Monday 27 February 2012

It's Oscars or whatever

So I woke up at 3:30 in the morning to see the 84th Academy Awards. I had woken up around the same time the previous night thinking I had gotten my time zones wrong and Oscars have started.

My thoughts:
- Ugh the interviewers are stupid. I did like the British female though, despite that interview with Nick Nolte.

- I loved the Mominees part. I started tearing up.

- My best-dressed- Jessica Chastain with her red hair and that awesome black and gold dress and Michelle Williams in a colour which made me think of red roses. I also liked Octavia Spencer (who Nina Garcia called OctAhvia), Kristen Wiig, Sandra Bullock, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Rose Byrne and a very appropriate Glenn Close.

- When they showed those guys carrying the Oscar envelopes in the suitcases, I couldn't help but picture someone tackling them and the envelopes flying out in a dramatic fashion. Why don't people tackle them?

- I hate that they keep showing the inside of the theatre. It loses the magic and appeal.

- So the show starts. I don't know if I liked the interior design so much. For whatever reason it made the place look smaller.

- I like Morgan Freeman too much. Nice way to open and that montage was funny. Minus Beiber of course.

- Billy Crystal was not in his top form. I couldn't understand some of the things he said or sang. But he was still much better than the train wreck last time.

- Doesn't Tom Hanks start the awards-giving every year?

- I can't believe Emmanuel Lubezki didn't win for cinematography! I mean, The Tree of Life is one of the most beautiful looking films to have ever been made, and Lubezki is to thank for that. Hugo was good, but certainly not this great.

- So I don't know at what point to start my Harry Potter tirade. Maybe a bit later on. Anyways it didn't win the much deserved Art Direction award.

- That band on the side made me think of the Oscars as an overblown late night talk show. I hated that they kept cutting to it. The direction was really off this year.

- Then there's a random montage of why we love movies or something, which was the running theme of the night. It started with Forrest Gump, then Titanic, and then *cue drum roll* Twilight. Because of course Twilight is a cinematic experience none of us should ever miss! It ended with the orgasm scene in When Harry Met Sally though, which is epic.

- Why do they still call Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz to this? Why? They colour coordinated their ugly gowns and everything.

- Christian Bale comes! I miss him and everything else of last year's award season.

- Jessica Chastain's reaction to her clip was so pretty. Also I am finally coming to terms with Tate Taylor being a bit of a dreamboat.

- Of course OctAhvia Spencer won. The standing ovation was nice though it seemed like one of those times when you are goaded into standing because people are sheep-like. I had enough of those at school.

- One of the best part of the awards was undoubtedly that totally unexpected and properly deserved win by Angus Wall and Kirk Baxter. They were so shocked, and that's how it is still fun. I loved their shout-out to Rooney Mara, who is just so pretty. First back-to-back editing win since the 30s. Also, a little reminder of the awesomeness of The Social Network. Joys :D

- Tina Fey and Bradley Cooper gave like three awards. They wouldn't leave. Oscars could have gotten other presenters.

- The Cirque de Soleil performance was very well done, though incredibly random. I did like that female standing on that guy's head though.

- Robrt Downey Jr. and Emma Stone killed it. They are too awesome! I love Emma Stone's readiness to do the stupid. She looked really happy the whole time. And of course, no one is cooler than RDJesus.

- So visual effects are given to Hugo and with that ends the last chance EVER for Harry Potter to win an Oscar. And then Billy Crystal makes a nice little passing remark on how the series ended this year. Hold on tight folks, this is going to get bumpy.

WHY THE FUCK DO THE OSCARS HATE HARRY POTTER SO MUCH? What did they do to the Oscars? I do not understand. Please explain. They were too successful and fun and not stupid. Is it because they were British, because The King's Speech has to answer a few questions then. They couldn't even get them to present, when the same people were standing there for 2 or 3 different awards. They could have still called Daniel Radcliffe because he was all "Entertainer of the Year" and stuff, and Emma Watson because she was in My Week with Marilyn. Seriously, Twilight gets preference over a decade of simply magical movies. Oscars is probably the only place where Twilight > Harry Potter (even MTV awards are not that disrespectful). And okay fine, don't call them. Don't give them any awards. But then don't mention them either. Because that was really horrible. It's sort of like laughing in your face when you are in incredible pain. THE FACE OF A WHOLE GENERATION. So awful. Why? 

