2011 International Film Festival Rotterdam News

In the Bright Future section there are many films that are being streamed FREE on the fest Youtube channel. Streaming is only for 24 hours so changes every day. Unfortunately viewing is not allowed to all countries on a per film basis, so you have to find if your country is blocked or not for each available film.

Today the film is Qarantina by Oday Rasheed and for example yesterday there were two films: Las Marimbas del Infierno by Julio Hernandez Cordon and Lucia by Niles Atallah. To check if you can watch daily film go here.

Still, at the festival channel there are some complete films from last year that you can watch for free and if you’re interested check available films here.

There are some interesting films like for example Ci qing (Tattoo) by Wang Liren (no, it’s not Spider Lilies) about a “group of young Chinese in a small village in the south of China earn their living with theft, drugs and prostitution. They spend the rest of their days smoking and drinking. Wang Liren watches them with the gaze of a poet from times long gone.” Film has English subtitles. If you’re interested go here.

On other news the New Arrivals Award went to the short film Silent Things by Rob Brown, UK, 2011 that you can watch here or if you don't want to go to the original site below is the short.

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17th Screen Actors Guild Awards Winners

With a very NOT entertaining television traditional awards ceremony show last night SAG gave not much surprises in the film categories (some in the TV categories) and winners are in *BLUE. To check complete list at official site go here.

I really hope that Oscar becomes more than just a parade of presenters that have difficulties to read prompter like happened in this ceremony; not that we don't enjoy watching actors but we have the Red Carpet to watch them. Inside we need an entertainment show so we don't fall asleep. Sigh.

Win this win The King's Speech becomes a front runner in the Oscar race as well as Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. I knew and confirm that this is Colin Firth year and I'm so glad that finally he's being recognized for great performances.

Was hoping Hailee Steinfeld will win, as is more than a well-deserved win for a movie that she "stole" from good actors. But seems that not many are willing to accept that an unknown teenager was able to eclipse celebrated actors; still hope that for the Oscar this category becomes the biggest surprise and Steinfeld wins.

To close one positive note, last night most SAG winners were first time winners which is unusual.


A few minutes ago the nominations were announced and unfortunately with not many surprises; these are the nominees.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Black Swan (Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, Mila Kunis, Natalie Portman, and Winona Ryder)
The Fighter (Amy Adams, Christian Bale, Melissa Leo, Jack McGee, and Mark Wahlberg)
The Kids Are All Right (Annette Bening, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, and Mia Wariskowska)
*The King’s Speech (Anthony Andrews, Helena Bonham Carter, Jennifer Ehle, Colin Firth, Michael Gambon, Derek Jacobi, Guy Pearce, Geoffrey Rush, and Timothy Spall)
The Social Network (Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, Max Minghella, Josh Pence, and Justin Timberlake)

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
*Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Hilary Swank in Conviction

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis in Black Swan
*Melissa Leo in The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Jeff Bridges in True Grit
Robert Duvall in Get Low
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
*Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
James Franco in 127 Hours

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
*Christian Bale in The Fighter
John Hawkes in Winter’s Bone
Jeremy Renner in The Town
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech

Life Achievement Award: Ernest Borgine

To read the press release at the official site please go here. Most interesting, again, are the nominees in the TV categories. The awards ceremony will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 8:00 pm EST and I imagine that TNT will broadcast the show to the rest of the world, as happened in previous years.

We have to recall that these nominations are the first we learn from people that actually vote at the Oscar and that this Guild is the largest; meaning, the one that has the most members, i.e. votes. The biggest surprise for me is that SAG filled the last Oscar spot in the Best Actress category with Hilary Swank! I was sure about the other four, but now it becomes possible that Hilary will be against Annette once more and when this happened in the past, Hilary won. Haven’t seen Conviction and of course I’m dying to watch Black Swan; will be only after watching these two films that will dare to do my Oscar predictions for this category.

In the female supporting role category perhaps the surprise is the inclusion of Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit. I don’t particularly like remakes, much less when is from a classic but now I’m becoming curious as Jeff Bridges also got a nod. In the male supporting category the only one unexpected for me is John Hawkes, but he deserves the honor.

Surely the category that became more interesting is the male actor in a leading role as Jeff Bridges and Robert Duvall got honored by their peers. The other three were a given for me. So now is going to be a little bit harder to figure out who will be nominated for Oscar.  But if Bridges and Firth get an Oscar nomination  will be just like last year and only hope that Colin Firth wins this time.

The category that became duller is the cast ensemble as there are no surprises there at all, with actors loving the same performances/movies that critics adore and we already know which movie won almost all critics honors.

In about a month and a half we will learn the winners and then Oscar predictions will become interesting for everyone that plays any of the multiple odds games around Oscar.

2011 Sundance Film Festival Award Winners

Last night the festival announced the winners and here they are.

Feature Films

World Cinema
Jury Prize: Sykt Lykkelig (Happy, Happy), Anne Sewitsky, Norway
Directing Award: Paddy Considine for Tyrannousaur, UK

Special Jury Prizes for Breakout Performances: Olivia Colman and Peter Mullan in Tyrannousaur, Paddy Considine, UK

Audience Award: Kinyarwanda, Alrick Brown, USA and Rwanda

Grand Jury Prize: Like Crazy, Drake Doremus (with Jennifer Lawrence)
Directing Award: Sean Durkin for Martha Marcy May Marlene

Special Jury Prize: Another Earth, Mike Cahill
Special Jury Prize: Felicity Jones in Like Crazy, Drake Doremus

Audience Award: Circumstance, Maryam Keshavarz

To check winners in all categories as well as in documentaries and shorts go here. Think that will try to watch the love story in Like Crazy “about a British student that falls for Jacob only to be separated from him when she’s banned from USA after overstaying her visa” as seems Felicity Jones performance is on the very good side.

Most films are too depressing for me to be interested in watching, but obviously Circumstance is must be seen for me and know will watch Happy, Happy that have been following movie during its travels in the fest circuit. Well, not bad this year as I have movies from this fest that are interesting enough to try to watch them eventually. Another must be seen film from this year is Pariah by Dee Rees.

Hors-la-loi (Outside The Law)

It’s a very good movie. Had to take my first statement out of the way as I believe that this is a difficult to objectively review film and will try not to ramble. Think that the best way to start is with a little general information about Rachid Bouchareb trilogy that started with great Indigènes (Days of Glory), continues with this film and will end in a third installment.

The trilogy will be Bouchareb’s personal vision of the History that links France and Algeria; so the first installment, Indigènes, is about World War II and in the beginning Bouchareb wanted film to end with Sétif massacre of May 8, 1945 but changed his mind and decided that film had to end in France, as film did.

Second installment, Hors-la-loi, has a prologue set in 1925 in which the French Code de l’Indigenat is applied to a poor Algerian family, has to leave his ancestral land and move to Sétif. Film starts in 1945 with the Sétif massacre where many members of the prologue family die leaving alive only the mother and three of her sons: Saïd (Jamel Debbouze), Messaoud (Roschdy Zem), and Abdelkader (Sami Bouajila) and the links that France and Algeria have are dramatized by telling the life of these three very different brothers. So, basically film tells about the urban guerrilla activities of the Front de Libération Nationale or FLN (National Liberation Front), the reactions of French secret service Red Hand organization, and ends in 1962 with the recognition of Algeria’s independence.

BUT what I explain in the above paragraph is the background as what REALLY film tells is the story of the three brothers, the emotional story of a family. So story is a strong family drama that will move you no matter if is set against real turbulent times. For me film was an intense emotional ride that kept my total attention until the very end.

Third installment, Bouchareb wishes to tell about 50 years of immigration (after 1962) and says that hopes to make film in four to five years.

Now you know more about story than what I usually tell, but this film is not a History class even when if you’re not familiar with the History told you will learn the basics in film; still, France/Algeria confrontations are not much different than other confrontations that happened between conquers and conquered around the world.

