Joy – Bradley Cooper on Acting, Success and Inspirational Women

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Bradley Cooper is rarely off our screens these days, with a string of cinematic hits from The Hangover to his ongoing collaborations with director David O Russell, the latest of which, Joy, teams him up with Jennifer Lawrence for the 4th (count ’em) time. On the cusp of Joy’s DVD release, The Sloth caught up with Sir Brad of Coop to find out about the film, his inspirations and the strong women in his life.

 

Q:  What is JOY (the film) all about?

A: “I think JOY is about a woman who despite many, many obstacles, embraces what her grandmother taught her. She told Joy that she’s special, that what she has to say needs to be heard and that what she needs to do has to be done. It is a great female empowerment story about rising above all the obstacles and the waves of potential failure and coming out on top. It is about Joy achieving the status as a titan in her field, a field dominated by men.

 

Q: From your perspective, are there enough great roles for women in film, like JOY?

A: “Well I’m a storyteller. I love to be involved in stories about men and women that are fascinating. At the dawn of movies, Marlene Dietrich was commanding the narrative of the movies she was in. And I have been lucky that I’ve been in movies where the female characters have been very complicated and strong, women who are forces to be reckoned with. In my career, that started with television, the first job I had was on a show called ALIAS (2001 – 2006) from J.J. Abrams that had a female star (Jennifer Garner), so I grew up working within a structure where the female was the main person.”

 

Q: Joy is a great role model because she is not depending on a man.    

A:  “That’s right. She says, ‘I don’t need a prince’ at the beginning of the film. It’s a great message and a prevailing one. The film FROZEN is all about that message too.”

 

Q: Do you think children are being raised in a different way now, with equal opportunities?

A: “Look, there is still misogyny; it is a fact that we have grown up in a patriarchal society and we can’t escape it. But that said, when I was growing up, in our family everybody was fending for themselves around the dinner table.  We were a family who argued at the table about whatever topic was going on and I loved it. That helped form the way I think and speak and articulate, and that was all because I had a strong father and I have a strong mother and sister. So there was never that disparity between male and female and who gets the podium.”

 

Q: Did you always want to act?

A:  “I have wanted to be an actor since I was 12. I didn’t do anything about it, but I always knew I wanted to act after I saw the movie: THE ELEPHANT MAN and that was it for me.”

 

Q: What kind of support did you have growing up in terms of acting?

A: “I didn’t grow up with a family that knew any actors, nobody in my family knew anybody at all in the entertainment industry.  It was a world that was miles and miles away from mine.  I was a hotel doorman taking Leonardo Di Caprio to his room when I was in graduate school, so [acting] was just a completely alien universe, but I always thought about it. There was something very compelling about it for me.
Q: When did acting become a reality?

A: “I went to college and studied literature and then went to grad school to study theater and I started acting. But I didn’t really think about it too much other than the fact that I just knew I wanted to go after it. It helped that I had parents who didn’t stand in my way. Acting is a very scary thing for parents!  I took out a $75,000 student loan out for grad school. That’s very scary, especially for a father who came out of the ghetto and made a living for his family. Then his child is saying that potentially he could be going back into squalor if he’s not successful.”

 

Q:  What were your father’s hopes for you?

A:  “He would have been happy if I had become a stockbroker, but eventually in grad school he saw me in THE ELEPHANT MAN. I did it for my thesis and something clicked for him and he was excited; I think he thought then that there was an opportunity for me to do well.”

 

Q: Do you think success is about talent and hard work or is luck involved too? 

A: “It’s a mixture of hard work and luck I think. I’d be a fool to say I haven’t been very lucky and at the same time I do work very hard, it’s very hard to work hard when you hate what you do. It is very easy to work hard when you love what you do.”

 

JOY IS AVAILABLE ON DIGITAL HD, BLU-RAY AND DVD ON 25TH APRIL, COURTESY OF TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX HOME ENTERTAINMENT

 

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Our Top 10 Movies of 2015

It’s that time again.  Lolling bloated on the sofa in a fuzzy state of Christmas perma-drunk, we descend into paranoia and self loathing, realising another year has passed and we’ve still not repainted the downstairs loo. But that’s OK, for instead you spent your spare time expanding your mind with the excellent movie selections 2015 had to offer. You DIDN’T just take your mum to see Spectre and promise you’d catch the rest on DVD now, DID YOU???  So let’s stir ourselves out of our stupor with a look back at this year’s finest. Here are The Sloth’s favourites. What were yours?

