its own list for the 2010 year. I have now seen sixty films from 2010, which is low for me and not quite an respectable amount. Over the years, I’m sure that this list will change a spot or two as I see more, but for now, I believe that I’ve seen an acceptable sum to create an adequate list.

This has been a good year for film, but not really a great one. Out of sixty films, I gave only two films “A” grades. The year has had its high points and low points. For instance, it has been a great year for lead acting performances, but a rotten year for cinematography. For sure, I will always remember 2010 as the year that the Oscars snubbed its nose at great film and went home to their comfort zones. More than anything else, however, 2010 has been the year of the documentary. Never have I seen a year in cinema in which so many documentaries have captured my interest, let alone made it into my top ten.

As always there are a few stragglers that, even though they don’t qualify for my top ten, they still deserve an honorable mention. Therefore, this next selection of films are all very good, but just not good enough. They may be packed with amazing moments, but there’s also one too many flaws that have kept them down. So without further adieu, here are the films that just didn’t quite make it:

THE RUNNERS-UP


“127 Hours”

Directed by Danny Boyle
Written by Danny Boyle and Simon Beaufoy

Click HERE to see the rest of the list

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The Nominations – My Thoughts and Reactions

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The nail-biting is over, at least for a few weeks. The Oscar nominations are here, and I believe that for the first time in years, my joy outweighs my sorrow. I suppose its appropriate to get into the bad news, first.

One thing’s official. As much as the Academy seems to have the most outrageous hard-on for Stephen Daldry (3 films made, 3 Best Director nods), they seem to have an everlasting grudge against Christopher Nolan as a director (3 DGA noms, no Oscar nods for Director). I just don’t understand what the man has to do to get their recognition. You can’t feel completely bad for him, pulling down two nominations for producer and writer, but are those the types of roles that any great director wants to be remembered for? I’m sure it wasn’t good enough for Stanley Kubrick. Honestly, Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented directors in Hollywood. Who else can take a film with such originality, intelligence, grandeur and finesse and bring in 300 million dollars with it or more. And on top of that, do it twice in three years. Nobody since Steven Spielberg, I’ll tell you that much.

The second-most disturbing snub has got be the exclusion of Andrew Garfield in the Supporting Actor category. Ridiculous. Definitely one of the best performances of the year, Garfield’s portrayal of innocence-lost is the soul of “The Social Network.” Though, while I bemoan the lack of Eduardo Savrin, I simply could not be more thrilled about the inclusion of John Hawkes for his turn in “Winter’s Bone.” People who’ve visited this site often must be aware of my penchant for this particular acting job, and this morning’s news of his inclusion is the crowning jewel of almost a year’s worth of supporting him on my part.

Since I’m ever so thrilled about Hawkes, I can’t blame him for the Garfield snub. Therefore, I’m gonna have to just go ahead and blame Jeremy Renner. I never thought that in one year, I could turn so much on this performer. In “The Hurt Locker” he was phenomenal, truly deserving of a lead actor nomination. Here, he is an average performance in an average film. I don’t think I ever considered him a candidate for my supporting actor picks, not even back in October. I was genuinely shocked and confused when accolades and Oscar talk began surfacing a few months ago. It baffled me then and it truly baffles me now.

At least its consolation that Renner was “The Town”‘s only nomination, missing out on that Best Picture nod that everyone was predicting….well almost everyone ;). The fact that “Winter’s Bone” took its place could not be more gratifying, as well. What a glorious film that more than deserves all of its bestowed nominations.

Let’s look at how some films made out on the whole. “127 Hours” defied pundits with a huge 6 nomination comeback, including yet another double category nomination for A.R. Rahman (Best Original Song, Best Original Score). Meanwhile, maybe the biggest shocker of the day, was “Black Swan” achieving only 5 nominations. For a while now, many people have been projecting Aronofsky’s film to be the potential nomination frontrunner, amassing perhaps ten or twelve. Instead, the film missed out on Supporting Actress (for both of its contenders), Original Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design and both Sound categories. I didn’t have it predicted in all of those, but it certainly had potential. Perhaps the biggest crime here is its Sound Effects exclusion. The work done on the sound of pattering feet and flapping feathers was phenomenal.

The worst overall snub of a film had to be Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island.” Not an amazing film, by any standards, but certainly one in which at least its technical achievements deserved some recognition. It should have easily made the grade for both Cinematography and Art Direction. Some of the best work of the year. I’m also depressed that Ryan Gosling missed out on a more than deserving nomination for Best Actor in “Blue Valentine.” It’s very nice to see Michelle Williams nominated, but not enough of a consolation. I’m sure that when I see “Biutiful” this weekend, however, Javier Bardem will wow the living shit out of me and I will be able to praise his surprise inclusion.

