What If Lisa Marie Picked The Oscar Nominees: 2021 Edition


With the Oscar nominations due to be announced tomorrow, now is the time that the Shattered Lens indulges in a little something called, “What if Lisa Marie had all the power.” Listed below are my personal Oscar nominations. Please note that these are not the films that I necessarily think will be nominated. The fact of the matter is that the many of them will not be. Instead, these are the films that would be nominated if I was solely responsible for deciding the nominees this year. Winners are listed in bold.

I should also point out that, unlike the Academy (which is using a March to December, 2021 eligibility window), I am using a January to December 2021 eligibility window.  So, you may see a few nominees below that were technically nominated for the 2020 Oscars, despite the fact that the films themselves were not really given a theatrical release until the the first few months of 2021.  The Father is probably the most obvious example of this.

It should also go without saying that I’ve only nominated films that I’ve actually seen.  So, if you’re wondering why a certain film wasn’t nominated, it’s always possible that may have not gotten the opportunity to see it yet.  I have a feeling that The Souvenir Part II and Cyrano would have potentially shown up in the list of nominee below if either one of those films was currently available in my part of the world.  Of course, it’s also possible that I didn’t feel that a certain film was worthy of a nomination, despite what the critics may see.  In the end, my best advice is not to worry too much about it.  I’m not an Academy voter so ultimately, this is all for fun and that’s the spirit in which it should be taken.

You’ll also note that I’ve added four categories, all of which I believe the Academy should adopt — Best Voice-Over Performance, Best Casting, Best Stunt Work, and Best Overall Use Of Music In A Film.

Click on the links to see my nominations for 2020, 201920182017201620152014201320122011, and 2010!)

And now, without further ado:

Best Picure
Belfast
CODA
The French Dispatch
The Last Duel
Licorice Pizza
Mass
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
Shiva Baby


Best Director
Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza
Kenneth Branagh for Belfast
Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog
Joel Coen for The Tragedy of Macbeth
Fran Kanz for Mass
Emma Seligman for Shiva Baby


Best Actor
Nicolas Cage in Pig
Bradley Cooper in Nightmare Alley
Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog
Anthony Hopins in The Father
Udo Kier in Swan Song
Denzel Washington in Tragedy of Macbeth


Best Actress
Jodie Comer in The Last Duel
Alana Haim in Licorice Pizza
Emilia Jones in CODA
Frances McDormand in The Tragedy of Macbeth
Rachel Sennott in Shiva Baby
Tessa Thompson in Passing


Best Supporting Actor
Reed Birney in Mass
Bradley Cooper in Licorice Pizza
Jamie Dornan in Belfast
Jason Isaacs in Mass
Troy Kostur in CODA
Chaske Spencer in Wild Indian


Best Supporting Actress
Caririona Balfe in Belfast
Ann Dowd in Mass
Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog
Kathryn Hunter in The Tragedy of Macbeth
Ruth Negga in Passing
Martha Plimpton in Mass


Best Voice Over Performance
Olivia Colman in Ron Gone Wrong
Jack Dylan Grazer in Ron Gone Wrong
Micahel Imperioli in The Many Saints of Newark
Abbi Jacobson In The Mitchells vs The Machines
Danny McBride in The Mitchells vs The Machines
Sylvester Stallone in The Suicide Squad


Best Original Screenplay
Belfast
CODA
Licorice Pizza
Mass
Pig
Shiva Baby


Best Adapted Screenplay
The Father
The French Dispatch
The Last Duel
Nightmare Alley
Passing
The Power of the Dog


Best Animated Feature Film
Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs The Machines
Ron Gone Wrong
Summit of the Gods


Best Documentary Feature Film
Final Account
Flee
Boris Karloff: The Man Behind The Monster
Summer of Soul
Val
The Velvet Underground


Best International Feature Film
Another Round
Dear Comrades!
Flee
Quo Vadis, Aida?
Prayers For The Stolen
Summit of the Gods

Best Original Score
Assault on VA-33
Belfast
The French Dispatch
The Green Knight
Reminiscence
Shiva Baby


Best Original Song

“So May We Start” from Annette
“Beyond the Shore” from CODA
“Surface Pressure” from Encanto
“On My Way” From The Mitchells vs The Machines
“Remain” from Old
“Fire In The Sky” from Shang-Chi and The Legend of the Gold Rings


Best Overall Use Of Music
Annette
CODA
Encanto
Licorice Pizza
Summer of Soul
Tick …. Tick …. Boom!


Best Sound Editing
Black Widow
Dune
Godzilla vs. Kong
A Quiet Place Part II
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the 10 Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home


Best Sound Mixing
Belfast
CODA
Dune
In The Heights
Tick …. Tick …. Boom!
Spider-Man: No Way Home


Best Production Design
Dune
The French Dispatch
The Last Duel
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
Tragedy of Macbeth


Best Casting
Belfast
CODA
East of the Mountains
Licorice Pizza
The Power of the Dog
Shiva Baby


Best Cinematography
Belfast
The French Dispatch
Nightmare Alley
Passing
The Power of the Dog
Tragedy of Macbeth


Best Costume Design
Dune
The Green Knight
The Last Duel
Nightmare Alley
Passing
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings


Best Film Editing
Belfat
The Father
The Last Duel
Licorice Pizza
Tragedy of Macbeth
Shiva Baby


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Dune
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
The French Dispatch
The Green Knight
Nightmare Alley
The Suicide Squad


Best Stuntwork
Assault on VA-33
Black Widow
Dune
The Harder They Fall
No Time To Die
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings


Best Visual Effects
A Quiet Place Part II
Annette
Dune
Godzilla vs. Kong
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Spider-Man: No Way Home

List of Nominees By Number of Nominations

10 Nominations — Belfast

9 Nominations — Licorice Pizza

8 Nominations — CODA, The Tragedy of Macbeth

7 Nominations — Dune, Mass, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog, Shiva Baby

6 Nominations — The French Dispatch, The Last Duel

5 Nominations — Passing, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

4 Nominations — The Mitchells vs The Machines

3 Nominations — Annette, Encanto, The Father, Flee, The Green Knight, Ron’s Gone Wrong, Spider-Man: No Direction Home, The Suicide Squad

2 Nominations — A Quiet Place Part II, Assault on VA-33, Black Widow, Godzilla vs Kong, Pig, Summer of Soul, Summit of the Gods, tick….tick….BOOM!

1 Nomination — Another Round, Dear Comrades!, East of the Mountains, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Final Account, Boris Karloff: The Man Behind the Monster, The Harder They Fall, In The Heights, Luca, The Many Saints of Newark, No Time To Die, Old, Prayers For The Stolen, Quo Vadis Aida?, Reminiscence, Swan Song, Val, The Velvet Underground, Wild Indian

List of Films By Number of Oscars Won:

3 Oscars — Licorice Pizza

2 Oscars — CODA, Dune, Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog

1 Oscar — Belfast, Dear Comrades!, Encanto, The Father, The French Dispatch, The Green Knight, The Many Saints of Newark, Mass, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Shiva Baby, Summit of the Gods, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Val, Wild Indian

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions for January


Well, here we are. Another awards season is wrapping up. Almost all of the regional critic groups have announced their picks for the best of 2021. The Guilds have spoken. The front runners have emerged. Both Don’t Look Up and Being the Ricardos have weathered bad reviews and become probable Oscar nominees. If nothing else, I’ll have something to complain about for the next three or four months. At the same time, Power of the Dog has emerged as the critical favorite. Belfast seems to be the populist favorite. West Side Story is the big production that has to be nominated, even though no one seems to feel particularly strongly about it one way or the other. Dune is the blockbuster that the Academy is hoping will cause people to tune into the ceremony, especially now that it appears that the Spider-Man Oscar campaign has fizzled. Don’t Look Up is the “Let’s piss off the cons” nominee. Being the Ricardos is this year’s “Wow, our industry really is the best” nominee. Personally, I’m going to view tick, tick….Boom! as being the most likely dark horse to pull off an upset.

So, with all that in mind, here’s my last set of 2021 Oscar predictions.

Looking at the list below, I have to say that we certainly have a good race this year. It’s interesting that, this year, only films that were released between March and the end of December were eligible for the Oscars. 2021 was a very good year for movies! Not only do we have the nominees below but we also had films like The Father and Judas and the Black Messiah, both of which are 2021 films as far as I’m concerned.

(Consider this. If the Oscars had kept the eligibility window the same last year instead of extending it to accommodate films delayed by the pandemic, Anthony Hopkins would probably be the Best Actor front runner right now and the Academy probably would have given Chadwick Boseman a posthumous Best Actor award last April. I also imagine that Jesse Plemons would have a better chance of picking up a supporting actor nomination if the members of the Academy were currently screening both The Power of the Dog and Judas and the Black Messiah at the same time.)

To see how my thinking has evolved,  check out my predictions for March and April and May and June and July and August and September and October and November and December!

The Oscar nominations will be announced on February 8th. Below are my predictions!

Best Picture

Being The Ricardos
Belfast
CODA
Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
The Power Of The Dog
Tick, Tick….Boom!
West Side Story

Best Director

Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog

Adam McKay for Don’t Look Up

Lin-Manuel Miranda for tick, tick …. Boom!

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve for Dune

Best Actor

Nicolas Cage in Pig

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield in tick, tick….Boom!

Will Smith in King Richard

Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Nicole Kidman in Being the Riacardos

Kristen Stewart in Spencer

Best Supporting Actor

Bradley Cooper in Licorice Pizzia

Ciaran Hinds in Belfast

Troy Kostur in CODA

Jared Leto in House of Gucci

Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress

Caitriona Balfe in Belfast

Ariana DeBose in West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis in King Richard

Ruth Negga in Passing

The Georgia Film Critics Association Honors Licorice Pizza!


The Georgia Film Critics Association have announced their picks for the best of 2021!  Licorice Pizza picked up another award for Best Picture while Jane Campion continued to sweep the best director awards.  Nic Cage was named Best Actor for Pig.  Alana Haim and Bradley Cooper took Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor (both for Licorice Pizza) while West Side Story‘s Ariana DeBose was named Best Supporting Actress.  Spider-Man: No Way Home was named the best film to have been shot in Georgia.

Here are the winners from Georgia:

Best Picture
BELFAST
CODA
DUNE
FLEE
THE GREEN KNIGHT
LICORICE PIZZA
THE POWER OF THE DOG
TICK, TICK… BOOM!
WEST SIDE STORY
​THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

Best Director
DUNE – Denis Villeneuve
THE GREEN KNIGHT – David Lowery
LICORICE PIZZA – Paul Thomas Anderson
THE POWER OF THE DOG – Jane Campion
WEST SIDE STORY – Steven Spielberg

Best Actor
Nicolas Cage – PIG
Benedict Cumberbatch – THE POWER OF THE DOG
Peter Dinklage – CYRANO
Andrew Garfield – TICK, TICK… BOOM!
Will Smith – KING RICHARD

Best Actress
Lady Gaga – HOUSE OF GUCCI
Alana Haim – LICORICE PIZZA
Agathe Rousselle – TITANE
Kristen Stewart – SPENCER
Rachel Zegler – WEST SIDE STORY

Best Supporting Actor
Bradley Cooper – LICORICE PIZZA
Colman Domingo – ZOLA
Ciarán Hinds – BELFAST
Jason Isaacs – MASS
Troy Kotsur – CODA
Kodi Smit-McPhee – THE POWER OF THE DOG

Best Supporting Actress
Ariana DeBose – WEST SIDE STORY
Ann Dowd – MASS
Kirsten Dunst – THE POWER OF THE DOG
Kathryn Hunter – THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
Ruth Negga – PASSING

Best Original Screenplay
BEING THE RICARDOS – Aaron Sorkin
BELFAST – Kenneth Branagh
LICORICE PIZZA – Paul Thomas Anderson
MASS – Fran Kranz
TITANE – Julia Ducournau

Best Adapted Screenplay
CODA – Sian Heder
DRIVE MY CAR – Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
THE GREEN KNIGHT – David Lowery
THE POWER OF THE DOG – Jane Campion
WEST SIDE STORY – Tony Kushner

Best Cinematography
DUNE
THE GREEN KNIGHT
THE POWER OF THE DOG
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH
WEST SIDE STORY

Best Production Design
DUNE
THE FRENCH DISPATCH
THE GREEN KNIGHT
NIGHTMARE ALLEY
THE TRAGEDY OF MACBETH

Best Original Score
DUNE – Hans Zimmer
ENCANTO – Germaine Franco
THE HARDER THEY FALL – Jeymes Samuel
THE POWER OF THE DOG – Jonny Greenwood
SPENCER – Jonny Greenwood

Best Original Song
“Dos Orugitas” from ENCANTO
“Guns Go Bang” from THE HARDER THEY FALL
“Just Look Up” from DON’T LOOK UP
“No Time to Die” from NO TIME TO DIE
“So May We Start” from ANNETTE

Best Ensemble
CODA
DUNE
LICORICE PIZZA
MASS
THE POWER OF THE DOG

Best Foreign Language Film
DRIVE MY CAR
FLEE
THE HAND OF GOD
PETITE MAMAN
TITANE
​THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD

Best Animated Film
ENCANTO
FLEE
LUCA
THE MITCHELLS VS. THE MACHINES
RAYA AND THE LAST DRAGON

Best Documentary Film
THE FIRST WAVE
FLEE
THE RESCUE
SUMMER OF SOUL (…OR WHEN THE REVOLUTION COULD NOT BE TELEVISED)
VAL

Breakthrough Award
Alana Haim – LICORICE PIZZA
Jude Hill – BELFAST
Cooper Hoffman – LICORICE PIZZA
Emilia Jones – CODA
Agathe Rousselle – TITANE
Rachel Zegler – WEST SIDE STORY

Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema
ANGIE (short)
BLACK WIDOW
CLEAN SLATE
CONGRATULATIONS (short)
COPSHOP
A FIRE WITHIN
RED NOTICE
RESPECT
SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME
THE SUICIDE SQUAD

Licorice Pizza Wins In Oklahoma


The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle have named Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza the best film of 2021!

Actually, I really like the OFCC’s picks.  They spread the wealth pretty evenly between Licorice Pizza and The Power of the Dog and they remembered two of my favorite films of the year, Pig and The Green Knight.  They also gave out an award for Most Disappointing Film Of The Year and how can I not cheer their selection of Don’t Look Up?

Here are the winners in Oklahoma!

Best Picture
“Licorice Pizza”

Top 10 Films
1. Licorice Pizza
2. The Power of the Dog
3. West Side Story
4. The Green Knight
5. Summer of Soul
6. The French Dispatch
7. Tick, Tick…Boom!
8. C’mon C’mon
9. Dune
10. Nightmare Alley / Pig / Red Rocket (TIE)

Best Director
Winner: Jane Campion – “The Power of the Dog”
Runner-Up: Paul Thomas Anderson – “Licorice Pizza”

Best Actress
Winner: Alana Haim – “Licorice Pizza”
​Runner-Up: Jessica Chastain – “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”

Best Actor
Winner: Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Power of the Dog”
​Runner-Up: Andrew Garfield – “Tick, Tick…Boom!”

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Kirsten Dunst – “The Power of the Dog”
​Runner-Up: Ariana DeBose – “West Side Story”

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Kodi Smit-McPhee – “The Power of the Dog”
Runner-Up: Ciaran Hinds – “Belfast”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: “The Power of the Dog” – Jane Campion
​Runner-Up: “Dune” – Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve & Eric Roth

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: “Licorice Pizza” – Paul Thomas Anderson
​Runner-Up: “The French Dispatch” – Wes Anderson

Best Animated Film
Winner: “The Mitchells vs the Machines”
​Runner-Up: “Encanto”

Best Documentary
Winner: “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”
​Runner-Up: “The First Wave”

Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: “Drive My Car” (Japan)
​Runner-Up: “The Worst Person in the World” (Norway)

Best First Feature
Winner: “The Lost Daughter” – Maggie Gyllenhaal
​Runner-Up: “Tick, Tick…Boom!” – Lin-Manuel Miranda

Best Ensemble
Winner: “The French Dispatch”
​Runners-Up: “Licorice Pizza” & “The Power of the Dog” (TIE)

Best Cinematography
Winner: “Dune” – Greig Fraser
​Runner-Up: “The Power of the Dog” – Ari Wegner

Best Score
Winner: “The Power of the Dog” – Jonny Greenwood
​Runner-Up: “Dune” – Hans Zimmer

Best Body of Work
Winner: Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Tick, Tick…Boom!,” “Encanto,” “In the Heights” & “Vivo”)
​Runner-Up: Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick…Boom!,” “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” & “Spider-Man: No Way Home”)

Most Disappointing Film
Winner: “Don’t Look Up”
​Runners-Up: “Halloween Kills” & “Spencer” (TIE)

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions for December


Well, the year’s nearly over and that means that it is time for me to post my final Oscar predictions for 2021.  The race has gotten much clearer with the start of the precursor season.  The critics love The Power of the Dog.  However, it’s perhaps a bit too early to declare it the front runner.  I want to see how things go with the Guilds in January before I bestow that title on any film.

A few thoughts:

There are ten Best Picture nominees this year so we won’t have any of that, “Here’s a random number of nominees” crap.  In theory, that should open the door for some unconventional nominees that might have missed the cut-off in previous years.  Again, I said, “In theory.”  They tried this 10 nominee thing before and it didn’t really lead to the results that a lot of people were expecting.

Still, I’m going to swing out on a web and predict a Best Picture nomination for Spider-Man: No Way Home.  It’s got Disney and Sony behind it.  It’s making a ton of money despite not playing in China.  It’ the film that’s currently giving the industry hope that there’s a future outside of the streaming sites.  Plus, after the nominations of Black Panther and Joker, it might be time to give the whole “They’ll never nominate a comic book movie!” argument a rest.  

I’m also going to predict a Best Picture nomination for Drive My Car, which has been getting a lot of attention from the critics.  

The critics also loved West Side Story but now, it’s probably best known for being a bust at the box office.  I still think the movie will be nominated but I don’t think it’ll win.  And I think it’s a lot less likely that Rita Moreno will pick up a nomination.  People seem to have moved on from the movie.  Again, this could all change once the Guilds start announcing their nominations.

The critics are split on Don’t Look Up.  I personally think it’s one of the worst films of 2021.  But the film will be nominated for much the same reason that The Big Short and Vice were nominated.  There’s a lot of Academy members who agree with McKay’s politics.  And the people who do like Don’t Look Up really, really like it.  And I also think there’s probably enough people annoyed with Elon Musk that Mark Rylance will sneak into the supporting actor race.

Belfast has not been dominating the early part of awards season but I think it will come on strong once the Guilds start announce their nominations.

Anywya, these are just my guesses, for better or worse.  To see how my thinking has evolved,  check out my predictions for March and April and May and June and July and August and September and October and November!

Best Picture

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

Drive My Car

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

Spider-Man: No Way Home

West Side Story

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza

Kenneth Branagh for Belfast

Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog

Ryusuke Hamaguchi for Drive My Car

Denis Villeneueve for Dune

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch in The Power of the Dog

Peter Dinklage in Cyrano

Andrew Gardield for tick….tick….BOOM!

Will Smith in King Richard

Denzel Washington in The Tragedy of MacBeth

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Lady Gaga in House of Gucci

Alana Haim in Licorice Pizza

Kristen Stewart in Spencer

Rachel Zegler in West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor

Bradley Cooper in Licorice Pizza

Ciaran Hinds in Belfast

Troy Kostur in CODA

Mark Rylance in Don’t Look Up

Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress

Ariana DeBose in West Side Story

Ann Dowd in Mass

Kirsten Dunst in The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis in King Richard

Marlee Matlin in CODA

 

Film Review: Licorice Pizza (dir. by Paul T. Anderson)


Age is one of those strange factors when it comes to relationships.

My Dad was 35 when he married my Mom, who was 10 years his junior. Aaron and Sam Taylor-Johnson have a 23 year age difference between each other and they’re doing fine (I hope). Florence Pugh and Zach Braff have a 21 year difference. Anna Nicole Smith was about 27 when she married a near 90 year old J. Howard Marshall. If your mind is totally shutting down on you on the age differences, I’d tell you that maybe Paul Thomas Anderson’s Licorice Pizza may not be for you, but to still give it a chance. The story is so well written that you’ll often forget there any kind of age differences. If that’s not a problem, the movie is more than worth your time.

A Licorice Pizza is another word for a vinyl album. Although I grew up with records (Purple Rain and Jaws were on constant rotation as a kid), I can’t say I’ve ever heard the term before.

Licorice Pizza is a love story at heart, between 15 year old Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman, son of the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman, an Anderson regular) and 25 year old Alana Kane (Alana Haim, of the band Haim) set in the early 1970s. Gary’s young, but is both very curious and confident, actively looking for the next opportunity ahead of him (even if he has to create it). Alana’s successful at what she does, is resourceful in her own right and doesn’t hesitate to call someone out on their crap.

I caught Licorice Pizza on the Friday after Thankgsiving at the Village East by Angelika just below 14th Street in Manhattan. which hosts one of the best 70 MM screens in the borough. This was the same theatre I attended for Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master in 70MM. The place is absolutely beautiful and reminds me of the old Ziegfeld. Think of 70MM as what IMAX was before IMAX ever existed.

By far, Licorice Pizza‘s greatest strengths are the plot and cast. For Hoffman and Haim, these are their first acting performances, but they flow so well in every scene (with Haim the stronger of the two) that it feels completely natural. Hoffman is energetic and smooth, and I hope to see him do more in the future. Haim is a marvel, and if she doesn’t end up with some kind of award for all this, I’d be very shocked. She dances with all of these actors as if she’s done it for years, and in the rare instance where there’s a hiccup – there’s a moment regarding the character’s age – the recovery’s so quick that you have to wonder if that was scripted or not. It reminds me of Michael Mann’s Miami Vice, in that being undercover is basically taking on a persona and throwing yourself fully into it to make it believable. Both leads are the heart of all this.

Jack Holden (Sean Penn) takes Alana Kane (Alana Haim) for a ride in P.T. Anderson’s Licorice Pizza

Of course, it helps to have backup to support the leads. Alana Kane’s family is also Alana Haim’s. Her sisters, Danielle and Este, along with their parents are all on hand here. The film is also peppered with stars like Tom Waits (Bram Stoker’s Dracula), Sean Penn playing a variant on Bill Holden(Milk), Christine Ebersole (The Wolf of Wall Street), Benny Safdie (Uncut Gems) and Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids, and she’s Anderson’s wife) that help to round out the weirdness of Los Angeles in the 1970s. Of particular note are both George DiCaprio (Father of Leonardo) as a waterbed salesman, and Bradley Cooper as legendary producer Jon Peters (who was responsible for Batman, A Star is Born and Man of Steel). Of all of the supporting cast, Cooper has by far the most positive and zany appearance, with his version of Peters feeling more like a live action Rocket Raccoon. His character here is almost the opposite of the one he plays in Nightmare Alley. I also loved Benny Safdie’s politician here. Each supporting character has a story of their own that Alana & Gary are pulled into.

And then there’s John Michael Higgins, who plays a restaurant owner who makes fun of his Japanese wife’s ability to speak English. He talks to her in a made up broken version of Japanese, which my audience seemed to be okay with. They laughed, mostly. It’s like the Christmas Story Chinese Food scene, where the family has to listen to a broken version of “Deck the Halls”. Depending on who you are, it may come across as cringeworthy, and is honestly the only thing that stumble steps the movie in any way. Then again, one could argue that it’s just the 70s. Things were different. Anyone recollecting what life was life back then is bound to have a relative or someone just like that.

All that aside, I loved the flow of the movie. Between The Master and Inherent Vice, I half expected Licorice Pizza to take some dark turns. While the movie does get a little strange where the effects of the gas shortage plays in (also one of the best scenes), the film is incredibly lighthearted and fun. Like every romantic comedy, you have all of the great elements. Gary pursues Alana, but her attentions are turned towards another. By the time Alana starts to realize that maybe Gary is good for her, he’s kind of moved on. You may find yourself hoping everything works out – it’s hard not to love these characters. All of this is done with a soundtrack from the era that rivals some of the best offerings from Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood or Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy. A little Bowie, some Nina Simone, some Paul McCartney and Wings & even Donovan pepper the film. For the score, Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood is back once again as Anderson’s go-to composer.

Overall, Licorice Pizza is a surprisingly lighthearted tale from Paul T. Anderson. It never overreaches or spends too much time in any one place, understanding that love is a complex thing. Grounded by two talented newcomers, a plethora of supporting heavies, a wonderful soundtrack and a screenplay that’ll make you smile, Licorice Pizza is an easy recommendation.

Licorice Pizza Wins in St. Louis


The St. Louis Film Critics Association has named Licorice Pizza as the best of 2021!

Here are all of the winners and the runners-up from St. Louis!

BEST FILM
Belfast (RUNNER-UP TIE)
Licorice Pizza (WINNER)
The Power of the Dog (RUNNER-UP TIE)
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

BEST DIRECTOR
Paul Thomas Anderson – “Licorice Pizza”
Wes Anderson – “The French Dispatch”
Kenneth Branagh – “Belfast” (RUNNER-UP)
Jane Campion – “The Power of the Dog
” (WINNER)
Steven Spielberg – “West Side Story”
Denis Villeneuve – “Dune”

BEST ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain – “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” (RUNNER-UP TIE)
Olivia Colman – “The Lost Daughter” (RUNNER-UP TIE)
Lady Gaga – “House of Gucci”
Nicole Kidman – “Being the Ricardos”
Kristen Stewart – “Spencer” (WINNER)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Ann Dowd – “Mass” (WINNER)
Kirsten Dunst – “The Power of the Dog”
Rita Moreno – “West Side Story” (RUNNER-UP)
Ruth Negga – “Passing”
Aunjanue Ellis – “King Richard”

BEST ACTOR
Nicolas Cage – “Pig” (WINNER)
Benedict Cumberbatch – “The Power of the Dog”
Andrew Garfield – “Tick, Tick…Boom!” (RUNNER-UP)
Will Smith – “King Richard”
Denzel Washington – “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Ben Affleck – “The Last Duel”
Bradley Cooper – “Licorice Pizza”
Ciarán Hinds – “Belfast” (RUNNER-UP)
Jared Leto – “House of Gucci”
Kodi Smit-McPhee – “The Power of the Dog” (WINNER)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Paul Thomas Anderson – “Licorice Pizza” (RUNNER-UP)
Kenneth Branagh – “Belfast”
Fran Kranz – “Mass” (WINNER)
Aaron Sorkin – “Being the Ricardos”
Michael Sarnoski and Vanessa Block – “Pig”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
“The Power of the Dog” (WINNER)
“CODA” 
(RUNNER-UP TIE)
“West Side Story”
“Drive My Car” (RUNNER-UP TIE)
“Dune”

BEST ENSEMBLE
Belfast
Being The Ricardos
The French Dispatch (RUNNER-UP)
Licorice Pizza
Mass (WINNER)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Bruno Delbonnel – “​The Tragedy of Macbeth” (RUNNER-UP TIE)
Greig Fraser – “Dune”
Janusz Kaminski – “West Side Story” (RUNNER-UP TIE)
Ari Wegner – “The Power of the Dog” (WINNER)
Haris Zambarloukos – “Belfast”

BEST EDITING
Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn – “West Side Story” (RUNNER-UP TIE)
Andy Jurgensen – “Licorice Pizza”
Paul Machliss – “Last Night in Soho” (WINNER)
Úna Ní Dhonghaíle – “
Belfast” (RUNNER-UP TIE)
Joe Walker – “Dune”

BEST SCORE
Nicholas Britell – “Don’t Look Up”
Carter Burwell – “​The Tragedy of Macbeth”
Hans Zimmer – “Dune” (WINNER)
Jonny Greenwood – “The Power of the Dog
” (RUNNER-UP)
Jonny Greenwood – “Spencer”

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Cruella (WINNER)
Last Night in Soho
Licorice Pizza (RUNNER-UP)
The Tender Bar
West Side Story

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Jenny Bevan – “Cruella” (WINNER)
Odile Dicks-Mireaux – “Last Night in Soho”
Jacqueline Durran – “Spencer” (RUNNER-UP)
Robert Morgan and Jacqueline West – “Dune”
Janty Yates – “House of Gucci”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Tamara Deverell – “Nightmare Alley”
Marcus Rowland – “Last Night in Soho”
Adam Stockhausen – “The French Dispatch” (WINNER)
Adam Stockhausen – “West Side Story”
Patrice Vermette – “Dune” (RUNNER-UP)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Black Widow
Dune (WINNER)
Finch (RUNNER-UP TIE)
Free Guy
​The Tragedy of Macbeth (RUNNER-UP TIE)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Encanto (RUNNER-UP)
Flee
Luca
​The Mitchells vs. The Machines (WINNER)
​Vivo

BEST HORROR FILM
Candyman
Lamb
Last Night in Soho
A Quiet Place Part II (WINNER)
Titane (RUNNER-UP)

BEST COMEDY FILM
Don’t Look Up (RUNNER-UP)
Free Guy
Licorice Pizza (WINNER)
The French Dispatch
​The Mitchells vs. The Machines

BEST ACTION FILM
Black Widow
Free Guy
Nobody
No Time to Die (RUNNER-UP)
​Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (WINNER)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Flee (WINNER)
The Rescue
Summer of Soul (RUNNER-UP)
The Velvet Underground
​Tina

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM
Drive My Car, Japan (WINNER)
Flee, Denmark
The Hand of God, Italy (RUNNER-UP)
A Hero, Iran
​Titane, France

BEST SCENE
Buddy when he hears the rioters approaching in “Belfast”
First dance at the nightclub in “Last Night in Soho” (RUNNER-UP)
Truck driving in reverse in “Licorice Pizza” (WINNER)

Sunday brunch at the diner in “Tick, Tick…Boom!”
“America” in “West Side Story”

Here Are the 2021 Nominations of the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics!


The Washington D.C. Area Film Critics have announced their nominees for the best of 2021!  The winners will be announced tomorrow so that means you have exactly one day to see all the nominees.  GET TO IT!

Best Film
Belfast
The Green Knight
The Power of the Dog
tick, tick…BOOM!
West Side Story

Best Director
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
David Lowery – The Green Knight
Steven Spielberg – West Side Story
Denis Villeneuve – Dune

Best Actor
Nicolas Cage – Pig
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog
Andrew Garfield – tick, tick…BOOM!
Will Smith – King Richard
Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Actress
Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter
Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos
Lady Gaga – House of Gucci
Kristen Stewart – Spencer
Tessa Thompson – Passing

Best Supporting Actor
Jamie Dornan – Belfast
Ciarán Hinds – Belfast
Troy Kotsur – CODA
Jesse Plemons – The Power of the Dog
Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress
Caitríona Balfe – Belfast
Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
Ann Dowd – Mass
Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog
Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

Best Acting Ensemble
Belfast
The French Dispatch
The Harder They Fall
Mass
The Power of the Dog

Best Youth Performance
Jude Hill – Belfast
Emilia Jones – CODA
Woody Norman – C’mon, C’mon
Saniyya Sidney – King Richard
Rachel Zegler – West Side Story

Best Voice Performance
Awkwafina – Raya and the Last Dragon
Stephanie Beatriz – Encanto
Abbi Jacobson – The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Kelly Marie Tran – Raya and the Last Dragon
Jacob Tremblay – Luca

Best Original Screenplay
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
Mike Mills – C’mon, C’mon
Zach Baylin – King Richard
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza
Fran Kranz – Mass

Best Adapted Screenplay
Siân Heder – CODA
Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth – Dune
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
Steven Levenson – tick, tick…BOOM!
Tony Kushner – West Side Story

Best Animated Feature
Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Best Documentary
The First Wave
Flee
The Rescue
Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Val

Best International/Foreign Language Film
Drive My Car
A Hero
Lamb
Titane
The Worst Person in the World

Best Production Design
Jim Clay, Production Designer; Claire Nia Richards, Set Decorator – Belfast
Patrice Vermette, Production Designer; Richard Roberts and Zsuzsanna Sipos, Set Decorators – Dune
Adam Stockhausen, Production Designer; Rena DeAngelo, Set Decorator – The French Dispatch
Tamara Deverell, Production Designer; Shane Vieau, Set Decorator – Nightmare Alley
Adam Stockhausen, Production Designer; Rena DeAngelo, Set Decorator – West Side Story

Best Cinematography
Haris Zambarloukos – Belfast
Greig Fraser – Dune
Andrew Droz Palermo – The Green Knight
Ari Wegner – The Power of the Dog
Bruno Delbonnel – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Best Editing
Úna Ní Dhonghaíle – Belfast
Joe Walker – Dune
Andrew Weisblum – The French Dispatch
Peter Sciberras – The Power of the Dog
Myron Kerstein & Andrew Weisblum – tick, tick…BOOM!

Best Original Score
Bryce Dessner & Aaron Dessner – Cyrano
Hans Zimmer – Dune
Alexandre Desplat – The French Dispatch
Jonny Greenwood – The Power of the Dog
Jonny Greenwood – Spencer

The New York Film Critics Circle Honors Lady Gaga and Drive My Car!


The New York Film Critics Circle announced their picks for the best of 2021 today and there were some surprises. I don’t think anyone was predicting that Drive My Car would win Best Film.  But that’s part of the fun of an unpredictable awards season.  Occasionally, there’s a surprise or two.

Here are the winners in New York:

Best Film
Drive My Car

Best Director
Jane Campion – The Power Of The Dog

Best Screenplay
Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Best Actress
Lady Gaga – House Of Gucci

Best Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power Of The Dog

Best Supporting Actress
Kathryn Hunter – The Tragedy Of Macbeth

Best Supporting Actor
Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power Of The Dog

Best Cinematography
West Side Story
​​
​Best Animated Feature
The Mitchells vs. The Machines

Best Non-Fiction Film
Flee

Best Foreign Language Film
The Worst Person In The World

Best First Film
The Lost Daughter

Special Awards
– Maya Cade for the creation of the Black Film Archive
– Diane Weyermann, posthumous award for supporting daring and impactful filmmaking at Sundance and Participant
– Marshall Fine for his years of service as NYFCC’s General Manager and decades on the NY film scene

Here Are The Nominations From The Detroit Film Critics Society


The Detroit Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2021 earlier today.  It’s an interesting group of nomination, though I would point out that Detroit is usually one of the quirkier of the critics groups.  Every awards season, they nominate something or someone unexpected, there’s a brief flurry of excitement, and then everyone moves on.

I guess that’s one reason why I love them.

Anyway, here’s their nominations:

BEST PICTURE
Belfast
CODA
Cyrano
Don’t Look Up
King Richard

BEST DIRECTOR
Sean Baker – Red Rocket
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast
David Lowery – The Green Knight
Adam McKay – Don’t Look Up
Lan-Manuel Miranda – Tick, Tick…Boom!

BEST ACTOR
Nicolas Cage – Pig
Peter Dinklage – Cyrano
Andrew Garfield – Tick, Tick…Boom!
Oscar Isaac – The Card Counter
Will Smith – King Richard

BEST ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain – The Eyes Of Tammy Faye
Alana Haim – Licorice Pizza
Jennifer Hudson – Respect
Nicole Kidman – Being The Ricardos
​Kristen Stewart – Spencer

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Jon Bernthal – King Richard
Troy Kotsur – CODA
Jared Leto – House Of Gucci
Ray Liotta – The Many Saints Of Newark
Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power Of The Dog

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
Kirsten Dunst – The Power Of The Dog
Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard
Rita Moreno – West Side Story
Diana Rigg – Last Night In Soho

BEST ENSEMBLE
CODA
Don’t Look Up
The French Dispatch
The Harder They Fall
House Of Gucci

BREAKTHROUGH
Alana Haim – Actress – Licorice Pizza
Emilia Jones – Actress – CODA
Woody Norman – Actor – C’mon C’mon
Agathe Rousselle – Actress – Titane
Emma Seligman – Writer/Director – Shiva Baby

BEST USE OF MUSIC/SOUND
Cyrano
In The Heights
Last Night In Soho
Tick, Tick…Boom!
West Side Story

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Don’t Look Up
The French Dispatch
The Harder They Fall
Licorice Pizza
Parallel Mothers

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
CODA
The Green Knight
In The Heights
The Power Of The Dog
Tick, Tick…Boom!

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Belle
Cryptozoo
Encanto
Flee
Luca
The Mitchells vs. The Machines

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Flee
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain
The Sparks Brothers
Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street
Summer Of Soul