Here Are The Nominations of the Online Film Critics Society!


The Online Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2020 yesterday!  They pretty much nominated all the usual suspects, along with I’m Thinking of Ending Things.  Personally, I’m glad that they nominated I’m Thinking of Ending Things.  As films go, it’s probably going to be too weird for the Academy so I’m glad to see Charlie Kaufman’s surreal little masterpiece get some respect from the critics groups.

Otherwise, it’s pretty much the same old same old.  There’s Nomadland!  There’s First Cow!  There’s Da 5 Bloods!  There’s …. wait a minute, they didn’t nominate Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom for Best Picture?  Well, that’s a little bit different.  Personally, I’m just hoping that one of these critics groups will have the courage necessary to nominate Money Plane.  Seriously, that was a fun movie and it featured Kelsey Grammer saying things like, “I’m the Rumble!”  That is a moment that future film students will definitely study.

Anyway, the OFCS winners will be announced on January 25th!

(OFCS sounds like the acronym of some sort of secret government agency.  “We’re from the OFCS.  We need you to vacate the office immediately.”)

Best Picture
Da 5 Bloods
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Minari
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Animated Feature
Onward
Over the Moon
Soul
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers

Best Director
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Best Actor
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 Actress
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

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

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Olivia Colman – The Father
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Youn Yuh-jung – Minari

Best Original Screenplay
Da 5 Bloods – Danny Bilson, Paul Demeo, Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Minari – Lee Isaac Chung
Never Rarely Sometimes Always – Eliza Hittman
Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Aaron Sorkin

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

Best Editing
Da 5 Bloods – Adam Gough
Mank – Kirk Baxter
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao
Tenet – Jennifer Lame
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Alan Baumgarten

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

Best Original Score
Da 5 Bloods – Terence Blanchard
Mank – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Minari – Emile Mosseri
Soul – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Tenet – Ludwig Goransson

Best Debut Feature
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Andrew Patterson – The Vast of Night

Best Film Not in the English Language
Another Round (Denmark)
Bacurau (Brazil)
Collective (Romania)
La Llorona (Guatemala)
Minari (United States)

Best Documentary
Boys State
Collective
Dick Johnson Is Dead
The Painter and the Thief
Time

The San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Honors Nomadland


Just three days after announcing their nominations, the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle have announced their picks for the best of 2020.  Basically, it all adds up to another victory of Nomadland, Chloe Zhao, and Frances McDormand.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with that so don’t mistake my boredom for criticism.  I haven’t watched Nomadland yet but I like Zhao’s The Rider and McDormand is one of the best actresses around.  It’s just that, from an observer’s point of view, it’s hard not to hope for something unexpected to happen, just to keep things interesting.

Also honored, along with the Nomadland trio, were Chadwick Boseman (Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Paul Raci (Best Supporting Actor for Sound of Metal), and Youn Yuh-jung (Best Supporting Actress for Minari).  Best Aniamted film went to Soul and, not surprisingly given how the awards season is shaping up, Trent Renzor and Atticus Ross won Best Original Score for that same film.

Here are all the winners in San Francisco:

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” (TIE)
“The Last Tree”
“Sh*thouse” (TIE)

The St. Louis Film Critics Association Rewards Downhill


The St. Louis Film Critics Association announced the winners of their 2020 awards earlier today!  Downhill picked up its first trophy of the awards seasons as the SLFCA named it The Worst Picture of the Year.  How will this effect Downhill‘s Oscar chances?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Here are the winners:

BEST FILM
First Cow (RUNNER UP TIE)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Nomadland (WINNER)
Promising Young Woman (RUNNER UP TIE)
The Trial of the Chicago 7

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

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 (RUNNER UP)
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman (WINNER)

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

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

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

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

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (WINNER)
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami (RUNNER UP)
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 (RUNNER UP)
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (WINNER)
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 (RUNNER UP)
Kirk Baxter – Mank
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (WINNER)
​Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7

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

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

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Birds of Prey
Da 5 Bloods
Hamilton (RUNNER UP)
Lovers Rock
Promising Young Woman (WINNER)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Birds of Prey
The Invisible Man (RUNNER UP)
Mank
The Midnight Sky
Tenet (WINNER)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Onward
Over The Moon
Soul (WINNER)
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers (RUNNER UP)

