1. Grant2. Elliott3. Driver4. Ali5. Rockwell/Chalamet
Tavira instead of Foy
Could get Aparicio instead of Blunt.
Rating and thoughts on Chalamet.And First Man snubbed for Score.
1. Richard E. Grant2. Sam Elliott3. Adam Driver4. Mahershala Ali5. Sam Rockwell
1. Grant2. Elliot3. Driver4. Ali5. Rockwell
Rockwell has eliminated Chalamet.
John Smit:NO!!! THEY SNUBBED 'BURNING'
Dafoe got in instead of Washington.
Louis: Ratings and Thoughts on any saves you want to get rid of.
Louis: Thoughts on all the categories as well as your rankings.
I'm pleased Dafoe got nominated as I was hoping for an alternate review.
At least with Black Panther getting in we don’t have to worry about Best Popular Film next year.
Okay I've just posted the best actor line up. In retrospect, Dafoe's placement over Washington shouldn't be that surprising, honestly, considering his nomination last year, the early buzz of his performance, and Washington being a relative new comer despite the popularity of his film.As for supporting actor, I'm predicting:5) Rockwell (3)4) Ali (3.5)3) Elliott (4)2) Driver (4.5)1) Grant (Probable 5, if not 4.5)
1. Grant2. Elliott3. Driver4. Ali5. Rockwell
1. Grant 2. Driver3. Elliott4. Ali5. RockwellQuite a few pleasant surprises in those nominations! Overall pretty good stuff (with a few expected groaners).
Dafoe! And a lot of us thought Hawke could've been the critics choice to end up hereMcKay instead of Bradley Cooper? Uugghhhh....Blunt got snubbed unfortunately :/ Although Aparicio is a deserving nominee I guess Mary Poppins Returns didn't quite take offThree noms for Scruggs!Didnt't expect Christopher Robin on here, but the effects look interesting.
Honestly had no clue de Tavira was in contention but I'm glad she got in.Not big on First Reformed, but I don't mind screenplay getting in.No Score nom for First Man? Shame.And I'm quite pleased at this love for The Favourite.
1. Grant2. Driver3. Elliott4. Ali5. Rockwell
Louis: Do you have a rating for Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns.
Louis, can we get your thoughts on Chalamet in Beautiful Boy?
Luke: Your overall thoughts on the nominations?
Bryan: Positives:Dafoe (I readily accept Fonte as one of the alternate ten instead of being an 11th bonus review)Grant, Elliott & Driver (First-Time nominees)Lanthimos and Pawlikowski getting in over FarrellySome love for Buster ScruggsNegatives: (Now, I'm not going to continually dwell on this for the next 2-6 months like some would because what's done is done and I'd rather look forward to what's coming in 2019)Too much affection for Vice and Green BookPicture nod for Bohemian Rhapsody is too muchMcKay getting in over Chazelle, The Coens and Heller to name a fewGlenn CloseNo Burning or The GuiltyNo Hawke or GoslingFirst Man didn't get the attention it really deservedAnd would've preferred more songs from A Star Is Born
I am pretty happy with the Oscar nominations (doing a floss dance) haha XD =D.I wanted surprises, I got them...thank you I kept saying that there was surprises and I knew we would get them.Willem DafoeYalitza AparicioMarina de TaviraPawel PawlikowskiBuster Scruggs
Even though he was only ok I just have to saySam Rockwell is a two time Oscar nominee =D 3 years ago I would never have believed it =D. So glad that he got in over Chalamet.
First Reformed was still recognised so I am happy with that in a Silence kind of way.
RatedRStar: Well I'm not over the moon about his performance in "Vice", but yes - its good that Rockwell is finally receiving the notoriety he's deserved for quite a while, and for getting in over a uneven turn from an actor still trying to find his wavelength.
I kinda wish I had put money on Rockwell getting in, I knew he would I kept saying that Vice was getting stronger, the only time I put a bet on was Wrestlemania 27, Cody Rhodes V Rey Mysterio lol.
Luke: Also, McKay getting in instead of Cooper, since the latter was presumably a lock and had a better chance than the others you mentioned. Either way, ugh.I think they might've thought that The Guilty seemed too similar to the movies Halle Berry has starred in recently. Or maybe they just didn't see it. No Burning hurts though.Okay seriously, did Bradley Cooper flip off a fellow director in traffic? Or did he just get Ben Afflecked?
Yes the nominations arent perfect but come on, aside from Hawke and Foy, this was really as good as it could have got considering nominations that were locks, and me being a happy cheery sort, I am feeling very James Browny.
Bradley Cooper is someone I do feel sorry for, but he isn't out of the Oscar race to win for actor, not quite.
But still, I remember hearing someone say that its great we have someone like Robert to be the Bill Murray of the blog, I agree but we also need someone to spread fairydust and cheer onto the blog =D.
Bryan: Forgive me. :(RatedRStar: No, but I do feel the momentum has shifted towards Malek then Bale.Also, you've known long enough now that I soon forget about it and move on because I feel it's a waste of energy otherwise.
RatedRStar: Tom Hanks perhaps.
I wonder if this means Cooper is getting momentum in order to compensate for him not getting Directing.Would like to point out that Roma didn't get in on Editing. Which might mean something...
Luke: No Luke we need meeee I was referring to meee as the giver of pixie dust and cheer lol.
"Cold War", getting the attention, especially for directing - very happy to see that. Defoe is a pleasant surprise as well.Too bad about Cooper being snubbed in the best director. Also, "Black Panther" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" nominated for best picture. I guess they got really desperate about the ratings.Shame about ignoring "First Man". I' ve already came to terms with Gosling, but Foy and Hurwitz were ignored indeed.
Louis: Films To Watch (I've left out some for bonus round reasons)ShopliftersThe Hate U GiveThe Sisters BrothersStan & OllieBlindspottingDestroyerWildlifeA Private WarThe Front RunnerThe Tale (Laura Dern)Lean On PeteLove, SimonThe RiderMid90sUnsane (Claire Foy)Vox LuxApostle (Gareth Evans)AquamanFantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of GrindelwaldChristopher RobinReady Player OneSearchingGame NightBird BoxThe MuleA Simple FavorThe Children ActOn Chesil BeachThe Miseducation Of Cameron PostAmerican AnimalsUnder The Silver LakeHold The Dark (Jeffrey Wright)ColetteThe Christmas ChroniclesWhite Boy RickThe Little StrangerSunsetPeterlooCargo (Martin Freeman)
Luke: All is forgiven :) Though I too would've liked to see Chazelle in contention.RatedRStar: I think Luke meant you AS Tom Hanks, as far as on-screen personas go haha.
Louis: And The Man Who Killed Don Quixote.
Not predictions but my order of preference :Picture 1. BlacKKKlansman 2. Green Book 3. A Star is Born 4. Black Panther 5. Roma6. The Favourite 7. Vice 8. Bohemian Rhapsody Actor 1. Dafoe 2. Mortensen 3. Cooper 4. Bale 5. Malek Actress 1. Colman 2. Lady Gaga 3. McCarthy 4. Close 5. AparicioSupporting Actor 1. Grant 2. Ali3. Elliott 4. Rockwell 5. Driver Supporting Actress 1. Stone 2. Weisz 3. King 4. Adams 5. De Tavira Director 1. Lee2. Cuaron3. Pawlikowski4. Lanthimos5. McKay Original Screenplay 1. Green Book 2. First Reformed 3. The Favourite 4. Roma 5. Vice Adapted Screenplay 1. BlacKKKlansman 2. If Beale Street Could Talk 3. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs 4. Can You Ever Forgive Me 5. A Star is Born
Cinematography and Score missing out First Man hurts. But the Buster Scruggs love was great. Sad about Burning too.
Anyone planning on seeing "Border" I wonder what that will be like?.
Another positive note, what I wanted other than surprises, was that every film got at least a nomination, there weren't too many films that got completely shut out Shame style.
Oh one more positive thing, plenty of first time nominees, Driver, Grant, Malek, Eliott, De Tavira, Apricio, Gaga, Colman, King and Pawlikowski. =D I always love seeing new faces.
I'm really happy for Pawlikowski and De Tavira in particular. Goes to show that it's not just always a horde-like mentality in awards season, they might not have been my favourites in their respective categories but they gave strong work worth rewarding.
I remember being a bit lukewarm on At Eternitys Gate when I first saw it a while ago, I would like to see it again though.Calvin: You must be pretty happy to see Willem Dafoe nominated again, especially after last year, I remember you being a little dissapointed that Defoe couldn't win after being seen as overdue.
Louis, what would be your ranking of best picture, best actress and best supporting actress?
RatedRStar: Yeah, I mean I wasn't too upset because Rockwell was a terrific winner - but I'm certainly glad that the Academy always seems to have him on their minds. But I really need to see At Eternity's Gate.
1. Grant 2. Elliott 3. Driver4. Ali 5. Rockwell
Anonymous:Chalamet - 2(Really can make one question his approach as a performer honestly. As his whole performance is excessively mannered and self-aware here. Every little tic he throws in comes off as just bad posturing at best. He goes for emotional extremes however they never have any connective tissue in this, nor does he portray as just a mess of emotion. Now he's clearly off to sea at the hands of his director as Chalamet is all over the place in every scene, but not in the way that signifies a drug addict, just an actor who is very poorly directed. Having said that though his performance goes beyond poor direction. His work is aggressively self-aware and hollow for the majority of the film. You never sense a real history in his scenes with Carell, you just see a young actor doing some very bad emoting, with some random mannerisms for "character". He would be lower if not for his scenes with his half-siblings. These are the only scenes where it seems like Chalamet is playing a person, as he captures enough of an older brother's warmth, and at least gives a sense of chemistry there. Of course these moments are the outliers in a very underwhelming turn.)Bryan:Visual Effects:1. First Man2. Solo: A Star War Story3. Ready Player One4. Avengers: Infinity WarNeed to see Christopher Robin.First Man easily tops the list, as it is the film where you don't even notice the effects, despite many effects in play. It just simply seems real, which is the best possible form in its recreation of space travel.Say what you want about Solo but the film hits its marks in terms of CGI. All of it does its job. Nothing too notable, especially in Star Wars, but it all certainly works especially the kessel run and the train heist. It helps that things can look faker in a Star Wars film, but it certainly all works.Ready Player One's effects need to be limited actually, as the main focus of the Oasis, is not a visual effect its just a CGI animated film. What matters is when the two are actually mixed like the Shining sequence, which are pretty well done. The character's look fake, but that's the point. In addition the dystopia "real world" scenes look perfectly fine as well.Avengers Infinity War is more than a step over Black Panther (which deserved to be snubbed here). Although it too suggests that Marvel is making its films faster than its special effects studios can work on them. Although there are some great looking things here, Thanos, and Titan in particularly. There are some questionable things. The opening scene has many iffy effects, a couple of Thanos's children look very fake, and there are just some shoddy effects here and there, like Ruffalo's head outside the Hulk armor. Overall still solid visual work, but definitely cracks in there.Sound Editing:1. First Man2. A Quiet Place3. Roma4. Black Panther5. Bohemian RhapsodyGreat edited sounds from all of these (other than the silly roar they give Killmonger in BP), except for Rhapsody where there was nothing notable going on that should have granted it a nomination. I'm going to assume it is probably from the making the titular song scene, but even that isn't anything worth noting.Sound Mixing:1. First Man2. Roma3. A Star is Born4. Black Panther5. Bohemian RhapsodyThe top two are on another level in terms of the mixing, as they grant such immersion in their work. A Star is Born has great work in the concert scenes. Black Panther is standard Marvel mix, which isn't bad but isn't anything too remarkable. BR's musically inclined, but nothing great in that regard. Strange that A Quiet Place missed out here, as though the edited work across the board, as well as the alien sounds, were certainly strong, I think it is the overall design that is so remarkable. Strange exclusion.
Makeup and Hairstyling:1. Mary Queen of Scots2. ViceSuspiria was ROBBED! Having said that these are not terrible choices (glad they avoided BR for example), and I need to see Border.Mary Queen of Scots has some great hair styling to go around with the two queens. Add onto that Elizabeth's pox, and then later he makeup to cover it, that's some fine work.Vice actually is pretty subtle here, as Bale did most of the major work himself. The little tweaks to him, as well as the age makeup is all more than decent. The one iffy thing is the "additions" on Rockwell, which don't look wholly natural, though it isn't too distracting.Costume Design:1. The Favourite2. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs3. Mary Queen of Scots4. Mary Poppins Returns5. Black PantherI have to give it up, this is a great lineup.The Favourite is simply outstanding work. In that the costumes not only look amazing, but they add to each character. The slowly more ornate and idiosyncratic dresses upon Abigail are especially wonderful in terms of amplifying the story just by what the character wear.An amazing nomination for Scruggs, which too fulfills the "great costumes" requirement of character/ and just looking great. Here we get such a variety of wonderful western garb. Whether that be the more pristine, and fantastical donned by Nelson and Watson, the alluring city clothes on the "thumping" pair, dogged clothes on down and out robber of Franco, or the practical work that adorns Waits and Kazan. It just is great across the board. In fact the top two are extremely close for me, and I could perhaps switch the order.Mary Queen of Scots carefully draws its line between extravagance and style while not going too far to be respectable enough to the historical setting. I'd put it below The Favourite in this regard as it is not as character dynamic, and plus the chaps aren't dressed nearly as nicely here. Both queens though are impeccably dressed and I do like the attention with Ronan getting slightly simpler yet equally stunning work against Robbie more ornate clothes.Mary Poppins Returns, has some fine period appropriate work, but what everyone is here for is Mary of course. Her red and blue overcoats are especially lovely, in both somehow being to the point yet luxurious in in a modest sort of way. Less modest are the painted clothes of the fantasy sequence, which look great and wholly unique at the same time. Wonderful work across the board.Finally Black Panther too has some strong work in establishing the Wakanda aesthetic, with each set of costumes being set for each group quite effectively, that is both mix of tribal, and superhero, without going too over the top. That unlike Killmonger's main outfit, but actually that's fine for a comic villain. Only really #5 due the strength of the lineup as there isn't a weak link.
Production Design:1. The Favourite2. First Man3. Roma4. Black Panther5. Mary Poppins ReturnsThe Favourite's production design is worthy of comparisons to Barry Lyndon, which is extremely high praise. Amazing work in the realization of extravagance, but also the lived in lower class as well in our visit to "hell". The sets actually aren't over the top, but rather to the point, and so effectively so. Once again though, character is paramount to every set, and just again amplifies everything around it.First Man is just one great recreation after another, the most impressive of course being the moon, since you wouldn't guess otherwise.Roma is subtly amazing work as it goes beyond just creating the vivid detail of the rich doctors home, against say the modest quarters of the housekeepers. This is even character infused with that symbolic narrow driveway. It goes beyond it though with the amount of detail to creating the 70's Mexico, that doesn't bring attention to itself, yet is quite incredible.Mary Poppins is a fine series of variations on the original production design of the original film. It has the occasional "looks like a set", but it's a fine overall in its creation of the 30's London. That with a bit of whimsy thrown in there for fine effect. The fantasy of course is mostly brought to life through the animation and CGI, but the other little bit of it that are actual sets are well done.Black Panther has a bit of sleek cool in the Korean work, along with a bit of semi-futurism in the Panther-cave. Along with a bit of regalia in the few real sets thrown into Wakanda. These are all more than decent. The one weaker set I'd say is the street of Wakanda, that perhaps is under or over used, as it just seems a bit bland. Still fine work.
Louis: Thoughts on Ready Player One and ratings & thoughts on the cast.
Got lucky with no Chalamet.1. Richard E. Grant2. Sam Elliott3. Adam Driver4. Mahershala Ali5. Sam Rockwell
First Man got snubbed a lot but glad it got 4 nominations. Burning was snubbed as well but Shoplifters is in at least. Out of all the Vice love i'm most unhappy with McKay.But overall a good job. A lot of great films noticed. Dafoe getting the fifth spot for lead is fine. Cold War getting a director nomination might be my favorite.
Louis: Are you happy with the Oscar nominations overall? or I am gonna have to spray the fairydust on you lol surprises are funnn.I knew there would be one killer line in your review of Chalamet "he's clearly off to sea" haha lol, not quite on par with Eddie Redmayne and Bugs Bunny but its good lol.
Documentary:RGB over Won't You Be My Neighbor and especially Three Identical Strangers is utterly ridiculous. This is about best documentary not the "My favorite person" award. It just wasn't a great documentary. Need to watch all the others though. Animated film:1. Isle of Dogs2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse3. Incredible 2Looking forward to seeing Mirai, not so much to Ralph. I'll be happy as long as they don't get with Incredibles, even though that isn't a bad film. Foreign Language Film:1. Cold War2. RomaCan't judge on the lack of Burning, since I haven't seen the other three, but it is a little ridiculous that South Korea has yet to get an Oscar nominated film in this category. Score:The lack of First Man is brutal, though it let's me support Beale Street without reservation I suppose. 1. If Beale Street Could Talk2. Blackkklansman3. Isle of Dogs4. Mary Poppins Returns5. Black PantherBlackkklansman has an interesting score in that it sort of mixes almost a blackxploitation style with its catchy main little ditty, along with a somber sort of southern hymnal spirit. This being a mix that is fascinating as the orchestral moments are the more somber, with the single instrument being the more outgoing pieces. Fascinating little dynamics that makes a rather effective blend. Isle of Dogs has some great tracks in there, even if on quick recall I only could remember the music from Kurosawa films. Desplat rarely does not deliver though and revisiting the score, it's pretty strong. This taking that Japanese cinema influence, but stylizing it in Desplat terms. The main ominous theme is pretty effective with sort of that Anderson synchronicity of course being prevalent in its constant percussion. It's a fun score realizing sort of a feral whimsy, perfect for Anderson as it is both light yet intense at the same time. Mary Poppins has a fine score as this derivative mix between the works of Alan Menken and The Sherman Brothers. In that you get really a sense of both styles that defined two very different times for Disney. In that you get sort of the more direct fun outgoing work emphasized by the the Shermans along with the more dramatic technically dynamic work of Menken, in Shaiman's score. Marvel is not known for its great scores, as they for some reason shirk recognizable themes. This is partially the case here, though Goransson seemed to have been able to sneak something in with Killmonger's theme. Although this does have a bit of the Marvel generic qualities at times, they never want a score to stand out too much for some reason, the work that use sort of themes from hip hop and tribal, music is off remarkable in parts. Still some general marvel at times, but a better marvel score.
Foreign language film and Best Documentary are very easy to mess up. Hopefully in the future South Korea gets an overdue nomination. They're literally making some of the best films today. RGB is one of my least favorite documentaries of 2018 although it will be an easy winner for them.
Song:1. "When a Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings" - The Ballad of Buster Scruggs2. "Shallow" - A Star is Born3. "The Place Where Lost Things Go" - Mary Poppins: Returns4. "I'll Fight" - RGB5. "All the Stars" - Black Panther"When a Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings" - (ONE OF THE BEST SURPRISES OF THE DAY. If you didn't think this would be my number one, you probably don't know me. I just love everything about this song, from its conception, to its brilliant use in the film, and of course the song itself. Classic gunfighter western style that would make a Marty Robbins proud. Realized brilliantly in such a fun sardonic tune in a way that is both funny, and kind of poignant in its own way in its duet of the live and the dead. I especially love the echoes between the two as they shares the lyrics.)"Shallow" - (I have to say it is unfortunate they went solo in campaigning, to avoid a snub, as this isn't my favorite song from the film, or even the second favorite. It's a good song though so don't get me wrong there. This is especially in its execution and realization of the two voices, with Cooper's more somber opener, that is supplemented by Gaga, before the two of the build up to the more grandiose chorus that it builds to quite magnificently. Although I might say the titular lyrics becomes occasionally a touch repetitive, but not too bad. It is a spirited work, that is easily the second best used song out of this lineup.)"The Place Where Lost Things Go" - (A nice somber little ditty in conception. This of course amplified by that Shaiman score that offers a sweet sentimentality to it to be sure, though also a careful somberness. I do particularly like the instrumentation that supplements Blunt's vocals so eloquently throughout. It never quite breaks out in a way though in the whole thing feels like an intro, there seems like there should be a segue way at several points. Still the main thrust of the tune quite wonderful.)I'll Fight - (One must always have a pop ballad in this category. This falls into a little bit on the overproduced side for my liking. As it just overlays too much around the vocals, without really making the sections of the song all that distinct in their own right.)All the Stars - (Perhaps easiest to say that this song just ins't exactly my tempo. Although are the uncensored lyrics actually in the film? Any who not really in my taste as a song as it just kind of goes along in excessive repetition in both its synth beat, and its lyrics that become laborious after more than a bit. The chorus bit of the titular lyrics is decent though.)
My favourite song from A Star Is Born is probably either ‘Maybe It’s Time’ or ‘Always Remember Us This Way’. What’s yours Louis?
Or even ‘Never Love Again’. Honestly it changes every day with my mood. Glad Buster Scruggs got in though - and is Willie Watson by any chance higher than a 3 for his performance of that song?
Calvin: Mine's probably Always Remember Us This Way then I'll Never Love Again.
Louis: Save your thoughts on the songs until Cooper's review.
1. Grant2. Elliott3. Ali4. Rockwell5. Driver
Luke: good idea, will be able to find on future reference easier.
Louis: What are your thoughts on the songs from the shortlist that didn't make it?
Original Screenplay:1. The Favourite2. Roma3. First Reformed4. Green Book5. ViceThe Favourite wins this for me in a walk. Not a single film comes close in my mind, as this is such a brilliantly written film. It is of course impeccably written in terms of the dialogue that is so cutting and witty, without becoming too modern or self-aware. It manages to find just the right tone in the dialogue that is simply marvelous to listen to every betrayal. Of course this is within the structure, effectively ripped from history, of the power plays that each are so magnificently realized. All three of the central women's journeys are unique to themselves, and their interactions are essential in all of their changes throughout the story. The dynamic between each is just so well written, but on top of that is effectively made a bit more complicated through their further interaction with the actual power of the country itself. No character or scene is wasted in its daring and dynamic work. Just an amazing script that hopefully will take home the Oscar.
Roma I actually don't think is an amazing screenplay, and the rumor of Cuaron sort of making it up as it holds enough water. It is mostly amplified by his direction. This is as there are moments of ridiculous melodrama that feel ill-fitting to the main "slice of life" intent. Yes the idea of the violent uprising is seeded earlier, properly, but how that comes into play feels a touch over the top. The film occasionally does have a bit too much of sort of a cutesy look of the housekeeper, particularly the blind miracle scene. It's not a bad script mind you, however much of it is setting just for the visuals to do something interesting with it. I am not one with the view that dialogue=good screenplay, but that's not my criticism here. Cuaron I just think occasionally is a little dishonest in his general vision as a director, by his work as a writer. I do ponder how First Reformed is an original screenplay and Scruggs is not. First Reformed lifts so much of its structure and story beats from Diary of a Country Priest, that the category is a little dishonest. I mean the setup of isolation, the writing of thoughts, some of the same thoughts, the unknown, ailment, the death by gun that effects the priest, the confrontation with the woman related to that person. It isn't just the general idea it should be considered an adaptation. Now Schrader then adds his own spins on the man on the razor's edge, which he's made his career out of essentially. He adds his yelling about "kids these days", and global warming anxieties which have the subtlety of a sludge hammer. What is more effective though is the quieter character building in Hawke, which is aided by Country Priest to be sure, but I'll certainly give Schrader some credit. Green Book is two things, one an okay buddy car comedy, the other a terrible film attempting to comment on race relations effectively. The first is entirely okay, as we get the crude with the prime, and isn't far from some other Farrelly films about road trips, just now with racist interludes. It finds the typical structure of the two learning about each other. It's been done better by many other films, including one of Farrelly's most famous films, as the dramatic moment of that film feels far more honest than anything in Green Book. I'd say one of its major faults is in Tony Lip's character development, in that he really doesn't have any, which I'll get to more on later. It is just something the script says happens than it realizes putting to much on Shirley to "change". Some of their interactions are entertaining enough in that very expected way, though some are pretty terrible "never had fried chicken????"...oh boy. It kind of hits its feel good marks structurally speaking, it's not a mess, the problem is the substance in that structure is severely lacking at times, particularly the social commentary which amounts to....just hang out a bit, you'll be fine. Vice....give me a minute.
Disagree wholeheartedly on Roma, but at least we can agree on The Favourite.
Louis: Out of the tech awards, you forgot Cinematography.
Vice being nominated for best screenplay is a insult to the art of screenwriting. As a rant post on facebook is not a good screenplay. As that is this the film in essence. As he goes "did you know this about Cheney? huh huh huh did yah did you stupid moron, don't you know this about him, and that huh huh huh" that is the obnoxiousness of the tone of the work. The structure of it is horrendous. As nothing has logic to it, and so often it is a tangent of McKay going, oh wait wait wait, he sucks because of this too. Didn't you know. Of course this is also with the hideousness of the central narration, which is actually a bit despicable. I don't like moralize much in my reviews, but I'll do so a bit here. One part there being someone who died recently who McKay is just assuming feels this way. Secondly it is this dishonesty to the audience as he notes early on that this narrator knows so much for a family relation. At first you might think "oh is this guy like a reporter who's his unlucky son in law or something? And that's why he knows the truth?" Nope that was the lie by McKay in his effort to throw everything at the wall to see what sticks as he admits in the opening he really doesn't have much to work with. Well sadly that's just the truth. OF COURSE, Oliver Stone did this brilliantly in a way in JFK, so it can be done, but that's not the case here. As McKay has no structure to speak of. He just goes to one thing, to another, to back to something, to over across to something, here, there anywhere. He has the sense Dr. Seuss plot, though with some horrible jokes thrown in. It's a horribly written screenplay.
1. Richard E. Grant2. Adam Driver3. Sam Elliott4. Mahershala Ali5. Sam Rockwell
Writing and technical categories have very easy winners. I hope Vice takes the least amount of awards as possible
Cinematography:Sad Scruggs couldn't make it, Beale Street and First Man would also have been deserving. Can't comment too much though as I guess I need to see Never Look Away, though they did go with an old Academy favorite in Caleb Deschanel. 1. Cold War2. Roma3. The Favourite4. A Star is BornCold War and Roma, I'll admit I to interesting ones to compare, Roma loving the greys, with Cold War loving the strict contrasts. Roma loving the movement, Cold War loving the immaculate portraits of framing and composition. Even their aspect ratios are strict contrasts in that regard. I mean both are absolutely stunning in their own ways both seeking this certain intimacy in distance that is fascinating though both very different in each respect. Each capture a different type of intimacy with a different type of grandeur in scope. This being the use of subjects within the composition, each garnering a different perspective. Both are immaculately are shot to be sure, and extremely deserving of their nominations, or a win. Although there might be a touch of controversy over the fish eye lens, I actually liked its use around Abigail in this case it actually seemed to have purpose. The film though once again evokes Barry Lyndon, which is a great thing, though a bit more twisted in its choices, seeking less of that pristine portrait of that type of period. It succeeds though where others have failed, looking at you the Libertine, in this regard creating such beautifully realized scenes whether they be that of the candle lit interiors, of the intimate forests or shooting grounds. Especially loved the composition and framing of the shots, which evoked only somewhat the pristine, but often twisted brilliantly to give a rather dynamic look at a well known setting in terms of cinematic terms. A Star is Born is easily the weakest link here, though it is not poorly shot by Libatique. The lighting is typically pretty standard though serviceable, with the styling also typically being pretty standard when used, such as the red light of the club early in the film. Libatique also can't quite make some of the odder choices of Cooper work occasionally, such as the rear view mirror shot. Never poorly shot mind you though, and the performance scenes are that of a proper concert film, as it captures a real vibrancy, grandeur but with an emotional intimacy.
Adapted Screenplay:1. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs2. Can You Ever Forgive Me?3. Blackkklansman4. If Beale Street Could Talk5. A Star is BornWon't complain about this lineup because:The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, is kind of a strange placement in terms of being adapted, two of the stories are, but the majority is not. It's a grey area. I'd place it original since the majority of it is. I mean yes the two adapted stories are brilliantly done by the Coens as "All Gold Canyon" and the "Girl Got Rattled" retain the strengths of the short stories but with some wonderful additional flavor from the Coens. I especially love the "didn't hit nothin important" addition in All Gold Canyon. Of course there's more to the script than that. As we have the hilarious comedy of the technically twisted force that is "what if the singing cowboy, actually lived in a violent old west", and has so much fun with. Along with some classic Coens' dialogue, aka EVERYTHING that Scruggs says. The same goes for Franco's cowboy, which is some lighthearted fun "pan shot" with a bit poignancy in the final line. Brilliantly realized little series of unfortunate events as written though. I mean even just the banker's speech alone has more character than the whole of many a screenplays. I've actually even come to appreciate "Meal Ticket" more as a quiet commentary on the nature of art, and its connection to monetary needs. Of course what is outstanding though is how the more you watch the film, as is the case for the majority of the films by the Coens, the layering of the work becomes all the more evident, and the stories don't seem so separate. "The Mortal Remains" being the most evident in this regard, as a proper horror tale, that has far more to say than even what the true nature of the trip is. Can You Ever Forgive Me? is a brilliantly written work. In that it manages to make such a tender, moving, and certainly amusing tale of two people who hate people. It takes the central idea to effectively structure the film, in the crimes, but that is only part of the story. That is the tool for us to get to know these two individuals who are essentially just on the edge of living in their misanthropic isolation. It so effectively realizes each so dynamically particularly through their unusual, troublesome, yet somehow in the end heartwarming friendship. It would be so easy just to get on and on about Israel's crimes, or merely just depict. We get that to be sure, but that is but part of it. What is marvelous as it weaves this tale of two true loners, and their strange life. Although it doesn't "forgive" them, it does not become a moralizing diatribe, finding such an immaculate balance to create sympathy for the subjects while never turning them into "heroic" renegades either.
Blackkklansman has multiple writers and there is a bit of that can be seen. As there are many things pushing themselves together in the reflection on the black power movement, the investigation into the Klan, commentary on pop culture as it relates to racism, the placement of the black man in the police force, the romance and the subtext of attaching to the modern era. The sort of strings attaching these together can be seen in at times, however most are effectively realized as written. The romance is sweet, the passion powerful, the scathing comedy hilarious, and the commentary effective. It is trying to get all these things across at once, and doesn't fail as written. It isn't perfect, however it still works. Lee though of course has his own intentions which I'll get to. If Beale Street Could Talk lives upon Jenkins's direction. Not that the screenplay is bad, I just feel he could've done a bit more adapting. In that 100 accuracy isn't always the right approach. As even though there are moments of great power in terms of taking the dialogue verbatim, some feels less conducive to the cinematic form. This can also be in terms of structure, as the trip to Puerto Rico can work in a novel, but feels strange within the rest of a film. Still there's a whole that can be praised, as when the writing works, it is pretty outstanding, though there is a general inconsistency due to the level of faithfulness I find. I do think it is a worth nominee though even with my reservations. A Star is Born is a bit different when it comes to the adaptation, as it is of three prior films. How different is it even from the first film? Well not too much in essence. As all the same story beats are there. Everything that happens in the others happens here, usually with similar dialogue. The country swing coming already from the 76 version, which I haven't seen though I know that change. The question then is what does it do differently. It has a brother for Maine, which is a nice addition but I think there are flaws in properly establishing the relationship and its fallout. It has a different meet cute, which is a nice alternative. It has one flaw in that how the marriage comes is changed, and weakened I think. This version having it with Maine being at a low at the time, rather than being a height in love. Just a change that doesn't work, and makes the relationship seemingly more toxic in nature, which I don't think was the attention. I'd say the songs are the greatest addition honestly to this version, not that it ruins the decent to good films that were the 37/54 versions mind you, it just doesn't improve them or change to become something truly new as a remake in its screenplay.
Louis: I just saw A Star Is Born again the other day. Could you refresh me as to what the "rear view mirror shot" is that you're referring to?
Director:1. Yorgos Lanthimos - The Favourite2. Pawel Pawlikowski - Cold War3. Alfonso Cuaron - Roma4. Spike Lee - Blackkklansman5000. Adam Mckay - ViceAlthough it might seem strange for me of all people to put Lanthimos first, as I've not been a fan of his last two films, I'm overjoyed to do so, as I thought he was definitely talented though idiosyncratic to a fault. Here, with the help a fantastic screenplay, it funnels that talent to a truly cohesive form. Step one he lets his actors act, which is always a good thing, as I've yet to see a film where (let's have everyone act like robots) truly work for me. Lanthimos past that invigorates the period piece with unmistakable vibrancy and energy. It goes back realizing just great scenes of cutting remarks, or visual reminders of each character's growth and standing. All those are great mind you, but there is something so much more here. Take the dancing scene between Abigail and the Queen, which is something you've never quite seen done in this way, as there is this allure, intensity, yet almost humor and tenderness in the way he composes and realizes the moment. These are throughout as he plays with the grotesque, to great a delight, but also tempers it to find the humanity within that so beautifully and so powerfully. What a wonderful surprise in Pawlikowski pulling a Bennett Miller after all. I love his direction of the film as this careful romance over space and time. Again as I've written before there is this fascinating juxtaposition he realizes in his direction of the film in this love, and warmth, within the cold and intensity of this relationship. It is fascinating dynamic that he creates so beautifully in every careful shot, every moment of interaction, that creates such a powerful experience. I've written enough about Cuaron I think before, but creating such a vivid perspective is the true strength of the film. Again through not the way you might expect, yet do so effectively in that way. So brilliant is his visual storytelling as he captures so often the emotion of a scene without enforcing it, that's why I think the gun toting assassin is nadir of the film, but hardly enough for me to ever dismiss the accomplishment of essentially recreating memory. Lee's not a subtle filmmaker, but then again I can like not subtle filmmakers. The problem Lee goes from overt to just slamming in the face. Now a lot of his work here is pretty good. Again the Klan ceremony against the terrible true story is incredibly powerful. There are many great ideas he has. The crowd being taken away by the speaker, great idea, doing the look like 50 times, a bit overkill. The subtext of the modern day on the past, effective but then (hey here's modern day news footage just so you know, and a lot of it too). Again though not a bad idea actually, as I think the silent Lee smooth move shot actually is an extremely powerful moment, and if he limited the footage just a bit it would've been all the more striking. Again I don't think the film is poorly directed, although I wouldn't nominate him, I don't think he is a bad nominee. It is just standard tendency of Lee to go a bit too over the top, even within his tone. Also his "let's do a dance scene" he loves doing is always just distracting. It just never fits. Overall though it is fine work if flawed. McKay....eh I think I've said enough about Vice.
Supporting Actress:1. Weisz & Stone (Still can't decide) - The Favourite3. Regina King - If Beale Street Could Talk4. Marina de Tavira - Roma 5. Amy Adams - ViceActress:1. Melissa McCarthy - Can You Ever Forgive Me?2. Olivia Colman - The Favourite3. Lady Gaga - A Star is Born4. Yalitza Aparicio - Roma5. Glenn Close - The WifeBest Picture:1. The Favourite2. Roma3. Blackkklansman4. Black Panther5. A Star is Born6. Green Book7. Bohemian Rhapsody8. Vice
Louis: Your thoughts on this:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyEcjLFZ0Q8
RatedRStar:Well in total, they didn't shirk a lot of the bad decisions made by the precursors (the BP lineup is pretty weak overall), however they did make some great off the wall choices. So I'm sorta, kind of happy. I like they seemed to have a mind of their own, and the mind of their own choices were mostly good ones. Anonymous:4Calvin:"I'll Never Love Again" is my favoriteI reckon in regards to Watson. Matt:I think it's when Cooper's driver is leaving off Gaga originally. I'm not referring to the Elliott shot, that's the best directorial choice of the film. Anonymous:Probably the best thing associated with that film, not that I've seen but enough trusted sources have told me of its worth. Double the Goldblum though is something rather magnificent bit of transfixing idiosyncrasies.
I find it very wholesome how happy Marielle Heller seems to be over the nominations of Grant and McCarthy. Makes me sad that she didn’t make it in the end as a dark horse :(
Louis: Oh yes, I think I know exactly what you're talking about. That didn't bother me too much, just because it was so quick.
I'm pretty forgiving of any faults Cooper had in his directorial choices. I thought he really aimed for the skies and while it wasn't wholly successful, it's a great debut.
Calvin: Absolutely agree. The missteps he took (and there are a couple. Not many though, I don't think) are outweighed by the successes (in particular all the concert scenes and the way he handled his character's final moments), especially considering he'd never directed before.
Choices for Alternate Best ActorBradley Cooper (A star is born) (acting-wise)John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)Ethan hawke (First Reformed)Ryan Gosling (First Man)Robert Redford (The Old Man And The Gun)Alternate Supporting Actor:Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)Steven Yeun (Burning)Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite)Daniel Kaluuya (Widows)Jonathan Pryce (The Wife)
1. Grant2. Driver3. Ali4. Elliott5. Rockwell
I think Grant or Driver will win in your ranking.
1. Grant2. Ali3. Elliott4. Driver5. Rockwell
1. Ali2. Grant3. Elliott4. Driver5. Rockwell
Whoops. For best alternate actor, i meant to put Clint Eastwood (The Mule)
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