The New York Film Critics Circle Honors TAR, Cate Blanchett, Colin Farrell, Ke Huy Quan, Keke Palmer, and S.S. Rajamouli!


And awards season is here!

Today, the New York Film Critics Circle announced their picks for the best of 2022!  The NYFCC is one of the many critics groups that will be announcing their picks over the upcoming weeks.  The NYFCC is considered to be one of the better precursors out there so a win is definitely a big deal.  (Last year, for instance, the NYFCC started the movement that eventually led to Drive My Car picking up a Best Picture nomination.)

Here are the NYFCC winners for 2022:

Best Picture: TAR

Best Director: S. S. Rajamouli, RRR
Best Actress: Cate Blanchett, TAR
Best Actor: Colin Farrell, After Yang and The Banshees of Inisherin
Best Screenplay: Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Best International Film: EO
Best Cinematography: Claudio Miranda, Top Gun: Maverick
Best Supporting Actress: Keke Palmer, Nope
Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once
Best Non-Fiction Film: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Best Animated Feature: Marcel the Shell With Shoes On
Best First Film: Aftersun

SPECIAL AWARD 1: Jake Perlin, curator, distributor, publisher, in recognition of his indispensable contributions to film culture.

SPECIAL AWARD 2: dGenerate Films, For their invaluable work bringing independent films from China to a wider audience

SPECIAL AWARD 3: Jafar Panahi, for his dogged bravery as an artist, and for the humanity and beauty of a body of work created under the most oppressive circumstances.

 

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For November


We are right on the cusp of Awards Season, which means that the Oscar race is about to become a bit more clear!

Below, you’ll find my predictions for November!  In order to see how my thinking has evolved over the course of the year, be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October!

Best Picture

Aftersun

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

Best Director

Todd Field for TAR

Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Insherin

Sarah Polley for Women Talking

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Charlotte Wells for Aftersun

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Insherin

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Paul Mescal in Aftersun

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Margot Robbie in Babylon

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Insherin

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Brian Tyree Henry in Causeway

Judd Hirsch in The Fabelmans

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Claire Foy in Women Talking

Nina Hoss in Tar

Janelle Monae in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Here Are The 2022 Gotham Winners!


The Gotham Awards were handed out last night and Everything Everywhere All At Once took best picture.  Danielle Deadwyler may have been snubbed by the Spirit Awards but that didn’t prevent the Gothams from honoring her performance in Till.  While the Gothams may not be as strong an Oscar precursor as some of the other groups that will be handing out prizes over the next two months, every win helps.

Here are all the winners:

Breakthrough television under 40 minutes
“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
“As We See It” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Mo” (Netflix)
“Rap Sh!t” (HBO Max)
“Somebody, Somewhere” (HBO)

Breakthrough television over 40 minutes
“Pachinko” (Apple+)
“Severance” (Apple+)
“Station Eleven” (HBO Max)
“This Is Going To Hurt” (AMC+)
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Television performers:
Bilal Baig (“Sort Of”)
Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”)
Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”)
Matilda Lawler (“Station Eleven”)
Britt Lower (“Severance”)
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)
Sue Ann Pien (“As We See It”)
Minha Kim (“Pachinko”)
Zahn McClarnon (“Dark Winds”)
Ben Whishaw (“This Is Going To Hurt”)

Breakthrough nonfiction series
“The Andy Warhol Diaries”
“The Last Movie Stars”
“Mind Over Murder”
“The Rehearsal”
“We Need to Talk About Cosby”

Breakthrough director
Charlotte Wells (“Aftersun”)
Owen Kline (“Funny Pages”)
Elegance Bratton (“The Inspection”)
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic (“Murina”)
Beth De Araújo (“Soft & Quiet”)
Jane Schoenbrun (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Best screenplay
Kogonada (“After Yang”)
James Gray (“Armageddon Time”)
Lena Dunham (“Catherine Called Birdy”)
Todd Field (“Tár”)
Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”)

Breakthrough performer
Frankie Corio (“Aftersun”)
Kali Reis (“Catch the Fair One”)
Gracija Flipovic (“Murina”)
Anna Diop (“Nanny”)
Anna Cobb (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Outstanding supporting performance
Mark Rylance (“Bones and All”)
Brian Tyree Henry (“Causeway”)
Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Raúl Castillo (“The Inspection”)
Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”)
Nina Hoss (“Tár”)
Noémie Merlant (“Tár”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)

Oustanding lead performance
Cate Blanchett (“Tár”)
Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”)
Dale Dickey (“A Love Song”)
Colin Farrell (“After Yang”)
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)
Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)
Thandiwe Newton (“God’s Country”)
Aubrey Plaza “(Emily the Criminal)”
Taylor Russell (“Bones and All”)
Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Best international feature
“Athena”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Corsage”
“Decision to Leave”
“Happening”
“Saint Omer”

Best documentary feature
“All That Breathes”
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
“I Didn’t See You There”
“The Territory”
“What We Leave Behind”

Best feature
“Aftersun”
“The Cathedral”
“Dos Estaciones”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Tár”

Here Are The Independent Spirt Nominations!


The nomination for the Independent Spirit Awards were announced earlier today.

Making a very good showing were Tar, Women Talking, and Everything Everywhere All At Once.  Not showing up at all was Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, which failed to even pick up a lead performance nomination for Brendan Fraser.  Seeing as how Fraser has been viewed as being the Oscar front runner for a few months now, his lack of a nomination definitely took observers by surprise.

Anyway, here are all the nominees!

FILM CATEGORIES

Best Feature
“Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
“Our Father, the Devil” (Resolve Media)
“Tár” (Focus Features)
“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)

Best Director
Todd Field – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Kogonada – “After Yang” (A24)
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Sarah Polley – “Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Halina Reijn – “Bodies Bodies Bodies” (A24)

Best Lead Performance

Cate Blanchett – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Dale Dickey – “A Love Song” (Bleecker Street)
Mia Goth – “Pearl” (A24)
Regina Hall – “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.” (Focus Features)
Paul Mescal – “Aftersun” (A24)
Aubrey Plaza – “Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Pope – “The Inspection” (A24)
Taylor Russell – “Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Andrea Riseborough – “To Leslie” (Momentum Pictures)
Michelle Yeoh – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)

Best Supporting Performance

Jamie Lee Curtis – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Brian Tyree Henry – “Causeway” (A24/Apple Original Films)
Nina Hoss – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Brian D’Arcy James – “The Cathedral” (Mubi)
Ke Huy Quan – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Trevante Rhodes – “Bruiser” (Onyx Collective)
Theo Rossi – “Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions)
Mark Rylance – “Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Jonathan Tucker – “Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures)
Gabrielle Union – “The Inspection” (A24)

Best Breakthrough Performance
Frankie Corio – “Aftersun” (A24)
Garcija Filipovic – “Murina” (Kino Lorber)
Stephanie Hsu – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Lily McInerny – “Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures)
Daniel Zolghardi – “Funny Pages” (A24)

Best Screenplay
“After Yang” (A24) – Kogonada
“Catherine Called Birdy” (Amazon Studios) – Lena Dunham
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Todd Field
“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Sarah Polley

Best First Screenplay
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” (A24) – Sarah DeLappe, Kristen Roupenian
“Emergency” (Amazon Studios) – K.D. Dávila
“Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions) – John Patton Ford
“Fire Island” (Searchlight Pictures) – Joel Kim Booster
“Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures) – Jamie Dack, Audrey Findlay

Best First Feature
“Aftersun” (A24) – Charlotte Wells (director), Mark Ceryak, Amy Jackson, Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski (producers)
“Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions) – John Patton Ford (director), Tyler Davidson, Aubrey Plaza, Drew Sykes (producers)
“The Inspection” (A24) – Elegance Bratton (director), Effie T. Brown, Chester Algernal Gordon (producers)
“Murina” (Kino Lorber) – Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović (director), Danijel Pek, Rodrigo Teixeira (producers)
“Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures) – Jamie Dack (director), Leah Chen Baker (producer)

John Cassavetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $1,000,000)
“The African Desperate” (Mubi) – Martine Syms (writer, director, producer), Rocket Caleshu (writer, producer), Vic Brooks (producer)
“A Love Song” (Bleecker Street) – Max Walker-Silverman (writer, director, producer), Jesse Hope, Dan Janvey (producers)
“The Cathedral” (Mubi) – Ricky D’Ambrose (writer, director), Graham Swon (producer)
“Holy Emy” (Utopie Films) – Araceli Lemos (writer, director), Giulia Caruso (writer, producer), Mathieu Bompoint, Ki Jin Kim, Konstantinos Vassilaros (producers)
“Something in the Dirt” (XYZ Films) – Justin Benson (writer, director, producer), Aaron Moorhead (director, producer), David Lawson Jr. (producer)

Best Cinematography
“Aftersun” (A24) – Gregory Oke
“Murina” (Kino Lorber) – Hélène Louvart
“Neptune Frost” (Kino Lorber) – Anisia Uzeyman
“Pearl” (A24) – Eliot Rockett
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Florian Hoffmeister

Best Documentary
“A House Made of Splinters” (Madman Entertainment) – Simon Lereng Wilmont (director), Monica Hellström (producer)
“All that Breathes” (HBO) – Shaunak Sen (director, producer), Teddy Leifer, Aman Mann (producers)
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (Neon) – Laura Poitras (director, producer), Howard Gertler, Nan Goldin, Yoni Golijov, John Lyons (producers)
“Midwives” (POV) – Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing (director, producer), Mila Aung-Thwin, Ulla Lehmann, Bob Moore (producers)
“Riotsville, U.S.A.” (IFC Films) – Sierra Pettengill (director), Sara Archambault, Jamila Wignot (producer)

Best Editing
“Aftersun” (A24) – Blair McClendon
“The Cathedral” (Mubi) – Ricky D’Ambrose
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Paul Rogers
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (A24) – Dean Fleischer Camp, Nick Paley
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Monika Willi

Robert Altman Award (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Sarah Polley (director), John Buchan, Jason Knight (casting directors), Shayla Brown, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Kira Guloien, Kate Hallett, Judith Ivey, Rooney Mara, Sheila McCarthy, Frances McDormand, Michelle McLeod, Liv McNeil, Ben Whishaw, August Winter (ensemble cast)

Best International Film
“Corsage” (Austria/Luxembourg/France/Belgium/Italy/England) – dir. Marie Kreutzer
“Joyland” (Pakistan/USA) – dir. Saim Sadiq
“Leonor Will Never Die” (Philippines) – dir. Martika Ramirez Escobar
“Return to Seoul” (South Korea/France/Belgium/Romania) – dir. Davy Chou
“Saint Omer” (France) – dir. Alice Diop

Producers Award (presented by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey  – The Producers Award, now in its 26th year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films.)
Liz Cardenas
Tory Lenosky
David Grove Churchill Viste

Someone to Watch Award (The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 29th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition)
Adamma Ebo – “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”
Nikyatu Jusu – “Nanny”
Araceli Lemos – “Holy Emy”

“The Truer Than Fiction Award” (The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 28th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition)
Isabel Castro – “Mija”
Reid Davenport – “I Didn’t See You There”
Rebeca Huntt – “Beba”

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For October


Even though Horrorthon has taken up the majority of my time this October, I still have been watching as this year’s Oscar race has developed over the past 29 days.  And that’s a good thing because it’s time for my monthly predictions!

Below, you’ll find my predictions for October!  In order to see how my thinking has evolved over the course of the year, be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September!

Best Picture

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

She Says

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

Best Director

Chinonye Chukwu for Till

Todd Field for TAR

Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Insherin

Sarah Polley for Women Talking

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Insherin

Hugh Jackman in The Son

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Insherin

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Woody Harrelson in Triangle of Sadness

Judd Hirsch in The Fabelmans

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Claire Foy in Women Talking

Nina Hoss in Tar

Janelle Monae in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Carey Mulligan in She Says

Here Are The 2022 Gotham Nominations!


And just like that, the 2022 Awards Season began.

The 2022 Gotham Nominations were announced earlier today.  While the Gothams have recently started to get some attention as an Oscar precursor, it is important to remember that the Gothams are specifically designed to honor low-budget, independent films.  There’s some very strict rules about which films are eligible and which are not.  So, don’t be shocked at the lack of nominations for something like The Fabelmans.  Spielberg has never been eligible for a Gotham.

If any one film is really going to benefit from these nominations, it’s probably Everything Everywhere All At Once.  Seeing as how it’s been a while since Everything Everywhere came out, the Gotham nominations may (or may not) serve to remind the members of the Academy of the excitement that was generated by the film earlier in the year.

Here are the Gotham nominations for 2022.  The winners will be announced on November 28th.

Breakthrough television under 40 minutes
“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
“As We See It” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Mo” (Netflix)
“Rap Sh!t” (HBO Max)
“Somebody, Somewhere” (HBO)

Breakthrough television over 40 minutes
“Pachinko” (Apple+)
“Severance” (Apple+)
“Station Eleven” (HBO Max)
“This Is Going To Hurt” (AMC+)
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Television performers:
Bilal Baig (“Sort Of”)
Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”)
Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”)
Matilda Lawler (“Station Eleven”)
Britt Lower (“Severance”)
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)
Sue Ann Pien (“As We See It”)
Minha Kim (“Pachinko”)
Zahn McClarnon (“Dark Winds”)
Ben Whishaw (“This Is Going To Hurt”)

Breakthrough nonfiction series
“The Andy Warhol Diaries”
“The Last Movie Stars”
“Mind Over Murder”
“The Rehearsal”
“We Need to Talk About Cosby”

Breakthrough director
Charlotte Wells (“Aftersun”)
Owen Kline (“Funny Pages”)
Elegance Bratton (“The Inspection”)
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic (“Murina”)
Beth De Araújo (“Soft & Quiet”)
Jane Schoenbrun (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Best screenplay
Kogonada (“After Yang”)
James Gray (“Armageddon Time”)
Lena Dunham (“Catherine Called Birdy”)
Todd Field (“Tár”)
Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”)

Breakthrough performer
Frankie Corio (“Aftersun”)
Kali Reis (“Catch the Fair One”)
Gracija Flipovic (“Murina”)
Anna Diop (“Nanny”)
Anna Cobb (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Outstanding supporting performance
Mark Rylance (“Bones and All”)
Brian Tyree Henry (“Causeway”)
Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Raúl Castillo (“The Inspection”)
Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”)
Nina Hoss (“Tár”)
Noémie Merlant (“Tár”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)

Oustanding lead performance
Cate Blanchett (“Tár”)
Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”)
Dale Dickey (“A Love Song”)
Colin Farrell (“After Yang”)
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)
Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)
Thandiwe Newton (“God’s Country”)
Aubrey Plaza “(Emily the Criminal)”
Taylor Russell (“Bones and All”)
Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Best international feature
“Athena”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Corsage”
“Decision to Leave”
“Happening”
“Saint Omer”

Best documentary feature
“All That Breathes”
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
“I Didn’t See You There”
“The Territory”
“What We Leave Behind”

Best feature
“Aftersun”
“The Cathedral”
“Dos Estaciones”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Tár”

Lisa Marie Reviews An Oscar Nominee: Nightmare Alley (dir by Guillermo del Toro)


In March, CODA won the Oscar for Best Picture.

By May, I think most people had forgotten about it.

I point this out not to be snarky about CODA (which, for the most part, I found to be a well-made and sweet-natured movie) but to just point out that occasionally, the Oscar for Best Picture Of The Year does not go to the nominee that’s necessarily going to be remembered and watched by future generations.  CODA’s victory is not a travesty, regardless of what some members of Film Twitter insisted.  This isn’t like when Green Book won.  It’s just that CODA seems to be destined to be remembered in much the same way that we remember Argo and Spotlight, i.e. a well-made and well-acted film that gets the job done but don’t necessarily stick around in your mind for long after you watch it.

In fact, looking back at all of the 2021 Best Picture nominees, the one that has really stuck with me is Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.

Nightmare Alley tells the story of Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper), a drifter who, in 1939, gets a job with a carnival.  Stan is running from his past.  He’s haunted by visions and dreams of a dying old man and a burning farm house.  When we first meet him, he avoids alcohol which is perhaps a good thing as getting drunk at the carnival just makes someone easier to exploit and, ultimately, the carnival is all about exploitation.  The carnival’s owner, Clem (Willem DaFoe), specializes in tricking alcoholics into becoming opium-addicted “geeks,” who bite the heads off of chickens for gawking country audiences.

It’s not a glamorous life but it’s one that allows Stan to hide from his past.  He comes under the tutelage of Madame Zeena (Toni Collette) and her husband, Pete (David Straithairn).  They teach him how to give “cold readings,” and Stan proves to be an eager student.  Pete tells Stan to never pretend to be able to speak to the dead and, from the minute that Pete says it, we can tell that Stan is already thinking about how much money he could make by doing just that.  Stan also appears to fall in love with Molly (Rooney Mara), a performer whose act involves a fake electric chair.  When Stan eventually abandons the carnival, Molly goes with him.  When Stan finds success as a fake medium, Molly is his assistant.

Stan becomes quite a success in Buffalo, trading in his shabby clothes and his unshaven appearance for a tuxedo and suave mustache.  With success comes arrogance and Stan soon ignore what Pete told him about pretending to be able to speak to the dead.  When Stan meets a psychologist named Dr. Lillian Rith (Cate Blanchett), he gets involved in a plot to con a judge who is still mourning for his deceased son.  It also leads to Stan meeting a corrupt and murderous businessman (Richard Jenkins).  Ignoring Pete’s lesson sets off a chain of events that leads Stan right back to where he started.

There’s something wonderfully subversive about taking Bradley Cooper, a legitimate movie star who is probably one of the most personable and likable actors working today, and casting him as such a sleazy character.  This isn’t a case, as in American Hustle or even The Hangover movies, where Cooper is playing a goof who gets in over his head.  Instead, Stan is someone who uses his eager manner and his natural charm to cover up the fact that he’s hollow on the inside.  Watching the film, you’re never quite sure as to whether or not Stan truly cares about any of the people who come into his life.  Does he love Molly or is he just using her?  Does he care about his friends from the carnival or is he just manipulating them into acting as a shield to keep out his former life?  When he goes against Pete’s lessons about pretending to speak to the dead, is he motivated by greed or arrogance?  Or does he truly want to believe that he’s somehow become the all-powerful psychic that he pretends to be?  Stan becomes a success because he knows how to con everyone but eventually, he meets someone who is even emptier than he is.  Ultimately, Stan cons himself.  He tricks himself into believing that he’s more clever than he actually is and he ends up facing the fate that he secretly always knew was waiting for him.  Cooper gives an outstanding performance as Stan.  Both he and del Toro cleverly play with what audiences expect when they see Bradley Cooper onscreen.  In the end, the film suggests that not even charm can ward off karma.

Nightmare Alley is work of what Lucio Fulci called “pure cinema,” one in which the imagery and the emotions generated by that imagery is even more important than the story itself.  The sets, whether it’s the carnival or Dr. Ritter’s office or the Buffalo ballroom where Stan cons the wealthy, are large and ornate.  The cinematography is gorgeous.  The supporting performances are arch and witty.  Cate Blanchett’s and Rooney Mara’s costumes are to die for.  Nearly every shot feels as if it could have been lifted from a particularly vivid dream.  Guillermo del Toro’s love of cinema is evident in every frame of Nightmare Alley.  It’s a film that celebrates the grandeur and the power of imagination and also warns about the destructive power of hubris.  Despite the fact that del Toro has gone on the record saying that there’s nothing supernatural about Nightmare Alley, it’s still a wonderful film for the Halloween season.  The costumes are beautiful and the final third of the movie plays like an homage to the classic German expressionistic horror films, with Blanchett playing her role as a mix of Dr. Caligari and a classic noir feeme fatale.  Nightmare Alley is a big, flamboyant, and unforgettable work of pure cinema and, looking back, it’s my favorite film of 2021.

It’s a film that stays with you.

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For September


Horrorthon, my favorite time of year, starts tomorrow!  However, before we get lost in the scary season, I want to take one last look at awards season!  It’s time for me to update my Oscar nominations.  Fortunately, thanks to all of the recent festival premieres, the Oscar picture is finally starting to look a little bit clearer.  There’s still a lot of question marks out there and, as always, anything can happen.  But, finally, I can say that there’s more to my predictions that just lucky guesses and wishful thinking.

Below, you’ll find my predictions for September!  In order to see how my thinking has evolved over the course of the year, be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, July, and August.

Best Picture

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

The Menu

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Women Talking

A few thoughts on the (potential) nominees:

Babylon, I will admit, I’m including because of the trailer and the fact that it’s a Damien Chazelle film about Hollywood.  The Academy likes films about itself and one can argue that after what happened when La La Land was nominated, Chazelle is owed at least a little bit of recognition.  Then again, that same argument could have been made for First Man and we know how that turned out.

As for The Menu, I’ve got that in my surprise nominee slot.  There’s almost always at least one potential nominee that’s considered to be a long shot until the nominations are announced.  Now that we have a set number of ten nominees, the chances that one nominee will be a surprise seems even more certain than before.

Top Gun: Maverick, Elvis, and Everything Everywhere All At Once all came out early in the year but they’ve all achieved the box office success necessary to be remembered.

Till seems like the type of film that the Academy will want to acknowledge, especially with the presidential election right around the corner.

The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, TAR, and Women Talking were all acclaimed when they made their festival debuts.  Banshees, in particular, went from being a probable also-ran to a surefire contender based on the length of the standing ovation that it received.

Best Director

Chinonye Chukwu for Till

Todd Field for TAR

Martin McDonagh for The Banshees of Insherin

Sarah Polley for Women Talking

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Insherin

Ralph Fiennes in The Menu

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie in I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Brendan Gleeson in The Banshees of Insherin

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Woody Harrelson in Triangle of Sadness

Judd Hirsch in The Fabelmans

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley in Women Talking

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Frances McDormand in Women Talking

Janelle Monae in Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Here Are The Winners In Venice


The Venice Film Festival has come to a close with the awarding of prizes.  And here they are:

Golden Lion for Best Film: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, d: Laura Poitras
Grand Jury Prize: Saint Omer, d: Alice Diop
Silver Lion for Best Director: Bones and All, d: Luca Guadagnino
Special Jury Prize: No Bears, d: Jafar Panahi
Best Screenplay: The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Tár, Cate Blanchett
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: The Banshees of Inisherin, Colin Farrell
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Bones and All, Taylor Russell

I would say that the big winner of the festival is undoubtedly The Banshees of Inisherin.  Going into the festival, this film was only occasionally mentioned as an Oscar contender and that was just because director Martin McDonagh was previously responsible for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. However, the festival not only saw Banshees win the race for the longest standing ovation but it also won awards for McDonagh’s screenplay and Colin Farrell’s lead performance.

Cate Blanchett won best actress for Tar.  Blanchett was already considered to be a probable Oscar nominee so the award at Venice will certainly help the establish the narrative that will be necessary for Blanchett to take home her third Oscar.

As for Luca Guadagnino winning Best Director, that’s fine.  He’s a good director but I’ll never forgive him for the Suspiria remake.  If he agrees to keep Argento’s name out of his mouth, I’ll add him to my list of Oscar contenders.

Lisa Marie’s Early Oscar Predictions For August


It’s that time of the month again!

Here are my Oscar predictions for August.  By the end of September, the picture should be a bit clearer.  Until then, most of the predictions listed below continue to be guesses.

Be sure to check out my predictions for February, March, April, May, June, and July!

Best Picture

Babylon

Elvis

Empire of Light

Everything Everywhere All At Once

The Fabelmans

The Inspection

The Son

TAR

Till

Top Gun: Maverick

Best Director

The Daniels for Everything Everywhere All At Once

Todd Field for TAR

Baz Luhrmann for Elvis

Steven Speilberg for The Fabelmans

Florian Zeller for The Son

Best Actor

Austin Butler in Elvis

Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Hugh Jackman in The Son

Harry Styles in My Policeman

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Olivia Colman in Empire of Light

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Yeoh in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks in Elvis

Anthony Hopkins in The Son

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Tobey Maguire in Babylon

Ke Huy Quan in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Supporting Actress

Jamie Lee Curtis in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Laura Dern in The Son

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Stephanie Hsu in Everything Everywhere All At Once

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans