"Dreams feel real while we're in them. It's only when we wake up that we realize something was actually strange." -Inception

Monday, February 27, 2012

And the Oscar goes to...

(Photo: On the Red Carpet)

So, Oscars 2012 are over and while many categories were what we thought they would be, a few managed to eke some surprises.  It was so comforting to see Billy Crystal again after the debacle hosting of last year and hear the Oscar song medley, "It's a wonderful night for Oscar..." again.  This year, it felt like all the categories kept rolling along smoothly with presenters giving out two awards each time.  It was a well-organized show that didn't feel too overlong.  While the first half of the show clearly belonged to Hugo, The Artist came back strong in the last half to pick the big awards of the night.   I was delighted that Midnight in Paris won for Original Screenplay, my pick for best film of 2011.  It was wonderful to see Rango and the animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore win, I loved both of them the first time I saw them.  Also, The Muppets won an Oscar for Best Song.  Hopefully, this means more Muppet movies.  

I thought the set pieces introducing each of the technical categories like sound, editing and music was very well done indeed.  We do watch the Oscars for the big stars and the glamour quotient but it's mostly because of the hard work and dedication of a crew that film looks so good and it's nice to see them honored and have their moment in the spotlight too.  Iran's Asgar Farhadi had a beautiful speech that proves that movies can provide a common voice to people across all cultures.  When Ludovic Bource (a newcomer) won for Best Original Score for The Artist, he instantly went to shake the hands of the other nominees, Howard Shore and legend John Williams.  Classy, classy move.  You've just earned yourself another fan.  And finally in the night's most pleasant surprises, Meryl Streep won over Viola Davis in the Best Actress category for The Iron Lady.  A previous two-time winner, she had counted herself out for winning and she gave a great speech about maintaining friendships and thanking her longtime makeup artist who also won tonight.  This proves why she really is the best actress ever.  One last thought, let's have the "Scorsese" drinking game at every awards show, yeah?  Even Marty approves!

(Photo: Access Hollywood)
Best Picture: The Artist

Directing: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Actor in a Leading Role: Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Actress in a Leading Role: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
(Photo: Guardian UK)

Actor in a Supporting Role: Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Actress in a Supporting Role: Octavia Spencer, The Help

Animated Feature Film: Rango

(Photo: Essence)
Art Direction: Hugo, Production Design: Dante Ferretti, Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo

Cinematography: Hugo, Robert Richardson

Writing (Adapted Screenplay): The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash

Writing (Original Screenplay): Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen

Film Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

Sound Editing: Hugo, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty

Sound Mixing: Hugo, Tom Fleischman and Jon Midgley

Costume Design: The Artist, Mark Bridges

Foreign Language Film: A Separation, Iran

Visual Effects: Hugo, Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning

Makeup: The Iron Lady, Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Music (Original Score): Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Music (Original Song): Man or Muppet, The Muppets Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie

Documentary Feature: Undefeated

Documentary Short Subject: Saving Face

Short Film Animated: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Short Film (Live Action) : The Shore

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Oscar Picks 2012

Yep, it's that time of year again.  It's Oscar Sunday.  You know what that means, it's time to play the who-will-win game?  I'm less invested emotionally in this year's Oscar race then the whole The Social Network vs. Inception vs. The King's Speech last year but the thing I'm looking forward to most is Billy Crystal hosting and Sacha Baron Cohen showing up, in character, as The Dictator.  But I digress, onto the Oscar Ballot!

Best Picture
The Artist
The Descendants
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

Will win: The Artist.   It's won practically every other award there.  It's a safe bet.
Should win: Hmm, now let's see.  I feel the closest film to challenge The Artist is Hugo but I doubt it's going to cause an upset at this stage of the game.  Although, the film I really loved this past year has been Midnight in Paris.  I don't think I've been so enchanted by a film in a really long time.  War Horse moved me to tears but I don't think that too has a shot.  I am hearing that many people's favorite film this past year has been The Help and many are rooting for it.  

Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
Terrence Malick, The Tree of Life

Will win: Michel Hazanavicius.  He's won the DGA and that's a sure sign he's likely to win here too.  Usually!
Should win: Martin Scorsese.  Hazanavicius is up against Scorsese, Woody Allen and Terrence Malik all of whom have fans in the Academy.  I don't know, I'm kind of hoping for an upset in this category.

Actor in a Leading Role
Demian Bichir, A Better Life
George Clooney, The Descendants
Jean Dujardin, The Artist
Gary Oldman, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

Will win: Jean DuJardin.  Yes, he's in a silent role but he has been charming audiences on talk shows and award shows where he's usually winning.
Should win: Brad Pitt.   Yes, he's regarded as such a big celebrity and all but people forget that he's also a very good actor.  His role as baseball manager showed great depth and maturity.  

Actress in a Leading Role
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn

Will win: Viola Davis.  I go back and forth on this.  Meryl Streep hasn't won another Oscar since 1982 and think of all the wonderful iconic roles she had in that time.  It's disgraceful that she hasn't won for them.
Should win: Viola Davis.  Everyone always think Meryl will come back again with another great role next year and it's true!  I do think it's Viola's year.  

Actor in a Supporting Role
Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Nick Nolte, Warrior
Christopher Plummer, Beginners
Max von Sydow, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Will win: Christopher Plummer.  His role as a gay man who comes out after the death of his wife to his son is hard to be denied, he's so good in it.
Should win: Christopher Plummer.  No contest.

Actress in a Supporting Role
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Melissa McCarthy, Bridesmaids
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Will win: Octavia Spencer.  Her role was one of the strongest in The Help and there are many The Help fans out there.  
Should win: Octavia Spencer.  This is the category that usually causes upsets and if it's anyone, I'd love to see Melissa McCarthy to win for her hilarious role in Bridesmaids

Animated Feature Film
A Cat in Paris
Chico & Rita
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots

Will win: Rango.  A fun, wild Western with a cast of zany characters especially the lead seems like a sure bet here.
Should win: Rango.

Art Direction
The Artist, Production Design: Laurence Bennett, Set Decoration: Robert Gould
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Production Design : Stuart Craig, Set Decoration: Stephanie McMillan
Hugo, Production Design: Dante Ferretti, Set Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo
Midnight in Paris, Production Design: Anne Seibel, Set Decoration: Helene Dubreuil
War Horse, Production Design: Rick Carter, Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

Will win: Hugo.  The sets have been designed especially to incorporate 3D and the period of Paris looks very detailed.
Should win: Harry Potter.  Last chance for Stuart Craig and his team to win an Oscar.  

The Artist, Guillame Schiffman
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Jeff Cronenweth
Hugo, Robert Richardson
The Tree of Life, Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse, Janusz Kaminski

Will win: Emmanuel Lubezki.  The Tree of Life has many fans out there and it looks a win here is a good way to honor the film.
Should win: Janusz Kaminski.  Spielberg said that there only three digital shots that lasted only a few seconds and the rest is all realistically shot.  

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
The Descendants, Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Hugo, John Logan
The Ides of March, George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon
Moneyball, Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorking, Stan Chervin
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bridget O'Connor & Peter Straughan

Will win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash.  The best thing about The Descendants was the flowing and moving script, it's going to win.
Should win: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash.  No real contest here.

Writing (Original Screenplay)
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
Bridesmaids, Annie Mumolo & Kristen Wiig
Margin Call, J.C. Chandor
Midnight in Paris, Woody Allen
A Separation, Asghar Farhadi

Will win: Midnight in Paris.  Woody Allen never really shows up at any awards show but this one seems pretty much a lock.
Should win: Midnight in Paris.  I would keep an eye out for Asghar Farhadi's A Separation too.

Film Editing
The Artist, Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
The Descendants, Kevin Tent
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo, Thelma Schoonmaker
Moneyball, Christopher Tellefsen

Will win: Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius.  The winner here usually ends up winning Best Picture.  
Should win: Kevin Tent.  Although my personal bias leans towards Thelma Schoonmaker and Hugo.

Sound Editing
Drive, Lon Bender and Victor Ray Ennis
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Ren Klyce
Hugo, Philip Stockton and Eugene Gearty
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
War Horse, Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom

Will win: War Horse.  I never know how to pick in these categories.  War Horse is a war film so I'm sticking with it.
Should win: War Horse.

