2019/2020 Key Dates
Film Critics Update: Today, January 14 - Winners from Denver FCS.

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

91st Academy Awards Winners


Updating blog, this is the last post that needed update with winners.

The American awards season is over and boy, I'm truly glad is over as this edition was like a very unpleasant roller coaster ride with so many ups and downs that were hard to sustain and well, to accept. Sight.

So, there is no surprise when we saw the awards season closing with a top winner that will go to the must-forget cinema history annals; still, if one person from Oscars top winning film should be acknowledge was Octavia Spencer, who -of course- was not acknowledged at all.  Yes, talking about Green Book.

But top individual award winner became Alfonso Cuarón by winning two top awards, Best Director and Best Cinematography plus his film winning Best Foreign Language Film.

Believe that what really upset many of those I follow on Social Media was the awful fact that there were too-many relevant Academy honors to two films that portrayed homosexuality in a non-flattering and what seemed (or is) non-realistic way (Green Book and Bohemian Rapsody).  Yes, I tend to agree. If you don't agree let me point to The Favourite where the Queen of England was sleeping with not one but two women and gee, the film, the performances and the story were so magnificent that film "gayness" was not relevant at all thus making something "so-lesbian" into a stupendous "fact of life", "power struggle" or just a "capricious moment" (lol).  Comprehend the difference?

Nevertheless the awards ceremony was a bit boring and even do was able to watch some of the red carpet, fell in the arms of Morpheus quite soon, but as soon as woke up in my normal early morning learn the bad news, Oscars didn't chose Best Film as BAFTAs did.  As mentioned before, Roma winning wishful thinking was based on the premise that cinema industry needs to change as needs to adapt to what nowadays is relevant for audiences.

During my almost 15 days of silence the Netflix story has advanced more in an direction that wasn't unexpected but it's most unwelcome.  Now the remove Netflix from the Oscars movement leader is none other than Steven Spielberg!  Do recognize he is a powerful individual in the cinema industry, so perspective is that Netflix movies -and great films- will be considered only for the Television Academy awards.  In this sense the Emmys will have to create a new category: "Movies that powerful people didn't want to consider them as cinema movies and relegated them to television movies".  The fact is that most of those movies are seen in devices that are not television so then could not be "made-for-TV movie", does this means streaming services will have to have their own awards?  Alright, I'm being sarcastic, but wait, there is more.

So, now there will be great directors competing in the Emmys, like Martin Scorsese and perhaps, more sooner than later the Emmys will become MORE prestigious than the Oscars!  (lol). Yes, I'm upset with this game that is based more on money than good cinema and/or more open access for audiences, as ALSO in the Netflix talks are the infamous windows!!!  See, when Netflix releases it's own production or when brought the film rights, the film becomes available in the same date to the whole World.  In Netflix there is no region 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 constrain NOR film distribution is subject to viewing platform where since the 1980s when VHS home video market began regulating audiences to consume movies as distributors wished.  Amazon Prime, Hulu and other streaming services also do the same but up to this moment the buzz noise is set on streaming leader and the others are quiet waiting as we are, to find out where all this fuzz is going to end.

All this started in 2018 Cannes with the climax at 2019 Oscars, during the time in-between the first  Netflix major award winner collected numerous awards and was seen by audiences around the globe.  Roma has become a cinema case study one that believe has no end yet.  With Roma case history the filmmaker won as audiences saw his oeuvre; also, audiences won as didn't had to wait until the film came to a theater near them IF distributors wished to distribute film ... which they didn't with Roma, not even in Mexico! Sigh.

Most of us don't recall when everyone said TV will kill cinema or when MTV and/or music videos will kill radio. None has died.  In both cases there was transformation and both industries changed. Streaming services will not kill movie theaters, perhaps distributors will be less powerful than what they are today but they are and will be much alive.  Streaming services will not kill film festivals as they are done to honor films and NOT cinemas and remember films, movies will always exists no matter where audiences decide to watch them.  Perhaps Cannes will be in trouble as a large portion of its budget is financed by theater distributors; but, perhaps, they should find another source of financing, maybe best source is none other than streaming services! (lol!). 

Too much blah, blah.  So for my record here are the 2019 Oscars winners.  To check them at the official site go here.  Winners are in *BLUE.

These are the nominees

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
*Green Book
Roma
A Star is Born
Vice

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Mirai
Ralph Breaks the Internet
*Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Foreign Language Film
كفرناحوم Capharnaüm (Capernaum), Nadine Labaki, Lebanon
Zimna wojna(Cold War), Paweł Pawlikowski, Poland
Werk ohne Autor  (Never Look Away), Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Germany
*Roma, Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico
万引き家族 Manbiki Kazoku (Shoplifters), Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan

Best Documentary Feature
*Free Solo, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, USA
Hale County This Morning, This Evening, RaMell Ross, USA
Minding The Gap, Bing Liu, USA
Kinder des Kalifats (Of Fathers and Sons), Talal Derki, USA, Syria, Lebanon, Netherlands and Qatar
RBG, Julie Cohen and Betsy West, USA

Achievement in Directing
Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman
Paweł Pawlikowski for Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos for The Favourite
*Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
Adam McKay for Vice

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Yalitza Aparicio in Roma
Glenn Close in The Wife
*Olivia Colman in The Favourite
Lady Gaga in A Star is Born
Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams in Vice
Marina de Tavira in Roma
*Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk
Emma Stone in The Favourite
Rachel Weisz in The Favourite

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Christian Bale in Vice
Bradley Cooper in A Star is Born
Willem Dafoe in At Eternity's Gate
*Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen in Green Book

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
*Mahershala Ali in Green Book
Adam Driver in BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott in A Star is Born
Richard E. Grant in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell in Vice

Best Adapted Screenplay
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for The Ballad of Buscter Scruggs
*Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott and Spike Lee for BlacKkKlansman
Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty for Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk
Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper and Will Fetters for A Star is Born

Best Original Screenplay
Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara for The Favourite
Paul Schrader for First Reformed
*Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly for Green Book
Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
Adam McKay for Vice

Achievement in Cinematography
Łukasz Żal for Cold War
Robbie Ryan for The Favourite
Caleb Deschanel for Never Look Away
*Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
Matthew Libatique for A Star is Born

Achievement in Film Editing
Barry Alexander Brown for BlacKkKlansman
*John Ottman for Bohemian Rhapsody
Yorgos Mavropsaridis for The Favourite
Patrick J. Don Vito for Green Book
Hank Corwin for Vice

Achievement in Production Design
*Hanna Beachler and Jay Hart for Black Panther
Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton for The Favourite
Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas for First Man
John Myhre and Gordon Sim for Mary Poppins Returns
Eugenio Caballero and Bárbara Enríquez for Roma

Achievement in Visual Effects
Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick for Avengers: Infinity War
Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould for Christopher Robin
*Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm for First Man
Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk for Ready Player One
Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy for Solo: A Star Wars Story

Achievement in Sound Editing
Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker for Black Panther
*John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone for Bohemian Rhapsody
Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan for First Man
Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl for A Quiet Place
Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay for Roma

Achievement in Sound Mixing
Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin for Black Panther
*Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali for Bohemian Rhapsody
Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis for First Man
Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and José Antonio García for Roma
Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve Morrow for A Star is Born

Achievement in Costume Design
Mary Zophres for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
*Ruth Carter for Black Panther
Sandy Powell for The Favourite
Sandy Powell for Mary Poppins Returns
Alexandra Byrne for Mary Queen of Scots

Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling
Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer for Border
Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks for Mary Queen of Scots
*Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney for Vice

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
*Ludwig Goransson for Black Panther
Terence Blanchard for BlacKkKlansman
Nicholas Britell for If Beale Street Could Talk
Alexandre Desplat for Isle of Dogs
Marc Shaiman for Mary Poppins Returns

Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song)
All The Stars from Black Panther, Music by Mark Spears, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth and Anthony Tiffith and Lyric by Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Anthony Tiffith and Solana Rowe
I'll Fight from RBG, Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins Returns, Music by Marc Shaiman and Lyric by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
*Shallow from A Star is Born, Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt
When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Music and Lyric by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Short Films

Best Animated Short
Animal Behaviour, Alison Snowden and David Fine, Canada, 14'
*Bao, Domee Shi, USA, 8'
Late Afternoon, Louise Bagnall, Ireland, 10'
One Small Step, Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas, USA and China, 8'
Weekends, Trevor Jimenez, USA, 16'

Best Documentary Short
Black Sheep, Ed Perkins, UK, 26'
End GameRob Epstein and Jeffrey Fridman, USA, 40'
Lifeboat, Skye Fitzgerald, USA, 34'
A Night at the Garden, Marshall Curry, USA, 7'
*Period. End of Sentence., Rayka Zehtabchi, USA, 26'

Best Live Action Short
Detainment, Vincent Lambe, Ireland and UK, 30'
Fauve, Jérémy Comte, Canada, 17'
Marguerite, Marianne Farley, Canada, 19'
Madre (Mother), Rodrigo Ssorogoyen, Spain and France, 18'
*Skin, Guy Nattiv, USA, 20'

To check nominations at official site go here or here for TV show broadcaster show.

Active members of the Academy are eligible to vote for the winners in all 24 categories beginning Tuesday, February 12, through Tuesday, February 19.  The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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1/23/19
Yesterday the much awaited Oscars Nominations were announced.  Much awaited because there are some great movies this year but most of all, because history could be made in this edition.

So, for starters, the nominations brought quite a few first timers, record tying and some surprises (not many).  What has become truth is the awards will be much more interesting as is one with strong international flavor with many non-American films and/or individuals nominated, which happens not often but it has happened in the past.

There are two films with the most nominations, ten (10), and what makes it particularly relevant is that both are NOT 100% USA productions, one has no American stars, the other only 1 American star, and NONE is in American-English as Roma is in Spanish and Mixteca plus The Favourite is in British English.  Most interesting their directors are not Americans as Alfonso Cuarón was born In Mexico and Yorgos Lanthimos in Greece; then, Lanthimos is developing his career in London while Cuarón even if he started his career in Mexico was in USA were he became international but seems it end up living/working mainly in London too.  This little story is told to show one relevant example of how international the Oscars are this year.

I'm a HUGE fan of Yorgos Lanthimos as have been following him since his first film that went international,  Academy Award nominee Kynodontas (Dogtooth); not much fan of Cuarón, but of course liked Roma above and beyond my wildest expectations.  My true strong relationship with Roma has all to do with Cuarón's choice of distribution, via a streaming service as do strongly believe that is time we, the audience, take control of what and how we consume films, movies, and moving images.  If Roma gets several Oscars will be fine, but IF gets Best Picture Oscar then will become a strong push to change in the industry.  It took less than a day for industry to react as most USA theater-chains are announcing they will not include Roma in their annual Oscar-screening special events and there is a suggestion that will try to turn Netflix into another major studio player (which only means that has to follow rules that today is not following).  Change usually becomes reality when waters are being stirred and, if you indulge me, seems whitewater started to already flow.  Great!  Know will take time but hope is a strong beginning. Sigh.

With all my blah, blah out of the way let's go back to the Oscar nominations.  Yes Roma and The Favourite lead with 10 nominations each followed by A Star is Born and Vice with eight (8), Black Panther with seven (7), BlacKkKlansman with six (6), and Bohemian Rhapsody and Green Book with five each.

The individual with most nominations is Alfonso Cuarón with four nomination in four different award categories for the same film.  Available data from reliable sources is confusing but from what was able to double-verify, Cuarón achievement ties Warren Beatty (he has done it twice, Reds and Heaven Can Wait) and also  Ethan Coen and Joel Coen (No Country for Old Men).  We already know Alfonso Cuarón is the frontrunner and IF he makes it will be the fifth year in the last six years, that a Mexican-born director wins Best Director; but, there is one who could spoil this milestone as IF Spike Lee wins he will become the first black winner in the category's history.

Talking about Roma, film has tied the record held by Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon for the most nominations received by a foreign language film.  It is the 10th foreign film nominated for Best Picture and the 5th film to be nominated both Foreign Language Film and Best Picture in the same year, of the five NONE won Best Picture only Foreign Language Film.

Let's review some first-timers.  For the first time, two directors of films nominated in the Foreign Language Film category have received Directing nominations, they are Alfonso Cuarón y Pawel Pawlikoski.  Unbelievable to learn it is Spike Lee's first ever directing Oscar nomination, he has Oscar nominations in other categories (original screenplay and documentary).

Most say Black Panther is the first comic book-based film to earn a Best Picture nomination but let's recall 1931 Skippy which was also nominated; basic difference is Skippy is from a comic strip, not a comic book.  More interesting is the fact that it is Marvel's first nomination.

Even do Netflix has been collecting nominations in the past, gets for the first time a Best Picture nomination with Roma.  On the other side of the scale, another streaming service, Hulu gets its first ever Oscar nomination with Minding the Gap. By-the-way, Netflix is not the first streaming service to have a Best Picture nomination, the honor belongs to Amazon with Manchester by the Sea. If you wish to read more statistics go to official site here, be aware link is to a pdf file.

Another major achievements in this year's Oscar nominations is the first time two Mexican actresses, Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira have been nominated in the same year.  By-the-way, Yalitza Aparicio is not the first Latin American actress to receive an Oscar nomination for a debut performance, the honor belongs to Catalina Sandino Moreno in 2004 Maria Full of Grace.  Indeed Roma's producer Gabriela Rodriguez is the first "Latina" to get a Production nomination.

Not less relevant is the fact that four of the eight Best Picture nominees have "relevant" (visible is better, isn't?) LBGT characters, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book and A Star is Born.

The most shocking snub undoubtedly is the omission of Won't You Be My Neighbor? in the documentary category as was expecting (but very-much hoping not to happen) Ethan Hawke to be snubbed; most strange is First Reformed getting a nod for original screenplay and for a moment I was hopeful the miracle could happen for Hawke.

In directing category and after reviewing the DGA nominations, the biggest snub both AMPAS and DGA did was not having any female director nominated as there were a couple of fantastic works made by remarkable female directors; but no doubt is the category with the biggest most pleasant surprises for me as Yorgos Lanthimos and Pawel Pawlikowski got nominations!!!  Obviously my favorite and Oscar frontrunner is Alfonso Cuarón but it is a great year when three out of the five nominees belong to non-American directors telling non-American stories, especially the first two young directors that are still developing their directorial style while telling amazing stories in the most visually outstanding way (yes, their three movies are Cinematography nominated).

The last snub will mention is one I was not expecting, Burning got no nomination and the spot was occupy by Germany's submission to foreign language film category.  This is quite unexpected by almost everyone I read and quite upsetting for many (including me).  I'm troubled with this category as Roma got a nomination and some say (and tend to agree) IF wins here most likely will not get Best Picture; so, my wish is Cold War wins here and Roma wins Best Picture (lol).  The only positive outcome of Roma winning foreign-language film is on February 24 I will be able to go back to sleep earlier, the moment they announce the category.

Before going into the list lets recall that Academy members from each of the 17 branches vote to determine the nominees in their respective categories – actors nominate actors, film editors nominate film editors, etc. In the Animated Feature Film and Foreign Language Film categories, nominees are selected by a vote of multi-branch screening committees. All voting members are eligible to select the Best Picture nominees. Last but no least, as of December 21st, 2018 there were a total of 7,902 voting members and nominations in top category came from 347 features eligible for Best Picture.

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