 

Kingsman_The_Secret_Service_poster10) Kingsman: The Secret Service       99% of the world went to see the aforementioned Spectre. They should have seen Kingsman instead. Colin Firth as a kick-ass, action hero super-spy? Taron Egerton as his chippy, teenage sidekick? Yes please. A smart, sassy tonne of fun from start to finish, this is a sharp reminder movies are primarily meant to ENTERTAIN.

 

 

 

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9) White God          It’s 1) crazily disturbing and 2) features a cast of over one hundred doggies, so White God could not be more up The Sloth’s street. Not one for the fainthearted, it won its canine stars Canne’s hugely coveted Palm Dog, proving you absolutely should work with children and animals.

 

 

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8) Carol    So polished and dreamily beautiful it barely seems real, Carol has the critics falling over themselves to declare it a ‘masterpiece’. With fabulous performances from Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, it also nails The Bechdel Test. Good work, ladies.

 

 

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7) Amy    The most successful documentary of all time at the UK box office, Amy is a fitting tribute to its tragic subject that neither idolises nor condones her. With painfully intimate footage of some of her darker days, it’s as much a warning against the pressures of fame and the media.

 

 

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6) Ex Machina      ‘Sci-Fi’ runs a close second to ‘Movies Featuring Dogs’ on The Sloth’s all-time cinematic wishlist. Ex Machina is a cracking example of the genre. Smart, thought provoking and full of dystopian dread, it deservedly cleaned up at the British Independent Film Awards.

 

 

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5) Love & Mercy    An innovative biopic of Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Love & Mercy saw Paul Dano give a remarkable performance, singing all of Wilson’s songs himself. A must for music lovers, it’ll have you listening to Pet Sounds with entirely new reverence.

 

 

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4) While We’re Young         Far and away the best comedy of the year, While We’re Young skewers the ignominious descent into middle age in a way is both laugh out loud hilarious and painfully close to the bone. An instant classic.

 

 

 

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3) X + Y               A comedy about autism might not sound the best idea. X+Y totally pulls it off. A small British gem of a film, it hits the perfect balance of humour and emotion while maintaining the utmost respect for its subject. If you haven’t come across it, seek it out.

 

 

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2) 45 Years          Currently hoovering up every acting award going, 45 Years is one of the most heartbreaking films you are ever likely to see. A devastating portrait of a marriage in crisis, stars Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay are a reminder that cinema is nothing without the talent of its performers.

 

 

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1) 99 Homes         Who’s up for a movie about the US mortgage crisis? Stop rolling your eyes at the back.  Part thriller, part Shakespearean drama, trust us when we say 99 Homes is an absolute cracker.  A hugely intelligent, gripping tale of human greed and corruption, with stellar performances and an almost literary script, it grabbed us from the word go.

 

Put down the paintbrush, the downstairs loo can wait. Get back on that sofa and grab a DVD, you’ve screening work to do.

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The Top Ten Bond Cars Of All Time

Version1-Landscape-VerticalbarsWhen The Sloth isn’t holed up in a cinema we are busy with our other passion – cars. Since falling in love with a white Alpha Romeo Spider Convertible aged 15, we’ve had a four wheeled obsession that’s led to us owning a Triumph Spitfire 1500, a Lotus Elise 111S and screeching round Thruxton race track at the wheel of a Supercharged Lotus Exige. Sometimes we think we should be running a motoring blog.

So whilst 99% of the world hotly anticipates Spectre for the prospect of Mr Craig moodily despatching despotic villains whilst casually knocking off a couple of fit birds, The Sloth is instead counting the minutes to seeing the Aston Martin DB10 in action. Yes, the decision to feature a concept car as been derided, but Bond is ultimately about fantasy and when a car looks that good, who gives a monkeys?  Even if it were a production car, it’s not like you’d be sizing it up as a viable alternative to your old Ford Focus, is it? 

