Connect with us

Awards

Grammy 2005 Winner Predictions

Another year, another award for multimedia synchronicity over artistic merit.

Published

on

Grammy 2005 Winner Predictions

We felt pretty good about our Grammy Award winner predictions last year. After the televised ceremony, however, we started to ask ourselves, “Where did we go wrong?” If memory serves, only about half of our predictions were correct, but that wasn’t the problem—50% ain’t too shabby. More perturbing was the fact that only a handful of the categories we chose to predict (specifically, the Big Four) were actually presented live on the show. For those of us who are still interested in the craft of song and the art of the album, Best Song and Best Album for each respective genre are the most important categories. To producers of the Grammy telecast, it’s those pesky, ambiguous “Performance” categories, which are invariably bestowed upon the artist who just performed 30 seconds before. Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s). Why not Best Performance by a Drummer In a Country Song by a Duo or Group with Vocal? It’s nice to recognize individual performances, but the main performance categories are consistently stuffed with repeats. In the age of iPod, these categories seem to represent the ongoing distillation of what was once considered art. The death of the tangible single has led to the end of the distinction between “the song” and “the album.” After all, what is Confessions if not a collection of individual songs, written and produced by 21 different producers, shuffled together like the “urban” playlist on your little brother’s iPod? As a result, albums like Green Day’s American Idiot, Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose, and Brian Wilson’s Smile have truly earned their spots (and, hopefully, their victories) in the little categories you probably won’t see on TV on February 13th.

RECORD OF THE YEAR

“Let’s Get It Started,” The Black Eyed Peas

“Here We Go Again,” Ray Charles & Norah Jones (Will Win)

“American Idiot,” Green Day

“Heaven,” Los Lonely Boys

“Yeah!,” Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris

Eric Henderson: I think the title of the Ray Charles/Norah Jones collaboration is appropriate here. Another year, another award for multimedia synchronicity over artistic merit.

Sal Cinquemani: As overplayed as the song was, and as much as I can’t stand Usher, it’s going to be hard not to give this one to “Yeah!” It was the most played song of 2004.

EH: Yeah, but I’m having visions of Norah Jones winning some 70 odd trophies two years back, and Santana doing the same a few years prior to that. Grammy voters can’t resist a sweep, and if the Black Eyed Peas cut into the Usher votes, I can’t imagine why the single with by far the least radio spins might not end up with an inexplicable, Steely Dan-style win here.

SC: I don’t see the, ahem, White Eyed Peas cutting into Usher’s votes. Green Day is definitely more worthy in the album category, but this could be the academy’s opportunity to award the band.

EH: Provided they want to. The Grammys have always been a little red state, musically speaking. Who’s to say they might not have crossed over politically?

SC: I’d venture to say that a good chunk of the 48.5% of the country who voted for John Kerry work in the music biz.

EH: Vote or Die.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Genius Loves Company, Ray Charles & Various Artists (Will Win)

American Idiot, Green Day

The Diary of Alicia Keys, Alicia Keys

Confessions, Usher

The College Dropout, Kanye West

SC: This is Ray Charles and Company’s to lose. Not only will it fulfill the sentimental vote, but it will pack the stage with Grammy faves like Norah Jones and Bonnie Raitt. The academy won’t be able to resist.

EH: If every producer credited with working on Confessions actually voted for it, it would win in a landslide. But if last year’s 1-for-4 hip-hop showing in the top categories taught us anything, it’s that the average Grammy voter still takes his coffee with cream, thanks.

SC: Hmmm, well Usher isn’t hip-hop and Ray Charles is black, so…

EH: If you can name me five urban radio stations playing Charles’s duet with Norah Jones, or give me the racial demographic of Genius Loves Company’s target (i.e. Starbucks) audience, I’ll gladly stand corrected.

SC: Well, by now Green Day is being perceived as a “veteran” act and their American Idiot is one of the most acclaimed albums of the year and it’s currently got the most momentum of all the nominees. I would be pleasantly surprised to see them upset. My gut is telling me they’re gonna snag it from the dead blind guy but we’ll have to wait and see. They are, after all, the minority in this category.

EH: And in the nation…

SONG OF THE YEAR

“Daughters,” John Mayer

“If I Ain’t Got You,” Alicia Keys

“Jesus Walks,” Kanye West

“Live Like You Were Dying,” Tim McGraw (Will Win)

“The Reason,” Hoobastank

SC: John Mayer’s “Daughters” came out of nowhere this year.

EH: Which is where it shall return. This category probably boils down to a two-way contest between Alicia attempting to have sex with her 88 keys and Tim McGraw hurting so good over the death of his father. Guess which image Grammy voters probably feel safer envisioning?

SC: I prefer the image of Kanye West going home empty-handed so he can go cry about it publicly.

EH: I hate to say it, since I used to call her Alicia “Please,” but I’d give her the trophy in this sorry lot.

SC: Agreed. I really liked “Jesus Walks” but then I realized it was about Christ and not a miraculously cured Puerto Rican paraplegic.

BEST NEW ARTIST

Los Lonely Boys

Maroon 5

Joss Stone

Kanye West

Gretchen Wilson (Will Win)

SC: Grammy history would have us believe that a lady will take Best New Artist home this year (it was telling that Amy Lee of Evanescence accepted the award by herself in 2004). Country bad girl Gretchen Wilson’s got it in the bag…unless Kanye West bucks the trend, that is.

EH: Well, Kanye does have the most nominations.

SC: Yes, but…vagina!

EH: In that case, maybe Maroon 5 is the frontrunner here.

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

Genius Loves Company, Ray Charles & Various Artists (Will Win)

Feels Like Home, Norah Jones

Afterglow, Sarah McLachlan

Mind, Body & Soul, Joss Stone

Brian Wilson Presents Smile, Brian Wilson

SC: I was surprised Brian Wilson didn’t get an Album of the Year nod, which makes a win here less likely. Ditto for Norah Jones. Perhaps voters are finally realizing how overrated the girl is. Another one for the late Ray.

EH: Wow, am I out of the loop. I had no idea that Sarah McLachlan had released another album.

SC: Yes, and most of us fell asleep while listening to it. I do dig that “Stupid” song and the accompanying through-the-ages “Walking On Broken Glass”-style video though.

EH: I fell asleep one song in on Norah Jones’s first album and haven’t managed to wake up to her since. It makes me nervous driving around knowing that her aural Valium is being transmitted on Lite-FM stations nationwide.

BEST DANCE RECORDING

“Good Luck,” Basement Jaxx featuring Lisa Kekaula (Will Win)

“Get Yourself High,” The Chemical Brothers

“Slow,” Kylie Minogue

“Comfortably Numb,” Scissor Sisters

“Toxic,” Britney Spears

EH: Why is the Franz Ferdinand single (easily more danceable than rockable) not in this category? Oh, that’s right. Because the Grammys hold dance music at arm’s length, awarding it while holding their collective nose.

SC: Ditto for the Killers’s “Somebody Told Me.” And the Scissor Sisters were nominated for the wrong song.

EH: Considering I prefer their trashy downtempo faux-schmaltz (“Mary”), I’d say they were nominated in the wrong category. And it took the Grammy dance branch long enough to get wise to Basement Jaxx and the Chemical Brothers. Unfortunately, the latter act seems to be well past their shelf date. “Good Luck,” on the other hand, is a fantastic, chugging single that shoves Britney’s sex-pixie ditty and the Scissor Sisters’s queer-as-milquetoast shtick face down in the dirt.

SC: The only thing more popular than hating on Britney is hating on Britney while dancing shirtless to “Toxic.” Will that be enough to score her a Grammy? I’m not sure the world is ready for that.

EH: I guess the big sea change in this category is that “Toxic” is probably the first Britney single that was, if anything, as big a hit critically as it was commercially. I’m not saying that the Grammy voters give two shits about critical acclaim (which is even harder to summarize in the world of music than it is in movies), except that I think they do more so in categories they don’t care about.

SC: Well, it should be noted that Kylie Minogue beat both Cher and Madonna last year, so kicking Britney butt shouldn’t be too difficult. I mean, the girl hasn’t even won a VMA.

BEST ELECTRONIC/DANCE ALBUM

Kish Kash, Basement Jaxx (Will Win)

Legion of Boom, The Crystal Method

Creamfields, Paul Oakenfold

Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned, The Prodigy

Reflections, Paul Van Dyk

EH: Look, I appreciate the effort to tart up the dance category with a new award, but if this truly represents the best for the genre in LP format, then please spare us the favor, Grammy.

SC: Granny? Oh, I didn’t realize you were here, Grandma Henderson.

Grandma Henderson: Any category that makes room for both Paul Oakenfold and Paul Van Dyk is to be held in contempt. The best we can all hope for is that the two far-too-tasteful DJs cancel each other out and make way for a Kish Kash win.

SC: Do they really need to make room for Kish Kash? I would have thought it was a lock. Too bad Björk stopped making electronic music. This should have been hers.

EH: I’d dance to “Triumph of a Heart” before the other four nominees in this category, and you know you would too. Otherwise, it is pretty telling that the Jaxx are the only act in this category also nominated in the other dance category. The Brixton duo should take this in a cakewalk, unless we’re underestimating the appeal of Oakenfold.

SC: Or cake. The Jaxx also have a nomination in the remix field. Oakey doesn’t.

BEST ROCK SONG

“American Idiot,” Green Day

“Fall to Pieces,” Velvet Revolver

“Float On,” Modest Mouse (Will Win)

“Somebody Told Me,” The Killers

“Vertigo,” U2

SC: I will puke if U2 wins for “Vertigo,” the weakest song on yet another overrated album.

EH: I’m probably the least qualified person to comment on the relative worth of U2’s latest single, since I can’t stand one thing the band has ever done.

SC: Not even “Discotheque”? Come on!

EH: Nope. I merely tolerated that one.

SC: My pick is the Killers’s trashy, gender-bending “Somebody Told Me,” but Modest Mouse is the likely champ here.

EH: I’m right behind you regarding the Killers. It’s rock that doesn’t think it’s saving the goddamned world, which sets it apart from most of its competition here.

BEST ROCK ALBUM

The Delivery Man, Elvis Costello & the Imposters

American Idiot, Green Day (Will Win)

The Reason, Hoobastank

Hot Fuss, The Killers

Contraband, Velvet Revolver

SC: If Green Day doesn’t snag Album of the Year, you can rest assured they will win this one. [Sigh].

EH: The Killers album wins my award for best album title of the year. Otherwise, Green Day probably deserve this one.

SC: Nicole Kidman is afraid of butterflies. [Sigh].

BEST ALTERNATIVE MUSIC ALBUM

Medúlla, Björk

Franz Ferdinand, Franz Ferdinand (Will Win)

Uh Huh Her, PJ Harvey

Good News for People Who Love Bad News, Modest Mouse

A Ghost Is Born, Wilco

SC: Franz Ferdinand and Modest Mouse were the little bands that could in 2004. I’ll give the edge to the Austro-Hungarian Archduke. Oh, wait, you mean that’s a band? Sadly, Björk and PJ Harvey’s chances for a Grammy are packed up in your parents’ basement with your old glow sticks and club pants.

EH: Way to fucking bring this whole depressing year into perspective, Sal! Anyway, given that they’re halfway between the rock divas of the ‘90s and the trash-rock faux-pixies of the aughts, I could see this one going Wilco’s way, personally. Björk and PJ Harvey will have to record a duet with Little Richard on his deathbed before they ever have a serious shot at Grammy gold. (And oh my God, how fucking awesome would that trio be?!)

SC: Ummmm…are you high?

EH: You’re the one who thinks the assassinated impetus for WWI was nominated in this category. The Grammys aren’t that out of date. Anyway, I am giving my vote here to Björk. A friend of mine succinctly described Medúlla as an album about fucking that never reaches an orgasm. He was panning it, of course, but I must be masochistic enough to really dig that.

BEST R&B SONG

“Burn,” Usher

“Call My Name,” Prince

“My Boo,” Usher & Alicia Keys

“Yeah!,” Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris (Will Win)

“You Don’t Know My Name,” Alicia Keys

EH: There’s a nice conversation between the titles that show up in this category. “Call My Name.” “You Don’t Know My Name.” “Say My Name.” R&B singers are awfully fond of nomenclature.

SC: Welcome to the Usher & Alicia Show! If votes get split (or shredded, or whatever word embodies a 4-way split), Prince could win his first Grammy in 18 years.

EH: “My Boo.” Just rolls of the tongue. I just like saying it. “My Boo.”

SC: And what a clever way of awarding two superstars at once! God, I hate the Grammys.

EH: I’d be remiss in my duties as a Prince fanatic if I didn’t mention that they made the right decision snubbing the rote “Musicology” in favor of what is probably his best heavy-petter since the Jehovah’s Witnesses told him that he shouldn’t be writing songs about heavy-petting.

SC: Are you really suggesting that Prince should win a Grammy this year? I do love that Alicia Keys song…

EH: Given the choice between Alicia and Prince, I will always go for Prince. Never mind that this makes me the R&B equivalent of a U2 fan. Anyway, Prince is far more likely to get his obligatory token trophy in the Male Pop Vocal category, where the competition is far thinner.

BEST R&B ALBUM

My Everything, Anita Baker

I Can’t Stop, Al Green

The Diary of Alicia Keys, Alicia Keys (Will Win)

Musicology, Prince

Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds Vol. 2, Jill Scott

SC: Will Prince’s fake album sales (talk about “staging” your own comeback!) translate into fake Grammy votes?

EH: The album sales might’ve been fake, but the concert receipts were the real deal…and at less than half the cost of Madonna’s tickets. Still, and I hate to say this, Musicology has not held up well to repeated listens.

SC: Really? I never got past the first listen, so I wouldn’t know.

EH: At best, the album provided Prince’s band with a few segues to splice between his hit songs on their summer tour.

SC: We should never underestimate the Grammys’ ability to be predictable, so Alicia Keys—who’s got an Album of the Year nomination—should have no problem winning this contest. Then again, with these two nonsensical R&B Album categories, it’s really anyone’s game. I’d say Jill Scott deserves it, but the new album is a disappointment.

EH: Words & Sounds? Does she have an inferiority complex about her own musicality?

SC: Don’t you mean musicology?

EH: I mean humanities. Jill’s just so real.

BEST CONTEMPORARY R&B ALBUM

Afrodisiac, Brandy

Damita Jo, Janet Jackson

It’s About Time, Christina Milian

Confessions, Usher (Will Win)

Hurt No More, Mario Winans

SC: This is Brandy’s trophy damn it!

EH: She can have it. Damita Jo is damn irritating.

SC: Awww, was Janet actually a contender? I hadn’t realized. That’s cute. I do like her album though. Gotta love the fallen diva underdogs.

EH: If Janet hadn’t dozed off on the islands for four songs or so, I’d probably like it a lot more too.

BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION

“Why,” Jadakiss Featuring Anthony Hamilton

“Dip It Low,” Christina Milian featuring Fabolous

“Slow Jamz,” Twista featuring Kanye West & Jamie Foxx

“Yeah!,” Usher featuring Lil Jon & Ludacris (Will Win)

“All Falls Down,” Kanye West & Syleena Johnson

EH: Sal will probably crucify me for this, but Christina Milian was behind two of my favorite singles this year. Though I prefer the very “Vibeology” bass-heaviness of Milian’s “Whatever U Want,” “Dip It Low” was a fantastic, percolating throwback to “Aqua Boogie.”

SC: [Looks for rusty nails and a crown of thorns…oh wait, Bono has them.]

EH: Will “renaissance man” Jaime Foxx’s success extend to the Grammys? Probably not. Twista’s “Slow Jamz” seemed too much like “Instant Celebrity” played straight-faced. The only thing “Celebrity” had going for it was its ridiculous, hysterical chipmunk vocal loops.

BEST RAP SONG

“Drop It Like It’s Hot,” Snoop Dogg & Pharrell

“Hey Mama,” The Black Eyed Peas

“Jesus Walks,” Kanye West (Will Win)

“Let’s Get It Started,” The Black Eyed Peas

“99 Problems,” Jay-Z

EH: Listening to “Drop It Like It’s Hot” is like watching Marlon Wayans in Scary Movie trying to suck in the chronic smoke leaking out of the bullet hole in his chest. I might be in the minority, but I never really started loving the Neptunes until they stopped trying to actually write songs.

SC: When did they ever actually try to write songs? “Drop It” is soooo the kind of the song (a la “Milkshake”) that gets real old real fast. “99 Problems” is more durable. I still like it.

EH: You might be right. The same people who used to sing “Milkshake” months after it was over are the same ones now singing “Drop It.…”

SC: Wow. I never realized how much I hate the Neptunes (or is it their influence?) until right now.

BEST RAP ALBUM

To the 5 Boroughs, Beastie Boys

The Black Album, Jay-Z

The Definition, LL Cool J

Suit, Nelly

The College Dropout, Kanye West (Will Win)

EH: Four months back, I’d have easily put money on the Beastie Boys winning here, especially since there will probably be some major vote splitting between Jay-Z’s swan song and Kanye West’s debutante cotillion. On the other hand, To the 5 Boroughs might be about as of-the-moment as Fahrenheit 9/11, so it could just as easily come up empty.

SC: Yeah, Green Day’s got the liberal vote. It’s all about Kanye here.

BEST COUNTRY SONG

“It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long,” The Notorious Cherry Bombs

“Live Like You Were Dying,” Tim McGraw (Will Win)

“Miss Being Mrs.,” Loretta Lynn

“Portland Oregon,” Loretta Lynn

“Redneck Woman,” Gretchen Wilson

EH: Once again, McGraw’s tear in his daddy’s beer will probably be unstoppable. The only possible alternative is Gretchen Wilson’s runaway hit ode to personifying the glossy exterior of Ugly American self-righteousness.

