Archive for May 2013

66th Cannes Film Festival Best Dressed List   Leave a comment

The 66th Cannes Film Festival already finished its run yesterday, and boy has it been a whirlwind. After all, we are not only seeing the best of world cinema, but this also serves as a platform for worldwide fashion. The Cannes red carpet is known to be one of the most prominent in the world with actors all over the globe debuting and making their mark on the red carpet. This year, these 15 looks stood out among the rest.

*The photos can be clicked to see in a bigger form. 

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

15. JESSICA BIEL in Marchesa

Only coming in as a plus one for husband Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel played the card well in this Marchesa creation that is not a total showstopper, but not totally lazy as well. It’s the perfect outfit for a star who has no movie in the festival. Plus, I love how strong the effect of the serpent necklace was.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

14. AUDREY TAOTOU

The festival hostess this year has been mostly in short dresses throughout the whole festivities, so it’s nice that she did saved the best for last. Her closing ceremony big red gown is both a showstopper and easily gets your attention.

Photo courtesy of: gettyimages.com

13. SHARON STONE in Roberto Cavalli

One of 90s superstars was literally a diva during the Behind the Candelabra gala night, as she stepped on the red carpet just minutes before the actual screening start. But who can blame Sharon Stone? She’s dressed the part in this blue Cavalli gown, and attention must really be given to her in this winning look.

Photo courtesy of: thefashionmedley.wordpress.com

12. LEA SEYDOUX in Louis Vuitton

Palme d’or winner Lea Seydoux was va va voom as she attends her other Cannes entry, Grand Central, gala screening. I particularly like the shade of blue that she wore here and the simple do and the dark lips add more character to this outfit. Best dressed worthy!

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

11. BERENICE BEJO in Elie Saab

Cannes Best Actress winner Berenice Bejo was a sight to behold as she wears this teal ensemble during the closing festivities. While one might consider the whole teal look safe, it works exactly here and compliments her perfectly. That of course, and her new Best Actress plaque.

Photo courtesy of : luxury-insider.com

10. ZHANG YUQI in Ulyana Sergeenko

Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko made a bold statement at the opening gala of the Cannes this year, as Zhang Yuqi strutted this peacock green gown in the red carpet. I think that while others might see this as too much of a cabbage leaf gown, it is the over the top nature of the dress that suits with the grandiose of the Cannes red carpet.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

09. UMA THURMAN in Atelier Versace

Uma Thurman was tasked to present the biggest award at Cannes yesterday, so it is just fitting that she comes out in top form which she did in this Atelier Versace creation. I’m not particularly enamored with the top part (as it gives me throw pillow vibes), but Uma hasn’t looked this good in a while.

Photo courtesy of: grisclair.tumblr.com

08. LIU WEN in Roberto Cavalli

Roberto Cavalli’s blue creations stood out this year. Aside from Sharon Stone, Victoria’s Secret model Liu Wen was the vision of elegance in this royal blue gown. It’s even better that she paired it with just jewels on the hand and kept her neck open.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

07. JESSICA CHASTAIN in Givenchy Couture

Two time Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain was a royal vision in purple as she steps on the red carpet of the All is Lost premiere in this custom made Givenchy ensemble. The embellishments added layers in this gown, and she kept the hair simple as to not compete with the attention of the dress.

Photo courtesy of: tomandlorenzo.com

06. JANE FONDA in Atelier Versace

It’s always such a breath of fresh air to see Jane Fonda parading the red carpet. After all, she’s one testament that age is no hindrance to rock the red carpet. That is what we have witnessed once again as she attends the Jimmy P premiere in this turquoise Versace ensemble with some very interesting designs.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

05. ROSIE HUNTINGTON WHITELEY in Christian Dior

While this one is not from the actual red carpet. Rosie Huntington Whiteley shows different personas as she showed up at the amfAR Cinema Against AIDS Gala in this white Dior dress. Half sultry, half sweet, dear Rosie kept it sweet and simple, which perfectly suited the event she attended to.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

04. ZHANG ZIYI in Elie Saab

As she attends the premiere of Venus in Fur, Zhang Ziyi looks fantabulous in this lilac Elie Saab creation that easily grans the attention of the audience. Whether it’s the see through top, the three fourths sleeve, or just the jewels, it surely made its mark in the red carpet scene.

Photo courtesy of: becauseiamfabulous.com

03. EMMA WATSON in Chanel Couture

With her film The Bling Ring opening the Un Certain Regard section of the festival, Emma Watson set the bar already high when she attended the gala screening in this Chanel creation. I love how this screamed elegance and sophistication and at the same time, she still managed to avoid looking boring and safe.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

02. KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS in Armani Prive

Not only is Kristin Scott Thomas getting raves for her scene stealing turn in Only God Forgives, she also nailed the part when she appeared in the gala screening of the said film in this glittering Armani Prive creation. It’s just so bold that it will easily grab your attention.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

01. IRINA SHAYK in Elie Saab

And Elie Saab strikes homebase in this pink gown accentuated with a belt. It was definitely a stunner, attention grabbing color, and does not lack tacky at all. Sounds like an easy winner to me.

BUT WAIT…

Of course we all know that there’s one legend who ruled the whole Cannes in terms of fashion. It will be unfair for the others to be lumped with her since I’m clearly biased, but Legend also is on a caliber of her own this year. If there’s one fashion icon who ruled this past festival, it’s no other than jury member Nicole Kidman. Here are her five amazing red carpet looks this year:

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 1: Opening Ceremony in Christian Dior

Legend wasted no time to impress everyone and hit the red carpet in this amazing Christian Dior creation that definitely stood out from the whole pack. Everything about this look just screams iconic from the strapless gown, to the interesting details, and the perfect do, and the coral shoes, this is how you start a festival, and Kidman knows exactly that this is the deal.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 2: Inside Llewyn Davis gala screening in L’Wren Scott

Kidman’s next appearance would be her only one with husband Keith Urban for the whole festival. This time, it’s a L’Wren Scott creation that’s part of her 2013 Fall collection. This one is consistent with her previous look, and she was unafraid to bring the colors in the red carpet which totally paid off.  This could have been an easy misfire, but the gown plus that movie star hair is another hit for me.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 3: Nebraska gala screening in Valentino Couture

For the Nebraska screening, Kidman stepped on the red carpet again, this time with a Valentino creation. Most bloggers quickly mentioned that this is the same dress that Anne Hathaway ditched the last minute at the Oscars (though people from Valentino already cleared the reports by saying it is NOT the same gown). With that said, Anne who? Legend Kidman is just majestic and ethereal in this look, which clearly cements this as one of her all time best.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 4: Venus in Fur gala screening in Chanel

After that heavenly appearance during the Nebraska screening, it will difficult to follow the impact it caused, so this one is probably the weakest among Kidman’s red carpet appearances. However, this Chanel isn’t necessarily outstanding on its own, but the red pumps idea and the fact that Kidman seems to be comfortable wearing it gives this a free pass.

Photo courtesy of: Just Jared

LOOK 5: Closing ceremonies in Giorgio Armani

As to cap off her Cannes jury experience, Nicole Kidman attends the closing ceremony in a custom made Giorgio Armani gown. I love how this look is subdued but sublime. Kidman really exused a true movie star elegance and I like how she wore this white Armani gown which complimented her skin and height effectively.

What are your favorite looks this year? Are you as happy as I am that Legend Kidman wore different designers every time she appears on the red carpet? Which one will make the year end list? Add them in the Comments section. 🙂

Also, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

66th Cannes Film Festival Winner Predictions   1 comment

 

Photo courtesy of  Zimbio

In just a few hours, the 66th Cannes Film Festival is about to close. After almost two weeks of non-stop film premieres, the biggest movie festival in the world will soon end. And it is up to jury head Steven Spielberg, together with members Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee, Christoph Waltz, Lynne Ramsay, Naomi Kawase, Cristian Mungiu, Daniel Auteuil, and Vidya Balan, to reveal their choices on the winning films and performances for this year. It’s definitely one of those up in the air years, as there were a lot of films that gained positive response from the media and the Cannes audience this year. And of course, there’s also those surprising choices that came from movies that received cold reception.

I’ll give my shot on who I think will end up as winners in the festival this year. However, it is noteworthy to emphasize that it is really difficult to predict these things since there’s no trend to follow as the jury members change every year. But with that said, here are my predictions for the seven categories to be awarded at the closing festivities:

SCREENPLAY:

Prediction: Ethan and Joel Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis
As of now, the Coens’ latest entry is turning up to be the best reviewed American film of the year thus far (with a perfect 100 score), and Llewyn seems to be destined to win something in the festival. While chances of directing, actor for Oscar Isaac, and even the Palme d’Or (critics are comparing it to Barton Fink which won them a Director prize), I think they will spread the wealth and reward it with a Screenplay win.

Alternate: Asghar Farhadi, “Le Passé
Farhadi is shaping out to be one of the notable names in festivals and his follow up to 2011’s A Separation also gained notable mentions from the critics. If Farhadi won’t win the top plum this year, then they can pick up multiple wins including this one for screenplay.

ACTOR:

PREDICTION: Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra
While odds for a tie are slim, I’m predicting the team up of Matt Damon and Michael Douglas to pick up the top male plum for this year. It really sucks that this won’t get a theater premiere (which easily eliminates them from Oscar contention), but Douglas’ unanimous reviews (and even mentions of his all time best work) is definitely a shoo-in for an Emmy already. It’s also likely that it will solely be Douglas who will win, but with Damon working with Spielberg in the past, he can easily sneak Damon for the win too.

ALTERNATE: Bruce Dern, “Nebraska
If not Douglas, then one can expect Bruce Dern to snatch up the Actor prize for his work in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. This can be some sort of a prelude to his possible Oscar season, and they can also tag team Will Forte as well, in case they give Behind the Candelabra a higher award.

ACTRESS:

PREDICTION: Adèle Exarchopoulos, “Blue is the Warmest Color
If the jury doesn’t connect to a consensus choice of Blue… being the Palme d’Or, then it can find its way to recognition by winning the Actress award via Adèle Exarchopoulos’s unanimously praised performance. If the Damon/Douglas tie don’t work in Actor, then expect a consecutive tie here (after last year’s victory from Beyond the Hills ladies) between Adèle Exarchopoulos and co-star Lea Seydoux.

ALTERNATE: Marion Cotillard, “The Immigrant
After failing to win this category last year for Rust and Bone, Cotillard can see herself in contention and even a win for this year, thanks to James Gray’s The Immigrant. Cotillard is a famous French star who has been a regular at Cannes for the past few years. This can also be The Immigrant’s win especially if the movie divides the jury.

DIRECTOR:

PREDICTION:  Paolo Sorrentino, “La Grande Belleza
Sorrentino surprised everyone when he got overwhelming positive response for this year’s The Great Beauty. Reviews specify the good combination of breathtaking visuals and the strong direction, which leads me to believe that if Sorrentino wins anything from the festival, it’ll most be likely this one.

ALTERNATE: Steven Soderbergh, “Behind the Candelabra
Soderbergh is one of the true Cannes breakouts. His career started out with sex.lies.videotape in 1989, and this could be a statement from the jury for Hollywood passing up on the film because of its theme. Also, Soderbergh hasn’t won in this category yet, and this can be his first prize here.

JURY PRIZE

PREDICTION: Hirakazu Kore-eda, “Like Father, Like Son
Kore-eda’s drama about the nature vs. nurture of two children switched at birth was a hit at Cannes, and Jury Prize seems to be the most fitting category to reward it. Rumor also have it that Kore-eda is already back at Cannes, which means that it’s likely that the film will be rewarded for something. It also seemed to be getting raves from the jury with Spielberg quoted as emotional to the film’s theme.

ALTERNATE: James Gray, “The Immigrant
Gray is such a divisive filmmaker. His works is always between a love it or you hate it. It’s either for you or not. With that said, I can also see a scenario where they give him the Jury Prize in order to satisfy members of Jury who wants it to be rewarded with something while also satisfying those members who do not like it, as it won’t get the top prize.

GRAND PRIX:

PREDICTION: Jia Zhangke, “A Touch of Sin
Jia Zhangke’s A Touch of Sin seems to be perfect for the Grand Prix category. It’s not a total standout to win the Palme, but it gains specific supporters that can push it for this. He was also spotted already back in Cannes, and he’ll probably get something tomorrow.

ALTERNATE: Abdellatif Kechiche, “Blue is the Warmest Color
I can see this following the scenario of The Master over at Venice last year. It’s the unanimously praise film that gets the jury pumped up. But since the top prize can’t win anything else, they’d have to settle giving the runner up prize to it in order to accommodate other noteworthy things about the film such as rewarding the lead actresses. It can be a battle between giving a sole top prize or settling for second with multiple mentions to go home.

PALME D’OR:

PREDICTION: Asghar Farhadi, “The Past
And I guess the top prize will be given to Farhadi’s The Past. It’s French, it has Farhadi, it’s the conventional choice, it made jury member Kidman in tears after leaving the screening. The Past seems to be the logical choice that will not be hated; after all, it got solid reviews, it’s not as particularly polarizing from the other commendable entries, and you know everyone is just in love with Asghar Farhadi right now. While this is no sure thing, I can see this getting the consensus pick among the jury members.

