Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Star wars: The Last Jedi (Rian Johnson, 2017) 4/5

The middle film in a trilogy can always seen like a place card holder from the first and the last adventure. Star wars has traditionally been able to avoid this with each film in it’s canon exhibiting it’s own individual story, whilst successfully adding a new narrative to the overall structure. The Last Jedi continues in this vein, as Rian Johnson’s follow-up to the fantastic The Force Awakens allows both new and old fans of the franchise to experience the spectacle of this space opera.Star_Wars_The_Last_Jedi

In a sense, narrative wise, this film is a lot paired back than the previous film and gives the audience a lot more interaction with older characters. Most notably Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, whose individual story arcs are really what holds everything together here. It’s just so rewarding to see Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher (May she Rest in Peace) interact and further instil their acting chops!

Following directly where the last film left off, The First Order are continuing their attack on the resistance, causing mighty havoc in the process. As you can imagine, there are some mighty good fight sequences here and the special effects are amazing. However, it is Johnson’s screenplay that really enables the adventure to keep at fast enough pace to forgive the rather long 150 minute screen time.

I guess what is so fascinating about this new trilogy of films is how Disney has approached them. Everything seems to be meticulous so as to welcome a younger fan base, whilst at the same time, not ostracising the audience of the previous films. The Last Jedi walks this tightrope successfully and there are enough references to the past narratives, as well as, new character additions to enthral the younger – Disney-fied – crowd.

In sum, Rian Johnsons middle film in this trilogy is successful in terms of storytelling, action, acting and special effects. It never feels lumbered and is fast paced for it’s running time. Overall, it doesn’t quite live up to the magic of The Force Awakens, however it is a very good addition to the cannon and sets up for the action packed finale.

Screen Actors Guild Awards Predictions

Screen Actors Guild Awards Predictions

I felt remiss for not doing one for the Globes, so here are my predictions fosag-awards2r tomorrow’s show!

Note: This awards show is voted by actors for actors. There is less a focus on the film and more on the performances within them. As such, in the past, there have been a few surprise winners. For example Viola Davis beat Meryl Streep last year to clinch Best Actress for The Help.

Outstanding Cast for a Motion Picture

Argo

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Les Miserables

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Who will win: Les Miserables – I just think after winning the Golden Globe and having such a great cast, this monster musical has to be the frontrunner.

Who should have been nominated: Skyfall – Really?…Really! How this film has missed out on so many nominations is beyond me.

Wildcard: Silver Linings Playbook – The film is nominated in all of the acting categories at the Oscars, it could just sneak past Les Mis.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook

Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln

John Hawkes – The Sessions

Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables

Denzel Washington – Flight

Who will win: Daniel Day Lewis – Signed, sealed delivered.

Who should have been nominated: Joaquin Phoenix for The Master – He acted his butt off in that film. Still got the Oscar nod, so I guess all is forgiven.

Wildcard: Hugh Jackman – The leaders in this category have got to be DDL and Jackman. Traditionally, the actor who is in second contention has won this category.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty

Marion Cotillard – Rust and Bone

Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook

Helen Mirren – Hitchcock

Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Who will win: Jessica Chastain – I just think she is riding a wave at the moment and there is no stopping her.

Who should have been nominated: Maggie Smith for Quartet – I guess they probably wouldn’t have nominated her in both categories, but still, would have been nice.

Wildcard: Jennifer Lawrence – Same as Jackman. There seems to be A LOT of rumours that she could clinch the golden baldie from Chastain. I pray she doesn’t.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Alan Arkin – Argo

Javier Bardem – Skyfall

Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook

Philip Seymour Hoffman – The Master

Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln

Note: No Christoph Waltz, this show likes to be different.

Who will win: Philip Seymour Hoffman – Thought he would win the globe and didn’t. Complete guess, but hey ho.

Who should have been nominated: Christoph Waltz for Django Unchained – Don’t know why he wasn’t included.

Wildcard: Tommy Lee Jones: If Lincoln runs away with it, he might be swept along as well.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Sally Field – Lincoln

Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables

Helen Hunt – The Sessions

Nicole Kidman – The Paperboy

Maggie Smith – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Who will win: Anne Hathaway – It ‘should’ be written on the wall.

