Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘author Dee Dee’ Category

Hello! Sam Juliano, Allan, and Wonders in the Dark readers…I would like to introduce you to my special guest this month author Michael B. Druxman… Who is the author Of several books…His Current book is…

“My Forty-Five Years in Hollywood…and How I Escaped Alive!”

(more…)

Read Full Post »

the city in the film Metropolis

[Note: I usually post my “In The Spotlight” conversations on Sunday morning, but due to scheduling conflict…I had to post my conversation with my special guest Gil Anderson, this morning. I hope that you enjoy what my guest Gilchrist Anderson, has to say in our interview about his painstaking restoration of Giorgio Moroder’s version of director Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis
Thanks,]

Good-Morning… Wonders in the Dark readers, and fellow bloggers, this morning I am so happy that film editor Gilchrist Anderson, took the time out of his very busy schedule to sit down and discuss with me over a cup of coffee and croissant(s) his restoration of Giorgio Moroder’s version of director Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis.

Dee Dee:
Good-morning…Gil Anderson, what a pleasure it is for me to meet you, (as I reach to shake Gil Anderson’s hand) please sit down.

Dee Dee:
Let me begin by asking you the first question that I ask all my guest and that is…

Can you once again please tell me (and the Wonders in the Dark readers,) a little about your blog? Metropolis Redux

Gilchrist Anderson:
My blog chronicles the last part of my journey in re-creating Metropolis Redux, Giorgio Moroder’s version of Metropolis.

I never really planned on making the work public, but there was so much interest I thought I’d better share and started documenting what I was doing. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Editor Note: In Honour of Wonders in the Dark Allan Fish, exhaustive countdown and look at “Almost Silent Films” (To The Year 1929) which just came to an end and now the beginning of that Tabulator Extraordinaire Angelo A. D’ Arminio Jr’s…Task Which Is About To Begin…Here Goes Some Great News…
         

        Hi! Sam Juliano, Allan, and Wonders in the Dark readers, This News Was Just Posted by The writer of my blog…

Fritz Lang’s ‘Metropolis’ Coming to a Big Screen Near You
By Eric M. Armstrong — Published on Apr 8th, 2010 and filed under Features, News.
(more…)

Read Full Post »

Good-Morning… fellow bloggers and Wonders in the Dark readers, this morning I am so happy that the Co-Founder and proprietor of Wonders in the Dark Sam Juliano, took the time out of his very busy schedule to sit down and discuss with me over a cup of coffee and croissant(s) his favorite films and the Oscars@ again this year.

[Editor Note: I have interspersed [some] of last year questions that I asked Sam Juliano, with this year questions…]

Dee Dee:
Welcome… Sam Juliano, what a pleasure it is for me to meet you, again (I reach to shake Sam Juliano, hand) please sit down.
Sam Juliano: Good-Morning… DeeDee…

Dee Dee:
Let me begin by asking you the first question that I asked you last year and that is…
Can you once again please tell me (and your readers,) a little about your blog “Wonders in the Dark” after a year has passed…
…In other words, have Wonders in the Dark format changed…since I asked you this question last year?

…also I noticed that your writing staff have changed…Therefore, can you please tell me a little about your “new” writing staff too?

[Editor’s Note:You can omit me, but of course…because I’ am not on your writing staff.
In addition, it sounds like a “loaded” question now, that my name is listed on your staff blog roll… (I can imagine what your readers are thinking…hint, hint…She is fishing for compliments~Oh! no…never!)
]

Sam Juliano:
LOL Dee Dee! As you know, the WitD staff has expanded to include several writers who have made significant contributions to the site.

The most prolific of these of course is Joel Bocko a.k.a. “Movie Man,” who is one of the movie blogosphere’s most extraordinarily gifted writers and commenters (he’s either at the top or close to it), and his ‘Best of the 21st Century’ series, which is featured on Tuesdays, is rightly quite popular.

