Lisa Reviews An Oscar Nominee: Sound of Metal (dir by Darius Marder)


What’s it like to lose the thing that you felt was the most important part of your life?  That’s one of the many questions that Sound of Metal left me considering.

The story opens with Ruben (Riz Ahmed) and Lou (Olivia Cooke) traveling the country in a cluttered RV.  Lou is a singer.  Ruben is a drummer.  They perform under the name Blackgammon.  Their life is about traveling from gig to gig, playing their own unique music.  It’s not exactly a glamorous life but, as the first few minutes of Sound of Metal makes clear, it’s a life that they both love.

Or, at least, they do until Ruben starts to lose his hearing.  (When Ruben goes to see a doctor, he’s told that he’s basically only picking up on 20% of the sounds around him and that it’s only going to get worse.)  At first, Ruben tries to keep Lou from discovering what’s happening but it doesn’t take long for Lou to realize that something’s wrong.  Ruben argues that he can still play the drums by memory, even if he can no longer hear what he’s playing.  Lou is more concerned that Ruben is going to slip back into his previous bad habits and once again start using heroin.

Eventually, the two of them go their separate ways.  Lou returns to her family in Belgium and reinvents herself as an artist.  Meanwhile, Ruben ends up at a center specifically for deaf recovering addicts.  The center is run by Joe (Paul Raci), a kind but no-nonsense man who lost his hearing in Vietnam and who is a recovering alcoholic.  At first, Ruben is bitter and angry and refuses to accept that his old life is over.  When Joe order Ruben to spend hours sitting in a room and writing down whatever pops into his head, it takes Ruben a while to see that Joe is helping him to come to terms with living in a world without sound.  Even as Ruben starts to accept his new reality, he still finds himself wanting to reunite with Lou.  He finds himself tempted to get a cochlear implant, despite Joe explaining that doing so will mean that Ruben will have to leave his new home.

In the hands of a lesser director and a lesser cast, Sound of Metal could have become mawkish or overly sentimental, the type of film that tries so hard to be uplifting that it ends up condescending instead.  However, director Darius Marder emphasizes the gritty details of his story, showcasing Ruben’s emotional growth while also acknowledging that Ruben will never truly be at peace with his hearing loss.  This is a film that acknowledges what Ruben’s gained from his new circumstances while never ignoring the pain of losing his former life.  The film’s soundtrack is designed so that we hear exactly as much or as little as Ruben can hear.  We feel his frustration and his fear as sound fades away while, at the same time, we also come to appreciate everything that he finds in the silence.

The Academy has rightfully nominated Riz Ahmed for best actor for his performance in Sound of Metal.  That was expected as Ahmed’s been honored by several critics groups and probably the only thing that will keep Ahmed from winning thr Oscar is the Academy’s understandable desire to honor the legacy of Chadwick Boseman.  Ahmed does a wonderful job capturing all of Ruben’s emotions, from his fear to his anger to finally his reluctant acceptance.

Olivia Cooke was not nominated for her role, though I think she should have been.  It’s perhaps understandable why Cooke wasn’t nominated as she’s actually off-screen for a good deal of the film but she still does a great job capturing both Lou’s love for Ruben and also portraying the way the Lou grows as both a person and an artist in his absence.

That said, the best performance in the film comes from Paul Raci.  I have to admit that I cheered a little when I heard that the Academy had nominated Raci for Best Supporting Actor.  The previously unknown Raci, who has been acting for years but who had never had a film role as big or as important as this one, is the son of deaf parents and he brings a tough but heartfelt authenticity to the role of Joe.  As played by Raci, Joe sincerely cares about Ruben but, at the same time, he’s also not going to let Ruben get away with self-pity.  Raci gives a quietly authoritative performance as Joe, rarely raising his voice but still turning the character into the film’s moral center.

Sound of Metal was one of my favorite films of 2020.  It was nominated for Best Picture, along with 5 other nominations.  Personally, while I know the film probably won’t beat Nomadland for the main prize, I’m still hoping that Paul Raci will be able to pull off an upset and take home the Oscar that he definitely deserves.

What If Lisa Picked The Oscar Nominees: 2020 Edition


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

I should also point out that I’ve only nominated films that were actually released in 2020.  Undoubtedly, Nomadland, Minari, Judas and the Black Messiah, and The Father will do very well with the Academy tomorrow but, as far as I’m concerned, they’re 2021 films and not eligible for my nominations.  They will be eligible next year, when I do my 2021 edition of What If Lisa Had All The Power.

It should also go without saying that I’ve nominated films that I’ve actually seen.

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

Click on the links to see my nominations for 2019, 20182017201620152014201320122011, and 2010!)

Best Picture

The Assistant
Bad Education
First Cow
The Girl With A Bracelet
i’m thinking of ending things
Lovers Rock
Palm Springs
Promising Young Woman
Soul
The Vast of Night

Best Director

Stéphane Demoustier for The Girl With A Bracelet
Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman
Charlie Kaufman for i’m thinking of ending things
Steve McQueen for Lovers Rock
Andrew Patterson for The Vast of Night
Kelly Reichardt for First Cow

Best Actor

Ben Affleck in The Way Back
Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
John Boyega in Red, White, and Blue
Hugh Jackman in Bad Education
Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Best Actress

Alison Brie in Horse Girl
Sidney Flanigan in Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Julia Garner in The Assistant
Melissa Guers in The Girl With A Bracelet
Sophia Loren in The Life Ahead
Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor

Brian Dennehy in Driveways
Aldis Hodge in One Night In Miami
Orion Lee in First Cow
Clarke Peters in Da 5 Blood
Paul Raci in The Sound of Metal
J.K. Simmons in Palm Springs

Best Supporting Actress

Jane Adams in She Dies Tomorrow
Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Cooke in Sound of Metal
Allison Janney in Bad Education
Chiara Mastroianni in The Girl With A Bracelet
Talia Ryder in Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Voice Over Performance

Jack Cruz in What Did Jack Do?
Bruce Davis in The Vast of Night
Tina Fey in Soul
Jamie Foxx in Soul
Nick Offerman in Frances Ferguson
Chris Pratt in Onward

Best Original Screenplay

The Assistant
Palm Springs
Possessor
Promising Young Woman
Soul
The Vast of Night

Bad Education

Best Adapted Screenplay

Bad Education
Emma
First Cow
The Girl With A Bracelet
i’m thinking of ending things
The Outpost

Best Animated Feature Film

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Onward
Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
Soul

Best Documentary Feature Film

Alabama Snake
Athlete A
The Mystery of D.B. Cooper
Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind
The Social Dilemma
Tread

Best International Feature Film

Figurant
The Girl With A Bracelet
Gunpowder Heart
The Hater
The Life Ahead
The Shock of the Future

Best Live Action Short Film

Basic
Figurant
Host
Run/On
Waffle
What Did Jack Do?

Best Documentary Short Film

Betye Saar: Taking Care of Business
John Was Trying To Contact Aliens
Lions in the Corner
Quilt Fever

Best Animated Short Film

Canvas

If Anything Happens I Love You

Best Original Score

Call of the Wild
First Cow
Mangrove
Possessor
She Dies Tomorrow
The Shock of The Future

Best Original Song

“Boss Bitch” from Birds of Prey
“Diamonds” from Birds of Prey
“Everybody Dies” from The Outpost
“Future Shock Work in Progress” from The Shock of the Future
“Gratia Plena” from Fatima
“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
“Jah Jah Ding Dong” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
“Metamorph” from Gunpowder Heart
“The Spirit of Christmas” from The Christmas Chronicles 2
“True Love’s Flame” from What Did Jack Do?

Best Overall Use of Music

Bill & Ted Face The Music
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Lovers Rock
Proising Young Woman
The Shock of the Future
Soul

Best Sound

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Lovers Rock
The Outpost
Possessor
The Shock of the Future
Sound of Metal

Best Production Design

Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Emma
First Cow
i’m thinking of ending things
Possessor
The Shock of the Future

Best Casting

The Assistant
First Cow
Lovers Rock
Palm Springs
Promising Young Woman
The Vast of Night

Best Cinematography

First Cow
i’m thinking of ending things
Lovers Rock
Mank
She Dies Tomorrow
The Vast of Night

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Bill & Ted Face The Music
i’m thinking of ending things
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Hillbilly Elegy
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Promising Young Woman

Best Costume Design

Emma
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Fatima
First Cow
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Tesla

Best Film Editing

Extraction
i’m thinking of ending things
The Outpost
Palm Springs
Promising Young Woman
The Way Back

Best Stuntwork

Bad Boys For Life
Birds of Prey
Bloodshot
Extraction
The Hunt
The Outpost

Best Visual Effects

The Christmas Chronicles 2
The Midnight Sky
The Outpost
Possessor
Radioactive
Tesla

Films By Number of Nominations

8 Nominations — First Cow, Promising Young Woman

7 Nominations — Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, i’m thinking of ending things

6 Nominations — The Girl With A Bracelet, Lovers Rock, The Outpost, Shock of the Future, Soul, The Vast of Night

5 Nominations — Palm Springs, Possessor

4 Nominations — The Assistant, Bad Education, Sound of Metal

3 Nominations — Birds of Prey, Emma, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, She Dies Tomorrow, What Did Jack Do?

2 Nominations — Bill & Ted Face the Music, The Christmas Chronicles 2, Da 5 Bloods, Extraction, Fatima, Figurant, Gunpowder Heart, Hillbilly Elegy, The Life Ahead, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Onward, Tesla, The Way Back

1 Nomination — Alabama Snake, Athlete A, Bad Boys For Life, Basic, Bettye Saar: Taking Care of Business, Bloodshot, Call of the Wild, Canvas, Driveways, Frances Ferguson, The Hater, Horse Girl, Host, The Hunt, If Anything Happens I Love You, John Was Trying To Contact Aliens, Lions in the Corner, Mangrove, Mank, Midnight Sky, The Mystery of D.B. Cooper, Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind, One Night in Miami, Quilt Fever, Radioactive, Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs, Red White and Blue, Run/On, A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, The Social Dilemma, Tread, Waffle

Films By Number of Oscars Won

3 Oscars — The Girl With A Bracelet, Promising Young Woman

1 Oscar — The Assistant, Bad Education, Driveways, Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, Figurant, First Cow, Frances Ferguson, If Anything Happens I Love You, i’m thinking of ending things, John Was Trying To Contact Aliens, Lovers Rock, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Outpost, Palm Springs, Possessor, Shock of the Future, The Social Dilemma, Soul, Sound of Metal, The Vast of Night, What Did Jack Do?

Tomorrow, the Oscar nominations will be released and we’ll see if how much or, more likely, how little the Academy and I agree upon!

