This week, Blaise and I had the chance to go see Keira Knightley’s new film, Laggies, which also starred Sam Rockwell and Chloe Grace Moretz. Check out our review of Laggies right here and let us know if you want to see it, or if you have already seen it, what you thought about it!
I don’t cry too often when watching movies, and I’ve absolutely never cried while watching a movie trailer. However, the trailer for Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s newest film which was actually filmed over 12 years with the same actors as they naturally aged and follows the life of a boy named Mason from age 5 to 18, legitimately brought tears to my eyes. Similar to Linklater’s Before trilogy, Boyhood appears to be focusing on the genuine, honest realities of life, its triumphs and hardships. It looks absolutely stunning and is the movie I’m most anticipating this summer.
Boyhood hits theaters on July 11.
Sorry to be so late on posting this, but over the weekend, the first trailer for Sin City: A Dame To Kill For was released, and I have to say, I’m ridiculously excited. Sin City has been one of my favorite movies since it was first realized back in 2005 (I still have the poster of Jessica Alba as Nancy hanging in my room), and now, almost nine years later, I’m really excited to see what Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller, and this awesome cast (which includes Alba, Mickey Rourke, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and Eva Green) can come up with again. This could potentially be one of my favorite movies of the summer.
Sin City: A Dame To Kill For hits theaters August 22nd.
This past weekend, one of my best friends convinced me to give the 2006 Dublin-set, musical, Once, a shot. Once had been a film that I had wanted to see for the longest time. It combined three of my favorite things (music, romance, and Ireland), plus its soundtrack boasted the wondrous, touching song, “Falling Slowly,” so it was pretty much a guarantee that I would love this film. What I didn’t expect, however, was just how much I would end up loving it. The short answer: a whole lot.
Once never names its characters, but you’d be hard-pressed to find two more believable leads than Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova as Guy and Girl. The pair’s dialogue and simple interactions, such as Girl pulling the Hoover vacuum cleaner behind her as the two of them walk and talk together, or Guy’s hesitance as three, burly guys enter Girl’s apartment to use the TV (it’s the only one in the complex), feel so genuine and authentic that they cannot be dismissed. Not to mention, Irglova and Hansard’s chemistry is so palpable that every scene in Once is charged with emotional energy. Whenever the two of them are close together, whether they are playing their instruments or not, you’re constantly expecting the fireworks that sadly never fully explode.
But the simple fact that Guy and Girl (spoiler alert) never kiss on screen illustrates Once’s understanding of true romance. When people fall for each other, it’s not the first kiss or the first time they sleep together that they cling to and remember. Instead, it’s about the simple, kind, and caring actions, like fixing a vacuum cleaner free of charge or playing a song you’ve never played in public before for someone. These little moments (and writer and director John Carney’s belief in them) are what make Once so special. They give substance to the beautiful music, provide even deeper lyrics to the perfectly performed songs, and allow for the selfless, compassionate, and incredibly romantic final gesture by Guy at the end of film to feel honest and earned.
Once is like the best concert you’ll ever go to. It’s a short, simple, and beautiful film that I never wanted to end, and it will stay with you, like a great song that gets stuck in your head, long after the credits appear on screen.
After giving you our choices for who we think should win the Oscars, Ryan, Blaise, and I are now here to give you who we think will win when the names are read aloud this Sunday night at the Academy Awards.
Also, before I get into my predictions, two disclaimers first. When it comes to some of the more minor categories like Animated Short or Foreign Language Film, I’m just going with my gut and guessing. And lastly, I think it’s good to have at least one or two upset picks on your ballot, which is why I’m going with Jennifer Lawrence for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, even though I’m like 99% sure Lupita Nyong’o is going to win. There’s always got to be some sort of fun risk when picking these winners, right? Enjoy the Oscars everyone, and comment below with your predictions of who will take home the awards this Sunday.
Best Picture | 12 Years a Slave
Actor in a Leading Role | Matthew McConaughey
Actress in a Leading Role | Cate Blanchett
Actor in a Supporting Role | Jared Leto
Actress in a Supporting Role | Jennifer Lawrence
Animated Feature Film | Frozen
Cinematography | Gravity
Costume Design | American Hustle
Directing | Gravity
Documentary Feature | The Act of Killing
Documentary Short Subject |Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall
Film Editing | Gravity
Foreign Language Film | The Hunt
Makeup and Hairstyling | Dallas Buyers Club
Music: Original Score | Gravity
Music: Original Song | “Let It Go” from Frozen
Production Design | Gravity
Short Film: Animated | Feral
Short Film: Live Action | Helium
Sound Editing | Gravity
Sound Mixing | Gravity
Visual Effects | Gravity
Writing: Adapted Screenplay | 12 Years a Slave
Writing: Original Screenplay | American Hustle
Her | Megan Ellison, Spike Jonze & Vincent Landay
Here we are. The big one. The most coveted award of them all: Best Picture. This year, there are nine very deserving nominees: 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club, Her, Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Philomena, Nebraska, and Captain Phillips. So many of these films were my favorites from this year, specifically American Hustle, Nebraska, and Her. However, if I had to choose one movie that was incredibly successful in all facets of filmmaking, from acting to writing to directing, it would be Her, the beautiful, stirring romance from director Spike Jonze.
Her is a film that resonates with viewers well after you’ve seen it. The honest, real, and vibrant relationship between Theodore and Samantha stays with you much longer than any of the drug-induced debauchery of The Wolf of Wall Street or the technological advancements of Gravity.
Her challenges the way we view human interaction, while also embracing the simplicity of every day conversation, of the beautiful little things that we notice every day but almost always forget to hold onto and remember. Spike Jonze and his team take these small, seemingly insignificant moments and fill them with purpose. Her forces us to focus on what it really means to be in love and how easily it is to fall into it.
Her transports us to a state of mind where the simple, little things don’t just get noticed by people but are instead enshrined in memory, where the kind, funny words of a lover all we need to get through the day. And that ability to reach through the screen and make us truly, honestly feel is what makes Her the best film of this past year.
Leonardo DiCaprio | The Wolf of Wall Street
The Best Actor category of this year’s Oscars may be the most stacked the field has ever been. Each of the five performers nominated (Christian Bale for American Hustle, Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, Bruce Dern for Nebraska, Chiwetel Ejiofor for 12 Years a Slave, and Leonardo DiCaprio for The Wolf of Wall Street) truly deserves a nod for his respective role, but for me, there’s only one clear choice in this discussion.
Leonardo DiCaprio has been ignored and neglected by the Academy for too long. With his portrayal of lustful, money-obsessed, drug addict tycoon, Jordan Belfort, in Martin Scorcese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, DiCaprio has reached the pinnacle of his career, giving us a character that is so despicable and deplorable in his behavior yet still somewhat likable, thanks solely to the sheer charisma and excitement that Leo breathes into every scene, every moment.
While I have many issues with The Wolf of Wall Street as a film (it’s overly long, lacks focus, and fails to utilize the numerous characters that it throws at us in interesting and entertaining ways), DiCaprio is most certainly not one of those problems. In fact, Leo’s work in Wolf is so good and so strong that it elevates the somewhat shallow and soulless source material and provides it with substance.
Whether it’s the Jerry Lewis-influenced, comedic “quaalude crawl,” or his internal struggle to leave behind the firm he built (which ultimately ends with him staying put as the CEO), DiCaprio displays almost every emotion in the book. And more importantly, he makes us share in each of those feelings with him throughout the whole crazy ride.