The Houston Film Critics Society Honors Nomadland


The Houston Skyline

Earlier today, the Houston Film Critics Society announced their picks for the best of 2020.  While the Houston critics did give best picture and best director to Nomadland, they bucked the current awards season trend a bit by also honoring Carey Mulligan over Frances McDormand and Leslie Odom Jr. over Paul Raci, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Chadwick Boseman.

Here’s what won in Houston.  Winners are in bold:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Cinematography
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
Tenet

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

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

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

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

Best Visual Effects
Tenet
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky

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

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

Best Movie Poster Art
Da 5 Bloods

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


The Houston Skyline

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

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

Here are the nominees:

Best Picture

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best Cinematography
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
Tenet

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

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

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

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

Best Visual Effects
Tenet
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky

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

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

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

The National Society of Film Critics Honors Nomadland


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Chicago Indie Critics Honor Nomadland, Da 5 Bloods, and Ma Rainey!


The Chicago Indie Critics announced their picks for the best of 2020 earlier today.

Yes, Nomadland won.  Again.  Because the CIC gives out two best picture awards — one for the best low-budget indie and another for the best big-budget studio production — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom won as well.  And because there was a tie in the Best Big Budget Studio Production category, Da 5 Bloods won as well.

As far as the acting winners went, it was the usual suspects.  Frances McDormand took best actress for Nomadland.  Chadwick Boseman took best actor for Ma Rainey.  Boseman also won Best Supporting Actor for Da 5 Bloods.  And, of course, Maria Bakalova got another award for Best Supporting Actress.

In other words …. kinda boring.  Nomadland may be the greatest film ever made but there’s nothing more boring than an awards season where all of the critics groups vote for the same movies and the same people.  Then again, I remember that this previously happened with The Social Network.  The Social Network won over all the critics but the Academy preferred The King’s Speech.  I supposed that could happen this year, though Nomadland seems to have even more momentum than The Social Network did.

At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Boseman nominated for both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor.  Could he possibly win both?  I think he could.  I do think that, if he only wins for one, it’ll probably be for Da 5 Bloods, just because of the nature of his role in that film.  That said, it does seem inevitable that Boseman will follow Peter Finch and Heath Ledger in winning at least one posthumous Oscar.

You can see the CIC nominations here.  And the winners are listed below!

Best Independent Film (Budget Under $20,000) — Nomadland

Best Studio Film (Budget over $20,000) — Da 5 Bloods and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Foreign Language Film — His House

Best Documentary — Boys State

Best Animated Film — Soul

Best Director — Spike Lee for Da 5 Bloods

Best Original Screenplay — Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman and Aaron Sorkin for The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Adapted Screenplay — Ruben Santiago-Hudson for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Actor — Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Actress — Frances McDormand in Nomadland

Best Supporting Actor — Chadwick Boseman in Da 5 Bloods

Best Supporting Actress — Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Ensemble — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Cinematography — Nomadland

Best Production Design — Mank

Best Costume Design — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Makeup — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Editing — The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Musical Score — Soul

Best Original Song — “Speak Now” from One Night In Miami

Best Visual Effects — The Invisible Man

Trailblazer Award — Steve McQueen

Impact Award — Chadwick Boseman

Here Are The Chicago Indie Critics Nominations


The Chicago Indie Critics (call them the CIC, if you really want to impress people with your precursor knowledge) released their nomination for the best of 2020 yesterday.  The winners will be announced on January 2nd, 2021 which …. OH MY GOD, THAT’S JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY!

One thing I like about the CIC nominations is that they have two best picture categories — one for low-budget indie films and one for big-budget studio productions.

