Archive for the ‘Oscars & Awards’ Category

Dom 5

I had a couple of Oscar articles planned before the awards but was ill at the time and didn’t get around to it, I also didn’t get around to posting Sixth Annual Groovers Movie Awards.  Better late than never! All awards are chosen by me and the criteria for eligibility is decided by me.  The categories for the awards given aren’t always the same year on year.  The award, is called the “Dom”, if you don’t know the relevance you need to watch the movie Fandango (1985).

Best Film: Should I christen it the Denis Villeneuve  award?  For the second year in a row the best movie of the year is directed by Villeneuve: Arrival


Best Director: Tom Ford. Proving A Single Man wasn’t a fluke, Ford is back with Nocturnal Animals.  The second best movie of the year and one that is directed with a precision reminiscent of David Fincher, past master John Ford.


Best Performance: This is where it gets complicated, do you give Amy Adams the best performance award for Arrival or Nocturnal Animals? It doesn’t matter, you would be right either way.

Amy Adams

Most Fun Movie of the Year: Sing Street, John Carney’s story of a teenager who starts a band for the most noble of reasons, to impress a girl, is fun, funny and charming.


Best Horror: To be honest, Green Room, Jeremy Saulnier’s follow-up to Blue Ruin is more a violent thriller than an horror, but it is shocking, violent, bloody and visceral; all the elements of a great horror.


Breakout Star: The startling thing about the breakout star, Anya Taylor-Joy is how out of nowhere that she came.  Last years winner Alicia Vikander had been a star of TV and film in her native Sweden for a decade before her moving to English language movies.  Prior to The Witch, Taylor-Joy has just two IMDB credits, a bit part in Vampire Academy and an episode of TV Show Endeavour.  As well as her sensational performance in The Witch she is also fantastic in the underrated Morgan and  Split.

Anna Taylor Joy

Fandango Award: Kelly Fremon Craig – Fandango was writer/director Kevin Reynolds debut (and best) feature, and the first notable movie for star Kevin Costner. It gives its name to this award for the best breakout film-makers of the year:  This years winner; Kelly Fremon Craig had just one credit as a writer before writing, directing and producing The Edge of Seventeen.  As the director of the best teen movie in a generation she is in some pretty impressive company: John Hughes, Mark Waters, Michael Lehmann, Richard Linklater and Nicholas Ray.


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Oscar Predictions

The big night is nearly upon us, here are my predictions.  All predictions are who I think will win, not who I would like or think deserve to win.  I have seen most of the nominated films including all the best picture nominations. 

Best Motion Picture of the Year: The Revenantthe revenant

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Leonardo DiCaprio: The RevenantThe Revenant

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Brie Larson: Room'Room' is a journey out of darkness, director says

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Sylvester Stallone: CreedSylvester Stallone Creed

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Alicia Vikander: The Danish GirlAlicia Vikander The Danish Girl

Best Achievement in Directing: Alejandro González Iñárritu: The RevenantAlejandro G Iñárritu

Best Writing, Original Screenplay: Spotlight: Josh Singer, Tom McCarthyJosh Singer Tom McCarthy

Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Buchan/REX/Shutterstock (5586613u) Charles Randolph and Adam McKay 68th Annual Writers Guild Awards, West Coast Ceremony, Los Angeles, America - 13 Feb 2016

Best Achievement in Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki: The Revenantemmanuel lubezki birdman

Best Achievement in Costume Design: Mad Max: Fury Road: Jenny Beavanmad max fury road wives

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens: Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio, Stuart Wilsonstar-wars-force-awakens-official-poster

Best Achievement in Film Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road: Margaret SixelMad Max Fury Road

Best Achievement in Sound Editing: Mad Max: Fury Road: Mark A. Mangini, David WhiteMad Max Fury Road

Best Achievement in Visual Effects: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens: Roger Guyett, Pat Tubach, Neal Scanlan, Chris Corbouldstar wars the force awakens

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score: The Hateful Eight: Ennio MorriconeEnnio Morricone

Best Documentary, Feature: Cartel Land: Matthew Heineman, Tom YellinCartel Land

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: Son of SaulSon of Saul

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: Inside Out: Pete Docter, Jonas Rivera

Disney•Pixar's "Inside Out" takes us to the most extraordinary location yet - inside the mind of Riley. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Anger (voiced by Lewis Black), Disgust (voiced by Mindy Kaling), Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), Fear (voiced by Bill Hader) and Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. Directed by Pete Docter and produced by Jonas Rivera, "Inside Out" is in theaters June 19, 2015.

Best Achievement in Production Design: Mad Max: Fury Road: Colin Gibson (production design), Lisa Thompson (set decoration)Mad Max Fury Road


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Dom 5

We have had The Globes and the awards for every guild you have heard of (and a few you haven’t), The BAFTA’s will be given out later today with the Oscars to follow soon.  Before the lavish ceremonies take over I give you The Fifth Annual Groovers Awards.  All awards are chosen by me and the criteria for eligibility is decided by me.  The catagies for the awards given aren’t always the same year on year.  The award, is called the “Dom”, if you understand the relevance you need to watch Fandango.

Best Movie: Sicario – My favourite two films of the year are interchangeable.  Sicario edges it as the best film of the year.Sicario

Best Director: George Miller – Just missing out on Best movie, but just edging Denis Villeneuve for best director.  Mad Max: Fury Road has been a labour of love for George Miller, given all that happened in the production it is a miracle that he delivered a film let alone one that is so good.george miller mad max fury road

Best Actor: Oscar Isaac – There hasn’t been one truly outstanding performance head and shoulders above all others from an actor in 2015, not even Leonardo DiCaprio who is likely to win for The Revenant (a 2016 film in the UK).  That is why I am going for Oscar Isaac, an actor who gave three fantastic performances in three very different films: Poe Dameron in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Nathan in Ex Machina, Abel Morales in A Most Violent Year.oscar isaac

Best Actress: Charlize Theron & Cate Blanchett – For the first time I have shared an acting award.  How can you compare Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road and Cate Blanchett’s Carol Aird from Carol. Very different performances in totally different films, both mesmerising. Charlize Theron & Cate Blanchett

Best Screenplay: Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt – It would have been so easy to give this award to Bridge of Spies or Ex Machina, both of which were brilliantly written, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens stands out as having a perfectly constructed adventure story that not only has dialogue of a standard we aren’t used to in a Star Wars movie, but a level of comedy that we could never have expected.star wars the force awakens

Best Looking Movie: Mad Max: Fury Road – A combination of photography, production design and all the other things that go into putting the directors vision on screen.  Making the most of the barren landscapes of  Namibia’s Namib Desert is only the start of things.  The special effects are practical and in camera giving and weighty look to the movie, but just about every scene is enhanced with CGI.  The beauty of the CGI is that you don’t see it.  Then we get onto the editing.  With a cut every 2.6 seconds on average, it never looks frantic or hard to follow, this is helped by a combination perfect timing and sublime framing.  Fury Road is an exercise in how to make a movie!Mad Max Fury Road

Breakout star of the year: Alicia Vikander – Best known for A Royal Affair (2012) until 2015 where she had seven films: Testament of Youth, Son of a Gun, Seventh Son, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., The Danish Girl, Burnt (not all released in the one year in all territories).  She was the best thing in most of the films she features and truly stood out in Ex Machina and The Danish Girl.Alicia Vikander

Fandango Award: Alex Garland – Fandango was writer/director Kevin Reynolds debut (and best) feature, and the first notable movie for star Kevin Costner. It gives its name to this award for the best breakout film-makers of the year:  First author, then screenwriter, now director; Alex Garland has emerged as both writer and director of one of my favourite films of the year, Ex Machina.Alex-Garland-Ex-Machina

Dom 5

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I have now seen all the Best picture nominations, probably more than most of the voting academy members can truthfully say! Being a part time amateur film blogger doesn’t earn academy membership so rather than voting I get to sit on the outside looking in and bitching about poor choices.  If I did have a vote for the Best Picture Oscar I would struggle to chose between five films, my favourite five films eligible for this years Oscars.  Unfortunately three of my choices haven’t been nominated, making it a straight choice between two films.  Interestingly my two favourite nominated films are polar opposites; one is the most low key and down to earth, the other is the boldest, brightest, brashest and most outlandish.  In a few words, here are my thoughts on the nominated movies and their chances of picking up a little gold man on February 28th.

