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?

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?

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.

A Character's Life

In MAKE YOUR WORDS WORK, Gary Provost suggests writers show that the  main character has lived a life before the present time.  We have to avoid blocks of information by using backstory sprinkles, but how do we show that our characters go to movies, admire a high school teacher, or have  friends in Antarctica? Those details aren’t pertinent to the plot, however, they give us a glimpse of a real person instead of an actor we move through internal and external struggles.

I checked to see if I had included a little of Hada’s life as he advises. In one scene, Hada pays for a gift at a jewelry store, which is important to the plot. When she opens her coin purse, she remembers her son had given her that treasure several years ago when she was ill. That short remembrance gives the reader another clue about Hada’s past. It’s a tender moment that’s not important to the plot, but it offers a little more about her life before the present intense tension.

Outside of the jewelry store, she meets her old friend, Geborah, and they have lunch at Macy’s Cafe. With her internalization,  the reader finds out that she’s envious of Geborah for having a facelift. She’d like one too, but knows her husband wouldn’t think it necessary. Not an important detail to the plot, but the reader learns more about two friends in their seventies who wish to stay youthful.

Another detail about Hada’s past is that she loves to go to movies, although she doesn’t go to one in the novel, nor does she talk about specific ones she’s seen.  Nevertheless, in a couple of chapters, she flashes on someone looking like Clark Gable or Jimmy Stewart and she likes to pretend she walks as if she’s in a movie. Brief, one to two sentences filtered into a scene, not as backstory, but as quick  glimpses into her life before the present journey.