Oscars Predictions 2017

I’ll keep things short and sweet because I’m a bit tight on time. Here’s my predictions for this year’s Oscars ceremony which will be taking place later on. Of course, you already knew that, so why am I telling you that information like it is news to everyone but me?
Best Supporting Actor:

Want to win: Jeff Bridges as Marcus Hamilton – Personally I think this is the only category Hell Or High Water stands any chance in, and while I think others should have been nominated before him for the film, it’s good that it has at least received some recognition .
Who will win: Mahershala Ali as Juan – He had a relatively small amount of screen time in Moonlight, but didn’t he make the best of it? I think a couple of scenes in particular will have done him a lot of favours, and rightly so – he was very, very good.

Best Supporting Actress:

Want to win: Viola Davis as Rose Maxson – If she does not win the award for Best Supporting Actress, is there even any point to the Oscars anymore? For my full rundown of her performance, see my review of Fences, but just for now, I’ll say that it was a very raw, moving performance that was so good it didn’t even feel like I was watching an actress play a character.
Who will win: Viola Davis – See above.

Best Director:

Want to win: Denis Villeneuve, Arrival – I have thoroughly enjoyed three of Villeneuve’s most recent films, and was gutted last year when Sicario failed to receive any big nominations. This year with Arrival, it could be his year, but sadly I think something else will see that it yet again does not happen.
Who will win: Damien Chazelle, La La Land – I’m not going to say he didn’t do a good job, because he did. It must have been a mammoth task directing some of those huge chorus scenes throughout the film. I just think it’s too predictable that La La Land will win in near enough every category it has had a nomination.

Best Actress:

Want to win: Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy – To say Portman absolutely nailed this role would be an understatement, that is how brilliant she was. She made Jackie an intriguing watch, and I very much doubt that this would have been the case without her. It’s almost impossible for me to imagine anyone else in the role, which has got to be a sign, surely?
Who will win: Emma Stone as Mia Dolan – She has won every other award she has been up for for her role in La La Land, so why should we assume the Oscars will be any different? Again, I’ll say that she didn’t do a bad job, but I just think she wasn’t as good here as she has been in other films that she received no awards for whatsoever.

Best Actor:

Want to win: Casey Affleck as Lee Chandler – I loved Manchester By The Sea and I think this was largely due to the performances in it. Affleck was wonderful to watch, and he had a very good uncle-nephew dynamic going on with co-star Lucas Hedges. He is a very underrated actor, but I think an Oscar win would change that for the better.
Who will win: Casey Affleck – See above.

Best Picture:

Want to win: Manchester By The Sea – It was a brilliant film to watch and I loved the honesty with which it portrayed how some of life’s worst situations play out with some very funny moments taking place. 
Who will win: La La Land – Hollywood loves Hollywood, so a film about Hollywood up for a Best Picture award at Hollywood’s biggest night of the year is bound to win. It wasn’t a bad film, but it sure as hell wasn’t this good either.
So there’s my predictions laid out in black and white all for you. Take them with a pinch of salt, and don’t go betting your house and life savings on any of these being right – I am notoriously bad at things like this. 

Tuesday Top Ten – Actors & Actresses Still To Win An Oscar

My final Oscars-themed list is taking a look at those actors and actresses who have not yet won an Oscar, despite them having work that could very well be deemed Oscar-worthy. I mentioned on Twitter that I was surprised to discover some of these people had not won an Academy Award – there are certainly some shocks to come!
10. Johnny Depp


The man is a chameleon, and he has played some iconic characters over the years. There is no doubt over his capabilities as an actor, so he doesn’t need an Oscar to his name to remind us of how great he can be. A good job too, as despite three nominations for the prestigious awards over the years, he is yet to win anything.

9. Amy Adams


I’ll keep it brief, but Amy Adams has only gotten better as she has progressed throughout her career. The fact that she has not yet won an Oscar is beyond me, and what baffles me more is the fact that she wasn’t even nominated for her role in Arrival. The process undertaken by the people in charge of the Oscars baffles me sometimes, this being a prime example of that.

8. Matt Damon


Of all the people on this list, Matt Damon was the biggest surprise to me. Technically he has won an Oscar, but I’m talking about acting gongs here so his writing award doesn’t count. Out of his three nominations, I wish he would have won for his role as François Pienaar in Invictus – I really enjoyed that film and thought he did a terrific job as the South African rugby captain.

