My Thoughts on the 89th Oscars Ceremony


Mahershala Ali accepting his award for Moonlight at last night’s Oscars ceremony. (Source: FOX News)

Oh man–what a night!

It was actually a fun Oscars ceremony! One of the funniest things host Jimmy Kimmel does on his talk show is trash talking Matt Damon (it’s kind of a long story). When he walked on the stage, he cracked jokes about the nominees (including Meryl Streep receiving her 20th Best Actress and starring in hundreds of “mediocre movies”), politics (not to mention references to Donald Trump), and, of course, his feud with Damon mentioning that he backed out of playing the lead in Manchester by the Sea to star in The Great Wall, one of the biggest box-office bombs of 2017 so far.

Another one of my favorite segments Kimmel does on his show is “Mean Tweets”. This is where celebrities read their mean tweets. Some of them are really funny, while some of them are just horrible. I was so proud he did it last night during the ceremony! There were a lot of montages, and I loved how we get to see actors talking about their experiences with some of their favorite movies and falling in love with a certain actor from that film, and having them present on stage. Charlize Theron and Shirley MacLaine (The Apartment), Seth Rogen and Michael J. Fox (Back to the Future), and Javier Bardem and Meryl Streep (The Bridges of Madison County).

A lot of people boycotted last year’s Oscars due to the lack of diversity in the nominations. The president of the Academy Cheryl Boone Isaacs made a wonderful speech proving that “Art has no borders.” Meaning, the nominations will be more diverse in the coming years. Denzel Washington became the first African-American to receive the most Best Actor nominations (5). African-Americans Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Viola Davis (Fences) both won their Oscars for their wonderful performances in supporting roles, and definitely well-deserved!

A lot of you know that La La Land was my pick for the best movie of 2016, and the movie I’ve seen the most times in the theaters (a total of FIVE TIMES; you can tell I’m downright obsessed with it). I, along with many others, wanted it to win big Best Picture. The movie did set some records. Nominated for 14 Oscars, it tied with Titanic for receiving the most nominations including Best Picture, and Damien Chazelle being the youngest person to win Best Director, at 32 years old. And also, it won the most awards—taking home six. Emma Stone, who took everyone’s breath away with her golden vintage-style gown (just WOW!), won a well-deserved Best Actress for her performance as an aspiring actress trying to make ends meet in Los Angeles. I’m proud to see Casey Affleck, who looks like a Bostonian Jesus with the beard (I mean that as a compliment), deserved his win for Best Actor for Manchester by the Sea.

Last night had a fair share of surprises. When Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced that La La Land won Best Picture, I have never been happier since the New England Patriots won this year’s Super Bowl. Then, there was commotion up on stage. I wondered, “What’s going on?” Jordan Horowitz, one of the producers of La La Land said, “There’s a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture! This is not a joke!” My joy quickly transitioned to a state of shock.

What happened with that mix-up was that Beatty and Dunaway got the wrong envelope. Someone backstage even said so. Then, Beatty realized he was holding the envelope for Best Actress instead of Best Picture. I have nothing against Moonlight (which took home two more nominations for Best Supporting Actor for Mahershala Ali and Best Adapted Screenplay) because it’s a beautiful movie about a young African-American man trying to find who he really is. However, I thought it was a big joke that La La Land gave up their Best Picture to Moonlight. Unfortunately, Horowitz was right. It wasn’t a joke. Director M. Night Shyamalan hilariously tweeted about the shocker saying, “I wrote the ending of the academy awards 2017. Jimmy Kimmel, we really got them!” I woke up this morning to that, and I certainly got a good kick out of it.

But hey–look on the bright side. Moonlight became the first film by A24 to win Best Picture. Here’s to a dozen more!

This has been one of the better ceremonies in quite some time (the one where Seth MacFarlane was the host will always be one of the biggest mistakes the Academy ever made). Congratulations to everyone who won their awards!


2015 Academy Award Nominations: Predictions and Snubs


The Academy Award nominations have been announced this morning with The Grand Budapest Hotel and Birdman leading with 9 nominations including Best Picture. Despite several snubs (I’m glad Unbroken got snubbed for Best Picture because it wasn’t a very good movie), I’m quite satisfied with these nominations. I’m going to give my predictions on what nominees should win and will win in this year’s Oscars. Even though I haven’t seen all of the movies that are nominated this year, I’ll still put them in my predictions because I have been hearing great things about it. Here we go:

Best Picture:
American Sniper
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Will Win: Boyhood
Should Win: Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game
Biggest Snubs: Big Eyes, Foxcatcher, Fury, Gone Girl, Into the Woods, Nightcrawler, Wild

Best Actor:
Michael Keaton for Birdman
Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game
Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything
Bradley Cooper for American Sniper
Steve Carell for Foxcatcher

Will Win: Eddie Redmayne
Should Win: Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton (given that he won a Golden Globe), Bradley Cooper
Biggest Snubs: Ralph Fiennes for The Grand Budapest Hotel, Jake Gyllenhaal for Nightcrawler, Ben Affleck for Gone Girl, Ellar Coltrane for Boyhood, Channing Tatum for Foxcatcher, Brad Pitt for Fury, David Oyelowo for Selma, Christoph Waltz for Big Eyes, Matthew McConaughey for Interstellar

Best Actress:
Felicity Jones for The Theory of Everything
Rosamund Pike for Gone Girl
Julianne Moore for Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon for Wild
Marion Cotillard for Two Days, One Night

Will Win: Rosamund Pike
Should Win: Felicity Jones, Reese Witherspoon
Biggest Snub: Amy Adams for Big Eyes, Helen Mirren for The Hundred-Foot Journey, Sienna Miller for American Sniper

Best Supporting Actor:
Robert Duvall for The Judge
Ethan Hawke for Boyhood
Edward Norton for Birdman
Mark Ruffalo for Foxcatcher
J.K. Simmons for Whiplash

Will Win: Ethan Hawke
Should Win: J.K. Simmons (given that he won a Golden Globe)
Biggest Snubs: Logan Lerman for Fury, Andy Serkis for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Best Supporting Actress:
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood
Laura Dern for Wild
Keira Knightley for The Imitation Game
Emma Stone for Birdman
Meryl Streep for Into the Woods

Will Win: Patricia Arquette
Should Win: Keira Knightley, Meryl Streep
Biggest Snub: Jessica Chastain for Interstellar

Best Director:
Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu for Birdman
Richard Linklater for Boyhood
Bennett Miller for Foxcatcher
Wes Anderson for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum for The Imitation Game

Will Win: Richard Linklater
Should Win: Wes Anderson, Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu
Biggest Snubs: David Fincher for Gone Girl, Clint Eastwood for American Sniper, Christopher Nolan for Interstellar, Lasse Hallstrom for The Hundred-Foot Journey, Rob Marshall for Into the Woods, Tin Burton for Big Eyes, Jean-Marc Vallée for Wild

Best Adapted Screenplay:
American Sniper
Inherent Vice
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything

Will Win: American Sniper
Should Win: The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything
Biggest Snubs: Gone Girl, Into the Woods

Best Original Screenplay:
The Grand Budapest Hotel

Will Win: Boyhood
Should Win: Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Biggest Snub: Fury

Best Animated Feature:
Big Hero 6
The Boxtrolls
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Song of the Sea
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya

Will Win: How to Train Your Dragon 2
Should Win: Big Hero 6
Biggest Snub (the biggest of all): The LEGO Movie

Best Foreign Film:
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan (Russia)
Tangerines (Estonia)
Timbuktu (Mauritania)
Wild Tales (Argentina)

Will Win: Leviathan (given that it won the Golden Globe)
Should Win: Leviathan
Biggest Snub: Winter Sleep (Turkey)

Best Cinematography:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Mr. Turner

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win: Birdman
Biggest Snubs: Big Eyes, Calvary, The Hundred-Foot JourneyThe Imitation Game, Into the Woods, Interstellar

Best Film Editing:
American SniperBoyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game

Will Win: Boyhood
Should Win: Boyhood
Biggest Snubs: Birdman, Interstellar

Best Production Design:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Will Win: Interstellar
Should Win: The Grand Budapest HotelThe Imitation Game, Into the Woods
Biggest Snub: How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Best Costume Design:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Inherent Vice
Into the Woods
Mr. Turner

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win: Into the Woods
Biggest Snubs: Belle, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hundred-Foot Journey

Best Makeup:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Guardians of the Galaxy

Will Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Biggest Snub: Into the Woods

Best Original Score:
Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Alexandre Desplat for The Imitation Game
Hans Zimmer for Interstellar
Jóhann Jóhannsson for The Theory of Everything
Gary Yershon for Mr. Turner

Will Win: Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Should Win: Alexandre Desplat for The Grand Budapest Hotel
Biggest Snub: Alexandre Desplat for Godzilla, Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross for Gone Girl

Best Original Song:
“Everything is Awesome!” from The LEGO Movie
“Glory” from Selma
“Grateful” from Beyond the Lights
“I’m Not Gonna Miss You” from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me
“Lost Stars” from Begin Again

Will Win: “Everything is Awesome!” from The LEGO Movie
Should Win: “Everything is Awesome!” from The LEGO Movie
Biggest Snub: “The Last Goodbye” from The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, “Big Eyes” from Big Eyes

