The Golden Globe Awards: Who is Hosting and Who is Nominated?

The answers to both questions have finally been revealed and we will get into both right now. Yesterday afternoon, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association finally made a decision and declared Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh, the Masters of Ceremonies for the 76th Annual Golden Globe Awards.

andy&sandy

Image by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

“We’re excited to welcome Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg as co-hosts of Hollywood’s Party of the Year,” said HFPA president Meher Tatna. “Both Golden Globe Award recipients have continually showcased their talents in film and television, and we can’t wait see what their undeniable chemistry will bring to the Golden Globes stage.”

via the Hollywood Reporter

Oh is a Golden Globe winning actress with a respectable career in film and most notably television. She has been a mainstay on the long-running drama Grey’s Anatomy as is also credited for her high caliber performance in Killing Eve as well as motion pictures Sideways and Under the Tuscan Sun. Samberg is a familiar face to NBC going back to days performing at Saturday Night Live, Parks and Recreation, 30 Rock as well as lending his comedic talents to films such as Hotel Transylvania, That’s My Boy, Neighbors, and most recently the NBC’s newest acquisition, Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

I believe the two will work well together bringing some merriment and variety to the Golden Globes, which are right around the corner and the nominees have just been revealed. As this is a film blog, let’s take a look and see who the Hollywood Foreign Press believes is the best of the best in film this year:

Best Original Score:

  • Marco Baltrami, A Quiet Place
  • Alexandre Desplat, Isle of Dogs
  • Ludwig Göransson, Black Panther
  • Justin Hurwitz, First Man
  • Mark Shaiman, Mary Poppins Returns

Best Original Song:

  • “All the Stars”-Black Panther
  • “Girl in the Movies”-Dumplin’
  • “Requiem for a Private War”-A Private War
  • “Revelation”-Boy Erased
  • “Shallow”-A Star is Born

Best Picture-Foreign Language:

  • Capernaum-Lebanon
  • Girl-Belgium
  • Never Look Away-Germany
  • Roma-Mexico
  • Shoplifters-Japan

Best Motion Picture-Animated:

  • Isle of Dogs
  • Mirai
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
  • Incredibles 2

Best Screenplay:

  • Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
  • Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, The Favourite
  • Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Adam McKay, Vice
  • Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie and Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role:

  • Mahershala Ali, Green Book
  • Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
  • Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
  • Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Sam Rockwell, Vice

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role:

  • Claire Foy, First Man
  • Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
  • Emma Stone, The Favourite
  • Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
  • Amy Adams, Vice

Best Performance by an Actor-Musical or Comedy:

  • Christian Bale, Vice
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns
  • Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
  • Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun
  • John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie

Best Performance by an Actress-Musical or Comedy:

  • Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
  • Olivia Colman, The Favourite
  • Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade
  • Charlize Theron, Tully
  • Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians

Best Performance by an Actor-Drama:

  • Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
  • Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate
  • Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased
  • Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
  • John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman

Best Performance by an Actress-Drama:

  • Glenn Close, The Wife
  • Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
  • Nicole Kidman, Destroyer
  • Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
  • Rosamund Pike, A Private War

Best Director:

  • Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
  • Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
  • Peter Farrelly, Green Book
  • Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
  • Adam McKay, Vice

Best Picture-Musical or Comedy:

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Best Picture-Drama:

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The full list of nominees can be found right here! There we have folks! We’re one step closer to Hollywood’s most festive time of the year! The 76th Golden Globe Awards will be telecast on NBC on January 6, 2019 at 8:00 PM. SO EXCITED!!!!😆

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Updated: Kevin Hart is Out as Oscars Host!

The hysteria of Hollywood Awards season is almost upon us and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has finally nabbed a Master of Ceremonies for the 91st Academy Awards in renowned funny-man and actor Kevin Hart.

Image by Eva Rinaldi


“For years I have been asked if I would ever Host the Oscars and my answer was always the same,” Hart wrote on social media. “I said that it would be an opportunity of a lifetime for me as a comedian and that it would happen when it’s suppose to. I am so happy to say the day has finally come for me to host the Oscars.”

Via EW

The announcement was made on Tuesday when Hart revealed that he has been selected to host the ceremony and has embraced the role, pledging to make the upcoming Oscars a “special one” and promising to “rise to the occasion” when the curtain goes up.

Hart certainly has his work cut out for him. For the last few years, the Oscars has experienced a significant decline in viewership, in large part due to the wake of social and societal issues plaguing the entertainment industry, political unrest, the lack of diversity in nominees of years past, a mishap that preluded the biggest upset in Oscar history, but the Oscars have been somewhat of an entertaining affair in the years I have covered them.

Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the show for the past two years, did a fair job in presiding over the show and doing his utmost to put his own mark of the show but the Academy and ABC felt that they needed to do something different to liven the show up in the effort to get viewership back.

In fact, this year would have been the debut of a new category, Best Popular Picture, but that can was kicked down the curb due to a lack of clear criteria of how to judge a “popular picture,” so the Academy is looking to harness the talents of Mr. Hart and bring some new energy into the Oscars come 2019.

The one thing Kevin Hart has going for him: star power. He’s certainly one of the most funniest men in the entertainment industry and his comedic talents truly bleed out onto his work, whether he’s on the big screen, television or on stage doing comedic stand-up. He already has an extensive cinematic body of work in films such as Ride Along, Think Like a Man, This is the End, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Central Intelligence, Get Hard and The Secret Life of Pets, so his resume and natural comedic talent definitely qualifies him to oversee the 91st Oscars.

Speaking of the 91st Oscars, the ceremony will be broadcast on ABC on February 24, 2019 at 8:00 PM. The nominees for the 91st Academy Awards will be announced on January 22, 2019. As always, I will be blogging and covering the Oscars, so stick with me if you want to know what’s happening.

Update: As quickly as something comes, it goes! On Tuesday, it was reported that comedian Kevin Hart would be hosting the upcoming 91st Academy Awards. On Friday, Hart has declared that he would be withdrawing from the event due to controversial tweets that resurfaced in the wake of his hosting announcement.

Where and whom the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will turn to for running the biggest show in Hollywood remains to be seen. Finding a suitable last-minute fill-in is a tall order and due diligence needs to be done. We’re in wait and see mode folks!

Review: The Favourite

Mark my words! You will not find a more ravishingly scintillating, sumptuous and stellar motion picture than Yorgos Lanthimos’ newest achievement, The Favourite, starring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz, who are all excellent players in this stunning period piece.

Queen Anne is physically besieged by ailments and mentally subdued by traumatic events in her past, which has taken a toll on her spirit as she reigns over a kingdom at war with France in the 18th Century. Anne is aided by Lady Sarah Malborough, who acts as Anne’s proxy in matters of state. When Sarah’s cousin Abigail arrives at the palace for employment, her services catch the eye of Sarah, who takes Abigail under wing, while the new servant girl enacts a power play to return to her status as a prominent Lady using any means she can at her disposal.

Let’s just say that this movie goes places where dramas like Downton Abbey do not and it is done with great aplomb! Yorgos Lanthimos and screenwriters Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara, have crafted a tantalizing, snappy and robust female-driven vehicle about the pursuit of power, ruthlessness, scandal and intrigue. Act by act, The Favourite is dripping with lush, rich storytelling that compliments the visual aesthetic of the picture perfectly! The final act of the film drags a bit but it doesn’t diminish the impact of the picture at all.

Lanthimos has garnered acclaimed from pictures such as The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer but I dare say that The Favourite may be head and shoulders the best work he’s done to date! In fact, I dare say that his vision and execution of the film is probably the best I’ve seen this year. His craftsmanship, it’s subtle and he just allows these three major characters, Anne, Sarah and Abigail, to drive the story in this stunning period piece.

Colman, Stone and Weisz are phenomenal in their own right and as an ensemble! You will not forgot their performances when the year is out and the rest of the cast is quite strong including Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, James Smith, Mark Gatiss, LillyRose Stevens, Jennifer White and the debut of Horatio is one to remember as well.

The technical acumen of The Favourite is breathtaking! Robbie Ryan’s cinematography and camerawork, possibly the best usage of wide shot, panorama, tracking, you will ever see this year! Yorgos Mavropsaridis’ editing feeds off the excellent camerawork and is high caliber in its own right, Fiona Crombie’s production design is stupendous, as is the art direction courtesy of Lynne Huitson, Caroline Barclay, Sarah Bick and Dominic Roberts, Alice Felton’s set decoration is rich, Sandy Powell’s costumes are exquisite, the make-up is striking, the music is tense and full of flavor; the work that went into the production of this film is outstanding!

The Favourite has so much to offer and it practically spoils the viewers with the finest filmmaking 2018 has to offer! In fact, this movie should be the marquis female-powered motion picture of the year and be heavily uttered in any and every conversation as the best film of the year!

Review: The Front Runner

Hugh Jackman is truly stellar in the scintillating and quick-paced story about one of the greatest political fall from grace in American history called The Front Runner.

The year is 1988. The Democratic Senator from Colorado, Gary Hart is considered the odds-on favorite to win the Presidency; he is innovative, forward-thinking, his message resonates with Americans of all demographic circles, it seems like he is the candidate who can do no wrong until he is spotted entering and exiting his Washington D.C. townhome with a woman who is not his wife. To Hart, this is nothing of concern for anyone but for a man who seeks the highest office in America, it is a concern and a moment of “Monkey Business” transforms into a monkey wrench that will ultimately derail Hart’s train to the White House.

The Front Runner is one of those movies that just comes out very fast right out of the gate; meaning you aren’t given time to know who these players in this story are, they are just there and audiences need to keep up with who is who and what is going on without question. As the film progresses, your attention is held throughout because of this picture’s sharp writing, gripping performances and sweeping execution.

Jason Reitman helms this fascinating adaptation based on Matt Bai’s acclaimed book, and Reitman and Bai are to be credited with the writing of this feature along with Jay Carson and I truly liked the writing of The Front Runner and how the film tackled the subject matter of how the press is a means to keep elected officials accountable for their actions and how there is no privacy when it comes to public figures.

Hugh Jackman delivers an exceptional performance as Gary Hart. Watching him rail against the media and fighting his character’s downward spiral as he tries to keep up the impossible task of keeping his private life private is a riveting ordeal that audiences should invest in. Vera Farmiga as Lee Hart and J.K. Simmons as Bill Dixon are just as great as Jackman and the rest of the cast including Alfred Molina, Mark O’Brien, Kaitlyn Dever, RJ Brown, Chris Coy, Alex Karpovsky, Oliver Cooper, Ari Graynor, Spencer Garrett, Bill Burr, Bob Martindale, Jenna Kanell and Sara Paxton are fine.

I thought Eric Steelberg’s cinematography was well-executed, Rob Simonsen’s music is decent, Stefan Grube’s editing is mediocre, Steve Saklad’s production design is okay, Cameron Beasley’s art direction is fine, Melinda Sanders’ set decoration is very good and the costume designs by Danny Glicker are well done as well. Technically, The Front Runner gets by on doing enough to the right degree; nothing too flashy but satisfying.

If you are planning to see this movie just to see Hugh Jackman flex his acting muscles, I think you’re going to get more than you bargained for. When it comes to The Front Runner, there is plenty to be impressed with and I think that what will truly make a mark on audiences in how relevant the themes of scandal in the political system echo to this day.

Review: Green Book

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali strike a fine chord as a tandem headlining the recently released Green Book, which struck me as very watered down and dull for wholesome entertainment.

The picture is adapted from the real life friendship built between an Italian-American night-club bouncer named “Tony Lip” Vallelonga, portrayed by Mortensen, and prominent African-American concert pianist Doctor Don Shirley, who is portrayed by Ali. Shirley hires Tony’s, well let’s just call them, “services” as a driver and the two travel across the country from New York to the Deep South for two months for Dr. Shirley’s concert tour and the trip is an eye-opening experience for both gentlemen as they witness how different the issues of race and stereotyping are treated in this country.

Director Peter Farrelly with his co-writers Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie spin a good yarn and it is entertaining but outside of the exemplary portrayals from the leading men, it’s like “been there, done this”. I’m saying anyone who has seen their share of films that deal with racism and stereotyping in America during the 1960s, they come out of Green Book knowing that they’ve seen better.

I believe what really undercut the appeal for this film for me was the writing. It’s interesting to see how these two men from different backgrounds found common ground in a very divisive time in our history but the material was treated with kid gloves. We get a few laughs in the story, but it’s so watered down it leaves a weak taste in my mouth; this is a very underwhelming picture that that is kept afloat by Mortensen and Ali.

It should go without saying that the major selling points for Green Book are undoubtedly the performances of Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. Their collective mannerisms, their speaking patterns, the habits of the men they are portraying whether Ali is on the piano or Mortensen is scarfing down fried chicken or pizza, I definitely believe they should be in discussion for two of the most excellent performances of 2018. They could be Awards Season contenders in my opinion.

The rest of the cast are alright at best. Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Mike Hatton, Dimeter D. Marinov, P.J. Byrne, Joe Cortese, Von Lewis, Don Stark, Quinn Duffy, all of the players in this film are given relatively little screen time but they all make their mark as best they can given this story is told from the perspective of Vallelanga and Shirley.

Technically, this is a rather tame picture, which is to say that this is good enough to remember but hardly anything to truly astound audiences. Kris Bowers’ music is good to fill the background of the film, Sean Porter’s cinematography is decent, Patrick J. Don Vito’s editing is fine, Tim Galvin’s production design is satisfactory, Scott Plauche’s art direction is fair, Selena van den Brink’s set decoration is very good as is the costumes courtesy of Betsy Heimann.

When it comes to Green Book, all you get is the main attraction of the two leading performances. Everything else is bland, from the writing to the overall execution.

Review: Ralph Breaks the Internet

Ralph Breaks the Internet left me positively aglow! This highly anticipated feature is purely a beautiful and inventive follow-up to the highly acclaimed 2012 animated hit from Walt Disney Pictures.

In order to save Sugar Rush, the most popular game in Mr. Litwak’s arcade, Wreck-it Ralph and Vanellope von Schweetz embark on a wild adventure into uncharted territory: the internet, by way of a new wi-fi router installed by Litwak himself. Ralph and Vanellope leave the world of the arcade behind and embark on an eye-opening and dazzling adventure in the world wide web to save Vanellope’s game.

I was so excited to see this movie and while I was watching it, I couldn’t stop smiling throughout. I loved Ralph Breaks the Internet as much as I loved Wreck-it Ralph six years ago because this was not only a gorgeous animated spectacle but it was a thoroughly creative, smart and just plain fun picture! What’s really amazing is that as you sit through this movie, it doesn’t feel like the first movie happened six years ago; it’s still so lively and entertaining and the plot doesn’t skip a beat in the slightest and it’s amazing to behold.

Writer/directors Phil Johnston and Rich Moore along with Pamela Ribon, Jim Reardon and Josie Trinidad went above and beyond Ralph’s catchphrase of “I’m gonna wreck it”; they crushed it and they deserve the highest of praise for crafting a story a very layered and cohesive story that melds so many concepts of their depiction of the internet, Disney princesses, the dark web, spam; every detail that went into the crafting and assembly of the story of this picture is ingenious and I loved everything that went into this movie. Job well done to this creative team of storytellers!

The vocal talents behind these characters were damn near perfect starting from the holdovers from the first feature including John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman, Jane Lynch, Jack McBrayer and Ed O’Neill but the infusion of new voices behind these new characters were incredible from Gal Gadot, Teraji P. Henson and Alan Tudyk and surprises from the voice talents Vin Diesel, Anthony Daniels, Brad Garrett, Tim Allen, Corey Burton and of course seeing the cadre of Disney Princesses and the voices behind them from Jodi Benson, Auli’i Cravalho, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Linda Larkin, Mandy Moore, Ming Na-Wen, Anika Noni-Rose etc. was an utter delight.

Nathan Werner’s cinematography was great, Henry Jackman’s music was equally great, Jeremy Milton’s editing could not be more excellent, Ami Thompson and Matthias Lechner’s art direction was superb, Cory Loftis production design is damn near picture perfect, visually, technically, Ralph Breaks the Internet is practically impeccable in all phases!

2018 is shaping up to be a marquis year for animated features and Ralph Breaks the Internet certainly makes a compelling case for being ranked one of, if not the, absolute best of the year. It’s vibrant, refreshing, heartwarming and delivers on everything you could ask for and more if you loved Wreck-it Ralph. An absolute must-see in my opinion!

Review: Widows

Widows is that type of movie where you are just riveted to the point where you forget to breathe! Steve McQueen, Viola Davis, Gillian Flynn are the names you need to remember when it comes to crediting this utter knockout of a movie!

Davis plays Veronica Rawlings, the widow of a notorious Chicago thief Harry Rawlings, played by Liam Neeson, who went up in ball of fire with his crew after pilfering $2 million from a promising alderman candidate named Jamal Manning, played by Bryan Tyree Henry. Manning wants his money back and he has put Veronica on a deadline, thus spurring Veronica into action and recruits the widows of Harry’s crew, played by Michelle Rodriguez and Elizabeth Debicki, to pull off a job that can not only square off her debt to Manning but keep the widows alive for the future, both financially and literally.

Widows is damn good! I’m talking about “bare-knuckle right to the jugular, hit you so hard, you lose consciousness” type of damn good! Steve McQueen has certainly crafted a picture that is so unapologetically in your face with real-world grit, detail, a twist that floor you, but the tension in this film? There are moments when the drama skyrockets so fast and so high, your breath is stolen away and my hat is off to McQueen one of the most invigorating movies of 2018!

Credit for the success of this picture must be shared equally between McQueen and Gillian Flynn. This film and McQueen’s superb direction feed off McQueen and Flynn’s intricately layered and thoroughly well-structured screenplay adapted from Lynda La Plante’s novel; there isn’t a moment where I felt that someone was going to get shot. That is how much this film is dripping with pure tension and suspense!

Viola Davis fires on all cylinders and the cast doesn’t mess around at all! Rodriguez, Debicki, Henry, Neeson, Daniel Kaluuya is especially outstanding, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Carrie Coon, Cynthia Erivo, Garret Dilahunt, Jacki Weaver, Jon Bernthal, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo this is one of the best acting ensembles of the year across the board!

Sean Bobbitt’s cinematography definitely should be in the conversation as some of the best in the year, Joe Walker’s editing is excellent, Hans Zimmer’s score is outstanding as always, Adam Stockhausen’s production design is crisp, the art direction by Gregory S. Hooper and Heather Ratliff is fantastic, Elizabeth Keenan’s set decoration is clever and ingenious, the costumes by Jenny Eager certainly catch your eye; the level of detail that went into the production of this picture is certainly among 2018’s best to date.

I just knew that a movie featuring the great Viola Davis, the director of 12 Years a Slave, and the author/screenwriter behind Gone Girl would give audiences an outstanding picture but Widows is a film that blows the roof off whatever expectations you have going in! This heist thriller is a knockout, powered by tension and the clout of these incredible, strong women characters! Bravo!