The Iowa Film Critics Association Honors Nomadland


Though we may never know who actually won the Iowa Caucus last year, we do know which films won with the Iowa Film Critics Association!  Here are their picks for the best of the year:

BEST FILM: “Nomadland”
Runners up: “Minari” and “Sound of Metal”

BEST DIRECTOR: Chloe Zhao – “Nomadland”
Runners up: Darius Marder – “Sound of Metal” and Florian Zeller – “The Father”

BEST ACTOR: Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Runners up: Anthony Hopkins – “The Father” and Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal”

BEST ACTRESS: Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Runners up: Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal”
Runners up: Bill Murray – “On the Rocks” and Leslie Odom Jr. – “One Night in Miami”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Yuh-jung Youn – “Minari”
Runners up: Olivia Colman – “The Father” and Amanda Seyfried – “Mank”

BEST ANIMATED FILM: “Soul”
Runners up: “Over the Moon” and “Wolfwalkers”

BEST DOCUMENTARY: “Dick Johnson is Dead”
Runners up: “Crip Camp” and “The Dissident”

BEST SCORE: Ludovico Einaudi – “Nomadland”
Runners up: James Newton Howard – “News of the World” and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – “Mank”

BEST SONG: “Speak Now” – “One Night in Miami”
Runners up: “Green” – “Sound of Metal” and “Rain Song” – “Minari”

The Washington D.C. Film Critics Honor Wonder Woman 1984!


 

Well, the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics did pick Wonder Woman 1984 as being the best 2020 cinematic depiction of life in Washington D.C.

However, Nomadland won best picture.  Chloe Zhao picked up best director.  Frances McDormand won best actress.  In fact, to be honest, it was pretty much the same films and people who have been winning the majority of the prizes since award season began.  That’s not a complaint, mind you.  It’s just that, when the same film keeps winning over and over again, it makes you appreciate things like Wonder Woman 1984 picking up an award for being the best cinematic depiction of life in Washington D.C.

Here are the winners from our nation’s capital:

Best Film
First Cow
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami…
Promising Young Woman

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Regina King – One Night in Miami…
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
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces Of A Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial Of The Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas And The Black Messiah
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
Dominique Fishback – Judas And The Black Messiah
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

Best Acting Ensemble
Da 5 Bloods
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Minari
One Night in Miami…
The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Best Youth Performance
Millie Bobby Brown – Enola Holmes
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Alan Kim – Minari
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Helena Zengel – News Of The World

Best Voice Performance
Tina Fey – Soul
Jamie Foxx – Soul
Tom Holland – Onward
Honor Kneafsey – Wolfwalkers
Octavia Spencer – Onward

Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder & Abraham Marder – Sound Of Metal
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial Of The Chicago 7

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

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

Best Documentary
Boys State
Collective
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
Dick Johnson Is Dead
Time

Best International/Foreign Language Film
Another Round
Bacurau
La Llorona
Night of the Kings
The Mole Agent

Best Production Design
Emma.
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
News Of The World
Tenet

Best Cinematography
Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank
Dariusz Wolski – News Of The World
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland
Hoyte van Hoytema – Tenet

Best Editing
Kirk Baxter – Mank
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Mikkel E. G. Nielsen – Sound Of Metal
Jennifer Lame – Tenet
Alan Baumgarten – The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Best Original Score
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Mank
Emile Mosseri – Minari
James Newton Howard – News Of The World
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste – Soul
Ludwig Göransson – Tenet

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
The Fight
Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President
John Lewis: Good Trouble
Wonder Woman 1984

The Toronto Film Critics Association Honors Nomadland


They love Nomadland, even in Canada!

The Toronto Film Critics Association announced their picks for the best of 2020 yesterday and Noamdland picked up another best picture prize.  Chloe Zhao and Frances McDormand were also, once again, honored.  Daniel Kaluuya, who has been coming on strong in recent days, picked up Best Supporting Actor for Judas and the Black Messiah, defeating former front runners Paul Raci and Leslie Odom Jr.

Here are the winners from Toronto:

Best Film
Winner: ​​Nomadland
Runners Up: First Cow & Minari

Best Director
Winner: ​Chloe Zhao – Nomadland
Runners Up: Lee Isaac Chung – Minari & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow

Best Screenplay
Winner: ​Minari
Runners Up: Nomadland & Sound of Metal

Best Actress
Winner: ​Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Runners Up: Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom & Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Actor
Winner: ​Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Runners Up: Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom & Mads Mikkelsen – Another Round

Best First Feature
Winner: ​The Forty-Year-Old-Version
Runners Up: The Father & Promising Young Woman

Best Documentary
Winner: ​Collective
Runners Up: Crip Camp, David Byrne’s American Utopia & Time

Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: ​Bacurau
Runners Up: Another Round & Beanpole

Best Animated Feature
Winner: ​Wolfwalkers
Runners Up: Soul & The Willoughbys

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Runners Up: Youn Yuh-jung – Minari & Olivia Colman – The Father

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Daniel Kaluuya – Judas And The Black Messiah
Runners Up: Paul Raci – Sound of Metal & Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami

Here Are The Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Nominations!


Yesterday, the Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association announced their nominees for the best of the year.  After it was snubbed by both the Golden Globes and SAG, it’s nice to see at least one group acknowledging First Cow.  (Actually, a lot of groups have been acknowledging First Cow.  I just worry it’s the type of film that will player better with critics than with Oscar voters.  Which is a shame because it’s a great film!)