- Christopher Plummer's win was my most favourite, even though that was probably the most obvious. I think Best Supporting Actor category is my favourite in general. His speech will go down in the books. Just that totally classy way with which he started "You're only two years older than me, darling. Where have you been all my life?" It was lovely.

- At one point it looked like Hugo will bag the most awards, but then the award by The Descendants for Adapted Screenplay stopped that. I liked the speech, so I won't say anything. And Angelina Jolie looked like such a superhero goddess there.

- Yaay Woody! I would love to see Woody finally coming to these award ceremonies to get his lifetime achievement awards, but it probably goes against his idea of being immortal. Whatever. I love Woody.

- The bridesmaids were fun. I need to get started on that drinking game. It's funny because Scorsese is one of the main people behind Boardwalk Empire which shuns drinking. His reaction was hilarious. Also he looked adorable in his tux.

- Big question- what was with the popcorn? Were people having popcorn throughout? Won't some of the actresses burst out of their dresses after consuming a single unit?

- Man, Hazanavicius's name-butchering will finally end. I guess his Best Director win was quite deserved.

- I love Honorary Oscars- never-ending tears. They should focus more on them though. Dick Smith and Oprah Winfrey were in tears, and James Earl Jones himself had an epic speech, or whatever little they showed of it. Then the random band played an obnoxiously happy music for them.

- The memorium was lovely and poignant. I find it creepy how so many people pass away like just few months before the Oscars (as IMDb kept informing me on my Facebook page so regularly). The ending with Elizabeth Taylor was perfect. Also the intro by Billy Crystal was probably his shining moment of the night for me. He seemed really on edge throughout.

- Oh the little tributes throughout by the actors was really nice. I love Gabourey Sidibe. Also Edward Norton should really win an Oscar already. He looks too much like an Oscar-winner to me.

- I liked that they played Black Swan's music for Natalie Portman. I loved it when she addressed Gary Oldman and a little part of me was still rooting for him (the same little part that went on screaming LEON REUNION!). Still all said and done, Jean Dujardin was a great choice. He spreads so much joy around. He should have had an act with the muppets. Also, make him star in the next muppets movie please.

- A.R. Rahman was there, with the annoying band. Indiansssss.

- Colin Firth is still so dashing. I loved the fact that they played my favourite clip of Rooney Mara's for her nomination. His intro to Meryl Streep was beyond ahmazing. They really must make another film together (especially after the Cinderella moment at the BAFTAs).

- MERYL STREEP!! WOO HOO! So what if The Iron Lady sucks and I will never watch it?! That woman is one of the greatest actors ever. It's been like 29 years since her last win, and if you look at her IMDb page, it has like a million nominations. She was relieved, and like she said, she'll never win again in all probability. Still she makes everything worthwhile and no one can truly hate her.

- Tom Cruise gave Best Film. Really, Oscars, really? The montage was nice. Kudos for the little Benedict Cumberbatch part. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close totally won.

- Kidding. So many of these nominees got nothing. TTSS, Bridesmaids, The Tree of Life (robbed), Albert Nobbs, ELIC, War Horse (thank the lord) and Harry Potter (no comments). Hugo and The Artist got 5 each and the only other multiple winner was The Iron Lady. Like duh.

- Still as much as I crib now, I will be finding myself sleep-deprived again next year. Let's hope The Hobbit, Django Unchained and The Dark Knight Rises win big. Let's hope the Oscars grow a brain and a heart in some departments. Let's hope people will look back after a hundred years or so and still wonder, like me, about the Oscars' hatred for Harry Potter. Let's hope Hugh Jackman returns soon.

Bye now.

Saturday 25 February 2012

"Are we married yet?"- MY FAVOURITE FILMS OF 2011

         I made my incomplete Top 10 Films of 2011 about two months back because I had not seen many of the "worthy" films of the year. I still haven't seen a few, but all in all, 2011 was quite a fun year. I still think that just because of the combined brilliance of The Social Network, Black Swan and Inception, 2010 was a stronger year, but 2011 has had its high points aplenty.

