Friday, February 16, 2018

Otter's 2017 Movies

Once again, I failed to go to many movies in the year 2017. I only saw five of these in an actual theater - the rest were viewed on streaming or over a very long flight to Asia.

Without futher ado, here is my typically brief set of rankings:

9. Beauty and the Beast
The original is beautiful and perfect, and I will hear no criticisms (what Stockholm syndrome?) I have as much affinity for Emma Watson as the next Hermione wanna-be, but this movie didn't need to exist.

8. The Lego Batman Movie
Not as good as The Lego Movie, but still pretty cute.

7. Logan
Not all superhero movies need to be "dark and gritty", but this is about as good of an example of the form as there is.

6. The Last Jedi
This ranking probably suffers from overhyped expectations - I expected it to be almost as good as The Empire Strikes Back, and it wasn't. Also, despite the fact that I know they were engineered to manipulate me into buying toys, I really want a porg.

5. The Post
Seth Meyers did an excellent parody of this genre, complete with payphones, cigarettes, and an imposing figure saying "run it." Even though I knew what was coming due to a combination of genre tropes and the actual history, it's just fun to see Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks play off each other.

4. Wonder Woman
My office paid for a group of us to go see this movie for reasons I have yet to understand. Still, it was a delightful way to spend an afternoon, and dare I say I felt empowered (ugh) as I left the movie.

3. Get Out
As a champion re-reader, I tend to get just as much enjoyment out of entertainment that I've spoiled for myself as I do going in blind. This is one case where I'm actually mad at myself for knowing (SPOILER) Allison Williams's motivations. Still, this movie works so well as a thriller and dissection of race relations in American that I would have enjoyed it immensely no matter what.

2. The Big Sick
I will never stop defending rom-coms, but movies like this make it a lot easier. Charming movie filled with excellent performances, especially Zoe Kazan, who is able to make her presence missed despite spending half the movie in a coma.

1. Lady Bird
This movie hit me. I remember having the same arguments beat-for-beat with my mother and the longing to leave my hometown forever, and yet this movie never resorts to the cliches I've already resorted to in this sentence. I saw it a few weeks ago and can't wait to watch it again.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Dactyl's 2017 Movie Roundup

23. Atomic Blonde. The first 20 minutes felt gross and misogynistic, so I walked out and rewatched the second half of Wonder Woman.

22. The Shape of Water. I know it’s critically beloved, but I thought this was gross and creepy and tonally disjointed. No spoilers, but there are things in this movie that I wish I could unsee.

21. Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I straight-up forgot that I saw this movie until Doris mentioned it on her list.

20. Murder on the Orient Express. A movie directed by Kenneth Branagh starring Kenneth Branagh that could have used a lot less Kenneth Branagh.

19. Gifted. Also forgot I saw this one until I was watching the Critics’ Choice Awards. It had cute moments, but I thought the conflict and resolution toward the end felt very forced.

18. Pitch Perfect 3. Inane, stupid, but not the worst way to spend a lazy afternoon.

17. Logan. Saw half of this on the plane. Well-shot but seemed dark and sad.

16. I, Tonya. Solidly depicts domestic violence and the ways in which different perspectives give rise to complicated narratives. But I still prefer stories with more emotional resonance. Also the handheld camerawork gave me a bit of a headache.

15. Jumanji. I respect movies that know exactly what they are and deliver on it. This was a lot of fun.

14. Spider-Man: Homecoming. I liked it, but I would’ve scaled back on the standard superhero/villain fare and put the high school kids front and center (a la Harry Potter); that’s where the movie really shines.

13. Beauty and the Beast. Nothing revolutionary, but irresistibly nostalgic. Dan Stevens’ Evermore > Josh Groban’s Evermore, don’t @ me.

12. Star Wars: The Last Jedi. This had the potential to be brilliant, but overall the storylines were slightly messy and didn’t quite make sense. I definitely hold Star Wars to a higher standard, and this didn’t meet it.

11. Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. The acting and score were top notch; Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell definitely brought their A-game. But I found the story to be arbitrarily violent and too exposition-heavy—I prefer more showing and less telling.

