Here Are The Just-Announced Florida Film Critics Circle Nominations!


BEST PICTURE
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
Spotlight
The Big Short
The Martian

BEST ACTOR
Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
Paul Dano – Love and Mercy
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett – Carol
Brie Larson – Room
Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn
Charlize Theron – Mad Max: Fury Road


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Oscar Isaac – Ex Machina
Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon – 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone – Creed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Elizabeth Banks – Love and Mercy
Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight
Rooney Mara – Carol
Kristen Stewart – Clouds of Sils Maria
Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina
BEST DIRECTOR

Todd Haynes – Carol
Alejandro G. Iñárritu – The Revenant
George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
Ridley Scott – The Martian

BEST ENSEMBLE
The Big Short
Mistress America
Spotlight
Straight Outta Compton
Tangerine

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Ex Machina
The Hateful Eight
Inside Out
Mistress America
Spotlight

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Big Short
Brooklyn
Carol
Room
Steve Jobs

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Carol
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario
Youth

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
The Walk

BEST ART DIRECTION/ PRODUCTION DESIGN
Brooklyn
Carol
Crimson Peak
Love & Mercy
Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SCORE
Carol
The Hateful Eight
Love & Mercy
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Amy
Best of Enemies
Cartel Land
Heart of a Dog
The Look of Silence

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Assassin
Mommy
Mustang
Phoenix
Son of Saul
BEST ANIMATED FILM

Anomalisa
Inside Out
The Good Dinosaur
The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep Movie

FFCC BREAKOUT AWARD
Bel Powley – Diary of a Teenage Girl
Daisy Ridley – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Kitana Kiki Rodriguez – Tangerine
Jacob Tremblay – Room
Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina and The Danish Girl

The Chicago Film Critics Society Rounds Up The Usual Suspects!


 The Chicago Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2015 yesterday and it’s pretty much the usual suspects, with a few unexpected names tossed in as well!  Check them out below and try not to get on the Mayor’s bad side because I hear he’s one scary guy.

BEST PICTURE
Carol
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Spotlight

BEST DIRECTOR
Todd Haynes–Carol
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu–The Revenant
Tom McCarthy–Spotlight
Adam McKay–The Big Short
George Miller–Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST ACTOR
Christopher Abbott–James White
Leonardo DiCaprio–The Revenant
Michael Fassbender–Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne–The Danish Girl
Jason Segel–The End of the Tour

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett–Carol
Brie Larson–Room
Charlotte Rampling–45 Years
Saoirse Ronan–Brooklyn
Charlize Theron–Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Benicio Del Toro–Sicario
Sam Elliott–Grandma
Mark Rylance–Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon–99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone–Creed

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jennifer Jason Leigh–Anomalisa
Jennifer Jason Leigh–The Hateful Eight
Cynthia Nixon–James White
Kristen Stewart–Clouds of Sils Maria
Alicia Vikander–Ex Machina

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Bridge of Spies–Matt Charman and Joel & Ethan Coen
Ex Machina–Alex Garland
The Hateful Eight–Quentin Tarantino
Inside Out–Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve and Josh Cooley
Spotlight–Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Anomalisa–Charlie Kaufman
The Big Short–Adam McKay & Charles Randolph
Brooklyn–Nick Hornby
Room–Emma Donoghue
Steve Jobs–Aaron Sorkin

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Carol–Edward Lachman
The Hateful Eight–Robert RIchardson
Mad Max: Fury Road–John Seale
The Revenant–Emmanuel Lubezki
Sicario–Roger Deakins

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Carol–Carter Burwell
The Hateful Eight–Ennio Morricone
Inside Out–Michael Giacchino
It Follows–Disasterpeace
Mad Max: Fury Road–Junkie XL

BEST ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Assassin
Brooklyn
Carol
Crimson Peak
Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST EDITING
The Big Short–Hank Corwin
Mad Max: Fury Road–Jason Ballantine & Margaret Sixel
The Martian–Pietro Scalia
The Revenant–Stephen Mirrione
Spotlight–Tom McArdle

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
The Assassin
The Look of Silence
Phoenix
Son of Saul
White God

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Amy
Cartel Land
The Hunting Ground
The Look of Silence
Where to Invade Next

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Anomalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Peanuts Movie
The Shaun the Sheep Movie

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Christopher Abbott–James White
Bel Powley–The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Geza Rohrig–Son of Saul
Amy Schumer–Trainwreck
Jacob Tremblay–Room

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Alex Garland–Ex Machina
Marielle Heller–The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Josh Mond–James White
Laszlo Nemes–Son of Saul
Bill Pohlad–Love & Mercy

And here are the Phoenix Film Critics Nominations!


