89TH Annual Academy Awards- My Thoughts

2017_oscars_posterI didn’t get to watch the whole special because I couldn’t get a feed where I was, but I caught the last half hour which is essentially all you needed to see last night especially the ending. It was that time of the show where it was time to reveal the winner of Best Picture and Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty were presenting the award. When Beatty was about to read the winner, he seemed very confused so he would occasionally stop so Faye had to read the card and she announced La La Land as the winner of best picture. So, the whole entire crew came on stage and were giving their speech when it was revealed by the film’s producer Jordan Horowitz and Warren Beatty that there was an epic mistake. Jordan would reveal that the real winner of the award went to Moonlight and he waited on stage so that he could personally give them the award. That right there my friends is a very embarrassing moment for the Oscars and one that almost gets Steve Harvey off the hook for his epic blunder. There were a lot of surprises that night including that one because I thought for sure that La La Land was going to clean house. I knew that Casey Affleck was going to win Best Actor, but I thought that Dev Patel was going to win best supporting.

Out of 14 nominations which tied a record, the film La La Land only took home six total awards which is less than what I predicted (I predicted nine). One of the definite surprises of the night is that now you have to call Suicide Squad a Oscar winning film even though it was for best make up and hairstyling. Out of all the surprises and all the mayhem that ensued, the awards show definitely makes me want to watch Moonlight to see what they saw in the film which took home three golden statues that night. A lot of the films I predicted were second choices and if I had gone with my first choice, I would’ve done a lot better, but I listened to the hype. So, out of 24 possible awards, I only correctly predicted 11 of them which is 46% and that is a failing grade. Here are all the winners from the night:

Best Picture- Moonlight

Best Director- Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best Actor- Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

Best Actress- Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best Supporting Actor- Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best Supporting Actress- Viola Davis (Fences)

Best Original Screenplay- Manchester By The Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay- Moonlight

Best Animated Film- Zootopia

Best Foreign Film- The Salesman

Best Documentary Feature- O.J.: Made In America

Best Documentary Short- The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short- Sing

Best Animated Short- Piper

Best Original Score- La La Land

Best Original Song- City Of Stars (La La Land)

Best Sound Editing- Arrival

Best Sound Mixing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Production Design- La La Land

Best Cinematography- La La Land

Best Film Editing- Hacksaw Ridge

Best Visual Effects- The Jungle Book

Best Make Up and Hairstyling- Suicide Squad

Best Costume Design- Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

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Day 73: Bridge Of Spies (2015)

bridge-of-spies-656There are certain actors in Hollywood that when you hear that they are starring in a film, you immediately want to see it because of how amazing they are. The same could be said when you hear a certain directors name and Bridge Of Spies is one of those films that works for both those cases. The film stars Tom Hanks (Catch Me If You Can) and it was directed by Steven Spielberg (Schindler’s List) and it takes place during the cold war at a time when both The Soviet Union and The United States were deploying spies. One day, a Soviet Spy by the name of Rudolph Abel (Mark Rylance) is caught and arrested. James B. Donovan (Tom Hanks) is tasked with the duty of representing Abel in a court of law and then he is tasked with having to set up an exchange between the two mega powers. The film also stars Domenick Lombardozzi (Phone Booth) as Agent Blasko, Victor Verhaeghe (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Agent Gamber, Joshua Harto (The Dark Knight) as Bates, Alan Alda (M*A*S*H) as Thomas Watters Jr., Amy Ryan (Escape Plan) as Mary Donovan, Mikhail Gorevoy (Die Another Day) as  Ivan Schischkin, Sebastian Koch (A Good Day To Die Hard) as Wolfgang Vogel, Burghart Klaußner (Goodbye Lenin!) as Harald Ot, Will Rogers (The Bay) as Frederic Pryor, Austin Stowell (Whiplash) as Francis Powers, and Jesse Plemons (Black Mass) as Joe Murphy.

sp1Mark Rylance who played Rudolph Abel, the accused Soviet spy won an Oscar this year for Best Supporting Actor and it was the only Oscar the film won I believe. I have still not seen many of the other pictures that were nominated to really make a critique, but I didn’t think he did enough to earn the win. It was a great performance none the less from the man, but there was more of Tom Hanks than there was of him. I do however understand the point of Best Supporting Actor who is there to support the lead actor. Nevertheless, you are probably wondering what I thought about the film itself. Like I said in the above paragraph, there are actors that you see their name and you do not question it at all. Tom Hanks is definitely one of those guys and he puts on a superstar performance in the film as James B. Donovan. Donovan’s character is very interesting because here is a man representing someone we labeled a spy knowing full well that he was going to be hated because of it. yet, the man kept going and did one of the most unthinkable things later on. I’m not giving away any spoilers because it’s based on a true story. The film is compelling and the story was well written. This isn’t an action film or a psychological thriller, but a drama that is historical and I guess is a little bit of a thriller towards the last half of the film. The cinematograghy in the film was amazing and you have to give it up to the set design and costume department for making us believe we were 1950’s New York and a dilapidated Berlin. I love films that are based on true stories because they are so much more compelling. That is why I am going to give this one an A- for a final grade.

Day Three: Foxcatcher (2014)

foxcatcherEver since last year’s Academy Awards and The Golden Globes, this was definitely a film I wanted to see for all the buzz it caught. The film Foxcatcher was directed by Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and it starred Steve Carell (The Way Way Back), Channing Tatum (21 Jump Street), and Mark Ruffalo (Now You See Me). The film centers around two of America’s greatest wrestling brothers and a very rich man from an important American family. Mark Schultz (Tatum) is training for his ultimate goal which is to win the gold at the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games. One day he is contacted by John du Pont (Steve Carell) multimillionaire who wants Mark to train as his facility to legitimize his Team Foxcatcher. Mark is a very impressionable person and du Pont quickly creates a rift between the two brothers.The union ultimately leads the Schultz’s into tragedy as du Pont is quickly losing his mind. The film also stars Sienna Miller (American Sniper) as Nancy Schultz,  Vanessa Redgrave (Howard’s End) as Jean du Pont, Anthony Michael Hall (The Breakfast Club) as Jack, Guy Boyd (Taking Chance) as Henry Beck, Brett Rice (Forrest Gump) as Fred Cole, and Lee Perkins (Wild Card) as Corporal.

foxcatcher-channing-tatum-steve-carell-1The film didn’t win any of the big awards, but it definitely put up a fight against some of the heavy contenders at the time. The thing that amazed me the most about this film was the transformation Steve Carell went through because not only does he appear different, but his character is strange. He was a man with a lot of money to throw around and for a little while no one, but Mark could tell that there was something strange about him. He was definitely one of those guys who was socially awkward and sheltered from the dangers of the real world by his mother. Mark Ruffalo is as brilliant as he usually is as he went through a transformation of his own having to put on weight and muscle for the film. The film isn’t full of action, but it’s a slow decent into madness as you dive deeper into it like the characters are. The film is relatively dark in tone if you ask me as there is nothing happy about the film. It’s definitely a film about a match made in hell that turns out drastically bad by the end of the film. There are no spoilers to give here as the film is based on a true story so you can look it for yourself without having to watch the film.

brthsThere is a post online that questions what is true and what isn’t true about every film naturally as they are on “Based” on a true story. One of the facts that went into question was whether or not Mark had a sexual relationship with du Pont and Mark took to his Facebook page to explain the truth saying, “Leaving the audience with a feeling that somehow there could have been a sexual relationship between du Pont and I is a sickening and insulting lie. I told Bennett Miller to cut that scene out and he said it was to give the audience the feeling that du Pont was encroaching on your privacy and personal space. I wasn’t explicit so I didn’t have a problem with it. Then after reading 3 or 4 reviews interpreting it sexually, and jeopardizing my legacy, they need to have a press conference to clear the air, or I will.” There are a lot of details about the film that is wrong so if you want to read any if it, just visit this website for more. Otherwise, I thought it was a great film. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.