a.k.a. "The Oscar Messenger"

Archive for the ‘Foreign Films’ Category

“Roma,” Willem Dafoe Win Big at Venice Film Festival

Alfonse Cuaron’s “Roma” won big at the Venice Film Festival yesterday. It won the much-prized Golden Lion, their top film prize. It’s in Black and White, and set in Mexico in the 1970s and is in Spanish, but has been acclaimed every- where it’s been shown.

Willem Dafoe won Best Actor for his portrayal of the tortured artist Vincent Van Gogh, under the direction of Julian Schnabel, in “At Eternity’s Gate.”

British actress Olivia Coleman won Best Actress for “The Favourite,” Yorgos Lanthimos controversial period drama.

All three films will be at Toronto and I will see them all VERY soon when I begin to cover the New York Film Festival for Awardsdaily.com. The press screenings start the week after next.

Also expect all three of these acclaimed films to figure majorly in this year’s Oscar race. Though Coleman may find herself competing as Supporting Actress. She co-stars in “The Favourite” with two Academy Award winners, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz. All are competing for the gold, it is said.

Oh, and the Academy has dropped its idea of starting a “Most Popular Film” category after much push-back, and I’m glad they did.

The Best Film will remain the Best Film. Period. End of Discussion.

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It’s Over 100 Degrees in NYC. Perfect Antidote Mhz’s “Antartica:In the Footsteps of the Emperor”


New York is melting in over 100 degree temperatures. It’s brutal out there. So why not stay inside In the air-conditioning and watch the latest from Mhz? “Antarctica: In the Footsteps of the Emporor”

This is a very different offering from Mhz who usually specializes in heavy duty European television crime dramas. A favorite of mine “Maigret,” but their new “Antarctica:In the Footsteps of the Emperor.” is something else entirely. It’s a delightful French documentary on the sub-Artic continent, by Luc Jaquet, who brought us the equally delightful “March of the Penguins” in 2016.

And once again, those penguins steal the show. This documentary focuses on the filmmaker/photographers themselves. An intrepid band of French Antarctic enthusiasts, who just HAVE to  photograph every single aspect of the frozen continent. Their journey is compelling because they feel that climate change has even affected this least approachable of land masses. It’s melting fast. And they show it.

They have found traces of human waste and pollution in the water and also in what the birds and other mammals are eating…And the penguins! How can one not love the most humanoid of birds, who all resemble Alfred Hitchcock? To me any way. And we are engaged in their struggle to survive the brutal arctic conditions. They upstage the filmmakers at every turn, but we form concerns, too, about this intrepid band of Frenchmen, who are so obsessed with Antarctica, they even want to photograph and record what’s BENEATH it. Have you ever seen the UNDERside of an iceberg? Well, you will here in this terrific doc.

Your heart is in your mouth as these daredevil deep-sea divers go  beyond the beyond. To depths of the oceans bottom that were unimaginable heretofore. Laurent Ballest and Vincent Munier and their crew attempt, and succeed where to bravely go where no man has gone before.

“It’s like walking on the moon!” They exclaim, in French, over and over. And you’ll feel like you’ve taken a really cool and cooling escape from the heat of planet earth, when you watch Mhz’s enchanting and thrilling “Antartica:In the Footsteps of the Emperor.” Emperor Penguin, of course. It’s the perfect summertime movie!

More SAG live-blogging! The Same People Keep Winning!

With Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney both winning the Supporting Actor awards tonight as they did last week at the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice Awards last week, they have now both won all three main precursor awards leading up to the Big One = the Oscar.

It’s coming up in March, the Academy Awards night itself, but the nominations will be announced on Tuesday. Which ends the official Phase Two of the run-up to the main awards themselves and begins Phase One, which is what happens AFTER the actual nomination are announced. But the fact that these two marvelous performances, have now both won every award they possibly could win, before the Oscars themselves. 

Means that they are marching in lock-step to the Dolby pavilion.

Rita Moreno gave a funny introduction to her friend Morgan Freeman’s Lifetime Achievement Award. On a night supposedly honoring women, it should have been a woman they honored. I think Freeman knew that. He gave a VERY short speech and both got off the stage.

Critics Choice Give “Lady Bird” NOTHING!?!? “Shape of Water” wins Best Picture

I guess the members of the Broadcast Film Critics did NOT like Anything about supposed Oscar front-runner “Lady Bird .” It got NOTHING from their award show which went out tonight on the CW. It only took two hours. They didn’t announce many of their silly, superfluous categories on air. But they still were there. As you can see by the list below. Thanks to http://www.awardsdaily.com

Next up, the SAG Awards on Sunday night. I’ll be Live-Blogging those awards, too, which are considered more seriously as they actually voted on by members of a for-real industry guild, the Screen Actors Guild.

WINNERS OF THE 23RD ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS

FILM:
BEST PICTURE – “The Shape of Water”

BEST ACTOR – Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

BEST ACTRESS – Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS – Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project”

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST DIRECTOR – Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – James Ivory, “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin, “The Shape of Water”

BEST EDITING (TIE) – Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos, “Baby Driver”

BEST EDITING (TIE) – Lee Smith, “Dunkirk”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Mark Bridges, “Phantom Thread”

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP – “Darkest Hour”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – “War for the Planet of the Apes”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – “Coco”

BEST ACTION MOVIE – “Wonder Woman”

BEST COMEDY – “The Big Sick”

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY – James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY – Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE – “Get Out”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – “In The Fade”

BEST SONG – “Remember Me” from “Coco”

BEST SCORE – Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water”WINNERS OF THE 23RD ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS

FILM:
BEST PICTURE – “The Shape of Water”

BEST ACTOR – Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

BEST ACTRESS – Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR – Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS – Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project”

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST DIRECTOR – Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY – Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY – James Ivory, “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN – Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin, “The Shape of Water”

BEST EDITING (TIE) – Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos, “Baby Driver”

BEST EDITING (TIE) – Lee Smith, “Dunkirk”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN – Mark Bridges, “Phantom Thread”

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP – “Darkest Hour”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS – “War for the Planet of the Apes”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE – “Coco”

BEST ACTION MOVIE – “Wonder Woman”

BEST COMEDY – “The Big Sick”

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY – James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY – Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE – “Get Out”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM – “In The Fade”

BEST SONG – “Remember Me” from “Coco”

BEST SCORE – Alexandre Desplat, “The Shape of Water”

DGA Nominations! Most Predictive! Snubs, Surprises

The  All Important Director’s Guild has announced its five nominations! They are considered the most predictive of all the so-called precursor awards, i.e. the most likely to repeat at the Oscars. But there are some snubs. And some surprises, too.

And the nominees are Irishman Martin McDonagh for “Three Billboards Outside Redding, Missouri”. Which seems to be growing in momentum every day.

Britisher Christopher Nolan for the WWII blockbuster “Dunkirk.” Considered one of the most important directors working today. He also directed “Batman Returns”and”Momento,” which is one of my favorite films of all time.Mexican director Guillermo del Toro for his underwater love fable “The Shape of Water”.

Ms.Greta Gerwig, breaking through the glass ceiling, with her whimsical high school coming-of-age comedy “Lady Bird.” This is her first nomination. She is one of very few women ever to receive this honor.And lastly African-American Jordon Peele  for the comedy/horror film, released last spring “Get Out.” This is also his first nomination.

In fact, all five honorees are first timers.

Who was majorly snubbed was poor Luca Guadagnino, the director of “Call Me By Your  Name.” A gay film won last year and so they are determined not to let another gay film get into the hallowed director’s circle til god knows when. It was my number one film of the year, too. Ouch.

And the biggest snub of all, Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg is left out in the cold for “The Post.” Which I saw last night and which is the last major release that is being seen, or in this case, I would say, not seen. I can’t believe that they left it out just to personally snub Spielberg. But they might have. However, the late release date on this film may just have been a reason, too. Being the last one out of the gate is no longer cool. It’s highly risky.

But congratulations to the five winners!

Golden Globe Nominations Out!”Shape of Water” leads with 7!

The Golden Globes Nominations for this year have just been announced. “The Shape of Water” leads the pack with seven. Nominations for three of its actors, Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spenser (pictured above). Spencer plays mute Hawkins best friend at work. They are both janitresses, Also nominated for Best Supporting Actor was Dainel Jenkins as Hawkins gay next-door neighbor.

Both young lovers for “Call Me By Your Name” followed “Shape” with five Nominations. Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer both got nominated. And the much acclaimed supporting performance of Michael Stuhlbarg, as Chalamet’s supportive father did not. 

Instead we saw Christopher Plummer nominated for his last minute replacement performance for “All the Money In the World.’ He was the down-to-the-wire, edited in at the last minute replacing the beleaguered Kevin Spacey.

The most diverse category by far was Best Supporting Actress which featured rock singer -turned-actress Mary J. Blige ( Mudbound”)  as well as Octavia Spencer and Viet Namese actress Hung Chou for “Downsizing.”Mary J. Blige 1

For a complete list see Indiewire.com

“Lady Bird” Wins Best Picture & Best Actress, Timothee Chalamet Best Actor from New York Film Critics!

It’s the little film set in High School about a way-ward teen’s problems with her well-meaning Mom “Lady Bird” that just won the prestigious New York Film Critics Award for Best Picture, as well as Saiorse Ronan’s star turn that is turning her into a star as Lady Bird herself that won Best Actress. Best Actor went to Timothee Chalamet for HIS heart-breaking boy who is finding out he loves a man in “Call Me By My Own Name.” Newsflash! Both of these young actors are playing teens and both are only 21!

The New York Film Critics awarded Best Director to “Florida Project”s Sean Baker and Willem Dafoe won Best Supporting Actor, as the warm hearted motel manager also for “Florida.”

Let it be noted that Laurie Metcalf, the put-upon Mom of “Lady Bird” was named Best Supporting Actress and once again Willem Dafoe was named Best Supporting Actor for “The Florida Project.” Pretty much solidifying Oscar nominations for all these great performers and their films.

The New York Film Critics also named BPM as Best Foreign Film. And I want to just add that I saw soooo many of these award-winning films at the New York Film Festival this year. “BPM,” “The Florida Project,”‘Lady Bird,”and “Call Me By Your Own Name.”

For a complete list of all the winners see http://www.awardsdaily.com

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