Bob Clark, from over there at  The Aspect Ratio is another who has penned some high-quality reviews for the site, as well as ‘Best Of’ lists, and newcomers Jim Clark and Marc Bauer have also written some superlative pieces.
“Jim” (no relation to Bob) was recruited by that incomparable man from Sydney, Tony d’Ambra, from over there at  Filmsnoir.net
…who after two years, continues to exert a tremendous influence on the decision-making and policies of the site, while navigating the updating of teh site graphics. d’Ambra, is one of my closest friends and allies, and his sometimes onery approach is sorely needed to keep us bleeding-heart liberals in line.

Jamie Uhrer, a talented young man from the Chicago area, has also made some excellent contributions to the site and is a regular poster.

Needless to say my dear friend, you are in a class by yourself, with all your enthusiasm and new ideas, the spectacular navigation of the Oscar series, the utilization of you tube clips, pollings and invaluable links, as well as one great comment after another. Your spirit is the heart and soul of this site.
So we can safely say that Wonders in the Dark has evolved into a melting pot of writers, interviewers and designers, of varying specialties and ages, who all have helped to give the site a multi-faceted approach and appearance.

I am always striving to inject opera, classical music and theatre into the equations, as they are truly my first love, with film pushing very close. With Allan Fish’s countdowns as the central feature (his capsule reviews are second to none)
I am optimistic moving towards our two-year anniversary, and I thank you fair lady for the central role you have played here right along.

DeeDee:
If you recall last year I asked Sam Juliano, to list his favorite films…Which I have reposted below and they are:

Au Hasard Balthazar (Bresson)
City Lights (Chaplin)
The Last Picture Show (Bogdonovich)
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi)
Tokyo Story (Ozu)

Vertigo (Hitchcock)
The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer)
West Side Story (Wise/Robins)
The Fountain (Aronofsky)
Far From Heaven (Haynes)

Cries and Whispers (Bergman)
The General (Keaton)
Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore)
The Grapes of Wrath (Ford)
Citizen Kane (Welles)

Marketa Lazarova (Vlacil)
Empire of the Sun (Spielberg)
A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick)
Jean de Florette (Berri)
It’s A Wonderful Life (Capra)

Wuthering Heights (Wyler)
Psycho (Hitchcock)
Le Journal d’Un Cure de Campagne (Bresson)
Wild Strawberries (Bergman)
Kes (Loach)

The Third Man (Reed)
Double Indemnity (Wilder)
Ben-Hur (Wyler)
Persona (Berman)
Viridiana (Bunuel)

Sunrise (Murnau)
Goodbye Mr. Chips (Wood)
Red (Kieslowski)
Santantango (Tarr)
I Never Sang For My Father (Cates)

Les Miserables (Bernard)
The Ascent (Shepitko)
Un Partie de Campagne (Renoir)
The Red Balloon (Lamorisee)
La Roue (Gance)

Greed (Von Stroheim)
Day of Wrath (Dreyer)
Schindler’s List (Spielberg)
Mon Oncle Antoine (Jutra)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir)

Henry V (Branagh)
Richard III (Olivier)
Ikiru (Kurosawa)
The Burmese Harp (Ichikawa)
Twenty-Four Eyes (Kinoskita)

DeeDee:
Sam Juliano, is/are there any additional films that you would like to add to this list?

Sam Juliano:
Dee Dee: Lets add The Wind (Sjostrom), The Crowd (Vidor), L’Argent (l’Herbier) Blue (Kieslowski), Night and the City (Dassin) Late Spring (Ozu), Tokyo Twilight (Ozu), Pickpocket (Bresson), A Man Escaped (Bresson) Fanny and Alexander (Bergman) and The House is Black (Farrokhzad) to the list.

DeeDee:
Sam Juliano, now, that you have listed your favorite films…I would like to know do you want to add any additional films to your list of least favorite films?
We know that last year you listed Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation as your least favorite film, but are there any other films that you care to add to your list this year?

