Academy Award Tips 2015

Posted in Review by - Feb 22, 2015

94% of the judges are white, 77% of them are male and the median age of voters is 62.  On that basis it is not surprising that David Oyelowo didn’t even get a nod for his performance in Selma.

Best Picture:

Will Win:  Birdman  Should Win: Boyhood

Best Director:

Will Win: Alejandro G. Iñárritu  Should Win: Richard Linklater.

Best Actor:

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne Should Win: Eddie Redmayne

Best Actress:

Will Win: Julianne Moore Should Win: Julianne Moore

Best Supporting Actor:

Will Win: J. K. Simmons Should Win: J. K. Simmons

Best Supporting Actress:

Will Win: Patricia Arquette, for Boyhood Should Win:

Best Documentary Feature:

Citizenfour

Best Foreign-Language Film:

Ida

Best Animated Feature:

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Cinematography:

Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman.

Film Editing:

Sandra Adair for Boyhood

Costume …

Read More

Rosewater

Posted in Review by - Feb 20, 2015
Rosewater

“He who knocks on the door at midnight has come to kill the light.  We had better hide the light in the closet.”  Ahmad Shamlu

On June 21, 2009, they came for Maziar Bahari (Gael Garcia Bernal).  Jon Stewarts impressive debut film details the Bahri’s imprisonment, psychological and physical torture which lasted for 118 days.   It also covers the days preceding in which he bore witness to the Iranian 2009 elections involving President Ahmadinejad and the accusations of corruption and poll tampering following the election.

Bahari an Iranian by birth, has an English wife who was pregnant when he left London …

Read More

Jupiter Ascending

Posted in Review by - Feb 19, 2015
Jupiter Ascending

After a quick set-up that depicts the tragic short life of Jupiter’s father, we watch Mila Kunis in the latest Wachowski blockbuster cleaning toilets.  A sudden cut to another planet, a homage to the Star Wars universe, has three siblings plotting, before the film moves back to a repetition of Jupiter cleaning toilets.  ”I hate my life.”  Cut to the arrival of Channing Tatum and three bounty hunters from another planet battling it out in the streets of modern day Chicago.  Cut to another planet and the awful Eddie Redmayne lying on a levitating sofa, softly hissing his lines in …

Read More

Selma

Posted in Review by - Feb 15, 2015
Selma

“This mighty march which will be counted as one of the greatest demonstrations of protest progress ends here in the capital of Alabama.”

Surprisingly few films have been produced about the life of Martin Luther King, one of the towering figures of the 20th Century.  A handful of documentaries including the Sidney Lumet and Joseph L Mankiewicz’s 1970 King a Filmed Record…Montgomery to Memphis and a 6 hour television biopic, made in 1978 starring Paul Winfield are the celluloid documents to the Nobel Peace Prize winner.  Perhaps his enormous profound influence has intimidated filmmakers.  However in 2014 an African American female …

Read More

CitizenFour

Posted in Review by - Feb 12, 2015
CitizenFour

“I remember what the internet was like before it was being watched.”

What’s really going on in the intelligence agencies working for Governments around the world?  What are the data gathering programs doing to our privacy?  The titles announces CitizenFour as the third part of a trilogy from Laura Poitras about America post 9/11.   Structured like a thriller, the film opens in Brazil as the journalist Glenn Greenwald reports for salon.com and The Guardian on how the Obama administration has ignored the civil rights of its citizens as it esculates and advances its surveillance operations.  “Every purchase you make, every …

Read More

What We Did On Our Hiolidays

Posted in Review by - Feb 12, 2015
What We Did On Our Hiolidays

“You need to live more and think less”

Marriage and kids is the focus of the first theatrical feature from the creators of TV’s Outnumbered and Drop the Dead Donkey.  Starring Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) David Tennant (Broadchurch) and Billy Connolly.

Continuing with the dysfunction and chaos of modern life Hamilton and John attempt to create a feel good British film chanelling the unique work of Bill Forsyth (Local Hero/Gregory’s Girl)).  Doug and Abi have decided to get a divorce, Doug has cheated but it seems the marriage was on the rocks prior to that, they cramp into their car with the …

Read More

Kingsmen: The Secret Service

Posted in Review by - Feb 08, 2015
Kingsmen: The Secret Service

Colin Firth returns to form with Matthew Vaughn’s homage/pastiche to the spy films of the sixties and seventies Bond era.  The violence is ramped up and it’s a relief to watch a film not targeting the PG market. Take note the Die Hard and Taken series.  Director Vaughn and writer Jane Goldman who have previously teamed on Kickass, X-Men: First Class and Stardust, invigorate the action with enough expletives, politically incorrect characterisations and explicit violence to please an audience searching for a more adult action pic.  Check the ‘church’ set-piece for an example of an energetic well choreographed action scene.

On …

Read More

The Gambler

Posted in Review by - Feb 07, 2015
The Gambler

Wahlberg is unconvincing as an English College Professor  who just happens to be a degenerate gambler.  The gambling part he carries off effortlessly, the professor part less so.  The Gambler is directed by Rupert Wyatt who rose to prominence with Rise of the Planet of the Apes after the impressive small scale The Escapist.

The film opens on the legendary George Kennedy (Airport films) lying in a hospital bed dying. He asks the ultimute question to his rich kid and self destructive grandson, “I need to know what you’re worth when I leave you nothing?”  The funeral follows and shortly thereafter …

Read More

Foxcatcher

Posted in Review by - Feb 01, 2015
Foxcatcher

Archive footage of the Du Pont family dynasty of wealth and power, hunting on the Foxcatcher farm opens Bennett Millers absorbing follow-up to 2011s Moneyball.  Cut to a beefed up Channing Tatum as Mark Schultz practising his wrestling moves on a dummy.  His motivational address to a largely disinterested group of middle schoolers showing off his olympic gold medal, affirms his philosophy of life, “this is more than just a medal, it’s about what the medal represents.”  It is 1987 and Mark is making the speech as a substitute for his big brother, the great Dave Schultz.  Tatum in an …

Read More

Mortdecai

Posted in Review by - Jan 31, 2015
Mortdecai

I say old bean Johnny Depp’s stars in David Koepps homage to the Terry Thomas brand of comedy.  Thomas rose to fame in the late fifties and sixties usually playing upper class toffs.  Thomas had a prominent moustache and a gap between his two upper front teeth.  Your enjoyment of the film depends on engagement with the over the top theatrics of Depp and his ensemble.  Nostalgia perhaps best describes the tone that Mortdecai is striving for.

The plot involves the financially troubled Charlie Mortdecai “staring down the barrel of insolvency,” facing an 8 million debt to the British Government.  He …

Read More