Here are their nominations:

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM (budgets under $20 million)
THE FATHER
FIRST COW
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
NOMADLAND
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

BEST STUDIO FILM (budgets over $20 million)
DA 5 BLOODS
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
MANK
SOUL
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
ANOTHER ROUND
BACURAU
BEANPOLE
HIS HOUSE
THE LIFE AHEAD

BEST DOCUMENTARY
BOYS STATE
DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD
RISING PHOENIX
THE SOCIAL DILEMMA
TIME

BEST ANIMATED FILM
ONWARD
OVER THE MOON
SOUL
THE WILLOUGHBYS
WOLFWALKERS

BEST DIRECTOR
Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
Spike Lee – DA 5 BLOODS
George C. Wolfe – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Florian Zeller – THE FATHER
Chloe Zhao – NOMADLAND

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
MANK – Jack Fincher
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS – Eliza Hittman
PALM SPRINGS – Andy Siara
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN – Emerald Fennell
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 – Aaron Sorkin

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
THE FATHER – Florian Zeller
FIRST COW – Kelly Reichardt and Jonathan Raymond
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS – Charlie Kaufman
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM – Ruben Santiago-Hudson
NOMADLAND – Chloe Zhao

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
Nicole Beharie – MISS JUNETEENTH
Viola Davis – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Sidney Flanigan – NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
Frances McDormand – NOMADLAND
Carey Mulligan – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman – DA 5 BLOODS
Bo Burnham – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
Sacha Baron Cohen – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Frank Langella – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Yayha Abdul-Mateen II – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
Bill Murray – ON THE ROCKS

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
Olivia Colman – THE FATHER
Talia Ryder – NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
Amanda Seyfried – MANK
Youn Yuh-jung – MINARI

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
DA 5 BLOODS
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
MINARI
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
DA 5 BLOODS
EMMA
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
MANK
NOMADLAND
TENET

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
EMMA
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
MANK
TENET

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
EMMA
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
MANK
SYLVIE’S LOVE

BEST MAKEUP
BIRDS OF PREY
EMMA
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
POSSESSOR

BEST EDITING
THE FATHER
NOMADLAND
TENET
THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7
WANDER DARKLY

BEST MUSICAL SCORE
MANK
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
MINARI
SOUL
TENET

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
“Husavik” – EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA
“Loyal Brave True” – MULAN
“Speak Now” – ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI
“This Day” – JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
“Wuhan Flu” – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
THE INVISIBLE MAN
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
THE MIDNIGHT SKY
TENET
WONDER WOMAN 1984

SPECIAL AWARDS

TRAILBLAZER AWARD
Honors the work of an artist who truly pushes the boundaries of the medium in terms of form and content
Radha Blank
Chadwick Boseman
Emerald Fennell
Steve McQueen
Chloe Zhao

IMPACT AWARD
Given to a person whose work has had a positive impact on society
Chadwick Boseman
Garrett Bradley
Scott H. Dehn
Ryan Oestreich
Chloe Zhao

Here Are the 2020 Greater Western New York Film Critics Association Nominations!


The Greater Western New York Film Critics Association announced their nominees for the best of 2020 earlier today.  The winners will be announced on December 31st so, again, you’ve got some time to consider these nominees.

The Small Axe films are probably not going to be eligible and I’m Thinking of Ending Things will probably be judged too strange to pick up many nominations but otherwise, I kind of have a feeling that they eventual list of Oscar nominees is going to look a lot like the GWNYFCA list.

Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
Da 5 Bloods
Driveways
The Father
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Mank
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
Small Axe: Lovers Rock
Sound of Metal

Best Film in a Foreign Language
Another Round (Denmark)
Bacurau (Brazil)
Ema (Chile)
Minari (United States)
​Undine (Germany)

Best Animated Film
Onward
Soul
The Wolf House
​Wolfwalkers
World of Tomorrow Episode Three

Best Documentary
Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
Boys State
Collective
Dick Johnson is Dead
​Time

Best Director
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Steve McQueen – Small Axe: Lovers Rock
Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

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

Best Lead 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 Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Youn Yuh-jung – Minari

Best Supporting Actor
Sasha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Brian Dennehy – Driveways
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Adapted Screenplay
Eleanor Catton – Emma.
Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller – The Father
Jonathan Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

Best Original Screenplay
Hannah Bos & Paul Thureen – Driveways
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Darius Marder & Abraham Marder – Sound of Metal

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – First Cow
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank
Martin Ruhe – The Midnight Sky
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland
Shabier Kirchner – Small Axe: Lovers Rock

Best Editing
Andy Canny – The Invisible Man
Kirk Baxter – Mank
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – Sound of Metal
Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Score
Terence Blanchard – Da 5 Bloods
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Mank
Alexandre Desplat – The Midnight Sky
Emile Mosseri – Minari
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – Soul

Breakthrough Director
Max Barbakow – Palm Springs
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year Old Version
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Florian Zeller – The Father

Breakthrough Performance
Kiera Allen – Run
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Isabel Sandoval – Lingua Franca

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Honors …. Small Axe!?


