1931-2014

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“Spock is definitely one of my best friends. When I put on those ears, it’s not like just another day. When I become Spock, that day becomes something special.”

Leonard Nimoy, best known for his iconic role as iconic Star Trek character Mr Spock, has died at the age of 83.

The veteran television and film actor had been hospitalised with chest pains in the past few days but eventually died from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, caused by many years of smoking.

Born in Boston on March 26th 1931, Nimoy acted in local productions before landing small roles in little known films Queen for a Day and Rhubarb in 1951. His first main starring role came in 1952 when he played a disfigured Italian street gang leader-turned boxer in Kid Monk Baroni.

He then served in the US Army for two years (becoming a sergeant in the process) before returning to screen work in the late 50s.

After appearing in a string of minor television shows over the next decade, he landed the biggest role of his career in 1966 when he was cast as Vulcan space officer Mr Spock in the much-loved sci-fi series Star Trek.

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He was to gain a cult following through his performance particularly his split-fingered salute and his memorable quotes which included “Live long and prosper”. He even garnered three Emmy award nominations for playing the character but never won.

Though the series was hugely popular with fans, it ended up getting cancelled three years later. However he would reprise the role in five big-screen spin-offs including Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) as well as making cameos in the more recent JJ Abrams outings Star Trek (2009) and Star Trek into Darkness (2013).

He would also show his filmmaking potential by directing the later sequels Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986).

Away from the Star Trek franchise, Nimoy played Paris in the Mission Impossible television series and also appeared in the Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake (1978). He also went on to direct the successful 1980s comedy Three Men and a Baby (1987) and recently appeared in a recurring role in the crime series Fringe (2008-13).

His vocal work was prominent too as he provided the voices of Dr. Jekyll / Mr Hyde in The Pagemaster (1992), the King of Atlantis in Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), Sentinel Prime in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) and as himself in the classic monorail episode of The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory.

Nimoy is survived by his children and several grandchildren.

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Having kept herself busy in 2014 with films like Interstellar and A Most Violent Year, the majestic Jessica Chastain is keeping up her reputation as one of Hollywood’s biggest stars.

But while she continues to commit to a mixture of bold and innovative projects, the irresistible red-head has lined up an unlikely role in a mainstream blockbuster film.

The Oscar-nominated star of The Help and Zero Dark Thirty has joined the upcoming fantasy flick The Huntsman, which is a prequel to the 2012 hit Snow White and the Huntsman.

Jessica will be playing the love interest of the Huntsman himself, played by Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers, Rush) who returns after his appearance in the original. Oscar-winner Charlize Theron (Monster, Mad Max: Fury Road) is also back as Queen Ravana while Emily Blunt (Looper, Edge of Tomorrow) is set to play a new villain.

However Kristen Stewart (Twilight series), who previously played Snow White, is NOT returning owing to the film’s narrative being set before the events of the original outing.

Originally Universal Pictures had set the film up as a sequel but the story will instead focus on the Huntsman himself but no official details have yet been confirmed.

Frank Darabont (The Shawshank Redemption, The Walking Dead) was initially set to the direct before he chose to quit in January but the role has now been given to visual effects supervisor Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, who worked on the previous film.

The Huntsman will be released in cinemas on April 22nd, 2016.

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Awards season finally came to a close last night as the Academy revealed their winners for 2014/15 at another riveting ceremony.

In what had been a closely fought race, it was the showbusiness satire Birdman which came out on top as it clinched four awards including the coveted Best Picture accolade.

The film, which stars Michael Keaton as a former superhero actor trying to rebuild his diminishing career on Broadway, also landed wins for its filmmaker Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu in Best Director and Best Original Screenplay as well as a Best Cinematography award for Emmanuel Lubezki (following up his victory in the same category last year for Gravity).

The dark comedy had managed to gather significant pace during the latter stages of the season after it clinched crucial wins at the PGA (Producer’s Guild Awards), SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) and the DGA (Director’s Guild Awards).