ALTERNATE: Abdellatif Kechiche, “Blue is the Warmest Color
Lo and behold, this is really the film that towered among everyone else in terms of critical reception. It has already gained buzz and world interest, and the reviews are really staggering and far and away from the other contenders. The thing though that makes it an easy choice to win is that the theme might alienate others. We still don’t know for sure what type of jury is this, and we don’t know if they’re really gonna go for something as bold as this to receive the top prize. But as always, it can easily snoop in the top prize if it gets the jury fired up.

That’s it. I’m really excited to see a lot of entries from this year’s batch, as it’s one of the most lauded in years. I’m also gonna miss Legend Kidman’s red carpet appearances and teaching everyone how it’s done. I’m looking forward to the closing and awarding ceremonies later. Now, who are you rooting and predicting to win? Post it there in the Comments section.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

REVIEW: The Great Gatsby   3 comments

Considered as one of the most powerful, influential, and defining pieces in American literature, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is, once again, crossing art forms with its newest film adaptation under the hands of visionary Baz Luhrmann. 2013’s version stars Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, Carey Mulligan for the role of Daisy Buchanan, and Leonardo di Caprio filling in the role of the marvelous Jay Gatsby.

As what was expected from him, Luhrmann (the director) not only identifies glitz and glamour, but he also knows how to create one. This trademark of him was ever so visible in the movie, and it is in movies like this one where that style benefits the most. Reminiscent of the wide colorful shots of Moulin Rouge!, Gatsby was as stylish and lively as one expects from the book. It was one eye catching feat right after the other that all these lush will definitely suck you in.

Luhrmann (this time, as the writer) is a bit more surprising one. First, the loyalty to the book was unexpected. While one can say that a piece such as Fitzgerald’s is difficult to do a crossover, Baz, together with co-writer Craig Pearce, puts his writing into good use. It is noticeable that at times, he just lets the author’s words speak for themselves. And how can you go wrong with that one? But while that one works, a lot of the characters were underwritten to the point that it affects their overall participation in the film.

With that said, the movie can still cut some 15-20 minutes of chunk in it. This is the main problem that I have with almost all of Luhrmann’s works – they’re in dire need of a sharper editing. Also, while the visual treat was present, it seems as if the director was contemplating if he needs to go all the way or if he’s gonna show restraint in it. While he managed to show both exhibits, it ends up with an uneven pacing in the end result.

Another thing that is commendable with Luhrmann’s filmography is his consistently good taste in music. And Gatsby was certainly not an exception. From Lana del Rey’s haunting Young and the Beautiful up to Emeli Sande’s Crazy in Love, the film is also aided with good music throughout.

The cast is pretty much solid, but there’s nothing to go gaga about. Maguire totally embodies the sheer awkwardness of Nick Carraway, so by that alone, I guess he’s fitting for that. Isla Fisher’s Myrtle, Joel Edgerton’s Tom, and Elizabeth Debicki’s Jordan all showed potential, only to be severely underused in the movie. Carey Mulligan was able to capture the innocence and glamour of Daisy, and you can see that she was clearly trying. It was a good and serviceable performance but nothing to brag home about. I guess the easy standout would be Leonardo di Caprio’s Jay Gatsby. He playfully brings the mystery of the character while also showing the ambitious side of him. Di Caprio is clearly one of the true bona fide movie stars of this generation. The way he uses his charisma is all put into good use in this.

In its entirety, I don’t think we’d be able to see a more faithful film interpretation of The Great Gatsby than this version helmed by Baz Luhrmann. While far from perfect, it is within these flaws that makes the film grounded and results to an enjoyable cinematic treat.

RATING: 3.5/5

You can also check the same review over at Pinoy Exchange.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmy Awards Nomination Predictions: May 2013   4 comments

Now that most eligible shows already wrapped up their respective seasons, it’s fitting to start the monthly predictions once again. This time, I added five more categories and covered the miniseries/TV movie as well. What do you think? Enjoy!

drama series

actor drama

actress drama

supp actor drama

supp actress drama

comedy series

actor comedy

actress comedy

supp actor comedy

supp actress comedy

tv movie miniseries

actor tv movie mini

actress tv movie mini

supp actor tv movie mini

supp actress tv movie mini

Any reactions? Pipe them in at the comments below. :-)

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

86th Oscar Predictions: May Edition   6 comments

Who says it’s too early to predict the Oscars? When it comes to Oscar predicting, nothing is too early. After all, with Sundance, Berlin, and other festivals already done for the year, and movie posters and promos have been done left and right, it’s time to do our first predictions on who will get nominated this year. Let’s begin!

picture

director

lead actor

lead actress

supp actor

supp actress

Who are your predicting to get nominated next year? Add them here below! :)

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl