Film Review: Munich — The Edge of War (dir by Christian Schwochow)

Munich — The Edge of War opens in 1932, at Oxford University, where three graduating students are toasting their futures as a part of the “mad generation” that’s come to age in the aftermath of World War I.  Six years later, two of them will reunite as the world appears to be on the verge of another great war.

One of them, Hugh Legat (George McKay), is a secretary to the English Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain (Jeremy Irons).  Chamberlain, haunted by the death and destruction of the Great War, is convinced that Europe can have “peace in our time,” through a policy of negotiation and appeasement.  He is aware of the men who have come to power in Italy and Germany and he’s certainly heard the rumors that they are planning on conquering Europe themselves.  However, Chamberlain is almost in denial about the reality of the situation, at one point suggesting that Hugh write a polite letter to Mussolini requesting that Mussolini tell Hitler to tone down his rhetoric.

Hugh’s classmate, Paul von Hartmann (Jannis Niewöhner), returned to Germany after graduating from Oxford.  At first, he was an enthusiastic backer of Hitler and the Nazi party.  He was rewarded with a position as a translator in the Foreign Office.  However, Paul has since become disillusioned with Hitler and is painfully aware of the anti-Semitism that has become a part of everyday life in Berlin.  Paul regularly meets with a group of generals who are plotting a coup against Hitler.  The generals believe that, if they allow Hitler to invade Czechoslovakia, the German people will rise up in order to avoid being led into another war and that they will cheer as the generals march into Hitler’s office and place him under arrest.  Paul worries that the generals are being naïve.  Adding to Paul’s problems is a former childhood friend named Franz Sauer (August Diehl).  Sauer is a new member of the SS and he has a disconcerting habit of showing up anywhere that Paul happens to be, almost as if he is aware that Paul is not the dedicated civil servant that he pretends to be.  When Paul receives a stolen document that reveals the details of Hitler’s true plans for Europe, he and Hugh team up to try to keep Chamberlain from singing the Munich Agreement.

Looking over the events that led to World War II, one question that historians frequently ask is why did Neville Chamberlain consistently refuse to stand up to Hitler despite Hitler’s growing acts of aggression.  Why did Chamberlain knowingly turn a blind eye to every treaty and agreement that Hitler broke or ignored?  Why, with Hitler openly declaring his plans to conquer Europe, did Chamberlain and so many others insist that Hitler’s actions would somehow be different from his words?  Was Chamberlain just naïve or was he, like so many others who had been traumatized by the Great War, in willful denial about the inevitability of conflict with Hitler?  Was Chamberlain just a politician trying to keep a war-weary public happy or did he truly believe that signing an agreement with Hitler would somehow lead to “peace in our time?”  Munich — The Edge of War suggests that all of the above may be true, with Jeremy Irons playing Chamberlain as being an old school establishmentarian, one with sincere intentions but also one who is incapable of truly understanding the new reality that has been brought about by the desolation of World War I.  As played by Irons, Chamberlain is occasionally sympathetic but, even more frequently, he’s obstinate in his short-sightedness and his insistence that he alone understands how to deal with Hitler.  He’s not necessarily a bad man but he’s definitely not the right man for the times.

Of course, the majority of the film focuses not on Chamberlain but instead on Paul and Hugh.  George McKay and Jannis Niewöhner both give good performances as two civil servants who know the truth but find it impossible to get anyone to listen to them.  Niewöhner is especially effective as Paul, capturing not only his disillusionment with Germany but also his disgust for himself for having been previously fooled by Hitler’s rhetoric.  Like Chamberlain, Paul was also in denial about Hitler’s true beliefs.  The difference is that Paul has learned from his mistake and is now desperately trying to reveal the truth, even if no one else wants to hear it.

It’s a good and effective film, one that works both as a historical drama and an espionage thriller.  The film is at its best when it focuses on what daily life is like when a nation is living in the shadow of the possibility of war.  Hugh comes home to discover his son wearing a gas mask and he has to convince his wife to leave London for the weekend, even though he can’t specifically tell her why.  Meanwhile, Paul lives in a Berlin that’s full of imposing architecture and seemingly happy people but with a shadow of menace hanging over every street corner.  The city’s new buildings, built to celebrate Hitler’s vision of a new Germany, are all disturbingly pristine, as if they only exist so that evil can hide behind their impressive facades.  And in the background of every scene in Berlin, there are the uniformed men with their red armbands and their haughty glares.

It’s said that hindsight is 20/20 and, indeed, it’s easy to look at someone like Neville Chamberlain and dismiss him as just being a tragically failed and foolish politician.  And there is definitely an argument to be made that he was.  (That’s certainly how I tend to view him.)  Still, Munich — The Edge of War does a good job of capturing not only the feeling of a world on the verge of war but also the motivations of those who closed their eyes to what was coming and also to those who did not.  That we know that Paul and Hugh’s efforts are ultimately to be for naught adds a poignant sadness to the scenes of them trying to get someone to listen to them but it also makes for a powerful viewing experience.  How many eyes were open in the 30s?  How many eyes are closed today?

Film Review: Home Team (dir by Charles Kinnane and Daniel Kinnane)

The new Happy Madison production, Home Team, opens with Sean Payton (Kevin James) discovering that life can be difficult when you’re the coach of an NFL team.

On the one hand, Payton coached the New Orleans Saints to a Super Bowl victory and gave hope to a city that was still struggling to recover from the mental, physical, and spiritual damage done by Hurricane Katrina.  At a time when David Fincher was bringing everyone’s spirits down with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Sean Payton was raising them up with excellent football.

On the other hand, it was later discovered that the players were being paid extra to deliberately injure their opponents.

The NFL reacts to this scandal by suspending Payton for a year.  Payton abruptly goes from having a luxurious office in New Orleans to living and working out of a hotel suite in Argyle, Texas.  He spends his suspension trying to reconnect with his son, Connor (Tait Blum).  And when he discovers that Connor is playing football for his sixth grade team, Sean can’t stop himself from stepping up and trying to help Troy (Taylor Lautner) and Mitch (Gary Valentine) coach the team.  Soon, Payton actually is coaching the team himself!  And though he’s winning games, he’s also pushing the players too hard.  Can Sean Payton rediscover the simple love of doing your best and being a member of a team or is he destined to return to New Orleans and continue to hand out bonuses for injuring other players?  What do you think?

Now, I’ll just be honest and admit that I’m not a football fan.  I don’t really know much about Sean Payton or the whole targeting scandal.  I do know about CTE and the dangers of suffering multiple concussions in a short period of time so I do feel safe in assuming that the implications of the targeting scandal were a bit more serious than the way they’re portrayed in the film.  But, then again, this is a football film that was produced by Adam Sandler’s production company.  Was anyone expecting it to be a serious examination of the dangers of playing pro or even amateur football?  Instead, it’s a film that pretty much features every cliché in the book, from the team of underdogs that no one believed in to the down-and-out coach who has something to prove to both the doubters and to himself.  There’s the usual mix of sentimental drama and equally sentimental comedy.  Surprisingly for a Happy Madison production, there’s only one glaring case of gross-out humor.  For whatever reason, there’s apparently a lot of people who find projectile vomiting to be entertaining.  I’ve never cared much for it myself but, just as I have to be honest about not knowing much about Sean Payton, I should probably also be honest about the fact that I’m not this film’s target audience.

Kevin James is a likable actor, though his talents are definitely better served by television than by the movies.  He gives a rather subdued performance here, one that was no doubt influenced by the fact that Sean Payton is still alive.  Even when he rediscovers the joy of playing football and realizes that there are things more important than winning, James-as-Payton still comes across as being strictly business.  You get the feeling that, with the exception of his son, the film’s Sean Payton will probably have no further contact with the kids he coached once he returns to New Orleans.  In the film, it just comes across as something for him to do to pass the time.

Home Team is a fairly forgettable sports movie.  It’s not particularly good but it’s not particularly terrible either.  Instead, it’s typical of the adequate but not extremely memorable films that Netflix specializes in when no one is looking to win an Oscar.

Hava Nagila For “Megillah”

Toward the tail end of last year, a nice-looking squarebound anthology arrived my way courtesy of its editor, Chad (In Amsterdan) Bilyeu, and to say its contents lived up to its impressive presentation is putting it mildly — probably far too mildly, at that. Co-published by Bilyeu’s own Bistro Books imprint in association with De Stichting Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam (who lists one Gabriel Ercicia as the project’s “Executive Producer”), Megillah #1 eschews a central theme in favor of a central idea – giving six artists eight pages each to do with as they see fit. Did I mention already the results are impressive? I believe I did.

Underneath the appealingly disturbing cover by EKS Graphics/Iva Spasojevic we find stories that well and truly run the gamut from memoir to slapstick superhero revisionism to surreal caper to just plain old surreal, each distinct in its “stand-alone” nature, yet all combining to form a makeshift tapestry that, to drag things back to the cover, “stitches together” in a kind of haphazardly fluid fashion. Aside from the length of each contribution, they don’t have a hell of a lot of similarities other than being good, but in the end, that’s what an anthology — in this critic’s humble (I hope) estimation — should do : provide an expansive view of what’s happening in the various corners of the indie comics world and let the chips fall where they may. As a primer of sorts, then, this is about as polished as they come, and anyone new to “the scene” is sure to discover a couple of artists (at least) whose work they feel sufficiently compelled to track down more of.

“Ah,” you say, “but what about us grizzled veterans?” Never fear, our particular needs and whims are catered to, as well — I mean, who’s going to say no to new, exclusive work from favorites like James The Stanton, E.S. Glenn, and even the legendary Bernie Mireault? And while fellow contributors Eryc Why, Maia Matches, and Larie Cook are not, as yet, “household names” for many of us, they all demonstrate the chops to make a solid case that one day they will be. Yes, of course, some stories are better than others, that’s to be expected, but I kid you not in the least when I state for the record that I don’t consider there to be so much as a single, solitary “clunker” in the bunch.

If unique auteur visions are your bag, this package offers six of them, all at various points along the curve in terms of their tethering to consensus reality — what they unquestionably have in common, though, is that they’re all exceptionally well-drawn, make the most of the book’s top-quality production values (the coloring on each and every strip will impress the shit out of you), and understand how to make the most of the unique opportunities afforded by the short-form comics story. There’s some wild stuff on offer, sure, you’ve probably already figured that much out, but each is narratively-based and formally recognizable as a discrete entities unto itself — what Bilyeu has done that further sets this apart from other anthologies, though, is that he’s arranged them in a de facto “running order” that ensures for smooth transition from one to the next even when their themes don’t necessarily logically “mesh” in any concrete way. All of which is me saying read this thing cover to cover without skipping around — you’ll be glad you did.

According to the definition provided on the inside front cover, a Megillah is a “long, involved story or account,” and while some of these strips do pack a lot into a comparatively tight space, I’d be lying if I said any of them felt “long” because, well, they aren’t. What they most assuredly are, though, is involving in the extreme, to the point where you won’t be ready for some to end. That’s okay, though, right? I mean, it’s preferable to any of them over-staying their welcome, that’s for sure. And besides, you can always go back and re-read any or all as you see fit — as I’ve done myself. Twice so far. With more to come, I’m sure.

Count me as a true believer, then — and a firm one, at that — in what Bilyeu is doing here, and I’m curious (as well as anxious) to see where this project goes next. I’d love to see a rotating cast of returnee artists with newcomers mixed in, but hey — it ain’t my show. I’m more than happy to trust our tour guide. And you should be more than happy to take this inaugural trip. Bring on number two, please!


Megillah #1 is available for a well-spent $12 from any number of places, but for North American readers I’ll direct you to our friends at Birdcage Bottom Books, where you can find it by clicking on

Also, this review is “brought to you” by my Patreon site, where I serve up exclusive thrice-weekly rants and ramblings on the world of comics, films, television, literature, and politics for as little as a dollar a month. Subscribing is the best way to support my continuing work, so I’d be very appreciative if you’d take a moment to give it a look by directing your kind attention to

Banjo Hackett: Roamin’ Free (1976, directed by Andrew V. McLaglen)

The great Don Meredith will always be remembered for a few things.

