Movie-Still Monday: The Revenant

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The Revenant – 2016 Golden Globe winner for Best Picture, Drama. Check back this Thursday to see if The Revenant, Leonardo DiCaprio, and director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu are listed among the names of this years Oscar nominees.

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And the Oscar goes to…: The Academy Award Winners 2015

J.K. Simmons, Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, and Eddie Redmayne
J.K. Simmons, Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, and Eddie Redmayne

Last night, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) soared.  The film about the redemption of a Hollywood has-been won Best Picture, Best Director (Alejandro González Iñárritu), Best Original Screenplay, and Best Cinematography.  Over the last few weeks, Birdman has gained momentum by picking up the top prize from Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild of America, and Producers Guild of America, to name a few.  It was probably this last minute push that allowed Birdman to win Best Picture over the early front-runner, Boyhood.

Boyhood only won Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette’s performance as a struggling single mother.  Her speech was one of the most talked about of the night.  Arquette took the time to point out the disparity in wages between women and men.  The audience whole heartedly agreed, especially Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez.  When Meryl Streep starts cheering for you that enthusiastically, you know you said something right.

Meryl Streep says, "You go, Girl!"
Meryl Streep says, “You go, Girl!”

J.K. Simmons won Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of a tyrannical music teacher in WhiplashWhiplash surprised many by walking away with three of the five awards it was nominated for, including Best Sound Mixing and Best Editing.

The leading actor categories each went to a depiction of physical or mental decline.  Eddie Redmayne won Best Actor for his performance as physicist Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything.  Hawking was diagnosed with ALS in the early 1960s, and has been unable to speak with his own voice since 1985.  Julianne Moore took home the Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of a linguistic professor diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in Still Alice.

The other big winner of the night was The Grand Budapest Hotel, which won four Oscars: Best Score, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design.  That sound of cheering you hear is managing editor of Moviefied NYC Myrna Duarte.  Her love of this film knows no bounds.  I actually have the sneaking suspicion that she may be receiving a percentage of the profits.

The award show itself was very underwhelming.  Host Neil Patrick Harris began with a strong opening number dedicated to movies.  After that initial performance, Harris’s jokes seemed forced and not very funny. He gave the impression that he got his jokes from a book on joke-telling.  The one bright spot was Harris’s spoof on Birdman.  Harris appeared on stage in a pair of tight white underwear after being locked out of his dressing room during a costume change.  He nailed it.

Neil Patrick Harris hosting
Neil Patrick Harris hosting

Below is a full list of night’s winners:

Birdman wins Best Picture
Birdman wins Best Picture

Best Picture

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Best Director

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne wins Best Actor
Eddie Redmayne wins Best Actor

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore wins Best Actress
Julianne Moore wins Best Actress

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

J.K. Simmons accepting his Best Supporting Actor Award
J.K. Simmons accepting his Best Supporting Actor Award

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Patricia Arquette wins Best Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette wins Best Supporting Actress

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Best Original Screenplay

Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Armando Bo, Birdman

The Imitation Game
The Imitation Game

Best Adapted Screenplay

Graham Moore, The Imitation Game

Best Animated Feature Film

Big Hero 6

 

Ida
Ida

Best Foreign Language Film

Ida (Poland)

Best Cinematography

Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

Whiplash
Whiplash

Best Editing

Tom Cross, Whiplash

Best Production Design

Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Costume Design

Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Tilda Swinton in The Grand Budapest Hotel
Tilda Swinton in The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Frances Hannon, Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Best Original Score

Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Common and John Legend perform "Glory".
Common and John Legend perform “Glory”.

Best Original Song

Common and John Legend, “Glory” from Selma

Best Sound Mixing

Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins, Thomas Curley, Whiplash

Best Sound Editing

Alan Robert Murray, Bub Asman, American Sniper

Interstellar
Interstellar

Best Visual Effects

Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter, Scott R. Fisher, Interstellar

Best Documentary Feature

Citizenfour

 Best Documentary Short

“Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1”

Feast
“Feast”

Best Animated Short

“Feast”

Best Live-Action Short

“The Phone Call”

2015 Independent Spirit Awards

Spirit Awards

Every year, Hollywood recognizes the efforts of independent film making through the Independent Spirit Awards.  This year marks the 30 anniversary of the Spirit awards.  Back in 1985, the awards were known as the FINDIE (Friends of Independents) and the awards were presented by Jaime Lee Curtis and Peter Coyote.  The awards presentation was at the now closed 385 North restaurant.

Things have changed quite a bit in 30 years.  While the Spirit Awards maintain the laid back sensibility of those first few ceremonies, the award has become very prestigious and can launch careers.   It has also helped highlight independent film making and bring it into the consciousness of the movie-going public.   For example, four of the five nominated films for Best Feature are also Academy Award Best Picture nominees.

The Independent Spirit Awards, hosted by Kristen Bell and Fred Armisen, will be announced Saturday, February 21 on the IFC Channel.

—Ariadne Ansbro

Boyhood
Boyhood

BEST FEATURE 

BIRDMAN OR (THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) PRODUCERS: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

BOYHOOD PRODUCERS: Richard Linklater, Jonathan Sehring, John Sloss, Cathleen Sutherland.

LOVE IS STRANGE PRODUCERS: Lucas Joaquin, Lars Knudsen, Ira Sachs, Jayne Baron Sherman, Jay Van Hoy

SELMA PRODUCERS: Christian Colson, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Oprah Winfrey

WHIPLASH PRODUCERS: Jason Blum, Helen Estabrook, David Lancaster, Michael Litvak

Obvious Child
Obvious Child

BEST FIRST FEATURE 

A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT DIRECTOR: Ana Lily Amirpour PRODUCERS: Justin Begnaud, Sina Sayyah

DEAR WHITE PEOPLE DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Justin Simien PRODUCERS: Effie T. Brown, Ann Le, Julia Lebedev, Angel Lopez, Lena Waithe

NIGHTCRAWLER DIRECTOR: Dan Gilroy PRODUCERS: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

OBVIOUS CHILD DIRECTOR: Gillian Robespierre PRODUCER: Elisabeth Holm

SHE’S LOST CONTROL DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Anja Marquardt PRODUCERS: Mollye Asher, Kiara C. Jones

Land Ho!
Land Ho!

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD 

(Award given to the best feature made for under $500,000; award given to the writer, director, and producer) * Executive Producers are not awarded.

BLUE RUIN WRITER/DIRECTOR: Jeremy Saulnier PRODUCERS: Richard Peete, Vincent Savino, Anish Savjani

IT FELT LIKE LOVE WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Eliza Hittman PRODUCERS: Shrihari Sathe, Laura Wagner

LAND HO! WRITERS/DIRECTORS: Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens PRODUCERS: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy

MAN FROM RENO WRITER/DIRECTOR: Dave Boyle WRITERS: Joel Clark, Michael Lerman PRODUCER: Ko Mori

TEST WRITER/DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Chris Mason Johnson PRODUCER: Chris Martin

Ava DuVernay directing Selma
Ava DuVernay directing Selma

BEST DIRECTOR

DAMIEN CHAZELLE Whiplash

AVA DUVERNAY Selma

ALEJANDRO G. IÑÁRRITU Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

RICHARD LINKLATER Boyhood

DAVID ZELLNER Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

Only Lovers Left Alive
Only Lovers Left Alive

BEST SCREENPLAY

SCOTT ALEXANDER, LARRY KARASZEWSKI Big Eyes

J.C. CHANDOR A Most Violent Year

DAN GILROY Nightcrawler

JIM JARMUSCH Only Lovers Left Alive

IRA SACHS, MAURICIO ZACHARIAS Love is Strange

Elizabeth Banks in Little Accidents
Elizabeth Banks in Little Accidents

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY

DESIREE AKHAVAN Appropriate Behavior

SARA COLANGELO Little Accidents

JUSTIN LADER The One I Love

ANJA MARQUARDT She’s Lost Control

JUSTIN SIMIEN Dear White People

Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner in The Immigrant
Marion Cotillard and Jeremy Renner in The Immigrant

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

DARIUS KHONDJI The Immigrant

EMMANUEL LUBEZKI Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

SEAN PORTER It Felt Like Love

LYLE VINCENT A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

BRADFORD YOUNG Selma

Miles Teller in Whiplash
Miles Teller in Whiplash

BEST EDITING

SANDRA ADAIR Boyhood

TOM CROSS Whiplash

JOHN GILROY Nightcrawler

RON PATANE A Most Violent Year

ADAM WINGARD The Guest

Jake Gyllanhaal in Nightcrawler
Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

BEST MALE LEAD

ANDRÉ BENJAMIN Jimi: All Is By My Side

JAKE GYLLENHAAL Nightcrawler

MICHAEL KEATON Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

JOHN LITHGOW Love is Strange

DAVID OYELOWO Selma

Rinko Kinkuci in Kumiko, Treasure Hunter
Rinko Kikuchi in Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

