Weekend Roundup: Quick thoughts on BAFTA 2015 + review of Predestination

Happy Monday everyone! Well it’s quite a busy weekend for me but I got to see two new-to-me movies, yay. I also got two reviews done on Sunday, so expect to see a review of Jupiter Ascending tomorrow.


Here are my top five things I’m happy about from 2015 BAFTA Awards:

  • Emmanuel Lubezki winning Best Cinematography for Birdman
  • The LEGO Movie winning Best Animated Film
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel winning Best Original Screenplay
  • Citizenfour winning Best Documentary
  • Alexandre Desplat winning Best Original Music for The Grand Budapest Hotel

But really, who cares about the winners, check out these dreamy guys at the BAFTAS 😉

Ehm, okay so Boyhood wins big at the BAFTAS including Richard Linklater winning Best Director. But hey, Alejandro González Iñárritu won Best Director at Directors Guild Award so there’s still a chance Birdman comes out on top come Oscar. Boy the race is REALLY neck and neck between the two movies. Both has the same one-word title with exactly six letters too, that’s gotta be a first. The THE EE RISING STAR AWARD went to Jack O’Connell whose work I still need to see. It’s a bummer that Gugu Mbatha-Raw didn’t win but I hope one day she’d win an actual BAFTA!


The life of a time-traveling Temporal Agent. On his final assignment, he must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time.

I was intrigued to see Predestination as I was impressed by the Spierig Brothers’ previous film Daybreakers. It offers a novelty twist to the popular vampire genre and this time, they tackled another popular Hollywood theme, time travel. This is my impression after I saw it:

I’m not going to say much about the plot as the less you know about it the better the experience. All I’m going to say is that it’s based on Robert A. Heinlein’s short story All You Zombies. I thought at first there’s some similarities to Minority Report about the preventing-a-future-crime from-happening plot, but the story is completely different. In fact, it makes that Spielberg film seems more straight-forward if you can believe that. I like how the film started out with a bang but then the pace slows down considerably in the first act as we’re introduced to the characters played by Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook. The odd pacing seems deliberate and I actually think it’s pretty effective and engrossing in getting us to care about their journey.


Hawke is solid here once again, as he was in Daybreakers. I always think he’s an underrated actor as though he’s not the most charismatic actor but he’s always reliable. There’s something soulful about his performance and he’s not afraid to show his vulnerable side. But it’s Snook who’s quite a revelation here. I’ve never seen the Aussie actress before but she is absolutely astounding. It also helps when she’s given a strong character arc here, and she tackled her role as The Unmarried Mother, which is the name of her magazine column she writes for. It’s quite a complex role with multiple layers but it’s so rewarding to see how she tackles each one convincingly and with so much heart.


There’s also Noah Taylor as the enigmatic Mr Robertson but for the most part, the story revolves around Hawke and Snook’s characters. This film will leave you scratching your head, as most stories dealing with time travel paradox often do. But how the plot unravels is captivating, keeping you guessing whilst you try to grasp just what you’re actually witnessing.

If you like sci-fi AND time travel movies, this one is a must-see. The cinematography and art direction is wonderful, featuring unique camera angles and excellent production design. It’s impressive considering the relatively tiny budget (about $5 mil according to Deadline, as it’s part of a three-picture deal worth $17 mil). It’s another proof that one doesn’t need an astronomical budget to tell a good story. I’m curious to see what the Spierig brothers will tackle next!


So what did YOU see this weekend? Anything good?

38 thoughts on “Weekend Roundup: Quick thoughts on BAFTA 2015 + review of Predestination

  1. I really loved Robert Heinline’s classic book ‘A Stranger in a Strange Land’ and I like Ethan Hawke, too, so I want to take a look at ‘All You Zombies’.
    You sure have a thing for hairy faces 😉

    1. Ahahaha, lots of guys are sporting beards lately, but they’re still beautiful 😉

      I think you’d appreciate Predestination Cindy, it’s more of a sci-fi drama and the character development is pretty strong and not reliant on a bunch of CGI.

  2. I saw the trailer of Predestination a while back and it looks interesting, I’ll give it a watch when it hits Netflix. I wasn’t a fan of DAYBREAKERS though, it has potentials but it just didn’t work for me.

    I’m catching up on the Blurays I’ve bought over the holidays sales, watched GODZILLA just mostly to test out my new home theater receiver, I’m going to get Dolby Atmos speakers soon. The movie’s still lame but it sounded awesome on my system. I also watched THE PACKAGE starring Gene Hackman and Tommy Lee Jones, I haven’t seen it in years. It’s a good little seen espionage thriller from the late 80s.

    1. I really dug Daybreakers, but if you don’t, then I don’t know if you’ll like Predestination as much as I did. Did you watch the latest Godzilla movie? I thought that one is kinda boring.

      1. Yeah I thought I was going to enjoy DAYBREAKERS and bought it on Bluray as a blind buy and I didn’t care for it. So now I’ll wait for PREDESTINATION to hit Netflix and watch it.

        Yup, I watched the super serious 2014 version that GODZILLA only appeared on screen for less than 10 minutes. And it’s very boring, I just jumped to the action scenes, well the little action scenes in the movie anyway. Edwards decided to cut away most of the action, dumbest idea I’ve ever seen for a big summer action movie.

        1. Hey if you want to get rid of the Daybreakers BD, I’ll take it 🙂 Yeah it was the first Godzilla movie and I expected it to be much more entertaining. Ah well, it still was better than Jupiter Ascending though, my review will be up tomorrow.

          1. I’ll have to look through my BD collection, not sure if I still have it. I may have lent it to a friend or sold it at a pawn shop. I remember I bought it for like $10 at Best Buy after reading Roger Ebert’s review, he really liked it. I’ll let you know if I still have the disc and yes I’ll give it to you.

  3. Good stuff Ruth!

    I’m still excited about Boyhood even though there is this weird backlash to it from some circles. It is such a tiny, minuscule budgeted, thoroughly independent film yet since its Oscar nominations some have represented it as something different. I will be rooting for it on Oscar night but I LOVE that there is intrigue. It makes the Oscars a lot more entertaining.

    As I mentioned to you I almost watched “Predestination” a week or so ago but I passed on it. Sounds like I need to give it a shot. I have heard several people singing high praises for it.

    1. Hello Keith! I haven’t seen Boyhood yet but I did hear about the backlash which I thought was fishy considering the timing of it. I love that there is an intrigue between Boyhood and Birdman, it’s much more interesting as some other categories are more predictable. I think Julianne Moore is a surefire winner, kind of like Daniel Day Lewis was the year he was nominated for Lincoln.

      I’m curious what you think of Predestination. The plot can be baffling, as most time travel films are, but I like the slow burn aspect and that it’s more character-driven instead of a typical CGI fest of most big-budget scifi.

  4. I have to say, Ruth, I’m actually quite happy with Linklater’s Bafta win and Boyhood. I was very impressed with the film overall and Linklater has been an overlooked director for too long now.

    Nice highlight on Predesination too. It was cerainly and enjoyable flick and Hawke is doing some great stuff just now.

    1. Hi Mark! It seems that Linkater has had quite a career and so yeah, it’s good to see him getting recognized. That’s how I feel about Keaton who’s been churning out a lot of great performances under the radar.

      Hey, glad to hear you like Predestination too! Hawke is a reliable actor, I think I’ve liked him in most everything I’ve seen him in, even as far back as Dead Poets Society!

  5. I still cannot believe they didn’t show Goode in broadcast, this is the worst thing that has happened so far in this Oscar season to me 🙂 I have Predestination on my watchlist, it looks good and I really like Noah Taylor

    1. That is a travesty! Especially considering how adorable he looks. Did you know he’s gonna present at Oscars, I sure hope if he does they won’t cut that again!