Film as film has extraordinary performances by three lead actors and outstanding visuals that recall epic movies of another era (Bouchareb was inspired by the likes of Leone, Coppola, Kazan, etc); especially many outdoors scenes that were filmed in Tunisia at Tarak Ben Ammar studios famous for films like The English Patient, Star Wars and Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, which absolutely helps to get the feeling of movies of another era. I imagine that this helped movie (a lot) to get an Oscar nomination, but wonder if very controversial story will give film a chance to win the Oscar.

I strongly recommend this film as must be seen for those that appreciate good movies with strong/emotional drama stories set during real events. This is a French majority production but accordingly to what I read, due to the much publicized controversy decided to submit it as an Algerian film. As we know film was in competition for the Golden Lion at 2010 Cannes.


Watch trailer @MOC

The Tourist

I knew that I will like this movie and I did. A lot more than what imagined as film feels and looks like those glorious movies from a long time ago; the ones like, for example, an old Hitchcock caper starring Cary Grant. Mentioned Grant but don’t think that Johnny is Cary Grant, no he isn’t and I’m so glad as Johnny Depp is Johnny Depp and gives to character his peculiar style that yes, made me smile and even laugh (once) but obviously film is NOT a comedy at all. Ah! the Golden Globes and their misleading (very dumb) classification.

But have to share that film also made me recall the early James Bond movies when Sean Connery was Bond, maybe helped a little that the Russian villain in this film also is the villain in a Bond movie; but also because The Tourist has the absurdly glamorous style of those Bond movies. I know you have to love your cinema to recall those movies and wonder if current audiences have lost the taste for glossy, sophisticated, gloriously improbable romp –escapist fun movies. Then The Tourist is really fun to watch as also there are twists and chases a-plenty while juggling old clichés with total confidence.

By the way film is a remake. Yes, a remake of a 2005 French movie called Anthony Zimmer with Yvan Attal and Sophie Marceau in the lead roles. Haven’t seen the original but surely will do as now I’m curious.

Surprise: I enjoyed Angelina Jolie performance! Lately haven’t enjoyed her but in here she’s the perfect match to Johnny. Most reviews by critics and viewers comment that there was no chemistry between them and surely was due to the fact that there was not to be chemistry between them as according to the plot Elise (Jolie) was using Frank (Depp) as a decoy and her love object is not Frank but Alexander Pearce. Don’t have to mention how much I enjoyed Johnny Depp in this movie and won’t deny the fact that I didn’t see Elise and Frank in the movie, I saw Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp, which just adds to the fun as this is not a movie to take seriously but to enjoy as simple good old-fashion escapist entertainment.

So what’s story about? Basic plot revolves around a shy, unassuming American tourist (Depp) who is lured by an absurdly glamorous Englishwoman (Jolie) into a devilish web of dangerous intrigue with British police (Timothy Dalton and Paul Bettany) and Russian gangsters wrongly identifying him as an elusive criminal plus he’s being followed by a dark, handsome, mystery man (Rufus Sewell).

Who knew that Florian Henckel von Donnersmarkck, better known for directing great Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), could do so well this nice entertaining movie? Not me, which is a big surprise as both movies are so different yet both very well-done, each in their own style. Don’t have to tell you -but I will- that production values are excellent and Venice looks unbelievable beautiful.

Maybe too early I guessed right what’s revealed at the end, but it just added to the fun while watching this glamorous movie that I do recommend to those that still remember good old-fashion films from a long gone era. Me, I’m glad that some filmmakers are daring to do today this type of films again.


Watch trailer @MOC

Biutiful (2010)

The most recent movie of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu portrays a modern-time Barcelona I didn’t know, though I could imagine it exists. In fact, this movie could have been filmed in most European countries, we all know what is going on but it’s just that we choose not to think about unpleasant things that happen around us.

I have read several times that the movie is about “a conflicted man involved in illegal dealing who struggles to take care of his two children”…or variations of it. It so happens that there is a lot more to this story, like sweatshops and exploited illegal immigrants whose lives we also get to know. This is a movie about people of all races struggling to make a living under desperate circumstances.  

Iñarritu even manages to tackle issues like bipolarity, cancer, homosexuality, adultery, murder and after-life, and yes, it all makes sense and adds to the movie.

As for the cast, Javier Bardem deserves his nomination to the Oscars, but with the script and direction this movie has, it would be hard not to do a good job. I was more surprised with the rest of the cast, since they all do a great job with solid performances. I’m thinking of Maricel Alvarez, Hanaa Bouchaib or Diaryatou Daff. Sometimes having a cast of unknown actors adds to it, because it keeps you focused in the story and on the people that are a part of it.

You will see many people describing this movie as boring, scattered, and inferior to “Babel”. It surely is a movie that demands your full attention. I saw this movie alone and I’m glad that I did that.  As for comparing it with the director’s previous work, I had a chance to re-watch Babel very recently and though I really like that movie, I think Biutiful is better. Well, I’m glad we are all different.

One last note to mention how I love the end of this movie. Or the way it begins?

Biutiful earned itself a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination.

Green light! 

63rd Annual Directors Guild of America Award Winners

Winners are in *BLUE. To check complete list of winners go here.

Was wrong, not Fincher but Hooper. As you can imagine most critics I follow in twitter are not happy with the result; one particular tweet says: "critics matter" like trying to reaffirm critics' function. As DGA is one of the largest Guilds, now 'everyone' is 'affirming' that The King's Speech will win 'everything'.

So, what do I say? Me for one liked a lot more The King's Speech than The Social Network as the first was more emotional than the second which I liked basically for the business story. But if I consider only the director's work, absolutely agree that between these two films, Tom Hooper did a better job creating a better movie.

Of course my award goes to Daren Aronofsky as he did an incredible job with actors, screenplay,tech specs and managed to create a film that almost each viewer will be able to see in it whatever they want to see. Not often you have a movie that so successfully allows viewers to have their own interpretation, much less in American cinema that tends to 'chew' everything so viewers see exactly what they want them to see.

Truth is that if we follow 'tradition' this win means that The King's Speech just went up in the odds. But there is a small percentage that suggests that Oscar race is still interesting, at least until tonight when we learn the SAG (another large Guild) winners. If The King's Speech ensemble wins, then seems that DGA's 'tradition' will remain intact.

In a few hours we will have a more clear perspective if Oscar race becomes less predictable and more interesting or not.


A few minutes ago the guild announced the nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film for 2010. This is one of the oldest guilds as 2011 marks the 75th anniversary of the DGA.

Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
David Fincher for The Social Network
*Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan for Inception
David O. Russell for The Fighter

I was sure about the first three nominees but can’t deny my surprise with the bottom two and really regret that excellent Debra Granik (for Winter’s Bone) did not get honored. I really liked a lot more Winter’s Bone than Inception or The Fighter and the last, can’t understand why honoring a director that could have made a much better movie or at least, better balanced among all lead characters.

For obvious reasons last year was -and seems will be in the near future- the most exciting times to follow nominees and winner for this guild and the Oscar. Remember when Kathryn Bigelow got a DGA nomination after she and her film was ignored at indie awards?

As they say in the official announcement, that’s here, the DGA winner “has traditionally been one of the industry’s most accurate barometers for who will win the Best Director Academy Award; only six times since the DGA Awards began in 1948 has the DGA winner not gone on to win the corresponding Academy Award”. Today I’m taking a risk to say that the winner is: David Fincher and this year the tradition will continue intact.

Today, January 12, the guild announced the nominees for Outstanding Directorial Achievement.

Lixin Fan for Last Train Home
*Charles Ferguson for Inside Job
Alex Gibney for Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
Davis Guggenheim for Waiting for Superman
Tim Hetherington and Sebastian Junger for Restrepo

Award ceremony will be on Saturday, January 29.

2011 Austrian Film Awards Winners

Winners are not yet at the official site but from press releases winners for top awards are in *BLUE. As soon as announcement is at site will post link to check winners in all categories.