10. The Post. A little slow-paced in the beginning, but exudes old-school class. As always, Meryl Streep is a gift to us all.

9. Thor: Ragnarok. Hilarious and off-the-wall, in the best way. Thor’s throwaway story about Loki and the snake was one of my favorite little moments of the year.

8. Dunkirk. I saw this in IMAX and it was stunning (although admittedly boring at times, especially during the plane sequences).

7. The Greatest Showman. A total cheesefest, but I absolutely loved it. I can’t stop singing the soundtrack. It feels like Hugh Jackman is finally doing exactly what he was born to do.

6. The Big Sick. Low-key excellence. I agree with Doris, this is definitely worth the watch on Amazon Prime.

5. Baby Driver. Oozing with creativity and totally invigorating. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a non-musical blend music and film so well.

4. Wonder Woman. All love and empowerment, exactly what we need from blockbusters right now.

3. Get Out. Genius.

1 (tie). Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name. Both are impeccably filmed, deeply human masterpieces. Don’t make me pick between them. Lady Bird is a perfect film—every line, every scene, every edit does its job in propelling the story forward in a way that radiates authenticity and hits every emotional beat. Call Me By Your Name is languid, intoxicating, and so full of life; I left the theater feeling like my heart had been simultaneously built and broken. Timothée Chalamet gives one of my favorite performances ever in CMBYN. (And he’s also in Lady Bird, proving that some people actually did have an awesome 2017.) I can’t say enough great things about both films. If this is youth in the film industry, we’re in good hands.

Friday, January 5, 2018

2018 Golden Globe Predictions


Best Motion Picture - Drama
"Call Me by Your Name"
"The Post"
"The Shape of Water"
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Will Win:
Alicia: The Shape of Water. I hated this movie, but I can see it playing well with the international-minded HFPA.
Doris: I haven’t seen any of these but I’m thinking The Post because hello, America’s sweethearts Meryl Streep and T. Hanks?

Should Win:
Alicia: Call Me by Your Name. Just a brilliant film that hits you straight in the heart.
Doris: Agreed - this is the one I want to see most!

Alicia: If the PGA can recognize Wonder Woman, the HFPA needs to step up their game.
Doris: I heard The Florida Project was great. Also Mudbound.
Alicia: Ooh, yes, I need to see both of those. Although Mudbound is on Netflix and I still haven’t watched it, so it’s probably not happening haha.

Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
"The Disaster Artist"
"Get Out"
"The Greatest Showman"
"I, Tonya"
"Lady Bird"

Will Win:
Alicia: Lady Bird! A perfect film. I can’t believe this is Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut; I think it’s impeccable.
Doris: Although I haven’t seen it yet (I’m truly the worst), Lady Bird has received the most hype, which I am sure is well-deserved.

Should Win:
Alicia: Lady Bird, although I would only be slightly upset if Get Out took this.
Doris: Agreed.

Alicia: Definitely The Big Sick. I would have had this above I, Tonya and The Greatest Showman (and possibly The Disaster Artist, which I have yet to see).
Doris: As seen in my 2017 movie roundup, I too loved The Big Sick and am pissed about its complete omission from these nominations. Also, I would’ve thought the highly hyped Girls Trip would be more likely to get a nom than The Disaster Artist or The Greatest Showman.
Alicia: I know The Greatest Showman doesn’t belong here, but I loved it. More happy Hugh Jackman movies, please.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama
Jessica Chastain, "Molly's Game"
Sally Hawkins, "The Shape of Water"
Frances McDormand, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Meryl Streep, "The Post"
Michelle Williams, "All the Money in the World"

Will Win:
Alicia: Frances McDormand. She’s spectacular in Three Billboards, even though the movie wasn’t my favorite.
Doris: I’m going to go with heavyweight Meryl Streep just to be contrary.

