17 most anticipated films in 2015

2015 started with big hopes for big movies. Actually, every year starts the same way: me wanting to find the movie I'll fall in love. This year, there was one Gone Girl, last year it was Rush, before that Les Miserables and Cloud Atlas. This amazing journey always starts with anticipation and here are my 17 most anticipated films this year:

Amazon Pilot: The Man in the High Castle

Last year, Amazon premiered its very first pilots of original series, making some observations whether to renew the shows or cancel it. I instantly reviewed three most compelling ones: Mozart in the Jungle, Bosch and The After. This year, Amazon cancelled The After and ordered new seasons for the rest. Meanwhile, they are continuing the experiment by premiering over 6 new shows for our consideration, for free. 

The Man in the High Castle is an adaptation of the alternative history novel by Philip K. Dick of the same name, telling a story of the world from the perspective that Nazis won the WWII. It mostly concentrates on the US, where German and Japanese Axes try to gain control over the historical America.

Top 10 Movies of 2014 (and few other awards)

TOP 10 MOVIES
1. Gone Girl 9.8/10
6. Whiplash 9.1/10
8. The Skeleton Twins 8.9/10
9. Pride 8.4/10
10. Enemy 8.3/10

I love books no less then I love movies. Gone Girl is one of few book to movie adaptations that both are equivalently brilliant, intrigue and thrilling. David Fincher managed to film Gone Girl in the way that it did not disappoint any book reader, even more, we were surprised how amazingly it was shot, esp. Cool Girl part. Plus, phenomenal acting by Rosamund Pike makes this movie a perfection, leaving alone the rest of pretty amazing cast. The same time, movie goes through so many social issues, including marriage, society's perception of women, misogyny, etc. It's this years the most complex and memorable film for me and one of all time favorites.

Top 10 Performances in 2014

The year 2014 is over and traditionally, here is another MUST list of top performers from movies. I've divided this list in awards-like sequence, separately for actors/actresses, lead/supporting.

Top 5 Supporting Actresses
5. Rene Russo in Nightcrawler
4. Mackenzie Foy in Interstellar
3. Emma Stone in Birdman
2. Tilda Swinton in Snowpiercer
1. Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game

Keira was the biggest surprise this year, her quiet, natural performance was a definite highlight. I was also unexpectedly charmed by young actress Machenzie Foy, who's performance in Interstellar was just heartwarming and extremely emotional.

Top 10 Movie Characters in 2014

This has been an amazing year because of so many good films, but most of all I will remember some of the characters that made their movies more interesting and compelling. While thinking on this list, I observed that it is possible that I liked a movie without significantly well written or interesting characters and vice verse. In fact, some of memorable characters featured in not so memorable movies. Only two of my Top 10 Characters are from my favorite films of 2014.

So, here is my list:

Movie Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) [2014]

Birdman is a type movie that does not impress until I watch it, because there are films that grab my attention from the very fist teaser. However, it got my heart the moment I finished it and realized how genuinely original and masterfully done it was. 

Alejandro González Iñárritu's new film is a story of a washed-up actor Riggan (Michael Keaton), who once played an iconic superhero Birdman and now he has to overcome his ego, family trouble, relationship and reclaim past glory, by directing a Broadway play. Ongoing financial problems make it harder to find a proper lead actor for the play.

First thoughts about Birdman - how crazy it is to cast Keaton, who played Batman in two films, as a widely loved superhero. And especially, when his career was also faded for such a long time. Nevertheless the true masterful acting, it's been a good catch. The same time, Birdman is not an easy movie to review, it's just an experience you should feel by watching the film, because if I start describing what's going on there, you'll never get the enjoyment I had during almost two hours.

And the Oscars nominees are...

The nominees for 87th Academy Awards are (will be updated live):

BEST PICTURE
American Sniper
Birdman
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Selma
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

DIRECTING
Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman
Richard Linkalter for Boyhood
Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

LEAD ACTOR
Steve Carrell for Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper for American Sniper
Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game
Michael Keaton for Birdman
Eddie Remayne  for The Theory of Everything

LEAD ACTRESS
Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night
Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything
Julianne Moore for Still Alice
Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl
Reese Witherspoon for Wild

SUPPORTING ACTOR
Robert Duvall in The Judge
Ethan Hawke in Boyhood
Edward Norton in Birdman
Mark Ruffallo for Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
Laura Dern for Wild
Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game
Emma Stone for Birdman
Meryl Streep for Into the Woods

WRITING, ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Birdman
Boyhood
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Nightcrawler

WRITING, ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
American Sniper
The Imitation Game
Inherent Vice
The Theory of Everything
Whiplash

ORIGINAL SONG
"Everything is awesome"  from The Lego Movie
"Glory"  from Selma
"Grateful" from Beyond the Lights
"I'm not Gonna Miss You" from Glenn Campbell
"Lost Stars" from Begin Again

ORIGINAL SCORE
The Grand Budapest Hotel Alexander Desplat
The Imitation Game Alexander Desplat
Mr. Turner Gary Yershon
The Theory of Everything Johan Johannson 
Intestellar Hans Zimmer

FOREIGN FILM
Ida
Leviathan
Tangerines
Timbuktu
Wild Tales

ANIMATED FEATURE
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the  Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

PRODUCTION DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Interstellar
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

COSTUME DESIGN
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Maleficent
Mr. Tuner

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Birdman
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ida
Mr. Turner
Unbroken

FILM EDITING
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

SOUND MIXING
American Sniper
Birdman
Interstellar
Unbroken
Whiplash

SOUND EDITING
American Sniper
Birdman
The Hobbit: The Battle of Two Earthes
Interstellar
Unbroken

VISUAL EFFECTS
Captain American: Winter Soldier
Dawn of thee Planet of Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
Interstellar
X-Men: Days of Future Past

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Foxcatcher
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

ANIMATED SHORT
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Feast
Me and My Moulten
A Single Life

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
CitizenFour
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth
Virunga

DOCUMENTARY SHORT
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Joanna
Our Curse
The Reaper (La Parka)
White Earth

LIVE ACTION SHORT
Aya
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)
Parvaneh
The Phone Call

Most nominations:

The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman 9
The Imitation Game 8
Boyhood 6
American Sniper 6

The shockers of Golden Globes and why it messed up Oscar predictions

The only win everyone got correct: Boyhood wins Drama Film
No matter what you predicted, you'd not get anything right, unless you predicted something really crazy. But it's mostly about TV categories, where The Affair, Transparent and Fargo were major winners, also awarding Matt Bomer in TV Supp. Actor nomination and Maggie Gyllenhall for The Honorable Woman.

When it came about Motion Picture category, we all thought there would no more surprises, but wrong, again!

Golden Globe Winners


The winners of The 72nd Golden Globe Awards are:

MOTION PICTURE CATEGORY

Best Film Drama
Boyhood

Film Drama Actor
Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything

Film Drama Actress
Julianne Moore in Still Alice

Best Film Musical/Comedy
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Film Musical/Comedy Actor
Michael Keaton in Birdman

Film Musical/Comedy Actress
Amy Adams in Big Eyes

Film Supporting Actor
J.K. Simmons in Whiplash

Film Supporting Actress
Patricia Arquette in Boyhood

Film Director
Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Film Screenplay
Birdman

Animated Feature
How To Train Your Dragon 2

Foreign Film
Leviathan - Russia

Original Score
The Theory of Everything

Original Song
`Glory` from Selma

TV CATEGORY
Drama Series
The Affair 

Drama Actor
Kevin Spacey in House of Cards

Drama Actress
Ruth Wilson in the Affair

Comedy Series
Transparent

Comedy Actress
Gina Rodriguez in Jane the Virgin

Comedy Actor
Jeffrey Tambor in Transparent

TV Movie/Limited Series
Fargo

TV Movie/Limited Series Actor
Billy Bob Thornton in Fargo

TV Movie/Limited Actress
Maggie Gyllenhaal in The Honorable Woman

TV Supporting Actor
Matt Bomer in The Normal Heart

TV Supporting Actress
Joanne Froggatt in Downton Abbey

Top 10 Trailers of 2014

Trailers are one of my most favorite movie experiences. They can create a huge buzz before the movie is out - they can either make you watch or not watch the film. Every year, I watch more trailers than actual films and I find it extremely entertaining. For me, a good trailer is the one giving interesting hints about film, with some outstanding music and good scenes. However, it is always important that it did not give any major spoilers regarding the plot twists in film. 

From my personal experience, some of my top trailers turn into my favorite movies of the corresponding year. The same applies this year and after I conduct my Top Ten Films, you'll see how similar they can be. 

I also believe that making a good trailer is not as easy work as it sounds. Because, here a director should choose very specific and limited number of scenes to make future viewers interested. And this is exactly how I chose my Top 10 Trailers of 2014, those who made my really want to watch a specific film. So, here they are:

Golden Globe Predicted Winners

These are the final predictions of this years Golden Globes few hours earlier than the awards ceremony, which will be hosted by brilliant Amy Poehler and Tina Fey, for the final time.

Winners in motion picture category will determine a lot in current Oscar race, since Globes has correctly guessed most winners in the past decade. 

Movie Review: The Imitation Game [2014]

You might read some spoilers here

Back in 1940s, world's one of the best mathematician's and not the world savior, yet, Alan Turing created a very simple game, which had three players male, female and the interrogator, who was unable to see the other two and only communicated with them through notes. The idea was to guess which of those two was a man and a woman. And he called this game The Imitation Game. Later, before suicide at the age of 41, based on this earlier work, Alan created a standard Turing test, which only included the interrogator and other party, which either was a person or a computer. In between these two, he saved our grand parents' lives by assembling first computer machine and decrypting unbreakable Enigma that Germans used for all communications during WWII.

Morten Tyldum's The Imitation Game is a story of this man, who saved more lives than probably anyone in history and who actually made it happen that now I'm writing the review on my PC and you're reading it. 

To begin with, I did not find The Imitation Game to be simply a biographic movie, it's rather complex, detail oriented story of morality, of heroism and of what really matters in life, on the example of one particular brilliant mind - British mathematician Alan Turing (played by Benedict Cumberbatch). Because of its many layers, the film starts with voice over of Alan, urging someone (a policemen interrogating him? or the viewers? or both?) to listen carefully, to pay attention and if you decide to stay, than everything is your responsibility. I found the start very intrigue, as if it prepared for something very big, very deeply emotional and satisfactory. 

Movie Review: Pride [2014]

Lesbians and Gays Support Miners!

This is not a fiction or product of some creative mind, it's all the nearest history of the Great Britain. During the British Miner's strike in 1984, a group of lesbian and gay activists decided to raise some money to help families of those affected by the strike. Having decided so, they contacted to The National Union of Mineworkers - the organizers of almost two year strike - and suggested their full support. However, the Union declined it due to the union's worries about being openly associated with a gay group. So the activists decided to directly take their donations to Onllwyn - a small mining village in Wales. This is considered to be the birth of organization Lesbians and Gays Support Miners (LGSM) that finally managed to help affected citizens recover from this long running problem.