2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 2: Licorice Pizza And West Side Story Arrive In Style

Licorice Pizza

In my first column for the 2022 Oscars, I talked about how Belfast and The Power of the Dog were 1 and 1A in the Best Picture race with a lot of unknowns trailing behind. Two of those unknowns arrived this past week and became legit contenders. Buckle up.

Licorice Pizza And West Side Story Have Arrived

Never count out the power of well-respected directors. Coming into the Fall, very little was known about Licorice Pizza and West Side Story besides the two powerhouses behind the camera, Paul Thomas Anderson and Steven Spielberg. Projects from two of the best directors of their respective generations will garner a lot of attention.

In both cases, the hype was real.

Licorice Pizza landed the best debut at the independent box office during the pandemic with $335,000. PTA’s coming-of-age story set in the 1970s San Fernando Valley received overwhelmingly positive reviews, with RogerEbert.com calling it the “best movie of the year.

Fittingly, another organization called it the best film of the year. The National Board of Review named Licorice Pizza the Best Film of 2021. In addition to the top prize, PTA won Best Director, and Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman won breakthrough performance.

The win at the NBR foreshadows an Oscar nomination. Since 2010, only two films* that won Best Film did not go on to receive a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars. With a Best Picture nomination all but guaranteed, PTA should receive at least one more nomination for screenplay or direction with the former being his best chance to win.

*2014’s A Most Violent Year and 2020’s Da 5 Bloods

While PTA searches for his first Oscar, Spielberg is trying to win his fourth Oscar with West Side Story. When Spielberg first announced he would remake one of the greatest musicals of all time, many questioned why take on this legendary work of art.

Not this guy!

We should know better than to question a 17-time Oscar nominee.

According to the first reactions, West Side Story is a “true Spielberg classic.”

West Side Story quickly inserted itself into the Best Picture race with its inclusion on NBR’s 10 Best Films of the Year. The film is a lock for nominations in Best Picture and Best Director. Expect newcomer Rachel Zegler (Best Actress), who won Best Actress at NBR, Ariana DeBose (Supporting), and Rita Moreno (Supporting) to be major players in their respective races.

Gotham Awards And National Board of Review Results

This past week, the Gotham Awards gave out some hardware. The biggest winner was Netflix’s The Lost Daughter, which won four awards: Best Feature, Breakthrough Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress. Will it translate to Oscar nominations? It will be difficult for Maggie Gyllenhaal to crack the directing category, but she’s a shoo-in for an Adapted Screenplay nomination. Olivia Colman is a guarantee for a Best Actress nomination while the film still has some work to do for Best Picture.

As for the rest of the NBR winners, Will Smith began his “I’m going to win every award in site” campaign with a victory for King Richard.

Until next time, my friends.

After strong premieres, Licorice Pizza and West Side Story are now contenders in the race for Best Picture at the 2022 Oscars.

Previous Discussions:

Tweet me, @danny_giro, with your best Oscar predictions!

Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Shows Just Enough To Keep Us Guessing

Spider Man: No Way Home

So that Spider-Man: No Way Home trailer looks pretty awesome, huh.

It’s hard to put into words how much of grip No Way Home has on pop culture. It’s easily the most anticipated film of the year, and not since Avengers: Endgame have we seen a film dominate the conversation on the Internet to this extent. Between spoilers, leaks, predictions, you can’t go a few hours without another writer or publication posting an article about No Way Home.

The film’s first trailer smashed the record for the most viewed trailer in 24 hours with 355.5 million views. That record will be hard to beat, but the second trailer served more as a preview of what’s to come.

“We started getting visitors… from every universe.”

The big reveal for this trailer revolved around the return of previous villains from multiple movies in different universes. Doctor Octopus, Sandman, and the Green Goblin returned from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films while the Lizard and Electro arrived from Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man films. These five supervillains could form the Sinister Six, but that begs the question about the sixth and final member. Will there be a sixth villain?

*A working title.

More importantly, who is the true villain of No Way Home? Perhaps it’s Ned, who arrives from another universe as the Hobgoblin. Maybe, Kang, the Conquerer, shows up to wreak havoc on the timeline once again as he did in Loki. It’s crazy to say this, but could Doctor Strange be the “bad guy” since he’ll do anything to shut the door on the multiverse even if that means taking out Peter Parker?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Here’s what I do know. The trailer revealed just enough to satisfy the audience without giving away too much. Most of the villains appeared, but not every villain. The main idea of the plot is known, and yet there’s still so much on its way.

If No Way Home is a game of Texas Hold ’em, then we just saw the flop. The river, or the fifth and final card, is the end of the movie and how it sets up the future of the MCU. Every fan including myself is focused on the fourth card known as “the turn.” That’s the moment went Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield show up to give us our three Spider-MEN.

Look, it’s going to happen. Do not believe anything that Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire, and Andrew Garfield are saying. They are paid to deny this earth-shattering reveal. It’s going to be an awesome moment in the theaters that might rival the moment when Doctor Strange opened the portals to form the Avengers Army in Endgame.

For those still skeptical, the moment when Doctor Octopus pins Spider-Man to the wall and says, “You’re not Peter Parker” is a dead giveaway that Maguire and Garfield will appear at some point. He’s looking for “his” Peter. Marvel will make sure to pay off this moment. Would it have been cool to see the reunion in the trailer? Of course, but this special moment will fucking rule on the big screen.

I can’t wait for December 17. Say your prayer that no leaks or spoilers hit the Internet. I’m looking at you, critics.

Leave your predictions for Spider-Man: No Way Home in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Taste Is His Best Quality

Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best actors of his generation and one of the most desirable men in Hollywood. In other news, the sky is blue and the grass is green.

We know Leo is great at what he does. With six Oscar nominations including one win for Best Actor, the proof is in the pudding. Countless actors who have worked with Leo have praised his talent, with Carey Mulligan calling him “the most incredible actor on the planet.

It also helps to be one of the most attractive men ever, but that’s neither here, nor there.

On November 11, Leo turned 47. First of all, happy birthday to one of my acting heroes. Second, I started to reflect on Leo’s career, and one thing stood above the rest.

It wasn’t his acting ability or good looks or legendary paparazzi photos. All of those things are important, but it’s not his best quality.

Leo’s taste is his best quality.

No, I’m not referring to the time he ate raw bison liver in The Revenant.

I’m referring to his taste in projects. Leo arguably has the best taste in all of Hollywood. He consistently chooses great project after great project with very little misses on his filmography. In a time where superhero movies dominate the box office and streamers churn out new movies every week, DiCaprio continues to play by his rules and only participates in movies that he wants to make.

Leo is one of the last true movie stars in Hollywood. Leo hasn’t made the jump to prestige television just yet and up until this year, never headlined a movie for a streamer. (This will change with Netflix’s Don’t Look Up.) Every Leo movie feels like an event, which is rare. The days of actors being able to generate high box office returns based on their name alone is a thing of the past, and yet DiCaprio still has that power.

I view Leo’s career in two phases. B.S. and A.S. – Before Scorsese and After Scorsese. Leo rarely misses, meaning the film is either received negative reviews or flopped at the box office. Most of his “misses” came before his first collaboration with Martin Scorsese, which occurred in 2002 with Gangs of New York.

Below are Leo’s movies B.S.

Is The Man in the Iron Mask or Celebrity going to be shown on DiCaprio’s highlight tape? Probably not. I haven’t even seen Total Eclipse, but I’d imagine it won’t be on the tape, either. However, most actors would kill for an 11-year span that includes a supporting acting nomination at age 19, a leading role in the highest-grossing movie ever at the time, and a starring role beside Tom Hanks in a Steven Spielberg movie.

Leo had a lot of juice in 2002 and can headline any movie he wants. But he does the smart thing and pairs himself with one of the greatest directors ever, Martin Scorsese. Aligning himself with Scorsese was the smartest thing Leo could have ever done.

Below are Leo’s movies A.S.

Look at this success rate. Time and time again, DiCaprio chose movies that succeeded both critically and financially. The run of Gangs of New York, The Aviator, The Departed, and Blood Diamond is better than Murderers’ Row. There are no bad misses on this list. I’m not a fan of J. Edgar, but that movie was still named as one of the top ten films in 2011 by the National Board of Review.

The man doesn’t miss, and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Long live Leo.

2022 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 1: The Race For Best Picture

Belfast / Focus Features

Gentlemen, start your engines. We’re on a one-way trip to the 2022 Oscars.

Right now, we’re about five months away from the 2022 Oscars, which airs on March 27, 2022. That may seem like a long time away, but the races are starting to take off in each major category. “Oscar movies” will be released every single week until the end of the year. which means it’s time to start up the “2022 Oscars Discussion” column.

The first and (probably) last column in this discussion will cover the ceremony’s top prize, Best Picture. Will this year’s winner be the next Parasite or The Artist?

Early Breakdown Of The Race For Best Picture

As of November 5, there is no clear-cut Best Picture frontrunner, which is a change from last year after many experts predicted Nomadland would win the top prize after its victory at the Venice Film Festival in Sept. 2021. Having no true frontrunner isn’t a bad thing. I’m all for a competitive race with a variety of films trading wins at major guilds and festivals throughout awards season. Those tight races lead to wonderful surprises like Parasite‘s win back in 2019.

As of Nov. 5, the favorites to win Best Picture are Belfast and The Power of the Dog. Belfast is a black-and-white period piece from Kenneth Branagh about a working-class family from Northern Ireland in the 1960s. I haven’t seen the film yet, but it’s giving me major “Roma in Northern Ireland” vibes.

