The Seattle Film Critics Name Get Out The Best of 2017!


“Get out!”

That’s not just what the city of Seattle told Mayor Ed Murray earlier this year.  It’s also the title of the film that the Seattle Film Critics have officially selected as their pick for the best of 2017!

Check out their nominees here and the winners below!

BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR

Get Out (Universal)

BEST DIRECTOR

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST

Get Out

BEST SCREENPLAY

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Coco – Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich, directors

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Raw – Julia Ducournau, director

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Faces Places – JR, Agnès Varda, co-directors

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Blade Runner 2049 – Roger A. Deakins

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges

BEST FILM EDITING

Dunkirk – Lee Smith

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner (Production Designer); Alessandra Querzola (Set Decorator)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming)

Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR

Dennis and various multiple personalities – Split – portrayed by James McAvoy

Here Are The Chicago Film Critics Association Nominations!


Okay, only a few more precursors to go and we’ll be caught up.

Yesterday, The Chicago Film Critics Association announced their nominees for the best of 2017!  I’m happy that they did so because it gives me an excuse to use that picture of Al Capone that I use whenever I post anything about the Chicago Film Critics.

Here are their nominees!

Best Picture
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Dunkirk”
“Lady Bird”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Director
Guillermo Del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me By Your Name”
Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Vicky Krieps, “Phantom Thread”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Best Actor
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Harry Dean Stanton, “Lucky”

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Armie Hammer, “Call Me By Your Name”
Jason Mitchell, “Mudbound”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me By Your Name”

Best Adapted Screenplay
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Call My By Your Name”
“The Disaster Artist”
“Logan”
“Mudbound”

Best Original Screenplay
“The Big Sick”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Best Animated Film
“The Breadwinner”
“Coco”
“The LEGO Batman Movie”
“Loving Vincent”
“Your Name”

Best Documentary
“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”
“City of Ghosts”
“Ex Libris: New York Public Library”
“Faces Places”
“Jane”
“Kedi”

“BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
“A Fantastic Woman”
“Loveless”
“Raw”
“The Square”

Best Art Direction
“Beauty and the Beast”
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape of Water”

Best Editing
“Baby Driver”
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Dunkirk”
“The Florida Project”
“Get Out”

Best Original Score
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape of Water”
“War For the Planet of the Apes”

Best Cinematography
“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk”
“The Florida Project”
“Mudbound”
“The Shape of Water”

Breakthrough Performer
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Dafne Keen, “Logan”
Jessie Pinnick, “Princess Cyd”
Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project”
Florence Pugh, “Lady Macbeth”
Bria Vinaite, “The Florida Project”

Breakthrough Filmmaker
Kogonada, “Columbus”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
John Carroll Lynch, “Lucky”
Julia Ducournau, “Raw”

Here Are The Seattle Film Critics Nominations!


Earlier today, the Seattle Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2017!  The winners will be announced on December 18th.

The most interesting thing about Seattle’s nominations?  The amount of love that they showed to Blade Runner 2049, an acclaimed film that, with the exception of Roger Deakins’s cinematography, was running the risk of being forgotten during the precursor season.  They also showed some love to Logan and The Disaster Artist, which made me happy.

With a tip of the hat to AwardsWatch, here are their nominations:

BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR:

Blade Runner 2049 (Warner Bros.)

The Disaster Artist (A24)

Dunkirk (Warner Bros.)

The Florida Project (A24)

Get Out (Universal)

Lady Bird (A24)

Logan (20th Century Fox)

Phantom Thread (Focus Features)

The Post (20th Century Fox)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight)

 

BEST DIRECTOR:

Sean Baker – The Florida Project

Greta Gerwig – Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan – Dunkirk

Jordan Peele – Get Out

Denis Villeneuve – Blade Runner 2049

 

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE:

Daniel Day-Lewis – Phantom Thread

James Franco – The Disaster Artist

Daniel Kaluuya – Get Out

Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour

Robert Pattinson – Good Time

 

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE:

Sally Hawkins – The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie – I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan – Lady Bird

Meryl Streep – The Post

 

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE:

Willem Dafoe – The Florida Project

Barry Keoghan – The Killing of a Sacred Deer

Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Michael Shannon – The Shape of Water

Patrick Stewart – Logan

 

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE:

Tiffany Haddish – Girls Trip

Holly Hunter – The Big Sick

Allison Janney – I, Tonya

Lesley Manville – Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf – Lady Bird

 

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST:

Call Me by Your Name

Get Out

Lady Bird

The Post

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

BEST SCREENPLAY:

The Big Sick – Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani

The Disaster Artist – Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Get Out – Jordan Peele

Lady Bird – Greta Gerwig

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – Martin McDonagh

 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:

The Breadwinner – Nora Twomey, director

Coco – Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich, directors

The LEGO Batman Movie – Chris McKay, director

Loving Vincent – Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, directors

Your Name. – Makoto Shinkai, director

 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

Blade of the Immortal – Takashi Miike, director
BPM (Beats Per Minute) – Robin Campillo, director

Frantz – François Ozon, director

Raw – Julia Ducournau, director

Thelma – Joachim Trier, director

 

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:

City of Ghosts – Matthew Heineman, director

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library – Frederick Wiseman, director

Faces Places – JR, Agnès Varda, co-directors

LA 92 – Daniel Lindsay, T.J. Martin, directors

Step – Amanda Lipitz, director

 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:

Blade Runner 2049 – Roger A. Deakins

Columbus – Elisha Christian

Dunkirk – Hoyte von Hoytema

The Florida Project – Alexis Zabé

The Shape of Water – Dan Laustsen

 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:

Beauty and the Beast – Jacqueline Durran

Blade Runner 2049 – Rénee April

Darkest Hour – Jacqueline Durran

Phantom Thread – Mark Bridges

The Shape of Water – Luis Sequeira

 

BEST FILM EDITING:

Baby Driver – Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos

Blade Runner 2049 – Joe Walker

Dunkirk – Lee Smith

Get Out – Gregory Plotkin

Lady Bird – Nick Houy

 

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:

Blade Runner 2049 – Benjamin Wallfisch, Hans Zimmer

Dunkirk – Hans Zimmer

Phantom Thread – Jonny Greenwood

War for the Planet of the Apes – Michael Giacchino

Wonderstruck – Carter Burwell

 

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:

Blade Runner 2049 – Dennis Gassner (Production Designer); Alessandra Querzola (Set Decorator)

Dunkirk – Nathan Crowley (Production Designer); Gary Fettis (Supervising Set Decorator)

Murder on the Orient Express – Jim Clay (Production Designer); Rebecca Alleway (Set Decorator)

Phantom Thread – Mark Tildesley (Production Designer); Véronique Melery (Set Decorator)

The Shape of Water – Paul Denham Austerberry (Production Designer); Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin (Set Decorators)

 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:

Blade Runner 2049 – John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
Dunkirk – Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott Fisher, Paul Corbould

The Shape of Water – Dennis Berardi, Luke Groves, Trey Harrell, Kevin Scott

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – Scott Stokdyk, Jérome Lionard

War for the Planet of the Apes – Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

 

BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming):

Dafne Keen – Logan
Sophia Lillis It

Brooklynn Prince – The Florida Project

Millicent Simmonds – Wonderstruck

Jacob Tremblay – Wonder

 

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR:

Dennis and various multiple personalities – Split – portrayed by James McAvoy

Martin – The Killing of a Sacred Deer – portrayed by Barry Keoghan

Pennywise – It – portrayed by Bill Skarsgård

Philip Krauss – Detroit – portrayed by Will Poulter

Richard Strickland – The Shape of Water – portrayed by Michael Shannon

Horror Film Review: Raw (dir by Julia Ducournau)


Raw.

“The film so shocking that apparently some theater chains distributed barf bags to patrons as they entered the theater!”

When I first heard about that, I figured that had to be a PR stunt, proof that the 70s grindhouse ethos was still alive in 2017.  However, upon doing a little research, I came across several reports that some audience members actually had fainted and/or became physically ill while watching this French-Belgian cannibal film.  Apparently, Raw was just too raw for them.

Now, I have to admit that I may be jaded as the result of spending the last few years watching countless Italian horror films.  Whether the eating was being done by zombies or an undiscovered tribe in the Amazon Rain Forest, the Italians pretty much perfected the use of cannibalism of a plot device.  And, with its vibrant color scheme and its emphasis on the blood, guts, and muscles that lay directly underneath the skin, Raw certainly does feel like a bit of an homage to those old Italian films.  However, the film takes a rather clinical (though, at time, dryly humorous) approach to its subject.  In that way, Raw has more in common with the sleek body horror of early David Cronenberg than the films of Umberto Lenzi or Ruggero Deodato.

It tells the story of two sisters, both of whom are attending a demanding veterinary school.  At first, the two sisters might seem like opposites.  Justine (Garance Marillier) is the younger of the two.  She is driven to succeed and, as a result, has experienced little over the course of her short life.  She is not only a virgin but she is also a lifelong vegetarian.  She has never tasted meat, both literally and metaphorically.  She has an awkward crush on her roommate, Adrien (Rabah Naït Oufella), despite the fact that Adrien is gay.  Her sister, Alexia (Ella Rumpf), appears to be the wilder of the two.  The dynamic between Justine and Alexa is a familiar and it’s well-portrayed by Marillier and Rumpf.  Anyone who has a sister will recognize it.  Despite the strong bond that the two share, it’s obvious that a good deal of Justine’s drive is the result of feeling as if she has to make up for Alexia’s lack of direction.

Of course, Alexia and Justine are not total opposites.  In fact, they have one thing very much in common.  They both find themselves craving human flesh.  At the start of the film, Justine freaks out when, as part of a hazing ritual, she is splashed with blood and forced to eat a rabbit kidney.  It leads to her getting a nasty rash, the result of food poisoning.  However, as her father tells her, once an animal has tasted blood, it will never be the same again.  Soon, Justine is craving both meat and sex, which leads to everything from eating raw chicken to almost biting off a guy’s lower lip.  And, of course, there’s the time that Alexia accidentally cuts off her finger…

Raw is a movie that mixes cannibalism with a coming-of-age story.  Imagine Mona Lisa Smile if the cast ended up eating each other.  (Actually, that’s a terrible and inaccurate comparison.  I just liked the way it sounded.)

Yes, Raw is graphic.  If you can’t handle the sight of blood then maybe you shouldn’t watch Raw because Raw is drenched in it.  That said, for me, the scene that left me trembling was when Justine got a Brazilian wax.  Seriously, that had me screaming in shared pain…

Raw is a well-acted, well-directed, and often a rather audacious film.  For me, the most powerful part of the film is not the mix of flesh-eating and sexual awakening.  It’s the relationship between Justine and Alexia.  Garance Marillier and Ella Rumpf are totally believable as sisters and every detail of their relationship rings true.  You may not agree with some of the choices that the sisters make in the film but they all ring true.

I recommend Raw.  I’m sure some people will find it to be disgusting but, to me, this is a well-made and intelligent film that deserves to be seen.

 

I, Daniel Blake Wins At Cannes And Americans Ask, “Who Is Ken Loach And Who Does He Play For?”


The winners of this year’s Cannes Film Festival have just been announced!

As I look over these winners and think about the rather muted reviews that came out of Cannes this year, I have to ask: Is it just me or is 2016 shaping up to be a fairly blah year for the movies?

I mean, just think about last year at this time.  Everyone at the Cannes Film Festival was excited over Carol.  People were still talking about how much they loved Brooklyn and End of The Tour at Sundance.  Both Mad Max: Fury Road and Ex Machina were playing in theaters.  Inside Out was on the verge of being released and people were whispering that Straight Outta Compton might actually be a great movie.  There was a lot to be excited about!

This year, however, it’s just like, “Who cares?”  Even the excitement that some people have for Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation and Martin Scorsese’s Silence feels more obligatory than sincere.

(Did Sasha Stone go to Cannes this year?  I know I could check the Awards Daily web site but, as of late, reading Awards Daily has become almost as tedious as reading the Daily Kos.  But I mention Stone specifically because she epitomizes something that I’ve noticed about almost all of the big names in the online film community. They are currently more concerned with bitching about this meaningless and stupid election than in talking about movies.  Even when they do talk about movies, it’s always in relation to this election.  BLEH!  Political situations are only temporary.  Movies are forever.)

Anyway, just from what I did hear back from Cannes, I’m looking forward to seeing Personal Shopper, Elle, The Neon Demon, Toni Edrmann, and American Honey.  I doubt I’ll get a chance to see the Palme D’or winner because it’s a Ken Loach film and Ken Loach films rarely get much distribution in the U.S.

In fact, when Ken Loach won the Palme d’Or (and this is his second time to win), he immediately started trending on twitter.  In the UK, he was trending because people were saying, “Ken Loach won!”  In the US, he was trending because everyone who is not a member of Film Twitter was saying, “Who is Ken Loach and who does he play for?”

(As for how this will affect the upcoming Oscar race, it probably won’t.  With the exception of the year that Tree of Life won the Palme d’Or and then went on to to score a best picture nomination, Cannes is usually ignored by the Oscar voters.)

Anyway, here’s the winners!

COMPETITION

Palme d’Or: “I, Daniel Blake” (Ken Loach, U.K.)

Grand Prix: “It’s Only the End of the World” (Xavier Dolan, Canada-France)

Director (tie): Olivier Assayas, “Personal Shopper” (France), and Cristian Mungiu, “Graduation” (Romania)

Actor: Shahab Hosseini, “The Salesman” (Iran)

Actress: Jaclyn Jose, “Ma ‘Rosa” (Philippines)

Jury Prize: Andrea Arnold, “American Honey” (U.K.-U.S.)

Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi, “The Salesman” (Iran)

OTHER PRIZES

Palme d’Honneur: Jean-Pierre Léaud

Camera d’Or: “Divines” (Houda Benyamina, France-Qatar)

Short Films Palme d’Or: “Timecode” (Juanjo Jimenez, Spain)

Special Mention – Short Films Palme d’Or: “The Girl Who Danced With the Devil” (Joao Paulo Miranda Maria, Brazil)

Ecumenical Jury Prize: “It’s Only the End of the World” (Xavier Dolan, Canada-France)

UN CERTAIN REGARD

Un Certain Regard Prize: “The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki” (Juho Kuosmanen, Finland)

Jury prize: “Harmonium” (Koji Fukada, Japan)

Director: Matt Ross, “Captain Fantastic” (United States)

Screenplay: Delphine and Muriel Coulin, “The Stopover” (France)

Special Jury Prize: Michael Dudok de Wit, “The Red Turtle” (France-Japan)

DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT

Art Cinema Award: “Wolf and Sheep” (Shahrbanoo Sadat)

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “The Together Project” (Solveig Anspach)

Europa Cinemas Label: “Mercernary” (Sacha Wolff)

CRITICS’ WEEK

Grand Prize: “Mimosas” (Oliver Saxe)

Visionary Prize: “Album” (Mehmet Can Mertoğlu)

Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers Prize: “Diamond Island” (Day Chou)

FIPRESCI

Competition: “Toni Erdmann” (Maren Ade, Germany-Austria)

Un Certain Regard: “Dogs” (Bogdan Mirică, Romania-France)

Critics’ Week: “Raw” (Julia Ducournau, France-Belgium)