2016 Screen Actors Guild Winners

I don't know if it's because I'm sick and didn't get to watch this show with my usual wine. Or that it's on a Saturday, but I just wasn't feeling the excitement of the SAGs. Which is kind of weird because a lot of great things happened tonight.  Let's get to it. My thoughts are in green, the winners are in blue.


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Johnny Depp - Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
I can't believe this is Leo's first win and his ninth nomination. What the fuck is that? It's about time. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Helen Mirren - Woman in Gold
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman - I Smile Back
Brie essentially has Oscar all locked up now. She gave a lovely speech.


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes
Jacob Tremblay - Room
In a nice "fuck you" to the Academy Idris takes the award. This means Stallone probably has Oscar all locked up too. I wasn't crazy about Idris in Beasts, but I love him and he's gorgeous so I'm happy he won. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Helen Mirren - Trumbo
Alicia Vikander-  The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet-  Steve Jobs
We wondered if Winslet's win at the Globes was about star power or if she was really in the race, and now I'm leaning towards the former. Alicia was great in The Danish Girl, even if it was no way a supporting performance. I suppose her massive ego paid off here. 


Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton
Trumbo
SO happy Spotlight took this. They desperately needed a win. The Big Short probably still has the edge, but I'm happy Spotlight took this one because I think it's such a wonderful film. 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk - Better Call Saul
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
Rami Malek - Mr. Robot
This surprised me. I really thought Hamm would win one last time, and I was personally rooting for Malek. Actors love them some Spacey. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Claire Danes - Homeland
Viola Davis - How To Get Away With Murder
Julianne Marguiles - The Good Wife
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Robin Wright - House of Cards
Davis takes the win and gives another wonderful speech.


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
House of Cards
Mad Men
This was another one I thought would go to Mad Men at least. I still don't get Downton Abbey's wins. I get it has a lot of fans but it seems quite dull. Personally, I wish Game of Thrones would win this. Sure the writing was shit this season, but the acting is always spectacular. 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Louis C.K. - Louis
William H. Macy - Shameless
Jim Parsons - Big Bang Theory
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
I really need to find a way to watch this show.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba - Orange is the New Black 
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Ellie Kemper - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis Dreyfus - Veep
Amy Poehler - Parks & Recreation
Uzo wins everything. I should've known to pick her. I thought JLD would sneak in a win. 


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Key & Peele
Modern Family
Orange Is The New Black
Transparent
Veep
I like OITNB. I like how diverse the cast is. I still don't think it's a comedy and was rooting for Veep or Key & Peele. Oh well, I'm happy for them.



Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Idris Elba - Luther
Ben Kingsley - Tut
Ray Liotta - Texas Rising
Bill Murray - A Very Murray Christmas
Mark Rylance - Wolf Hall
Idris wins again! He was so excited too.


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Nicole Kidman - Grace of Monaco
Queen Latifah - Bessie
Christina Ricci - The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
Susan Sarandon - The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe
Kristen Wiig - The Spoils Before Dying
I didn't think anyone else really had a chance against Latifah and I was right. 

Indie Gems: Bone Tomahawk

They're troglodytes.

After his wife and two other men are kidnapped by a tribe of cave dwelling cannibals, Arthur (Patrick Wilson) sets out with the local Sheriff Hunt, (Kurt Russel) his deputy Chicory (Richard Jenkins) and a local rich man Brooder (Matthew Fox) to save them. Arthur has a busted leg, but it doesn't matter, he's hobbling right along with everyone else. Only nothing about this trip is easy.

I went from never hearing about this film to lots of people raving about it when it hit DVD. It even picked up a few Independent Spirit Award nominations. While a slow burn at times, this is the type of "Western" I can get behind.

Bone Tomahawk tries to give The Green Inferno a run for it's money in the gore factor. While there's not a ton of it, it's absolutely brutal to watch at times. The core cast is excellent. I expected this movie to be campy for some reason, but it's not so. Though Jenkin's character provides just the right amount of campy humor which I adored. I loved seen Zahn McClarnon show up for a single scene after he was so great in Fargo this season. The pacing does drag in parts due to the fact that a lot of the film is them walking to their destination, but everything else makes up for it.

