Archive for January 2012

Best Dressed List at the 69th Golden Globe Awards   5 comments

Now that the awards have already been given out, and I did well with my predictions (Got 21 out of 25 exactly, the other four are my spoiler choices, so you can consider that I got all winners correctly. 🙂 ), let’s no move on to one of the favorite post-events highlight of the show. Here’s my list of those were shining like a globe at last Sunday’s activity.

16. Diane Lane in Reem Acra

Channeling an old Hollywood theme, Golden Globe nominee Diane Lane shines and looks good in this gold gown made by Reem Acra.

15. Michelle Williams in Jason Wu

Very far from her Marilyn Monroe role, Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy winner Michelle Williams plays a big step up in this midnight blue Jason Wu creation with matching headband to complement the look.

14. Viola Davis in Emilio Pucci

Though she didn’t take home any award tonight, Best Actress nominee Viola Davis looks simply stunning in this asymmetrical burgundy gown made by Emilio Pucci with some leg action to boot.

13. Freida Pinto in Prada

Freida Pinto keeps it simple yet stylish  in a teal Prada dress with only a small thin belt that served as an accessory.

12. Julianne Moore in Chanel

After two years of wearing mixed bag dresses, Julianne Moore finally got it right this year as she kept it simple and fresh looking in a black Chanel ensemble and emerald tassel earrings.

11. Berenice Bejo in Gucci Première

She might be a “WHO?” to everyone, but Globe nominee Berenice Bejo definitely made heads turn in this strapless sapphire Gucci Première outfit she wore last night.

10. Emma Stone in Lanvin

Finally wearing her red do at the Golden Globes, Emma Stone got sexy and vamp combined in this plunging maroon Lanvin creation she sashayed at this year’s Golden Globes.

09. Salma Hayek in Gucci

Known for her over the top gowns that highlights her cleavage most of the time, this black and gold Gucci dress is a very good change of pace for Salma Hayek, and it gave her instant entry to the best dressed list.

08. Claire Danes in J. Mendel

Not only did Claire Danes went home with a trophy this year for Best Actress in a TV Series Drama, but she also won top honors for this backless black and white J. Mendel gown she donned at the ceremony.

07. Laura Dern in Andrew Gn

While green was the color of last year’s Golden Globes, Laura Dern played the  “better late than never” card in this shimmering Andrew Gn gown that matches her Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Musical or Comedy trophy.

06. Helen Mirren in Badgley Mischa

Proving that real fashion does not get old with age, Dame Helen Mirren put many starlets to shame when she wore this blue Badgley Mischa creation that gave her body all the real curves that you can get from a dame.

05. Angelina Jolie in Atelier Versace

Isn’t Angie lovely when she puts an effort on what she wear? A clear testament is this Atelier Versace creation that made her look very elegant at last night’s activities.

04. Nicole Kidman in Versace

Nicole Kidman fits like a glove in this intricately designed cream Versace gown that gave her a regal yet relaxed aura, and an instant spot in the Best Dressed List this year.

03. Shailene Woodley in Marchesa

She can still work on her poses and posture, but there’s no doubt that her choice of this strapless silver Marchesa gown is a good start to her long Oscar red carpet adventure.

02. Sofia Vergara in Vera Wang

Not wearing her usual loud colors, Sofia Vergara maintained a low key yet very striking look in this lovely shade of blue peacock strapless Vera Wang creation that gave an effortless yet unforgettable red carpet look.

01. Charlize Theron in Dior

And this year’s champ, looking as angelic as ever, Charlize Theron proves who the real queen of fashion is when she stepped out of this pink Dior outfit with soft curls and headband as well. No contest, Golden Globe’s best dressed.

Who are your picks for Best Dressed at the Globes? How about the Worst Dressed? Go pipe them ‘in! 🙂


Posted January 16, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Lists, Red Carpet

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69th Golden Globe Awards Winner Predictions   4 comments

Tomorrow is the 69th edition of the Golden Globe Awards, and while their intention of giving awards has been questionable for some (Are they awarding who they think is the best? Or are they awarding who they think has a shot at the Oscars?), it is still one of the more prominent stops on an actor’s road to the Oscar.


Best Motion Picture, Drama
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March
War Horse

PREDICTION: The Descendants. It was the perceived frontrunner all along.

SPOILER: Hugo. With sudden late surge of love, HFPA might want to be the first to honor it.

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
The Artist
Midnight in Paris
My Week With Marilyn

PREDICTION: The Artist. Oscar frontrunner and likely Best Picture winner.

SPOILER: Bridesmaids. The breakout comedy of the year, and the HFPA might can’t resist giving it a win. After all, The Hangover won two years ago.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
George Clooney, The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio, J. Edgar
Michael Fassbender, Shame
Ryan Gosling, The Ides of March
Brad Pitt, Moneyball

PREDICTION: George Clooney, The Descendants. He is nominated for four categories this year. They love him. He hasn’t won in this category before, and it will complete his Film Acting Globe trophies.

SPOILER: Brad Pitt, Moneyball. The only one who can beat Clooney. Overdue for a Best Actor win, and this is the place where the Globes can reward Moneyball.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Jean DuJardin, The Artist
Brendon Gleeson, The Guard
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, 50/50
Ryan Gosling, Crazy Stupid Love
Owen Wilson, Midnight in Paris

PREDICTION: Jean DuJardin, The Artist. Hands down, the frontrunner in this one.

SPOILER: Ryan Gosling, Crazy Stupid Love. A consolation for having a good year and a good body to boot. This is his 4th nomination, so he’s kinda overdue as well.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Glenn Close, Albert Nobbs
Viola Davis, The Help
Rooney Mara, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton, We Need to Talk About Kevin

 PREDICTION: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady. They can’t resist Meryl playing Thatcher. This is the type of performance they usually recognize.

SPOILER: Viola Davis, The Help. Meryl has seven Globes already, and they haven’t rewarded any black actress in this category so far. This might be the next in Viola’s train of awards.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Jodie Foster, Carnage
Charlize Theron, Young Adult
Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids
Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn
Kate Winslet, Carnage

PREDICTION: Michelle Williams, My Week With Marilyn. No question, the automatic winner in this category.

SPOILER: Kristen Wiig, Bridesmaids. Unless they want to spread the wealth and they want to reward a true comedic performance this year. Slim chance of happening though.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Kenneth Branagh, My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks, Drive
Jonah Hill, Moneyball
Viggo Mortensen, A Dangerous Method
Christopher Plummer, Beginners

PREDICTION: Christopher Plummer, Beginners. A simple stop on his way to the Oscars. Globe-less still.

SPOILER: Albert Brooks, Drive. The only possible spoiler, yet he has been awarded y the Globes before.

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Berenice Bejo, The Artist
Jessica Chastain, The Help
Janet McTeer, Albert Nobbs
Octavia Spencer, The Help
Shailene Woodley, The Descendants

PREDICTION: Octavia Spencer, The Help. Like Plummer, it’s just one of those simple stops on her way to the Kodak Theater.

SPOILER: Berenice Bejo, The Artist. The Artist seems to be the type of movie they’ll go batshit crazy for, so Bejo can be along the love train.

Best Director
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
George Clooney, The Ides of March
Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, The Descendants
Martin Scorsese, Hugo

PREDICTION: Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist. Like others, a simple stop on his way to the Oscars.

SPOILER: Martin Scorsese, Hugo. They’ve awarded Scorsese only once before, and it’s almost a decade since his last win (for Gangs of New York).

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris
George Clooney, Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, The Ides of March
Michael Hazanavicius, The Artist
Alexander Payne, Nat Faxwon and Jim Rash, The Descendants
Steve Derian and Aaron Sorkin, Moneyball

PREDICTION: Woody Allen, Midnight in Paris. The only place where they can honor Midnight in Paris.

SPOILER: Alexander Payne, Nat Faxwon and Jim Rash, The Descendants. When all else fails for The Descendants, they can always count on a Screenplay mention. Payne is somewhat a favorite here.

Best Foreign Language Film
The Flowers of War, China
In the Land of Blood and Honey, 
The Kid With the Bike
, Belgium
A Separation, Iran
The Skin I Live In, Spain

PREDICTION: A Separation, Iran. They can’t resist giving it to the multi-awarded film of the year. It will match them with the Oscars, which is good for their track record.

SPOILER: In the Land of Blood and Honey, USA. Angie Jolie thanking Brad Pitt onstage. ‘nuff said.

Best Animated Feature Film
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Cars 2
Puss in Boots

PREDICTION: The Adventures of Tintin. Possible place where they can award both Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg. Globes might think this it an opportunity they can’t resist.

SPOILER: Rango. The more well received film can still sneak in and get the Globe.

Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“Hello, Hello,” Elton John and Bernie Taupin; Gnomeo & Juliet
“The Keeper,” Chris Cornell; Machine Gun Preacher
“Lay Your Head Down,” Brian Byrne and Glenn Close; Albert Nobbs
“The Living Proof,” Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman, Harvey Mason Jr. and Damon Thomas, The Help
“Masterpiece,” Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry; W.E.

PREDICTION: “Lay Your Head Down,” Brian Byrne and Glenn Close; Albert Nobbs. This is the only place where they can reward Glenn Close, so they might take their chance.

SPOILER: “Masterpiece,” Madonna, Julie Frost, Jimmy Harry; W.E. HFPA loves Madonna to the point that they chose her over eventual Oscar winner Frances McDormand in 1997.

