Road to the Oscars: Controversial Academy Winners

It’s a tentative process waiting for that envelope to open. I mean, from beyond the stage and through the magic of television, sitting at home with hefty bets on who deserves to win (or who will) that whole toe curling experience is full of high tension. The best thing is when someone who deserves to win an award without any doubt. Climbing those stairs to collect the award and the audience is brimming with pride as they gush with their gratitude and we sob with jubilation.

And then the Academy decides to lose their minds and give an award to someone whose nomination was iffy in the first place.
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They Say Tomei-toe, We Say Tomei-No. 

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There is no denying that Marisa Tomeii is an accomplished actress, even shining in recent movies Love Is Strange and Captain America: Civil War. She has starred in dramas, comedies and even theatres. For My Cousin Vinny, she scored a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the darkly comic film that even lawyer’s said was accurate. And she won. It’s not that Tomei wasn’t excellent it’s just she was up against heavy weight contenders such as Vanessa Redgrave for Howard’s End, Joan Plowright for Enchanted April and Miranda Richardson for Damage. The Oscar win was such a blow that it was even mentioned in a recent Suburgatory episode.

All That Crap! 

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Chicago is not a bad movie. Let’s start off with that. Personally, Chicago is one of my favourite stage musicals and Rob Marshall did an excellent job at bringing it to the scene with smooth precision and sharp musical direction. It’s just comparatively against The Hours, The Lord of the Rings, Gangs of New York and The goddamn Pianist, it just seemed like a completely tripe win. Especially when the year before the unbelievably stellar Moulin Rouge! lost out completely and is often viewed as the better musical. What the win does, however, is highlight the need to Golden Globe it – separating comedy and drama into different categories.

Jennifer Lawrence Wins the 85th Oscar Games!

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The whole world and their mothers love Jennifer Lawrence. Though she has problematic moments, the young actress has proved that she has talent that covers mainstream blockbusters and independent charmers. In 2012, she managed to scoop the biggest acting award for her role in Silver Linings Playbook as the love interest Tiffany who has issues herself. The film is great and the acting is too, especially conveying mental illness in an accurate un-stigmatised way. But comparing her performance next to Emmanuelle Riva in Amour or even Quvenzhane Wallis in Beasts of the Southern Wild strips away some of her performance and makes us a little weary. It also is suspicious. After all, we all want to award her for The Hunger Games yet the Academy, lately, cannot seem to bring themselves to it.

What A Pile Of Crash! 

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This was the year where everyone said loudly, “Brokeback Mountain will win everything.” And it didn’t. It won Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score. But the main awards? Nah. It didn’t. Best Picture went straight into the hands of Crash. And not the David Cronenberg one either. In 2004, interlocking stories of race and crime were hammed together and someone labelled it Crash. Whilst the film is good, it is still so contrived and still so very Hollywood. It just felt that the industry was slapping themselves on the back and saying “well done” for being so aware about race issues that they forgot a film about gay cowboys and the prejudices they went through was a much more stirring, poignant and powerful film with terrific lead performances.

How Green Was My Envy? 

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Citizen Kane is the pinnacle of cinema. It is still met with respectful hushed tones and peddled to eager film students to explore its themes and acting. Orson Wells, who co-wrote, produced, directed and stared in the film is often voted as one of the best films of all time. This is how film has been compared to ever since and if you are one of those uptight people who thinks old movies are crap, then Citizen Kane is the film to make you re-evaluate your life choices. So how the hell this influential and astonishing film did not win the Oscar for Best Picture, in place of the fluffy How Green Is My Valley? It still boils the blood of film fans and will do so forevermore.

BFI Flare: 32nd London LGBTQ+ Film Festival – Programme

Ahead of their annual acclaimed London Film Festival, the BFI will be dedicating 12 days to nothing but cinema representing the LGBTQ+ community for the 32nd year in a row. One of the more acclaimed and welcomed film festivals of the year, this year’s line up includes some excellent premieres as well as some brilliant films we already love.

This year’s festival includes strands dedicated to certain themes such as films made by queer disabled people – Including Laura Marie-Wayne’s Love, Scott, Robin Berghaus’ Stumped, Stevie Cruz-Martin’s Pulse and the intriguingly titled Fighters of Demons, Makers of Cakes – a focus on the diversity of LGBTQ+ families, showcasing documentaries like A Deal with the Universe and Paternal Rights, and the long discussed topic of HIV/AIDS, with the critically acclaimed 120 BPM showing.

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On top of that and many others, we’re also being treated to four of the best LGBTQ+ films from last year: A Fantastic Woman, God’s Own Country, Best Picture nominee Call Me By Your Name and a personal favourite, Battle of the Sexes. And if all of that isn’t tempting enough, at least consider the Big Gay Film Quiz. Like, come on.

With over 50 feature and 90 short films, as well as an array of workshops, panels and discussions, the 32nd Annual London LGBTQ+ fest is an important and exciting event.


For more information and the full line up, visit www.bfi.org.uk/flare   and be there from 21st March – 1st April. 

Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 – Brand New Trailer!

Disney seem to be having yet another year of sequels with The Incredibles 2, Infinity Wars, Ant-Man, and now Wreck-It Ralph. 

I don’t know what it is about Wreck-It Ralph that warrants another sequel but here we are. The film suggests that our oversized oaf and bad-guy Ralph is on a rampage across the web!

