AND THE OSCAR GOES TO…


top-50-screenwriting-blogsFor questions: hcasner@aol.com
First, a word from our sponsors: I am now offering a new service: so much emphasis has been given lately to the importance of the opening of your screenplay, I now offer coverage for the first twenty pages at the cost of $20.00.  For those who don’t want to have full coverage on their screenplay at this time, but want to know how well their script is working with the opening pages, this is perfect for you.  I’ll help you not lose the reader on page one. 
 
Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay?  Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013.  Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r
 
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Tell me what you think.
NOTE: I’m switching my prediction for Costumes from La La Land to Jackie
blog2It’s that time of the year. The Oscars are in full bloom and their attar, more pungent that car exhaust, can be recognized all across Los Angeles.
This means it’s time to start the real weeding and make my Academy Award predictions.
I will start with a few observations.
The Academy rarely selects a bad film for Best Picture. But it usually doesn’t award it to the best film of the year either. Continue reading

My 2015 Oscar Predictions


BEST PICTURE:                                                                 The Revenant

BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE:                             Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

BEST ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE:                         Brie Larson, The Room

BEST ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE:                    Sylvester Stallone, Creed

BEST ACTRESS IN A SUPPORRTING ROLE:             Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

BEST DIRECTING:                                                              The Revenant

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:                                      The Big Short

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:                                     Spotlight

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:                                 Inside Out

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:                                 Amy

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:                              Son of Saul

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:                                            The Revenant

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:                                             Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST FILM EDITING:                                                       Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST MAKE UP AND HAIR STYLING:                          Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST MUSIC ORIGINAL SCORE:                                  The Hateful Eight

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:                                      Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SOUND EDITING:                                                 Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST SOUND MIXING:                                                  Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:                                                 Mad Max: Fury Road

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:                                                 Til It Happens to You, The Hunting Ground

BEST SHORT FILM ANIMATED:                                   Sanjay’s Super Team

BEST SHORT FILM LIVE ACTION:                                Ave Maria

BEST SHORT FILM DOCUMENTARY:                          A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

 

My Oscar Predictions


Tomorrow is the big day for movie nerds as the nominations for the next Academy Awards are revealed. As usual, I will try to predict the nominees in the top eight categories. I don’t expect to do that well this year. Usually I end up with an average of one wrong in each category, but this year has become more difficult as no one seems sure as to what will make the finals. But I will do my best.

 

However, I do think the winners are still more or less set. Best Picture and Director should still be Spotlight; Best Actor will be Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant; Best Actress will be Brie Larson for The Room; Best Supporting Actor will be Sylvester Stallone for Creed; Best Supporting Actress will be Rooney Mara for Carol; Best original screenplay is between Ex Machina and Spotlight; and Best Adapted Screenplay will be The Martian or Steve Jobs.

 

What do you think?

 

And The Nominees Are:

 

Best Picture:

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Carol

Mad Max

The Martian

The Revenant

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

 

Best Director:

Todd Haynes, Carol

George Miller, Mad Max

Ridley Scott, The Martian

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

(If not Haynes, then Adam McKay for The Big Short)

 

 

Best Actor:

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Matt Damon, The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

 

 

Best Actress:

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Lily Tomlin, Grandma

(Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl could replace Rampling or Tomlin)

 

 

Best Supporting Actor:

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

(Christian Bale for the Big Short could get in, but I don’t know who he’d replace)

 

Best Supporting Actress:

Jane Fonda, Youth

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

(Helen Mirren could get in, but I don’t know who’d she replace; maybe Alicia Vikander if she gets a Best Actress nom and not a Supporting one)

 

Best Original Screenplay:

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

The Hateful Eight

Inside Out

Spotlight

 

Best Adapted Screenplay:

The Big Short

Carol

The Martian

Room

Steve Jobs

OSCAR TRIVIA QUIZ-PART ONE-They got nominated for playing that?


imagesTo get the answer key, please go to: http://ow.ly/GWyyO
The Academy Awards are coming up so I just thought I’d have a little fun and try and come up with a few Oscar trivia quizzes. Hopefully, even if they are hard, they will be fun.
The first quiz is about various types of roles that have received nominations, some of them perhaps quite surprising and unusual for such a respected award.
Unfortunately, as much as I tried to put the answers in a box upside down at the bottom of the post, I couldn’t figure out how to do that, so I will be posting the answers in a different post starting the middle of next week.  If anyone knows how to insert a text box with upside (and much smaller text) in a post, please let me know.
Who was nominated for an Oscar and for what movie for: Continue reading

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Wild Tales, Human Capital and Leviathan and a finger wagging at finger waggers of the Oscar foreign language film category


UntitledFirst, a word from our sponsors. Ever wonder what a reader for a contest or agency thinks when he reads your screenplay? Check out my new e-book published on Amazon: Rantings and Ravings of a Screenplay Reader, including my series of essays, What I Learned Reading for Contests This Year, and my film reviews of 2013. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r

 

Warning: SPOILERS
wild tales oneI’ve been saying in a few of my reviews lately that it’s November (well, now it’s December, but the principle’s the same), meaning that it’s that time of the year again, meaning it’s awards season, meaning that such a circumstance in some way determines what movies are being released and subsequently what movies I have been covering for my blog.
Well, still I say it’s still that time of the year again, which means it’s award season, which means that a large number of movies from other countries are making their appearance in some way since both the Oscars and The Golden Globes have foreign language film categories, which means…well, here we are.
I saw the films Wild Tales, Leviathan and Human Capital at AFI. They are all their respective countries (Argentina, Russia and Italy) entries in the foreign language film category.
But before I begin, I would like to take a few paragraphs to grouse about people who grouse about how this particular Oscar category is handled. Continue reading