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Oscars 2019: My Worst Score Ever!

“I mean every time somebody’s driving somebody, I lose. But they changed the seating arrangement!” – Spike Lee

I haven’t gone back through all my Oscar scores over the years, but I’m pretty sure that this was my worst score ever. I got 13 out of 24, which is pathetic. I underestimated BLACK PANTHER (3 Oscars!), thought GREEN BOOK would only win one Academy Award® – Mahershala Ali. Ali did win, but the film also got Oscars for Best Original Screenplay, and the big one, BEST PICTURE, which shocked me and I bet a lot of folks since just about every list of predictions I saw had ROMA winning.

Anyway, here’s the ones I got wrong:

1. BEST PICTURE: GREEN BOOK (I picked ROMA) 

4. BEST ACTRESS: Olivia Colman for THE FAVOURITE (I had gone with Glenn Close for THE WIFE) This was a shocker.


7. PRODUCTION DESIGN: 
BLACK PANTHER (my prediction was THE FAVOURITE)

9. COSTUME DESIGN: 
BLACK PANTHER (just like the last category I had THE FAVOURITE down for this – sigh) 

10. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: FREE SOLO (I really thought 
RBG had this in the bag) 

11. DOCUMENTARY SHORT: BLACK SHEEP (wrong) PERIOD, END OF SENTENCE

12. FILM EDITING: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (why did I think VICE would win this? I really can’t remember)

15. ORIGINAL SCORE: BLACK PANTHER (IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK really felt like the no brainer for this category, but BLACK PANTHER-mania cancelled it out I guess) 


19. SOUND EDITING: 
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (FIRST MAN didn’t have a chance one can see in retrospect)

21. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: 
GREEN BOOK (another shocker – THE FAVOURITE seemed so much to be a  shoo-in.)

24. BEST FOREIGN FILM: ROMA (I didn’t pick ROMA here because I thought it was going to win BEST PICTURE. COLD WAR, which I enjoyed much more than ROMA, looked to me like a surefire winner, but like just about every category this year I was way off.)

Okay, that’s enough Oscars ’19 for now (or ever). With hope, I’ll do a lot better next year.

More later…

Hey Kids! Funtime 2019 Oscar® Predictions!

Yep, here we are again. The 91st Academy Awards® Ceremony is coming up this Sunday night, so, as I always do on the Friday beforehand, here’s my predictions for who and what will win. Now, I have a feeling I’ll do worse than last year when I got 17 out of the 24 categories right (my best score was in 2014: 21 out of 24), but we’ll see. I just have the feeling that this year may be more full of upsets than any other Oscar race in recent memory.

Anyway, here are my picks/guesses:


1. BEST PICTURE: ROMA

2. BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón

3. BEST ACTOR: Rami Malek for BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY

4. BEST ACTRESS: Glenn Close for THE WIFE

5. BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali for GREEN BOOK

6. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Regina King for IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

7. PRODUCTION DESIGN: THE FAVOURITE (Fiona Crombie)

8. CINEMATOGRAPHY: ROMA (Alfonso Cuarón)

9. COSTUME DESIGN: THE FAVOURITE (Sandy Powell)

10. DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: RBG

11. DOCUMENTARY SHORT: BLACK SHEEP

12. FILM EDITING: VICE (Hank Corwin)

13. MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: VICE (Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe,  Patricia Dehaney)

14. VISUAL EFFECTS: FIRST MAN (Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter,  Tristan Myles, J.D. Schwalm)

15. ORIGINAL SCORE: IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (Nicholas Britell)

16. ORIGINAL SONG: “Shallow” from A STAR IS BORN

17. ANIMATED SHORT: BAO

18. LIVE ACTION SHORT: SKIN

19. SOUND EDITING: FIRST MAN (Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou)

20. SOUND MIXING: BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY (Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, John Casali)

21. ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: THE FAVOURITE (Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara)

22. ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: BLACKKKLANSMAN (Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee)

23. ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE

24. BEST FOREIGN FILM: COLD WAR


As I always say, tune in Monday to see how many I got wrong.

More later…

Film Babble Blog’s Top 10 Movies Of 2018 Part 2

And now Part 2 of Film Babble Blogs Top 10 Movies of 2018. Included are memorable lines, or exchanges from each film. For Part 1, featuring entries 10-6 click here.


5. THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS (Dir. Tim Wardle)



Robert Shafran: “I guess
I wouldn’t believe the story if someone else were telling it, but , I’m telling
it and it’s true, every word of it.”

