2021 SAG Predictions: Who Will Win, Who Should Win


It's SAG time on Sunday, and here I am again running late with my predictions. Below are who I think is going to win, and in some cases, who should instead. 

Cast in a Motion Picture
“Da 5 Bloods”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Minari”
“One Night In Miami”
“Trial of the Chicago 7”
Who will win: Trial of the Chicago 7
Who should win: Any of them.
I love all of the casts that were honored here. Only two of these films got Best Picture support, and I think there's a good chance Minari could win too, but for some reason I think Trial will be winning this one.

Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
Gary Oldman (“Mank”)
Steven Yeun (“Minari”)
Who will and should win: Chadwick Boseman
This is Chadwick's year and anyone else winning would be a huge shock at this point.

Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture
Amy Adams (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)
Who will and should win: Carey Mulligan
While Mulligan surprisingly missed at the Globes to Andra Day, I think she comes out on top here. 

Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Da 5 Bloods”_
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Jared Leto (“The Little Things”)
Leslie Odom, Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)
Who will and should win: Daniel Kaluuya
I'm glad he's emerged as the front runner and I see him winning here as well.

Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
Youn Yuh-Jung (“Minari”)
Helena Zengel (“News of the World”)
Who will win: Glenn Close
Who should win: Maria Bakalova
Close will win ~because prestige~ for her atrocious performance. I'm really hoping Maria can pull an upset, then become the front runner here.

Ensemble in a Drama Series
“Better Call Saul”
“Bridgerton”
“The Crown”
“Ozark”
“Lovecraft Country”
Who will and should win: The Crown
The Crown has been on fire this year, and while I'd love Lovecraft Country to pull through, I see The Crown continuing its huge winning streak.

Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Josh O’Connor, “The Crown”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
Rege-Jean Page, “Bridgerton”
Who will and should win: Josh O'Connor
SAG doesn't always repeat Globes, but unless everyone is feeling really safe, I think it could happen here again.

Female Actor in a Drama Series
Gillian Anderson, “The Crown”
Olivia Colman, “The Crown”
Emma Corrin, “The Crown”
Julia Garner, “Ozark”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”
Who will win: Gillian Anderson
Who should win: Any
This is tough because there's going to be so much vote splitting. Though Corrin won the Globe, I can see SAG voters going for Gillian. The only thing I feel sure about is that a Crown lady will win over Ozark.

Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Dead to Me”
“The Flight Attendant”
“The Great”
“Schitt’s Creek”
“Ted Lasso”
Who will win: Schitt's Creek
Who should win: Ted Lasso
Schitt's Creek won big at the Emmys and this is the last awards show it's going to be eligible at. Even though I think Ted Lasso is fantastic, I think Creek is winning.

Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Nicholas Hoult, “The Great”
Dan Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Eugene Levy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Jason Sudeikis, “Ted Lasso”
Ramy Youssef, “Ramy”
Who will and should win: Jason Sudeikis.
My head is saying Dan Levy but I'm going to go with Jason here. He's won quite a bit for this. After finally watching The Great, I would not be mad about Hoult winning too. He was hilarious in that.

Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Linda Cardellini, “Dead to Me”
Kaley Cuoco, “The Flight Attendant”
Annie Murphy, “Schitt’s Creek”
Catherine O’Hara, “Schitt’s Creek
Who will and should win: Catherine O'Hara
This feels like the easiest TV pick of the night.

Male Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Bill Camp, “The Queen’s Gambit”
Daveed Diggs, “Hamilton”
Hugh Grant, “The Undoing”
Ethan Hawke, “The Good Lord Bird”
Mark Ruffalo, “I Know This Much Is True”
Who will and should win: Mark Ruffalo
He was tremendous in I Know This Much Is True and I feel like his fellow actors will honor that.

Female Actor in a Television Movie or Limited Series
Cate Blanchett, “Mrs. America”
Michaela Coel, “I May Destroy You”
Nicole Kidman, “The Undoing”
Anya Taylor-Joy, “The Queen’s Gambit”
Kerry Washington, “Little Fires Everywhere”
Who will win: Anya Taylor-Joy
Who should win: Michael Coel
Anya has emerged as a front runner here, but it's Coel who I'm rooting for. What she did in I May Destroy You was spectacular. 

Review: Cherry


We meet Cherry (Tom Holland) as your average college kid experimenting with weed he has a crush on a girl in one of his classes, Emily (Ciara Bravo) and then begin dating. They break up, and in his heartbreak he joins the army, goes to war, comes home with severe PTSD and ends up addicted to drugs. Emily also gets addicted, and Cherry starts robbing banks to support their habit.

