Thursday, February 15, 2018

27 Days of Oscar, Day 10: Finishing up the Spirit Award noms (First Feature, Supporting Male/Female); a brief look at BP

Hello readers! It may seem as if I have been on some sort of hiatus the past few days, but that isn't the case. I've been furiously attempting to watch as many of the films nominated for the Film Independent Spirit Awards as well as completing my piece on Queer Cinema for Awards Daily.

As soon as AD publishes the piece I will make sure to share it with you. In the meantime, head over to GQ and read the profile on Timothee Chalamet. It's more than likely the only piece you'll read this season longer than mine!  As often happens, my essay evolved from what I had originally intended, but I was able to explore something very important to me, obsession and the movies.

For the Spirits, I still need to watch "Beatriz at Dinner" along with "Life and Nothing More" and then I can vote tomorrow.

I'm so glad that I decided to watch both "Ingrid Goes West" and "Pattie Cake$" because now I can vote on Best First Feature. All 5 films really inspired me to know that a first outing can be a great one. First off, let me say that "Patti Cake$" was great. Everyone is wonderful, particularly Patti herself, Danielle Macdonald and Bridget Everett as Barb. That last song/scene was so good! How was that not nominated for Best Original Song!'s a really tight category. It's so sad that the "story" behind Fox Searchlight's Sundance purchase of the film, the marketing and the box office "failure" completely overshadowed the film. I'm so very glad that it got this nomination.

Did I talk about "Ingrid Goes West" yet? I don't think so...Well, I can tell you this. That scene in the beginning when she is scrolling through Instagram with tears of insanity running down her face...well...I get it. Just this morning I was saying a little prayer to separate my phone from my hand. We live in a world today where one like on a post or a text from someone can trigger a fantasy world in our heads. At least in my head. It's not real. And people who live in cyber worlds alone aren't real either. And "Ingrid" nails that. In a funny, scary and touching way.

Figuring out which of the films nominated for Best First Feature is really difficult. My favorite is "Oh Lucy!" I found it to be absolutely brilliant. It more than likely would've cracked my Top 20 had I seen it in time.

Film Independent's membership is broad. They (we!) might go with "Ingrid Goes West." Although it was one of the last ones I watched, I'm guessing the majority of members watched it first. Last year's winner was "The Witch." Did they award it because it was the film that made the biggest box office splash? Not sure.


Ingrid Goes West
Oh Lucy!
Patti Cake$

Will win: Ingrid Goes West
Should win: Oh Lucy!
Spoiler...hmmm...probably Patti Cake$

Yesterday I also watched "Crown Heights" the story of Colin Warner, who served 20+ years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Lakeith Stanfield ("Get Out," "Atlanta") is great as Colin, aging 20 years on screen.  Nnamdi Asomugha is up for Supporting Male. Honestly, I don't quite understand this nomination. He was fine, but to not nominate Michael Stuhlbarg. It's odd. And up against the other 4 nominees he looks very out of place.

The Spirits don't always award those also nominated for Oscars. Last year Casey Affleck did win, despite past sexual harassment allegations (he certainly wouldn't win this year) but he gave what I consider last year's best performance. Isabelle Huppert won for lead despite being up against Oscar nominees Ruth Negga and Natalie Portman.

It could really go many ways. I want to say it will be Armie, but I think it's my love for the film blinding me. I think it will be either Barry Keoghan or Sam Rockwell. With Benny Safdie and Armie Hammer on the edge. Sorry Nnamdi.


Nnamdi Asomugha, Crown Heights
Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Benny Safdie, Good Time

Will win: (THIS IS HARD!) Barry Keoghan, The Killing of a Sacred Deer
Should win: Armie Hammer
SPOILER: Sam Rockwell, Benny Safdie

For supporting female it's really a two way race, yet again. I think Holly Hunter is great in "The Big Sick." Lois Smith is good in "Marjorie Prime," but I honestly hated the film. Taliah Lennice Webster is good in "Good Time," but it's almost a forgettable performance next to Benny Safdie and Robert Pattinson, not to mention our frontrunners, Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney. 

I will say this...I do love that the Spirits nominated smaller performances. The only time the Oscars nominate a "small" performance is when it's Judi Dench or Jack Palance, and they obviously can win as well.

I'm going with Metcalf.


Holly Hunter, The Big Sick
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Lois Smith, Marjorie Prime
Taliah Lennice Webster, Good Time

Will win: Laurie Metcalf
Should win: Hmmm...this is a tough one. I'm honestly not over the moon with any of these performances. Probably Holly Hunter
Spoiler: Allison Janney or Lois Smith

Next up will be my piece on the Foreign Film race. I hope to get that over to Ryan at AD by the end of day tomorrow, so don't expect another 27 Days piece until Saturday.

I luckily have a great jumping off point thanks to "On Body and Soul" director Ildiko Enyedi. In that conversation she said something quite profound to me. "We don't accept each other...or like each other." I was so struck by this that I wrote it down even though I was recording the chat. That's a theme in all 5 nominated films and something I can't wait to explore.

On Saturday, it's Oscar time. I'm so very glad that I joined Film Independent and was able to break out of my Oscar comfort zone. It will certainly make March 3rd's show even more exciting, but it's time to get down to business. It's also been nice to somewhat avoid the inevitable, predicting what will win. If you look at Best Picture alone, there seems to be a case for 6 films! Remember when it was 4?

I need to keep in mind that my initial feelings on Best Picture are generally right. Back in October it seemed as if it was between "The Shape of Water" or "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri."

Now, there is a case for "Get Out" (I was on that bandwagon at one point), "Dunkirk" (the most "likeable" of the bunch, it now seems), "Lady Bird" (this one was the likeable one, now it's the one directed by a woman...jeez...these sort of labels are why I sometimes hate Phase 2!), even "Call Me By Your Name" (finally! You know I think this is the best film of the year.) I know that "Three Billboards" is missing a director nomination, but it will probably win the BAFTA awards on Sunday, unless the tides have truly shifted to "The Shape of Water."

Anyway, predictions are going to be all over the place this year. And that's fine.

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