The Utah Film Critics Tell A Ghost Story


The Utah Film Critics Association picked one of my favorite films of the year for best picture!  Good for them!

Check out the winners below:

Best Picture
A Ghost Story
runner-up: Dunkirk

Best Director
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
runner-up: David Lowery, A Ghost Story

Best Actor, Female
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
runner-up: Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Actor, Male
Andy Serkis, War for the Planet of the Apes
runner-up: James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Best Supporting Actor, Female
Tatiana Maslany, Stronger
runner-up: Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Best Supporting Actor, Male
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
runner-up: Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Adapted Screenplay
Hampton Fancher and Michael Green, Blade Runner 2049
runner-up: Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, The Disaster Artist

Best Original Screenplay
Jordan Peele, Get Out
runners-up: Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird and Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (tie)

Best Cinematography
Roger Deakins, Blade Runner 2049
runner-up: Hoyte van Hoytema, Dunkirk

Best Score
Alexandre Desplat, The Shape of Water
runner-up: Hans Zimmer & Benjamin Wallfisch, Blade Runner 2049

Best Documentary Feature
Jane
runner-up: Chasing Coral

Best Animated Feature
Coco
runner-up: The LEGO Batman Movie

Best Non-English Language Film
Thelma
runners-up: Raw and A Fantastic Woman (tie)

The Black Film Critics Circle Embraces Mudbound!


Mudbound

The Black Film Critics Circle have added their voices to this year’s increasingly unpredictable awards season!  They named Mudbound the best film of 2017.  Here is the press release, with a full list of winners:

Best Film
Mudbound

Best Director
Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best Actor
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Best Actress
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Best Original Screenplay
Get Out

Best Adapted Screenplay
Mudbound

Best Documentary
Strong Island

Best Animated Film
Coco

Best Cinematography
Blade Runner 2049

Best Ensemble
Mudbound

Best Foreign Film
A Fantastic Woman

SIGNATURE AWARDS

Industry Pioneer
Jordan Peele for his “genre redefining film Get Out. Peele has not only defied box office expectations but helped redefine a genre that very few African American filmmakers ever get to work in. This powerful storyteller has reminded the world that while horror films remains a lucrative entertainment genre there is much room for deeper meaning and social commentary within the context of the ‘scary movie’, the very essence of the word Pioneer.”

Rising Star
Daniel Kaluuya whose performance in Get Out “defines exactly what a rising star is, coming from seemingly nowhere his performance help cement get out as the horror film classic that it is. His ability convey humor, pathos, vulnerability and strength signify an actor whose talents will not only be in demand but will greatly enrich any film he is cast in what we believe will be a very long and memorable career.”

Special Mention
Girls Trip, directed by Malcolm Lee, produced by Will Packer with a script by Kenya Barris & Tracy Oliver and featuring an all-black cast “proves beyond the shadow of a doubt that African-American stories are as just as commercially viable as their white counterparts.”

BLACK FILM CRITICS CIRCLE TOP TEN FILMS OF 2017
1. Mudbound
2. Get Out
3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri
4. The Shape of Water
5. The Post
6. Dunkirk
7. Marshall
8. Wonder Woman
9. I, Tonya
10. Blade Runner 2049

 

The Las Vegas Film Critics Society Announces Their Picks For The Best of 2017!


The Las Vegas Film Critics Society has announced their picks for the best of 2017!

And what did they choose?

Look below to find out!

Best Picture
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Actor
Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out

Best Actress
Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actor
Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actress
Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

Best Director
Guillermo Del toro – The Shape of Water

Best Screenplay (Original)
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Screenplay (Adapted)
Call Me By Your Name

Best Cinematography
Blade Runner 2049

Best Film Editing
Baby Driver

Best Score
The Shape of Water

Best Song
“Remember Me” – Coco

Best Action Film
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Animated Film
Coco

Best Foreign Film
First They Killed My Father

Best Costume Design
Blade Runner 2049

Best Art Direction
Blade Runner 2049

Best Visual Effects
Blade Runner 2049

Best Comedy
The Big Sick

Best Horror / Sci-Fi
Get Out

Best Family Film
Coco

Best Ensemble
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Documentary
Jane

Breakout Filmaker
Jordan Peele – Get Out

Youth in Film
Brooklyn Prince – The Florida Project

William Holden Lifetime Achievement Award
Lois Smith

The Seattle Film Critics Name Get Out The Best of 2017!


“Get out!”

That’s not just what the city of Seattle told Mayor Ed Murray earlier this year.  It’s also the title of the film that the Seattle Film Critics have officially selected as their pick for the best of 2017!

Check out their nominees here and the winners below!

BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR

Get Out (Universal)

BEST DIRECTOR

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST

Get Out

BEST SCREENPLAY

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Coco – Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich, directors

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Raw – Julia Ducournau, director

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Faces Places – JR, Agnès Varda, co-directors

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Blade Runner 2049 – Roger A. Deakins

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges

BEST FILM EDITING

Dunkirk – Lee Smith

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner (Production Designer); Alessandra Querzola (Set Decorator)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming)

Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR

Dennis and various multiple personalities – Split – portrayed by James McAvoy

Here Are The Ten Semi-Finalists For The Best Visual Effects Oscar!


The Academy has announced the ten semi-finalists for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.  And here they are!

“Alien: Covenant”

“Blade Runner 2049”

“Dunkirk”

“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”

“Kong: Skull Island”

“Okja”

“The Shape of Water”

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”

“War for the Planet of the Apes”

Here Are the 70 Songs That Are Eligible For Best Original Song of 2017!


 

Today, the Academy announced the 70 songs that will be eligible to be nominated for best original song!  So, if you’re putting down bets and making out your predictions, here are your best song possibilities:

“U.N.I (You And I)” from “And the Winner Isn’t”
“Love And Lies” from “Band Aid”
“If I Dare” from “Battle of the Sexes”
“Evermore” from “Beauty and the Beast
“How Does A Moment Last Forever” from “Beauty and the Beast
“Now Or Never” from “Bloodline: Now or Never”
“She” from “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”
“Your Hand I Will Never Let It Go” from “The Book of Henry”
“Buddy’s Business” from “Brawl in Cell Block 99”
“The Crown Sleeps” from “The Breadwinner”
“World Gone Mad” from “Bright”
“Mystery Of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name”
“Visions Of Gideon” from “Call Me by Your Name”
“Captain Underpants Theme Song” from “Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie”
“Ride” from “Cars 3”
“Run That Race” from “Cars 3”
“Tell Me How Long” from “Chasing Coral”
“Broken Wings” from “City of Ghosts”
“Remember Me” from “Coco”
“Prayers For This World” from “Cries from Syria”
“There’s Something Special” from “Despicable Me 3”
“It Ain’t Fair” from “Detroit”
“A Little Change In The Weather” from “Downsizing”
“Stars In My Eyes (Theme From Drawing Home)” from “Drawing Home”
“All In My Head” from “Elizabeth Blue”
“Dying For Ya” from “Elizabeth Blue”
“Green” from “Elizabeth Blue”
“Can’t Hold Out On Love” from “Father Figures”
“Home” from “Ferdinand”
“I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from “Fifty Shades Darker
“You Shouldn’t Look At Me That Way” from “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”
“This Is How You Walk On” from “Gifted”
“Summer Storm” from “The Glass Castle
“The Pure And The Damned” from “Good Time”
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman”
“The Hero” from “The Hero
“How Shall A Sparrow Fly” from “Hostiles”
“Just Getting Started” from “If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”
“Truth To Power” from “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”
“Next Stop, The Stars” from “Kepler’s Dream”
“The Devil & The Huntsman” from “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
“Have You Ever Wondered” from “Lake of Fire”
“I’ll Be Gone” from “Lake of Fire”
“We’ll Party All Night” from “Lake of Fire”
“Friends Are Family” from “The Lego Batman Movie
“Found My Place” from “The Lego Ninjago Movie”
“Stand Up For Something” from “Marshall”
“Rain” from “Mary and the Witch’s Flower”
“Myron/Byron” from “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)”
“Longing For Summer” from “Moomins and the Winter Wonderland”
“Mighty River” from “Mudbound”
“Never Forget” from “Murder on the Orient Express”
“Hold The Light” from “Only the Brave”
“PBNJ” from “Patti Cake$”
“Tuff Love (Finale)” from “Patti Cake$”
“Lost Souls” from “The Pirates of Somalia”
“How A Heart Unbreaks” from “Pitch Perfect 3”
“The Promise” from “The Promise”
“Kaadanayum Kaalchilambe” from “Pulimurugan”
“Maanathe Maarikurumbe” from “Pulimurugan”
“Stubborn Angel” from “Same Kind of Different as Me”
“Dancing Through The Wreckage” from “Served Like a Girl”
“Keep Your Eyes On Me” from “The Shack”
“On The Music Goes” from “Slipaway”
“The Star” from “The Star”
“Jump” from “Step”
“Tickling Giants” from “Tickling Giants”
“Fly Away” from “Trafficked”
“Speak To Me” from “Voice from the Stone”
“Walk On Faith” from “Year by the Sea”

The Academy also announced that 141 films will be eligible for Best Original Score.  In the interest of space, I’m not going to post them all here.  You can check out the list on Awards Watch!

A Movie A Day #343: Looker (1981, directed by Michael Crichton)


Someone is murdering models and trying to frame Larry Roberts (Albert Finney), a plastic surgeon.  Larry suspects that the actual murderer is somehow involved with the Digital Matrix research firm, a shadowy organization that is headed by James Coburn and Leigh Taylor Young.  Digital Matrix has developed a new technique where they digitally scan a model’s body and then generate a 3-D duplicate that can be used in commercials and on film.  The real-life models stand to make a fortune from the royalties, assuming that they are physically perfect and they do not end up getting murdered immediately after being scanned.  Larry’s girlfriend, Cindy (Susan Dey), is just the latest model to have been scanned and now Larry suspects that she might be targeted for death as well.

When I was growing up, Looker was one of those movies that always seemed to be on HBO.  I don’t know why this box office bomb was so popular on cable but I do remember seeing it several times.  I guarantee you that anyone who has ever came across this movie on HBO in the 80s and 90s will remember it.  They might not remember the title but they will remember that the bad guys used light guns that would cause people to briefly go into a catatonic state.  Everyone who has ever seen this movie remembers the model standing frozen in the doorway of her apartment.

As for the movie itself, the guns are cool and so is the scene where Susan Dey gets scanned but otherwise, Looker is not very good.  Michael Crichton later said that he had conflicts with Warner Bros during the editing of Looker and, as a result, there were some important scenes that did not make it into the final cut.  For instance, it is never really explained why the models are being killed.  Albert Finney was in one of his periodic career slumps when he starred as Larry and he looks uncomfortable going through the motions of being an action star.  Two years after Looker came out, Finney’s career would be reinvigorated when he received an Oscar nomination for The Dresser and three years later, he would give his career best performance in Under the Volcano.

As it typical of Michael Crichton’s work, Looker was ahead of its time in predicting the use of CGI in media but otherwise, it’s nothing special.  If you want to see a good Crichton-directed film, stick with Westworld and The Great Train Robbery.