Thursday, January 11, 2018

Best Actress: on the fringe of a nomination; Dorian Awards nominations


A few things were announced today--Costume Design Guild Nominations, the Cinema Audio Society nominations, and the Dorian Awards nominations.

I haven't announced on the site yet, but I was recently invited to join GALECA, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association which nominates and votes on the Dorian Awards. Such an incredible honor. That being said I was invited the day the nominations ballots were due, so I didn't play a part in the nominations process. However, I am thrilled to be a part of an organization whose leader in nominations is "Call Me By Your Name," nominates Michelle Pfeiffer for "mother!," "Better Things" for best television show and "BPM" for Best Film. The full list of nominations is below.

Speaking of "Call Me By Your Name," I joked on Twitter that I was baffled that the film has been left out of nominations for Costume Design, siting my love for "short shorts, stars of David pendants and Talking Heads t-shirts." All joking aside, not nominating the costumes, the screenplay (particularly when there is only one category instead of splitting original and adapted) both songs ("Visions of Gideon" is as good if not better than "Mystery of Love") and both supporting actors is, in my mind a travesty. I won't blame last year's win for "Moonlight," but something is amiss, in my opinion. Is it the romance? It is impossible to summarize "Moonlight" in one sentence. But that film is about Chiron and his journey. "Call Me By Your Name" is about two men falling in love. Very, very different.

I fear it's just going to be one of the years when my favorite films don't win a lot of Oscars. "Get Out" and "Call Me By Your Name" might have to settle for one win each, if that!  I had to settle for a screenplay win for "Pulp Fiction" back in 94, but we all know the truth of which film deserved Best Picture. I think that once we look back at this year most people will know, beyond a doubt that Timothee Chalamet gives the performance of the year and that Guadagnino directed a masterpiece that deserved Best Picture.

This definitely won't be the last time I discuss this film. There are some exciting things in the works over at Awards Daily, for instance! More on that later.

Yesterday I finally caught up on the films that are in the theater that I missed, ending with "Downsizing." To be honest I'm not sure if I hated it or liked it. Maybe even loved it. I do know this. Hong Chau gives one of the best performances of the year, despite questionable characterization amongst some very unlikeable male characters, played by Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz. I feel like this is one of those films that need to be watched more than once, but I can't see that happening anytime soon.

I want to talk about three films that I saw in the past week, specifically the performances of three fantastic actresses.

Jessica Chastain in "Molly's Game."
Emma Stone in "Battle of the Sexes"
Michelle Williams in "All the Money in the World."

When I saw "Molly's Game" on Saturday, I was already sensing heat building for Jessica Chastain. It was palpable. That along with the weakening position of "The Post" made me quite sure that she was going to land that 5th slot.

I really enjoyed "Molly's Game."  I was actually surprised that the pace seemed a bit subdued compared to other films of Aaron Sorkin's work. The dialogue is just as witty and snappy as "The Social Network," per se, but dialed down to a reasonable tempo. When I reviewed "The Social Network" I compared it to a freight train. "Molly's Game" is steadier, determined, and Jessica Chastain carries the weight of the film's 2 hours and 20 minutes. As great as she is, the more I've been away from it, I've calmed a bit to the performance. She doesn't quite get there in terms of what addiction should look like, which is odd considering Sorkin's history and Chastain's ability. Granted, she says in the film when talking to her attorney that it was a late in the game problem, but to me, that means we should have seen a progression.

In just a few days, buzz seems to have shifted to Michelle Williams. Midway through nomination voting a story breaks that Michelle Williams made approximately 1000 dollars for 9 days of reshoots for "All the Money in the World" while Mark Wahlberg made 1.5 million. Sure, supposedly Williams apparently said she would do it for free, but I wonder if that was because her people they told her she basically had to? She is repped by the same agency as Wahlberg, for one thing. So it shouldn't have been a big secret.

Michelle Williams is absolutely incredible in the film. The trailers don't give her justice. I was concerned that the accent, the emotion was all over the top, but it's not. I should have known the actress who made Marilyn Monroe completely human in "My Week With Marilyn" could pull this off. Although I found her characterization in "Manchester By the Sea," though committed to, a bit over the top. Will the newer members of the Academy take these stories to heart and reward her with an Oscar nomination in lieu of the the financial compensation she was denied? Who knows.

And then there is "Battle of the Sexes" and Emma Stone. I loved Emma Stone in "La La Land" although for me, she didn't give the best performance of last year. She was great, don't get me wrong, but she wasn't Isabelle Huppert in "Elle." She is even better, however as tennis great Billie Jean King. The scene where she quietly sits watching homophobe Margaret Court (Jessica McNamee) lose to Bobby Riggs (Steve Carell) is a very powerful, Oscary moment. And the scenes where she nervously flirts and eventually has sex with hairdresser Marilyn Barnett are absolutely beautiful. It's a vulnerability we haven't seen from her before.

So why are these three performances on the fringes. Well, because of Meryl Streep, it seems.

It seems that the locks for Best Actress are:
Saoirse Ronan
Sally Hawkins
Frances McDormand

The weaker lock:
Margot Robbie

Then you have Meryl. I'll be seeing "The Post" tomorrow, so I should have a better grasp on whether or not she will be nominated, but the truth is, if she was nominated last year for "Florence Foster Jenkins,' she will probably be nominated for reading the phone book.

Again...I think it might all come down to the newer member.


GALECA 2017/18 DORIAN AWARDS NOMINEES:

FILM OF THE YEAR

BPM (Beats Per Minute) - The Orchard
Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics
Get Out - Universal
Lady Bird - A24
The Shape of Water - Fox Searchlight

DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR (FILM OR TELEVISION)
Sean Baker, The Florida Project – A24
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird - A24
Luca Guadagnino, Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk – Warner Bros.
Jordan Peele, Get Out - Universal

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR -- ACTRESS

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Fox Searchlight
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya - Neon
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird - A24
Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman - Sony Pictures Classics

BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – ACTOR

Nahuel Perez Biscayart, BPM (Beats Per Minute) — The Orchard
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics
James Franco, The Disaster Artist – A24
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out - Universal
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour – Focus Features

SUPPORTING FILM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR -- ACTRESS

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound - Netflix
Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip - Universal
Allison Janney, I, Tonya - Neon
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird - A24
Michelle Pfeiffer, mother! - Paramount

SUPPORTING FILM PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR -- ACTOR
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project – A24
Armie Hammer, Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Fox Searchlight
Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics

LGBTQ FILM OF THE YEAR
BPM (Beats Per Minute) — The Orchard
Battle of the Sexes - Fox Searchlight
Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics
A Fantastic Woman - Sony Pictures Classics
God's Own Country – Samuel Goldwyn Films

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM OF THE YEAR
BPM (Beats Per Minute) — The Orchard
A Fantastic Woman - Sony Pictures Classics
First They Killed My Father - Netflix
The Square – Magnolia Pictures
Thelma – The Orchard

SCREENPLAY OF THE YEAR (ORIGINAL OR ADAPTED)

James Ivory, Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics
Jordan Peele, Get Out - Universal
Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird - A24
Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - Fox Searchlight

DOCUMENTARY OF THE YEAR
(theatrical release, TV airing or DVD release)

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story – Zeitgeist/Kino Lorber
The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson - Netflix
Faces Places – Cohen Media Group
Jane ­– National Geographic/Abramorama
Kedi - Oscilloscope

VISUALLY STRIKING FILM OF THE YEAR
(honoring a production of stunning beauty, from art direction to cinematography)

Blade Runner 2049 – Warner Bros.
Call Me By Your Name - Sony Pictures Classics
Dunkirk – Warner Bros.
The Shape of Water – Fox Searchlight
Wonderstruck - Amazon

UNSUNG FILM OF THE YEAR
BPM (Beats Per Minute) - The Orchard
Beach Rats
God's Own Country – Samuel Goldwyn Films
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
Wonderstruck - Amazon

CAMPY FLICK OF THE YEAR

Baywatch - Paramount
The Disaster Artist – A24
The Greatest Showman – 20th Century Fox
I, Tonya - Neon
mother! - Paramount

TV DRAMA OF THE YEAR

Big Little Lies - HBO - HBO
The Crown - Netflix
Feud: Bette and Joan - FX
The Handmaid's Tale - Hulu
Twin Peaks: The Return - Showtime

TV COMEDY OF THE YEAR

Better Things - FX
GLOW - Netflix
The Good Place - NBC
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel - Amazon
Will & Grace - NBC

TV PEFORMANCE OF THE YEAR – ACTRESS

Clare Foy, The Crown - Netflix
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies - HBO
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan - FX
Elizabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale - Hulu
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies - HBO

TV PEFORMANCE OF THE YEAR -- ACTOR

Aziz Ansari, Master of None – Netflix
Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us - NBC
Jonathan Groff, Mindhunter - Netflix
Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks: The Return - Showtime
Alexander Skaarsgård, Big Little Lies - HBO

TV CURRENT AFFAIRS SHOW OF THE YEAR
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee – Comedy Central
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - HBO
Late Night with Seth Meyers - NBC
The Late Show with Stephen Colbert - CBS
The Rachel Maddow Show - MSNBC

TV MUSICAL PERFORMANCE OF THE YEAR

Lady Gaga, “God Bless America,” “Born This Way,” etc., Super Bowl LI - Fox
Kate McKinnon, “(Kellyanne) Conway!” Saturday Night Live - NBC
Brendan McCreary, John Mulaney, “I’m Gay,” Big Mouth – Netflix
Pink, “Beautiful Trauma,” American Music Awards - ABC
Sasha Velour, “So Emotional,” RuPaul's Drag Race – VH1

LGBTQ SHOW OF THE YEAR

Difficult People - Hulu
RuPaul's Drag Race – VH1
Sense8 - Netflix
Transparent – Amazon
Will & Grace - NBC

UNSUNG TV SHOW OF THE YEAR

American Gods - Starz
Dear White People - Netflix
Difficult People - Hulu
At Home with Amy Sedaris - TruTV
The Leftovers - HBO

CAMPY TV SHOW OF THE YEAR

Dynasty
Feud: Betty and Joan
Riverdale
RuPaul's Drag Race
Will & Grace

‘WE’RE WILDE ABOUT YOU!’ RISING STAR AWARD

Timothée Chalamet
Harris Dickinson
Tiffany Haddish
Daniel Kaluuya
Daniela Vega

WILDE WIT OF THE YEAR AWARD

(honoring a performer, writer or commentator whose observations both challenge and amuse)

Samantha Bee
Stephen Colbert
Kate McKinnon
John Oliver
Jordan Peele

WILDE ARTIST OF THE YEAR

(honoring a truly groundbreaking force in the fields of film, theater and/or television)

Guillermo del Toro
Greta Gerwig
Patty Jenkins
David Lynch
Jordan Peele





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