WANT TO WIN YOUR OFFICE OSCAR POOL? LISTEN TO ME!

oscars

The Super Bowl is finally here!!!!!  Yay!  What’s that you say, the Super Bowl was three weeks ago?  Maybe your Super Bowl was three weeks ago, but as far as I’m concerned that’s just a football game with a lot of expensive commercials.  My Super Bowl doesn’t happen the first Sunday in February, but happens the last Sunday in February.  The Academy Awards!   The Silver Screen’s night to shine!

And I think I know who is going to win.  I definitely know who should win.  And I have strong feelings about who shouldn’t even be nominated!  And yes, many of you may disagree with me, and I’m okay with that.  It’s really not your fault you’re not as smart as me.  Let’s blame your teachers.   Betsy DeVos would.

Okay so enough about that let’s get down to my picks

SUPPORTING ACTOR

untitled

Will Win:  Mahershala Ali is almost a certain bet, however this is the one category that the certain bet loses most often, so if it’s not him it will be…. 

Dark Horse:  Dev Patel, he’s great in the movie, the only problem is that he’s almost more of a lead actor and not a supporting actor, so the actor who….

Should Win: Lucas Hedges. It’s a true supporting role, is wonderful and revelatory.  There are so many moments in this movie that are so real, and many of them are because of this young man.

As far as shouldn’t even be nominated, that is easy…….Michael Shannon.  The academy is in love with this guy and they want to give him an Oscar.  And I get it, he’s a talented guy, but this is not a movie or performance that deserves the attention.

 

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

viola

Will Win:  Viola Davis is adored by everyone and she should be, she’s amazing and her performance is amazing.  I can’t even say there is a dark horse in this one.  Viola is the closest thing to a lock, which is a shame because her performance is a Lead performance and she shouldn’t be in this category.  Instead the actress who….

Should Win: Michelle Williams.  Again, a true supporting role.   And if she didn’t deserve it for the scene right after the fire, she deserves it for her last scene in the movie.  Her heartbreak is real.  Her loss is palpable.  Her emotions are there to make you cry.  And yet it’s not done in a showy or overt way.  It’s just real!

As far as who shouldn’t be nominated, besides Viola in this category, again it’s easy.  Octavia Spencer.  I love her but her role is nothing new for her.  I don’t see it a s a challenge.  The real Supporting Actress nominee from Hidden Figures should go to Janelle Monae.

 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

 moonlight

Will Win:  Moonlight.  They can give the Oscar to this one and then feel good about giving Barry Jenkins something without giving him Director or Film.  They did the same thing way back when with Matt and Ben with Good Will Hunting when that sinking ship film won. 

Dark Horse:  Hidden Figures.  The Academy may just want to show this movie some love and it ain’t getting anything else.

Should Win:  Lion.  Come on they took a book about a guy who planted himself in front of a computer looking at Google Earth for over three years and they made it into an amazingly touching film.  Why can’t they just let it win?

As far as shouldn’t even be nominated, I think a better description of this one is shouldn’t have even been made….Arrival.

 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

manchester

Will Win:  Manchester by the Sea has a really good chance to be shown some love in this category.  Especially since I think it’s getting locked out in all the other categories. 

Dark Horse:  La La Land.  Hollywood is so hell bent to show themselves some love again this year.  They just love when a solid movie comes along about how wonderful they are, that they just can’t help themselves.

Should Win:   Manchester by the Sea.  This movie is so f’ing amazingly written.  I mean come on it’s the most heartfelt drama with such strong comedic undertones.  It deserves to win so bad

As far as shouldn’t even be nominated, again easy. The Lobster.  Don’t believe me, just watch it and then try to tell someone what it’s about without having to say “No seriously, that happens” at least a half dozen times.

 

DIRECTOR:

chazelle

Will Win:  Damien Chazelle.  Even the DGA gave it to him.  He made a Hollywood movie that made Hollywood look beautiful and happy and sad all at one time.  He pulled off a musical that could have gone so wrong.  He almost deserves it.

Dark Horse:  Barry Jenkins.  There’s just a slight chance that they want to prove that Oscars aren’t so white.

Should Win:  Kenneth Lonergan.  In case you haven’t figured it out, I loved Manchester by the Sea and think Lonergan did amazing things.

As far as shouldn’t even be nominated, let’s be honest Denis Villeneuve is only nominated for past work and not for Arrival.  Arrival receiving any nominations I choose to blame on Entertainment Weekly punking us all and raving about incessantly for weeks this past fall.

