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Thread: The run-up to the OSCARS 2023

  1. #1
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    The run-up to the OSCARS 2023

    The run-up to the OSCARS 2023

    AFI and Golden Globes (The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, HFPA) and other awards nominations are being announced.

    See the article "‘The Banshees Of Inisherin’ leads 2023 Golden Globe nominations" by Orlando Parfitt in Screen Daily today (12/12/22) on the Golden Globes nominations. THE BANSHEES OF INISHIRIN leads. The Golden Globes to increase diversity has doubled its number of voters, adding 103 people. The Golden Globes ceremony will be Jan. 10, 2023. Didn't like the original AVATAR but have to admit the new one looks rather cool in trailers.

    The Golden Globe Film category nominations were:
    Best Drama
    The Fabelmans
    Top Gun: Maverick
    Avatar: The Way of Water

    Best Musical or Comedy
    The Banshees Of Inisherin
    Everything Everywhere All At Once
    Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
    Triangle Of Sadness

    Best Director - Motion Picture
    James Cameron - Avatar: The Way of Water
    Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert - Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Baz Luhrmann - Elvis
    Martin McDonagh - The Banshees of Inisherin
    Steven Spielberg - The Fabelmans

    Best Motion Picture – Animated
    Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
    Marcel the Shell With Shoes On
    Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
    Turning Red

    Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
    All Quiet On The Western Front
    Argentina, 1985
    Decision To Leave

    Best Actor, Drama
    Austin Butler - Elvis
    Brendan Fraser - The Whale
    Hugh Jackman - The Son
    Bill Nighy - Living
    Jeremy Pope - The Inspection

    Best Actress, Drama
    Cate Blanchett - Tár
    Olivia Colman - Empire of Light
    Viola Davis - The Woman King
    Ana de Armas - Blonde
    Michelle Williams - The Fabelmans

    Best Actor, Musical or Comedy
    Diego Calva - Babylon
    Daniel Craig - Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
    Adam Driver - White Noise
    Colin Farrell - The Banshees Of Inisherin
    Ralph Fiennes - The Menu

    Best Actress, Musical or Comedy
    Lesley Manville - Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
    Margot Robbie - Babylon
    Anya Taylor-Joy - The Menu
    Emma Thompson - Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
    Michelle Yeoh - Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Best Actor in a Supporting Role
    Brendan Gleeson - The Banshees of Inisherin
    Barry Keoghan - The Banshees of Inisherin
    Brad Pitt - Babylon
    Eddie Redmayne - The Good Nurse
    Ke Huy Quan - Everything Everywhere All at Once

    Best Actress in a Supporting Role
    Angela Bassett - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
    Kerry Condon - The Banshees of Inisherin
    Jamie Lee Curtis - Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Dolly De Leon - Triangle of Sadness
    Carey Mulligan - She Said

    Best Screenplay
    Todd Field - Tár
    Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert - Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Martin McDonagh - The Banshees of Inisherin
    Sarah Polley - Women Talking
    Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner - The Fabelmans

    Best Original Score
    The Banshees of Inisherin
    Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
    Women Talking
    The Fabelmans

    Best Original Song
    “Carolina” - Where the Crawdads Sing
    “Ciao Papa” - Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio
    “Hold My Hand” - Top Gun: Maverick
    “Lift Me Up” - Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
    “Naatu Naatu” - RRR
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-13-2022 at 11:43 AM.

  2. #2
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    AFI's top ten (foreign films excluded) were:

    I'm going to watch THE WOMAN KING (now on Amazon Prime), and guess I have to watch NOPE (rental on multiple platforms) and want to watch WOMEN TALKING but it's not in theaters in this area yet, nor is AVATAR. As usual titles on the pre-Oscar lists contain movies we can't see yet. AVATAR starts showing locally this Friday (Dec. 15, 2022). Let me comment that saw BANSHEES (which is emerging as a top non-US awards nom favorite) on the big screen, but did not review it because I found it depressing. And frankly, repetitious. All the Martin McDonagh writing quality, excellent production and superb cast not withstanding.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-13-2022 at 11:47 AM.

  3. #3
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    Oscar Shortlist for International Feature Film and Documentary


    Best Foreign

    Argentina, ARGENTINA, 1985
    Austria, CORSAGE
    Belgium, CLOSE
    Cambodia, RETURN TO SEOUL
    Denmark, HOLY SPIDER
    France, SAINT OMER
    Ireland, THE QUIET GIRL
    Morocco, THE BLUE CAFTAN
    Pakistan, JOYLAND
    Poland, EO
    South Korea, DECISION TO LEAVE


    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-28-2022 at 12:09 AM.

  4. #4
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    2022 films I watched and didn't review or may want to watch


    ALCARRÀS (Carla Simón)
    (NYFF). Metacritic 87%. Watched but didn't review, so shapeless it's hard to describe, or enjoy.
    RRR (S.S. Rajamouli), one of the talked about movies of the year, but, not looking for a tumultuous 3-hour Indian docu-drama, didn't finish. On Netflix.
    EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE. (Daniels) Multiple category Oscar possibilities so I forced myself to watch. It leaves me cold, and is going to win big.
    EMPIRE OF LIGHT (Sam Mendes). Watched in a theater, didn't seem worth reviewing.
    NOPE (Jordan Peele). Many platforms. Watched, enjoyed, didn't review. Slight.