      I like Noah Taylor too, I remember him from the Lara Croft movies. I hope you like Predestination, it’s a small-budget scifi that has more to say than the loud CGI-fest like Jupiter Ascending!

  6. Stu

    I agree about Ethan Hawke, he’s solidly dependable and I’m quite keen to see Predestination. That’s the first review I’ve read as it happens and it sounds pretty cool. As for the BAFTAs…I’m getting a bit of award season fatigue now (yup, even with the big one round the corner) but I was pleased to see Boyhood win and pleased for Linklater. I hope the same result happens come Oscar time. Nice to see Grand Budapest well decorated too. I didn’t actually see any films this weekend but I’m probably going to see Selma tomorrow!

    1. Hi Stu! It seems that I like Hawke in scifi movies. He’s good in Gattaca and Daybreakers which is a sleek vampire scifi I also recommend. One of these days I ought to check out Boyhood once and for all, ahah.

  7. Cool post! Even though I’d prefer for Alejandro to win, I still think Boyhood will come out on top on Oscar night. Glad to see he got the DGA, though. That is amazing. And I’m thrilled for Lubezki. Second Oscar in a row, here we come!

    This weekend I watched Foxcatcher and it was so boring!

    1. Yeah I hope Lubezki gets to collect his second Oscar! There’s still a chance for Innaritu though, fingers crossed! Ahah, I’m not surprised you said that about Foxcatcher. It’s a well-crafted film but I can’t say it’s the most entertaining either.

    1. You should see it pronto! I’d love to hear what you think, esp about Sarah Snook who impressed me as much as Gugu Mbatha-Raw did in Belle! Can’t you tell I’m still avoiding Boyhood, ahah, I’d rather see another movie starring Ethan Hawke 😉

  8. I was so pleased Alexandre Desplat won for Grand Budapest Hotel – I’ve listened to that soundtrack sooo many times over the last year. I think it’s my favourite soundtrack of all time! I was very pleased for Lego Movie too – it totally deserved to win. Hope you get chance to catch up on the work of Jack O’Connell soon, he’s brilliant in Starred Up and ’71.

    1. Yeah Desplat has been amazingly prolific, I also love his work for Imitation Game. Nice to see LEGO Movie won, Oscar totally missed the mark that they didn’t even nominate that movie! I hope to see Starred Up and ’71 later in the year, I’ve heard so many good things about him.

  9. Predestination sounds intriguing. I actually just watched an interview of Ethan Hawke on Charlie Rose and I was moved by his passion for the craft of acting, his ideas on humanity and his very well conceived impression on his involvement on Boyhood and what made the film so great for him and in general. I will check out Predestination’s trailer now…

    1. Hi Niels! Yeah he sounds like a nice guy and care about the work instead of the Hollywood shenanigans. I hope you’ll give this one a shot, it’s amazing what a small budget can accomplish whilst the big budget counterpart is just dumb and hollow.

  10. “But really, who cares about the winners, check out these dreamy guys at the BAFTAS ;)” HAHAHAHA, oh, yes! I was scrolling down and didn’t even pay attention to the text, my eyes went straight to Hiddles and Cumberbatch. ❤ Kudos to winners anyway, though!

    1. Hi Elina! I originally only had my commentary on the winners but I couldn’t resist posting about those gorgeous boys! I tell you, Julianne Moore is one LUCKY gal getting her award from Evans AND Cavill, oh my!!

  11. O’Connell’s win was deserved (trust me 😉 ), but I would’ve loved to see Gugu win as well. Hoping Birdman can triumph at the Oscars, despite the lack of love at the BAFTAs.

    Really curious about Predestination. Heard good and bad things, but I do want to check it out.

    1. Yeah O’Connell seems like a very talented young man, I look forward to seeing his films at some point. It’d have been lovely to see Gugu win it, but hopefully she’ll win bigger things.

      I think Predestination is worth your time Josh, curious to hear what you think of it.

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