The Russo Brothers are apparently really tired of directing Marvel movies, so they decided to throw EVERY trick they learned in film school into this absolute mess of a film. The funny thing is, if you listen to interviews this film is supposed to say something about the opioid crisis and PTSD from war. Yet, it says nothing. Cherry never reflects on these feelings and his only scene with a psychiatrist is just a quick segue into him getting prescribed OxyContin for the first time. 

This film has everything. Plenty of operatic overtures, "artful" flashback shots, voiceovers, breaking the fourth wall, and camera shots from the POV of someone's butthole. Not to mention scene after scene of what can only be described as junkie gross out porn. I kept thinking about Trainspotting, and how I never thought the scenes of the squalor those people were living in were ever as distracting as they were here.

Tom Holland is very good in this, but it was a huge mistake from his team to make this his big Oscar movie push when he was so much better (in a far better movie) with The Devil All The Time. Ciara Bravo struggles with the material she's given. I thought she was very good when she had to cry and act distraught, the rest of the time it felt like she was given no direction. This is the epitome of style over substance. It's insane to me that two directors who so effortlessly handled 20 movies worth of continuity to make a gigantic send off could also make this mess. 

Recommended: No

Grade: D

Memorable Quote: "Why are you being so sweet to me?" - Cherry (Tom Holland)

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Opening Title Sequences


 This week's TV theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is something I love talking about. TV opening title sequences. It's a weird thing to be obsessed about but I love it. I normally just stick with 3 picks every week but for once I'm going to bump it to 6 because I just can't narrow it down. Instead of the normal gifs I use, I'll link youtube videos to each title sequence. 

1) Game of Thrones - This is the undisputed winner of opening title sequences. The wonderful music, the ever changing map, this is my all time favorite opening title sequence. I still listen to the music from this show often, it's just so perfect. Watch

2) Mad Men - This is another one where the music really elevates it. While it's just a drawing of a man falling from a building past so many advertisements, the music accompanying it makes it perfect. Watch

3) Daredevil - The blood red covering New York, his saints, everything. Of all the Marvel shows, this one definitely had the best opening title. Watch

4) The Night Of - This was a limited series and the opening titles showed bits of New York and various crimes the series would talk about. It's very underrated and HBO always has amazing opening title sequences. Watch.

5) His Dark Materials - A newer show, but I'm obsessed with the theme song and the imagery is beautiful. Watch

6) True Blood - These credits show no one that is actually in the show but they are so very Southern and it just fits the tone of the show perfectly. Watch

Review: Black Bear


Writer/actress Allison (Aubrey Plaza) is in need of some inspiration and retreats to a secluded mountain cabin with a friend of a friend, Gabe (Christopher Abbott) and his wife Blair. (Sarah Gadon) What starts as an awkward meeting turns into full on jealously when the lines begin to blur.

I've heard nothing but good things about Aubrey Plaza's performance in this, but I had never watched a trailer and all the reviews I read were spoiler free. The quick synopsis on IMDb doesn't really do this justice either. I was surprised to see the turn it took.

I won't give spoilers either, but Black Bear in a way is two versions of the same movie. It takes a very meta approach that is pretty interesting, though I did prefer the first half of the movie to the second.

Plaza is as wonderful as everyone says. This is easily her best performance. Gadon and Abbott were also very good in their roles. I think the film goes a bit too hard into showing us that they're having problems, but they handle it all well.

You can rent this film on VOD. I did for $5.00 through Prime, and it's worth the small cost. This is a film I wish I could've gone to my favorite indie theater to see. 

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You're alienating our guest." - Blair (Sarah Gadon)


Review: Spontaneous


Mara (Katherine Langford) is having another boring day in homeroom when one of her classmates violently explodes right in front of her. Afterwards, a classmate Dylan (Charlie Plummer) confesses his crush on Mara when he realizes they might not have a lot of time left. These two fall in love while their classmates continue to mysteriously explode all around them.

The premise of this film immediately caught my attention because it sounds so ridiculous. So when I signed up for a free trial of Epix to watch Saint Maud, and saw this was on there too. I knew I had to check it out.

The film is very funny and Langford is a natural in this role. Mara is an overly sarcastic cool girl, which I find can be a trope that often feels phony. Like it's how someone who felt awkward in high school wishes they could go back and do it again with this perspective, but it works very well in this set up. No one knows why this is only happening to her classmates, and someone being incredulous and smart assy during it makes sense. 

The film really loses its way during the 3rd act. Not enough to completely ruin it, but it doesn't match the quality of the hour or so that came before it. One of the things that gets pushed to the side is Mara's relationship with her best friend, Tess. (Hayley Law) I really wanted more of them together and Mara just kind of dumps her for Dylan. I felt like they dropped the ball with that friendship because Langford and Law were great together. 

I'm glad I was able to watch this for free. It would've been worth renting but I'm not going to complain about finding it through a free trial. It's worth seeking out.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "You're right. You have it way worse." - Angela (Piper Perabo)

Thursday Movie Picks: Fake Identities

 

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is about those characters that have to fake it to make it. This week we're talking about fake identities. There's plenty to choose from, so here are three of my favorites.


1) A Knight's Tale -
About a poor man who poses as a lord to enter a jousting tournament. This is one of those movies that's on TV quite frequently and if I catch it, I always sit down and watch it. I miss Heath Ledger and he and the rest of the cast are so great in this. 


2) A History of Violence -
About a family man who has tried to invent a new persona to step away from his violent past. This is one of my favorite Viggo Mortensen performances. 


3) Parasite -
About a poor family who lie about their credentials to become staff in a rich home. I still think about this movie so much. I very rarely buy films on DVD any more and this is one I bought immediately when it came out. It's so good.

Review: Wild Mountain Thyme


Rosemary (Emily Blunt) grows up on a farm in Ireland falling in love with her aloof next door neighbor, Anthony. (Jamie Dornan) When Anthony's father, Tony (Christopher Walken) threatens to sell their farm to his American nephew Adam (Jon Hamm) Rosemary realizes she's on borrowed time getting Anthony to love her.

My watching this is entirely Film Twitter's fault. Many of my mutuals watched it, and every single one of them expressed exasperation with this film's ending. What could possibly be so ridiculous that everyone was commenting on it? I won't spoil it for you, but the hyperbole is true. This film's third act is completely batshit...and it brings a smile to my face.

This movie is bad. This is what foreigners think Ireland is like before traveling there themselves. It's got everything, stew, Guinness, extremely bright greens. None of the dialogue feels natural and some of the Irish accents, mainly Walken's are beyond tragic. But the film's biggest flaw is I cannot for the life of me understand what Rosemary sees in Anthony.

Every one of their interactions is strange. Rosemary is beautiful and she's over here begging for Anthony's dick when it's so clear she could do better. I'm mostly perplexed on how so many talented people ended up making this movie. It had to be the free trip to Ireland.

This film is worth seeing for the 3rd act alone, but don't expect anything interesting before that. Just trust that you will at least laugh at it.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: D

Memorable Quote: "I gave up the smokes." - Rosemary (Emily Blunt)

Review: Minari


Jacob (Steven Yeun) his wife Monica (Yeri Han) and their two children Anne (Noel Cho) and David (Alan S. Kim) are Korean immigrants who have recently moved from California to Arkansas to fulfill Jacob's dream of starting a farm. Told mostly from the perspective of David, they face many hardships adjusting to farm life. Monica's mother (Yuh-jung Youn) also comes to live with them which David has a hard time adjusting to.

I've been a huge fan of Steven Yeun since watching him on The Walking Dead so this has been one of my most anticipated films for ages and it absolutely lived up to my expectations. 

Director  Lee Isaac Chung makes a very heartfelt and honest "American dream" film. Even though we've seen plenty of these in the past, this didn't feel repetitive. Immigrants often face a lot of harassment in the form of racism and xenophobia, and while there are a few quick comments of it, I liked that it wasn't a huge part of the narrative. I think that helps set it apart. Their struggles are about money and what it takes to run a farm. It doesn't overwhelm us with knocking the family down over and over.

Yeun is wonderful like I expected. This was such a different role for him. All the actors were great, but he was the standout for me. Yuh-jung Youn was amazing as the grandma as well, and I'm glad she and Yeun are getting so much attention for these roles. Young Alan S. Kim did a great job carrying this film. He's adorable and I just fell in love with that kid immediately.

While I wish it would've had a more of an ending, I felt more watching this film than I did several of the 2020-2021 releases this year. It's so lovely.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A

Memorable Quote: "Let's give them Mountain Dew." - David (Alan S. Kim)

2021 Academy Award Nominations


We've finally made it to our last big nomination list. This season has gone on forever and now we finally have our Oscar nominees. Thankfully this year I'm much more happy about the list of nominations than I was last year when there was so much garbage. But of course, there's always a few misses I'm sad about. Here's a list of the nominations + my thoughts.

Best Picture
“The Father”
“Judas and the Black Messiah”
“Mank”
“Minari”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Sound of Metal”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7″
It drives me insane when the Academy doesn't fill all 10 Best Picture slots. There's always 10 movies worthy of the title of Best Picture. You're telling me there was no room for Another Round, One Night in Miami or Ma Rainey's Black Bottom when you nominated them in so many other places? Or Da 5 Bloods in general? 

Best Director
Thomas Vinterberg (“Another Round”)
David Fincher (“Mank”)
Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)
Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)
TWO female nominees is amazing and so is the surprise inclusion of Thomas Vinterberg. I didn't watch the nominations live, but when I logged into Twitter the first tweet I saw was the director nominees so I had higher hopes for Another Round. Psyched for Chung as well, Minari was so beautiful.

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed (“Sound of Metal”)
Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Anthony Hopkins (“The Father”)
Gary Oldman (“Mank”)
Steven Yeun (“Minari”)
Thank God Steven made it, I was getting worried about him, but come on...Gary Oldman? When Mads Mikkelson (and Delroy Lindo tbh) were RIGHT THERE? I was really hoping since Another Round got in directing it made Mads' chances higher, but nope.

Best Actress
Viola Davis (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”)
Andra Day (“The United States vs. Billie Holiday”)
Vanessa Kirby (“Pieces of a Woman”)
Frances McDormand (“Nomadland”)
Carey Mulligan (“Promising Young Woman”)
This was probably the most predictable category of the acting nominations. I can't argue with it, all 5 of these women gave wonderful performances, but I still weep for Radha Blank, who was amazing in The Forty-Year-Old Version. 

Best Supporting Actor
Sacha Baron Cohen (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Leslie Odom Jr. (“One Night in Miami”)
Paul Raci (“Sound of Metal”)
LaKeith Stanfield (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
I'm torn between YESSS LAKEITH and ...wtf who is the lead of Judas and the Black Messiah then? I love Stanfield, and Academy Award Nominee LaKeith sounds amazing but how in the world did he end up here? I'm so happy for Paul Raci, he was one I thought might get snubbed so I'm so happy to see his name here. 

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Glenn Close (“Hillbilly Elegy”)
Olivia Colman (“The Father”)
Amanda Seyfried (“Mank”)
Youn Yuh-jung (“Minari”)
I'm team Maria all the way! I hope she wins. I'm really happy for Amanda Seyfried too who was the only thing I liked about Mank. It's a pity Close is here for this role though. I had hoped young Helena Zengel might sneak in. Shocked that Jodie Foster didn't. She pulled an Aaron Taylor-Johnson in winning the Globe, then getting snubbed for Oscar. 

Best Adapted Screenplay
Sacha Baron Cohen and Co-Writers (“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”)
Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton (“The Father”)
Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”)
Kemp Powers (“One Night in Miami”)
Ramin Bahrani (“The White Tiger”)
The White Tiger's screenplay was pretty chaotic. Once Priyanka was announced as someone reading the nominations, I figured that was going to happen but it's still a bit puzzling. I'm happy for Borat and One Night in Miami being here, but I think Nomadland has this in the bag. 

Best Original Screenplay
Will Berson, Shaka King, Keith Lucas, and Kenny Lucas (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Lee Isaac Chung (“Minari”)
Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”)
Derek Cianfrance, Abraham Marder, Darius Marder (“Sound of Metal”)
Aaron Sorkin (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
I know a lot of people hate Trial of the Chicago 7 but I really liked it so I'm happy it's here. This is a great list of nominees. Even though I had my issues with a few of the story aspects of Promising Young Woman, I can't help but be happy for it. 

Best Animated Feature
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”
I need to see Over The Moon still. I've never cared for Shaun the Sheep movies. Soul is winning this, but Wolfwalkers has my heart. I'm happy for Onward too, I liked that way more than I expected to.

Best International Feature Film
“Another Round” (Denmark)
“Better Days” (Hong Kong)
“Collective” (Romania)
“The Man Who Sold His Skin” (Tunisia)
“Quo Vadis, Aida?” (Bosnia and Herzegovina) 
ANOTHER ROUND! I'm ready for this to start winning. Country wise, this is pretty different. Normally we have heavy hitters from France, Germany and Italy in the mix. I haven't seen any of the other films but I looked up how you can in case you're in the same boat as me. Better Days you can rent on Prime, Collective, which is also a documentary you can rent on Prime or DVD Netflix. The Man Who Sold His Skin doesn't appear to be available anywhere yet. Quo Vadis, Aida? I couldn't find either, but apparently it was part of a $20 streaming bundle Letterboxd was offering for a week. 

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“The Mole Agent”
“My Octopus Teacher”
“Time”
I haven't seen any of these. My two favorite docs I did see this year were Disclosure and Class Action Park, both on streaming so I don't know if they were campaigned here or at the Emmys. Crip Camp and My Octopus Teacher stream on Netflix, The Mole Agent streams on Hulu and Time streams on Prime, so I should have an easier job catching up with these over the International Films. 

Best Cinematography
Sean Bobbitt (“Judas and the Black Messiah”)
Erik Messerschmidt (“Mank”)
Dariusz Wolski (“News of the World”)
Joshua James Richards (“Nomadland”)
Phedon Papamichael (“The Trial of the Chicago 7”)
I would've put Minari in here over Mank but the Academy was always going to go for that. I still need to see News of the World, but I like the other nominees.

Best Costume Design
“Emma”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“Mulan”
“Pinocchio”
Emma! I keep getting forgetting a Pinocchio movie came out this year. I hate that this category continues to ignore modern films though. I would've put Promising Young Woman here. 

Best Film Editing
“The Father”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Sound of Metal”
“The Trial of the Chicago 7”
I really want Sound of Metal to sweep all these technical awards. 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
“Emma”
“Hillbilly Elegy”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“Pinocchio”
We need to stop making Hillbilly Elegy happen. 

Best Original Score
“Da 5 Bloods”
“Mank”
“Minari”
“News of the World”
“Soul”
I can't believe his is the only nomination for Da 5 Bloods. It wasn't even my favorite Spike Lee film, but come on. The Academy should've went for it. 

Best Original Song
“Fight For You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah”
“Hear My Voice” from “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
“Husavik” from “Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga”
“lo Sì (Seen)” from “The Life Ahead (La Vita Davanti a Se)”
“Speak Now” from “One Night in Miami”
I am so glad something from Eurovision got nominated here. That movie was a mess but the music was so good. Overall, this is a really strong category. I don't feel as strongly as I have in the past about some of these songs, but I think Speak Now is my favorite. I'm just bummed Running With The Wolves from Wolfwalkers wasn't original. That's the one thing from a movie that's been consistently stuck in my head.

Best Production Design
“The Father”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“News of the World”
“Tenet”
I still haven't seen The Father. I know Birds of Prey was always going to be a long shot, but I would've liked to have seen that here.

Best Sound
“Greyhound”
“Mank”
“News of the World”
“Soul”
“Sound of Metal”
I forgot they combined the Sound categories this year. Soul surprises me, I thought Tenet would be here. But I'm rooting for Sound of Metal.

Best Visual Effects
“Love and Monsters”
“The Midnight Sky”
“Mulan”
“The One and Only Ivan”
“Tenet”
Is it bad that I'm underwhelmed with the visual effect nominees without the blockbusters that are normally here? It's got to be Tenet winning, right?

Best Documentary Short Subject
“Colette”
“A Concerto Is a Conversation”
“Do Not Split”
“Hunger Ward”
“A Love Song for Latasha”
I plan on doing another Short Film posts prior to the ceremony. I really love writing those and trying my best to find all the Short nominees. Last year I think I found all of them and the year before I think I only missed two.

Best Animated Short Film
“Burrow”
“Genius Loci”
“If Anything Happens I Love You”
“Opera”
“Yes-People”
If Anything Happens I Love you BROKE me. 

Best Live Action Short Film 
“Feeling Through”
“The Letter Room”
“The Present”
“Two Distant Strangers”
“White Eye”

2021 Blind Spot Series: Of Human Bondage/Now Voyager

 

Bette Davis is an actress that's sorely missing from my personal watch list. Every time I've seen her in a film, I've loved her performance. So this year, I made a point to have a few of her films on my Blind Spot list. The first of which being Of Human Bondage

Phillip (Leslie Howard) has enrolled in medical school and falls for a very indifferent waitress, Mildred. (Bette Davis) Over the span of a few years, she rejects him, runs off, comes back, gets pregnant, ruins his life, etc. But Phillip just can't let her go.

