This is the first of a weekly film series leading up to the Academy Award Ceremony. We will publish our take on memorable films and acting roles that we think will be in the Oscar race. We will concentrate on films now showing in Pasadena. Near the Academy Awards ceremony night we will post our picks! Join us with your comments, too.
The Academy Awards ceremony may not take place until next year, but already several films have been generating Oscar buzz. Currently, a couple of these films are playing here in town: Captain Phillips and Gravity.
Captain Phillips is based on the real life drama of Captain Phillips, a Canadian commander of the US container ship Alabama. In 2009, his ship was hijacked by Somali pirates, capturing the attention of the world. The film portrays Captain Phillips as a hero, played by Tom Hanks. In the role, Tom Hanks shines and even takes on the real Captain Phillips’ curious accent, a sort of hybrid of places on the Eastern Seaboard. Thanks to his charisma and dedication to the craft, Hanks is a real contender for the Best Actor Oscar. If the buzz is correct, this year’s Academy Awards will mark Hanks’ sixth nomination and if he wins, his third Oscar.
The other half making Captain Phillips a great film is the behind the scenes capability of director Paul Greengrass. Although we all know how the story ends, Greengrass manages to maintain the audience’s interest in the thriller, never allowing Hanks to veer into cheesy action hero territory. With Greengrass at the helm, the hijacking pirates become underdogs as much as bad guys, making for a very interesting film.
Another film playing locally and generating Oscar buzz is Gravity, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. Despite some apparent license with the scientific truthfulness of the adventure in space, Gravity manages to capture the feel of space, at least according to legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrich. The effects are amazing and have reviewers urging movie goers to see the film in Imax 3-D, which makes it all the more remarkable. A friend told us it was a treat to have George Clooney brush her seat on the way to help Sandra Bullock, while other friends say its one of the best 3-D experiences they’ve had. In addition to a likely huge amount of Academy Award nominations and Oscar wins to the special effects team, Bullock spends a lot of time on screen, which will probably earn her a nom at the very least and a possible second Oscar at best.
Check Fandango for local showtimes while these films are still showing in town.
photo courtesy of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.