Tag Archives: Academy Awards

Industry News: Your Guide to Oscars 2021 Binging

The Oscars ceremony is Sunday, April 25, 2021 on ABC.

Despite most of the movies being available on streaming services, the films up for this week’s Academy Awards ceremony are little-seen. But there are definitely some independent and thoughtful gems to check out before Sunday’s ceremony. Here’s where you can find the eight movies up for Best Picture plus three others which could factor into the winner’s circle:

Minari (On demand) – This movie about a Korean-American family starting a farm in ‘80’s Arkansas is a heartwarming drama. Expect Youn Yuh-jung as the feisty and funny grandmother to get noticed.

Sound of Metal (Amazon Prime) – Riz Ahmed gives one of the year’s best performances as a heavy metal drummer and former addict who is losing his hearing. It features moving characters and some really good sound design.

Mank (Netflix) – Up for 10 awards including acting nominations for Gary Oldman and Amanda Seyfried, this black and white tale of classic Hollywood screenwriting and politics is inspired by the look and feel of Citizen Kane, whose screenwriter’s life it chronicles.

Promising Young Woman (On demand) – Carey Mulligan teaches men a dark lesson in this smart and sassy film blending topical themes about relationships with a bubble-gum pop soundtrack and brightly colored cinematography.

The Father (On demand) – Anthony Hopkins gives a master class performance as a man losing his mind in this drama also starring fellow past Oscar winner Olivia Colman.

Judas and the Black Messiah (On demand) –LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya are both up for the gold for this historical action film about an FBI informant who infiltrates the Black Panther Party.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Netflix) – Aaron (The West Wing) Sorkin writes snappy dialogue for an ensemble of 1960’s political protesters including multiple award nominee Sacha Baron Cohen.

Nomadland (Hulu) – Director Chloe Zhao and lead actress Frances McDormand take a road trip across America to discover what truly matters in this fiercely independent and gorgeously filmed story featuring real people discovered along the journey.

These additional three movies have a good chance to take home some prizes:

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) – The late Chadwick Boseman gives a fierce performance opposite an amazing Viola Davis in this story about a powder-keg of a blues recording session.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (Hulu) – Newcomer Andra Day is a leading Best Actress contender for playing the title part of the troubled songstress (The same role also got Diana Ross a nomination for an Oscar years ago).

One Night in Miami (Amazon Prime) – Regina King’s directorial debut features Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr. in a star-making silver screen performance as soulful singer Sam Cooke.

Industry News: 2016 Oscar Predictions in Eight Major Categories

UPDATE: Moonlight was the upset Best Picture winner, and Casey Affleck prevailed as Best Actor in one of the most unusual awards ceremonies of recent years!

 

Original Story:

The countdown begins until Academy Awards weekend!  2016 ended up being a pretty good year for movies, with a slate of outstanding films vying for top honors Sunday night at the Oscars. Below are the nominations for the main prizes in acting, writing and directing along with my predictions of the expected winners.

Best Picture

The nominations are:

La La Land is a celebration of Hollywood and romance among films with heavier and darker themes. It has swept most of the precursor awards and is expected to win the top prize. If there is an upset, it could be crowd-pleasing Hidden Figures, a surprising box office hit with historic gravitas and an empowering message. Moonlight, Manchester, Hell or High Water and Arrival are my favorites. And I’m a loner in my tepid response to Lion, which is the only head-scratcher on the list.

Best Director

The nominations are:

This is likely a year when Best Picture and Best Director will match, thus a win for Damien Chazelle. After he emerged on the scene with the critically lauded Whiplash, his La La Land continued to make a profound mark in a great young career. Barry Jenkins also created a masterpiece with Moonlight, but it’s less showy.

Best Actress

The nominations are:

There’s talk of an Isabelle Huppert upset, but I’ll stick with a prediction for Emma Stone, who in her one-take “audition scene” transforms from everywoman to transcendent movie goddess. It was a great year for actresses, and I wish Annette Bening were in the mix for 20th Century Women.

Best Actor

The nominations are:

I’m on Team Affleck or Team Mortensen for their magnificent portrayals of unexpected dads, but my prediction is for Denzel Washington who acted and directed himself in August Wilson’s domineering daddy of a role in Fences. The chance to honor the actor with a third statuette and induct him into a rarefied pantheon of multiple winners seems enticing to the Hollywood chattering class.

Best Supporting Actress

The nominations are:

She campaigned in the wrong category, because Viola Davis would have won for lead or supporting actress for her role in Fences. She is superb. In a different year, we’d be toasting Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams for their wonderful working class performances, but Washington and Davis have an August Wilson script and Tony awards already and have been refining these immortal roles for a while.

 

Best Supporting Actor

The nominations are:

As the drug dealer with a heart of gold, Mahershala Ali appears in only the first third of Moonlight, but he is unforgettable. This could be an upset category for Dev Patel or any of the nominees, but Ali stands tall in a noble role and sends a strong anti-bullying message.

Best Original Screenplay

The nominations are:

This category is a great chance to honor Lonergan, a journeyman playwright and screenwriter who penned a corker of a script this year with Manchester by the Sea. Or, Academy voters could just check every box for the Hollywood musical. I predict Lonergan and Manchester in this category.

Best Adapted Screenplay

The nominations are:

  • Arrival (Eric Heisserer, based on a short story by Ted Chiang)
  • Fences (August Wilson, adapted from his play)
  • Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder, based on the book by Margot Lee Shetterly)
  • Lion (Luke Davies, based on the memoir A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose)
  • Moonlight (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, based on the play by Tarell Alvin McCraney)

This category is a great chance to honor Moonlight; and if there is an upset in Supporting Actor, there should be a win here for this moving coming of age film. After last year’s #oscarssowhite, this year’s ceremony should bask in a bit more of the rainbow.Save

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Industry News: Countdown to 2016 Academy Awards

DOLBY THEATRE TRANSFORMATION FOR THE OSCARS (2016) dolbylogosAs both a cinema and technology enthusiast, I am thrilled that Dolby Laboratories is sponsoring my trip to cover The Oscars in Hollywood the weekend of February 27-28, 2016 culminating in the February 28 ABC telecast. Here are some technology trivia facts — and links to my reviews – for some of the most celebrated films of the past year. These are the films nominated for Academy Awards,using Dolby technology:

Best Picture
The Martian (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
The Revenant (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Mad Max: Fury Road (Dolby Atmos)
Animated Feature Film
Inside Out  (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Animated Short Film
-Sanjay’s Super Team  (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
 Cinematography
 Visual Effects
The Martian (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
The Revenant (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Sound Editing
The Martian (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
The Revenant (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Mad Max: Fury Road (Dolby Atmos)
Sicario (Dolby Atmos)
Sound Mixing
The Martian (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
The Revenant (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (Dolby Vision, Dolby Atmos)
Mad Max: Fury Road (Dolby Atmos)
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