7 items from 2015
By Anjelica Oswald
Of the five Oscar-nominated original songs for the 87th Academy Awards, Selma’s “Glory” and Beyond the Light’s “Grateful” are the only songs that solely play over the end credits of their respective film. The other three songs — “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie, “Lost Stars” from Begin Again and “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me — are all performed at some point during the film.
Now, that’s not to say that the end-credits songs aren’t relevant to the plot. Both “Grateful” and “Glory” stick with the themes of their respective films and summarize relevant events, even if they aren’t integral to each plot’s progression.
“Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie is featured in the film as a popular song in the Lego universe, one the characters sing along to, but »
- Anjelica Oswald
By Anjelica Oswald
When the 87th Oscar nominations for best animated feature were announced Jan. 15 and excluded The Lego Movie, the Internet exploded with confusion and disbelief. The film, which was largely expected by many pundits to win the Oscar, was a critical (holding a 96 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes) and commercial hit (earning $257.7 million stateside). It also earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations and won the Critics’ Choice Award for best animated film. It seemingly had everything going in its favor, so what went wrong?
One sentiment is that the animation branch of the Academy, which chooses the nominations, admire hand-drawn traditional animation and want to celebrate and preserve a fading craft rather than nominate solely computer animated and digital films.
The first computer animated film was Toy Story, which was released in 1995 and was nominated for original screenplay, original song and original score. Director »
- Anjelica Oswald
Tim here. As you’ve probably heard, unless this is literally the first thing you’ve read on the internet all day, the Best Animated Feature category at the Oscars got thrown for a loop when the prohibitive frontrunner, The Lego Movie, was unexpectedly denied a nomination. In the blink of an eye, one of the most boring races suddenly turned into the most unpredictable of all 24.
So why don’t we start hacking away at the five titles, and see what we can make of them, now that we’ve suddenly got some excitement on our hands?
Studio: Walt Disney Animation (8th nomination)
Nathaniel kind of liked it, I kind of liked it a bit less. Which mostly describes the reception that the film has received from everybody: nobody much dislikes the genial adventure-comedy about a boy and his charmingly soft robot, »
- Tim Brayton
Did you know that Meryl Streep landed her record 19th Academy Award nomination for Into the Woods when the contenders were announced? That’s just one of the many facts and pieces of trivia you need to know about this year’s pool of nominees vying for Oscar gold.
Oscars: The Complete List of 2015 Nominees
Let's break it all down:
2. Bradley Cooper earned his third consecutive nomination for American Sniper. He was previously nominated for Best Supporting Actor for American Hustle (2014) and Best Actor for Silver Linings Playbook (2013). He’s now one nomination away from tying Marlon Brando for the most consecutive acting noms.
3. Speaking of Cooper, he’s actually nominated twice. He’s one of the producers of American Sniper, which was nominated »
When it comes to the Academy Awards, there are always snubs that really surprise us -- Jennifer Aniston for Cake, Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler were among the few shut out. And this year, we couldn’t help but lament the fact that Tilda Swinton, Jennifer Lawrence, and others weren’t recognized for their achievements on screen.
The cult hit of the summer was definitely the post-apocalyptic sci-fi film about the world’s remaining population living on a train. Tilda Swinton slayed audiences as Mason, the monstrous spokesperson of the engine’s caretaker who spars with the revolt’s leader played by Chris Evans. Her over-the-top performance may have been too camp for the Academy but her commitment made every minute of screen time worth it.
While we’re excited »
This article contains spoilers for Toy Story 3.
It seems to have become surprisingly tough to keep an open mind about Toy Story 4. Pixar have a mostly excellent track record in these things, especially when it comes to the Toy Story series. We struggle to think of a more consistently brilliant trilogy of films, so why were so many upset about the very real possibility of a fourth, also brilliant instalment, when it was announced last year?
Although some would cite the Cars films, or the impossible and yet still disappointing expectation that Monsters University would live up to Monsters Inc, it doesn't come down to anything so jaded. In all of the ways that Toy Story 3 is an excellent film, it's mostly because it feels like a near unimprovable conclusion to the series. »
Some actors have careers that can easily be summed up. Either they stick to what they’re good at, and manage to strike out a distinct if unadventurous line of work for most of their time in Hollywood – your Will Ferrells, your Emma Thomases – or else they’re more malleable, mercurial, and turn their hand to all sorts – your Daniel Day Lewises, your Christitna Bales. Michael Keaton isn’t really either.
Making a name for himself with high concept eighties comedies like Mr Mom and Multipicity, Keaton then sort of ping-ponged between similar, silly roles and more straight dramatic parts in the likes of Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing and appearances in the Elmore Leonard adaptations Out Of Sight and Jackie Brown. He was pretty great at both, too.
Then there was a sort of fallow period where Keaton dropped off the map a little, »
- Tom Baker
7 items from 2015
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