The Boston Society Of Film Critics Honors If Beale Street Could Talk and Lynne Ramsay!


Earlier today, the Boston Society of Film Critics announced their picks for the best of 2018.  Along with selecting If Beale Street Could Talk as best picture, they also gave best director to You Were Never Really Here‘s Lynne Ramsay.

Best Film: If Beale Street Could Talk
Runner-up: Shoplifters

Best Director: Lynne Ramsay (You Were Never Really Here)
Runner-up: Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)

Best Actor: John C. Reilly (Stan & Ollie)
Runner-up: Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)

Best Actress: Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Runner-up: Sakura Ando (Shoplifters)

Best Supporting Actor: Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Runners-up (tie): Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk) and Steven Yeun (Burning)

Best Supporting Actress: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Runner-up: J. Smith-Cameron (Nancy)

Best Ensemble: Shoplifters
Runner-up: The Favourite

Best Screenplay: Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Runner-up: Tamara Jenkins (Private Life)

Best Documentary: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Runner-up: Three Identical Strangers

Best Animated Film: Isle of Dogs
Runner-up: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Best Foreign Language Film: Shoplifters
Runner-up: Cold War

Best New Filmmaker: Bo Burnham (Eighth Grade)
Runner-up: Ari Aster (Hereditary)

Best Cinematography: Alfonso Cuarón (ROMA)
Runner-up: Lukasz Zal (Cold War)

Best Editing: Tom Cross (First Man)
Runner-up: Bob Murawski and Orson Welles (The Other Side of the Wind)

Best Original Score: Nicholas Britell (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Runner-up: Justin Hurwitz (First Man) and Jonny Greenwood (You Were Never Really Here)

The Vancouver Film Critics Circle Announce Their Nominations For The Best of 2018!


On Friday, the Vancouver Film Critics Circle announced their nominations for the best of 2018!

Best Picture
The Favourite
First Reformed
Roma

Best Actor, Male
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Christian Bale, Vice

Best Actor, Female
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Regina Hall, Support the Girls

Best Supporting Actor, Male
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Peter Bogdanovich, The Other Side of the Wind
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Steven Yeun, Burning

Best Supporting Actor, Female
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Claire Foy, First Man

Best Director
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Best Screenplay
Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite
Paul Schrader, First Reformed

Best Foreign Language Film
Burning
Roma
Shoplifters

Best Documentary
Free Solo
Minding the Gap
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The Toronto Film Critics Association Honors ROMA!


The word out of Canada is that, earlier today, the Toronto Film Critics Association met and picked ROMA as the best film of 2018!  Just like the L.A. Critics, Toronto picked Steven Yeun for best supporting actor, for his work in Burning.

Here’s a full list of the winners in Toronto!

Best Picture: ROMA
Best Director: Alfonso Cuarón (ROMA)
Best Actor: Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)
Best Actress: Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Best Supporting Actor: Steven Yeun (Burning)
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Best Screenplay: The Favourite and First Reformed (tie)
Best Documentary: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Best Animated Feature: Isle of Dogs
Best Foreign Language Film: Burning
Best First Feature: Boots Riley (Sorry to Bother You)

Love you, Canada!

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Embrace Roma, Debra Granik, and Steven Yeun!


The Los Angeles Film Critics Association announced their picks for the best of 2018 earlier today and guess who picked up their award for Best Supporting Actor?

Steven Yeun!

That’s right.  As sad as we all were to see Glenn brutally murdered on The Walking Dead, at least we can find some happiness in the fact that Steven Yeun’s career has prospered since leaving the show.  Yeun won the LAFCFA’s Best Supporting Actor prize for his role in the Korean film, Burning.  The LAFCA liked Burning quite a bit actually.  It also came in second for the Best Picture prize, an award that was won by Roma.

Finally, Debra Granik won Best Director for her work on Leave No Trace, making her the first woman to win the directing prize of a major critics group this year.

Here are the winners!

Best Picture – ROMA
Runner up: Burning

Best Director – Debra Granik (Leave No Trace)
Runner up: Alfonso Cuarón (ROMA)

Best Actor – Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)
Runner up: Ben Foster (Leave No Trace)

Best Actress – Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Runner up: Toni Collette (Hereditary)

Best Supporting Actor – Steven Yeun (Burning)
Runner up: Hugh Grant (Paddington 2)

Best Supporting Actress – Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Runner up: Elizabeth Debicki (Widows)

Best Screenplay – Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
Runner up: Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara (The Favourite)

Best Production Design – Hannah Beachler (Black Panther)
Runner up: Fiona Crombie (The Favourite)

Best Editing –  Joshua Altman and Bing Liu (Minding the Gap)
Runner up: Alfonso Cuarón and Adam Gough (ROMA)

Best Cinematography – Alfonso Cuarón (ROMA)
Runner up: James Laxton (If Beale Street Could Talk)

Best Music Score – Nicholas Britell (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Runner up: Justin Hurwitz (First Man)

Best Foreign Language Film – Burning and Shoplifters (tie)

Best Documentary/Non-Fiction Film – Shirkers
Runner up: Minding the Gap

Best Animation – Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
Runner up: Incredibles 2

New Generation – Chloé Zhao (The Rider)

Special CitationThe Other Side of the Wind

Douglas Edwards Independent/Experimental Film/Video – Evan Johnson, Galen Johnson and Guy Maddin (The Green Fog)

Career Achievement (previously announced) – Hayao Miyazaki

Here Are The Chicago Film Critics Association Nominations For 2018!


On Friday, the Chicago Film Critics Association announced their nominations for the best of 2018!  The winners will be announced on Saturday night.

Here are the nominees!

BEST PICTURE
The Favourite
First Reformed
Hereditary
Roma
A Star is Born

BEST DIRECTOR
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here
Paul Schrader, First Reformed

BEST ACTOR
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here

BEST ACTRESS
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
Regina Hall, Support the Girls
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
Steven Yeun, Burning

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Elizabeth Debicki, Widows
Zoe Kazan, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BlacKkKlansman by Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
Can You Ever Forgive Me? by Nicole Holofcener & Jeff Whitty
The Death of Stalin by Armando Iannucci, David Schneider & Ian Martin
If Beale Street Could Talk by Barry Jenkins
A Star is Born by Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Eighth Grade by Bo Burnham
The Favourite by Deborah Davis & Tony McNamara
First Reformed by Paul Schrader
Roma by Alfonso Cuaron
Vice by Adam McKay

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Ruben Brandt: Collector
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse

BEST DOCUMENTARY
Free Solo
Minding the Gap
RBG
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Burning
Capernaum
Cold War
Roma
Shoplifters

BEST ART DIRECTION
Annihilation
Black Panther
The Favourite
Paddington 2
Roma

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Cold War – Lukasz Zal
The Favourite – Robbie Ryan
First Man – Linus Sandgren
If Beale Street Could Talk – James Laxton
Roma – Alfonso Cuaron

BEST EDITING
First Man
The Other Side of the Wind
Roma
Widows
You Were Never Really Here

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
First Man – Justin Hurwitz
If Beale Street Could Talk – Nicholas Britell
Mandy – Johan Johannson
Suspiria – Thom Yorke
You Were Never Really Here – Jonny Greenwood

BEST USE OF VISUAL EFFECTS
Annihilation
Black Panther
First Man
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Paddington 2

MOST PROMISING FILMMAKER
Ari Aster, Hereditary
Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Bing Liu, Minding the Gap
Boots Riley, Sorry to Bother You

MOST PROMISING PERFORMER
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie, Leave No Trace
John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman & Monsters and Men

A Few Thoughts On The Walking Dead 7.1 “The Day Will Come When You Won’t Be” (dir by Greg Nicotero)


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Well, we can all breathe again.

Tonight saw the premiere of the seventh season of The Walking Dead.  All this summer, we’ve been wondering who Negan would end up killing with Lucille, his barbed wire-covered bat.  Glenn seemed to be the obvious candidate, particularly since he had already miraculously (and, some would say, implausibly) escaped certain death on the show and he was also Negan’s victim in the comic.

However, none of us wanted it to be Glenn.  Ever since the show began, Glenn has been one of the most popular characters.  In many ways, he served as a stand-in for the audience.  Sure, everyone loves Darryl and Michonne but Glenn …. well, there was just something special about Glenn.  Whereas both Darryl and Michonne were born warriors and Rick Grimes was a former police officer who had been trained to think quickly in a crisis, Glenn was just a pizza delivery boy.  He was the guy who, by all logic, should not have survived the first week of the zombie apocalypse.  And yet, he did survive.  For sic seasons, we watched as Glenn grew and developed as a character.  When he “married” Maggie, it was more than just a plot twist.  It was proof that, even in the worst of circumstances, love could survive.

So, a lot of us told ourselves that there was no way that Glenn would die.  We told ourselves that Glenn was too popular of a character.  We mentioned all the other times that the show had led us to believe it was going to follow the plot of the comics just to suddenly go in a totally opposite direction.

Myself, I believe that Negan would kill Abraham.  Abraham seemed like the obvious choice, popular enough that his death would mean something but, at the same time, not so popular that the show would risk losing any viewers by killing him.

I was so confident in my prediction that I ever decided to make it official:

And I was right.

But I was also very wrong.

It took about 25 minutes for tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead to get around to showing us who Negan killed.  The episode really pulled out the suspense and I have to admit that I was worried they were going to go the entire hour without letting us know for sure.  (I remember Lost used to do that and it would drive me crazy.)  And when we saw Negan beat Abraham to death, I think a lot of people said, “Poor Abraham but at least it wasn’t Glenn…”

And then, a few minutes later, Darryl charged Negan and, after Darryl was subdued, Negan responded by beating Glenn to death.

(As Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who was so chillingly good as Negan, pointed out on The Talking Dead, Glenn would not have died if not for Darryl’s actions.)

It was hard to watch.  You can say that it’s just a TV show and that there are bigger things to worry about than the fate of a fictional character but, at that moment, it felt as if I was watching an old friend die.  For seven years, Glenn has been one of the show’s constants.  He’s been one of the few stable elements of The Walking Dead.  He’s always been there.

And now, he’s not.

While we were all still trying to recover from the deaths of both Glenn and Abraham, Negan was busy breaking Rick.  Rick has always been the leader.  He’s always been the guy who you can count on to ultimately do whatever needed to be done to protect the group.  Rick was the one who stepped up to shoot Sophia when she came out of that barn.  Rick was the one who, no matter how bad things got, everyone felt they could depend on.  In a world where it was often hard to find meaning or morality, Rick has always stood for something more than just ruthless survival.  And yet, last night, we saw a totally defeated Rick.  Not only did Rick watch helplessly as two of his people were brutally murdered but he was also nearly forced to chop off Carl’s hand.

(I know that a lot of viewers — myself included — were expecting Negan to chop off Rick’s hand in the RV.)

As I watched that scene with Rick and Carl, I couldn’t help but think about the biblical tale of Abraham and Isaac, a story that I have always hated.  God ordered Abraham to sacrifice his son and he waited until Abraham raised the knife to say, “Stop, it was just a test of your faith.”  (Abraham is so overjoyed that he never stops to ask, “What type of God would ask me to do something so terrible in the first place?”)  When Negan ordered Rick to chop off Carl’s hand and then stopped him only after he raised the hatchet, it was Negan’s way of saying that, for all intents and purposes, he is God.

Again, it wasn’t easy to watch.  But at least Maggie doesn’t appear to be ready to surrender.  Rick may have been broken.  Darryl may now be a hostage.  But Maggie is going to keep fighting.

Finally, I have to say that, after watching all of this, I am so incredibly thankful for Chris Hardwick and Talking Dead.  When Chris opened the show by promising that we were going to talk through what we had just witnessed, he wasn’t kidding.  Tonight’s episode of Talking Dead felt like a televised group therapy session.  It helped to see Steven Yeun and Michael Cudlitz on that stage with the rest of the cast.  After we just watched, we needed to see them all together.  We needed to see them laughing and joking and crying and hugging.  We needed that catharsis.

Talking Dead served as a reminder that it was just a TV show and nobody had really died.

So, why do so many of us still feel like we just said goodbye to a member of our family?

One final thought:

RIP, Abraham and Glenn

abraham

banglennup

glenn

The Walking Dead Season 6 Trailer


TheWalkingDeadS6

“Do you have any idea who you’re talking to?” — Rick Grimes

AMC has unveiled it’s official trailer for the 6th season of TV’s most popular show (so popular that it even beats Sunday Night Football on occasion) during it’s San Diego Comic-Con panel at Hall H.

Last we left the Grimes crew saw Rick Grimes get the go-ahead from Alexandria Safe-Zone leader Deanna Monroe to shoot wife-batterer and neck-slashing Pete in his face. It would’ve been quite a satisfying event if not for Rick’s first BFF, Morgan Jones, suddenly appearing out of the shadows to see him do the deed. This is the same Morgan who went from crazy clear to zen clear who thought all life that wasn’t undead was precious.

So, now season 6 is almost upon us fellow fans of the show and it looks like Rick is turning out to be Alexandria’s shogun with Deanna as the figurehead leader.

Will Rick’s Shane-like attitude to leading this expanded group of survivors be a blessing or be the downfall of another safe-haven for the Grimes Gang? There’s still the Wolves out there who now knows where they are. There’s also the looming shadow of the comic book’s Negan and his Saviors possibly making their appearance which could mean just one thing: WAR.

So, grab those ribs and thick-cut steaks and take a big bite and enjoy the trailer.