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.**

REVIEW: “THE BIG SHORT” (2015) Paramount Pictures

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the big short
When Ryan Gosling’s character Jared Vennett asks the question to a room full of brokers.. “What’s that smell?” and answers it with “Opportunity” you know then and there to prepare yourself for a very different type of ride.

The film’s narrative is driven by four cynical, fringe Wall Streeter’s disgusted with the large banking institutions’ overriding greed for profits. Separately, but yet oddly together, they make the decision to capitalize on the ensuing housing market catastrophe and the financial meltdown of 2008 upon discovering the market frenzy is being driven by worthless collateral debt obligations.
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While I might never figure out how Director Adam McKay made deplorable humans, blinding fear, gut-wrentching outrage and delightful shaming so much fun to watch ~ He most definitely brought along his dark bag of laughs here, but planted them in such a way as to where we actually understood what was happening thanks to fun cameo explanations from the likes of Margot Robbie in a bubble bath, Anthony Bourdain cooking it right up, and even Selena Gomez gambling though her little monologue.

After a rather lengthy dizzying, yet delightful, character introduction, the film picks up pace as the drama begins to unfold. Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale), an eccentric financial analyst, with complete autonomy of an investment fund, uncovers variables in his economic forecast indicating a massive housing market collapse. He informs his higher up, Lawrence Fields (Tracy Letts), of his discovery and creates a financial prospectus. In essence, he creates a commodity of selling short on bundled mortgages.
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The bankers laugh themselves silly as they willingly sell Burry all the “insurance” he wants. Word quickly spreads of Burry’s perceived madness in a after-work cocktail scene. With interest piqued upon overhearing the Wall Street gossip of the day, Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), scoops up the aspects of Burry’s move. Soon, he sells it to a group led by Steve Carell’s real-life character, Mark Baum and convinces them to buy in.

As the debacle is in full free-fall, Baum struggles with disbelief as he and his group have bet against their own umbrella entity, Morgan Stanley. The final team that has uncovered the impending financial crisis, made up of two Wall Street rookie wanna-be’s, Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock) and Charlie Geller (John Magaro) who along with veteran trader turned-conspiracist Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt), also struggle with the imploding financial system caused by corporate greed and indifference
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With a mammoth cast, the acting in this movie is pristine with the whole ensemble cast being in top form. With that said however there were three stand out performances that somewhat break this mold.
Ryan Gosling might be the funniest as he narrates and embodies the fact that he’s a scum bag and just rolls with it, offering an entertainingly slick performance. Christian Bale let us feel his pain and lonely genius, stole the show in every scene he was in. The only genuinely relate able character in the lot, Bale conveys a great deal of sensitivity, making it one of his best performances to date. Steve Carell dug deep and came up with a persona that brings Baum to life, even if he does over act at times which I guess is how he really is in true-life form.
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It was also nice to see Marisa Tomei, Hamish Linklater, Billy Magnussen, Rafe Spall, Max Greenfield and talented others working at a solid supporting level.

With all the ‘truth’ films out there this year, “The Big Short” is one of the more important ones of this group and also one of the best. I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time as the film warns us in a way, who knows what will be the next basic human necessity to be denied by those few who hold power.

Grade: B+
@pegsatthemovies

Review Screening: Arclight Hollywood ~ Tuesday, December 8, 2015 ~ Courtesy of Paramount Pictures
In Select Theaters: Friday, December 11, 2015
NATIONWIDE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 23, 2015