7. Mark Ruffalo


Another person I was a tad bitter about recently was Mark Ruffalo when he didn’t win for his role as Mike Rezendes in Spotlight. He may have been part of an ensemble in that film, but he is the person who stands out in my mind as being truly fantastic in what was a very affecting piece of cinema.

6.Samuel L. Jackson


Samuel L. Jackson is a name everybody knows. Something we’re not all that familiar with, however, is the fact that he is yet to win an Oscar. In fact, the only nomination he has ever received was for his role as Jules Winnifield in Pulp Fiction. He may be an internationally recognised actor, but not one whose work has been honoured by the Academy just yet.

5. Edward Norton


I mentioned last week that Edward Norton is someone who should’ve won an Oscar for his role in American History X. Little did I know that to this day, he is still only a nominee and not a winner of any Oscars. He is a very talented actor, and one who seems to be extremely underrated when it comes to these famous awards.

4. Jessica Chastain


She is one of my favourite actresses as she has brought to the screen a number of brilliant characters, but Jessica Chastain hasn’t won an Oscar yet either. Of the two roles she has been nominated for, I think she definitely deserved to win for her portrayal of Maya in Zero Dark Thirty, but she was equally as wonderful as Celia Foote, a very different character, in The Help too.

3. Sigourney Weaver


Sigourney Weaver was another shock for me here, because she hasn’t won an Oscar, nor has she really received that many nominations either. I was very surprised to discover that she has only ever been a nominee three times throughout her career. I’ve only seen her in one of her Oscar-nominated roles, but am in no doubt about what a significant figure she is, so this did nothing to lessen the blow.

2. Harrison Ford


He is the highest-grossing actor of all-time, and he has taken on some iconic roles in a career that only started properly in his thirties, but Harrison Ford is another well known actor that makes this list. And, much like Sigourney Weaver, he has had far less nominations than you may initially think. One nomination. That is all this man has had. Major bloody surprise if you ask me.

1. Brad Pitt


Finally we move onto Brad Pitt. Over the years he has been in some cracking films, and for his performances, he has received three nominations for. Of course, he’s never actually won for his acting. I think he was very good as Jeffrey Goines in Twelve Monkeys, and he perhaps should have won for that role.

That marks the end of this list, but also the end of this little series that took a look back at the Oscars over the years. There have been plenty of great performances and good films discussed during the course of these lists, and I’ve also been able to have bit of a moan about a few injustices that have also occurred at the different ceremonies that have taken place.

Tuesday Top Ten – My All-Time Favourite Oscar Winning Performances

Another week has passed and we are one week closer to finding out the 2017 Oscars. To maintain this bit of Oscar buzz that I have going on here, this week i am taking a look back at some of my all-time favourite Oscar-winning performances. This list is a countdown, and doesn’t feature any performances from the 00’s as they were covered last week.

10. Nicolas Cage (Ben Sanderson, Leaving Las Vegas)


Perhaps Nicolas Cage’s best performance to date (and with what he has produced of late, maybe the best we’ll ever see of him) is his portrayal of Ben Sanderson, an ex-screenwriter who has lost everything and finds solace only at the bottom of the bottle. The film follows Ben as he slowly drinks himself to death. By no means is this an easy watch, but Cage makes it so that you cannot bring yourself to turn it off and escape what is a truly Oscar-worthy performance that takes a very long time to leave you once it’s finished.

9. Joe Pesci (Tommy DeVito, Goodfellas)


Arguably the greatest thing about this film is Joe Pesci’s critically-acclaimed performance as gangster Tommy DeVito. I will never forget watching the film for the first time during the school holidays a couple of summers ago. When it came to the infamous ‘Do you think I’m funny’ scene, I had the windows wide open and Pesci’s character was going hell for leather for the whole street to hear. Not only is it a tremendous performance, but it has fond memories for me of the time the postman got an insight into how I spend my days home alone.

8. Jodie Foster (Clarice Starling, The Silence Of The Lambs)


To have picked Anthony Hopkins here would have been predictable, so I’m actually going to sing the praises of Jodie Foster’s performance instead. She was wonderful as Clarice, the young FBI go-getter who gets assigned a really tough case. She was a joy to watch here, and was every bit the ideal match for Hopkins’ Hannibal – no mean feat, you could say.

