The Brief Thrill Of The Phoenix Film Critics Nominations


Lego MovieI have to admit that, when I first looked at the just-released Phoenix Film Critics Nominations for 2014, I got really excited.  I saw The LEGO Movie listed among the nominees for best picture and I thought to myself, “Oh my God!  Could The LEGO Movie be set to be the fourth animated film to score a best picture nomination from the Academy!?”

Seriously, my inner movie trivia lover was so excited!

Then, of course, I remembered that critical recognition doesn’t necessarily translate into Oscar nominations.  And I was forced to admit that The LEGO Movie probably will not be nominated for best picture, though it definitely remains a front runner for best animated feature.

But, for a few moments there, I was truly an excited Oscar watcher.

Anyway, here are the Phoenix Film Critics Nominations!

(h/t to Awards Circuit)

BEST PICTURE/ TOP TEN FILMS OF 2014

  • A Most Violent Year
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Lego Movie
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Whiplash

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • David Fincher, Gone Girl
  • Alejandro G. Inarritu, Birdman
  • Richard Linklater, Boyhood

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
  • Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
  • Brendon Gleeson, Calvary
  • Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman
  • Michael Keaton, Birdman
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

  • Amy Adams, Big Eyes
  • Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Hilary Swank, The Homesman
  • Reese Witherspoon, Wild

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
  • Logan Lerman, Fury
  • Edward Norton, Birdman
  • Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
  • J. K. Simmons, Whiplash

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

  • Patricia Arquette, Boyhood
  • Jessica Chastain, A Most Violent Year
  • Carrie Coon, Gone Girl
  • Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
  • Emma Stone, Birdman

BEST ENSMEBLE ACTING

  • Birdman
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Into the Woods

BEST SCREENPLAY WRITTEN DIRECTLY FOR THE SCREEN

  • A Most Violent Year
  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Whiplash

BEST SCREENPLAY ADAPTED FROM ANOTHER MEDIUM

  • American Sniper
  • Gone Girl
  • The Imitation Game
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Wild

BEST LIVE ACTION FAMILY FILM

  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent
  • Muppets Most Wanted

BEST ANIMATED FILM

  • Big Hero 6
  • The Boxtrolls
  • The Lego Movie
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

OVERLOOKED FILM OF THE YEAR

  • Calvary
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Obvious Child
  • The Skeleton Twins
  • Snowpiercer

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Force Majeure
  • IDA
  • Mood Indigo
  • The Raid 2

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • Citizenfour
  • Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me
  • Jodorowsky’s Dune
  • Life Itself
  • Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • Everything is Awesome, The Lego Movie
  • Immortals, Big Hero 6
  • Lost Stars, Begin Again
  • Miracles, Unbroken

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Birdman
  • Gone Girl
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • The Theory of Everything

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • A Most Violent Year
  • Birdman
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods
  • The Theory of Everything
  • Unbroken

BEST FILM EDITING

  • Birdman
  • Boyhood
  • Gone Girl
  • Interstellar
  • Into the Woods

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Imitation Game
  • Interstellar
  • Snowpiercer

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Inherent Vice
  • Into the Woods
  • Maleficent
  • The Theory of Everything

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Interstellar

BEST STUNTS

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • John Wick
  • Need for Speed
  • The Raid 2

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE ON CAMERA

  • Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
  • Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
  • Jenny Slate, Obvious Child

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE BEHIND THE CAMERA

  • Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
  • Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
  • Gillian Robespierre, Obvious Child
  • Jon Stewart, Rosewater

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH – MALE

  • Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood
  • Daniel Huttlestone, Into the Woods
  • Jaeden Lieberber, St. Vincent
  • Ed Oxenbould, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
  • Tony Revolori, The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A YOUTH – FEMALE

  • Lilla Crawford, Into the Woods
  • Mackenzie Foy, Interstellar
  • Sterling Jerins, And So It Goes

grand-budapest-hotel

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions for November


selma

Well, here we are in November and the Oscar race is looking a lot more clear.  Early front runners have faded and new contenders have emerged and even some of the new contenders have subsequently faded.  The Oscar race is starting to look a lot more clear and it will look even clearer once December arrives and the critic groups start to chime in.

