Here Are The Nominations of the Online Film Critics Society!


The Online Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2020 yesterday!  They pretty much nominated all the usual suspects, along with I’m Thinking of Ending Things.  Personally, I’m glad that they nominated I’m Thinking of Ending Things.  As films go, it’s probably going to be too weird for the Academy so I’m glad to see Charlie Kaufman’s surreal little masterpiece get some respect from the critics groups.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same old same old.  There’s Nomadland!  There’s First Cow!  There’s Da 5 Bloods!  There’s …. wait a minute, they didn’t nominate Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for Best Picture?  Well, that’s a little bit different.  Personally, I’m just hoping that one of these critics groups will have the courage necessary to nominate Money Plane.  Seriously, that was a fun movie and it featured Kelsey Grammer saying things like, “I’m the Rumble!”  That is a moment that future film students will definitely study.

Anyway, the OFCS winners will be announced on January 25th!

(OFCS sounds like the acronym of some sort of secret government agency.  “We’re from the OFCS.  We need you to vacate the office immediately.”)

Best Picture
Da 5 Bloods
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Minari
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Animated Feature
Onward
Over the Moon
Soul
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers

Best Director
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Steven Yeun – Minari

Best Actress
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Olivia Colman – The Father
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Youn Yuh-jung – Minari

Best Original Screenplay
Da 5 Bloods – Danny Bilson, Paul Demeo, Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Minari – Lee Isaac Chung
Never Rarely Sometimes Always – Eliza Hittman
Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Aaron Sorkin

Best Adapted Screenplay
First Cow – Jonathan Raymond, Kelly Reichardt
I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Charlie Kaufman
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao
One Night in Miami – Kemp Powers

Best Editing
Da 5 Bloods – Adam Gough
Mank – Kirk Baxter
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao
Tenet – Jennifer Lame
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Alan Baumgarten

Best Cinematography
Da 5 Bloods – Newton Thomas Sigel
First Cow – Christopher Blauvelt
Mank – Erik Messerschmidt
Nomadland – Joshua James Richards
Tenet – Hoyte Van Hoytema

Best Original Score
Da 5 Bloods – Terence Blanchard
Mank – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Minari – Emile Mosseri
Soul – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Tenet – Ludwig Goransson

Best Debut Feature
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Andrew Patterson – The Vast of Night

Best Film Not in the English Language
Another Round (Denmark)
Bacurau (Brazil)
Collective (Romania)
La Llorona (Guatemala)
Minari (United States)

Best Documentary
Boys State
Collective
Dick Johnson Is Dead
The Painter and the Thief
Time

The Films of 2020: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (dir by Aaron Sorkin)


The Trial of the Chicago 7, the latest film from Aaron Sorkin, is a fairly mediocre and rather forgettable film.  Because of that mediocrity, it stands a pretty good chance of doing very well at the Oscars later this year.

Aaron Sorkin specializes in political fan fiction.  He writes plays, movies and television shows that address big and controversial issues in the most safely liberal way possible.  Whenever Sorkin writes about politics, there’s not a single debate that can’t be won by one long, overdramatic speech, preferably delivered in an office or a conference room while everyone who disagrees nervously stares at the ground, aware that they’ll never be able to match the rhetorical brilliance of their opponents.  It’s a rather dishonest way to portray the ideological divide but it’s one that’s beloved by people who want to be political without actually having to do much thinking.  Sorkin is the poet laureate of the keyboard activists, the people who brag about how their cleverly-worded tweets “totally owned the MyPillow guy.”  (One sure sign of a keyboard activist is the excessive pride over rhetorically owning people who are ludicrously easy to own.  These are the people who think that Tom Arnold arguing about the electoral college with Kirstie Alley is the modern-day equivalent of the Lincoln/Douglas debates.)

