Film Review: Gerry (dir by Gus Van Sant)


First released in 2002, Gerry tells the story of two men named Gerry, played by Matt  Damon and Casey Affleck.  

When we first see the two Gerrys, they’re in a car and they are driving through the desert.  Neither one is speaking but they both have oddly determined looks on their faces.  When they pull off to the side of the road, they talk about how they are finally going to hike the wilderness trail and see “the thing” at the end of it.  They start to hike.  In order to avoid a vacationing family, they step off of the trail.  Soon, they are lost in the desert.

The audience doesn’t learn much about either one of the men named Gerry.  It’s obvious that they’ve known each other for a while and that they have a close relationship but it’s never stated how they met or what they do with their time when they’re not lost in the desert.  Nothing is learned about their family or their jobs or their significant others.  Matt Damon’s Gerry seems to be the more confident of the two.  Casey Affleck’s Gerry seems to be prone to pessimism.  Damon’s Gerry tries to figure out the best way to find the highway.  Affleck’s Gerry climbs to the top of a rock and can’t figure out how to get down.  It’s tempting to try to use how the men react to being lost as a way to imagine what type of lives the two men lead outside of the desert but in the end, their lives in the real world are no longer important.  What’s important is that they are both now lost in the desert, walking under the burning sun and suffering from dehydration.

The film follows Affleck and Damon as they go from being amused at being lost to being desperate to be found.  The men go from joking to barely speaking at all.  When they first get lost, they climb to the top of a mountain to see if they can spot the path back to the civilization.  Soon, though, all they can do is keep walking forward and hope that they stumble across the highway.  Interestingly, the more lost the men become, the most beautiful the desert seems.  The mountains are often so majestic and strikingly formed that it becomes easier and easier to overlook the two men walking near them.

As we follow the two men, it’s tempting to wonder just why exactly they ended up getting lost.  Are they being punished for trying to conquer nature or was it just a case of random bad luck that led to them going in the wrong direction?  Is there a greater hand of fate guiding the Gerrys or are they responsible for their own misfortunes?  Does the tragedy at the heart of Gerry truly mean anything or is it just one of those things that people try to invest with deeper meaning because otherwise, they would be forced to admit just insignificant their lives are in the grand scheme of things?  Is there even a grand scheme of things?  These are questions that Gerry asks but doesn’t necessarily question.  The film ends with a cut to a blue screen, which is perhaps an homage to Blue, Derek Jarman’s 1993 meditation on life and death.  Like Jarman’s film, Gerry is meditation that searches for answers but admits that they may not be out there.

Gerry was directed by Gus Van Sant, an experimental director who also has a side gig directing mainstream studio films.  Gerry is a bit of an interesting hybrid.  On the one hand, the format is definitely experimental and Van Sant often goes out of his way to alienate the audience.  On the other hand, the film itself is an example of the power of old-fashioned movie star charisma.  Most people who watch this film will watch because it features Matt Damon and Casey Affleck.  Damon and Affleck are the reason why most viewers will be willing to tolerate a 7-minute shot of the two Gerrys stumbling through the desert.  Would the viewer still care about the Gerrys if they were played by the two unknowns who Van Sant cast as the school shooters in Elephant?  

Gerry may be an enigmatic and visually striking film that is full of intriguing questions that can probably never be answered but, in the end, the film does make one thing very clear.  Never underestimate the importance of casting a star.

Film Review: Stillwater (dir by Tom McCarthy)


I finally watched Stillwater a few weeks ago.  Stillwater, as you remember, was originally meant to come out in 2019 but the release date got moved to November of 2020, presumably so it could be an Oscar contender and also so it could come out just in time to provide some cinematic commentary on the presidential election.  However, due to the COVID lockdowns, the release date got moved back to 2021.  It was finally released on July 30th, 2021 and it was briefly the center of some controversy before everyone forgot that the movie existed.

Stillwater tells the story of Bill Baker (Matt Damon) and his daughter, Allison (Abigail Breslin).  Bill is a plain-spoken construction worker from Oklahoma.  He drives a pickup truck.  He always wears a baseball cap.  He speaks in the deep accent of the American midwest.  He says grace before eating.  He probably listens to country music and Kid Rock.  Though he says at one point that he can’t vote because he has a criminal record, Bill would probably have voted for Trump if he had been allowed to vote (hence, the controversy when the film was finally released).

His daughter, Allison (Abigail Breslin), left Oklahoma so that she could attend school in France and, presumably, so she could get away from her father.  Allison’s girlfriend, Lina, was murdered in France and Allison was convicted of the crime.  Now, she’s sitting in prison while still protesting her innocence.  Every few weeks, Bill boards a plane and flies to France.  He gives Allison supplies, like an Oklahoma University sweatshirt.  He also tries to convince the authorities to reopen her case.  Allison swears that there is evidence that will exonerate her.  When Bill, who doesn’t even speak French, realizes that he will never be able to convince the authorities to reopen the case, he decides to do some investigating on his own.

Bill moves to France.  He lives with and eventually falls in love with an actress named Virginie (Camille Cottin).  He becomes a surrogate father to Virginie’s young daughter.  Virginie also serves as Bill’s translator as he searches for a witness who can prove that Allison is innocent.  Virginie gets upset when Bill suspects that the murderer might have been a refugee from the Middle East.  When one potential witness uses racial slurs, Virginie refuses to translate anything that he says.  When she explains to Bill why she won’t talk to the man, Bill replies that he deals with people like that all the time …. back in the United States.  When Virginie’s cultured friends meet Bill, they all dismiss him as being an ugly American and demand to know why he doesn’t like immigrants.

Yes, you guessed it.  Stillwater isn’t just a murder mystery.  It’s also meant to make a statement about America’s place in the world, with Bill standing in for the country during the age of Trump.  Bill is the type of American that Europeans tend to hate and Bill’s efforts to prove his daughter’s innocence lead to him doing some things that have obvious parallels with the techniques used by CIA interrogators during the War on Terror.  “How far would you go to protect your family?  How far would you go to protect your country?” the film seems to be asking.  It’s not an irrelevant question but the film approaches it in too heavy-handed of a manner to really be effective.  Matt Damon might as well have spent the entire film shouting, “I’m an American!” like Dennis Hopper did in Apocalypse Now.  That would have actually be kind of fun.

For someone who has given so many good performance in the past (and who was excellent in The Last Duel), Matt Damon gives a curiously detached performance as Bill.  One gets the feeling that Damon was not particularly interested in emotionally connecting with the role of someone who has probably never seen a Matt Damon movie and who would certainly never vote for any of the candidates that Matt Damon has ever endorsed.  (One can just imagine the scene if Will Hunting tried to convince Bill Baker to read anything by Howard Zinn.)  Since Damon doesn’t seem to know how to suggest that Bill has any sort of inner life, he instead concentrates on trying to perfect Bill’s accent.  And yet, even there, the film is inconsistent.  It takes more to sound like your from Oklahoma than just lowering your voice and saying, “Yeah” a lot.  Watching the film, I could help but think that Mark Wahlberg or even Ben Affleck would have been a bit better cast as Bill.  Neither one of them sounds like they’re from Oklahoma, of course.  But they do have the sort of blue collar attitude that Damon was lacking.

As for Abigail Breslin, she’s not really given much of a role to play.  Every 15 minutes or so, she steps into a prison meeting room and berates her father for not getting her out of jail.  Until that last few minutes of the film, that’s pretty much the extent of her role.  Breslin is playing a character who is obviously meant to bring to mind Amanda Knox.  The real-life Knox didn’t particularly appreciate this and, having watched the film, I have to say that Knox was more than justified in being offended. Even though the film is fictionalized, enough of the details of Allison’s case correspond to the details of Amanda Knox’s case that it’s impossible to watch the film without thinking of Knox.  Beyond that, though, Allison is an inconsistently written character.  The film’s final twist lacks power precisely because we really don’t know anything about Allison or what her relationship with her father was like before she was arrested.

As a director, Tom McCarthy uses the same flat visual style that made Spotlight one of the least interesting films to ever win best picture.  Tonally, the film is all over the place.  It starts out as a murder mystery before becoming a romance, and then suddenly, it takes a turn into Taken territory.  It ends on an annoyingly ambiguous note, meant to leave the audience to wonder whether or not everything that Bill went though was actually worth it.  If Bill and Allison felt like real characters, the ending may have worked but since they don’t, the ending just leaves you wondering whether it was worth spending over two hours to reach this point.

Anyway, if you want to see a better Damon performance, I suggest checking out Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel.  If you want to see a better film for director Tom McCarthy, I suggest tracking down 2011’s Win Win, a charming film that feels authentic in a way that Stillwater never quite does.

Finally! We have a trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel!


We’ve been waiting for a while.

Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel has been a project that has had several projected release dates. It was originally expected to be a 2020 Oscar contender but, like many highly anticipated films, it kept getting moved back due to the Coronavirus pandemic. That was unfortunately, though I am ultimately glad that the film waited for the theaters as opposed to going the streaming route. One thing that all Ridley Scott films, good or bad, have in common is that they’re best viewed on a big screen.

This October, we should finally get to see The Last Duel. The film tells a a true story and features such Oscar-friendly actors as Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Adam Driver. Though Gladiator may have won best picture, Ridley Scott is still in the hunt for his first directing win. This year, he not only has The Last Duel in the hunt but he’s also going to have House of Gucci, featuring Lady Gaga, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and, once again, Adam Driver.

The trailer for The Last Duel was released today. From what I saw on social media, the reaction was a bit mixed, with many pointing out that the visuals had a bit of a washed-out look to them. Indeed, watching the trailer, one wonders if it ever stopped snowing in 14th century France. Personally, though, I’m a little bit more concerned with Ben Affleck’s hair. Adam Driver and Matt Damon are usually well-cast in period films but, in the past, Ben Affleck has always come across like he can’t wait to catch the next train back to Boston. That said, there was a lot about the trailer that I did like. The sets look impressive and it really does seem like the type of story that usually brings out the best in Ridley Scott as a director.

Plus, I have to say that I really like the film’s poster, which has something of a Ken Russell feel to it. If anything, the poster actually has me more excited about seeing the film than the trailer does.

With all of that said and in mind, here’s the trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel!

Here’s The Trailer for Stillwater!


Stillwater is a film that I’ve been hearing about for a while. It was directed by Tom McCarthy, who previously did the Oscar-winning (if subsequently kind of forgotten) Spotlight and it stars Matt Damon as a man who tries to prove that his estranged daughter (Abigail Breslin) is not guilty of the murder for which she’s been convicted.

Originally, it was thought that Stillwater would be done in time for a late 2019 release but ultimately, it got a 2020 release date. But then pandemic occurred and everything got pushed back and, as a result, Stillwater is now set to be released on July 30th.

The trailer finally dropped today and …. well, its looks okay. To be honest, it kind of looks like one of those films that shows up, without much fanfare, on Netflix. But McCarthy’s strongest trait, as a director, has always been his ability to inspire and capture good performances and it looks like Matt Damon is very well-cast in the lead role. I’ve always felt that Matt Damon is one of those actors who is so consistently good that he gets taken granted.

Here’s the trailer:

Lisa’s Way Too Early 2022 Oscar Predictions for March!


Yes, it’s time to start this again.

The Oscar nominations for 2020-2021 were finally revealed earlier this month. They weren’t particularly surprising. To be honest, they were kind of boring. But, with those nominations now revealed and the Oscars sets to be awarded at the end of April, that means it’s time to start looking forward to next year!

Of course, it’s hard to say what’s going to happen next year. Most of the films that are scheduled to come out later in 2021 were originally scheduled to come out in 2020. (And they were made in 2018 and 2019, which means the first big releases of 2021 are already dated.) Right now, most of the probable nominees are films that I originally expected to be contenders last year, like Spielberg’s West Side Story and Dune. Needless to say, new contenders will emerge over the next few months. Quite frankly, I’m skeptical of West Side Story because it sounds like the type of project that will bring out all of Spielberg’s worst instincts as a filmmaker. But, until it’s released, it’ll be a contender because he’s Spielberg.

As of right now, we don’t even know what the eligibility window is going to be for the next set of Oscar contenders. Is the Academy going to go back to a December cut-off or are they going to continue to extend the eligibility window. Are we predicting the 2021 Oscars or are we predicting the 2021-2022 Oscars? Again, as of now, we just don’t know. Personally, I’m hoping they return to a December cut-off but I have a feeling that the Academy will disagree.

About the only thing we do know for sure, right now, is that the Academy is going to go back to a set number of nominees. 10 films will be nominated. No more of this maybe 7 or maybe 8 nominees. It’s about time.

Anyway, the list below is based on the assumption that the Academy’s going to go back to the old eligibility window, which means that only films released between the start of March and the end of December will be eligible for Oscar consideration.

It’s also based on the presumption that the Oscars can be predicted this far out. They can’t. But I enjoy making lists and I love the Oscars. Doing these predictions has become a part of my monthly ritual. You know how much I love a good ritual.

So, here are my potentially worthless predictions for what will be nominated next year!

Best Picture

CODA

Dune

The French Dispatch

House of Gucci

In the Heights

The Last Duel

Nightmare Alley

Passing

Respect

West Side Story

Best Director

Guillermo Del Toro for Nightmare Alley

Rebecca Hall for Passing

Ridley Scott for House of Gucci

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve for Dune

Best Actor

Clifton Collins, Jr. in Jockey

Bradley Cooper in Nightmare Alley

Matt Damon in The Last Duel

Adam Driver in The Last Duel

Will Smith in King Richard

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Lady Gaga in House of Gucci

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Tessa Thompson in Passing

Rachel Zegler in West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor

David Alvarez in West Side Story

Daniel Durant in CODA

Jeremy Irons in House of Gucci

Al Pacino in House of Gucci

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Best Supporting Actress

Cate Blanchett in Nightmare Alley

Ariana DeBose in West Side Story

Vera Farmiga in The Many Saints of Newark

Marlee Matlin in CODA

Ruth Negga in Passing

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions For May (For What They’re Worth)


Are we even going to have an Oscar ceremony next year?

Who knows?  I hope we do because I think that it would provide some sort of normalcy.  Even if everyone chooses not to watch it, at least they’ll have that choice.  (People tend to forget how important, psychologically and emotionally, it is for people to have a choice.  All of these cheery “We’re all in it together” commercials don’t mean shit if people are feeling imprisoned.)  Up until this week, I was pretty confident that we would because COVID-19 was in decline and restrictions were being lifted and things seemed like they were heading in the right direction.  (Or, at least, that’s the way it seemed in my part of the world.  I know that some people disagreed with my assessment.)  Now, we’re in the middle of nation-wide rioting and a divisive presidential election so who knows what’s going to happen with the rest of this year.  Will theaters even want to risk reopening before 2021?  Will they be able to?  The Academy has said that streaming films will qualify this year but how many studios want to release all of their big productions VOD?

I’m going to continue to make my monthly Oscar predictions, though.  My reasons are pretty selfish: making them helps to keep me centered.  I’m a compulsive scheduler and keeping that schedule (which is really what I’m doing with these monthly predictions) helps me deal with my ADD.

So, with that in mind, here are my Oscar predictions.  Take them with a grain of salt.  And be sure to check out my previous predictions for January, February, March, and April!

Best Picture

Ammonite

The Father

Hillbilly Elegy

Minari

News of the World

Nomadland

Respect

Soul

The Trial of Chicago 7

West Side Story

Best Director

Paul Greengrass for News of the World

Ron Howard for Hillbilly Elegy

Francis Lee for Ammonite

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

Best Actor

Matt Damon in Stillwater

Tom Hanks in News of the World

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Bill Murray in On The Rocks

Gary Oldman in Mank

Best Actress

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Angelina Jolie in Those Who Wish Me Dead

Sofia Loren in The Life Ahead

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Kate Winslet in Ammonite

Best Supporting Actor

David Alvarez in West Side Story

Tom Burke in Mank

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Steven Yeun in Minari

Best Supporting Actress

Abigail Breslin in Stillwater

Glen Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman in The Father

Saoirse Ronan in Ammonite

Helena Zengel in News of the World

That’s it for this month!  Hopefully, next month will bring a bit more clarity.

 

Ford v Ferrari (dir. by James Mangold)


fordvferrari posterIt’s rare for me to say that I enjoyed a film so much that I didn’t want it to end, but James Mangold’s Ford v. Ferrari hits all the right notes. A fantastic cast, impressive visuals on the races, scenes that flow without any time wasted and sound that begs to be heard on a surround system. It’s no surprise that the film earned Four Oscar Nominations – Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Film Editing and Best Picture, all of which are well deserved. If the lineup this year wasn’t so stacked, I’d say that Ford v Ferrari would score quite a bit. It can go any way, but It may end up like The Shawshank Redemption – A great film that could be eclipsed by giants.

Based on a true story, Ford v. Ferrari focuses on the Ford Motor Company in the mid 60’s, down on its luck and looking for a way to stay ahead of the game. Henry Ford II, played by a scene stealing Tracy Letts (August: Osage County), asks his workers to come up with an idea. A young Lee Iacoccoa  (Jon Bernthal, The Punisher) feels the best way to do so is to attempt to win the famed 24 hour race at Le Mans in France. The LeMans is dominated by Ferrari, who hand manufactures their machines to be legends in the racing circuit. If Ford could win, it would put them in a better light to consumers, but winning requires more than just a fast car.

Ford enlists the help of Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon, The Martian), along with his brash and skillful driver, Ken Miles (Christian Bale, 3:10 to Yuma), Ken has a few issues getting along with others, but his knowledge of cars is brilliant. Shelby continuously goes to bat for Miles, who isn’t exactly poster boy material in the eyes of Ford.  Together, they work on building a competitive vehicle. The poster may suggest the story is about the cars, but at its heart, I felt that Ford v. Ferrari was more about the friendship between Shelby and Miles than anything else. Their mutual love of cars and racing is what ties it all together.

When it comes to the technical points of racing, Ford v Ferrari’s script doesn’t ask you to know much about cars going in. Just about everything you need to about the LeMans and the abilities of the cars is explained through the characters over time. Car gurus may find areas where liberties are taken, but casual watchers should find themselves entertained.

Kudos goes out to the casting for Ford v. Ferrari. Josh Lucas (Poseidon) plays the heavy in the film as a Ford businessman who would love to see Miles out of the spotlight. Caitriona Balfe (Starz’ Outlander) has some good moments with Bale as Miles’ wife, Mollie, though she happens to be the only woman in the film with many lines. Given that the story takes place in the 1960s and its guys building cars, it made sense. Playing Miles son, Peter, Noah Jupe (Honey Boy, A Quiet Place) is that character that helps the audience understand the nuances of racing. I kind of wish Bernthal had more to do here, but he’s cool when he’s on screen and carries his weight easily.

The film belongs to Damon and Bale, though. Damon’s Shelby is full of attitude. He knows what he wants to get done, what needs to happen and just does it. Damon carries this with ease, and it’s easy to forget that the actor is there at times (for me, anyway). Bale does the same, but is on a different level, with his Ken Miles being both focused and a little wild, perhaps even cynical. There’s a great mix of comedy and drama between the two actors.

The sound quality of Ford v. Ferrari is amazing. If you had the chance to see it in the cinema, consider yourself lucky. The rev of the engines are crisp, the shifting the of gears sublime. I’d be somewhat shocked if the film doesn’t walk away with the Sound Mixing / Sound Editing Oscars. From a visual standpoint, the races themselves offer some nice tracking shots, though there may be one or two scenes that particularly stand out.

Mangold and Phedon Papamichael (his Director of Photography for Walk the Line) perform some interesting tricks with the camera. With the races themselves, the cuts are smooth. You have dynamic tracking shots of cars  in some cases while others are lit enough to be comfortable. One of my favorite scenes involves a play on shadows that makes it appear like you’re watching a race, complete with the sound of the cars in the background. It’s subtle touches like that make me wonder why it wasn’t nominated for Best Cinematography. I should also note that for a 2:30 minute film, it flies by. I found very few (if any) moments where I felt a scene wasn’t particularly needed to push the narrative along. You can thank Jez and John-Henry Butterworth (Edge of Tomorrow) for that screenplay.

I can’t say I have any real problems with Ford v Ferrari. Overall, it’s an entertaining film right from the start that gets you into the story and behind the wheel.

Lisa’s Way, Way, Way, Way, Way, Way, Way Too Early Oscar Predictions For February


It’s a fool’s errand to try to predict next year’s Oscars nominees this early but we’re all about taking risks here at the Shattered Lens.  So, with that in mind, here is my latest set of monthly predictions.

If you look over these names, you’ll see a lot of familiar ones.  That’s because it’s early in the year and familiarity is really the only thing that a lot of these unreleased films have going for them.  Some of the films mentioned below were hits at Sundance.  From what I’ve read, I really do think Minari could be a contender because, along with being loved by critics, it sounds like it’s very much of the current cultural moment.

But the important thing to remember is that, last year at this time, no one expected Joker to become the film of the year.  No one had even heard of Parasite.  Most people were still predicting the Oscars would be dominated by Harriet.  So, my point is — take this stuff with several grains of salt.

To be honest, I think a lot depends on how the presidential election goes.  If Trump is reelected, I think you’ll see the Academy voting for angry, political films, if just as a way to get back at Trump and the people who voted for him.  (Think about the otherwise baffling love that was previously shown to a movie like Vice.)  The Trial of the Chicago 7 sounds incredibly tedious to me but I could imagine people voting for it and thinking to themselves, “This is so going to piss off the Republicans.”  If Trump is defeated, I imagine the Academy will be a bit more upbeat in their selections.

If you want to see how my thinking has evolved, check out my predictions for January here!    (It’s only been a month so my thinking hasn’t really evolved at all.  Still, we could always use the clicks.)

Best Picture

Dune

Happiest Season

Hillybilly Elegy

Ironbark

Minari

News of the World

Respect

Stillwater

The Trial of the Chicago 7

West Side Story

Best Director

Isaac Lee Chung for Minari

Paul Greengrass for News of the World

Ron Howard for Hillybilly Elegy

Steven Spielberg for West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve for Dune

Best Actor

Benedict Cumberbatch in Ironbark

Matt Damon in Stillwater

Tom Hanks in News of the World

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Will Smith in King Richard

Best Actress

Amy Adams in Hillbilly Elegy

Olivia Colman in The Father

Clare Dunne in Herself

Jennifer Hudson in Respect

Angelina Jolie in Those Who Wish Me Dead

Best Supporting Actor

Bo Hopkins in Hillbilly Elegy

Merab Ninidze in Ironbark

Mark Rylance in The Trial of the Chicago 7

Forest Whitaker in Respect

Steven Yeun in Minari

Best Supporting Actress

Abigail Breslin in Stillwater

Glenn Close in Hillybilly Elegy

Vera Farmiga in The Many Saints of Newark

Mary Steenburgen in Happiest Season

Helena Zengel in News of the World

Lisa’s Too Early Oscar Predictions For May


It’s that time of the month again!

It’s time for me to offer up my early Oscar predictions!

These will be my first set of predictions since the Cannes Film Festival.  It’s always debatable just how much of an influence Cannes will actually have on the Oscar voting.  A victory at Cannes pretty much led to Tree of Life receiving an Oscar nomination and it certainly didn’t harm the chances of BlackKklansman last year.  While Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Terrence Malick’s A Hidden Life may not have picked up any major awards at Cannes, the positive critical reception that both of those films received can only help.  The same can be said of The Lighthouse, which was shown out of competition.  Finally, the Cannes jury gave its best actor award to Antonio Banderas and, for now, that’s enough for me to add him to my list of predicted nominees.

So, without any further ado, here are my predictions for May!  If you want to see how my thinking has evolved over the year, be sure to also check out my predictions for January, February, March, and April!

Best Picture

1917

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Fair and Balanced

The Goldfinch

Harriet

A Hidden Life

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Little Women

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Director

Kasi Lemmons for Harriet

Terrence Malick for A Hidden Life

Sam Mendes for 1917

Martin Scorsese for The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas in Pain & Glory

Willem DaFoe in The Lighthouse

Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood

John Lithgow in Fair and Balanced

Best Actress

Amy Adams in The Woman in the Window

Cynthia Erivo in Harriet

Blake Lively in The Rhythm Section

Saoirse Ronan in Little Women

Alfre Woodard in Clemency

Best Supporting Actor

Matt Damon in Ford v. Ferrari

Malcolm McDowell in Fair and Balanced

Ian McKellen in Cats

Sam Neill in Blackbird

Brad Pitt in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress

Annette Bening in The Report

Laura Dern in Little Women

Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit

Nicole Kidman in The Goldfinch

Margot Robbie in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

 

 

Lisa’s Way Too Early Oscar Predictions for April


To repeat what I say every month, it’s pretty much a fool’s errand to try to guess what’s going to be nominated for an Oscar this early in the year.  Some of the choices below — A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, The Irishman, Little Women,Once Upon A Time In Hollywood — are there because of their directors or their stars.  Some — like Cats and 1917 — are there because they sound like they’re either going to be brilliant or total disasters.  Call of the Wild and Fair and Balanced are listed because of my own instincts, for whatever they’re worth.  Harriet is listed because Clayton Davis over at Awards Circuit is currently predicting that it will be nominated and he’s got a pretty good track record as far as predicting these things is concerned.  Queen & Slim is listed because I saw a few people on twitter raving about a preview of it that they were lucky enough to see.  Myself, I have no idea what Queen & Slim is about, beyond the fact that it deals with two people on a date who are pulled over by the police.  (That’s according to the imdb.)  See how random this is?

So, I guess what I’m saying is that you should take these predictions with a grain of salt.  In fact, you should pour salt all over these predictions.  The Oscar race usually doesn’t even start to become clear until around September.

The Cannes Film Festival will be held next month.  Sometimes, Cannes lends some clarity to the Oscar race.  (Tree of Life and BlackKklansman both stated their Oscar campaigns at Cannes.)  Just as often, Cannes turns out to be totally useless as far as being  predictive tool is concerned.  Though the official lineup has not yet been announced, it seems probable that Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and perhaps a few more contenders will be screened at Cannes next month.  We’ll see what happens!

If you’re interested in more predictions that you shouldn’t pay too much attention to, be sure to check out my Oscar predictions for January, February, and March!  See how my thinking has progressed.  Check out just how random my guesses occasionally are.

Best Picture

1917

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Call of the Wild

Cats

Fair and Balanced

Harriet

The Irishman

Little Women

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Queen & Slim

Best Director

Tom Hooper for Cats

Kassi Lemmons for Harriet

Sam Mendes for 1917

Martin Scorsese for The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino for Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Actor

Ben Affleck in Torrance

Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day In the Neighborhood

John Lithgow in Fair and Balanced

Eddie Murphy in My Name Is Dolemite

Edward Norton in Motherless Brooklyn

Best Actress

Amy Adams in The Woman In The Window

Cynthia Erivo in Harriet

Blake Lively in The Rhythm Section

Saoirse Ronan in Little Women

Alfre Woodard in Clemency

Best Supporting Actor

Matt Damon in Ford v Ferrari

Harrison Ford in Call of the Wild

Malcolm McDowell in Fair and Balanced

Sir Ian McKellen in Cats

Brad Pitt in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress

Dame Judi Dench in Cats

Laura Dern in Little Women

Tiffany Haddish in The Kitchen

Nicole Kidman in The Goldfinch

Margot Robbie in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood