The St. Louis Film Critics Association Rewards Downhill


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

Here are the winners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are the 2020 Nominations of the St. Louis Film Critics Association


The St. Louis Film Critics Association yesterday announced their nominees for the best of 2020.  The winners will be announced this Sunday, the 17th.

The great thing about St. Louis is that they give out a lot of awards.  They honor the Best Horror Film and the Best Comedy and all the rest.  As a result, their awards are always marginally more interesting than what you get from some of the other regional groups.

Here are the nominations!

BEST FILM
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial of the Chicago 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Birds of Prey
Da 5 Bloods
Hamilton
Lovers Rock
Promising Young Woman

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Birds of Prey
The Invisible Man
Mank
The Midnight Sky
Tenet

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Onward
Over The Moon
Soul
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers

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

BEST COMEDY FILM
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Emma.
The King of Staten Island
On The Rocks
Palm Springs

BEST ACTION FILM
Birds of Prey
The Gentlemen
Greyhound
The Old Guard
Tenet

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

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
Collective
Vitalina Varela

​WORST FILM
Artemis Fowl
The Doorman
Downhill
Hillbilly Elegy
Wonder Woman 1984

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

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

Here’s The Trailer For Hillybilly Elegy!


Here’s the trailer for Ron Howard’s Hillbilly Elegy!

This film has been getting some Oscar buzz, which I guess you would expect from a film directed by Ron Howard and starring Glenn Close and Amy Adams.  It’ll be released, by Netflix, on November 24th.  I’m actually looking forward to it, just because I’ve got relatives who live a similar life to the people in this movie.  To be honest, though, the trailer looks almost too Oscar bait-y.  Sometimes, when it’s way too obvious that you’re going for the awards, it can backfire.

We’ll see.  Amy Adams is one of my favorite actresses.  I can’t believe she hasn’t already won an Oscar.

Here’s the trailer:

Lisa’s Oscar Predictions for September


As of a few weeks ago, West Side Story is now officially out of this year’s Oscar race.  Steven Spielberg’s musical was one of the many major studio productions to be moved all the way back to late 2021.  So, scratch West Side Story from your lists, everyone.  It’s gone for now.

The more I think about it, the more I think the Academy made a mistake extending the eligibility window.  As you may remember, this year’s eligibility window now extends to February of 2021.  When this was first announced, I felt that it was the Academy’s way of keeping the big studios happy.  “You folks don’t want the Oscars to be dominated by streaming films,” the Academy seemed to be saying, “so we’ll just give you some extra time to get your movies out into the theaters.”  Well, joke’s on the Academy because, even with the extended time period, it still looks like the Oscar race is going to be dominated by streaming titles.

Personally, I wish that the Academy would just admit they made a mistake and go back to the old eligibility window.  Or, at the very least, just answer the question as to whether or not the 2021’s Oscar eligibility period is going to end at the end of December of that year or in February of 2022.  I’m a big believer in having a set schedule so all this uncertainty is annoying the Hell out of me.

Anyway, with all that in mind, here are my updated predictions for September.  After looking at these, feel free to check out my predictions for JanuaryFebruaryMarchAprilMayJune, July, and August!

Best Picture

Da 5 Bloods

The Father

Hillbilly Elegy

Mank

Minari

News of the World

Nomadland

One Night in Miami

Respect

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Director

David Fincher for Mank

Paul Greengrass for News of the World

Ron Howard for Hillbilly Elegy

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

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

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

Debra Winger in Kajillionaire

Helena Zengel in News of the World