Right, I’m just going to say it. This seems VERY much like The Emoji Movie.  I mean, I know TEM borrowed LOADS from this film so maybe it’s karma. But we absolutely ADORE the princess sequence What do you think?


Wreck-It Ralph Breaks the Internet is out November 

The Outsider – New Trailer

Jared Leto stars in The Oustider, the new Netflix film following an American soldier imprisoned in postwar Japan, who enters the dark world of the yakuza, adopting their way of life in repayment for his freedom.

Let’s be real for a second; a lot of Netflix’s original films are trash, with their many films from this year alone failing to earn praise, but every so often they deliver something good. In this case, The Outsider looks like an exciting, well directed thriller. As this site’s biggest (only) Jared Leto fan, I won’t be missing it.


The Outsider is available on Netflix from 9th March.

Road to the Oscars: 90th Academy Awards – Predictions

It’s that time of the year again.

No, no, not for the awards but for us film “experts” to attempt to guess at who’s going to win big at the ceremony. This year is the 90th Academy Awards and we’re all a buzz, trying to guess the winners. Unlike last year where we had two heavy-weight champs boxing it out (La La Land and Moonlight,) we’ve got a vast array of talents that could happily scoop up the prizes without much contention.

So , out of the main awards, who do we think is going to win big?


I think at this point, we’d all be genuinely shocked if Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri left without the Best Picture gong. It’s not that I think it is better than the other outings (and, personally, I’d cry a little if Get Out one,) but it’s the one with the most weight in terms of critical and audience acclaim as well as awards it has already received. The same goes for Sam Rockwell for Best Supporting Actor and Francis McDormand for Best Actress. Following their previous wins, they are definite dead certs and should already have their speeches written.

Same for Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour (which, for sure, will win Best Make-Up and Hairstyling for transforming Oldman into Winston Churchill.)  Oldman has missed out on this award despite being one of the world’s greatest actors. And there is a presedent for awarding an older actor who should’ve won for another film (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.) There is a part of me still hopefully that Daniel Kaluuya, who had by far the better performance in Get Out,) but it seems less likely. Best Supporting Actress will be Allison Janny for I, Tonya (and the fact that supporting wins could be the best elements from The Way, Way Back makes me really happy.)

Best Original Screenplay falls between Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig for Get Out and Lady Bird respectively, (though Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards could possibly scoop the prize.) Either winner is a tremendous one with both films promoting originality, box office success, and progress, though I’d probably say Peele has the edge with this one, as Get Out has to leave with at least one Academy Award. It’s sad that there is a massive possibility that Lady Bird would leave the awards empty-handed. That being said, with the climate being what is, we could see Gerwig walk away as the second female director to win the Best Director prize. It’s a very slim chance, however, for anyone in the category to win against Guillermo Del Toro who has won big at other award shows and has a legacy that will help boost his chances of the gong.

Although Get Out and Lady Bird‘s odds on taking home an Oscar isn’t as high as some titles like The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, it’s still a win for the two first-time directors.

Best Adapted Screenplay good fall to anyone of those nominations. We’d be more than thrilled if Logan walked away with the gong but we could definitely see Call Me By Your Name awarded here for favour of a more diverse ceremony for the Best Picture nominees (in which, they all go away with something). This Is Me from The Greatest Showman (we’re still brooding that Patrick Stump’s Who’s The (Bat)man lost out on even a nomination here,) will definitely win Best Original Song whilst Johnny Greenwood is sure to get the prize for Best Original Score for his unparalleled work on Phantom Thread. Disney Pixar’s Coco will undoubtedly win for in Best Animation though intellectually we all know that Loving Vincent deserves it more.  Richard Deakins HAS to win Best Cinematography but there is every chance they’ll award Rachel Morrison (and deservedly so too.)

With dead certs, unpredictable categories, controversies, protests, and more making their way to the coveted red carpet next month, no matter who wins, it is certainly going to be the most interesting Academy Awards we’ve had in recent years.

And last year had the Best Picture Screw-Up

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Here’s our full list of predictions:

Best Picture
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 

Best Director
Guilermo Del Toro, The Shape of Water 

Best Actress
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards 

Best Actor
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour 

Best Supporting Actress
Alison Janney, I, Tonya 

Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards

Best Adapted Screenplay
Logan

Best Original Screenplay
Get Out

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Best Animated Film
Coco

Best Documentary Short Film
Heorin(e) 

Best Documentary
Strong Island

Best Original Song
This Is Me

Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman 

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Production Design:
The Shape Of Water 

Costume Design:
Phantom Thread 

 Cinematography :
Blade Runner 2049 

Sound Editing:
Baby Driver

Sound Mixing:
Baby Driver

Short
Watu Wote/All of Us

Animated Short:
Lou

Original Score
Phantom Thread

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Best Visual Effects:
War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Film Editing
Baby Driver 

Make-Up & Hairstyling
Darkest Hour 


The 90th Academy Awards will screen 4th March. 
Who do you think is going to win? 

On Chesil Beach – New trailer

Saoirse Ronan – Excuse me, three time Academy Award nominee at the age of 23 Saoirse Ronan* – is one of the most talented and exciting young actors working today, and she’s taking the lead again in On Chesil Beach. Based on Ian McEwan’s novel, a young couple in 1960s England finds their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.

On Chesil Beach looks intriguing, but I can’t stay there’s anything about this trailer that particularly grabs you. But a solid cast and a charming feel to it hopefully indicate that we’re in for a good little film.


On Chesil Beach is out 15th June 2018.