Wednesday, December 9, 2015

SAG Award Wackiness!

Everybody's calling this morning nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards weird. I'm one of them. But let's be clear -- what we really mean is that few of the pre-ordained "front-runners" were included. The nominating committee, the members of which change every year, voted with their hearts, and it took everyone by surprise. For me, the system worked -- even if there are nominations that drive me absolutely crazy.

I'll get to the movies in a bit, but re: television: no Grace and Frankie and no Empire make me very skeptical of this year's committee. That's all I'm gonna say.

Ok. So.

Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Helen Mirren, Trumbo
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

I told y'all Mirren was in. Told. Y'all. In fact, I successfully called four of the nominees, missing out on McAdams. Indeed, McAdams placement gave me hope for the rest of her cast, which made the next set of nominees a shocker.

Christian Bale, The Big Short
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes
Jacob Tremblay, Room

Not a Spotlight to be found, and the nods for Bale and Shannon left me shocked SHOCKED.

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Johnny Depp, Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Here's the thing. Kristopher Tapley pointed out that, except for The Revenant, all these films screened for SAG before November. And Leo doesn't always get nominated at the SAG Awards. So the fact that they went out of their way to nominate him tells me this really could be his year, though part of me is still holding out for a Fassbender surprise.

Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back

Sarah Silverman! Good for you, girl! Work that nod into something more! But everyone needs to calm down with the Mirren love. I gave you The Last Station. I put up with Hitchcock. I predicted Trumbo because why not? But I will not stand for Woman in Gold.

Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Straight Outta Compton

Ooh, they loved Trumbo, didn't they? I was surprised with how much I liked it, though it isn't a movie I think about often. Very very very happy about Spotlight and Straight Outta Compton. But boy does this lineup remind me of 2007 -- remember that? No Country for Old Men won against 3:10 to Yuma, American Gangster, Hairspray and Into the Wild.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Awards So Far

Derelict in my duties, I have been! I haven't talked about the National Board of Review, the New York Critics, or the Los Angeles Critics. I don't remember if I have before, but I definitely keep charts of all three.

Here's what happened:

NATIONAL BOARD OF REVIEWMad Max: Fury Road won Best Picture; The Martian won Best Actor (Matt Damon), Best Director (Ridley Scott), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Drew Goddard). This immediately reminded me of my trip to South Korea, mostly because that's where I saw Mad Max, but also because the friend I was visiting at the time wound up loving The Martian so much, he saw it thrice (at least) in theaters. So that was interesting. Meanwhile, Brie Larson (Room), Sylvester Stallone (Creed), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight) round out the actors; Quentin Tarantino wins Original Screenplay for The Hateful Eight.

NEW YORK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE: Carol, which I plan to see a second time this week, dominated with four wins, including Film, Director (Todd Haynes), Screenplay (Phyllis Nagy), and Cinematography (Edward Lachman). The big shocker: Michael Keaton winning Actor for Spotlight, an ensemble film full of supporting actors/actresses. Supporting Actor, instead, went to Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies (deserved); Supporting Actress to Kristen Stewart for Clouds of Sils Maria (the only movie I saw during my one week in New York City, which I visited for the first time a week before South Korea); Actress to Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn, a dream of a film, a phenomenal performance.

LOS ANGELES FILM CRITICS ASSOCIATION: Spotlight may be the best movie of the year -- certainly LAFCA thought so, since, in addition to Screenplay, that's what it won. Then the rest of the categories spread the love: Mad Max: Fury Road's George Miller for Best Director, Steve Jobs' Michael Fassbender for Best Actor, 45 Years' Charlotte Rampling for Best Actress, 99 Homes' Michael Shannon for Best Supporting Actor; Ex Machina's leading lady Alicia Vikander for Best Supporting Actress.

Joe Reid pointed out on Twitter that this is the first time since 1988 all three critics' bodies split in every category. By the way, Oscar awarded Rain Man for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay that year -- total mentions by any of these groups: 0.

In the morning, another group will announce their nominees -- the Screen Actors Guild. My predictions, after the jump.