Leonardo DiCaprio

The Wolf Of Wall Street Review

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Leonardo DiCaprio despite being very famous and rich often gets so much stick. People often overlook the fact that he is a great actor. He has given loads of great performances over the years and  now he has reunited with director Martin Scorsese to make The Wolf of Wall Street. It may shock many people after watching the movie that this is based on a true story and if you Google Jordan Belfort you can find interesting and shocking interviews about the time he was on wall street.

First of all I will say that this is an odd film for Scorsese to make. Recently he made Hugo which was a children’s film and The Wolf of Wall Street is far more adult but it seems to have a very different tone from his other films. I did question if Scorsese was the best choice of director for this project but he does a great job regardless of what I think. Scorsese is a great director and he has the influence and the fame to do what he wants. A criticism of the film is that it is long running at 179 minutes and Scorsese allegedly had editing issues to cut it down to that. The length is an issue with this film in my opinion, some claim that it flies by but despite the film being entertaining I do think people are very aware of the time passing as they watch it. I do think the film is really well made and I would go as far to say this is an iconic piece of cinema. However the opening of the film which includes Photoshopped images and the visual effects seem very sloppy and unfinished. Some people may think it looks great but during the boat scene I could tell that all of it was visual effects.

DiCaprio really throws himself into the role of Jordan Belfort and the fact that he was able to use Belfort’s book as well as the person himself for research the role is really genuine. Despite some really crude and extreme scenes this may be one if not the best performance DiCaprio has ever given. I know DiCaprio is a really good actor but I am suprised at how much of this role he embodied. Belfort does break the fourth wall in the film and narrates a great deal of it which I don’t think was the best thing to do. It works out at the end as it appears

The supporting cast is also great, Jonah Hill has really changed as an actor and really delivers in this film. Hill started off in comedies and despite this being a dark comedy it is a more serious film than people think. Like the Golden Globes class this film as a comedy. Jon Bernthal also gives a great performance but I felt he was underused a great deal. Jean Dujardin also has a small role in the film and it is good to see him in bigger films after having done nothing that noteworthy after winning an oscar for The Artist. Rob Reiner also has a small role as Belfort’s father. Margot Robbie who plays Belfort’s wife in this in my opinion is a weak point. I did not think she ruined the film but I felt she was nothing special. That may be jsut because she is not really the focus of the movie but as I said Jon Bernthal and Jean Dujardin have small roles but they are more rememberable than her.  I am sure that this film will allow Robbie to have a greater career and well done to her.

Overall this is a solid film with a great director, a great story, a great ensemble and a great leading man. DiCaprio also picked up a Golden Globe for this role and may even go on to get an Oscar nomination and maybe even a win. However it seems that the academy awards hate him for some reason but we just need to wait and see. I do think that the length of the film will put people off and cause many people to wait for it to be released on DVD and Blu Ray. If you don’t mind sitting in the cinema for over 3 hours as there will be adverts check out this film.

8/10

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

Golden Globe Winners 2014

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So another year to wait for the golden globes 2014 but the awards season from this year is far from over. The Oscars is the big award show the one that people deem that matters but the nominations are not even out yet. The oscar nominations will be announced in a few days and the award show will take place on March 2nd which is very late this year. Anyway last nights awards have caused a stir in my opinion but I am glad that it has. People seem to be upset about the winners and the nominees so far and this makes me look forward to he oscars as I don’t think the people who won at the golden globes will necessarily win at the oscars. I was surprised to see that Chiwetel Ejiofor and Michael Fassbender lose out to Matthew McConaughy and Jared Leto. I do think awards shows are strange as 12 Years a Slave won best Drama but the actors did not win. If it was voted best film surely it should triumph  in all categories. It missed out on everything except best drama. I still predict that 12 Years a Slave will do well at the Baftas and I reckon at the oscars it may clean up as well.

I was also surprised to see Jennifer Lawrence win as I felt her role in American Hustle was very underwhelming. I do like her a lot but if she goes on to win an oscar this year she will just become the next Meryl Streep who gets nominated for the sake of a nomination rather than actually being one of the best roles. DiCaprio won for best actor in a comedy and took a jab at the Hollywood foregin press by joking about his fellow comedians who were nominated. Unfortunately I think DiCaprio may miss out on an oscar nomination and I feel that even if he picks up a nomination he will not win. So far in the film awards it is interesting and this may be one of the best awards seasons in years as it doesn’t seem to be predictable.

Bryan Cranston rightly won for his role of Walter White in Breaking Bad and the show itself won for best drama. This was a really fitting send out for the show. So many people were impressed by Breaking Bad and having Cranston win was predictable but it was what everyone including myself wanted. It was also good to see Robin Wright win for House of Cards which is due to return on Netflix in February.

Here is the full list of winners.

DRAMA

Winner: 12 Years a Slave

MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: American Hustle

ACTOR IN A DRAMA

Winner: Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club as Ron Woodroof)

ACTRESS IN A DRAMA

Winner: Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine as Jasmine Francis)

ACTOR IN A MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Wolf of Wall Street as Jordan Belfort)

ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: Amy Adams (American Hustle as Sydney Prosser)

SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA, MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club as Rayon)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA, MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Winner: Jennifer Lawrence (American Hustle as Rosalyn Rosenfeld)

DIRECTOR

Winner: Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity)

SCREENPLAY

Winner: Spike Jonze (Her)

ORIGINAL SCORE

Winner: Alex Ebert (All Is Lost)

ORIGINAL SONG

Winner: Ordinary Love by U2 and Danger Mouse (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom)

ANIMATED FILM

Winner: Frozen

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Winner: The Great Beauty

TELEVISION

DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Breaking Bad

MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Brooklyn Nine-Nine

ACTOR, DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad as Walter White)

ACTRESS, DRAMA SERIES

Winner: Robin Wright (House of Cards as Claire Underwood)

ACTOR, MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Andy Samberg (Brooklyn Nine-Nine as Jake Peralta)

ACTRESS, MUSICAL OR COMEDY SERIES

Winner: Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation as Leslie Knope)

ACTOR, MINISERIES OR TV FILM

Winner: Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra as Liberace)

ACTRESS, MINISERIES OR TV FILM

Winner: Elisabeth Moss (Top of the Lake as Robin Griffin)

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Winner: Jon Voight (Ray Donovan as Mickey Donovan)

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Winner: Jacqueline Bisset (Dancing on the Edge as Lady Livinia Cremone)

MINISERIES OR TV FILM

Winner: Behind the Candelabra

Django Unchained Review

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Tarantino has a cult following but it almost seems that he has another cult that hates him. Personally I like his films. Some are a lot better than others but I do consider him one of my favorite directors. I think he has a very specific style and trademark. When you watch a film of his you know that he wrote and directed it. Even just watching a few minutes of a random scene you would probably notice that it fits his style. Tarantino has almost made a genre of his own.

The film stars Jamie Foxx as Django and Christoph Waltz and Dr King Schultz. Christoph Waltz is the supporting character but almost steals the show and this role earned him a second Oscar nomination and win. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the villainous Calvin Candy who is considered the main antagonist however does not feature heavily in the film and doesn’t show up until over half way through. Kerry Washington plays Django’s wife Broomhilda who is a slave at Candyland. Samuel L Jackson plays Stephen head slave at Candyland and who is just as evil as Calvin Candy. I do think Christoph Waltz really delivers in this but all the other cast help to make this film something the audience will remember.

The film follows Django a slave who is found by Dr King Schultz. Schultz is a bounty hunter who is looking for a gang called the Brittle brothers and needs Django to identify them. Once they have caught the gang Schultz promises to free Django and help track down his wife. They are lead to a plantation called Candy Land ruled by the cruel owner Calvin Candy and his assistant Stephen. The film does go off on several sub-plots but they do work really well as they help build up the characters.

The film is almost three hours long which I think is a very long time to sit in the cinema for. I don’t tend to like films that go on too long however I felt this film flowed very well. Long films can go off topic and get boring and that is what makes them bad. However Django Unchained keeps the audience interested throughout the entire film. I could have seen some of it being cut out for convenience but at no point when watching this was I bored.

The film is not really a western but something completely different. It does contain lots of elements and iconography of the western genre. Tarantino has described this film as a ‘Southern’ due to its main setting being Mississippi and taking place on plantations. The first half of the film is defiantly iconic to the western genre but then the film deviates. This is good though as I like things to change and I like to see different things. The film contains elements of other genres and it works really well mixing up genres.

The film has been criticized for the levels of racism.  I do think it is justified though. I do think that if you are doing a film about slavery then you need to have racism in it. I think censoring racism would ruin the film. I do think films should inform and highlight issues. Slavery has not really been shown in that many films before and the subject is taboo.

The film is very violent and this may deter people from seeing it but I think that if you are going to see a Tarantino picture you expect violence. I do not think that is is unjustified though. This time in America it was a violent time. Slavery was so brutal and I don’t think this film would have been as good if it censored the levels of violence. I also think that the characters actions of violence of justified. I don’t want to spoil the film but something Christoph Waltz’s character does towards the end of the film I first felt was out of character but after thinking about it, I think that his action was completely justified and not out of place at all.

Overall this is a great piece of cinema, I think this film is perfectly appeals to both fans of the art house film and those who like blockbusters. There is plenty in the film that will appeal to a lot of people and despite the subject matter being a touchy subject I don’t think that should deter anyone from seeing it.

8.5/10

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

The Wolf Of Wall Street Trailer Review

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Martin Scorsese is once again teaming up with A list star Leonardo DiCaprio on The Wolf Of Wall Street. They have worked together on several occasions now and likely have a great working relationship. DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort author of The Wolf Of Wall Street and former Wall Street hot shot.

We have already had one trailer for this film but this trailer showcases a lot more new footage. I do feel that this film does have its flaws though. I do think that DiCaprio has to stop playing young characters. Belfort in this story starts out in his 20s and despite people saying how good looking DiCaprio is he can no longer pull off playing a 20 year old. I do think he is a good actor sure and I hope this does not affect my opinion of the film or his performance.

The film does have a great cast and will likely be an ensemble piece. However DiCaprio will likely steal the show as the story is about his character. The film is due to be released on Christmas Day this year and there were rumors about the film being delayed because a draft of the film had a run time of over 180 minutes. That may have just been a rumor but I still think that this film will have a long run time and maybe reach the 150 minute mark.

As the film is coming out in December that is the perfect time for the Oscars and the cast and crew will be able to campaign for nominations. Maybe this will finally be Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar year? However he does seem cursed and will likely be snubbed once again or even if he does get nominated he will unfortunately miss out on the win. I can’t make a decision till I have seen the film so we just need to wait till then.

What do you think of the trailer? Do you want to see Leonardo DiCaprio win an Oscar for this role? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Do The Academy Awards Matter?

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Everyone likes to get praised for their work. Awards season for the film industry is important to so many people and winning an award really matters to them. The Academy Awards is considered the most prestigious film award a person can win. Actors dream of winning Oscars in particular and many not just actors but anyone who works in the film industry would be so honored to have their work recognized. However with mixed opinions on films and performances do awards really matter? There have been many roles by actors which I feel were undeserving of Academy Awards and many actors who have missed out on an Oscar nomination despite receiving praise by other awards for their performances. Some have actually made me really angry and even though some may be my personal opinion towards a performance or film I can still show my disapproval and approval of what happens at the Academy Awards.