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

BEST COMEDY FILM
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (WINNER)
Emma.
The King of Staten Island
On The Rocks
Palm Springs (RUNNER UP)

BEST ACTION FILM
Birds of Prey (RUNNER UP)
The Gentlemen
Greyhound
The Old Guard
Tenet (WINNER)

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

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Another Round (WINNER)
Bacurau
Beanpole (RUNNER UP)
Collective
Vitalina Varela

WORST FILM
Artemis Fowl
The Doorman
Downhill (WINNER)
Hillbilly Elegy
Wonder Woman 1984

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

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”

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

Here Are The 2020 North Carolina Film Critics Nominations!


The regional film critics continue to chime in with their picks for the best of 2020.  Below, you’ll find the nomination of the North Carolina Film Critics.  The winners will be announced on January 3rd, 2021.  That sounds like a long wait but actually, it’s just means that the winners will be announced on Sunday.

Anyway, here’s the nominations.  You’ll notice that there’s no nominations for Small Axe, so I guess that moment has passed now that Amazon has made it clear that they’re still going for Emmys as opposed to Oscars for Steve McQueen’s five films.  That’s kind of a shame since the whole Small Axe thing was at least providing some suspense as far as these awards go.

BEST NARRATIVE FILM
Da 5 Bloods
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Trial Of The Chicago 7

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
David Byrne’s American Utopia
Dick Johnson Is Dead
Time

BEST ANIMATED FILM
The Croods: A New Age
Onward
Over The Moon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
La llorona
Night of Kings

BEST DIRECTOR
Emerald Fennel – Promising Young Woman
David Fincher – Mank
Regina King – One Night In Miami…
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

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

BEST ACTOR
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 ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking Of Ending Things
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial Of The Chicago 7
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
David Strathairn – Nomadland

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Toni Colette – I’m Thinking Of Ending Things
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Youn Yuh-jung – Minari

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Da 5 Bloods – Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Mank – Jack Fincher
Minari – Lee Isaac Chung
Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 – Aaron Sorkin

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

BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
Tenet
Wonder Woman 1984

BEST MUSIC
Da 5 Bloods
Mank
Minari
Soul
Tenet

KEN HANKE MEMORIAL TAR HEEL AWARD
This award recognizes a film, artists, or performer with a special connection to North Carolina. In 2017, the Tar Heel Award was dedicated to longtime North Carolina film critic Ken Hanke.

The Dancin’ Bulldogs – Film
Will Patton (Minari) – Performer
Gary Wheeler – Producer/Industry Professional

BEST RESTORATION
To honor the special role that streaming has played in 2020 due to the global pandemic, the NCFCA added a category to this year’s awards: Best Restoration. This intends to acknowledge the cultural significance of the film in addition to the quality of the restoration.

Beau Travail (The Criterion Collection)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (Warner Bros.)
Mädchen in Uniform (Kino Lorber)
Native Son (Kino Lorber)
Roman Holiday (Paramount Home Entertainment)

Here Are The 2020 Music City Film Critics Association!


So, just in case anyone is wondering, the Music City Film Critics Association is based out of Nashville.  Personally, I like the fact that they used a nickname for their city in the name of their group.  The DFW Film Critics need to change their name to the Big D Film Critics.  I’ve been saying this for years.

Anyway, the winners won’t be announced until January 11th so you’ve got a lot of time to think about these nominees!  I’m happy to see that they nominated I’m Thinking of Ending Things.

​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
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

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)
The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Alan Baumgarten)

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)

Here Are The 2012 Critics’ Choice Movie Award Nominees


Earlier today, the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced their nominations for the 17th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards.  The BFCA is the largest of the so-called “major” critics’ groups (and, interestingly enough, it’s also the newest and the least prestigious) and it has a fairly good track record of predicting the actual Oscar nominations.  The awards themselves will be handed out on January 12th, 2012 in a self-important, kinda seedy ceremony that will be broadcast on VH-1.   

