Archived entries for thomas newman

Academy Awards winners, 2017

And now I’m almost two months late for this post commenting the Oscar wins! I really am a rubbish blogger.

Best Picture
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester By The Sea
Moonlight

What a Best Picture upset! And a brilliant one, too. La La Land was so far ahead, I didn’t think Moonlight could catch up with it, but I guess the Academy has changed since last year, and they wanted to send a strong message. Not that Moonlight did not deserve that win, because it absolutely did -it’s such a beautiful piece of art, almost like a long poem being filmed and yet dealing with such difficult subjects, the perfect balance between form and content in my opinion. I won’t say anything regarding the massive snafu during the announcement, I think so much has been said already on that subject, but truly it’s a shame the Moonlight win was overshadowed by that because it truly is a win for the books…

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Academy Awards nominees, 2017

I’m really late making this post, the ceremony is in two weeks’ time! In all honesty, I was waiting to see the main contenders before writing this post, but now I feel like I’ve seen enough of them…

Best Picture
Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell Or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester By The Sea
Moonlight

Nine nominees this year -and not too bad in terms of genre and scales. My favourite of the bunch is of course Arrival but it has very little prospect of winning despite its numerous nominations. There’s one favourite looming large and ahead of everyone, and that’s of course the much-loved, fantastic La La Land. I personally loved it, although my personal preference still goes to Arrival. But I can see why La La Land is such a favourite -it’s about the industry, the manufacturing of dreams, the limitless power of those dreams. And to top it all off, it’s a musical. Not a grand musical like Hollywood used to make, but a more intimate and contemporary one. So yeah, I can see why La La Land is the big contender. Not too far behind is Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, a miraculous coming-of-age story, the epitome of artistic, independent cinema. If there is a political statement to be made, surely this would be the right way of doing it. And with Hidden Figures winning the SAG and Lion being shephered by the Weinstein Company, you just never know. However it’s a safe bet to say that with its 14 nominations, La La Land is a very strong favourite.

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Academy Awards nominees, 2016

The Oscar race is now well underway and here are my comments/thoughts re this year’s nominations.

Best Picture
The Big Short
Bridge Of Spies
Brooklyn
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Room
Spotlight

Eight nominees, AGAIN. What is the point of having expanded this category to ‘five to ten nominees’, really? It is a nice selection, a blend of different genres – very happy to see Fury Road and Bridge of Spies here, but the chances of them actually winning seem tiny. Brooklyn and Room seem much too independent to take the top prize, and the Martian was rubbish (despite the critics and the audience’s undying love for it, which I just don’t get), so we’re left with three real contenders: the Big Short, The Revenant or Spotlight. It’s odd because there’s no clear consensus here, with the first one winning the PGA award and the second one winning the Golden Globe for Best Film – Drama… And Spotlight still sounds like the kind of film that would have the wider consensus… It’s a really tough one. I think the big prize might go to the Revenant, if the Directors’ Guild Award goes to Iñárritu in a couple of days. But if it doesn’t, then the Big Short might actually gain enough a momentum to take the big prize. Update: aaaaand Spotlight just won Best Ensemble Cast at the Screen Actors Guild awards… It really is a close race, I’m not sure which one of the three will win.

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Academy Awards winners, 2014

So I realise that in my shameful laziness I did not write this post last year –too bad, because I did love Lincoln and Argo and all the great films that won last year. But anyway, here it is, a brand new year, and boy was this one incredibly close! So let’s get to it!

Best Picture
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips
Gravity
Dallas Buyers Club
Her
Nebraska
Philomena
The Wolf Of Wall Street

This is nothing short of incredible, and well done to the Academy for being on the right side of history, FOR ONCE. 12 Years a Slave truly is an achievement, in the grandest sense of the word –it’s a proper work of art, a painful reflection on one of modern societies’ thorniest issues, a brutal masterpiece. Yet for the longest time it seemed that Gravity would win this one –especially after the Venice screening, and then both films splitting the Producers Guild Award was an omnious sign of how close this race was. But in the end I believe 12YS prevailing over Gravity is the right choice –for its artistic merit, sure, but also for the tremendously positive message this sends out there. So all in all a very satisfying win indeed. I must say this year’s nominees are incredibly strong films, some perhaps less so than others but still, yet another year of amazing filmmaking.

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Academy Awards nominees, 2013

I can’t believe it’s that time of the year again! Here are my thoughts on this year’s Oscar nominees (last year’s post is here).

Best Picture
Amour
Argo
Django Unchained
Les Misérables
Life Of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty
Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook

9 nominees this year and it sure is a very fine selection of very good films. Michael Haneke’s Amour is a somewhat surprising inclusion, proving that the momentum built in Cannes hasn’t disappeared -it certainly underlines the relevance of the biggest film festivals for award season. Another proof of that is the fact that Beasts Of The Southern Wild, a Sundance favourite, is included in the list and clinched nominations in the major categories. This year’s heavyweight dramas include Lincoln and Zero Dark Thirty, which have been frontrunners as soon as they were in the works. Clearly both the presence of a great director and actor (Spielberg and Day-Lewis; Bigelow and Chastain) on such serious subject matters was bound to draw attention from critics and academies alike. My personal favourite in the list is Argo, but without a Best Director nomination, I’m afraid the chance of seeing it win Best Film is pretty close to zero. Silver Linings Playbook, this year’s “little movie that could”, is a very strong contender because it is the only film with nominations in all the major categories (and those include the acting categories, which is really rare). So I have a feeling that the Academy really really loved it, and it’s a Weinstein Company film, so you never know. It might pull an upset, although it would be literally upsetting to see a dramatic comedy win over more important films such as Lincoln, but that’s just my opinion. Life of Pi is also very clearly popular with the Academy, as it has nominations in the major categories as well, but my guess is that it will sweep the technical categories and not much else. Django Unchained and Les Misérables are the somewhat ‘wild card’ entries (I say wild card but really, if there was a film this year tailor-made for the Oscars, it really is Les Misérables). If there were only five Best Film nominees, I have an inkling they wouldn’t have been included at all.
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