Behind the Scenes: La La Land’s Opening Number

Posted on February 23, 2017 at 8:01 am

USA Today has the iPhone footage writer/director Damien Chazelle made in the rehearsal for the bravura opening number that looks like one continuous shot. It was actually three shots stitched together, and this rehearsal, shot by Chazelle himself, shows how carefully it was planned.

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Behind the Scenes

Oscar Nominees 2017

Posted on January 24, 2017 at 10:59 am

The Oscar nominees were announced this morning! Not many surprises — Meryl Streep got her 20th nomination, and other previous nominees and winners like Nicole Kidman and Octavia Spencer appeared on the list as well. Annette Bening and Amy Adams were overlooked, a disappointment. But after two years (let’s face it, 89 years) of #oscarssowhite, it was good to see some people of color recognized, especially those behind the camera. “La La Land” tied the record for the most nominations — it is a valentine from Hollywood to itself — but small-budget newcomer “Moonlight” made an impressive showing with eight nominations. I’ll be talking about the nominations with Mack Bates and Betty Jo Tucker on the Movie Addict Headquarters podcast today and will post a link to the show.

Best Picture

”Hacksaw Ridge”
”Hell or High Water”
”Hidden Figures”
”La La Land”
”Manchester by the Sea”

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve, “Arrival”
Mel Gibson, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”
Kenneth Lonergan, “Manchester by the Sea”
Barry Jenkins, “Moonlight”

Best Actress

Emma Stone, “La La Land”
Natalie Portman, “Jackie”
Ruth Negga, “Loving”
Meryl Streep, “Florence Foster Jenkins”
Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”
Andrew Garfield, “Hacksaw Ridge”
Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”
Viggo Mortensen, “Captain Fantastic”
Denzel Washington, “Fences”

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, “Fences”
Naomie Harris, “Moonlight”
Nicole Kidman, “Lion”
Octavia Spencer, “Hidden Figures”
Michelle Williams, “Manchester by the Sea”

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”
Jeff Bridges,”Hell or High Water”
Lucas Hedges, “Manchester by the Sea”
Dev Patel, “Lion”
Michael Shannon, “Nocturnal Animals”

Best Adapted Screenplay

”Hidden Figures”

Best Original Screenplay

“Hell or High Water”
”La La Land”
”The Lobster”
”Manchester by the Sea”
”20th Century Women”

Best Foreign Language Film

“Land of Mine,” Martin Zandvliet, Denmark
”A Man Called Ove,” Hannes Holm, Sweden
”The Salesman,” Asghar Farhadi, Iran
”Tanna,” Bentley Dean, Martin Butler, Australia,
”Toni Erdmann,” Maren Ade, Germany

Best Documentary Feature

“Fire at Sea”
“I Am Not Your Negro”
“Life, Animated”
“O.J.: Made in America”

Best Animated Feature

“Kubo and the Two Strings”
”My Life as a Zucchini”
”The Red Turtle”

Best Film Editing

”Hacksaw Ridge”
”Hell or High Water”
”La La Land”

Best Original Song

“Audition (The Fools Who Dream),” “La La Land”
“Can’t Stop the Feeling,” “Trolls”
“City of Stars,” “La La Land”
“The Empty Chair,” “Jim: The James Foley Story”
“How Far I’ll Go,” “Moana”

Best Original Score

”La La Land”

Best Cinematography

“Arrival,” Bradford Young
”La La Land,” Linus Sandgren
”Silence,” Rodrigo Prieto
”Lion,” Grieg Fraser
”Moonlight,” James Laxton

Best Costume Design

”Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
”Florence Foster Jenkins”
”La La Land”

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“A Man Called Ove”
”Star Trek Beyond”
”Suicide Squad”

Best Production Design

”Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
”Hail, Caesar!”
”La La Land”

Best Sound Editing

”Deepwater Horizon”
”Hacksaw Ridge”
”La La Land”

Best Sound Mixing

”Hacksaw Ridge”
”La La Land”
”Rogue One”
”13 Hours”

Best Visual Effects

“Rogue One”
”The Jungle Book”
”Doctor Strange”
”Fantastic Beats and Where to Find Them”
”The BFG”
”Kubo and the Two Strings”
”A Monster Calls”

Best Short Film, Live Action

“Ennemis Intérieurs”
”La Femme et le TGV”
”Silent Nights”

Best Short Film, Animated

“Blind Vaysha”
”Borrowed Time”
”Pear Cider and Cigarettes”

Best Documentary, Short Subject

”4.1 Miles”
”Joe’s Violin”
”Watani: My Homeland”
”The White Helmets”

The 89th Academy Awards, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air live on ABC at 8:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 26.

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Golden Globes 2016

Posted on January 8, 2017 at 11:16 pm

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s “Golden Globes” is always a lot of fun and this year’s jubilant opening number, inspired by “La La Land” kicked it off with brio. Host Jimmy Fallon got out of a limo stuck in traffic and launched into a big dance number to “Another Day of Sun,” a shrewd look ahead at a film that would break the record for the most Golden Globes, winning best song, score, writer, director, actor, actress, and film (in the Comedy/Musical category). It probably broke some records for the most wins under age 35 for its young filmmakers, songwriters, and cast. The musical number was a lot of fun, with a pointed joke about the contrast with #Oscarssowhite and a tribute to “Stranger Things” with a rap interlude and the return of Beth.

Another young newcomer with two big wins was Donald Glover, who is the creator and star of “Atlanta,” and who won for best television series and best actor in a series. Tracee Ellis Ross won her first Golden Globe for “Black-ish,” and gave one of the best speeches of the night: ” “This is for all of the women of color and colorful people whose stories, ideas and thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important. I want you to know that I see you and we see you.”

Dramatic films were more split, with Casey Affleck winning Best Actor for “Manchester by the Sea,” and, unusually, Isabelle Huppert winning Best Actor for her performance in the film that won the Foreign Language award, “Elle.” The top prize went to the critically acclaimed “Moonlight.”

Copyright 2016 Pearl Street Films
Copyright 2016 Pearl Street Films

Other acceptance speech highlights — Hugh Laurie and Meryl Streep noting that the organization behind the Globes was triply at risk as representing Hollywood, foreigners, and press, and Meryl Streep’s stirring reminder, as she accepted her lifetime achievement award, quoting the late Carrie Fisher: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.” Ryan Gosling’s tender tribute to Eva Mendes and to all women who make it possible for their loved ones to follow their dreams was a touching moment. And it was nice of the Globes, which usually does not do memorial tributes, to make time to say goodbye to Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. Questlove was a great addition, providing astutely chosen musical punctuation.

Some glitches and disappointments — not sure why so many of the men on stage had beards that made them look like frontiersmen. Is there some sequel to “The Revenant” in the works? Fallon’s opening monologue began with a technical glitch, clumsily handled and then not worth waiting for. His subsequent appearances were superfluous. Kristen Wiig and Steve Carell presented the Best Animated Film award with a surreal introduction about their own (fabricated) tragic childhood memories of going to animated films. Goldie Hawn, appearing with Amy Schumer, attempted to replicate her “Laugh-In” bits — not being able to read the cue cards — but it went on too long. And Sofia Vergara, please do not let them make you make dumb jokes by making words sound dirty because of your accent.

She did look beautiful, though, with one of the best dresses of the night. Other beautiful gowns: Reese Witherspoon, Issa Rae, Naomie Harris, Viola Davis, and one woman in a beautiful tuxedo, Evan Rachel Wood, in what she said was a tribute to Marlene Dietrich. The worst dress had to be Carrie Underwood’s, which looked like it was made out of cake frosting.

The awards:


Best picture, drama: “Moonlight”

Best picture, comedy or musical: “La La Land”

Actress, drama: Isabelle Huppert, “Elle”

Actor, drama: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Actress, comedy or musical: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Actor, comedy or musical: Ryan Gosling, “La La Land”

Supporting actress: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Supporting actor: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, “Nocturnal Animals”

Director: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Screenplay: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Animated film: “Zootopia”

Foreign language film: “Elle” (France)

Original score: Justin Hurwitz, “La La Land”

Original song: “City of Stars,” “La La Land”


Best series, drama: “The Crown,” Netflix

Best series, comedy or musical: “Atlanta,” FX

Best television movie or mini-series: “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story,” FX

Actress, mini-series or television movie: Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

Actor, mini-series or television movie: Tom Hiddleston, “The Night Manager”

Actress, drama: Claire Foy, “The Crown”

Actor, drama: Billy Bob Thornton, “Goliath”

Actress, comedy or musical: Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”

Actor, comedy or musical: Donald Glover, “Atlanta”

Supporting actress: Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”

Supporting actor: Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”

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Online Film Critics (OFCS) Awards for 2016

Posted on January 3, 2017 at 11:58 am

It is an honor to join with my fellow online film critics to announce our awards for the best films of 2016. The nominees are below with the winners in bold.

Copyright 2016 Plan B Entertainment
Copyright 2016 Plan B Entertainment

Best Picture
The Handmaiden
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea
^ Moonlight ^
O.J.: Made in America
The Witch

Copyright 2016 Focus
Copyright 2016 Focus

Best Animated Feature
Finding Dory
^ Kubo and the Two Strings ^
The Red Turtle

Best Director
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
^ Barry Jenkins – Moonlight ^
Pablo Larraín – Jackie
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester By the Sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Copyright 2016 Pearl Street Films
Copyright 2016 Pearl Street Films

Best Actor
^ Casey Affleck – Manchester By the Sea ^
Adam Driver – Paterson
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress
Amy Adams – Arrival
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
^ Natalie Portman – Jackie ^
Emma Stone – La La Land

Best Supporting Actor
^ Mahershala Ali – Moonlight ^
Tom Bennett – Love & Friendship
Jeff Bridges – Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges – Manchester By the Sea
Michael Shannon – Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis – Fences
Lily Gladstone – Certain Women
^ Naomie Harris – Moonlight ^
Octavia Spencer – Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams – Manchester By the Sea

Copyright Film 44 2016
Copyright Film 44 2016

Best Original Screenplay
^ Hell or High Water – Taylor Sheridan ^
Jackie – Noah Oppenheim
La La Land – Damien Chazelle
The Lobster – Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou
Manchester By the Sea – Kenneth Lonergan

Best Adapted Screenplay
^ Arrival – Eric Heisserer, Ted Chiang ^
Elle – David Birke, Philippe Djian
Love & Friendship – Whit Stillman
Moonlight – Barry Jenkins, Tarell Alvin McCraney
Nocturnal Animals – Tom Ford

Best Editinglalaland
Arrival – Joe Walker
Cameraperson – Nels Bangerter
Jackie – Sebastian Sepulveda
^ La La Land – Tom Cross ^
Moonlight – Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders

Best Cinematography
Arrival – Bradford Young
Jackie – Stéphane Fontaine
^ La La Land – Linus Sandgren ^
Moonlight – James Laxton
The Neon Demon – Natasha Braier

Best Film Not in the English Language
Elle – France
^ The Handmaiden – South Korea ^
Neruda – Chile
The Salesman – Iran
Toni Erdmann – Germany

Best Documentary
I Am Not Your Negro
^ O.J.: Made in America ^

Best Non-U.S. Release
After the Storm
The Death of Louis XIV
The Girl With All the Gifts
Personal Shopper
A Quiet Passion
Staying Vertical
The Unknown Girl
Yourself and Yours

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