Academy Awards 2017: Predictions

Oscar statuettes are displayed at Times Square Studios 23 January 2006 in New York. The statuettes will be presented to winners of the 78th Academy Awards 05 March 2006 in Hollywood.

The coveted Oscars will be handed out tomorrow. My attempt to see the future this year. You can also have a look at my predictions in the previous years here: 2016 , 2015 and 2014.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Who Will Win: ‘La La Land’

Who Should Win:’Manchester by the Sea’

Honourable Mention: ‘Moonlight’

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: A toss up between Denzel Washington and Casey Affleck. I would love to see Casey Affleck win.

Who Should Win: Casey Affleck

Honourable Mention: Denzel Washington could spring a surprise. I also liked Ryan Gosling’s performance.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Emma Stone because Hollywood loves its princesses and Emma carried the biggest film of the year on her shoulders.

Who Should Win: Isabelle Huppert because her performance in Elle is nuanced and perfect.

Honourable Mention: Natalie Portman for ‘Jackie’

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Mahershala Ali for Moonlight

Who Should Win: Jeff Bridges for ‘Hell or High Water’

Honourable Mention: Michael Shannon for ‘Nocturnal Animals’

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Viola Davis for ‘Fences’

Who Should Win: Viola Davis for ‘Fences’

Honourable Mention: Michelle Williams for ‘ Manchester by the Sea’

Best Achievement in Directing

Who Will Win: Damian Chazelle for ‘La La Land’

Who Should Win: Damian Chazelle

Honourable Mention: Kenneth Lonergan for ‘Manchester by the Sea’

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Who Will Win: Manchester by the Sea

Who Should Win: Manchester by the Sea

Honourable Mention: La La Land

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Who Will Win: Moonlight

Who Should Win: Fences

Honourable Mention: Arrival

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Who Will Win: Zootopia will win. I would not be surprised if ‘Kubo and the Two Strings’ wins. Kubo is the better movie but Zootopia is a love letter to diversity and tolerance (and this is 2017).

Who Should Win: Kubo and the Two Strings’

Honourable Mention: Moana

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Who Will Win: Close call between ‘Toni Erdmann’ and ‘The Salesman’. For a politically charged season the likely winner is ‘The Salesman’ from Iran.

Who Should Win: A Man Called Ove

Honourable Mention: Land of Mine

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Who Will Win: Linus Sandgren for ‘La La Land’

Who Should Win: Linus Sandgren

Honourable Mention: Greig Fraser for ‘Lion’ and Rodrigo Prieto for ‘Silence’

Best Achievement in Editing

Who Will Win: Mad Max: La La Land

Who Should Win: La  la Land

Honourable Mention: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Achievement in Production Design

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Honourable Mention: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Who Will Win: Jackie

Who Should Win: Jackie

Honourable Mention: La La Land

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Who Will Win: Star Trek Beyond

Who Should Win: Star Trek Beyond

Honourable Mention: A Man Called Ove

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Honourable Mention: Moonlight

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)

Who Will Win: La La Land

Who Should Win: La La Land

Honourable Mention: None

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Who Will Win: The Jungle Book

Who Should Win: Star Wars: The Jungle Book

Honourable Mention: Kuboe and the Two Strings

Best Documentary, Feature

Who Will Win: OJ: Made in America

Who Should Win: OJ: Made in America

Honourable Mention: 13th

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Academy Awards 2016: Predictions

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It is that time of the year when Hollywood hands out its most coveted gongs. At the risk of sounding naive after three days, here are my predictions for this year’s Oscar winners.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

Who Will Win: This is a very tricky category. For a long time ‘Spotlight’ was the front-runner but ‘The Revenant’ seems to have gathered the steam in the final laps of the race. I will put my vote on ‘Spotlight’ and it is more than likely that I will be wrong.

Who Should Win:’Spotlight’

Honourable Mention: ‘The Big Short’

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio. No questions asked.

Who Should Win: Leonardo DiCaprio

Honourable Mention: I liked Bryan Cranston in ‘Trumbo’ a lot but this is Leo’s year.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Who Will Win: Brie Larson. In a strong field she has that little extra that makes her performance stand out.

Who Should Win: Brie Larson

Honourable Mention: Saoirse Ronan in ‘Brooklyn’ gives a well calibrated performance. So do Charlotte Rampling and Cate Blanchett.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Sylvester Stallone. Let us give an Oscar to Rambo.

Who Should Win: Mark Rylance in ‘Bridge of Spies’

Honourable Mention: Mark Ruffalo

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Who Will Win: Alicia Vikander for ‘The Danish Girl’. She puts in another solid performance in ‘Ex-Machina’.

Who Should Win: Rachel McAdams

Honourable Mention: Kate Winslet

Best Achievement in Directing

Who Will Win: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will create history by winning back to back Oscars

Who Should Win: George Miller for ‘Mad Max’, a work of sheer genius

Honourable Mention: Tom McCarthy

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Who Will Win: Spotlight

Who Should Win: Spotlight

Honourable Mention: Inside Out

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Who Will Win: The Big Short

Who Should Win: The Big Short

Honourable Mention: Room

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Who Will Win: Inside Out. Sealed and delivered.

Who Should Win: Inside Out

Honourable Mention: Anomalisa

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Who Will Win: Son of Saul. First win for Hungary.

Who Should Win: Son of Saul

Honourable Mention: Mustang

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Who Will Win: Emmanuel Lubezki for ‘The Revenant’

Who Should Win: Emmanuel Lubezki

Honourable Mention: Roger Deakins for ‘Sicario’

Best Achievement in Editing

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Who Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Honourable Mention: Spotlight

Best Achievement in Production Design

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Who Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Honourable Mention: The Martian

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Who Will Win: Carol

Who Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Honourable Mention: Cinderella

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Who Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Honourable Mention: The Revenant

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Who Will Win: Ennio Morricone for ‘The Hateful Eight’. A long overdue competitive Oscar for a legend.

Who Should Win: Ennio Morricone

Honourable Mention: Thomas Newman for ‘Bridge of Spies’

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Who Will Win: The Revenant

Who Should Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Honourable Mention: Bridge of Spies

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Who Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Who Should Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Honourable Mention: The Revenant

Best Documentary, Feature

Who Will Win: Amy

Who Should Win: The Look of Silence

Honourable Mention: Cartel Land

Oscar Predictions 2015

Oscars 2015: Predictions

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

This is one of the toughest years in Oscar history where many of the major categories are too close to call. Still, I will put my reputation at stake.

Here is my list of bets for 2015 Oscars.

Best Motion Picture  of the Year

Who will win: ‘Boyhood’ because it is a feel good movie even when it feels like a long television series. ‘Birdman’ is touted as the closest competition but it is too unconventional for mainstream audiences. If I had a vote, it would have been cast for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’.

Who deserves to win: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’.

Darkhorse: ‘Birdman’.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Who will win: Eddie Redmayne

Who deserves to win: Eddie Redmayne.

Darkhorse: Michael Keaton. Though the challenge by the thespian is said to be more than formidable, his only hope of victory is by gaining some sentimental votes.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

Who will win: Julianne Moore all the way.

Who deserves to win: Julianne Moore even though a special mention must be made of Marion Cotillard.

Darkhorse: Absolutely no competition.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

Who will win: J K Simmons. Sealed and delivered.

Who deserves to win: J K Simmons

Darkhorse: An honorable mention for Mark Ruffalo.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

Who will win: Patricia Arquette for her heartwarming performance. An Oscar is long overdue.

Who deserves to win: Patricia Arquette.

Darkhorse: Other nominees including Meryl Streep are just filling in the nomination slots.

Best Achievement in Directing

Who will win: The toughest category to predict this year. Should Richard Linklater be awarded for his commitment and passion for ‘Boyhood’ or is it Alexandro Innaritu who deserves acclaim for the unconventional ‘Birdman’? My vote is for Richard Linklater but I won’t be surprised if Innaritu pulls off a surprise.

Who deserves to win: Richard Linklater

Darkhorse: Wes Anderson.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen

Who will win: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’.

Who deserves to win: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Darkhorse: ‘Boyhood’.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published

Who will win: ‘The Imitation Game’. A close contender is ‘Whiplash’.

Who deserves to win: ‘The Imitation Game’

Darkhorse: ‘American Sniper’.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year

Who will win: ‘How to Train Your Dragon 2’

Who deserves to win:’ The Lego Movie’ but it is not even nominated.

Darkhorse: ‘Princess Kaguya’

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year

Who will win: I want ‘Leviathan’ to win and my vote is for it but it seems ‘Ida’ may walk away with the prize. Going by the nature of voting in the Academy ‘Ida’ will be the winner.

Who deserves to win:’Leviathan’

Darkhorse: ‘Wild Tales’

Best Achievement in Cinematography

Who will win: Emmanual Lubezki for ‘Birdman’

Who deserves to win: Dick Pope for Mr. Turner

Darkhorse: Lukasz Zal, Ryszard Lenczewski for ‘Ida’

Best Achievement in Editing

Who will win: ‘Boyhood’

Who deserves to win: ‘Boyhood’ and ‘Whiplash’ are equally good.

Darkhorse: ‘Whiplash’

Best Achievement in Production Design

Who will win: ‘‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Who deserves to win:’The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Dark horse: ‘Interstellar’

Best Achievement in Costume Design

Who will win: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Who deserves to win: ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

Darkhorse: ‘Into the Woods’

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score

Who will win: ‘Alexandre Desplat’

Who deserves to win: ‘Alexandre Desplat’

Dark horse: ‘Johann Johannsson’

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song

Who will win:‘Glory’ (Selma)

Who deserves to win: ‘Glory’ (Selma)

Dark horse: ‘Everything is Awesome’ (The Lego Movie)

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing

Who will win:Whiplash

Who deserves to win: Whiplash

Dark horse: American Sniper

Best Achievement in Sound Editing

Who will win: ‘American Sniper’

Who deserves to win: ‘American Sniper’

