The Oscars 2015: Predictions & Film Reviews




The Oscars are soon coming upon us, full of controversy about Hollywood racism and sexism, drama and fashion. Everything we love to talk and fight over.

Here are my 2015 Predictions: 

1. Best Picture: 

Nominees: Whiplash, Birdman, The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything, Selma, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Will go to Boyhood, and deservedly so. Even though I haven’t seen the movie, I hear that it is very good, and for a director to spend 12 years of his life following and filming the life of a boy becoming a man, this deserves all the plaudits it can get. It’s a cinematic feat to having achieved it and I love the concept. (I love that Grand Budapest Hotel has received a nod though, see below review).


All photographs in this post have been poached from some internet site. NHYM 2015

2. Best Actor

Nominees: Eddie Redmayne (Theory of Everything), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game), Bradley Cooper, Michael Keaton (Birdman), Steve Carrell (Foxcatcher)

It will be a battle between Eddie Redmayne in ‘The Theory of Everything‘ versus Michael Keaton’s Birdman. As you can read in the below review, I wasn’t bowled over by the movie Birdman and don’t think he deserves to win I’m afraid. But it is Hollywood, and with a majority of 60 year old white jurors, you never know. I think Eddie Redmayne will win it, with a Golden Globe and SAG award already under his belt. (Personally, I would have loved Steve Carrell in Foxcatcher to win as I thought he was absolutely brilliant in it. But hey, I clearly don’t fit the Oscar juror profile).

3. Best Director

Nominees: Richard Linklater (Boyhood), Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (Birdman), Bennett Miller (Foxcatcher), Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game).

Will also go to Richard Linklater, as above mentioned for Boyhood. Best Director and Best Picture often go hand in hand, which makes sense, although The Theory of Everything missed out on Best Director whilst Foxcatcher missed out on Best Picture. Another happy nod to Wes Anderson as Best Director!

4. Best Actress

Nominees: Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Marillon Cotillard (Two Days, One Night), Felicity Jones (The Theory of Everything), Reese Witherspoon (Wild), Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl).

Julianne Moore is loved by Hollywood and America. She can do no wrong and will win in her performance in ‘Still Alice.’ Everyone loves a physical and emotional transformation in a film. This is a sure bet. Rosamund Pike will miss out, although she is eerily terrific in Gone Girl. A nice nod to Marillon Cotillard for her performance in Two Days, One Night, the best french actress of our times (aka the French, younger version of Meryl Streep), whose performance in Of Rust and Bone was completely missed last year, which was a shame. Felicity Jones is trailing last in this race, but give her time and she may mature into an Oscar-worthy actress (see my review below).


5. Best Supporting Actor:

Nominees: JK Simmons (Whiplash), Mark Ruffalo (Foxcatcher), Edward Norton (Birdman), Robert Duvall (The Judge)

JK Simmons in Whiplash will win, he who is more commonly known for his TV performances in some crime series aka Law & Order, as he provides a cringeworthy and intense performance as a tyrannical music teacher, which will beat all of his contenders in this fight.

6. Best Supporting Actress:

Nominees: Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), Meryl Streep (Into the Woods), Laura Dern (Wild), Emma Stone (Birdman), Keira Knightley (The Imitation Game)

Rosanna Arquette in Boyhood will win although I really enjoyed Emma Stone in Birdman, and we can bow down to Meryl Streep for her *101st* nomination.

* With 17 or 19 Academy Award Nominations and 29 Golden Globe Nominations, I am sure I am not far off…

FILM REVIEWS: The Theory of Everything, Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Foxcatcher


I recently discovered the Lounge at Whiteleys, which has become a second home to Mr. X and me. The ‘Business Class’ reclining seats successfully accomplish making a trip to the cinema worth it. Of course, I have one friend who feels an anxiety attack coming on when she sits in one of the seats, bringing on flashbacks of her flying for work, something she has happily given up long ago, while I hear others are bothered by the hamburger smells coming from their neighbour’s tray, which, when you aren’t eating, can be quite unappealing. But since I don’t have the patience to book a movie 1 month in advance for the Electric, The Lounge beats the regular Kensington High Street Odeon (or Westfield) any time!

The Theory of Everything

I actually enjoyed watching the Theory of Everything, and Eddie Redmayne is faultless in his performance of Stephen Hawking. The control he had physically in this part was tremendous and his nerdy-but-genius charisma worked very well. The trouble with the film is two-fold; it ended up being a rather sticky sweet, syrupy movie which didn’t really delve in the depths of the mental trauma of getting a life-threatening, catastrophic illness, and the emotional impact of it. Nor did Felicity Jones feel that believable as she aged. As a young university student, I think she was perfect. But as an ageing, possibly bitter, emotionally and physically exhausted woman who had lost her husband in some ways, she lacked the depth or maturity (or personal suffering) to convey the true emotions of a woman going through, let’s face it, hell. I don’t mean to criticise her, for she is a lovely, posh actress, but she is green and I think that they should have chosen a more mature woman for the part of Stephen Hawking’s wife as a mother and carer. All in all, a good film, I enjoyed learning about his triumphs over nature and his own body, and it was very watchable, but it was a bit too Hollywood-esque for me. A Beautiful Mind, was for me, a more beautiful movie.

Best for: Date Night

Rating: 4 stars



Birdman is the film that the whole film industry is rooting for, with endless nominations, wins and glowing critiques. I went expecting a life-changing film as one film critic described it, but left not quite satisfied with the movie, as if I had eaten a 3 star Michelin meal, but that was too heavy for me and left my tummy unsettled. The film industry loves it because it is about actors and performing arts, and the film industry loves itself, which makes it rather self-indulgent. The cinematic feat of making it appear as one long take is a new visual skill that makes it quite exciting, another reason it received so many nominations. And the acting is actually quite good; Edward Norton is excellent as an arrogant, aggressive self aggrandising actor, Emma Stone has the right mixture of vulnerability and anger that a teenager/young adult should have and Michael Keaton is overall quite good at playing himself (although does not deserve to win Best Actor when there are so many great actors like Eddie Redmayne and Steve Carell competing). As an ensemble, they deserve to win best acting. As a whole though, the movie for me just didn’t quite to it for me. I felt that I could have skipped traipsing down to the movie theatre for it. Which is why I am not in the Film Industry; I just don’t get it.

Best for: Waiting for the DVD and watching it on your home projector

Rating: 3.5 stars (for the excellent acting)


The Grand Budapest Hotel

Wes Anderson is like Marmite, you either love him or hate him. I generally love him, even though I can’t stand marmite. I particularly loved Moonrise Kingdom, The Royal Tennenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited. His characters and story lines are quirky, inventive, and unique, always bringing light to the underdogs. He breaks taboos and shows real humans in their flawed glory. The Grand Budapest Hotel is just that, with Ralph Fiennes shagging old ladies, while showing the strength of loyalty between Master and Servant. His characters always end up loveable and flawed.

Best For: Double Date night

Rating: 4 Stars


In October, I predicted Best Actor, Best Director and a Best Soundtrack nominations for Foxcatcher, and I wasn’t too far off as it has bagged Best Actor, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best original screenplay and Best Hair & Make-up (which it will win) nominations.  This movie waited almost a whole year to be released at the right time, in the fall, in order to pick up some nominations, so I’m glad the wait was worth it. Channing Tatum may have been overlooked in the nominations, but I question whether he was playing a lot of himself rather than the role. Hats off for the nominations!




Photos, Social Commentary

The Serpentine Summer Party 2014


(Photos all by NHYM copyright 2014)

Peak Summer Party Week

Apparently, this week is Peak Party Week for Summer Parties (quoted from the Evening Standard 2/7/14) and if there is one summer party to go to and one invite to receive, it is to the Serpentine Summer Party (Cartier Polo is passé, Wimbledon becomes a bit repetitive, and it wouldn’t be fair to compare it to Garden/Country/School Parties). It is the gallery’s biggest fundraiser of the year and showcases a Pavilion designed by some of the world’s most influential architects, from Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, to Jean Nouvel and Oscar Niemeyer, who have all exhibitied in the past. It is also the trendiest party of the year, mingling artists, architects, fashion designers with A-list Hollywood stars of the moment, Supermodels and London socialites, Rock Stars, and Power Mad Business Tycoons.


First, the art…

This year, a Chilean architect Smiljan Radic brought a giant alien spacepod to Hyde Park. It is one of the strangest pavilions so far, (I am partial to the Japanese architects, really liking Sou Fujimoto’s pavilion last year and the 2009 Pavilion by Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa), but the directors, Julia Peyton Jones and Hans-Ulbrich Obrist see a vision in it: ‘While enigmatically archaic, in the tradition of romantic follies, Radic’s designs for the pavilion also look excitingly futuristic, appearing like an alien space pod that has come to rest on a Neolithic site.’


The Frog and The Yanks have landed in London in a Chilean Spacepod

Not only is this party about art, but it is becoming about international power players and this year’s party was co-hosted by some of the most powerful men in the world; Michael Bloomberg, (who recently became Chairman of the Serpentine, American ex-New York mayor, finance publisher, billionaire, 16th richest in the world), Francois-Henri Pinault, (French CEO of a luxury conglomerate, Kering, which owns Gucci, Stella McCartney, Bottega Venetta, St. Laurent amongst others, 3rd richest man in France), and Andre Balasz (Hungarian-American hotelier extraordinaire and taste-maker worth $450 Million, who recently opened the blazing hot Chiltern Firehouse). And in the midst of this power threesome are stories of politics and money, dating Hollywood actresses, Supermodel ex-girlfriends baby mommas, and more gossip and scandal than in a Danielle Steele novel.


Michael Bloomberg takes over the world

Michael Bloomberg, known for being a major philanthropist has already donated a large sum of money to help build an extension of the Serpentine Gallery, the Sackler gallery. This is just one of the ways of making his name in the London Social Circle, along with building Bloomberg Place in the city with Fosters architects, befriending David Cameron with party donations, and launching London’s Technology Week with Boris Johnson a few weeks ago. He already conquered New York by ‘buying’ his candidacy with more personal money than any other candidate (and did a relatively good job of it, being a Robin Hood type, decreasing New York’s deficit by cutting costs and spending his own personal money to compensate the losses). He now has his sights on London and I wouldn’t be surprised if he were to try to run against Old Boris for the Mayor candidacy in London. The Etonian vs. the Billionaire. Perhaps we should take it as a compliment that he is now turning to London as his home, post NY, but perhaps it is his ambitions that have grown bigger than the U.S. alone. Unfortunately, Bloomberg was nowhere to be seen at the party, likely too busy planning on how to take over China.


The Co-Hosts: Francois Henri Pinault and Andre Balasz (Oh, and Brendan Mullane creative director of Brioni and Marina Abramovic, artist)

The other billionaire moving to London is Francois-Henri Pinault from France, who is known for his love scandals in great French style, having fathered two children in the same year with Supermodel Linda Evangelista and Superstar Hollywood Actress, Salma Hayek (I’m not sure his good looks got them into bed…). Andre Balasz, also known for dating Hollywood actresses (famously dated Uma Thurman post-Ethan Hawke, and the comedienne Chelsea Handler), also has his sights set on Hotel-World-Domination after the ridiculously successful London opening of Chiltern Firehouse, where everyone ended up for the Serpentine after-party.


(Keira Knightely at the DJ Booth)

The Party

As we arrive, Princess Beatrice is being photographed, looking like a princess in her billowy, white, flowery bouffant dress, while we pass the hoards of paparazzi. The security this year is much more stringent than in the past years, promising some great people watching. Inside, Andre Balasz, being the consummate host, is chatting and smiling at my arrival. The Ladies of London cast positioned themselves at the entrance to expose themselves to the world and welcomed any photographic exposure. At the bar near the DJ Booth, I am fighting for a Watermelon Martini with Nick Grimshaw behind me and Zadie Smith on my left (who knew she was this beautiful) while Cara Delivigne sipped her cocktail and watched on, being her kooky self. She is wearing a somewhat subdued, classical black Mulberry evening gown and carrying the latest Mulberry bag, of her own design. She is rather cool and beautiful in person. She eventually wanders off to chat to Keira Knightely who is at the DJ Booth trying to figure out who the guest performer will be tonight.


(Grayson Perry)


The people-watching is quite simply spectacular (not quite the Met Ball or the Oscars but pretty impressive for London standards), with Actors, Models, Magazine Editors, Fashion designers, Business Tycoons, Artists and all the other London’s scenesters and trendsetters everywhere I look (you can see all the dresses on the Hello, Vogue and Huffpost websites): Bradley Cooper is looking dapper next to Francois-Henri Pinault who made an appearance without his wife, Suki Waterhouse is looking fab in pale pink Burberry although a little too slender for my taste. Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Nancy D’el Olio, colourful as always, are yearly regulars. Orlando Bloom looks rather dashing with his hair pulled back in a fitted suit while Lily Allen is looking funky with multicoloured hair. Noel Gallagher has finally made it to the Serpentine this year he says, and chats to Bradley.


Keira, Cara and Alexa: the Belles of the Ball

Keira, Cara and Alexa are already setting the scene on the dance floor for the surprise guest. Natalie Massanet is looking a bit tired this year, she must be working too hard, while Sir Philip Green is here with his daughter. Nikki Hilton looks a little lost in the crowds, although pulling off a great black and white Diane von Vurstenberg jumpsuit. Gemma Arterton is looking luscious in her red midriff baring dress and red matching lips. The fash pack is out in force; Matthew Williamson, Alice Temperely, Naomi Campbell, Lily Cole, Arizona Muse are only some of the few. And I spot a number of NHN and NHYMs I recognise, and while I am busy people watching, Mr. C is busy being chatted up by a 20something New York socialite.


(The Electronic Surfboard)

Inside the gallery is a dedicated room for the football fans following USA vs Belgium, being projected on a wall in a man room, with an inflatable bouncy castle and electronically controlled surf board, a basketball hoop and a dance arcade (a favourite of Alexa Chung and Andre Balasz).



I ‘Get Lucky’ and I am ‘Happy’

As the sun sets on a beautiful evening and crowd in the Park, arrives the highlight of the night in the form of our favourite pint-sized, hat-wearing, artist/singer/producer Pharrell Williams. (Last year’s performance by the Saturdays was forgettable, the year before was Azalea Banks who sang 212 while I was boogying between Benedict Cumberbatch and Arizona Muse, and a few years before, Dizzie Rascal made us get rowdy to ‘Holiday.)’ It doesn’t get better than this. Pharrell is an artist and a magician with his hit songs and collaborations, who inspires 3 year olds to 70 year olds. And as he sang ‘Get Lucky’ and ‘Happy’ under the stars of Hyde Park’s Serpentine Gallery, there is nowhere else to be tonight, and just for tonight I truly am feeling pretty ‘Happy’ and I’ve gotten ‘Lucky’ as I held hands with Pharrell and danced the night away between Cara, Keira and Alexa.