Here Are The Oscar Nominations!


oscar trailer kitties

Here are the Oscar nominations.  La La Land tied Titanic’s record with 14 nominations and I’m going to predict right now that it’ll win nearly everything that it’s been nominated for.  Amy Adams was totally snubbed.  Meryl Streep was technically nominated for Florence Foster Jenkins but we all know it was actually for her Golden Globes speech.

I may have more to say about this later but until then, here are the noms:

Best Picture

  • “Arrival”
  • “Fences”
  • “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • “Hell or High Water”
  • “Hidden Figures”
  • “La La Land”
  • “Lion”
  • “Manchester by the Sea”
  • “Moonlight”

Best Director

  • Mel Gibson – “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • Kenneth Lonergan – “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Barry Jenkins – “Moonlight”
  • Denis Villeneuve – “Arrival”
  • Damien Chazelle – “La La Land”

Best Actor

  • Casey Affleck – “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Andrew Garfield – “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • Ryan Gosling – “La La Land”
  • Viggo Mortensen – “Captain Fantastic”
  • Denzel Washington – “Fences”

Best Actress

  • Isabelle Huppert – “Elle”
  • Ruth Negga – “Loving”
  • Natalie Portman – “Jackie”
  • Emma Stone – “La La Land”
  • Meryl Streep – “Florence Foster Jenkins”

Best Supporting Actor

  • Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight”
  • Jeff Bridges – “Hell or High Water”
  • Lucas Hedges – “Manchester by the Sea”
  • Dev Patel – “Lion”
  • Michael Shannon – “Nocturnal Animals”

Best Supporting Actress

  • Viola Davis – “Fences”
  • Naomie Harris – “Moonlight”
  • Nicole Kidman – “Lion”
  • Octavia Spencer – “Hidden Figures”
  • Michelle William – “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Original Screenplay

  • “20th Century Women”
  • “Hell or High Water”
  • “La La Land”
  • “The Lobster”
  • “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • “Arrival”
  • “Fences”
  • “Hidden Figures”
  • “Lion”
  • “Moonlight”

Best Animated Feature

  • “Kubo and the Two Strings”
  • “Moana”
  • “My Life as a Zucchini”
  • “The Red Turtle”
  • “Zootopia”

Best Production Design

  • “Arrival”
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
  • “Hail, Caesar!”
  • “La La Land”
  • “Passengers”

Best Cinematography

  • “Arrival”
  • “La La Land”
  • “Lion”
  • “Moonlight”
  • “Silence”

Best Costume Design

  • “Allied”
  • “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
  • “Florence Foster Jenkins”
  • “Jackie”
  • “La La Land”

Best Film Editing

  • “Arrival”
  • “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • “Hell or High Water”
  • “La La Land”
  • “Moonlight”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  • “A Man Called Ove”
  • “Star Trek Beyond”
  • “Suicide Squad”

Best Sound Mixing

  • “Arrival”
  • “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • “La La Land”
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
  • “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi”

Best Sound Editing

  • “Arrival”
  • “Deepwater Horizon”
  • “Hacksaw Ridge”
  • “La La Land”
  • “Sully”

Best Visual Effects

  • “Deepwater Horizon”
  • “Doctor Strange”
  • “The Jungle Book”
  • “Kubo and the Two Strings”
  • “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”

Best Original Score

  • “Jackie”
  • “La La Land”
  • “Lion”
  • “Moonlight”
  • “Passengers”

Best Original Song

  • “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from “La La Land”
  • “Can’t Stop the Feeling” from “Trolls”
  • “City of Stars” from “La La Land”
  • “The Empty Chair” from “Jim: The James Foley Story”
  • “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana”

Best Documentary Feature

  • “Fire at Sea”
  • “I Am Not Your Negro”
  • “Life, Animated”
  • “OJ: Made in America”
  • “13th”

Best Foreign Language Film

  • “Land of Mine”
  • “A Man Called Ove”
  • “The Salesman”
  • “Tanna”
  • “Toni Erdmann”

Best Live Action Short

  • “Ennemis Interieurs”
  • “La Femme et le TGV”
  • “Silent Nights”
  • “Sing”
  • “Timecode”

Best Documentary Short

  • “Extremis”
  • “4.1 Miles”
  • “Joe’s Violin”
  • “Watani: My Homeland”
  • “The White Helmets”

Best Animated Short Film

  • “Blind Vaysha”
  • “Borrowed Time”
  • “Pear Cider and Cigarettes”
  • “Pearl”
  • “Piper”

Here Are The DGA nominations!


la-la-land-full-poster-image-691x1024

The Director’s Guild announced their feature film nominations earlier today.

