Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Monday, February 22, 2010
Diane Kruger in Inglourious Basterds, Mario Bello in Downloading Nancy, Mia Wasikowska in That Evening Sun
Rupert Grint in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Nisreen Faour in Amreeka, Robert Downey Jr in Sherlock Holmes
(I want his linguistic skills. That's a bingo!)
Captures Brian Clough's arrogance and hubris wonderfully.
Intelligent, swaggerous, deep, beautiful and effortless chic. There's your Tarantino leading lady.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Here are my predictions:
Best Film Not in the English Language: Das weisse Band
Best Film: Avatar
Best Leading Actor: A Single Man - Colin Firth
Quite hard to predict this category. Colin Firth was sublime in A Single Man, and I really enjoyed Jeff Bridges’ performance as well. Serkis is well liked by BAFTAs so it could well go to him. I’m praying to god that Clooney doesn’t get it. Ugh.
Best Leading Actress Nominees: An Education - Carey Mulligan
It could go to anyone, but I feel the homegrown element will be in Mulligan’s favour.
Best Supporting Actor: Inglourious Basterds - Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress: Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire - Mo'Nique
I reckon the fact that Up in the Air has two actresses nominated and Nowhere Boy has two actress nominated will split the votes for respective movies. Plus Mo’Nique was amazing. So disappointed that my Goddess Melanie wasn't nominated. Ack.
I dunno, serious wishful thinking here. I think I know it’ll go to Cameron or Bigalow. But I really want QT to get it.
Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Nowhere Boy - Sam Taylor Wood
Best Screenplay – Original: Inglourious Basterds
Less wishful thinking here; BAFTAs are a little more out there with their screenplay awards, and Inglourious Basterds’ multi-layered babel revenge tale could well find itself ticking the panel’s boxes.
Best Screenplay – Adapted: In the Loop
I reckon it’s between In the Loop and An Education. In the Loop was just so creative with its swearing; love it.
Best Cinematography: Avatar
Best Costume Design: The Young Victoria
Best Sound: Star Trek
Best Editing: The Hurt Locker
Best Special Visual Effects: Avatar
Best Music: Avatar
Short Film: Mixtape
Best Short Animation: The Gruffalo
Best Animated Film: Up
Best Production Design: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Best Make Up & Hair: The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
Outstanding British Film: In the Loop
I would be over the moon if my #2 film of 2009, Fish Tank, won this category. But I think In the Loop will probably get it.
Rising Star Award: Nicholas Hoult (ugh)
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Will win / should win
(500) Days of Summer
A Serious Man
The Hurt Locker
Julie & Julia
Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Up in the Air
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Appropriately, for a film about music, the music in this film is stunning. This humble story is also written by the director, telling the story with stirring emotive force. Liu Xiaochun proves to be the kind of sensitive soul that far few 13-year-olds are. In its own little way, Together makes me appreciate my parents much more and evoke tears whenever I think about how much they’ve done for me. The supporting actors are all good, showing the subtle ways in which the people young Xiaochun meets shape his development and life. It’s refreshing to witness the friendships and platonic loves that the protagonist meets throughout the film. Xiaochun has two music teachers throughout the film, and each is at a dead end in his life about something, and these themes are investigated with sensitivity. Far be it from being a film about just the violin, themes of friendship, determination, courage, and love are all in here. The film is not without its melodramatic moments, but that only heightened my enjoyment of it. And, whilst it has been criticized by some for being too “sugary”, to that I say, what’s so bad about sugary once in a while? As Chen Kaige himself said, "being Chinese isn't all misery”.
Tang Yun, a real-life violinist, was selected for the role when director Chen Kaige saw him at a concert, and his performance is genuine as it is heartfelt. Liu Peiqi is incredible as the father who makes sacrifice upon sacrifice because he wants the best for his son – a gesture that is shown to be even more affecting when the flashback shows how the father came to find his son (few films scenes have had me crying so much, and for so long). In fact, despite his violin skills being the catalyst and plot driving force in the film, I see Together more as a simple tale of the love between a father and son. The father isn’t perfect; he’s poor and struggling to make ends meet, but this is something that makes his devotion to his son easier to relate to.
To put it in layman’s terms, there are two things about me that attracted me to Together: the fact that I’m Chinese and the fact that I play violin. And it’s true; watching Together did make me appreciate the violin more, as well feel nostalgia for my homeland. But my love for the film came from far more than just those similarities. Cinema is an art form that transcends mere entertainment. It can inspire debate, conversation, raise pertinent topics. It can make an everyday story more exciting and interesting with the aid of music, cinematography and beautiful art direction. But the main reason I watch films is to feel. Human emotion can be felt by anybody, anywhere. Whether you’re residing in a swish Parisian penthouse flat or trying to make ends meet in the slums of China, the innate human capacity to feel is universal to all. And in getting me to feel pathos, bathos and all the emotions in between, Together achieves that aim perfectly.
And my favourite outfits from the 2010 Golden Globes:
Emily Blunt looks sooooo bung!
All I can say is, dresses are love!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
F. Murray Abraham plays the lead in a beautifully controlled depiction of jealousy, resentment and rage, all hidden under a façade of that carefully forced smile. Tom Hulce is terrifically annoying as Mozart; his crazy high-pitched laugh rang in my ears long after the credits rolled. Amadeus was the last movie to bung two actors in the Best Leading Actor category at the Oscars. Had Hulce been pushed for supporting, he very probably would have won. As it was, he went up against his co-lead Abraham, who won the Oscar, perhaps the first time Salieri has done one over on Mozart.
The film is gorgeous to look at and listen to. Many of Mozart’s most sumptuous pieces are used throughout. The film carries a tone of underlying sadness throughout, but that doesn’t mean our eyes and ears aren’t deprived of a treat throughout. The costumes, so intricately designed, evoke the feel of 18th century Europe, and the sets, so cleverly architectured, succeed in capturing the grand scale of the opera houses.
Adapted from Peter Schaffer’s play, the script modulates from moment of great comedy to desperate sadness. The story is told in flashback by Salieri, who now resides in a mental asylum and has just had a failed suicide attempt. As a sympathetic priest listens to his tale, Salieri recounts his traumatic and disturbing tale. The direction of F. Murray Abraham is wonderful, both restrained and indulgent, it captures the many sides of the composing industry as well depicting the sadness of the human condition.
The fact that the film is so historically inaccurate does not matter a jot. Rather than attempt to paint a vivid picture of Mozart’s life, Forman instead goes for a painting of jealousy, and in doing so, he has achieved his masterpiece. The title, Mozart’s middle name, “Amadeus”, translates to “Loved by God”, and Salieri spends the whole film opining as to why it is Mozart who chooses to be loved, not him. Mozart, who seemingly has no appreciation of his massive talent, and chooses to piss and debauch his life away rather than making the most of it. And this is the central message of Amadeus: hard as it is to accept, sometimes it is those that deserve it the least are blessed the most.
Monday, February 15, 2010
She doesn't watch football, but supposes she supports Manchester United.
Just like half of London then. Eh? Eh?
This photo is about 389483 kinds of awesome, though.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I'd always known Mrs. Kruger was a pretty face, but it wasn't until Inglourious Basterds last year that I realised, she can act too! She always looks priceless on the red carpet and can rock just about every single kind of look. Bonus points: she's fluent in German.
She sings tonnes of my favourite songs, is great at dancing and has gorgeous eyes. I ♥ Rihanna!
08. Romola Garai
I've always been a fan of Garai, but
07. Uma Thurman
The second of three Tarantino babes in my list, which tells me that even though the director is a a little on the self-preening side, he sure can coax great performances out of pretty performers.
06. Skins girls: Megan Prescott, Kathryn Prescott, Kaya Scodelario, Lily Loveless and Lisa Backwell
They're all just so pretty! All of them apart from Lily are always *younger* than me (and Lily's only two days older), which is about 56 different kinds of depressing. :P
05. Cheryl Cole
Aww, Chezza. ♥ She really does have a beautiful smile, dazzling long hair, the best wardrobe evar and an amazing figure. If I didn't love her so much, I'd be green-eyed with envy.
04. Melanie Laurent
A new entrant! Inglourious Basterds was my favourite film of 2009 and a lot of that owed to the sheer coolness and je ne sais quoi of Melanie Laurent's Shosanna, easily one of the fiercest women in film. The only blonde in the top 5, her yellow hair, piercing eyes and amazing bone structure render her one of the most gorgeous women I've ever seen, and I'm digging her style too.
03. Leighton Meester
Last year's #1 girlcrush has fallen two spots, but that doesn't mean I don't still luff Leighton to death. I actually loved her little attempt at "rapping" on Good Girls Go Bad, and Blair Waldorf is the fiercest girl evar. Hence Leighton = also fierce.
02. Evangeline Lilly
I haven't seen Lost for quite a while, but Evangeline is still extremely high up on my girlcrush list because her beauty, the freckled, dimpled kind, isn't easily forgotten! Even her name is beautiful!
01. Emily Blunt
Oh, she's just complete perfection. ♥ A talented and versatile actress, a real lady with a stunningly rah West London accent, and every time I've seen her she's just exuded class in her outfits and general demeanor. To me, Emmy Blunt's like one of those girls at secondary school who's awesomeness I was always intimidated by, and could never summon the confidence to talk to, and hence only admired from afar. Beautiful!