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The 7th Annual Edgy Award Nominations

February 22, 2017 Leave a comment

7th-edgy-collage

Alas, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. Time to take stock of what’s been seen and shower you all with my opinions. On schedule for once.

To remind everyone, while there may only be 6 previous editions of the Edgies available online, the awards are cataloged by yours truly going all the way back to 1940. The recipients’ nomination and win counts are grouped according to each category, with the exception of the two music categories and the four acting categories being linked. So while Martin Scorsese may be getting only his 3rd nomination for producing, that certainly does not include the wealth of nominations he’s accumulated for directing.

Without further ado, here are my nominations for the best craftsmanship and talent on display in 2016:

__________

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Audition
featured in “La La Land”
Music by Justin Hurwitz (2nd nom), Lyrics by Benj Pasik (2nd nom) and  Justin Paul (2nd nom)

City of Stars
featured in “La La Land”
Music by Justin Hurwitz (2nd nom), Lyrics by Benj Pasik (2nd nom) and  Justin Paul (2nd nom)

Drive It Like You Stole It
featured in “Sing Street”
Music and Lyrics by Gary Clark (1st nom)

Heathens
featured in “Suicide Squad”
Music and Lyrics by Tyler Joseph (1st nom)

Letter to the Free
featured in “13th”
Music and Lyrics by Common (2nd nom)

__________

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Arrival
Johann Johannsson (2nd nom, 1 win – “Sicaro”)

Jackie
Mica Levi (2nd nom)

Midnight Special
David Wingo (1st nom)

Moonlight
Nicholas Britell (1st nom)

The Witch
Mark Korven (1st nom)

__________

BEST MAKEUP and HAIRSTYLING

 Green Room
Nancy J. Hvasta Leonardi (1st nom) and Stephen Prouty (1st nom)

Hacksaw Ridge
Shane Thomas (1st nom)

The Light Between Oceans
Michael Marino (4th nom)

Suicide Squad
Alessandro Bertolazzi (1st nom) and Christopher Allen Nelson (1st nom)

The Witch
Francois Deganais (1st nom) and Michael J. Walsh (1st nom)

__________

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Arrival
Alexander Lafortune (1st nom) and Louis Morin (1st nom)

The BFG
Mark Gee (1st nom), Joe Letteri (9th nom, 5 wins – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” “Avatar,” “LOTR: The Return of the King,” and “LOTR: The Two Towers”), Kevin McGaugh (1st nom) and Kevin Andrew Smith (1st nom)

The Jungle Book
Andrew R. Jones (3rd nom, 1 win – “Avatar”), Robert Legato (5th nom), Dan Lemmon (3rd nom, 1 win – “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”) and Adam Valdez (1st nom)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Neil Corbould (4th nom, 2 wins – “Gravity” and “Gladiator”), John Knoll (6th nom, 1 win – “POTC: Dead Man’s Chest”), Hal T. Hickel (4th nom, 1 win – “POTC: Dead Man’s Chest”) and Mohen Leo (1st nom)

The Shallows
Scott E Anderson (4th nom, 2 wins – “Starship Troopers” and “Babe”), Nathan McGuinness (2nd nom) and David Nelson (1st nom)

__________

BEST SOUND EFFECTS EDITING

Arrival
Sylvain Bellemare (1st nom)

Hacksaw Ridge
Robert MacKenzie (1st nom) and Andy Wright (1st nom)

Midnight Special
Jeremy Bowker (1st nom) and Will Files (2nd nom)

A Monster Calls
Oriol Tarrago (1st nom)

 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
David Acord (2nd nom, 1 win – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”) and Matthew Wood (8th nom, 1 win – “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”)

__________

BEST SOUND EFFECTS MIXING

Arrival
Bernard Gariepy Strobl (1st nom) and Claude La Haye (1st nom)

Blair Witch
Andy Hay (1st nom) and Greg Townsend (1st nom)

 Green Room
Bob Chefalas (2nd nom, 1 win – “Apollo 13”) and Roland Vajs (1st nom)

Midnight Special
Will Files (2nd nom) and Brandon Proctor (1st nom)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
David Parker (7th nom, 1 win – “The Social Network”), Christopher Scarabosio (4th nom) and Stuart Wilson (3rd nom)

