2014 Oscar Nominations Not-Remotely-Live Blog

Oscar Nominations

I wasn’t quite organised enough to have a liveblog up and running when the Oscar nominations were announced this lunchtime but I made myself a post so I’m damn well going to put something in it. I will forgo listing all the nominations as they can be found everywhere else on the internet. The important facts are these…

  • Gravity and American Hustle lead the pack with ten nominations each, closely followed by 12 Years a Slave with nine. Nebraska has a pleasing six nominations and Her continues to taunt me with five nominations and a UK release that has yet to arrive.
  • Judi Dench and Meryl Streep are competing for the Best Actress award, a title that Dench has never won and one that Streep has taken twice and been nominated for fourteen(!!!) times.
  • The only nomination for Saving Mr. Banks is for its music and this upsets me greatly.
  • Blue is the Warmest Colour has completely failed to be nominated for Best Foreign Film and that is a tragedy as it clearly is the best foreign film and if you ask me the best film overall. So there.
  • Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa has been nominated for an Oscar. Take that in. It’s for Best Makeup and Hairstyling but still, it just feels wrong. Weirdly American Hustle is not nominated in this category despite the hair being the best bit.
  • David O Russell and American Hustle continue to rhyme and sound incredibly satisfying.
  • Jonah Hill has received his second Oscar nomination. Who would have thought he’d ever be an Oscar contender considering his former career in broad comedies? Ditto for Matthew McConaughey who has moved so far away from his Romantic Comedy background he is barely recognisable.
  • Best Live Action Short is not normally a category I can comment on but somehow I have seen nominee The Voorman Problem twice and it is worthy of the win. The short stars Martin Freeman as a psychiatrist called to a prison to deal with an inmate who is convinced that he is God (Tom Hollander). It is short, clever, funny, and has famous people in it.
  • There are really only three nominees for Best Film. For the past three years I have seen the winner of the top prize at the previous year’s London Film Festival therefore this year’s winner must come from the films I saw back in October. The real list of nominees is as follows:

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

Nebraska
Philomena
The Wolf of Wall Street

Let’s meet back here on 2nd/3rd March to discuss the winners.

Famous People are Given Golden Globes – 2014 Edition

Golden Globes 2014 - Emma Thompson

The Golden Globes took place last night and boy did some people win some awards. Award ceremonies are both trivial and exciting and the Golden Globes in particular have a reputation for nominating people they think will turn up and that the voters would like to party with. That said the Golden Globes offer the combined excitement of the Emmys and the Oscars as awards are given to both TV series and films allowing Bryan Cranston to be sat feet away from Leonardo DiCaprio.

Regardless of the awards’ merits the list of winners put a smile on my face a few times this morning as actors/films/TV shows I love got given little golden orbs. This will serve as a quick summary of who won that matches who I think deserved to win and absolutely no negative feelings towards any decisions I disagree with. No Amy Adams hate. None at all. Nope…

Let’s start with the big winner 12 Years A Slave which grabbed only one prize last night but as it was the award for “Best Motion Picture – Drama” it’s hard to really complain. This is a fantastic film that could well have deserved more awards (no grumbling here, I promise) but I am really pleased that it beat the more audience-friendly Gravity to the top spot. American Hustle won the sister award of “Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy” which is a tricky category when its rivals Inside Llewyn Davis and Nebraska could arguably be seen as dramas just as easily as Philomena was. American Hustle is a fun period crime romp that puts wigs character at its core instead of a complex plot filled with endless reveals (hello Oceans Eleven!). The scene-stealing star of the film Jennifer Lawrence was rightly awarded the lengthy-titled “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” alongside two of her co-stars.

Gravity may have missed out on the big award but was rewarded for its visual spectacle when Alfonso Cuarón was given the award for “Best Director – Motion Picture”. This sci-fi thriller didn’t make my top ten last year but is without a doubt a visual and technical marvel requiring the most precise direction of any film out last year; the precise camera movement required to believable create outer space on a soundstage require a steady hand at the helm. If you somehow managed to miss Gravity, or simply want to marvel at it one more time, then you’ll be pleased to hear that the film is back in IMAX cinemas where you can get the full immersive effect/throw up if you’re my mum.

Over on the TV side of things the departing juggernaut that is Breaking Bad took was awarded “Best Television Series – Drama” and the man who made the show what it became through his chameleon-like acting, Bryan Cranston, took home the “Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama” award. It’s a lovely cherry on the cake for a show that never let its quality drop while others that have been less consistent (*cough* Dexter *cough*) weren’t even nominated.