Now you may think we are a hopeless case but 2,500 similarly car loving members of the public were surveyed by independent polling specialists Toluna and asked the immeasurably important question “Which is your favourite Bond car of all time?”, which The Sloth soundly applauds as a thoroughly worthwhile use of time, money and resource.

The top 10 cars in reverse order are, drum roll please:

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10. Saab 900 Turbo ­ 2.70% (book: multiple) Whaaat??!?! Surely Bond would never drive something so dully prosaic??

 

 

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9. Lotus Esprit Turbo ­ 2.70% (film: For Your Eyes Only, 1981)  That’s more like it!!! As a fellow Lotus owner The Sloth is only disappointed this doesn’t register higher.

 

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8. The Blower Bentley ­ 3.38% (book: multiple)

 

 

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7. Aston Martin V8 Vantage Volante ­ 3.38% (film: The Living Daylights, 1987).  Good choice – classy & understated

 

 

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6. Aston Martin DBS ­ 8.06% (film: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, 1969)

 

 

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5. Aston Martin DB Mk III ­ 8.14% (book: Goldfinger, 1959) One for the anoraks as it appeared in the book, not the movie. 

 

 

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4. Aston Martin V12 Vanquish ­ 9.29% (film: Die Another Day, 2002)

 

 

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3. Jaguar XKR ­ 11.76% (film: Die Another Day, 2002)

 

 

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2. Aston Martin DBS V12 ­ 15.77% (film: multiple)

 

 

1. Aston Martin DB5 ­ 16.64% (film: multiple)

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Frankly, could there be any other winner (apart from the amphibious Lotus…)? Introduced in Goldfinger, the DB5 has become so synonymous with Bond it landed as much of a starring role in Skyfall as Mr Craig himself. Certainly a nice job for Aston, with Mark Hill, Head of Business at Aston Martin, musing “that unforgettable image of Sean Connery with his DB5 in the Swiss Alps helped to cement the iconic status of the car and the brand.”  All The Sloth needs to make our life complete is a test drive. Someone??  Pretty please??

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Magic Mike XXL And The Female Gaze

In the last couple of weeks this (female) Sloth has screened both Entourage and Magic Mike XXL, which to some extent can be seen as companion pieces to each other, being male and female skewed respectively. And our reactions to the two got us thinking.

 

For those of you who have not seen Entourage, we will summarise: young, male Hollywood hottie cruises around LA with his gang of pals, generally surrounded by pouting, large breasted dollybirds in various stages of undress:

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For those of you who have not seen Magic Mike XXL we will summarise: gang of male strippers go on road trip, making regular stops to gyrate with puppyish enthusiasm in the laps of whooping, cackling women:

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Now bearing in mind we are a female, heterosexual Sloth we should theoretically have lapped up (no pun intended) the oiled pecs of Mike and his crew and been filled with feminist ire at the jiggling cleavages gratuitously displayed throughout Entourage. But instead we found ourselves completely nonplussed by Entourage whilst frequently cringing with toe-curling embarrassment at Mike and co’s dry humping – to the extent of occasionally hitting the fast forward button.

 

Why so? Can’t be anything to do with the oft-cited theories that women are less reactive to visual stimulation than men – for if that was the case The Sloth surely should have been equally nonplussed by both. We can only conclude our reaction was down to social conditioning. Sexualised images of semi-naked women are saturated in cinema, the media, advertising, TV; omnipresent in all aspects of our culture. Yet to see semi-naked men displayed in mainstream culture purely for the purposes of heterosexual women’s objectification is not just rare, it’s virtually non-existent. So whilst highly sexualised images of women no longer merit even the tiniest raise of an eyebrow, the unprecedented sight of Channing Tatum in a cheesewire thong bumping and grinding to an audience of hundreds of women pulls the rug from under our social consciousness, leaving us confused and uncertain of how to react.

