Monday, November 13, 2017

First 2018 Golden Globe Film Predictions

Best Picture - Drama
Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture - Comedy/Musical
Battle of the Sexes
The Big Sick
Get Out
The Greatest Showman
Lady Bird

Best Actor - Drama
Timothee Chalamet "Call Me By Your Name"
Daniel Day-Lewis "Phantom Thread"
Jake Gyllenhaal "Stronger"
Tom Hanks "The Post"
Gary Oldman "Darkest Hour"

Best Actress - Drama
Annette Bening "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool"
Jessica Chastain "Molly's Game"
Sally Hawkins "The Shape of Water"
Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Meryl Streep "The Post"

Best Actor - Comedy/Musical
Steve Carell "Battle of the Sexes"
James Franco "The Disaster Artist"
Hugh Jackman "The Greatest Showman"
Daniel Kaluuya "Get Out"
Kumail Nanjiani "The Big Sick" 

Best Actress - Comedy/Musical
Judi Dench "Victoria and Abdul"
Margot Robbie "I, Tonya"
Saoirse Ronan "Lady Bird"
Emma Stone "Battle of the Sexes"
Emma Watson "Beauty and the Beast"

Best Director
Luca Guadagnino "Call Me By Your Name"
Joe Wright "Darkest Hour"
Christopher Nolan "Dunkirk"
Guillermo Del Toro "The Shape of Water"
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri"

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe "The Florida Project"
Armie Hammer "Call Me By Your Name"
Sam Rockwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Mark Rylance "Dunkirk"
Michael Stuhlberg "Call Me By Your Name"

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige "Mudbound"
Allison Janney "I, Tonya"
Laurie Metcalf "Lady Bird"
Octavia Spencer "The Shape of Water"
Kristin Scott Thomas "Darkest Hour"

Saturday, November 11, 2017

First 2018 Grammy Nomination Predictions

Album of the Year
Kendrick Lamar "DAMN."
Miranda Lambert "The Weight of These Wings"
Lorde "Melodrama"
Bruno Mars "24K"
Ed Sheeran "Divide"

Record of the Year
Kesha "Praying"
Kendrick Lamar "Humble"
Bruno Mars "That's What I Like"
Ed Sheeran "The Shape of You"
Taylor Swift "Look What You Made Me It"

Song of the Year
Taylor Swift "Better Man"
Kendrick Lamar and Michael Len Williams "Humble"
Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey, and Mark Ronson "Million Reasons"
Kesha, Ben Abraham, Andrew Joslyn, and Ryan Lewis "Praying"
Ed Sheeran, Steve Mac, Johnny McDaid, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle, and Kevin Briggs "The Shape of You"

Best New Artist
Alessia Cara
Khalid
Logic
Old Dominion
SZA

Friday, November 10, 2017

Academy Announces 26 Animated Feature Submissions

“The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales”
“Birdboy: The Forgotten Children”
“The Boss Baby”
“The Breadwinner”
“Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie”
“Cars 3”
“Cinderella the Cat”
“Coco”
“Despicable Me 3”
“The Emoji Movie”
“Ethel & Ernest”
“Ferdinand”
“The Girl without Hands”
“In This Corner of the World”
“The Lego Batman Movie”
“The Lego Ninjago Movie”
“Loving Vincent”
“Mary and the Witch’s Flower”
“Moomins and the Winter Wonderland”
“My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea”
“Napping Princess”
“A Silent Voice”
“Smurfs: The Lost Village”
“The Star”
“Sword Art Online: The Movie – Ordinal Scale”
“Window Horses The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming”

With this group, my current and first predictions in this category are:

The Breadwinner
Coco
In This Corner of the World
The Lego Batman Movie
Loving Vincent

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The 30th European Film Award Nominations

Winners will be announced December 9th!

Best European Film
BPM (Beats per Minute)
Loveless
On Body and Soul
The Other Side of Hope
The Square

Best European Director
Ildiko Enyedi, "On Body and Soul”
Aki Kaurismaki, “The Other Side of Hope”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Ruben Ostlund, “The Square”
Andrey Zvyagintsev, “Loveless”

Best European Actor
Claes Bang, “The Square”
Colin Farrell, "The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Josef Hader, “Farewell to Europe”
Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, “BPM (Beats per Minute)”
Jean-Louis Trintignant, “Happy End”

Best European Actress
Paula Beer, “Frantz”
Juliette Binoche, “Bright Sunshine In”
Alexandra Borbely, “On Body and Soul”
Isabelle Huppert, “Happy End”
Florence Pugh, “Lady Macbeth”

Best European Documentary
Austerlitz
Communion
La Chana
Stranger in Paradise
The Good Postman

Best European Animated Feature
Ethel & Ernest
Louise by the Shore
Loving Vincent
Zombillenium

Best European Comedy
King of The Belgians
The Square
Vincent and The End of The World
Welcome to Germany

Best European Screenwriter
Ildiko Enyedi, “On Body and Soul”
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Ruben Ostlund, “The Square”
Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev, “Loveless”
François Ozon, “Frantz”

Friday, November 3, 2017

2nd Critics Choice Documentary Awards

Best Documentary
Jane

Best Director 
(TIE) Evgeny Afineevsky (Cries from Syria) and Frederick Wiseman (Ex Libris: The New York Public Library)

Best First Documentary
Kedi

Best Political Documentary
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Best Sports Documentary
Icarus

Best Music Documentary
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Best Song in a Documentary
“Jump” (Step) – written by Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson and Laura Karpman, performed by Cynthia Erivo

Best Documentary Series
The Vietnam War

Best Ongoing Documentary Series
American Masters

Most Innovative Documentary
(TIE) Dawson City: Frozen Time and Last Men in Aleppo

Thursday, November 2, 2017

International Documentary Association (IDA) Award Nominations

Best Feature
City of Ghosts
Dina
Faces Places
LA 92
Strong Island 

Best Short
Edith+Eddie
The Fight
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Long Shot
Mr. Connolly has ALS
The Rabbit Hunt

Pare Lorentz Award
Watani: My Homeland
Intent to Destroy

ABC News VideoSource Award
Blood On The Mountain
Elián
Icarus
LA 92
Obit

Best Curated Series Award
American Experience
Dokumania
Independent Lens
POV
Reel South

Best Limited Series Award
Daughters of Destiny
The Defiant Ones
The Keepers
The Vietnam War
TIME: The Kalief Browder Story

Best Episodic Series Award
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Chef’s Table
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
MARS
Planet Earth II

Best Short Form Series Award
Field of Vision
Shorts on Time
The Guardian documentaries
The New York Times Op-Docs
The Secret Life of Muslims

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award
Believers (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Chomo (National Film and Television School – United Kingdom)
How To Make A Pearl (UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism)
Man on Fire (University of Texas, Austin)
Room 140 (Stanford University)

Creative Recognition Award Winners

Best Cinematography
Machines

Best Editing
Dawson City: Frozen Time

Best Music
Brimstone and Glory

Best Writing
Donkeyote

2017 British Independent Film Award Nominations

Best British Independent Film
The Death of Stalin
God's Own Country
I Am Not a Witch
Lady Macbeth
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best International Independent Film
The Florida Project
Get Out
I Am Not Your Negro
Loveless
The Square

Best Director
Armando Iannucci "The Death of Stalin"
Francis Lee "God’s Own Country"
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Runago Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"
William Oldroyd "Lady Macbeth"

Best Screenplay
Alice Birth "Lady Macbeth"
Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, and Ian Martin "The Death of Stalin"
Francis Lee "God's Own Country"
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Rungano Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"

Best Actress
Emily Beecham "Daphne"
Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Margaret Mulubwa "I Am Not a Witch"
Florence Pugh "Lady Macbeth"
Ruth Wilson "Dark River"