Who should have been nominated: Judi Dench for Skyfall – Could have had a battle of the Dames!

Wildcard: Sally Field – Same as TLJ. She is playing a mother, strong role for her. Hasn’t been in the awards circle for a while now, it all adds in her favour.

Television

These nominations are always fun to predict, even though they generally follow a similar pattern like the film categories.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series

30 Rock

The Big Bang Theory

Glee

Modern Family

Nurse Jackie

The Office

Who will win: Modern Family – They have been consistent, SAG loves all the actors.

Who should have been nominated: Episodes – Good acting al round, they were nominated for the Globe.

Wildcard: 30 Rock – In its final season. Perhaps some goodwill thrown to Tina and the gang?

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series

Boardwalk Empire

Breaking Bad

Downton Abbey

Homeland

Mad Men

Who will win: Homeland – On a winning streak at the moment. They are bulldozing the competition.

Who should have been nominated: The Good Wife – There does seem to be a bias towards cable shows over broadcast ones. I really think this is one of the best shows on television in the US, it is shame it has been overlooked.

Wildcard: Downton Abbey – who knows?! The Americans love it. I think it just edges out Mad Men as the wildcard.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin – 30 Rock

Ty Burrell – Modern Family

Louis C.K – Louie

Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory

Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family

Who will win: Alec Baldwin – Who would bet against it? Will it be a hat-trick?

Who should have been nominated: Jon Cryer for Two and a Half Men – Just goes out of the norm for him not to be nominated and he is consistently funny in the show.

Wildcard: Jim Parsons – The show is a mega hit, perhaps they will follow the popular vote.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series

Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie

Tina Fey – 30 Rock

Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation

Sofia Vergara – Modern Family

Betty White – Hot in Cleveland

Who will win: Betty White – She is extremely popular in a well-liked sitcom. She has won this twice before.

Who should have been nominated: Jane Lynch for Glee – Although I am not a fan, from what I hear the show has dipped A LOT, it is her performances that remain the most consistent.

Wildcard: Tina Fey – Funniest woman alive.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series

Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire

Bryan Cranston – Breaking Bad

Jeff Daniels – The Newsroom

Jon Hamm – Mad Men

Damian Lewis – Homeland

Who will win: Damian Lewis – There is no stopping this train.

Who should have been nominated: Johnny Lee Miller for Elementary – Standout performance in the show, he really brings out the awkward behaviours of Sherlock Holmes. Some may say it’s more a comedy, but it is in the Drama camp.

Wildcard: Bryan Cranston – Strong following for the show. Could sneak past Lewis.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series

Claire Danes – Homeland

Michelle Dockery – Downton Abbey

Jessica Lange – American Horror Story

Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey

Julianna Margulies – The Good Wife

Who will win: Claire Danes – Nuff said.

Who should have been nominated: Sarah Wayne Callies for The Walking Dead – I think that she consistently performed great throughout the series. Had a strong storyline this season and just feel that the show deserves more recognition.

Wildcard: Maggie Smith – Who knows? She did win the Golden Globe and is a firm favourite among actors.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Kevin Costner – Hatfields and McCoys

Woody Harrelson – Game Change

Ed Harris – Game Change

Clive Owen – Hemingway and Gellhorn

Bill Paxton – Hatfields and McCoys

Who will win: Kevin Costner – Won Golden Globe and puts in a great performance as one half of the feuding family.

Who should have been nominated:  Michael Gambon for Restless – Veteran actor who portrays the older version of a German spy. Might be considered supporting given screen time, but does carry weight in the film.

Wildcard: Woody Harrelson – A political film made by HBO, they tend to do very well in awards season.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

Nicole Kidman – Hemingway and Gellhorn

Julianne Moore – Game Change

Charlotte Rampling – Restless

Sigourney Weaver – Political Animals

Alfre Woodard – Steel Magnolias

Who will win: Julianne Moore – Great performance as Palin and these films are popular at the moment.

Who should have been nominated: Sienna Miller for The Girl – Hitchcock is very big this year, thought she would nab a nom.

Wildcard: Nicole Kidman – HBO are good at supporting their nominees and actors are keen to reward those who have never won before.

What do people think? Have I got it right, what are your predictions??

DISCUSS!