Sunday, June 22, 2008

All Alone

Author: Josh P.
Location: Chicago, IL

"All Alone"

Directed by Bennett Miller
Written by Paul Haggis
Produced by Ang Lee and James Shamus
Cinematography by Rodrigo Prieto
Edited by Hughes Winborne

Principal Cast:

Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Billy Walker)
Geal García Bernal (Enrique Salas)
Haley Joel Osment (Joey Treystone)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Dayrl Longsteen)
Dianne Wiest (Amanda Walker)
Brian Cox (Jonathan Walker)
Ian McKellen (Professor James Arminsen)
Gwyneth Paltrow (Angie Henrickson)

Tagline: "Before the act of acceptance, comes the responsibility to act for it"

Synopsis: The movie tells the touching and heart-wrenching tale of a young gay man (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) trying to deal with the extreme hate and prejudice in the world during the 1980s in America. He does learn very fast that this isn't an easy world to live in. His father (Brian Cox) has basicly disowned him and his mother (Dianne Wiest) no longer speaks to him. He leaves his Chicago home behind and travels to New York where he attends a school in hopes of becoming a novelist. While there, he meets Enrique Salas (Gael García Bernal) and they immediatly fall in love. They must still be cautious though, especially when an old friend of Billy's stops by and drops off his son which he concieved with her on prom night eight years ago. Billy keeps the boy (Haley Joel Osment) but realizes that this is still a dangerous situation for his son and his own life.

What the press would say:

Another wonderful film has poured out of the talents of Bennett Miller. His gentle sensitivity to each frame gives it the extra touch needed. Paul Haggis also provides a magnificent screenplay that does well once again in evaluating the terms in today's social order. The movie also contains a great ensemble: Meyers has all the versitility needed to transend in this part and he is backed up by an equally impressive Bernal. Osment reminds us that he does posses talent beyond "The Sixth Sense" and minor players like Gyllenhaal, Cox, Wiest and Ian McKellen, who serves as a teacher at the school who does a pretty good critique on society. People are already exclaiming this to be the best film of the entire year. The consideration campaign:

Best Picture
Best Director: Bennett Miller
Best Actor: Jonathan Rhys Meyers
Best Supporting Actor: Gael García Bernal
Best Supporting Actor: Brian Cox
Best Supporting Actor: Haley Joel Osment
Best Supporting Actress: Dianne Wiest
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Haggis
Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing

Auschwitz Love

Author: Tom
Location: New Jersey

"Auschwitz Love"

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by Akiva Goldsman and Ronald Harwood
Cinematography by Rodrigo Pietro
Film Editing by Michael Kahn
Music by John Williams

Principal Cast:

Sebastian Muller- Joaquin Phoenix
Jonas Guedalia- Christian Bale
Mary Guedalia- Natalie Portman
Noah Guedalia- Adrien Brody
Isaac Guedalia- Roy Scheider
Leo Schneiderman- Eric Bana
Fritz Weber- Jonathon Rhys Meyers
Gunter Braun- Max von Sydow
Hanz Richter- Robert Deniro
Lena Wolf- Angelina Jolie
Gypsy Petulengro- Gael Garcia Bernal

Tagline: "The greatest tragedy the world has ever seen could not stop the greatest love they had ever known"

Synopsis: Sebastian Muller (Phoenix) believed in the Third Reich, which was why he worksat the Auschwitz concentration camp. But his life gets turned upside down when he meets Jonas Guedalia (Bale), a young Jewish man who, upon first arriving, begs Sebastian to have his father, Isaac (Scheider), go with Jonas, instead of to the gas chambers. Sebastian realizes that he is attracted to this Jew, andfinds himself doing favors for Jonas, including letting him see his sister, Mary (Portman), who is working in the women’s camp, and helping protect Isaac. Jonas realizes that he is attracted to Sebastian too, and struggles with theseemotions as he and his brother, Noah (Brody), struggle to keep their familyalive; Isaac is constantly in danger of being taken to the gas chamber,
and Maryis being abused by her supervisor, Lena (Jolie). As Sebastian tries to keep his
life under control with the help of his mentor, Gunter (Von Sydow), and his best friend Fritz (Meyers), he begins to discover the humanity in those he has been exterminating

However, he realizes that he is being closely watched by theheartless Hanz (DeNiro) and the cruel and crafty Lena. Through the incredible adversity that they face, Sebastian and Jonas try to love one another,overcoming their differences and those trying to tear them apart.

