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Movies - Awards posts

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
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Friday November 30, 2018

NYFCC: All Roads Lead to Roma

When in Roma...

Fast on the heels of the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle announced its best of 2018:

  • Best Picture: “Roma”
  • Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón, “Roma”
  • Best Screenplay: Paul Scharder, “First Reformed”
  • Best Actress: Regina Hall, “Support the Girls”
  • Best Actor: Ethan Hawke, “First Reformed”
  • Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
  • Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant, “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
  • Best Cinematography: “Roma,” Alfonso Cuaron
  • Best Non-fiction Film: “Minding the Gap,” director Bing Liu
  • Best Foreign Language Film: “Cold War,” director Pawel Pawlikowski
  • Best Animated Feature: “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
  • Best First Film: “Eighth Grade,” director Bo Burnham
  • Special Award For Career Achievement: David Schwartz, Chief Film Curator at Museum of the Moving Image for 33 years
  • Special Award: Kino Classics Box Set “Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers”

Interesting seeing both Pawlikowski and Hawke honored. Makes me think of an underrated movie they made together in 2011. Also makes me want to see “Cold War.”

NYFCC's big winner, “Roma,” I won't be able to see until Dec. 7 at the Cinerama in Seattle. Wanted to go big screen on it. But I‘ve tended to like NYFCC’s choices. Past NYFCC winners here, with thoughts. 

2000 Traffic  Not for me
2001 Mulholland Drive  Sure
2002 Far from Heaven  Nah
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King  Please 
2004 Sideways  Sure
2005 Brokeback Mountain  Definitely
2006 United 93  Definitely
2007 No Country for Old Men  Definitely
2008 Milk  I could watch this again.
2009 The Hurt Locker  Safe choice
2010 The Social Network  Good choice
2011 The Artist  Fun and inventive 
2012 Zero Dark Thirty  Problematic
2013 American Hustle  Even more fun 
2014 Boyhood  Deserved
2015 Carol  Wasn't head-over-heels like a lot of people, but respected.
2016 La La Land  Similar
2017 Lady Bird  Long live Greta Gerwig
2018 Roma  Seeing Dec. 7. 
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Posted at 09:29 AM on Nov 30, 2018 in category Movies - Awards
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Thursday 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:

2000 Quills
2001 Moulin Rouge!
2002 The Hours
2003 Mystic River
2004 Finding Neverland
2005 Good Night, and Good Luck.
2006 Letters from Iwo Jima
2007 No Country for Old Men
2008 Slumdog Millionaire
2009 Up in the Air
2010 The Social Network
2011 Hugo
2012 Zero Dark Thirty
2013 Her
2014 A Most Violent Year
2015 Mad Max: Fury Road
2016 Manchester by the Sea
2017 The Post
2018 Green Book

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
  • Roma
  • 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...

Posted at 10:46 AM on Nov 29, 2018 in category Movies - Awards
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Sunday February 18, 2018

‘Three Billboards’ Wins BAFTA for Best Picture; Does this Presage Oscar?

Three Billboards BAFTA win

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. 

Year BAFTA Oscar
2017 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri  
2016 La La Land Moonlight
2015 The Revenant Spotlight
2014 Boyhood Birdman
2013 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 Atonement No Country for Old Men
2006 The Queen The Departed
2005 Brokeback Mountain Crash
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
2002 The Pianist Chicago
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring A Beautiful Mind
2000 Gladiator Gladiator
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
1992 Howard's End Unforgiven
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
1982 Gandhi Gandhi
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
1972 Cabaret The Godfather
1971 Sunday Bloody Sunday The French Connection 
1970 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Patton
1969 Midnight Cowboy Midnight Cowboy
1968 The Graduate Oliver!
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
1959 Ben-Hur Ben-Hur
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
1955 Richard III Marty
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
1948 Hamlet Hamlet
1947 The Best Years of Our Lives Gentleman's Agreement
1946 n/a The Best Years of Our Lives

Two weeks until Oscar.

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Posted at 02:46 PM on Feb 18, 2018 in category Movies - Awards
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Sunday February 04, 2018

Del Toro Wins DGA; Is Oscar a Lock?

Guillermo del Toro wins the DGA for outstanding achievement in feature film

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.

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Posted at 09:19 AM on Feb 04, 2018 in category Movies - Awards
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