The Oscar nominations will be announced bright and early tomorrow morning, marking the beginning of the end for the plodding death march that is awards season. But critical groups continue to truck along for the time being, with the London Critics’ Circle the latest body to weigh in with their picks for the best of 2016’s cinematic offerings. Even across the Atlantic, La La Land continues to win over movie types; Damien Chazelle’s bittersweet romantic musical took the Film of the Year distinction, though stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone went unrecognized, as did director Chazelle.
If people were ever scared of the image of a ghost as a big white sheet with two black eyeholes those days are long gone. Today, the image is a total joke; the go-to costume for lazy children everywhere. One of the most amazing things about David Lowery’s A Ghost Story — and there are a few amazing things about this audacious movie — is the way it imbues that cliched ghost with renewed horror and even poignance. You will never look at that ghost emoji the same way again.
In a move that will come as a surprise to almost no one given the high acclaim for his performance, Casey Affleck has won the 2017 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama for his subdued performance in Manchester by the Sea. Affleck’s win was pretty much a lock from the moment the nominees were first announced, with many speculating that his only real competition would be Denzel Washington, who gave a compelling performance in Fences.
It’s only logical: after cleaning up across the board with city-specific critics’ groups far and wide (ceding the occasional prize to La La Land, its closest awards-season competitor), Moonlight was awarded the distinction of 2016’s finest film from the National Society of Film Critics. In a decision stunning exactly nobody, Barry Jenkins’ heartfelt triptych about a young gay man’s coming-of-age in Miami took the Best Picture prize as well as the Best Director for Jenkins. Left in the runners-up column were all-but-certain Oscar nominees La La Land and Manchester by the Sea. In fact, Damien Chazelle’s crowd-pleasing musical got kind of skunked by the NSFC; Chazelle landed the runner-up Best Director spot behind Jenkins, the film shared the runner-up spot for Best Cinematography with Silence, and star Emma Stone was shut out entirely.
Any great live performance takes a skilled crew working invisibly behind the scenes, and SNL is no different. See for yourself, as a new behind-the-scenes video shows us exactly what’s involved in transitioning from one set to another, going from Donald Trump’s office to Casey Affleck’s monologue in one fell swoop.
It’s that time of year once again, as Christmas lurches a little close for comfort, and SNL prepares to send off the year in style. And speaking of style, Chance the Rapper gets to join in on the SNL promo games, as the first look at Casey Affleck’s hosting debut gets in the Christmas tree-decorating spirit.
We’ve already got on our dancing shoes for La La Land star Emma Stone to make her SNL return this weekend with musical guest Shawn Mendes, but what of the other December slots? Studio 8H may need to widen its doorways, as John Cena has now booked his SNL debut, with Manchester By the Sea star Casey Affleck closing out 2016.
Film critics and awards pundits have been talking about Oscar frontrunners for months now, but it’s that time of the year when all that prognostication finally matters. This week marked the beginning of awards season with the Gotham Awards, the National Board of Review’s list of winners and yesterday’s New York Film Critics’ Circle picks. It’s still too early to tell who and what will win the gold come Oscar night, but when it comes to predictions, we’ve got you covered.
Kenneth Lonergans’ Manchester By the Sea was a film that debuted with the words “awards season” attached to it. Back in January when the drama premiered at Sundance, many audiences members’ first thought (mine included) was that we’d already found our 2017 Oscar frontrunner. That may not entirely be true anymore, since the fall movie season has introduced some worthy contenders in the forms of La La Land and Moonlight. Yet still, Lonergan’s film is already sweeping up awards.
Awards season, that glorious time of year when works of moving art are made to fight for our amusement and betting-pool glory, lurched into gear last night with the Gotham Independent Awards. A sort of east coast counterpart to Los Angeles’ Independent Spirit Awards, the program recognizes the finest achievements in indie film over the previous year, as selected by the members of the Independent Filmmaker Project. For the past two years, the IFP’s Best Feature designation has effectively predicted the film that will receive the Best Picture Academy Award a couple months later. If that happens to be the case again this year, the Oscar future looks bright — and refreshingly black.