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Old 12-09-2019, 09:26 PM
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The 2019 Road to the Oscars thread


So 'tis the season where once again, Academy campaigns are in full swing and films with award aspirations start fanning out theatrically in what many consider the strategic sweet spot of Oct-Dec.

Of course, the success of ROMA last year means that Netflix has doubled down with major titles with heavy-duty Oscar street cred which will have a relatively short and limited release in theaters before making most of its impact on the streaming service.

And yes, awards don’t go to the deserving parties as often as they should, and the Oscars never fail to disappoint in sometimes rewarding the mediocre and snubbing the terrific (if often obscure), but this is NOT the thread to go down that historical wormhole, so please stay on topic.

This is about the horse race that’s meant to celebrate the film achievements of 2019. So that said, here’s the landscape currently since both the Critics Choice and Golden Globe nominations are out, as well as a handful of high-profile critics awards (with some low-profile ones as well).


PICTURE – the major contenders currently are:

1917*+
BOMBSHELL
DOLEMITE IS MY NAME*
THE FAREWELL+
THE IRISHMAN*+
JOJO RABBIT*+
JOKER*+
KNIVES OUT*
LITTLE WOMEN+
MARRIAGE STORY*+
ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD*+
PARASITE*+
THE TWO POPES*+

(* = GG, + = CC)


ACTOR – those w/the most traction & attention currently

Antonio Banderas, PAIN AND GLORY
Robert DeNiro, THE IRISHMAN
Leonardo DiCaprio, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Adam Driver, MARRIAGE STORY
Taron Egerton, ROCKETMAN
Eddie Murphy, DOLEMITE IS MY NAME
Joaquin Phoenix, JOKER
Jonathan Pryce, THE TWO POPES
Adam Sandler, UNCUT GEMS


ACTRESS – those w/the most traction & attention currently

Awkwafina, THE FAREWELL
Cynthia Erivo, HARRIET
Scarlett Johansson, MARRIAGE STORY
Lupita Nyong’o, US
Saoirse Ronan, LITTLE WOMEN
Charlize Theron, BOMBSHELL
Renee Zellweger, JUDY


SUPPORTING ACTOR – those w/the most traction & attention currently

Willem Dafoe, THE LIGHTHOUSE
Tom Hanks, A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
Anthony Hopkins, THE TWO POPES
Al Pacino, THE IRISHMAN
Joe Pesci, THE IRISHMAN
Brad Pitt, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Sam Rockwell, RICHARD JEWELL


SUPPORTING ACTRESS – those w/the most traction & attention currently

Kathy Bates, RICHARD JEWELL
Laura Dern, MARRIAGE STORY
Scarlett Johansson, JOJO RABBIT
Jennifer Lopez, HUSTLERS
Margot Robbie, BOMBSHELL
Shuzhen Zhao, THE FAREWELL


DIRECTOR (some obvious repeats w/Picture)

Noah Baumbach, MARRIAGE STORY
Bong Joon-Ho, PARASITE
Greta Gerwig, LITTLE WOMEN
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, JOKER
Martin Scorsese, THE IRISHMAN
Quentin Tarantino, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD
Taika Waititi, JOJO RABBIT


Not everything has even been released yet (notably the Gerwig & Mendes films) and once the guilds start weighing in, we’ll get a better idea where the enthusiasm within the industry is leaning (rather than just critics groups).

So any thoughts so far?
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:44 PM
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I can't disagree with those listed.

I don't know if they have any buzz, but two of the best pictures of the year are::

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Tigers are Not Afraid (I know, I know, not a chance)

Acting, I'd throw in:

Shia LaBeouf - Supporting Actor (Honey Boy)
Jimmie Fails - Best Actor (The Last Black Man in San Francisco)
Jessie Buckley - Best Actress (Wild Rose)
Paola Lara - Best Actress (Tigers Are Not Afraid)

Some questions:
  • I haven't seen it yet (opens this weekend), but is there any buzz for A Hidden Life?

  • What's the "Green Book" of 2019? Judy? Just Mercy? Harriet?
I'll probably have more thoughts after this weekend.
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:52 PM
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Of the movies you listed, Parasite was probably the best movie. It isn't the best movie of the year for me, but it is the best of the ones you listed.

I would prefer that Avengers: Endgame win the award much like Return of the King did. As much for the overall accomplishment of the Marvel universe as the movie itself(which was great).

The Nightingale was probably the next best movie I saw this year and is more like Oscar-winning material, though the intensity of it is probably too much for many. I mean, this movie has an opening 30 minutes that are traumatizing. Still, it is worth it for the overall journey the movie takes us on. Solid movie and better than The Babadook, the director's previous movie.

I Want To Eat Your Pancreas should probably win the animated movie award, though I think it had a 2018 release in Japan.

Last edited by Mahaloth; 12-09-2019 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 12-10-2019, 01:54 PM
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I can't disagree with those listed.

I don't know if they have any buzz, but two of the best pictures of the year are::

The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Tigers are Not Afraid (I know, I know, not a chance)

Acting, I'd throw in:

Shia LaBeouf - Supporting Actor (Honey Boy)
Jimmie Fails - Best Actor (The Last Black Man in San Francisco)
Jessie Buckley - Best Actress (Wild Rose)
Paola Lara - Best Actress (Tigers Are Not Afraid)
Mary Kay Place just won Best Actress by the LA Film Critics for her amazing work in DIANE, so that's another I'd put on my wish list. And I intentionally left off names that are good and getting a lot of internet "buzz" among the pundits (Wesley Snipes in DOLEMITE, Florence Pugh in LITTLE WOMEN) but have yet to manifest in anything real.

But I think of all the ones you mentioned, the only with an outside chance is Shia because of the narrative about him playing his own father (though I found the film and him overrated). It doesn't hurt that he wrote the film and had another successful indie this year (PEANUT BUTTER FALCON). SAG may provide some insight on his chances.

Quote:
Some questions:
[LIST][*]I haven't seen it yet (opens this weekend), but is there any buzz for A Hidden Life?
Mostly just Cinematography, because Malick films do will with that branch. But the film was not submitted by Germany as its official Best International Film contender.

Quote:
[*]What's the "Green Book" of 2019? Judy? Just Mercy? Harriet?
For many, the big harbinger that GREEN BOOK brought to the table last year was the Toronto Film Festival Audience Award prize. The suggestion was that the festival audience's taste runs similar to the Academy's (previous Toronto winners included THREE BILLBOARDS, LA LA LAND, ROOM, THE IMITATION GAME, and 12 YEARS A SLAVE--all of which were future Picture/Director/Acting nominees that also won at least one major Oscar each).

This year's winner was JOJO RABBIT, so while I think the film is a mess and a misfire, that's the one to keep an eye on.
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Old 12-10-2019, 02:12 PM
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I would prefer that Avengers: Endgame win the award much like Return of the King did. As much for the overall accomplishment of the Marvel universe as the movie itself(which was great).
Remember that not only did the previous LOTR films also get Best Picture nominations, but FELLOWSHIP alone earned as many nods as all the MCU films combined, to date. So rewarding the series for its overall arc probably won't happen, except perhaps in Visual Effects (where it's competing with STAR WARS Episode 9, in a category that franchise hasn't won in 35+ years).

Quote:
The Nightingale was probably the next best movie I saw this year and is more like Oscar-winning material, though the intensity of it is probably too much for many. I mean, this movie has an opening 30 minutes that are traumatizing. Still, it is worth it for the overall journey the movie takes us on. Solid movie and better than The Babadook, the director's previous movie.
Yeah, horror films get overlooked regularly in any of the high-profile categories (that Lupita is getting any traction for US is amazing, as well-deserved as her fantastic performance is). While THE LIGHTHOUSE wasn't as good as THE WITCH (imho), it's still a film I liked a lot that's also (like NIGHTINGALE) a follow-up to an auspicious horror film, and while it's not quite a "horror" film, it is a bizarre fever dream that still may score a nod or two (Dafoe, Cinematography). But yeah, Jennifer Kent's film was very controversial and polarizing because of the content so will be a tough sell for the more conservative Academy members (heck, even other excellent, more mainstream films from women directors are still going to have to fight for a seat at the table).

Quote:

I Want To Eat Your Pancreas should probably win the animated movie award, though I think it had a 2018 release in Japan.
Did it get a theatrical release in the US in 2019? Because here's the list of animated features submitted for consideration for that category, and PANCREAS isn't on it.

There's usually a foreign film on this slate and the most likely candidate is I LOST MY BODY (the French film about an amputated/disembodied hand trying to find its original owner). It's a cel animation entry, so unusual in that sense, but is getting some critic's award attention.

The tough thing to predict is that this category is very unfriendly to franchise sequels: Oscar-winners SHREK, MONSTERS INC, FINDING NEMO, THE INCREDIBLES all had sequels that fizzled here (even if they got a nod, which they sometimes didn't). I don't count TOY STORY 3, because its two predecessors were released before this category existed, but this year, the major contenders are all sequels: TOY STORY 4, FROZEN 2, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 3.

I'm hoping that even though it's not as good as CORALINE or KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, this still gives hope to MISSING LINK, since stop-motion giant LAIKA has never won this category and is seriously overdue (and the film itself is a lot of fun). But it's still a long-shot compared to the titles which made serious bank.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:22 PM
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Yeah, horror films get overlooked regularly in any of the high-profile categories (that Lupita is getting any traction for US is amazing, as well-deserved as her fantastic performance is). While THE LIGHTHOUSE wasn't as good as THE WITCH (imho), it's still a film I liked a lot that's also (like NIGHTINGALE) a follow-up to an auspicious horror film, and while it's not quite a "horror" film, it is a bizarre fever dream that still may score a nod or two (Dafoe, Cinematography).
Nightingale is hardly a horror movie.
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:27 PM
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If Parasite even gets nominated for Best Picture, that would be a good win. I have to think it will win best International Feature(new title) film.
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Old 12-10-2019, 07:24 PM
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My main thought is that there is a mere 27 days between the announcement of nominees and the ceremony. I wish they'd give us more time than that to fill in the blanks.

Also, I think "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" and "Richard Jewell" are likely Best Picture nominees. Perhaps even "Rocketman".
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Old 12-11-2019, 03:49 PM
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If Parasite even gets nominated for Best Picture, that would be a good win. I have to think it will win best International Feature(new title) film.
If it gets a Picture and Director nod (both very good bets), the International Film win seems the closest thing to a Lock right now.
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Old 12-11-2019, 04:10 PM
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Well, the SAG nominations were announced:

ACTOR - DiCaprio, Driver, Egerton, Phoenix, and Christian Bale (FORD V FERRARI)

I think the general assumption when Bale got a Globe nod was that it was to fill out the category, since they have twice the nominees with the Drama/Comedy split. But with his presence here, it makes him a genuine contender.

ACTRESS - Erivo, Johansson, Nyong'o, Theron, Zellweger

No big surprises, but proof that Lupita's campaign is working for a genre film that was released way back in the spring.

SUPP. ACTOR - Hanks, Pacino, Pesci, Pitt and Jamie Foxx (JUST MERCY)

Note that if this is the final Oscar slate, it will be only the second time that a complete set of acting nominees in one category are all former winners. THE IRISHMAN gets two nods here but not for DeNiro in lead.

