Tag Archives: Christian Bale

I am not upset about Oscars: Mark Wahlberg

Mark Wahlberg is such a gentleman, on and off the screen.

If he is intense and understated onscreen, he is serene and modest off it. 3 of his co-stars from ‘The Fighter‘ have been nominated for Oscars in the acting category barring him. Mark Wahlberg spoke to Renuka Vyavahare on reports of being left out of the Oscar race, India, family life and passion for boxing!
Three of your co-stars have been nominated in the ‘Acting’ category of the Oscars. Do you feel left out, in spite of doing a brilliant job?
Of course not! My film is a strong contender in the Oscar race. I have no reasons to be upset. I’m a team player, personal laurels don’t matter as much as the entire film.

The Fighter has won 7 Oscar nominations. Which other film do you think as a tough competition?
I think all the films in the best film category are outstanding and are tough competition.

What made you take up ‘The Fighter’?
I like boxing and that’s why I wanted to do a boxing film since long so I thought of producing the film. Besides, it was Micky’s story, that inspired me to take up The Fighter

You’ve seen Micky Ward closely. What inspired you to make a film on his life?
Yes, I know Micky very well since long, I used to stay just 30 minutes away from his house and have seen his life unfold very closely. His hardships in life and his ability to get over his adversities and emerge as a hero was what inspired me to take up the role and the film.

You do look like a professional fighter in the film. How did you prepare yourself for the role?
I had to train myself for almost one and a half year to look and fight like a professional fighter. Micky and Dicky moved in to my house and we set up a boxing ring in my backyard, where Christian and I used to practice with Micky and Dicky. I had scenes where I had to take on Alfonso Sanchez, who was number 2 middle weight boxer in the world when we shot the movie!

You and Christian Bale had great chemistry.
Christian is like a brother. We both used to practice together and he was fun to hang around with. I think he has played the role of Dick Eklund, Micky Ward’s elder brother very well.

Any plans of visiting India?
Nothing on the cards right now but I can’t wait to visit India and would like to come as and when I get an opportunity.

Have you seen Indian films?
Yes, I have seen Lagaan and I loved it.

Are you following the Cricket World Cup?
I am not following the Cricket World Cup but I don’t mind catching up few matches if I have time on me.

Any moment in your life when you thought you were a true ‘Fighter’.
Well, there have been a lot of such moments. Life is all about facing difficulties and giving them a tough fight.

You have a huge family in the film and are still patient with each of them.
The fact that we are 9 siblings in real life and also in the film and the way this family fights against all odds and emerges as a winner was quite similar to my life and it was quite like living my own life on the celluloid.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hollywood/news-interviews/I-am-not-upset-about-Oscars-Mark-Wahlberg/articleshow/7587483.cms

Oscar Picks and Predictions: A Year of Few Surprises

It’s official — I’m clairvoyant.

Early this morning, on NBC affiliate KWQC-TV, yours truly successfully identified all 10 Best Picture nominees.

Before I get too puffed up with pride, I have to acknowledge that it was not too difficult to come up with this list, which is sort of a sad statement. Truth be told, I’d have liked to be wrong on one or two of these picks. I’d have been intrigued to see a “wild card” selection.

Perhaps this presages a year of few surprises at the Oscars, after a year of mostly lackluster movies.

I was never a fan of broadening the field of Best Picture nominees to 10 titles: at a time when many will acknowledge that fewer outstanding movies are seeing the light of day, it seems downright counterintuitive.

Although Oscar history offers plenty of examples of inferior movies getting the top prize, this field of 10 really illustrates how movies that would once have been judged solid or even just serviceable, are now, in a sort of perverse creative inflation, praised to the skies.

To my mind, the Best Picture nominees that meet the historical standard (discounting those glaring instances when Oscar gets it wrong) number five: The King’s Speech, The Social Network, 127 Hours, True Grit, and Winter’s Bone.

The other five may be wildly successful commercially (some even critically), but hardly Best Picture calibre.

Black Swan may be the most overrated of the bunch, in my view — a psycho-sexual thriller which offers only cheap thrills — though admittedly Natalie Portman executes a demanding role effectively.

The Fighter is a solid, highly diverting boxing picture, but let’s face it — no Raging Bull. Toy Story 3 is fun, but it’s a franchise that’s getting milked, with diminishing returns for the viewer.

Inception is a visually impressive but otherwise pretentious and incomprehensible sci-fi entry, while The Kids Are All Right is a smart, hip comedy — admittedly a rarity these days — but hardly in the realm of the few comedies that have taken Best Picture in the past (think 1934’s It Happened One Night or 1977’s Annie Hall.)

Some thoughts on the acting nominations:

Colin Firth should win Best Actor, and I think he will. As runner-up and potential dark horse, I would favor James Franco (his fearless turn in 127 Hours will make him a BIG star, I predict), over Jesse Eisenberg. Jeff Bridges certainly deserves the nod, but I doubt he’ll get it a second time.

For Best Actress, I vote for Annette Bening, whose heartfelt, pitch-perfect performance elevates Kids to a movie worth seeing. She will get heavy competition from Portman, who’s obviously blazingly talented. (I myself have yet to come down with the Portman bug, though I hear it’s catching.)

For Supporting Actor, I dearly hope Geoffrey Rush gets it — he underplays so beautifully next to Firth’s more showy portrayal of King George VI. Still, I think Christian Bale will likely take it for The Fighter, a role in which I thought he was miscast ( you see folks — as good as he was, I could feel him acting).

For Supporting Actress, I’m rooting hard for Melissa Leo — she did for The Fighter just what Bening did for Kids.

For Best Screenplay, I think either The King’s Speech or The Social Network will prevail, and you can bet Inception will clean up on awards relating to visual effects and sound.

And what about Best Picture? Personally, I hope it’s The King’s Speech, but I believe The Social Network will take it. It powerfully captures the Zeitgeist of our times, while Speech will inevitably strike some voters as a first-rate but somewhat dusty period drama. I do hope I’m wrong.

I’ve enjoyed being clairvoyant for this short period. Now that I’ve raised the stakes on myself, I fear I’ll be brought back down to earth very soon — because in the end, no one can totally understand the mysterious ways of Oscar.

But it sure is fun trying.

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-farr/oscar-nominations-few-surprises_b_813604.html

Random thoughts on Oscar Nomination

Is Chris Nolan the new Steven Spielberg? Inception received eight nominations, including Best Picture, but Nolan failed to receive a directing nod this morning. That is arguably the biggest surprise in the otherwise predictable batch of Oscar nominations today. Even as someone who doesn’t think it was the greatest genre entry of all-time, it IS a director’s picture through-and-through. Of course, since we now have ten Best Picture nominees and only five Best Director slots, there are arguably five other directors who might be a little annoyed this morning. I’m personally saddened (as much as one can be ‘saddened’ by stuff like this) by the omission of Debra Granik for her direction of Best Picture nominee Winter’s Bone. I know we all like the Coen Brothers, but True Grit is a pretty normal western. If True Grit is Oscar-worthy, then so was 3:10 to Yuma and Open Range. There will be much handwringing over Lisa Cholodenko not getting a Best Director nomination for The Kids Are All Right. But since I kinda hate the film, I’m not too personally annoyed by the omission. At least Mark Ruffalo pulled out a Best Supporting Actor nod out of the deal, since he was the best thing about the film (of course, Ruffalo is usually the best thing about every film he’s in).

 

The actual ten Best Picture nominees were pretty much as predicted a couple months ago (eight of the ten films made either my Best of 2010 or Overrated of 2010 lists). You have two mainstream blockbusters (Inception and Toy Story 3), two mid-summer arthouse favorites (The Kids Are All Right and Winter’s Bone), the one Oscar-bait critical darling that didn’t quite catch fire at the box office (127 Hours), the presumptive front-runner (The Social Network), and the four uber-popular, audience-pleasing bits of late-year Oscar bait (Black Swan, The Fighter, The King’s Speech, and True Grit). It’s a solid cross-section of nominees and proof that the ten-nominee gimmick is a pretty great idea. Not only did the best damn film of the year get in (Toy Story 3), but five of the ten films were released prior to the official Novemeber/December Oscar-bait season. I’m still pulling for a Pixar upset, but right now the four front runners (the films with Picture, Director, Acting, and Editing nods) are The Social Network, Black Swan, The King’s Speech, and The Fighter.

I could spend a column whining about what shouldn’t have been nominated (everything about True Grit save Halee Steinfield), and I won’t mention that I see not a single minority in any of the major nominees lists. But I will only make mention of the fact that Helen Bonham Carter, having spent the last two decades playing all manner of weird and unique characters, gets an Oscar nom for playing the cliched ‘supportive, nurturing, stand-by-your-man wife’, a character with little to do and almost no dialogue. But let’s move on to positive developments. Melissa Leo is now a two-time Oscar nominee and I can’t wait to be able to type the sentence: “Melissa Leo is an Oscar-winning actress”. Christian Bale received his first (!) Oscar nomination for The Fighter, and he’s still the front-runner (only Geoffrey Rush can beat him). Natalie Portman of course was nominated for Best Actress for Black Swan, and at this point she still seems unbeatable (barring a ‘career-award’ upset from Annette Bening).

John Hawkes pulled off a somewhat surprising (and completely pleasing) Best Supporting Actor nomination for Winter’s Bone. Best Actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence justifiably got most of the media buzz, but Hawkes’s supporting turn truly dominates the third act of the terrific little drama. Jackie Weaver snagged a Best Supporting Actress nod for Animal Kingdom, which means the DVD I have from Blockbuster is will probably be watched this evening. Javier Bardem got a somewhat surprising Best Actor nod for Best Foreign film nominee Biutiful and Michelle Williams snuck in for Blue Valentine. Nicole Kidman got a deserved nod for Rabbit Hole, as it’s nice to see people talking about her acting instead of her alleged botox treatments, and/or the shocking fact that films like Rabbit Hole don’t play like Happy Feet or Batman Forever. Whatever my issues about The Social Network (its truthfulness, its alleged cultural impact), Jesse Eisenberg gives a genuinely brilliant performance, so I’m happy he was not lost amidst the press given to director David Fincher and writer Aaron Sorkin.

The Illusionist made the cut in the Best Animated Film Category joining Toy Story 3 and How to Train Your Dragon while beating out more mainstream releases like Despicable Me and Tangled. I sincerely hope that the voting block doesn’t engage in Pixar-backlash and deny Toy Story 3 the Best Animated Film win that it so clearly deserves, but that’s certainly possible. There were few surprises in the various technical categories, although I’m somewhat happily surprised that Tron: Legacy missed out in the Best Visual category. Good on the terrific action picture Unstoppable getting a deserved Best Sound Editing nomination, and yay for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part I getting notice for its often-invisible Visual Effects and its moody Art Direction.

That’s all I have for the moment. I’ll offer my predictions for who or what will win in what categories when time permits, but that’s enough ranting for now. Who do you think got robbed and/or undeservedly nominated? Which nominations made you happiest? Feel free to check in. Oh, and full nomination list is below.

Scott Mendelson

Scource: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-mendelson/oscar-nominations-mostly-good-news_b_813620.html

%d bloggers like this: