Oscar 2019 Highlights

Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga a spectacular performance

The Oscar 2019 Winners

Best supporting actress
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)
Amy Adams (Vice)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) – WINNER!
Marina De Tavira (Roma)

Best makeup and hair
Mary Queen of Scots
Vice – WINNER!

Best documentary
Free Solo – WINNER!
Minding the Gap
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Of Fathers and Sons

Best costume design
Black Panther (Ruth E Carter) – WINNER!
The Favourite (Sandy Powell)
Mary Poppins Returns (Sandy Powell)
Mary Queen of Scots (Alexandra Byrne)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Mary Zophres)

Best film editing
Bohemian Rhapsody (John Ottman) – WINNER!
Vice (Hank Corwin)
BlacKkKlansman (Barry Alexander Brown)
The Favourite (Yorgos Mavropsaridis)
Green Book (Patrick J Don Vito)

Best production design
The Favourite (Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton)
First Man (Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas)
Roma (Eugenio Caballero and Barbara Enriquez)
Mary Poppins Returns (John Myhre and Gordon Sim)
Black Panther (Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart) – WINNER!

Best cinematography

Roma (Alfonso Cuaron) – WINNER!
Cold War (Łukasz Żal)
Never Look Away (Caleb Deschanel)
The Favourite (Robbie Ryan)
A Star Is Born (Matty Libatique)

Best sound editing
First Man
A Quiet Place
Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER!
Black Panther

Best sound mixing
A Star Is Born
Bohemian Rhapsody – WINNER!
First Man
Black Panther

Best foreign language film
Roma (Mexico) – WINNER!
Cold War (Poland)
Shoplifters (Japan)
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Never Look Away (Germany)

Best supporting actor
Mahershala Ali (Green Book) – WINNER!
Richard E Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
Sam Rockwell (Vice)

Best animated feature
Incredibles 2
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – WINNER!
Isle of Dogs

Best live action short
Skin – WINNER!

Best animated short

Animal Behaviour
Late Afternoon
One Small Step

Best documentary short
Black Sheep
End Game
A Night at the Garden
Period. End of Sentence. – WINNER!

Best visual effects
First Man – WINNER!
Avengers: Infinity War
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Ready Player One
Christopher Robin

Best original screenplay
Green Book (Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga) – WINNER!
The Favourite (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara)
Roma (Alfonso Cuarón)
Vice (Adam McKay)
First Reformed (Paul Schrader)

Best adapted screenplay
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins)
A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters and Eric Roth)
Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty)
BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee, David Rabinowitz, Charlie Wachtel and Kevin Willmott) – WINNER!
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen)

Best original score
If Beale Street Could Talk (Nicholas Britell)
Mary Poppins Returns (Marc Shaiman)
Isle of Dogs (Alexandre Desplat)
BlacKkKlansman (Terence Blanchard)
Black Panther (Ludwig Goransson) – WINNER!

Best original song
Shallow (A Star Is Born) – WINNER!
All the Stars (Black Panther)
I’ll Fight (RBG)
The Place Where Lost Things Go (Mary Poppins Returns)
When a Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs)

Best actor

Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) – WINNER!
Christian Bale (Vice)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)
Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)
Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate)

Best actress
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite) – WINNER!
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Yalitza Aparicio (Roma)

Best director
Alfonso Cuarón (Roma) – WINNER!
Adam McKay (Vice)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)

Best picture
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book – WINNER!
A Star is Born


The Aftermath ~ Release dated March 1st

The Aftermath starring Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Clarke Directed by James Kent

As The Favourite limbers up for the Academy Awards, director James Kent (Testament Of Youth) brings British-made period drama back to basics with a solid and – perhaps appropriately – gloomy post-war love story set in a ravaged Hamburg of 1945. The Aftermath features Keira Knightley, Alexander Skarsgård, and Jason Clarke in a romantic triangle in which Clarke, surprisingly, shines by far the brightest. All three characters are grappling with the past in a city destroyed by it.

Opening in the UK on March 1 to be followed two weeks later in the US via Fox Searchlight, this BBC Films-backed production will undoubtedly be marketed as tasteful prestige fare, adapted from the novel by Rhidian Brook and shot entirely on location in Germany and the Czech Republic. Keira Knightley brings whispers of Atonement as she wafts disconsolately around a large mansion, peering through the window at a comely German widower played by Alexander Skarsgård. Calling to mind Steven Soderbergh’s The Good German, lushly coloured in, this stodgy drama is elevated by the presence of Australian actor Clarke, who commands attention a as the weary British Colonel weighed down by years of incessant tragedy.

Kent’s film plunges the viewer into Hamburg, five months after the Allied victory, as Rachel (Knightley) steps off a train to meet the husband she hasn’t seen in years. A small boy reads from a pamphlet: “You are about to meet strange people, in a strange enemy country”. It seems as if her husband Colonel Lewis Morgan (Clarke) is the strangest to her.

The couple have lost a son to the Nazi bombing of London and are struggling to connect with each other. She is staunchly anti-German; years of war have given him a more nuanced outlook. “We dropped more bombs in Hamburg on one weekend than fell on London in the whole of the war,” he tells her. The British have requisitioned a large villa for the couple to live in; its owner, architect Stephan Lubert (Skarsgard) is relegated to the attic with his teenage daughter Freda (Flora Thiemann). Knightley doesn’t think they should be there at all, but sent off to a camp.

One thing is certain: everyone under this requisitioned roof is unhappy, harbouring resentment, unspoken feelings and occasional flashes of anger. Yet it’s a far easier proposition for mutual antipathy to suddenly turn to passion on the page than it is on the screen. So, despite Knightley’s sexual frustration and the suspicion that Lubert’s cable knit sweaters might harbour a sculpted gym-rat body beneath, when the moment comes, it’s all a bit abrupt and unconvincing. Still, the encounter certainly puts the smile back on Rachel’s face.

Meanwhile, in the real world – and perhaps a different, more nuanced film – Colonel Morgan struggles with the German resistance and the die-hard Nazi ‘88’ movement, who have seduced Lubert’s surly teenage daughter, still mourning her mother’s death in a British bombing raid. There’s a suspicious Major (Martin Compston) who hasn’t fallen for Lubert’s charms and refuses to give him travel papers, and his equally suspicious wife (Kate Phillips) who senses that Knightley’s affections are compromised, to put it mildly.

The Aftermath works best when looking at the bewildered people who have been left behind, literally, to pick up the pieces. The savage loss of family members still reverberates through empty rooms and ruined landscapes. And Colonel Morgan has more to his CV than he can bear to speak about. These more complicated emotions work together to make the film’s denouement genuinely moving, despite some very turgid sequences to get there.

Although The Aftermath does flirt with elements of suspense, life and death in a city on the brink, these play second fiddle to the romantic potential of Knightley in period costume and Skaarsgard as a hunky widower. Despite its solid production values and tasteful edit, this film seems to swoon at the prospect of a naked Keira Knightley and Alexander Skarsgård. Both, of course, are strong commercial selling points to a particular audience who, if they won’t come out to the movies, will certainly love to stay in and watch this return to period film factory settings.

Cold Pursuit ~ 2**

The only thing Colder than Cold Pursuit was the movie itself

I am not sure I have seen a worse movie. Everything about it was terrible. I am not quiet sure why Liam Nesson agreed to do this movie. It is nothing like his ” Taken” series of movies (some of them mind you were not good Cold Pursuit just got lost somewhere within the start of a story and just couldn’t find its way out. The only recommendation I have is “Don’t waste your time or your money it is terrible”

My Movies

Well in the last 10 days I’ve been to 3 movies. I am what I say I love films. My dad RIP gave us all a love of films, actors, directors, everything about films really. His fav movie was 12 angry men and my son who would have been 70 years younger than my dad loves 12 angry men. My dad pass the same bug to my kids recommending films to them, telling them about the best films he ever saw.

Anyway 4 of us went to see Laurel and Hardy, all agreed John C.Reilly and Steve Coogan were superb in the roles. The movie is a bit of a slow starter but once it starts moving it will have you trapped. A movie set when the duo are trying to rekindle their movie careers and your heart will break for them as they stumble and try so very hard. Just when things start to pick up health and age gets in the way a lovely movie which got 4**** from 3 of us and 3*** for the fourth go along have a look and let me know what you think.

The next movie I went to see with the hubby “Boy Erased” Now I have to say this one surprised me. All the reviews said I would be left angry and sad. Well I was left feeling proud of a young man who stood up for himself, for others and so proud of his mum played by Nicole Kidman who found her voice even if it took a while. But in the end she spoke up for what she new was the right thing all along. This movie is shocking, very shocking and will make you feel anger for all those men and women, boys and girls who don’t have the support they need and deserve. Jared played by Lucas Hedges, who by the way is brilliant in the part, plays a strong, intelligent, kind and caring individual. Even while disliking his fathers ignorance you can’t help but think he can’t be all that bad as he has one amazing son. This it is a beautiful movie. 5***** Well worth a visit to the cinema.

And last but by no way least “Instant Family” I wonder can I give this 6****** This movie has it all, the laughter and the tears. Oh yes! I went to this one with my teenage daughter the other night and she had to pass me the tissue’s and that was for both laughing and crying. Some poor person could be heard blubbering out loud at one point during the film and in other parts you will just die from laughing. Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne, Isabela Moner, Gustavo Quiroz and Julianna Gamiz make up the family. I don’t want to spoil it so Go SEE IT and let me know. You will not be disappointed this is brill.

This Weeks Film Releases

Cold Pursuit Starring Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Micheál Richardson. Directed by Hans Petter Moland. COLD PURSUIT, an action thriller infused with irreverent humor, stars Liam Neeson as Nels Coxman, a family man whose quiet life with his wife (Laura Dern) is upended following the mysterious death of their son. Nels’ search for justice turns into a vengeful hunt for Viking (Tom Bateman), a drug lord he believes is connected to the death. As one by one of Viking’s associates “disappear,” Nels goes from upstanding citizen to ice-cold vigilante, letting nothing — and no one — get in his way. Cold Pursuit is been given 3/4**** not sure if this is over the controversy surrounding its leading actor or not. I will decide this one once I’ve seen the movie myself.

On The Basis of Sex Starring Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer, Justin Theroux and directed by Mimi Leder

On the Basis of Sex tells an inspiring and spirited true story that follows young lawyer Ruth Bader Ginsburg as she teams with her husband Marty to bring a groundbreaking case before the U.S. Court of Appeals and overturn a century of gender discrimination. The feature premiere in 2018 in line with Justice Ginsburg’s 25th anniversary on the Supreme Court, it comes to Irish cinema’s this week and I for one will be going to see this one. It seems to be getting only 3*** ratings but even smaller reviews online and this has me wondering so please all you gals out there and fathers of daughters lets support this one as it is a true story of discrimination which is still being fought to this day. Bet it will get 5***** from me.

A Private War

Starring Rosamund Pike, Greg Wise, Alexandra Moen. Directed by Matthew Heineman.

Getting a 3 to 4**** rating, and even if some are only giving this film 3*** I still think this is worth a look it is definitely a film I think I will go to see. The Story of a woman of our times. A role model for young women everywhere.

In a world where journalism is under attack, Marie Colvin (Academy Award nominee Rosamund Pike) is one of the most celebrated war correspondents of our time. Colvin is an utterly fearless and rebellious spirit, driven to the frontlines of conflicts across the globe to give voice to the voiceless, while constantly testing the limits between bravery and bravado. After being hit by a grenade in Sri Lanka, she wears a distinctive eye patch and is still as comfortable sipping martinis with London’s elite as she is confronting dictators. Colvin sacrifices loving relationships, and over time, her personal life starts to unravel as the trauma she’s witnessed takes its toll. Yet, her mission to show the true cost of war leads her — along with renowned war photographer Paul Conroy (Jamie Dornan) — to embark on the most dangerous assignment of their lives in the besieged Syrian city of Homs. Based on the extraordinary life of Marie Colvin, A PRIVATE WAR is brought to the screen by Academy Award nominee and critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker Matthew Heineman in his pulse-pounding narrative feature debut.

This Weeks New Releases

Gully Boy starring Alia Akhtar, Reema Kagti, Kalki Keochlin. Directed by Zoya Akhtar.

Gully Boy is getting 4**** Reviews so for anyone who loves Rap or just seeing a story of talent and a person’s love and will to succeed in something they love doing. Then this maybe a film for you. Gully Boy is a film about a 22 year old Muslim kid from a ghetto in Bombay. The boy is a rapper, and the story is his journey from realising his love for rap, to chasing his dream, and to inadvertently transcending his class. Authentic Hip Hop in India is a recent phenomenon and like anywhere else in the world, is rising from the streets. It is the only true political space in music right now and it’s coming from people that have nothing to lose, the colonised poor.

Instant Family

Instant Family~ starring Isabela Moner, Mark Wahlberg, Octavia Spencer, Rose Byrne

Instant Family ~ Starring Isabela Moner, Mark Wahlberg, Octavia Spencer and Rose Byrne. Directed by Sean Anders has a release date of February 14th ~ thats tomorrow and it is getting 4**** reviews which is really very good, I have very rarely seen anything more than 4**** being given so get along to see this one.

A married couple (Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne) look into adoption after they decide they want to have kids. They find a teenager named Lizzy (Isabela Moner) who they like, but she comes with two younger siblings – 10 year old Juan (Gustavo Quiroz) and Lita (Julianna Gamiz), aged 6. The clan get along together just fine until cracks start to show – especially when the kids’ birth mother turns up.

Chaotic families is a subject matter that director-writer Sean Anders has indulged in before. Examples on his resume include ‘That’s My boy’, ‘We’re the Millers’ and the ‘Daddy’s Home’ movies. While those movies got a mixed reception, Anders seems to have found the sweet spot with ‘Instant Family’ as he focusses less on the comedy and more on the heart of the movie.

That isn’t to say that ‘Instant Family’ isn’t funny. After all, the mishaps that the three kids get up to and struggles of parenting are highly amusing and definitely relatable. But what stays with you after the movie ends is the heartfelt stuff. ‘Instant Family’ is also commendable for tapping into some pretty deep issues, like broken homes and drug abuse, without ever becoming overly dark, always bringing the focus back to the home and family as a place of healing. At one point, parents Pete and Ellie bring up the topic of whether they’ll be judged for being white parents to latino children, an uncomfortable question which is admirably tackled head-on.

Mark Wahlberg and Rose Bryne make highly likeable leads with Bryne getting to grapple with a more neurotic personality as she did so well with in ‘Bridesmaids’, and Wahlberg seeming more enthusiastic in a film than he has in a loooong time. As the social workers, Octavia Spencer and Tig Notaro alternate between being funny and delivering tough home truths effortlessly. As 15 year old Lizzy, Isabela Moner makes a sizeable impression, and Margo Martindale is brilliant as Grandma Sandy. Thanks to strong performances, an incisive script and smart direction, ‘Instant Family’ is a sweet, touching and endearing movie that really is one for all the family.

Thanks to strong performances, an incisive script and smart direction, ‘Instant Family’ is a sweet, touching and endearing movie that really is one for all the family.

For the Child in you/Your Children

If your thinking of taking the kids to the cinema this week or if you feel like treating the child in you. Then there is two new releases out this week “Alita: Battle Angel” and the “Lego Movie 2”. For what it’s worth “Alita” is only getting a 2** rating while the “Lego Movie 2” is getting good reviews and 4****. Now I do think sometimes you need a child to review kids movies or else someone who really is a big kid. I once took 20 kids to see a highly recommended “Where the Wild Things are” only for it to turn into a complete nightmare one where my daughter now 17 still recalls as the worst film ever. Not sure who reviewed this film or what were they on! Anyway the reviews for both these films read and then if you do go to one this weekend I would love to hear your opinion on them.

I will start with the 4**** “Lego Movie 2”. Directed by Mike Mitchell, Written by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord. Actors: Alison Brie, Channing Tatum, Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Stephanie Beatriz, Tiffany Haddish, Will Arutt.

If you haven’t yet experienced the first iteration of ‘The Lego Movie’ – and really, by now, you should have – none of that plot synopsis will make a bit of sense. In fact, so much of ‘The Lego Movie’ and its appeal was in just how unusual and innovative it was. When it was first announced, the general thinking was that trying to make a movie out of Lego was a recipe for disaster. Instead, what we got what was a truly well-crafted story about inspiration and creativity. It’s sort of ironic, then, that out of ‘The Lego Movie’ came two spinoffs – ‘The Lego Batman Movie’, which worked well, and ‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’, which didn’t. Both embraced the animation style set forth and its ability to layer a real-life story underneath the wacky, self-aware action that’s become the hallmark of the series. ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’ follows the same path laid out before, but adds a different piece to set itself apart – musical numbers.

What was a minor part of ‘The Lego Movie’ initially and grew to become a huge success was ‘Everything Is Awesome’, the infectiously catchy number by The Lonely Island and Teagan & Sara. ‘The Lego Movie 2’ instead opts to turn the proceedings into a garden-variety musical, with whole segments of the movie taken up in dance pieces with Lego and Tiffany Haddish’s metamorphising character taking the lead.

It’s effective, as Haddish’s innate comedic sensibility bursts through the Lego and makes itself known in her very first scene. Likewise, Stephane Beatriz as General Mayhem is adept at playing a hard-ass, like her character Diaz on ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’. Chris Pratt’s infectious enthusiasm is still there, as is Will Arnett and Elizabeth Banks now shouldering the comedic moments more readily than before. All in all, it works well – but is it as good as the first one? No, but that’s actually OK. The first one really was groundbreaking, in both its animation style and its ability to fuse a coming-of-age story with a self-aware take on its own existence. ‘The Lego Movie 2’ obviously can’t rehash the same thing again as it’d merely defeat the purpose of its own existence. Instead, they opt for an entertaining mixture of musical comedy and self-effacement, and that’s more than enough to deserve your time and money.

“Alita: Battle Angel” Director Robert Rodriguez. Writers: James Cameron, Laeta Kologridis, Robert rodriguez. Actors: Michelle Rodriguez, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein.

Robert Rodriguez’s latest venture into comic book territory has plenty of heavy metal crunch but lacks humanity. Rosa Salazar plays Alita, a half-destroyed cyborg unearthed from a rubbish dump and turned into the “most dangerous weapon ever” in Robert Rodriguez’s uneven and overlong comic book adaptation. Like a Manga version of Fritz Lang’s Maschinenmensch crossbred with a Disney princess, Alita chops and hews her way through Iron City in the year 2563, while also finding time for a dopey teen romance with a local boy and a pinocchio/Geppetto relationship with her father figure and saviour – cybersurgeon Dr. Dyson Ido, a reliable but bored looking Christoph Waltz. Mega producer James Cameron has had his sights on adapting this Manga comic book by Yukito Kishiro for decades but a little thing called Avatar and its planned sequels got in the way. However, Cameron’s megalomania is all over Alita, from the total reliance on CGI, to the clunky dialogue, to the clichéd characters.

Salazar, rendered completely in CG animation with photo-realistic eyes the size of dinner plates, is the best thing here as the elfin orphan droid who gradually remembers who she is as she battles the hulking cyborgs and human hybrids of Iron City – a kind of steam punk shanty town left over from a great interplanetary war – and scales the leagues in the full body contact sport of Motorball, a non too subtle rehash of Rollerball.

Rodriguez’s latest venture into comic book territory has plenty of heavy metal crunch. The DesperadoOnce Upon a Time in Mexico, and Sin City director handles the whole thing with sledgehammer subtlety and it’s clear that he is most at home in the tightly choreographed fight scenes and not the quieter moments when Alita’s character is “fleshed out”. Down among the sleazy emo, rocker and punk aesthetic, questions are posed about man versus machine and what it means to be human, but Rodriguez’s usually darkly humorous pulp style is undone by the PG-13 rating. The hardware is impressive but Alita lacks humanity.