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Fantastic Fest Interview: Allison Williams & Richard Shepard talk “The Perfection”

Richard Shepard, Allison Williams, and Logan Browning on the red carpet at Fantastic Fest for the premiere of “The Perfection”.

 

This was my first year at Fantastic Fest and I was treated to a lot of great movies. But the one that stands above the rest was Richard Shepard’s (The Matador and Dom Hemingway) horror-thriller, The Perfection.

The film follows Charlotte (Allison Williams), a former child prodigy cellist, who after a decade returns to the people that helped train and groom her into the powerhouse sensation she once was. However, another woman Elizabeth (Logan Browning), has taken her place and what unfolds after the two’s meeting is better left a mystery until viewing.

Director Richard Shepard explained his inspiration behind the movie came from the structure of Korean movies like Old Boy and The Handmaiden. “American movies don’t do that sort of structure and I had been itching to do a film with horror elements.”

Allison Williams (Girls and Get Out) stars alongside Dear White People’s, Logan Browning. Both give unforgettable performances that will have audiences squirming in their seats. While the two were magnetic on screen, they were also helpful behind the scenes. “I invited both Allison and Logan in the editing room because I felt, Oh they’re going to be able to help me see things I may not see. Because an actor inherently has a bullshit detector that a lot of people don’t have. Because it’s so hard to be an actor. Actors really have to lose themselves and if something feels false, they know it almost more than anyone,” said Shepard.

Without giving too much away, you’re never certain which direction this intense thrill ride is going take until the very end. But the journey getting there is a good one. “I wish there was a way, and I guess there is, to attach some kind of monitoring system to audiences watching this movie. About like who they trust, what they think the plot is, throughout the movie; and it would be like an EKG and like spiking, you know? And I think that’s one of the things Richard does so well. As an audience member watching, you know that whoever made it is in control of it. So it’s not that awful feeling of I don’t know what’s going on and I think I’m supposed to know what’s going on. You’re like I know exactly as much as the filmmaker wants me to know in this moment, and it’s really fun not knowing anything more than that,” explained Williams.

Finding the balance of making a movie that keeps the audience on its toes while still maintaining focus is a rare skill.  And often times, a film that tries to trick the audience too much can result in a mess. Luckily, The Perfection never veers off track. “I believe that if that we can keep the audience off kilter, but at the same time have them care about the characters even when their doing stuff that they can’t believe their doing; they still care for them. It’s also challenging because you don’t want to lose your audience. You want to make the surprises feel fun as opposed to confusing.” said Shepard.

Williams then went on to explain how the film immediately will have you hooked, “It takes guts to start it off with the film’s opening shots of just static like locked frames, and its muted colors and it’s clearly a sad scene. For a film buff, there’s sort of an embarrassment of riches in there. It sort of tells you everything you need to know about the movie, but you just have no idea yet. Most opening scenes of movies are sort of tangential to the actual plot of the movie, but hopefully they’re of the same caliber. This is much more informative than anyone will know until they finish watching the movie.”

Williams added that The Perfection is a film that should be seen twice as you will gain respect for it after a second viewing and realizing how deliberate everything was. “We labored over this. We cared about every millisecond of the movie. And it wasn’t until yesterday. There was a group of us that thought about every second we put into this. And it’s so vulnerable to care so much about something. And now it doesn’t belong to us anymore; it belongs to you guys.”

Though The Perfection may be baffling at first, just relax and let the film string you along. This is a performance that’s worth sitting through.

