Friday, February 7, 2020

My 2020 Oscar Predictions

I wasn't sure I would be able to see all the Best Picture nominees this year with the shorter window of time, but I managed to finish them all this week. I have listed my predictions in the post, but will follow up with more detail on each of the Best Picture nominees soon. I listed the Best Picture nominees in order of my personal preference below. Additionally, in italics I indicated who I think the Academy will award and placed an asterisk next to who I believe should be awarded.

Best Picture:
Ford v Ferrari
Little Women
Jojo Rabbit
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Marriage Story
The Irishman

Lead Actor:
Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory (DID NOT SEE)
Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver in Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix in Joker*
Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes

Lead Actress:
Cynthia Erivo in Harriet
Scarlett Johansson in Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan in Little Women
Charlize Theron in Bombshell
Renee Zellweger in Judy*

Supporting Actor:
Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins in The Two Popes
Al Pacino in The Irishman*
Joe Pesci in The Irishman
Brad Pitt in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Supporting Actress:
Kathy Bates in Richard Jewell (DID NOT SEE)
Laura Dern in Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit
Florence Pugh in Little Women
Margot Robbie in Bombshell*

Martin Scorsese for The Irishman
Todd Phillips for Joker
Sam Mendes for 1917
Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Bon Joon Ho for Parasite*

Who are your favorites this year?

Andrea :)

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Best Picture Nominees

All of the Best Picture nominees were interesting this year. They each had positives whether it be underlying theme or a phenomenal performance. Most of them contained both. There were a few that could have been a tad shorter, but overall it was a great selection of movies. Here are my thoughts on each of the nominees.

I didn't have one bit of interest in this movie when I saw it was about car racing so imagine my shock when it completely captured my attention. In fact, it ended up being my second favorite out of the whole group. The story is both identifiable and intriguing even if you don't have interest in cars and/or racing. While it did run a tad long, the fantastic performance by Christian Bale kept me totally engrossed. How he didn't end up nominated for his acting in this one is beyond me. The story was two-fold and one about loyalty and knowing when to hold your ground and when to concede. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Chris and I watched this one in two parts. It was just so so so long! Its length dwarfed its impact in my opinion. Maybe we didn't need to see quite so much of the build up of DeNiro's character or maybe we didn't need to see quite so much of the back and forth drama of Pacino's character and Pesci's troupe or maybe we didn't need to see quite so much about the side characters. I'm not entirely sure what needed to be cut, but it just seemed like a real slog to get through to the end. Needless to say, DeNiro, Pacino, and Pesci all performed at the very top of their game in this one. They were phenomenal to watch together.

This dark comedy took me by surprise. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get past the weirdness of it, but I really enjoyed it. That being said it certainly isn't for everyone. It was a quite bizarre (and sad) story. I loved the theme of love and acceptance for all that it drove home albeit in a strange manner. Sam Rockwell and Scarlett Johansson were both great in their supporting roles. It was refreshing to see this time period through the eyes of seemingly innocent children though.

Ironically, Chris and I watched this one the night before the nominees were announced because we had heard such varied reviews about it from friends. Neither of us particularly cared for the movie as a whole, but it definitely packed some punch. It was such a sad, sad story. Phoenix was stunningly phenomenal in it. I was in complete awe of his performance despite finding the movie as a whole quite difficult to watch.

I watched this one with parents on Christmas Day. It was a refreshing angle on a classic story. I enjoyed following the sisters throughout each of their ups and downs with love and career. It definitely has the tear jerker element that seems to always accompany these types of tales, but it didn't stand out in too many other ways for me. The story is solid. The acting is good. The film just didn't leave a particularly lasting impression on me.

I watched this one alone in a couple of spurts so maybe I need to give it a go again all in one sitting, but I didn't find anything particularly great about it. It was a story about a crumpling marriage and all that entails when a child is involved, but I didn't find it all that interesting. There were two specific scenes that I really liked - the opening montage with voice overs and the scene in which Adam Driver's character is desperately trying to impress the emotionless social worker to prove he is worthy of child custody. I did appreciate the comedic relief throughout, but the movie just wasn't super interesting to me as a whole.

In my somewhat unpopular opinion, I simply thought this was your standard war movie. It was incredibly predictable and followed the typical trajectory for these types of films. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it. The story was moving and the cinematography was fantastic, but overall it was just average. Your run of the mill war tale. Most definitely worth watching and even stunning in presentation throughout, but the story was far too familiar.

I watched this one via Redbox during one of Olivia's long naps one afternoon. It was fun to watch Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt play buddies...and aging Hollywood legends - ha! Overall, it didn't strike me as particularly interesting though. I enjoyed watching LDC's (as Pitt affectionately referred to him at the Golden Globes) character wrestle with the aging process as he progressed from main attraction to final fling in his career. It was quite poignant. My guess is it likely felt all too real for DiCaprio though I by no means think he is in the twilight of his career at this point. Pitt was fantastic. His character was fun and truly the life of this film. It was exciting to watch him in this role. Overall, the movie had high points via the actors selected to fill the lead and supporting roles; however, it would have been unwatchable for me if less well-known/liked actors filled those shoes.

I loved this film! It was incredible in every way imaginable. It had the perfect mix of everything - comedy, suspense, social commentary, drama. It was a gripping tale of the haves and have nots. The subscripts made no difference to me at all. In fact, I'm not certain it would have felt the same if it had contained Americans speaking English. Part of the appeal of the film was the feeling that I was learning more about a different culture while at the same time realizing that culture was identical to my own. I can't wait to watch it again with Chris. The hype is 100% well deserved! Make it a priority to watch this one - exhilarating and fascinating from start to finish. It had me on the edge of my seat at every turn!

Did you see any of the Best Picture nominees this year?
Which did you enjoy most?

Andrea :)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

My 2019 Oscar Predictions

I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to see almost all of the movies nominated in the Best Picture and Actor/Actress categories. There was one exception due to this horrible winter weather...and it was one of the ones I was looking most forward to watching, too. No worries though - I'll be sure to see it in the next couple weeks when it's out on Redbox. Unfortunately, I also ran out of time to see the shorts this year as well. Chris has assured me those show up as an on demand feature in the next few weeks so I am looking forward to catching them that way this year.

Nevertheless, here are my favorites in each category. My vote for winner is in italics. I have also put the best picture nominees in order of how well I liked them. However, please note that I enjoyed all the nominees this year and would recommend all of them!

Best Picture

Green Book
Black Panther
The Favourite
A Star is Born
Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Actor

Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe, Eternity's Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortenson, Green Book

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Coleman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Supporting Actor

Maharshala Ali, Green Book
Adam Driver, BlackkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (Did Not See)
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

What are your favorites this year?

Andrea :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Best Picture Nominees - Part 2

If you missed Part 1, please find it here.

Surprisingly, I enjoyed The Favourite. It was the one movie I wasn't really looking forward to watching, but I am glad I made time for it. What a dreadful, terrible Queen! What fantastic acting from Olivia Coleman! She was wonderful. The movie follows her relationship with two different ladies in her court. Lots of twists and turns and a multitude of deception.

Green Book was my favorite of all the movies this year. Mahershala Ali was amazing! He and Viggo had great chemistry. So much talent. Despite the reason for the story (segregation), it was exciting to watch. It kept me wondering what would happen next. Of course, it was heart warming to watch the characters grow and develop throughout the movie as well. I loved the story that much more knowing that it was based on truth. It is a great story of the power of friendship.

Roma was tough for me to watch. There were SO many struggles to overcome for nearly all of the characters! It also seemed a bit long to me. I felt such sadness for the lead character. She had so many highs and lows. It was really just hard to watch, particularly so close to the birth of my daughter.

Vice was an unexpected joy. I didn't anticipate liking this political story as much as I did. It was told in a manner that really appealed to me. Christian Bale blew me away. Totally blew me away. What a fantastic actor! Sam Rockwell was SO good as George W. Bush, too. The story follows Dick Chaney's VP experience. It was extremely well told. Definitely recommend seeing this one!

Did you have any Oscar favorites this year?

Andrea :)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Best Picture Nominees - Part 1

I really enjoyed all the Best Picture nominees this year. You really can't go wrong checking out any of them. Maybe its because there were a handful of my favorite genre - memior based films. If you are looking for a good movie, here are my thoughts...

A Star is Born wasn't at the top of my list though it certainly had mega chemistry between the main characters and some breathtaking vocal talent by Lady Gaga. I just thought the story was incredibly predictable. To be honest, the characters weren't all that likable for me either - especially Bradley Cooper's character. The highlight was definitely the undeniable chemisty between Lady Gaga and Cooper - wowza!!

We watched Black Panther for Chris' birthday nearly a year prior to the Oscars. Even though I'm not a big comic book movie fan, I thought this one was interesting. I am a Michael B. Jordan fan so I enjoyed seeing him even if he was the bad guy. It held my interest (mostly) and that is FAR more than I can say for any of the other comic book movies I have attempted to watch.

BlacKkKlansman was one of my favorites. The story was true, but new to me so I was really on the edge of my seat wondering how it would all play out. Such a fascinating story! I was also super excited to see my old NFL Europa buddy (John David Washington) play the lead. Unfortunately, I don't have any photo evidence, but I can definitely say I knew him when...

Chris loves Queen so he was nitpicking the timeline and various scenes throughout Bohemian Rhapsody. I enjoyed it as someone with minimal knowledge of the backstory of Queen and Freddie Mercury. It could have been a little shorter and still driven home the main points of the movie, but it was an interesting look into one of the greatest bands of all-time.

Andrea :)

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Date Nights - October

It's finally baby month!! We managed to squeeze in two final date nights before our daughter arrived on October 17. Neither quite lived up to what we imagined them to be in our mind, but it was fun to spend a little more time together as a twosome before becoming a family of three!

I suggested we check out a book sale at the Columbus Metropolitan Library. We found a couple books that we took home, but overall there weren't too many great options for us. We were happy to support the library though.

Chris planned one final trip to the movies - we saw Monsters & Men. It starred my old NFL Europa pal, John David Washington. The premise was interesting, but we both agreed that it kind of played out in a weird manner. I won't say too much more in case you check it out.

What is your favorite movie genre?

Andrea :)

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Date Nights - September

With September being the final month before the birth of our baby, I was feeling quite large. I still wanted to take part in all the fall fun so I planned an apple picking trip. Chris preferred to enjoy a quiet game night at home before the chaos of having a newborn became a reality.

This year, we decided to try Lynd Fruit Farm for apple picking. They also have pumpkin patches and a large country store there. We didn't spend a lot of time picking apples because we only wanted to get what we knew we'd be able to use in the next couple of weeks. We gave the pumpkin patch a shot, but it had already been really picked over so we decided to just find some pumpkins at the store. We enjoyed some hot cider and cider donuts while we looked around the store. We discovered the deliciousness of pumpkin bars as we looked around for tasty treats to take home with us. We brought back one big pumpkin for our front porch and two little ones that I planned to paint and use as a way to reveal the gender of our baby at the hospital. I was persistent that we try the corn maze before we left. Oh, boy! It was quite an adventure in there. I am surprised I didn't give birth halfway through it. Definitely not the smartest choice to do ALL that walking, but I refused to give up before we completed it. Chris had no option - he was forced to go along with his stubborn pregnant wife on this one! We had a lot of fun. I can't wait to take our little one next year!

Game night proved to be a huge hit! We had a blast. I literally peed my pants laughing so hard at one point. Not a super difficult feat for a nearly nine month pregnant lady, but playing the Ellen DeGeneres Heads Up game was THE best decision of the night. We had SO much fun...and it didn't cost a penny! Don't you just love nights like that?

What is your favorite date night in activity?

Andrea :)