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 recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 1/22-1/29/16


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 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. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,
 
And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE
My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 1/22-29/2016
ff lost soulsON NETFLIX: Lost Souls: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau is a fascinating, but rather depressing, story about how a promising up and coming director, Richard Stanley (who had a cult following for his low budget horror films) found himself in over his head with his adaptation of H.G. Wells The Island of Dr. Moreau and was so embittered by the experience he almost completely withdrew from filmmaking. Filled with talking heads and behind the scenes footage, we see step by step how things quickly went wrong.
ff man bites dogON HULU: With three directors and four writers, Man Bites Dog is one of the funniest and darkest satires on found footage films (as well as one of the earliest). A film crew follows a serial killer as he adds to his victims. It’s a ridiculous premise, but it still works in all its vicious absurdity. Starring Benoit Poelvoorde as the racist murderer who loves to wax philosophic.
ff aferimFIRST RUN and OPENING: Aferim!, The Lady in the Van, Son of Saul, The Revenant, The Hateful Eight, Star Wars: the Force Awakens Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 1/15-1/22/16


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 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. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,
 
And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE
My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 1/15-22/2016
out in the darkON NETFLIX: In Out in the Dark, an espionage thriller written by Yael Shafrir and Michael Mayer, who also directed, a gay Palestinian man is having an affair with an Israeli lawyer. When the Israeli secret police discover this, they take the Palestinian man in and threaten to reveal his sexual identify to his family if he doesn’t help them trap his brother who is working for the PLO. An exciting and taut drama.
balladON HULU: Ballad of a Soldier, made in 1959 after the thaw of Stalin, is the heartfelt story about a private who, after an act of bravery on the battlefield, gets leave to go home and see his mother, but hardly has time to get there and back. Written by Grigoriy Chukhray (who also directed) and Valentin Ezhov, it’s a get out your handkerchiefs story, but it earns its sentimentally validly as it traces the soldiers attempts to reach home and the people he runs into on the way.
lady in the vanFIRST RUN and OPENING: The Lady in the Van, Son of Saul, Band of Robbers, The Revenant, The Hateful Eight, Star Wars: the Force Awakens Continue reading

EXUENT PURSUED BY A BEAR: The Revenant and Anomalisa


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
 
and check out my Script Consultation Services: http://ow.ly/HPxKE
Warning: SPOILERS
revenant 3The Revenant is, perhaps, one of the most visceral movies you will see in some time. Everybody involved, from the technicians to the designers to the screenwriters (Mark L. Smith and Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu from a novel by Michael Punka), to the director (Inarritu) seemed to have gone out of their way to give the movie a feeling of verisimilitude that can be matched by few films.
The dirty bodies and clothes and rotting teeth (you can almost smell the bad breath); the zip of an arrow through a man’s throat; the blood flowing from wounds made by knifes, bullets and hatchets; and the never ending harsh environment of snow and icy rivers (I almost caught the flu) are all paraded proudly for public consumption.
This is probably best demonstrated with what may now be the infamous bear attack scene in which our hero (Hugh Glass, played very bravely and stoically by Leonardo DiCaprio) is mauled, bitten and strewn all over the place by a mama grizzly fearing for her cubs. It’s an amazing bit of filmmaking and in many ways deserves all the praise it has earned.
And it goes on for a very long time. Continue reading

My recommendations for film watching this week in L.A. 12/25-1/1/15


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 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. Only $2.99. http://ow.ly/xN31r,

 

And check out my script consultation services http://ow.ly/HPxKE

My recommendations for movie watching this week in L.A. 12/25-1/1/15

djangoON NETFLIX: Now that The Hateful Eight has opened, for those of you who missed Django Unchained, perhaps it’s time to play catch up. Written and directed by Quentin Tarantino (natch), it’s the story of a slave turned bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx) with the help of Oscar winning Christoph Waltz. Also along for the ride is Leonard DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson (who else), Bruce Dern, Walton Goggins and James Remar (to name just a few). A bit overlong (it has a false ending), but still a fun watch.

red beardON HULU: Akira Kurosawa’s 1965 film Red Beard (his last in black and white) is basically the same story as Dr. Kildare and many other movies about doctors, but with so much more depth and vibrancy that it’s ridiculous to compare the two. It’s also Toshiro Mifune’s last film with the great director (personal and artistic reasons caused the split). With some incredible acting by the supporting characters, perhaps some of the best in a Kurosawa film.

revenantFIRST RUN and OPENING: The Revenant, The Hateful Eight, Joy, Concussion, Son of Saul, Star Wars: the Force Awakens Continue reading