Despite clinching the top honours at the Golden Globes and BAFTAs, Richard Linklater’s epic family drama Boyhood could only score one victory for Patricia Arquette who comfortably won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Mason’s mother. Her triumph came at the expense of Laura Dern (Wild), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman) and Meryl Streep (Into the Woods).

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There were no shocks in the other major acting categories as British star Eddie Redmayne deservedly won Best Actor for his brilliant portrayal of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking in the British biopic The Theory of Everything. He overcame stiff competition from Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game) and Michael Keaton.

After losing out on four previous occasions, Julianne Moore finally landed an Oscar at the fifth attempt for her role as an Alzheimer’s sufferer in the family drama Still Alice. Also nominated in the category were Marion Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Reese Witherspoon (Wild) and British duo Felicity Jones (Theory of Everything) and Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).

And as many had predicted, J.K Simmons cruised to the Best Supporting Actor award for his performance as bullying music teacher Terence Fletcher in the musical drama Whiplash. He triumphed over fellow nominees Robert Duvall (The Judge), Ethan Hawke (Boyhood), Edward Norton (Birdman) and Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher).

The other big success of the night was Wes Anderson’s crime caper The Grand Budapest Hotel which clinched four prizes for Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup & Hairstyling and Best Original Score for composer Alexandre Desplat. Whiplash itself enjoyed a good evening with victories in Best Editing and Best Sound Mixing.

For only the fourth time since 2000, all the Best Picture nominees won an award with American Sniper (Best Sound Editing), The Imitation Game (Best Adapted Screenplay) and Selma (Best Original Song) each receiving an award on the night. The Selma win produced a standing ovation for singers Common and John Legend whose song “Glory” was clearly popular with the audience.

The rest of the victors included a Best Visual Effects gong for Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar and Best Foreign Language Film for the Polish drama Ida while there was a shock in Best Animated Feature as Disney’s Big Hero 6 clinched the award ahead of initial favourite How to Train Your Dragon 2. However that category had already lost its credibility following the shameful snubbing of The LEGO Movie!

The ceremony was hosted exquisitely by comedian / singer Neil Patrick Harris who impressed many with his opening number “Moving Pictures” as well as spoofing Birdman and Whiplash in the video below:

The rest of the show produced other humourous moments including a witty reunion between John Travolta and “Let It Go” singer Idina Menzel which came a year after the actor had mispronounced her name during the 2014 show.

Lady Gaga also stood out with her renditions of some of the songs from the musical classic The Sound of Music which was then followed by the arrival of the legendary Julie Andrews onto the stage.

The full list of Oscar winners are below:

BEST PICTURE
Birdman

BEST DIRECTOR
Alejandro Gonzalez. Iñárritu – Birdman

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 – Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr & Armando Bo

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Imitation Game – Graham Moore

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST MAKEUP
The Grand Budapest Hotel

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BEST EDITING
Whiplash

BEST SOUND MIXING
Whiplash

BEST SOUND EDITING
American Sniper

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Interstellar

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Alexandre Desplat – The Grand Budapest Hotel

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
Selma – “Glory”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Big Hero 6

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Ida

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizenfour

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

ANIMATED SHORT
Feast

LIVE ACTION SHORT
The Phone Call

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With the Oscars due to take place tonight, the Razzies have once again revealed their list of losers for 2015 with Kirk Cameron’s festive ‘comedy’ Saving Christmas being dishonoured the most.

Ranked as the worst film of all time on IMDB, it was named Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay while actor/director Cameron was recognised twice with the Worst On-Screen Combo award and Worst Actor for his role as a man trying to spread love during Christmas.

Leading nominee Transformers: Age of Extinction won two prizes for Worst Director (Michael Bay) and Worst Supporting Actor for former Frasier star Kelsey Grammar who was also recognised for his performances in The Expendables 3, Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return and Think Like a Man Too.

Cameron Diaz was named Worst Actress for her leading roles in the rom-coms The Other Woman and Sex Tape though her cringeworthy part in Annie spared her from winning Worst Supporting Actress which instead went to Megan Fox’s role as April O’Neil in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.

However the new version of Annie did end up clinching the Worst Remake accolade ahead of Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Seth MacFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West and The Legend of Hercules were mentioned in several categories but avoided winning an award.

The full list of Razzie losers are below:

WORST PICTURE
Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

WORST ACTOR
Kirk Cameron – Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

WORST ACTRESS
Cameron Diaz – The Other Woman and Sex Tape

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kelsey Grammer – Expendables 3 / Legends of Oz / Think Like a Man Too & Transformers: Age of Extinction

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Megan Fox – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

WORST SCREEN COMBO
Kirk Cameron & His Ego – Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

WORST DIRECTOR
Michael Bay – Transformers: Age of Extinction

WORST SCREENPLAY
Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas

WORST REMAKE, RIP-OFF OR SEQUEL
Annie

And the Oscar goes too….

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It’s that time of year again folks as the glitz and glamour of Hollywood come together for the 87th Annual Academy Awards next Sunday.

This year’s prestigious lineup is dominated by the Broadway satire Birdman and the quirky caper The Grand Budapest Hotel with nine nominations each though the indie drama Boyhood is being tipped to clinch the coveted Best Picture prize.

Like recent years, I will be focusing on the nominees and make my predictions on who I believe will win, who should win and who should have been nominated.

Let’s ‘av it!

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BEST PICTURE

Boyhood - copy image 2

AMERICAN SNIPER
BIRDMAN
BOYHOOD
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
THE IMITATION GAME
SELMA
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
WHIPLASH

Overview
Eight renowned films are battling it out for the big one with the themes for this year’s lineup ranging from love and family to desperation and being pushed to the limit. As of now, its looking like a shootout between Richard Linklater’s epic family drama Boyhood and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s witty Birdman. Though the former was released back in the summer, it has garnered some key awards on its way to being slight frontrunner with Golden Globe and BAFTA victories coming in handy. The latter did clinch the guild hat-trick (PGA, SAG & DGA) recently but its surprise Editing snub may prove costly. Grand Budapest Hotel did well to be a serious contender after being released in March but looks likely to dominate the technical categories. British biopics The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything were huge hits that have run out of steam though the latter is likely to secure a Best Actor award for its leading man. Whiplash was a surprise success throughout this season and could end up with more accolades than we expected. American Sniper battled back well from its poor showing at the guilds but the controversy over real-life figure Chris Kyle was always going to complicate its Oscar hopes. Finally, Selma was shockingly low in nominations with a mention here and the Best Original Song category being its only recognition despite strong critical praise.

WILL WIN?BOYHOOD – Its critical success and Golden Globe / BAFTA triumphs should be enough to see it victorious even though it would be the worst Best Picture winner in years (just my personal opinion)!

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Wes Anderson’s exquisite film would be a far superior winner of this category but a Screenplay award is probably its best hope of causing an upset.

IGNORED?GONE GIRL – David Fincher’s dark thriller was shockingly overlooked in several categories managing just one nod despite its box-office success.

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BEST DIRECTOR

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WES ANDERSON – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU – BIRDMAN
RICHARD LINKLATER – BOYHOOD
BENNETT MILLER – FOXCATCHER

MORTEN TYLDUM – THE IMITATION GAME

Overview
With Boyhood looking more likely to take Best Picture, the Academy will likely decide to hand this accolade to its director Richard Linklater. The win would be a fair one given how long it took for him to make the film and to put that much commitment into a project for so long deserves some sort of recognition. Inarritu and Anderson both excelled with their directing this year but the pair of them have a better shot of winning the Original Screenplay category. Morten Tyldum benefitted from Imitation Game’s critical success but will have to settle for his maiden nomination. Finally, Bennett Miller had the grave misfortune of being recognised here despite Foxcatcher’s failure to get nominated in Best Picture. Strange decision by the Academy!

WILL WIN?RICHARD LINKLATER – All that hard work and commitment is surely enough to help the ‘School of Rock’ director to victory.

SHOULD WIN?ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU – The Mexican filmmaker got the best out of his actors and made a sharp film but will have to settle with his Directors Guild Award.

IGNORED?AVA DUVERNAY– The black female director orchestrated one of the most important films of recent times yet failed to land a nomination.

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BEST ACTOR

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STEVE CARRELL – FOXCATCHER
BRADLEY COOPER – AMERICAN SNIPER
BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH – THE IMITATION GAME
MICHAEL KEATON – BIRDMAN
EDDIE REDMAYNE – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

Overview
Following up his standout performances in My Week with Marilyn and Les Miserables, Eddie Redmayne is looking in pole position to win his maiden Best Actor award for his fantastic portrayal of Stephen Hawking in Theory of Everything. Recent successes at the Globes, SAG and BAFTA have essentially helped the young British performer get closer to the prize but comeback king Michael Keaton could still cause an upset given his longer career. Fellow Brit Benedict Cumberbatch was a major contender a couple of months ago but a lack of wins throughout awards season have seen him (and his film) drop off the radar. However his time will no doubt come soon. Steve Carrell’s creepy role showed his capabilities of doing drama as well as comedy and he will be happy to have his first Oscar nod. Bradley Cooper’s unexpected mention for American Sniper was a fair reward for his physical commitment to the role but a third nomination without a win is the obvious outcome.

 
WILL WIN?
EDDIE REDMAYNE – The dedication to playing such a difficult role was always going to be rewarded by the Academy especially when similar performances have won in the past e.g. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man, Daniel Day-Lewis in My Left Foot.

SHOULD WIN?EDDIE REDMAYNE – His role as Marius in Les Mis proved that he had talent though it’s also harsh to see Michael Keaton miss out on the gong.

IGNORED?JAKE GYLLENHAAL & DAVID OYELOWO – The duo both played completely different characters yet their performances were hailed as career-best. It’s more disappointing that the Academy snubbed Oyelowo especially when he was playing the great Martin Luther King!

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BEST ACTRESS

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MARION COTILLARD – TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT
FELICITY JONES – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
JULIANNE MOORE – STILL ALICE
ROSAMUND PIKE – GONE GIRL
REESE WITHERSPOON – WILD

Overview
Last month, this category looked like it would be a close race but typically the big award guilds have chosen to be predictable by lending a hand to the versatile Julianne Moore. Helped by her recent wins at the Globes and BAFTAs, the red-headed actress looks set to end her Oscar voodoo by winning at the fifth attempt for her performance in Still Alice. If there is the possibility of an upset, it could come from British star Felicity Jones’ lovely performance in Theory of Everything though she was overshadowed by her co-star’s powerful portrayal. In an ideal world, fellow Brit Rosamund Pike would be a more deserving winner but Gone Girl’s failure to score nominations elsewhere proved costly. Reese Witherspoon and Marion Cotillard will both be happy to have ‘welcome back’ nods having both won this category in the past decade.

WILL WIN?JULIANNE MOORE – Though it’s not the best award-winning turn in Oscar history, a lot of film fans will be happy to see her finally land a golden statuette.

SHOULD WIN? – ROSAMUND PIKE – Her ‘English-rose’ image changed because of her chilling performance as Amy Dunne but Gone Girl’s lack of love elsewhere ultimately tarnished her chances.

