Wednesday, October 31, 2018

21st Annual British Independent Film Award (BIFA) Nominations

Best British Independent Film
American Animals
The Favourite
You Were Never Really Here

Best Director
Bart Layton "American Animals"
Michael Pearce "Beast"
Yorgos Lanthimos "The Favourite"
Andrew Haigh "Lean on Pete"
Lynne Ramsay "You Were Never Really Here"

Best Actor
Rupert Everett "The Happy Prince"
Charlie Plummer "Lean on Pete"
Joe Cole "A Prayer Before Dawn"
Steve Coogan "Stan & Ollie"
Joaquin Phoenix "You Were Never Really Here"

Best Actress
Jessie Buckley "Beast"
Rachel Weisz "Disobedience"
Gemma Arterton "The Escape"
Olivia Colman "The Favourite"
Maxine Peake "Funny Cow"

Best Supporting Actor
Evan Peters "American Animals"
Barry Keoghan "American Animals"
Dominic West "Colette"
Alessandro Nivola "Disobedience"
Steve Buscemi "Lean on Pete"

Best Supporting Actress
Molly Wright "Apostasy"
Rachel McAdams, Disobedience
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Nina Arianda, Stan & Ollie

Best Screenplay
Bary Layton "American Animals"
Michael Pearce "Beast"
Sebastian Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz "Disobedience"
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara "The Favourite"
Lynne Ramsay "You Were Never Really Here"

Most Promising Newcomer
Molly Wright "Apostasy"
Jessie Buckley "Beast"
Michaela Coel "Been So Long"
Liv Hill "Jellyfish"
Marcus Rutherford "Obey"

The Discovery Award
The Dig
Irene’s Ghost
A Moment in the Reeds
Super November

The Douglas Hickox Award for Debut Director
Daniel Kokotajlo "Apostasy"
Michael Pearce "Beast"
Matt Palmer "Calibre"
Leanne Welham "Pili"
Richard Billingham "Ray & Liz"

Debut Screenwriter
Bart Layton "American Animals"
Daniel Kokotajlo "Apostasy"
Michael Pearce "Beast"
Matt Palmer "Calibre"
Karen Gillan "The Party’s Just Beginning"

Best Documentary
Being Frank: The Chris Sievey Story
Nae Pasaran
Under the Wire

Breakthrough Producer
Marcie MacLellan "Apostasy"
Kristian Brodie/Lauren Dark/Ivana Mackinnon "Beast"
Anna Griffin "Calibre"
Jacqui Davies "Ray & Liz"
Faye Ward "Stan & Ollie"

Best International Independent Film
Cold War
The Rider

Best Casting
American Animals
The Favourite
Stan & Ollie

Best Cinematography
American Animals
The Favourite
Lean on Pete
A Prayer Before Dawn
You Were Never Really Here

Best Costume Design
An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn
The Favourite
Stan & Ollie

Best Editing
American Animals
The Favourite
Happy New Year, Colin Burstead
A Prayer Before Dawn
You Were Never Really Here

Best Make-Up and Hair Design
The Favourite
A Prayer Before Dawn
Stan & Ollie

Best Music
American Animals
Funny Cow
Island of the Hungry Ghosts
You Were Never Really Here

Best Production Design
The Favourite
Ray & Liz
Stan & Ollie

Best Sound
American Animals
The Favourite
A Prayer Before Dawn
Time Trial
You Were Never Really Here

Best Effects
Dead in a Week (Or Your Money Back)
Early Man

Best British Short
The Big Day
Bitter Sea
The Field
To Know Him

Saturday, October 27, 2018

12th Annual Cinema Eye Nominees

A good portion of the Cinema Eye nominees have been announced:

Bathtubs Over Broadway
Free Solo
Minding the Gap
On Her Shoulders
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Baby Brother
Concussion Protocol
The Earth is Humming
My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes
A Night at the Garden
Las Nubes
Sister Hearts
Skip Day
Zhalanash – Empty Shore

American Animals
Obscuro Barocco
Skate Kitchen
The Tale
We the Animals

Baltimore Rising
The Final Year
I Am Evidence
Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press
This is Home: A Refugee Story

America to Me
Evil Genius
Flint Town
The Fourth Estate
The Trade
Wild Wild Country

Annette Ontell - 306 Hollywood
América - América
Issei Sagawa - Caniba
Alex Honnold - Free Solo
Julita Salmerón - Lots of Kids, a Monkey and a Castle
Nick Bollettieri - Love Means Zero
M.I.A. - Matangi/Maya/M.I.A.
Kiere Johnson, Bing Liu and Zack Mulligan - Minding the Gap
Abu Osama - Of Fathers and Sons
Nadia Murad - On Her Shoulders
Ruth Bader Ginsburg - RBG
Scotty Bowers - Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
Georges Cardona, Jasmine Ng, Sophie Siddique and Sandi Tan - Shirkers
Edward Galland, David Kellman and Robert Shafran - Three Identical Strangers
Fred Rogers - Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

International Documentary Association (IDA) Award Nominations

Crime + Punishment
Dark Money
Free Solo
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Of Fathers and Sons
Sky and Ground
The Silence of Others
United Skates
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Black Sheep
Fear Us Women
Los Comandos
The Girl and the Picture
We Are Not Done Yet
We Became Fragments

Curated Series
American Masters
Doc World
Independent Lens
Why Slavery?

Episodic Series
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Christiane Amanpour: Sex & Love Around the World
ESPN Films: Enhanced
Last Chance U
The Confession Tapes
The Trade

Limited Series
Best Shot
Bobby Kennedy for President
Flint Town
November 13: Attack on Paris
Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
Wild Wild Country

Short Form Series
Guardian Documentaries
Life Underground
MEL Films
The New York Times Op-Docs

Music Documentary
A Modern Man
Bathtubs Over Broadway

Academy Announces 25 Eligible Animated Feature Films

The list is below. This will definitely merit five nominations:

Ana y Bruno
Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch
Early Man
Have a Nice Day
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
The Laws of the Universe – Part I
Liz and the Blue Bird
Lu over the Wall
Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms
The Night Is Short, Walk on Girl
On Happiness Road
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Ruben Brandt, Collector
Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero
Sherlock Gnomes
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Tall Tales
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
Tito and the Birds

Thursday, October 18, 2018

2018 Gotham Award Nominations

Best Feature
The Favourite
First Reformed
If Beale Street Could Talk
Madeline’s Madeline
The Rider

Best Documentary
Bisbee ‘17
Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Minding the Gap
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Best Actor
Adam Driver “BlacKkKlansman”
Ben Foster "Leave No Trace”
Richard E. Grant “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
Ethan Hawke “First Reformed”
Lakeith Stanfield “Sorry to Bother You”

Best Actress
Glenn Close “The Wife”
Toni Collette “Hereditary”
Kathryn Hahn “Private Life”
Regina Hall “Support the Girls”
Michelle Pfeiffer “Where is Kyra?”

Breakthrough Actor
Yalitza Aparicio "Roma”
Elsie Fisher “Eighth Grade”
Helena Howard “Madeline’s Madeline”
KiKi Layne “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie “Leave No Trace”

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Ari Aster “Hereditary”
Bo Burnham “Eighth Grade”
Jennifer Fox “The Tale”
Crystal Moselle “Skate Kitchen”
Boots Riley “Sorry to Bother You”

Best Screenplay
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara “The Favourite”
Paul Schrader “First Reformed” 
Tamara Jenkins “Private Life”
Andrew Bujalski “Support the Girls”
Cory Finley “Thoroughbreds”

Breakthrough Series – Long Form
Alias Grace
The End of the F***ing World
Killing Eve
Sharp Objects

Special Gotham Jury Award
Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz for their ensemble performance in The Favourite

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Picture

Post-Festival Predictions
Black Panther
The Favourite
First Man
Green Book
If Beale Street Could Talk
The Mule
A Star is Born

Other Contenders - Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Widows, Mary Queen of Scots, Leave No Trace, Boy Erased, Beautiful Boy, Mary Poppins Returns, The Hate U Give, Mid90s, The Front Runner, 22 July, On the Basis of Sex, Welcome to Marwen, Hereditary, A Quiet Place, Eighth Grade, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, At Eternity's Gate, Crazy Rich Asians, Old Man and a Gun, Tully, The Rider, Isle of Dogs, Incredibles 2, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, The Wife, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Ben is Back, The Other Side of the Wind, Lean on Pete, Ready Player One

Commentary - This race is starting to shape up. There are a few question marks still left. We have not seen Vice or The Mule, although with their pedigree I am including both as placeholders. We still also ned to see Mary, Queen of Scots, Mary Poppins Returns, and On the Basis of Sex. If Vice and The Mule don't pan out, I think that the next two in line are Can You Ever Forgive Me and Widows. That makes twelve that I think are in this race for 8, 9, or 10 slots. Right now I am predicting 10, so the other eight are known entities. I don't think BlacKkKlansman is going to be as big as some folks do, but the buzz has stayed strong, and I am keeping it in for now. We know First Man, A Star is Born, Green Book, and Roma are at the top of the heap, and even though I still think there will be detractor,s, right now it feels like The Favourite is safe. If Beale Street Could Talk might not be as big as Moonlight, but I think voters will swoon for its romance. Finally, I still have Black Panther. All of the hype, all of the potential controversy if it doesn't make it, makes me think it will continue to be on voters' minds throughout the Fall. Other than those twelve, I am going to see some precursors (or great premieres), for me to think that they have a shot at breaking through. It is still early folks, and really anything can happen. Tomorrow, the Gotham Nods come out, and the race really begins. Who will come out on top? As always, we'll just have to wait and see, because that is the Oscar game: waiting to see how the pieces of the puzzle, or the threads of the narrative fall together. Here we go...

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

3rd Annual Critics Choice Award Documentary Nominees

Crime + Punishment
Dark Money
Free Solo
Hitler’s Hollywood
Minding the Gap
Three Identical Strangers
Wild Wild Country
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

America to Me
Dirty Money
Elvis Presley: The Searcher
Flint Town
One Strange Rock
The Fourth Estate
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling
Wild Wild Country

30 for 30
American Masters
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Independent Lens
Making a Murderer
The History of Comedy

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi – Free Solo
Bing Liu – Minding the Gap
Morgan Neville – Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Kimberly Reed – Dark Money
Rüdiger Suchsland – Hitler’s Hollywood
Tim Wardle – Three Identical Strangers
Chapman Way and Maclain Way – Wild Wild Country

Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster – Science Fair
Heather Lenz – Kusama – Infinity
Bing Liu – Minding the Gap
Stephen Nomura Schible – Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
Amy Scott – Hal
Rudy Valdez – The Sentence

Dark Money
Fahrenheit 11/9
Flint Town
Hitler’s Hollywood
John McCain: For Whom the Bell Tolls )
The Fourth Estate

Andre the Giant
Being Serena
Free Solo
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection
Minding the Gap
The Workers Cup

Bad Reputation
David Bowie: The Last Five Years
Elvis Presley: The Searcher
Lynyrd Skynyrd: If I Leave Here Tomorrow
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda

Scotty Bowers – Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood
Ruth Bader Ginsburg – RBG
Alex Honnold – Free Solo
Joan Jett – Bad Reputation
Quincy Jones – Quincy
David Kellman and Bobby Shafran – Three Identical Strangers
John McEnroe – John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection
Leon Vitali – Filmworker

306 Hollywood
Free Solo
Hitler’s Hollywood
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda
Wild Wild Country
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?=

306 Hollywood
The Dawn Wall
Free Solo
Minding the Gap m
Wild Wild Country

Dark Money
Free Solo
John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Director

Post-Festival Predictions
Damien Chazelle "First Man"
Bradley Cooper "A Star is Born"
Alfonso Cuaron "Roma"
Barry Jenkins "If Beale Street Could Talk"
Adam McKay "Vice"

Other Contenders - Peter Farrelly "Green Book", Spike Lee "BlacKkKlansman", Yorgos Lanthimos "The Favourite", Clint Eastwood "The Mule", Ryan Coogler "Black Panther", Steve McQueen "Widows", Paul Greengrass "22 July", Debra Granik "Leave No Trace", Tamara Jenkins "Private Life", Marielle Heller "Can You Ever Forgive Me?", Robert Zemeckis "Welcome to Marwen", Julian Schnabel "At Eternity's Gate", Joel Edgerton "Boy Erased", Joel and Ethan Coen "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", David Lowery "Old Man and a Gun"

