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(January 2015)

Academy Awards

We here at the Toast, on one hand, were a little disappointed with this year's Academy Awards.On the other hand there were many things we enjoyed.

First the things we enjoyed. We were happy with Eddie Redmayne winning Best Actor and Julianne Moore winning Best Actress.

Diseases and physical deformities can be roads to the Oscars and that was true this year. Julianne Moore played a character, a woman with early-onset Alzheimer in Still Alice and she was heart-tuggingly brilliant. In The Theory of Everything Eddie Redmayne played the physicist Stephen Hawking from his healthy undergraduate days through to his current wheelchair bound, computer voiced existence. Alice was losing her mind and that was sad, Hawking’s mind remained intact even as his body betrayed him and that was not so sad. Two Oscar worthy performances and we applaud them.

We liked J.K. Simmons as the Best Supporting Actor for his performance in Whiplash and Patricia Arquette for Best Supporting Actress in Boyhood.

J.K. Simmons is one of those wonderful character actors that seem to have been around forever and we’ve always enjoyed without really noticing him. He’s been in at least 22 different television series, from New York Undercover in 1996 to The Closer in 2005-2012 (a favorite of ours) to Marvel's Avengers Assemble 2013-2015. He is absolutely stunning as the sadistic music teacher in Whiplash.

Patricia Arquette has been around a long time (we remember seeing her in one episode of thirtysomething in 1990) and she’s one of the most underrated actresses around. Her soft voice and natural looks made her perfect for the mother in Boyhood

Grand Budapest HotelThe Grand Budapest Hotel

We’re happy that Anna Pinnock and Adam Stockhausen won Best Production Design for The Grand Budapest Hotel, one of our favorite movies of the year. Milena Canonero won Best Costume, and Makeup and Hairstyling was won by Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier all for The Grand Budapest Hotel. We’re not finished. Best Original Music Score was won by The Grand Budapest Hotel, Composer Alexandre Despla. All the winners thanked Director Wes Anderson and a couple of them correctly called him a genius. We wouldn’t disagree.

We here at the Toast are as sad as everyone with the loss of Robin Williams. All we can do is try to enjoy his last appearances. NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM: SECRET OF THE TOMB opens December 19 and Robin returns as Teddy Roosevelt. Also with Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ricky Gervais. This is the third outing at The Museum and we enjoyed the first two movies, and we get to see Robin Williams once more.

Chris Rock is a very funny fellow. One of the top stand-up comedians working today, TOP FIVE is his first movie directing gig. Besides starring himself, Chris has loaded this movie with comedians. Tracy Morgan, Cedric the Entertainer, Sherri Shepherd and Rosario Dawson all star in this funny but tender movie. Opening December 12th.

EXODUS: GODS AND KINGS is Ridley Scott jazzing up the Bible. Unlike The Ten Commandments of 1956 where Charlton Heston’s Moses was an angry, wise man, Ridley Scott’s Moses, played by Christian Bale, is a sword-wielding warrior much like Russell Crowe was in Gladiator in 2000, also directed by Ridley Scott. This version of the Exodus story opens December 12th.

Is it safe to make fun of Kim Jong-un, the dictator of North Korea? Who cares! THE INTERVIEW opening December 25 is the tale of a celebrity tabloid TV show the North Korean dictator is found to be a fan of. Much as he likes American basketball. James Franco, Seth Rogen play tabloid journalists recruited by the C.I.A. Lizzy Caplan and Randall Park also star in this action-comedy. Seth Rogen is co-director with Evan Goldberg. Should be fun.

December 17 - Sony Pictures Cancels Holiday Release of ‘The Interview’ After Threats

December 24 - Sony Pictures Flip Flops & Releases ‘The Interview’ in Independent Theatres


JUPITER ASCENDING -At last; The Wachowskis return to their first science fiction movie since The Matrix trilogy!  Mila Kunis stars as a human with royal genetics, Channing Tatum is an interplanetary warrior who clues her in to her inheritance and Eddie Redmayne is the mean alien who wants to steal her inheritance and kill her in the process. Needless to say produced, written and directed by The Wachowskis. In theatres February 6th.

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