7. Christoph Waltz (Dr. King Schultz, Django Unchained)


I stated that I wished I could have included this performance on my last list, but as Django Unchained came out in 2012, it was too little, too late. However, now that we’re onto all-time favourites, there’s nothing to stop me talking about Christoph Waltz’s turn as Dr. King Schultz – the bounty hunter with extreme class in Tarantino’s superb western. Every time I see Waltz’s name, I immediately pay attention because, as someone who wants to be an actress, there is always something to be learnt from him. Here I learnt that it wasn’t a fluke that he won his award for Inglorious Basterds. He is simply masterful.

6. Robert De Niro (Vito Corleone, The Godfather Part II)


I have so much admiration for Robert De Niro in this role because he took on someone who had been made famous by Marlon Brando in a previous film and then had to learn roughly half his dialogue in another language. You can’t say he didn’t earn his Oscar here. However, De Niro also managed to further remind audiences of the main theme from The Godfather – family. There are many tender moments we share with him during the film that make this and the whole trilogy so special.

5. Robin Williams (Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting)


One of the best things about this film, and there are many to choose from, is Robin Williams’ life-affirming performance as therapist Dr. Sean Maguire. Williams was so good that you just wanted to spill your guts to him after watching the film. It was a serious role, no doubt about it, but he managed to give it his own special touch that made it feel so personal.  

4. Octavia Spencer (Minny Jackson, The Help)


If you were to ask me how I would describe this performance, the word I would use would be iconic. I watched part of the film before reading the book, and when I finally read the book, all I could hear as I was working my way through the chapters was Octavia Spencer’s voice as she took on Minny echoing in my head. She was fierce as the sassy little maid, and brought a lot of humour to a film that actually covered something very serious indeed, without causing you to forget what the main point of the film was in the first place. The only shameful thing about it is that she was the only cast member to win the award she was nominated for.

3. Jared Leto (Rayon, Dallas Buyers Club)


Jared Leto has been acting for a long time, and has starred in some very heavy-going films (need I mention Requiem For A Dream?). It is with his turn as Rayon in Dallas Buyers Club however that he proved to the world what a serious and capable actor he truly is. It is a very moving performance that he provide us with here, and after undergoing such an immense physical transformation as well, he is well deserving of his win.

2 Al Pacino (Frank Slade, Scent Of A Woman)


It would have been so wrong of me not to include good old Al on this list now that I finally had the opportunity. Personally, I would have thought that he would have won more that his single Oscar for his role as Frank Slade, especially after Serpico. Alas, this remains his only win, but it is an award he won for what is perhaps my favourite role of his outside the obvious Michael Corleone. Pacino did a marvellous job playing the blind ex-army serviceman, and that speech at the end must surely have been what swung it for the board that year.

1. Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Forrest Gump)


Forrest Gump is a film that runs for nearly two and a half hours, and that is roughly the time I spent smiling when I watched it for the first time years ago. This was solely because of Tom Hanks’ wonderful performance as the big-hearted man who had led a life to look back on and marvel at. After seeing much of his other work, I still say that this is my favourite performance by Hanks, and one that was very worthy of the Oscar it won. 

That wraps up my all-time favourite Oscar-winning performances. Maybe there have been a couple of surprises for you there, but I know for sure that those of you familiar with this site by now will know there were names mentioned there that were certain to make an appearance. Who would you include amongst your favourites? Let me know – we might just get ourselves a little discussion going!

My review of Arrival has landed


When aliens land across the globe, a linguistics experts is called in to try and decipher the messages sent by the visitors to figure out if they come in peace.
Aliens have landed in twelve different locations on Earth, and linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) is asked to join the U.S. army team keeping the situation under control in the States. She is given the task of trying to figure out what it is the aliens want from humanity, but the language they use to communicate is like nothing that has ever been seen before on Earth. As her quest to establish a dialogue with these creatures unfolds, the other countries acting as host to the visitors start to see them as an increasing threat, meaning that it is a race against time to find out if the aliens are friend or foe before total war breaks out.

Considering I’m not a huge sci-fi fan, I’ve seen a decent number of those types of films lately. Arrival is the latest creation from Denis Villeneuve, and I think it’s fair to say that after watching four of his films and enjoying all of those films, I now consider myself to be quite a fan of his work. What I really liked about this film was the fact that what initially seems to be the focus of the film isn’t actually the main event. It just felt a bit different to what I’d imagine so many other alien invasion films to be like.

