Oscar Nominees for Best Actor 2015

Acadamy awards figureOscar nominees for best actor this year are:

Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game

Eddie Redmayne for The Theory of Everything

Bradley Cooper for American Sniper

Steve Carell for Foxcatcher

Michael Keaton for Birdman

I’ve seen only The Theory of Everything and The Imitation Game. Both Benedict Cumberbatch and Eddie Redmayne were outstanding in their roles. I’d have a hard time choosing between the two. I hope to see the other three nominees in their movies before the awards night.

Do you have a favorite from the list above?

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Academy Awards for Best Movie 2015

Acadamy awardsThe following movies have been nominated for the Best Picture of 2015. I’ve seen only one, “The Imitation Game” which I would vote for the best. However, I’d make a better guess if I had seen all of them. February 22nd, at 7:00, is awards night, maybe I will be able to see a few of them before then. Have any of you seen them all? Which one would you pick as the best?

Best Picture
“American Sniper”
“Birdman”
“Boyhood”
“The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“The Imitation Game”
“Selma”
“The Theory of Everything”
“Whiplash”

Movie Theaters

Movie theater seats with popcornFor me, the holidays are a time to see a show in a movie theater. Netflix and On Demand etc. are great, but leaving the house to go to a theater is a treat. This year, we saw the Imitation Game and Big Eyes. We might go to a couple more movies before 2015.

Benedict Cumberbatch played Alan Turing, the scientist who cracked Nazi Germany’s Enigma code that helped the allies win the second World War.

The outstanding performance by Cumberbatch is worth a nomination for an Academy Award. Keira Knightley, one of my favorite actresses, was very good as usual.

Benedict CumberbatchBig Eyes is about American artist, Margaret Keane, whose husband fraudulently claimed in the 1950’s and 1960’s to be the artist of Margaret’s children with the big eyes.¬† Big Eyes with artist close upI’m interested to read more about the facts. I’ll research the story tomorrow.

What movies did you see in a theater this holiday season?

Billy Bob Thornton on Master Class

Billy Bob ThortonIf you have a chance to see Oprah’s Master Class with Billy Bob Thornton, I highly recommend it.

He talks about growing up with two brothers, working in a pizza place, living on pizza everyday with a treat of one doughnut on Fridays, and how he became an instant star in the movie Sling Blade. Best of all, I liked what he said about his grief after his younger brother died.

I enjoyed his performance in The Judge as Dwight Dickham, the prosecuting attorney. I didn’t recognize him in the movie at first. Since Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall are the top stars and were outstanding, not much is said about Billy Bob Thornton. As a supporting actor, I thought he was great.

Has anyone seen The Judge or Thornton on Oprah’s Master Class? What are your opinions?

The Judge Movie

The movie The JudgeThe Judge is on its way out of the movie theaters but it’s worth a comment or two. Robert Downey, Jr., as usual, is a study for facial expressions. In each scene, he goes through several emotions, anger, determination, frustration, surprise, and more. If the sound track was turned off, the viewer could figure out the script by watching Downey, Jr.’s face and actions.

Robert Duvall at eighty-three years old, plays Downey Jr.’s father with his usual transformational style in which he totally inhabits the character of the aging judge. The on-going conflicts between the two are intense and believable.

As writers, a good exercise would be to watch the movie if you haven’t already and then watch it a second time with paper, pencil, and the remote. Stop the movie when Downey, Jr. or Duvall have a moment when their expressions tell all. Jot down how their faces look and what their mannerisms show without speaking.

When a work in progress slows way, way down as mine did today while I tried several ways to express Jill’s actions, expressions and thoughts, a notebook of descriptions after watching The Judge would be helpful. In my novel, Norman remembers an agonizing fight with Arctarius, Jill¬† empathetically feels his pain, and all I could do was type and delete, type and delete. Maybe my muse learned something from the movie tonight and will help me out with the same page tomorrow. Robert Duvall and Robert Downey, Jr.

Ransom Stephens The God Patent

A movie producer talked with Ransom Stephens on the phone for an hour and a half about THE GOD PATENT, Ransom’s book that was published before THE SENSORY DECEPTION. The producer loved THE GOD PATENT and did most of the talking…fast. Ransom says he doesn’t know what it means yet.

I’m hoping both books will be made into movies very soon.