Tag Archives: Gary Oldman

Oscar Nominations 2018 Best Picture – what’s your call?

Oscar Nominations 2018 Best Picture – what’s your call?

written by Souranath Banerjee

Oscar Nominations 2018 Best Picture: Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel (for the second time), on this March 4th evening we have a date with our beloved movies from 2017 – the nominations for the Oscars – The 90th Academy Awards ceremony traditionally presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

After last year’s La La Land hiccup and Moonlight‘s sudden triumph speculating this year’s Best Picture has certainly become more difficult a task but have to admit the fun remains the same, even more!

In total nine nominations for Best Picture and I have listed them according to my order of liking, in a way keeping my favourite one in the number 1 spot. You all do your own homework, predict, guess and wonder, and let’s see who can hit the bull’s eye!

9. Darkest Hour

A historical biography directed by Joe Wright which in total has six Oscar nominations this year!

The film revolves around the early days of World War II when Churchill was appointed the British Prime Minister and showed immense character that changed history forever.

Gary Oldman is undoubtedly an actor par excellence and his performance as Winston Churchill is awe-inspiring (every chance of winning the Male Leading Role). But I am real doubtful about the movie winning big this year.

8. Dunkirk

Directed by Christopher Nolan and brilliant music by Hans Zimmer (will probably win the for his Original Score).

Another film about World War II portraying the tensed war-front drama when soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France were at the mercy of the German Army.

In total eight nominations, though there are no acting or writing nominations and I think the movie won’t run till the end round of this year’s Oscar race.

7. The Post

The epic battle between the press and the government, a dangerous mission taken up by female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to unmask a massive coverup.

Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks together, that too directed by Steven Spielberg – this movie seems to be the perfect Oscar recipe but yet for me this is not really the Best Picture of last year.

6. Lady Bird

A delightful coming of age story of an artistically inclined seventeen-year-old girl and her chemistry between her friends and relatives – especially the love-hate relationship with her mother.

Directed by Greta Gerwig and brilliantly performed by Saoirse Ronan this is one film I absolutely enjoyed watching but still am not so sure about its Oscar win.

5. Phantom Thread

Paul Thomas Anderson collaborates with none other than Daniel Day-Lewis (supposed to be his last movie as an actor).

Superbly artistic, a visual treat that portrays the early world of fashion through the romance between a renowned dressmaker and his muse – a beautiful and determined young girl.

But then again the movie winning the Oscar – a bit doubtful scenario.

4. Get Out

An African-American guy meets his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend but things are not exactly what it seems to be. There lies some dark dangerous secrets that changes his life forever.

Now a low budget horror thriller gets nominated in the Best picture category – well, that’s a first!

Jordan Peele‘s direction and Daniel Kaluuya acting are spot on; though honestly to me the film apparently doesn’t look like a tough competition as an Oscar contender but you never know, unpredictability is the name of the game!

3. Call Me by Your Name

A summertime gay romance between a 17-year-old boy and a twenty-something man who has visited Italy as the young boy’s father’s research assistant.

(Click for Review)

A beautifully shot film directed by Luca Guadagnino and superb performances by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet. Though not nominated in the direction, cinematography or editing categories it is a tough aim for the big spot but then if the movie snatches the Oscar I would  say it totally deserved it.

2. The Shape of Water

An incredible love-story between a mute lady-janitor and an amphibious creature that being held captive at a top secret research facility.

With 13 nominations, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and a superb performance by Sally Hawkins this visually stunning movie probably has the highest bets for the award. My favourite too. Fingers crossed!

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Three billboards asking for justice – a mother’s unique way of challenging the authorities who failed to capture her daughter’s murder.

Directed by Martin McDonagh and a powerhouse of brilliant acting from Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell (sure will get awards for Female Leading Role or/and Supporting Male Role).

With total seven nominations, brilliantly written and shot with great precision – this is my most favourite film of last year and I hope this film gets its due i.e the Oscar of course!

Similar Interest: Best of 2017 you may have missed!

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Poster courtesy: www.imdb.com

Best French Thrillers of Recent Times (10+1list)

Best French Thrillers of Recent Times

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best French Thrillers of Recent Times: Bonjour mon ami! It’s time for some French toasts and French Thrillers!

Well, its common knowledge that the French are famous for their beards, windows and kisses, but did you know that they also specialize in Thrillers?

Suspense, mystery, action packed and even psychological dramas seem to be their favourite genres and thus, here, this list comprises of some of the Best French Thrillers of Recent Times! 

Au revoir! As you have guessed, my French is pretty limited but what I actually want to say is Enjoy the list!

10. With a Friend Like Harry… (2000)

original title: Harry, un ami qui vous veut du bien

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CiSP7T0bf2o

French-ThrillersMeeting an old school friend is always a moment of joy, right?

Wrong. Specially when you meet the mysterious Harry, an old chum who makes sure to flip your life upside down.

Directed by Dominik Moll, and casting Laurent LucasSergi López and Mathilde Seigner – a mystery that soon turns into something unexpectedly sinister.

9. The Apartment (1996)

original title: L’appartement

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GwapQhrZ-D0

French-ThrillersA mysterious take on love, a superb piece of story-telling and top quality acting; the result is this fine example of a French Thriller.

Romane BohringerVincent Cassel and of course Monica Bellucci, a combination played to perfection.

Directed by Gilles Mimouni, this one is a unique film with enough number of plot twists to keep the guessing game going till the finish line.

8. Anything for Her (2008)

original title: Pour elle

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBZVsLoSsDU

French-ThrillersA school teacher’s wife gets arrested and their family life is shattered. Now, he is ready to do anything for her, even if that means breaking the law!

Starring Vincent Lindon and Diane Kruger who gave very believable performances.

Directed by Fred Cavayéthis one is a powerful crime drama with a heart pounding climax.

7. Mesrine Part 1: Killer Instinct (2008)

original title: L’instinct de mort

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f_Ku-B5Gkws

French-ThrillersA biographical account of legendary french gangster Jacques Mesrine.

Vincent Cassel plays the mean and brutal goon who is stylish, egoistic and trigger happy! 

Adventurous and thrilling, desperate and unflinching,  a cool gangster flick directed by Jean-François Richet.

The story comes in two parts/films, so don’t you forget to watch Mesrine Part 2: Public Enemy #1 (2008).

6. Tell No One (2006)

original title: Ne le dis à personne

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvvY1M8vjzI

French-ThrillersHow can there be signs of someone being alive even after their death?

Only few thrillers can keep the romantic involvements intact and still tell the story in a way that makes you sit up with tension.

Directed by Guillaume Canet, a novel based film that will keep you guessing till the end.

5. The Connection (2014)

original title: La French

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx41FbyvSMw

French-ThrillersMarseilles, the South of France being the backdrop, the film is based on the life story of the infamous mafia boss Gaëtan ‘Tany’ Zampa.

Jean Dujardin is as usual brilliant, and Gilles Lellouche at his very best. 

Directed by Cédric Jimenez, a gangster film full of thrill and emotion. 

4. A Pure Formality (1994)

original title: Una pura formalità

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Li11QSlIJY

French-ThrillersA mysterious killing, a suspect and an inspector who collects the clues and tries to solve the case.

Brilliant performances by Gérard Depardieu and Roman Polanski who plays the game of guilty and innocence till the very end.

Directed by acclaimed Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore, this is one thriller that shouldn’t be missed.

From the same director The Unknown Woman (2006) and The Professor (1986).

3. A Prophet (2009)

original title: Un prophète

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l69ARbQt-Ko

French-ThrillersPrisons are always dangerous and a French prison is no exception.

Directed by Jacques Audiard, this is a thrilling tale of an Arab man who climbs the ropes and learns to survive inside the prison, and finally becomes the mafia boss.

Full of intense moments, real, gritty and violent. And Tahar Rahim gives his career best performance in this one.

From the same director The Beat That My Heart Skipped (2005) and Read My Lips (2001).

2. Hidden (Caché) (2005)

original title: Caché

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_ZtfuvxpEw

French-ThrillersDaniel Auteuil and Juliette Binoche are seemingly a happily married couple but then, certain surveillance videotapes begin to appear from an unknown source and that terrorizes them to the core.

A French film by the renowned German director Michael Haneke, a superb thriller loaded with extreme tension, paranoia and suspense. 

From the same director The White Ribbon (2009) and Funny Games (1997).

1. Léon: The Professional (1994)

original title: Léon

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcsirofJrlM

French-ThrillersA professional assassin reluctantly shelters and protects a 12-year-old girl, who quickly learns the dangerous trade and becomes his protégée!

Jean RenoGary Oldman and young Natalie Portman – some performances to remember.

Directed by Luc Besson (before his plunge into more commercialized Hollywood films), this one is undoubtedly the most sleek and stylish action thriller ever made. My personal favorite!

From the same director La Femme Nikita (1990) and The Fifth Element (1997).

and (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most disturbing one. A must watch).

+1. Irreversible (2002)

original title: Irréversible

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU-ZOHeWLkU

French-ThrillersStarring Monica BellucciVincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel, the film comes with some of the most disturbing visuals in the history of film making. So remember, it’s Adult only.

Directed by Argentinian filmmaker Gaspar Noé, a dark psychological thriller, extremely black in its content, and the way it has been shot (dizzy camera movements) only adds to the stress level.

Approach with caution, this one is definitely not everyone’s cup of cinema.

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Poster courtesy: www.impawards.comwww.themoviedata.commovies.prettyfamous.com

Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made (10+1list)

Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made

written by Souranath Banerjee

Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made – Conspiracy theories have always been a part of our lives whether you intend to believe them Conspiracy-Thrillersor not. And even if you believe one, the real question is can you prove it?

But as we all know, most of these theories are nothing but fabricated and far-fetched rumors but then, what if someone collects enough evidence and try to convince you that some of them may actually be true!

Well, fiction or not that’s you to decide – here is some of the Best Conspiracy Thrillers ever made from all across the world.

Remember, if you believe it, then it’s true!

10. Kill the Messenger (2014)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VW4XO-52ubE

Conspiracy-ThrillersCIA accused of numerous illegal activities – one of them being that in the 1980’s they did drug trafficking to arm the Contra rebels in Nicaragua so that they can continue the war!

Gary Webb a reporter (played by Jeremy Renner) who found out this CIA secret was threatened and found his life up-side down.  Directed by Michael Cuesta, this one is based on a true story! 

9. Michael Clayton (2007)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5kJRYBhG43Q

Conspiracy-ThrillersA multi-billion dollar action suit goes wrong as the lawyer couldn’t fight with his conscience any more but then the law firm needs to fix the situation asap. 

Directed by debutant Tony Gilroy, starring George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Tom Wilkinson; one of the most chilling conspiracy thrillers with brilliant performances and terrific visuals. The ugly game of money and power played at it’s best.

8. Jacob’s Ladder (1990)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJztRnDxdM8

Conspiracy-ThrillersA Vietnam war veteran (Tim Robbins) is disturbed by regular visions and nightmares – but what if his dreams were not entirely hallucinations?

Director Adrian Lyne‘s disturbing psychological horror film is based on MKUltra conspiracy where it is said that in the 1950’s, CIA conducted secret research on how the use of drugs (such as LSD) could enhance a soldier’s physical and  mental capacity!

 7. The Constant Gardener (2005)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4iTjavIkbk

Conspiracy-ThrillersDetermined to find out the reason for his wife’s murder shot in Northern Kenya, a man unknowingly gets entangled into a conspiracy – ugly and dangerous beyond his imagination!

Directed by Fernando Meirelles, with Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz the film deals with the exploitation of poor African people as medical tests are done on them by the rich and powerful medical companies of the world.

6. All the President’s Men (1976)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLt6djxhNe8

Conspiracy-Thrillers

Clues that lead to dead ends and names that connects to nobody!

Watergate scandal that ultimately lead to American President Nixon’s resignation – two brave young reporters (Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford) unravel the conspiracy that costed their jobs and almost their lives.  

Directed by Alan J. Pakula, probably the most popular Conspiracy Thriller in this list.

5. The Insider (1999)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rkvxi5hdbA

Conspiracy-ThrillersThe CEOs of Big Tobacco have lied under the oath and they are getting away with it.

Until one man risks everything when he decides to step up and tell the truth to a reporter – but will such damaging news of conspiracy and corruption be shared with the public?

Directed by Michael Mann, starring Russell Crowe and Al Pacino a thriller at its best.

4. The Conversation (1974)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_LJ5ICMbP4

Conspiracy-ThrillersDirected by Francis Ford Coppola, the film is an extremely tensed and voyeuristic take on the violation of people’s privacy.   

surveillance expert (brilliantly played by Gene Hackman) spying on a couple suspects that they are going to be murdered – a conspiracy too complicated and heavy for his conscience. A slow yet dangerous thriller that will keep you hooked till the very end.

3. Z (1969)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHB28qfsV2w

Conspiracy-ThrillersA film made by my favorite director Costa-Gavras – a terrific thriller based on a political conspiracy.

When an investigator tires to uncover the mystery behind the murder of a prominent leftist, he finds himself up against the ruthless government officials who will go to any means to stop him.

The first foreign language film to be nominated for Best Picture in the Oscars!

A must watch Conspiracy Thriller by the same director is Missing (1982).

2. The Lives of Others (2006)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FppW5ml4vdw

Conspiracy-ThrillersA conspiracy film set on 1984 East Berlin – the secret police at work conducting strict observation on whoever they suspect.

A professional surveillance-man (Ulrich Mühe) spying on a writer and his lover finds himself too attached to their lives which becomes a morel conflict for him.

Directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, this thriller will simply take your breath away.

  1. JFK (1991)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w16bYZ-4nmE

Conspiracy-ThrillersThe sudden arrest made in relation to the assassination of Kennedy doesn’t seem too concrete and logical. And thus the New Orleans DA investigates into what seemed to be America’s most controversial conspiracy of all time. 

Directed by Oliver Stone, and starring Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Jack Lemmon this particualar film is an exceptional example of how cinema can be used to tell the truth.

and now, (The ‘+1′ film is not necessarily the best but certainly the most innovative one. A must watch).

+1. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Film trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMba3fckhuQ

Conspiracy-ThrillersBased on the brilliant novel by Dan Brown, the film though not that epic but still a very effective conspiracy thriller to consider.

Directed by Ron Howard, a story that revolves around a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years.

The paintings of Da Vinci used as clues, starring Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Jean Reno – a mystery worth your time!

Another cool film by the same director based on the same writer’s novel is Angels & Demons (2009).

A few other conspiracy films that can be taken into consideration are Three Days of the Condor (1975), Network (1976), Chinatown (1974), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Marathon Man (1976)Enemy of the State (1998), The Parallax View (1974), The China Syndrome (1979), Wag the Dog (1997), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), The Ghost Writer (2010), Silkwood (1983) and Conspiracy Theory (1997), Syriana (2005).

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Poster courtesy: www.impawards.com.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)

My Ratings: 4/5.

The recent release Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is an effort that you can not ignore. 

Directed by Matt Reeves, superbly shot and visualized by Michael Seresin, powered by Michael Giacchino‘s compositions and outstanding use of motion capture technology by Weta Digital.  

A salute to Adam Serkis and his entire team for making the film so believable. Especially the character of Caesar, the leading ape (that Adam Serkis has played himself) is probably more real than the humans in the film.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes shows another chapter of Caesar’s life.

I hope you still remember Caesar, the famous talking monkey (i mean the genetically evolved ape) who was brought up by none other than James Franco.

In the last film ‘The rise of the planet of the apes’ we have seen Caesar realizing his genius and leading a revolution against the unkind mankind. A violent fight that finally gave the apes their own territory – the Redwood Forest.

This current film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is supposed to be the ‘and they lived happily ever after’ part of the ape community.

But unfortunately the audience wants more VFX action films.

This time Caesar is matured enough to condemn all forms of fighting and speaks heavy words like ‘trust’ and ‘family’ like any super-intelligent ape should at his age.

Then the humans arrive. (Jason Clarke leading the team)

Though only a few hundreds/thousands are left (didn’t you know -the simian flue almost wiped away the entire human existence) but these few trigger-happy humans unintentionally as always, are enough to start a war of such epic proportions that i guess we have to wait for another sequel for a satisfactory conclusion.

But of course the humans alone cannot be responsible for the war. Anybody from the ape side who wants to volunteer big? What about you – yes, the ugly one?

Like one rotten apple that spoils the whole basket, there was one wicked ape responsible for the collapse of Caesar’s peaceful ape-empire.

No matter how many times Caesar repeats in his patented stop-motion accent – ‘Apes. Do not. Want. War!’, but the war was inevitable.

Apart from the visual effects, the best part of the film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the characterizations of each and every individuals (especially the ape characters). Their emotions, their anger and even their treachery are so close to our human world that we can instantly connect with them. 

If you like films where apes talk, ride horses and shoot people then this film will be an orgasmic treat for you.

A must for Gary Oldman fans (if any).

Film trailer link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sHMCRaS3ao