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Posts Tagged ‘Blue Jasmine’

Dom 5As the award season hots up, its time for the third annual groovers awards. All awards are chosen by me and the criteria for eligibility is decided by me. Most of the awards are self explanatory: Best Movie, Best Actor, Best Actor and Actress, Best Screenplay (original or adapted), Best Foreign Language Film. The Best Looking Movie is just as it sounds, the movie that looks best, a combination of design and photography. The Fandango Award; Fandango was writer/director Kevin Reynolds debut (and best) feature, and the first notable movie for star Kevin Costner. The Fandango award goes to a writer, director of star for a debut or breakthrough movie.

Best Movie: StokerStoker

Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón for GravityAlfonso Cuarón for Gravity

Best Actress: Cate Blanchett for Blue JasmineCate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine

Best Actor: Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers ClubMatthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Screenplay: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight Richard Linklater Julie Delpy Ethan Hawke for Before Midnight

Best Foreign Language Film: The Broken Circle BreakdownThe Broken Circle Breakdown

Best Looking Movie: GravityGRAVITY

Fandango Award:  The award goes to Jeremy Lovering and Alice Englert for In Fear. Although his debut movie, Jeremy Lovering has been directing for TV for 20 years. Although this is rising star Alice Englert third movie, it was actually shot before the other two. Jeremy Lovering and Alice Englert for In FearA special mention to Dustin Hoffman who at the age of 75 and after more than 50 years in the business decided to turn his hand to directing with Quartet but he didn’t win.Dom 5

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If you take a look at the top ten grossing movies of the year so far there are seven sequels (Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Monsters University, Fast & Furious 6, Oz The Great and Powerful, Star Trek Into Darkness) and a reboot (Man of Steel). World War Z (based on a book) will probably be knocked out of the top ten by The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smug leaving Gravity as the only original property to bother the top ten. Do audiences only go in large numbers to see sequels of franchise movies or do studios only commit large amounts of money to existing properties that a ready made audience? The $825million taken by Christopher Nolan’s Inception proved that a totally original movie could make money, however it would probably never been given the green light if not for the $1billion The Dark Knight took. As cinema prices creep up and audiences become ever more selective, studios become more cautious making it a self fulfilling prophesy relegating most original ideas to smaller films. With this in mind, here are my top five original movies of the year. Original movies, not a sequel, prequel, remake, re-imagining or reboot. Also, not based on a book, comic book or true story.

Stoker: In the year that the remake of Chan-wook Park’s masterpiece Oldboy limped onto cinema screens Stoker proved to be Park’s best film since Oldboy. The original screenplay was written by actor Wentworth Miller. A weird, beautiful and sublime blend of melodrama, psychological thriller and coming of age drama. Budget: $12,000,000 (estimated)stoker

Gravity: Alfonso Cuarón’s space adventure about a pair of astronauts trying to find a way home after a collision in space is a truly stunning film and the first film that should be seen in 3D preferably IMAX 3D. Budget: $100,000,000 (estimated)GRAVITY

Prisoners: Great acting from ensemble cast and stunning photography from Roger Deakins combine with taught direction French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve making his English-language debut elevate this from a genre movie with an overt subtext to a really good film. Budget: $46,000,000 (estimated)Prisoners

The East: An original story of the murky world of private intelligence firms and an environmental anarchist collective. Written by director Zal Batmanglij and star Brit Marling. It is notable for great acting and its dark melancholic tone. Budget: $6,500,000 (estimated)The East

Pacific Rim: To call Guillermo del Toro’s monsters vs. robot movie original would be a stretch as it appears to be based on every other monster movie/comic book to have gone before it, however it isn’t directly based on any other previously produced work. It makes the list ads it is just great fun, pure and simple. Budget: $190,000,000 (estimated)PACIFIC RIM

Mud – the continuing renascence of Matthew McConaughey.
The Counsellor – Cormac McCarthy’s first screenplay is far better than has been reported
About Time – Charming and funny time travel comedy from Richard Curtis.
Blue Jasmine – Cate Blanchett, deserves an Oscar.
Elysium – Neill Blomkamp’s Sci-Fi action drama lacks subtlety but is still good

Check back at the end of the month to see how many of these movies make my top ten of the year.

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This months movies are made up of sports biography, B movie horror, dumb action and gritty thrillers. I enjoyed them all, even the ones I didn’t expect to.

Rush: The true story of the rivalry between F1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda during the 1976 season. Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl are excellent as Hunt and Lauda. Ultimately it is a story about people not about racing making it suitable for audiences who are not F1 fans, the story is close enough to the real story to keep race fans happy.Rush

You’re Next: Having debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness program two years ago the low budget home invasion slasher movie finally makes it to UK and American cinemas. The direction isn’t great, a lot of the acting is poor and the dialogue is often terrible. Despite this, I really enjoyed it largely for a likeable performance from Sharni Vinson and a plot that has just enough twists and turns.You’re Next

Riddick: A series of plot contrivances put Vin Diesel’s Richard B. Riddick back in a situation reminiscent of his first outing in 2000’s Pitch Black. Not as good as Pitch Black but a vast improvement on The Chronicles of Riddick.Riddick 2013

White House Down: Die Hard in the West Wing part two. Fun and funny, very knowing and self aware it is considerably better than Olympus Has Fallen and A Good Day to Die Hard. Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx and James Woods are all on greet form and clearly having fun, Maggie Gyllenhaal is grossly underused.White House Down

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints: 1970’s Texas, an escaped convict heads home to see his wife and the daughter her has never met. The dreamlike narrative, long lingering visuals and muted tones have been compared to Terrance Malick, while less interesting than Badlands it is worth seeing for great performances from Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck and Ben Foster.Ain't Them Bodies Saints

The Call: Halle Berry plays a 911 operator and Abigail Breslin the kidnap victim she takes a call from. Silly, predictable and derivative thriller that is surprisingly enjoyable.The Call

Prisoners: Often stark and grim thriller about two abducted children from French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve making his English-language debut. The story cleverly manipulates the viewers and has an interesting and timely subtext. The all star cast (Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis, Maria Bello, Maria Bello, Terrence Howard, Melissa Leo, Paul Dano) are all on great form. Too grey and grim to be completely enjoyable but certainly a compelling watch.Prisoners

Blue Jasmine: When her banker husband is revealed to be a crook, New York socialite Jasmine moves to San Francisco to live with her working class sister. Described by many as Woody Allen’s best movie in years, I’m not sure its better than Midnight in Paris, but its certainly good. Cate Blanchett and Sally Hawkins are both sensational. Anything less than a best actress and best supporting actress Oscar nomination would be a travesty.

Blue Jasmine

Runner Runner:Slick but lightweight crime thriller set against the backdrop of online gambling.  Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck are both good but Gemma Arterton isn’t given much to do.  Its predictable and cliched but worse than that, it is unoriginal (its basically a pale imitation of Gilda)  and has nothing of interest to say on the subject.Runner Runner

The Movie of the month is:Rush movie poster

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