Award Shows

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Episode 175 – The 2013 Oscars Reaction Show

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Well it is for movie fans because the official Oscar Nominations are out and you’ve got a few weeks to catch them before the Academy Awards on 24 February 2013.  Find out what we thought of the nominations in this week’s show!


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The 2012 Moviewallas Awards

Moviewallas Award Mug!

The time has finally come for Moviewallas to vote on our favorite films of 2012.  We argued, arm-wrestled, debated, pondered and discussed and when we could not agree, instead of sulking or sitting on each other until “mercy!” was called, we decided to vote as they do at the Oscars – We made our own lists and then assigned winners using a complicated scoring system.  The results are below along with each of our own top fives.  Let us know what you think and who you agree with most.

The Moviewallas 2012 Award Winners

 The following earn the coveted Moviewallas Mug Award!*

Best Film: Life of Pi
Best Director: Ang Lee (Life of Pi)
Best Actor (Male): John Hawkes (The Sessions)
Best Actor (Female): Helen Hunt (The Sessions)
Best Supporting (Male): Michael Fassbender (Prometheus)
Best Support (Female): Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises)
Best Cinematography: Life of Pi
Best Documentary:  Queen of Versailles


Want to see who you agree with most?  Was it Rashmi, Yazdi or Joe?  You can view our individual scores here:  DOWNLOAD (PDF)

*If you are an award winner or producer contact to claim your mug! 🙂


Kumare – a Film by Vikram Gandhi | Review

One could be forgiven for thinking that you are watching yet another Sacha Baron Cohen stunt on celluloid but, dare I say it, this is much better.  As part of a social experiment, filmmaker Vikram Gandhi dons an orange robe, grows a beard, and transforms himself from a Jersey boy into a wise Indian guru by the name of Kumare.  As Kumare, he then sets out to convince and indoctrinate a group of followers in the west that he is the real deal.  The aim? To challenge one of the most widely accepted taboos: that only a tiny “1%” can connect the rest of the world to a higher power. Concealing his true identity from everyone he meets, Kumare forges profound and spiritual connections with people from all walks of life.  At the same time, in the absurdity of living as an entirely different person, Vikram is forced to confront difficult questions about his own identity.

Gandhi manages to create an engaging documentary that holds a mirror up to his own questions about religion and beliefs and shines the reflection on the unenlightened.  This starts off comical and cliché making us laugh at the directionless new agers but quickly transforms into something deeper as he takes us on a journey of transformation, his own, the people he touches and us the audience.

The story unfolds admirably rather like the message Kumare the great guru is developing as he goes along and has you sweating towards the end when at the height of his popularity he contemplates revealing his true identity to a core group of disciples who are knee-deep in personal transformation. Will they accept his final teaching? Will he be able to prove that no one really needs anyone else to make them feel better about themselves?

Kumare delivers on all counts.  It is educational, informative, funny and entertaining.

Kumare” opens in Los Angeles at The Cinefamily on Friday, July 26th and will have a full week run from August 3rd through August 9th.  In addition, it was voted the AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER – Documentary Feature: SXSW FILM FESTIVAL 2011

Patang (The Kite) – A Film by Prashant Bhargarva | Review

Prashant Bhargava is clearly a talented director and writer to be able to bring together both actors and non-actors in this mockumentary style movie which very cleverly blends old Indian outlooks with a fresh non Bollywood storyline

Like its namesake, the movie is light at heart and mostly about the thrill and joy of flying kites during India’s largest kite festival where every year a million kites fill the skies above Ahmedabad-dueling, soaring, tumbling and flying high.  Look a little further however and it makes you realize that this is not only a brilliant narrative about general attitudes in India but also about families, relationships and what we hold important in our lives.  My heart soared during the highs and beat with anxiety during the lows when much tension is created through great direction, good storytelling and a moving and powerful score

PATANG weaves together the stories of six people transformed by the energy of the festival but centers mainly around a successful Delhi businessman (Jayesh) who takes his daughter (Priya) on a surprise trip back to his childhood home for the festival.  Despite the fact that he is an expert kite flyer, he does not count on his visit causing the entire family to confront its own fractured past and fragile dreams.  Jayesh and Priya are definitely “city mice” who discover the pleasures and difficulties faced by their “country mice” family.  Indeed Priya quickly learns that a mild flirtation can quickly lead to something undesirable when she spots an expert kite flyer in a young local hero called Bobby

Clearly one of the stars of this film is the amazing child star who is as adorable and captivating to watch as the children in “Slumdog Millionaire”.  It is hard to believe then that this and the other children in the film are untrained actors who are improvising.  It is very easy to watch the beautiful relationship between a young boy Hamid and his older man- friend Chakku a loser who seems to be unable to relate to anyone else especially his adorable and god fearing mother Sudha who only sees the good in every situation

It is difficult to think that a film about kites can really be this exciting and enthralling to watch.  Stick with the sometimes difficult to watch patchwork quilt of the storyline and I promise you will not be disappointed.

PATANG (THE KITE) will open Los Angeles exclusively at the Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills on July 20, 2012

In New York, PATANG THE KITE garnered a NY Times Critic Pick and is still playing in New York and Chicago – held over for another week.

The film will continue opening in approximately 18 cities across the US and Canada this summer.

Fancy One of These Wagers for the Academy Awards?

Not to be outdone by the categories of awards themselves, a betting company in the UK is creating their own inventive assembliges to incentivize anyone who wishes to gamble this year.  At (supposedly the world’s largest betting brand) instead of voting for the usual “Best Film”, “Best Director”, “Actor” or “Actress”, one can place a wager on the following:

  • How many of the big 3 award winners (Director, Actor, Actress) will visibly cry when receiving their award?
    • None: 4/7
    • 1: 3/2
    • 2: 5/1
    • All 3: 20/1
  • Oscars Specials – How many times will the word Thanks or Thank You be used in the acceptance speech of the Big 3 Awards (Director, Actor, Actress)?
    • Over/Under 20: 10/11
  • What will be the Predominant Color of Natalie Portman’s Dress at the Awards Ceremony?
    • Black 3/1
    • White 3/1
    • Blue 4/1
    • Cream/Beige 9/2
    • Pink 9/2
    • Red 5/1
  • Will Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds attend the Oscars together? Yes 6/1
  • Will any Oscar recipients fall on their way to the stage? Yes 15/1
  • Will Geoffrey Rush be wearing a hat? Yes 6/4


Now you may be asking yourself “why”? Well, apparently there is a feeling that the Oscars look even more predictable than normal this year (Colin Firth is 1/50 to win Best Actor!) so the categories were put togteher to help the long evening be a little more entertaining.  Perhaps our own moviewalla listeners could come up with a few inventive categories of our own???

Will the Annie Awards winner be a good predictor of “Best Animation” for the Oscars?

Which one is best “Toy Story 3” vs. ‘How to train your dragon” has long been a sometimes heated debate amongst the moviewallas.  With two of the wallas adoring “Toy Story 3” and the other backing the “How to Train Your Dragon” train all the way to the Oscars.  Needless to say, this will be a hard fight to the end since both animations are extremely good.  Methinks this could turn into a replay of the “Big Mac vs. Whopper” debate of Ye Olde time (PS, who won that by the way?).

how to train your dragon

However at the 38th Annual Annie Awards held on Saturday, February 5 at UCLA’s Royce Hall a choice was made and DreamWorks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragon” won top honors as the Best Animated Feature. Often a predictor of the annual Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, the Annie Awards honor overall excellence as well as individual achievement in a total of 25 categories ranging from best feature, production design, character animation and effects animation to storyboarding, video games, writing, music and voice acting.  (A complete list of the 38th Annual Annie Award winners can be viewed at

I decided to think of some of the merits of each of these terrific submissions to see if there was any way to separate the two:


Toy Story 3

How to Train your Dragon

Best Story


Most heart wrenching


Best rendition of a dragon that acts like a dog or Cat


Best story arc


Best ensemble cast EVER


The one that made me cry the most


The one that I would watch again and again


The one that I would watch if Toy Story 3 got worn out


So there you have it, both animations, both excellent and little to separate them.  Even in trying to rate the two against each other, I found the choice so difficult.  But remember, I loved “Toy Story 3” and sobbed uncontrollably at the end…for me I think what it comes down to was the familiarity and joy I felt seeing Woody, Buzz, Mr. Potato Head and the rest of the gang for the third time.  That intertwined with Pixar’s amazing talent to tell the story of a young boy all grown up and leaving home for the first time and the impact it has on all of those you leave behind.  Gosh, I’m tearing up just thinking about what a GREAT story this was as I write.  Whatever your preference, “Toy Story 3” or “How to Train your Dragon” what more could we ask for than two brilliant animations in one year that are both deserving of the title “Best animation”

Toy Story 3