Irish Oscar Nominations

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This year’s Oscar nominations were announced today and featured 3 nominations for Irish talent.

Ruth Negga was nominated for Best Actress for her role in Loving, and Consolata Boyle for Best Costume Design for her work on Florence Foster Jenkins. This is Boyle’s second Oscar nomination following on from her 2008 nomination for The Queen.

Also the Irish co-production The Lobster was nominated for Best Original Screenplay.

The full list of nominations are here

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Oscars: ‘Boyhood’ & ‘Birdman’

boyhood-v-birdman

Technical mastery elevate Boyhood and Birdman to a different level, according to Michael Rice as he looks ahead to this weekend’s Academy Awards.

I love the Oscars, I can’t help it, I just do. I am fully aware of how ridiculous they are, and how seriously these people are taking themselves, but it’s just great. That amount of star power in one room just makes me dizzy, and it’s not just the stars; it’s the directors, and the writers, and everyone else in that room connected to film.

I watch a lot of movies, and I’m invested emotionally in a lot of these people, I have an opinion on who deserves it, and this doesn’t necessarily correlate with who I want to win. Anyway, I’m going off point, rather I started off point, it’s just for some reason I always feel the need to start off defensively when engaging in a conversation about the Oscars, because my head is often bitten off about how trivial they are, and how it’s all politics, etc. I join in sometimes to be fair, and I’m good at backing up why they’re pompous, and self-congratulatory, and so on, but it’s just words filtering from my mouth with no meaning or soul, I’m just lying through the vehicle of logic, and regurgitation. I love them. So there, I said it – twice!

I’ve had to change paragraph here just to try and get to my point. My point being that I think this year’s Oscars are of the highest standards in years. This is mainly down to two films, Birdman, and Boyhood – two films that were made using radical forms that required such technical mastery from their directors that it’s hard to comprehend. These are two of the best mainstream movies made in the last decade, and are both competing for the same Best Picture prize.

I’ll start off with Boyhood, written, and directed by Richard Linklater, known for such cult classics as Dazed and Confused, and School of Rock. The film was shot over 12 years, chronicling the life of a young boy from the age of 6, to the age of 18, showing him growing up before our eyes, and doing so in a narrative that never even threatens to exceed the boundaries of plausibility, while remaining compelling. I’ve seen the movie twice, and I must say that my first viewing wasn’t matched by the second, but then again how could it be? The fact that this movie was made over 12 years is not something that immediately jumps out at you when you view this film, the transitions in time are so gradual and so smoothly done that the full effect of the movie is only felt when the end credits arrive on screen. It left a profound visceral effect on me that I can’t quite put into words, but I knew I had seen something very important. The film’s use of time and how it passes reveals in all its bluntness how short life is. My friend and I scurried away from the cinema making declarations about how we have to start making more out of life, and I vowed to kick-start a new improved chapter of my life. It was possibly a false dawn, but the sentiment has not left me since.  For a movie to have that sort of positive effect on your understanding of life is something that cannot be over-valued.

I have no clever seuge into begin my discussion of Birdman, only to say that this is a very different film, particularly distinguishable due to its use of the surreal. Directed by Alejandro Inarritu (21 Grams, Babel), the film is about Riggan Thompson, a once huge movie star of the Birdman franchise – those days are long over, however, and he is now trying to be validated as an actor by directing and starring in an adaptation of a Raymond Carver short story. First things first, the technical mastery here is one of a different kind, but has common ground in its extreme level of difficulty. The movie, outside of a few opening and closing shots, appears to be all one take. This creates a frantic pace that causes a visceral feeling of discomfort in the viewer, as everything seems to be immediate and happening in the now, causing the stakes to rise throughout the picture. This is aided by a story that challenges everyone involved in the creative industry, from the actors, to the media, to the critics, no one walks away from this unscathed. But what the film really captures is something that is independent of any industry or social construct, and that is the human condition. We all want to be validated, we all want to be loved, we all want to be admired, and we all have a limited time to get these things. The frantic pace of the film coincides with Thompson’s battle with time, a battle to get all of these things before he dies. All his actions, and indeed most of ours are driven by ego, and a fear of death, and until we relinquish that fear we are stifled by it.

Both pictures leave you pondering what it is to be human, and both pictures in some way capture that very essence, through unconventional and original uses of the form of filmmaking. There can only be one winner of the Best Picture Oscar, if I was pushed to pick between the two, I’d probably go with Boyhood by a nose considering the scale of the achievement, but I could feel differently tomorrow. May the best film win. I think I might wear a tuxedo just to watch this one.

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JDIFF 2012: In Darkness review

In Darkness

Jameson Dublin International Film Festival 2012

Special Presentation: In Darkness

Wednesday, 22nd February, 8:10pm, Cineworld

What is so striking about Oscar-nominated, In Darkness is the originality in tone. Many familiar titles in the past have dealt with the tough subject matter by focusing on the heroism and bravery of those who fought against the Nazi Regime, but this Polish/Canadian/German co-production gives a gritty, honest look to what life would have been really like for survivors. Through the amazing, complex flawed characters, this film is not afraid to show the humour, hatred and sex that existed in such a harsh terrain.

Based on a true story, In Darkness is set in Nazi-occupied Poland, in (or rather just under) the city of Lviv. Poldek, a part time thief who’s struggling to look after his family, happens upon a group of Jewish people as they escape from the Ghetto. As their friends and families are murdered or taken to the camps, they hide out in the sewers, paying Poldek and his young co-worker, for the risky but profitable job of keeping them safe and fed.

Two and a half hours of this film is spent mostly underground and as one might imagine is pretty claustrophobic. However the time is broken up well, being punctuated with romance, drama, betrayal and bonding. Overall In Darkness packs a mighty big emotional wallop, and is certainly not reccomended as a first date movie – but it is certainly deserving of the nomination and is 100% a ‘must see’ film.

Afterwards Agnieszka Holland gave an engaging Q&A where she spoke to the packed (and largely Polish) audience about how she avoided doing this film for years. In Darkness took three years to complete and was originally conceived in English, however Agnieszka refused, wanting it filmed in Polish, Yiddish, Ukrainian and German. It was definitely a relief after the intensity of the film when this confident woman shared her funny anecdotes.

Gemma Creagh

 

Click here for Film Ireland’s coverage of this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

Click here for full details and to book tickets for this year’s Jameson Dublin International Film Festival

 

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Live: Oscars® Coverage on Film Ireland

 

The 84th  Academy Awards® takes place on Sunday, 26th February at the theatre formerly known as the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles.

According to the official site red carpet live will start at midnight Irish time with the ceremony scheduled to start at 1:30am and conclude at 4:30am on Monday, 27th February.

Irish eyes will be on the the teams behind Pentecost and The Shore both nominated in the Best Short Film Live Action category, as well as Belfast-born Kenneth Branagh up for Best Supporting Actor for My Week With Marilyn and the multi-nominated Albert Nobbs, which was shot in Ireland. The film has also been nominated in the Make Up category recognizing the work of Matthew Mungle,  and Martial Corneville and our very own Lynn Johnston.
We’ll also be rooting for Tom Johnson of Ardmore Sound who’s up for nomination for Best Sound Mixing for War Horse alongside Peter J. Devlin for his work on Transformers Dark of the Moon.

Please manually refresh this page during the ceremony for updates.

 

Welcome to Harvey Weinstein’s Oscars

 

1.35  First Oscar – for great hair

1. 50 Help – Billy Crystal reminds me of a horse with no name

2.00

 Best Achievement for senile old tyrant – Iron Lady

2.05

No – that should’ve been Nobbs

2.10

humans on sky think how amazing it is that Streep looked like Thatcher – it’s like the 1970s on ITV all over again

Best Costume Design goes to The Artist  -Weinstein locomotive leaves the station

…have a little bit of a crush on Sandra Bullock; is that wrong.. ?

what is Bale on about…? He seems to act more in real life than on film – hopefully Bane sorts him out

2.15

Oscar in effect – awful film – ape, ape ape,

imagine the last bit of gravel on Bradley Cooper’s face as he begs for air in a shallow grave

C.mon Drive

2.30

Ok Oscar for cinematography goes to Hugo – fair enough

Best foreign language film is A Separation – go Iran (congrats to Ehud Barak)

We want Peter J. Devlin & Tom Johnson for next one

Hugo again for Sound Mixing –  Peter Devlin nominated for Transformers  – & Tom Johnson  for War Horsewell done

Robert Downey – plastic comeback for the masses

2,40

Pina – Pina – Pina

2.45

Shite

2.50

Oscar Animation – Rango – a tad predictable and not one the young lad would agree with  – luckily he’s in bed and cares more about the cat than all this pomp

obvious for next – predict Plummer

but personally would  give this one to the ape…

Amy

3.00

everyone needs a plumber… Oscar for Supporting Actor to Christopher Plummer – nowt wrong there

Original Score goes to Ludovic Bource for Harvey Weinstein’s The Artist

…getting bored now

Muppets win and that man from the Tv show on – I want my childhood back

3.20

Best Adapted Screenplay goes to The Descendants:  never that impressed with that film.. predictable fare

Best Original Screenplay – Woody Allen for Midnight in Paris – would watch that again. Welcome to Jazz Club

John Williams – 47 … that man who lives nest door –

3.40

Massive congrats to The Shore for Oscar and well done to Pentecost for nomination – that’s certainly woken me up – tremendous stuff. Get In…

3.45

After celebrating – Oscar for Best Animated Short goes to The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore

3.50

Best Director goes to Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist – mmmm – great film but best director…?

4.00

Best Actor –

Jean Dujardin

Colin Firth – lovely man

4.30

Best Actress –

Meryll Streep

4.40

Best Film

The Artist

Best Decision  –

Go to bed


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Smattering of Green amongst Guardian's 50 Oscar® Tips

(Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire)

With only five months left until Christmas it can only mean about six and a half months until those winning names are read out at the Kodak Theatre at the 2012 Academy Awards.

This week The Guardian have picked out 50 films that may be up for consideration next year and there are a few with an Irish interest, let’s a take a look at our best chances at hearing ‘Tá an athas orm’ being bellowed from the stage next February.

#25 Shame

Everyone’s favourite German Kerryman Michael Fassbender reunites with Hunger director Steve McQueen in a film about a man unable to control his sex life.

‘Brandon (Michael Fassbender, Inglourious Basterds, Hunger, A Dangerous Method) is a 30-something man living in New York who is unable to manage his sex life. After his wayward younger sister moves into his apartment, Brandon’s world spirals out of control.

From director Steve McQueen (Hunger), Shame is a compelling and timely examination of the nature of need, how we live our lives and the experiences that shape us.’

To read more click here

#34 Jane Eyre

Michael Fassbender stars as Mr Rochester opposite Mia Wasikowska in this adaptation directed by Cary Fukunaga.

‘Based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, the romantic drama stars Mia Wasikowska (“Alice in Wonderland”) and Michael Fassbender (“Inglourious Basterds”) in the lead roles. In the story, Jane Eyre flees Thornfield House, where she works as a governess for wealthy Edward Rochester. The isolated and imposing residence – and Mr. Rochester’s coldness – have sorely tested the young woman’s resilience, forged years earlier when she was orphaned. As Jane reflects upon her past and recovers her natural curiosity, she will return to Mr. Rochester – and the terrible secret that he is hiding…’

To read more click here

#35 Haywire

Starring Michael Fassbender and also partly shot in Ireland this thriller is directed by Steven Soderbergh.

‘Mallory Kane is a highly trained operative who works for a government security contractor in the dirtiest, most dangerous corners of the world. After successfully freeing a Chinese journalist held hostage, she is double crossed and left for dead by someone close to her in her own agency. Suddenly the target of skilled assassins who know her every move, Mallory must find the truth in order to stay alive.

Using her black-ops military training, she devises an ingenious—and dangerous—trap. But when things go haywire, Mallory realizes she’ll be killed in the blink of an eye unless she finds a way to turn the tables on her ruthless adversary.’

To read more click here

Keep a (very) close eye on the trailer for familiar buildings.

#48 This Must Be The Place

Can Element Films, currently riding high at the Irish box office with The Guard, don the tuxedos and gowns next year?

‘Cheyenne is a former rock star.

At 50 he still dresses “Goth” and lives in Dublin off his royalties.

The death of his father, with whom he wasn’t on speaking terms, brings him back to New York.

He discovers his father had an obsession: to seek revenge for a humiliation he had suffered.

Cheyenne decides to pick up where his father left off, and starts a journey, at his own pace, across America.’

To read more click here

Plenty of quality there, and a busy Michael Fassbender appearing in three films, check out the other 46 rivals here

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