Dark horse: ‘Birdman’

Best Achievement in Visual Effects

Who will win:‘Interstellar’

Who deserves to win: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’

Dark horse: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Best Documentary, Feature

Who will win: ‘Citizenfour’

Who deserves to win: Citizenfour

Dark horse: Finding Vivian Maier

Week 30

Movies: Non-English

My Life as a Dog (Sweden, 1985) [ IMDB: 7.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 100%]

my life as

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxzO8Qx96O4

This Swedish flick is about a dysfunctional family with the youngest child as the protagonist. A sick mother, an absentee father and a quarrelsome elder brother make life difficult for 12 year old Ingemar. There are beautiful distractions in the form of girls and Ingemar himself has a philosophical take everything, especially on the plight of the dog Laika sent to space. This bittersweet tale was a box office success in its transatlantic crossover in the US. Worth a watch.

Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi (India, 2003) [IMDB: 7.8, Rotten Tomatoes: 91%]

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Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL7U30ESYWk

This is a film close to my heart as I have met versions of the characters portrayed in the movie. It is set in the Emergency era Delhi. The lives of three college friends are intertwined by love, ambition and politics. It is a poignant story and the life of each character is worth an analysis as the movie progresses. The performances are exceptional, with Shiney Ahuja stealing the show. How sad that such a huge talent was wasted. Moving on, the movie is the most authentic representation of life in the 70s in India. The political churning is in stark contrast to the opulence of the Delhi upper crest. The music and songs are befitting for the movie; the track ‘Baanwara man dekhne chala ek sapna’ being one of my personal favourites. In my opinion, one of the best movies to have come out of India in the last decade.

English Retrospective

American Beauty (1999) [ IMDB: 8.5, Rotten Tomatoes: 90%]

american-beauty-poster

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Q3ltyPJJMQ

This is Sam Mendes’ feature debut as a director and he won an Oscar for it. This one is also on a dysfunctional family, the head of which is played by Kevin Spacey. He is a man of many secrets and is facing a mid life crisis. He develops a liking for the friend of his daughter and from there on it is all downhill. The film is remarkable for its engaging screenplay and the rock solid story it wants to tell. The climax will take you by surprise. Recommended.

The Cider House Rules (1999) [IMDB; 7.3, Rotten Tomatoes: 75%]

cider-house-rules-poster-0

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4D2Hog1tEA

Charlize Theron and Tobey Maguire light up the screen in this slow burning story set in an orphanage and among apple orchards. Though I believe that the 7 Oscar nominations the movie received were too many, the two wins it had for Screenplay and Supporting Actor were well deserved. Michael Caine deservedly won the Oscar for this one but it is a movie which tests your patience. Recommended only for the discerning viewer.

Donnie Darko (2001) [ IMDB: 8.1, Rotten Tomatoes: 85%]

donnie darko

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZyBaFYFySk

An underrated and not widely viewed cult classic horror movie. The lead character sees a rabbit which makes him commit crimes. It is one of those movies which you have to view with rapt attention if you do not want to miss the finer points. Jake Gyllenhaal shows early promise in this film. This film is more spooky than scary but then utilizing grey cells is always better than having an adrenaline spike.

Movies I Saw This Week

Despicable Me 2 (2013) [IMDB: 7.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 85%]

despicable-me-2-poster-01

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlbnGSMJQbQ

Maybe it is just me but I feel that all protagonists in animation movies are similar. The happy go lucky guy who is good at wisecracking. ‘Despicable Me 2’ is just another animation film which does nothing to set it apart from the few top notch animation movies released every year. The plot involves a villain who needs to be fought. If it wasn’t an animation movie, I would have have avoided it like the plague. Giving it the benefit of doubt, I would rate it above average.

The River Why (2010) [ IMDB: 5.7, Rotten Tomatoes: 31%]

river why

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV5o7L4_DYU

I guess the ‘Why’ in the title was added by studio executives who could not figure out why they funded this film. The story has a man choose solitude and fly-fishing over everything else. In the process he also gets a girlfriend (Amber Heard). The best thing about the movie is the tintinnabulation the river makes. Enjoy the landscape. Don’t pay attention to the people on screen.

Norman (2010) [ IMDB: 6.3, Rotten Tomatoes: 64%]

norman

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJFs4WIE9yw

A  troubled teen with suicidal tendencies meets a new girl in school. He also has a father awaiting death. The movie is let down by the heavy handed direction and sloppy background score. The script and dialogues are good but then it falters as it moves forward. The finale is as good as throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Documentary Pick of the Week

Bigger Stronger Faster* (2008) [ IMDB: 7.6, Rotten Tomatoes: 96%]

bigger stronger

Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KzGfuFFSxA

The drug problem in American sports told through the eyes of a very level headed competitor. This was before Lance Armstrong revealed that he had lied strong. Must watch. Live strong, play fair.

Eagerly Waiting for: ‘Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom’ because it took so long to make, it better be good.

Did you know: Louis Lumiere, one of the pioneers of cinema, is credited with directing 101 movies between the period 1892-1900.