BEST PICTURE
The Artist
The Descendants
Drive
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
The Help
Hugo
Midnight in Paris
Moneyball
The Tree of Life
War Horse

BEST ACTOR
George Clooney – The Descendants
Leonardo DiCaprio – J. Edgar
Jean Dujardin – The Artist
Michael Fassbender – Shame
Ryan Gosling – Drive
Brad Pitt – Moneyball

BEST ACTRESS
Viola Davis – The Help
Elizabeth Olsen – Martha Marcy May Marlene
Meryl Streep – The Iron Lady
Tilda Swinton – We Need to Talk About Kevin
Charlize Theron – Young Adult
Michelle Williams – My Week With Marilyn

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Kenneth Branagh – My Week With Marilyn
Albert Brooks – Drive
Nick Nolte – Warrior
Patton Oswalt – Young Adult
Christopher Plummer – Beginners
Sir Andrew Serkis – Rise of the Planet of the Apes

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Berenice Bejo – The Artist
Jessica Chastain – The Help
Melissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids
Carey Mulligan – Shame
Octavia Spencer – The Help
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Asa Butterfield – Hugo
Elle Fanning – Super 8
Thomas Horn – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close
Ezra Miller – We Need to Talk About Kevin
Saoirse Ronan – Hanna
Shailene Woodley – The Descendants

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
The Artist
Bridesmaids
The Descendants
The Help
The Ides of March

BEST DIRECTOR
Stephen Daldry – Extreme Loud & Incredibly Close
Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist
Alexander Payne – The Descendants
Nicolas Winding Refn – Drive
Martin Scorsese – Hugo
Steven Spielberg – War Horse

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius
50/50 – Will Reiser
Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen
Win Win – Screenplay by Tom McCarthy, Story by Tom McCarthy & Joe Tiboni
Young Adult – Diablo Cody

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Descendants – Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash
Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – Eric Roth
The Help – Tate Taylor
Hugo – John Logan
Moneyball – Steven Zaillian and Aaron Sorkin, Story by Stan Chervin

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
The Artist – Guillaume Schiffman
Drive – Newton Thomas Sigel
Hugo – Robert Richardson
Tree of Life – Emmanuel Lubezki
War Horse – Janusz Kaminski

BEST ART DIRECTION
The Artist – Production Designer: Laurence Bennett, Art Director: Gregory S. Hooper
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – Production Designer: Stuart Craig, Set Decorator: Stephenie McMillan
Hugo – Production Designer: Dante Ferretti, Set Decorator: Francesca Lo Schiavo
The Tree of Life – Production Designer: Jack Fisk, Art Director: David Crank
War Horse – Production Designer: Rick Carter, Set Decorator: Lee Sandales

BEST EDITING
The Artist – Michel Hazanavicius and Anne-Sophie Bion
Drive – Matthew Newman
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
Hugo – Thelma Schoonmaker
War Horse – Michael Kahn

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
The Artist – Mark Bridges
The Help – Sharen Davis
Hugo – Sandy Powell
Jane Eyre – Michael O’Connor
My Week With Marilyn – Jill Taylor

BEST MAKEUP
Albert Nobbs
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
The Iron Lady
J. Edgar
My Week With Marilyn

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8
The Tree of Life

BEST SOUND
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Hugo
Super 8
The Tree of Life
War Horse

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Adventures of Tintin
Arthur Christmas
Kung Fu Panda 2
Puss in Boots
Rango

BEST ACTION MOVIE
Drive
Fast Five
Hanna
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Super 8

BEST COMEDY
Bridesmaids
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Horrible Bosses
Midnight in Paris
The Muppets

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
In Darkness
Le Havre
A Separation
The Skin I Live In
Where Do We Go Now

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Buck
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
George Harrison: Living in the Material World
Page One: Inside the New York Times
Project Nim
Undefeated

BEST SONG
“Hello Hello” – performed by Elton John and Lady Gaga/written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin – Gnomeo & Juliet
“Life’s a Happy Song” – performed by Jason Segel, Amy Adams and Walter/written by Bret McKenzie – The Muppets
“The Living Proof” – performed by Mary J. Blige/written by Mary J. Blige, Thomas Newman and Harvey Mason, Jr. – The Help
“Man or Muppet” – performed by Jason Segel and Walter/written by Bret McKenzie – The Muppets
“Pictures in My Head” – performed by Kermit and the Muppets/written by Jeannie Lurie, Aris Archontis and Chen Neeman – The Muppets

BEST SCORE
The Artist – Ludovic Bource
Drive – Cliff Martinez
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Hugo – Howard Shore
War Horse – John Williams

The BFCA has obviously made a lot of nominations and some of them are interesting but I have to be honest: the BFCA as an organization annoys me with how they’re always bragging about how big they are and how they’re so good at celebrating the conventional establishment wisdom.  So, I’ll just say that its nice to see Hanna getting at least some sort of recognition (even if that recognition is kinda minor.)

Review: Drive (dir. by Nicolas Winding Refn)


Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn has made just a handful of films with most staying under the radar of most of the general film-going public. He first caught the attention of indie film fans with his Pusher Trilogy over in Denmark, but he really caught the attention of these fans with his explosive collaboration with Tom Hardy on the Bronson biopic. He would follow that film with the violent existentialist Viking film Valhalla Rising. It would take another major collaboration with another rising star in Ryan Gosling for Winding Refn to finally have his major breakout film which has caught the attention of not just the indie film fans and cineaste crowd, but the general public at-large.

Drive was first screened over at this year’s 2011 Cannes Film Festival where it premiered “in competition” for the Palme d’Or. While the film didn’t win the top prize for best film at Cannes it didn’t garner Nicolas Winding Refn “Best Director” award and his work on this film more than merits such an accolade. The film would begin to screen at other major film festivals before landing at the Toronto International Film Festival before making it’s major public release in North America. Everywhere the film went the consensus reaction to the film has ranged from positive to calls for the film as one of 2011’s best.

So, it would seem most everyone has been quite positive with their reaction to Refn’s Drive. Is this film just another indie arthouse title which the elitist film fans have begun to hype up to levels that would border on cosmic? Or is this film actually as good as it has been talked up to be by such film fans and those of the general public who have seen it? I think the answer lies somewhere in-between.

Drive has been called an action-drama to crime-thriller to film noir and even an existentialist meditation of the film variety. Some have even called it a modern urban fairy tale from the many traditional tropes and themes inherent in fairy tales. The film actually seems to defy genre labels as it’s all those and even more. Nicolas Winding Refn has made a film with so much variety in its cinematic DNA from other classic films and storytelling styles that watching the film once is not enough to find them all.

The film makes a strong statement with it’s introduction of the character who remains nameless but could be called “The Driver” or “The Kid”. Ryan Gosling’s performance in this opening sequence will set the foundation for his character from beginning to end. His driver role is not much for chit-chat and unnecessary talking with those who have hired him to be their expert getaway driver. He’s meticulous with his equipment and intractable when it comes to the rules he has set down for his clients. He would be theirs for the five minutes they need him to drive them away from their criminal acts. Whatever they do before or after those five minutes doesn’t matter to him and he sticks to this rule explicitly. Another rule which he lays down is that he will not be carrying a firearm. These rules have had some audiences bring to mind Jason Statham’s Transporter character and they would not be totally wrong to say so. What Gosling’s driver has over Statham’s is the air of realism to the role. It’s a realism that borders on hyper-reality as the film moves on to it’s climactic conclusion, but real nonetheless. Gosling’s “driver” will not do extensive and elaborate fighting skills the way Statham’s would.

The film would move from it’s powerful introduction and into a much more calm and somewhat serene section as the nameless driver gradually gets to know his next door neighbor in the form of Irene as played by Carey Mulligan. Their relationship will form the core of the film’s narrative and it’s the driver’s growing affection not just for Irene but her young son that would dictate some of the decisions he would make right up to the end of the film. It’s a relationship built not on extensive dialogue banter but mostly on meaningful glances and silent understanding between two characters who seem to have found a kindred kinship between them. It’s this growing relationship between the two and Irene’s son which almost look like a familial unit forming until the return of Irene’s incarcerated and newly-released husband Standard. This is a character played by Oscar Isaac as a man desperate to take full advantage of his last chance at normalcy and redemption, but ultimately doomed to fail.

Standard doesn’t just become the only wrench in the happy life Gosling’s character seems to want to have with Irene and her son. Into the picture also happens to come in is his mentor and business partner Shannon (Bryan Cranston doing a great job as the good-natured, but opportunistic fool character many Shakespearean tragedies always seem to have) and Shannon’s even seedier acquaintances in Hollywood mogul-turned-mob boss Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks in a chilling performance) and his more boisterous, but not as smart partner in Nino (Ron Perlman).

The film seems to settle on the low gears for the first hour of the film, but it’s during a botched robbery attempt where the driver becomes embroiled in that Drive finally moves into the high gears and stays there until the very end. Refn’s decision to use the first hour to round out and build the characters in this film definitely pays off in the end. The audience becomes quite clear as to who the players are and what motivates them to do what they do the rest of the film. Even the most secondary and tertiary roles in this film has a part to play. Even Christina Hendricks in the role of a low-level moll to a gang of criminals gets to have her time to shine if just briefly.

Once the narrative shifts from character study to an almost Cronenbergian exercise in violence and brutality does the film finally able to hook in the last few audiences who may have still been iffy about Drive. Not to say that the final 45-minutes of the film was a non-stop action film, but it does move at a consistently higher gear pace than the first hour. We see the driver having to show to the audience that he’s not just an expert wheelman for Hollywood (stunt driver by day) and the criminal underground (getaway driver by night). It serves the film well that Gosling’s character has the barest minimum of lines of dialogue. We see all we need to know about this character through his behavior that brings to mind roles played by such past luminaries as Steve McQueen and Clint Eastwood.

Most likely it would be in the second half of the film that should satisfy the action junkies. While the action scenes are not of the Michael Bay-type they do show that Refn has a fine grasp of what makes an action scene thrilling. Whether the scene calls for some of the most well-done car chase on film since Frankenheimer showed everyone how to properly do it in Ronin or scenes of sudden brutal violence which calls to mind similar scenes from Cronenberg’s last two films (A History of Violence and Eastern Promises). Both types of action were done efficiently with little to no glamour to gloss over things. The burst of violence actually adds to the mystique of Gosling’s “Man With No Name” role. One particular scene in the apartment elevator where Gosling, Mulligan and a goon sent by the mob makes for one of the best scenes in the film and of 2011.

As much as these scenes of action and violence will be the ones to get the most attention from the general film-going public in the end it’s the excellent screenplay by Hossein Amini of the James Sallis’ novel of the same name which really holds everything together in conjunction with some top-notch performances from everyone involved. The film makes or breaks itself on Gosling’s performance as the driver and he delivers on all cylinders. His performance was quite reminiscent of past performances such as James Caan as Frank in Michael Mann’s Thief, Steve McQueen also as Frank in Bullitt, but in my opinion Gosling’s work in this film brings to mind young Clint Eastwood as “The Man With No Name” in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western trilogy. Both characters were the type to let their actions speak for them and were both full of quiet confidence not to mention restrained violence which would erupt when needed.

Much has been said about Albert Brooks’ turn as the mob boss Bernie Rose. how the role was quite the 180-degrees from people’s perception of the actor who usually did comedic roles. I say that Albert Brooks always had a dark side to his comedic talent. I mean he was and is megamaniacal villain Hank Scorpio from The Simpsons. In all seriousness, Brooks’ as the mob boss was the other pillar which held all the other performances focused. In fact, Gosling’s character and Brook’s Bernie Rose could almost be considered mirror-images of each other. They were characters who had found their place in the world and the role they would play and didn’t struggle against it. Everyone else in the film struggled against their lot in life. It was also these characters who had the bulk of the film’s dialogue.

Drive has been hyped (for some overhyped) since it first premiered at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but it’s one of those rare films which has more than earned and surpassed the hype which has preceded it’s general release to the general public. It’s a film which bucks traditional genre labels by combining the themes, ideas and foundations from many different film and storytelling genres. For fans of action there’s enough thrilling action to sate them. For those who are fans of film noir this film definitely carries within it the DNA set down by the film noir of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. For some who wish to watch a film which explore existential themes then Refn’s film has that too. In the end, Drive manages to be a film which caters to so many different audiences without ever pandering to them or dumbing the story down. It’s a film made by a filmmaker who continues to impress and who has made his best film to date.

Drive is a film that is not for everyone, but it’s also a film that everyone should see and experience at least once. It is also one of the year’s best films and, so far, my top film of 2011.