Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Coming Attraction, 2021 Edition

OK, let's get back to blogging...

Later this month, Oscar predictions - both this year's winners and next year's nominees.

In May, we're looking at the films of 1972, featuring Best Picture nominees Cabaret, Deliverance, The Emigrants, The Godfather and Sounder.

In June, it's the films of 1985, featuring Best Picture nominees The Color Purple, Kiss of the Spider WomanOut of Africa, Prizzi's Honor and Witness.

In July, it's the films of 2021 so far.

And that's what's to come...soon.

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Monday, March 15, 2021

The 93rd Oscar Nominations: Surprises, Etc.

Forty-one feature films nominated this morning, led by Mank with ten. By my count, there were five big surprises this Oscar Nomination morn. In order of shock:

Lakeith Stanfield nominated in Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah. A shocker for two reasons: first of all, he was not tipped in any previous awards ceremony before this; but more importantly, he wasn't even campaigned as Supporting by Warner Bros.! So as not to compete, Stanfield was pushed for Lead and Daniel Kaluuya for Supporting. Both made it in Supporting, which makes me wonder how close Kaluuya came to pulling a Kate Winslet in The Reader-style category switcheroo. It's worth mentioning: I predicted Stanfield's nomination here back in April.

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom under-performs. Nominated by almost every guild, leading the conversation in Best Actor, and my second favorite movie of 2020, Ma Rainey managed only five nominations - Best Actor (Chadwick Boseman), Best Actress (Viola Davis), Best Production Design, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup & Hairstyling - getting shut out of Best Adapted Screenplay (madness) and Best Picture (lunacy). 

Da 5 Bloods gets a nomination! I had feared that it would be completely shut out (certainly its absence in Best Editing and Best Actor makes one wonder how voters define "Best"), but fortunately, this top-tier Spike Lee joint will not go down in history as a This Had Oscar Buzz entrant. Lee's longtime collaborator Terence Blanchard was nominated for Best Score.

Only eight nominees in Best Picture. Many of my friends were predicting as many as ten, I predicted nine. The aforementioned absence of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom broke my heart; the absence of One Night in Miami..., which for a time looked to be a big contender for Best Director as well, was also pretty surprising. Nothing shocking included.

Another Round's Thomas Vinterberg nominated for Best Director over Aaron Sorkin. An alternate choice for many predictors (my Oscar trivia teammate recently made this very prediction on Facebook, you'll have to take my word for it). Still, I'm surprised that he unseated Sorkin instead of David Fincher or Emerald Fennell. 

The final roster of nominees after the jump:

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Oscar Nomination Predictions

Like it says on the box - or, in this case, the headline - these are what I think may be announced Monday morning when Nick and Priyanka Chopra Jonas present the nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards. A lot of guesswork this year, especially when it comes to the acting and writing categories, but I'd rather a hard-to-predict year than a trudge towards the inevitable, ya know?

My predictions, after the jump... 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The 2020 Hollmann Awards: Part Two

Nine films were honored yesterday in the first day of awardage. Take a look at what I said there, what I said about my Top Ten, at the full slate of nominees...then come back here and see if you saw any of this coming. You probably did! Anyway, day two begins.....now:

Best Original Screenplay
Miss Juneteenth
Channing Godfrey Peoples
2. Ainu Mosir, 3. Promising Young Woman, 4. Driveways, 5. A Sun

Miss Juneteenth really just missed my Best Picture lineup. Peoples' writing is specific and intimate, and while it makes sure we know exactly what Turquoise's situation is, a former beauty queen on trying to make ends meets, unable or unwilling to shake her ex, trying to make a better future for her daughter, it never feels blunt, never underlines unnecessarily. And it doesn't pull punches either, throwing realistic obstacles that aren't always overcome. Things get a little better, maybe; people get stronger, definitely. I can't wait to see what Peoples has in store for us.

The remaining eight, including Best Actor and Best Picture, after the jump...

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The 2020 Hollmann Awards: Part One

You've had a week to look at my Top Ten and my nominees, a week to disagree and process. Today, we begin. It's Day One of the 2020 Hollmann Awards in 2021, with our first nine categories:

Best Supporting Actor
Brian Dennehy as Del
2. Glynn Turman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 3. Paul Raci in Sound of Metal, 4. Colman Domingo in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, 5. Courtney B. Vance in Uncorked

Dennehy's swan song is a beautiful performance delivered with a light touch. Through glances and subtleties of bearing, he communicates Del's loneliness, regrets, and care for others. Like the bingo game,  the seemingly offhanded way he gets nine-year-old Cody to help out Roger, a friend increasingly displaying symptoms of dementia, welcoming one person into the fold and helping the other without embarrassment. A tender portrayal. 

Eight more, including Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay, after the jump:

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The 2020 Hollmann Awards in 2021!

120 films qualified. You saw the Top Ten. Now, here are the 42 films nominated for the 2020 Hollmann Awards across 18 categories. That is the highest number of nominated films in the 15 years I've been doing these - and I still feel bad over what I didn't include!

In no particular order (truly - each category is on scraps of paper that I ball up, toss around, then select from at random to determine the order), the nominees are:

Monday, January 25, 2021

Top Ten of 2020

From the 120 films that qualified, here is my Top Ten of 2020! Apologies to the films that just missed the cut: Ammonite, Dear Comrades!Driveways, I'm No Longer Here, Minari, MisbehaviourA Sun.

And now....the Ten!