Friday, 8 February 2019

Alternate Best Supporting 2018: Tim Blake Nelson and Tom Waits in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Tim Blake Nelson did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the titular character of The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs is a brilliant film, perhaps the greatest anthology film of all time (though that sounds like more of an achievement than it is), about various tales of the old American west.

The Coen Brothers for all their idiosyncrasies are filmmakers with a tremendous range in terms of their talent, and this perhaps is their greatest showcase for that for that range. In that you almost have a touch for every single type of Coens for your more specific Coen brothers fan. If you love their more cerebral efforts like Barton Fink and A Serious Man, perhaps the "The Mortal Remains" and "Meal Ticket" are for you, if your preference is an adapted drama like No Country For Old Men or True Grit, you have "All Gold Canyon" and "The Girl Who Got Rattled" or if you're more into their comedies like The Big Lebowski or Raising Arizona, you have the titular segment and "Near Algodones". There's a little bit of Coens' magic for every Coen fan, or if you're someone like me, for whom they rarely take a misstep, this is simply a treasure trove. I'll admit that re-watching the film fully for a third time, after indulging in some of the single segments separately more than a few times, each segment has resonated all the more for me particularly in the way there are certain echoes and conversations within the pieces in Coen's portrait of the west, that each are idiosyncratic yet all build as one to this singular vision of the brothers.

As with almost any Coen brothers film, the film is enriched by a cast filled with names and unknowns. This one being a particular remarkable effort in this regard in terms of creating such a fantastic ensemble, each reaching for a certain tone and style, where even the smallest ruffian, house guests, or bartenders make their little mark on the film. Within that though there is no shortage of potential standouts within the various segments each who leave their striking impression on the film. Whether that be Harry Melling's spirited turn as an atypical orator, Jonjo O'Neill as a demonic story teller, Bill Heck in his portrayal of a man of a few words but a large heart, or Grainger Hines as the secret badass with a surprising bit of tenderness in him. The film too has its own variety of offerings in the Coen brothers players essentially, and it is no surprise that there lacks a consensus favorite among the riches the film has to offer in this regard. After all every story here, every performance, may speak to one differently to you through this expression of these characters that are us, but not us. Well with that in mind let's turn to those two that just thumped me over the head in that special way, the first being Tim Blake Nelson in the titular segment which is perhaps the silliest segment of the film.

Buster Scruggs is essentially a parody of a largely forgotten western sub-genre, portrayed with great affection by the Coens in their previous film Hail Caesar, the singing cowboy ,movie. This is where the old west was a pretty pleasant affair for most, and there was always time to break out into song. Well Scruggs is a strict subversion of that as led by Tim Blake Nelson as the ole singing cowboy. Nelson initially after all seems more than up to the job of a proper singing cowboy in his opening number of "Cool Water" that he sings to his horse Dan, and the distance of Monument Valley. Nelson does have a rather magnificent warble and that sort of unabashed joy in his delivery needed for a proper signing cowboy. Of course Buster doesn't only love to sing you a tale or two, he also likes to tell you his own tale straight to the audience. This being done with a knowing wink by Nelson who offers his bit of fourth wall breaking with such affection to allow those watching to be party to his own keen insight on the west. Of course this insight isn't of the fluffy west of a singing cowboy picture, nor even a John Ford west, hell it isn't a Sam Peckinpah west, it's a west filled with much violence and carnage right around every swinging door.

The comedy of this though then arrives with Nelson who still plays Scruggs mostly with the same sunny disposition you'd except with any singing cowboy, but now he just happens to brutally murder people while doing it. After all Buster violates both the laws of men and the almighty, a fact that Buster admits openly, which is comedic gold through that bright big smile that Nelson bares on his face along with his delivery that just has this certain upbeat rhythm granted to every word, even those that are not sung. Nelson even sings the prose essentially, and just chews into it with such an affectionate joy. A hilarious bit of comedy though stems from this being in such strict contrast to his actions that involve one killing after another, which take on such a brilliantly darkly comedic edge. I'll admit particularly great affection for Nelson's Cheshire grin he gives to an unlucky bartender before granting him a proper coup de grace from his "tool belt". Nelson is an endless delight as the greatness of his work is the purity of this exercise that is consistently entertaining in his somewhat brief time walking the earth. While there though we are granted more than a few pitch perfect reactions of a morbid joy before breaking out into another joyous number, like "Little Joe the Wrangler" for a surly man with a poor trigger instincts that Scruggs exploits.

Nearly every moment of this Nelson offers the most welcoming of smiles to enjoy his misadventures that have more deaths than some horror films. I write nearly though as I do love the little hints of a more overt, you might say, psychopathy that Nelson brings to Scruggs. Now I know Buster would prefer I not make such accusations, but the little shades of darkness Nelson brings to his delivery on his feelings towards mankind, or the actually rather chilling grimace he briefly gives a man for calling him a "twit" are rather effective in granting a bit more to this remarkable display. I'll admit that is just a bonus in a sense as Nelson already gives so much in the overarching creation of Scruggs that leads us through such a wonderful comic romp of death, right down to Scruggs's own. This being perhaps a highlight of Nelson's comic tour de force of a performance, from the humor of his loss in his smile this time in his confusion at seeing a hole through his hat, or hilarity of his aw shucks delivery of "Well that ain't good" as his final living words. The greatest moment though must be in his duet with the man in black who slayed him (Willie Watson) as they passionately sing "When a Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings". A magnificent display as the two capture both the comedy of the thought, but also the bit of poignancy in the sendoff this rather idiosyncratic rogue.
Well speaking of idiosyncratic rogues, Tom Waits did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying the prospector in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

Where Nelson as Scruggs was about running away with a rich role, Waits's work is in essence creating the role through his performance. His work being essentially a one man show about an old prospector looking for gold in an untouched valley. A simple enough story, but why is it so great? Well many reasons actually from Carter Burwell's score, to Jack London's source material, to Bruno Delbonnel's extraordinary cinematography, how the Coen's orchestrate these elements together, and of course Tom Waits's devoted work. I've mentioned before that Tom Waits is one of the most naturally compelling presences in film anyways, there's just something fascinating about his grizzled voice, and just his whole being. I'll admit that I take great joy in any time Waits is in anything as even in a small role Waits will make a large impact through simply that Waitsness of it all, so I was overjoyed to see this being potentially a proper showcase all to himself. He does no disappoint in this. Again the prospector we, really don't know much about, other than he is a prospector who has arrive on this valley. He arrives simple enough, a little bit like Scruggs honestly, though far more reality, both in Waits trademark mumbly singing "Mother Machree" and walking in with his ride, here a mule named Lucky. Although far more realistic, Waits brings something just even in his gradual singing of this song that naturally endears us to this prospector in his quest for wealth. This song being with a bit of wear on the road, but with the passion of a spirited man with a purpose.

That's just the opening act though for Waits's work which capitalizes so magnificently on his curiously engaging style as a performer. This is in that even as he does such simple things as digging up dirt, and panning it for signs of bits of gold, there is something just so compelling in it. It is perhaps in Waits's earnest delivery, or his physical work that finds the weight of the effort so to speak, but there is just also that little bit of Waits extra something that only Waits has or could ever bring to a part like this. Waits's work captures the spirit of this task with such a magnificent vigor. This is technically just the search for wealth but it goes much further than that due to Waits's work. This is most evident in his use of the name "Mr. Pocket" representing his pocket of gold. A remarkable line that Waits makes the absolute most of to realize this nearly religious quality within the task of the prospector. I love the way he cheers to the high heavens that he will continue his search to Mr. Pocket, as though he is speaking not only to the heavens, but also to his friend in a way. It isn't even quite a frenzy he portrays, but rather this zeal of expression in his little way of dancing below the sky as swears to find Mr. Pocket towards the stars himself. This is not just a lust for gold for the prospector, rather so much more in the hands of Mr. Waits.

Now as in any proper one man show the performance must engage even beyond the brief characteristics we might see of our man. There must just be something about him, which there certainly is as Waits doesn't waste a single moment of his performance. As even in the way he steals away an egg from an owl, Waits captures just the most wonderful low key humor in his little reactions of judging his chances with bird, a little sympathy for the bird, and just the right bit of impish justification to take just one for his breakfast. Waits ropes us into not simply only watching the prospector, but really becoming involved in every step of his prospect, through Waits's uniquely engrossing manner. As we make our way towards Mr. Pocket, Waits lets us right in on the thrill of the search through the purity he brings in his exclamation of "Mother Machree" when he's on his way, then sheer loving enthusiasm at finally finding his old friend with his marvelous delivery of "Hello Mr. Pocket" as he beholds the mother load. In Waits's eyes he shows us a man achieving a dream, and it is difficult not to get swept right into this moment with him. The same is true in his horror at the sight of a strangers shadow upon Mr. Pocket, where Waits brings such moving display of sorrow, and genuine vulnerability in his small little head shake pleading for mercy.

When no mercy is given, I'll admit experiencing quite the devastation at the broken sight of the prospector being brutally shot in the back by a potential thief on my first viewing. Thankfully, "All Gold Canyon" is not a tragedy, the prospector survives the shot while allowing him to get a surprise attack on the thief and overpower. Waits is outstanding in this moment by just offering a brutal reality in his harried and pained manner, as he kills the man. I love Waits's strained approach to the words of "You Piece of Skunk" that offer an earned disgust but also a sadness of a man who in no way enjoyed what he had to do. This only bested by his delivery of "You didn't hit nuthin important" which is this moment of perfection as Waits finds a combination of jubilation and excruciating pain as the prospector tends to his wounds. It is incredible as throughout Waits finds a real poignancy, and even tenderness towards his find of Gold, in his oh so earnest way of promising to find Mr. Pocket even with this set back. In this performance, Tom Waits makes it not just a search but for gold, but almost achievement of one's life purpose. This is as he makes it invigorating experience, that actually has a quality that is not always one's first association with Waits as an actor. In that though he is compelling as always, and naturally so, he is so distinctly empathetic here, in allowing us to be right with the prospector on this journey, and making it such a personal one. Waits takes a simple role, that lack even a name, and makes it truly remarkable man, that we feel we've come to know by the time he leaves nature to itself once again.

83 comments:

Charles H said...

Two of my favorite performances of the year. I'm glad to see both of them get fives. I consider them both very underrated actors. Nelson's performance just might be the most enjoyable performance of 2018. And Wait's performance is tremendous just in the fact he makes something out of a role that could've been bland and nothing. The whole cast of the film is great too.

Louis: Your updated top 10 Coens Brothers films.

Emi Grant said...

"I'm old, but you're older". Man, I loved All Gold Canyon. I think I'm giving Waits a 5 now.

Louis: Your Top 5 scenes from the anthology?

Robert MacFarlane said...

I liked them both, but I was much more impressed with the tender, genuine warmth from Bill Heck and the quiet, almost resigned sadness of Harry Melling in their segments.

Matt Mustin said...

They're both great.

Unknown said...

Louis: I shouldn't ask this since it might be too long, but what's your thought on the other striking performances mentioned in the review?

Anonymous said...

Louis: Your ranking of the Pixar films you've seen with ratings. Also thoughts on the score and cinematography of City Lights.

Michael McCarthy said...

I’m not sure I’d give Waits a 5, but “You didn’t hit nothin’ important” is definitely one of my favorite line deliveries of 2018.

Calvin Law said...

Both were great, especially Waits - whose nameless prospector is probably my 'favourite' character of the year. I'm just surprised it's taken the Coen Brothers so long to work with him, though admittedly his film work is pretty sporadic in general. My ranking of the stories now would probably be:

1. All Gold Canyon
2. The Girl Who Got Rattled
3. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
4. Near Algodones
5. The Mortal Remains
6. Meal Ticket

Although I've grown to like/love each of them, really. Also, Louis, any rating changes?

Also, a 1960s cast for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, directed by Billy Wilder

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Buster Scruggs: Danny Kaye
The Kid: Harry Dean Stanton
Surely Joe: Sterling Hayden

Near Algodones
Cowboy: Tony Curtis
Teller: Edmond O'Brien

Meal Ticket
Impresario: Trevor Howard
Artist: Tom Courtenay

All Gold Canyon
Prospector: Burl Ives

The Gal Who Got Rattled
Alice: Lee Remick
Billy Knapp: Robert Duvall
Mr Arthur: John Carradine

The Mortal Remains
Lady (Mrs. Betjeman): Elsa Lancester
Irishman (Clarence): Leo McKern
Englishman (Thigpen): Charlie Chaplin
Frenchman (René): Jack Kruschen
Trapper: Edward G. Robinson

Lezlie said...

Agree with the ratings, these were probably the two most memorable characters and performances of the movie, my favourite of the ones I've seen from this year. I also loved Harry Melling, Stephen Root and James Franco's "First time?" gave me a good laugh. Plus everything becomes at least a few percents better that has Clancy Brown in it even for a few moments, so there's that.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

The makeup & Hair styling is fantastic "period" work, period as they go over the top with it in just the right moments to add a nice grotesque quality within all the caked up makeup especially on Queen Anne, Abigail in her full power, or her suitor's attempt to beautify himself. This effectively though used in again amplifying the moment and each character when used overtly, though also along with the hair styling just great less assuming work throughout.

Charles:

1. Barton Fink
2. Fargo
3. No Country For Old Men
4. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
5. Inside Llewyn Davis
6. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
7. Miller's Crossing
8. The Big Lebowski
9. The Man Who Wasn't There
10. A Serious Man

Emi Grant:

1. "When A Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings"
2. Finding Mr. Pocket
3. This i'll Tell the Tale
4. "PAN SHOT!"
5. The Purpose of the Midnight Caller

Luke:

Well in regards to the Wizard of Lies:

De Niro - 2.5(Sad to say it but he should've gotten Pacino instead. De Niro just still seems adrift even in a decent role. One could attempt to argue that his mostly detached work is to show the sociopathy of Madoff, however it seems a little too similar to a phoned in De Niro performance to be something so simple. He mostly just stares off withe same expression even in what should be the moments of high drama for the character. He just plays it as detached and offers no real insight through this detachment either. The one scene he sort of wakes up for is the drum solo sell off scene, but even that isn't anything special when it comes to De Niro's work. He mostly just offers a bland lifeless turn, and does nothing with what his offered to him. I'll admit the part is limited, to the point they should've just made the films about his sons since that is what the writer seemed far more interested in, however De Niro does nothing with it.)

Pfeiffer - 3(She lays the manner on just a little thick at times, but otherwise gives a fine turn as the pseudo supportive and somewhat delusional wife. She's fine to the point she at least hits the emotional marks while enough. For the most part her performance makes little impact.)

Azaria - 3(He has a tendency to go over the top, however it is a fine bit of pure sleaze and I actually wish they got into his character's role in the scheme more in the film.)

Darrow - 3.5(A moving performance as well though secondary to Nivola in terms of his overall impact. Darrow though also offers a nice sympathetic turn showing the growing shame of his character in a more low key manner of a man who can handle the guilt yet it still hurts him.)

Nivola - 4(The best part of the film without a doubt as he portrays well the sort of attempt at the stable businessman who initially is just confused and unsure of what to do with the accusations against his father. He is genuinely heartbreaking though as he shows how the wear of the scandal breaks him down again and again. Nivola's loss of sort of any personal confidence is devastating, especially in his final breakdown showing just how the son is no longer able to cope with what his father's crimes have done to his life.)

Louis Morgan said...

Charles:

Emi Grant:

Anonymous:

1. The Incredibles - 5
2. Toy Story 2 -4.5
3. Toy Story
4. Toy Story 3
5. Finding Nemo
6. Coco - 4
7. Wall-E
8. Inside Out
9. UP
10. Ratatouille
11. Incredibles 2 - 3.5
12. Monsters Inc.
13. A Bug's Life - 3
14. Cars - 2.5
15. Finding Dory - 2

The score is a centerpiece of the film, obviously being a silent film, however the careful attention to the score within that is a notable facet of Chaplin's remarkable work. This piece again being this fantastic combination between sort of this sweeping romantic wonder and just a more simplistic comedic jaunty quality. This is mixed between the two nearly flawlessly in the orchestration which both grants a certain sense of fun within the score, while finding a real dramatic elements all within the same pieces.

City Lights is of course beautifully shot and a particular highlight among Chaplin films. In that he it manages to feature both dynamic compositions sort of needed for the physical comedy of Chaplin, but with a greater focus on dramatic lighting to really evoke the strongly romantic overtones featured in the film. It very much lives up to its name through its beautifully luminescent work that creates such an affectionate quality with the work. The soft lighting for example on both the tramp and the flower girl in the final scene is just exemplifies this wonderful romanticism.

Nguyễn Ngọc Toàn:

My thoughts haven't exactly changed, though I've grown to have an even greater affection for their work, you can find those here http://actoroscar.blogspot.com/2018/11/alternate-best-actor-1987-klaus-kinski.html

Calvin:

All the performances specifically mentioned in the review and Kazan would be 4.5's now.

Calvin Law said...

Ah, nice. Was hoping that Franco and Watson might get upgraded too, but pretty happy.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Your thoughts on Finding Dory and ratings/thoughts on the cast.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Watson I'd bump up to a 3.5.

Luke:

Sorry, but I refuse to spend more than this sentence or so on that hour and a half of noisy nonsense. It is essentially all the parts of Pixar movies I don't like for a feature length film of talented actors screaming their lines with silly voices. How it got so much critical support is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone seen Kung Fu Panda 2, I don't think it's as great as the original but Gary Oldman's character might be the best villain I've seen in an animated film this decade.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: What's your updated top ten animated films.

Lezlie said...

I have a soft spot in my heart for the Kung Fu Panda-trilogy, I don't think either film is truly "great", but they are surprisingly consistently good. I loved Oldman's Lord Shen too, but my favourite scene of the whole trilogy is Po's dads discussing the roles they play in the life of their son, it's actually pretty touching.

Bryan L. said...

Calvin: You beat me to it, since I was also thinking up of a 60s Billy Wilder version of Buster Scruggs haha. I actually had Walter Brennan in mind for The Prospector, though Ives would be great.

Here is my ranking for the stories

1. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
2. All Gold Canyon
3. The Girl Who Got Rattled
4. Meal Ticket (Actually quite dug this one on rewatch)
5. Near Algodones
6. The Mortal Remains

Bryan L. said...

I straight up forgot about Finding Dory. Haven't watched it, but I do remember feeling like it just came and went.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Your reasons for Bryan Cranston as Max Schumacher instead of Howard Beale?

And your reasons for Spielberg as director for a 90s First Man? I honestly think he might've played his hand a bit too much on the dead daughter trauma for Armstrong if he made that film back then, not unlike the ending for Schindler's List or several moments in SPR.

Charles H said...

My ranking would be:

1. Buster Scruggs
2. All Gold Canyon
3. The Mortal Remains
4. Near Algodones
5. The Gal Who Got Rattled
6. Meal Ticket

I'll probably have more appreciation for Meal Ticket on rewatch.

Louis Morgan said...

Luke:

1. The Secret of NIMH
2. Grave of the Fireflies
3. Pinocchio
4. Watership Down
5. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
6. My Neighbor Totoro
7. Only Yesterday
8. Coraline
9. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut
10. The Incredibles

Bryan:

Well I haven't seen Cranston's stage performance, maybe he's great, but either way it's a stage performance which is very different. Ever since Breaking Bad, where he played a subdued character who would go to extreme places, I've noticed he has a tendency to really go into very hammy territory with broad by nature roles. Beale is one of the most extreme characters of cinema frankly, so this could bring out that hammy side, though I could be wrong. Schumacher though would guarantee he'd play to his strengths as a performer, which are when internalizes first then expresses later. His expressive first roles, just play to his worst tendencies.

Well early 90's is less of a risk than late 90's theoretically but really it's because I know he'd have a grasp of the visual effects, something I wouldn't be as confident with Malick for, who I know was your choice. 70's Spielberg would be a better choice mind you, but I think 90's could still pull it off theoretically. He'd be a terrible choice now.

Calvin Law said...

Cranston is an actor who is interesting for me in that I was exposed to his post Breaking Bad work before Breaking Bad Itself. I have to admit that probably worked in my favour as I went from ‘huh this guy’s a pretty decent character actor, could tone it down a bit sometimes though’ to ‘HOLY FUCK he’s good’.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: Yeah...following his career after Breaking Bad has been very disappointing, although I did like him a lot in Isle of Dogs.

Calvin Law said...

Matt: I mean, pretty much everyone's career post-Breaking Bad hasn't quite reached those heights. Though in Cranston's case it's more so choosing roles that don't suit him.

Aaron Paul's also been kind of disappointing on the whole, Dean Norris has been in some real stinkers, and it's a shame Giancarlo Esposito and Jonathan Banks haven't found anything to really capitalise on their work. Likewise for Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt (such is the unfortunate case with so many actresses with breakout roles in television).

On the positive side, I'm super glad that Bob Odenkirk and Jesse Plemons are doing well for themselves, particularly the latter.

Calvin Law said...

Speaking of which, Cranston, Plemons and in particular Odenkirk seem like they'd be perfect fits for a Coen Brothers film.

Matt Mustin said...

Calvin: Well, I mean, Jonathan Banks has Better Call Saul. Yes, he's playing the same character, but he's still good.

Bryan L. said...

I think Cranston was decent in The Infiltrator and Last Flag Flying, good in Trumbo, and very good in Isle of Dogs. Kind of thought he'd be in more high-profile films by now though.

Louis: It definitely would've been a visual marvel as well under Spielbergs hands, so it could've worked out with a dash of restrain. And Cranston does seem like the Schumacher type, though the part of Howard Beale is quite a challenge.

Lastly, your 70s cast for First Man with him at the helm?

Calvin Law said...

https://reelandroll.blogspot.com/2019/02/reel-and-roll-awards-best-supporting.html

Finalized my lineup for Supporting Actor and Actress, them being:

Steven Yeun
Richard E. Grant
Tom Waits
Russell Crowe
Brian Tyree Henry

and

Elizabeth Debicki
Regina King
Jeon Jong-seo
Claire Foy
Michelle Yeoh

Charles H said...

Cranston hasn't done anything great since Breaking Bad, only very good performances. Although i haven't seen Wakefield which may be great.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Neil Armstrong: Robert Redford
Janet Armstrong: Sally Field
Ed White: Richard Jordan
Buzz Aldrin: Fredric Forrest

Calvin Law said...

I actually think Steve McQueen could've been an amazing Neil Armstrong. But he'd have probably been a bit old for the role.

Calvin Law said...

Also do you have a favourite Tom Waits song Louis?

Bryan L. said...

Calvin: I do think McQueen could've been great as Armstrong, but the thing is, both of those gents were actually born the same year, so I think the math wouldn't have worked out. Plus, McQueen always looked a bit older than he really was.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

Louis: Your #11-#20 favourite animated films.

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I liked Cranston quite a bit in Isle of Dogs, and while I do wish Aaron Paul was more selective with his roles, I still haven't seen The Path.

On an unrelated note, did anyone see Netflix's new show 'You'? I finished it last week, and even if it has some flaws, it does have a compelling lead performance at its centre

Matt Mustin said...

Cold War wins the ASC, but that probably won't translate to an Oscar win. I think it's likely they wanted to reward an actual DP rather than Cuaron.

Matthew Montada said...

Thoughts and ratings on the cast from Mission Impossible: Fallout?

Bryan L. said...

Matt Montada: He gave his thoughts on the cast here

http://actoroscar.blogspot.com/2018/07/alternate-best-actor-1948.html?m=0

And his ratings in the post before that

Louis Morgan said...

I'm all for that Cold War ASC win, now Roma would've also been deserving, but I appreciate spreading the wealth a bit among deserving work rather than just falling in line.

Tahmeed:

11. Your Name
12. The Great Mouse Detective
13. The Land Before Time
14. Toy Story 2
15. 101 Dalmatians
16. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
17. Lady and the Tramp
18. Beauty and the Beast
19. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
20. Toy Story

Calvin:

Maybe "If I have to go"

Luke Higham said...

Well Guys, Ali's winning for a 2nd time. FUCK!

Emi Grant said...

Luke: Well...crap.

Emi Grant said...

Also, just found out that Vice won Best Editing.

Calvin Law said...

Fuck. At least Weisz won which is nice.

Louis Morgan said...

Expected, but unfortunate. But at least I can enjoy that Weisz win and The Favourite's original screenplay win.

Louis Morgan said...

Vice winning editing and Black Panther in Visual Effects though is pretty hard to take, at least The Favourite tech wins are deserving.

Emi Grant said...

Louis: Yeah, those 2 were grotesque choices, frankly.

Louis Morgan said...

Colman takes Actress, so at least I'm loving this The Favourite love.

Calvin Law said...

Great choice. And Malek as expected.

Emi Grant said...

Roma takes Best Film.

Louis Morgan said...

Roma takes picture, and quite possibly the Oscar, however given the preferential ballot I'd say there is still a chance for an upset.

Calvin Law said...

PLEASE let Roma take this. For once I'm rooting for predictability.

Louis: If not Roma, which film would be your choice for an upset?

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Do you need to ask? It's the title of the movie.

Michael McCarthy said...

It's hard for me to imagine an upset for Best Picture at the Oscars this year. Cuaron's been the directing favorite since the beginning of the race and it overperformed in the nominations.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

If you mean prediction wise, that would be my guess as well, I do think Roma is winning, however The Favourite clearly has a lot of support with its tech precursor wins and acting wins. So that would be my guess for an upset. Though since Moonlight won with only really a WGA win as a major precursor, I'd say it could theoretically be anybody's game.

Bryan L. said...

I also think we could get an upset, since The Favourite hasn't really faced any backlash as well.

The writings on the wall for Ali's 2nd Oscar. Shame. And Grants been charming as hell on the circuit too!

Louis: Your overall thoughts on the BAFTA wins? I hope the Editing win for Vice doesn't translate.

Bryan L. said...

I also rewatched Bohemian Rhapsody the other night and Maleks down to a 4. He's still good, but all the faults for the film are even more apparent on rewatch, which don't help Malek at all.

BRAZINTERMA said...

I think Louis will put only 5 nominees for best alternate actor 2018. The nominees are:
- Yoo Ah‑In in Burning
- Ben Foster in Leave No Trace
- Matt Dillon in The House That Jack Built
- Ryan Gosling in First Man
- Ethan Hawke in First Reformed


But if I am mistaken, the other 5 nominees could also be:
- Lakeith Stanfield in Sorry to Bother You
- Nicolas Cage in Mandy
- John David Washington in Blackkklansman
- Daveed Diggs in Blinspotting
- Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased

Calvin Law said...

He's already given his thoughts and ratings for Washington and Diggs. I'm thinking it will be:

Gosling
Hawke
Foster (but it won't be a double review I think)
Yoo
Cedergen
Reilly/Phoenix
Huston
Redford
Fonte
Hedges/Stanfield

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

The Great:

Colman for Actress
Weisz for S.Actress
Cuaron for Roma
The Favourite also winning Original Screenplay, British Film, Costumes, Makeup, Production Design and Costume Design.
Roma For Cinematography
Spider-Man for Animated film

The Good:

Roma for Best Film
A Star is Born for Score (I think the songs are technically part of it for BAFTA)

The Eh...fine:

Blackkklansman for Adapted Screenplay
Ali in S.Actor
Malek for Actor (It's not like they were going to go for Coogan anyways)

The Bad:

Bohemian Rhapsody for Sound (Given this should be for the comprehensive design since it isn't split.)
Vice for Editing
Black Panther for Visual Effects.

So I guess a mostly strong set of winners honestly.

Calvin Law said...

Have you seen Stan & Ollie yet?

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Pretty much in agreement here, although it kind of sucks that Ali has seemed a bit indifferent on the trail while Grant, again, has been a delight.

Do you think the Oscar is still Closes' to lose or does Colman have a (better) chance? And does the BAFTA wins for Supporting Actress and Editing mean anything for the big night? It doesn't feel like anyone is pulling away in the former.

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Yes, just yesterday, found it to be delightful.

Bryan:

I still think Close wins...at the moment. Colman has an avenue, since her film is so much more adored than the Wife, but I think the vet with multiple losses will get Close the favor....unfortunately.

Supporting Actress on the other hand is a real nail biter. So many have just said "It's King" but it's hard to support that idea without a second thought when she was snubbed by BAFTA and SAG. Right now the scenario is almost exactly the same as what happened with Stallone, except Weisz, unlike Rylance, is a previous winner. Some have called that King is better respected than Stallone, though I'd say that's more in the television than film side of things. Weisz though also has the advantage that The Favourite is a top tier contender, while Beale Street under performed overall. Also they aren't having a problem just handing Ali a second win, so why not Weisz? So I'm siding with Weisz at the moment, though it's definitely going to be close no matter what.

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

As for Editing, it seems like it is going to be a weak choice either way since it appears to be between Bohemian Rhapsody and Vice. Rhapsody could be another win to go along with Malek, however John Ottman has strong ties with Singer, that could sway just enough voters over to Vice, so I'm leaning Vice.

Calvin Law said...

Louis: so glad! I do hope you might save Coogan alongside Reilly for an extra big review or something...but even if not glad you enjoyed it.

Calvin Law said...

And could I have your thoughts and ratings for Arianda and Henderson in it.

Bryan L. said...

Louis: Lastly, is there any chance The Favourite upsets at Editing? And do you think the anti-Netflix/streaming bias will affect Roma in any way? It seems to be weathering it very well, but I honestly can't picture them awarding BP to a streaming film.

Though there's a first for everything...

Louis Morgan said...

Calvin:

Oh you better believe I'm saving Reilly and Coogan, in fact I want the both of them just to make Robin Good themselves quite frankly.

Arianda & Henderson - 4(I thought both were delightful in their roles and each managed to find a bit more than I expected in the role. In that Henderson in the surface gives such a sweet and affection performance. She portrays this honestly mind you, but shows the stern undercurrent of disappointment towards her husbands more self-destructive tendencies. This is against Arianda who on the surface has that colder facade, fairly broad though I think she pulls it back just enough to be comical without becoming cartoonish. Within that though is how in her private scenes we see the uncompromising love and affection towards her husband that is filled with an abundance of warmth. In addition to that I really liked how the two played off each other in each scene, and I have to say the little moment at the end, with their two pitch perfect reactions, really ended up being surprisingly moving actually.)

Louis Morgan said...

Bryan:

Well it won ACE over the flashy Vice so there is a chance, however it lost BAFTA which adored The Favourite. I just don't see it because of how subtle the work is compared to typical winners in the category, and its competition, though maybe that will let it come through the middle? It would be my preference certainly, but I have serious doubts over its chances.

As for Roma its only "knocks", in terms of general industry perception, are silly ones, foreign language, streaming and in Black and White. The streaming seems to be the biggest one as there is a vocal group against it so that's why I do think an upset, in Picture only, is possible. That is due to the preferential ballot which would let say a Steven Spielberg to rank it last. The question is will enough honestly put it below say a Bohemian Rhapsody just to make a statement. Also there isn't a clear alternative, where at least in the case of La La Land, Moonlight was perceived as the runner-up, even when it was considered a distant one. It's possible for the upset to happen, but it's frankly easier just to go with the safe choice since there is not an obvious choice for that upset.

Luke Higham said...

I'm glad you managed to get around to Stan & Ollie, Louis. Was rather concerned you wouldn't see it before Alternate Lead.

Charles H said...

Louis: Glad you liked Coogan and Reilly, i hope to see them reviewed. I would probably give them 4.5's or 5's.

Luke Higham said...

And I saw Lego Movie 2, It was fine.

Michael McCarthy said...

Very happy to hear you loved the film and that you're saving Reilly and Coogan. I hope they end up taking the place of Huston or Foster and not Hedges or Stanfield.

Calvin Law said...

I would agree with Michael. Even though Foster is in my top 5 I don’t really need an additional review.

Charles H said...

I heavily doubt Louis will drop Foster and Huston.

Calvin Law said...

Charles: I think they’re getting very strong 4.5’s.

Luke Higham said...

Louis: Review all your fives, That's all I'm gonna say.

Charles H said...

I agree with Luke's strategy. Whoever is a five deserves a review.

Anonymous said...

Louis: what would be your cast and director for a 2010s version of Bonnie and Clyde, Dolores Claiborne and The Last Picture Show?

Anonymous said...

Louis: What female actress and male actor would you like to see Ben Foster doing a pair?

Tahmeed Chowdhury said...

I am really glad that the BAFTAs backed Roma and The Favourite. While I do have a few gripes (Ali, Vice's win, Bohemian Rhapsody outside of Malek's win), I would not mind having most of these winners repeat on Oscar night.

Mitchell Murray said...

Everybody: Thoughts on this extended interview?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9CT-dLPTkY

Louis Morgan said...

Anonymous:

Bonnie and Clyde directed by Safdie Brothers:

Clyde Barrow: Robert Pattinson
Bonnie Parker: Brie Larson
C.W. Moss: Rory Culkin
Buck Barrow: Lucas Black
Blanche Barrow: Carrie Coon

Dolores Claiborne directed by Marielle Heller:

Dolores Claiborne: Melissa McCarthy
Selena St. George: Kirsten Dunst
Vera Donovan: Carol Kane
Detective MacKay: Ted Danson
Joe St. George: Ethan Hawke
Constable Stamshaw: Michael Angarano

The Last Picture Show directed by Jeff Nichols:

Sonny Crawford: Tye Sheridan
Duane Jackson: Emory Cohen
Jacy Farrow: Lucy Boyton
Sam the Lion: Kurt Russell
Ruth Popper: Laura Dern
Genevieve: Sarah Paulson
Lois Farrow: Jessica Chastain
Abilene: Michael Shannon
Lester Marlow: George MacKay

Anonymous:

Hmmm Actor...maybe Ryan Gosling. Actress maybe Olivia Colman.