What the press would say:

Auschwitz Love is one of the bravest, most powerful films in recent history.

Steven Spielberg turns in his best work since Schindler’s List with this incredible drama that examines the way forbidden love plays out in times of terrible hardship. Akiva Goldsman’s rich character development combines with Ronald Harwood’s harsh realism into a brilliant screenplay, one that is able tobring out every aspect of the incredible range of emotions shown in this film.

Joaquin Phoenix is superb as the harsh Nazi who discovers his softer side when he falls in love with another man. His internal struggle is never overplayed, but always visible. Christian Bale, a somewhat controversial choice for the role of Jonas, is pitch perfect, his love for Sebastian consistently clashing with his need to protect his family. Every performance, from Natalie Portman’s quiet yet courageous portrayal of Jonas’ sister to Robert Deniro outstandingly harsh role as Hanz, rounds out this film beautifully. Particularly powerful isAngelina Jolie, who gives her best performance since Girl, Interrupted in a role completely different from anything she has done. The portrayal of Leo Scheiderman, a real life survivor of Auschwitz, by Eric Bana fleshes out thestory well. This film is incredibly heart wrenching, and although its stark portrayal of life in Auschwitz keeps it from being too emotionally manipulative,there will not be a dry eye in the house after a single showing of Auschwitz Love.

For Your Consideration:

Best Picture
Best Director- Steven Spielberg
Best Actor- Joaquin Phoenix
Best Supporting Actor- Christian Bale
Best Supporting Actor- Robert Deniro
Best Supporting Actress- Angelina Jolie
Best Supporting Actress- Natalie Portman
Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Art Direction
Best Cinematography
Best Costumes
Best Film Editing
Best Makeup
Best Sound Mixing
Best Score

A Walk in the Park

Author: Erick
Location: New Jersey

"A Walk in the Park"

Directed by: Gavin O'Conner (director of Tumbleweeds and Miracle)
Written by: Gavin O'Conner
Prodcued by: Paul Haggis

Principal Cast:

The Old Man - Kirk Douglas
Erica Luftino - Rachel Weisz
Jayson Davis- Cameron Bright
JD - Chris Pine
Mr. L - Ray Liotta
Mr. Hemmingfield - Andy Garcia

Tagline: "Take a walk in a park. You'll never guess what you will see"

Synopsis: An Old Man (Kirk Douglas) living in Astoria, NY is walking through a
park and notices four different people, Erica Luftino, Jayson Davis, JD, and Mr. L. But who are these people and what do they have all in common. Erica Luftino (Rachel Weisz) who is a hussy and has sex with many guys whom one is Mr. Hemmingfield.

Jayson Davis, one of Mr. Hemmingfield's eighth grade students, is a troubled teenager who does not know whom his father is.JD is a college druggie who is addicted to cocaine and had has a plan to kill one of his teachers. Mr. L is a deadbeat father who is addicted to cocaine as well and does not know what to do with himself. The movie goes on bit by bit jumping to each character leaving the audience with the final answer of how everyone is connected.

What the press would say:

This movie will keep the you second-guessing yourself throughout the entirety of it. Ray Liotta gives his best performance yet as the deadbeat father. Gavin O'Conner has done it again directing such a masterpiece in a different genre. He starts with a Chick-flick type of movie, then to a sports movie, and now this twisted Oscar nominated drama. This is the summer movie event of 2007. Rottentomatoes has given it 90 fresh votes and only 2 rotten
votes making it a 95%. The 2 rotten votes wre only because Ray Liotta made the audience hate him that much.


Best Picture
Best Director: Gavin O'Conner
Best Original Screenplay: Gavin O'Conner
Best Actor: Kirk Douglas
Best Supporting Actor: Ray Liotta
Best Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz
Best Editing
Best Sound

Contemporary Comedy

Author: Brian
Location: Arizona

"Contemporary Comedy"

Directed by Rob Reiner
Written by Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner
Music by Carter Burwell
Produced by Rob Reiner, Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner

Principal Cast:

Tim Robbins (Michael Stein)
Sandra Bullock (Lynn Stein)
Morgan Freeman (Leroy Lara)
Angela Basset (Tanya Lara)
Kevin Kostner (Danny McAfree)
Robin Wright Penn (Susana McAfree)
Steve Carrel (Lionel Sanders)
Dustin Hoffman (Jason Peterson)
Mel Brooks (Johnny C. Donald)
Liam Neeson (Lucas Radford)

Tagline: "7 Guys. 1 Hit Show. 0 Talent"

Synopsis: A mid-life crisis can happen to anyone. But no mid-life crisis has ever been quite as strong as lawyer Michael Stein's. Once he hits 45, he closes down his firm in franticism, only to lead his partners into a crazy scheme to make the next big sketch comedy show, written, directed and preformed by these seven unfunny men. After revolts from wives and being specified insane by others, the show turns out to be the biggest success in television history.

What the press would say:

Classic comedy team Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner team up one last time to create the most original and most hilarious film of the year. The all-star cast mixing some of today and yesterday's comedy geniuses with the comedic side of Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Angela Basset and others. Rob Reiner shines as the director of this gem. This near-perfect ensemble film could easily become the most serious comedic Oscar contender of the year, with a strong campaign in the following categories:

Best Picture (Rob Reiner, Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks)
Best Director (Rob Reiner)
Best Actor (Tim Robbins)
Best Supporting Actor (Morgan Freeman, Kevin Costner, Steve Carrel, Dustin Hoffman, Mel Brooks, Liam Neeson)
Best Supporting Actress (Sandra Bullock, Angela Basset)
Best Original Score (Carter Burwell)
Best Film Editing
Best Cinematography

Crime and Punishment

Author: Manos Peponakis
Location: N/A

"Crime and Punishment"

Directed by David Cronenberg
Written by Josh Olson
Based on the novel by Fyodor Dostoievsky
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography by Robert Elswit
Editing by Michael Kahn
Costume Design by Sandy Powell
Art Direction by John Myhre & Gretchen Rau

Principal Cast:

Adrien Brody (Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov)
William Hurt (Pyotr Petrovich Luzin)
Viggo Mortensen (Dmitri Prokovich Razoumichin)
Keira Knightley (Sonja Semionovna Marmeladova)
Judi Dench (Pulcheria Alexandrovna Raskolnikova)
Natalie Portman (Avdodia Romanova Raskolnikova)
Imelda Staunton (Katerina Ivanovna Marmeladova)
Ian McKellen (Arcadius Ivanovich Svidrigailov)
Thomas Kretchmann (Porfiri Petrovich)
Anthony Hopkins (Semion Zaharich Marmeladov)
Dominique Swain (Nastasia)
Barbara Babcock (Aliona Ivanovna)
Lily Tomlin (Elisavet)

Tagline: "And then life exists! 23/11/2007"

Synopsis: The first period film of Cronenberg and an adaptation of a masterpiece. Rodion, a young and poor Russian student in Saint Petersburg decides to murder an old woman but then he is filled with remorse. He seeks desperately for punishment. But no one suspects him.

What the press would say:

Not a typical Cronenberg film. Cronenberg abandons the modern crime/drama to return to the most archetypic crime/drama book of international literature. The masterpiece of Dostoievski "Crime and Punishment" which deals with the haunted soul of a poor student who turned out to be a murderer. An anatomy of the human soul. Adrien Brody acts superbly in the leading role, surrounded by an exceptional supporting cast. Mortensen as his devoted friend. Kretchmann as the flic. Hopkins as a drunkard. Portman as a sister who wants to save her brother. Dench as his mother. Staunton as a fymatic woman who wants to protect her family from the disaster. Knightley as the woman who leads Rodion to the end of the drama. Josh Olson did a very good job with the screenplay, following the novel as good as it gets, respecting the great Dostoievsky and providing each character with depth. By all means a movie that can sweep the Oscars.

For Your Consideration
BEST DIRECTING- David Cronenberg
BEST ACTOR- Adrien Brody
and various technical categories

Devil in the White City

Author: Brian
Location: Arizona

"Devil in the White City"

Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Written by M. Night Shyamalan and Paul Haggis
Based on the novel by Erik Larson
Produced by M. Night Shyamalan and Steven Spielberg

Principal Cast:

Matt Damon (Daniel Hudson Burnham)
Johnny Depp (Henry H. Holmes)
Natalie Portman (Holmes' first victim)
Kate Winslet (Mrs. Burnham)
Joaquin Phoenix (Fredrick Law Olmsted)
Adrien Brody (Charles McKim)
Leonardo DiCaprion (Louis Sullivan)
John C. Reilly (George Ferris)

Tagline: "Thrill, Excitement and Murder at the World's Fair"

Synopsis: Based on the bestselling novel by Erik Larson, "Devil in the White City"\is "the story of two men, each handsome and unusually adept at his chosen work, embodied an element of great dynamic that characterized America's rush toward the twentieth century. The architect was Daniel Hudson Burnham, the fair's brilliant director of works and the builder of many of the country's important structures, including the Flatiron Building in New York and Union Station in Washington D.C. The murderer was Henry H. Holmes, a young doctor who, in malgin parody of the White City, built the "World's Fair Hotel," just west of the fairgrounds-a torture palace complete with dissection table, gas chamber and a 3,000-degree crematorium. Burnham overcame trumendous obstacles and tragedies as he organized the talents of Frederick Law Olmsted, Charles McKim, Louis Sullivan and others to transform the swampy Jackson Park into the White City , while Holmes used the attraction of the great fair and his own sanatic charms to lure scores of young women to their deaths. What makes the story all the more chilling is that Holmes really lived, walking the grounds of the dream city by the lake." - Back cover synopsis of Devil in the White City

With M. Night Shyamalan's sense of thrill and Paul Haggis' talent for writing reality, the script balances both fact with what we wish was fiction.

What the press would say:

After "The DaVinci Code" turned out to be a mega-failure for this reporter, I was very reluctant to see the screen version of one of today's most popular novels. Thank God it turned out to be one of the best films of the decade! This chilling dramatic thriller doesn't waste a second of its running time, nor does it fall short of its all-star cast. With its ideal set for serial killer Henry H. Holmes (take notes, Art Direction voters!) and solid preformances, it is obvious what the eight years of production went into. Modern suspense connoisseur M. Night Shyamalan's flawless direction make up for his ciritcal flop "The Village." The early Oscar campaign is extremley strong, and includes the following:

Best Picture (M. Night Shyamalan and Steven Speilberg)
Best Director (M. Night Shyamalan)
Best Actor (Matt Damon, Johnny Depp)
Best Supporting Actor (Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly)
Best Supporting Actress (Kate Winslet)
Best Original Score (Thomas Newman)
Best Film Editing
Best Cinematography
Best Art Direction
Best Costume Design

The Devil's Arithmetic

Author: Connor
Location: Texas

"The Devil's Arithmetic"

Directed by: Sofia Coppola
Written by: Sofia Coppola, Jane Yolen
Score by: James Horner

Principal Cast:

Hannah Stern/Chaya- Sofia Vassilieva (NBC'S Medium)
Rivka- Dakota Fanning
Gitl- Lainie Kazan (My Big Fat Greek Wedding)
Shumel- Will Farrell
Fayge- Evangeline Lily
Commandant Bruer- Crspin Glover
Aunt Eva- Bette Midler
Grandpa Will- Kirk Douglas

Tagline: "The holocaust is on the other side of the door"

Synopsis: 12 year old Hannah Stern, celebrating, to an extent, Passover with her family, but when she opens the door to welcome the prophet Elijah, she is transported to 1940's Poland. She has transformed into a 12 year old Polish girl named Chaya. After maybe a week of her confusion, the Nazis invade and Chaya and who she now considers her family are sent to Auschwitz. There she discovers the horrors of nazi death camps, and searches for a way back home, before its too late.

What the press would say:

Medium's Sofia Vassilieva delivers a phenomenal performance as Hannah Stern, the 12 year old who is transported to Nazi Germany. Dakota Fanning, Lainie Kazan, Evangeline Lily, Will Farrell, Crispin Glover, Bette Midler and Kirk Douglas give excellent supporting performances under the direction of Sofia Coppola

best picture
best director- sofia coppola
best adapted screenplay- sofia coppola and jane yolen
best actress- sofia vassilieva
best supporting actress- dakota fanning
best supporting actress- lainie kazan
best supporting actor- crispin glover
best original score- james horner
best art direction
best costume design
best film editing
best sound mixing