Sam Juliano:
You know Dee Dee, I can never satisfactorily explain why I never cared much for Chinatown, The African Queen, Into the Wild, Up in the Air, and some others, and while I don’t hate them, let’s just say I’ve never gone along with the critical majority.
But we’ve been on both sides of the fence so we understand the feeling.

DeeDee:
Whom do you consider your favorite director(s)? In addition, why is this person/people your favorite director(s)?

Sam Juliano:
My favorite directors of all-time in no particular order are Bresson, Bergman, Ozu, Dreyer, Chaplin, Murnau, Keaton, Bunuel, S. Ray, Mizoguchi, Gance, Renoir, Fellini, De Sica, Vlacil, Foreman, Wajda, Kinoshita, Kobayashi, Preston Sturges, Lubitsch, Wilder, Capra, Tarkovsky, Powell & Pressburger, Lean, Sirk, N. Ray, Sembene, Scorsese, Spielberg, Allen, Von Trier, Haynes, Lynch, Curtiz, Wyler, Antonioni, Pasolini, Dassin,
…and a number of others.
I favor humanism, the classic clowns, and existential cinema as well as musical films and silents most of all, and my choices I do believe reflect this.

DeeDee:
Sam Juliano, with the Oscar@ award show over I would like to know what films do you feel was overlooked during this Oscar@ season that you feel should have received more attention.
In other words,
What film do you feel should have been acknowledged by the Academy of Arts and Sciences, but was “overlooked” this year?

Sam Juliano:
Well Dee Dee, that would have to be Jane Campion’s ravishing period romance about the last years of the poet John Keat’s life, when he courted Fanny Brawne, titled Bright Star.
Sam’s Favorite Film Bright Star
It was my own #1 film of the year, but it received no attention from the Academy, even if critics gave the film much-deserved excellent notices.

DeeDee:
[Last Year Question: Sam Juliano, I received an invitation I ‘am quite sure like all the readers that post here on Wonders in the Dark, inviting us to your Oscar @ party and what I would like to know is this can you, please fill those of us who are not in the know ….
We generally get about 35 to 40 people in attendance and run an Oscar “pool” with the winner determined simply by seeing who had the most right of the 23 categories.
Lucille (Sam Juliano’s wife) and I always provide a rather elaborate spread of food and drink (last night we served homemade eggplant rollatini, chicken parmigiana, rigatoni and tomato sauce, meatballs, escarole and beans, and a wide array of cold cuts and salads.
Beer and soda was also served as well as snack foods.
The show is watched on our downstairs plasma television (52 inches) and also on the first floor in the living room. Those in attendance usually move up and down.]

DeeDee
This year question: Sam Juliano, What happened at the Oscar party this year? We (All the readers here at Wonders in the Dark…know what food was served to your guest, …(Thanks, Dennis,) but you can expand on my question if you like…

Sam Juliano:
Dee Dee, we had a great time, and our friend Jason Giampietro again used his video camera to record some of the party on you tube.
Wonders in the Dark readers, here goes a snippet from Sam and Lucille Juliano’s Oscar@ party 2010

DeeDee:
Sam Juliano, from over there at Wonders in the Dark I want to thank you, for stopping by and sharing some of your time with me and the readers here at Wonders in the Dark in order to discuss your interests in films, and the Oscars@ again this morning.

Sam Juliano:
Thank You, Dee Dee again for all you have done. It is always a great pleasure to speak to you directly!

[Editor Note:I was going to present Sam Juliano, with a complimentary gift “unopened” this morning for being such a gracious guest…, which was The Bad Girls of Film Noir box set, but Sam Juliano, “opened” his gift earlier this month.
Last year I was going to present Sam Juliano, with (TCM host) Robert Osbourne’s Oscar book, but Sam Juliano said, “He already own  a copy of Osbourne’s book.”]

Sam Juliano:
Your generosity is legendary Dee Dee, and this latest gift is deeply appreciated!

DeeDee:
Sam Juliano, you very welcome…and once again thank-you, for taking the time to response to my questions again this year.
Now, I’am placing Allan and the Wonders in the Dark readers in the…spotlight by asking you to share your favorite director(s) and film(s) with Sam Juliano, Allan and the readers here at Wonders in the Dark and why this/these particular director/directors is/are your favorite director(s).
Thank-you!
================================================

Read Full Post »

picture
Please Check Out The Winners Here…Thanks,
http://oscar.go.com/oscar-night/winners
Oscar@ Statues

All of Sam Juliano’s Oscars@ Predictions…
Picture: The Hurt Locker
Director: Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Actor: Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart)
Actress: Sandra Bullock (The Blind Side)
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz (Inglorious Basterds)
Supporting Actress: Mo’Nique (Precious)
Original Screenplay: The Hurt Locker
Adapted Screenplay: Up in the Air
Editing: The Hurt Locker
Cinematography: The White Ribbon
Foreign Film: The Secret in Their Eyes (Argentina)
Animated Film: Up
Documentary Feature: The Cove
Original Score: Up
Original Song: The Weary Kind (Crazy Heart)
Art Direction: Avatar
Visual Effects: Avatar
Costumes: The Young Victoria
Make-up: Star Trek
Sound Editing: Avatar
Sound Mixing: The Hurt Locker
Animated Short: The Lady and the Reaper
Live Action Short: Instead of Abracadabra
Documentary Short: China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan (more…)

Read Full Post »

According to Sam Juliano, The Best Director’s race this year, brings together the helmers of the five strongest films of the ten nominated in the Best Picture category. Hence, the five nominees are:
Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
James Cameron, Avatar
Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds
Jason Reitman, Up in the Air
Lee Daniels, Precious

Not a single choice here was unexpected when nominations were announced, and it’s almost a sure bet that these five films would have been the exact ones named if the category was still restricted to five. Of course there is little doubt that Kathryn Bigelow, will be bring home the gold this year for her vigorous direction of The Hurt Locker, which will make her the first woman ever to cop the prestigious prize. Even if for some reason The Hurt Locker fails to cop Best Picture, it is a foregone conclusion that Ms. Bigelow is a lock in this category.

Personally I believe that The Hurt Locker will be carried in to the winners circle in the biggest category, largely as a result of Bigelow’s popularity and certain win. James Cameron’s Avatar could still win Best Picture, but Cameron can’t win Best Director, as he’s won once before, and his big ego has always been a turn off to voters, despite his considerable talent and ability to pump life into the industry with big box-office. Similarly, Tarantino, Reitman and Daniels are just here for the ride, though of the three, it now appears Tarantino is probably the strongest.

Sam Juliano’s Prediction: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Sam Juliano’s Personal Choice: James Cameron, Avatar

Note: If you like you can partake in the Oscar@ poll(s)…
[The Polling Will End This Evening at 6:25pm]

Best Director and Best Actress



Best Actress in a Leading Role…
Sam Juliano’s Choice To Win…
Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Sam Juliano’s Personal Favorite…
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia

Read Full Post »

Below is the full list of the 82nd Annual Oscar Nominations and “recaps” of Sam Juliano’s Oscar Predictions.

picture

Oscar@ Statues
Best Picture
“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9″
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”
[Editor Note;Sam Juliano’s Prediction For This Year Best Film To Be Announced Tomorrow Morning]

Best Direction
“Avatar” — James Cameron
“The Hurt Locker” — Kathryn Bigelow
“Inglourious Basterds” — Quentin Tarantino
“Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” — Lee Daniels
“Up in the Air” — Jason Reitman
[Editor Note;Sam Juliano’s Prediction For Best Director To Be Announced Tomorrow Morning.]

Actor in a Leading Role…
Sam Juliano’s Choice To Win…
Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”…
George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
Sam Juliano’s Personal Favorite…
Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actress in a Leading Role…
Sam Juliano’s Choice To Win…
Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
Sam Juliano’s Personal Favorite…
Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actor in a Supporting Role…
Matt Damon in “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
Sam Juliano’s Choice To Win…
Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
Sam Juliano’s Choice To Win…
Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” (more…)

Read Full Post »

picture
Oscar@ Statues
[Editor’s Note; The Poll Will Change When A Different Oscar@ Category Is Posted.]

Sam Juliano’s Sums Up Why He Predicts Sandra Bullock, Will Win…For Best Actress.
By Sam Juliano…
The ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ category is the year’s most intriguing acting category, and the one boasting in an overall sense the strongest performances.  It’s also the one category with a number of terrific performances left on the sidelines, and the one contest that isn’t quite locked up, even with a firm favorite emerging.

Three performances in films from abroad richly deserved recognition, but were left out. Yolande Moreau, who portrayed a real-life turn-of-the-century artist in southern France named ‘Seraphine’ in the film of the same name; Abbie Cornish, who delivered a deeply moving performance as John Keats’s lover in the last years of his life in Jane Campion’s ravishing Bright Star,
and Catalina Saavedra, delivered a quietly-evocative performance as a family servant in the Chilean The Maid. 

Ms. Moreau won the prestigious Best Actress from the National Society of Film Critics, while both Ms. Cornish and Ms. Saavedra have won a bevy of critical accolades for their work.  A fourth omission here also deserves mentioning, and that’s Emily Blunt, who has been widely-praised for her work in The Young Victoria. According to Sam Juliano…

…Among the actual nominees, one can’t really assert that any are undeserving, though the “favorite” at this point, Sandra Bullock…Continue Below

According to Sam Juliano,…As Sofya Tolstoy, the wife of the great Russian author of War and Peace, Helen Mirren again brings her singular classical charm to her role as a stormy partner of the eccentric writer, and the performance is charismatic and stylish in the best Mirren style. 
But having won just a few years ago for The Queen, it’s doubtful the voters would honor her again.  Still, the nomination here is richly-deserved, and for me it’s one of the best of the year.

Veteran icon Meryl Streep, who has already won the Best Actress prize from the NY Film Critics Circle and the LA Film Critics Association for this performance, was originally thought to be the clear favorite for the win as the famous cook Julia Child in Julie and Julia, where she plays opposite Stanley Tucci, in a stylish accented turn, at least until Bullock gained strong momentum. 

Streep has a record number of nominations, and has won twice for Sophie’s Choice and Kramer vs. Kramer, so many voters would rather cast their vote elsewhere. 
Streep’s popularity in the actor’s branch is also rather questionable, so she seems to be a poor bet at this stage to come away with a win, though it’s still possible.

As the title character in Precious, newcomer Gabourey Sidibe plays the Harlem teenger sexually and physically abused in the sordid drama, and she delivers a compelling performance.  But as her mother, the actress
Mo’Nique is a practical shoe-in, and voters won’t likely want to award the same film a second acting prize, though a long-shot upset win is still possible, as her candid work here has been critically-praised and popular with moviegoers.

Many prognosticators are still holding out for an upset by Carey Mulligan, who gives a winning performance as “Jenny” in the British hit An
Education,
set in 1960’s London. 

Jenny finds out much about her schooling and through a relationship with an older Jewish man, which certainly accentuates the meaning of the film’s title. Oscar voters have a long-standing tradition of voting for the “Babe” when a promising young actress is among the nominees, and this one’s British to boot.  With a large British contingent in AMPAS, there is a fair chance at a surprise here, especially since there won’t be in the other acting categories.

================================================
Here Goes The Nominated Roles…In Alphabetical Order…
Nominated Role

Helen.jpg
As Sofya, Helen Mirren portrays the wife of author Leo Tolstoy, in a woman locked in a battle with her husband’s admirers over the disposition of his royalties in… The Last Station.

Academy Awards History
This is the fourth Academy Award nomination for Helen Mirren. She was previously nominated for:
The Queen (2006) — Winner, Actress in a Leading Role
Gosford Park (2001) — Nominee, Actress in a Supporting Role
The Madness of King George (1994) — Nominee, Actress in a Supporting Role

Nominated Role
/careymulligan.jpg
Carey Mulligan plays Jenny, an English schoolgirl who is seduced by the charms of an older man in…An Education.

Academy Awards History
This is the first Academy Award nomination for Carey Mulligan.

Nominated Role…
Gabourey.jpg
As Precious, Gabourey Sidibe, plays a pregnant teenager who struggles to overcome years of abuse at the hands of her parents in…Precious.

Academy Awards History
This is the first Academy Award nomination for Gabourey Sidibe.

Nominated Role…
/Merylstreep1.jpg

Meryl Streep portrays cookbook author Julia Child, whose years in France with her husband inspire her to study the art of French cooking…in Julie and Julia.

Academy Awards History
This is the sixteenth Academy Award nomination for Meryl Streep. She was previously nominated for:
Doubt (2008) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
The Devil Wear Prada (2006) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Adaptation (2002) — Nominee, Actress in a Supporting Role
Music of the Heart (1999) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
One True Thing (1998) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
The Bridges of Madison County (1995) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Postcards From The Edge (1990) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
A Cry in the Dark (1988) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Ironweed (1987) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Out of Africa (1985) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Silkwood (1983) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Sophie’s Choice (1982) — Winner, Actress in a Leading Role
The French Lietieutenant’s Woman (1981) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role
Kramer Vs. Kramer (1979) — Winner, Actress in a Supporting Role
The Deer Hunter (1978) — Nominee, Actress in a Supporting Role

==============================================

Sam Juliano…Predicts The Winner Will Be…Actress Sandra Bullock
According to Sam Juliano…


…Among the actual nominees, one can’t really assert that any are undeserving, though the “favorite” at this point, Sandra Bullock, may well have given the most pedestrian performance of the lot. Bullock, who was always more revered for her beauty than her acting talent, plays Leigh Anne Tuohy, the wife of a wealthy Memphis couple who eventually adopt an African-American football player after taking a compassionate interest in and providing some coaching. For many this was an inspirational performance; for others it was stereotypical. But there’s little question that it’s one of Bullock’s strongest performances, and it’s wildly popular. At this point, Bullock has established herself as a firm favorite, especially after her Golden Globe and SAG, wins.

Nominated Role
8/sandra.jpg
Sandra Bullock plays Leigh Anne Tuohy,
a suburban mom who takes in a homeless African-American teenager and encourages his talents as a football player in the… Blindside.
Academy Awards History
This is the first Academy Award nomination for Sandra Bullock.

Sam Juliano…Predicts The Winner Will Be: Sandra Bullock, in The Blind Side.
Sam Juliano’s Personal Choice: Helen Mirren, The Last Station
Note: My own top performance of the year was by Abbie Cornish for ‘Bright Star’ but she wasn’t nominated. And my second favorite was by Yolande Moreau, another non-nominee.

Now that Sam Juliano, have announced his prediction…Now it’s your turn to go over to the poll and vote too!
Do you agree with Sam Juliano’s prediction? If not, tell the Wonders in the Dark readers, Why not (?)…or tell them why you do agree with Sam Juliano’s prediction.
Once Again,
Thanks,
The images are courtesy of  Oscar@.com

Read Full Post »

picture

Oscar@ Statues

[Editor’s Note; The Poll Will Change When A Different Oscar@ Category Is Posted.]
=================================================

Sam Juliano’s Sums Up Why He Predicts Mo’Nique Will Win…For Best Supporting Actress.
By Sam Juliano…
The nominees for the 2009 Best Supporting Actress category were practically a foregone conclusion with the possible exception of the omission of veteran
Julianne Moore, who gave a moving performance as…”Charley,”…a close friend of”George” (played by Colin Firth) in A Single Man….Ms. Moore, who was a nominal favorite to land a berth, lost out to…Maggie Gyllenthal,
…who was a mild surprise for her turn in Crazy Heart. 
Hence, the final five here were in a general sense widely anticipated, and one would be hard-pressed to point to any nomination injustices outside of Moore.
…As
Alex Goren in Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air, Vera Farmiga…portrays a frequent flyer opposite George Clooney, who is also a successful and confident woman who complicates Clooney’s life in more ways than one. She’s a love interest who plays by her own rules, and makes men follow her and not the other way around. 
Farmiga has won considerable critical praise for this performance, but even if this were a category without a clear favorite (which is not the case) her chances are weakened considerable by the nomination of her co-star…
…Anna Kendrick,as in such situations the votes usually split and another nominee prevails.  This is Farmiga’s first nomination as is the case with all the others in this category save for
Penelope Cruz.

VF

 Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air’s other nominee in this category, plays Natalie Keener, an ambitious young woman who is pushing a plan to cut costs by having employees stay grounded and conduct layoffs over the internet.  Ms. Kendrick has received several critics’ organizations awards as Best Supporting Actress for her performance, but in the end she has the same problem as her co-star Vera Farmiga, in that multiple nominees from the same film usually cancel each other out.
ak
 Maggie Gyllenthal, a talented star, plays a journalist named Jean Craddock, who has a brief affair with Bad Blake, the hard-drinking country music star, played by
Jeff Bridges, in Crazy Heart. Although Gyllenthal’s nomination was a mild surprise, as it turns out she is really the only candidate who has a long-shot chance at beating out the category’s heavy favorite,
Mo’Nique.However, with Bridges almost a sure thing to capture the Best Actor prize, it is extremely doubtful that voters will give yet another award to Crazy Heart. 
Maggie
The only actress in this category to have been nominated before, the beautiful and gifted Penelope Cruz, was honored for playing “Daniel Day-Lewis’ “mistress” in the musical Nine, a film that was otherwise ignored.  Cruz earned her nomination with an impressive and diversified turn here in Rob Marshall’s glitzy flick, but this is a case where the “nomination is the prize” rather than there being any realistic expectation for Cruz to come home with the big prize.

cruz
=================================================

The Nominees For Best Supporting Actress… 
Nominated Role…

Cruz

Penélope Cruz portrays Carla, the passionate “mistress” of a married film director.
In The Musical Nine
Ms. Cruz…Academy Awards History

This is the third Academy Award nomination for Penélope Cruz. She was previously nominated for:
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA (2008) — Winner, Actress in a Supporting Role
VOLVER (2006) — Nominee, Actress in a Leading Role

Nominated Role…

Farminga

As Alex Goran, Vera Farmiga plays a business traveler who begins a no-strings-attached affair with a man she meets in a hotel bar. In “Up in the Air.”
Ms. Goran…Academy Awards History

This is the first Academy Award nomination for Vera Farmiga.

Nominated Role…

mg

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Jean Craddock, a journalist whose love and admiration for a broken-down country-western singer may change his life…In “Crazy Heart.”
Ms. Gyllenhaal…Academy Awards History.

This is the first Academy Award nomination for Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Nominated Role…

ak

As Natalie Keener, Anna Kendrick plays an ambitious but inexperienced young woman who is sent on an eye-opening series of trips with a veteran colleague. In “Up in the Air.”
Ms. Kendrick…Academy Awards History

This is the first Academy Award nomination for Anna Kendrick.

=====================================================

Sam Juliano…Predicts The Winner Will Be…
According to Sam Juliano…That leaves Mo’Nique, who played conflicted and abusive Mary, mother of a violated Harlem teenager named “Precious” (Gabourney Sidibe was nominated as Best Actress for her role here). The impression that Mo’Nique leaves is one of shock and horror, and the actress takes full advantage of this ‘feast of a role’ which won her many awards from critics’ groups as well as the vital SAG (Screen Actors Guild), the Golden Globe, and most recently the BAFTA (British Academy Award). The fact that she really knows how to speak too, having delivered moving acceptance presentations at the Globes and SAG, also endears her to many, and coupled with her electrifying performance in a showy role, her win here is really a no-brainer, and one of the night’s true “locks.”
monique

Sam Juliano…Predicts The Winner Will Be:

Mo’Nique, in Precious

Sam Juliano…Personal Choice:

Mo’Nique, in Precious.
Note: I wasn’t the biggest fan of the film “Precious” but I’ll admit that Mo’Nique was a powerhouse.
=================================================
Nominated Role:
monique
Mo’Nique portrays Mary, an abusive mother whose cruel behavior has had a devastating effect on her pregnant teenage daughter.
Ms. Mo’Nique…Academy Awards History

This is the first Academy Award nomination for Mo’Nique.

Once again…Now that Sam Juliano, have announced his prediction…Now it’s your turn to go over to the poll and vote too!
Do you agree with Sam Juliano’s prediction? If not, tell the Wonders in the Dark readers, Why not…or tell them why you do agree with Sam Juliano’s prediction?
Thanks,
The images are courtesy of Oscar@.com

Read Full Post »

picture 

Oscar@ Statues 

[Editor’s Note; The Poll Will Change or Close After Each  Oscar@ Category Is Posted.] 

Sam Juliano’s Predictions For Best Male Actor… 

In the category of ‘Best Actor in a Leading Role’ the 2009 short list doesn’t really have a weak link, though had I been a voter I would have replaced Morgan Freeman with the lead actor in the Coen’s A Serious Man: Michael Stuhlbarg. But in a year when the cream rose to the top, one could hardly dispute some of the high-profile turns delivered, nor what is generally considered the ‘consensus choice’ to bring home the gold. 

Colin Firth 

As Nelson Mandela, the venerated South African leader who fearlessly won in a decades-long political showdown with the nation’s white leadership, Morgan Freeman was actually Mandela’s own choice to play himself. With a glimmer in his eye, and a perfect replication of the leader’s sing-song cadences, Freeman injected a depth and spirit into the character, but the performance was more of an impersonation than an actual interpretation, always a prospective issue in situation where real people are portrayed. Still, Freeman was memorable and accomplished, and his nod is by no means undeserved, though I would myself have cast a vote for Stuhlbarg, who plays a most peculiar father is a dysfunction Jewish American family in Minnesota, patterned after the Coens’ own upbringing. 

Jeremy renner 

As Staff Sgt. William James, a skilled bomb detonator in Iraq, who, as part of an army explosive ordinance disposal team who deactivates explosives with icy precision, Jeremy Renner is the acting cornerstone in Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, delivered a focused and tight performance in a role that almost called for a lesser-known actor, who would be less apt to adversely affect the role with any degree of personal vulnerability. Renner, who was Bigelow’s first choice, has won numerous awards from film critics groups, including the New York Film Critics Circle for his intense work, and he still maintains a long-shot possibility for the Oscar, should the film sweep the ceremony. 

gc 

Popular George Clooney is generally considered as Bridges’s closest competitor, as he is a widely revered Hollywood figure, who even recently became involved in the cause for earthquake victims in Haiti. As Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizer who fires people and delivers inspirational speeches while spending an inordinate amount of time on a plane, Clooney is the central character in the well-received Up in the Air, directed by Jason Reitman, though his critics have charged that is again playing himself. Yet there are some similarities here to the performance he gave in Michael Clayton, and the film’s admirers are huge fans of Clooney’s work. If the vote splits all over the place it’s conceivable that Clooney could emerge victorious, but Bridges is still the man to beat. 

Colin Firth 

The final nominee is British actor Colin Firth who plays British college Professor George Falconer, who is struggling to find meaning in his life after the death of his long-time partner Jim in Tom Ford’s moving A Single Man. The “events” of the film, which boasts the year’s best musical score by Abel Korzeniowski, are played out in a single day, a day in which the extraordinarily-gifted Firth exhibits a haunting blend of despair, frivolity, humor, lust, regret, terror and melancholy, and contemplates suicide leading up the shocking conclusion. Firth, another actor with a distinguished career, manages the most introspective of the year’s performances, and he would get my vote if I could cast one. 

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »