The Independent Spirit Awards Honor Carey Mulligan!


Promising Young Woman

The Independent Spirit Awards were awarded tonight, honoring the best in independent film.  Nomadland picked up Best Feature while Carey Mulligan won Best Female Lead for Promising Young Woman.  It wouldn’t surprise me if this proved to be a preview of what will happen this Sunday at the Oscars!

Here are the Spirit winners:

BEST FEATURE
First Cow 
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Minari
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
 
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Nicole Beharie – Miss Juneteenth
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Julia Garner – The Assistant
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 27th year,  recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.
David Midell – Director of The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain
Ekwa Msangi – Director of Farewell Amor
Annie Silverstein – Director of Bull

BEST MALE LEAD
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Adarsh Gourav – The White Tiger
Rob Morgan – Bull
Steven Yeun – Minari

PRODUCERS AWARD
The Producers Award, now in its 24th year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films.
Kara Durrett
Lucas Joaquin
Gerry Kim

BEST DIRECTOR
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Kelly Reichardt – First Cow 
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 26th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.
Cecilia Aldarondo – Director of Landfall
Elegance Bratton – Director of Pier Kids
Elizabeth Lo – Director of Stray
 
BEST NEW NON-SCRIPTED OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES 
Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children 
City So Real
Immigration Nation 
Love Fraud 
We’re Here

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD (Given to the best feature made for under $500,000)
The Killing of Two Lovers
La Leyenda Negra
Lingua Franca
Residue
Saint Frances

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Jay Keitel – She Dies Tomorrow
Shabier Kirchner – Bull
Michael Latham – The Assistant
Hélène Louvart – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
Bacurau
The Disciple
Night of the Kings
Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
Quo Vadis, Aida?

BEST EDITING
Andy Canny – The Invisible Man
Scott Cummings – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Merawi Gerima – Residue
Enat Sidi – I Carry You With Me
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
Conphidance – Little America
Adam Ali – Little America
Nicco Annan – P-Valley
Amit Rahav – Unorthodox
Harold Torres – Zero, Zero, Zero

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
Elle Fanning – The Great
Shira Haas – Unorthodox
Abby McEnany – Work in Progress
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan – Never Have I Ever
Jordan Kristine Seamón – We Are Who We Are

BEST NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
I May Destroy You 
Little America 
Small Axe 
A Teacher 
Unorthodox

BEST SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Mike Makowsky – Bad Education
Alice Wu – The Half of It

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Collective
Crip Camp
Dick Johnson is Dead
The Mole Agent
Time

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Colman Domingo – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Orion Lee – First Cow 
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Benedict Wong – Nine Days

BEST FIRST FEATURE
I Carry You With Me
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Miss Juneteenth
Nine Days
Sound of Metal
 
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Kitty Green – The Assistant
Noah Hutton – Lapsis
Channing Godfrey Peoples – Miss Juneteenth
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
James Sweeney – Straight Up

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Alexis Chikaeze – Miss Juneteenth
Yeri Han – Minari
Valerie Mahaffey – French Exit
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Yuh-jung Youn – Minari

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)
One Night in Miami…
Director: Regina King
Casting Directors: Kimberly R. Hardin
Ensemble Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge & Leslie Odom Jr.
 
BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
I May Destroy You
Ensemble Cast: Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Weruche Opia & Stephen Wight

Lisa Reviews An Oscar Nominee: Three Coins In The Fountain (dir by Jean Negulesco)


The 1954 Best Picture nominee, Three Coins In The Fountain, tells the story of three American women living in Rome. They’re all employed by the same secretarial agency. Maria Williams (Maggie McNamara) is young and hoping that she’ll stay in Rome for at least a year and that she’ll meet her future husband. Anita Hutchins (Jean Peters) is not-so-young and is planning on returning to America so that she can meet her own future husband. Miss Frances (Dorothy McGuire) is middle-aged and has spent the last 15 years working for the man that she wishes could be her future husband.

If you’re getting the feeling that there’s not much to our leads beyond a desire to get married, you’re not wrong. However, Anita swears that it’s impossible to find a husband in Rome because the only Italians who are interested in “secretaries” are too poor to be good husbands which …. well, like I mentioned before, this film is from 1954. Just the fact that the film featured three single women living together in a foreign country was probably considered to be daring back in 1954.

The three women eventually end up at the Trevi Fountain, where Maria and Frances throw in their coins and make their wishes. Anita, however, does not toss in a coin because apparently, she’s not scared of offending God. No sooner have the three women visited the fountain than things begin to happen. Soon, all three of them are in love but each has to deal with a compliction.

Miss Frances may have finally convinced her employer, writer John Frederick Shadwell (Clifton Webb), to marry her but when he discovers that he’s terminally ill, he tries to call off the engagment.

Maria meets Prince Dino di Cessi (Louis Jourdan) but will the Prince still want to be with her after he discovers that she’s been lying about being interested in the same things that he’s interested in?

Anita falls for Giorgio (Rossano Brazzi) but he’s poor! Plus, he also works for the agency and apparently, there’s some sort of weird 1954 rule that forbids the American employees from fraternizing with the Italian employees. Is Anita willing to lose her job just so she can marry someone who doesn’t have any money?

That’s pretty much it. Other than John Shadwell wrestling with his own mortality, there’s really not a whole lot of drama to be found in Three Coins In The Fountain. This is a film about pleasant people doing pleasant things and having pleasant conversations. It’s a rather chaste romance, one of those films where you have no doubt that everyone involved will wait until marriage and that all of the women will quit their jobs and settle down as soon as the right ring gets put on their finger. In other words, this is very much a film of its time and watching it today can be bit of an odd experience. This is ultimately the type of film that works best as a travelogue. Rome looks beautiful. There’s a striking shot of the sunset reflected in the canals of Venice. The Trevi Fountain truly does look like it can grant wishes. (It’s amusing to compare the reverence that the American-made Three Coins In The Fountain shows towards The Trevi Fountain to the way that Rome-native Federico Fellini used the fountain in La Dolce Vita.) One gets the feeling that, even in 1954, people flocked to this film more to see Rome than to really worry about whether or not the Prince would eventually propose.

In fact, one of the main reasons why I watched this film tonight is because I spent one of the greatest summers of my life in Italy. I’ve been to Rome. I’ve thrown coins into the Trevi Fountain and I’ve made wishes. I loved Rome. I loved the people. I loved the culture. I loved the buildings. I loved the feeling of walking through history. I loved looking out at the horizon and feeling as if I was somehow in a living painting. (I actually went into a bit of daze when I was in Florence. Stendhal Syndrome is for real.) If you can’t find romance in Rome then you’re obviously not looking. For me, the main appeal of Three Coins In The Fountain was being able to watch it and say, “I’ve been there!” I imagine for audiences in 1954, the appeal was probably to be able to watch it and say, “I’m going to go there!”

How did this perfectly pleasant but otherwise unmemorable film end up as a best picture nominee? I imagine a lot of it had to do with the fact that the film was a box office success. It’s certainly not because it was a better film than either Rear Window or Sabrina, both of which were not nominated for Best Picture despite being nominated for Best Director. In the end, the 1954 Best Picture Oscar was won by On The Waterfront, a film that appears to be taking place in an entirely different universe than Three Coins In A Fountain.

4 Shots From 4 Films: In Memory of Monte Hellman


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

I just saw that Monte Hellman, one of the most interesting American directors of all time, passed away today. He was 88 years old. Hellman didn’t direct a lot of films but the ones that he did direct were some of the most unique American films of their time. The Shooting is perhaps the strangest western ever made. Two Lane Blacktop is one of the greatest road films. Cockfighter and China 9 Liberty 37 both suffered from distribution problems but they have since been rediscovered by audiences and critics. Even Silent Night Deadly Night 3 has its moments of uniquely deranged mayhem, though Hellman himself often said that he did the film strictly for the money.

In honor of Monte Hellman’s legacy, here are….

4 Shots From 4 Monte Hellman Films

The Shooting (1966, dir by Monte Hellman, DP: Gregory Sandor)
Two-Lane Blacktop (1971, dir by Monte Hellman, DP: Jack Deerson)
Cockfighter (1974, dir by Monte Hellman, DP: Nestor Almendros)
Road to Nowhere (2010, dir by Monte Hellman, DP: Josep M. Civit)

The Dorian Awards Honor Nomadland!


GALECA, the Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics, have announced the winners of 2020 Dorian Awards and, in doing so, they have become the latest critic group to name Nomadland the best film of the year.  They may also be the last, unless there’s some regional group that’s planning on springing their awards the day before the Oscar ceremony.

Here are the winners:

Best Film
FIRST COW
MINARI
NOMADLAND
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
SOUND OF METAL

Best LGBTQ Film
AMMONITE
I CARRY YOU WITH ME
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
SUPERNOVA
UNCLE FRANK

Best Foreign Language Film
ANOTHER ROUND
BACURAU
I CARRY YOU WITH ME
LA LLORONA
MINARI
TWO OF US

Best Director
CHLOÉ ZHAO – NOMADLAND
EMERALD FENNELL – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
KELLY REICHARDT – FIRST COW
LEE ISAAC CHUNG – MINARI
REGINA KING – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

Best Screenplay (original or adapted)
CHLOE ZHAO – NOMADLAND
ELIZA HITTMAN – NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
EMERALD FENNELL – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
LEE ISAAC CHUNG – MINARI
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION

Best Unsung Film 
DRIVEWAYS
FIRST COW
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
MISS JUNETEENTH
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
SHIRLEY
THE ASSISTANT

Best Documentary
COLLECTIVE
CRIP CAMP
DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD
DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN (TIE)
TIME
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA (TIE)

Best LGBTQ Documentary
A SECRET LOVE
BORN TO BE
DISCLOSURE: TRANS LIVES ON SCREEN (TIE)
MUCHO MUCHO AMOR: THE LEGEND OF WALTER MERCADO
WELCOME TO CHECHNYA (TIE)

Best Film Performance — Actress
CAREY MULLIGAN – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
FRANCES MCDORMAND – NOMADLAND
NICOLE BEHARIE – MISS JUNETEENTH
SIDNEY FLANIGAN – NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
VIOLA DAVIS – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Best Film Performance — Actor 
ANTHONY HOPKINS – THE FATHER
CHADWICK BOSEMAN – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
DELROY LINDO – DA 5 BLOODS
RIZ AHMED – SOUND OF METAL
STEVEN YEUN – MINARI

Best Film Performance — SUPPORTING Actress 
AMANDA SEYFRIED – MANK
CANDICE BERGEN – LET THEM ALL TALK
MARIA BAKALOVA – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
OLIVIA COLMAN – THE FATHER
YUH-JUNG YOUN – MINARI

Best Film Performance — SUPPORTING Actor 
CHADWICK BOSEMAN – DA 5 BLOODS
DANIEL KALUUYA – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
LESLIE ODOM JR. – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
PAUL RACI – SOUND OF METAL
SACHA BARON COHEN – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Most Visually Striking Film 
BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN
MANK
NOMADLAND
SOUL
WOLFWALKERS

Campiest Flick
BAD HAIR
BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN
EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA
THE PROM
WONDER WOMAN 1984

“We’re Wilde About You!” Rising Star Award
ALAN S. KIM
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR
MARIA BAKALOVA
RADHA BLANK
SIDNEY FLANIGAN

Wilde Artist Award (to a truly groundbreaking force in entertainment)
CHADWICK BOSEMAN
CHLOE ZHAO
DOLLY PARTON
ELLIOT PAGE
REGINA KING

GALECA Trailblazer Award (For creating art that inspires empathy, truth and equity)
ISABEL SANDOVAL

Timeless Star (Honoring an actor or performer whose exemplary career has been marked by character, wisdom and wit)
LESLIE JORDAN

Here’s The Trailer For The Space Between


Today, along with the trailers for Shang-Chi and Annette, we also got the trailer for The Space Between as well.

In this film, a young record company employee is sent to try to get an eccentric and washed-up rock star to break his contract. The rock star is played by Kelsey Grammer, which is …. well, it’s interesting casting. Grammer can sing but he still doesn’t seem like the former rock star type. Then again, who would have thought that Grammer would have been perfectly cast as a gangster nicknamed The Rumble? Seriously, I dare anyone to say anything about Grammer’s performance in Money Plane.

Anyway, here’s the trailer for The Space Between. This film opens on April 23rd and will start streaming on June 15th.

Here’s The Trailer For Annette


Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was not the only trailer to drop today!

There was also the trailer for Annette, an upcoming French musical that stars Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver! Annette is due to be the opening film at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. According to the film’s press kit, “The film tells the story of a provocative stand-up comedian (Adam Driver) and his wife, a world-famous soprano (Marion Cotillard). Their glamorous life takes an unexpected turn when their daughter Annette is born, a girl with a unique gift.”

So, there you go. A comedian. A soprano. And a girl with a unique gift. I’ll watch Cotillard and Driver in anything. Here’s the trailer!

Lisa Reviews An Oscar Nominee: Judas and the Black Messiah (dir by Shaka King)


Judas and the Black Messiah is currently an Oscar nominee for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Original Song, and Best Supporting Actor. (In a move that left quite a few people feeling confused, the Academy nominated both of the film’s leads — LaKeith Stanfield and Daniel Kaluuya — in the supporting category.) In detailing how, in 1969, Black Panther leader Fred Hampton (played by Kaluuya) was assassinated by the FBI and the Chicago police, it tells a true story that should leave any viewer, regardless of political orientation, shaken.

What’s interesting is that, in several Oscar categories, Judas and the Black Messiah will be competing with another fact-based film about 60s activists, Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7. In fact, Hampton briefly appears as a character in The Trial of the Chicago 7 and a key scene involves lawyer William Kunstler and Black Panther Bobby Seale discussing Hampton’s murder. Of course, in Sorkin’s film, the Black Panthers don’t get to say much. They appear in the background of the courtroom a few times and it’s hard not to feel that Sorkin is largely using them as props, as a way to let us know that he and the Chicago 7 are all on “the right side of history.” After the scene in which he learns that Hampton’s been murdered, Bobby Seale basically disappears from the film and the rest of The Trial of the Chicago 7 focuses on seven rich white guys debating whether or not it’s better to be serious while protesting or to try to have fun. I point this out not merely to criticize The Trial of the Chicago 7 but also to illustrate that, though they deal with the same time period and the same themes, Judas and the Black Messiah and The Trial of the Chicago 7 are as different as night and day. Judas and the Black Messiah is an angry and unapologetically political film, one that reveals just how anodyne The Trial of the Chicago 7 actually is. If The Trial of the Chicago 7 is carefully calculated to be a crowd pleaser, Judas and the Black Messiah is about leaving the audience outraged. If The Trial of Chicago 7 is about ultimately assuring the audience that the system works even if it is occasionally corrupted, Judas and the Black Messiah is a call to burn the entire system down.

The film opens with Bill O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield) getting arrested for both auto theft and impersonation of a federal officer in Chicago. He’s approached by FBI agent Roy Mitchell (Jesse Plemons). Mitchell has an offer for Bill. Mitchell is willing to have the charges dropped if Bill will agree to work undercover for the FBI. Bill accepts Roy’s offer and is assigned to infiltrate the Illinois chapter of the Black Panthers. The chapter is currently led by Fred Hampton, a charismatic revolutionary who has been going around to all of the other activist groups and gangs in Chicago and building a multi-racial coalition, one dedicated to social justice and economic equality. Under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover (Martin Sheen, made up to look as grotesque as possible), the FBI is looking to destroy the Black Panthers from within.

Bill agrees to work for the FBI and infiltrate the Black Panther Party. Soon, he not only wins Hampton’s trust but he also works his way up the ranks until he’s promoted to being head of security. He also grows close to Hampton and starts to respond to Hampton’s message of self-determination. However, Mitchell insists that Bill continue to inform on the Panthers, arguing that the Panthers will kill Bill if they ever discover that he’s working with the FBI and also that Hampton himself is a dangerous radical. (Mitchell brags about how he worked to solve the murder of three civil right workers in Mississippi before then comparing Hampton and the Panthers to the KKK.) With Hampton gathering more followers and Hoover demanding that something be done to “neutralize” him, Bill is ordered to betray the man that many have come to view as being the black messiah.

Daniel Kaluuya gives a mesmerizing performance as Fred Hampton. It’s one thing to play a character who everyone insists is a charismatic leader but it’s another thing to give a performance that convinces the audience that the character is a charismatic leader before anyone else has even said a word about him. Kaluuya strides through the film, playing Hampton as a man who knows that he’s destined to change the world. The scenes where he meets with gang leaders and other activist leaders and recruits them into his Rainbow Coalition could have played like simple agitprop (just imagine if Aaron Sorkin had written or directed them!) but Kaluuya is so convincing that you never have any doubt that people actually would abandon their prejudices and their rivalries to follow him. Unlike the quippy activists at the heart of The Trial of the Chicago 7, Kaluuya-as-Hampton actually discusses what his ideology means and also why the system cannot be depended upon to sort itself out. Kaluuya’s Hamtpon challenges not only the film’s villains but also the complacency of the viewers, something that definitely cannot be said of the characters in Aaron Sorkin’s far more comforting film.

LaKeith Stanfield has a difficult role because Bill is a character who most viewers are going to feel ambiguous about but he does a good job of capturing both Bill’s growing consciousness and his growing desperation as he comes to realize that there’s no way to escape the situation in which he’s found himself. Finally, Jesse Plemons is well-cast as Roy Mitchell, who is alternatively threatening and consoling to Bill. A lesser actor would have played Mitchell as just being a straight-up villain but Plemons plays him as someone who truly does believe that he’s one of the good guys, which makes Mitchell’s actions all the more disturbing.

Judas and the Black Messiah is a powerful and angry film. One need not even agree with every bit of Hampton’s ideology to be outraged by the federal government’s efforts to silence his voice and end his life. Judas and the Black Messiah is not expected to win much on Sunday night and, indeed, by nominated both Kaluuya and Stanfield in the same category, the Academy has created a situation in which the two could potentially split the vote and prevent either one from winning. Still, regardless of what it does or doesn’t win this weekend, Judas and the Black Messiah a film that will probably continue to resonate after many of the other nominees have been forgotten.

6 Shots From 6 Films: Special Larry Peerce Edition


4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films is just what it says it is, 4 (or more) shots from 4 (or more) of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 (or more) Shots From 4 (or more) Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, we wish a happy 91st birthday to Larry Peerce! Now, admittedly Larry Peerce may not be a household name. He got his start in television in the 60s and, after doing a few features and a lot of made-for-TV movies, he pretty much ended his career directing episodes of Touched By An Angel at the turn of the century. Some people might say that’s a comedown from directing movies but there’s a lot of aspiring filmmakers who would love to have an active career spanning three decades. You take your work where you can get it and you do the best that you can with the material that you’ve got available. Nothing will change the fact that, in 1964, Larry Peerce was one of the few directors with the guts to make a film that seriously dealt with racism and interracial marriage. The name of that film was One Potato, Two Potato.

That said, Larry Peerce directed some worthwhile films in his time and, for that reason, it’s time for….

6 Shots From 6 Larry Peerce Films

One Potato, Two Potato (1964, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Andrew Laszlo)
The Big T.N.T. Show (1965, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Bob Boatman)
The Incident (1967, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Gerald Hirschfeld)
Goodbye Columbus (1969, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Enrique Bravo and Gerald Hirschfeld)
A Separate Peace (1972, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Frank Stanley)
Two-Minute Warning (1976, dir by Larry Peerce, DP: Gerald Hirschfeld)

It Happened In Flatbush (1942, dir. by Ray McCarey)


It’s not easy being a Rangers fan.

I start every season feeling so optimistic and hopeful that this will be the season that the team will finally get itself together and return to the World Series. Every season, that feeling lasts for a game or two and then it’s back to just taking my victories where I can get them. This season, we’re already in last place in the AL West and my favorite Ranger, Elvis Andrus, is now playing for Oakland. However, as bad as things are here at the start, we’ve still won more games than the Yankees, The Twins, and the Tigers. That’s my little victory. The great thing about baseball is that if you get enough of those little victories, there’s a chance that they’ll eventually turn into a big victory.

Earlier today, I watched an old, black-and-white movie called It Happened In Flatbush. It’s about a baseball team that no one is giving much of a chance. Even though the team isn’t given a name in the film, the film takes place in Brooklyn and, in the 1942, the Dodgers were Brooklyn’s team. The owner of the team, Mrs. McAcvoy (Sara Allgood), has promised all of the team’s fans that the team is going to reward their loyalty by eventually making it to the World Series. Looking for a new manager, she sets her eyes on Frank Maguire (Lloyd Nolan). Maguire used to play for the team until he committed an error that led to a crucial defeat. Now, Frank is managing a minor league team in Texas and everyone thinks that he’s washed up. Mrs. McAvoy knows that Frank has something to prove and she hires him to be her new manager.

Just like the team, no one gives Frank much of a chance but he proves them wrong. He wins over the people of Brooklyn when he stands up for a fan who lived out every baseball lover’s dream of punching an umpire. When Mrs. McAcoy dies and the team is inherited by her daughter (Carole Landis), Frank teaches her all about baseball and Brooklyn and the two of them fall in love. With his team sometimes grumbling about his tough coaching style, Frank tries to lead both the team and an untried pitcher into the race for the pennant.

It Happened in Flatbush is an old movie but I liked it. Of course, I also love baseball so that probably helped because the move loves baseball too. I especially liked the courtroom scene where Frank stood up for every fan who has ever gone overboard supporting their team. He talks about what the team means to the people of Brooklyn and how a victory for the team is a victory for the entire borough. Even today, any baseball fan will be able to relate to what Frank’s saying. I also liked that the movie included a lot of footage of actual baseball games from the 40s.

Mostly, I appreciated the movie because it was a classic underdog story. No one gives the team much of a chance but they prove them wrong. It reminded me that, in baseball, anything can happen and just because your team is struggling now, that doesn’t mean that they can’t make a comeback. Watching It Happened in Flatbush made me realize that there’s hope for my team yet!

It Happened in Flatbush is a movie for those of us who love baseball. It isn’t available on any streaming services but it does sometimes air on the Fox Movie Channel.

The American Society of Cinematographers Honor Mank!


For those of you still making out your Oscar predictions, the American Society of Cinematographers handed out their awards earlier today and they honored Mank.  I have feeling the Academy is going to do the same thing.

Here are the film nominees and winners from the ASC:

THEATRICAL RELEASE
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank
Phedon Papamichael – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland
​Newton Thomas Sigel – Cherry
Dariusz Wolski – News of the World

SPOTLIGHT
Katelin Arizmendi – Swallow
Aurélien Marra – Two of Us
Andrey Naydenov – Dear Comrades!

DOCUMENTARY
Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw – The Truffle Hunters
Viktor Kosakovskiy and Egil Håskjold Larsen – Gunda
Gianfranco Rosi – Notturno