Here are my Oscar predictions for November!

And, if you want some clues about how this year’s Oscar race has developed over the past few months, be sure to check out my predictions for March, April, May, June, July, August, and October!

Best Picture

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Imitation Game

A Most Violent Year

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Unbroken

Whiplash

Wild

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton in Birdman

David Oyelowo in Selma

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year

Felecity Jones in The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

Reese Whitherspoon in Wild

Best Supporting Actor

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

Miyavi in Unbroken

Edward Norton in Birdman

Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Laura Dern in Wild

Kiera Knightley in The Imitation Game

Emma Stone in Birdman

Meryl Streep in Into The Woods

Best Director

Ava DuVernay for Selma

Alejandro Inarritu for Birdman

Angelina Jolie for Unbroken

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

a-most-violent-year

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions For October


Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Ever since March, I have been posting my monthly Oscar predictions.  Because I was so busy with my Back To School series, I missed my chance to post an update in September.  (And, before you say that missing one month is no big deal, you should take into my consideration my OCD…)  However, it is now October and, as the Oscar picture starts to become a little bit more clear, here are my current predictions!

(Interested in seeing my past predictions?  Check out March, April, May, June, July, and August.)

Best Picture

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Imitation Game

Interstellar

Still Alice

Unbroken

Whiplash

Wild

(Before anyone asks why I haven’t included Gone Girl or Inherent Vice on the list, I ask them to consider the Oscar fate of both The Master and Fincher’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.)

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper in American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton in Birdman

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Big Eyes

Felecity Jones in The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

Reese Whitherspoon in Wild

Best Supporting Actor

John Brolin in Inherent Vice

Edward Norton in Birdman

Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Tom Wilkinson in Selma

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Laura Dern in Wild

Kiera Knightley in The Imitation Game

Rene Russo in Nightcrawler

Emma Stone in Birdman

Best Director

Clint Eastwood for American Sniper

Alejandro Inarritu for Birdman

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

American Sniper

American Sniper

 

 

It’s Time For Lisa Marie’s Early Oscar Predictions for August!


theory-of-everything-new

Every month, around this time, I post my early Oscar predictions.  These predictions are based on random guesses, early buzz, and gut instinct.  Originally, I referred to these as being my way too early Oscar predictions but, now that we’re in August, they are merely early.

Below you can find my latest set of predictions.  The main change for this month is that I’ve factored in the fact that, based on the trailer, it looks like The Theory of Everything will be a definite contender.

And feel free to check out my predictions for March, April, May, June, and July!

 

Best Picture

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Imitation Game

Interstellar

The Theory of Everything

Unbroken

Whiplash

Wild

 

Best Director

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

James Marsh for The Theory of Everything

Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

 

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton in Birdman

Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner

 

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Big Eyes

Jessica Chastain in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

Reese Whitherspoon in Wild

Shailene Woodley in The Fault In Our Stars

 

Best Supporting Actor

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

John Lithgow in Love is Strange

Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Tom Wilkinson in Selma

 

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore in Map To The Stars

Kristen Stewart in The Clouds of Sils Maria

Emma Stone in Birdman

theory-of-everything-felicity-redmayne

Lisa’s Early Oscar Predictions For July


Foxcatcher

Foxcatcher

It’s time for me to update my early Oscar predictions!  Every month, based on a combination of buzz, reviews, gut feelings, and random guesses, I attempt to predict which films, directors, and performers will receive nominations in 2015!  Originally, I referred to these as being my “way too early Oscar predictions.”  However, we are now halfway through the year and the picture is no longer quite as hazy as before.  Therefore, these are now simply my “early” predictions.

Click on the links to check out my predictions for March, April,  May, and June!

And below you’ll find my predictions for July.

As you may notice, my predictions have remained pretty stable over the past month.  The advance word on Big Eyes has been mixed but, unlike a lot of Oscar watchers, I was never expecting Big Eyes to be a major contender for any award other than best actress.  Meanwhile, Boyhood continues to be one of the most acclaimed films of the year, which makes me even more certain that Boyhood will be a contender in several categories.  Advanced word on Foxcatcher has also been so strong that I can now imagine both Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum scoring nominations for best supporting actor.

The big question right now is whether or not the acclaim that’s been given to summer films like Edge of Tomorrow and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes will also translate into major Oscar nominations or will those films simply have to be satisfied with getting all of the usual technical nominations.  Personally, I would love to see Andy Serkis get some love from the Academy but, sadly, I doubt it’s going to happen.

Best Picture

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Imitation Game

Interstellar

Mr. Turner

Unbroken

Wild

 

Best Director

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu for Birdman

Mike Leigh for Mr. Turner

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher

Jean-Marc Vallee for Wild

 

Best Actor

Steve Carell in Foxcatcher

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game

Ralph Fiennes in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Michael Keaton in Birdman

Timothy Spall in Mr. Turner

 

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Big Eyes

Jessica Chastain in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl

Reese Whitherspoon in Wild

Shailene Woodley in The Fault In Our Stars

 

Best Supporting Actor

Ethan Hawke in Boyhood

Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher

J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Channing Tatum in Foxcatcher

Tom Wilkinson in Selma

 

Best Supporting Actress

Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Julianne Moore in Map To The Stars

Kristen Scott Thomas in Suite francaise

Kristen Stewart in The Clouds of Sils Maria

Emma Stone in Birdman

Boyhood

Boyhood

Embracing the Melodrama #47: Cruel Intentions (dir by Roger Kumble)


For the past 10 days, I’ve been reviewing some of the most and least memorable melodramas ever filmed.  Starting with 1916’s Where Are My Children?, we’ve been moving chronologically through film history.  We’re now coming to the end of the 90s and what better way to end that decade than by taking a look at 1999’s Cruel Intentions?

Cruel Intentions takes place in the upscale world of a New York private school.  Rich and popular Kathryn Merteuil (Sarah Michelle Gellar) is also a manipulative hypocrite who destroys reputations on a whim and carries cocaine in her ever-present cross necklace.  Kathryn is upset because her boyfriend has recently dumped her and is now dating the sweet and innocent Cecile (Selma Blair).  Kathryn asks her decadent cousin Sebastian Valmont (Ryan Phillippe) to seduce Cecile.  However, Sebastian refuses, saying that the challenge would be too easy.  Instead, he plans to seduce Annette Hargrove (Reese Whitherspoon), who has recently written an acclaimed essay about the importance of chastity and who also happens to be the daughter of the school’s headmaster.  Kathryn is intrigued by Sebastian’s plan and makes a bet with him.  If Sebastian manages to take Annette’s virginity than Kathryn will have sex with him…

Now, if you’ve already read my previous review of Dangerous Liaisons, the plot of Cruel Intentions probably sounds a bit familiar.  That’s because both of these films are based on the same source material —  Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.  The main difference between the two films — beyond the fact that Dangerous Liaisons is set in pre-Revolutionary France and Cruel Intentions is set in 1990s New York — is that Dangerous Liaisons uses the material to comment on the excesses of the rich while Cruel Intentions is all about style.

And, to be honest, while Dangerous Liaisons is undoubtedly the better film, Cruel Intentions is a lot more fun.  I first saw Cruel Intentions shortly before I started my sophomore year of high school and I excitedly thought to myself, “So this is what high school is going to be like!”  Well, unfortunately, it turned out that I was wrong but oh well!  (Though, in all fairness to the film, I went to a public high school in the suburbs of Dallas as opposed to a rich private school in New York.)  The movie still a lot of fun, even if it didn’t quite match up with reality.  Everything from the costumes (I absolutely LOVED every single outfit that Sarah Michelle Gellar wore and, even before it was revealed to be full of cocaine, that cross necklace was to die for) to the ornate sets to the wonderfully melodramatic and self-aware performances — it all works towards creating a vivid and engrossing alternative universe.

So no, don’t take Cruel Intentions seriously.

Just enjoy the dance while it lasts.

cruel-intentions

Tomorrow, embracing the melodrama enters the 21st Century!