__________

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Allied
Joanna Johnston (3rd nom)

Florence Foster Jenkins
Consolata Boyle (1st nom)

Jackie
Madeline Fontaine (1st nom)

 Silence
Dante Ferretti (1st nom)

The Witch
Linda Muir (1st nom)

__________

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Arrival
Paul Hotte (1st nom) and Patrice Vermette (1st nom)

 Hail, Caesar!
Jess Gonchor (1st nom) and Nancy Haigh (8th nom)

Jackie
Veronique Melery (3rd nom, 1 win – “A Very Long Engagement”) and Jean Rabasse (1st nom)

La La Land
Sandy Reynolds-Wasco (2nd nom) and David Wasco (2nd nom)

The Witch
Mark Kirkland (1st nom) and Craig Lathrop (1st nom)

__________

BEST EDITING

American Honey
Joe Bini (1st nom)

Arrival
Joe Walker (4th nom)

Hell or High Water
Jake Roberts (1st nom)

Midnight Special
Julie Monroe (1st nom)

Moonlight
Joi McMillon (1st nom) and Nat Sanders (1st nom)

__________

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival
Bradford Young (2nd nom)

Jackie
Stephane Fontaine (1st nom)

La La Land
Linus Sandgren (1st nom)

Moonlight
James Laxton (1st nom)

The Witch
Jarin Blaschke (1st nom)

__________

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

13th
Spencer Averick (1st nom), Howard Barish (1st nom) and Ava DuVernay (1st nom)

Cameraperson
Kirsten Johnson (1st nom) and Marilyn Ness (1st nom)

Gleason
Seth Gordon (2nd nom, 1 win – “King of Kong: A Fistful of Dollars”), Mary Rohlich (1st nom) and Clay Tweel (1st nom)

Newtown
Maria Cuomo Cole (1st nom) and Kim A. Snyder (1st nom)

Tower
Megan Gilbride (1st nom), Keith Maitland (1st nom) and Susan P. Thomson (1st nom)

__________

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Arrival
Eric Heisserer (1st nom)

Loving
Jeff Nichols (2nd nom)

Moonlight
Barry Jenkins (1st nom) and Tarell Alvin McCraney (1st nom)

Nocturnal Animals
Tom Ford (1st nom)

Silence
Jay Cocks (2nd nom) and Martin Scorsese (3rd nom, 1 win – “Goodfellas”)

__________

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Everybody Wants Some
Richard Linklater (6th nom, 1 win – “Boyhood”)

Hell or High Water
Taylor Sheridan (2nd nom)

Jackie
Noah Oppenheim (1st nom)

Manchester by the Sea
Kenneth Lonergan (2nd nom)

Paterson
Jim Jarmusch (1st nom)

__________

 BEST ENSEMBLE CAST

American Honey
Chad Cox, Raymond Coalson, Veronica Ezell, Arielle Holmes, Gary Howell, Crystal Ice, Sasha Lane, Shia LaBoeuf, McCaul Lombardi, Shawna Ray Moseley, Will Patton, Johnny Pierce II, Isaiah Stone, Kenneth Kory Tucker, Christopher David Wright

Everybody Wants Some
Temple Baker, Will Brittain, Zoey Deutsch, Ryan Guzman, Tyler Hoechlin, Blake Jenner, J. Quinton Johnson, Glen Powell, Wyatt Russell, Juston Street

Manchester by the Sea
Casey Affleck, Anna Baryshnikov, Matthew Broderick, Kyle Chandler, Tate Donovan, Kara Hayward, Stephen Henderson, Gretchen Mol, Ben O’Brien, Michelle Williams, C.J. Wilson

Moonlight
Mahershala Ali, Patrick Decile, Naomie Harris, Alex R. Hibbert, Andre Holland, Jharrel Jerome, Janelle Monae, Jaden Piner, Trevonte Rhodes, Ashton Sanders

The Witch
Kate Dickie, Lucas Dawson, Bathsheba Garnett, Ellie Grainger, Ralph Ineson, Harvey Scrimshaw, Anya Taylor-Joy

