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Predicting the Winners: 89th Academy Awards

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Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Casey Affleck in “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Andrew Garfield in “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • Ryan Gosling in “La La Land”
  • Viggo Mortensen in “Captain Fantastic”
  • Denzel Washington in “Fences”

Will Win: Casey Affleck
Could Win: Denzel Washington
Want to Win: Casey Affleck

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Mahershala Ali in “Moonlight”
  • Jeff Bridges in “Hell or High Water”
  • Lucas Hedges in “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Dev Patel in “Lion”
  • Michael Shannon in “Nocturnal Animals”

Will Win: Mahershala Ali
Could Win: Dev Patel
Want to Win: Mahershala Ali, Dev Patel, or Michael Shannon

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Isabelle Huppert in “Elle”
  • Ruth Negga in “Loving”
  • Natalie Portman in “Jackie”
  • Emma Stone in “La La Land”
  • Meryl Streep in “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Will Win: Emma Stone
Could Win: Natalie Portman
Want to Win: Natalie Portman or Emma Stone

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Viola Davis in “Fences”
  • Naomie Harris in “Moonlight”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Lion”
  • Octavia Spencer in “Hidden Figures”
  • Michelle Williams in “Manchester by the Sea”

Will Win: Viola Davis
Could Win: No Contest
Want to Win: Viola Davis

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
  • “Moana” John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
  • “My Life as a Zucchini” Claude Barras and Max Karli
  • “The Red Turtle” Michael Dudok de Wit and Toshio Suzuki
  • “Zootopia” Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Will Win: Zootopia
Could Win: Moana
Want to Win: Zootopia

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Arrival” Bradford Young
  • “La La Land” Linus Sandgren
  • “Lion” Greig Fraser
  • “Moonlight” James Laxton
  • “Silence” Rodrigo Prieto

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Arrival
Want to Win: La La Lan

Achievement in costume design

  • “Allied” Joanna Johnston
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Colleen Atwood
  • “Florence Foster Jenkins” Consolata Boyle
  • “Jackie” Madeline Fontaine
  • “La La Land” Mary Zophres

Will Win: Jackie
Could Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Want to Win: Jackie

Achievement in directing

  • “Arrival” Denis Villeneuve
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Mel Gibson
  • “La La Land” Damien Chazelle
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Kenneth Lonergan
  • “Moonlight” Barry Jenkins

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Moonlight
Want to Win: Manchester by the Sea

Best documentary feature

  • “Fire at Sea” Gianfranco Rosi and Donatella Palermo
  • “I Am Not Your Negro” Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety and Hébert Peck
  • “Life, Animated” Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
  • “O.J.: Made in America” Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow
  • “13th” Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick and Howard Barish

Will Win: OJ: Made in America
Could Win: I Am Not Your Negro
Want to Win: OJ: Made in America

Best documentary short subject

  • “Extremis” Dan Krauss
  • “4.1 Miles” Daphne Matziaraki
  • “Joe’s Violin” Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
  • “Watani: My Homeland” Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
  • “The White Helmets” Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

Blind Guess: The White Helmets

Achievement in film editing

  • “Arrival”Joe Walker
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” John Gilbert
  • “Hell or High Water” Jake Roberts
  • “La La Land” Tom Cross
  • “Moonlight” Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Moonlight
Want to Win: La La Land

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Land of Mine” Denmark
  • “A Man Called Ove” Sweden
  • “The Salesman” Iran
  • “Tanna” Australia
  • “Toni Erdmann” Germany

Will Win: The Salesman
Could Win: A Man Called Ove
Want to Win: The Salesman

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “A Man Called Ove” Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
  • “Star Trek Beyond” Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
  • “Suicide Squad” Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Will Win: Star Trek Beyond
Could Win: A Man Called Ove
Want to Win: Star Trek Beyond

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Jackie” Mica Levi
  • “La La Land” Justin Hurwitz
  • “Lion” Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
  • “Moonlight” Nicholas Britell
  • “Passengers” Thomas Newman

