Monday, October 5, 2015

Semi-Final Oscar Predictions

I feel like such an Oscar loser this year.  UGH, I feel like a blogger loser, period.  I've been so lackluster here since July, all thanks to this big move (moving is SO STRESSFUL) and so I feel so far behind on everything.  LOL, my last Oscar predictions look like a batch of "no, no, nope" thanks to the fact that reviews, screenings and production notes have changed the face of the Oscar race so drastically over the past few months.

So, here we come to the last chance I'm going to get to update these predictions until the new year, which will be deep into the heart of the race, and so I'm calling these my semi-final predictions because, let's be honest here, I won't be updating these again until the night before nomination morning.

So what am I thinking?

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Revenant Trailer: Or (why Chivo is going to win his third Oscar (back to back to back) this year)

Have you watched this yet?  Of course you have.  Everyone has.  I'm the last person to watch this, I know.  Listen, I don't know if anyone has ever (in any category) won three Oscars back to back to back (speak now Josh), and I know that everyone is groaning for Deakins to finally win (which isn't going to happen for Sicario), but I don't think that anyone could deny that Emmanuel Lubezki, while always a brilliant cinematographer, has been on the grandest of hot streaks this decade.  I've spoken my piece about my feelings on his Oscar win for Gravity, but even disregarding that film we're still left with The Tree of Life, To the Wonder and Birdman; all stunning work.

And now we have The Revenant.

I'm not going to lie, this looks like his best work to date.  BY A LOT.  The use of light, NATURAL LIGHT, the framing, the breadth of landscape captured coupled with such grand, sweeping movement and energy.  


And speaking of every frame; feast!

Monday, September 28, 2015

So, this is 47...

Naomi Watts turns 47 today.  Not only is she jaw-dropping in her absolute beauty, but she's one of the most talented and versatile actresses working today, and she only gets better and better.  The reality that this woman has yet to win an Oscar is shame enough, but the fact that she's only been nominated TWICE in her incredible career is probably the bigger shame.  In this disgusting day and age where women not named Streep fail to maintain their careers past 50, it's strange to think that time may be running out for this thespian to attain the highest of acting honors, but her youthful beauty and undeniable range may (hopefully) work in her favor.

So, while Oscar has so unjustly shunned her in the past, let's take a few minutes to bask in her talents and remember her best work!

Friday, September 25, 2015

1946 Fisti Awards

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1946.  This was a great year.  Even Oscar got a lot of stuff right.  The year was great even before 1945 stepped in and handed it some treasures.  Yes, due to the Fisti rule that any foreign film nominated for an Oscar must compete in the year in which it was nominated, there are quite a few 'technically' 1945 films that are competing here.  

One of which is my Best Picture winner.

But more on that in a minute.  First, let's talk about Oscar.  While the debate will continue to the end of time as to whether of not The Best Years of Our Lives should have defeated It's a Wonderful Life for Best Picture, the fact remains that both films are truly beautiful.  Personally, I feel that The Best Years of Our Lives IS the better film, while It's a Wonderful Life is understandably the more iconic feature.

They're both treasures, and that's the most important thing.

One thing that The Best Years of Our Lives was able to capture, and a clear reason as to why it won (and won SO MUCH) on Oscar night, was the state of the times.  It understood that, in that moment, the message it carried was a very important one.  In fact, with WWII just barely over, the welcome home of the men and women who defended the country was on the minds of every single person, and so the year became a bounty of films that tried to understand more fully the mindset, not only of the soldiers coming home, but also of the men and women standing at the front door to greet them.  

And that brings us to...another Lee Hirsch Award for Change!

Yes, with the war over, the incredible John Huston put together a series of PSA-Documentaries, and the final film in that series is a chilling look at PTS-Syndrom.  Let There Be Light is a film designed to help the general public understand that there is help for those soldiers returning home and that they can and should be accepted back into a normal way of life.  The fear to hire these young men and women was real, and so John Huston's powerful documentary served a real purpose and is still stirring even today.

Alright, alright, alright...let's get on with it!  I now present to you the Fisti Awards of 1946!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

1990 Fisti Awards

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1990.  Well, I remember liking Dances with Wolves when I first saw it...and then I didn't really care anymore.  I remember finding Goodfellas overrated when I first saw it...and then I remembered it fondly.  Things change over time, and our perception of film and the way it rests on us changes as well.  

Is it a crime for me to say that Goodfellas losing the Oscar was not real big loss?  I mean, it's CLEARLY better than Dances with Wolves, but it's not Scorsese's best, despite the 'pop culture iconic' status, and it's not the best of the year (at least in my humble opinion) and so I'm kind of whatever on the whole thing.  But, eww at that lineup, right?  Ghost is so trashy and The Godfather Part III is so subpar.  Awakenings is actually quite tender and moving, but it's also such Oscar bait.  

This year was better than that.

You know what 1990 brought us?  The beginnings of two cinematic legacies of genius; The Coen Brothers and Wong Kar Wai (and yes, I know they both began their careers in the 80's).

I guess we should just get right into it; the Fisti Awards for 1990!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Trailer Break: The Jungle Book

So, these live-action Disney recreations are getting tiresome, I agree, but there is something in me that has been anticipating this ever since it was announced based on the voice-cast alone.  Like, Johansson, Nyong'o, Walken, Elba, Murray,, these are actors with GREAT voices, and so the idea of them using those in this setting seemed so perfect.  I've been a little skeptical as to how they were going to spin this into a live-action film with talking animals and not have it here it is.  The action looks sharp, the sets look dynamic, the visuals look remarkable and Scarlett Johansson's silky voice lacing the whole trailer is perfection.

But, yes, the most beautiful note at the end is Baloo whistling The Bare Necessities!

I'm all in for this.  I mean, this was kind of perfect, right?

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Poster Break: It's Only the End of the World

So, Xavier himself posted this teaser poster for his upcoming Marion Cotillard collaboration on Twitter today and OMG!!!  This reminds me very much of the poster for Stranger by the Lake, which was glorious.  Unfortunately, that poster was the best thing about that movie.  Hopefully this won't be the case (who are we kidding, we know this movie is going to be delicious) here.