__________

 BEST ACTRESS in a SUPPORTING ROLE

viola-davis-fences

Viola Davis – “Fences”
3rd nom

greta-gerwig-20th-century-women-copy

Greta Gerwig – “20th Century Women”
1st nom

naomie-harris-moonlight

Naomie Harris – “Moonlight”
1st nom

riley-keough-american-honey

Riley Keough – “American Honey”
1st nom

michelle-williams-manchester-by-the

Michelle Williams – “Manchester by the Sea”
3rd nom, 1 win – “Brokeback Mountain”

__________

BEST ACTOR in a SUPPORTING ROLE

mahershala-ali-moonlight

Mahershala Ali – “Moonlight”
1st nom

tadanobu-asano-silence

Tadanobu Asano – “Silence”
1st nom

ralph-fiennes-bigger-splash

Ralph Fiennes – “A Bigger Splash”
3rd nom, 1 win – “Schindler’s List”

shia-labeouf-american-honey

Shia LaBeouf – “American Honey”
1st nom

michael-shannon-nocturnal-animals

Michael Shannon – “Nocturnal Animals”
4th nom

__________

BEST ACTRESS in a LEADING ROLE

amy-adams-arrival

Amy Adams – “Arrival”
6th nom

annette-bening-20th-century-women

Annette Bening – “20th Century Women”
4th nom, 1 win – “American Beauty”

rebecca-hall-christine

Rebecca Hall – “Christine”
1st nom

ruth-negga-loving

Ruth Negga – “Loving”
1st nom

natalie-portman-jackie

Natalie Portman – “Jackie”
(4th nom, 2 wins – “Black Swan” and “Closer”)

__________

BEST ACTOR in a LEADING ROLE

casey-affleck-manchester-by-the

Casey Affleck – “Manchester by the Sea”
2nd nom

joel-edgerton-loving

Joel Edgerton – “Loving”
1st nom

andrew-garfield-silence

Andrew Garfield – “Silence”
2nd nom

jake-gyllenhaal-nocturnal-animals

Jake Gyllenhaal – “Nocturnal Animals”
4th nom, 1 win – “Brokeback Mountain”

viggo-mortensen-captain-fantastic

Viggo Mortensen – “Captain Fantastic”
1st nom

__________

BEST DIRECTOR

andrea-arnold-american-honey

Andrea Arnold – “American Honey”
1st nom

robert-eggers-witch

Robert Eggers – “The Witch”
1st nom

barry-jenkins-moonlight

Barry Jenkins – “Moonlight”
1st nom

pablo-larrain-jackie

Pablo Larrain – “Jackie”
1st nom

denis-villeneuve-arrival

Denis Villeneuve – “Arrival”
3rd nom

__________

BEST MOTION PICTURE of the YEAR

13th

Spencer Averick (1st nom), Howard Barish (1st nom) and Ava DuVernay (1st nom)

American Honey

Lars Knudsen (2nd nom), Pouya Shahbazian (1st nom) and Jay Van Hoy (2nd nom)

Arrival

Shawn Levy (1st nom), Dan Levine (1st nom), David Linde (1st nom) and Aaron Ryder (1st nom)

Jackie

Darren Aronofsky (2nd nom), Paul Franklin (2nd nom), Ari Handel (1st nom) and Mickey Liddell (1st nom)

Manchester by the Sea

Matt Damon (1st nom), Chris Moore (1st nom) and Kevin J. Walsh (1st nom)

Moonlight

Dede Gardner (2nd nom, 1 win – “12 Years a Slave”), Jeremy Kleiner (2nd nom, 1 win – “12 Years a Slave”) and Adele Romanski (1st nom)

Paterson

Joshua Astrachan (2nd nom) and Carter Logan (1st nom)

Silence

Barbara De Fina (2nd nom), Randall Emmett (1st nom), Martin Scorsese (3rd nom) and Irwin Winkler (6th nom, 2 wins – “Goodfellas” and “Raging Bull”)

Tower

Megan Gilbride (1st nom), Keith Maitland (1st nom) and Susan P. Thomson (1st nom)

The Witch

Daniel Bekerman (1st nom), Lars Knudsen (2nd nom), Rodrigo Teixeira (1st nom) and Jan Van Hoy (2nd nom)

__________

NOMINATION TALLY

Films with more than 2 nominations a piece:

Arrival – 11
Moonlight – 9
Jackie – 8
The Witch – 8
American Honey – 6
Manchester by the Sea – 5
Silence – 5
La La Land – 4
Midnight Special – 4
13th – 3
Loving – 3
Nocturnal Animals – 3
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – 3
20th Century Women – 2
Everybody Wants Some! – 2
Green Room – 2
Hell or High Water – 2
Paterson – 2
Suicide Squad – 2
Tower – 2

“The Amazing Spider-Man” Trailer

July 20, 2011 4 comments

Well, I’ve switched from one focusing on one comic book movie to another. As some of you know, this trailer was leaked a few days ago, before being taken down more swiftly than Warner Bros. treated the “The Dark Knight Rises” bootleg. However, Columbia chose to not let it’s fans wait long for the real thing. Here is the first “Spider-Man” trailer, in all of it’s glory.

Everything looks great, withholding the ridiculously jarring and fake-looking first person action shot. I think that Andrew Garfield will do a great job as Peter Parker and the look of the film is fantastic, credit to director Marc Webb. Yet, watching this, I find myself asking, more than ever before, exactly what was the point in rebooting this, other than adding another billion dollars to the bank account. Stylistically and thematically, the film might be a little different and perhaps even a little better. Yet, neither of those two categories have changed enough to make this reinvention valid.

I suppose this debate will continue once we see a little more footage. Check out the trailer, for yourselves, below.

The Nominations – My Thoughts and Reactions

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

The nail-biting is over, at least for a few weeks. The Oscar nominations are here, and I believe that for the first time in years, my joy outweighs my sorrow. I suppose its appropriate to get into the bad news, first.

One thing’s official. As much as the Academy seems to have the most outrageous hard-on for Stephen Daldry (3 films made, 3 Best Director nods), they seem to have an everlasting grudge against Christopher Nolan as a director (3 DGA noms, no Oscar nods for Director). I just don’t understand what the man has to do to get their recognition. You can’t feel completely bad for him, pulling down two nominations for producer and writer, but are those the types of roles that any great director wants to be remembered for? I’m sure it wasn’t good enough for Stanley Kubrick. Honestly, Christopher Nolan is one of the most talented directors in Hollywood. Who else can take a film with such originality, intelligence, grandeur and finesse and bring in 300 million dollars with it or more. And on top of that, do it twice in three years. Nobody since Steven Spielberg, I’ll tell you that much.

The second-most disturbing snub has got be the exclusion of Andrew Garfield in the Supporting Actor category. Ridiculous. Definitely one of the best performances of the year, Garfield’s portrayal of innocence-lost is the soul of “The Social Network.” Though, while I bemoan the lack of Eduardo Savrin, I simply could not be more thrilled about the inclusion of John Hawkes for his turn in “Winter’s Bone.” People who’ve visited this site often must be aware of my penchant for this particular acting job, and this morning’s news of his inclusion is the crowning jewel of almost a year’s worth of supporting him on my part.

Since I’m ever so thrilled about Hawkes, I can’t blame him for the Garfield snub. Therefore, I’m gonna have to just go ahead and blame Jeremy Renner. I never thought that in one year, I could turn so much on this performer. In “The Hurt Locker” he was phenomenal, truly deserving of a lead actor nomination. Here, he is an average performance in an average film. I don’t think I ever considered him a candidate for my supporting actor picks, not even back in October. I was genuinely shocked and confused when accolades and Oscar talk began surfacing a few months ago. It baffled me then and it truly baffles me now.

At least its consolation that Renner was “The Town”‘s only nomination, missing out on that Best Picture nod that everyone was predicting….well almost everyone ;). The fact that “Winter’s Bone” took its place could not be more gratifying, as well. What a glorious film that more than deserves all of its bestowed nominations.

