Thursday, September 29, 2011

"Drive"



Nicholas Winding Regn is a mystery to many North American audiences, yet he's made a name for himself in Europe with his killer visuals and well thought out soundtracks. Well guess what, he roars into our neighbourhood with Drive - a B movie fetish film with not much dialogue, Pop Art images, gory violence and a lack for linear narrative. People are ready to castrate Drive for its obvious artsy ambitions and the way it doesn't succumb to Hollywood formula. Well, screw them. This is my kind of movie. Filled with sexiness, violence and a great cast. Ryan Gosling is so calm, cool and collective as "The Driver" that you'd think he's Steve Mcqueen. Hell, this movie is semi-inspired by all those great Steve Mcqueen flicks of the 70s except it's set in the 80s.

Dig the killer soundtrack inspired by 80's synth pop formula and the way it blends seamlessly with the haunting images Refn gives us. Case in point College's A Real Hero, which ends up being more than just background music for a film about a Travis Bickle-like anti-hero. "The Driver" is dead set to save Carey Mulligan's Irene from the misery she has in her life ala Travis Bickle but if Drive doesn't necessarily have the substance of that said Scorsese Masterpiece it does however have incredibly tense scenes to electrify our nerves. Check out the killer opening as our anti-hero tries to evade the cops in a silently done cat and mouse game or check out a botched heist that leads to dire consequences. Did I mention the elevator scene that everybody seems to be talking about? Or a violent strip club attack that makes our man look possessed? These are the 4 scenes that stuck with me but there are plenty more and they're all tightly edited to get us hooked on its cinematic juices.

Of course Drive is not a perfect movie but it has all the traits and reasons that had us watch movies in the first place. Or at least the majority of us. It's a violently artsy action picture that doesn't meander to a particular audience. It has a way of being unique and uncompromising in its visionary dreaming. It knows what it wants to be from the get go and goes along with it. Its 100 minutes zip by like a bursting fuel drag-racing at night & Gosling -along with an incredibly villainous Albert Brooks and a heartbreaking Bryan Cranston- brings a kind of coolness that lacks in most pictures these days. By the time The Driver puts on his stunt mask and makes all hell breaks loose in the film's over the top but scattering finale, it is clear that Drive is a movie that can haunt your dreams.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Best of 2011 (so far) ...

Pretty average year thus far but some great ones still to come out within the next few weeks .. months? Anyways I'm counting on it cause I don't even think half of these belong on an annual ten best list. Here's what stuck with me so far this year

Tree of life
Malick. What else can you say. An experience, a frustration, a poem, a trip and a sense of wonder in its soaring -almost too good to be true- images.

Drive
Just beautifully shot and gripping in many spots. A review to come in the next week or so. Director Nicholas Winding Refn is an interesting fella.

Incendies
Yea yea yea I know this already made my top ten list last year but it actully got released in the states this year, so I'm counting it in + it's just really damn great.

Source Code
It ain't perfect but wholly original and interesting til a botched finale. Duncan Jones is the real deal.

Midnight In Paris
Woody Allen toasts Paris in a fluffy, breezy romantic comedy. The movie hits a high during its middle.

Certified Copy
An ambiguous film that really embraces its ambiguousness + a great performance from Julliette Binoche. Maddening as hell.

The Lincoln Laywer
What can I say, I'm a sucker for Legal dramas and this one comes from a solid source material - a good book.

Uncle Boonnmee
Talk about maddening -I guess I like those kind of films- here's a Thai film that really demands attention and requires conversation afterwards.

Limitless
I'll get some heat for this one but what can I say, it worked its craziness on me & Bradley Cooper was not annoying in any way.

Bridesmaids
Just really fun and refreshing to see a comedy with female soul and heart + these chicks really outranked those Hangover guys this summer in terms of raunch.

Super 8
Didn't really like the ending but its first 2/3 are pure Spielberg-influenced movie magic + has a great train wreck scene.

Annual Awards database




In honor of the Oscars ...