Best Original Score, Motion Picture
The Artist, Ludovic Bource
W.E., Abel Korzeniowski
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
Hugo, Howard Shore
War Horse, John Williams

PREDICTION: The Artist, Ludovic Bource. Perceived frontrunner in this category.

SPOILER: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Current winners in this category. They can easily do a repeat.


Best TV Movie or Miniseries
Cinema Verite
Downton Abbey
The Hour
Mildred Pierce
Too Big to Fail

PREDICTION: Downton Abbey. I think the Globes cannot resist to follow Emmy’s suit with this choice.

SPOILER: Mildred Pierce. But then again, Globes TV = HBO. They can easily choose this just for pedigree of the people involved.

Best TV Series, Drama
American Horror Story
Boardwalk Empire
Game of Thrones

PREDICTION: Homeland. Fits in the category of new acclaimed series that the HFPA loves to award.

SPOILER: Game of Thrones. Breakout critical and commercial success of the year. However, new season hasn’t aired yet, and last season ended almost eight months ago.

Best TV Series, Comedy
Modern Family
New Girl

PREDICTION: Modern Family. HFPA’s chance to redeem themselves after awarding Glee twice. They won’t let this opportunity just pass by.

SPOILER: New Girl. Breakout comedy that fits the mold of HFPA’s picks.

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama
Steve Buscemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Kelsey Grammer, Boss
Jeremy Irons, The Borgias
Damian Lewis, Homeland

PREDICTION: Kelsey Grammer, Boss. TV legend into his first drama foray. They nominated it to Series as well, so they might honor it with a win here.

SPOILER: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad. Every now and then, HFPA loves to play catch up (Mariska Hargitay and Michael C. Hall), Cranston fits that bill.

Best Actor, TV Series Comedy
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
David Duchovny, Californication
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory
Thomas Jane, Hung
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes

PREDICTION: Matt LeBlanc, Episodes. In a process of elimination, the one whose show is nominated for Comedy Series and is still Globeless can easily win here. After all, they nominated him for Joey.

SPOILER: Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory. They chose him over Jim Parsons. That might indicate solid support from the HFPA.

Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Claire Danes, Homeland
Mireille Enos, The Killing
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife
Madeleine Stowe, Revenge
Callie Thorne, Necessary Roughness

PREDICTION: Claire Danes, Homeland. Danes will get in 3/3 for all her Globe noms. Young actress who is in a critical and commercial hit show. Easy repeat win for Danes.

SPOILER: Madeleine Stowe, Revenge. Former A+ movie star who got in over eventual lead of her series. This can be another case of a Katey Sagal win.

Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy
Laura Dern, Enlightened
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Laura Linney, The Big C
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

PREDICTION: Zooey Deschanel, New Girl. In the veins of America Ferrera and Mary Louise Parker, lead actress getting acclaim on a show that she headlines. Easy win for Deschanel.

SPOILER: Laura Dern, Enlightened. Same reasons as Deschanel, only disadvantages were she’s on cable, and the show isn’t as well received as New Girl, plus she already has two Globe wins.

Best Actor in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Hugh Bonneville, Downton Abbey
Idris Elba, Luther
William Hurt, Too Big to Fail
Bill Nighy, Page Eight
Dominic West, The Hour

PREDICTION: William Hurt, Too Big to Fail. Veteran that can win because there’s no place to reward Too Big To Fail which got three noms. Plus, weak competition.

SPOILER: Idris Elba, Luther. The only other viable contender who was also nominated last year. They can give him a win for both noms.

Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie
Romala Garai, The Hour
Diane Lane, Cinema Verite
Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey
Emily Watson, Appropriate Adult
Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce

PREDICTION: Kate Winslet, Mildred Pierce. Easy pick. There’s not even a spoiler here. Now watch her get shocked as if she didn’t see her coming.

SPOILER: Diane Lane, Cinema Verite. Just pick a random name out of the remaining nominees, and her name is what I got.

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones
Paul Giamatti, Too Big to Fail
Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce
Tim Robbins, Cinema Verite
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

PREDICTION: Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones. Respected character actor who will likely give a wonderful speech. This is also the only place where they can honor Game of Thrones. His Emmy helps him also to win here.

SPOILER: Guy Pearce, Mildred Pierce. The type of role that wins award. He has a larger chance of winning if Kate Winslet is not in the running.

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or TV Movie
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story
Kelly MacDonald, Boardwalk Empire
Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family
Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce

PREDICTION: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story. Certified scene stealer in a Ryan Murphy show? Check. Respected veteran actress who has won in a long time already? Check. Easy win for Lange.

SPOILER: Evan Rachel Wood, Mildred Pierce. Every now and then, Globes prefer their hot young thing (think of Kate Hudson, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Garner). Evan Rachel Wood fits that category, and can easily sail to a win especially if Globes have a Mildred Pierce hard on.

What about you? What are your Globe predictions?

Posted January 15, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films, TV

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The 5 Best and Worst Things About the Golden Globes   6 comments

It’s the Golden Globes tomorrow, and while everyone else is busy coming up with their predictions, let’s give focus on the first televised awards show every year (of course one might argue that the Critics Choice Awards is the first televised, but it’s not seen around the world). The Golden Globes is comprised of members from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of journalists that gives donations and funds some film related causes and activities. The annual Golden Globe Awards is seen by over 150 countries all over the world. This year marks the 69th celebration of the Golden Globes. Anyway, here are what I consider the five best and worst things  in this annual festivities.


1. They honor those who did not win Emmys

When talking about the most recent and glaring snubs on the Emmys, names such as Steve Carell, Sandra Oh, and Frances Conroy will appear. And while they are (still) criminally snubbed for Emmys, they were honored at the Golden Globes for some of their most memorable TV appearances. Globes rarely rubber stamp when it comes to TV winners (unless you’re Mad Men or Sarah Jessica Parker), but the names mentioned above together with Frances Conroy, Michael C. Hall, Hugh Laurie, Jason Bateman, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Garner, Martin Sheen, and Kim Cattrall were never ignored by the Globes.

2. They honor those who weren’t even nominated by the Emmys

While those people from the previous item all went home Emmyless, at least they got honored with multiple nominations at the Emmys. However, there are those who weren’t even recognized at all, and it was only at the Globes that they got their overdue mention. Chloe Sevigny for Big Love? Check. Katey Sagal for Sons of Anarchy? Check. Ricky Gervais for The Office? Check as well. And they even mention those who give wonderful performance in miniseries and TV movies such as Jonathan Rhys Meyers in Elvis and Uma Thurman in Hysterical Blindness.

3. The division of the drama and the musical/comedy categories

Dying is easy, comedy is hard. That’s one of the most famous sayings that every actor is aware of. And while most award giving bodies prefer dramatic performance, the Globes allot time to expand recognition by doing a musical/comedy category. It’s good since most of them won’t contend for a top five status for an Oscar, but they are worthy enough to get some mentions, so the Globes is the perfect place to reward them. Think of Nicole Kidman in “To Die For”, Reese Witherspoon for “Legally Blonde”, Laura Linney in “The Squid and the Whale” and tomorrow’s nominee Kristin Wiig for “Bridesmaids” for females, and Gene Hackman in “The Royal Tenenbaums”, Hugh Grant in “About A Boy”, Joseph Gordon Levitt in “500 Days of Summer”, and even Matthew Broderick in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”. All of them snubbed for other award giving bodies, yet all of them mentioned by the Globes.

4. The no strict foreign language film implementation

At the Oscars, the process of being a foreign language film nominee is so long, that it seems as if we are witnessing a Miss Universe pageant. Only one representative must be sent per country, so those who weren’t chosen won’t be able to contend ever. That gives unfair advantage to those countries who produce multiple critically acclaimed films in a year. That affected movies such as A Very Long Engagement, Malena, Talk to Her, Lust Caution, and I Am Love since they weren’t their country’s representative (and some weren’t even considered at all). The Globes, however, does not apply the same rule; thus, it can reward any foreign language film they think is deserving such as those pictured above,

5. It is the biggest and most fun award giving party body.

Time and again, the one good thing that makes the Globes more fun is that everyone there is just off to have a good time. It lacks the formality of the SAGs and the Oscars, and not as laid back as the Grammys. It is the perfect venue for celebrities to have a good time. That comes with free wine and chocolates of course. Remember Paul Giammatti’s speech about the never ending Godiva chocolates? How about Jennifer Garner’s too much wine to drink? It also gives celebrities to catch up with each other. Who knew that Scarlett Johansson and Helen Mirren are pals? Anne Hathaway and Zach Braff? Weren’t you interested to know what Teri Hatcher is laughing about? What do Christina Aguilera and Cher are chatting about? And wouldn’t you like to be in between Emma Stone and Mila Kunis above? The HFPA knows how to throw a party in good style.


1. Unlimited number of nominees

One good thing when you get nominated in this type of awards is that you belong to a certain distinct club, as it makes you the cream of the crop. However, what if there’s an overloading amount of nominees in your category? It probably is, for the winner, but it makes you think less of the nominees as it lessens the prestige of making it in. Take the case of 2002 Best Supporting Actor nominees with nine(!) nominations. Eventual winner Donald Sutherland (for Path to War) must be proud, but not one of those eight other guys. The Globes are very guilty of this.

2. The very wide variety of the Supporting Actor and Actress categories

One main reason why there’s an overlapping number of nominees in some categories is because there are ridiculous ones such as the Supporting Actor (and Actress) in a TV, TV movie, or miniseries category. The HFPA just lumped them altogether in one category where there are probably 250-300 eligible performers. Besides, how do you even classify which is the best especially since acting for a comedy series and a drama series are very different. In 2006, you got Sandra Oh (nominated for a drama where she is funny), Elizabeth Perkins (nominated for a comedy, and is funny and dramatic), Candice Bergen (nominated for a dramedy), then Camryn Manheim (playing support as Elvis Presley’s mom), and Joanne Woodward (on Paul Newman’s last effort). Crazy right? This is also the category that’s difficult to predict nomination-wise.

3. The confusing mid season recognition

Since the eligibility of the Globes is from January 1- December 31, it is confusing how much of a season are they recognizing in terms of series nominees (and even performer nominees). There have been lots of times when a series does not live up from the greatness of the previous season, and it still gets rewarded at the Globes. Think of Grey’s Anatomy latter part of Season 3- early season 4, House (late season 5-early season 6) getting noms, and the likes of Desperate Housewives and Glee (latter of Season 1 – early Season 2), even getting repeat wins.

4. The Cecil B. DeMille Award

The giving of the Cecil B. DeMille Award is the part every Golden Globes that is closely related to the “Lifetime Achievement Award”. Of course, they have given a lot of very deserving mentions and accolades the past few years such as Alfred Hitchcock, Audrey Hepburn, Sir Laurence Olivier, and Robert Redford. However, the past three years, the recipients chosen were coincidentally people who have something to promote. In 2009, Steven Spielberg was chosen (originally for 2008 until the ceremony was canceled because of the Writers Strike) and he has the new Indiana Jones film that time. In 2010, Martin Scorsese was awarded and he has Shutter Island to promote. Last year, Robert de Niro was awarded, and he has a movie coming up. Now this year, Morgan Freeman gets the award, and as we all know, the Dark Knight Rises is showing this summer. Not saying any of those men were undeserving, but it just degrades the “credibility” of the award.

5. The HFPA are certified star whores

Since it is already given that they give the “movie star party of the year”, it is a big pressure to the HFPA to get the stars coming up to attend the Globes. As you may know, these stars have lives on their own, and unless they are nominated, they rarely go and attend awards ceremonies since it is a big hassle on their part (especially those who weren’t living in LA). So what the HFPA do is give them “nominations” to have big stars attend their event. Remember in 2005 when Renee Zellwegger got nommed for Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason? Or in 2009 when Tom Cruise got in for Tropic Thunder? The year after, Julia Roberts got a surprise nom for Duplicity. The Globes are also notorious in giving nods to those who have possible “Oscar chance” in order to give credibility to their name. Most of the time, it works, other times it didn’t (that pathetic nom Halle Berry got for Best Actress last year). However, the biggest case of starwhoring that they did was when they nominated box office and critics flop The Tourist for 3 categories: Best Picture (Musical/Comedy), Best Actor for Johnny Depp, and Best Actress for Angeline Jolie.  Even spokesperson from the film was shocked that they got in for Comedy category. Globes got what they wanted though when the stars attended the event.

Later, I’ll be posting my Golden Globe predictions in all categories. So what are your favorite Golden Globe moments? 🙂

Posted January 15, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films, Lists, TV

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17th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards Winners   Leave a comment

Here’s the list of winners for the 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards:

Best Picture: The Artist

Best Director: Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”

Best Actor: George Clooney, “The Descendants”

Best Actress: Viola Davis, “The Help”

Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”

Best Supporting Actress: Octavia Spencer, “The Help”

Best Young Actor/Actress: Thomas Horn, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”

Best Original Screenplay: Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Best Adapted Screenplay: Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, “Moneyball”

Best Art Direction: Hugo

Best Cinematography: Tree of Life AND War Horse

Best Art Direction: Hugo

Best Editing: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Best Costume Design: The Artist

Best Make Up: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Best Visual Effects: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Best Sound: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Best Animated Feature Film: Rango

Best Action Movie: Drive

Best Comedy Movie: Bridesmaids

Best Foreign Language Film: A Separation (Iran)

Best Documentary Feature: George Harrison: Living in the Material World

Best Original Song: “Life’s a Happy Song” (The Muppets)

Best Score: The Artist

Of the 24 categories there were, I predicted 12 correct winners and 8 spoilers. Not bad. 🙂


Posted January 13, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

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17th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards Predictions   Leave a comment

Today is the  first of the three televised award giving bodies for this year’s awards season, as the Critics Choice Awards reveal their picks for this year. Hosted this year by Paul Scheer and Rob Huebel, different stars such as Dustin Hoffman, Ben Kingsley, Kirsten Dunst, Melissa McCarthy, and Owen Wilson will serve as presenters. Meanwhile. two tributes will be given: one for Sean Penn as the Joel Siegel Humanitarian Award recipient, and Martin Scorsese the Music + Film Award. Now off to the nominees and predictions:

The Artist –
The Descendants –
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Midnight in Paris
The Tree of Life
War Horse

George Clooney – “The Descendants”  SPOILER
Leonardo DiCaprio – “J. Edgar”
Jean Dujardin – “The Artist”
Michael Fassbender – “Shame”
Ryan Gosling – “Drive”
Brad Pitt – “Moneyball” WINNER

Viola Davis – “The Help” – SPOILER
Elizabeth Olsen – “Martha Marcy May Marlene”
Meryl Streep – “The Iron Lady” – WINNER
Tilda Swinton – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Charlize Theron – “Young Adult”
Michelle Williams – “My Week With Marilyn”

Kenneth Branagh – “My Week With Marilyn”
Albert Brooks – “Drive” – SPOILER
Nick Nolte – “Warrior”
Patton Oswalt – “Young Adult”
Christopher Plummer – “Beginners” – WINNER
Andy Serkis – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”

Berenice Bejo – “The Artist”
Jessica Chastain – “The Help” – WINNER
Melissa McCarthy – “Bridesmaids”
Carey Mulligan – “Shame”
Octavia Spencer – “The Help” – SPOILER
Shailene Woodley – “The Descendants”


Asa Butterfield – “Hugo”
Elle Fanning – “Super 8”
Thomas Horn – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close” – SPOILER
Ezra Miller – “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
Saoirse Ronan – “Hanna”
Shailene Woodley – “The Descendants” – WINNER

The Artist
Bridesmaids – 
The Descendants
The Help – 
The Ides of March

Stephen Daldry – “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Michel Hazanavicius – “The Artist” – WINNER
Alexander Payne – “The Descendants”
Nicolas Winding Refn – “Drive”
Martin Scorsese – “Hugo” – SPOILER
Steven Spielberg – “War Horse”

“The Artist” – Michel Hazanavicius – SPOILER
– Will Reiser
“Midnight in Paris”
– Woody Allen – WINNER
“Win Win”
– Screenplay by Tom McCarthy, Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni
“Young Adult”
– Diablo Cody

“The Descendants” – Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash – WINNER
“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
– Eric Roth
“The Help”
– Tate Taylor
– John Logan
– Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin – SPOILER

“The Artist” – Guillaume Schiffman – SPOILER
– Newton Thomas Sigel
– Robert Richardson
“The Tree of Life”
– Emmanuel Lubezki – WINNER
“War Horse”
– Janusz Kaminski

“The Artist” – Production Designer: Laurence Bennett, Set Decorator: Robert Gould
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
– Production Designer: Stuart Craig, Set Decorator: Stephenie McMillan – SPOILER
– Production Designer: Dante Ferretti, Set Decorator: Francesca Lo Schiavo – WINNER
“The Tree of Life”
– Production Designer: Jack Fisk, Set Decorator: Jeanette Scott
“War Horse”
– Production Designer: Rick Carter, Set Decorator: Lee Sandales

“The Artist” – Michel Hazanavicius and Anne-Sophie Bion – SPOILER
– Matthew Newman
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
– Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
– Thelma Schoonmaker – WINNER
“War Horse”
– Michael Kahn

“The Artist” – Mark Bridges – SPOILER
“The Help”
– Sharen Davis
– Sandy Powell – WINNER
“Jane Eyre”
– Michael O’Connor
“My Week With Marilyn”
– Jill Taylor

Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – 
The Iron Lady – 
J. Edgar
My Week With Marilyn

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo – 
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
The Tree of Life – 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo – 
Super 8
The Tree of Life – 
War Horse

The Adventures of Tintin – SPOILER
Arthur Christmas
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango – 

Drive – WINNER
Fast Five
Rise of the Planet of the Apes – 
Super 8

Bridesmaids – WINNER
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Horrible Bosses
Midnight in Paris – 
The Muppets

In Darkness
Le Havre
A Separation – 
The Skin I Live In – 
Where Do We Go Now

Cave of Forgotten Dreams 
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Page One: Inside the New York Times
Project Nim – 

“Hello Hello” – performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga/written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin – Gnomeo & Juliet
“Life’s a Happy Song” – performed by Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Walter/written by Bret McKenzie – The Muppets – SPOILER
“The Living Proof” – performed by Mary J. Blige/written by Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman and Harvey Mason, Jr. and Damon Thomas – The Help – WINNER
“Man or Muppet” – performed by Jason Segel and Walter/written by Bret McKenzie – The Muppets
“Pictures in My Head” – performed by Kermit and the Muppets/written by Jeannie Lurie, Aris Archontis and Chen Neeman – The Muppets

“The Artist” – Ludovic Bource – WINNER
– Cliff Martinez
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
– Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
– Howard Shore – SPOILER
“War Horse”
– John Williams

Posted January 13, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

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REVIEW: A Mother’s Story   2 comments

Now that we’re finally over with the Metro Manila Film Festival frenzy, the local film industry starts 2012 with a drama that tackles a very familiar territory: OFWs leaving their families. In John D. Lazatin’s “A Mother Story”, Meding (Pokwang) is a make up artist who was invited by a celebrity to join her in the US for a week for her concert. While there, she decided to stay for good as an illegal worker and served as a nanny to two lawyers through the help of her high school best friend, Helen (Beth Tamayo). Seven years later, she goes back to the Philippines, and there, she figured how different and difficult the situation was after she left.

The story was nothing new, as it has been told multiple times before (and was even delivered better than this). I feel the film lacks the necessary oomph to make it stand out on its own or at least even be memorable. Comparisons to more successful movies similar to it were unnecessary, but at the same time, they’re inevitable.  Even the climax has no impact at all, and that was the final straw for people to appreciate the entire movie. I also saw some random inconsistencies within the production design involving the house of Meding’s family as it change from one scene to the other, even when they’re just changing camera angles. The ending was pretty confusing as well, and it just tried to put a period on the different conflicts introduced by the writers.

The only redeeming point of the film is the lead star Pokwang. Her performance is something that we all knew she had in her, but she still wasn’t given the proper material to show it. It was until this movie that she proved she is, in no way, a one note actress. Maybe the material is something that hits her home, or maybe not, but she completely hit it out of the park in this one. Beth Tamayo was good as her former high school bestfriend, and Xyriel Manabat is as consistent as ever. Daria Ramirez, Nonie Buencamino, and Ana Capri were provided supporting characters, though the writing was pretty lacking. Speaking of lacking, Jaime Fabregas was a character I never understood in the film, as I see him as a literal transition among scenes in the film.

All in all, this is a genuine effort, but this is a stripped down, tired version of a story that works better as an episode of a weekly TV drama.

Grade: B-

Posted January 12, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Films, Reviews

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Awards Season in Critics Eyes   3 comments


Wow, it’s my first post of the year. Yay! Happy 2012, everyone!

Anyway, as any Oscar prognosticator knows, while there are lots of critics prizes left and right that give recognition to the outstanding film performances (both in and behind the screen) every year, there are only four critics award choices that actually matters when running an Oscar campaign. These four are the National Board of Review, Los Angeles Film Critics Awards, the National Society of Film Critics, and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. And with the announcement of the NSFC awards just hours ago, it’s time to analyze who they chose as the cream of the crop for this year’s awards derby.

NBR: Hugo
NYFCC: The Artist
LAFCA: The Descendants
NSFC: Melancholia

It was a pretty divided choice for Best Picture this year as we don’t see any film winning more than one multiple critic title this year. This is indicative of what a divided this year was, and that can lead to a surprise Oscar win or a film that was in the middle with the least polarizing effect. Hugo, The Artist, and The Descendants are the three perceived films to fight for the Oscar this year, while Melancholia, despite the NSFC victory, can just pray for a very unlikely nomination. It is also noteworthy to see that while Tree of Life wasn’t able to be the champ in any of these critics choices, it was a consistent Top 3 placer. These placements may prove support for an Oscar nomination later this month.

NBR: Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
NYFCC: Michael Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
LAFCA: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”
NSFC: Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”

This is pretty much related to my discussion above regarding the Tree of Life. Ironically, Terrence Malick nabbed two of the four prizes for Best Director this season. He is in a good position to be one of the five directors for this year, and if the BP nominees were limited to five, he’d probably get the Fernando Meirelles, Pedro Almodovar, and Mike Leigh treatment of getting nominated for BP despite the film not making the BP line up. Malick is a far respected director who can get in just with name status alone. As for Hazanavicius and Scorsese, they’re shoo-ins for Oscar noms. It is also not perplexing that Payne missed out a win, as he also gets mention for his screenplay.

NBR: George Clooney, “The Descendants”
NYFCC: Brad Pitt, “Moneyball” and “Tree of Life”
LAFCA: Michael Fassbender, “Shame”
NSFC: Brad Pitt, “Moneyball” and “Tree of Life”

NBR loves ’em George Clooney, as he gets another win from the NBR this year after winning two years ago for Up in the Air. He is in a close fight with clsoe friend Brad Pitt, who wile being helped with two performances this year, is clearly being pushed for Moneyball. Surprisingly, Pitt won two of the four mentions and puts him in a better position to win the Oscar next month. Lastly, Michael Fassbender needs a critic win in order to maintain momentum, and though he missed his SAG nod for Shame, I think he’s still safe for a nomination. Getting a Tree of Life treatment though is Jean Dujardin who made all Top 3 mentions this year and is clearly a viable third place position after Clooney and Pitt.

NBR: Tilda Swinton, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”
NYFCC: Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
LAFCA: Yoon Jeong-hee, “Poetry”
NSFC: Kirsten Dunst, “Melancholia”

The only two people who benefited this awards season for this category were Tilda Swinton and Meryl Streep. Yoon Jeong-hee, in traditional LAFCA fashion, is a very deserving but somehow predictable choice as the last four winners for Best Actress from them are for foreign language performances. It’s nice to see Kirsten finally winning something, but the lack of televised awards (Globes. BCCA, SAG) does not help her get any awards traction. Tilda’s very surprising NBR win was followed by Globes and SAG mention, and though she has no chance of winning, she finally nabbed a recognition aside from her Oscar (very surprising right?). However, as any other year, it was all about Meryl as she won the LAFCA (which also awarded her two years ago) and made the Top 3 for NSFC. Among the three perceived frontrunners (Viola Davis and Michelle Williams being the other two), Meryl is in a slightly ahead position.

NBR: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
NYFCC: Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”
LAFCA: Albert Brooks, “Drive”
NSFC: Albert Brooks, “Drive”

Now, this is a very interesting race. From the start, it has always been Plummer vs. Brooks, and they’re even tied up for critics awards. Both veterans due for Oscars in their mantle, they give standout performances in their films which most likely will make them as the sole major nomination for their film. However, I’d give Plummer the by a hair lead as he was just nominated two years ago, and has a longer screentime than Brooks.

NBR: Shailene Woodley, “The Descendants”
NYFCC: Jessica Chastain, “Take Shelter”, “The Help”, “The Tree of Life”
LAFCA: Jessica Chastain, “Take Shelter”, “The Help”, “The Tree of Life”, “The Debt”, “Coriolanus”, “Texas Killing Fields”
NSFC: Jessica Chastain, “Take Shelter”, “The Help”, “The Tree of Life”

It’s Jessica Chastain’s world, and we’re all just living in it. Definitely the winner of the best body of work for the past year, Jessica Chastain received three critics wins this year, and though it has been worrisome that she might be a victim of vote splitting, it is pretty clear now that she’ll get in for The Help. This certainly puts her in a very good position and now tied with The Help co-star Octavia Spencer. On the other hand, the NBR did it again by preventing Chastain’s four-peat win by choosing Woodley as their Supporting Actress pick (remember in 2009 when they chose Anna Kendrick over Mo’nique?) for The Descendants.

NBR: 50/50 (Original), The Descendants (Adapted)
NYFCC: Moneyball
LAFCA: A Separation
NSFC: A Separation

A Separation (surprisingly!) won two of the four mentions for the Screenplay categories this year, and it bodes well for an Oscar nomination (which I’m currently predicting). Aaron Sorkin will probably get a repeat nomination a year after his Oscar victory for The Social Network, Community’s Dean Pelton (Jim Rash) is the frontrunner for the Adapted Oscar screenplay (just imagine Oscar winner Dean Pelton), and while 50/50 is in a good position to be nominated, don’t get your hopes too high for NBr’s Original Screenplay choices (Buried won last year).

NBR: A Separation
NYFCC: A Separation
LAFCA: City of Life and Death
NSFC: A Separation

You can consider A Separation getting a sweep in this category as it got three of the four mentions in this category making them the official frontrunner for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The only other film which won is China’s City of Life and Death (released in 2009), and it’s not even China’s entry for the FLF this year. What only stops A Separation all the way to the Oscar podium is the AMPAS’ weird process of voting for FLF winners which usually puts perceived frontrunners such as Amelie, Pan’s Labyrinth, The White Ribbon as Oscar losers in this category.

NBR: Rango
NYFCC: (did not give this year)
LAFCA: Rango
NSFC: (no category for Animated Feature)

Rango seems to be the critics’ bet this year for animated feature film, but you can always count on Adventures of Tintin to spoil since it’s a one two punch of Oscar favorites Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson. Although, come Oscar time, it will really be between Tintin and Rango.

NBR: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory
NYFCC: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
LAFCA: Cave of Forgotten Dreams
NSFC: Cave of Forgotten Dreams

While Cave of Forgotten Dream gets three out of the four Documentary awards, it is very surprising to note that it is not included in the final fifteen list of possible Oscar Documentary nominees that the AMPAS released late last year; therefore, it has no chance of getting a nomination later this month. On the bright side, though, NBR’s pick is one of those fifteen; thus, it has the advantage of being the only documentary choice from the top critic groups now.

As always, it is not worthy to rely the facts just abused on the different groups. After all, their task is to choose their personal preferences and not to predict the Oscars. Every now and then, there are still cases of Sally Hawkins and Bill Murrays who, even after sweeping the critics, failed to received Oscar noms. They’re just good indicators of and chance boosters for the award season.

‘Til the next critics season! 🙂

Posted January 8, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in Awards, Films

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