Let’s move on to some of the brighter aspects of day. The big story in the news is “The King’s Speech” being the nomination leader, but “The Social Network” really did have a pretty damned good day. 8 nominations, tied for the third highest, including four technical nominations, not an easy feat for a contemporary comedy/drama. It’s true that we definitely have ourselves a race now. Yet in terms of the race, “The King’s Speech” may have gained ground, but “The Social Network” hasn’t lost any of its.

One thing that’s really got me happy is the semi-snub of “Alice in Wonderland.” True, it did receive three nominations, yet I call it a snub for the one award it had almost always been not only a lock, but a frontrunner: Best Makeup. It appears that this branch of the Academy really does know the difference between makeup and CGI. Some very interesting choices replaced it, including “Barney’s Version” and “The Way Back.”

Without a doubt, the biggest joy for me, this morning, was seeing the results that the Doc branch rolled out. This has been one of the best years I’ve ever seen for documentary films. Lately, it’s seemed as though the lackluster “Waiting for Superman” was lined up to sweep the Oscar after wins at the BFCA and PGA. However, that belief was certainly swayed when the movie did not even show up among the nominees. The Academy also chose to avoid “The Tillman Story,” a pretentious and jumbled look at the soldier’s tragic story. Instead, among the nominations, are my three favorite documentaries of the year: “Restrepo,” “Inside Job” and the glorious “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Well done, guys.

My predictions were some of the best of my time doing this gig. out of 109 nominations, I correctly predicted 82. Not bad at all. If you were to ask my girlfriend, I was inches away from predicting Bardem at about 2 o’clock this morning. Oh well. Got to stick to your guns.

This race has gone from being a one trick pony to a cutthroat race to the finish. It is going to be “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech” right to the last note. While, for sure, I have a favorite, it’s refreshing to have a very close race. While last year was a nice David and Goliath battle, looking back, it was always “The Hurt Locker”‘s for the taking. And before that, it was two years of no competition. Now we have a race the likes of “The Departed” vs. “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Million Dollar Baby” vs. “The Aviator.” However, in reality, I don’t think we’ve ever had a race quite like this one before. Should be a good time. Stay tuned.

My FINAL Oscar Predictions – 1/22

January 23, 2011 6 comments

This is it. Last call before closing. Nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be announced this Tuesday, January 25th, at 7:30am CST (and you can bet I’ll be up hours before then, pumping myself up). For sure, there is a science behind the whole prediction game. A combination of elements, including what’s been happening with the critics groups awards, the different guild nominations and, in some cases, the film’s box office success. Along with that, there’s likability in each contender, how many times they’ve previously been nominated and won, a pseudo-mathematic question of their overall “due” status. Dozens of factors take shape in hugely methodic process, and this is all before anyone even takes into effect how good each contender is. Crazy, huh?

Well, a year-long process has now come to a close, and it’s time for me to nut up and offer my final predictions. The Best Picture line-up is basically down to 11 contenders, with two films vying for the final slot. It’s possible that either “Shutter Island” or “The Ghost Writer” could stage a massive coup and fight their way in their, but I doubt it. Some predictions that I’m sticking my neck out on? I’m still holding on to my convictions (and hopes) that the incredible John Hawkes can beat out Jeremy Renner in the Best Supporting Actor category. I’m also holding out hope that both of “Blue Valentine”‘s stars will outdo their older competition for leading notices. I’m also really hoping that “Exit Through the Gift Shop” can actually tickle the documentary branch’s funny bone (a feat not easily accomplished). Finally, here’s to “Winter’s Bone” edging out “The Town” for Best Picture. In fact, I’m predicting an across-the-board snub of the film. It’s only a slightly above action feature that has no business in the top ten. I have a strong feeling, though, that it will be this year’s “Blind Side.”

Without further adieu, here are the nominees (and once again, these are ranked in order of their chance of getting nominated, not winning):

BEST PICTURE
1. “The Social Network”
2. “The King’s Speech”
3. “The Fighter”
4. “Black Swan”
5. “Inception”
6. “Toy Story 3”
7. “True Grit”
8. “The Kids Are All Right”
9. “127 Hours”
10. “Winter’s Bone”

Alt 1: “The Town”
Alt 2: “Shutter Island”

Click READ MORE to see the rest.

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