I watched this on Amazon Prime, which totes this film as "gloriously remastered" but in all actuality, the quality is still very poor so it's hard to appreciate any beauty this film once had. I don't hold it against a film made in 1934. I'm just happy I was able to see it at all.

From a story standpoint, it's frustrating seeing Phillip make so many mistakes. He's not completely innocent all the time, Mildred shouldn't have to settle with someone she doesn't want either, but it's sad all around. But Bette - she's amazing. The context of this role matters to, as it was so unlikable and Bette was a rising star. For her to take it was a big leap. She even got a write in vote at the Oscars for Best Actress.

This film is pretty short, I believe it comes it at under 90 minutes so it makes for a brisk watch and quality aside, it's definitely worth it for Bette Davis. 

Recomended: Yes

Grade: B

Memorable Quote: "It's just as though you were bound to her in some way." - Norah (Kay Johnson)

Now onto my second Bette feature, which I watched because Joel suggested it.

Now Voyager stars Davis as Charlotte Vale, a woman who is falling into what society deems "spinster" territory and her controlling mother is wreaking havoc on her mental health. After spending some time in a hospital, she gains some confidence and goes on a cruise at her cousin's suggestion. She meets Jerry (Paul Henreid) who is married but they strike up an affair that will change her life forever.

First off, I think I had a mental breakdown of my own watching this. Davis was 33 when she made this movie, the same age I am now and the makeup they have her in during the beginning of this film ages her so much. They make her look like a nimble old maid and we should never look at anyone in their 30's (or 40's or 50's) like that. Jesus. 

That aside, she was wonderful in this. I felt so much for Charlotte. It's hard trying to be a woman in your own right with an unsupportive mother breathing down your neck and always comparing you to siblings. It's easy to root for her to succeed. I can't even fault her for wanting this affair. What else does she have? A third act introduction of a character named Tina (Paul Henreid) is a clever way of helping Charlotte move forward. 

I thought this dragged a bit in the second act after Charlotte leaves the cruise and goes back home. I think I just expected more of the story to take place there, but it comes around and I ended up enjoying this more than Of Human Bondage.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A-

Memorable Quote: "I didn't want to be born. You didn't want me to be born. It's been a calamity on both sides." - Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis)

Quick Ramblings: Reviews I Forgot To Write

When I watch a movie I usually try to write something about it within the next day or two. But with the rise of Letterboxd, I find himself leaving a few quick thoughts there and moving on. I actually did plan on writing a few things about the following films below, but they slipped my mind. So here's a few quick thoughts.


The White Tiger -
This Netflix movie has been slowly gaining some awards momentum so I decided to check it out. It gets off to a really good start. It's very energetic and I enjoyed the narration, then it just fizzles out. While it says something interesting about the class divide in India, I just got bored with it. I felt it was all over the place. C


The Climb -
This film starts off with a long one take tracking shot of two friends riding bike and it's wonderful to look at. There's a lot of clever shots in this. It can at times feel like the directors are showing off, but I really enjoyed this story of two men and their friendship. It was sharp, funny, and a little bit morbid. I will say all the female characters are written terribly, but since the main story is the friendship between these two guys, I won't hold it against them *too* much. B+


Palmer -
What a waste of Juno Temple. A lot was made of the non binary actor playing Sam, and I expected that to be part of the story but it really isn't. Sam is just berated for being different, though some people eventually warm up to that. I'll give Justin Timberlake credit, he's pretty good here and the film kept my attention, but it's nothing to write home about. C


The Happiest Season -
Add me to the never ending list of people who think Kristen Stewart's character should've just ran off with Aubrey Plaza. It was fine, but it could've been better. B


The Dig -
We need to talk about age appropriate casting because as much as I love Carey Mulligan she is so miscast in this. Edith Pretty, the real life woman she was playing was in her 50's when this all went down and you can tell that this role was meant for a woman of that age. Why aren't we giving actresses in their 50's these opportunities? Why are we passing this stuff off to women in their 30's? Maybe they dodged a bullet. This film was incredibly dull. D


Run -
This movie was awesome, and props to the filmmakers for casting a disabled actress in the lead role. Keira Allen was fantastic in this, and I was on the edge of my seat the entire time. And man, that ending. That was not what I was expecting. B+

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies That Haven't Aged Well

 

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is movies that haven't stood the test of time. There are so many films that are going to fall into this categories. Mainly comedies. We could probably talk about the entire Hangover trilogy here, but I decided to pick from a few different genres. Here's what I came up with.