The Trial of the Chicago 7, which Sorkin not only wrote but also directed, deals with a real-life event, the 1969 trial of eight political activists who were charged with conspiracy and crossing state lines with the intention of inciting riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  (Black Panther Bobby Seale was ultimately tried separately from the other defendants, leading to the Chicago 8 becoming the Chicago 7.)  Sacha Baron Cohen plays Abbie Hoffman, the fun-loving activist who delights in upsetting the establishment.  Eddie Redmayne played Tom Hayden, who takes himself and his activism very seriously and who worries that Hoffman’s antics in the courtroom are going to discredit progressives for generations to come.  Hoffman ridicules Hayden for being a rich boy who is rebelling against his father.  Hayden attacks Hoffman for not thinking about how his actions are going to be perceived by the rest of America.  Sorkin the screenwriter is clearly on Hayden’s side while Sorkin the director keeps finding himself drawn to Hoffman, if just because Hoffman is the more entertaining character.  Hoffman gets to make jokes while Hayden has to spend the entire film with a somewhat constipated expression on his face.

As is typical of Sorkin’s political work, the film raises issues without really exploring them.  We learn that the defendants were all arrested during anti-war protests but the film never really explores why they’re against the war.  It’s mentioned that David Dellinger (John Carroll Lynch) is a pacifist who even refused to fight in World War II but at no point do we learn what led to him becoming a pacifist.  When Hoffman and Jerry Rubin (Jeremy Strong) talk about how they feel that the government holds people like them in contempt and that they shouldn’t have to fight in a war that they don’t believe in, Sorkin’s script has them speak in the type of simplistic platitudes that could just as easily have been uttered by a MAGA supporter talking about the war in Afghanistan.  If all you knew about these men was what you learned in this film, you would never know that Hayden, Hoffman, and the rest of the Chicago 7 were activists both before and after the Vietnam War.  You’d never know that there was more to their ideology than just opposition to the Vietnam War.  The film never really digs into anyone’s beliefs and motivations.  Instead, everyone might as well just have “Good” or “Evil” stamped on their forehead.

Sorkin’s simplistic approach is most obvious when it comes to Bobby Seale (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).  With Seale, the film is more interested in how other react to him than in the man himself or his activism.  The film’s most shocking moment — when Judge Hoffman (Frank Langella) orders Seale to be literally bound and gagged in the courtroom — actually did happen but the film mostly seems to use it as an opportunity to show that even the lead prosecutor (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is disgusted by the government’s heavy-handedness.  Seale and the Black Panthers are used more as symbols than as actual characters.

Since this is an Aaron Sorkin film, the action is male-dominated.  It’s justified as the Chicago 7 and their lawyers were all men. Still, it’s hard not to notice that the only prominent female characters are an undercover cop who betrays the protestors and a receptionist who is frequently reprimanded by the men in the film.  One black woman in a maid’s uniform does get a chance to reprimand Hayden for not speaking out when Bobby Seale was gagged but she’s never even given a name.  As often happens with women of color in films like this, she’s only there to remind the white heroes to do the right thing.

Watching The Trial of the Chicago 7, I found myself thinking about how lucky Aaron Sorkin was to get David Fincher as the director of The Social Network.  A smart director with a strong and unique style, Fincher was able to temper Sorkin’s tendency toward pompousness.  Unfortunately, as a director, Aaron Sorkin is no David Fincher.  While Sorkin has definitely established his own style as a writer, he directs like someone who learned how to stage a crowd-pleasing moment from watching Spielberg but who, at the same time, never noticed the sense of playfulness that Spielberg, especially early in his career, infused within the best of those scenes.  It’s all soaring rhetoric and dramatic reaction shots and cues to let us know when we’re supposed to applaud.  As a director, Sorkin never challenges the audience or lets the film truly come to any sort of spontaneous life.  Instead, he adopts a somewhat cumbersome flashback-laden approach.  The story never quite comes alive in the way that the similar courtroom drama Mangrove did.  It’s all very safe, which is one reason why I imagine The Trial of the Chicago 7 is as popular as it is.  It’s a film that allows the viewers to celebrate the fantasy of activism without having to deal with the messy reality of all the complications that come along with taking an actual stand.  It’s a film that encourages you to pat yourself on the back for simply having watched and agreeing that people have the right to protest.

I will say that Sorkin made some good casting choices.  Langella is memorably nasty of the judge and Joseph Gordon-Levitt does a good job as the prosecutor.  Eddie Redmaye is a bit of a drag as Tom Hayden but Alex Sharp is likable as Hayden’s friend, Rennie Davis.  Michael Keaton has an effective cameo as Ramsey Clark.  The film presents Clark as being a bit of a wise liberal and the film’s epilogue doesn’t mention that Clark went on to a lucrative career of providing legal aide to murderous dictators and anti-Semites.  (Lyndon LaRouche was one prominent Ramsey Clark client.)

The Trial of the Chicago 7 will probably do well come Oscar-time.  In many ways, it almost feels like a generic Oscar movie.  It’s about a historical event, it’s political without being radical, and it presents itself as being far more thoughtful than it actually is.  That’s been a winning combo for many films over the years.

The Houston Film Critics Society Honors Nomadland


The Houston Skyline

Earlier today, the Houston Film Critics Society announced their picks for the best of 2020.  While the Houston critics did give best picture and best director to Nomadland, they bucked the current awards season trend a bit by also honoring Carey Mulligan over Frances McDormand and Leslie Odom Jr. over Paul Raci, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Chadwick Boseman.

Here’s what won in Houston.  Winners are in bold:

Best Picture
Da 5 Bloods
The Father
Minari
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Steven Yeun – Minari

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Youn Yuh‑jung – Minari

Best Screenplay
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Animated Feature
The Croods: A New Age
Onward
Over the Moon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Best Cinematography
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
Tenet

Best Documentary Feature
Boys State
Collective
Dick Johnson is Dead
My Octopus Teacher
Time

Best Foreign Language Feature
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
La Llorona
A Sun

Best Original Score
Mank
The Midnight Sky
News of the World
Soul
Tenet

Best Original Song
“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy
“Lo Si” from The Life Ahead
“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami
“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon
“Wear Your Crown” from The Prom

Best Visual Effects
Tenet
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky

Best Stunt Coordination Team
Birds of Prey
Mulan
The Old Guard
Tenet
Wonder Woman 1984

Outstanding Cinematic Achievement
Criterion Channel as Best Movie Streaming Platform
Minari for the performance by Alan S. Kim
Small Axe for Steve McQueen’s vision for film anthology
Sound of Metal for immersive sound design
The Trial of the Chicago 7 for ensemble cast

Best Movie Poster Art
Da 5 Bloods

The Denver Film Critics Society Honors The Trial of The Chicago 7


Somehow, I guess I missed the Denver Film Critics Society announcing their nominations.  Oh well, no worries!  We’ve got both their nominations and their winners listed below!  (The winners are in bold.)

The Denver Film Critics Society decided to buck the trend a little bit by giving their best picture award to Aaron Sorkin’s The Trial of the Chicago 7 as opposed to Nomadland.  However, they still gave their best director award to Chloe Zhao.  For some reason, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same thing happen at the Oscars.  In fact, if The Trial of The Chicago 7 does somehow win best picture, I’m hoping that Zhao or someone other than Sorkin win Best Director.  There’s only so many Aaron Sorkin speeches that one can take during the course of one night.

Among the other winners in Denver: Carey Mulligan won Best Actress of Promising Young Woman, Chadwick Boseman took Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ellen Burstyn won Best Supporting Actress for Pieces of a Woman while Sacha Baron Cohen won Best Supporting Actor for The Trial of the Chicago 7.

Here’s the full list:

Best Picture
“Minari”
“Nomadland”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“First Cow”
“Soul”

Best Director
Chloe Zhao – “Nomadland”
David Fincher – “Mank”
Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Pete Docter – “Soul”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Actress
Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Elisabeth Moss – “The Invisible Man”
Vanessa Kirby – “Pieces of a Woman”

Best Actor
Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Gary Oldman – “Mank”
Delroy Lindo – “Da 5 Bloods”
Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal”
Steven Yuen – “Minari”

Best Supporting Actress
Olivia Colman – “The Father”
Amanda Seyfried – “Mank”
Ellen Burstyn – “Pieces of a Woman”
Youn Yuh-jung – “Minari”
Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”

Best Supporting Actor
Bill Murray – “On the Rocks”
Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods”
Bo Burnham – “Promising Young Woman”
David Strathairn – “Nomadland”
Sacha Baron Cohen – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Sci-Fi/Horror
“The Vast of Night”
“Possessor”
“The Invisible Man”
“Tenet”
“Freaky”

Best Animated Feature
“Wolfwalkers”
Soul”
“The Wolf House”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”

Best Comedy
“The Personal History of David Copperfield”
“The Climb”
“Palm Springs”
“Birds of Prey”
“The Forty-Year-Old Version”

Best Visual Effects
“Tenet”
“The Midnight Sky”
“The Invisible Man”
“Greyhound”
“Birds of Prey”

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Radha Blank – “The Forty-Year-Old Version”
Pete Docter, Mike Jones & Kemp Powers – “Soul”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jonathan Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – “First Cow”
Chloe Zhao – “Nomadland”
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Kemp Powers – “One Night in Miami”
Charlie Kaufman – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”

Best Documentary
“Boys State”
“All In: The Fight for Democracy”
“The Social Dilemma”
“The Truffle Hunters”
“Dick Johnson Is Dead”

Best Original Song
“Poverty Porn” – “The Forty-Year-Old Version”
“Speak Now” – “One Night in Miami”
“Wear Your Crown” – “The Prom”
“Rocket to the Moon” – “Over the Moon”
“Hear My Voice” – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Original Score
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – “Soul”
Alexander Desplat – “The Midnight Sky”
Terence Blanchard – “One Night in Miami”
Ludwig Goransson – “Tenet”
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – “Mank”

Best Non-English Language Feature
“The Life Ahead”
“Martin Eden”
“Another Round”
“Minari”
“I’m No Longer Here”

The San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Honors Nomadland


Just three days after announcing their nominations, the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle have announced their picks for the best of 2020.  Basically, it all adds up to another victory of Nomadland, Chloe Zhao, and Frances McDormand.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with that so don’t mistake my boredom for criticism.  I haven’t watched Nomadland yet but I like Zhao’s The Rider and McDormand is one of the best actresses around.  It’s just that, from an observer’s point of view, it’s hard not to hope for something unexpected to happen, just to keep things interesting.

Also honored, along with the Nomadland trio, were Chadwick Boseman (Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Paul Raci (Best Supporting Actor for Sound of Metal), and Youn Yuh-jung (Best Supporting Actress for Minari).  Best Aniamted film went to Soul and, not surprisingly given how the awards season is shaping up, Trent Renzor and Atticus Ross won Best Original Score for that same film.

Here are all the winners in San Francisco:

Best Picture
“First Cow”
“Minari”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”

Best Director
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Kelly Reichardt – “First Cow”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher – “Mank”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Kelly Reichardt & Jon Raymond – “First Cow”
Kemp Powers – “One Night in Miami”
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best 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 Actress
Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Elisabeth Moss – “The Invisible Man”
Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Sidney Flanigan – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Supporting Actor
Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods”
David Strathairn – “Nomadland”
Leslie Odom Jr. – “One Night in Miami”
Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal”
Sacha Baron Cohen – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – “Mank”
Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Olivia Colman – “The Father”
Toni Collette – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Youn Yuh-jung – “Minari”

Best Animated Feature
“Marona’s Fantastic Tale”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Another Round”
“Bacurau”
“Collective”
“La Llorona”
“Two of Us”

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“Boys State”
“The Truffle Hunters”
“Time”

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – “First Cow”
Erik Messerschmidt – “Mank”
Hoyte Van Hoytema – “Tenet”
Joshua James Richards – “Nomadland”
Newton Thomas Sigel – “Da 5 Bloods”

Best Production Design
“First Cow”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“One Night in Miami”
“Tenet”

Best Film Editing
Alan Baumgarten – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Jennifer Lame – “Tenet”
Kirk Baxter – “Mank”
Yorgos Lamprinos – “The Father”

Best Original Score
Emile Mosseri – “Minari”
Terence Blanchard – “Da 5 Bloods”
Terence Blanchard – “One Night in Miami”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Mank”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Soul”

Special Citation for Independent Cinema
“La Llorona” (TIE)
“The Last Tree”
“Sh*thouse” (TIE)

The St. Louis Film Critics Association Rewards Downhill


The St. Louis Film Critics Association announced the winners of their 2020 awards earlier today!  Downhill picked up its first trophy of the awards seasons as the SLFCA named it The Worst Picture of the Year.  How will this effect Downhill‘s Oscar chances?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Here are the winners:

BEST FILM
First Cow (RUNNER UP TIE)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Nomadland (WINNER)
Promising Young Woman (RUNNER UP TIE)
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (RUNNER UP)
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (WINNER)

BEST ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland (RUNNER UP)
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman (WINNER)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (RUNNER UP)
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Yuh-jung Youn – Minari (WINNER)

BEST ACTOR
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (WINNER)
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (RUNNER UP)
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Gary Oldman – Mank

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bo Burnham – Promising Young Woman
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (RUNNER UP)
Bill Murray – On The Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal (WINNER)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (WINNER)
Jack Fincher – Mank
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (RUNNER UP)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (WINNER)
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami (RUNNER UP)
Jon Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Benjamin Kracunc – Promising Young Woman
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank (RUNNER UP)
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (WINNER)
Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods
Dariusz Wolski – News of the World

BEST EDITING
Jonah Moran – Hamilton
Robert Frasen – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (RUNNER UP)
Kirk Baxter – Mank
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (WINNER)
​Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Kave Quinn – Emma. (RUNNER UP)
Mark Ricker – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Donald Graham Burt – Mank (WINNER)
Cristina Casali – The Personal History of David Copperfield
Michael Perry – Promising Young Woman

BEST SCORE
Ludovico Einaudi – “Nomadland” (RUNNER UP)
Ludwig Goransson – “Tenet”
James Newton Howard – “News of the World”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Baptiste – “Soul” (WINNER)
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – “Mank”

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Birds of Prey
Da 5 Bloods
Hamilton (RUNNER UP)
Lovers Rock
Promising Young Woman (WINNER)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Birds of Prey
The Invisible Man (RUNNER UP)
Mank
The Midnight Sky
Tenet (WINNER)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Onward
Over The Moon
Soul (WINNER)
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers (RUNNER UP)

BEST HORROR FILM
Alone
The Invisible Man (WINNER)
La Llorona
Possessor: Uncut
​The Vast of Night

BEST COMEDY FILM
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (WINNER)
Emma.
The King of Staten Island
On The Rocks
Palm Springs (RUNNER UP)

BEST ACTION FILM
Birds of Prey (RUNNER UP)
The Gentlemen
Greyhound
The Old Guard
Tenet (WINNER)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
City Hall
Collective (WINNER)
Dick Johnson Is Dead
My Octopus Teacher
The Social Dilemma

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Another Round (WINNER)
Bacurau
Beanpole (RUNNER UP)
Collective
Vitalina Varela

WORST FILM
Artemis Fowl
The Doorman
Downhill (WINNER)
Hillbilly Elegy
Wonder Woman 1984

BEST SCENE
HR scene in The Assistant
Rudy Guiliani in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (RUNNER UP)
Dinner with parents in I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Sisters dine in The Invisible Man (WINNER)
Questionnaire in Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle!


The San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle (SFBACC) have announced their nominations for the best of 2020!  It’s pretty much the usual suspects.  Every critics group that does nominations has nominated Nomadland.  It’s pretty much this year’s sure bet.  Usually, when it comes to the regional critics awards, the only real suspense is to whether or not Minari, First Cow, Trial of the Chicago 7 and I’m Thinking of Ending Things are going to pick up best picture nominations as well.  The SFBACC nominated both Minari and First Cow for best picture but not I’m Thinking of Ending Things and Trial of the Chicago 7 (though both did pick up screenplay nominations).

(Realistically, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is probably going to be judged by the Academy to be too strange.  That’s a shame because the Oscars can always use a little bit of strangness.)

The San Francisco winners will be announced on January 18th …. which is only 2 days away!  I guess they really don’t waste any time in the Bay Area.  Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
“First Cow”
“Minari”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”

Best Director
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Kelly Reichardt – “First Cow”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher – “Mank”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Kelly Reichardt & Jon Raymond – “First Cow”
Kemp Powers – “One Night in Miami”
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best 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 Actress
Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Elisabeth Moss – “The Invisible Man”
Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Sidney Flanigan – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Supporting Actor
Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods”
David Strathairn – “Nomadland”
Leslie Odom Jr. – “One Night in Miami”
Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal”
Sacha Baron Cohen – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – “Mank”
Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Olivia Colman – “The Father”
Toni Collette – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Youn Yuh-jung – “Minari”

Best Animated Feature
“Marona’s Fantastic Tale”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Another Round”
“Bacurau”
“Collective”
“La Llorona”
“Two of Us”

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“Boys State”
“The Truffle Hunters”
“Time”

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – “First Cow”
Erik Messerschmidt – “Mank”
Hoyte Van Hoytema – “Tenet”
Joshua James Richards – “Nomadland”
Newton Thomas Sigel – “Da 5 Bloods”

Best Production Design
“First Cow”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“One Night in Miami”
“Tenet”

Best Film Editing
Alan Baumgarten – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Jennifer Lame – “Tenet”
Kirk Baxter – “Mank”
Yorgos Lamprinos – “The Father”

Best Original Score
Emile Mosseri – “Minari”
Terence Blanchard – “Da 5 Bloods”
Terence Blanchard – “One Night in Miami”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Mank”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Soul”

Special Citation for Independent Cinema
“La Llorona”
“The Last Tree”
“Sh*thouse”

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of The Houston Film Critics Society!


The Houston Skyline

The Houston Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2020 on Tuesday.  They’ll announce the winners on January 18th and, hopefully, they’ll remember that Texas always goes its own way and they’ll make some unexpected picks.

(Personally, I’m interested to see how Minari does, as it was filmed in the Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas region and I do think there’s something to be said for local critics doing their bit to support local filmmaking.  I will also be interested to see who wins the award for Best Texas Independent Film.  I’m hoping it’ll be another victory for The Vast of Night.  We’ll find out on the 18th!)

Here are the nominees:

Best Picture

Da 5 Bloods
The Father
Minari
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Steven Yeun – Minari

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Youn Yuh‑jung – Minari

Best Screenplay
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Animated Feature
The Croods: A New Age
Onward
Over the Moon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Best Cinematography
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
Tenet

Best Documentary Feature
Boys State
Collective
Dick Johnson is Dead
My Octopus Teacher
Time

Best Foreign Language Feature
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
La Llorona
A Sun

Best Original Score
Mank
The Midnight Sky
News of the World
Soul
Tenet

Best Original Song
“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy
“Lo Si” from The Life Ahead
“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami
“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon
“Wear Your Crown” from The Prom

Best Visual Effects
Tenet
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky

Best Stunt Coordination Team
Birds of Prey
Mulan
The Old Guard
Tenet
Wonder Woman 1984

Texas Independent Film Award
Boys State
Miss Juneteenth
Ready or Not
The Vast of Night
Yellow Rose

Outstanding Cinematic Achievement
Criterion Channel as Best Movie Streaming Platform
Minari for the performance by Alan S. Kim
Small Axe for Steve McQueen’s vision for film anthology
Sound of Metal for immersive sound design
The Trial of the Chicago 7 for ensemble cast

The Hawaii Film Critics Society Honors The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Spike Lee!


The Hawaii Film Critics Society announced their picks for the best of 2020 yesterday and they did not pick Nomadland.  Instead, they named The Trial of the Chicago 7 as the best picture of the year and they named Spike Lee as a best director for Da 5 Bloods.  (It’s interesting that, after years of struggling to get awards recognition, Lee is feeling getting recognized for films that are nowhere close to being as effective or as revolutionary as his best work.)  Nomadland, however, did not go home empty-handed.  Frances McDormand won Best Actress and Chloe Zhao did pick up an award for her screenplay.  (Zhao won adapted screenplay.  Sorkin won original screenplay.  I dread that the same thing is going to happen on Oscar night and we’re going to have to sit through an Aaron Sorkin filibuster about protest, politics, and why women need to learn more about sports.)

(“Let me fix you,” Aaron Sorkin says as he pulls out a DVD boxset of Sports Night.)

The best thing about the Hawaii Film Critics Society is that they also gave out awards for Best Comic Book movie so congratulations, Bloodshot!  (To be honest, Bloodshot probably deserved the award because it’s not like there’s a lot of competition this year and, seriously, have you tried to sit through Birds of Prey more than once?)  Possessor won the award for Best Overlooked Film of the year.  (I agree, by the way.)  And, of course, Wonder Woman 1984 won worst film of the year, despite all of those early reviews that declared it to be “the film that we need right now.”  Then again, with the way things are going, maybe we deserve a bad movie?  Who knows?

All I do know is that I wish I lived in Hawaii and now learning that they have their own Film Critics Society, I’m probably even more likely to look into moving.  Seriously, Hawaii is beautiful and the film critics are apparently quirky.

Here are the winners!

BEST PICTURE
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

BEST ACTOR
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods

BEST ACTRESS
Frances McDormand – Nomadland

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Olivia Cooke – Sound of Metal

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

BEST ART DIRECTION
Chris Craine and Dan Webster – Mank

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Ann Roth – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Hoyte Van Hoytema – Tenet

BEST EDITING
Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Lupin III: The First

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Beastie Boys Story

BEST MAKE-UP
Mank

BEST SOUND
Sound of Metal

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Mank

BEST SONG
“Speak Now” – One Night in Miami…

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Tenet

BEST STUNT WORK
Tenet

BEST NEW FILMMAKER
Regina King – One Night in Miami…

BEST FIRST FILM
Florian Zeller – The Father

BEST OVERLOOKED FILM
Possessor – Brandon Cronenberg

BEST VOCAL/MOTION CAPTURE PERFORMANCE
Jamie Foxx – Soul

BEST HORROR FILM
Relic – Natalie Erika James

BEST COMIC BOOK MOVIE
Bloodshot – Dave Wilson

BEST SCI-FI FILM
Tenet – Christopher Nolan

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Life Ahead – Edoardo Ponti (Italy)

BEST HAWAIIAN FILM
Waikiki – Christopher Kahunahana (Oahu)

WORST FILM OF 2020
Wonder Woman 1984

The San Diego Film Critics Society Honors Promising Young Woman


The Nashville critics were not the only ones to honor Promising Young Woman and Carey Mulligan yesterday!  The San Diego critics did so as well.

Here are all of the winners from San Diego:

​Best Picture
BLACK BEAR
FIRST COW
NOMADLAND
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SOUND OF METAL (RUNNER UP)
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (WINNER)

Best Director
Darius Marder – SOUND OF METAL
Kelly Reichardt – FIRST COW
Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)
Florian Zeller – THE FATHER
Chloe Zhao – NOMADLAND (WINNER)

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL (WINNER)
Chadwick Boseman – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Brian Dennehy – DRIVEWAYS
Anthony Hopkins – THE FATHER (RUNNER UP)
Steven Yeun – MINARI

Best Actress
Viola Davis – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Vanessa Kirby – PIECES OF A WOMAN
Frances McDormand – NOMADLAND (RUNNER UP)
Carey Mulligan – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (WINNER)
Aubrey Plaza – BLACK BEAR

Best Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Frank Langella – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Peter Macdissi – UNCLE FRANK (RUNNER UP)
Bill Murray – ON THE ROCKS
Paul Raci – SOUND OF METAL (WINNER)

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Ellen Burstyn – PIECES OF A WOMAN
Olivia Cooke – SOUND OF METAL
Amanda Seyfried – MANK (RUNNER UP)
Yuh-jung Youn – MINARI (WINNER)

Best Comedic Performance
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (RUNNER UP)
Sacha Baron Cohen – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Radha Blank – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (WINNER)
Bill Murray – ON THE ROCKS (RUNNER UP)
Andy Samberg – PALM SPRINGS

Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung – MINARI (WINNER)
Sofia Coppola – ON THE ROCKS
Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (RUNNER UP)
Darius Marder, Abraham Marder & Derek Cianfrance – SOUND OF METAL (RUNNER UP)
Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller – THE FATHER (WINNER)
Charlie Kaufman – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (RUNNER UP)
Kelly Reichardt & Jonathan Raymond – FIRST COW
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Chloé Zhao – NOMADLAND

Best Documentary
ATHLETE A
MY OCTOPUS TEACHER
REWIND
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA (RUNNER UP)
TIME (WINNER)

Best Animated Film
ONWARD
OVER THE MOON (RUNNER UP)
SOUL
TROLLS: WORLD TOUR
WOLFWALKERS (WINNER)

Best International Film
ANOTHER ROUND
THE LIFE AHEAD (WINNER)
MARTIN EDEN
THE PLATFORM (RUNNER UP)
SPUTNIK

Best Editing
Alan Baumgarten – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)
Andy Canny – THE INVISIBLE MAN (WINNER)
Andrew Dickler & Matthew Friedman – PALM SPRINGS
Jennifer Lame – TENET
Matthew L. Weiss – BLACK BEAR

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – FIRST COW
Erik Messerschmidt – MANK (RUNNER UP)
Joshua James Richards – NOMADLAND (WINNER)
Hoyte Van Hoytema – TENET
Dariusz Wolski – NEWS OF THE WORLD

Best Production Design
Donald Graham Burt – MANK (WINNER)
Nathan Crowley – TENET
Molly Hughes – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (RUNNER UP)
Kave Quinn – EMMA.
Shane Valentino – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)

Best Visual Effects
BIRDS OF PREY
GREYHOUND
THE INVISIBLE MAN (RUNNER UP)
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
SPUTNIK
TENET (WINNER)

Best Costumes
Erin Benach – BIRDS OF PREY (RUNNER UP)
Alexandra Byrne – EMMA. (WINNER)
April Napier – FIRST COW
Ann Roth – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Trish Summerville – MANK

Best Use of Music
DA 5 BLOODS
DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA (RUNNER UP)
HAMILTON (WINNER)
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (RUNNER UP)
SOUND OF METAL

Best Ensemble
DA 5 BLOODS
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (WINNER)
PALM SPRINGS
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)
UNCLE FRANK

Breakthrough Artist
Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL (RUNNER UP)
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Radha Blank – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (WINNER)
Sidney Flanigan – NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
Vanessa Kirby – PIECES OF A WOMAN