Surprisingly enough, there are no Knights Who Say Ni in the original Malory. Neither is there a Black Knight who says “It’s only a flesh wound”, a witch being weighed against a duck, a holy hand grenade or a killer rabbit.

My Top 10

  1. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  2. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  3. Barry Lyndon
  4. The Man Who Would Be King
  5. Three Days of the Condor
  6. Jaws
  7. The Sunshine Boys
  8. Hester Street
  9. The Story of Adele H.
  10. The Day of the Locust

note:  Originally, Hester Street was reviewed as a WGA nominee.  But, my reaction to the film bumped it up the list and it displaced French Connection II (which still gets reviewed because it was also a WGA nominee).

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Three out of three amigos have now won Oscars.

The 90th annual Academy Awards, for the film year 2017.  The nominations were announced on 23 January 2018 and the awards were held on 4 March 2018.

Best Picture:  The Shape of Water

  • Lady Bird
  • Dunkirk
  • The Post
  • Darkest Hour
  • Phantom Thread
  • Get Out
  • Call Me By Your Name
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Most Surprising Omission:  I, Tonya

Best Eligible Film Not Nominated:  Coco

Rank (out of 90) Among Best Picture Years:  #10 (more…)

And Marty tallies yet another Nighthawk Award.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Hugo  *
  2. The Artist  **
  3. Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy
  4. Midnight in Paris  *
  5. The Descendants  *
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  7. A Separation
  8. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
  9. The Tree of Life
  10. My Week with Marilyn
  11. The Ides of March
  12. Contagion
  13. Beginners
  14. Incendies
  15. Jane Eyre
  16. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  17. Rango
  18. Margin Call
  19. As If I Am Not There
  20. Moneyball  *

Analysis:  The first 15 films are ****.  The rest are ***.5.  In spite of an overall weak year (see various categories below), the Top 5 tracks almost exactly along with 2009.  In fact, the first four films here all earn the exact same ratings as the first four in 2009 and The Descendants is one point better than Broken Embraces in the #5 spot, so this year’s Top 5 is actually one point better.  That said, it’s still the second weakest Top 5 since 1998 (and the same goes for the Top 10 and Top 20).
The Help was actually 4th in the Consensus.  There are 5 films because Midnight in Paris and Moneyball tied for 5th (as did War Horse). (more…)

This is not the new series promised a couple of posts ago.  Instead, this is the stuff that usually goes into my Best Picture post – an ongoing reaction to how things are looking, although I will probably add in more notes related to other awards as well.  I am posting this for a few reasons.  The first is that the death of the hard drive has lead to me being really swamped as I struggle to rewrite 19 reviews for my Best Adapted Screenplay posts and that is making it hard to get things done.  The second is that a lot of the things I notice about the awards as they are handed out during the season aren’t things you read elsewhere because other writers are under deadlines and I am not and they don’t have my spreadsheets; to that end I would like a forum to introduce these connections as they are happening rather than months later.  The third is that it gives a place on the blog for people to leave comments about current awards season news without needing to comment on the latest blog post, no matter the relevance (reminder that on weekdays, I can’t approve comments while at work, so don’t panic if your comment doesn’t show up right away).

This will not replace the Oscar notes and trivia I do the morning of the nominations (23 January), though I will link to it when it happens.  Anytime I add something in this post I will make it “sticky” so that it goes up to the top of the page.  But that won’t make it re-post or put it on V’s Facebook again.  I will continue to do this at least through the first few days after the Oscars on 4 March.  So, any day that awards are handed out by critics groups or guild nominations (or Globes, BAFTA, etc) are announced, there is a good chance I will add to this post.  I will start with the first couple of days worth that I had from working on the eventual Best Picture post, based on the first two critics groups.  Oh, and by the way, I haven’t actually seen Dunkirk yet, but given my love for Nolan’s films, I feel comfortable putting that FYC ad there (actually, I’ve seen it now (6 Dec) and it will take something amazing in The Post, The Shape of Water or Call Me By Your Name to keep Dunkirk from winning the Nighthawk).  But I get no revenue from it or from anything ever on this site.

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“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees but I also wrote more about the year, originally, here.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Good Night and Good Luck  *
  2. Munich
  3. Brokeback Mountain  **
  4. King Kong
  5. Kingdom of Heaven
  6. A History of Violence
  7. Batman Begins
  8. The Constant Gardener
  9. Pride and Prejudice
  10. Downfall
  11. Cache
  12. Syriana
  13. Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
  14. Saraband
  15. Match Point
  16. Twin Sisters
  17. Corpse Bride
  18. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  19. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  20. Kung Fu Hustle

Analysis:  A truly fantastic year.  Brokeback ranks among the best ever #3 films, King Kong among the best #4 films and Kingdom among the best #5 films.  A History of Violence would be a nominee in most years.  The Top 5 is tied for 10th all-time.  The Top 10 is second all-time behind only 2002.  Downfall is the third best #10 film ever.  The Top 20 is the best all-time as is the 11-20.  Not only are all 20 of these films **** films, but there are actually a record 26 (the others are Sin City, Capote, Proof, Cinderella Man, Don’t Move, Elizabethtown).
I feel a little weird about this year.  Brokeback is a brilliant film and I have thought so since I saw it in the theater, but except for the stretch from when I saw it to when I first saw Munich, it has never been my #1 film.  It was Munich for years then eventually moved to Good Night and Good Luck.  But all three films are just about a tie and they come one right after the other on my grand list of all Best Picture nominees.  There’s no question, given how the year went, that it should have won Best Picture.  It won three of the six critics awards and the other four awards groups.  Only three films have more Consensus points without winning the Oscar and all three of those (LA Confidential, Social Network, Boyhood) lost the PGA and DGA and the first two also lost the Globe while Brokeback won all of those.  It was the first film ever to sweep the other four awards groups and lose the Oscar (La La Land would later do it but it would lose to a film that won more critics awards and won the Globe – Drama).  It joined The Aviator as only the second film to this point to win both the Globe and the PGA and fail to win the Oscar.  It is the only film to win the PGA, DGA and WGA and fail to win the Oscar.  Yet, it would lose to Crash, the film with the lowest Consensus point total to win the Oscar since 1995 and the first film since 1973 to win the Oscar without a Globe nomination and only the second Oscar winner to fail to be nominated for a Globe.  In fact, ironically, the most comparable year to this one is 1995, when Ang Lee’s film also looked like it should have won but lost to a film that had not done nearly as well with earlier awards groups, though at least that year had been more telegraphed when Lee failed to earn a Best Director nomination at the Oscars.
Crash, at #101, becomes the fourth Oscar winner to fail to make the Top 100 for the year.  It also finishes a period of twelve years when the Oscars awarded the worst of the five nominees a whopping seven times; it has not done so again since (through 2016).  It joins 1989 and 2000 as years where the Picture winner isn’t in my Top 50 but the Director winner is my #2. (more…)

23-tintin-coversIntroduction:

A Note on the Order of the Books:

tintin-back-4The Tintin books are listed here in the order in which they were originally written and published in French.  That is very different from the order in which they became available in America and the order in which I first read them.  Because my family collected Tintin books as Atlantic-Little, Brown originally published them in the States, I can give an idea of when they were published in America, although there is at least a little confusion with that.  My (now falling apart) original copy of The Crab with the Golden Claws lists four titles on the back.  tintin-back-8Yet, one of those titles is King Ottokar’s Sceptre.  My (now falling apart) copy of King Ottokar’s Sceptre is a “First American Edition” and lists eight titles, the same eight titles listed on the back of my (now falling apart) original copy of Cigars of the Pharoah, which is a “First American Edition” and is from 1975.  In Tintin in America (“Third American Edition”) it lists 20 books on the back – all except Soviets, Congo, Blue Lotus and Alph-Art.  Tintin in America was in fact, the twentieth published in the United States (it says so on the back of the book).
tintin-back-16One of the oddities is that two of the books that were among the original four, The Secret of the Unicorn and Red Rackham’s Treasure, were published during the decade as serials in Children’s Digest.  I still have the cover for the January 1977 issue of Children’s Digest with The Secret of the Unicorn on the cover.  Odd, that they would only at that point be publishing a story that was already available in book form. (more…)

The best film in what is one of the best years in film history.

You can read more about this year in film here.  The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees.  First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end.  If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year.  Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section).  Films in blue were nominated.  Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee.  Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.

I’m listing the top 20 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers  *
  2. Gangs of New York  *
  3. Spirited Away
  4. Talk to Her
  5. The Pianist  **
  6. The Hours  *
  7. Minority Report
  8. Y tu mamá también
  9. Chicago  *
  10. Adaptation
  11. Road to Perdition
  12. Solaris
  13. The Quiet American
  14. Catch Me if You Can
  15. 8 Women
  16. Heaven
  17. Lilo and Stitch
  18. 24 Hour Party People
  19. Spider-Man
  20. Sunshine State

Analysis:  This year is a bit of an oddity.  First, for the first time in five years, the five Oscar nominees are also the five Consensus nominees.  But, much more strangely, for the only time after 1965, the Consensus winner (The Pianist) doesn’t have the highest raw total, but its weighted total turns a 20 point deficit to Chicago into a 10 point advantage.  The Pianist has three wins (BAFTA, NSFC, BSFC) among six total noms (Oscar, Globe, BFCA) while Chicago wins four awards (Oscar, Globe, PGA, BFCA) and earns one other nom (BAFTA).  It will be another decade before the second place film is even within 100 points of the 1st place film.  This is also the first time we have two films that go 0 for 5, earning nominations from all five awards groups (Oscar, PGA, BAFTA, Globe, BFCA) and winning none: Gangs of New York and Two Towers.  There won’t be another year with two such films until 2008. (more…)