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Oscars 2012: Why Wern’t These Films Nominated?

February 23, 2012

Oscars always makes mistakes, that’s a given. And every year they nominate films/actors that shouldn’t have been and ignore the ones that should have. Here are a list of films and actors who should have got nominated this year.

 

  • Drive & Ryan Gosling

Drive should have been nominated for Best Picture and Gosling should have got a nod for Best Actor.

  • Michael Fassbender for Shame

The film wasn’t all that great but Fassbender really knocked it out of the park. If Oscars ever make an award for Best Actor Who Gets His Bits Out in a Film, then Fassbender would have been a shoe-in.

  • The Skin I Live In

Bloody hell this was a great thriller

  • The Adventures of Tintin

Why the hell wasn’t this nominated for Best Animated Film??? Rango got nominated…even bloody Puss in Boots got nominated. Ridiculous

 

Oscars 2012: Part Two

February 23, 2012

Here’s part two of who should win an award:

Best Original Song

  1. “Man or Muppet”
  2. “Real in Rio”

Man orĀ  Muppet from The Muppets

Best Actress

  1. Glenn Close
  2. Viola Davis
  3. Rooney Mara
  4. Meryl Streep
  5. Michelle Williams

It’s either between Rooney Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Michelle Williams for My Week with Marilyn. Both of them, I thought, brought their respective roles to life. Mara with her ability to be both vulnerable and antagonising. Williams for her spot-on portrayal of Marilyn Monroe, which never descends into a one-note impersonation. It’s doubtful they’ll win but Michelle Williams, if she continues like this, will eventually win an Oscar.

To be honest, I’d be okay with any of the nominees winning as long as it isn’t Meryl “pantomime acting” Streep.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  1. Kenneth Branagh
  2. Jonah Hill
  3. Nick Nolte
  4. Christopher Plummer
  5. Max von Sydow

It’ll probably be Christopher Plummer who will win the award, he gives a good performance in Beginners. Nick “raspy voice” Nolte might just beat Plummer to the bald headed statue. Jonah Hill has no chance although I didn’t mind his performance in Moneyball, it just wasn’t exactly light the world on fire stuff. I wouldn’t mind if Kenneth Branagh wins it. His performance as Laurence Olivier in My Week with Marilyn was, like Michelle Williams, just the right side of impersonation.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  • Berenice Bejo
  • Jessica Chastain
  • Melissa McCarthy
  • Janet McTeer
  • Octavia Spencer

I really don’t know what Melissa McCarthy is doing there. I would like Jessica Chastain to win it but for The Tree of Life instead of The Help. She was marvellous in Tree of Life.

Review: The Act of Roger Murgatroyd

February 23, 2012

Author: Gilbert Adair
Title: The Act of Roger Murgatroyd
Published: 2006
Pages: 304

This is the first in a trilogy centred around the fictional mystery writer, Evadne Mount who has written novels such as The Timing of the Stew, No Murder in the Title and The Proof of the Pudding.

The story revolves around an apparently impossible murder at the fflolkes (their surname is not capitalised) Manor at Christmas. Raymond Gentry, invited by the fflolkes daughter — who immediately gets under everyone’s’ noses, is found dead in the attic with the door locked and the windows barred. The guests decide to call upon retired Chief-Inspector Trubshawe who questions all the guests together.

Obviously, the title alludes to the classic Agatha Christie novel, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, but it is also a parody of all the classic whodunnits of the past. You have all the elements: an impossible murder, a large house, terrible weather, servants, a collection of English gentility all of whom have skeletons in their closets, and the obligatory drawing room reveal of the murderer. And you have Evadne Mount, whose very flaws — her boisterous ability to make everything about her novels — is the very thing that governs her appeal. I was both exasperated by her constant need for telling about the plots of her stories and humoured by them.

The Act of Roger Murgatroyd is witty and charming. While it does poke fun at the old fashioned whodunnit, it never descends into mud slinging. There were flaws; none of the characters really amount to much depth — mostly there for parody purposes — and there is not much difference between characters’ voices, they all speak in that refined, English upper-class accent. Occasionally, I was getting tired of the novel sometimes it dragged on as Adair tended to waffle.

Saying all that, I did enjoy it and it works as whodunnit — without the reader having to be knowledgeable about what it’s referencing. Plus there is a great moment when Evadne Mount is explaining how the murder was done, she makes a comment on the mounting tension for the a reader of her novels when they come to reveal of the murderer, where they must keep their eyes from scanning ahead lest they inadvertently spoil it for themselves. I found myself doing the same thing.

In the end, I enjoyed this and probably will read the second book in the trilogy at some point.

Review: Screwtop Thompson

February 22, 2012

Author: Magnus Mills
Title: Screwtop Thompson
Published: 2010
Pages: 128

 

This is a collection of short stories by Magnus Mills. I won’t write a long review for this as I thought the collection was pretty insubstantial. Most of the stories were too slight and perhaps I’m missing something but most of them seemed to descend into nothingness.

 

There were a couple of stories I enjoyed and there was some nice evocative writing. It was plainly written but Mills’ does have a good eye for writing atmospherically. Plus, some of the stories are suitably absurd and there is a sense of unease underneath the humour which I quite liked.

In the end, I would say that this collection is so-so.

 

I Abandoned This Book, I Abandoned This Book, I Abandoned This Booooook

February 21, 2012

 

I’m giving up on Leviathan Wakes by James S. A Corey.

I really thought I’d enjoy it. It’s an action space opera and it’s got spaceships and wowsers galactic political intrigue! I tried to get into it, I gave it a chance and made it passed hundred pages but nothing doing I’m afraid. I was beginning to skim read and when I say skim read I mean skip pages. Ah well.

What I Want To Read Tuesdays

February 21, 2012

Don’t let the title fool you, I doubt I’ll post about “what I want to read” every Tuesday but I thought hey, everyone loves a title with a day of the week in it. Maybe I’ll mix it up and next time call it just Tuesday.

Through my travels in internet land I came across The Unconsoled. I started Never Let Me Go last year but it never really registered so I stopped reading it. I thought the film was one of the best of 2010. Yet, The Unconsoled really intrigues me. I’m a sucker for hypnotic, dreamlike narratives. Supposedly critical panned which just makes me want to read it more. Has anyone read this? Any good?

Review: No Rest for the Dead

February 21, 2012

Author: Various
Title: No Rest for the Dead
Published: 2011
Pages: 384

 

This is a crime novel written by twenty-six bestselling authors of crime/thriller. You have the likes of Tess Gerristen, Alexander McCall Smith, Peter James, Jeff Lindsay and more. The story revolves around the case of the murder of Christopher Thomas, curator, by his wife, Rosemary Thomas. She is sentenced to death by lethal injection and the story follows the detective Jon Nunn, who was assigned to the case and who now believes that Rosemary Thomas didn’t murder her husband, try to bring everyone who was there the night Christopher died and finally crack the case.

On paper, this novel sounds like a good thing; it has all the trappings of a blockbuster thriller but I feel that it’s let down trying to placate all the writers. The first part which accounts Rosemary Thomas execution starts the novel. This is all fine. Unfortunately, the second part which accounts Jon Nunn trying to get everyone back together is just filled with longueurs and lacking any characterisation. It is boring beyond belief. There is absolutely no suspense or, if there was, it was extremely slight and not worth bothering about. The characters are not fleshed out in the slightest, their only contribution is to move the plot forward. Jon Nunn is the typical washed-up cop who can’t let one case go. And the writers seemed to want some psychological depth for Christopher Thomas but he comes across as such an asshat that it becomes unbelievably silly.

As I wrote, the problem with so many writers is that they all have to have a chapter (some have more than one) but too often this upsets the flow, the momentum of the story. In fact, the story could have easily been told in half the pages and I don’t mean summarising the plot but there is too much spinning wheels just so an author gets his/hers chance.

I suppose the one positive is that there is a pretty good consistency between the writers’ styles. No one author stands out but then again, nothing stands out. Oh, and it’s perfectly readable which, I suppose, is a given due to the writers involved. They aren’t successful for nothing.

In the end, I wouldn’t bother reading this.