Monday, February 25, 2013

¤ The 85th Annual Academy Awards / The Oscars ¤

What a night! Full of great performances from Adele to Barbra Streisand to Shirley Bassey. Dedicated to movie musicals, this years Oscars were classy and glamorous (apart from Seth MacFarlane's boob-song)



The night was filled with expected wins and few very surprising ones. One of the biggest surprises was Best Director, which went to Ang Lee for Life of Pi. He totally deserved it though; Life of Pi was one of the most visually stunning films of 2012. He previously won Best Director for Brokeback Mountain in 2005. Life of Pi was also the award magnet of the evening, winning total of four awards; Director, Original Score, Cinematography and Visual Effects.

Second biggest surprise was the tie between Skyfall and Zero Dark Thirty for Best Sound Editing.  It is only the sixth tie in the whole Oscar history. It also made the technical Oscars much more interesting, since no one expects that kind of surprise.

Christoph Waltz won his second supporting actor award, giving him a pretty good track record (2 nominations and 2 wins). I think it could be officially said that Quentin Tarantino really knows how to pull the best performance out of Waltz. Tarantino won Oscar for original screenplay, proving that he academy still likes him (he previously won Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Pulp Fiction in 1995).

Daniel Day-Lewis, to no one's surprise took home the Best Actor award making him the only person who has won that trophy three times. Usually Best Actor category is something everyone really looks forward to, but this year the winner was so clear that I'd rank it among one of the most boring categories of the evening. Though Meryl Streep made it a lot more interesting.

Adele seems unstoppable. She nailed the performance and took home the Oscar for Best Original Song. Skyfall is also the first Bond theme ever to win and third to be nominated.


I didn't have that big of expectations for Seth MacFarlane as host. Especially after the Golden Globes where Tina Fey and Amy Poehler established themselves as the go-to hosts of any award show. MacFarlane did ok, but not phenomenal. I think his opening monologue wasn't great but his small introductions were great and topical. And he balanced well between classy and rude.

As this year was dedicated to movie music, we saw a lot of great performances. Shirley Bassey performed her signature Goldfinger after an homage to James Bond music. She was the epitome of classic glamour. As was Adele who later in the show recieved the golden Oscar statue to go with her golden pipes.

We also got to relive few of our favourite musical moments from the big screen. Catherine Zeta-Jones performed All That Jazz from Chicago and Jennifer Hudson belted out And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going from Dreamgirls. The cast of Les Miserables also performed a small medley from the film.

No show is ever perfect. I think it was a very poor decision to cut people off using the theme from Jaws, especially during the Visual Effects Oscar when the winners were talking abut the poor financial situation of some VE studios. It also seemed that the teleprompter was bit hard to read, since many of the presenters had trouble reading the texts.

Also worth mentioning was the fall of Jennifer Lawrence when she went up to accept her totally deserved award ( <3 J-Law). Good thing she has quick wits and she started the speech "You all gave me an standing ovation just because you felt bad that I fell down". Classic Oscar moment!

Seth MacFarlane closed the show with Kristen Chenoweth making fun of those nominees that didn't win this year. Chenoweth is just so adorable that it was great. Best line was "Pick up your jaw Bradly Cooper, you'll get to do Hangover 4"

Overall I really enjoyed this years show. Mainly because all the nominees were so superb. 2012 was truly one of the greatest years in cinema.


I seem to be doing this post a bit backwards, but who cares. You can see great pictures from the carpet at NYmag. And if that wasnt enough, enjoy these pictures from the Vanity Fair Oscar Party.

Here are my favourites:

From top left: Sally Field, Salma Hayek, Daniel Day-Lewis with his wife Rebecca Miller, Jane Fonda, Jessica Chastain

Hopefully you enjoyed reading this and watching last nights Oscars as much as I did. New weekly post coming later this week after I get my new laptop working.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

¤ Pre-Oscars ¤

Hey guys! Hopefully you are all as excited about this evening as I am. It's time for the 85th Annual Academy Awards in just a bit over 6 hours. Actually I should stop calling them 85th Annual Academy Awards since producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan have decided to call them just The Oscars to appeal to a younger democraphic. Here is one of the official posters:

Here are my predictions:

