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  1. #1
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    Oscar Contenders

    I saw a couple films this week that are going to be in the Oscar conversation. I figured I would start a thread to talk about these and other contenders for big awards.

    The first was Can You Ever Forgive Me with Melissa McCarthy. It is the true story of washed up writer Lee Israel who turns to a life of forging celebrity letters when she can no longer get paid for her own novels. It also stars Richard Grant as her best friend/co-conspirator. The film is a little dry and slow, but the acting is crazy good. Richard Grant is off the charts and, I think, almost certain to get a Best Supporting Actor nod. It helps that he is playing a gay character who eventually gets AIDS, which will engender a good bit of sympathy from Oscar voters. The film has a few comic moments, but is largely a serious piece and McCarthy really shows she can transition from slapstick to being a real actress in this role. It probably isn't going to be a Best Picture contender, I don't think, but is a fine film and well worth seeing if you are into more than slashers and music bios (which is what we primarily have at the boxoffice right now). It is in very limited release at the moment, but should be coming to more art house theaters in coming weeks. Check it out.




    I also got a really, really, really early look at The Favourite, from Yorgos Lanthimos. Yorgos is the director of The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. This film is the closest Yorgos has come to something a little more mainstream and I really think it could get some Best Picture attention. It tells the story of Queen Anne (played amazingly by Olivia Coleman -- likely to get a Best Actress nod, though they may put her in Supporting category -- either way, she's fabulous) who was a weak and easily influenced monarch. At her right hand, really running the country, was Sarah Marlborough (played by Rachel Weisz). Sarah takes in a fallen former lady, Abagail (Emma Stone), but is horrified when Abagail becomes her rival for the Queen's ear. The film reminded me, at times, of Dangerous Liasons because it is a period piece where everyone is using sex as a weapon. But, it is a far superior film with much more nuanced characters and a really clever script with some brilliant moments. It is the kind of film where your allegiance to the characters is constantly shifting. Plus, Yorgos does some truly remarkable things with the camera, using a fish-eye lens at times to offer a skewed view of the world these royals inhabit. The movie also features simply amazing sets. The Favourite does not open until early December, but be on the look out for it. Weisz and Stone are great, though I don't think they will quite get Oscar nods... hard to say at this point.

    Here is a trailer for The Favourite:



    By the way, this is a good time to get to know Olivia Coleman as she is about to take over the lead on The Crown. As they age Queen Elizabeth, Claire Foy cannot play her any longer so the role is moving to Coleman. If this film is any indication, she's going to knock it out of the park.



    -Jason "it has been a good week to go to the movies with Jason " Evans
    Last edited by JasonEvans; 10-26-2018 at 12:50 PM.
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  2. #2
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    Olivia Colman (no e) was really good in Broadchurch. That series also featured Jodie Whittaker, current Dr. Who, and David Tennant, former Dr. Who. Very strong acting across the board in that one.
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  3. #3
    Any chance Robert Redford gets a nomination (best actor) for his role in "Old man and the gun"?? Supposedly, his last acting role in films. Will the Academy feel a sense of loyalty and obligation to him?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by duke79 View Post
    Any chance Robert Redford gets a nomination (best actor) for his role in "Old man and the gun"?? Supposedly, his last acting role in films. Will the Academy feel a sense of loyalty and obligation to him?
    I have not see the film yet, but I expect to fairly soon. He is getting great reviews and he has never gotten an Oscar for his acting. In fact, he's only been nominated for acting once for The Sting in 1973. He has won an Oscar for directing Ordinary People, but it is sorta hard to believe he only has one acting nomination in his career.

    I think there is a decent chance he gets a nomination, but Best Actor is always a loaded category. Ethan Hawke (First Reformed), Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born), Remi Malek (Bohemian Rap), and Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) look like the main competitors right now.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pfrduke View Post
    Olivia Colman (no e) was really good in Broadchurch. That series also featured Jodie Whittaker,...
    Wasn't that the male twin in "Family Affair?"

  6. #6
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    Saw Beautiful Boy last night. When I originally saw the trailer a few months back, I thought it would be a good chance for Carell or Chalamet to earn a nod. The movie was good (albeit a bit long) and both actors put in a wonderful performance, but I don't think it's enough for a nomination.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by luburch View Post
    Saw Beautiful Boy last night. When I originally saw the trailer a few months back, I thought it would be a good chance for Carell or Chalamet to earn a nod. The movie was good (albeit a bit long) and both actors put in a wonderful performance, but I don't think it's enough for a nomination.
    Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. It is at just 68% on Rotten Tomatoes and though everyone says the acting is the best part of this flick. As I mentioned above, the Best Actor category is really full this year and it seems like Best Supporting Actor is always a brutal field. I'd say the BSA field is likely to include Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Richard Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Sam Elliot (A Star Is Born). Chalamet is in the conversation for the final couple spots, I think.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    Yeah, that seems to be the consensus. It is at just 68% on Rotten Tomatoes and though everyone says the acting is the best part of this flick. As I mentioned above, the Best Actor category is really full this year and it seems like Best Supporting Actor is always a brutal field. I'd say the BSA field is likely to include Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Richard Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), and Sam Elliot (A Star Is Born). Chalamet is in the conversation for the final couple spots, I think.
    I'm not sure where John David Washington and Adam Driver would fall in the BA/BSA fields, but they were both outstanding in BlacKkKlansman. Stiff competition this year.

  9. #9
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    Wait. First Reformed is good? I know what I am doing Friday night. Seemed like just an average straight to ITunes movie based on preview.

    And I thought Bohemian Rhapsody was getting largely “meh” reviews. Seems like that would torpedo a best actor Oscar nod.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    Wait. First Reformed is good? I know what I am doing Friday night. Seemed like just an average straight to ITunes movie based on preview.
    93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Everyone says it is the best acting of Ethan Hawke's career.

    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    And I thought Bohemian Rhapsody was getting largely “meh” reviews. Seems like that would torpedo a best actor Oscar nod.
    Yes, that does make it more difficult, but the complaints about the movie largely fall into the way the story is told while everyone says the acting is strong. I don't think Remi Malek can win, but he could get a nomination. I think he is very likely to at least get a Golden Globe nomination assuming they find a way to put the film in the Comedy/Musical category, which will be an easier field than Drama. If it has a lot of music, does that make it a musical? Might be a tough sell because I suspect A Star if Born will be in the Drama category and the two films use music in nearly identical ways.

    -Jason "it is still really early to have more than a general sense of Oscar contenders... I've probably seen no more than 1/5 of the films/performances that will be in the conversation for major Academy Awards" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    Wait. First Reformed is good? I know what I am doing Friday night. Seemed like just an average straight to ITunes movie based on preview.
    I liked it quite a bit.
    Demented and sad, but social, right?

  12. #12
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    Reviving this thread, which will become increasingly busy in coming weeks as Awards season really heats up...

    Here is the latest Movie Fight podcast about Green Book, a film that is quite good, but falls a little bit short of great. As I say on the pod, if it had come along a decade ago, we would adore it but at this point the "friendship conquered racism" story has really been done over and over again.

    -Jason "have a listen... it is only 15 minutes of your time and I hope you will enjoy listening" Evans
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  13. #13
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    I watched Bohemian Rhapsody this afternoon and enjoyed it. I've no idea whether or not Remi Malek will receive an Oscar nomination but he did a very good job.

    The film was a drama not a musical.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Green View Post
    I watched Bohemian Rhapsody this afternoon and enjoyed it. I've no idea whether or not Remi Malek will receive an Oscar nomination but he did a very good job.

    The film was a drama not a musical.
    Remi was really good. The movie was meh although zi am not the biggest Queen fan.

    The cinematography in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was incredible, and the vignettes were very original stories/screenplays. Very good acting, but due to the configuration I do not think any of the actors will win. (Assuming it is also sent out in limited release so it qualifies for Oscars, given that it is a Netflix vehicle).
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldPhiKap View Post
    Remi was really good. The movie was meh although zi am not the biggest Queen fan.

    The cinematography in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs was incredible, and the vignettes were very original stories/screenplays. Very good acting, but due to the configuration I do not think any of the actors will win. (Assuming it is also sent out in limited release so it qualifies for Oscars, given that it is a Netflix vehicle).
    Yeah, Netflix has given award qualifying runs to several of its better film. Buster Scruggs has an outside shot to maybe get someone into a Best Supporting Category, but it is a longshot. The Netflix film that will be a major player in the awards races is Roma, by Alphonso Cuaron. It should be a player in Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Director, and a few others.

    Oh, and if you look at the start of this thread where I raved about The Favourite... the award buzz I am hearing is that The Favourite will be the film to beat in several major categories. I'll have a podcast review of it in the next few days.

    -Jason "among my critic friends, the consensus is that Favourite, Roma, Star is Born, and Vice are the films most likely to get a lot of award attention" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  16. #16
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    Saw The Green Book on Friday and enjoyed it immensely. It wouldn't make my list for any Oscar nominations, but definitely in the top 1/3 of movies I've seen this year.

    Really need to find a way to see The Favourite and Can You Ever Forgive Me.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by luburch View Post
    Saw The Green Book on Friday and enjoyed it immensely. It wouldn't make my list for any Oscar nominations, but definitely in the top 1/3 of movies I've seen this year.
    This is precisely where I stand on it. A solidly good movie and a film that you will enjoy watching, but not an Oscar contender.

    Quote Originally Posted by luburch View Post
    Really need to find a way to see The Favourite and Can You Ever Forgive Me.
    The Favourite doesn't open for a couple more weeks. Trust me, it will be in theaters everywhere once it does. I'd hurry up and see CYEFM as it has been out for about a month and probably won't be around much longer as the art house theaters fill up with other, newer Oscar contenders like Mary Queen of Scots, Beale Street, and Roma.
    Last edited by JasonEvans; 12-03-2018 at 08:02 AM.
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  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by A-Tex Devil View Post
    Wait. First Reformed is good? I know what I am doing Friday night. Seemed like just an average straight to ITunes movie based on preview.

    And I thought Bohemian Rhapsody was getting largely “meh” reviews. Seems like that would torpedo a best actor Oscar nod.
    First Reformed was staggering good. Just came out early and now needs a bump. Hawke is incredibly intense.

    For me it's a hard choice since I thought Rami Malek was brilliant, too. And now it looks like Christian Bale is making big noise playing Dick Cheney.
    Nothing incites bodily violence quicker than a Duke fan turning in your direction and saying 'scoreboard.'

  19. #19
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    Review of The Favourite

    It killed at the Golden Globe Nominations this morning, now you can hear what I thought about The Favourite in the latest edition of the Jason & Josh Fight About the Movies podcast. Spoiler alert... we both adored it. In fact, our biggest concern is figuring out which category to place the actors so we can give them many, many awards.

    https://soundcloud.com/jason-evans-1...-the-favourite

    -Jason "it is just 15 minutes... have a listen" Evans
    I don't know what you are doing right now, but if you aren't listening to the DBR Podcast, you're doing it wrong.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonEvans View Post
    It killed at the Golden Globe Nominations this morning, now you can hear what I thought about The Favourite in the latest edition of the Jason & Josh Fight About the Movies podcast. Spoiler alert... we both adored it. In fact, our biggest concern is figuring out which category to place the actors so we can give them many, many awards.

    https://soundcloud.com/jason-evans-1...-the-favourite

    -Jason "it is just 15 minutes... have a listen" Evans
    Jason, are there spoilers? The official preview kinda lest you know what it is about without much in the way of specifics. Started to stream, then shut it off when Josh started to discuss the plot.

    Thanks, and good luck with the podcast series!
    1991 -- 1992 -- 2001 -- 2010 -- 2015

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