Climax Review

The Plot

French dancers gather in a remote, empty school building to rehearse on a wintry night. The all-night celebrations morphs into a hallucinatory nightmare when they learn their sangria is laced with LSD

The Good

Opening with the shot of a bloody woman crawling through snow and leaving a streak of blood behind her, Gaspar Noé’s latest offering promises a dramatic finale before it even begins. After watching various video interviews on an old fashioned tv screen (it is set in 1996 after all) that is surrounded by various books and VHS tapes which you’ll eventually turn your attention to, the film then moves to it’s main setting, an empty school hall in which a group of dancers are coming to the end of a rehearsal session with a party of sorts.

While the house music thumps away, things start to unravel slowly at first with small fights breaking out between characters, Climax draws ever closer to the anticipated namesake of its plot as it becomes apparent that the sangria has been spiked. Depending on how drawn into the film you’ve become by this point, the latter half is the make or break of the film.

There’s no denying that Noé’s camerawork is nothing short of artistic genius at certain points with the camera joining in the frenzy towards the end. But as far as positives to note, that’s about all there is for this critic.

The Bad

With a room filled with a fair amount of different characters, it’s a shame to see that none of these characters are at all memorable by the time the end credits role. The only real outlier to this fact is that of the young child played by Vince Galliot Cumant who is only really memorable for the simple fact that he’s a child. To see the madness unfold through his eyes would have been an interesting way to pivot the film however he is soon shoved into a cupboard and largely forgotten about until for the most part.

When introducing the film at this years Frightfest where it played as the closing night film, Noé spoke of how the script was at most 5 pages long. Watching the film that’s hardly a surprise with no character development to speak of nor any real plot to ground the film.

The Ugly Truth

As a newcomer to Gaspar Noé, Climax left much to be desired for this critic at least. While the camerawork and claustrophobia of the events that unfold are presented with perfection, it’s clear that the attitude you have going into the film is the real test of whether it will work. Go for the experience and you may walk away with an experience to remember.

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Final Score Review

The Plot

On the night of West Ham’s final match at Upton Park, Russian terrorists invade the stadium in search for a previously thought to be dead revolution leader (Pierce Brosnan). What they weren’t counting on was Michael Knox (Dave Bautista)

The Good

One glance at Final Score’s poster, trailer or indeed synopsis and most people would be pretty quick to call this film out for what it’s clearly intending to be. Another ‘Die Hard in a [insert setting here]’ movie, this time set in a football stadium. Once you figure this out it’s easy to figure out whether or not this will be the film for you.

Guardian of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista headlines this film as Michael Knox, an American ex soldier who regularly visits London to spend time with the daughter of a fallen comrade as ‘Uncle Mike’. On this particular visit he decides to take her to a soccer match with West Ham playing against a little known Russian team. Cue the perfect cover for Russian terrorists to rock up and lock the place down in an effort to hunt down Brosnan’s Dimitri. Armed with enough C4 explosives to take down a significant portion of the stadium and a 90 minute window to work with (not counting half time of course). Writer Jonathan Frank manages to set everything up in record time allowing the action to begin almost as soon as you’ve settled in.

Bautista is the main event for Final Score and performs immaculately. He’s no John McClane but then this is no Die Hard and he manages to hold the film together well enough with some great fight sequences. Tagging along with him for the adventure is Amit Shah (Breathe) who plays the comic relief stadium steward who unwittingly gets mixed up in the whole affair and counts on reciting Grand Theft Auto game titles in order of release to get through it. Shah plays the role brilliantly and is well matched with Bautista’s manly prowess.

Director Scott Mann (The Tournament) manages to bring the action to the screen effortlessly enough and does produce a highlight of a rooftop motorcycle chase sequence that is worth the price of admission (or subscription to Sky Movies/NowTV) alone.

The Bad

While it’s great to see Bautista get to act alongside Pierce Brosnan and add his name to the list of Bond’s he’s worked with after starring alongside Daniel Craig in Spectre, Brosnan’s performance leaves a lot to be desired. With very little to do for what is essentially the macguffin of the entire film, Brosnan walks through Final Score with such ease that you barely even notice it’s him under that great big bushy beard and Russian accent he’s sporting. His screentime feels cut a few frames short of seeing him pick up the cheque.

The Ugly Truth

Die Hard in a stadium is no where near the standard that it’s inspiration is at, however it’s not the worst way to spend 104 minutes. While Pierce Brosnan’s role is whittled down to a disappointing extended cameo, Dave Bautista is the shining star and Amit Shah is a welcome addition.

2/5

Frightfest Blog – Day Five

And so Frightfest comes to a close for another year! Before I retreat to Ireland and catch up on all the sleep I’ve missed out on check out my reviews for the final two films of the festival below:

The Golem – Main Screen

Directors Doran and Yoav Paz (Jeruzalem) return to Frightfest this year with a horror that brings an often maligned religious character to the forefront. Set in Lithuania in 1673, The Golem sees Hanna (Hani Furstenberg) forge the titular creature out of mud in order to protect her small village when it comes under attack from the plague and deadly invaders. Things soon turn sour though when the Golem becomes uncontrollable and Hanna tries to ignore the incoming danger that comes the longer it is around. A step up from Jeruzalem, the Paz brothers latest is slow moving but well acted particularly by Furstenberg.

3/5

Climax – Main Screen

Quite appropriately titled for the festivals closing film, Gaspar Noe’s Climax is a heart thumping claustrophobic mess of a film filled with wall to wall house music. At it’s very essence it is a marmite film that you’ll either completely fall in love with or leave wondering what everyone else is going on about. For this writer it was unfortunately the latter. With barely any character building or any storyline Climax just happens in front of you and doesn’t do much to stick around in your memory. Perhaps if you’re in the right mood for it it might…

1/5

And now  time for the Frightfest Top 5:

5.  A Young Man With High Potential

4. Anna And The Apocalypse

3. Summer of 84

2. Frightfest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema

1. Upgrade

Frightfest Blog – Day Four

The penultimate day of the Arrow Video Frightfest has just come to a close and the lack of sleep is starting to kick in. Check out my mini-reviews for the 4 films I managed to catch today below:

The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot – Main Screen

When the programme of films was released back in June, as is often the case most of the films I’d not yet heard of. It’s all part of the excitement of the festival, discovering films you’ve yet to discover. But with a title like The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot where could you possibly go wrong! Taking place in two periods – the mid 40’s for the Hitler bit and 1987 for the Bigfoot bit – Aiden Turner and Sam Elliott play Calvin Barr, an American soldier who manages to pull off the impossible. Twice! While it’s title suggests otherwise Robert D. Krzykowski’s film manages to be surprisingly serious and actually thought provoking ant heartwarming at times. Even if you go in expecting a rollicking B-Movie romp you’ll still come away pleased with what you got.

4/5

Before the next film the audience was treated to a short film from Joanne Mitchell (Attack of the Adult Babies), Sybil which follows a funeral directors employee who takes a morbid fascination into the cadavers she fixes to be ready for funerals. An impressive directorial debut.

He’s Out There – Main Screen

Next up on the programme was director Quinn Lasher’s pitiful attempt at a slasher film of sorts. When Laura (Yvonne Strahovski) and her two daughters Anna (Anna Pniowsky) and Abigail (Abigail Pniowsky) take a vacation in a remote lake house they soon end up fighting for survival from lone psychopath ‘John’. While the film is set up well enough it eventually becomes tepid and can’t seem to decide how to handle it’s antagonist. A disappointing dud for the festival.

1/5

Piercing – Discovery Screen

Writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s follow up to The Eyes of My Mother sees Christopher Abbott play Reed, a man intent on hiring an escort for the pure intention on killing her. Unfortunately that escort comes in the form of Mia Wasikowska’s Jackie, who it turns out is more messed up than he is. Piercing fits perfectly in Frightfest’s discovery screen strand with it’s psychosexual horror sprinkled with humour. While it’s slow moving, Piercing will keep you enthralled for the most part and features strong central performances.

4/5

Anna and the Apocalypse

If you’ve ever asked yourself what’s better than a zombie movie, director John McPhail (Where Do We Go From Here?) has the answer: a Christmas set zombie musical! With fantastic performances particularly from Ella Hunt as the titular Anna, as well as Mark Benton and Paul Kaye, Anna and the Apocalypse sees a pretty typical zombie invasion film scattered with some toe tapping songs to make it that much more fun! You’ll walk away wanting the soundtrack instantly.

4/5

And now  time for the Final Frightfest Daily Awards:

Highlight: Anna and the Apocalypse
Low-light:  He’s Out There
Most imaginative kill:  Decapitated by a seesaw in Anna and the Apocalypse
Quote of the Day: ‘She’s in Egypt at the moment. ‘Cause she’s so far in denial’ – A perfectly placed pun in Anna and the Apocalypse

Frightfest Blog – Day Three

With Frightfest’s hump day officially over, read below for my mini reviews on the  6 films I managed to catch for day 3:

Ravers – Main Screen

As a self confessed energy drink addict, Ravers felt made for me. Set in an abandoned factory which is taken over for a massive rave night, things soon turn dangerous as a crate of discontinued energy drinks are discovered, turning all who drink them into raving murderous lunatics who have eyes that resemble Rodney Dangerfield. While not particularly entertaining enough to become a highlight Ravers was certainly a fun way to kick off Saturday morning, made even more fun by my decision to bring a can of red bull into the screening making it a drink-a-long!

2/5

Heretiks – Main Screen

Set in 1916 England, Heretiks follows the story of Persephone, a young woman who, after being put on trial for her life, is rescued by the mysterious Reverend Mother (Claire Higgins) and taken to a secluded Priory. But things turn dark when it appears evil spirits are at play. While Hannah Arterton – sister of Gemma – gives a solid enough performance Heretiks doesn’t give much for you to leave with. Due to the untimely release it mainly serves as preparation for the upcoming Conjuring Universe instalment The Nun more than anything.

2/5

Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires – Main Screen

Back in 2013, director Michael Mort presented the stop motion animation short Raging Balls of Steel Justice and introduced the world to crime fighting maverick Chuck Steel. Now 5 years on he’s back in his very own feature length adventure! This time around he’s battling trampires, a bit like vampires but more drunk basically. There’s plenty of fun to be had in Night of the Trampires especially with it’s 80s setting. It instantly has the rewatchability factor with some impressive stop motion animation and memorable lines. However it doesn’t go much further than that and the idea of a franchise being born out of this isn’t particularly exciting. Perhaps Chuck is best suited to shorts…

3/5

F.U.B.A.R – Discovery Screen

When I was trawling through the Frightfest guides to see which discovery films were worth seeking out F.U.B.A.R was top of my list for one simple reason: Mark Heap. The star of Green Wing and all-round  comedy genius makes his Frightfest debut in this hilarious comedy about a stag do gone horribly wrong. When Sam (Sean Verey) invites his pals out to a zombie experience for his stag do things soon turn sour after an accident involving one of the actor zombies starts off a hilarious chain reaction culminating in an outing none of them will ever forget. For his first feature film, writer/director Ben Kent brings a brilliantly ludicrous story to life inspired by his own stag do. While its latter half sways a bit to the more ridiculous, it’s not enough to dampen the mood!

3/5

Upgrade – Main Screen

Writer/director Leigh Whannell returns with his second directed film after Insidious: Chapter 3 and what a return! Set in the near future where technology does pretty much everything, technophobe Grey Trace (Logan Marshall-Green) finds himself a quadriplegic after a car accident. Fortunately with state of the art technology he is soon able to walk again thanks to STEM –  a chip implanted in his brain. When he starts to investigate who attacked him and why, STEM begins to help out and eventually spirals out of control leaving Grey at its mercy. Upgrade is an incredibly tense thriller that quickly became not only the best film of the festival so far but also one of the best films of the year so far!

5/5

Fright Fest – Main Screen

The second Fright Fest film to screen at Frightfest this year is vastly different from yesterdays. Centred around an immersive horror experience which has been set up for Halloween in Sommerton, things soon turn deadly when the actors get mixed in with actual escaped criminally insane prisoners. Disgraced director Spencer Crowe has been hired to run the event and when he realises what’s happened he sees an opportunity to make a big comeback with his next most realistic horror film to date. Mixing horror and humour fairly well, director Ante Novakovic manages to end Frightfest’s hump day on somewhat of a high. Though it would have been better if the slots had been swapped around with Upgrade

3/5

And now  time for the Final Frightfest Daily Awards:

Highlight:  Upgrade
Low-light:  Heretiks
Most imaginative kill:  Decapitated with a Health and Safety award in Ravers
Quote of the Day: ‘I like being on the brink. In fact I’m thinking of buying a house there. It’s a little further from the edge than I’d like but I can always commute!’ – One of the many quotable lines from Chuck Steel: Night of the Trampires.

 

Frightfest Blog – Day Two

As day two of the Arrow Video Frightfest comes to a close here are my reviews of  just 5 of the selection of 23 films that were available to watch. With three discovery screens to choose to break away from the main screen at each screening, it’s days like this I wish the premise of last nights Mega Time Squad were possible…

Frightfest:  Beneath The Dark Heart of Cinema – Discovery Screen

Kicking the day off (for me at least) was a world premiere of director Chris Collier’s love letter to the festival. Jam packed with interviews with the organisers, patrons and the content providers of the long running festival, Collier manages to capture the essence of over 19 years worth of festival history in this documentary which, when watched at the festival surely counts as a 4D screening at the very least? Covering the early days of Scalamara through to 2017’s festival while telling the tales of trial and tribulation that comes with the organisation whether its from Alan, Ian, Paul and Greg or the fans who scramble to get their tickets each year, Frightfest is a perfect representation of the feeling of the festival and will undoubtedly leave any non-frightfester aching to join the party!

5/5

 

A Young Man With High Potential – Discovery Screen

Linus di Paoli (Dr. Ketel) directs this deeply disturbing tale of Piet (Adam Ild Rohweder) a desperate man who takes a drastic turn after being rejected by Klara (Paulina Galazka), a fellow student at his university. What follows is one of the most drawn out and nerve shredding films this years festival has offered so far. Paoli does not hold back and the audience can’t keep their eyes away from the screen as the gruelling story unfolds. Amanda Plummer (Pulp Fiction) also features however it is undoubtedly Rohweder who will grab your attention with his powerful lead role and don’t expect him to release you from his hold so easily. This one will be hard to shake…

4/5

 

Short Film Showcase 1 – Discovery Screen

A full review of the entire showcase will be up soon but for now the highlights from the first of three batches of short films include Jill Gevargizian’s 42 Counts, Philip Hardy’s Who’s That at the Back of the Bus?  Izzy Lee’s My Monster, Andrew Rutter’s The Front Door and Santiago Menghini’s Milk

 

The Most Assassinated Woman in the World – Main Screen

It took a while but the first dud of the festival finally reared its head today in the form of The Most Assassinated Woman in the World. This Netflix original film tells the true story of Paula Maxa, a stage actress in 1830s Paris who was famous for having been murdered over 10,000 times on stage. While it gives off the slightest of echoes of Chris Nolan’s The Prestige, The Most Asassinated Woman In The World unfortunately doesn’t carry nearly enough interest in its characters to prove a worthwhile watch. You can find out for yourself when it comes to the streaming platform on September 7.

2/5

 

Blue Sunshine

Taking a break from the new releases in the festival, the Prince Charles Cinema hosted a repertory screening of this 1977 thriller in 35mm with an interview with Jane Giles preceding the screening which practically lived at the Scala cinema back in its heyday. While the film isn’t spectacular it’s just the right vibe for Frightfest, centring on a type of acid which 10 years after being taken leaves its users with alopecia and violent tendencies. Cheesy at times but still entertaining for the most part, it’s well worth seeking out!

3/5

Boar

The first creature feature of the festival for me left a lot to be desired. Set in Australia where a giant boar is terrorising the outback, writer/director Chris Sun’s latest gives some fun blood splattered gore but not much more than that. What we see of the Boar is impressive enough however for the most part the effects are hidden in the dark and under the blood of its previous victims dripping off its fur. None of the characters are particularly memorable so it makes for a good reason to enjoy watching them be taken out one by one I suppose.

2/5

And now  time for the Final Frightfest Daily Awards:

Highlight:  Frightfest: Beneath the Dark Heart of Cinema
Low-light: The Most Assassinated Woman In The World
Most imaginative kill:  Pecked to death by a giant Penguin in Who’s That at the Back of the Bus? (yes, really!)
Quote of the Day: ‘You made it sound way better on Gumtree!’ – A soon to be human sacrifice gets buyers remorse in The Front Door (Short Film Showcase)

 

Frightfest Blog – Day One

Now in its 19th year running, the annual 5 day blood curdling binge has officially begun, with the Arrow Video Frightfest having just wrapped up its opening night of screenings. Actors Steve Oram and Alice Lowe kicked things off with an introduction before handing things over to messrs Alan Jones, Paul McEvoy, Ian Rattray and Greg Day. Read my mini reviews of the opening night’s films below and look out for full reviews coming soon!

 

The Ranger

This 80s set thriller sees pink haired punk Chelsea (Chloe Levine) return to her deceased uncles cabin in the wilderness in order to hide away from the cops after a night out turns disastrous. But there’s a worse fate waiting for her upon her return as she faces demons from her past. Director Jenn Wexler’s debut feature film manages to bring an incredibly curious tale to the screen, revealing things slowly but surely while bringing us some memorable performances. Most notable are Levine who manages to control the film with ease and Jeremy Holm as the titular unnamed Ranger who oozes creepiness in every frame he’s in. A perfect way to kick off the festival with just enough gore to prepare audiences for the weekend ahead!

3/5

 

Before the second film of the night, audiences were treated to a concept piece from Jake West entitled Relics. This short 2 minute piece sees Jill Winternitz deep in the ocean with only the voice of Noel Clarke for company. Oh and some prehistoric electric eels…

 

Summer of 84

Set in (you might guess) the summer of 1984 in a small town in Oregon, four young friends set out to prove their cop neighbour is in fact the recently discovered Cape May Slayer.  Turbo Kid directors Francois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell make a triumphant return to Frightfest with this edge of your seat thriller with a script that twists and turns while managing to balance the light hearted tone of a coming of age movie with the incredibly tense and dark mystery at its core. The young cast are perfectly chosen while Rich Sommer manages to give an incredible performance with just the right amount of mystique to keep the audience guessing.

4/5

 

Mega Time Squad

This New Zealand set comedy brings a light-hearted end to the festivals opening night  in which a lowlevel criminal finds himself with the power to create multiple versions of himself after stealing an ancient Chinese bracelette. Packed with humour and starring What We Do In The Shadows’ Jonny Brugh, director Tim van Dammen manages to have fun with the premise while not making it confusing. An impressive feat!

3/5

 

And now  time for the Final Frightfest Daily Awards:

Highlight:  Summer of 84
Low-light:  Mega Time Squad
Most imaginative kill:  Axe to the chin in The Ranger
Quote of the Day: ‘I could eat the crotch outta a rag doll’ – Just one of the brilliant one-liners from Shelton (Jonny Brugh) in Mega Time Squad

Oscars 2018 Predictions

Well it’s finally time, folks! The Oscars are a mere three hours away and with it of course comes my annual prediction for tonights winners! As usual, I’ve noted which films should win and which will inevitably win. I’ve also added the films I’ve not seen in each category. Join me on twitter as I live tweet the event at @movie_mad and let me know what your predictions are!

BEST PICTURE

Should Win: Call Me By Your Name OR Get Out

Will Win: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST ACTRESS

Should Win: Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water

Will Win: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

BEST ACTOR

Should Win: Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

Will Win: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Not Seen

Denzel Washington – Roman J Israel, Esq

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Should Win: Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Will Win: Allison Janney – I, Tonya

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Should Win: Christopher Plummer – All the Money in the World

Will Win: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Not Seen

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

BEST DIRECTOR

Should Win: Get Out – Jordan Peele

Will Win: The Shape of Water – Guillermo Del Toro

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Should Win: Call Me By Your Name – screenplay by James Ivory

Will Win: Call Me By Your Name – screenplay by James Ivory

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Should Win: Get Out – written by Jordan Peele

Will Win: Get Out – written by Jordan Peele

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Should Win: This Is Me – The Greatest Showman (Benji Pasek & Justin Paul)

Will Win: This Is Me – The Greatest Showman (Benji Pasek & Justin Paul)

Not Seen

Stand Up for Something – Marshall (Common & Diane Warren)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Should Win: The Shape of Water – Alexandre Desplat

Will Win: Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Should Win: Loving Vincent

Will Win: Coco

Not Seen

The Boss Baby

The Breadwinner

Ferdinand

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Should Win: Blade Runner 2049 – Roger Deakins

Will Win: Blade Runner 2049 – Roger Deakins

Not Seen

Blade Runner 2049 – Roger Deakins

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Should Win: Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges

Will Win: Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges

Not Seen

Victoria and Abdul – Consolata Boyle

BEST MAKE-UP AND HAIRSTYLING

Should Win: Darkest Hour – Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski & Lucy Sibbick

Will Win: Darkest Hour – Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski & Lucy Sibbick

Not Seen

Victoria and Abdul – Daniel Phillips & Lou Sheppard

Wonder – Arjen Tuiten

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Should Win: Blade Runner 2049 – production design by Dennis Gassner; set decoration by Alessandra Querzola

Will Win: Blade Runner 2049 – production design by Dennis Gassner; set decoration by Alessandra Querzola

Not Seen

Blade Runner 2049 – production design by Dennis Gassner; set decoration by Alessandra Querzola

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Should Win: War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon & Joel Whist

Will Win: Blade Runner 2049 – John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert & Richard R Hoover

Not Seen

Blade Runner 2049 – John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert & Richard R Hoover

BEST FILM EDITING

Should Win: Baby Driver – Paul Machliss & Jonathan Amos

Will Win: Dunkirk – Lee Smith

BEST SOUND EDITING

Should Win: Baby Driver – Julian Slater

Will Win: Dunkirk – Richard King and Alex Gibson

Not Seen

Blade Runner 2049 – Mark Mangini and Theo Green

BEST SOUND MIXING

Should Win: Baby Driver – Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H Ellis

Will Win: Baby Driver – Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H Ellis

Not Seen

Blade Runner 2049 – Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth

The following categories I couldn’t predict this year due to having seen little to none of the films in each category:

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

BAFTA 2018 Predictions

It’s that time of the year again folks! With the BAFTA’s mere hours away I’ve finally narrowed down my predictions of tonights winners. As usual you’ll find my predictions below of what SHOULD win and what WILL win.

Also, because it was a bit of a shitty year last year I didn’t quite manage to see as much of the nominees as I usually would have, so the ones I’ve not seen are noted. And I’m unable to predict BRITISH SHORT ANIMATION or BRITISH SHORT FILM since I’ve not seen any of them.

So, without further ado:

BEST FILM

Should Win: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Emilie Georges, Luca Guadagnino, Marco Morabito, Peter Spears

Will Win: DUNKIRK Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas

OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILM

Should Win: PADDINGTON 2 Paul King, David Heyman, Simon Farnaby

Will Win: DARKEST HOUR Joe Wright, Tim Bevan, Lisa Bruce, Eric Fellner, Anthony McCarten, Douglas Urbanski

OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCER

NOT SEEN

THE GHOUL Gareth Tunley (Writer/Director/Producer), Jack Healy Guttmann & Tom Meeten (Producers)

JAWBONE Johnny Harris (Writer/Producer), Thomas Napper (Director)

KINGDOM OF US Lucy Cohen (Director)

Should Win: LADY MACBETH Alice Birch (Writer), William Oldroyd (Director), Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly (Producer)

Will Win: I AM NOT A WITCH Rungano Nyoni (Writer/Director), Emily Morgan (Producer)

FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

NOT SEEN

ELLE Paul Verhoeven, Saïd Ben Saïd

FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER Angelina Jolie, Rithy Panh

LOVELESS Andrey Zvyagintsev, Alexander Rodnyansky

THE SALESMAN Asghar Farhadi, Alexandre Mallet-Guy

Should Win: THE HANDMAIDEN Park Chan-wook, Syd Lim

Will Win: ELLE Paul Verhoeven, Saïd Ben Saïd

DOCUMENTARY

NOT SEEN

CITY OF GHOSTS Matthew Heineman

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO Raoul Peck

ICARUS Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL Bonni Cohen, Jon Shenk

Should Win: (As I’ve only seen JANE I really can’t say but I wouldn’t say JANE should win really…)

Will Win: I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO Raoul Peck

ANIMATED FILM

NOT SEEN

MY LIFE AS A COURGETTE Claude Barras, Max Karli

Should Win: LOVING VINCENT Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart

Will Win: LOVING VINCENT Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Ivan Mactaggart

DIRECTOR

NOT SEEN

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Denis Villeneuve

Should Win: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME Luca Guadagnino

Will Win: DUNKIRK Christopher Nolan

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

NOT SEEN

LADY BIRD Greta Gerwig

Should Win: GET OUT Jordan Peele

Will Win: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI Martin McDonagh

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

NOT SEEN

FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL Matt Greenhalgh

Should Win: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME James Ivory

Will Win: CALL ME BY YOUR NAME James Ivory

LEADING ACTRESS

NOT SEEN

ANNETTE BENING Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

SAOIRSE RONAN Lady Bird

Should Win: SALLY HAWKINS The Shape of Water

Will Win: SAOIRSE RONAN Lady Bird

LEADING ACTOR

NOT SEEN

JAMIE BELL Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Should Win: DANIEL DAY-LEWIS Phantom Thread

Will Win: GARY OLDMAN Darkest Hour

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

NOT SEEN

LAURIE METCALF Lady Bird

Should Win: LESLEY MANVILLE Phantom Thread

Will Win: LAURIE METCALF Lady Bird

SUPPORTING ACTOR

NOT SEEN

WILLEM DAFOE The Florida Project

Should Win: HUGH GRANT Paddington 2 OR CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER All the Money in the World

Will Win: SAM ROCKWELL Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

ORIGINAL MUSIC

NOT SEEN

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Benjamin Wallfisch, Hans Zimmer

Should Win: THE SHAPE OF WATER Alexandre Desplat

Will Win: DUNKIRK Hans Zimmer

CINEMATOGRAPHY

NOT SEEN

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Roger Deakins

Should Win: DUNKIRK Hoyte van Hoytema

Will Win: BLADE RUNNER 2049 Roger Deakins

EDITING

NOT SEEN

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Joe Walker

Should Win: BABY DRIVER Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss

Will Win: DUNKIRK Lee Smith

PRODUCTION DESIGN

NOT SEEN

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola

Should Win: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

Will Win: BLADE RUNNER 2049 Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola

COSTUME DESIGN

Should Win: PHANTOM THREAD Mark Bridges

Will Win: PHANTOM THREAD Mark Bridges

MAKE UP & HAIR

NOT SEEN

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Donald Mowat, Kerry Warn

VICTORIA & ABDUL Daniel Phillips, Lou Sheppard

WONDER Naomi Bakstad, Robert A. Pandini, Arjen Tuiten

Should Win: DARKEST HOUR David Malinowski, Ivana Primorac, Lucy Sibbick, Kazuhiro Tsuji

