Category: Movies

Oscars 2014

Posted by on 02 Mar 2014 at 20:59 in Movies

It’s Oscar night… Oscar, Oscar!!! Yes, I have to admit it: I love watching the Academy Awards. And this year we have many good contenders, which always makes it better. I am no film expert but a movie lover (and former Film Studies student) and will make my predictions here.

12 Years a Slave

Best Actress & Best Actor

Best Actress seems to be a done deal. Cate Blanchett has won almost every single award out there for her outstanding performance in Blue Jasmin. She is my favorite and I remember watching the movie and thinking she would actually win it. Amy Adams was very good in American Hustle (one of the only good things in the movie, actually) and Meryl should have here own category at the Oscars.

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmin Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club

Matthew McCounaghey also seems like a sure bet and he really did deliver a great performance. He’s been on a very successful path, chosing the right roles and letting go of his rom-com facade. I would still very much like to see Chiwetel Ejiofor win for his work in 12 Years a Slave, but do think McCounaghey deserves the golden statue. Leonardo DiCaprio should also win an Oscar; I just don’t think this would be the right role to win. He’s a brilliant actor and his time will come. Christian Bale was very good in American Hustle, as he always is.

supporting actress & supporting actor

Lupita! Lupita! I may be biased here but I think Lupita Nyong’o was superb in 12 Years a Slave and I would hate to see Jennifer Lawrence take a second, undeserving, Oscar home. Sally Hawking was pretty good in Blue Jasmine but I don’t think she stands a chance.

Lupita Nyong'o in 12 Years a Slave

Another sure win in Jared Leto for his role as a transgender woman with AIDS. I must say I wasn’t that impressed, but I did have very high expectations… I’ve always liked him, especially in Requiem for a Dream. I would like to see Michael Fassbender win but he plays such a vile character in 12 Years a Slave that I don’t believe he’ll go home with an Oscar.

best movie, director and screenplay

It is said that usually a movie wins as Best Film and Director, but this year this will probably not be the case. Alfonso Cuarón will probably go home as Best Director and take home most of the technical prizes with him. I would love to see Steven McQueen win but I think his movie, 12 Years a Slave will be named Best Movie 2014. American Hustle might take home Original Screenplay just so they won’t go home empty-handed, while I’m betting on Her. Adapted Screenplay will probably go to 12 Years a Slave.

Nominees and my predictions (in bold)

Best Motion Picture of the Year

American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club
Gravity
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale for American Hustle
Bruce Dern for Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams for American Hustle
Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock for Gravity
Judi Dench for Philomena
Meryl Streep for August: Osage County

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi for Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper for American Hustle
Jonah Hill for The Wolf of Wall Street
Michael Fassbender for 12 Years a Slave
Jared Leto for Dallas Buyers Club

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine
Julia Roberts for August: Osage County
Lupita Nyong’o for 12 Years a Slave
Jennifer Lawrence for American Hustle
June Squibb for Nebraska

Best Achievement in Directing

Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity
Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell for American Hustle
Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street
Alexander Payne for Nebraska

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

American Hustle
Blue Jasmine
Her
Nebraska
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Before Midnight
Captain Phillips
12 Years a Slave
The Wolf of Wall Street
Philomena

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest et Célestine
Frozen
Kaze tachinu

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
L’image manquante (Cambodia)
Jagten (Denmark)
La grande bellezza (Italy)
Omar (Palestine)

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Gravity
Inside Llewyn Davis
Nebraska
Prisoners
Yi dai zong shi

Best Achievement in Editing

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Gravity
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Achievement in Production Design

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Gravity
The Great Gatsby
Her

Best Achievement in Costume Design

American Hustle
The Great Gatsby
12 Years a Slave
Yi dai zong shi
The Invisible Woman

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Dallas Buyers Club
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

The Book Thief
Gravity
Her
Saving Mr. Banks
Philomena

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Despicable Me 2: “Happy”
Frozen: “Let It Go”
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom: “Ordinary Love”
Her: “The Moon Song”

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Lone Survivor

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Gravity
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man Three
The Lone Ranger
Star Trek Into Darkness

Best Documentary, Feature

The Act of Killing
Cutie and the Boxer
Dirty Wars
Al midan
Twenty Feet from Stardom

Best Documentary, Short Subject

Cavedigger
Facing Fear
Karama Has No Walls
The Lady In Number 6
Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall

Best Short Film, Animated

Feral
Get a Horse!
Mr Hublot
Tsukumo
Room on the Broom

Best Short Film, Live Action

Aquel no era yo
Avant que de tout perdre
Helium
Pitääkö mun kaikki hoitaa?
The Voorman Problem

And the oscar goes to…

I’d like to see 12 Years a Slave win everything. I really don’t want American Hustle to win anything and I certainly don’t want JLAW to win as supporting actress. Have fun watching tonight!

