Archive for January 26, 2021

Oscars 2020: National Board of Review Winners

Doesn’t this feel nice? To finally be back in the warm confines of Oscar season? Of course, that is, before they rip out your heart when the wrong film wins and make it so you can never properly feel again. But, I mean, you can still not be able to feel real emotions from under a nice, comfy heated blanket. So it’s all relative.

This is the official kickoff of Oscar season for me. I don’t pay any attention to anything before this day. Granted, this is the first day stuff gets announced, so it works out. NBR day is one of my favorite days of the year. As I say every single year on here: I love NBR. I love their choices, and they are the one group who generally feels most aligned with my own feelings most of the time. And when we disagree, it’s usually because they have their own personal tastes. But you can telegraph it. They love auteurs (or people they consider to be auteurs). That’s their big vice. So whenever Clint Eastwood makes a movie, it’s gonna be on their list. That’s just how it works for them.

They’re also the only group that goes back as far as the Oscars do, which you probably don’t need to hear me say anymore, so I’ll spare you the history lesson. But the one thing I do like to stress — their voting group isn’t necessarily industry people. It’s people from all over whose only real common thread is a love of movies. So it’s critics, academics, all sorts of people. And I love that about them. There’s less of an agenda so much as it’s purely about what they liked the best. They’re not trying to get people to come to their party (looking at you, HFPA). (more…)


Pic of the Day: “What if this isn’t what I want? I mean what if I don’t wanna live the way you live?” Oh, don’t be ridiculous. Andrea. Everybody wants this. Everybody wants to be us.” (15th Anniversary)

Oscars 2020: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

As I wait for them to announce the NBR winners (which is really the only thing I care about today), they dropped the Independent Spirit Award nominations. So let’s go over those now.

Most people know I have a passive disinterest in these as they relate to the Oscars. On their own, they’re pretty great. They acknowledge films made in the true independent sense (most of the time. There were a few years there where it was clear the studios had gotten in there with their Oscar choices and even now a few questionable ones still get in) and do an awards show the way it’s supposed to be done — with everyone getting drunk in a tent on the beach. At this point, independent film is one of the only things keeping interesting movies going. So even though I dismiss these nominations as they relate to what the Oscars are gonna do (which reminds me of when Olivia Colman won Best Actress and said, “My kids are at home watching. Well, if you’re not then, well done.” It’s not like in the end that’s a good thing a lot of the time), I do love everything they’re about.

So anyway, here are the nominees this year: (more…)