Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top 10 problems; Annie nominations, VXF and Animated Shorts shortlists

Yesterday I came home from the day job that pays my bills to find a dvd screener of "God's Own Country," a film I had discovered on Twitter. A few film buffs that I follow had mentioned that they loved it, one of which saying it was their favorite of the year. When I saw this, I immediately reached out and asked for a copy and was quickly obliged.

I still have links for several of the foreign film long listed films, and am hoping to tackle a few of those as part of my "12 Days of Christmas" series. For those who don't know, that's where I watch (at least!) one film a day as a means to catch up to my peers so I can actually know what I'm talking about here at Awards Wiz instead of relying heavily on my gut and my peers.

Last year, it was much easier than I expected to see what I really wanted to see. In NYC and LA, it was a breeze, but things are different here in Mississippi. If there are press screenings around here, I am oblivious to them. I got invited to the AFI Fest screening/gala for "Call Me By Your Name," but I can't see it here until late January.

These are the films that are opening well past my usual December 31st Top 10 deadline.

Call Me By Your Name
The Post

Mollys Game

Phantom Thread

I have reached out to the powers that be, hoping beyond hope that I might be able to get screeners. Last year I only needed two. "Jackie" and "20th Century Women," which I was lucky to get just in time.

I know that I can't publish my Top 10/Top Performances without seeing "Call Me By Your Name" or "Phantom Thread." "Call Me By Your Name" seems so geared toward my sensibilities that I would probably never forgive myself for not including it if I loved it. (In years past I left off "A Prophet" and "A Separation," and still wish I had managed to see them in time.) Paul Thomas Anderson (the director of "Phantom Thread") has shown up in my Top 10 a few times. Before I had a website, "Boogie Nights" would've topped that list. "The Master" was there. "Inherent Vice" topped the list in 2014. Even "There Will Be Blood" made runner up for my Top 10 Films of the Decade back in 2010.

I have to hope that the Oscar gods will provide. I will keep watching films and keep publishing and see what happens.

In Oscar news, there are 3 things to report.  We have Annie Nominations, 20 VFX shortlisted films, and 10 animated shorts.

Animated Feature looks pretty bleak to me, but that's because they divide studio and independent. "Coco" is up against many sequels (the 3rd installments of both "Despicable Me" and "Cars") as well as "Boss Baby" and "Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie." I hope to see "Coco" this weekend. The others...I'll wait to see what makes the Oscar cut. I am very intrigued by "The Breadwinner" and all of the GKids films. They do fantastic work! 

I can't help but look at this list in terms of the films that will receive a boost in overall nominations if they are nominated. "Blade Runner 2049," "Dunkirk" and "The Shape of Water" could all have nice tallies and this nomination will certainly help. "Okja" is also on the list. It would be interesting (and a bit horrifying if you ask me) if this is Netflix's first narrative feature nomination. It still stings a bit to me that the Academy didn't nominate "Beasts of No Nation" for anything, but surely that won't be the case with "Mudbound," right?!

20 Shortlisted Films:
Alien: Covenant
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Ghost in the Shell
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Justice League
Kong: Skull Island
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
The Shape of Water
Spider-Man Homecoming
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Thor: Ragnarok
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

Animated Short
Looking at this list, I don't really know much about any of them other than "In a Heartbeat." I LOVED that short. Also Don Hertzfeldt's "World of Tomorrow Episode 2: The Burden of People's Thoughts" which will play at Sundance this year and the sequel to the robbed "World of Tomorrow" did not make the cut. What did he ever do to y'all, Academy?!

(List taken from Variety)
“Cradle,” Devon Manney, director (University of Southern California)
“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, director, and Kobe Bryant, writer (Glen Keane Productions)
“Fox and the Whale,” Robin Joseph, director (Robin Joseph)
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon, directors (MOPA)
“In a Heartbeat,” Esteban Bravo and Beth David, directors (Ringling College of Art and Design)
“Life Smartphone,” Chenglin Xie, director (China Central Academy of Fine Arts)
“Lost Property Office,” Daniel Agdag, director, and Liz Kearney, producer (8th in Line)
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, director, and Dana Murray, producer (Pixar Animation Studios)
“Negative Space,” Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata, directors (Ikki Films)
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer, directors (Magic Light Pictures)

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