BEST FEMALE LEAD

MARION COTILLARD The Immigrant

RINKO KIKUCHI Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

JULIANNE MOORE Still Alice

JENNY SLATE Obvious Child

TILDA SWINTON Only Lovers Left Alive

Alfred Molina in Love is Strange
Alfred Molina in Love is Strange

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

RIZ AHMED Nightcrawler

ETHAN HAWKE Boyhood

ALFRED MOLINA Love is Strange

EDWARD NORTON Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

J.K. SIMMONS Whiplash

Andrea Paz in Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
Andrea Suarez Paz in Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

PATRICIA ARQUETTE Boyhood

JESSICA CHASTAIN A Most Violent Year

CARMEN EJOGO Selma

ANDREA SUAREZ PAZ Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

EMMA STONE Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Anne Dorval in Mommy
Anne Dorval in Mommy

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM

FORCE MAJEURE (Sweden) DIRECTOR: Ruben Östlund

IDA (Poland) DIRECTOR: Pawel Pawlikowski

LEVIATHAN (Russia) DIRECTOR: Andrey Zvyagintsev

MOMMY (Canada) DIRECTOR: Xavier Dolan

NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY (Philippines) DIRECTOR: Lav Diaz

UNDER THE SKIN (United Kingdom) DIRECTOR: Jonathan Glazer

Virunga
Virunga

BEST DOCUMENTARY 

20,000 DAYS ON EARTH DIRECTORS: Iain Forsyth, Jane Pollard PRODUCERS: Dan Bowen, James Wilson

CITIZENFOUR DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Laura Poitras PRODUCERS: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

STRAY DOG DIRECTOR: Debra Granik PRODUCER: Anne Rosellini

THE SALT OF THE EARTH DIRECTORS: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders PRODUCER: David Rosier

VIRUNGA DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Orlando von Einsiedel PRODUCER: Joanna Natasegara

Inherent Vice
Inherent Vice

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD

(Award given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

INHERENT VICE DIRECTOR: Paul Thomas Anderson

CASTING DIRECTOR: Cassandra Kulukundis ENSEMBLE CAST: Josh Brolin, Hong Chau, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Sasha Pieterse, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Kenneth Williams

Foxcatcher
Foxcatcher

SPECIAL DISTINCTION AWARD

FOXCATCHER

DIRECTOR/PRODUCER: Bennett Miller WRITERS: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman PRODUCER: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik

CAST: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum

 

MoviefiedNYC Review: The Curious Case of Birdman

Michael Keaton and Edward Norton in Birdman
Let me make something perfectly clear: Birdman is totally worth seeing. It is bizarre, beautiful, and mind-blowing. It is without a doubt a fantastic film, striking a strange balance between the supernatural and the mundane. Michael Keaton is in the role he was born to play as a washed up actor famous for playing a superhero, and Ed Norton plays an art-house terrorist hell bent on destroying his sense of self-worth–both are absolutely stellar. However, and it’s a big however, something is wrong in watching the film. It hits all the right spots, yet doesn’t leave you breathless like you know it should. Right from the pretentious credit sequence, you notice that something’s up.

I saw Ed Norton speak about Birdman the day before I was due to see it at New York Film Festival with its cast, and he said “film schools will be talking about and dissecting this film for years to come”, and he is absolutely right. The entire film is one take, or rather, it is the illusion of one take. Without a single cut the film covers the rehearsal period and opening night of the production, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love that Keaton’s character is attempting to put on. If you look very closely, you can perhaps see where the camera lines up between each scene, but even so the film is largely seamless. You have to give him props for trying something so original and never-before-seen in one hundred years of cinematic history. The score is equally unrelenting: a non-stop, eccentric, jazzy drum beat, which maximizes the film’s almost clausterphobic backstage setting, creating an immersive and slightly stressful tone—which definitely works

Despite the psychological depth in the unconventional cinematic techniques of the film, the plot itself is chronological and completely comprehendible. You might let out a “huh?!”or a “what!” every now and then but never a “why am I here?”. The protagonist’s descent into madness runs through the DNA of the film–in every transition, angle, and close-up. And in here lies the essence of the movie: that with fame and success comes a series of breakdowns and crippling insecurities that shatter the Hollywood image we have come to love. It shows us a world beyond the movies and the cameras and the lights—or rather behind the curtain—where the actors are ripped from their pedestals and held to public ridicule. Inevitably it all falls apart, and they are stuck with the same problems we all have. Not to sound like a frat-boy, but the word ‘meta’ springs to mind.

