Marshall Gets a Trailer

thurgood-marshall-chadwick-boseman

The first trailer for Marshall was released this week. Chadwick Boseman stars as Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court justice and features his battles through his career-defining case, the Brown v. Board of Education trial in 1954.

Josh Gad plays Sam Friedman an attorney hired by the NAACP and worked as Marshall’s partner.

Marshall opens October 13th.

Stronger Gets a Trailer


The first trailer for Stronger starring Jake Gyllenhaal and directed by David Gordon Green was released today.  

A victim of the Boston Marathon (Jeff Bauman) bombing in 2013 helps the police track down the killers while struggling to recover from devastating trauma. We all remember the picture of Bauman being wheeled to safety with his leg blown off and another man holding the artery closed. 

Stronger is scheduled to be released on September 22nd. 
 
              

Daniel Day-Lewis Could Win One Final Oscar

Daniel Day-Lewis announced his retirement on Tuesday at age 60. This is a private decision and neither he nor his representatives will make any further comment on this subject his statement reads. Day-Lewis is one of the few actors to shy away from attention as you can even tell by his retirement statement. He may hate the spotlight, but he has won 3 Best Actor Oscars, more than anyone in Academy history.  

He could possibly win his 4th and final Oscar with this year’s release of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread. The official description from IMDB is rather vague. Set in the fashion world of 1950s London, a dressmaker (Charles James) is commissioned to design for members of high society and the royal family. Known for his method style of preparation, Day-Lewis is bound to make it a little more interesting than described.

Who is Charles James?

Charles James was a real designer, who was born in 1906  into a wealthy military family and became known as America’s First Couturier. James is little-known in the UK, but his influence was considerably greater across the Pond, where he designed dresses for socialites and movie stars including Marlene Dietrich. By 1950, when Phantom Thread is set.

James mixed in glamorous circles. He was a close friend of Cecil Beaton whom he met while at school in Harrow, where he also met Evelyn Waugh, before being expelled for a “sexual escapade”. He apparently made no effort to hide his homosexuality, much to the ire of his father, a British army officer. In 1954, however, he married Nancy Lee Gregory, an affluent woman from Kansas who was 20 years his junior; they were together for seven years.

James is credited with inspiring Christian Dior to create The New Look, the flirtatious, fitted styling of the late Forties that revolutionized fashion in the middle of the last century.

Besides a few behind the scenes pictures on the internet, there is very little else being said about the film. If it is any good at all, the Academy may want to honor Day-Lewis one last time with Best Actor nomination. If anything, it will get him to attend the ceremony.

Phantom Thread is set to be released on the very Oscar-friendly date of December 25th.

Can Wonder Woman be an Oscar Contender? 


Scott Feinberg at The Hollywood Reporter spoke to a few Academy members who attended a screening of Wonder Woman at the organizations headquarters in Beverly Hills. 
Large, enthusiastic crowd,” wrote one male member of the public relations branch who is not connected to Warner Bros., the film’s distributor, or the film itself. “Big applause for Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot.

There were Quite a few older Academy members, so clearly they were interested in the film. It played extremely well. If a film like this can get Oscar attention, this might be the one this year.”  A female member of the sound branch wrote, Lots of applause for the credits. Some sniffling here and there. The sound was good — seat-rattling, and not in the Michael Bay hit-you-over-the-head way. Nice mix too. The VFX were okay — some mattes were cheesy, but the production design was great and the music, as well, was stellar. The screenplay was smart, so that’s a possibility. Hard film for the Academy to ignore, and the fact that so many showed up and applauded is a good sign. It’s fun and patriotic in its innocence, meaning if you are an America First Republican it hit you over the head! As soon as Chris Pine comes on the scene, the film takes flight and never lands or takes a breath. It could actually garner a best picture nomination. And Gal Gadot is perfect.”

Feinberg also quotes a member of the executives branch who was not able to attend Saturday night’s screening and wrote “I’m eager to see it. It sounds absolutely wonderful. And truly, there’s nothing else to see.”
That’s the key, when there is nothing else to see, the Academy is looking for anything that might look like an Oscar contender in June. 

Victoria & Abdul Oscar Bait Trailer

The first trialer for Victoria & Abdul was released this week.  It is based on the true story of an unexpected friendship during Queen Victoria’s (Judi Dench) rule. Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal), travels from India to participate in the Queen’s Golden Jubilee and they form an unlikely friendship. 

This trailer is the definition of Oscar bait. A slow predictable story with people in funny costumes. Just the kind of film that gets a Best Costume Design nomination and nothing else. 

The trailer has an incredible 1 million plus views. There is interest coming from somewhere. 

Future Not so Bright for Cannes Films 


Generally speaking, movies that play at the Cannes Film Festival in May don’t win Oscars. It’s a long year and it isn’t easy for a film to use the hype from Cannes to keep it going to have an impact much later in the year. A movie has to be really special to to get the attention of Oscar voters. 
The films in the last 10 years that have received a Best Picture Oscar nomination are:

No Country for Old Men – 2007
The Artist – 2011
The Tree of Life – 2011
Midnight in Paris – 2011
Amour – 2012
Nebraska – 2013
Mad Max: Fury Road – 2015

The Artist went on to win Best Picture. It was much easier for these films to get in when they allowed 10 Best Picture nominees. Tree of Life was booed at Cannes, but being underestimated can make an Oscar film. 

Often when a film does well at Cannes, it doesn’t finish out the year with a Best Picture nomination. It can help to spring up acting and writing contenders. Like Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol or Steve Carell in Foxcatcher. Last year at this time we were convinced that Ruth Negga and Loving were shoo-ins for a Best Actress and Best Picture win. 

A few films that played at Cannes this year have some buzz. Todd Hayne’s Wonderstruck, probably being the most talked about. Other possibilities include, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Good Time, You Were Never Really Here, The Meyerowitz Stories and The Square. A Smaller film like The Florida Project, is prime for a Spirit Award nomination. A few foreign language films could break through like, Loveless, Jupiter’s Moon, White God and Happy End. 

It’s all worth paying attention to, but certainly don’t draw any conclusions this early in the year. The real test comes in the Fall with Toronto, Telluride and Venice. 

2017 Oscar Nomination Predictions


The Oscar nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday, January 24th at 5:18am PST.
I used the predictions of other Oscar bloggers and Oscarologists, as well as my own opinion to come up with my list. Here goes nothing.

Best Picture
La La Land
Moonlight
Manchester by the Sea
Lion
Hacksaw Ridge
Hidden Figures
Arrival
Fences
Hell or High Water

Best Director
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Denis Villeneueve (Arrival)
Garth Davis (Lion)

Best Actor
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Denzel Washington (Fences)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Actress
Emma Stone (La La Land)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Amy Adams (Arrival)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Isabelle Huppert (Elle)

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis (Fences)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Moonlight
Lion
Arrival
Hidden Figures
Fences

Best Original Screenplay
Manchester by the Sea
La La Land
Hell or High Water
Jackie
The Lobster

Best Animated Feature
Zootopia
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
The Red Turtle
Finding Dory

Best Documentary Feature
O.J.: Made in America
The Eagle Huntress
13th
Life, Animated
Weiner

Best Foreign Language Film
Toni Erdmann
The Salesman
A Man Called Ove
Land of Mine
Paradise

Best Cinematography
La La Land
Moonlight
Arrival
Silence
Lion

Best Costume Design
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Captain Fantastic
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Silence

Best Film Editing
La La Land
Moonlight
Arrival
O.J.: Made in America
Manchester by the Sea

Makeup and Hair Styling
Florence Foster Jenkins
Deadpool
Star Trek Beyond

Best Original Score
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Jackie
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Original Song
“City of Stars” (La La Land)
“How Far I’ll Go” (Moana)
“Audition” (La La Land)
“Drive It Like You Stole It” (Sing Street)
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (Trolls)

Best Production Design
La La Land
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Arrival
Doctor Strange
Jackie

Best Sound Editing
La La Land
Hacksaw Ridge
Arrival
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Sully

Best Sound Mixing
La La Land
Hacksaw Ridge
Arrival
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Silence

Best Visual Effects
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Jungle Book
Doctor Strange
Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Live Action Short
Nocturne in Black
Timecode
Bon Voyage
The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf and the Boy
Graffiti

Best Animated Short
Inner Workings
Piper
Pearl
Once Upon a Line
The Head Vanishes

Best Documentary Short
The White Helmets
Joe’s Violin
Extremis
Brillo Box (3¢ Off)
Watani: My Homeland