Insomnia File #43: Legend (dir by Brian Helgeland)


What’s an Insomnia File? You know how some times you just can’t get any sleep and, at about three in the morning, you’ll find yourself watching whatever you can find on cable? This feature is all about those insomnia-inspired discoveries!

If, last night, you were having trouble getting to sleep around two in the morning, you could have turned over to HBO and watched the 2015 British gangster film, Legend.

Tom Hardy is Reggie Kray.  Arrogant, handsome, charming, and dangerous to know, Reggie is a club owner who is also an up-and-coming gangster in 1960s London.  Scotland Yard has him under surveillance.  The East End both fears and respects him.  American gangsters want to do business with him.

Tom Hardy is also Ronny Kray!  Ronny is the ugly twin, the one who lives in a trailer and has just been released from a psychiatric institution.  Ronny is openly gay at a time when that was still illegal in the UK.  Driven by jealousy of Reggie and a desire to prove himself superior to everyone who has ever judged or looked down on him, Ronny is determined to make sure that he and his brother become the top gangsters in London.

Together …. they solve crimes!

No, actually, they do the exact opposite.  They commit a lot of crimes.  Ronny is willing to shoot anyone in the head.  Reggie tries to be a bit more respectable.  He even attempts to run a legitimate nightclub.  Reggie understand that sometimes, the threat of violence is more effective than violence itself.  Reggie and Ronny are about as close as siblings can be, even if they do spend a lot of time beating each other up.

Frances Shea (Emily Browning) is the sister of Reggie’s driver, Frankie (Colin Morgan).  She’s sixteen when she meets and falls in love with Reggie Kray.  Reggie loves her too and he even marries her.  (Of course, he has to do a stint in prison first.)  Reggie swears to Frances that he’s going to go straight and that they’re going to have a normal life.  Deep down, Frances know that will never happen so, while her husband and brother-in-law conquer London, she copes with pills.  Lots and lots of pills.

For an American viewer like myself, British gangster films are always fun to watch because they’re just as violent as American gangster films but, at the same time, everyone’s always dressed impeccably and stopping in the middle of all the mayhem to have a cup of tea.  Legend is based on a true story, which turns out to be both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness.  On the one hand, it’s fascinating to see the film’s recreation of London in the early 60s.  On the other hand, the film never convinces us that we should really care about the Krays.  This isn’t a case where, like the Corleones, the Krays are tragic figures who can’t escape their destiny.  Tom Hardy does a great job playing Reggie and he’s an adequate Ronny but you can never quite escape the feeling that the two brothers are just — to use one of their own preferred insults — two wankers who aren’t really worth all the trouble.  This is a film that you watch and you ask yourself, “Why should we care?”  Beyond the novelty of the Krays being twins, the film really can’t provide an answer.

Still, I happen to be fascinated by the early 60s so I enjoyed the film as a historical recreation.  Legend isn’t a bad film.  It’s just somewhat underwhelming.

Previous Insomnia Files:

  1. Story of Mankind
  2. Stag
  3. Love Is A Gun
  4. Nina Takes A Lover
  5. Black Ice
  6. Frogs For Snakes
  7. Fair Game
  8. From The Hip
  9. Born Killers
  10. Eye For An Eye
  11. Summer Catch
  12. Beyond the Law
  13. Spring Broke
  14. Promise
  15. George Wallace
  16. Kill The Messenger
  17. The Suburbans
  18. Only The Strong
  19. Great Expectations
  20. Casual Sex?
  21. Truth
  22. Insomina
  23. Death Do Us Part
  24. A Star is Born
  25. The Winning Season
  26. Rabbit Run
  27. Remember My Name
  28. The Arrangement
  29. Day of the Animals
  30. Still of The Night
  31. Arsenal
  32. Smooth Talk
  33. The Comedian
  34. The Minus Man
  35. Donnie Brasco
  36. Punchline
  37. Evita
  38. Six: The Mark Unleashed
  39. Disclosure
  40. The Spanish Prisoner
  41. Elektra
  42. Revenge

Here Are The Dorian Award Nominees!


Carol_(film)_POSTER

The Dorian Awards are handed out by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Film Critics Association.  Here are their film nominations for 2015.

FILM OF THE YEAR
The Big Short / Paramount, Regency
Brooklyn / Fox Searchlight
Carol / The Weinstein Company
Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show
Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
(Film or Television)
Sean Baker, Tangerine / Magnolia Pictures
Todd Haynes, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, The Revenant / Fox
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Brie Larson, Room / A24
Rooney Mara, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years / Sundance Selects
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn / Fox Searchlight

PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR — ACTOR
Matt Damon, The Martian / Fox
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant / Fox
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs / Universal
Tom Hardy, Legend / Universal, Cross Creek
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title

LGBTQ FILM OF THE YEAR
Carol / The Weinstein Company
The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title
Freeheld / Summit
Grandma / Sony Pictures Classics
Tangerine / Magnolia Pictures

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
The Assassin / Central Motion Pictures, Well Go USA
Mustang / Cohen Media Group
Phoenix / Sundance Selects
Son of Saul / Sony Pictures Classics
Viva / Magnolia Pictures

SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR
Emma Donoghue, Room / A24
Phyllis Nagy, Carol / The Weinstein Company
Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short / Paramount, Regency
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, Spotlight / Open Road, Participant, First Look
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs / Universal

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)
Amy / A24
Best of Enemies / Magnolia Pictures, Magnet
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief / HBO
Making a Murderer / Netflix
What Happened, Miss Simone? / Netflix

VISUALLY STRIKING FILM OF THE YEAR
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)
Carol / The Weinstein Company
The Danish Girl / Focus, Working Title
Mad Max: Fury Road / Warner Bros., Village Road Show
The Martian / Fox
The Revenant / Fox

UNSUNG FILM OF THE YEAR
The Diary of a Teenage Girl / Sony Pictures Classics
Ex Machina / A24
Grandma / Sony Pictures Classics
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl / Fox Searchlight
Tangerine (Magnolia)

CAMPY FLICK OF THE YEAR
The Boy Next Door
Fifty Shades of Grey
Magic Mike XXL
Jupiter Ascending
Stonewall

The Central Ohio Film Critics Have Announced Their Nominations!


Here are the Central Ohio Film Critics Nominations!

Best Film

-The Big Short
Ex Machina
Inside Out
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
-The Revenant
-Room
Sicario
-Spotlight
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Best Director

-Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
-Todd Haynes, Carol
-Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
-George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Ridley Scott, The Martian
-Denis Villeneuve, Sicario

Best Actor

-Matt Damon, The Martian
-Johnny Depp, Black Mass
-Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
-Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
-Jacob Tremblay, Room

Best Actress

-Cate Blanchett, Carol
-Brie Larson, Room
-Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
-Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Best Supporting Actor

-Benicio Del Toro, Sicario
-Tom Hardy, The Revenant
-Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina
-Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
-Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Best Supporting Actress

-Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
-Rooney Mara, Carol
-Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
-Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina
-Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Best Ensemble

-The Big Short
Ex Machina
-The Hateful Eight
-Spotlight
Steve Jobs

Actor of the Year (for an exemplary body of work)

-Cate Blanchett (Carol, Cinderella, and Truth)
-Michael Fassbender (Macbeth, Slow West, and Steve Jobs)
-Domhnall Gleeson (Brooklyn, Ex Machina, The Revenant, and Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens)
-Tom Hardy (Child 44, Legend, Mad Max: Fury Road, and The Revenant)
-Alicia Vikander (Burnt, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Seventh Son, and Testament of Youth)

Breakthrough Film Artist

-Sean Baker, Tangerine – (for producing, directing, screenwriting, film editing, cinematography, camera operation, and casting)
-Joel Edgerton, The Gift – (for producing, directing, and screenwriting)
-David Robert Mitchell, It Follows – (for producing, directing, and screenwriting)
-Daisy Ridley, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens – (for acting)
-Jacob Tremblay, Room – (for acting)
-Alicia Vikander, Burnt, The Danish Girl, Ex Machina, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Seventh Son, and Testament of Youth – (for acting)

