Archive for August 2013

REVIEW: OTJ (On the Job)   1 comment

on the job

Fresh from their successful run at the Directors’ Fortnight section of this year’s Cannes Film Festival last May, Erik Matti’s crime thriller finally find its way into Philippine theaters, as Star Cinema and Reality Entertainment release OTJ (On the Job) which stars Piolo Pascual, Gerald Anderson, Joel Torre, and Joey Marquez among others.

Inspired by true events, the film gives an extensive depiction of how some jailed members were being released from prison every now and then as they’re assigned with the task of killing people under orders from the wealthy and influential.  In the film, the specific gunmen happens to be Tatang (Joel Torre) and his protege Daniel (Gerald Anderson) who is being groomed to be his replacement once he retires. Tatang takes and trains Daniel under his wing as they do their assignments. On the flipside, there’s NBI official Francis Coronel, Jr. (Piolo Pascual) who was tasked to take over these said cases, as well as police office Acosta (Joey Marquez).  Once their paths crossed provides conflict in the film.

There’s a lot of great things to say about this, but If there’s a clear standout in it, no doubt it is Erik Matti. His slick direction is the main core which holds the film together and gives it the necessary oomph. I like how he weaves these scenes and events seamlessly which makes for an intense and thrilling ride. The rest of the technical achievements were on point as well, with Richard Somes’ production design and Francis Buhay III’s cinematography portraying Manila in a very artistic and sensible manner, that of a series of tasteful photographs that’s well done.

The story and pacing smoothly complimented each other. I like how the intensity just builds up right from the get go during the first scene up until the last one. The chase and fight scenes were tastefully pulled off. It’s also great to see characters that were fleshed out especially that of the three main characters. We get to know them more instead of simply just following what they do. This is one of the things I like about the film in terms of characterization, we get a glimpse of their individual lives as opposed to just going right at the center of the conflict.

This film pretty much shows what an ensemble really is. There are really no small roles here, as everyone’s given something to do and they all did their parts well. Gerald Anderson’s greatest acting achievement prior to this is a television stint as mentally challenged Budoy, but this character suits him like a glove and challenges his acting chops for the better. It’s nothing new to claim that Joel Torre is a great actor, but this will probably end up as one of his most memorable turns in his discography. Piolo Pascual is the good guy of course, so this isn’t much of a stretch for him, but it’s great to see that he wasn’t phoning it in. But, I like how Erik Matti brings out the best in Joey Marquez. He already gave us a glimpse of it in last year’s Tiktik, but this was more prevalent in here. Special props to Vivian Velez’ kick ass role.

Given everything that’s actually happening in the country right now, one can somehow juxtapose this with the events in the film too. This will probably make the experience more insightful for others in terms of understanding the events or the aftermath of it. Films that make a statement is a hit or miss for me, but I like that this one doesn’t spoonfeed it to the audience.

I would have loved to see the version that was shown at Cannes since I’ve learned that it was slightly different from what was shown here. Nevertheless, On the Job is such a breath of fresh air in terms of current Philippine cinema effectively combining style and substance in a savvy manner. I might as well say it’s one (if not the) movie event of the year.

Rating: 5/5

If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series   Leave a comment

drama guest actress

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Angela Lansbury, “Law and Order: SVU” [WRONG]
2006:
Patricia Clarkson, Six Feet Under” [CORRECT]
2007: 
Kate Burton, “Grey’s Anatomy” [WRONG]
2008:
 Cynthia Nixon, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2009:
 Ellen Burstyn, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2010:
 Ann Margret, “Law and Order: SVU” [CORRECT]
2011:
 Joan Cusack, “Shameless” [WRONG]
2012:
 Jean Smart, “Harry’s Law” [WRONG]

After the movie miniseries and the reality/competition ones, let’s move to the guest acting categories for this year’s Primetime Emmy Awards. As you may know, the Guest Acting categories are being given a week before the actual ceremonies at the Creative Emmy Awards alongside the other technical category winners. Let’s begin with Guest Actress in a Drama Series, where in the biggest shock was the snub for Shirley Maclaine in Downton Abbey. The moment her casting was announced, a nomination was already predicted despite the end result of her guesting, but it’s sad that this once perennial nominee can’t even snatch an Emmy nod for a huge TV stint like this. Anyway…

Linda Cardellini is Mad Men‘s representative in this category for this year after unlucky tries made by previous nominees Cara Buono, Randee Heller, and Julia Ormond. In her submission Man of a Plan, Sylvia decided to once and for all make some huge steps towards her relationship with Don as his mistress. The good thing about this episode is that it’s a full circle act which gives her character some closure. But do you think this is the first acting performance that can snoop up an acting Emmy from the show? Your guess is just as good as mine.

Joan Cusack is back for her third consecutive bid for Shameless. Isn’t it amazing that she continues to be the only thing the Emmys recognize from this show? And how is she even a guest star when she appears all through the season (well I know. It’s probably stipulated in her contract in the same way other “guest stars” are in their shows like Robert Morse in Mad Men). As for Cusack, this is probably her best submission yet (A Long Way From Home) in the last three years as she deals with the giving up of her granddaughter which provides the drama while Jody introducing her to kinky sex provides the comedic part. I have predicted her once, and while I don’t think she’s winning this year, I won’t be surprised if she actually does.

Respected veteran Jane Fonda picks up an Emmy nod that can go along her two Oscars for her turn in The Newsroom. Aside from the snubbed Maclaine, this is the most buzzed guest acting stint in this category this season, and that gives her the most buzz among the other contenders. Watching her episode The 112th Congress  can be quite a chore since most of her scenes appear in the near end of the episode. However, she benefits from the trimmed down episode system of this category as all of her scenes were made to gain awards traction and makes her a viable winner.

After her very deserving win two years ago for JustifiedMargo Martindale is back for Emmy contention, this time for her role as Claudia in The Americans. Like Cusack, it’s probably stipulated in her contract that she is a guest star seeing she appeared in majority of the season’s episodes. In her submitted episode The Colonel which was also the show’s season finale, she gets revenge on the person who she thinks is responsible for someone else’s death. This includes her in a physical transformation in one of her scenes. This might not be the best tape of the bunch, but it gives her enough to work on, and I wouldn’t count her out for the win.

Among the plethora of The Good Wife actresses eligible this season, it is Mrs. Michael Emerson a.k.a Carrie Preston who gets to represent the show in this category. As attorney Elsbeth Tascioni, the actress submitted Je Ne Sais What? where in her character was arrested before the hearing of her client. Preson’s unique and quirky attention easily gets your attention and this episode gives her quite a work on and a grasp of how her character works. During the past three years of The Good Wife, there’s always an actress who wins for the show, and Preston can be its fourth consecutive win this year.

Lastly, there’s Dame Diana Rigg from Game of Thrones. Rigg is a past Emmy winner who already has reaped multiple nominations in the 70s and 80s. Somewhat a forum favorite, matriarch Olenna Tyrell goes on and does everything she can to protect and preserve her family’s interest. It’s not a very showy performance, but Dame Rigg’s presence was definitely felt throughout her scenes And Now His Watch Has Ended. However, a stint like hers benefits more from the old guest acting rules instead of a tape submission.

Despite this, it’s really hard to come up with a prediction in this category. The only one I can eliminate is Linda Cardellini, and I can see a winning scenario for the rest of them. However, with her stature and her tape (that benefits from the editing), I’d put Jane Fonda as my predicted winner on who’ll end up with the Emmy in this category.  Runner up position foes to Carrie Preston in a scene stealing and likable performance in The Good Wife.

Prediction: Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
Runner-Up: Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife

Full Rankings:
1. Jane Fonda, “The Newsroom”
2. Carrie Preston, “The Good Wife
3.  Joan Cusack, “Shameless”
4. Diana Rigg, “Game of Thrones”
5. Margo Martindale, “The Americans
6. Linda Cardellini, “Mad Men”

To check out other Emmy predictions, simply click here.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Reality Competition Program   Leave a comment

reality competition
PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: “The Amazing Race” [CORRECT]
2006: 
The Amazing Race” [CORRECT]
2007: 
American Idol” [WRONG]
2008: “
The Amazing Race” [CORRECT]
2009: “
The Amazing Race” [CORRECT]
2010: “
The Amazing Race” [WRONG]
2011: “
The Amazing Race” [CORRECT]
2012: “
The Amazing Race” [CORRECT]

Let’s now move on to one of my favorite Emmy categories: Reality/Competition show. Since its inception in 2003, only two shows have won this award: The Amazing Race and Top Chef. As much as how stagnant the winners circle is, they have been more receptive to giving nominations to new shows though previous nominee Survivor can’t catch a break despite a well buzzed season while former perennial nominee American Idol keeps on fading to obscurity. Anyway let’s begin the discussion.

