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The Oscar 2015 Nominations Are In!

 

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This year’s Oscar nominations were announced earlier today by the Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, actor Chris Pine and directors JJ Abrams and Alfonso Cuaron in a 2 part broadcast for the first time ever, revealing the nominations in all 24 categories. Leading the noms are Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel which both have 9 nods whilst the Brits have been nominated in the major categories.

The Hollywood ceremony will be held on Sunday 22nd February. Here are your nominees…

 

Best Picture:

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

Best Actor:

Steve Carell,  Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

 

Best Actress:

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild

 

Best Supporting Actor:

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

JK Simmons, Whiplash

 

Best Supporting Actress:

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

 

Best Cinematography:

Birdman

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ida

Mr Turner

Unbroken

 

Best Director:

Alejandro G Inarritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game

 

Best Adapted Screenplay:

American Sniper

The Imitation Game

Inherent Vice

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash

 

Best Original Screenplay:

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler

 

Best Animated Feature Film:

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

 

For the full lineup of nominations click here

EMO’s Top 20 Films of 2014

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As the curtain closes on 2014 and we enter a new, exciting year of film, it’s about time I got going with a ‘Top 20 Films of 2014’ list. I honestly wanted to just keep it nice and simple with a top 10, however, after looking back at what my eyes had devoured over the past 365 days, I felt the need to give credit to those that not only impressed me, but what I really enjoyed. Whether it was due to the fact that a franchise had just begun or was coming to a close, or the grand old superhero summer flicks that dominated the box office sales, my top 20 consists of the big blockbusters, a few rom-coms (which definitly deserved a spot seeing as the best rom-coms came from the late 90’s/early 2000’s) and a few flicks which impressed me due to the fact that I had no clue what I was in for. Here’s my top 20…

20. Fury

19. A Walk Among The Tombstones

18. Begin Again

17. Divergent

16. The Grand Budapest Hotel

15. Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

14. X-Men: Days of Future Past

13. About Last Night

12. That Awkward Moment

11. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Drum roll please for the Top 10!…

10. Chef

Chef

9. Interstellar

Interstellar

8. Nightcrawler

nightcrawler

7. Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

6. The Fault in Our Stars

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5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

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4. The Guest

the guest

3. Guardians of The Galaxy

GOTG

2. Gone Girl

Gone girl

1. The Imitation Game

Imitation game

Comment below and tell us what’s your Top 10 Films of 2014 and what are your most anticipated films of 2015.

Happy New Year and may the odds be ever in your favour 😛

No Objections – The Judge Review

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Coming from the director who gave us Shanghai Knights and The Change-Up, it’s great to see a more serious/Oscar worthy effort from David Dobkin, and The Judge is exactly that.
Keeping his distance from his family, big shot city lawyer Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr) goes back to his childhood town for the funeral of his mother. During the opening of old wounds, his father, the town’s Judge (Robert Duvall) is suspected of murder. Hank is then forced to figure out the truth whilst reconnecting with his family.
It’s safe to say that The Judge is filled with the top end of Hollywood, with Oscar nominated actors and Winners. From the moment it was announced Robert Duvall would be playing Robert Downey Jr’s father (two of the most respected actors in Hollywood) in a film called The Judge, you can tell straight away that there would be some sort of family drama and not just courtroom drama. There is a good balance of both keeping you interested in both their professional and personal lives.
On the professional side of things, portraying a lawyer is fun and Downey Jr does it like a true pro. He has enough charisma and sarcasm (like always) that can fill a courtroom like Matthew McConaughey, but it was also great to see the more gritty side of Downey Jr when it came down drilling the facts into the jury’s heads to try and get them on his side and probing his father on the stand when it really mattered. He certainly took a step away from his Tony Stark persona that seems to be over riding his other huge successes in the past like the wonderful Chaplin.

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On the personal side of things the saying “like father like son” and also “like mother like daughter” is very applicable. The tension between middle child Hank and the Judge is so raw and open for everyone to see and dwell in. It’s the good old argument of a father not being there but it’s played out so well, you can’t help but really feel the emotion that’s bouncing off the walls in the room to pull a tear from your eye with ease. Duvall is known for sucking you into the world he’s living in on screen and continues to bring his sheer brilliance to the rest of the cast. Slightly moving away from the family drama, Hank’s character is still witty, charismatic and charming enough to bring back old flames at his home town even though he has his own family drama back home in the city. From the moment the line “I’ll extract the truth from your ass like tree sap” is mentioned, you know for certain Downey Jr’s got game (watch out McConaughey).

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Usually with courtroom flicks, there’s always a prick worthy lawyer on the other side, and in this case it’s Billy Bob Thornton, who plays the top notch lawyer Dwight Dickham who from the moment he is visible on screen, you see him flicking out his little, metal, fold-able cup in the way only a highly egotistical lawyer would. The only issue with Dickham was that they made him out to be the one to avoid, but in reality he wasn’t as bad-ass as he should have been but there was definitely potential.
With everything that’s being released recently on the big screen, it’s very refreshing to see a film you can actually relate to that isn’t about superheroes, a book adaptation that’s a franchise or a romance that will emotionally stab you causing a tear or two. The Judge will grip you in more ways than one and pull on those child hood memory strings you may have been holding back.

Star Ratings 4

 

 

 

A Raw and Suspenseful Spine in Hollywood – Gone Girl Review

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If there’s nothing that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat, a missing-person-crime-thriller by David Fincher will definitely do the trick.
With notable, unforgettable credits under his name such as Zodiac, Seven, Fight Club and more recently-ish The Social Network, Fincher has taken Gillian Flynn’s novel down the same path as becoming the highlight of a very heated discussion. It’s safe to say that Flynn had already paved the way, but this adaptation evidently had Fincher’s name written all over it.
Rosamund Pike plays Amy Dunne, America’s sweetheart in literature, married to a fellow journalist Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck. Throughout the film, we are introduced to flash back memories of their marriage, and Amy’s thoughts and recollections she held within diary entries of what married life to Nick Dunne was like. As any marriage, it’s not a walk in the park, there are many ups and downs to live though and the strength of ones marriage will determine the future of it. After sitting through the “honeymoon stage” of their marriage, things begin to get rough. Because of the recession, they both lose their jobs, then end up moving back to his hometown where he manages a bar with his twin sister. In the present, Amy goes missing on their 5th wedding anniversary through mysterious circumstances and because of his laid back, calm approach, the weird circumstances surrounding Amy’s disappearance and the what seems to be terrible marriage they were having, people start to talk and indirectly point the finger. Did Nick Dunne murder his wife?

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Gone Girl is no doubt clever. Fincher and Flynn manage to keep every twist and turn and untwists interesting and kept well in place. They take the story in many different directions to say the least and it really does keep your mind-boggling trying to figure out if you’ve solved the mystery or not. But as said before, Gone Girl keeps you interested at every point, especially as a film that’s over two and a half hours long. It’s so confidently intellectual and thrilling that it marinades you into the story. Amy’s fate is actually revealed halfway through the film, refreshing the plot and acting as a stage entrance for the development of new characters. So there’s no point turning up at the end of the film if you just want to know the truth and start spreading those awful spoilers all over the web.
Affleck plays the part of Nick Dunne emotionally very well. His character is the one that keeps you edge. He’s very convincing at times when pleading his innocence, but then lets his guard down very easily to keep twisting your thoughts and conviction against him.
The stand out role definitely came from Rosamund Pike. Her portrayal of Amy Dunne was simply outstanding. Her specific yet raw and dark monologues will get you feeling uncomfortable to know someone is saying this out loud, especially as a female viewer. But it’s this raw intensity that makes you want to learn more. An unforgettable character with more twisting conflicts as not only a wife, but as a woman too.
Moving slightly away from the two main characters, other characters that really do help make the story relative and act as the audiences reference point are Nick’s twin sister Margo (Carrie Coon), the very sceptical Detective Rhonda Boney (Kim Dickens) and the super funny lawyer Tanner Bolt (Tyler Perry) who definitely played the part of being the man you pay a bucket load of money to, to help out when your partner goes missing.

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One character that really catches your attention with his mysterious absences is Ex-boyfriend Desi Collings played by Neil Patrick Harris. His character was very intriguing yet more could have been done with him. There’s this creepy, mysterious whiff he brings when on-screen, but in comparison to the novel, there’s a little more to his character that they didn’t seem to bring to the big screen, which really would have made a little more sense and given his character a bit more depth, especially with Harris playing the this perfect role. But for what was given to him, Harris never fails to give a convincing performance.
Gone Girl is quite difficult to write about without giving anything away. It’s like the 21st century version of the Sixth Sense where you just have to watch the film to find out the truth. You can keep guessing and running around in circles about what you think may happen but you’ll never really know until you watch it. Fincher is great at throwing you off-balance at the right times to only drag you back into your original thought numerous times. Gone Girl has placed its sturdy, suspenseful, creepy/crazy spine in Hollywood and really does demonstrate the idea that marriage is not a walk in the park.

Star Ratings 4

 

 

 

 

 

It’s About Time The Oscars Revamped Their Categories

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

 

As we are gearing up for the end of 2013, a lot of talk has been going around about one of the best times for film makers and movie goers, Awards Season.

With not much justice, the Oscars will always be the biggest award of the night. Everyone wants to be holding that golden statue giving a speech up on stage and getting rushed off by the sound of music, adding a few tears here and there. But not everyone gets the chance to have this moment, not because they haven’t won, but for the mere fact that the category just doesn’t exist.

The Oscars is a huge event with tonnes of categories, from the biggest on screen, to the smallest behind closed doors, but it’s about time they revamped the categories and not expect the ceremony to just carry itself. Here are 3 categories they are definitely missing that should be added to the line-up…

 

 Best Stunt:

With the light of Jason Statham having a say in a Vanity Fair interview, he’s definitely got it spot on. Stunt men/women and Co-ordinators should be recognised for the hard work they put into making these awesome stunts in film. It is quite unfair how an actor in front of a green screen can win an Oscar for their performance, whilst the stunt men who actually pulled of the stunt lay low on the sideline without a credit. Yes there are some actors who pull of their own stunts so fair enough, they could be nominated too. But those guys out there risking their lives to make the actor look good and give us that breathless feeling when their falling off somewhere really do need more credit for the amazing work they do.

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Best Voice Actor:

We’re living in an age now where CGI is like second nature in a film with non human characters included. Whether it’s an animation of just live action with CGI inserted, voice actors should be getting a bit more attention when it comes to awards. There are already award categories for these special effects etc but to voice over a character does take quite a lot of skill. It’s not as simple as saying a line from a script. It’s just the same as normal acting, if not a bit more difficult because natural body language is absent as we can’t see the person, so why not? Most of the time, it’s the voice of a character that brings it to life rather than the way it looks. With the technology of Motion Capture suits, sometimes it’s the actors actually acting out these characters, quite like video games. So it really is a lot of work and great imagination.

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Best Trailer:

Now for a lot of us, a trailer is the key to whether you go to watch a film or not. It’s the main source of research for a film. Yes there are reviews etc but they all have the reviewer’s opinion, so a trailer is just perfect because it’s neutral. A trailer isn’t just put together by splicing a few bits of a film together; it’s a huge part of the film’s marketing, so it has to engage the audience. There are a lot of trailers out there that deserve an award. Think about the trailers you’ve watched this past year, some even looked better than the film turned out to be, why? Because the editors know what the audiences want to see. But really there are a lot of trailers out there that make you watch it more than once and the people behind these trailers also deserve some credit.

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So what do you think? What categories would you like to see in the Oscars?