Here Are The 90th Oscar Nominations!


You know that I’ve had a busy Tuesday when I’m only now getting around to posting the 90th Annual Oscar nominations!

Here they are.  Nominees in bold appear on both the Academy’s list and my list of the films that I would have nominated if I was the one solely in charge!

Best Picture:

Call Me By Your Name,

Darkest Hour,

Dunkirk,

Get Out,

Lady Bird,

Phantom Thread,

The Post,

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson for Phantom Thread

Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk

Jordan Peele for Get Out

Best Actor

Timothee Chalamet in Call Me By Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington in Roman Israel Esq.

Best Actress

Sally Hawkins in Shape of Water

Frances McDormand in Three Billoards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

Meryl Streep in The Post

(At this point, I got tired of typing out all of the nominees myself and I did a cut and paste from the list of nominees posted at Awards Watch.  Please thank Awards Watch by visiting their wonderful site.)

Actor in a Supporting Role

WILLEM DAFOE
The Florida Project
WOODY HARRELSON
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri
RICHARD JENKINS
The Shape of Water
CHRISTOPHER PLUMMER
All the Money in the World
SAM ROCKWELL
Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri

Actress in a Supporting Role

MARY J. BLIGE
Mudbound

ALLISON JANNEY
I, Tonya
LESLEY MANVILLE
Phantom Thread
LAURIE METCALF
Lady Bird
OCTAVIA SPENCER
The Shape of Water

Writing (Original Screenplay)

THE BIG SICK
Written by Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
GET OUT
Written by Jordan Peele
LADY BIRD
Written by Greta Gerwig
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Screenplay by Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor; Story by Guillermo del Toro
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Written by Martin McDonagh

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Screenplay by James Ivory
THE DISASTER ARTIST
Screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
LOGAN
Screenplay by Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story by James Mangold
MOLLY’S GAME
Written for the screen by Aaron Sorkin
MUDBOUND
Screenplay by Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Animated Feature Film

THE BOSS BABY
Tom McGrath and Ramsey Naito
THE BREADWINNER
Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo
COCO
Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson
FERDINAND
Carlos Saldanha
LOVING VINCENT
Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman and Ivan Mactaggart

Foreign Language Film

A FANTASTIC WOMAN
Chile
THE INSULT
Lebanon
LOVELESS
Russia
ON BODY AND SOUL
Hungary
THE SQUARE
Sweden

Documentary Feature

ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL
Steve James, Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman
FACES PLACES
Agnès Varda, JR and Rosalie Varda
ICARUS
Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan
LAST MEN IN ALEPPO
Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed and Søren Steen Jespersen
STRONG ISLAND
Yance Ford and Joslyn Barnes

Documentary (Short Subject)

EDITH+EDDIE
Laura Checkoway and Thomas Lee Wright
HEAVEN IS A TRAFFIC JAM ON THE 405
Frank Stiefel
HEROIN(E)
Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon
KNIFE SKILLS
Thomas Lennon
TRAFFIC STOP
Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

Music (Original Score)

DUNKIRK
Hans Zimmer
PHANTOM THREAD
Jonny Greenwood
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Alexandre Desplat
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
John Williams
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Carter Burwell

Music (Original Song)

MIGHTY RIVER
from Mudbound; Music and Lyric by Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson
MYSTERY OF LOVE
from Call Me by Your Name; Music and Lyric by Sufjan Stevens
REMEMBER ME
from Coco; Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
STAND UP FOR SOMETHING
from Marshall; Music by Diane Warren; Lyric by Lonnie R. Lynn and Diane Warren
THIS IS ME
from The Greatest Showman; Music and Lyric by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

Film Editing

BABY DRIVER
Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos
DUNKIRK
Lee Smith
I, TONYA
Tatiana S. Riegel
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Sidney Wolinsky
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Jon Gregory

Cinematography

BLADE RUNNER 2049
Roger A. Deakins
DARKEST HOUR
Bruno Delbonnel
DUNKIRK
Hoyte van Hoytema
MUDBOUND
Rachel Morrison
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Dan Laustsen

Production Design

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
BLADE RUNNER 2049
Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Alessandra Querzola
DARKEST HOUR
Production Design: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
DUNKIRK
Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Production Design: Paul Denham Austerberry; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin

Costume Design

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Jacqueline Durran
DARKEST HOUR
Jacqueline Durran
PHANTOM THREAD
Mark Bridges
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Luis Sequeira
VICTORIA & ABDUL
Consolata Boyle

Makeup and Hairstyling
DARKEST HOUR
Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick
VICTORIA & ABDUL
Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
WONDER
Arjen Tuiten

Sound Mixing

BABY DRIVER
Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H. Ellis
BLADE RUNNER 2049
Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth
DUNKIRK
Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker and Gary A. Rizzo
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern and Glen Gauthier
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Stuart Wilson

Sound Editing

BABY DRIVER
Julian Slater
BLADE RUNNER 2049
Mark Mangini and Theo Green
DUNKIRK
Richard King and Alex Gibson
THE SHAPE OF WATER
Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce

Visual Effects

BLADE RUNNER 2049
John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick
KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist

Short Film (Animated)

DEAR BASKETBALL
Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant
GARDEN PARTY
Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon
LOU
Dave Mullins and Dana Murray
NEGATIVE SPACE
Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata
REVOLTING RHYMES
Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer

Short Film (Live Action)
DEKALB ELEMENTARY
Reed Van Dyk
THE ELEVEN O’CLOCK
Derin Seale and Josh Lawson
MY NEPHEW EMMETT
Kevin Wilson, Jr.
THE SILENT CHILD
Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton
WATU WOTE/ALL OF US
Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen

Congratulations to all the nominees!

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

Here Are The 2017 Nominations of the San Francisco Film Critics Circle!


Yesterday, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle announced their nominees for the best of 2017!  The winner will be announces tomorrow!

Like almost all of the precursors so far, San Francisco seems to really like The Shape of Water.

Best Picture
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
THE FLORIDA PROJECT
GET OUT
THE SHAPE OF WATER
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

Best Director
Sean Baker  – THE FLORIDA PROJECT
Guillermo del Toro  – THE SHAPE OF WATER
Greta Gerwig  – LADY BIRD
Christopher Nolan  – DUNKIRK
Jordan Peele – GET OUT

Best Actor
Timothee Chalamet – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
James Franco  – THE DISASTER ARTIST
Daniel Kaluuya  – GET OUT
Gary Oldman – DARKEST HOUR
Andy Serkis  – WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES

Best Actress
Annette Bening – FILM STARS DON’T DIE IN LIVERPOOL
Sally Hawkins – THE SHAPE OF WATER
Frances McDormand  – THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Margot Robbie – I, TONYA
Saoirse Ronan – LADY BIRD

Best Supporting Actor 
Willem Dafoe  – THE FLORIDA PROJECT
Armie Hammer – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
Richard Jenkins – THE SHAPE OF WATER
Sam Rockwell  – THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Michael Stuhlbarg  – CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

Best Supporting Actress
Holly Hunter – THE BIG SICK
Allison Janney – I, TONYA
Melissa Leo – NOVITIATE
Lesley Manville – PHANTOM THREAD
Laurie Metcalf – LADY BIRD

Best Foreign Language Film
BPM
A FANTASTIC WOMAN
FRANTZ
IN THE FADE
THE SQUARE

Best Animated Feature
THE BREADWINNER
COCO
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE
LOVING VINCENT
YOUR NAME

Best Documentary
BRIMSTONE & GLORY
CITY OF GHOSTS
DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME
FACES PLACES
JANE

Best Cinematography
BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Roger Deakins
DUNKIRK – Hoyte van Hoytema
THE FLORIDA PROJECT – Alexis Zabe
THE SHAPE OF WATER – Dan Laustsen
WONDER WHEEL – Vittorio Storaro

Best Production Design
BLADE RUNNER 2049  – Dennis Gassner
DUNKIRK  – Nathan Crowley
PHANTOM THREAD  – Mark Tildesley
THE SHAPE OF WATER  – Paul D. Austerberry
WONDERSTRUCK – Mark Friedberg

Best Editing
BABY DRIVER – Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos
BLADE RUNNER 2049 – Joe Walker
DUNKIRK – Lee Smith
THE POST – Michael Kahn
THE SHAPE OF WATER – Sidney Wolinsky

Best Screenplay (original)
THE BIG SICK – Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon
GET OUT – Jordan Peele
LADY BIRD  – Greta Gerwig
THE SHAPE OF WATER  – Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI  – Martin McDonagh

Best Screenplay (adapted)
THE DISASTER ARTIST  – Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME  – James Ivory
MOLLY’S GAME – Aaron Sorkin
MUDBOUND  – Dee Rees and Virgil Williams
WONDERSTRUCK  – Brian Selznick

Best Original Score
BLADE RUNNER 2049  – Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch
DUNKIRK  – Hans Zimmer
PHANTOM THREAD  – Jonny Greenwood
THE SHAPE OF WATER  – Alexandre Desplat
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES – Michael Giacchino

Special Citation (for that underappreciated indie gem)
BRIMSTONE & GLORY
COLUMBUS
THE OTHER KIDS

A Movie A Day #3: The Firm (1989, directed by Alan Clarke)


the-firm1The Firm, which should not be confused with the John Grisham novel or the Tom Cruise film adaptation, was a 70-minute film about football hooliganism that was made for the BBC’s Screen Two in 1989.  In the United States, it has never really been understood just how big a problem football hooliganism was in the United Kingdom in the 1980s.   That’s because, despite the best efforts of ESPN, most Americans don’t care about soccer.  In America, “soccer riot” sounds like the punchline of a bad joke.  But in Europe, it was a very real problem.  If you want to understand why some people call football hooliganism “the English Disease,” The Firm is the film to see.

Clive “Bex” Bissell (Gary Oldman) has a nice home, a well-paying job as an estate agent, a loving wife (played by Lesley Manville, who actually was married to Oldman at the time), a newborn son, and a large circle of friends.  He’s also the head of the Inner City Crew, a violent group of football hooligans (known as a firm) who follow West Ham United across Britain and pick fights with other firms.  (Bex is actually a second-generation football hooligan and his father is constantly complaining that the new generation isn’t tough or violent enough.)  Bex does it for the buzz.  As another member of the ICC puts it, after listening to a fatuous television commentator going on about how football hooligans are actually searching for some sort of larger meaning in their lives,  “Why doesn’t he just say that we like hitting people?”  With the 1988 European Championships coming up, Bex wants to unite all the regional firms into one national organization, with himself in charge.  To do that, he’ll have to defeat two rival firm leaders, Oboe (Andrew Wilde) and Yeti (Phil Davis).

For a film about people about who are willing to kill over association football, very little soccer is actually seen in The Firm.  The ICC plays a game, which is interrupted by Yeti driving across the field.  Later, Yeti and his lieutenants walk through a stadium, looking for a fight and ignoring the match being played in front of them.  Bex’s childhood bedroom is covered with newspaper clippings about West Ham United but Bex is more interested in the buzz than in football.

The Firm is full of classic scenes, from Bex initiating the newest member of the ICC to the disturbing moment that Bex’s son gets a hold of his knife to the final bar brawl.   For me, my favorite scene is when the three rival firms hold a meeting in a posh hotel room:

Along with featuring one of Gary Oldman’s best performances, The Firm was also the last film to be directed by the great Alan Clarke.  Making good use of the steadicam walking shots that he was famous for and taking an unflinching approach to the story’s violence, Clarke not only directed the definitive film about football hooliganism but also provided a portrait of life in the final years of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain.

For tomorrow’s movie a day, we stay in Britain as Anthony Perkins fights terrorists in The Glory Boys.

the-firm

For Your Consideration #3: Angelina Jolie in Maleficent


Mal

Way back in March, when people like me first started to ask ourselves what and who would be nominated for Oscars in January, a lot of us assumed that 2014 would be the year of Angelina Jolie.  We predicted that her film Unbroken would be an Oscar front-runner and quite a few people felt that Angelina herself would become the second woman to win the Academy Award for directing.

And, it could still happen!

However, with Angelina being pretty much ignored by most of the traditional Oscar precursors and Unbroken getting positive but hardly rapturous reviews, it’s starting to look more and more like Unbroken will be lucky to receive a picture nomination, much less a mention for Jolie.

Now, I haven’t seen Unbroken yet so I can’t really judge whether it deserves any awards consideration or not.  However, I can say that Unbroken is not the only film for which Angelina Jolie deserves consideration.

Maleficent came out this summer and did quite well at the box office but it seems to have been forgotten and that’s a shame because it features one of Angelina Jolie’s best performances.  The film itself is a revisionist take on Sleeping Beauty, re-telling the story from the point-of-view of the fairy queen Maleficent (played, of course, by Angelina.)

In this version of the story, we see that the true villain was Sleeping Beauty’s father, Stefan (Sharlto Copley).  When they were younger, Stefan and Maleficent were lovers but the Stefan eventually abandoned her, knowing that having a relationship with a winged fairy would only serve to thwart his own ambitions.  Years later, when the humans attempt to conquer Maleficent’s kingdom, it is announced that whoever slays Maleficent will become the new king.  Knowing that Maleficent is still in love with him, Stefan drugs her and then cuts her wings off.  Using her wings as evidence to back up his claim that he has killed her, Stefan becomes the new king.  The now wingless Maleficent is left alone and embittered.  When Stefan’s daughter, Princess Aurora, is born, Maleficent announces that, on her sixteenth birthday, Aurora will sink into a deep sleep and will only be awaken by the kiss of someone who truly loves her.

Maleficent was one of those films that truly divided critics.  Male viewers tended to rightfully criticize the film for being tonally inconsistent and for relying too much on CGI.  Female critics, however, understood that none of that mattered.  As flawed as the film may have been, we knew that the most important thing was Angelina Jolie’s performance.  She may have been playing a fairy and she may have been appearing in a movie that was dominated by CGI but Angelina Jolie brought such strength and complexity to the role that she transcended all of the film’s flaws and instead created a thoroughly real character.  We understood and we related to Maleficent’s fury.  When she first woke up to discover that her wings had been stolen from her, it was devastating because the moment was real.  We all knew what had truly happened to Maleficent.  When she sought revenge, we sought it with her.  When she regretted her actions, we shared her regrets.  Her pain was our pain and her triumph was our triumph.

Angelina Jolie gave one of the best performances of the year in Maleficent and she certainly deserves your consideration.

Angelina-Jolie-as-Maleficent

Who the Hell Are These People?


With the Golden Globe nominations set to be announced on Tuesday, I figured now would be a good time to recap which films and performances have already been honored by the various critics groups. 

One thing that I discovered as I researched this is that there are a lot of critics groups out there!   I don’t know who half these people are and most of them probably won’t have any bearing at all on who is actually nominated come Oscar time.  But since I’m a lover of trivia and lists, there you go.

The following films and performances were honored by either The National Board of Review, the D.C. Film Critics, the Boston Society of Film Critics, The New York Film Critics Online,The Los Angeles Film Critics, The Indiana Film Journalists, The Southeastern Film Critics, The New York Film Critics Circle, or the San Francisco Film Critics.

Best Picture:

The Social Network (All.  That’s right, it’s a clean sweep for an above average film.)

Best Director:

Darren Aronofsky for Black Swan (S.F)

Olivier Assayas for Carlos (LAFC)

David Fincher for The Social Network (BSFC, DC, NBR, NYFCC, NYFCO, SEFC, S.F.)

Christopher Nolan for Inception (IFJ)

Best Actor:

Jesse Eisenberg (BSFC, NBR)

Colin Firth for The King’s Speech (DC, LAFC, NYFCC, SEFC, S.F.)

James Franco for 127 Hours (IFJ, NYFCO)

Best Actress:

Annette Bening for The Kids Are All Right (NYFCC)

Kim Hye-ja for Mother (LAFC)

Jennifer Lawrence for Winter’s Bone (DC)

Lesley Manville for Another Year (NBR)

Natalie Portman for Black Swan (BSFC, IFJ, NYFCO, SEFC)

Michelle Williams for Blue Valentine (S.F.)

Best Supporting Actor:

Niels Arestrup for A Prophet (LAFC)

Christian Bale for The Fighter (BSFC, DC, IFJ, NBR, NYFCO)

John Hawkes for Winter’s Bone (S.F.)

Mark Ruffalo for The Kids Are All Right (NYFCC)

Geoffrey Rush for The King’s Speech (SEFC)

Best Supporting Actress:

Melissa Leo for The Fighter (DC, NYFCC, NYFCO)

Juliette Lewis for Conviction (BSFC)

Hailee Steinfeld for True Grit (IFJ, SEFC)

Jacki Weaver for Animal Kingdom (LAFC, NBR, S.F.)

Best Documentary:

Exit Through The Gift Shop (DC, IFJ, NYFCO)

The Inside Job (NYFCC, SEFC)

Last Train Home (LAFC)

Marwencol (BSFC)

The Tillman Story (S.F.)

Waiting For Superman (NBR)

Best Animated Feature:

How To Train Your Dragon (IFJ)

The Illusionist (NYFCC)

Toy Story 3 (BSFC, DC, LAFC, NBR, NYFCO, SEFC, S.F.)

Best Adapted Screenplay:

The Social Network (BSFC, DC, IFJ, LAFC, NYFCO, SEFC, S.F.)

Best Original Screenplay:

Inception (DC)

The Kids Are All Right (NYFCC)

The Kings Speech (SEFC, S.F.)