Oscar Nominations!

la-la-land-3
La La Land

In the early morning hours of Tuesday, January 24, 2017, Hollywood woke up at the ungodly hour of 5:18 am to find out who the chosen were.  Over the course of the following 10 minutes, the 89th Academy Award nominations were announced by Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, Jennifer Hudson, Brie Larson, Emmanuel Lubezki, Jason Reitman, and Ken Watanabe.

Unsurprisingly, La La Land stole the show by garnering a whopping total of 14 nominations, tying for the most nominations for a single film in Academy history.  Titanic and All About Eve are the only other films to have 14 nominations.  Land received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Ryan Gosling), Best Actress (Emma Stone), Best Director (Damien Chazelle), and Best Original Screenplay (Damien Chazelle).  The film received multiple technical nominations including two for Best Song (“City of Stars” and “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)”).

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Moonlight

Arrival and Moonlight each received eight nominations including Best Picture and Best Director (Denis Villeneuve and Barry Jenkins, respectively).  In a surprise turn, Amy Adams did not receive a sixth nomination for her role in Arrival. Adams has received rave reviews for her role as a linguistics professor interoperating the language of aliens. Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris both received nominations in the supporting actor/actress categories for their work in Moonlight.

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Lion

Manchester by the Sea, Hacksaw Ridge, and Lion each received six nominations.  In a surprising turn, Mel Gibson was nominated for Best Director of Hacksaw Ridge.  Gibson previously received two Oscars for Best Director and Best Picture for his work on Braveheart.  Judging by his legal and personal problems over the past 12 years, I honestly believed that Gibson would be left off of this list; after all, the Oscars are not objective.  However, it seems like this is Hollywood’s way of saying, “We forgive you.”

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Hell or High Water

he Best Picture category was rounded out by Fences, Hell or High Water, and Hidden FiguresFences picked up nominations for Denzel Washington as Best Actor and Viola Davis as Best Supporting Actress, and front runner for the award.  Water and Figures was also nominated in the supporting actor/actress categories for the work of Jeff Bridges and Octavia Spencer.

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Ruth Negga in Loving

For the first time in two years, minorities were included among the acting and directing nominees: seven actors/actresses and one director.  These include Denzel Washington for Fences (Best Actor), Ruth Negga for Loving (Best Actress), Mahershala Ali for Moonlight (Best Supporting Actor), Dev Patel for Lion (Best Supporting Actor), and Barry Jenkins for Moonlight (Best Director). Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures) all received nominations in the supporting actress category, making it the first time ever that an acting category has more than two black actors/actresses.

Finally, I have a little Easter Egg for you all.  Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame received his first Oscar nomination for writing the song “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana. Yay!

Any surprises or snubs you want to talk about?  Write to us on Twitter or Facebook.

The Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air on Sunday, February 26.

-Ariadne Ansbro

Best Picture

Arrival
Fences
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea 

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences 

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
Dev Patel, Lion
Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

13th

Best Documentary Feature

Fire at Sea
I Am Not Your Negro
Life Animated
O.J.: Made in America
13th 

villeneuve-arrival
Denis Villeneuve directing Arrival

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

fences
Fences

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival, Eric Heisserer
Fences, August Wilson
Hidden Figures, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Lion, Luke Davis
Moonlight, Barry Jenkins with story by Tarell Alvin McCranley

lobster
The Lobster

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan
La La Land, Damien Chazelle
The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
Manchester by the Sea,
Kenneth Lonergan
20th Century Women
, Mike Mills

toni-erdmann
Toni Erdmann

Best Foreign Language Film

Land of Mine
A Man Called Ove
The Salesman
Tanna
Toni Erdmann

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Jackie

Best Original Score

Jackie
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Passengers

 

moana
Moana

Best Original Song

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” La La Land
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

 

silence
Silence

Best Cinematography

Arrival
La La Land
Lion
Moonlight
Silence 

hail
Hail, Caesar!

Best Production Design

Arrival
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Hail, Caesar!
La La Land
Passengers 

suicide-squad
Suicide Squad

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

A Man Called Ove
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

allied-2
Allied

Best Costume Design

Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Florence Foster Jenkins
Jackie
La La Land  

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
The Jungle Book
Kubo and the Two Strings
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

deepwater-horizon
Deepwater Horizon

Best Sound Editing

Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Sully

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Hacksaw Ridge

Best Sound Mixing

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Best Documentary Short

Extremis
4.1 Miles
Joe’s Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets

Best Live Action Short

Ennemis Intérieurs
La Femme et le TGV
Silent Nights
Sing
Timecode

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Zootopia

Best Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

hell
Hell or High Water

Best Film Editing

Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Moonlight

Best Animated Short

Blind Vaysha
Borrowed Time
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Pearl
Piper

 

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And the nominees are…: Our predictions

It’s almost here.  We are a one day away from the announcement of the 89th Academy Award nominees.  I have analyzed the data and predicted which films will receive nominations in five categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress.

Best Picture

Arrival

La La Land

Moonlight

Manchester by the Sea

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

Lion

Due to the loose constraints regarding the number of nominees in the category, it is very difficult to guess the number of nominees.  Since changing the rules to state that the number of nominated films is between five and ten, the Academy has generally gone with nine nominees.  La La Land, Moonlight, Manchester by the Sea, and Arrival are guaranteed to be nominated.  The others are a little more flexible.  Fences received nominations for a Screen Actors Guild Award (SAG) for Best Ensemble Cast, a Producers Guild Award (PGA), and an American Film Institute Award (AFI) as one of the 10 best films of the year.  Where it faltered was with the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.  While the two leads are almost assured nominations, the film itself may be thought of as too much like a filmed play.  Hacksaw Ridge has surprised many with its momentum going into the Oscar nominations.  No one was more surprised than me when Mel Gibson was nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes.  I think that the film could overcome Gibson’s transgressions; however, I highly doubt that he will receive a nomination for Best Director. Hell or High Water was released back in August, which could be a handicap to the film.  Generally, films that open prior to September are forgotten when Awards Season rolls around.  Water has surprised me by receiving nominations at the Golden Globes, the PGA, and AFI, so it may win over Academy voters. Lion and Hidden Figures fall into the well-acted-true-story category.  These films are generally Oscar bait.  I fully expect nominations in the acting categories for Lion and potentially Figures, but their position on this list has not been solidified.

