Although it was a competitive year, there would be no stoppingAlejandro González Iñárritu‘s BIRDMAN from winning coveted BEST PICTURE at the 87th Academy Awards tonight! This latest victory caps-off a Campaign for the Dramedy beginning with a release last October. Since then, among others, it has nabbed several important Best Picture Awards including yesterday’s Independent Spirit Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and several more. Mexican Filmmaker Iñárritu was awarded Best Director for BIRDMAN, his second nomination after getting a nod for 2007’s Babel.
Winning Best Actor, first-time Nominee at the age of 33 was English Star Eddie Redmayne, recognized for his phenomenal work as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything. He took a moment to dedicate his win to ALS awareness.
After four previous nominations, a tearful Julianne Moore at long last gets a Best Actress trophy for her turn in STILL ALICE, in which she plays a Professor suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. The Actress stunned in a unique Chanel number, never before seen on a runway. She thanked her Family and took a moment to direct attention to finding a cure for Alzheimers, and also Richard Glatzer, Director/Writer of Still Alice, whom is suffering from ALS.
As expected, J.K. Simmons as expected took Best Supporting Actor for a stirring performance as a psychotic Conductor in WHIPLASH.Patricia Arquette likewise would go on to take Best Supporting Actress for her performance in BOYHOOD, getting cheers from the likes of Meryl Streep and Jennifer Lopez after making a call to the Industry for equal rights and equal pay for Women.
Stars shined bright on the rainy Red Carpet tonight and turning many heads were Rising Star Margot Robbie in Van Cleef and Arpels in a sheer long-sleeve black gown with a deep plunging ‘V’. Seen widely prior as an Oscar Contender for her fantastic performance in CAKE, Jennifer Aniston donned her signature hair, stunning in a shiny Versace number, fitting her perfect. Reese Witherspoon seen for the first time in Tom Ford this Awards Season, looked stunning with an off-the-shoulder dress just days after being spotted at the Designer’s Show. As for the Gentlemen, Performer Adam Levine and Presenter Josh Hutcherson displayed bespoke tailoring and impeccable grooming, both in Armani!
Star of Stage and Screen Neil Patrick Harris, hosted delivering the laughs with a spirited opening number where he was joined by Anna Kendrick and Jack Black, referring to Motion Pictures as “moving pictures”. He even stripped down to his skivvies for the sake of entertainment!
See his Intro here:
Megastar Lady Gaga warmed the heart of Julie Andrews with a flawless Medley Tribute to the Sound of Music, easily one of the evening’s biggest Highlights!
See it here:
And for a Canadian connection, Craig Mann, whom I am proud to say I went to High School with at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Pickering – we both took Musical Keyboarding – won Best Sound Mixing for WHIPLASH!
With the 87th annual ACADEMY AWARDS set to take place tonight, we asked our resident Experts their opinions on which Film will win coveted BEST PICTURE. Though the Award is widely seen as a two-horse Race between BIRDMAN and BOYHOOD, each has their opinion on that potential Dark Horse that could pull the wool right over our eyes and surprise us tonight!
Come, let’s take a peek…
George Kozera (Twitter: @PartyG)
“My personal pick for Best Picture is BOYHOOD. My Dark Horse is Bradley Cooper for Best Actor. There’s a lotta love there for Sniper.”.
Justin Waldman (Twitter: @JDubs12) “BIRDMAN! Because the Movie is absolutely astonishing in its ability to be a one take Film with no cuts or breaks.
BOYHOOD also is right up there, because it was filmed over twelve years and the Academy will respect that.
AMERICAN SNIPER is my Dark Horse pick as there is a bit of a Republican slant in the Academy, I feel…”.
Jonathan Godfrey “Richard Linklater is a distinct and continuously impressive Auteur in Cinema, and if accolades are available let them wander his way.
BOYHOOD is worthy of another award on its mantle place. It drives the Audience to feel something, to connect with something transcendent. It’s charming to know it will continue to be celebrated on the World Stage.
I definitely don’t have a Dark Horse.”.
David Baldwin (Twitter: @DonFishies)
“Its going to be BIRDMAN or BOYHOOD. Both terrific Films, wide scopes and amazing performances. Leaning on the former more because I love Michael Keaton, and hope he wins too. Dark Horse is AMERICAN SNIPER — it just may steal the Show!”.
“If this were the Mr. Will Awards, it certainly would be WHIPLASH‘s year, however in all probability we will be seeing the Team behind BOYHOOD at the podium. What a remarkable feat in Cinema, a real tour-de-force!
Therefore, my Dark Horse pick, WHIPLASH. Most likely Winner, BOYHOOD. No shock if the also genius BIRDMAN won, but BOYHOOD gets the slight edge.”.
The 87th annual ACADEMY AWARDS, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, air on ABC at 7 PM EST.
After significant wins at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards this past weekend, BIRDMAN and THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL lead the way at the upcoming 87th annual Academy Awards, as announced earlier this morning in Los Angeles by Chris Pine, J.J. Abrams and Alfonso Cuarón. The two Films received nine nominations each and will be going head-to-head for top honours in Best Picture, Cinematography, Writing (Original Screenplay) and Directing. The latter received no nominations in the Acting categories.
Following closely with eight nominations is Winner of the People’s Choice Award (on numerous occasions a Pre-cursor to Oscar success) at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival, THE IMITATION GAME. Meanwhile, BOYHOOD which won Best Motion Picture, Drama at the Golden Globes would go-on to garner six nominations today tying with AMERICAN SNIPER, which has had the quietest Awards Campaign thus far as it proceeds in a gradual roll-out to theatres. All three of these Films are up for Best Picture.
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, WHIPLASH and INTERSTELLAR received five nominations apiece also, with the former two up for Best Picture and the latter receiving recognition almost exclusively in technical categories.
The Best Actor category is perhaps the most competitive with Golden Globe Winners Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything) up against Steve Carell (Foxcatcher), Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game). Many are seeing the omissions of David Oyelowo (Selma) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Nightcrawler) as major snubs, after being present much of this Awards Season for their riveting performances respectively. Bradley Cooper now has the distinction of being the first Actor in a decade to receive three consecutive (Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle and now American Sniper) Oscar nominations; the last to do so was his former Partner, Renee Zellweger.
Julianne Moore leads a strong group in the Best Actress category after a win at the Golden Globes for Still Alice. Her other strong Best Actress performance in Maps to the Stars did not get recognition this morning, but this could well be a blessing in eliminating split votes against herself. Reese Witherspoon (Wild) also is seen as a strong Contender, alongside Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) and Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything) – the latter whose Campaign has varied between Supporting Actress and Lead Actress. A surprise was Oscar Winner Marion Cotillard‘s appearance on the list for her work in French Drama Two Days, One Night.Amy Adams, who was awarded Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Comedy for Big Eyes on Sunday unfortunately will not be a Contender.
J.K. Simmons is seen as a definitive choice for Best Supporting Actor with his performance as a sadistic Conductor in Whiplash. Two-time Nominee Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), three-time Nominee Edward Norton (Birdman), four-time Nominee Ethan Hawke (Boyhood) and Oscar Winner Robert Duvall (The Judge) round-out the Group.
After being quiet this Awards Season, many are thrilled that Lauren Dern gets recognized for her work in Wild for Best Supporting Actress. She is now a two-time Nominee after getting her first nod in 1992’s Rambling Rose. Dern will be up against Golden Globe Winner Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game), Emma Stone (Birdman) and three-time Oscar Winner Meryl Streep (Into the Woods). Some are seeing Jessica Chastain‘s omission in A Most Violent Year also a snub.
For a complete list of Nominees, visit the official OscarsWebsite.
The 87th annual Academy Awards air on ABCSunday, February 22, 2015 at 7:00 PM EST.
The 72nd qnnual GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS took place tonight at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles and taking top honours on an evening where multiple Films shared the spotlight, was Boyhood. The Richard Linklater Movie filmed over 12 years, won for Motion Picture Drama, Best Director and also Best Supporting Actress (Patricia Arquette).
The Grand Budapest Hotel was victorious for Motion Picture Comedy/Musical and Director/Writer Wes Anderson for the former drew big laughs from the Audience individually thanking members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
After leading the way with seven nominations coming in, BIRDMAN also would perform strongly. Mexican Visionary Alejandro González Iñárritu would accept the Award for Best Screenplay, apologizing humbly repeatedly for hisEnglish. Meanwhile, Michael Keaton would make one of the biggest Comebacks witnessed in Hollywood after a reaching great success in the early ’90s with the Batman Franchise, going-on to win Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical for his performance as troubled Actor Riggan Thomson.
Billy Bob Thorton who won for Best Actor in a TV Mini-Series or Movie for FARGO, and would go on to make the loudest statement tonight accepting this Golden Globe with a simply “Thank You!”, noting that he wanted to stay out of trouble after arriving on-stage stating he didn’t even get a chance to celebrate. Remember that time he opened his mouth here in Toronto and got in major trouble? Let’s take a walk down Memory Lane here.
Kevin Spacey also was acting naughty, making reference to his Frank Underwood on Netflix‘s House of Cards’ initials during a pre-broadcast Red Carpet Special and while accepting his Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series Drama, he once again dropped an “F Bomb” which fortunately was censored in-time.
Newcomer Gina Rodriguez certainly has stamped her place among Hollywood’s Elite winning Best Actress in a Comedy, TV Series for her work on adapted Telenovela, Jane the Virgin. The Series airs on The CW in the U.S. and streams in Canada on Shomi.
Don Cheadle and Julianna Margulies were assigned the task of presenting the Cecil B. DeMille Award this year to recently-wed George Clooney. Show-stealing on the Red Carpet with his Wife Amal in Dior, he took a moment to thank his one true love on the Podium. “I’ve had a pretty good year”, he reflects. “It’s a humbling thing when you find someone to love – even better if you’ve been waiting your whole life – when your life has been 53 years. Amal whatever alchemy it was that brought us together, I couldn’t be more proud to be your Husband.”.
Among tonight’s winning looks on the Red Carpet were an über-glam Jessica Chastain, who won high scores for her low-plunging, lamé Versace Dress – perhaps a taste of the looks to come as she portrays Marilyn Monroe in long-developing Biopic, Blonde. Jennifer Lopez turned heads in a Zuhair Murad Dress Dress reminiscent of her famous Versace Grammy number with its low plunge also which drew an awkward moment as she was presenting with Jeremy Renner who pointed-out her “golden globes”. Taylor Schilling, star of Netflix‘s Orange is the New Black also stunned in a red Ralph Lauren Dress – classic and understated. Amy Adams also was a vision in purple, going-on eventually to win Best Actress in Comedy or Musical for Big Eyes. Julianne Moore despite getting some mixed reaction, wins big points from us for her sparkly Givenchy number, dazzling on-stage as she accepted Best Actress in a Drama for Still Alice.
Hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey – reuniting for a third time and claiming this would be their last – once again were sophisticated and witty, their jokes ranging from side-by-side comparisons between Filmmakers and Actors they’d rather bed to Nominee Emma Stone being compared to a “creepy” Margaret Keane painting. Even Meryl Streep sent her compliments as she presented the Award for Best Drama.
For a complete list of Winners click here.
To see more Photos from tonight’s Red Carpet, check-out ZIMBIOhere.
Cinema Lovers were inundated with fantastic Selections at the Movies in 2014. Although there isn’t quite a definitive Standout, there were many, many outstanding Films released. Dare we say, one of the strongest years in recent memory? This certainly makes the race for dominance this Awards Season a rather curious one.
We rely regularly on the opinions of our resident Contributors: Jonathan Godfrey (now with us a third year!), David Baldwin, Justin Waldman and our newest Team addition George Kozera, to keep us informed on what to watch and asked them what their Favourites of 2014 were. We’re not professional Film Critics by any measure, but we love Film passionately and if you ever want a Friend’s opinion, we are happy to share! The voice of the Fan always should matter most and we are Fans just like YOU!
