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By midlandsmovies, Jan 15 2017 11:12AM



Midlands Movies Awards 2017


To tie in with the Oscars this year we would like to announce our plans for the online Midlands Movies 2017 Film Awards.


With so much talent in the region we hope to launch these web-based Midlands 'Oscars' as a platform to honour the local films released in the past 12 months – whether they be shorts, features, animation, documentaries and more.


We are looking for extra nominations to our own suggestions - your own film or any others' films that have struck a chord - and we hope that this could be the start of a more formal awards event in future.


The categories (mostly) parallel the Oscar categories for this inaugural Awards so please see below for clarification. With regards to shorts/features then, unless stated, films of any length will be eligible for all categories.


So please email at midlandsmovies@yahoo.com or contact us via Twitter or Facebook with your suggestions.


* Your submissions/nominations are FREE and are in addition to the choices identified by the jury

* There's no limit to the number of categories a film can be nominated in

* Deadline for submissions/nominations is MONDAY 20th FEBRUARY (one week before the Academy Awards)

* An online screener of the film is preferred

* Films must have a significant connection to the Midlands region in writing, acting, directing or location.

* There's no limitations on your film being shown in other festivals - however, we are identifying films based upon the fact that the full version of it must have been shown to the public (at a red carpet event, general release or online in any form) from Feb 2016 to Feb 2017.

* Final winners are decided by a jury made up from writers who have contributed to Midlands Movies in the past 12 months

* The winners will receive a PDF/JPEG Certificate to print


MIdlands Movies feels this is a great way to showcase the best of what was released in the region last year.


Thanks in advance and we look forward to hearing from you.


Mike Sales

Editor, Midlands Movies.


CATEGORIES


• Best Picture (feature)

• Best Picture (short)

• Actor in a Leading Role

• Actress in a Leading Role

• Actor in a Supporting Role

• Actress in a Supporting Role

• Animated Film

• Cinematography

• Costume Design

• Directing

• Documentary

• Film Editing

• Foreign Language Film (screened in the Midlands)

• Makeup and Hairstyling

• Music (Original Score)

• Music (Original Song)

• Production Design

• Sound Editing

• Sound Mixing

• Visual Effects

• Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

• Writing (Original Screenplay)

By midlandsmovies, Feb 28 2016 01:01PM

Midlands Movies Mike Oscar Predictions 2016


Every year I have a go at predicting the Oscar winners and 2016 is no different. So many good films this year that I passionately love so a pretty strong field throughout especially in the technical categories.


So, here are my predictions for tonight's show and good luck to everyone involved:


Best picture

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight


Winner: The Revenant (although I want Mad Max to win)


Best actor

Bryan Cranston - Trumbo

Matt Damon - The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant

Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl


Winner: Leo (although Cranston in with a HIGH chance)


Best actress

Cate Blanchett - Carol

Brie Larson - Room

Jennifer Lawrence - Joy

Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn


Winner: Brie Larson


Best supporting actor

Christian Bale - The Big Short

Tom Hardy - The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight

Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone - Creed


Winner: Sly Stallone (I really hope so but Rylance is CLOSE second)


Best supporting actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara - Carol

Rachel McAdams - Spotlight

Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs


Winner: Rooney Mara


Best director

Lenny Abrahamson - Room

Alejandro G Inarritu - The Revenant

Tom McCarthy - Spotlight

Adam McKay - The Big Short

George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road


Winner: Alejandro G Inarritu (but again, George Miller is the one I want to win)


Best adapted screenplay

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room


Winner: (One of the closest categories but) I’m punting on The Big Short


Best original screenplay

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton


Winner: Spotlight


Best animated film

Anomalisa

Boy and the World

Inside Out

Shaun the Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There


Winner: Inside Out (with Anomalisa outside bet)


Best foreign language film

Embrace of the Serpent - Colombia

Mustang - France

Son of Saul - Hungary

Theeb - Jordan

A War - Denmark


Winner: Son of Saul


Best animated short

Bear Story

Prologue

Sanjay's Super Team

We Can't Live without Cosmos

World of Tomorrow


Winner: World of Tomorrow


Best cinematography

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario


Winner: So close but Academy chooses The Revenant (Hateful 8 AND Mad Max outside chances)


Best costume design

Carol

Cinderella

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant


Winner: Mad Max


Best documentary feature

Amy

Cartel Land

The Look of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom


Winner: Amy


Best documentary short

Body Team 12

Chau, Beyond the Lines

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness

Last Day of Freedom


Winner: Last Day of Freedom


Best editing

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Winner: The Revenant


Best live action short

Ave Maria

Day One

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)

Shok

Stutterer


Winner: Day One


Best make-up and hair

Mad Max: Fury Road

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant


Winner: Mad Max


Best original score

Bridge of Spies

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Winner: The Hateful Eight (Morricone!)


Best original song

Earned It, The Weeknd - Fifty Shades of Grey

Manta Ray, J Ralph & Antony - Racing Extinction

Simple Song #3, Sumi Jo - Youth

Til It Happens To You, Lady Gaga - The Hunting Ground

Writing's On the Wall, Sam Smith - Spectre


Winner: Lady Gaga


Best production design

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant


Winner: Mad Max (but maybe The Martian)


Best sound editing

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Winner: The Revenant (but maybe The Martian)


Best sound mixing

Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Winner: The Revenant (love to see a bit of Force Awakens here)


Best visual effects

Ex Machina

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Winner: Mad Max


By midlandsmovies, Feb 21 2015 07:35PM

For the three years Midlands Movies has been going, I have had a go at predicting the Oscars each year and 2015 is no different. Don’t have much in the way of reasons why but here are the full list of nominations and my (MM Mike) suggested winners for the event to be held in Los Angeles on 22 February.


Best picture

Winner: Boyhood (didn’t like it but it wouldn’t be a surprise)

American Sniper

Birdman

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Selma

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash


Best director

Winner: Linklater (again, Boyhood massively overrated but a shoe in for a double win)

Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Alejandro G Inarritu, Birdman

Richard Linklater, Boyhood

Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game


Best actor

Winner: Keaton (thought Redmayne was better but Keaton’s comeback performance is more Oscar-like)

Steve Carell, Foxcatcher

Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game

Michael Keaton, Birdman

Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything


Best actress

Winner: Julianne Moore

Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl

Reese Witherspoon, Wild


Best supporting actor

Winner: J K Simmons

Robert Duvall, The Judge

Ethan Hawke, Boyhood

Edward Norton, Birdman

Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher

JK Simmons, Whiplash


Best supporting actress

Winner: Patricia Arquette (the only highlight in a boring film)

Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Laura Dern, Wild

Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game

Emma Stone, Birdman

Meryl Streep, Into the Woods


Best adapted screenplay

Winner: The Theory of Everything

American Sniper

The Imitation Game

Inherent Vice

The Theory of Everything

Whiplash


Best original screenplay

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Birdman

Boyhood

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Nightcrawler


Best animated feature

Winner: How to Train Your Dragon 2

Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Song of the Sea

The Tale of Princess Kaguya


Best animated short

Winner: The Dam Keeper

The Bigger Picture

The Dam Keeper

Feast

Me and My Moulton

A Single Life


Best cinematography

Winner: Birdman

Birdman

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ida

Mr Turner

Unbroken


Best costume design

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Inherent Vice

Into the Woods

Maleficent

Mr Turner


Best documentary feature

Winner: CitizenFour

CitizenFour

Finding Vivian Maier

Last Days in Vietnam

The Salt of the Earth

Virunga


Best documentary short

Winner: Joanna

Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Joanna

Our Curse

The Reaper

White Earth


Best film editing

Winner: Boyhood

American Sniper

Boyhood

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Whiplash


Best foreign language film

Winner: Ida

Ida (Poland)

Leviathan (Russia)

Tangerines (Estonia)

Timbuktu (Mauritania)

Wild Tales (Argentina)


Best live action short

Winner: Parvaneh

Aya

Boogaloo and Graham

Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak)

Parvaneh

The Phone Call


Best make-up & hairstyling

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Foxcatcher

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Guardians of the Galaxy


Best music

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel/Interstellar (my only split choice)

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Interstellar

Mr Turner

The Theory of Everything


Best production design

Winner: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Interstellar

Into the Woods

Mr Turner


Best song

Winner: Glory (the obligatory consolation prize)

'Everything is Awesome', The Lego Movie

'Glory', Selma

'Grateful', Beyond the Lights

'I'm Not Gonna Miss You', Glen Campbell… I'll Be Me

'Lost Stars', Begin Again


Best sound editing

Winner: American Sniper

American Sniper

Birdman

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Interstellar

Unbroken


Best sound mixing

Winner: Whiplash

American Sniper

Birdman

Interstellar

Unbroken

Whiplash


Best visual effects

Winner: Interstellar

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Guardians of the Galaxy

Interstellar

X-Men: Days of Future Past

By midlandsmovies, Jan 3 2015 10:32AM

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2015) Dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu


After the critically lauded Boyhood (which I didn’t like) I entered the critically lauded Birdman with some trepidation but within just a few minutes I felt that I was watching something genuinely special. We begin by following an out-of-the-limelight actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) who is attempting to put on a Broadway play after 20 years of being known as the star of a Hollywood superhero franchise called Birdman. After an accident knocks out his underperforming co-star, Keaton is recommended to use the actor Mike Shiner (Edward Norton) who joins the ensemble, yet comes into conflict with all involved especially Keaton himself. As Riggan prepares for the preview shows, he is also seen battling with his relationships including the ever-watchable Emma Stone playing the “hot mess” of a daughter and with Andrea Risenborough (seen in the sci-fi Oblivion) as Keaton’s possibly pregnant girlfriend. The acting is top-notch throughout with brilliant group dynamics and a cast that also includes Naomi Watts as a frustrated actress and Amy Ryan as his ex-wife.


Although Edward Norton will be rightly regarded as playing a great supporting performance the real surprise here is Zach Galifianakis as Keaton’s producer trying to help his client hold it all together. Zach to me is a cinematic jinx for me, playing the same unlikeable idiot in each film but here I felt he was much more suited to the straight man role as the Producer trying to keep it all together emotionally and financially. Although flashes of his comedy were here, it was all part of the story and played with a much lighter touch. The film includes both laugh out loud moments and tenderly played family scenes as well as metaphorical scenes of the metaphysical – as Keaton is shown floating and using telekinesis – which are brilliantly used when he trashes his dressing room and fights his “alter ego”.


You could view the movie as a narrative on Hollywood versus Theatre – there’s plenty of heavy handed moments involving critics as well as YouTube and social media commentary – or as a treatise on getting old and feeling relevant but it’s the private moments and Keaton’s subtle performance that stick with you most. One technical aspect of the film which never took me out of the movie (unlike Boyhood’s unique conceit) was that the film ‘appears’ to be one shot. That’s right, there are no obvious cuts at all in the film– digital trickery plus clever pans like Hitchcock’s ‘Rope’ cover the breaks – but it works brilliantly as the camera floats around the actors, up the side of buildings and through windows whilst also using different devices to show the passing of time.


An enigmatic ending open to interpretation is fitting for a film that balances both sides of someone’s self-image and the audience can bring their own views on the story at its conclusion. With a unique style, a group of actors playing to their strengths, a well-played out narrative and an interesting score (by jazz drummer Antonio Sanchez) Birdman is a great achievement and one I recommend you checking out before a no-doubt successful night at the 2014 Oscars.


9/10 Midlands Movies Mike

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