Here Are The 2022 Gotham Winners!


The Gotham Awards were handed out last night and Everything Everywhere All At Once took best picture.  Danielle Deadwyler may have been snubbed by the Spirit Awards but that didn’t prevent the Gothams from honoring her performance in Till.  While the Gothams may not be as strong an Oscar precursor as some of the other groups that will be handing out prizes over the next two months, every win helps.

Here are all the winners:

Breakthrough television under 40 minutes
“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
“As We See It” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Mo” (Netflix)
“Rap Sh!t” (HBO Max)
“Somebody, Somewhere” (HBO)

Breakthrough television over 40 minutes
“Pachinko” (Apple+)
“Severance” (Apple+)
“Station Eleven” (HBO Max)
“This Is Going To Hurt” (AMC+)
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Television performers:
Bilal Baig (“Sort Of”)
Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”)
Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”)
Matilda Lawler (“Station Eleven”)
Britt Lower (“Severance”)
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)
Sue Ann Pien (“As We See It”)
Minha Kim (“Pachinko”)
Zahn McClarnon (“Dark Winds”)
Ben Whishaw (“This Is Going To Hurt”)

Breakthrough nonfiction series
“The Andy Warhol Diaries”
“The Last Movie Stars”
“Mind Over Murder”
“The Rehearsal”
“We Need to Talk About Cosby”

Breakthrough director
Charlotte Wells (“Aftersun”)
Owen Kline (“Funny Pages”)
Elegance Bratton (“The Inspection”)
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic (“Murina”)
Beth De Araújo (“Soft & Quiet”)
Jane Schoenbrun (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Best screenplay
Kogonada (“After Yang”)
James Gray (“Armageddon Time”)
Lena Dunham (“Catherine Called Birdy”)
Todd Field (“Tár”)
Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”)

Breakthrough performer
Frankie Corio (“Aftersun”)
Kali Reis (“Catch the Fair One”)
Gracija Flipovic (“Murina”)
Anna Diop (“Nanny”)
Anna Cobb (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Outstanding supporting performance
Mark Rylance (“Bones and All”)
Brian Tyree Henry (“Causeway”)
Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Raúl Castillo (“The Inspection”)
Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”)
Nina Hoss (“Tár”)
Noémie Merlant (“Tár”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)

Oustanding lead performance
Cate Blanchett (“Tár”)
Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”)
Dale Dickey (“A Love Song”)
Colin Farrell (“After Yang”)
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)
Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)
Thandiwe Newton (“God’s Country”)
Aubrey Plaza “(Emily the Criminal)”
Taylor Russell (“Bones and All”)
Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Best international feature
“Athena”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Corsage”
“Decision to Leave”
“Happening”
“Saint Omer”

Best documentary feature
“All That Breathes”
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
“I Didn’t See You There”
“The Territory”
“What We Leave Behind”

Best feature
“Aftersun”
“The Cathedral”
“Dos Estaciones”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Tár”

Here Are The Independent Spirt Nominations!


The nomination for the Independent Spirit Awards were announced earlier today.

Making a very good showing were Tar, Women Talking, and Everything Everywhere All At Once.  Not showing up at all was Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, which failed to even pick up a lead performance nomination for Brendan Fraser.  Seeing as how Fraser has been viewed as being the Oscar front runner for a few months now, his lack of a nomination definitely took observers by surprise.

Anyway, here are all the nominees!

FILM CATEGORIES

Best Feature
“Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
“Our Father, the Devil” (Resolve Media)
“Tár” (Focus Features)
“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)

Best Director
Todd Field – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Kogonada – “After Yang” (A24)
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Sarah Polley – “Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Halina Reijn – “Bodies Bodies Bodies” (A24)

Best Lead Performance

Cate Blanchett – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Dale Dickey – “A Love Song” (Bleecker Street)
Mia Goth – “Pearl” (A24)
Regina Hall – “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.” (Focus Features)
Paul Mescal – “Aftersun” (A24)
Aubrey Plaza – “Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions)
Jeremy Pope – “The Inspection” (A24)
Taylor Russell – “Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Andrea Riseborough – “To Leslie” (Momentum Pictures)
Michelle Yeoh – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)

Best Supporting Performance

Jamie Lee Curtis – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Brian Tyree Henry – “Causeway” (A24/Apple Original Films)
Nina Hoss – “Tár” (Focus Features)
Brian D’Arcy James – “The Cathedral” (Mubi)
Ke Huy Quan – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Trevante Rhodes – “Bruiser” (Onyx Collective)
Theo Rossi – “Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions)
Mark Rylance – “Bones and All” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
Jonathan Tucker – “Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures)
Gabrielle Union – “The Inspection” (A24)