Honourable mentions: The marvelous and disturbing The Skin I Live In, a lovely romcom (surprisingly) Crazy, Stupid, Love, and the very colourful Kung Fu Panda 2.

My Week with Marilyn (Dir: Simon Curtis) and Jane Eyre (Dir: Cary Fukunaga)
I could not pick between these two films. Even though Marilyn was flawed, I cannot quite stop thinking about it. Michelle Williams gives another dynamic performance, and I think if the film had been better edited, it would have been quite perfect. Jane Eyre was actually pretty perfect, a beautiful adaptation of a rather dark and at times dull novel, but the film had no such problems.

Carnage (Dir: Roman Polanski)
I thought it was funny and outrageous and very well-acted. But what made me really appreciate is that Polanski dared to, in this day-and-age of big blockbusters ridden with CGI, make a film about four people in a room. And just that.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Dir: Tomas Alfredson)
A thinking man's, or woman's, spy movie. This is one of those films that is much more rewarding after the second viewing. That's when you can truly appreciate the little subtleties that makes this film truly masterful. Added to that a plethora of excellent British actors, all acting against type, led by the amazing Gary Oldman.

Super 8 (Dir: J.J. Abrams)
The Spielberg-y kid movie of our generation. I loved the child actors, I loved the look and the feel, and I absolutely loved how brilliant a tribute this film is. I like tributes, and this is one of the best.

Martha Marcy May Marlene (Dir: Sean Durkin)
Beautiful, scary, and the debut of Elizabeth Olsen, who may just be the next Michelle Williams. 

Captain America: The First Avenger (Dir: Joe Johnston)
I think this is going on to become one of my most favourite superhero movies ever. Chris Evans was born to play a superhero, and he puts so much charm and earnestness into his character. Also this film cleverly dodges many of the clichés that one would expect, and gives us a fun and satisfying blockbuster. Also I love the supporting cast.

Beginners (Dir: Mike Mills)
A quirky sad movie with a fantastic cast- the perennially brilliant Ewan McGregor, the adorable Christopher Plummer and the beautiful Mélanie Laurent + Cosmo the dog. It's a film about love and loss and everything in between, but nothing like I have ever seen before. Leaves you with a smile on your face, and slight pangs to the heart.

The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn (Dir: Steven Spielberg)
Just because it was my best experience at the cinemas all year. It was a helluva ride which makes me keep faith in 3D and the fact that Spielberg truly truly is a master film maker (when he's not churning out sap-fests about horses).

Young Adult (Dir: Jason Reitman)
Reitman continues to provide us with characters that seem to be one-dimensional and so "been there, done that" but are much more. Mavis is a legend, and Theron gives a ballsy performance as a true bitch, but not a very happy one. 

We Need to Talk About Kevin (Dir: Lynne Ramsay)
This film has some serious residual power. One cannot not think about it. It just stays and stays in your head. Like how everything stayed in Tilda Swinton's characters head. Makes you question things and shudder at them. Unnerving.

The Muppets (Dir: James Bobin)
Who would've thought?! Certainly not me. Hell I have never seen anything Muppets-y in my life. I had ruled this off as something I won't get or enjoy, but man, o man! This film, is AWESOME! The feel-good movie of the year. I'm a manly muppet, people!

The Artist (Dir: Michel Hazanavicius)
A most delightful film. Though not the best representative of its genre, it certainly brought it back with a bang and won hearts (and potential Oscars) all over. Also the leads, Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, are just infectious with their charm.

The Tree of Life (Dir: Terrence Malick)
Hauntingly beautiful. Though it is prettier during the universe part, I feel the better part of the film lies with the story of the boys growing up. It is as complex and magical and mysterious as life itself. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Dir: David Fincher)
Did I ever doubt this was going to be anything less than epic? No. No one can do a modern thriller like Fincher, and this isn't an exception. The look, the feel, the music, everything is spot on. Rooney Mara is a bloody brilliant Lisbeth and her chemistry with Daniel Craig is just wonderful. Love!

Submarine (Dir: Richard Ayoade)
This was originally much lower in my list, but a rewatch since then made me realise how much I actually adore this film. So quirky and different and cute and funny. Young love and growing up have never been shown so splendidly ever, I think. Also that soundtrack.

(My top 5 is the same)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Dir: David Yates)
The final good bye to the boy wizard, and with that, to our childhood. It was a great ride, one we will never forget and always cherish.

A Separation (Dir: Asghar Farhadi)
The film that you can never shake off, because it is so painfully real. We see circumstances like this in daily life, where people suffer because they just cannot accept that they have made a mistake and are wrong- not wrong because they are evil, but because they are human. Also flawlessly directed and acted.

Hugo (Dir: Martin Scorsese)
The most beautiful tribute to cinema, from a great film maker. Yes it has its flaws, but I can overlook all that because of the way it makes me feel. Like I belong in this world, because I love my films more than anything else.

Drive (Dir: Nicolas Winding Refn)
Cooler than fuck, y'all. We'll be talking about this forever. Also that kiss.

Midnight in Paris (Dir: Woody Allen)
What better film to represent this year of nostalgia in films, than this loveletter to all that was in the past and was so very wonderful? Woody makes one of his career's best and most widely-loved, because it just makes one feel so incredibly happy. Also is Paris magical, or is Paris magical?

Friday 24 February 2012



          This year had a few major breakthroughs, the most notable being Jessica Chastain. La Chastain is beautiful and lovely and on her way to becoming a great actress. Anyways, here's my list-

Honourable Mentions- Ezra Miller in We Need to Talk About Kevin, Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis in The Help, Mia Wasikowska in Jane Eyre, Craig Roberts in Submarine, Hunter McCracken in The Tree of Life, Daniel Radcliffe in Harry Potter 8.

Special Mention- Michael Fassbender
I haven't seen Shame yet. If I had seen it, I am pretty sure Fassy would have been in this list. The trailers make me go crazy.

Jessica Chastain in EVERYTHING
I cannot choose. She was a darling in her Oscar-nominated role in The Help, the face of grace itself in The Tree of Life and the strength behind Michael Shannon's character in Take Shelter. I haven't seen The Debt, but I am sure I would have liked her in that too. I think this is only the beginning for her, and she will give even better performances in the future.

Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids
I have loved her ever since Gilmore Girls. People think she's a comedian and she's just being funny here, but it's such a different kind of funny. She's adorable, but Megan verges on being scary. In a way it is almost as no-holds-barred a performance as Rooney Mara's was in Dragon Tattoo. But comedy is given such less attention. I'm so happy she got her Oscar nomination for this (my pick if they would only listen).

Christopher Plummer in Beginners
He is such a darling in this film. A breath of freshness even though he is an old man. I think everyone would love a dad or a granddad or a friend like Hal, and that's only because Plummer plays him with so much care and affection .

Albert Brooks in Drive
Oh cruel Oscar snubbery. This was such a creepy role, played with so much ease. He was a great villain. Something about the way he talked was so brilliant; I can hear that voice whenever I think about him and it is so sinister. That is how awesome he was.

Joel Courtney in Super 8
I have written about this before. He was natural and sweet and just a real kid. I love his performance because it makes me feel all warm inside.

Shailene Woodley in The Descendants
She was the best friggin' part of this film. Like Joel Courtney, it was such a naturalistic performance. And she is sassy and funny and beautifully emotional (that pool scene) and holds her own against a massive star like George Clooney with the utmost ease. Kudos.

Michael Shannon in Take Shelter
With his imposing height and that weirdly fantastic face, Shannon often plays the half-crazed guy. But the sadness and despair in his performance in this film, along with the impending insanity, is something else. It is quite a heart-breaking performance, and he does it excellently.

Ewan McGregor in Beginners
*Sigh* When will the world just accept the brilliance of Ewan McGregor? He delivers one fantastic performance one after the other, and no one notices. Oliver is exactly like that. Subtle, sad, quirky, sweet- he is so lovely in this film. Even though all three leads + dog are all fantastic, I am most blown away by the simplicity of McGregor's acting.

Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life
Yes the first time I saw this film, I was extremely annoyed with his character. He seemed plain awful. But on the second viewing, I understood him so much better. He is strict, yes, but he is also loving in his own way. He was actually the most multi-faceted character in the film. It was a simple role in which Pitt gave his better performance of the year.

Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy May Marlene
I loved her in this. Most of the film focuses on her face, as we try to understand what is she thinking. Though she seems aloof, she is mostly scared or confused of what is happening to her and seemingly around her. It is a complicated performance, one that could have been boring or overly-dramatic, but she does it absolutely with the expertise of a veteran, even though this is her big screen debut.

Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris
Even though he is the Woody-doppelganger in this, Wilson makes this role his own in every way. His natural comedic talent makes his performance so genuine. We don't only want to be him because of all the wonderful things that happen to him, we want to be him because he is a really good, smart and fun guy. 

Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
Yes I did take all the films into consideration, but mainly this one. He is so heart-breaking in this film. A great character portrayed by one of the best actors working today. No one could have played Snape. Ever. I salute you Alan Rickman.

Michelle Williams in My Week with Marilyn
I thought she was spectacular in this. We all have our ideas about who Marilyn Monroe really was, and I think Williams captured mine almost perfectly. I love the mystery behind Monroe's onscreen glee. Williams was incredible in both her happy parts and her sad parts, and it will be a performance I won't stop thinking about anytime soon.

Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia
I love how soul-sucking she is in this, but what is magnificent is that how her own soul suffers first. It is a brave performance, though an almost uncomfortable one to watch. I love Dunst and how usually bubbly she is, but Justine is very much the opposite. And she plays her superbly.

Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin
This woman constantly amazes me more and more. Her despair and horror and occasional awfulness in this film is so harrowing. Even though we don't want to put ourselves in her position and understand what she is going through, Swinton's performance makes us do that. It is unnerving.

Jean Dujardin in The Artist
In a year in which had all the Hollywood heartthrobs starring in films, an unknown French man in a black and white silent movie ends up being the one that charms us the most. That is artistry.

Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
It must be difficult to take such a beloved character, that has already been portrayed once and to much acclaim, and make it her own. But Mara manages to do this perfectly. Her quirky and mad Lisbeth is unique and brilliant and it is a bloody ballsy performance that no one will be able to forget in a long time.

Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
When in The Hollywood Reporter actors' roundtable Christopher Plummer was asked what makes a great actor, he answered that it was the great rage which is something Gary Oldman possesses. His words, not mine. Of course I agree completely, and this is what makes George Smiley exceptional because he is so restrained and collected. He seems to be doing nothing, but you understand that a great mind is at work. It is an astonishing performance, one which has been thankfully rewarded by many.

Charlize Theron in Young Adult
I deemed Mavis Gary as one of my role models as soon as I saw the film. It was because she was awesome and kind of crazy, but as time has passed, I have really grown to appreciate the performance, and Charlize Theron's guts for doing it such great justice. I mean, Mavis is a total bitch, and no one should like her at all. But we still get her, and even feel sorry for her at times, however reluctantly. It is not easy to be someone that realistically unlikable, and Theron is just so spot-on with it. She has made me a real fan after this.

Ryan Gosling in Drive
Uh duh. It was the Year of the Gos people, who else could you expect to be number 1? The Driver is just fantastic. The control, the silence, the loneliness, the smiles, the anger, the violence. It is a film that will be spoken about for ages, and Gosling as the Driver will be remembered forever.


         Since we are talking about best performances, I thought best ensembles are also in order. It is difficult to have one great performance in a film, and when everyone in the film is amazing, that's quite something else. These are my picks.

Honourable mentions: The men of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, the women of Bridesmaids, and the men and women of Carnage.

Super 8
All these kids were fantastic. J.J. Abrams wanted to make one of those old Spileberg films with kids, and he got the perfect cast of child actors. 

A Separation
A most affecting film, mostly because the honest performances by everyone in it. My heart breaks most for the children of course, and they too were incredible in it.