Sound Mixing
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Bo Persson
Hugo, Tom Fleischman and Jon Midgley
Moneyball, Deb Adair, Ron Bochar, Dave Giammarco and Ed Novick
Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Pete J. Devlin
War Horse, Gary Rydstrom, Andy Nelson, Tom Johnson and Stuart Wilson

Will win: War Horse.  See above.  Winners in the sound categories usually go two-for-two.
Should win: War Horse.

Costume Design
Anonymous, Lisy Christl
The Artist, Mark Bridges
Hugo, Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre, Michael O'Connor
W.E., Arianne Phillips

Will win: W.E.  The costume designers guild picked W.E. so I'm going to pick it too.
Should win: Hugo.  Don't count out Sandy Powell who's a three-time winner with eleven previous nominations.

Foreign Language Film
Bullhead, Belguim
Footnote, Israel
In Darkness, Poland
Monsieur Lazhar, Canada
A Separation, Iran

Will win: A Separation.  No contest.
Should win: A Separation.

Visual Effects 
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Tim Burke, David Vickery, Greg Butler and John Richarson
Hugo, Rob Legato, Joss Williams, Ben Grossman and Alex Henning
Real Steel, Erik Nash, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Swen Gillberg
Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, R. Christopher White and Daniel Barrett
Transformers: Dark Of the Moon, Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Matthew Butler and John Frazier

Will win: Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  A win here should make up for the fact that Andy Serkis was noticed or nominated for his work as Caesar.
Should win: Harry Potter.  Ten year's of wizarding magic should count for something.

Albert Nobbs, Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight, Lisa Tomblin
The Iron Lady, Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland

Will win: The Iron Lady.  If you put a picture of Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher next to a picture of Margaret Thatcher herself, you'd have a hard time telling the two apart.
Should win: Harry Potter.  A cast of hundreds of principals and thousands of extras all to be transformed into wizards and witches take a lot of hard work and vision.

Music (Original Score)
John Williams, The Adventures of Tintin
Ludovic Bource, The Artist
Howard Shore, Hugo
Alberto Iglesias, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
John Williams, War Horse

Will win: Ludovic Bource.  The most prominent thing in The Artist (a silent film!) was the music. 
Should win: John Williams for the War Horse.  Like most Spielberg films, Williams score was the emotional center of the film.  

Music (Original Score)
Man or Muppet, The Muppets Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
Real in Rio, Rio Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Will win: Man or Muppet.  Come on, it's the Muppets. Plus you don't want to tick of Miss Piggy, you don't want to make her mad.
Should win: Man or Muppet.

Documentary Feature
Hell and Back Again
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory

Will win: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.  There have been many changes in the actual case and there's also talk about a narrative feature being made from the documentary.  
Should win: Pina.  A lot of fans for this documentary out there.  

Documentary Short Subject
The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement
God is  the Bigger Elvis
Incident in New Baghdad
Saving Face
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Will win: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom.  As the first anniversary of the tsunami/earthquake that devasted Japan approaches, I feel this documentary short is apt for a win.
Should win: The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom

Short Film Animated
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
La Luna
A Morning Stroll
Wild Life

Will win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.  I loved this short about the role of books in our lives what colors and friendships they bring to it.  A truly charming short.  
Should win: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

Short Film (Live Action)
The Shore
Time Freak
Tuba Atlantic

Will Win: Raju.  I am just going by name here, I have no clue in this category.  I'm going try to update myself before the actual show.
Should win: No clue.

UPDATE: I inexplicably lost my original blog post online and had to re-create it by memory, just as I was getting ready to post the winners. *facepalm* Apologies in advance!

The Independent Spirit Awards Winners

Wow, The Artist is really on a roll, winning another set of awards heading into the Oscars.  By the way, I thought these were supposed to be the "Independent" awards.  Most of these film winners seem rather mainstream.