Best Cinematography

-Roger Deakins, Sicario
-Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
-Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
-John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Dariusz Wolski, The Martian

Best Film Editing

-Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
-Tom McArdle, Spotlight
-Stephen Mirrione, The Revenant
-Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Joe Walker, Sicario

Best Adapted Screenplay

-Emma Donoghue, Room
-Drew Goddard, The Martian
-Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
-Charles Randolph and Adam McKay, The Big Short
-Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay

-Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley, Inside Out
-Alex Garland, Ex Machina
-Taylor Sheridan, Sicario
-Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
-Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Best Score

-Carter Burwell, Carol
-Michael Giacchino, Inside Out
-Jóhann Jóhannsson, Sicario
-Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road
-Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight

Best Documentary

-Amy
-Best of Enemies
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
-The Look of Silence
-The Wolfpack

Best Foreign Language Film

-The Assassin (Nie yin niang)
-Goodnight Mommy (Ich seh, ich sech)
-Phoenix
-The Tribe (Plemya)
-Timbuktu
-Wild Tales (Relatos salvajes)

Best Animated Film

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

Best Overlooked Film

-The End of the Tour
The Gift
-Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
-Mistress America
-Slow West
-The Tribe (Plemya)

Spotlight wins in Las Vegas!


Spotlight

You can check out all of the Las Vegas Film Critics nominations by clicking here.  The actual winners are listed below:

Top Ten List
1 SPOTLIGHT
2 CREED
3 EX MACHINA
4 STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON
5 BEASTS OF NO NATION
6 THE MARTIAN
7 MAD MAX FURY ROAD
8 SICARIO
9 LEGEND
10 ROOM

Best Picture:
SPOTLIGHT
Runner up: CREED

BEST DIRECTOR:
Tom McCarthy, SPOTLIGHT

Best Ensemble:
SPOTLIGHT

Best Actor:
Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

Best Actress:
Brie Larson, ROOM

Best Original Screenplay:
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, SPOTLIGHT

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Drew Goddard, THE MARTIAN

Best Cinematography:
Emmanuel Lubezki, THE REVENANT

Best Film Editing:
Margaret Sixel, MAD MAX – FURY ROAD

Best Costume Design:
Jenny Beavan, MAD MAX – FURY ROAD

Best Foreign Film:
GOODNIGHT MOMMY

Best Art Direction:
Irene O’Brien and Robert Parle, BROOKLYN

Best Supporting Actress:
Elizabeth Banks, LOVE AND MERCY

Best Visual Effects:
MAD MAX – FURY ROAD
Best Horror/Sci-fi Film:
EX MACHINA

Best Animated Film:
INSIDE OUT

Best Family Film:
CINDERELLA

Best Documentary:
GOING CLEAR – SCIENTOLOGY AND THE PRISON OF BELIEF

Best Comedy:
TRAINWRECK

Best Action Film:
MAD MAX – FURY ROAD

Youth in Film:
Jacob Tremblay, ROOM

Breakout Filmmaker:
Alex Garland, EX MACHINA

Best Score:
Ennio Morricone, THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Best Song:
“See You Again” from FURIOUS 7

Best Supporting Actor:

Sylvester Stallone, CREED

Here Are The 7 Semi-Finalists for The Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar!


blackmass2

Today, the Academy announced the 7 semi-finalists for the Makeup and Hairstyling Oscar!  Three of these semi-finalists will be nominated in January.  And then, one of them will win.  Unless, of course, something strange happens and wouldn’t it be neat if it did?

But anyway, here are the seven semifinalists!

“Black Mass”
“Concussion”
“Legend”
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“Mr. Holmes”
“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared”
“The Revenant”

I’ve never heard of The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared but I hope it wins, just to upset all of the smug “I’ve seen every movie ever nominated!” folks.