Yet there is something that still doesn’t quite add up for Birdman. While it has everything a moviegoer like myself could wish for–spellbinding performances, intense, psychological filmmaking, innovative story–it still doesn’t quite leave you speechless. Perhaps it’s the elements of realism in the film, where the problems of marital breakdown, drug addiction, terror of being considered obsolete are all lain out with absolute honesty that it is sometimes hard to watch. [SPOILER ALERT] Or maybe it is the ending. With so much building to the final performance, it seems a shame when the director breaks his pattern and has his first cut in the film. This is where the problem lies: we are shown a world so close to ours, and therefore so capable of touching us in our very souls that once it is suddenly all mended and Keaton can literally fly away in the end we are left deflated and unsatisfied. This is not what we signed up for–not what we connected to for an hour and a half. It’s too easy, and too Hollywood. So while Iñárritu might have changed the game, he certainly leaves the player unchanged.

–Lottie Abrahams

 

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MoviefiedNYC’s Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2014

David’s Top Five Most Anticipated Movies of 2014

1. Inherent Vice  Director Paul Thomas Anderson 
Why? P.T. Anderson, that’s why!

 

2. The Grand Budapest Hotel   Director Wes Anderson
I’m excited to return to Anderson’s world. 

 

3. Mr. Turner  Director Mike Leigh working again with his Topsy-Turvy, Secrets & Lies star Timothy Spall.

 

4. The Lobster  Director Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth
A love story set in a dystopian near future. He’s one of the most original (and bizarreDogtooth) directors out there right now.


5. Maleficent   Robert Stromberg
Sleeping Beauty is one of my favorite Disney toons. Angelina Jolie just looks so freakin’ beautifully evil. 

 
6. Calvary  Director John Michael McDonagh (The Guard)
Stars Brendan Gleeson (In Bruges and The Guard) and Chris O’Dowd (The IT Crowd).

 

7. Muppets Most Wanted  Director James Bobin
Bobin returns to direct the second of the modern day Muppets, and a healthy dose of Muppets is good for the soul. 

 

8. The Lego Movie  Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller
Are you kidding? My favorite toy ever! I don’t know what it’s about but I’m in. 

 

9. Nymphomaniac  Director Lars von Trier (Melancholia)
I’m scared, yet very curious, but quite scared!


10. Into the Woods  Director Rob Marshall (Chicago) 
I’m simply curious to see how Hollywood can fuck up yet another great Broadway musical.

 

A couple more honorable mentions: Knight Of Cups (Director Terrence Malick), Exodus (Director Ridley Scott), and of course Interstellar. 

 

Myrna’s Top Five Most Anticipated Movies of 2014

1. Inherent Vice – Director Paul Thomas Anderson
Joaquin Phoenix + Paul Thomas Anderson + Thomas Pynchon = I am speechless with joy.

2. The Grand Budapest Hotel – Director Wes Anderson
I always want to visit the world’s Wes Anderson creates.

3. Gone Girl – Director David Fincher
Fincher is back with another adaptation of a thrilling, page turning best-seller.

4. Interstellar – Director Christopher Nolan
More of the McConaughey-renaissance with some Christopher Nolan on the side.

5. Midnight Special – Director Jeff Nichols
I’m up for anything Jeff Nichols does, but I’m especially curious about this film center on a father and son who go on the run when it’s discovered that the boy possesses special powers.


6. Only Lovers Left Alive – Director Jim Jarmusch
Vampires in love (Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston), with a rumored return to for by Jim Jarmusch.


7. Snowpiercer – Director Joon-ho Bong
Can’t resist anything from the director of Mother, and one Tilda Swinton is in it.


8. The Immigrant  Director James Gray
More Joaquin!

9. Boyhood – Director Richard Linklater
Linklater’s experimental look at the life of a boy and his family film in real time over a 12-year period.


10. Birdman – Director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu
My beloved and gloomy Iñárritu (Amores Perros, Babel) makes his comedy debut with the dark tale of of a has been comic book movie star (Micheal Keaton),

A few more titles to look out for (in no particular order):

How To Train Your Dragon 2 (Toothless!)
Cuban Fury
The Lobster (Yorgos Lanthimos – Dogtooth)
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby

 
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