Best Feature
The Artist

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Best Male Lead
Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Supporting Male
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Female Lead
Michelle Williams, My Week with Marilyn

Best Supporting Female
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

Best Cinematography
Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist

Robert Altman Award 
Margin Call

Best First Screenplay
Will Reiser, 50/50

Best First Feature
Margin Call

Best Documentary
The Interrupters

Best International Feature
A Separation

John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000)

Piaget Producers Award
Sophia Lin, Take Shelter

Someone to Watch Award
Mark Jackson, Without

Truer than Fiction Award
Heather Courtney, Where Soldiers Come From

Saturday, February 25, 2012

French Cesar Award Winners

The highest film awards in French cinema (the French Oscars), the Cesars, were held yesterday and unsurprisingly, The Artist did well in their homeland too.  But surprisingly, the best actor did not go to Jean Dujardin but Omar Sy for Intouchables.  Read on for the rest of the winners.

Michel Hazanavicius and Berenice Bejo
Best Film
The Artist

Best Director
Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Actor
Omar Sy, Intouchables

Best Actress
Berenice Bejo, The Artist

Best Supporting Actor
Michel Blanc, The Minister

Best Supporting Actress
Carmen Maura, Service Entrance

Best Newcomer, Actor
Gregory Gadebois, Angele et Tony

Best Newcomer, Actress
Naidra Ayadi, Polisse
Clotilde Hesme, Angele et Tony

Best First Film
Sylvain Estibal, When Pigs Have Wings

Best Original Screenplay
Pierre Schoeller, The Minister

Best Adapted Screenplay
Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski, Carnage

Best Foreign Film
A Separation

Best Cinematography
Guillaume Schiffman, The Artist

Best Animated Film
The Rabbi's Cat

Best Documentary Feature
Tous au Larzac

Best Music
Ludovic Bource, The Artist

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Roundup of Recent Award Winners

The last few days before the Oscars are awarded has seen the last of the guild and technical awards being handed out.  Let's see who the winners were.

The Writer's Guild of America Winners

Original Screenplay
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris

Adapted Screenplay
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Documentary Screenplay
Katie Galloway, Kelly Duane de la Vega, Better This World

Paul Selvin Award
Tate Taylor, The Help

Costume Designers Guild Winners

Period Film
W.E., Ariane Phillips

Contemporary Film
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Trish Summerville

Fantasy Film
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, Jany Temime

USC Libraries Scripter Awards
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon & Jim Rash, The Descendants

Cinema Audio Society (CAS) Award Winners

Outstanding Sound in a Motion Picture

American Cinema Editors (Eddies) Winners

Best Edited Feature Film (Dramatic)
Kevin Tent, The Descendants

Best Edited Feature Film (Comedy or Musical)
Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist

Best Edited Animated Feature Film
Craig Wood, Rango

Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Winners - Golden Reel Awards

Best Sound Effects and Foley in a Feature Film
War Horse

Best Music in a Feature Film

Best Sound Editing in an Animation Feature Film
The Adventures of Tintin

Best Music in a Musical Feature Film
The Muppets

Best Sound Editing in a Feature Foreign Language Film
The Flowers of War

Best Sound Editing in a Feature Documentary
George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Best Dialogue and ADR in a Feature Film
Super 8

Updated to add:

International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) Award Winners

Film Score of the Year
John Williams, War Horse

Film Composer of the Year
John Williams

Breakout Composer of the Year
Ludovic Bource

Best Original Score for a Drama Film
John Williams, War Horse

Best Original Score for a Comedy Film
Christopher Young, The Rum Diary

Best Original Score for an Action/Adventure/Thriller Film
Cliff Martinez, Drive

Best Original Score for a Fantasy/Science Fiction/Horror Film
Michael Giacchino, Super 8

Best Original Score for an Animated Feature
John Williams, The Adventure of Tintin

Best Original Score for a Documentary Feature
Pinar Toprak, The Wind Gods

Film Music Composition of the Year
War Horse - "The Homecoming" (John Williams)

Movie Review: War Horse

War Horse tells the story Joey the horse and Albert (Jeremy Irvine), a young lad who is his fiercest champion.  The movie is also about their strong friendship, one which withstands even the most direst of situations, war.