O Canada! Here are the Toronto Film Critics winners!


Love you, Canada!

Love you, Canada!

Here are the films that the Toronto Film Critics picked (on Sunday) for the best of 2015!  Love you, Canada!

Best Picture: Carol

Best Director: Todd Haynes, Carol

Best Actress: Nina Hoss, Phoenix

Best Actor: Tom Hardy, Legend

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Best Screenplay: The Big Short

Best First Film: Ex Machina

Best Foreign Language Film: Phoenix

Best Documentary: The Look of Silence

Best Animated Feature: Shaun the Sheep Movie

Here Are The Houston Film Critics Nominations!


Another one of my former hometowns has checked in with their nominations for the best of 2015!  The Houston Film Critics gave Ex Machina another nomination for best picture.  Wouldn’t it be kinda neat if Ex Machina snuck into the Oscar race as well?

BEST PICTURE:
The Big Short, Paramount
Ex Machina, A24 Films
Inside Out, Disney/PIXAR
Mad Max: Fury Road, Warner Bros.
The Martian, 20th Century Fox
The Revenant, 20th Century Fox
Room, A24 Films
Sicario, Lionsgate
Spotlight, Open Road Films
Steve Jobs, Universal

BEST DIRECTION OF A MOTION PICTURE:
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Ridley Scott, The Martian
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:
Brian Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Matt Damon, The Martian
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Tom Hardy, Legend

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:
Brie Larsen, Room
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
Emily Blunt, Sicario
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Tom Hardy, The Revenant

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Rooney Mara, Carol

BEST SCREENPLAY:
Aaron Sorkin, Steve Jobs
Drew Goddard, The Martian
Emma Donaghu, Room
Josh Singer & Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

BEST ANIMATED FILM:
Anomalisa, Paramount
The Good Dinosaur, Disney/PIXAR
Inside Out, Disney/PIXAR
The Peanuts Movie, 20th Century Fox
Shaun the Sheep, StudioCanal

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Dariusz Wolski, The Martian
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
Roger Deakins, Sicario

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
Amy, Altitude Film Distribution
Best of Enemies, Magnolia
Cartel Land, IFC Films
The Look of Silence, Drafthouse Films
Where to Invade Next, IMG Films

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
The Assassin, Well Go USA
Goodnight Mommy, Radius/TWC
Son of Saul, Sony Pictures Classic
The Tribe, Drafthouse Films
White God, Magnolia

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
Ennio Moriccone, The Hateful Eight
Michael Giacchino, Inside Out
Junkie XL, Mad Max: Fury Road

Daniel Pemberton, Steve Jobs
Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto & Bryce Dessner, The Revenant

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
“Love Me Like You Do,” music & lyrics by Savan Kotecha, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Tove Lo, Max Martin & Ali Payami, 50 Shades of Grey
“One Kind of Love,” music & lyrics by Brian Wilson & Scott Bennett, Love & Mercy
“See You Again,” music & lyrics by Wiz Khalifa, DJ Frank E, Charlie Puth & Andrew Cedar, Furious 7
“Simple Song #3,” music & lyrics by David Lang, Youth
“Writing’s on the Wall,” music & lyrics by Sam Smith & Jimmy Napes, Spectre

TEXAS INDEPENDENT FILM AWARD:
6 Years
7 Chinese Brothers
Last Man on the Moon
Results
Sir Doug and the Genuine Texas Cosmic Groove

BEST POSTER
Carol – Theatrical Poster
Ex Machina – Theatrical Poster
It Follows – Rear Window Alternate
Mad Max: Fury Road – ‘What A Lovely Day’ Alternate
Sicario – Theatrical Poster
The Walk – IMAX Alternate

WORST FILM OF THE YEAR:
Aloha, Columbia
The Boy Next Door, Universal
Fantastic Four, 20th Century Fox
Mortdecai, Lionsgate
Pixels, Columbia