Dave Vescio is a criminal turned actor who, since leaving prison, has gone on to work alongside the likes of Eddie Redmayne, Chloe Grace Moretz and Kate Beckinsale. Dave has mastered the art of playing the villain, but he’s actually a really nice guy, and here’s the proof.
Time to get excited everyone! The best actor in the world (unofficially), Leonardo DiCaprio, and the best director in the world (also unofficial), Martin Scorsese, are teaming up once again. Great things always happen when these two come together on a project – ‘The Wolf Of Wall Street’ springs to mind – and this time around, we could maybe, possibly, finally see that Academy Award fall into Leo’s arms.
We know you hear that every time Leo signs up for a new role, but we are hopeful that this will be his best shot in a while. The untitled project, adapted from Erik Larson’s 2003 non-fiction book ‘The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic and Madness at the Fair That Changed America’ (we assume they will condense that title considerably for the film), will tell the story of 19th century serial killer Dr HH Holmes. The malevolent doctor is believed to have killed anywhere between 27 and 200 patients, by various gruesome methods, which as horrible a topic as this may be, sounds just the ticket for a dark, gritty, Oscar-winning performance. Here’s hoping!
Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes
What a night! What a long night! From this side of the pond, watching The Academy Awards live was hard work, but ultimately a satisfying and worthwhile experience. The 87th annual awards show was hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, but I have a feeling we may have witnessed his swansong appearance as the presenter of the show. Aside from a theatrical, energetic and rather funny opening gambit, Patrick Harris quickly sunk into an apparent depression, barely even cracking a smile (even at his own jokes).
On a positive note, we were treated to some truly great acceptance speeches, from Patricia Arquette’s rousing feminist speech, to Graham Moore’s emotionally charged display, culminating in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s modest show of gratitude. The highlight however, has to be John Legend and Common, with their powerful, moving rendition of their track ‘Glory’, which won the award for Best Song. The performance, swiftly followed by the award, drew tears and a standing ovation from the crowd, with the emotive connotations linking the song to the story of ‘Selma’ and Martin Luther King’s drive for racial equality.
All of the eight nominees in the Best Picture award managed to get their hands on at least one of the little, gold statuettes, but it was ‘Birdman’ who stole the show with wins in the major categories. ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ swept the board for design-oriented categories, whilst ‘Whiplash’ also enjoyed three victories. Richard Linklater will probably be the most disappointed, with many fans taking to social media to vent their anger and disbelief at The Academy’s oversight.
Here’s how the night unfolded:
Lupita Nyongo takes to the stage to present the award for Actor In A Supporting Role. This category was pretty much sewn up weeks ago, by J K Simmons for his role in ‘Whiplash’ and there were no surprises this time.
A quick-fire double for ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ as they check in with the awards for Achievement In Costume Design, and Achievement In Hair & Make-Up. A lot of people saying ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ should have took the latter.
Nicole Kidman and Chiwetel Ejiofor present the award for Best Foreign Language Film to Polish flick ‘Ida’. Director Pawel Pawlikowski ignores the get-off-the-stage-now music and completes his rather long acceptance speech.
The award for Best Live Action Short goes to ‘The Phone Call’ whilst Best Documentary Short is given to ‘Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1’. More of those long acceptance speeches.
Sienna Miller and Captain America present the awards in the sound category. Sound Mixing goes to team ‘Whiplash’ and Sound Editing to ‘American Sniper’. I feel Sienna Miller may have rigged the votes on that one.
Last year’s winner of the Supporting Actor award, Jared Leto takes to the stage, head to toe in baby blue, to present the award for Actress In A Supporting Role. Another relatively predictable win as Patricia Arquette takes home the award, for her role in ‘Boyhood.
The award for Achievements In Visual Effects goes to ‘Interstellar’, rightly so. Disney’s ‘Feast’ scoops the award for Animated Short, whilst a stunning Zoe Saldana and Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock present the Oscar for Animated Feature Film to ‘Big Hero 6’.
‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ makes it a hattrick of wins, taking the award for Achievements In Production Design. Swooping down to grab the award for Cinematography, with a strong indication that more are to follow, ‘Birdman’.
