Archive for February, 2019

Oscar Predictions

Posted: February 22, 2019 in Uncategorized
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The Oscars are coming up. I haven’t seen all of the nominees, but this year, I’ve seen a lot leading up to the ceremony.

UPDATE: I got a few right though. 

There are eight (not five, not ten) movies nominated for an Oscar. Roma **** should win. And will probably win, even though it didn’t get a wide theatrical release. Black Panther *** just may win as well to please the American cinema going audience. Why not? Green Book **(*) is a potential winner too. The Favourite *** won’t win, but is a good runner up. Blackkklansman ** won’t win either, but its the best of the four remaining nominations, Bohemian Rhapsody ** A Star Is Born ** and Vice **.

Best Actor should go to Christian Bale or Viggo Mortensen. The latter won’t win though. Nor will Bradley Cooper. Rami Malek did a good job, so if he wins as predicted, it’s okay. Haven’t seen Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh yet, but the trailer doesn’t look promising.

Olivia Colman will win Best Actress and she’s great. But all the other nominees are great too. Melissa McCarthy and Lady Gaga are surprisingly good. Glenn Close is predictably good. But wouldn’t it be cool if Yalitza Aparicio wins? Her performance is the best, but was it acting?

Mahershala Ali will win his second Oscar for best supporting role. And looking at the other nominees, he’s the best choice. Although the fifteen minutes of Sam Rockwell as Bush Jr are hilarious though. Richard E Grant did a great job too. Adam Driver and Sam Elliott were not really memorable.

This is the strongest category. Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone aren’t really supporting at all. They are carrying the movie. Both equally fascinating and a tough call to chose a ‘favourite’, but maybe Emma Stone is winning the battle. Marina de Tavira is excellent too. Amy Adams is fascinating as (almost) always. And still have to see Regina King in action, so can’t comment.

Best Director should be Alfonso Cuaron. Haven’t seen Cold War yet. But The Favourite is a script and acting movie. Same with Vice. And sorry, Spike Lee, but Blackkksman isn’t directorially amazing.

Cinematography: Roma, no doubt. But haven’t seen Cold War or Werk Ohne Autor yet.

Costume design: The Favourite will win, but give this one to Black Panther!

Make up should go to Vice!

Production design is a tough one. The settings of The Favourite look amazing. But so do the ones in Black Panther. And that house in Roma is phenomanlly designed.

Film Editing: Vice was cleverly edited. Bohemian Rhapsody as well. That live aid scene! But Roma can have this one too.

Sound Editing can go to Bohemian Rhapsody. Or A Quiet Place. Nice to see that movie nominated for something.

Sound Mixing can go to Bohemian Rhapsody as well. Or Black Panther.

 Give Black Panther the song and the original score. Don’t give song to Shallow, please.

Only seen one foreign language movie, which is weird. But I don’t think any of the others can and will beat Roma. But it may just win the most important one and they might as well give this one to Cold War. 

 Wait, Black Panther isn’t nominated for Visual Effects? Give it to First Man then.

 The writing categories are tough. From the three adapted screenplays that I have seen, none is really that good. But Can You Ever Forgive Me? can win. It’ll probably go to If Beale Street Could Talk. The original screenplay will go to The Favourite.

Only seen one animated movie and wasn’t impressed. Isle of Dogs wasn’t soo good. That Into the Spider-Verse looks fun. Haven’t seen any of the short ones either.

Time to watch the short movies if possible. Haven’t seen any.

Haven’t seen any of the documentaries. Short or long.

 

So here’s a guess (and my favourite in between brackets)

Movie: Roma (Roma) GREEN BOOK

Actor: Rami Malek (Christian Bale)

Actress: Olivia Colman (Yalitza Aparicio)

Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Mahershala Ali)

Supporting Actress: Regina King (Amy Adams)

Animated Feature: In The Spider-Verse

Cinematography: Roma (Roma)

Costume Design: The Favourite (Black Panther)

Directing: Alfonso Cuaron for Roma (Alfonso Cuaron)

Documentary: Free Solo

Documentary Short: End Game    Period. End Sentence. 

Film Editing: Roma (Vice) Bohemian Rhapsody

Foreign Language Film: Cold War (Roma)

Make Up: Vice (Vice)

Original Score: Mary Poppins Returns (Black Panther)

Original Song: Shallow (All The Stars)

Production Design: The Favourite (Black Panther)

Short Animated: One Small Step   Bao

Short Film: Skin

Sound Editing: Bohemian Rhapsody (A Quiet Place)

Sound Mixing: A Star Is Born (Bohemian Rhapsody)

Visual Effects: Ready Player One (First Man)

Adapted Screenplay: If Beale Street Could Talk   Blackkksman

Original Screenplay: The Favourite (The Favourite)   Green Book 

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The Favourite – ***

Posted: February 22, 2019 in 18th Century, 2018, Dramedy, Historical, UK, XXX

This is an interesting costume drama. It has great acting performances by Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman and the period setting, costumes, make up and script are amazing. It’s not really a comedy though. The trailer and the Golden Globe nomination for best comedy don’t really do the movie justice. This is a pretty sad and tragic story about a lesser known British Queen, unfit to rule the country and unfit to produce an heir. It’s also not a historically correct movie, but just like with Marie Antoinette, some anachronisms work really well. The vogue dancing during a ball ! The compassionate ‘fuck’ through the hallway. And all the lesbianism.

There’s no proof that Queen Anne had lesbian affairs. But that doesn’t matter. The scenes aren’t explicit anyways. It just helps the viewer understand the intrigue. This pretty much feels like a story that could have taken place at the court of Versailles. So it’s interesting to see it happen at the British court.

Not all is good. The camera work isn’t the best. Those wide lenses shots are terrible and the shots towards the sunlight are a sore in the eye. It’s a daring move, but the cinematography just isn’t what you expect. That said the script isn’t what you expect either and some of the scenes and dialogues are memorable. They make up everything. So does the acting. But why are there two supporting actresses and one lead? Just to be sure to get the nods? All three play an equally important role and are equally good.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5083738/

A Star Is Born – **

Posted: February 22, 2019 in 2018, Drama, Musical, USA, XX

This movie probably doesn’t need any introduction. It’s directed by Bradley Cooper who ‘stars’ as an alcoholic rock singer and also features Lady Gaga. The movie found a large audience and critics love it as well. Personally, this movie didn’t appeal to me at all. Shallow is one of the most annoying radio songs of 2018 and the snippets I’ve heard from the soundtrack sound equally terrible. Moreover, it stars Lady Gaga (not a fan) and features a drunk and addicted rock singer (not original).

But it was okay.

In fact, Lady Gaga was surprisingly good. Sure, she’s playing a character who can sing well, who can play the piano and who isn’t afraid of embracing commercialization without losing authenticity. But still, it was a good performance. She even outshines Bradley Cooper in the scenes that they are together. It’s not so clear however where the focus is in the movie. It’s not on a young waitress becoming an overnight star. It’s not a rock star dealing with his addictions. It’s not on a relationship between two talented music loving hearts. It seems the focus is on the soundtrack.

And the songs are terrible. It’s like Kings of Leon meets Whitney Houston meets broadway musical shit. No. No. No.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1517451

Eigen Kweek Season 3

Posted: February 14, 2019 in 2018, Comedy, Flanders

This is terrible. The first episode is still kind of okay, but it’s incredibly difficult to keep watching this until the end. The charismatic loser from the first season has become one of the most annoying tv characters of Flemish history. And he’s in almost every single scene. The humor is simple, predictable and repetitive. The drama is ridiculous. The action is still kind of fun, because it’s absurd. But that doesn’t save these six episodes from being a bomb. The first season was refreshing. The second season a disappointment. The third a total failure.

Green Book – **(*)

Posted: February 13, 2019 in 2018, Civil Rights, Dramedy, USA, XX1/2

Mahershala Ali wins all the supporting actor awards this season for his portrayal of a black piano playing genius who wants to go on a tour in the Deep South. The story takes place in the sixties and a black musician touring in the south wasn’t the greatest plan at the time. He needed a good driver and found an uneducated, but tough Italo-American bodyguard who could do the job. That guy is interpreted by Viggo Mortensen, who is nominated a lot for his performance, but never wins. That’s a shame, because he’s doing an excellent job. In fact, he kinda outshines Mahershala in this gentle dramedy. Not that Mahershala isn’t doing a great job. He is. But he’s not the focus of the story.

It’s a nice movie. But it’s very superficial and predictable. It focusses on an idealized buddy relationship between two men that have almost nothing in common. It’s entertaining, but very light hearted. And just like with Bohemian Rhapsody, the homosexuality of the musician is briefly suggested, not shown at all and hidden behind the well pronounced fact that he was married to a woman at one time.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6966692

Can You Ever Forgive me ? – *(*)

Posted: February 7, 2019 in 2018

Flight movie #5

Good acting in this indiedrama with Melissa McCarthy in a very different role than what we are used to seeing her in. She plays an author of biographies who doesn’t sell books and can’t survive in expensive New York. She has trouble paying the rent and the visits to the vet for her old and sick cat. After she successfully sold a letter that she found in a book at the library, written by the author, she decides to write her own fake letters. She comes up with a great technique (old paper, old type writers, …) and is also very good at imagining how certain writers would communicate in their personal letters. Several book store managers and antiquarians buy the letters and she finally is out of financial trouble. But the fraud is too good to be true….

It’s a well acted movie. But the story isn’t so compelling. It doesn’t bore. It just isn’t compelling. It’s based on true events which makes it a bit more intriguing. But there are so many other stories out there that need to be told. This is not one of them.

www.imdb.com/title/tt4595882

Photo De Famille – **

Posted: February 7, 2019 in 2018, Dramedy, France, XX

Flight movie #4

Two sisters and a brother start seeing a lot of each other when their grandfather passes away and their senile grandmother needs to be taken care of. They are all bizarre characters and thus intriguing for the viewer. Vanessa Paradis does a fine job as an overemotional single mother working as one of those living sculptures along the Seine, embarrassing her son in doing so. Camille Cottin is excellent as an energetic street worker who desperately wants a child. And Pierre Deladonchamps is good as the young brother, who works in a game developing company, but is suicidal and out of touch with the real world. This dysfunctional family has more interesting characters. The divorced parents for instance and the senile grand mother.

It’s a fun movie. It has weird humor. Maybe a bit un-french even. The editing is good; Some scenes are really short but on point. The storytelling works well in that not everything is told and explained. The short dialogues or shots are just very clear. Maybe it’s all a bit superficial and absurd, but it’s entertaining.

www.imdb.com/title/tt6665904