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Longlists for My 5th Annual Film Awards: A Work in Progress

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Kumiko the Treasure Hunter poster

Once one of my most anticipated films of the year–but now, at year’s end, how much attention do I still pay it?

When I was assembling the nominees for my 3rd Annual Film Awards, I posted a longlist of films and performances I was considering for each category, and then put up a series of articles where I derived my final roster of nominees by going through the longlists and picking the best 5.

Since I’ve honed my skills at ranking my contenders in each category over the last two years, this year maintaining a ranked list of up to 20 contenders per category, I won’t be sifting through the longlists as I did once upon a time. But I thought you might like to see where my categories stand as of now.

Of course, a lot can change in the next two weeks. There are films to watch and rewatch, and a couple of categories in particular will require additional research. But this serves to show what I broadly think are the strongest elements of the year in film.

To preserve the element of surprise regarding my eventual nominees, all these lists have been alphabetized.

Picture:

  • Anomalisa
  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • Creed
  • Ex Machina
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Inside Out
  • The Look of Silence
  • Love & Mercy
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Mr. Holmes
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tangerine

This, of course, is just the top 20 list I published yesterday.

The Tribe Anya

A very unpleasant film, but a very well directed one.

Director:

  • Lenny Abrahamson, Room
  • J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Sean Baker, Tangerine
  • Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs
  • Ryan Coogler, Creed
  • Scott Cooper, Black Mass
  • Alex Garland, Ex Machina
  • Todd Haynes, Carol
  • Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
  • Baltasar Kormákur, Everest
  • Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson, The Forbidden Room
  • Adam McKay, The Big Short
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Oren Moverman, Time Out of Mind
  • Bill Pohlad, Love & Mercy
  • Ridley Scott, The Martian
  • Miroslav Slaboshpytskyi, The Tribe
  • Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies
  • Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

I ended up not loving The Forbidden Room quite as much as I expected to–but I can’t deny it did a lot right.

Johnny Depp Whitey Bulger

A hell of a performance (and a hell of a makeup job).

Actor:

  • Michael Caine, Youth
  • Steve Carell, The Big Short
  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Billy Crudup, The Stanford Prison Experiment 
  • John Cusack & Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
  • Matt Damon, The Martian
  • Johnny Depp, Black Mass
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
  • Richard Gere, Time Out of Mind
  • Domhnall Gleeson, Ex Machina
  • Tom Hanks, Bridge of Spies
  • Tom Hardy, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight
  • Michael B. Jordan, Creed
  • Thomas Mann, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes
  • Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
  • Jason Segel, The End of the Tour

All 5 of the Oscar nominees make it on.

IMG_3453

One of the true breakouts of the year.

Actress:

  • Juliette Binoche, Clouds of Sils Maria
  • Care Blanchett, Carol
  • Emily Blunt, Sicario
  • Rebecca Ferguson, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Brie Larson, Room
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
  • Laurence Lebeouf, Turbo Kid
  • Rooney Mara, Carol
  • Melissa McCarthy, Spy
  • Maika Monroe, It Follows
  • Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars
  • Yana Novikova, The Tribe
  • Bel Powley, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
  • Shu Qi, The Assassin
  • Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Tangerine
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
  • Mya Taylor, Tangerine
  • Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  • Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina

Four of the five Oscar nominees in this category get on (I still haven’t seen 45 Years), plus two of the Supporting Actress nominees–Mara and Vikander–whom I consider leads in their films.

Mississippi Grind Curtis and Gerry

Mendelsohn getting longlisted is no surprise, but Reynolds I didn’t see coming.

Supporting Actor:

  • Michael Angarano, The Stanford Prison Experiment 
  • Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • Emory Cohen, Brooklyn
  • Benicio Del Toro, Sicario
  • Domhnall Gleeson, The Revenant
  • Walton Goggins, The Hateful Eight
  • Tom Hardy, The Revenant
  • Corey Hawkins, Straight Outta Compton
  • Nicholas Hoult, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Oscar Isaac, Ex Machina
  • Michael Keaton, Spotlight
  • Hugh Keays-Byrne, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Milo Parker, Mr. Holmes
  • Ryan Reynolds, Mississippi Grind
  • Tim Roth, The Hateful Eight
  • Kurt Russell, The Hateful Eight
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
  • Sylvester Stallone, Creed
  • Jacob Tremblay, Room
  • Ben Vereen, Time Out of Mind

I’ve seen 19 of the 20 Oscar-nominated performances this year. 18 of those performances make my longlists. The 19th is Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight.

Dope Nakia poster

Perhaps the best performance in a film I wish I liked better (plus, she was in my favorite film of the year).

Supporting Actress:

  • Joan Allen, Room
  • Elizabeth Banks, Love & Mercy
  • Cate Blanchett, Cinderella
  • Jane Brennan, Brooklyn
  • Rose Byrne, Spy
  • Raffey Cassidy, Tomorrowland
  • Jessica Chastain, Crimson Peak
  • Olivia Cooke, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • Amber Heard, The Danish Girl
  • Zoë Kravitz, Dope
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
  • Laura Linney, Mr. Holmes
  • Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  • Sarah Paulson, Carol
  • Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria
  • Julie Walters, Brooklyn
  • Emily Watson, Everest
  • Rachel Weisz, Youth
  • Kristen Wiig, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

I cite Rachel Weisz, but Jane Fonda, who got a Globe nomination, doesn’t even come close to this list.

Bone Tomahawk poster

Not a great film, but one I respect.

Original Screenplay:

  • Bone Tomahawk
  • Clouds of Sils Maria
  • Dope
  • Ex Machina
  • The Forbidden Room
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Inside Out
  • It Follows
  • Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
  • Maps to the Stars
  • Mississippi Grind
  • Sicario
  • Slow West
  • Spy
  • Tangerine
  • Time Out of Mind
  • The Tribe
  • Turbo Kid
  • Youth

It’s funny, arranging these lists alphabetically results in three scripts I almost certainly won’t nominate (the first three) sitting right alongside three scripts I almost certainly will nominate (the next three).

Avengers Ultron first body

It’s on the list, but how high is it really ranked?

Adapted Screenplay:

  • Anomalisa
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • Creed
  • The Diary of a Teenage Girl
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Magic Mike XXL
  • The Martian
  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Mr. Holmes
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
  • The Revenant 
  • Room
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • Spectre 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Z for Zachariah

This list has some great fucking movies. It also has a few that just barely qualify.

Stanford Prison Experiment banner

Really, an excellent film and worth seeking out. (Source)

Factually-Based Screenplay:

  • The Big Short
  • Black Mass
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The End of the Tour
  • Everest
  • Love & Mercy
  • Spotlight
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment 
  • Steve Jobs
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Trumbo
  • The Walk

The first year of this category and I have 12 films which qualify. I don’t count The Danish Girl or The Revenant because they draw upon fictional treatments of true events.

Forbidden Room poster

Just from the poster, you know to expect a visual treat.

Cinematography:

  • The Assassin
  • Black Mass
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • Creed
  • Crimson Peak
  • The Danish Girl
  • Everest
  • The Forbidden Room
  • The Hateful Eight
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Spectre
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Steve Jobs
  • Time Out of Mind
  • The Tribe
  • The Walk

It’s a really good year for this category. When I saw Kumiko, I thought the cinematography was superb. Now it doesn’t even make my top 20.

Star Wars The Force Awakens sunset

The editing was wisely nominated. The cinematography, somehow, was not.

Editing:

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • Creed
  • Everest
  • Ex Machina
  • The Forbidden Room
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Love & Mercy
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Mr. Holmes
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Sicario
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Steve Jobs
  • Tangerine

I don’t get how Bridge of Spies and The Martian got into Best Picture but not Best Editing.

Crimson Peak Production Design 1

How the Academy missed this, I don’t know. (Source)

Production Design:

  • Anomalisa
  • The Assassin
  • Black Mass
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • Crimson Peak
  • The Danish Girl
  • Ex Machina
  • The Forbidden Room
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Joy
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Mr. Holmes
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Slow West
  • Spectre
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I didn’t love Joy, but it had some really striking sets, especially in the QVC sequences.

Chi-Raq Lysistrata

Whatever issues I had with Chi-Raq, the costumes were damned impressive.

Costume Design:

  • The Assassin
  • Black Mass
  • Brooklyn
  • By the Sea
  • Carol
  • Chi-Raq
  • Cinderella
  • Crimson Peak
  • The Danish Girl
  • The Diary of a Teenage Girl
  • The Forbidden Room
  • The Hateful Eight
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • A Little Chaos
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Mr. Holmes
  • The Revenant
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Trumbo
  • Turbo Kid

By the Sea barely left a ripple, but the costumes were nice.

Mad Max Slit makeup

He wasn’t born like that.

Makeup:

  • Black Mass
  • Bone Tomahawk
  • Concussion
  • Creed
  • Crimson Peak
  • The Danish Girl
  • Everest
  • The Forbidden Room
  • The Hateful Eight
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Mr. Holmes
  • The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
  • The Revenant
  • Spectre
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Trumbo
  • Turbo Kid
  • Youth

Yeah, I called that 100-Year-Old Man Oscar nom. Ironic, since the makeup itself isn’t actually that great.

It Follows soundtrack vinyl

Ohhhhhhhhhhh yeah. (Source)

Original Score:

  • The Assassin
  • Black Mass
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • Creed
  • The Danish Girl
  • The Diary of a Teenage Girl
  • The Hateful Eight
  • It Follows
  • Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spectre
  • The Stanford Prison Experiment 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tomorrowland
  • Turbo Kid
  • The Walk

Other scores I want to listen or re-listen to before I decide on my final five: Shaun the Sheep, The End of the Tour, Inside Out, Anomalisa, The Forbidden Room, and Steve Jobs.

Original Song:

  • “Can’t Bring Me Down”, Dope
  • “Don’t Get Deleted”, Dope
  • “The Final Derrière”, The Forbidden Room
  • “Four Doomed Men Ride Out”, Bone Tomahawk
  • “Go Head”, Dope
  • “I Want to Fly”, Chi-Raq 
  • “It’s My Turn Now”, Dope
  • “Just (After Song of Songs)”, Youth
  • “None of Them Are You”, Anomalisa
  • “Pray 4 My City”, Chi-Raq 
  • “Simple Song #3”, Youth
  • “Writing’s on the Wall”, Spectre

I actually haven’t been able to figure out if “Just” was written for the film or not. But it’s a beautiful song and I’d like to be able to consider it.

In the Heart of the Sea Hemsworth

A letdown of a film, but technically not too shabby.

Sound Mixing:

  • Anomalisa
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Creed
  • Everest
  • The Hateful Eight
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • Love & Mercy
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Magic Mike XXL
  • The Martian
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • The Revenant
  • ’71
  • Sicario
  • Spectre
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Tangerine
  • The Tribe
  • The Walk

Anomalisa really boasts some top-notch sound work.

la_ca_0105_chappie

Seamless effects in the service of a script that’s all seams.

Visual Effects:

  • Ant-Man
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Chappie
  • Crimson Peak
  • Everest
  • Ex Machina
  • The Forbidden Room
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • Jupiter Ascending
  • Jurassic World
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • The Revenant
  • Spectre 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Tomorrowland
  • Turbo Kid
  • The Walk

Yes, two of my bottom 10 films of the year are on this list.

Pawn Sacrifice Maguire

The voices that he hears had to be created. That they were created very well is gravy.

Sound Effects:

  • Anomalisa
  • The Big Short
  • Bone Tomahawk
  • Creed
  • Crimson Peak
  • Everest
  • The Forbidden Room
  • The Hateful Eight
  • In the Heart of the Sea
  • Love & Mercy
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
  • Pawn Sacrifice
  • The Revenant 
  • Sicario
  • Spectre
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Straight Outta Compton
  • Youth

I’m giving serious thought to merging my sound categories into one. More on this later.

And now, to tally up the results.

Total Mentions:

  • 16: The Hateful Eight, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • 15: The Revenant
  • 12: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • 11: Bridge of Spies, Carol, Creed, The Martian
  • 10: The Forbidden Room
  • 9: Everest, Ex Machina, Mr. Holmes, Room, Spectre
  • 8: Black Mass, The Danish Girl, Love & Mercy
  • 7: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Crimson Peak, Sicario, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Tangerine, Youth
  • 6: Anomalisa, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Dope, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, Steve Jobs, Turbo Kid
  • 5: The Assassin, In the Heart of the Sea, Time Out of Mind, The Tribe, The Walk
  • 4: Bone Tomahawk, Straight Outta Compton, Trumbo
  • 3: Chi-Raq, Clouds of Sils Maria, It Follows, Maps to the Stars, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Mississippi Grind, Spotlight, Spy, Tomorrowland
  • 2: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Cinderella, The End of the Tour, Inside Out, Joy, Jupiter Ascending, Kumiko the Treasure Hunter, Magic Mike XXL, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, Shaun the Sheep Movie, Slow West
  • 1: Ant-Man, By the Sea, Chappie, Concussion, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Jurassic World, A Little Chaos, The Look of Silence, Pawn Sacrifice, ’71, Z for Zachariah

Fewest mentions for a Picture contender: The Look of Silence, with 1.

Most mentions for a non-Picture contender: The Forbidden Room, with 10.

Most mentions without Picture or Director: Spectre, with 9.

Most mentions without an acting mention: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, with 12. (I forgot to longlist Mark Hamill.)

Most mentions for a film without any Oscar nominations: The Forbidden Room.

Most Oscar-nominated film without any mentions: There are a couple of choices, but the only one I’ve seen is…Fifty Shades of Grey.

Best film without any mentions: Goosebumps.

9 films get 10 mentions or more; those 9 films have 113 mentions combined.

11 films get 1 mention apiece, and 11 films get 2 mentions apiece. Funny how that worked out.

Less than two weeks until my nominations. It’s getting tense.

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