Here are my reviews of the nine 2019 Best Picture candidates. The ceremony is February 9, 2020.
It was a summer of car chases and cartoons come to life, but now Tinseltown’s thespians are ready to assume their glow in the spotlight. Prepare for a variety of favorite actors – including Adam Driver and Scarlett Johansson in more movies than can be counted – to showcase award-worthy performances on multiplex and streaming screens.
Two Stephen King sequels promise to shock: It Chapter Two, in which adult characters played by the likes of James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain face down the clown with a red balloon who so terrorized their childhoods, and Doctor Sleep (filmed in Atlanta) with Ewan McGregor as the grown-up “Danny” from The Shining who can’t escape his demons either.
Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman, which will debut both on Netflix and in select theatres, is a gangster tale starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci. It’s the story of mobster Frank Sheeran and the disappearance of one of the leaders of the biggest crime families in American history.
Giving Netflix a scrappy run for its money in the streaming department will be the debut of Disney+ in November, complete with the full binge-able back-catalogue of the studio’s films plus a Disney live-action Lady and the Tramp (set in Savannah) and Anna Kendrick as Santa’s daughter Noelle in a save-Christmas quest.
Iconoclast directors Taika Waititi and Rian Johnson, each most recently helming Marvel and Star Wars movies, return to eccentricity with Jojo Rabbit, a WWII-set fantasy with Rebel Wilson and Scarlett Johansson in small roles, and Knives Out, a star-studded whodunit with Chris Evans, Daniel Craig and Jamie Lee Curtis along for the mystery.
Sometimes Hollywood finds an ideal match between actor and lead role. Tom Hanks plays Mr. Fred Rogers in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Harriet features Cynthia Erivo as Harriet Tubman in the story of the Underground Railroad. Joaquin Phoenix is already getting festival buzz as the Joker, an R-rated look at the classic DC villain’s origin story. Goldfinch features star-on-the-rise Ansol Elgort as an art forger. And Ad Astra stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut embarking on a space flight in search of his lost father, whose experiment threatens the solar system.
The Report stars Adam Driver and Annette Bening in a docudrama about an FBI agent’s investigation into the CIA’s use of torture on suspected terrorists in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. And a stage director played by Driver and his actor wife played by Scarlett Johansson struggle through a grueling divorce that pushes them to their limits in Marriage Story. Plus, the biopic Ford v Ferrari stars Matt Damon and Christian Bale and follows the 1966 Le Mans race, in which Ford designers attempt to crack the code of their rival sports car’s racing team.
J.J. Abrams concludes the nine-part Skywalker saga with Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker in which we will finally discover the origins of Daisy Ripley’s Rey, get a glimpse of never-before scenes with Carrie Fisher, witness the return of Billy Dee Williams, discover the fate of Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and find out what that pesky phantom menace has been up to behind the scenes. Finn and Poe also get mysterious girlfriends (Kerri Russell and Naomi Ackie), and beloved BB-8 gets a new scooter-like companion droid.
Heads are being scratched not because of fleas but because of feline CGI fur effects as folks anticipate the adaptation of Broadway’s Cats, featuring the likes of Jennifer Hudson and Taylor Swift in full four-legged singing and dancing creature mode.
And let Oscar talk begin! Steven Soderbergh’s biographical comedy-drama The Laundromat stars Meryl Streep whose dream vacation takes wrong turns into the world of off-shore tax schemes. Gary Oldman, Jeffrey Wright and Sharon Stone round out the ensemble. Greta Gerwig’s Little Women stars Laura Dern, Saoirse Ronan and Timothée Chalamet in a spry adaptation of the literary classic. And Sam Mendes’ 1917 features Richard Madden and Benedict Cumberbatch in a WWI dramatic adventure.
Georgia is the biggest hub of multimedia content outside Hollywood? I’ve heard stranger things!
A new bus tour through the state’s fictional locations featured on one of TV’s biggest hit shows plus a vibrant exhibit about movie making in Georgia are both making their debuts this week.
The acclaimed Atlanta Movie Tours organization is now taking reservations for its latest track: The Atlanta Upside Down Tour, a veritable cornucopia of Stranger Things locations. In an exclusive media-only tour, Silver Screen Capture participated in the three and a half hour maiden voyage led by local actor and precision driver Colin Cary in an uncanny Chief of Police Jim Hopper uniform.
Highlights of the “watch a sequence and then see the real place where it was filmed” excursion included a trip to Sleepy Hollow Farm in Powder Springs, Georgia, home of the rotten pumpkin patch and Hopper’s iconic cabin, where Eleven was hidden from the government. Other stops on the journey included the site of the police station and the Palace Arcade in Dawsonville, the restaurant that doubles as Benny’s Burgers in Lithonia Springs and even the sites of the bustling community pool and the warehouse full of rats in East Point.
The great crew at Atlanta Movie Tours makes their excursions bright and breezy, with trivia, commentary, great photo stops, well curated videos, a snack break and even a Dustin-inspired singalong. The Upside Down Tour is one of many themed bus trips embarking from the company’s Castleberry Hills headquarters, which doubles as a nifty retail shop of all things Georgia film.
A less likely location is also site of movie making celebration this year. The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum has opened an exciting new exhibition, Georgia on My Screen: Jimmy Carter and
the Rise of the Film Industry. Beginning with then-Governor Jimmy Carter’s creation of the first state film office, the exhibition traces the development and impact of a multibillion-dollar industry in the state. The exhibition will be on display through the end of 2019.
Created with the generous support of the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office, major production studios, local film offices and museums, the exhibition includes artifacts from over 60 productions, filmed over the last 46 years in Georgia, including critically-acclaimed films, blockbuster movies, and major television series.
A few highlights of the exhibition include the Best Picture Oscar® for Driving Miss Daisy and Gone With The Wind, more than twenty objects from The Walking Dead including Negan’s bat, Lucille and Daryl’s motorcycles, Vinny’s boots and Mona Lisa’s dress from the 20th Century Fox film, My Cousin Vinny, Denzel Washington’s coaching uniform from Remember the Titans and tributes to the Marvel universe, whose films Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame are among the most popular movies ever made in the Peach State. Alongside the exhibition (offered as a part of entry fee for the library), the Jimmy Carter Library & Museum will be hosting a variety of lectures and talks, screenings, and family-day events throughout the year.
For more information and reservations:
The Georgia Film Critics Association (GAFCA) has announced its slate of nominees for the 2018 GAFCA Awards. Founded in 2011, this year marks the 8th annual awards program for the critics group. GAFCA is made up of 32 film critics from around the state, representing print, television, radio and online media. Nominations in all 17 categories have been released, as well as the shortlist for the Oglethorpe Award for Excellence in Georgia Cinema—a special prize for a film made in Georgia. Winners will be announced on Friday, January 11, 2019. Three films lead the nomination count, with A Star is Born, The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk each earning nine nominations. Black Panther and Roma each received seven nominations while BlacKkKlansman and First Man received six nods apiece. Eighth Grade earned four nominations; Leave No Trace and First Reformed received three each.
If Beale Street Could Talk
BlacKkKlansman – Spike Lee
The Favourite – Yorgos Lanthimos
If Beale Street Could Talk – Barry Jenkins
WINNER – Roma – Alfonso Cuarón
A Star is Born – Bradley Cooper
Avengers: Infinity War
WINNER – Black Panther
The Emissary (short)
The Hate U Give
The new trailer has arrived!
The National Board of Review (NBR) announced its winners, including a list of 2018’s Top Ten Films, to be formally awarded January 8, 2019, in NYC. The inspirational ’60s race relations dramedy Green Book (first prize as best picture and for one of its leading men) and the music-filled romance remake A Star Is Born (three of the top acting prizes) have been crowned the new frontrunners of awards season, with Alfonso Cuarón’s deeply personal black and white foreign language film Roma a distant third place in terms of awards season momentum.
Many films’ Academy Awards chances are boosted by these accolades, but don’t count out buzzy royalty fantasia The Favourite, Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Vice, Steve McQueen’s struggling but spectacular heist drama Widows, Spike Lee’s neglected but brilliant BlacKkKlansman or late-year entry The Mule (not screened for NBR voters, and director/lead actor Clint Eastwood has had late-breaking films enter the fray before) to score nominations come Oscar time.
Faring well in today’s NBR nominations is popular streaming service Netflix, home of both The Coen Brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and Roma. Both are now screening in select cities theatrically, and Buster Scruggs can be streamed right now. Little-seen indies from the first half of the year, First Reformed and Eighth Grade, plus blockbuster popular and critical hits from early this year, Black Panther and A Quiet Place, just picked up lots of momentum. Emily Blunt appears to be a factor in upcoming awards as love for both her films, A Quiet Place and Mary Poppins Returns, seems apparent in these votes.
I’ve hyperlinked to movies reviewed on this site. Let the awards season begin!
Best Film: Green Book
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Best Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Original Screenplay: Paul Schrader, First Reformed
Best Adapted Screenplay: Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Best Animated Feature: Incredibles 2
Breakthrough Performance: Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace
Best Directorial Debut: Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade
Best Foreign Language Film: Cold War
Best Documentary: RBG
Best Ensemble: Crazy Rich Asians
William K. Everson Film History Award: The Other Side of the Wind and They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: 22 July
NBR Freedom of Expression Award: On Her Shoulders
Top Films of 2018 (alphabetical, I presume we see these as the ten movies nipping at the heels of Green Book)
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Quiet Place
A Star Is Born
Top 5 Foreign Language Films
Happy as Lazzaro
Top 5 Documentaries
Crime + Punishment
Minding the Gap
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Top 10 Independent Films
The Death of Stalin
Lean on Pete
Leave No Trace
The Old Man & the Gun
Sorry to Bother You
We the Animals
You Were Never Really Here
From prestigious black and white arthouse movies generating awards talk to bubblegum hued adventures with personality bouncing off multiplex walls, the movies of autumn seek to capture your imagination. We’ve rounded up the most buzzworthy flicks to add to your binge list.
Costume dramas are all the rage as the weather gets cold, so expect Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz to duke it out as couture-clad cousins battling for attention during the 18th century reign of Queen Anne in The Favourite (Nov. 23) and Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie to rule the runway in the drama Mary, Queen of Scots (Dec. 7). Royalty comes in the form of glam rock with Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody (Nov. 2), the story of another Queen, the band.
Music takes center stage as a grungy Bradley Cooper mentors (and also directs) a plain-faced Lady Gaga in A Star is Born (Oct. 5), the latest remake in a catalogue that has starred some women you may have heard of named Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand. “Little Monsters” as well as those who couldn’t give a good Gaga about Gaga will likely equally gravitate to this hard-scrabble redemption story, filmed in and around Coachella music festival. Others who like a spoonful of music with their story will want to fly away with Emily Blunt in the title role of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns (Dec. 19), bringing whimsy, mischief and Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda in tow and picking up where Julie Andrews left her umbrella in 1964.
Fast forward to the ‘70s for horror movie inspiration. Those who like their flicks frightful can enjoy original scream queen Jamie Lee Curtis versus her nemesis Michael Myers in a direct sequel to 1978’s Halloween simply titled Halloween (Oct. 9). Suspiria (Nov. 2) is Luca Guadagnino’s remake of Dario Argento’s1977 Italian horror film set at a European ballet school, and it’s one grand jeté of grisly death sequences to the next.
Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma (Dec. 14) is also set in the ‘70s and is a semi-biographical take on a middle class family’s life in Mexico City. It’s black and white and the Gravity director’s next bid for Oscar glory. And talk about throwbacks! Michael B. Jordan, fresh off his villainous turn in Black Panther, puts on his boxing gloves and knockout emoting for Creed II (Nov. 21). This time he confronts the son of Ivan Drago, the notorious Russian fighter who gave Rocky a run for his ruble.
Those longing for times of less polarizing politics can enjoy Christian Bale as former Vice President Dick Cheney opposite Tyler Perry as Colin Powell in Adam McKay’s biopic Vice (Dec. 14), or you can simply swoon to the moon with Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong in the historical drama First Man (Oct. 12). This film reuniting the star with his La La Land director who filmed much of the movie in Georgia.
It’s also a season of strong women taking action as Viola Davis leads an ensemble in Steve McQueen’s Widows (Nov. 2) featuring women attempting a heist after their criminal husbands are killed on a botched job. And Regina King desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child in Barry Jenkins’s If Beale Street Could Talk (Nov. 23).
Anguished teens are front and center as Steve Carell nurtures Timothée Chalamet through opioid addiction recovery in Beautiful Boy (Oct. 12), and Nicole Kidman and Lucas Hedges confront homophobia in religious institutions in Boy Erased (Nov. 2).
Of course, some movies will simply be guilty pleasures, like A Simple Favor (Sept. 19) following a small-town blogger (Anna Kendrick) solving the disappearance of her mysterious and rich best friend (Blake Lively). Ralph Breaks the Internet (Nov. 21) continues Wreck-It Ralph’s pixelated misadventures including encounters with Disney princesses whose frozen fractals add sass to the in-joke filled sequel. And no, it’s not an Entourage subplot, Aquaman (Dec. 21) is a real movie, with hunky Jason Momoa’s salty superhero teaming up with Fast & the Furious filmmakers to part the living seas out of your DC universe. To add some artiness, the ubiquitous Kidman plays his maritime mum. Let the floodgates and movie theatres hasten your arrival.
Everyone was swooning over actor Ryan Gosling at DIRECTV House presented by AT&T Monday afternoon at the Toronto International Film Festival. Gosling was rocking a NASA denim jacket to promote his leading role in Damien Chazelle‘s Neil Armstrong biopic film First Man, a major contender in awards season.
Here’s a gallery of pictures from inside the Variety Studio presented by AT&T with Damien Chazelle, Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Kyle Chandler and Josh Singe.
Chazelle and Gosling previously collaborated on what could best be described as “Best Picture runner-up” La La Land, for which Chazelle won Best Director. First Man was filmed in part in Georgia.
Photos for Silver Screen Capture used with permission and credited to Charley Galley of Getty Images.
The second batch of fresh small screen content featuring Donald Glover is “earnin’ high marks” and drops March 1, 2018, on FX. Silver Screen Capture contributor and photographer extraordinaire Terence Rushin lovingly shot this gallery of stars from Atlanta: Robbin’ Season as they strut on the red carpet of the titular city’s last standing drive-in movie theatre, The Starlight Six. The first season of the show exploded onto the scene in 2016, winning two Golden Globe Awards (for Best Series, Musical or Comedy, and Best Actor for Glover) and two Emmy Awards (for Lead Actor and Directing for a Comedy Series, both for Glover). When he’s not making fresh TV shows, Glover explores his alter ego rapper Childish Gambino and just wrapped his role as Young Lando in this May’s Ron Howard (!) film Solo: A Star Wars Story. Catch Atlanta: Robbin’ Season on a device near you.
Awards season is in high gear! The Golden Globe nominations were announced today and are seen as a precursor to Oscar glory for many prestige pics. The Golden Globes ceremony will be broadcast live on NBC on January 7, 2018. Here are the biggest vote-getters, by numbers of nominations.
Here’s a full list of the motion pictures up for awards this year. There are always a few curious nominees in a Golden Globes list. For instance, Get Out is competing in the comedy or musical category, I suppose because it is a biting satire. The Martian won in this category a few years back (it’s kinda the Island of Misfit Nominations category since the Hollywood Foreign Press divides its Best Picture nominees into two groups). Also notable is Christopher Plummer’s nomination for the re-shoots he did just weeks ago to replace and erase Kevin Spacey’s role in All the Money in the World. The biggest head-scratcher nomination is for the much-maligned The Boss Baby for Best Animated Feature, a slot many would have thought should go to The LEGO Batman Movie.
Best Motion Picture (Drama)
Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)
Best Motion Picture (Animated)
The Boss Baby
Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Drama)
Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Drama)
Best Actor in a Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)
Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)
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
Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Best Director (Motion Picture)
Best Screenplay (Motion Picture)
Best Original Score (Motion Picture)
Best Foreign Film
A Fantastic Woman
First They Killed My Father
In the Fade
Best Original Song (Motion Picture)
Out On Film, Atlanta’s LGBT film festival, is celebrating its 30th year and has announced its programming of more than 120 feature films, documentaries, short films and web series. Out On Film 30 will take place September 28 – October 8 at Landmark’s Midtown Art Cinema, Out Front Theatre Company and the Plaza Theatre. Festival passes, three-pack and five-pack tickets and individual tickets are available now.
The opening night film is the LGBT film festival debut of Michael Patrick McKinley’s inspirational film Happy: A Small Film with a Big Heart. Star Leonard Zimmerman and director McKinley will be present at the screening. The closing night movie is Damon Cardasis’s Saturday Church, which has been described as a mixture of Moonlight and La La Land. A 14-year-old boy, struggling with gender identity and religion, begins to use fantasy to escape his life in the inner city and find his passion in the process. Star Luka Kain will be the closing night guest.
Other highlights of the festival include Trudie Styler’s Freak Show, about a boldy confident, wildly eccentric teenager who faces intolerance and persecution at his ultra conservative high school – and decides to fight back on behalf of all the misunderstood freaks of the world by running for the title of homecoming queen. The film stars Alex Lawther, Laverne Cox, Abigail Breslin and Bette Midler. Vincent Gagliostro’s After Louie stars Alan Cumming in a bravura performance as an AIDS activist and member of ACT UP in the 1980s and 90s who witnessed the deaths of too many friends and lovers but who finds an unexpected intimacy with a much younger man (Zachary Booth). And Tom Gustafon’s Hello Again is a film adaptation of Michael John LaChiusa’s celebrated musical, originally based on Schnitzler’s play ‘La Ronde,” about 10 lost souls who slip in and out of one another’s arms in a daisy-chained musical exploration of love’s bittersweet embrace. The film boasts an amazing cast – Martha Plimpton, Audra McDonald, Cheyenne Jackson, T.R. Knight, Rumer Willis, Sam Underwood, Jenna Ushknwitz, Tyler Blackburn, Al Calderon and Nolan Gerard Funk.
A variety of films in all sorts of genres are slated for the festival. Event passes are on sale through the website, and individual tickets and three-packs are available through Landmark Theatre’s ticketing.