Monday, January 22, 2024

Ghostface and Lesbians and Barbenheimer, Oh My! The Best Movies of 2023

 

1 - Barbie

2 - Scream VI

3 - Oppenheimer 

4 - Bottoms

5 - American Fiction

6 - The Holdovers 

7 - All of Us Strangers 

8 - Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part 1

9 - Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.

10 - Saltburn

11 - May December

12 - M3GAN

13 - Air

14 - Thanksgiving

15 - Elemental

16 - The Killer

17 - Killers of the Flower Moon

18 - Past Lives

19 - Anatomy of a Fall

20 - Joy Ride

Oscar Nomination Predictions 2024

 Best Picture

Oppenheimer

Killers of the Flower Moon

Poor Things

Barbie

The Holdovers

Maestro

Past Lives

Anatomy of a Fall

American Fiction

The Zone of Interest

Alternate- The Color Purple


Best Director

Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer

Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon

Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things

Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest

Greta Gerwig, Barbie

Alternates – Alexander Payne, The Holdovers; Justine Triet, Anatomy of a Fall


Best Actress

Emma Stone, Poor Things

Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

Carey Mulligan, Maestro

Sandra Huller, Anatomy of a Fall

Margot Robbie, Barbie

Alternates – Greta Lee, Past Lives; Annette Bening, Nyad


Best Actor

Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer

Bradley Cooper, Maestro

Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers

Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction

Colman Domingo, Rustin

Alternates – Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon; Andrew Scott, All of Us Strangers


Best Supporting Actress

Da'Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers

Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple

Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer

Julianne Moore, May December

Jodie Foster, Nyad

Alternates – Penelope Cruz, Ferrari; Sandra Huller, The Zone of Interest


Best Supporting Actor

Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer

Ryan Gosling, Barbie

Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon

Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

Charles Melton, May December

Alternates – Willem Dafoe, Poor Things; Dominic Sessa, The Holdovers


Best Adapted Screenplay

Killers of the Flower Moon

Oppenheimer

Poor Things

Barbie

American Fiction

Alternates – The Zone of Interest; All of Us Strangers


Best Original Screenplay

The Holdovers

Past Lives

Anatomy of a Fall

May December

Saltburn

Alternates – Maestro; Air


Best Cinematography

Oppenheimer

Killers of the Flower Moon

Poor Things

Maestro

The Zone of Interest

Alternates – Saltburn; Barbie


Best Costume Design

Poor Things

Barbie

Killers of the Flower Moon

The Color Purple

Napoleon

Alternates – Oppenheimer; Wonka


Best Film Editing

Oppenheimer

Killers of the Flower Moon

Poor Things

Barbie

Anatomy of a Fall

Alternates – The Holdovers; Maestro


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Maestro

Poor Things

Oppenheimer

Golda

Society of the Snow

Alternates – Killers of the Flower Moon; The Last Voyage of the Demeter


Best Production Design

Poor Things

Barbie

Oppenheimer

Killers of the Flower Moon

Napoleon

Alternates – The Zone of Interest; The Color Purple


Best Score

Oppenheimer

Killers of the Flower Moon

Poor Things

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Elemental

Alternates – The Zone of Interest; Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny


Best Song

Barbie, What Was I Made For?

Barbie, I'm Just Ken

Flamin' Hot, The Fire Inside

Rustin, Road to Freedom

American Symphony, It Never Went Away

Alternates – The Color Purple, Keep It Movin’; Barbie, Dance the Night


Best Sound

Oppenheimer

Maestro

Killers of the Flower Moon

Ferrari

The Zone of Interest

Alternates – Napoleon; Barbie


Best Visual Effects

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

The Creator

Poor Things

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Godzilla Minus One

Alternates – Society of the Snow; Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny


Best Animated Feature

The Boy and the Heron

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Elemental

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem

Nimona

Alternates – Chicken Run Dawn of the Nugget; Suzume


Best Documentary Feature

American Symphony

20 Days in Mariupol

Four Daughters

Beyond Utopia

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie

Alternates – The Eternal Memory; Bobi Wine The People’s President


Best International Film

The Zone of Interest

Society of the Snow

Fallen Leaves

The Taste of Things

20 Days in Mariupol

Alternates – The Teacher’s Lounge; Totem


Best Animated Short

Once Upon a Studio

Pete

WAR IS OVER! Inspired by the Music of John and Yoko

Letter to a Pig

Eeva


Best Documentary Short

The ABCs of Book Banning

The Last Repair Shop

The Barber of Little Rock

Last Song from Kabul

Deciding Vote


Best Live Action Short

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

The After

The Anne Frank Gift Shop

The Shepherd

Strange Way of Life

Friday, March 10, 2023

Oscar Forecast: Everything Everywhere All At Once with a Chance of All Quiet

BEST PICTURE

Will Win: Everything Everywhere All At Once

Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

For the first time in some time I feel very confident predicting Best Picture. I’ve been wrong 7 time in the past 10 years as this award has become increasingly difficult to really predict correctly. That’s mostly due to a field of so many nominees and an odd voting system (it’s a preferential ballot which rewards the movie that is most generally liked, not the film that is the most loved). Best Picture is where divisive films go to die. Your Romas your Revenants, your Power of the Dogs. But as weird a film as Everything Everywhere is there is precedent for a film like this winning ie Parasite. Parasite even defeated the perceived frontrunner 1917 which was a World War I film I might add. Sorry, All Quiet on the Western Front. Everything Everywhere also has won the SAG cast award, PGA, DGA, and the WGA. No movie that has won all those has ever lost Best Picture. At this point if anything else won it would be a genuine surprise – at least to me. But if I had to say alternates? I guess All Quiet. It could win a bunch of awards. The Fabelmans and The Banshees are possible but at this point it would be a pretty big upset.


DIRECTING

Will Win: Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Directing pairs rarely get nominated and rarely win but it has happened. I think it’s most because generally most films only have one director. The Daniels won the DGA which practically cements their win here. While someone like Steven Spielberg could win I’d be pretty shocked if he pulled it off. Last year’s best director Jane Champion was the sole winner for her film which hadn't’ happened since 1967’s The Graduate. To be honest, I’m not really sure what else The Fabelmans could win.



BEST ACTOR

Will Win: Austin Butler. Elvis

Could Win: Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Generally, good-looking young men don’t win this award but Austin Butler is playing an iconic musician in a well-liked biopic in a transformative role. That is Academy catnip. He won at BAFTA which helps his odds here though Brendan Fraser won at SAG. I think general actor sympathy gave him the win there. With the entire Academy voting, Butler will likely get more votes as he’s in a flashy BP nominee. Besides, did anyone really LOVE The Whale? Colin Farrell is possible but it feels like Banshees is playing third wheel to more likely candidates.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Will Win: Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Could Win: Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

I think this is the easiest of the acting categories to predict this year. Ke Huy Quan has pretty much won every precursor award except for BAFTA. I’d honestly be shocked if anyone else won here but the supporting categories are always ripe for an upset.


BEST ACTRESS

Will Win: Cate Blanchett, TAR

Could Win: Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All At Once

This one is driving me crazy. Does the Academy give a third Oscar to acting legend Cate Blanchett for another one of her equally iconic performances or does the Academy give it to first time nominee and veteran Michelle Yeoh? I’ve been predicting Michelle for a long time but I think Cate’s BAFTA win helps her pull through here. But honestly the main reason I’m predicing Cate here can only be explained in the next category...


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Will Win: Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All At Once

Could Win: Angela Bassett, Black Panther Wakanda Forever

The category that is causing Oscar lovers to pull their hair out! While Angela Bassett could win here, I still think the Academy’s obvious, overall love for Everything Everywhere will push another veteran and first-time nominee Jamie Lee Curtis over the finish line. The last film to win three acting Oscars was 1976’s Network so I don’t think Everything Everywhere will win Actress, Supporting Actress, and Supporting Actor more likely some combo of two. But with Jamie Lee’s SAG win I think she can pull off it off here. The SAG stats for this category are VERY telling. Only once since 2008 has the winner at SAG not gone on to win the Oscar. And that was when Emily Blunt won for A Quiet Place because eventual winner Regina King wasn’t nominated at SAG. Of course, the BAFTA’s stats are similarly telling. And Kerry Condon of Banshees won that, so she can’t be counted out. This race really reminds me of the year when Tilda Swinton won the Oscar and her only other major previous win was BAFTA. So there ya go. They better announce this category first because the suspense is killing me. 


ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Could Win: Puss in Boots The Last Wish

Frankly I’d be pretty surprised if Pinocchio didn’t win here.