For the second year, two dancing shows are up for the award. It’s unfortunate though that these two dancing shows are the two longest episodes this year. Dancing with the Stars had their prom episode as their submission. It’s glitz, glamour, and fun with a lot of dance spectacles such as that leading one by Derek and Kellie. However, submitting their second live show episodes doesn’t help them much as it simply went on and on and on and on. On the other hand, submitting the finale episode didn’t work for So You Think You Can Dance as well, as there’s not much competition that happened since it’s just an exhibition of their best performances all season. There’s an Emmy shoutout though, from Nigel Lythgoe, and maybe that’s a wink to these Emmy voters.

Top Chef submitted the top three episode where in they went to Alaska. It was a heart tugging extended episode where the challenge involved cooking a dish that inspired them to be the chefs they were. It also added the reality factor when Joshua, one of the remaining contestants, is anxious since her wife who’s on the other side of America is going into labor. It’s a pretty intense episode that can charm votes from Emmy people.

Intense can also be applied to the Project Runway episode since it started with the aftermath of a contestant who voluntarily left the contest followed by another one who wants to do the same. This led to the comeback of an eliminated contestant already. The challenge for this episode is about a casual wear for a busy woman who’s flaw free day and night and has Hayden Panettiere as its guest judge.

Current winner The Amazing Race submitted its second Botswana episode with some very intense tasks such as the diving in a crocodile swamped lake, delivering goats on the said lake, and guiding two donkeys with a carrot among other things. It also added extra drama when teams were stopped by police due to overspeeding, a team getting lost, and the elimination results too. While I think it’s not the season’s best episode, it’s pretty much a jam packed episode that for sure will be competitive,

And lastly there’s The Voice. They submitted the first Blind Auditions for the fourth season which featured new coaches Shakira and Usher. With two eligible seasons this year, it is wise of The Voice team to go with their most buzzed parts of the contest: the Blind Auditions. It also added the fresh faces of two more Grammy winning artists, and it featured the audition piece of the season’s eventual winner. Being the newest member of this category, it also is the most buzzed show in this group which can help.

All in all, I don’t know if there will be changes here, but it will probably be an easy win for The Amazing Race again. The only one I can see them going for as an alternate is The Voice but for the most part, it will add another trophy to the Amazing Race’s Emmy streak.

Prediction: The Amazing Race”
Runner-Up: The Voice

Full Rankings:
1. The Amazing Race”
2. “The Voice
3. “Top Chef”
4. “Dancing with the Stars
5. “So You Think You Can Dance
6. “Project Runway”

To check out other Emmy predictions, you can check them here.

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

MTV Video Music Awards 2013 Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

The 2013 MTV Video Music Awards is just right around the corner, and this one is shaping up to be a good one for MTV’s biggest night. Now celebrating it’s 30th year of the awards ceremonies, appearances and performances by the likes of Katy Perry, One Direction, Miley Cyrus, Bruno Mars, and Robin Thicke to name a few. Also, aside from leading up the nominations this year, Justin Timberlake is this year’s recipient of the Video Vanguard award, and a rumored N*SYNC reunion performance is in the books this year. I know you’re excited for Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick. Anyway, here are my predictions on the major categories on who will end up with moonmen on Sunday’s ceremony:

VIDEO OF THE YEAR

* Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, “Thrift Shop”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”
* Robin Thicke, TI, Pharell, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: Between the Video Vanguard award, the rumored N*SYNC performance, and his huge comeback this year, MTV is setting this up to be JT’s big night, and it won’t be complete if he doesn’t end up with the highest honor for that night. Plus, he still hasn’t won here yet, and it’s a great video to represent him here.
RUNNER UP: Taylor Swift. This is still a fan-voted format and Taylor is campaigning the hell for a win this year. Besides, the last six winners here are solo female popstars and Swift fits that bill.
MY CHOICE:  JT. Probably the one that stands out the most, thought that’s not saying a lot.