 

LEAD ACTOR

fences

Will Win:  Denzel Washington.  And yes it will be a travesty just like when he won in 2002 for Training Day against Russel Crowe for A Beautiful Mind or Tom Wilkinson for In the Bedroom.  I’m not saying Washington doesn’t deserve to have a couple of Oscars on his shelf but he seems to win them for the wrong movies. 

Should Win:  Casey Affleck.  The only reason Affleck isn’t going to win is because a campaign was started against him to punish him for his past mistakes.  Oddly enough we can elect a man into the highest office in the world who want to grab women by their pussies, but we can’t seem to think that a man has grown from his sexist past and recognize him for a truly amazing performance.  Ridiculous.

As far as who shouldn’t even be nominated, it’s the guy who is going to win.  Washington’s performance is the weakest part of the movie.  I mean it’s not bad, but everyone in the movie out shines him, and not in a good way.  He just doesn’t deserve it.

 

LEAD ACTRESS

emma

Will Win:  Emma Stone.  Hollywood loves her and has actually forgiven her for Aloha, which no one should ever forgive her or Bradley Cooper for.  And she is great in the movie, so they are going to give it to her.  Unless….

Dark Horse:  Isabelle Huppert.  This is the only acting nomination I haven’t seen but I hear she’s amazing and Hollywood may decide she deserves it because she not only gives a great performance but she did it in French, which is something many of them can’t do.

Should Win:  Well since Viola is nominated in the wrong category, I think Natalie Portman deserves the love that she is not going to get for her portrayal of Jackie.  If you haven’t seen it, you really should.  The movie has flaws, but absolutely none of them are in Portman’s performance.

As far as who shouldn’t be nominated, I’m going to be sacrilegious and say it’s Meryl.  She truly is the best actress alive today if not the best actress to ever live (sorry Bette), but her tour de force performance in Florence Foster Jenkins isn’t as deserving as a few other performances were this year.

 

MOTION PICTURE

la-la

Will Win:  La La Land.  Like I keep saying Hollywood loves themselves some Hollywood and this movie is classic vintage Hollywood.  The only way it doesn’t win is if….

Dark Horse:  Moonlight.  Maybe the academy will want to say that we have to pick a message movie at this politically charged time, and this is the movie with the message.

Should Win:  Lion.  I just loved this movie and in all honesty, have not talked to a single soul who has seen it that hasn’t loved it.  There is no other movie on the list that I can say that about.

And do I really need to say  that Arrival  even being on the Best Motion Picture list was just wrong? Almost a wrong a an orange president!

oscars2017

THE “LESSER” CATEGORIES

I call them “lesser” not because they are lesser, but because people who don’t treat this day like a national holiday could care even less about these awards than the ones listed above.

Original Song:   City of Stars from La La Land, even though it’s probably one of the weakest of the list.

Original Score:   La La Land, although mad props to both Jackie and Moonlight, they both move their movie.

Animated Feature:  Zootopia    Dark Horse: Red Turtle

Cinematography:   La La Land, although it should be Lion

Foreign Language:   Toni Erdmann, although it should be A Man Called Ove.  By the way, why haven’t all of you seen this movie?

Film Editing:   La La Land, because it’s Hollywood.

Art Direction:   La La Land, because it’s Hollywood

Costume Design:   La La Land because it’s Hollywood, although it should be Jackie or Fantastic Beasts

Makeup:  Star Trek Beyond, although the academy could show love to A Man Called Ove here since they aren’t showing it the love it deserves for Foreign Language Film

Sound Mixing:   La La Land, because it’s Hollywood.

Sound Editing:   PLEASE let it be Hacksaw Ridge, that guy is the Susan Lucci of Sound Editing

Visual Effects:   The Jungle Book

Documentary Feature:   O.J. Made in America

Documentary Short:  The White Helmets

Live Action Short:    Sing, No, not that one but the short one that is good

Animated Short:  Piper, because it was shown before Finding Dory so everyone saw it.

 

Now quick run and join your office Oscar Pool with my picks if you want to win!

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NO MUSING JUST OPINING TODAY!

So it is Monday an that would typically mean I would o my Monday Musings on here.  What I typically do for that is throughout the week I see news items and give some sort of snarky comment about my 10 favorite ones.

grammy

And I had  a few written down, thinking that I would then find a few items to add after watching the Grammy Awards.  And I guess I could still do that, but I don’t want to.  Instead one major issue came out of the Grammys.  An injustice occurred.  A travesty to all that we hold holy.  A crime against American royalty that should not go unpunished.  Yes, that’s right I am talking about Queen Beyoncé not receiving Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year.  No, the Grammy people in their infinite wisdom and superiority went and gave those honors to that foul mouthed British uppity lady, Adele.

adele

That’s right they had the audacity to give the Grammy to an album that sold nearly 20 million copies, instead of to an album that  didn’t even sell 2 million copies.  They gave the award to an artist that sold out over 100 shows world wide last year, versus an artist that sold out less than 50 shows.  They decided that an artist who can stand on a stage in a simple gown with nothing more than a microphone, belt out a song and bring down the house, was more deserving than  an arteeeeest who feels the need to crown herself as Queen Bee in some god awful outfit that even RuPaul would find tacky, spout off some poor poetry about how special and powerful she is, as if she spoke for all women across the Universe and then dance around with a bunch of other dancers and lighting effects that masked her mistakes and for all I know was lip synching.

beyonce

Yes, people if you haven’t figured it out yet, I think it is ridiculous that people are pissed that Adele, the classiest broad alive today, won the Grammys over Beyoncé.  First of all, let’s be honest here, Award shows are popularity contests.  Emmys, Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, all of the are about the campaign and the person nominated as much as they are about the talent.  Politics play a part in it and anyone who doesn’t think so is beyond naïve.  Yes the performance has to be deserving, but it is more.

One way to win a popularity contest is to be liked and respected by the most people.  And I will openly acknowledge that I am probably not one to give advice on how to do that since I have never won a popularity contest.  That said, I would hazard a guess that proclaiming yourself royalty isn’t going to win over the masses.  Having friends who throw hissy fits for you isn’t going to do it either.  Not that you are totally responsible for your friends, but you are responsible for the friends you choose.  I’m sure she’s a wonderful lady and her husband could be the nicest guy, but performances like last night reads a her ego runneth over.  Yes they all stood up and acted in awe of her, but there had to be plenty of people in that audience just like me , thinking WTF?  I guarantee she didn’t make friends with that vanity performance last night.

The other problem with award shows like this is that how in the world is a singer like Beyoncé who ha more of a dance/rap/pop vibe supposed to compete with an adult contemporary singer who is competing against a new wave country singer who is competing against a rapper, who is competing against a blah blah blah.  It’s just like trying to decide who is a better sport star, Derek Jeter, Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, or Michael Phelps?  There all great athletes, yes even Jeter though he played for those DAMN Yankees.  But you can’t say which is better because Tom Brady couldn’t outswim Phelps, but I doubt Phelps could sunk a basketball with the grace of Jordan.  They all play in different fields, courts or pools and so do artists.  Yes there are some similarities , but there is a difference.  And that is where Adele wins out over Beyoncé and Drake and Sturgiss and Justin.  Her music appeals to the masses, that’s the way it works.

adele-2

Adele won the Grammy last night because more Grammy voters thought she was ore deserving of it than thought Beyoncé was.  That’s the way it is supposed to go.  Just like whoever walks away with the Best Picture award at the Oscars   in two weeks will be the winner.  I want it to be Lion, but it probably won’t be.  It will probably be La La Land, and that’s the way it goes.

 

 

 

 

 

I’VE SEEN THEM ALL!!!!

Well I did it!  I have seen all nine Best Picture nominees!
So here are my encapsulated reviews of each of them with my rankings of them from “How the Hell did that get nominated” to “How the Hell will that not win”!
Arrival
arrival
Everybody who is anybody loves this film!  With one exception…..ME!  I seriously want my $9.68 back for this one.  I’m not requesting my money back on my popcorn and water because I enjoyed that.  I did not enjoy the movie.  It was slow.  It was full of itself.  It was nothing new.  It had a time twist in it, that I found to be far-fetched and too full of itself.  I love Amy Adams, and she is good in it but not great. I love Jeremy Renner, but the script wastes his talent.  I love Denis Villeneuve, but this movie isn’t his type of movie.  I loved the cinematography, it’s a truly beautiful film.  I hated the script!  And by hate I mean if you asked me if I wanted to read the script or an issue of Oprah’s magazine, I’d probably select the Oprah magazine as long as I didn’t have to pay for it.  ANd you know how full of herself I think Oprah is. It’s slow and stupid.  What the Hell were they thinking when they nominated this film?
Hacksaw Ridge
hacksaw
I think this movie got nominated for couple of reason.  It’s good.  It’s actually really good. but it’s nomination came because the Academy hasn’t recognized a true war film in a while, and what better way to recognize a war film than to also recognize a film that is about peace and is anti-gun.  Andrew Garfield is amazing in the film, and actually deserves his nomination for his performance on the screen and not just on the Oscar campaign trail.  It’s a wonderful story and is well told, however Gibson got his nomination because nobody tells directors what they can do, so they refused to ignore the shunned.  It’s a trend of theirs.
Fences
 fences
Okay this one actually deserves the nomination, just not the win.  And it deserves the nomination in spite of the director.  Because the only problem with this one is that the director and the screenwriter forgot the cardinal rule of adapting a play to the screen.  The screen is not the stage and thus the script needs to be changed for the screen and it’s been a long time since I saw the play but it felt like it was the same script.  Certainly the main character’s dialogue and soliloquies were the same.  I wonder why the director did that.  I mean I could understand it if the director was also the lead actor that was really doing this film as a vanity project.  Oh wait……never mind, now I understand.  That said Viola Davis is superb, as are the other actors that return from their Broadway run.  And I won’t say anything bad about the story, because come on it’s August Wilson!
Hidden Figures
 hiddenfigures
I love this story and I love the performances in this movie.  I really wish it were higher on my list.  I was so happy it won Best Ensemble at the SAG awards, because it really is some wonderful acting, almost flawless.  That said my issue with this one is that the directing and cinematography of the film almost made it feel like a Hallmark TV Special and not an Oscar worthy film.  Oddly enough neither the cinematography or directing were nominated,  If a film is going to win Best Picture it needs more than great acting.  That said, Taraji Henson, Janelle Monae, Octavia Spencer, Kevin Costner, and Sheldon Cooper all are perfectly cast and are astounding.  And yes I meant to type Sheldon Cooper.  That is my other flaw in the film.  I think that was the only miscast part.  I need Jim Parsons to not play a scientists, when he plays a scientist there is a tendency to see Sheldon Cooper.
La La Land
 la-la
Yes I know I’m supposed t love this movie.  It’s a musical with an underlying theme that basically says that you can either be happy in love or happy in your career but not both.  What’s not to love!  And I do love it, I just don’t “OSCAR WIN” love it.  Although I suspect it will win. The two leads who are really the only actors in the movie are wonderful.  Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are wonderful and I can’t imagine anyone else in the roles and that is always a statement.  The script is fun, simple, new and yet traditional.  The songs are catchy and serve a purpose. It’s visually appealing and is so full of so many tributes to the classics.  I highly encourage seeing it because I love it.  But like I said, I just don’t “Oscar Win” love it.
Moonlight
 moonlight
For the first 90 minutes of this film I thought I had found my Oscar winner.  It’s hard to love because it’s depressing story, shot in such a stark manner that you just feel caught up with the life of Little/Chiron .  The two young actors playing this boy are amazing finds.  as is the young man who plays 16 year old Kevin.  Janelle Monae is wonderful, Mahershali Ali is amazing and there aren’t enough words to talk about how riveting Naomie Harris is.  I was so brought into this depressing world by director Barry Jenkins and just wanted to find out more.  Than the screen goes black, some red lights flash and we are in the third act. And the movie starts to fall apart.  First of all, as amazed as I was with how well cast the actor playing 16 yr. old Chiron could have been the same actor playing him as Little, there were no similarities between adult “Black” and Little or Chiron.  SO I’m not for sure how we were supposed to know it was the same character. and by this point I expected more.  Than we have a faulty dream sequence, at least I think it was supposed to be a dream sequence based on the fact that “Black” wakes up with the obvious signs of a wet dream.  Yeah that happened.  The faulty part is that he dreams of Kevin, who he has not seen in 10 years, but he knows what he looks like?  I know that sounds picky but that annoys me when movies that have been so strongly based on stark, cruel realism do that crap.  And then all of a sudden a wonderful depressing movie that is making a profound statement about the vicious circle that the under-privileged in this country are faced with, turns into a love story?  Sorry, but that’s just not what I expected or was ready for.
 
Hell or High Water
 hellhighwater
It’s been a few months since I saw this one, but it has stuck with me since then.  It’s a  throw back story beautifully filmed, wonderfully acted, and so simple in it’s execution.  My guess is that this is one that most people won’t see, and that’s a shame.  It’s a story that while not true could be true.  The story of two Texas brothers whose family were screwed over by big banking and their desire to get what they have coming to them, and the law enforcement officer who chases after them.  It’s so well done that it will have you torn cheering for both sides. I was so excited to see it get some Oscar attention. Jeff Bridges is wonderful.  Ben Foster is great.  Katy Mixon, from Mike and Molly fame, has a quick but charming appearance and Chris Pine is a revelation in this film.  No Captain Kirk this time around.  I encourage everyone to check this one out.  It’s a hidden gem.
Manchester by the Sea
 manchester
I saw this one with a group of friends and they didn’t love it as much as I did.  They felt the ending wasn’t there.  I thought it was wonderful and real and left me fulfilled.  There’s not a flawed performance in the film.  It’s a depressing film with a wicked sense of humor and it just moved me.  Casey Affleck is wonderful and haunted.  Lucas Hedges is a rare find and Michelle Williams will have you in tears with her final scene.  There is not a false moment in the movie. It’s a harsh and humorous look at how one tragedy can tear one’s life apart and another tragedy can help reluctantly bring it back to life.
Lion
 lion
This was the movie of the year for me.  I did a quick review of it after I saw it earlier, so I won’t belabor the point, but it just has it all.  The story, the acting, the directing, the cinematography, the music, the feels.  The young actor that plays young Saroo is amazing and makes you just feel his terror, his fear, his loneliness, his desperation, his pain.  Dev Patel is amazing as Saroo as a young man struggling with being happy while also knowing something is wrong and missing.  His struggle to come to terms and find his birth family is heartbreaking.  The direction is on point and the cinematography will take your breath away.  The only reason it’s not going to win is because it’s not an “important” film with a hidden message or socially relevant true story.  But it should win,  What the hell is wrong with the Academy?  How the Hell will that not win?

Just Randomly Musing Along

Couple is Shocked When Their Chocolate Lab Gives Birth to Green Puppy
green-puppy
Why not have a green puppy, we have an orange President!
Melissa McCarthy and SNL are Labeled “Mean” for her Sean Spicer Sketch.
 mccarthyspicer
Well mean people hurt others and everyone knows that the truth hurts most of all; so I guess maybe they’re right!  That said it is the funniest sketch EVER!
Johnny Depp’s Reported Money Woes Continue
 depp
How does this dude spend $2 million dollars a month and continue to look like he needs a bath?
Patriots Win Super Bowl in Overtime
bradygoodell
Goodell is calling it UpsetGate…..apparently Tom Brady and his team took the air right out of the Falcons Victory.
Beyonce Announces She is Having Twins
beyoncetwins
Since Orange Leaf is already taken, I’m putting my money on Purple Stem and Green Petal as the names.
Howard Stern Concerned that Presidency Will do Damage to Trump’s Mental Health.
 sterntump
Don’t worry Howard, I think that Donald’s Presidency will do damage to Mental Health first.
FX Premiere’s First Footage for Feud During Super Bowl
 feud
Not for sure how that worked for them.  I mean Sarandon as Davis and Lange as Crawford are great, but seriously how many Football fans even know who those four last names belong to?
FOX’s 24: Legacy Debuts to Low Post-Super Bowl Ratings.
24legacy
Well, Duh!  It’s totally unbelievable.  I mean come on who is going to believe in corrupt politicians and moles in the Government.  Next they’re going to have Russians hacking an election.
Hamilton’s Schuyler Sisters Sing “America the Beautiful”
schuyler
And that Ladies and Gentlemen is what Sisterhood is all about!
Trump Tells National Prayer Breakfast to pray For Schwazenegger’s Apprentice Ratings.
 bgmassacre

Yes, I agree.  The ratings for a reality show are so much more important than being concerned about all of the lives lost during the Bowling Green Massacre.

PREDICTIONS I HAVE A FEW!

Oscars2016

Tomorrow, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce their nominations for this year’s Oscars. And as usual I have predictions for who I think they will be.  I’m not saying that I’m going to be right, but just like in November I feel pretty confident that I have a good idea of who the voters are.  Unlike in November I think the voters are going to actually vote for the deserving people and not for some Orange Megalomaniacal Idiot.  Not that I am implying that our President is an Orange megalomaniacal Idiot.  Because I am not implying it, I am saying it.  Apparently it’s all the rage in America to just say whatever we want and damn the repercussions.