Review: American Splendor

Posted by on 04 Feb 2014 at 22:24 in Movies

American Splendor

American Splendor by Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini

If you think Americans don’t know how to make good movies then you probably don’t know their their independent films. American Splendor,  title of the movie and also of Pekar’s original comics, is an excellent example of creativity. It is a mix of documentary and fiction, even adding a little comic book aesthetics. The film tells a little about Harvey Pekar’s story, a typical American looser who decides to turn his routine into a comic book. The actors are perfect in their roles, especially because we also get to see the real Pekar and the other characters on screen. The movie is just as sarcastic and ironic as Pekar’s. Highly recommend it.

Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

Posted by on 25 Jan 2014 at 23:24 in Movies

Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street

I must admit I don’t like Martin Scorsese and I didn’t really want to see this movie but it was too cold to continue shopping outside until Dallas Buyers Clubwas on. My sister and my mom insisted it was a good movie, so I bought myself a ticket.

Surprisingly, I quite enjoyed The Wolf of Wall Street but I must also say it is a guilty pleasure. The movie is technically perfect: the actors are great, editing is fantastic, music, cinematography, etc etc but… this is a movie about one of the worst kind of people in this world.

Ambition at its worst, greed to extremes and disgusting life styles. And disturbingly it is based on a true story. Fascinating to watch even though it is a very long movie and the main character isn’t even likeable.

Wolf of Wall Street poster

Awards Season

It has been nominated for 5 Academy Awards: Actor (Leonardo DiCaprio), Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill), Director, Movie and Adapted Screenplay. Leonardo DiCaprio won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy. I must add that Matthew McConaughey is amazing in his short appearance.

Caution

If you don’t like nudity, sex scenes, drugs or hearing the word fuck: avoid this movie!

30 Day Movie Challenge

Posted by on 01 May 2011 at 19:42 in Lists, Movies

I started this 30 Day Movie Challenge on May 31st on Facebook, but decided to share it here too.

Day 1: Favorite film
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Day 2: Least favorite film
Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The list is long… but I think this one beats all others.

Day 3: Favorite comedy
Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain
Not sure if this qualifies as a comedy…

Day 4: Favorite drama
The Hours

Day 5: Favorite action
The Matrix

Day 6: Favorite horror
Interview with the Vampire
I don’t like horror films so this one is difficult and I don’t even know if this qualifies as horror, but I like vampires so…

Day 7: Favorite animated feature
Waking Life

Day 8: Favorite thriller
Black Swan

Day 9: Favorite musical
Hedwig & the Angry Inch
Not just favorite musical, but one of my all time favorite.

Day 10: Favorite foreign film
Run Lola, Run
So, no Dutch or Brazilian movies for me, so let’s go with a German one… but it could easily have been Swedish, Spanish or Chinese.

Day 11: Favorite kid’s movie
The Neverending Story
I’ve probably seen this over 50 times…

Day 12: Favorite love story
Before Sunset (and Before Sunrise)
It’s a tie between with Joel & Clementine, but since I already chose that one as my favorite movie, here are Jesse & Celine.

Day 13: Favorite chick flick
P.S. I Love You

Day 14: Favorite documentary
Capturing the Friedmans

Day 15: Favorite play adaptation
Closer
♥ Clive Owen ♥ Natalie Portman ♥ ♥ ♥ this movie

Day 16: Favorite book adaptation
The Lord of the Rings – Return of the King
I know the die hard fans didn’t like it and a lot was left out, but I simply love the trilogy and especially the last part. I cry every single time. It’s pure magic.

Day 17: Least favorite book adaptation
Memoirs of a Geisha
Awful movie.

Day 18: Film that is your guilty pleasure
Empire Records

Day 19: Film that made you cry the hardest
Hilary & Jackie

Day 20: Movie with your favorite actress
Finding Neverland
the one and only, Kate Winslet.

Day 21: Movie with your favorite actor
Brokeback Mountain
Jake ♥

Day 22: Movie you wish you could live in
Lost in Translation

Day 23: Movie that inspires you
Les Invasions Barberes
This trailer sucks but this movie is incredibly beautiful.

Day 24: Movie with your favorite soundtrack
Vanilla Sky

Day 25: Movie with the most beautiful scenery
Hero

Day 26: Movie you’re most embarrassed to say you like
Titanic
Love it. Seen it many, many times. Cried every single time. A ♥ redhead Kate.

Day 27: Movie with your favorite villain
City of God
Meu nome é Zé Pequeno, porra!!

Day 28: Movie with your favorite hero
Kill Bill
The bride.

Day 29: First movie you ever remember watching
The Wizard of Oz

Day 30: Last movie you watched
Sucker Punch

2009 Best Movies

Posted by on 31 Dec 2009 at 02:46 in Lists, Movies

Florence + the Machine – Cosmic Love

My talent for writing movie reviews has been long gone, but everytime I see Kinho’s lists I get excited. I’m not in the mood of listing the best of everything, so I’m going to start with the best movies of 2009, in my humble opinion.These are films I saw at the movies in 2009. I actually managed to go to the movies 32 times. I should have gone more since I have a Pathépas; I pay 20 euros a month and can go as many times as I want to any Pathé cinema. A ticket usually costs 10 euros, so I think I have a good deal.

Best of 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

I didn’t want to see it, I was tired of the hype. In the first minute of the movie I joined the hype. The colors, editing, cinematography… everything is impecable. It’s the indian version of City of God, but with a happy ending. And there is even Bollywood style dancing.

Milk
One word: excellent. Sean Penn deserved his Oscar and gave a kick-ass speech.

The Wrestler
Darren Aronofsky did it again. The visual style is the opposite of Requiem Para Um Sonho. The Wrestler was, for me, everything Benjamin Button was not: a portrayal of aging. And the acting… amazing.

Revolutionary Road
Just having Kate Winslet in the cast is enough for me. And this is one of the best performances of her career, the same goes for DiCaprio. I like how director Sam Mendes portrays the drama of middle class.

500 Days of Summer
It’s like the tagline says: “It’s not a love story, it’s a story about love”. Sweet as hell.

Inglourious Bastards
Nazis getting their ass kicked! Tarantino directed it, what else? Oh, and there’s cutie Mélanie Laurent and the excellent Christoph Waltz.

Capitalism: A Love Story
I love Michael Moore’s movies. There are many haters, but I like his films. He deals with serious issues in a hilarious way. And you really have to laugh at some of the absurd things shown in this movie, because the only other option is crying.

Antichrist
This is not a movie for the faint-hearted, many people left the cinema. The movie is tough, weird, visually beautiful and has 2 amazing actors.

Nice Surprises

Coraline
Beautiful, colorful and with a great soundtrack.

The Hangover
I usually hate this type of comedy but this movie is really funny, I couldn’t stop laughing.

Watchmen
Awesome editing, great sountrack and  critique to modern society.

Whatever Works
Woody Allen all the way. Just the way I like it.

Worst of 2009

Wolverine
The only good thing about it is Hugh Jackman.

New Moon
Vampires that shine in sunlight? WTF?

Expectations 2010

NineWhere The Wild Things Are
The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
Alice in Wonderland
Men Who Stare At Goats
I Love You  Phillip Morris
The Lovely Bones

Review: Stardust

Posted by on 14 Oct 2007 at 22:16 in Movies

♫ Celtic Frost – Drown in Ashes

Stardust is Matthew Vaughn’s new movie, based on Neil Gaiman’s book. The movie is beautiful! It’s a fantasy movie, almost like a fairy tale. The movie doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not, a “no BS” movie. You know who the bad guys, you know who the good guys are; but it doesn’t matter. What matters is how the story is told. The whole cast does a good good, but Robert De Niro steals the spotlight. And new comer Charlie Cox is very charming.

Lord of the Rings

Posted by on 04 Mar 2004 at 04:37 in Movies

Aragorn's Coronation by Anke Eissmann

A conversation I heard the other day in line at the bank: “… cinematography, editing, direction… that we could never win but we should have won best adapted screenplay. After all, City of God is the true story, it all happened in real life, not that shit Lord of the Rings, which is all lies”.

Adapted screenplay is not a matter of being based on a true or not, but the quality of the adaptation. And I think Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King deserved all the awards it won.

Boromir's Funeral by Anke Eissmann

I finished reading the book, more of less a month ago. The book is fantastic and much richer than the movie (as almost all adaptations made ​​for cinema). It contains more characters and complexities. It’s exciting, thrilling and sad. It’s another world and once you dive into this world you won’t want to return.

Éowyn and Faramir by Anke Eissmann

Peter Jackson did a great job and should be congratulated. Of course there are things missing in the films… one example is the story between Éowyn and Faramir (which is one of the best characters in the book. Anyway… as I do not want to say goodbye so early to Tolkien’s universe I am now reading the Silmarillion.

all illustrations by Anke Eissmann

 

Oscar 2004

Posted by on 29 Feb 2004 at 23:32 in Movies

the march of the king

The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

Tonight is Oscar night and I’ll be watching. I know it’s bullshit, that there’s a lot of politics… but I like it. I’m rooting for Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Not only did I love the movie, it is a way to honor the entire trilogy. The category editing is the only one where I have another favorite: City of God.

Keisha Castle-Hughes in The Whale Rider Charlize Theron in Monster

best actress

Is hard to talk about many categories, most of the nominated films have not been released yet here in Brazil such as Monster, for which Charlize Theron is nominated as best actress (and according to many will take home the prize). She has won several awards for this role, including the Golden Globe and a Silver Berlin Bear. Keisha Castle-Hughes is the youngest actress to be nominated in the history of the Academy Awards. She ‘s cute and her performance moved me but I don’t know if she has chances of winning. Samantha Morton is good actress but did not impress me much in In America. Naomi Watts is always very good and has strong chances of winning.

Sean Penn in Mystic River Bill Murray in Lost in Translation

best actor

For best actor my bet is Sean Penn, who was nominated for his role in Mystic River, but also shined in 21 grams. Bill Murray is also in the running for his performance in Lost In Translation. Jude Law is just a pretty face in Cold Mountain. Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance of seeing Johnny Depp and Ben Kingsley’s performances.

Renee Zellweger in Cold Mountain Ken Watanabe in The Last Samurai

supporting actor & actress

Cold Mountain is a boring movie. It’s not but to square, very pretty… Nicole Kidman’s face as defenseless maiden was a bit too much. The best of the movie is, undoubtedly, Renée Zellweger (who’s favorite to win best supporting actress). My favorite is Patricia Clarkson in Pieces of April. Marcia Gay Harden for Mystic River: blergh! Actually, favorite in the race for best supporting actor, Tim Robbins, for the same movie: also also blergh! I’m rooting for Ken Watanabe for The Last Samurai; he is the soul of the movie. Benicio Del Toro was also amazing in 21 grams. Djimon Hounsou is good actor, but I prefer his role in Amistad than in the movie for which he is nominated, In America.

City of God

Well… may the best man/woman win. Although we all know this sentence can not be applied to the Oscars, who often prefer the cute (Gwyneth Paltrow), media darlings (Julia Roberts) and the politically correct (Denzel Washington & Halle Berry).

Review: The Last Samurai

Posted by on 13 Feb 2004 at 23:53 in Movies

The Last Samurai

Forget Tom Cruise, the star of the movie is Japanese actor Ken Watanabe. Cruise is the worst part of the film. Any other actor would have been better, but since Tom Cruise is also the producer of the film the choice was obvious. The cinematography and art direction are excellent. The  soundtrack by Hans Zimmer is also good. In a samurai film it would be natural for the battle scenes to be spectacular… they are not . After Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King everything seems like a kid’s play but the movie is just about the battles. Sad and slow paced, with exception of the final minutes and an unnecessary romance, The Last Samurai is a very good movie.

story & Oscar

The Last Samurai Katsumoto

Cruise is Nathan Algren, an American captain hired by the Japanese to coach the emperor’s army against a rebellion the samurai. On the first battle the samurai are victorious and take Algren prisoner. He ends up learning and admiring the way of life of the samurai and becomes a student and friend of Katsumoto (portrayed by Watanabe). It is strange to see the Japan pictured here and then see the modern Japan portrayed by Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation. Edward Zwick’s film is nominated for the Academy Awards in 4 categories: supporting actor (Ken Watanabe), art direction, sound mixing and wardrobe.

photo credit: 2003 Warner Bros. Ent.

La Nuit Américaine

Posted by on 09 Dec 2003 at 19:31 in Movies

La Nuit Américaine

A true declaration of love for cinema. A film about a film production. If you’ve ever wondered what a movie set is like, watch François Truffaut’s La Nuit Américaine. It is perfect depiction: the confusion, the rush, the bonds that are created, the problems… everything for the sake of the film. Truffaut, who also plays the director, pays homage to great masters of cinema such as Godard, Hitchcock, Buñuel and Orson Welles, among others.