Saturday February 29, 2020
Next Year's Oscars?
He's just met a girl named Maria. Has a remake of a best picture winner ever won best picture? No.
Jeffrey Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere is already handicapping next year's Oscars, and lays out his top 10 picks. Links go to trailers if available or IMDb and the lot if not. Scratch that. There are no trailers. There are barely stills. So the links just go to IMDb.
- “Mank” (David Fincher): The creation of “Citizen Kane” from, one assumes, given the title, the perspective of screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) rather than Orson Welles (Tom Burke of “The Souvenir”). Amanda Seyfried plays Marion “Rosebud” Davies. Netflix movie. Should be fun.
- “Trial of the Chicago 7” (Aaron Sorkin): I don't know if I‘ve seen better recent casting than Sacha Baron Cohen as Abbie Hoffman, and Frank Langella will make a good, thunderous Judge Hoffman. Plus the rest of the cast (Mark Rylance, Eddie Redmayne, John Carroll Lynch)? Mmwa. But can Sorkin direct? This is his second effort, after the disappointing “Molly’s Game.” Except hyper-articulate speeches. Ambllin/Paramount.
- “The Last Duel” (Ridley Scott), about the last official duel permitted by the King of France, in the 14th century. Read more here. From a screenplay by Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Nicole Holofcener. It's the “Good Will Hunting” boys' first co-screenwriting credit since “Good Will Hunting.” Stars Matt Damon and Adam Driver as the duelists. Add it to the list of “last” titles: Samurai, Airbender, Action Hero, Knight, Blood, Tango in Paris, Picture Show. Everything dies. 20th Century Fox.
- “Stillwater” (Tom McCarthy): Has he made a bad movie? This will be his second in 2020, supposedly, after the interestingly titled “Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made.” “Stillwater” stars Matt Damon (again) about an Oklahoma father who travels to France, where his daughter has been charged with murder. Focus Features.
- “West Side Story” (Steven Spielberg): I think you know it. This time, Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler are the star-crossed lovers.
- “Macbeth” (Joel Coen): For once, Coen isn't collaborating with brother Ethan but with this Shakespeare dude. Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand play the Mr. and Mrs. of the title. Scott Rudin/A24.
- “Blonde” (Andrew Dominik): The New Zealand director behind “Assassination of Jesse James,” etc., stars “Knives Out” hottie Ana de Armas as a fictionalized Marilyn Monroe, exploring her inner life.
- “Annette” (Leos Carax): IMDb's description: “A stand-up comedian and his opera singer wife have a 2-year-old daughter with a surprising gift.” Starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. Nice work if you can get it, Adam. What's the surprising gift? Who knows? Let's hope not super strength. Does anyone see Adam Driver as a stand-up comedian? Maybe the Lenny Bruce type? And can anyone see the director of “Holy Motors” coming close to an Oscar nomination? Oh, and it's a musical. CG Cinema/Arte France Cinema/Amazon.
- “News of the World” (Paul Greengrass): Reteams Greengrass and Tom Hanks from “Captain Phillips” in a story about a man who brings the news of the world to local townspeople in the Old West, and who “agrees to help rescue a young girl who was kidnapped.” From the writer of “Life,” “Lion,” and “Beautiful Boy,” all of which had buzz, all of which I didn't even see. Playtone/Universal.
- “The Last Planet” (Terrence Malick): My man! And another “Last”? And per the title, about environmental destruction? No. A retelling of several episodes in the life of Christ. With Geza Rohrig (“Son of Saul”) as Jesus, Matthias Schoenaerts as Peter, and Mark Rylance as Satan. Interesting. Will the Bible thumpers who continually complain about Hollywood come out for it? Nah. No doubt there will be doubt, and they don't pay for that. No distributor yet.
So two Drivers, two Rylances, and two “Lasts.” And too auteur-driven? Reads like a critic's wishlist rather than Oscar‘s. Wells adds the caveat that “Carax is crazy” but “in a good way” and says he senses new possibilities in the post-“Parasite” world. Sure. Or reaction. People sensed new possibilities in a post-Obama world, but it turns out the people doing the sensing were fascists.
Wells adds 15 more possibles: Chris Nolan’s “Tenet,” Charlie Kaufman's “I'm Thinking Of Ending Things,” Wes Anderson's “The French Dispatch,” Guillermo del Toro's “Nightmare Alley,” Sofia Coppola's “On the Rocks,” Denis Villenueve's “Dune,” Spike Lee's “Da 5 Bloods,” Edgar Wright's “Last Night In Soho,” Steven Soderbergh's “Let Them All Talk,” Adrian Lyne's Deep Water,“ Liesl Tommy's ”Respect,“ Paul Verhoeven's ”Benedetta,“ Apichatpong Weerasethakul's ”Memoria,“ Chloe Zhao's ”Nomadland“ and Mia Hansen-Løve's Bergman ”Island."
We'll revisit down the line.