American Hustle

American Hustle Review

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American Hustle has already received a great deal of attention from the big awards and I predict that it will pick up a fair amount of awards. The film rightly receives attention for being a great film. This does have the elements of an art house film but at times it is highly entertaining at parts. The film follows Irving Rosefeld (Christian Bale) a con artist and his partner in crime Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) who are swooped up by the FBI agent Richie DiMasso (Bradley Cooper) and asked to aid the government in bringing down corrupt politicians. The story starts with an attempt to catch Mayor Carmine Polito (Jeremy Renner) to capture him taking a bribe. When the opportunity presents itself DiMasso wants to go after higher up officials.

This film does have a great cast and they all work really well together. Bale and Adams had previously worked together on The Fighter and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence previously worked together on Silver Linings Playbook which were both directed by David O.Russell. It seems that O. Russell has a good relationship with his actors that he can collaborate with them on many different movies. O.Russell is known for having a temper on set but it seems that in his recent films the actors and crew he works with work with him well and he has no need to lose his temper. From a directing point of view O.Russell seems very skilled in his craft and his other films have really brought him into a new light as a filmmaker. I do very much look forward to what he will do next.

The film also features a cameo from Robert De Niro who plays a mob boss named Victor Tellegio and Louis C.K gives a decent performance as Richie DiMasso’s supervisor. Despite these two having small roles in the film their performances are really great and they did really stick out to me. I do think that Bale, Cooper, Adams and Renner really deliver in this film and I am glad to see that they all except Renner have received nominations. Lawrence have received nominations for awards for her role as Rosalyn Rosenfeld, however I did not think her role in this was anything special. I know she is loved by many people and I do like her other work as well but I felt her performance really lacked when compared to the other actors in the film.

One criticism I do have with the film is that it is not consistently entertaining. For me entertainment is really important when watching a film. Art can be fun despite what some people say. The film is interesting when it is not entertaining though but I would rather it consistently delivered. The first part of the film is a lot less entertaining than the second half of the film but that does not mean any of the film is bad. With the mix of great performances, great story and great film making this film is well crafted and is a must see film.

Overall this film is a solid piece of cinema and may even be considered a modern classic. The film has so many good moments and with a great cast and crew there is no surprise that this film was successful. I am sure this will pick up a few awards when the time comes and with such an excellent cast this will continue to have financial success. Although some moments are duller and less interesting than others the film is defiantly worth checking out. As always I fear that the film will be lost on the larger audience but with a cast of A list actors I am sure people will check this out and will struggle to hate this.

8/10

What did you think of the film? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

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Golden Globes 2014 Nominations.

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The Golden Globes is one of the most prestigious award shows for the film and television industry. Many people see it as second to the Academy Awards. The awards season finishes up with the Oscars but as the golden globes is considered the second best award show this will receive a lot of attention. Also this does give us an indication at who will be nominated for the Oscars however because the category is split between Drama films and Comedy and Musical films it does not give us a fair indication of who will be nominated for the Oscars.

The Oscars only has one category for performances and one for best film and a lot of these films will miss out on Oscar nominations simply because there are not enough slots. For example American Hustle is in the Comedy and Musical category however I think that it will get nominated for Oscars based on performances being dramatic. For example the film The Artist won for Best Picture as the Oscars but only won the Best Motion Picture Comedy and Musical and The Golden Globes. The Oscars is more prestigious and the nominees really need to fight and campaign to get nominated.

We can not just go on the Golden Globes for the Oscars though. I think Bafta and SAG also give us an idea of who will be nominated at the Oscars and usually who will win. Bafta does tend to be biased towards British films however but it is not new that British actors are able to pick up Oscar nominations and even win a great deal of the time. If you look back a few years, Geoffrey Rush won the Bafta for The King’s Speech but lost out on the Oscar to Christian Bale in The Fighter. I do like it when we are surprised at awards shows but they have become very very predictable and after the winners of the Golden Globes are announced the chances of the winners being nominated and winning increases drastically.

Here are the nominations for the Golden Globes in the films category.

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
12 YEARS A SLAVE
Plan B Entertainment, New Regency Productions and River Road Entertainment; Fox Searchlight Pictures
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Columbia Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
GRAVITY
Warner Bros. Pictures / Esperanto Filmoj / Heyday Films; Warner Bros. Pictures
PHILOMENA
Pathe, BBC Films, BFI, Canal+, Cine+, Baby Cow/Magnolia Mae; The Weinstein Company
RUSH
Universal Pictures, Cross Creek Pictures, Exclusive Media, Imagine Entertainment, Working Title, Revolution Films; Universal Pictures

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock, Gravity
Judi Dench, Philomena
Emma Thompson, Saving Mr Banks
Kate Winslet, Labor Day

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years A Slave
Idris Elba, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips
Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford, All Is Lost

BEST MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
AMERICAN HUSTLE
Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures; Sony Pictures Releasing
HER
Warner Bros. Pictures / Annapurna Pictures; Warner Bros. Pictures
INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
Mike Zoss Productions, Scott Rudin Productions, Studio Canal; CBS Films
NEBRASKA
Paramount Vantage; Paramount Pictures
THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Paramount Pictures and Red Granite Pictures; Paramount Pictures

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Amy Adams, American Hustle
Julie Delpy, Before Midnight
Greta Gerwig, Francis Ha
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Enough Said
Meryl Streep, August: Osage County

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – COMEDY OR MUSICAL
Christian Bale, American Hustle
Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf Of Wall Street
Oscar Isaac, Inside Llewyn Davis
Joaquin Phoenix, Her

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
THE CROODS
DreamWorks Animation LLC; Twentieth Century Fox
DESPICABLE ME 2
Universal Pictures, A Chris Meledandri Production; Universal Pictures
FROZEN
Walt Disney Animation Studios; Walt Disney Pictures

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (France)
Quat’sous Films; IFC Films
THE GREAT BEAUTY (Italy)
Indigo Film, Medusa Film, BABE Films; Janus Films
THE HUNT (Denmark)
Zentropa Entertainment; Magnolia Pictures
THE PAST (Iran)
Memento Films Production, France 3 Cinema, BIM Distribuzione; Sony Pictures Classics
THE WIND RISES (Japan)
Studio Ghibli; Touchstone Pictures

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Sally Hawkins, Blue Jasmine
Jennifer Lawrence, American Hustle
Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years A Slave
Julia Roberts, August: Osage County
June Squibb, Nebraska

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MOTION PICTURE
Barkhad Abdi, Captain Phillips
Daniel Bruhl, Rush
Bradley Cooper, American Hustle
Michael Fassbender, 12 Years A Slave
Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Alfonso Cuaron, Gravity
Paul Greengrass, Captain Phillips
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
Alexander Payne, Nebraska
David O. Russell, American Hustle

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Spike Jonze, Her
Bob Nelson, Nebraska
Jeff Pope & Steve Coogan, Philomena
John Ridley, 12 Years A Slave
Eric Warren Singer & David O Russell, American Hustle

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Alex Ebert, All Is Lost
Alex Heffes, Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Steven Price, Gravity
John Williams, The Book Thief
Hans Zimmer, 12 Years A Slave

Do you like the list of nominations? Has your favorite film or performance been snubbed this year? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Early Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Picture

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There are many films that will likely be nominated for best picture this year at the Academy Awards. I have not seen some of these but they are ones that are currently getting a lot of attention and hype. Here are some of my predictions for the nominations.

12 Years A Slave

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This seems a highly likely choice to be nominated for Best Film. Django Unchained was popular last year but this film will take slavery more seriously as it is based on a real life person and rather than being glorified to be entertaining I think this film will deal with heavy issues seriously. Slavery is ignored a great deal in the world and following such an intense and true story of Solomon Northrup will allow audiences to understand the hardship of slavery whilst being compelled by someones real life survival story. I think this film has the makings to get recognition from the academy and early reviews are positive and I am sure it will get a nomination.

Gravity

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Like most of these films I have not seen this yet but early reviews are praising Gravity as the new Avatar. It is also doing extremely well at the box office. If I had to make a bet now at this years winner I think I would have to say Gravity. I have not seen the film or anything but people are loving it. I am not a fan of Sandra Bullock but I do like George Clooney is some films and the director Alfonso Cuaron directed Children Of Men which is a film I really enjoyed. I will have to see it as soon as it becomes out in the cinema for me.

American Hustle

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American Hustle seems like a film that will get nominated. It has a lot of Oscar power behind it. It is directed by Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter director David O’Russell who has been nominated for directing for both mentioned films. Maybe the academy will reward him for this film. Also the film has two oscar winners starring in lead roles as well as the other leads all being nominees in the past. Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress last year and Christian Bale won best supporting actor a couple of years ago. Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams have also all been nominated for Oscars. This is bound to pick up attention form the academy and will likely get a best picture nomination.

The Monuments Men

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Frankly this film seems to have been made for the purpose of attracting the attention of the academy awards. I know very little about this film but I think its major theme will appeal to the academy. It is set in world war 2 and about soldiers who preserve art. Now I would think the academy would love to preserve art. The film has a great cast including George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett and Jean Dujardin. Nice to see Jean Dujardin in something. Its been a while. But this film will get nominated just because of Clooney’s involvement I think.

Captain Phillips

Tom Hanks

Tom Hanks is a favorite at the Academy Awards and this film is already getting a great deal of recognition. The film is based on real life events and its themes are due to get audiences attention as well as its intense story. I do think the academy loves films based on real life and this is very recent. Pirates have been in the news over the past few years so it is a subject that cinema should deal with. The fact that Tom Hanks stars does not hurt its chances of receiving a nomination.

Wild Card

The Counselor

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For me The Counselor is a wild card because I think it is going to be a hit or miss film. I think it has the makings of being a nominated picture but unlike other films its content is a heavy contributor. Where as a film may just get nominated for its subject this could be a generic crime films or one of the greatest films ever made. We don’t know. It has a great cast and had Ridley Scott directing as well as being penned by Cormac McCarthy. I will make my decision when the film comes out and reviews are in.

Early Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Leading Actor

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Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips

captain phillips

Having won 2 Oscars in the past as well as earning many other nominations, Tom Hanks is known for being one of the world’s best actors and movie stars. In Captain Phillips he plays a real captain who had to protect his cargo ship from pirates. I have not seen Hanks in anything recently so I am very much looking forward to seeing his performance in this film. I do however think that he does not stand a chance of winning the Oscar even if he gets nominated. That is nothing to do with how good an actor he is it is to do with the politics of the academy awards.

Chiwetel Ejifor – 12 Years A Slave

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Chiwetel Ejifor has been in many feature films and has worked on both television and the stage. He plays the real life figure Solomon Northrup who was kidnapped in New York where he lived and was forced to become a slave. This will be a very different film from that of Django Unchained which brought the issue of slavery to popular cinema once again. This film will be a more accurate interpretation of slavery than that of Django Unchained. I am very much looking forward to this film as well and looking forward to not just Chiwetel’s performance but the great ensemble cast the film is going to feature.

Idris Elba – Mandela: A Long Walk To Freedom

mandela

Idris Elba is an esteemed actor who came to my attention in the BBC series Luther. He was also in The Wire, American Gangster and Thor. In this film he plays Nelson Mandela. This will be the story of Mandela’s life before he was imprisoned and will go up to him becoming president. This film is not about him being president. It is about the journey he needed to take to become president of South Africa. it is clearly a story people are interested in and I feel that Elba will win the academy award this year.

Christian Bale – American Hustle

american-hustle

Christian Bale is famous for his ability to change his appearance and weight for roles. We have seen this in The Machinist where he got his weight down to 7 stone. He has also bulked up as Batman on three occasions and jumping in between a skinnier role in The Fighter. Bale teams up again with The Fighter director David O’Russell. He plays a con artist who teams up with an FBI agent for a sting. Bale has put on weight for this role and is donning a comb over. Obviously we cannot base his chances of getting nominated by just how he looks but Bale is a great actor and from what I have seen in the trailer and the team behind the film. I have faith that he will pick up a nomination.

Michael Fassbender – The Counselor

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Michael Fassbender is one of the most popular actors around at the moment and after having been snubbed for Shame he may pick up a nomination in The Counselor. The story follows a lawyer who gets caught up in the underworld of drug trafficking. It is written by Cormac McCarthy who wrote No Country For Old Men and is directed by Ridley Scott. However I think Fassbender may only get nominated for supporting actor in the film 12 Years A Slave in favor of this.  Only time will tell.

Wild Card

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Wolf Of Wall Street

Leonardo Dicaprio in The Wolf Of Wall Street

DiCaprio is cursed to never win an Academy Award it seems. He has been nominated a few times and missed out on each occasion. He has also been snubbed many times by the Academy. He is overlooked for some great films he has starred in. Maybe this year he will get nominated for this role but even if he does I guarantee he will not win. He is playing a real person so this is almost a biopic depending on how you look at it. He has played real people before well and this still does not make a difference. The film follows Wall Street Banker Jordan Belfort on his rise and fall in the banking world.

Early Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Supporting Actor

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The Oscars is still a few months away but that does not stop people predicting who will be nominated. Here are some of my predictions for Best Supporting Actor.

Michael Fassbender – 12 Years A Slave

michael fass 12 years

Michael Fassbender is currently one of the most sought after actors in Hollywood. He has been busy doing many projects for the past couple of years starting in both big budget and independent movies. This year he is re collaborating with Shame and Hunger director Steve McQueen. After his snub at the Oscars two years ago for his role in Shame it is highly likely he will receive a nomination for 12 Years A Slave. Last year Django Unchained brought slavery back to the attention of filmmakers however whereas Django Unchained contained many sub genres 12 Years A Slave will be more focused and more dramatic. Despite being leads in McQueen’s other motion pictures Fassbender will likely receive a best supporting nomination for this role as he is not the focus of the film but i’m sure he may steal the show.

Bradley Cooper – American Hustle

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I didn’t think much of Bradley Cooper as an actor until I saw Silver Linings Playbook and I was able to go back and watch some of his other films. I do think he is a really good actor and I am annoyed that he did not get more recognition for his role in Silver Linings Playbook for playing a man suffering from mental illness. I personally feel his performance was stronger than that of Jennifer Lawrence who won her category at the Oscars last year. Cooper is teaming up again with David O’Russel the director of Silver Linings Playbook. Cooper plays an FBI agent who teams up with a con artist. I don’t know much about the plot of American Hustle but its cast and production team is enough for me to go see it. After not winning last year Cooper should at least get a second nomination for this film.

Daniel Bruhl – Rush

Rush Dabiel Bruhl

Daniel Bruhl is a bit of an unknown to me however I am aware that he was in Inglorious Basterds and more recently The Fifth Estate. He seems like the generic foreign nominee for this year however from the trailer it looks like he gives a powerful performance as the formula one drive Nicki Lauda. I will be seeing Rush soon hopefully and I will judge whether he gets nominated on the performance in the film once I’ve seen it. However there is lots of talk already about him receiving a nomination. Rush is directed by Ron Howard who has won two Oscars for A Beautiful Mind. The fact he is directing the film may give the academy the chance to see Daniel’s work and hopefully he will receive a nominated.

Steve Carell – Foxcatcher

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Now I’m not sure if this role will be nominated for Leading or supporting but I think most likely supporting. This may seem like an unlikely nomination but from what I have heard of the story this will be a very unusual performance from Steve Carell. Carell is well known for his portrayal of Michael Scott in The Office and is known for working in Comedy. In Foxcatcher he will play John Du Pont a millionaire schizophrenic who murdered his best friend. The film will follow the Schultz brothers story up until Du Pont commits the murder. I am surprised that Carell took this role but I think this shows his determination to stop being typecast. He even wears a lot of make up and a fake nose and is almost unrecognizable in this role. This is the role that I am most looking forward to seeing this year. I think The Oscars will give him a nomination because in this he will show how much range he really has as an actor.

Jonah Hill – The Wolf Of Wall Street

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Jonah Hill who as many of you know started off in comedy movies but has moved into more serious films such as Moneyball which he also received a supporting actor nomination a few years ago. Hill has not left his comedy roots having recently stared in 21 Jump Street bit is also starring in The Wolf Of Wall Street directed by acclaimed director Martin Scorsese. The film will likely receive some attention from the Oscars but Hill may miss out on a nomination.

Wild Card

Javier Bardem – The Counselor

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The Counselor seems to me to be a wild card at the Oscars this year and I would not be surprised if it is overlooked completely. It has a star studded cast, Ridley Scott is directing and the story was written by Cormac McCarthy who wrote No Country For Old Men which also featured Javier Bardem who won a best supporting Oscar for that film. Javier Bardem is also supporting another crazy hair cut as he did in No Country For Old Men, but will this be enough to get him noticed? Probably not. I will have to see the film before I can judge how good his performance but if Bardem delivers I can defiantly see him picking up a nomination.