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

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7 DAYS OF OSCARS: DAY 6 ~ “BEST ACTOR”

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Yes, the end of my “7 Days of Oscars” is nearing it’s close. For some this might be a hard category. For me, it is the simplest one as I knew from the minute the film was over, who was going to be my pick of the year. And yes, deservedly so.

BEST ACTOR

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Being a fan of Cranston, it’s a notable performance here, but the film went pretty unnoticed by most as it was about the infamous ‘blacklist’ and I think some just thought it had been done before.

Matt Damon, The Martian
This for me, was actually a really good dramady performance by Damon. He was funny, yet serious when he needed to be. But sorry Matt, it’s going to have to be another time. 🙂

Leonardo DiCaprio, The RevenantMY PICK/WINNER
Please pick up your Golden Man.. FINALLY Mr. DiCaprio. 😀

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Good, strong job by one of my favourite actors here. Lot’s of dialogue but just didn’t hit it on the mark for me.

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Last year’s winner and another good performance by Redmayne, but not of the Oscar caliber of last years so no..I don’t think Eddie’s doing a repeat.

And with that we are approaching Day 7 – The Final Day of “7 Days of Oscars” which will be of course, Best Picture. With that being said, I’m going to the Independent Spirit Awards tomorrow, Sat. the 27th, and instead of posting my BP picks, I’m just going to briefly address the Oscar controversy and save my last for the BIG DAY!! Cheers to you all until then..
#Oscars2016 #peggyatthemovies

**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!! 😀

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 REVENANT” ~ POST Q & A ~ LEONARDO DICAPRIO/DIR: ALEJANDRO GONZALEZ INARRITU/PROD: STEVE GOLAN & MARY PARENT

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the revenant title
Since I was lucky enough to be part of the first ever audience to see this remarkable picture with Leonardo DiCaprio & Alejandro González Iñárritu doing the post Q & A along with producers Steve Golan & Mary Parent ~ I think I can safely tell you all…Prepare to be blown away as I’ve personally never seen a film of this magnitude in my life. And here I thought Alejandro couldn’t outdo last years epic ‘Birdman’, well I was wrong. He can and he did.
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Along with the sure-fire Oscar gold performance of Leo DiCaprio here, ‘The Revenant’ follows the true story of the epic adventures of frontiersman Hugh Glass. It is also about someone trying to survive using the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of uncharted America back in the fur trading days, legendary explorer Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio), is brutally mauled by a bear and left for dead by members of his own team. the revenant 7

In an effort to survive, and with a full heart of unimaginable grief and betrayal of trust by John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) for the death of his son, Glass is buried alive with injuries most would not be able to withstand. Full of anger he goes to the end of what is uncharted wilderness to find Fitzgerald and Bridger. Guided by sheer will and love for his son, Glass navigates a severe winter in the relentless pursuit to live and find redemption. And revenge. Yes, revenge, because make no mistake about it..this is a film of someone seeking revenge in it’s purest form. the revenant 4

While there are some tough-to-watch graphic scenes in this film, it’s a spectacle that really must be experienced both visually and story-wise. While you can pick up the book and spoil it for yourself – don’t!!!! – this is truly something that must be experienced completely on your own. the revenant 3

The no longer-young boy from Titanic, DiCaprio’s phenominal performance here, in which his character is alone and doesn’t speak for much of the two and a half hours of running time that he carries the film, is joined in tandem by the remarkable Tom Hardy. Here again, the man of many accents has another one, not sure where he picks them up, but they do serve him well. He is the villian of sorts here, but is it that or is he just trying as they all are, to survive the harshness of life in these times. With a supporting cast of Domhnall Gleason as Andrew Henry, Brendan Fletcher as Fryman and Grace Dove to name just some of the mixed cast of French, Native American and American actors that provide the makeup of this of ensemble cast.
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This film is as big as it is bold and like nothing I’ve ever seen before, with many a dark and brutal moments that might be to much for some in the audience. Take that as a serious warning as I saw many seat squirmings and some scenes stayed with me for some time after, but I also loved every minute of this film and for me,  I see #OSCAR#OSCAR#OSCAR written all over it.

Grade: A+

Screening: Sunday, November 22, 2015 ~ Courtesy of the Producers Guild of America & 20th Century Fox.
And a quick shoutout to my movie-going BFF – Jason Watters for only with his invitation was I able to be part of the 1st audience and wonderful experience. Thank you so much!!!
Nationwide release: Friday, January 8, 2016

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POST Q & A WITH Leonardo DiCaprio/Alejandro González Iñárritu/Steve Golen and Mary Parent

Starting off with many questions to regarding the film’s production that has already attracted controversy after reports that it became “a living hell”, with some members of the crew quitting and being fired. Iñárritu noted “As a director, if I identify a violin that is out of tune, I have to take that from the orchestra,” “I have nothing to hide,” the director said. “There were problems, but none of them made me ashamed.” The budget also swelled from $60m to $95m.

In the Q & A, Iñárritu described making the film as “almost like an impossible task” — and when asked about his first day on the set, DiCaprio smiled and said, “To tell you the truth, it’s all a beautiful blur to me.”
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Leo noted that while the book is based on a true life story..but the stories being those told around the campfires of those days in time also can be full of embelishments etc.. it’s like when you tell a story to a person and it travels through 10 people it becomes a different story. There is no way to verify it and he could only read for reference stories told and written by these men. DiCaprio described it as “almost a silent movie performance from me” it’s a father/son story..a love story and a ‘bear’ of a story all wrapped in one.

The script had been floating around for some time but no one could picture how they could possibly make a film of this magnitude with Iñárritu originally passing on the project some time ago. Iñárritu said some days they only had 45 minutes of workable shoot time, other days an hour and a half tops with hours sometimes being take to intricately set up the shot required. They were at the mercy of the weather, which at one point dropped to 40 degrees below zero.
Alejandro noted that the pressure on Leo was immense as once everything was set up..it was up to him to carry it out and lead the way in the short time span avail to them. If he didn’t, then they would have to start all over again the next day. leo & alejandro 1
Rehearsals, they said, took months, with elaborate camera moves worked out with the actors before they ever went to the wilderness locations, many of them near Calgary, Canada. “You felt an intensity, and a unity with the whole crew that you had to grasp the entire shot every day,” said DiCaprio.
Probably my favourite quote by director Alejandro González Iñárritu in answering a question regarding the beauty and harshness of the wilderness in which they shot he noted: “the sky is omnipresent.”