We are going to be covering the Oscars in full here on Nanu over the next few weeks, including thoughts on all the big categories and an Oscar live blog on the night itself. Here are the big nominations: Best film
- Beasts Of The Southern Wild
- Django Unchained
- Les Miserables
- Life Of Pi
- Silver Linings Playbook
- Zero Dark Thirty
- Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
- Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
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Riva – Amour
- Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
- Naomi Watts – The Impossible
- Daniel Day Lewis – Lincoln
- Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
- Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
- Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
- Denzel Washington – Flight
- Michael Haneke – Amour
- Ang Lee – Life of Pi
- David O Russell – Silver Linings Playbook
- Steven Spielberg – Lincoln
- Benh Zeitlin – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best supporting actor
- Alan Arkin – Argo
- Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
- Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
- Christoph Waltz – Django Unchained
- Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master
Best supporting actress
- Amy Adams – The
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- Sally Field – Lincoln
- Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
- Helen Hunt – The Sessions
- Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook
Best foreign film
- War witch
- A Royal Affair
Well Bond at 50 is as exciting as Bond has ever been, with Sam Mendes tackling the major characters in a way that hasn't ever been attempted in the on screen franchise. 2012 was a pretty big year for blockbusters with the Avengers tying together marvel films stretching back to Iron Man and blowing every nerds mind and load. I also had my first real IMAX experience with the fun and interesting if a bit early reboot of the Spider-Man series (better than 2001 Spider-Man, not as good as Spider-Man 2 and streets ahead of Spider-Man 3). Sadly I fund Dark Knight Rises dissapointing but after re watching it I realise that maybe its my own high standards for Nolan that let the film down (it is still slow and long). Out of all that however the best film I saw at the cinema this year was Jaws at the Cameo and the best film I saw at the cinema that was released this year was the brilliant Skyfall.
Given that I have seen a grand total of five new film releases this year, I am hardly a qualified film buff – but I’ll give it a go. In no particular order, those films were: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (cringe-inducing); Ted (awful); The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! (mildly entertaining); Last Shop Standing (fascinating but far too short documentary on the rise and fall of the UK’s record shops) and, my film of the year choice: Skyfall. Nanu contributors, including myself, gave Skyfall the once over here: http://nanu-nanu.com/nanu-contributors-review-skyfall/ and all I said there still stands.
Importantly, however, I’m still interested. In mid-December, months after its release, I found myself trawling the internet for interviews with the film’s stars and creators, desperate to find out more about their characters and the ideas behind the plot development. This desire for a fuller understanding and an even greater depth of character knowledge speaks wonders about how Skyfall truly is a departure from Bond films of the past – there’s a lot more to modern Bond than misogyny and gadgets.
(And, let’s be honest, I still can’t get the wonderfully homoerotic scene between Bond and Javier Bardem’s villain, Silva, out of my head…)
Moonrise Kingdom or Looper
This year has been unexpectedly good for Hollywood. With blockbusters like The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall being particular highlights of quality as well as the usual popcorn fair. Many of the films at the Edinburgh International Film Festival were also noteworthy. MNL 143 was my personal highlight from the EIFF. However my choice was made for me in February with the release of Cabin in the Woods. Not being the biggest horror fan in the world I was not expecting to enjoy this meta-horror, but Drew Goddard surprised with help from nerd god Joss Whedon. It was my love for Whedon's television work that drew me to this film but everything about this was cinematic while still very much keeping the charm of that previous work. Wanting to buy a ticket to see the film again as soon as you have left the screen is a rare feeling.
There has to be something pretty special about a film for it to warrant me paying to see it twice at the cinema. I am a student, after all. I first saw Bart Layton’s stranger than fiction (cliché, but true) documentary, ‘The Imposter’ at its UK premier at this year’s Edinburgh Film Festival. After allowing myself to mull over what
I had seen for a couple of months, I just had to go and see it again on its general release.
The film is one part documentary, one part intense thriller, although at times it is hard to believe that there is any trace of reality in it whatsoever. The film documents the strange case of the disappearance of a 13 year old boy in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later the missing boy’s family receive a phone call to say that their missing son has been found…in Spain. Overjoyed to have found their missing child, the family welcome their son home with open arms. However, there is something strange about their newly-returned son, not least that his eye and hair colour have miraculously changed and that he now speaks with a French accent. Their son is not the sixteen year old boy they believe him to be, but Frédéric Bourdin, a twenty three year old French con-artist. Bourdin manages to fool not only the boy’s own family, but US officials and police in both the US and in Spain.
An incredible story wonderfully shot, The Imposter was my cinema highlight of 2012
After a glorious day, and an even more delightful month, boxing day has returned. This is the only hangover no one complains about – except for those unhappy that Christmas is over. Now perhaps you have to indulge some extraneous family – and for some this becomes a war of attrition. Whether you are at home, and hoping to catch a classic, or want something to reflect your inner experience, my recommendation for today is…
The Great Escape (1963)
John Sturges, 172 mins
This is the pinnacle of bank holiday movies. Steve McQueen (not that Steve McQueen, this Steve McQueen) leads the resistance in a prisoner of war camp. If you are a Brit you know this film like the back of your hand. Oh god, the end. I’ve just remembered the ending. But my, isn’t this a long one add in the inevitable adverts and you’ll need to plan for a day’s inactivity!
If this isn’t on – which rumours suggest it isn’t – then maybe try to hunt down…
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Billy Wilder, 120 mins
Less of a classic this side of the Atlantic, the american Prisoner of War equivalent is a story
that has christmas and war at its centre. Subterfuge and espionage add tension to the film in an enjoyable war film.
Alternative to this, stick on whatever Santa left in your stocking. There are no fucking rules any more, why are you even here? Go Fucking Home! Stop reading this right now – if you are reading this then you are to blame. I’m not even writing this – I wrote this weeks ago and set it to auto-publish on boxing day, so you are doing yourself no favours by reading this.
Seriously, fuck the fuck off and go and enjoy your family. Jesus (literally).
Merry Christmas one and all!
You”ve made it here at last. Have you opened your presents yet? Has santa been? are you at home? are you sitting comfortably? Are you drunk? Tired? Full? Drowsy?
I DONT CARE. The doctor prescribes this…
It”s A Wonderful Life (1946)
Frank Capra, 130 mins
There is no two ways about it, this is the film to end all Christmas films, with James Stewart taking the lead as our suicidal protagonist. It”s a long, dark, bleak film and I make no apologies for this – nothing will make you feel better about yourself and every gluttonous sin you have achieved today alone than watching this film. More to the point, many of you reading this no doubt will not have seen this masterpiece, and would have instead watched some other buntless brokenfist of a film (n.b. these are not real words so don”t look em up). This is a great film that is a classic for good reason, and like Cassablanca and those that meet similar fates, deserve your time at least this once, and then again every year. Please watch this film, and bring you family round the screen to share in the glory that is It”s a wonderful life…
But if you can”t do that for some reason, then I have begrudgingly permitted an alternative film for today which is…
Shrek The Halls (2007)
Gary Trousdale, 21 mins
If you aren”t going to watch it”s a wonderful life, then you want something so totally the other side of things and Shrek the halls is this. Where It”s a wonderful life has good performances, this has Eddie Murphy playing a donkey. I like Eddie Murphy, but this isn”t Eddie Murphy. This is a fucking Donkey. It isn”t a good film at all so I may as well have said “There online casino is no alternative film” today – I”ve made this alternative film so god damn awful that it is not an option. You have to watch It”s a wonderful life? okay? How dare you enjoy yourself n christmas day when one of themost beautiful and depressing films is playing in ther other room. And no, this does not allow your children to watch something other than it”s a wonderful life – i”ve even taken away the dvd from the box so there is only one film to watch.
Trust me on this, if you”ve never put yourself through it, go and fucking do this now.
Okay if you really do want to watch an alternative, I will only recommend this once – it”s another black and white film (hear me out) and it”s called “The Shop Round the Corner”. Don”t google it, don”t look it up – just find a copy and watch it. No peaking.
(sings) Christmas Eve, Christmas Eve, Christmas All The Way! Oh What fuan.. meh.. blin blurgh to.. a…. on a CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS DAY HEY!(ends signs) We’ve finally done it – we are here, the end of this turmoil and heartache – Christmas is here to stay (for the next 48 hours at least). Relief spreads across your chin like the nutella from a knife you secretly licked and forgot to check in the mirror. There’s nothing left to do, except eat, drink and be merry. Classic Christmas begins here – and with that comes the last mention of Dickens… I promise.
Christmas Carol (?)
When I decided this would be the day for watching a Christmas Carol properly, I could imagine how many – but perhaps I did not envisage how many would be contenders for the crown of the best adaptation. Do you choose the Patrick Stewart version in the made for TV wonder, or perhaps let Mickey and pals shore up your xmas eve?
Some of you may even prefer to give Jim Carrey his due for the recent animation hybrid Christmas Carol thing or else have a punt with a more recent Disney animation with Simon Callow and Kate Winslet which can’t be that bad. Kelsey Grammar even gave it a punt. Regardless of which you choose, please tell me you will watch one – and I think I’m going to stick my neck out and recommend you watch… this one, from 1951 with Alistair Sim, because it’s dark. Fucking hell there is even a Henry Winkler one. AND one with William Shatner in it, with co-star Gary Coleman as a spirit and all. Christ alive, you have so much choice! But let’s suppose for a second that you don’t want to watch a Christmas Carol. Then why not check out our alternative Christmas film for today which is…
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988)
Richard Boden, 43 mins Listen, you are watching some version of A Christmas Carol tonight if it’s the last thing I fucking do. And as you’ve already seen the Muppets earlier in the month (and even if you missed our original post no one can last this long without seeing it, surely?) then you may as well watch something equally joyous and brilliant. Blackadder it is then. Rowan Atkinson’s character sits perfectly into this Dickensian world, and suitably sends up the story while at the same time adhering to it’s principles, of a man without Christmas in his heart in a world that demands it. Curtis and Elton make this script something to be adored, and a real treasure for those who throughout the year endlessly watched repeats of the four short series of the show. Although that Henry Winkler version does sound tempting..