Lisa Predicts The 86th Annual Academy Awards


american-hustle-2

Well, it’s finally that time!  The Oscars are tomorrow night and, with so many close races this year, I can’t wait to see who actually wins.  Below, you’ll find my predictions for what will win.

Please note that these are not necessarily the films that I personally would pick to honor.  You can find that list here.  Instead, these are the films and performances that I think will win tomorrow.

A few notes: I’m predicting that Gravity will win the most awards but I still think that 12 Years A Slave will win best picture.  However, I also think that either American Hustle or Dallas Buyers Club could pull an upset win in this category.

For best actor, I am picking Matthew McConaughey but I do think that Bruce Dern could possibly win.  Dern’s been acting forever and the Academy might feel that this could be his last chance to win an Oscar.  Plus, he was really good in Nebraska.

For best actress, I’m predicting that Amy Adams will upset favorite Cate Blanchett.  As we saw with the SAG awards, American Hustle is popular with actors and the Academy might be hesitant about honoring a Woody Allen film this year.

Finally, for Best Makeup, I am predicting that Bad Grandpa will win.  Why?  Every year, there’s at least one totally fucked up win that nobody predicted.  And what win could be more fucked up than Bad Grandpa?  (Also, if Bad Grandpa wins, I’ll be able to say that I was the only person who predicted it.)

Best Picture — 12 Years A Slave

Best Director — Alfonso Cuaron for Gravity

Best Actor — Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Best Actress — Amy Adams in American Hustle

Best Supporting Actor — Jared Leto in Dallas Buyers Club

Best Supporting Actress — Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle

Best Original Screenplay — Her

Best Adapted Screenplay — 12 Years A Slave

Best Animated Film — Frozen

Best Foreign Language Film — The Great Beauty (Italy)

Best Documentary Feature — The Act of Killing

Best Documentary (Short Subject) — The Lady In Number 6: Music Saved My Life

Best Live Action Short Film — The Voorman Problem

Best Animated Short Film — Mr. Hublot

Best Original Score — Gravity

Best Original Song — “Ordinary Love” from Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom

Best Sound Editing — Gravity

Best Sound Mixing — Gravity

Best Production Design — The Great Gatsby

Best Cinematography — Gravity

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa

Best Costume Design — The Great Gatsby

Best Film Editing — 12 Years A Slave

Best Visual Effects — Gravity

LeonTh3Duke’s Favorite Films of 2013


I have to say, this might be the earliest I have ever posted one of these lists. For once I saw everything I wanted to see before the Oscars; and although I haven’t written as many reviews this year, I have loved A TON of what was released. For me, 2013 was one of the better years for film in a while. Which of course makes creating a list such as this so damn hard. But here goes…

…oh, and I should note, this list is ordered according to which films were my favorite/least favorite, not necessarily the best/worst; yes there is a difference if you ask me.

Least Favorite Films of 2013:

5 – “Star Trek Into Darkness” (dir. J.J. Abrams)

5 Star Trek Into Darkness

4 – “Don Jon” (dir. Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

4 Don Jon

3 – “This Is The End” (dir. Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen)

3 This Is The End

2 – “Mama” (dir. Andre Muschietti)

2 Mama

1 – “A Good Day To Die Hard” [Just so happens to be my least favorite AND the worst.] (dir. Satan… Hitler?…no wait, John Moore)

1 A Good Day To Die Hard

Favorite Films of 2013:

25 – “Prince Avalanche” (dir. David Gordon Green)

25 Prince Avalanche

24 – “Drug War” (dir. Johnnie To)

24 Drug War

23 – “The Wolverine” (dir. James Mangold)

23The Wolverine

22 – “Upstream Color” (dir. Shane Carruth)

22 Upstream Color

21 – “The Wolf Wall Street” (dir. Martin Scorsese)

21 The Wolf of Wall Street

20 – “Enough Said” (dir. Nicole Holofcener)

20 Enough Said

19 – “Frozen” (dir. Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee)

19 Frozen

18 – “The World’s End” (dir. Edgar Wright)

18 The Worlds End

17 – “Dallas Buyers Club” (dir. Jean-Marc Vallee)

17 Dallas Buyers Club

16 – “Blue Is The Warmest Color” (dir. Adbellatif Kechiche)

16 Blue Is The Warmest Color

15 – “An Adventure In Space and Time” (dir. Terry McDonough)

15 An Adventure in Space and Time

14 – “Stories We Tell” (dir. Sarah Polley)

14 Stories We Tell

13 – “Much Ado About Nothing” (dir. Joss Whedon)

13 Much Ado About Nothing

12 – “Blue Jasmine” (dir. Woody Allen)

12 Blue Jasmine

11 – “Mud” (dir. Jeff Nichols)

11 Mud

10 – “Frances Ha” (dir. Noah Baumbach)