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Please continue.." - Samantha (Lili Simmons)

Thursday Movie Picks: Foreign Adaptions

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is movies that have been adapted from one language to another. (French to English, English to Chinese, etc) Since English is my first language, that's all I've got to work with here. I can't think of one American movie another country has remade. I'm going to pick one great foreign adaption, one terrible one, and one where I need to see the original.

1) Ringu to The Ring

The Good. This will always be one of my favorites. It's a foreign adaptation done right. 

2) Oldeuboi to Oldboy

The Terrible: What the fuck were they thinking with this? The Korean Old Boy is wonderful. People need to get over their subtitle hatred and just watch it. The American version was trash, despite having a great cast.

3) Infernal Affairs to The Departed

The One I need to see: The Departed is one of my favorite movies, and I've always meant to watch Infernal Affairs to see if it packs the same punch.

Rambling TV: Thoughts on Agent Carter, The X Files + more

I finally have more than one show on that I can talk about. It's been weeks since my last confession Rambling TV. Here's what I've been watching:

Agent Carter

This started off with a bang, with Peggy kicking ass and capturing Dottie before the opening credits even roll. Then Jack, who is still an asshole with a superiority complex sends Peggy off to California to help out Sousa who has been relocated there.

Peggy and Jarvis have the best chemistry, and we finally get to meet his wife who is nothing like I expected.

Reggie Austin plays a new character and possible love interest for Peggy. He's fine as hell so hopefully he comes back as his fate was left up in the air in the final few moments. I like the tie in to Agents of SHIELD as well. This is going to be interesting.

The X Files

Because I'm a spaz, I didn't record the show after the X Files so half my recording was the NFL post game. I had to watch it on Hulu, which I would normally never do because of their excessive ads, but I'm thankful for it.

I like the story so far. I read a few reviews that said they were trying too hard with the call backs to the original series. I expected a Jurassic World type scenario where every other moment had an easter egg but that wasn't the case at all.

I do think David Duchovny was completely phoning it in. He's not unbearably bad, but it's obvious he's not exactly trying.

I also still have a weird crush on Mitch Pileggi. Some things never change.

We can all agree that "Tad" is the douchiest name in existence, right? 

SNL

So we've only had two episodes since January, Adam Driver hosted, he was great. Ronda Rousey also hosted, but was kept to the background for the most part. She actually wasn't the worst part of her episode like I think a lot were predicting her to be. That honor goes to Selena Gomez's generic singing voice.

Making a Murderer

I binged this show on New Years Eve (and finished all 10 episodes within 3 days because parenting) I cannot stop thinking about this. All I want to do is talk about it and read more, and just rage. It's like you watch this show in five phases.

Phase 1: "...wtf?"
Phase 2: RAGE
Phase 3: semi hope - nope, RAGE
Phase 4: STILL RAGING
Phase 5: ULTIMATE RAGE MODE.

You should watch it if you haven't already.

*Rambling TV is a series where I ramble about what I watched on television this week.*

DVD Review: The Hunting Ground

Well, these stats are terrifying..

It starts with teenagers who are taping their reactions to reading their acceptance letters for the first time. They're happy, there's tears, then all of that happiness is gone and we're meeting with victims of sexual assault who reported their incidences and had nothing happen. 

This film reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend when we were young (and stupid) teenagers. We wondered if you agree to sex, and then it gets weird and you want it to stop, is that rape? You said yes at first before it took a turn you didn't expect. That's the type of head space that makes people not report things right away, or not at all. That type of thinking makes you question yourself and plays into the "asking for it" complex that is so harmful. It's embarrassing to type this now, but I had to say it. I wish we could've had that conversation with someone who said "Yes, that's wrong and it's not your fault." But those are scary questions. 

The Hunting Ground throws out some terrifying stats on how some campuses are handling sexual assault reports. And by handling, I mean in some cases mostly ignoring. It's sad to hear the stories of these women (and one man) whose lives are forever changed. The film follows two survivors, Annie Clark and Andrea Pino as they travel cross country to meet other survivors and try to make a difference. Another story shared is that of Erica Kinsman, who immediately reported her rape, only for the police to completely botch everything, and her school to rally against her since her rapist was a huge football star. (who now plays for the NFL) It's disgusting.