The new Austrian Film Academy recently announced the nominations for the first Austrian Film Awards. These are the nominees chosen from a total of 41 films submitted.

Best Film
Der Räuber (The Robber), Benjamin Heisenberg
Lourdes, Jessica Hausner
*Die unabsichtliche Entführung der Frau Elfriede Ott, Andreas Prochaska

Best Director
Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel for La Pivellina
Jessica Hauser for Lourdes
*Benjamin Heisenberg for Der Räuber(The Robber)

Best Actress
Dorka Gryllus in Der Kameramörder, Robert-Adrian Pejo
Magdalena Kronschläger in Tag und Nacht, Sabine Derflinger
*Barbara Romaner in Mahler auf der Couch, Feliz O. Adlon and Percy Adlon (I want to watch this movie)

Best Actor
Moritz Bleibtreu in Jud Süss - Film ohne Gewissen (Jew Suss: Rise and Fall), Oskar Roehler
*Andreas Lust in Der Räuber (The Robber), Benjamin Heisenberg
Tobias Moretti in Jud Süss - Film ohne Gewissen (Jew Suss: Rise and Fall), Oskar Roehler

To check nominations in all categories go here available only in German. Awards ceremony will be in Vienna on January 29, 2011.

Love and Other Drugs

After some negative buzz had not much expectations about the movie but I tell you that this drama/romantic-comedy is quite enjoyable especially in the serious moments and there are plenty of it mostly referring to drug marketing and to main character illness. Indeed Maggie Murdock has Parkinson disease which allows Anne Hathaway to portrait a character with some intensity that gave her some Oscar buzz and yes, her performance is worth of it. The romantic part of the movie is kind of different and believable; the comedy part was a surprise as made me laugh, except the moments when Jamie (Jake Gyllenhaal) and his brother Josh (Josh Gad) that were absolutely awful for me.

Film tells about how Maggie, a free spirit that won’t let anyone to tie her down, and Jamie, a typical charming ladies man who doesn’t like commitment, meet and fall in love. This is a simple story that’s spiced with some not positive issues about the pharmaceutical industry marketing ways as well as dealing with a degenerative illness in a somehow realistic way, without making the situation sad.

Not a masterpiece, but an entertaining film with good performances by actors, especially Anne Hathaway that I believe is absolutely great in serious roles so is hard for me to understand why she will be Cat Woman in the next Batman film. Anyway she’s good here.

If you are in the mood for a light entertaining movie then I suggest you watch this film that’s suitable for all audiences, but I suspect women will like it more than men; still due to the ‘excessive’ (for American movies) nudity, know that men will be attracted to watch.


Watch trailer @MOC

2011 Slamdance Film Festival Award Winners

Winner is in *BLUE. To check complete list of award winners go here.


If I have problems with some films in Sundance just imagine with Slamdance; but there are two films that seems could be interesting, one from Chile and another by Mark Jackson. These are the films in the Narrative Feature category.

Atrocious, Fernando Barreda Luna, Mexico and Spain
Beneath Contempt, Benjamin Brewer, USA
Drama, Matias Lira, Chile
Fred & Vinnie, Steve Skrovan, USA
Modern Imbecile’s Planet World, Doug Manley, USA
Pleasant People, Dave Bonawits, USA
Silver Tongues, Simon Arthur, USA
Snow on tha Bluff, Damon Russell, USA
*Stranger Things, Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal, UK and USA
The Beast Pageant, Albert Birney and Jon Moses, USA
Without, Mark Jackson, USA

To check info and watch some trailers go here.

2011 Academy Awards Nominations – Ranking

As I like to play with numbers here is a tally of what the nominations tells us about films and how many nods each got. List is in alphabetical order according to the rank each film achieved.


As expected the top ten films with most nominations are the ten nominated movies for the Best Picture category; but what’s interesting is the ranking that suggests how ‘likeable’ film was for academy members. The ‘likeable’ index tells us that IF Best Picture category had only five slots (as was before) nominated films will probably have been the top five: The King’s Speech, True Grit, Inception, The Social Network and The Fighter.

IF the number of honors each film got could tell us how much ‘likeable’ each film was for Academy members, then those Guilds/groups with the most members could be voting for the film as their most ‘likeable’; consequently, it is possible that race for the top award could be between: The King’s Speech, The Social Network AND True Grit. Race has become a bit more interesting for me.

Now who wins in each of the upcoming awards becomes key to not only predict winners in each category but also probable winner in the top award.

Here is the Ranking.

The King’s Speech – 12 (Actor leading role, actress supporting role, actor supporting role, art direction, cinematography, costume design, directing, film editing, original score, sound mixing, original screenplay, Best Picture)

True Grit – 10 (Actress supporting role, actor leading role, art direction, cinematography, costume design, directing, sound editing, sound mixing, adapted screenplay, Best Picture)

Inception – 8 (Art direction, cinematography, original score, sound editing, sound mixing, visual effects, original screenplay, and Best Picture)
The Social Network – 8 (Actor leading role, cinematography, directing, film editing, original score, sound mixing, adapted screenplay, Best Picture)

The Fighter – 7 (Actor supporting role, actress supporting role-2-, directing, film editing, original screenplay, Best Picture)

127 Hours – 6 (Actor leading role, film editing, original score, original song, adapted screenplay, Best Picture)

Black Swan – 5 (Actress Leading role, cinematography, directing, Film editing, Best Picture)
Toy Story 3 – 5 (Original song, sound editing, adapted screenplay, animated feature, Best Picture)

The Kids Are All Right – 4 (Actress leading role, actor supporting role, original screenplay, Best Picture)
Winter’s Bone – 4 (Actress leading role, actor supporting role, adapted screenplay, Best Picture)

Alice in Wonderland – 3 (Art direction, Costume design, Visual effects)

Biutiful – 2 (Actor leading role, Foreign Language)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – 2 (Art direction, visual effects)

Animal Kingdom – 1 (Actress supporting role)
Another Year – 1 (Original screenplay
Barney’s Version – 1 (Makeup)
Blue Valentine – 1 (Actress leading role)
Country Strong – 1 (Original song)
Dogtooth – 1 (Foreign Language)
Gasland – 1 (Documentary Feature)
How to Train Your Dragon – 2 (Animated feature, original score)
I Am Love – 1 (Costume design)
The Illusionist – 1 (Animated feature)
In a Better World – 1 (Foreign Language)
Incendies – 1 (Foreign Language)
Inside Job – 1 (Documentary feature)
Iron Man 2 – 1 (Visual Effects)
Outside the Law – 1 (Foreign language)
Rabbit Hole – 1 (Actress leading role)
Restrepo – 1 (Documentary Feature)
Salt – 1 (Sound mixing)
Tangled – 1 (Original song)
The Tempest – 1 (Costume design)
The Town – 1 (Actor supporting role)
Unstoppable – 1 (Sound editing)
Waste Land – 1 (Documentary feature)
The Way Back – 1 (Makeup)
The Wolfman – 1 (Makeup)

Very Last Minute Oscar Nominations Predictions

Just checked and is UP! Expect post soon.

Nominations are not up yet, but can't believe I guessed the 10 movies right!! LOL! I'm SOOOOO glad Javier Bardem got a nod!!! Deep inside me I'm VERY glad that Nolan didn't make it to Best Director (didn't enjoyed much film) and well, Russell got in. Also got right the actress (GREAT!) and now we know Hailee got a supporting nod (she should WIN the Oscar) and I'm glad that Hawkes got a nod, which gives Winter's Bone three top nominations - very good! Will wait for nods to be at site to do post!


My crystal ball says the following.

Best Film
The Social Network
The King’s Speech
Black Swan
The Fighter
True Grit
Toy Story 3
The Kids Are All Right
127 Hours
Winter’s Bone

Another possible film is The Town, but there are no more slots, so if makes it, maybe one of the last two will be out.

Best Director
David Fincher for The Social Network
Darren Aronofsy for Black Swan
Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan for Inception
Joel & Ethan Coen for True Grit

To be honest I prefer Debra Granik to Nolan but is almost impossible that Granik gets a nod; if she does will be a HUGE and very pleasant surprise. Coen Brothers are not a sure thing as David O. Russell could get in the fifth and last slot.

Best Actress
Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine

I’m so glad that tomorrow we will know who gets nominated as this category has so many good performances that makes guessing quite difficult. The last slot is the one more vulnerable and I didn’t included Hailee Steinfeld as she’s being promoted to the supporting role where she has better winning odds. Still, I insist that she deserves a nomination as lead actress (got one in BAFTA) and I really hope she gets one.

Best Supporting Actress
Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech
Melissa Leo in The Fighter

This category is not easy and my crystal ball has full blur; but will Hailee Steinfeld land here? I don’t know. Will Jacki Weaver? Who knows. Will Amy Adams get a nod? Will Mila Kunis or Barbara Hershey make it? Big mystery besides the two I’m sure will get nominated.

Best Actor
Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network
Jeff Bridges in True Grit
James Franco in 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine

The last slot is the most vulnerable and deep inside I wish that the name will be: Javier Bardem in Biutiful, let’s hope my wish becomes true.

Best Supporting Actor
Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech
Christian Bale in The Fighter
Andrew Garfield for The Social Network
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Jeremy Renner in The Town

Last slot is the most vulnerable and the likes of John Hawkes, Sam Rockwell and sentimental choices like Michael Douglas or Pete Postlethwaite could make it.

Won’t try to guess the other categories but for the first time will guess winners at the last and final prediction of Oscar winners. We don’t have to wait much as nominations are tomorrow and then we will be playing the winners game.


2011 Guldbagge Awards Winners

Not yet at the official site but from news, here are the winners -in *Blue. As soon as they publish at their site will post link to check other categories. Noomi Rapace didn't win the award this year, but she got it last year for the Tattoo movie, so is all right; besides Pernilla August's Beyond got three awards.

To check all winners go here, available only in Swedish.


Yesterday the nominations were announced and the film with more nominations, eight, is none other than Svinalängorna (Beyond) by Pernilla August and starring Noomi Rapace, excellent. Awarded annually since 1964, the Guldbagge or ‘Golden Beetle’ is the name of the Swedish Film Institute’s award for achievements during the previous year and the award ceremony will be on January 24 at Stockholm with Swedish Television SVT broadcasting the event live.

These are the nominees.

Best Film
I rymden finns inga känslor (Simple Simon), Andreas Öhman
*Sebbe, Babak Najafi
Svinalängorna (Beyond), Pernilla August

Best Director
*Pernilla August for Svinalängorna(Beyond)
Lisa Langseth for Till det som är vackert (Pure aka Beloved)
Babak Najafi for Sebbe

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Pernilla August in Miss Kicki, Håkon Liu, Sweden and Taiwan
Noomi Rapace in Svinalängorna (Beyond)
*Alicia Vikander in Till det som är vackert (Pure aka Beloved)

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Sebastian Hiort af Ornäs in Sebbe, Babak Najafi
*Joel Kinnaman in Snabba Cash (Easy Money)
Bill Skarsgård in I rymden finns inga känslor (Simple Simon) (yes, his father is Stellan Skarsgård)

Best Foreign Language Film
Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold, UK and Netherland
*Lourdes, Jessica Hausner, Austria, France and Germany
The Social Network, David Fincher, USA

To check nominees in all categories go here.

These are the best nominations I have learned so far as did you notice the many women honored with nominations? I’m impress. Even in the foreign language category out of three nominees two films are by female directors. Also impressed by Pernilla August who got two nods, one for her debut film as a director and another for her performance in a film that seems interesting. Most films are known to me, but there are a few new ones that captured my interest, especially Miss Kicki.  Since a few months ago I have been 'dying' to be able to watch Noomi Rapace's performance in Beyond and now got more interested as surely film will be great.

2011 Producers Guild of America Award Winners

Seems that Oscar race could be interesting after all -IF trend continues- as last night (well, not long ago) the first actual Academy voters gave the top award to The King Speech! News are all over but not yet at the site. Winners are in *BLUE.


Today the Producers Guild of America announced the complete list of nominees and here it is.

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures

127 Hours, Danny Boyle
Black Swan, Darren Aronofsky
Inception, Christopher Nolan
The Fighter, David O. Russell
The Kids Are All Right, Lisa Cholodenko
*The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper
The Social Network, David Fincher
The Town, Ben Affleck
Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich
True Grit, Joel and Ethan Coen

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Pictures
Despicable Me, Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud
How To Train Your Dragon, Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders
*Toy Story 3, Lee Unkrich

As previously announced these are the nominees for the documentaries.

The Award for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Theatrical Motion Pictures
Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer, Alex Gibney
Earth Made of Glass, Deborah Scranton
Inside Job, Charles Ferguson
Smash His Camera, Leon Gast
The Tillman Story, Amir Bar-Lev
*Waiting for Superman, Davis Guggenheim

Above names are directors and to check the list with the producers names plus TV categories go here. Winners will be announced on Saturday, January 22, 2011.

With the announcement of the feature films we get our first idea of how the Best Picture nominees could look at the Oscar, as members of the guild are also Academy voters and even if there are many other Academy members I tend to believe that not much will change as the ten nominated films are the same as the ones that everyone has been speculating will get nominated at Oscar. By the end of the month we will learn the winner and things could get a bit more interesting, but my crystal ball tells me that winner will be one of the following: The Social Network, The King’s Speech or True Grit.

83rd Academy Awards Foreign Language Film Shortlist

If you follow me in Twitter you already know that I think that this list is crazy!! Take a look as these are the nine (9) films out of the 66 qualified films that advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category.

Algeria, “Hors la Loi” (“Outside the Law”), Rachid Bouchareb, director;
Canada, “Incendies,” Denis Villeneuve, director;
Denmark, “In a Better World,” Susanne Bier, director;
Greece, “Dogtooth,” Yorgos Lanthimos, director;
Japan, “Confessions,” Tetsuya Nakashima, director;
Mexico, “Biutiful,” Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, director;
South Africa, “Life, above All,” Oliver Schmitz, director;
Spain, “Tambien la Lluvia” (“Even the Rain”), Iciar Bollain, director;
Sweden, “Simple Simon,” Andreas Ohman, director.

The list is crazy as there were so many EXCELLENT films that are gone that I can’t simply believe it. I have the problem that I haven’t seen eight films and the only one I have seen couldn’t watch it! LOL! Besides film is too similar to one by Mexican director Arturo Ripstein, whom I don’t particularly like too.

But from buzz I know than Denmark has to be nominated as well as Canada (both ‘dying’ to see them); I like very much films by Rachid Bouchareb, so don’t mind him being nominated plus is a Cannes film; know that Japanese non-commercial cinema is great and I’m really curious about the Swedish film. But I’m also dying to see Biutiful and IF gets a nomination, then probably Javier Bardem could be nominated again, this time in the Best Actor category, interesting as it happened at the BAFTA’s.

Won’t list the many great films that are not in this short list, but well Academy members always gives us BIG not pleasant surprises in this category.

To read announcement at official site go here.

1st French Online Film Festival - News

Hope that none of you had problems loading or watching films at the festival; I still have one short that doesn’t load to be over with shorts and been watching feature films slowly as probably due to slow servers films do not load smoothly, so I’m waiting for them to fix the bugs so watching films will be more pleasurable.

Most problems come from the success the festival has been having as of last night and after five days, preliminary statistics are truly impressive, take a look.

110,000 visits to the site
520,000 pages views (which means that as an average, each visit generated 5 page views)
159 different countries

Country Visits Ranking
Brazil: 16,000
Russia: 15,000
France: 11,000
Mexico: 9,300
USA: 7,500
UK: 5,000
UAE: 4,600
Germany: 4,300
Italy: 4,000
Japan: 4,000

Tech problems are common when you do things for the first time but organizers are continuously working to solve them, so is totally understandable that fest first week had some bugs.

Hope you’re enjoying as much as I am the festival and expect reviews of feature and short films as soon as fest is over.

If you haven’t check the festival site, what are you waiting for? Please go here.


The King’s Speech

Extremely well-crafted film by Tom Hooper that will satisfy you beyond any expectations you might have after the so-much buzz that has generated in this award season. As story is character driven extraordinary performances are a must and you have no idea how great performances are not only by Colin Firth but also by Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter and I should include performances by supporting cast like Derek Jacobi and Jennifer Ehle among others.

As probably we all know film tells the story of the man who became King George VI, the father of Queen Elizabeth II. In my opinion film took some creative licenses to make film very entertaining, so much than after characters were introduced and story starts to develop film becomes mesmerizing; you can take away your eyes from the screen as you don’t want to miss a second from what’s happening. Very well-done movie with an excellent script from David Seidler, who had to wait 30 years to be able to write script as the Queen Mother gave her authorization to do it only after her death, according to what I read.

So film tells the story of the Duke of York who reluctantly assumes the throne; everyone –except his father- thinks that he’s unfit to be king due to his stammer that makes him unable to speak fluidly; as radio was recently commercially released, kings were not anymore only required to do public speaking but also do radio broadcasts, especially the Christmas speech instituted by his father. So after many failed attempts to help him speak without stuttering, he finally ends in the office of Lionel Logue, the man that will help him to speak more fluidly and deliver the radio speeches, especially the much important ones during WWII. It’s a compelling, uplifting and remarkable story that is hard to understand the reason why King George VI “disappeared” from history (against well-know figures of the same era) as well as why with or without proper authorization this story was not told before.

As a film is spectacular with the highest production values and great costumes plus care to details to successfully recreate those not-so-long-ago days; special mention to director Tom Hooper that is very hard to believe that this movie is only his big screen second feature film, as he has work mainly on TV

This is a film that I consider suited for general audiences who enjoy very satisfying movies that will entertain with a great-to-watch story, excellent production values and unforgettable performances.

There are many films that I watch only once, but I know that I will revisit film many times as I really liked story and magnificent performance by Colin Firth that now I know more than ever deserves the highest honor at Oscar, even when I still believe that last year the Oscar belonged to him too.

Big Enjoy!!!

Watch Trailer @MOC

La Mirada Invisible (The Invisible Eye)

Mesmerizing film by Diego Lerman that will immerse you into an Argentina 1982 voyage where on the streets of the Argentinean capital people are challenging the military dictatorship but in the very traditional upper class school, that used to be called “Ciencias Morales” (Moral Sciences), everything is perennial calm with days passing by as if nothing is happening. That’s the setting to this story that can be a little disturbing thanks to an excellent inexpressive performance by Julieta Zylberberg that with tiny movements tells more than with words.

Story is sort of metaphor to what happened in March 1982 at Buenos Aires and tells about innocent and naïve Maria Teresa (Zylberberg) a 20-years-old classroom assistant that one of her main duties is to keep intact strict school discipline under the supervision of Mr. Biasutto, the chief classroom assistant, who seems to like and protect her like a father does with a daughter or a teacher with a student, as young Marita –as her family calls her- is relatively new to this job. Mr. Biasutto purpose is to teach Marita how to arrive at what he called “the optimum surveillance point” where nothing is missed and everything is scanned without alarming students. She has to become the invisible eye. But young and lonely Marita notices a student doing something wrong and keeps quiet; he becomes her fixation and wishes to survey him everywhere including at the boys restroom. With Mr. Biasutto’s permission Marita is authorized to investigate students that are allegedly smoking at the boys restroom and what follows is Marita’s downfall which is quite “metaphorical” similar to what happened in Argentina in those days.

You have no idea how tension is very slowly built in this fantastic movie that has mostly superficial everyday school dialogue, many silences and many takes with camera following Marita walking the majestic school building corridors or crossing the patio, the last making breathtaking visual compositions. When story climax arrives you are sort of prepared but still is very disturbing.

I believe that even if you’re not familiar with Argentina history you will enjoy this thrilling drama for just the apparent intense story; but knowing the events will allow you to see the other movie layer. But you will easily get that repression doesn’t achieve the best of results –whether it’s military coup or a young women trying to break free.

Film was official selection at 2010 Cannes in the Quinzaine section and the 2010 San Sebastian festival in the Horizontes Latinos section; this after being the winner in the previous year of the Sundance/NHK International filmmaker and part of Cannes’ Atelier de la Cinefondation. Those are very good credentials that absolutely describe an excellent character driven drama and a great, yet young, filmmaker.

Film is must be seen for those that enjoy Latin America films and for those that like their films to be well-crafted with a look and feel that resembles good European cinema.


Watch Trailer @MOC

L’Arnacoeur (Heartbreaker)

Really like Romain Duris performances so it was an easy decision to give this movie a try; was a positive surprise as for film being a French comedy (which I don’t particularly enjoy) it was not only very well-acted by good actors but also predictable romance story was entertaining. I even liked Vanessa Paradis stiff performance (not always like her performances) in a role that absolutely fits her acting skills.

Film tells about Alex Lippi (Duris) who with the help of his sister Mélanie (Julie Ferrier) and his brother-in-law Marc (François Damiens) works as a hired-had to break up undesired couplings; but he has his values and only breaks up couples that are not in love. Against his will and better judgment decides to take a job where the couple seems very in love, the reason: he’s deeply in debt and collectors will kill him if he doesn’t pay soon. So, Alex becomes the bodyguard of Juliette Van Der Becq (Paradis) a beautiful, wealthy and upper-class woman that her father doesn’t want her to marry her perfect British fiancé. The rest you can imagine it very easy but is not the destination what this film is all about is about the very enjoyable and entertaining journey.

Best part for me of story and movie was that Juliette favorite movie is Dirty Dancing and she likes George Michael! LOL! Pathetic but I do like both a lot.

This is the kind of movie that mainstream American cinema likes to remake, but never gets the remake as good as the original; won’t be surprised if eventually an American remake is released. This is not great French cinema is more normal mainstream cinema with a very French look and feel that will please those that enjoy romantic comedies even when they’re not familiar -or don’t enjoy- French/European cinema.

I do recommend film for one of those moments where you wish to see a light, funny and entertaining story in a film with top-notch production values and great sights of very good-looking Monaco.


Watch trailer @MOC

22nd Palm Springs International Film Festival Award Winners

Yesterday the fest closed with screenings of the best films in the festival and the day before announced the award winners. These are the awards and the winners.

New Voices/New Visions Award: Smukke Mennesker (Nothing’s All Bad), Mikkel Much-Fals, Denmark
Special Mentions
Sound of Noise, Ola Simonsson, Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Sweden and France
40, Emre Sahin, Turkey and USA

Bridging the Borders Award: También la lluvia (Even the Rain), Icíar Bollaín, Spain, France and Mexico

FIPRESCI Award for Best Foreign Language of the Year: Des Hommes et des Dieux (Of Gods and Men), Xavier Beauvois, France. The jury selected the film, “for its incisive, restrained, and deeply moving depiction of religious faith tested by political strife.”

FIPRESCI Award for Best Actress: Anne Coesens in Illégal (Illegal), Olivier Masset-Depasse, Belgium, Luxembourg and France
FIPRESCI Award for Best Actor: Lars Rosing in Nuummioq, Otto Rosing and Torben Bech, Greenland

The John Schlesinger Award for Outstanding First Documentary: Summer Pasture, Lynn True, Nelson Walker III and Tsering Perlo, China and USA

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature: The Whistleblower, Larysa Kondracki, USA and Canada (What a cast! Check trailer @MOC) The runner-up narrative films in alphabetical order include Aftershock (China), Goethe (Germany), The Hedgehog (France), Paper Birds (Spain) and Simple Simon (Sweden).

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature: Louder Than a Bomb, Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, USA.  The runner-up documentary films in alphabetical order include Bill Cunningham New York (USA), Jane’s Journey (Germany), A Not So Still Life (USA), Waste Land (Brazil) and Wild Horse, Wild Ride (USA).

To check announcement at official site go here.

68th Annual Golden Globe Awards Winners

So the “biggest” party of the year is over and what surely everyone will be talking today is about why Ricky Gervais disappeared for almost an hour! Twitter went crazy with #freerickygervais where twits went pondering if he was fired on the spot, held backstage, ordered to tone down, etc.; the last one probably was true as when he finally came back it wasn’t his usual routine at all. To me he was doing his normal ‘mean’ routine, but seems his audience of Hollywood A-listers was not amused and I wonder how television audience reacted, but will check later.

Anyway the show biggest accomplishment was not to bore me as was able to watch the complete show and of course one of the show’s best entertainment moments was watching the Red Carpet that this year I got the excellent idea of watching on the computer (with no sound) the live streaming of a press member that generated an X-rated video that made laugh hard just with the images, all this while watching on TV the ‘normal’ Red Carpet shows (with sound). Absolutely a great idea that I will replicate for Oscar as saw many celebrities, stars and real great actors/filmmakers that never appeared in the any of the ‘official’ broadcasts.

So here are the winners for the feature film categories that only gave me great surprises for the not so popular categories, like best foreign film, as in other categories the predictable winner won. By the way, with these awards we “finish” the critic/press round and from now on all winners announcements will come from actual Academy voters, so we will start to play more accurately the guessing game about what Oscar could be like; hopefully some more interesting results happen as if the trend continues alike, guessing the Oscars becomes a (boring) sure bet.

Best Motion Picture – Drama: The Social Network
Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical: The Kids Are All Right
Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3
Best Foreign Language Film: In a Better World, Denmark

Best Director: David Fincher for The Social Network

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama: Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical: Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Melissa Leo in The Fighter

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama: Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical: Paul Giamatti in Barney’s Version
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Christian Bale in The Fighter

Best Screenplay: Aaron Sorkin for the The Social Network
Best Original Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for The Social Network
Best Original Song: You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me from Burlesque

Have to comment that winners in the television categories were more interesting than predicable feature film categories, particularly Claire Danes win for the excellent HBO film Temple Grandin where she does an outstanding performance in a very remarkable film and story. To check feature films and television award winners go here.

So that’s it for this year and hope next year the HFPA returns to more quality nominations and does not nominate films in wrong categories as they did this year; already talked about The Tourist nominated as Comedy or Musical, but I had no idea that The Kids Are All Right was a comedy or musical (pun intended) as I found nothing comic or humorous in that horrendous film and if Alice in Wonderland was a comedy is new news to me as Johnny Depp can do very dark humor but that doesn’t make any of his films a comedy or you are going to tell me that the Pirate saga movies are comedies just because Jack Sparrow is an ingeniously dark character?

While watching the show I also entertained me checking my predictions and out of the 14 feature film categories got 10 Right, 1 half right, 1 half wrong and 2 wrong (lol!), not bad as the categories where I was wrong had no idea at all.

Golden Globes Predictions

As everyone is playing with their crystal balls I will too; but please remember that I don’t take too seriously these awards, especially this year when they nominated so many films in the wrong categories like for example The Tourist in the Comedy or Musical category (??!!) and when seems that organizers were more concerned with show ratings than with the general quality of the awards. With the many celebrities and real Hollywood stars that are nominated and if they come to the awards, watching the show –and the red carpet- will be more like an entertainment magazine than a serious, yet fun-to-watch, awards show. But of course I will watch!!! LOL!

This is what my crystal ball says.

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Black Swan should win but I bet whatever you wish that The Social Network will win.  Right.

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Terrible category as chosen nominees are going to make possible that awful The Kids Are All Right wins something in this awards season; yep will win. Wouldn’t be extremely FUNNY if The Tourist wins??? I will love to see movie win in the comedy category! (lol!)  Unfortunately I was Right.

Best Animated Feature Film
Haven’t seen The Illusionist but if is half as good than The Triplets of Belleville (which I bet you is not as animation is really ahead in France - they're setting new industry standards) then this movie should win. But we know that Toy Story 3 will win.  Right.

Best Foreign Language Film
There are three films I haven’t seen, so I have to guess who the winner could be. My instinct says that the film that deserves winning is In a Better World –which I haven’t seen- but probably I Am Love will win, after all this is the foreign press. I question those that are saying that Biutiful will win as believe could be possible if Javier Bardem got a nod as Best Actor and he didn’t. So, I say is Italy this year.  I'm SO GLAD Denmark WON!!! Bravo!!  so,was half right... lol!

Best Director
I’m having a hard time deciding… think that David Fincher will win. Yes my hope is that Aronofsky wins, but then you also have Hooper.  Hard.  So Fincher won.  Right.

Actress – Drama
Has to be Natalie Portman. Period. Right.

Actress – Comedy or Musical
Has to be Annette Bening and she deserves it, not only for this film but also for great Mother and Child. Right.

Supporting Actress
Haven’t seen Animal Kingdom, but think Jacki Weaver will win. Other contenders could be Helena Bonham Carter and Melissa Leo. But wouldn’t be nice if Mila Kunis wins? (lol!)  Should say that I was half wrong, well Melissa Leo character was scary dysfunctional.

Actor – Drama
Of course, Colin Firth should win and I hope he wins. But I wouldn’t mind at all if young Jesse Eisenberg wins.  Right.

Actor – Comedy or Musical
Of course, Johnny Depp!!! He should win EVERYTHING. Okay, seriously have no idea, not an easy category for me as haven’t seen four movies. Could this be Kevin Spacey first win ever?  Probably. On second thoughts, wouldn't the ratings be high if organizers assure the presence of Johnny?  He has to be around and if he is, then he will win. Wrong.

Supporting Actor
Disliked the movie a lot but I wouldn’t be surprised if Christian Bale wins. Hope that illness and sentimentalism doesn’t prevail and make Douglas the winner. Right.

Excellent screenplay by Aaron Sorkin he has to win.  Right.

Best Original Score
No idea. Will guess. How about most famous Alexandre Desplat… yes, him. Wrong.

Original song
Easy, one from the two Burlesque’s songs nominated. How about Cher-sung You Haven’t Seen The Last of Me… yes this one.  Right.

So what do you think, do you agree? Disagree? Well, next Sunday we will know who wins and this year circus will be over which allows us to concentrate into more serious affairs.

16th Critics’ Choice Awards Winners

Winners are in *RED. Winners in all categories will be eventually at the Official site that's here.

Today critics continue to announce their honored films and the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) released their news; if you wish to read the press release go here. These are the nominations for this year where Black Swan receibed an ‘unprecedented’ 12 nominations followed close behind with 11 nominations each, True Grit and The King’s Speech.

Best Picture
127 Hours
Black Swan
The Fighter
The King’s Speech
*The Social Network
The Town
Toy Story 3
True Grit
Winter’s Bone

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan
Danny Boyle for 127 Hours
Joel and Ethan Coen for True Grit
*David Fincher for The Social Network
Tom Hooper for The King’s Speech
Christopher Nolan for Inception

Best Actress
Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right
Nicole Kidman in Rabbit Hole
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
*Natalie Portman in Black Swan
Noomi Rapace in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams in The Fighter
Helena Bonham Carter in The King’s Speech
Mila Kunis in Black Swan
*Melissa Leo in The Fighter
Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit
Jacki Weaver in Animal Kingdom

Best Actor
Jeff Bridges in True Grit
Robert Duvall in Get Low
Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Netwrok
*Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
James Franco in 127 Hours
Ryan Gosling in Blue Valentine

Best Supporting Actor
*Christian Bale in The Fighter
Andrew Garfield in The Social Network
Jeremy Renner in The Town
Sam Rockwell in Conviction
Mark Ruffalo in The Kids Are All Right
Geoffrey Rush in The King’s Speech

Best Young Actor/Actress
Elle Fanning in Somewhere
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
Chloe Grace Moretz in Let Me In
Chloe Grace Moretz in Kick-Ass
Kodi Smit-McPhee in Let Me In
*Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit

Best Acting Ensemble
*The Fighter
The Kids Are All Right
The King’s Speech
The Social Network
The Town

Best Animated Feature
Despicable Me
How to Train Your Dragon
The Illusionist
*Toy Story 3

Best Action Movie
The Town

Best Comedy
Date Night
*Easy A
Give Him to the Greek
I Love You Phillip Morris
The Other Guys

Best Foreign Language Film
I Am Love
*The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

To check nominees in all categories go here.  Winners will be announced on Friday, January 14, 2011 at 9:00pm ET/PT and will VH1 will broadcast the award ceremony. Is the first year that the show will also be broadcast internationally so we’ll be able to watch on our own TV.