    Want to watch:
    ALL THAT BREATHES (Shaunak Sen) (NYFF) Important Indian doc I want to watch, coming 2023 on HBO. (Watched, from Mostly British: great!)
    NO BEARS (Jafar Panahhi) (NYFF), definitely want to watch, now at Film Forum but inaccessible from where I am now.
    ARGENTINA, 1985 (Santiago Mitre). Political thriller available on Amazon, watched, a bit conventional, but good. Won Best Foreign, Golden Globes.
    CAIRO CONSPIRACY aka BOY FROM HEAVEN (Tarik Saleh). Thriller set at Al Azhar University in Cairo, would probably want to watch, not available.
    BAD AXE (David Siev). Important doc, plan to check out on Amazon.
    HOLY SPIDER (Ali Abbasi). METASCORE 68. Grim Tehran serial killer tale from Cannes Competition, might watch. But deterred due to the depressing subject.
    JOYLAND (Saim Sadiq) On Amazon, might watch.
    NOVALNY (Daniel Roher). Doc about Russian poison assassination attempt, on HBO, might watch.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-25-2023 at 12:30 AM.

  5. #5
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    Holiday watches, Christmas 2022:

    A Whit Stillman trilogy
    BARCELONA (1994)
    A perfect entertainment because these films are cozy, sophisticated, witty, and ageless and METROPOLITAN takes place over Christmas vacation with members of the preppy class attending dances and deb after parties in Manhattan. Stillman's dialogue is like if WASP preppies made a Woody Allen movie with script by Jane Austen. Everything comes out in fully framed sentences and paragraphs and is often very funny. BARCELONA, not quite so interesting, came out of Stillman's living in that Spanish city and is about a slightly older age group, beyond the deb parties. LAST DAYS OF DISCO finds Chris Eigeman, Nick in METROPOLITAN, a manager of a huge Studio 54-style discteque where drugs and money laundering are involved, but a beautiful young woman (Chloe Sevigny, then 24) is working with friends for a small publishing house. Stillman is an 'auteur' whose capturing of dry humor in sophisticated dialogue among the denizens of or refuges from the upper class is rather unique. Unfortunately, he has not been able to get the funds for many films, and his 2014 "COSMOPOLITAN" pilot for a six-part TV series about young sophisticated American expatriates in Paris did not lead on to the desired series. But he did in 2011 make DAMSELS IN DISTRESS, featuring Greta Gerwig, about a trio of young women at a college seeking to raise social and cultural standards; and in 2016, most recently, he made LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP, the logical outcome of his sensibility: the adaptation of a never-before-on-screen minor Jane Austen novel.

    Rewatched (in part): Matt Reeves' THE BATMAN (R. Pattinson) for its broody gorgeousness.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-29-2022 at 10:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    THE GOLDEN GLOBES winners Jan. 10, 2023

    The Golden Globes Winners.














    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-12-2023 at 07:21 PM.

  7. #7
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    Golden Globes Upsets?

    ARGENTINA, 1985 was the surprising upset of the Globes. RRR and ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT were above it in rankings. CLOSE and DECISION TO LEAVE were also contenders.

    THE FABELMANS now emerges in the forefront for Best Picture Oscar.

    RRR the Indian film, took home the prize for best song.

    See Peter Bradsaw's wise comments in the Guardian on how this was a safe series of Golden Globes choices - and the way that was to be expected given last year's débâcle. He wished Best Actor might have gone to Bill Nighy for LIVING, or to Brendan Fraser, who, however, he pointed out has accused a former Hollywood Foreign Press Association head of sexual harassment; he spoke warmly of Spielberg as a champion of movies in theaters. But he felt press to conclude of EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE "I feel this film is overpraised and overwrought."
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-13-2023 at 11:01 AM.

  8. #8
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    Best Picture noms - six are shared




    The PGA announced its 10 nominees for Best Picture today (Thurs., Jan. 12), just hours after Oscar nominations voting began :
    SAGs - "outstanding cast"

    . Odball SAG choice among the five best actor noms, Adam Sandler in HUSTLE.

    Will the Oscar Best Picture contest be between those six, or will some relative outlier come to the fore and surprise everyone?
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-13-2023 at 10:51 AM.

  9. #9
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    BEST FOREIGN shortlist

    2023 Best Foreign Oscar Shortlist

    The following are my comments plus condensations of the info provided by Screen Daily today ("Screen’s guide to the 2023 international feature Oscar shortlist"):

    All Quiet On The Western Front (Germany)
    Dir. Edward Berger

    A German-language adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's 1928 pacifist WWI novel famously done in Hollywood long ago. , published in 1928. : Lewis Milestone's version won the best picture Oscar in 1930. Berger (Patrick Melrose) makes a German-language film from the German book for this Netflix film. In his first film role Felix Kammerer is the lead as a teenage volunteer who joyfully dashes to the front only to spend the rest of his short life brutally fighting over a few meters of land (sounds like a great antiwar film, Bernhard Wicki's 1959 THE BRIDGE). A brutal approach provides "a stylish, almost grotesquely beautiful film about one of the ugliest times in modern history." (Which was?) Sept. German release, US release in Oct, later out on Netflix (got it much viewed). A Golden Globe Best Picture, foreign language, nom. in the best motion picture, foreign language, category. BAFTA nom. It's impressive - and grueling. It's not a remake, neither is it really faithful to the novel's structure. For an assessment of the film's pros and cons see Fred Kaplan in Slate, "How Netflix’s All Quiet on the Western Front Deviates From the Book — and WWI History."

    Argentina,1985 (Argentina)
    Dir. Santiago Mitre

    Ricardo Darin starred in THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES – a foreign language film Oscar winner in 2010 – and reaches new international audiences here as Julio Strassera, the quietly determined chief prosecutor in the historic 1985 trial of Argentina’s military government. He even has a clear ‘Oscar moment’ – a 10-minute speech closing his prosecution case that is both chilling and rousing. The film made its world premiere in competition at Venice Film Festival where it won the critics’ prize. ARGENTINA also screened at San Sebastian, winning the audience award. It has won the Golden Globe best foreign film award. Argentinian films have won the best foreign Oscar twice: in 1985 for Luis Puenzo’s THE OFFICIAL STORY and in 2009 for Juan José Campanella’s THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Eligible for Bafta Film Awards (Amazon Studios).

    Bardo, False Chronicle Of A Handful Of Truths (Mexico)
    Dir. Alejandro G Inarittu

    Now edited down from the original three-hour epic that premiered at Venice to decidedly mixed reviews, Inarittu’s very personal opus is centred around an expatriate Mexican filmmaker (Daniel Giminez Cacho) who returns to his native country to accept a prestigious award. Tour-de-force lensing by Darius Khondji helps draw lines through the main character’s reveries in this expensive Spanish-language production from Netflix. Inarittu has won five Oscars to date: twice for best director (The Revenant, 2016; Birdman, 2015), twice for best film (The Revenant, 2016; Birdman, 2015), and writing (Birdman, 2015). It is the third time he has made the international feature film shortlist, after Biutiful in 2010 and Amores Perros in 2000.
    Eligible for Bafta Film Awards (Netflix).

    The Blue Caftan (Morocco)
    Dir. Maryam Touzani

    This sounded interesting when it premiered at Cannes Un Certain Regard, and won the Fipresci.
    "A superbly acted, emotionally resonant melodrama that centers on a woman (Lubna Azabal) and her closeted homosexual husband (Saleh Bakri) who run a caftan shop in the Moroccan city of Sale" (a suburb of Rabat). Touzani’s second submission to the Oscars following ADAM (2019) and she also collaborated on the screenplay for last year's CASABLANCA BEATS (Nabil Ayouche) (which I may have listed as this year). Multiple awards. "Morocco came close to a nomination in 2011 when Roschdy Zem’s Omar Killed Me made the shortlist." But hey, Roschdy Zem was born in French and is a French actor.

    Cairo Conspiracy (Sweden)
    Dir. Tarik Saleh

    Saleh’s Cairo-set political thriller aka as-Sabi min al-Jenna, the boy from heaven, about a youth embroiled in elaborate manipulations by the Egyptian government to control who becomes the director of Al-Azhar University, which is almost like being Pope. It won Best Screenplay at Cannes, hence its inclusion here; but reviews make it sound a bit lackluster. Saleh got a big prize at Sundance for his 2017 NILE HILTON INCIDENT. This sounds like somewhat a reworking. Note that this is NOT an Egyptian film. The direcotr lives in Sweden and makes his films set in Cairo in Jordan or other venues. This is Sweden's submission, as was Ostlund's THE SQUARE in 2018, but they have not wond ince FANNY AND ALEXANDER in 1984.

    Close (Belgium)
    Dir. Lukas Dhont

    Dhont's 2017 Camera d'Or winner GIRL (which I reviewed from Paris) was about a trans person. The Flemish director has a delicate touch with teens or sub-teens and gender issues. GIRL didn't make the Oscar shortlist. CLOSE, Grand Jury Prize at Cannes in 2022, concerns two 13-year-old boys whose beautiful, affectionate friendship is ruined when somebody says, "Are you a couple?" and one of them (in homosexual panic presumably) flees, which is devastating for the other boy. Numerous awards already.

    Corsage (Austria)
    Dir. Marie Kreutzer

    I have reviewed this. It's striking, with a powerful fuck-you lead performance, great staging and costumes, but it's not going to win an Oscar - too chilly. It is given strong momentum though by the lead of the ever-rising Vicky Krieps (whom I have yet to warm to). Set in the 1870s. Krieps is Empress Elizabeth of Austria, and this is a submission from Austria. "Austria has twice won the international feature prize — Michael Haneke’s AMOUR in 2013 and Stefan Ruzowitzky’s THE COUNTERFEITERS in 2008 — and has received a further two nominations. Krieps won Best Actress in the European Film Awards. Bafta nom.

    Decision To Leave (South Korea)
    Dir. Park Chan-wook

    South Korea didn’t select Park’s The Handmaiden as its Oscar submission in 2017, but the acclaimed film was eligible at the Baftas a year later – and won for film not in the English language. Decision To Leave, which premiered at Cannes this year, winning best director, tells the story of a detective (Park Hae-il) developing an unprofessional attachment to a woman (Tang Wei) suspected of being involved in the death of her husband. Tang was nominated for the Bafta rising star award in 2008. It is also nominated for a Golden Globe in the best motion picture, foreign language, category, and as a film of the year by the London Critics’ Circle. Eligible for Bafta Film Awards (Mubi).

    EO (Poland)
    Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski

    Featuring Isabelle Huppert among its ensemble cast, EO follows the life of a donkey from a Polish circus to an Italian slaughterhouse and is a contemporary adaptation of Robert Bresson’s 1966 cult classic Au Hasard Balthazar. Premiering in Competition at Cannes, the drama picked up the jury prize, sharing it with Eight Mountains, and the soundtrack award. Earlier this month, EO was named best international feature at The New York Film Critics Circle. Poland has won the Oscar once, in 2015 with Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida, and has been nominated a further 11 times out of 57 submissions. A painter and director, Skolimowski’s credits also include 2010’s Essential Killing and 2015’s 11 Minutes.
    Eligible for Bafta Film Awards (BFI).

    Holy Spider (Denmark)
    Dir. Ali Abbasi

    Premiering in Competition at Cannes, Holy Spider is based on the real-life story of an Iranian serial killer at the turn of the century. Tehran-born, Copenhagen-based Abbasi (Borderland) shot Holy Spider in Jordan, recreating Iran’s holy city of Mashhad where a family man preys on what the local police refer to as ‘dirty whores’, strangling women with his bare hands. Playing a female journalist who has to first fight the morality police before she can even try to bring his crimes to light, Zar Amir Ebrahimi won the best actress prize at Cannes. Denmark has been on something of a hot streak at the Oscars in recent years: its 2022 submission Flee secured a nomination following Thomas Vinterberg’s win with Another Round. Altogether Denmark has had four wins and a further 10 nominations.
    Eligible for Bafta Film Awards (Mubi).

    Joyland (Pakistan)
    Dir. Saim Sadiq

    Sadiq’s debut feature world premiered at Cannes in Un Certain Regard as the festival’s first ever Pakistani film, and went on to win the jury prize and the Queer Palm. Having been submitted as the country’s international Oscar contender, the film then suddenly faced a ban in its home nation for being “un-*Islamic” and “containing objectionable material” – only for the ban to overturned at the last minute. Joyland follows a young man from a patriarchal family who secretly joins an exotic dance theatre as a background performer and falls for a trans actress, while his wife is expecting their first child. Pakistan has submitted 10 entries to the Oscars in recent years with no nominations as of yet. Its last entry was in 2020 with Sarmad Khoosat’s Circus Of Life.
    Eligible for Bafta Film Awards (Studio Soho).

    Last Film Show (India)
    Dir. Pan Nalin

    The country’s 55th Oscar submission is a semi-autobiographical fable by Nalin that is set in 1990s Gujarat. It centres on a young boy who falls in love with film at his local cinema and forms a close friendship with the projectionist. Last Film Show premiered at Tribeca in 2021 where it was nominated for a narrative audience award and has also screened at Beijing and Los Angeles film festivals. India has scooped up three nominations previously - Mehboob Khan’s Mother India in 1957 (its first submission); Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! in 1988; and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan in 2001.

    The Quiet Girl (Ireland)
    Dir. Colm Bairéad

    Irish director-producer duo – and husband-and-wife –Bairéad and Cleona Ni Chrualaoi’s feature debut The Quiet Girl first struck a chord at Berlin, where it clinched the grand prize in the Generation Kplus strand. A lengthy festival run followed, including Dublin, Taipei, Helsinki and Busan. The drama is based on Claire Keegan’s novella Foster, about a neglected young girl’s life-changing summer. It is the first Irish-language film to win best film at the Irish Film and Television Academy awards, the highest-grossing Irish-language film of all time around the world, and the first to gross more than €1m ($1.02m) at the UK-Ireland box office. DoP Kate McCullough’s work on the film won her the cinematographer prize at this year’s European Film Awards.
    Eligible for Bafta Film Awards (Curzon).

    Return To Seoul (Cambodia)
    Dir. Davy Chou

    Screen Daily says it's inspired by the French-born/Cambodian director's "own life," but he himself has said it's inspired by the experiences of a friend of his. It makes a strong impression with its piece-of-work main character whose unbridled behavior trumps the story of a Korean adopteee returning to the country she never knew, having been removed to be raised in France as a baby. The interest for us is that she is French, not American - but that also might make it feel distant for Academy voters. There have been films dealing with this issue before but this may be, despite its drawbacks, the most artistic I've seen.

    Saint Omer (France)
    Dir. Alice Diop

    This seems like a big one since it has already been widely seen and reviewed here. And one can even add that Alice Diop appeared in a central role in one of Claire Denis's most loved films, 35 SHOTS OF RUM, and made the important documentary NOUS (US), which has been widely seen and commented on in the anglophone world, though it concerns France, it has a wide applicability to the issue of inclusion and otherness. Silver Lion at Venice. Still I don't think it is likely to win the Oscar due to its indirectness and the repulsive topic of a woman on trial for killing her own child. Screen Daily points out France has had "a 30-year barren streak," no Best Foreign Oscar in all that time. Kayije Kagama stars as an academic captivated by the trial of a woman (Guslagie Mlanda) who admits to killing her own child.

    What happened to Panah Panahi's hilarious, brilliant and sad HIT THE ROAD, Farhadi's thoughtful, morally aware A HERO, Trier's scintillating THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD, Giannoli's colorful LOST ILLUSIONS, Audiard's healthily sexy PARIS 13TH DISTRICT, Audrey Diwan's important, very timely THE HAPPENING, Ostend's wild, funny TRIANGLE OF SADNESS?

    Filmleaf has had no coverage yet of ALL QUIET, ARGENTINA, BARDO, BLUE CAFTAN, CAIRO CONSPIRACY[, CLOSE and HOLY SPIDER. Looks like maybe the first two here, which are historical, may have the best chance now. And we have some catching up to do - even though half these titles I avoided previously due to unfavorable or off-putting reviews.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-17-2023 at 02:14 AM.

  10. #10
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    The Oscar Nominations.

    Jan. 24, 2023: The noms are now known. Here they are (from Deadline):
    Best Picture

    “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
    A Netflix/Amusement Park Film in co-production with Gunpowder Films in association with Sliding Down Rainbows Entertainment/Anima Pictures Production
    Malte Grunert, Producer

    “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Walt Disney)
    A 20th Century Studios Production
    James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers

    “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight)
    A Blueprint Pictures/Film4/TSG Entertainment Production
    Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin and Martin McDonagh, Producers

    “Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
    A Bazmark Production
    Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick and Schuyler Weiss, Producers

    “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
    A Hot Dog Hands Production
    Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert and Jonathan Wang, Producers

    “The Fabelmans” (Universal/Amblin Partners)
    An Amblin Partners Production
    Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, Producers

    “Tár” (Focus Features)
    A Standard Film Company/EMJAG Production
    Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan and Scott Lambert, Producers

    “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount)
    A Paramount Pictures/Skydance/Jerry Bruckheimer Films Production
    Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison and Jerry Bruckheimer, Producers

    “Triangle of Sadness” (Neon)
    A Plattform Production
    Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, Producers

    “Women Talking” (Orion Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
    A Plan B Entertainment / hear/say Production
    Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner and Frances McDormand, Producers

    Actor in a Leading Role

    Austin Butler in “Elvis”
    (Warner Bros.)

    Colin Farrell in “The Banshees of Inisherin”

    Brendan Fraser in “The Whale”

    Paul Mescal in “Aftersun”

    Bill Nighy in “Living”
    (Sony Pictures Classics)

    Actress in a Leading Role

    Cate Blanchett in “Tár”
    (Focus Features)

    Ana de Armas in “Blonde”

    Andrea Riseborough in “To Leslie”
    (Momentum Pictures)

    Michelle Williams in “The Fabelmans”
    (Universal/Amblin Partners)

    Michelle Yeoh in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”


    Martin McDonagh
    “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight)

    Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
    “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)

    Steven Spielberg
    “The Fabelmans” (Universal/Amblin Partners)

    Todd Field
    “Tár” (Focus Features)

    Ruben Östlund
    “Triangle of Sadness” (Neon)

    Actor in a Supporting Role

    Brendan Gleeson in “The Banshees of Inisherin”

    Brian Tyree Henry in “Causeway”

    Judd Hirsch in “The Fabelmans”
    (Universal/Amblin Partners)

    Barry Keoghan in “The Banshees of Inisherin”

    Ke Huy Quan in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

    Actress in a Supporting Role

    Angela Bassett in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
    (Walt Disney)

    Hong Chau in “The Whale”

    Kerry Condon in “The Banshees of Inisherin”

    Jamie Lee Curtis in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

    Stephanie Hsu in “Everything Everywhere All at Once”

    Animated Feature Film

    “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio”
    Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley

    “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On”
    Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan and Paul Mezey

    “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish”
    Joel Crawford and Mark Swift

    “The Sea Beast”
    Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger

    “Turning Red” (Walt Disney)
    Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins

    Documentary Feature Film

    “All That Breathes” (Submarine Deluxe and Sideshow in association with HBO Documentary Films)
    A Kiterabbit Films and Rise Films in collaboration with HHMI Tangled Bank Studios Production
    Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer

    “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed” (Neon)
    A Participant Production
    Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin and Yoni Golijov

    “Fire of Love” (National Geographic)
    A National Geographic Documentary Films/Sandbox Films/Intuitive Pictures & Cottage M Production
    Sara Dosa, Shane Boris and Ina Fichman

    “A House Made of Splinters”
    “A House Made of Splinters” A Final Cut For Real Production
    Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström

    “Navalny” (Warner Bros./CNN Films/HBO Max)
    A Fishbowl Films/RaeFilm Studios/Cottage M Production
    Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller and Shane Boris

    International Feature Film

    “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Germany)
    A Netflix/Amusement Park Film in co-production with Gunpowder Films in association with Sliding Down Rainbows Entertainment/Anima Pictures Production

    “Argentina, 1985” (Argentina)
    A La Unión de los Ríos Production

    “Close” (Belgium)
    A Menuet Production

    “EO” (Poland)
    A Skopia Film Production

    “The Quiet Girl” (Ireland)
    An Inscéal Production

    Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

    “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
    Screenplay – Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell

    “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery” (Netflix)
    Written by Rian Johnson

    “Living” (Sony Pictures Classics)
    Written by Kazuo Ishiguro

    “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount)
    Screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks

    “Women Talking” (Orion Pictures/United Artists Releasing)
    Screenplay by Sarah Polley

    Writing (Original Screenplay)

    “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight)
    Written by Martin McDonagh

    “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
    Written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert

    “The Fabelmans” (Universal/Amblin Partners)
    Written by Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner

    “Tár” (Focus Features)
    Written by Todd Field

    “Triangle of Sadness” (Neon)
    Written by Ruben Östlund


    “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
    James Friend

    “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” (Netflix)
    Darius Khondji

    “Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
    Mandy Walker

    “Empire of Light” (Searchlight)
    Roger Deakins

    “Tár” (Focus Features)
    Florian Hoffmeister

    Film Editing

    “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight)
    Mikkel E.G. Nielsen

    “Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
    Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond

    “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
    Paul Rogers

    “Tár” (Focus Features)
    Monika Willi

    “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount)
    Eddie Hamilton

    Music (Original Score)

    “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
    Volker Bertelmann

    “Babylon” (Paramount)
    Justin Hurwitz

    “The Banshees of Inisherin” (Searchlight)
    Carter Burwell

    “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
    Son Lux

    “The Fabelmans” (Universal/Amblin Partners)
    John Williams

    Music (Original Song)

    “Applause” from “Tell It like a Woman”
    (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

    “Hold My Hand” from “Top Gun: Maverick”
    Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and BloodPop

    “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”
    (Walt Disney)
    Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson Lyric by Tems and Ryan Coogler

    “Naatu Naatu” from “RRR”
    (Variance Films/Sarigama Cinemas)
    Music by M.M. Keeravaani Lyric by Chandrabose

    “This Is A Life” from “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
    Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski Lyric by Ryan Lott and David Byrne

    Production Design

    “All Quiet on the Western Front”
    Production Design: Christian M. Goldbeck
    Set Decoration: Ernestine Hipper

    “Avatar: The Way of Water”
    (Walt Disney)
    Production Design: Dylan Cole and Ben Procter
    Set Decorator: Vanessa Cole

    Production Design: Florencia Martin
    Set Decorator: Anthony Carlino

    (Warner Bros.)
    Production Design: Catherine Martin, Karen Murphy
    Set Decoration: Bev Dunn

    “The Fabelmans”
    (Universal/Amblin Partners)
    Production Design: Rick Carter
    Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara

    Costume Design

    “Babylon” (Paramount)
    Mary Zophres

    “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Walt Disney)
    Ruth Carter

    “Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
    Catherine Martin

    “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (A24)
    Shirley Kurata

    “Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris” (Focus Features)
    Jenny Beavan

    Makeup and Hairstyling

    “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
    Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová

    “The Batman” (Warner Bros.)
    Naomi Donne, Mike Marino and Mike Fontaine

    “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Walt Disney)
    Camille Friend and Joel Harlow

    “Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
    Mark Coulier, Jason Baird and Aldo Signoretti

    “The Whale” (A24)
    Adrien Morot, Judy Chin and Anne Marie Bradley

    Live Action Short Film

    “An Irish Goodbye” (Network Ireland Television)
    A Floodlight Pictures Production
    Tom Berkeley and Ross White

    An M&M Production
    Anders Walter and Rebecca Pruzan

    “Le Pupille” (Walt Disney)
    An Esperanto Filmoj and Tempesta Production
    Alice Rohrwacher and Alfonso Cuarón

    “Night Ride” (The New Yorker Studios)
    A Cylinder Production
    Eirik Tveiten and Gaute Lid Larssen

    “The Red Suitcase”
    A Cynefilms Production
    Cyrus Neshvad

    Documentary Short Film

    “The Elephant Whisperers” (Netflix)
    A Netflix Documentary/Sikhya Entertainment Production
    Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga

    “Haulout” (The New Yorker Studios)
    An Albireo Films Production
    Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev

    “How Do You Measure a Year?”
    A Jay Rosenblatt Films Production
    Jay Rosenblatt

    “The Martha Mitchell Effect” (Netflix)
    An Outspoken Films Production
    Anne Alvergue and Beth Levison

    “Stranger at the Gate” (The New Yorker Studios)
    A Smartypants Pictures Production
    Joshua Seftel and Conall Jones

    Animated Short Film

    “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse” (BBC and Apple Original Films)
    A NoneMore and Bad Robot Production
    Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud

    “The Flying Sailor”
    A National Film Board of Canada Production
    Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby

    “Ice Merchants”
    A COLA Animation Production
    João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano

    “My Year of Dicks”
    An FX, Wonder Killer and Cat’s Pajamas Production
    Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon

    “An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It”
    A Griffith Film School Production
    Lachlan Pendragon


    “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
    Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel and Stefan Korte

    “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Walt Disney)
    Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers and Michael Hedges

    “The Batman” (Warner Bros.)
    Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray and Andy Nelson

    “Elvis” (Warner Bros.)
    David Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson and Michael Keller

    “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount)
    Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor

    Visual Effects

    “All Quiet on the Western Front” (Netflix)
    Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank and Kamil Jafar

    “Avatar: The Way of Water” (Walt Disney)
    Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon and Daniel Barrett

    “The Batman” (Warner Bros.)
    Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands and Dominic Tuohy

    “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Walt Disney)
    Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White and Dan Sudick

    “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount)
    Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson and Scott R. Fisher

    Oscar Scorecards

    (2 or more)
    Everything Everywhere All at Once — 11
    All Quiet on the Western Front — 9
    The Banshees of Inisherin — 9
    Elvis — 8
    The Fabelmans — 7
    Tár — 6
    Top Gun: Maverick — 6
    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — 5
    Avatar: The Way of Water — 4
    Babylon — 3
    The Batman — 3
    Triangle of Sadness — 3
    The Whale — 3
    Living — 2
    Women Talking — 2

    (2 or more; not including shorts categories)
    A24 — 17
    Netflix — 14
    Warner Bros — 12
    Walt Disney — 10
    Searchlight — 10
    Paramount — 9
    Universal — 8
    Focus Features — 7
    Neon — 4
    Orion Pictures/UAR — 2
    Sideshow — 2
    Sony Pictures Classics — 2
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-24-2023 at 09:35 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Oscar snubs and surprises

    From Deadline:
    Tom Cruise
    Top Gun: Maverick took off with a Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay nominations, but the high-wattage star who leads the highflying franchise was grounded by the Academy today.

    Taylor Swift
    Just the idea of the superstar performing on the 95th Academy Awards could have brought in millions of potential viewers to the ratings-sagging ceremony. Add the fact that Swift’s “Carolina” tune from Where the Crawdads Sing fell short with AMPAS after already getting noms from the Golden Globes and Critics Choice, you have to wonder if Oscar voters are tone deaf.

    The Woman King
    Nothing. Nothing for star and past Oscar winner Viola Davis. Nothing for director Gina Prince-Bythewood. BTW: Davis picked up well-deserved SAG and BAFTA noms, but today, a complete abdication by AMPAS.

    Olivia Colman
    Even the beloved past Oscar winner could not turn on the switch for her Empire of Light performance.

    Women directors
    The Sarah Polley-helmed Women Talking received a Best Picture nom this morning, but Polley was shut out for Best Director. Aftersun director Charlotte Wells, The Woman King‘s Prince-Bythewood and Till’s Chinonye Chukwu also weren’t allowed in the boys club. Look, AMPAS, replicating the Golden Globes’ disdain for these talented artists is never a good look, and today’s oversight of this plethora of talent is a serious error of judgment.

    David Bowie
    Director Brett Morgen snagged an Oscar nomination nearly two decades ago for On the Ropes, and his Moonage Daydream documentary homage to the Thin White Duke was a true artistic tour de force about a man who was a true artistic tour de force. Sadly, there was no call from AMPAS Ground Control on Tuesday.

    The harrowing tale of the 1955 murder of 14-year-old Emmett Till by racists and his mother Mamie Till-Mobley’s fight for justice put a spotlight on a vital piece of our nation’s history. Chukwu’s work behind the camera and Danielle Deadwyler’s riveting performance as Till-Mobley were eye-openers. The Academy looked away – and it shouldn’t have.

    Paul Dano
    The Fabelmans co-star Judd Hirsch was rewarded with a Best Supporting Actor nomination for what essentially was an extended cameo, but the often-overlooked Dano didn’t get a seat at the Academy Awards table. Shunned by AMPAS back in 2008 for his There Will Be Blood performance and denied a nom for 2016’s Love & Mercy, Dano’s fatherly turn in Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical coming-of-age pic should have been his entrée into the Oscars club. Should have been. Wasn’t.

    Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
    The global blockbuster sequel scored a slew of nominations this a.m., including the big tickets of Supporting Actress nomination for front-runner Angela Bassett and Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” for Best Song. Yet, director Ryan Coogler was forsaken, and no Best Picture nom for the Disney/Marvel movie.

    Baz Luhrmann
    Elvis swiveled its feature film hips to a slew of nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Golden Globe winner Austin Butler as the man himself. Which begs the question: How did the man who redefined the marriage of music and movies with Moulin Rouge! get left out of the Best Director race this year?

    Janelle Monáe
    Back at the 2020 Oscars, the multi-talented multimedium performer put a floodlight on snubbed films in the ceremony’s opening number. So let’s just say it cuts deep that Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery star herself was snubbed today.

    James Cameron
    Proving to be the 2022 dictionary definition of crowd-pleaser, long-awaited Avatar: The Way of Water swam to a Best Picture nomination and more this morning. Alas, the one-time King of the World and 1998 Best Director winner for Titanic did not repeat his 2010 nomination for the groundbreaking original Avatar. AMPAS, you know he literally was the meticulous, hard-driving force behind Way of Water, right?

    Margot Robbie
    Bathed in excess onscreen, the Babylon star was left distinctly outside the walls by AMPAS voters today.

    Will Smith

    After the 2022 Best Actor winner’s shocking onstage slap of Chris Rock and before a stunned audience of millions during last year’s ceremony and the excommunicating fallout, no one seriously expected Smith’s Emancipation role to receive recognition today. However, the fact is the King Richard star was the Best Actor winner last year and to be cold-shouldered by his peers this year only can be viewed as a further punishment.


    Stephanie Hsu
    Everything Everywhere All at Once always was going to go large with the awards-season run that Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan have had, and everyone expected Jamie Lee Curtis to get a nomination. However, even with previous SAG Awards and Critics Choice noms, co-star Hsu was seen as a longshot – not so much now.

    Brian Tyree Henry
    The past Tony Award nominee raises the stakes and quality of everything he is in and already had scored an Independent Spirit Award Best Supporting Actor nomination for his Causeway role. Yet, if you had taken his name to the betting office before this morning, the odds would not have looked so good — well, AMPAS rolled the dice and it came up deservedly sixes for Henry on Tuesday.

    Andrea Riseborough
    The To Leslie star’s late-blooming word-of-mouth awards campaign for her title role resulted in the Brit’s first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress, upending received wisdom about the direction of this year’s race. “I’m astounded,” she told Deadline this morning. “I’m not entirely sure how the f*ck this happened.”
    I should think the inclusion of EO - a movie starring a donkey - in the Best Foreign finalists is a bit of a surprise too, as well as TRIANGLE OF SADNESS's making it so far.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-24-2023 at 09:48 PM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Still catching up

    Lesley Manville in MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS
    For something totally light, and continuing my Oscar prep, I just watched MRS. HARRIS GOES TO PARIS (Anthony Fabian 2021) - not only Best Actress (Musical or Comedy) nom for Lesley Manville, but a Best Costume Design nom for Jenny Beavan. The latter is only right and proper: the movie's recreation of the 1950 "défilé" of the House of Dior is incredible, along with all the other period Paris and London clothes worn in this beautiful fairytale film made on a "shoestring" of only $13 million. At 66, with a string of Mike Leigh films behind her, Lesley Manville (who glows in this, and runs up winding stairs) is just getting started. She played a key role in Paul Thomas Anderson's PHANTOM THREAD in 2017, you'll recall. Soon she will be an international superstar playing Princess Margaret in the latest iteration of "The Crown." In MRS. HARRIS, renamed UNE ROBE POUR MRS. HARRIS for its French release. You also get to see Isabelle Huppert as the mean head of Dior and Lambert Wilson as the aristocrat who falls for the charlady and Lucas Bravo (of "Emily Goes to Paris") as the handsome transformative Dior accountant in love with the beautiful existentialist model Natasha (Alba Baptista). This is costume designer Jenny Beavan's eleventh Oscar nomination, Lesley Manville's second.

    Michael Morris' TO LESLIE and Lila Neugebauer's CAUSEWAY

    Also recently watched TO LESLIE (Michael Morris) for the go-for-broke performance of Andrea Riseborough, before her surprise, long-shot (but not unanticipated) Best Actress nom, the last-minute, A-lister-manipulated process of arriving at which has lately wound up being quite controversial. But one cannot fault the actor. And I have watched the almost terminally low-keyed CAUSEWAY (Lila Neugebauer), where you will see not only Brian Tyree Henry of "Atlanta" show why he's nominated for Best Supporting Actor, but an outstanding understated performance by Jennifer Lawrence, and the way they play off each other.

    Rewatching Todd Field's TÁR
    I've also just rewatched Todd Field's TÁR, which I "had" to do because my friend and I missed the first few minutes; but also, what 2022 movie is more worth re-watching? Turns out since TÁR begins with the long credits instead of ending with them, and there is that long, obsequious - and arguably somewhat superfluous - intro to Lydia by Adam Gopnik as himself, we didn't wind up missing very much. But there is a lot to ponder and savor in this amazing film with its top-tier lead performance. The character of Lydia Tár in some ways resembles Cate's lead in Woody Allen's 2013 BLUE JASMINE, but this character is as much richer as the performance is subtler. TÁR makes me revise my view that Cate Blanchett was not a "great" actress though a technically very fine" one - I was very dissatisfied with the amazing, busy, confusing Woody Allen movie. Revisiting Mike D'Angelo's subscription-only (68/100) review: he makes a couple of points to ponder. First, should Lydia's sexually predatory behavior, even if only a little bit, have been more directly shown? On the other hand, would it have been just as good a movie without that plot element at all?
    I'd very likely have dug TÁR even had Tár simply been a celebrated, mercurial and notoriously difficult conductor/composer, without any hint of sexual impropriety.
    As the movie is, D'Angelo much admires TÁR but "did not swoon" over it mainly because of Field's decision that it needed "just a little Black Swan-style freakiness," i.e., the horror touches. I also think those may be unnecessary in a film that's already such a complex - and troubling - double portrait of a world and a personality. Anyway, I'd certainly keep Lydia's dangerous rush into the deserted spaces to give Olga her toy furry animal. Is that a touch of freakiness?

    Though for me it's the best Best Picture nom, and Blanchett the best Best Actress one, I don't think the Oscars will go there. And that's the Oscars.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; Yesterday at 05:03 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Comparing the 2022 films of Richard Linklater, James Gray, and Stephen Spielberg

    A hopeful coming of age and a disenchanted one; Spielberg's magic touch

    After initial rejection, in early November Richard Linkater's APOLLO 10 1/2: A SPACER AGE CHILDHOOD was included in the competition for Best Animated Feature. It's rotoscoped, which means instead of being drawn - or computer-animated - from scratch, it's largely reformatted from film of staged or real events. It's interesting to contrast Linklater's personal but fanciful coming of age animation about Houston in 1969 with James Gray's semi-autobiographical film about a a Jewish boy in Queens in the early 1980's.

    This new Netflix film by Richard Linklater follows the life of Stan, a young boy in 1969 Houston, around the time of the first moon-landing. To make the project, Linklater set up live-action scenes on a sound stage with a team then using rotoscoping and 2D animation to bring the film to life. It's very loosely autobiographical. Linklater didn't have five siblings like this one. The Houston setting is where Linklater was born; he grew up in other towns. Houston is headquarters of NASA; the film downplays the fact that the flight to the moon took off from Cape Kennedy, Florida.

    Stan tells that he was secretly recruited by NASA officials for a top secret mission to train for and execute travel to the moon on a test vehicle that is "a little smaller" than adult size, so they need a talented kid. We don't quite know whether this is the boy's fantasy or the film's. The stark rotoscoping effect masks the distinction.

    This is the portrait of a bland, hopeful place and a big (Catholic?), cooperative family in an optimistic time. When America landed a man on the moon and 600 million people saw it on television, the US was ecstatic, and for a while could ignore the disaster of the Vietnam War Kennedy expanded, Johnson continued, and Nixon tried to end. Linklater uses a lot of actual TV footage, including NIxon's phone conversation with Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. We see Stan's family watching, with him sleepy from a day at Astro-World, but "remembering" his magical, wonderfully imagined moon flight. The cultural life of this time is largely projected through television, at a time when there were three channels and indeed everybody watched them. TV really did provide a common culture that now has faded away.

    As A.O. Scott's review of ARMAGEDDON TIME points out, it follows a familiar theme in American fiction: a white boy or man whose closeness with a person of color leads to moral awakening.
    Interracial friendship is an old and complicated theme in American culture. Think of Ishmael and Queequeg bedded down at the Spouter-Inn in Moby-Dick, Huck and Jim adrift on the Mississippi in Huckleberry Finn or Dylan and Mingus tagging up Brooklyn in Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude. In almost every case, the white character’s perception is central (these books are all first-person narratives, and in a palpable if not literal sense, Armageddon Time is too). The Black character, however brave, beautiful or tragic he may be, is the vehicle of his companion’s moral awakening.
    The best friend of Paul, who is a Jewish boy in Queens in 1980, is Johnny, who is black and gets into more trouble in class just because of his race. Paul is aware of this disparity and injustice, but not only can't do anything: his father sends him, like his brother, to a private school, and so is cut off from Johnny by his family's economic advantage. Paul feels guilt and disenchantment over this.

    APOLLO 10 1/2 and ARMAGEDDON TIME both have a scene were a boy fires off a toy rocket in the yard. Coincidentally, Johnny collects NASA mission patches and dreams of becoming an astronaut. It soon emerges that he isn't as likely a candidate for living that dream as Stan is - at least in his imagination fueled by the happy, secure surroundings of his childhood and family and their involvement with NASA, where his father has a job in accounting and logistics - while Johnny lives alone with his aging grandmother.

    We could also contrast ARMAGEDDON TIME with Stephen Spielberg's THE FABELMANS. These are both coming-of-age tales of boys who realized early on they wanted to make movies, though Spielberg's surrogate got more actual movies made early on. What I liked about ARMAGEDDON TIME is that it's so self-critical. There is nothing rosy about it. Gray is hard on his family, his young self, and the times he grew up in. Even though THE FABELMANS focuses a lot on the splitting up of the boy's parents and his mother's secret infidelity with his father's best friend that leads up to it, there is a lot that is rosy about the picture of childhood. Spielberg acknowledges that he is Jewish ad encountered anti-Semitism, but there is not the sense of growing up in a Jewish environment. The Fabelmans are out West. A Jewish friend of mine used to say "California Jews don't know they are Jewish," and relatively, this seems true and is illustrated in the differences between the two films.

    While I admire the harshly self-critical stance of ARMAGEDDON TIME, and I feel a greater kinship with the insecure, suspicious world of Gray's cinematic childhood than with the bland, hopeful one of Richard Linklater, as awards season progresses we see the optimistic view is the one that most often draws the praise and sells the tickets. ARMAGEDDON TIME was a failure at the box office (which Gray seemed to expect). APOLLO 10 1/2 is fun, even quietly exhilarating. Typically for Linklater, it doesn't try too hard (even though it's actually quite spectacular in its way).

    As for THE FABELMANS, it's got seven Oscar nominations, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Screenplay, Best Production Design, and Best Original Score. This fits my experience: despite my sympathy for ARMAGEDDON TIME and easy enjoyment of the charming but lightweight APOLLO 10 1/2, it was THE FABELMANS that gave me the heightened pleasure of watching a movie that is not only identifiable and thrilling but felt palpably beautifully made. Spielberg depicts his precocious early development as a filmmaker in a way that's a joy to watch. He has a magic touch.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; Today at 03:03 AM.


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