Fave 5: Oscar Snubs

The Academy Awards, aka. the Oscars, aka. the Superbowl for Women, aka. Hollywood’s Big Night Out (okay, we made that up). No matter what you call it, you likely have an opinion on it – from what Angelina is wearing to who wins the night’s big prize, it all makes its way into water cooler talk the next day. What isn’t talked about though, are those artists and films not nominated. So to give everyone their due, we present our top five Oscar snubs of 2012.

Michael Fassbender (Best Actor)

From the moment we laid eyes on his emaciated frame in Steve McQueen’s Hunger, we knew we’d be seeing a lot of Michael Fassbender on the silver screen. His reunion with McQueen for Shame was one of our favourite performances of the year (and not just because his, errr, member appears in the first two minutes). Not only was Fassbender’s performance raw, honest and gritty, he was also naked for most of the movie. Poor guy.

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Verdict: The Academy hates penises, loves baseball (see: Moneyball).

Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (Best Film)

So, let’s get this straight. The Academy decides to open the Best Film category to include room for ten films, and then they only nominate nine? Not only that, they shut out the final film in one of the most epic movie franchises in history? This film had everything: action, drama, romance, heartbreak, joy – the whole shebang. And it’s not like they haven’t rewarded epic fantasy films in the past (Lord of the Rings: Return of the King won in 2003). 

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Verdict: The Academy hates magic, loves animals (see: War Horse).

Bridesmaids (Best Film)

Again, ten spots and only nine nominations. We know it’s rare for a comedy to take the top prize (the last time was in 1960 for The Apartment), but we were shocked that Bridesmaids didn’t even get the nod. This film was hilarious, sure. But it was also touching, well-acted, really well-written and one of the first all-female leading cast films our boyfriends were happy to watch for a second time. At least Melissa McCarthy got her (very well-deserved) nomination.

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Verdict: The Academy hates women, loves Woody Allen (see: Midnight in Paris).

Tilda Swinton (Best Actress)

We need to talk about We Need To Talk About Kevin. Has any film ever made you question the nature vs. nurture debate more? Swinton’s performance as the long-suffering mother of a mass murdering, school shooter chilled us to the bone. We empathized with her the entire film, but also experienced a very acute sense of schadenfreude.

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Verdict: The Academy hates serial killers, loves goth hackers (see: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo).

Albert Brooks (Best Supporting Actor)
What can we say? We loved Drive! The soundtrack, Ryan Gosling, Brooks’ villanous turn, Ryan Gosling, the costumes, the 90s throwback aesthetic, Ryan Gosling. Okay, we’ll be honest: we’re less outraged by Brooks’ snub than we are that our last shot of having The Gos at the awards in a tux. Le sigh.

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Verdict: The Academy hates Ryan Gosling. Period.

Tune into the Oscars this Sunday! Who do you think was snubbed?

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Rave: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

“It all ends.” As if we needed reminding, the posters have been inescapable. Today, the final film installment of the Harry Potter series comes to theatres.

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The fourth floor was invited by Warner Brothers Canada to attend the Toronto premiere earlier this week at the Scotiabank Theatre, as well as the after-party at Casa Loma. Not a bad job perk! We’ll try to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, but if you haven’t read the books and want to be totally surprised then we suggest you stop reading – now (also: avoid Twitter, blogs and anyone dressed in a cape you run into on the street).

The last chapter of the Harry Potter film franchise does not disappoint. The Deathly Hallows, Part 1 was slow-paced, conveying the sense of hopelessness that our heroes – Harry, Ron and Hermione – felt. The second film starts off right where the first ended: Voldemort stealing the Elder Wand from Dumbledore’s grave and Harry burying Dobby (Ack! This part destroyed us in Part 1). From this point on, the action does not stop for two hours.

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While Harry is undoubtedly the hero of the film, both Neville Longbottom and Severus Snape reveal aspects of their characters the audience may not see coming. Snape’s story, especially, is handled with such respect and is so touching that if you aren’t crying, well, your soul may be as empty as You-Know-Who’s.

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One of the things we love best about the Harry Potter series is the importance that J.K. Rowling gives the tertiary characters. She realizes that all the students at Hogwarts have impacted Harry’s life in some way, and that the stories are richer because of it. You’ll smile when Seamus Finnigan has to blow something up, because you know he’s a bit of a firebug. Your blood will boil when Pansy Parkinson tries to turn people against Harry, but you know she’s a Slytherin and that’s what they do. 

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If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, you will not be disappointed. This movie will make you cry, laugh, weep, cheer and sob. As the Prophecy said, “… for neither can live while the other survives.” It all ends, but that’s okay. If you find yourself missing Harry and the gang, you can always visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

Rave: Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1

Last week, a few of us had the pleasure of going to see a sneak peek of the seventh Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, courtesy of Warner Bros. We’re comfortable with our inner-geek On The Fourth Floor, and more than a few of us have read each Harry Potter book as soon as it was released and saw each movie as soon as it came out in theatres. We may have even done a little dance when the tickets arrived.

The seventh and final Harry Potter novel is being told through two full-length films, allowing just the right amount of time to fit in all the major scenes from the book. This film revolves around Harry and his challenge to destroy He Who Must Not Be Named (Voldemort). 

With help from Harry’s good friends Ron and Hermione, they search for clues that will lead them to Voldemort’s Horcruxes and uncover an old tale of the Deathly Hallows – one that, if true, will give Voldemort the power to take over the entire wizarding world. After two hours of Harry Potter excitement, the film ends at a satisfactory point that will (hopefully) please fans long enough until part 2 comes out in summer 2011. 
 
The film offers suspense and action, with a twist of humour and romance, resulting in a movie that everyone will enjoy. Potter-heads unite!

View the official trailer here.