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Movie Review: “The Fabelmans” Brings out Michelle Williams Best Performance Yet

We already knew that Steven Spielberg hadn’t lost his touch after his remarkable remake of “West Side Story”. But in his newest drama, “The Fabelmans”, he pulls from his own personal experience as he digs at the family roots that helped shape him into the iconic filmmaker.

If I am being completely honest, as a little kid, the only director I knew of was Spielberg. His films are such a huge part of my upbringing. I don’t think I even understood completely what a director did until I put a face to the creator of “E.T.” and “Jaws”. As we all know, he has an amazing resume of monumental films. So, to get a chance to peep into what started his craft and an insight into his family, is a true honor.

In “The Fabelmans”, we follow Sammy Fabelman (Gabriel LaBelle) from a young boy through college as he navigates family drama while chasing his dream of making movies. Without giving too much away, the biggest drama stems from Sammy’s mother, Mitzi (Michelle Williams). She’s naturally the more melodramatic member of the family. She’s an artist/pianist who encourages Sammy to embrace his creativity. Her children adore her free-spirited, performative behavior, while also admiring their father’s (Paul Dano) intelligence. They actually come off as the perfect family, until Sammy takes a closer look through his lens and sees flaws in his parents’ marriage. This and other trials and tribulations will prove to mold Sammy into a stronger man and help him find solace in his films.

The story is told through fantastic performances by the entire cast.  The standout is LaBelle, who I expect we will be seeing plenty more of after such an authentic and vulnerable portrayal of the young director. And easily one of the best performances of the year, Williams as Mitzi. Your feelings about her may be conflicting at first, but by the end, she’s the one you won’t be able to stop thinking about. Such a layered character we have the pleasure of diving into. Mitzi is a loving, and at times erratic mother whose behavior is “unique”. However, she’s absolutely mesmerizing. Williams deserves an obvious nomination, if not a win for this role.

Now, I may sound like a broken record with this one negative, but the film could have been about 30 minutes shorter and been just as effective. However, the characters are engaging enough to distract you from the runtime.

“The Fabelmans” serves as an ode to the power of filmmaking. Movies have the ability to make people feel what you want them to, and through that you can ignite emotions of laughter, fear, joy, love, and so much more. Spielberg was gifting us with his movie-magic, while also using his art as a therapeutic escape. “The Fabelmans” is a rare gem for movie buffs and an enjoyable film for the whole family.

Rating: A-

Predicting the Winners: 94th Academy Awards

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Javier Bardem in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Andrew Garfield in “tick, tick…BOOM!”
  • Will Smith in “King Richard”
  • Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Will Win: Will Smith

Could Win: Benedict Cumberbatch

Want to Win: Will Smith

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Ciarán Hinds in “Belfast”
  • Troy Kotsur in “CODA”
  • Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog”
  • J.K. Simmons in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Power of the Dog”

Will Win: Troy Kotsur

Could Win: Kodi Smit-McPhee

Want to Win: Troy Kotsur

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Jessica Chastain in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
  • Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Penélope Cruz in “Parallel Mothers”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kristen Stewart in “Spencer”

Will Win: Jessica Chastain

Could Win: Nicole Kidman

Want to Win: Jessica Chastain

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story”
  • Judi Dench in “Belfast”
  • Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Aunjanue Ellis in “King Richard”

Will Win: Ariana DeBose

Could Win: Aunjanue Ellis

Want to Win: Ariana DeBose or Kirsten Dunst

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Encanto” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sorensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Luca” Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren
  • “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht
  • “Raya and the Last Dragon” Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Will Win: Encanto

Could Win: The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Want to Win: The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Dune” Greig Fraser
  • “Nightmare Alley” Dan Laustsen
  • “The Power of the Dog” Ari Wegner
  • “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “West Side Story” Janusz Kaminski

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: The Power of the Dog

Want to Win: West Side Story

Achievement in costume design

  • “Cruella” Jenny Beavan
  • “Cyrano” Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
  • “Dune” Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
  • “Nightmare Alley” Luis Sequeira
  • “West Side Story” Paul Tazewell

Will Win: Cruella

Could Win: West Side Story

Want to Win: Cruella

Achievement in directing

  • “Belfast” Kenneth Branagh
  • “Drive My Car” Ryusuke Hamaguchi
  • “Licorice Pizza” Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg

Will Win: Jane Campion

Could Win: Steven Spielberg

Want to Win: No preference

Best documentary feature

  • “Ascension” Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell
  • “Attica” Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
  • “Writing with Fire” Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Will Win: Summer of Soul

Could Win: Flee

Want to Win: Summer of Soul

Best documentary short subject

  • “Audible” Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean
  • “Lead Me Home” Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk
  • “The Queen of Basketball” Ben Proudfoot
  • “Three Songs for Benazir” Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
  • “When We Were Bullies” Jay Rosenblatt

Will Win: The Queen of Basket Ball

Could Win: Audible or When We Were Bullies

Want to Win: The Queen of Basket Ball or Audible

Achievement in film editing

  • “Don’t Look Up” Hank Corwin
  • “Dune” Joe Walker
  • “King Richard” Pamela Martin
  • “The Power of the Dog” Peter Sciberras
  • “tick, tick…BOOM!” Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: Don’t Look Up or King Richard

Want to Win: Don’t Look Up or King Richard

Best international feature film of the year

  • “Drive My Car” Japan
  • “Flee” Denmark
  • “The Hand of God” Italy
  • “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” Bhutan
  • “The Worst Person in the World” Norway

Will Win: Drive My Car

Could Win: Flee

Want to Win: Drive My Car

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “Coming 2 America” Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer
  • “Cruella” Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon
  • “Dune” Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
  • “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh
  • “House of Gucci” Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras

Will Win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Could Win: Cruella

Want to Win: The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Don’t Look Up” Nicholas Britell
  • “Dune” Hans Zimmer
  • “Encanto” Germaine Franco
  • “Parallel Mothers” Alberto Iglesias
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jonny Greenwood

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: Encanto

Want to Win: Encanto

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Be Alive” from “King Richard”
    Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
  • “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”
    Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • “Down To Joy” from “Belfast”
    Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
  • “No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die”
    Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
  • “Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Will Win: “No Time to Die”

Could Win: “Dos Oruguitas”

Want to Win: “Be Alive”

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Belfast” Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers
  • “CODA” Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
  • “Don’t Look Up” Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers
  • “Drive My Car” Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer
  • “Dune” Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers
  • “King Richard” Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers
  • “Licorice Pizza” Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers
  • “Nightmare Alley” Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

Will Win: The Power of the Dog

Could Win: CODA

Want to Win: King Richard, CODA, Don’t Look Up

Achievement in production design

  • “Dune” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
  • “Nightmare Alley” Production Design: Tamara Deverell; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau
  • “The Power of the Dog” Production Design: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Amber Richards
  • “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Production Design: Stefan Dechant; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “West Side Story” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: West Side Story

Want to Win: Dune

Best animated short film

  • “Affairs of the Art” Joanna Quinn and Les Mills
  • “Bestia” Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz
  • “Boxballet” Anton Dyakov
  • “Robin Robin” Dan Ojari and Mikey Please
  • “The Windshield Wiper” Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez

Will Win: Robin Robin

Could Win: The Windshield Wiper

Want to Win: Robin Robin or The Windshield Wiper

Best live action short film

  • “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run” Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger
  • “The Dress” Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki
  • “The Long Goodbye” Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
  • “On My Mind” Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson
  • “Please Hold” K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse

Will Win: The Long Goodbye

Could Win: Please Hold

Want to Win: Please Hold or The Long Goodbye

Achievement in sound

  • “Belfast” Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri
  • “Dune” Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett
  • “No Time to Die” Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor
  • “The Power of the Dog” Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb
  • “West Side Story” Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: No Time to Die

Want to Win: West Side Story

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Dune” Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer
  • “Free Guy” Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick
  • “No Time to Die” Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould
  • “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver
  • “Spider-Man: No Way Home” Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick

Will Win: Dune

Could Win: Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Want to Win: Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Adapted screenplay

  • “CODA” Screenplay by Siân Heder
  • “Drive My Car” Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
  • “Dune” Screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth
  • “The Lost Daughter” Written by Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • “The Power of the Dog” Written by Jane Campion

Will Win: The Power of the Dog

Could Win: CODA

Want to Win: The Lost Daughter

Original screenplay

  • “Belfast” Written by Kenneth Branagh
  • “Don’t Look Up” Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota
  • “King Richard” Written by Zach Baylin
  • “Licorice Pizza” Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Worst Person in the World” Written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

Will Win: Don’t Look Up

Could Win: Belfast or Licorice Pizza

Want to Win: Don’t Look Up

THE OSCARS SET TO AIR LIVE, MARCH 27, ON ABC

27th Annual Critics Choice Award Winners

WINNERS OF THE 27th ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

FILM CATEGORIES

BEST PICTURE
The Power of the Dog (Netflix)

BEST ACTOR
Will Smith – King Richard (Warner Bros.)

BEST ACTRESS
Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Searchlight)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Troy Kotsur – CODA (Apple TV+)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Ariana DeBose – West Side Story (20th Century Studios)

BEST YOUNG ACTOR
Jude Hill – Belfast (Focus) 

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE
Belfast (Focus)

BEST DIRECTOR
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog (Netflix) 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Kenneth Branagh – Belfast (Focus) 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog (Netflix)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Ari Wegner – The Power of the Dog (Netflix)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Patrice Vermette, Zsuzsanna Sipos – Dune (Warner Bros.)

BEST EDITING
Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn – West Side Story (Disney)

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
Jenny Beavan – Cruella (Disney) 

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP
The Eyes of Tammy Faye (Searchlight)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Dune (Warner Bros.)

BEST COMEDY
Licorice Pizza (United Artists Releasing)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
The Mitchells vs. the Machines (Sony Pictures Animation) 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Drive My Car (Janus Films) 

BEST SONG
No Time to Die – No Time to Die (United Artists Releasing) 

BEST SCORE
Hans Zimmer – Dune (Warner Bros.)

SERIES CATEGORIES

BEST DRAMA SERIES
Succession (HBO)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Lee Jung-jae – Squid Game (Netflix) 

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets (Showtime) 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Kieran Culkin – Succession (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Sarah Snook – Succession (HBO)  

BEST COMEDY SERIES
Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Jean Smart – Hacks (HBO Max)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Brett Goldstein – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BEST LIMITED SERIES
Mare of Easttown (HBO)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Oslo (HBO)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Michael Keaton – Dopesick (Hulu)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Kate Winslet – Mare of Easttown (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Murray Bartlett – The White Lotus (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Jennifer Coolidge – The White Lotus (HBO)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE SERIES
Squid Game (Netflix)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES
What If…?  (Disney+)

BEST TALK SHOW
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL
Bo Burnham: Inside (Netflix)

94th Academy Awards Nomination Announcement

Nominations for the 94th Academy Awards

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Javier Bardem in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Benedict Cumberbatch in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Andrew Garfield in “tick, tick…BOOM!”
  • Will Smith in “King Richard”
  • Denzel Washington in “The Tragedy of Macbeth”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Ciarán Hinds in “Belfast”
  • Troy Kotsur in “CODA”
  • Jesse Plemons in “The Power of the Dog”
  • J.K. Simmons in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kodi Smit-McPhee in “The Power of the Dog”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Jessica Chastain in “The Eyes of Tammy Faye”
  • Olivia Colman in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Penélope Cruz in “Parallel Mothers”
  • Nicole Kidman in “Being the Ricardos”
  • Kristen Stewart in “Spencer”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Jessie Buckley in “The Lost Daughter”
  • Ariana DeBose in “West Side Story”
  • Judi Dench in “Belfast”
  • Kirsten Dunst in “The Power of the Dog”
  • Aunjanue Ellis in “King Richard”

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Encanto” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sorensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Luca” Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren
  • “The Mitchells vs. the Machines” Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht
  • “Raya and the Last Dragon” Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Dune” Greig Fraser
  • “Nightmare Alley” Dan Laustsen
  • “The Power of the Dog” Ari Wegner
  • “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Bruno Delbonnel
  • “West Side Story” Janusz Kaminski

Achievement in costume design

  • “Cruella” Jenny Beavan
  • “Cyrano” Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
  • “Dune” Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
  • “Nightmare Alley” Luis Sequeira
  • “West Side Story” Paul Tazewell

Achievement in directing

  • “Belfast” Kenneth Branagh
  • “Drive My Car” Ryusuke Hamaguchi
  • “Licorice Pizza” Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg

Best documentary feature

  • “Ascension” Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell
  • “Attica” Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
  • “Flee” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
  • “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein
  • “Writing with Fire” Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Best documentary short subject

  • “Audible” Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean
  • “Lead Me Home” Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk
  • “The Queen of Basketball” Ben Proudfoot
  • “Three Songs for Benazir” Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
  • “When We Were Bullies” Jay Rosenblatt

Achievement in film editing

  • “Don’t Look Up” Hank Corwin
  • “Dune” Joe Walker
  • “King Richard” Pamela Martin
  • “The Power of the Dog” Peter Sciberras
  • “tick, tick…BOOM!” Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum

Best international feature film of the year

  • “Drive My Car” Japan
  • “Flee” Denmark
  • “The Hand of God” Italy
  • “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” Bhutan
  • “The Worst Person in the World” Norway

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “Coming 2 America” Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer
  • “Cruella” Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon
  • “Dune” Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
  • “The Eyes of Tammy Faye” Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh
  • “House of Gucci” Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Don’t Look Up” Nicholas Britell
  • “Dune” Hans Zimmer
  • “Encanto” Germaine Franco
  • “Parallel Mothers” Alberto Iglesias
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jonny Greenwood

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “Be Alive” from “King Richard”
    Music and Lyric by DIXSON and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
  • “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”
    Music and Lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • “Down To Joy” from “Belfast”
    Music and Lyric by Van Morrison
  • “No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die”
    Music and Lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
  • “Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Belfast” Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, Producers
  • “CODA” Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, Producers
  • “Don’t Look Up” Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers
  • “Drive My Car” Teruhisa Yamamoto, Producer
  • “Dune” Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, Producers
  • “King Richard” Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, Producers
  • “Licorice Pizza” Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, Producers
  • “Nightmare Alley” Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, Producers
  • “The Power of the Dog” Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, Producers
  • “West Side Story” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers

Achievement in production design

  • “Dune” Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
  • “Nightmare Alley” Production Design: Tamara Deverell; Set Decoration: Shane Vieau
  • “The Power of the Dog” Production Design: Grant Major; Set Decoration: Amber Richards
  • “The Tragedy of Macbeth” Production Design: Stefan Dechant; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “West Side Story” Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Best animated short film

  • “Affairs of the Art” Joanna Quinn and Les Mills
  • “Bestia” Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz
  • “Boxballet” Anton Dyakov
  • “Robin Robin” Dan Ojari and Mikey Please
  • “The Windshield Wiper” Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez

Best live action short film

  • “Ala Kachuu – Take and Run” Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger
  • “The Dress” Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki
  • “The Long Goodbye” Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
  • “On My Mind” Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson
  • “Please Hold” K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse

Achievement in sound

  • “Belfast” Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri
  • “Dune” Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett
  • “No Time to Die” Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor
  • “The Power of the Dog” Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb
  • “West Side Story” Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Dune” Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer
  • “Free Guy” Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick
  • “No Time to Die” Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould
  • “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver
  • “Spider-Man: No Way Home” Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick

Adapted screenplay

  • “CODA” Screenplay by Siân Heder
  • “Drive My Car” Screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
  • “Dune” Screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth
  • “The Lost Daughter” Written by Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • “The Power of the Dog” Written by Jane Campion

Original screenplay

  • “Belfast” Written by Kenneth Branagh
  • “Don’t Look Up” Screenplay by Adam McKay; Story by Adam McKay & David Sirota
  • “King Richard” Written by Zach Baylin
  • “Licorice Pizza” Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
  • “The Worst Person in the World” Written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

THE OSCARS SET TO AIR LIVE, MARCH 27, ON ABC

Top 10 Best Films of 2021

10. West Side Story (2021)

I didn’t think we needed a remake of “West Side Story.” Turns out we needed Steven Spielberg’s remake! I’ll admit, at the start of the film I was thinking “What is happening?” I didn’t appreciate what the choreography was saying right away. But about 15 minutes into the movie, I was hooked. Spielberg created a beautiful musical with a modern-day Romeo and Juliet tale that’s sadly still relevant.

