Oscar Musings, Predictions & Everybody’s Chattin’

Happy last Friday of February… or as we cinephiles call it, the start of Oscar weekend! As usual, the Oscars will be televised live this Sunday by ABC and in more than 225 countries worldwide from 8:30-11:30 p.m., ET.

Adele_Bassey_OscarI’m a bit bummed out that the James Bond tribute won’t be featuring all of the Bond actors after all, that’s been something I’ve been anticipating. I mean, wouldn’t that be cool?! But I guess that’s too good to be true. I guess we’ll have Adele singing the Oscar-nominated theme song Skyfall and I believe Dame Shirley Bassey will also make an appearance (yay!) Not sure what she’ll be singing though, but I’m sure it’ll be phenomenal! Oh, did you know that the cast of The Avengers will be on hand to present? Apparently that’s what it said on the Oscar blog.

Now, it’s been sort of tradition (well, only since a couple of years ago) that I’d post my winner predictions in the major categories. I haven’t seen ALL of the films nominated, but heck this is just for fun, so who’s gonna stop me! 😀

  1. Best Picture: ARGO
  2. Best Director: Steven Spielberg (Lincoln)
  3. Best Actor: Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln)
  4. Best Actress: Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook)
  5. Best Supporting Actor: Tommy Lee Jones (Lincoln)
  6. Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
  7. Best Animated Feature: Brave
  8. Best Original Screenplay: Moonrise Kingdom
  9. Best Adapted Screenplay: ARGO
  10. Best Foreign Language Film: Amour
  11. Best Song: Skyfall
  12. Best Costume Design: Anna Karenina
  13. Best Cinematography: Life of Pi

Most of my predictions are basically just gut instinct so we’ll see how I’d fare, ahah. This year I’m rooting for ARGO, that’s the film I chose for the LAMB Devours the Oscars Series.

Click the banner below to read why I think ARGO deserves to win Best Picture!

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For sure I’ll be tuning in and live blogging Sunday night. Good thing I’ve asked my boss to take Monday off as I’ll be so tired and my brain will be filled with film stuff to concentrate on work anyway.

So now, on to the links! These are some awesome Oscar-related posts you should check out if you haven’t already:

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Paula and Aurora are currently hosting a spectacular 31-Days-of-Oscar blogathon and this week Paula posted her random Oscar predictions. See if her picks match yours.

On a related note, Michael @ It Rains…You Get Wet participated in that blogathon by posting what he calls Oscar’s misjudgments… Recasting Oscar’s Picks of the 1990s. See what he’d righteously overturn within each of the decades he’s been watching movies, starting with the 1980s and later he’ll be posting his picks for the 2000s.

Another entry to the 31 Days of Oscar deals with the ever-so-fascinating topic of Oscar Curse… Is it for real? Well head out to check out Iba‘s post on I Luv Cinema and decide for yourself.

I don’t know how he does it but Josh @ Classicblanca has taken it upon himself to RANK all 85 Best Picture Oscar Winners since 1929 (honoring films in 1927 and 1928). Check out which films made his top 10 and which number the first Oscar-winning-film Wings falls on his list!

HowGreenWasMyValleySpeaking of Best Picture Oscars, there’s always one of those Best Pictures that people deem as ‘non deserving.’ That somehow it had robbed another more well-deserved nominee. Well, Ryan @ The Matinee ruminates over the year HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY won Best Picture over CITIZEN KANE in his Battle Born post.

Now, some moviegoers care about the award shows and some don’t even bother with them (I know my pal Ted is nodding profusely). Well, Dan @ Public Transportation Snob recently appeared on The Film Pasture’s Podcast discussing if the Oscar still matters.

Now, on top of the industry awards, some bloggers have been posting their own awards in various categories. Andrew @ Encore Entertainment just posted his picks of top ensemble cast in 2012, Very interesting list since I had just posted the question on best and worst casting of the year.

Now, last but certainly not least… Keith @ Keith and the Movies has been posting reviews of films nominated for Oscar this year (or contain Oscar-nominated performances). He apparently found nothing objectionable about Michael Haneke’s Amour, giving it a full 5 stars. Find out why in his Amour review.


Well that’s it for the Oscar links. Thoughts on this weekend’s ceremony and/or my predictions?

Five for the Fifth October 2012: Spy Edition

Hello folks, since October 5 2012 edition of Five of the Fifth happens to fall on Bond’s 50th Anniversary, all the questions have a SPY theme in honor of our super spy 007.

As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation/poster, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here. So let’s get started, shall we?
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1. Well, now that Adele’s Skyfall theme song has been officially released, I’m quite pleased to see the classic ballad is back again. I’ve listened to it half a dozen times now and the melody easily gets stuck in my head. I like that there’s a trace of the Bond theme in it, and it doesn’t hurt that I’m a big fan of Adele’s voice. She’s channeling Dame Shirley Bassey, though I don’t think anyone could match the Welsh singer’s powerful pipes. So take a listen below…

Now on to the two-part question: Thoughts on Adele’s song AND which singer/band do you wish would sing the Bond theme song next?

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2. James Bond might be the world’s most famous spy character, but Ian Fleming isn’t the only popular British spy author. This article on Word and Film site lists all the films based on English author John le Carre’s classic British spy and espionage novels. I have only seen three of them on the list: Tinker Tailor Solider Spy, The Constant Gardener and The Tailor of Panama, and they’re all very good.

I’m curious to check out the rest from that list, especially The Spy Who Came in from the Cold starring Richard Burton. That sounds really intriguing.

Are you a fan of Le Carre’s work? Which of his books is your favorite?

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3. A few days ago I came across this Best Bond Movies poll that the MI6-HQ site conducted late last year. Below are the results of the ‘most favored’ James Bond films by the fans:

Rank Film Actor Score
1 Casino Royale Daniel Craig 75%
2 Goldfinger Sean Connery 54%
3 From Russia With Love Sean Connery 53%
4 On Her Majesty’s Secret Service George Lazenby 46%
5 GoldenEye Pierce Brosnan 37%

The Living Daylights made the top 10 at #8 (which makes me happy), but what I find most interesting is that On Her Majesty’s Secret Service made the top 5!

So even though people didn’t like George Lazenby, apparently they still love the film. That’s one of the Bond films I really want to revisit again, I might do it yet this month as I don’t remember much about it aside from that heartbreaking finale. I’m even more curious as Christopher Nolan said it’s his favorite Bond film, so who knows, perhaps a remake is in order with a more capable Bond actor?

What’s your thoughts on the poll and/or OHMSS film specifically?
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4. Now switching gears from MI-6 to CIA… Americans’ got our own super spy too, y’know 😀 The name is Ryan, Jack Ryan. Ok it doesn’t have the same catchy ring to it and the franchise is not nearly as lucrative, but the Tom Clancy’s character has quite a fan base.

And the reboot coming up next year seems to be going back to basics, titling it simply Jack Ryan, and casting the young and hip Capt Kirk Chris Pine in the role. Interestingly enough, he’s surrounded by Brits: Kenneth Branagh is directing and starring as the villain and Keira Knightley as his wife. But hey, he’s got Kevin Costner as his CIA mentor.

For me, my favorite Jack Ryan actor is Harrison Ford, but it could be because Patriot Games was the first movie I saw of the franchise. I know most of you probably love Alec Baldwin most as he’s the first in The Hunt For The Red October, and I might revisit that movie at one point, but I quite like Ford’s intensity. He might appear curmudgeon, which somehow I find endearing, but to me he captures that hard life and being constantly on edge as what I imagined his job would entail.

So, who’s your favorite actor portraying Jack Ryan?
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5. Now, back to Bond again as today is Global Bond Day after all. As the franchise keeps going on and on, let me turn to the one who started it all: Ian Fleming. I’d love to see the creator of Commander Bond gets a proper biopic treatment on the big screen. Well, last May there were reports circulating that Duncan Jones (director of Moon, Source Code, etc.) is going to be at the helm. As The Guardian article says, Fleming’s fascinating life story seems to be worth telling and no doubt inspired his creation, inspired by his years in the British naval intelligence during WWII. He reportedly lived a hard life too, smoking and drinking (60 cigarettes a day??!), and was also quite the playboy.

I haven’t heard of who’d be cast as Fleming. I think I heard James McAvoy was rumored at some point, which would be a good choice I think, aside from the fact that Fleming has Scottish roots. Now if they decide to do a biopic on his later years though, I’d love to see Geoffrey Rush play him. I mean, I even found this photo when I was searching on Google, so obviously I’m not the only one who think of their uncanny resemblance!

Thoughts on this biopic, now who would you like to see portray Ian Fleming?


Well, that’s it for the Special SPY edition of Five for the Fifth, folks. Now, please pick a question out of the five above or better yet, do ‘em all! 😀