Here Are The 2020 Nominations of the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle!


The San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle (SFBACC) have announced their nominations for the best of 2020!  It’s pretty much the usual suspects.  Every critics group that does nominations has nominated Nomadland.  It’s pretty much this year’s sure bet.  Usually, when it comes to the regional critics awards, the only real suspense is to whether or not Minari, First Cow, Trial of the Chicago 7 and I’m Thinking of Ending Things are going to pick up best picture nominations as well.  The SFBACC nominated both Minari and First Cow for best picture but not I’m Thinking of Ending Things and Trial of the Chicago 7 (though both did pick up screenplay nominations).

(Realistically, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is probably going to be judged by the Academy to be too strange.  That’s a shame because the Oscars can always use a little bit of strangness.)

The San Francisco winners will be announced on January 18th …. which is only 2 days away!  I guess they really don’t waste any time in the Bay Area.  Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
“First Cow”
“Minari”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”

Best Director
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Kelly Reichardt – “First Cow”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher – “Mank”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Kelly Reichardt & Jon Raymond – “First Cow”
Kemp Powers – “One Night in Miami”
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins -“The Father”
Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Delroy Lindo – “Da 5 Bloods”
Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal”
Steven Yeun -“Minari”

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Elisabeth Moss – “The Invisible Man”
Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Sidney Flanigan – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Supporting Actor
Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods”
David Strathairn – “Nomadland”
Leslie Odom Jr. – “One Night in Miami”
Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal”
Sacha Baron Cohen – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – “Mank”
Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Olivia Colman – “The Father”
Toni Collette – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Youn Yuh-jung – “Minari”

Best Animated Feature
“Marona’s Fantastic Tale”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Another Round”
“Bacurau”
“Collective”
“La Llorona”
“Two of Us”

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“Boys State”
“The Truffle Hunters”
“Time”

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – “First Cow”
Erik Messerschmidt – “Mank”
Hoyte Van Hoytema – “Tenet”
Joshua James Richards – “Nomadland”
Newton Thomas Sigel – “Da 5 Bloods”

Best Production Design
“First Cow”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“One Night in Miami”
“Tenet”

Best Film Editing
Alan Baumgarten – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Jennifer Lame – “Tenet”
Kirk Baxter – “Mank”
Yorgos Lamprinos – “The Father”

Best Original Score
Emile Mosseri – “Minari”
Terence Blanchard – “Da 5 Bloods”
Terence Blanchard – “One Night in Miami”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Mank”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Soul”

Special Citation for Independent Cinema
“La Llorona”
“The Last Tree”
“Sh*thouse”

Nomadland Wins In North Dakota


The North Dakota Film Society announced its picks for the best of 2020 earlier today.  All of the usual suspects won.  Nomadland took best picture.  Chloe Zhao took best director.  Frances McDormand picked up yet another best actress awards.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a complaint.  It’s just that, by this point, I’m so used to Nomadland, Zhao, and McDormand winning that I’m struggling to find a new way to announce their victories.

Nomadland is definitely the Oscar front runner right now.  To be honest, though, it’s sometimes better to be the underdog.  A lot of front runners have fallen to the side — The Social Network, La La Land, A Star is Born, Joker, 1917.  In other words — nothing has been determined yet and there’s still a whole month to go before we even know what’s been nominated for the Oscars.  In other words, don’t give up on Money Plane just yet!

Here are the winners from North Dakota:

Best Picture
FIRST COW (RUNNER UP)
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (RUNNER UP)
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
NOMADLAND (WINNER)
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Best Director
Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
David Fincher – MANK (RUNNER UP)
Charlie Kaufman – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
Kelly Reichardt – FIRST COW
Chloé Zhao – NOMADLAND (WINNER)

Best Actress
Viola Davis – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Sophia Loren – THE LIFE AHEAD
Frances McDormand – NOMADLAND (WINNER)
Carey Mulligan – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (RUNNER UP)
Kate Winslet – AMMONITE

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL (WINNER)
Chadwick Boseman – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Delroy Lindo – DA 5 BLOODS (RUNNER UP)
Gary Oldman – MANK
Steven Yeun – MINARI

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (WINNER)
Ellen Burstyn – PIECES OF A WOMAN (RUNNER UP TIE)
Saoirse Ronan – AMMONITE
Amanda Seyfried – MANK (RUNNER UP TIE)
Yuh-Jung Youn – MINARI (RUNNER UP TIE)

Best Supporting Actor
Bo Burnham – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
Sacha Baron Cohen – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (WINNER)
Orion Lee – FIRST COW (RUNNER UP)
Paul Raci – SOUND OF METAL
David Strathairn – NOMADLAND

Best Screenplay
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (RUNNER UP)
MANK
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (WINNER)
SOUND OF METAL

Best Production Design
EMMA.
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
MANK (WINNER)
NEWS OF THE WORLD
THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD (RUNNER UP)

Best Cinematography
EMMA.
FIRST COW
MANK (RUNNER UP)
NOMADLAND (WINNER)
TENET

Best Film Editing
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
MANK
NOMADLAND (WINNER)
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
TENET (RUNNER UP)

Best Original Score
AMMONITE
THE INVISIBLE MAN
MANK (WINNER)
SOUL (RUNNER UP)
TENET

Best Original Song
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM – ”Wuhan Flu” (WINNER)
MISS AMERICANA – ”Only the Young”
ON THE ROCKS – ”Identical”
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – ”Speak Now”
OVER THE MOON – ”Rocket to the Moon” (RUNNER UP)

Best International Feature
AND THEN WE DANCED (WINNER)
ANOTHER ROUND
BEANPOLE (RUNNER UP TIE)
COLLECTIVE (RUNNER UP TIE)
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Best Documentary Feature
ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY (WINNER)
BOYS STATE
COLLECTIVE
DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD (RUNNER UP)
TIME
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS

Best Animated Feature
THE CROODS: A NEW AGE
ONWARD
OVER THE MOON
SOUL (WINNER)
WOLFWALKERS (RUNNER UP)

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of The Houston Film Critics Society!


The Houston Skyline

The Houston Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2020 on Tuesday.  They’ll announce the winners on January 18th and, hopefully, they’ll remember that Texas always goes its own way and they’ll make some unexpected picks.

(Personally, I’m interested to see how Minari does, as it was filmed in the Texas/Oklahoma/Arkansas region and I do think there’s something to be said for local critics doing their bit to support local filmmaking.  I will also be interested to see who wins the award for Best Texas Independent Film.  I’m hoping it’ll be another victory for The Vast of Night.  We’ll find out on the 18th!)

Here are the nominees:

Best Picture

Da 5 Bloods
The Father
Minari
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Steven Yeun – Minari

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Youn Yuh‑jung – Minari

Best Screenplay
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Animated Feature
The Croods: A New Age
Onward
Over the Moon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Best Cinematography
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
Tenet

Best Documentary Feature
Boys State
Collective
Dick Johnson is Dead
My Octopus Teacher
Time

Best Foreign Language Feature
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
La Llorona
A Sun

Best Original Score
Mank
The Midnight Sky
News of the World
Soul
Tenet

Best Original Song
“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy
“Lo Si” from The Life Ahead
“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami
“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon
“Wear Your Crown” from The Prom

Best Visual Effects
Tenet
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky

Best Stunt Coordination Team
Birds of Prey
Mulan
The Old Guard
Tenet
Wonder Woman 1984

Texas Independent Film Award
Boys State
Miss Juneteenth
Ready or Not
The Vast of Night
Yellow Rose

Outstanding Cinematic Achievement
Criterion Channel as Best Movie Streaming Platform
Minari for the performance by Alan S. Kim
Small Axe for Steve McQueen’s vision for film anthology
Sound of Metal for immersive sound design
The Trial of the Chicago 7 for ensemble cast

The Hawaii Film Critics Society Honors The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Spike Lee!


The Hawaii Film Critics Society announced their picks for the best of 2020 yesterday and they did not pick Nomadland.  Instead, they named The Trial of the Chicago 7 as the best picture of the year and they named Spike Lee as a best director for Da 5 Bloods.  (It’s interesting that, after years of struggling to get awards recognition, Lee is feeling getting recognized for films that are nowhere close to being as effective or as revolutionary as his best work.)  Nomadland, however, did not go home empty-handed.  Frances McDormand won Best Actress and Chloe Zhao did pick up an award for her screenplay.  (Zhao won adapted screenplay.  Sorkin won original screenplay.  I dread that the same thing is going to happen on Oscar night and we’re going to have to sit through an Aaron Sorkin filibuster about protest, politics, and why women need to learn more about sports.)

(“Let me fix you,” Aaron Sorkin says as he pulls out a DVD boxset of Sports Night.)

The best thing about the Hawaii Film Critics Society is that they also gave out awards for Best Comic Book movie so congratulations, Bloodshot!  (To be honest, Bloodshot probably deserved the award because it’s not like there’s a lot of competition this year and, seriously, have you tried to sit through Birds of Prey more than once?)  Possessor won the award for Best Overlooked Film of the year.  (I agree, by the way.)  And, of course, Wonder Woman 1984 won worst film of the year, despite all of those early reviews that declared it to be “the film that we need right now.”  Then again, with the way things are going, maybe we deserve a bad movie?  Who knows?

All I do know is that I wish I lived in Hawaii and now learning that they have their own Film Critics Society, I’m probably even more likely to look into moving.  Seriously, Hawaii is beautiful and the film critics are apparently quirky.

Here are the winners!

BEST PICTURE
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

BEST ACTOR
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods

BEST ACTRESS
Frances McDormand – Nomadland

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Olivia Cooke – Sound of Metal

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

BEST ART DIRECTION
Chris Craine and Dan Webster – Mank

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Ann Roth – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Hoyte Van Hoytema – Tenet

BEST EDITING
Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Lupin III: The First

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Beastie Boys Story

BEST MAKE-UP
Mank

BEST SOUND
Sound of Metal

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Mank

BEST SONG
“Speak Now” – One Night in Miami…

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Tenet

BEST STUNT WORK
Tenet

BEST NEW FILMMAKER
Regina King – One Night in Miami…

BEST FIRST FILM
Florian Zeller – The Father

BEST OVERLOOKED FILM
Possessor – Brandon Cronenberg

BEST VOCAL/MOTION CAPTURE PERFORMANCE
Jamie Foxx – Soul

BEST HORROR FILM
Relic – Natalie Erika James

BEST COMIC BOOK MOVIE
Bloodshot – Dave Wilson

BEST SCI-FI FILM
Tenet – Christopher Nolan

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
The Life Ahead – Edoardo Ponti (Italy)

BEST HAWAIIAN FILM
Waikiki – Christopher Kahunahana (Oahu)

WORST FILM OF 2020
Wonder Woman 1984

The Films of 2020: Mank (dir by David Fincher)


As I watched David Fincher’s latest film, Mank, my main feeling was one of wanting to like the film more than I actually did.

I mean, really, the film sounds like it was specifically made to appeal to me.  It’s a film about the Golden Age of Hollywood, which is an era that has always fascinated me as both a film lover and history nerd.  Even more specifically, it’s a film about the writing of Citizen Kane, which is one of my favorite movies.  (On one of our first dates, Jeff and I snuck into a showing of Citizen Kane at the Magnolia.  The crime was fun and finally getting to see the movie on the big screen was even better.)  It’s a film that features a host of historical figures, everyone from Louis B. Mayer to Irving Thalberg to Orson Welles to William Randolph Hearst to Marion Davies to the title character himself, the self-destructive screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz.

Those historical figures are played by a truly impressive collection of actors, almost all of whom give memorable performances.  Gary Oldman plays Mankiewicz, lurching about Hollywood in a drunken haze and calling out the system while, somewhat hypocritically, also attempting to profit from it.  Charles Dance is compellingly arrogant as William Randolph Hearst.  Tom Burke captures Orson Welles’s trademark voice and charisma, making an impression despite having surprisingly little screen time.  Ferdinand Kingsley plays Irving Thalberg and steals nearly every scene in which he appears.  Arliss Howard is a marvel as the manipulate Mayer while Amanda Seyfried gives the best performance of her career so far as Marion Davies.  The film portrays Davies as being intelligent, witty, and perhaps the only truly honest person in Hollywood.  If it can be argued that Citizen Kane robbed Davies of her dignity, it can also be argued that Mank makes a sincere attempt to give it back to her.  With the exception of a distracting cameo from Bill Nye (yes, the science guy), Mank is perfectly cast.

And yet, despite all of that, the film never really engaged me on either an emotional or an intellectual level.  The black-and-white cinematography is gorgeous but the film plods from one incident to another, skipping back and forth in time and trying to convince us that Herman J. Mankiewicz was a more fascinating figure than he comes across as being.  For the most part, Mankiewicz comes across as being a bit of a bore and the film makes the classic mistake of assuming that we’ll naturally like him just because he’s the main character.  Gary Oldman is as charismatic as ever but the film doesn’t give him much of character to play.  Mankiewicz stumbles from scene to scene, searching for a drink and always complaining about one thing or another.  A little bit of Herman J. Mankiewicz goes a long way and, once it becomes apparent that he’s going to spend the entire film perpetually annoyed, Mankiewicz becomes a rather uninteresting character.  Long before this film even reached the halfway mark, I was on the side of everyone who wanted Mankiewicz to stop talking and just finish writing the damn script.

If you’re one of the ten or so people who is still outraged over the failure of Upton Sinclair’s 1934 gubernatorial campaign, you’ll probably enjoy this film.  For those of you haven’t read Greg Mitchell’s The Campaign of the Century: Upton Sinclair’s Race for Governor of California and the Birth of Media Politics, Upton Sinclair was a writer and longtime socialist activist who won the 1934 Democratic nomination to run for governor of California.  Despite garnering a lot of national attention with his End Poverty In California (EPIC) platform, Sincliar was overwhelmingly defeated by Republican Frank Merriam.  Mank argues that Sinclair’s defeat was largely due to dirty tricks and negative campaigning, most of it masterminded by Mayer and Hearst.  Mankiewicz is a Sinclair supporter who is angered by the underhanded efforts of Mayer and Hearst.  The script for Citizen Kane is, at least partially, Mankiewicz’s revenge on Hearst and Mayer for working against Sinclair and it’s something that Mankiewicz feels so strongly about that he’s willing to demand that Orson Welles give him credit for his work on the screenplay.  It’s a legitimate theory, but the film’s exploration of it feels rather shallow and intellectually lazy.  Just as it did with the character of Mankiewicz, the film makes the mistake of assuming the audiences will automatically find the candidacy of Upton Sinclair to be as inspiring as the film does.  The film continually insists that we should care but, when it finally has a chance to show us why Upton Sinclair’s campaign was important, all it can provide is Bill Nye The Science Guy, standing on a platform and complaining about religious hypocrisy.  It’s the cinematic equivalent of a casual acquaintance demanding to know why his twitter feed didn’t convince you to vote for Bernie Sanders.

From a historical point of view, the film does itself no favors by creating a fictional friend of Mankiewicz’s, one who is so consumed with guilt over his part in defeating Upton Sinclair that he ends up committing suicide.  It feels rather cheap and predictable, an easy way to give Mankiewicz some sort of motivation beyond being infatuated with Marion Davies.  Historically, the truth of the matter is that Frank Merriam turned to the left as soon as he was elected and Upton Sinclair went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for writing a series of now-unreadable books about an international do-gooder named Lanny Budd.  Meanwhile, director Felix E. Feist (who was responsible for shooting many of the anti-Sinclair newsreels that MGM released into cinemas) went on to have a very long career and never indicated that he felt any guilty for playing a part in Sinclair’s defeat.

Like many of David Fincher’s film, Mank works best as an exercise in style.  The black-and-white cinematography is to die for.  Some of the shots — especially early in the film — are breathtaking.  Mankiewicz may spend the majority of the film railing against the excesses of Hollywood but, visually, Fincher can’t get enough of them.  Indeed, much as with The Social Network, Fincher seems to be spend the majority of the film at odds with the the film’s overwritten and rather pompous script.  (Of course, Mank was written by Fincher’s late father while The Social Network was written by Aaron Sorkin.  While there’s a lot to criticize about Jack Fincher’s script, one can still be thankful that he wrote the script instead of Sorkin.  One can only imagine how Marion Davies would have been portrayed if Aaron Sorkin had been involved.)  Mank is narratively deficient but visually stunning.  The film’s script rather snarkily dismisses Orson Welles as being a mere “showman” but, as film, Mank proves that sometimes a showman is exactly what’s needed.

The San Diego Film Critics Society Honors Promising Young Woman


The Nashville critics were not the only ones to honor Promising Young Woman and Carey Mulligan yesterday!  The San Diego critics did so as well.

Here are all of the winners from San Diego:

​Best Picture
BLACK BEAR
FIRST COW
NOMADLAND
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SOUND OF METAL (RUNNER UP)
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (WINNER)

Best Director
Darius Marder – SOUND OF METAL
Kelly Reichardt – FIRST COW
Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)
Florian Zeller – THE FATHER
Chloe Zhao – NOMADLAND (WINNER)

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL (WINNER)
Chadwick Boseman – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Brian Dennehy – DRIVEWAYS
Anthony Hopkins – THE FATHER (RUNNER UP)
Steven Yeun – MINARI

Best Actress
Viola Davis – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Vanessa Kirby – PIECES OF A WOMAN
Frances McDormand – NOMADLAND (RUNNER UP)
Carey Mulligan – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (WINNER)
Aubrey Plaza – BLACK BEAR

Best Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Frank Langella – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Peter Macdissi – UNCLE FRANK (RUNNER UP)
Bill Murray – ON THE ROCKS
Paul Raci – SOUND OF METAL (WINNER)

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Ellen Burstyn – PIECES OF A WOMAN
Olivia Cooke – SOUND OF METAL
Amanda Seyfried – MANK (RUNNER UP)
Yuh-jung Youn – MINARI (WINNER)

Best Comedic Performance
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (RUNNER UP)
Sacha Baron Cohen – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Radha Blank – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (WINNER)
Bill Murray – ON THE ROCKS (RUNNER UP)
Andy Samberg – PALM SPRINGS

Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung – MINARI (WINNER)
Sofia Coppola – ON THE ROCKS
Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (RUNNER UP)
Darius Marder, Abraham Marder & Derek Cianfrance – SOUND OF METAL (RUNNER UP)
Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller – THE FATHER (WINNER)
Charlie Kaufman – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (RUNNER UP)
Kelly Reichardt & Jonathan Raymond – FIRST COW
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Chloé Zhao – NOMADLAND

Best Documentary
ATHLETE A
MY OCTOPUS TEACHER
REWIND
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA (RUNNER UP)
TIME (WINNER)

Best Animated Film
ONWARD
OVER THE MOON (RUNNER UP)
SOUL
TROLLS: WORLD TOUR
WOLFWALKERS (WINNER)

Best International Film
ANOTHER ROUND
THE LIFE AHEAD (WINNER)
MARTIN EDEN
THE PLATFORM (RUNNER UP)
SPUTNIK

Best Editing
Alan Baumgarten – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)
Andy Canny – THE INVISIBLE MAN (WINNER)
Andrew Dickler & Matthew Friedman – PALM SPRINGS
Jennifer Lame – TENET
Matthew L. Weiss – BLACK BEAR

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – FIRST COW
Erik Messerschmidt – MANK (RUNNER UP)
Joshua James Richards – NOMADLAND (WINNER)
Hoyte Van Hoytema – TENET
Dariusz Wolski – NEWS OF THE WORLD

Best Production Design
Donald Graham Burt – MANK (WINNER)
Nathan Crowley – TENET
Molly Hughes – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (RUNNER UP)
Kave Quinn – EMMA.
Shane Valentino – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)

Best Visual Effects
BIRDS OF PREY
GREYHOUND
THE INVISIBLE MAN (RUNNER UP)
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
SPUTNIK
TENET (WINNER)

Best Costumes
Erin Benach – BIRDS OF PREY (RUNNER UP)
Alexandra Byrne – EMMA. (WINNER)
April Napier – FIRST COW
Ann Roth – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Trish Summerville – MANK

Best Use of Music
DA 5 BLOODS
DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA (RUNNER UP)
HAMILTON (WINNER)
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (RUNNER UP)
SOUND OF METAL

Best Ensemble
DA 5 BLOODS
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI (WINNER)
PALM SPRINGS
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (RUNNER UP)
UNCLE FRANK

Breakthrough Artist
Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL (RUNNER UP)
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Radha Blank – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION (WINNER)
Sidney Flanigan – NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
Vanessa Kirby – PIECES OF A WOMAN

The Music City Film Critics Honor Promising Young Woman


Awards season continues!

Yesterday, the Music City Film Critics (that’s Nashville) announced their picks for the best of 2020!  They honored Promising Young Woman as Best Picture and Carey Mulligan for Best Actress.  Otherwise, the awards pretty much went to the usual suspects.  Chloe Zhao for Best Director.  Sacha Baron Cohen for Best Supporting Actor and Chadwick Boseman for Best Actor.  (I’m not looking forward to having to sit through any Oscar speeches from Sacha Baron Cohen so let’s hope the Academy is more impressed by either Boseman, Paul Raci, or Bill Murray.)  Aaron Sorkin picked up an award for his screenplay.  Same old, same old.  But at least the great Carey Mulligan got some recognition.

Here are the winners!

BEST FILM
Da 5 Bloods
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Father
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
David Fincher – Mank
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Florian Zeller – The Father
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

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

BEST ACTRESS
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bill Burr – The King of Staten Island
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (TIE)
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (TIE)
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari (TIE)

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Da 5 Bloods
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night in Miami…
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Onward (dir. Dan Scanlon)
Over the Moon (dir. Glen Keane)
Scoob! (dir. Tony Cervone)
Soul (dir. Pete Docter)
Wolfwalkers (dir. Tomm Moore & Ross Stewart)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Another Round (dir. Thomas Vinterberg)
Bacurau (dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho & Juliano Dornelles)
Collective (dir. Alexander Nanau)
I’m No Longer Here (dir. Fernando Frías)
​The Platform (dir. Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Collective (dir. Alexander Nanau)
Dick Johnson is Dead (dir. Kirsten Johnson)
The Social Dilemma (dir. Jeff Orlowski)
Time (dir. Garrett Bradley)
You Cannot Kill David Arquette (dir. David Darg & Price James)

BEST SCREENPLAY
I’m Thinking of Ending Things (Charlie Kaufman)
Mank (Jack Fincher)
Minari (Lee Isaac Chung)
Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Aaron Sorkin)

BEST SONG
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – “Hear My Voice”
Eurovision Song Contest – “Husavik (My Hometown)”
Trolls: World Tour – “Just Sing”
Over the Moon – “Rocket to the Moon”
One Night in Miami… – “Speak Now”
Tenet – “The Plan”

BEST SCORE
Minari (Emile Mosseri)
Tenet (Ludwig Göransson)
Da 5 Bloods (Terence Blanchard)
Mank (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)
Soul (Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Da 5 Bloods (Newton Thomas Sigel)
Mank (Erik Messerschmidt)
News of the World (Dariusz Wolski)
Nomadland (Joshua James Richards)
Tenet (Hoyte van Hoytema)

BEST EDITING
Nomadland (Chloé Zhao)
Mank (Kirk Baxter)
Tenet (Jennifer Lame)
The Father (Yorgos Lamprinos)
The Invisible Man (Andy Canny) (TIE)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Alan Baumgarten) (TIE)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Mank (Donald Graham Burt)
Emma. (Kave Quinn)
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Mark Ricker)
Da 5 Bloods (Wynn Thomas)
The Personal History of David Copperfield (Christina Casali)

The Jim Ridley Award
Awarded to Nashville musician William Tyler for his score for First Cow

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


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

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

Here are the nominations!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
Collective
Vitalina Varela

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

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

The National Society of Film Critics Honors Nomadland


I was kind of hoping that, when they met and voted earlier today, the National Society Of Film Critics would add some new films and performances to the Oscar discussion but instead, they went for the usual suspects.  Nomadland took Best Picture, though First Cow was a close runner-up.  Chloe Zhao, Frances McDormand, and Maria Bakalova won again.  I mean, if we’re going to be honest …. it was all pretty predicable.  Remember how, in past years, it sometimes took nearly an entire day for the NSFC to announce all their winners because the voting was so close?  That didn’t happen this year.  It was all pretty much cut-and-dried.  I followed along on twitter because I’m addicted to this stuff but as soon as they announced Frances McDormand was their pick for Best Actress, I knew how the day was going to go.

(And don’t get me wrong!  Frances McDormand is great!  I haven’t seen Nomadland yet but I greatly admired The Rider, Chloe Zhao’s previous film.  Please do not think that I’m saying that any of these awards are undeserved because I most certainly am not.  Instead, I’m just saying that — from the perspective of a lifelong Oscar watcher — it’s more fun when things aren’t predictable.)

Oh well, it happens.  Sometimes, you have an Oscar race where every precursor is unpredictable and it seem like anyone could win.  And then we have years like this one, where the same film keeps winning over and over again.  Some people would say that we should probably just be happy that people can all agree on something for once.  Hopefully, they won’t say that to me, though.  If we’re all going to agree on something, let’s agree to treat one another with respect and not always jump to the worst conclusion about the other side.  Agreeing on films, though, is nothing to celebrates.  Films are meant to be argued about.

Anyway, here are the winners from the National Society Of Film Critics!

Best Picture
Winner: NOMADLAND (52 points)
Runners-up: FIRST COW (50 points) & NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (41 points)

Best Director
Winner: Chloé Zhao, NOMADLAND (58 points)
Runners-up: Steve McQueen, SMALL AXE (41 points) & Kelly Reichardt, FIRST COW (30 points)

Best Foreign-Language Film
Winner: COLLECTIVE (38 points)
Runners-up: BACURAU and BEANPOLE (36 points) & VITALINA VARELA (32 points)

Best Actress
Winner: Frances McDormand, NOMADLAND (46 points)
Runners-up: Viola Davis, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (33 points) & Sidney Flanigan, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (29 points)

Best Actor
Winner: Delroy Lindo, DA 5 BLOODS (52 points)
Runners-up: Chadwick Boseman, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (47 points) & Riz Ahmed, SOUND OF METAL (32 points)

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Maria Bakalova, BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (47 points)
Runners-up: Amanda Seyfried, MANK (40 points) & Youn Yuh-jung, MINARI (33 points)

Best Supporting Actor
​Winner: Paul Raci, SOUND OF METAL (53 points)
Runners-up: Glynn Turman, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (36 points) & Chadwick Boseman, DA 5 BLOODS (35 points)

Best Screenplay
Winner: Eliza Hittman, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS (38 points)
Runners-up: Jon Raymond and Kelly Reichardt, FIRST COW (35 points) Charlie Kaufman, I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (29 points)

Best Cinematography
Winner: Joshua James Richards, NOMADLAND (47 points)
Runners-up: Shabier Kirchner, LOVERS ROCK (41 points) & Leonardo Simões, VITALINA VARELA (34 points)

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of the San Diego Film Critics Society!


The regional critics have been busy today!

The San Diego Film Critics Society have announced their nominees for the best of 2020!  Perhaps the most interesting tidbit here is that they nominated Black Bear for best picture.  So far, Black Bear hasn’t really been spoken of as an Oscar contender but, with the extended awards season and all, that could all change.  It’ll be interesting to see if the SDFCS nomination is just an outlier or a sign of critics just now discovering the film.  If nothing else, it keeps things interesting.

Here are the nominees!  The winners will be announced on Monday, January 11th.

​Best Picture
BLACK BEAR
FIRST COW
NOMADLAND
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SOUND OF METAL
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Best Director
Darius Marder – SOUND OF METAL
Kelly Reichardt – FIRST COW
Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Florian Zeller – THE FATHER
Chloe Zhao – NOMADLAND

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL
Chadwick Boseman – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Brian Dennehy – DRIVEWAYS
Anthony Hopkins – THE FATHER
Steven Yeun – MINARI

Best Actress
Viola Davis – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Vanessa Kirby – PIECES OF A WOMAN
Frances McDormand – NOMADLAND
Carey Mulligan – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
Aubrey Plaza – BLACK BEAR

Best Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Frank Langella – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Peter Macdissi – UNCLE FRANK
Bill Murray – ON THE ROCKS
Paul Raci – SOUND OF METAL

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Ellen Burstyn – PIECES OF A WOMAN
Olivia Cooke – SOUND OF METAL
Amanda Seyfried – MANK
Yuh-jung Youn – MINARI

Best Comedic Performance
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Sacha Baron Cohen – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Radha Blank – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
Bill Murray – ON THE ROCKS
Andy Samberg – PALM SPRINGS

Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung – MINARI
Sofia Coppola – ON THE ROCKS
Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
Darius Marder, Abraham Marder & Derek Cianfrance – SOUND OF METAL
Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Best Adapted Screenplay
Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller – THE FATHER
Charlie Kaufman – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
Kelly Reichardt & Jonathan Raymond – FIRST COW
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Chloé Zhao – NOMADLAND

Best Documentary
ATHLETE A
MY OCTOPUS TEACHER
REWIND
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA
TIME

Best Animated Film
ONWARD
OVER THE MOON
SOUL
TROLLS: WORLD TOUR
WOLFWALKERS

Best International Film
ANOTHER ROUND
THE LIFE AHEAD
MARTIN EDEN
THE PLATFORM
SPUTNIK

Best Editing
Alan Baumgarten – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Andy Canny – THE INVISIBLE MAN
Andrew Dickler & Matthew Friedman – PALM SPRINGS
Jennifer Lame – TENET
Matthew L. Weiss – BLACK BEAR

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – FIRST COW
Erik Messerschmidt – MANK
Joshua James Richards – NOMADLAND
Hoyte Van Hoytema – TENET
Dariusz Wolski – NEWS OF THE WORLD

Best Production Design
Donald Graham Burt – MANK
Nathan Crowley – TENET
Molly Hughes – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
Kave Quinn – EMMA.
Shane Valentino – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Best Visual Effects
BIRDS OF PREY
GREYHOUND
THE INVISIBLE MAN
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
SPUTNIK
TENET

Best Costumes
Erin Benach – BIRDS OF PREY
Alexandra Byrne – EMMA.
April Napier – FIRST COW
Ann Roth – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Trish Summerville – MANK

Best Use of Music
DA 5 BLOODS
DAVID BYRNE’S AMERICAN UTOPIA
HAMILTON
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
SOUND OF METAL

Best Ensemble
DA 5 BLOODS
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
PALM SPRINGS
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
UNCLE FRANK

Breakthrough Artist
Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Radha Blank – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
Sidney Flanigan – NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
Vanessa Kirby – PIECES OF A WOMAN