Musings on 2021 Oscars – The Good, The Bad + the WTF

It’s Oscars Sunday and I actually don’t feel as overwhelmed as I had been as year’s past as I actually remember Oscars is on tonight so I had time to prepare and set up my laptop downstairs instead of scrambling to live tweet, ahah. Now, I wish I had timed my laundry on time as I still had to pick up my load during commercials! Nothing like mundanity of real life to go with all the glitz and glamour! 😀

I have to say though that I quite like the more low-key ceremony with tables so people can social distance… it feels more relaxed, cozy and intimate. But unlike the Golden Globes, still no drinks, ha! I also like the fact that the song performances were shown before the actual telecast to cut time, and the fact that they were done outdoors are pretty cool as well. This is actually my favorite song nominated this year… written by the legendary Diane Warren!

 

I love Regina King doing the opening monologue wearing one of my favorite Oscar dresses of the night! I expected Minneapolis would got a mention… wish it were for another reason though. In any case, if you missed it, here’s the video: 

THE GOOD

First Oscar went to a woman, yay!!

Incredible that Emerald Fennell won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for her feature directorial debut Promising Young Woman –  similar to Diablo Cody who won for JUNO in 2008. But she also directed AND produced the film, all while she was pregnant, wow!!

emerald-fennell


Two more women won within the first half hour, both for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom!!

marainey
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020): Viola Davis as Ma Rainey. Cr. David Lee / Netflix

Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson won for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling AND Ann Roth won for Best Achievement in Costume Design!


I’m still kicking myself that I haven’t seen MINARI, yet! But Yuh-Jung Youn didn’t just win for her performance in Minari, but for having the most adorable Oscar speech of the night! Her expression when her name was called is priceless!!


Chloe Zhao is having a moment… the woman is such a force that I know this is just the beginning for her!!


The phenomenally talented Trent Reznor + Atticus Ross are double nominees tonight for MANK and SOUL. I’ve only seen the latter and I absolutely LOVE the score for SOUL, so yeah!!


Nomadland and Chloé Zhao making all kinds of history tonight just made my heart soar!!! One of the only two Best Picture nominees I saw on the big screen before it was actually released. Thanks to Twin Cities Film Fest!!


[Added 4/26] – Since I posted it right after the ceremony ended. I went to bed hoping I’d see a video of Sir Anthony Hopkins‘ Oscar speech. Well here it is… the Welsh thespian is as gracious as ever, even paying tribute to fellow nominee Chadwick Boseman who everyone thought would’ve won this year.


THE BAD

  • What’s with Brad Pitt not helping Yuh-Jung Youn from her podium when the 73 year-old woman clearly could use some help… and even if she didn’t, it would’ve been the chivalrous thing to do.
  • I’m not crazy with the fact that they didn’t show clips of the nominees, only a few categories including Best Picture were shown clips.
  • I didn’t care for the trivia bit, overall it just felt awkward and they could’ve given more time to other things we actually care about.
  • They’re rushing through everything in the final hour… especially during what’s supposed to be a solemn IN MEMORIAM sequence. It’s egregious to rush THAT sequence, but it’s especially terrible given how many people we lost in 2020.
  • What’s with the BEST PICTURE being presented before the Best Actor + Actress announcement?? The Best Picture has always been the last award of the night, that is tradition. I mean WHY?? It doesn’t exactly save time to change the order and it just didn’t feel right. I feel like they also didn’t allow the winning team, in this case NOMADLAND, to bask in this achievement somehow.

THE WTF

Now, this category isn’t automatically bad… they’re just completely out of left field!

Ok so I haven’t got around to seeing Judas and the Black Messiah but happy for the talented Daniel Kaluuya. He was rambling quite a bit in his speech but hey, that made for one of the funniest moments of the night!


Well, expect a new Glenn Close meme coming on Monday, folks!! I guess this is one of the fun things that came out of the whole trivia bit.


Though I was flabbergasted that I did not hear Chadwick Boseman‘s name called in the Best Actor category who deserved the post-humous nomination NOT because he’s gone but because he gave an outstanding, heart-wrenching performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom… but no, I’m not going to complain that Anthony Hopkins won (or worse, getting mad at the actor for winning like some people on Twitter – SMH) I was in awe of his performance depicting a man suffering from dementia in The Father… and the fact that he wasn’t even campaigning at all during award season just showed what a gracious person he is. He didn’t even appoint anyone to accept the award on his behalf!


Last but not least…

Now, I don’t think anyone saw it coming that Frances McDormand would win Best Actress!! I mean, despite my love for Nomadland, I didn’t think Frances’ performance was out of this world the way Viola Davis and Carey Mulligan did in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Promising Young Woman, respectively.


Ok I’m hoping Marvel is listening!!


In conclusion…

Heh, what a night! Despite some historic wins that made me happy, the ceremony itself is bonkers!! There are just too many weird things… some of the speeches went on way too long (wish someone cut off the last bit of Kaluuya’s speech), and some barely got enough time in. Again, the announcement weird switcheroos made no sense at all… and what’s with the abrupt end after they realized Anthony Hopkins weren’t present?? At the very least they could’ve shown a clip of his performance?? Something??

Some were saying that whoever directed the event must have been convinced Chadwick Boseman would win Best Actor, and that’s why they re-arranged so that his category is last. Well if that is the case, that’s just a terrible decision that proves to be a disservice to everyone.


Oh, speaking of my predictions I posted on Saturday, I only got 14/23 categories I predicted correctly. That’s actually pretty good considering I haven’t seen SO many and mostly these are based on gut instincts, ahah.


So did you watch the Oscars? Well, what did YOU think?

2021 Oscars Predictions – Who Will Win, Who Should Win

Ok so it’s one day before Oscars telecast tomorrow night, so I’m obviously kinda late to the party, but what the heck. I suppose, before those envelopes are opened, it’s still fair game, right? 

I actually haven’t seen ALL of the nominees, but hey, that hasn’t stopped me from making predictions in years past, so it’s not going to stop me this year, either 🙂 Also, in case you’re wondering, this prediction is based on gut instinct, so not exactly scientifically based. The SHOULD WIN category is who I would like to win, as in the one I’m rooting for this year (except for in categories where I have not seen ANY of the nominated films).

In any case, here we go:

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

WHO WILL WIN: Nomadland
WHO SHOULD WIN: Nomadland

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
David Fincher, Mank
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

WHO WILL WIN: Chloé Zhao
WHO SHOULD WIN: Chloé Zhao

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

WHO WILL WIN: Chadwick Boseman
WHO SHOULD WIN: Chadwick Boseman

Best Actress

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

WHO WILL WIN: Carey Mulligan
WHO SHOULD WIN: Viola Davis

Best Supporting Actor

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

WHO WILL WIN: Daniel Kaluuya
WHO SHOULD WIN: Paul Raci

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

WHO WILL WIN: Yuh-Jung Youn
WHO SHOULD WIN: Olivia Colman

Best Original Song

“Husavik (My Hometown),” Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
“Fight for You,” Judas and the Black Messiah
“Io Se (Seen),” The Life Ahead
“Speak Now,” One Night in Miami…
“Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7

WHO WILL WIN: Speak Now
WHO SHOULD WIN: Io Se (Seen)

Best Original Score

Da 5 Bloods
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Soul

WHO WILL WIN: Soul
WHO SHOULD WIN: Soul

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
News of the World
Nomadland
The Trial of the Chicago 7

WHO WILL WIN: Nomadland
WHO SHOULD WIN: Nomadland

Best Adapted Screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
The Father
Nomadland
One Night in Miami…
The White Tiger

WHO WILL WIN: Nomadland
WHO SHOULD WIN: One Night In Miami

Best Original Screenplay

Judas and the Black Messiah
Minari
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

WHO WILL WIN: Promising Young Woman
WHO SHOULD WIN: Sound of Metal

Best Animated Feature

Onward
Over the Moon
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

WHO WILL WIN: Soul
WHO SHOULD WIN: Wolfwalkers

Best Documentary Short Subject

Colette
A Concerto is a Conversation
Do Not Split
Hunger Ward
A Love Song For Latasha

WHO WILL WIN: A Love Song for Latasha

Best Documentary Feature

Collective
Crip Camp
The Mole Agent
My Octopus Teacher
Time

WHO WILL WIN: My Octopus Teacher

Best International Feature

Another Round
Better Days
Collective
The Man Who Sold His Skin
Quo Vadis, Aida?

WHO WILL WIN: Another Round

Best Film Editing

The Father
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

WHO WILL WIN: Nomadland
WHO SHOULD WIN: Nomadland

Best Costume Design

Emma
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Mulan
Pinocchio

WHO WILL WIN: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
WHO SHOULD WIN: Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Best Hair and Makeup

Emma
Hillbilly Elegy 
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 
Mank
Pinocchio 

WHO WILL WIN: Mank
WHO SHOULD WIN: Mank

Best Production Design

The Father
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
News of the World
Tenet 

WHO WILL WIN: Mank
WHO SHOULD WIN: The Father

Best Visual Effects

Love and Monsters
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
The One and Only Ivan
Tenet

WHO WILL WIN: Tenet
WHO SHOULD WIN: Tenet

Best Sound

Greyhound
Mank
News of the World
Soul
Sound of Metal

WHO WILL WIN: Sound Of Metal
WHO SHOULD WIN: Sound Of Metal

Best Animated Short Film

“Burrow”
“Genius Loci”
“If Anything Happens I Love You”
“Opera”

WHO WILL WIN: If Anything Happens I Love You

Best Live Action Short Film

“Feeling Through”
“The Letter Room”
“The Present”
“Two Distant Strangers”
“White Eye”

WHO WILL WIN: The Letter Room


Ok let’s see how many I get right tomorrow night. HAPPY OSCAR WEEKEND, everyone!!

Musings on 2021 Oscars Nominations – Snubs + Surprises

I was reading some articles about the Oscars and I just realized that last year’s telecast, which aired on February 9, was one of the earliest dates in the show’s history. Covid-19 wasn’t exactly on most people’s radar at the time yet, at least not in North America… I mean, I was still in a packed DisneyWorld in early March! Who knew that weeks later, practically the entire world was in lockdown mode.

Well, so the 93rd Oscar nominations are now here!

Click here to jump to the full list below. And here are my thoughts on the nominations:

Firstly…

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
David Fincher, Mank
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

Finally the Academy seems to be catching up to the call for diversity! About damn time! After the social media hashtag #OscarSoWhite circulating the past couple of years, it’s nice to see a more diverse list of nominees including female directors AND talents of color!

Congrats Emerald Fennell + Chloé Zhao!! Glad to see their names amongst the nominees… and Lee Isaac Chung too! Two filmmakers of Asian-descent in Best Director category is historic… not to mention the fact that Zhao is the first woman of Asian descent to ever pick up a directing nom. I haven’t seen Minari yet, but based on the rapturous response from critics and audiences alike, I have no doubt his nomination is well-deserved!!

Best Actress

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Heck yeah Viola Davis!! I have plenty of films to catch up on but as a longtime fan hers, I’m always thrilled to see her get recognized. I was hoping to see The United States vs. Billie Holiday but didn’t get a chance to, I read everywhere she’s truly the reason to see that film!

The two performances I have seen, McDormand’s and Mulligan’s, are both astounding, so yeah!!

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

The posthumous nomination for Chadwick Boseman is a shoo-in this year and I’m happy for that! Another shoo-in is Anthony Hopkins is absolutely amazing in The Father (which I just reviewed).

Thrilled to see Ahmed got in, I think his performance in Sound of Metal is his best work yet. Jumping for joy seeing Steven Yeun‘s name as well… I mean, as a blogger of Southeast Asian descent, obviously I’m delighted to see an Asian-American actor FINALLY getting some recognition!!

Best Supporting Actor

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

In the Supporting Actress/Actor category, I’m soooo happy to see Olivia Colman AND Paul Raci got in!! LOVED both performances, and I was afraid they’d nominate Jodie Foster over Colman and Raci would also be overlooked.

I’m kicking myself that I still haven’t seen Minari yet, but ‘ve been hearing great things about Yuh-Jung Youn’s performance. How awesome it is to see not just one but TWO Asian talents getting nominated for the same film!!

Interesting to see two extremely talented black actors Daniel Kaluuya and LaKeith Stanfield vying for Oscar in the same category AND from the same movie. I’m happy for them as they’re really two of the best actors of this generation, but if they’re both in the supporting category, the biggest question in my mind is…

Just WHO is the lead of Judas and the Black Messiah??

Best Adapted Screenplay

Sacha Baron Cohen and Co-Writers (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm)
Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton (The Father)
Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)
Kemp Powers (One Night in Miami)
Ramin Bahrani (The White Tiger)

What a year for Chloe Zhao!! Not only did she become the first female filmmaker of Asian descent ever shortlisted in the directing, she also picked up a nominated for her screenwriting work!

I’m very impressed with Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton‘s script in The Father. I know their play won a bunch of awards and considered the most acclaimed new play of the last decade. It’s still rare to see the film version of a play garnering similar acclaim all the way to Oscar glory, but hey I think it’s well-deserved!

Best Original Screenplay

Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas, and Kenny Lucas (Judas and the Black Messiah)
Lee Isaac Chung (Minari)
Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman)
Derek Cianfrance, Abraham Marder, Darius Marder (Sound of Metal)
Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7)

So Lee Isaac Chung also picked up another nomination in the Best Screenplay Category!! Man, imagine if him AND Chloe Zhao walk away with Oscars this year… what a sight that would be for so many Asian filmmakers who have been overlooked for way too long!

Best Animated Feature

Onward
Over the Moon
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Ok, so Disney + Pixar are dominating the Best Animated Feature category… surprise, surprise! But I’m rooting for WOLFWALKERS!!! It’s such a beautiful movie and it’s got a wonderfully-moving story as well, can’t recommend it enough.

Now, on to the snubs + surprises…

It wouldn’t be the Oscars morning after without reading the word ‘snub’ all over social media and film sites. I’m generally pretty cool with this year’s nominations, but still I think a few people were overlooked.

  • Wow, no love for Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods? I saw the #JusticeForDelroyLindo hashtag the past few days, surely lots of people are going to be upset about that. I know my pal Ted rated Delroy Lindo‘s performance highly in his review.
  • I was also expecting to see Regina King‘s name in Best Director list… I’d think at the very least, One Night In Miami… would be shortlisted in the Best Picture category.
  • I’m surprised to see Thomas Vinterberg amongst the Directors nominee, but then again last year Pawel Pawlikowski was nominated for Cold War and the film was nominated in Best Foreign Language category. I haven’t seen Another Round yet but Vinterberg has made some great films with Mads Mikkelsen before, i.e. The Hunt.Speaking of Mads, some people might say he’s overlooked for Best Actor in Another Round.
  • Ok so I’m really not that interested in seeing The Hillbilly Elegy, it just doesn’t appeal to me and based on the reception, it’s best to avoid that one. So I’m surprised to see Glenn Close making the cut, but no Amy Adams? I feel like Adams is overdue for an Oscar, but surely there’ll be better roles for her in the future!
    Given their wardrobe epitomizes the cozy, work-from-home attire we’re all sporting, shouldn’t they be nominated for Best Costume Design? 🤣
  • I know many people did not like Close making the cut, I personally would’ve loved to see Sophia Loren in the Best Actress category. It was quite a comeback for her in a beautiful performance in The Life Ahead. I wish the uplifting drama got more love but I don’t think many people have even seen that one.
  • No love for News of the World? Yes I know it’s more conventional and not as edgy as some films that got nominated, but it’s a terrific film with wonderful performances by Tom Hanks and Helena Zengel.
  • Now, in the Best Actor category, I think one of the biggest snubs is Tahar Rahim in The Mauritanian. Rahim’s sensitive performance never descends to over-sentimentality and is genuinely moving, he truly gave the film its best moments. Oh well, glad the BAFTA did recognize Rahim’s performance as well as Mads Mikkelsen’s!
  • Lastly, I know TENET didn’t exactly wow critics nor audiences alike, I was kind of lukewarm about the film too, but what I did like is the synth score by Ludwig Göransson. The song called The Plan by Travis Scott is sooo good!! Probably one of my faves of the year! Too bad neither made the cut this year 😦


Full List of Oscar Nominees

In case you missed the live telecast of the nominees announced by Priyanka Chopra + Nick Jonas (it’s too early for me to wake up for, ahah), here’s the video:

Best Picture

The Father
Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
Minari
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Director

Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
David Fincher, Mank
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland
Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

Best Actor

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Steven Yeun, Minari

Best Actress

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Best Supporting Actor

Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami…
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
LaKeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari

Best Original Song

“Husavik (My Hometown),” Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
“Fight for You,” Judas and the Black Messiah
“Io Se (Seen),” The Life Ahead
“Speak Now,” One Night in Miami…
“Hear My Voice,” The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Original Score

Da 5 Bloods
Mank
Minari
News of the World
Soul

Best Cinematography

Judas and the Black Messiah
Mank
News of the World
Nomadland
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Adapted Screenplay

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
The Father
Nomadland
One Night in Miami…
The White Tiger

Best Original Screenplay

Judas and the Black Messiah
Minari
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Animated Feature

Onward
Over the Moon
A Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon
Soul
Wolfwalkers

Best Documentary Short Subject

Colette
A Concerto is a Conversation
Do Not Split
Hunger Ward
A Love Song For Latasha

Best Documentary Feature

Collective
Crip Camp
The Mole Agent
My Octopus Teacher
Time

Best International Feature

Another Round
Better Days
Collective
The Man Who Sold His Skin
Quo Vadis, Aida?

Best Film Editing

The Father
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Sound of Metal
The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Costume Design

Emma
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
Mulan
Pinocchio

Best Hair and Makeup

Emma
Hillbilly Elegy 
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 
Mank
Pinocchio 

Best Production Design

The Father
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Mank
News of the World
Tenet 

Best Visual Effects

Love and Monsters
The Midnight Sky
Mulan
The One and Only Ivan
Tenet

Best Sound

Greyhound
Mank
News of the World
Soul
Sound of Metal

Best Animated Short Film

“Burrow”
“Genius Loci”
“If Anything Happens I Love You”
“Opera”
“Yes People”

Best Live Action Short Film

“Feeling Through”
“The Letter Room”
“The Present”
“Two Distant Strangers”
“White Eye”


Well, 2021 Oscars ceremony was originally scheduled for February 28, but it’s been pushed to April 25. 


Well, what are YOUR thoughts about the Oscars noms + snubs this year?

Thursday Movie Picks – Oscar Winners Edition: Best Actor and Best Actress

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy almost Friday! It’s TMP time! The Thursday Movie Picks blogathon was spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog.

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. This Thursday’s theme is… Oscar Winners Edition: Best Actor and Best Actress

Ok since there’s no rules as to which time period to pick from, I selected one classic and one contemporary actor and actress who I think are worthy winners. For the fun of it, I also picked one actor + actress who I don’t think deserve to win on the year they’re nominated.

In any case, here are my picks:

FAVE BEST ACTRESS WINNERS

Vivien Leigh – Gone With the Wind (1939)

Scarlett O’Hara is not exactly an easy woman to love, she’s practically an anti-heroine which in and of itself is quite revolutionary. Vivien Leigh was primarily a stage actress and was in a few plays with her second husband Laurence Olivier. She’s perhaps one of the first classic actress I’ve seen growing up… I must have been in my pre-teen when I first saw Gone With the Wind, and I’m still in awe of her performance to this day. To think that she almost didn’t get the role as producer David O. Selznick considered her to be ‘too British’ at one time. I can’t imagine another actress in the role.

Helen Mirren – The Queen (2006)

Ok so I pick another British actress, I didn’t exactly plan for that. I wanted to include someone from the 2000s and the one I thought of right away is the Dame’s performance as Queen Elizabeth I. Of course by now there have been another great memorable performance of the Queen in her later years (Olivia Colman in The Crown), but I think Helen Mirren’s portrayal is still an iconic one. Her physical transformation with the wig and glasses, complete with her facial expression and slightly downturned mouth, voice delivery, everything is just spot on. Even the Queen’s OCD behavior was accounted for based on Mirren’s research. Per IMDb trivia, Mirren was so convincing that by the end of production, crew members who had been accustomed to slouching or relaxing when they addressed her were standing straight up and respectfully folding their hands behind their backs.

___

Least Fave Best Actress Winner

Gwyneth Paltrow – Shakespeare In Love (1998)

I still think it’s practically scandalous that Paltrow won over Cate Blanchett in Elizabeth. I mean, generally speaking Blanchett can run circles around Paltrow all day long, but I’ve seen both films and in no universe did Paltrow gave a better performance in their respective films.


FAVE BEST ACTOR WINNERS

Gregory Peck – To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

Is it a surprise I picked this gentleman? If you’ve been reading this blog for a while then you’d know I was obsessed with Mr. Peck a few years ago and have blogged about him repeatedly. This was actually his fourth Oscar nominations following The Keys of the Kingdom (1945), The Yearling (1946), Gentleman’s Agreement (1947), and Twelve O’Clock High (1949). I’ve seen them all and they’re all terrific Oscar-worthy performances, but I think Atticus Finch so tailor-made for him that he practically become the character and be forever be known for that role. It’s no surprise The American Film Institute named Atticus Finch the greatest movie hero of the 20th century and Peck’s performance certainly helped cement that in history.

Jamie Foxx – Ray (2004)

When I first saw this film years ago, I was so blown away by Foxx’s performance. I think this was the first time I saw him in a lead role and man, did he kill it. He was so dedicated to the role that he attended classes at the Braille Institute, and he also had to wear eye prosthetics to make him look authentically blind for the entire shoot. I can’t imagine having to endure something like that, AND have to act at the same time.  Plus the musically-gifted actor also played the piano himself, though it was Ray Charles’ voice that was heard in the film. His win marked the first actor to win Best Actor in a music/musical movie since Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady (1964)

Least Fave Best Actor Winner

Roberto Benigni – Life Is Beautiful (1997)

I loved the film but honestly I didn’t think Benigni’s performance was Oscar-worthy. Especially given he was nominated alongside Tom Hanks in Saving Private Ryan and Edward Norton in American History X. His Oscar speech was a hoot though irritating at the same time. In any case, his win marked only the second time that an actor had directed himself in an Oscar-winning performance, the first was Laurence Olivier for Hamlet (1948).


So which Best Actor and/or Actress winners are your favorite?

Musings on 2021 Golden Globes nominations – Snubs + Surprises

Well, whaddayaknow. Award season is officially here, folks… though I doubt anyone is rolling out the red carpet just yet given Covid-19 (and its myriad of strains) are far from being contained.

Well, here are the full nominations below and my commentary in each category + some of my winner pick/prediction highlighted in bold magenta:

Best Motion Picture – Drama 

  • “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • “Mank” (Netflix)
  • “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)
  • “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features) 
  • “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)

I’ve only seen two on this list so I guess I should catch up on the rest, but I really want Promising Young Woman to get recognized. It’s such a bold, provocative film that makes a strong statement of a timely topic. Perhaps one of the few films that really stayed with me long after the end credits rolled.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 

  • “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” (Amazon Studios)
  • “Hamilton” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • “Palm Springs” (Neon)
  • “Music” (Vertical Entertainment)
  • “The Prom” (Netflix)

I actually haven’t seen any of these yet. The only one I want to see is Palm Springs and Hamilton, so my prediction here is pure gut instinct.

Best Director – Motion Picture

  • Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)
  • David Fincher, “Mank” (Netflix)
  • Regina King, “One Night in Miami” (Amazon Studios)
  • Aaron Sorkin, “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)
  • Chloé Zhao, “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Glad to see three female filmmakers being recognized here, perhaps the first time women outshone men in this category!! I think Fennell did an outstanding job making Promising Young Woman, and it’s her directorial debut, which is all the more amazing. But Chloè Zhao’s done some extraordinary work and Nomadland is a phenomenal film in its own right, so I’d be happy if any of those women win this year.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

  • Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
  • Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”)
  • Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
  • Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
  • Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)

I think it’s safe to say I’m cheering for Promising Young Woman this year! It’s such inspired casting to have Carey Mulligan in such a provocative role and she absolutely nailed it. I do have a feeling Viola Davis and Vanessa Kirby might run away with the award.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

  • Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
  • Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
  • Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
  • Gary Oldman (“Mank”)
  • Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”)

Oh man!! I’m thrilled to see Riz Ahmed and Tahar Rahim both nominated and having seen both films recently, they’re the beating heart of their respective films! I can’t choose between the two so I’m just going to make a random prediction. I have a feeling the HFPA would give a post-humous award to the late Chadwick Boseman.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 

  • Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
  • Kate Hudson (“Music”)
  • Michelle Pfeiffer (“French Exit”)
  • Rosamund Pike (“I Care a Lot”)
  • Anya Taylor-Joy (“Emma”)

Since I’ve only seen one of these (I Care A Lot hasn’t even been released yet!), I can’t pick anyone in this category either. I like Taylor-Joy but I don’t think she was all that extraordinary in Emma, she’s far more memorable in The Queen’s Gambit. I have a feeling Le Pfeiffer might walk away with the award here.

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy 

  • Sacha Baron Cohen (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
  • James Corden (“The Prom”)
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda (“Hamilton”)
  • Dev Patel (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”)
  • Andy Samberg (“Palm Springs”)

I know we’re not supposed to pick the only one performance we’ve seen, but oh well, it’s my blog, I make the rules, ha! I LOVE Dev Patel and he’s terrific in The Personal History of David Copperfield so I hope he wins!

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture 

  • Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
  • Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
  • Jodie Foster (“The Mauritanian”)
  • Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”)
  • Helena Zengel (“News of the World”)

Whoa!! Nice for Helena Zengel to get nominated here, as I mentioned in my review of News Of The World, the 12-year-old German actress held her own against Tom Hanks! She’s got tough competition here, though having seen The Mauritanian, I don’t think Jodie Foster’s performance was anything special. Given the recent buzz around Minari, I thought Youn Yuh-jung would nab a nomination in this category.

Tom Hanks + Helena Zengel in News of The World

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

  • Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
  • Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
  • Jared Leto (“The Little Things”)
  • Bill Murray (“On the Rocks”)
  • Leslie Odom, Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)

Ok, I’m definitely going to see One Night in Miami this weekend!! I’ve only seen On The Rocks, and no I don’t think Bill Murray deserved a nomination, let alone win. My gut says Daniel Kaluuya will run away with the award, and he seems to be a shoo-in for an Oscar as well.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture 

  • Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman” (Focus Features)
  • Jack Fincher – “Mank” (Netflix)
  • Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (Netflix)
  • Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton – “The Father” (Sony Pictures Classics)
  • Chloe Zhao – “Nomadland” (Searchlight Pictures)

Thrilled to see Emerald Fennell getting recognized for her bold + witty writing in the dark comedy. She wrote several episodes for Killing Eve, one of the edgiest, most entertaining thrillers of recent memory. To go against Aaron Sorkin in her first feature screenplay is quite a feat. Oh and is this the first time a father and son get nominated for the same film? Kudos to Jack and David Fincher!!

Best Original Score – Motion Picture 

  • “The Midnight Sky” (Netflix) – Alexandre Desplat
  • “Tenet” (Warner Bros.) – Ludwig Göransson
  • “News of the World” (Universal Pictures) – James Newton Howard
  • “Mank” (Netflix) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
  • “Soul” (Pixar) – Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste

So many double nominees this year… but Trent Reznor + Atticus Ross are one of the best composers working today. Talk about range… Mank + Soul are two very different movies. I think they’d walk away with one of them.

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language 

  • “Another Round” (Samuel Goldwyn Films)
  • “La Llorona” (Shudder)
  • “The Life Ahead” (Netflix)
  • “Minari” (A24)
  • “Two of Us” (Magnolia Pictures)

Can’t believe I’ve only seen The Life Ahead on this list, which is a lovely movie. I really want to see Minari but it’s not available on streaming yet. Another Round also looks really good based on my fellow bloggers’ reviews, another fruitful collaboration between Thomas Vinterberg and Mads Mikkelsen.

Best Motion Picture – Animated 

  • “The Croods: A New Age” (Universal Pictures)
  • “Onward” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • “Over the Moon” (Netflix)
  • “Soul” (Walt Disney Pictures)
  • “Wolfwalkers” (Cartoon Saloon)

Yay! Two of my fave animated movies of 2020 are nominated!! Hard to choose between the two, but if I must, I’d vote for Wolfwalkers.


Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

  • “Emily in Paris” (Netflix)
  • “The Flight Attendant” (HBO Max)
  • “The Great” (Hulu)
  • “Schitt’s Creek” (CBC)
  • “Ted Lasso” (Apple TV Plus)

The only one I’ve seen here is Emily in Paris but only for a single episode because it was practically unwatchable! I definitely don’t think it deserves any kudos, it’s just so silly and shallow… I mean if they must nominate a French comedy, why not Call My Agent! (Dix Pour Cent) which is head and shoulders above the Darren Star creation, ugh.

Best Television Series – Drama 

  • “The Crown” (Netflix)
  • “Lovecraft Country” (HBO Max)
  • “The Mandalorian” (Disney Plus)
  • “Ozark” (Netflix)
  • “Ratched” (Netflix)

Yay for The Crown and The Mandalorian!! They couldn’t be more different in style and tone but both are excellently-crafted. I really need to see Lovecraft Country!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama 

  • Olivia Colman (“The Crown”)
  • Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”)
  • Emma Corrin (“The Crown”)
  • Laura Linney (“Ozark”)
  • Sarah Paulson (“Ratched”)

I’m confused how Olivia Colman and Emma Corrin are both considered lead in The Crown. Colman is always excellent but Corrin as Princess Diana is no doubt the breakout star of the latest season. I also love Jodie Comer in Killing Eve but I haven’t been caught up in the latest season yet.

Emma Corrin as Princess Diana

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama

  • Jason Bateman (“Ozark”)
  • Josh O’Connor (“The Crown”)
  • Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
  • Al Pacino (“Hunters”)
  • Matthew Rhys (“Perry Mason”)

I adore Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles in The Crown but man, Matthew Rhys is outstanding in Perry Mason and he has been so grossly underrated in everything that I want him so badly to win this thing!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy 

  • Lily Collins (“Emily in Paris”)
  • Kaley Cuoco (“The Flight Attendant”)
  • Elle Fanning (“The Great”)
  • Jane Levy (“Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist”)
  • Catherine O’Hara (“Schitt’s Creek”)

Seriously, Lily Collins??! I could see the show getting a nod for Best-but-Most-Impractical-Clothes category, but that dumb show shouldn’t even be nominated in any category, come on!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy 

  • Don Cheadle (“Black Monday”)
  • Nicholas Hoult (“The Great”)
  • Eugene Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
  • Jason Sudeikis (“Ted Lasso”)
  • Ramy Youssef (“Ramy”)

I’m so behind on so many shows, but just based on the buzz on Schitt’s Creek, I think one of the Levys would probably nab an award.

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 

  • “Normal People” (Hulu/BBC)
  • “The Queen’s Gambit” (Netflix)
  • “Small Axe” (Amazon Studios/BBC)
  • “The Undoing” (HBO)
  • “Unorthodox” (Netflix)

I really want to see Small Axe, man too many shows too little time! But The Queen’s Gambit was simply amazing, one of the best miniseries I’ve seen ever. So yeah I’m rooting for that!

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 

  • Cate Blanchett (“Mrs. America”)
  • Daisy Edgar-Jones (“Normal People”)
  • Shira Haas (“Unorthodox”)
  • Nicole Kidman (“The Undoing”)
  • Anya Taylor-Joy (“The Queen’s Gambit”)

Ok so I said earlier that I don’t think Anya Taylor-Joy was all that great in Emma, but she was phenomenal in The Queen’s Gambit!! She’s in nearly every single scene and carried the show so effortlessly in a breathtaking performance.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 

  • John Boyega (“Small Axe”)
  • Brendan Gleeson (“The Comey Rule”)
  • Dan Levy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
  • Jim Parsons (“Hollywood”)
  • Donald Sutherland (“The Undoing”)

So many shows to catch up on!! I’ve heard great things about Small Axe though, that’s one I’m most looking forward to seeing.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television 

  • Gillian Anderson (“The Crown”)
  • Helena Bonham Carter (“The Crown”)
  • Julia Garner (“Ozark”)
  • Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”)
  • Cynthia Nixon (“Ratched”)

When I was watching the latest season of The Crown, somehow I knew Gillian Anderson and Helena Bonham Carter as the two Margarets would be vying for awards. The latter has portrayed Princess Margaret brilliantly in the previous season, but Anderson underwent such a transformation, down to her distinct voice, to play Margaret Thatcher, so my money is on her this year.


Biggest Surprises

Let’s start with the good surprises first…

  • Helena Zengel as one of the youngest nominee in News Of the World
  • Three female directors in the Best Director category, woo hoo!!
  • Emerald Fennell getting a Best Director AND Best Screenplay nods!! Yes, she deserved it!!

… now the wtf bad surprises

  • James Corden in the Best Actor category in Prom??! Wait what? I thought the buzz has been that it was the worst casting ever and that he’s the worst thing about the show.
  • Lily Collins in Emily in Paris, oh geez! Nothing against Lily but come on, that show is just plain silly, more froth than the latte she sips on those Parisian cafè!

I think the biggest head-scratcher that’s neither good or bad is… MUSIC in the Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and Kate Hudson in Best Actress category. Ummm, what in the world is that movie?? Never even heard about it before until today. I had to look it up on IMDb. Apparently it’s directed by Australian singer Sia and it’s about music and autism. O-kay.

Most egregious snubs

  • Based on what I’ve read so far, I’m stunned that Spike Lee wasn’t nominated for Da 5 Blood, which many, including my friend/contributor Ted deemed as his best work.
  • No Steven Yeun for Minari??
  • I’ve written my review for The Life Ahead that I’ll post later this month. I thought Sophia Loren was wonderful in a comeback role, so I was surprised she wasn’t nominated and neither was the film.
  • I was also impressed by Zendaya in Malcolm and Marie (review coming later this week!). I really thought she’d be nominated here.
  • Tom Hanks already took home a bazillion awards in his illustrious but still I’m surprised he didn’t get a nomination this year.
  • I’m still shaking my head that HFPA thought the fluffy Emily In Paris was somehow better than the edgy, funny and downright entertaining Bridgerton! I just cant…🙄

Note to self: Gotta check out I May Destroy You.

Thanks to Buzzfeed for recommending 16 other shows better than Emily in Paris – heck I’m sure there are even more shows than that! Even the writer of Emily in Paris agreed that I May Destroy You should have been nominated!! (I don’t subscribe to The Guardian but even the title of the article says it all.

Oh well, I guess every year the HFPA gives us plenty of reasons to talk about. We’ll see what other shenanigans are in store come February 28. The broadcast will be bicoastal this year with hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler hosting from NYC and LA.. Fey will host her segments from Rockefeller Center, while Poehler will do hers from the Beverly Hilton. These are interesting times indeed!


So what are your thoughts on the Golden Globes nominees? Who do you think are snubbed and who are you rooting for?

20 Thoughts on 2020 Golden Globes’ Memorable Moments

Happy Monday everyone! Did you watch the Golden Globes last night? I was late to watch the telecast, so I missed the entire opening monologue. Here it is…

Well he did say ‘Let’s all have a laugh… at your expense.’ Ok I don’t exactly subscribe to Ricky Gervais‘ beliefs and his brand of comedy can be brutal, but I have to agree about keeping politics off acceptance speeches.


I don’t have the energy to do a lengthy post this time so I’m just going to post 20 commentaries in tweets/gifs … starting with THIS:


First winner of the night happens to be one of my favorite actors… who I hope will get a cinematic comeback real soon! My heart goes out to him and Australians who are impacted by the devastating bush fires.

In any case, I thought John Lithgow was good as Roger Ailes, though he’s far more memorable to me as Churchill in The Crown.


Tom Hanks‘ reaction to Gervais’ brutal opening monologue… definitely the first popular meme of 2020.


Mr. Aquaman just raised the temperature of the room by his um, unconventional black tie attire…


The great news: Jason Momoa was presenting.
The bad news: He already put his jacket on.

But hey, the Queen aka Olivia Colman always gave such a delightful speech!!


As an Indonesian growing up watching mostly Hollywood/European films, I’m so used to subtitles. I’d take that any day over dubbed movies!!


Everyone’s favorite ‘everyman’ deservedly won the Cecil B. DeMille award… and crying over how blessed he feels for his family. Tom Hanks is not just the nicest guy in Hollywood, he’s a class act.


Former Bond-turned-Colonel-Sanders Pierce Brosnan had turned up earlier introducing his two sons as Miss, er Mr. Golden Globes (???)… but it’s his second appearance with Will Ferrell that’s far memorable. Suddenly I’m hungry for some fried chicken!!


Ok so yeah Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, but all people were waiting for was Jen Anniston‘s reaction during his speech, so here we go…



I haven’t even seen a single episode of Fleabag yet I’m glad to see it won!! (that show is on my to-watch list!)


If I have to make a comment about fashion at the Globes last night, it’d be that I LOVE Ana De Armas‘ sparkly sapphire dress.

I enjoyed seeing her and Daniel Craig in Knives Out, so it’s cool that they’re working together again in No Time To Die.


I have to say I didn’t quite love the JOKER’s score but I’m thrilled to see a female composer win last night!!! It still doesn’t make up for the lack of any female director nominated though, HFPA! Not even a little bit.


Thank you Ellen DeGeneres for all you do… and for constantly making us laugh. That was a wonderful montage that showcased why she absolutely deserved the Carol Burnett Award.


Note to self: Must. Watch. Succession.

Can’t believe I just realized Sarah Snook is on that show!! Been a fan of this Aussie actress since Predestination.


Ha!! We all want to SHIP these two!!


I’m happy to see Taron Egerton‘s continued meteoric rise! He’s a fun bloke and obviously super duper talented! Even in a frivolous action flick like KINGSMAN he was so watchable. LOVE his gracious, genuinely emotional acceptance speech… he acknowledged the young fellow nominee Roman Griffin of Jojo Rabbit AND thanked his mom… classy! Elton John’s reaction pure joy of seeing him win said it all.



I predicted Joaquin Phoenix would win and I think he deserved it. I do think he’s rambling on his speech but he did make Adam Driver laugh (the only actor in the room who I’d believe doesn’t have any beef with anyone if he lost an award).


And the last award goes to…

I haven’t seen 1917 yet but I’m now really curious to see it! Looks like a real innovative filmmaking style, and I sure hope Roger Deakins FINALLY win Best Cinematography at the Oscar!!


So, what are YOUR thoughts on the 2020 telecast?


Musings on 2020 Golden Globes nominations – who got snubbed?

Happy Monday everyone! I just came back yesterday afternoon from a three-day shoot of my third short film that I produced. So I’ve sort of been out of it in terms of award season. Well it’s officially here!! Snow and awards nominations, two things one can expect in December (yep, the white stuff is falling as I’m typing this!)

So the nominations were announced this morning by Tim Allen, Dakota Fanning and Susan Kelechi. In terms of which studio got the most noms, well Netflix definitely leads the pack with a whopping 34 nominations, 17 for films and 17 for different tv series. In fact, it’s definitely the era for streaming giants, as for the first time ever, not a single program nor performer from major networks were nominated.

Now per usual, in addition to my thoughts about the nominees, I thought I’d include my winner pick for some of the categories… this isn’t necessarily who I WANT to win, but who I think WOULD win, but sometimes it’s both.

Here is the full list of 2020 Golden Globe nominees…

Best Motion Picture – Drama

1917
The Irishman
Joker
The Two Popes
Marriage Story

I’m SO behind this year so I’ve only seen Joker and Marriage Story. I absolutely LOVED the latter and had me thinking about it for weeks. It’s definitely one of the best dramas I’ve seen, not just this year, and I’m glad Noah Baumbach is getting a Best Screenplay nominations. For sure I’ll be rooting for him to win in that category!

My winner pick: Marriage Story


Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Renée Zellweger, Judy
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Man, I’m kicking myself that I’ve only seen ONE of these (well, Little Women‘s press screening isn’t until next week). Scarlett was incredible in Marriage Story, and I have heard great things about all the other performers so this is one tough category!! But if I absolutely had to pick one who I think would win… well I feel like the HFPA loves Renée and everyone loves a comeback.

My winner pick: Renée Zellweger


Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari
Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

Ok I’ve seen three performances of this list (Driver, Phoenix and Bale). I LOVE all three of them, but given all the buzz surrounding Joker, I have a strong feeling Joaquin Phoenix would nab the award. I think it’s a safe bet he’d rake in ALL of the awards in the Best Actor category this year. Though I’m not in love with the film, Joaquin is an excellent actor and this win would be well deserved.

My winner pick: Joaquin Phoenix


Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Dolemite Is My Name
Knives Out
Jojo Rabbit
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Rocketman

Somehow I thought Rocketman would be in last year’s category?? In any case, I LOVE Jojo Rabbit (read my review), but somehow I have a hunch that Rian Johnson’s star-studded Knives Out would win this category. I’m hoping to see it this weekend and everything about it just looks SO good!!

My winner pick: Knives Out 


Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Awkwafina, The Farewell
Ana de Armas, Knives Out
Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart
Emma Thompson, Late Night

Firstly, woo hoo for Awkwafina!! I was worried she would be snubbed, so I’m thrilled to see her here along with Emma Thompson in Late Night. I’m sad for the lack of love for that film, but Emma was wonderful as a talk show host. It’s been quite a year for miss de Armas, but I can’t wait to see her in Knives Out. I read she almost turned down the role? She’d have to send a huge thank you note to Rian Johnson for convincing her to accept it AND for giving her a juicy role. Now, for this category, my winner pick is one I’d WANT to and SHOULD win.

My winner pick: Awkwafina


Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Daniel Craig, Knives Out
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Taron Egerton, Rocketman
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

Wow, what a week for Daniel Craig. The GG noms and first trailer for No Time To Die are released on the same week! He looks like he’s having an absolute blast in Knives Out, though he faces some tough competition in this category. No surprise to see Leo here, I do think he deserves a nom in Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood, though again, it makes me smile seeing Eddie Murphy‘s name on here, glad to see him make a strong comeback.

My winner pick: Eddie Murphy


Best Supporting Actress 

Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell
Annette Bening, The Report
Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Seeing this list just made me sad I’ve only seen ONE from the list Laura Dern, and she’s definitely memorable as one of the slimy divorce lawyers. I’ve heard so many terrific things about everyone else’s performances (except for Bates who I didn’t even know is in Richard Jewell). So this pick is more based on instinct…

My winner pick: Jennifer Lopez


Best Supporting Actor 

Al Pacino, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Wow, every single one of these actors in this categories are older white men. Brad Pitt is the youngest at 55 years old, with Anthony Hopkins as the oldest at 81 (hey, it’ll be a Meet Joe Black reunion at the GG telecast, ha!) I LOVE Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, but seeing him here just makes me think where is director Marielle Heller and Matthew Rhys in the Supporting Actor Category?? (more on that later).

My winner pick: Brad Pitt


Best Motion Picture – Animated

Toy Story 4
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
Missing Link
The Lion King

I feel like How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World was released quite a while ago. I have only seen that one and Toy Story 4 which exceeded my expectations. I know I REALLY don’t want to see The Lion King win somehow, and honestly I’d rather go back and watch the 1994 animated classic.

My winner pick: Toy Story 4


Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Parasite
The Farewell
Portrait of a Lady on Fire
Les Misérables
Pain and Glory

I’m kicking myself that I had a conflict when Les Misérables was screened at TCFF. It looked absolutely intense from the trailer. I haven’t had a chance to see Parasite either, which has been raking all kinds of film festival awards including Cannes’ Palme d’Or. I’d say Bong Joon Ho‘s film is the one to beat this year.

My winner pick: Parasite


Best Director – Motion Picture

Bong Joon-ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Todd Phillips, Joker
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

Ok I can’t believe I’m gonna say the same thing as last year… Um, firstly… where are the female directors?? Hello???! LA Times listed the female directors who should’ve been nominated this year: Lulu Wang (The Farewell), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Alma Har’el (Honey Boy), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers), among others.

Oh well.

Looking at this list… I guess I see the usual suspects that makes me go ‘meh.’ Todd Phillips?? Really?? I thought I’d see Robert Eggers‘ name on there given how well-received The Lighthouse has been.

My winner pick: Bong Joon-ho


Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bong Joon-ho and Han Jin-won, Parasite
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

As I mentioned before, I REALLY love Marriage Story. I feel like it’s the kind of film where the “special effect” IS the script. The dialog and how the film is structured is simply amazing, and the no-frills filmmaking style and naturalistic acting just made the words come to life. I have yet to see the others nominated here, but Baumbach’s script set such a high bar that at this point, I can’t imagine wanting someone else to win.

My winner pick: Marriage Story


Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker
Randy Newman, Marriage Story
Thomas Newman, 1917
Daniel Pemberton, Motherless Brooklyn

Well I know which one I DID NOT love, Guðnadóttir’s Joker, which I found a bit distracting. I was so immersed in the dialog in Marriage Story I barely notice the score (which I suppose is a good thing!), but I did remember Daniel Pemberton‘s gorgeous score in Motherless Brooklyn. I have a hunch it wouldn’t win however, somehow I have a feeling this could be Newman’s year (he’s been nominated for Oscars 13 times but have yet to win one, he’s like the Roger Deakins in the composer category).

My winner pick: Thomas Newman – 1917


Best Original Song – Motion Picture

“Beautiful Ghosts,” Taylor Swift and Andrew Lloyd Webber, Cats
“Into the Unknown,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, Frozen II
“Spirit,” Beyoncé, The Lion King
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” Elton John, Rocketman
“Stand Up,” Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

I don’t really have a particular favorite out of this, but I have a feeling this might be the only category Rocketman would bring home an award.

My winner pick: (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, Elton John


Best Television Series – Drama

Big Little Lies
The Crown
Killing Eve
The Morning Show
Succession

I’ll refrain from making my pick as I’ve only seen The Crown (all 3 seasons) and season 1 of Killing Eve. Kinda surprised to see The Morning Show as I heard it isn’t that great? But glad to see Brian Cox’s Succession is nominated, he’s such a formidable actor and that show looks marvelous.


I’m going to refrain from picking my winner picks in most of these TV categories, except for a handful of categories. The one I think would win is in bold. Yes I have picked winners from films/shows I haven’t seen before, but I don’t have any strong hunch or feelings about the following shows and performers to make up my mind. 

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Brian Cox, Succession
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Tobias Menzies, The Crown
Billy Porter, Pose

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Jennifer Aniston, The Morning Show
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method
Bill Hader, Barry
Ben Platt, The Politician
Paul Rudd, Living With Yourself
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida
Natasha Lyonne, Russian Doll
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag

Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series

Alan Arkin, The Kominsky Method
Kieran Culkin, Succession
Andrew Scott, Fleabag
Stellan Skarsgård, Chernobyl
Henry Winkler, Barry

Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series

Patricia Arquette, The Act
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Toni Collette, Unbelievable
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies
Emily Watson, Chernobyl

Best Actor In a Limited Series or TV Motion Picture

Christopher Abbott, Catch-22
Sacha Baron Cohen, The SpyRussell Crowe, The Loudest Voice
Jared Harris, Chernobyl
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon

Best Actress In a Limited Series or TV Motion Picture

Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable
Joey King, The Act
Helen Mirren, Catherine the Great
Merritt Wever, Unbelievable
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon


Biggest Surprises

Well, for me it’s Roman Griffin Davis for Jojo Rabbit. He’s only 12 years old, though he’s not the youngest ever to be nominated. According to this article, Jackie Cooper was the youngest to be nominated in Best Leading Actor category at 9 years old for his performance in Skippy. I thought Davis was excellent, though I think Thomasin McKenzie warrants a nom as well in the Supporting Actress category.

I remember going to a film fest gala earlier this Fall and saw someone who just went to Telluride and I asked him what his favorite film was. He said The Two Popes. But then I forgot all about it, so in terms of Best Picture, that film was a huge surprise to me. The film hasn’t opened until later in December, but I’ll probably wait ’til it’s on streaming. I don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other, it was more like ‘wait what??’ I thought I’d see The Lighthouse in the Best Picture noms list, which brings me to…

Most egregious snubs

I’m keeping what I’ve written last year [sigh] Well firstly, the obvious… where are the female directors?? In a year with a bunch of strong female contenders, it’s so disheartening.

Out of the five possible female directors to be nominated that I mentioned above, I’m most dismayed for the omission of Marielle Heller (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) Heller was snubbed last year too for Can You Ever Forgive Me? 

The filmmaker power couple Greta Gerwig and her partner Noah Baumbach are both shut out of Best Director category. I wonder if this is going to be the same at the Oscars??

As for the performers… last year I was disappointed Viola Davis didn’t get nominated for Widows. Well, this year it’s another exceptional black actress, Lupita Nyong’O for Us.

In the male categories, where are Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe?? Did HFPA have something against The Lighthouse? Maybe it’s too off the wall for them?? I’d think one of those actors is a shoo-in this year in the leading and supporting category.

I also think Matthew Rhys was snubbed. He’s such an underrated actor and he’s fantastic as the bitter journalist in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. His transformation towards the end is so deeply moving, and he more than held his own against Hanks.

I know people are upset for the lack of noms for Robert De Niro (The Irishman) and Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems). I am surprised by that given all the buzz, esp De Niro since his two co-stars (Pesci and Pacino) are nominated, but not exactly up in arms as I’m not the biggest fan of either of them.


So what are your thoughts on the Golden Globes nominees? Who do you think are snubbed and who are you rooting for?