Tag Archives: Chris Hemsworth

Thor: Ragnarok

NO HAMMER. NO PROBLEM. 

After being imprisoned by a fire demon, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) learns that Asgard is about to be destroyed and the one responsible will be his sister, Odin’s firstborn, Hela (Cate Blanchett). The third film in the franchise has Thor and Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) colliding on a faraway planet and then teaming up to save Asgard; this is what they were up to while Captain America and Tony Stark battled it out in Captain America: Civil War (2016). A completely bonkers Marvel film in 3D, the funniest one to date, with great tongue-in-cheek performances by Hemsworth, Ruffalo and especially Jeff Goldblum as the most Goldblum-esque of supervillains. Admirably colorful attempt to shake up the formula.

2017-U.S. 130 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Kevin Feige. Directed by Taika Waititi. Screenplay: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost. Music: Mark Mothersbaugh. Cast: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Cate Blanchett (Hela), Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson… Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Stevenson, Benedict Cumberbatch. Cameos: Sam Neill, Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon, Stan Lee.

Last word: “I put together a sizzle reel, and that was basically… because there was no storyline, or anything… I don’t really know what I’m going for, so I’ll just get shots from movies I think are cool [laughs] and put together sort of a tone reel. For like, the energy and the colour and sort of what might look cool for this film that no one has any idea about a story for. And so, I did that, and I put ‘Immigrant Song over the top of it, and then played it for them. And they were like, ‘Oh that’s really cool. That’s a cool song. What’s that?’ I was like, [deadpan] ‘It’s ‘Immigrant Song’, Led Zeppelin, one of the most famous songs of all time.’ They were like, ‘Oh cool, never heard it before, very cool.'” (Waititi, Den of Geek)

 

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Red Dawn

WELCOME TO THE HOME OF THE BRAVE.

When the North Korean military, assisted by the Russians, invade the United States, a group of teenagers and twentysomethings flee into the Washington woods and organize resistance. A remake of the 1984 original that is even harder to believe; the invaders were originally supposed to have been Chinese, which would have been somewhat easier to buy. Most of the set-up is familiar from the first movie and effectively staged; the action compensates for the story’s many lulls. Unfortunately, the characters remain anonymous.

2012-U.S. 93 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Dan Bradley. Cast: Chris Hemsworth (Jed Eckert), Josh Peck (Matt Eckert), Josh Hutcherson (Robert Kitner), Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Adrianne Palicki, Connor Cruise.

 

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In the Heart of the Sea

EXPERIENCE THE TRUE ENCOUNTER THAT INSPIRED THE MYTH MOBY DICK.

In 1850, author Herman Melville (Ben Wishaw) hears the story of how the whaling ship Essex encountered a huge, aggressive albino sperm whale thirty years earlier and was sunk. The real-life drama that inspired the great American classic ”Moby-Dick” doesn’t live up to its epic potential onscreen, but is still an engaging film. Technically well-made, with gorgeous 3D visuals and a lot of tension in the showdown between the Essex and the whale. Melville’s appearance serves as a framing device; focus lies on Chris Hemsworth, the ship’s first mate. The characters are the weakest link here though, lost in the spectacle.

2015-U.S.-Spain. 122 min. Color. Directed by Ron Howard. Book: Nathaniel Philbrick. Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle. Cast: Chris Hemsworth (Owen Chase), Benjamin Walker (George Pollard, Jr.), Cillian Murphy (Matthew Joy), Tom Holland, Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw.

Trivia: At one point, Barry Levinson was allegedly considered as director.

 

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Doctor Strange

OPEN YOUR MIND. CHANGE YOUR REALITY. 

Brilliant but arrogant New York surgeon Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) has his hands destroyed in a car accident; out of desperation, he looks up a mystic (Tilda Swinton) in Nepal who opens his mind and gives him awe-inspiring abilities. Another Marvel hero gets his own movie, done in the same style as all the predecessors, with a generous sense of humor, impressive visual effects in 3D and great casting. Cumberbatch does for Strange what Robert Downey, Jr. did for Stark; in other words, he’s a lot of fun to watch. Entertaining and elaborate, even if most of the magical tricks come across as curiously uninvolving. 

2016-U.S. 115 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Scott Derrickson. Comic Book: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko. Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch (Stephen Strange), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Karl Mordo), Rachel McAdams (Christine Palmer), Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Benedict Wong… Benjamin Bratt. Cameos: Stan Lee, Chris Hemsworth.

Trivia: Cumberbatch also plays the evil entity Dormammu, created with motion-capture technology and having the star’s voice blended with that of another actor. At one point, Joaquin Phoenix was allegedly considered for the lead role.