Should Win:
Alicia: Frances McDormand, but I wouldn’t count out Sally Hawkins.
Doris: I haven’t seen any of these… why am I even writing this? Because I’m a dick I’d like to see someone other than Meryl win.
Kristy: Sally Hawkins was one of the few things I really liked about Shape of Water.  Also she deserves this for believably being in love with the fish monster.  I will say caveat that I haven’t seen Three Billboards and I do hear that McDormand is fantastic.  

Doris: Alicia, write something so I can copy you.
Alicia: Um, Emma Stone? J-Law? Who are the usual suspects here? Fuck it, I’m going with our goddess and savior Gal Gadot.
Doris: I LOVE her. (P.S., Emma Stone is nominated in the Comedy category.)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama
Timothée Chalamet, "Call Me by Your Name"
Daniel Day-Lewis, "Phantom Thread"
Tom Hanks, "The Post"
Gary Oldman, "Darkest Hour"
Denzel Washington, "Roman J. Israel, Esq."

Will Win:
Alicia: Timothée Chalamet, because I believe in sunshine and rainbows and happy things (but really, adorable white men).
Doris: Who is the oldest and whitest person on this list? Actually, I’m going to throw down a wild card and say Denzel Washington (who is the oldest at 63).
Kristy: Gary Oldman.  He’s got a long history, he’s a Big Name, and it’s a buzzy role.  

Should Win:
Alicia: Seriously though, Timothée Chalamet’s performance is one of my favorite ever. In any movie, in any year.
Doris: Same pick. It’s always fun to see ingenues awarded.
Kristy: Agreed.  He makes that movie.

Alicia: This has been a thin year for extraordinary leading men.
Doris: Harris Dickinson was amazing in the indie Beach Rats, not that I expect anyone to be aware of it.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Judi Dench, "Victoria & Abdul"
Margot Robbie, "I, Tonya"
Saoirse Ronan, "Lady Bird"
Emma Stone, "Battle of the Sexes"
Helen Mirren, "The Leisure Seeker"

Will Win:
Doris: It’s got to be Saoirse Ronan, right? Although Margot Robbie could steal it.
Alicia: Agreed, definitely Saoirse Ronan.

Should Win:
Doris: I am really angling for a win for Saoirse Ronan and not Margot Robbie.
Alicia: I agree. Margot Robbie was good, but you always get the sense that she’s acting. Saoirse is such a natural; there’s a reason some people are starting to dub her a mini-Meryl.

Doris: Zoe Kazan for The Big Sick!
Alicia: Always endless love for The Big Sick.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Steve Carell, "Battle of the Sexes"
Ansel Elgort, "Baby Driver"
James Franco, "The Disaster Artist"
Hugh Jackman, "The Greatest Showman"
Daniel Kaluuya, "Get Out"

Will Win:
Doris: Maybe this is my heart talking over my head but I think Daniel Kaluuya can win this.
Alicia: I would love for Daniel Kaluuya to take this, but I think James Franco will probably win.
Kristy: James Franco.  I feel like it’s his to lose based on the fact that there’s so much buzz and he’s the type they’d go for.  

Should Win:
Doris: Daniel Kaluuya. (Am I just rooting for all the POCs?)
Alicia: Daniel Kaluuya was the best though! Although shout-out to Ansel Elgort for convincing me that he actually can act.

Doris: Kumail Nanjiani in The Big Sick! Yes, I’m a broken record.
Alicia: Kumail really was robbed. Gonna go read his Twitter feed to make myself feel better.

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Mary J. Blige, "Mudbound"
Hong Chau, "Downsizing"
Allison Janney, "I, Tonya"
Laurie Metcalf, "Lady Bird"
Octavia Spencer, "The Shape of Water"

Will Win:
Doris: Allison Janney is usually a safe bet because she wins everything. On a side note, I’m impressed by the relative diversity of this category.
Alicia: Based on their characters, I’m actually going to pick Laurie Metcalf over Allison Janney here. Her role is Lady Bird is so well-rounded and beautifully realized; Allison’s is good but more one-note.
Kristy: I’m really torn.  I’ll give the slight tip to Janney because everyone loves her and her role is more extreme.

