Lisa Marie’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions For March


Now that the awards for last year’s films have been given out and everyone has already started to forget who won, we can start to concentrate on the next batch of Oscar contenders….

Oh, stop yelling.  It’s not that early!

Well, actually, it is way too early.  I mean, we’re still not really sure what is even going to be released this year.  Due to all the COVID delays, we went into 2021 knowing which films we could look forward to, mostly because all of those films were originally supposed to be released in 2020.  Compared to 2021, we’re going into 2022 blind.  The majority of the films that we do know about don’t really sound like Oscar contenders, either.

So, really, the only solution to how to predict the Oscar nominees when you know nothing is to guess.  The films and actors listed below are not there because I have any inside information.  Instead, they are there as a result of some wishful thinking and some educated guesses.  Killers of the Flower Moon was directed by Martin Scorsese, so of course it’s there.  The Fabelmans is there because a lot of people feel that the Academy didn’t show Spielberg and West Side Story enough love this year and I think the fact that the film is autobiographical will make it irresistible to same voters who nominated BelfastNapoleon is there because there might be some lingering guilt over how both Ridley Scott and The Last Duel were utterly ignored this year.  Rustin is there because it’s an Obama production and Hollywood loves the Obamas.  Chris Rock is listed as a supporting actor nominee because it would be the perfect conclusion to the saga of the Oscar Slap.  David Lynch is listed because …. well, I like David Lynch.  Personally, it’s doubtful that Tom Hanks will be able to pull off two nominations in one year but if anyone could do it, it’s Tom!

In other words, don’t take any of these predictions too seriously.  As of now, there are no definite contenders.  These are just some guesses.

Be sure to check out my even more random predictions for February as well!

Best Picture

Babylon

The Fabelmans

Killers of the Flower Moon

Napoleon

Rustin

She Said

TAR

Thirteen Lives

Till

The Woman King

Best Director

Damien Chazelle for Babylon

Chinonye Chukwu for Till

Martin Scorsese for Killers of the Flower Moon

Ridley Scott for Napoleon

Steven Spielberg for The Fabelmans

Best Actor

Colman Domingo in Rustin

Brendan Fraser in The Whale

Tom Hanks in A Man Called Otto

Joaquin Phoenix in The Whale

Brad Pitt in Babylon

Best Actress

Naomi Ackie for I Wanna Dance With Somebody

Cate Blanchett in TAR

Viola Davis in The Woman King

Danielle Deadwyler in Till

Michelle Williams in The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actor

John Boyega in The Woman King

Leonardo DiCaprio in Killers of the Flower Moon

Tom Hanks in Elvis

David Lynch in The Fabelmans

Chris Rock in Rustin

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern in The Son

Sally Field in Spoiler Alert

Greta Gerwig in White Noise

Lily Gladstone in Killers of the Flower Moon

Li Jun Li in Babylon

TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead 7.1 “The Portrait” (dir by Heather Cappiello)


The latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead featured Morgan taking baby Mo to Strand’s tower, in order to try to find medicine for her.  Normally, Strand would have sent Morgan away and laughed about it but Morgan was lucky enough to show up while Strand was having an existential crisis about his role in the brave new world of the Walking Dead.

In short, Morgan got to enter the tower and he stayed there for a while before Strand ended up having one of his trademark changes of heart.  After nearly tossing Morgan to the Walkers, Strand changed his mind on the condition that Grace and the baby would stay at the tower while Morgan went back out into the apocalyptic wasteland.  Morgan then hooked up with Dwight and his “moral outlaws” and then they all ran into some Stalkers who are apparently different from the other Stalkers who have previously appeared and then there was a big explosion …. or something.

Look, I don’t know.  To be honest, I had a hard time following what was going on after Morgan left the Tower.  That could be because this is the first season of the show that I’ve really watched.  But, I will say that, when Fear the Walking Dead works, it works precisely because it captures the confusion of trying to keep track of who is who in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.  It does a good job of capturing the paranoia that would go along with the end of the world.  If The Walking Dead and Walking Dead: World Beyond is occasionally a bit too neat when it comes to depicting its characters as being good or evil, Fear The Walking Dead is a bit more chaotic.

As for this episode, it kind of reminded me of one of those old episodes of Lost where Jack or Kate would end up spending a week with The Others and you would kind of end up thinking that, regardless of how you felt about The Others as a moral force, you’d really rather live in their little village than in the caves with Jack and the skeletons.  I wouldn’t necessarily want to live under the rule of a dictator prone to arbitrary rages but, at the same time, the Tower does look nice and Strand is keeping people alive (or at least, he is until he randomly decides to them off the top of the Tower).  One could easily imagine the Others living in the Tower and telling a disbelieving Morgan, “We’re the good guys.”

For me, the highlight of this episode was Colman Domingo’s performance of Strand.  Domingo, who has recently gotten some deserved attention for his performances in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Zola, is charismatic enough to be believable as a leader while also frightening enough to be believable as someone who could get his followers to go along with his often contradictory impulses.  I actually felt a bit of sympathy for Strand as he realized that he would always be viewed as a fearsome ruler as opposed to a benevolent monarch.  Of course, the rest of the episode was dedicated to reminding views as to why exactly Strand is so feared.

Anyway, it was a good episode.  Colman Domingo and Lennie James dueling each other to see who could control each scene was entertaining to watch.  The next episode is called Padre, so I guess we’ll finally get some answers as to who exactly is out there.

We’ll see!

Here Are The Gotham Winners!


The Gotham Awards were held last night and the big winners were CODA and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s The Lost Daughter.  The Gothams aren’t exactly the biggest or most influential of the Oscar precursors but they were are one of the first so a victory can only help!

The winners are listed in bold:

Best Feature
“The Green Knight”
“The Lost Daughter”
“Passing”
“Pig”
“Test Pattern”

Best Documentary Feature
“Ascension”
“Faya Dayi”
Flee”
“President”
“Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

Best International Feature
“Azor”
“Drive My Car”
“The Souvenir Part II”
Titane
“What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?”
“The Worst Person In The World”

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Maggie Gyllenhaal for “The Lost Daughter”
Edson Oda for “Nine Days”
Rebecca Hall for “Passing”
Emma Seligman for “Shiva Baby”
Shatara Michelle Ford for “Test Pattern”

Best Screenplay
“The Card Counter,” Paul Schrader
“El Planeta,” Amalia Ulman
“The Green Knight,” David Lowery
“The Lost Daughter,” Maggie Gyllenhaal
“Passing,” Rebecca Hall
“Red Rocket,” Sean Baker & Chris Bergoch

Outstanding Lead Performance
Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter”
Frankie Faison in “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain”
Michael Greyeyes in “Wild Indian”
Brittany S. Hall in “Test Pattern”
Oscar Isaac in “The Card Counter”
Taylour Paige in “Zola”
Joaquin Phoenix in “C’mon C’mon”
Simon Rex in “Red Rocket”
Lili Taylor in “Paper Spiders”
Tessa Thompson in “Passing”

Outstanding Supporting Performance
Reed Birney in “Mass”
Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter”
Colman Domingo in “Zola”
Gaby Hoffmann in “C’mon C’mon”
Troy Kotsur in “CODA”
Marlee Matlin in “CODA”
Ruth Negga in “Passing”

Breakthrough Performer
Emilia Jones in “CODA”
Natalie Morales in “Language Lessons”
Rachel Sennott in Shiva Baby”
Suzanna Son in “Red Rocket”
Amalia Ulman in “El Planeta”

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)
“The Good Lord Bird”
“It’s A Sin”
“Small Axe”
“Squid Game”
“The Underground Railroad”
“The White Lotus”

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)
“Blindspotting”
“Hacks”
“Reservation Dogs”
“Run the World”
“We Are Lady Parts”

Breakthrough Nonfiction Series
“City So Real”
“Exterminate All the Brutes”
“How To with John Wilson”
“Philly D.A.”
“Pride”