As you will see, the choices are eclectic, a reflection of the offerings this year…
1. Interstellar 2. Lucy 3. The Tale of Princess Kaguya 4. Nymphomaniac 5. John Wick 6. Maps to the Stars 7. Wild 8. Mood Indigo 9. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt 1 10. Bjork: Biophilia Live
Every year of my life has been cinematically-splendid, and 2014 was no different. Numerous Films from diverse Genres excited my eyes and elevated my mind-state. None more so than Nolan’s Interstellar. Having seen it four times in the theatre it still doesn’t feel like enough. That said, it wasn’t the only slice of Sci-Fi I gobbled up. Lucy also satiated my appetite for Techno-Fantasy. Then there was the outright Fantasy of Studio Ghibli’s breathtaking tale about a Bamboo Princess, Lars Von Triers four-hour dive into sexual addiction, Keanu’s kick-ass Escapade, Cronenberg’s Olympian Tragedy, Witherspoon’s awe-inspiring performance, Michel Gondry’s take on a cult novel that finally made its way to Canadian screens, and Katniss Everdeen… the Icon who continues to inspire me. Last, but most definitely not least, Björk released her incredible Concert Film which combined technological advances with her love for nature. Maybe 2014 was a little different after all, it was grippingly- cinematic, but with a touch of the divine.
Looking back, I think 2014 was one hell of a year for Film. There were some truly awful and sub-par Films released this year too. But there were just as many good, and even a few truly-great Films released as well. It was a mixed bag, but the quality and ambition of some of this year’s crop of Films was truly extraordinary. While Franchise/Comic Book Film fatigue is starting to become quite evident, some pretty huge and experimental gambles paid off brilliantly (did anyone ever expect The LEGO Movie to be as wildly enjoyable as it was?). The Box Office stats in North America may not suggest it, but it was a truly memorable year. And if this is what we have to expect in 2015, I am immediately excited for some of its prospects — and for some time to re-watch some of this year’s best Films again!
1. Whiplash 2. Nightcrawler 3. Birdman 4. Boyhood 5. Life Itself 6. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 7. The Imitation Game 8. Gone Girl 9. How To Train Your Dragon 2 10. Guardians of the Galaxy
(Potential top Films not seen before end of 2014: Big Eyes, American Sniper, A Most Violent Year)
It is New Year’s Eve and that means that we are supposed to look back at the year and discuss the best things we have seen and witnessed this year. This year brought a ton of great Films that were released throughout the entire year, most of which came out in the second half of the year but some came out earlier on. With so many great Films that came out this past year and one Title that comes out in February, here are the best Films of 2014 with a few extra Titles. In absolutely no particular order:
1. Snowpiercer 2. Big Hero 6 3. Whiplash 4. Nightcrawler 5. Foxcatcher 6. The F Word 7. Pride 8. Dear White People 9. Calvary 10. Guardians of the Galaxy
Now that the best 10 Movies of the year I saw are out there, here is a few of the other Titles that did not make the Top 10 but deserve recognition, at least in my mind. Into the Woods, Big Eyes, Theory of Everything, Interstellar, Birdman, Gone Girl, Locke and Life Itself. 2014 was an excellent year of Film, 2015 has a tough year to compete against but BRING IT ON!
For the first time in years, I struggled with whittling down the Movies I saw that were eligible for my Top 10 Movies of 2014. That in itself is a strong indication how many great movies were released this year! So it is with great apologies to the following Movies that WOULD have made the list in a weaker movie year (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wild, Gone Girl, The Lego Movie, The F Word, Locke & The Babadook), I submit my Top 10 that made the biggest impact on me in 2014.
1. Boyhood 2. Foxcatcher 3. The Theory of Everything 4. Birdman 5. Ida 6. The Immigrant 7. The Imitation Game 8. Mommy 9. Nightcrawler 10. Whiplash
My 2014 in review, including my Best-Of? Click here for that.
Stick with us once again in 2015 for the most exciting Canadian Advance Screening Giveaways, Prizes, Star-Spottings and Reviews!
Picking right-up where it left last week, THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY, PART 1 continues its Box Office domination through Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S., pulling-in $58 million across North America from 4,151 theatres. In its two week run thus far domestically, it already has grossed a magnificent $227 million for Liosngate Films/eOne Films.
Debuting in second is the Animated Feature PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR with $26.2 million from 3,764 theatres for 20th Century Fox. Critics gave the Film 68% on the Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes, while Audiences responded particularly well with an A- CinemaScore which should give it some legs to run on this Holiday Season. The fourth Film in the MADAGASCAR Franchise happens to be the lowest debut thus far in the Series, with Madagascar 3 earning $60 million in its 2012 debut. Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich and Ken Jeong are among the talented Actors featured here.