And finally, to wrap up today’s excursion into awards season, here are the Phoenix Film Critics Nominations!  As soon as you look over these nominations and see if your favorite film made the list, be sure to go back and read Patrick’s review of Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny and Jedadiah Leland’s review of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace!

BEST PICTURE

Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Room
Spotlight
BEST COMEDY FILM

The Big Short
Dope
Joy
Spy
Trainwreck

BEST SCIENCE FICTION FILM

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Ex Machina
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian

BEST MYSTERY OR THRILLER FILM

Bridge of Spies
Sicario
Spotlight

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Anomalisa
Inside Out

The Peanuts Movie
Shaun the Sheep

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

The Assassin
White God
Youth

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Amy
Best of Enemies
Cartel Land
He Named My Malala
Listen to Me Marlon

BEST HORROR FILM

Bone Tomahawk
Crimson Peak
It Follows
Unfriended

BEST MUSICAL

Amy
Pitch Perfect 2
Straight Outta Compton

BEST ACTOR

Michael Caine, Youth
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Matt Damon, The Martian
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

BEST ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Marion Cotillard, Macbeth
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Brie Larson, Room
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Keaton, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Jacob Tremblay, Room

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

BEST DIRECTOR

Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Alejandro Inarritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, The Martian
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

BEST SCREENPLAY

Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, Bridge of Spies
Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer, Spotlight
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay, The Big Short
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs

BEST SCORE

Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road
Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sicario
Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
Thomas Newman, Bridge of Spies

Here’s The Best Visual Effects Shortlist!


avengers-age-of-ultron-trailer-hulkbuster

Today, the Academy announced the 20 films that are in the running to be nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.  And here they are!

“Ant-Man”
“Avengers: Age of Ultron”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Chappie”
Everest”
“Ex Machina”
“Furious 7”
“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2”
“In the Heart of the Sea”
“Jupiter Ascending”
“Jurassic World”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Martian”
“Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation”
“The Revenant”
“Spectre”
“Star Wars: The Force Awakens”
“Terminator Genisys”
“Tomorrowland”
“The Walk”

Looking over that list, I have to ask: Where is Crimson Peak?  Or, for that matter, Kingsman?  Those heads didn’t just explode on their own!

file_118522_1_kingsmanposterlarge

Horror Film Review: Crimson Peak (dir by Guillermo Del Toro)


CrimsonPeak

The fact that Crimson Peak, Guillermo Del Toro’s wonderful new film, is only getting mixed or grudgingly positive reviews tells you everything that you need to know about the sorry state of modern film criticism.

Taking place at the turn of the 19th Century, Crimson Peak tells the story of Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska).  The daughter of industrialist Carter Cushing (Jim Beaver), Edith is haunted by a childhood memory, in which her mother’s ghost appeared to her and told her to never go to Crimson Peak.  Edith grows up to be an aspiring writer.  She writes stories about ghosts, though she is always quick to point out that the ghosts are just meant to be a “metaphor for the past.”  Her publishers tell her that no one wants to read a ghost story written by a woman and they recommend that she concentrate on writing a nice romance.

Following the violent death of her father, Edith marries the charming inventor Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston) and moves to his family home in England.  Still in shock over the death of her father, Edith struggles to make things work in England.  Tom is nearly penniless and seems to be more interested in his inventions than with her.  (Not only did they not consummate the marriage during the honeymoon but Tom sleeps in a separate bedroom.)  Meanwhile, Tom’s older sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain), does little to hide the disdain that she feels towards her new sister-in-law.

As for the house itself, it is on the verge of collapsing.  At one point, Tom mentions that, because of the red clay that sits underneath the mansion, their new home is sometimes called Crimson Peak.  If that wasn’t enough to panic Edith, she keeps seeing mysterious figures wandering through the halls.  Edith swears that she is seeing ghosts and that they are trying to tell her something.  Tom and Lucille tells her that she’s imagining things and continue to insist that she drink a special tea.  Could that tea be the reason why Edith finds herself coughing up blood?

(Actually, there’s a lot of blood spilled over the course of Crimson Peak.  It’s not just the clay that makes the ground red.  If Edith Wharton had written a horror movie, the end result would probably be a lot like Crimson Peak.)

And let’s just get this out of the way right now — Crimson Peak is an absolutely brilliant movie.  Those critics who have complained that Crimson Peak doesn’t have any of the expected “shock” scares are totally missing the point.  Crimson Peak is not about cheap scares.  Del Toro is not looking to make you jump by having a cat jump out of a closet.  Instead, Crimson Peak is all about atmosphere.  Del Toro maintains an atmosphere of consistent unease throughout the entire film.  The scares come less from what is shown and more from what is implied.  In that way, Crimson Peak pays homage to the great gothic horror films of the past.

