Archive for the ‘captive’ Tag

2012: The Year in Lead Actresses   7 comments

2012 lead actresses

Hey there everyone! And Happy New Year once again from Tit for Tat! ūüėÄ

There’s no better way to kick off 2013 with a blog post that covers a topic awards prognosticators love the most:¬†BEST ACTRESS.¬†The past few days, I have been covering acting performances in local cinema, and we’ve already tackled¬†supporting actresses,¬†supporting actors and¬†lead actors. To complete the list, here’s my coverage of lead actress.

LEADERS OF THE PACK

There’s no better person more fitting to begin this coverage with the one and only Superstar herself Nora Aunor. After years of absence in local filmmaking scene, she is back with Brillante Mendoza’s¬†Thy Womb as midwife Shaleha who wants to grant her husband’s wish of having a child. Aside from La Aunor, Gina Alajar‘s role as the matriarch in Adolf Alix’s¬†Mater Dolorosa¬†gives her a huge possibility to have an awards comeback as well. A pair of Kapamilya actresses can find themselves contending at different award giving bodies: Angel Locsin will definitely be nominated either for her role as the sultry Princess in¬†Unofficially Yours though my bet is she’ll get nods ¬†for her role as a mother who will do anything for her son in the MMFF entry¬†One More Try.¬†Bea Alonzo‘s most mature performance to date as the title role in Olivia Lamasan’s¬†The Mistress can reap some nods as well. As for the fifth spot, a consecutive visit at award giving bodies is plausible for veteran actress Shamaine Buencamino, this time, for her comedic turn in Loy Arcenas’s¬†Requieme.

MIDDLE TIER

Aside from the five names above, other¬†noteworthy¬†lead actress performances the past year were from Jodi Sta. Maria as the newest member of Adoracion Convent in¬†Aparisyon,¬†Pokwang as another mother who sacrificied as an OFW in the US in¬†A Mother’s Story, and¬†French actress Isabelle Huppert having the most vital role in Brillante Mendoza’s Berlin entry¬†Captive. Vilma Santos can get in based on name status alone for her movie last year,¬†The Healing,¬†while Lauren Young as the psycho best friend of Maxene Magalona in¬†Catnip can break through the awards circuit too. Other performances that gained buzz this year were Cinemalaya Best Actress winner Ama Quiambao in¬†Diablo,¬†Erich Gonzales who is in search of her sister in Manila in¬†Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi,¬†Veronica Santiago who plays the charming ¬†title role in¬†Pascalina,¬†LJ Reyes who resorted to being the town prostitute in¬†Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino,¬†and Judy Ann Santos as the owner of the diary in¬†Mga Mumunting Lihim.

THE REST OF THE RACE

As for the rest of the race, there’s also Anne Curtis, not as the other woman, in¬†A Secret Affair, the pair of Fe GingGing Hyde and Glorypearl Dy trying to escape in¬†Ang Paglalakbay ng Mga Bituin ng Gabing Madilim,¬†Mylene Dizon as the other nun in¬†Aparisyon,¬†and Cinema One Originals Best Actress Mara Lopez in¬†Palitan.¬†There’s also the performances of Erich Gonzales as the¬†unang aswang¬†in¬†Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang,¬†Angelica Panganiban as the naive Majoy in¬†Every Breath U Take,¬† and real life sisters¬†Assunta and Alessandra de Rossi in¬†Baybayin.¬†Lastly, Angel Aquino can also see herself nominated either for her performance as the torn mother in¬†Amorosa: The Revenge or as the reporter who everybody thought was dead in Biktima.

That’s it. Who are your bets this year? Are you excited for the coming award giving bodies? I sure am! ūüôā

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

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2012: The Year in Supporting Actresses   3 comments

supp actress

2012 has given us a wide array of supporting actress performances from dramas to comedies, from musicals and even horror films both in indie and mainstream movies. This category also contains some of the finest names in television, films, and even the stage. Here’s a sample masterlist of who can get nominated from the award giving bodies next season.

Take note that when I say award giving bodies, it’s as varied as the mainstream hard on of the PMPC Star Awards for Movies up to the indie love of the Manunuri and sometimes the in between such as the Golden Screen Awards.

LEADERS OF THE PACK

I wouldn’t be surprised if veteran actress Anita Linda will pick up a lot of supporting actress trophies for her performance as the foul mouthed Alzheimer’s healed grandmother of Coco Martin in¬†Santa Nina.¬†If not that, then she might gain notices for albeit a similar role in Olivia Lamasan’s¬†The Mistress.¬†Speaking of¬†The Mistress, comeback veteran actress Hilda Koronel can find herself back again in ¬†awards territory as the original life spewing one of the famous movie lines of the year via “Layuan mo ang asawa ko. Tagalog ‘yan para maintinfihan mo.”¬†Janice de Belen had a fabulous year giving memorable performances in all of her movie appearances this 2012. While I can see her getting nominated for the horror films she did, her biggest chance is still Joey Reyes’s Cinemalaya entry¬†Mga Mumunting Lihim portraying the role of Olive, the one in the quartet of friends who wasn’t able to finish college and gets a boyfriend twice younger than her age. Janice’s co-star Agot Isidro¬†can also reap nominations as the self centered judgmental friend Sandy also from the same movie. To round off the top five, I’d put¬†Angelica Panganiban‘s name here as workaholic Jacqueline who’s trying to be the perfect wife in¬†One More Try.¬†While I can see cases wherein Panganiban will be moved to Lead, I guess they might throw her a bone here in order to avoid internal competition from Angel Locsin. Not that it’s a fraud or something because I felt she was actually a supporting actress in this one.

MIDDLE TIER

If award giving bodies failed to like any of the women above, then you can always count¬†Nora Aunor’s performance as Emilio Aguinaldo’s second wife in¬†El Presidente though lack of screentime will probably hurt her.¬†Lovi Poe¬†suffers the same fate as¬†Thy Womb¬†co-star Aunor from appearing in the final moments of the film especially since local award giving bodies love scenery chewing scenes that screams acting from its audience. Both¬†Fides Cuyugan Asensio and Raquel Villavicencio can also be in the running this year as the more superior nuns of Adoration Clositer in Vincent Sandoval’s¬†Aparisyon.¬†Young actress Alessandra de Rossi also got a boatload of performances this year and she can get nominated as Coco Martin’s past love in¬†Santa Nina or the cop daughter in the family ensemble¬†Mater Dolorosa. A lot of mothers can also get a nomination or two this year such as those of Eugene Domingo as an annoyed mother who found out that her son fathered a teenage daughter in the musical¬†I Do Bidoo Bidoo,¬†Cherry Pie Picache‘s mother who keeps a secret in Lawrence Fajardo’s¬†The Strangers,¬†Rosanna Roces as the mistress of Philip Salvador who is dependent to Gina Alajar in¬†Mater Dolorosa,¬†and Dawn Zulueta as a strict mother who’s distant from her son in¬†Ang Nawawala.¬†Since there’s an abundance of mistress themed movies, one can also expect a nod for¬†Andi Eigenmann‘s role as the third party in¬†A Secret Affair.

THE REST OF THE PACK

And as for the others, possible supporting actress turns that can receive mentions this year include Kim Chiu‘s transformation as Vilma Santos’ half daughter in¬†The Healing,¬†Mercedes Cabral as Nora Aunor’s friend in¬†Thy Womb,¬†Gina Pareno as the voice of reason to daughter Angel Locsin in¬†One More Try, Annicka Dolonius as Gibson’s apple of the eye in¬†Ang Nawawala,¬†and¬†Angel Aquino as one of the victims in Brillante Mendoza’s Berlin entry¬†Captive.¬†Further supporting mentions that might grab attention at next year’s award giving bodies are Cinema One Originals winner Ria Garcia in¬†Melodrama Negra, Daria Ramirez as Pokwang’s mother who took care of her grandchildren in the absence of her daughter who went abroad for a living in¬†A Mother’s Story,¬†Toni Gonzaga who is caught in between Vice Ganda and Luis Manzano’s antics in¬†This Guy’s in Love with U, Mare,¬†Angelina Kanapi as Dennis Trillo’s cousin in¬†Ang Katiwala, and Cherie Gil in the comedy ensemble¬†Madaling Araw, Mahabang Gabi.¬†

That’s it! That’s just 25 names, but it gives award giving bodies a lot of options to choose from in next year’s awards derby. Tomorrow, spotlight for the supporting actors of the year will be given.