Should Win:
Doris: I heard Laurie Metcalf had a great performance.
Alicia: She did. Laurie Metcalf for the Oscar, no matter what happens here.
Kristy: Justice would say that Laurie should win.

Doris: Tiffany Haddish has gotten a lot of hype for Girls Trip, yet no dice.
Alicia: I just want to hear a Tiffany Haddish acceptance speech.

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Willem Dafoe, "The Florida Project"
Armie Hammer, "Call Me by Your Name"
Richard Jenkins, "The Shape of Water"
Christopher Plummer, "All the Money in the World"
Sam Rockwell, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Will Win:
Doris: Christopher Plummer, who shot all his scenes in what, 10 days? What a badass.
Alicia: Same. I think Sam Rockwell and Willem Dafoe have a shot as well, but the Globes love trendy things, and a win by Plummer would certainly make a statement for the #MeToo movement.

Should Win:
Doris: Since I haven’t watched any of these movies, I wouldn’t be upset by any of these.
Alicia: Of the ones I’ve seen, I’d probably go with Sam Rockwell. But the other 2 favorites are Willem Dafoe and Christopher Plummer, so I don’t feel qualified to call this until I see their movies.

Doris: Um, teen heartthrob Harry Styles in Dunkirk, amirite?! Jk, jk. Idk.
Alicia: Michael Stuhlbarg in Call Me by Your Name. His final scene would be worthy of the win here.
Kristy: Agreed he was brilliant.  As much as Timothée is the best part of that movie, if I were to pick just one scene from that movie it would be his speech.

Best Director
Guillermo del Toro, "The Shape of Water"
Martin McDonagh, "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Christopher Nolan, "Dunkirk"
Ridley Scott, "All The Money in the World"
Steven Spielberg, "The Post"

Will Win:
Doris: I’m thinking Christopher Nolan for a big showy movie, even if it did come out earlier last year.
Alicia: I would love for Nolan to finally get some major awards love, but I think they’ll go for Guillermo del Toro this year.
Kristy: Yes between those two.  Based on timing I’ll go del Toro.  Dunkirk was released too early and Shape of Water was racking up acclaim when they were voting on this.

Should Win:
Doris: I really don’t care which of these pale men wins. (See below.)
Alicia: Yeah, I was going to write Greta Gerwig here before I realized that she wasn’t nominated. Seriously, what the fuck. Given my paltry options, I guess I’ll go with Christopher Nolan. But come on, this is shameful.

Doris: Where the flying fuck is Greta Gerwig’s nomination?! That’s sexism for you: she directed the highest rated movie ever (or at least for a time) on Rotten Tomatoes and girl still can’t score a dumb Golden Globe nom. Also, no Jordan Peele? Come on.
Alicia: Greta Gerwig, who deserves to win. Jordan Peele, because his movie is genius. Patty Jenkins, for doing the impossible. I don’t understand how Ridley Scott and Spielberg got in over them this year.

Best Screenplay in a Motion Picture
"The Shape of Water," Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor
"Lady Bird," Greta Gerwig
"The Post," Liz Hannah and Josh Singer
"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri," Martin McDonagh
"Molly's Game," Aaron Sorkin

Will Win:
Doris: Probs Aaron Sorkin, a promising rising star who came out of nowhere to deliver his brilliant debut script. Jk.
Alicia: Hahaha I love Sorkin, but his stuff is like 50% brilliance, 50% bullshit. I actually think Greta Gerwig could win here, but it’s a toss-up between her and Martin McDonagh.

Should Win:
Doris: Lady Bird. I’m determined for Greta Gerwig to get something.
Alicia: Same. Every line in Lady Bird is perfection.

Doris: Maybe Get Out written by Jordan Peele?
Alicia: This category is weird—I guess it combines original and adapted screenplays? I agree about Jordan Peele, and I would also throw in James Ivory’s adapted script for CMBYN.

Best Animated Film
"The Boss Baby"
"The Breadwinner"
"Loving Vincent"

Will Win / Should Win:
Doris: Coco probably should and will win.
Alicia: Real people > animation. There, I said it.