 

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

Since the film came out, Manchester by the Sea has received Oscar buzz.  The performance given by Casey Affleck is considered to be the best of his career and he has racked up the awards and nominations to prove it (look for him to win a SAG this weekend).  It is a foregone conclusion that he will end up with a second Oscar nomination.  Ryan Gosling will also hear his name called on Tuesday morning for his role as the love struck jazz pianist in La La Land.  After all, the film will probably be the most nominated film of the year.  Andrew Garfield is poised to receive his first nomination for his role in Hacksaw Ridge.  He has been nominated for a Golden Globe, SAG, and BAFTA thus far, so I am pretty sure he will be on this list.  The surprise of the award season is the performance of Viggo Mortensen in Captain FantasticFantastic was an independent film that came out back in July.  It flew well below the radar before the Golden Globes, but now everyone seems to feel the love.  The only person I am somewhat concerned about on this list is Denzel Washington.  He is the only one on the list who did not receive a BAFTA nomination.  I believe that this was an oversight, as Washington’s performance in Fences is one his best.  This is a true complement to the man who played Malcolm X, Alonzo Harris, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, Private Trip, and Steve Biko.  While most years I get three to four of the nominations correct, I am almost positive that the list above is the complete list of this year’s Best Actor nominees.

Best Actress

Amy Adams, Arrival

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Adams, Portman, and Stone are all shoo-ins in this category.  If one of them doesn’t get a nomination, I fully expect to choke on my breakfast tomorrow.  The last two places are not as definite.  Everyone loves Meryl Streep.  She is the greatest actress of her generation, and possibly the greatest actress of all time.  However, I am always wary come Oscar time that she will not receive a nomination, because she I think people can feel a little Streeped out.  If nominated for Florence Foster Jenkins it will be her 20th acting nomination, far surpassing Katherine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson who each have only 14 nominations.  I ultimately included her because she has received many nominations for this role, and, let’s face it, Oscar loves her.  The final spot is a tough one to call.  There have been so many incredible performances by women this year.  Ruth Negga in Loving, Isabelle Huppert in Elle, Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train, and Annette Bening in 20th Century Women are the ones that come to mind.  Negga received a Golden Globe nomination, and she is playing a real-life person who changed our country’s civil rights laws.  Huppert won the Golden Globe for playing a rape victim who is determined to take her life back.  Blunt brings to life the boozy, self-destructive “heroine” of last year’s best selling fiction book. She received nominations for a SAG and a BAFTA. Bening plays a single mother trying to connect with her teenage son, and she received a Golden Globe nomination for her efforts.  These amazing performances make this a really tight race for that final slot.  Ultimately, I went with Bening.  She is ripe for another Oscar nomination.  However, look out for Blunt as the dark horse.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Dev Patel, Lion

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Ali and Patel have consistently received accolades and nominations for their work in Moonlight and Lion, respectively.  They are assured to be among the Oscar nominees.  Bridges is the one actor from Water to receive multiple nominations from the various pre-Oscar awards.  That leaves two spots.  I honestly feel that Grant will receive his first nomination for his work in Jenkins.  However, he was nominated for Best Actor at the Golden Globes and Best Supporting Actor at the SAGs.  This is where it can get sticky.  I ended up in the same place last year with Alicia Vikander and her role in The Danish Girl.  She was consistently nominated for Best Actress, but come Oscar time she was Best Supporting Actress.  Since the Screen Actors Guild put him in as Best Supporting Actor, I will follow their lead and say he will end up in the supporting category.  Taylor-Johnson surprisingly won a Golden Globe for his work in Nocturnal Animals, but then he was forgotten by the SAGs.  Not to mention, there are several other actors who have received nominations from the other voting bodies.  Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins) received a nomination for a Golden Globe and Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea) was nominated for a SAG.  Ultimately, I think that Taylor-Johnson will fill out the category.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Again, I get angry when the studios try to game the system by having leading actors/actresses nominated for supporting actor/actress in order to win an award.  Viola Davis won a Tony for her work in Fences as Best Leading Actress in a Play, not supporting.  However, the studio feels that for Davis to win, she will need to be in the supporting category.  Harris, Kidman, and Williams have all been part of the five nominees at the Globes, SAGs, and BAFTAs.  The only question here is Spencer.  She received a Globe and SAG nomination, but not a BAFTA.  That spot went to Hayley Squires for I, Daniel Blake.  Since Blake has not received any award buzz here in the U.S., I would say that Spencer will finish out the category.

What about you guys?  Do you think there will be something else nominated?  Let us know on Facebook and Twitter.  The Oscar nominations will be announced tomorrow, January 24, at 8:18 am ET/5:18 am PT.

-Ariadne Ansbro

BAFTA Nominations!

 

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La La Land

Hello, my award show junkies!  The season of nominations continues with the announcement of the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Film Award nominations.  Once again La La Land has secured the most nominations with a total of 11.  The nominations include Best Film, Best Leading Actor (Ryan Gosling), Best Leading Actress (Emma Stone), Best Original Screenplay (Damien Chazelle), and the David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction (Damien Chazelle). With all of the BAFTA nominations and the fact that the film picked up a nomination for the Producers Guild Awards, I would say that La La Land has solidified its place as the front-runner to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

 

arrive
Arrival

In a surprising turn, Arrival picked up nine nominations including: Best Film, Best Leading Actress (Amy Adams), Best Adapted Screenplay (Eric Heisserer), and the David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction (Denis Villeneuve).  Considering the film received only two nominations for the Golden Globes (Best Actress, Drama for Amy Adams and Best Original Score), this strong showing at the BAFTAs will boost its chances of scoring a Best Picture nomination come January 24.

Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight were also nominated for Best Film.  Both films also picked up nominations for several members of their cast.  Golden Globe winner Casey Affleck received a Best Leading Actor nomination, and Michelle Williams received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for their roles in Manchester.  Mahershala Ali and Naomie Harris both picked up nominations for Best Supporting Actor and Actress, respectively, for their work in Moonlight.

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I, Daniel Blake

The real surprise in the Best Film category was the inclusion of I, Daniel Blake.  Never heard of it?  That is not surprising.  It opened in a limited release here in the US on December 23, without much fanfare.  Blake tells the story of a carpenter who goes on welfare after an injury.  While circumnavigating the British welfare system, he meets a single mother in a similar situation.  The film received nominations for Best Film, Outstanding British Film of the Year, Best Supporting Actress (Hayley Squires), Best Original Screenplay (Paul Laverty), and the David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction (Ken Loach).

There were actually several surprises at the BAFTAs this year.  Jake Gyllenhaal received a nomination for Best Leading Actor for his role in Nocturnal Animals.  While the film has been getting much award hype, it is usually for Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s supporting and Tom Ford’s direction (both received nominations).  Emily Blunt received her second BAFTA nomination for her role in the film adaptation of the best-selling book The Girl on the Train.  Blunt received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for this role, as well.  This could make her a dark horse in the Best Actress category for the Oscars.  Denzel Washington did not receive a nomination for his role in Fences, while his screen counterpart, Viola Davis, did.  I was also surprised not to see Octavia Spencer receive a nomination for Hidden Figures. She has been called the standout performance in a strong film.

What surprised you?  Is there anyone that you cannot believe wasn’t nominated?  Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

-Ariadne Ansbro

Full list of nominees below:

ali-moonlight
Moonlight

Best Film

Arrival

I, Daniel Blake

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

Fantastic.jpg
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Outstanding British Film

American Honey

Denial

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

I, Daniel Blake

Notes on Blindness

Under the Shadow

mortensen
Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic

Best Leading Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

blunt
Emily Blunt in The Girl on the Train

Best Leading Actress

Amy Adams, Arrival

Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Natalie Portman, Jackie

 

ffj
Hugh Grant and Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Dev Patel, Lion

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

 

williams

Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Hayley Squires, I, Daniel Blake

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

 

ford

Tom Ford directing Nocturnal Animals

David Lean Award for Achievement in Direction

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Ken Loach, I, Daniel Blake

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

 

hell
Hell or High Water

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan

I, Daniel Blake, Paul Laverty

La La Land, Damien Chazelle

Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan

Moonlight, Barry Jenkins

 

hidden
Hidden Figures

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival, Eric Heisserer

Hacksaw Ridge, Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight

Hidden Figures, Theodore Melfi and Allison Schroeder

Lion, Luke Davies

Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford

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Nocturnal Animals

Best Cinematography

Arrival

Hell or High Water

La La Land

Lion

Nocturnal Animals

 

 

hacksaw-ridge
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Editing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

Nocturnal Animals

 

hail
Hail, Caesar!

Best Production Design

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land

Nocturnal Animals

 

allied-2
Allied

Best Costume Design

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land

 

jackie
Jackie

Best Original Music

Arrival

Jackie

La La Land

Lion

Nocturnal Animals

dr-strange
Doctor Strange

Best Make Up/Hair

Doctor Strange

Florence Foster Jenkins

Hacksaw Ridge

Nocturnal Animals

Rogue One

 

deepwater-horizon
Deepwater Horizon

Best Sound

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

 

rogue-one
Rogue One

Best Special Visual Effects

Arrival

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Jungle Book

Rogue One

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Julieta

Best Film not in the English Language

Dheepan

Julieta

Mustang

Son of Saul

Toni Erdmann

zootopia
Zootopia

Best Animated Feature Film

Finding Dory

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

Zootopia

 

weiner
Weiner

Best Documentary

13th

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years

The Eagle Huntress

Notes on Blindness

Weiner

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Ruth Negga

EE Rising Star Award

Laia Costa

Lucas Hedges

Tom Holland

Ruth Negga

Anya Taylor-Joy

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Notes on Blindness

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

The Girl with All the Gifts

The Hard Stop

Notes on Blindness

The Pass

Under the Shadow

 

Best Short Animation

The Alan Dimension

A Love Story

Tough

 

Best Short Film

Home

Mouth of Hell

The Party

Standby

 

La La Land Sweeps the Globes!

 

emma-and-ryan-globes
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling celebrate La La Land‘s sweep

Last night Hollywood royalty came out to see who the Hollywood Foreign Press has dubbed as the best of movies and television in the past year.  One film stood out: La La Land. Perhaps the writing was on the wall at the beginning of the show when host Jimmy Fallon parodied several musical sequences from the film with participation from a variety of nominated actors.  Quick shout out to the kids from Stranger Things.  Damn, Eleven can rap!

La La Land reined supreme, winning in every category where it scored a nomination including Best Picture, Musical or Comedy, Best Director (Damien Chazelle), Best Actress, Musical or Comedy (Emma Stone), and Best Actor, Musical or Comedy (Ryan Gosling).  Ultimately, the film won seven globes, more than any other film in the award show’s history.  This honor was previously held by 1975’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and 1978’s Midnight Express, both of which won six Globes.

 

moonlight-globes
Cast and Crew of Moonlight

The other major winner of the night was Moonlight.  The coming of age story won Best Picture, Drama.  While the film was nominated for a total of six globes, this was its only win of the night. Moonlight beat out Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, and front-runner Manchester by the Sea.

Manchester by the Sea did not go home without getting some validation.  Casey Affleck, sporting a serious hermit beard, won the award for Best Actor, Drama.  Affleck has won several critics awards for his role, however, this is the first major award Affleck has won.  Affleck has all but guaranteed himself a second Oscar nomination.

After five nominations in the last eight years, Viola Davis finally took home gold.  Davis won Best Supporting Actress for her role as the long suffering wife, Rose, in Fences.  Davis and fellow nominee Denzel Washington both took home Tonys for their roles in the stage version of the film.  My Spidey Senses tell me that Davis may be the front-runner for the Supporting Actress Oscar this year.  Fingers crossed!

The surprise winners of the night were Isabelle Huppert and Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Huppert won Best Actress, Drama for her role as a revenge driven rape victim in Elle, which also took home the award for Best Foreign Language Film. Taylor-Johnson won Best Supporting Actor for his role as the leader of a violent group of men terrorizing a young couple in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals.

atlanta-globes
Cast and Crew of Atlanta

The television category was full of surprises as well.  Freshman series The Crown and Atlanta took home awards for Best Television Series, Drama and Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy, respectively.  The leads from both of these shows also won in the acting categories with Claire Foy winning Best Actress in a Television Series, Drama for The Crown and Donald Glover winning Best Actor in a Television Series, Musical or Comedy.

While it was no surprise  The People vs. OJ Simpson won for Best Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television and Best Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Sarah Paulson), both Courtney B. Vance and Sterling K. Brown did not win for their portrayals of attorneys Johnnie Cochran and Christopher Darden, respectively.  Both lost to actors from the AMC mini-series The Night ManagerThe Night Manager actually won awards for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (Tom Hiddleston), Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television (Hugh Laurie), and Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television (Olivia Colman).

streep-globes
Meryl Streep accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award

However, the most talked about moment from the Golden Globes comes from the grand dame of acting, Meryl Streep.  While Streep did not win a competitive Globe last night (she lost to Emma Stone), she was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award, which was presented to her by Viola Davis.  Streep gave a stirring speech that both honored her peers and stayed true to herself.  Streep called out President-Elect Donald Trump for his cruel mockery of disabled New York Times reported Serge Kovaleski, saying that it “broke my heart”. She continued by saying, “This instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform, it filters down into everybody’s life because it gives permission for other people to do the same. Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence, and when the powerful use their position to bully others, we all lose.” An eloquent statement from an eloquent actress.

-Ariadne Ansbro

The full list of winners is below:

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water

Lion
Manchester by the Sea
WINNER Moonlight

 

la-la-land-globes
Cast and Crew of La La Land

Best Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
20th Century Women
Deadpool

Florence Foster Jenkins
WINNER La La Land
Sing Street

huppert-globes
Isabelle Huppert

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Amy Adams, Arrival
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
WINNER Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

stone-globes
Emma Stone

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
WINNER Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

affleck-globes
Casey Affleck

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
WINNER
 Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

taylor-johnson-globes
Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
WINNER Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

davis-globes
Viola Davis

Best Performance by Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
WINNER
 Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

chazelle-globes
Damien Chazelle

Best Director, Motion Picture
WINNER
 Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

gosling-globes
Ryan Gosling

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
Colin Farrell, The Lobster
WINNER Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill, War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
WINNER
 La La Land
Nocturnal Animals

Moonlight
Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water

hurwitz-globes
Justin Hurwitz, composer of La La Land

Original Score, Motion Picture
Moonlight
WINNER La La Land
Arrival
Lion
Hidden Figures

Best Motion Picture, Animated
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana

My Life as a Zucchini
Sing
WINNER Zootopia

Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
WINNER “City of Stars,” La La Land
“Faith,” Sing
“Gold,” Gold
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

elle-globes
Isabelle Huppert and Paul Verhoeven (direcor of Elle)

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
Divines
WINNER Elle
Neruda
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

Best Television Series, Drama
WINNER
 The Crown
Game of Thrones

Stranger Things
This Is Us
Westworld

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
WINNER 
Atlanta
Blackish

Mozart in the Jungle
Transparent
Veep

 

people-v-oj-globes
Cast and Crew of The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
American Crime
The Dresser

The Night Manager
The Night Of
WINNER The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

thornton-globes
Billy Bob Thornton

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
WINNER Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath

 

glover-globes
Donald Glover

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
WINNER Donald Glover, Atlanta
Nick Nolte, Graves
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

hiddleston-globes
Tom Hiddleston

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
WINNER Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
John Turturro, The Night Of

laurie-globes
Hugh Laurie

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
WINNER Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
John Lithgow, The Crown
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
John Travolta, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

foy-globes
Claire Foy

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
WINNER Claire Foy, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Americans
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
WINNER
 Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld

paulson-globes
Sarah Paulson

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
WINNER Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story
Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

ross-globes
Tracee Ellis Ross

Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
Issa Rae, Insecure
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
WINNER Tracee Ellis Ross, Blackish

Cecil B. DeMille Award: Meryl Streep

2017 Golden Globe Nominations Announced!

globes

Welcome back, my award season enthusiasts!  The 2017 Award Season officially commenced this morning at 8:15 am with the announcement of the Golden Globe Award Nominations.  While these awards are decided by the Hollywood Foreign Press, whose members do not overlap with any Oscar voting body, they are always a good indication of what movies we need to see in order to make an informed statement at our local bar on Oscar night.

la-la-land
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land

Damien Chazelle’s modern-day musical La La Land was the most nominated film this year with a total of seven nominations, including Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy, Best Actress, Musical or Comedy (Emma Stone), Best Actor, Musical or Comedy (Ryan Gosling), and Best Director (Chazelle).  This was a big weekend for Land, as last night it won Best Picture at the Critics’ Choice Awards.  Keep your eye on this one, kids.  Something tells me this is going to be the one to beat this year.  (I may or may not be listening to the soundtrack as I write this article.)

ali-moonlight
Mahershala Ali and Alex R. Hibbert in Moonlight

The indie film Moonlight made an impressive showing by picking up six nominations.  The coming of age story of a young man trying to find his place in the world while navigating the rough streets of Miami garnered nominations for Best Motion Picture, Drama, Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture (Mahershala Ali), and Best Director (Barry Jenkins).

fences
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis in Fences

Several other films we were all expecting to hear announced, and did not disappoint, were Manchester by the Sea, Lion, and FencesManchester was nominated for five Globes including, Best Motion Picture, Drama, Best Actor, Drama (Casey Affleck), Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Michelle Williams), and Best Director (Kenneth Lonergan).  Dev Patel’s performance in Lion has long been touted as one of the best of the year.  The hype seems to be accurate, considering Patel was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.  The film itself was also nominated for Best Picture, Drama, and Nicole Kidman picked up her 11th Globe nomination in the supporting actress category.  Denzel Washington’s adaptation of August Wilson’s Fences gave him a nomination for Best Actor, Drama, and Viola Davis a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture.  These same actors won Tony’s for playing the same roles on Broadway in 2010.

this-is-us
This is Us

On the Television side of things, new shows Westworld and This is Us both were nominated for three awards each.  The shows were both nominated as well as actresses Evan Rachel Wood and Thandie Newton for Westworld, and Mandy Moore and Chrissy Metz for This is Us. 

A few tried and true shows were also nominated, including Game of Thrones, Veep, Transparent, and BlackishThrones, Veep, and Transparent all received two nominations, while Blackish picked up three nominations.

people-v-oj
Sarah Paulsen and Sterling K. Hayden in The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

However, the most interesting categories on the television side of the awards are for made-for-TV movies or mini-series ones.  The very compelling and brilliantly acted The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story received five nominations, making it the most nominated program in the television categories.  Simpson was nominated for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, Best Actor (Courtney B. Vance), Best Actress (Sarah Paulson), and Best Supporting Actor (Sterling K. Brown and John Travolta).

night-of
John Turturro and Riz Ahmed in The Night Of

I personally feel the need to mention the nominations that were received for the criminally underrated The Night Of.  The mini-series picked up nominations for Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, and two nominations in the Best Actor category: one for Riz Ahmed’s performance as a wrongfully-accused (or was he?) murderer, and one for John Turturro as Ahmed’s psoriasis affected, sleazy attorney.

The Golden Globes, hosted by Jimmy Fallon, will be announced on January 8, 2017 on NBC.

-Ariadne Ansbro

Full list of nominees below:

hacksaw-ridge
Hacksaw Ridge

Best Motion Picture, Drama
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight

affleck-manchester
Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama
Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
Joel Edgerton, Loving
Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington, Fences

portman-jackie
Natalie Portman in Jackie

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama
Amy Adams, Arrival
Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert, Elle
Ruth Negga, Loving
Natalie Portman, Jackie

sing-street
Sing Street

Best Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
20th Century Women
Deadpool
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

reynolds-deadpool
Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical, or Comedy
Colin Farrell, The Lobster
Ryan Gosling, La La Land
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill, War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool

bening-20th-century-women
Annette Bening in 20th Century Women

Best Performance By an Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy
Annette Bening, 20th Century Women
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply
Hailee Steinfeld, The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone, La La Land
Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

patel-lion
Dev Patel in Lion

Best Performance By an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg, Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel, Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

spencer-hidden-figures
Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures

Best Performance by Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Viola Davis, Fences
Naomie Harris, Moonlight
Nicole Kidman, Lion
Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

nocturnal-animals
Nocturnal Animals

Best Director, Motion Picture
Damien Chazelle, La La Land
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

hell-or-high-water
Hell or High Water

Best Screenplay, Motion Picture
La La Land
Nocturnal Animals
Moonlight
Manchester by the Sea
Hell or High Water

arrival
Arrival

Original Score, Motion Picture
Moonlight
La La Land
Arrival
Lion
Hidden Figures

sing
Sing

Best Motion Picture, Animated
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
Sing
Zootopia

moana
Moana

Best Original Song, Motion Picture
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
“City of Stars,” La La Land
“Faith,” Sing
“Gold,” Gold
“How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

elle
Elle

Best Motion Picture, Foreign Language
Divines
Elle
Neruda
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

stranger-things
Stranger Things

Best Television Series, Drama
The Crown
Game of Thrones
Stranger Things
This Is Us
Westworld

foy-the-crown
Claire Foy in The Crown

Best Performance by an Actress in a TV Series, Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Keri Russell, The Americans
Winona Ryder, Stranger Things
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

rhys-the-americans
Matthew Rhys in The Americans

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Drama
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Billy Bob Thornton, Goliath

veep
Veep

Best Television Series, Musical or Comedy
Atlanta
Blackish
Mozart in the Jungle
Transparent
Veep

bloom-crazy-ex
Rachel Bloom in Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Best Performance By an Actress in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Sarah Jessica Parker, Divorce
Issa Rae, Insecure
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Tracee Ellis Ross, Blackish

glover-atlanta
Donald Glover in Atlanta

Best Performance By an Actor in a Television Series, Musical, or Comedy
Anthony Anderson, Blackish
Gael Garcia Bernal, Mozart in the Jungle
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Nick Nolte, Graves
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

night-manager
The Night Manager

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
American Crime
The Dresser
The Night Manager
The Night Of
The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story

 

washington-confirmation

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Riley Keough, The Girlfriend Experience
Sarah Paulson, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
Charlotte Rampling, London Spy
Kerry Washington, Confirmation

cranston-all-the-way
Bryan Cranston in All the Way

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Bryan Cranston, All the Way
Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager
Courtney B. Vance, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
John Turturro, The Night Of

slater-mr-robot
Christian Slater in Mr. Robot

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Sterling K. Brown, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story
Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager
John Lithgow, The Crown
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
John Travolta, The People v. O.J.: American Crime Story

newton-westworld
Thandie Newton in Westworld

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Olivia Colman, The Night Manager
Lena Headey, Game of Thrones
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Mandy Moore, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld

 

Are you kidding?!?: The Worst Oscar Snubs of All Time

The Academy Awards winners are soon to be announced and the controversy continues over this year’s various snubs, omissions and general shortsightedness over what constitutes a truly great film, great direction, or great performance. When you look back at various lists of Greatest Films in cinema history, it’s shocking to discover that some of cinema’s greats, not only didn’t win an Oscar, but were not even nominated, Vertigo, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Singin’ in the Rain, considered by some to be some of the best in their respective genres didn’t make the list of nominees. It makes you wonder which of today’s non-nominated movies with be tomorrow’s great films.

So without further ado, here are John David and Ari’s top ten most shocking Oscar omissions over the past 88 years.

John David West’s List

1. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

SinginInTheRain3Considered by many as the greatest movie musical that cinema has produced and, after recently watching this 1952 classic in the theater, it’s no surprise that AFI ranks it as the #5 Greatest American Film in their 2007 list. It holds up beautifully today. Singin’ ranks as the pinnacle of the MGM musicals with all elements in perfect balance including: direction, cinematography, dancing, and acting, and design; its still laugh-out-loud hilarious among today’s cynical audiences. In a year that gave the Oscar to The Greatest Show on Earth and nomination to Ivanhoe, Moulin Rouge, The Quiet Man, and High Noon, the latter a deserving nominee, Singin’ in the Rain received only one nomination, a supporting actress for Jean Hagen. Rather, it should have been a clean sweep with nominations for Director (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen), Cinematography, Editing, Art Direction, Costume Design, Best Picture, Screenplay, and Best Picture.

2. Psycho (1960)

psycho 1Not only a horror, thriller classic, it’s an excellent ground breaking film, one of Hitchcock’s best. Psycho entered the zeitgeist of American culture and change how we view taking a shower. One doesn’t have to see Psycho to be familiar with the infamous shower scene or Bernard Herrmann’s shrieking violins. I may be cheating by slipping in another one, but Anthony Perkins’ performance as the serial killer, with mommy issues, Norman Bates is another notable omission for Best Actor nominee list.

3. Do the Right Thing (1989)

Do the thing 5Still one of the biggest controversial omissions in recent Oscar history and Spike Lee’s career best movie was snubbed in favor of the safer, family friendly Driving Miss Daisy, which won the Best Picture Oscar. Watch Do the Right Thing today, and it’s clear how wrong the Academy was in 1989. Lee, who also failed to receive a Best Director nomination, created a superb film with rhythmic dialogue, sharp wit, cinematography that makes you sweat, and in-your-face score. He captures the racial tensions of 1989 America that are, sadly, relevant today.

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001 Space OdysseyIt’s shocking to know that as one of the greatest directors in the history of cinema, Stanley Kubrick never won an Academy Award. While he was nominated for directing 2001: A Space Odyssey, the sci-fi masterpiece was not nominated for Best Picture. The Academy chose the traditional route, as they so often do, and went with the more accessible Oliver!, Funny Girl, The Lion in Winter, Rachel, Rachel, and Romeo and Juliet.

5. The Third Man (1949)

the-third-man 1The Third Man stands today as one of cinema’s most glorious black and white movies, and Robert Krasker was awarded an Oscar for Best Cinematography. Despite a nomination for director Carol Reed, the film failed to receive a Best Picture nomination. The post World War II thriller was left off the list for Best Picture in favor of Born Yesterday, Father of the Bride, and King Solomon’s Mines. Nominated for 14 Oscars, All About Eve won Best Picture that year.

6. Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo 1Ranked in 2012 as the greatest film ever made, Vertigo knocked Citizen Kane off of the top spot by “Sight & Sound Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time.” Vertigo failed to receive a Best Picture nomination or a Best Director nomination for Alfred Hitchcock. With its emotionally complex themes, dreamy tone, the mystifying Vertigo has proven with time to age well and grow in appreciation among film lovers. With such consistent height praise it’s hard to believe that it was left off of 1958’s Oscar ballot.

7. City of God (2004)

City of God 4City of God wasn’t completely forgotten in 2004, as the Brazilian masterpiece garnered four Oscar nominations including Best Director (Fernando Meirelles), Best Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, and Cinematography, but it was oddly left off of the short list for Best Foreign Language film. Beyond that City of God should have been listed among the five nominees for Best Picture. That year nominees included a couple forgettable movies including Mystic River and Seabiscuit (!) 2004 was a big year for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King with 11 Oscars.

8. Steven Spielberg for directing Jaws (1975)

Jaws 3It’s true, Spielberg was snubbed for the movie that entered the zeitgeist of America and changed how we experience swimming on the beach. But, let me be clear, he shouldn’t have been nominated for making an unforgettable film, or for making the movie that ushered in the Blockbuster, but rather for making a well-crafted film. It’s well acted with strong performances from Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus, and Robert Shaw (who should have been nominated as well), additionally, movies would not be the same today without one of cinemas most recognizable film scores. John Williams took home his second of five Oscars for Jaws.

9. City Lights (1931)

city-lights 1Charles Chaplin may have been considered behind the times when he released his masterpiece City Lights in 1931, after all the “talkies” were the rage and his silent movie was from a fading time. Cimarron won the Best Picture that year, but City Lights remains a timeless classic.

10. Bette Davis, Of Human Bondage (1934)

Bette Davis 1It’s her performance as the cruel waitress in Of Human Bondage that remains as one of Miss Davis’ most unforgettable and deserving Oscar nominations—and the first of many memorable Davis’ lines, “wipe my mouth.” Academy voters somehow didn’t see fit to honor her with the year’s Best Actress Oscar or a nomination, so many outraged members wrote in her name instead of voting among the nominees. That year Claudette Colbert won (along with Best Actor costar Clark Gable) for It Happened One Night. Next year Davis won (a consolation Oscar?) for her work in Dangerous.

11. Humphrey Bogart, The Treasure of the Sierre Madre (1948)

Bogart 4It’s hard to believe that one of cinema’s most beloved actors wasn’t nominated for some of his most iconic performances including The Maltese Falcon and The Big Sleep, but it’s his performance as the down and out American in Mexico who, upon finding gold with his partners, become increasingly paranoid and mistrustful. The Treasure of the Sierre Madre remains one of his best performances. While the film won Oscars for both John Huston as Director and his father Walter Huston for Best Supporting Actor, Bogart was left off the nomination list. Lawrence Olivier took home the trophy that year for work in that year’s Best Picture winner Hamlet. As a consolation prize for his work three years earlier Bogart would later win a Best Actor award for The African Queen in 1951. That year the Oscar should have gone to Marl0n Brando for A Streetcar Named Desire.

Ari Ansbro’s List

1. Best Actor: Tom Hanks, Captain Phillips (2013)

Tom Hanks - Captain Phillips

Most of the entries on this list are for films that were made long before I was born.  Perhaps that is why this one stings so much.  Two years ago, Tom Hanks was primed to get his sixth Academy Award nomination for his portrayal of Captain Richard Phillips, the real-life captain whose cargo ship was taken over by Somali pirates.  Throughout the entire film, Hanks shows both a strength and vulnerability that this man exhibited through the five most frightening days of his life.  This is clearly shown during the final scene of the film in which a wordless Phillips is examined by a Navy doctor.  For this scene alone, Hanks deserved a nomination. Watch it here.  Seriously. I personally feel that the reason for the lack of love for Hanks boiled down to two things: 1.) the feeling that he can play a heroic everyman like a pro, so why give him more accolades for that, and 2.) the Academy was in the process of showing David O. Russell how much they love him by nominating the four main actors in American Hustle for Oscars.  This included Christian Bale, who was not as deserving as Hanks. 

2. Best Actor: Anthony Perkins, Psycho (1960)

Anthony Perkins - PsychoSPOILER ALERT: If you have not seen Psycho do not read skip on to the next entry.  I realize this is a 55 year old movie, but it still has one of the most amazing endings of all time and I would never want to spoil that for anyone.
Anthony Perkins was nominated for one Academy Award in his entire career.  That was for playing the son in a Quaker family who still feels that he must fight in the American Civil War in The Friendly Persuasion.  However, most of you reading that last sentence are amazed that his nomination was for a mostly forgotten movie, and not for his career-defining role as Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho.  Perkins enters the film as a sweet and vulnerable doormat, eager to help the stranded Marion Crane (Janet Leigh, who did receive an Oscar nomination for her role).  He then morphs into an emotionally stunted “Mama’s boy” who needs saving from his wicked mother.   Next he is the accomplice to his mother’s horrific crime.  The audience finds themselves worried for Norman as he sinks Marion’s car (with her body in the trunk) into a swamp behind his house.  When it is finally revealed that Norman’s fractured psyche had been disassociating and becoming “Mother”, the audience is shocked.  We then feel a bit complicit, since we had such sympathy for this young man, caught under his mother’s thumb.  How was this complex interpretation not nominated for an Oscar?  Click here to see what should have been his Oscar clip.

3. Best Actress: Audrey Hepburn, My Fair Lady (1964)

Warner Brothers bought the rights to the hugely popular stage musical My Fair Lady, they signed Rex Harrison to reprise his role as Professor Henry Higgins. Producer Jack Warner was not keen to also cast then unknown Julie Andrews to reprise her role as Eliza Doolittle. Instead, Warner cast Audrey Hepburn. For a woman who made a career of playing well-groomed, alluring characters, this was a departure for Hepburn. Determined to do justice to the part, Hepburn worked tirelessly to learn the songs and sing as best she could. Unfortunately, the studio was unimpressed and had her singing voiced dubbed with that of Marni Nixon. This information was leaked to the press and the movie was slammed for not having cast Andrews, a singer, and instead casting an established star. What is very much forgotten is that Hepburn is excellent in this role. Her transformation from Cockney flower girl to a well-spoken lady is truly spectacular. However, the Academy, in its infinite wisdom, punished Hepburn by not nominating her for this role. To add insult to injury, Julie Andrews was nominated and won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Mary Poppins. See the a clip of the film here.

4. Best Actress: Bette Davis, Of Human Bondage (1934)

Bette Davis - Of HumanBy 1934 Bette Davis had been in dozens of films, but Of Human Bondage is the first one where she commanded the screen.  Playing the truly horrid waitress Mildred Rogers, she is disdainful of a young medical student with a club foot who has fallen in love with her (Leslie Howard).  Davis is truly vile in this role, but her performance also has an undercurrent of vulnerability.  When the Academy Award nominations were announced for 1934, surprisingly, Davis was not listed among the honorees. Voters were so incensed that they wrote her name on the ballot in protest.  Even without being officially nominated, Davis came in third, after Claudette Colbert for It Happened One Night and Norma Shearer for The Barretts of Wimpole Street.  This “scandal” led to the tradition of having the votes secretly counted by PriceWaterhouse Cooper.  The following year, Davis was given a consolation Oscar for her role in Dangerous.  Watch Bette Davis deliver the film’s most memorable line.

5. Best Actor: Cary Grant, His Girl Friday (1940)

Cary Grant - His Girl FridayIt has been said that it is much harder for an actor to play a comedic role than a dramatic one.  Regardless, the Academy consistently overlooks comedic performances when nominating actors and films each year.  A great example of this ridiculous habit is the lack of Oscar love for Cary Grant.  Grant received only two Academy Award nominations in his 30+ year career, which is outrageous.  Grant was a fantastic actor who made it look easy.  Because it looked easy, the Academy assumed it must have been.  One of Grant’s most pitch-perfect performances is as the newspaper editor Walter Burns in Howard Hawkes’ His Girl Friday.  Perfectly teamed with Rosalind Russell, Grant expertly fires off quips and charms his ex-wife (Russell) while trying to save an innocent man from being executed.  Knowing how good both Grant and Russell were at improvisation, Hawks purposely kept their rehearsals to a minimum to encourage improvisation.  It pays off.  Grant is at his best in a role like this.  Too bad the Academy didn’t notice. Click here to see Grant spar with Russell.

6. Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine (2010)

Ryan Gosling - ValentineRyan Gosling and Michelle Williams stared in this depressing story of a married couple whose marriage is falling apart.  The present day portion of the story takes place during one evening, where Williams and Gosling decide if their marriage is worth saving.  This is interspersed with flashbacks to the beginning of the relationship, showing how far they have come and how different they are.  Williams, deservedly, was nominated for her role in this film.  For some reason that I may never understand, Gosling was not.  Gosling perfectly embodies the suave young guy who wants to impress a girl, as well as the aging worn out father trying to save his marriage.  Gosling was passed over in favor of Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Javier Bardem (Biutiful), Jeff Bridges (True Grit), Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), and James Franco (127 Hours).  To me, the weak link in this category was James Franco. Ryan Gosling was much better and more deserving.  Yup, I said it. You can watch the sweetest scene from this movie here.

7. Best Supporting Actor: Robert Walker, Strangers on a Train (1951)

Robert Walker - StrangersStrangers on a Train is the classic story of two men, Bruno Antony (Robert Walker) and Guy Haines (Farley Granger), meeting by chance, and during their initial conversation Bruno suggests that they swap murders.  Bruno will kill Guy’s estranged wife who is refusing to divorce him, and Guy will kill Bruno’s overbearing father so Bruno can inherit his fortune. Even though Guy does not actually agree to anything, Bruno takes it upon himself to murder Guy’s wife.  Robert Walker is so good at playing the sociopath in this film, that it is hard to realize that he ever played a sweet, romantic lead (see The Clock and Since You Went Away).  The sing-song voice that he uses as he taunts Guy with veiled threats, the fact that every calculated move he makes is traps the other characters so completely make for one of the best villains in the annals of film.  How was this man not nominated for this role?  As you can see by now, Alfred Hitchcock’s films were ignored in a huge way by the Academy.  This was partially because he saw the genius of television and started his own show.  The film industry felt, at the time, that television was a lesser medium, and that anyone who worked on TV was obviously not worthy of notice.  Sadly, for Walker, this was his last chance to be nominated for an Academy Award.  He died eight months after the release of the film due to an allergic reaction to medication.   Click here to see Walker lay out his murderous plan.

8. Best Actress: Carole Lombard, To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Carole Lombard - To beCarole Lombard did not start out in Hollywood as a comedienne.  As a matter of fact, she was in Hollywood a full ten years before she was given a comedic role.  Once she had it, she and everyone else knew it was what she was meant to be.  At 33, with her career in need of a jump start, Lombard starred in the very edgy (for the time) Ernst Lubitch film, To Be or Not to Be, costarring Jack Benny.  Lombard plays a stage actress in Warsaw, Poland in early 1938.  She and her husband, Jack Benny, are staring in a play that is satirizing the Nazi regime.  Even though this film was a show piece for Benny, Lombard skillfully brings her earnest comedic skill to the roll of the “straight man”.  Sadly, that year Lombard was not honored with a nomination, as there were other “important” war films to be honored, such as Mrs. Miniver.  She would never have another opportunity to earn a nomination, as she was killed returning home from a war bond promotional tour in a plane crash prior to the film’s release.   Watch Lombard go toe-to-toe with Benny in this scene.  Lombard enters at 3:48.

9. Best Director: Rob Reiner, When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

Reiner - When Harry Met SallyA satisfying romantic comedy can be an elusive thing.  There are many romantic comedies that try too hard and fall too deep into clichés to be satisfying.  When that rare romcom comes along that works on every level, it should be treasured.  When Harry Met Sally… came along in 1989, it immediately became a hit for all of the reasons I mentioned above.  Rob Reiner directed the story of a man and woman who become friends before falling in love.  Even though the film stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, the third star is the city of New York.  Every exterior scene is shot in such a way that it makes New York look like the perfect city to fall in love.  This is an extreme feat considering it was filmed during a time when the city was extremely crime ridden with over 1,000 murders that year.  For all of this, Rob Reiner should have received some recognition by the Academy for directing this world and these people who were so relatable, regardless of their neuroses. Unfortunately, the only nomination the film received was for Nora Ephron’s hilarious script.    Watch the most famous scene from the movie, which was filmed in Katz’s Deli here.

10. Best Picture: Rear Window (1954)

Rear WindowFor most fans of Alfred Hitchcock, the omission of Vertigo by the Academy is blasphemy. I am not one of those fans. For some reason Vertigo rubs me the wrong way. Don’t get me wrong, I have watched it numerous times and even paid to see it at BAM a few years ago, but I fear that the love for it is overhyped. For me, Hitchcock’s Rear Window is the real masterpiece. Filmed on one set, the audience becomes an accomplice of Jimmy Stewart’s wheelchair bound voyeristic protagonist. Whenever we see what is going on outside of the window, it is done specifically from Stewart’s point of view. Did the salesman murder his wife in the middle of the night? We know only as much as Stewart. This is the genius of this film. Hitchcock was, deservedly, nominated for Best Director for his work on this film, (don’t get me started on the fact that he lost, even if it was to Elia Kazan for On the Waterfront) but the film itself was should have been nominated for Best Picture. Period. End of story. See a scene from the film by clicking here.

11. Best Picture: Notorious (1946)

NotoriousAlfred Hitchcock was a true master, not just the master of suspense.  Now, I do realize that on my list alone, there are four entries about how some aspect of an Alfred Hitchcock film was snubbed by the Academy.  However, many of his films from 1938 to 1963 are today considered classics that were not given their due.  Therefore, I close my list with one of the sexiest thrillers to be made during the Hayes Code era, Notorious.  This is the story of the daughter of a Nazi spy who is recruited by, what would eventually become the CIA, to infiltrate a fascist spy ring in South America.  Ingrid Bergman smolders as Alicia, the newly recruited spy.  Her handler is played by an equally tempting Cary Grant.  As you probably guessed, they fall in love, but when Bergman is encouraged to marry their target, played by Claude Raines, their affair comes to an end.  Grant and Bergman continue to work together, creating a suspicious and dangerous Raines.  Everything about this film is spectacular, from the technical to the artistic.  Isn’t that what is supposed to define a Best Picture (and Best Director) nominee?  Hitchcock did his best to get around the Hayes code’s strict edict that no on screen kiss could last longer than two seconds.  Want to see how Hitchcock made a 2:40 second kiss?  Click here.

Golden Globe Nominations: Surprises, Snubs, and Stats

Globes

The Hollywood Foreign Press has spoken!  Yesterday morning, the nominations for the 2016 Golden Globe Awards were announced by Angela Bassett, America Ferrera, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dennis Quaid, Miss Golden Globe Corinne Fox, HFPA president Lorenzo Soria, and Dick Clark Productions EVP Barry Adelman.

Blanchett and Mara - Carol
Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in Carol

Leading the pack with five nominations including Best Motion Picture Drama was Carol, Todd Haynes’s period drama about a housewife and a female store clerk who find themselves undeniably attracted to each other.  Both Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara scored nominations for Lead Actress in a Motion Picture Drama.  This is a departure from the Screen Actors Guild Award nominations that came out on Wednesday, where Blanchett was nominated for Lead Actress and Mara was nominated as a Supporting Actress.  The film’s producers will be pushing to have Mara in the Supporting Actress category when it comes Oscar time, as they want to avoid Blanchett and Mara splitting the vote if they are in the same category.

Similarly, Alicia Vikander received a nomination in the Lead Actress in a Motion Picture Drama category for The Danish Girl.  While she is the lead actress in the film, her performance is being pushed towards the supporting category.  However, she did receive a nomination in the Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture category for her role as an android passing for human in the sci-fi mystery, Ex Machina.  Three other actors have the distinction of getting two nominations this year: Idris Elba, Lily Tomlin, and Mark Rylance.  Elba was nominated for his role as the Commandant in the motion picture Beasts of No Nation, and for his role as the tortured police detective DCI John Luther on television’s “Luther”.  Tomlin, a Golden Globe veteran with six previous nominations, was nominated this year for playing the titular role in the motion picture Grandma, and for her role as the free-spirited recent divorcee in Netflix’s “Grace and Frankie”. Stage veteran Rylance has pretty much cemented his chances of getting an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Soviet spy Rudolf Abel in Steven Speilberg’s Bridge of Spies.  He has also been nominated for playing Thomas Cromwell in the PBS broadcast of Wolf Hall.

The Big Short, a film about four men in the finance world who predicted the housing market collapse of the mid-2000s, came away with four nominations.  The film was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and it garnered nominations for Christian Bale and Steve Carell in the Lead Actor category.

Stallone - Creed
Sylvester Stallone in Creed

One of the biggest surprises was Sylvester Stallone’s nomination for his role as Rocky Balboa in Creed. This is Stallone’s first Golden Globe nomination since 1977 when he was nominated for playing the same character in the film Rocky.  Another surprise was Mark Ruffalo’s Lead Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy nomination for the family dramedy Infinitely Polar Bear.  The general consensus this year has been that if Ruffalo is able to score an Oscar nomination, it will be for the larger and much showier role in Spotlight.

Since the Globes split the categories into Drama and Musical or Comedy, we can always count on them for a few fun nominations.  This year, I would say that goes to the inclusion of Trainwreck and Spy.  Both have been nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category, as well as Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy for Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy, respectively.  This is definitely where you say, “It is an honor just to be nominated.”

Outlander
Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan in “Outlander”

The television nominations prove to have a few surprises, but there are plenty of old standards also represented.  Personally, I have to give a shout out to “Outlander”: OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG, I’M SO EXCITED!!!!  Ok, that’s out of the way.  The Starz series was nominated for Best Television Drama Series, Best Actress in a Television Drama (Caitriona Balfe), and Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television (Tobias Menzies).  The excited fan girl aside, the nomination for Menzies is richly deserved.  Just watch the season finale and you will see exactly what I mean.

A few other surprises are Aziz Ansari’s nomination for the Netflix show “Master of None”, Lady Gaga’s nomination for “American Horror Story: Hotel”, Rachel Bloom’s nomination for the freshman series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”, Rob Lowe’s nomination for the poorly received Fox comedy “The Grinder”, and the nominations for Hulu’s “Casual” and Amazon’s “Mozart in the Jungle” as Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.

Viola Davis continues on her award streak by scoring a nomination for her role as the lawyer you love to hate Annalise Keating on “How to Get Away with Murder”.  As they did at the Emmys, Davis and Taraji P. Henson, who was nominated for the showy role of Cookie on “Empire”, will battle for the Golden Globe.  Perhaps Henson will triumph this time.

The Golden Globes will be awarded on January 10, 2016.  The ceremony, which will be hosted by Ricky Gervais, will air on NBC.  For a full list of nominees go to http://www.goldenglobes.com/winners-nominees

-Ari Ansbro