Tag Archive: Julianne Moore


My 2015 Oscar Predictions

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

Will Win: Boyhood

Should Win: Whiplash

Snubbed: Foxcatcher, Nightcrawler, Gone Girl

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Best Director

Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game

Will Win: Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Should Win: Richard Linklater – Boyhood

Snubbed: Damien Chazelle – Whiplash

Best Actor

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper – American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton – Birdman

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Will Win: Michael Keaton – Birdman

Should Win: Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

Snubbed: Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler

Best Actress

Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Will Win: Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Should Win: Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Snubbed: Shailene Woodley – The Fault in our Stars

Best Supporting Actor

Robert Duvall – The Judge

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Edward Norton – Birdman

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Will Win: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Should Win: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Snubbed: Riz Ahmed – Nightcrawler

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Laura Dern – Wild

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Emma Stone – Birdman

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods

Will Win: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Should Win: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Snubbed: Rene Russo – Nightcrawler

Best Original Screenplay

Birdman – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo

Boyhood – Richard Linklater

Foxcatcher – E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness

Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy

Will Win: Birdman – Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. and Armando Bo

Should Win: Nightcrawler – Dan Gilroy

Snubbed: Locke – Steven Knight

Best Adapted Screenplay

American Sniper – Jason Hall

The Imitation Game – Graham Moore

Inherent Vice – Paul Thomas Anderson

The Theory of Everything – Anthony McCarten

Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

Will Win: The Imitation Game – Graham Moore

Should Win: Whiplash – Damien Chazelle

Snubbed: Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

Best Animated Film

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Will Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Should Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2 I guess, but I honestly don’t care

Snubbed: The Lego Movie, obviously

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida

Leviathan

Tangerines

Timbuktu

Wild Tales

Will Win: Ida

Should Win: Out of all the nominees, I’ve only seen Ida. So Ida, I guess.

Snubbed: The Raid 2

Best Documentary

Citizenfour

Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth

Virunga

Will Win: Citizenfour

Should Win: Virunga

Snubbed: The Overnighters

Best Score

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Alexandre Desplat

The Imitation Game – Alexandre Desplat

Interstellar – Hans Zimmer

Mr. Turner – Gary Yershon

The Theory of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson

Will Win: The Theory of Everything – Jóhann Jóhannsson

Should Win: Interstellar – Hans Zimmer

Snubbed: Gone Girl – Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Best Original Song

“Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie

“Glory” from Selma

“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights

“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me

“Lost Stars” from Begin Again

Will Win: “Glory” from Selma

Should Win: “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie

Snubbed: “I’ll get you what you Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)” from Muppets Most Wanted

Best Sound Editing

American Sniper – Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Birdman – Martin Hernández and Aaron Glascock

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies – Brent Burge and Jason Canovas

Interstellar – Richard King

Unbroken – Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro

Will Win: American Sniper

Should Win: Interstellar

Snubbed: Fury

Best Sound Mixing

American Sniper – John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin

Birdman – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga

Interstellar – Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten

Unbroken – Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee

Whiplash – Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley

Will Win: American Sniper

Should Win: Whiplash

Snubbed: Fury

Best Production Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock

The Imitation Game – Maria Djurkovic , Tatiana Macdonald

Interstellar – Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis

Into the Woods – Dennis Gassner,  Anna Pinnock

Mr. Turner – Suzie Davies, Charlotte Watts

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Snubbed: Snowpiercer

Best Cinematography

Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Robert Yeoman

Ida – Łukasz Żal and Ryszard Lenczewski

Mr. Turner – Dick Pope

Unbroken – Roger Deakins

Will Win: Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki

Should Win: Birdman – Emmanuel Lubezki

Snubbed: Enemy – Nicolas Bolduc

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Foxcatcher – Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier

Guardians of the Galaxy – Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White

Will Win: Foxcatcher

Should Win: Guardians of the Galaxy

Snubbed: Snowpiercer

Best Costume Design

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero

Inherent Vice – Mark Bridges

Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood

Maleficent – Anna B. Sheppard

Mr. Turner – Jacqueline Durran

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Snubbed: Edge of Tomorrow, as long as the exo-suits count as costumes

Best Editing

American Sniper – Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach

Boyhood – Sandra Adair

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Barney Pilling

The Imitation Game – William Goldenberg

Whiplash – Tom Cross

Will Win: Boyhood

Should Win: Whiplash

Snubbed: Gone Girl

Best Visual Effects

Captain America: The Winter Soldier – Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist

Guardians of the Galaxy – Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould

Interstellar – Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher

X-Men: Days of Future Past – Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer

Will Win: Interstellar

Should Win: Interstellar

Snubbed: Godzilla

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Movies are certainly a business, but they’re also an art form. It’s understandable that the people behind them want to make money, but they also shouldn’t let their corporate greed get in the way of the film’s quality. When Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was split into two parts, most people thought that it was an understandable decision. With the book clocking in at over 700 pages, this decision seemed to be made because there was simply too much content to pack into a single movie. But now movie studios have become savvy to this idea and lately the decision to split a final installment into two parts seems to occur just so they can make twice as much money. The final installment in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay, isn’t even the longest novel out of the three. After having watched The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, it’s clear that the decision to split this franchise finale into two parts was a poor one. Not only are moviegoers only getting half of a movie, but the half of a movie that they get is slow, boring and incredibly uneventful.

Following the events of Catching Fire, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has been picked up by members of the rebellion and brought into District 13’s underground bunker. While there, she reconnects with old friends including Gale (Liam Hemsworth), Haymitch (Woody Harrelson) and Finnick (Sam Claflin). She also meets President Alma Coin (Julianne Moore), the head of the rebellion. With the help of Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman), they convince Katniss to become the face of the rebellion. They send her out onto the battlefield and film her for a propaganda video. But Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) is being held in the Capitol by President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and Katniss doesn’t want to do anything until they’re able to rescue him.

I realize that the summary that I just wrote feels very slim, but that’s literally all that happens in the movie. This is only the first act of a three act story and it’s been stretched out into a 2 hour film. Where the film begins and where it ends is essentially the same place, with only a few minor differences. If Mockingjay had been made into one film instead of two, the events that occur in this film would have occupied the first 30-45 minutes. This is the first Hunger Games film without any appearance of the actual Hunger Games and there’s hardly any action to substitute for it. This is a film that’s all about setup. While this could have been interesting, the political strategizing that’s going on here is so basic that it fails to garner any interest. It also doesn’t help that the majority of the runtime takes place in an underground bunker that’s bland and uninteresting to look at.

How long will studios be able to get away with this? We never used to see films get split into two parts, but now it seems like every major blockbuster is using this idea. It makes sense from a business standpoint, but from a creativity standpoint, it’s shallow and ultimately pointless. Maybe it’s time that moviegoers start a rebellion, much like the one that we see in Mockingjay – Part 1. We could strategize in an underground lair, before we march up to the bigwigs in Hollywood and force them to end this nonsense. We’re getting tricked into buying two tickets for a single movie and we won’t stand for it any longer. Who could we have as our Mockingjay symbol? Jennifer Lawrence probably wouldn’t do it, because I’m assuming that she’s making twice as much money from these movies as well. Maybe someone from the Harry Potter franchise could join our cause. That series is the only one to do a two-part finale well, so maybe they’re just as outraged at what The Hunger Games, Twilight and Divergent are doing. I certainly wouldn’t mind having Emma Watson as our Mockingjay symbol.

Even though this film is adequately directed by Francis Lawrence and features some fine performance (Julianne Moore is a welcome addition to the cast), there’s just nothing to get excited about. In fact, the only great part of the movie is the Lorde song that plays over the end credits. The song , entitled “Yellow Flicker Beat”, was written by Lorde and Joel Little and it perfectly captures the tone of the Hunger Games franchise. It starts off slow and quiet before turning into a kicking pop song that’s more exciting than anything in the film. Lorde is the best pop star working today; she’s just 18 years old, has only released one album and she’s already put veteran stars like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to shame. She has such a unique voice and her songs never feel like they’re trying to appeal to the masses. Just look at a song like “Royals”, which goes against the fame and fortune that most pop songs are built upon. Lorde curated the official soundtrack to go along with Mockingjay – Part 1 and it’s good to see that the song she provided  is just as good as anything on her debut album, Pure Heroine.

It may seem like I’m getting off topic here, but that’s happening for a reason. There’s simply not a lot to discuss with this film. I can only talk about how uneventful it is for so long before I begin to sound repetitive. It feels like the filmmakers are treading water, stretching a film out even when they know that they shouldn’t. It’s just a shame that the executives in charge of splitting the movie will still get away with it. The film is bound to make millions upon millions of dollars and Part 2 will probably make even more money. So that’s why I’m calling for a revolution. Let’s recruit Emma Watson, organize our members and march to Hollywood so we can tell these producers what we really think of their greedy decisions. Mockingjay – Part 1 is the first bad film in the franchise and it’s all because somebody wanted to sell twice as many tickets.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 receives 2/4

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I tend to enjoy films that primarily take place in one location, especially if that location is an airplane. When something bad begins to happen on a plane, there’s a sense of claustrophobia and urgency that can make for a great film. I also enjoy watching Liam Neeson turn himself into an action star. The 62 year old actor has been picking films that allow him to beat up on some bad guys and you can tell that he is having a great time. His latest film, Non-Stop, is a combination of both of these pleasures. It’s quite a thrill to watch Neeson on an airplane, trying to solve a mystery and kicking some serious butt along the way. It’s as ridiculous as you might expect, but even when the plot becomes contrived and silly, the film never loses its sense of fun.

Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is a US air marshal and former New York police officer. He’s also an emotionally unstable alcoholic, drinking as much as he can before he gets on the plane and even requesting a gin and tonic upon takeoff. Once the plane is in the air, Marks receives a text message from an anonymous source. The messages inform Marks that someone on the plane will die every 20 minutes unless $150 million is transferred to a specific bank account. Marks realizes that whoever is sending these messages is located on the plane and he will need to race against the clock to discover the stranger and prevent any lives from being lost.

Along with Liam Neeson, the cast is full of familiar faces including Julianne Moore, Corey Stoll, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy and even recent Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o. Every single one of them is a potential suspect and the cast does whatever they can with their one dimensional characters. Neeson’s character is the only one that is remotely developed, but the troubled, alcoholic air marshal feels like a cliché. His backstory is pretty obvious and uninspired, particularly in the details involving his daughter. But Neeson somehow manages to bring the character to life. Starting with Taken, Neeson has essentially been playing the character over and over again, but he pulls it off every time. Neeson is the perfect actor to play the grizzled, aging action hero and he commands the screen this time around.

He’s the rare actor that can carry a film from beginning to end, even as the script grows more and more outlandish. Screenwriters John W. Richardson, Chris Roach and Ryan Engle set things up fairly believably, but by the time the third act rolls around, there have been so many outlandish developments that some viewers may scoff at the absurdity of it all. But even as the film began to grow sillier and sillier, I still found myself enjoying every minute of the film. A large part of this has to do with Neeson, who gives us a character to connect with, even as the plot grows preposterous. But it’s director Jaume Collet-Serra who makes sure that there isn’t a dull moment throughout. Perhaps the film could have been more atmospheric, but it looks good and it’s got a steady pace that builds to an exciting finale.

But perhaps the most commendable aspect of Non-Stop is that it’s got a great mystery that kept me on my toes all the way to the end. I spent the entire film trying to figure out who was texting Marks and I’m happy to say that I was unable to solve it before the reveal. Just when you think you’ve got it figured out, the filmmakers reveal that they’re a step ahead of the audience. It may not be as good as last year’s Prisoners, but the twists and red herrings will prevent most audience members from solving the mystery before they should. The ultimate reveal of the killer is a little underwhelming and the explanation of the motive doesn’t quite fit the rest of the film, but since the killer’s identity is kept a secret for so long, this is practically inevitable.

I had a lot of fun with Non-Stop and this seems to be what Neeson and Jaume Collet-Serra intended. Its plot may be ridiculous enough to laugh at, but its over the top sensibilities hold things together. This is nothing more than silly, popcorn entertainment and there’s nothing wrong with that. The film may get its title from the non-stop flight that the majority of the film takes place on, but it could also get its title from the non-stop thrills that permeate throughout this thing.

Non-Stop receives 3/4