Friday, January 5, 2018

Thoughts on WGA (with a rant), NYFCC Awards Ceremony, ACE Eddie/Art Directors Guild noms, and PGA predictions

So much has happened in the past few days, and soon after publishing this piece we will have the somewhat important PGA Top 10 precursor to Best Picture. So, let's dig into some things.

There are two stories out there right now. The first being the films that were deemed ineligible by the Writers Guild, particularly "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." Not being nominated by the WGA doesn't hurt "Three Billboards" at all. Why? Look at the Hollywood Reporter piece breaking down the noms. Frances McDormand's face is right there, front and center. Even without a nomination, "Three Billboards" is still the story.

The second story is "The Post" and its lack of nomination. I absolutely hate typing these words. Hate it!--but I have yet to see this film. Irrelevant to seeing the movie, I can feel the wind leaving the sails. Honestly, once I saw the trailer I had concerns. NBR awarding it the best film of the year was more than likely the film's peak. It still might get a Best Picture nomination, but I wouldn't be surprised if Spielberg is left off of Best Director. Maybe Hanks and Streep left out of actor/actress as well.

Sean Baker might take the 5th slot. Remember Benh Zeitlin got in for "Beasts of the Southern Wild." And Baker has serious supporters. There is a possibility Spielberg gets in over Luca Guadagnino, and I am a bit worried that "Call Me By Your Name" is left out of Picture as well. My heart tells me that it has enough support, garnering enough number one votes (weighted ballot) to get a nomination, that my comparisons to "Carol" and its lack of a Best Picture nomination are unwarranted. "Carol" was brilliant. Absolutely stunning, but the Academy likely found it a bit cold for their tastes. Who knows. I'm pretty much typing in circles here. Although I can't officially champion "Call Me By Your Name" until I either get a screener or see it on January 19th, I will do my best. The idea that awarding a film with LGBTQ themes last year disqualifies "Call Me By Your Name" infuriates me. Do I need to tell you how many of the 88 other films awarded Best Picture had LGBTQ themes?!

OK...kind of got off track from the WGA, but that's ok. NEXT.

NYFCC Awards Ceremony

The New York Film Critics Circle had their awards ceremony the other night and I have a few takeaways. There are a couple of pictures floating around of Saoirse Ronan and Timothee Chalamet with their awards, and the reaction to the pics on Twitter has made something pretty clear to me.

There are two camps out there in regard to Best Actor/Actress. The ones who support a Ronan/Chalamet win or a Frances McDormand/Gary Oldman win. At least two camps in the vocal majority. I thought Ronan was utterly fantastic, but the longer I am distanced from "Lady Bird" the less I am impressed by it. The scene in which I believe Ronan has her Oscar moment, a one sided attack against her mother in the kitchen of their home, is also my least favorite bit of direction in the film. It's a definite miss with blocking and tone. In my humble opinion.

So far I think McDormand gives the best performance of the year. Although, if I was voting, I might vote for Sally Hawkins. Terrible. I know. But some Academy members think that way as well. Oldman v/s Chalamet is a conversation for another time.

Also, apparently Tiffany Haddish gave a hilarious 20 minute speech which was all over social media. And considering today is the day Oscar nomination voting begins, that is a good thing.

Instead of going heavily into ACE Eddie (Editing for the lay people) and Art Directors Guild nominations, I will say this. There are 3 films that got a definite boost.

"Baby Driver" is certainly in the race for Best Editing. It must be. Sure, "Dunkirk" might take it. Heck...the more I think about it, I think "Dunkirk" might take Best Picture-Drama at the Globes on Sunday night. But "Baby Driver" is getting a bit of buzz right now. I'm even going to predict a PGA nom. We shall see!!

"I, Tonya"
With a WGA nomination and an ACE Eddie nom, "I, Tonya" is certainly in the race. Probably not PGA nom material, but what I had read as waning support for the film was incorrect. It has legs. The critics weren't quite on its side when it was officially released, but that may not matter.

Watch out for "Logan." Talk about legs in the awards race. "Logan" gets in at WGA and an Art Directors Guild nomination. I am THIS CLOSE to predicting it for the PGA. But I'm a bit chicken.

OK...let's get to my PGA predictions. I don't really like predicting this sort of thing, but I'm going to do it anyway.

Get Out
Lady Bird
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Florida Project
The Post
Call Me By Your Name
Baby Driver
The Big Sick

Possible spoilers:
Wonder Woman
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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