a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Archive for December, 2018

YEAR’S TEN BEST FILMS 2018

1.BOY ERASED

2.ROMA

3. MARY POPPINS RETURNS

4.YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE

5. THE FAVOURITE

6. THE GREEN BOOK

7.THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS

8.THE ISLE OF DOGS

9.MAMA MIA,HERE WE GO AGAIN!

10.ORSON WELLES’ THEY’LL LOVE ME WHEN I’M DEAD

Have A Very Mary(Poppins) Christmas!

As Santa whisks by the Northpole, I am on the Mary Poppins sleigh ride/Oscar train!

It may very well get nominated for Best Picture and Emily Blunt’s marvelous, magical Mary is well on her way to being nominated for a Best Actress Oscar!

She’s already been nominated for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for the Golden Globes and again a Best Actress nomination for the SAGs. Where she also got nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her husband John Krasinski’s “The Quiet Place.” All adding up to being a very MARY Christmas!

Good luck, Emily! Two SAG award nominations usually ad up to a Best Actress Oscar!

Emily Blunt Becomes Legend in “Mary Poppins Returns”! Give That Girl an Oscar!


I have long admired the acting force that is British Actress Emily Blunt. She’s been on my TV show twice, once for “The Jane Austen Book Club.”where I interview her by satellite. She was in London where she said, “It was pissing down with rain.” Now that’s not something Mary Poppins would never EVER say. This is without a doubt the iconic role that is going to make her very, very famous and will define her career for the rest of her days. And maybe even win her a Best Actress Oscar.

She was just nominated for her”practically perfect in every way” British nanny that descends from the lovely, fog-covered London skies  to save the Banks children once again. But this time they are all grown up and played remarkably sympathetically by the brilliant Ben Whishaw and the divinely demure Emily Mortimer. It is 1930 and they still live in the charming house on Cherry Tree Lane, but here’s where director Rob Marshall had a master stoke of genius. They are on the verge of being evicted.

So beneath the flaming Technicolor flim-flammery, there is a great core of sadness underlying “Mary Poppins Returns.” Emily Blunt’s Mary Poppins senses that there is  real trouble brewing here and that only she can fix it. This gives the always startlingly original actress a role that she can really sink her teeth into, and probably will play for ever. If she wanted to. There is a real sense of pain and a core of sadness that is motivating her Poppins to do what she does best – Cheer every one up. She’s like a supernatural social worker.

Blunt plays her with a tinge of something akin to regret. She knows in her heart of hearts that she really CAN’T help the Banks’ in any practical way. Her magic only goes so far. Or does it? And Nannys DO have to leave, eventually. That’s where her sadness comes from. As much as she loves the Banks’, she inevitably knows there will be a moment to go to say “It’s time.”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is on hand, too, in the Dick Van Dyke role, as  twere,  as Mary’s comical side-kick. Here transmorgrofied in into a lamplighter. He seems wildly miscast here, but his British accent is better than Van Dyke’s (who is in THIS movie, too!)so I’ll give him a pass for bounce-ability.


Also on hand is a new character, Mary’s Blatvian cousin Topsy who tells them all she is “Turning Turtle” a show-stopper number that allows Streep to out-camp her Florence Foster Jenkins role .That’s camp for you. The greatest of all addictions. Once you touch even your little left toe into it, you can never get out of it.

If you can imagine such a thing. She does more bumps and grinds per minute than any one in film history. And if it was anyone but Meryl Streep doing it you would say “STOP!” “Too much!” With Meryl you say, “You just keep twerking it, girl..”

The charming composer/lyricists are straight from Broadway. Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman are so endlessly tuneful and prolific, it’s simply amazing. My favorite has to be “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” and “There’s No Where to Go But Up!” sung by Angela Lansbury. Yes, she’s in it, too. Even the background music is quite enchanting. And every now and then they slip a little touch of the original Sherman brothers classic score. Just a few notes, mind you, but it is enough to send one flying up and down memory lane, in the best possible way.

It’s a delight. It’s an epic and I think it’s going to be nominated for Best Picture and many, many below the line categories. Sandy Duncan’s costumes are heaven-on-earth, right down to Mary’s red shoe laces. And of course, the extraordinary Emily Blunt will be nominated for Best Actress. And she could win, too! This is a film that will melt the hearts of every hardened cynic in Hollywood. And you’ll end concluding that we all need a Mary Poppins in our lives.

“Mary Poppins” is not just a sequel. It’s a classic.

SAG Nominations Out! Emily Blunt Got TWO!

I always felt that Emily Blunt was one of our best, most versatile leading lady screen stars that we have out there today, and this morning the Screen Actors Ensemble Guild secondly resounded my emotion by naming Blunt both actress for “Mary Poppin Returns” and Supporting Actress for the heroine of her husband John Grazinski’s horror film in “The Quiet Place.”She’s up against formidable competition in the form of Lady Gaga in “A Bore is Starred”, seven time nominee Glenn Close in “The Wife,”Melissa McCarthy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and fellow first time nominee Olivia Coleman in “The Favourite.”

Does being nominated for both performances in both categories for two different movies give Blunt the edge in this most hotly contended of categories? It just might.

A veteran of British stage, screen and TV(She even appeared in a Miss Marple once as one of the murder victims!), she scored States-side in a big way with her memorable turn as Meryl Streep’s assistant in “The Devil Wear’s Prada” and though she’s been working consistently since then. she never had THEE role that would indelibly lift her from working actress to star, but she’s got TWO this year.

She’ll never be obscure again, For the list of the other nominees and nominated films go to http://www.awardsdaily.com

“Roma” Wins Best Picture from Critics Groups Across the Nation, And Toronto, too!


“Roma” the Mexican film in Black and White and widescreen by Alfonso Cuaron has won Best Picture Awards from film critics groups across the nation, and in Toronto, too!

It’s almost a clean sweep from the Mexican masterpiece “Roma” as Critics group in Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D. C., Philadelphia, Denver, San Diego as well as Toronto, Ontario, Canada are all unanimous in their acclaim for this intensely personal epic  tale of life in an upper middle class Doctor’s family in Mexico City in 1970. Told from the point of view of its nanny and maid, Cleo, as played unforgettably by Mexican first time actress, Yalitza Apericio.

Cuaron has gathered Best Director awards across the board, too. To accompany his first Best Directing Oscar for “Gravity.” “Roma” also just garnered nominations for Cuaron in writing and directing as well as Best foreign Film at the Golden Globes.

For a complete listing of other awards in other categories, check out http://www.awardsdaily.com

 

Golden Globes Nominations Out! “Boy, Erased” Gets Two! Lucas Hedges Best Actor. Drama!


This year’s Golden Globes Nominations have just been announced. And they seem to be earlier than ever. The LA Film Critics haven’t even announced yet! So here they are. And for a complete list go to http://www.awardsdaily.com. I’m just over the moon that my #1 film of the year was remembered twice. The incredible Lucas Hedges got nominated in Best Actor, Drama for “Boy, Erased.” It also got nommed for Best Song.

This is what Lucas had to say about this,

“I honestly didn’t expect this and am completely thrilled. Thank you to the Hollywood Foreign Press for this incredible nomination. I loved playing Marlo, so this is a real honor.”

The 21-year-old phenom is currently on Broadway in Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery” and so he can’t do the usual glad-handing and campaigning that has become an inevitable, and necessary, component of this Awards’ race.

No stranger to the Golden Globes and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who give them out, Lucas was up two years ago in Supporting for “Manchester by the Sea,” also by the superb author/director Kenneth Lonergan.

It should also be noted that the HFPA nominated both gay characters in “Can You Ever Forgive Me” played by Melissa McCarthy (Lead actress) and Richard E. Grant (Supporting). as well as all three lesbian characters in “The Favourite” played by Olivia Coleman(Lead) and Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz(supporting.)

The Golden Globes become more and more important every year and this year they seem more on point than ever. And they certainly are a hoot and half to watch. And they very often are extremely predictive of the Oscars. Academy voters use the Golden Globe lists as a cheat sheet. Their inclusion on this list will mean the films will be watched and discussed. And in the case of “Boy, Erased,” which is about the heinous practice of gay conversion therapy, which is still legal in over thirty states, it is IMPORTANT and timely.

Post-script: the other Masterpiece that’s out there this year, “Roma” was nominated for Best Foreign Film, because it’s in Spanish. Alfonso Cuaron was nominated as Best Director and  Best Screenplay. And if there was an award for Best Cinematography, he’d be nominated for that, too,  for the stunning Black and White footage that he shot entirely himself!

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