Countdown to Oscar: Best Picture Prediction

As we countdown to Oscar Sunday, it is safe to say that everyone has a good idea of what their list of winners will be.  Mine?  I choose "12 Years A Slave" as the Best Picture and this is why...Slavery, like any other historical injustice is always very uncomfortable to watch for Afircan-Americans or anyone else.  However, it is a part of our history we should NEVER forget.  This is the first film since watching the Alex Haley mini-series ROOTS that I felt the actors were not just portraying "slaves", but real, live human beings who had families, feelings and aspirations to become more than society wanted us to experience.  Of course, this is just my opinion and thanks to people like Solomon Northrup, Martin Luther King, Jr, Ghandi, Malcolm X, Jesse Jackson and many others,  I am free to express just that...an opinion as a free person in America.  Feel free to click on the link below and watch an Academy Q&A with nominated Director - Steve McQueen20140223-004204.jpg 12 year q&A

Also...tune into www.UBNradio.com for our special broadcast from the Dolby Theatre on Oscar Sunday, March 2nd

 

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

2014 BAFTA AWARD RECAP

image While "Gravity" was the nights biggest winner with six BAFTA's, including Outstanding British Film and Best Director for Alfonso Cuaron, "12 Years A Slave" pulled out a last minute triumph taking the big prize...Best Film, while Chiwitel Ejiofor gave the film its first honor of the night winning the Best Actor award. Oscar frontrunner Matthew McConaughy ("Dallas Buyers Club") was not nominated in the Best Actor category, but Leonardo DiCaprio was expected to win for "The Wolf of Wall Street'.

With "Gravity' and "12 Years A Slave' tying at the Producers guild Awards, the BAFTA win is a sign that "12 Years...' could hold its own against the flashier "Gravity" in one of the most competitive Oscar races I have seen in more than a decade.

Cate Blanchett won Best Actress award for Blue Jasmine. However, the surprise win of the night was Jennifer Lawrence's win for "American Hustle" over frontrunner Lupita N'yongo in '12 Years A Slave' in a field that also included Julia Roberts ("August: Osage County") and Sally Hawkins ("Blue Jasmine"). Barkhad Abdi, a non-professional who was found by director Paul Greengrass driving a limo in Minneapolis, beat fellow Oscar nominees Michael Fassbender ("12 Years A Slave") and Bradley Cooper ("American Hustle"). Oscar frontrunner, Jared Leto ("Dallas Buyers Club") was not nominated.

"The Great Beauty" won in the foreign-language category, while "The Act of Killing" was named Best Documentary and "Frozen" was named Best Animated film. All three are Oscar nominees in those categories. Original Screenplay prize went to "American Hustle" and the Adapted Screenplay went to "Philomena." On the craft-awards side, in addition to the four wins for "Gravity.", "The Great Gatsby" won for production and costume design. "Rush" won for editing and "American Hustle" won for makeup/hairstyling.

Director Peter Greenaway won an honorary award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema, while Dame Helen Mirren was awarded BAFTA's highest honor, the Academy Fellowship.

The winner of BAFTA's Best Film prize has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture for the last five years, although the two groups had the same winner only five times in the 15 years before that. Buckle your seat belts kids...Oscar night on March 2nd is gonna give us the ride of our lives.

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!

...And The Awards Race is On

With the 2014 Golden Globes right around the corner this Sunday, January 12th and with nomination announcements from the PGA (Producers Guild Association), WGA (Writer's Guild Association), SAG (Screen Actors Guild Awards), TMC (The Movie Critics  Choice Awards) and BAFTA's (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), I thought this would be a good time to look at who has the best chance of snagging Oscar noms on January 16th. Leading the pack of nominations is the Steve McQueen directed true life story of Solomon Northrup - "12 Years A Slave"  and  Director David O' Russell's " American Hustle" .   Right behind them are "Captain Phillips", "Gravity", "Philomena", "Saving Mr. Banks", "Wolf of  Wall Street", "Blue Jasmine", "Rush", "Inside Llewyn Davis", "Nebraska", "The Butler", "August:  Osage County", "Dallas Buyers Club" and "Her".  Almost all of these films began their awards journey at Sundance this same time last year.

Actors with multiple nominations include...Chiwetel Ejiofor, Lupita N'yongo, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts, Michael Fassbender, Judi Dench, Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Jennifer Lawrence, Christian Bale, Emma Thompson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Daniel Bruhl, Bruce Dern, June Squibb, Oprah Winfrey, Matthew McConaughy and Jared Leto.

In the world of animation, "Despicable Me 2", "Frozen" and "Monsters University" are cleaning up noms along with the documentaries "20 Feet From Stardom", "Blackfish" and "The Armstong Lie".

So without going into the insanely long list of how many each project has received, I will go straight to my predictions for this 2014 season...

Best Director - Since Scorsese and Allen have had numerous awards bestowed upon them throughout the years, I think it is safe to say that this year it will be a very intense horse race between Steve McQueen and David O'Russell.

Best Picture/Film - Y'all...2013 was by far the best year for cinema that I have witnessed in quite some time.  However, with some of these films, the acting was better than the actual film.  For that reason, I feel like "12 Years A Slave" should win, but since "Gravity" was the highest grossing dramatic film of 2013 and just won The People's Choice Award for Favorite Dramatic Movie it has a pretty good shot at taking home the prize.

Best Actor - Due to the stellar performances of Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bruce Dern, Robert Redford, Matthew McConaughy, Tom Hanks, Forest Whittaker, Leonardo DiCaprio and Joaquin Phoenix it is soooo incredibly hard to choose just one.  However, my guess is that if sentimentality goes with the legends -- Forest, Tom, Bruce and Robert will be duking it out.  If not, then I say it's real tight race between Ejiofor and McConaughy.

Best Actress - Seriously, they should just call this category "The Meryl" 'cause she just chews up the scenery  in every role she inhabits on-screen.  Having said that, although Meryl "should' and "deserves to take it yet again...I would suffice to say that it may very well be a fight to the finish between Cate Blanchett, Judi Dench, Emma Thompson, Oprah Winfrey and Sandra Bullock.

Best Supporting Actor - There are a multitude of great performances in this category notably by Barkhad Abdi and Jared Leto.  It's safe to say that Jared Leto totally has this category on lockdown.  His performance in "Dallas Buyers Club" is the role of a lifetime.

Best Supporting Actress - In my opinion, this is probably the toughest category of them all with stellar performances by June Squibb, Lupita N'yongo, Julia Roberts, Sally Hawkins and Jennifer Lawrence.  However, it would be a surprise if Lupita N'yongo didn't sweep this.

Much to my disappointment, neither "Fruitvale Station", director Ryan Coogler or its stars Michael B. Jordan and Octavia Spencer were recognized for their stellar work.  It's a small film that I feel got lost in the shuffle of many good films released in 2013.

Although Dane DeHaan is a BAFTA Rising Star nominee (as is Lupita N'yongo) for his role in the indie "Kill Your Darlings", he has been overlooked right along with Margo Maritndale and Julianne Nicholson in "August:  Osage County".  I was also a little salty that Allison Janney and Greg Kinnear's work in the highly touted "The Way, Way Back" wasn't recognized, but again this was a really competitive year for film.

So here are all the dates and know that I will be tweeting live for each one under my twitter handle @CaRenata.

Here we go...

January 12    THE GOLDEN GLOBES

January 16th  ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT and 1st Day of SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

January 19th  PRODUCERS GUILD AWARDS

January 25th  DIRECTORS GUILD AWARDS

February 1st  WRITERS GUILD AWARDS

February 12th BAFTA AWARDS

March 2nd      OSCARS!!!!

2013 Independent Film Festival Follow-up

Film Festival Follow-up The Telluride festival...done, Venice is wrapping up and Toronto begins while we are getting news about what is on the horizon with the AFI Festival slated to open on November 7th. All of these festivals usually gives us a sneak peek about what the Oscar race for 2014 is shaping up to look like.

Thus far, we have seen these films emerge as front-runners -- FRUITVALE STATION, Lee Daniels' THE BUTLER, BLUE JASMINE, THE WAY, WAY BACK and its stars Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Forest Whittaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo, Cate Blanchett & Allison Janney are creating a lot of buzz.

Going into the Toronto festival, major buzz is surrounding Steve McQueen's 12 YEARS OF A SLAVE, GRAVITY, AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, PARADISE, PRISONERS & SAVING MR. BANKS already making the Best Actress category overcrowded.

Rumor has it that these actresses will be lauded for their performances: Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine Sandra Bullock - Gravity Judi Dench -Philomena Marion Cotillard - The Immigrant Julia Roberts - August: Osage County Meryl Streep - August: Osage County Naomi Watts - Diana Emma Thompson - Saving Mr. Banks Oprah Winfrey - Lee Daniels' The Butler

It's looking like a real horse race thus far...

On another note films opening this week include: Adore starring Naomi Watts and Robin Wright Afternoon Delight with Kathryn Han, Juno Temple and Josh Radnor Bounty Killer starring Gary Busey, Eve and Beverly D'Angelo Hell Baby with Rob Coddry Riddick with Vin Diesel Winnie Mandela starring Jennifer Hudson and Terrence Howard.

Tags: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts

Categories: Film Reviews

Carla Renata

Hey My Fellow Movie Lovers...

A Bison, Virgo, devoted daughter, yoga and spinning enthusiasts, graduate of  the "mecca" - Howard University's School of Communications, former publicist, actress, branding influencer and "doggie mom" to an adorably smart-energetic maltese are just a few of the characteristics that make up the essence of me -- Carla Renata.

Formerly of UBNRAdio.com, where I Co-Hosted "On Air With Tony Sweet", this Fall, I will be hosting a new show for Black Hollywood Live owned by E! Correspondent Maria Menounos  and am a freelance contributor for NPR's Weekend All Things Considered.

I absolutely adore talking about all things cinema and it is my sincere hope that although not every opinion I have will or will not be embraced, know that I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to share!  Enjoy and see you on the red carpet!!!