9. Pig

“Pig” is the sleeper hit that has stayed with me since viewing it earlier this year. The film follows a truffle hunter (Nicolas Cage) who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness, but must return to Portland in search of his beloved, stolen, truffle pig. I didn’t know much going into this movie, but I was quickly reminded of what a talented actor Nicolas Cage is. Even though he’s had some questionable roles, “Pig” solidifies him as one of the greats. I love the simplicity of the story, and the power behind all the performances; especially, Alex Wolff, who plays opposite Cage. You’d expect this film to go full on “John Wick”, but instead it’s more of a subtle human, drama of a man living with regret and grief.  

8. A Hero

Over the years, director Asghar Farhadi has tried to create empathy between audiences and the characters he writes. In his newest film, “A Hero”, we follow Rahim (Amir Jadidi) – A man who was in prison for unpaid debt. During his two-day leave he tries to end his prison time, but things get a little out of hand. “A Hero” is another fantastic piece of work by Farhadi. He continues to keep audiences on the edge of their seat as he constructs an intricate story that powerfully showcases manipulation through social media

7. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is another notch in the Marvel belt of quality superhero movies with fleshed out characters and heartfelt stories. In this film, Shang Chi has been secretly going by the name Shawn (Simu Liu), and spending most of his time with his best friend, Katy (Awkwafina), as a valet in San Francisco. But when they are unexpectedly attacked by his father’s terrorist organization, the Ten Rings, he is forced to return to his old home, and confront the past he so desperately tried to run away from. The film provides a well-thought-out storyline with an emotional backstory. It stuns visually with its seamless choreography and electrifying special effects. It is also the Asian-inspired action flick audiences have been needing to see as Disney continues to successfully showcase diversity and inclusion in their productions.  

6. Don’t Look Up

When two scientists (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) discover a comet will soon destroy the Earth, they try everything they can to warn the world and prevent the destruction. But for some reason, people won’t take it seriously. What was intended to be a social commentary on climate change, happens to also relate to our current pandemic and how society chooses to deal with or ignore a global issue. Director/writer Adam McKay creates a hilarious script featuring an all-star, talented cast. The film is timely, terrifying, and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a comical cautionary tale everyone should watch. 

5. The Last Duel

I have no idea why this film didn’t get more award attention! Jodie Comer at the very least deserves a nomination. “The Last Duel” is based on a true story set in France during the 14th century. Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) accuses Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of raping his wife, Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), and challenges him to a duel to the death. Damon and Ben Affleck reunite to write a gripping tale told from three different perspectives. With their words and Ridley Scott’s masterful vision, “The Last Duel” is a painful, but important reminder of the #MeToo survivors.

4. The Mitchells vs the Machines

“Mitchell’s vs the Machines was one of my early favorites of 2021. It follows Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), a teenager who has felt like an outcast most of her life and spends a lot of her time making funny videos. She’s lost the bond she once had with her father (Danny McBride), and is looking forward to going away for college. But, in an effort to rebuild their relationship, Katie’s dad plans a last-minute family road trip. Unfortunately, this bumpy ride finds the Mitchells in the middle of a robot apocalypse, and they become humanity’s last hope. “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is original, clever, funny, touching, and an absolute blast. This is a movie both kids and adults will connect with and enjoy.  Though Katie and her dad have had their arguments, the entire family has drifted apart by burying themselves in their electronics. Katie’s mom, Linda (Maya Rudolph), is obsessed with other families’ online personas; admiring a life she wished she had. And her brother is obsessed with everything dinosaurs. Rick is the only one in the family who hates technology and enjoys more of the outdoors. It’s enough to make you think twice before pulling out your phones when you’re spending time with your family.  

3. Our Friend

Before I gush about this film, I’m sure some of my colleagues are wondering why a movie that qualified for awards in 2020 is on my top 10 list for 2021. Well, I first saw “Our Friend” in January this year and if you check the official US theatrical release date (not TIFF or other festivals), it opened on January 22, 2021. Moving on! “Our Friend” is an incredibly moving, true story that still brings me to tears when I talk about it. Matt (Casey Affleck) and Nicole (Dakota Johnson) are a loving couple with two daughters; but when they discover Nicole has ovarian cancer, they struggle to keep their life together. When their best friend, Dane (Jason Segel) hears of the tragic news, he decides to put his own life on hold and be there for the whole family. As many times as I have seen a story about losing a loved one from cancer, I have never seen one told like this. Even though it seemed as though Dane was helping Matt and Nicole during a difficult time, in actuality, they were saving him. I think we can all relate to feeling as though a friend may not care as much as you do when you’re sick, or when you just want to feel valued. This is a beautiful portrayal of a mutually loving friendship, and the powerful affect it can have on your life.

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home

I can still remember how I felt when I first saw “Spider-Man” (2002) in theaters. I got chills, my jaw dropped a few times, and I could not stop thinking about what I had just seen. As time went on, we got more Spider-Man movies and different Spider-Man actors. I truly enjoyed them all, some more than others. But never did I think I would be treated to such a theatrical experience in 2021. I’m scared to share any details, because for those who have yet to watch, it’s best to know nothing about the plot. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” weaves together decades of characters we loved and hated to honor a true hero. Tom Holland gives his best performance to date. The film is a nostalgic gift to fans as it engages us in laughter, pulls at our heartstrings, revisits the past, and gives us hope for the future.  

1. King Richard

This probably comes as no surprise as I have raved about this movie since I first saw it. I’ve seen it 3 times, and each time I fall more in love with it. “King Richard” breaks the mold of a formulaic sports biopic. There’s a lot to learn from this film. Though it’s about the Williams sisters’ journey to greatness, it’s also a character study on a flawed man. Richard (Will Smith) is overbearing, selfish, and hard-headed. But he’s also humble, kind, and a loving father. Yes, he wants his daughters to go to Wimbledon, but his first priority for them is to do well in school and enjoy being kids. He also teaches them the importance of good sportsmanship and never forgetting where you came from.

The Best of the Rest:

11. Licorice Pizza

12. Cruella

13. Raya and the Last Dragon

14. The Lost Daughter

15. A Quiet Place Part II

16. Lady of the Manor

17. The Novice

18. House of Gucci

19. Mass

20. Language Lessons

Top 5 Worst Films of 2021

5. Without Remorse – Like a bad date with a good looking person.

4. Space Jam: A New Legacy – Do yourself a favor, just re-watch the original film and forget this exists.

3. Things Heard and Seen – What the actual hell?

2. The Comeback Trail – Luckily, for this all-star cast, most people didn’t know this ever came out.

1. Halloween Kills – An all around joke of a movie that wasn’t funny or fun.

Trevor’s Top 10

10. The Green Knight
9. Candyman
8. No Time to Die
7. The Suicide Squad
6. Don’t Look Up
5. King Richard
4. Pig
3. Spider-Man: No Way Home
2. Bo Burnham: Inside
1. Our Friend

27th Annual Critics Choice Awards Nominations

The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced today the film category nominees for the 27th Annual Critics Choice Awards. The winners will be revealed at the star-studded Critics Choice Awards gala hosted by Taye Diggs and Nicole Byer, which will broadcast LIVE on The CW and TBS on Sunday, January 9 from 7:00 – 10:00 pm ET (delayed PT – check local listings).

FILM NOMINATIONS

BEST PICTURE

Belfast

CODA

Don’t Look Up

Dune

King Richard

Licorice Pizza

Nightmare Alley

The Power of the Dog

tick, tick…Boom!

West Side Story

BEST ACTOR

Nicolas Cage – Pig

Benedict Cumberbatch – The Power of the Dog

Peter Dinklage – Cyrano

Andrew Garfield – tick, tick…Boom!

Will Smith – King Richard

Denzel Washington – The Tragedy of Macbeth

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Olivia Colman – The Lost Daughter

Lady Gaga – House of Gucci

Alana Haim – Licorice Pizza

Nicole Kidman – Being the Ricardos

Kristen Stewart – Spencer

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Jamie Dornan – Belfast

Ciarán Hinds – Belfast

Troy Kotsur – CODA

Jared Leto – House of Gucci

J.K. Simmons – Being the Ricardos

Kodi Smit-McPhee – The Power of the Dog

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Caitríona Balfe – Belfast

Ariana DeBose – West Side Story

Ann Dowd – Mass

Kirsten Dunst – The Power of the Dog

Aunjanue Ellis – King Richard

Rita Moreno – West Side Story

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Jude Hill – Belfast

Cooper Hoffman – Licorice Pizza

Emilia Jones – CODA

Woody Norman – C’mon C’mon

Saniyya Sidney – King Richard

Rachel Zegler – West Side Story

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

The Harder They Fall

Licorice Pizza

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

BEST DIRECTOR

Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Kenneth Branagh – Belfast

Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Guillermo del Toro – Nightmare Alley

Steven Spielberg – West Side Story

Denis Villeneuve – Dune

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Paul Thomas Anderson – Licorice Pizza

Zach Baylin – King Richard

Kenneth Branagh  Belfast

Adam McKay, David Sirota – Don’t Look Up

Aaron Sorkin – Being the Ricardos

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog

Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Lost Daughter

Siân Heder – CODA

Tony Kushner – West Side Story

Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve, Eric Roth – Dune

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Bruno Delbonnel – The Tragedy of Macbeth

Greig Fraser – Dune

Janusz Kaminski – West Side Story

Dan Laustsen – Nightmare Alley

Ari Wegner – The Power of the Dog

Haris Zambarloukos – Belfast

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Jim Clay, Claire Nia Richards – Belfast

Tamara Deverell, Shane Vieau – Nightmare Alley

Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo – The French Dispatch

Adam Stockhausen, Rena DeAngelo – West Side Story

Patrice Vermette, Zsuzsanna Sipos – Dune

BEST EDITING

Sarah Broshar and Michael Kahn – West Side Story

Úna Ní Dhonghaíle – Belfast

Andy Jurgensen – Licorice Pizza

Peter Sciberras – The Power of the Dog

Joe Walker – Dune

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Jenny Beavan – Cruella

Luis Sequeira – Nightmare Alley

Paul Tazewell – West Side Story

Jacqueline West, Robert Morgan – Dune

Janty Yates – House of Gucci

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Cruella

Dune

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

Nightmare Alley

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Dune

The Matrix Resurrections

Nightmare Alley

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

BEST COMEDY

Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar

Don’t Look Up

Free Guy

The French Dispatch

Licorice Pizza

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Encanto

Flee

Luca

The Mitchells vs the Machines

Raya and the Last Dragon

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

A Hero

Drive My Car

Flee

The Hand of God

The Worst Person in the World

BEST SONG

Be Alive – King Richard

Dos Oruguitas – Encanto

Guns Go Bang – The Harder They Fall

Just Look Up – Don’t Look Up

No Time to Die – No Time to Die

BEST SCORE

Nicholas Britell – Don’t Look Up

Jonny Greenwood – The Power of the Dog

Jonny Greenwood – Spencer

Nathan Johnson – Nightmare Alley

Hans Zimmer – Dune

TELEVISION NOMINATIONS

BEST DRAMA SERIES

Evil (Paramount+)

For All Mankind (Apple TV+)

The Good Fight (Paramount+)

Pose (FX)

Squid Game (Netflix)

Succession (HBO)

This Is Us (NBC)

Yellowjackets (Showtime)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Sterling K. Brown – This Is Us (NBC)

Mike Colter – Evil (Paramount+)

Brian Cox – Succession (HBO)

Lee Jung-jae – Squid Game (Netflix)

Billy Porter – Pose (FX)

Jeremy Strong – Succession (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Uzo Aduba – In Treatment (HBO)

Chiara Aurelia – Cruel Summer (Freeform)

Christine Baranski – The Good Fight (Paramount+)

Katja Herbers – Evil (Paramount+)

Melanie Lynskey – Yellowjackets (Showtime)

MJ Rodriguez – Pose (FX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Nicholas Braun – Succession (HBO)

Billy Crudup – The Morning Show (Apple TV+)

Kieran Culkin – Succession (HBO)

Justin Hartley – This Is Us (NBC)

Matthew Macfadyen – Succession (HBO)

Mandy Patinkin – The Good Fight (Paramount+)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Andrea Martin – Evil (Paramount+)

Audra McDonald – The Good Fight (Paramount+)

Christine Lahti – Evil (Paramount+)

J. Smith-Cameron – Succession (HBO)

Sarah Snook – Succession (HBO)

Susan Kelechi Watson – This Is Us (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SERIES

The Great (Hulu)

Hacks (HBO Max)

Insecure (HBO)

Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

The Other Two (HBO Max)

Reservation Dogs (FX on Hulu)

Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Iain Armitage – Young Sheldon (CBS)

Nicholas Hoult – The Great (Hulu)

Steve Martin – Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

Kayvan Novak – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Martin Short – Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)

Jason Sudeikis – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Elle Fanning – The Great (Hulu)

Renée Elise Goldsberry – Girls5eva (Peacock)

Selena Gomez – Only Murders in the Building (Hulu) 

Sandra Oh – The Chair (Netflix)

Issa Rae – Insecure (HBO)

Jean Smart – Hacks (HBO Max)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Ncuti Gatwa – Sex Education (Netflix)

Brett Goldstein – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

Harvey Guillén – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

Brandon Scott Jones – Ghosts (CBS)

Ray Romano – Made for Love (HBO Max)

Bowen Yang – Saturday Night Live (NBC)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Hannah Einbinder – Hacks (HBO Max)

Kristin Chenoweth – Schmigadoon! (Apple TV+)

Molly Shannon – The Other Two (HBO Max) 

Cecily Strong – Saturday Night Live (NBC)

Josie Totah – Saved By the Bell (Peacock)

Hannah Waddingham – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

Dopesick (Hulu)

Dr. Death (Peacock)

It’s a Sin (HBO Max)

Maid (Netflix)

Mare of Easttown (HBO)

Midnight Mass (Netflix)

The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime Video)

WandaVision (Disney+)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Come From Away (Apple TV+)

List of a Lifetime (Lifetime)

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things (Amazon Prime Video)

Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Lifetime)

Oslo (HBO)

Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas (The Roku Channel)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Olly Alexander – It’s a Sin (HBO Max)

Paul Bettany – WandaVision (Disney+)

William Jackson Harper – Love Life (HBO Max)

Joshua Jackson – Dr. Death (Peacock)

Michael Keaton – Dopesick (Hulu)

Hamish Linklater – Midnight Mass (Netflix)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Danielle Brooks – Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia (Lifetime)

Cynthia Erivo – Genius: Aretha (National Geographic)

Thuso Mbedu – The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime Video)

Elizabeth Olsen – WandaVision (Disney+)

Margaret Qualley – Maid (Netflix)

Kate Winslet – Mare of Easttown (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Murray Bartlett – The White Lotus (HBO)

Zach Gilford – Midnight Mass (Netflix)

William Jackson Harper – The Underground Railroad (Amazon Prime Video)

Evan Peters – Mare of Easttown (HBO)

Christian Slater – Dr. Death (Peacock)

Courtney B. Vance – Genius: Aretha (National Geographic)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Jennifer Coolidge – The White Lotus (HBO)

Kaitlyn Dever – Dopesick (Hulu)

Kathryn Hahn – WandaVision (Disney+)

Melissa McCarthy – Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu)

Julianne Nicholson – Mare of Easttown (HBO)

Jean Smart – Mare of Easttown (HBO)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE SERIES

Acapulco (Apple TV+)

Call My Agent! (Netflix)

Lupin (Netflix)

Money Heist (Netflix)

Narcos: Mexico (Netflix)

Squid Game (Netflix)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES

Big Mouth (Netflix)

Bluey (Disney Junior)

Bob’s Burgers (Fox)

The Great North (Fox)

Q-Force (Netflix)

What If…? (Disney+)

BEST TALK SHOW

The Amber Ruffin Show (Peacock)

Desus & Mero (Showtime)

The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC)

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)

Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)

Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (Bravo)

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL 

Bo Burnham: Inside (Netflix)

Good Timing with Jo Firestone (Peacock)

James Acaster: Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 (Vimeo)

Joyelle Nicole Johnson: Love Joy (Peacock)

Nate Bargatze: The Greatest Average American (Netflix)

Trixie Mattel: One Night Only (YouTube)