The Academy Awards 2013: all the pictures!

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior Haute Couture

Jessica Chastain in Armani

Best Actress Jennifer Lawrence: every inch the superstar

Amy Adams in Oscar De Lorenta

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones

Bradley Cooper and his beautiful mum Gloria 

Naomi Watts 

Reece Witherspoon in Louis Vuitton

Silver Linings Playbook: Jen and Brad

Eddie Redmayne

Meryl Streep and Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis

Technically the best actors in Hollywood this moment
L-R Daniel Day-Lewis, Jennifer Lawrence, Anne Hathaway, Christopher Waltz
The night's big winners 

Stunning medley from the cast of Les Miserables 

Love young dream: Cosette and Marius aka Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne  

Best Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway

The greatest actor of our time: Daniel Day-Lewis 

Amanda Seyfried looking fierce in Alexander McQueen 

Academy Awards 2013: The Winners

Best Picture: Argo

Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

Supporting Actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables
Life of Pi 

Directing: Ang Lee, Life of Pi

Foreign Language Film: Amour, Austria

Adapted Screenplay: Chris Terrio, Argo

Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

Animated Feature Film: Brave

Production Design: Lincoln Django Unchained

Cinematography: Life of Pi

Sound Mixing: Les Miserables

Sound Editing: Life of Pi, Skyfall (tie)

Original Score: Life of Pi, Mychael Danna

Original Song: Skyfall from Skyfall, Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth

Costume: Anna Karenina
Silver Linings Playbook

Documentary Feature: Searching for Sugar Man

Documentary (short subject): Inocente

Film Editing: Argo

Makeup and Hairstyling: Les Miserables

Animated Short Film: Paperman

Live Action Short Film: Curfew

Visual Effects: Life of Pi

Have your say: was your favourite robbed? Comment you opinion of this year's Academy Awards below, I'd genuinely love to hear!

Amateur Reviews' Film Q&A

Amateur Reviews' FILM Q&A

Thought all us movie fanatics could start something a bit like that Liebster Blog Awards tag that went round a few months ago. Us film buffs seem to like rating things and ordering lists so this could be fun and interesting to read other blogs’ responses.
Unlike Liebster there shall be no rules!

-          Answer some, all or non of the questions
-          Feel free to add any you’d like answered by fellow bloggers
-          Pass them onto whoever or no one

1. Top 5 Movies:
2. Top 5 Directors:
3. Top 5 Actors:
4. Top 5 Actresses:
5. Favourite Fictional Character:
6. Favourite Adaptation:
7. Favourite Musical: 
8. First R18 Film You Watched:
9. Your Best Experience Going To The Movies:
10. A Guilty Pleasure:
11. An Overrated Movie:
12. An Underrated Movie:
13. A Movie That Is Worse Than The Book:
14. A Kid’s Movie You Always Watch:
15. A Movie From Your Favourite Director Which You Didn’t Like:
16. A Film You’re Expecting Excitedly:

Here we go... 

1.       Top 5 Movies: taking a brief glance at my DVD shelves, this shall be eclectic
-          Inception
-          The Social Network
-          Inglourious Basterds
-          Dead Poets Society
-          A Single Man

2.       Top 5 Directors:
- Christopher Nolan
- Woody Allen
- Danny Boyle
- Sam Mendes
- Quentin Tarantino
Pains me to leave out Clint Eastwood, Tom Hooper, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese…

3.       Top 5 Actors:
-          Tom Hardy
-          Daniel Day-Lewis
-          Tom Hanks
-          Leonardo DiCaprio
-          Michael Fassbender

4.       Top 5 Actresses:
- Rooney Mara
- Jessica Chastain
- Charlize Theron
- Marion Cotillard
- Grace Kelly (mainly for Hitchcock’s Rear Window)

5.       Favourite Fictional Character : This is a bit difficult! Lisbeth Salander perhaps...

6.       Favourite Adaptation: There Will Be Blood from the novel Oil

7.       Favourite Musical: Les Miserables is stunning for the songs. Nine is equally stunning for Italy and the absolutely stellar cast.

8.       First R18 Film You Watched: I want to say Fight Club but I think it was American Beauty… Neither of which are that bad in comparison to today’s ones, and are certainly not gratuitous.

9.       Your Best Experience Going To The Movies: Definitely Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy from a couple of years ago. Never have I been in a theatre and felt people concentrating so intensely. It’s like the cogs were literally turning.

10.   A Guilty Pleasure: where do I begin? Bond films? Superhero flicks? Awful comedies? Die Another Day, Thor and Horrible Bosses are not films I usually profess my admiration for. Oh and National Treasure 1&2…

11.   An Overrated Movie: Sorry Martin Scorsese… Hugo! Not sure why I didn’t rate that as much as everyone else but it was a bit long winded and nothing happened.

12.   An Underrated Movie: Affleck’s early stuff. Argo’s is incredible, but Gone Baby Gone and The Town especially are fantastic.

13.   A Movie That Is Worse Than The Book: The latest On The Road picture has got nothing on Jack Kerouac’s perfect novel. And I have it on good authority that Sam and Garrett were nothing like Sal and Dean in real life.

14.   A Kids Movie You Always Watch: Not sure about always but no Christmas is complete without The Polar Express and The Grinch.

15.   A Movie From A Director Which You Didn’t Like: Woody Allen’s You Will  Meet A Tall Dark Stranger. I’m sorry but Paris got the fantastical Midnight In Paris, Barca got the searing Vicky Cristina Barcelona and London got You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger; disappointed to say the least.

16.   A Film You’re Expecting Excitedly: Kill Your Darlings undoubtedly. If you have followed Amateur Reviews for a bit you know what a raging Beat Freak I am. Anything Beat Generation related and I’m on it. Jack Kerouac, Lucien Carr, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg will all be reincarnated in this movie and it looks amazing. Perfection hopefully.

I nominate:

BAFTA 2013 Winners

Every aspect of the industry was celebrated last night: the initial seed of an idea, the classic works of literature that inspire screenplays, the great people who are worthy of endless portrayals, the wild thoughts that ignite these movies. The technicality of filming, the original shots, the page turning scripts, the costumes, the sweeping scores and soundtracks. Actors; people who breath life into concepts, who enact words on a page into a visceral and tangible reality, who bring us laughter, fear, tears and entertainment. Press junkets, premieres, the spectacle of trips to the cinema, opening night anticipation. Then awards season buzz which eventually leads to these tremendous shows where the story tellers of this world are celebrated and decorated. Films have the power to change lives, brighten days, distract you from the mundane, remind you it's not that bad, help you to imagine, to feel, to dream. 

Hopefully, after last night's show, this great art form has inspired many more future directors, writers, actors...

Scroll down for the winners list and some pictures of the stars with their awards. Bet the Academy are feeling a bit red faced for snubbing Argo now...

Best FilmArgo

DirectorBen Affleck (Argo)

Leading ActorDaniel Day-Lewis (Lincoln)

Leading Actress
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour)

Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained)

Supporting Actress
Anne Hathaway (Les Miserables)
Bafta Fellowship
Sir Alan Parker

THE EE Rising Star Award (voted for by the public)Juno Temple

Outstanding British Contribution to CinemaTessa Ross

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or ProducerBart Layton, Dimitri Doganis (The Imposter)

Film Not in the English Language

DocumentarySearching For Sugar Man

Outstanding British Film Skyfall

Animated Film Brave

Original Screenplay Django Unchained (Quentin Tarantino)

Original Music Skyfall (Thomas Newman)

Cinematography Life Of Pi (Claudio Miranda)

Editing Argo (William Goldenberg)

Costume Design Anna Karenina (Jacqueline Durran)

Make-up and Hair Les Miserables (Lisa Westcott)

Sound Les Miserables

Short Animation The Making Of Longbird

Short Film Swimmer

Adapted ScreenplayDavid O Russell (Silver Linings Playbook)

Production Design
Les Miserables (Eve Stewart, Anna Lynch-Robinson)

Special Visual Effects
Life Of Pi

BAFTA Red Carpet 2013

Fear not this post will be padded out with even more glamorous pictures when they surface! Expect Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Hugh Jackman, George Clooney, Ben Affleck and many more.

The lovely Jennifer Garner

Certainly not Miserable! Samantha Barks

The stunning Jennifer Lawrence

Jennifer Lawrence in Dior 

Rising Star Juno Temple in Stella McCartney 

Damien Lewis and Helen McCrory 

The legend herself: Dame Judi Dench 

Sally Field smiling through the bitter cold 

Anne Hathaway in studded Burberry

The beautiful Amy Adams in Elie Saab 

Jessica Chastain

Marion Cotillard looking chilly as the snow fell

Director and star of Argo, Ben Affleck 

Red Carpet vet: George Clooney 

George and Ben 

Man of the hour: Mr Daniel Day Lewis 

Django Unchained - Review




Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx and Christoph Waltz

In 1858, bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz frees a slave named Django to help him track down three outlaw brothers. The pair partner up, then conspire to rescue Django’s wife Broomhilda from a plantation owner.

What’s ironically refreshing about a Tarantino film is that for all the time he is reprimanded for pushing boundaries in terms of his subject matters, his filming style is oddly conservative. There are no special effects, no IMAX and certainly no 3D. Django Unchained is another traditional Tarantino classic.

The film straddles a variety of genres. What is shopped as a Western appears to be not quite that, and the mythic quest itself  is akin to a bloody fairytale; very sweet and coy to a point. This is the classic heist to save the girl, and if you’re not a fan of Tarantino’s usual chapters and non linear sequences, Django Unchained is electrifying as it flows directly without being encumbered by multiple perspectives.

One of the main draw backs is that our hero of the hour, Django is bizarrely unmemorable and lacking in some character in comparison to the beefy and gaudy roles we expect from Tarantino. Leonardo DiCaprio’s Calvin Candie, on the other hand, is the plantation owner who you will love-to-hate. He plays it to the ground; playful flamboyance with a sinister edge. It’s rare to see DiCaprio play such a pompous and peculiar role and proves once again that this man can act (contrary to what the Academy seems to think). His presence is always accompanied by an ominous air of violence; most evident in the dinner table standoff which is Django’s equivalent to that death trap rendezvous in the basement of Inglourious Basterds. And that’s another thing, with Christoph Waltz aboard the project, it’s hard not to compare this to Inglourious, which quite frankly is better.

Django could have run a lot faster without damaging the end product, because in truth, the story didn’t demand a screenplay that long. Nonetheless, Django Unchained validates once more that Quentin Tarantino is a true visionary and when he retires from film making, it will be a dark day for the world over because films as funny yet poignant as this will be missed.

Rating: 6.5

Lincoln - Review




Directed by Steven Spielberg

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

It has been far too long since the last Amateur Review! Last week was taken up with the sights and sounds of Paris and just generally viewing a lot of films (and not reviewing). It’s vain to assume the posts have been missed however it seems like a necessary formality to apologise for this absence, especially in the middle of awards season! Let’s start with Lincoln.

As the Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield and as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves. Lincoln is the striking account of the president’s plight to pass the 13th amendment in the House of Representatives which would render slavery outlawed.

On paper, this looks like a classic picture. One of America’s most interesting historical figures, a whole host of the industry’s finest actors and Spielberg at the helm. Yet even with this knowledge, Lincoln surpasses expectation still.

For such a rich period of American history with so many colossal themes it would be far too easy for Lincoln to become the ‘greatest hits of one of America’s best’. A climax of a movie involving bearded men in the House of Representatives voting on an amendment is not typically thrilling for today’s blockbuster fans, but it really is, even though the outcome of the vote is known to most. With that said, as this is such an epic story with so many characters, sometimes the odd plot thread is lost in the massiveness of it all (yes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, you were partially underwritten.)  

Daniel Day-Lewis was Lincoln, flawless and utterly mesmerising. It is a hugely internal performance, a man of steel with a surprising sense of humour and the proclivity to tell some of the best tales. The physicality of this historic great is staggering. All 6”4, with his stiff, gangly gait; imposing in a non menacing kind of way. Sometimes stooping in shadows showing him as a fragile and contingent man; other times stoically illuminated by light giving us an indication of the gritty luminary he was to be remembered as.

In a room filled with so many strong politicians of the day, Lincoln could command a room. Similarly, on a set of so many true and iconic actors, Day-Lewis has that presence and steals every single scene even with his tinny, softly spoken voice. It’s hard to pinpoint the strongest element of the movie: the stunning art direction, the clever script, the impeccable character acting or the immense directorial restraint. If the Academy doesn’t take to any of the aforementioned aspects; they really are a fussy lot.

Rating: 7.5