2010
Best Picture


(1) The Social Network
(2) Dogtooth
(3) Black Swan

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Christopher Nolan (Inception)
Gaspar Noe (Enter The Void)
Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer)
Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island)

Best Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network)
Roman Polanski (The Ghost Writer)
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Debra Granik (Winter's Bone)
Another Year (Mike Leigh)

Best Actor
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Javier Bardem (Biutiful)
Joaquin Pheonix (I'm Still Here)
Collin Firth (The King's Speech)

Best Actress
Lesley Manville (Another Year)
Nathalie Portman (Black Swan)
Annette Benning (The Kids Are All Right)
Jullianne Moore (The Kids Are All Right)
Katie Jarvis (Fish Tank)

Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Andrew Garfield (The Social Network)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)

Best Supporting Actress
Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Greta Gerwig (Greenberg)
Mila Kunis (Black Swan)

Best Cinematography
Matthew Libatique (Black Swan)
Benoit Debie (Enter The Void)

Best Animated Feature
Toy Story 3
Le Illusioniste
How To Train Your Dragon

Best Foreign Language Film
Un Prophete
Incendies
Enter The Void
Le Illusioniste
Dogtooth


2000's Best Picture

1) Mulholland Drive
2) A History Of Violence
3) Memento
4) No Country For Old Men
5) There Will Be Blood
6) The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
7) Cache/Hidden
8) Dancer In The Dark
9) Spirited Away
10) Y Tu Mama Tambien
11) The Wrestler
12) Children Of Men
13) The Departed
14) City Of God
15) Borat
16) Sideways
17) Old Boy
18) WALL-E
19) A.I/ Artificial Intelligence
20) The 25th Hour
21) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

2009
Best Picture(1) The Hurt Locker
(1) Up In The Air
(2) Hunger
(3) The Fantastic Mr. Fox
(4) The Hurt Locker

Best Director
Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker)
Wes Anderson (The Fantastic Mr. Fox)
Steve Mcqueen (Hunger)
Joel Coen (A Serious Man)

Best Screenplay
Joel & Ethan Coen (A Serious Man)
Jason Reitman (Up In The Air)

Best Actor
George Clooney (Up In The Air)
Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker)
Nicolas Cage (Bad Lieutenant)
Joaquin Phoenix (Two Lovers)
Michael Fasbender (Hungry)

Best Actress
Meryl Streep (Julie And Julia)
Charlotte Gainsbourg (Antichrist)
Carey Mulligan (An Education)

Best Supporting Actor
Anthony Mackie (The Hurt Locker)
Woody Harrellson (The Messenger)
Fred Melamed (A Serious Man)
Peter Capaldi (In The Loop)

Best Supporting Actress
Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Two Lovers)
Melanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds)
Mo'Nique (Precious)

Best Cinematography
Christian Berger (The White Ribbon)

Best Animated Feature
The Fantastic Mr Fox
Up
Ponyo

Best Foreign Film
Broken Embraces
Lorna's Silence
Ponyo

Best First Film
District 9
Moon
(500) Days Of Summer
Paranormal Activity

Best Documentary
The Cove
Anvil
Tyson


2008
Best Picture


(1) The Wrestler
(2) WALL-E

Best Director
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Clint Eastwood (Changeling & Gran Torino)

Best Screenplay

Best Actor
Mickey Rourke (The Wrestler)
Clint Eastwood (Gran Torino)
Sean Penn (Milk)
Jean-Claude Van Damme (JCVD)

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins (Happy Go Lucky)
Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married)
Meryl Streep (Doubt)
Angelina Jolie (Changeling)

Best Supporting Actor
Eddie Marsan (Happy Go Lucky)
James Franco (Pineapple Express)
Brad Pitt (Burn After Reading)
Heath Ledger (The Dark Knight)

Best Supporting Actress
Marissa Tomei (The Wrestler)
Roemary DeWitt (Rachel Getting Married)

Best Cinematography
Anthony Dod Mantle (Slumdog Millionaire)
Maryse Alberti (The Wrestler)
Wally Pfister (The Dark Knight)

Best Animated Film

WALL-E

Best Foreign Film
4 Months, 3 Months, 2 Weeks
Un Conte De Noel
Tell No One
Flight Of The Red Balloon

Best Screenplay Robert D. Siegel (The Wrestler)
Mike Leigh (Happy Go Lucky)

2007
Best Picture

(1) No Country For Old Men
(2) There Will Be Blood
(3) Zodiac

Best Director
Joel Coen (No Country For Old Men)
Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)
Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly)

Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis (There Will Be Blood)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
George Clooney (Michael Clayton)
Tommy Lee Jones (In The Valley Of Elah)

Best Actress
Carisse Van Houton (Black Book)
Ellen Page (Juno)
Marillon Cotillard (La Vie En Rose)
Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart)

Best Supporting Actor
Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men)
Hal Holbrook (Into The Wild)
Casey Affleck (Jesse James)
Tom Wilkinson (Michael Clayton)

Best Supporting Actress
Tilda Swinton (Michael Clayton)
Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone)
Cate Blanchett (I'm Not There)
Lesliee Mann (Knocked Up)
Zoe Bell (Death Proof)

Best Screenplay
Joel & Ethan Coen (No Country For Old Men)
Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood)

Best Animated Feature
Ratatouille

Best Cinematography
Robert Elswitt (There Will Be Blood)
Roger Deakins (No Country For Old Men)
Janusz Kaminski (The Diving Bell And The Butterfly)

Best Foreign Film
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly

2006
Best Picture
(1) The Departed
(2) Children Of Men
(3) The Death of Mr. Lazarescu

Best Director
Martin Scorsese (The Departed)
Alfonso Cuaron (Children Of Men)
Paul Greengrass (United 93)

Best Actor
Sacha Baron Coen (Borat)
Forest Whitaker (The Last King Of Scotland)

Best Actress
Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
Helen Mirren (The Queen)
Penelope Cruz (Volver)

Best Supporting Actor
Jackie Earl Haley (Little Children)
Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)
Djimoun Honsou (Blood Diamond)

Best Supporting Actress
Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
Rinko Kikkuci (Babel)

Best Screenplay
William Monahan (The Departed)
Little Miss Sunshine (Michael Arndt)

Best Cinematography
Emmanuel Lubezki (Children Of Men)
Guillermo Navarro (Pan's Labyrinthe)

Best Foreign Film
Pan's Labyrinthe

Best Animated Film
Cars

Best Documentary
Borat


2005
Best Picture

2005:
(1) A History Of Violence
(2) Cache/Hidden
(3) Old Boy

Best Director
David Cronenberg
Michael Haneke

Best Actor
Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain)
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)
David Strathairn (Good Night And Good Luck)

Best Actress
None

Best Supporting Actor
William Hurt (A History Of Violence)
Ed Harris (A History Of Violence)
Matt Dillon (Crash)

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bello (A Hitory Of Violence)
Amy Adams (Junebug)

Best Screenplay

Noah Baumbach (The Squid And The Whale)
George Clooney (Good Night And Good Luck)

Best Cinematography
Robert Elswitt (Good Night And Good Luck)
Robert Rodriguez (Sin City)

Best DocumentaryGrizzly Man

Best Animated Film
Wallace And Gromitt - The Curse Of The Were Rabbit

Best Foreign Film
Cache
Old Boy
Downfall

Best First Film
The 40 Year Old Virgin

2004
Best Picture


(1) Sideways
(2) Eternal Sunshine Spotless Mind
(3) The Aviator

Best DirectorAlexander Payne (Sideways)
Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine)
Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby)

Best Actor
Paul Giamatti (Sideways)
Clint Eastwood (Million Dollar Baby)
Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Leonardo Dicaprio (The Aviator)

Best Actress
Kate Winslet (Eternal Sunshine)
Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)

Best Supporting Actor
Thomas Hayden Church (Sideways)
Morgan Freeman (Million Dollar Baby)

Best Screenplay
Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor (Sideways)
Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine)

Best Cinematography
Christopher Doyle (Hero)
Robert Richardson (The Aviator)
Dion Bebe (Collateral)

Best Animated Film
The Incredibles

Best Documentary
Fahrenheit 9/11
Super Size Me

Best Foreign Film
Maria Full Of Grace
The Motorcycle Diaries

Best First Film
Maria Full Of Grace
Hotel Rwanda

2003
Best Picture

(1) The Return Of The King
(2) Mystic River
(3) Lost In Translation

Best DirectorPeter Jackson (The Return Of The King)
Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation)
Fernando Mereilles (City Of God)
Clint Eastwood (Mystic River)

Best ActorBill Murray (Lost In Translation)
Sean Penn (Mystic River)
Johnny Depp (Pirates Of The Caribbean)
Ben Kingsley (House Of Sand And Fog)

Best Actress
Naomi Watts (21 Grams)
Charlize Theron (Monster)

Best Supporting Actor
Tim Robbins (Mystic River)
Peter Saarsgard (Shattered Glass)

Best Supporting Actress
Shoreh Aghdashloo (House Of Sand And Fog)

Best Screenplay Shari Springer Berman & Robert Pulcini (American Splendor)
Sofia Coppola (Lost In Translation)

Best Cinematography
Harris Savides (Elephant & Gerry) Lance Acord (Lost In Translation)
Andrew Lesnie (The Return Of The King)

Best Animated Film
Finding Nemo
The Triplets Of Belleville

Best Foreign Film
City Of God
The Barbarian Invasions
The Triplets Of Belleville
Swimming Pool

Best Documentary
Capturing the Friedmans
Spellbound

Best First Film
City Of God
Capturing The Friedmans

2002
Best Picture

(1) Spirited Away
(2) Punch-Drunk Love
(3) Y Tu Mamá También

Best Director
Martin Scorsese (Gangs Of New York)
Steven Spielberg (Minority Report)
Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien)
Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away)

Best Actor
Daniel Day Lewis (Gangs Of New York)
Adrian Brody (The Pianist)
Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt)
Campbell Scott (Rodger Dodger)

Best Actress Diane Lane (Unfaithful)
Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven)
Parker Posey (Personal Velocity)

Best Supporting Actor Dennis Quaid (Far From Heaven)

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman (Adaptation)
Alexander Payne And Jim Taylor (About Schmidt)

Best Cinematography
Edward Lachmann (Far From Heaven)
Conrad L Hall (Road To Perdition)

Best Animated Film

Spirited Away

Best Foreign Film
Spirited Away
The Fast Runner
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Time Out

Best First Film

The Fast Runner

2001
Best Picture

(1) Mulholland Drive
(2) Memento
(3) Ghost World

Best Director
David Lynch (Mulholland Drive)
Christopher Nolan (Memento)
Steven Spielberg (Artificial Intelligence)

Best Actor
Denzel Washington (Training Day)
Tom Wilkinson (In The Bedroom)
John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig And The Angry Inch)
Guy Pearce (Memento)

Best Actress
Naomi Watts (Mulholland Drive)
Halle Berry (Monster's Ball)
Sissy Spacek (In The Bedroom)

Best Supporting Actor
Steve Buscemi (Ghost World)
Ben Kingsley (Sexy Beast)

Best Supporting Actress
Scarlett Johanssen (Ghost World)

Best Screenplay
Christopher Nolan & Jonathan Nolan (Memento)
Wes Anderson (The Royal Tenenbaums)
Terry Zwigoff (Ghost World)

Best Animated Film
Waking Life
Shrek

Best First FilmTerry Zwigoff (Ghost World)
Todd Field (In The Bedroom)

Best Cinematography
The Man Who Wasn't There (Roger Deakins)
Mulholland Drive (Peter Deming)
Amelie (Bruno Delbonnel)

Best Foreign Film
Amelie

2000
Best Picture

(1) Dancer In The Dark
(2) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
(3) Traffic

Hamlet/Meet The Parents
Nurse Betty

Best Director
Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)
Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous)
Steven Sodebergh (Traffic)
Lars Von Trier (Dancer In The Dark)
Darren Aronofsky (Requiem For A Dream)

Best Actor

Tom Hanks (Cast Away)
Michael Douglas (Wonderboys)

Best Actress
Laura Linney (You Can Count On Me)
Bjork (Dancer In The Dark)
Ellen Burstyn (Requiem For A Dream)

Best Supporting Actor
Benicio Del Toro (Traffic)
Willem Dafoe (Shadow Of The Vampire)

Best Supporting Actress
Frances McDormand (Almost Famous)

Best Screenplay
Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me)
Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous)
Curtis Hanson (Wonderboys)

Best Cinematography

Roger Deakins (O' Brother Where Art Thou?)
Peter Pau (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

Best Animated Film
Chicken Run

Best Foreign Film
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Best First Film
Kenneth Lonergan (You Can Count On Me)

1999
Best Picture

(1) American Beauty
(2) Being John Malkovich
(3) Election

Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia)
Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich)
Stanley Kubrick (Eyes Wide Shut)

Best Actor
Kevin Spacey (American Beauty)
Russell Crow (The Insider)
Richard Farnsworth (The Straight Story)

Best Actress

Hilary Swank (Boy's Don't Cry)
Reese Whiterspoon (Election)
Annette Benning (American Beauty)
Kate Winslet (Holy Smoke)

Best Supporting Actor
Tom Cruise (Magnolia)
John Malkovich (Being John Malkovich)

Best Supporting Actor
Catherine Keener (Being John Malkovich)

Best Screenplay

Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich)
Alexander Payne & Jim Taylor (Election)
M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense)

Best Cinematography
Conrad L. Hall (Road To Perdition)

Best Animated Film
South Park
Toy Story 2
The Iron Giant

Best First Film

Kimberly Pierce (Boy's Don't Cry)

Best Foreign Film

The Dreamlife Of Angels

1998
Best Picture

(1) The Truman Show
(2) Shakespeare In Love
(3) Happiness
(4) Saving Private Ryan

Best Director
Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan)
Peter Weir (The Truman Show)

Best Actor
Jim Carrey (The Truman Show)
Edward Norton (American History X)
Roberto Benigni (Life Is Beautiful)
Nick Nolte (Affliction)

Best Actress
Cameron Diaz (There's Something About Mary)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare In Love)

Best Supporting Actor
Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan)
Dylan Baker (Hapiness)

Best Supporting Actress

Lisa Kudrow (The Opposite Of Sex)

Best Screenplay
Marc Norman & Tom Stoppard (Shakespeare In Love)
Todd Solondz (Happiness)
Peter Weir (The Truman Show)
Sam Raimi (A Simple Plan)

Best Cinematography
Janusz Kaminski (Saving Private Ryan)

Best Foreign Film
Life Is Beautiful

Best First Film
Tony Kaye (American History X)
Vincent Gallo (Buffalo 66)

1997
Best Picture

(1) L.A. Confidential
(2) The Sweet Hereafter
(3) Titanic
(4) The Ice Storm

Best Director
Curtis Hanson (L.A Confidential)
James Cameron (Titanic)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights)

Best Actor
Robert Duvall (The Apostle)
Peter Fonda (Ulee's Gold)

Best Actress
Kate Winslet (Titanic)

Best Supporting Actor
Burt Reynolds (Boogie Nights)

Best Supporting Actress
Joan Cusack (In And Out)
Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights)

Best Screenplay
Brian Helgeland (L.A Confidential)
Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter)

Best Cinematography
Dante Spinotti (L.A Confidential)

1996
Best Picture

(1) Fargo
(2) Breaking The Waves
(3) Secrets And Lies

Best Director
Joel Coen (Fargo)
Lars Von Trier (Breaking The Waves)
Mike Leigh (Secrets And Lies)

Best Actor
Geoffrey Rush (Shine)
Woody Harrellson (The People Vs. Larry Flynt)

Best Actress
Emily Watson (Breaking The Waves)
Frances mcDormand (Fargo)
Brenda Blethyn (Secrets And Lies)
Laura Dern (Citizen Ruth)

Best Supporting Actor
Edward Norton (Primal Fear)
William H Macy (Fargo)

Best Supporting Actress
Courtney Love (The People Vs. Larry Flynt)

Best Screenplay
Joel & Ethan Coen (Fargo)
Mike Leigh (Secrets And Lies)
Milos Forman (The People Vs. Larry Flynt)

Best Cinematography
Roger Deakins (Fargo)


1994
Best Picture
(1) Pulp Fiction
(2) Quiz Show
(3) The Shawshank Redemption
(4) Ed Wood

Best Picture
1993

(1) Schindler's List
(2) The Piano
(3) The Remains Of The Day

1992
Best Picture

(1) Unforgiven
(2) The Player
(3) The Crying Game


1991
Best Picture

(1) The Silence Of The Lambs
(2) My Own Private Idaho
(3) Barton Fink
(4) Terminator 2

Blog Archive