Shazam!- Movie Review

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Shazam! isn’t just the best movie to come out of the troubled DCEU, but a truly great throwback to what superhero movies are all about. In an era where comic book movies top the box office and media attention, it’s easy to remember that these movies don’t necessarily need to be taken deathly seriously, and Shazam! works entirely due to its simplicity; it’s a movie about what it actually means to be a hero, and instills these very elemental qualities through a really heartwarming story about a kid searching for a family. Sure, there’s action and bad guys, but the message itself is something that’s often lost in other comic book movies, and the film lifts it’s story from Big to create a really fun and often hilarious origin story.

Billy Batson (Asher Angel) is an on the run foster child who has run from nearly every instilled family in search of his mother, and reluctantly joins a new foster home alongside his enthusiastic new roommate Freddy (Jack Dylan Grazer), a superhero expert. As he struggles with accepting this new home, Billy is unexpectedly united with a mysterious wizard (Dijmon Hounsou) who transforms him into a superhero (Zachary Levi). The rules and backstory here are perfectly simple; we understand how the powers work fairly early on, and the film both establishes why Billy was chosen to get this power and what he must do to earn that responsibility.

What’s great about Shazam! is that it does so much with its concept; being a superhero is the ultimate wish fulfillment for any kid (especially a foster kid), and the film mines some great comedy over what Billy does with his newfound powers and discovers what he can do. It’s great fun learning how Billy becomes a superhero; he already has the powers, but seeing him grow into this role perfectly mirrors how Billy grows into his new family. The core message behind both developments are simply, but that’s exactly what the film is going for, and it doesn’t hurt to be corny- it’s impressive that the film is so self aware without being smug.

Levi is clearly having a blast, and while there’s a lot of just inherent goofiness to the premise, its never a cartoon. Each joke has a clear set up and payoff, and the script does a great job at tying all of the humor into natural places in the story, and not just bouncing random jokes off the walls. Angel and Grazer are also really phenomenal here; while the entire foster family is the heart of the movie, it’s the relationship between Billy and Freddy that draws out some of the best moments.

The film is keen to construct a villain who is a clear opposite to Billy; he shares many of his qualities, but makes different decisions. Mark Strong revels in the goofiness of the role, but there are moments when it feels a little too silly, even for what the film is going for. I appreciate the film’s more scary and darker elements (which feel reminiscent of many ’80s kid films, like The Goonies or Gremlins), but a lot of the action leaves something to be desired; the best action in the film occurs when there are character stakes, including a really fun third act and a great scene early on with Billy saving people for the first time.

Shazam! is a truly wonderful film that hearkens back to a different conception of what superhero movies should be, and while it pays tribute to what came before it both within and outside the superhero genre, it’s not full of obvious references and is able to become its own thing. It’s a nice, silly adventure that has real emotional stakes, yet doesn’t ever take itself too seriously, playing a nice sincere hand encoded in a great deal of humor. Grade: B+

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Long Shot- Movie Review

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Long Shot is a really great and welcome surprise; here is a studio comedy that aims for the wit and optimism of The West Wing wrapped in the heart of a classic “lovers under fire” story. The strength of the film is its ability to touch on a variety of issues, from the nature of personal lives in politics, journalistic integrity, and compromise, but its anchored in the wonderful chemistry between Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen. The two bring a ton of vulnerability to the role, and the film is more or less putting together different situations in which they can interact.

Fred Flarky (Seth Rogen) is a recently unemployed journalist who quits his job when the newspaper he works for is sold to the corrupt media mogul Parker Wembley (Andy Serkis). Searching for a new opportunity, Flarsky is reunited with his childhood crush Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), the Secretary of State who is planning a Presidential run and seeking the endorsement of the current President Chambers (Bob Odenkirk). Field hires Flarsky as her speechwriter, and sparks fly as their passions are tested by their respective responsibilities.

While there are certainly elements of national and international politics that are simplified for the sake of the film, there is a genuinely fascinating story here. Field is tested not only by media scrutiny and the President as she scrambles to get his endorsement, but by her own ability to compromise; on the other hand, Flarsky is an idealistic journalist with a definite sense of right and wrong, and has never had to compromise for anything. It’s a great moral dynamic, and despite some easy gags the film has a great sense of how to mirror current events in a comedic way.

It also works because of the sincerity of the performances; there’s a fairly standard romantic comedy formula used here, from the frantic moments of passion to the “all is lost” moments, but the film is able to present these moments without irony, which is appreciated. To his credit, Rogen is able to play Flarsky as bumbling, but not incompetent, and is surprisingly convincing as a strong willed journalist, and Theron perfectly captures the struggle of trying to do good work under the media spotlight. The childhood link between the characters, which could have come off as unbearably cheesy, is actually the perfect thematic bridge, as Flarsky always remembers Field as a passionate and morally upright leader.

Despite what certain elements of the marketing may suggest, there’s actually not a lot of raunchiness or zaniness here, so when the film’s crazier scenes kick in they feel all the more shocking; one drug-fueled party and its aftermath is one of the film’s most cleverly staged and edited sequences, and the most outrageous sex comedy towards the end is not only integral to the plot, but also to the thematic core. It’s sort of remarkable that the film is able to able to play it straight so much; there’s a lot of predictable moments that work because they’re so damn charming.

I’d also be silly not to mention the outstanding supporting cast, which is filled with a great number of actors who come in and own their screen time. Bob Odenkirk is having a blast as the President of the United States (a former television actor who plans to break into movies), and his moral limpness and general incompetence make a great foil for Theron. I was also a huge fan of O’Shea Jackson Jr., who plays Seth Rogen’s best friend. Jackson appears in all the right moments to push Rogen’s character towards a big moment or decision, and their confrontation towards the end is a the exact sort of boldly clever moments that you just don’t see in movies like these.

From its brilliant opening scene (that I wouldn’t dare spoil) to its cutesy credit tag, Long Shot is a delightful collection of biting satire, amusing pop culture references, and great performances that make for a modern take on a classic story. I think I was most charmed by the optimism; its a film with big ideas, and while it doesn’t seek to fix all the issues of the world, it does challenge us to think about them and believe that we could do better if we thought about things differently. Grade: B+

The Dirt- Movie Review

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The Dirt is a modestly successful attempt at cashing in on the musician biopic craze, and considering the fact that many biopics like this follow a fairly standard formula, The Dirt makes a lot of the right choices when it comes to what elements of the story are being used. There’s nothing other than the typical “rise, fall, and reinvention” that a band biopic would normally feature, but we’re treated to enough fourth wall breaking, humor, and general debauchery in the first half that the hard-hitting reality of the second half is more effective. Interestingly enough, the film does seem more interested in telling the stories of the individual band members than just regurgitating concert footage, a choice that drives home the film’s best aspect- at the end of the day, I feel like I know these guys better and believe their brotherhood onscreen.

The film follows the formation of the group Motley Crue, starting with Nikki Sixx (Douglas Booth) in his early childhood with his abusive mother through to his early days touring in L.A. as he meets Tommy Lee (Colson Baker). The group eventually recruits guitarist Mick Mars (Iwan Rheon) and vocalist Vince Neil (Daniel Webber), and begin on a life of partying, sex, and drugs as Motley Crue becomes a worldwide phenomenon. As the years go by, the group’s behavior comes back to haunt them as their lifestyle takes a tole on each of their own personal lives and relationships. Sure, it’s not a particularly innovative take, but the idea of a group of friends reuniting as they fight personal demons works exactly for what this film is going for.

It also works because the film is fairly balanced when it comes to each point of view being told, and the actors definitely sell the bond that these characters have. Of the four, I was most impressed by Douglas Booth as Sixx; despite a background in British period pieces, Booth is completely believable as a drug-fueled rockstar, and his scenes dealing with his shattered familial relationships are genuinely moving. Booth is able to capture the image of a broken rebel who always had something to prove, and took out his anger on himself as he struggles with heroin addiction.

Baker’s performance is slightly uneven; he’s playing Tommy Lee with the sincerity of a “Timothee Chalamet in an A24 movie” sort of charm. While this is effective in showing how his relatively stable home life put him in contrast with the rest of the band, the character’s evolution for earnest up and comer to hardcore rocker is somewhat strained at points, although the rougher emotional scenes are still effective as we see Lee’s arc come into focus.

