Posts tagged “2021

Oscars 2021: PGA & DGA & WGA & ACE Nominations

Big day. PGA, DGA, WGA, ACE. Picture, Director, Screenplay(s) and Editing. It’s rare these major four precursors come out as the last ones. Usually it’s all staggered. Which makes this year kinda unique and cool. But, after this, it’s BAFTA a week from today and then we spend the weekend thinking it over because Oscar nominations are the Tuesday after that.

There’s gonna be a lot to go over here, and I suspect most of it won’t be too bad, since we already kinda know what the favorites are in every category. It’s mostly just seeing what little surprises they toss on and what they’re gonna leave for BAFTA to clean up.

We’ll go through them in the order they get announced. Which, as luck would have it, begins with the PGA. (more…)


Oscars 2021: The Shortlists

They announced these shortlists last month, but, you know me, I like being prepared. So I spent the past few weeks trying watching as many of the films on here as I could so I could at least be educated when I talked about this stuff.

The shortlists we’re gonna cover are Song, Score, Visual Effects, (the newly included) Sound, Makeup & Hairstyling, International Feature, Documentary Feature, Documentary Short, Live Action Short and Animated Short. And I’ll talk about all the Animated Feature eligibles as well because I can and I like to. It’s all just groundwork for me eventually guessing nominations come… honestly I don’t even know when they are. Probably within three weeks at this point.

And, at this point, I’ve managed to see all but 5 Animated Feature eligibles, 3 from the Documentary Feature shortlist, 2 from the Live Action Short shortlist and 1 from the International Feature shortlist. Which, honestly not that bad, all things considered.

Anyway, here are your shortlists. (more…)


Oscars 2021: CDG Nominations

Another day, another precursor.

This should be a quick one. The Costume Designers Guild is the only guild to announce today, so we’ll just get into it and save all the energy for tomorrow when all the major stuff announces. (more…)


Oscars 2021: CAS & ASC Awards

Two more precursors today, ASC and CAS. It tickles my weird ass brain to see those two be announced on the same day, being anagrams of one another (anagrammed acronyms, to boot. This is the type of shit that interests me. I can’t explain it).

ASC is the cinematographers and CAS is the sound mixers. We had MPSE yesterday, so this’ll give us 2/3 of the Sound precursors. And with BFCA, we’ll have 2/3 of the Cinematography precursors as well. Both categories are still waiting on BAFTA, but we’ll have a pretty good idea.

We’ll go over them in the order they were announced, CAS first and then ASC. (more…)


Oscars 2021: ADG & MPSE Nominations

The Week of Precursors has begun. Two today, two tomorrow (ASC, CAS), one Wednesday (CDG), four Thursday (big day Thursday. PGA, DGA, WGA, ACE). And then we’ve got everything outside of BAFTA, which announces nominations next Thursday. We’re in the thick of it now, folks.

Today is the Art Directors Guild and MPSE, the sound editors. This is our first sound precursor from anywhere, as CAS only announces tomorrow and the only other help we get besides the guilds is BAFTA. And for Production Design, we already have BFCA and the new arrival of the Set Designers Society. So after this, BAFTA is just gonna clean everything up for us there.

So yeah, let’s just get into it. (more…)


2021: The Lists

Okay, here they are, finally. All those lists I usually post sporadically throughout December, January (and maybe February) in between Oscar stuff. I said I’d get around to it in some form. This is that form. Most of it was done by January 1st, save a couple of performances that took me a bit longer to watch. Really the delay has just been waiting to try to work through all the scores.

I’ve consolidated my lists into what I feel are the essentials, which are: hidden gems from the year, the films that disappointed me/surprised me, favorite performances, favorite documentaries, favorite posters, and of course, favorite scores. They’ll all be presented without comment, because I just don’t feel the need (or have the time and energy) to come up with stuff to say. I liked it all, and I hope you’ll find my opinion trustworthy enough to go watch and/or listen to this stuff yourself if you haven’t already. Plus, odds are you can probably find everything you need in terms of me talking up how much I liked most of these films in my Top Ten list. I think everyone gets the idea by now.

So, without further ado, here’s a bunch of lists of stuff I really liked from this year: (more…)


Oscars 2021: Annie Nominations, SDSA Nominations, VES Nominations

So yeah, I’ve been lax about a couple of these precursors. But VES announced today so I figured I’d just run through a few things at once and catch up to what I haven’t officially covered. Because why not?

We’ll start with the Annies, which announced almost a full month ago at this point, then get into a new guild, the Set Designers Guild, which I’ve never covered (because last year was their first set of awards) and should help us with Production Design along with the Art Directors Guild, and then end with today’s VES nominations for Visual Effects.

Also, side note, before we get into everything: because of all the craziness in the world, CAS has pushed their entire awards timeline crazy forward, so nominations won’t even be announced until March 2nd, almost a month after Oscar nominations are announced, and winners won’t be announced until three weeks after the Oscars are given out. So good thing we have a Sound shortlist this year, because we’re only getting help from MPSE and BAFTA and not CAS. (more…)


Oscars 2021: BAFTA Longlists

Okay, so BAFTA has implemented this new thing where they announce longlists for all of their categories, basically telling you, “The category will be comprised from these 15 things.” Which is cool for people like me, who like to guess what’s gonna happen. And it’s just nice suspense. Like when they announce finalists for a prize or something. Rather than a vague notion of what feels like it has a chance, now you’ve got a list to react to. Sure, it makes things slightly easier for me, but it also makes things more fun an interesting for everyone. So I’m a fan.

Last year I remember we got shortlists and then the categories were all over the place in ways that turned some Oscar categories into pure chaos. I’m curious to see what happens this year from that. But, with the benefit of a handful of precursors, we should be able to start to hone what we think is gonna happen in most categories. So I’m curious to see what they’ve done. (more…)


Oscars 2021: SAG Nominations

Okay, so SAG nominations. I’m starting to put less stock into them than I used to because over the past five years SAG has decided become way more of a popularity contest than it used to be, which has lead to some people getting nominated (and even winning) who so clearly aren’t gonna make it all the way to the Oscars. Sure, a lot of what’s in there is good, but there are a couple of glaring discrepancies, which are starting to get harder to believe in. And I fully expect to see some of those here.

But, right now, we’ve got most of all our help in the acting categories, with Globe nominees and winners, BFCA nominees and a BAFTA longlist. So we should be able to get a pretty clear picture of how things are gonna turn out from these.

Here are your SAG nominees: (more…)


Oscars 2021: Makeup & Hairstylist Guild Nominations

It’s gonna be an Oscar-heavy day around here. SAG Awards are getting announced soon, plus BAFTA announced their longlists in every category. So you’re gonna see me talking about all of this stuff throughout the day. And man… I am excited as shit to go into it all. (If any of you were at all concerned that you may never hear from me again once this site is retired, know that I practically audibly squealed with joy when I realized how much I had to talk about. I’m pretty sure I won’t really be going anywhere.)

Anywho, we’ll start with Makeup & Hairstyling. We’ve already got the shortlist, so this is really just gonna be about which ones make the most categories and how it cross lists with BFCA and BAFTA.

But, before we get into all of that, here’s your shortlist:

Coming 2 America
Cruella
Cyrano
Dune
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci
Nightmare Alley
No Time to Die
The Suicide Squad
West Side Story
(more…)


Oscars 2021: Golden Globes

The Golden Globes were handed out last night, not that most people noticed, since they skipped a ceremony this year and didn’t even televise whatever event they had to hand out awards. Which honestly was probably the way to go this year, after all the chaos surrounding them the past year. I had questions about them even going through with a ceremony in the first place after announcing they were gonna skip it this year to get their house in order, only to turn around and come back for the money after what feels like a series of nominal-at-best changes. So them doing it this way was probably the way to go.

Of course, depending on the results, I may have a few questions about the validity of these choices as they pertain to the rest of this season, but my guess is what I’m about to see is generally what I’d expect from them.

So let’s see what the Globes have surreptitiously given us this year: (more…)


Mike’s Top Ten of 2021

2021 is like the flood after a storm. With the crazy year 2020 was, so much stuff was pushed in the hopes of finding an audience not fully burdened with the possible fall of democracy and a global pandemic and, as the year went on, they figured out how to keep working safely and things got back to being filmed. So we had not only all the stuff that was shot throughout the pandemic but also the stuff that was supposed to be released last year, which ended up giving us a real smorgasbord of films to pick from. And, for a change, I definitely didn’t feel worried I wasn’t gonna have enough stuff to put in my top ten.

One thing that will be interesting to look back on in regard to this year (much like last year) is what films people end up gravitating toward and/or discovering over time. Because with the shifting release schedule (most films this year either went day-and-date or went to streaming 30 or 45 days from their theatrical release date, as opposed to the 90 it used to be) and the already-present overabundance of content for people to watch, I haven’t gotten the sense that most people are aware of the a lot of these films. In the latter part of this year, I found myself as the only person in a theater to watch some of these choices. Which means that people either don’t know, don’t care or are waiting for the films to go streaming to see them (which is dicey for some of them because unless it’s a major title, it’s so easy to lose something in the shuffle). Which opens up a whole can of worms of questions in and of itself. But for my purposes here, I am curious to see what films end up later becoming hits when people actually get around to seeing them. And hopefully will do my part to get some people to watch a few of these.

One trend, though, that I think will be fairly uniform across the board for 2021: most people seem to be agreeing on the same crop of films as the best ones. Pandemic or no pandemic, the best filmmakers are still making the best films. (more…)


2021: The Year in Reviews (Wrap-Up)

I guess this is more like “The Site in Reviews,” since this is gonna be the last one and we’re gonna wrap-up 11 years’ worth of reviews.

You know how this works — I guessed ratings back in January and now I see how close I was with everything. Though now, rather than being focused with personal goals like guessing everything either exactly or within a half-star, I’m curious to see what kind of site-long data trends come about.

So let’s wrap this shit up and see what we find. (more…)


2021: The Year in Reviews

8-Bit Christmas — * * * (3 stars)

12 Mighty Orphans — * * * (3 stars)

About Endlessness — * * * ½ (3.5 stars)

The Addams Family 2 — * * ½ (2.5 stars)

Afterlife of the Party — * * * (3 stars)

America: The Motion Picture — * * * ½ (3.5 stars) (more…)


Oscars 2021: BFCA Nominations

Okay, so we had the Globes nominations before, now it’s BFCA. This is the Critics Choice, so while you’ll still see a lot of the same stuff, you’ll definitely start to see which of the nominees are ones the Globes only picked because they wanted the stars to be there. The critics are usually unified on what they’ve decided is ‘good’ and ‘not good’. But they also control those narratives, so you’ll also see a couple of performances they’ve championed in smaller films make it on, which will make it on nowhere else. That’s how this goes.

But, overall, BFCA is usually a good barometer of where the discussion is going, so it’s gonna help solidify a lot of the stuff you’ve seen already while also adding in some of the stuff the Globes ignored as we look forward to the remaining major trickle-down precursors (BAFTA, SAG, PGA).

So let’s see what BFCA has brought us this year: (more…)


Oscars 2021: Golden Globe Nominations

Globe nominations. This is the ‘official’ beginning of Oscar season, as it’s our first set of official precursors. Based on this, we have our first tentative road map to figuring out what the Oscar nominees are going to be.

As always, because it’s the Hollywood Foreign Press, you take these with a grain of salt and not as scripture, a fact that’s only compounded this year based on all that’s happened with HFPA over the past year. If you remember, there was all that controversy about them not having any Black members and them cancelling this year’s ceremony so they could get their house in order, only to quietly come back a few months later and say ‘we did it, ceremony’s on’ after admitting only six Black members. As you can imagine… I have questions. I don’t know how much of these nominations are gonna be in response to that or just be their actual tastes.

I’ve had two things I’ve said pretty consistently over the course of this site as it pertains to awards season: 1) you can always count on (insert group here) to do what they always do in the end, and 2) you can do diversity without having to force it if you just watch all the damn movies instead of the handful you think are the awards ones and vote for what you liked instead of what feels like the popular way to go. The only question is which of those scenarios will end up being more of the case by the time I get to the end of these nominees. I’m gonna assume #1, but let’s see.

Here are your 2021 Golden Globe nominations: (more…)


Oscars 2021: AFI Awards

The AFI Awards were announced today. Not the most surprising list, but also not exactly what I always expect out of them either.

Here’s the list:

CODA 
Don’t Look Up
Dune
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
Tick, Tick… Boom!
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story (more…)


Oscars 2021: National Board of Review Winners

Oh it’s that time again.

Anyone who’s read this site for all these years knows the two things I’m gonna say right now. That this is the unofficial beginning of Oscar season and that NBR is my favorite group to hand out awards. It’s been my refrain for over a decade. You know I love this day.

The short version, if you’re just joining us — NBR is the only group to hand out year-end awards that’s been around as long as the Oscars have. And rather than just having voters from one section of the film landscape (critics, actors, directors, writers, executives, etc), they get people from all over, including academics. Which I like. Plus, I always feel their tastes most consistently match my own among all the groups out there that announce awards before the Oscars. And when they pick stuff I don’t necessarily agree with, I understand it because they’ve at least shown a consistency of opinion in choosing that sort of stuff over the years.

Most years I do a whole prelude and spend the day before trying to guess what they’re gonna pick as their favorites, but obviously this year being what it is and things being how they are, I’m not doing that. I’m still catching up on all the movies from this year (for reference, I went through all the months of the year in order (outside of the handful of stuff I’ve seen in theaters, which wasn’t even until October anyway), and as of Labor Day I had only just barely started April and by October 1st I was only into June. As of today, I’m about to start October and plan to be all caught up with everything by Christmas), so my aphorism about not paying attention to Oscars before at least NBR is more true than ever. Most years I’m aware that there is chatter and am sort of ‘fingers in my ears’, ‘la la la la’-ing myself to ignore it because it’s meaningless. This year, they could have already announced what’s gonna win Best Picture and I’d have absolutely no idea. And to be honest? Kinda wonderful that way. It’s lead to a much purer viewing experience of everything so far and is really putting me in the position I long to be in, utterly clueless and guessing Oscar stuff in a vacuum. (more…)