Best TV series - Drama
"The Crown"
"Game of Thrones"
"The Handmaid's Tale"
"Stranger Things"
"This Is Us"

Will Win:
Alicia: Oh no, we’ve moved to prestige television, my kryptonite. The only one I’ve seen all the way through is Thrones, but I thought this latest season was mediocre. I’m going with Emmy winner The Handmaid’s Tale.
Doris: Agreed. I’ve heard the hype. I’ve been awake.

Should Win:
Alicia: In this political climate, I’m all for showering love on The Handmaid’s Tale.
Doris: Same.

Alicia: I wouldn’t know.
Doris: Dramas don’t interest me. Pass.

Best performance by Actress in a TV series - Drama
Caitriona Balfe, "Outlander"
Claire Foy, "The Crown"
Maggie Gyllenhaal, "The Deuce"
Katherine Langford, "13 Reasons Why"
Elisabeth Moss, "The Handmaid's Tale"

Will Win:
Doris: Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss.
Alicia: Ditto.
Kristy: Outside chance to Claire Foy.  Netflix had impeccable timing on dropping that season.

Should Win:
Doris: Probs Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss.
Alicia: Ditto.

Doris: Usual suspects Viola Davis and Robin Wright.
Alicia: How did the girl from 13 Reasons Why get in over Viola and Robin? Anyway, I really like Mandy Moore in This Is Us; she’s always had a warm quality, but she really shines on that show.

Best performance by an Actor in a TV Series - Drama
Sterling K. Brown, "This is Us"
Freddie Highmore, "The Good Doctor"
Bob Odenkirk, "Better Call Saul"
Liev Schreiber, "Ray Donovan"
Jason Bateman, "Ozark"

Will Win:
Doris: Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown.
Alicia: I’m gonna pick Freddie Highmore, just to be annoying.

Should Win:
Doris: Probs Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown.
Alicia: Yup.

Doris: Milo Ventimiglia, better known as older, more buff, bearded Jess.
Alicia: I’ll take any excuse to see Milo in a tux.

Best TV series - Musical or Comedy
"Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
"Master of None"
"Will & Grace"

Will Win:
Doris: Finally, something I’ve actually seen! I’m going to go with Master of None which was brilliant and moving in its second season.
Alicia: Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is exactly the kind of show that the HPFA loves---bright and shiny and new.
Kristy: Marvelous Mrs. Maisel with outside chance to Will & Grace.  That was critically and commercially acclaimed and HFPA probably loves them.

Should Win:
Doris: Sticking with Master of None. If you haven’t watched Lena Waithe’s Emmy-winning Thanksgiving episode yet, you are missing out big time.
Alicia: I’ve seen half of Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. It was good.

Doris: Modern Family. HA I crack myself up. I’m surprised The Good Place, Veep, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and Crazy Ex-Girlfriend didn’t get nominated, but a show I’ve never heard of (SMILF?) did.
Alicia: The Good Place is fantastic; it should get more love.
Kristy: All the love for Mike Schur shows.  Brooklyn Nine Nine also had some great timely stuff this year.  And Crazy Ex-Girlfriend probably also belongs here.  

Best performance by an Actor in a TV series - Musical or Comedy
Anthony Anderson, "Black-ish"
Aziz Ansari, "Master of None"
Kevin Bacon, "I Love Dick"
William H. Macy, "Shameless"
Eric McCormack, "Will and Grace"

Will Win:
Doris: Folks love Kevin Bacon, and I actually did watch the Amazon Prime series he was in.
Alicia: Haven’t the foggiest. How about Anthony Anderson?
Kristy: I’m gonna say Eric McCormack.  For the same reasoning I gave that show the outside chance above.  

Should Win:
Doris: Going with Aziz. Even though he’s more impressive as a writer, director, etc., he deserves the love.
Alicia: I loved Aziz’s book, so I’ll go with him as well.

Doris: My mind is drawing a blank right now.
Alicia: This is so much pressure I can’t think of anyone.

Best performance by an Actress in a TV series - Musical or Comedy
Pamela Adlon, "Better Things"
Alison Brie, "Glow"
Issa Rae, "Insecure"
Rachel Brosnahan, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel"
Frankie Shaw, "SMILF"

Will Win:
Doris: I don’t even know who the first and last nominees are. I’ll say Issa Rae.
Alicia: Rachel Brosnahan. I’m willing to bet one whole dollar.
Kristy: I wouldn’t take that bet.  Rachel Brosnahan.

Should Win:
Doris: As much as I liked Rachel Brosnahan on Amy Sherman-Palladino’s new show, Issa Rae is pretty cool.
Alicia: Rachel Brosnahan is pretty impressive, especially delivering stand-up.

Doris: What, Will but no Grace? (Not personally invested, but for parity’s sake.) Also surprised by the absence of perennial Emmy winner JLD as well as the last 3 years’ winners: Tracee Ellis Ross for Black-ish, Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin. Oh, and I love Ellie Kemper on Kimmy Schmidt, but I don’t know if this season is eligible and I’m too lazy to look into it.
Alicia: America Ferrera for Superstore! I love that show.

Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
"Big Little Lies"
"Feud: Bette and Joan"
"The Sinner"
"Top of the Lake: China Girl"

Will Win:
Doris: Big Little Lies. Next.
Alicia: Yup.

Should Win:
Doris: Based on the hype, Big Little Lies.
Alicia: I read the plot synopsis for Big Little Lies and it sounds like rich white people problems.

Doris: Maybe Twin Peaks, but honestly I’m happy to see women dominate this category.
Alicia: If Black Mirror was eligible here, then definitely Black Mirror.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Robert De Niro, "The Wizard of Lies"
Jude Law, "The Young Pope"
Kyle MacLachlan, "Twin Peaks"
Ewan McGregor, "Fargo"
Geoffrey Rush, "Genius"

Will Win:
Doris: Could be anyone. I’m going with Robert De Niro since he’s the oldest at 74.
Alicia: Ewan McGregor, because he played 2 people on Fargo.
Kristy: Kyle MacLachlan.  Maybe I’m stumping too hard for well-received revivals but whatever.  

Should Win:
Doris: I have no. opinion.
Alicia: I mean, Geoffrey Rush is apparently a genius.

Doris: Who knows.
Alicia: Who cares.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Jessica Biel, "The Sinner"
Nicole Kidman, "Big Little Lies"
Jessica Lange, "Feud: Bette and Joan"
Susan Sarandon, "Feud: Bette and Joan"
Reese Witherspoon, "Big Little Lies"

Will Win:
Doris: Emmy winner Nicole Kidman.
Alicia: I’m gonna say Reese just to be different.
Kristy: Kidman.

Should Win:
Doris: Aside from Jessica Biel, these are all heavyweights in the industry. All are good.
Alicia: Nicole Kidman gave a great speech at the Emmys, so I think she should get another 10 minutes.

Doris: I was going to say Shailene Woodley but I see she’s considered a Supporting Actress, so idk.
Alicia: No idea.
Kristy: Were there any other actresses in limited series this year?

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Alfred Molina, "Feud"
Alexander Skarsgard, "Big Little Lies"
David Thewlis, "Fargo"
David Harbour, "Stranger Things"
Christian Slater, "Mr. Robot"

Will Win:
Doris: Christian Slater won previously for this role. I’ll say him again.
Alicia: David Harbour. People love their Stranger Things.
Kristy: Alfred Molina.   Why not.  

Should Win:
Doris: David Thewlis for no other reason than the fact that he’s Lupin.
Alicia: David Thewlis for ruining the third act of Wonder Woman.

Doris: Literally, I can pick any dude on TV? This is such a weird category. I’ll say Tituss on Kimmy Schmidt.
Alicia: Ted Danson. I just watched him on The Good Place and he’s unexpected and fantastic. Also, he’s 70 years old but looks fantastic.
Kristy: Andre Braugher. I love him in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Laura Dern, "Big Little Lies"
Ann Dowd, "The Handmaid's Tale"
Chrissy Metz, "This is Us"
Michelle Pfeiffer, "The Wizard of Lies"
Shailene Woodley, "Big Little Lies"

Will Win:
Doris: Emmy winner Ann Dowd.
Alicia: Laura Dern. She had cool hair in Star Wars. Also, she’s Dr. Sattler in Jurassic Park, and I will always love her for that.

Should Win:
Doris: All seem fine. Probs Laura Dern or Ann Dowd.
Alicia: Yeah, all seem worthy.

Doris: There are so many amazing women on TV that I cannot handle this pressure right now. You would think that two-time Emmy winner Kate McKinnon would be a shoo-in but the Globes don’t seem to like SNL as much as the Emmys do. Also the Italian actress Alessandra Mastronardi was fantastic on Master of None.
Alicia: This is such a strange category. It could be like 90% of actresses on TV, but I can’t think of a single one.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Saurus's 2017 Movie Roundup

These are the new movies I watched in 2017. I know, I'm missing tons including Lady Bird, Coco, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, and even Beauty and the Beast, but... what can you do. Let me live.

Straight-Up Bad
14. Most Beautiful Island
This is one of the 8 films I watched over a 2-day period at the Sidewalk Film Festival in Birmingham, AL. I cannot express to you all how much I disliked this movie, from its excessively bright/hyper-real lighting (I don't know what the technical term for this is called), mediocre acting, and dumb climax. I am not exaggerating when I say I sat in the theater thinking about how much I hated it the entire time. #sorrynotsorry

13. A Ghost Story
Okay, I know as well as anyone that Casey Affleck is a problematic person. Nonetheless, I thought the premise of this movie was interesting and was eager to see it at Sidewalk. Welp, I got my fair punishment. The pacing was mind-numbingly slow and overall the movie was unbelievably pretentious and tedious. I should have boycotted it from the start for its casting and saved myself from staring at Rooney Mara eating a pie for 10 min. tl;dr: UGH.

12. The Beguiled
Pretty white people. Female "empowerment" (not so much). Sofia Coppola at the helm. What could go wrong? Well, I'm not really sure, but suffice it to say something did. I would've been annoyed had I paid more than $1.64 for this movie ticket at a run-down discount theater nearby - a rather unpleasant viewing experience that admittedly may have colored my perception of this movie.

11. Menashe
Another one of the 8 Sidewalk films. I was really excited to see this depiction of Brooklyn's ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jewish community given the moving trailer. Maybe I hyped it for myself too much but I found this film a bit on the dreary side. Sorry to contribute to Menashe's schlimazel status given this lame rating...

Okay, I Guess
10. Axolotl Overkill
Yet another Sidewalk film. I walked into this one because the theater was at a convenient location, tbh. The movie was sort of enjoyable at the time but when I think about it, I don't really remember, understand, or care what happened.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy 2
Chris Pratt hijinks. But more importantly, the return of Baby Groot! I live and breathe for Baby Groot (beautiful cinnamon roll too good for this world, yada yada).
Surprisingly Good
8. Forever ‘B’
I am notorious for hating popular forms of media like documentaries, podcasts, etc. (I'm #theworst). Yet somehow I really enjoyed this true crime documentary telling the crazy story of a sociopathic pedophile who manipulated his friends/neighbors and kidnapped and brainwashed their preteen daughter. Watching this in a small audience at Sidewalk was particularly amusing, given the collective audience reaction (read: major groans) to some of the parents' more questionable actions.

7. Baby Driver
This was the first movie I ever sneaked into, after paying for #1 on my list! Alicia used to tell me how she'd do it all the time, so I guess I was inspired by her teen con days to sneak into a teen con movie (there is simply no way Ansel Elgort is 23). Anyhow, this was just a fun movie with a thumping soundtrack. Cheap thrills, y'all.

6. Thirst Street
Here's another with an entertaining Sidewalk audience reaction - everyone's laughter at the protagonist's melodramatic, lovestruck antics made the movie for me.

5. Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman is the superhero we need but definitely do not deserve. Gal Gadot is also an amazing mortal.

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
I told my Marvel-obsessed friend that I would come see this movie with him if it meant I didn't have to go see the new Thor (which I assumed would be stupid like its predecessors, although yes, I've heard it's "good"). I got friend cred but little did he know that I wanted to see this movie anyway, what with its diverse cast of kids, including my old fave Tony Revolori. Months later I am still reblogging movie gifs and shipping Tom/Zendaya.

3. Big Bear
Perhaps the most "mainstream" movie I saw at Sidewalk, this comedy featuring Adam Brody (another old fave) ended up being a very funny crowd pleaser that I would definitely be up for watching again.

2. Beach Rats
Harris Dickinson is a revelation (that is a thing that people say, I think) in this well-acted, beautifully shot film, the last of the Sidewalk bunch. I genuinely cannot believe he is British and not a aimless boy from Brooklyn alternately exploring and denying his sexuality.

1. The Big Sick
I'm biased of course, since I love a good rom-com and am desperate for more stories that do not involve white bread falling in love with mayonnaise. But this one is especially clever and funny -- what was the last movie you saw with a good 9/11 joke? If you haven't seen this yet, it's free if you have Amazon Prime, so watch it now and thank me later.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2016 Movie Roundup

Happy Oscars Week! Some quick thoughts on the movies I saw last year:

Would Not Recommend

22. Southside With You
About as awkward as you’d expect from fanfiction about the Obamas.

21. Finding Dory

20. Ghostbusters
This was dumb, but it occasionally made me laugh.

19. The Jungle Book
I made the mistake of seeing this without having any knowledge of the book or original film. I was underwhelmed. The re-orchestrated main theme is awesome, though.

18. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

17. Sully
Not bad, but unnecessary. I thought the news coverage of this was more exciting.


16. Doctor Strange
Pretty standard superhero stuff, but the visual effects were stunning.

15. The Lobster
Like a Wes Anderson story gone horribly wrong. I enjoyed the world-building and creativity.

14. Deadpool
Crass, but genuinely funny. Welcome back, RyReyn.

13. Bridget Jones’s Baby
My one gripe about this movie is its ending; apparently they filmed 2 options, but the story seemed to build toward the one they didn’t use. Overall, though, this was delightful, and you could really hear Emma Thompson’s wit sprinkled throughout.

12. Moana
The beginning and end of this movie are superb, and “How Far I’ll Go” is my favorite of this year’s Oscar nominees for Best Original Song. But the middle with the cross-eyed chicken and singing crab and murderous pirate coconuts…

11. Captain America: Civil War
Me: Not as good as Winter Soldier, but I could watch an entire movie with just Black Panther and Spider-Man.
Marvel: We’re 2 steps ahead of you.

10. Hidden Figures
Just a hair too cheesy for my taste, but a wonderful, inspiring story nevertheless.

Must See

9. Hacksaw Ridge 
A brutal film, powered by Andrew Garfield’s sensitivity.

8. Loving
An understated, nuanced portrait of marriage. Totally underrated this awards season.

7. Zootopia
This was released last March, ostensibly for children, but I didn’t see anything else that was more intellectually stimulating. Plus those DMV sloths were iconic.

6. Rogue One
I LOVE this diverse cast---Mexican, Chinese, Black, and British-Pakistani actors play the eponymous crew of unsung heroes. It’s a stark contrast to the protagonists of the original films, and it works perfectly for this People’s History-esque chapter of Star Wars.

5. Manchester by the Sea
All-around A+ acting, in that I forgot anyone was acting at all.

4. La La Land
Dazzling, and (mostly) deserving of the hype. I can’t wait to see what Damien Chazelle comes up with next.

3. Moonlight 
Such a pure form of art---deeply personal, classically beautiful, and refreshingly original.

2. Lion
This story was both epic and intimate, and I really connected with the (sometimes conflicting) themes of belonging and finding home. Also, we need to talk about Dev Patel...

1. Arrival
In my totally subjective opinion, Arrival was the most moving, profound story of the year. The revelation in the final act still gives me chills. I’ll leave you to weep with this Max Richter piece.