Let’s look at how some films made out on the whole. “127 Hours” defied pundits with a huge 6 nomination comeback, including yet another double category nomination for A.R. Rahman (Best Original Song, Best Original Score). Meanwhile, maybe the biggest shocker of the day, was “Black Swan” achieving only 5 nominations. For a while now, many people have been projecting Aronofsky’s film to be the potential nomination frontrunner, amassing perhaps ten or twelve. Instead, the film missed out on Supporting Actress (for both of its contenders), Original Screenplay, Art Direction, Costume Design and both Sound categories. I didn’t have it predicted in all of those, but it certainly had potential. Perhaps the biggest crime here is its Sound Effects exclusion. The work done on the sound of pattering feet and flapping feathers was phenomenal.

The worst overall snub of a film had to be Martin Scorsese’s “Shutter Island.” Not an amazing film, by any standards, but certainly one in which at least its technical achievements deserved some recognition. It should have easily made the grade for both Cinematography and Art Direction. Some of the best work of the year. I’m also depressed that Ryan Gosling missed out on a more than deserving nomination for Best Actor in “Blue Valentine.” It’s very nice to see Michelle Williams nominated, but not enough of a consolation. I’m sure that when I see “Biutiful” this weekend, however, Javier Bardem will wow the living shit out of me and I will be able to praise his surprise inclusion.

Let’s move on to some of the brighter aspects of day. The big story in the news is “The King’s Speech” being the nomination leader, but “The Social Network” really did have a pretty damned good day. 8 nominations, tied for the third highest, including four technical nominations, not an easy feat for a contemporary comedy/drama. It’s true that we definitely have ourselves a race now. Yet in terms of the race, “The King’s Speech” may have gained ground, but “The Social Network” hasn’t lost any of its.

One thing that’s really got me happy is the semi-snub of “Alice in Wonderland.” True, it did receive three nominations, yet I call it a snub for the one award it had almost always been not only a lock, but a frontrunner: Best Makeup. It appears that this branch of the Academy really does know the difference between makeup and CGI. Some very interesting choices replaced it, including “Barney’s Version” and “The Way Back.”

Without a doubt, the biggest joy for me, this morning, was seeing the results that the Doc branch rolled out. This has been one of the best years I’ve ever seen for documentary films. Lately, it’s seemed as though the lackluster “Waiting for Superman” was lined up to sweep the Oscar after wins at the BFCA and PGA. However, that belief was certainly swayed when the movie did not even show up among the nominees. The Academy also chose to avoid “The Tillman Story,” a pretentious and jumbled look at the soldier’s tragic story. Instead, among the nominations, are my three favorite documentaries of the year: “Restrepo,” “Inside Job” and the glorious “Exit Through the Gift Shop.” Well done, guys.

My predictions were some of the best of my time doing this gig. out of 109 nominations, I correctly predicted 82. Not bad at all. If you were to ask my girlfriend, I was inches away from predicting Bardem at about 2 o’clock this morning. Oh well. Got to stick to your guns.

This race has gone from being a one trick pony to a cutthroat race to the finish. It is going to be “The Social Network” vs. “The King’s Speech” right to the last note. While, for sure, I have a favorite, it’s refreshing to have a very close race. While last year was a nice David and Goliath battle, looking back, it was always “The Hurt Locker”‘s for the taking. And before that, it was two years of no competition. Now we have a race the likes of “The Departed” vs. “Little Miss Sunshine” or “Million Dollar Baby” vs. “The Aviator.” However, in reality, I don’t think we’ve ever had a race quite like this one before. Should be a good time. Stay tuned.

My FINAL Oscar Predictions – 1/22

January 23, 2011 6 comments

This is it. Last call before closing. Nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will be announced this Tuesday, January 25th, at 7:30am CST (and you can bet I’ll be up hours before then, pumping myself up). For sure, there is a science behind the whole prediction game. A combination of elements, including what’s been happening with the critics groups awards, the different guild nominations and, in some cases, the film’s box office success. Along with that, there’s likability in each contender, how many times they’ve previously been nominated and won, a pseudo-mathematic question of their overall “due” status. Dozens of factors take shape in hugely methodic process, and this is all before anyone even takes into effect how good each contender is. Crazy, huh?

Well, a year-long process has now come to a close, and it’s time for me to nut up and offer my final predictions. The Best Picture line-up is basically down to 11 contenders, with two films vying for the final slot. It’s possible that either “Shutter Island” or “The Ghost Writer” could stage a massive coup and fight their way in their, but I doubt it. Some predictions that I’m sticking my neck out on? I’m still holding on to my convictions (and hopes) that the incredible John Hawkes can beat out Jeremy Renner in the Best Supporting Actor category. I’m also holding out hope that both of “Blue Valentine”‘s stars will outdo their older competition for leading notices. I’m also really hoping that “Exit Through the Gift Shop” can actually tickle the documentary branch’s funny bone (a feat not easily accomplished). Finally, here’s to “Winter’s Bone” edging out “The Town” for Best Picture. In fact, I’m predicting an across-the-board snub of the film. It’s only a slightly above action feature that has no business in the top ten. I have a strong feeling, though, that it will be this year’s “Blind Side.”

Without further adieu, here are the nominees (and once again, these are ranked in order of their chance of getting nominated, not winning):

BEST PICTURE
1. “The Social Network”
2. “The King’s Speech”
3. “The Fighter”
4. “Black Swan”
5. “Inception”
6. “Toy Story 3”
7. “True Grit”
8. “The Kids Are All Right”
9. “127 Hours”
10. “Winter’s Bone”

Alt 1: “The Town”
Alt 2: “Shutter Island”

Click READ MORE to see the rest.

Read more…

NEW Spider-Man Photo

January 14, 2011 Leave a comment

There’s been a release of the first photo from Marc Webb’s “Spider-Man” reboot starring Andrew Garfield. Hate to say it, but despite it’s fantastic director (who recently garnered acclaim for “500 Days of Summer”) and wonderful lead actor (who will soon be getting an Oscar nomination for “The Social Network”), I have never been excited about this film in the least.

Gotta tell you what. This picture looks dope. From the looks of it, this film might be getting a type of “Dark Knight” type of makeover, and I’m always all for that. If something can be made darker, that’s automatically another way of making it better in my book. Bring it on.

Here’s the photo:

Updated Oscar Predictions

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment

What with everything that has happened in the last month in regards to the critics, the Globes and the SAGs, I figure that it’s time to do a full update on my Oscar predictions. Not a lot has shifted in the technical cateogories, except that “The Social Network” is looking more and more like a sure thing for a Best Original Score nomination. I’ve also taken “The King’s Speech” out of Best Editing. If it does miss that nomination, and somehow goes on to win Best Picture, it will be the first film in 30 years to win the big one without the support of the editors. Those two awards somehow go hand in hand.

As far as the acting categories go, Best Actor seems pretty much locked. Jesse Eisenberg has carved his name in stone and is just as solid as the top two contenders. There’s an outside chance that Ryan Gosling might break in and knock out one of the two veterans, but becoming less and less likely. A big question for Best Actress is who will take the place of Hilary Swank, after the odd as hell SAG nomination. I’m still betting on Lesley Manville, and not just because of the NBR stat, but because it’s a truly endearing character. However, much like Gosling, Williams is looming, and I can definitely see her getting a nomination, much like Laura Linney did for “The Savages” in 2007, and she didn’t even have the Golden Globe nod.

I think its safe to say that Justin Timberlake has fallen out of the running, especially since Andrew Garfield is no longer a lock. I refuse to predict Jeremy Renner until there’s no hope left. Never thought I’d find myself rooting against one of my favorite performers. My how the tables turn. I am however, hoping that the Academy will remain as bold as the SAG and nominate John Hawkes, but its a crap shoot. In Best Supporting Actress, it’s pretty solid that both of “The Fighter”‘s ladies will be making it in, though Leo definitely has the edge. Mila Kunis and Jacki Weaver will fight it out for the last slot.

One thing that I think is safe to say is that “The Fighter” is now as solid a contender as it has ever been. We shall see how it fares with the rest of the guilds, but from the SAGs and Globes, alone, it has gained even more ground than “Black Swan.”

Read all of my predictions after the jump:

BEST PICTURE

1. The Social Network
2. The King’s Speech
3. Toy Story 3
4. Inception
5. Black Swan
6. The Fighter
7. The Kids Are All Right
8. 127 Hours
9. True Grit
10. Winter’s Bone

Alt 1: The Town
Alt 2: Another Year

Read more…

Screen Actors Guild Nominations: My Thoughts

December 16, 2010 Leave a comment

While trying not to put the cart before the horse, it is important to realize that the SAG is the real deal. What we have here is the most accurate precursor in regards to matching up to what the Oscar nominations will look like.

First of all, the actors make up, 3 times over, the largest contingent of the Academy, with producers and executives in 2nd, sound personnel in 3rd and writers in 4th. And while Best Ensemble does not always line up with Best Picture, the singular achievement nominations have lined up with Oscars, per say, about 80 to 90 percent of the time. Last year, was perhaps the most similar, with only 1 nominee in Best Supporting Actress not making it to Oscar (Diane Kruger). Best Actor, Actress and Supporting Actress lined up perfectly.

That being said, I’m mostly happy with these nominations, despite a few hiccups. Without a doubt, the most shocking and disturbing omission is Andrew Garfield in “The Social Network.” I thought that, if anything, he would be locked and Jesse Eisenberg would still have an uphill battle, despite all of the critical love. However, Garfield was the heart and soul of the film and anyone who can blaze through Sorkin dialogue, while still maintaining that level of emotion and integrity, deserves recognition.

The trouble is, who is to blame for this slight. If it is John Hawkes, then I cannot mourn for too long, because he is the one man that I want to appear in the eventual Oscar lineup ahead of Garfield. John Hawkes gives, quite simply, one of the best performances of the year and a true underdog story to boot. However, if it is Jeremy Renner who passed Andrew Garfield by, then I am appalled. Renner was absolutely stellar in “The Hurt Locker,” realistic, unique and all heart. In “The Town,” he is good, maybe the best performance in the film, but really nothing special at all. I still cannot believe the amount of buzz he’s receiving.

Another weird turn this morning was Hilary Swank getting in for her only slightly above average performance in “Conviction,” knocking out critical favorites Lesley Manville in “Another Year” and Michelle Williams in “Blue Valentine.” What’s really weird about this is her inclusion, but not Sam Rockwell or Juliette Lewis, the individuals in the film that people have actually been talking about. A true out-of-the-blue nomination, and really kind of a hilarious one seeing that she is once again up against Annette Bening, who lost the Best Actress race to Swank twice in the last 11 years.

A little known fact, if Lesley Manville is not nominated for an Oscar, she will be the first woman to win the National Board of Review award for Best Actress and not go on to an Oscar nod since the year 1990 when Mia Farrow failed to secure a nomination for Woody Allen’s “Alice.” In superstitious terms, that’s a long streak to be broken.

Mila Kunis made a surprise appearance here. Kind of boggled by that, because as funny and peppy as she is, it’s really not that solid of a performance. Barbara Hershey was a standout, if ever anyone could stand out around Natalie Portman’s brilliance.

Now, the good things. I’ve already addressed my absolute elation for John Hawkes come-from-behind nomination, even if he has a long shot, even if hell does freeze over, of actually winning. I must also congratulate Jesse Eisenberg, who has now all but engraved his nomination in cement. Truly brilliant work. and while I haven’t seen “True Grit,” it’s nice to see Jeff Bridges show up here, especially after his snub at the Golden Globes.

While I wasn’t really expecting any kind of showing for it, it’s kind of sad to see yet another Christopher Nolan film snubbed from the Ensemble Cast category, let alone any other category in the case of “Inception.” True, the first thing the mind goes to when it comes to this film is the visuals, the story and the direction. Yet, it is an ensemble piece, through and through, with so many actors (Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page, Joesph Gordon Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Marion Cotillard, and, of course, Tom Hardy) all pulling their weight more than needed. And while “Black Swan” does have decent performances all around, it’s really Natalie Portman’s show. One deserved this nomination more than the other, and it’s going home empty-handed.

My longshot predictions for the win would probably go like this:

BEST ENSEMBLE CAST
“The King’s Speech”
alt: “The Fighter”

BEST ACTOR
Colin Firth – “The King’s Speech”
alt: James Franco – “127 Hours”

BEST ACTRESS
Annette Bening “The Kids Are All Right”
alt: Natalie Portman – “Black Swan”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Christian Bale – “The Fighter”
alt: Geoffrey Rush – “The King’s Speech

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Melissa Leo – “The Fighter”
alt: Helena Bonham Carter – “The King’s Speech

We shall see.