The first nine categories of the Retro Hollmann Awards of 1961! Each category is presented in the same order as the original Academy Awards telecast, with only two exceptions: the first two, for they did not exist at the time - one of them still doesn't, but that's OK. On to the awards!
A Raisin in the Sun
2. Flower Drum Song; 3. The League of Gentlemen; 4. The Innocents; 5. Judgment at Nuremberg
Of course, if any film was going to win this, it'd be the one up for five acting nominations. The family unit itself is beautifully played, with the realistic moments of frustration and love, doubt and certainty. But there's also generous room for the guests in their household: Bobo, George Murchison, that too-polite white guy, Mr. Asagai.
In second place, the dynamite song-and-dance ensemble of Flower Drum Song. In third, the conspirators - and the women in their lives - in The League of Gentlemen. In fourth, the concerned staff, mischievous children, and checked-out uncle in The Innocents. In fifth, the all-star cast of Judgment at Nuremberg.
The remaining eight categories are after the jump.
Yes, it's that time again - way-too-early Oscar predictions! Never have I ever gotten more than two or three correct this far ahead, but that does not stop me. Maybe it should, but it won't. Not ever.
Dolemite is My Name
Ford v. Ferrari
The Last Thing He Wanted Little Women
The Laundromat Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Pain and Glory
Untitled Todd Haynes Project
Five and a half true stories: Dolemite is My Name (biopic of Rudy Ray Moore), Ford v. Ferrari (about the competition between the titular companies for Le Mans 1966), The Irishman (Scorsese and De Niro return to gangster drama), The Laundromat (Panama Papers), Untitled Todd Haynes Project (lawyer takes on polluting chemical company) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Tarantino's riff on Hollywood '69 - fiction, but with real people as players). We also have possible crowdpleaser Yesterday, Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Little Women, Dee Rees' adaptation of Joan Didion's The Last Thing He Wanted, and Pedro Almodovar's showbiz drama Pain and Glory. We'll know soon enough if Pain & Glory or Yesterday have "the goods", as the former is premiering at Cannes and the latter comes out at the end of June.
Last year, I correctly predicted two of the nine eventual nominees: Roma and Vice.
Predictions in six more categories after the jump....
One of the more difficult Top Tens I've ever had to make. When push came to shove, I thought about what's close to my heart: the films I think about randomly or bring up in conversation; that changed or helped me better articulate my views on something; whose images moved me beyond words.
Honorable Mentions: Bachelor in Paradise, The Ballad of Narayama, Immortal Love, The Innocents and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.
The Top Ten - in alphabetical order - after the jump....
Over the past two weeks, we've discussed the 1961 Academy Award nominees in the eight major categories, plus score and song. All together, that's 23 films we've looked at, plus a mention of the difficult-to-find Khovanshchina.
Ah, but there were even more films up for Oscars that year! After the jump, nine more nominees, and my thoughts 'upon them.
Best Picture: the last award given at the Oscars, the last Oscar category we're covering for 1961. Doesn't mean we're done with the year as a whole, though! I've still my own personal picks for the Best of the Year.
But that's still to come. Let's focus on the Academy's picks today, shall we? After the jump...
If the 1961 Oscars were looked at then as we do it now, Best Adapted Screenplay would be considered anyone's game. All five honorees received nominations from other bodies; four of them won. What's more, of the six writers, there was one previous winner, two previous nominees, and one who would return soon after. These are the big guns, Oscar-wise.
When I look at the Best Actor nominees for 1961, my mind immediately leaps to the Tony Awards rules - you know, how if you're above the title, you're the de facto lead, and if you're below the title, you're featured/supporting? Anyway, when I see Charles Boyer) and Maximilian Schell (fifth-billed - was he the cut-off?) among the Lead Actor nominees, that's what I think.
A double dose of Oscar fun today, as we look at the nominees for Best Dramatic/Comedy Score and Best Musical Score. The former is what we would now know as Original Score; the latter, an unused category that has gone through many permutations, from Adapted Score to Song Score to Original Musical Score. This year was an especially odd one - a non-musical is nominated for its original score in the Musical category, while a film not in the Musical category lifted its score entirely from another medium. The very next year, the categories were distinguished between Substantially Original Score and Adaptation Or Treatment Score. You'll see why.
We start with the nominees for Musical Score - after the jump...
In 1961, the Golden Globes weren't awarding screenplays and the WGA Awards had three categories: Comedy, Drama, and Musical. I mention this because it was an unusually robust film for adaptations, which may help to explain the unusual nature of the year's Best Original Screenplay lineup. None of these screenplays were honored anywhere else; three of them are foreign films; one is actually an adaptation! Honestly, except for that last part, we could use more lineups like this...in spirit, I mean. It's surprising, one-of-a-kind, and is willing to look outside the box to find the worthy.
Why 1961? A few reasons: With all the talk of Steven Spielberg's West Side Story remake, I wanted to revisit the original. There were a number of classics I needed to catch up with, such as Judgment at Nuremberg and The Hustler. And it marked the release of Road to Eternity, the second chapter of Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition, so, you know, why not?
We start with the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, after the jump...
Next month we're getting back to the Retrospectives with the films of 1961!
It all begins April 1st, with the nominees for Best Supporting Actor - George Chakiris (West Side Story), Montgomery Clift (Judgment at Nuremberg), Peter Falk (Pocketful of Miracles), Jackie Gleason (The Hustler) and George C. Scott (The Hustler) - followed by Original Screenplay, Score, Actor, and Director.
My final predictions for the 91st Academy Awards in all 24 categories, in three acts.
Act One: No Dog in This Fight (or, i ain't seen all these)
Animated Short - "Bao" Documentary Short - "Period. End of Sentence." Live Action Short - "Skin" Animated Feature - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Documentary Feature - Free Solo Foreign Language Film - Roma Original Song - "Shallow" from A Star is Born Visual Effects - First Man Makeup and Hairstyling - Vice Cinematography - Roma
Act Two: Opinions, I Have Them (or, the ol' will win/should win game)
Sound Mixing - Bohemian Rhapsody (should win: Roma) Sound Editing - Bohemian Rhapsody (should win: First Man) Costume Design - Black Panther (should win: The Favourite, but I'd be down with Black Panther) Film Editing - Vice (should win: BlacKkKlansman) Production Design - The Favourite (should win: The Favourite)
2. Little Forest; 3. Can You Ever Forgive Me?; 4. First Man; 5. The Wife
You hear the pitch about lesbians in an Orthodox Jewish community and you know - you just know - this is going to be a preaching-to-the-choir critique against religion's stamping out of individuality! And certainly that's true...for one character. For another character, religion and faith offers clarity, security, a community - going against its tenets goes against all of that. For still another, the two sides are difficult to reconcile, but she tries. Open to everything, understanding - and breathtakingly accurate in its lustful abandon.
In second, Little Forest's instructive, romantic journey across the past and present. In third, Can You Ever Forgive Me?'s empathy and sardonic humor. In fourth, First Man's elegy. In fifth, The Wife's gradual unraveling.
After the jump: Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Song, Best Picture, and more....
The first group of awards for the 2018 Hollmann Awards!
Best Original Screenplay
A Bread Factory
2. First Reformed; 3. Tully; 4. Shoplifters; 5. The Spy Gone North
As funny in Part One's depiction of Janeane Garofalo's visiting director as it is poignant in Part Two's "love-long-lost" monologue delivered by Brian Murray, brilliant in its combination of the two in Part One's climactic council hearings and Part Two's final conversation between Tyne Daly and Elisabeth Henry. Wang has created a fully-realized community populated by a large ensemble of very specific characters - it feels real.
In second, First Reformed's balance of anguish and dark comedy. In third, Tully's
In fourth, Shoplifters' humor in the face of poverty. In fifth, The Spy Gone North's political machinations and genuine love of country.
Eight more, including my picks for Best Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Actress, after the jump...
A terrific year for films, 2018 was. Not since 2011 have I had such a spread: 35 films in 18 categories! And it was tough to narrow down - all the way up to midnight last night, I still had six to eight finalists in several categories...
But here they are! The nominees for the 13th Annual Hollmann Awards:
Best Supporting Actress
Sakura Andô as Nobuyo Shibata Shoplifters Ingrid Caven as Miss Vendegast
With apologies to All is True, Bad Times at the El Royale, Black Panther, Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, Good Manners, The Hate U Give, Hereditary, Leave No Trace, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Mary Poppins Returns, The Old Man & the Gun, The Other Side of the Wind, Paddington 2, Shirkers, Shoplifters, A Simple Favor, Swing Kids, and Zama, may I present....
1. More Korean cinema. I live near a Korean movie theater and have been going pretty regularly since seeing The Admiral: Roaring Currents in 2014. But my screenings have become inconsistent, my records of them haphazard. And there's so much from the past that I have not seen, notable works like The Housemaid and Miracle in Cell No. 7 and Oldboy, the oeuvre of filmmakers like Hong Sang-Soo and Shin Sang-Ok, etc. It's time to take it seriously.
2. Year-long 1989 retrospective. I turn 30 this year, and I want to look at what Hollywood was churning out while I entered this world. So, in addition to my scattershot retrospectives, I intend to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a film's release every week, from now through December.