Here Are The Oscar Winners!


Best Picture — Parasite

Best Director — Bong Joon-ho for Parasite

Best Actor — Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Best Actress — Renee Zellweger, Judy

Best Supporting Actor — Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress — Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Best Original Screenplay — Parasite

Best Adapted Screenplay — JoJo Rabbit

Best Animated Feature Film — Toy Story 4

Best International Feature Film — Parasite

Best Documentary Feature Film — American Factory

Best Documentary Short Subject — Leaning to Skate In A Warzone (If You’re A Girl)

Best Live Action Short Subject — The Neighbors’ Widow

Best Animated Short Film — Hair Love

Best Original Score — Joker

Best Original Song — Rocketman

Best Sound Editing — Ford v Ferrari

Best Sound Mixing — 1917

Best Production Design — Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Cinematography — 1917

Best Makeup and Hairstyling — Bombshell

Best Costume Design — Little Women

Best Editing — Ford v Ferrari

Best Visual Effects — 1917

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions For Sunday Night


The Oscars are tomorrow and I guess that means that it’s time for me to post my predictions for what will win at the big ceremony on Sunday night!

So, without further ado:

Best Picture — 1917

Best Director — Sam Mendes for 1917

Best Actor — Joaquin Phoenix in Joker

Best Actress — Renee Zellweger in Judy

Best Supporting Actor — Brad Pitt in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress — Laura Dern in Marriage Story

Best Original Screenplay — Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Adapted Screenplay — Taika Waititi , JoJo Rabbit

Best Animated Feature Film — Klaus

Best International Feature Film — Parasite

Best Documentary Feature — American Factory

Best Live Action Short Film — Nefta Football Club

Best Animated Short Film — Sister

Best Documentary Short Subject — Learning To Skateboard In A War Zone (If You’re A Girl)

Best Original Score — 1917

Best Original Song — (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again from Rocketman

Best Sound Editing — Ford v Ferrari

Best Sound Mixing — Ford v Ferrari

Best Production Design — Parasite

Best Cinematography — 1917

Best Makeup and Hair Styling — Joker

Best Costume Design — Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Editing — Parasite

Best Visual Effects — The Irishman

Ford v Ferrari (dir. by James Mangold)


fordvferrari posterIt’s rare for me to say that I enjoyed a film so much that I didn’t want it to end, but James Mangold’s Ford v. Ferrari hits all the right notes. A fantastic cast, impressive visuals on the races, scenes that flow without any time wasted and sound that begs to be heard on a surround system. It’s no surprise that the film earned Four Oscar Nominations – Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing and Best Picture, all of which are well deserved. If the lineup this year wasn’t so stacked, I’d say that Ford v Ferrari would score quite a bit. It can go any way, but It may end up like The Shawshank Redemption – A great film that could be eclipsed by giants.

Based on a true story, Ford v. Ferrari focuses on the Ford Motor Company in the mid 60’s, down on its luck and looking for a way to stay ahead of the game. Henry Ford II, played by a scene stealing Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), asks his workers to come up with an idea. A young Lee Iacoccoa  (Jon Bernthal, The Punisher) feels the best way to do so is to attempt to win the famed 24 hour race at Le Mans in France. The LeMans is dominated by Ferrari, who hand manufactures their machines to be legends in the racing circuit. If Ford could win, it would put them in a better light to consumers, but winning requires more than just a fast car.

Ford enlists the help of Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon, The Martian), along with his brash and skillful driver, Ken Miles (Christian Bale, 3:10 to Yuma), Ken has a few issues getting along with others, but his knowledge of cars is brilliant. Shelby continuously goes to bat for Miles, who isn’t exactly poster boy material in the eyes of Ford.  Together, they work on building a competitive vehicle. The poster may suggest the story is about the cars, but at its heart, I felt that Ford v. Ferrari was more about the friendship between Shelby and Miles than anything else. Their mutual love of cars and racing is what ties it all together.

When it comes to the technical points of racing, Ford v Ferrari’s script doesn’t ask you to know much about cars going in. Just about everything you need to about the LeMans and the abilities of the cars is explained through the characters over time. Car gurus may find areas where liberties are taken, but casual watchers should find themselves entertained.

Kudos goes out to the casting for Ford v. Ferrari. Josh Lucas (Poseidon) plays the heavy in the film as a Ford businessman who would love to see Miles out of the spotlight. Caitriona Balfe (Starz’ Outlander) has some good moments with Bale as Miles’ wife, Mollie, though she happens to be the only woman in the film with many lines. Given that the story takes place in the 1960s and its guys building cars, it made sense. Playing Miles son, Peter, Noah Jupe (Honey Boy, A Quiet Place) is that character that helps the audience understand the nuances of racing. I kind of wish Bernthal had more to do here, but he’s cool when he’s on screen and carries his weight easily.

The film belongs to Damon and Bale, though. Damon’s Shelby is full of attitude. He knows what he wants to get done, what needs to happen and just does it. Damon carries this with ease, and it’s easy to forget that the actor is there at times (for me, anyway). Bale does the same, but is on a different level, with his Ken Miles being both focused and a little wild, perhaps even cynical. There’s a great mix of comedy and drama between the two actors.

The sound quality of Ford v. Ferrari is amazing. If you had the chance to see it in the cinema, consider yourself lucky. The rev of the engines are crisp, the shifting the of gears sublime. I’d be somewhat shocked if the film doesn’t walk away with the Sound Mixing / Sound Editing Oscars. From a visual standpoint, the races themselves offer some nice tracking shots, though there may be one or two scenes that particularly stand out.

Mangold and Phedon Papamichael (his Director of Photography for Walk the Line) perform some interesting tricks with the camera. With the races themselves, the cuts are smooth. You have dynamic tracking shots of cars  in some cases while others are lit enough to be comfortable. One of my favorite scenes involves a play on shadows that makes it appear like you’re watching a race, complete with the sound of the cars in the background. It’s subtle touches like that make me wonder why it wasn’t nominated for Best Cinematography. I should also note that for a 2:30 minute film, it flies by. I found very few (if any) moments where I felt a scene wasn’t particularly needed to push the narrative along. You can thank Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow) for that screenplay.

I can’t say I have any real problems with Ford v Ferrari. Overall, it’s an entertaining film right from the start that gets you into the story and behind the wheel.

After Last Night, 1917 is your new Oscar front runner!


There were a lot of very important awards given out last night and suddenly, the Oscar race has become much, much clearer.  Yes, Parasite is a big contender and it’s certainly a big deal that it won at SAG.  It’ll probably win quite a few Oscars.  But, as of right now, the front runner for best picture is clearly 1917.

Not only has 1917 won the PGA award but, last night, Sam Mendes won the DGA.  1917 is coming on strong and it’s late release date is definitely working in its favor.  It came out just in time to wow the Oscar voters but also late enough that there wasn’t time for any sort of backlash to develop against it.  If I had to guess now, I’d say that 1917 is going to win Best Picture and we can at least take comfort in the fact that it’s better than the last Sam Mendes film that won.

Anyway, instead of doing like 30 different posts for each group that met last night, here’s a quick rundown:

The DGA (Director’s Guild of America) — Sam Mendes won Best Director for 1917.  Honey Boy’s Alma Har’el won for Best First Time Director.  The documentary award went to Steven Bogner and Julia Reichert for American Factory.

Annie Awards (Animation) — Klaus won Best Feature.  I Lost My Body won best indie feature.

ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) — Roger Deakins for 1917

USC Scripter Awards (Adapted Screenplay) — Greta Gerwig for Little Women

CAS (Cinema Audio Society) — Best Feature went to Ford v. Ferrari.  Best Animated Feature went to Toy Story 4.  Best Documentary Feature was won by Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound.

So, for all you people making your Oscar bets — well, who knows?  Listen, the Oscars are unpredictable.  GREEN BOOK WON LAST YEAR, PEOPLE!  So, anything’s possible.  One thing to remember is that Best Picture is determined by a preferential voting system so it’s a close race between two films, it could easily be everyone’s second choice that wins.  And that could mean an upset victory for something like Ford v Ferrari or even Little Women.

But, as for right now, 1917 is the front runner.

Ford v Ferrari races through the Satellite Awards!


Did you know that the winners of the Satellite Awards were announced yesterday?

Yeah, I didn’t know either!

I mean, seriously, what the Hell?

Anyway, it turns out that they really liked Ford v Ferrari so, if Ford v Ferrari gets a best picture nomination, you now know who to thank.

Here’s the winners!  If you want to check out the nominees, click here!

Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story

Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Christian Bale – Ford v Ferrari

Actress in Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Awkwafina – The Farewell

Actor in Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Taron Egerton – Rocketman

Actress in a Supporting Role
Jennifer Lopez –  Hustlers

Actor in a Supporting Role
Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse

Motion Picture, Drama
Ford v Ferrari – Twentieth Century Fox

Motion Picture, Comedy or Musical
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Columbia Pictures

Motion Picture, International
Estonia – Truth and Justice

Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media
The Lion King – Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Motion Picture, Documentary
63 Up – BritBox

Director
James Mangold – Ford v Ferrari

Screenplay, Original
Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach

Screenplay, Adapted
Joker – Todd Phillips & Scott Silver

Original Score
Joker – Hildur Guonadottir

Original Song
Rocketman – “I’m Gonna Love Me Again”

Cinematography
1917 – Roger Deakins

Visual Effects
Alita: Battle Angel – Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon

Film Editing
Ford v Ferrari – Michael McCusker, ACE & Andrew Buckland

Sound (Editing and Mixing)
Ford v Ferrari – Donald Sylvester, Paul Massey, David Giammarco, Steven A. Morrow, CAS

Art Direction and Production Design
Motherless Brooklyn – Beth Mickle, Michael Ahern

Costume Design
Dolemite Is My Name – Ruth E. Carter

The North Texas Film Critics Association Selects The Irishman As The Best of 2019!


The North Texas Film Critics Association announced their picks for the best of 2019 earlier today.  Speaking as a North Texas film critic, I’m a bit annoyed that I wasn’t consulted but oh well!  (To quote King of the Hill, “North Texas?  More like South Oklahoma!”)  Here are their winners:

BEST FILM

Winner: THE IRISHMAN

Runners-up: 1917; PARASITE; THE FAREWELL; MARRIAGE STORY; JOJO RABBIT; THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON; A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD; ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD; FORD V FERRARI; JOKER

BEST ACTOR

Winner: Joaquin Phoenix, JOKER

Runners-up: Robert De Niro, THE IRISHMAN; Adam Driver, MARRIAGE STORY; Adam Sandler, UNCUT GEMS and Leonardo DiCaprio, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

BEST ACTRESS

Winner: Charlize Theron, BOMBSHELL

Runners-up: Scarlett Johansson, MARRIAGE STORY; Renée Zellweger, JUDY; Awkwafina, THE FAREWELL and Lupita Nyong’o, US

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Winner: Tom Hanks, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Runners-up: Joe Pesci, THE IRISHMAN; Brad Pitt, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD; Al Pacino, THE IRISHMAN and Song Kang-Ho, PARASITE

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Winner: Zhao Shuzhen, THE FAREWELL

Runners-up: Laura Dern, MARRIAGE STORY; Scarlett Johansson, JOJO RABBIT; Kathy Bates, RICHARD JEWELL and Annette Bening, THE REPORT

BEST DIRECTOR

Winner: Sam Mendes, 1917

Runners-up: Martin Scorsese, THE IRISHMAN; Quentin Tarantino, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD; Noah Baumbach, MARRIAGE STORY and Lulu Wang, THE FAREWELL

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Winner: PARASITE (South Korea)

Runners-up: PAIN AND GLORY (Spain) and LES MISÉRABLES (France)

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Winner: APOLLO 11

Runners-up: AMERICAN FACTORY; ONE CHILD NATION; DAVID CROSBY: REMEMBER MY NAME and ROLLING THUNDER REVUE: A BOB DYLAN STORY

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Winner: TOY STORY 4

Runners-up: ABOMINABLE and HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Winner: Roger Deakins, 1917,

Runner-ups: Jarin Blaschke, THE LIGHTHOUSE; Rodrigo Prieto, THE IRISHMAN; Hoyte Van Hoytema, AD ASTRA; Robert Richardson, ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD and Phedon Papamichael, FORD V FERRARI

BEST NEWCOMER

Winner: Roman Griffin Davis was awarded Best Newcomer for JOJO RABBIT

GARY MURRAY AWARD (Best Ensemble)

Winner: KNIVES OUT

Here Are The Eddie Nominations!


The SAG weren’t the only folks announcing their nominees today!

The American Cinema Editors (ACE) announced their Eddie nominations today, for the best edited films and television of 2019!  Here are the film nominees!

(Click here for the television nominations.)

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (DRAMA)

Ford v Ferrari
Michael McCusker, Andrew Buckland

The Irishman
Thelma Schoonmaker

Joker
Jeff Groth

Marriage Story
Jennifer Lame

Parasite
Jinmo Yang

BEST EDITED FEATURE FILM (COMEDY):

Dolemite Is My Name
Billy Fox

The Farewell
Michael Taylor, Matthew Friedman

Jojo Rabbit
Tom Eagles

Knives Out
Bob Ducsay

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Fred Raskin

BEST EDITED ANIMATED FEATURE FILM:

Frozen 2
Jeff Draheim

I Lost My Body
Benjamin Massoubre

Toy Story 4
Axel Geddes

BEST EDITED DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE):

American Factory
Lindsay Utz

Apollo 11
Todd Douglas Miller

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice
Jake Pushinsky, Heidi Scharfe

Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound
David J. Turner, Thomas G. Miller