Category Archives: Film Reviews

Phil Henson’s predictions for the 86th Academy Awards nominees

Phil Henson’s predictions for the 86th Academy Awards nominees

Every year I stick my neck out and set out my predictions for the academy awards.

I predict that the British team behind Gravity will need to have worked their arms in the gym this week to bring home all their awards; and I am optimistic that 12 years a Slave will prevail in the best picture, and best director categories.

Some of my choices are far from being the favourites to win, including: Michael Fassbender (best supporting actor), and also Captain Philips (best editing), Alexandre Desplat (best score) but they would all be worthy of the accolades.

Best wishes to all,



Best Picture
  • 12 Years a Slave
Best Actor in a Leading Role
  •  Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club)
Best Actress in a Leading Role
  •  Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine)


Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  •  Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave)


Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  •  Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave)
Best Animated Feature
  •  The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki)
Best Cinematography
  • Gravity (Emmanuel Lubezki)
Best Costume Design
      • American Hustle (Michael Wilkinson)
Best Directing
  •  12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen)
Best Documentary Feature
  •  The Act of Killing (Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sørensen)
Best Documentary Short
  •  The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life (Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed)
Best Film Editing
  •  Captain Phillips (Christopher Rouse)
Best Foreign Language Film
  •  The Great Beauty (Italy)
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
  •  Dallas Buyers Club (Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews)
Best Original Score
  •  Philomena (Alexandre Desplat)
Best Original Song
  •  The Moon Song (Her)
Best Production Design
  •  The Great Gatsby (Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn)
Best Animated Short Film
  •  Get a Horse! (Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim)
Best Live Action Short Film
  •  The Voorman Problem (Mark Gill, Baldwin Li)
Best Sound Editing
  •  Gravity (Glenn Freemantle)
Best Sound Mixing
  •  Gravity (Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro)
Best Visual Effects
  • Gravity (Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, Dave Shirk, Neil Corbould)
Best Adapted Screenplay
  • 12 Years a Slave – John Ridley
Best Original Screenplay
  •  Her –Spike Jonze

Do you agree with my choices?

Phil Henson



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Man of Steel – Review

Man of Steel – Review

When Christopher Nolan (Memento, Batman Begins, Inception), the man responsible for reviving the hugely successful Batman franchise, teams up with director Zack Synder (300, Watchmen), you can rest safe in the knowledge that you are about to see a high octane action film with a special effects team who will not be satisfied unless they have obliterated all man made surroundings. Sprinkle in a foreboding original music score from Hans Zimmer (Dark Knight Rises, Inception, and Gladiator) and a movie money printing press whirls into life; no doubt bolstered by the myriad of corporate product placements.

Superman’s father, Jor-El, (Russell Crowe) – who was thankfully not singing in this film –  and his wife, Lara Lor-Van Aylet Zurer) have secretly given birth to a bouncing baby boy, on the resource starved dying planet of Krypton. Seeing that the end of their planet is nigh Jor-El defies General Zod (Michael Shannon – The Iceman, Boardwalk Empire) and sends the baby with the Krypton codex (a skull that miraculously holds the entire DNA of the inhabitants of Krypton) to planet earth. Through flashbacks we see Clarke Kent growing up in the farming community of Kansas, with his adoptive parents played by Kevin Costner and Diane Lane. When General Zod arrives on earth it is inevitable that battle will commence.

British star Henry Cavill (I Capture The Castle, the Tudors, the Immortals) makes a convincing all American hero, complete with slick dark hair, ivory white teeth and a body and jaw line that Leonardo himself could have carved.

There are no scenes of Superman running into the phone box; or ripping open his shirt – this is a rebooted film after all. In the background at one stage we see a sign emblazoned with LexCorp, perhaps a teaser for the next instalment? Eagled eyed viewers will also see a Wayne enterprises logo elsewhere – is this an inside joke or the catalyst for rumours (you heard it here first!) that the caped crusader will join forces with the man of steel in a few years’ time?

Phil says: 7.17/10

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