 

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Ghostbusters

WHO YOU GONNA CALL?

ghostbusters16When one of New York City’s oldest buildings appears to be haunted, two parapsychologists jump at the chance to see an actual ghost, and drag a skeptical friend (Kristen Wiig) along. The folks behind the original franchise long tried to get a third movie made, but instead we got a remake that was maligned by Internet trolls even before cameras started rolling. The reason? Women were cast as ghostbusters. The final results turned out to be an entertaining ride, with intense visual effects in 3D and amusing lead performances. As always with Paul Feig movies though, an uneven barrage of jokes and action.

2016-U.S. 116 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Ivan Reitman, Amy Pascal. Directed by Paul Feig. Screenplay: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig. Cast: Melissa McCarthy (Abby Yates), Kristen Wiig (Erin Gilbert), Kate McKinnon (Jillian Holtzmann), Leslie Jones (Patty Tolan), Chris Hemsworth, Cecily Strong… Andy Garcia, Charles Dance, Ed Begley, Jr.. Cameos: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Ozzy Osbourne.

Trivia: Co-executive produced by Aykroyd. Emma Stone was allegedly considered for a part. Also released in a 133-min. cut.

Quote: “I guess he’s going to Queens – he’s going to be the third scariest thing on that train.” (Jones watching a ghost escape on a subway train)

5 kopia

 

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The Huntsman: Winter’s War

huntsmanwinterswarThis continuation of Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) is both a prequel and a sequel, as we get to see how Eric (Chris Hemsworth) was raised into a fighter by Queen Ravenna’s (Charlize Theron) icy sister (Emily Blunt), only to fall out of favor. Later, after Ravenna’s demise, Eric becomes involved in a search for her mirror whose powers are still toxic. Uneven visual effects, in pointless 3D, almost becomes symbolic of how slapdash and contrived the film feels; Kristen Stewart’s absence is another curious detail. Still, may entertain preteen girls.

2016-U.S. 114 min. Color. Widescreen. Directed by Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. Cast: Chris Hemsworth (Eric), Charlize Theron (Ravenna), Emily Blunt (Freya), Jessica Chastain (Sara), Nick Frost, Sam Claflin… Rob Brydon. Narrated by Liam Neeson.

6 kopia

 

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Vacation

WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

vacation15Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) decides to recreate the road trip to Walley World that his parents took him on 30 years ago, this time with his wife (Christina Applegate) and two sons. A reboot of the original Vacation franchise that also plays pretty much like a remake of the first film. The writers, in their feature-film directing debut, try to capture that same style of tastelessness and hilarity, but far too many jokes fall flat. Still, the cast is game (except Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo who look uninspired in their ten-minute appearances), and there are a few chuckles along the way.

2015-U.S. 99 min. Color. Widescreen. Written and directed by John Francis Daley, Jonathan M. Goldstein. Cast: Ed Helms (Rusty Griswold), Christina Applegate (Debbie Griswold), Skyler Gisondo (James Griswold), Steele Stebbins (Kevin Griswold), Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann… Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Regina Hall, Michael Peña.

6 kopia

 

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

A NEW AGE BEGINS.

avengers2When a program devised by Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) called Ultron becomes unexpectedly sentient and immediately targets The Avengers as a threat that needs to be extinct, our superheroes are in for a huge challenge. The sequel to The Avengers (2012) is so firmly entrenched in the Marvel universe and all its franchises that newcomers had better beware. The convoluted story is far from compelling, but James Spader makes a formidable villain and the Avengers themselves keep everything afloat. Cute romance between two of them, and the battle between Iron Man and Hulk is vivid – and funny.

2015-U.S. 141 min. Color. Widescreen. Written and directed by Joss Whedon. Cast: Robert Downey, Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Mark Ruffalo (Bruce Banner/The Hulk), Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner… James Spader, Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, Linda Cardellini, Andy Serkis, Julie Delpy. Cameos: Stan Lee, Josh Brolin.

Trivia: Followed by Avengers: Infinity War (2018).

5 kopia

 

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The Greatest Hits of 2015

It’s time for that annual list of next year’s highly anticipated Hollywood films. Here’s 2015 for ya.

JANUARY:

* Blackhat – Michael Mann’s first directorial outing since Public Enemies (2009) is a cyber thriller starring Chris Hemsworth. Its January release makes it hard to really get excited about it. 

* Escobar: Paradise Lost – Notorious Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar reaches the big screen in the shape of Benicio Del Toro. Josh Hutcherson plays the innocent young man who becomes a witness to Escobar’s life of crime. 