Amy Adams is terrific here, and the fact that she hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar is a travesty in my honest opinion. She is someone who I think has crept up through the ranks in Hollywood over a number of ranks to be where she is today, and the wait has been well worth it. It was so good to see her as Louise in what was the pivotal role in this film – without her, the world would’ve been destroyed. She was the perfect heroine and I loved every second she was on-screen.

Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker both co-starred alongside Adams here. They both played slightly different characters here, one was in full support of what Louise was trying to do and the other one wasn’t so much. They did good jobs as their characters, but I think the main purpose of them both was to highlight all the brilliance that came with Adams’ character and her performance here.

I said at the start that what I liked so much about this film was the fact that for a long time I thought it was just about an alien invasion, but was actually about something else entirely all along. I thought this was a nice little twist as it meant that the aliens weren’t so much the main event of the film, but were more of a tool to get the end product. I also loved the idea that the sole focus of the film wasn’t dead science-y. The way this whole language puzzle came about was really interesting for me to watch, and while some of the linguistics stuff went over my head as much as the science would have done, it was quite nice to delve into the details of something like language for once.

Overall, Arrival was one of those films that was a pleasant surprise for me to watch, and has certainly encouraged me to see a few more in this sub-genre of sci-fi. The characters and the themes made it feel really accessible for me as it wasn’t 100% science, and director Denis Villeneuve has well and truly cemented himself among my favourite filmmakers now. I would even go as far as saying that I could be persuaded to see the new Blade Runner film when it comes out given he is directing. Not a bad review from someone who isn’t the biggest fan of science-fiction, wouldn’t you say?

My Sunshine Blogger Award nomination

Earlier this week, as I informed you all yesterday, I was lucky enough to be nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Becky over at FilmMusicCentral. Now, as a result of being nominated, I must myself nominate a further 11 bloggers for the same award. The rules are as follows –

  • Post the award on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions they set you
  • Pick another 11 bloggers (and let them know they are nominated!)
  • Set them 11 questions

My 11 questions to answer –

Star Trek or Star Wars?

I have a confession to make – I haven’t seen a single film in either franchise so can’t say I have an opinion on the matter. Sorry!

What upcoming movie are you most excited to see?

Until a few days ago, it has been Suicide Squad, but since the reviews have been coming in, I’m starting to think it could be a waste of money, but I shall be seeing it all the same. Beyond that, I’d probably go with War Dogs or The Maginificent Seven.

Favourite film soundtrack?

Can’t say I have a definitive favourite, but I love OST for The Blues Brothers and I think some of the music in Reservoir Dogs is brilliant!

How do you feel about movie reboots? Do you like them or should they go away?

It very much depends on whether I’ve seen the originals – generally the first version you see of a film is the one you prefer, or at least that’s what I find personally. This is a matter that I’m certainly on the fence about.

Favourite Disney movie?

MONSTERS INC.! 100%, no doubt about it 🙂

How long have you been blogging?

Since March 2015, so just under a year and a half.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?

Ireland – it’s not too far, but it’s where my roots are.

Who is going to win the Game Of Thrones?

I don’t know as I haven’t watched the series and I’m only half way through the first book.

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

I’m not really sure, I quite like the sound of flying though…

Coffee or tea?

Coffee. Enough said.

If the Justice League met the Avengers in an all-out fight, who would come out on top? (Making reference only to the film versions)

They have Thor *wink* so I’m going to say the Avengers 😉

My 11 nominees are –

  • MovieRob
  • Drew’s Movie Reviews
  • Clintington
  • RileyOnFilm
  • MovieReviews101
  • Niche Film Reviews
  • The Critical Eye
  • The Good, The Bad, Then There’s What I Think
  • ContentForYouBlog
  • MotionPictureBLog
  • Film Nerds Unite

And my 11 questions to you are –

  • What is your favourite film?
  • What is your least favourite film?
  • Who is your favourite movie villain?
  • Who is your favourite movie hero?
  • What do you think should be the number one all-time greatest film (NOT your favourite)
  • What is your favourite TV show?
  • What is your least favourite TV show?
  • Who is your favourite TV villain?
  • Who is your favourite TV hero?
  • What is your favourite TV title sequence?
  • Film or TV?