Forum Replies Created
April 26, 2021 at 10:23 am #1204229305
When putting together a film-centric awards ceremony, showing the work (clips, designs) is more thrilling than panning to and staring at nominees who are attempting to avoid eye-contact with the camera.April 26, 2021 at 10:14 am #1204229286
I am already preparing for the inevitable narrative that pits WEST SIDE STORY and IN THE HEIGHTS against each other, both as musicals and as boons (or not) for their representation of Puerto Ricans.
Assuming neither of them are shockingly abysmal, I’d set aside two of my Best Picture predix slots for them and would consider that Jon M. Chu will receive his first Best Director nomination.April 26, 2021 at 10:07 am #1204229265
Would I have loved to see someone else win last night? Of course, love spreading the wealth.
But I can appreciate that none of her performances are identical in either style or volume; that she can follow up the volcanic turn in THREE BILLBOARDS with such understated work in NOMADLAND is pretty terrific.April 26, 2021 at 9:57 am #1204229218
Trying to put my thoughts about the ceremony as succinctly as possible here, so I’ll just say:
* Those opening credits were sexy. Much of what followed was weird and deflated, but that was a hell of a vibe to start with.
* Soderbergh’s “people, not pictures” approach might’ve read great on paper, but for the most part, it did not work for me in execution. The lack of clips, especially for performances, was ridiculous. Why show them for International and Documentary but then skip them for the acting? Also, I love that they tried to show you the designers up-close, but the reading of and panning to nominees was often painfully silent. I’ll take the classic show-sketch-drawings-of-costume-designs over a camera-shoved-into-a-costume-designer’s-spouse’s-face-while-they-awkwardly-avoid-looking-into-the-lens approach any day of the week.
* Also, you can’t say that the focus is the people and then speed 1.5x through the In Memoriam with a bouncy little song underneath. It felt disrespectful, in a way.
* I understand wanting winners to have time to breathe onstage, but the lack of a timer was a mistake. Letting someone ramble until they stumble upon a fun little turn-of-phrase isn’t great television…
* … but even then, I dug some of these genuine speeches: Daniel Kaluuya. Yuh-Jung Youn. Jon Batiste. The team of TWO DISTANT STRANGERS. And of course, Chloe Zhao.
* Moving Actress and Actor to the final two spots meant that the high of how historic the Director and Picture wins were faded for me. That’s a shame. Picture the broadcast ending on Frances’s howl, and it’s those kinds of moments that I think of when I talk about the Oscars.
* This was an incredible crop of acting winners, maybe one of my favorite ever. But ending with Best Actor, building towards a Boseman tribute that never came, frickin’ stung! Hopkins gave what I consider to be the performance of the year (and his career) in THE FATHER, but by ending with his upset (and knowing he wasn’t allowed to Zoom-in even if he’d wanted to), it ended the whole thing on a sour note that bummed me out. I don’t think the splat the Oscars ended on would’ve been nearly as prominent if Best Director and Best Picture had come afterwards.
All in all, I love that they tried something new. Some of it – like that opening – worked and was a blast to watch. But it continues to surprise me how an industry built on telling great stories at a deliberate, exciting pace continue to produce a ceremony that fails to find that perfect groove.
Here’s hoping.April 23, 2021 at 8:05 am #1204217007
Just jumping in here to say that I love that we have an honest-to-God open race here. I always hated when the same frontrunner swept everything; it made Oscar night feel predictable, almost inevitable. This year, it’s legitimately exciting.April 8, 2021 at 4:27 pm #1204187190
How many Best Actress winners won with the Globe only in the 21st century ?
Stats mean nothing this year
Bassett, you’re actually proving my own point for me, whether you mean to or not.
You’re saying that “stats mean nothing this year” (an empty phrase to throw around but okay) but then asking me to prove who has ever won the Oscar with only a Globe win before? In other words, you’re saying that the year is too weird to refer to the pattern that I did… but also that I should abandon my prediction because of other patterns or lack thereof. Little backwards, my friend.
It’s like saying, “When have all four Oscar acting winners been people of color?!” as if to prove it can’t happen. To which some of us would respond, “This year could be the first. That’s how firsts work.” With a race this wide open, I think Day could do it with as little as she has… for reasons I’ve detailed.April 8, 2021 at 4:14 pm #1204187169
A recent pick for this list: Hopkins’ final scene in “The Father” is just about the most heartbreaking f#$king thing I’ve seen in a long time. It’s rare that I watch a scene and actually wonder aloud, “How the hell is he doing that??”
Another stellar example that I go back and rewatch from time to time is Michelle Williams and Casey Affleck’s two-hander scene in “Manchester by the Sea.” I mean, Jesus, Lonergan’s dialogue is so naturalistic that that shit feels improvised. Affleck finally making eye contact with her when he says, “There’s nothing there,” is just… woof.