* Still Alice – There have been several Alzheimer dramas before (most notably Away From Her (2007)), but this one boasts an already heavily lauded performance by Julianne Moore.

* Mortdecai – David Koepp is an unreliable director, but this art-heist comedy might be worth a look. A true star vehicle for Johnny Depp, who needs a hit.

FEBRUARY:

* Jupiter Ascending – The Wachowski siblings deliver another sci-fi movie, this time starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis. The stars will help, but it’s doubtful that audiences will be much attracted to the film.

* Kingsman: The Secret Service – An action thriller from Matthew Vaughn that follows a veteran secret agent taking on a protégé. Starring Colin Firth and Michael Caine. 

* Fifty Shades of Grey – No one expects this adaptation of the hugely successful novel to be any good; the only question is how naughty will it be? And will audiences line up to find out? Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan are in the leads.

MARCH:

* Cinderella – Kenneth Branagh directs this movie that seems to follow in the footsteps of Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman and Maleficent. Lily James plays Cinderella in the live-action version. 

* Insurgent – The sequel to Divergent (2014). It’s hard to separate this series from the Hunger Games movies and all the other dystopian youth thrillers. But the first film was a huge hit. 

* Serena – Susanne Bier’s first American film since Things We Lost in the Fire (2007) is a Depression-era drama about a love affair between a girl and a millionaire. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are likely to bring star power.

APRIL:

* Furious 7 – There’s an anxiety to make this movie worth the effort, considering it’s Paul Walker’s last. It will no doubt be interesting to see how well the filmmakers have worked around his absence. It certainly looks wild.

* Child 44 – Daniel Espinosa directs this adaptation of an excellent hard-boiled bestseller, a serial-killer thriller set in Stalin’s Soviet Union. Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Gary Oldman are headlining.

MAY:

* Avengers: Age of Ultron – Summer puts in a higher gear with this sequel that reunites some of our favorite superheroes.  I hope Joss Whedon lives up to the original, and I look forward to watching James Spader as the villain.

* Mad Max: Fury Road – Perhaps few expected George Miller’s belated sequel to the 1980s franchise to be noteworthy, but the trailers that have been released so far indicate a furious thrill ride. Tom Hardy is in the lead. 

* Tomorrowland – A new Brad Bird movie is always worth a look. This sci-fi adventure, that was co-authored by Damon Lindelof and stars George Clooney, looks very intriguing.

JUNE:

* Jurassic World – It’s been 14 years since the last Jurassic Park movie and that time difference is illustrated in the story of this sequel. Now it’s a fully operational theme park, and very busy. I’m sure everything will go wrong. 

* Inside Out – The new Pixar movie is a weird concept. We follow the emotions inside a little girl, all represented by quirky characters. Co-directed by Monsters, Inc. director Pete Docter.

* Ricki and the Flash – Meryl Streep plays an aging rock star who’s trying to reconnect with her kids. May sound unremarkable, but Jonathan Demme is directing and Streep is probably a hoot to watch. And there’s Kevin Kline.

JULY:

* Terminator Genisys – Terminator Salvation (2007) failed to jump-start this franchise, but here comes a movie that seems to be everything – a sequel, a remake and a prequel all at once. And Arnold Schwarzenegger returns. Has to be seen. 

* Ant-Man – Can’t say I’m excited about this latest superhero project, but perhaps a sense of humor will boost it, as in the case of Guardians of the Galaxy. The cast has Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly.

AUGUST:

* The Man from U.N.C.L.E. – Guy Ritchie directs this adaptation of the 1960s spy series. I guess Warner is hoping for their own Mission: Impossible franchise. Stars Henry Cavill and Hugh Grant.

* Straight Outta Compton – The story of the legendary hiphop group N.W.A. reaches the big screen. Director F. Gary Gray’s first film in six years. Paul Giamatti is in the cast.

SEPTEMBER:

* Everest – A star-studded thriller about a Mount Everest expedition that is hit by a snowstorm. Starring Keira Knightley, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robin Wright and Josh Brolin.

* Black Mass – Infamous Boston mob boss Whitey Bulger is the subject of this film that focuses on his rise. Johnny Depp plays Bulger and the cast also has Benedict Cumberbatch, Sienna Miller and Joel Edgerton.

OCTOBER:

* The Walk – Did you see the documentary Man on Wire (2008)? Well, here comes Robert Zemeckis’s fictionalized version, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The teaser is eye-popping, and I believe this is an occasion where the 3D will truly serve a purpose.

* The Jungle Book – Hard to tell what Jon Favreau might make of this adaptation, but it seems inspired by the Disney version as much as Rudyard Kipling. Bill Murray and Christopher Walken will provide the voices of Baloo and King Louie.

* Crimson Peak – Guillermo del Toro directs this ghost movie starring Charlie Hunnam and Jessica Chastain. Early footage was a hit at Comic-Con last summer.

NOVEMBER: 

* Spectre – The 24th James Bond movie promises to reintroduce both SPECTRE and Blofeld. Daniel Craig returns and Christoph Waltz plays the villain. Sam Mendes is back in the directing chair after the success of Skyfall (2012). 

* The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 – The book certainly did not need to be divided into two separate movies, but here’s the final film in this franchise.

* Midnight Special – Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols returns with a film about a man who goes on the lam with his son after discovering that the boy has special powers. Stars Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst and Michael Shannon.

DECEMBER:

* Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The most heavily anticipated movie of the year. The teaser trailer got everybody curious and J.J. Abrams’s take on this franchise certainly looks exciting. Now we’re waiting for a first look of the old stars…

* Mission: Impossible 5 – Both the plot and, likely, the title are unknown at this time. But Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and the other familiar faces from this franchise are returning. Christopher McQuarrie, who made Jack Reacher, is helming.

* Joy – David O. Russell is back with another vehicle for Jennifer Lawrence, who plays a Long Island single mom who becomes a wildly successful entrepreneur. Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro are also in the cast.

* The Revenant – Alejandro González Iñárritu directs this drama about a frontiersman who sets out for revenge in the 1820s. Stars Tom Hardy and Leonardo DiCaprio.

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The Cabin in the Woods

YOU THINK YOU KNOW THE STORY.

cabininthewoodsA group of college kids head out to an empty cabin in the woods, unaware that something monstrous awaits them… and that it’s manipulated by a mysterious organization. The writers, who have worked on several TV shows, created this piece of horror satire that salutes scary movies, but also poses a warning to the genre’s most tiresome examples (especially torture porn). Entertaining and clever, especially in the second half when we learn the full extent of the organization’s work. The college kids are colorless, as expected, but Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford and Sigourney Weaver bring gravitas (and laughs). 

2012-U.S. 95 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Joss Whedon. Directed by Drew Goddard. Screenplay: Joss Whedon, Drew Goddard. Cast: Kristen Connolly (Dana), Chris Hemsworth (Curt), Anna Hutchison (Jules), Fran Krantz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins… Bradley Whitford, Sigourney Weaver. 

Trivia: Filmed in 2009.

5 kopia

 

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Highlights of Comic-Con 2014

It’s been a week since this year’s Comic-Con ended in San Diego, but it is such a prominent event every year now that it simply can’t be ignored. Just like last year, here’s a list of what I found thrilling:

The Avengers reunite We’re all excited by the upcoming sequel to The Avengers, although few are as insane about it as a Comic-Con crowd. In the clip above, we see Robert Downey, Jr., Jeremy Renner, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Elizabeth Olsen… and the amazing James Spader who was slightly flummoxed by the weirdness that is Comic-Con. A fun introduction of these stars, although the jokes about turning Thor into a woman are… predictable, to put it politely. But don’t miss Josh Brolin later in the clip!

The Simpsons meets Family Guy It was reported last year that the two iconic animated shows would have a crossover episode in 2014 and five minutes were shown during Comic-Con. It has the Griffins visiting the Simpsons in Springfield, thereby respecting “hallowed ground”… but also opening up for lots of jokes that are typical of Family Guy, including what looks like an epic fight between Peter and Homer. Funny, and should appeal even to those who’ve grown tired of The Simpsons by now.

The trailer that had everyone talking George Miller is 69 years old and used to be an exciting Australian filmmaker. He directed the three Mad Max movies and earned a lot of critical and popular recognition for that; eventually, he moved into children’s’ entertainment, directing Babe (1995) and Happy Feet (2006), the latter of which he won an Oscar for. When news came of him directing a fourth Mad Max titled Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy, few had any real hope of Miller accomplishing much. But the first trailer for the new film, shown during Comic-Con, blew our minds. A visual feast, the movie looks amazing… but we should remember something vital: A good-looking trailer does not a film make.

Superman, meet Batman It was last year that the Man of Steel sequel was properly introduced to fans in San Diego, and this year they got to see Henry Cavill (Superman) and Ben Affleck (Batman) on stage together. Wonder Woman, who will make an appearance in the film, was also properly introduced as played by Gal Gadot. Some footage from the sequel was shown, having the two superheroes looking very pissed. Zack Snyder showed up on stage… but in my view, any true fan of the two comic-book icons should be booing him as long as he doesn’t admit that the first movie was a bit of a cock-up.

Game of Thrones bloopers Gag reels were released last year too, but the one for the fourth season of Game of Thrones (which was the best one so far) was very amusing, especially as it had father (Charles Dance) and daughter (Lena Headey) losing their cool in key scenes. I also love the bit where Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Peter Dinklage dance their way into a trial scene. It was also revealed during Comic-Con that the fifth season would see several new cast additions, including Keisha Castle-Hughes and Jonathan Pryce.

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Rush

EVERYONE’S DRIVEN BY SOMETHING. 

rushTheir common interest in dramas portraying recent real-life events on a grand scale vitalizes director Ron Howard and writer Peter Morgan’s take on the famous rivalry between Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda in the 1970s. Admittedly, we never get as close to the two men as we’d like, but Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Brühl are excellent and it’s interesting to see what Hunt and Lauda had in common and what set them apart. This is also one of few racing movies to make the game look just as exciting, powerful and poignant as it must be for the drivers; brilliant shots and editing creates great drama on the race tracks.

2013-Britain-Germany. 123 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Ron Howard, Andrew Eaton, Eric Fellner, Brian Grazer, Peter Morgan, Brian Oliver. Directed by Ron Howard. Screenplay: Peter Morgan. Cinematography: Anthony Dod Mantle. Editing: Dan Hanley, Mike Hill. Cast: Chris Hemsworth (James Hunt), Daniel Brühl (Niki Lauda), Olivia Wilde (Suzy Miller), Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, David Calder… Natalie Dormer.

Trivia: Paul Greengrass was allegedly first considered as director.

BAFTA: Best Editing.

Last word: “I did have friends in Los Angeles who read the script and said ‘who are we rooting for?’ This is the sort of traditional script note that you get. That’s one of the unconventional aspects of this. I think people are pleasantly surprised by the move because they expect a more conventional kind of sports narrative to roll out. These aren’t conventional characters and the good news was it kind of forced Peter, myself, all of us to take a narrative that doesn’t unfold the way you would write it in a movie script and make it work. I don’t think it’s fair to take sides, I don’t think there was a good guy or a bad guy there. I felt like it was a rival story and a dual survival story.” (Howard, F1 Fanatic)

4 kopia

 

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Don’t Get Hustled by the Oscars Race

Last Thursday, the Oscar nominations were announced by Chris Hemsworth and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs in an early morning broadcast. Some of the subsequent commentators claimed that there were a few surprises… but not really. There’s a chance of up to ten Best Picture nominations nowadays, and you seriously did not expect Philomena, a great, very Oscar-friendly film heavily promoted by Harvey Weinstein, to be one of them? There were nine candidates this year, and I have yet to see three of them. Of the remaining six pictures, I’d rate them as follows:

  1. Gravity
  2. 12 Years a Slave
  3. Philomena
  4. Captain Phillips
  5. The Wolf of Wall Street
  6. American Hustle

We’ll see later where HerDallas Buyers Club and Nebraska qualify.

A few random thoughts regarding the other categories. I do miss Tom Hanks in the Best Actor field; he was tremendous in Captain Phillips. The odds favor Matthew McConaughey for Dallas Buyers Club, and I love him, but Chiwetel Ejiofor was incredibly moving in 12 Years a Slave. He’s my choice. The Best Actress category is dominated by Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, and she certainly deserves a second Oscar. Gravity looks set to win Oscars for Best Director, Visual Effects, Cinematography, Editing and Sound Editing/Sound Mixing. I’m also pleased to see Steven Price as frontrunner in the Best Original Score category after being robbed at the Golden Globes. Obviously, I also believe that the film should win Best Picture as well, but that doesn’t look likely. Amazingly, according to the panel of experts that GoldDerby has assembled, the race is currently down to a choice between 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle. I certainly hope that everybody comes to their senses and picks the former, which is a brilliant film. The latter, fun as it is, does not deserve a Best Picture Oscar (or an Original Screenplay Oscar) for its botched handling of the ABSCAM scandal; it takes more than great acting, intriguing period details and crazy hairdos. 

In my Twitter feed, I’ve noticed a common misunderstanding about awards shows, which is also typical of news reporting. They count how many nominations films receive and draw conclusions from that. American Hustle and Gravity both received 10 nominations, but that’s no surprise. Both are visual feasts, qualifying in multiple categories. It doesn’t mean that one of them will automatically win Best Picture. The best example of that is perhaps The Turning Point (1977), which earned 11 nominations but not a single Oscar.

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