Okay enough with my political thoughts. Here are my guesses of nominations.  Now these aren’t based on who I think should get nominated, because I haven’t seen even half of these films.  This is strictly based on the other award nominations and the political reality of these films.  And yes, it’s all political.  How else do you explain Crash over Brokeback Mountain?

untitled

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight – It’s a lock!

Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water – Another Lock

Dev Patel – Lion – Almost a certainty, unless some try to put him in the Best Actor.

Hugh Grant – Florence Foster Jenkins – He’s due and beyond held his own against Streep.

Aaron Taylor Johnson – Nocturnal Animals – Maybe, he’s the long shot

DARK HORSE: Lucas Hedges – Manchester by the Sea

viola

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Viola Davis – Fences – Locked and Loaded.

Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea – She breaks your heart with just a few scenes. It’s a lock.

Nicoel Kidman – Lion – They love her (I love her) and she’s really good in the film. Almost a certainty.

Naomie Harris – She’s locked up a lot of critic noms so she almost good to go.

Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures – They love her too. And they nominated her for the same performance in The Help

DARKHORSES: Janelle Monae – Hidden Figures, Greta Gerwig – 20th Century Woman

la-la

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

La La Land – February 26th is their night

Manchester by the Sea – It’s heartbreaking

The Lobster – Because Hollywood loves to smoke crack, there’s no other excuse for this atrocity.

Hell or High Water – It’s got that old school field.

20th Century Woman – Because there is nothing else out there

DARKHORSES: Captain Fantastic, Jackie

arrival

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival – Don’t ask me why, but everyone loves this film. Even the non-crack smokers

Fences – Because nothing says Oscar more than a Broadway play adapted almost word for word

Moonlight – It could do well on Oscar night

Deadpool – It was a game changer film and they have to show it some love somewhere, and this is the safe place for that

Lion – It’s a sleeper people

DARKHORSES: Hidden Figures, Nocturnal Animals

affleck

BEST ACTOR

Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea – Everyone else is an also ran

Denzel Washington – Fences – If for no other reason than the fact that this year more than any other year CAN’T be #OscarsSoWhite

Ryan Gosling – La La Land – They love him and they love this movie

Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge – He’s run a hell of a campaign

Viggo Mortenson – Captain Fantastic – Don’t ask me why. But he’ll be nominated

DARKHORSES: Unless Ryan Reynolds sneaks in for Deadpool, there aren’t any.

portman

BEST ACTRESS

Natalie Portman – Jackie – We just lost one first lady Hollywood loved, they need a new one to love

Emma Stone – Have you seen her campaign? She a lock

Amy Adams – Arrival – She gets awards for pooping and they loved this film

Isabelle Huppert – Elle – Every once in a while they decide to recognize an actress for a foreign language film. This is that once in a while.

Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins – She was a long shot and then she said everything everyone wanted to hear at the Globes

DARKHORSES: Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train, Ruth Negga – Loving, Taraji P. Henson – Hidden Figures

scorsese

BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle – La La Land – Because he is this film

Barry Jenkins – Moonlight – Apparnetly great direction of an important film

Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea – Because if it wasn’t for Ryan Gosling dancing and singing this would be the movie of the year

Martin Scorsese – Because he’s Marty!

Denis Villeneuve – Because they didn’t recognize him for his good movies, they are going to for a crappy one.

DARKHORSES: Garth Davis – Lion, Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge, Denzel Washington – Fences

lion

BEST PICTURE – It will be eight, it almost always seems to be eight

La La Land – It’s going to win big that night, unless…..

Manchester by the Sea – It’s really good and they love it

Moonlight – An important film, apparently

Lion – Because I have faith that they will nominate the best film of 2016 that I saw

Hell or High Water – Nostalgia vote

Hidden Figures – Socially relevant option

Fences – Prestige film option

Arrival – Again there is no accounting for bad taste

DARKHORSES: Deadpool, Silence, Jackie

deadpool

Okay so tune in tomorrow and see how smart I am!

MOVIES! I’ve Seen some Movies!

This weekend was a movie weekend for me. I saw two movies at the theatre and watched two other movies on my Roku. I kind of like that thing, even though it sounds stupid, it’s a nice little contraption. All four movies had at one time or another been talked about being contenders come award season, only one of them still is. And, I must agree that it’s the only one that deserves to be. In fact, the odds on that one are much lower than they should be.

thelobster

So, let’s start with the bottom of the barrel and work our way to outstanding. Speaking of barrels, do they keep Lobsters in barrels? Because if so the movie The Lobster would certainly sink to the bottom of that barrel. I wish I could begin to describe this movie, but if I did you wouldn’t believe me.  So here’s  IMDB synopsis:

In a dystopian near future, single people, according to the laws of The City, are taken to The Hotel, where they are obliged to find a romantic partner in forty-five days or are transformed into beasts and sent off into The Woods.

I’d love to tell you that the movie is so much better than that synopsis, but it’s not. The whole time I was watching it I just kept thinking is it possible that this movie is a practical joke played on us by Wes Anderson. It kinda has that whole Anderson surrealism to it, but it just fails. In fact, the one thing it does do well is it fails on a grand scale. Colin Farrell did receive a Golden Globe nomination for best actor in a comedy or musical. And while his performance isn’t as horrible as the story itself, it’s nothing fantastic, it just goes to prove that the Hollywood Foreign Press likes to nominate big names. Although is Colin Farrell still a big name?

If you are wanting to subject yourself to torture, you can watch this on Amazon Prime, but don’t.

cafesociety

The other movie I watched on Amazon Prime was Woody Allen’s Café Society. Now to be honest the only reason this was ever considered for any awards is because it is a Woody Allen film. But the reality is that it’s more a Woody Allen film made for television but given a theatrical release because it’s a Woody Allen film. I’d love to tell you the story, but it might be best to just go watch a dozen other Woody Allen films. On a side note, why do we always have to call them “Woody Allen Films” and not “Allen Films”? Scorsese, Spielberg, and Nolan all get single name films but Woody Allen doesn’t. I mean that’s not fair! But hey that’ll teach a guy to marry his step-daughter.

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Okay, back to the film. It’s an okay film, it’s just nothing special. It’s a beautiful shot film. In fact, maybe one of his better ones of late. The performances are all good. Jesse Eisenberg is solid. Kristen Stewart keeps trying to come in from the Twilight. (See what I did there?) Steve Carell is good, Blake Lively is lovely (Wow I’m on a roll). But nobody shines. So, my recommendation on this one is if you are a fan on Woody Allen Films, you should watch this one. If not, I’d recommend choosing one of his movies from the 70’s or 80’s when he was making movies of relevance.

Now for the two movies I went out in this frigid cold to go see.

livebynight

First was Ben Affleck’s Live by Night. I wanted to really like this movie. I did. I have liked all the other films he has directed. I’ve enjoyed at some level most of the movies he has starred in. I say most, because ain’t nobody that liked Gigli. I actually like Ben Affleck. I mean dude is on my very short switching sides list. But this movie has issues. Lots of issues.

affleck

The script, written by Affleck, is based on a Dennis Lehane novel and is very epic in scope. It follows the son of a Boston cop who finds himself caught up in the world of prohibition. He transports himself to Florida to take over the alcohol trade in Tampa and seek revenge on the guy who did him and his love wrong. Things happen, people die, people fall in love. People make bad choices as they tend to do in gangster films. One of the few odd things about this movie is the inclusion of the KKK. The KKK doesn’t usually get thrown into Boston gangster films, bit hey they do in this one. But not even long enough for us to care. The good news is that the movie was made prior to Trump’s inauguration so the KKK are still even worse guys than gangsters.

The largest issue is Ben Affleck. He’s not right for the part of Joe Coughlin. His accent is to Boston Modern. His look is to Hollywood handsome. And his charm is just too charmy to be a 1920’s prohi8bition gangster. He’s just not believable and when he is in almost every scene, that’s a problem. There are a few good performances. Elle Fanning does a wonderful job playing a born again Christian heroin addict, and Chris cooper is wonderful as her sheriff father.

I should also probably mention that one of the larger distractions in the movie are the costumes. They want to be all 1920’s, and instead they all look a little to Hollywood’s idea of 1920’s. Not to mention that Ben Affleck’s post Batman body doesn’t work in that style. It’s just a tad bit distracting.

Last summer, before anyone had seen it there was talk about Affleck getting another shot at an Academy Award for directing. That isn’t going to happen.

lion

So now on to the last film I saw, Lion. I wish I could find all the words to say how much I loved this film. It might be my favorite film of last year. This movie is amazing. It’s sad, uplifting, moving, and heart-warming all in one.