The winner of “Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television” is a confusing one as in the UK it was released in cinemas, and rightly so. The award went to my 3rd favourite film of last year Behind the Candelabra and its star Michael Douglas won “Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television”. Two rightly deserved victories and wins that might not have happened had it actually had a cinematic release in the USA and was forced to take on the might of David Russell’s American Hustle.

Last but not least TV’s best current comedy Parks and Recreation finally won its first major award as producer, star, and Golden Globes co-host Amy Poehler was handed “Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy”. For anyone ignorant of the joys of this series I urge you to seek it out and stick with it when Series 3 comes to BBC Four later this year. If you don’t enjoy it I will cook you dinner either as a reward or punishment, I can’t quite decide how to classify my cooking skills.

The awards also served to highlight for me the films I need to get my eyeballs on; Blue Jasmine, Frozen, Her, Wolf of Wall Street, and Dallas Buyers Club in particular.

As for what I have seen of the ceremony itself it looks to have been a fun affair but sadly we had to get our beauty sleep so missed out on watching it live. Emma Thompson proved to be a highlight and you can see why by clicking on this orange text. As for the co-hosts of Amy Poehler and Tina Fey… have a watch below:

Out Now – 3rd January 2014

Mandela

You heard it here first, the year is now 2014. Be calm. As with every new year this brings with it renewed blogging vigour and a small chance that I might watch one more Woody Allen film before getting lazy again.

In cinemas this week:

Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Idris Elba, best known as the Parachute Instructor in 2point4 Children, plays the late Nelson Mandela in the story of his rise from a small rural village (as opposed to an urban village) to becoming president of South Africa.

Last Vegas
Famous old men Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, and Morgan Freeman (and not so famous Kevin Kline) star in a comedy about three men throwing another man a bachelor party in Las Vegas. It’s like The Hangover but classy.

American Hustle
Now out in all cinemas, not just a small collection in central London. Just be glad I didn’t use this as an excuse to use another picture of Jennifer Lawrence.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
This is not the first spin-off from the Paranormal Activity franchise, the first was Paranormal Activity 2: Tokyo Night and served as an almost unofficial Japanese tangent to the endless spooky tale. This installment is aimed at a Latino audience apparently which sadly counts me out.

Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas
“In the 16th century in the Cévennes, a horse dealer by the name of Michael Kohlhaas leads a happy family life. When a lord treats him unjustly, he raises an army and puts the country to fire and sword in order to have his rights restored.” Stars Mads Mikkelsen as the man who seemingly completely overreacts.

The Missing Picture
“Rithy Panh uses clay figures, archival footage, and his narration to recreate the atrocities Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge committed between 1975 and 1979.” Claymation atrocities! Horrific for all the family!

La Belle et la Bête
With a remake coming later this year (in French, fear not) the BFI are re-releasing the 1946 French adaptation of the classic tale of going for personality over looks and giving into Stockholm Syndrome.

Out Now – 20th December 2013

Anchorman Hustle

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Reviews are positive so anyone who hasn’t suffered from Ron Burgundy fatigue will likely find something to chuckle about in this follow-up to 2004’s comedy that got quoted so much it might as well have been a Monty Python film. “I love lamp”, etc.

The Harry Hill Movie
I am conflicted. I loved TV Burp back in the day only two years ago and adore pretty much anything that Julie Walters does and yet… The Harry Hill Movie? I just don’t know.

Walking with Dinosaurs 3D
Does what it says on the tin. Although you won’t actually be walking with any dinosaurs. But the dinosaurs will walk! In 3D!! What more could a guy ask for?

Moshi Monsters: The Movie
“Join Katsuma, Poppet, Mr. Snoodle, and the other Moshi Monters in an action-packed, song-filled race against time! Together they must stop evil Dr. Strangeglove and his incompetent Glump sidekick Fishlips from pulverising the recently discovered Great Moshling Egg.” WHAAAATTTT!?!?

Dhoom: 3
“Trained as a circus entertainer by his father, the adult Sahir co-stars in a circus alongside the gymnast Aaliya, though his true motive is to rob the show’s owners, whom he believes were responsible for his father’s murder.” Somebody’s got issues.

American Hustle
So having made the above image it turns out that the film is only out in the West End today and doesn’t hit the rest of the country, or indeed the rest of London, until New Year’s Day. Well… bugger. I’ve made the image now. If you happen to be near Leicester Square over Christmas why not check out this well received period spy caper/mafia drama?