Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Birdman", "Grand Budapest" Biggest Winners at 87th Academy Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" swooped into the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday night taking four Oscars including best picture.

The cynical comedy about a washed-up actor trying to stage a comeback also claimed director, original screenplay and cinematography at the annual kudos fest at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.

Going in with a leading nine nominations — along with another best picture-nominated comedy, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" — "Birdman" beat out the likes of "Boyhood", "American Sniper" and its co-leader in nomiantions for the top prize.

Like how they tied in nominations tally, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" also won four awards including costume design, production design and makeup and hairstyling. Its composer, Alexandre Desplat, won for the film's original score after six failed attempts in the category - he was also nominated this year for scoring "The Imitation Game".

While laffers picked up four awards each, best picture nominee "Whiplash" about a jazz drummer earned three gongs: best supporting actor (J.K. Simmons), editing and sound mixing.

Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore continued their awards season stomp to Oscar gold in the lead acting categories for "The Theory of Everything" and "Still Alice," respectively.

Patricia Arquette picked up best supporting actress for "Boyhood," the best picture front-runner's only win.

The remaining best picture nominees won one award each: "American Sniper" for sound editing; "The Imitation Game" for adapted screenplay; and "Selma" for original song.

The animated hit "Big Hero 6" won animated feature.

"Ida" became Poland's first successful win in the foreign language film category. "CitizenFour" won for documentary feature.

The sci-fi film "Interstellar" won only one of its awards: visual effects.

Best Picture:"Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Best Actor: Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"
Best Actress: Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"
Best Supporting Actor: J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"
Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Best Original Screenplay: "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Best Adapted Screenplay: "The Imitation Game"
Best Animated Feature: "Big Hero 6"
Best Foreign Language Film: "Ida" (Poland)
Best Documentary Feature: "CitizenFour"
Best Cinematography: "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
Best Costume Design: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Best Editing: "Whiplash"
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Best Original Score: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Best Original Song: "Glory" from "Selma"
Best Production Design: "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Best Sound Editing: "American Sniper"
Best Sound Mixing: "Whiplash"
Best Visual Effects: "Interstellar"
Best Animated Short: "Feast"
Best Documentary Short Subject: "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1"
Best Live-Action Short: "The Phone Call"

Friday, February 20, 2015

Who Will Win Oscar?

What a season it has been.

While last year's annual kudos fest for the best achievements in film were overly predictable, this year is way more uncertain. It looks likes the 2010 race when "The Social Network" was winning over all of the critics and the Golden Globes, but when industry professionals got their say the race drastically shifted in the eventual best picture-winner's "The King's Speech" favor.

Four years later and its looking to be the same story with "Boyhood" being the early favorite and "Birdman" surging near the end.

Will the epic achievement of "Boyhood" reign supreme, or will "Birdman" fly away with the top prize in the end?

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Movie Review: Boredom Kills Sex Drive of "Fifty Shades".

"Christian, blindfold me from this stupid movie you've put me in!"

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015, directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. U.S.A., English, Color, 125 minutes) I have never read a single sentence in any of the three books from the erotic bestselling trilogy known as "Fifty Shades", and I really don't need to. The story about the sadomasochistic entanglement between the naïve Anastasia Steele and the billionaire Christian Grey seemed like schmaltz that taps into the deep sexual desires of women all over.

Seeing as I hate schmaltzy relationships and my sex life is fine, I wasn't the demo for these books anyway.

The latest literature phenomenon after "Twilight" about abusive relationships disguised as love had women glued to their books and e-readers as they thumbed through pages of bondage and dark sexual encounters.

It seemed inevitable that it became adapted for the big screen, and now that it's here I wish there was something that would have made seeing it worthwhile.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Beck Upsets to Win Top Prize at Grammys, Sam Smith Wins Four

In the biggest upset of the night, Beck's "Morning Phase" took the award for album of the year at the 57th Grammy Awards.

The rocker's set defeated front-runners like Beyonce's self-titled set and Sam Smith's "In the Lonely Hour".

"Morning Phase" also won best rock album and engineered album, non-classical at the award show. Nominated for four awards, Beck lost in the rock song and rock performance categories.

Beyoncé did end up with a trio of awards to bring her overall haul to 20; R&B song and R&B performance for "Drunk in Love" and surround sound album for "Beyoncé". 

English crooner Smith won three of his general field bids: best new artist and song and record of the year for "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)". Smith also won pop vocal album.

While Pharrell Williams was nominated three times for album of the year — for his album "GIRL" and producing "Beyoncé" and Ed Sheeran's "X" — he missed out in this race but won must video for "Happy" and pop solo performance for a live version of the track, the first male to win the latter category. "GIRL" edged out "Beyoncé" in the urban contemporary album race.

'Boyhood' Best Film at 2014 EE BAFTA Film Awards, 'Budapest Hotel' wins five

"Boyhood" may have been the biggest winner at the 68th BAFTAs winning best film, director and supporting actress (Patricia Arquette), but it was "The Grand Budapest Hotel" that took home the most awards. The comedy-caper won five awards: best original screenplay, production design, costume design, score and make-up & hair.

Other big winners were homegrown favorite "The Theory of Everything" with wins for lead actor (Eddie Redmayne), outstanding British Film and adapted screenplay.

Joining the aforementioned in the best film race were "Birdman" which won for its cinematography, while "The Imitation Game" was shut out of its nine categories.

Of the films not nominated in the top race, "Whiplash" won three for supporting actor (J.K. Simmons), sound and editing.

 Stephen Beresford and David Livingstone won oustanding British debut for their film "Pride".

Other winners in top races were Julianne Moore for lead "Still Alice," "The LEGO Movie" winning animated feature, and Oscar-nominated films "Ida" winning for film not in the English language and "Citizenfour" for documentary.

"Interstellar" won its bid for special visual effects.

Best film- "Boyhood"
Best director- Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
Lead actor- Eddie Redmayne, "The Theory of Everything"
Lead actress- Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"
Supporting actor- J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"
Supporting actress- Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
Original screenplay- "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Adapted screenplay- "The Theory of Everything"
Outstanding British film- "The Theory of Everything"
Outstanding British debut- Stephen Beresford and David Livingstone, "Pride"
Animated feature- "The LEGO Movie"
Film not in the English Language- "Ida"
Documentary- "Citizenfour"
Production design- "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Costume Design- "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
Cinematography- "Birdman"
Score- "The Grand Budapest Hotel" (Alexandre Desplat, composer)
Editing- "Whiplash"
Sound- "Whiplash"
Special visual effects- "Interstellar"
Make up and hair- "The Grand Budapest Hotel"
British short film- "Boogaloo and Graham"
British animated short- "The Bigger Picture"