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Moonight or Lion
Want to Win: La La Land or Lion

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”
    Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • “Can’t Stop The Feeling” from “Trolls”
    Music and Lyric by Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl Johan Schuster
  • “City Of Stars” from “La La Land”
    Music by Justin Hurwitz; Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
  • “The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”
    Music and Lyric by J. Ralph and Sting
  • “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”
    Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda

Will Win: City of Stars
Could Win: How Far I’ll Go
Want to Win: How Far I’ll Go

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Arrival” Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde, Producers
  • “Fences” Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black, Producers
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Bill Mechanic and David Permut, Producers
  • “Hell or High Water” Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn, Producers
  • “Hidden Figures” Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi, Producers
  • “La La Land” Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, Producers
  • “Lion” Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder, Producers
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh, Producers
  • “Moonlight” Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Producers

Will Win: Moonlight
Could Win: La La Land or Hidden Figures
Want to Win: Manchester by the Sea or Hidden Figures

Achievement in production design

  • “Arrival” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
  • “Hail, Caesar!” Production Design: Jess Gonchor; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “La La Land” Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
  • “Passengers” Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdena

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Want to Win: La La Land

Best animated short film

  • “Blind Vaysha” Theodore Ushev
  • “Borrowed Time” Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
  • “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” Robert Valley and Cara Speller
  • “Pearl” Patrick Osborne
  • “Piper” Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

Will Win: Piper
Could Win: Pearl
Want to Win: Pearl

Best live action short film

  • “Ennemis Intérieurs” Sélim Azzazi
  • “La Femme et le TGV” Timo von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
  • “Silent Nights” Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
  • “Sing” Kristof Deák and Anna Udvardy
  • “Timecode” Juanjo Giménez

Will Win: Sing
Could Win: Ennemis Interieurs
Want to Win: Sing

Achievement in sound editing

  • “Arrival” Sylvain Bellemare
  • “Deepwater Horizon” Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
  • “La La Land” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
  • “Sully” Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Will Win: Hacksaw Ridge
Could Win: La La Land
Want to Win: Sully

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “Arrival” Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye
  • “Hacksaw Ridge” Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
  • “La La Land” Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson
  • “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth

Will Win: La La Land
Could Win: Hacksaw Ridge
Want to Win: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Deepwater Horizon” Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason Billington and Burt Dalton
  • “Doctor Strange” Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
  • “The Jungle Book” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
  • “Kubo and the Two Strings” Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

Will Win: The Jungle Book
Could Win: Doctor Strange
Want to Win: The Jungle Book or Doctor Strange

Adapted screenplay

  • “Arrival” Screenplay by Eric Heisserer
  • “Fences” Screenplay by August Wilson
  • “Hidden Figures” Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
  • “Lion” Screenplay by Luke Davies
  • “Moonlight” Screenplay by Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Will Win: Moonlight
Could Win: Hidden Figures
Want to Win: Moonlight

Original screenplay

  • “Hell or High Water” Written by Taylor Sheridan
  • “La La Land” Written by Damien Chazelle
  • “The Lobster” Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthimis Filippou
  • “Manchester by the Sea” Written by Kenneth Lonergan
  • “20th Century Women” Written by Mike Mills

Will Win: Manchest by the Sea
Could Win: The Lobster
Want to Win: Manchester by the Sea, 20th Century Women or The Lobster (JUST NOT LA LA LAND)

 

We will see how many of my predictions are right…Watch the 89th Academy Awards Sunday, February 26, 2017- on ABC.  Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel!

Best of 2016 from the NTFCA – North Texas Film Critics Association

la-la-land-ryan-gosling-emma-stone

NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS NAME LA LA LAND” AS BEST FILM OF 2016

The North Texas Film Critics Association voted the romantic musical LA LA LAND as the best film of 2016, according to the results of its annual critics’ poll. Completing list of the top 10 films of the year were MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (2), MOONLIGHT (3), HACKSAW RIDGE (4), LOVING (5), ARRIVAL (6), CAPTAIN FANTASTIC (7), NOCTURNAL ANIMALS (8), JACKIE (9) and THE BIRTH OF A NATION (10).

