James Franco Wins GALECA ‘Wilde Artist of the Year’ Award

by Shannonn Kelly
07:05AM, EST, January 22, 2014

James Franco rapper, drug dealer 'Alien' in Spring Breakers, earns him  'Wilde Artist of the Year' from GALECA
“Spring Breakers”rapper, drug dealer ‘Alien‘, earns James Franco ‘Wilde Artist of the Year’ from GALECA

James Franco, Cate Blanchett and Matthew McConaughey were singled out for their performances among others on Tuesday by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA). Garnering ‘Best Film of the Year’ was “12 Years a Slave” (2013) directed by .

These and other winners listed below will receive a ‘Dorian Award‘ from (GALECA), whose awards are based on the ‘Best’ in  TV and Film screened or broadcast in the USA. Continue reading “James Franco Wins GALECA ‘Wilde Artist of the Year’ Award”

Award Season : : SAG® Awards :: Who Won – Who Lost – Why I’m Happy

by Shannonn Kelly
08:18AM, EST, January 19, 2014

Last night, the Screen Actors Guild Awards® gave out many of the right trophies, especially in the Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor categories, where respectively, won for his remarkable change in appearance and character for his role as “Rayon” in “Dallas Buyers Club“.

Some of the 'Right' Winners - Screen Actors Guild Awards® 2014
Some of the ‘Right’ Winners – Screen Actors Guild Awards® 2014

Leto shared his award with the “the Rayons of the world”, and said after his win, “The epidemic isn’t over. There still is not a cure (for AIDS).”

 (finally) won a ‘Best Supporting Actress’ award for the bittersweet historical drama “12 Years a Slave.” Nyong’o beat out award season favorite and (over saturated) media darling Jennifer Lawrence who was up for her supporting role in “American Hustle“. So today, I’m a little happier than I was after the Golden Globes®.

Mexican born, Yale educated Nyong’o has won 19 awards for her role as “Patsey”, but they’ve mostly been Film Critic Awards. This is her first top tier award, which bodes well for her at the Academy Award® ceremony in March.

Here’s the kicker – – this is only Nyong’o’s 4th on-screen role. Her acceptance speech hit a very poignant, emotional chord when she said in part:

Being recognized by your fellow actors is an honor of the highest order,”. She then attributed her director Steve McQueen, “for taking a flashlight and shining it underneath the floorboards of this nation and reminding us what it is we stand on.

 took home the SAG ‘Best Actress’ award for her role in “Blue Jasmine” (2013) about a deeply troubled woman. The film is directed by Woody Allen.

Deservedly,  took home ‘Best Actor’ for his near-to-best career performance in “Dallas Buyers Club”.  To prepare for his role as reluctant AIDS activist “Ron Woodroof“, McConaughey lost between 38-51 pounds. After winning his award, McConaughey said, “There’s a real benefit to being hungry. All the power I lost, I gained from the neck up.”

If you remember, McConaughey received his very first Oscar nomination this past Thursday. Over the last 9 years, all ‘Best Actor SAG Winners’ have won the Academy Award®.

My pick for ‘Best Actor in a Lead Performance’ has been, since the Sundance Film Festival, the outstanding  for his role as “Soloman Northup” in “12 Years A Slave“.

I will be somewhat broken-hearted if Ejiofor loses, as I’ve been following his career since “Dirty Pretty Things (2002) for which he won a BAFTA® Award (the UK equivalent to the Oscar) and have been waiting for his star vehicle performance to get him to the Oscar’s in a lead role. Ejiofor should have won for his supporting role as Huey Lucas in “American Gangster” (2008) but he was snubbed across the board for other top tier awards.

On the other hand I’m so proud of McConaughey for digging himself out of the vapid, schmaltzy slump he was in with all those awful Rom-Coms such as the horrendous : “Sahara” (2003), “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” (2003), “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (2009) and Fool’s Gold (2008).

McConaughey’s career has been on the upswing in the most dramatic way since he got back to his acting roots in 2011. First with the understated “The Lincoln Lawyer” and then with his outstanding, dark and sexy-beast performance in “Killer Joe”. I wanted McConaughey to win for his role as “Killer Joe Cooper” because up to that point it was his career-best performance. But then he followed that up with “Mud” (2012) and you just knew there was a lot more where that came from. Even McConaughey’s role in “Magic Mike” (2012) was exceptional, funny, slightly dark and a little wonderful.

