Wednesday, December 13, 2017

SAG Award Nominations

The film nominees for the Screen Actors Guild Awards, as announced this morning by the very giddy duo of Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash.

Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Hong Chau, Downsizing
Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

My predictions: 3/5 - Octavia Spencer missed out, which surprises me; so did Julia Roberts, but I knew that was a risky prediction. Four of these ladies also showed up on the Golden Globes' lineup; the real winner, in spirit, is Holly Hunter.

More surprises, after the jump.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Predictably SAGgy

The nominations for the Screen Actirs Guild Awards will be announced tomorrow. How about some predictions?
Best Ensemble
Lady Bird
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Not having seen The Post, I can only say that it's a hell of a cast they've assembled. My other four picks are all films where you really feel the community of characters on-screen - not just the headliners who will get their names on the official nominee roster, but the bit characters, too. The brother's girlfriend in Lady Bird, the neighbor losing her mind in Mudbound, the meek security man in The Shape of Water, the black chief in Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri: they are all indelible to their films and stories, all brought to vivid life by their actors. That's what makes for an Outstanding Cast.

The remainder, after the jump

Monday, December 11, 2017

Further Thoughts On The Golden Globes

Scattered, more detailed thoughts on those Golden Globe nominations, and what they mean for Awards Season overall...

1) A lot of people are stunned and angry about Jordan Peele's absence from the Best Director lineup at the Golden Globes. I will be shocked if he actually winds up nominated at the DGAs or the Oscars. That's nothing to do with the quality of his work; there's a reason why it's sustained its level of hype from February, and not just because it captures The Moment in terms of our current conversations regarding race and whiteness - it's because of the craftsmanship, the originality. Still, while Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay nominations are all but guaranteed, Peele's working in a genre seldom given due at the Oscars. Besides, it's a crowded field in general: Guillermo del Toro, Steven Spielberg, Luca Guadagnino, Sean Baker, Martin McDonagh, Paul Thomas Anderson, Greta Gerwig, Ridley Scott, Dee Rees. Peele's a more likely nominee than a good chunk of this group, but with no consensus yet on even the top three frontrunners, he's got hurdles.

Talking 'bout Wonder Woman, Three Billboards, and more, after the jump....

Golden Globe Nominees

It doesn't really feel like Awards Season until the Golden Globes make their announcement, you know? Sure, sure: National Board of Review and critics' groups are important and great time capsules for the year, but they just have winners; the Globes have nominees, suspense, anticipation! And oh, always a surprise...

I concern myself only with the film categories, beginning after the jump....

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mostly Moms and Families

Brief notes on new releases, old releases finally screened, and streaming titles.

dir: Lee Unkrich, co-directed by Adrian Molina
scr: Adrian Molina & Matthew Aldrich, story by Unkrich & Jason Katz & Molina & Aldrich

Exquisitely designed, emotionally resonant portrait of family and legacy. An enlightening experience, too: pardon my ignorance, but I never knew before the meaning of Day of the Dead, nor was I familiar with ofrendas or alebrijes. One especially dark narrative twist feels a little too much and left me with questions about the established rules of the universe, but if that's your takeaway and not the emotional ending or the music, that's on you, buddy.

Mudbound, Call Me By Your Name, and a lot of apes, after the jump....

Friday, December 1, 2017

The 1947 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part Two

We've shared the Top Ten. We've named the nominees. We've given out the first batch of prizes. Now, the final day of the 1947 Retro Hollmann Awards...which means the end of our look back at 1947. Each category is presented in the same order as at the 20th Academy Awards. Yup: we're closing out with Best Actress!

But first....

Best Actor

Nikolay Cherkasov as Tsar Ivan IV
Ivan the Terrible, Part One

2. Edmund Gwenn in Miracle on 34th Street, 3. Cary Grant in The Bishop's Wife, 3. Ronald Colman in A Double Life, 5. David Niven in The Bishop's Wife

Cherkasov is exhausting and all-in as the first Tsar of All Russia. He is sweating every single moment. The most surprising moments involve his scenes with wife Anastasia - that's real love, baby, real tenderness, real sorrow. His performance is a spectacle without equal. My understanding is that this definition of "terrible" isn't so much "Ivan the Bad" as it is "Ivan the Formidable" and, fuck me, Cherkasov is formidable.

Gwenn is Santa Claus. Grant exudes a gentle, holy warmth. Colman goes nuts, with subtlety. Niven does befuddled frustration without compromising the chemistry with Loretta Young.

Original Song, Adapted Screenplay, Best Picture and more, after the jump....

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The 1947 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part One

At last, the 1947 Retro Hollmann Awards are here! Part One consists of nine categories, including three that were not awarded at the 20th Academy Awards. For a full list of nominees, refer to yesterday's full list of nominees.

Best Ensemble 
Black Narcissus
Adele Raymond, casting

2. Green for Danger, 3. A Matter of Life and Death, 4. Brute Force, 5. Miracle on 34th Street

A sister superior who clings to that second word. A cloister of nuns - loyal, flighty, tempted. A beautiful native girl and the prince who is smitten with her. A capital-m Male advising a distracted royal. A holy man permanently perched. Each embodied vividly in Black Narcissus.

Green for Danger boasts an impressive who's who in British character acting. Everyone in A Matter of Life and Death is game for fantastic realism and impossible romance. Brute Force is full of brooding, guilt-ridden, desperate men. Miracle on 34th Street's cast just looks like they're having a blast.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Ivan the Terrible, Part One
Vasili Goryunov, makeup artist

2. A Matter of Life and Death, 3. Great Expectations, 4. Miracle on 34th Street, 5. Forever Amber

Ivan the Terrible has some of the most beautifully-applied lashes and liner in cinema. Big beards clutter the court, whether round and full, like the tsar's loyalists, or long, white, intricately carved, like the high priest. Ivan's own looks: the greasy beard, matted hair, the sunken-in eyes on his deathbed. And that one idiot boyar's lipsticked, femininely made-up face.

A Matter of Life and Death delivers impossibly rosy cheeks, French foppery, and very clean angels. Great Expectations makes a haggard prisoner, a wild-haired aging beauty, and the curls of Victorian male hair. Miracle on 34th Street delivers a real Santa Claus. Forever Amber is some good-ass 17th-century style.

Best Costume Design

Ivan the Terrible, Part One
Leonid Naumov

2. Black Narcissus, 3. A Matter of Life and Death, 4. Great Expectations, 5. Mother Wore Tights

Ivan the Terrible's costumes are incredibly detailed, as seen on Ivan himself - the ornate coronation robes, the intimidating simplicity of his court attire, his armor on the battlefield. Surrounded by men and women in big fur coats - so many heavy layers!

Black Narcissus' white habits, native garments, and royal finery. A Matter of Life and Death's looks across space and time. Great Expectations' styles spanning the class system. Mother Wore Tights' vaudeville glamor.

From here on, the categories continue in the same order as their counterparts at the 20th Academy Awards. But that's after the jump....