Best Picture: Argo
Best Director: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)
Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)
Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Best Original Screenplay: Mark Boal (Zero Dark Thirty)
Best Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio (Argo)
Best Animated Feature: Wreck-It Ralph
Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
Best Documentary - Feature: Searching for Sugar Man
Best Documentary - Short: Mondays at Racine
Best Live Action Short Film: Curfew
Best Animated Short Film: Paperman
Best Original Score: Mychael Danna (Life of Pi)
Best Original Song: Adele - Skyfall (Skyfalla)
Best Sound Editing: Argo
Best Sound Mixing: Les Miserables
Best Production Design: Anna Karenina 
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: The Hobbit: Unexpected Journey
Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina
Best Film Editing: Argo
Best Visual Effects: Life of Pi

Those are how I think the awards will go, but not nessecarily how I want them to go.

Hopefully you'll have fun watching the Oscars tonight. I'll try to post about the awards tomorrow after school.

Remember to Like AMPAS/ The Oscars in Facebook for quick updates (and a preview of the red carpet)

Monday, January 28, 2013

¤ 5 ¤

These past few weeks have mainly been all about Sundance Film Festival and TV broadcasters ordering new TV pilots for 2013-2014 season, I didn't see much point in writing about those, since most of them will never be seen in Europe or even in cinemas/TV. I have lot of videos and pictures this weeks, so let the page download before moving on.

This week's screencaps are all from Adventure Time, the hilarious and very bizarre animated TV show about Finn and Jake, the adventurous duo that are not afraid of looking stupid:

All from Adventure Time


 I was honestly very surprised to read that Ben and Kate has been cancelled. The show hasn't pulled viewers as Fox had planned as a part of their Tuesday comedy-block. ABC has also pulled Don't Trust the Bitch In Apartment 23 from their schedule, though it's not officially cancelled. NBC's  Go On and New Normal aren't doing very well either. So it should be said that Tuesday is NOT a good day for comedies. Mindy Project, Raising Hope and New Girl also air on Tuesdays. I think they have overloaded Tuesdays with comedies, and there is nothing worse, than a good show getting cancelled because the network puts the show in a bad timeslot.

Happy Endings (which also airs Tuesdays, shocker!) recently cast Andy Richter to play Penny's (Casey Wilson) dad. Her mom, played by Megan Mulally, has appeared in few episodes, but she is not scheduled to appear this season. Happy Endings has also lost some of its viewers and has not yet been renewed for fourth season, but I hope they'll work it out since this is one of the best comedies (that doesn't have Michael Lorne involved).

The second season of American Horror Story recently aired its finale but Ryan Murphy has already big plans for the third season. Jessica Lange, Sarah Paulson and Evan Peters have all signed to return and first season veteran Taissa Farmiga is also in talks to return. Murphy revealed that the season will set place in modern time in multiple cities. And the main killer will be a woman this time (instead of male murderers like Rubber Man and Bloody Face from previous seasons) 

One of the funniest woman in TV, Ellen DeGeneres turned 55 this week, so here is a small tribute to her via Buzzfeed: The 35 Greatest Moments on The Ellen Show! (including this one):

We all know that 30 Rock is coming to an end next week, but I can't talk about that too much, it's too sad. But thanks to that, Tina Fey has been pretty much all over the place. Like these two Ask Tina videos about Twitter and Deserted Island. Or this video of Tina Fey giving a tour of Liz Lemon's office. I also came across this beautiful Vanity Fair cover with Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Sarah Silverman. Long live Tina Fey!


Though Jennifer Lawrence has been in the news lately for her performance in Silver Linings Playbook, she is still Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games franchise, and now new pictures from the second film, Catching Fire, have emerged. More here!

Few months ago I wrote about a new adaptation of Moby Dick set in space. It seems like its becoming a trend to take classics above the Earth since Warner Bros. is planning an adaptation of Homer's Odyssey. If you want to know what Odyssey is about, first; slap yourself for being ignorant, and second; look it up on Wikipedia. There is no director attached yet so the visual look of the film is still unknown, but the setting sounds spectacular.

I know you are by know wondering how have I not mentioned J.J Abrams yet?! I'm coming there, don't worry. Last week the rumors started to fly around that Abrams would direct the new Star Wars VII though he initially declined. Then Disney confirmed that Abrams would indeed direct the new Star Wars. Some of you might wonder how he will be able to direct the new Star Wars, Star Trek 3 and The Mission Impossible 5, but don't worry, he is still planning to release Star Wars in 2015.

Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are among old X-Men stars that will reprise their roles in the new X-Men: Days Of Future Past movie. Now Anna Paquin, Ellen Page and Shawn Ashmore have also joined the cast. They played Rogue, Kitty Pride and Iceman respectively in the X-Men: Last Stand (aka -Men 3). Sounds like this movie is going to be quite a spectacle!

Annie Leibowski and Disney continue their work on another set of portraits of famous Disney characters. First of those has pictures has now been released with Taylor Swift as Rapunzel. She looks really great as usual!


First one is for RED 2, starring Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich. The trailer is pretty simple, but still so very enjoyable and funny!

Upside Down is a love story of two people who live on different planets next to each others, it's pretty hard to describe so watch the trailer. The forbidden love theme is very Romeo and Juliet-y. The movie stars Kirsten Dunst and Jim Sturgess.

The last one is for The End of Love starring Mark Webber, Shannyn Sossamon, Michael Cera, Aubrey Plaza, Amanda Seyfried. It tells the story of a man whose wife passes away and he struggles balancing his life with his two years old son.

That's all this week folks! Sorry for not writing sooner. I'll write about SAG Awards and PGA next week after I've moved to my new apartment next weekend!

Monday, January 14, 2013

¤ 70th Golden Globe Awards ¤

Beverly Hilton Hotel. You can see the stage on the background with bluish hue

The 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards were held yesterday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in LA. The event wast hosted by SNL-veterans Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. I could talk just about their brilliant performances for hours. It was witty, sharp, hilarious and gracious at the same time. And apparently I'm not the only one who thought that. And on top of that all, they looked super hot while doing this all. Find their best one-liners and moments here. And here is their opening monologue (look at Jessica Chastain's face during the Kathryn Bigelow joke):

Some watchers actually look most forward to the red carpet so I have to say few words about that. I watched NBC coverage but I think they missed a lot of big stars, but they did focus more on the interviews than the arrivals. More red carpet at NY Magazine. Here are my favourites:

From top left: Michelle Dockery, Marion Cotillard, Emily Blunt, Lucy Liu, Nolan Gould

 The Awards


This years show was honestly one of the most entertaining award shows I've ever seen. The results though h were quite unsurprising. The film race has been wide open for weeks, so there were really no frontrunners. Except Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor - Drama and Adele for Best Song, which were so expected they weren't surprises either.

Thanks to the separation of drama and musical/comedy category, the Globes don't really offer any suggestions on how the Oscars will be distributed. Jennifer Lawrence (won comedy Golden Globe) and Jessica Chastain (won drama Golden Globe) are both viable options for the Oscar in February.

Argo won both Best Drama and Best Director Awards, but since director Ben Affleck isn't even nominated for Best Director at the Oscars, that's no help either. Affleck looked very surprised by his victory, but as he mentioned, all movies deserved to win. This year has been exceptionally good for film industry, both financially and artistically.

There were some mild surprises among the TV categories, especially when Lena Dunham won Best Actress in Comedy and Girls won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy. I was pretty sure Modern Family would continue its winning streak. Girls has been getting rave reviews during its first season (second premiered after Golden Globes), so it's not that surprising. And it is common knowledge that Golden Globe award Emmys, so we can expect Dunham taking the stage next year at the Emmys.

I was personally surprised that Don Cheadle that won, but only because I don't really like House of Lies, I would have much rather seen Matt LeBlanc reprise his won from last year or Alec Baldwin winning for 30 Rock.

Miniseries and TV movies were popular again this year among supporting actor/actress categories. I've already expressed my dismay over this category, but it seems like HFPA isn't listening to me, I wonder why...

The biggest surprise came during Jodie Foster's acceptance speech when she was honoured with the Cecile B. DeMille Award for her career. During the speech she sorta came out as lesbian, though I assume most people already had a hunch about that. Nevertheless, there were a lot of wet eyes in the audience after her heartfelt speech.

In conclusion, the 70th Golden Globes were awesome!

New post coming this week!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

¤ 85th Academy Awards Nominations / Oscars ¤

I will try include everything you need to know about the 85th Academy Awards in this post so that you are all set before the show Feb 24th. I have tried to make this post as coherent as possible, so stick with me even though it is going to be a long one. (Use Ctrl+F if you want to find specific category or nominee).

The live stream was very poor quality and so are all the videos too, but you'll get the idea. Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone announced the nominations this morning (or day if you live in Europe like me). MacFarlane will host the main event in February and if he is as funny as he was today, the show will be great!

- The 85th Academy Awards -

I'll start with few words about the ceremony itself.  It will be held Feb 24th at the Dolby Theater (previously Kodak Theater, but after filing for bankruptcy Dolby bought the sponsorship for the theater). Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy, American Dad, The Cleveland Show and Ted, will be hosting. Neil Meron and Graig Zadan, producers of Smash, Hairspray and Chicago, are producing. Don Mischer, who has directed and produced a whole lot of live events and award ceremonies (including last years Oscars), is directing.  Rob Ashford is doing the choreography. He is well known for his work in Broadway and East End and he also walked away with Emmy Award for choreographing the 81st Academy Awards with the famous Hugh Jackman and Beyonce musical segment. Derek McLane was chosen to do the set. He has worked previously with Zadan and Meron on Broadway productions.

- 4th Annual Governors Awards / Honorary Oscars -

There is a lot happening before the main event itself, including the 4th Annual Governors Awards, which were created so that the presentation of Honorary Awards in the main event could be cut out, since that has proven to be the most boring part of the show because most of them are unfamiliar to the bigger audiences. This years winners were D.A. Pennebaker (one of the pioneers of cinema verite-documentaries), Hal Needham (stuntman, worked a lot with Burt Reynolds), George Stevens Jr (mostly recognized as the founder of AFI, American Film Institute) and Jeffrey Katzenberg (CEO of Dreamworks Animation who won the Humanitarian Oscar for his work on helping inner-city artists realise their dreams). I wouldn't have mentioned the Governors Awards, but they are pretty essential part for producers, managers, directors and actors to lobby for an Academy Award nominations. And of course its a good place to practice your red carpet poses for the big event.


Best Director:
Ang Lee (Life of Pi), Michael Haneke (Amour), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

I was quite surprised of the love the Academy gave for Amour and Beasts of the Southern Wild. It is pretty unusual for a foreign film (Amour, Austria) to get so much nominations. Benh Zeitling was a surprise too getting nominated over Tom Hooper (Les Miz) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty).

Best Film:
Life of Pi, Les Miserables, Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty.

After the Academy revised the Best Film category to include anything from 5 to 10 films, this category has become much more unpredictable. In my opinion they included pretty much everyone I expected, except Skyfall, though it was not completely realistic that a James Bond movie would get nominated. The Master was maybe the most surprising omission, but the subject of the film is maybe bit too provocative for some academy members.

Best Actress:
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts of The Southern Wild), Naomi Watts (The Impossible)

None of these were actually surprising, since there were so many good actresses trying to get nominated, like Marion Cotillard. Fun facts: If Wallis wins, she'll be the youngest winner (9 years) and if Riva wins she'll be the oldest winner (86 at the day of the awards).

Best Actor:
Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Daniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), Denzel Washington (Flight).

I was a bit surprised that Phoenix got nominated after what he said about the Academy. This one of the categories where the winner is pretty much locked already, Daniel Day-Lewis, but anything can still happen.

Best Supporting Actress:
Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook)

This category has been wide open throughout the whole voting season with Ann Dowd (Compliance) and Judy Dench (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) among the names suggested for this category. I was surprised to see Helen Hunt as supporting actress and not as leading, but at least she got nominated.

Best Supporting Actor:
 Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert DeNiro (Silver Linings Playbook), Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master), Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln), Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Fun fact: All nominees have won Academy Award before.

Best Original Song:
(click on the name to open the song on YouTube)

Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth - Skyfall (performed by Adele), from Skyfall
J. Ralph - Before My Time (performed by J.Ralph, Scarlett Johansson and Joshua Bell), from Chasing Ice
Mychael Danna and Bombay Jayashri - Pi's Lullaby (performed by Bombay Jayashri), from Life Of Pi
Walter Murphy and Seth MacFarlane - Everybody Beeds a Best Friend (performed by Norah Jones), from Ted
Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boubil - Suddenly (performed by Hugh Jackman) from Les Miserables

That's all the categories I'll do this time. I'll be back with my Golden Globes post next week. And I hope you'll bookmark this page, so you can easily open it while watching the Oscars 24th February. 

In the end, I'll share with you the animated short film nominated last year, La Luna. It's so adorable_