Posts tagged “2019

Some Hidden Gems from 2019

And thus begins the end of the year lists. We’ve got a truncated Oscar season this year, so things are gonna be all over the place. Some of the articles you wouldn’t normally see until January are gonna happen this month and some of the stuff that normally happens in January is gonna happen after the Oscars. It’s a weird year, guys, so just roll with it.

The first thing I do always do is kill all the lawyers when I’m starting to wrap up the year is to start broadly recommending stuff. Mostly because rating performances and things of that sort is pointless when there’s still a month of films left to watch. These articles allow me to go over things without the fact that some things are missing from the sample pool doesn’t really matter as much. Since they’re not meant to include everything, just some stuff that fits under the heading of the article.

The ones we’ll begin with over the next few days are Hidden Gems, the Films That Surprised Me, the Films That Disappointed Me and my usual Overrated, Underrated and Underseen Films lists. I try to not overlap the lists too much, so typically something that appears on a Hidden Gems lists won’t appear on the Underseen list if I can help it (though there are some overlaps, mostly on the films I really wanna promote. Which I could eliminate by shortening today’s list, but fuck it. The goal is to get people to watch stuff). But typically I try to spread the wealth as much as possible.

Today is the Hidden Gems list, with a sampling of films I think are gonna be cool little discoveries for people from this year that didn’t necessarily make a splash when they initially came out. Some are more hidden than others, but generally they’re stuff that I thought was really wonderful that deserves a wider audience. (more…)


Oscars 2019: Another Word on Best Animated Feature

This is becoming a thing I do. Usually they announce the eligibles list for this category and I go over it immediately and then come back once I’ve seen most or all of them and have a better idea of how I think the category’s gonna go.

It’s been a weak year, so I was hoping to get most of the foreign stuff in before I did this. But I knew if I was gonna do it, it was gonna have to be now rather than later, so we’re just gonna go for it and hope the last couple of pieces fall into place. Not that it’ll really matter in the end, but I’d like to find some cool foreign stuff to be rooting for in those last couple of spots rather than the boring American stuff.

Anyway, as a reminder, here are your 32 eligible films:

Abominable
The Addams Family
The Angry Birds Movie 2
Another Day of Life
Away
Buñuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles
Children of the Sea
Dilili in Paris
Frozen II
Funan
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Klaus
The Last Fiction
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Marona’s Fantastic Tale
Missing Link
Ne Zha
Okko’s Inn
Pachamama
Primal – Tales of Savagery
Promare

Rezo
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Spies in Disguise
The Swallows of Kabul
This Magnificent Cake!
The Tower
Toy Story 4
Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris
Weathering with You
White Snake (more…)


Oscars 2019: Annie Award Nominations

The Annie Awards were announced Monday. I waited to talk about them now, because I didn’t have an article for today and because honestly, who cares? I mean, sure, it’s great for the people who work on these films, and that is very admirable. But in terms of the actual Oscar category for Animated Feature, these are pretty meaningless. At this point most people could guess 4/5 of the category sight unseen and all this is gonna do is maybe point us in the direction of the fifth nominee. Though I’d say that the Globes and BFCA will do a much better job of that than these will.

So really, we’re just about to look at how many nominations Disney and Pixar got.

Here are your 2019 Annie Award nominations: (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best Visual Effects Longlist

They announced the Visual Effects longlist today. I originally left this article blank to write up in the morning so I could continue working on what I was doing today, but of course the idea of rambling for 3,000 words about the Oscars is just too good to pass up, so you’re getting this article tonight.

The shortlist, as per usual, is 20 films, which will eventually become 10 in a few weeks and then we’ll eventually get a category of 5. I always love this particular longlist because you always get some of the weirdest choices on it. It’s always interesting to see what does and doesn’t make the cut (since I imagine more than 20 films are submitted for the category and the phrase ‘longlist’ implies some initial vetting). I don’t know how they figure it out, but I guess it doesn’t really matter. The list is the list. We’ve got 20 and today I’m gonna go through all 20 and then figure out what 10 will likely be shortlisted and probably have a good idea what the final category’s going to be.

So here are the 20 films up for Best Visual Effects this year: (more…)


Oscars 2019: National Board of Review Winners

This is where my Oscar season kicks off. I don’t care about anything that’s happened before this, and as I’ve told a bunch of my friends who keep trying to bring stuff up about what might or might not be nominated… I’ve paid literally zero attention to anything until this point. For me, everything before December is about trying to see as much stuff as possible and then I start to slowly come around to what might happen. But even then, I’m not gonna start taking this stuff seriously until around Christmas when all the pieces are on the board and I’ve seen most or all of them. Though maybe I’ll have to bump that up to slightly earlier this year due to the truncated schedule.

Anyway, NBR announced today! And I love NBR. So, so much. They are my group of choice. Not even as Oscar indicators, but rather just as a group that picks good movies and has good taste. Over the years, my tastes seem to most closely align with NBR more than any other group, and I find that even when I don’t agree with one of their choices I understand it, kind of like when you know someone really well and can see that something they like is a byproduct of their tastes.

NBR is the only group out there that goes as far back as the Oscars do. No one else has as much history in relation to the Academy Awards as they do. They began in 1909 when a bunch of theater owners got together to try to prove that film wasn’t just some disposable medium and could actually be artistic. And then, in 1930, after the Oscars became a thing, they started handing out their own personal awards lists of their favorite films of the year. And unlike the Oscars or critics groups, their voting body is comprised of all sorts of people, the only common thread being that they love cinema. And isn’t that why we’re all here? (more…)


Oscars 2019: Best International Feature Submissions

They changed the name of Foreign Language Film to International Feature. That one’s gonna take some getting used to, even if it is a better name for the category. They announced all the submissions back in October, but I usually wait until now to go over them just because I hate to prematurely start thinking Oscars.

For most people, the list you’re gonna want is in eight days, when they announce the shortlists for everything. For now, this is just me being insane and going over all of the submitted foreign films to see what might get nominated.

BIG NOTE FOR THIS YEAR: There are gonna be ten films on the shortlist instead of 9, which is what we usually get. Why it hasn’t been ten before, I have no idea. It doesn’t really change the final guessing, since it’s basically a 50/50 shot most years anyway and usually you can get 3 of them pretty easily, but for those who do care about this stuff, there are gonna be ten films on the shortlist this year instead of nine.

Anyway, let’s look at all 93 92 91 of the submitted films (Nigeria’s and Austria’s films were disqualified last month) for Best International Feature and see which ones seemingly have a leg up for a nomination. (more…)


Oscars 2019: Independent Spirit Award Nominations

They also announced these last week. These are closer to being slightly meaningful for the Oscars, but the fact that I waited this long to talk about them should tell you how little they truly matter. Mostly it’s just indie people promoting indies, and usually the indies that are the real Oscar contenders end up shining. But mainly it’s just an excuse for everyone to get drunk in a giant tent in Santa Monica the day before the Oscars. Which I approve of wholeheartedly.

I honestly blindly copy-pasted these categories the day they were announced and didn’t even look at them until now, so, as usual, this is just gonna be my gut reaction based on seeing everything as we go through the article. I suspect nothing here will be particularly surprising or helpful, but mostly I’ll go, “Oh, good for them,” because stuff I know will never get any Oscar attention will get some love here, which at least gives it something.

Anyway, here are your 2019 Indie Spirit Award nominees: (more…)