Get Out: I, Tonya is more like I, Oscar as the nominations announcement takes Shape!

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Forget about the Government shutdown or any of those nimrods running this country like a second-rate car wash and prioritize what’s important: Tuesday morning’s Oscar nominations announcement! This year’s race has been all over the place and exciting because there’s not one movie running away with everything – the critic’s prizes have been all over the place so Best Picture isn’t necessarily sewn up just yet.

 

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Forget Christmas or New Year’s – Oscar Season is the most wonderful time of the year! If you don’t agree then you can just Get Out? If you had told me a year ago that this little horror movie would be an Oscar nominee – I’d have told you to get out, but in just a few hours it most certainly will be! I don’t know if I’ll get a Best Picture nomination, but it’s a really great film that’s sure to be recognized tomorrow.

 

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I’m not one to launch into a checklist of all the categories with who I think will be nominated because that’s boring and that’s typical and I am neither of those things. We’ll jump around, but let’s talk Best Director. Do I think Lady Bird will get a Best Picture nomination – definitely. Do I think Greta Gerwig will get a Best Director nomination for it? I’m really hoping that I’m wrong, but unfortunately, I’m leaning towards no. Not because she doesn’t deserve it or she shouldn’t be nominated; I want to be wrong on this but I’m leaning towards no based on Oscar history. At this point, I don’t know that there’s anything to stop Guillermo del Toro from winning for The Shape of Water, but the Director’s Branch doesn’t go with the popular vote for their nominations and that’s especially true recently.

 

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It may seem odd to overlook the front runner to one of the most talked about films this year, but there are only five spots and this is an old boys club that might just stick with the veterans like Spielberg and Ridley Scott over newer directors like Greta Gerwig or Jordan Peele. Also, there have only been four women nominated for Best Director and only one female winner. In 90 Years – how is that even possible? That fact in itself is hard to ignore and pushes me towards a Gerwig snub Tuesday morning…

 

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If snubbing Greta Gerwig seems absolutely crazy, remember that this is the same Director’s branch that didn’t give Martin Scorcese a Best Director Oscar until The Departed in 2006! Take that in folks – Eminem was an Oscar winner for 8 Mile years before Martin-effin-Scorcese! Shameful as that is, Christopher Nolan has never even been nominated for Best Director – this nomination for Dunkirk will be his first! This is one branch of the Academy that doesn’t seem to go with emotions or what the public does like the acting branch. In fact, in recent years the Best Director hasn’t even lined up with the Best Picture winner which, historically, was never the case.

 

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Remember how great it was when Kathryn Bigelow stormed the stage for The Hurt Locker to win Best Director? That was an anomaly. She was snubbed for Zero Dark Thirty shortly after in the same year that be Affleck was snubbed for Argo – which actually won Best Picture! How the hell does the film winning Best Picture not get a nomination for Best Director? Affleck’s snub was the best thing that happened to Argo; it made them the underdog and they ran on a “shame on you for not nominating Ben Affleck” campaign which gained momentum and won the trophy. That could certainly happen with Lady Bird if Gerwig isn’t nominated tomorrow – it would up the chances in a race that’s not over by a long shot and march Lady Bird right up to the podium!

 

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Along with the snubs are the surprise nominations that come along every now and then; there are always a few head scratchers that seem to just come out of nowhere and I love them. Last year, Amy Adams was snubbed for Arrival which I didn’t love and then her costar Michael Shannon came out of nowhere and got nominated for Nocturnal Animals which he could do again with The Shape of Water. It’s a film that everyone has seen so he could possibly hear his name called if the film builds momentum. It’s extremely doubtful for so many reasons but just know that if he hears his name, Woody Harrelson or Armie Hammer definitely won’t.

 

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Both The Shape of Water and Three Billboards will have three acting nominations but Sam Rockwell – it’s about damn time! Three Billboards will be the first film since Bugsy in 1992 with two supporting actors nominated for the same film. Those nominations are givens, but although quite unlikely, it’s entirely possible for Jessica Chastain in Molly’s Game to sneak into Meryl Streep’s The Post spot and Daniel Day Lewis might not get the love people are expecting for Phantom Thread leaving an open spot for Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out.

 

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My big wish for the nominations is to see some love for Mudbound and The Big Sick and not just because I met Kumail Nanjiani and he’s awesome. I don’t think Mary J Blige is gonna make the cut for a Supporting Actress for Mudbound, so I’m rooting for her in the Best Original Song category! Mudbound is a great film, with a great story and a great cast that just happens to be written and directed by Dee Rees and I hope it gets the recognition it deserves. It should land a screenplay nod tomorrow, but getting a Best Picture nomination would be amazing, but it’s a very long shot.

 

 

 

If you think the race is over, consider that final Oscar voting closes on February 27th and the ceremony isn’t until March 4th – that is a lifetime away from now in Oscar campaigning and although Three Billboards has momentum right now, it’ll be hard to maintain that for the next month; I, Tonya could club the competition and surge up to a prime spot between now and then.

 

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My foot surgery was more like General Hustle than General Hospital!

It’s a little known fact that while laid up recuperating on my couch in Sleepy Hollow, I pretty much invented the “binge-watching” movement along with my friend Li (The Chinese food Delivery Guy made famous by my Tony no Here post. I needed surgery because I’d broken my left ankle while playing volleyball and I was extremely worked up because I’d never broken anything before unless you count the record I smashed binge-watching all nine seasons of Dynasty!

 

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Without a doubt, the best show ever made!

 

Keep I mind that this wasn’t binging TV shows like it’s so easy to do nowadays with a million things available on Netflix or Amazon or Hulu or on your phone; this was me having to get every season of the show piecemeal on EBAY. Then when I finally got them (in the mail, mind you, which took forever), I tore through them non-stop like a rabid dog with a bone. I was laid up and laid out but finally they were gonna slice me open and fix me like The Six Million Dollar Man. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and if my life was a movie you’d faintly hear Michael Bolton singing along with me on the couch “When I’m back on my feet again…”

 

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The day of the surgery, I was a bundle of crazy nerves and my normally neurotic self was on hyper-overload. I’d arrived armed with my wife and my sister for emotional comfort, two boxes of Imodium AD for gastric support, and a big black X drawn on my ankle for physical support and to make sure they didn’t cut open on the wrong foot. That may seem like an urban legend, but I wasn’t taking any chances. My surgical prep nurse, Nurse Ratched, took one look and needless to say, she was not amused with my sharpie skills and that was just the start of multiple things we wouldn’t see eye to eye on.

 

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It was an early morning surgery and I hadn’t eaten anything since midnight and was starving. My nervous stomach wasn’t playing nicely with all the butterflies and the painkillers I was on mixed with a splash of my ever-present Imodium AD. As the nurse was filling out the paperwork and asking me questions, she told me to remove my clothes. Obviously I thought this strange as it wasn’t a casting call for the Magic Mike sequel, just a random hospital examination room.

 

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“Um, that’s OK, just the ankle getting done, so not really gonna get naked but thank you for the offer.” I said.

She was not very interested in discussing it. “You need to be completely undressed for surgery.”

“No, actually I don’t. Once again, thanks for the offer, but I’m having surgery on my ankle – why would I need to be naked? You know where the ankles are right? I can see taking off my socks and maybe my pants, but why would I possibly need to take off my underwear? I’m not taking my underwear off! What’s going on here?” I’m not a calm person normally, but this was starting to set me off.

 

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“Listen Sir, if you don’t take your underwear off, we’re going to cut them off of you!”

“Listen lady, if I wake up and you’ve cut my underwear off, I’m cutting yours off next!”

“This is not optional, it’s not sanitary and you need to remove your clothes!”

 

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The peanut gallery, and by that I mean my wife and sister, were not being very supportive or having my back at this point and really just trying not to laugh at the ridiculousness. My wife was like, “just take your contacts out and lay back and relax – you’ll feel better and it’ll be over soon.” It was just like what the masseuse told me before she massaged me and then proceeded to flick my testicle on our Honeymoon. Advice you should never take: “Just take your clothes off and listen.”

 

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I was outnumbered and outgunned here, so I begrudgingly removed my clothes all the while picturing the conversation they’d be having about this up in the operating room over my listless body: “Why wouldn’t he take off his underwear? Is he a never-nude like Tobias? What’s with this big black X on his ankle? Poor little guy, he’s obviously a grower, not a shower.”

 

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Either way, relaxed is not a word one would be using to describe me that day. As they came in to wheel me down the hallway to the butchers in the basement, I was contactless so everything was blurry which actually did make me feel better. They’d already administered the anesthesia, which also helped to make me groggy, and they told me to count down from 100 and off I’d go…My wife and sister were following the gurney down the hall telling me to relax when an orderly sidled up to the guy pushing me: “Hey Scott, are you heading downstairs? Will you drop this sample off at the lab on your way?” and he proceeded to gently place a bag on my stretcher. My wife and sister gasped and looked at each other in shock as I was squinting up a storm and trying to sit up and see if I was hallucinating with that clear plastic bag. “Is that shit? Is there shit in that bag? That looks like shit! Is that Sh…” and with that the anesthesia kicked in and I was knocked out! There was a bag of someone’s shit – someone’s shit – being transported on me like it was nothing! Literally, my nightmare came true and there wasn’t enough Imodium AD in the world to prevent that shit storm from getting me!

 

 

As I was coming to in the recovery room, my wife and sister got Nurse Ratched to tell her I was awake and I started babbling again as if someone had just pressed pause on me when the anesthesia kicked in: “There was shit on me! There was shit on me! I saw it – it was shit! There was shit on me!” My wife was saying I was crazy and trying to tell me that I must have been mistaken to reassure me and calm me down, but one look at my sister’s face told me it was definitely shit! The nurse thought I was having a reaction to the anesthesia and was concerned until my wife told her what my incoherent babbling was about. Needless to say, it was a shitty operation!

 

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Only me right? I mean, who does that happen to? I go in for what was supposed to be routine surgery and they turned me into a fecal drug mule! I can’t help but feel like this wouldn’t have happened on ERGrey’s Anatomy maybe – but definitely not on ER…Where’s Julianna Margulies when you need her?

 

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The only AA I care about: Academy Awards! Hollywood hasn’t been this fixated on the Reds since Joseph McCarthy!

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“This year has been all about the Reds and it has nothing to do with Warren Beatty!”

 

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The Oscars are finally here and I couldn’t be more excited. Just like all of you, I’ve been cramming in all the last minute nominated films and I could not be more pumped up about this year’s crop. There is truly something for everyone – Action, drama, sci-fi, musicals, sports, musicals, war, and seriously – one cannot talk about the year in films without mentioning Hollywood overcoming a HUGE hurdle that most people won’t talk about: after years of neglecting nominees of color, this has been an extraordinary year for Gingers! In the span of two years it went from #OSCARSOWHITE to #OSCARSORED! Forget about Rogue One – It’s more like Rouge One this year at the movies!

 

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Nicole Kidman in Lion – Boom! Emma Stone in La La Land – BOOM! Amy Adams in Arrival AND Nocturnal Animals – Snubbed but I’d like to give her that Boom! Isabelle Huppert in Elle – BOOM! Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea (reddish brown, but you can’t hide from me) – BOOM! Deadpool – BOOM! The Red Turtle – BOOM! The Lobster – BOOM! Poppy in Trolls – (technically pink, but we’ll give it to you) – BOOM!

 

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I’m not gonna go on a rant because I’m not a La La Lunatic, but if you haven’t been swept up this year by the sheer scope and style of the offerings – you just might be dead inside. I actually checked to see if rigor mortis had set in on him because my brother Joey hated Manchester by the Sea. Can you imagine? The scacriledge! Casey Affleck caused me to need anti-depressants and Michelle Williams performance still haunts me months later.

 

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This is not just to say how amazing La La Land is I La-La-Loved it and Emma Stone will rightfully dance away with her Best Actress Oscar tonight! If it was a just world, Ryan Gosling would win as well, but in a year when Casey Affleck’s pain tore me up and Denzel Washington reminded us why he’s the best working actor alive – Gosling’s nomination is a win in itself!

 

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I would have rather Andrew Garfield had been nominated for Silence rather than Hacksaw Ridge. I might be in the minority, but I didn’t love the movie – I actually wanted to take a hacksaw to cut myself in half just to make it stop. Personal issues aside, Mel Gibson is an extremely talented director and it was well made; I just felt that it was slow and drawn out – especially when Garfield’s character was saving soldiers during the last battle on the ridge. We get it, he saved seventy five people; do we need to show twenty rescues? I felt exhausted just watching him struggle to carry those soldiers to safety.

 

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Although I’m a big fan of his work, Andrew Garfield’s performance felt hokey and cartoonish at times. I couldn’t tell if his character was supposed to be “slow” in the beginning, but it was like there was a little something “off” about the guy. No hot nurse would have fallen in love with someone like that – they would have fallen for the cop that helped them get the restraining order. I felt the same way about Joel Edgerton in Loving; I know it’s based on a real person’s story, but was something wrong with the guy? I’m not making fun because I’ve actually been mistaken for a retarded person myself, but I couldn’t help but think – is he supposed to be handicapped? It was distracting and I almost felt like Ruth Negga’s Best Actress nomination had more to do with her keeping a straight face while her partner showed us what the love child of Forrest Gump and Sling Blade would look like!

 

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Speaking of miscast roles, Vince Vaughn was horribly miscast as a drill sergeant in Hacksaw Ridge – I felt like at any minute he was hazing him that he might lean in Garfield’s face and whisper “Just the tip, just for a second…” After this and True Detective Season two, he really needs to just stick with comedies…

 

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Hell or High Water; Sort of like the way I felt about Luke Wheeler on Nashville – if you don’t have something nice to say, move on! I got nothing for ya and I’m rolling on to one of the most amazing films I’ve seen all year: Jim: The James Foley Story. I haven’t seen such a powerful, grab you by the heels documentary that I absolutely loved since Searching for Sugarman and this one was a doozie. If I could tell you to seek out one film nominated this year – let this be it! No offense to OJ: Made in America or Life, Animated, but this is the Best Documentary of the year! I’m just grateful that it was nominated for Sting’s powerful song “The Empty Chair” or I might have missed it altogether.

 

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Florence Foster Jenkins? I love her Streepness too, but I’d rather watch Jodie Foster’s last colonoscopy than ever hear about this movie again. Meryl Streep is great in everything but in a year when Annette Benning made 20th Century Women, Amy Adams had not just Arrival, but Nocturnal Animals as well, Jessica Chastain in Mrs. Sloane; it’s almost a crime to line Meryl up for this. For the first time in probably ever – the Best Actress pool was overflowing with amazing, amazing, amazing performances that there was really no way to pick five and not leave out multiple deserving, go for broke, career-best performances, but I am still shocked that Amy Adams isn’t in there. Besides Streep, I can’t think who you’d replace. Natalie Portman was Jackie Kennedy! Isabelle Huppert was crazy amazing in Elle, Ruth Negga was great and Emma, Emma, Emma – I just loved you!

 

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You wanna talk about the year’s biggest snub? The supporting role that was inexcusably overlooked was the green dress that Amy Adams wore at the end of Nocturnal Animals! She has never looked more amazing than she has here and that green dress brought more feelings out of this writer than I should be admitting. I read that the original title of the film was Nocturnal Emissions and after seeing that dress, I can tell why.

 

 

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Best Supporting Role – this dress!

 

 

So many other non-redhead performances were amazing this year too, but there’s just so little time to gush: Joe’s Violin, Moonlight, Jackie, Fences, A Man Called Ove, the short film Sing, Toni Erdmann (even if only for that “Greatest Love of All” scene), La Femme et le TGV, Captain Fantastic…just so much to love. Go and enjoy the Oscars. In a year when there are so many touching and powerful performances you can look at it two ways: A) be thankful that the amazing Lion, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight grabbed us and transported us through emotional journeys or B) scratch your head at how far we’ve fallen as a society when awful things like Passengers, Suicide Squad or Dr. Strange are Oscar nominated…I for one could have lived without finding out where Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them were!

 

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