Small Axe: Mangrove

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association met earlier today and announced their picks for the best of 2020.  In the past, the LAFCA has been considered to be one of the more reliable of the Oscar precursors.  For the past decade, the LAFCA’s pick for best film has gone on to pick up several Oscar nominations.

Well, that streak came to an end today.  In a totally unexpected but still rather nice twist, the LAFCA selected Steve McQueen’s Small Axe as Best Picture.  Small Axe, of course, is the umbrella title for five films that McQueen produced for the BBC and which are currently streaming on Prime.  I’ve reviewed two of them — Mangrove and Red, White, and Blue I’ll watch and review the other three this week.

Whether or not Small Axe is Oscar eligible has long been an open question.  Both Mangrove and Red, White, and, Blue were selected to premiere at Cannes and to play at other festivals before making then airing on the BBC and streaming on Prime.  Due to the pandemic, the Academy also changed the rules this year to make it easier for streaming films to compete.  However, Steve McQueen has said that Small Axe was always intended to be a television miniseries and that, despite the films being accepted to Cannes and other festivals, there was never any plan to release any of them theatrically.  For its part, Amazon has submitted Small Axe to the Golden Globes as a Limited Series and was apparently planning on mounting an Emmy campaign next year.  With the exception of documentaries, films nominated for Emmys are not eligible to be nominated for Oscars and vice versa.  The rule, even in this odd year, is that you have to pick one or the other.

So, by all those standards, none of McQueen’s five films nor Small Axe as a whole are Oscar-eligible.  Will that change?  Will Amazon decide to forgo the Emmys and instead go for an Oscar campaign?  Eh …. probably not.  But who knows — with this year blurring the lines between theatrical and television films like never before, anything could happen.  (But probably won’t.)

Anyway, here are the LAFCA winners!

Best Film
Small Axe
Runner-Up: Nomadland

Best Foreign Film
Beanpole
Runner-Up: Martin Eden

Best Director
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland
Runner-Up: Steve McQueen – Small Axe

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
Runner-Up: Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Actor
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Runner-Up: Riz Ahmed – Sound Of Metal

Best Documentary Film
Time
Runner-Up: Collective

Best Screenplay
Promising Young Woman
Runner-Up: Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Animated Film
Wolfwalkers
Runner-Up: Soul

Best Supporting Actress
Youn Yuh-jung – Minari
Runner-Up: Amanda Seyfried – Mank

Best Editing
The Father
Runner-Up: Time

Best Production Design
Mank
​Runner-Up: Beanpole

Best Supporting Actor
Glynn Turman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Runner-Up: Paul Raci – Sound Of Metal

Best Music/Score
Soul
Runner-Up: Lovers Rock

Best Cinematography
Small Axe
Runner-Up: Nomadland

New Generation Award
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old-Version

Career Achievement Award
Hou Hsiao-Hsien and Harry Belafonte

Legacy Award
Norman Lloyd

The Douglas Edwards Experimental Film Prize
John Gianvito – Her Socialist Smile

John Boyega in Small Axe: Red, White, and Blue

 

The 2020 Chicago Film Critics Association Snubs Capone


Here are the 2020 nominees of the Chicago Film Critics Association!  While they nominated many worthy films and performers, one cannot help but notice that they totally snubbed Capone and Tom Hardy.  That seems a bit ungrateful, considering all that Al Capone did for the city of Chicago.

The winners will be announced on December 21st!

BEST PICTURE
Da 5 Bloods
First Cow
Lovers Rock
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman

BEST DIRECTOR
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Steve McQueen – Lovers Rock
Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

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

BEST ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Carrie Coon – The Nest
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
David Strathairn – Nomadland

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Toni Collette – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Letitia Wright – Mangrove
Yuh-Jung Youn – Minari

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Da 5 Bloods – Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Never Rarely Sometimes Always – Eliza Hittman
Promising Young Woman – Emerald Fennell
Soul – Pete Docter, Mike Jones & Kemp Powers
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Aaron Sorkin

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
The Father – Christopher Hampton & Florian Zeller
First Cow – Jonathan Raymond & Kelly Reichardt
I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Charlie Kaufman
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao
One Night in Miami – Kemp Powers

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Onward
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Soul
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Collective
David Byrne’s American Utopia
Dick Johnson is Dead
The Social Dilemma
Time

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
(A tie in the nominations process resulted in six nominees in this category)
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
Collective
La Llorona
Vitalina Varela

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
First Cow – Christopher Blauvelt
Lovers Rock – Shabier Kirchner
Mank – Erik Messerschmidt
Nomadland – Joshua James Richards
The Vast of Night – Miguel Ioann Littin Menz

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
Da 5 Bloods – Terence Blanchard
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Branford Marsalis
Mank – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
Soul – Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross and Jon Batiste
Tenet – Ludwig Goransson

BEST ART DIRECTION
Birds of Prey
Emma.
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Mank

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Birds of Prey
Emma.
First Cow
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank

BEST USE OF VISUAL EFFECTS
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
The Invisible Man
The Midnight Sky
Possessor
Tenet

BEST EDITING
I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Robert Frazen
Lovers Rock – Chris Dickens & Steve McQueen
Nomadland – Chloé Zhao
Tenet – Jennifer Lame
The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Alan Baumgarten

MILOS STEHLIK AWARD FOR PROMISING FILMMAKER
Radha Blank – The Forty-Year-Old Version
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Darius Marder – Sound of Metal
Andrew Patterson – The Vast of Night

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami
Sidney Flanigan – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Kelly O’Sullivan – Saint Frances
Helena Zengel – News of the World

Here Are The Nominees of the 2020 Indiana Film Journalists Assosciation!


Bad Education

The Indiana Film Journalists Association (IJA) has announced their nominees for the best of 2020!  They’ll be announcing the winners on December 21st!

What I like about these nominations is that there’s a lot of them.  2020 may have been a difficult year for many but there were a lot of good films released and it does seem kind of silly (as it does every year) to limit things to some sort of arbitrary number.  Why only nominate 10 films when you could nominate 20 or 30?  Many of the nominees below will appear on my own personal best lists in January.

The other thing that I like about these nominees is that the include films like Bad Education and Mangrove.  There’s some debate as to whether or not these films should be considered Oscar eligible.  I feel that they should be so it’s nice to see that the folks in Indiana agree with me!

Here are the nominees:

BEST FILM
Da 5 Bloods
Another Round
The Assistant
Athlete A
Bad Education
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
Dick Johnson is Dead
Emma.
The Father
First Cow
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Minari
The Nest
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Nomadland
One Night in Miami
Palm Springs
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Possessor
Promising Young Woman
Small Axe: Mangrove
Song Without a Name
Soul
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7
The Twentieth Century
The Vast of Night

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Onward
Soul
Wolfwalkers

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
76 Days
Another Round
Bacurau
Beanpole
La Dosis
Song Without a Name

BEST DOCUMENTARY
76 Days
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Athlete A
Boys State
Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
Desert One
Dick Johnson is Dead
Disclosure
John Lewis: Good Trouble
The Last Out
Miss Americana
MLK/FBI
Time
Totally Under Control
Welcome to Chechnya

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Brandon Cronenberg – Possessor
Pete Docter, Mike Jones and Kemp Powers – Soul
Sean Durkin – The Nest
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Kitty Green – The Assistant
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Tobias Lindholm and Thomas Vinterberg – Another Round
James Montague and Craig W. Sanger – The Vast of Night
Matthew Rankin – The Twentieth Century
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Alice Wu – The Half of It

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller – The Father
Armando Iannucci and Simon Blackwell – The Personal History of David Copperfield
Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Mike Makowsky – Bad Education
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami
Jonathan Raymond and Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

BEST DIRECTOR
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Brandon Cronenberg – Possessor
Pete Docter – Soul
Sean Durkin – The Nest
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman
Kitty Green – The Assistant
Eliza Hittman – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Kirsten Johnson – Dick Johnson is Dead
Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Regina King – One Night in Miami
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Melina Léon – Song Without a Name
Steve McQueen – Small Axe: Mangrove
Matthew Rankin – The Twentieth Century
Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
George C. Wolfe – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Alice Wu – The Half of It
Chloé Zhao – Nomadland

BEST ACTRESS
Haley Bennett – Swallow
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Carrie Coon – The Nest
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigin – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Julia Garner – The Assistant
Han Ye-ri – Minari
Leah Lewis – The Half of It
Rachel McAdams – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Frances McDormand – Nomadland
Pamela Mendoza – Song Without a Name
Cristin Milioti – Palm Springs
Elisabeth Moss – The Invisible Man
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
Aubrey Plaza – Black Bear
Margot Robbie – BIrds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Anya Taylor-Joy – Emma.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Jane Adams – She Dies Tomorrow
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Toni Collette – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Olivia Colman – The Father
Olivia Cooke – Sound of Metal
Allison Janney – Bad Education
Margo Martindale – Blow the Man Down
Talia Ryder – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Youn Yuh-jung – Minari

BEST ACTOR
Christopher Abbott – Possessor
Ben Affleck – The Way Back
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Kingsley Ben-Adir – One Night in Miami
Paul Bettany – Uncle Frank
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Eli Goree – One Night in Miami
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Hugh Jackman – Bad Education
Jude Law – The Nest
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods
Mads Mikkelsen – Another Round
Jesse Plemons – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Eddie Redmayne – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Steven Yeun – Minari

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods
Bo Burnham – Promising Young Woman
Bill Burr – The King of Staten Island
Peter Capaldi – The Personal History of David Copperfield
Colman Domingo – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Aldis Hodge – One Night in Miami
Caleb Landry Jones – The Outpost
Alan Kim – Minari
Frank Langella – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Orion Lee – First Cow
Ewan McGregor – BIrds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Bill Murray – On the Rocks
Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal
J.K. Simmons – Palm Springs
Dan Stevens – Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
David Strathairn – Nomadland
David Thewlis – I’m Thinking of Ending Things

BEST VOCAL / MOTION CAPTURE PERFORMANCE
Sean Bean – Wolfwalkers
Tina Fey – Soul
Jamie Foxx – Soul
Oliver Platt – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Donald Ray Pollock – The Devil All the Time
Ben Schwartz – Sonic the Hedgehog

BEST ENSEMBLE ACTING
Da 5 Bloods
Another Round
The Devil All the Time
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
The King of Staten Island
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Minari
One Night in Miami
The Personal History of David Copperfield
She Dies Tomorrow
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Uncle Frank

BEST MUSICAL SCORE
Erick Alexander and Jared Bulmer – The Vast of Night
Terence Blanchard – One Night in Miami
Ludovico Einaudi – Nomadland
Ludwig Göransson – Tenet
Emile Mosseri – Minari
Richard Reed Parry – The Nest
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Soul
William Tyler – First Cow
Jay Wadley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Isobel Waller-Bridge and David Schweitzer – Emma.
Benjamin Wallfisch – The Invisible Man
Jim Williams – Possessor

BREAKOUT OF THE YEAR
Maria Bakalova (actress) – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Max Barbakow (director) – Palm Springs
Emerald Fennell (writer / director) – Promising Young Woman
Sidney Flanigin (actress) – Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Alan Kim (actor) – Minari
Orion Lee (actor) – First Cow
Leah Lewis (actress) – The Half of It
Darius Marder (writer / director) – Sound of Metal
Andrew Patterson (director) – The Vast of Night
Tayarisha Poe (writer / director) – Selah and the Spades
Kemp Powers – co-writer / co-director for Soul and writer for One Night in Miami
Matthew Rankin (writer / director) – The Twentieth Century
Andy Siara (writer) – Palm Springs
Autumn de Wilde (director) – Emma.

HOOSIER AWARD
Athlete A
Eliza Hittman, writer / director of Never Rarely Sometimes Always and graduate of Indiana University

ORIGINAL VISION AWARD
After Midnight
Assassin 33 A.D.
Dick Johnson is Dead
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Possessor
Promising Young Woman
She Dies Tomorrow
The Twentieth Century
The Vast of Night
Vivarium

Mangrove

Film Review: Small Axe: Red White and Blue (dir by Steve McQueen)


Red, White, and Blue opens with a very young Leroy Logan (Nathan Vidal) standing on a London street corner.  Behind him is the school that he attends.  He’s wearing a school uniform.  As the other students walk past him, they say hi and acknowledge the very obvious fact that Leroy is a student who is waiting to be picked up by his parents.

That, however, doesn’t matter to the two white police officers who walk up to Leroy and start to interrogate him as to why he’s standing on the street corner.  They inform Leroy that there have bee several burglaries in the area and that the burglar is a young, black male.  They start to search Leroy.  The only thing that stops them is the arrival of Leroy’s father, Ken (Steve Toussaint).  Ken reprimands the police for harassing his son.  While driving Leroy home, Ken tells Leroy that he expects his son to do two things for him.  Leroy is never to become “a roughneck” and he’s never to bring the police to his front door.

Jump forward several years and Leroy Logan (now played by John Boyega) is now grown up and working as a forensic scientist.  When his father is beaten by two police officers who claim that Ken was blocking traffic and that he was resisting arrest (neither is true), Leroy decides to channel his anger into something productive.  He applies to join the police force, hoping to bring about change from within.

Needless to say, that turns out to be more difficult than even Leroy was expecting.  At first, Leroy finds himself being used as a prop.  Knowing that they’ve got to fix their public image, the police uses Leroy as a part of their latest public relations campaign, featuring him in advertisements and news stories.  But on the streets, Leroy finds himself an outsider.  His fellow cops, the majority of whom are white, refuse to have his back and welcome him to the force by writing racist graffiti on his locker.  Meanwhile, the members of his community now distrust Leroy, accusing him of selling out and calling him a traitor.  Leroy became a police officer believing that he could be an agent of change but he soon discovers that no one is interested in changing.

At the heart of the film is Leroy’s relationship with his father.  Though Leroy joined the force to try to make life better for men like his father, he didn’t tell Ken about his decision.  In fact, Ken doesn’t find out until two police officers show up at this doorstep, checking to make sure that Leroy put the correct address on his application.  Ken believes that the system cannot be changed.  Leroy disagrees.  The film leaves it to us to decide which man is correct.

Red, White, and Blue is based on a true story.  Leroy Logan was one of the first blacks to join the London Metropolitan Police and he joined for the same reasons that are shown in the film.  Eventually, Leroy would work his way up to being a superintendent and he would help to found and later chair the Black Police Association.  Interestingly enough, the details of Leroy’s eventual success are left out of Red, White, and Blue.  Instead, the film ends with Leroy and his father at the kitchen table, still wondering if things can change.  It’s an ambiguous ending, one that’s hopeful because, even though he’s disillusioned, Leroy hasn’t given up but, at the same time, it’s also one that accepts that it’s going to take more than just one man to change the culture of the police.  It’s an ending that suggests that racism is so ingrained in society that the only way to vanquish it might be to just start all over again from the beginning.  It’s an ending that manages to be both low-key and revolutionary at the same time.

Red, White, and Blue is the third film in Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology.  It’s a deceptively simple film, one that kind of sneaks up on you and takes you by surprise.  The minute that you start to think the film is going to be just another well-intentioned liberal plea for tolerance, McQueen will throw in an unexpectedly honest scene that will shake your expectations.  For instance, when Leroy tries to help a prisoner who has been brutalized by a bunch of racist cops, his help is rejected and Leroy discovers that the prisoner hates him even more than he hates the cops who were beating on him.  The prisoner takes it for granted that the white cops are going to be brutal but he saves his most vicious scorn for someone whom he consider to be a traitor to his race.  McQueen directs in a matter-of-fact but enthralling style, emphasizing the bleak coldness of the London landscape.

John Boyega and Steve Toussaint both anchor the film with ferocious performances.  Leroy spends the majority of the film having to hold back his anger and, sometimes, his despair and Boyega does a wonderful job suggesting what’s going on behind Leroy’s outward calmness.  Boyega does get to do some yelling, of course.  When he confronts his follow police officers for refusing to respond to his calls for backup, Boyega doesn’t hold back.  But his best moments are the quiet ones, where Boyega subtly but powerfully suggests that anger and the pain that Leroy has to deal with every day.

Red, White, and Blue is a short but powerful film.  Check it out on Prime.