Spotlight: The comparisons with All the President’s Men (1976) are obvious, however where the Watergate movie was edgy and cinematic, this is a more staid and old fashioned film.  That said it is fantastic, if the was an Oscar for best ensemble cast it would be a shoe in! It would be a worthy winner and had a lot of positive buzz a few weeks ago but that seems to have passed. Like  All the President’s Men, I think it will have to settle for a nomination.Spotlight

The Revenant: Where Spotlight is very introspective and contained, The Revenant is all about the wide open spaces.  When I first saw it I thought it would win but no one seems to agree with me.  This makes me think it won’t win, it should however get cinematographer and best actor.The Revenant

Room: Not a bad film but beyond a fantastic lead performance I am not sure why it is getting so much love.  I think it is making up the numbers.'Room' is a journey out of darkness, director says

Brooklyn: The period setting makes it a very Oscar friendly film.  However I don’t hear it being mentioned in Oscar conversations, like Room I think it is making up the numbers.Brooklyn

Bridge of Spies: I am really glad to see this get a nomination as it is so much better than many people are giving it credit for.  Unfortunately it isn’t being talked out about so its probably another one making up the numbers.Bridge Of Spies

The Martian: A sci-fi film with a lot of comedy in it, how did the academy let this upstart slip in?  The simple reason, it is fun and hugely entertaining, it may not be the best motion picture of the year but it is probably the most fun.  I don’t think it will win, but if it does, it will probably be because it is lots of people second or third choice on the ballet. the martian

Mad Max: Simply my favourite film on the list but it is so un-Oscar I don’t see it having a chance, but it would be so great if it did.mad max tom hardy

The Big Short: The film seems to have divided opinion, a comedy about people who profited from the housing market crash.  The word we hear a lot of at this time of year is momentum, and this film has lots of momentum.  I really liked the film but don’t think it is the best film on the list, but I think it is favourite to win.The Big Short

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Unless they have moved the goalposts again, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences reserve the right to nominate between five and ten films for the “Best Motion Picture of the Year” Oscar.   This year they have nominated eight films: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Bridge of Spies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight.  From memory there have been nine films nominated in each of the last few year, the have explained this, thus: “A Best Picture nomination should be an indication of extraordinary merit. If there are only eight pictures that truly earn that honour in a given year, we shouldn’t feel an obligation to round out the number.” Far be it from be to suggest any nominations are making up the numbers!  I am relatively happy with the nominations, I have seen five (possibly six by the time I publish this) and will see the other two when they get a UK release.   But there are two potential spaces for other films to be nominated, what are the omissions and why?  Here are my suggestions:

Carol: A stunning film that has Oscar nomination written all over it, how did it miss out?  I have no idea, I think or at least hope we have come far enough in 2015/16 for the lesbian subject matter to not be an issue.  There is no conceivable reason for the film not to be nominated, unless I am just blinded by how much I loved it.Carol

Ex Machina: One of my favourite films of the year, and one of the most assured directorial debuts in a long time.  The reason it missed out?  The academy don’t like sci-fi.  Movies like The Martian and Gravity are close enough to reality to slip under the radar, but real sci-fi scares them.  A few exceptions are District 9, Avatar and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial way back in 1982.Ex Machina

Inside Out: Nearly twenty years after Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story 3 received a best picture nomination, the first animated film to do so since the Best Animated Feature category was introduced in 2001.  Pixars cleverest and deepest film, but also its most accessible.  Why wasn’t it nominated?  No reason, other than as mentioned Animated films don’t often don’t get a nod.

The Salvation: The reason it wasn’t nominated: It’s probably not on enough peoples radar to get a nod, plus it has The Revenant to deal with.  If you exclude The Sundowners (a sort of western set in Australian, nominated in 1960 alongside The Alamo), I am not aware of two westerns getting best picture nominations in the same year,the salvation

Sicario: A tense crime thriller that is nothing short of perfect.  As I have mentioned before the film isn’t originality or showy enough to win best picture but it certainly good enough for the nomination.sicario

What two movies would you pick to fill the unused places?

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The British Academy Film Awards will be awarded on Sunday.  Here are my predictions along with what I would like to see win in the major categories:

Best Film

  • My Choice: Boyhood
  • Prediction: Boyhood
  • Other nominations: The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Theory of Everything, Birdman, The Imitation Gameboyhood-poster


David Lean Award for Direction

  • My Choice: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman, Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, James Marsh for The Theory of Everything:richard linklater boyhood


Best Leading Actor

  • My choice:  Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Prediction:  Michael Keaton for Birdman
  • Other nominations: Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game, Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything, Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler.ralph fiennes the grand budapest hotel