The winners will be announced on February 8th …. which is tomorrow!  Here are the nominees:

Best Film
First Cow
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami…
Promising Young Woman

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Regina King – One Night in Miami…
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
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces Of A Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial Of The Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas And The Black Messiah
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
Dominique Fishback – Judas And The Black Messiah
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

Best Acting Ensemble
Da 5 Bloods
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Minari
One Night in Miami…
The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Best Youth Performance
Millie Bobby Brown – Enola Holmes
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Alan Kim – Minari
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Helena Zengel – News Of The World

Best Voice Performance
Tina Fey – Soul
Jamie Foxx – Soul
Tom Holland – Onward
Honor Kneafsey – Wolfwalkers
Octavia Spencer – Onward

Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder & Abraham Marder – Sound Of Metal
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial Of The Chicago 7

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

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

Best Documentary
Boys State
Collective
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
Dick Johnson Is Dead
Time

Best International/Foreign Language Film
Another Round
Bacurau
La Llorona
Night of the Kings
The Mole Agent

Best Production Design
Emma.
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
News Of The World
Tenet

Best Cinematography
Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank
Dariusz Wolski – News Of The World
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland
Hoyte van Hoytema – Tenet

Best Editing
Kirk Baxter – Mank
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Mikkel E. G. Nielsen – Sound Of Metal
Jennifer Lame – Tenet
Alan Baumgarten – The Trial Of The Chicago 7

Best Original Score
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Mank
Emile Mosseri – Minari
James Newton Howard – News Of The World
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste – Soul
Ludwig Göransson – Tenet

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
The Fight
Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President
John Lewis: Good Trouble
Wonder Woman 1984

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of the Hollywood Critics Association!


The Hollywood Critics Association has announced their nominees for the best of 2020!  The winners will be announced on March 5th, 2021 in a virtual ceremony.

As for the nominees, themselves, it’s pretty much more of the same.  Judas and the Black Messiah — which really wasn’t a huge factor during the December and January portion of awards season — seems to be coming on strong in the 2nd half.  In this case, it took the Best Picture spot that probably would have otherwise gone to First Cow.

Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
Da 5 Bloods
Judas and The Black Messiah
Minari
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Father
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami
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
Zendaya – Malcolm & Marie

Best Supporting Actor
Bo Burnham – Promising Young Woman
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and The Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman – The Father
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

Best Animated or VFX Performance
Ben Schwartz – Sonic the Hedgehog
Cathy Ang – Over the Moon
Honor Kneafsey – Wolfwalkers
Jamie Foxx – Soul
Tina Fey – Soul

Best Male Director
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
David Fincher – Mank
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Shaka King – Judas and The Black Messiah
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods

Best Female Director
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Sofia Coppola – On the Rocks

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Abraham Marder & Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Best Adapted Screenplay
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Florian Zeller – The Father
Jonathan Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Cast Ensemble
Da 5 Bloods
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night in Miami
Promising Young Woman
The Prom
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best First Feature
Channing Godfrey Peoples – Miss Juneteenth
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Radha Blank – The 40-Year-Old Version
Regina King – One Night in Miami

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

Best International Film
Another Round
Bacurau
I’m No Longer Here
La Llorona
Two of Us

Best Documentary
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
Class Action Park
Dick Johnson is Dead
Time

Best Action
Bad Boys for Life
Birds of Prey
Extraction
Tenet
The Old Guard

Best Blockbuster
Birds of Prey
Sonic the Hedgehog
Tenet
The Old Guard
Wonder Woman 1984

Best Comedy/Musical
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
On the Rocks
Palm Springs
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Prom

Best Horror
Freaky
His House
Host
Relic
The Invisible Man

Best Indie Film
Black Bear
First Cow
Minari
Miss Juneteenth
Palm Springs

Best Short Film
Burrow
Canvas
Cops And Robbers
If Anything Happens, I Love You
The Heart Still Hums

Best Cinematography
Mank
News of The World
Nomadland
Tenet
The Midnight Sky

Best Stunts
Birds of Prey
Extraction
Tenet
The Old Guard
Wonder Woman 1984

Best Score
Mank
Minari
News of The World
Soul
The Midnight Sky

Best Original Song
Husavik (My Hometown) – Eurovision Song Contest
Rocket to the Moon – Over the Moon
Speak Now – One Night in Miami
Turntables – All In: The Fight for Democracy
Wear Your Crown – The Prom

Best Hair & Makeup
Birds of Prey
Hillbilly Elegy
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Promising Young Woman

Best Costume Design
Birds of Prey
Emma
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Personal History of David Copperfield

Best Production Design
Emma
Mank
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
The Personal History of David Copperfield
The Prom

Best Film Editing
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
The Father
The Invisible Man
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Visual Effects
Birds of Prey
Sonic the Hedgehog
Tenet
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky

The Atlanta Film Critics Circle Honors Nomadland


The Atlanta Film Critics Circle announced their picks for the best of 2020 earlier today and it was yet another victory for Nomadland.  At this point, Nomadland winning an award from a critics group has become a bit like the sun going up and down during the morning and the evening.  It’s going to happen everyday, or at least it’s going to happen until the sun goes supernova and eliminates all life on this planet.

(Agck!  That’s a scary thought!)

In other news, Atlanta gives us pretty much the usual collection of winners.  Riz Ahmed won best actor for Sound of Metal.  Paul Raci took home another very deserved supporting actor win for the same film.  Carey Mulligan won an also much deserved prize for her work in Promising Young Woman.  Maria Bakalova won another supporting actress prize for the Borat movie, which has emerged as this year’s movie to nominate to own the cons.

(On Earth 2, Hollywood long ago took a random right turn and suddenly, PureFlix films is picking up all sorts of awards.  Oscar-winner Kevin Sorbo?  On Earth 2, that’s such a common event that Kirk Cameron makes a joke about it every time he hosts the Academy Awards.)

I have to admit that I keep hoping that one of these critics groups will just do something totally unexpected and crazy.  I mean, they could have really shaken up the race by giving their best picture prize to Money Plane.  Or maybe Hillbilly Elegy.  With the way that television and movies are becoming one in the same, they really should have considered honoring a Lifetime film.  At this point, I just want to see something really crazy happen, y’know?

Anyway, here are the winners from Atlanta!*

Top 10 Films
1. NOMADLAND
2. PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
3. SOUND OF METAL
4. THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
5. MINARI
6. ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
7. FIRST COW
8. THE FATHER
9. MANK
10. DA 5 BLOODS

Honorable Mentions: SOUL, MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM, PALM SPRINGS & TIME

Best Lead Actor
Winner: Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL
First Runner Up: Chadwick Boseman – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM

Best Lead Actress
Winner: Carey Mulligan – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
First Runner Up: Frances McDormand – NOMADLAND

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Paul Raci – SOUND OF METAL
First Runner Up: Sacha Baron Cohen – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
First Runner Up: Youn Yuh-jung – MINARI

Best Ensemble Cast
Winner: THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
First Runner Up: ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

Best Director
Winner: Chloé Zhao – NOMADLAND
First Runner Up: Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Best Screenplay
Winner: Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
First Runner Up: Aaron Sorkin – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

Best Documentary
Winner: TIME
First Runner Up: COLLECTIVE

Best Foreign Language Film
Winner: ANOTHER ROUND
First Runner Up: BACURAU

Best Animated Film
Winner: SOUL
First Runner Up: WOLFWALKERS

Best Cinematography
Winner: NOMADLAND
First Runner Up: NEWS OF THE WORLD

Best Original Score
Winner: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – SOUL
First Runner Up: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – MANK

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMER
Winner: Kingsley Ben-Adir – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
First Runner Up: Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

BEST FIRST FILM
Winner: Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
First Runner Up: Regina King – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

*But, in a way, aren’t we all winners from Atlanta?

Lisa Marie Picks The 30 Top Films of 2020


Well, it’s finally time!  It’s time for me to announce my picks for the best films of 2020.

Before we begin, there is one thing I want to make clear.  Unlike the Academy, I did not extend my eligibility window.  Films like Nomadland, Minari, and The Father (amongst others) will undoubtedly be competing for the Oscar for Best Picture of 2020.  However, as far as I’m concerned, those are all 2021 films.  And I imagine that a few of them will probably appear on my best films of 2021 list.  However, the list below are my picks for the best films of 2020.  You’ll probably agree with some of my picks and disagree with some of the others.  As always, I welcome any and all comments.

Also, be sure to check out my picks for 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019!  Wow, I’ve been doing this for a while!

And now, in descending order, my favorites of 2020!

30. Money Plane (dir by Andrew Lawrence) — Okay, I can sense that you’re already rolling your eyes at my list by seriously, Money Plane is such a cheerfully absurd and self-aware little B-movie that there’s no way I couldn’t include it.  Seriously, how can you not love a film that features Kelsey Grammer always a gangster known as the Rumble?  Basically, as soon as I heard that priceless declaration of “We are going to rob the Money Plane!,” this movie had me under its spell.

29. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (dir by George C. Wolfe) — Though this adaptation of August Wilson’s play never quite escapes its theatrical roots, no one can deny the powerful performances of Viola Davis, Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, and especially Chadwick Boseman.  Boseman dominates the film from the minute that he makes his first appearance, playing an ambitious, troubled, and undeniably talented trumpeter.  Viola Davis plays Ma Rainey with the self-awareness of someone who knows that the record producers need her more than she needs them.  She has the power and she’s not going to let anyone get away with forgetting it.

28. The Invisible Man (dir by Leigh Wannell) — Before the Academy announced that they would be changing their rules to considers streaming movies, many critics speculated that one of the results of the pandemic would be The Invisible Man winning all of the Oscars.  Though they may have been joking, it was not as outlandish an idea as they seemed to think.  The Invisible Man is a horror film that proves that being a genre film does not mean that film can’t also be a good and thought-provoking work of art.  The Invisible Man breathes new life into a somewhat hokey premise and Elisabeth Moss gives a great performance as a woman stalked by her abusive (and now invisble) ex.  The Invisible Man features one of the best ending scenes of 2020.

27. The Hunt (dir by Craig Zobel) — Delayed due to a manufactured controversy and released to critical bafflement, The Hunt is a clever satire of our hyper-partisan and hyper-polarized society.  The film’s final twist is a clever commentary on social media drama and Hillary Swank steals the show with an unexpected cameo.

26. One Night In Miami (dir by Regina King) — I went back and forth on this one.  Based on a stage play, this film imagines what happened the night that Malcolm X, Jim Brown, Sam Cooke, and Muhammad Ali met in a Miami motel room.  There are a few times that the film is undoubtedly a bit too stagey for its own good and, early on, some of the dialogue is a bit too on the nose.  But the film has a cumulative power and, despite a few uneven moments, it’s ultimately an intriguing look at race, celebrity, and political activism in America.  A good deal of the film’s power is due to the ensemble.  While most of the awards chatter seems to be focused on Leslie Odom, Jr. as Sam Cooke, it’s Aldis Hodge’s Jim Brown who truly anchors the film.

25. Gunpowder Heart (dir by Camila Urrutia) — This raw and angry film from Guatemala was one of the more powerful films to be featured at 2020’s virtual South By Southwest.  In Guatemala City, Maria and her girlfriend Claudia are assaulted by three men.  Maria wants revenge, no mater what.  Claudia, the more cautious of the two, knows that Maria’s plans are going to end in tragedy and disaster but she also knows that there’s nothing she can do to stop her.  Gunpowder Heart isn’t always easy to watch but it’s undeniably powerful.

24. The Shock of the Future (dir by Marc Collin) — Taking place in 1978, this French film follows one day in the life of a composer named Ana (Alma Jodorowsky).  It’s a typical day — Anna wakes up, a friend comes by with the latest albums, Anna tries to compose music, she goes to a party, and she hears the newest music.  It’s a simple but effective celebration of both music and the thrill of having your entire creative life ahead of you.  Alma Jodorowsky is brilliant in the role of Anna.

23. She Dies Tomorrow (dir by Amy Seimetz) — This a disturbing mood piece about a woman who is convinced that she is going to die in a day.  Everyone who she meets also becomes convinced that they’re going to die within 24 hours.  Some of them go out of their way to make sure that it happens while others just wait for death to come.  Is it a mass delusion or is it something else?  The atmospheric film may raise more questions than it answers but it will definitely stick with you.

22. Driveways (dir by Andrew Ahn) — Kathy (Hong Chau) and her young son, Cody (Lucas Jaye), move into the home that was owned by Kathy’s deceased sister.  In his final film appearance, Brian Dennehy plays the gruff but caring neighbor who befriends both Cody and his mother.  This is a low-key but emotionally resonant film, elevated by Dennehy’s heartfelt performance.

21. Figurant (dir by Jan Vejnar) — Clocking in at 14 minutes, this unsettling but powerful French/Czech co-production tells the story of a quiet man (Denis Levant) who follows a group of younger men into a warehouse and who soon finds himself in uniform and on a battlefield.  Or is he?  It’s not an easy question to answer but this intriguing short film will keep you watching, guessing, and thinking.

20. What Did Jack Do? (dir by David Lynch) — David Lynch interrogates a monkey in an expressionistic train station.  The monkey talks about a chicken and sings a song about true love’s flame.  “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party?” Lynch asks.  It’s a brilliant short film and really, it’s the sort of thing that only David Lynch, with his mix of earnestness and eccentricity, could have pulled off.  Technically, this film was made a few years ago but it only got it’s official premiere in 2020, when Netflix released it on Lynch’s birthday.

19. Red, White, and Blue (dir by Steven McQueen) — Steve McQueen’s Small Axe was made up of five short films.  Three of them appear on this list.  There’s been a lot of debate about whether or not the Small Axe films should be considered individual features or if they should be considered a miniseries.  Obviously, I see them as being individual features but, in the end, they’re brilliant and thought-provoking regardless of whether they’re television or film.  Red, White, and Blue takes a nuanced look at institutional racism and features an excellent lead performance from John Boyega.

18. Mr. Jones (dir by Agnieszka Holland) — A film that deserved more attention than it received, Mr. Jones tells the story of Gareth Jones, the Welsh journalist who, in 1933, discovered the truth about the state-sponsored famine that was killing millions in the Ukraine.  Despite his efforts, the press refused to report on what was really happening in the Ukraine and instead, an odious propagandist named Walter Duranty was awarded a Pulitzer prize for writing pro-Stalin stories that were later determined to be full of deliberate lies.  An important and heartfelt film, Mr. Jones features a subtle but effective lead performance from James Norton and a memorable supporting turn from Peter Sarsgaard, who plays Walter Duranty as a smug snake.

17. The Outpost (dir by Rod Lurie) — Based on a true story and directed by Rod Lurie, this film pays tribute to the men who have fought and died in America’s forgotten conflict, the War in Afghanistan.  Well-acted and doggedly unsentimental, The Outpost will literally leave you breathless.

16. Emma (dir by Autumn de Wilde) — The latest adaptation of Jane Austen’s much-adapted novel, Emma has a playful spirit that is lacking in so many other literary adaptations.  It also has a great performance from Anya Taylor-Joy, who makes the character of Emma Woodhouse her own.

15. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (dir by Eliza Hittman) — Two teenagers, Autumn (Sidney Flanigan) and her cousin Skylar (Talia Ryder), travel to New York City from Pennsylvania so that Autumn can get an abortion without having to get her parent’s consent.  Though I’m occasionally a bit skeptic of cinema verite, Never Rarely Sometimes Always makes good use of the style.  Far more than just being a film about abortion, it’s a character study of two people trying to survive in a harsh world.  The scene where the previously withdrawn Autumn is prodded to open up about her past is one of the most powerful of the year.

14. Possessor (dir by Brandon Cronenberg) — Brandon Cronenberg’s disturbing sci-fi/horror hybrid is not an easy film to explain or to even describe.  Questions of identity and betrayal are mixed with grotesque images of body horror and societal neglect.  By the end of the film, you’ll find yourself reconsidering everything that you previously assumed about the movie.  This one sticks with you, even though you may not want it to.  (How’s that for a recommendation?)

13. Horse Girl (dir by Jeff Baena) — This is a film that definitely deserved a bit more attention than it received.  Alison Brie gives a brave and sympathetic performance as someone who believes that she’s a clone who has been abducted by aliens.  Is she suffering from delusions brought on by a combination of loneliness and too much television?  Or is she right?  The film will leave you guessing.  While Brie is at the center of almost every scene, Molly Shannon also gives a good performance as one of Brie’s only friends.

12. Sound of Metal (dir by Darius Marder) — Riz Ahmed plays an occasionally obnoxious drummer who goes deaf.  Worried that Ahemd is going to relapse into drug use, his girlfriend and musical partner (Olivia Cooke) checks him into a rehab center for the deaf.  With the help of a sympathetic but no-nonsense counselor (Paul Raci), Ahmed struggles to come to accept the loss of sound and music from his life.  The three main performances elevate this film, making it one of the year’s best.  In the film’s best moments, we hear the world through Ahmed’s ears and experience what he’s experiencing.

11. Mangrove (dir by Steve McQueen) — The first film in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology tells the story of a true life court case.  Politically charged from beginning to end and leaving no doubt as to what the true stakes were in the case, Mangrove is the film that Trial of The Chicago 7 should have been.

10. Soul (dir by Peter Docter) — The latest from PIXAR made me cry as only a great PIXAR film can.  A music teacher named Joe (voices by Jamie Foxx) falls down a manhole shortly after winning his dream job in a jazz band.  Unwilling to die before performing on stage, Joe finds himself in the Great Before, assigned to teach an unborn soul named 22 (voiced by Tina Fey) what it means to be human …. okay, you know what?  This film has one of those plots that sounds silly if you try to explain it.  What matters is that it’s a heartfelt film that celebrates every minute of life.  Foxx and Fey both do wonderful voice work and the animation is as clever as always.  Plus, there’s a cat!

9. The Vast of Night (dir by Andrew Patterson) — This low-budget film is a wonderfully atmospheric look at what may or may not be an alien invasion taking place in the 1950s.  Featuring wonderfully naturalistic performances and an intelligent storyline, The Vast of Night is a triumph of the independent spirit.  I can’t wait to see what Andrew Patterson does next.

8. Lovers Rock (dir by Steve McQueen) — The 2nd film is Steve MQueen’s Small Axe anthology, Lovers Rock centers on one exhilarating house party.  Though the world outside of this party may be harsh and full of oppression and racism (a group of white teens shout racial slurs at one partygoer when she steps outside of the house), the world inside of the party is one of love, music, and celebration.

7. i’m thinking of ending things (dir by Charlie Kaufman) — A riddle wrapped in an enigma, i’m thinking of ending things features great performance from Jessie Buckley, Jesse Plemons, Toni Collette, and David Thewlis.  What starts out as an awkward drive to visit Plemons’s parents grows increasingly more and more surreal until the audience is left to wonder what is real, what is fantasy, and whether the majority of the film’s characters even exist.  This film plays out like a dream and stays with you long after it end.

6. Palm Springs (dir by Max Barbakow) — Perhaps the ultimate twist on Groundhog Day, Palm Springs is a thought-provoking comedic gem from Lonely Island Classic Pictures.  Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, and Cristin Milioti find themselves living the same day over and over again.  Each one reacts to their predicament in a different way.  It’ll make you laugh and then it’ll make you cry.  Revealing too much else about the plot would be a crime.  It’s on Hulu so go watch it.

5. The Assistant (dir by Kitty Green) — This infuriating and ultimately tragic film follows one day in the life of Jane (Julia Garner), a production assistant at a film company.  Though he’s never seen, Jane’s boss is clearly meant to be a fictionalized version of Harvey Weinstein.  Should Jane save her career or try to warn the actress that her boss has clearly set his eyes upon as his next victim?  The scene where the head of HR assures Jane that she needn’t worry about her boss’s behavior because “you’re not his type,” rings all too horribly true.  The Assistant was obviously designed to be a rallying call for #MeToo but sadly, today, it feels more like an obituary.

Bad Education

4. Bad Education (dir by Cory Finley) — All year, I have been lamenting the fact that Bad Education was bought by HBO and not Netflix.  If it had been released on Netflix, it would probably be an Oscar contender and Hugh Jackman would be in the hunt for his first Best Actor Oscar.  Instead, it aired on HBO and it had to settle for limited Emmy recognition.  It’s a shame because this film, which centers on embezzlement at one suburban school, was one of the best of 2020.  At a time when we’re being told not to question authority, Bad Education encourages us to question everything.  Along with being thought-provoking, it’s also occasionally laugh out loud funny.  Jackman is brilliant in the lead role.  Allison Janney is award-worthy as his partner-in-crime.  Ray Romano takes another step in proving that he’s more than just a sitcom actor.  All in all, this was a great movie.

3. First Cow (dir by Kelly Reichardt) — This melancholy tale follows two men who meet in Oregon in the 1820s and who become unlikely business partners.  Unfortunately, being partners means stealing milk from Toby Jones’s cow and thievery was even less appreciated in the 1820s than it is today. Featuring outstanding lead performances from Jon Magaro and Orion Lee, First Cow is a rewarding work of historical fiction.  Kelly Reichardt makes you feel as if you’ve woken up in the 1820s, even as she uses the past to comment upon the present.  This probably isn’t a film for everyone.  Reichardt’s style has always been more about observing than passing judgment.  But for viewers willing to stick with it, this deliberately paced film is a rewarding experience.

Finally, when it comes to the best film of the year, I’ve been going back and forth between two films.  In the end, I have to declare a tie.  In alphabetical order by title, here are the two best films of 2020:

2. The Girl With A Bracelet (dir by Stéphane Demoustier) — This French film is about a teenage girl who is on trial for murdering her best friend.  Whether or not she’s guilty is ultimately less important than why everyone has been so quick to accuse her in the first place.  Featuring an outstanding ensemble and an intelligent script, The Girl With A Bracelet will leave you thinking about …. well, everything.  It can currently be viewed on Prime.

1. Promising Young Woman (dir by Emerald Fennell) — When I first started watching this film, I worried that it might be too stylized to be effective.  But it soon became apparent the director/screenwriter Emerald Fennell and star Carey Mulligan both knew exactly what they needed to do to tell this story.  Mulligan plays a med school drop-out who is seeking her own unique style of revenge against not only the men who raped her best friend in college but also the people who Mulligan feels subsequently let her friend down.  Bo Burnham plays the pediatrician who asks Mulligan out on a date and who appears to be the perfect nice guy, the adorably awkward boyfriend who you you would expect to find in a 90s rom com.  Neither character turns out to be exactly who they initially appeared to be.  Promising Young Woman mixes genres that normally don’t go together, smashing together drama and comedy, and it’s just audacious enough to be one of the best films of the year.

 

 

TSL Looks Back at 2020:

  1. 2020 In Review: The Best of Lifetime (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  2. 12 Good Things I Saw On Television in 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  3. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Novels of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  4. Lisa Marie’s Top 8 Non-Fiction Books of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  5. Lisa Marie’s 20 Favorite Songs of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  6. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2020 (Lisa Marie Bowman)
  7. My Top 20 Albums of 2020 (Necromoonyeti)
  8. 25 Best, Worst, and Gems That I Saw In 2020 (Valerie Troutman)
  9. Top 10 Vintage Collections (Ryan C)
  10. Top 10 Contemporary Collections (Ryan C)
  11. Top 10 Original Graphic Novels (Ryan C)
  12. Top 10 Ongoing Series (Ryan C.)
  13. Top 10 Special Mentions (Ryan C.)
  14. Top Ten Single Issues (Ryan C)

Lisa Marie’s Oscar Predictions for January of 2021


Normally, this is when I would be talking about the actual Oscar nominations as opposed to the hypothetical ones but, due to the whole COVID thing, the 2020 Oscar nominations (or really, the 2020-2021 Oscar nominations since neither Nomadland nor Minari is really a 2020 film as far as I’m concerned) will not be announced until March.

So, guess what?

It’s that time of the month again!

It’s time for me to present my own personal predictions of what will eventually be nominated.  With some of the critics groups giving out awards over the past two months, the Oscar picture is definitely a bit clearer.  Still, it’s not as clear as it’s going to be by the end of next week.  February is going to see the Golden Globes and the guilds announcing their nominees.  The Globes and the guilds are far more reliable than the critics groups when it comes to serving as Oscar precursors.

Still, I feel somewhat confident about the nominations below.  So, take a look and be sure to check out my previous predictions for January (2020), February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, and December!

Best Picture

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Da 5 Bloods

First Cow

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

Minari

Nomadland

Promising Young Woman

Sound of Metal

The Trial of the Chicago 7

(I’m going out on a limb with Borat, I know.  My theory is that the same people who nominated Vice for a host of Oscars aren’t going to be able to resist the temptation to give Trump the finger at least one more time.)

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung for Minari

Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods

Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7

Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round

Chloe Zhao for Nomadland

(Again, I know that I’m going out on a limb with Vinterberg but if there’s ever a year that’s going to have a totally surprising and unexpected nomination, it’s going to be this year.  Another Round’s been getting a lot of attention and a lot of acclaim.  Since 2014, despite the expanded best picture lineup, two directors have still managed to get nominated without their film also getting a picture nod.  Bennett Miller was nominated for Foxcatcher.  Paweł Pawlikowski was nominated for Cold War.  I’m going to go ahead and predict that Vinterberg will join them for Another Round.)

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Anthony Hopkins in The Father

Delroy Lindo in Da 5 Bloods

Steven Yeun in Minari

(I’ve pretty much been predicting this line-up for a while now.  I think Minari will be popular enough with the Academy that Steven Yeun will pick up a nomination.)

Best Actress

Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Sidney Flanigan in Never Rarely Sometimes Often

Vanessa Kirby in Pieces of a Woman

Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

(Once again, this is a lineup that I’ve been predicting for a while now.  I’m adding Sidney Flanigan to my predictions because of the strength she’s shown with the critics.  I nearly replaced her with Meryl Streep for The Prom but my instincts, for whatever they’re worth, say Flanigan.)

Best Supporting Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods

Sacha Baron Cohen in The Trial of the Chicago 7

Bill Murray in On The Rocks

Leslie Odom, Jr. in One Night In Miami

Paul Raci in Sound of Metal

(I do think Chadwick Boseman is going to receive two posthumous acting nominations in the same year.  That’s the way the momentum is going and his passing adds an extra poignancy to his Da 5 Bloods performance that wouldn’t be there otherwise.  If I had to guess, I’d say that this is the Oscar that Boseman is going to win.)

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Ellen Burstyn in Pieces of a Woman

Olivia Colman in The Father

Amanda Seyfried in Mank

Youn Yuh-jung in Minari

(I know some people aren’t sure that the Academy is going to go as crazy for Bakalova as some of the critics have.  But I think the same Academy that nominated Vice is going to be open to considering a performance from the Borat sequel, especially one that embarrassed Rudy Giuliani.)

We’ll see whether or not I’m correct about any of these predictions in March!