My Current 2020 Academy Awards Highlights

The Oscars. From The Hollywood Reporter

Animated Nominees what are they saying at THR Round table

The nominated movies are Dreamworks Animation’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Netflix’s Klaus, Laika’s Missing Link and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story 4. I Lost My Body from Netflix was featured in a story that can be found

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

In a podcast recorded at DWA, three-time Oscar-nominated writer-director Dean DeBlois describes how he brought his How to Train Your Dragon trilogy to its emotional conclusion, as well as the making of the epic final film. The series chronicles the coming-of-age story of Hiccup, whose father is the leader of his Viking village of Berk. The two prior films earned Academy Award nominations for best animated feature, and composer John Powell was nominated for the score for the first instalment. DeBlois is Oscar-nominated along with the film’s producers, Bradford Lewis and Bonnie Arnold (her second nomination).

Missing Link

Chris Butler, the writer, director and character designer of Missing Link. He discusses his Victorian era-set story about friendship that follows globetrotting adventurer Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman) and Mr Link, the legendary Bigfoot (expressed by Zach Galifianakis). Butler — who has one prior Oscar nomination for Laika’s ParaNorman — discusses the idea for the story, as well as Laika’s “hybrid” approach to animation, combining traditional stop-motion with new digital techniques. Butler is Oscar-nominated with producers Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight.

Toy Story 4

Director Josh Cooley and producers Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera discuss the fourth instalment of the Toy Story series, during which Bo Peep helps Woody navigate change. In the conversation about the film — which topped $1 billion at the worldwide box office — the team also discusses topics including new characters, production design and music. Cooley was previously nominated as a writer for Inside Out and Rivera won an Oscar for that film.

The Joker’s MU Artist

The Makeup department head Nicki Ledermann and hair department head Kay Georgiou transformed Joaquin Phoenix into the title character of Todd Phillips’ Joker.

This transformation included the “classic” clown look at the start of the film and its gradual change into the Joker.

Ledermann’s credits include The Irishman, The Greatest Showman and The Devil Wear Prada, while Georgiou’s recent work consists of The Post, Thor: Ragnarok and Steven Spielberg’s upcoming West Side Story.

This year, the pair are nominated for their first Academy Awards in makeup and hairstyling alongside the teams from Bombshell, Judy, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and 1917.

Documentary Feature Nominees Explore Global Issues

The Edge of Democracy

Narrates how an impeachment trial that divides the country. Large crowds are chanting to “lock-up” their right-wing candidate’s political opponent. And the rise of an authoritarian leader who threatens to undercut democracy and the rule of law. Sound familiar?

In Netflix’s The Edge of Democracy, nominated for best documentary feature, Brazilian writer-director Petra Costa delves into her country’s messy political history — and in the process presents a dark “distorted mirror” of the myriad crises facing the U.S. today. With remarkable access to former Presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer — as well as the current hardline president, Jair Bolsonaro — Costa documents Brazil’s fraying democracy through the prism of her family’s history, contrasting the views of her right-wing, industrialist grandparents with the ideals of her left-wing, freedom-fighter parents.

American Factory

Produced by the Obamas, American Factory checks in on the General Motors plant that directors Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar explored in their 2009 short The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant, which was also nominated for an Academy Award.

The Cave

For The Cave, director Feras Fayyad returns to his native Syria, this time to document a team of female doctors working in an underground hospital. Fayyad was previously nominated for his 2017 film, the Syrian war documentary Last Men in Aleppo.


Shot with a skeleton crew over three years, Honeyland intimately follows one of the last female wild beekeepers in Europe as her livelihood is threatened by a wayfaring family that joins her tiny Macedonian village deep in the Balkans.

Can 1917 win Best Feature without Actors nominations

As ‘Parasite’ and ‘Ford v Ferrari’ join the war movie in the race for the top prize without any performance norms, the films must become the stars. Full Story at THR

Can a film with no acting nominations win the Oscar for best picture?

Three of this year’s nine nominated movies enter the final phase of the race with none of their cast recognized: racing drama Ford v Ferrari, war saga 1917 and social thriller Parasite.

Two of these contenders have other strikes against them. James Mangold didn’t get a director nomination for Ford v Ferrari, and only five films have won the top statuette without that, though they include 2019’s Green Book.

Parasite presents a more complicated problem because it’s only the 10th foreign-language film to have nominations for both director and picture, and no such movie has ever won the top prize. But the recent example of Roma does not bode well: that earned multiple nominations and won for director (Alfonso Cuarón) but not picture. Also, like Roma, voters may instead choose to reward Parasite — whose global theme of rich versus poor may prove even more apposite than Roma’s class dissection — as best international feature.

Not to receive nods in any of the four acting categories is a red flag for all three contenders. Only 11 films have won best picture without a single actor or actress being nominated ­ — the most recent, Slumdog Millionaire, was 11 years ago.

Others range from the very first best picture winner, 1928’s Wings, through 1995’s Braveheart to 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Given that actors make up 1,324 of the Academy’s 8,469 voting members, their selections may be crucial (actors like actors), especially in a close race, as this appears to be — in contrast to the year of Slumdog, a clear frontrunner from the moment it debuted at the Telluride Film Festival.

The lack of acting nominations is particularly troubling for Sam Mendes’ 1917 because it has two prominent leads, Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, one of whom is on camera for the film’s entire 119 minutes.

So can Universal’s war movie snatch the ultimate victory? Here’s how it could read more at THR.

Two films with no individual acting nominees pulled off monumental wins.

The top prizes at the 31st Producers Guild of America Awards and the 26th Screen Actors Guild Awards — among the most valued precursor awards on the road to the 92nd Academy Awards on Feb. 9 — each went to movies starring people virtually nobody in the Academy had heard of before this awards season, many still cannot name, and none of whom are personally nominated for an Oscar.

The films are 1917 and Parasite, respectively, and call to mind the Oscar race of 11 years ago, when a little movie called Slumdog Millionaire, which starred a bunch of newcomers, won both of those prizes and eventually the best picture Oscar, as well.

At PGA Awards, 1917, Sam Mendes’ World War I saga, won the Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures over the eight other films that are also nominated for the best picture Oscar — Parasite, plus Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood — as well as Knives Out. In 21 of the 30 prior years in which the PGA Awards and Academy Awards were both presented, the winner of the top PGA Award — or at least a winner of the top PGA Award, since there was once a tie — went on to win the best picture, Oscar.

There are also other reasons why Oscar-watchers pay close attention to the PGA’s choice. The voting rolls of the PGA and the Academy are almost precisely the same size — roughly 8,000 people determine the top prize at both the PGA Awards and the Academy Awards — and the PGA Awards is the only significant awards ceremony that employs the same sort of “preferential ballot” that the Academy Awards has for the past decade since both groups expanded the size of their top category beyond five (one which requires voters to rank nominees and then, in a convoluted way, rewards the film that most people at least like). In that time, the two groups have chosen different winners only twice: The PGA picked The Big Short while the Academy picked Spotlight four years ago, and the PGA picked La La Land while the Academy picked Moonlight three years ago.

At the same time, it must be acknowledged that the PGA and the Academy are very different groups. The PGA is composed solely of producers, whereas the Academy comprises people from all aspects of the filmmaking process (more than 93 per cent of its members are not producers). And the PGA is made up almost entirely of Americans and therefore reflects their tastes, whereas the Academy is increasingly an international organization. The latter reality certainly didn’t help one film at the PGA Awards, Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean dramedy Parasite.

But Parasite did still manage to win over another primarily American group, SAG-AFTRA, based on the fact that it became the first non-English-language film ever awarded the best ensemble SAG Award — topping fellow best picture Oscar nominees The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, plus Bombshell.

Oscars: ‘Parasite’ Becomes Sixth Movie to Be Nominated for Both Best Picture, International Feature

With its best picture nomination for the 92nd annual Academy Awards, Parasite has become only the 11th foreign-language film to be nominated in the top category and only the sixth film to be nominated for both best picture and international feature film.

That list of double nominees includes last year’s Netflix entrant Roma, as well as France’s Z (1969), Italy’s Life Is Beautiful (1998) Taiwan’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), and France/Germany/Austria’s Amour (2012).

All of the films nominated for both best picture and best international feature film (formerly called best foreign-language film), took home the international award. A foreign-language title has never won the Oscar for best picture in the show’s history.

Parasite is the first South Korean nominee for best international feature film.

Oscars: Antonio Banderas and Scarlett Johansson Among First-Time Nominees

Antonio Banderas was nominated for best actor in a leading role for his work in Pain and Glory, and Cynthia Erivoreceived her first nod for best actress in a leading role for her portrayal of Harriet Tubman in Harriet. (Additionally, Erivo is nominated for best original song for co-writing and performing the film’s number “Stand Up.”) Other first-time acting nominees include Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes) and Florence Pugh (Little Women).

Meanwhile, Scarlett Johansson received her first set of nodes in two separate categories — best actress in a leading role for Marriage Story and best actress in a supporting role for Jojo Rabbit. Scoring the first double nomination in 13 years — since Cate Blanchett was nominated for best actress and best supporting actress in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and I are Not There, respectively, in 2007 — Johansson joins an elite 11-person club of actors who have achieved such a feat.

Steve McQueen on BAFTA Diversity Crisis: Change or Have “No Credibility at All”

Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave and Widows, has warned that the BAFTA awards could become like the Grammys, and have “no credibility at all,” unless it reforms following the diversity controversy that erupted in the wake of this year’s film nominations.

The 2020 crop of BAFTA nominees sparked an instant backlash after it emerged that black talent had been snubbed in the main acting categories, with the likes of Brit stars Lupita Nyong’ o and Cynthia Erivo missing out, while the directing shortlist was, once again, an all-male affair.

“After a while, you get a bit fed up with it. Because if the BAFTAs are not supporting British talent, if you’re not supporting the people who are making headway in the industry, then I don’t understand what you are there for,” McQueen, a two-time BAFTA winner himself, told The Guardian.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter