Saturday, March 3, 2018

Thoughts on Oscar Noms and Predictions

A little bit more than 24 hours from now, we'll know all the winners as well as the also-rans of the 90th Academy Awards. On the one hand, the awards season was and still is unpredictable. Does anyone really know what's winning Best Picture or which film will get the most wins? On the other hand, those acting races were way more competitive early on before the usual precursors rubber-stamped all the winners. The lesson though of last year's ceremony though is... unexpected things can still happen. Will it this year? Who knows?

  • Call Me by Your Name (4 nominations)
  • Darkest Hour (6 nominations)
  • Dunkirk (8 nominations)
  • Get Out (4 nominations)
  • Lady Bird (5 nominations)
  • Phantom Thread (6 nominations)
  • The Post (2 nominations)
  • The Shape of Water (13 nominations)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (7 nominations)

I think some people expected The Florida Project to sneak in here, but the rest had been in the conversation early enough with momentum ebbing and flowing from one film to the next. I think the three films vying for the win are Three Billboards (lots of precursor love), The Shape of Water (top nominee + slam dunk directing win), and Get Out (preferential ballot favorite + film of the year). Dunkirk is probably the dark horse and could've been the favorite a few years ago (WWII film with lots of technical wizardry).

PREDICTION: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
FINAL WORD: Can the beautifully gay indie film pull off the shocking upset again please?

  • Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
  • Jordan Peele, Get Out
  • Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
  • Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread
  • Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water

Honestly, I love this shortlist. I probably would've replaced Anderson with Luca Guadagnino or Sean Baker, but really no actual complaints here. I mean look at these names! Just one of Del Toro, Peele, or Gerwig would've been thrilling enough, but all three? Plus this is Nolan's FIRST Oscar nomination for directing. While I think Peele should win this hands down, there's no bad choices here and the likely winner Del Toro would certainly be a wonderful champ.

PREDICTION: Guillermo del Toro
ALTERNATE: Jordan Peele
FINAL WORD: In its 90 years, Gerwig is only the 5th woman and Peele is only the 5th black director to be nominated. Damn.

  • Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
  • Frances McDormand, Three Billboards
  • Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
  • Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
  • Meryl Streep, The Post

Ronan and Hawkins picking up critical awards, Robbie getting her breakthrough moment, and Streep doing her usual best work... plus Emma Stone one-upping her Oscar winning performance last year, Jessica Chastain challenging herself, Daniela Vega being a revelation. Could've been a great race. I don't begrudge McDormand. She's awesome and I'll be happy for her to pick up her 2nd Oscars tomorrow, but what could've been.

PREDICTION: Frances McDorman
ALTERNATE: Saoirse Ronan
FINAL WORD: I actually love all of these performances but man Ronan should've been the frontrunner from the beginning.

  • Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
  • Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
  • Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
  • Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
  • Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

I'm most excited for Kaluuya's nomination here. It helps that his film is a cultural phenomenon, but I think a lot of people miss the brilliance in his subtle performance. Also thrilled for Chalamet who has carried the "breakthrough revelation" label since the film premiered more than a year ago in Sundance. One of those two SHOULD be winning, but it'll go to Oldman because he plays Winston Churchill. He was always the favorite, sight unseen, and well yeah.

ALTERNATE: Daniel Day-Lewis
FINAL WORD: Chalamet would be a lot of people's alternate, but Oscars love Day-Lewis and for his "final film"? Weirder things.


  • Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
  • Allison Janney, I, Tonya
  • Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread
  • Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
  • Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

From the very beginning this was thought to be a two-woman race between Metcalf and Janney, two very well-loved veterans. In fact Metcalf did get some critical love early on, but Janney's flashier role and bigger personality made her dominant through awards season and her first Oscar will be the bow on top. Raise a glass through to some also-rans which had some buzz like Tiffany Haddish, Holly Hunter, and Hong Chau.

PREDICTION: Allison Janney
ALTERNATE: Laurie Metcalf
FINAL WORD: The Academy doesn't do ties, but think about it just this once maybe?

  • Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
  • Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards
  • Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
  • Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
  • Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards

Let's get the Kevin Spacey pink elephant out of the way. Plummer's nomination is remarkable. He filmed his scenes in NOVEMBER. Is this the Academy praising his work or sticking it to a disgraced Spacey or them giving a nod to the changing landscape. Who can say? Anyways, Three Billboards doubling up here is indicative of the movie's strength and Rockwell will take that to victory. Dafoe had some buzz early on, but as with all the other acting categories, this one is won and done.

PREDICTION: Sam Rockwell
ALTERNATE: Willem Dafoe
FINAL WORD: They couldn't have doubled up with Michael Stuhlbarg and Armie Hammer on Call Me By Your Name instead? Stuhlbarg was robbed.

  • Call Me by Your Name
  • The Disaster Artist
  • Logan
  • Molly’s Game
  • Mudbound

With the biggest films in the other screenplay category, this is the best shot for Call Me By Your Name to not walk home empty-handed tomorrow and the best shot for James Ivory to pick up his first Oscar win. He's the favorite, but some people seem weirdly put off by the film (they are dumb). I guess the question is, even if they are, which film would take its place? No one can seem to agree to that, so... win?

PREDICTION: Call Me By Your Name
ALTERNATE: Molly's Game
FINAL WORD: I might riot if James Ivory doesn't win. We all should.


  • The Big Sick
  • Get Out
  • Lady Bird
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards

With 4 Best Pictures in the mix, this is probably the most competitive category of the night. You can make a case for any one of them to win this. As an aside, I'm happy that indie hit The Big Sick got recognized here. General consensus seems to have it as a two-film race between Get Out and Three Billboards and I do hope it goes to the first since it's likely will be its one award.

PREDICTION: Three Billboards
FINAL WORD: I'm predicting to protect my disappointment, but also I want to put it out in the world that Lady Bird winning would be freaking awesome.

  • A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
  • The Insult (Lebanon)
  • Loveless (Russia)
  • On Body and Soul (Hungary)
  • The Square (Sweden)

I've only seen two of them, A Fantastic Woman (amazing) and On Body and Soul (not bad at all). And have heard good stuff about the others. Shortlisted films that didn't make the cut that some people really liked included The Wound, Felicite and In the Fade which people thought could've been favored to win here. And then there's France's BPM being shocking short list omission. The Academy should feel shameful regarding that.

PREDICTION: A Fantastic Woman
FINAL WORD: I actually have no idea who's favored to win here, but I do know you should try to watch all of these.


  • The Boss Baby
  • The Breadwinner
  • Coco
  • Ferdinand
  • Loving Vincent

As someone who actually liked The Boss Baby, this category still feels awfully thin this year, doesn't it? Last year a Finding Nemo sequel which I really liked didn't get nominated and I was OKAY because the category was stacked. Anyways, Pixar's wonderful Coco is the odds-on favorite this year and is probably the lockiest win tomorrow night apart from the acting awards.

ALTERNATE: The Breadwinner
FINAL WORD: Coco should win for its gorgeous rendering of the Land of the Dead alone and making me ugly cry a lot.

  • Baby Driver
  • Dunkirk
  • I, Tonya
  • The Shape of Water
  • Three Billboards

Convention says a Best Picture film wins this and with Dunkirk being the most OBVIOUSLY edited, it's the frontrunner. And yet Baby Driver could take some of these technical awards in a surprise.

ALTERNATE: Baby Driver
FINAL WORD: Three Billboards getting in here instead of Get Out is a travesty.

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water

If the want to go with MOST then Beauty and the Beast could challenge here. If they want to go with PERIOD then Dunkirk or Darkest Hour. If they want to go with CREATIVE, perhaps Blade Runner. But I think Shape of Water has a bit of all of those so I think it'll win.

PREDICTION: The Shape of Water
FINAL WORD: Call Me By Your Name's Italian villa with its books and various fruits was perfection.

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dunkirk
  • Mudbound
  • The Shape of Water

This is the technical category everyone is excited about. And why not? We have Mudbound's Rachel Morrison as the FIRST EVER woman to ever be nominated in this category. And this year could actually be it for 14-time nominated Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049) to get his first Oscar! Dunkirk and Darkest Hour with their WWII epicness will challenge, but #Oscar4Deakins.

PREDICTION: Blade Runner 2049
FINAL WORD: Seriously, give it to Deakins already.

  • "Mighty River," Mudbound
  • "Mystery of Love," Call Me by Your Name
  • "Remember Me," Coco
  • "Stand Up for Something," Marshall
  • "This Is Me," The Greatest Showman

Early last year I thought Celine Dion's Beauty & the Beast song had this in the bag. Thankfully the year brought us some more great choices and this shortlist is stacked with not only quality, but talent. Last year's champs Pasek and Paul are the front-runners with "This is Me," their underdog anthem that's a big hit with film and music audiences. And as much as I love that song, I'm hoping "Mystery of Love" or "Remember Me" pull off the upset. Actually, I'm good with a three-way tie.

ALTERNATE: "Remember Me"
FINAL WORD: I cannot wait for all of these performances!

  • Dunkirk
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • Three Billboards

John Williams could get his 6th win for Star Wars, but I think it's a two-man race between Alexandre Desplat's delicate work on The Shape of Water and Hans Zimmer's bombastic work on Dunkirk. If Three Billboards win here, it'll probably take Best Picture.

PREDICTION: The Shape of Water
FINAL WORD: Congrats on Johnny Greenwood's first nomination for Phantom Thread.

  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
  • Kong: Skull Island
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

I'd probably replace either Guardians or Kong for Thor: Ragnarok and I was a bit surprised by the exclusions of The Shape of Water and Dunkirk, but overall a nice list. It's also hard to predict since "most" in this case is pretty much all of them plus all of them got good reviews.

PREDICTION: Blade Runner 2049
ALTERNATE: War for the Planet of the Apes
FINAL WORD: They haven't felt the need to reward Apes franchise yet (a bummer). Could this be the year?

  • Baby Driver
  • Blade Runner 2049
  • Dunkirk
  • The Shape of Water
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

These are two different categories, but since they have the same nominees, I thought I'd put them together. Plus I think this year the same film is going to win them both. I have no idea what it'll be. Dunkirk is the obvious choice, but I think Baby Driver and Blade Runner are right there.

PREDICTION (for both): Dunkirk
ALTERNATE (for both): Baby Driver
FINAL WORD: One of these days I'll remember the difference.

  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Darkest Hour
  • Phantom Thread
  • The Shape of Water
  • Victoria & Abdul

Frankly I was more partial to the pitch perfect period stylings of Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name not to mention the wonderfully flash and trashy costumes in I, Tonya, but alas. This is an easy win for Phantom Thread, right?

PREDICTION: Phantom Thread
ALTERNATE: Beauty and the Beast
FINAL WORD: Is Doug Jones' creature a costume? If so, maybe they should win for dat ass alone.

  • Darkest Hour
  • Victoria & Abdul
  • Wonder

These were all a bit expected once the finalists were named, but I, Tonya really should've been here. A moment of silence for the makeup artist for Kevin Spacey on All the Money in the World.

PREDICTION: Darkest Hour
ALTERNATE: Victoria & Abdul
FINAL WORD: Can't wait to never see Oldman as Churchill ever again.

  • Abacus Small Enough to Jail
  • Faces Places
  • Icarus
  • Last Men in Aleppo
  • Strong Island

Three of these films are available on Netflix so go binge them now! That's how I saw Icarus and Strong Island, both very good, though I really liked Icarus. Might see Last Men in Aleppo tomorrow. Agnes Varda could win for Faces Places. Who do you got?

PREDICTION: Faces Places
FINAL WORD: Varda's cardboard cutout was the awards seasons VIP.

  • Edith+Eddie
  • Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
  • Heroin(e)
  • Knife Skills
  • Traffic Stop

Haven't seen any of these, but Heroin(e) is on Netflix so I might before the ceremony. Not sure if any of the others are readily available. (ETA: Knife Skills and Heaven is a Traffic Jam are on YouTube).

PREDICTION: Traffic Stop
ALTERNATE: Heroin(e)

  • Dear Basketball
  • Garden Party
  • Lou
  • Negative Space
  • Revolting Rhymes

Anyone know if any of these are available to stream? (ETA: Garden Party is online, Lou is on YouTube, Revolting Rhymes is on Netflix). Anyways, I've heard people like Revolting Rhymes. Dear Basketball has big names attached to it which usually means the win. I certainly don't know.

PREDICTION: Dear Basketball
ALTERNATE: Revolting Rhymes

  • DeKalb Elementary
  • The Eleven O’Clock
  • My Nephew Emmett
  • The Silent Child
  • Watu Wote/All of Us

I just saw these today and I'm happy to report there's not a dud among them. It makes it that more difficult to pick a winner though DeKalb Elementary might have a leg up for being (unfortunately) timely. Watu Wote is probably the most emotional one. And there's The Eleven O'Clock which is the one humorous one amongst some heavy drama.

PREDICTION: DeKalb Elementary
ALTERNATE: Watu Wote/All of Us

And so now we wait until tomorrow. My picks for who should win is here.

Monday, February 26, 2018

My Personal Oscar Ballot

This long awards season ends this coming Sunday with the 90th Academy Awards. After a prolonged period between nominations and ceremony, the deadline for voters to send in their final ballots is tomorrow. In that spirit, below would be my ballot if I was one of the lucky Oscar voters.

Note: For Best Picture, Academy voters are asked to rank their choices. For the other categories, they are only asked to pick their choice of winner, which is exactly what I've done.

Best Picture
1 - Lady Bird
2 - Get Out
3 - Call Me By Your Name
4 - Dunkirk
5 - Shape of Water
6 - Phantom Thread
7 - The Post
8 - Three Billboards
9 - Darkest Hour

Best Director: Jordan Peele, Get Out
Best Lead Actor: Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
Best Lead Actress: Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Best Supporting Actor: Willen Dafoe, The Florida Project
Best Supporting Actress: Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
Best Animated Film: Coco
Best Original Screenplay: Lady Bird
Best Adapted Screenplay: Call Me By Your Name
Best Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman
Best Documentary: Icarus
Best Original Score: The Shape of Water
Best Original Song: "Mystery of Love," Call Me By Your Name
Best Editing: Baby Driver
Best Production Design: The Shape of Water
Best Cinematography: Blade Runner
Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread
Best Makeup and Hair: Wonder
Best Sound Editing: Dunkirk
Best Sound Mixing: Dunkirk
Best Visual Effects: War of the Planet of the Apes
Best Live Action Short: Dekalb Elementary
Best Animated Short: Negative Space
Best Documentary Short: Heroin(e)

So looks like Lady Bird would be my biggest winner with 4 awards including Picture and Actress. Call Me By Your Name would be next with 3 awards including Actor and Adapted Screenplay. Get Out gets just 1 win for me, but it's a big one with Best Director. For the other awards, I spread the love a bit and really made to to give my theoretical vote to a film that I truly think deserve it. For the shorts, I voted based on summary.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Best Picture Tweets

One week away until the Oscars. So I thought I'd look back to see what my first impressions were of the Best Picture nominess this year via my twitter reactions after seeing the films. It's clear which films I immediately loved and which films I didn't have much to say about. So in the order of when I saw the movies/tweeted about them...

The Academy Awards are next week on ABC.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Golden Globes: Thoughts, Predictions, and Hopes

Is it just me or are the Golden Globes super early this year? Then again last year's took place just a day later so maybe I'm just imagining things. Anyways, are y'all ready for the first major televised awards this season? I'M NOT but no one thinks about my schedule. At they very least I have seen most of the nominated films give or take a Molly's Game or a Phantom Thread. Anyways onwards...

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

A bit disappointing not to see Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele or Luca Guadagnino in the mix here. Hoping the DGA and Oscar think through this list a bit more.

Will Win: Guillermo del Toro
Alternate: Ridley Scott
Should Win: Christopher Nolan (or the aforementioned three snubs)

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

Two films that probably expected a nomination were Darkest Hour and Phantom Thread. Frankly I wish The Florida Project made it in, but this is a damn solid list.

Will Win: The Shape of Water
Alternate: Call Me By Your Name
Should Win: Call Me By Your Name

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

The big miss here would be The Big Sick which seemed like a lock a few months ago, but flashier, starrier films knocked it down a peg or two.  At least no embarrassing nominations here.

Will Win: Lady Bird
Alternate: Get Out
Should Win: Lady Bird

Best Actress, 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

While they won't win I actually think Streep and Williams' nominations are inspired. They both can feel default-y some years, but they pulled it out this year.

Will Win: Sally Hawkins
Alternate: Frances McDormand
Should Win: Sally Hawkins

Best Actress, Musical/Comedy
Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes

The HFPA really love Mirren don't they? Regina Hall in Girls' Trip or even Emma Watson in Beauty & the Beast would've probably made more sense. Love that Stone wasn't forgotten this season though.

Will Win: Saoirse Ronan
Alternate: Margot Robbie
Should Win: Saoirse Ronan

Best Actor, 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.

I'm rooting so hard for Chalamet to breakthrough especially against such BIG NAMES. His closest competition is the only other non-winner and probably front-runner.

Will Win: Gary Oldman
Alternate: Timothée Chalamet
Should Win: Timothée Chalamet

Best Actor, Musical/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

Kumail Nanjiani should've been nominated, but I don't really mind this list. In fact, it's pretty solid. Though Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Ragnarok was also robbed.

Will Win: Daniel Kaluuya
Alternate: Hugh Jackman
Should Win: Daniel Kaluuya

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

Gotta love the diversity here and especially Chau and Blige's award season's constancy. That said it's all about Janney vs. Metcalf.

Will Win: Allison Janney
Alternate: Laurie Metcalf
Should Win: Honestly I'd be pleased with a tie.

Best Supporting Actor
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

Plummer's nomination is hilarious. I'm not saying it's undeserved, but literally two months ago he hadn't shot a single scene. Insanity.

Will Win: Willem Dafoe
Alternate: Sam Rockwell
Should Win: Willem Dafoe

Best Screenplay
The Shape of Water
Lady Bird
The Post
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Molly’s Game

I had hoped Call Me By Your Name would've popped up here but at least it's one of the frontrunners at the Oscars for Adapted.

Will Win: The Shape of Water
Alternate: Lady Bird
Should Win: Lady Bird

Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman
First They Killed My Father
In the Fade
The Square

I haven't seen any of these so my predictions are mostly from perceived buzz.

Will Win: A Fantastic Woman
Alternate: The Square
Should Win: N/A

Best Animated Film

The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Loving Vincent

Coco absolutely killed me so I'm rooting for it, but it's surrounded by interesting picks.

Will Win: Coco
Alternate: The Breadwinner
Should Win: Coco

Best Original Song
"Home," Ferdinand
"Mighty River," Mudbound
"Remember Me," Coco
"The Star," The Star
"This Is Me," The Greatest Showman

I wished one or both of Sufjan Stevens' songs from Call Me By Your Name had made it in, but no matter since I'm rooting for Coco or Greatest Showman.

Will Win: "Remember Me"
Alternate: "This Is Me"
Should Win: I'm okay with a tie or write-in votes for Stevens.

Best Original Score
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Shape of Water
Phantom Thread
The Post

Anyone have actual thoughts on this category because I really, really don't.

Will Win: The Phantom Thread
Alternate: The Shape of Water
Should Win: I honestly don't know

Best TV Series, Drama
The Crown
Game of Thrones
The Handmaid’s Tale
Stranger Things
This is Us

A good mix of the kinds of shows the HFPA would pick for this category. Is anyone shocked?

Will Win: The Handmaid's Tale
Alternate: This Is Us
Should Win: The Handmaid's Tale

Best TV Series, Comedy
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Master of None
Will & Grace

I'm kinda verklempf about this category. No The Good Place or Crazy Ex-Girlfriend feels defeatist all around.

Will Win: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Alternate: Master of None
Should Win: I'll just write-in my two aforementioned snubbed show.

Best Actress, TV Drama
Caitriona Balfe, Outlander
Claire Foy, The Crown
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce
Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Did Keri Russell stop being great because come on guys. That said, Moss should have this in the bag.

Will Win: Elisabeth Moss
Alternate: Claire Foy
Should Win: Elisabeth Moss

Best Actress, TV Musical/Comedy
Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Alison Brie, Glow
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel
Issa Rae, Insecure
Frankie Shaw, SMILF

This is actually a pretty damn solid shortlist even with the absence of Rachel Bloom and Gina Rodriguez... and shockingly Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Will Win: Rachel Brosnahan
Alternate: Issa Rae
Should Win: Issa Rae

Best Actor, TV Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark
Sterling K. Brown, This is Us
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Again did Matthew Rhys suddenly stopped being amazing? Because ugh. Also last year's winner Rami Malek is missing as well.

Will Win: Sterling K. Brown
Alternate: Bob Odenkirk
Should Win: Sterling K. Brown

Best Actor, TV Musical/Comedy

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick
William H. Macy, Shameless
Eric McCormack, Will & Grace

No offense to him but McCormack being the sole W&G actor to get nominated is a joke funnier than any comedy last year. Ted Danson from The Good Place should've been here.

Will Win: Kevin Bacon
Alternate: Aziz Ansari
Should Win: Aziz Ansari

Best Limited Series or TV Movie
Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Sinner
Top of the Lake: China Girl

I think Big Little Lies will continue it's awards domination as it damn should.

Will Win: Big Little Lies
Alternate: Feud: Better and Joan
Should Win: Big Little Lies

Best Actress, Limited Series/TV Movie
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

Shout out to all those other actresses who were in other shows that just didn't have any chance this year. Also where did Biel come from?

Will Win: Nicole Kidman
Alternate: Jessica Lange
Should Win: Anyone by Sarandon really.

Best Actor, Limited Series/TV Movie
Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies
Jude Law, The Young Pope
Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius

Meanwhile this category has a nominee from five shows so go figure. Anyways, I'm hoping for a Moulin Rouge sweep in these lead acting categories.

Will Win: Ewan McGregor
Alternate: Jude Law
Should Win: Ewan McGregor

Best Supporting Actress, TV
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

I actually think this is a tricky category to pin down. I think Dern has the slightly upper hand due to her AMAZING year, but we'll see.

Will Win: Laura Dern
Alternate: Ann Dowd
Should Win: Laura Dern

Best Supporting Actor, TV

David Harbour, Stranger Things
Alfred Molina, Feud
Christian Slater, Mr. Robot
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo

Your guesses are as good as mine, but I think Emmy winner Skarsgard will get this due to the show's love.

Will Win: Alexander Skarsgard
Alternate: Alfred Molina
Should Win: David Harbour

Let's see how wrong I am tomorrow night.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Emmy Nominations and Predictions 2017

Happy Emmys Day! Is it just me or has it been more low key than previous years? Is it because they're no Game of Thrones juggernaut? Or perhaps more likely people are way more focused on the terrible, no good very bad state of our world right now to give any mind to TV. Whatever the case may be, here are my thoughts on the nominations and my predictions.

Better Call Saul
The Crown
The Handmaid’s Tale
House of Cards
Stranger Things
This Is Us

With Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones not eligible this year, the TV Academy decided to shuffle things a lot giving some love to streaming channels and... is that a show from network TV?! The Emmys really went heavy with the new most-buzzed about shows instead of previous favorites like last year's surprise inclusion The Americans and Mr. Robot or even Orange is the New Black which hasn't fared well in its genre switch. Winter is coming next year.

Prediction: This Is Us
Alternate: Stranger Things
Should Win: Better Call Saul
Should've Been Nominated: The Leftovers, Sense8, The Americans, Underground, Queen Sugar

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Anthony Hopkins, Westworld
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

Last year's champ Rami Malek sat this one out, giving room to two This Is Us stars which really shows the show's strength. Hopkins is the other "new" addition with the others a holdover from last year. In a field of 7, any of them could conceivably win. Spacey has been nominated here 10 times and hasn't won yet. But are we really in the mood to award someone playing an awful president?

Prediction: Sterling K. Brown
Alternate: Anthony Hopkins
Should Win: Matthew Rhys
Should've Been Nominated: Justin Theroux, Rami Malek, Dominic Cooper, Aldis Hodge, Dan Stevens

Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder
Claire Foy, The Crown
Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
Keri Russell, The Americans
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Surprise winner last year Tatiana Maslany wasn't eligible (hope to see her next year) so people think it'll be buzzy new star Foy vs. buzzy veteran Moss. Moss, if you need reminder, did NOT win one Emmy for Mad Men and she's supposed to be great in Handmaid's Tale. I think it's time. BTW it's ridiculous Carrie Coon wasn't nominated here.

Elisabeth Moss
Alternate: Claire Foy
Should Win: Keri Russell
Should've Been Nominated: Carrie Coon, Ruth Negga, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rutina Wesley, Geena Davis

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
David Harbour, Stranger Things
Michael Kelly, House of Cards
John Lithgow, The Crown
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

With previous winners Ben Mendelsohn and Peter Dinklage not in the running, most of these would be first-time winners... well, not Lithgow, who might just be the favorite here. I think it's between him and Jones. Might just be which show the TV really want to coronate this year, pun not intended.

Prediction: John Lithgow
Alternate: Ron Cephas Jones
Should Win: Ron Cephas Jones
Should've Been Nominated: Mahershala Ali, Migel Angel Silvestre, Michael McKean, Gaten Matarazzo, Joseph Gilgun


Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale
Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

With Maggie Smith finally gone, this is anyone's game. Now, this category is not bad, but it could've been SO MUCH better. Imagine Aisha Hinds from Underground or Aubrey Plaza from Legion? If the TV Academy actually watched TV those two would've been NO brainers. But again it's hard to complain about a list with both Ann Dowd and Samira Wiley (albeit in a show I haven't seen yet).

Prediction: Ann Dowd
Alternate: Millie Bobby Brown
Should Win: Thandie Newton
Should've Been Nominated: Aisha Hinds, Aubrey Plaza, Rhea Seehorn, Doona Bae, Pearl Mackie

Hank Azaria, Ray Donovan
Gerald McRaney, This Is Us (WINNER)
Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline
Denis O’Hare, This Is Us
Brian Tyree Henry, This Is Us
BD Wong, Mr. Robot

I actually predicted McRaney to win this category way back when I was putting together my wishlist provided they nominated him... which they did... and he won. More indication of the show's strength?

Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale (WINNER)
Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black
Ann Dowd, The Leftovers
Shannon Purser, Stranger Things
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder
Alison Wright, The Americans

Congrats to Rory Gilmore for her first Emmy win! This list was stacked too, save for Barb. Seriously internet what the hell was that? That said I was rooting hard for Alison Wright who did SO MUCH with SO LITTLE.

Master of None
Modern Family
Silicon Valley
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

While the drama categories got a shake up, the comedy ones didn't so much. Atlanta replaced Transparent while every other show was nominated last year. Which is so silly since there ARE SO MANY good possibilities (if they ever watch the CW or NBC that is which they don't). But who cares since Veep is winning this again, right?

Prediction: Veep
Alternate: Atlanta
Should Win: Master of None
Should've Been Nominated: The Good Place, Jane the Virgin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, You're the Worst, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Zach Galifianakis, Baskets
Donald Glover, Atlanta
William H. Macy, Shameless
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Can Tambor make it three in a row? I hope not. Not that I don't think he would deserve it, but let's spread the love a bit. I'm frankly rooting for either Glover or Ansari, but Anderson might be the second favorite with the voters. But seriously Ted Danson in The Good Place should've been nominated and won.

Prediction: Jeffrey Tambor
Alternate: Anthony Anderson
Should Win: Aziz Ansari
Should've Been Nominated: Ted Danson, Andy Samberg, Chris Geere, Wyatt Cenac, Jay R. Ferguson

Pamela Adlon, Better Things
Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
Allison Janney, Mom
Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

Can Louis-Dreyfus make it a ridiculous SIX IN A ROW?  I am praying it doesn't happen. I love her. I love the show, but seriously STOP. Let someone else win. Hell let someone else be nominated... like Gina Rodriguez, Issa Rae, Rachel Bloom, Kristen Bell, America Ferrera, Minnie Driver, Contance Wu, Martha Plimpton... I can't keep going.

Prediction: Julia Louis-Dreyfys
Alternate: Tracee Ellis Ross
Should Win: Tracee Ellis Ross
Should've Been Nominated: See above

Louie Anderson, Baskets
Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ty Burrell, Modern Family
Tony Hale, Veep
Matt Walsh, Veep

I'm a bit angry they got rid of Andre Braugher especially since they haven't awarded him for his Brooklyn Nine-Nine role. With that said, surprise champ last year Anderson will settle for the nomination this year along with the others because no one is beating Baldwin.

Prediction: Alec Baldwin
Alternate: Tony Hale
Should Win: Alec Baldwin
Should've Been Nominated: Andre Braugher, Desmin Borges, Brett Dier, Zach Woods, William Jackson Harper

Vanessa Bayer, Saturday Night Live
Anna Chlumsky, Veep
Kathryn Hahn, Transparent
Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
Judith Light, Transparent
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Anyone else think SNL in this categories are a bit too much? I mean I love them all and McKinnon will win, but come on. A Jones win WOULD be very thrilling so I'll hope for that. Can't believe they didn't find the excuse to get Rita Moreno here.

Prediction: Kate McKinnon
Alternate: Anna Chlumsky
Should Win: Leslie Jones
Should've Been Nominated: Lena Waithe, Rita Moreno, D'Arcy Carden, Yael Groblas, Jayma Mays

Riz Ahmed, Girls
Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live (WINNER)
Tom Hanks, Saturday Night Live
Hugh Laurie, Veep
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Saturday Night Live
Matthew Rhys, Girls

Never got to see Chappelle's SNL since I wasn't in the head space for it, but I guess good for him. I would've probably given it to Miranda and his bestie Ahmed. Though Rhys is the kind of guest turn that usually wins awards.

Becky Ann Baker, Girls
Angela Bassett, Master of None
Carrie Fisher, Catastrophe
Wanda Sykes, Black-ish
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live (WINNER)
Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

REALLY thought Fisher was going to walk away with this, but I guess Spicey is an even bigger force than Leia. This year is so fucked up.

Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Night Of

Prediction: Big Little Lies
Alternate: The Night Of
Should Win: Big Little Lies

Black Mirror: San Junipero
Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors
Sherlock: The Lying Detective
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The Wizard of Lies

Prediction: The Wizard of Lies
Alternate: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Should Win: Black Mirror: San Junipero

Carrie Coon, Fargo
Felicity Huffman, American Crime
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

Prediction: Nicole Kidman
Alternate: Jessica Lange
Should Win: Anyone but Susan Sarandon

Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective
Robert DeNiro, The Wizard of Lies
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
Geoffrey Rush, Genius
John Turturro, The Night Of

Prediction: Riz Ahmed
Alternate: Robert DeNiro
Should Win: John Turturro

Judy Davis, Feud: Bette and Joan
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Jackie Hoffman, Feud: Bette and Joan
Regina King, American Crime
Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

Prediction: Laura Dern
Alternate: Michelle Pfeiffer
Should Win: Jackie Hoffman

Bill Camp, The Night Of
Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
David Thewlis, Fargo
Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette and Joan
Michael K. Williams, The Night Of

Prediction: Alfred Molina
Alternate: Stanley Tucci
Should Win: Alexander Skarsgard

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Emmy Wishlists: Limited Series/TV Movie

Once again, the Emmy nominations are tomorrow. I already posted my wishlists (Comedy and Drama) of favorite shows and performances which I wish would be nominated tomorrow. Below are similar lists for the Limited Series and TV Movie categories.

I usually leave these categories alone, but I saw quite a number of them so just wanted to give some their dues.

Big Little Lies
Feud: Bette and Joan
The Night Of
The Young Pope

Black Mirror: San Junipero
Looking: The Movie
Sherlock: The Lying Detective

Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
Jonathan Groff, Looking: The Movie
Jude Law, The Young Pope
Ewan McGregor, Fargo
John Turturro, The Night Of

Carrie Coon, Fargo
Lauren Graham, Gilmore Girls
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

Bill Camp, The Night Of
Raúl Castillo, Looking: The Movie
Silvio Orland, The Young Pope
Adam Scott, Big Little Lies
Alexander Skarsgård, Big Little Lies

Kelly Bishop, Gilmore Girls
Mackenzie Davis, Black Mirror: San Junipero
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Black Mirror: San Junipero
Alison Wright, FEUD: Bette and Joan

Emmy Wishlists: Drama Categories

Before you read about my personal picks for the drama categories, check out my comedy picks here. As for drama, Peak TV means there's WAY TOO MUCH TV out there and most of them are good, so this was really tough.

Like the comedies, I've picked 10 shows and performers per category. In a few categories, I could've easily listed another 10 (or 20) names. Onwards...

The Americans
Better Call Saul
The Exorcist
The Leftovers
Orange is the New Black
Queen Sugar
Stranger Things

Apparently while all the best comedies are on network TV, all the best dramas are not. With the exception of The Exorcist, one of the more pleasant surprises of the past TV season for me, all my picks are off network. I am saddened that 3 of my picks (Sense8, Underground, The Leftovers) are ending or were cancelled, but you should still check them out. Shout out to the audacious shows I respected more than love like Legion, Mr. Robot, Westworld, Into the Badlands, and Preacher plus the much improved Doctor Who and Agents of SHIELD.

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
Dominic Cooper, Preacher
Alfonso Herrera, The Exorcist
Aldis Hodge, Underground
Rami Malek, Mr. Robot
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Matthew Rhys, The Americans
Dan Stevens, Legion
Justin Theroux, The Leftovers
Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

As I was making my shortlist, I definitely noticed all the names of guys I may or may not have a crush on. I'd like to think I chose impartially based on acting alone, but who knows? That said, I sincerely think all of these men did a stupendous job this past TV year with special FYC on Sterling K. Brown and Justin Theroux. Shout out to two hotties that missed my shortlist, Aidan Turner and Daniel Wu. Consolation hug?

Carrie Coon, The Leftovers
Geena Davis, The Exorcist
Rose McIver, iZombie
Ruth Negga, Preacher
Keri Russell, The Americans
Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Underground
Rutina Wesley, Queen Sugar
Eleanor Tomlinson, Poldark
Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
Robin Wright, House of Cards

Carrie Coon was in two award-worthy shows doing award-worthy acting in both of them this year so I hope she gets nominated for both (the other for Fargo). With Game of Thrones out of commission this season, I hope the Academy doesn't forget to look at genre shows specifically the shows starring Geena Davis, Rose McIver, and Ruth Negga. Shout out to Ellen Barkin, Viola Davis, and Taraji P. Henson giving performances that outsizes their respective shows as well as Kylie Bunbury who was a promising talent in a too-soon cancelled show.

Mahershala Ali, Luke Cage
Ben Daniels, The Exorcist
Joseph Gilgun, Preacher
Alex Høgh Andersen, Vikings
Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
John Lithgow, The Crown
Gaten Matarazzo, Stranger Things
Michael McKean, Better Call Saul
Alano Miller, Underground
Miguel Angel Silvestre, Sense8

The general theme of this category seems to be villains or at least not so good guys and you know what I LOVE that. They're definitely the flashier kinds of roles and it's a special kind of actor that can chew just the right amount of scenery without it feeling too much. But I have some sweet characters on the list as well and perhaps my FYC picks in Ron Cephas Jones and Miguel Angel Silvestre. The latter especially stands out in an uniformly excellent ensemble. Shout out to some of the men in Better Call Saul, Westworld, and Sense8 that almost made my list.

Doona Bae, Sense8
Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
Aisha Hinds, Underground
Mallory Jansen, Agents of SHIELD
Hannah Kasulka, The Exorcist
Pearl Mackie, Doctor Who
Thandie Newton, Westworld
Aubrey Plaza, Legion
Rhea Seehorn, Better Call Saul
Samira Wiley, Orange is the New Black

Fun Fact: Only one person here is a repeat personal nominee from last year (Rhea Seehorn). It just shows you how deep the talent pool is, especially with the women. It's also the category I can't find myself singling out just 1-2 names because ALL OF THEM did such excellent jobs this past season. With that said, Aisha Hinds was in probably the best episode of TV last season so she might have a slight leg up. Suffice to say, I could've named A LOT more Orange is the New Black and Sense8 ladies. Tough category!

Colman Domingo, Timeless
Nelsan Ellis, Elementary
Ron Cephas Jones, The Get Down
Hamish Linklater, Legion
Mark Margolis, Better Call Saul
Gerald McRaney, This Is Us
Jermel Makia, This Is Us
Denis O'Hare, This Is Us
Clive Standen, Vikings
BD Wong, Mr. Robot

So apparently This Is Us has some good guest spots, huh? Other than that, not much to really say about this category. And I think if the Academy buys in This Is Us, I think Gerald McRaney might just win. RIP Nelsan Ellis.

Laverne Cox, Orange is the New Black
Anne Dowd, The Leftovers
Calista Flockhart, Supergirl
Nia Long, Empire
Carrie-Anne Moss, Iron Fist
Sharon Gless, The Exorcist
Shannon Purser, Stranger Things
Phylicia Rashad, Empire
Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder
Alison Wright, The Americans

Justice for Barb? Perhaps or not. I think my FYC favorites here would be Phylicia Rashad who was just as fierce as I expected and Alison Wright whose brief presence this season was a true highlight. Sharon Gless' character appearance though was such a game changer for her show so I don't know!

You can check out my Comedy post here and my Movie/Miniseries post a bit later.

Emmy Wishlists: Comedy Categories

In times of absolute turmoil in the world, TV, especially comedy shows keep me just a little bit sane. So with Emmy nominations set to be announced tomorrow, I just wanted to highlight the shows and performers that I think deserved to be nominated.

First up are the comedy categories and as I said above, they keep me the most sane and I'm glad there's a plethora of choices out there. For all categories, I'll be picking my top 10 picks out of all eligible shows and actors.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Dear White People
The Good Place
Jane the Virgin
Master of None
The Real O'Neals
Trial & Error
You're the Worst

People seem to think comedy is dying on network TV especially with the relative boom of edgier comedies found on cable, premium, and streaming channels. So the fact that 7 of my 10 picks are network shows (4 from NBC alone!) caught me by surprise. Suffice to say, you should seek out all of these shows immediately and binge the hell out of them. Shout out to the quirky People of Earth, the poignant and hilarious Insecure and outstanding Speechless which just missed my shortlist.

Aziz Ansari, Master of None
Wyatt Cenac, People of Earth
Nicolas D'Agosto, Trial & Error
Ted Danson, The Good Place
Jay R. Ferguson, The Real O'Neals
Chris Geere, You're the Worst
Donald Glover, Atlanta
Thomas Middledtich, Silicon Valley
Randall Park, Fresh Off the Boat
Andy Samberg, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

This is always the easiest category to narrow down simply because there just isn't that many to choose from. With that said, if any of these people actually get nominated I will be very happy. My biggest FYC would be Ted Danson since his character just worked on so many levels, but I won't lie that I'm excited to see if the TV Academy honors Aziz Ansari (again) and Donald Glover with nominations.

Kristen Bell, The Good Place
Rachel Bloom, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Logan Browning, Dear White People
Minnie Driver, Speechless
America Ferrera, Superstore
Leighton Meester, Making History
Martha Plimpton, The Real O'Neals
Issa Rae, Insecure
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin
Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat

I thought with Broad City not eligible this year would make this easier, but there's just SO MANY great comedic female talents year in, year out. Half of my picks come from freshman shows which gives me joy since it means there are new shows and actresses to love. I think the surprise pick here might be Leighton Meester, but if you watch her crazy (sadly cancelled) show, you know she's the HIGHlarious heart of it all. Shout out to Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Ellie Kemper, and Tracee Ellis Ross still doing amazing work on their respective shows as well as Lena Dunham who probably had a career-best in her show's final season.

Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
Desmin Borges, You're the Worst
Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Brett Dier, Jane the Virgin
Micah Fowler, Speechless
Noah Galvin, The Real O'Neals
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place
John Lithgow, Trial & Error
Timothy Simons, Veep
Zach Woods, Silicon Valley

Loathe am I to honor anything alluding to our current president, but everyone has to admit the masterful job Alec Baldwin did this year. He'll surely be nominated and likely win, but hope people don't sleep on the rest especially the beloved John Lithgow who also plays a bubbling idiot, except in a more charming way. Shout out to Titus Burgess, Jaime Camil, and Tony Hale whose schticks haven't gotten old yet.

Zazie Beetz, Atlanta
D'Arcy Carden, The Good Place
Donna Lynne Champlin, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Yael Groblas, Jane the Virgin
Jameela Jamil, The Good Place
Jayma Mays, Trial & Error
Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
Rita Moreno, One Day At A Time
Chelsea Peretti, Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Lena Waithe, Master of None

This category is always impossible to narrow down, but after some tough choices, these were the 10 that rose up. Baldwin's counterpart Kate McKinnon of course makes it in since she's a national treasure. However, if I was putting money on FYC campaigns I'd support D'Arcy Carden and Lena Waithe since they made me howl and smile respectively in strong episodes which I hoped they submitted. Shout out to the non-Rita Moreno ladies of the wonderful One Day At A time and the non-Yael Groblas ladies of the still perfect Jane the Virgin.

Riz Ahmed, Girls
Shoukath Ansari, Master of None
Josh Charles, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Daveed Diggs, black-ish
Santino Fontana, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Tom Hanks, Saturday Night Live
Hugh Laurie, Veep
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Saturday Night Live
Matthew Rhys, Girls
Jimmy Smits, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Guest categories are always fun to navigate because it has such a mix of names and talents. I do particularly love that I've picked two Hamilton alums in Daveed Diggs and Lin-Manuel Miranda and do we think they'll be nominated due to Hollywood's obsession with that show? But could anyone defeat David S. Pumpkins?

Becky Anna Baker, Girls
Angela Bassett, Master of None
Laura Dern, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Tovah Feldshuh, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Rashida Jones, black-ish
Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live
Aubrey Plaza, Drunk History
Alia Shawkat, Drunk History
Kristen Stewart, Saturday Night Live
Samira Wiley, You're the Worst

There's a Hamilton connection here as well with Aubrey Plaza and Alia Shawkat playing Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton respectively and I do hope they get nominated just for the laughs. The biggest surprises here for me are Rashida Jones in a kind of role I've NEVER seen her in and Kristen Stewart who delivered a truly excellent hosting job. Sean "Spicey" Spicer will probably win.

I'll post my thoughts on Drama and Movie/Limited Series categories later tonight.Emmy Wishlist

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Problem of the Magical Transportation Book in Beauty and the Beast

First and foremost, I actually liked the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast. For the most part, the casting was right on and it really was a joy to experience this movie musical in this way. A part of me wished the movie hadn't been SO faithful to the classic animated film, but another part of me also needed to see every single thing about the animated film translated perfectly. I'm sure Disney and company struggled with this dilemma as well especially with an animated film so indelible in so many people's minds. In the end, they played it conservatively keeping a lot of the classic moments untouched while giving new touches to a few things (think the Prince's Louis XIV dance party at the beginning and the addition of the new songs).

One of the cooler new additions they made was the existence of the Magical Transportation Book that the Beast uses to transport himself away from the loneliness of his castle. In a touching scene, he shows Belle this book and in turns helps Belle go to Paris and get some closure on her mom's death. It was a kind turn from the Beast endearing himself to her while at the same time actually helping her emotionally. Also... the Magical Transportation Book is just fucking cool. Who wouldn't want one? My biggest issue is that this is the one and only time the Magical Transportation Book is used and that is an outrage.

Think about it. Here's a book that can transport you anywhere your heart desires and they don't use it ever again? Instead, oh yeah, there's the Magical Mirror that shows you whatever you want. Yes, this mirror is in the animated film, but imagine if they had just replaced the mirror with the Magical Transportation Book. It would've certainly been more cinematic. A tiny ass mirror with old-timey barely visible glass is no match to actually being transported somewhere. Remember after they danced and Belle wanted to see how Maurice was doing and the Beast showed her via the Magical Mirror that her father was in big trouble? Instead of sending off Belle to ride in the dark wearing a dress not fit for the weather AT ALL, how about using the Magical Transportation Book to teleport her directly to town? Um, oops.

Okay, okay so maybe that would've changed the plot too much. It's after all important for the Beast to actually let her go and have Belle actually ride away from him (sidenote: I love, love "Evermore" and that whole sequence).

So how about tweaking the ability of the Magical Transportation Book so that anyone who goes through it wouldn't be able to actually change anything and in fact they can't be seen or heard (actually the Enchantress gives the Magical Transportation Book to the Beast as a cruel reminder that while he's free to travel anywhere in the world, he would have to do so looking like a hideous Beast, but honestly let's hand wave that away since it wasn't really developed). That would've changed nothing of the Paris scene and the Magical Transportation Book would've been a more direct replacement to what the Magical Mirror actually did. So when Belle asks about Maurice, the Beast could've taken her to the library to the Magical Transportation Book and she (and him) could've seen the horrors up close. As I mentioned earlier, this would've been more visually interesting and the visceralness of it all would've done a lot more emotionally for Belle wanting to leave and the Beast wanting to let her go. And think about the other side of that sequence with Belle, Magical Transportation Book in tow instead of the dinky ass Magical Mirror, showing Gaston and the town folks the existence of the Beast. How intense would've that been for them, seeing the Beast in all of his glory as he broods in his dark West Wing.

In the end, what really stings for me is a truly missed moment between Belle and the Beast. Let's think about this for a second. When the Beast showed Belle his library he was nonplussed by its grandness and its contents while Belle, as we all know, thinks this is the Greatest Shit Ever. Her love of books and reading is such a core to her character. So when the Beast shows her the Magical Transportation Book for the first time, it was him reaching out to her in a way he thought she would get, by showing her the only book he truly cherishes. It's one of his greatest possessions in a castle full of priceless possessions. So now fast forward to the moment he lets her go to rescue Maurice. How much more gut-wrenchingly wonderful would it have been for him to give Belle, who I remind you loves books like she loves air, his most beloved possession in the world. And it's a damn book. I'm crying just thinking about it. UGH.

So... I praise the movie for coming up with this very nifty idea of this Magical Transportation Book. But I'm frustrated they weren't able to actually use it in a more emotionally (and cinematically) resonant way.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Happy 20 Buffy!

20 years ago today Buffy the Vampire Slayer, my favorite show of all time, premiered.