Lisa Reviews An Oscar Nominee: The Guns of Navarone (dir by J. Lee Thompson)

The Oscar nominations are finally due to be announced on March 15th and the Oscars themselves are scheduled to be awarded at the end of April.  In anticipation of the big event (and the end of this current lengthy awards season), I am going to spend the next two months watching and reviewing Oscar nominees of the past.  Some day, I hope to be able to say that I have watched and reviewed every single film nominated for Best Picture.  It’s a mission that, with each passing year, I come a little bit closer to acomplishing.

Tonight, I decided to start things off by watching the 1961 best picture nominee, The Guns of Navarone.

The Guns of Navarone takes place in 1943, during World War II.  2,000 British troops are stranded on the Greek island of Kheros and the Nazis are planning on invading the island in a show of force that they hope will convince Turkey to join the Axis powers.  The Allies need to evacuate those troops before the Nazis invade.  The problem is that, on the nearby island of Navarone, there are two massive guns that can shoot down any plane that flies over and sink any ship that sails nearby.  If the British soldiers are to be saved, the guns are going to have to be taken out.

Everyone agrees that it’s a suicide mission.  Even if a commando team manages to avoid the patrol boats and the German soldiers on the island, reaching the guns requires scaling a cliff that is considered to be nearly unclimbable.  Still, the effort has to be made.  Six men are recruited to do the impossible.  Leading the group is Major Roy Franklin (Anthony Quayle), a natural-born leader who is described as having almost supernatural luck.  Franklin’s second-in-command is Keith Mallory (Gregory Peck), an American spy who speaks several languages and who is an expert mountain climber.  Spyros Pappadimos (James Darren) and Butcher Brown (Stanley Baker) are both assigned to the team because they have fearsome reputations as killers, though it quickly becomes clear that only one of them kills for enjoyment.  Colonel Stavrou (Anthony Quinn) is a member of the defeated Greek army and he has a complicated past with Mallory.  Finally, Corporal Miller (David Niven) is a chemistry teacher-turned-explosive expert.  Waiting for the men on the island are two members of the Resistance, Spyros’s sister Maria (Irene Papas) and her friend, Anna (Gia Scala).  The mission, not surprisingly, the mission doesn’t go as planned.  There’s violence and betrayal and not everyone makes it to the end.  But everyone knows that, as tired as they are of fighting, the mission cannot be abandoned.

The Guns of Navarone was a huge box office success when it was originally released, which probably has a lot to do with it showing up as a best picture nominee.  It’s an entertaining film and, watching it, it’s easy to see how it served as a prototype for many of the “teams on a mission” action films that followed.  Though none of the characters are exactly deeply drawn, that almost doesn’t matter when you’ve got a cast that includes actors like Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, and David Niven.  At it best, the film works as a triumph of old-fashioned movie star charisma.  Peck is upright and determined to do whatever needs to be done to get the job done.  Quinn is tempermental and passionate.  David Niven is cynical, witty, and very, very British.  Quayle, Darren, and especially Stanley Baker provide strong support.  Before Sean Connery got the role, Stanley Baker was a strong contender for James Bond and, watching this film, you can see why.

Seen today, there’s not a lot that’s surprising about The Guns of Navarone.  It’s simply a good adventure film, one that occasionally debates the morality of war without forgetting that the audience is mostly watching to see the bad guys get blown up.  Some of the action scenes hold up surprisingly well.  The scene where the team is forced to deal with a German patrol boat is a particular stand-out.

The Guns of Navarone was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  Though it lost the top prize to West Side Story, The Guns of Navarone still won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

Two Of A Kind, But Different (Part Two) : Mike Shea-Wright’s “Beach”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

The second of Mike Shea-Wright’s new self-published minis dedicated to celebrating pre-COVID social get-togethers that would now properly be classified as “super-spreader” events, Beach, represents perhaps a greater flight of fancy than its de facto “twin” release, Venue, in that the events depicted in that comic could — indeed, often do — happen pretty much as depicted, while the events depicted in this one really aren’t likely to at all, but hey, what do I know? Maybe Shea-Wright just frequents far more interesting beaches than I do — and maybe you do, as well.

In short, this is a wordless story about an afternoon at a beach that becomes one big naked party and, as such, the goals of the author are perhaps a bit broader here than simply showing the purported “joys” of a large gathering of people : indeed, the “all bodies are beautiful” and “de-stigmatize…

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Two Of A Kind, But Different (Part One) : Mike Shea-Wright’s “Venue”

Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

Chances are that you’re as tired of being cooped up as I am, but I’ll say this much : one of the “net pluses” of the pandemic (sorry, there really has to be a better way of phrasing that, but I’ll be damned if I can think of what that would be right now) has been a creativity and productivity boom among self-publishing and otherwise-independent cartoonists. Most of us are well-familiar with the justly-lauded strips being shared daily on instagram by Alex Graham, Simon Hanselmann, and others, but it’s not like the printed page has been abandoned completely in this “brave” new world, either (indeed, Graham has just collected her Dog Biscuits series in a massive 400-plus-page volume she’s selling through Lulu and the entirety of Hanselmann’s “Crisis Zone” will be released in a single volume in fairly short order from Fantagraphics) — which brings us to Mike Shea-Wright and…

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Here Are The Golden Reel Nominations!

For those of you who are really, really determined to make an informed choice when making your Oscar predictions, here are the Golden Reel nominations!  The Golden Reels are awarded by Motion Picture Sound Editors and, as you can probably guess, it’s meant to honor the best sound editing of the year.

(Of course, this year, the Academy has combined Sound Editing and Sound Mixing into one category.)

The nominations are below!  The winners — which will undoubtedly include Sound of Metal — will be announced on April 18th!

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Animation
“The Croods: A New Age”
Supervising Sound Editors: Brian Chumney, Leff Lefferts
Sound Designer: Randy Thom, MPSE
Supervising Music Editor: Dominick Certo, MPSE
Dialogue Editor: Jonathan Greber
Sound Effects Editors: Pascal Garneau, Mac Smith
Foley Editors: Doug Winningham, Dee Selby
Foley Artists: John Roesch, MPSE; Shelley Roden, MPSE; Ronni Brown, Jana Vance
Disney / Pixar
Supervising Sound Editor: Shannon Mills
Sound Designer: Nia Hansen
Sound Effects Editors: Samson Neslund, Kimberly Patrick, David C. Hughes, Josh Gold
Supervising Dialogue Editor: Chris Gridley
Foley Editors: Christopher Flick, Steve Orlando
Foley Artists: John Roesch, MPSE; Shelley Roden, MPSE
Music Editor: Erich Stratmann
“Over the Moon”
Supervising Sound Editors: Qianbaihui Yang, MPSE; Jeremy Bowker
Dialogue Editors: James Spencer, Brad Semenoff
Foley Editors: Dee Selby, Chris Frazier, Larry Oatfield, Alyssa Nevarez
Foley Artists: Ronni Brown, Jana Vance
Music Editor: Bradley Farmer
Supervising Sound Editor: Coya Elliott
Sound Effects Editors: Kimberly Patrick, Steve Orlando, Jonathan Stevens
Supervising Dialogue Editor: Cheryl Nardi
Sound Designer: Ren Klyce
Foley Editor Thom Brennan
Foley Artists: John Roesch, MPSE; Shelley Roden, MPSE; Dee Selby
Apple TV Plus
Supervising Sound Editors: Christine Seznec, Sebastien Marquilly, Bruno Seznec
Sound Effects Editors: Baptiste Bouche, Felix Davin, Alexandre Fleurant, Axel Steichen
Dialogue Editor: Anne-Lyse Haddak
Foley Editor: Stéphane Werner
Foley Artist: Florian Fabre

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Documentary
“Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart”
HBO Documentary Films
Supervising Sound Editor: Jonathan Greber
Sound Effects Editor: Pascal Garneau
“Crip Camp”
Supervising Sound Editor: Jacob Bloomfield-Misrach
Dialogue Editor: Greg Francis
Sound Designers: Bijan Sharifi, William Sammons, James LeBrecht
“John Lewis: Good Trouble”
Magnolia Pictures
Sound Effects Editor: Richard Gould
Sound Designer: Christopher Barnett
“My Octopus Teacher”
Supervising Sound Editor: Barry Donnelly
Foley Artist: Charl Mostert
“The Reason I Jump”
Vulcan Productions
Sound Effects Editors: Laurence Love Greed, Alexej Mungersdorff, Jack Wensley
Dialogue Editor: Jamie McPhee
Foley Editor: Srdjan Kurpjel
“Rebuilding Paradise”
National Geographic
Sound Effects Editors: David Hughes, Richard Gould
Sound Designer: Christopher Barnett
“The Social Dilemma”
Supervising Sound Editor: Richard Gould
Dialogue Editor: James Spencer
Foley Artist: Andrea Gard
Magnolia Pictures
Supervising Sound Editor: Lon Bender, MPSE
Dialogue Editors: Ryan Owens, George Anderson, Nick Pavey
Sound Effects Editors: Alex Nomick, P. Daniel Newman, Chris Kahwaty, MPSE

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Foreign Language Feature
Globo Filmes
Supervising Sound Editor: Ricardo Cutz Gaudenzi
Dialogue Editor: Victor Quintanilha
Sound Effects Editor: Matheus Miguens
Foley Editor: Rafael Faustino
Foley Artist: Pedro Coelho
“The Eight Hundred”
CMC Pictures
Supervising Sound Designer and Editor: Kang Fu
Sound Effects Editor: Steve Miller
Dialogue Editor: Ai Long Tan
Music Editor: Fei Yu
“I’m No Longer Here”
Supervising Sound Editor: Javier Umpierrez
Dialogue Editor: Juan Sosa Rosell
Foley Editor: Lía Perez
Foley Artist: Marisela Suárez
Music Editor: Javier Umpierrez
Opus Penta
Supervising Sound Editor: Ranganath Ravee
Sound Effects Editors: Sreejith Sreenivasan, Boney M. Joy, Arun Rama Varma, MPSE
Foley Artists: Amandeep Singh, Mohammad Iqbal Paratwada
“The Life Ahead”
Supervising Sound Designer and Editor: Maurizio Argentieri
Dialogue Editor: Riccardo Righini
Foley Artist: Mauro Eusepi

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Underscore
“The Invisible Man”
Universal Pictures
Supervising Music Editor: Brett “Snacky” Pierce
Music Editor: Devaughn Watts
“The Midnight Sky”
Supervising Music Editor: Michael Alexander
Scoring Editor: Peter Clarke, MPSE
“News of the World”
Universal Pictures
Supervising Music Editor: Arabella Winter
Music Editors: David Olson, Jim Weidman
“Sound of Metal”
Supervising Music Editor: Carolina Santana
Scoring Editors: Nicolas Becker, Abraham Marder
Warner Bros.
Supervising Music Editor: Alex Gibson
Music Editor: Nicholas Fitzgerald
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Music Editor: Allegra de Souza
“Wonder Woman 1984”
Warner Bros.
Supervising Music Editors: Gerard McCann, Ryan Rubin
Music Editors: Timeri Duplat, Michael Connell
Scoring Editors: Chris Barrett, Adam Miller, Alfredo Pasquel

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Musical
“Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of the Fire Saga”
Music Editors: Allegra De Souza, Peter Oso Snell, MPSE; Jon Mooney
“The High Note”
Focus Features
Music Editor: Louis Schultz
“I Am Woman”
Transmission Films
Supervising Music Editor: Stuart Morton, MPSE
Music Editors: Bry Jones, Michael Tan
“The Forty-Year-Old Version”
Music Editor: Lightchild
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Supervising Music Editor: Todd Kasow
Music Editor: Tim Marchiafava
“The Prom”
Music Editors: David Klotz, Nick Baxter

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Dialogue/ADR
Sobini Films
Supervising Sound Editors: Glenn Morgan, D. Chris Smith
Dialogue Editors: Robert Jackson
Apple TV Plus
Supervising Sound Editors: Michael Minkler, Warren Shaw, Will Digby, MPSE
Supervising ADR Editor: Dave McMoyler
Dialogue Editors: Michelle Pazer, David Tichauer, Paul Carden
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Supervising Sound Editors: Paul Urmson, Skip Lievsay, MPSE
Supervising ADR Editor: Lidia Tamplenizza
Dialogue Editors: Michael Feuser
Supervising Sound Editors: Ren Klyce, Jeremy Molod
Supervising ADR Editor: Richard Quinn
Dialogue Editors: Kim Foscato, Lisa Chino, Cameron Barker
“News of the World”
Universal Pictures
Supervising Sound Editor: Oliver Tarney, MPSE
Supervising Dialogue Editor: Rachael Tate, MPSE
Supervising ADR Editor: Anna MacKenzie
Searchlight Pictures
Supervising Sound Editors: Sergio Diaz, MPSE; Zach Seivers, MPSE
“Sound of Metal”
Supervising Sound Editor: Nicolas Becker
Supervising ADR Editor: Carolina Santana
Dialogue Editor: Michelle Couttolenc
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Supervising Sound and ADR Editor: Renee Tondelli
Dialogue Editors: Michael Hertlein, MPSE; Jeena Schoenke, Jon Michaels

Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Effects/Foley
Apple TV Plus
Supervising Sound Editor: Mark Binder, MPSE
Sound Effects Editors: Donald Flick, Michael Gilbert, Matthew Coby
Apple TV Plus
Supervising Sound Editors: Warren Shaw, Michael Minkler, Will Digby, MPSE
Sound Designers: Ann Scibelli, Jon Title
Sound Effects Editors: Jeff Sawyer, Richard Kitting, Odin Benitez, MPSE; Jason King
Foley Editor: Luke Gibleon
Foley Artist: Marko Costanzo
“The Midnight Sky”
Supervising Sound Editors: Bjørn Schroeder, Randy Thom
Sound Designer: Kyrsten Mate
Sound Effects Editor: Leff Lefferts
Foley Editor: Nicholas Docter
Foley Artists: John Roesch, Shelley Roden
“News of the World”
Universal Pictures
Supervising Sound Editor: Oliver Tarney
Sound Designer: Mike Fentum
Sound Effects Editors: Kevin Penney, Dawn Gough
Foley Editor: Hugo Adams
Foley Artists: Sue Harding, Andrea King, Oliver Ferris
“Sound of Metal”
Supervising Sound Editor: Nicolas Becker
Sound Effects Editor: Carolina Santana
Foley Editor: Pietu Korhonen
Foley Artist: Heikke Kossi
Warner Bros.
Supervising Sound Editor: Richard King
Sound Effects Editors: Michael W. Mitchell, Joseph Fraioli, Mark Larry
Foley Editors: Bruce Tanis, MPSE; Angela Ang
Foley Artists: Catherine Harper, MPSE; John Roesch, MPSE; Katie Rose, Alyson Dee Moore, Chris Moriana, Shelley Roden, MPSE; Dan O’Connell, John Cucci, MPSE
“Wonder Woman 1984”
Warner Bros.
Supervising Sound Editor: Richard King, Jimmy Boyle
Sound Effects Editors: Rowan Watson, Michael Babcock, Jeff Sawyer
Foley Editors: Kevin Penney, Lily Blazewicz
Foley Artists: Peter Burgess, Zoe Freed

Sound Effects Editor: Lucas MillerOutstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Non-Theatrical Feature
“Bad Education”
Supervising Sound Editor: Gene Park
Sound Effects Editor: Ric Schnupp
Dialogue Editor: Craig Kyllonen
ADR Editor: Colin Alexander, MPSE
Music Editor: Shari Johanson, MPSE
Supervising Sound Editors: Steve Boeddeker, Lee Salevan
Dialogue Editor: Michael Feuser
ADR Editor: Lidia Tamplenizza
Foley Editor: Igor Nikolić
Foley Artist: Jay Peck
“Blow the Man Down”
Supervising Sound Editor: Chris Foster
Dialogue Editors: Matt Rigby, Michael Flannery
ADR Editors: John Bowen, Nora Linde
Foley Editor: Laura Heinzinger
Music Editor: Brian McOmber
“The Bygone”
Supervising Sound Editor: David Barber, MPSE
Sound Effects Editors: Ben Zarai, Roland Thai, MPSE; George Haddad, MPSE; Dave Eichhorn
Foley Editor: Michael Kreple
Foley Artists: Gonzalo “Bino” Espinoza, David Kitchens, MPSE
“Christmas On the Square”
Supervising Sound Editor: Trip Brock, MPSE
Supervising ADR Editor: Jacob Ortiz, MPSE
Sound Effects Editor: Raymond Park, MPSE
Dialogue Editors: Jackie Johnson, Bruce Stubblefield
Supervising Music Editors: Marc S. Perlman, MPSE; Michael T. Ryan, MPSE
Music Editor: Tom Ruttledge, Michael Farrow
Supervising Sound Editors: Christopher S. Aud, MPSE; Byron Wilson
Sound Effects Editors: Phil Barrie, Greg ten Bosch, MPSE; Aaron Glascock
Dialogue Editor: Daniel Saxlid, MPSE
Foley Editor: Terry Rodman, MPSE
Supervising Music Editor: Steve Durkee
“Troop Zero”
Supervising Sound Editors: Erin Oakley, Sean McCormick
Sound Effects Editors: Paul Pirola, Andrew Neil, Dylan Barfield
Dialogue Editors: Robert Chen, Will Riley, MPSE
Foley Editor: Troy Mauri
Foley Artist: Adrian Medhurst
“The Ultimate Playlist of Noise”
Supervising Sound Editor: Odin Benitez, MPSE
Supervising ADR Editor: Ryan Briley
Sound Designer: Russell Topal, MPSE
Foley Editor: Rustam Gimadlyev
Foley Artists: Bogdan Zavarzin, Natalia Syeryakova
Music Editor: Katerina Tolkishevskaya

The Oscars: Must The Show Go On?

Ever since the COVID lockdowns started roughly 12 months ago ago, there have been people saying that we should cancel all of the big events that usually define the year. Sometimes, the argument has been that it’s just simply gauche to celebrate or indulge in sort of distraction while the world is suffering.   Other times the argument has been that doing anything other than staying inside and feeling miserable will lead to a superspreader event.  Over the past 12 months, there have been efforts to cancel everything from football and baseball to Halloween and Christmas.

My response to these efforts has always been to proudly yell, “No! People need some sort of normalcy, now more than ever!   Traditions are important and we all need something to look forward to. The show must go on!” Even though I’m not into football, I was happy that the regular NFL season went forward as scheduled.  I was happy that, even with everything going on, there was at least a Super Bowl.  Even though I’ve never cared that much about the Emmys, I was still glad that they made it a point to hold some sort of ceremony.   And when it comes to Oscars, I’ve been looking forward to them for a year now. The show must go on, right?

Indeed, ever since the lockdown started, I’ve been saying that the show must go on.  It’s a belief in which my faith was unwavering.

Until last night.

Last night, I watched The Golden Globes and, as I’ve already said on this site, it was an amazingly depressing experience. While I knew that the Globes would be different this year and there would undoubtedly be a few awkward moments, nothing could have prepared for me for just how terrible last night’s show truly was. The entire show felt weird and creepy and vaguely dystopian.  Even the jokes about the HFPA’s lack of diversity and the nominations for stuff like Music and Emily In Paris felt less like speaking truth to power and more like officially sanctioned dissent, delivered in smarmy fashion by officially approved messengers.  It felt like watching a carefully rehearsed roast of a corrupt politician, where all of the jokes are carefully written so that the subject of them can later say, “See, I can laugh at myself!” in between looting the treasury and putting dissidents in prison.  It was depressing not just because it reflected what’s currently going on in the world but also because it seemed to indicate what we had to look forward to in the future.

Awards show have always been vapid, of course. For the most part, the humor has always been smarmy and self-congratulatory.   (There’s a reason why Ricky Gervais will probably never be invited back to host another Golden Globes ceremony.)   The political statements have always lacked self-awareness.  The winners have often been regrettable. But, in the past, we could at least focus on the glamour.  We could distract ourselves with the clothes and the hair and the gossip.  There was no glamour last night.  There was just an overwhelming blandness.

Traditionally, the Golden Globes are the “fun” awards ceremony so, if the Golden Globes were that bad, can you imagine what the Oscars are going to be like?  The Oscars, after all, are the staid and, at times, painfully formal ceremony.  If the Globes represent your shady, self-destructive, but always unpredictable uncle, the Oscars represent the rich uncle who awkwardly shows up at the annual family reunion out of a sense of obligation and who never seems to be having as much fun as he should.  (That said, you’re still always happy to see him and you know you’ll miss him if he ever stops coming.)  If the Globes were that depressing, it’s frightening to imagine the depths of despair to which the Oscars could potentially descend.

It’s enough to make you wonder whether the show must really go on!  I mean, technically, there’s really no need to have a big Oscar ceremony.   The show gets terrible ratings, with less and less people watching each year.  In fact, it’s only a few of us awards fanatics who really care about the ceremony.  One could just as easily post the names of the winners online and then everyone could just upload their acceptance speeches to YouTube, where people like me could watch the speeches we care about and ignore the rest.  At this point, even those of who love the show understand that it’s rare that the best films actually win.  The appeal of the Oscars is not really to be found in the results of the contest.  Instead, the appeal of the Oscars has always been the glamour of the ceremony.  If there’s no glamour, what’s the point?  One could just as easily take the money that’s usually spent on the ceremony and instead donate it to the communities that are still recovering from last month’s winter storm.

It’s a legitimate question.  Must the show go on?

Despite the way that I found my faith wavering last night, I still ultimately think that the show should go on. I still believe that, psychologically, it’s important to have some sort of normalcy.   I think that if the world could survive the lack of good Super Bowl commercials, it should be able to survive the Oscars.  But, seriously, let’s hope that the Oscar producers learned something from last night’s disastrous ceremony. Let’s hope that the producers give some serious thought to what went wrong for the Globes and that they make an effort not to repeat the same mistakes.  Somehow, the Oscars have to keep glamour alive.  They can’t repeat the mistake of the Golden Globes of allowing themselves to just become a tepid zoom conference call.  The Oscars are many things, both good and bad.  But they should never be depressing.

This year, Steven Soderbergh is one of the Oscar producers and, while I’m not really a huge fan of some of his more recent films, I think he does understand the importance of glitz and glamour.  (Let’s hope we get the Ocean’s 11 Soderbergh as opposed to the Soderbergh who makes self-indulgent Meryl Streep films.)  I’m looking to you, Steven Soderbergh, with hope in my eyes.  Don’t let me down.

Because, in the end …. THE SHOW MUST GO ON!


Lisa Marie’s Final 2020-2021 Oscar Predictions

The 2020 Oscar nominations are finally going to be announced on March 15th and then the Oscars themselves are going to be awarded at the end of April.  To be honest, we should call these the 2020-2021 Oscars because I refuse to think of Nomadland, Minari, or The Father as being 2020 films.  Because of the extended eligibility window, they’re all Oscar-eligible but still….

That means that it’s time for me to make my final Oscar predictions for this latest awards cycle.  Last night, The Golden Globes cleared up a few races and suggested that a few others are still in a state of flux.  Of the three big surprise winners from last night (Andra Day, Jodie Foster, and Rosamund Pike) Day seems to be the most likely to benefit from her victory.  I also think that Foster might benefit as well, just because she’s Jodie Foster and she doesn’t appear in a lot of films nowadays.  I’m also willing to say that, based on his getting a GG nom and a SAG nom, I think Jared Leto has a better chance than some might realize of picking up another Oscar nomination.

What about Glenn Close?  On the one hand, Close has never won an Oscar and she gives a very awards baity performance in Hillbilly Elegy.  On the other hand, Hillbilly Elegy was critically-blasted and both the film and Close’s performance were included on the Razzie longlist, which was released earlier today.  (The Razzies suck but that’s a topic for another post.)  I would feel better about Close’s chances if she had won a Golden Globe last night but I’m still inclined to include her in my predictions.

(To be honest, up until Close lost, I still thought there was a chance that Hillbilly Elegy could pick up an Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close-style best picture nomination, the type of nomination that comes as a result of voters watching a critically lambasted film for one performance and saying, “Well, that wasn’t as bad as everyone says!”)

Finally, I’m going to continue to predict a surprise Best Picture nomination for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, just because it’ll be another chance for the same voters who nominated Vice to express their feelings about Donald Trump and Rudy Guiliani.

If you want to see how my thinking has evolved over this long awards season, check out my predictions for January (2020)February (2020), March (2020AprilMayJuneJulyAugustSeptemberOctoberNovember, December, and January (2021)!

Here are my final predictions:

Best Picture

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom



News of the World


One Night In Miami

Promising Young Woman

The Trial of the Chicago 7

(I’m predicting 9 best picture nominees. I’m looking forward to the Academy going back to having a set number of best picture nominees.  It breaks my heart not to include First Cow and Sound of Metal among my predicted nominees.)

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung for Minari

Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman

Regina King for One Night in Miami

Aaron Sorkin for Mank

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Gary Oldman in Mank

Steven Yeun in Minari

Best Actress

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holliday

Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor

Sacha Baron Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods

Daniel Kaluuya in Judas and the Black Messiah

Jared Leto in The Little Things

Leslie Odom Jr. in One Night In Miami

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Jodie Foster in The Mauritanian

Amanda Seyfried in Mank

Youn Yuh-jung in Minari

We’ll find out how right or wrong I am on March 15th!

Artwork of the Day: Icicles In The Sun

by Erin Nicole

I took this picture a week and a half ago, at the tail end of the winter storm.  The power had just come back on after being off for for several hours.  I stepped outside and stood in the backyard, surrounded by snow and feeling frustrated and angry.  Then I looked up and I saw the sun reflecting off of these icicles that were hanging from our roof.  After getting my camera, I snapped this picture.

To me, this picture is a reminder that there’s beauty to be found during even the darkest of times.  Sometimes, it’s right above you.

The day after I took this picture, the temperature finally rose above freezing, the snow started to disappear, and these icicles fell from the roof, landed in the grass, and quickly melted.

Music Video of the Day: Shadows of the Night by Pat Benatar (1983, directed by Mark Robinson)

Today’s music video of the day features Pet Benatar as a Rosie the Riveter-type of character, working in a factory during World War II and having fantasies about being a flying ace.  Judge Reinhold appears as a pilot while the much missed Bill Paxton plays an enemy radio operators.  Interestingly, this video was filmed before either one of the two men became well-known.  Reinhold had just starred in Fast Times at Ridgemont High but he wouldn’t play his best-known role, as Detective Billy Rosewood in Beverly Hills Cops, until a year after this video came out.  At the same time that Reinhold was trading quips with Eddie Murphy, Bill Paxton was playing an ill-fated street punk in The Terminator.

Pat Benatar was not actually the first artist to record this song.  The song was originally written by D.L. Byron in 1980 for a film called Times Square but it was rejected by both the filmmakers and Byron’s record label.  The song was subsequently recorded by both Helen Schneider and Rachel Sweet before Benatar did her version.  Of course, Benatar’s recording is the best known, climbing up to the third sport on the charts and inspiring even more artists to cover the original song.

If you’ve ever stolen a car in Los Santos, there’s a good chance you’ve heard Shadows of the Night on the radio.