Already realized that there is a pattern for most categories, but this association really has some “strange” selections; for example can you believe that they nominated only 3 fims in the foreign language film category? Maybe they don’t watch much non-English cinema as there are MANY excellent movies that should be included in the category. Still I'm glad that Noomi Rapace is being honored as she truly deserves for her close to perfection Lisbeth.

16th Prix Lumières Awards Winners

Watched live the ceremony that looked more like a press conference than an awards ceremony, except for the two great short films that were shown one by Polanski and the other by Michel Ocelot. Winners are in *Blue and eventually will be at the official site that is here.

Recently L’Académie des Lumières announced this year nominations and if you forgot let me remind you that these awards are given by the foreign press academy in Paris to honor French and Francophone films. These are the nominations.

Best Film
Carlos, le film by Oliver Assayas
*Des Hommes et des Dieux by Xavier Beauvois
(Vie héroïque) by Joann Sfar
The Ghost Writer by Roman Polanski
L’Illusioniste by Sylvain Chomet

Best Foreign Film in French
Amer, Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, Belgium and France
Les Amours imaginaires, Xavier Dolan, Canada
*Un homme qui crie, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France, Belgium, and Chad
Illégal, Olivier Masset-Depasse, Belgium, Luxembourg, and France
Orly, Angela Schanelec, Germany and France

Best Director
Mathieu Amalric for Tournée
Olivier Assayas for Carlos, le film
Xavier Beauvois for Des Hommes et des Dieux
*Roman Polanski for The Ghost Writer
Joann Sfar for Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque)

Best Actress
Juliette Binoche in Copie Conforme by Abbas Kiarostami
Isabelle Carré in Les Emotifs anonymes by Jean-Pierre Améris
Catherine Deneuve in Potiche by François Ozon
Ludivine Sagnier in Pieds nus sur les limaces by Fabienne Berthaud
*Kristin Scott Thomas in Elle s'appelait Sarah by Gilles Paquet-Brenner

Best Actor
Romain Duris in L'Arnacœur by Pascal Chaumeil and L'Homme qui voulait vivre sa vie by Eric Lartigau
Éric Elmosnino in Gainsbourg (Vie héroïque) by Joann Sfar
*Michael Lonsdale in Des hommes et des dieux by Xavier Beauvois
Edgar Ramirez in Carlos, le film by Olivier Assayas
Lambert Wilson in Des hommes et des dieux by Xavier Beauvois and La Princesse de Montpensier by Bertrand Tavernier

Best Female Newcomer
Lolita Chammah in Copacabana by Marc Fitoussi
Linda Doudaeva in Les Mains en l'air by Romain Goupil
Marie Féret in Nannerl, la sœur de Mozart by René Féret
Nina Rodriguez in No et moi by Zabou Breitman
*Yahima Torres in Vénus noire by Abdellatif Kechiche

Best Male Newcomer
Emile Berling in Le Bruit des glaçons by Bertrand Blier
Nahuel Perez Biscayart in Au fond des bois by Benoit Jacquot
*Antonin Chalon in No et moi by Zabou Breitman
Jules Pelissier in Simon Werner a disparu... by Fabrice Gobert
Aymen Saidi in Dernier étage gauche gauche by Angelo Clanci

To check the announcement please go here available only in French. Awards ceremony will be on January 14, 2011 and hope that TV5 Monde will broadcast live. In total there are 10 awards, the other two is the TV5 Monde Audience Award and the CST Prix.

I know I’m caught in the middle of the Oscar race but I know that there are other awards going on around the world, so eventually they will appear here. This year haven’t been able to really watch as many French movies as I like, but hope that eventually will be able to watch films I’m really ‘dying’ to see like the ones that got nominatios for Deneuve, Sagnier, Scott Thomas, and Carré; strangely enough I have already seen most films that gave nominations to actors, that’s really unusual. Have seen Gainsbourg (it’s really a crazy movie) and I’m “dying” to watch Venus Noire, Illégal, and L’Illusioniste. It’s official have to watch Carlos, le film (not the miniseries) as of this moment I’m really curious to find why is getting so many honors.

As we know these nominations gives us an idea of the possible nominations for the annual Cesar Awards and hope that by the time they are announced I will be able to already seen all films in the Best Actress category as I imagine all will be nominated as well.

16ème Cérémonie des Lumières LIVE

If you’re interested in watching live the award ceremony for the Prix Lumières that will take place in about an hour and half, @20:30pm Paris time, go here; for the first time the ceremony will be streamed online live at the Academy official site.

Tonight Roman Polanski will be honored for his 50 years in cinema and Kristin Scott Thomas will do “l’hommage exceptionnel”. These are the news:

L’Académie Lumières rend un hommage exceptionnel à Roman Polanski.

Pour les 50 années de la carrière de réalisateur de Roman Polanski, carrière débutée en 1961 par la réalisation de Couteau dans l’eau, récompensé en 2009 par le Festival International de Varsovie, par le titre du "Meilleur scénario dans l’histoire du cinéma polonais", l’Académie Lumières souhaite rendre un hommage exceptionnel à l’un des plus grands cinéastes contemporains, auteur, entre autres, de Le Pianiste, Oliver Twist, La Jeune fille et la mort, Lunes de fiel, Frantic, Pirates, Tess, Le Locataire, Chinatown, Rosemary’s Baby, Le Bal des vampires, Cul de sac ou Répulsion.

Please remember that these awards are given by the foreign press at Paris, so is the French equivalent to the American Golden Globes (only a lot more serious).

1st My French Film Festival Latest News - Movie On Contest

The first movie I ever saw I watch it on TV and still remember my first time at one of the extra-large movie theaters that later on became smaller and smaller. Nothing much changed in how we could watch movies until VHS players invaded our homes and we started to record and eventually to buy movies to watch them when it pleased us as well as the many times we wish to do so.

In my first post in this blog I mentioned my LaserDisc collection; still have it and the player, no matter how many countries I have travelled to, is still working. Now and then I still watch films by Kurosawa, Ozu, and many more directors; films came in two laserdiscs and at one moment you had to turn the disc to the other side to continue watching. But it was edge technology, then.

Everything changed when inexpensive DVD’s came, movies really became affordable plus we could watch them with excellent quality and can’t believe that I am witnessing another major change that I’m sure has changed, is changing and will continue to change the way we watch movies: Online Streaming. Yes, can tell you that my first online complete movie I watch it at MUBI; that was then, The Auteurs.

But from today until January 29, you and me, WE, will be able to do something that not many dreamed as possible. We will be able to attend a film festival and we will do it from where we usually watch most of our movies nowadays: at home. No planes, no travelling, no traffic; just your friends, you and the movie. Outstanding!!!

Yes, My French Film Festival starts today a true milestone event that joins three of my passions: movies, festivals and French cinema.

But success will not come only by generating the event, WE have to make this festival a huge success so it can be assured that many more festivals will come in the future. I’m inviting my readers to become active part of this festival where you not only can watch feature films and short films but also can VOTE for your favorite film to win the Audience Award.

To stimulate your interest in participating in the festival I’m doing a contest called: Movie On likes My French Film Festival.

To participate just send an email telling me: Why do you (or you don’t) like to watch French movies.

The PRIZE: ONE FREE TICKET to watch a feature film or a short film from the festival.

So, hurry and send me an email using the envelope that’s in the first column. Winners will be selected by me and will be using my own criteria. HURRY because unfortunately don’t have many free tickets!!!

To check feature films as well as short films in competition, films out of competition, watch trailers and learn more about the festival please go to here.

Before announcing the contest, had to tell a story as otherwise wouldn't be Storyteller.


34th Göteborg International Film Festival Line-up

The leading film festival in Scandinavia will run from January 28 to February 7 and here are some of the 442 films the fest will screen.

Dragon Award for Best Nordic Film

Opening Film: Kongen av Bastøy (King’s Devil’s Island), Marius Holst, Norway

Apflickorna (She Monkeys), Lisa Aschan, Sweden
Brim, Árni Ólafur Asgeirsson, Iceland
Jag Saknar Dig (I Miss You), Anders Grönros, Sweden
Odjuret (Savage), Martin Jern and Emil Larsson, Sweden
Princessa (Princess), Arto Harlonen, Finland
Sandheden om mænd (Truth About Men), Nikolaj Arcel, Denmark
Sykt Lykkelig (Happy Happy), Anne Sewitsky, Norway

To view films list at fest site go here or browse festival program magazine here.

Closing Film (out of completion): Isolerad (Corridor), Johan Lundborg and John Storm, Sweden

The Ingmar Bergman International Debut Award
Given to the director of first or second films

Ryan Redford for Oliver Sherman, Canada
Olivier Masset-Deppase for Illégal (Illegal), Belgium
Alix Delaporte for Angèle et Tony, France
Athina Rachel Tsangari for Attenberg, Greece
Clio Barnard for The Arbor, UK
Maria Sødahl for Limbo, Norway
Federico Vieroj for La vida útil (A Useful Life), Uruguay and Spain
Derek Cianfrance for Blue Valentine, USA

To check list at fest site go here and to check other sections go here.

Romanian Focus section will screen six recent new wave Romanian feature films plus four classics (1968 to 1982), shorts, seminars and a Mihail Livada retrospective. More info here.

Festival will show ten “Red Westerns” that were often shot in places like Yugoslavia, Mongolia and southern Soviet Union; quite often the roles were reversed compared to their American models: good Indians and bad cowboys. The concept of Soviet cowboys and East German Indians has a strange ring to it, but the fact is that the former Eastern Bloc produced lots of western films from the 1920s until the early 1980s. Read more here.

Also very interesting is The Dragon Award for New Talent that’s defined as: “The World’s Largest Online Short Film Competition” that screens short films for you to watch and VOTE. There are many shorts that you can find here voting is open until January 17th and winner will be announced on February 4th.

Film closing ceremony is Saturday, February 5.

40th International Film Festival Rotterdam

Been constantly checking the fest site and is not until today that they have completed the official selection for the main competition so now let’s see what the first major festival of the year brings to us for our viewing pleasure during this year or maybe next. Fest will take place from January 26 to February 6.

Tiger Awards Competition
First or second feature films

Opening Film: Wasted Youth, Argyris Papadimitropoulos and Jan Vogel, Greece, 2011
Chitra Sutram (The Image Threads), Vipin Vijay, India, 2010
Fasl-e baran-haye moosemi (Rainy Seasons), Majid Barzegar, Iran, 2010
Finisterrae, Sergio Caballero, Spain, 2010
Fuyu no kemono (Love Addiction), Uchida Nobuteru, Japan, 2010
Gromozeka, Vladimir Kott, Russia, 2011
Headshots, Lawrence Tooley, Germany and Austria, 2010
Igillena maluwo (Flying Fish), Sanjeewa Pushpakumara, Sri Lanka, 2011
Musan il-gy (The Journals of Musan), Park Jung-Bum, South Korea, 2010
O céu sobre os ombros (The Sky Above), Sergio Borges, Brazil, 2010 (gay interest)
Pasuggun (Bleak Night) Yoon Sung-Hyun, South Korea, 2010
Tee-rak (Eternity), Sivaroj Kongsakul, Thailand, 2010
Todos tus Muertos (All Your Dead Ones), Carlos Moreno, Colombia, 2010
Vete más lejos, Alicia (Alicia, Go Yonder), Ellisa Miller, Mexico, 2010

To check the press release with films brief synopsis go here or here.

Tiger Awards Jury
Lucrecia Martel, filmmaker, scriptwriter and film producer, Argentina
Sandra den Hamer, director of EYE Film Institute and former IFFR director, Netherlands
Andrei Ujica, filmmaker, Romania
Wisit Sasanatieg, filmmaker, Thailand
Lee Ranaldo, musician, USA

2011 IFFR has the following sections:

XL:Not Kidding
Not Kidding will screen short films, combinations of sound and images, a lot of animated films, special events and workshops. A place to see film through innocent eyes. The programme will investigate what adults can learn from the way children read images. Not Kidding, developed and compiled by IFFR programmer Edwin Carels, will be open daily during the festival at a location to be determined.

Bright Future
Bright Future is the platform for filmmakers of the future. Here, the festival presents the most important, idiosyncratic and adventurous new work by novice makers from all over the world. The section mainly consists of first or second films. Full program will be announced on January 20. To read press release with some of the films go here.

Spectrum comprises work by experienced film makers and artists who provide, in the opinion of the IFFR, an essential contribution to international film culture. Spectrum brings together highlights of the film year, new work by prominent auteurs and topical, strong and innovative films by accomplished filmmakers. Program hasn’t been announced yet, but will be up soon.

Signals is made up of a series of thematic film programs exhibitions or performances. Here the festival focuses on specific themes and oeuvres of striking filmmakers or visual artists. The programs within Signals offer insight in topical as well as timeless ideas within cinema.
Signals: Out of Fashion
Signals: Red Westerns
Signals: Water Tiger Inn
Signals: Raiding Africa
Signals: F.J. Ossang
Signals: Agustí Villaronga
Signals: Nathaniel Dorsky

Spectrum: Shorts and Tiger Awards for Short Film
Approximately 450 shorts will be screened during this coming edition. A clear statement: Rotterdam picks quality over length. The short films have their own competition, the Tiger Awards for Short Film, and a jury will select three winners out of all the nominees.

Section selections are accessible from here.

There are two quite interesting projects going on attached to the festival, Cinema Reloaded and New Arrivals. Here is a brief summary of what each project is all about.

Cinema Reloaded
In December 2009, The International Film Festival Rotterdam launched an ambitious experiment in film-making in the digital era: Cinema Reloaded allows filmmakers to directly connect with film lovers in order to finance and distribute their projects through combined online crowd sourcing and crowd funding. The participating directors are Alexis Dos Santos (UK/Argentina), Ho Yuhang (Malaysia) and Harmony Korine (USA), who replaced the Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist in September 2010.

The films will begin shooting when a minimum level of finance is reached. Payments will take the form of “coins” to be invested in an individual project. Once production has begun, backers, called "co-producers", will be able to track their chosen project, talk to other investors and to interact with the film-maker.

To learn more about this very interesting project go here and maybe you can become an investor and co producer with this bold, practical “experiment” that need “coins” (minimum is Euros 5.00) from you.

New Arrivals

New Arrivals is an online platform for shorts, a collaboration between the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and Dutch broadcasting company NTR. IFFR is inviting filmmakers from all over the world to send in their short film. All entries will be shown online. An editorial committee selects five films every month, a jury - together with the public - selects the monthly winner. Read more here.

Last, believe is a good idea to remind you all that the fest Youtube channel has full feature and short films that you can stream directly to your TV, so suggest you check the available films here.

Tiger Awards official selection is –as always- eclectic with some films I’m sure a visual marvels and others with what seems like very interesting stories. So this is it until we learn the winners.

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