Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations 2014


The 30th Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations were just announced. Birdman, Boyhood, Love is Strange, Selma and Whiplash are nominated for best picture. Birdman leads the total number of nominations with six while Boyhood, Nightcrawler and Selma each received five nominations overall.

You can hardly call most of these nominees 'independent' but lets not get into that tired argument again. Personally, I am glad to see The Immigrant get some love in cinematography and actress (Cotillard should get more love). Only Lovers Left Alive got a few mentions. The international film and documentary lineup looks stellar. My favorite category at Spirits is always the John Cassavetes Award. This year they have worthy indies like Blue Ruin, Land Ho! and It Felt Like Love nominated along with others. Both Inherent Vice and Foxcatcher will receive special prizes. Strange to see Big Eyes nominated for screenplay. A Most Violent Year had a limited showing. The Imitation Game, Wild, The Skeleton Twins etc had no showing at all. Anyways, check out the full list below and make sure to watch these films.

BEST FEATURE:

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
Love is Strange
Selma
Whiplash

Review: INTERSTELLAR (2014)


Cast:
            Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, David Gyasi, Wes Bentley, Bill Irwin (voice), Josh Stewart (voice), Jessica Chastain, Mackenzie Foy, Ellen Burstyn, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Timothée Chalamet, John Lithgow, Matt Damon, Leah Cairns, Topher Grace, David Oyelowo, William Devane, Elyes Gabel and Collette Wolfe

Director:
                    Christopher Nolan

Friday, November 21, 2014

Academy Awards 2015 Predictions - Boyhood, Birdman, Selma and more


Awards race or better known as "Oscars race because everything leads to that big night"... has built up to a big blob of uncertainty. It is rare to have so much speculation and so little firm opinion on which film is likely to rule the Oscars night. Of course, such buzz is usually made or break once the Critics starts announcing their picks from the very first day of December but usually you have one or two films from the festivals having enough reviews and buzz to be considered your so-called 'frontrunners'. It is a good thing though, us bloggers and awards freaks are kept in this constant head-scratching mode. Personally I like to keep a big distance between "Oscars films" and "Worthy films" but these days, people often mistake the two being directly related to each other. The point being that movies that suddenly doesn't seem to have a chance at Oscars are sidelined even from general viewing or personal consideration point of view which is sad because that is where you actually find great stuff. The biggest examples right now seems to be Inherent Vice, A Most Violent Year (unless Academy finally goes all out for Chandor) and hundreds of indie films.

Talking about my predictions, I have compiled a list of most likely nominations with no emphasis on their winning chances. Boyhood, Birdman, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Foxcatcher, Gone Girl and maybe Whiplash are considered for best picture nominations. Ava DuVernay's MLK biopic premiered at AFI fest to extremely positive response meaning it could may as well go all the way. "Selma" is directed by a woman who has been a supporter of independent filmmaking and promotion of filmmakers and content specially for and from the African-American community. This is her first film to be in so much mainstream focus and guessing from the supreme response, a great high point of the year. Not only DuVernay but there is another female filmmaker hoping to get some Academy love. Angelina Jolie's directed feature "Unbroken" has been in the talks way before anybody started predicting this year's Oscars. Jolie's star power apparently doesn't need a festival or critics screening launch. Nobody has seen it but everybody is predicting it to win. I was as well back in September. Jolie isn't the only reason, the film looks and sounds like something Academy will root for. The involvement of Coens and Deakins further cements that thought. Jolie has been passionate about the project and the real life figure (who recently died) that inspired it all. Well, we will have to wait and watch.

BEST PICTURE:-


I can be wrong about Interstellar but it ain't getting in, at least at the moment. What will I do to see some A Most Violent Year, Mr. Turner and Inherent Vice in the list? Oh and I am not very confident about Into the Woods or American Sniper so, that's that.

1. Boyhood
2. Birdman (or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
3. Selma
4. The Imitation Game
5. The Theory of Everything
6. Unbroken
7. Foxcatcher
8. Gone Girl
9. Whiplash

Friday, November 14, 2014

Review: STORIES WE TELL (2013)


Cast:
            Rebecca Jenkins, Claire Walker, Alex Hatz, Michael Polley, Harry Gulkin, Susy Buchan, John Buchan, Mark Polley, Joanna Polley, Cathy Gulkin, Marie Murphy, Robert MacMillan, Anne Tait, Deirdre Bowen, Victoria Mitchell, Mort Ransen, Geoffrey Bowes, Tom Butler, Pixie Bigelow and Peter Evans

Director:
                    Sarah Polley

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Review: THE SPECTACULAR NOW (2013)


Cast:
            Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Dayo Okeniyi, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler, Andre Royo, Bob Odenkirk, Kaitlyn Dever, Masam Holden, Gary Weeks, Whitney Goin and Nicci Faires

Director:
                    James Ponsoldt

Monday, October 27, 2014

Quick Takes: Mother of George - This Is the End - Trance


MOTHER OF GEORGE (2013)

Cast:
            Isaach de Bankolé, Danai Gurira, Bukky Ajayi, Tony Okungbowa and Gideon Okeke

Director:
                    Andrew Dosunmu

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Review: MUD (2013)


Cast:
            Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Sam Shepard, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon, Joe Don Baker, Sadie Antonio, Paul Sparks, Stuart Greer, Bonnie Sturdivant, John Ward Jr., Kristy Barrington, Johnny Cheek, Kenneth Hill and Michael Abbott, Jr.

Director:
                    Jeff Nichols

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Gotham Independent Film Awards Nominations 2014


The nominations for the 24th annual Gotham Independent Film Awards were announced earlier today thus kicking off the awards season officially. October and November are relatively quieter months as far as awards goes while December turns into a headache with critics announcing their winners from all directions.

The highly acclaimed Boyhood and Birdman along with Under the Skin, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Love Is Strange got nominated for best picture. I am specially happy for the latter three films which should get more attention then what you and I expect them to latter on this year. In the acting nominees we have Ethan Hawke, Michael Keaton, Julianne Moore, Patricia Arquette and more. Another nominee I am so delightful to spot is Mia Wasikowska for "Tracks". The jury will also award a special ensemble prize to the three male stars from "Foxcatcher".

Below is the full list of the nominees:

Best Feature:

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Love Is Strange
Under the Skin

Monday, October 20, 2014

Review: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014)


Cast:
            Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Saoirse Ronan, Edward Norton, F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Jude Law, Harvey Keitel, Bill Murray, Léa Seydoux, Jason Schwartzman, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson, Owen Wilson and Bob Balaban

Director:
                    Wes Anderson

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Review: SIDE EFFECTS (2013)


Cast:
            Jude Law, Rooney Mara, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Channing Tatum, Vinessa Shaw, Ann Dowd, Polly Draper, David Costabile and Mamie Gummer

Director:
                    Steven Soderbergh