If you haven’t heard of the movie, that’s not surprising it has had very little press and was limited in release, but it’s based on a true story of a 5-year-old Indian boy who gets separated from his family in Calcutta and is adopted by a family in Australia. The first 1/3 of the film follows the little boy as he struggles to survive and leading up to his adoption. All of this is done with subtitles and while that seems daunting, the performance given by the little boy is astounding, and moving. Your heart will break for this little boy. I know this for a fact, because mine did, and I don’t even like little things.

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Once the boy is adopted by a family in Australia, there are some quick moments with his adopted family. And damn if that kid isn’t the luckiest kid, because he gets adopted by Nicole Kidman, Okay I mean, not Nicole Kidman, but the mother is played by her and she is as wonderful as ever. Now full disclosure, Nicole Kidman is on my short list of people that I would actually be willing to marry, so I might be biased, but her performance already earned her a Golden Globe nomination and I suspect it could land her an Oscar Nomination as well.

The final portion of the movie picks up when the little boy has grown into a successful young man, who is struggling with his desire to find his family back in India. Dev Patel, he of Newsroom and Millionaire Slumdog fame, plays the young man and earned himself a Golden Globe nomination and in my opinion an Oscar nomination as well. His struggle to come to terms with his happiness in his adopted home while knowing that his family in India must be missing him and worried about him while at the same time being afraid to share with his adopted family his desire to find his biological family, is so well conveyed. I promise as the movie heads towards its ending, you may find yourself needing Kleenex. I mean I’m not saying I needed Kleenex, but there were definitely some grown men in the theatre that were tearing up.

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When I first heard of this story it was on a 6o Minutes news piece, and then I heard they were making it into a movie, and I couldn’t quite figure out how they were going to pull it off. I mean the guy uses Google Earth to track down his home in India. How do you make a guy staring at a computer screen film worthy? But believe me the director, Garth Davis finds a way to make this movie tense and moving. There is one moment in the film that I must admit, is a bit typical Hollywoodish, but I doubt you’ll notice it at the time because by that time you are so invested in the moment.

Folks this is the movie you need to see. Find where it is showing near you and don’t miss it. I’m sure you’ll thank me once you do.

My Not Completely Amusing Monday Musings

I have to be honest the closer we get to January 20th the harder it is for me to be amusing, but here is my attempt this week.

Donald Trump Upset About the Picture CNN Used on Their Book

trumpbook

Ummmm Donald if you want a good picture, stop oh I don’t know wearing a bad wig, being orange and looking so smug and superior. Actually just stop……

Bitter Cold Hits the North and Snow Hits the South.

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Yes HBO Winter has arrived. Now stop with that damn show already.

Kim Kardashian Recalls “Thinking  They’re Going to Shoot Me”

kimk

You all realize the news part of that headline is that Kim Kardashian thinks, right?

ABC Airs a Special About the Menendez Brothers

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Most people wanted to know what the relevance was…..um it was a special about two boys who were born before their time….they’re the world’s first millennials.

Netflix Reboots “One Day at a Time”

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The characters aren’t the same, the story isn’t the same, there’s not even a lecherous handyman. It’s not a reboot it’s a stolen title all for the sake of ratings.

Uncle Wears Suit to Meet His Newborn Niece.

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His name is Grant Kessler and he has blown up on Facebook. And he should. Way to rock for your niece kid!

Apprentice Ratings

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So Trump is slamming Arnold for low ratings. First of all oh Grand Orange One, do you realize you are a producer? Secondly, do we get to mock you on Twitter when your inauguration ratings are lower than Obama’s? Because yeah they will be.

Megyn Kelly Leaves FOX News for NBC

megyn-kelly-straight-shooter

Let me get this straight, NBC News demoted Brian Williams for being a liar and now have offered more money than Midas ever had to the queen of the Lying Network. You have no shame NBC, no shame. And you damn well best not cancel Days of Our Lives for this Machiavelian witch.

Goldie Hawn on the Golden Globes

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What the hell was that? No, seriously what the hell was that?

Meryl Streep is a Goddess

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If her film reel that showed her talent didn’t do it for you her speech did it for me. Thank you Ms. Streep for being you and being a voice we need.

Addendum:  I hope this lady takes it as the largest compliment that Donald Trump considers her overrated!  to quote J.K. Rowling “Never forget that some people’s good opinion would be more insulting than their abuse”