Synopsis: Two hopeful new arrivals at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel for the Elderly and Beautiful quickly learn that there is only a single room left to rent.
Release Date: March 6, 2015
Thoughts: A surprise hit that built dynamic staying power thanks to good word of mouth when released in early summer of 2012, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was a pleasant bit of fluff that benefited greatly from its starry cast of over the hill talent. In an interesting move, a sequel has been constructed that reunites the cast, writer, and director of the original in hopes that audiences will want to check-in again. I wasn’t knocked out by the first film but in all honesty by the time I saw it the hype machine was in full swing so I’m chalking my middle of the road feelings toward it up to overly lofty expectations. Based on the trailer for the sequel, it’s more of the same in store but when you have a cast featuring Judi Dench (Skyfall), Maggie Smith (Quartet), Richard Gere (American Gigolo), and Bill Nighy (About Time) I have little reservation about making a, uh, reservation.
Forget Thanksgiving and Christmas, we are now officially in my favorite holiday season…Awards Season. This Sunday are the Golden Globe Awards and you can click HEREfor a full listing of nominees. I enjoy the Golden Globes for what they are…the slightly tipsy foreign exchange student to the Oscars. A few weeks later on January 27th the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards are given out and these are enjoyable because they are only given for performance categories and are voted on by the true peers of the nominees/winners. That’s true somewhat for the Oscars but there’s something about the SAG Awards that make them feel like a valued win and not a popularity contest. The day before the Oscars are the Spirit Awards given out to independent films from the past year. If you’ve never watched these awards I highly encourage it…they are very much like the films they celebrate…independent and rough around the edges.
All of these are merely appetizers for the Academy Awards which will be given out on February 24, 2013. Sure to be a lavish affair (even if they are being hosted by the mostly funny but ego-centric Seth McFarlane, Ted), I’ve yet to miss an Academy Awards telecast or the live announcement of the official nominees.
Before the nominations are announced at 7:38 am tomorrow morning, let me go out on a limb and give my predictions as to what is going to be up for major awards and who is going to wake up an Oscar nominee.
Ever since the field was changed from 5 nominees to a possible 10, this one is always hard to predict…so let me start with five nominees and then go up from there….
Close Calls – While The Master was a huge buzz film before it was released, its actual reception was so chilly I’m not sure it will earn a place on the list.
If there’s any justice…Skyfall will be the first James Bond film to be nominated for Best Picture. One of the best films of the year and most definitely the best Bond film ever produced, this was a full serving of entertainment with more to it than just cool cars and spy adventures.
Close Calls – Again, The Master is popping up as a close call…but potential Best Actor nominee Joaquin Phoenix is such a puzzle in and of himself, he may have hurt his chances at a nomination by starring in an equally puzzling film.
If there’s any justice… Poor Richard Gere…he just can’t catch a break. Though he could possibly unseat Jackman, his work in Arbitage probably will go un-nominated.
Close Calls – Helen Mirren is also being mentioned in this category…and while she was wonderful in Hitchcockthe film itself wasn’t well liked. I think there are enough women who did great work in better films that should wind up with a nomination.
If there’s any justice… PLEASE let Quvenzhane Wallis be nominated! If anyone should go from this list it’s Watts…I’ve heard her film is strong as is her performance but let’s have the youngest ever nominee (Wallis) up against the oldest ever nominee (Emmanuelle Riva, Amour)
Close Calls – Leonardo DiCaprio may miss the boat on this, his work in Django Unchained was better than his last five films but he’s in good company with his co-stars Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson…both of whom could wind up here. Bardem might be the one to miss the mark if DiCaprio love fills the hearts of voters…but I wouldn’t count out Bardem’s recent surge of support.
If there’s any justice… Tom Cruise would get some love for putting it all out there in Rock of Ages. Yes, the film was a total mess but his performance is still one of the most memorable (in a good way) for me at the end of the year. It’s never going to happen but I had to go on record saying he deserves it.
Close Calls – I haven’t seen The Paperboy but boy is Nicole Kidman getting surprising recognition for her steamy work. Though it came and went pretty fast, Kidman may just pop up here, replacing Adams or Smith.
If there’s any justice… the Supporting categories are always where Oscar tends to throw a few nice curveballs so here’s hoping that Brit Kelly Reilly scores her first nomination for her haunting work alongside Denzel Washington in Flight. Director Robert Zemeckis could have cast any Hollywood female for the role but he made a killer choice by going with Reilly.