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Oscars 2020: AFI Awards

So the AFI Awards were announced today. They got the jump on NBR by a day. Usually I kick off my Oscar season with NBR, but apparently AFI just had to jump the gun. So let’s consider this the soft open. The dates article is already up, so it’s all fair game anyway.

Typically AFI is the most populist of this groups to announce, though they tend to get about half their list on the Best Picture list. Who the hell knows what the case is this year. I feel like I might have heard they were thinking of going back to a set ten, but maybe that was all just conjecture. So I’m just gonna look at this as a finger in the wind instead of a weather vane and just see where the winds are blowing before we start calculating it down to the exact direction and wind speed. (more…)


Oscars 2020: Important Dates

Here’s every date you need to know for this year’s Oscar season:

January 25thAFI Awards

January 26th – National Board of Review Awards

Independent Spirit Nominations

February 3rd – Golden Globe Nominations

February 4th – SAG Nominations

February 8th – BFCA Nominations

February 9th – Best Documentary Feature Shortlist announced

Best Foreign Language Film Shortlist announced

Best Original Score Shortlist announced

Best Original Song Shortlist announced

Best Visual Effects Shortlist announced

Best Makeup & Hairstyling Shortlist announced

Best Animated Short Shortlist announced

Best Live-Action Short Shortlist announced

Best Documentary Short Shortlist announced

February 16th – WGA Nominations

February 18th – Makeup & Hairstylist Guild Nominations

February 20th – USC Scripter Award

February 25th – ADG Nominations

February 28th – Golden Globes

March 1st – MPSE Nominations

March 2nd – CAS Nominations

March 3rd – Annie Award Nominations

March 7th – BFCA Awards

March 8th – VES Nominations

March 9th – BAFTA Nominations

ASC Nominations

March 11th – ACE Nominations

March 12th – PGA Nominations

March 14th – SAG Awards

March 15th – Oscar Nominations Announced

March 21st – WGA Awards

March 24th – PGA Awards

April 3rd – Makeup & Hairstylist Guild Nominations

April 6th – VES Awards

April 10th – DGA Awards

ADG Awards

April 11th – BAFTA Awards

April 16th – Annie Awards

April 17th – CAS Awards

April 18th – ACE Awards

ASC Awards

MPSE Awards

April 24th – Independent Spirit Awards

April 25th – 93rd Academy Awards

– – – – – – – – – –

Also, reminder that my Oscar Trivia page is always available to view.

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Pic of the Day: “Wanna dance or would you rather just suck face?” (40th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: “Not much of a crowd.” “Well, at least we have the home field advantage.” “The Alamo was the home field.” (30th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: “I’m going to stay.” “That’s right. You’re in probably the wickedest, most corrupt city, most godless city in America. Sometimes it frightens me. I wonder what the end’s going to be. But nothing can harm you if you don’t allow it to because nothing in the world, no one in the world, is all bad.” (85th Anniversary)


My Favorite Directorial Efforts of 2020

I should stress that these are going to be slightly odd lists because this year, the Oscar season is split between two years. Typically a fair portion of what makes these lists are the late-year ‘awards’ type movies. But since we still have January and February for those to come out… I’m working with what I have. That being the 2020 calendar year. Which, as we all know, was a strange one. So while this list is normally my prep for what would be my own personal Oscar choices… it can’t be that this year. Which might be a blessing in disguise.

I’m just gonna shout out the stuff from this year that I liked. Not even gonna rank anything. I felt like trying to do things by my normal standards was keeping some stuff off the list, since I kept looking for things that weren’t there. This way, I’m just telling you what I liked. We’re not trying to say one is better than the other and this way I’m just telling you, “Hey I thought this was good.” It’s probably better. And honestly, it’s actually getting me, in some cases, to put more than the usual 15 that I try to get to for each category.

This one I thought about for a long time, because not a whole lot really jumped out at me like, “Oh wow. That was a great job.” Maybe it’s a byproduct of the year and my thoughts will change. But I got the 15 I at least felt best about.

So here are my favorite directorial efforts of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I am gravely disappointed. Again you have made me unleash my dogs of war.” (40th Anniversary)


My Favorite Female Supporting Performances of 2020

I should stress that these are going to be slightly odd lists because this year, the Oscar season is split between two years. Typically a fair portion of what makes these lists are the late-year ‘awards’ type movies. But since we still have January and February for those to come out… I’m working with what I have. That being the 2020 calendar year. Which, as we all know, was a strange one. So while this list is normally my prep for what would be my own personal Oscar choices… it can’t be that this year. Which might be a blessing in disguise.

I’m just gonna shout out the stuff from this year that I liked. Not even gonna rank anything. I felt like trying to do things by my normal standards was keeping some stuff off the list, since I kept looking for things that weren’t there. This way, I’m just telling you what I liked. We’re not trying to say one is better than the other and this way I’m just telling you, “Hey I thought this was good.” It’s probably better. And honestly, it’s actually getting me, in some cases, to put more than the usual 15 that I try to get to for each category. (Slightly tough here, but I got to 15.)

Here are my favorite female supporting performances of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Non!” (45th Anniversary)


My Favorite Male Supporting Performances of 2020

I should stress that these are going to be slightly odd lists because this year, the Oscar season is split between two years. Typically a fair portion of what makes these lists are the late-year ‘awards’ type movies. But since we still have January and February for those to come out… I’m working with what I have. That being the 2020 calendar year. Which, as we all know, was a strange one. So while this list is normally my prep for what would be my own personal Oscar choices… it can’t be that this year. Which might be a blessing in disguise.

I’m just gonna shout out the stuff from this year that I liked. Not even gonna rank anything. I felt like trying to do things by my normal standards was keeping some stuff off the list, since I kept looking for things that weren’t there. This way, I’m just telling you what I liked. We’re not trying to say one is better than the other and this way I’m just telling you, “Hey I thought this was good.” It’s probably better. And honestly, it’s actually getting me, in some cases, to put more than the usual 15 that I try to get to for each category. (Not this one, though. This one I actually had trouble with.)

Here are my favorite male supporting performances of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I’ve heard a lot about you, too, Doc. You left your mark around in Deadwood, Denver and places. In fact, a man could almost follow your trail goin’ from graveyard to graveyard.” “There’s one here, too… the biggest graveyard west of the Rockies. Marshals and I usually get along much better when we understand that right away.” (75th Anniversary)


My Favorite Female Lead Performances of 2020

I should stress that these are going to be slightly odd lists because this year, the Oscar season is split between two years. Typically a fair portion of what makes these lists are the late-year ‘awards’ type movies. But since we still have January and February for those to come out… I’m working with what I have. That being the 2020 calendar year. Which, as we all know, was a strange one. So while this list is normally my prep for what would be my own personal Oscar choices… it can’t be that this year. Which might be a blessing in disguise.

I’m just gonna shout out the stuff from this year that I liked. Not even gonna rank anything. I felt like trying to do things by my normal standards was keeping some stuff off the list, since I kept looking for things that weren’t there. This way, I’m just telling you what I liked. We’re not trying to say one is better than the other and this way I’m just telling you, “Hey I thought this was good.” It’s probably better. And honestly, it’s actually getting me, in some cases, to put more than the usual 15 that I try to get to for each category.

This list has 25 entries on it! Which I’m thrilled about. I feel like most years there aren’t enough female lead performances to go around, so this year I get to go extra hard and talk about all the great ones. This is the list I’m most excited about of all of them.

Here are my favorite female lead performances of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Death is the road to awe.” (15th Anniversary)


My Favorite Male Lead Performances of 2020

I should stress that these are going to be slightly odd lists because this year, the Oscar season is split between two years. Typically a fair portion of what makes these lists are the late-year ‘awards’ type movies. But since we still have January and February for those to come out… I’m working with what I have. That being the 2020 calendar year. Which, as we all know, was a strange one. So while this list is normally my prep for what would be my own personal Oscar choices… it can’t be that this year. Which might be a blessing in disguise.

I’m just gonna shout out the stuff from this year that I liked. Not even gonna rank anything. I felt like trying to do things by my normal standards was keeping some stuff off the list, since I kept looking for things that weren’t there. This way, I’m just telling you what I liked. We’re not trying to say one is better than the other and this way I’m just telling you, “Hey I thought this was good.” It’s probably better. And honestly, it’s actually getting me, in some cases, to put more than the usual 15 that I try to get to for each category.

This list in particular has 20 performances. I probably could have pared five of them off, but I figured, why bother? The point is to talk about stuff I liked, not do some weird gatekeeping. Honestly, this might be the trend going forward.

But anyway, here are my favorite male lead performances of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Get away from her, you bitch!” (35th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day (125th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: “There can be only one!” (35th Anniversary)


The Underseen Films of 2020

And now our final one of this series of lists: The Underseen Films of 2020. This one’s pretty simple — I thought these films were great or simply interesting and worth your time, and I feel like not enough people saw them or gave them proper consideration. That’s it. For various reasons, these films feel like they deserve as wide an audience as possible, and I’m hoping my bringing them up gets you to see them and maybe gets a few of you to go, “I really liked that,” and then bring it up to your friends, and so on and so forth. They all deserve it for one reason or another. How is this notably different from Hidden Gems? Probably in that these are more likely to be films you’ve at least heard of in some way. That’s it, really. And it’s more about me saying, “Hey, this is why you need to see this,” instead of, “I think this is great, you should see this, and here’s why.”

So here are my top underseen films of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I’m sorry. That last hand… nearly killed me.” (15th Anniversary)


The Underrated Films of 2020

Okay, so Overrated was real difficult this year. And Underrated tends to be a mix of Hidden Gem plus stuff that I felt didn’t fully get a fair shake in theaters (which also overlaps with Underseen). There’s a weird alchemy to how I put stuff on lists (to the point where there might not actually be any real logic to it whatsoever. But what else have you come to expect out of me?), so I just kinda go with my gut.

This year, since you can’t really call much of anything underrated, I’ve decided to do something very specific with this year’s list, which is to make it all about representation. Because one thing I’m noticing over the past few years — there’s starting to be more and more films coming from places you would not have seen in years and decades prior. Films directed by women (and written by women at the same time. Sometimes even the same woman). Films authored and made by Black filmmakers. Films by and about LBGTQ+ people. And it’s not that all of them are amazing films (and should not be judged as such simply because they exist. Everything deserves the same equal shot to be deemed good or bad), but I find that they’re taking up some of the space of films that I’d normally see and shrug and go, “Whatever.” And now, there’s this increasing number of stuff that, while some of it will make me go, “Yeah, sure,” I can also go, “Oh, that’s a Black filmmaker who wrote and directed it. Good for them.” And I can be happy that it got made and got a chance to succeed as opposed to the same old boring white people shit.

So that’s what I want this year’s list to be about. I want to shout out all the films that are really worthy of your time and your respect, even if they might not all be my favorite films of the year (though I did like all of them. It’s not like I’m putting them on here just for representation. They’re all good movies). The point is — we’re not giving them enough credit for helping create this massive sea change in the industry and hopefully make it so anyone can tell any story about any subject, rather than it just be the same forty white guys making all the movies.

So here are the films I consider Underrated for 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “You do hate me, don’t you, Johnny?” “I don’t think you have any idea of how much.” “Hate is a very exciting emotion. Haven’t you noticed? Very exciting. I hate you too, Johnny. I hate you so much I think I’m going to die from it. Darling… I think I’m going to die from it.” (75th Anniversary)


The Overrated Films of 2020

Okay, so we really only had about two-and-a-half months of moviegoing this year, so it’s hard to define the term ‘overrated’ for 2020. Usually, for me, overrated is people rushing out to see something and proclaiming it a masterpiece when really it’s just okay or just good. Or the media machine hypes the shit out of something and the movie’s just not worth it in the end. Or it’s an awards contender that people build up sight unseen and it turns out to be garbage. This list is always about hype and things not living up to that hype. (And again, based on my own feelings of things. I feel like people often misconstrue overrated to mean ‘bad’. When in reality, something could be the most lauded film of the year and still be overrated. The overrating only speaks more to the people talking about something than the thing itself.

But, whereas most years, the overrated films tend to be the ones that made a bunch of money and become runaway successes. But since we’ve all been stuck inside for the majority of the year and there’s really not much hype to be had, it’s hard to necessarily call things overrated. So I’m just gonna make this one a shorter list than usual. There are really only ten films I can put on here (and even then, I may have stretched it a little bit). The awards movies still have another six weeks to come out and we never had a summer movie season. It’s not an easy year to do this.

So, with as many caveats as I can give, here are my Overrated Films of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “If I were a rich man / Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum / All day long I’d biddy biddy bum / If I were a wealthy man / I wouldn’t have to work hard / Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum / If I were a biddy biddy rich / Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.” ♫ (50th Anniversary)


The Films of 2020 That Disappointed Me

So yesterday I talked about the films that surprised me in a good way… today’s the other list. The ones that I had some hopes for that just did not meet them. Not that I necessarily disliked them, but they just felt like they didn’t achieve what I was hoping they’d achieve, to varying degrees of disappointment. I’ll specify just how each of the films disappointed me, but in each one’s own way, it disappointed me. Again, I’ll specify that the list is only based on my own personal opinions, before you get all butt hurt about me putting something on here (hence the word “Me” in the title).

Here are the films that disappointed me most in 2020: (more…)