Posts Tagged ‘ Rango ’

#cinefile: oscars rundown

can you
believe it’s 365 days since i posted a pre-Oscars blog entry?
well, luckily for us, it’s now not, it’s 0 days.

anyway, here’s how my 2012 predictions look. like:

Noms with a green star deserve to win (of those nominated)
Noms with a blue star will win
Noms with a yellow star offer some value
(outside shot)
 Noms listed in pink should’ve won
(but weren’t nominated)

Picture (by which they mean film)
o The Artist  
o The Descendants
o Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
o The Help
o Hugo
o Midnight in Paris 
o Moneyball
o The Tree of Life
o War Horse
o Drive

o Woody Allen
(Midnight in Paris)
o Michel Hazanvicius
(The Artist) 
o Terrance Malick
(The Tree of Life) 
o Alexander Payne
(The Descendants)
o Martin Scorsese
o Nicholas Winding Refn

o Glen Close
(Albert Nobbs)
o Viola Davis
(The Help)
o Rooney Mara
(The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
o Meryl Streep
o Michelle Williams
(My Week With Marilyn)
o Olivia Coleman

o Demián Bichir
(A Better Life)
o George Clooney
(The Descendants)
o Jean Dujardin
(The Artist)
o Gary Oldman
(Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy)
o Brad Pitt
o Michael Fassbender

Supporting Actor
o Kenneth Branagh
(My Week With Marilyn)
o Jonah Hill
o Nick Nolte
o Christopher Plummer
o Max von Sydow
(Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close)

Supporting Actress
o Bérénice Bejo
(The Artist)
o Jessica Chastain
(The Help)
o Melissa McCarthy
o Janet McTeer
(Albert Nobbs)
o Octavia Spencer
(The Help)
o Jessica Chastain
(Take Shelter)

Foreign Language
o A Separation
o Bullhead
o Footnote
o In Darkness
o Monsieur Lazsar
o Norwegian Wood

Animated Feature
o A Cat in Paris
o Chico y Rita
o Kung Fu Panda 2
o Puss In Boots
o Rango


As for betting, I’ve highlighted a few options that might offer a punter some value, but the reality is that nowadays the main oscars categories are too sewn-up to be a good betting prospect. here, however, is one tip you might like:

if you’re betting ‘in play’, keep an eye on Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

according to professional punter and gambling legend Neil Channing, these two awards offer an interesting angle. as you will see, if you look, the nominations are pretty similar for both, and on the night they are awarded consecutively. every year, the price of whichever film wins the first award to go on and win the second automatically shortens significantly in the ‘in play’ odds, however only four times out of the last eleven years has the winner of the first taken the second.

therefore, the best bet of the night might well be to swiftly lay the winner of Sound Editing to win Sound Mixing.

well that’s all from me, and here’s wishing you a pleasant Oscars night, who, where and whenever you are.

PS: i am hosting an intimate and sophisticated Oscar soirée tonight on Twitter.
if you feel like dropping by, do so by using the hashtag #RQTOP

bring snacks.

#cinefile: 2011 in reflection

although it is fairly

clichéd, i still feel that there is value in using the start of a new year to reflect on the experience of the year that has passed.

i’ll understand if you have an aversion to reading yet another person’s rundown of the year; but for those gracious enough to humour me, here are my reflections on 2011 in film.


2011 in film was, very much like Libya, a land of contrast. on one hand it saw the unceremonious dismantling of the UK Film Council, whereas on the other lots of critics thought it made sense to juxtapose that with the success of The King’s Peach, which made Harvey Weinstein pots of cash.

of course as anyone who stops to think about it will learn, we won’t realise the implications of the end of the Film Council era for some time, but it made a neat story to pretend otherwise.

i saw some wonderful films this year, at least two of which have already floated to near the top of my all-time favourites, and a couple more that would fare well in a list of my favourite films of this century. alas, as ever, looking at the list of the top ten grossing films of the year leaves my heart cold and full of dread.

here are the films that we in the UK patronised the most:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt II ..................... ($117m)
2. The King's Speech ......................................................... ($75m)
3. The Inbetweeners Movie ............................................... ($71m)
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides .................. ($54m)
5. The Hangover Part II ..................................................... ($53m)
6. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt I ........................... ($46m)
7. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon .................................. ($45m)
8. Bridesmaids .................................................................. ($37m)
9. Tangled ........................................................................ ($33m)
10. Rise of the Planet of the Apes ..................................... ($32m)

i don’t know about you, but i have to run my eye down to number eight before i find a film i even half enjoyed. these are not the sort of films that i want to be made, and yet that is precisely what the number$ indicate will happen.

