Movies

Oscars 2020: ADG Nominations

The Art Directors Guild announced nominations today. If it feels like we’ve barely gotten any guild precursors to this point, it’s because we haven’t. But starting next week, they’re gonna start coming fast and furious. Next week I think is like three out of five days and then after that it’s almost a full week straight of something new every day.

But, at the moment, we have this. This is gonna help us out in Production Design, and I’m keen to see what they’ve nominated, given the fact that this feels like a pretty ho-hum kinda year with only about six or seven major contenders out there. So I’m curious to see what they give us and if there are some films that I’m not expecting that can make this a race.

As a reminder, the BFCA list for Production Design was Emma, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Mank, News of the World, The Personal History of David Copperfield and Tenet, and your BAFTA longlist includes Ammonite, The Dig, Emma, The Father, Ma Rainey, Mank, Midnight Sky, News of the World, Promising Young Woman, Radioactive, Rebecca, Secret Garden, Tenet, Trial of the Chicago 7 and Wonder Woman 1984.

And here’s what the Art Directors Guild has for us: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Let the river run / Let all the dreamers / Wake the nation / Come, the New Jerusalem / Silver cities rise / The morning lights / The streets that meet them / And sirens call them on / With a song.” ♫


Oscars 2020: Best Animated Short Eligibles

Okay. So a little bit of a reverse of how this normally goes, but I wasn’t aware of the existence of this list beforehand. You already know the shortlist of ten, but here’s the full list of 96 eligibles for Animated Short.

I’m gonna go through and watch all the ones I can and then look at trailers for the rest and see which ones look great. All I’m really trying to do here is expose myself (and others) to some great animated shorts, which I feel are one of those things that we grow up with and then just sort of abandon along the way because we become less exposed to them. And we forget just how amazing they are to watch.

So, use this as a springboard to remind yourself of how great animated short films are. (more…)


Oscars 2020: Best Animated Short Shortlist

And now Best Animated Feature. And you might be saying to yourself, “Mike, there’s only ten films on this shortlist and they’re all shorts. You probably could have done this one before some of the others.” And that’s true. Probably could’ve done it on day three or four if I wanted. But, I have a story to tell you…

On the day the shortlists came out, I was sitting around waiting for them to be released. I figured they’d put them out around 11/12 o’clock LA time. But they didn’t. They ended up putting them out at 3. And in those four hours in between as I was waiting I thought, “Let me see which ones people think might be nominated so I can try to get a hold of them preemptively.” Since the minute stuff gets shortlisted, they pull them down offline. Happens every year. So I start looking. Then, I find a list of all the eligible shorts for this year, which is a list I didn’t even know they released. But someone did. A list of all 96 eligible shorts.

Long story short, I decided to try to find all 96, ended up finding half of them and later on today I’m gonna post a full article going over all 96 eligible shorts (95% of which I either have seen fully or have seen a trailer for). Because I can and because it’s fun and because animated shorts are lost treasures among the filmgoing experience and I want to try to help bring them back. But before that, we’ll go over the shortlist. This is the dinner, that’ll be the dessert.

Here’s your animated feature shortlist:

Burrow
Genius Loci
If Anything Happens I Love You
Kapaemahu
Opera
Out
The Snail and the Whale
To Gerard
Traces
Yes-People (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “And can you feel the love tonight? / It is where we are / It’s enough for this wide-eyed wanderer / That we’ve got this far / And can you feel the love tonight? / How it’s laid to rest? / It’s enough to make kings and vagabonds / Believe the very best.” ♫


Oscars 2020: Best Documentary Feature Shortlist

And we end with the Documentary Feature shortlist, because that was the one I decided was the one I was gonna focus on for this article. Because, back around Thanksgiving, I decided to start compiling everything I thought could potentially get nominated in the category so that when they eventually did release this shortlist, I’d already have a bunch covered and not have to worry about then finding them. It worked out, since I already had ten of the fifteen docs on hand and ready to go and then immediately found two more that day. And, even better, I knew the final three were ones I could see fairly easily.

So, long story short, I’ve watched all 15 of these in the past two weeks and am gonna give a full breakdown in this article, which will make my life easier in future articles and discussions about this category.

Here’s your Documentary Feature shortlist:

All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
Collective
Crip Camp
Dick Johnson Is Dead
Gunda
MLK/FBI
The Mole Agent
My Octopus Teacher
Notturno
The Painter and the Thief
76 Days
Time
The Truffle Hunters
Welcome to Chechnya (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “But I’m easy / I’m easy / Give the word and I’ll play your game / So that’s how it ought to be / Because I’m easy.” ♫


Oscars 2020: Best International Feature Shortlist

Today is Best International Feature. Because I kidded myself that I was gonna be able to find and see all 15 of these by the time this article went up. And honestly, I had other categories I was more focused on and I really only need to see as many as I can for nominations and not for this. So I’m just gonna do what I did with Live Action Short and Doc Short and just guess my way through it and see everything later.

Here’s your International Feature shortlist:

Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
The Mole Agent (Chile)
Charlatan (Czech Republic)
Another Round (Denmark)
Two of Us (France)
La Llorona (Guatemala)
Better Days (Hong Kong)
Sun Children (Iran)
Night of the Kings (Ivory Coast)
I’m No Longer Here (Mexico)
Hope (Norway)
Collective (Romania)
Dear Comrades! (Russia)
A Sun (Taiwan)
The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia) (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Love lift us up where we belong / Where the eagles cry / On a mountain high / Love lift us up where we belong / Far from the world below / Up where the clear winds blow.” ♫


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Have I been sleeping? / I’ve been so still / Afraid of crumbling / Have I been careless? / Dismissing all the distant rumblings / Take me where I am supposed to be / To comprehend the things that I can’t see / ‘Cause I need to move / I need to wake up / I need to change / I need to shake up / I need to speak out / Something’s got to break up / I’ve been asleep / And I need to wake up / Now.” (15th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Come on along and listen to / The lullaby of Broadway / The hip hooray and ballyhoo / The lullaby of Broadway / The rumble of a subway train / The rattle of the taxis / The daffodils who entertain / At Angelo’s and Maxi’s / When a Broadway baby says good night / It’s early in the morning / Manhattan babies don’t sleep tight / Until the dawn.” ♫


Oscars 2020: Best Live Action Short Shortlist

Today we’re going over Live Action Shrot because, as much as I want to wait to see if I can find most of these, not only have I been unable thus far to do that, there’s also no chance I’d actually have done it by the time this article went up. So we’re just gonna go over it now, because the other categories actually do have stuff I’m watching. Plus, let’s not pretend like 98% of people give any fucks about this category (even though there’s usually some good stuff on it).

Here’s your Live Action Short shortlist:

Bittu
Da Yie
Feeling Through
The Human Voice
The Kicksled Choir
The Letter Room
The Present
Two Distant Strangers
The Van
White Eye (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Unbelievable sights / Indescribable feeling / Soaring, tumbling, freewheeling / Through an endless diamond sky / A whole new world / Don’t you dare close your eyes / A hundred thousand things to see / Hold your breath; it gets better / I’m like a shooting star / I’ve come so far / I can’t go back to where I used to be.” ♫


Oscars 2020: Makeup & Hairstylists Guild Nominations

The Makeup & Hairstylist Guild announced their nominations today. As a reminder, this is your Oscar shortlist:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Emma
The Glorias
Hillbilly Elegy
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
The Little Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
One Night in Miami
Pinocchio

Let’s see what the guild has to tell us about how this category is likely gonna play out: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Three coins in the fountain / Each one seeking happiness / Thrown by three hopeful lovers / Which one will the fountain bless? / Three hearts in the fountain / Each heart longing for its home / There they lie in the fountain / Somewhere in the heart of Rome.” ♫


Oscars 2020: Best Documentary Short Shortlist

And now Documentary Short, a category that’s usually immensely easy to guess because it’s all about what the issues are. The two almost guaranteed types of winners in this category are: people with mental or physical illnesses overcoming them to create art or people in third-world countries overcoming their surroundings to do something inspiring. Then you have the occasional Holocaust or hot-button issue thrown in. But by and large, you can tell which ones feel like what they normally go for.

So let’s see what they’ve given us this year. Here’s your Documentary Short shortlist:

Abortion Helpline, This Is Lisa
Call Center Blues
Colette
A Concerto Is a Conversation
Do Not Split
Hunger Ward
Hysterical Girl
A Love Song for Latasha
The Speed Cubers
What Would Sophia Loren Do? (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Because I’ve had the time of my life / No, I never felt this way before / Yes I swear it’s the truth / And I owe it all to you.” ♫


Oscars 2020: WGA Nominations

The WGA nominations were announced today. And this is our main help in the Screenplay categories, with only BAFTA still to come (and the other primary help in the category).

Of note for the WGA, before I even look at what got nominated — they’re the one guild that routinely has major contenders (and even winners) not nominated because they require nominees to be guild members. So a lot of stuff is rendered ineligible this year. Which, for our purposes, includes: Ammonite, The Assistant, Emma, The Father, Mank, Minari, Nomadland, Onward, Pieces of a Woman and Soul.

So, just from that alone, I see five potential (and even probable) nominees not eligible here, which means you’re gonna get a lot of extra nominees that may not actually have a chance in the end, which is why stuff like BAFTA and BFCA is so important. Because usually the Screenplay categories only have about six or seven major contenders (maybe you get to eight in a strong year) and you can usually reason your way through most of it fairly easily. So it’ll be interesting to see what the WGA used to fill in those gaps and how any red herrings get thrown into the mix that people will get baited on.

So, knowing all that, here are your WGA nominations for this year: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Deep in my heart, I’m concealing / Things that I’m longing to say / Scared to confess, what I’m feeling / Frightened you’ll slip away / You must love me, you must love me / You must love me.” ♫ (25th Anniversary)


Oscars 2020: Best Makeup & Hairstyling Shortlist

We’re going over Makeup & Hairstyling today. I was originally gonna wait until the guild announces on Thursday and go over this Friday, but honestly, who cares. We’re gonna adjust all of this later anyway. This category has also historically been really easy to diagnose, so I don’t think we need to wait on this.

They did, if you forgot, officially bump this category up to five nominees last year, so this is a five nominees from ten on the shortlist situation. So it should be fairly easy to figure out what the top five are gonna be.

Here’s your Makeup & Hairstyling shortlist:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Emma
The Glorias
Hillbilly Elegy
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
The Little Things
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
One Night in Miami
Pinocchio (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “How do I live? How do I breathe? / When you’re not here I’m suffocating / I want to feel love, run through my blood / Tell me is this where I give it all up? / For you I have to risk it all / ‘Cause the writing’s on the wall.” ♫


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Sweet Leilani / Heavenly flower / Nature fashioned roses kissed with dew / And then she placed them in a bower / It was the start of you / Sweet Leilani / Heavenly flower / I dreamed of paradise for two / You are my paradise completed / You are my dream come true.” ♫


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “Gigi / Am I a fool without a mind / Or have I merely been too blind to realize / Oh Gigi / Why you’ve been growing up before my very eyes / Gigi / You’re not at all that funny awkward little girl I knew / Oh no / Overnight there’s been a breathless change in you / Oh Gigi.” ♫


Oscars 2020: Best Visual Effects Shortlist

Today we’re gonna do the Visual Effects shortlist, mostly because that category can usually be done by sheer logic and doesn’t take a whole lot to parse through. Plus we’ll eventually have a bunch of precursors, so that’ll help too.

The only thing I’m upset about with this one is that we didn’t get a longlist this year. Usually we get that preliminary list of 20 films that were eligible here and then get this list of 10. Now all we have is this, and I feel like we can almost instantly pick which five or six are the actual contenders. I’m gonna assume that the reason we didn’t get the list of 20 is because so many films pushed out of the year (mostly theater-going blockbuster type films) that they didn’t really have a list of 20. Which would also explain some of the films on this list, which made me look a bit sideways due to their questionable nature. They seem like films that would’ve been on the list of 20 and not made this. But, in a thinner year, I kinda get it.

Anyway, here’s your Visual Effects shortlist:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)
Bloodshot
Love and Monsters
Mank
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
The One and Only Ivan
Soul
Tenet
Welcome to Chechnya (more…)