BEST MALE VIDEO

* Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pool (Drank)”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Ed Sheeran, “Lego House”
* Robin Thicke, TI, Pharell, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: JT easily. It will be one of those sweep wins for his big night. This win will also put him on a tie with Eminem as the most rewarded act in the history of this category with three wins apiece.
RUNNER UP: 
Robin Thicke. Turning out to be the song of the year by far, they can easily throw him a bone here.
MY CHOICE:  
Ed Sheeran. Let’s throw him a vote come on guys. 🙂

 

BEST FEMALE VIDEO

* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* Demi Lovato, “Heart Attack”
* Pink (featuring Nate Ruess), “Just Give Me A Reason”
* Rihanna (featuring Mikky Ecko), “Stay”
* Taylor Swift, “I Knew You Were Trouble”

WHO WILL WIN: Taylor Swift. It will probably be an easy win for Taylor as she’s sure to end up with a moonman on Sunday. The only scenario I see that lets her lose here is if she wins Video of the Year inside.
RUNNER UP: 
Miley Cyrus. This song is peaking at the right time, and her legion of fans will propel this to a win.
MY CHOICE:  
Rihanna. Probably the best video in this bunch. Simple and effective.

ARTIST TO WATCH

* Iggy Azalea, “Work”
* Austin Mahone “What About Love”
* Twenty One Pilots, “Holding Onto You”
* The Weeknd, “Wicked Games”
* Zedd (featuring Foxes), “Clarity”

WHO WILL WIN: Austin Mahone. Catering the left over conservative Bieber fanbase and opening for Taylor Swift can propel him to a win here.
RUNNER UP: 
Zedd. Clarity is the biggest hit in this group and he can benefit from that.
MY CHOICE:  
Maybe Zedd. But where’s Macklemore and Ryan Lewis here? This would have been an easy win for them.

BEST POP VIDEO

* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* fun., “Carry On”
* Selana Gomez, “Come and Get It”
* Bruno Mars, “Locked Out of Heaven”
* Justin Timberlake, “Mirrors”

WHO WILL WIN: Miley Cyrus. I think she has better chance here than in Female since her fans are the most active among this bunch unless…
RUNNER UP:
this is still part of the Timberlake sweep so he can easily take this one too.
MY CHOICE:  
fun I guess. I’m not a fan of most of the videos here.

BEST ROCK VIDEO

* 30 Seconds to Mars, “Up in the Air”
* Fall Out Boy, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark”
* Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
* Mumford & Sons, “I Will Wait”
* Vampire Weekend, “Diane Young”

WHO WILL WIN: No idea, but the combo of recent rise to popdom and being the most recent here, I’m thinking Imagine Dragons.
RUNNER UP: 
Jared Leto is on the show as a presenter, so that’s one assured nominee who’ll show up so maybe 30 Seconds to Mars?
MY CHOICE:  
Vampire Weekend probably since they’re the ones I like the most in this group.

BEST HIPHOP VIDEO

* A$AP Rocky, “Fuckin’ Problems”
* J.Cole, “Power Trip”
* Drake, “Started From the Bottom”
* Kendrick Lamar, “Swimming Pools”
* Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, “Can’t Hold Us”

WHO WILL WIN: As a result of their good breakout year and as the other most nominated act (aside from Justin that is), this is Macklemore and Ryan Lewis to lose.
RUNNER UP: 
Probably Drake since he’s still 0 in terms of VMA wins.
MY CHOICE:  
Can’t Hold Us is one of my favorite jams this year.

BEST COLLABORATION VIDEO

* Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding, “I Need Your Love”
* Pink/Nate Ruess, “Just Give Me A Reason”
* Pitbull/Christina Aguilera, “Feel This Moment”
* Robin Thicke/Pharell/TI, “Blurred Lines”
* Justin Timberlake/Jay Z, “Suit and Tie”

WHO WILL WIN: With the VMAs being held in Jay Z’s place this year, there’s no better way to give back to Jay than by giving him the moonman adding up to JT’s domination on Sunday, so I say Suit and Tie wins.
RUNNER UP: 
Blurred Lines since it’s the biggest hit in this line up.
MY CHOICE:  
I’d probably throw Pink and Nate a bone here and give them my vote.

BEST VIDEO WITH A SOCIAL MESSAGE

* Beyonce, “I Was Here”
* Kelly Clarkson, “People Like Us”
* Macklemore and Ryan Lewis/Mary Lambert, “Same Love”
* Miguel, “Candles in the Sun”
* Snoop Lion, “No Guns Allowed”

WHO WILL WIN: An easy win for Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. Plus, it talks about a hot topic that’s really rampant right now.
RUNNER UP: 
Beyonce just to make this more ridiculous as she wins for a live video. Oh and remember we’re in Brooklyn.
MY CHOICE:  
Same Love is the best song here and the only one deserving of a win.

blurred lines

BEST SONG OF THE SUMMER

* Miley Cyrus, “We Can’t Stop”
* Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”
* Selena Gomez, “Come and Get It”
* Calvin Harris/Ellie Goulding, “I Need Your Love”
* One Direction, “Best Song Ever”
* Robin Thicke/Pharell/TI, “Blurred Lines”

WHO WILL WIN: Two words: BLURRED LINES.
RUNNER UP: 
Maybe Miley comes closest to Blurred Lines here. Though she’s far and away a distant runner up.
MY CHOICE:  
Daft Punk and VMA only happens once in a blue moon, so why not grab the chance to vote for it?

There you have it! Are you excited for the 30th VMAs? Don’t forget to watch the show on Sunday!

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

actress miniseries

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: S. Epatha Merkerson, “Lackawanna Blues[CORRECT]
2006:
Helen Mirren, “Elizabeth I[CORRECT]
2007:
Helen Mirren, “Prime Suspect: Final Act[CORRECT]
2008:
Judi Dench, “Cranford: Masterpiece[WRONG]
2009:
Drew Barrymore, “Grey Gardens[WRONG]
2010:
Claire Danes, “Temple Grandin[CORRECT]
2011:
Kate Winslet, “Mildred Pierce[CORRECT]
2012:
Julianne Moore, “Game Change” [CORRECT]

And here’s the final cap on the longform acting categories: the coveted Best Actress category. The last three years have been easy wins that’s why it’s quite fun that we have some sort of a competition this year. But first, let’s give a moment to recognize those who were snubbed.  Despite scoring in two other acting nods, Golden Globe nominee Sienna Miller was snubbed for her work in The Girl, as well as Rebecca Hall in Parade’s End. HBO wasn’t powerful enough to put the pair of Oscar nominated (and winning) actresses in Mary and Martha (Brenda Blethyn and Hilary Swank) as well.

Last year’s supporting actress winner Jessica Lange moves to the Lead category now after the sophomore season of American Horror Story: Asylum. While she wasn’t able to win any precursors earlier this year, she hasn’t skipped a beat by picking up nominations from the Golden Globes, SAGs, and the BFCA Critics Choice for TV Awards for her performance as Sister Jude.

Sigourney Weaver is due for any award for anything, so I thought this would have been the avenue to reward her. To be fair, she commanded the short lived series Political Animals and served as the show’s core base, and in any weak year, this would have been a sure winner. Unfortunately for her, this year has been anything but weak in this category.

Elisabeth Moss picked up a second nod for this year, thanks to her lead performance in Jane Campion’s Top of the Lake. This is the perfect consolation to Moss if voters want to reward her with an Emmy already after years of losses for playing Peggy on Mad Men. After all, she already earned a BFCA CCTV in the same category last July. It’s also a different performance from her usual nominated ones, so it shows her range and versatility as an actress.

Then we have Laura Linney. Prior to her 2011 loss to Melissa McCarthy, Linney actually has a perfect Emmy track record reaping in three wins in the past with two victories in this category for 2002’s Wild Iris and 2008’s John Adams. If anything, she’s very competitive here seeing she’s 2/2 for her. On the flip side, her only loss (in Comedy Lead Actress) is for the same role she’s contending now. So odds are, it’s really up in the air when it comes to her actual chances. One thing I’m certain of is that if anybody can pull that upset, it’s definitely her.

Lastly, we have Dame Helen Mirren. Like Linney, Mirren is a force to be reckoned with in this category, as she’s the most rewarded actress here with four wins in the past in 1996, 1999, 2006, and 2007 and having 10 nominations here altogether. With that said, one can count her out for this year as she’s clearly a filler nominee for an HBO movie that stars two big movie stars. If anything, she’s the only one we can safely count here.

I really have no idea on who will win here, so you can ask me and I’ll probably change my answer every other day. However, I’m convinced that all voters will not be watching the whole seasons of American Horror Story: Asylum and Top of the Lake, but it’s between Jessica Lange and Elisabeth Moss. The only deciding factor I have is that Lange was a tour de force by the start of the season while Moss’ better episodes come in the latter part of the series. That plus the fact that voters are probably aware that Lange has won for that horror show and they will continue to vote for her. The only thing on Moss’ favor is if they find her overdue and want to give her a win already. I’d say Lange has the upperhand, but never disregard Elisabeth Moss or a possible upset from Laura Linney here.