Some critics have cited the film as Branagh’s most personal film ever, a personal love letter to his childhood. Belfast features performances from Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Judi Dench, Ciarán Hinds, and great child performance from Jude Hill, the latter campaigning for Best Actor. It’s currently tied with The Power of the Dog for the best odds (15/2) to win Best Picture via Goldderby.

Belfast has history on its side thanks to its People’s Choice Award win at TIFF. Since 2012, every film that won this award received a Best Picture nomination and three of those films went on to win at the Oscars. In other words, Belfast is guaranteed to be in contention for Best Picture.

Belfast premieres in the U.S on November 17.

Speaking of The Power of the Dog, Jane Campion’s western starring Benedict Cumberbatch is the other frontrunner for Best Picture. Without giving too much away, Cumberbatch plays a domineering rancher who torments his brother’s new wife and son, until a secret may tear him apart.

Campion has a good history with the Academy as she was the second woman ever to be nominated for Best Director for 1993’s The Piano. She’ll probably become the first two-time female nominee at this year’s ceremony. Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst are shoe-ins for nominations in Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Plus, The Power of the Dog was second-runner up at TIFF.

Just like Belfast, The Power of the Dog will be a Best Picture nominee come March.

The Power of the Dog streams on Netflix starting Dec. 1.

The Contenders

After those two films, there’s a bit of a drop-off. Some of that has to do with the fact that no one has seen the film yet. I haven’t seen one word from a critic about Licorice Pizza, West Side Story, Nightmare Alley, House of Gucci, and Don’t Look Up. Seriously, not one single word about five films from Oscar-nominated and Oscar-winning directors.

King Richard and Dune should make the final list of Best Picture nominees. The Tragedy of Macbeth from Oscar-winner Joel Coen has six Academy Awards between the two stars, Denzel Washington and Frances McDormand, so expect the film to be in the mix. Other than that, a few smaller films like The Lost Daughter and CODA will try to claw their way into the contention.

My prediction for Best Picture nominees as of 11/5.

  • Belfast
  • The Power of the Dog
  • Nightmare Alley
  • House of Gucci
  • King Richard
  • Dune
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth
  • Licorice Pizza
  • West Side Story
  • Don’t Look Up

Let the games begin.

Tell us your predictions for Best Picture in the comments below or tweet us, @danny_giro.

Dune: Reaction, Comments, And Looking Ahead To Part II

Dune / Legendary Pictures

I went to Arrakis, sniffed some spice, and rode a giant sandworm across the desert. In other words, I finally saw Dune. One of the most anticipated films of 2021 finally arrived in theaters and on HBO Max, and opinions are being thrown all over Twitter.

As the responsible man that I am, I waited a few days to gather my thoughts. Here they are.

Dune
Dune / Warner Bros.

Dune Reaction And Comments

Dune ruled.

– Denis Villeneuve is in his bag. I’ve said it a hundred times before, and I’ll say it again. Villeneuve is one of the five best working directors in Hollywood. He’s in my personal top three. No one besides Christopher Nolan understands the importance of scope and scale more than Villeneuve. The wide shots of Arrakis and Caladan are a wet dream for those who love cinematography. Every single frame is carefully crafted and executed at the highest level. Simply, it was a privilege to watch a master execute his vision.

– This cast might have the highest approval rating ever for an ensemble. Ocean’s Eleven and Knives Out both have an A-list cast, but Dune wears the crown for cast right now.

– Why didn’t Legendary and Warner Bros. market the film as “Dune Part I?” I read an interview where Denis Villeneuve explained how he secured a two-movie deal and he wouldn’t agree to the project unless it was multiple movies. Why not market the film as the first film in a two-part saga? After Warner Bros. upset Villeneuve with the decision to stream the film on HBO Max simultaneously with a theatrical release, you would think they would have greenlit the sequel immediately. But no, the sequel wasn’t guaranteed because of the unknown box office returns and subscriber numbers due to the pandemic.

– Furthermore, had this film been marketed as Part I from the very beginning, it would have cleared up a lot of confusion in terms of the story. There’s A LOT of world-building and exposition in the 156-minute film so much so that it would have been impossible to tell a complete story in one film. This is just a hunch, but critical reception would have improved if it was “Dune Part I” from the start. Many critics would have seen it as the franchise’s version of The Fellowship of the Ring, knowing another film was coming to complete the story.

– The movie is kind of plotless? Now that I wrote it out, plotless is the wrong word. As I said, Dune is a lot of exposition as Villeneuve attempts to explain this complex world throughout the movie. Let me rephrase “plotless.” The inciting incident to the story – the Harkonnen betrayal and invasion – begins more than an hour into the movie. Then, Jessica and Paul wander in the desert for the rest of the film, attempting to survive the sandworms, the Harokonnens, and the Freemans. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, but it’s a lot of set-up for very little payoff.