 

Now the facetious amongst you may be thinking ‘stop being so chaffing uptight and get down to a Chippendales gig already’, but we do think this is a depressing state of affairs. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not calling for men to start dropping their trousers and oiling up en masse, we’d just like a move towards a middling equality, beginning with changes in the depiction of women. If you haven’t done so already, may we urge you to sign the No More Page Three petition, which would be a start. Little acorns…

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5 Great Music Films

In a week when both Love & Mercy and Amy go on general release, The Sloth has come over all melodious. We’ve hummed through our DVD collection to bring you our favourite musical films from recent years. If you haven’t yet seen them, get watching, preferably with the volume dialled up to 11.

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It’s not just ‘coz The Sloth is a ma-hoo-sive Joy Division fan. Really it isn’t.  This biopic of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis is simply a sublime piece of filmmaking, being the feature film debut of both director Anton Corbjin and star Sam Riley, who gives an astonishing performance as the twitchy, tortured Curtis. By that logic, The Sloth wonders why more complete novices aren’t out there making BAFTA nominated films. We might give it a shot ourselves, come the next rainy Sunday afternoon.

oscar-isaac-in-inside-llewyn-davis1Inside Llewyn Davis

The Sloth has replayed Inside Llewyn Davis’s scene of Justin Trousersnake singing ‘Please Mr Kennedy’ on YouTube more times than we dare admit. And barked like a seal with sheer delight every single time. Should you have not seen these 100 mins of joy from the dark comic minds of the Coen Brothers, rectify this immediately. Not only is it chock full of bone dry humour, but it also features some beautifully sung folk music from the ludicrously talented Oscar Issac.

Poster_of_the_movie_Scott_Walker-_30_Century_ManScott Walker: 30 Century Man

No doubt you’ll have heard of The Walker Brothers, a 60’s band whose song The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Any More was a global hit. Post hits, Scott Walker went his own musical way. 30 Century Man explores what a way it was. Avant-garde doesn’t even begin to describe it. Revered to the status of legend in musical circles, Mr Walker’s work teetered on the brink of what we recognise as music. An afternoon in the studio, for example, might see him record professional percussionists methodically punching pieces of meat, as you do. Totally Bonkers.Totally brilliant.

tewneyTwenty Feet From Stardom

Seemingly a case of always the bridesmaid, never the bride, the backing singer can slug away for decades on the cusp of the limelight. But is that through choice, or are they a victim of bad luck? Documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom pulls the lid back on an unseen world where some of these supremely talented ladies have reached legend status amongst their musical peers. With interviews from the likes of Mick Jagger, this is proper, grown up, eye-opening stuff.

pitch-perfect-2-posterPitch Perfect 2

Yes, go ahead and sneer, snobby musical purists! You’re no fun and The Sloth would rather chew our own toenails than listen to you drone on about the influence of Andy Warhol on Leonard Cohen’s early works, blah blah, yawn, zzzz. We love the Pitch Perfect ladies, particularly for their sheer audacity in opening their second film with Fat Amy flashing her lady-bits to The Obamas. What more could you want? Apart from a robotic rival German group called (affect constipated voice) Das Sound Machine. Oh, they put that in too. Magic!

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Kingsman: The Secret Service. We go behind the action scenes with Matthew Vaughn, Colin Firth and Taron Egerton

KSS_JB_D07_00960.tifForgive The Sloth for a touch of heresy but CGI-heavy action films can be more than a touch generic. We’re surely not the first person to yawn and wonder what to have for tea as the n’th building / helicopter / rampaging alien is blown to smithereens. Kingsman instead takes an old-skool, lo-fi, analogue approach to its action sequences and is all the better for it. The Sloth got the lowdown from director Matthew Vaughn and stars Colin Firth and Taron Egerton into what went on behind the scenes.

 

Matthew Vaughn on his approach to the action sequences:
I think action can be the dullest part of movies ironically nowadays. And I love action movies, but when you see generic quick cutting, I switch, I actually fast forward now. I just tried watching a movie, which made a billion dollars last year, and it didn’t do it for me, the bigger the sequence the more bored I was which is I think quite an achievement in a weird way. I try to do things differently and keep the audience on their toes.

 

Taron Egerton on the action sequences of the film:
It was the great unknown for me. I had done action of sorts but it’s the stylized nature of action in ‘Kingsman’ that makes it extraordinary and that makes it really demanding. The fighting for example requires a real discipline and very specific choreography. It wasn’t always easy, you know there were times when I really didn’t feel I was getting things, and there were times when I was just so exhausted that you think, “My word, I really don’t know how am I going to get through this, you know?” But I worked with the most extraordinary team of men. One of them built my body with me and the other taught me how to move. They kind of have as much responsibility for what Eggsy is in the film as I do really.

 

Colin Firth on Matthew Vaughn’s inspiration for creating the character:
Matthew’s preference was always David Niven, saying that he wanted to revert to a kind of original Ian Fleming notion of a rather traditional gentleman spy. One of the reasons he was interested in me was because I was precisely the last person you would ever imagine being able to do any of this, and that’s part of the fun he has, because he loves to subvert people’s expectations. You know because if he had said to me, I want to hire you for your innate butchness, it might have been a very short conversation.

 

Colin Firth on his training for the film:
It was pretty rough at the beginning. I didn’t know what I was in for because these guys all have incredibly advanced skills obviously, they are the best in their field. And I think they wondered whether, well, how much ability I would have. You know they knew what my age was, I have no real history of athleticism. I think they gave me points for effort and willingness, which helped us get going. So it started with let’s see if we can get his lower body animated. You know oil some of the hinges and do some squats and lunges and agonizing things, which I just don’t think anybody in the world wants to do, because we didn’t have the choreography for months. That was quite late. In the meantime it was months and months and months of doing the kinds of moves that I was going to have to do just to make sure I was capable of doing them And if you do that, and if you’ve got a team like that, and if you persist and are willing to take a bit of pain, inevitably some progress will be made. So I went from this place of feeling entirely out of my depth, to getting really quite exhilarated to the point where I thought, “This is what I want to do.” And actually I have to confess, going back to doing the routine acting scenes, were a bit of a comedown. You know I just thought, after everything I’ve done, you can just send my suit into work and have exactly the same effect.

 

Colin Firth on the process of filming the church scene:
Well that’s where the choreography had to be studied and learned… it’s a dance really. Most of the time, wherever I was, I had about five opponents, plus the camera operator who is one of the dancers. When someone’s on their left foot instead of their right, even when you’re dancing conventionally, that can be a problem, but we were also working with heavy objects, and you know all kinds of bizarre props that were being used in that sequence.. And one of the things that was educational about the rules of this, was that you have to act it as well. So if you just learn it very, very fast, it will look mechanical and it will actually loose energy because of that. You know we’ve all seen fast action sequences, which are boring as anything. What’s going on had to be built in as a part of it. And that’s actually what made it so alive.

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Kingsman: The Secret Service is out on Digital HD on May 24th and on Blu-Ray and DVD on June 8th from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment

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2015 Oscar Nominations – Who Will Win? Mystic Sloth Gazes Into Our Crystal Ball

Allright kids, awards season 2015 is officially in full swing.  Like sneaking a pre-emptive squeeze of an enticingly wrapped Christmas present, Oscars’ official appetite whetters The Golden Globes have been and gone. The BAFTA Awards settle into the Royal Opera House on 7 Feb – will Brangelina be there to support her protégé, Rising Star nominee Jack O’Connell, and will they sneak off early again for a cuzza? Most importantly, the Oscar nominees are finally revealed. Is your favourite horse in the running? Let’s find out. Category by category, The Sloth sizes up the main contenders for the Academy’s major gongs.

Best Actor
Nominees: Steve Carrell, Foxcatcher; Bradley Cooper, American Sniper; Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game; Eddie Redmayne, The Theory Of Everything; Michael Keaton, Birdman.

We wouldn’t want to be a starry male ego this year. Probably one of the toughest categories in recent memory with a slew of big, shouty, LOOK AT ME roles, we predict a lot of tears before bedtime. Michael plays a nutjob in Birdman – always a good tact – just ask Kirk Lazarus in Tropic Thunder. Bradley Cooper stayed in character through the entire filming of American Sniper – always a good tact – just ask Daniel Day-Lewis who was last seen disappearing up the posterior of President Lincoln. Eddie, initially an outside bet, is cresting on a Golden Globes wave and the world, his dog and his dog’s fleas ADORE The Cumberbatch. Tough call. We’re predicting Prof. Hawking will invoke the higher powers of the universe to Eddie’s favour. 

The Theory Of Everything
The Theory Of Everything

Best Actress
Nominees: Marion Cotillard, Two Days One Night; Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything; Julianne Moore, Still Alice; Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl; Reese Witherspoon, Wild

The wonderful Marion Cotillard, is there any stone she will leave unturned in the quest to subdue her natural gorgeousness? In Two Days One Night she scrubs down in shapeless vests and mum-jeans. Not to be outdone, in Wild Reese dispenses with make-up, displays stomach-churning blisters and even pulls off her own bloodied toe-nail! Hah! Take that, Marion! Ah, but here comes Rosamund, topping both of them with a scene so gruesomely bloody it may as well have been shot in a slaughter house. Whilst these ladies are grubbing it out, let’s consider the delicate Felicity Jones who undoubtedly gives a moving performance as Mrs Hawking but, realistically, there is only one true contender. The magnificent Julianne Moore may as well start her march to the podium now.  And while she’s en route, can we just say it’s about bloody time.

Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Julianne Moore, Still Alice

Best Director
Nominees: Wes Anderson, Grand Budapest HotelAlejandro G. Iñárritu, BirdmanRichard Linklater, BoyhoodBennett Miller, FoxcatcherMorten Tyldum, The Imitation Game.

Well this ought to be a banker for Boyhood. 12 YEARS in the making? Universally loved by all who watch it? With a rich body of previous work including the Before Sunrise trilogy, if it doesn’t bag Richard at least one gong, we’ll re-ingest our own fur balls. Having said that, we’re secretly hoping second time nominee Alejandro G. Iñárritu, should he not go home a winner this time, might take a leaf out of Birdman’s book and shoot his own nose off live onstage in protest…

Best Picture
Nominees: American Sniper; Birdman; Boyhood; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game; Selma; The Theory Of Everything; Whiplash.

Ah yes, let’s get serious. The Academy gets very defensive over the Best Picture gongs.  First rule of Oscar consideration – It’s not just a movie, it’s serious art, don’cha know? So with a slew of very serious, real-life dramas on the cards, the Oscars are spoilt for choice. Which takes us to rule two – protect your own. Far too many British (BRITISH!!!! Bally foreigners…) choices floating around. That takes our remaining US-centric candidates to rule three – be somewhat political, but don’t scare the horses. By that reckoning, American Sniper and Selma will fall at the final hurdle, leaving the tale of a good, clean American Boyhood to romp home the winner.

Boyhood
Boyhood

What would you like to see win? Let us know.

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Best Movies Of 2014

Another year is drawing to a close, bringing cold sweats and minor existential crises: where is our life going? Is Kim’s bum REALLY that big? Can we ever learn to like eggs when they smell like farts but are such a good source of protein? To distract our feverish (and slightly drunk – it is Xmas party season) mind, we’ve drawn up our traditional Top 10 Movies Of The Year list. Without further ado, in (hic) reverse order:

Deux_jours,_une_nuit_poster10. 2 Days 1 Night. Gotta love the French: “J’ai une idée! We will mek a moral drama about le socialism and les workers rights! In a Belgian factory! Wiv a mother ‘ou is getting ze sack!” “Ah, but zat is not bleak enough, no?” “OK, zen ze mother ‘ou is getting ze sack, ‘ow about she es sick wiv ze depression as well?” “Ah oui! C’est magnifique!”  And then they went and cast Marion Cotillard, so the dullest cinematic prospect ever conceived was amazing.

frank-movie-poster-michael-fassbender-600x4529. Frank. We salute it for various reasons. Primarily for the most ostentatiously cavalier use of Michael Fassbender, ever.  Hire one of the most talented actors of his generation then hide him under a giant papier-mâché heid. For virtually the entire film. Respect.

 

MrTurner_Final8. Mr Turner. Logic says you couldn’t win Best Actor at Cannes with a performance based primarily on grunts. Logic be damned. Timothy Spall channelled his best Gloucester Old Spot to take home the gong in Mike Leigh’s utterly charming, witty biopic.

 

 

20140415153532!Maps_to_the_Stars_poster7. Maps To The Stars. We love it when Hollywood bites the hand that feeds it. Maps To The Stars bares its bleached white teeth and shellac coated claws to swipe mercilessly at La La Land’s narcissism and egoism. All the more cutting with the recent, unfortunate expose of catty emails from Sony execs…

 

under the6. Under The Skin. Scarlett Johansson.  As a man-eating alien. Driving a white van. In Glasgow.  The Sloth can only presume the idea emerged during a game of Boggle. And it was every bit as strange, original, unsettling and downright barking mad as you’d expect.

 

329411,xcitefun-the-lunchbox-poster5. The Lunchbox. We’re not a particularly sentimental animal but occasionally we make exceptions. The Lunchbox was one such sweet, emotional and poignant exception, set against a rich and vivid portrayal of downtown Mumbai. Viewer Warning: overwhelming cravings for curry experienced at your own risk.

 

GOTG_Payoff_1-Sht_v4b_Lg4. Guardians Of The Galaxy. Talking raccoons! Talking trees! Sony Walkmans! Green aliens! This is what we want! Join The Sloth in giving praise and thanks to the someone, somewhere, who remembered that movies are supposed to be fun.

 

 

Boyhood-movie-poster-MAIN13. Boyhood. You’ve heard the critics salivating over this. 12 years in the making…astonishing director’s vision…incredible achievement, yadda yadda. What really got The Sloth was it draws you unsettlingly back on a journey through your own past 12 years.  History flashing before your eyes.

 

nightcrawler-poster2. Nightcrawler. This looked so mouth-wateringly fabulous on paper – Jake Gyllenhaal as a manic sociopath in a dark media satire, with the always-terrific Riz Ahmed on the side – we thought we would only be disappointed. We weren’t. We’ve not watched the News At Ten since. Shudder.

 

whiplash1. Whiplash. We emerged from the press screening with our head spinning and cheers ringing in our ears. Cheers! From miserable, unimpressible, been-there-done-that, grumpy journos! A dark, exhilarating, 100 mins of sheer adrenalin.

 

 

Agree? Disagree? Cor blimey, That Sloth doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about? Tell us – what made your list?

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Top five classic romantic movies to snuggle up to

Please welcome back The Sloth’s special guests Lovestruck.com who are in festive mood.

It’s that time of the year when all we want to do is dive onto the sofa, lock the door and snuggle up with our other halves with a glass of mulled wine in one hand and a mince pie – or three (ahem) – in the other. With Christmas just around the corner there are a host of classic love flicks showing on the TV and plenty to be watched on demand. Here at Lovestruck.com, we love a good love story and here are our top winter warmers:

Love-actually-posterLove Actually (2003). No list of festive rom coms would be complete without Richard Curtis’ classic, which features the intertwining love stories of multiple characters played by a seriously top notch cast (including High Grant, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy and Alan Rickman) over the Christmas season. From the Prime Minister, to the boy with a crush on his classmate, there is something for everyone to relate to – and it will leave you feeling on a festive high. Our top quote – Prime Minister: “If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling that love is actually all around.”

Poster - Breakfast at Tiffany's_01Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961). This American comedy, starring Audrey Hepburn as the awesome Holly Golightly, is an all time gem and we’re pretty sure you must have seen it already (and it’s always worth revisiting) but if you haven’t – this is one for as soon as you have a film-sized window in your diary. Ditsy and delightful Holly charms the whole of New York including her neighbour: struggling writer Paul Varjak (George Peppard). One of the most iconic movie kisses of all time sees them embrace down a rainy New York alley at the end. Our top quote – Paul: “People do fall in love. People do belong to each other, because that’s the only chance that anyone’s got for true happiness.”

beauty_and_the_beast_1991Beauty and The Beast (1991). They say Disney films are for kids but quite frankly, this is right up there with our fave romantic flicks of all time. Paige O’Hara voices the sassy and smart Belle, who is captured and kept imprisoned by the brutish Beast (voiced by Robby Benson), a prince magically transformed into a monster as punishment for his arrogance. As they spend time together, Bells starts to see beyond his looks to the man beneath. This was the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture Oscar and it dazzles with fabulous tunes and stunning visuals. Our top quote – Gaston: “If I didn’t know better, I’d think you had feelings for this monster Belle.” Belle: “He’s no monster Gaston, you are.”

gineGone With The Wind (1939). Still the highest grossing movie of all time, this flick tells of the tempestuous coupling between Rhett Butler (Clark Gable) and strong-willed Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh). We’d be open-mouthed if you’d not seen it already and, even if you have, we’re sure it’s time for another showing because more than 70 years on, it still sweeps you up into the golden age of Hollywood. This is one love story to seriously get your teeth stuck into. Our top quote – Rhett: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

theholidayThe Holiday (2006). A dead cert to get you into the holiday spirit. When two women, played by Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz, swap homes on a whim for the holiday season after bad break-ups with their boyfriends, they discover more about themselves and find love on the way. With an awesome cast (also featuring Jude Law and Jack Black), it never fails to disappoint. Our top quote – Miles: “It’s Christmas Eve and we’re going to celebrate being young and being alive.”

What other films would you add to our list? Do you have festive classics that you watch every year? Tell us @lovestruck

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5 Creepy Movie Characters

The Sloth didn’t sleep well last night.  Something went bump at 1.30am, waking us in panic. We grabbed the nearest improvised weapon to hand (a wooden puppet with a wobbly head – admittedly of limited use, but we’d left our Kalashnikov in the garage) and crept downstairs, ruing the fact our phone was out of charge.

The reason for our terror? We’d been watching The Fall pre-bedtime so were convinced a balaclavaed Jamie Dornan was sniffing our pants in the kitchen.  An interesting image for two reasons i) such an image could as easily apply to Mr Dornan’s upcoming turn as Christian Grey in 50 Shades – clearly not a man afraid of typecasting and ii) it highlighted a proliferation of unsavoury types currently parading across our screens. From Dornan’s own personal Gallery of Miscreants to Jake Gyllenhaal’s skin-crawling Nightcrawler, Louis Bloom; to Rosamund Pike’s Amazing Amy, whose morals and sanity have long Gone Girl, we’re loving Hollywood’s current turn to The Dark Side. Here are 5 more memorable movie creepsters from the past.

one hour1) Seymour Parrish, One Hour Photo. The much missed Robin Williams is primarily remembered for his services to comedy, but The Sloth most admired his turn as an obsessive stalker preying on a suburban family. It’s always the quiet ones…

 

 

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2) Anton Chigurh, No Country For Old Men. King of the bad haircut, Javier Bardem’s uber-villain simply has to stand and stare with his bolt gun and a thousand shivers run down a thousand spines. A technique partially reprised later for his white fright-wigged Silva in Skyfall.

 

dennis3) Frank Booth, Blue Velvet. Were we a lazy Sloth (oh, IRONY!) we could simply list 5 David Lynch films and leave this post there. But we’re not, so we’ll nominate Dennis Hopper’s gas mask wearing psychopath as a sadistically disturbed highlight.

 

 

tom_cruise_hair_smile_respect_magnolia_film4) Frank T McCay, Magnolia. Creepsters don’t always hide their light under a bushel. In arguably his best ever performance, Tom Cruise’s megalomaniac, misogynistic self-help guru dispensing seminars of ladykilling ‘advice’ to wannabe pick-up artists becomes even more disturbing after recent news stories surrounding Julien Blanc.

 

Frank5) Frank, Donnie Darko. (NB Are you sensing some kind of pattern emerging? No? Just us?)  Frankly (there it is again…), the entire film is essentially one long, surreal nightmare, but the intermittent, hallucinogenic images of Frank (gaahhh!!!!) the pyscho-bunny should come with a government mental health warning. Watch at your sanity’s peril.

Who are your favourite creepsters? Let us know.

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