BIG HERO 6 in its fourth week out earns $19.5 million for Disney, now bringing its tally to $167.9 million domestically.
INTERSTELLAR pulls-in $22.3 million for Paramount Pictures in its fourth week out, a cumulative total of $162 million grossed thus far.
HORRIBLE BOSSES 2 debuts in fifth for Warner Bros. with $15.3 million from 3,375 theatres, earning almost half what its Predecessor made in 2011 with its $28 million debut. Critics gave the Comedy a 35% on the Tomatometer, while Audiences were more forgiving with a B+ CinemaScore.
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING expands to 802 theatres for Focus Features/eOne Films, earning $4.6 million now in its fourth week out.
BIRDMAN rounds-out the Top ten with $1.8 million for Fox Searclight from 710 theatres. The Oscar Contender to-date has made $17.2 million.
Proving that laughter is timeless, DUMB AND DUMBER TO takes the top of the Box Office this weekend with a stellar $36.3 million from 3.154 theatres for Universal Pictures. The follows successfully in the footsteps of its Predecessor which in 1994 also debuted at number one with $16 million. Reviews for the Comedy reuniting Jeff Bridges and Jim Carrey have been harsh, tallying-in at 27% on the Tomatometer, but Audiences gave it a much better B- CinemaScore.
Coming in a tight second is last week’s Champ, BIG HERO 6 which brings-in $35.8 million, for a two week domestic total of $111.4 million for Disney.
INTERSTELLAR continues to perform well in third with $28.7 million made in its second week out for Paramount Pictures, edging ever so close to that $100-million mark in North America.
Musical Drama BEYOND THE LIGHTS, debuts a distant fourth for Relativity Media and eOne Films, with $6.4 million from 1,789 theatres. Starring the buzzed Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the Film gets a stellar 84% on the Tomatometer from Critics and an equally great A CinemaScore.
NIGHTCRAWLER hangs-on to the Top Ten in ninth with $2.8 million for Open Road Films/Elevation Pictures, edging closer to the $30-million mark.
The widely acclaimed BIRDMAN expands to 857 theatres, debuting in the Top Ten after five weeks in limited release with $2,4 million for Fox Searchlight. It has grossed $11.6 million to date domestically.
Critics already are calling BIRDMAN a triumph and this is your chance to see it first! The amount of Awards buzz for this AlejandroGonzález Iñárritu Film is alarming and we hope like us you are just as excited to see it! Screenings will take place in Toronto and Vancouver on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (Mr. Will‘s Birthday!), and the following week in Calgary! We hope those of you in Toronto will be there to celebrate that special day with this remarkable Film!
Washed-up actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton), who became famous for playing an iconic superhero in the movies, decides to stage a comeback in a Broadway play.
Pressures mount leading up to the play’s opening night as Riggan battles his ego and tries to win back his family, at the same time re-establishing his career and finding himself in the process.
BIRDMAN stars Michael Keaton, Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Andrea Riseborough, Amy Ryan, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, simply click “like” on this Post at Mr. Will on Facebook. State your City in the comments section also.
You may double your chances by Re-Tweeting the below or sharing this Post on Facebook with your Friends:
http://www.mwillwong.com/birdman @MRWILLW wants us to #win Passes to see #BIRDMANMOVIE. Out 10/24 in select cities.
Fox Searchlight release BIRDMAN in Toronto and Vancouver on Friday, October 24, 2014, with additional Cities to follow.
“Let’s go back one more time and show them what’ were made of.”.
In what is being touted as Michael Keaton‘s big Comeback, BIRDMAN‘s official Teaser Trailer was released earlier this week and it looks just absolutely phenomenal. We can only hope it gets a Premiere at TIFF ’14 en route to what looks like an Awards Season Campaign.
In several ways mirroring reality, the new Film by Alejandro GonzálezIñárritu, has a former Action Star who looks to make a comeback on Broadway. As all of us know, Keaton reached the pinnacle of his success in the late ’80s portraying Batman, but things certainly have been a lot more quiet since.
Watch the Trailer below:
Fox Searchlight release BIRDMAN on Friday, October 17, 2014.