Best Actor
Jamie Bell "Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool"
Paddy Considine "Journeyman"
Johnny Harris "Jawbone"
Josh O'Connor "God's Own Country"
Alec Secareanu "God's Own Country"

Best Supporting Actress
Naomi Ackie "Lady Macbeth"
Patricia Clarkson "The Party"
Kelly MacDonald "Goodbye Christopher Robin"
Andrea Riseborough "The Death of Stalin"
Julie Walters "Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool"

Best Supporting Actor
Simon Russell Beale "The Death of Stalin"
Steve Buscemi "The Death of Stalin"
Woody Harrelson "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Ian Hart "God’s Own Country"
Sam Rockwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Most Promising Newcomer
Naomi Ackie "Lady Macbeth"
Harry Gilby "Just Charlie"
Cosmo Jarvis "Lady Macbeth"
Harry Michell "Chubby Funny
Lily Newmark "Pin Cushion"

Best Debut Director
Deborah Haywood "Pin Cushion"
Francis Lee "God's Own Country"
Thomas Napper "Jawbone"
Rungano Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"
William Oldroyd "Lady Macbeth"

Debut Screenwriter
Alice Birch "Lady Macbeth"
Gaby Chiappe "Their Finest"
Johnny Harris "Jawbone"
Francis Lee "God’s Own Country"
Rungano Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"

Breakthrough Producer
Gavin Humphries "Pin Cushion"
Emily Morgan "I Am Not a Witch"
Brendan Mullin and Katy Jackson "Bad Day for the Cut"
Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly "Lady Macbeth"
Jack Tarling and Manon Ardisson "God’s Own Country"

The Discovery Award
Even When I Fall
Halfway
In Another Life
Isolani R
My Pure Land

Best Documentary
Almost Heaven
Half Way
Kingdom of Us
Uncle Howard
Williams

Best British Short Film
1745
The Entertainer
Fish Story
Work
Wren Boys

Best Cinematography
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I Am Not a Witch
Jawbone
Leaning Into the Wind
Lady Macbeth

Best Casting
Lady Macbeth
God’s Own Country
The Death of Stalin
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Best Costume Design
My Cousin Rachel
The Death of Stalin
How to Talk to Girls at Parties
I Am Not a Witch
Lady Macbeth

Best Editing
Williams
Jawbone
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Death of Stalin
Us and Them

Best Effects
The Ritual
Journeyman
The Death of Stalin
Double Date
Their Finest

Best Make Up & Hair Design
I Am Not a Witch
Breathe
Journeyman
The Death of Stalin
Lady Macbeth

Best Music
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Leaning into the Wind
I Am Not a Witch
Jawbone
The Death of Stalin

Best Production Design
Lady Macbeth
The Death of Stalin
Final Portrait
I Am Not a Witch
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Best Sound
God’s Own Country
I Am Not a Witch
Jawbone
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Breathe

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Picture

Post-Festival Predictions
Blade Runner 2049
Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Florida Project
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Other Contenders - Battle of the Sexes, I Tonya, Mudbound, Phantom Thread, The Big Sick, Logan, The Greatest Showman, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Big Sick, Downsizing, Wonderstruck, Last Flag Flying, Coco, Detroit, Stronger, Molly's Game, Stronger, The Beguiled, Victoria and Abdul, mother!, War for the Planet of the Apes, Breathe, Murder on the Orient Express, Marshall, First They Killed My Father, Wind River