By the way, I just want to remind everybody that “Dallas Buyers Club” (2013) is directed by Quebec director . And, even though he is responsible for two Oscar-nominated performances from lead Matthew McConaughey and supporting actor Jared Leto has been almost entirely snubbed all award season for a Best Director nod, until last Thursday when he was finally nominated for Best Director for an Academy Award®.

“American Hustle”, the award season darling took home the award for ‘Best Ensemble Cast’.

According to Dave McNary at Variety:

The 20th SAG Awards provided mixed signals since the “American Hustle” cast won over “12 Years a Slave” and “Dallas Buyers Club” — which won three of the four individual acting awards — along with topping with “August: Osage County” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” The winner of the SAG ensemble trophy has matched the Oscar Best Picture winner nine times in 18 years, including last year with “Argo.”

TV SAG Awards:

My two favorites, “Breaking Bad” and “Modern Family” each took home two awards. “Modern Family” won ‘Best Comedy Ensemble trophy. Always hilarious cast member Ty Burrell won the ‘Best Actor” trophy, finally beating out Alec Baldwin who was looking for his 8th win for “30 Rock.”

The unstoppable, immensely talented Dame Helen Mirren won for ‘Best Actress’ in a TV Mini-Series or Movie for “Phil Spector” which she should’ve also won at the Golden Globes and not Elisabeth Moss. another reason why I’m happy today. 🙂

Michael Douglas won the ‘Best Actor’ in a TV Mini-Series or Movie Award for “Behind the Candelabra” (2013) in his eerily inspired role as flamboyant pianist “Liberace“. As with his Golden Globe® Award win, Douglas continued to credit to his co-star. “The truth is, I am not here without Matt Damon. This is yours too.” The film is directed by Steven Soderbergh,

“Breaking Bad” completely crushed the important drama series categories, winning the ‘Best Ensemble In a Dramatic Series’ award. At least  gets to walk away with a well-deserved award after being snubbed by almost every other TV award granting body except for The Emmy’s for which she won only in 2013 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series as her character “Skylar White”. For without her, there would’ve been no reason for Walter White to even exist.

Below is The Complete List of SAG Winners:


“12 Years a Slave”
“American Hustle” *WINNER*
“August: Osage County”
“The Butler”
“Dallas Buyers Club”

Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Tom Hanks, “Captain Phillips”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club” *WINNER*
Forest Whitaker, “The Butler”

Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” *WINNER*
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”

Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Daniel Bruhl, “Rush”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
James Gandolfini, “Enough Said”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club” *WINNER*

Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” *WINNER*
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”
Oprah Winfrey, “The Butler”

“All is Lost”
“Fast & Furious 6”
“Lone Survivor” *WINNER* (I was VERY impressed when I saw the stunt work in the film. Well deserved)
“The Wolverine”


“Boardwalk Empire”
“Breaking Bad” *WINNER*
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”

Steve Buscemi, “Boardwalk Empire”
Bryan Cranston, “Breaking Bad” *WINNER*
Jeff Daniels, “The Newsroom”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”

Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Anna Gunn, “Breaking Bad”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Coven”
Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey” *WINNER*
Kerry Washington, “Scandal”

“Arrested Development”
“The Big Bang Theory”
“Modern Family” *WINNER*
“30 Rock”

Alec Baldwin, “30 Rock”
Jason Bateman, “Arrested Development”
Ty Burrell, “Modern Family” *WINNER*
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
Jim Parsons, “The Big Bang Theory”

Mayim Bialik, “The Big Bang Theory”
Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Tina Fey, “30 Rock”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep” *WINNER*

Matt Damon, “Behind the Candelabra”
Michael Douglas, “Behind the Candelabra” *WINNER*
Jeremy Irons, “The Hollow Crown”
Rob Lowe, “Killing Kennedy”
Al Pacino, “Phil Spector”

Angela Bassett, “Betty and Coretta”
Helena Bonham Carter, “Burton and Taylor”
Holly Hunter, “Top of the Lake”
Helen Mirren, “Phil Spector” *WINNER*
Elisabeth Moss, “Top of the Lake”

“Boardwalk Empire”
“Breaking Bad”
“Game of Thrones” *WINNER*
“The Walking Dead”

Award Season :: Complete Nominee List :: 2014 Oscars :: Snubs ‘n’ Picks

By Shannonn Kelly
06:30AM, EST, January 16, 2014
Updated: 08:56AM, EST, January 16, 2014

Oscar Nominations Announced - Big Snubs!
Oscar Nominations Announced – Big Snubs!

I’ll be updating my blog later this morning to give you the breakdown of all the Oscar Nominees for the 86th Annual Academy Awards. As you can see, I’m waiting to fill in the blanks below.

The nominees will announced in 2 hours at 8:30AM on CBS. I’ll be watching from home in my PJs with a Mimosa and some decadent baked goods 🙂

In the meantime, enjoy the video below with 250 dancers and Academy Award® Host Ellen DeGeneres dressed in matching tuxedos dancing to “The Walker” by the Los Angeles soul/indie pop band Fitz and the Tantrums.

Sticking with the theme of celebrating “Heroes”, real-life Thor, actor Chris Hemsworth announced the Nominees this morning along with the Motion Picture Arts and Sciences President Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

When I calculate below, it looks like “Gravity” and “American Hustle” both come out on top with 10 Oscar nominations each. Somebody, please check my math 😉

Your Complete List of Nominees for the 86th annual Academy Awards which will air Sunday, March 2, on ABC. Continue reading “Award Season :: Complete Nominee List :: 2014 Oscars :: Snubs ‘n’ Picks”

Award Season :: 2014 Golden Globes :: Winners List :: ReCap

by Shannonn Kelly
03:51AM, EST, January 13, 2014

Updated 06:43PM, EST, January 13, 2014

Winners of "12 Years A Slave", "Dallas Buyers Club", "American Hustle"

Just 10 minutes into last night’s (okay, 3 hours ago) Golden Globes,  I tweeted #TamyFoehler ( they are a couple aren’t they 😉 ) are already killing with the laughs at the #GoldenGlobes.

I wasn’t drinking. Had no fancy dinner. Was sitting in my ‘schooshy pants’ in my Italian recliner, but Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made me feel like I was right there with them at the boozey Golden Globe® Ceremony.

The Academy Award® extravaganza is the Grand Daddy of all the award shows, but I relish presenters and nominees half in the bag on live broadcasts. Sometimes a little sloppy – – but always fun.

There’s an English saying, “Start as you mean to go on”, and that’s exactly what Fey and Poehler did. Their almost 10 minute opening monologue was hilarious. Continue reading “Award Season :: 2014 Golden Globes :: Winners List :: ReCap”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 10 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
05:33AM, EST, Saturday September 14, 2013

Today is the big closing night Gala at the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival. Look for complete pandemonium at the 6PM Gala Premiere for “Life of Crime” directed by  starring , , , , , and , in the Elmore Leonard adapted screenplay about a kidnapping that goes horribly wrong.

"Life of Crime" closes the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival
“Life of Crime” closes the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival


Today is Day 10 and these are some of your last chances to see the smaller independent films that still do not have distribution. Please support independent film. Happy TIFF-ING! 🙂

Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 10 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 5 :: What To See at TIFF Today –

by Shannonn Kelly
01:27 AM, EST, September 09, 2013

Sunday was a big Canadian film day at the Toronto International Film Festival – Snapped this picture of director Bruce McDonald for fun as we were crossing the street together.

Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald
Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald

I watched the premieres of 3 Canadian films on Sunday starting very early in the morning: Peter Stebbings “empire of Dirt”, documentary Burt’s Buzz and Don McKellar’s stellar debut of the English-speaking version of ‘Seducing Dr. Lewis called, “The Grand Seduction” starring Brendan Gleeson and Gordon Pinset.

My favorite films of the day were “Empire of Dirt”, where I tweeted: “Peter Stebbings gracefully directs a superbly realistic cast in @EODthemovie, proving again #FirstNations talent is sadly underused in #film“, “The Grand Seduction” for different reason’s maybe than critics might say, “Parkland” by Peter Landesman about the people behind the scenes of the day JFK was shot (superb cast) and the raw and under-doggish “FAT”, by Mark Phinney.

Today for Day 5, here are my picks for what to see. Happy TIFF-ing 🙂

Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 5 :: What To See at TIFF Today –”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 4 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
02:42AM, EST, September 08, 2013

There’s nothing more I hate than the combination of TIFF+Rain. What an ugly day to be running around between cinemas and screenings. When it rains it shaves even more time off your schedule and consequently you forget to do things like eat. My first meal was at 10:50PM since starting out at 7:30AM…

The 3 Stars of "Bad Words" the Jason Bateman directorial debut with Kathyrn Hahn and Rohan Chand at TIFF 2013
The 3 Stars of “Bad Words” the Jason Bateman directorial debut with Kathyrn Hahn and Rohan Chand at TIFF 2013

The good news is I got to see not once but twice! (Yes, still a hopeless HP fan) Radcliffe has grown into such a fabulous actor, taking all sorts of roles from the risky to the mainstream to shed the 10 years of making Harry Potter.

I also saw “Lucky Them” by director Megan Griffith, but missed the Q&A with Toni Collette to rush to another screening. Collette plays a rock journalist who’s getting a little long in the tooth (but still with a rockin’ bod)  who’s is given an assignment to hunt down a highly regarded musician who was once her lover but mysteriously appeared to have dropped off the face of the earth until she learns people all over the world have posted sightings of him. She’s joined in the hunt by IPO Multi-millionaire Thomas Haden Church who hates music, but has recently taken a course in ‘documentary filmmaking‘. Thomas Haden Church never disappoints and he was in full form in that ‘Sideways’ way in this film. 🙂

My favorite film of the day however was “Bad Words“, the feature film directorial debut by Jason Bateman.

Today for Day 4, here are my picks for what to see. Happy TIFF-ing 🙂 Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 4 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 3 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
01:18AM, EST, September 07, 2013

Jason Bateman as a 40 year-old Spelling Bee contestant in his directorial debut "Bad Words"
Jason Bateman as a 40 year-old Spelling Bee contestant in his directorial debut “Bad Words”


Unexpectedly, my final film tonight was “Triptyque” (Triptych), by co-directors Robert LePage and Pedro Pires – Not originally on my Top 100 but I’ve heard so much about the play, that I decided to go see it since it was in close proximity to my previous film. The cinematography by co-director Pedro Pires was gorgeous. The story simple. The cast perfect. The overall feeling was very organic from storytelling to editing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I have never seen a bad film from Quebec. I could go watch ‘Triptyque’ again right now. It was what I would call “poetically artful”.

I also saw “12 Years a Slave” – – Stunning, beautifully acted narrative of appalling historical fact… Chiwetel Ejiofor is ready for his Oscar! A **Must See**

My Picks for Day 3 at TIFF 2013 are as follows. Happy TIFF-Ing 🙂 Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Day 3 :: What To See at TIFF Today”

TIFF 2013 :: Day 2 :: What To See at TIFF Today

by Shannonn Kelly
02:14AM, EST, Friday September 06, 2013

Too pooped to party (and not really that interested after going there and people watching), I decided to just get in front of my computer and write my blog early, since every other day I’ll be penning it sometime past 3AM.

As the opening night of the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival, before the gala premiere at the Elgin, we were treated to a short film among many commissioned by the Elgin/Wintergarden theater to celebrate it’s centennial. A post-apocalyptic piece with great set design that turned the Elgin into a decrepit temple of doom cloaked in darkness, cobwebs and a hosteling a hidden society.

The next unexpected bittersweet treat was a short retrospective on Roger Ebert’s (sadly missed) presence at TIFF> Years of archival footage and stills woven together to celebrate a critic that truly loved the voice of film.

Tonight I saw the much anticipated “The Fifth Estate“, the WikiLeaks Julian Assange story starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the lead role.. Some timely and sly references from the characters of , , some cold but interesting graphics, ‘The Fifth Estate’ is part geek-heaven-globe-trotting information espionage, part contentious ‘Bro-mance’ between Assange and Daniel Domscheit-Berg played solidly by .

I’m too tired to read any reviews, but I’m sure they will be mixed as audience reaction seemed mixed as well. I was thinking about a lot of the technical aspects of the film while watching. However, the acting all around was very strong.

I went to the ‘early’ premiere. Director  was present but not nor .

  • “12 Years A Slave”, dir. Steve McQueen (USA) I’ll say it right now – Look for an Oscar worthy performance by Chiwetel Ejiofore
  • “Attila Marcel”, dir. Sylvain Chomet same director who brought us Triplettes of Belleville with his firat live action feature.
  • “Parkland”, dir. Peter Landesman directs Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, Billy Bob Thornton, and Jacki Weaver in an ensemble piece that looks at the day and the people involved the day JFK was shot.
  • “Prisoners”, dir.
  • Denis Villeneuve (Incendies) directs Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman in a thriller about the disappearance of two young girls.

  • “Bad Words”, dir. Jason Bateman
  • directs and stars as a 40-something high-school dropout who, through some weird loophole enters a national children’s spelling bee that he lost out on years previous when he was a kid.

  • “Horns”, dir.
  • Daniel Radcliffe stars in this horror/supernatural thriller as a guy blamed for the brutal murder of his girlfriend (Juno Temple) and realizes he’s been marked as the murderer when he awakes to find a pair of horns growing from his head.

  • “Abuse of Weakness”, dir. Catherine Breillat’s
  • Based on the director’s own almost unbelievable story about an filmmaker (Isabelle Huppert) who suffers from a stroke, and as she begins to recuperate puts here faith in a con-man who bilks her out out almost a million dollars after she commissions him to write a screenplay for her

  • “What is Cinema?” Dir. Chuck Workman
  • The question is the reason you should see this documentary

  • “Love is The Perfect Crime”, dir. Jean-Marie Larrieu and Arnaud Larrieu’s
  • A womanizing professor complicated life takes a turn for the worse following the disappearance of a student. Stars Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, 2007)

  • “Triptyque” (Triptych), dir. Robert LePage, Pedro Pires – Not originally on my Top 100 but I’ve heard so much about the play, that I’m hopefully going to see it
  • “Tim’s Vermeer”, dir.
  • Penn of “Penn and Teller” directs this unusual documentary that investigates how Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer painted such photo-realistic paintings

  • “All About The Feathers”
  • Dir. Neto Villalobos from Costa Rico directs his first film about a security guard who wants to get into the cockfighting but becomes inseparable from his rooster Rocky.

  • Midnight Madness: The Station
  • dir. Marvin Kren His film Rammbock from 2010 had a virus spread across a city that turned people into mindless homicidal maniacs. This time his thriller takes place with a remote weather research station crew in the German Alps that discover a glacier turning the local wildlife into “ravenous biological monstrosities”.

TIFF 2013 :: Breaking Down The Program – 100 Picks at TIFF

by Shannonn Kelly
05:12AM, EST, Thursday September 05, 2013

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jason Bateman bring their personal best to TIFF 2013
Chiwetel Ejiofor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Jason Bateman bring their personal best to TIFF 2013

Well film lovers – the behemoth that is known as the 38th Annual Toronto International Film Festival is in full swing starting Today!

As my readers know, I try and give you the best bang for your $23.50 per ticket by breaking down the monster program book into a pop-culture-y take and make it all user friendly.

I always try to find the gems from all over the world and not just Hollywood blockbusters. Especially interesting to filmgoers should be films without distribution. Those are the films people need to see so the filmmaker can build and audience through word-of-mouth, no matter what country they’re from. This year was tough to stay ‘indie‘ with so many good people making good movies and a few GREAT directorial debuts, by the likes of (my crushes) Jason Bateman and Joseph Gordon-Levitt for instance.

I’ve been following Chiwetel Ejiofor since he played ‘Okwe’ in Stephen Frears‘ film Dirty Pretty Things (2002). I saw the premiere of this film when I was still in school but came here for TIFF. I was blown away by his performance and the screenplay in general.the script was originally submitted by writer Steven Knight to the BBC Writersroom. This screenplay went on to become ‘Dirty Pretty Things’. Ejiofor won Best Actor at the British Independent Film Awards, the Evening Standard Film Awards, and the San Diego Film Critics Society Awards. He went on to co-star in  Love Actually (2003), Woody Allen‘s Melinda and Melinda (2004), Kinky Boots (2005), Inside Man (2006), Children of Men (2006), American Gangster (2007) which I really thought he was the star and not Denzel Washington.

This year Ejiofor stars in two heartfelt and dramatic films at TIFF. He plays ‘Odenigbo’ in Half of a Yellow Sun about family and war in Nigeria by director and starring opposite Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose.

In “12 Years a Slave“, Ejiofor also stars as ‘Solomon Northup’ in this horrendous based on fact story about a fiddle playing 19th-century free black man abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War era Deep South. Directed by Steve McQueen “Hunger” (2008) and Shame (2011). Cast your early Oscar vote for for Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave”. It’s going to be a Winner.

Continue reading “TIFF 2013 :: Breaking Down The Program – 100 Picks at TIFF”