Thursday, December 14, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Catch Up, Day 1: SAG and a preview

Now that I have surrendered to the fact that I will not being seeing several of 2017 year's top films--"The Post," "Call Me By Your Name," "I, Tonya," "Phantom Thread," being the major culprits--by the end of the year the 12 films I plan to watch over a 12 day span looks a bit different than I had hoped. I did make a valiant effort to get screeners of those films, but unfortunately haven't heard anything back. Not even a no. Maybe that's a good thing? Who knows? I do know that once I start receiving screeners for Film Independent, Oscar life might get a little easier. From here on out I'm going to do my best not to wade into predicting anything until I have something to back it up. I'm already ready to get on the Timothee Chalamet is better than Gary Oldman train having seen neither film. Not good.

When I started the "12 Days of Christmas Catch Up" the idea was to fill in the blanks of films that I should have seen earlier in the year but missed. Not necessarily the end of the year Oscar films. When I was living in NYC I wasn't going to miss those. This year, it's a combination. Let's look at the list (In order of viewing, subject to change!).

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Beach Rats
The Breadwinner
The Disaster Artist
First They Killed My Father
Pitch Perfect 3
The Shape of Water
Darkest Hour
Girls Trip
God's Own Country
Beauty and the Beast

Several of the films on this list come out on December 22nd. "The Shape of Water," "Darkest Hour" and "Pitch Perfect 3." "The Greatest Showman" is also coming out that day, but I hope to spend SOME time with my family. I'm thinking I will see "The Shape of Water" and "Pitch Perfect 3" that afternoon and convince Mom and Dad to join me for "Darkest Hour."

Once I am in Coffeeville (where my parents live) I won't be able to stream anything, so it will be dvd's only. Not even blu rays! Unless I bring my player, which you better believe I have done in the past. That means I am limited to "Beauty and the Beast," (which my parents should enjoy watching again, especially since it is their DVD!) "God's Own Country," and "Girls Trip." Might have to watch those two in my bedroom or when they are asleep!

I also watched "In the Fade" and will write about that when I cover "First They Killed My Father." I also want to watch "A Taxi Driver," but like "The Greatest Showman," I can't see everything. Not yet. Tonight I see "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," and I can't wait. I will do my best to post my review tomorrow morning.

Everyone has done some incredible analysis about the SAG nominations. I will say this. I predicted "The Revenant" and "La La Land" ignoring the never dying easily forgotten (by me, at least) SAG stat.

In 22 years, no film snubbed for Best Ensemble by SAG has gone on to win Best Picture. 

That being said we now have almost 9,000 Academy members and the SAG nominating committee is chosen at random, so who knows? BUT...that's what I said last year when I predicted "La La Land." I could see past my passion/defense for the film to truly see what was going on. I hope not to fall for that same mistake this year.

It helps that I simply cannot see "Dunkirk" winning Best Picture. It has absolutely no heat right now. I might feel otherwise as I watch the rest of the potential nominees and rewatch "Dunkirk" itself, but right now it really feels like "Get Out" or "Lady Bird," although just a few days ago I thought "Lady Bird" didn't have much of a chance. If Gerwig wins the DGA, we'll see. But she might not even be nominated. "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" could happen too...but enough people don't like the film to give me the idea that it might not make it to the finish line.

I hope this is the year that stat is broken, but I can't make any sort of educated guess about what might win, when I have only seen "Get Out," "Lady Bird," and "Dunkirk" when it comes to these BP frontrunners.

I was disappointed (let me say it again, "sight unseen") that the only actor from "Call Me By Your Name" nominated for SAG was Timothee Chalamet. Not Hammer, not Stuhlbarg, not Ensemble.

I could feel the film's weakness when it was left off both Original Song and Best Director at the Globes. And with so many great directors, someone has to be left off.

I can't help be wonder what I might have been able to do for the film. I have several friends in SAG who I know follow the Oscar race. As I have lamented already, I can't get my hands on a response much less a screener for this film. If I was doing the PR for this film, right now I would send a screener to any respectable journalist/blogger who showed an interest in loving it. Makes me it really as good as I hope? Or more specifically, will it speak to my sensibilities? Time will tell, it seems. It is released nationwide 4 days before the Oscar nominations are announced and well after the voting deadline.

All that being said, the Academy loves to nominate foreign directors and doesn't like to nominate women. Luca Guadagnino has a stronger chance there, for sure.

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