The Nevada Film Critics Society Honors Promising Young Woman


Earlier today, The Nevada Film Critics Society announced their picks for the best of 2020–early 2021 and what’s interesting is that Nomadland didn’t win a thing.  Instead, Promising Young Woman took the awards for Best Film, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.

Meanwhile, in the supporting races, Daniel Kaluuya picked up another win for Judas and the Black Messiah while Glenn Close won for Hillbilly Elegy.  Kaluuya has been coming on strong during the latter half of this extended awards season, to the point where he’s now pretty much eclipsed other potential nominees like Paul Raci and Leslie Odom Jr..  Meanwhile, Glenn Close seems more and more likely to pick up her first Oscar with each passing day, regardless of what the overall critical response to Hillbilly Elegy may have been.

Here are the winners from Nevada:

Best Film – Promising Young Woman
Best Actor – Riz Ahmed for Sound of Metal & Anthony Hopkins for The Father (TIE)
Best Actress – Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
Best Supporting Actor – Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah
Best Supporting Actress – Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Best Director – Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Best Original Screenplay – Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Best Adapted Screenplay – Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton – The Father
Best Documentary – The Dissident
Best Animated Movie – Soul
Best Production Design – Donald Graham Burt – Mank
Best Cinematography – Hoyte van Hoytenna – Tenet
Best Visual Effects – Tenet

Here Are The SAG Nominations!


Here are the SAG nominations!  I’ll be post my thoughts under the noms because — let’s be honest, the noms are what you’re here for:

BEST ENSEMBLE
Da 5 Bloods
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Minari
One Night In Miami
The Trial Of The Chicago 7

BEST LEAD ACTOR (FEMALE)
Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces Of A Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

BEST LEAD ACTOR (MALE)
Riz Ahmed – Sound Of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Gary Oldman – Mank
Steven Yeun – Minari

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (FEMALE)
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman – The Father
Youn Yuh-Jung – Minari
Helena Zengel – News Of The World

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (MALE)
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial Of The Chicago 7
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas And The Black Messiah
Jared Leto – The Little Things
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night In Miami

BEST STUNT ENSEMBLE
Da 5 Bloods
Mulan
News of the World
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Wonder Woman 1984

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA SERIES
Better Call Saul
Bridgerton
The Crown
Lovecraft Country
Ozark

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Gillian Anderson – The Crown
Olivia Colman – The Crown
Emma Corrin – The Crown
Julia Garner – Ozark
Laura Linney – Ozark

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Jason Bateman – Ozark
Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us
Josh O’Connor – The Crown
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul
Regé-Jean Page – Bridgerton

BEST ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY SERIES
Dead To Me
The Flight Attendant
The Great
Schitt’s Creek
Ted Lasso

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Nicholas Hoult – The Great
Daniel Levy – Schitt’s Creek
Eugene Levy – Schitt’s Creek
Jason Sudekis – Ted Lasso
Ramy Youseff – Ramy

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Christina Applegate – Dead To Me
Linda Cardellini – Dead To Me
Kaley Cuoco – The Flight Attendant
Annie Murphy – Schitt’s Creek
Catherine O’Hara – Schitt’s Creek

BEST ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES
Bill Camp – The Queen’s Gambit
​Daveed Diggs – Hamilton
Hugh Grant – The Undoing
Ethan Hawke – The Good Lord Bird
Mark Ruffalo – I Know This Much Is True

BEST ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE/LIMITED SERIES
Cate Blanchett – Mrs. America
Cole – I May Destroy You
Nicole Kidman – The Undoing
Anya Taylor-Joy – The Queen’s Gambit
Kerry Washington – Little Fires Everywhere

Okay, my thoughts:

I guess the big news is that the SAG appreciated Hillbilly Elegy a bit more than the critics.  Glenn Close picking up a supporting actress nom isn’t a huge shock but I do think a few people were a bit surprised to see Amy Adams nominated.  Personally, I think Amy Adams was okay in Hillbilly Elegy but I’ll be kind of disappointed if — after all the great performance she’s given — this is the one that she picks up an Oscar for.

We all kind of laughed off Jared Leto picking up that supporting nomination from the Golden Globes but the SAG nominated him as well!  Is this a sign of momentum or just a crazy coincidence?  Either way, this doesn’t bode well for the Oscar hopes of Sound of Metal‘s Paul Raci.  Raci’s picked up a lot of critical support but getting snubbed by both the Globes and SAG doesn’t seem like a good sign.

Speaking of signs, I’m going to assume that Sidney Flanigan’s Oscar hopes are pretty much gone.  Like Raci, she seems like she would have needed either a GG or a SAG nomination to really break through.

Amanda Seyfried was not nominated.  That took me by surprise but it didn’t upset me as much as Raci getting snubbed, largely because I like Sound of Metal considerably more than Mank.

I think Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods is the overrated film of 2020 but you still have to wonder how the film could pick up a Best Ensemble nomination without also getting best actor nomination for Delroy Lindo.  Lindo was also snubbed by the Globes so again, the prospect of him getting nominated for an Oscar no longer seems like a sure thing.

Good news for Steven Yeun!  Some people were writing him off after he didn’t get a Golden Globe nomination but the SAG nomination puts him right back into the hunt.

Finally, the SAG is one of the best precursors regarding what films and performances will actually receive Oscar nominations.  So, whether or not I or anyone else agrees with all of the nominations, the nominees have to be feeling very happy right now.  Best of luck to them all!

Here Are The 78th Annual Golden Globe Nominations!


I’m totally turned off by the self-importance of the Golden Globes and I resent every time that I have to write about them.

That said, despite the fact that no one is quite sure who actually votes for the damn things and stories of corruption in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have been rampant for years, the Golden Globes have still emerged as one of the main Oscar precursors.  So, you kind of have to pay attention to them.  Bleh.

There really aren’t any huge shocks in the list of nominees below, with the exception of maybe Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor and James Corden’s Prom nomination.  I mean, if you’re that determined to nominate someone for The Prom, why would you go for James Corden as opposed to Meryl Streep?  That’s just odd.

Anyway, here are the nominations:

Best Motion Picture, Drama
“The Father”
“Mank”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
“Hamilton”
“Music”
“Palm Springs”
“The Prom”

Best Director, Motion Picture
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
David Fincher, “Mank”
Regina King, “One Night In Miami”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Kate Hudson, “Music”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “French Exit”
Rosamund Pike, “I Care a Lot”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “Emma”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Jodie Foster, “The Mauritanian”
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
Helena Zengel, “News of the World”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Gary Oldman, “Mank”
Tahar Rahim, “The Mauritanian”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
James Corden, “The Prom”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”
Dev Patel, “The Personal History of David Copperfield”
Andy Samberg, “Palm Springs”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Jared Leto, “The Little Things”
Billy Murray, “On the Rocks”
Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night In Miami”

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher, “Mank”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton, “The Father”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

Best Original Score, Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat, “The Midnight Sky”
Ludwig Göransson, “Tenet”
James Newton Howard, “News of the World”
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Mank”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste, “Soul”

Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“Fight For You,” Judas and the Black Messiah”
“Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Io Sì (Seen),” The Life Ahead”
“Speak Now,” One Night In Miami”
“Tigress & Tweed,” The United States Vs. Billie Holiday”

Best Motion Picture, Animated
“The Croods: A New Age”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
“Another Round”
“La Llorona”
“The Life Ahead”
“Minari”
“Two Of Us”

Best Television Series, Drama
“The Crown”
“Lovecraft Country”
“The Mandalorian”
“Ozark”
“Ratched”

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
“Emily in Paris”
“The Flight Attendant”
“The Great”
“Schitt’s Creek”
“Ted Lasso”

Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture made for Television
“Normal People”
“The Queen’s Gambit”
“Small Axe”
“The Undoing”
“Unorthodox”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Emma Corrin, “The Crown”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Sarah Paulson, “Ratched”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Lily Collins, “Emily In Paris”
Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”
Elle Fanning, “The Great”
Jane Levy, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Cate Blanchett, “Mrs. America”
Daisy Edgar Jones, “Normal People”
Shira Haas, “Unorthodox”
Nicole Kidman, “The Undoing”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Supporting Role
Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Cynthia Nixon, “Ratched”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Al Pacino, “Hunters”
Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”
Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”
Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Bryan Cranston, “Your Honor”
Jeff Daniels, “The Comey Rule”
Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”
Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird”
Mark Ruffalo, “I Know This Much is True”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Supporting Role
John Boyega, “Small Axe”
Brendan Gleeson, “The Comey Rule”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Jim Parsons, “Hollywood”
Donald Sutherland, “The Undoing”

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of the Hollywood Critics Association!


The Hollywood Critics Association has announced their nominees for the best of 2020!  The winners will be announced on March 5th, 2021 in a virtual ceremony.

As for the nominees, themselves, it’s pretty much more of the same.  Judas and the Black Messiah — which really wasn’t a huge factor during the December and January portion of awards season — seems to be coming on strong in the 2nd half.  In this case, it took the Best Picture spot that probably would have otherwise gone to First Cow.

Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
Da 5 Bloods
Judas and The Black Messiah
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Father
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

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

Best Supporting Actor
Bo Burnham – Promising Young Woman
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and The Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

Best Animated or VFX Performance
Ben Schwartz – Sonic the Hedgehog
Cathy Ang – Over the Moon
Honor Kneafsey – Wolfwalkers
Jamie Foxx – Soul
Tina Fey – Soul

Best Male Director
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
David Fincher – Mank
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Shaka King – Judas and The Black Messiah
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

Best Female Director
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Sofia Coppola – On the Rocks

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Abraham Marder & Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Best Adapted Screenplay
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Florian Zeller – The Father
Jonathan Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Cast Ensemble
Da 5 Bloods
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
The Prom
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best First Feature
Channing Godfrey Peoples – Miss Juneteenth
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Radha Blank – The 40-Year-Old Version
Regina King – One Night in Miami

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

Best International Film
Another Round
Bacurau
I’m No Longer Here
La Llorona
Two of Us

Best Documentary
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
Class Action Park
Dick Johnson is Dead
Time

Best Action
Bad Boys for Life
Birds of Prey
Extraction
Tenet
The Old Guard

Best Blockbuster
Birds of Prey
Sonic the Hedgehog
Tenet
The Old Guard
Wonder Woman 1984

Best Comedy/Musical
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
On the Rocks
Palm Springs
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Prom

Best Horror
Freaky
His House
Host
Relic
The Invisible Man

Best Indie Film
Black Bear
First Cow
Minari
Miss Juneteenth
Palm Springs

Best Short Film
Burrow
Canvas
Cops And Robbers
If Anything Happens, I Love You
The Heart Still Hums

Best Cinematography
Mank
News of The World
Nomadland
Tenet
The Midnight Sky

Best Stunts
Birds of Prey
Extraction
Tenet
The Old Guard
Wonder Woman 1984

Best Score
Mank
Minari
News of The World
Soul
The Midnight Sky

Best Original Song
Husavik (My Hometown) – Eurovision Song Contest
Rocket to the Moon – Over the Moon
Speak Now – One Night in Miami
Turntables – All In: The Fight for Democracy
Wear Your Crown – The Prom

Best Hair & Makeup
Birds of Prey
Hillbilly Elegy
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Promising Young Woman

Best Costume Design
Birds of Prey
Emma
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Production Design
Emma
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Prom

Best Film Editing
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Father
The Invisible Man
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Visual Effects
Birds of Prey
Sonic the Hedgehog
Tenet
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky

The Films of 2020: Hillbilly Elegy (dir by Ron Howard)


Oh, Hillbilly Elegy.

This is a film that I think a lot of people expected to be an Oscar contender because it was directed by industry favorite Ron Howard, it was based on a genuinely moving best seller, and the cast included Amy Adams and Glenn Close, two actresses who are more than overdue for their first Academy Award.  I don’t think anyone expected it to win much, largely because Ron Howard isn’t exactly the most groundbreaking director working in Hollywood, but it was still expected to be contender.

Even before it was released, there were a few signs that Hillbilly Elegy might not be the award-winning film that some were expecting.  The first images from the film featured Glenn Close and Amy Adams looking like characters from some sort of ill-conceived SNL sketch.  Then the trailer came out and it was so obviously Oscar bait-y and heavy handed that it was hard not to suspect that the film was trying just a bit too hard.  By the time the film itself finally premiered in November, I think a lot of people were specifically waiting for their chance to skewer it.

Make no mistake about it, Hillbilly Elegy deserves a certain amount of skewering.  Its a bit of a tonal mess and, far too often, it feels as if Ron Howard is inviting us to gawk at the film’s characters as opposed to showing them any sort of real empathy.  Those critics who have claimed that the film occasionally feels like “poverty porn” have a point.

And yet, despite all of those legitimate complaints, I would argue that the film is partially redeemed by the performance of Glenn Close.  Close plays Meemaw, who always seems to be carrying a lit cigarette and who has no hesitation about threating to beat the Hell out of her children and her grandchildren.  Meemaw lives in a cluttered house that probably reeks of smoke.  The TV is almost always on.  Meemaw is a fan of Arnold Schwarzenegger.  If you’ve ever wanted to hear Glenn Close say, “Hasta la vista, baby,” this is the film for you.  Meemaw is a somewhat frightening character (during one flashback, she sets her drunk husband on fire) but she’s also the most caring character in the film.  When it becomes obvious that her drug addict daughter, Bev (Amy Adams), is incapable of taking care of J.D. (played by Owen Aszatlos as a teen and Gabriel Basso as an adult), Meemaw essentially kidnaps J.D. and take him home with her.  Close’s performance is undeniably theatrical but it works.  She communicates that underneath all the bluster and the profanity and the anger and the cigarette smoke, Meemaw truly does love her family.  Glenn Close transcends the film’s flaws and brings some real heart to the story.

Hillbilly Elegy opens with J.D. as a student at Yale Law School, hoping to get accepted for a prestigious summer internship.  Meanwhile, all the other Ivy Leaguers treat J.D. like some sort of alien on display because he’s originally from Kentucky, he served in the army, and he went to a state school.  Though ambitious and intelligent, J.D. still feels likes an outsider.  When he goes to a banquet and discovers that he’ll be required to use different forks throughout the meal, he calls his girlfriend (Frieda Pinto) and gets a quick lesson on which fork to use when.

Unfortunately, before the meal even starts, J.D. gets a call from his sister, Lindsay (Haley Bennett), telling him that Bev has overdosed on heroin and is at the hospital.  J.D. has to drive all the way to Ohio so that he can try to get his mother into a drug rehab.  Because Bev doesn’t have medical insurance and would rather just stay with her good-for-nothing boyfriend, that turns out to be a bit more difficult than J.D. was anticipating.  The film becomes a race against time to see if J.D. can get his mom taken care of and still make it back to Connecticut so that he can interview for a prestigious internship.  Along the way, there are frequent flashbacks to Meemaw telling the young J.D. that he can be something better than just a hillbilly.  All he has to do is try and not give up.

By structuring his film as a series of flashbacks, Ron Howard ensures that there’s really not any suspense about whether or not J.D. is going to be able to escape from Appalachia.  Since we’ve already seen that the adult J.D. is going to be end up going to Yale, it’s hard to get worried when we see the teen J.D. smoking weed and hanging out with a bunch of losers.  We know that J.D. is going to get over his adolescent rebellion and get his life straightened out.  The film tries to create some tension about whether or not J.D. is going to be able to make his internship interview but, again, J.D. is going to Yale and living with Frieda Pinto.  From the minute we see J.D., we know that he’s going to be just fine regardless of whether he gets that internship or not.  In fact, his constant worrying about missing his interview starts to feel a bit icky.  While Bev is dealing with her heroin addiction, Ron Howard is focusing on J.D. driving back to Connecticut as if the audience is supposed to be saying, “Oh my God, has he at least reached New Jersey yet!?”  This is the type of storytelling choice that could only have been made by a very wealthy and very comfortable director.  It reminded me a bit of The Post and Steve Spielberg’s conviction that, when it came to the decision to publish the Pentagon Papers, audiences would naturally be more interested in the owner of the newspaper than the people who actually did the work breaking the story.  Here, Howard seems to be saying, “Yes, Bev might overdose and die having never reconciled with her son but the real tragedy is that J.D. might have to settle for his second choice as far as prestigious summer internships are concerned.”

Along with the story’s structural issues, the film also suffers because the usually wonderful Amy Adams is miscast as Bev.  Adams acts up a storm as Bev but the performance itself a bit too obvious and on-the-surface.  While Glenn Close disappears into the role of Meemaw, you never forget that you’re watching Amy Adams playing a character who is a bit more troubled than the usual Amy Adams role.  You don’t think to yourself, “Oh my God, Bev is losing it.”  Instead, you think, “Amy Adams sure is yelling a lot in this movie.”  Somehow, Hillbilly Elegy makes Amy Adams feel inauthentic, which is something that, before I watched this film, I wouldn’t have believed to be be possible.

Aside from Glenn Close’s performance, Hillbilly Elegy doesn’t quite work and that’s a shame because I do think that a good film could have been made from Vance’s book.  Unfortunately, Ron Howard doesn’t bring any sort of grittiness to the film’s depiction of what it’s like to be poor and forgotten in America.  Instead, the film feels just a bit too slick.  It attempts to be both a film about poverty and a crowd pleaser.  When the movie should be showing empathy for its characters, it puts them on display.  When it should be challenging the audience, it pats us on the back as if we should feel proud of ourselves merely because we spent two hours watching J.D. and his family.  The film just doesn’t work.  No wonder Meemaw prefers watching The Terminator.

The Music City Film Critics Honor Promising Young Woman


Awards season continues!

Yesterday, the Music City Film Critics (that’s Nashville) announced their picks for the best of 2020!  They honored Promising Young Woman as Best Picture and Carey Mulligan for Best Actress.  Otherwise, the awards pretty much went to the usual suspects.  Chloe Zhao for Best Director.  Sacha Baron Cohen for Best Supporting Actor and Chadwick Boseman for Best Actor.  (I’m not looking forward to having to sit through any Oscar speeches from Sacha Baron Cohen so let’s hope the Academy is more impressed by either Boseman, Paul Raci, or Bill Murray.)  Aaron Sorkin picked up an award for his screenplay.  Same old, same old.  But at least the great Carey Mulligan got some recognition.

Here are the winners!

BEST FILM
Da 5 Bloods
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Father
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
David Fincher – Mank
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Florian Zeller – The Father
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

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

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

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bill Burr – The King of Staten Island
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (TIE)
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (TIE)
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari (TIE)

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Da 5 Bloods
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night in Miami…
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Onward (dir. Dan Scanlon)
Over the Moon (dir. Glen Keane)
Scoob! (dir. Tony Cervone)
Soul (dir. Pete Docter)
Wolfwalkers (dir. Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Another Round (dir. Thomas Vinterberg)
Bacurau (dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles)
Collective (dir. Alexander Nanau)
I’m No Longer Here (dir. Fernando Frías)
​The Platform (dir. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Collective (dir. Alexander Nanau)
Dick Johnson is Dead (dir. Kirsten Johnson)
The Social Dilemma (dir. Jeff Orlowski)
Time (dir. Garrett Bradley)
You Cannot Kill David Arquette (dir. David Darg & Price James)

BEST SCREENPLAY
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman)
Mank (Jack Fincher)
Minari (Lee Isaac Chung)
Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin)

BEST SONG
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – “Hear My Voice”
Eurovision Song Contest – “Husavik (My Hometown)”
Trolls: World Tour – “Just Sing”
Over the Moon – “Rocket to the Moon”
One Night in Miami… – “Speak Now”
Tenet – “The Plan”

BEST SCORE
Minari (Emile Mosseri)
Tenet (Ludwig Göransson)
Da 5 Bloods (Terence Blanchard)
Mank (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)
Soul (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Da 5 Bloods (Newton Thomas Sigel)
Mank (Erik Messerschmidt)
News of the World (Dariusz Wolski)
Nomadland (Joshua James Richards)
Tenet (Hoyte van Hoytema)

BEST EDITING
Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)
Mank (Kirk Baxter)
Tenet (Jennifer Lame)
The Father (Yorgos Lamprinos)
The Invisible Man (Andy Canny) (TIE)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Alan Baumgarten) (TIE)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Mank (Donald Graham Burt)
Emma. (Kave Quinn)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Mark Ricker)
Da 5 Bloods (Wynn Thomas)
The Personal History of David Copperfield (Christina Casali)

The Jim Ridley Award
Awarded to Nashville musician William Tyler for his score for First Cow

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions For December


In a normal year, this would be my final Oscar prediction post.  All of the critics groups and the Golden Globes and the SAG would have, by this point, painted a pretty clear picture of what and who was going to be nominated in January.  However, as we all know, 2020 was not a normal year and we’ve still got another two months to go until the 2020 awards season comes to its climax.

Though a few regional groups have announced their picks for the best of 2020, most of the major precursors are delaying announcing their picks in order to better influence the Academy in February.  Of the major groups, only the LAFCA stuck to their usual December schedule and they proceeded to honor Small Axe, which will probably not even be submitted for Oscar consideration.

That said, I still think the Oscar picture has cleared up a bit.  Hillbilly Elegy is no longer contender, beyond maybe Glenn Close.  Mank is a contender but probably not the powerhouse that many of us were expecting.  Nomadland and First Cow appear to coming on strong.  The Trial of the Chicago 7 will probably receive some Academy love, even if it hasn’t exactly overwhelmed the critics.

I feel good about these predictions below.  If you want to see how my thinking has evolved, check out my predictions for January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November!

Best Picture

Da 5 Bloods

The Father

First Cow

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of Chicago 7

Best Director

David FIncher for Mank

Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods

Kelly Reichardt for First Cow

Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Gary Oldman in Mank

Best Actress

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Sidney Flanigan in Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods

Brian Dennehy in Driveways

Billy Murray in On the Rocks

Leslie Odom, Jr. in One Night In Miami

Paul Raci in Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress

Ellen Burstyn in Pieces of a Woman

Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman in The Father

Amanda Seyfried in Mank

Yuh-jung Youn in Minari

Here Are The 2020 Music City Film Critics Association!


So, just in case anyone is wondering, the Music City Film Critics Association is based out of Nashville.  Personally, I like the fact that they used a nickname for their city in the name of their group.  The DFW Film Critics need to change their name to the Big D Film Critics.  I’ve been saying this for years.

Anyway, the winners won’t be announced until January 11th so you’ve got a lot of time to think about these nominees!  I’m happy to see that they nominated I’m Thinking of Ending Things.

​BEST FILM
Da 5 Bloods
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Father
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
David Fincher – Mank
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Florian Zeller – The Father
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

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

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

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bill Burr – The King of Staten Island
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
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
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Da 5 Bloods
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night in Miami…
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Onward (dir. Dan Scanlon)
Over the Moon (dir. Glen Keane)
Scoob! (dir. Tony Cervone)
Soul (dir. Pete Docter)
Wolfwalkers (dir. Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Another Round (dir. Thomas Vinterberg)
Bacurau (dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles)
Collective (dir. Alexander Nanau)
I’m No Longer Here (dir. Fernando Frías)
​The Platform (dir. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Collective (dir. Alexander Nanau)
Dick Johnson is Dead (dir. Kirsten Johnson)
The Social Dilemma (dir. Jeff Orlowski)
Time (dir. Garrett Bradley)
You Cannot Kill David Arquette (dir. David Darg & Price James)

BEST SCREENPLAY
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman)
Mank (Jack Fincher)
Minari (Lee Isaac Chung)
Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin)

BEST SONG
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – “Hear My Voice”
Eurovision Song Contest – “Husavik (My Hometown)”
Trolls: World Tour – “Just Sing”
Over the Moon – “Rocket to the Moon”
One Night in Miami… – “Speak Now”
Tenet – “The Plan”

BEST SCORE
Minari (Emile Mosseri)
Tenet (Ludwig Göransson)
Da 5 Bloods (Terence Blanchard)
Mank (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)
Soul (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Da 5 Bloods (Newton Thomas Sigel)
Mank (Erik Messerschmidt)
News of the World (Dariusz Wolski)
Nomadland (Joshua James Richards)
Tenet (Hoyte van Hoytema)

BEST EDITING
Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)
Mank (Kirk Baxter)
Tenet (Jennifer Lame)
The Father (Yorgos Lamprinos)
The Invisible Man (Andy Canny)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Alan Baumgarten)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Mank (Donald Graham Burt)
Emma. (Kave Quinn)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Mark Ricker)
Da 5 Bloods (Wynn Thomas)
The Personal History of David Copperfield (Christina Casali)

The Sunset Film Circle Honors Promising Young Woman


So, as we all know, December is typically the start of Awards Season but this year, things are up in the air.  With the Academy extending the eligibility window (don’t even get me started on how annoyed I am about that), a lot of critics groups have also pushed back their selection date.  For instance, the National Board of Review will not be announcing their picks until January.  The Golden Globe nominations will not be announced until February.  Things are going to be a bit messed up.

At the same time, some critics groups are still going to be announcing their picks for the best of the year in December, which is the way it should be.  (When it comes time for me to make my annual “best of” list, I will only be considering films that were actually released in 2020.)  With that in mind, the Sunset Film Circle is a new group that, earlier today, announced their picks for the best of 2020!

And here they are (winners in bold):

BEST FILM

Promising Young Woman 

(Runner-up: Mank)

 

TOP FILMS

The Father

The King of Staten Island

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Minari

Nine Days

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Saint Maud

Sound of Metal

 

BEST DIRECTOR

Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

David Fincher – Mank

Darius Marder – Sound of Metal

Florian Zeller – The Father

Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (Runner-up)

 

BEST ACTOR

Ben Affleck – The Way Back

Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Winston Duke – Nine Days

Anthony Hopkins – The Father (runner-up)

 

BEST ACTRESS

Morfydd Clark – Saint Maud

Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy (runner up)

Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman

Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Bill Burr – The King of Staten Island (runner up)

Bill Murray – On The Rocks

Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami

Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Stanley Tucci – Supernova

 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy (runner-up)

Zazie Beetz – Nine Days

Olivia Colman – The Father

Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Youn Yuh-jung – Minari 

 

BEST ENSEMBLE

Hillbilly Elegy (runner-up)

The King of Staten Island

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Minari

The Prom

 

BEST SCREENPLAY

The Father – Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller

Minari – Lee Isaac Chung

Nine Days – Edson Oda

Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell (runner-up)

Sound of Metal – Derek Cianfrance & Darius Marder

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Gretel & Hansel – Galo Olivares

Mank – Erik Messerschmidt

Nomadland – Joshua James Richards (runner up)

Sound of Metal – Daniël Bouquet

Tenet – Hoyte Van Hoytema

 

BEST SCORE

First Cow – William Tyler

Gretel & Hansel – Robin Coudert

Minari – Emile Mosseri (runner-up)

Soul – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross

Tenet – Ludwig Göransson

 

BEST BREAKTHROUGH

Kiera Allen – Run (runner-up)

Nicole Beharie – Miss Juneteenth

Joe Kerry – Spree

Orion Lee – First Cow

Jo Ellen Pellman – The Prom

 

SCENE STEALER

Michael Keaton – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Yahya Abdul-Mateen II – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (runner-up)

Gabourey Sidibe – Antebellum

Toby Wallace – Babyteeth

Wil Wheaton – Rent-A-Pal

 

DIRECTORS TO WATCH

Radha Blank – The 40-Year-Old Version

Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman

Rose Glass – Saint Maud (runner-up)

Edson Oda – Nine Days

Jon Stevenson – Rent-A-Pal

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions For October


The big news this month is that Respect will no longer be getting released in January.  It’s been moved back so drop it from your Oscar predictions.

Here are my current predictions.  Take them with grain of salt and all the rest.  The more and more I think about it, the more annoyed I am with the Academy extending the eligibility window.  With all of the biggest contenders delaying their opening for a year, that extension seems more and more silly.

To be honest, I’m starting to have my doubts whether the film industry, as we know it, will even exist in another year or so.  I think eventually, we’ll just have a propaganda industry with the government subsidizing Hollywood on the condition that Hollywood only make certain types of films.  It’s going to suck.  The worst part is that most of the people who should speak out against that sort of thing won’t.  So many critics have down the partisan rabbit hole that they’re now more concerned with keeping the politicians happy than with actually writing about movies.

After looking at these, please check out my predictions for JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, July, August, and September!

Best Picture

Da 5 Bloods

The Father

Hillbilly Elegy

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

On the Rocks

The Trial of the Chicago 7

 

Best Director

David Fincher for Mank

Ron Howard for Hillbilly Elegy

Regina King for One Night in Miami

Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

 

Best Actor

Tom Hanks in News of the World

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Gary Oldman in Mank

Steven Yeun in Minari

 

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Hillbilly Elegy

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Kate Winslet in Ammonite

 

Best Supporting Actor

Sacha Baron Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7

Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods

Bill Murray in On The Rocks

Leslie Odom Jr. in One Night In Miami

David Strathairn in Nomandland

 

Best Supporting Actress

Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman in The Father

Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

Amanda Seyfried in Mank

Helena Zengel in News of the World