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

REVIEW: Captive   1 comment

Cannes Best Director Brillante Mendoza’s first shot at the Berlin Film Festival involves a familiar territory that he has long been covering. In “Captive”, we get a closer look and a blow by blow update of a national issue that once hogged all the spotlight here in the Philippines. The only difference is that it has Isabelle Huppert here.

Inspired by the events during the 2001 Dos Palmas kidnapping of tourists, we get to see the struggle they have to endure when they get dragged in the fight between Muslims and the government in order for them to give in to what the Muslims wanted. The hostages ranged from cliche casting to effective ones with Isabelle Huppert leading the pack as the French missionary assisting old woman Soledad.

Mendoza effectively makes the viewers feel as if they were there with them combining ¬†vivid portrayal of what the hostages experienced during that year long captivity and commendable technical aspects particularly Odyssey Flores’ cinematography and Teresa Barrozo’s score. With that said, one can’t help but think that there are times when you see style over substance as the treatment left something more to be desired. I see symbolism everywhere (giving birth scene, animals in the forest, two Muslims playing spiders, the colorful eagle) and some parts were just overdone. One can also recognize the similar Mendoza trademark that he used in his previous films, so if you’re someone who’s familiar with his filmography, there’s sort of a “been there, done that” approach with his treatment. Supposed to be pivotal scenes were also scattered that it’s hard to digest every thing so when you see one, it does not leave that much mark to the readers.

Huppert’s role, like the rest of the cast, was very physical, and I applaud how she was so “game” with everything that was required of her to do. While there are times when her character was relegated to do the typical histrionic touch when attacking the Muslims, I find her at her best when she was interviewed for a semi-documentary where she just gave her all when asked about the hostage experience. The local cast were good as well but there’s no real highlight for the rest of them that makes one a standout.

All in all, while it’s hard to nitpick about Mendoza’s visual output, it sadly didn’t leave the same amount of impact that the director intended his viewers to feel once the credits rolled.

Grade: 3 / 5

85th Oscar Foreign Language Film: What Should the Philippines Submit?   8 comments

Earlier this week, the Film Academy of the Philippines released the final shortlist that includes the titles of the seven films that they were considering to be the submission of the country to get that elusive Oscar nod in the foreign language category. It has been years now since the FAP has been choosing and the options have ranged from excellent (2003’s Crying Ladies) to good (2009’s Ploning) to plain bad (2010’s Ded na si Lolo).

Being a self confessed Oscarologist myself, the thing about these submissions is that one must not focus on what the best movie is about. After all, taste is very subjective. I’m not saying we should just submit what the highest grossing movie is. The Academy still cares for a good script, a polished direction, and effective technical aspects; nevertheless, there are themes that gives AMPAS instant hard on. For one, anything about the War makes your movie go noticed. To be specific, anything about the Holocaust or Nazis gives you instant nomination and wins such as those of Germany’s Nowhere in Arica (2002) and Austria’s The Counterfeiters (2006). But then again, we can’t tackle that. AMPAS also likes character driven films that are thought provoking such as 2004’s “The Sea Inside”, 2009’s “The Secret In Their Eyes”, and current champ “A Separation”.

Anyway, here are the seven films that made the shortlist, and what I think their Oscar chances are if the FAP chooses to submit the said film.


BUSONG

Director: Auraeus Solito
Stars:¬†Alessandra de Rossi, Clifford Ba√Īagale, Dax Alejandro

A participant of the 7th Cinemalaya last year, Busong (Palawan) has already made waves in the international film festival circuit whether as participant or exhibit film. The movie has very good technical aspects (particularly the cinematography, make up, and score) and has improved significantly from Solito’s last effort hat ended up as the country’s Oscar submission (2005’s The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros). My biggest worry though is that the film’s unique theme can go both ways in terms of Academy’s reception. Nevertheless, if this ends up as the country’s submission, it will be in the middle of the pack, meaning it’s not necessarily the best the country has ever submitted but far from being the worst.

CAPTIVE

Director: Brillante Mendoza
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Joel Torre, Maria Isabel Lopez

It has always made me wonder why were past Brillante Mendoza efforts always snubbed by the FAP in their Oscar selection committee, and the closest answer that I figured out was that maybe because they weren’t show locally for a week that is a requirement for any country for their movie to be considered. I’ve always thought that choosing one Mendoza film is an easy route for, at least, some buzz and promotion since they have the festival backing that leads for easy international buzz throughout festival season. Now, Mendoza, gets his first shot for Oscar gold, and I won’t be surprised if the FAP leans toward this Berlin entry this year. The only downside I see is that reviews were mixed for this particular film, and that will probably its Oscar chances to nab that nom.

 MANILA KINGPIN: THE ASIONG SALONGA STORY

Director: Daryl dela Cruz
Stars: ER Ejercito, Carla Abellana, John Regala

The producers of the film are very vocal about their desire to bring this film to the Cannes, and while that did not materialize, I think they’ll be eye-ing this possibility more. After all, they can boast about the black and white treatment of the film, and it being the symbol of action film resurgence. However, while the movie can brag about the suiting art direction, captivating¬†cinematography, and musical score, the material does not fall under one of the two regular themes that this category loves to see. It’s too lightweight in terms of character development, and I don’t see this appealing to the Academy’s taste at all.


A MOTHER’S STORY

Director: John Lazatin
Stars: Pokwang, Xyriel Manabat, Rayver Cruz

I find A Mother’s Story a surprising choice in the shortlist not because it is a bad film, but it’s not a great film as well. I even forgot that it’s eligible for contention, and that says a lot. While Pokwang nailed her performance as a suffering mother, the rest weren’t able to live up to the material. Also, we already tried¬†submitting¬†a story about an OFW mother who suffers the consequences of being abroad in a better and more received film Anak in 2000, and that did not lead us to a nomination. Point is, this is¬†more¬†suitable for a Lifetime TV movie of the week than a a¬†country’s¬†Oscar submission.


ANG SAYAW NG DALAWANG KALIWANG PAA

Director: Alvin Yapan
Stars: Paulo Avelino, Rocco Nacino, Jean Garcia

This one is my personal option to be submitted, since among the six movies I saw (haven’t seen Captive yet), this is my favorite. However, biases aside, I think what might work for the movie’s favor is that it mixes different forms of art including both literature and dance in it. An art covered in another art featured in another art might be something that will get the attention of AMPAS. The movie also features outstanding technical aspects specifically the sound and editing, and boasts of a strong screenplay and good direction. ¬†If only my vote counts, I’d probably suggest this to be the country’s submission this year. Here’s wishing the FAP follows.


SEGUNDA MANO

Director: Joyce Bernal
Stars: Kris Aquino, Dingdong Dantes, Angelica Panganiban

I wonder who the Kris Aquino fanboy is among the FAP voters, as her movies always find its way to the shortlist. Just when you thought¬†Dalaw was the worst movie to ever be considered, then comes Segunda Mano. I really don’t see anything significant, noteworthy, and award-worthy in Segunda Mano, and not even Dingdong Dantes improved acting or Bangs Garcia’s funny support can save this one. So I’ll advise the FAP to skip this one.


THE WITNESS

Director: Muhammad Yusuf
Stars: Gwen Zamora, Pierre Gruno, Agung Saga

I really don’t see why this is even eligible. I get it that GMA Films is half the producer, but everything else (aside from actress Zamora) is Indonesian production. Truth be told, this is more of an Indonesian production than a local one. Also, this has no buzz, no appeal, and no critical support for it to be chosen.

All in all, I’d be pleased if Sayaw ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa ends up to be the country’s submission, and I’m fine with a Busong or Captive choice. The four others will contest Ded na si Lolo as the worst submission in years.