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Movies - Awards posts

Monday January 22, 2018

Your 2017 Oscar Picks, Courtesy of SAG

If you're in an Oscar pool, these should probably be your picks in the acting categories this year:

  • Actor: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
  • Actress: Francis McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Supoorting Actress: Allison Janey, “I, Tonya”

They should be your picks because they were the winners at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild/SAG Awards last night, and because SAG has predicted—or, to be fair, preceded—the Oscar choices in at least three of the four acting categories every year since 2009. Often it was a clean sweep. Here are the SAG choices, with differences with Oscar highlighted:

Year Lead Actor Lead Actress Supporting Actor Supporting Actress
2016 Denzel Washington Emma Stone Mahershala Ali Viola Davis
2015 Leonardo DiCaprio Brie Larson Idris Elba Alicia Vikander
2014 Eddie Redmayne Julianne Moore J.K. Simmons Patricia Arquette
2013 Matthew McConaughey Cate Blanchett Jared Leto Lupita Nyong'o
2012 Daniel Day-Lewis Jennifer Lawrence Tommy Lee Jones Anne Hathaway
2011 Jean Dujardin Viola Davis Christopher Plummer Octavia Spencer
2010 Colin Firth Natalie Portman Christian Bale Melissa Leo
2009 Jeff Bridges Sandra Bullock Christoph Waltz No'Nique

In 2011, the Academy went Meryl Streep for “Iron Lady” rather than Viola Davis for “The Help” (bad choice, Oscar), and in 2012, it opted for Christoph Waltz reprising his cooky Tarantino villainy in “Django Unchained” rather than Tommy Lee Jones' 19th-century gravitas in “Lincoln” (another bad choice). Two years ago, it tapped Mark Rylance in “Bridge of Spies” over Idris Elba's straight-to-Netflix monstrous commander in “Beasts of No Nation,” which, being straight-to-Netflix, wasn't even nominated by the Academy (I lean Rylance). And last year, it went Casey Affleck in “Manchester By the Sea” over Denzel directing himself in “Fences” (another wash, but, given my preference for “Manchester,” and Denzel's closetful of awards, I lean Affleck). 

So: 28 of 32. Almost a lock. 

It actually feels like more of a lock than that. It doesn't take Ta-Nehesi Coates to see that three of the four differences between SAG and Oscar involved race: SAG chose African-American actors, Oscar didn't. Only in one (Jones/Waltz) was white traded for white. And of course Jones was one of the Men in Black.

So now we're at 31 of 32. Tough to get better odds.  

Oscar nominations announced tomorrow morning. 

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Posted at 07:42 AM on Jan 22, 2018 in category Movies - Awards
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Friday January 05, 2018

PGA and WGA Swipe Right

The Writers and Producers Guilds have announced their nominees for best films of 2017, and they match! Seven times:

PGA WGA
The Big Sick The Big Sick (O)
Call Me By Your Name Call Me By Your Name (A)
Dunkirk The Disaster Artist (A)
Get Out Get Out (O)
I, Tonya I, Tonya (O)
Lady Bird Lady Bird (O)
Molly's Game Logan (A)
The Post Molly's Game (A)
The Shape of Water Mudbound (A)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri* The Shape of Water (O)
Wonder Woman  

* “Three Billboards” was not eligible for the WGA award 

Happy to see both nods for “The Big Sick.” I'm crossing my fingers it gets Oscar noms for pic and screenplay.

Also found it interesting that each guild chose a superhero flick. PGA went with the big, bold and politically correct choice, “Wonder Woman,” while WGA opted for the dystopian, end-of-the-superhero superhero flick in “Logan.” I would've gone neither. My favorite superhero movie of the year was “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” 

And hey, check out the number of woman-led pics from both guilds. That's new.

The PGA Awards will be held Saturday, Jan. 20, while the WGA Awards procrastinate (as writers do) until Sunday, Feb. 11. DGA nominees will be announced Jan. 11, winners Feb. 3.

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Posted at 03:26 PM on Jan 05, 2018 in category Movies - Awards
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Monday December 11, 2017

The Seattle Film Critics Society's 10 Best of the Year

The nominees are out from the Seattle Film Critics Society, and they are ... 

Wait, nominees? Even the New York and LA film critics don't do nominees...do they? They just award.

Anyway, despite living in Seattle (First Hill, represent!), and being a film critic (of a kind), I've never been anywhere near this group. Maybe with good reason. These are their nominees for best picture:

Missing? “The Big Sick,” of course, which I watched again with friends last night and liked more than the first time I saw it—as the opening movie of the Seattle International Film Festival last May. And I loved it then. Right now, it's top 3 for me. With many more to see...

...such as “Call Me By Your Name,” which is winning awards up the wazoo but not here. For a second I thought it wasn't listed because it hadn't screened this far west, but the film is mentioned as part of “Best Ensemble Cast.” And that's it. No others. Neither best pic for “The Shape of Water.” Haven't seen yet so shouldn't say. Just ... surprising. 

What's included and probably shouldn't be? “Blade Runner 2049” for starters. Then on to “Dunkirk” and wrap up with “Logan.” I'd put “Spidey” before “Logan.”

I guess I like the head bob toward the popular, but then why ignore “Big Sick”? And why all the sci-fi? Fucking nerds.

At least “Baby Driver” didn't make the cut.  

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Posted at 06:28 PM on Dec 11, 2017 in category Movies - Awards
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Sunday December 03, 2017

NY and LA Film Critics Weigh In (For a Change)

NY and LA Film Critics weigh in

Armie Hammer (foreground), and Chalamet, in “Call Me By My Name”

In the last few days, on the heels of the National Board of Review, both the NY and the LA Film Critics Associations announced their winners for the year. Both bodies, I believe, get together in person and duke it out. I don't know why they don't film it. Best short feature, yo. 

Anyway, here they are:

Category LA Film Critics NY Film Critics
Picture “Call Me By Your Name” “Lady Bird”
Director Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me By Your Name,” Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water” (tie) Sean Baker, “The Florida Project”
Actor Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name” Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Actress Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water” Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Supporting Actress Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird” Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip”
Supporting Actor  Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project” Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Screenplay Jordan Peele, “Get Out” Paul Thomas Anderson, “Phantom Thread”
Cinematography Dan Lautsen, “The Shape of Water” Rachel Morrison, “Mudbound”
Editing Lee Smith, “Dunkirk  
Best Documentary ”Faces Places“ ”Faces Places“
Foreign Language ”BPM“ and ”Loveless“ ”BPM“ 
Animated Feature ”The Breadwinner“ ”Coco“

Not tons of agreement. Just on the dudes, the doc and the foreigners. Really looking forward to ”BPM,“ AKA ”120 battements par minute,“ which is about love during the AIDS crisis. French, bien sur. 

Interesting that in NY, where they gave picture and actress to ”Lady Bird,“ the film's surest bet, Laurie Metcalf in supporting, went to Tiffany Haddish in ”Girls Trip.“ I'm all for awarding outright comedies but this doesn't feel like the year. Particularly with Holly Hunter in ”The Big Sick“ hanging in the wings.

”Call Me By Your Name“ and ”The Shape of Water" open in Seattle later this month.  

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Posted at 04:39 PM on Dec 03, 2017 in category Movies - Awards
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Tuesday November 28, 2017

How is the National Board of Review Like Spinal Tap?

The Post is NBR's best film

Return with us now, to those thrilling days of yesteryear...

The National Board of Review, the first of the never-ending awardists, gave its top prizes to Steven Spielberg's The Postthe film about the Pentagon Papers and the moment when The Washington Post became our other national newspaper—awarding it: 1) Best Film, 2) Best Actress (Meryl Streep) and Best Actor (Tom Hanks).

Which means? Just that. If you're looking for an Oscar predictor, look elsewhere. In the last five years, NBR's best film has been: “Manchester By the Sea,” “Mad Max: Fury Road” (gag), “A Most Violent Year,” “Her” and “Zero Dark Thirty,” none of which won the Oscar. In that time, they match with the Academy once on actor (Casey Affleck, last year), and twice on actress (Brie Larson, “The Room” and Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”). One year, they gave the acting award to Matt Damon for “The Martian.” They're a kooky bunch. 

And never more so than in their Top 10 Movies. Or their “Top 10 Movies Other Than The One We've Just Chosen.” How is NBR like Spinal Tap? They go to 11.

Here is their Top 10 Except for No. 1. With a few mild suggestions:

  • Baby Driver The Big Sick
  • Call Me by Your Name  
  • The Disaster Artist 
  • Downsizing 
  • Dunkirk Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
  • The Florida Project 
  • Get Out 
  • Lady Bird
  • Logan The Shape of Water, maybe? 
  • Phantom Thread

NBR's entire list of 2017 award winners can be found here.

ADDENDUM: OK, I did a little more digging. This century, NBR and the Academy have agreed on best picture only twice: “No Country for Old Men” in 2007 and “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2008. Among NBR's forgotten best films: “Quills” in 2000, “Finding Neverland” in 2004, “Good Night, and Good Luck” in 2005, “Up in the Air” in 2009 and “Hugo” in 2011. 

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Posted at 03:19 PM on Nov 28, 2017 in category Movies - Awards
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