– The sandworms were AWESOME. Super effective.

– The action sequences were incredible. Between the Harkonnen invasion, Duncan Idaho vs. an entire army, and the sandworm attacks, Dune perfectly balanced political thriller to an edge-of-your-seat action-adventure.

– Don’t move your hand!

Timothée Chalamet in Dune / Legendary Pictures

– Best performances:
1. Jason Momoa
2. Rebecca Ferguson
3. Oscar Isaac

– Jason Momoa is the coolest man on the planet. He stole the damn show as Duncan Idaho.

Jason Mamoa in Dune / Legendary Pictures

– Thankfully, our wish was granted when Legendary greenlit Dune Part II.

– I have a confession. I watched this movie on HBO Max. I want to apologize to my Lord and Savior Denis Villeneuve for seeing his work of art on a small screen. Have no fear, I’m headed to a movie theater this weekend to watch the sandworms.

My Letterboxd Score: 4/5.

I can’t wait to spend more time with Zendaya and Javier Bardem as we all watch Timothée Chalamet ride a sandworm in Dune Part II.

Did you enjoy Dune? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Scream: The Brilliant Horror Still Shines 25 Years Later

Scream / Dimension Films

There are two camps involved when discussing Scream, the 1996 slasher film about a killer in a Halloween costume that wreaks havoc on a small town. You either believe Scream is a good movie or a great movie.

Let’s start with the first camp. Why is Scream a good movie? For starters, the story is pretty straightforward to understand. A killer known as Ghostface, who wears a ghost mask and black gown, targets a high school girl named Sidney Prescott one year after the murder of her mother in the town of Woodsboro, California. The killer begins to murder teenagers and townspeople as he fights to get closer to his main target, Sidney.

In two sentences, the main character and plot are established without confusion. It’s a classic “whodunnit,” as the audience seeks to learn the identity of the killer, and why they’re targeting a teenage girl.

Good premise? Check.

Good writing and direction? Double-check.

For the latter, you couldn’t find a better director in this genre than the “Master of Horror,” Wes Craven. As a pioneer in horror, Craven is the mastermind behind the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise as well as cult classics like The Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes, and Swamp Thing.

The script was written by Kevin Williamson, who was an unknown writer at the time. Williamson wrote a script called Scary Movie, which became Scream, that combined elements of a slasher film with a black comedy. Though mostly known for his horror projects, I always find it ironic that Williamson created the teen drama, Dawson’s Creek. Imagine a Scream and Dawson’s Creek double feature. Sign me up.

In terms of its cast, Scream elected to go with established actors at the time instead of unknowns, which was typically common in horror. Neve Campbell was on Party of Five, Courtney Cox was on Friends, and David Arquette had roles in Parenthood and Buffy the Vampire Slayer to go along with being from the famous Arquette family.

All of these elements (premise, script, director, cast) set Scream up for success. Add in a twist ending where it’s revealed Ghostface was not one, but two killers and Scream was an instant, entertaining thriller.

It’s a good movie.

But it’s not just a good movie.

Scream is a great movie. In fact, I’ll go one step further and describe it as brilliant.

The seismic impact of Scream in the horror genre cannot be overstated. Scream combined the meta-humor of a black comedy with the gore and frightfulness of a horror film. Williamson was clearly a huge horror fan as his script is an homage to Halloween. The concept of introducing characters who were self-aware and in on the joke was ingenious. The teens openly discuss horror films and poke fun at the cliches throughout the film. Everybody is a suspect, don’t have sex, don’t have alcohol or drugs, never say you’ll be right back, etc. Randy even explains the rules for survival in a horror film!

I left out one very important cast member, and her presence adds to the genius of Scream. The actress I’m referring to is Drew Barrymore. In 1996, Barrymore was a huge name in Hollywood. Barrymore was very established in pop culture by 1996, having been in E.T., Batman Forever, Guncrazy, and Poison Ivy. She even flashed David Letterman. Barrymore was about to hit the A+list, which is why it came as a surprise that she signed up for a small horror film after reading the script one night.

Barrymore was set to play the leading role of Sidney but had to drop out due to previous commitments. Most stars would leave the project entirely, but Barrymore stayed on and asked to play Casey Becker, the girl who appears in the opening scene. Although she’s in the film for around 10 minutes, it’s arguably the most important scene in the entire franchise.

As Barrymore mentioned on Hot Ones, she wanted to change the rules of a horror film. Most of the time, you never think the main character is truly in trouble since they’ll never die, and if they are murdered, it’s never at the beginning.

Not Scream.

Here’s your biggest star in the movie and she’s killed within the first 10 minutes. That’s a Red Wedding-type move. Killing Barrymore was jaw-dropping moment that confirmed nobody was safe. Anyone could be killed at any time. Even Henry Winkler (in an uncredited role)!

I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a special shoutout to Skeet Ulrich and Matthew Lillard, who played Ghostface as a duo. To steal a phrase from The Rewatchables podcast, this duo gave the biggest heat check performance in the movie. It’s so over-the-top and filled with memorable one-liners, but it fits their characters. Psycho teenage murders are probably going to be a little dramatic and crazy.

Now, Scream is getting a fifth movie this January. It’s not an official reboot, but it appears to mirror themes and ideas from the first film.

Scream rewrote and revitalized the slasher genre, and its legacy should still be celebrated 25 years later.

Besides, if you remove all the humor and violence, Scream is simply an advertisement for landlines.

Scream / Dimension Films

Leave your thoughts about the movie in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

New Trailer For Marvel Studios’ Eternals Looks Terrific

Marvel's Eternals / Disney

Eternals, assemble.

Wait, those aren’t the words. The next team-up movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe does not include Iron Man, Captain America, or Spider-Man. The assembled team is an immortal alien race that’s called upon to fight upon a new enemy after secretly living on Earth for over 7,000 years. The movie is Eternals, which arrives in theaters on November 5.

The little voice in my head just said, “Wait, this is a Marvel movie?” Eternals includes powerful aliens who fight to protect the fate of humanity so yes, this is a superhero movie. However, there’s something different about Eternals. It doesn’t look like your typical superhero film with an abundance of CGI and VFX. This clearly wasn’t all shot in a studio in front of a green screen.

Eternals has its own visual style, and that signature vision belongs to the director, Chloé Zhao. Zhao is fresh off of the highly successful Nomadland, which won three Oscars including Best Picture and Best Director. I am not saying that Nomadland and Eternals are in the same ballpark in terms of genre. However, watch Nomadland, and then watch this trailer, and it becomes clear they belong to the same director. The sweeping wide shots, the use of natural light, and the facial closeups are apparent in both films thanks to Zhao’s distinct style. In an interview with Variety, Kevin Feige couldn’t hold back his praise for Zhao, saying,” This is right out of a camera; there’s no VFX work to this at all! A beautiful sunset, with perfect waves and mist coming up from the shore on this giant cliffside… this is a signature style.”

The plot of the Eternals revolves around one question: Why now? If the Eternals have been around for over 7,000 years, why did they sit back and watch Thanos wipe out half the population? That’s a question they will have to answer once when they come out of hiding. The trailer also cites the arrival of the Deviants, the Eternals’ evil enemy, as one of the reasons why the powerful heroes must come together to defend humanity.

The MCU needs some new star power with the (alleged) departures of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Scarlett Johansson. Eternals includes big-name actors and actresses like Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek. The cast also includes emerging stars from popular franchises like Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians), Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley), Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta), and the leaders from Game of Thrones, Richard Madden and Kit Harrington.

The tide is changing in the world of film and television. Superhero films and TV shows are starting to become more respected within their respective critical academies. Wandavision and The Falcon & Winter Soldier both received multiple Emmy nominations this year. Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix both won Oscars for their portrayal of the Joker. James Mangold received a screenwriting nomination for Logan. Black Panther was the first MCU film to be nominated for Best Picture. At some point, a superhero film is going to break through at the Oscars in non-technical categories. Under Zhao’s direction, perhaps Eternals will resonate with the Academy and result in multiple Oscar nominations.

In a post-Endgame world, world needs a new group of heroes. The Eternals might be the answer to the future of the MCU.

Are you excited about Eternals? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

2021 Oscars: Biggest Takeaways From Golden Globes And SAG Awards

Minari

Welcome to awards season. In a normal year, many nominees and studios would be making their final push towards the 2021 Oscars. However, in this unprecedented year, the bulk of awards season is just about to begin.

In the past two days, the Golden Globes and SAG Awards released their nominations for their respective ceremonies. As are the rules of the Internet, you have to be happy at the surprises and mad at the snubs. Surprises and snubs always happen.

Once the shock value passes, turn your attention towards the 2021 Oscars. The Golden Globes and SAG Awards are good barometers for Oscar nominations depending on the category. Can anyone stop The Trial of the Chicago 7 or Nomadland in Best Picture? Will Chadwick Boseman become a double nominee? Can Maria Bakalova do the impossible and win an OscaR?

Below are five major categories and their impact on the Oscars.

*Sorry television, but this article is about films only. TV had a monumental year in 2020, but I’m shifting my focus towards movies for now. However, Anya Taylor-Joy better win every award for The Queen’s Gambit.

Best Picture

The Trial of the Chicago 7 / Netflix
The Trial of the Chicago 7 / Netflix

Golden Globes – Drama: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7.
Comedy/Musical: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

SAG AwardsDa 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari, One Night In Miami, The Trial Of The Chicago 7

This is a tale of two voting groups. The Globes leaned into acclaimed filmmakers like David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin while the SAGs championed diverse casts. For the Oscars, cut out every comedy/musical from the Globes because none of those movies will receive a Best Picture nomination. The Trial of the Chicago 7 and Nomadland are the favorites as of now, but watch out for Mank and Minari who are right on their heels.

Oscars Best Picture Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Mank, Nomadland
  • Looking Good – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari, Promising Young Woman, Da 5 Bloods, The Father
  • Still Alive – One Night In Miami, Sound of Metal, News of the World
  • Darkhorse – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom and Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy
Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Glenn Close in Hillbilly Elegy

Golden Globes – Drama: Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anthony Hopkins – The Father, Gary Oldman – Mank, Tahar Rahim – The Mauritanian.
Comedy/Musical: Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, James Corden – The Prom, Lin-Manuel Miranda – Hamilton, Dev Patel – The Personal History of David Copperfield, Andy Samberg – Palm Springs

SAG Awards – Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anthony Hopkins – The Father, Gary Oldman – Mank, Steven Yeun – Minari

The biggest story is not who was nominated, but who was left out. Delroy Lindo, who I thought was a lock for a Best Actor nomination, was snubbed from both the Globes and the SAGs. His Oscar chances have severely deteriorated, and that’s a damn shame. There is some recent precedent as Roma‘s Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira both received Oscar nominations Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress respectively without Golden Globe and SAG nominations. For the Oscars, it’s the fight for the fifth spot as Ahmed, Boseman, Oldman, and Hopkins most likely cemented their spots.

Oscars Best Actor Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal, Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Anthony Hopkins – The Father, Gary Oldman – Mank
  • Looking Good – Steven Yeun – Minari
  • Darkhorse – Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods, Sacha Baron Cohen – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Actress

Hillbilly Elegy / Netflix

Golden Globes – Drama: Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand – Nomadland, Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman 
Comedy/Musical: Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Kate Hudson – Music, Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit, Rosamund Pike – I Care a Lot, Anya Taylor-Joy – Emma 

SAG Awards – Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy, Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand – Nomadland, Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman

Like Best Actor, Best Actress appears to have four locks in Davis, Kirby, McDormand, and Mulligan. It’s that fifth spot where the confusion lies. Adams came out of nowhere to snag the SAG nomination. Don’t count Adams out for the Oscar nomination since she’s previously been nominated six times. Day and Pfeiffer are right in the mix as well and their campaigns will only gain steam once more people see their respective movies. Bakalova, one of my breakout stars of the year, will be in the supporting category at the Oscars.

Oscars Best Actress Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman, Frances McDormand – Nomadland, Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
  • Still Alive – Amy Adams – Hillbilly Elegy, Andra Day – The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Michelle Pfeiffer – French Exit
  • Darkhorse – Rosamund Pike – I Care a Lot

Best Supporting Actor

One Night in Miami / Amazon Studios

Golden Globes – Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah, Jared Leto – The Little Things, Bill Murray – On the Rocks, Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami 

SAG Awards – Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods, Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah, Jared Leto – The Little Things, Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami

If you have a Jared Leto joke, save it for Twitter. In defense of Leto, he’s the best aspect of The Little Things. I appreciate the creepy, edgy serial killer he was trying to portray. The Little Things could have benefitted with more Leto. With that being said, I’m truly shocked he received supporting nominations at both the Globes and SAGs because the movie was not highly received by critics. I hate to sound like a broken record, but this seems to be another battle for one spot between Murray and Boseman. My money is on Boseman.

Oscars Best Supporting Actor Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7, Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah, Jared Leto – The Little Things, Leslie Odom, Jr. – One Night in Miami 
  • Still Alive – Chadwick Boseman – Da 5 Bloods, Bill Murray – On the Rocks
  • Darkhorse – Paul Raci – Sound of Metal

Best Supporting Actress

Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm / Amazon Studios

Golden Globes – Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman – The Father, Jodie Foster – The Mauritanian, Amanda Seyfried – Mank, Helena Zengel – News of the World 

SAG Awards – Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman – The Father, Youn Yuh-jung – Minari, Helena Zengel – News of the World

Three days ago, if you asked me to pick a favorite for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, I would have selected Seyfried for Mank. Three months ago, I would have picked Close for Hillbilly Elegy. Now, I’m not confident with either of those predictions. Close is a lock while Seyfried should get the nomination. Call me crazy, but the favorites to win have to be Maria Bakalova and Youn Yuh-jung. Both actresses continue to rack up supporting wins from various critics’ circles. The winner of the SAG award will be in the driver’s seat.

Oscars Best Supporting Actress Nomination Predictions

  • Locks – Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Glenn Close – Hillbilly Elegy, Olivia Colman – The Father, Youn Yuh-jung – Minari
  • Still Alive – Amanda Seyfried – Mank, Helena Zengel – News of the World
  • Darkhorse – Jodie Foster – The Mauritanian

What are your takeaways from the Golden Globe and SAG nominations? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

2021 Golden Globes Predictions: Film And TV Nominations

Anya Taylor-Joy in The Queen's Gambit / Netflix

In 2021, the Golden Globes, not the Oscars, will be airing at the end of February. In a normal year, the Golden Globes would have aired in January, and the Oscar contenders would have been making one last push for votes right about now.

However, this year has been nowhere near normal. Between theater closings and streaming wars, the way we watch movies and television changed dramatically. By now, I would have seen 95% of films nominated at the Golden Globes. Now, I’m playing catch up.

Let’s not skip ahead to the Oscars just yet. The Golden Globes nominations will be announced on Feb. 3. I wrote this last year, but the same principles apply when predicting nominations.

  1. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) loves to spotlight new shows and talent. Ask yourself “What dominated pop culture,” or as the kids say, “What’s hot in the streets?”
  2. The HFPA LOVE stars. If there’s an A-list star in a movie or television show, whether it’s good or bad, there’s a solid chance they’re getting a nomination in order to guarantee their attendance. NOTE: I have no idea if there will be people in attendance so this guideline may adust. However, stars on Zoom calls are better than no stars at all.
  3. The Golden Globes don’t predict Oscar winners, but it’s a good barometer. For example, Joaquin Phoenix, Renée Zellweger, Brad Pitt, and Laura Dern all won in their respective categories before going on to win at the Oscars.

With so much unknown, my confidence meter is lower than usual in both film and television. Despite my lack of belief, I trust my gut when it comes to a few of my standout predictions.

  • Hamilton – Voters are going to love it.
  • Leslie Odom Jr. is going to receive three individual nominations in three separate categories.
  • Chadwick Boseman will be a double nominee, and he’ll win Best Actor in a Drama.
  • I’m buying the Bridgerton hype especially for Best Series, Best Actor, and Best Actress.
  • Borat will be well-represented and could sweep Best Actor in a Comedy/Musical, Best Actress in a Comedy Musical, and Best Comedy/Musical
  • Dave Burd is my long shot to not only receive an acting nomination, but win the category.

Below are my full predictions.

GOLDEN GLOBES – FILM

Mank / Netflix
Mank / Netflix

BEST MOTION PICTURE — DRAMA

  • The Trial of the Chicago
  • Nomadland
  • Mank
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • The Father

BEST MOTION PICTURE — MUSICAL or COMEDY

  • Hamilton
  • Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Palm Springs
  • On the Rocks
  • The Prom

BEST ACTOR – DRAMA

  • Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Gary Oldman, Mank
  • Anthony Hopkins, The Father
  • Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods
  • Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal

BEST ACTRESS – DRAMA

  • Frances McDormand, Nomadland
  • Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
  • Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
  • Zendaya, Malcolm and Marie

BEST ACTOR – COMEDY/MUSICAL

  • Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Andy Samberg, Palm Springs
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
  • Pete Davidson, The King of Staten Island
  • Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

BEST ACTRESS – COMEDY/MUSICAL

  • Meryl Streep, The Prom
  • Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit
  • Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  • Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma
  • Cristin Milioti, Palm Springs

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami
  • Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago
  • Bill Murray, On the Rocks
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
  • Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Amanda Seyfried, Mank
  • Olivia Colman, The Father
  • Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman
  • Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
  • Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

BEST DIRECTOR

  • David Fincher, Mank
  • Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
  • Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago
  • Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods
  • Regina King, One Night in Miami

BEST SCREENPLAY

  • The Trial of the Chicago
  • Nomadland
  • Mank
  • One Night in Miami
  • Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

I have not studied the submissions yet for this category. However, Leslie Odom Jr. is going to be nominated for a song from One Night in Miami. Look out for Taylor Swift in this category as well.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Tenet
  • Mank
  • Soul
  • Hillbilly Elegy
  • News of the World

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Minari
  • Bacurau
  • The Life Ahead
  • Another Round
  • Dear Comrades

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • Soul
  • Wolfwalkers
  • Over the Moon
  • Onward
  • The Willoughbys

GOLDEN GLOBES – TELEVISION

Normal People Hulu
Normal People / Hulu

BEST TELEVISION SERIES — DRAMA

  • The Crown
  • The Mandalorian
  • Lovecraft Country
  • Bridgerton
  • The Boys

BEST TELEVISION SERIES — MUSICAL or COMEDY

  • Schitt’s Creek
  • Ted Lasso
  • Ramy
  • The Great
  • The Flight Attendant

BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES or MOVIE

LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

  • Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason
  • Josh O’Connor, The Crown
  • Rege-Jean Page, Bridgerton
  • Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country
  • Al Pacino, Hunters

LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION DRAMA

  • Olivia Colman, The Crown
  • Laura Linney, Ozark
  • Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country
  • Emma Corrin, The Crown
  • Phoebe Dynevor, Bridgerton

LEAD ACTOR IN A TELEVISION COMEDY

  • Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
  • Ramy Youssef, Ramy
  • Nicholas Hoult, The Great
  • Dave Burd, Dave

LEAD ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION COMEDY

  • Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek
  • Elle Fanning, The Great
  • Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
  • Issa Rae, Insecure
  • Jane Levy, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist

LEAD ACTOR IN A MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM

  • Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True
  • Ethan Hawke, The Good Lord Bird
  • Hugh Grant, The Undoing
  • Paul Mescal, Normal People
  • Hugh Jackman, Bad Education

LEAD ACTRESS IN A MINISERIES OR TELEVISION FILM

  • Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit
  • Shira Haas, Unorthodox
  • Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
  • Nicole Kidman, The Undoing
  • Daisy Edgar-Jones, Normal People

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A SERIES, MINISERIES, OR TELEVISION FILM

  • Dan Levy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Mahershala Ali, Ramy
  • John Boyega, Small Axe
  • Tobias Menzies, The Crown
  • Jim Parsons, Hollywood

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A SERIES, MINISERIES, OR TELEVISION FILM

  • Gillian Anderson, The Crown
  • Uzo Aduba, Mrs. America
  • Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
  • Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
  • Letitia Wright, Small Axe

Who do you think will be nominated? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

2021 Oscars Discussion, Vol. 5: The Party Crashers

Malcolm and Marie / Netflix

It’s 2021, which means the eligibility window for the 2021 Oscars closes in less than two months. Both Apple TV+ and Netflix are making late additions to their Oscars’ slate with Cherry and Malcolm & Marie.

Cherry And Malcolm & Marie Look To Crash The Party

Here come the streaming services. Just when the Oscar races were starting to form contenders, Apple and Netflix hit the film community with a “not so fast my friend.” Apple and Netflix are banking on star power to win over voters with Cherry and Malcolm & Marie.

Cherry stars Tom Holland as the titular character, a US soldier suffering from PTSD. To pay for his opioid addiction, Cherry starts to rob banks. Directed by The Russo Brothers, Cherry is based on the acclaimed semi-autobiographical novel from author Nico Walker.

Both Holland and The Russo Brothers are set to prove they can play outside of the Marvel sandbox. Spider-Man made Holland a superstar, but this young talent doesn’t need spandex to prove he can light up the screen. Holland’s track record outside of Marvel speaks for itself with good performances in The Impossible and The Lost City of Z. With a difficult subject matter and long runtime (150 minutes), it’s going to be hard for Cherry to break into the Oscar field. However, Holland will get some votes for Best Actor so a nomination could be in his future within the next five years.

Cherry will premiere in theaters on Feb. 26 before streaming on Apple TV+ on Mar. 12.

While Cherry could struggle to gain traction with voters, it’s quite the opposite with Malcolm & Marie. I don’t see a world where Malcolm & Marie receive zero nominations for the 2021 Oscars. Directed and written by Sam Levinson (Euphoria), John David Washington and Zendaya star as Malcolm, a filmmaker, and Marie, his girlfriend. After a successful movie premiere, the couple returns home and begins to question their relationship as Malcolm’s celebrity status will soon rise.

What do the Oscars love? Stars and films about Hollywood. Malcolm & Marie checks both boxes. John David Washington and Zendaya are both charismatic, attractive, and well-liked actors. Both are coming off star-making performances in Tenet and Euphoria, respectively. Levinson, son of Oscar-winner Barry Levinson, is starting to hit his stride as a writer/director. Malcolm & Marie will compete for nominations in Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Orginal Screenplay, Best Production Design, and perhaps Best Picture.

With that being said, if you had to cash your chips in on one category, go all-in on a Best Actress nomination for Zendaya. The gifted actress has all the momentum in the world after her Emmy win for Euphoria. An Oscar nomination would catapult her to elite status.

Malcolm & Marie premieres Feb 5 on Netflix.

Other News And Notes

Judas and the Black Messiah looks fantastic. Lakeith Stanfield is one of the most eclectic actors in Hollywood. Does anyone have better taste than Daniel Kaluuya? Since 2015, Kaluuya has done Sicaro, Get Out, Black Panther, Widows, and Queen & Slim. The man doesn’t miss and he’s inserted himself right into the Best Supporting Actor race.

– I finally saw Tenet. It ruled!

Previous Discussions:

Can Cherry and Malcolm & Marie crash the Oscar party? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.