4. SORRY TO BOTHER YOU (Dir. Boots Riley)



Langston (Danny Glover): “Let me give you a tip. You wanna make some money
here? Use your white voice.”


3. COLD WAR (Dir. Pawel Pawlikowski)

Zula (Joanna Kulig): “Are you interested in me, because I have a talent
or in general?”



2. BLACKKKLANSMAN (Dir. Spike Lee)

Ron Stallworth (John David Washington): “Then why you acting like you ain’t got skin in the game, brother?”

1.
FIRST REFORMED
(Dir.
Paul Schrader)

Reverend Ernst Toller (Ethan Hawke): “The man who says nothing always seems more intelligent. Why couldn’t I just keep silent?”


So that’s 5-1 of my Top 10 of 2018. Next up, my Oscar predictions. Stay tuned to this space.

More later…

Film Babble Blog’s Top 10 Movies of 2018 Part 1

I’ve
been a pretty bad Film Babble Blogger lately. Because of life shake-ups, and
personal shit, I haven’t posted much over the last year. While I still saw a
lot of movies, I felt less and less compelled to write about them, and some
months went by with only one or two reviews.

But
I’m trying to get back on track so here’s my Top 10 Movies of 2018 just a few
days before the Oscars. Better late than never, huh?

No
blurbs for each film (I’m not completely on track yet), but key quotes from
each are included. Clicking on some of (not many) the titles link back to my reviews (otherwise they link to the films’ IMDb page).


10. IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK (Dir. Barry Jenkins)

Clementine “Tish” Rivers (KiKi Layne): “I hope that nobody has ever had to look at anybody they love through glass”

9. THE SISTERS BROTHERS (Dir. Jacques Audiard)
Eli Sisters (John C. Reilly): Charlie, when you kill a man, you end up with his father or his friends on your tail. It usually ends badly.
8. A STAR IS BORN (Dir. Bradley Cooper)
Ally (Lady Gaga): [singing] Tell me something, boy. Aren’t you tired trying to fill that void? Or do you need more? Ain’t it hard keeping it so hardcore?

7. PUZZLE (Dir. Marc Turtletaub)
Agnes (Kelly Macdonald)I guess we’ll just have to pack our sins into neat monthly portions.
6. FIRST MAN (Damien Chazelle)
Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling): “That’s one small step for man, one giant
leap for mankind.
” (How could I not use this quote?)


So that’s 10-6 of my favorite films. See 5-1 at Part 2, coming soon.

More later…

FREE SOLO Returns To Marbles IMAX For A Week Long Run

FREE SOLO, which was nominated for Best Documentary at this year’s Oscars, is returning to Marbles IMAX for a week long run today.


Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin’s film is one of those docs in which you think ‘That guy is crazy!’


In this case, that guy is rock climber Alex Honnold, who is way into free soloing without any ropes, protective gear, or anything. Honnold has climbed several major mountains in Yosemite National Park, he aspires to scale the tallest mountain in the park, El Capitan, which is taller than the tallest building in the world.


Honnold calls it “the most impressive wall on earth,” and his friend/climbing partner Tommy Caldwell says it’s “the center of the rock climbing universe.”


When the film begins, Honnold is living in a van, which he says he’s done for 9 years, but as the film progresses we learn that he has a new girlfriend named Sanni McCandless. McCandless is, of course, scared for her boyfriend every time he free solos up a mountain. “I’m not super stoked when he goes soloing because he’s already a big part of my life.”


Despite his passion and adventurous spirit, Hollond is shown to be an odd bird from an unemotional family. He tells us that when he was 23 he taught himself how to hug. Yep, an odd bird.


At various points, we get a sad montage of free solo climbers who fell to their deaths, and a history, with vintage photos, of the El Capitan mountaineers who’ve been tacking the granite monolith since the late ‘50s, but mostly we follow Holland’s dream to be the first one to scale the epic slab.


Most of the last half hour of FREE SOLO concerns Hollond’s climb, and it’s a breathtaking and heart pounding sequence full of amazing footage of the man and the vast mountain range around him that made me wonder repeatedly how they filmed him.


Turns out that the cinematographers, including co-director Jimmy Chin, Clair Popkin, and Mikey Schaefer, had climber cameramen, some of whom climbed (not free solo) ahead of Hollond to get primo shots of the action.


This documentary begs to be seen on the big screen, so the IMAX option is one that should really be taken advantage of – even though it wasn’t shot in IMAX.


Raleigh, N.C. residents who want to see FREE SOLO during its week long engagement at Marbles IMAX should visit imaxraleigh.org for tickets, and show-times.


More later…