Matt's Favourite Actresses: 2012 Edition
In last week’s blog, I covered my favourite directors working today. This week, I’m turning my attention to my favourite actresses.
I always enjoy putting lists like this together. They tend to generate debate amongst some of my film-going friends.
In assessing each actress, I have only considered films they have starred in since 2002. To use a sporting term, I’m only looking at those who are “in form”. The two questions I ask myself are (1) how excited would I be if this actress appeared in a new movie? and (2) how many great films have they appeared in over the past decade?
Honourable mentions go to Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams, Emily Watson, Marisa Tomei, Mia Wasikowska, Rosamund Pike, Viola Davis and Charlize Theron.
But my 10 favourite actresses based on my current, fragile state of mind are as follows...
Matt's Favourite Directors: 2012 Edition
Back in 2005, I compiled a list of my 10 favourite directors, actors and actresses (based on their works over the past decade).
It’s a list I’ve updated every year or so. The last time I covered my favourite directors was back in October 2010 so in this week’s blog, I thought it an opportune time to revisit the list.
It wasn’t easy narrowing it down to just 10. Honourable mentions go to Alexander Payne, Steve McQueen, Sam Mendes, Darren Aronofsky, Danny Boyle, Pedro Almodovar, George Clooney and Bennett Miller. They’re all incredibly talented but I believe the 10 directors listed below have put together a more significant body of work.
In assessing each director, I have only considered films made since 2002. I like keeping the list current. The two key questions I ask myself are (1) how excited would I be if this filmmaker made a new movie? and (2) how many great films have they made over the past decade?
On that note, here are my 10 directors working today…
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It's Official: I've Played With The Best Golfer In The World!
Occasionally, I depart from my normal film rambling to talk about another favourite topic of mine – golf.
Back in 2005, I played golf with a relaxed, easy-going 16 year-old. Today, he became the number 1 golfer in the world! Rory McIlroy’s win in the Honda Classic (by 2 over Tiger Woods) elevated him past Luke Donald in the Official World Golf Rankings. It is an amazing achievement for someone so young.
In honour of the moment, I thought I’d share my Film Pie blog from 22 November 2005 (which I wrote just after getting off a plane in Brisbane). It’s one of the best stories I have in my cluttered head. Just click here.Add a comment
Oscars 2012: I'm No Artist When It Comes To Tipping
I’ll be honest. I’ve been better. Meryl Streep is a wonderful actress but I was pretty confident that Viola Davis was going to take home that best actress Oscar. Davis had won the SAG Award (the biggest lead up) and she’d been backed into a $1.70 favourite. The $4.50 odds that I’d secured looked very tasty. A possible $900 return finished up being a $200 loss. I could have really used another ivory back scratcher. Ah well. That’s life.
I picked up a $200 win on Jean Dujardin for best actor but that was negated by my $200 loss on Brad Pitt (who I backed early in the Oscar season) in the same category. I also lost $40 on Hugo (praying for an upset) in the best picture category. Coupled with the Davis loss and my Golden Globe loss, that put me down $640 for the awards season. My career profit is still $3,093 but it’s a number that’s definitely on the slide…
1996 – profit of $750 – won on Susan Saranadon
1997 – profit of $300 (cumulative profit $1,050) – won on Frances McDormand
1998 – loss of $250 (cumulative profit $800)
1999 – loss of $250 (cumulative profit $550)
2000 – profit of $620 (cumulative profit $1,170) – won on Kevin Spacey and Michael Caine
2001 – loss of $190 (cumulative profit $980) – won on director Steven Soderbergh
2002 – profit of $480 (cumulative profit $1,460) – won on Halle Berry
2003 – profit of $275 (cumulative profit $1,735) – won on Catherine Zeta-Jones and Adrian Brody
2004 – profit of $150 (cumulative profit $1,875) – won on Sean Penn
2005 – profit of $214 (cumulative profit $2,089) – won on Hilary Swank
2006 – profit of $350 (cumulative profit $2,439) – won on Reese Witherspoon
2007 – profit of $1,463 (cumulative profit $3,912) – won on Eddie Murphy at Globes, Alan Arkin & West Bank Story at Oscars
2008 – profit of $268 (cumulative profit of $4,280) – won on Tilda Swinton and the Coen brothers
2009 – profit of $253 (cumulative profit of $4,533) – won on Mickey Rourke & Kate Winslet at Globes, Kate Winslet at Oscars
2010 – loss of $830 (cumulative profit of $3,703)
2011 – profit of $30 (cumulative profit of $3,733) – won on Social Network at Globes, Tom Hooper & King’s Speech at Oscars
2011 – loss of $640 (cumulative profit of $3,093) – won on Jean Dujardin at Oscars
A big thanks to everyone who entered my 12th annual Film Pie Pick The Oscars competition. I received 76 entries in total. No one managed the perfect 6 out of 6.
Those who scored 4 out of 6 and earn honourable mentions are – Solo Fogg, Kristen King, Rob Eddy, Sam Dagan, Tim Case, Sam McCosh, Brett Hansen, Glen Hewson, Nick Dagan, Glenn Dunks, Mitch Lewis, Kent Stone, Clare Murray, Brian Bedard, Peter Johns, Jason Reed, Marcus Thomson, Andrew Buckle, Tracey Denman, Paul Anthony Nelson, Shane Israel, Stephanie, Lisa Malouf, Karis Bouher and Daniel Zuccon.
There were just 3 people who pulled off 5 out of 6 – Nigel Middlebrook, Sarah Ward and Trish Buckley.
It came down to the tie-breaker question – the age of the best picture presenter. Tom Cruise is 49 years of age (he turns 50 later this year) and closest to the mark were Sarah Ward and Trish Buckley who each tipped 63. A special mention to David Edwards who was the only entrant to get the age spot on.
Therefore, for the first time in my competition’s history, we have a tie. Both Sarah Ward and Trish Buckley share the spoils. I’ll therefore give them each a $50 Amazon voucher which they’ll hopefully spend wisely. Congratulations!
As for my thoughts on the ceremony, there were positives and negatives (as you’d expect).
The positives included:
The wonderful Emma Stone who worked with Ben Stiller to present a couple of awards. She is a natural. Perhaps her chance to stand on stage with an actual Oscar statuette will be sooner rather than later.
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakas presenting the best song award was also a highlight. A great entrance and I had to laugh at them dropping everything while trying to announce the winner.
The tributes to cinema. Leading in/out of the ad breaks, it was nice to see actors talking about their favourite movie memories.
The streamlined show. It was all finished inside of 3 hours and there wasn’t a lot of “fat” to trim. Thankfully the days of a 4 hour ceremony are long behind us.
Sacha Baron Cohen spilling the ashes of Kim Jong Il over E! host Ryan Seacrest during the red carpet stuff. Stay classy Oscars!
Richard Wilkins looking extremely uncomfortable in a bizarre red carpet interview with Sean “P. Diddy” Combs.
The negatives included:
Billy Crystal. He made me laugh a few times but for the most part, I wasn’t that impressed. His opening montage missed the mark completely. It’s back to the drawing board.
The introductions from most presenters. Aside from the above mentioned Stone, Stiller, Ferrell and Galifianakas, the introductions were weak. The one from Gwyneth Paltrow and
Robert Downey Jr was particularly unfunny.
Some of the dated material such as the “reading their mind” segment and the opening musical numbers. Fresh ideas are needed for next year.
I do enjoy an Oscars surprise but there aren’t a lot of them these days. The biggest this year would be the win of 16-1 shots Angus Wall and Aussie Kirk Baxter in the best editing category for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. This award usually goes to the film that wins best picture. Not so this year! Dragon Tattoo wasn’t even nominated for best film. Wow.
Other mini-surprises included the win of Meryl Streep for The Iron Lady (sigh) and the visual effects win for Hugo. You could make an argument that some of Hugo’s other wins (e.g. costume design, cinematography) also caught a few off guard.
As expected though, The Artist won best picture. I saw it back at the Toronto Film Festival last September and immediately saw its Oscar potential. It wasn’t my favourite film but it’s now in the history books as the Academy’s best of 2011.
Here then are the major winners:
Best Picture – The Artist
Best Director – Michel Hazanavicius (The Arist)
Best Actor – Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Best Actress – Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
Best Supporting Actor – Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Best Supporting Actress – Octavia Spencer (The Help)
Best Original Screenplay – Midnight In Paris
Best Adapted Screenplay – The Descendants
Best Foreign Language Film – A Separation
Best Animated Feature Film – Rango
The Artist and Hugo tied with 5 awards each. It was the later film that dominated the technical category. No other film won more than 2 awards.
I picked just 15 of the 24 winners this year. Not great.
Christopher Plummer made history and at the age of 82, became the oldest acting winner ever. Meryl Streep broke her streak of 13 consecutive losses with her win and is now only one Oscar away from Katherine Hepburn’s record (4 in total).
I was particularly pleased with the screenplay Oscars – both going to previous winners who I admire greatly – Alexander Payne (The Descendants) and Woody Allen (Midnight In Paris).
Well that’s it for another awards season. I look forward to doing it again in 12 months time. I’ve got losses to recoup!Add a comment
All Rights Reserved. Matthew Toomey. 2012.