Commentary - There are three right now that feel safe, Chazelle, Cuaron, and Cooper. The other two slots are up in the air. I am going with Barry Jenkins, whose If Beale Street Could Talk looks to be a solid contender. I am also banking on Adam McKay's Dick Cheney biopic to be a big Oscar hit, and after he got in for The Big Short, he is one to watch. But there are a lot of contenders that could spoil the party. Peter Farrelly has hit it big with Green Book, Yorgos Lanthimos might have his first mainstream Oscar crossover with The Favourite, Clint Eastwood returns with The Mule, Ryan Coogler has a massive hit on his hands with Black Panther, Steve McQueen elevates the crime drama, Paul Greengrass tackles a real event, Marielle Heller had a breakout his year, Debra Granik and Tamara Jenkins had small but powerful films, and Robert Zemeckis returns with what could be one of the interesting films of the year. So this race is far from over.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Actor

Post-Festival Predictions
Christian Bale "Vice"
Bradley Cooper "A Star is Born"
Clint Eastwood "The Mule"
Ryan Gosling "First Man"
Viggo Mortensen "Green Book"

Other Contenders - Rami Malek "Bohemian Rhapsody", Robert Redford "Old Man and a Gun", Willem Dafoe "At Eternity's Gate", Lucas Hedges "Boy Erased", Steve Carell "Beautiful Boy", Steve Carell "Welcome to Marwen", Chadwick Boseman "Black Panther", Stephan James "If Beale Street Could Talk", Hugh Jackman "The Front Runner", John David Washington "BlacKkKlansman", Ben Foster "Leave No Trace"

Commentary - Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling can probably book their tickets to this year's Oscars, and both of their films continue on their trajectory towards awards glory. The surprise of the Toronto was Green Book, and it put Viggo Mortensen into this race. The movie is loved by many in the industry and he is a previous nominee. The last two slots are up in the air. After seeing the trailer, I still think we need to save a slot for Christian Bale in Vice. His Dick Cheney looks spot on, and it is the type of performance voters eat up. Finally, I was saving a slot for Robert Redford because it was his last acting performance. But it is a subtle performance, and another legend has also announced his final performance. Clint Eastwood is releasing The Mule right in the same sweet spot that landed him Oscar glory for Million Dollar Baby and American Sniper. In the first trailer, it is clear this will be an emotional, and not subtle performance. I think he sneaks in that last slot. Early reactions to Bohemian Rhapsody are that Rami Malek is fantastic, the film not so much. I think he will probably win the Golden Globe, but may struggle in this tough Oscar race. Willem Dafoe is apparently fantastic in At Eternity's Gate, but the film has been compared to torture or paint drying in terms of the viewing experience. Really tough films like this often struggle at the Oscars. There are two Steve Carell roles, Luas Hedges, Chadwick Boseman, Hugh Jackman, and two newcomers Stephan James and John David Washington, all of whom should not be discounted.

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Actress

Post-Festival Predictions
Glenn Close "The Wife"
Olivia Colman "The Favourite"
Viola Davis "Widows"
Lady Gaga "A Star is Born"
Melissa McCarthy "Can You Every Forgive Me?"

Other Contenders - Saoirse Ronan "Mary, Queen of Scots", Felicity Jones "On the Basis of Sex", Carey Mulligan "Wildlife", Emily Blunt "Mary Poppins Returns", Toni Collette "Hereditary", Julia Roberts "Ben is Back", Nicole Kidman "Destroyer", Yalitza Aparicio "Roma", Kiki Layne "If Beale Street Could Talk", Elsie Fisher "Eighth Grade", Charlize Theron "Tully", Emily Blunt "A Quiet Place"

Commentary - This race has two more wild cards that could make it even tighter. At AFI Fest we will finally see if Saoirse Ronan and Felicity Jones are the real deal. We are also still waiting on Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns, the role that won Julie Andrews her Oscar. We know that Toni Collette, Carey Mulligan, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, an Emily Blunt (in A Quiet Place) are fantastic in their roles and all, except Blunt, are Oscar winners or nominees. Newcomers Kiki Layne, Yalitza Aparicio, and Elsie Fisher are hoping to have breakout years. But they are all currently sitting behind five performances. First and foremost is Lady Gaga. She could join the ranks of singers turned actresses like Cher and Jennifer Hudson, who go on to win acting Oscars. She is fantastic in A Star is Born, and the Oscar heat for that movie just keeps building. The Favourite probably still needs to sort out its lead vs. supporting issues, but conventional wisdom is that Colman will go lead, with Stone and Weisz going supporting. Colman is a powerhouse is a film that is getting major buzz. I called it early, and I'm glad I have stuck with Melissa McCarthy. She got raves out of the fest, and we have seen comedians turned serious actors get a lot of love at the Oscars. Finally, I am holding a slot for Viola Davis. I don't know how Widows will play with the Academy, with most folks thinking it is more of an elevated genre blockbuster than an Academy film. I think that it is still in this thing, and they love Viola Davis. Finally, there is Glenn Close. At this point, I do think she will be nominated. However, unlike some folks I am not ready to anoint her quite yet. The film is small and mediocre. She will need a huge campaign, and the narrative of her never winning needs to take hold before this becomes a reality. Can she do it? Of course, and nothing would thrill me more. But I need more proof.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

2018 American Music Award Winners

Taylor Swift

Camila Cabello

Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug, “Havana”

Taylor Swift

Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug, “Havana”


Post Malone

Taylor Swift


Taylor Swift, reputation

Camila Cabello feat. Young Thug, “Havana”

Kane Brown

Carrie Underwood

Florida Georgia Line

Kane Brown, Kane Brown

Kane Brown, “Heaven”

Cardi B

Post Malone, Beerbongs & Bentleys

Cardi B, “Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)”



XXXTentacion, 17

Bruno Mars and Cardi B, “Finesse”

Panic! at the Disco

Shawn Mendes

Daddy Yankee

Lauren Daigle


Black Panther: The Album, Music From and Inspired By

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Supporting Actor

Post-Festival Predictions
Mahershala Ali "Green Book"
Timothee Chalamet "Beautiful Boy"
Sam Elliott "A Star is Born"
Richard E. Grant "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
Sam Rockwell "Vice"

Other Contenders - Michael B. Jordan "Black Panther", Steve Carell "Vice", Bradley Cooper "The Mule", Daniel Kaluuya "Widows", Stephen James "If Beale Street Could Talk", Adam Driver "BlacKkKlansman", Russell Horsby "The Hate U Give", Russell Crowe "Boy Erased", Armie Hammer "On the Basis of Sex", Joel Edgerton "Boy Erased", Alex Wolff "Hereditary", Nicholas Hoult "The Favourite", Lin-Manuel Miranda "Mary Poppins Returns", Sylvester Stallone "Creed 2"

Commentary - I feel pretty good that previous winner Mahershala Ali is going to get back in here for Green Book, which has emerged out of nowhere as a huge Oscar threat. I also think that despite overall support for the film being mixed, that Timothee Chalamet will make the cut. He is apparently fantastic in the film, and is just too popular right now to be ignored. Beyond that, I think there is some wiggle room. Sam Elliott could easily get a career nod for A Star Is Born, which has just come off what is said to be a rapturous Academy screening, but his screen time is minimal. Richard E. Grant is fantastic in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but will Melissa McCarthy's Oscar run overshadow him. Finally, I am saving a slot for Sam Rockwell as Bush in Vice, with the first trailer proving he is a contender. But what if it is Steve Carell as Rumsfeld instead? Michael B. Jordan is on the cusp here, but Black Panther has got to prove itself in acting precursors. Of the widows folks, I think last year's nominee Daniel Kaluuya is the best possibility. Steven James, Russell Hornsby, Alex Wolff and Nicholas Hoult are talented young actors with big roles. I am also looking at Stallone, Miranda, Hammer, and Driver to crash the party.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Academy Announces 87 Foreign Language Submissions

Afghanistan, “Rona Azim’s Mother,” Jamshid Mahmoudi, director
Algeria, “Until the End of Time,” Yasmine Chouikh, director
Argentina, “El Ángel,” Luis Ortega, director
Armenia, “Spitak,” Alexander Kott, director
Australia, “Jirga,” Benjamin Gilmour, director
Austria, “The Waldheim Waltz,” Ruth Beckermann, director
Bangladesh, “No Bed of Roses,” Mostofa Sarwar Farooki, director
Belarus, “Crystal Swan,” Darya Zhuk, director
Belgium, “Girl,” Lukas Dhont, director
Bolivia, “The Goalkeeper,” Rodrigo “Gory” Patiño, director
Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Never Leave Me,” Aida Begić, director
Brazil, “The Great Mystical Circus,” Carlos Diegues, director
Bulgaria, “Omnipresent,” Ilian Djevelekov, director
Cambodia, “Graves without a Name,” Rithy Panh, director
Canada, “Family Ties,” Sophie Dupuis, director
Chile, “…And Suddenly the Dawn,” Silvio Caiozzi, director
China, “Hidden Man,” Jiang Wen, director
Colombia, “Birds of Passage,” Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra, directors
Costa Rica, “Medea,” Alexandra Latishev, director
Croatia, “The Eighth Commissioner,” Ivan Salaj, director
Czech Republic, “Winter Flies,” Olmo Omerzu, director
Denmark, “The Guilty,” Gustav Möller, director;
Dominican Republic, “Cocote,” Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias, director
Ecuador, “A Son of Man,” Jamaicanoproblem, director
Egypt, “Yomeddine,” A.B. Shawky, director
Estonia, “Take It or Leave It,” Liina Trishkina-Vanhatalo, director
Finland, “Euthanizer,” Teemu Nikki, director
France, “Memoir of War,” Emmanuel Finkiel, director
Georgia, “Namme,” Zaza Khalvashi, director
Germany, “Never Look Away,” Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, director
Greece, “Polyxeni,” Dora Masklavanou, director
Hong Kong, “Operation Red Sea,” Dante Lam, director
Hungary, “Sunset,” László Nemes, director
Iceland, “Woman at War,” Benedikt Erlingsson, director
India, “Village Rockstars,” Rima Das, director
Indonesia, “Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts,” Mouly Surya, director
Iran, “No Date, No Signature,” Vahid Jalilvand, director;
Iraq, “The Journey,” Mohamed Jabarah Al-Daradji, director;
Israel, “The Cakemaker,” Ofir Raul Graizer, director;
Italy, “Dogman,” Matteo Garrone, director;
Japan, “Shoplifters,” Hirokazu Kore-eda, director;
Kazakhstan, “Ayka,” Sergey Dvortsevoy, director;
Kenya, “Supa Modo,” Likarion Wainaina, director;
Kosovo, “The Marriage,” Blerta Zeqiri, director;
Latvia, “To Be Continued,” Ivars Seleckis, director;
Lebanon, “Capernaum,” Nadine Labaki, director;
Lithuania, “Wonderful Losers: A Different World,” Arunas Matelis, director;
Luxembourg, “Gutland,” Govinda Van Maele, director
Macedonia, “Secret Ingredient,” Gjorce Stavreski, director
Malawi, “The Road to Sunrise,” Shemu Joyah, director;
Mexico, “Roma,” Alfonso Cuarón, director;
Montenegro, “Iskra,” Gojko Berkuljan, director;
Morocco, “Burnout,” Nour-Eddine Lakhmari, director;
Nepal, “Panchayat,” Shivam Adhikari, director;
Netherlands, “The Resistance Banker,” Joram Lürsen, director;
New Zealand, “Yellow Is Forbidden,” Pietra Brettkelly, director
Niger, “The Wedding Ring,” Rahmatou Keïta, director
Norway, “What Will People Say,” Iram Haq, director;
Pakistan, “Cake,” Asim Abbasi, director;
Palestine, “Ghost Hunting,” Raed Andoni, director;
Panama, “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name,” Abner Benaim, director;
Paraguay, “The Heiresses,” Marcelo Martinessi, director;
Peru, “Eternity,” Oscar Catacora, director;
Philippines, “Signal Rock,” Chito S. Roño, director;
Poland, “Cold War,” Pawel Pawlikowski, director;
Portugal, “Pilgrimage,” João Botelho, director;
Romania, “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians,” Radu Jude, director;
Russia, “Sobibor,” Konstantin Khabensky, director;
Serbia, “Offenders,” Dejan Zecevic, director;
Singapore, “Buffalo Boys,” Mike Wiluan, director;
Slovakia, “The Interpreter,” Martin Šulík, director;
Slovenia, “Ivan,” Janez Burger, director;
South Africa, “Sew the Winter to My Skin,” Jahmil X.T. Qubeka, director;
South Korea, “Burning,” Lee Chang-dong, director;
Spain, “Champions,” Javier Fesser, director;
Sweden, “Border,” Ali Abbasi, director;
Switzerland, “Eldorado,” Markus Imhoof, director;
Taiwan, “The Great Buddha+,” Hsin-Yao Huang, director;
Thailand, “Malila The Farewell Flower,” Anucha Boonyawatana, director;
Tunisia, “Beauty and the Dogs,” Kaouther Ben Hania, director;
Turkey, “The Wild Pear Tree,” Nuri Bilge Ceylan, director;
Ukraine, “Donbass,” Sergei Loznitsa, director;
United Kingdom, “I Am Not a Witch,” Rungano Nyoni, director;
Uruguay, “Twelve-Year Night,” Álvaro Brechner, director;
Venezuela, “The Family,” Gustavo Rondón Córdova, director;
Vietnam, “The Tailor,” Buu Loc Tran, Kay Nguyen, directors;
Yemen, “10 Days before the Wedding,” Amr Gamal, director.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Supporting Actress

Post-Festival Predictions
Amy Adams "Vice"
Claire Foy "First Man"
Regina King "If Beale Street Could Talk"
Emma Stone "The Favourite"
Rachel Weisz "The Favourite"

Other Contenders - Margot Robbie "Mary, Queen of Scots", Nicole Kidman "Boy Erased", Sissy Spacek "Old Man and a Gun", Lupita Nyong'o "Black Panther, Danai Gurira "Black Panther", Michelle Yeoh "Crazy Rich Asians", Natalie Portman "Vox Lux", Maura Tierney "Beautiful Boy", Vera Farmiga "The Front Runner", Thomasin McKenzie "Leave No Trace", Elizabeth Debicki "Widows", Cynthia Erivo "Widows", Michelle Rodriguez "Widows", Meryl Streep "Mary Poppins Returns"

Commentary - We are about a month away from seeing Mary, Queen of Scots, and apprently the acting is great, but the overall product might not be as well-received. Until we know more, I have moved Margot Robbie into that sixth slot. Other than that, not much has changed. Recent Emmy winners Regina King and Claire Foy could find Oscar glory with their well-received performances. Amy Adams is still an unknown entity, but if she lands it, I think she could jump to the top of the pack. She is way overdue for an Oscar, and she has a baity role. Finally, we assume that both Stone and Weisz are going supporting for The Favourite. Two previous Oscar winners in incredible roles is hard to bet against. Beyond Robbie, Nicole Kidman is fantastic in a film whose buzzed is mutd, Sissy Spacek has her best role in years, Natalie Portman returns with a late breaker, Vera Farmiga is apparently great, the Widows ensemble is in the mix, Meryl Streep is Meryl Streep, and blockbusters Crazy Rick Asians and Black Panther could see Michelle Yeoh, Lupita Nyong'o or Danai Gurira overcome genre bias.

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Adapted Screenplay

Post-Festival Predictions
Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee "BlacKkKlansman"
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
Josh Singer "First Man"
Barry Jenkins "If Beale Street Could Talk"
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters, William A. Wellman, and Robert Carson "A Star is Born"

Other Contenders - Gillian Flynn and Steve McQueen "Widows", Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole "Black Panther", Joel Edgerton "Boy Erased", Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini "Leave No Trace", Luke Davies "Beautiful Boy", David Lowery "Old Man and a Gun", Desiree Akhavan and Cecilia Frugiuele "The Miseducation of Cameron Post"

Commentary - Let's start with the obvious two: First Man and A Star is Born are headed for a magnificent Oscar total, and I would be surprised if they missed the cut. Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk should also do well with the writing branch for its well-received adaptation. One of the big surprises of the fall festival season was Can You Ever Forgive Me?, which earned raves for its screenplay and its lead actress. This will mean that Nicole Holofcener is finally an Oscar nomination screenwriter. Finally, an early contender, BlacKkKlansman, is still holding on, five months after Cannes. I still wonder if this film will play well with Academy voters, but so far, the buzz has held on. These five though have a lot of competition. After Logan made it through last year, watch out for Black Panther, which will most likely get a WGA nod (superhero movies have always done better at WGA and PGA than at the Oscars). Steve McQueen brings in genre specialist Gillian Flynn for Widows, which is my sixth place vote right now. Debra Granik could return to this race with Leave No Trace, and I would watch out for Miseducation of Cameron Post and Old Man and a Gun. A few weeks ago Beautiful Boy and Boy Erased were in the top five. Both still have some Oscar potential, mostly on the acting side, and if their subject matters are deemed important enough they could get broader support. But both are clearly flawed, and many Oscar prognosticators who have seen them are wavering on just how far they will go. As always, we'll have to wait and see.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Vice and The Mule Trailers

So the last unknown pieces of the Oscar puzzle are starting to make their appearance. On the Basis of Sex and Mary, Queen of Scots are premiering at AFI Fest, and this week, we have new trailers for the upcoming Adam McKay and Clint Eastwood films, both of which look like the real deal.

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Original Screenplay

Post-Festival Predictions
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara "The Favourite"
Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, and Peter Farrelly "Green Book"
Nick Schenk "The Mule"
Alfonso Cuaron "Roma"
Adam McKay "Vice"

Other Contenders - Bo Burnham "Eighth Grade", Jonah Hill "Mid90s", Joel and Ethan Coen "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs", Paul Schrader "First Reformed", Tamara Jenkins "Private Life", Diablo Cody "Tully", Boots Riley "Sorry to Bother You", Bryan Woods, Scott Beck, and John Krasinksi "A Quiet Place", Ari Aster "Hereditary", Wes Anderson "Isle of Dogs",

Commentary - Three slots are locked and loaded, with Roma, Green Book, and The Favourite being huge Best Picture contenders and well-received at the fall fests. A lot of smaller contenders, many of which work well in this category, are hoping to use this category to get Oscar nominations. Eighth Grade, Mid90s, First Reformed, Private Life, Tully, and Sorry to Bother You are all of the kind of well-received indies that often sneak into this race. I also would watch out for the big guns. Of course I am talking about the Coen Bros., Wes Anderson, and the team behind this summer's surprise horror smashes A Quiet Place and Hereditary. After Get Out's victory, A Quiet Place and Hereditary are ones I am looking for as we get closer to the critics phase of Oscar season. But the last two slots I am holding out for two big contenders that I think will make a late splash. Adam McKay won a screenplay category the last time he had a big movie out, and the first trailer for Vice looks like it will be right up the Academy's alley. Finally, never discount Clint Eastwood. All of the sudden his potential last acting job lands right in his prime December slot where he launched American Sniper and Million Dollar Baby to Oscar glory. Plus the first trailer looks great. I think we have a last-minute Oscar contender on our hands that cannot be ignored.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Animated, Documentary Feature, and Foreign Language Film

Best Animated Feature
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Lu Over the Wall
Ralph Breaks the Internet

Other Cotenders - Early Man, Big Fish and Begonia, Smallfoot, The Grinch, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Teen Titans Go the Movies, Hotel Transylvania 3, Tito and the Birds, Fireworks, Night is Short Walk on Girl

Best Documentary Feature
Fahrenheit 11/9
Free Solo
Three Identical Strangers
Won't You Be My Neighbor

Other Contenders - Whitney, Love Gilda, The King, Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Dark Money, McQueen, Hal, Crime + Punishment, Minding the Gap, Monrovia Indiana, Of Fathers and Sons, The Oslo Diaries, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, Studio 54, Quincy

Best Foreign Language Film
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
I Am Not a Witch (United Kingdom)
Roma (Mexico)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Other Contenders - Sunset (Hungary), Border (Sweden), Birds of Passage (Colombia), Girl (Belgium), Never Look Away (Germany), Dogman (Italy), Girl (Belgium), The Interpreter (Slovakia), Rafiki (Kenya), The Family (Venezuela)