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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


Annette Bening’s Greatest Performance Yet in “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool”

Annette Bening, one of our most enduring film stars, is better than she’s ever been  in “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool” and in any other year the Oscar-less also ran would be awarded the Best Actress trophy for her astonishing portrayal of dying film star Glorida Graham.

Graham was a handful by all contemporary accounts, and was as tempestuous in real life as the characters she played in the movies. And she drank. She wasn’t Marilyn Monroe, a rival, but she did have her own Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in “The Bad and the Beautiful.”What Annette Bening does here in this straightforward biopic is to bring us into Graham’s vulnerability as well as her thwarted talent, as the chain smoking she has been doing all her life begins to take its awful toll.

It’s in her last years that she begins to take on a May-December flirtation with this young, YOUNG man, the now-hunky and all grown-up “Billy Elliot” star Jamie Bell.

The setting is Liverpool, where my father and grandparents were from, and Annette as Gloria gets more and more involved with Bell to the point where he invites her home to his humble Liverpudlian abode where he introduces her to his caring, no-nonsense parents. His mother is played by the tremendous Julie Walter, who played the ballet teacher so memorably in “Billy Elliot.”

She and Gloria develop quite a warm friendship and Graham’s twenty year plus age difference doesn’t bother either of them, as it doesn’t matter to Bell.And this is all a true story! Based on the book by the actual young actor himself. Very “My Week with Marilyn,”

And then Gloria gets lung cancer and the film turns dark. And very moving as events build to their tragic inevitable climax.

Bening is convincing in every aspect of the doomed Graham’s life. It is her greatest performance, and in any other year, she would be finally awarded the Best Actress Oscar that has eluded her all her life. She’s been nominated four times!

This year, however, has seen a plethora of brilliant actresses storming the gates of AMPAS and there’s only five slots. Which seem destined to be taken by Sairose Ronan( Lady Bird),  Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) and Meryl Streep (The Post).

There’s that elusive fifth slot that Bening USUALLY would slide inevitably into but this year there are great performances like Kate Winslet’s in “Wonder Wheel” that might not make it. Margot Robbie of “I, Tonya” is supposed to be the fifth nominee, but I wonder…

Manola Dargis of “The New York Times” slammed her five ways to Sunday just today, so there MAY be room for Bening if Kate Winslet doesn’t slip into Fifth Position..

But if Annette Bening does get in here, her performance as Gloria Grahame, in “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” is her best ever, she COULD win. There’s a great positive sentiment surrounding Bening. She’s made a success of her long-term marriage to Warren Beatty. That ALONE is worthy of a major award. AND she’s now President of the Academy itself. That could cut both ways. But Annette completely won me over. You’ll never be able to look at a Gloria Grahame film again without bursting into tears. As I did.


AFI Announces Its TOP TEN Films of 2017

AFI (American Film Institute)s Ten Best Films just announced its Ten Best Films of 2017. And they are in no particular order, except maybe alphabetical ~ Call Me By Your Name


Get Out

Lady Bird

The Big Sick

The Florida Project

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Bill Boards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Wonder Woman

The only real shocker here, for me, is the inclusion of the GRRRRREAAT “Florida Project”, so edgy…and also of course, “Wonder Woman.” “The Darkest Hour” didn’t qualify because it was a majorly British financed production. Also MIA is Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Phantom Thread,” starring Daniel Day Lewis is what HE says his Goodbye to Acting.

Farewell Performance? I don’t think so.

The Best Picture Oscar List will be a little different but not much. The AMPAS voters are allowed to choose from 5-10 Best Picture candidates. Actually, though their ballots only contain five spots. Thereby hangs the mystery…It usually rounds out to seven or eight.

Keep tuning in as things clear up a bit as the Awards Season ploughs on.

But I’ll take a wild guess and say that as many as three and maybe four of these films won’t make it. I hope they all do, but…




Broadcast Film Critics Give 16 Nominations to “The Shape of Water!!!!”

The Broadcast Film Critics who are also known as the Critics Choice Awards have given an unbelievable boost to the beautiful “Shape of Water” with a unprecented SIXTEEN Nominations! The BFCA as it’s known is populated with people like me. People who are on the air and online, too, as I am. And what distinguishes them, apart from their work, is that they are people who actually DO see the movies. But this monumental preliminary win for “The Shape of Water is nothing short of astounding, and wonderful. It’s Oscar chances just went through the roof, since the BFCA is the group that most closely aligns with the Academy Awards themselves.

It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actress ~ Sally Hawkins, Best Director Guillermo Del Toro, Best Supporting Actress~ Octavia Spenser, Best Supporting Actor ~Daniel Jenkins and an ocean full of other awards.

See the complete list at http://www.awardsdaily.com

“Shape of Water” One of the most beautiful, though improbable, love stories ever! Sally Hawkins is Magic!


“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

Indie Spirit Award Noms Clarify Oscar Race for “Call Me By Your Name” & “Lady Bird”

Call Me By your Name 2“Call Me By Your Name” tops this year’s announcement of the Indie Spirit Awards nominations with six nods. For Best Picture, Best Director ~ Luca Guadagnino, Best Actor~ Timothee Chalamet, Best Supporting Actor ~ Armie Hammer, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. Expect all six nominees to be also called out by their own names on Oscar morning. I can’t stop raving about this superb film. It’s my Best of the Year, so far, and is opening after its boffo turn at the New York Film Festival. This Thanksgiving, it’s a film so beautiful that one must truly be thankful  for.

Also, congratulations are in order for the fabulous debut directing film of the remarkable, multi-talented Greta Gerwig. It was honored with four nominations including Best Picture, Best Actress ~Saoirse Ronan, Best Supporting Actress ~ Laurie Metcalfe and Best Screenplay for Gerwig.

Her first film as a solo director, I can’t understand how Gerwig didn’t also score here for her delightful directing. She’s so pretty, brainy, and beautifully original. Must be jealousy. Yes, it exists. Even at the Indie Spirit Awards. Nothing else explains it. And I thought she’d break through to the Oscars in directing. Always considered an all male domain. Not getting a nomination here at the Indies is troubling. And maybe hurts her chances at the Oscars.

Lady Bird 1Also MIA was the wonderful Willem Dafoe for his outstanding turn as a slum motel landlord in “The Florida Project.” It is certainly a career-capping performance for Dafoe in this terrific Indie film which scored two nominations, Best Picture and Best Director for Sean Baker. Baker who broke into prominence last year with “Tangerine,” a film shot entirely on an iPhone.Willem Dafoe 1You can read my complete review of “The Florida Project” under the title, “The Underside of the Rainbow” at http://www.awardsdaily.comFlorida Project 1

The Spirits are given out the day before the Oscars in March this year. They are supposed to honor films made for less than $20,000.

For a complete list of all the nominees in all the many categories go to http://www.gold derby.com


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