Commentary - As always, I start with ten, knowing that things can change. There are a few at this point I think are slam dunks. First, is Dunkirk, whose summer release will not hamper its ability to woo Oscar voters. I would also add Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water, Joe Wright's Darkest Hour, and Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Shape of Water is the director's film with style, Darkest Hour is the historical biopic that voters love, and Three Billboards is this year's surprise contender who will ride its Toronto audience award all the way to Oscar glory. Smaller projects like The Florida Project, Call Me By Your Name, and Lady Bird, are hoping to join the list of small indies that have become Oscar staples. Blade Runner 2049 may not be a box office hit, but I think that the directors and the tech folks will elevate it the way they have Mad Max and Arrival in recent years. The Post is the one big contender we really don't know yet, but Steven Spielberg + Meryl Streep + Tom Hanks = Oscar gold until we see otherwise. Finally, Get Out is the little film that could. It is not at all a typical Oscar movie, and this does make me nervous. But if it continues to retain its buzz, it could be the big surprise of this season. On the outside are some potent contenders though. Battle of the Sexes was deemed "crowd pleaser", but that is exactly why I think it is a bigger contender than folks are giving it credit for. These type of historical, crowd-pleasing biopics often find their way into this race (see Hidden Figures, The Help and The Blind Side for examples). I, Tonya is biting and gaining attention, Mudbound is in if Netflix plays their cards right, The Big Sick is heartfelt, Phantom Thread has all the right pieces, Stronger is emotional, and The Greatest Showman is the lurking contender I am keeping my eye on. The big guys like Star Wars, Coco, Planet of the Apes, and Logan are once again fighting for a slot, and the mixed contenders like Downsizing, Wonderstruck, mother!, Victoria and Abdul, Marshall, Wind River, and Last Flag Flying are hoping that they still have enough passionate voters to sneak in.

Academy Announces 170 Entries for Best Documentary Feature

Here are the 170 Entries:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”
“Aida’s Secrets”
“Al Di Qua”
“All the Rage”
“All These Sleepless Nights”
“AlphaGo”
“The American Media and the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy”
“And the Winner Isn’t”
“Angels Within”
“Architects of Denial”
“Arthur Miller: Writer”
“Atomic Homefront”
“The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography”
“Bang! The Bert Berns Story”
“Bending the Arc”
“Big Sonia”
“Bill Nye: Science Guy”
“Birthright: A War Story”
“Bobbi Jene”
“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”
“Born in China”
“Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story”
“Boston”
“Brimstone & Glory”
“Bronx Gothic”
“Burden”
“California Typewriter”
“Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story”
“Casting JonBenet”
“Chasing Coral”
“Chasing Trane”
“Chavela”
“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City”
“City of Ghosts”
“Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives”
“Cries from Syria”
“Cruel & Unusual”
“Cuba and the Cameraman”
“Dawson City: Frozen Time”
“Dealt”
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”
“Destination Unknown”
“Dina”
“Dolores”
“Dream Big: Engineering Our World”
“A Dying King: The Shah of Iran”
“Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)”
“Earth: One Amazing Day”
“11/8/16”
“Elian”
“Embargo”
“Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars”
“Escapes”
“Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray”
“Ex Libris – The New York Public Library”
“Extraordinary Ordinary People”
“Faces Places”
“The Farthest”
“The Final Year”
“Finding Oscar”
“500 Years”
“Food Evolution”
“For Ahkeem”
“The Force”
“The Freedom to Marry”
“From the Ashes”
“Gaga: Five Foot Two”
“A German Life”
“Get Me Roger Stone”
“Gilbert”
“God Knows Where I Am”
“Good Fortune”
“A Gray State”
“Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All”
“Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story”
“Hearing Is Believing”
“Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS”
“Human Flow”
“I Am Another You”
“I Am Evidence”
“I Am Jane Doe”
“I Called Him Morgan”
“Icarus”
“If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”
“The Incomparable Rose Hartman”
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”
“Intent to Destroy”
“Jane”
“Jeremiah Tower The Last Magnificent”
“Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton”
“Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold”
“Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”
“Karl Marx City”
“Kedi”
“Keep Quiet”
“Kiki”
“LA 92”
“The Last Dalai Lama?”
“The Last Laugh”
“Last Men in Aleppo”
“Legion of Brothers”
“Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982 – 1992”
“Let’s Play Two”
“Letters from Baghdad”
“Long Strange Trip”
“Look & See”
“Machines”
“Man in Red Bandana”
“Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance”
“Motherland”
“Mully”
“My Scientology Movie”
“Naples ’44”
“Neary’s – The Dream at the End of the Rainbow”
“Night School”
“No Greater Love”
“No Stone Unturned”
“Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press”
“Nowhere to Hide”
“Obit”
“Oklahoma City”
“One of Us”
“The Paris Opera”
“The Pathological Optimist”
“Prosperity”
“The Pulitzer at 100”
“Quest”
“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman”
“The Rape of Recy Taylor”
“The Reagan Show”
“Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan”
“Risk”
“A River Below”
“Rocky Ros Muc”
“Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World”
“Santoalla”
“School Life”
“Score: A Film Music Documentary”
“Served Like a Girl”
“The Settlers”
“78/52”
“Shadowman”
“Shot! The Psycho Spiritual Mantra of Rock”
“Sidemen: Long Road to Glory”
“The Skyjacker’s Tale”
“Sled Dogs”
“Soufra”
“Spettacolo”
“Step”
“Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking”
“Strong Island”
“Surviving Peace”
“Swim Team”
“Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton”
“Take My Nose… Please!”
“They Call Us Monsters”
“32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide”
“This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous”
“Tickling Giants”
“Trophy”
“Twenty Two”
“Unrest”
“Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past”
“Voyeur”
“Wait for Your Laugh”
“Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”
“Water & Power: A California Heist”
“Whitney. “Can I Be Me””
“Whose Streets?”
“The Work”

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Director

Post Festival Predictions
Luca Guadagnino "Call Me By Your Name"
Denis Villeneuve "Blade Runner 2049"
Joe Wright "Darkest Hour"
Christopher Nolan "Dunkirk"
Guillermo Del Toro "The Shape of Water"

Other Contenders - Steven Spielberg "The Post", Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", Dee Rees "Mudbound", Paul Thomas Anderson "Phantom Thread", Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird", Jordan Peele "Get Out", Sean Baker "The Florida Project",  Michael Gracey "The Greatest Showman", Patty Jenkins "Wonder Woman", Rian Johnson "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Kathryn Bigelow "Detroit", Alexander Payne "Downsizing", James Mangold "Logan", Ridley Scott "All the Money in the World", Edgar Wright "Baby Driver", Sofia Coppola "The Beguiled", Michael Showalter "The Big Sick", Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris "Battle of the Sexes", Todd Haynes "Wonderstruck", Richard Linklater "Last Flag Flying", Aaron Sorkin "Molly's Game", Darren Aronofsky "mother!", Matt Reeves "War for the Planet of the Apes", Taylor Sheridan "Wind River"

Commentary - In the last several years of the Best Picture expansion, this category has rewarded the visionary director, the technical expertise director, over the Best Picture winner. The one exception was Birdman, which was a combination of technical expertise, ensemble acting, and an Academy-friendly story line, and overcame this split. That is why I have three directors at the top: Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve, and Guillermo Del Toro. These are the types of directors, and their films the types of films, that the Academy has awarded in this category in recent years. I also think that this branch, which has hailed foreign directors in the past, will reward Italian Luca Guadagnino for Call Me By Your Name, which is also stylish in its own right. Joe Wright missed out for Atonement, but Darkest Hour is climbing the Oscar charts, and he is well-overdue for some recognition from his peers. But these five are in the lion fight. First is Martin McDonagh. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a crowd-pleaser, and he is on the cusp. Steven Spielberg is always in contention, Dee Rees, Sean Baker, Greta Gerwig, and Jordan Peele are breakout stars, and previous nominees like Paul Thomas Anderson, Richard Linklater, Ridley Scott, Darren Aronofsky, Kathryn Bigelow, Alexander Payne, and Sofia Coppola will inspire votes. Michael Gracey could inspire folks with the showy Greatest Showman, Patty Jenkins, James Mangold, Matt Reeves and Rian Johnson could get one for the studio films, Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut got good reviews, Edgar Wright is visionary, Michael Showalter is now a proven master of indie comedies, Dayton and Feris brought a crowd-pleaser, and Todd Haynes has been flirting with Oscar for years. All should be kept on your radar.