Best Breakthrough Performance
Frankie Corio – “Aftersun” (A24)
Garcija Filipovic – “Murina” (Kino Lorber)
Stephanie Hsu – “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
Lily McInerny – “Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures)
Daniel Zolghardi – “Funny Pages” (A24)

Best Screenplay
“After Yang” (A24) – Kogonada
“Catherine Called Birdy” (Amazon Studios) – Lena Dunham
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Todd Field
“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Sarah Polley

Best First Screenplay
“Bodies Bodies Bodies” (A24) – Sarah DeLappe, Kristen Roupenian
“Emergency” (Amazon Studios) – K.D. Dávila
“Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions) – John Patton Ford
“Fire Island” (Searchlight Pictures) – Joel Kim Booster
“Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures) – Jamie Dack, Audrey Findlay

Best First Feature
“Aftersun” (A24) – Charlotte Wells (director), Mark Ceryak, Amy Jackson, Barry Jenkins, Adele Romanski (producers)
“Emily the Criminal” (Roadside Attractions) – John Patton Ford (director), Tyler Davidson, Aubrey Plaza, Drew Sykes (producers)
“The Inspection” (A24) – Elegance Bratton (director), Effie T. Brown, Chester Algernal Gordon (producers)
“Murina” (Kino Lorber) – Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović (director), Danijel Pek, Rodrigo Teixeira (producers)
“Palm Trees and Power Lines” (Momentum Pictures) – Jamie Dack (director), Leah Chen Baker (producer)

John Cassavetes Award (Given to the best feature made for under $1,000,000)
“The African Desperate” (Mubi) – Martine Syms (writer, director, producer), Rocket Caleshu (writer, producer), Vic Brooks (producer)
“A Love Song” (Bleecker Street) – Max Walker-Silverman (writer, director, producer), Jesse Hope, Dan Janvey (producers)
“The Cathedral” (Mubi) – Ricky D’Ambrose (writer, director), Graham Swon (producer)
“Holy Emy” (Utopie Films) – Araceli Lemos (writer, director), Giulia Caruso (writer, producer), Mathieu Bompoint, Ki Jin Kim, Konstantinos Vassilaros (producers)
“Something in the Dirt” (XYZ Films) – Justin Benson (writer, director, producer), Aaron Moorhead (director, producer), David Lawson Jr. (producer)

Best Cinematography
“Aftersun” (A24) – Gregory Oke
“Murina” (Kino Lorber) – Hélène Louvart
“Neptune Frost” (Kino Lorber) – Anisia Uzeyman
“Pearl” (A24) – Eliot Rockett
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Florian Hoffmeister

Best Documentary
“A House Made of Splinters” (Madman Entertainment) – Simon Lereng Wilmont (director), Monica Hellström (producer)
“All that Breathes” (HBO) – Shaunak Sen (director, producer), Teddy Leifer, Aman Mann (producers)
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (Neon) – Laura Poitras (director, producer), Howard Gertler, Nan Goldin, Yoni Golijov, John Lyons (producers)
“Midwives” (POV) – Snow Hnin Ei Hlaing (director, producer), Mila Aung-Thwin, Ulla Lehmann, Bob Moore (producers)
“Riotsville, U.S.A.” (IFC Films) – Sierra Pettengill (director), Sara Archambault, Jamila Wignot (producer)

Best Editing
“Aftersun” (A24) – Blair McClendon
“The Cathedral” (Mubi) – Ricky D’Ambrose
“Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24) – Paul Rogers
“Marcel the Shell with Shoes On” (A24) – Dean Fleischer Camp, Nick Paley
“Tár” (Focus Features) – Monika Willi

Robert Altman Award (Given to one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast)

“Women Talking” (MGM/United Artists Releasing) – Sarah Polley (director), John Buchan, Jason Knight (casting directors), Shayla Brown, Jessie Buckley, Claire Foy, Kira Guloien, Kate Hallett, Judith Ivey, Rooney Mara, Sheila McCarthy, Frances McDormand, Michelle McLeod, Liv McNeil, Ben Whishaw, August Winter (ensemble cast)

Best International Film
“Corsage” (Austria/Luxembourg/France/Belgium/Italy/England) – dir. Marie Kreutzer
“Joyland” (Pakistan/USA) – dir. Saim Sadiq
“Leonor Will Never Die” (Philippines) – dir. Martika Ramirez Escobar
“Return to Seoul” (South Korea/France/Belgium/Romania) – dir. Davy Chou
“Saint Omer” (France) – dir. Alice Diop

Producers Award (presented by Bulleit Frontier Whiskey  – The Producers Award, now in its 26th year, honors emerging producers who, despite highly limited resources, demonstrate the creativity, tenacity and vision required to produce quality independent films.)
Liz Cardenas
Tory Lenosky
David Grove Churchill Viste

Someone to Watch Award (The Someone to Watch Award, now in its 29th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision who has not yet received appropriate recognition)
Adamma Ebo – “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”
Nikyatu Jusu – “Nanny”
Araceli Lemos – “Holy Emy”

“The Truer Than Fiction Award” (The Truer Than Fiction Award, now in its 28th year, is presented to an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition)
Isabel Castro – “Mija”
Reid Davenport – “I Didn’t See You There”
Rebeca Huntt – “Beba”

Here Are The 2022 Gotham Nominations!


And just like that, the 2022 Awards Season began.

The 2022 Gotham Nominations were announced earlier today.  While the Gothams have recently started to get some attention as an Oscar precursor, it is important to remember that the Gothams are specifically designed to honor low-budget, independent films.  There’s some very strict rules about which films are eligible and which are not.  So, don’t be shocked at the lack of nominations for something like The Fabelmans.  Spielberg has never been eligible for a Gotham.

If any one film is really going to benefit from these nominations, it’s probably Everything Everywhere All At Once.  Seeing as how it’s been a while since Everything Everywhere came out, the Gotham nominations may (or may not) serve to remind the members of the Academy of the excitement that was generated by the film earlier in the year.

Here are the Gotham nominations for 2022.  The winners will be announced on November 28th.

Breakthrough television under 40 minutes
“Abbott Elementary” (ABC)
“As We See It” (Amazon Prime Video)
“Mo” (Netflix)
“Rap Sh!t” (HBO Max)
“Somebody, Somewhere” (HBO)

Breakthrough television over 40 minutes
“Pachinko” (Apple+)
“Severance” (Apple+)
“Station Eleven” (HBO Max)
“This Is Going To Hurt” (AMC+)
“Yellowjackets” (Showtime)

Television performers:
Bilal Baig (“Sort Of”)
Ayo Edebiri (“The Bear”)
Janelle James (“Abbott Elementary”)
Matilda Lawler (“Station Eleven”)
Britt Lower (“Severance”)
Melanie Lynskey (“Yellowjackets”)
Sue Ann Pien (“As We See It”)
Minha Kim (“Pachinko”)
Zahn McClarnon (“Dark Winds”)
Ben Whishaw (“This Is Going To Hurt”)

Breakthrough nonfiction series
“The Andy Warhol Diaries”
“The Last Movie Stars”
“Mind Over Murder”
“The Rehearsal”
“We Need to Talk About Cosby”

Breakthrough director
Charlotte Wells (“Aftersun”)
Owen Kline (“Funny Pages”)
Elegance Bratton (“The Inspection”)
Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic (“Murina”)
Beth De Araújo (“Soft & Quiet”)
Jane Schoenbrun (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Best screenplay
Kogonada (“After Yang”)
James Gray (“Armageddon Time”)
Lena Dunham (“Catherine Called Birdy”)
Todd Field (“Tár”)
Sarah Polley (“Women Talking”)

Breakthrough performer
Frankie Corio (“Aftersun”)
Kali Reis (“Catch the Fair One”)
Gracija Flipovic (“Murina”)
Anna Diop (“Nanny”)
Anna Cobb (“We’re All Going to the World’s Fair”)

Outstanding supporting performance
Mark Rylance (“Bones and All”)
Brian Tyree Henry (“Causeway”)
Ke Huy Quan (“Everything Everywhere All at Once”)
Raúl Castillo (“The Inspection”)
Gabrielle Union (“The Inspection”)
Nina Hoss (“Tár”)
Noémie Merlant (“Tár”)
Hong Chau (“The Whale”)

Oustanding lead performance
Cate Blanchett (“Tár”)
Danielle Deadwyler (“Till”)
Dale Dickey (“A Love Song”)
Colin Farrell (“After Yang”)
Brendan Fraser (“The Whale”)
Paul Mescal (“Aftersun”)
Thandiwe Newton (“God’s Country”)
Aubrey Plaza “(Emily the Criminal)”
Taylor Russell (“Bones and All”)
Michelle Yeoh (“Everything Everywhere All At Once”)

Best international feature
“Athena”
“The Banshees of Inisherin”
“Corsage”
“Decision to Leave”
“Happening”
“Saint Omer”

Best documentary feature
“All That Breathes”
“All the Beauty and the Bloodshed”
“I Didn’t See You There”
“The Territory”
“What We Leave Behind”

Best feature
“Aftersun”
“The Cathedral”
“Dos Estaciones”
“Everything Everywhere All at Once”
“Tár”

Here Are The Winners In Venice


The Venice Film Festival has come to a close with the awarding of prizes.  And here they are:

Golden Lion for Best Film: All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, d: Laura Poitras
Grand Jury Prize: Saint Omer, d: Alice Diop
Silver Lion for Best Director: Bones and All, d: Luca Guadagnino
Special Jury Prize: No Bears, d: Jafar Panahi
Best Screenplay: The Banshees of Inisherin, Martin McDonagh
Volpi Cup for Best Actress: Tár, Cate Blanchett
Volpi Cup for Best Actor: The Banshees of Inisherin, Colin Farrell
Marcello Mastroianni Award for Best Young Actor: Bones and All, Taylor Russell

I would say that the big winner of the festival is undoubtedly The Banshees of Inisherin.  Going into the festival, this film was only occasionally mentioned as an Oscar contender and that was just because director Martin McDonagh was previously responsible for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. However, the festival not only saw Banshees win the race for the longest standing ovation but it also won awards for McDonagh’s screenplay and Colin Farrell’s lead performance.

Cate Blanchett won best actress for Tar.  Blanchett was already considered to be a probable Oscar nominee so the award at Venice will certainly help the establish the narrative that will be necessary for Blanchett to take home her third Oscar.

As for Luca Guadagnino winning Best Director, that’s fine.  He’s a good director but I’ll never forgive him for the Suspiria remake.  If he agrees to keep Argento’s name out of his mouth, I’ll add him to my list of Oscar contenders.

The game is still on in the Escape Room: Tournament of Champions trailer


Adam Robitel’s Escape Room was a fun surprise back in 2019. Starring Taylor Russell and Logan Miller, the film focused on a group of people playing in an Escape Room. Escape Rooms are ones you’re locked in, where you’re given riddles to solve before moving on. Only in this case, the rooms were deadly. The sequel looks like it offers even greater challenges, this time to individuals who have already survived the games before.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions premieres on July 16.

The African-American Film Critics Association Honors Us


The African American Film Critics Association has selected Jordan Peele’s Us as the best film of the year!

Here’s a full list of their winners:

Best Film: “Us” (Universal Pictures)

Best Director: Jordan Peele (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Actor: Eddie Murphy (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Actress: Lupita Nyong’o (“Us,” Universal Pictures)

Best Supporting Actor: Jamie Foxx (“Just Mercy,” Warner Bros. Pictures)

Best Supporting Actress: Da’Vine Joy Randolph (“Dolemite Is My Name,” Netflix)

Best Breakout Performance: Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (“Waves,” A24)

Best Animated Film: “Abominable” (Universal Pictures)

Best Documentary: “The Black Godfather” (Netflix)

Best Foreign Film: “Parasite” (Neon)

Best Independent Film: “The Last Black Man in San Francisco” (A24)

Best Screenplay (Presented with The Black List): Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite” (Neon)

Impact Award: “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)

We See You Award: Taylor Russell (“Waves,” A24)

The AAFCA 2019 Top Ten Films

1. “Us” (Universal Pictures)

2. “Dolemite Is My Name” (Netflix)

3. “Just Mercy” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

4. “Clemency” (Neon)

5. “The Irishman” (Netflix)

6. “Queen & Slim” (Universal Pictures)

7. “Waves” (A24)

8. TIE “Parasite” (Neon) and “Atlantics” (Netflix)

9. The Farewell (A24)

10. “Harriet” (Focus Features)

Here Are The Nominations Of The Seattle Film Critics Society!


The winners will be revealed on December 16th!

BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR

1917 (Universal Pictures)
The Farewell (A24)
Ford v Ferrari (20th Century Fox)
The Irishman (Netflix)
The Lighthouse (A24)
Little Women (Sony Pictures)
Marriage Story (Netflix)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (Sony Pictures)
Parasite (NEON)
Uncut Gems (A24)

BEST DIRECTOR

Robert Eggers – The Lighthouse
Greta Gerwig – Little Women
Bong Joon-ho – Parasite
Josh & Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE

Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory
Robert De Niro –The Irishman
Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE

Awkwafina – The Farewell
Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong’o – Us
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
Renée Zellweger – Judy

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Song Kang-ho – Parasite
Joe Pesci – The Irishman
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE

Laura Dern – Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Florence Pugh – Little Women
Taylor Russell – Waves
Zhao Shuzhen – The Farewell

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST

The Irishman
Knives Out
Little Women
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite

BEST ACTION CHOREOGRAPHY

1917
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum Shadow

BEST SCREENPLAY

The Farewell – Lulu Wang
The Irishman – Steven Zaillian
Knives Out – Rian Johnson
Marriage Story – Noah Baumbach
Parasite – Bong Joon-ho, Han Jin-won (screenplay); Bong Joon-ho (story)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Frozen II – Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee, directors
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – Dean DeBlois, director
I Lost My Body – Jérémy Clapin, director
Missing Link – Chris Butler, director
Toy Story 4 – Josh Cooley, director

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

The Farewell – Lulu Wang, director
Monos – Alejandro Landes, director
Pain and Glory – Pedro Almodóvar, director
Parasite – Bong Joon-ho, director
Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Céline Sciamma, director

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

American Factory – Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert, directors Apollo 11 – Todd Douglas Miller, director
For Sama – Waad al-Kateab, Edward Watts, directors
Fyre – Chris Smith, director
Honeyland – Ljubomir Stefanov & Tamara Kotevska, directors

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1917 – Roger Deakins
The Lighthouse – Jarin Blaschke
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – Robert Richardson
Parasite – Hong Kyung-pyo
Portrait of a Lady on Fire – Claire Mathon

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Dolemite is My Name – Ruth E. Carter
Downton Abbey – Anna Mary Scott Robbins
Little Women – Jacqueline Durran
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – Arianne Phillips
Rocketman – Julian Day

BEST FILM EDITING

1917 – Lee Smith
The Irishman – Thelma Schoonmaker
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – Fred Raskin
Parasite – Yang Jin-mo
Uncut Gems – Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1917 – Thomas Newman
Joker – Hildur Guðnadóttir
The Last Black Man in San Francisco – Emile Mosseri
Uncut Gems – Daniel Lopatin
Us – Michael Abels

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1917 – Dennis Gassner (Production Designer); Lee Sandales (Set Decorator)
The Irishman – Bob Shaw (Production Designer); Regina Graves (Set Decorator)
Little Women – Jess Gonchor (Production Designer); Claire Kaufman (Set Decorator)
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood – Barbara Ling (Production Designer); Nancy Haigh (Set Decorator)
Parasite – Lee Ha-jun (Production Designer)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1917 – Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler, Dominic Tuohy
Ad Astra – Allen Maris, Jedediah Smith, Guillaume Rocheron, Scott R. Fisher
Alita: Battle Angel – Nick Epstein, Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon
Avengers: Endgame – Dan DeLeeuw, Matt Aitken, Russell Earl, Dan Sudick
The Irishman – Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Stephane Grabli, Nelson Sepulveda

BEST YOUTH PERFORMANCE (18 years of age or younger upon start of filming)

Julia Butters – Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Kyliegh Curran – Doctor Sleep
Roman Griffith Davis – Jojo Rabbit
Noah Jupe – Honey Boy

Thomasin McKenzie – Jojo Rabbit

VILLAIN OF THE YEAR

Arthur Fleck/The Joker – Joker – portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix
Red – Us – portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o
The Red Dress – In Fabric – portrayed by a red dress
Rose the Hat – Doctor Sleep – portrayed by Rebecca Ferguson

Russell Bufalino – The Irishman – portrayed by Joe Pesci

Here Are The Hollywood Critics Association’s Nominations For The Best of 2019


The Hollywood Critics Association was, up until a few days ago, known as the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society.  Perhaps realizing that HCA just plans looks better than LAOFCS, they announced yesterday that they were changing their name.

They also announced their nominees for the best of films and performances of 2019!  While the HCA may not be one of the major precursors of awards season, their nominations do give a fairly good picture of which films and performances are currently being touted as possible Oscar nominees.

And here they are:

BEST PICTURE

  • “1917”
  • “Booksmart”
  • “The Farewell”
  • “The Irishman”
  • “Joker”
  • “Jojo Rabbit”
  • “Parasite”
  • “Marriage Story”
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • “Waves

BEST ACTOR

  • Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
  • Eddie Murphy, “Dolemite Is My Name”
  • Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • “Taron Egerton, “Rocketman”

BEST ACTRESS

  • Awkwafina, “The Farewell”
  • “Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
  • Lupita Nyong’o, “Us”
  • Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
  • Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Brad Pitt, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
  • Shia LaBeouf, “Honey Boy”
  • Sterling K. Brown, “Waves”
  • Tom Hanks, “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Jennifer Lopez, “Hustlers”
  • Laura Dern, “Marriage Story”
  • Margot Robbie, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Taylor Russell, “Waves”
  • Zhao Shuzhen, “The Farewell”

BEST MALE DIRECTOR

  • Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
  • Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
  • Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
  • Quentin Tarantino, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Taika Waititi, “Jojo Rabbit”

BEST FEMALE DIRECTOR

  • Alma Har’el, “Honey Boy”
  • Greta Gerwig, “Little Women”
  • Lorene Scafaria, “Hustlers”
  • Lulu Wang, “The Farewell”
  • Olivia Wilde, “Booksmart”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Bong Joon-ho & Han Jin-won, “Parasite”
  • Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, & Katie Silberman, “Booksmart”
  • Lulu Wang, “The Farewell”
  • Noah Baumbach, “Marriage Story”
  • Rian Johnson, “Knives Out”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Anthony McCarten, “The Two Popes”
  • Lorene Scafaria, “Hustlers”
  • Scott Silver and Todd Phillips, “Joker”
  • Steven Zailian, “The Irishman”
  • Taika Waititi, “Jojo Rabbit”

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS 23 AND UNDER

  • Kaitlyn Dever, “Booksmart”
  • Julia Butters, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Noah Jupe, “Honey Boy”
  • Roman Griffin Davis, “Jojo Rabbit”
  • Thomasin McKenzie, “Jojo Rabbit”

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE

  • Jessie Buckley, “Wild Rose”
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr., “Waves”
  • Paul Walter Hauser, “Richard Jewell”
  • Taylor Russell, “Waves”
  • Zack Gottsagen, “The Peanut Butter Falcon”

BEST CAST

  • “Avengers: Endgame”
  • “The Irishman”
  • “Knives Out”
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • “Waves”

BEST FIRST FEATURE

  • “Brittany Runs a Marathon”
  • “Booksmart”
  • “Honey Boy”
  • “The Peanut Butter Falcon”
  • “Queen & Slim”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

  • “Booksmart”
  • “The Farewell”
  • “Honey Boy”
  • “Luce”
  • “Waves”

BEST ACTION/WAR FILM

  • “1917”
  • “Avengers: Endgame”
  • “Captain Marvel”
  • “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”
  • “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum”

BEST ANIMATED FILM

  • “Abominable”
  • “Frozen II”
  • “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
  • “Missing Link”
  • “Toy Story 4”

BEST BLOCKBUSTER

  • “Avengers: Endgame”
  • “Captain Marvel”
  • “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • “Shazam!”
  • “Spider-Man: Far from Home”

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL

  • “Booksmart”
  • “Blinded by the Light”
  • Dolemite Is My Name”
  • “Long Shot”
  • “Rocketman”

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • “American Factory”
  • “Apollo 11”
  • “Hail Satan?”
  • “The Kingmaker”
  • “Love, Antosha”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • “The Farewell”
  • “Monos”
  • “Pain & Glory”
  • “Parasite”
  • “Portrait of a Lady on Fire”

BEST HORROR FILM

  • “Crawl”
  • “Doctor Sleep”
  • “Midsommar”
  • “Ready or Not”
  • “Us”

BEST ANIMATED OR VFX PERFORMANCE

  • Josh Brolin, “Avengers: Endgame”
  • Robert De Niro, “The Irishman”
  • Rosa Salazar, “Alita: Battle Angel”
  • Ryan Reynolds, “Detective Pikachu”
  • Tom Hanks, “Toy Story 4”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Drew Daniel, “Waves”
  • Jarin Blaschke, “The Lighthouse”
  • Lawrence Sher, “Joker”
  • Robert Richardson, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Roger Deakins, “1917”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Arianne Phillips, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Julian Day, “Rocketman”
  • Jacqueline Durran, “Little Women”
  • Ruth E. Carter, “Dolemite Is My Name”
  • Mark Bridges, “Joker”

BEST EDITING

  • Fred Raskin, “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”
  • Lee Smith, “1917”
  • Michael McCusker, “Ford v Ferrari”
  • Thelma Schoonmaker, ‘The Irishman”
  • Yang Jin-mo, “Parasite”

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

  • “Bombshell”
  • “Joker”
  • “Judy”
  • “Rocketman”
  • “The Irishman”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • “Catchy Song” from “The Lego Movie: The Second Part”
  • “Glasgow” from “Wild Rose”
  • “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
  • “Into the Unknown” from “Frozen II”
  • “Speechless” from “Aladdin”

BEST SCORE

  • Alexandre Desplat, “Little Women”
  • Hildur Guðnadóttir, “Joker”
  • Michael Abels, “Us”
  • Thomas Newman, “1917”
  • Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Waves”

BEST STUNT WORK

  • “1917”
  • “Avengers: Endgame”
  • “Captain Marvel”
  • “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”
  • “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • “1917”
  • “Ad Astra”
  • “Avengers: Endgame”
  • “Alita: Battle Angel”
  • “The Irishman”

The winners will announced in December!

Here Are The 2019 Independent Spirit Award Nominees!


Here are the 2019 Indie Spirit Award nominations!  These nominations are meant to honor the best independent films of 2019 and their announcement marks the official beginning of awards season (at least as far as this sight is concerned!)  I hate to say it but I still need to see quite a few of the films nominated below so, for now, I’ll hold off on any editorial commentary.

For those looking for some sort of evidence of how the Oscar nominations can go, the Independent Spirit Awards can be an iffy precursor, just because several of the expensive, major studio contenders aren’t eligible to nominated.  (For instance, neither The Irishman nor Once Upon A Time In Hollywood were eligible.)  That said, for the record, the two biggest Spirit nominees are The Lighthouse and Uncut Gems.  Waves and The Farewell, which have been the center of considerable Oscar speculation, did not do as strongly in the nominations as many people apparently expected.  Make of that what you will!

Here are the nominees!

Best Supporting Female

  • Jennifer Lopez – HUSTLERS
  • Taylor Russell – WAVES
  • Zhao Shuzhen – THE FAREWELL
  • Lauren “Lolo” Spencer – GIVE ME LIBERTY
  • Octavia Spencer – LUCE
  • Best Supporting Male
  • Willem Dafoe – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Noah Jupe – HONEY BOY
  • Shia Labeouf – HONEY BOY
  • Jonathan Majors – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
  • Wendell Pierce – BURNING CANE

Best Screenplay

  • Noah Baumbach – MARRIAGE STORY
  • Jason Begue, Shawn Snyder – TO DUST
  • Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
  • Chinonye Chukwu – CLEMENCY
  • Tarell Alvin Mccraney – HIGH FLYING BIRD

Best First Screenplay

  • Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol – SEE YOU YESTERDAY
  • Hannah Bos, Paul Thureen – DRIVEWAYS
  • Bridget Savage Cole, Danielle Krudy – BLOW THE MAN DOWN
  • Jocelyn Deboer, Dawn Luebbe – GREENER GRASS
  • James Montague, Craig W. Sanger – THE VAST OF NIGHT

Best Cinematography

  • Todd Banhazl – HUSTLERS
  • Jarin Blaschke – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Natasha Braier – HONEY BOY
  • Chananun Chotrungroj – THE THIRD WIFE
  • Pawel Pogorzelski – MIDSOMMAR

Best Editing

  • Julie Béziau – THE THIRD WIFE
  • Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
  • Tyler L. Cook – SWORD OF TRUST
  • Louise Ford – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Kirill Mikhanovsky – GIVE ME LIBERTY

Best International Film

  • INVISIBLE LIFE, Brazil
  • LES MISERABLES, France
  • PARASITE, South Korea
  • PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE, France
  • RETABLO, Peru
  • THE SOUVENIR, United Kingdom

Best Documentary (Award given to the director and producer)

  • AMERICAN FACTORY
  • APOLLO 11
  • FOR SAMA
  • HONEYLAND
  • ISLAND OF THE HUNGRY GHOSTS

The John Cassavetes Award is presented to the best feature made for under $500,000 and is given to the writer, director, and producer. 2020 #SpiritAwards Nominees are:

  • BURNING CANE
  • COLEWELL
  • GIVE ME LIBERTY
  • PREMATURE
  • WILD NIGHTS WITH EMILY

Best Female Lead

  • Karen Allen – COLEWELL
  • Hong Chau – DRIVEWAYS
  • Elisabeth Moss – HER SMELL
  • Mary Kay Place – DIANE
  • Alfre Woodard – CLEMENCY
  • Renée Zellweger – JUDY

Best Male Lead 

  • Chris Galust – GIVE ME LIBERTY
  • Kelvin Harrison  Jr., – LUCE
  • Robert Pattinson – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Adam Sandler – UNCUT GEMS
  • Matthias Schoenaerts – THE MUSTANG

Best First Feature (Award given to the director and producer)

  • BOOKSMART
  • THE CLIMB
  • DIANE
  • THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
  • THE MUSTANG
  • SEE YOU YESTERDAY

Best Feature [award given to the producer(s)]

  • A HIDDEN LIFE
  • CLEMENCY
  • THE FAREWELL
  • MARRIAGE STORY
  • UNCUT GEMS

Best Director

  • Robert Eggers – THE LIGHTHOUSE
  • Alma Har’el – HONEY BOY
  • Julius Onah – LUCE
  • Benny Safdie, Josh Safdie – UNCUT GEMS
  • Lorene Scafaria – HUSTLERS

The Robert Altman Award is given to the ensemble cast, director & casting director of one film: MARRIAGE STORY – Noah Baumbach, Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler, Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever

The Truer Than Fiction Award, in its 25th year, is for emerging directors of non-fiction features and includes an unrestricted grant. Finalists:
Khalik Allah – BLACK MOTHER
Davy Rothbart – 17 BLOCKS
Nadia Shihab – JADDOLAND
Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside – AMÉRICA

The Producers Award, now in its 23rd year, honors emerging producers who demonstrate creativity, tenacity and vision, despite highly limited resources. The award includes an unrestricted grant. These are the finalists:
Mollye Asher
Krista Parris
Ryan Zacarias

The Someone To Watch Award, in its 26th year, recognizes a talented filmmaker of singular vision and includes an unrestricted grant. The finalists are:
Rashaad Ernesto Green – PREMATURE
Ash Mayfair – THE THIRD WIFE
Joe Talbot – THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO

The Bonnie Award will recognize a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant. The 2020 Film Independent #SpiritAwards Bonnie Award finalists are:
MarielleHeller
KellyReichardt
LuluWang

Horror Film Review: Escape Room (dir by Adam Robitel)


Does everyone here remember Escape Room?

Though it may be hard to believe now, Escape Room was actually the first surprise hit of 2019.  When the film was first released on January 4th, nobody expected much from it.  January, of course, is when the year’s worst movies are usually released.  The studios figure that they can get rid of their disasters while everyone’s busy trying to predict the Oscar nominees and usually, the studios are correct.  The ad campaign for Escape Room made it look like just another slasher movie, the mainstream reviewers were, as they tend to be with January horror movies, unimpressed and I don’t think anyone expected the film to make a dent in the box office.

And yet, in the end, Escape Room did pretty well for itself at the box office.  Not only did it open stronger than expected but it remained fairly strong (at least by the standards set by previous January horror films) during its second week of release.  The film managed to hold its own opposite Aquaman, which had pretty much drowned every other competitor.  A sequel was quickly greenlit.

What drew people to Escape Room?  I think it was the title.  For a while, people were genuinely obsessed with the idea of escape rooms.  For those who have a life outside of the internet, an escape room is a game in which a group of people are locked in a room and have to figure out how to get the door unlocked.  This usually involves searching the room, gathering clues, and figuring out a password or something similar.  Personally, I’ve never done the whole escape room thing and, being that I’m rather claustrophobic, I doubt that I ever will.  Add to that, I absolutely suck at solving puzzles so I imagine that I would be trapped in that room for a long time!  However, there are other people who absolutely love escape rooms and I imagine that every single one of them went to see this movie.

Escape Room is about a group of people who all receive a mysterious imitation, inviting them to an escape room and promising $10,000 to whomever wins.  Among those involved, there’s Zoey (Taylor Russell), who is a college student.  She’s studying physics so we automatically know that she’s going to be our hero.  Ben (Logan Miller) is a stockboy and is just bland enough to be a potential romantic interest for Zoey.  Mike (Tyler Labine) drives a truck.  Jason (Jay Ellis) is rich and, therefore, evil.  Danny (Nik Dodani) is the geeky escape room expert.  And Amanda (special guest Deborah Ann Woll) is the Iraq war veteran.  They’re a group of smart people but it apparently didn’t occur to anyone to just stay home for the weekend.  I mean, $10,000 is not that much.

Anyway, it turns out that the escape room isn’t just one room.  Instead, it’s several rooms and each room requires the group to solve a different puzzle.  Each room is also designed to potentially kill.  One heats up like an oven.  Another features a frozen pond, specifically designed to allow a player to fall through the ice.  Another room looks like an operating room from Hell.  My favorite room was the upside down pool hall with the floor/ceiling that started to break up as soon as the group entered.  That was fun.

Of course, it turns out that everyone playing the game has a secret in their past and each room has been designed to force them to confront those secrets.  Eventually, it’s revealed who is behind all of this and it’s not a shock at all.  In fact, Escape Room‘s final scenes are probably the film’s worst because the movie doesn’t really have a conclusion.  Instead, the filmmakers might as have just slapped a big “To Be Continued” across the screen.

Oh well!  Flaws and predictability aside, Escape Room is actually kind of fun.  The characters are all pretty much disposable but the actors all do their best with the material that they’ve been given.  Of course, the film’s main attraction is the chance to see all the various rooms and discovering how they’ve been booby trapped.  Fortunately, each room is fascinating in its own individual way and the puzzles are genuinely challenging.  (I would have totally died if I was in this movie.)

Escape Room is a decent enough way to spend 100 minutes.