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Oscars 2014

March 2, 2014

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
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
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

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest et Célestine
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

Inside Llewyn Davis
Yi dai zong shi

Best Achievement in Editing

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Dallas Buyers Club

Best Achievement in Production Design

12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
The Great Gatsby

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
Saving Mr. Banks

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

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

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

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

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

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

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

Best Short Film, Animated

Get a Horse!
Mr Hublot
Room on the Broom

Best Short Film, Live Action

Aquel no era yo
Avant que de tout perdre
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!


Lupita Nyong’o

January 30, 2014

Anyone who’s seen 12 Years A Slave will have noticed the intense presence of Lupita Nyong’o on screen. Her performance is very powerful and I immediately wanted who know who this actress was. This is her debut in american cinema and hopefully we’ll be seeing a lot more of her on the big screen.

intense newcomer

Lupita Nyong’o is a Kenyan actress born in Mexico and a Yale School of Drama graduate (her undergrad was Film and African studies). She has also directed (and produced & edited) a documentary (In My Genes) and is a model (she can be seen in Miu Miu’s latest campaign). Her work has already been recognized as she has won Best Supporting Actress at Screen Actors Guild Awards, Broadcast Film Critics and has been nominated for several other awards such as the Golden Globes, Bafta’s and Oscar.

fashion icon

This award season has been blessed with Lupita’s amazing dresses. She always looks stunning and has made some bold choices. Below you can see just how beautiful she looked at the Golden Globes and Critic’s Choice Awards. Can’t wait to see what she’ll wear to the Academy Awards (and I hope she wins Best Supporting Actress).





Review: The Wolf of Wall Street

January 25, 2014

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.


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


Oscar 2004

February 29, 2004

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

February 13, 2004

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.