Me and the Oscars

My thoughts on some of the winners of the Academy Awards.

Here’s to a much better show next year.

Best Films of 2015

Well this list took some time, I don’t agree with a lot of the nominations at this year’s Academy Awards, and I think it’s apparent in my list.

Anyways, without further ado:

Favorite Perfromances:
Actors:
Tom Courtenay (45 Years), Michael Fassbender (Macbeth, Slow West, Steve Jobs), and Félix de Givry (Eden).
Actresses:
Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Cate Blanchett (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Karidja Touré (Girlhood), Kitana Kiki Rodriguez (Tangerine), Mya Taylor (Tangerine), and Elisabeth Moss (Queen of Earth).

Favorite Supporting Performances:
Actors:
Oscar Isaac (Ex Machina), Benicio del Toro (Sicario), Evan Bird (Maps to the Stars), and Jacob Tremblay (Room).
Actresses:
Greta Gerwig (Mistress America), Kirsten Stewart (Clouds of Sils Maria), Rooney Mara (Carol), and Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina, The Man From UNCLE).


Favorite Films:

  • Anomalisa
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • Clouds of Sils Maria
  • The Duke of Burgundy
  • Eden
  • Ex Machina
  • Girlhood
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Inside Out
  • Junun
  • Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
  • The Lobster
  • The Look of Silence
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Magic Mike XXL
  • The Mend
  • Mistress America
  • Mustang
  • Phoenix
  • Queen of Earth
  • Slow West
  • Tangerine
  • The Tribe
  • 45 Years

Honorable Mentions:

  • Crimson Peak
  • It Follows
  • Macbeth
  • Maps to the Stars
  • A Pigeon Sat On a Branch Reflecting On Existence
  • Room
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Steve Jobs
  • World of Tomorrow

 

I still have a lot of films to watch, I might update my list after watching them. Maybe I’ll even reevaluate the list itself.

Best Films of 2014

2014 FILMS

2013 was a great year for film. We had ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’, ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’ and ‘Before Midnight’.

The same goes to 2014. It was the year Marvel started making better films. It was the year Wes Anderson created another masterpiece. It was the year where we had a beautiful film about Legos. And much more.
I tried really hard to list my top fifteen (even twenty) films of 2014, but there were too many great films to list.
You’ll find my favorite films in this list, in alphabetical order, alongside my favorite actors, director, score, and the honorable mentions.

Note: I made this last two weeks before the Oscars nominations. I’m glad Marion Cotillard has been nominated, but I’m also sad for Nightcrawler and The Lego Movie getting snubbed.


 

Breakthrough Performance: 

  • Jack O’Connell (Starred Up)

Favorite Actor:

  • Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler)

Favorite Actress:

  • Marian Cotillard (Two Days, One Night)

Favorite Supporting Actor:

  • J.K. Simmons (Whiplash)

Favorite Supporting Actress:

  • Rene Russo (Nightcrawler)

Favorite Director:

  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)

Favorite Score:

  • Mica Levi (Under the Skin)

Favorite Films:

  • Boyhood
  • Citizenfour
  • Force Majeure
  • Gone Girl
  • Inherent Vice
  • Listen Up Philip
  • Mommy
  • Nightcrawler
  • Nymphomaniac
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
  • Snowpiercer
  • Started Up
  • Stranger By the Lake
  • The Babadook
  • The Double
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • The Lego Movie
  • Two Days, One Night
  • Under the Skin
  • Whiplash

 

Honorable Mentions:

  • Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
  • Edge of Tomorrow
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Ida
  • The Immigrant
  • Interstellar
  • A Most Violent Year

Top Ten films of 2013

I already did post about my favorite movies of 2013, but in this post, I thought it would be great to list my top 10 movies. So, the movies are:

  • 12 Years A Slave
  • Before Midnight
  • Blue Is the Warmest Color
  • Blue Jasmine
  • Frances Ha
  • Her
  • Inside Llewyn Davis
  • It’s a Disaster
  • The Act of Killing
  • The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Films of 2013

movies

 2013 was a great year for movies. A year with many hilarious apocalyptic moments, beautiful love stories, dramatic struggle stories, and moving documentaries. It was hard for me to pick 10 favorite movies. Not to mention that I didn’t watch many of the movies of the year’s highest rated movies (mentioned at the end of the post), but I will update this list once I’ve seen all of them. So here’s the list.

My top movies in alphabetical order:

MV13

The Act of Killing: My favorite documentary of the year. The Act of Killing is about the lives of some of the many men responsible of the Indonesian killings of 1965. It documents Anwar Congo, and others, as they try to recreate scenes from the killings. The movie is terrifyingly scary at some scenes, and extremely emotional at some other. Anwar’s last scenes of redemption and regret were my favorites.

American Hustle: David O. Russell scores again with his latest work of art. American Hustle features the best ensemble cast of the year. Starring Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner and many other great actors. The movie tells the story of the Abscam scandal and how an FBI agent, with the help of two con artists, was able to take down a group of corrupt politicians. American Hustle is a hilarious movie that truly deserves all the buzz.

Before Midnight: The last entry in Richard Linklater’s magnificent ‘Before’ series. Starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, and I think that both them need to be (at least) nominated in the Oscars for their iconic roles as Céline and Jesse. In the final movie, set in Greece nine years after ‘Sunset’. The couple are now together happily with two daughter’s plus Jesse’s son from his previous marriage. The chemistry between the two is as strong as ever. Before Midnight is one of the best romances I’ve seen in a while.

Behind the Candelabra: One of my early favorites of the year. A made-for-TV movie created by HBO about the famous pianist Liberace and his secret affair with Scott Thorson, played by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, respectively. The movie is full of beautiful scenes that show the luxurious life of Liberace. Not to mention some scary scenes too, like the surgeries, and Rob Lowe’s emotionless face. The movie’s highlight is the wonderful performances by Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

Blue Is the Warmest Color: A beautiful French movie about a love story. The movie follows the life of Adèle, a high school student, who falls in love with Emma, an artist. Their relationship evolves and eventually, after a few years, they live together, but in the end, they break up, Adèle doesn’t give up at first, but she ultimately accepts her loss and moves on. The movie’s raw and tender storytelling is captivating. It’s one of the best coming-of-age movies I’ve seen in while. Actress Adèle Exarchopoulos was definitely the movie’s highlight.

Blue Jasmine: A wonderful movie by the one and only Woody Allen. Starring Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Bobby Cannavale, Alec Baldwin and Louis C.K.. Blue Jasmine is a great movie that shines with its talented cast. Cate Blanchett is the gem of the movie and she is the one I’m rooting for in the Oscars.

Frances Ha: A black-and-white comedy co-written by and starring the beautiful Greta Gerwig. Set in New York City. The movie tells the story of Frances (Gerwig), an ambitious twenty-something dancer struggling in her life. Between losing her best friend, having different jobs, failing relationships, and the constant changing of apartments among many other awkward situations. Greta Gerwig was recently nominated for a Golden Globe for her role.

Gravity: Thought provoking and visually stunning. A great achievement in visual editing and cinematography. Sandra Bullock is just amazing. Alfonso Cuarón deserves all the applause and acclaim. Gravity is not only a critics’ favorite, but it’s also loved by the audience as well. Will definitely grab some awards at the Oscars.

The Great Beauty (La Grande Bellezza): A masterpiece directed by Paolo Sorrentino and stars Toni Servillo . Th Great Beauty follows the the story of a famous writer as he takes us into the lives of the elite in Italy. Everything in this movie is beautiful, the cinematography, the music, the acting, the story and the costumes. The movie is my choice for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

Her: Set in the not so distant future, Her is about Theodore, a simple guy who just got divorced and is living his life in the same daily routine until one day, he buys a computer, and falls in love with the OS. Her is a simple, beautifully directed movie that surely deserves all the love.

It’s a Disaster: My favorite, and probably the most realistic, apocalyptic movie of the year. A comedy about a group of friends gathering for a brunch, which later turns out to be the last brunch they’ll ever have after learning that the US was hit by dirty bombs and they have a only few hours to live. An entertaining movie starring David Cross and Julia Stiles.

Nebraska: A black-and-white dramedy about an old man who receives a letter that says he won one million dollars and that he should come and get the money before he loses it. So he travels with his son (later joined by his wife and other son) to go and get the money. Nebraska is a simple, funny movie. Beautifully directed by Alexander Payne, and starring Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb and Bob Odenkirk. Bruce Dern’s performance is the highlight of this movie.

Short Term 12: A movie that is centered on the life of Grace (Brie Larson), a twenty-something who is a supervisor at a foster-care facility for troubled teenagers and how she deals with problems in her personal life and in her work. The movie is authentic and beautiful with great performances. Brie Larson shines brightly in the movie.

Side Effects: Surprising, thrilling and entertaining. Amazing performance by Rooney Mara. One of the most suspenseful movies of the year.

This Is the End: A great apocalyptic comedy. With a great ensemble cast including: James Franco, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, and many other talented actors, all who play themselves. When Apocalypse occurs, most of the population is taken to heaven, and a few unlucky people, including the cast, are left to die. The movie is Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s directorial début. It will keep you laughing for hours.

Wadjda: One of my favorite movies of the year. It tells the story of Wadjda, a young girl who wants to buy a bicycle, so she enters her school’s Quran recital competition to win the money and buy the bicycle. The movie’s story might sound simple, but it really isn’t. Wadjda is a great movie for many reasons. A great story, great acting, great production, but the greatest thing about this movie is not only that it was shot here in Saudi Arabia (a place where movie theaters are banned), but it was also the first movie to be directed in Saudi Arabia by a woman (Haifa Al-Mansour). A great triumph for the Saudi Arabian film industry.

The Wolf of Wall Street: Directed by the genius Martin Scorsese, starring the talented Leonardo DiCaprio. ‘Wolf’ tells the (true) story of Jordan Belfort, a stockbroker who defrauds his clients and lives a luxurious life with his beautiful wife. He wastes his money on drugs, cars, a yacht, and girls. The movie is uproariously hilarious. Not to mention Leonardo DiCaprio’s best performance to date. The Wolf of Wall Street is a must see.

12 Years a Slave: Undoubtedly one of the best movies of the year. The movie tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a free African-American who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The movie stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o and Sarah Paulson. The movie’s story and performances are powerful and moving. Chiwetel Ejiofor is the highlight of the movie and I’m sure we’ll see him among the Oscars nominees.


The Rest: Inside Llewyn Davis, The Bling Ring, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Monsters University, Spring Breakers

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I went to the theater last week, and I got to finally watch “The Dark Knight Rises”, and I have to say that the movie was amazing! I thought it was a great conclusion to the trilogy.

The story was great and intense, and the acting was solid, but I kind of predicted the ending ( because I read some of Batman comics ), but nevertheless, the movie was great.

And I have to be honest, when I saw the trailer of the movie I thought it will suck, but it proved me wrong, so never judge a thing before you try it.

I noticed a pattern in Christopher Nolan’s movies, he has a tendency of choosing the same group of actors in many of his films (Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy, etc.) which is not bad because these actors are great and they all deliver great performances.

this list is perfect

Cinema Enthusiast

We are two weeks into the Fall Movie Season; that lovely time of year when theaters are crowded with anticipated releases big and small. I have to admit that there are not a ton of films I’m dying to see these last several months of the year. My Top 30 is a strong group indeed, but this is the first year in a long time where I didn’t have about 45 films clamming for a spot on the Top 30. To put it simply, several of the bigger fall releases I’m feeling ambivalent towards. These include Flight, Promised Land, The Impossible, Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Hyde Park on Hudson and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. I’m really looking forward to On the Road, Therese Raquin, Skyfall, Frankenweenie, Detropia, This is 40 and The Sessions but not enough to earn them a spot on the list.

If all of…

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