i had the spirit-crushing experience of being at a New Year’s Eve party with a well-educated ‘chap’ in his late twenties who told me that The Inbetweeners Movie was his favourite film of the year, and that was at about 8 o’clock. #face as the kids say #palm.

beneath, i have listed, in reverse order, the ten films released last year that moved, challenged, amused, touched and/or entertained me most, with a short description of how or why. please feel free to take me to task in the comments section.

11. Source Code: not as captivating as Moon, but a solid and engaging, if more mainstream, follow-up from Duncan Jones. i like Jake Gyllenhaal.

10. Hanna: beautifully shot, intensely paced, impressively acted (esp. Eric Bana) and raising some interesting issues. ultimately a little overblown in places. warning: some girls will kill you dead.

9. The Adjustment Bureau: suffered from comparisons to Inception and its links with Mad Men, but still stands for me as a crisp, smart pulp-sci-fi-thriller. nice wardrobe. nice Anthony Mackie.

8. Rango: smart, funny and enjoyable across the age spectrum without being overly stratified and relying on the tired slapstick-for-the-kids-innuendo-for-the-adults formula. a cartoon film for film lovers. my family film of the year.

7. Super 8: an excellent movie slightly spoiled by something of a blown-out ending. when it’s good it’s sweet, full of the hopefulness of youth, superbly acted and soaked in the love of the film camera and what it makes possible. a movie made by the Spielberg that Dawson from Dawson’s Creek loved.

6. Friends With Benefits: a smart, well made, genuinely touching and fairly believable Hollywood rom-com is a very rare thing. this felt loose and self-deprecating enough to be amusing and uplifting when it wanted, but also packed a subtle emotional depth. it won’t change the world, but i left surprised and charmed.

5. The Skin I Live In: something of an homage to Eyes Without A Face, this is an intense and emotionally thick drama about repression, pride, revenge and damaged people. Almodovar if not at his very best then certainly close to it, in what stands as a successful and long-overdue reunification with Banderas.

4. Blue Valentine: simple in the best ways. aesthetically beautiful, technically near-flawless, emotionally devastating and fleshed out by brilliant performances from two wonderful actors. warning: some films cut deep.

3. Snowtown: based on the infamous ‘bodies in the barrels’ murders, committed in South Australia in the 90s, this is a hefty, hard-htting, gritty crime-pic (in the true sense of the word, like grit in your eye – and i don’t know if they grade grit, but if they do, coarse). dark and brutal, it shines harsh light on some uncomfortable truths about the shadow-side of community and the nature of the human condition. warning: intensely Australian throughout.

2. The Artist: while it’s not yet on general release in the UK, Michel Hazanavicius’ silent masterpiece was officially released last year, and besides, i saw a preview screening and this is my list, not yours. just a wonderful movie – uplifting cinema at its best. technically daring, crisply and intelligently shot and edited, superbly acted and joyful through and through. a real old-school treat with a dark, powerful truth at its heart.

1. Drive: masterfully shot and edited and thus shockingly contrasting in its tone, it’s both languidly ponderous and deliciously terse in just the right mix. the edgy, über-cool tone of the first 3/4s gives way to a brutal final section. the destructive internal logic of violence and vanity is laid absolutely bare and apparent passivity is re-cast as moral agency. the combination of an achingly good use of light and lens, a wonderfully taut script, pitch-perfect performances from golden Gosling and the utterly lovely Mulligan (with great support from Bryan Cranston, Christina Hendricks and Ron Perlman among others) and genuinely profound insight make this a neon-noir treat. the film Quentin Tarantino has been trying to make his whole career.

honourable mentions:
– Melancholia
– Biutiful
– Another Earth
– Senna
– Bridesmaids

*edit films i thought of too late
– Norwegian Wood (which i saw in 2010, but, as i was reminded today, actually came out in 2011 and is superb.)

some films that might have impacted this list if i’d got round to seeing them yet:
– Tree of Life
– Cave of Forgotten Dreams
– Neds

thanks for reading in 2011, please stay for a chat below and be assured that you are warmly invited to engage with all entries in the #cinefile that 2012 offers up.