SC: Now, there’s a part of me that hopes “It’s Hard To Kiss The Lips At Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long” will win just so I can hear the voiceover guy say “It’s Hard to Kiss the Lips at Night That Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long” live on CBS.

EH: I thought that the only acceptable form of the word “ass” on television hinges on it being preceded by “We’ll stick a boot in your,” and followed by “’cause it’s the American way”?

SC: No, that’s only during elaborate wartime Presidential inaugurations.

BEST COUNTRY ALBUM

Van Lear Rose, Loretta Lynn

Live Like You Were Dying, Tim McGraw

Tambourine, Tift Merritt

Be Here, Keith Urban

Here for the Party, Gretchen Wilson (Will Win)

SC: This should really be Loretta Lynn’s award, but seeing as how she was snubbed in all the main categories, it’s a toss up between Tim McGraw and Gretchen Wilson. I’d go with Wilson just because it’ll make the red state voters think they’re being edgy.

EH: Agreed. This shouldn’t even be a contest.

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

T Bone Burnett

Rob Cavallo (Will Win)

Jimmy Jam, Terry Lewis

Tommy LiPuma

John Shanks

SC: John Shanks should be exiled from the music business for contributing to three of 2004’s worst albums: Hilary Duff, Ashlee Simpson’s Autobiography, and Lindsay Lohan’s Speak.

EH: I’m actually speechless. This is the least inspiring, most autopilot set of nominations in recent memory.

SC: And why do I feel like Green Day themselves deserve the nod over Rob Cavallo?

EH: Because you’re more impressed with the anti-Bush rhetoric than the stuck-in-1994 sound?

SC: Okay, Eric, you’re forbidden to discuss rock on this website ever again.

EH: Is that a threat or a promise?

SC: Seeing as how their “stuck-in-1994 sound” has influenced nearly every emo-pop/punk band around today, I’d hardly say it’s outdated.

EH: Point taken. I didn’t consider the emo-slash-Fisher Price My First Punk Band angle on the whole thing, since I listen to Yellowcard and Good Charlotte even less often than I listen to U2.

SC: Ditto. Anyway, what I meant was that Green Day are obviously the architects of their sound and this album in particular, so I find it funny that Cavallo got a nomination but they didn’t. It’s not like he produced anything else notable this year.

BEST SHORT FORM MUSIC VIDEO

“Take Me Out,” Franz Ferdinand (Director: Jonas Odell)

“American Idiot,” Green Day (Director: Samuel Bayer)

“Flawless,” George Michael (Director: Jake Scott)

“Walkie Talkie Man,” Steriogram (Director: Michel Gondry)

“Vertigo,” U2 (Director: Alex & Martin) (Will Win)

EH: “Walkie Talkie Man.” We all pretty much agreed four months ago with the VMAs, and I can’t imagine anyone here’s switching their vote to the likes of U2 or George Michael now.

SC: Yeah, I guess the Steriogram clip is the best of this bunch…but what a crappy bunch. At least Michel Gondry has a shot at winning something this year (because you know he ain’t gettin’ an Oscar), but this one’s probably going to iPod, I mean U2.

Advertisement
Comments

Awards

2019 Tony Nominations: Hadestown and Ain’t Too Proud Lead Field

Both shows were joined in the Best Musical category by Beetlejuice, The Prom, and Tootsie.

Published

on

Hadestown
Photo: Matthew Murphy

Nominations for the 73rd Tony Awards were announced this morning, with CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King and actors Bebe Neuwirth and Brandon Victor Dixon revealing the nominees in the top eight categories. Leading the pack with 14 nominations Hadestown, followed by Ain’t Too Proud—The Life of the Temptations with 12. Both shows were joined in the Best Musical category by Beetlejuice, The Prom, and Tootsie.

See below for a full list of the nominations.

Best Musical
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations
Beetlejuice
Hadestown
The Prom
Tootsie

Best Play
Choir Boy by Tarell
The Ferryman
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ink
What the Constitution Means to Me

Best Revival of a Play
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
The Boys in the Band
Burn This
Torch Song
The Waverly Gallery

Best Revival of a Musical
Kiss Me, Kate
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
Paddy Considine, The Ferryman
Bryan Cranston, Network
Jeff Daniels, To Kill a Mockingbird
Adam Driver, Burn This
Jeremy Pope, Choir Boy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Annette Bening, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons
Laura Donnelly, The Ferryman
Elaine May, The Waverly Gallery
Janet McTeer, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Laurie Metcalf, Hillary and Clinton
Heidi Schreck, What the Constitution Means to Me

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
Brooks Ashmanskas, The Prom
Derrick Baskin, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Alex Brightman, Beetlejuice
Damon Daunno, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Santino Fontana, Tootsie

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
Stephanie J. Block, The Cher Show
Caitlin Kinnunen, The Prom
Beth Leavel, The Prom
Eva Noblezada, Hadestown
Kelli O’Hara, Kiss Me, Kate

Best Book of a Musical
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations, Dominique Morisseau
Beetlejuice, Scott Brown and Anthony King
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom, Bob Martin & Chad Beguelin
Tootsie, Robert Horn

Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
Be More Chill, Joe Iconis
Beetlejuice, Eddie Perfect
Hadestown, Anaïs Mitchell
The Prom, Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin
To Kill a Mockingbird, Adam Guettel
Tootsie, David Yazbek

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
Bertie Carvel, Ink
Robin De Jesús, The Boys in the Band
Gideon Glick, To Kill a Mockingbird
Brandon Uranowitz, Burn This
Benjamin Walker, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
Fionnula Flanagan, The Ferryman
Celia Keenan-Bolger, To Kill a Mockingbird
Kristine Nielsen, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Julie White, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ruth Wilson, King Lear

Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
André De Shields, Hadestown
Andy Grotelueschen, Tootsie
Patrick Page, Hadestown
Jeremy Pope, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Ephraim Sykes, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
Lilli Cooper, Tootsie
Amber Gray, Hadestown
Sarah Stiles, Tootsie
Ali Stroker, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Mary Testa, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!

Best Scenic Design of a Play
Miriam Buether, To Kill a Mockingbird
Bunny Christie, Ink
Rob Howell, The Ferryman
Santo Loquasto, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Jan Versweyveld, Network

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Robert Brill and Peter Nigrini, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Peter England, King Kong
Rachel Hauck, Hadestown
Laura Jellinek, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
David Korins, Beetlejuice

Best Costume Design of a Play
Rob Howell, The Ferryman
Toni-Leslie James, Bernhardt/Hamlet
Clint Ramos, Torch Song
Ann Roth, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Ann Roth, To Kill a Mockingbird

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Michael Krass, Hadestown
William Ivey Long, Beetlejuice
William Ivey Long, Tootsie
Bob Mackie, The Cher Show
Paul Tazewell, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Neil Austin, Ink
Jules Fisher + Peggy Eisenhauer, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus
Peter Mumford, The Ferryman
Jennifer Tipton, To Kill a Mockingbird
Jan Versweyveld and Tal Yarden, Network

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Kevin Adams, The Cher Show
Howell Binkley, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Bradley King, Hadestown
Peter Mumford, King Kong
Kenneth Posner and Peter Nigrini, Beetlejuice

Best Sound Design of a Play
Adam Cork, Ink
Scott Lehrer, To Kill a Mockingbird
Fitz Patton, Choir Boy
Nick Powell, The Ferryman
Eric Sleichim, Network

Best Sound Design of a Musical
Peter Hylenski, Beetlejuice
Peter Hylenski, King Kong
Steve Canyon Kennedy, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Drew Levy, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Nevin Steinberg and Jessica Paz, Hadestown

Best Direction of a Play
Rupert Goold, Ink
Sam Mendes, The Ferryman
Bartlett Sher, To Kill a Mockingbird
Ivo van Hove, Network
George C. Wolfe, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus

Best Direction of a Musical
Rachel Chavkin, Hadestown
Scott Ellis, Tootsie
Daniel Fish, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Des McAnuff, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations
Casey Nicholaw, The Prom

Best Choreography
Camille A. Brown, Choir Boy
Warren Carlyle, Kiss Me, Kate
Denis Jones, Tootsie
David Neumann, Hadestown
Sergio Trujillo, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

Best Orchestrations
Michael Chorney and Todd Sickafoose, Hadestown
Simon Hale, Tootsie
Larry Hochman, Kiss Me, Kate
Daniel Kluger, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!
Harold Wheeler, Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations

Recipients of Awards and Honors in Non-competitive Categories

Special Tony Awards for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre
Terrence McNally
Rosemary Harris
Harold Wheeler

Special Tony Awards
Jason Michael Webb
Sonny Tilders
Marin Mazzie

Regional Theatre Tony Award
TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award
Judith Light

Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre
Broadway Inspirational Voices
Peter Entin
Joseph Blakely Forbes
FDNY Engine 54

Tony Nominations by Production
Hadestown – 14
Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of the Temptations – 12
Tootsie – 11
The Ferryman – 9
To Kill a Mockingbird – 9
Beetlejuice – 8
Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! – 8
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus – 7
The Prom – 7
Ink – 6
Network – 5
Choir Boy – 4
Kiss Me, Kate – 4
Arthur Miller’s All My Sons – 3
Burn This – 3
The Cher Show – 3
King Kong – 3
Bernhardt/Hamlet – 2
The Boys in the Band – 2
Torch Song – 2
The Waverly Gallery – 2
What the Constitution Means to Me – 2
Be More Chill – 1
Hillary and Clinton – 1
King Lear – 1

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscars 2019: Complete Winners List

The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we don’t already know about AMPAS.

Published

on

Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

The 91st Academy Awards are now behind us, and the telecast told us just about nothing that we don’t already know about AMPAS. Which isn’t to say that the ceremony wasn’t without its surprises. For one, whoever decided to capture Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s performance of “Shallow” from A Star Is Born in one single take that would end with the pair sitting side by side, rapt in each other and framed in Bergman-esque repose, should hereby be responsible for every Oscar ceremony moving forward.

For some, though not us, Green Book’s victory for best picture came as surprise. As our own Eric Henderson put it in his prediction: “Those attacking the film from every conceivable angle have also ignored the one that matters to most people: the pleasure principle. Can anyone blame Hollywood for getting its back up on behalf of a laughably old-fashioned but seamlessly mounted road movie-cum-buddy pic that reassures people that the world they’re leaving is better than the one they found? That’s, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.”

In the end, the awards went down more or less as expected, with the only real shock of the evening being Oliva Colman’s stunning upset over Glenn Close in the best actress race. (Glenn, we hope you are on the phone right now trying to get that Sunset Boulevard remake to finally happen.) Black Panther proved more indomitable than expected, winning in three categories (none of which we predicted), and Free Solo pulling a victory over RBG that was the first big sign of the evening that, then and now, AMPAS members vote above all else with their guts.

See below for the full list of winners from the 2019 Oscars.

Picture
Black Panther
BlacKkKlansman
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Green Book (WINNER)
Roma
A Star Is Born
Vice

Director
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma (WINNER)
Adam McKay, Vice

Actor
Christian Bale, Vice
Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (WINNER)
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Actress
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Glenn Close, The Wife
Olivia Colman, The Favourite (WINNER)
Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Green Book (WINNER)
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Rockwell, Vice

Supporting Actress
Amy Adams, Vice
Marina de Tavira, Roma
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (WINNER)
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Adapted Screenplay
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, and Spike Lee (WINNER)
Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
If Beale Street Could Talk, Barry Jenkins
A Star Is Born, Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, and Will Fetters

Original Screenplay
The Favourite, Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
First Reformed, Paul Schrader
Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, and Peter Farrelly (WINNER)
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón
Vice, Adam McKay

Foreign Language Film
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Never Look Away (Germany)
Roma (Mexico) (WINNER)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Documentary Feature
Free Solo, Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi (WINNER)
Hale County This Morning, This Evening, RaMell Ross
Minding the Gap, Bing Liu
Of Fathers and Sons, Talal Derki
RBG, Betsy West and Julie Cohen

Animated Feature
Incredibles 2, Brad Bird
Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson
Mirai, Mamoru Hosoda
Ralph Breaks the Internet, Rich Moore and Phil Johnston
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman (WINNER)

Cinematography
Cold War, Lukasz Zal
The Favourite, Robbie Ryan
Never Look Away, Caleb Deschanel
Roma, Alfonso Cuarón (WINNER)
A Star Is Born, Matthew Libatique

Film Editing
BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Ottman (WINNER)
Green Book, Patrick J. Don Vito
The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
Vice, Hank Corwin

Production Design
Black Panther, Hannah Beachler (WINNER)
First Man, Nathan Crowley and Kathy Lucas
The Favourite, Fiona Crombie and Alice Felton
Mary Poppins Returns, John Myhre and Gordon Sim
Roma, Eugenio Caballero and Bárbara Enrı́quez

Original Score
BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
Black Panther, Ludwig Goransson (WINNER)
If Beale Street Could Talk, Nicholas Britell
Isle of Dogs, Alexandre Desplat
Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman

Original Song
All The Stars from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar, SZA
I’ll Fight from RBG by Diane Warren, Jennifer Hudson
The Place Where Lost Things Go from Mary Poppins Returns by Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman
Shallow from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice (WINNER)
When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Costume Design
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, Mary Zophres
Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter (WINNER)
The Favourite, Sandy Powell
Mary Poppins Returns, Sandy Powell
Mary Queen of Scots, Alexandra Byrne

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War, Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl, and Daniel Sudick
Christopher Robin, Chris Lawrence, Mike Eames, Theo Jones, and Chris Corbould
First Man, Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles, and J.D. Schwalm (WINNER)
Ready Player One, Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler, and David Shirk
Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan, and Dominic Tuohy

Sound Mixing
Black Panther, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, and Peter Devlin
Bohemian Rhapsody, Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin, and John Casali (WINNER)
First Man, Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee, and Mary H. Ellis
Roma, Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan, and José Antonio García
A Star Is Born, Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder, and Steve Morrow

Sound Editing
Black Panther, Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
Bohemian Rhapsody, John Warhurst (WINNER)
First Man, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
A Quiet Place, Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
Roma, Sergio Diaz and Skip Lievsay

Makeup and Hairstyling
Border, Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
Mary Queen of Scots, Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher, and Jessica Brooks
Vice, Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe, and Patricia Dehaney (WINNER)

Live Action Short Film
Detainment, Vincent Lambe
Fauve, Jeremy Comte
Marguerite, Marianne Farley
Mother, Rodrigo Sorogoyen
Skin, Guy Nattiv (WINNER)

Documentary Short Subject
Black Sheep, Ed Perkins
End Game, Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Lifeboat, Skye Fitzgerald
A Night at the Garden, Marshall Curry
Period. End of Sentence., Rayka Zehtabchi (WINNER)

Animated Short
Animal Behaviour, Alison Snowden and David Fine
Bao, Domee Shi (WINNER)
Late Afternoon, Louise Bagnall
One Small Step, Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
Weekends, Trevor Jimenez

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscars 2019: Who Will Win? Who Should Win? Our Final Predictions

No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them.

Published

on

Roma
Photo: Netflix

No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them. Cut out the montages, bring back honorary award presentations, give stunt performers their own category, let ranked-choice voting determine every category and not just best picture, overhaul the membership ranks, hold the event before the guilds spoil the surprise, find a host with the magic demographic-spanning mojo necessary to double the show’s recent audience pools, nominate bigger hits, nominate only hits. Across the last 24 days, Ed Gonzalez and I have mulled over the academy’s existential crisis and how it’s polluted this year’s Oscar race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again. We’re spent, and while we don’t know if we have it in us to do this next year, we just might give it another go if Oscar proves us wrong on Sunday in more than just one category.

Below are our final Oscar predictions. Want more? Click on the individual articles for our justifications and more, including who we think should win in all 24 categories.

Picture: Green Book
Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Actor: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Actress: Glenn Close, The Wife
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Original Screenplay: Green Book
Adapted Screenplay: BlacKkKlansman
Foreign Language: Roma
Documentary Feature: RBG
Animated Feature Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Documentary Short: Period. End of Sentence
Animated Short: Weekends
Live Action Short: Skin
Film Editing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Production Design: The Favourite
Cinematography: Cold War
Costume Design: The Favourite
Makeup and Hairstyling: Vice
Score: If Beale Street Could Talk
Song: “Shallow,” A Star Is Born
Sound Editing: First Man
Sound Mixing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Visual Effects: First Man

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Picture

The industry’s existential crisis has polluted this race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again.

Published

on

Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

“I’m hyperventilating a little. If I fall over pick me up because I’ve got something to say,” deadpanned Frances McDormand upon winning her best actress Oscar last year. From her lips to Hollywood’s ears. No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them. Cut out the montages, bring back honorary award presentations, give stunt performers their own category, let ranked-choice voting determine every category and not just best picture, overhaul the membership ranks, hold the event before the guilds spoil the surprise, find a host with the magic demographic-spanning mojo necessary to double the show’s recent audience pools, nominate bigger hits, nominate only hits.

But first, as McDormand herself called for during her speech, “a moment of perspective.” A crop of articles have popped up over the last two weeks looking back at the brutal showdown between Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare In Love at the 1999 Academy Awards, when Harvey Weinstein was at the height of his nefarious powers. Every retrospective piece accepts as common wisdom that it was probably the most obnoxious awards season in history, one that indeed set the stage for every grinding assault we’ve paid witness to ever since. But did anyone two decades ago have to endure dozens of weekly Oscar podcasters and hundreds of underpaid web writers musing, “What do the Academy Awards want to be moving forward, exactly? Who should voters represent in this fractured media environment, exactly?” How much whiskey we can safely use to wash down our Lexapro, exactly?

Amid the fox-in-a-henhouse milieu of ceaseless moral outrage serving as this awards season’s backdrop, and amid the self-obsessed entertainers now wrestling with the idea that they now have to be “content providers,” all anyone seems concerned about is what an Oscar means in the future, and whether next year’s versions of Black Panther and Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody have a seat at the table. What everyone’s forgetting is what the Oscars have always been. In other words, the industry’s existential crisis has polluted this race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again, and Oscar’s clearly splintered voting blocs may become ground zero for a Make the Academy Great Again watershed.

In 1956, the Oscars took a turn toward small, quotidian, neo-realish movies, awarding Marty the top prize. The correction was swift and sure the following year, with a full slate of elephantine epics underlining the movie industry’s intimidation at the new threat of television. Moonlight’s shocking triumph two years ago was similarly answered by the safe, whimsical The Shape of Water, a choice that reaffirmed the academy’s commitment to politically innocuous liberalism in artistically conservative digs. Call us cynical, but we know which of the last couple go-arounds feels like the real academy. Which is why so many are banking on the formally dazzling humanism of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and so few on the vital, merciless fury of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.

And even if we give the benefit of the doubt to the academy’s new members, there’s that righteous, reactionary fervor in the air against those attempting to “cancel” Green Book. Those attacking the film from every conceivable angle have also ignored the one that matters to most people: the pleasure principle. Can anyone blame Hollywood for getting its back up on behalf of a laughably old-fashioned but seamlessly mounted road movie-cum-buddy pic that reassures people that the world they’re leaving is better than the one they found? That’s, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.

Will Win: Green Book

Could Win: Roma or BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay

After walking back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this year’s Oscars, there’s no way AMPAS isn’t going to do the right thing here.

Published

on

BlacKkKlansman
Photo: Focus Features

Eric and I have done a good job this year of only selectively stealing each other’s behind-the-scenes jokes. We have, though, not been polite about stepping on each other’s toes in other ways. Okay, maybe just Eric, who in his impeccable take on the original screenplay free-for-all detailed how the guilds this year have almost willfully gone out of their way to “not tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film.” Case in point: Can You Ever Forgive Me? winning the WGA’s adapted screenplay trophy over presumed Oscar frontrunner BlacKkKlansman. A glitch in the matrix? We think so. Eric and I are still in agreement that the race for best picture this year is pretty wide open, though maybe a little less so in the wake of what seemed like an easy win for the Spike Lee joint. Nevertheless, we all know that there’s no Oscar narrative more powerful than “it’s about goddamn time,” and it was so powerful this year that even the diversity-challenged BAFTAs got the memo, giving their adapted screenplay prize to Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott. To bamboozle Lee at this point would, admittedly, be so very 2019, but given that it’s walked back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this year’s Oscars, there’s no way AMPAS isn’t going to do the right thing.

Will Win: BlacKkKlansman

Could Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay

This season, Hollywood is invested in celebrating the films they love while dodging the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.

Published

on

Green Book
Photo: Universal Pictures

You know, if it weren’t for the show’s producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the year’s top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this would’ve been a comparatively fun and suspenseful Oscar season. None of us who follow the Academy Awards expect great films to win; we just hope the marathon of precursors don’t turn into a Groundhog Day-style rinse and repeat for the same film, ad nauseam.

On that score, mission accomplished. The guilds have been handing their awards out this season as though they met beforehand and assigned each voting body a different title from Oscar’s best picture list so as not to tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film. SAG? Black Panther. PGA? Green Book. DGA? Roma. ASC? Cold War. ACE? Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (That’s the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Born’s teaser trailer dropped last year.)

Not to be outdone, the Writers Guild of America announced their winners last weekend, and not only did presumed adapted screenplay frontrunner BlacKkKlansman wind up stymied by Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but the original screenplay prize went to Eighth Grade, which wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: “To the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!” In both his sarcasm and his surprise, it’s safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.

As is always the case, WGA’s narrow eligibility rules kept a presumed favorite, The Favourite, out of this crucial trial heat. But as the balloting period comes to a close, the question remains just how much enthusiasm or affection voters have for either of the two films with the most nominations (Roma being the other). As a recent “can’t we all just get along” appeal by Time’s Stephanie Zacharek illustrates, the thing Hollywood is most invested in this season involves bending over backward, Matrix-style, to celebrate the films they love and still dodge the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.

Maybe it’s just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesn’t it seem like The Favourite’s tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensen’s crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformed’s Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academy’s presumably more vanguard new recruits? We’ll fold our words in half and eat them whole if we’re wrong, but Oscar’s old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.

Will Win: Green Book

Could Win: The Favourite

Should Win: First Reformed

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing

For appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore, one film has the upper hand here.

Published

on

20th Century Fox
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Given what Eric wrote about the sound editing category yesterday, it now behooves me to not beat around the bush here. Also, it’s my birthday, and there are better things for me to do today than count all the ways that Eric and I talk ourselves out of correct guesses in the two sound categories, as well as step on each other’s toes throughout the entirety of our Oscar-prediction cycle. In short, it’s very noisy. Which is how Oscar likes it when it comes to sound, though maybe not as much the case with sound mixing, where the spoils quite often go to best picture nominees that also happen to be musicals (Les Misérables) or musical-adjacent (Whiplash). Only two films fit that bill this year, and since 2019 is already making a concerted effort to top 2018 as the worst year ever, there’s no reason to believe that the scarcely fat-bottomed mixing of Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody will take this in a walk, for appealing to voters’ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore.

Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: A Star Is Born

Should Win: First Man

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Editing

If it were biologically possible to do so, both Ed and I would happily switch places with A Quiet Place’s Emily Blunt.

Published

on

First Man
Photo: Universal Pictures

If it were biologically possible to do so, both Ed and I would happily switch places with A Quiet Place’s Emily Blunt, because we’d much rather give birth in a tub while surrounded by murderous blind creatures than have to once again write our predictions for the sound categories. As adamant as we’ve been that the Academy owes it to the nominees to air every category, which they agreed to after an extended “just kidding,” it might have given us pause had the sound categories been among the four demoted by Oscar. But no, we must now endure our annual bout of penance, aware of the fact that actually knowing what the difference is between sound editing and sound mixing is almost a liability. In other words, we’ve talked ourselves out of correct guesses too many times, doubled down on the same movie taking both categories to hedge our bets too many times, and watched as the two categories split in the opposite way we expected too many times. So, as in A Quiet Place, the less said, the better. And while that film’s soundscapes are as unique and noisy as this category seems to prefer, First Man’s real-word gravitas and cacophonous Agena spin sequence should prevail.

Will Win: First Man

Could Win: A Quiet Place

Should Win: First Man

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Actress

Sometimes it’s important to just step back and pay your respects to a remarkable actress.

Published

on

Glenn Close
Photo: Sony Pictures Classics

Sometimes it’s important to just step back and pay your respects to a remarkable actress for having given a performance that, while not your, um, favourite nominated one, is still deserving of an Oscar victory lap. Now, if only others felt the same. Very early on in the awards season, there was already a sense that this award could become a career-achievement coronation for the six-time losing Glenn Close—and that people were going to have a problem squaring that with the fact that her Oscar would be tied to a film perceived to be a piffle. That’s not an inaccurate perception, but it’s difficult to remember a time when critics have used that as an excuse to not do their homework.

In short, have you seen The Wife? Indeed, until the awards-media system’s attention shifted full time into covering AMPAS’s A Series of Unfortunate Oscar Decisions, it seemed as if every day brought us a new article by some pundit about the Oscar race in which it strangely sounded as if the The Wife was still a blind spot for the writer. Which is shame, because Close gives good face throughout the film. Certainly, few Oscar-nominated films this year are as absurd as The Wife, but I’ll do battle with anyone who thinks Close is getting by on her legend alone. Close’s triumph is recognizing The Wife’s inherent ludicrousness and elevating it, and without condescension, with a kabuki-like verve that seeks to speak to the experiences of all women who’ve been oppressed by their men. It’s a turn worthy of Norma Desmond.

Today, the most reliable Oscar narrative is the overdue performer. And if you take stock in that narrative, then you’ll understand why I texted Eric, my fellow Oscar guru, the following on the morning of November 29: “I think Close is going to Still Alice at the Oscars.” After that morning, when the New York Film Critics Circle officially kick-started the Oscar season (and gave their award for best actress to Regina Hall in Support the Girls), no actress ran the table with the critics and guilds, but most of the cards that matter did fall into place for Close, and much as they did for Julianne Moore ahead of her winning the Oscar for Still Alice.

This was a done deal when Close won the Golden Globe, received a standing ovation, and gave the night’s most impassioned speech, immediately after which Eric conceded that my instincts had been right. Of course, that was no doubt easy for him to admit given that, by that point, the oxygen had already seeped out of A Star Is Born’s awards campaign, leaving only Olivia Colman in Close’s way. Colman has worked the campaign trail in spectacular ways, giving speeches that have been every bit as droll as this, but in the end, she doesn’t have the SAG, and as bold and subversive as her performance certainly is, it isn’t sufficiently big enough to convince enough AMPAS members that Close should continue waiting for Oscar.

Will Win: Glenn Close, The Wife

Could Win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Should Win: Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Continue Reading

Awards

Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Film Editing

Sigh, can we just edit this whole Oscar season from our memories?

Published

on

Bohemian Rhapsody
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Sigh, can we just edit this whole Oscar season from our memories? AMPAS has officially brought more queens back from the brink than this year’s season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars. Now that the academy has reneged on its plans to snip four categories from the live Oscar telecast, after first attempting damage control and assuring members that it will still run those four awards as not-so-instant replays in edited-down form later on in the show, we can once again turn our attention to the other editing that’s so vexed Film Twitter this Oscar season. We yield the floor to Twitter user Pramit Chatterjee:

Very fuck! The academy would’ve been shooting itself in the foot by not airing what’s starting to feel like one of this year’s most competitive Oscar categories—a category that seems like it’s at the center of ground zero for the voters who, as a fresh New York Times survey of anonymous Oscar ballots confirms, are as unashamedly entertained by a blockbuster that critics called utterly worthless as they are feeling vengeful against those who would dare call a film they loved racist. Interestingly enough, the New York Times’s panel of voters seems palpably aware that Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman is the nominee this year that’s going to go down in history as the “right thing” they’ll be embarrassed for not “doing.” No arguments from this corner. Lee’s film is narratively propulsive and knotty in ways that ought to translate into a no-brainer win here. (My cohort Ed recently mused that he’d give the film the Oscar just for the energy it displays cutting back and forth during phone conversations.)

We’re glad that the academy walked back its decision to not honor two of the most crucial elements of the medium (editing and cinematography) on the live Oscar telecast, but what we’re left with is the dawning horror that the formless flailing exemplified by the clip above might actually win this damned award. Guy Lodge sarcastically mused on the upside of Pramit’s incredulous tweet, “I’ve never seen so many people on Twitter discussing the art of film editing before,” and honestly, it does feel like Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody getting publicly dog-walked like this stands to teach baby cinephiles-in-training the language of the cut as well as any of the myriad montages the show producers intended on airing in lieu of, you know, actually awarding craftspeople. But only a fraction of the voting body has to feel sympathy for John Ottman (whose career, for the record, goes all the way back with Bryan Singer), or express admiration that he managed to assemble the raw materials from a legendarily chaotic project into an international blockbuster. The rest of the academy has their ostrich heads plunged far enough into the sand to take care of the rest.

Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody

Could Win: BlacKkKlansman

Should Win: BlacKkKlansman

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Donate

Slant is reaching more readers than ever, but as online advertising continues to evolve, independently operated publications like ours have struggled to adapt. We're committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees—so if you like what we do, please consider becoming a Slant patron:

Patreon

You can also make a donation via PayPal.

Giveaways

Advertisement

Newsletter

Advertisement

Preview

Trending