Here’s The Teaser for Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley!


Here’s the first teaser for one of the most anticipated movies of the year, Nightmare Alley!

Guillermo del Toro’s previous film, Shape of the Water, won the Oscar for Best Picture. Could Nightmare Alley pull off the same feat? I have no idea but the trailer looks good and I’ll watch Bradley Cooper, Willem DaFoe, and Cate Blanchett in anything. Nightmare Alley is scheduled to be released on December 17th.

Incidentally, Nightmare Alley is based on a novel, which was previously adapted into a film way back in 1947. That version, which is considered to be a noir classic, was directed by Edmund Goulding and starred Tyrone Power, Jr in the lead role.

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)

The San Francisco Bay Area Film Critics Circle Honors Nomadland


Just three days after announcing their nominations, the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle have announced their picks for the best of 2020.  Basically, it all adds up to another victory of Nomadland, Chloe Zhao, and Frances McDormand.  Again, there’s nothing wrong with that so don’t mistake my boredom for criticism.  I haven’t watched Nomadland yet but I like Zhao’s The Rider and McDormand is one of the best actresses around.  It’s just that, from an observer’s point of view, it’s hard not to hope for something unexpected to happen, just to keep things interesting.

Also honored, along with the Nomadland trio, were Chadwick Boseman (Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Paul Raci (Best Supporting Actor for Sound of Metal), and Youn Yuh-jung (Best Supporting Actress for Minari).  Best Aniamted film went to Soul and, not surprisingly given how the awards season is shaping up, Trent Renzor and Atticus Ross won Best Original Score for that same film.

Here are all the winners in San Francisco:

Best Picture
“First Cow”
“Minari”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”

Best Director
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Kelly Reichardt – “First Cow”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher – “Mank”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

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

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins -“The Father”
Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Delroy Lindo – “Da 5 Bloods”
Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal”
Steven Yeun -“Minari”

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Elisabeth Moss – “The Invisible Man”
Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Sidney Flanigan – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Supporting Actor
Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods”
David Strathairn – “Nomadland”
Leslie Odom Jr. – “One Night in Miami”
Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal”
Sacha Baron Cohen – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – “Mank”
Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Olivia Colman – “The Father”
Toni Collette – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Youn Yuh-jung – “Minari”

Best Animated Feature
“Marona’s Fantastic Tale”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Another Round”
“Bacurau”
“Collective”
“La Llorona”
“Two of Us”

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“Boys State”
“The Truffle Hunters”
“Time”

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – “First Cow”
Erik Messerschmidt – “Mank”
Hoyte Van Hoytema – “Tenet”
Joshua James Richards – “Nomadland”
Newton Thomas Sigel – “Da 5 Bloods”

Best Production Design
“First Cow”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“One Night in Miami”
“Tenet”

Best Film Editing
Alan Baumgarten – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Jennifer Lame – “Tenet”
Kirk Baxter – “Mank”
Yorgos Lamprinos – “The Father”

Best Original Score
Emile Mosseri – “Minari”
Terence Blanchard – “Da 5 Bloods”
Terence Blanchard – “One Night in Miami”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Mank”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Soul”

Special Citation for Independent Cinema
“La Llorona” (TIE)
“The Last Tree”
“Sh*thouse” (TIE)

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle!


The San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle (SFBACC) have announced their nominations for the best of 2020!  It’s pretty much the usual suspects.  Every critics group that does nominations has nominated Nomadland.  It’s pretty much this year’s sure bet.  Usually, when it comes to the regional critics awards, the only real suspense is to whether or not Minari, First Cow, Trial of the Chicago 7 and I’m Thinking of Ending Things are going to pick up best picture nominations as well.  The SFBACC nominated both Minari and First Cow for best picture but not I’m Thinking of Ending Things and Trial of the Chicago 7 (though both did pick up screenplay nominations).

(Realistically, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is probably going to be judged by the Academy to be too strange.  That’s a shame because the Oscars can always use a little bit of strangness.)

The San Francisco winners will be announced on January 18th …. which is only 2 days away!  I guess they really don’t waste any time in the Bay Area.  Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
“First Cow”
“Minari”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”

Best Director
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Kelly Reichardt – “First Cow”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher – “Mank”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

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

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins -“The Father”
Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Delroy Lindo – “Da 5 Bloods”
Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal”
Steven Yeun -“Minari”

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Elisabeth Moss – “The Invisible Man”
Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Sidney Flanigan – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Supporting Actor
Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods”
David Strathairn – “Nomadland”
Leslie Odom Jr. – “One Night in Miami”
Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal”
Sacha Baron Cohen – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – “Mank”
Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Olivia Colman – “The Father”
Toni Collette – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Youn Yuh-jung – “Minari”

Best Animated Feature
“Marona’s Fantastic Tale”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Another Round”
“Bacurau”
“Collective”
“La Llorona”
“Two of Us”

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“Boys State”
“The Truffle Hunters”
“Time”

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – “First Cow”
Erik Messerschmidt – “Mank”
Hoyte Van Hoytema – “Tenet”
Joshua James Richards – “Nomadland”
Newton Thomas Sigel – “Da 5 Bloods”

Best Production Design
“First Cow”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“One Night in Miami”
“Tenet”

Best Film Editing
Alan Baumgarten – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Jennifer Lame – “Tenet”
Kirk Baxter – “Mank”
Yorgos Lamprinos – “The Father”

Best Original Score
Emile Mosseri – “Minari”
Terence Blanchard – “Da 5 Bloods”
Terence Blanchard – “One Night in Miami”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Mank”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Soul”

Special Citation for Independent Cinema
“La Llorona”
“The Last Tree”
“Sh*thouse”

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

Rian Johnson unsheathes the Knives Out Trailer


A filmmaker is sometimes only as good as their last film. If you mentioned director Rian Johnson’s name around 2012, it was probably met with wild applause. After all, he gave us the time travelling thriller Looper, with Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Mentioning Johnson now breeds a bit of contempt after his outing on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The film was hit with reviews ranging from daring to awful, and most of the Star Wars fanbase don’t think of what he’s done there.

With his newest film, Knives Out, Johnson looks like he’s moving forward. The film appears to be a classic whodunit with a fantastic cast. Christopher Plummer, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Daniel Craig, Don Johnson, Lakeith Stanfield, Michael Shannon, Katherine Langsford, and Jaeden Martell round out the cast list, which is pretty great overall. The story seems to cover the murder of a patriarch, and a family of suspects which reminds me of the classic Infocom game, Deadline.  Hoping for the best with this one.

Enjoy.

Here Are The 2018 Houston Film Critics Society Nominations!


Finally, the only state that matters is starting to make it’s voice heard in this year’s Oscar race!

On Sunday, the Houston Film Critics Society announced their nominations for the best of 2018.  Houston really, really liked both The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk.  The winners will be announced on January 3rd.

Here are the nominees!

Best Picture
A Star is Born
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Eighth Grade
If Beale Street Could Talk
The Favourite
First Reformed
Green Book
Hereditary
Roma
Vice

Best Director
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Adam McKay, Vice

Best Actor
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Best Actress
Glenn Close, The Wife
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Vice
Claire Foy, First Man
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Best Screenplay
Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
Deborah Davis & Tony McNamara, The Favourite
Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Adam McKay, Vice

Best Cinematography
Rachel Morrison, Black Panther
Linus Sandgren, First Man
Robbie Ryan, The Favourite
James Laxton, If Beale Street Could Talk
Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Best Animated Film
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Original Score
Ludwig Göransson, Black Panther
Justin Hurwitz, First Man
Nicholas Britell, If Beale Street Could Talk
Alexandre Desplat, Isle of Dogs
Thom Yorke, Suspiria

Best Original Song
“All the Stars,” Black Panther
“Ashes,” Deadpool 2
“Hearts Beat Loud,” Hearts Beat Loud
“Revelation,” Boy Erased
“Shallow,” A Star is Born

Best Foreign Language Film
Burning
Border
Cold War
Roma
Shoplifters

Best Documentary Feature
Free Solo
Minding the Gap
RBG
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Texas Independent Film Award
1985
An American in Texas
The Standoff at Sparrow Creek
Support the Girls
Tejano

Visual Effects
Black Panther
First Man
Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Best Poster
BlacKkKlansman (two)
Mandy
Suspiria (two)

Best Worst Film of the Year
The 15:17 to Paris
The Happytime Murders
Life Itself
Peppermint
Venom

The St. Louis Film Critics Association Names A Star Is Born The Best Of 2018


On Sunday, the St. Louis Film Critics Association announced their picks for the best of 2018!  While A Star is Born hasn’t quite dominated the precursor season in the way that many expected that it would, it still managed to win over St. Louis.

For a full list of nominees, click here.  And check out the winners below:

BEST FILM
A Star Is Born
Runner-up: BlacKkKlansman

BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Lee – BlacKkKlansman
Runner-up: Alfonso Cuarón – Roma

BEST ACTOR
Ethan Hawke – First Reformed
Runner-up: Christian Bale – Vice

BEST ACTRESS
Toni Collette – Hereditary
Runner-up: Lady Gaga – A Star Is Born

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Richard E. Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Runner-up: Mahershala Ali – Green Book

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk
Runner-up: Emma Stone – The Favourite

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Vice – Adam McKay
Runner-up: The Favourite – Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BlacKkKlansman – Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee (Screenplay); Ron Stallworth (Book)
Runner-up: Can You Ever Forgive Me? – Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty (Screenplay); Lee Israel (Book)

BEST EDITING
Vice – Hank Corwin
Runner-up: First Man – Tom Cross

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
Runner-up: If Beale Street Could Talk – James Laxton

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Black Panther – Hannah Beachler
Runner-up: The Favourite – Fiona Crombie

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
The Avengers: Infinity War
Runner-up: Black Panther

BEST SCORE
BlacKkKlansman – Terence Blanchard
Runner-up: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs – Carter Burwell

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Bohemian Rhapsody
Runner-up: BlacKkKlansman

BEST ACTION FILM
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Runner-up: Avengers: Infinity War

BEST COMEDY
The Favourite
Runner-up: Paddington 2

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse
Runner-up: Isle of Dogs

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Won’t You Be Me Neighbor?
Runner-up: Three Identical Strangers

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE
Roma
Runner-up (tie): Capernaum, The Captain, The Guilty

BEST SCENE
Roma – Beach rescue
Runner-up: Bohemian Rhapsody – Live Aid

 

The Boston Online Film Critics Association are there for You Were Never Really Here


 

On Friday, the Boston Online Film Critics Association announced their picks for the best of 2018!  They really liked You Were Never Really Here!

Best Picture
You Were Never Really Here

Best Director
Lynne Ramsay – You Were Never Really Here

Best Actor
Ethan Hawke – First Reformed

Best Actress
Toni Collette – Hereditary

Best Supporting Actor
Richard E.Grant – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Supporting Actress
Regina King – If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Ensemble
Support The Girls

Best Screenplay
First Reformed

Best Foreign Language Film
Roma

Best Documentary
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Best Animated Feature
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse

Best Cinematography
Roma

Best Editing
You Were Never Really Here

Best Score
You Were Never Really Here

Top 10 Films Of 2018
1. You Were Never Really Here
2. First Reformed
3. Roma
4. BlacKkKlansman
5. Black Panther
6. Shoplifters
7. Support The Girls
8. The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs
9. Hereditary
10. If Beale Street Could Talk