10 Frances Ha

9 – “12 Years A Slave” (dir. Steve McQueen)

9 Twelve Years A Slave

8 – “Short Term 12” (dir. Destin Cretton)

8 Short Term 12

7 – “Inside Llewyn Davis” (dir. Ethan & Joel Coen)

7 Inside Llewyn Davis

6 – “Museum Hours” (dir. Jem Cohen)

6 Museum Hours

5 – “Stoker” (dir. Chan-wook Park)

5 Stoker

4 – “The Act of Killing” [The BEST of 2013 and possibly beyond.] (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer)

4 The Act of Killing

3 – “Before Midnight” (dir. Richard Linklater)

2 Before Midnight

2 – “Her” (dir. Spike Jonze)

1 Her

 

1 – “Gravity” (dir. Alfonso Cauron)

3 Gravity

 

These last three were honestly neck and neck and neck, and it wasn’t until I was ready to post this list that I bumped “Gravity” up to the top spot, replacing “Her”. As I mentioned above, this was such a great year for film and my favorite could change anytime in the future depending on when you asked me; but at this very moment I have to give it to “Gravity”.

 

(Some of My…) Favorite Performances of 2013 [No Specific Order]:

– Brie Larson (“Short Term 12”)

– Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”)

– Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club” & “Mud”)

– Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson & Amy Adams (“Her”)

(Some of My…) Favorite Filmmakers and Writers of 2013 [No Specific Order]:

– Filmmaker: Joshua Oppenheimer (“The Act of Killing”)

– Writers: Richard Linklater, Julie Deply & Ethan Hawke (“Before Midnight”)

Favorite Score of 2013 (Ran a Half Marathon To This Sucker):

– Steven Price (“Gravity”)

The New York Film Critics Online Honor 12 Years A Slave


12 Years A Slave didn’t just win Boston today.  It was also named best picture of the year by the New York Film Critics Online.

Personally, I’m hoping that next year, sites like AwardsDaily, AwardsWatch, Goldderby, and others will join together to form the Online Oscar Precursors Watchers Association and they’ll give out awards to the various critical groups.  For example, they could hand out awards for the Best Jump On The Bandwagon, Best Out-Of-Nowhere winner, or the Honorary Award For The Award That Was Most Obviously Determined By A Desire To Tick People Off.

But, until that happens, here’s are the New York Film Critics Online’s pick for the best of 2013:

BEST PICTURE
“12 Years a Slave”

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity”)

BEST ACTOR
Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”)

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years A Slave”)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Spike Jonze (“Her”)

BEST BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE
Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue Is the Warmest Color”)

BEST MUSIC
“Inside Llewyn Davis”

BEST DEBUT DIRECTOR
Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Emmanuel Lubezki (“Gravity”)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“The Act of Killing”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Blue Is the Warmest Color”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Wind Rises”

BEST ENSEMBLE
“American Hustle”

12 Years A Slave Wins In Boston


The Boston Society Of Film Critics voted earlier today and 12 Years A Slave — which, so far, has been underperforming with the critics’ groups — swept the awards.  The Wolf of Wall Street came in second for most of the major awards.

BEST PICTURE
“12 Years a Slave”
Runner-up: “The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST DIRECTOR
Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”)
Runner-up: Martin Scorsese (“The Wolf of Wall Street”)

BEST ACTOR
Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years a Slave”)
Runner-up: Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Wolf of Wall Street”)

BEST ACTRESS
Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”)
Runner-up: Judi Dench (“Philomena”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
James Gandolfini (“Enough Said”)
Runner-ups:
Barkhad Abdi (“Capt. Phillips”) and Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club”) tie for second.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
June Squibb (“Nebraska”)
Runner-up:
Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave”)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Nicole Holofcener (“Enough Said”)
Runner-up:
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
“Wadjda”
Runner-up: “Blue Is the Warmest Color”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“The Act of Killing,” Josh Oppenheimer
Runner-ups:
“Blackfish,” “Leviathan,” “At Berkeley,” “Crash Reel,” “20 Feet from Stardom ”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Wind Rises,” Hayao Miyazaki
Runner-up:
“Frozen”

BEST NEW FILMMAKER
Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”)
Runner-up: Josh Oppenheimer (“Act of Killing”)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Emmanuel Lubezki (“Gravity”)
Runner-up:
Phillippe Le Sourd (“The Grandmaster”)

BEST EDITING
Daniel P. Hanley, Mike Hill (“Rush”)
Runner-up: Thelma Schoonmaker (“The Wolf of Wall Street”)

BEST USE OF MUSIC IN A FILM
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
Runner-up: “Nebraska”

The Los Angeles Film Critics Honor James Franco!


Earlier today, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association announced the picks for the best of 2013.  There are a few things worth noting:

1) Her is coming on surprisingly strong.