IGNORED?JENNIFER ANISTON – Personally I think she’s overrated but I also felt it was harsh of the Academy to snub her performance in Cake when it got mentioned by several award guilds.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

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ROBERT DUVALL – THE JUDGE
ETHAN  HAWKE – BOYHOOD
EDWARD NORTON – BIRDMAN
MARK RUFFALO – FOXCATCHER
J.K SIMMONS – WHIPLASH

Overview
There’s just no point talking about this category as it’s very clear that J.K Simmons will take the award for Whiplash. The veteran character actor produced a dynamite performance as bullying music teacher Terence Fletcher that has deservedly helped him sweep all the accolades throughout the season. IF there is an upset, then it could come from Edward Norton’s terrific role in Birdman. It’s great to see the Academy welcome him back with open arms but a third nomination without a win is inevitable. Mark Ruffalo and Ethan Hawke are two other underrated actors who will have to wait for Oscar success in the future while previous winner Robert Duvall’s nod was more to recognise his prestige career despite his film’s poor reviews.

WILL WIN?
J.K SIMMONS – Like Heath Ledger, Javier Bardem and Christoph Waltz before him, he has steamrolled his way to this award without breaking a sweat.

SHOULD WIN?J.K SIMMONS – Good job, Mr Simmons.

IGNORED?STEVE CARRELL – Although he was actually nominated in Best Actor, it would have been more ideal for him to get mentioned here thus allowing Gyllenhaal or Oyelowo to receive their deserved nom in the other category.

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BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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PATRICIA ARQUETTE – BOYHOOD
LAURA DERN – WILD
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY – THE IMITATION GAME
EMMA STONE – BIRDMAN
MERYL STREEP – INTO THE WOODS

Overview
Like Supporting Actor, this award will easily be won by the experienced actress Patricia Arquette who devoted a lot of her time to making Boyhood and giving an effective performance. Given the amount of prizes she has won throughout the season, it’s inevitable that she won’t slip up despite not being the worthiest winner of recent years. Emma Stone is likely to be her biggest competition especially as  Birdman still has a chance of defeating Boyhood in Best Picture. However she should be on course to receive more nominations in the future along with Keira Knightley whose subtle turn in Imitation Game was a nice reminder of her acting abilities. Meryl Streep’s millionth nod for Into the Woods was always expected given her great reputation with the Academy while Laura Dern shocked many of us with her comeback nod for Wild although her lack of screentime will prevent any chance of an upset.

WILL WIN?PATRICIA ARQUETTE – It would have been harsh to see one of the Boyhood actors not win an award after all those years of making the film.

SHOULD WIN?KEIRA KNIGHTLEY – It’s been too long since she was first nominated for an Oscar but hopefully the British actress can continue her push for future recognition with her new projects.

IGNORED?JESSICA CHASTAIN – Poor Jessica had four films out in 2014/15 yet failed to land a nomination despite her rising popularity. In particularly, her snub for A Most Violent Year was disrespectful!

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BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

birdman-film-review

ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU, NICOLAS GIACOBONE, ALEXANDER DINELARIS & ARMANDO BO – BIRDMAN
RICHARD LINKLATER – BOYHOOD
E. MAX FRYE & DAN FUTTERMAN – FOXCATCHER
WES ANDERSON – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
DAN GILROY – NIGHTCRAWLER

WILL WIN?BIRDMAN – If the film has a chance of winning the big one, then it has to score here to keep its hopes alive.

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL – Wes Anderson’s witty script still has a chance of victory and would be fully deserved.

IGNORED?SELMA – This was another big category that failed to acknowledge the film despite its strong script.

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BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

THE IMITATION GAME

JASON HALL – AMERICAN SNIPER
GRAHAM MOORE – THE IMITATION GAME
PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON – INHERENT VICE
ANTHONY MCCARTEN – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
DAMIEN CHAZELLE – WHIPLASH

WILL WIN?THE IMITATION GAME – Very tough category to predict here but I feel the Academy will want to reward the edgy British biopic especially as it won’t win anywhere else.

SHOULD WIN?WHIPLASH – Damien Chazelle did a remarkable job of adapting his short film and making it one of the best of the year.

IGNORED?GONE GIRL – How Gillian Flynn’s marvellous adaptation of her own novel got overlooked is beyond me! Amazing Amy would not approve….

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BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Tony-Revolori-and-Saoirse-Ronan

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
THE IMITATION GAME
INTERSTELLAR
INTO THE WOODS
MR TURNER

WILL WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

IGNORED?MALEFICENT – The colourful Disney scenery should have been noticed by the Academy.

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BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

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BIRDMAN
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
IDA
MR TURNER
UNBROKEN

WILL WIN?BIRDMAN

SHOULD WIN?BIRDMAN

IGNORED?GONE GIRL – David Fincher’s films normally get attention here but surprisingly nothing for his latest hit.

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BEST COSTUME DESIGN

The-Grand-Budapest-Hotel-Ralph-Fiennes-Tony-Revolori-OFCS-Awards-Online-Film-Critics-Society-Awards

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
INHERENT VICE
INTO THE WOODS
MALEFICENT
MR TURNER

WILL WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

IGNORED?THE IMITATION GAME – The 1940s costumes were exceptional but not enough to see it make the cut.

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BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIR

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FOXCATCHER
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

WILL WIN?GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

SHOULD WIN?GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

IGNORED?MALEFICENT – The crisp work done on Angelina Jolie and her co-stars deserved more love.

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BEST EDITING

movies-boyhood

AMERICAN SNIPER
BOYHOOD
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
THE IMITATION GAME
WHIPLASH

WILL WIN?BOYHOOD

SHOULD WIN?WHIPLASH

IGNORED?BIRDMAN – Despite its multiple nominations, it’s bizarre that the Academy didn’t mention it here as it may have damaged its Best Picture hopes.

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BEST SOUND EDITING

2015-01-23-AMERICANSNIPERbigger

AMERICAN SNIPER
BIRDMAN
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES
INTERSTELLAR
UNBROKEN

WILL WIN?AMERICAN SNIPER

SHOULD WIN?BIRDMAN

IGNORED?GODZILLA – The classic Godzilla roar left many of us with goosebumps.

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BEST SOUND MIXING

whiplash1

AMERICAN SNIPER
BIRDMAN
INTERSTELLAR
UNBROKEN
WHIPLASH

WILL WIN?WHIPLASH

SHOULD WIN?WHIPLASH

IGNORED?INTO THE WOODS – Musicals are usually nominated in this category but they clearly weren’t keen on this film.

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BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
INTERSTELLAR
X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

WILL WIN?INTERSTELLAR

SHOULD WIN?GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

IGNORED?THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES – Even though the effects were samey, it’s a shame that the Academy didn’t nominate it as it would have given the franchise a 100% record in this category.

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BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL
ALEXANDRE DESPLAT – THE IMITATION GAME
JOHANN JOHANSSON – THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING
GARY YERSHON – MR TURNER
HANS ZIMMER – INTERSTELLAR

WILL WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

SHOULD WIN?THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

IGNORED?GONE GIRL – The gloomy score perfectly captured the film’s mood but no luck for its composers here.

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BEST ORIGINAL SONG

BEGIN AGAIN – “LOST STARS”
BEYOND THE LIGHTS – “GRATEFUL”
GLEN CAMPBELL….I’LL BE ME – “I’M NOT GONNA MISS YOU”
THE LEGO MOVIE – “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME”
SELMA – “GLORY”

WILL WIN?SELMA

SHOULD WIN?THE LEGO MOVIE

IGNORED?THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES – “THE LAST GOODBYE” – A beautiful song that perfectly rounded off the greatest franchise in film history.

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BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

how-to-train-your-dragon2-carousel03-20140613

BIG HERO 6
THE BOXTROLLS
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2
SONG OF THE SEA
THE TALE OF THE PRINCESS KAGUYA

Overview
The Academy’s terrible decision to snub The LEGO Movie is still raw in the memory of film fans and it only makes the result of this category a little stale and predictable. How to Train Your Dragon 2 is now a surefire favourite to land the award and help Dreamworks to only its fourth win in this category (after Shrek, Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were Rabbit and Ringo). Disney still have a chance of yet another victory with Big Hero 6 though it hasn’t been the dominant force many were expecting. Boxtrolls received mixed reviews hence its unlikely chances while Tale of Princess Kaguya and Song of the Sea were two foreign animations that did well to make the final cut.

WILL WIN?HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

SHOULD WIN?THE LEGO MOVIE (Not even nominated!)

IGNORED?THE LEGO MOVIE – The Academy are no longer awesome as far as us Legoians are concerned!

Felicity-Jones_Inferno

Felicity Jones’ cinematic career is finally starting to flourish following the criticial success of her latest film, the Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything.

The British star’s performance as Hawking’s devoted wife Jane has led to a Best Actress nomination at this year’s Oscars and she will be attending Sunday’s event hoping for a surprise win.

She has now managed to reap the benefits of her tender role by landing a key part as Dr Sienna Brooks in the upcoming religious-mystery Inferno.

Helmed again by Ron Howard (Cinderella Man, Rush), the film is the third big-screen adaptation of Dan Brown’s renowned novel series which began with The Da Vinci Code (2006) and was followed by Angels and Demons (2009).

Two-time Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump, Captain Phillips) reprises his role as symbolist Robert Langdon who finds himself waking up in an Italian hospital with amnesia. He then teams up with Brooks as he seeks to recover his lost memories and stop the release of a global plague that is connected to Dante’s 14th century poem.

As well as the casting of Jones, the film has also landed a couple of other key international actors which include Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi) as Harry Sims and Omar Sy (Intouchable, X-Men: Days of Future Past) as Christop Brunder.

On the upcoming film, director Howard said:

“For this film, I wanted Tom Hanks to be surrounded by an international cast of actors whose energy will underscore Robert Langdon’s life-or-death peril, the high-stakes action he takes, and the global threat that he’s trying to prevent.

“Felicity, Irrfan, Omar, and Sidse have all broken through with recognition here in America as well as their home countries. They are phenomenal talents and we can’t wait to get started.”

Inferno will be released in cinemas on October 14th 2016.

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Shiver my timbers, they’re doing ANOTHER Pirates of the Caribbean film?

That’s a definite following today’s news which confirms important information regarding the fifth installment of the Disney adventure franchise.

Entitled Dead Men Tell No Tales, the film will see leading actor Johnny Depp (Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow) reprise his iconic role as Captain Jack Sparrow for the upcoming sequel.

Also returning are Geoffrey Rush (Shine, The King’s Speech) as Sparrow’s rival Barbossa, Kevin McNally (The Phantom of the Opera, Valkyrie) as Sparrow’s loyal companion Joshamee Gibbs and Liverpudlian actor Stephen Graham (This is England, Boardwalk Empire) as Scrum.

Additionally, the new film has landed a major acting coup in the form of Oscar-winning actor Javier Bardem who will be playing the villainous Captain Salazar. The Spanish star has a good track record of playing bad guys which include his roles in No Country for Old Men (for which he won his Oscar) and Skyfall.

Other cast newcomers to the franchise include British actress Kaya Scodelario (Skins, The Maze Runner) and Brenton Thwaites (Home and Away, Maleficent) though their roles have not yet been specified.

There is no mention of a return for Orlando Bloom (Lord of the Rings saga) who had stated in December that he would be keen to come back as original character Will Turner, who appeared in the first three Pirates films.

An official synopsis for the film has been released by Disney:

“Thrust into an all-new adventure, a down-on-his-luck Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar (Bardem), escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea… including him.

Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artefact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.”

Filming will take place in Queensland, Australia through the Jerry Bruckheimer production.

Directed by Norweigan filmmakers Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales will be released in cinemas on July 7th 2017.