Tag Archives: Boyhood

OSCAR 2015 PREDICTIONS

22 Feb

Another year, another round.

Best Picture: will win – Boyhood / should win – Boyhood (suck it Birdman)
Best Director: will win – Richard Linklater / should win – Richard Linklater
Best Actor: will win – Michael Keaton / should win – Steve Carell (but really Jake Gyllenhaal)
Best Actress: will win – Julianne Moore / should win – Rosamund Pike
Best Sup. Actor: will win – JK Simmons / should win – JK Simmons
Best Sup. Actress: will win – Patricia Arquette / should win – Patricia Arquette
Best Animated: will win – How 2 train ur dragon 2 / should win – Princess Kaguya
Best Documentary: will win – Citizenfour / should win – Virunga (but really Overnighters)
Best Foreign Film: will win – Ida / should win – Wild Tales
Best Adapted Screenplay: will win – Theory of Everything / should win – Whiplash (but really Gone Girl)
Best Original Screenplay: will win – Grand Budapest / should win – Birdman
Best Editing: will win – American Sniper / should win – Whiplash
Best Cinematography: will win – Birdman / should win – Birdman
Best Score: will win – Grand Budapest / should win – Interstellar (but really Gone Girl or better yet: Under The Skin. I can dream can’t I?)
Best Visual Effects: will win – Interstellar / should win – Interstellar
Best Hair/Makeup: will win – Foxcatcher / should win – Foxcatcher
Best Production Design: will win – Grand Budapest / should win – Grand Budapest
Best Costumes: will win – Mr. Turner / should win – Grand Budapest
Best Sound Editing: will win – American Sniper / should win – Interstellar
Best Sound Mixing: will win – Interstellar / should win – Whiplash

MY FAVORITE FILMS OF 2014

30 Dec

For your viewing pleasure: my favorite films of 2014. I only counted films that had a theatrical or VOD release this year, so some stuff I saw at festivals (like Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter & Infinitely Polar Bear) and late Oscar films (like Foxcatcher & Inherent Vice) will be saved for next year.  Enjoy!

EDIT – unfortunately, Vimeo took down my video, so here is a direct link to view it from my Google Drive (thanks Google!)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9ugyZi0NsQmZGwwVkt0bmVMREk/view?usp=sharing

I want to hear your thoughts. Anything you think I missed?

Boyhood (2014)

23 Sep

Also known as “Richard Linklater‘s 12-year Project”, Boyhood follows a young boy through his childhood form ages 6-18. Linklater literally spent a few weeks every year shooting the film one scene at a time, using the same cast of actors. This incredible test of patience enables audiences to see characters literally mature and grow years before their eyes in a few hours.

The passage of time itself becomes a recurring theme in Boyhood. We see new friendships form, develop and dissolve; hair grows out and gets cut and dyed. Linklater pays particular attention to the little details which also clue us in as to what year the story takes place in (most notably, the clever use of soundtracks – featuring everyone from Soulja Boy to Arcade Fire). A child sitting at an older-model Mac playing oregon trail lets us know we are somewhere in the early 2000’s. Later, the same child is stealing a lawn sign that reads MCCAIN/PALIN in order to appease his liberal father. Ellar Coltrane plays our star boy Mason, and though his acting skills understandably are a bit rough at first, he quickly finds his unique voice and character. Mason’s sister Sam (played by here Lorelai Linklater) is also great, and Supporting work is provided by the always-excellent Ethan Hawke, and an Oscar-worthy performance by Patricia Arquette.

Rather than adding extra melodrama or building up to some heart-stopping climax, Linklater finds pleasure in the little things, and lets the simple beauty and heartbreak of life speak for itself. The result is a sort of memory montage of various defining moments experienced in the life of a child turning into a man.There is a pure truth-ness to the film that Linklater really expands upon. When viewed in it’s entirety, watching boyhood is an incredibly nostalgic, moving, and overall rewarding experience.

Rating – 10/10 

Similar films: Before Midnight, The Tree of Life, The Squid and the Whale

 

The best of 2014 (so far)

23 Jun

With June winding down, the year is nearly reaching its halfway point. Now it’s time to sort through the good, the bad, and the ugly, and take a look at my favorite 15 films of the year so far. Keep in mind there are a few films released with a lot of good buzz I have yet to see (Ida, Tom at the Farm, Hellion, Cold in July, Night Moves, Obvious Child and Snowpiercer). Note I am also using the word favorite as opposed to best or greatest – these are simply the ones I enjoyed most. So without further delay:

 

15 – Edge of Tomorrow 

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Why? – I was pleasantly surprised by how tight and free-flowing this film was. It has a great time with the whole time-loop ting but still manages to be kickass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 – Grand Piano

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Why? It’s so refreshing to see a “concept horror” that actually knows how to have a good time and not suck. Plus Elijah Wood playing a non-hobbit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13 – The Grand Budapest Hotel 

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 Why? Wes Anderson has outdone himself again and created an enchanting film with an all-star cast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 – X-Men: Days of Future Past 

Why? –  The action is playful and fun and character dynamic between Magneto, Prof. X, and Mystique is great stuff. Plus – time travel. What could have been a TOTAL mess-up ended up becoming my favorite summer blockbuster.

11 – The Immigrant 

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Why? Great performances all around, but Marion Cotillard absolutely steals the show and gives her finest performance to date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10 – Joe 

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          Why? Because Nic Cage is still a total badass (seriously).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 – The Babadook 

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Why? Australian horror gets a makeover with a genuinely terrifying film that satisfies with smarts as well as scares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8-  Infinitely Polar Bear 

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Why? This heartfelt film shows the ups and downs of mental illness and boasts some of the best child acting I have seen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 – Whiplash 

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Why? With great performances from J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller  make this is an absolute must see for music fans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 – The Double 

Why? A clever, dark comedy from Richard Ayode brings an introspective examination of identity, corporatism, and fate.\

5 – Borgman

Why? This weird, surreal tale about a mysterious vagabond probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s still an incredibly bold exercise in filmmaking.

 4 – Blue Ruin            

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  Why? A new arthouse take on the homestyle revenge thriller.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 – Enemy

Why? Jake Gyllenhaal stars in this trippy, Freudian story of the dual nature of sexuality and manipulation.

2 – Under The Skin 

Why? A beautifully creepy film featuring aliens, sexual tension, and jaw-dropping cinematography. Oh – and that haunting score by Mica Levi is genius.

1 – Boyhood 

Why? Richard Linklater delivers the year’s best emotional high with his 12-year film which lets us follow a child who literally grows up right before our eyes.

So there ya go. Let me know in the comments of via email what films you think deserve a spot here, as well as any titles I might have missed out on.

Top 10 Anticipated films of 2014

5 Jan

Well hats off to a new year. In the midst of all this awards season talk (you can catch my top 15 list of 2013 here) I’d like to present the films I’m most looking forward to seeing this next year. If available, I’ve provided the trailers and release dates. Make sure to let me know what films you are looking forward to seeing and if there are any I missed.

10 – Knight of Cups

This one is still a bit of a mystery as director Terrence Malick hasn’t officially said anything about Knight of Cups (or much else about his other projects). What we do know is that is stars Christian Bale, Imogen Poots, Joel Kinnaman, Cate Blanchet, Natalie Portman, Jason Clarke, Wes Bentley, and Antonio Banderas (wow!!). If the cast isn’t enough to get you excited, rumor is that Malick has a few additional films planned (though these are most likely to be pushed back to 2015 and beyond).  No release date yet.

9 – Foxcatcher

Director Bennett Miller made waves a while back with his Oscar-winning film Capote and 2011’s Moneyball. Next year he returns with a film based on Olympic Wrestling Champion Mark Schultz. Originally intended for 2013 (there was even a trailer released last fall), the film was pushed back due to editing issues and concern the awards season would be too crowded. Channing Tatum and Steve Carell (supposedly playing against type) star alongside Mark Ruffalo, Sienna Miller, and Tara Subkoff.  Foxcatcher is rumored to be released in the spring, but could be pushed back to fall.

8 – Boyhood

This mysterious project from Richard Linklater supposedly has been in production for the last 12 years, chronicling the life of Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette’s son. As a huge fan of his Before trilogy, I can’t wait to see what frequent collaborators Linklater and Hawke have in store. No release date yet.

7- Transcendence

Wally Pfister, who is mostly known for his cinematography work with Christopher Nolan, makes his directorial debut next year with a mind-bending sci-fi about artificial intelligence. This looks like it has all the right ingredients to be the next Minority Report, and I’m excited to see Johnny Depp actually using his talent. Depp stars alongside Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany and Rebecca Hall. In theaters April 14.

6 – The Grand Budapest Hotel

Boasting an amazing all-star lineup of Saoirse Ronan, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, Jude Law, Edwards Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, F. Murray Abraham, and Harvey Keitel (!!!), the film from Wes Anderson promises mystery, laughs, drama, superb music and Helvetica font. In theaters March 7.

5 – Enemy

After filming the Oscar-nominated Incendies, and last years incredible Prisoners, Denis Villeneuve is making a name for himself and this year he agian reunited with Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy. The thriller is supposedly about a man who goes after his look-alike after seeing him in a movie. I’m intrigued. In theaters March 14.

4 – Gone Girl

One of my favorite directors, David Fincher, gives us a film about a man whose wife mysteriously disappears while on honeymoon, starring Ben Affleck. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, Gone Girl could become this year’s Girl With The Dragon Tatoo. In theaters October 8.

3 – Noah

Yes, you are familiar with the biblical story, but director Darren Aronofsky is sure to put a new spin on the tale. Staring Russel Crowe, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins, and supposedly boasting some of the best digital effects ever to be done by Industrial Light and Magic, Noah arrives March 28.

2 – Interstellar

Christopher Nolan is back in action with a story about wormholes, space travel, and corn shortages. Yup. Staring Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Casey Affleck, Wes Bentley, Topher Grace, and Ellen Burstyn, the film is out November 7.

1 – Inherent Vice

My most anticipated film of 2014 brings back Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Thomas Anderson into a thriller/comedy/crime story about a detective investigating the disappearance of an ex-lover.  Jena Malone, Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, and Maya Rudolph star. No release date yet.