A big win for ‘Whiplash’, taking the award for Achievement In Film Editing, is preceded by the ever-emotional In Memoriam montage. A pair snubbed by The Academy this year, Jennifer Aniston and David Oyelowo step up to present the award for Documentary Feature to ‘Citizen Four’. This is all soon forgotten as John Legend and Common raise the roof with their performance of ‘Glory’, which takes the award for Best Song soon after. Common poetically describes Selma Bridge, “this bridge was built with hope, welded with compassion and elevated with love for all human beings”. A truly powerful performance and speech which is worth watching.
The last of the relatively minor categories, the award for Best Original Score goes to, you guessed it, ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’. Screenplay appreciation time, with ‘Birdman’ taking the award for Original Screenplay and ‘The Imitation Game’ writer, Graham Moore, recognised for his Adapted Screenplay.
Time for the big four. Richard Linklater took 12 years to create his epic ‘Boyhood’, but that counts for nothing apparently. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu steals the show again, taking the award for Best Director and claiming to be wearing Michael Keaton’s “tighty whiteys”.
No such surprises in the category of Best Actor In A Leading Role and Best Female In A Leading Role, with Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore picking up the awards we all knew they deserved. Last but by no means least, the big one, the award for Best Picture. Before the big night I had ‘Boyhood’ down to take this one, but as the night went on I think we all realised that it was, of course, going to be ‘Birdman’ and Inarritu who would scoop the number one prize.
Written by Jakob Lewis Barnes
And so concludes our 8-part featurette, the Oscars 2015 close-ups. The big night is this Sunday and personally, I am extremely excited for what is set to be an intensely tight race for numerous awards, none more so than the Best Picture category. Just about every one of the eight films nominated for the award have been touted as the ‘hot favourite’ at some point, and rightly so, with such a superb range of films this year. Last but not least for our little focus, is ‘The Theory Of Everything’, the dramatic-biopic based on the memoirs of Jane Hawking, the ex-wife of British physicist Stephen Hawking. I had the pleasure of watching this film just a couple of nights ago and will be reviewing ‘The Theory Of Everything’ later in the week. For now, click here to read more about the film.
Our penultimate close-up zones in on Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s dark, comedic-drama ‘Birdman’. Starring Michael Keaton, this unique film has garnered critical acclaim and numerous, prestigious awards in the run-up to the Academy Awards, making it one of the strong favourites to win in the Best Picture category. Read Entertainment Weekly’s focus on ‘Birdman’ here and read the JumpCut UK review of ‘Birdman’ here.
With just 12 days to go until the Oscars 2015 ceremony, we had better get a move on with our feature on the eight films nominated for the Best Picture category. Film six is Damien Chazelle’s drama, ‘Whiplash’, the story of a young drummer and his ruthless mentor. As well as being up for the Best Picture, J.K. Simmons is currently odds-on favourite to scoop the award for Best Supporting Actor, for his portrayal of the obsessive instructor. Read an interview with Simmons here.
Nearly there now guys! 18 days to go until the big night, and here is a look at one of the forerunners for the Best Picture award, Wes Anderson’s ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’. With an endless all star cast and quirky, odd narrative, this critically acclaimed wonderland film has received praise and countless awards since its release and is a hot favourite to scoop at the Oscars. Read the interview with director Wes Anderson here.
As we head into February, let’s get back on with the Oscar buzz. Next up in the spotlight is ‘The Imitation Game’ and we are halfway through the Best Picture nominations now. Directed by Morten Tyldum and starring Benedict Cumberbatch, this is the story of Alan Turing, the man who cracked the enigma code and ended World War II. Benedict Cumberbatch talks about the role here.
This weekend, at the SAG and the Producer’s Guild Awards, the world of film awaited results which would normally indicate which film would be the frontrunner for Best Picture at The Oscars next month. But Alejandro Innaritu’s ‘Birdman’ has caused chaos by pipping the big favourite ‘Boyhood’, to clean up at this weekend’s awards ceremonies. Read more about how ‘Birdman’ took control of the Oscar race here.