CINEMATOGRAPHY

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: Elvis

With Top Gun Maverick out of the running I think it comes down to a war film and an Elvis film. Flip a coin really. There is president for a Netflix movie winning this award with wins for Mank and Roma. A win for Elvis would reward the first woman ever in this category. I think that COULD happen but the photography is so impressive in All Quiet it feels inevitable.


COSTUME DESIGN

Will Win: Elvis

Could Win: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Catherine Martin (not the one from the well in The Silence of the Lambs) never loses in this category when she’s also nominated for Production Design which is why I’m going with her in both.


DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE)

Will Win: Navalny

Could Win: Fire of Life


DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT)

Will Win: The Elephant Whisperers

Could Win: Stranger at the Gate


FILM EDITING

Will Win: Top Gun Maverick

Could Win: Everything Everywhere All At Once

Sound and Editing have really been syncing up lately - the last 9 winners here have also won Sound or Sound Mixing and have all been BP nominees - which is why I’m going with Top Gun for both. Though Everything Everywhere is also nominated for both...


INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: Argentina, 1985

No real contest when a film here is also up for Best Picture. Right, Parasite? And Drive My Car?


MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

Will Win: Elvis

Could Win: The Whale

Makeup sometimes lines up with various Best Actor and Actress wins. Your Iron Ladies. Your La Vie En Roses. Your Eyes of Tammy Fays. Your Darkest Hours. Your Dallas Buyers Clubs. Etc. I’d say if The Whale wins here look out for a possible Brendan Fraser win later in the evening.


MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Will Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Could Win: Babylon

Newcomers win in this category a lot. Your Hildur Guðnadóttirs and your Ludwig Göranssons. Though veteran Hans Zimmer ended up prevailing last year for Dune. It feels like a tossup between All Quiet an Babylon. Two wildly different music scores. Either could win really and either would be deserving. I’m giving the Best Pic nominee the edge.


MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)

Will Win: “Naatu Naatu” from RRR

Could Win: “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun Maverick

RRR’s only nomination could also be it’s only win. Everyone seems to be in agreement that no matter how you feel about the movie people seem to like the song. Frankly I’m a fan of Gaga’s Top Gun song. I almost wonder if could end up winning just because some members probably don’t even know what RRR is. If they did they would of nominated it for other things right?


PRODUCTION DESIGN

Will Win: Elvis

Could Win: Babylon

Catherine Martin (not the one from the well in The Silence of the Lambs) never loses in this category when she’s also nominated for Costume Design which is why I’m going with her in both.


SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Will Win:  My Year of Dicks

Could Win: The Boy the Mole the Fox and the Horse

I just want the presenter to say My Year of Dicks.


SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)

Will Win: Le Pupille

Could Win: An Irish Goodbye


SOUND

Will Win: Top Gun Maverick

Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Sound and Editing have really been syncing up lately - the last 9 winners here have also won Film Editing and have all been BP nominees - which is why I’m going with Top Gun for both. Though war movies tend to win here a lot…


VISUAL EFFECTS

Will Win: Avatar The Way of Water

Could Win: Top Gun Maverick

This category feels like the one guarantee of the night.


WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

Will Win: Women Talking

Could Win: All Quiet on the Western Front

Feels like the only place to reward BP nominee Women Talking because…. Oh, right it IS the only other place to reward it. I get that All Quiet won like a million BAFTAs and stuff but Women Talking feels way more like a normal writing winner than All Quiet. But frankly it could be either.


WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

Will Win: Everything Everywhere All At Once

Could Win: The Banshees of Inisherin

I think the Daniels will win here as writers/directors tend to do and BP winners usually also win for its screenplay. Though Nomadland and The Shape of Water are recent BP winners that lost to more flashy scripts. I feel like this is one of the few places the Academy could reward Banshees and it also makes sense since Martin McDonagh is obviously well liked but hasn’t won. But even PT Anderson couldn't win here last year for Licorice Pizza on his like 10th nomination, so there ya go. I think the love and sheer originality of Everything Everywhere pulls it through, the script is just too wild and fun to ignore.

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

UFOs and Everything Bagels and Ghostface, Oh My! The Best Movies of 2022

 







Here are my favorite movies of 2022!