1) Ace Ventura: Pet Detective -
When I was a kid, I watched Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls all the time, but I believe I only saw the first one once. When the trans community started talking about how offensive this movie was, I struggled to even remember what happened in it. Then I watched the documentary Disclosure where they showed clips of the awful transphobia that happens in this film. I struggle now to even think how anyone found this funny.


2) Swing Time -
This was on my Blind Spot list last year and I was absolutely loving this movie until Fred Astaire dawns black face in order to perform a tribute to Bill Robinson. This totally ruined the movie for me. If you removed this scene entirely, it would honestly be an A+ but it is just so offensive and out of place. I hate that scene so much.


3) The Aristocats -
Because of Disney+, I've revisited a lot of those classic films I watched as a child and to say one of the characters in this film is offensive towards anyone from East Asian decent is an understatement to say the least. A Siamese cat playing piano with chopsticks and singing about fortune cookies? Voiced by a white guy? Yeesh. 

2021 BAFTA Nominations


This is the one awards show I never get to watch due to the time difference but I can't resist talking about them because this year they're even more out there than usual. Below are my thoughts. 

Best Film
“The Father”
The Mauritanian”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”

“The Trial Of The Chicago 7”
The Mauritanian is definitely picking up steam in the race, right? I wish The Sound of Metal was here instead.  

Leading Actress
Bukky Bakray, “Rocks”
Radha Blank, “The Forty-Year-Old Version”
Vanessa Kirby, “Pieces Of A Woman”
Frances McDormand, “Nomadland”
Wunmi Mosaku, “His House”
Alfre Woodard, Clemency”
I'm floored British national treasure Carey Mulligan got snubbed here, but I'm so happy for Radha Blank. The Forty-Year-Old Version is excellent and is severely under nominated. Alfre Woodard was great in Clemency, which qualified for awards last year in the U.S. I've never heard of Rocks or His House but they're both on Netflix so I'll have the chance to check them out.

Leading Actor
Riz Ahmed, “Sound Of Metal”
Chadwick Boseman, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Adarsh Gourav, “The White Tiger”
Anthony Hopkins, “The Father”
Mads Mikkelsen, “Another Round”
Tahar Rahim, “The Mauritanian”
I'm so disappointed Steven Yeun missed here, but I'm thrilled Mads Mikkelsen finally got a major nomination for Another Round. I didn't care for The White Tiger. Gourav was fine but overall that movie wasn't good. I would much rather have Steven here.

Supporting Actress
Niamh Algar, “Calm With Horses”
Kosar Ali, “Rocks”
Maria Bakalova, “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Dominique Fishback, “Judas And The Black Messiah”
Ashley Madekwe, County Lines”
Yuh-Jung Youn, “Minari”
What is this category? Is Maria Bakalova the only for sure lock? I love that Youn and Fishback are here. Both were great in their films. Does this mean Amanda Seyfried is completely out? Missing SAG and BAFTA is pretty big. Glad Close is nowhere to be found. 

Supporting Actor
Daniel Kaluuya, “Judas And The Black Messiah”
Barry Keoghan, “Calm With Horses”
Alan Kim, “Minari”
Leslie Odom Jr., “One Night In Miami…”
Clarke Peters, “Da 5 Bloods”
Paul Raci, “Sound Of Metal”
Paul Raci, FINALLY and CLARKE PETERS! I haven't seen Calm With Horses so I can't speak on that but otherwise I love this category. Peters is so good in Da 5 Bloods and not enough people are talking about him specifically for that movie.

Outstanding British Film
“Calm With Horses”
“The Dig”
“The Father”
“His House”
“Limbo”
“The Mauritanian”
“Mogul Mowgli”
“Promising Young Woman”
“Rocks”
“Saint Maud”
I've only seen three of these and I just watched Saint Maud so I'm happy to see that here. The Dig was so boring. Mogul Mowgli has been on my radar because of Riz Ahmed, so I'll get to that eventually too.

Outstanding Debut By A British Writer, Director Or Producer
“His House,” Remi Weekes (Writer/Director)
“Limbo,” Ben Sharrock (Writer/Director), Irune Gurtubai (Producer) [Also Produced By Angus Lamont]
“Moffie,” Jack Sidey (Writer/Producer) [Also Written By Oliver Hermanus And Produced By Eric Abraham]
“Rocks,” Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson (Writers)
“Saint Maud,” Rose Glass (Writer/Director), Oliver Kassman (Producer) [Also Produced By Andrea Cornwell]
Happy to see the Saint Maud team here. They made a wonderful film.

Film Not In The English Language
“Another Round”
“Dear Comrades!”
“Les Misérables”
“Minari”
Quo Vadis, Aida?”

I keep forgetting to watch Les Miserables. It's on Prime. I love Another Round and Minari though.

Documentary

“Collective”
“David Attenborough: A Life On Our Planet”
“The Dissident”
“My Octopus Teacher”
“The Social Dilemma”

Animated Film
“Onward”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Director
Another Round, Thomas Vinterberg
Babyteeth, Shannon Murphy
Minari, Lee Isaac Chung
Nomadland, Chloé Zhao
Quo Vadis, Aida?, Jasmila Žbanić
Rocks, Sarah Gavron
Babyteeth! Wow, it's nice to see that film get something. I love Vinterberg getting recognized for Another Round too. Love all the female nominees here. Keep them coming.

Original Screenplay
Another Round, Tobias Lindholm, Thomas Vinterberg
Mank, Jack Fincher
Promising Young Woman, Emerald Fennell
Rocks, Theresa Ikoko, Claire Wilson
The Trial Of The Chicago 7, Aaron Sorkin

Adapted Screenplay
The Dig, Moira Buffini
The Father, Christopher Hampton, Florian Zeller
The Mauritanian, Rory Haines, Sohrab Noshirvani, M.B. Traven
Nomadland, Chloé Zhao
The White Tiger, Ramin Bahrani

Original Score
Mank, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross
Minari, Emile Mosseri
News Of The World, James Newton Howard
Promising Young Woman, Anthony Willis
Soul, Jon Batiste, Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

Casting
Calm With Horses, Shaheen Baig
Judas And The Black Messiah, Alexa L. Fogel
Minari ,Julia Kim
Promising Young Woman, Lindsay Graham Ahanonu, Mary Vernieu
Rocks, Lucy Pardee

Cinematography
Judas And The Black Messiah, Sean Bobbitt
Mank, Erik Messerschmidt
The Mauritanian, Alwin H. Küchler
News Of The World, Dariusz Wolski
Nomadland, Joshua James Richards

Editing
The Father, Yorgos Lamprinos
Nomadland, Chloé Zhao
Promising Young Woman, Frédéric Thoraval
Sound Of Metal, Mikkel E.G. Nielsen
The Trial Of The Chicago 7, Alan Baumgarten

Production Design
The Dig, Maria Djurkovic, Tatiana Macdonald
The Father, Peter Francis, Cathy Featherstone
Mank, Donald Graham Burt, Jan Pascale
News Of The World, David Crank, Elizabeth Keenan
Rebecca, Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

Costume Design
Ammonite, Michael O’connor
The Dig, Alice Babidge
Emma, Alexandra Byrne
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Ann Roth
Mank, Trish Summerville
Ammonite lol. That's what they went with?

Make Up & Hair
The Dig, Jenny Shircore
Hillbilly Elegy, Patricia Dehaney, Eryn Krueger Mekash, Matthew Mungle
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Matiki Anoff, Larry M. Cherry, Sergio Lopez-Rivera, Mia Neal
Mank, Kimberley Spiteri, Gigi Williams
Pinocchio, Mark Coulier

Sound
Greyhound, Tbc
News Of The World, Michael Fentum, William Miller, Mike Prestwood Smith, John Pritchett, Oliver Tarney
Nomadland, Sergio Diaz, Zach Seivers, M. Wolf Snyder
Soul, Coya Elliott, Ren Klyce, David Parker
Sound Of Metal, Jaime Baksht, Nicolas Becker, Phillip Bladh, Carlos Cortés, Michelle Couttolenc

Special Visual Effects
Greyhound, Pete Bebb, Nathan Mcguinness, Sebastian Von Overheidt
The Midnight Sky, Matt Kasmir, Chris Lawrence, David Watkins
Mulan, Sean Faden, Steve Ingram, Anders Langlands, Seth Maury
The One And Only Ivan, Santiago Colomo Martinez, Nick Davis, Greg Fisher
Tenet, Scott Fisher, Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley

British Short Animation
The Fire Next Time, Renaldho Pelle, Yanling Wang, Kerry Jade Kolbe
The Owl And The Pussycat, Mole Hill, Laura Duncalf
The Song Of A Lost Boy, Daniel Quirke, Jamie Macdonald, Brid Arnstein