7 DAYS OF OSCARS: FINAL DAY 7 ~ “BEST PICTURE”

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Well here we are. The very last day of my “7 Days of Oscar” and I’ve saved the biggest and best for last. While this is a very good slate of films, and most of them deserve to be here, some clearly more than others. I have made my choice – hard as it was, and I very well know there can be an upset of epic proportions in this category above all of them.

Final note: **Reminder that I’m giving who I think the winner will be and what would be my pick – because they just might not be the same!! 😀

BEST PICTURE

The Big Short
This film is dark comedy at it’s best. You don’t know whether to laugh or cry and the acting is just spectacular all the way around.

Bridge of Spies
Not a strong enough film here for me. I almost felt had I not known it was based on a true story, I would have thought how contrived and predictable it was. While I liked it on a whole, save for Mark Rylance’s brilliant performance, it had some slow moments and at times, could be a dull ride.

Brooklyn
A sweet, yet altogether to sappy of a story for me. I liked it for sure, but it waned & dragged through parts to much so for me to give it a big vote here.

Mad Max: Fury RoadPossible Winner
Ohhh how I love this movie. It’s fast, entertaining, and just an all around thrill ride. Need I say more.. I think not. But I will say I think a secret part of me wants it to win in my heart of hearts because it was just so truly… EVERYTHING.

The Martian
Fun fun movie here.. is it Oscar winning? No, but it’s completely entertaining and definitely a good watch.

The RevenantMY PICK/WINNER
When I saw this film I was completely and utterly blown away as I didn’t think Inarritu could outdo ‘Birdman’.. he did. It’s a mind-bending experience of a film which is what made me pick it, by just a hair mind you.

Room
Why this movie is even here on this list I’ve still to fathom, but it has so many fans..that I’m guessing have never watched Law & Order: SVU as I’ve seen this story better done on episode of that show. It just still boggles my mind.

SpotlightPossible upset winner
Very good and VERY gutsy movie to bring this subject literally back into the spotlight. Just not a winner for me, but it could very well do so here and be the upset winner of the year.

#Oscars2016 #peggyatthemovies

7 DAYS OF OSCARS: DAY 4 ~ “BEST DIRECTOR”

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Wait.. what day is it??!! Just kidding.. as it’s DAY FOUR of the ‘7 Days of Oscar’ and it’s getting tough as it’s BEST DIRECTOR time..
And yes, I will continue to add in my reminder that I’m giving who I think the winner will be and what would be my pick – because yes, they just might not be the same!! 😀

BEST DIRECTOR

Adam McKay, The Big Short
I really really enjoyed this film as it was dark comedy at it’s best. I didn’t know whether to laugh at the hilarious cameo explanations or cry at the subject matter. Truly a gem.

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Just truly an incredible film. We were brought back to a Mad Max of old, the kind where you really didn’t even have time to breathe for the first 15 minutes of the film. This film was just epic. It’s such a close one here for me.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
MY PICK/WINNER
What can I say here.. Did I think ‘Birdman’ could be outdone..no I didn’t think so. But yet here with The Revenant it was. Can Alejandro make it 2 in a row is yet to be seen. But it would be well deserved.

Lenny Abrahamson, Room
I’m sure Lenny is a great guy..having done a Q & A with him after Room screening I can say I found him to be engaging enough, and sometimes I wish I could understand what the people who love this film, see in it. Sorry, but he is not my winner.

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Good movie, though not a winner for me.

So there ya have it. Tomorrow we move on to the Best Actress category for Day 5 of the “7 Days of Oscar”
Till then.. #Oscars2016 #peggyatthemovies

7 DAYS OF OSCARS: DAY THREE ~ “BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR”

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Here we are at Day 3 of my “7 Days of Oscar” ~ probably for me at least, the hardest category besides Best Picture to judge. The category is just filled to the brim of fantastic performances and I wish they could all win..well..minus one. ha!
Reminder: I’m giving who I think the winner will be and what would be my pick – because they aren’t always necessarily the same!! 😀

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Absolutely Christian Bale in one of his best career performances. While it was a complete ensemble cast, he stood out head and shoulders above the rest.

Tom Hardy, The Revenant
How do you explain Tom Hardy – he’s been full of acting surprises for some years now and while I would’ve thought him to have a nomination before this one (think ‘Locke’ from 2014), he is deservedly here.

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Ruffalo with his oddly thrown in facial & body tics/expressions that are reminiscent of a bad Jimmy Olsen caricature, annoyed the daylights out of me, to a point for me so I can’t even remotely vote for him here and was the only drawback to an otherwise really good film.

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Lucky for me, I’ve known about Rylance’s talent for a bit now. For me, there was only one person that truly stood out for me performance-wise in this film and that person was Mark Rylance.

Sylvester Stallone, Creed MY PICK/WINNER
Yep I’m going ‘Old School’ on this one. because Sly, Sly, Sly – I’ve seen all your stuff, whether good or bad. But I remember how no one thought you could act.. I kept telling them you could, and then came ‘Copland’ where you proved them all wrong and me right. Has there been more misses than hits…sure there has, but damn you were so good here. He will pull at everyone’s heartstrings like he did mine and take this.

**Come back tomorrow for Day 4 of the “7 Days of Oscar” and see my picks/winners for Best Director.**

7 DAYS OF OSCARS: DAY TWO ~ BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

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Yep..here we are at Day 2 of my “7 Days of Oscar” just remember.. I’m giving who I think the winner will be and what would be my pick – because they don’t always necessarily coincide with each other!! 😀

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
As I noted with the Golden Globes – there were times I just thought ‘wow, JJL is knocking it out of the park here’ then there were more times when I thought ‘oh, no no she’s not, she’s kinda annoying me’ so this is a give & take for me but definitely not a pick.

Rooney Mara, Carol
While I’m mostly not a fan of Rooney Mara’s, I will say, she impressed me in this film and was the most likable yet in a film role for me.

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Vanilla, Vanilla, Vanilla. That’s the only thing that truly comes to mind when I think of this performance. Sorry Rachel, you seem sweet, really you do, but you are ‘vanilla’ acting-wise, in your roles, this one included.

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl ~ MY PICK
Alicia Vikander was fantastic in this role. Why everyone liked her in Ex-Machina I’m not sure, as she was a CGI character. And okay..not everyone..just males under 35 – but here she truly was wonderful and showed she can compete with the best of them.

Kate Winslet, Steve JobsWINNER
Another wonderful job by Kate, though I wasn’t particularly fond of her trying on the accent – you could almost overlook it as she was so spot on here.

REVIEW: “SPOTLIGHT” (2015) Q & A w/Producers (Open Road Pictures)

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“Spotlight” boldly brings back into the spotlight (pun intended) and tells the true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking up not only us the public, but the entire Catholic Church to its core.
Michael Keaton plays Walter Robinson who leads the Globe’s investigative unit “Spotlight” along with Michael Rezendes (Mark Ruffalo), Sacha Pfeiffer (Rachel McAdams) and Matt Carroll (Brian d’Arcy James). At a time when the internet started undercutting actual newspapers & staffs of some of the biggest papers in town were being cut in half, the Globe brought in new editor, Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber), and the team begins to unfold a horrific pattern of child sexual abuse by the church that was muted and covered up by high priced lawyers and payoffs to victim’s families. As Walter probes further and further into the events (the setting is just prior to, but mostly after the events of 9/11) the investigation reveals layers and layers of injustice of Catholic Priests that were aided by the highest powers of the church in an effort to keep the story muted.spotlight 1

It all starts with a featured column about Catholic priest John Geoghan who was accused of abusing over 100 boys. A civil suit is filed but the details of the abuse were ordered sealed by the courts. As newly installed editor and the first Jewish one at that, Baron puts the team of reporters on the case and within days the evil that lurked with the sacred rooms of local churches begins to reveal it’s despicable face.
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The investigation goes on for months as the team hits roadblock upon roadblock taking one step forward for every two steps back. But the story eventually breaks and the emotionally exhausted team is eventually able to bring to light one of the more depressing and important stories to hit us in the new century.

The performances are mostly good. Schreiber as Baron, the first Jewish editor is quiet, yet speaks volumes. Ruffalo with some oddly thrown in facial & body tics/expressions that are reminiscent of a bad Jimmy Olsen type reporter is almost annoying to a point, McAdams is her usual bland generic self. Keaton & Tucci both are good, though for Keaton, it’s not Birdman type good. There are more roles to be recognized in Billy Cruddup, Jamey Sheridan & notable is John Slattery. It’s truly an ensemble film as there are no specific leads. spotlight 5
And of course nods to All the President’s Men will be inevitable. The film itself is fresh and invigorating in its painfully frustrating subject matter. It is at times painful to watch. Trusted bonds between people, children, parents and the institution that promotes the opposite to what it sometimes preaches are disgusting revelations that are brought to the screen with sizzling effect. You won’t forget this movie or what happened any time soon after you see it, and truthfully, we never should.

Grade: B-
@pegsatthemovies

Screening: Monday, November 2, 2015 ~ Courtesy of the Producers Guild of America
Nationwide release: Friday, November 6, 2015

POST Q & A w/Producers: Michael Sugar, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin ~ It’s always nice when the Producers, Director and Cast take the time out to do a post-screening Q & A. They talk about their passion for the projects and usually give great insight to their films. That’s why it surprised me so much that there was a huge exodus of people after this film. Usually you always get a few, but I would say 1/2 the audience emptied out. Not sure why, maybe they were disturbed by it, maybe they were Catholics upset by the fact that it happened, and maybe some still just don’t want to believe it. I found it sad because as a film-goer, you should have the decency to show respect to the people that again, took the time to come talk to you about a project. Moving on… All producers listed took the time to speak about the films budget, which at 20 million, but they still got good stars to come aboard even though there was no specific lead role, as it was a complete ensemble type film. Mark Ruffalo was the first to come aboard and they appreciated that because it brought others to the table. They also had to clear schedules because they wanted to shoot in the specific time of year of late fall, early winter as that’s when it all actually happened. The Boston Globe also let them shoot in their actual offices where everything took place.
They also had to work closely to get all the legal aspects & clearances done correctly as you would be assuming correctly if you thought the Catholic Church was less than thrilled to be having this all brought up again in a film. The only reaction from the church has been the few apologies you’ve already seen.
Since the piece first ran in Jan 2002, over 600 more articles were published by the Boston Globe unearthing more and more atrocities. The most moving moment was when a survivor was in the audience and thanked the producers for making this film and making sure we never forget and hopefully work harder to prevent this from happening again, as it still is going on all over the world..and not just in the catholic religion to be sure.