Daniel Webber is a solid Vince Neil, and while the character comes off as a cartoon in the earlier scenes, the character’s hard drop off (which includes a vehicular manslaughter charge and the death of a child) is well handled, with Webber bringing a lot of vulnerability to the role. If there’s a weak link, it’s the characterization of Mick Mars; while Rheon’s performance is terrific, Mars is unfortunately saddled with giving a lot of one-liners and not too many emotional moments, and his story line of dealing with a bone disorder never quite hits the dramatic heights that the other characters do.

In general, the film borrows some of the basic Scorsese-isms (fourth wall breaking, walk and talk, voice-overs) in a way that sets up the story efficiently and effectively, although the “this isn’t what really happened” disclaimers made by certain characters talking directly to the audience are often unintentionally hilarious when considering that the entire movie is most likely an exaggerated version of actual events. Still, it gives the film personality and links us deeper with the characters- we feel like they’re talking directly to us and bringing us into their world.

If anything, the harder shift to more dramatic material feels like the right shift for what the film is going for, as each band member is forced to deal with the fallout of their actions. Perhaps the hard comedy early on, which includes all sorts of genuinely shocking elements, would feel out of place if it was present throughout, but marking a clear tonal line as the band hits rock bottom is a bold enough choice. It feels as if the stories of therapy and rehabilitation are here because the story should be told, and not just to reap dramatic potential.

The Dirt has a lot going for it, and when you look past some of the cheesy moments, convenient framing devices, crass gags, and occasional sentimentality, it’s a nice movie that takes us through the wild ride of Motley Crue’s career. The great performances make for an engaging portrayal of how band-mates become a family over time, so when Nikki Sixx says “all I want is my brother back,” it feels like something of substance. Grade: B

 

Triple Frontier- Movie Review

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Triple Frontier is a very taught, suspenseful high concept action thriller that benefits from the superb direction of J.C. Chandor, the underrated auteur behind A Most Violent Year and Margin Call. While nothing about the plot here screams subversive or original, Chandor maintains an intensity throughout both in the literal sense of whether the characters will escape alive, and by testing the character’s morally as they threaten to betray the honor codes they seemingly are bound by. It’s morally grey for the most part, which makes it inherently more interesting, but also just a great old fashioned suspense thriller with some truly riveting set pieces.

After gaining information about a high level target while executing a military operation in Colombia, “Santiago” (Oscar Isaac) puts together plans to rob a cartel with a rag tag group of operatives. He comes across his Special Forces allies, all of which work everyday jobs- “Redfly” (Ben Affleck) sells apartments, “Catfish” (Pedro Pascal) has been banned from commercial piloting, “Ironhead” (Charlie Hunnam) is a motivational speaker, and Ironhead’s brother Ben (Garret Hedlund) is an MMA fighter. The team assembles for a risky operation outside of the law that will test their morals as the heist goes south and they are forced to improvise.

Undoubtable, the film does a good job at presenting legitimate grievances from these veterans as they see that their life’s work has not seemed to pay off- screenwriter Mark Boal, who excelled in writing military dialogue with The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty makes the dialogue feel smart and snappy.  While there are surely unbelievable elements, it’s intersting to see how the ends don’t really justify the means as the mission is set back by countless setbacks, and the film is keen to test our perception of the characters as they make compromising decisions. We’re rooting for them nonetheless, and the film’s ending is the perfect ambiguous note to end the film on.

To match that, Chandor really knocks the set pieces out of the park, with an absolutely thrilling heist sequences early on that has our characters reassessing their plans and thinking on their feet every second of the way. Heist films usually grow less intersting after the main heist, but here the film morphs into something different overtime; at one point it’s a grim survival thriller in the wilderness that takes visual cues from Apocalypse Now, and the third act escape sequence is just edge of your seat stuff.

Affleck and Isaac have the most to do, and it’s neat that the film’s two biggest characters (and biggest names) are the most morally objectionable characters- Isaac in his misguided ideas about the operation from the beginning, and Affleck as his more brutal and self-serving side is brought out by the mission. Pascal, Hunnam, and Hedlund all take turns playing the moral center (though none feel 100% clean), and Hedlund and Hunnam’s brotherly dynamic worked as a added layer. The chemistry within the ensemble is terrific; there’s an implied history between all of them that is never clearly stated or laid out, but we understand purely due to the actors’ performances.

With Triple Frontier you have a unabashedly cool and entertaining heist thriller that pits great actors through danger after disadvantage at every turn, and it’s simply never dull. Perhaps the more exciting visceral elements that Chandor creates come into conflict with any sort of legitimate commentary that the film may be going for, but it’s such an engaging watch that those issues seem to dissipate. Grade: B+

Captain Marvel- Movie Review

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Captain Marvel is a largely fine, mostly charming, and fairly standard entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe; don’t expect a wholly unique experience on the level of Thor: Ragnarok, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, or the Guardians of the Galaxy films, but for all intensive purposes its what we’ve come to expect (and enjoy) from the folks at Marvel. The best aspects here are the kookier, weirder elements that feel drawn from ’90s sci-fi, and some of the plot developments that are genuinely inventive.

In the far reaches of space, the Starforce conducts military and intelligence operations to protect the universe from enemies. Vers (Brie Larson), one of the Starforce’s top commandos, goes on a mission to thwart the Skrull aliens with her mentor Yon-Rogg (Jude Law), but things go sideways and she’s contained to the remote planet of Earth, where she befriends S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and discovers she had another life as the pilot Carol Danvers.

I like Brie Larson’s performance a lot here, but there does seem to be some inconsistencies when it comes to her characterization; the role will shift between her as a confident commander and more “fish out of water” elements, and the overall character arc of Vers learning to accept emotion does feel fairly surface level. The sense of self discovery is occasionally palpable, and while the film’s pacing does come to a screeching halt when the characters stop to reconnect with a friend of Carol’s, the moments between Larson and a young girl whom she befriends are genuinely touching.

Samuel L. Jackson is actually really great here, and this film’s portrayal of a younger, slightly more idealistic Nick Fury is fun, and gives Jackson something to do rather than relying on his iconic mannerisms. Of all the side performances, the best is from Ben Mendelsohn as a Kree commander searching for Vers; though Mendelsohn has cornered the market on playing gruff villains, this performance is genuinely fun and weird (with some great makeup), and the developments with his character and what he represents for Vers’s journey of self-discovery are very effective.

I’d say the first half of the film works better than the second- the latter half of the film is more traditional CGI action set pieces, but the setup of the first half gives us some really satisfying set pieces. All of the sequences near the beginning with Vers’s mission in space feel lifted straight out of a classic serial, and the sneaking around, military mystery aspects once she gets to Earth are rather exciting and fresh- it’s cool to see these sci-fi elements exist in a ’90s nostalgia piece. The sequence in which Vers and Fury sneak around an earlier version of S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters is really fun because its relying on our character’s wit and intelligence, and not too laced in CGI.

So ultimately Captain Marvel is a mixed bag- I think some of the one liners aren’t necessarily as strong as previous films , and it runs the risk of fostering ties a little too closely with the other films in the universe- this may have benefited from something along the lines of Guardians of the Galaxy or Black Panther that separate themselves for the most part. That being said, it’s a really fun ride- there’s lots of good characters (and a great cat) who’s adventures are worthwhile, as well as some Blockbuster nostalgia to spare. Grade: B-

2019 Academy Awards: Predicting the Winners

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In two weeks, the 2019 Academy Awards will air. These are my final predictions and picks for this year’s awards.

