Friday, February 2, 2018

Quick thoughts on Loveless, Call Me By Your Name producer Peter Spears, and predicting the DGA Awards

Last night I continued the process of watching the Oscar nominated foreign language films by watching "Loveless," Russia's entry directed by Andrey Zvyagintsev and starring Maryana Spivak, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, and Aleksey Rozin.

The IMDB summary is this: "A couple going through a divorce must team up to find their son who has disappeared during one of their bitter arguments." I might even alter it to say, "The most unlikeable, miserable couple in film history...."

Although it took a bit to adjust to these characters and the laborious unfolding of action, eventually I was on board and riveted. As I say every year, I am so glad that I cover this category extensively for Awards Daily because I am always surprised by what I see.  I also have to say, with one film left to see "On Body and Soul," I understand why other movies didn't make the top 5.

More on this in the coming weeks as I interview more directors and put together my FF piece.

Later today I will be interviewing Peter Spears, one of the producers of "Call Me By Your Name." I am really thrilled that I'll have the opportunity to speak to this openly gay actor, writer, producer. One of the main focuses of this Queer Cinema piece that I'm working on for Awards Daily is the affect LGBTQ films had on me over the years, hopefully opening up readers to think and discuss the subject as well. I am very much looking forward to asking Peter which films influenced him and why he chose this particular material to produce.

I also look forward to asking him to help me explain to my straight friends why I have felt the need to watch the film multiple, multiple times, both at home and on the big screen, as well as ready the book on which the film is based...twice.

**Let's take a look at the DGA which will announce tomorrow (I earlier thought it was today). I believe the dinner starts at 6:00PM CST.

There are always shifts in this thing called the Oscar race, and tonight we could have an earthquake.

Some of these happen early, for example, Timothee Chalamet literally won everything in the early phase of things...and continues to win, here and there...but the one two punch of the Golden Globes and the Critics Choice awards sealed that deal for Gary Oldman.

A few years ago, something similar happened as "The Social Network" was overtaken by "The King's Speech." Last year, the shift was incredibly last minute. After surviving the PGA preferential ballot, "La La Land" lost the big prize to "Moonlight."

And then there are years where it was always a certain film, we just couldn't see it. Or some of us couldn't see it, that is. For example the year "Spotlight" won Best Picture and many of us thought it was going to be "The Revenant." Mostly because we got swayed by noise and fatigue. A few weeks ago I predicted this exact thing right before "The Shape of Water" won the PGA. I could very well be wrong. Sasha Stone at Awards Daily is quite adamant that "Lady Bird" will win. That being said Sasha has been sure before and correctly changed her mind at the last minute. So, we shall see. She has a better track record on Best Picture than I do, that's for sure.

So...what could happen tonight? I think it really can only be one of two things. Guillermo del Toro wins for "The Shape of Water" or Greta Gerwig wins for "Lady Bird." Sure...I would love for the DGA to award Jordan Peele or Christopher Nolan, but I can't see that happening. Perhaps they will give Peele the first time director prize. That would make the most sense.

But even as I think about what I think SHOULD win I find myself wanting to award del Toro over Peele and Nolan even though "Get Out" and "Dunkirk" were my 2nd and 4th favorite films of the year. And as much as I would love for a woman to win, I can't award Gerwig when the film didn't make my Top 20.

So...I guess this is what I think:
Feature Film Director:
Should win: Jordan Peele
Will win: Guillermo del Toro (although that little voice is telling me it will be Gerwig!)

First-Time Feature Film Director:
Should win, Will win: Jordan Peele

If you want to check out the full list of noms, it's below.



Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

del Toro’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: J. Miles Dale
Production Manager: Dennis Chapman
First Assistant Director: Pierre Henry
Second Assistant Director: Tyler Delben

Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”

Gerwig’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Lila Yacoub, Danielle Blumstein, Jamin O’Brien (New York Crew)
First Assistant Directors: Jonas Spaccarotelli, Cedric Vara (New York Crew)
Second Assistant Director: Brendan Lee, Dana Zolli (New York Crew)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Lillian Awa, Teri Barber

Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

McDonagh’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Bergen Swanson
Assistant Unit Production Manager: Peggy Robinson
First Assistant Director: Peter Kohn
Second Assistant Director: Paula Case
Second Second Assistant Director: Spencer Taylor

Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
(Warner Bros.)

Nolan’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: David Witz, Christine Raspillere (France Unit), Chris Brock (UK Unit), Nicky Tüske (Netherlands Unit)
First Assistant Directors: Nilo Otero, William Pruss (France Unit), Willem Quarles van Ufford (Netherlands Unit)
Second Assistant Director: Eric Lasko, Nicolas Baldino (France Unit), Alexis Chelli (France Unit), Clément Comet (France Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Alina Gatti

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
(Universal Pictures)

Peele’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Marcei A. Brown, Rick A. Osako (Fairhope Unit)
First Assistant Director: Gerard DiNardi
Second Assistant Directors: Ram Paul Silbey, Marc Newland (Fairhope Unit), Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Maggie Ballard
Location Manager: Kurt Enger (New York Unit)


Geremy Jasper, “Patti Cake$”
(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Jasper’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Sara Blechman
First Assistant Director: Inna Braude
Second Assistant Director: Natasha Rivera
Second Second Assistant Director: Lucas Isabella
Additional Second Second Assistant Director: Alice Johnson

William Oldroyd, “Lady Macbeth”
(Roadside Attractions)

Oldroyd’s Directorial Team:
Production Manager: Robert K. Harm
Unit Manager: Eugene Galbrath
First Assistant Director: George Every
Second Assistant Director: Richard Stanley Jan Harris

Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
(Universal Pictures)

Peele’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Marcei A. Brown, Rick A. Osako (Fairhope Unit)
First Assistant Director: Gerard DiNardi
Second Assistant Directors: Ram Paul Silbey, Marc Newland (Fairhope Unit), Jack McKenna (New York Unit)
Second Second Assistant Director: Maggie Ballard
Location Manager: Kurt Enger (New York Unit)Taylor Sheridan, “Wind River”

(Acacia Entertainment)

Sheridan’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Manager: Christopher H. Warner
First Assistant Director: Nicholas Harvard
Second Assistant Director: Jason Altieri
Second Second Assistant Director: Kristina Massie

Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”
(STX Entertainment)

Sorkin’s Directorial Team:
Unit Production Managers: Lyn Lucibello-Brancatella, Stuart M. Besser, Michael Beugg (Los Angeles Unit)
Assistant Unit Production Manager: Bart Lipton (Los Angeles Unit)
First Assistant Director: Walter Gasparovic
Second Assistant Directors: Penny Charter, Travis Rehwaldt (New York Unit), Paula Case (Los Angeles Unit)
Second Second Assistant Directors: Conor Griff (New York Unit), Drew Ritson (New York Unit), Bryan Snodgrass (Los Angeles Unit)
Location Manager: Dena Ghieth (New York Unit)

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