Here Are the 2020 Nominations Of The Black Reel Awards!


The Black Reel Awards announced their nominees for the best of 2020 today.  The winners will be announced on April 11th.  The nominees can be found below:

OUTSTANDING MOTION PICTURE
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SOUL

OUTSTANDING ACTOR
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
CHADWICK BOSEMAN – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
DELROY LINDO – DA 5 BLOODS
ROB MORGAN – BULL
LAKEITH STANFIELD – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS
NICOLE BEHARIE – MISS JUNETEENTH
VIOLA DAVIS – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ANDRA DAY – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
TESSA THOMPSON – SYLVIE’S LOVE
ZENDAYA – MALCOLM & MARIE

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
REGINA KING – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SHAKA KING – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
SPIKE LEE – DA 5 BLOODS
CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES – MISS JUNETEENTH

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR
CHADWICK BOSEMAN – DA 5 BLOODS
COLMAN DOMINGO – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ALDIS HODGE – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
DANIEL KALUUYA – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
LESLIE ODOM JR. – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS
ALEXIS CHIKAEZE – MISS JUNETEENTH
DOMINIQUE FISHBACK – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
KIKI LAYNE – THE OLD GUARD
TRACEE ELLIS ROSS – THE HIGH NOTE
GABOUREY SIDIBE – ANTEBELLUM

OUTSTANDING SCREENPLAY
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – RADHA BLANK
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH – WILL BERSON & SHAKA KING
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM – RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – KEMP POWERS
SOUL – PETE DOCTER, MIKE JONES & KEMP POWERS

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY
JOHN LEWIS: GOOD TROUBLE
MLK/FBI
TIME
THE WAY I SEE IT

OUTSTANDING FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM
HIS HOUSE
NIGHT OF THE KINGS
THE LIFE AHEAD

OUTSTANDING ENSEMBLE
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
MISS JUNETEENTH
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

OUTSTANDING VOICE PERFORMANCE
ANGELA BASSETT – SOUL
JAMIE FOXX – SOUL
MAYA RUDOLPH – THE WILLOUGHBYS
OCTAVIA SPENCER – ONWARD
PHYLICIA RASHAD – SOUL

OUTSTANDING SCORE
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – GUY C. ROUTTE
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY – JOHN DEBNEY
THE PHOTOGRAPH – ROBERT GLASPER
SOUL – TRENT REZNOR, ATTICUS ROSS & JON BATISTE
SYLVIE’S LOVE – FABRICE LECOMTE

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
FIGHT FOR YOU – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MAKE IT WORK – JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
POVERTY PORN – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
SPEAK NOW – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TIGRESS & TWEED – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT FEATURE
AMERICAN SKIN
FAREWELL AMOR
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
MISS JUNETEENTH
SYLVIE’S LOVE

OUTSTANDING SHORT FILM
BROTHER
CANVAS
THE CYPHER
GRAB MY HAND: A LETTER TO MY DAD
THE PANDEMIC CHRONICLES

OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARY
MR. SOUL!
THE SIT-IN: HARRY BELAFONTE HOSTS THE TONIGHT SHOW
WITH DRAWN ARMS

OUTSTANDING EMERGING DIRECTOR
EUGENE ASHE – SYLVIE’S LOVE
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
REGINA KING – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SHAKA KING – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
CHANNING GODFREY PEOPLES – MISS JUNETEENTH

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, MALE
YAHYA ABDUL-MANTEEN II – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
KINGSLEY BEN-ADIR – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
DUSAN BROWN – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ELI GOREE – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
NTARE MWINE – FAREWELL AMOR

OUTSTANDING BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, FEMALE
RADHA BLANK – THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION
ALEXIS CHIKAEZE – MISS JUNETEENTH
ANDRA DAY – THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY
DOMINIQUE FISHBACK – JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
ZENDAYA – MALCOLM & MARIE

OUTSTANDING FIRST SCREENPLAY
THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION – RADHA BLANK
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM – RUBEN SANTIAGO-HUDSON
MISS JUNETEENTH – CHANNING PEOPLES GODFREY
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – KEMP POWERS
SYLVIE’S LOVE – EUGENE ASHE

OUTSTANDING CINEMATOGRAPHY
DA 5 BLOODS
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MALCOLM & MARIE
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TENET

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
SYLVIE’S LOVE
THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION DESIGN
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
TENET

The Utah Film Critics Association Honors Minari


Yesterday, the Utah Film Critics Association announced their picks for the best of 2020.  They selected Minari for Best Picture with Soul as their runner-up.  That kind of sets them apart from the other critics groups, which have for the most part been selecting Nomadland.  That said, Frances McDormand still picked up the award for best actress.

Here are the winners from Utah:

Best Picture
Winner: Minari
Runner Up: Soul

Best Director
Winner: Regina King – One Night In Miami
Runner Up: Lee Isaac Chung – Minari

Best Actor
Winner: Riz Ahmed – Sound Of Metal
Runner Up: Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom & Steven Yeun – Minari (TIE)

Best Actress
Winner: Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Runner Up: Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor
Winner: Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night In Miami
Runner Up: Daniel Kaluuya – Judas And The Black Messiah

Best Supporting Actress
Winner: Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Runner Up: Youn Yuh-jung – Minari

Best Original Screenplay
Winner: The Trial Of The Chicago 7
Runner Up: Promising Young Woman

Best Adapted Screenplay
Winner: I’m Thinking Of Ending Things
Runner Up: One Night In Miami

Best Cinematography
Winner: Nomadland
Runner Up: I’m Thinking Of Ending Things

Best Original Score
Winner: Soul
Runner Up: Tenet

Best Film Editing
Winner: The Trial Of The Chicago 7
Runners Up: Sound Of Metal & Tenet (TIE)

Best Documentary Feature
Winner: Dick Johnson Is Dead
Runner Up: Time

Best Animated Feature
Winner: Wolfwalkers
Runner Up: Soul

Non-English Language Feature
Winner: Another Round
Runner Up: Bacurau

Vice Martin Award for performance in SciFi/Fantasy
Winner: Elizabeth Moss – The Invisible Man
Runner Up: Cristin Milioti – Palm Springs

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

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 78th Annual Golden Globe Nominations!


I’m totally turned off by the self-importance of the Golden Globes and I resent every time that I have to write about them.

That said, despite the fact that no one is quite sure who actually votes for the damn things and stories of corruption in the Hollywood Foreign Press Association have been rampant for years, the Golden Globes have still emerged as one of the main Oscar precursors.  So, you kind of have to pay attention to them.  Bleh.

There really aren’t any huge shocks in the list of nominees below, with the exception of maybe Jared Leto for Best Supporting Actor and James Corden’s Prom nomination.  I mean, if you’re that determined to nominate someone for The Prom, why would you go for James Corden as opposed to Meryl Streep?  That’s just odd.

Anyway, here are the nominations:

Best Motion Picture, Drama
“The Father”
“Mank”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
“Hamilton”
“Music”
“Palm Springs”
“The Prom”

Best Director, Motion Picture
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
David Fincher, “Mank”
Regina King, “One Night In Miami”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Viola Davis, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Andra Day, “The United States vs. Billie Holiday”
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces of a Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Carey Mulligan, “Promising Young Woman”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Kate Hudson, “Music”
Michelle Pfeiffer, “French Exit”
Rosamund Pike, “I Care a Lot”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “Emma”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Glenn Close, “Hillbilly Elegy”
Olivia Colman, “The Father”
Jodie Foster, “The Mauritanian”
Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
Helena Zengel, “News of the World”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Riz Ahmed, “Sound of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Gary Oldman, “Mank”
Tahar Rahim, “The Mauritanian”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Sacha Baron Cohen, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
James Corden, “The Prom”
Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton”
Dev Patel, “The Personal History of David Copperfield”
Andy Samberg, “Palm Springs”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Sacha Baron Cohen, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas and the Black Messiah”
Jared Leto, “The Little Things”
Billy Murray, “On the Rocks”
Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night In Miami”

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher, “Mank”
Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton, “The Father”
Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland”

Best Original Score, Motion Picture
Alexandre Desplat, “The Midnight Sky”
Ludwig Göransson, “Tenet”
James Newton Howard, “News of the World”
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Mank”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste, “Soul”

Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“Fight For You,” Judas and the Black Messiah”
“Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Io Sì (Seen),” The Life Ahead”
“Speak Now,” One Night In Miami”
“Tigress & Tweed,” The United States Vs. Billie Holiday”

Best Motion Picture, Animated
“The Croods: A New Age”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
“Another Round”
“La Llorona”
“The Life Ahead”
“Minari”
“Two Of Us”

Best Television Series, Drama
“The Crown”
“Lovecraft Country”
“The Mandalorian”
“Ozark”
“Ratched”

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
“Emily in Paris”
“The Flight Attendant”
“The Great”
“Schitt’s Creek”
“Ted Lasso”

Best Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture made for Television
“Normal People”
“The Queen’s Gambit”
“Small Axe”
“The Undoing”
“Unorthodox”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Drama
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Jodie Comer, “Killing Eve”
Emma Corrin, “The Crown”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Sarah Paulson, “Ratched”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Lily Collins, “Emily In Paris”
Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”
Elle Fanning, “The Great”
Jane Levy, “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series, Anthology Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Cate Blanchett, “Mrs. America”
Daisy Edgar Jones, “Normal People”
Shira Haas, “Unorthodox”
Nicole Kidman, “The Undoing”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Supporting Role
Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”
Helena Bonham Carter, “The Crown”
Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Cynthia Nixon, “Ratched”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Al Pacino, “Hunters”
Matthew Rhys, “Perry Mason”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Don Cheadle, “Black Monday”
Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”
Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
Bryan Cranston, “Your Honor”
Jeff Daniels, “The Comey Rule”
Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”
Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird”
Mark Ruffalo, “I Know This Much is True”

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Supporting Role
John Boyega, “Small Axe”
Brendan Gleeson, “The Comey Rule”
Daniel Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Jim Parsons, “Hollywood”
Donald Sutherland, “The Undoing”

Here Are The Nominees For the 2020 NAACP Image Awards!


The NAACP has announced their nominees for the 2020 Image Awards!

And here they are:

Outstanding Motion Picture
Bad Boys For Life
Da 5 Bloods
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
One Night In Miami…

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
David E. Talbert – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
George C. Wolfe – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Gina Prince-Bythewood – The Old Guard
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Regina King – One Night In Miami…

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Anthony Mackie – The Banker
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Forest Whitaker – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Will Smith – Bad Boys For Life

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Issa Rae – The Photograph
Janelle Monáe – Antebellum
Madalen Mills – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Tracee Ellis Ross – The High Note
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Aldis Hodge – One Night In Miami…
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Clarke Peters – Da 5 Bloods
Colman Domingo – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Anika Noni Rose – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Gabourey Sidibe – Antebellum
Nia Long – The Banker
Phylicia Rashad – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Taylour Paige – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
David E. Talbert – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Kemp Powers – One Night In Miami…
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Pete Docter, Kemp Powers & Mike Jones – Soul
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
Emperor
Farewell Amor
Miss Juneteenth
The 24th
The Banker

Outstanding International Motion Picture
Ainu Mosir
His House
Night of the Kings
The Last Tree
The Life Ahead

Outstanding Breakthrough Performance in a Motion Picture
Dayo Okeniyi – Emperor
Dominique Fishback – Project Power
Jahi Di’Allo Winston – Charm City Kings
Jahzir Bruno – The Witches
Madalen Mills – Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

Outstanding Ensemble Cast in a Motion Picture
Da 5 Bloods
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Soul
The Banker

Outstanding Animated Motion Picture
Onward
Over the Moon
Scoob!
Soul
Trolls World Tour

Outstanding Character Voice-Over Performance – Motion Picture
Ahmir-Khalib Thompson aka Questlove – Soul
Angela Bassett – Soul
Chris Rock – The Witches
Jamie Foxx – Soul
Phylicia Rashad – Soul

Outstanding Short Form (Live Action)
Baldwin Beauty
Black Boy Joy
Gets Good Light
Home
Mr. & Mrs. Ellis

Outstanding Short Form (Animated)
Canvas
Cops and Robbers
Loop
The Power of Hope
Windup

Outstanding Breakthrough Creative (Motion Picture)
Loira Limbal – Through the Night
Melissa Haizlip – Mr. Soul!
Nadia Hallgren – Becoming
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Remi Weekes – His House

Before anyone makes any jokes about that Best Picture nomination for Bad Boys For Life — hey, that was a fun movie.  If the Academy ever had gone through with that plan to start awarding an Oscar for Best Popular Film, I assume that Bad Boys For Life probably would have been contender.  Anyway, the winners of the Image Awards will be announced on March 27th so you’ve all got a lot of times to consider these nominees.

So, get to considering!

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)

Here Are The Film Independent Spirit Nominations!


Earlier today, the nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards were announced!  The winners will be announced on April 22nd so that’ll give all of us a lot of time to consider them.

Here are the nominees:

BEST FEATURE
First Cow
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Minari
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland

BEST FIRST FEATURE
I Carry You With Me
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Miss Juneteenth
Nine Days
Sound of Metal

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Given to the best feature made for under $500,000
The Killing of Two Lovers
La Leyenda Negra
Lingua Franca
Residue
Saint Frances

BEST DIRECTOR
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

BEST SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Mike Makowsky – Bad Education
Alice Wu – The Half of It

BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Kitty Green – The Assistant
Noah Hutton – Lapsis
Channing Godfrey Peoples – Miss Juneteenth
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
James Sweeney – Straight Up

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Jay Keitel – She Dies Tomorrow
Shabier Kirchner – Bull
Michael Latham – The Assistant
Hélène Louvart – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland

BEST EDITING
Andy Canny – The Invisible Man
Scott Cummings – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Merawi Gerima – Residue
Enat Sidi – I Carry You With Me
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

BEST FEMALE LEAD
Nicole Beharie – Miss Juneteenth
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Julia Garner – The Assistant
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

BEST MALE LEAD
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Adarsh Gourav – The White Tiger
Rob Morgan – Bull
Steven Yeun – Minari

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Alexis Chikaeze – Miss Juneteenth
Yeri Han – Minari
Valerie Mahaffey – French Exit
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Yuh-jung Youn – Minari

BEST SUPPORTING MALE
Colman Domingo – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Orion Lee – First Cow
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Benedict Wong – Nine Days

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast
One Night in Miami…
Director: Regina King
Casting Directors: Kimberly R. Hardin
Ensemble Cast: Kingsley Ben-Adir, Eli Goree, Aldis Hodge, Leslie Odom Jr.

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Collective
Crip Camp
Dick Johnson is Dead
The Mole Agent
Time

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
Bacurau
The Disciple
Night of the Kings
Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time
Quo Vadis, Aida?

PRODUCERS AWARD – The Producers Award, now in its 24th year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films.
Kara Durrett
Lucas Joaquin
Gerry Kim

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD – The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 27th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition.
David Midell – Director of The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain
Ekwa Msangi – Director of Farewell Amor
Annie Silverstein – Director of Bull

TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD – The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 26th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition.
Cecilia Aldarondo – Director of Landfall
Elegance Bratton – Director of Pier Kids
Elizabeth Lo – Director of Stray

TV CATEGORIES

BEST NEW NON-SCRIPTED OR DOCUMENTARY SERIES
Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children
City So Real
Immigration Nation
Love Fraud
We’re Here

BEST NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
I May Destroy You
Little America
Small Axe
A Teacher
Unorthodox

BEST FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
Elle Fanning – The Great
Shira Haas – Unorthodox
Abby McEnany -Work in Progress
Maitreyi Ramakrishnan – Never Have I Ever
Jordan Kristine Seamón – We Are Who We Are

BEST MALE PERFORMANCE IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
Conphidance – Little America
Adam Ali – Little America
Nicco Annan – P-Valley
Amit Rahav – Unorthodox
Harold Torres – Zero, Zero, Zero

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST IN A NEW SCRIPTED SERIES
I May Destroy You
Ensemble Cast: Michaela Coel, Paapa Essiedu, Wruche Opia,
Stephen Wight