A DGA nomination is one of the biggest prizes of the precursor season.  In general, if the DGA nominates a film then it’s likely that film will also get nominated for best picture.  There have been exceptions, of course.  (David Fincher was nominated for his bastardized rehash of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.)  But, for the most part, the DGA is the most reliable precursor available.

Five directors were nominated.  The usual suspects were there — Lonergan, Jenkins, and Chazelle.  Fortunately, Denis Villeneuve picked up a nomination, which is good news for Arrival.  The fifth nominee was a bit of a surprise.  Garth Davis was nominated for Lion, which I guess means I’ll have to go see that movie now, even though I have little real desire to do so.

Martin Scorsese was not nominated for Silence, which probably means that the film will be dead-in-the-water as far as Oscar nominations are concerned.

Also not nominated — Tim Miller for Deadpool, a film that’s been doing surprisingly well with the precursors.  If Tim Miller had been nominated, heads would have exploded.  It would have been fun to watch the twitter reaction.

Instead, we just got this —

Just to make it official, here are the five DGA nominees:

Denis Villeneuve — Arrival

Damien Chazelle — La La Land

Garth Davis — Lion

Kenneth Lonergan — Manchester By The Sea

Barry Jenkins — Moonlight

manchester-by-the-sea-sundance-2016

The North Texas Critics Association Names La La Land The Best of 2016!


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I have to admit that I’m starting to reach the point that I always reach during Oscar season.  This is the point where I say, “How many different groups of critics are there!?”

Anyway, the North Texas Critics Association have announced their picks for the best of 2016!  There are my people (in that we all live in North Texas and probably make a lot of jokes about pasty yankee tourists coming down from the North and sweating like pigs) and they picked La La Land as the best of the year.  I’ll be seeing La La Land this weekend so I’ll let you know if they were right.

Best Film
1. La La Land
2. Manchester by the Sea
3. Moonlight
4. Hacksaw Ridge
5. Loving
6. Arrival
7. Captain Fantastic
8. Nocturnal Animals
9. Jackie
10. The Birth of a Nation

Best Director
1. Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
2. Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
3. Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)
4. Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
5. Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Actress
1. Natalie Portman (Jackie)
2. Emma Stone (La La Land)
3. Amy Adams (Arrival)
4. Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train)
5. Ruth Negga (Loving)

Best Actor
1. Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
2. Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
3. Denzel Washington (Fences)
4. Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
5. Don Cheadle (Miles Ahead)

Best Supporting Actress
1. Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
2. Viola Davis (Fences)
3. Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
4. Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
5. Janelle Monae (Hidden Figures)

Best Supporting Actor
1. Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
2. Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
3. Dev Patel (Lion)
4. Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
5. Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)

Best Cinematography
1. Linus Sandgren (La La Land)
2. James Laxton (Moonlight)
3. Simon Duggan (Hacksaw Ridge)
4.  Bradford Young (Arrival)
5. Stephane Fontaine (Jackie)

Best Animated Film
1. Zootopia
2. Kubo and the Two Strings
3. Sing

Best Documentary
1. Gleason
2. 13th
3. Tower
4. Wiener
5. The Eagle Huntress

Best Foreign Language Film
1. Elle
2. The Handmaiden
3. Hunt for the Wilderpeople
4. The Salesman

5.  Toni Erdmann

The Precursors Continue! Here are the WGA Nominations!


Deadpool

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to Oscar season!

The guilds have started to announce their nominees for the best of 2016 and since the guilds, unlike the various critic groups, include people who actually vote for the Oscars, they are usually pretty useful as far as predictive tool.

So, with that in mind, here are the nominations of the Writers Guild of America!

(The big surprise?  Deadpool — which has actually gotten a lot of unexpected attention during Oscar season — landed a nomination.)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Hell or High Water, Written by Taylor Sheridan; CBS Films

La La Land, Written by Damien Chazelle; Lionsgate

Loving, Written by Jeff Nichols; Focus Features

Manchester by the Sea, Written by Kenneth Lonergan; Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions

Moonlight, Written by Barry Jenkins, Story by Tarell McCraney; A24

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival, Screenplay by Eric Heisserer; Based on the Story “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang; Paramount Pictures

Deadpool, Written by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick; Based on the X-Men Comic Books; Twentieth Century Fox Film

Fences, Screenplay by August Wilson; Based on his Play; Paramount Pictures

Hidden Figures, Screenplay by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi; Based on the Book by Margot Lee Shetterly; Twentieth Century Fox Film

Nocturnal Animals, Screenplay by Tom Ford; Based on the Novel Tony and Susan by Austin Wright; Focus Features

DOCUMENTARY SCREENPLAY

Author: The JT LeRoy Story, Written by Jeff Feuerzeig; Amazon Studios

Command and Control, Telescript by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser, Story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts; Based on the book Command and Control by Eric Schlosser; American Experience Films

Zero Days, Written by Alex Gibney; Magnolia Pictures

Playing Catch-Up: Manchester By The Sea (dir by Kenneth Lonergan)


manchester-by-the-sea-sundance-2016

Manchester By The Sea is the latest Oscar contender to be set in Massachusetts.  I’m not exactly sure why but it appears that if you want your film to get some sort of Oscar consideration, it’s always good idea to set it some place in New England.

Consider some of the films nominated for Best Picture since the 1992:

1992′ Scent of a Woman featured a New England prep school.

1994’s The Shawshank Redemption took place in Maine.

1997’s Good Will Hunting took place in Boston.

1999’s The Cider House Rules was set in Maine.

2001’s In The Bedroom took place in Maine.

2003’s Mystic River was set in Boston.

The 2006 winner The Departed was also a Boston-set film.

2010’s The Fighter also set in Boston.  For that matter, The Social Network started at Harvard.

2013’s Captain Phillips featured Tom Hanks speaking with Boston accent.

And, finally, last year’s Spotlight was as much a celebration of Boston as anything else.

As of this writing, it appears that Manchester By The Sea will continue the long tradition of New England-set films being nominated for best picture.  Interestingly, of all those films, Manchester By The Sea is probably the most low-key.  Though it’s a film that deals with death, it’s a natural death as opposed to the violent executions that dominated The Departed and Mystic River.  And though there are two bar fights, there’s very little violence to be found in Manchester By The Sea.  As opposed to Spotlight, Manchester By The Sea is not about moral crusaders battling against the corrupt establishment.

Instead, it’s the story of an intelligent but irresponsible man named Lee Chadler (Casey Affleck).  When Lee was a young man living in the town of Manchester-By-The-Sea, he was someone.  He was a high school hockey star.  He made an okay living, he had a lot of friends, and he was very close to his older brother, Joe (Kyle Chandler).  He was married to Randi (Michelle Williams) and he had two daughters.

And then he lost everything.  He lost his daughters, through a stupid accident for which he blamed himself.  Randi divorced him.  His friends abandoned him.  The only thing that prevented him from shooting himself was the intervention of Joe.  Lee eventually ended up in Quincy, Massachusetts, working as a maintenance man and keeping to himself.

And that’s probably what Lee would have done his entire life, if Joe hadn’t died.  Lee returns to Manchester-By-The-Sea and, to his shock, he discovers that he’s been named the guardian of Joe’s sixteen year-old son, Patrick (Lucas Hedges).  Still struggling with his own feelings of guilt, Lee now finds himself thrust into the role of being a father.

Patrick, of course, doesn’t think he needs a guardian and sometimes, it almost seems as if Patrick might be right.  At times, it’s hard not to feel that Patrick is a hundred times more mature than his uncle but occasionally, Patrick’s grown-up mask will slip.  When he learns that his father cannot be buried until the spring and the body will be kept in a freezer, Patrick stays calm until he opens up the freezer at home.  That’s when the reality of it all hits him and it’s an amazingly powerful moment.

Manchester By The Sea is not an easy film to describe.  There’s not much of a plot.  Instead, it’s just a portrait of people living from day-to-day, trying to juggle handling tragedy with handling everyday life.  Conditioned by previous films, audiences watch something like Manchester By The Sea and wait for some gigantic dramatic moment that will magically make sense of the human condition but, by design, that moment never comes.  That’s not what Manchester By The Sea is about.  If there is any great lesson to be found in Manchester By The Sea, it’s that life goes on.

Despite being full of funny lines, it’s a sad film but fortunately, it’s also a well-acted one.  I have to admit that I’m not as crazy about Manchester By The Sea as some of the critics who are currently declaring Manchester to be the best film of 2016 are but I can’t disagree with those who have praised Casey Affleck’s lead performance.  Lucas Hedges also does a good job as Patrick and Michelle Williams gets one revelatory scene in which she happens to randomly run into her ex-husband on the street.

As I said, I liked Manchester By The Sea but I didn’t quite love it.  It’s a well-made and well-acted film and, if it’s not as brilliant as some have claimed, it’s still worthy of respect.

Here Are The Nominations Of The Online Film Critics Society!


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The Online Film Critics Society announced their nominations today.  Along with the usual suspects, the 7 and a half hour documentary OJ: Made in America also picked up a nomination for best picture.

Best Picture

Arrival
The Handmaiden
Hell or High Water
Jackie
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight
O.J.: Made in America
Paterson
The Witch

Best Animated Feature

Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

Best Director

Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Pablo Larraín – Jackie
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By the Sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Best Actor

Casey Affleck – Manchester By the Sea
Adam Driver – Paterson
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress

Amy Adams – Arrival
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Emma Stone – La La Land

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
Tom Bennett – Love & Friendship
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester By the Sea
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis – Fences
Lily Gladstone – Certain Women
Naomie Harris – Moonlight
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By the Sea

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan
Jackie – Noah Oppenheim
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Manchester By the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival – Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang
Elle – David Birke, Philippe Djian
Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford

Best Editing

Arrival – Joe Walker
Cameraperson – Nels Bangerter
Jackie – Sebastian Sepulveda
La La Land – Tom Cross
Moonlight – Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders

Best Cinematography

Arrival – Bradford Young
Jackie – Stéphane Fontaine
La La Land – Linus Sandgren
Moonlight – James Laxton
The Neon Demon – Natasha Braier

Best Film Not in the English Language

Elle – France
The Handmaiden – South Korea
Neruda – Chile
The Salesman – Iran
Toni Erdmann – Germany

Best Documentary

13th
Cameraperson
I Am Not Your Negro
O.J.: Made in America
Weiner

Best Non-U.S. Release

After the Storm
The Death of Louis XIV
The Girl With All the Gifts
Graduation
Nocturma
Personal Shopper
A Quiet Passion
Staying Vertical
The Unknown Girl
Yourself and Yours

Here Are The North Carolina Film Critics Association Nominations!


For Christmas, there was a temporary pause in the flood of precursor awards.  Now that Christmas has passed, Oscar season is back in full swing.

Today, the North Carolina Film Critics Association announced their nominations for the best of 2016!

And here they are:

BEST NARRATIVE FILM
Arrival
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM
13th
I Am Not Your Negro
Life, Animated
O.J.: Made in America
Weiner

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
Sausage Party
Zootopia

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Elle
The Handmaiden
A Man Called Ove
Toni Erdmann
Things to Come

BEST DIRECTOR
Damien Chazelle — La La Land
Barry Jenkins — Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan — Manchester by the Sea
David Mackenzie — Hell or High Water
Chan-woo Park — The Handmaiden

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Chung-hoo Chung — The Handmaiden
James Laxton — Moonlight
Giles Nuttgens — Hell or High Water
Linus Sandgren — La La Land
Bradford Young — Arrival

BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
Arrival
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Jungle Book
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

BEST ACTOR
Casey Affleck — Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton — Loving
Ryan Gosling — La La Land
Viggo Mortensen — Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington — Fences

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali — Moonlight
Jeff Bridges — Hell or High Water
Ben Foster — Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges — Manchester by the Sea
Sam Neill — Hunt for the Wilderpeople

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening — 20th Century Women
Kate Beckinsale — Love & Friendship
Ruth Negga — Loving
Natalie Portman — Jackie
Emma Stone — La La Land

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Viola Davis — Fences
Greta Gerwig — 20th Century Women
Naomie Harris — Moonlight
Nicole Kidman — Lion
Michelle Williams — Manchester by the Sea

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Damien Chazelle — La La Land
Barry Jenkins — Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan — Manchester by the Sea
Mike Mills — 20th Century Women
Taylor Sheridan — Hell or High Water

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Tom Ford — Nocturnal Animals
Eric Heisserer — Arrival
Seo-kyeong Jeong and Chan-wook Park — The Handmaiden
Whit Stillman — Love & Friendship
Taika Waititi — Hunt for the Wilderpeople

KEN HANKE MEMORIAL TAR HEEL AWARD
(To an artist or film with a special connection to North Carolina.)
Anthony Mackie
Jeff Nichols
Starving the Beast