Best Leading Actress

  • My Choice: Reese Witherspoon for Wild (I haven’t seen still Alice)
  • Prediction: Julianne Moore for Still Alice
  • Other nominations: Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl, Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything, Amy Adams for Big Eyes.Wild


Best Supporting Actor

  • My Choice: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Prediction: J.K. Simmons for Whiplash
  • Other nominations: Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher, Ethan Hawke for Boyhood, Edward Norton for Birdman, Steve Carell for Foxcatcher.j k simmons whiplash


Best Supporting Actress

  • My Choice: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game, Emma Stone for Birdman, Imelda Staunton for Pride, Rene Russo for Nightcrawler.patricia arquette boyhood


Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

  • My choice: Stephen Beresford & David Livingstone for Pride (I haven’t seen Kajaki but have heard great things about it)
  • Prediction: Stephen Beresford & David Livingstone for Pride
  • Other nominations: Elaine Constantine for Northern Soul, Yann Demange &Gregory Burke for ’71, Hong Khaou for Lilting, Paul Katis & Andrew de Lotbiniere for Kajaki.Pride


Best Original Screenplay

  • My Choice: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Prediction: Richard Linklater for Boyhood
  • Other nominations: Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Damien Chazelle for Whiplash, Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo for Birdman.richard linklater boyhood


Best Screenplay (Adapted)

  • My Choice: Gillian Flynn for Gone Girl
  • Prediction:  Graham Moore for The Imitation Game
  • Other nominations: Jason Hall for American Sniper, Graham Moore for The Imitation Game, Anthony McCarten for The Theory of Everything, Paul King for PaddingtonGillian Flynn


Best Cinematography

  • My Choice: Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman
  • Prediction: Dick Pope for Mr. Turner
  • Other nominations: Hoyte Van Hoytema for Interstellar, Robert D. Yeoman for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Ryszard Lenczewski for Ida: Lukasz Zal,emmanuel lubezki birdman


Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film

  • My Choice: Pride or Under the Skin
  • Prediction: Paddington
  • Other nominations: ’71, The Imitation Game, The Theory of EverythingUnder The Skin


EE Rising Star Award

  • My Choice: Jack O’Connell
  • Prediction: Shailene Woodley
  • Other nominations: Miles Teller, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Margot RobbieJack OConnell


Best Film Not in the English Language

  • Unfortunately, being the only one shown at my local cinema Trash is the only film I have seen so have no opinion on this category.  The nominations are: Ida, The Lunchbox, Two Days, One Night, Leviathan, Trash.Trash


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Best Motion Picture of the Year

I can’t see anything beyond my favourite film of the year, Boyhood.boyhood-poster

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

I would have loved to see Ralph Fiennes (he was robbed in ’94 and ’97) win The Grand Budapest Hotel but sadly he wasn’t nominated. In his absence I think it is s straight fight between Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything and Michael Keaton for Birdman with Keaton being the winner.michael keaton birdman

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

I haven’t seen Still Alice, but all the buzz is about Julianne Moore, who I would have liked to see get a supporting actress nomination for Maps to the Stars.julianne moore still alice

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

It has to be the only first time nominee in the list, J.K. Simmons for Whiplash.j k simmons whiplash

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Again, I would like to think this is nailed on, Patricia Arquette for Boyhood.patricia arquette boyhood

Best Achievement in Directing

This is a tough one, Birdman (Alejandro González Iñárritu) feals like the most directed film, but Boyhood (Richard Linklater) is such a bold concept and directors vision that it is hard to rule it out. Then you have The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson) with its duel framing device and use of different aspect ratio’s, it has to be in with a shout. I think Richard Liklater may just edge it as Boyhood seems to have a certain momentum.richard linklater boyhood

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Birdman is probably the best written film but then you have that Boyhood momentum to deal with. I would completely write-off Nightcrawler that was surprisingly overlooked in the best picture category. Ultimatly I think it will go to Birdman – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo.Alejandro González Iñárritu  Nicolás Giacobone Alexander Dinelaris Armando Bo

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Bizarrely I am going for Paul Thomas Anderson for Inherent Vice, I say bizarrely as it is the only nomination that I am yet to see.paul thomas anderson inherent vice

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Dick Pope for Mr. Turner and Roger Deakins (12 nominations without a win, I would have given him the Oscar for Skyfall) for Unbroken have crafted the best looking movies, but the best photography comes from Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman. I think he will win, not just for what he filmed but how he filmed it.emmanuel lubezki birdman

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