Prediction: Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum”
Runner-Up: Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake

Full Rankings:
1. Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum”
2. Elisabeth Moss, Top of the Lake
3. Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter”
4. Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals
5. Helen Mirren, Phil Spector

To check out other Emmy predictions, you can check them here.

If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

movie miniseries

 

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Warm Springs[CORRECT] and “Empire Falls[WRONG]
2006:
The Girl in the Cafe[CORRECT] and “Elizabeth I[CORRECT]
2007:
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee[CORRECT] and “Prime Suspect: Final Act[WRONG]
2008:
Recount[CORRECT] and “John Adams[CORRECT]
2009:
Grey Gardens[CORRECT] and “Generation Kill[WRONG]
2010:
You Don’t Know Jack[WRONG] and “The Pacific[CORRECT]
2011:
Downton Abbey[CORRECT]
2012:
Game Change” [CORRECT]

Now that we’re done with the three acting categories here (Haven’t made up my mind yet on who’ll win Lead Actress), it’s time to move on with the main program award by discussing the Best Movie or Miniseries category. It’s almost a moot to even tackle each category comprehensively, as there seems to be a clear winner here already. The Steven Soderbergh directed film Behind the Candelabra is obviously winning the top prize. With great reviews, a historic Cannes competition participation, and overwhelming reception, this is one of the easier to predict wins for the night. The closest runner-up I can come up with is Sundance Channel’s Top of the Lake which also received unanimously great reviews and probably the little contender that could.

As for the others, despite American Horror Story: Asylum dominating the nominations with a whooping 17(!) nods and topping all the other programs this year, it will clearly follow the path of its predecessor last year safely winning an acting award (or two). The mere fact that it continues to dominate the noms yet it can’t break through the directing AND writing categories speaks volumes about its actual support in the Academy. Phil Spector is the typical HBO filler category year like what Hemingway & Gellhorn was last year and You Don’t Know Jack was the year before. It contains two movie stars in lead roles, but doesn’t really have anything else in its corner.

After History’s history breaking ratings with Hatfields & McCoys last year, they continue to beat their own record in terms of ratings for miniseries, with The Bible this year. Sadly for them, the nomination for their achievement is their main reward seeing that it only got in two other categories. As for Political Animals, you can use the same analogy to Phil Spector, only replace HBO with USA.

As I’ve mentioned, it will be an easy win for Behind the Candelabra, and may I say deservedly so? J

Prediction: Behind the Candelabra
Runner-Up: Top of the Lake

Full Rankings:
1. “Behind the Candelabra
2. “Top of the Lake
3. “American Horror Story: Asylum
4. “Phil Spector
5. “Political Animals
6. “The Bible

If you want, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

86th Oscars Predictions: August Edition   3 comments

We’re halfway before the start of the festivals roll now into our Oscar predictions, and a lot of crazy things has happened already! Here’s how I see the state of the Oscar race for the six major categories for this month!

picture

director

actor

actress

supp actor

supp actress

You can also follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

supp actor miniseries

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Paul Newman, “Empire Falls[CORRECT]
2006:
Jeremy Irons, “Elizabeth I[CORRECT]
2007:
Thomas Haden Church, “Broken Trail[CORRECT]
2008:
Tom Wilkinson, “John Adams[CORRECT]
2009:
Tom Courtenay, “Little Dorrit[WRONG]
2010:
David Strathairn, “Temple Grandin[CORRECT]
2011:
Guy Pearce, “Mildred Pierce[CORRECT]
2012:
Ed Harris, “Game Change” [WRONG]

Hi, you are still following my 2013 Emmy coverage, and I’m in the middle of doing my Emmy predictions for this year (you can check lead actor in a miniseries  and supporting actress in a miniseries). Now it’s time to move the spotlight to the supporting actors of the past year’s miniseries TV movies and miniseries. This is a fairly good bunch of nominees, with John Benjamin Hickey being a pleasant surprise nominee, and with supposed to be 2x Emmy nominee this year (but ended up with 0 nods in total) Jeffrey Tambor for Phil Spector.

This year, we get two actors from American Horror Story: Asylum nominated here. Oscar nominee James Cromwell is up for his turn as the asylum doctor. This is such a departure from his most prominent perceived work in Babe: Pig in the City. Alongside him is movie star Zachary Quinto who already won the Critics Choice TV Award in this category for his performance in the same show. Between this and his summer movie Star Trek, Quinto has the advantage over his co-star.

