Why You Have to See “Bwakaw” -- The Philippines’ Entry to Oscars Foreign Language Competition 


I am proud of the Philippine Cinema! Like Hollywood, for every mainstream film, there are independent movies that tell a captivating story made by passionate filmmakers who want their voice heard. One of those filmmakers is Jun Robles Lana who created a thought-provoking movie about aging called “Bwakaw.”

Made with blessings from Cinemalaya, the purveyor of well-crafted indie films in the Philippines, “Bwakaw” stars the Filipino icon, Eddie Garcia, as Rene, a quarrelsome elderly gay man who came out late in life. Faced with many missed opportunities, Rene finds solace in his dog, bwakaw (translation: voracious appetite).

Playwright, screenwriter, and filmmaker Jun Robles Lana, the youngest Filipino to be inducted in the Palanca Literary Awards Hall of Fame, created “Bwakaw” in honor of his mentor, Rene Villanueva. You can feel the filmmaker’s passion just by watching the movie. The film was the official submission of the Philippines for the 85th Academy Awards foreign language competition. “Bwakaw” failed to get a nomination, but it didn’t matter for Lana. The film afforded him a new appreciation for life.

Lana’s “Bwakaw” was recently screened at the 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival under the World Cinema Now banner. I met the esteemed filmmaker for this one-on-one interview about “Bwakaw” and his passion. See what lies ahead for Jun Robles Lana.



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"Perks of Being a Wallflower" Gets USC Scripter Nomination! See Complete List of Nominees! 


I'm so happy that "Perks of Being a Wallflower," an overlooked gem this awards season, received a nomination for the 25th annual USC Libraries Scripter awards which recognize both the screenwriters and the authors of a film. In the case of "Perks," Stephen Chbosky is being honored for writing the book and adapting his novel. He also directed but too bad he did not get a nod from the Directors Guild of America. Oh well. We'll find out the winner on February 9.

Here are the complete list of nominees; for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

"Argo": Screenwriter Chris Terrio, Joshuah Bearman, author of the article "The Great Escape," and Antonio J. Mendez, author of "The Master of Disguise."

"Beasts of the Southern Wild": Screenwriters Lucy Alibar and Benh Zeitlin, based on Alibar's play "Juicy and Delicious."

"Life of Pi": Screenwriter David Magee and novelist Yann Martel.

"Lincoln": Screenwriter Tony Kushner and Doris Kearns Goodwin, author of "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln."

"Perks of Being a Wallflower": Stephen Chbosky, who wrote both the novel and the screen adaptation.

"Silver Linings Playbook": Screenwriter David O. Russell and author Matthew Quick.

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Directors Guild Reveals Documentary Nominees 


The Directors Guild of America has announced the nominees for the Best Documentary category of the DGA Awards. I'm very happy that "Searching for Sugar Man" and "The Queen of Versailles," two of my favorite docs of 2012, received nods. Winner will be revealed on February 2nd.

Here's the complete list of nominees; for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

The Invisible War
KIRBY DICK
Rise Film
ITVS
Fork Films
Cuomo Cole Productions
Canal Plus
Chain Camera Pictures

This is Mr. Dick’s first DGA Award nomination.

Searching For Sugar Man
MALIK BENDJELLOUL
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Passion Pictures Production
Canfield Pictures & The Documentary Company
Red Box Films

This is Mr. Bendjelloul’s first DGA Award nomination.

The Queen of Versailles
LAUREN GREENFIELD
Magnolia Pictures
Evergreen Pictures
BBC Storyville
Impact Partners
Candescent Films
Plus Pictures
DR
VPRO
Queen of Versailles, LLC

This is Ms. Greenfield’s first DGA Award nomination.

How To Survive A Plague
DAVID FRANCE
Public Square Films
Ford Foundation/Justfilms Impact Partners
How to Survive a Plague, LLC

This is Mr. France’s first DGA Award nomination.

Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry
ALISON KLAYMAN
United Expression Media
Muse Film and Television
Never Sorry, LLC

This is Ms. Klayman’s first DGA Award nomination.

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"Argo," "Les Miserables" Top 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards!  


Tina Fey and Amy Poehler rocked it hosting the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards on NBC. Ben Affleck's "Argo" took home the Best Picture Drama while Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables" won Best Picture, Comedy/Musical. Much like the Critics' Choice Movie Awards before it, Affleck's picture led the winners of the Hollywood Foreign Press' Golden Globe Movie Awards!

(Follow me on facebook.com/MannyTheMovieGuy for my minute by minute look at the Globes!)

Mychael Danna, who was just recently awarded the Frederick Loewe award for film composing at the 24th Annual Palm Springs International Film Festival wins Best Original Score for LIFE OF PI! President Bill Clinton received a standing ovation as he introduced Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln."

Jodie Foster accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award with a sorta yes, sorta no coming out speech which really culminated into something like protecting her privacy. And then she proceeded to say she's quitting from acting! She would dedicate her next phase in Hollywood writing!

And Ben Affleck, famously snubbed by the Oscars for not nominating the actor/helmer in the Best Director category, won Best Director for ARGO! So Oscar, ARGO f...yourself!!!!!

For Best Supporting Actor, Christoph Waltz surprised everyone by winning the trophy for his splendid performance in "Django Unchained." Hugh Jackman won Best Actor Comedy/Musical for "Les Miserables," stealing the award from the highly-praised Bradley Cooper from "Silver Linings Playbook."

Jessica Chastain won the Best Actress, Drama for "Zero Dark Thirty," while Jennifer Lawrence took home the Best Actress, Comedy/Musical trophy for "Silver Linings Playbook." The daughter of Frances Fisher and Clint Eastwood, Frances is Miss Golden Globe, while Michael J. Fox's son, Sam Fox, is Mr. Golden Globes.

And here are the winners of the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards; for winners/nominees of other award-giving bodies, click here:

MOVIES

BEST MOTION PICTURE, DRAMA

*** Argo
Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Lincoln
Zero Dark Thirty

BEST MOTION PICTURE, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
*** Les Misérables
Moonrise Kingdom
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Silver Linings Playbook

BEST DIRECTOR
*** Ben Affleck, Argo
Kathryn Bigelow, Zero Dark Thirty
Ang Lee, Life of Pi
Steven Spiel, Lincoln
Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained

BEST ACTOR, DRAMA
*** Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln
Richard Gere, Arbitrage
John Hawkes, The Sessions
Joaquin Phoenix, The Master
Denzel Washington, Flight

BEST ACTRESS, DRAMA
*** Jessica Chastain, Zero Dark Thirty
Marion Cotillard, Rust & Bone
Helen Mirren, Hitchcock
Naomi Watts, The Impossible
Rachel Weisz, Deep Blue Sea

BEST ACTOR, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Jack Black, Bernie
Bradley Cooper, Silver Linings Playbook
*** Hugh Jackman, Les Misérables
Ewan McGregor, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
Bill Murray, Hyde Park

BEST ACTRESS, MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Emily Blunt, Salmon Fishing
Judy Dench, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
*** Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook
Maggie Smith, Quartet
Meryl Streep, Hope Springs

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Alan Arkin, Argo
Leonardo DiCaprio, Django Unchained
Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Master
Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln
*** Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Amy Adams, The Master
Sally Field, Lincoln
*** Anne Hathaway, Les Misérables
Helen Hunt, The Sessions
Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy

BEST SCREENPLAY
Zero Dark Thirty
Lincoln
Silver Linings
*** Django Unchained
Argo

BEST ANIMATED FILM
*** Brave
Frankenweenie
Hotel Transylvania
Rise of the Guardians
Wreck-It Ralph

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE PICTURE
*** Amour
A Royal Affair
The Untouchables
Kon-Tiki
Rust and Bone

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
*** Life of Pi
Argo
Anna Karenina
Cloud Atlas
Lincoln

ORIGINAL SONG
"For You," Act of Valor
"Not Running Anymore"
"Safe and Sound," The Hunger Games
*** "Skyfall," Skyfall
"Suddenly," Les Misérables

TV

BEST TV SERIES, DRAMA

Breaking Bad
Boardwalk Empire
Downton Abbey
*** Homeland
The Newsroom

BEST TV SERIES, COMEDY
The Big Bang Theory
Episodes
*** Girls
Modern Family
Smash

BEST ACTOR, TV DRAMA
Steve Buschemi, Boardwalk Empire
Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad
Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Jon Hamm, Mad Men
*** Damian Lewis, Homeland

BEST ACTRESS, TV DRAMA
Connie Britton, Nashville
Glenn Close, Damages
*** Claire Danes, Homeland
Michelle Dockery, Downton Abbey
Julianna Marguiles, The Good Wife

BEST ACTOR, TV COMEDY
*** Don Cheadle, House of Lies
Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock
Louis C.K., Louis
Matt LeBlanc, Episodes
Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory

BEST ACTRESS, TV COMEDY
Zooey Deschanel, New Girl
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
*** Lena Dunham, Girls
Tina Fey, 30 Rock
Amy Poehler, Parks and Recreation

BEST MINISERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
*** Game Change
The Girl
Hatfields & McCoys
The Hour
Political Animals

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
*** Kevin Costner, Hatfields & McCoys
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock
Woody Harrelson, Game Change
Toby Jones, The Girl
Clive Owen, Hemingway & Gelhorn

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Nicole Kidman, Hemingway & Gelhorn
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Asylum
Sienna Miller, The Girl
*** Julianne Moore, Game Change
Sigourney Weaver, Political Animals

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES, OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Max Greenfield, New Girl
*** Ed Harris, Game Change
Danny Houston, Magic City
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Eric Stonestreet, Modern Family

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A SERIES, MINISERIES, OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Hayden Panetierre, Nashville
Archie Panjabi, The Good Wife
Sarah Paulson, Game Change
*** Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey
Sofia Vergara, Modern Family

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Movie Reviews: "Gangster Squad" and "Promised Land" 


Two movies to choose from this weekend, we have “Gangster Squad” and “Promised Land.” In “Gangster Squad,” Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, and Sean Penn star in the action drama about Mickey Cohen (Penn) and the LAPD cops determined to take him down.

In “Promised Land,” Matt Damon and John Krasinski star and co-wrote the screenplay about fracking with Damon and Frances McDormand as sales people for a gas company that wants to tap into the natural resources of a small town. Damon returns to the loving arms of his “Good Will Hunting” director, Gus Van Sant, for this film.

So which one is my pick of the week? Take a look:



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