Meryl Streep is a fantastic actress and has received so much recognition from the Academy Awards but one thing has really annoyed me recently. She won best leading actress for The Iron Lady. Now I can only say this is my opinion but I know many agree with me. In The Iron Lady it is not a powerful biopic about Margret Thatcher it is a pathetic attempt at a dementia awareness the film. He performance was so weak and she only got nominated because she gets nominated. There were better roles that year for the actresses who would have loved to have won an Oscar instead. Also many of Streep’s nominations mean that other new actresses are not getting recognized just because of the Academy’s stupid obsession with Streep. Some nominations are good but some are just put there for the sake of it and it is unfair.  I really don’t get how she won and it really makes me angry. I think this is one of the biggest mistakes the academy has ever made.

Tommy Lee Jones is a fantastic actor and gives great performances in all his films. However he won an Oscar for The Fugitive. Now if you have seen the film it is hardly a pioneering film in the world of cinema and Jones basically plays himself. Its not a terrible performance but its not an Oscar worthy performance. Compared to the other nominees in that category I am surprised that Jones came out on top. I personally would have awarded the Oscar to either Pete Postlethwaite for In The Name Of The Father or Ralph Fiennes for Schindler’s List. The other two nominees were John Malkovich for In The Line Of Fire and Leonardo DiCaprio for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. These were all worthy performances except for Jones who has done many better roles than The Fugitive that were worthy of Oscar nominations and even wins. What were the academy thinking when they gave the Oscar to him? I really don’t know.

There are many snubs made by the academy. Some have been nominated and still have not won whereas some great performances have been ignored  completely. As I said there were many better performances when Tommy Lee Jones won. Also more recently I felt Anne Hathaway was an unworthy winner of the academy award for Les Miserables.  I felt her role really lacked something but that is my opinion. Someone else should have won but I am torn at who should have though.

Gary Oldman finally received a Oscar nomination  for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy two years ago. However he did not win despite giving a fantastic performance. Jean Dujardin won for The Artist which I think is another overrated film. That is only my opinion. Oldman has been snubbed by the Oscars on many occasions but I would not have wanted him to win for just because the academy was trying to make up for snubbing him on in my opinion on 5 separate occasions. I feel that the academy did this with Russell Crowe. He won for Gladiator which was a great performance but I think he only won to make up for him not winning the previous year for the film The Insider.

Michael Fassbender received recognition for his role in Shame at the Golden Globes but was snubbed at the Oscars. He gave a really intense and powerful performance but the academy deemed the topic too sensitive and ignored his fantastic performance. Will Ferell a well known comedy actor gave a brilliant performance in Stranger Than Fiction which I felt was Oscar worthy as well as actor Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. I thought that range would be recognize range in performances.  I worry this will be done again for this years academy awards with Steve Carell. He is playing a serious role in the film Foxcatcher but because of his body of work the academy may snub him. I think the Academy needs to look at range of actors performances and not just the performances they are being marked on.

Snubs are not just for actors but it has been done for directors as well. Martin Scorsese winning for The Departed seemed to make up for snubs for his films such as Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Casino. Although I liked The Departed I felt some of his other films are more deserving of recognition. The Departed is actually a remake which most people don’t know.

It has also been done for best film at the Oscars. The Hurt Locker won Best Picture a few years ago and I don’t think it was the best film of that time. I felt District 9 was more deserving of recognition. Also it is controversial that Forrest Gump won Best Picture over both Pulp Fiction ans The Shawshank Redemption. There two films are considered some of the best pieces in cinema history and The Shawshank Redemption is number one on Internet Movie Data Base’s top 250 list. I personally did not like Forrest Gump and I think most people would say that both The Shawshank Redemption and Pulp Fiction are much better films despite the Academy disagreeing.

Overall I do like to keep up with the Academy Awards and other awards but I do think they have made the wrong decisions on many occasions to the point that if you work in the industry that winning an award is a bonus and may help your career but sometimes the voters don’t have a clue and it is down to personal preference and if something is good but not recognized critically it does not mean it is any lesser than a film that has received recognition.

What do you think about the Academy Awards? Do you think they are unfair and they make the wrong decisions often? Please comment below and thanks for reading.

Early Oscar Predictions 2014: Best Leading Actor

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Tom Hanks – Captain Phillips

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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

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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

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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.