Sunday, December 8, 2019

'Irishman,' 'Hollywood' top 25th annual Critics' Choice nominations

The Critics Choice Association just announced nominees for the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards. Winners will be revealed at the star-studded Critics’ Choice Awards gala, which will once again be hosted by film, television, and stage star Taye Diggs, and broadcast live on The CW Television Network from 7-9 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12.

“The Irishman” leads all films this year with 14 nominations, including Best Picture. “Once Upon a Time Hollywood” also impressed with 12 noms, followed by “Little Women” with nine, “1917” and “Marriage Story” with eight, and “Jojo Rabbit,” “Joker,” and “Parasite” with seven each.

 “This has been a truly great year for both television and movies,” said CCA CEO Joey Berlin. “In every genre, from every viewpoint and distribution platform, brilliant storytellers are challenging and delighting us. We are so excited to have the opportunity to celebrate them, and their work Jan. 12 on The CW!” 

“Critics’ Choice Awards” are bestowed annually to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, they are the most accurate predictor of the Academy Award nominations.

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the U.S. and Canada, representing more than 400 television, radio and online critics. It was organized this year with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the blurring of the distinctions between film, television, and streaming content. For more information on television nominations, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

FILM NOMINATIONS FOR THE 25TH ANNUAL CRITICS’ CHOICE AWARDS

BEST PICTURE
1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Parasite
Uncut Gems

BEST ACTOR
Antonio Banderas – Pain and Glory
Robert De Niro – The Irishman
Leonardo DiCaprio – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Adam Driver – Marriage Story
Eddie Murphy – Dolemite Is My Name
Joaquin Phoenix – Joker
Adam Sandler – Uncut Gems

BEST ACTRESS
Awkwafina – The Farewell
Cynthia Erivo – Harriet
Scarlett Johansson – Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong’o – Us
Saoirse Ronan – Little Women
Charlize Theron – Bombshell
Renée Zellweger – Judy

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Willem Dafoe – The Lighthouse
Tom Hanks – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins – The Two Popes
Al Pacino – The Irishman
Joe Pesci – The Irishman
Brad Pitt – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Laura Dern – Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson – Jojo Rabbit
Jennifer Lopez – Hustlers
Florence Pugh – Little Women
Margot Robbie – Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen  – The Farewell

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS
Julia Butters – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Roman Griffin Davis – Jojo Rabbit
Noah Jupe – Honey Boy
Thomasin McKenzie – Jojo Rabbit
Shahadi Wright Joseph – Us
Archie Yates – Jojo Rabbit

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Bombshell
The Irishman
Knives Out
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Parasite

BEST DIRECTOR
Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story
Greta Gerwig – Little Women
Bong Joon Ho – Parasite
Sam Mendes – 1917
Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems
Martin Scorsese – The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Noah Baumbach – Marriage Story
Rian Johnson – Knives Out
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won – Parasite
Quentin Tarantino – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Lulu Wang – The Farewell

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Greta Gerwig – Little Women
Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue – A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony McCarten – The Two Popes
Todd Phillips & Scott Silver – Joker
Taika Waititi – Jojo Rabbit
Steven Zaillian  – The Irishman

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Jarin Blaschke – The Lighthouse
Roger Deakins – 1917
Phedon Papamichael   – Ford v Ferrari
Rodrigo Prieto – The Irishman
Robert Richardson – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Lawrence Sher – Joker

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran – Joker
Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales  – 1917
Jess Gonchor, Claire Kaufman – Little Women
Lee Ha Jun – Parasite
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves – The Irishman
Donal Woods, Gina Cromwell – Downton Abbey

BEST EDITING
Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie – Uncut Gems
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker – Ford v Ferrari
Yang Jinmo  – Parasite
Fred Raskin – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Thelma Schoonmaker – The Irishman
Lee Smith – 1917

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Ruth E. Carter – Dolemite Is My Name
Julian Day – Rocketman
Jacqueline Durran – Little Women
Arianne Phillips – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Sandy Powell, Christopher Peterson – The Irishman
Anna Robbins – Downton Abbey

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP
Bombshell
Dolemite Is My Name
The Irishman
Joker
Judy
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Rocketman

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
1917
Ad Astra
The Aeronauts
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
The Lion King 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
Abominable
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

BEST ACTION MOVIE
1917
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
Spider-Man: Far From Home

BEST COMEDY
Booksmart
Dolemite Is My Name
The Farewell
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE
Ad Astra
Avengers: Endgame
Midsommar
Us

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Atlantics
Les Misérables 
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

BEST SONG
Glasgow (No Place Like Home) – Wild Rose
(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again – Rocketman
I’m Standing With You – Breakthrough
Into the Unknown – Frozen II
Speechless – Aladdin
Spirit – The Lion King 
Stand Up – Harriet

BEST SCORE
Michael Abels – Us 
Alexandre Desplat   – Little Women
Hildur Guðnadóttir – Joker
Randy Newman – Marriage Story
Thomas Newman  – 1917
Robbie Robertson – The Irishman

Thursday, December 5, 2019

'Aeronauts' soars; fine if dark 'Marriage,' 'Waters,' 'Waves' take us down

Four paragraphs on an equal number of competitive year-end movies, each with a couple of terrific performances and at least three featuring more gut-wrenching moments than some may care to watch:

Redmayne holds tight to daredevil Jones.
So, let's start with the one that literally takes us up, up and away from it all. That would be "The Aeronauts," an entertaining lark that reunites Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne from "The Theory of Everything," puts them in a Victorian-era balloon (and an apparently truth-based story), and let's them fly. Jones is especially impressive in a wild and wacky early lift-off segment before we find out that she's a remarkable widow, while Redmayne is a hard-working weatherman, trying to achieve new heights and everything that entails. Director Tom Harper's occasionally breathtaking film opens today for what may be a brief theatrical run before floating onto Amazon Prime Dec. 20. Similar to other films in streaming mode, this one should be seen on a big screen for truly glorious effect.

Rated "PG-13": some peril and thematic elements; 1:41; $ $ $ $ out of $5

Speaking of streaming, "Marriage Story," now at one local theater, tussles its way onto Netflix Friday with Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver as a theatrical couple in the midst of a memorably miserable divorce. As written and directed by Noah Baumbach, the actor-driven film includes numerous he-said, she-said moments, a trio of lawyers (Laura Dern, Alan Alda and Ray Liotta) mostly giving and taking in all the wrong places, and a young son named Henry (Azhy Robertson) in the middle of the turmoil. Those of us old enough to remember certainly have seen much of this movie before, complete with a child whose real last name was Henry. It was in a 40-year-old little ditty called "Kramer vs. Kramer," which went on to win a Best Picture Oscar, among many other awards. Some claim "Marriage Story" might do the same, even though it says here that its East and West Coast sensibilities won't resonate with everyone. We shall see.

Rated "R": language throughout and sexual references; 2:16; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

In "Dark Waters," always credible Mark Ruffalo offers up a nicely measured performance as a low-key Cincinnati attorney whose allegiance to his West Virginia hometown helps open up a decades-long battle over poisonous chemicals that ultimately may affect us all. As based on a New York Times article, "The Lawyer Who Became DuPont's Worst Nightmare," this aptly titled courtroom thriller -- surprisingly from the generally more colorful director Todd Haynes -- makes us feel the pain of a wronged farmer (the marvelous Bill Camp), and shows why this bombshell of an environmental case turns into an obsession for Ruffalo's heroic Robert Billott. By the way, some nifty location shots of Cincinnati and Columbus, where much of the courtroom drama actually took place, might help Ohioans get through what seems like a facts-heavy final half-hour.

Rated "PG-13": thematic content, some disturbing images, and strong language; 2:06; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5

Harrison suffers with Brown and more in "Waves."
Finally, the engrossing "Waves" becomes another potential weeper when a nice kid (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) attempts to avoid going seriously off the rails in juggling a painful wrestling injury, an overbearing father (Sterling K. Brown), and his girlfriend's pregnancy. Now, at times, the tendencies of writer/director Trey Edward Shults to orchestra his audience with cameras, colors, and score (from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross) intrude a bit too often for their own good. Oddly, though, his same tricks play much more quietly -- and effectively -- in a second half that boasts a captivating portrayal from newcomer Taylor Russell, as the younger sister in a suffering family. Talk about healing influences.

Rated "R": language, drug and alcohol use, sexual content and brief violence, all involving teens; 2:15; $ $ $ and 1/2 out of $5