For Best Actor, the association named Casey Affleck for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Runners-up included Ryan Gosling for LA LA LAND (2), Denzel Washington for FENCES (3), Andrew Garfield for HACKSAW RIDGE (4) and Don Cheadle for MILES AHEAD (5).

Natalie Portman was voted Best Actress for JACKIE. Next in the voting were Emma Stone for LA LA LAND(2), Amy Adams for ARRIVAL (3), Emily Blunt for THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (4) and Ruth Negga for LOVING (5).

In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was Michael Shannon for NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. He was followed by Mahershala Ali for MOONLIGHT (2), Dev Patel for LION (3), Jeff Bridges for HELL OR HIGH WATER (4) and Lucas Hedges for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (5).

For Best Supporting Actress, the association named Michelle Williams for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Runners-up included Viola Davis for FENCES (2), Naomie Harris for MOONLIGHT (3), Octavia Spencer for HIDDEN FIGURES (4) and Janelle Monáe for HIDDEN FIGURES (5).

Damien Chazelle was voted Best Director for LA LA LAND. Next in the voting were Barry Jenkins for MOONLIGHT (2), Mel Gibson for HACKSAW RIDGE (3), Denis Villeneuve for ARRIVAL (4) and Kenneth Lonergan for MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (5).

The association voted ELLE as the Best Foreign Language film of the year. Runners-up were THE HANDMAIDEN (2), THE HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE (3), TONI ERDMANN and THE SALESMAN tied for the last spot (4).

GLEASON won for Best Documentary over 13th (2), TOWER (3), WEINER (4) and THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (5).

ZOOTOPIA was named the Best Animated film of 2016, over KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS (2) and SING (3).

The award for Best Cinematography went to Linus Sandgren for LA LA LAND, followed by James Laxton for MOONLIGHT (2), Bradford Young for ARRIVAL and  Simon Duggan for HACKSAW RIDGE tied for the next spot (3) and Stéphane Fontaine for JACKIE (5).

This year’s awards were dedicated to the memory of our past president, Gary Murray. In his honor, next year we will designate an award in perpetuity. The Gary Murray Award will honor the Best Newcomer in a film.

NTFCA

Interview: Wyatt Russell, J. Quinton Johnson, & Glen Powell talk “Everybody Wants Some”

I sat down with Wyatt Russell, J. Quinton Johnson, & Glen Powell, stars of Richard Linklater’s hilarious new film, “Everybody Wants Some”. We discussed self discoveries, how to hit on girls when your in college, and films they felt gave them insight into the High School and College years!

“Everybody Wants Some” opens in theaters April 8.

Click Here to watch the ‘Everybody Wants Some” Interview

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Interview: Byron Howard & Rich Moore talk “Zootopia”

 

I sat down with directors Byron Howard & Rich Moore to discuss their incredible new animated film, “Zootopia”. We talked about not giving up on your dream job, the stereotypes directors fight against and which message from a film impacted them the most as a kid!

“Zootopia” opens in theaters March 4.

“Zootopia” Interview with Directors Byron Howard & Rich Moore

zootopia

Predicting the Winners: 88th Academy Awards

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Best Picture:

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight

Will Win: Spotlight
Could Win: The Revenant
Want to Win: The Martian

Best Director:

  • Adam McKay – The Big Short
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant
  • Lenny Abramson – The Room
  • Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

Will Win: George Miller
Could Win: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Want to Win: George Miller

Best Actor:

  • Bryan Cranston – Trumbo
  • Matt Damon – The Martian
  • Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

Will Win: Leonardo DiCaprio
Could Win: No Contest
Want to Win: Leonardo DiCaprio (FINALLY!)

Best Actress:

  • Cate Blanchett – Carol
  • Brie Larson – Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence – Joy
  • Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years
  • Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

Will Win: Brie Larson
Could Win: Saoirse Ronan
Want to Win: Brie Larson

Best Supporting Actor:

  • Christian Bale – The Big Short
  • Tom Hardy – The Revenant
  • Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight
  • Sylvester Stallone – Creed
  • Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Will Win: Sylvester Stallone
Could Win: Tom Hardy
Want to Win: Tom Hardy

Best Supporting Actress:

  • Jennifer Jason Leigh – Hateful Eight
  • Rooney Mara – Carol
  • Rachel McAdams – Spotlight
  • Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs
  • Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Will Win: Alicia Vikander
Could Win: Kate Winslet
Want to Win: Alicia Vikander

Best Original Screenplay:

  • Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen – Bridge of Spies
  • Alex GarlandEx Machina
  • Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmin – Inside Out
  • Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight
  • Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus, Andrea Berloff –Straight Outta Compton

Will Win: Spotlight
Could Win: Straight Outta Compton
Want to Win: Inside Out

Best Adapted Screenplay:

  • Nick Hornby – Brooklyn
  • Adam McKay and Charles Randolph – The Big Short
  • Drew Goddard – The Martian
  • Phyllis Nagy – Carol
  • Emma Donoghue – Room

Will Win: The Big Short
Could Win: The Martian
Want to Win: The Martian

Best Animated Feature Film:

  • Anomalisa
  • Inside Out
  • Boy and the World
  • Shaun of the Sheep
  • When Marnie Was There

Will Win: Inside Out
Could Win: Anomalisa
Want to Win: Inside Out

Best Foreign Language Film:

  • Embrace of the Serpent
  • Mustang
  • A War
  • Son of Saul
  • Theeb

Will Win: Son of Soul
Could Win: No Contest
Want to Win: Son of Soul

Best Documentary — Feature:

  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence
  • What Happened Miss Simone?
  • Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

Will Win: Amy
Could Win: The Look of Silence
Want to Win: Amy

Best Documentary — Short Subject:

  • Body Team 12
  • Chau, Beyond the Lines
  • Last Day of Freedom
  • Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  • A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Blind Guess: Body Team 12

Best Live Action Short Film:

  • Day One
  • Everything Will Be Okay
  • Stutterer
  • Ave Maria
  • Shok

Blind Guess: Ava Maria

Best Animated Short Film:

  • Sanjay’s Super Team
  • An Object at Rest
  • If I Was God…
  • Bear Story
  • World of Tomorrow

Blind Guess: Sanjay’s Super Team

Best Original Score:

  • The Hateful Eight
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol

Will Win: The Hateful Eight
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Want to Win: The Hateful Eight

Best Original Song:

  • “Earned It” – 50 Shades of Gray
  • “Writing’s on the Wall” – Spectre
  • “Manta Ray” – Racing Extinction
  • “Simple Song #3” – Youth
  • “Till it Happens to You” – The Hunting Ground

Will Win: Till it Happens to You
Could Win: Writing on the Wall
Want to Win: Till it Happens to You

Best Sound Editing:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Want to Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Sound Mixing:

  • Bridge of Spies
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Want to Win: Mad Max: Fury Road

Best Production Design:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Martian
Want to Win: The Martian

Best Cinematography:

  • Edward Lachman – Carol
  • Robert Richardson – The Hateful Eight
  • John SealeMad Max: Fury Road
  • Emmanuel Lubezki – The Revenant
  • Roger Deakins – Sicario

Will Win: The Revenant
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Want to Win: The Revenant

Best Makeup and Hairstyling:

  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Revenant
Want to Win: Mad max: Fury Road

Best Costume Design:

  • Carol
  • Cinderella
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant

Will Win: Cinderella
Could Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Want to Win: Cinderella

Best Film Editing:

  • The Big Short
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: The Revenant
Want to Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Visual Effects:

  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Ex Machina
  • The Martian

Will Win: Mad Max: Fury Road
Could Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Want to Win: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

We will see how many of my predictions are right…Watch the 88th Academy Awards Sunday, February 28, 2016- on ABC.  Hosted by Chris Rock!

Interview: Adam Pally talks “Dirty Grandpa”

I sat with Adam Pally (Happy Endings, The Mindy Project), one of the stars of the new comedy, “Dirty Grandpa”. We discussed which family member he’d want to drive to Daytona Beach with, how to flirt with women, the meaning behind the song “Lightening Crashes”, and much more!

Click Here to Watch Adam Pally Interview

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North Texas Film Critics Association Name “The Martian” Best Picture of 2015

the martian

 

NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION NAME “THE MARTIAN” BEST PICTURE OF 2015

The North Texas Film Critics Association is proud to announce their Best of 2015 and winners in ten categories. The association was founded in 2005 and consists of a group of twelve film critics who write or broadcast in the North Texas area. 

The North Texas Film Critics Association voted the space epic based on the best selling novel THE MARTIAN as the Best Film of 2015, according to the results of its annual critics’ poll which was released today.

BEST of 2015

BEST ACTOR – Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant 

BEST ACTRESS – Brie Larson, Room

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant

BEST DOCUMENTARY – Amy (Asif Kapadia, director)

BEST FOREIGN FILM – Son of Saul (Hungary;  László Nemes, director)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – Inside Out

BEST DIRECTOR – Ridley Scott, The Martian

BEST PICTURE – The Martian (Ridley Scott)

Top 10 Best Films of 2015

 

10. The Revenant
As most of my colleagues have said, The Revenant isn’t a film, it’s an experience. Though, I can’t say it would be high on my re-watch-ability list. It is quite possibly the most unforgettable film this year. Largely due to an epic bear fight, in which images of that sequence are forever burned in my brain. Leonardo DiCaprio gives his most physically demanding and best performance yet! This film is beautifully shot, and with little dialogue director Alejandro G. Iñárritu still manages to captivate audiences through the entire 2 hours and 36 minutes.

9. Spotlight
Though this is a kind of slow burn film, it is worth patiently waiting for these reporters to gather all their research on the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Church. As Spotlight nears its conclusion with the Boston Globe publishing one of the most shocking revelations in history, you’re in for a powerful and emotional ending that I didn’t even expect to be so moved by.

8. The Hateful 8
I don’t know how Quentin Tarantino keeps doing it, but The Hateful 8 is just another great work of art by the iconic director. His dialogue never ceases to amaze me. As we watch the first half of the film trying to figure out the mystery among these peculiar characters, we wait in anticipation for the mind blowing second act that ends in true Tarantino style.

7. Room
For those who haven’t heard of this film, please do yourself a favor and see it right away! After being held captive in a room for over 5 years, we are shown the emotional trauma that follows after finally escaping and entering the real world. Room features an Oscar-worthy performance by Brie Larson and a breakout performance by Jacob Tremblay.

6. It Follows
These days horror films are rarely interesting and hardly scary, but It Follows manages to tell an original and clever story along with many scream-out-loud moments. The soundtrack only adds to this surprisingly, entertaining thriller that will leave you thinking twice before having unprotected sex.

5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Overall I have enjoyed almost all of the Star Wars films, but man, the recent piece to the saga is amazing! I can’t help but geek out talking about it. Not only is it a great continuation of the story filled with non-stop action and excitement, but all the new characters are likable and blend in perfectly with the return of the old.

4. Trainwreck
A good comedy that can make you truly laugh out loud and provide originality is like finding a diamond in the rough. And this year that diamond is Trainwreck. Amy Schumer has brought a whole new level of funny with the comedy about a commitment-phobic woman who never thought monogamy was possible, until she meets the one guy (Bill Hader) worth trying to commit with. There’s humor, there’s heart, and there’s Hader.

3. Inside Out
Not since Toy Story has an animated film hit me so hard with the reality of how sad growing up can be. Let’s put aside the fact that this script is smart and beyond creative. Inside Out is a bitter-sweet tale that reminds us of how simple our emotions were when we were kids and how much easier it was to stay joyful. Though there is a gloom to getting older and life’s changes, Inside Out also shows us the positive side of broadening our emotions.

2. The Martian
Well done Ridley Scott!!! Finally you make up for the crap that was The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings. The past two years we’ve seen a visually stunning space film with Gravity and a confusing, long space film with Interstellar. But it’s 2015 that has brought us the best space movie yet! The Martian is the whole package film. Surprisingly enough, there is a lot of comic relief and the script does an excellent job of explaining the science in the film without going over the audiences’ head. With a running time of 2 hours and 24 minutes, the film never loses steam. The Martian is a beautifully shot and hilarious thrill ride.

1. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
I wish this film got more recognition. Might be hard to remember back in July when ME and Earl and the Dying Girl came out, but it has stuck with me since. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon tells this story in such a John Hughes like manner that it almost feels nostalgic. This isn’t just a film about a girl with cancer. It’s her story told through point of view a new friend who is just now getting know her. With its awkwardly realistic dialogue, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is funny and incredibly moving.

Top 5 Worst Films of 2015

5. Adult Beginners– A less funny and messy version of The Skeleton Twins.

4. Jupiter Ascending– What a waste of perfectly good special effects.

3. Aloha– What a waste of a perfectly good cast.

2. Hot Pursuit– Still wondering why Reese Witherspoon was an accomplice to this crime.

1. By the Sea– What the f***!?!?

 

 

The Dallas Film Society Announces Dates for the 10th Annual Dallas International Film Festival

DALLAS (August 24, 2015) – The Dallas Film Society has announced that the 10th annual Dallas International Film Festival will take place April 14 – April 24, 2016. The film society is now accepting submissions for the Festival. The early deadline is Friday, October 16, 2015, the regular deadline is Friday, December 4, 2015 and the late deadline is Friday, December 11, 2015.

DIFF is one of the fastest growing festivals in the world and has brought over 250,000 film lovers together to view over 1,680 films from more than 50 countries. DIFF has consistently featured the finest cinema has to offer, including 95 world premieres and 31 US premieres to date.

This past April, the festival successfully completed a marathon of 169 screenings with attendance surpassing 26,000. The 2016 festival will once again span 11 days and feature International Premiere screenings with red carpet entrances at theaters throughout the city, award presentations, filmmaker panels and other special events.

“We can’t wait to get started on selecting films to showcase at the 2016 DIFF and looking forward to highlighting another group of incredible and diverse talent from around the world,” said Sarah Harris, Dallas International Film Festival Senior Programmer. “We are so excited to celebrate a decade of sharing our love of film with the community and continuing to introduce Dallas to some of the finest work filmmaking has to offer.”

The festival welcomes submissions for all categories. Grand Jury Prizes will be presented for Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Short Film, Animated Short Film, Student Short Film and Texas Film Competition presented by Panavision. Audience Awards will be given for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary Feature, and Best Short Film. Additional programming categories include World Cinema Latino Cinema Showcase, Deep Ellum Sounds (music documentaries), Family Films, and Midnight Specials.

This year, DIFF has added the Mavericks category to its programming strand, presented by the L.M. Kit Carson Storyfinders Foundation. Last year, DIFF honored the life and career of the late Texas writer, actor and producer L.M. Kit Carson by featuring his 1983 film BREATHLESS and posthumously awarding him with the Dallas Star Award, accepted by his son, Hunter Carson. This year, DIFF will continue to honor his legacy with the Mavericks screening program, which will feature four groundbreaking and cutting edge films that spotlight unique cinematic voices breaking the rules of filmmaking to advance the art form.

“I truly believe that the art of creating ‘maverick’ films is rarified air,” said Hunter Carson. “Films that introspectively look at the world in challenging ways deserve to be celebrated.”

In addition, one Maverick filmmaker will be the inaugural recipient of the L.M. Kit Carson Maverick Filmmaker Award at Dallas Film Society Honors.

Over the past nine years, DIFF has presented filmmakers with more than $740,000 in awards. This year, the winner of the Texas Film Competition presented by Panavision will receive a camera rental package valued at $30,000. Also, the Embrey Family Foundation will present The Silver Heart Award and a $10,000 cash prize to one inspirational filmmaker or film to honor their dedication for fighting injustices and/or creating social change for the improvement of humanity. Additionally, each recipient of a 2016 DIFF award will receive MOVIE MAGIC Budgeting and Scheduling software bundles from Entertainment Partners, which allows filmmakers to create and view production scheduling.

Submissions are open on WithoutABox and Film Freeway. For more information and to submit films, visit http://www.dallasfilm.org/submit-your-film-for-diff-2016/. Questions can be emailed to submissions@dallasfilm.org.

The 2015 Dallas International Film Festival Award Winners Are…

The Dallas Film Society has announced the winners of the 9th Annual Dallas International Film Festival’s competition series. This year’s Festival, presented by AutoNation, features 169 films representing 32 countries, with a total of 18 premieres including 11 World Premieres, three North American Premieres and four US Premieres.

Grand Jury Awards and Special Jury Prizes were presented for the Narrative Feature Competition, Short Film Competition and Texas Feature Competition during Dallas Film Society Honors, co-presented by the Arthur E. Benjamin Foundation, Sheri Deterling, Geoff Hawkes and the Highland Dallas, at The Highland Dallas. Grand Jury Awards were also given for the Documentary Feature Competition, Animated Short Competition and Student Short Competition.

And the winners are…

Narrative Feature Competition Grand Jury Award

RADIATOR (United Kingdom)

Director: Tom Browne

Cast: Richard Johnson; Gemma Jones; Daniel Cerqueira

A dark, difficult comedy concerning the middle aged Daniel who returns home to help his elderly parents, Leonard and Maria who live in squalor, eccentrically.

 

Narrative Feature Competition Special Jury Prize, Ensemble Acting

ECHOES OF WAR (USA) – World premiere

Director: Kane Senes

Cast: James Badge Dale; Ethan Embry; William Forsythe; Maika Monroe

A Civil War veteran returns home to the quiet countryside, only to find himself embroiled in a conflict between his family and the brutish cattle rancher harassing them.

 

Narrative Feature Competition Special Jury Prize, Cinematography

SOME BEASTS (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Cameron Nelson

Cast: Frank Mosley; Lindsay Burdge; Heather Kafka

Living in an insular farming community, Sal Damon, a modern-day Thoreau, seeks solace from a past relationship in Appalachia. After his neighbor dies and he discovers a feral child living on the lam, he must reconcile his place in a world that lives outside of the law.

 

Documentary Feature Competition Grand Jury Award

BARGE (USA)

Director: Ben Powell

Dry land’s misfits find purpose and direction twenty-eight days at a time as the steady hands of a towboat due for the port of New Orleans. From a green deckhand following his father and grandmother into the family business, to a former convict working his way to First Mate, job by job; as long as the boat’s moving they’re making money.

 

Short Film Competition Grand Jury Award

THE CHICKEN (Germany/Croatia)

Director: Una Gunjak

The day-to-day life of a six-year-old girl growing up during unstable times in Sarajevo is shaken up when a chicken joins her family.

 

Short Film Competition Special Jury Prizes

THE FACE OF UKRAINE: CASTING OKSANA BAIUL (Australia)

Director: Kitty Green

Adorned in pink sequins, little girls from across a divided, war-torn Ukraine audition to play the role of gold medal-winning figure skater Oksana Baiul, whose tears of joy once united their troubled country.

 

ONE HITTA QUITTA (USA)

Director: Ya’Ke Smith

A boy, who has never had to suffer the consequences for his actions, becomes severely addicted to internet violence, leading him to act out in violent ways himself.

 

Student Short Film Competition Grand Jury Award

CAST IN INDIA (India/USA)

Director: Natasha Raheja

Iconic and ubiquitous, thousands of manhole covers dot the streets of New York City. Enlivening the everyday objects around us, this short film is a glimpse of the working lives of the men behind the manhole covers in New York City.

 

Animated Short Film Competition Award

WORLD OF TOMORROW (USA)

Director: Don Hertzfeldt

A little girl is taken on a mind-bending tour of her distant future.

 

Texas Film Competition Grand Jury Award

SACRIFICE (USA)

Director: Michael Cohn

Cast: Luke Kleintank; Dermot Mulroney; Melora Walters; Austin Abrams; Brandon Smith; Lewis Tan

HANK (Luke Kleintank) is a handsome, multi-talented high school student who has just led his football team to a stunning victory during the biggest game of the season. Eager scouts are circling and Hank’s blue-collar parents, (played by Dermot Mulroney and Melora Walters), are counting on their golden boy to win a scholarship to a good college so he can enjoy a brighter future, far away from their hardscrabble life in Texas. Their younger son, TIM (Austin Abrams) more of a loser than a winner, idolizes his older brother and persuades Hank and his friends, KAZ (Brandon Smith) and BENNY (Lewis Tan), to let him tag along on their celebratory hunting trip. It is a decision they soon regret. Tim’s immature behavior after an accidental shooting leads to a series of bad decisions, a second wave of tragedy, and a hasty cover-up. Hank finds himself at the center of a desperate and rapidly deteriorating situation that tests his moral compass and threatens to destroy his family…and his dream.

 

Texas Film Competition Special Jury Prize

THE LOVE INSIDE (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Andy Irvine; Mark Smoot

Cast: Zachary Knighton; Joey Kern; Kat Foster; Betsy Phillips; Bryon Brown; Ashley Spillers; Indigo Rael

When Vaughn invites his closest friends to a cabin in rural Texas to meet his fiancée, he expects a relaxing weekend reminiscing about the old days. But when a friend arrives with his ex-girlfriend, long repressed feelings are reawakened and his engagement is suddenly thrown into doubt in this subversive romantic comedy.

 

Silver Heart Award

FRAME BY FRAME (USA)

Director: Alexandria Bombach; Mo Scarpelli

After decades of war and an oppressive Taliban regime, four Afghan photojournalists face the realities of building a free press in a country left to stand on its own – reframing Afghanistan for the world and for themselves.

 

Narrative Feature Audience Award

THUNDER BROKE THE HEAVENS (USA) – World Premiere

Director: Tim Skousen

Cast: Alex Peters; Gavin Howe; Tanner Beard; Tom Nowicki; Hadley Eure

In a Hansel and Gretel-esque modern fairy tale, siblings Samantha (13) and William Paul (6) must survive on their own after a tragedy kills their family. They are placed in an abusive foster home, but when Samantha overhears that they are to be split up, they escape to live in a crumbling shack in the woods. Life is hard, but they receive help from a mysterious source. When supplies run out and William Paul falls ill, Samantha must find a way for them to survive – before it’s too late.

 

Documentary Feature Audience Award

BATKID BEGINS: THE WISH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD (USA)

Director: Dana Nachman

On one day, in one city, the world comes together to grant one 5 year old cancer patient his wish. BATKID BEGINS: THE WISH HEARD AROUND THE WORLD looks at the ‘why’ of this flash phenomenon. Why did the intense outpouring of spontaneous support for a child reverberate around the world and become one of the biggest ‘good news stories’ ever?

 

Short Film Audience Award

MELVILLE (USA)

Director: James Johnston

Marcus is dealing with some serious shit but he can’t seem to talk to anyone about it.