My Oscar predictions, 2013 films edition

The Act of Killing sounds AMAZING: “A documentary that challenges former Indonesian death squad leaders to reenact their real-life mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish.”

12_years_a_slave_soundtrackFor whatever strange reason, I’ve watched the Academy Awards for decades, more often on DVD or on tape than live in recent years, but still. It’s NOT to find out who won, because I can read THAT in the newspaper the next day; it’s what they say, and how they say it. The program will be on Sunday, March 2 this year; they’ve been bouncing around the date in recent years, in late March for a long time, then late February.

Oscar picks don’t always go to the BEST film or performance, but some other socio-political and popularity factors. I haven’t even seen all the films, but that never stopped me before from predicting the winners.
* Indicates I saw it

Best Picture:
*“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
*“Dallas Buyers Club”
*”Gravity”
*“Her”
*“Nebraska”
*“Philomena”
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Is this the largest list of movies for which I need to make a parenthetical reference that it’s a movie? Gravity, Her, and Nebraska all make lousy indexing terms. (Here’s a futurist reviewing Her, and missing the point.)

As for the winner, I’d pick 12 Years a Slave. It’s well-reviewed, it’s important, and it allows Hollywood to show how progressive it is. Yet, I’m feeling unsure because the Oscars uses Instant Runoff Voting, where one ranks the pictures, a good way to get a consensus choice. Continue reading “My Oscar predictions, 2013 films edition”

MOVIE REVIEW: Philomena

Steve Coogan co-wrote the screenplay with Jeff Pope, based on Martin Sixsmith’s book, “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.”

Philomena_posterI was watching The Daily Show with Jon Stewart recently, and Steve Coogan was on talking about the movie Philomena. I must admit that I had no real idea who he was. When I was talking at work about the fact that The Wife and I gave the movie two thumbs up after we had seen it a couple weekends ago at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany, one of my colleagues said, “But doesn’t it star Steve Coogan?” After I confirmed this, she indicated that he always plays a real jerk in movies, particularly in some comedies I had never seen.

As “world-weary political journalist” Martin Sixsmith, Coogan’s character is more than a little arrogant as he lowers himself to investigate “the story of a woman’s search for her son, Continue reading “MOVIE REVIEW: Philomena”