1 - Nope

2 - Top Gun: Maverick

3 - Bros

4 - 5cream

5 - Glass Onion

6 - She Said

7 - Barbarian 

8 - Spoiler Alert

9 - Everything Everywhere All At Once

10 - Avatar: The Way of Water

11 - Smile

12 - Pearl

13 - The Batman

14 - Halloween Ends

15 - Bodies Bodies Bodies

16 - Triangle of Sadness

17 - Babylon 

18 - Aftersun

19 - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

20 - Turning Red

21 - X 

22 - Three Months

23 - Emily the Criminal

24 - Fresh

25 - The Menu

Monday, January 23, 2023

Oscar Nomination Predictions 2023









Best Picture

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

The Banshees of Inisherin

Top Gun: Maverick

TAR

Elvis

All Quiet on the Western Front

Avatar: The Way of Water

The Whale

Triangle of Sadness

Alternates – Women Talking, Babylon

I feel fairly confident in eight of these picks. The biggest question mark for me is Women Talking which has rarely showed up in precursor awards. And hasn't even opened up wide yet (at least not near me). Therefore I'm going with The Whale which is a little film with a Best Actor frontrunner; and an English language epic comedic satire directed by a foreigner, Triangle of Sadness. I still think something like Babylon or Glass Onion could make it in but at this point feels doubtful.



Best Director

Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans

Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Todd Field, TAR

Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin

Edward Berger. All Quiet on the Western Front

Alternates: Baz Luhrmann, Elvis; James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water

I think 4 of the 5 DGA noms make it in, with the Academy favoring more artistic or foreign films (sorry Joseph Kosinski) which is why someone like Edward Berger, Park Chan-wook, or the Triangle of Sadness guy feel possible. I'm going with Berger. I’m also not counting out notoriously snubbed Baz Luhrmann. People really seem to like that film.



Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, TAR

Michelle Yeoh. Everything Everywhere All at Once

Danielle Deadwyler, Till

Viola Davis, The Woman King

Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

Alternates: Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie; Ana de Armas, Blonde

I actually do think we're all overthinking this race and Michelle Williams gets in - despite her SAG snub - but I am putting Andrea Riseborough on my Gold Derby predictions because I have her at 100 - 1 odds and that would be awesome if it actually happened.



Best Actor

Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin

Austin Butler, Elvis

Brendan Fraser, The Whale

Bill Nighy, Living

Paul Mescal, Aftersun

Alternates: I guess Tom Cruise??

Basically every category has 4 practical locks and an open 5th slot. I'd say Paul Mescal in a small film that has a lot of support (especially among foreign voters) feels inevitable. I still don't buy Tom Cruise getting in for basically playing Tom Cruise even though he's great in the film. I feels so unlike the Academy. I honestly don’t even know who makes it in, if not these five. The possibilities of Felix Kammerer, Jeremy Pope, and Hugh Jackman have been tossed around but I don’t seem them coming to fruition.



Best Supporting Actress

Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Hong Chau, The Whale

Alternates: Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness; Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans

This race is giving me palpitations. I'm going with the two All At Once girls, Kerry, Angela (who is the frontrunner apparently??) and Hong Chau who gave two great performances (the other is The Menu) and her film is very likely a potential BP nominee. But so is Dolly De Leon. I still think Michelle Williams could show up here throwing this race into complete turmoil.



Best Supporting Actor

Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin

Paul Dano, The Fabelmans

Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin

Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse

Alternates: Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans; Ben Whishaw, Women Talking

Judd Hirsch is in like one scene and he's fine I guess? I've never even heard of The Good Nurse but everyone is predicting him. And they obviously love this Best Actor winner who was nominated twice in a row. But maybe The Fabelman guys cross each other out and we get some kind of wild surprise...



Best Adapted Screenplay

Women Talking

The Whale

Glass Onion

All Quiet on the Western Front

She Said

Alternate - Living

It feels weird that She Said - an Oscar friendly flick that feels ripe for a total snub isn't more of a sure thing but if it gets nominated anywhere it's probably here. But that slot could easily go to Living or even Pinocchio.



Best Original Screenplay

The Banshees of Inisherin

Everything Everywhere All at Once

TAR

Triangle of Sadness

The Fabelmans

Alternates- Aftersun; Babylon

For some reason I have some weird feeling that there's going to be a surprising omission here like Stevie getting snubbed. Do the screenwriters really see him as a writer? Of course Tony Kushner is his co-writer so I could just be crazy. I really don’t know what the alternates are if not these five besides Aftersun so there ya go.



Best Cinematography

Top Gun: Maverick

Avatar: The Way of Water

All Quiet on the Western Front

Empire of Light

Elvis

Alternates- The Batman, The Fabelmans

This feels like the only place to really reward Empire of Light and is Roger Deakins after all. For some reason there can only be so many "movies are magical" movies in this category so I'm going with the flashy Elvis over The Fabelmans -though I wouldn’t entirely be surprised to see Avatar snubbed here even though the first film won this category.



Best Costume Design

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Elvis

Babylon

The Woman King

Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

Alternates: Everything Everywhere All At Once; Corsage

I still think EEAAO has some pretty cool costumes so I'd be bummed if it doesn't make it but I guess Mrs Harris Goes to Paris will be that random movie that gets nominated here and nowhere else.



Best Film Editing

Top Gun: Maverick

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans

Elvis

All Quiet on the Western Front

Alternates: The Banshees of Inisherin; Avatar: The Way of Water

These feel right to me. Banshees could get in but I have no idea who would miss.



Best Makeup and Hairstyling

The Whale

Elvis

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

All Quiet on the Western Front

Alternates: Babylon; Blonde

I guess something like Blonde or Babylon or even Crimes of the Future could get in, which would make sense for a branch that very much likes to do its own thing.



Best Production Design

Babylon

Elvis

Avatar: The Way of Water

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

The Fabelmans

Alternates: All Quiet on the Western Front; Glass Onion

The fifth slot is The Fabelmans vs All Quiet on the Western Front. But sometimes we get an out of left field pick here ala Passengers. I could see something like Glass Onion getting in but there aren’t many super wild creative choices this year.



Best Score

The Fabelmans

Women Talking

Babylon

The Banshees of Inisherin

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Alternates – Nope; All Quiet on the Western Front

Black Panther won this award a few years ago and it's possible it gets in again but I'm betting on these five led by previous winners John Williams, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Justin Hurwitz, Alexandre Desplat and previous nominee Carter Burwell. I'm hoping for a surprise by Nope here but I'm not holding my breath.

Best Song

Top Gun: Maverick, Hold My Hand

RRR, Naatu Naatu

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Lift Me Up

Tell It Like a Woman, Applause

Till, Stand Up

Alternates: Ciao Papa , Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio; Where the Crawdads Sing, Carolina

One of the hardest categories to predict even with a shortlist. RRR, Top Gun, and Black Panther feel like locks but who knows! All I know is I’m not betting against perennial nominee Diane Warren.



Best Sound

Top Gun: Maverick

Avatar: The Way of Water

All Quiet on the Western Front

Elvis

Everything Everywhere All at Once

Alternates - Babylon, The Batman

This category has gotten way more competitive since the two sound categories merged a couple years ago and is now usually dominated by Best Pic noms.



Best Visual Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water

Top Gun: Maverick

The Batman

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Alternates – All Quiet on the Western Front; Thirteen Lives

This category could potentially be made up entirely of sequels and franchise films. Which is why it wouldn't be too crazy to see a surprise or two here like Thirteen Lives or Nope which would be my personal pick. Even though I've heard branch members were impressed with JW:D it seems weird they'd start nominating this reboot franchise with the worst entry to date.

Best Animated Feature

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio

Turning Red

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

Wendell and Wild

My Father’s Dragon

Alternates- Puss in Boots: The Last Wish; Strange World

The animation branch is finicky. There is always a beloved popular movie that gets snubbed here which is why I'm calling a Puss in Boots snub and going with the more artistic My Father's Dragon from the people who gave us the Oscar nominated The Secret of Kells. But I am in no way confident.



Best Documentary Feature

All the Beauty and the Bloodshed

All That Breathes

Fire of Love

Navalny

Descendant

Alternate - Moonage Daydream



Best International Film

All Quiet on the Western Front

Decision to Leave

Close

Argentina, 1985

EO

Alternate – The Quiet Girl

I'm going with the one with the donkey for the fifth slot.



Best Animated Short

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

New Moon

My Year of Dicks

Save Ralph

The Flying Sailor



Best Documentary Short

The Flagmakers

The Elephant Whisperers

38 at the Garden

How Do You Measure a Year?

Nuisance Bear



Best Live Action Short

Le Pupille

An Irish Goodbye

The Red Suitcase

Warsha

Nakam