The three leads are adorable. That dog makes me reevaluate my overwhelming fear of his species. Also Mary Page Keller, who has minor role as Oliver's mother, is quite brilliant. A great cast altogether.

Midnight in Paris
What is this film without its million superb characters from a different and magical era? Fitzgeralds, Hemingway, surrealists (Adrien Brody is my favourite cameo of the year) and of course Owen Wilson as Gil and  Marion Cotillard as Adrianna. And the awful people from today, and the first lady of France. It is quite a dream of an ensemble.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2
This series employed the majority of the British film industry for the last decade. I mean when in BAFTAs the reporters were talking about TTSS being an outstanding British film which has many of its members, I wanted to throw a Grawp at them. Come on! Everyone in this is awesome. They are a part of my childhood. I will never forget anyone and love them for all eternity.

Thursday 23 February 2012


Yes, I didn't write a Thoughts post last week.

1) Reason: I thought I would post my thoughts on Star Wars instead but I really do not like what I've written and I don't know if and when I'll post it.

2) The Oscars are right around the corner. Everyone has their predictions up now. Most of it is really obvious. The categories I am really looking forward to are Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Original Screenplay (they better give it to Woody) and anything with Harry Potter in it because COME ON! ONE OSCAR AT LEAST!!!! I will almost definitely do a thoughts post on this after the ceremony.

3) I have been posting my end-of-year lists for the past few days. I had intended to post one everyday but I couldn't do one yesterday as I finally got a chance to see some of the films I had missed. I think I have seen everything I wanted to see, for these lists at least, except Shame. These are my favourite villainsscenes and shots of 2011. Hang around for favourite performances and films, and The Social Network film of the year.

4) Anyone watches Top Gear? Fassy came! He is too cool with his shark teeth and all. So he has signed on for Ridley Scott's next that will be written by Cormac McCarthy, who is the author of The Road and No Country for Old Men. It is called The Counsellor and is actually being described as "No Country for Old Men on steroids." Now Anton Chigurh still haunts my nightmare, so I don't know if I like the sound of this. But for Fassy's sake, I hope it's not that scary and I will be able to watch it. Fassy is also going to star as a Irish mythological hero Cuchulain in Irish Myths, who is sort of like Achilles. I like this one. Fassy back to his Stelios days (I am an unapologetic fan of 300).

5) It is unfortunate that Fassy is so very booked, otherwise he would have been the *perfect* Beast for Guillermo Del Toro's Beauty and the Beast, which is definitely being made now. The previous news were all rumours it seems. Emma Watson will be Beauty (inspired casting) and after seeing My Week with Marilyn, in which she wasn't totally horrendous as I had expected her to be, I think she'll do alright. If the producers of this film only listen to my pleas and cast Matthew Goode, all will be great. They cannot cast Ron Perlman right? As that will be frightening and make young girls lose faith in fairytales forever.

6) THE film news of the past two weeks is of course that Michael Bay will be returning as the director for Transformers 4, which will be a reboot. Why? I think Michael Bay was made by Skynet so that he can make all the money they need for the future while simultaneously making people loose their brain cells as they watch these films, so that then the real robots can come and take over the world and we will be too senile and bankrupt to protest. AND WE SHALL ALL BURN! Okay yes, I should really cut down on the melodrama, but seriously whyyyyyy??

7) Trailers. Only one trailer this week, but I think it is a pretty awesome one- Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I like this idea. I like the trailer even though it looks very OTT at times. I do like the tree-chopping, if you would call it that, in the end and think it's very clever. I am hooked.

8) Oh you must read this. Reading people's lists on why they love films makes me feel really happy and really ignorant at the same time. Gotta watch more films!!

9) Finally, I saw The Woman in Black. My reactions-
Throughout the film. Super scary (I'm a wuss). But DanRad looked pretty hot, and occasionally ten years old.

Oscars are here! Byee.

Tuesday 21 February 2012

"I have already turned these moments into the Super-8 footage of memory."- FAVOURITE SHOTS OF 2011

           My favourite shots of 2011. Most of these are not exactly spectacular, but they are my favourite because they mean something or leave an impression in some way. Hope you like them.

And a bonus-
Just for the "Why are you drooling?" expression.