Movies - Awards postsThursday November 29, 2018
National Board of Review Honors ‘Green Book’
I posted a semi-critical review of “Green Book” on Monday. On Tuesday, the National Board of Review honored it with the best film of the year.
So it goes. Me and NBR have never really agreed on much. Here are its best pics this century:
|YEAR||NBR BEST PICTURE|
|2005||Good Night, and Good Luck.|
|2006||Letters from Iwo Jima|
|2007||No Country for Old Men|
|2009||Up in the Air|
|2010||The Social Network|
|2012||Zero Dark Thirty|
|2014||A Most Violent Year|
|2015||Mad Max: Fury Road|
|2016||Manchester by the Sea|
Years in which its best would be in my top 5: 2007, 2010 and 2016.
Its odd choices are inconsistently odd: from the lightweight (“Finding Neverland,” “her”) to the heavy/gritty (“Zero Dark Thirty,” “A Most Violent Year”); from black-and-white serious (“Good Night, and Good Luck”) to outlandishly colorful and comically pop (“Mad Max: Fury Road”). NBR is like an odd cousin. When they show up, not sure what I'm going to get.
That said, “Green Book” is part of its celebration of the middle of the road. They did it last year with “The Post,” too. They also released their top 10—or I guess #s 2 through 11. (Why do they call it top 10?) Here they are in alphabetical order:
- The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
- Black Panther
- Can You Ever Forgive Me?
- Eighth Grade
- First Reformed
- If Beale Street Could Talk
- Mary Poppins Returns
- A Quiet Place
- A Star Is Born
Looking forward to “Roma,” “Buster Scruggs” and “Mary Poppins.” Willing to watch “First Reformed” again to see what I missed in my “meh” review. Otherwise...
‘Three Billboards’ Wins BAFTA for Best Picture; Does this Presage Oscar?
Still no arrests, but many awards.
If you'd told me that “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” had just won the BAFTA, the British Oscar, for best picture, and that this presaged an Oscar victory for same since previous BAFTA winners “La La Land,” “The Revenant” and “Boyhood” all won the Oscar, too, I would‘ve probably just nodded and continued the conversation. It would’ve taken me a few seconds to go, “Wait ... Did those three win the Oscar?” They didn‘t: “Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” and “Birdman” did. But I think the pre-Oscar conversation goes on so long these days that it’s harder to keep track of which movie actually won. Those were all in the running, of course. They were part of the conversation up until the announcement. Hell, “La La Land” actually was announced. It was on stage and in the middle of its acceptance speech. Then: Yoink.
So BAFTA presages not much in the best picture category. Although BAFTA and Oscar agreed every year between 2008 (“Slumdog Millionaire”) and 2013 (“12 Years a Slave”), this was an anomaly. In their history together, they‘ve disagreed more than agreed on best picture: 28 of 71 times. Not even 40 percent. And that’s including the movies that won BAFTA/Oscar in different years.
I like how they differ, by the way. BAFTA usually goes (shockingly) British, choosing, say, “Atonement” over “No Country for Old Men,” “Four Weddings and a Funeral” over “Forrest Gump,” and (my personal favorite) “Howard's End” over “Unforgiven.” You may say “Howard's End” deserved its BAFTA and I'd be forced to respond, “Deserve's got nothing to do with it, kid.”
BAFTA also goes French more than we do—since we never do. Or we only do if it's Hollywood French (“Gigi”). BAFTA has chosen for its best pic, among others, “Jean de Florette,” “Day for Night,” “Wages of Fear” and “La Ronde.” Not a bad list.
Finally, BAFTA likes small better than we do. “The Full Monty” won in ‘97 over “Titanic.” Only one Woody Allen movie has won the Oscar for best pic (“Annie Hall,” 1977), but three have claimed BAFTAs: “Annie,” “Manhattan” and “The Purple Rose of Cairo.” Remember “Educating Rita”? That won. “The Commitments” beat “The Silence of the Lambs.”
Another trivia question: What three Martin Scorsese movies won the BAFTA? I’ll let you mull it over for a second.
But the BAFTA acting wins do probably presage Oscar victories, since they‘re the same that the Screen Actors Guild chose a few weeks ago: McDormand, Oldman, Janey and Rockwell. Wouldn’t bet against any of these.
They also awarded a BAFTA to oft-Oscar-nominated/never-won cinematographer Roger Deakins for his work on “Blade Runner 2049.” I thought, “That's nice. Nice to see him get one.” It's actually his fourth BAFTA. He won previously for three Coens: “The Man Who Wasn't There,” “No Country for Old Men” and “True Grit.” Oscar has nominated him 12 times before this year and handed out exactly zero statuettes. Maybe 13 is his lucky number.
The chart below details all the BAFTA/Oscar wins with agreements highlighted in yellow. You can see the answer to the Scorsese trivia question, too. Ready? The three Scorsese movies that won BAFTAs are: “Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore,” “Goodfellas” and “The Aviator.” If you'd given me 10 guesses, I doubt I would‘ve nailed all three.
|2017||Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri|
|2016||La La Land||Moonlight|
|2013||12 Years a Slave||12 Years a Slave|
|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||Atonement||No Country for Old Men|
|2006||The Queen||The Departed|
|2004||The Aviator||Million Dollar Baby|
|2003||The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King||The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King|
|2001||The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring||A Beautiful Mind|
|1999||American Beauty||American Beauty|
|1998||Shakespeare in Love||Shakespeare in Love|
|1997||The Full Monty||Titanic|
|1996||The English Patient||The English Patient|
|1995||Sense and Sensibility||Braveheart|
|1994||Four Weddings and a Funeral||Forrest Gump|
|1993||Schindler's List||Schindler's List|
|1991||The Commitments||Silence of the Lambs|
|1990||Goodfellas||Dances with Wolves|
|1989||Dead Poets Society||Driving Miss Daisy|
|1988||The Last Emperor||Rain Man|
|1987||Jean de Florette||The Last Emperor|
|1986||A Room with a View||Platoon|
|1985||The Purple Rose of Cairo||Out of Africa|
|1984||The Killing Fields||Amadeus|
|1983||Educating Rita||Terms of Endearment|
|1981||Chariots of Fire||Chariots of Fire|
|1980||The Elephant Man||Ordinary People|
|1979||Manhattan||Kramer vs. Kramer|
|1978||Julia||The Deer Hunter|
|1977||Annie Hall||Annie Hall|
|1976||One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest||Rocky|
|1975||Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore||One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest|
|1974||Lacombe Lucien||The Godfather Part II|
|1973||Day for Night||The Sting|
|1971||Sunday Bloody Sunday||The French Connection|
|1970||Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid||Patton|
|1969||Midnight Cowboy||Midnight Cowboy|
|1967||A Man for All Seasons||In the Heat of the Night|
|1966||Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?||A Man for All Seasons|
|1965||My Fair Lady||The Sound of Music|
|1964||Dr. Strangelove||My Fair Lady|
|1963||Tom Jones||Tom Jones|
|1962||Lawrence of Arabia||Lawrence of Arabia|
|1961||Ballad of a Soldier/The Hustler||West Side Story|
|1960||The Apartment||The Apartment|
|1958||Room at the Top||Gigi|
|1957||The Bridge of the River Kwai||The Bridge on the River Kwai|
|1956||Gervaise||Around the World in 80 Days|
|1954||The Wages of Fear||On the Waterfront|
|1953||Forbidden Games||From Here to Eternity|
|1952||The Sound Barrier||The Greatest Show on Earth|
|1951||La Ronde||An American in Paris|
|1950||All About Eve||All About Eve|
|1949||Bicycle Thieves||All the King's Men|
|1947||The Best Years of Our Lives||Gentleman's Agreement|
|1946||n/a||The Best Years of Our Lives|
Two weeks until Oscar.
Del Toro Wins DGA; Is Oscar a Lock?
Last night, the Directors Guild of America gave its award in outstanding achievement in feature film to Guillermo del Toro for “The Shape of Water.” This follows on the heels of the Producers Guild of America awarding its feature film prize to “The Shape of Water,” too.
So how often has a film won the DGA and PGA and not gone on to win the Oscar for best picture? Four and a half times since the PGAs began in 1989:
|2016||La La Land||La La Land||Moonlight|
|2013||Gravity||Gravity/12 Years a Slave||12 Years a Slave|
|2005||Brokeback Mountain||Brokeback Mountain||Crash|
|1998||Saving Private Ryan||Saving Private Ryan||Shakespeare in Love|
|1995||Apollo 13||Apollo 13||Braveheart|
Even if “Shape” doesn't win best pic, del Toro seems a lock for best director. Just winning the DGA usually means the Oscar for best director. In the last 10 years, the only break came when Ben Affleck won the DGA for “Argo” but wasn't nominated by the Academy, so its prize went to Ang Lee for “Life of Pi.” Before that, you have to go back to 2002, when the DGA went with Rob Marshall for “Chicago” while the Academy honored Roman Polanski for “The Pianist.”
If del Toro does win the Oscar, it will also continue the recent diversification of an award that was once staunchly white and male:
- 2017: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
- 2016: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
- 2015: Alejandro Innaritu, “The Revenant”
- 2014: Alejandro Innaritu, “Birdman”
- 2013: Alfonso Cuaron, “Gravity”
- 2012: Ang Lee, “Life of Pi”
Six awards, four Mexican directors, one Taiwanese director. Don't tell Donald. Or do. Let's have some fun.
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.
PGA and WGA Swipe Right
The Writers and Producers Guilds have announced their nominees for best films of 2017, and they match! Seven times:
|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)|
* “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.