SUPP. ACTRESS - Dern, Lopez, Robbie, Johansson (JOJO RABBIT) and Nicole Kidman (BOMBSHELL).

Scarlett doubles up in lead and supporting and the Fox News expose plays with a possible vote split (though Robbie will benefit from the residual impact of Tarantino's film, too).

ENSEMBLE - BOMBSHELL, THE IRISHMAN, JOJO RABBIT, ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD, PARADISE

The big news here is from South Korea, where Foreign Language films never penetrate this category (even ROMA, which earned more Oscar acting nods than any Foreign Language Film ever, didn't show up here). The actor's branch is the largest in AMPAS so this many actors in the film's corner almost certainly secures a Best Picture nod for it.

While many people associate Ensemble with Best Picture, the last two Oscar Best Pictures (GREEN BOOK and THE SHAPE OF WATER) didn't even score a SAG Ensemble nod, so MARRIAGE STORY or LITTLE WOMEN (which was snubbed by SAG altogether) aren't completely out of that race.

Last edited by MovieMogul; 12-11-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 12-11-2019, 05:00 PM
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Also, I think "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" and "Richard Jewell" are likely Best Picture nominees. Perhaps even "Rocketman".
After the surprise last-minute success of AMERICAN SNIPER, the industry learned not to underestimate Eastwood (though the latest RJ controversy may pose a problem).

I think ROCKETMAN is a much much better movie than BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, but the latter was far more financially successful, and came out later in the year, so the fact that Taron could even make the SAG 5 is a tribute to his tireless campaigning (as well as a terrific performance). But I'd be surprised if it got more than him and a few craft nods (Sound Mixing, Costumes).

NEIGHBORHOOD is a lovely film but like its subject, also a muted and modest one so I'd be surprised if it got more than a nod for Hanks and maybe Screenplay. The Best Picture race is such a glut as it is, but the more films with women directors showing up in any category is a net positive.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:10 AM
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Well, the SAG nominations were announced:


Scarlett doubles up in lead and supporting ...
Turns out there's a Wikipedia page listing all the double acting Oscar nominees. There's been 11 so far. A bigger number than I would have guessed. There was a long run without any from 1945 to 1981. There was a double double in 1993.

So, if nominated, Johansson would be in a small but not minuscule club.
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:18 PM
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Turns out there's a Wikipedia page listing all the double acting Oscar nominees. There's been 11 so far. A bigger number than I would have guessed. There was a long run without any from 1945 to 1981. There was a double double in 1993.

So, if nominated, Johansson would be in a small but not minuscule club.
Of those 11, only 3 (Bainter, Fitzgerald, Foxx) achieved this in the first year they were ever nominated, so Scarlett (never nom'd before) would make the 4th.

Also, of those 11, 7 ended up winning in one of the two categories, so those odds aren't too bad...
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:51 PM
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Even if Avengers: Endgame is not worthy of a Best Picture nomination (whether as a standalone or as representative of the whole MCU), is it possible that we could see it getting a nod in either the director or screenwriter categories? The cast was huge, the task of delivering plot, action, character moments and call-backs was not an easy one to pull off. The ball could have been dropped very easily, but I'd say there was pretty broad consensus that the single film Endgame made for both a satisfying conclusion to multiple storylines as well as a movie that is both memorable and re-watchable. This should be worth something to people who understand movie making, shouldn't it?
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:32 PM
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Even if Avengers: Endgame is not worthy of a Best Picture nomination (whether as a standalone or as representative of the whole MCU), is it possible that we could see it getting a nod in either the director or screenwriter categories? The cast was huge, the task of delivering plot, action, character moments and call-backs was not an easy one to pull off. The ball could have been dropped very easily, but I'd say there was pretty broad consensus that the single film Endgame made for both a satisfying conclusion to multiple storylines as well as a movie that is both memorable and re-watchable. This should be worth something to people who understand movie making, shouldn't it?
Remember that Best Picture has up to 10 spaces on its nomination slate, but Director only has 5, which makes is a much more difficult proposition to get a slot. Also, Best Picture is chosen by the entire Academy body but the Directors’ branch chooses the Director nominees, so they’re far more likely to choose films that highlight a film director’s individual vision and artistry. I like ENDGAME a lot, and while the logistical challenges of juggling so many timelines, cast members, and effects sequence is mind-boggling, most directors are going to see it as a committee-driven commercial product than a vehicle for individual expression. Remember that BLACK PANTHER received a Picture nod but Ryan Coogler didn’t get one for Director, and his creative fingerprints, I’d argue, are far more prevalent in that film than the Russos’ in theirs.

Similarly, screenplay is another tough nut to crack because you have to convince the writers’ branch to pick your big-budget Hollywood comic book film over a universe of indie films that will likely only find a nomination slot in the Screenplay category. The only comic book film to ever earn a screenplay nod was LOGAN, which was about as spare and stripped-down a franchise comic book film as has been made in the last 20 years. Plus, the conventional wisdom was that the competition was a bit thinner that year than in previous ones.

I think the closest that ENDGAME has any hopes of getting near any of those categories is with the Producers Guild (PGA), which often recognizes big moneymaking successes in their nominations (CRAZY RICH ASIANS, WONDER WOMAN, DEADPOOL, SKYFALL), but which don’t translate over to the Oscars very often.
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Old 12-13-2019, 05:32 PM
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Of those 11, only 3 (Bainter, Fitzgerald, Foxx) achieved this in the first year they were ever nominated, so Scarlett (never nom'd before) would make the 4th.
I thought this was a mistake. I checked. Inded no Oscar noms for either Lost in Translation or Girl With The Pearl Earing.

Time to atone.
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:54 PM
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Well, some of the branches at AMPAS traditionally provide a shortlist of Oscar contenders for select categories, so while it's not the final nomination slate, it dramatically narrow down the competition to a relative handful of films vying for a nod.

The categories are:

Original Score
Song
Visual Effects
Make-up and Hairstyling
International Film
Documentary Feature
Documentary Short
Animated Short
Live Action Short

I won't repost all the lists but you can find them here.

Films that two appearances across these lists: AVENGERS: ENDGAME, BOMBSHELL, FROZEN II, HONEYLAND, JOKER, THE LION KING, LITTLE WOMEN, MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN, PAIN AND GLORY, PARASITE, ROCKETMAN, and STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER.

The only film that appeared on three lists was 1917 (which has yet to be released).
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Old 12-17-2019, 01:57 AM
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The only film that appeared on three lists was 1917 (which has yet to be released).
I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview of that last week, with director Sam Mendes, writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and actors Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay there for a Q&A. It's, in my humble opinion, of course, one of the very best movies of the year. Looking at the contenders in the OP, even though I'm team (in this order) Once Upon A Time In Hollywood/JoJo Rabbit (my 2 favorite movies of the year)/Parasite/Knives Out, I would be thrilled to have 1917 representing as Best Picture. I have other reasons to want it to win if none of my favorites will, but it really is deserving too.

I saw an advance screening of Little Women last night, and personally I don't think it's a contender for BP & BD, though it'd be fine with me for nominations. I liked it very much.

I've seen all the potential nominees in the OP except for Bombshell, which I'll see Wednesday, and The Two Popes, which I won't be able to see at all so I hope AMPAS makes it easy for me and doesn't nominate it.
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Old 12-18-2019, 02:51 PM
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I was lucky enough to see a sneak preview of that last week, with director Sam Mendes, writer Krysty Wilson-Cairns, and actors Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay there for a Q&A. It's, in my humble opinion, of course, one of the very best movies of the year. Looking at the contenders in the OP, even though I'm team (in this order) Once Upon A Time In Hollywood/JoJo Rabbit (my 2 favorite movies of the year)/Parasite/Knives Out, I would be thrilled to have 1917 representing as Best Picture. I have other reasons to want it to win if none of my favorites will, but it really is deserving too.

I saw an advance screening of Little Women last night, and personally I don't think it's a contender for BP & BD, though it'd be fine with me for nominations. I liked it very much.

I've seen all the potential nominees in the OP except for Bombshell, which I'll see Wednesday, and The Two Popes, which I won't be able to see at all so I hope AMPAS makes it easy for me and doesn't nominate it.
Yeah, 1917 and BOMBSHELL are the two big ones I need to wait for, too.


I have some serious issues around the Tarantino and the Waititi (especially the latter) so while the former can’t be denied for reasons I completely understand—especially its craftsmanship--, the latter’s appeal (which is undeniable) is inexplicable to me given how timid a misfire it is to these eyes. I call it LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL syndrome and an opportunity lost given how terrific the rest of his films have been.

I also don’t think much of FERRARI or JOKER so would be thrilled if Gerwig inched out a Director’s nod (it is easily one of the best movies of the year for me). But the pieces are beginning to align and I suspect Adapted is the best that LITTLE WOMEN can hope for. I think waiting for a Xmas release was a strategic mistake and with an earlier release, we’d be having a very different conversation.

I would also love to see Pryce get in for POPES (it is the best thing he’s ever done, though his smaller turn in THE MAN WHO KILLED DON QUIXOTE earlier this year was also marvelous), as well as Eddie Murphy, but the Best Actor field is incredibly congested right now and while DeNiro is already vulnerable (he was MIA for SAG), if Phoenix or DiCaprio went missing because those alternate choices got in, I wouldn’t feel any serious injustice at play.

That PARASITE is doing so well across so many guilds is welcome news but it remains to be seen how much of a ROMA it can pull off (both with noms and high-profile wins, since Cuaron was very much an Academy known-quantity well before 2018, while Bong is an AMPAS newbie in every sense).

Last edited by MovieMogul; 12-18-2019 at 02:55 PM.
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Old 12-19-2019, 02:49 AM
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I have some serious issues around the Tarantino and the Waititi (especially the latter) so while the former can’t be denied for reasons I completely understand—especially its craftsmanship--, the latter’s appeal (which is undeniable) is inexplicable to me given how timid a misfire it is to these eyes. I call it LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL syndrome and an opportunity lost given how terrific the rest of his films have been.
To me they're both perfect movies that I could see over and over and over again in the theater (I saw OUATIH 11 times and JoJo 7 times, and will be 8 on Sunday) and I adore them beyond measure. I'm just thrilled they're both doing so well during this awards season. It's rare that my favorite movie of the year gets any any awards love, let alone 2. It's only happened twice before, There Will Be Blood/No Country For Old Men, and The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring/Moulin Rouge.

I hope the Netflix films get dick. I know they'll get nominations but I don't want to see them win anything. I know I'm alone in this, but I loathe Netflix and don't want to see them rewarded. That said, I'm a hypocrite because I'd love to see Eddie Murphy nominated. Dolomite Is My Name is a wonderful movie and deserved a proper theatrical run. It played in ONE theater on the far south side of Chicago for two weeks. I had to take a 2 1/2-hour round-trip on public transportation to see it. It was worth the trip but I vowed, never again. The Two Popes is playing in ONE theater on the far north side. It would take a 3-hour round-trip to see. No thanks. Anyway, it's my problem, a minority opinion, and a first world problem to boot, but to hell with Netflix.

Sorry to go off topic.
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Old 12-20-2019, 02:45 PM
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To me they're both perfect movies that I could see over and over and over again in the theater (I saw OUATIH 11 times and JoJo 7 times, and will be 8 on Sunday) and I adore them beyond measure. I'm just thrilled they're both doing so well during this awards season. It's rare that my favorite movie of the year gets any any awards love, let alone 2. It's only happened twice before, There Will Be Blood/No Country For Old Men, and The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring/Moulin Rouge.

I hope the Netflix films get dick. I know they'll get nominations but I don't want to see them win anything. I know I'm alone in this, but I loathe Netflix and don't want to see them rewarded. That said, I'm a hypocrite because I'd love to see Eddie Murphy nominated. Dolomite Is My Name is a wonderful movie and deserved a proper theatrical run. It played in ONE theater on the far south side of Chicago for two weeks. I had to take a 2 1/2-hour round-trip on public transportation to see it. It was worth the trip but I vowed, never again. The Two Popes is playing in ONE theater on the far north side. It would take a 3-hour round-trip to see. No thanks. Anyway, it's my problem, a minority opinion, and a first world problem to boot, but to hell with Netflix.

Sorry to go off topic.
Not Off Topic at all! Netflix has definitely changed the entire landscape of award campaigning. Whereas before, studios were largely interested in box office returns for publicity purposes (knowing that most of their money comes from commercial/home release), the streaming studios know that their real money is in boosting subscriptions, so the emphasis is on the awards circuit (largely festivals) with the brief theatrical release largely a formality to qualify for eligibility. Hence, few theaters in even fewer markets get the films and the window when they’re available to watch is small (followed almost immediately by an “opening” streaming date).

ROMA really set the high-water mark, and the dilemma, of course, is that films like the Cuaron, or TWO POPES, DOLEMITE, and THE IRISHMAN is that those films almost certainly would never have been made at all (or possibly would have but with far greater oversight and fewer resources and less artistic freedom) if it weren’t for these streaming studios in the first place.

So they dedicate their money to the content and the campaign, without worrying about the box office. It’s the long game, for sure, and the more creatives who find work because of this business plan with Netflix, Amazon, Apple, etc., the fewer of them are going to consider it a major factor when it comes to their votes. Because their livelihoods take precedent.

I’m lucky because I live in a major market with a high concentration of Academy members, plus I work for a major film festival (we actually screened a lot of the films we’re discussing, Netflix and otherwise), so I’m grateful to hear how difficult it is to see these films elsewhere, just to get a more balanced perspective. The reality of the logistics sucks, and I’m sorry cinephiles like you suffer. But I think the general assumption is that most people stream (I don’t, fyi) so the number of people who are impacted and inconvenienced is relatively small (an undeniable mindset on their part, regardless of how true it might be). I’m sorry you have to face those kind of challenges just to see something that would have had a regular arthouse run 10 years ago.
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Old 12-20-2019, 03:31 PM
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I'm seeing The Lighthouse tonight or tomorrow, one of my top movies on my "have to see" list for 2019. Can't wait.
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Old 01-06-2020, 03:19 PM
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Well, the Golden Globes were last night, and while as a prediction agent, they're so-so (usually from 50-75%, with the benefit of both Drama (D) and Music/Comedy (MC) categories improving the odds), it's the first real chance to see and hear some of the major contenders and their speeches.

So the winners:

Picture: 1917 (D), Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (MC)
Actor: Joaquin Phoenix (D), Taron Egerton (MC)
Actress: Renee Zellweger (D), Awkwafina (MC)
Supp. Actor: Brad Pitt
Supp. Actress: Laura Dern
Director: Sam Mendes
Screenplay: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood*
Foreign Film: Parasite
Animated Feature: Missing Link
Score: Joker
Song: "I'm Gonna Love Me Again" Rocketman

(*GGs don't separate screenplay into Original and Adapted)

No surprise at all for Pitt, Dern, Foreign, or Elton John. It's theirs to lose so far.

Phoenix and Zellweger are still the front-runners, but RZ's speech was limp and uninspired and her final competition will be a choice field for some possible spoilers (think Glenn Close's status at this time last year). It's still a toss-up for Picture and even though Marriage Story and The Irishman came home empty-handed last night, they're still forces to be reckoned with, though 1917 (which came out too late for many of the critics' groups) got the bump it needed.

The massive surprise was with Animated Feature. The stop-motion genius of LAIKA has been a consistent Oscar nominee for years (Coraline, The BoxTrolls, Kubo and the Two Strings, ParaNorman) and their craftsmanship often defies belief. But their films don't make a ton of money without the Disney/Pixar marketing machine behind them, so they've always been the bridesmaid. But last night, they won! Of course, they were up against nothing but sequels and remakes, but that's still quite notable (the winners were absolutely stunned) and definitely the kind of visibility they have often sorely needed. Don't know if it will make a difference in the long run, but since the inception of this category, stop-motion has only won the Oscar once (the Wallace & Gromit feature) and the studio is far overdue.

Last edited by MovieMogul; 01-06-2020 at 03:22 PM.
  #24  
Old 01-06-2020, 04:20 PM
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And now the Writers' Guild of America nominations just came out.

Original Screenplay
1917
Booksmart
Knives Out
Marriage Story
Parasite


Adapted Screenplay
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women



Usually, these are about 80-90% accurate to the final Oscar slate (because unlike Critics or the Hollywood Foreign Press, there are a number of guild members who are also Academy members).

Usually, the writers guild is more open to genre films, comedies, and smaller indie titles. Because foreign titles are often not written be guild members, those titles are disqualified for WGA but appear once AMPAS weighs in. Here are some recent WGA nominees followed by the film that bumped them by the Academy:

Eighth Grade / The Favourite
A Quiet Place / First Reformed
Black Panther / The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
I, Tonya / Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Loving / The Lobster
Nocturnal Animals / 20th Century Women
Deadpool / Lion
Trainwreck / Inside Out
Sicario / Ex Machina
Steve Jobs / Room
Trumbo / Brooklyn



Of course, the film conspicuously missing from this year's contenders is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and that's for one specific reason: QT refuses to be a member of the writer's guild, so his film isn't eligible for this award. So whatever wins for Original here will likely be Tarantino's most dominant competition.
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Old 01-06-2020, 09:40 PM
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Is it just me, or is Roger Deakes the lockiest lock to ever lock for cinematography? I've only seen the trailers but ho-lee shit that movie looks beautiful
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:16 PM
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Well, yesterday was a big day, with both the Directors and Producers Guilds weighing in with their nominations. Both have generally proven about 80% reliable in predicting the final Oscar slots.

Directors:
Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit

While the first 4 have been permanent fixtures in almost every nomination slate or critics prize, Waititi is the wild card, and given that there's almost always one film that drops out of the DGA slate to be replaced by the Academy, the general assumption is that if there is one, it will be him (with Todd Phillips, Greta Gerwig, or Noah Baumbach the likely beneficiaries).


Producers:
1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Knives Out
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood
Parasite


Now, while the PGA always nominate 10, the Oscars (based on the preferential ballot system) have a Best Picture slate that ranges from 8-10, so odds are that their final slate includes all the films listed above, but not all the PGA titles will necessarily carry over.

Also, the BAFTA nominees came out yesterday and while there is always some significant overlap, the prominence of UK talent (and some shifting release dates there) often account for the difference. I won't list all the nominees, but keeping an eye out for who the winners are is often a good way to feel the pulse of the industry, since there is also some overlap in membership with AMPAS.

The Oscar nominees come out next Monday, 1/13.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:43 PM
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Is it just me, or is Roger Deakes the lockiest lock to ever lock for cinematography? I've only seen the trailers but ho-lee shit that movie looks beautiful
Yeah, for years Roger Deakins was the legendary DP with a ton of nods but no actual wins. And while he did eventually win for Blade Runner 2049, I think people will be perfectly fine giving him another one for his work in 1917.

After all, they gave Emmanuel Lubezki the Oscar three years in a row, including one for shooting Birdman, which has the same one-single-uninterrupted-shot conceit, except that was in and around a Broadway theater and the Mendes is across No Man's Land/through burning French towns/deep in WWI trenches. I think RD's second Oscar is secure and the only award that is more than a lock than his right now is the International Film prize for Parasite.
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:34 AM
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nominees are out . Joker leads with 11

https://oscar.go.com/nominees
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Old 01-13-2020, 09:44 AM
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First reaction -

I'm sad that Dolemite was shut out. It wouldn't have surprised me to see Eddie Murphy in the Best Actor group, although I have no quibble with the roster as is. I thought it could have at least gotten a Costuming nod.
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Old 01-13-2020, 10:22 AM
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Nm

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Old 01-13-2020, 11:12 AM
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Well Netflix sure did well in the Oscar noms. The Irishman got 10 nominations, Marriage Story got 6. Both were nominated for Best Picture. Klaus was nominated for Best Animated Feature.

I saw Little Women last night. It was a fantastic film. Sad that Gerwig didn't get nominated for Best Director.
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Old 01-13-2020, 11:31 AM
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Greatest thing about today is seeing the many, many different Adam Sandler vehicles being bandied about as candidates for his "If I don't get an Oscar, I'm going back to making really bad movies" threat, reminding all of us that... really... he plays one tune, and that one not very well, most times.
  #33  
Old 01-13-2020, 11:44 AM
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We try to check off all the Best Picture nominees before the Oscars. 5 down, 4 to go: Joker, Parasite, Little Women and 1917. Of the ones I've seen, Jojo Rabbit is my favorite.

We've also seen Bombshell and Two Popes, which ticks off a lot of acting boxes.

Least favorite is probably Irishman, which I felt is overlong and derivative of multiple other Scorcese films.

Also not going to shed a tear for Dolemite, which I thought was pretty awful.

We saw Just Mercy this weekend and I'm a bit surprised that Jamie Foxx didn't get a nomination. He was very good in a role that's classic Oscar bait.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:18 PM
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Other than the shorts (which I will see when they are released this month in their annual screening), and the Documentary, Foreign & Animated films, I have seen everything nominated. This is the first year I have seen all the acting noms and all 9 Best Pictures before the nominations even came out!

Last edited by Eyebrows 0f Doom; 01-13-2020 at 01:19 PM.
  #35  
Old 01-13-2020, 03:21 PM
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The final tally breakdown:

11 - Joker
10 - The Irishman, 1917, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
6 - Jojo Rabbit, Little Women, Marriage Story, Parasite
4 - Ford v Ferrari
3 - Bombshell, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Two Popes


Personally, I find that the complete shutout of Us, Hustlers, The Farewell, and Dolemite is My Name incredibly depressing given that they were all making serious traction in the various precursors (SAG, BAFTA, Globes, critics).

The fact that they all were predominantly about people of color says a lot about Academy tastes, since representation across the board is seriously lacking in this year's slate.

This is particularly true because there are four titles that have 10+ nods each, and none of them have a substantial or significant character that's either a woman or a poc. The closest:

* Anna Paquin's teamster daughter, whose disillusionment in her father is an important character point for DeNiro but who has virtually no dialogue in a 3.5 hour film
* Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate, who (as it turns out) plays absolutely no part in Rick & Cliff's final story and whose disappearance would not change the plot points in the slightest.
* Zazie Beetz's African-American neighbor who exists in the film far more as a fantasy projection than a real person.
* A French mother who exists in one isolated scene.

And these are the *meatiest* roles in a spread that's paper thin when it comes to diverse representation in those 4 films. Might as well throw in Best Pic nominee Ford v Ferrari in there, too.

But more than depressing, having so many films (some fine, some overrated) with that many nods is that a huge chunk of the category slates feel highly repetitive, with few films given a chance to show the awesome breadth of talent across many disciplines. Costumes for Dolemite, sound mixing for Rocketman, cinematography for A Hidden Life would have created a lot of interesting energy in categories that are mostly variations of the same few titles.

Parasite's presence across a variety of categories is the best news, but I suspect it will have to be content with International feature and maybe Original Screenplay. *sigh*
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:42 PM
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Personally, I find that the complete shutout of Us, Hustlers, The Farewell, and Dolemite is My Name incredibly depressing given that they were all making serious traction in the various precursors (SAG, BAFTA, Globes, critics).
I don't find that depressing at all since I don't think those were better movies than what was nominated.

I hate this bullshit need to have some kind of "quota" system. Joker, The Irishman, 1917 & OUATIH aren't somehow unworthy movies because they *horror upon horror* aren't stories about women. Joker was about one man's struggle with mental illness, there were female supporting roles but it's his story. The Irishman is about the mafia and teamsters. OUATIH has a main female character, so I have no idea what you're complaining about there, and 1917 is about fucking WWI trench warfare! Of course someone would complain that a movie about two men in the WWI trenches with literally no other b-plot because it's one shot, needed female representation.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:38 PM
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I don't find that depressing at all since I don't think those were better movies than what was nominated.

I hate this bullshit need to have some kind of "quota" system. Joker, The Irishman, 1917 & OUATIH aren't somehow unworthy movies because they *horror upon horror* aren't stories about women. Joker was about one man's struggle with mental illness, there were female supporting roles but it's his story. The Irishman is about the mafia and teamsters. OUATIH has a main female character, so I have no idea what you're complaining about there, and 1917 is about fucking WWI trench warfare! Of course someone would complain that a movie about two men in the WWI trenches with literally no other b-plot because it's one shot, needed female representation.
My point isn't that we should arbitrarily insert women or people-of-color for quota purposes.

My point is that the Academy (still overwhelmingly male) still gravitates towards films (often mediocre ones) about white men when there are a lot of other more compelling films out there whose voices are usually marginalized.

And I think The Farewell is better than 2/3 of the Picture nominees. No question. Is it as showy or as well-funded or as rich with big stars and bigger production values? No. It's a movie that's modest in scale, but rich with emotional depth that the others only pretend to unearth (YMMV, of course).

Jennifer Lopez is certainly as good as ScarJo in Jojo. But one is a self-important (if well-intentioned) picture about the Holocaust and one is a "trifle" about strippers and so we know which one gets more critical cred among the Academy members. Heck, the only actor of color nominated is one playing a historical figure, which I suppose means that so-so characterizations can be handed out to all colors if the subject was important and "prestigious" enough. But Erivo (and Theron and Zellweger, etc.) still pale in comparison to Lupita Nyong'o, who was only in a "horror" film but was stunning in it.

Fast Color was a better movie inspired by comics than Joker was. Dolemite was a far more creative underdog story about taking on an insurmountable challenge than FvF. A Hidden Life is more epic in sweep and has much more to say about war than 1917. AMPAS is always guilty of some fairly blinkered thinking, but this year is more conspicuous than usual.

The need to campaign is a big part of it, which allows small independent films (even ones with great reviews) as the runt at the table. I have no illusions that Big Names are going to win next month (and some will actually deserve it) but this year's nomination slate shows an overwhelming lack of imagination, IMHO.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:48 PM
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Whose talking about a quota system as opposed to a seemingly systemic bias against films staring women or people of color?

I mean, it's not perfect, but compare all those 4 movies RottenTomatoes scores to Joker's. Us has a 93% (7.95 average rating), Hustlers has 88% (7.3 avg rating), The Farewell has 98% (8.56 avg rating), Dolemite is My Name has 97% (7.98 avg rating).

The Joker has a 69% RT score with an avg rating of 7.27.

It's even more striking with "Top Critics". Joker has a 55% RT score among them. Whereas Hustlers has an 85%, US has 92%, The Farewell has 95%, and Dolamite has 95%.

The issue is that you have films starting women or POC that have considerable critical acclaim, but it's displaced by a movie that... doesn't.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:25 PM
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My point isn't that we should arbitrarily insert women or people-of-color for quota purposes.

My point is that the Academy (still overwhelmingly male) still gravitates towards films (often mediocre ones) about white men when there are a lot of other more compelling films out there whose voices are usually marginalized.

And I think The Farewell is better than 2/3 of the Picture nominees. No question. Is it as showy or as well-funded or as rich with big stars and bigger production values? No. It's a movie that's modest in scale, but rich with emotional depth that the others only pretend to unearth (YMMV, of course).

Jennifer Lopez is certainly as good as ScarJo in Jojo. But one is a self-important (if well-intentioned) picture about the Holocaust and one is a "trifle" about strippers and so we know which one gets more critical cred among the Academy members. Heck, the only actor of color nominated is one playing a historical figure, which I suppose means that so-so characterizations can be handed out to all colors if the subject was important and "prestigious" enough. But Erivo (and Theron and Zellweger, etc.) still pale in comparison to Lupita Nyong'o, who was only in a "horror" film but was stunning in it.

Fast Color was a better movie inspired by comics than Joker was. Dolemite was a far more creative underdog story about taking on an insurmountable challenge than FvF. A Hidden Life is more epic in sweep and has much more to say about war than 1917. AMPAS is always guilty of some fairly blinkered thinking, but this year is more conspicuous than usual.

The need to campaign is a big part of it, which allows small independent films (even ones with great reviews) as the runt at the table. I have no illusions that Big Names are going to win next month (and some will actually deserve it) but this year's nomination slate shows an overwhelming lack of imagination, IMHO.
And I say A Hidden Life was a huge bore, Us started out with a great idea but did not know how to follow through. It was also a horror film released in March. Never even heard of Fast Color so there was no chance that was ever seriously in the running. I know you didn't like Jojo Rabbit but I think it's easily one of the best of the year. Joker was my #2 film behind Midsommar, which got nothing.

I am so sick and tired of people bringing race and gender into this.
  #40  
Old 01-13-2020, 05:29 PM
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* Margot Robbie's Sharon Tate, who (as it turns out) plays absolutely no part in Rick & Cliff's final story and whose disappearance would not change the plot points in the slightest.
Off-topic, sorry, but Sharon Tate was the heart and soul of OUATIH. Rick and Cliff's characters EXIST to give Sharon's story a happy ending. A fairy-tale ending. A Hollywood ending. Not an ending she got in real life, but an ending Tarantino thought she deserved.

Anyway, I'm thrilled with all the nominations for JoJo Rabbit, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, 1917, Parasite, and even Joker, which I really liked a lot, but mainly because it's making people on Twitter lose their shit and that's always fun to watch. I'm team OUATIH/1917/JoJo Rabbit/Parasite, but if Joker wins I would laugh and laugh and laugh.

I'm sad about the nominations that didn't happen, a lot of my favorite movies and performances didn't get in, but I'm happy for everyone who did get one. I've seen all the nominees in the major categories except for The Two Popes and all of the Documentary nominees. I've seen 3 of the 5 Animated nominees (missing Klaus and I Lost My Body), 3 of the 5 International nominees (missing Corpus Christi & Les Misérables, which opens here next week), and only one of the shorts (Hair Love) but I'm hoping to see them all before Feb. 9.

Selected Regals will be doing their Best Picture festival again. From Friday, January 31 and Sunday, February 9 they'll be showing all the films except the Netflix films multiple times. I did this last year and loved it, even though I'd already seen all the movies. I've seen all the movies this year too but I'm a 'see movies I like/love multiple times' kind of gal.

The pass is $35.00 which is the same as last year. I have Unlimited this year so it doesn't matter how much the pass is, I don't think. I'll check to make sure. If Unlimited doesn't cover this festival I'll just buy a pass. It'll be worth it for me.

https://www.regmovies.com/promotions...ture-film-fest

Last edited by Equipoise; 01-13-2020 at 05:32 PM.
  #41  
Old 01-14-2020, 08:59 AM
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Since it seems inevitable at this point that every year when the nominations come around the focus of the conversation will shift to "quotas" and "representation" - by what logic can the "Best Actor" category be divided into two genders but the "Best Director" one can't?
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:38 AM
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Any pundit who writes an article objecting to the lack of diversity in a category should be required to state who they'd boot out. Which director would you kick out for Greta Gerwig? Or which actress for Jennifer Lopez? Makes your job a little tougher, don't it?

My personal opinion: I don't know. The lack of diversity is alarming but I don't have a solution so I'm not writing.
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Old 01-14-2020, 11:56 AM
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I am so sick and tired of people bringing race and gender into this.
This is the very definition of blind privilege. Append the words "other than white and male" and it makes a lot more sense. Because the voters who are predominately white and male don't see that by voting for white and male, they are bringing race and gender into this. Because to them that is "just normal", which implies that everything else is outside of normal. Sigh.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:24 PM
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This is the very definition of blind privilege. Append the words "other than white and male" and it makes a lot more sense. Because the voters who are predominately white and male don't see that by voting for white and male, they are bringing race and gender into this. Because to them that is "just normal", which implies that everything else is outside of normal. Sigh.
I said nothing about what is "normal." I said I am sick of people bitching that there weren't enough women or minorities nominated. Again, are you looking for a quota system or something? Save 1/5 in every category for a minority even if you don't think they are the best? The Oscars are totally subjective.
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Old 01-14-2020, 05:40 PM
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And I am sick and tired of people devaluing works that focus on women or people of color. I guess we'd stop bring race and gender into things if race and gender hadn't been used against us and continues to be brought against us.

Basically, I'm totally fine with bringing up race and gender up until the point when systemic discrimination doesn't factor into these things. Until then, you can continue to be sick and tired.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:17 PM
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I said nothing about what is "normal." I said I am sick of people bitching that there weren't enough women or minorities nominated. Again, are you looking for a quota system or something? Save 1/5 in every category for a minority even if you don't think they are the best? The Oscars are totally subjective.
Not suggesting quotas. Just pointing out implicit bias, which is unintentional. And you didn't need to say anything about "normal" out loud. It's implicit in your "sick and tired" comment.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:51 PM
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Just so folks know, I've gotten a report that this discussion about diversity might be a hijack. However, on looking over it, it appears to be relevant to the thread's (fairly broad) topic, and the discussion so far has been civil, and so I don't see any problem, here. If that changes, let me know, but for now, I won't be taking any moderatorial action.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:51 PM
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[Moderating]
Just so folks know, I've gotten a report that this discussion about diversity might be a hijack. However, on looking over it, it appears to be relevant to the thread's (fairly broad) topic, and the discussion so far has been civil, and so I don't see any problem, here. If that changes, let me know, but for now, I won't be taking any moderatorial action.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:58 AM
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I happen to agree 100% with Stephen King on the topic:

Quote:
I would never consider diversity in matters of art. Only quality. It seems to me that to do otherwise would be wrong."
I think he has backpedaled a bit since saying that, which is a shame.

Why should anything but quality matter when awarding for quality?


mmm
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:38 AM
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I happen to agree 100% with Stephen King on the topic:



I think he has backpedaled a bit since saying that, which is a shame.

Why should anything but quality matter when awarding for quality?


mmm
Exactly!
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