If you think about it, the movie is mostly presented from the point of view of Joey, who becomes a silent spectator as various men in power decide his fate.  At a young age, he is taken away from his mother, but thankfully he is bought by Albert's father.  He is not the kind of horse needed for hard labor at a farm but Albert sees more in him.  He sees the real potential in him.  As Albert and Joey learn about each other's ways, they become firm friends.  But the world is fast changing and war forces England to send its young men to fight to protect its freedom. 

In these tough times, Joey becomes a solution to the Narracott family's financial woes.  Here it is that Joey and Albert must separate as Joey is sold towards the war effort to a captain but it is not without a promise from Albert that they will find each other again one day.  From there onwards, Joey goes over to the frontline passing along from master to master and even a little French girl who renames him Francois for a young boy she liked.  Cruelly, he is separated from the ones who see how special he is, who are in awe that a horse has survived this long when all other horses have given up or been killed.  But he is a miracle horse and I am pleased to say that he gets and deserves his happy ending without revealing much of the actual plot.

This film is typical Spielberg at his best, through and through.  It has the gritty battle scenes showing us the harsh realities and grimness of war.  And it contains the emotional bond forged between a young boy and his horse which sustains us throughout the whole film.  It's their journey to make but we are swept alongside them.  World War I changed the continent of Europe and Spielberg shows the effect it had on the soldiers from both sides, for a captain in the English army, to a young German medic soldier, to brave Privates (on both sides of the trenches) who risked their lives for a horse.  All these types of people were part of Joey's journey as he just tried to survive in a war environment, a real war horse.

But this is not all Spielberg.  Yes, this film is his vision but all the departments have done such a wonderful job of making the film look like a masterpiece.  John Williams' soaring score, the costumes, the sets, the sound, the editing and mainly Janusz Kaminski's (Spielberg's long-time DP) gorgeous cinematography all came together for some outstanding work.  Some of the scenes especially of the Devon countryside and the sunset look like spectacular paintings.  A special mention, too, of the vast cast involved in film.  The young lead, Jeremy Irvine, is very earnest and appealing and the large British cast of Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch all play their parts well and leave an impact.  Also extremely touching are Niels Arestup and Celine Buckens as the Grandfather and Granddaughter who briefly become Joey's owners.  But the real star of the film is Joey who is the real reason we watch the film.

This coming Sunday, War Horse is nominated for Best Picture alongside a few other categories too.  And while it may not win the big prize, it is certainly deserving of the nomination.  

Directed by Steven Spielberg; Screenplay by Lee Hall and Richard Curtis; Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo; Cinematography by Janusz Kaminski; Editing by Michael Kahn and Music by John Williams.  

Additional cast: Toby Kebbell, David Kross, Matt Milne, Robert Emms, Eddie Marsan, Liam Cunningham.


New Entertainment Weekly Cover: Billy Crystal and the Oscar

Just a few days to go until Oscar Sunday, this February 26th, but Entertainment Weekly has a treat for Oscar fans with one of the favorites ever to host the Oscars in Billy Crystal on the cover.  In the magazine, Billy Crystal talks about how important hosting the Oscars is to him and what jokes/gags are funny for him.  What I'm looking forward to the most on the Oscars is Crystal's return to hosting and his opening monologue.  Yeah, so no pressure there except the whole world's watching.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A to Z of the Film Alphabet

Ok, this video rocks.  Us movie fans/buffs, we sure like to watch a lot of movies be they cult or mainstream cinema.  We also usually like to make lots of videos about those same films.  Here's a cool new video about the A to Z of films.  Every letter of the alphabet is illustrated by a movie title.  Practically all of them are my favorite films, it's like this video was made just for me.  Thank you!  Can you figure out all the names of the movies?

ABCinema from Evan Seitz on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Miss Piggy and Kermit head to the Oscars!

It's official, the Oscars have added two more presenters to their list and it's safe to say that they're bigger celebrities than Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  It's the other power couple, Miss Piggy and Kermit.  Their movie The Muppets is nominated in the Best Song category for "Man or Muppet".  I, for one, can't wait to see them at the show.  There was a formidable online campaign to have The Muppets host the Oscars which they eventually lost out to Billy Crystal.  But I have a feeling that their presence at the show will be entertaining; they usually are with Miss Piggy around.  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Favorite Movie Sequences: Define Dancing from Wall-E

In today's blog post, I'm going to talk about favorite sequences.  Usually in a movie, there's always a sequence which defines the whole film experience for you.  One that pushes the movie into all time best films of all time for you.  You know when it happens, it could be the image that takes your breath away, makes you cry, or in my case, gave me goosebumps.

Pixar films are always a delight to watch in the theater and Wall-E was no exception.  I was enjoying the little robot's adventures with a smile on my face throughout and then this sequence transformed the movie into a keeper.  The combination of Thomas Newman's incandescent score and the onscreen antics of Wall-E and Eve are truly infectious.  Andrew Stanton, the director of Wall-E, shows us with emotion is the true king of animation.  The vastness of space is turned into a dancing floor as Eve and Wall-E "dance" by the enormous spaceship.  The sequence also contains one of my favorite lines from the film.  The Captain asks the Ship's Computer, "Define, 'dancing'." as he has never seen dancing before.  To which the Computer replies, "Dancing: A series of movements involving two partners, where speed and rhythm match harmoniously with music." as Wall-E and Eve fly past them, dancing.  Best definition ever!  This is "Define Dancing" and it is one of my favorite sequences of film.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

BAFTA winners 2012

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) held their 64th annual awards show this past Sunday.  I really like their telecast, it's never live as it usually gets broadcast 2 hours later and there's no silliness present just awards handed out.  Brilliant!  This year, Stephen Fry was back as host with his superfluous compliments to the presenters and the winners too.  The Artist won big with 7 awards and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy won for Best British film.  Formula 1 racing documentary Senna also won big with wins in Best Documentary and Editing.  And of course, Meryl Streep won for The Iron Lady for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher.  Martin Scorsese was also honored with the BAFTA's highest honor, the Fellowship award for his contribution to cinema.  The final Harry Potter surprised even me with a lone win in the visual effects category.  Finally!

Best Film
The Artist

Outstanding British Film
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Tyrannosaur, Paddy Considine (Director), Diarmid Scrimshaw (Producer)

Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema
John Hurt

Film Not In The English Language
The Skin I Live In

Best Documentary

Best Animated Film

Best Director
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius

Best Original Screenplay
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius

Best Adapted Screenplay
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Bridget O'Connor, Peter Straughan

Best Leading Actor
Jean Dujardin, The Artist

Best Leading Actress
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

Best Supporting Actor
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

Best Supporting Actress
Octavia Spencer, The Help

Best Original Music
The Artist, Ludovic Bource

Best Cinematography
The Artist, Guillaume Schiffman

Best Editing
Senna, Gregers Sall, Chris King

Best Production Design
Hugo, Dante Ferretti, Francesca Lo Schiavo

Best Costume Design
The Artist, Mark Bridges

Best Make Up & Hair
The Iron Lady, Marese Langan

Best Sound
Hugo, Philip Stockton, Eugene Gearty, Tom Fleischman, John Midgley

Best Special Visual Effects
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Tim Burke, John Richardson, Greg Butler, David Vickery

Best Short Film Animation
A Morning Stroll

Best Short Film
Pitch Black Heist

The Orange Wednesdays Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)
Adam Deacon

Visual Effects Society Winners 2012

I'm a bit late updating these winners list but here are the victors from feature film categories Visual Effects Society (VES) 10th annual awards gala.  As expected, both Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Rango topped in their categories but Hugo was a surprise winner in the supporting category.  Way to go, Hugo!  

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Visual Effects-Driven Feature Motion Picture
Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Feature Motion Picture

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Motion Picture

Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Caesar

Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango - Rango

Outstanding Created Environment in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 155 Wacker Drive

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango - Main Street Dirt

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Live Action Feature Motion Picture

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Rango - The Dirt Saloon

Outstanding Models in a Feature Motion Picture
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Driller

Outstanding Compositing in a Feature Motion Picture
Captain America: The First Avenger - Skinny Steve

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