Best Sound Mixing:
American Sniper

Will Win: Interstellar
Should Win: American Sniper
Biggest Snub: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Into the Woods, Snowpiercer

Best Sound Editing:
American Sniper
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Will Win: Interstellar
Should Win: American Sniper
Biggest Snubs: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Snowpiercer

Best Visual Effects:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X-Men: Days of Future Past

Will Win: Interstellar
Should Win: Interstellar
Biggest Snubs: Snowpiercer

Best Animated Short Film:
The Bigger Picture
The Dam Keeper
Me and My Moulton
A Single Life

Best Live Action Short Film:
Boogaloo and Graham
Butter Lamp
The Phone Call
Best Documentary Feature:
Finding Vivian Maier
Last Days in Vietnam
The Salt of the Earth

Best Documentary Short Film:
Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1
Our Curse
The Reaper
White Earth

I know I haven’t done my predictions for Best Short Film and Best Documentary. I don’t really care who wins those categories. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed my predictions and snubs for this year’s Oscars. Leave a comment below on what your predictions and opinions are. Tune in on February 22 as Neil Patrick Harris hosts the Oscars. Take care.

Top 20 Most Anticipated Movies For the Rest of 2014

I hope everyone had a great Labor Day weekend. Although it’s a shame that summer is almost over, I couldn’t get more excited about the fall. Leaves starting to change, starting a new chapter in life, and looking forward to seeing some movies that might get Oscar nominations. This summer managed to meet and exceed audience’s expectations. I’m hoping 2014 will end on a high note. Here’s my list of my top 20 most anticipated movies for the rest of the year:

The Hobbit 3

1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, and Benedict Cumberbatch
Directed by Peter Jackson
Opens December 17

Gone Girl

2. Gone Girl
Starring Ben Affleck, Rosmund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and Tyler Perry
Directed by David Fincher
Opens October 3


3. Interstellar
Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, and Michael Caine
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Opens November 7


4. Foxcatcher
Starring Channing Tatum, Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, and Anthony Michael Hall
Directed by Bennett Miller
Opens in selected theaters November 14


5. Nightcrawler
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Ann Cusack, and Bill Paxton
Directed by Dan Gilroy
Opens October 31


6. Rosewater
Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Kim Bodnia, and Jason Jones
Directed by Jon Stewart
Opens November 7


7. The Birdman
Starring Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, and Naomi Watts
Directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu
Opens in selected theaters October 17

The Judge

8. The Judge
Starring Robert Downey Jr., Robert Duvall, Vera Farmiga, and Billy Bob Thorton
Directed by David Dobkin
Opens October 10


9. Unbroken
Starring Jack O’Connell, Jai Courtney, Garrett Hedlund, and Alex Russell
Directed by Angelina Jolie
Opens Christmas Day

The Equalizer

10. The Equalizer
Starring Denzel Washington, Chloe Grace Moretz, Marton Csokas, and Bill Paxton
Directed by Antoine Fuqua
Opens September 26

Winter Sleep (Kis Uykusu)

11. Winter Sleep (in Turkish: Kis Uykusu)
Starring Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sozen, Demet Akbag, and Serhat Mustafa Kilic
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Opens in selected theaters December 19

The Skeleton Twins

12. Skeleton Twins
Starring Bill Hader, Kristen Wiig, Ty Burrell, and Luke Wilson
Directed by Craig Johnson
Opens September 12

Big Eyes

Tim Burton directing his latest biopic “Big Eyes”

13. Big Eyes
Starring Christoph Waltz, Amy Adams, Terence Stamp, and Jason Schwartzman
Directed by Tim Burton
Opens Christmas Day


14. Wild
Starring Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Gabby Hoffmann, and Michiel Huisman
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee
Opens in selected theaters December 5


15. Fury
Starring Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Scott Eastwood, and Shia LaBeouf
Directed by David Ayer
Opens October 17

Bradley Cooper American Sniper

Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle in Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper”

16. American Sniper
Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, Luke Grimes, and Kyle Gallner
Directed by Clint Eastwood
Opens in selected theaters Christmas Day; everywhere January 16, 2015

Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"

Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Inherent Vice”

17. Inherent Vice
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Josh Brolin, and Owen Wilson
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Opens in selected theaters December 12; everywhere January 9, 2015

The Theory of Everything

18. The Theory of Everything
Starring Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Emily Watson, and David Thewlis
Directed by James Marsh
Opens November 7


19. Annabelle
Starring Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Alfre Woodward, and Eric Ladin
Directed John R. Leonetti
Opens October 3

Exodus - Gods and Kings

20. Exodus: Gods and Kings
Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, and Ben Kingsley
Directed by Ridley Scott
Opens December 12

There you have it. I hope you enjoy my picks. Leave comments below on what movies you’re looking forward to this fall.