“All right, all right, all right. Though I’d been expecting to see Leo accepting the award for Best Actor, I myself stated back in August that Matthew McConnaughey was experiencing an awesome career change, which started with “Killer Joe” and continued with “Paper Boy”, “Mud”, culminating in his flawless work in “Dallas Buyers Club” which could lead him to an Oscar nod. Way to go, man! And the outstanding work continues on HBO’s “True Detective”.”—Matthew McConaughey's career change - see old post
Every year there is a handful of actresses and actors who manage to bring sexy back. Some faces are brand new, others are quite familiar, these are this year’s Top 5 Steamiest Performances. Oh, Behave!
#5 Leonardo diCaprio, “The Great Gatsby”
When you think his time is gone, he simply looks at you with the most gorgeous smile on his face!
Sexiest when: he is wearing black tie.
#4 Reese Witherspoon, “Mud”
She’s always been the cute girl next door, until she decided to go wild in Mississipi. No wonder Matthew McConaughey’s character went crazy over her.
Sexiest when: she first appeared on the screen on her way to the supermarket.
#3 Max Riemelt, “Freier Fall”
How can you not fall for these angel eyes? The way he looks into his love interest’s eyes is somewhat of an invitation to leaving it all behind and jumping into his arms. Added to that, he’s got one of the most fantasied occupations: police officer. If the crime is being awesomely hot, Max Riemelt is guilty as charged!
Sexiest when: wearing a tank on the balcony after sex
#2 Adèle Exarchopoulos, “La Vie D’Adèle” / “Blue Is The Warmest Color”
The best combination of innocence and sex appeal, Adèle Exarchopoulos had the world at her feet with this extraordinary character, but it was definitely her who printed all the sultriness onto the screen.
Sexiest when: she fixed her hair up; the idea was to make her look ordinary, instead she was a knock out.
#1 Margot Robbie, “The Wolf Of Wall Street”
First she was Tim’s object of desire in “About Time” (that super cute chick flick with Rachel McAdams). But it was as Jordan Belfort’s second wife that Margot Robbie spinned everyone’s head round and round.
Sexiest when: she tried to prevent Jordan from touching her without knowing that the workers of the house were all watching.
Dir: Lars Von Trier Cast: Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman, Stacy Martin
Though this film breathes and exhales sex, there is much more to it than it meets the eye. "Nymphomaniac" is rather a study on individuals whose lives are completely dependent on sex, which brings about unthinkable difficulties to live a healthy ordinary life. And when love enters into the equation, results can become catastrophic. Lars Von Trier back to what he does best: provoking people.
#9 FREIER FALL (Free Fall), Germany / Alemanha
Dir: Stephan Lacant Cast: Hanno Koffler, Max Riemelt
A modern, real unconventional love story which captivates the sensitivity of the matter at the same time it allows discussions on the topic of finding true love in the body of a same-gender person. Emotional, touching, and utterly eye-opening for some people.
#8 STOKER (Segredos de Sangue), USA / EUA
Dir:Chan-Wook Park Cast:Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Nicole Kidman
The weird tale of a weird girl inserted in a weird family. Full of surprises and turnarounds, one of the most overlooked movies of the year. Matthew Goode is exquisite as uncle Charles, a character filled with mistery, eccentricity and attraction, which nearly drives both the protagonist India (Mia Wasikowska) and her mom (Nicole Kidman) crazy.
#7 BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (La Vie d’Adèle / Azul É A Cor Mais Quente), France / França
This year’s winner of Cannes Palm D’Or really is splendid! Raw, mature, intense, real. These are some of the qualities we might highlight. To me, it was the acting of both young actresses what had the biggest impact on me: they throw themselves body and soul into their roles. That made such a difference that for the very first Cannes has awarded the Palm d’Or not only to the director but also to the pair of actresses.
#6 INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (Balada de um Homem Comum), USA/EUA
Dir: Ethan and Joel Coen Cast: Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake
The extraordinary tale of the ordinary life of a struggling folk singer (Oscar Isaac) trying to make his dream come true. Excellent songs throughout the film (thanks to music producer T-Bone Burnett), great acting, and an exquisite screenplay by the Coen brothers. Who could ask for more?
#5 AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (Álbum de Família), USA/EUA
Dir: John Wells Cast: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ewan McGregor, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney, Chris Cooper, Julianne Nicholson, Margo martindale, Sam Shepard and Misty Upham.
The dialogues among the members of this dysfunctional family raise the most diverse revelations, fears, uncertainties and the like at the same time they make us think about our own attitudes in our family lives. Excellent cast ensemble, especially Meryl and Julia—both nominated for the Academy Awards, the latter having bigger chances to win. Precious!
#4 GRAVITY (Gravidade), USA/EUA
Dir: Alfonso Cuáron Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
In any other hands, the story of a woman estranged in space would probably be boring to death. Alfonso Cuarón, however, delivers a masterpiece, with a great help from Sandra Bullock who manages to push her acting to a level that she’s never gone before. An instant classic to have on your shelf, in between “Blade Runner” and the “Alien” quadrilogy.
The most original film you have seen in a long, long time. Spike Jonze delivers a brilliant modern love story in which a man (Joaquin Phoenix) falls in love with an artificially intelligent operational system with the voice of Scarlett Johansson. Who wouldn’t fall in love with that?
#2 RIO 2096: A STORY OF LOVE AND FURY (Uma História de Amor e Fúria), Brazil / Brasil
Dir: Luis Bolognesi Cast: Selton Mello, Camila Pitanga
The story of Brazil told in a very creative way, showing the other side of the story we Brazilians learnt at school. Beautiful animation that portraits 3 moments in our history: the colonization period, the “cangaço” – the so-called “social banditry” that took place in the northeast of the country – and the dictatorship, finally moving on to an illusional future in the city of Rio de Janeiro. A must-see!
#1 THE WOLF OF WALL STREET (O Lobo de Wall Street), USA/EUA
Dir: Martin Scorcese Cast: Leonardo diCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Matthew McConaughey
Visceral. Powerful. Intense. Dynamic. Genious. These are just a few words to describe how amazing Martin Scorcese’s latest effort is. Leo gives the acting of his career and goes wild as the stockbroker who became a millionaire thanks to his persuading skills. Let’s just wait and hope he can persuade the Academy into giving him the Oscar he’s been longing for.
After watching all Academy Awards contenders, here are my favorite in each major category. Go Leo, go!
Since my favorite performance by a leading actress hasn’t made it to the final cut - Adèle Exarchopoulos for “Blue Is The Warmest Color” - I’d have to go with the next best thing, right? And here she is: Cate Blanchett for "Blue Jasmine"
Runner-up: Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Leonardo diCaprio is the most talented actor of our generation. Period. How come he hasn’t won the Oscars yet? This year, he’s delivered the most visceral performance of his career in "The Wolf Of Wall Street". To me, the Oscar must be his!
Runner-up: Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”
Best Actress in a Supporting Role
That’s the toughest of all. Four young ladies have outstanding performances: Lupita, Julia, Jennifer and June Squibb. Anyone who wins this category truly deserves it, but my heart tells me: Julia Roberts in “August: Osage County”
Runner-up: June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Best Actor in a Supporting Role
I never even reckoned this actor’s existence until I saw him on "Dallas Buyers Club". The sensibility of Jared Leto in the role has taken us all by storm. Way to go, man!
Runner-up: Jonnah Hill, “The Wolf Of Wall Street”
Best Adapted Screenplay
"Before Midnight" ends the loveliest trilogy in cinema history. Richard Linklater brings back the story of Jesse and Céline, beautifully played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, who also co-wrote the plot with Linklater.
Best Original Screenplay
Being the most original film of the year, there is no way any other flick could win over "Her". If it did, that’d be so unfair. One of the most intelligent screenplays in the decade, Spike Jonze has topped himself.
Best Film in a Foreign Language
Set aside in the other categories, Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt” was the first intense film of the year. Mads Mikkelsen has the role of his lifetime in an emotional and strong story which appealed to me the most in comparison to the other contenders.
How can you not agree that Alfonso Cuarón has made the biggest effort to put up a show in which a woman spends nearly 2 hours adrift in space and still keep our attention and interest at its highest level? The man is a genious!!!
Though this year we have had three instant classics, I have to confess it was not difficult to pick one. "Her" is by far the most original and warm-hearted production. "Gravity" is the fucking awesome movie of the year, which deserves a place right beside “Blade Runner” in our movie shelf. However, it was "The Wolf Of Wall Street" that blew my mind big time. It was as if I were in the World Cup final and my team was in it! Or, for Americans, the Super Bowl. Hadn’t felt this exhilarated in a long, long time.
Every year there is that new band which drives us crazy. Alabama Shakes in 2012, Haim in 2013, Lake Street Dive in 2014?
Odds are this will be the number one in my stereo this year. The band’s previous EP "Fun Machine" is amazing, and caught my attention thanks to their beautiful rendition of Jackson 5’s "I Want You Back". Saw the video, fell in love with vocalist Rachael Price, re-played a few times, purchased the EP on iTunes and started showing it to all my friends - who loved them as well. Yet, the EP counts on 5 cover songs and only one original song.
Now, it’s a whole different story! "Bad Self Portraits" promises all originals, and is expected to come out on Feb 18. My anticipation is such that for the very first time in my life I pre-ordered an album on iTunes whose band I’m still getting acquainted with. Judging by the teasers and “Fun Machine”, I’m expecting nothing less than a masterpiece. Let’s wait and see!
Some indie movies are just like pearls, tough to find them, but when you do, you cannot fail to appreciate its beauty. “The Music Never Stopped” is one of them. Despite reading a handful of publications on the movie industry, I simply had never read or heard anything about this particular film.
There I was waiting in line to get my ticket for “Nymphomaniac”, when a gentleman in his sixties told me about it. He said he’d even purchased it on DVD and made copies for some people he treasured so delightful the movie is. I followed his advice and got myself a copy. I couldn’t have been happier to have done that! The film is beautiful. The story of a estranged son who is found nearly 20 years later suffering from a memory problem could be something soppy, but the secret ingredient makes all the difference: good music!
Gabriel (Lou Taylor Pucci) can no longer form new memories due to a brain tumor he’s undergone surgery for; however, his father Henry (J. K. Simmons) suspects that music can bring him temporarily back. He hires a music therapist Dianne (Julia Ormond) who studies his case only to find out that it is not any music that does the trick, but only the great rock songs from 1958 to 1966 can bring his memories back, the songs he started to listen to when he was 17 years old.
The only way for his dad to connect to him is via music and so Henry learns all Gabriel can teach him about Bob Dylan, Cream,The Grateful Dead, among others. The moments when Gabriel is back are as deeply emotional as they are exciting, especially when he meets Celia, with whom he keeps falling in love whenever he sees. Highly recommended for those who love both great music and a great story.
You must remember him from the excellent film "Once", in which he played a guy who rehearsed and recorded songs with a Czech immigrant played by Markéta Irglová. Glen Hansard is back with an EP in which he presents us with four delightful songs.
The title song "Drive All Night" featuring Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and Jake Clemons is a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s classic. It’s folk, it’s intense, it’s fucking good! The other three tracks are all original songs and maintain the same folk-rock atmosphere. If you like "Once"and wants some more, here is a must-have EP.
The good news don’t stop there! All profits from the digital single sales of “Drive All Night”will be donated to the non-profit charity Little Kids Rock, which provides music education classes to kids in public schools. Good music, good deeds and everyone is happy!
Norah Jones and Green Day’s Billie Joe honor the Everly Brothers' 58 album "Songs Our Daddys Taught Us". The result is amazing! Twelve great performances by these two amazing artists, the best homage the Everly Brothers could ever get!
The country-folk album is named "Foreverly"and has been available since Nov 25th and is certainly one of the most delightful albums of the season.
My favorite tracks are, coincidentally, the first tracks: "Roving Gambler", "Long Time Gone", "Lightning Express" and"Silver Haired Daddy Of Mine"as well as track 7"Oh So Many Years”, all contagious. To listen to "Long Time Gone", click here.
The duo transmit all the emotion and energy from the pure folk music from the 50s. For those who love the genre, the best gift ever! Enjoy it!
The extraordinary tale of the ordinary life of a struggling folk singer is what to expect in "Inside Llewyn Davis", the latest effort from the Coen brothers. Set in the folk scenario of New York in 1961, we witness a week of Llewyn Davis’ (Oscar Isaac) life. The obstacles encountered on his way added to those he created himself will make him question whether life in music is really what he wants for his remaining life.
Against this backdrop, we get to see him singing great folk songs, my favorite being “Hang Me, Oh Hang Me”, “The Shoals of Herring” and “If We Had Wings”, while trying to make it happen.
Justin Timberlake has a brief but interesting participation as Jim, a folk singer as well, who performs twice: one, alongside his sweetheart Jean (Carey Mulligan, always excellent) and another creating an instant classic "Please Please Mr. Kennedy", the song nominated for a Golden Globe but ignored by the Academy.
A passionate story of a man trying to make his dream come true, excellent songs throughout the film (thanks to T-Bone Burnett) and an exquisite ending (you won’t believe who will be performing on the very same night there would be someone who might invest in him), special ingredients for an utterly amazing film, Highly recommended for those who appreciate “Once”.