erik lundegaard

Movies - Awards posts

Sunday January 20, 2019

‘Green Book’ Wins PGA Award

Green Book wins PGA

Driving Misinformation?

“Green Book,” the anodyne-yet-controversial update of “Driving Miss Daisy” with the racial positions reversed, won the Producers Guild Award, or PGA, last night in Hollywood. 

What does this mean? Historically, it means the movie has a 66% chance of winning best picture at the Academy Awards. That's the numbers from this century. (See below.)

The 10 PGA nominees weren't exactly stellar anyway, since 2018 was a fairly lousy year for American movies. If I had to rank them I'd go:

  1. Roma
  2. The Favourite
  3. A Star is Born
  4. A Quiet Place
  5. Green Book
  6. Black Panther
  7. Vice
  8. Bohemian Rhapsody
  9. BlacKkKlansman
  10. Crazy Rich Asians

There's a big dropoff after 1) and another big dropoff after 3). So “Green Book” winning is a kind of middle-of-the-road pick by the PGA. For an anodyne road picture. 

Well, “anodyne.” What struck me when first seeing the film, which is based on a true story, is how quickly its racist chauffeur overcomes his racism. It shows up in the first act and never again. He's also not homophobic. In 1962. He also has to show the black guy black culture. All of that. He's got the biggest heart of any man out there, and guess what? The screenplay was co-written by his son! Who, oh right, had a habit of retweeting racist accusations Donald Trump made. So apparently racism is harder to overcome than Vallelanga or Hollywood would have us believe. (See also: yesterday.) 

The Academy has become a bit more diverse in recent years, a consequence of the #OscarsSoWhite viral campaign, so maybe they‘ll be able to go another route. The two surest: “Roma,” which is the best pic of the bunch by far, and “A Star is Born,” which is a well-made, traditional Hollywood story by favorite son Bradley Cooper.

What an odd situation to be in. Expecting Oscar to save the day.

Here are the PGA/Oscar comparisons. 

Year PGA Oscar Winner
2018 Green Book ??
2017 The Shape of Water The Shape of Water
2016 La La Land Moonlight
2015 The Big Short Spotlight
2014 Birdman Birdman
2013 Gravity/ 12 Years a Slave 12 Years a Slave
2012 Argo Argo
2011 The Artist The Artist
2010 The King’s Speech The King's Speech
2009 The Hurt Locker The Hurt Locker
2008 Slumdog Millionaire Slumdog Millionaire
2007 No Country for Old Men No Country for Old Men
2006 Little Miss Sunshine The Departed
2005 Brokeback Mountain Crash
2004 The Aviator Million Dollar Baby
2003 Lord of the Rings Lord of the Rings
2002 Chicago Chicago
2001 Moulin Rouge! A Beautiful Mind
2000 Gladiator Gladiator
1999 American Beauty American Beauty
1998 Saving Private Ryan Shakespeare in Love
1997 Titanic Titanic
1996 The English Patient The English Patient
1995 Apollo 13 Braveheart
1994 Forrest Gump Forrest Gump
1993 Schindler's List Schindler's List
1992 The Crying Game Unforgiven
1991 The Silence of the Lambs The Silence of the Lambs
1990 Dances with Wolves Dances with Wolves
1989 Driving Miss Daisy Driving Miss Daisy

For a time there, I would've gone PGA: Apollo 13, Private Ryan, Brokeback, Little Miss Sunshine. Better choices, all. And yes, the PGAs awarded “Driving Miss Daisy,” too. 

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Posted at 06:33 AM on Jan 20, 2019 in category Movies - Awards   |   Permalink  
Wednesday January 09, 2019

2018 DGA Nominees: Why one of these movies will be the Oscar winner for best picture

2018 DGA nominees

The Directors Guild Awards (DGAs) for 2018 feature film were announced yesterday:

  • Bradley Cooper, “A Star is Born”
  • Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
  • Peter Farrelly, “Green Book”
  • Spike Lee, “BlacKkKlansman”
  • Adam McKay, “VICE”

For newbie Oscar watchers, this is how it works. Generally, the director that wins the DGA also wins the Oscar's best director, and usually that picture wins best picture. There's been some fumbling of handoffs on this recently but overall it holds. Since 1948, when the DGA began handing out this award, there's been a 75% chance (55/71) that the DGA's directorial achievement is the Oscar's best picture. 

Related question: How likely is it that one of the above films isn't our ultimate Oscar winner for best picture?

Not bloody likely, as Jerry once said. 

Yes, in that first year, 1948, the DGAs didn't nominate Laurence Olivier for best director for “Hamlet,” which went on to win best picture. And in 1989, the DGAs didn't nominate Bruce Beresford for best director for “Driving Miss Daisy,” which went on to win best picture. 

And that's it. Two of 71. 97% chance. So unless something shock occurs, one of the above is our 2018 Oscar winner for best picture.

Among those, I'd vote “Roma” early and often. “A Star is Born” and “Green Book” have good shots, I believe. “Vice” and “BlacKkKlansman”: probably not.

UPDATE 90 MINUTES LATER: OK, “Green Book” is out

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Posted at 04:19 PM on Jan 09, 2019 in category Movies - Awards   |   Permalink  
Sunday January 06, 2019

In a Squeaker, National Society of Film Critics Goes for ‘Rider’ Over ‘Roma’

The Natonal Society of Film Critics issued their year-end awards last night, and here are the winners, along with runners up. I like that they gave you the point totals for each, too. Would be interesting if the Academy did the same. 


  • Olivia Colman (The Favourite) – 36 points
  • Regina Hall (Support the Girls) – 33
  • Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) – 27


  • Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) – 47
  • Elizabeth Debicki (Widows) – 37
  • Emma Stone (The Favourite) – 24


  • Ethan Hawke (First Reformed) – 58
  • Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate) – 30
  • Ben Foster (Leave No Trace) – 25 and John C. Reilly (The Sisters Brothers, Stan & Ollie) – 25


  • Steven Yeun (Burning) – 40
  • Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?) – 35
  • Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse) – 32


  • Roma (Alfonso Cuarón) – 70
  • If Beale Street Could Talk (James Laxton) – 26
  • Cold War (Lukasz Zal) – 24


  • The Death of Stalin (Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin) – 47
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Nicole Holofcener, Jeff Whitty) – 27
  • The Favourite (Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara) – 24


  • The Rider – 44
  • Roma – 41
  • Burning – 27


  • Alfonso Cuarón (Roma) – 60
  • Lee Chang-dong (Burning) – 22 and Chloé Zhao (The Rider) – 22


  • Roma – 44
  • Cold War – 34
  • Burning – 30 and Shoplifters – 30


  • Minding the Gap – 35
  • Shirkers – 31
  • Amazing Grace – 24


  • To the team of producers, editors, restorers, technicians, and cineastes who labored for decades to bring Orson Welles's The Other Side of the Wind to completion for a new generation of movie lovers.
  • To the Museum of Modern Art for restoring Ernst Lubitsch's 1923 film Rosita, starring Mary Pickford.

SPECIAL CITATION for a film awaiting U.S. distribution: A Family Tour (Ying Liang, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Singapore/Malaysia).

Closest race was best actress and best film. One wonders if “Roma” might‘ve won its best pic if it also wasn’t up for best foreign-language film. 

Still need to see “The Rider.” P and I saw “Minding the Gap” yesterday. I went in thinking it was about daredevil skateboarders. Nope.

Here are the past winners from the Natonal Society of Film Critics, so you can see if you agree much. I tend to, give or take a Godard:

2000 Yi Yi
2001 Mulholland Drive
2002 The Pianist
2003 American Splendor
2004 Million Dollar Baby
2005 Capote
2006 Pan's Labyrinth
2007 There Will Be Blood
2008 Waltz with Bashir 
2009 The Hurt Locker
2010 The Social Network
2011 Melancholia
2012 Amour
2013 Inside Llewyn Davis
2014 Goodbye to Language
2015 Spotlight
2016 Moonlight
2017 Lady Bird
2018 The Rider
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Posted at 10:18 AM on Jan 06, 2019 in category Movies - Awards   |   Permalink  
Saturday January 05, 2019

PGA Noms Show Diversity, Not Much Else

PGA noms show diversity, not much else

Poster collage via Nathaniel at Film Experience

The Producers Guild announced their top films of 2018 yesterday, and it's not exactly inspiring:

Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
Crazy Rich Asians
The Favourite
Green Book
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born

My fave of the group is “Roma” (oddly, the only one whose review isn't up), followed by .... whoosh. Not sure. Maybe “The Favourite”? Then, in no order, “Star,” “Quiet,” “Vice,” Green.“ All have issues but better than ”BlacKkKlansman,“ which has bigger issues. ”Panther“ is an OK superhero flick, ”Rhapsody“ is a below-average music biopic and ”Asians“ is a below-average rom-com.

But it is diverse. 

Is that enough? I look at this list and think: weak year. Or maybe I‘ve just been cranky for 12 months. 

A year ago, the PGA noms went:

The Big Sick 
Call Me By Your Name 
Get Out 
I, Tonya 
Lady Bird 
Molly’s Game 
The Post 
The Shape of Water 
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Wonder Woman

I would take 5-6 of these over every one of this year's noms save ”Roma."

Posted at 01:04 PM on Jan 05, 2019 in category Movies - Awards   |   Permalink  
Sunday December 09, 2018

LA —> Roma

Another victory celebration

A week after NY, LA film critics chose their best of 2018, and with the same best of 2018: Alfonso Cuaron's “Roma.” 

I think LA is unique in giving out both gold and silver. No bronze. Here's the films they tapped:

  • Best Film: “Roma”
    • Runner-up: “Burning”
  • Best Director: Debra Granik, “Leave No Trace”
    • Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
  • Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
    • Runner-up: Ben Foster, “Leave No Trace”
  • Best Actress: Olivia Colman, “The Favourite”
    • Runner-up: Toni Collette, “Hereditary”
  • Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun, “Burning”
    • Runner-up: Hugh Grant, “Paddington 2”
  • Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
    • Runner-up: Elizabeth Debicki, “Widows”
  • Best Foreign-Language Film: ??
    • Runner-up: ??
  • Best Documentary/Nonfiction Film: “Shirkers”
    • Runner-up: “Minding the Gap”
  • Best Animated Film: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
    • Runner-up: “Incredibles 2”
  • Best Screenplay: “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
    • Runner-up: “The Favourite,” Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
  • Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuaron, “Roma”
    • Runner-up: James Laxton, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
  • Best Editing: Joshua Altman and Bing Liu, “Minding the Gap”
    • Runner-up: Alfonso Cuaron and Adam Gough, “Roma”
  • Best Music/Score: Nicholas Britell, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
    • Runner-up: Justin Hurwitz, “First Man”
  • Best Production Design: Hannah Beachler, “Black Panther”
    • Runner-up: Fiona Crombie, “The Favourite”

I saw “Roma” Friday and can't disagree. Looking forward to “The Favourite.” Seeing “Burning” in a few hours. 

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Posted at 04:24 PM on Dec 09, 2018 in category Movies - Awards   |   Permalink  
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