South Africa

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


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


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


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


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.

Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom Trailer

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Despite the trailer for this coming out over a month ago this film has only just come to my attention over the past couple of weeks. I have started to write about trailers more often now and I think that this is a good one to write about.

Nelson Mandela is no doubt one of the most famous people in the world and is considered a hero by many in South Africa. His story is know around the world but to my knoweledge a film about his personal life has not been done like this before.

Invictus a film directed by Clint Eastwood saw Morgan Freeman take on the role of Nelson Mandela. That film was set when Mandela was president and this film will follow Mandela’s early life and the run up to his imprisonment.

From the trailer Idris Elba looks and sounds incredible as Mandela. I think he is a shoe in to get an oscar nomination and I think his chances of winning for this role are quite high.

The film does show a different Mandela. People forget that he commited acts of terrosim against South Africa. Its not for me to say if it was justified or not but following that story is far more intresting that him as president.

Overall the trailer really has me excited for this film and will likely win oscars because of its backing by The Weinstein Company. Idris Elba is also becoming more known in Hollywood. He has already won a Golden Globe for his portrayal as John Luther in ‘Luther’ so it is likely more awards will come his way.

What do you think of the trailer? Please comment below.

Elysium Review

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Neill Blomkamp came to the attention of the world after directing District 9. This was a new take on an alien film make the aliens the sub species and using the film to show apatheid. He returns with Elysium which is another science fiction film.

The film is set in Los Angles in 2154 and shows the wealth divide between the poor working classes on earth and the super wealthy who live on the space station Elysium. Max (Matt Damon) is forced to seek medical attention from Elysium when he is exposed to radiation at work and must get to a health pod which can cure anyone of any illness before he dies.

Elysium looks stunning. The way the film is shot, all the frames look breathaking and I think people will definatly compare this film to Avatar due to its increble visual effects. The way the film is presented visually is definatly the films strongest point and despite personally liking scripts and performances better than the way a film looks, this film did blow me away.

Matt Damon is fantastic in the lead role as Max and at times I did not like the character for some of his actions I think he is still a stong lead of the film without being to conventional to a Hollywood leading man. Jodie Foster has a minor role in the film but plays a really cold hearted character and it was really cool to see her in that role. Sharlto Copley returns to collaborate with Blomkamp from District 9. Copley plays the villain of this film and he nails it. He does feel very two dimensional but that makes him more intresting as a villain.

Like I said the film looks increible but I do feel the plot is slightly weak and many of the characters deserved to get a lot more character development. The film is not too long though and I feel that in the time despite not much character development the message of the film is clearly stated to the audience.

As District 9 commented on rascism this film comments on the class system and possibly issues with the american health care system. The film is really intresting and although it is not as good as District 9 it is still a fantastic film.