If there’s one actor who I possibly thought has a shot in getting nominated here for The Big C: Hereafter, it’s three time Emmy nominee Oliver Platt. That’s why I’m surprised (and a great one at that) that it ended up with John Benjamin Hickey getting the nod instead. As the unique and standout brother of Cathy Jameson, Hickey’s performance is very noticeable and easy to warm up to, and it can work in his favor among voters in this category.

Peter Mullan is not a household name in the United States though many here have already heard him before in his previous roles in other Jane Campion production. In Top of the Lake, he takes a role that I can call as a vital supporting one. Think of John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone or Dwight Henry in Beasts of the Southern Wild. With a female lead in tow, he gets the biggest male role and it’s usually one that gets awards. However, with his close to unknown status, I don’t know if Emmys will reward him with the win.

Lastly, there’s Scott Bakula. At first, it’s really surprising how he ended up being the lone supporting actor rewarded with a nomination for Behind the Candelabra (as opposed to more predicted co-stars Rob Lowe and Dan Aykroyd). But one does need to know that he was elected an important position among the Screen Actors Guild just this year, and that usually translates well with Emmy voters. His performance in the Soderbergh directed drama is okay, and if he manages to win, it’s not even the worst among past winning performances here in this category.

With no solid frontrunner in this category, the Emmy could actually go to any of the five nominees. With that said I’ll probably go the safe route and predict the SAG chairperson for the win. This somehow reminded me of the same category in 2009 with then SAG president Ken Howard winning despite not a stand out role for Grey Gardens. I’m using the same argument here in predicting Scott Bakula for the win. If not him, then the buzz for Zachary Quinto might end up with an Emmy win alongside his TV CCA win.

Prediction: Scott Bakula, “Behind the Candelabra
Runner-Up: Zachary Quinto, “American Horror Story: Asylum

Full Rankings:
1. Scott Bakula, “Behind the Candelabra
2. Zachary Quinto, “American Horror Story: Asylum
3. John Benjamin Hickey, “The Big C: Hereafter
4. Peter Mullan, “Top of the Lake
5. James Cromwell, “American Horror Story: Asylum

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

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

supp actress miniseries

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Camryn Manheim, “Elvis[WRONG]
2006:
Kelly MacDonald, “The Girl in the Café[CORRECT]
2007:
Anna Paquin, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee[WRONG]
2008:
Laura Dern, “Recount[WRONG]
2009:
Shohreh Aghdashloo, “House of Saddam[CORRECT]
2010:
Susan Sarandon, “You Don’t Know Jack[WRONG]
2011:
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey[CORRECT]
2012:
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story” [CORRECT]

After lead actor in a miniseries, let’s move on to one of the supporting categories. Supporting Actress in a Movie or Miniseries turned out to be an embarrassment of riches in terms of female supporting performances this year. After watching the five nominated works, it’s hard not to see why they all ended up with nominations for their work. Though I guess I’d still reiterate that Holly Hunter in Top of the Lake deserves a spot here (considering she got two nominations for that Saving Grace show), though we should move on to the five nominees now.

Let’s begin with last year’s nominee Sarah Paulson. Last year, she was nommed for the HBO produced Game Change and lost to Jessica Lange in American Horror Story. For this season, she joins the show and ended up nominated for her turn as the curious reporter who ended up finding herself in the same asylum. Her turn here gives her a lot of range to work on, and if we based it on last year’s winner, she’s in good odds to win.

Then we have Mrs. Jim Carter herself, Imelda Staunton (Yes Dolores Umbridge is married to him). Staunton played Alma Ritter, and to give you more familiarity, it’s the role Helen Mirren played in the film Hitchcock. Staunton is mostly Toby Jones’ coattail nominee, but to give her credit, she is a true supporting play to him in The Girl.

Remember 2006’s infamous Emmy nomination? Yes, thanks to Ellen Burstyn, a rule was ultimately made the following year about the screentime needed for supporting players to be eligible in this category. After her 14 second appearance in Mrs. Harris in 2006, she’s now back in the same category, now as Sigourney Weaver’s mother in Political Animals. She plays the level headed cool grandma, and in one of the episodes, she gets high with her grandson’s fiancé. If ever she wins for this, it will be a hundred times deserving.

A surprising but should have been expected nominee this year is Charlotte Rampling for Restless. For one, she surprised us with her SAG nomination earlier this year. Then she was nominated for an Emmy this year as well. Playing the role of a woman who needed to change identities during the War, most of her scenes involve talking with daughter Michelle Dockery. It’s a stand out performance that is justifiably recognized, but I don’t see her winning for it.

Lastly, you have one of the actresses Emmys love to nominate: Alfre Woodard. Winning multiple Emmys in the past before, Woodard is once again recognized for her turn in Lifetime’s remake of Steel Magnolias. Hers is a role that actually stands out in the ensemble. Add the fact that she is Alfre Woodard, and that makes her an easy name to check here.

As for who’s going to win, it depends on who the Emmys like during the voting. If voters are in for a movie star, then no doubt, Ellen Burstyn can siphon the votes in here. Then one can never underestimate the Emmy’s admiration for Alfre Woodard, and in a scene stealing role such as this one, it’s no surprise if ever she ended up winning here. But ultimately, my prediction goes to Sarah Paulson who might end up being Asylum’s lone major win, and a way to recognize the series in the telefilm categories.

Prediction: Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Asylum
Runner-Up: Alfre Woodard, “Steel Magnolias

Full Rankings:
1. Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Asylum
2. Alfre Woodard, “Steel Magnolias
3. Ellen Burstyn, “Political Animals
4. Charlotte Rampling, “Restless
5. Imelda Staunton, “The Girl

If you like, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

65th Primetime Emmys: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie   Leave a comment

actor miniseries

It’s Emmy season!

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting my Emmy predictions in 23 different categories before we head on the actual ceremonies on September 22. And as always, we’ll tackle one category at a time, and this year will begin with Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie.

PAST PREDICTIONS:

2005: Geoffrey Rush, “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers[CORRECT]
2006:
Donald Sutherland, “Human Trafficking[WRONG]
2007:
Robert Duvall, “Broken Trail[CORRECT]
2008:
Paul Giammatti “John Adams[CORRECT]
2009:
Kevin Bacon, “Taking Chance[WRONG]
2010:
Al Pacino, “You Don’t Know Jack[CORRECT]
2011:
Edgar Ramirez, “Carlos[WRONG]
2012:
Kevin Costner, “Hatfields & McCoys” [CORRECT]

If there’s any indication that HBO dominates the Emmys, one does not need to look any further, as this category’s nominees were all from HBO produced films. Let’s start the discussion with the Cannes entry Behind the Candelabra. Playing renowned pianist Liberace, five time Emmy nominee Michael Douglas gets career best reviews for his physical transformation as the gay musician. With the rate of these reviews are going, it’s pretty easy to say he’s the frontrunner in this category. However, most of his screentime is shared with co-nominee and co-star Matt Damon who played Liberace’s lover Scott Thorson. While both are co-leads in the film, it’s easier to see that Douglas is the main star of the show and has the advantage over Damon.

As for Parade’s End‘s Benedict Cumberbatch, he’s the obvious weak link in this group, and his nod rooted from his movie star success of Star Trek during the nomination period. It must be noted though that this is his second consecutive nomination here, as he’s also nominated for Sherlock this year, so if there’s some left over love for that, then he can possible score more votes. Isn’t it unfair that Toby Jones always has to go for the lesser buzzed versions when he plays real life people such as his Capote performance in Infamous being released shortly after Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Oscar winning performance of the same character? The same can be applied again as his role as Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl has to contend in TV movies when the feature film Hitchcock was just released last year. Anyway, Jones was Hitchcock personified in his performance, but the total lack of interest over the TV movie definitely speaks about his chances.

Then there’s Al Pacino. Pacino is 2/2 in this category winning the first time for Angels in America in 2004 and then again for You Don’t Know Jack in 2010. For Phil Spector, he donned in the wigs and transformed into the main character and was given lots of baity scenes to work on. Plus they showered the TV movie with a lot of nominations as well.  If voters are not fond of Behind the Candelabra, I can see them going for Pacino.

With that said, I still think that it’s Michael Douglas’ to lose. He’s a five time Emmy nominee who hasn’t won any Emmy yet (and his first nomination was 39 years ago) while getting career best reviews for this performance. He also gets to play a “challenging” role which involved lots of physical transformations in it. If not him, you can count Matt Damon to win his first Emmy though. Either way, Behind the Candelabra will score a win in this category.

Prediction: Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra
Runner-Up: Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra

Final Rankings:
1. Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra
2. Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra
3. Al Pacino, “Phil Spector
4. Toby Jones, “The Girl
5. Benedict Cumberbatch, “Parade’s End

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl