All posts tagged: Oscar

20 Facts on the 20th Anniversary of “Toy Story”

Toy Story was released on November 22, 1995, when I was only four years old. As much as my childhood memories are already beginning to fade, I’ll never forget what it felt like to see Toy Story as a child. The fun, the adventure, and the joy of witnessing toys come to life and conquer their own fears – it was magical, and in many ways, still is. As the company’s first feature-length film, Toy Story signaled the beginning of a generation of Pixar classics. In honor of Toy Story‘s 20th anniversary, here are 20 fun facts! 1. Toy Story was directed by John Lasseter. 2. It was the highest grossing film of 1995. 3. Woody and Buzz Lightyear were inspired by toys that Lasseter had as a child. 4. Billy Crystal was offered the role of Buzz Lightyear, but turned it down. After seeing the completed film, he claimed that it was the biggest mistake of his entire career. 5. The character of Sid is supposedly inspired by a former Pixar employee who would take apart toys and then reassemble them into strange creations. 6. The carpet in …

My Ranking of the Best Picture Nominees

Here’s my ranking of this year’s Best Picture nominations – from my least favorite to favorite. 8. American Sniper Beyond the fact that I did not like American Sniper from a social and political standpoint, I also thought it was poorly assembled and lacked substantial character development. It basically felt like 134 minutes of Clint Eastwood shoving his personal opinions on contemporary American war culture down my throat, and it wasn’t a pleasant feeling. The performances were good, but the lackluster script really didn’t provide the actors with the opportunity to do more than just be good. 7. Boyhood I will admit that Boyhood was a spectacular experiment in filmmaking, but in my opinion, it fell short. Read more about my thoughts on Linklater’s film in ‘Boyhood’: In Defense of my Dissenting Opinion. 6. The Theory of Everything The Theory of Everything provides an intimate look at the relationship between Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane Wilde Hawking. It’s a very slick film – with crisp visuals and sensational performances. Eddie Redmayne’s portrayal of Hawking is spectacularly convincing and Felicity Jones’ performance is subtle and honest. Despite …

My Thoughts on This Year’s Oscar Nominations

Each year countless deserving contenders are left out of the Oscar running, and like clockwork, audience members, filmmakers, and culture consumers rant about it on Twitter. I’ve never gotten too upset over Oscar snubs, until this year. I’m mad and I want to talk about it. Let me get one snub off my chest. Nightcrawler was a spectacular film that I felt deserved a Best Picture and Best Director nod. But more disappointing than those omissions is that Jake Gyllenhaal was ignored and left out of the Best Actor category. His captivating performance as Lou Bloom was nothing short of magnificent. He was bone chillingly good as the nocturnal creature-of-a-man who will do whatever it takes to make money, and he absolutely deserved a nomination. Now that Nightcrawler is off my chest, on to what really got me riled up. SELMA. Anyone who has seen Selma would agree that David Oyelowo deserved an Oscar nomination (and I think, a win). How in the world was he left out? It just feels wrong; horribly and terribly wrong. The fact that Ava DuVernay was left out of the running …

Further Proof That Lupita Nyong’o Is The Coolest Person Ever

When I saw 12 Years a Slave last winter I was immediately mesmerized by Lupita Nyong’o. What a performance! I loved Steve McQueen’s film so much that I saw it in theaters twice, which is a lot for a film that’s so unbelievably horrific and dismal. At both viewings I thought to myself: “who is this woman?”  How can an actor already be iconic after less than one year in the public eye? I’m not sure, but there’s no doubt that she already is. Lupita Nyong’o graced this month’s cover of Vogue and in this video produced by the posh fashion magazine she proves once again that she’s the coolest girl ever.

‘Dallas Buyers Club’ – Matthew McConaughey & Jared Leto Deliver Spectacular Performances

Dallas Buyers Club, written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, is based on the true story of Ron Woodroof, a Texan who begins smuggling prescription drugs into the US when he is diagnosed with HIV and finds that the medication he is receiving is not helping. The film stars Matthew McConaughey as Woodroof, Jared Leto as his saucy business partner Rayon, and Jennifer Garner Dr. Eve Saks, his compassionate doctor. It’s 1985. Ron Woodroof is an electrician and bull rider in Dallas, TX. He’s a homophobe, a drug addict, and a man who’s eager to sleep with any woman who’s willing. After living recklessly for quite some time, Woodroof is diagnosed with HIV and told he only has 30 days to live. Soon he becomes aware of his day to day existence – transforming his intense energy into something positive and powerful. When he discovers that AZT, the first HIV medication approved by the FDA, is actually hurting his body rather than helping, Ron establishes the Dallas Buyers Club, selling memberships in …

Endearing & Entertaining Oscar Acceptance Speeches

With Academy Award nomination announcements less than two months away, and Oscar movie season in full swing, I thought it would be timely to revisit some of the most endearing and entertaining acceptance speeches:   1. Cuba Gooding Jr. (Best Supporting Actor, Jerry Maguire)   2. Sandra Bullock (Best Actress, The Blind Side) (Starts at 8:50)   3. Adrien Brody (Best Actor, The Pianist)    4. Matt Damon & Ben Affleck (Best Original Screenplay, Good Will Hunting)   5. Kate Winslet (Best Actress, The Reader) (Starts at 6:35)   6. John Wayne (Best Actor, True Grit) (Starts at 1:00)   7. Jennifer Hudson (Best Supporting Actress, Dreamgirls) (Starts at 1:35)   8. Three 6 Mafia (Best Original Song, Hustle & Flow) (Starts at 1:00)   9. Dustin Lance Black (Best Original Screenplay, Milk)   10. Halle Berry (Best Actress, Monster’s Ball)   11. Michael Caine (Best Supporting Actor, The Cider House Rules) (Starts at 2:40)   12. Steven Soderbergh (Best Director, Traffic) (Starts at 1:00)   13. Charlize Theron (Best Actress, Monster) (Starts at 1:50)   14.  Robin Williams (Best Supporting Actor, Good Will Hunting) (Starts at 1:25)   …