Internet Film Critic Society Awards 2018: Shape of Water, Get Out, Brigsby Bear

Posted on January 30, 2018 at 9:39 pm

The Internet Film Critic Society announced the winners of our 11th Annual Movie Awards, giving the top honor (Best Drama) to Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water.” Sally Hawkins won the Best Actress prize, also for the film “The Shape of Water.” Other awards went to Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” (Best Horror or Science Fiction), “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Best Action Film), and “I, Tonya” (Best Comedy). Daniel Kaluuya picked up the award for Best Actor for his performance in “Get Out” and “Brigsby Bear” won the award for Most Underrated Film of the Year.

The Eleventh Annual Internet Film Critic Society Awards:

Best Drama: The Shape of Water
Best Comedy: I, Tonya
Best Horror or Science Fiction Film: Get Out
Best Action Film: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Best Actor: Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out
Best Actress: Sally Hawkins for The Shape of Water
Best Director: Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water
Best Experimental Film: Faces Places
Most Underrated Film: Brigsby Bear
Worst Film of the Year: The Mummy

About the Internet Film Critic Society
The Internet Film Critic Society is an international association of online film critics and journalists. Our members provide expert opinions, analyses and criticisms on all forms of cinema, primarily or exclusively through online outlets. The IFCS is designed to stimulate awareness of the internet as a respectable and professional source of film critique and studies. The IFCS has given year-end awards for excellence in filmmaking annually since its founding in 2007. Additional information and previous awards can be seen at www.InternetFilmCritics.com.

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Awards Critics

Oscar Nominations 2018 — A Small Step Forward

Posted on January 23, 2018 at 3:49 pm

Copyright 2017 A24
The traditionally all-white male category of Best Director took a small step forward in this year’s Oscar nominations by including Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”) and Jordan Peele (“Get Out”), with both films also getting nominations for Best Picture and for acting (Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf for “Lady Bird,” Daniel Kaluuya for “Get Out”). It is worth pointing out that both Gerwig and Peele are young by director standards, and both are nominated for the first films they directed (Gerwig was co-director previously, but this is her first solo outing).

Copyright Universal 2017

I would like to have seen Dee Rees get nominated for “Mudbound” (and “Mudbound” nominated for Best Picture, but it was good to see Mary J. Blige get a Supporting Actress nomination for her extraordinary performance in that film. I would also like to have seen “Florida Project” get more attention, though I am glad Willem Dafoe was nominated for one of his all-time best performances, even more extraordinary because he was the only professional actor in nearly all of his scenes. I did not like “The Phantom Thread” but was mesmerized by Lesley Manville’s performance and am delighted she was recognized with a nomination.

For me, one of the most interesting line-ups this year was the Best Director category because for the first time, all five nominees also wrote their films.

I was very sorry that the following were overlooked: Michael Stuhlbarg and Armie Hammer for “Call Me By Your Name,” Tiffany Haddish for “Girls Trip,” “Wonder Woman” and “The Big Sick” for Best Picture. I’ll be looking forward to the Spirit Awards (for independent films) to correct some of these oversights.

And the toughest category to predict this year is the one at the top. “The Post” seems like the all-around likeliest candidate in terms of seriousness and broad appeal. But the preliminary indicators all seem to be going toward much more divisive films: “Three Billboards” or “Shape of Water.” “Shape of Water,” with it’s near-record 13 nominations, may just get the top prize.

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Lead Actor:

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.”

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Supporting Actor:

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

Supporting Actress:

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

Director:

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

Animated Feature:

“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Animated Short:

“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

Cinematography:

“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Best Documentary Feature:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film:

“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Best Foreign Language Film:

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

Film Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Sound Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Sound Mixing:

“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Production Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Original Score:

“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Original Song:

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair:

“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Costume Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Visual Effects:

“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlon
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

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Awards

WAFCA Awards 2017 — “Get Out,” “Three Billboards,” “Coco”

Posted on December 8, 2017 at 1:12 pm

The Washington Area Movie Critics are proud to announce our winners, the very best of 2017:

Copyright Universal 2017

Best Film:
Get Out

Best Director:
Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk)

Best Actor:
Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Best Actress:
Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Supporting Actor:
Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Copyright A24 2017

Best Supporting Actress:
Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird)

Best Acting Ensemble:
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Youth Performance:
Brooklynn Prince (The Florida Project)

Copyright Disney-Pixar 2017

Best Voice Performance:
Anthony Gonzalez (Coco)

Best Motion Capture Performance:
Andy Serkis (War for the Planet of the Apes)

Best Original Screenplay:
Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Best Adapted Screenplay:
Virgil Williams and Dee Rees (Mudbound)

Best Animated Feature:
Coco

Best Documentary:
Jane

Best Foreign Language Film:
BPM (Beats Per Minute)

Copyright Warner Brothers 2017

Best Production Design:
Production Designer: Dennis Gassner;
Set Decorator: Alessandra Querzola (Blade Runner 2049)

Best Cinematography:
Roger A. Deakins, ASC, BSC (Blade Runner 2049)

Best Editing:
Paul Machliss, ACE; Jonathan Amos, ACE (Baby Driver)

Best Original Score:
Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch (Blade Runner 2049)

The Joe Barber Award for Best Portrayal of Washington, DC:
The Post

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Awards Critics

Get Out

Posted on February 23, 2017 at 5:44 pm

Copyright Universal 2017

Two caveats before I begin the review: First, I am not very knowledgeable about horror films and therefore do not have the context I normally bring to evaluating a film. Second and more important, this movie has complex themes about race and privilege that I do not pretend to have authority to speak to. I strongly recommend that people who are interested in understanding this film read the perspectives of critics who are African-American or people of color, and I will post links to some of the ones I especially admire at the end of this review. With those limitations in mind, here are my thoughts on “Get Out,” in my opinion a superb film on many levels.

Writer/director Jordan Peele, like his “Key and Peele” partner Keegan-Michael Key, is biracial, which gives them both a lifelong experience with being both part of and observer of black and white culture and a lifelong fascination with code-switching, as we saw in their film “Keanu,” written by Peele. Moving from comedy to horror, Peele continues to explore the themes, giving depth and emotional power to a genre film. Unlike Quentin Tarantino, who carelessly purloins historic settings as a shortcut to the audience’s emotional investment so he can get right to the gore, Peele cannily plays the conventions of the genre and the discomfort and hostility about race off of each other.

It is one of the most terrifying prospects of ordinary life: meeting the family of the significant other. This familiarly excruciating prospect can be played for comedy (“Meet the Parents”) or drama (“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?”), but horror is perhaps its best fit, with room for some comedy and drama as well. The fact that Rose (“Girls” star Allison Williams) has not told her parents that her boyfriend of five months, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), is black, adds another layer of tension. She assures him it does not matter. “They would have voted for Obama for a third time if they could!”

Kaluuya gives a star-making performance with help from cinematographer Toby Oliver, who makes this that rarest of movies, one that knows how to light African-Americans, especially those with darker skin, so that we can really see what they bring to the role. Watch his face in the early scenes as Chris navigates the fatuous pleasantries of Rose’s parents (Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener, both excellent), and then the bro-ish thuggery of Rose’s brother, and then the condescending appraisals of the friends who all seem like they are on their way to the yacht club. We see him calibrate each of these interactions, trying to be a good sport, trying to go along, trying to make his girlfriend’s family feel comfortable with him, but starting to lose his patience. One of the film’s many shrewd understandings is the way that a lifetime of having to reassure white people that he is not going to hurt them or make them uncomfortable makes him slow to pick up on or slow to doubt himself about the creepiness of Rose’s family. An early scene, where Chris and Rose get questioned by a highway patrolman after hitting a deer is subtle but sharply drawn. And before you can say “foreshadowing,” Chris is getting a tour of the house and Rose’s dad is explaining that the basement had to be sealed off because of black mold. Hmm. And did I mention the prologue when a black guy walking down a peaceful suburban street is followed and then captured? And that the only person of color beside Chris at the party (the always-great LaKeith Stanfield) is strangely subdued and doesn’t know about fist bumps?

It would be a disservice to say any more about the plot. I won’t spoil the twists. I’ll just say that Peele knows what scares us and how to scare us and make us enjoy it, and gives us a lot to think about about some comedy as well. And that it may be that the scariest thing about the movie is the reminder that it has taken far too long to shine the correct light — literally and figuratively — on stories that should be told because they are just that good.

I recommend these reviews: Travis Hopson, Aisha Harris, Jeffrey Lyles, Kevin Sampson, Stephen Thrasher, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Odie Henderson and Stephen Boone. Also, this piece on conversations with interracial couples who have seen the film.

Parents should know that this is a horror film with theme of racism and exploitation, extended peril and violence including gun, choking, and bloody, graphic, and explicit medical images and sounds, characters injured and killed, suicide, references to sad loss of a parent, some strong language including racist epithets, sexual references and a non-explicit situation, and smoking.

Family discussion: When does the story turn from insensitive to offensive to sinister? What makes Chris decide that he has to leave?

If you like this, try: “Rosemary’s Baby,” “The Wicker Man” (original version) and “The Stepford Wives”

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Horror Race and Diversity Thriller
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