2) James Franco won best supporting actor for Spring Breakers!  Well, technically, Franco tied with Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club.  But still, it’s good to see Franco’s audacious performance getting some recognition.

3) My favorite film of 2013 — Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color — came in second for best editing.

Here are the winners:

BEST PICTURE (tie)
“Gravity,” “Her”

BEST DIRECTOR
Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, “Her”

BEST ACTOR
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”

BEST ACTRESS (tie)
Cate Blanchett (“Blue Jasmine”); Adele Exarchopoulos (“Blue is the Warmest Color”)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (tie)
James Franco, “Spring Breakers”; Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Lupita Nyongo, “12 Years a Slave”
Runner-up: June Squibb, “Nebraska”

BEST SCREENPLAY
“Before Midnight,” Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater
Runner-up: “Her,” Spike Jonze

BEST EDITING
“Gravity,” Alfonso Cuaron & Mark Sanger
Runner-up: “Upstream Color,” Shane Carruth & David Lowery

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
“Gravity,” Emmanuel Lubezki
Runner-up: “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Bruno Delbonnel

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
“Her,” K.K. Barrett
Runner-up: “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Jess Gonchor

BEST MUSIC/SCORE
“Inside Llewyn Davis,” T Bone Burnett
Runner-up: “Her,” Arcade Fire & Owen Pallett

BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
“Blue is the Warmest Color”
Runner-up: “The Great Beauty”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“Ernest and Celestine”
Runner-up: “The Wind Rises”

BEST DOCUMENTARY/NONFICTION FILM
“Stories We Tell”
Runner-up: “The Act of Killing”

The National Board of Review Falls For Her


The National Board of Review announced their picks for the best films and performance of 2013 earlier today and the results are a bit … unexpected.

For best picture, they picked Spike Jonze’s Her, a film that has not exactly been seen as being an Oscar front-runner.  Meanwhile, the two presumptive frontrunners — 12 Years A Slave and Gravity — had to make due with just being mentioned in the NBR’s Top Ten list.  Also, it’s interesting to note that the NBR totally snubbed American Hustle which, just yesterday, was named best film of the year by the NYCC.

Despite the impression that one might get from a lot of breathless film bloggers (like me, to cite just one example), winning a critic’s prize does not automatically translate into Academy recognition.  It’ll be interesting to see if the acclaimed but reportedly offbeat Her manages to turn the NBR prize into Oscar momentum.

BEST PICTURE
“Her”

BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Jonze, “Her”

BEST ACTOR
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”

BEST ACTRESS
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Will Forte, “Nebraska”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia Spencer, “Fruitvale Station”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Terence Winter, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST ENSEMBLE
“Prisoners”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Wind Rises”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 
“The Past”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Stories We Tell”

SPOTLIGHT AWARD
Career collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCES
Adele Exarchopoulos, “#Blue is the Warmest Colo#r”
Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station”

DEBUT DIRECTOR
Ryan Coogler, “Fruitvale Station”

CREATIVE INNOVATION IN FILMMAKING 
“Gravity”

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
“Wadjda”

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“12 Years a Slave”
“Fruitvale Station”
“Gravity”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Lone Survivor”
“Nebraska”
“Prisoners”
“Saving Mr. Banks”
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Beyond the Hills”
“Gloria”
“The Grandmaster”
“A Hijacking”
“The Hunt”

BEST DOCUMENTARY NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“20 Feet from Stardom”
“The Act of Killing”
“After Tiller”
“Casting By”
“The Square”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILMS (alphabetical)
“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“In a World…”
“Mother of George”
“Much Ado About Nothing”
“Mud”
“The Place Beyond the Pines”
“Short Term 12”
“Sightseers”
“The Spectacular Now”

The 15 Semi-Finalists For Best Documentary Feature


The Academy has announced the 15 semi-finalists for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar.  5 nominees will be picked from this list and then the winner will be announced on March 2nd.

I’m rooting for Stories We Tell.  I’m also hoping that Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer will, at the very least, get a nomination.

“The Act of Killing,” Final Cut for Real
“The Armstrong Lie,” The Kennedy/Marshall Company
“Blackfish,” Our Turn Productions
“The Crash Reel,” KP Rides Again
“Cutie and the Boxer,” Ex Lion Tamer and Cine Mosaic
“Dirty Wars,” Civic Bakery
“First Cousin Once Removed,” Experiments in Time, Light & Motion
“God Loves Uganda,” Full Credit Productions
“Life According to Sam,” Fine Films
“Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,” Roast Beef Productions
“The Square,” Noujaim Films and Maktube Productions
“Stories We Tell,” National Film Board of Canada
“Tim’s Vermeer,” High Delft Pictures
“20 Feet from Stardom,” Gil Friesen Productions and Tremolo Productions
“Which Way Is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington,” Tripoli Street