 

Best Picture

Will Win: Roma

Should Win: The Favourite

Could Win: Green Book

Snubbed: First Reformed

 

Best Director

Will Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Should Win: Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War

Could Win: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Snubbed: Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

 

Best Actor

Will Win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Should Win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: Christian Bale, Vice

Snubbed: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

 

Best Actress

Will Win: Glenn Close, The Wife

Should Win: Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Could Win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Snubbed: Toni Collette, Hereditary

 

Best Supporting Actor

Will Win: Mahershela Ali, Green Book

Should Win: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Could Win: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Snubbed: Jesse Plemons, Game Night

 

Best Supporting Actress

Will Win: Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Should Win: Emma Stone, The Favourite

Could Win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Snubbed: Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace

 

Best Original Screenplay

Will Win: The Favourite 

Should Win: First Reformed

Could Win: Green Book

Snubbed: Blindspotting

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Will Win: BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Could Win: A Star is Born

Snubbed: Wildlife

 

Best Cinematography 

Will Win: Roma

Should Win: Roma

Could Win: Cold War

Snubbed: The Rider

 

Best Editing

Will Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Should Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: The Favourite

Snubbed: American Animals

 

Best Original Score

Will Win: BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Could Win: If Beale Street Could Talk

Snubbed: First Man

 

Best Original Song

Will Win: “Shallow,” A Star is Born

Should Win: “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Could Win: “All the Stars,” Black Panther

Snubbed: “Ashes,” Deadpool 2

 

Best Visual Effects

Will Win: Ready Player One

Should Win: Avengers: Infinity War

Could Win: Avengers: Infinity War

Snubbed: Annihilation

 

Best Sound Effects Editing

Will Win: First Man

Should Win: A Quiet Place

Could Win: Roma

Snubbed: Mission: Impossible- Fallout

 

Best Sound Effects Mixing

Will Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Should Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: A Star is Born

Snubbed: Bad Times at the El Royale

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Will Win: Vice

Should Win: Vice

Could Win: Mary Queen of Scots

Snubbed: At Eternity’s Gate

 

Best Costume Design

Will Win: The Favourite

Should Win: The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Could Win: Black Panther

Snubbed: Bad Times at the El Royale

 

Best Production Design

Will Win: The Favourite

Should Win: The Favourite

Could Win: First Man

Snubbed: Solo: A Star Wars Story

 

Best Animated Feature

Will Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Should Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Could Win: Incredibles 2

Snubbed: N/A

 

Best Documentary Feature

Will Win: Free Solo

Should Win: N/A

Could Win: Minding the Gap

Snubbed: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

 

Best Foreign Language Film

Will Win: Roma

Should Win: Cold War

Could Win: Cold War

Snubbed: N/A

 

Cold War- Movie Review

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Cold War is one of the best movies about romance that I’ve ever seen- more so than dealing with either of the key players in the couple, this is a film that reality and justification of a life long connection throughout a tumultuous history. Drawing from the true masters of the craft (with a noted influence of Casablanca and the works of Shakerspeare), director Pawel Pawlikowski delivers a series of vignettes that capture a lifetime, and Pawlikowski’s ending tribute to his parents in the credits suggests this couldn’t be anything other than personal. As for the black and white, I’d say few color films are as vivid or striking, and few epics capture the scope and emotion that Pawlikowski does in a mere 88 minutes.

Set across a fifteen year span that begins in the late 1940s, Cold War follows Wiktor Warski (Tomasz Kot), a composer who falls deeply in love with Zula Lichon, a peasant girl who becomes a singer in a local theater group. As Poland become thrust under communist rule and the theater group is wrapped into a propaganda machine, Wiktor and Zula are set on intersecting paths as they struggle for creative freedom and a life together in the wake of political turmoil in Europe.

The steady, often silent Wiktor and the bubbly, expressive Zula make for an instantly iconic screen duo; perhaps if the script focused on them more individually it would feel more gimmicky, but we’re enraptured in their chemistry early on and aren’t able to let go. Telling a story over fifteen years is challenging, and instead of long moments of longing, we’re drawn into the events that separate them and bring them back together. It’s fleeting moments of happiness and conflict, and when the film risks being too simple it challenges the perception of what this relationship really could be- highlighted by a pitch perfect ending.

To say the film is gorgeous is an understatement; the use of black and white does more than capture the old fashioned feel, giving the look a rich visual texture that is even more evident when matched with the creative and often untraditional framing. Movement is rare, but even with their starkly different personalities, Wiktor and Zula are able to capture the attention of a frame, even if they’re peeking in the corner. The use of light and staging is the type that will stay with viewers for quite some time; we’re so easily drawn into this world, yet we’re also very much intended to just observe it- much like our leads.

The relatively short runtime leaves no fluff or extraneous details, and each location and action is only here as a backdrop to the tumultuous relationship. The transitions between years are deliberately sharp, and while the film often serves as a representation of the horrors of communism, its ultimately about the passage of time, in all its beauty and ugliness. There’s not a frame out of place here or a wasted moment, so for those willing to indulge (and read- this is subtitled from Poland!), its a masterpiece of the medium. Grade: A+

2019 Academy Awards Predictions

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With a little over a week until this year’s Academy Award nominations are set to be revealed, I have compiled my predictions for this year’s nominees. Here are my predictions for the 2019 Academy Awards in eight of the key categories.

 

Best Picture:

1. A Star is Born

2. Roma

3. BlacKkKlansman

4. Green Book

5. The Favourite

6. Vice

7. Black Panther

8. Bohemian Rhapsody

9. If Beale Street Could Talk

If there’s ten:

10. Crazy Rich Asians

Possibilities:

11. Mary Poppins Returns

12. A Quiet Place

13. First Man

14. Eighth Grade

15. First Reformed

16. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

17. Cold War

18. The Wife

19. Beautiful Boy

20. Widows

 

Best Director:

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

3. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

4. Peter Farrelly, Green Book

5. Adam McKay, Vice

Possibilities:

6. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

7. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

8. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther

9. Damian Chazelle, First Man

10. Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns

 

Best Actor:

1. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

2. Christian Bale, Vice

3. Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

4. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

5. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman

Possibilities:

6. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

7. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

8. John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie

9. Steve Coogan, Stan & Ollie

10. Ryan Gosling, First Man

 

Best Actress:

1. Glenn Close, The Wife

2. Olivia Colman, The Favourite

3. Lady GaGa, A Star is Born

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

5. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

7. Viola Davis, Widows

8. Toni Collette, Hereditary

9. Rosamund Pike, A Private War

10. Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

 

Best Supporting Actor:

1. Mahershela Ali, Green Book

2. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

3. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

4. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

5. Sam Elliot, A Star is Born

Possibilities:

6. Sam Rockwell, Vice

7. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

8. Brian Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk

9. Jonathan Pryce, The Wife

10. Steve Carrell, Vice

 

Best Supporting Actress:

1. Amy Adams, Vice

2. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

5. Claire Foy, First Man

Possibilities:

6. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots

7. Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place

8. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

9. Linda Cardellini, Green Book

10. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians

 

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite

2. Roma

3. Green Book

4. Vice

5. Eighth Grade

Possibilites:

6. First Reformed

7. A Quiet Place

8. Bohemian Rhapsody

9. Cold War

10. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

 

Best Adapted Screenplay:

1. BlacKkKlansman

2. If Beale Street Could Talk

3. A Star is Born

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me?

5. Black Panther

Possibilities:

6. First Man

7. Crazy Rich Asians

8. The Death of Stalin

9. Leave No Trace

10. Beautiful Boy

 

2019 Academy Awards- My Personal Picks

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We’re only a few weeks away from this year’s Academy Award nominations, and while I will soon be providing my predictions, I have put together my personal picks for what deserves to be nominated this year. These are not my predictions, but rather what I think deserves nominations this year in nineteen of the major categories.

 

Best Picture

First Reformed

The Favourite

Bohemian Rhapsody

You Were Never Really Here

First Man

Mission: Impossible- Fallout

Roma

Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Vice

If Beale Street Could Talk 

 

Best Director

Lynne Ramsay, You Were Never Really Here

Paul Schrader, First Reformed

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Christopher McQuarrie, Mission: Impossible- Fallout

 

Best Actor

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Christian Bale, Vice

John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers

Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun

 

Best Actress

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Toni Collette, Hereditary

Charlize Theron, Tully

Glenn Close, The Wife

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

 

Best Supporting Actor

Jesse Plemons, Game Night

Tim Blake Nelson, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alex Wolff, Hereditary

 

Best Supporting Actress

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Cynthia Ervino, Bad Times at the El Royale

Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace

Elizabeth Debicki, Widows

Kayli Carter, Private Life

 

Best Original Screenplay

First Reformed

Green Book

Game Night

Vice

The Favourite

 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Wildlife

If Beale Street Could Talk

BlacKkKlansman

The Death of Stalin

The Front Runner

 

Best Editing

First Reformed

You Were Never Really Here

Mission: Impossible- Fallout

American Animals

Game Night

 

Best Cinematography

Roma

You Were Never Really Here

Mission: Impossible- Fallout

Wildlife

The Rider

 

Best Original Song

“When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings,” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

“Ashes,” Deadpool 2

“Shallow,” A Star is Born

“Trip a Little Light Fantastic,” Mary Poppins Returns

“Revelation,” Boy Erased

 

Best Original Score

You Were Never Really Here

First Man

Mary Queen of Scots

If Beale Street Could Talk

Paddington 2

 

Best Visual Effects

Avengers: Infinity War

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Ready Player One

Aquaman

Annihilation

 

Best Sound Effects Mixing

Bohemian Rhapsody

Mission: Impossible- Fallout

American Animals

A Quiet Place

Mary Poppins Returns

 

Best Sound Effects Editing

Bohemian Rhapsody

Mission: Impossible- Fallout

American Animals

A Quiet Place

Blindspotting

 

Best Production Design

First Man

A Quiet Place

Mary Poppins Returns

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Game Night

 

Best Costume Design

Mary Poppins Returns

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bad Times at the El Royale

The Favourite

At Eternity’s Gate

 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Vice

Bohemian Rhapsody

The Favourite

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

At Eternity’s Gate

 

Best Animated Feature

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Isle of Dogs

Incredibles 2

 

 

2019 Golden Globes Predictions

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This Sunday, the Golden Globes telecast will air and reveal this year’s winners. Below are my predictions for the film awards, as well as my personal picks to win and some snubs from the nomination list.

 

Best Motion Picture- Drama

Will Win: A Star is Born

Should Win: Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: BlacKkKlansman

Snubbed: First Reformed

 

Best Motion Picture- Comedy/Musical

Will Win: Green Book

Should Win: The Favourite

Could Win: Vice

Snubbed: Paddington 2

 

Best Director- Motion Picture

Will Win: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Could Win: Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

Snubbed: Lynne Ramsey, You Were Never Really Here

 

Best Actor in a Motion Picture- Drama

Will Win: Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born

Should Win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Snubbed: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

 

Best Actress in a Motion Picture- Drama

Will Win: Lady GaGa, A Star is Born

Should Win: Glenn Close, The Wife

Could Win: Glenn Close, The Wife

Snubbed: Toni Collette, Hereditary

 

Best Actor in a Motion Picture- Comedy/Musical

Will Win: Christian Bale, Vice

Should Win: Christian Bale, Vice

Could Win: Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Snubbed: Steve Buscemi, The Death of Stalin

 

Best Actress in a Motion Picture- Comedy/Musical

Will Win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Should Win: Charlize Theron, Tully

Could Win: Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Snubbed: Kathryn Hahn, Private Life

 

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Will Win: Mahershela Ali, Green Book

Should Win: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Could Win: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Snubbed: Jesse Plemmons, Game Night

 

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Will Win: Amy Adams, Vice

Should Win: Emma Stone, The Favourite

Could Win: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Snubbed: Cynthia Ervino, Bad Times at the El Royale

 

Best Screenplay- Motion Picture

Will Win: The Favourite

Should Win: The Favourite

Could Win: Green Book

Snubbed: First Reformed

 

Best Original Score- Motion Picture

Will Win: First Man

Should Win: First Man

Could Win: Black Panther

Snubbed: You Were Never Really Here

 

Best Original Song- Motion Picture

Will Win: “Shallow,” A Star is Born

Should Win: “Shallow,” A Star is Born

Could Win: “All the Stars,” Black Panther

Snubbed: “When a Cowboy Trades his Spurs for Wings,” The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

 

Best Animated Feature Film

Will Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Should Win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Could Win: Incredibles 2

 

Best Foreign Language Film

Will Win: Roma

Should Win: Roma

Could Win: Literally nothing else, but I suppose Capernaum has the best shot.