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

oscars-2018-header-round-2-predictions

 

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.

 

get out

 

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.

 

the-shape-of-water-poster-copy

 

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.

 

lady bird

 

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…

 

bigelow.jpg

 

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.

 

scorcese

 

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!

 

michael shannon

 

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.

 

threebillboards

 

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.

 

phantom thread

 

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.

 

ITonya2017

 

CelebriTuesdays: Dreamgirls Edition – Sheryl Lee Ralph & Anika Noni Rose!

It wasn’t a Dream when I saw these Girls! In December, I saw the star of the Broadway version of Dreamgirls – Sheryl Lee Ralph – and today I saw the Dreamgirls star from the movie version – Anika Noni Rose. As lucky as that is, even better was the fact that both pictures came out great!

Anika3

 

Normally, I’d be making a weird face in these pictures because I’m a fool that thinks these wonderful performers are just waiting for me to waltz on up and serenade them. The story would have been a whole lot more interesting had I strutted over purring “It’s more than you. It is more than me. No matter what we are, we are a family…” but my wife has finally got it through my thick skull after all these years that no one (and she really stressed the words as she said it) NO ONE wants to hear me sing. Lesson learned, because when I tried to explain that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, she informed me that my singing is actually mutilation, not imitation. The last time I tried to sing for my wife was New Year’s Eve 2001 when I drunkenly convinced the band that I was actually a lounge singer and would love to serenade the love of my life for the crowd. They somehow believed that nonsense and thought it was really romantic until they saw the sea of about 200 blank stares looking up at me as I mangled the first verse of “If You Say My Eyes are Beautiful.” That’s when they abruptly ripped the microphone out of my hand and said “why don’t you guys dance instead of singing” which elicited thunderous applause from the crowd for some reason. True artists are often misunderstood, but in retrospect – maybe a Whitney Houston love Duet wasn’t the right choice for my vocal range. Either way, my wife has instructed me to never, ever, ever sing in public again so the Dreamgirls were spared my Effie imitations…

 

whitney meme.jpg

 

When I saw Sheryl Lee Ralph, she was taking pictures of the huge Christmas Tree in the lobby and I felt bad bothering her. She was really trying to get the perfect shot and must have taken ten pictures. Similar to me, the Christmas Tree was overgrown and much too wide to fit in most standard camera frames – so I don’t blame her for trying to get the right angle. . . Since she was so fantastic as Claudette on Ray Donovan, I was dying to ask what Jon Voight is really like and then I wanted to ask her about the anniversary revival of Thoroughly Modern Millie they’re doing, but she was really fixated on getting that shot of the tree. Practice makes perfect because her shots came out great – these are taken from her Instagram:

 

 

She was very cool, kind, and patient with me and also with the Christmas Tree, so I stopped myself from asking to try that fur coat on (I know I don’t need to remind you how good I look in fur)!

 

coat in lobby 003

 

When I saw the other Dreamgirl, Anika Noni Rose, she was hobbling around in a walking cast yet still took time to stop and take pictures with everyone. She was such a sweetheart and as a person that’s broken the same ankle two years in a row on the same exact day (both alcohol related), I can tell you how hard it is to get around. For her to stop, chat, and take pictures while she was obviously uncomfortable was seriously awesome and much appreciated!

 

broken leg.jpg

 

Anika is a Broadway veteran who snared the Tony Award for Caroline or Change, but was also in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Raisin in the Sun, and the movie version of Dreamgirls with an up-and-comer named Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson. She also made history as Tiana, Disney’s first Black princess, in The Princess and the Frog to the delight of kids everywhere.

 

dreamgirls movie 2

 

 

I’m on a Dreamgirls roll here and don’t worry, I’ve started walking around with one shoelace untied for when I see Jennifer Hudson and need to get it off quick; J-HUD throwing a shoe!  Hey J-HUD – Forget The Voice and let’s get a date on the calendar to meet up: I’ll bring and share my imodium and you bring and share your Oscar and extra shoes!

 

2006_02_supporting_hudson