Rating: 5/5 (The title is self-explanatory, this film is a perfect score)

Predicting the Winners: 90th Academy Awards

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Will Win: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Could Win: “The Shape of Water”
Want to Win: “Get Out”

Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Will Win: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Could Win: Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Want to Win: Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Will Win: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Could Win: Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Want to Win: Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”

Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Will Win: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Could Win: Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Want to Win: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Will Win: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Could Win: Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Want to Win: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Director:

“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Will Win: “The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro
Could Win: “Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
Want to Win: “Get Out,” Jordan Peele

Animated Feature:

“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Will Win: “Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
Could Win: No Contest
Want to Win: “Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson

Animated Short:

“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Will Win: “Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
Could Win: “Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
Want to Win: “Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray

Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Will Win: “Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
Could Win: Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees
Want to Win: “The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber

Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

Will Win: “Get Out,” Jordan Peele
Could Win: “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh
Want to Win: “The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani or “Get Out,” Jordan Peele

Cinematography:

“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Will Win: “Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
Could Win: “Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
Want to Win: “Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins

Best Documentary Feature:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” Steve James, Mark Mitten, Julie Goldman
“Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan
“Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
“Strong Island,” Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes

Will Win: “Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda
Could Win: “Last Men in Aleppo,” Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, Soren Steen Jepersen
Want to Win: “Faces Places,” JR, Agnès Varda, Rosalie Varda

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Will Win: “Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
Could Win: “Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
Want to Win: “Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright

Best Live Action Short Film:

“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Will Win: “DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
Could Win: “The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
Want to Win: “DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk

Best Foreign Language Film:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary)
“The Square” (Sweden)

Will Win: “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
Could Win: “The Insult” (Lebanon)
Want to Win: “The Insult” (Lebanon)

Film Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Will Win: “Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
Could Win: “Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
Want to Win: “Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss

Sound Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Will Win: “Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
Could Win: “Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
Want to Win: “Baby Driver,” Julian Slater

Sound Mixing:

“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Will Win: “Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
Could Win: “Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
Want to Win: “Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin

Production Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Will Win: “The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau
Could Win: “Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
Want to Win: “The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Original Score:

“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Will Win: “The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
Could Win: “Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
Want to Win: “The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat

Original Song:

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Will Win: “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul
Could Win: “Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
Want to Win: “This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair:

“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Will Win: “Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
Could Win: “Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten
Want to Win: “Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Costume Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Will Win: “Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
Could Win: “Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle
Want to Win: “Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges

Visual Effects:

“Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick
“Kong: Skull Island,” Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,”  Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlon
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

Will Win: “War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist
Could Win: “Blade Runner 2049,” John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer
Want to Win: “War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

We will see how many of my predictions are right…Watch the 90th Academy Awards Sunday, March 4, 2018- on ABC.  Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel!

“Get Out” One Year Later – Free Screenings on President Day!

First-Come, First-Served Offer Valid at 55 AMC Theatres Nationwide to Guests of the 7:00 P.M. Screenings on Monday, February 19

Universal City, CA, February 13, 2018—Filmmaker Jordan Peele, in conjunction with Universal Pictures, today announced free screenings of Universal’s Get Out on Presidents’ Day, February 19, at 55 AMC locations nationwide.  Each guest who requests a ticket the day of the screening—at a participating location—will be given one free admission to the 7:00 p.m. showing, up to theatre capacity.

Since its release in theatres in February 2017, Get Out has been nominated for four Academy Awards®, while inspiring audiences and artists worldwide.  A compilation video was also released that showcases the artwork inspired by Get Out—featuring the hashtag #GetOutOneYearLater—to encourage audiences to share more of their artwork, experiences and discussions that were influenced by the movie.

The promotion will be available at each of the 55 AMC Theatres playing the special screening of Get Out at 7:00 p.m. on February 19.  Free tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis and may only be picked up at the AMC box office that day.  Each guest must present a valid ID to receive their ticket, with a limit of one free ticket for each ID presented, while supplies last.  This offer is valid for the 7:00 p.m. showing of the film on February 19, only.

Markets that will playing Get Out on Presidents’ Day include ones in Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Boston, MA; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Cincinnati, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Indianapolis, IN; Jacksonville, FL; Kansas City, MO; Los Angeles, CA; Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; New York City, NY; Oklahoma City, OK; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pittsburgh, PA; Raleigh/Durham, NC; San Diego, CA; San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose, CA; Seattle/Tacoma, WA; St. Louis, MO; Tallahassee, FL; Tampa, FL; and Washington, D.C.  To find out more information, visit www.getoutoneyearlater.com.