He’s remembered for being the first Dallas Cowboys quarterback, leading the team to multiple championship games but sadly never making it to the Super Bowl.  If you’ve seen North Dallas Forty, the quarterback played by Mac Davis was based on Meredith.  North Dallas Forty was based on a book by Phil Gent, a former Cowboys wide receiver.  When asked about the book and Gent’s portrayal of himself as being the best player on the team, Meredith reportedly said, “Hell, if I had known Phil was that good, I would have thrown him the ball more often.”

Don Mereidth was also one of the first players to make the jump from playing on the field to calling plays in the broadcast booth.  He was the good old boy who served as a foil to Howard Cosell and who sang “Turn out the lights, the party’s over” whenever it became obvious that one team was going to win the game.

He will also always be remembered for an incident in 1979 when, while covering a game in Denver, he supposedly said, “Welcome to Mile High Stadium — and I am!”  This is actually an urban legend.  Meredith never actually said he was high on national television but if a member of the original Monday Night Football Team was going to say that, it probably would have been Dandy Don.

Don Meredith is less remembered for his acting career but, like a lot of retired football players in the 70s, he tried his hand at performing.  As an actor, Don Meredith was a very good quarterback.  His performances were superior to Joe Namath’s but his range was undeniably limited.  Smart producers essentially had Don Meredith play himself, a laid back good old boy who liked his beer and enjoyed hanging out with his buddies.

Banjo Hackett was typical of Don Meredith’s films.  In this made-for-TV movie, Meredith plays the title character.  He’s the nicest horse trader in the old west but not even someone as laid back as Banjo Hackett is going to stand for someone stealing from him.  When he learns that his nephew, Jubal (Ike Eisenmann), has been put into an orphanage and that evil bounty hunter Sam Ivory (Chuck Conners) has stolen Jubal’s favorite horse, Banjo steps up to the huddle.  First, he engineers Jubal’s escape from the orphanage. Then he and his nephew track Sam across the frontier, determined to catch up with him before he sells Jubal’s horse.

Banjo Hackett was obviously meant to serve as a pilot for a television series.  The series never happened but Banjo Hackett itself is a likable film that will be best appreciated by western fans who are looking for something harmless to watch.  Don Meredith may not have been a versatile actor but he had a sincere screen presence and Chuck Conners was always an effective bad guy.  The cast is full of familiar western actors, including Slim Pickens, L.Q. Jones, and Jeff Corey.  As a movie, Banjo Hackett is as amiable as its lead character.

Film Review: Men With Brooms (dir by Paul Gross)

Yesterday, having watched a bit of the Winter Games, I decided that I wanted to watch a movie about curling.

Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that there aren’t really a lot of curling films out there.  There’s several films about ice skaters, of course.  They all feature haughty skaters being forced to partner up with blue collar amateurs and almost all of them end with everyone falling in love.  (Yay!)  And there’s plenty of hockey movies.  They all feature brawny Canadians getting into fights and almost all of them end with someone losing their front two teeth.  (Yay!)  But there aren’t a whole lot of curling movies.  I guess some people don’t believe that a broom on ice can be cinematic.  Well, the joke’s on them!  Brooms are very cinematic!  However, I did finally come across the 2002 Canadian film, Men With Brooms, on Tubi.

Now, you should understand that when I say that Men With Brooms is a Canadian film, I mean that it is very, very Canadian.  This isn’t just a film that was shot in Canada by an American company looking for tax credits and a city that looked like New York without being as expensive.  Instead, this is a film about very polite people who say “eh?” frequently and who are usually wearing several layers of clothing in order to protect from the chill in the air and the snow on the ground.  This not a film that was shot in Canada for an American audience.  This is a film that was made by Canadians for Canadians and that’s actually kind of nice.  There’s even a scene where the characters bemoan the arrival of another “American” fast food restaurant.  Speaking as an American, I think we are far too often guilty of taking our neighbors to the north for granted.  It’s good to be reminded that they are a separate nation with a separate culture and their own individual way of looking at the world.

The film begins with the death of an old man named Donald Foley (James B. Douglas).  Ten years before he died, Donald was the head coach of the greatest curling rink to ever play in Ontario.  (For those — like me! — who are not familiar with all of the details and lingo of curling, a rink is just another word for team.)  However, the rink broke up under mysterious circumstances.  The former rink skip (team captain), Chris Cutter (Paul Gross), left Foley’s daughter at the altar and skipped town.  He also tossed the rink’s curling stones into a lake!  In fact, it was while he was retrieving the stones that Donald had the heart attack that killed him.  Way to go, Chris, ya hoser!

The entire team reunites for Foley’s cremation and they discover that the coach has had his ashes put into a curling stone.  And he wants the team to come back together and to win a championship using that very stone!  And he also wants Chris to reconnect with his father, Gordon (Leslie Nielsen).  Of course, it turns out that Chris is not the only member of the team to have issues.  One team member has a low sperm count.  Another one is a drug dealer and another is having a mid-life crisis.  But they’ll all set aside their differences and try to win one for the coach!  And if they even think about quitting, there will always be a helpful townsperson around to say, “You’re going to win the Golden Broom, eh?”

Tonally, Men With Brooms is all over the place.  Odd comedic moments are mixed in with scenes of sentimental drama and the end result is a film that never seem to be quite sure what it’s trying to be.  Not all of the big emotional moments pay off.  Leslie Nielsen, though, is pretty good playing a relatively straight role.  (He still gets his share of funny lines but this performance is definitely a different comedic beast from the deadpan style of self-parody that he’s best known for.)  Ultimately, flaws aside, it’s a likable and fairly well-acted film, one that has a gentle spirit in even its raunchier moments.  It’s just so damn Canadian that it’s hard not to appreciate it.

Add to that, it’s a good film to watch if you’re trying to teach yourself about curling.  It may have been a slight film but, thanks to Men With Brooms, I now officially know that a curling team is called a rink.  You learn something new every day.

Here Are The Oscar Nominations!

The Oscar nominations have been announced!  The Power of the Dog leads with 12.

Initial thoughts: Don’t Look Up is one of the worst films to ever be nominated for Best Picture.  The acting nominations for Being The Ricardos shows that actors love movies about actors.  I’m very excited to see that Nightmare Alley was nominated for best picture.

I’m really happy that Jesse Plemons, Kirsten Dunst, and Jessie Buckley picked up their first nominations.  Plemons and Dunst now join Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontane and Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as a married couple nominated for playing a married couple in a film.

More later.  For now, here are the nominees:

Best Picture
“Belfast” – Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers
“CODA” – Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
“Don’t Look Up” – Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers
“Drive My Car” – Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer
“Dune” – Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers
“King Richard” – Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers
“Licorice Pizza” – Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers
“Nightmare Alley” – Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers
“The Power of the Dog” – Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers
“West Side Story” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

Best Director
Kenneth Branagh – “Belfast”
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi – “Drive My Car”
Paul Thomas Anderson – “Licorice Pizza”
Jane Campion – “The Power of the Dog”
Steven Spielberg – “West Side Story”

Best Actress
Jessica Chastain – “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
Olivia Colman – “The Lost Daughter”
Penelope Cruz – “Parallel Mothers”
Nicole Kidman – “Being The Ricardos”
Kristen Stewart – “Spencer”

Best Actor
Javier Bardem – “Being The Ricardos”
Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Power of the Dog”
Andrew Garfield – “Tick, Tick…Boom!”
Will Smith – “King Richard”
Denzel Washington – “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

​Best Supporting Actress
​​​​Jessie Buckley – “The Lost Daughter”
Ariana DeBose – “West Side Story”
Judi Dench – “Belfast”
Kirsten Dunst – “The Power of the Dog”
Aunjanue Ellis – “King Richard”

Best Supporting Actor
​Ciarán Hinds – “Belfast”
Troy Kotsur – “CODA”
Jesse Plemons – “The Power of the Dog”
J.K. Simmons – ​​”Being The Ricardos”
Kodi Smit-McPhee – “The Power of the Dog”

Best Original Screenplay
“Belfast” – Written by Kenneth Branagh
“​Don’t Look Up” – Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota
“King Richard” – Written by Zach Baylin
“Licorice Pizza” – Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Worst Person in the World” – Written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

Best Adapted Screenplay
“CODA” Screenplay by Siân Heder
“Drive My Car Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
“Dune” Screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth
“The Lost Daughter” Written by Maggie Gyllenhaal
“The Power of the Dog” Written by Jane Campion

Best Animated Feature
​”​Encanto” – Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer
“Flee” – Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
“Luca” – Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren
“The Mitchells vs. the Machines” – Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht
“Raya and the Last Dragon” – Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Best Documentary Feature
​​​”Ascension” – Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell
“Attica” – Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
“Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
“Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” – Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
“Writing with Fire” – Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Best International Feature
“​Drive My Car” – Japan
“Flee” – Denmark
“The Hand of God” – Italy
“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” – Bhutan
“The Worst Person in the World” – Norway

Best Cinematography
​”Dune” – Greig Fraser
“Nightmare Alley” – Dan Laustsen
“The Power of the Dog” – Ari Wegner
“The Tragedy Of Macbeth” Bruno Delbonnel
“West Side Story” – Janusz Kaminski

Best Costume Design
“Cruella” – Jenny Beavan
“Cyrano” – Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
“Dune” – Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
“Nightmare Alley” – Luis Sequeira
“West Side Story” – Paul Tazewell

Best Film Editing
​”Don’t Look Up” – Hank Corwin
“Dune” – Joe Walker
“King Richard” – Pamela Martin
“The Power of the Dog” – Peter Sciberras
“Tick, Tick…Boom!” – Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum

Best Makeup & Hairstyling
​​​​​”Coming 2 America” – Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer
“Cruella” – Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon
“Dune” – Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
“The Eyes of Tammy Faye” – Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh
“House of Gucci” – Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras

Best Production Design
​”Dune” – Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
“Nightmare Alley” – Production Design: Tamara Deverell; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau
“The Power of the Dog” – Production Design: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Amber Richards
“The Tragedy of Macbeth” – Production Design: Stefan Dechant; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
“West Side Story” – Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Best Sound
​​​​”Belfast” – Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri
“Dune” – Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett
“No Time to Die” – Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor
“The Power of the Dog” – Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb
“West Side Story” – Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy

Best Visual Effects
“Dune” – Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer
“Free Guy” – Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick
“No Time to Die” – Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould
“Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings” – Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver
“Spider-Man: No Way Home” – Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick

Best Original Score
​​”Don’t Look Up” – Nicholas Britell
“Dune” – Hans Zimmer
“Encanto” – Germaine Franco
“Parallel Mothers” – Alberto Iglesias
“The Power Of The Dog” – Jonny Greenwood

Best Original Song

“Be Alive” from “King Richard” – Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
“Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto” – Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down To Joy” from “Belfast” – Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
“No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die” – Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days” – Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Best Animated Short
“Affairs of the Art” – Joanna Quinn and Les Mills
“Bestia” – Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz
“Boxballet” – Anton Dyakov
“Robin Robin” – Dan Ojari and Mikey Please
“The Windshield Wiper” – Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez

Best Documentary Short
“Audible” – Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean
“Lead Me Home” – Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk
“The Queen of Basketball” – Ben Proudfoot
“Three Songs for Benazir” – Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
“When We Were Bullies” – Jay Rosenblatt

Best Live-Action Short
“Ala Kachuu – Take and Run” – Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger
“The Dress” – Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki
“The Long Goodbye” – Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
“On My Mind” – Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson
“Please Hold” – K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse

Music Video of the Day: redruM by Sorana & David Guetta (2022, dir by ????)

redrum …. redrum …. redrum….

That scene still creeps me out, even though I’ve seen it several hundred times and, of course, I fully understand that redrum is actually just Danny’s way of saying murder.  Maybe if Danny had just said murder to begin with, a lot of trouble and drama could have been avoided at the Overlook Hotel.

Stanley Kubrick never won an Oscar..  That’s just something to think about today as we consider the 2021 Oscar nominations.