And hell, to obey the rule of three here – Mo’Nique’s confession in “Precious.” Holy crap. I wish I had been in that very first audience in Sundance, before all the buzz and the hype and the wait-’til-you-get-a-load-of-this started circulating. My jaw would STILL be on the floor today.April 8, 2021 at 4:02 pm #1204187148
Last thing I’ll say about Andra, because I’m sticking with her ’til the bitter end here:
In the 21st century so far, only ONCE has the eventual Oscar winner for Best Actress lost the Golden Globe, and it was Halle Berry in 2002. The HFPA even warned us about Streep winning her third for “Iron Lady” when everyone was *certain* that Davis would win for “The Help” that year. (And no, I don’t want to hear from all you folks who said you saw Streep coming, haha. I’ve been at Gold Derby a long time. Davis’s name was EV-E-RY-WHERE here.)
Say what you want about the Globe being the only thing Day has won all year, but damn if it isn’t one of the most solid predictors we have. I thought she might surprise there, and when she did, I basically locked in my prediction for good.
I’m done. Moving on, haha. Whoever wins, I’m legit happy for them. It’s one of the strongest lineups in a very long time.April 6, 2021 at 8:35 pm #1204183010
Viola Davis wins the SAG.
Frances McDormand might win BAFTA.
But I’m sticking with Andra Day for the Oscar. It doesn’t matter that she’s the only nominee for her film. The performance was transformative, and this category has a history of honoring debut performances. Being a first-time nominee playing a real-life singer also makes this feel like an echo of Marion Cotillard for “La Vie En Rose,” except in this case, Day actually does the singing (and sounds like Holiday!)
In a wide-open race like this, Day’s my pick.March 30, 2021 at 9:17 am #1204165853
I would be totally and completely fine with Youn winning both SAG and the Oscar; it’s more than deserved. But every season, there’s always one category where I stubbornly predict what I want to have happen, and this year it’s Best Supporting Actress, where I’m hoping Maria Bakalova takes both awards.
She’s the Breakout Star of 2020, the passion for “Borat” continues to lead it to unexpected guild nominations and wins, the stories of the challenges she faced while shooting (like the way the Giuliani scene played out) are the kind that fellow actors devour, and there’s never been a better time for Academy voters to prove that they don’t have a bias against comedies than right here with her performance. I’m sticking with her in both cases.March 28, 2021 at 10:36 am #1204162603
Best Director is the done-est deal of the night, and it is so unbelievably deserved. Zhao is a master.
For a long time, I did not think “Nomadland” felt like a winner of Best Picture: It was too artistic, it was too slow, it wasn’t populist enough. As you can tell, all my reasonings were insulting and overall bullshit. We’re living at a time when the Academy voters are slowly redefining what a Best Picture winner looks and feels like, and the Oscars are better for it. Hell, the fact that a woman falling in love with a fish-man won the top prize and was considered the safe choice that year just goes to show the way the conversation has shifted.
“Nomadland” works like a quality documentary, plunking you waist-deep into a world that exists on the perimeters of what most of us probably experience in our day-to-day. In a year where we are entirely closed up indoors, a film about those who choose to live within or below their means on the road feels like a breath of fresh air, quite honestly. The other picture that has a similar vibe is “Minari,” as it illustrates a foreign-born family pursuing the American Dream in Arkansas. Either one of these films feels like a suitable Best Picture, and the fact that neither of them look like the lineup of past winners is really exciting to me.
But at the end of the day: I think “Nomadland” has Best Picture locked up, and if any competition arises, it will be from whatever wins Original Screenplay, be it “Trial” or “Minari” or (most likely) “Promising Young Woman.” No film will win Best Picture without a Screenplay or Director win, and since Zhao has the latter stitched up, it’ll be the winners of those earlier categories that stand the chance of dethroning “Nomadland.” Even if “The Father” beats it in Adapted, I don’t see that film going the distance.
It’s only those three in Original that stand a chance; everyone else can show up, smile, and enjoy the after-party.March 28, 2021 at 9:37 am #1204162528
First off, I love that this race is so wide open this year.
Nothing makes the Oscars more boring than when the same four actors win everywhere and their momentum snowballs. I think it also speaks to the quality of these five performances that we could essentially see any of them take the award and there’s a narrative out there that could make some sense of it.
But at the end of the day, this race feels like Mulligan vs Day to me, and I’m predicting the win for Day. I’ve been pushing her since the beginning of the season, even before her Globes shocker, and I can still completely see it happening. I understand the logic that is making Mulligan #1 for most folks – the passion for her film, what her character represents, her body of work, her previous nominations. But given where her performance ends (no spoilers), it feels like the film becomes about more than her character. The very fact that the film is as much a showcase for the writing and directing prevents her performance from being the film’s center of gravity. And even if she wins the SAG, I don’t know that it’ll be a telltale sign of how this showdown will end, since Day isn’t even nominated there.
On the other hand, Day is the reason to see “The United States vs Billie Holiday.” Some might argue she’s the only reason, which might not bode well for her except that Best Actress is a category filled with winners who were rewarded for their work in not-great films. In some cases, they were even their film’s sole nomination. And in other cases, they not-great films with good-not-great performance, but they’re giving the award anyway because it seems like a chance for a veteran to “finally get her Oscar.” Day is the opposite of a veteran, of course, and has made a stunning, transformative debut. And while it being her first film performance might sound like something that would play against her, this is a category that also has a history of giving an Oscar to women for their first performance on-film. It actually doesn’t matter how beloved or not the film as a whole is here. One look at RottenTomatoes will tell you: Even the critics who hatehateHATE the picture love Day’s performance.
There’s also something else to consider here. Looking at a collage of past winners in this category confronts us with a sea of white. It has been almost two decades since the last woman of color won here. Combining the fact that “Billie Holiday” centers around a civil rights icon and that 2020 was a year so charged with cries of racial injustice, having the opportunity to award a Black woman the Oscar here for a tremendous performance might be too much for some voters to pass up on.
The Academy clearly adores “Promising Young Woman” as a whole, but Mulligan doesn’t have to win for “PWG” to receive some love. They could easily (and probably will) give Emerald Fennell Original Screenplay as a way to award the film. But Andra Day is her film, far as I’m concerned, and in as wide open a year as this is, giving the rookie the top prize makes complete sense.
Truth is, any of these five women could win, and I’d be entirely happy with Carey Mulligan nabbing the trophy. But I’ve had a hunch about Day from the beginning, and that feeling hasn’t gone away.July 5, 2018 at 11:57 am #1202579756
Chock it up to the power of editing to music; the trailer to WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? was more of a tearjerker than the actual doc itself.
That said, it did exactly as advertised, and some of the archival footage they uncovered was truly wonderful. If there’s a major fault to this film as a whole, it’s that I found myself constantly wanting to do a deep-dive on some of the film’s later chapters — the idea that Mr. Rogers spoiled the younger generation into thinking they’re special, or his faith being tested during 9/11 — only to watch as director Morgan Neville skim the surface and move on. I understand why; he had 90 minutes to cover everything.
But still, it does make you understand why a biopic like, say, Lincoln, might zoom in on a single seminal moment of an iconic individual’s life so successfully. To take the approach Neville does here is to cover everything but leave certain segments feeling under-served.
Really enjoyed myself watching this. It’ll certainly be in the conversation at year’s end. But in the process of marveling at the kindness of this man, I found myself really wishing we’d spent more time lingering on the shadows that crept into the Neighborhood.June 25, 2018 at 8:09 am #1202572637
Let’s be honest: Denzel Washington is one limited series away from his Emmy. He’s been talking about going through August Wilson’s cycle, and if even one of those is on HBO or an equivalent, he’s golden.
Likewise, most of those names in the Tony list (Streep, Winslet, Douglas, Duvall, Hopkins), it’s hard to imagine a role being good enough to take them to Broadway and yet not lead them to the Tony Award. That’s not to say that the Tony voters bow to celebrity; I simply think the fact that they were on the Great White Way would speak to the material that brought them there, and great material with that level of talent is awards-bound, no question.
The hardest one to figure is the Oscar list. If you’d told me three years ago that “that one guy from House of Cards” would be in the second film of Barry Jenkins playing a drug dealer and that would lead him to win an Oscar on his first outing, I would’ve called you a liar. More than any other medium, I find, someone’s Oscar star can rise seemingly out of nowhere. We know films in the pipeline for years to come, but a film on paper and that same film in practice can often be wholly different experiences. For all we know, Bryan Cranston or Laurie Metcalf have already shot the film that’ll take them to the stage. Hard to tell.February 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm #56435
This is the third year in a row that a film outside of the major studios/their subsidiaries has won Best Picture. I believe this is tied with the Dreamworks streak at the turn of the century for most in a row. It’s something that’s good at least about success for the Weinsteins. They might be horrible, but at least it’s support for something besides the media conglomerates.
Any time someone has — pardon my French (pun intended, under the circumstances) — the balls to tackle a silent film in this day and age, and apparently do it well, they deserve support. Heck, even if a film turns out terribly, if the filmmakers set out to do something original and creative, I will jump on their bandwagon. I’d rather have mediocre originality than brilliant rehashes.