“When Jordan approached us about a way to thank fans one year after the release of Get Out, we thought a Presidents’ Day screening during Black History Month would be a wonderful way to commemorate the film’s impact,” said Jim Orr, President, Distribution, Universal Pictures.  “The success of his stunning vision would not have been possible without the audience’s passion for both Get Out’s groundbreaking storytelling and its deft use of art as society’s mirror.”

For more information and a list of theatres offering the special screenings, please visit www.getoutoneyearlater.com.  Broadcast-quality clips from Get Out are available at www.epk.tv, and stills are available at www.image.net.

 

About Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures is a division of Universal Studios (www.universalstudios.com).  Universal Studios is part of NBCUniversal.  NBCUniversal is one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production and marketing of entertainment, news and information to a global audience.  NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group and world-renowned theme parks.  NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards

Here is the list of 2018 Oscar nominations:

Best Picture:

“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Lead Actor:

Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Lead Actress:

Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep, “The Post”

Supporting Actor:

Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Christopher Plummer, “All the Money in the World”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Supporting Actress:

Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Lesley Manville, “Phantom Thread”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

Director:

“Dunkirk,” Christopher Nolan
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“Phantom Thread,” Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Animated Feature:

“The Boss Baby,” Tom McGrath, Ramsey Ann Naito
“The Breadwinner,” Nora Twomey, Anthony Leo
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson
“Ferdinand,” Carlos Saldanha
“Loving Vincent,” Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman, Sean Bobbitt, Ivan Mactaggart, Hugh Welchman

Animated Short:

“Dear Basketball,” Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon
“Lou,” Dave Mullins, Dana Murray
“Negative Space,” Max Porter, Ru Kuwahata
“Revolting Rhymes,” Jakob Schuh, Jan Lachauer

Adapted Screenplay:

“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory
“The Disaster Artist,” Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
“Logan,” Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green
“Molly’s Game,” Aaron Sorkin
“Mudbound,” Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Original Screenplay:

“The Big Sick,” Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele
“Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Martin McDonagh

Cinematography:

“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins
“Darkest Hour,” Bruno Delbonnel
“Dunkirk,” Hoyte van Hoytema
“Mudbound,” Rachel Morrison
“The Shape of Water,” Dan Laustsen

Best Documentary Feature:

Best Documentary Short Subject:

“Edith+Eddie,” Laura Checkoway, Thomas Lee Wright
“Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405,” Frank Stiefel
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon
“Knife Skills,” Thomas Lennon
“Traffic Stop,” Kate Davis, David Heilbroner

Best Live Action Short Film:

“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk
“The Eleven O’Clock,” Derin Seale, Josh Lawson
“My Nephew Emmett,” Kevin Wilson, Jr.
“The Silent Child,” Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton
“Watu Wote/All of Us,” Katja Benrath, Tobias Rosen

Best Foreign Language Film:

“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)
“The Insult” (Lebanon)
“Loveless” (Russia)
“On Body and Soul (Hungary)
“The Square” (Sweden)

Film Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss
“Dunkirk,” Lee Smith
“I, Tonya,” Tatiana S. Riegel
“The Shape of Water,” Sidney Wolinsky
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory

Sound Editing:

“Baby Driver,” Julian Slater
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mark Mangini, Theo Green
“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King
“The Shape of Water,” Nathan Robitaille, Nelson Ferreira
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Ren Klyce, Matthew Wood

Sound Mixing:

“Baby Driver,” Mary H. Ellis, Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin
“Blade Runner 2049,” Mac Ruth, Ron Bartlett, Doug Hephill
“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo
“The Shape of Water,” Glen Gauthier, Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” Stuart Wilson, Ren Klyce, David Parker, Michael Semanick

Production Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Sarah Greenwood; Katie Spencer
“Blade Runner 2049,” Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola
“Darkest Hour,” Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer
“Dunkirk,” Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Original Score:

“Dunkirk,” Hans Zimmer
“Phantom Thread,” Jonny Greenwood
“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” John Williams
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” Carter Burwell

Original Song:

“Mighty River” from “Mudbound,” Mary J. Blige
“Mystery of Love” from “Call Me by Your Name,” Sufjan Stevens
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“Stand Up for Something” from “Marshall,” Diane Warren, Common
“This Is Me” from “The Greatest Showman,” Benj Pasek, Justin Paul

Makeup and Hair:

“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick
“Victoria and Abdul,” Daniel Phillips and Lou Sheppard
“Wonder,” Arjen Tuiten

Costume Design:

“Beauty and the Beast,” Jacqueline Durran
“Darkest Hour,” Jacqueline Durran
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges
“The Shape of Water,” Luis Sequeira
“Victoria and Abdul,” Consolata Boyle

Visual Effects:

Top 10 Best Films of 2017

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10. It
Though the 1990’s “It” mini-series scared me as a kid, it also bored me at times as it was a very drawn out film. Well, the latest version of “It” is perfectly packaged with thrills, humor, and a great plot. The remake of the iconic Georgie/sewer scene is enough to pull you in. Though some may argue the movie is not very scary, there’s no doubt that it’s a well-made adaptation with a talented young cast. “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard shows a cruder and hilarious side as Richie.  Wolfhard and the rest of his cast-mates make you wish you were a part of “The Losers Club”.

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9. The Greatest Showman
Sometimes you just want to see a film for pure entertainment purposes, regardless of it’s generic story-line. Well “The Greatest Showman” hooked me in from the start with its spectacular opening number.  From there, I was in for laughter, tears, show-stopping acts, and a toe-tapping original soundtrack. “The Greatest Showman” goes beyond P.T. Barnum’s thirst for success. It also touches on the relevant topics of treating everyone like equals, inter-racial relationships, and embracing your individuality. “The Greatest Showman” is one of the few films that had me balling and in awe at the same time.  Side note: I bought the soundtrack immediately after watching  the film. Yes, it’s that good.

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8. Thor: Ragnarok
The last two Thor films, were more serious and only had glimmers of Hemsworth’s humor. Well, this time audiences got to see more of a “Guardians of the Galaxy” type of tone. “Thor: Ragnarok” is a light-hearted comedy adventure that is way more fitting for Chris Hemsworth’s comedic chops. The entire cast shines, including a vile Cate Blanchett as the evil Hela and Tessa Thompson plays an incredibly fierce heroine. “Thor: Ragnarok” is easily the most entertaining of the three movies, if not the best one.

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7. Lady Bird
Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut is an endearing coming-of-age story about Christine McPhearson (Saoirse Ronan), who only goes by the name she’s chosen, Lady Bird. She goes through the typical teenage drama of crushes, wanting popularity, college applications, and of course, constant bickers with her family. Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan’s tumultuous mother/daughter relationship is both relatable and heartbreaking. The two give very genuine and raw performances. “Lady Bird” is an excellent portrayal of teenage vulnerability.

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6. I, Tonya
I remember the attack on Nancy Kerrigan so well. At the time, I thought the incident was shocking and very serious.  Director Craig Gillespie has decided to take a comedic route in telling the story of Tonya Harding (Margot Robbie) and the infamous attack, and it’s genius! I mean, thinking back, how stupid was the guy that decided to bash the legs of an Olympic skater at the Olympic practice rink, with everyone there!? “I, Tonya” points out all the idiocy in the planned attack and Harding’s less than angelic personal life/ ice-skating career. Margot Robbie and Allison Janney give Oscar worthy performances.  And Janney’s portrayal as Harding’s mother is just as haunting as J.K. Simmons’ role in “Whiplash.” There is also heart in this comedy and by the end you truly empathize with Harding and all she’s been through.

5. The Disaster Artist
I, and most “The Room” fans, have been excited about this film since the moment we heard it was going to be made.  But I was thrilled when the film exceeded my expectations as a surprisingly touching and hilarious movie. James Franco shines in his best performance yet and has my vote for Best Actor of 2017. He fully immerses himself into the extremely odd, yet sensitive Tommy Wiseau. “The Disaster Artist” provides plenty of laughs but underneath the comedy there is an endearing story about a passionate guy who persistently goes after his dreams of being a “real Hollywood star” and you can’t help feel for the poor delusional guy.

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4. Raw
Most of you are probably wondering what this movie even is. “Raw” is a French mystery, horror about a young vegetarian (Garance Marillier) who eats raw meat as part of a college hazing ritual and develops a taste for it, and humans in particular. The film has it’s gruesome scenes, but is so captivating and unique that you’re kept on edge until the very end. It’s best to not give too much away, just watch! “Raw” is an exciting and unforgettable movie.

 

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3. Wonder Woman
The DC Extended Universe has been struggling for a while now with its past few films, but thank God for “Wonder Woman”! It is the best film of its franchise! There’s a proper balance between the film’s humor and serious tone.  AND a huge round of applause is in order for finally having a central focus that prevents the audience’s heads from spinning in confusion half way through the movie. You empathize with Wonder Woman when she’s in pain, while also getting pumped when she’s beating down a villain. The film is great as whole, but it’s the casting that makes this movie a knockout. Chris Pine charms as Steve Trevor, and Gal Gadot was born to play Wonder Woman. It is a thrilling and inspiring superhero movie.

2. Get Out
Every once in a while a horror flick comes along that not only scares, but also includes plenty of laughs along the way. In the past few years, films like “The Visit” and “The Guest” have provided this full package. And comedian Jordan Peele (“Key and Peele”) captured this rarity again, and presented us with the gift of his directorial debut, “Get Out”. Peele’s script is sharp, witty, and terrifying. There are subtle Hitchcock-like notes in his story telling, and the cast only furthers the film with their well-rounded performances.

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1. The Big Sick
I could go on forever talking about how much I love this film, but I’ll try to keep it brief. For a while now, people have been saying the romantic comedy is a dying genre. Thankfully, “The Big Sick” has officially revived rom-coms! Based on the real-life romance of Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, “The Big Sick” tells the story of Pakistan-born comedian and grad student who fall in love, but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness and is put into a coma, Kumail gets to know her feisty parents (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) and discovers his true feelings for Emily. “The Big Sick” is an unconventional love story with a lot of layers.  It’s a film I’ve watched repeatedly this year.

The Rest of the Films that Deserve Recognition:

11. Wind River
12. Gifted
13. Coco
14. Blade Runner 2049
15. Spider-man: Homecoming
16. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
17. Brad’s Status
18. Logan
19. Thelma
20. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Top 5 Worst Films of 2017

5. Landline- Lots of cheating that made no sense.

4. Rings- The first film is gold, everything else after should be nonexistent.

3. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets- Pretty movie, horrible script!

2. Snatched- I’m sorry this was Goldie Hawn’s comeback film?

1. Transformers: The Last Knight- A lot of loud crap.  STOP making these!!!

North Texas Film Critics Name “THE POST” As Best Picture Of 2017

NORTH TEXAS FILM CRITICS NAME THE POST AS BEST PICTURE OF 2017

The North Texas Film Critics Association voted the newsroom drama THE POST as best film of 2017, according to the results of its annual critics’ poll. Completing the list of the top 10 films of the year were: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI (2), GET OUT (3), THE SHAPE OF WATER(4), DUNKIRK (5), BABY DRIVER (6), LADY BIRD (7), THE FLORIDA PROJECT (8), THE BIG SICK (9) and LOGAN (10).

For Best Actor, the association named Gary Oldman for DARKEST HOUR. Runners-up included James Franco for THE DISASTER ARTIST (2),Tom Hanks for THE POST (3), Jake Gyllenhaal for STRONGER (4) and James McAvoy for SPLIT (5).

Frances McDormand was voted Best Actress for THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. Next in the voting were Meryl Streep forTHE POST (2), Saoirse Ronan for LADY BIRD (3), Margot Robbie for I, TONYA (4) and Jessica Chastain for MOLLY’S GAME (5).

In the Best Supporting Actor category, the winner was Sam Rockwell for THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. He was followed by Willem Dafoe for THE FLORIDA PROJECT (2), Idris Elba for MOLLY’S GAME (3), Will Poulter for DETROIT (4) and Patrick Stewart forLOGAN (5).

For Best Supporting Actress, the association named Laurie Metcalf for LADY BIRD. Runners-up included Holly Hunter for THE BIG SICK (2),Octavia Spencer for THE SHAPE OF WATER (3), Allison Janney for I, TONYA (4) and Tilda Swinton for OKJA (5).

Guillermo del Toro was voted Best Director for THE SHAPE OF WATER. Next in the voting were Jordan Peele for GET OUT (2), Christopher Nolan for DUNKIRK (3), Steven Spielberg for THE POST (4) and Greta Gerwig for LADY BIRD (5).

The association voted RAW (France) as the Best Foreign Language Film of the year. Runners-up were MENASHE (Yiddish) (2), and FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER (Cambodia) (3).

JANE won for Best Documentary over STEP (2), and CITY OF GHOSTS (3).

COCO was named the Best Animated Film of 2016, over THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE (2) and LOVING VINCENT (3).

The award for Best Cinematography went to Roger Deakins for BLADE RUNNER 2049, followed by Dan Laustsen for The Shape of Water (2), Hoyte Van Hoytema for DUNKIRK (3) and  Michael Seresin for WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES tied with Janusz Kaminski for THE POST (4).

Brooklynn Prince was awarded BEST NEWCOMER for THE FLORIDA PROJECT.

The association also voted THE POST as the winner of the first installment of the Gary Murray Award, named for the late NTFCA president. The honor will be bestowed annually to the BEST ENSEMBLE.

The North Texas Film Critics Association consists of 17 broadcast, print and online journalists from throughout the North Texas area. For more information, visit us at www.northtexasfilmcritics.com or follow us on Facebook. Or contact Susan Kandell at dabronx101@gmail or 214.878.2700.

SUMMARY OF AWARD WINNERS

2017 North Texas Film Critics Association

(Choices listed in order of votes received)

BEST PICTURE

Winner: THE POST

Runners-up: THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI; GET OUT; THE SHAPE OF WATER; DUNKIRK; BABY DRIVER; LADY BIRD; THE FLORIDA PROJECT; THE BIG SICK; LOGAN.

BEST ACTOR

Winner: Gary Oldman, DARKEST HOUR

Runners-up: James Franco, THE DISASTER ARTIST; Tom Hanks, THE POST; Jake Gyllenhaal, STRONGER; James McAvoy, SPLIT

BEST ACTRESS

Winner: Frances McDormand, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

Runners-up: Meryl Streep, THE POST; Saoirse Ronan, LADY BIRD; Margot

Robbie, I, TONYA; Jessica Chastain, MOLLY’S GAME

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Winner: Sam Rockwell, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI.

Runners-up: Willem Dafoe, THE FLORIDA PROJECT; Idris Elba, MOLLY’S  GAME; Will Poulter, DETROIT; Patrick Stewart, LOGAN

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Winner: Laurie Metcalf, LADY BIRD

Runners-up:Holly Hunter, THE BIG SICK; Octavia Spencer, THE SHAPE OF WATER ; Allison Janney, I, TONYA; Tilda Swinton, OKJA

BEST DIRECTOR

Winner: Guillermo del Toro, THE SHAPE OF WATER

Runners-up: Jordan Peele, GET OUT; Christopher Nolan, DUNKIRK; Steven

Spielberg, THE POST; Greta Gerwig, LADY BIRD

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Winner: RAW (France)

Runners-up: MENASHE (Yiddish); FIRST THEY KILLED MY FATHER (Cambodia)

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Winner: JANE

Runners-up: STEP; CITY OF GHOSTS

BEST ANIMATED FILM

Winner: COCO

Runners-up: THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE; LOVING VINCENT

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Winner: Roger Deakins, BLADE RUNNER 2049

Runner-ups: Dan Laustsen, The Shape of Water; Hoyte Van Hoytema, DUNKIRK;

Michael Seresin, WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES tied with Janusz Kaminski, THE POST

BEST NEWCOMER

Winner: Brooklynn Prince, THE FLORIDA PROJECT

GARY MURRAY AWARD (Best Ensemble)

Winner: THE POST

24rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards Nominations

Motion Picture Awards

Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Timothee Chalamet, “Call Me by Your Name”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Judi Dench, “Victoria & Abdul”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steve Carell, “Battle of the Sexes”
Willem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
Woody Harrelson,”Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Mary J. Blige, “Mudbound”
Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture
“The Big Sick”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“Mudbound”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“Baby Driver”
“Dunkirk”
“Logan”
“Wonder Woman”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”

Television Awards

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock”
Jeff Daniels, “Godless”
Robert De Niro, “The Wizard of Lies”
Geoffrey Rush, “Genius”
Alexander Skarsgard, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
Nicole Kidman, “Big Little Lies”
Jessica Lange, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Susan Sarandon, “Feud: Bette & Joan”
Reese Witherspoon, “Big Little Lies”
Laura Dern, “Big Little Lies”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
Jason Bateman, “Ozark”
Sterling K. Brown, “This Is Us”
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
David Harbour, “Stranger Things”
Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Millie Bobby Brown, “Stranger Things”
Claire Foy, “The Crown”
Elisabeth Moss, “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Robin Wright, “House of Cards”
Laura Linney, “Ozark”

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish”
Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
Larry David, “Curb Your Enthusiasm”
Sean Hayes, “Will & Grace”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Marc Maron, “GLOW”

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Alison Brie, “GLOW”
Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
“The Crown”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Handmaid’s Tale”
“Stranger Things”
“This Is Us”

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
“Black-ish”
“Curb Your Enthusiasm”
“GLOW”
“Orange is the New Black”
“Veep”

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Television Series
“Game of Thrones”
“GLOW”
“Homeland”
“Stranger Things”
“The Walking Dead”

Screen Actors Guild Annual Life Achievement Award
Morgan Freeman

The 24th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, which will be hosted by Kristen Bell, airs Sunday, Jan. 21 at 8/7c on TNT and TBS.

75th Annual Golden Globe Nominations!

Best Motion Picture, Drama

Call Me by Your Name

Dunkirk

The Post

The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

The Disaster Artist

Get Out

The Greatest Showman

I, Tonya

Lady Bird

Best Animated Feature Film

The Boss Baby

The Breadwinner

Coco

Ferdinand

Loving Vincent 

Best Foreign Language Film

A Fantastic Woman (Chile)

First They Killed My Father (Cambodia)

In the Fade (Germany/France)

Loveless (Russia)

The Square (Sweden/Germany/France)

Best Director – Motion Picture

Guillermo del Torro, The Shape of Water

Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk

Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World

Steven Spielberg, The Post

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Guillermo del Torro and Vanessa Taylor, The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird

Elizabeth Hannah and Josh Singer, The Post

Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Aaron Sorkin, Molly’s Game 

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Drama

Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day Lewis, Phantom Thread

Tom Hanks, The Post

Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama

Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game

Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Meryl Streep, The Post

Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

Best Actor in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes

Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver

James Franco, The Disaster Artist

Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman

Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy

Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul

Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker

Margot Robbie, I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird

Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture

Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project

Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name

Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture

Mary J. Blige, Mudbound

Hong Chau, Downsizing

Allison Janney, I, Tonya

Laurie Metcalfe, Lady Bird

Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

“Home,” Ferdinand

“Mighty River,” Mudbound

“Remember Me,” Coco

“The Star,” The Star

“This Is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Carter Burwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Alexander Desplat, The Shape of Water

Jonny Greenwood, Phantom Thread

John Williams, The Post

Hans Zimmer, Dunkirk

Best TV Series, Drama

The Crown (Netflix)

Game of Thrones (HBO)

The Handmaid’s Tale (Hulu)

Stranger Things (Netflix)

This Is Us (NBC)

Best TV Series, Comedy

black-ish (ABC)

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)

Master of None (Netflix)

Smilf (Showtime)

Will & Grace (NBC)

Best TV Movie or Limited-Series

Big Little Lies (HBO)

Fargo (FX)

Feud: Bette and Joan (FX)

The Sinner (USA Network)

Top of the Lake: China Girl (Sundance TV)

Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama

Jason Bateman, Ozark

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama

Caitriona Balfe, Outlander

Claire Foy, The Crown

Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Deuce

Katherine Langford, 13 Reasons Why

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Best Actor in a TV Series, Comedy

Anthony Anderson, black-ish

Aziz Ansari, Master of None

Kevin Bacon, I Love Dick

William H. Macy, Shameless

Eric McCormack, Will & Grace

Best Actress in a TV Series, Comedy

Pamela Adlon, Better Things

Alison Brie, GLOW

Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Issa Rae, Insecure

Frankie Shaw, Smilf

Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV Movie

Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies

Jude Law, The Young Pope

Kyle MacLachlan, Twin Peaks

Ewan McGregor, Fargo

Geoffrey Rush, Genius

Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie

Jessica Biel, The Sinner

Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies

Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan

Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan

Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie

David Harbour, Stranger Things

Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan

Christian Slater, Mr. Robot

Alexander Skarsgård, Big Little lies

David Thewlis, Fargo

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

Chrissy Metz, This Is Us

Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies

Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

 

Wednesday January 7th on NBC, Will & Grace stars Eric McCormack and Debra Messing host the two-hour Golden Globes 75th Anniversary Special.

Movie Review: “Get Out” is an Excellent Mix of Horror and Comedy

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Every once in a while a horror flick comes along that not only scares, but also includes plenty of laughs along the way. In the past few years, films like “The Visit” and “The Guest” have provided this full package. And now at the start of 2017, comedian Jordan Peele (“Key and Peele”) has captured this rarity again, and presented us with the gift of his directorial debut, “Get Out”.

Based on the film’s trailer alone, audiences knew we were in for some race-savvy satire that would lead to a number of awkward scenes. But, these moments of comic relief are so subtle and well executed that they blend perfectly with the eerie tension, while still keeping you engrossed in the suspense of the movie.

“Get Out” follows Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), an African American photographer who’s planning to meet his Caucasian girlfriend’s parents for the first time. They are set to head upstate to her family’s secluded home, and of course, Chris expresses his concern by asking if they know he is black? Rose (Allison Williams) laughs it off and assures Chris that her parents are totally cool. To give him comfort, she lets him know that her dad would have voted for Obama a third term. Oh good, now we all feel so much better… Chris’ best friend (Lil Rel Howery) even warns him not go, but he does not listen.

On the drive to her parents’ house they hit a deer, foreshadowing an unpleasant visit ahead of them. And it’s here that we get our first act of racism with a cop who insists on seeing Chris’ ID after the accident, even though Rose was driving. Luckily, Rose diffuses the situation in a pretty knight in shining armor way.

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Finally, they arrive to her parents’ home, and both are welcomed with open arms. Rose’s mom Missy (Catherine Keener) and her dad Dean (Bradley Whitford) appear to be nice. Dean comes across a bit foolish at times with a few ignorant remarks when trying to “bond” with Chris, but other than that the parents seem harmless. However, their two African American servants, Georgina (Betty Gabriel) and Walter (Marcus Henderson) behave in a very odd manner with forced smiles and unusual emotional breakouts.

Things just continue to get stranger. Missy offers to hypnotize Chris so that he can quit smoking. Rose’s brother Jeremy (Caleb Landry Jones) makes it blatantly clear that he does not care for his sister’s new boyfriend. Then there’s a disturbing party in which Chris is hounded by the many white people in attendance. Soon enough, everything begins to unwind.

Jordan Peele’s script is sharp, witty, and an effective horror. There are subtle Hitchcock-like notes in his story telling. Peele’s cast only furthers his film with their well-rounded performances. Keener and Whitford do an incredible job maintaining their creepy, Stepford Wives composure. Major kudos to Lil Rel Howery for being the character that hilariously speaks on behalf of everyone in the audience.

“Get Out” is a refreshing horror-comedy that will keep you on edge till the very end!

Rating: 4/5

“Get Out” opens in theaters February 24th.

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