And remember when I complained about how terrible Jessica Chastain was in The Martian?  Well, she absolutely brilliant in Crimson Peak.  The role of Lucille is not one that demands a lot of subtlety and Chastain appears to be having a great time getting to play such a menacing character.  If anything, this is one of Chastain’s best performances.  (One need only consider how overly mannered Meryl Streep would have been in the role to realize just how great an actress Jessica Chastain truly is.)  Mia Wasikowska is the epitome of fragile loveliness as Edith and Tom Hiddleston is perfectly cast as a handsome, slightly decadent aristocrat with a secret.  In fact, all three of them are perfectly cast.  Taking their roles too seriously would have been a mistake but so would have not taking the movie seriously enough.  The entire cast strikes a perfect balance, embracing the melodrama without going too far over the top.

So, why are so many film critics having such a hard time embracing Crimson Peak?  It’s pretty much for the same reason that a lot of them had a hard time with Pacific Rim.  Guillermo Del Toro’s films are masterpieces of the pulp imagination.  As such, he exposes the condescending attitude that most contemporary critics take towards “genre” films.  When mainstream critics dismiss Crimson Peak as just being “a horror film that isn’t scary enough,” all they’re really doing is revealing how ignorant they are of the horror genre.

So, in other words, don’t listen to those mainstream critics.  They are not worth your trouble.  Crimson Peak is a wonderfully acted and visually gorgeous gothic romance and it needs to be seen on the big screen.

Reportedly, Crimson Peak struggled at the box office this weekend.

Well, you know what?

If you haven’t seen Crimson Peak, you need to go out and see it this week.  It’s a great film and what good are we if we let the great ones go unseen?

Crimson Peak’s Visually Stunning Gothic Horror


CrimsonPeak

Guillermo Del Toro has become the one filmmaker who seems to excite both the elitist cinephiles and the geek community whenever he comes out with a new film. He’s done both pop-friendly extravaganzas (Pacific Rim, Hellboy) to critically-acllaimed arthouse fares (Pan’s Labyrinth, The Devil’s Backbone). His name has been attached to so many projects of all stripe that one wonders if he ever gets time to rest.

Most of these projects never get past the concept stage, but when one does and he goes all out in directing such projects we get something that excites the fanbase like his upcoming gothic horror film Crimson Peak. It looks to be Del Toro’s love letter to gothic horror of the past with his own visual flair for the morbid and the beautiful in one package.

The film stars a who’s who of powerful performers from Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston to Mia Wasikowska and Charlie Hunnam.

Crimson Peak is set to haunt the public this coming October 16, 2015

Lisa’s Too Early Oscar Predictions for May!


oscar trailer kitties

Well, here we are!  The year is nearly halfway over and the Oscar picture … well, it’s really not that clear yet.  The Cannes Film Festival just opened and maybe that will help clear up the picture a bit.  Or maybe not.

Anyway, here are my early Oscar for predictions for May.  (In previous months, my Oscar predictions were “way too early.”  But now that we’re 5 months into 2015, the “way” can be dropped.  They’re just “too early” now.)  As is usual for any predictions made at this time of the year, these are mostly guesses, some random and some educated.  Be sure to check my predictions for January, February, March, and April as well!

(I know that rumor has it that the Academy is going to go back to only nominating five films this year.  However, I’m going to continue to make ten predictions because that’s more fun for an obsessive list maker like me.)

Last Dinosaur

Best Picture

Black Mass

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Carol

Crimson Peak

The Danish Girl

The Good Dinosaur

Icon

In the Heart of the Sea

The Sea of Trees

Ben Foster in Icon

Best Actor

Johnny Depp in Black Mass

Michael Fassebender in Steve Jobs

Ben Foster in Icon

Eddie Redmanye in The Danish Girl

Jason Segel in The End of the Tour

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Carol

Jennifer Lawrence in Joy

Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn

Meryl Streep in Ricki and the Flash

Lilly Tomlin in Grandma

idris-elba-beasts-of-no-nation1

Best Supporting Actor

Jim Broadbent in Brooklyn

Albert Brooks in Concussion

Joel Edgerton in Black Mass

Idris Elba in Beasts of No Nation

Kurt Russell in The Hateful Eight

meryl1-466733

Best Supporting Actress

Jessica Chastain in Crimson Peak

Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Hateful Eight

Seinna Miller in Black Mass

Parker Posey in Irrational Man

Meryl Streep in Suffragette

RonHowardJay-Z

Best Director

Guillermo Del Toro for Crimson Peak

Stephen Fears for Icon

Todd Haynes for Carol

Ron Howard for In The Heart of the Sea

Gus Van Sant for The Sea of Trees

Oscars