Oscar Nominations Reactions

The nominations for the 91st Academy Awards were announced this morning and, as Julia Roberts’s character in Notting Hill says, “there are things to say.”

WHAT I’M HAPPY ABOUT:

Annapurna Pictures

Regina King—Best Supporting Actress nominee for If Beale Street Could Talk:
As one of my favorite actors, Regina King deserves every award on the planet, so I was thrilled to see her earn a much-deserved nomination for her delicate and passionate performance in If Beale Street Could Talk. This journeywoman has been in the business and delivering great performances for so long, it’s about time she gets the attention she so richly deserves.

Melissa McCarthy—Best Actress nominee for Can You Ever Forgive Me?:
People might forget that she was nominated before, for her supporting performance in Bridesmaids, which put her on the map. But, in Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Melissa McCarthy shows us all a different side and, much like what Robin Williams did in The World According to Garp, this brilliant comic performer showed that she has many talents, including dramatic acting. This was one of my favorite performances of the year.

Netflix

Yalitza Aparicio—Best Actress nominee for Roma:
Only the fourth Latina to ever garner a Best Actress nomination, Aparicio, a newcomer to acting, is nominated for her first film role ever.

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Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Sony Pictures

I’ve always envied the people who were lucky enough to see the original Star Wars in the theatre when it was first released in 1977. What it must have been like to experience it for the first time, as a blank slate, to be blown away by the inventiveness , the entirely new universe that George Lucas created, not to mention the special effects and other technological cinematic breakthroughs it heralded. It was a watershed film in the history of cinema, a touchstone in time for the medium and the business. And to have been someone lucky enough to have experienced it first-hand—well, that’s a feeling I’ve always longed for.

Well, last night I came pretty close to it. The new animated feature, Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse is—and let me make sure to say this exactly the way I mean to—LIKE NO OTHER MOVIE YOU HAVE EVER SEEN. It may not herald a new technology, but what it does do is use existing technologies in ways I’ve never seen before. If you think movies are stale and tired and that nobody does anything new anymore, I beg you to see Spider Man: Into the Spider-Verse and tell me if you still feel the same way.

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My Top 10 of 2018

1. THE FAVOURITE
Gorgeous and wicked, Yorgos Lanthimos’s masterpiece is a tour de force behind and in front of the camera.

2. PADDINGTON 2
Another sequel that’s better than the original, which is impossible because the original was so good. Pure happiness.

3. ROMA
A dreamscape that breathes in every frame and reveals a mastery of the medium.

4. CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
Tender but brutal, the kind of movie that reminds me what a great screenplay can do.

5. BLACKKKLANSMAN
A top-of-his-game Spike Lee joint that sizzles with humor and a biting social commentary.

6. BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE
A moody and magnificent trip down a cinematic rabbit hole.

7. ISLE OF DOGS
Another reminder that there is nobody like Wes Anderson and I’m not even sure we deserve him.

8. LOVE, SIMON
The freshest breath of air in movies in years. And long overdue.

9. THE DEATH OF STALIN
A timely political satire that is as hilarious as it is brilliant. A masterclass.

10. GAME NIGHT
The best time I had at the movies all year.