Outstanding Performance in a New Series
Jennifer Coolidge in “The White Lotus”
Michael Greyeyes in “Rutherford Falls”
Ethan Hawke in “The Good Lord Bird”
Devery Jacobs in “Reservation Dogs”
Lee Jung-jae in “Squid Game”
Thuso Mbedu in “The Underground Railroad”
Jean Smart in “Hacks”
Omar Sy in “Lupin”
Anya Taylor-Joy in “The Queen’s Gambit”
Anjana Vasan in “We Are Lady Parts”

(Incidentally, I’m probably the only person not involved with the show to have noticed the victory for Philly D.A.  I’m just going to be honest and say that is one of my least favorite results ever.  Philly D.A. was a pure propaganda, nothing more.)

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead 7.5 “Til Death” (dir by Lennie James)


I can still remember when Fear the Walking Dead first started back in 2015.

The premise, as you may remember, was that the show was going to take place in the “world of The Walking Dead” but that it was going to deal with an entirely new group of characters and follow them through the early days of the zombie apocalypse.  Would there be crossovers with the main show?  While AMC refused to rule them out, it was also said that the world of the Walking Dead was so compelling and fully realized that there really was no real need to bring over Rick, Darryl, Morgan, or anyone else from the original show.  In fact, since Fear the Walking Dead was a prequel, it really wouldn’t make any sense to have any of the original show’s characters show up for anything more than a winking cameo.  Instead, audiences would be thrilled with the new cast of doctors, drug addicts, and city planners.

Well, that didn’t quite work out.  It turned out that audiences didn’t really respond to the entirely new cast and so almost all of them were killed off, Lennie James switched from the main show to the spinoff, and, from season 4 on, Fear the Walking Dead became the Morgan show.

And I’m really not complaining.  I tried to watch the early seasons of Fear The Walking Dead and I was so bored that I gave up on the show fairly quickly.  However, I’ve been mostly entertained by the seventh and final season of Fear The Walking Dead.  Yes, there have been a few pacing issues but, at this point, that’s something that anyone who has ever watched more than a handful of episodes of The Walking Dead and its spin-offs should be used to.  But still, I enjoy Fear the Walking Dead‘s rather surreal landscape.  Colman Domingo’s wonderfully weird performance is always entertaining to watch.  I’m even somewhat interested in discovering who Padre is, even though I know the character probably won’t live up to all the hype.  At this point, unless he turns out to be Rick, there’s no way Padre can meet the expectations that have been set for him.

Last Sunday, Dwight and Sherry joined the search for Padre.  Like Morgan, Dwight and Sherry were originally on The Walking Dead.  Dwight was one of Negan’s lieutenants.  Sherry was his wife.  Now, they’re “ethical outlaws,” riding across the radioactive landscape of Texas and protecting those in need.  During the latest episode, Strand tried to get Dwight and Sherry to join his organization and Dwight was certainly tempted.  But, in the end, they did the right thing and helped a woman named Mickey find and put down her reanimated husband.  They then teamed up with the Stalkers to continue their search for Padre …. okay, so the plot summary sounds a little absurd and, to be honest, the idea of Dwight and Sherry calling themselves the Dark Horses and fighting for the bullied is a little absurd.  But, and this is the secret as to why Fear the Walking Dead‘s final season has been so enjoyable, the show seems to be aware of how absurd it all is.  Whereas The Walking Dead would have taken the whole “ethical outlaw” thing way too seriously, Fear the Walking Dead is willing to have fun with it all.

And this Sunday’s episode was a fun one.  Apparently, with The Walking Dead and its two spin-offs coming to a close with the end of their current seasons, AMC is planning on keeping the franchie alive with an anthology series.  Hopefully, the Dark Horses will appear in more than a few episodes.  As much as I disliked them on The Walking Dead, Dwight and Sherry are a blast on Fear the Waling Dead.  Dark Horses forever!

TV Review: Fear The Walking Dead 7.4 “Breathe With Me” (dir Tara Nicole Weyr)


The latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead really didn’t do much for me.

That’s not necessarily the show’s fault, or at least not entirely.  As I’ve said from my first review, I didn’t start regularly watching this show until the start of the current (and final) season.  As a result, I’m still learning who many of these characters are.  Perhaps if I had watched the earlier seasons, I would have been more emotionally connected to Sarah’s search for her brother, Wendell.  And perhaps I would have been more concerned with Josiah’s need to get revenge on Morgan.

But, even with all that in mind, last Sunday’s episode was punishingly slow.  It felt like a throwback to one of those old episodes of The Walking Dead where some minor character would randomly run into someone and then we’d have to spend 40 minutes listening to them have a conversation about nothing before some random Walkers finally showed up.  For lack of a better term, it was kind of boring.  For all of the trouble that the episode put the viewer through, it needed a better pay off than “Wendell’s here but I’m not going to let you see him.”

Josiah carrying around his brother’s disembodied heard was visually interesting but, from a narrative point of view, it was pretty stupid and it kind of made me wonder how someone who could be dumb enough to carry around a zombie head could possibly manage to survive in the world of the walking dead.  The fact that it all led to Josiah having to euthanize an adorable dog did not help matters.  I get that the whole idea behind The Walking Dead and its spin-offs is that the world is a terrible place where terrible things happen but honestly, Josiah was just an idiot.  He was probably an idiot before the zombie apocalypse and he’s apparently still an idiot afterwards.  My hope is that we’ve seen the last of Josiah because I really don’t want to have to spend another episode listening to him whine about his dead brother.  Instead, I hope future episodes will take us back into The Tower and the world of Strand.  Colman Domingo only appeared for a few minutes in the latest episode but he owned every one of them.

Finally, it appears that there are still some atomic warheads that were not set off during the previous season.  And I guess the Stalkers now have one of them.  That’s probably not a good thing.

TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead 7.3 “Cindy Hawkins” (dir by Ron Underwood)


I finally watched the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead earlier today and, believe it or not, I’ve actually come to like this show.

Considering that I originally stopped watching Fear the Walking Dead because I got bored with it during its first season, I’m as surprised as anyone to realize that the seventh season of Fear The Walking Dead has won me over.  But what can I say?  The first three episodes of the show’s final season have been so weird that it’s been impossible not to enjoy them.  Everything, from the radiation-scarred landscape to Colman Domingo’s wonderfully odd performance as Strand, has come together to make this show a rather lively look at a world dominated by the walking dead.  It also helps, of course, that most of the boring characters from season one are no longer on the show.  AMC figured out that audiences didn’t care about an emergency room doctor and her drug addict son.  They cared about Morgan and nuclear fallout.

Morgan showed up during the final minutes of the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead, just long enough to discover that two of his allies had been, depending on how you look at it, either rescued or abducted by Strand.  He and Strand had a little argument over the radio.  Strand says that he’s going to remake the world, something that Morgan could never figure out how to do.  Morgan and Strand both appear to be batshit insane, which is what made the scene so compelling.  Would you want to live in a world created by either of them?

The majority of the episode revolved around John Dorie (Keith Carradine) and his daughter-in-law, June (Jenna Elfman), living in an underground bunker.  (Before I go any further, I should mention that is the first season of Fear the Walking Dead that I’ve regularly watched since the first one.  So, if I misinterpret anything that was established in a previous season, feel free to correct me in the comments but be kind about it.)  The bunker was formerly the lair of Teddy, who I assume was a serial killer who John pursued and framed during his previous life as a cop.  With June insisting that it was too dangerous to leave the bunker and John suffering from DTS, John became very interested in a hidden room that he and June discovered in the bunker.  The room was where Teddy used to embalm his victims and John soon found himself having conversations with the spirit of one of his victims, Cindy Hawkins.  Cindy’s body was never recovered and John became obsessed with finding it.  Apparently, he made a promise to Cindy’s mother,  The fact that Cindy’s mother was probably dead either as a result of zombies or radiation did not seem to matter with John.

The show left it ambiguous as to whether or not Cindy’s spirit was real or just a product of John’s delirious state.  But ultimately, it didn’t matter whether or not Cindy’s spirit was real.  Cindy was a symbol.  Finding Cindy’s body would bring John some sort of peace.  It would be a sign that there was still a place for men like John in the world of the walking dead.  Keith Carradine did a great job of portraying John’s torment and his single-minded determination to find some shred of hope, even while trapped in a combination of a zombie and a nuclear apocalypse.

It was a good episode, full of enjoyably weird imagery and distinguished by fine performance from both Keith Carradine and Jenna Elfman.  Both John and June ended the episode as guests of Strand.  Hopefully, they’ll both survive.  It’d be a shame for either one of them to exit the season early.

Insomnia File #50: Zola (dir by Janicza Bravo)


What’s an Insomnia File? You know how some times you just can’t get any sleep and, at about three in the morning, you’ll find yourself watching whatever you can find on cable or Netflix? This feature is all about those insomnia-inspired discoveries!

If you were having trouble getting to sleep around two a.m. on Monday morning, you could have turned over to Showtime 2’s west coast feed and watched Zola.

Zola tells the story of Zola (Taylor Paige), a Detroit waitress and part-time stripper who is invited to go down to Florida by another stripper, Stefani (Riley Keough).  Stefani assures Zola that they’re just going to have a good time and make some money dancing in the clubs.  Instead, it turns out that they’re going to Florida with Stefani’s roommate, X (Colman Domingo, showing compelling flashes of charisma and danger), and her simple-minded but loyal boyfriend, Derrek (Nicholas Braun).  It also turns out that X is actually a Nigerian named Abegunde Olawale and that he is Stefani’s pimp.  It doesn’t take long for Zola to grow annoyed with everyone else on the road trip but, unfortunately, she’s already stuck in Tampa with them.  That’s the problem with going on a road trips with perfect strangers.  The trip grows stranger and more violent with each passing hour.  In fact, it gets so strange that, when Zola eventually tells her story on twitter, the thread goes viral.  And then this movie is made, with a disclaimer that states that most of the story is based on fact.

Zola made quite a splash when it premiered at Sundance in 2020.  Audiences either loved or hated its extreme stylization and rather crass cast of characters.  While the film was originally scheduled to be released in 2020, that release was delayed by the COVID pandemic.  At a time when people were scared to go outside and be near even their closest relatives or friends, I guess someone decided that it wasn’t the right time to release a movie about going on a cramped road trip with two morons and a psychotic pimp.  The film was finally released earlier this year.  It got good critical notices, though audiences seemed to be slightly less enamored with it.

Speaking for myself, I was both impressed and annoyed with Zola.  On the one hand, you have to respect a film that’s willing to run the risk of alienating the audience in order to tell its story.  Zola is violent, vulgar, and frequently funny.  It’s also frequently disturbing, with Zola continually finding herself in a bad situation from which she can’t escape.  Taylour Paige brings a lot of inner strength to the role of Zola.  When Zola gets annoyed, she doesn’t hide it.  When Zola says she’s not going to do something, she means it and she says it with such confidence that even X respects her.  She and Stefani also have an interesting relationship, one that will ring true to anyone who has ever had that one friend who simply cannot stop messing up her life.  The film embraces its characters and their activities, refusing to pass judgment or to sentimentalize.  You have to admire the film’s commitment.  At the same time, the film is occasionally a bit annoying.  It’s so extremely stylized and Stefani is so loud and crass that it can sometimes be tough to take.  This is a film that benefits from being watched at home as opposed to in theater, if just because you can hit pause whenever you feel a migraine starting to come on.  (Poor Zola, meanwhile, is stuck in the back of X’s car, listening to Stefani and Derreck and realizing that she’s pretty much stuck with all of them.)  Zola was produced and distributed by A24 and it is indeed very much an A24 film, loud, frustrating, paranoia-inducing, and occasionally compelling.

Zola is only 90 minutes long but it packs a lot into those minutes.  It’s not a boring film.  At the same time, it’s never quite as subversive as something like Spring Breakers.  Instead, it’s just an energetic recreation of the road trip from Hell.

Previous Insomnia Files:

  1. Story of Mankind
  2. Stag
  3. Love Is A Gun
  4. Nina Takes A Lover
  5. Black Ice
  6. Frogs For Snakes
  7. Fair Game
  8. From The Hip
  9. Born Killers
  10. Eye For An Eye
  11. Summer Catch
  12. Beyond the Law
  13. Spring Broke
  14. Promise
  15. George Wallace
  16. Kill The Messenger
  17. The Suburbans
  18. Only The Strong
  19. Great Expectations
  20. Casual Sex?
  21. Truth
  22. Insomina
  23. Death Do Us Part
  24. A Star is Born
  25. The Winning Season
  26. Rabbit Run
  27. Remember My Name
  28. The Arrangement
  29. Day of the Animals
  30. Still of The Night
  31. Arsenal
  32. Smooth Talk
  33. The Comedian
  34. The Minus Man
  35. Donnie Brasco
  36. Punchline
  37. Evita
  38. Six: The Mark Unleashed
  39. Disclosure
  40. The Spanish Prisoner
  41. Elektra
  42. Revenge
  43. Legend
  44. Cat Run
  45. The Pyramid
  46. Enter the Ninja
  47. Downhill
  48. Malice
  49. Mystery Date

What If Oscar Season Started And No One Noticed, Part 2: Here Are The Gotham Award Nominations


As a sign of how wrapped up I am in this year’s Horrorthon, consider this: the 2021 Gotham Nominations — the first precursor of Awards Season! — were announced on Thursday and I totally missed them!  This is actually not the first year that this has happened.  October is a busy month for me and sometimes, the Gotham noms get missed.

The Gothams, of course, only honor independent films and they have pretty strict rules as far as what they consider to be independent.  The budget has to come in at a certain relatively low amount, for one thing.  So, as a result, a lot of Oscar nominees are not Gotham eligible.  But, at the same time, those Gotham rules also allow some films that otherwise might get overlooked a chance to get some precursor love.  Being nominated for a Gotham is hardly a guarantee that the Academy will remember you.  But it certainly doesn’t hurt.

Better late than never, here are the 2021 Gotham Nominations!  As you’ll notice, the Gotham’s performance awards are gender neutral.  This is the first year that the Gothams have done this.  They also added categories for supporting performances and best performance in a series.

Anyway, here are the nominees:

Best Feature
“The Green Knight”
“The Lost Daughter”
“Passing”
“Pig”
“Test Pattern”

Best Documentary Feature
“Ascension”
“Faya Dayi”
“Flee”
“President”
“Summer Of Soul (…Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”

Best International Feature
“Azor”
“Drive My Car”
“The Souvenir Part II”
Titane
“What Do We See When We Look at the Sky?”
“The Worst Person In The World”

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Maggie Gyllenhaal for “The Lost Daughter”
Edson Oda for “Nine Days”
Rebecca Hall for “Passing”
Emma Seligman for “Shiva Baby”
Shatara Michelle Ford for “Test Pattern”

Best Screenplay
“The Card Counter,” Paul Schrader
“El Planeta,” Amalia Ulman
“The Green Knight,” David Lowery
“The Lost Daughter,” Maggie Gyllenhaal
“Passing,” Rebecca Hall
“Red Rocket,” Sean Baker & Chris Bergoch

Outstanding Lead Performance
Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter”
Frankie Faison in “The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain”
Michael Greyeyes in “Wild Indian”
Brittany S. Hall in “Test Pattern”
Oscar Isaac in “The Card Counter”
Taylour Paige in “Zola”
Joaquin Phoenix in “C’mon C’mon”
Simon Rex in “Red Rocket”
Lili Taylor in “Paper Spiders”
Tessa Thompson in “Passing”

Outstanding Supporting Performance
Reed Birney in “Mass”
Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter”
Colman Domingo in “Zola”
Gaby Hoffmann in “C’mon C’mon”
Troy Kotsur in “CODA”
Marlee Matlin in “CODA”
Ruth Negga in “Passing”

Breakthrough Performer
Emilia Jones in “CODA”
Natalie Morales in “Language Lessons”
Rachel Sennott in Shiva Baby”
Suzanna Son in “Red Rocket”
Amalia Ulman in “El Planeta”

Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes)
“The Good Lord Bird”
“It’s A Sin”
“Small Axe”
“Squid Game”
“The Underground Railroad”
“The White Lotus”

Breakthrough Series – Short Format (under 40 minutes)
“Blindspotting”
“Hacks”
“Reservation Dogs”
“Run the World”
“We Are Lady Parts”

Breakthrough Nonfiction Series
“City So Real”
“Exterminate All the Brutes”
“How To with John Wilson”
“Philly D.A.”
“Pride”

Outstanding Performance in a New Series
Jennifer Coolidge in “The White Lotus”
Michael Greyeyes in “Rutherford Falls”
Ethan Hawke in “The Good Lord Bird”
Devery Jacobs in “Reservation Dogs”
Lee Jung-jae in “Squid Game”
Thuso Mbedu in “The Underground Railroad”
Jean Smart in “Hacks”
Omar Sy in “Lupin”
Anya Taylor-Joy in “The Queen’s Gambit”
Anjana Vasan in “We Are Lady Parts”

Horror TV Review: Fear the Walking Dead 7.1 “The Beacon” (dir by Michael E. Stratazemis)


Reviewing Fear The Walking Dead’s seventh and final season is going to be difficult for me.

You have to understand that I’ve only seen a few episodes of Fear The Walking Dead. I watched the first two or three episodes of the first season. Then I got bored. I tried to watch the second season. I got bored. I was determined to watch the third season but I changed my mind halfway through the season premiere. Again, I got bored Seasons 4, 5, and 6, I didn’t even try. I was exhausted with zombies and, even more importantly, I was exhausted with the world of The Walking Dead.

But I am going to try to watch season 7 because it’s the final season. With both The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead reaching their conclusions, a pop cultural era is coming to an end. And so, despite not having the slightest idea what’s going on or who the majority of the characters, I’m going to attempt to watch and review Fear The Walking Dead.

Fear the Walking Dead‘s seventh season premiered last Sunday. I only got around to watching it today because I may be determined but I’m not particularly enthusiastic. “What,” I asked myself, “can this show possibly provide me with that The Walking Dead and countless other zombie films haven’t?”

As if to answer my question, Fear the Walking Dead opened with several atomic warheads exploding. Certainly, there have been other zombie films that have opened with nuclear bombs going off. Fear the Walking Dead, though, may be the first television show to do so at the start of its seventh season. On the one hand, the people incinerated did not return as walkers. However, those who died of radiation poisoning did. Seriously, that’s a terrifying through. Radiation poisoning is a bad enough way to die without spending the entire time knowing that, once you do die, you’re going to return as a zombie.

The majority of the show’s regular cast did not appear in the first episode, which was fine with me since I don’t really don’t know who any of them are. Instead, the episode centered around Strand (Colman Domingo), a regular character who had kind of set himself up as a warlord over the radioactive landscape and Will (Gus Halper), a wanderer who was eventually picked up by Strand’s men. At first, Strand had little use for Will but then Strand discovered that Will knew Alicia. I, of course, don’t know Alicia but this is all stuff for which I’ll have a better understanding after a few episodes. What’s important is that it was obvious that Alicia was important to Strand.

Fortunately, I didn’t really need to understand all of the backstory in order to enjoy this episode. The Beacon, as the premiere was entitled, was a visual triumph, with the nuclear hellscape becoming as important of a character as either Strand or Will. The inevitable battle between Will, Strand, and a group of walkers was also nicely handled, with the shadowy walkers emerging from a dark mist in a style that brought to mind John Carpenter’s The Fog. In this episode, the walkers were frightening in a way that they rarely were in the recent episodes of The Walking Dead.

As for Strand and Will, Domingo and Halper did a good job playing opposite each other. They’re both intriguing characters. Unfortunately, the script was full of clunky dialogue, which seems to be an issue on all of the shows that make up The Walking Dead universe. Still, the episode was visually impressive and well-acted so I’m going to continue to watch the final season of Fear The Walking Dead and, after a few more episodes, I will hopefully actually know what’s going on.

The Black Reel Awards Honor Judas and the Black Messiah


The 2020 winners of the Black Reel Awards have been announced, with Judas and the Black Messiah taking the prize for best film.

Here are all the nominees and winners:

OUTSTANDING MOTION PICTURE
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SOUL

OUTSTANDING ACTOR
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
CHADWICK BOSEMAN – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
DELROY LINDO – DA 5 BLOODS
ROB MORGAN – BULL
LAKEITH STANFIELD – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS
NICOLE BEHARIE – MISS JUNETEENTH
VIOLA DAVIS – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ANDRA DAY – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
TESSA THOMPSON – SYLVIE’S LOVE
ZENDAYA – MALCOLM & MARIE

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
REGINA KING – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SHAKA KING – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
SPIKE LEE – DA 5 BLOODS
CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES – MISS JUNETEENTH

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
CHADWICK BOSEMAN – DA 5 BLOODS
COLMAN DOMINGO – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ALDIS HODGE – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
DANIEL KALUUYA – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
LESLIE ODOM JR. – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
ALEXIS CHIKAEZE – MISS JUNETEENTH
DOMINIQUE FISHBACK – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
KIKI LAYNE – THE OLD GUARD
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS – THE HIGH NOTE
GABOUREY SIDIBE – ANTEBELLUM

OUTSTANDING SCREENPLAY
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – RADHA BLANK
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH – WILL BERSON & SHAKA KING
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM – RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – KEMP POWERS
SOUL – PETE DOCTER, MIKE JONES & KEMP POWERS

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY
JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
MLK/FBI
TIME
THE WAY I SEE IT

OUTSTANDING FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
HIS HOUSE
NIGHT OF THE KINGS
THE LIFE AHEAD

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
MISS JUNETEENTH
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

OUTSTANDING VOICE PERFORMANCE
ANGELA BASSETT – SOUL
JAMIE FOXX – SOUL
MAYA RUDOLPH – THE WILLOUGHBYS
OCTAVIA SPENCER – ONWARD
PHYLICIA RASHAD – SOUL

OUTSTANDING SCORE
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – GUY C. ROUTTE
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY – JOHN DEBNEY
THE PHOTOGRAPH – ROBERT GLASPER
SOUL – TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS & JON BATISTE
SYLVIE’S LOVE – FABRICE LECOMTE

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
FIGHT FOR YOU – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MAKE IT WORK – JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
POVERTY PORN – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
SPEAK NOW – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TIGRESS & TWEED – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT FEATURE
AMERICAN SKIN
FAREWELL AMOR
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
MISS JUNETEENTH
SYLVIE’S LOVE

OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM
BROTHER
CANVAS
THE CYPHER
GRAB MY HAND: A LETTER TO MY DAD
THE PANDEMIC CHRONICLES

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY
MR. SOUL!
THE SIT-IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW
WITH DRAWN ARMS

OUTSTANDING EMERGING DIRECTOR
EUGENE ASHE – SYLVIE’S LOVE
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
REGINA KING – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SHAKA KING – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES – MISS JUNETEENTH

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, MALE
YAHYA ABDUL-MANTEEN II – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
DUSAN BROWN – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ELI GOREE – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
NTARE MWINE – FAREWELL AMOR

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, FEMALE
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
ALEXIS CHIKAEZE – MISS JUNETEENTH
ANDRA DAY – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
DOMINIQUE FISHBACK – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
ZENDAYA – MALCOLM & MARIE

OUTSTANDING FIRST SCREENPLAY
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – RADHA BLANK
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM – RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON
MISS JUNETEENTH – CHANNING PEOPLES GODFREY
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – KEMP POWERS
SYLVIE’S LOVE – EUGENE ASHE

OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MALCOLM & MARIE
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TENET

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SYLVIE’S LOVE
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TENET