Will Win: DARKEST HOUR David Malinowski, Ivana Primorac, Lucy Sibbick, Kazuhiro Tsuji

SOUND

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Ron Bartlett, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill, Mark Mangini, Mac Ruth

Should Win: BABY DRIVER Tim Cavagin, Mary H. Ellis, Dan Morgan, Jeremy Price, Julian Slater

Will Win: DUNKIRK Alex Gibson, Richard King, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo, Mark Weingarten

SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTS

NOT SEEN

BLADE RUNNER 2049 Richard R. Hoover, Paul Lambert, Gerd Nefzer, John Nelson

Should Win: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, Joel Whist

Will Win: WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon, Joe Letteri, Joel Whist

EE RISING STAR AWARD (voted for by the public)

Should Win: FLORENCE PUGH

Will Win: DANIEL KALUUYA

 

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks for the Oscar predictions and possibly in between for random reviews and whatnot. In the meantime, let me know in the comments what your predictions are and whether you agree or disagree with me!

Top 10 of 2016

As is customary with New Years Eve here at Movie Mad Reviews, here is my personal top 10 films released in the UK in 2016:

10. The Hateful Eight

I struggled with this one. Being a Tarantino fan ever since I came across Pulp Fiction back in 2009, I’ll be the first to admit I have a biased opinion when it comes to the mans movies. Instantly assuming that by January 8 I’d already have my number 1 film of the year ready after seeing The Hateful Eight in glorious 70mm, it turns out I was wrong. H8ful has some great moments as well as a fantastic cast and a score to die for so it deserves a spot on the top 10 for sure. But only just.

9. Eye In The Sky

Of the numerous celebrity deaths this year, Alan Rickman was one of the toughest. We can take solace at least in his final on screen performance shortly before his voiceover work in Alice Through The Looking Glass, in Eye In The Sky. A fantastically tense piece of writing from Guy Hibbert, Eye In The Sky holds up on repeat viewings and boasts an incredible lineup including Dame Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul and Barkhad Abdi.

8. Goosebumps

Instead of adapting one of the many books in the Goosebumps series, Jack Black takes on the role of author R.L. Stine in this zany comedy which  brings the classic villains to life along with laughs aplenty. No other childrens film would be able to pull off a Shining gag in quite the same way!

7. I, Daniel Blake

Definitely one of the most heartwrenching films of the year, I, Daniel Blake tells the story of a man trapped in the arguably inhumane social welfare system. With incredibly strong performances from both Dave Johns and Hayley Squires,  I, Daniel Blake will bring tears to your eyes and anger to your heart.

6. Spotlight

This tale of the events leading up to the revelation of paedophilia within the Catholic Church is an intense watch which is made even more eye-opening with 4 pages worth of areas in which the scandalous acts of crime were committed.

5. Zootopia

Or if you’re British, Zootropolis. Disney’s first of two animated features this year sets up its world of predators and prey wonderfully with colourful characters, the hilarious Flash being one of the many highlights, before it moves into a much more serious plot. Zootopia is definitely a film which fits the year it was released in.

4. Eddie The Eagle

The story of Eddie Edwards is perhaps the most inspirational one to hit cinema screens this year. The struggle and determination of Taron Egerton’s Eddie is portrayed wonderfully bringing some true heart to the screen. Read my full review at Red Carpet News TV here.

3. David Brent: Life On The Road

Ricky Gervais brings back his most popular character and brings a toe-tapping soundtrack along with it. Life On The Road is for my money, the best comedy of the year. Check out my review here.

2. Room

Winning Brie Larson her first Oscar earlier this year, Room is much more than just her performance. Relying heavily on the viewpoint of Jacob Tremblay’s Jack is a risky move for the then 8 year old actor but it pays off beautifully.

1. Sing Street

Director John Carney’s latest is a moving and genuinely heartwarming film set in 1980s Dublin which, like Life On The Road offers a memorable soundtrack, though not in the same tone. On rewatchability alone, Sing Street comes out on top without a doubt. Read my full review here.