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Oscars 2020: Best Animated Feature Eligibles

Animated Feature time. There are 27 films eligible this year, down from the record 32 last year. I’m honestly surprised we got that close, since little to no American studio animated fare even came out this year. I’d wager that most people would have trouble recognizing more than about ten of these titles, unless they specifically pay attention to animated film.

In the end, though, there likely won’t be very much intrigue, as this category figures to go the way it goes most years. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look over anything and maybe find a couple of cool movies you didn’t know about.

Here’s the list of 27 eligible films for Best Animated Feature: (more…)


Oscars 2020: Best International Feature Submissions

And now International Feature. There are 93 countries that submitted films, which is the same as last year, only this time two countries haven’t been disqualified. So technically this year is the record. Last year was really only 91. But anyway, we’ll do what we normally do — go over each film and see what it’s about and get acquainted with all the choices.

Last year, they upped the shortlist from 9 to 10. This year, it’s now 15. How it used to work was, they’d do preliminary voting, and then the PriceWaterhouseCooper people would tell the results behind closed doors to the branch executive committee, who would then argue it out like it’s the NFL Hall of Fame. If I remember correctly, how it worked was six films would get on naturally and then they’d allow three ‘saves’, films that they felt belonged on the shortlist that didn’t get enough votes through the branch. Which is something they started pretty recently, when “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days,” generally regarded as the best foreign film of that year, didn’t make the shortlist. So now they can save some of the better, beloved or higher profile films for the shortlist. Though I feel like a lot of the time the stuff does make the shortlist and a lot of times gets left off the final list.

They don’t ever tell you what the saves were (but curiously a lot of first time countries always seemed to curiously make shortlists a lot of the time this past decade), but that was the norm for over a decade. Now, they’ve done away with it and it’s just top 15. Which I assume means they’ve done the math and looked at past voting and figured if they just go to 15 like Doc Feature everything people feel should get on will get on. Though there are some lower profile but great films that might not be saved, since I’m sure there’s no way a lot of people are gonna watch all the choices and will just vote for the handful they know about. But we’ll see. It’s the first year of this.

Anyway, here are the 93 submissions for Best International Feature: (more…)


Oscars 2020: Best Documentary Feature Eligibles

Okay, so three giant list of eligibles/submissions were announced the other day and so I’m just gonna go over them all. Because I like to and because I can. We’re gonna start with Documentary Feature, since it’s the list I don’t have to spend too much time with. I kind of already know which docs I want to see and which ones I’ll probably need to see when they announce a shortlist (week from today, by the way).

But I believe the number of documentaries eligible to be nominated this year is 238. Which is usually around what the Best Picture number is like. They’ll reduce this list to 15. Which means that 94% of this list will be discarded within a week. But in the interest of people who like documentaries, we’ll briefly go over what each of the 238 is about and then I’ll broadly guess which ones make the most sense as getting on the shortlist.

Since we have 238 to go over, I’ll waste no more time. Here we go: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Memories light the corners of my mind / Misty water-colored memories of the way we were / Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind / Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were.” ♫


The 2021 Film Release Calendar: February

What a weird year. Of course brought about by the weird year that was last year. It’s February 1st and I’m only publishing month two of my release calendar now. And only because I have to, to prevent me from seeing some of these before I post this and negating the guessing.

But that’s 2021, I guess. The good thing about this is that I have a much better handle on what’s actually coming out this month. So often do I get halfway through the calendar and stuff gets dated and shifts and gets pushed and I’ve already talked about it. Here, I can be pretty certain that the majority of these movies will be coming out this month.

Anyway, here’s February: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “One day when the glory comes / It will be ours, it will be ours / Oh one day when the war is won / We will be sure, we will be sure / Oh glory (Glory, glory) / Oh (Glory, glory)” ♫


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay / My, oh, my, what a wonderful day / Plenty of sunshine headin’ my way / Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay!” ♫ (75th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: “I’d like to dedicate this to my grandpa, who showed me these moves.” “Aww, that is so sweet. Is he here? Where’s your grandpa right now?” “In the trunk of our car.” (15th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Ten Movie Posters of 2020

What’s my refrain whenever this article comes up? The movie poster is a lost art. And there’s no better proof of that sentiment than this year. Theaters were closed for the majority of the year and films were either pushed until next year entirely or released on streaming services or on demand. As such, you didn’t get the prolonged media blitz that we usually get when things are ready to come out. Which usually means, for the bigger films, incessant commercials, banners on websites, corporate tie-ins, billboards – you know the drill. But since nothing came out the ‘normal’ way, things felt pretty low key. Maybe that’s just because we had much larger issues to deal with for the majority of the year, but I do feel as though, unless you were specifically paying attention to when stuff came out, you really weren’t that privy to when they did. It was more of a, “Oh, that came out?”

And because of that, I feel like even less effort was put into movie posters than has been in years past. Which is just another mound of dirt on top of the movie poster, which is already struggling because of the increasing amount of films getting released on streaming services, meaning at most those movies are getting a single (usually uninspired) poster designed to tell you it’s theirs and it’s coming out soon.

This year was difficult for a lot of reasons, but picking my favorite posters definitely was made a lot harder task than it has been in previous years. I still managed to get to 50, but that’s just because I love movie posters and not because I was necessarily thrilled about my options.

So, with hope for the future, here are my favorite movie posters of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day (90th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of 2020 (30-11)

What’s my refrain whenever this article comes up? The movie poster is a lost art. And there’s no better proof of that sentiment than this year. Theaters were closed for the majority of the year and films were either pushed until next year entirely or released on streaming services or on demand. As such, you didn’t get the prolonged media blitz that we usually get when things are ready to come out. Which usually means, for the bigger films, incessant commercials, banners on websites, corporate tie-ins, billboards – you know the drill. But since nothing came out the ‘normal’ way, things felt pretty low key. Maybe that’s just because we had much larger issues to deal with for the majority of the year, but I do feel as though, unless you were specifically paying attention to when stuff came out, you really weren’t that privy to when they did. It was more of a, “Oh, that came out?”

And because of that, I feel like even less effort was put into movie posters than has been in years past. Which is just another mound of dirt on top of the movie poster, which is already struggling because of the increasing amount of films getting released on streaming services, meaning at most those movies are getting a single (usually uninspired) poster designed to tell you it’s theirs and it’s coming out soon.

This year was difficult for a lot of reasons, but picking my favorite posters definitely was made a lot harder task than it has been in previous years. I still managed to get to 50, but that’s just because I love movie posters and not because I was necessarily thrilled about my options.

So, with hope for the future, here are my favorite movie posters of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Now that I’ve had a taste of it I don’t wonder why you love boating.” (70th Anniversary)


Mike’s Favorite Movie Posters of 2020 (50-31)

What’s my refrain whenever this article comes up? The movie poster is a lost art. And there’s no better proof of that sentiment than this year. Theaters were closed for the majority of the year and films were either pushed until next year entirely or released on streaming services or on demand. As such, you didn’t get the prolonged media blitz that we usually get when things are ready to come out. Which usually means, for the bigger films, incessant commercials, banners on websites, corporate tie-ins, billboards – you know the drill. But since nothing came out the ‘normal’ way, things felt pretty low key. Maybe that’s just because we had much larger issues to deal with for the majority of the year, but I do feel as though, unless you were specifically paying attention to when stuff came out, you really weren’t that privy to when they did. It was more of a, “Oh, that came out?”

And because of that, I feel like even less effort was put into movie posters than has been in years past. Which is just another mound of dirt on top of the movie poster, which is already struggling because of the increasing amount of films getting released on streaming services, meaning at most those movies are getting a single (usually uninspired) poster designed to tell you it’s theirs and it’s coming out soon.

This year was difficult for a lot of reasons, but picking my favorite posters definitely was made a lot harder task than it has been in previous years. I still managed to get to 50, but that’s just because I love movie posters and not because I was necessarily thrilled about my options.

So, with hope for the future, here are my favorite movie posters of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “If a man is fool enough to get into business with a woman, she ain’t going to think much of him.” (50th Anniversary)


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…)


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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…)


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 International Feature 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 25th ADG Nominations

February 28th – Golden Globes

March 1st – MPSE Nominations

March 2nd – CAS Nominations

March 3rd – Annie Award Nominations

March 7th – BFCA Awards

VES Nominations

March 8th – PGA Nominations

March 9th – BAFTA Nominations

DGA Nominations

ASC Nominations

March 11th – ACE Nominations

March 13th –  USC Scripter Award

March 14th – SAG Awards

March 15th – Oscar Nominations Announced

March 21st – WGA Awards

March 24th – PGA Awards

April 3rd – Makeup & Hairstylist Guild Awards

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.

http://bplusmovieblog.com


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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)