The film is not without it's critics, of course. They didn't include interviews with the alleged rapists, which one one hand, I get the point, on the other, it would've turned the entire doc into one big "he said she said" argument. Slate actually wrote an entire article on how one story shared, that of Kamilah Willingham was investigated more than the documentary showed. Still, I'm fine with the way it was presented. 

The Hunting Ground packs a very powerful punch and is heartbreaking to watch. Rape culture is still very real. There's an interview in Erica Kinsman's segment with a young woman Erica's age who completely disregards her rape and essentially calls her a whore. That's not okay. The immediate dismissal because of a few high profile cases were someone was lying isn't okay, especially when more rapes reported are actual rapes and not fabricated stories. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "Sigma Alpha Epsilon - sexual assault expected." - an alarming amount of people.


2016 SAG Predictions: Who will win, who should win.


I'm going to try not to be completely embarrassing with these predictions like I was with the Globes. I think I hit an all time low. Here's who I think will win, and in some cases, who probably should instead.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Bryan Cranston - Trumbo
Johnny Depp - Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
Who will and should win: Leonardo DiCaprio.
This is no one else's. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Helen Mirren - Woman in Gold
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman - I Smile Back
Who will win: Brie Larson
Who should win: Brie or Saoirse.
 Honestly, I like Saoirse's performance just a hair more, but I'm fine with either of these lovely ladies taking it. I think voters are going for "grittier" so Brie will edge Saoirse out. 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Idris Elba - Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon - 99 Homes
Jacob Tremblay - Room
Who will win: Mark Rylance
Who should win: Jacob Tremblay
Rylance and Bale are the only two who got Oscar nominations, so I think Rylance will take this one. Let's be real though, Tremblay needs to be winning shit. He was amazing. I wouldn't complain if Shannon won either. I hope Idris at least shows up. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Helen Mirren - Trumbo
Alicia Vikander-  The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet-  Steve Jobs
Who will win: Kate Winslet
Who should win: Anyone but Mirren.
Having seen all of these, I think any lady except Mirren (I love her, but the rest were just better) would be a worthy win. But Drew has converted me. I think Winslet has more of an edge than I thought she did. 


Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton
Trumbo
Who will and should win: Spotlight
I haven't seen Straight Outta Compton yet. Big Short and Trumbo have great ensembles. Beasts only Idris and Attah stood out so I think we can rule them out. If anyone edges out Spotlight, it will be The Big Sport, but I think Spotlight takes this one and keeps the rest of us guessing whether it or The Revenant will take Best Picture at the Oscars. 



Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Peter Dinklage - Game of Thrones
Jon Hamm - Mad Men
Bob Odenkirk - Better Call Saul
Kevin Spacey - House of Cards
Rami Malek - Mr. Robot
Who will win: Jon Hamm
Who should win: Rami Malek.
Hamm should really win too, he had all those years of playing Don Draper perfectly, only to lose to Bryan Cranston who was just better, but I'm a sucker for Rami and Mr. Robot. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Claire Danes - Homeland
Viola Davis - How To Get Away With Murder
Julianne Marguiles - The Good Wife
Maggie Smith - Downton Abbey
Robin Wright - House of Cards
Who will and should win: Viola Davis.
I see Davis repeating her Emmy win, though part of me thinks Maggie Smith could sneak in. 


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
Homeland
House of Cards
Mad Men
Who will win: Mad Men
Who should win: Game of Thrones.
I think Mad Men will get rewarded for their final run, though lackluster season 5 writing aside, Game of Thrones has a spectacular cast and I'd love them to get rewarded for it. If Mad Men doesn't take it, Thrones will. 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Ty Burrell - Modern Family
Louis C.K. - Louis
William H. Macy - Shameless
Jim Parsons - Big Bang Theory
Jeffrey Tambor - Transparent
Who will win: Jeffrey Tambor
Who should win: Louis C.K
I always say Louis should win, he's fucking hysterical. Tambor went home empty handed at the Globes, but I don't think SAGs will repeat here. They will likely follow the Emmy's. Though SAG has a huge soft spot for Modern Family so Ty Burrell always has a chance.  


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba - Orange is the New Black 
Edie Falco - Nurse Jackie
Ellie Kemper - Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis Dreyfus - Veep
Amy Poehler - Parks & Recreation
Who will win: Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Who should win, JLD or Poehler.
Julia lost to Aduba last year, but I think she'll reclaim the trophy (I just realized I'm talking about the SAG's like they're a sporting event) this year. It would be nice for Poehler to actually win something for Parks and Rec though.


Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Key & Peele
Modern Family
Orange Is The New Black
Transparent
Veep
Who will win: Modern Family
Who should win: Veep or Key & Peele.
I'm going safe here. I truly think Veep deserves to win, but since OITNB won last year for it's freshman season, I bet SAG goes right back to awarding Modern Family. It's a good show, it's not like they don't deserve it, I just have a lot of Veep bias. 


Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Idris Elba - Luther
Ben Kingsley - Tut
Ray Liotta - Texas Rising
Bill Murray - A Very Murray Christmas
Mark Rylance - Wolf Hall
Who will win: Bill Murray
Who should win: I have no idea, I haven't seen any of these.

No seriously, I think Murray will win this. SAG loves this shit. 


Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
Nicole Kidman - Grace of Monaco
Queen Latifah - Bessie
Christina Ricci - The Lizzie Borden Chronicles
Susan Sarandon - The Secret Life Of Marilyn Monroe
Kristen Wiig - The Spoils Before Dying
Who will win: Queen Latifah
Who should win: Latifah or Christina Ricci.
This is a tough one. I lean towards Queen Latifah because she's gotten the most exposure for this role, but Kidman is a very respected actress so she could win this despite the poor reviews Grace of Monaco got. Ricci was fun in the Lizzie Borden movie though, the quality of that was wayyyy better then I expected. 



Indie Gems: Phoenix

"New year new you" has never been more inappropriate.

Nelly (Nina Hoss) is a concentration camp survivor who suffered terrible burns to her face. She gets facial reconstruction surgery, but no matter how much she wants to look the same, she doesn't. She's desperate to find her husband, Johnny (Ronald Zehrfeld) but her helpful friend Lene (Nina Kuzendorf) insists that he more than likely is the one that sold her out to the Nazis in the first place. This doesn't stop her curiosity when she actually does locate him.

I was really bummed when I missed this film in theaters, it had such a limited release and mine only had it for about a week. I jumped on this right away when I saw it was on Netflix Instant. Sure, Holocaust movies are overdone, but I can appreciate them when they're different, and this one is.

It's both fascinating and frustrating to watch Nelly. She's making terrible choices, but at the same time it's impossible to judge due to the horrors she just endured. Nina Hoss is wonderful in the lead role. As are Zehrfeld and Kuzendorf, though she does not have a huge part.

The ending might be one of the most beautiful things I've seen in awhile. And it's fun to imagine what happened immediately following it.

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "I want to look exactly as I did before." - Nelly (Nina Hoss)

Thursday Movie Picks: Airplane Movies

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves involves the best way to travel...airplanes! I love flying for the most part. Sure, strong turbulence is terrible, I was on a plane once that was caught in jet wake and the pilot literally explained the science of wake turbulence while correcting it, which was oddly calming. I was almost tempted to do this week about terrible fucking in flight movies I've see, but I'll stick to the films where planes are actually involved.

1) Red Eye

This movie is a proper thriller. It has the perfect run time too, short, but intense throughout so it never gives the opportunity to drag. Cillian Murphy probably gets side eyed on every flight he's on now.

2) Airplane!

Everybody is going to pick this movie. It's so stupid and fun.

3) The Aviator

Unlike Red Eye, this does get the opportunity to drag but it's so well made and acted that I don't care. The cast is amazing.

2016 Blind Spot Series: All The President's Men


What I knew going in: That it's a very popular journalism movie.

Washington Post journalists Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) and Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) take on a story about the break in at the Watergate Hotel only for it to blow up into a massive conspiracy where no one wants to talk. Despite being told several times to essentially "let it go." They keep asking questions and use some very creative ways of getting people to confirm their questions.

With Spotlight and Truth being so strong this year. (for me anyways) I knew I had to place this film on my Blind Spot list. So many compared both of those films to this one. I find films like this endlessly fascinating. I love watching journalists work. How they do their research, ask their questions, and put up with so much shit, I have so much respect for them.

This film is brilliant all around. The pacing is great, the actors are very natural, though admittedly I'm not really sure how Jane Alexander managed to score an Oscar nomination out of this. Jason Robards certainly deserved his win. 2016 is off to a good start Blindspot wise!

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "When is someone going to go on the record about this story?" - Ben Bradlee (Jason Robards)

Review: Carol

Now you have my curiosity.

Therese (Rooney Mara) is a young woman working in a department story. She doesn't care much for the job, she really wants to be a photographer instead. One day she helps a woman named Carol, (Cate Blanchett) the curious attraction is there right away. When Carol leaves her gloves and Therese returns them, they strike up a friendship that eventually leads to something more. But this is the 1950's and Carol's soon to be ex husband Harge (Kyle Chandler) prove to be road blocks.

I read the novel this was based on a few months ago and just wasn't a fan. While I appreciate it for the time it was released, I thought it was dull. The film manages to be a little bit more dramatic, but the story still lacks depth.

The film is shot beautifully. It absolutely deserves its cinematography Oscar nom, if it didn't look like it does, it would be much worse. Blanchett and Mara are also great in their roles. They manage to teeter on their emotions. You always think things are going to go out of control, but they remain stern. Sarah Paulson and John Magaro also have small parts in which they do a great job. I'm still no fan of Kyle Chandler, the quality seems to drop when he's on screen.

Carol made me rethink how I initially graded The Danish Girl and The Hateful Eight. I actually went back and changed them, which is something I never do. With these three films, I felt like I was grading them for the way I wanted to see them and not how I really did. Because truth be told, I wanted to like these films more, but I just didn't. They had moments of brilliance, but were ultimately let downs.

Recommended: Yes (for the technical aspects of the film)

Grade: C

Memorable Quote: "I suppose you thought it was a man who sent back your gloves." - Therese (Rooney Mara)

My Top 10 Films of 2015 - and the Bottom 5

I think this might be the earliest I've gotten my Top 10 list out. There's a few "big" films I haven't seen yet. Carol, Straight Outta Compton, Bridge of Spies, Tangerine and essentially any foreign film released this year. Here are my top 10 favorite films for 2015, in no particular order.










                                   




Just Missed




*Yes, I know, people hated Age of Ultron. Even with two major complaints, I still enjoy watching it. Behold the field in which I grow my fucks. Lay thine eyes upon it, and thou shalt see that it is barren*


Honorable Mention:  End of the Tour, Steve Jobs, The Walk, Black Mass, Ant-Man, Truth, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mad Max: Fury Road, 99 Homes, Love & Mercy, Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl, Phoenix. 


Bottom 5
1) Stockholm, Pennsylvania - For letting a fascinating premise implode in the 2nd act, and wasting the talent of the amazing Saoirse Ronan.
2) The Salvation - Too rapey and too boring.
3) Jurassic World - They failed to master "subtle homage" and cast the most annoying child actor on Earth. 
4) The Falling - So messy and stupid.
5) Far From the Madding Crowd - I wanted to slap this woman. 


Most Disappointing Films (That Didn't Land in The Bottom 5)
1) A Most Violent Year
2) Inside Out
3) Freeheld
4) Diary of a Teenage Girl
5) The Hateful Eight

Indie Gems: Partisan

Just say "no" to communes.

Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel) is an 11 year old boy living in a commune. The leader, Gregori (Vincent Cassel) seems charismatic and loving enough, however what he uses the children for is anything but. As Alexander grows older, he begins to question the way he's grown up and soon Gregori notices.

This film is a slow burn, but the dread it builds is quietly intense. Cults never go smoothly, and once it's shown what Gregori is training these kids to do, you get the sense that something is about to go very wrong, you just don't know when. It was shot in Georgia (though the location in the film is never mentioned) and characters speak in multiple accents. It gives a very ambiguous feel that works well.

I love Cassel, I could watch this guy in anything. Chabriel, while he doesn't get the opportunity to show a lot of range, his curiosity is evident in his eyes. 

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "I don't want to talk about them anymore." - Susanna (Florence Mezzara)

2016 Academy Award Nominations



My excitement for the Oscar nominations was almost nonexistent when I woke up to news that the great Alan Rickman had passed away from cancer. He was such a tremendous talent and an actor I enjoyed very much. (who criminally never had an Oscar nomination) A lot of the nominees this year made me happy, so that's at least something. Of course, there's a few snubs in my opinion. Here's a list of the nominees, my thoughts follow in green.

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight
Why can't they just use their full 10 nominees? Sicario and Star Wars could've been in here too. I'm glad Mad Max didn't miss out, I was afraid it would. Other then that, these are pretty much what everyone expected. I think Carol is seen as a big snub, I haven't had a chance to watch it yet. I will on Monday.


Best Actress
Cate Blanchett - Carol
Brie Larson - Room
Jennifer Lawrence - Joy
Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn
The most unfortunate thing about this category (aside from the fraud, Mara and Vikander should be here) is that I have to watch another awards ceremony with Jennifer Lawrence. Carey Mulligan in Suffragette? Anyone? Bueller?

Best Actor
Bryan Cranston -Trumbo
Matt Damon - The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant
Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl
I think this is what everyone was expecting. This year is all about Leo though.


Best Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh -The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara - Carol
Rachel McAdams - Spotlight
Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs
Well, there's the answer to whether or not Vikander ended up here for Ex Machina and lead for The Danish Girl (where she belongs) the big surprise is Rachel McAdams for Spotlight. She wasn't a lock, and I love seeing her here.


Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale - The Big Short
Tom Hardy - The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo  -Spotlight
Mark Rylance  - Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone  - Creed
I think this category mostly sucks. I'm happy for Ruffalo and Hardy but I would've put Paul Dano, Michael Shannon, and Jacob Tremblay in here instead. 


Best Director

Adam McKay - The Big Short
George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro G. Iñárritu - The Revenant
Lenny Abrahamson - Room
Tom McCarthy - Spotlight
Abrahamson is the surprise. I'm shocked neither Haynes or Scott made the cut. I'm psyched for Adam McKay though. Good for him. 


Best Adapted Screenplay
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
The Martian
Room
I read Room, Brooklyn, and The Martian last year, all tremendous books with great adaptations. I'm happy to see them here.

Best Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton
I love Ex Machina and I'm happy to see Straight Outta Compton here. I haven't actually seen the film yet, but it doesn't scream "Oscars" so of course I love that it shows up randomly.


Best Animated Feature
Anomalisa
Boy and the World
Inside Out
Shaun the Sheep Movie
When Marnie Was There


Best Documentary Feature

Amy
Cartel Land
Look of Silence
What Happened Miss Simone
Winter on Fire


Best Foreign Language Film
Embrace of the Serpent - Colombia
Mustang - France
Son of Saul - Hungary
Theeb - Jordan
A War - Denmark


Best Original Score
Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
For some reason I thought Star Wars was ineligible due to the weird rules the Academy has in place. I thought they'd get smacked for the title song or something, but I'm so happy I was wrong. This was a nice surprise. As was seeing Sicario here. I'm glad it got more than one nomination.


Best Original Song
“Earned It,” Fifty Shades of Grey
“Manta Ray,” Racing Extinction
“Simple song No. 3,” Youth
“Til it Happens to You,” The Hunting Ground
“Writing’s on the Wall,” Spectre
I hate all of these songs. Seriously, even the one from The Hunting Ground. I haven't liked a thing from Gaga since her awful "Do What You Want With My Body" song. I suppose Simple song isn't terrible, but none are very memorable.


Best Cinematography
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario
Sicario!! Please let Deakins win this.


Best Film Editing
The Big Short
Mad Max Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Bridge of Spies surprised me. I thought a genre movie like Crimson Peak would've done very well here.


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out a Window and Disappeared
The Revenant
The Revenant is just cleaning house in every category. 


Best Costume Design
Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant


Best Animated Short
Bear Story
Prologue
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow
I fucking love Sanjay's Super Team


Best Visual Effects
Ex Machina
Mad Max Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I think Avengers: Age of Ultron not being here is 100% bullshit. It had flaws with the story but the VFX in that film were amazing. Look at Vision, look at that excellent fight scene around the core in Sokovia. I like all of the nominees, here, I do, but one of them should've been bumped for Ultron.


Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars The Force Awakens


Best Sound Mixing
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Best Documentary Short

Body Team 12
Chau, beyond the Lines
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Last Day of Freedom” Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman


Best Live Action Short
Ave Maria
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Shok”
Stutterer

Thursday Movie Picks: Post-Apocalyptic World (Not Apocalyptic)

This week's theme from Wandering Through the Shelves is about movies after the apocalypse. The disasters are (mostly) over and we see how people deal now. It's funny I would get this theme after being so underwhelmed with Z for Zachariah, a film with an interesting premise that fell flat. Here are some of my favorite post apocalyptic movies. 

1) Mad Max: Fury Road

What happened to the world to make it the way it is now? Who knows? Why is this in Australia when only a few people have Australian accents? Who the fuck cares, it's fun!

2) Children of Men

Women can no longer have children, there's mass poverty, but Kee seems to be defying all odds. This film is so dark and wonderful it almost makes me forgive Cuaron for what he did to Prisoner of Azkaban's script.


3) 28 Days Later

The film picks up a month after a massive outbreak of the "rage" virus. Cillian Murphy waking up in a hospital then walking out into a deserted London is still one of the most memorable scenes I've ever witnessed. 





Review: The Revenant

When all else fails, let bloody revenge fuel you.

Hugh Glass (Leonardio DiCaprio) is a frontiersmen on a fur trading expedition lead by the young but noble Captain Andrew Henry. (Domhnall Gleeson) They start off with about 40 men, then they are attacked by Natives and that number is down to 10. They have to stash their furs and leave. Glass is brutally attacked by a bear on their way back. At first they attempt to carry him, but they cannot do that up the mountains. So Glass's son Hawk, (Forrest Goodluck) and a very sweet and naive Bridger (Will Poulter) offer to stay behind to watch him until they can get more help. Another tracker, the doubtful John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) also stays behind when Henry offers to pay him more than what his furs work. But after some more dramatic events, Fitzgerald betrays Glass and leaves him behind for dead. Glass embraces the dark side and lets his rage flow through him to crawl back to his camp in the worst of conditions.

I've been hyped for this ever since I saw the wonderful trailer and it absolutely lives up to my heightened expectations. Watching Glass crawl around in the snow, the water, the harsh wilderness, the film actually makes you feel cold. Expecting no less from Emmanuel Lubezki, it's shot beautifully. There were a few times his camera tricks made me dizzy, but he makes an impossible situation look kind of beautiful at times, and brutal at others. I'd say this is probably the 2nd best shot film I've seen this year. (Sicario is still first)

Speaking of brutal, this film is certainly that. Since you know the bear attack is coming the tension leading up to it is almost unbearable. (heh) And Judy (the name they gave the CGI bear) looks fantastic. This thing actually fogs up and drools all over the lens at one point. It's just a brilliant piece of VFX. The fights between the frontiersmen and natives were also done very well.

Let's talk about the acting. Surprising absolutely no one, Leonardo DiCaprio is amazing. He makes you feel Glass' pain. The agony is on his face after every move he makes. Even though he doesn't have many lines, he doesn't need them. The physicality makes up for it. If DiCaprio doesn't win this Oscar, well...someone hates him. This is hands down the best performance from an actor I've seen this year. Tom Hardy is also great. Fitzgerald is such an asshole. He's literally introduced to us bitching about something. Hardy plays him very coldly, there's nothing to like about him and that's the way it should be. You can't even muster up the pity that he was half way scalped at one point in his life. Will Poulter surprised me the most. This kid has a lot of range that I never realized before. Bridger is so sweet and he perfectly contracts the massive dick that is Fitzgerald. Gleeson is also good as Captain Henry. He wants the best for his men, but still struggles with making tough decisions at times.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A+

Memorable Quote: "If you have a breath, you fight." - Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio)