Forum Replies Created
January 10, 2021 at 5:48 am #1203973815
Vanessa Kirby is really great in this and that’s about all I have by way of laudatory comments for this film. Her performance remains naturalistic, even in her showier moments, whereas every other part of the film (and that includes plot, performances, character decisions, music, writing and direction) goes for the melodramatic and brings the film down as a result. The attempts to shoehorn other perspectives into the film hurt it overall, and despite how internal her pain was, focusing on Kirby’s character solely for two hours would’ve served the film better. What exactly was happening with that Ellen Burstyn monologue? Delivery only goes so far when you’re delivering rambling dialogue that is completely divorced from the scene preceding it. I thought she was fine. Shia LaBeouf was good, but his character’s storyline just completely self implodes that I found it frustrating we spent time with him (and away from Kirby) only for things to end so simultaneously unceremoniously and also the way we would expect this story to go in any other film. Molly Parker was so good but she’s in the film for far too little time to make a huge impact. The direction in the first thirty minutes was so thrilling and engaging that it just shows how weak the latter half of the film is. So overall, this film is a vehicle for Kirby and Kirby alone, but “Pieces of a Woman” is way too much of a mixed bag to be elevated beyond anything other than the film that we will say in a few years catapulted Kirby’s career.January 8, 2021 at 9:54 am #1203969724
God, you are all so fucking annoying.January 7, 2021 at 7:39 am #1203967248
SAG ballots come out next week but aren’t due until February 1st. There is a lot of weight being put on late screeners and current events influencing how people vote, but how many voters do you honestly expect to fill out their ballot right away, especially in an untraditional year like this? When I see people try to treat the intricacies of races from past years as rules that must be followed every year, I’m just inclined to think that it will not apply to a year like this. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, but I don’t see some of the same issues we’d normally be waving the red flag over penetrating an awards season that is already being stymied by a global pandemic, an unprecedented shift in how movies are being watched/consumed/discussed, and yes, a literal fucking insurrection. Chatter about this awards season as if it will follow normal trends is comforting, but it is misguided this year, when to the general population (even within Hollywood), there are so many bigger priorities to focus on.January 6, 2021 at 6:29 am #1203965607
Due to being in my home for most of the year, and because of the number of films (and what kinds of films) that have been released this year, I’ve seen more documentaries this year than ever before so I’m really excited about this race. I know I still have a few to see, but some of this year’s documentaries will end up among my favorite films of the year, period. I cried throughout most of “Crip Camp” and found it so moving and inspirational in a quietly revolutionary way that really forced me to reflect upon accessibility and disability rights in a manner I shamefully had not considered beforehand. “Boys State” was captivating and left me astounded that this was not a narrative film, but built a world and introduced characters that seemed to come from a fictional world that nevertheless reflected the mood of the country over the past couple of years. And “Time” blew my mind in the boundaries that I thought prohibited what can be defined as a “documentary,” and took enticing narrative and editorial risks that elevated a merely traditional version of this film. Definitely rooting for those films and some others I have seen this year and looking forward to catching up with more over the next few years.January 5, 2021 at 2:16 pm #1203964684
I would’ve immediately predicted “Hamilton” for a film ensemble nomination, but since no limited series/TV movie ensemble category exists, I could maybe see Lin-Manuel Miranda snag an individual nomination.December 27, 2020 at 1:42 pm #1203948136
I really enjoyed “Another Round.” I thought the ensemble was great and was led by a top tier performance from Mads Mikkelsen, whom I’ve never seen do the kind of internal work that is necessary for his character’s arc to connect in any of his previous work. I thought the screenplay was very careful to illustrate the film’s themes without oversaturating the dialogue, and the tone neatly balanced the comedic and lighter moments with the dramatic necessity of the latter third of the film. Is this being considered in Adapted or Original? I’d love to see the film get some love in categories outside of International Film and I like it more than at least half of the big contenders that are being considered for Best Picture, so I’d love to see the buzz grow as people discover this movie.December 22, 2020 at 5:10 pm #1203940432
Moving “Ma Rainey” to musical/comedy after they’ve made a concerted effort to have movies like “A Star Is Born” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” compete in drama is the exact kind of ass-backward bullshit I have come to expect from the HFPA.December 22, 2020 at 4:50 pm #1203940335
“Promising Young Woman” moved to Drama.
Helena Zengel moved from supporting to lead.
“One Night in Miami” categorizations not accepted (no word on if they’ll all be placed in lead or supporting).
Sacha Baron Cohen and Eddie Redmayne possibly going lead for “Chicago 7.”December 20, 2020 at 3:31 pm #1203935822
Truly not sure which is more annoying: all of you being absolute bitches or LA giving their Best Picture award to five movies.December 20, 2020 at 1:29 pm #1203935195
This is why these forums aren’t fun anymore.December 19, 2020 at 9:23 am #1203932463
There was a lot of talk earlier this year about how Netflix was positioned to be a dominant force this awards season due to the volume of films they have, but we also perhaps should’ve worried about the quality of the films, because I have to say that I haven’t been impressed by any of Netflix’s “top priority” films over the past month or so. “Hillbilly Elegy,” “Mank,” “The Prom” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” have all come out in the past four weeks, and I’ve watched them all within the first week of release, and none has left a major impact on me. Furthermore, I’ve noticed that there’s been a disconnect with public interest too (too soon to say for “Ma Rainey,” of course). “Hillbilly Elegy” performed well within that first week on Netflix, but I think it kind of fell out of mind quickly thereafter. “Mank” never broke the Netflix top ten. “The Prom” shone bright and quickly. “Ma Rainey” may prove me wrong, it is #1 on Netflix today. And to reach back even earlier, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” really does not have any buzz right now, and probably didn’t within 2-3 weeks of its release. But out of this group, none of them can hold a candle to the other Netflix films that sprinted toward the top of the awards race in their respective years like “Roma,” “The Irishman” and “Marriage Story.” We’re still getting “The Midnight Sky” and “Pieces of a Woman” in the next few weeks, I do wonder if the muted response on these November/December releases is why we’re seeing Netflix start to date some films for early next year to still fit in this year’s awards race, like “The White Tiger,” “Malcolm and Marie” and “I Care A Lot.”December 19, 2020 at 9:14 am #1203932449
I realized I’d never posted any full thoughts on this film, which maybe kind of says it all in my reaction to watching this two weeks ago. I did not really engage with the story on an emotional level, and it really seems like Jack Fincher’s screenplay wasn’t trying to get me to do that at all anyway, so mission accomplished? Fincher’s direction and the technical aspects are good, but even widely praised elements like the cinematography really only made me sit up and notice on occasion, rather than really being bowled over by the look of the film. The performances are good. Oldman is doing a lot, but it works. Seyfried is really good and it is nice to see her in this kind of role that hopefully leads to some more varied and interesting career choices. The rest of the ensemble faded away for me within a day or two of watching the film. This just didn’t really have an impact on me, which explains why two weeks later I’m here to just make sure my opinion is written down as being a mere shrug.December 19, 2020 at 9:09 am #1203932444
I’m a bit perplexed by this film and it doesn’t really boil down to any one thing. There are some things I really admire about it and others that bring it down entirely. To that end, I’m mixed on the film overall, which I wasn’t expecting to be. To start with the stuff I liked best, I thought that the ensemble as a whole played really well off one another, with the undeniable MVP being Chadwick Boseman. You can tell he was really in a groove and got to let his stage background shine in a way that very few of his other roles really allowed. One of the common criticisms I’ve seen thrown around about the film is that it feels very stagey, and I recognize that too, but there is a knowingness to that aspect that allows that performance to make sense within this world. Unfortunately, that exact issue is what plagues so many of my other problems with this film. I’ve seen arguments that this film is at least a bit less stagey than previous August Wilson adaptation “Fences,” and I don’t really agree. I think more or less they’re equally identifiable as being adaptations of stage shows, but “Fences” was a much more cinematic and satisfying experience for me in part because of the strength of the story and dialogue, which I found lacking here. Additionally, the added elements of the show (which I believe includes the outdoor scenes) really did not add anything to the film, and ultimately just highlighted how boxy everything felt. There was no dynamism with the plain production design and uninventive cinematography.
The movie is 94 minutes long, yet I’d read that the stage version is two and a half hours long. What exactly was cut and why? There were big chunks of this film that I felt did not necessarily do a great job of selling the themes and subtext of the film, and given that this is such a crucial aspect of any staged play, I have to imagine that some of these other moments, had they been left in the film, would’ve enlightened me on the character motivations. While Levee certainly gets enough of his backstory colored in to connect with him on an emotional level, that same kind of characterization is missing for other characters, and maybe that’s not in the original staged version either, but it was the difference between seeing a good performance and being emotionally interested in the character. That kind of brings me to Viola Davis, who delivers a mostly technically good performance (though her lip-syncing was off), but whose character I had absolutely no interest in. I suppose that was kind of the point, but the writing for the character left a lot to be desired, so Davis could really only do the best with what she was given. So it’s honestly a whole lot of things, perhaps chiefly among them the lack of inspiring direction and technical elements, as well as a lacking adaptation, that led me to be quite disappointed when the film was over, but I can’t deny that Boseman’s performance is outstanding and the ensemble as a whole does some really good work here.December 17, 2020 at 7:58 pm #1203928402
I binged the first seven episodes last week and have been waiting impatiently for today’s finale, and I have to say that this was a really entertaining season. I thought they struck the right chord with the tone, not overdoing the melodrama and not making this a completely quirky comedy to distill the thriller elements of the show. Let me be the latest person here to comment on how impressed I am with Kaley Cuoco’s performance. Someone may have already mentioned this in an earlier comment but her performance here reminds me of how I felt about Jennifer Aniston in “The Morning Show,” where I thought she was a talented comedic actress but I didn’t know that she was capable of this. Cuoco was often undervalued on “The Big Bang Theory,” and this role allowed her to not only show she really can be quite funny, but showcased dramatic chops that I’d never seen from her before. The character of Cassie is a bit of a mess and logically shouldn’t be someone you root for, but I thought Cuoco brought a lot of empathy and underdog spirit to the role that made her an interesting presence from the get go. She’s also surrounded by a very good ensemble cast, especially Zosia Mamet and Michelle Gomez. Both of those actresses were hysterical and had vibrant chemistry with Cuoco. The foundation was clearly laid in the finale to make this an ongoing series, and given the success and buzz, I kind of imagine that’s where things are headed, and I’m not opposed to it. It could also end as just the limited series it was originally intended as, and I’d be fine with that too. But if we get to see more of Cuoco playing with some of the members of this ensemble (only the ones whose return makes logical sense, please!) and exploring the depths of this role that are in turn exposing the breadth of her talent, I’m all for it!December 15, 2020 at 10:37 am #1203922469
It makes no sense. Then how is Nomadland, which is premiering in February, eligible? This whole delayed Oscar season is quite messy.
“Nomadland” and “Minari” are technically eligible as 2020 releases with their virtual screenings through Film at Lincoln Center.