Saturday, March 13, 2021

AWARDS ROUNDUP: AAFCA, Critics Choice & Golden Globe Winners



Best Picture: Judas and the Black Messiah
Best Director: Regina King, One Night In Miami
Best Actor: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom 
Best Actress: Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday
Best Supporting Actor: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
Best Supporting Actress: Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah 
Best Screenplay: Kemp Powers, One Night in Miami
Best Ensemble: One Night In Miami
Best Foreign Film: Night of the Kings
Best Documentary: All In: The Fight For Democracy 
Best Animation: Soul 
Breakout Performance: Radha Blank
Breakout Director: Shaka King

Critics Choice

BEST PICTURE: Nomadland 
BEST DIRECTOR: ChloĆ© Zhao – Nomadland  
BEST ACTOR: Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
BEST ACTRESS: Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Daniel Kaluuya – Judas and the Black Messiah 
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm 

Golden Globe

BEST PICTURE - COMEDY/MUSICAL: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
BEST DIRECTOR: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
BEST ACTOR - DRAMA: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
BEST ACTRESS - DRAMA: Andra Day, United States vs Billie Holliday
BEST ACTOR - COMEDY/MUSICAL: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian

Full list at Awards Radar

Thursday, February 25, 2021

AWARDS ROUNDUP: Indie Spirit, Golden Globe, SAG & Critics Choice Nominations


Independent Spirit

Best Feature
First Cow
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Director
Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Eliza Hittman, Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Kelly Reichardt, First Cow
ChloĆ© Zhao, Nomadland

Best Female Lead
Nicole Beharie, Miss Juneteenth
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Julia Garner, The Assistant
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Best Male Lead
Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Adarsh Gourav, The White Tiger
Rob Morgan, Bull
Steven Yeun, Minari

Best Supporting Female
Alexis Chikaeze, Miss Juneteenth
Yeri Han, Minari
Valerie Mahaffey, French Exit
Talia Ryder, Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

Best Supporting Male
Colman Domingo, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Orion Lee, First Cow
Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Benedict Wong, Nine Days

Golden Globe

The Father
Promising Young Woman
Trial of the Chicago 7

Palm Springs
The Prom

Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
David Fincher, Mank
Regina King, One Night in Miami
Aaron Sorkin, the Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

Viola Davis, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
Andra Day, United States vs Billie Holliday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
James Corden, The Prom
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Dev Patel, Personal History of David Copperfield
Andy Samberg, Palm Springs

Maria Bakalova, Subsequent Moviefilm
Kate Hudson, Music
Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit
Rosamund Pike, I Care A Lot
Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma.

Sacha Baron Cohen, 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

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

Full list at Awards Radar

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Sundance 2021: Wrapping up the Festival

As a film festival enthusiast, the Sundance Film Festival has been on my bucket list for a number of years. But for a humble critic from the Caribbean, the cost and climate always seemed intimidating. If there's a silver lining to the pandemic, however, it's that many of the top festivals have become more accessible to audiences by going online. 

With the generous support of the festival's Press Inclusion Initiative, my Sundance dream therefore became a reality in 2021. Over the course of 7 days, I screened 20 films across 7 programmed sections and wrote articles for 3 outlets - Awards Radar, The Spool and That Shelf. Looking back on the past week, it was certainly a demanding experience but was ultimately rewarding. 

As always, the documentaries were among the best of the Sundance lineup this year, with three distinctly compelling non-fiction films emerging as my favorites. In Questlove's "Summer of Soul," the musician makes an exhilarating directorial debut as he uncovers the untold story of the Harlem Cultural Festival, a vibrant celebration of Black music in the 1960s. From a more contemporary perspective, Camilla Nielsson's "President" turns an unflinching eye towards Zimbabwe's troubled democracy in the aftermath of Mugabe's ousting. And in Jonas Poher Rasmussen's extraordinary animation hybrid "Flee", the past and present converge as a gay Afghan man reflects on his experiences as a refugee. All three films deservedly won awards during Tuesday night's ceremony and will surely be heavily discussed upon general release. 

There were memorable moments from the narrative features too, including the black-and-white elegance of Rebecca Hall's "Passing," the gut-punch chamber piece that is "Mass" and the riveting performances that fuel Shaka King's Oscar contender "Judas and the Black Messiah". Nearly every film I watched contained something to recommend. Though I may not have gotten the full experience of the Park City atmosphere, the films certainly delivered the fresh, innovative visions that Sundance is known for.

Sundance Top 10:

  1. Flee
  2. President
  3. Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
  4. Mass
  5. In the Same Breath
  6. Prime Time
  7. Judas and the Black Messiah
  8. Writing With Fire
  9. Jockey
  10. The Pink Cloud
Best of the Fest:

Best Film: Flee
Best Director: Rebecca Hall, Passing
Best Screenplay: Mass
Best Performance: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Best of 2020: Top 10 Films of the Year

There's a common notion that audiences naturally gravitate towards more optimistic movies during challenging times. But as I reflect on 2020's best films, the stories that stood out were ones which reflected our contemporary lives in a myriad of ways. Indeed, rather than turning to escapism, I was compelled by documentaries, true stories and naturalistic films that felt like real life. As the world looks to a post-COVID-19, post-Trump future, I believe these fine works of cinematic art will stand the test of time, acting as time capsules for one of the most significant years in our collective memories. Here are my picks for the Top 10 Films of 2020.

Honorable Mentions: Athlete A, Boys State, Premature and Wolfwalkers

Best of 2020: Top 10 Foreign Language Films

In the now iconic words of Bong Joon-ho, once you overcome the barrier one inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films. And in 2020, that statement continued to be true with a slate of extraordinary cinematic works from around the world. From wartime dramas to forbidden romances, world cinema made us laugh, cry and open our eyes to fresh perspectives. With the bountiful array of international films produced in the past year, this list is hardly exhaustive. But from what I’ve seen, here are my picks for the Top 10 Non-English Language Films of 2020. 

Honorable Mention: Night of the Kings 

Friday, January 1, 2021

Best of 2020: Top 20 Acting Performances

In true Norma Desmond fashion, 2020 was marked by small films with big performances. Indeed, while most of the year's best acting was unfortunately confined to our humble screens at home, they shone with talent and charisma. From new takes on the damsel in distress, to sensational interpretations of historical figures, here are my picks for the Top 20 Acting Performances of 2020:

Best of 2020: Top 10 Documentaries

Documentary aficionados perhaps make this claim every year, but 2020 truly felt like a standout year for non-fiction filmmaking. As the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered theaters worldwide and the blockbuster films that pack them, documentaries were able to shine brighter than ever before. And in this historic year of social and political change, documentaries complimented the news cycle brilliantly. Indeed, the year’s best documentaries tapped into the zeitgeist, exploring topics surrounding the prison-industrial complex, police brutality, sexual abuse and existential reflections on the meaning of life. These outstanding works of non-fiction storytelling are presented below in our Top 10 Documentaries of 2020.