Monday, February 6, 2017

2017 January Music Report Card

Alright, so I can't bring myself to post a music post every week.  It's too much work, but what I'd like to do (cross your fingers I stick with it) is write up a little summary of the month in music with my picks (from that month's crop) for the big three with The Grammys (SOTY, ROTY, AOTY).  

January already started us off well, with a few GREAT albums and some songs that I expect to hang on to for at least the majority of the year.

Let's start with SOTY (which honors songwriting and musical composition).

05 ~ Give [You Me At Six]

04 ~ You're Gonna Live Forever in Me [John Mayer]

03 ~ Advice [Kehlani]

02 ~ Lights Off [Charlie Cunningham]

01 ~ Lips [The xx]

Moving on to ROTY (which honors the best overall song of the year).

05 ~ Utopia [Austra]

04 ~ In a Body Like a Grave [Japandroids]

03 ~ Lights Off [Charlie Cunningham]

02 ~ Lips [The xx]

01 ~ In My Feelings [Kehlani]

And then we have the big one, AOTY!

05 ~ Future Politics [Austra]

Like Florence Welch gone electronica, Austra's new album does not disappoint.  Beautifully composed and delicately diverse from track to track.

04 ~ 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory [Dropkick Murphys]

Swift kicks to the eardrums; these high energy pieces create a cohesive and rambunctious album that surprises from start to finish.

03 ~ Lines [Charlie Cunningham]

Pure atmospheric sound, just a beautiful composition from start to finish.

02 ~ SweetSexySavage [Kehlani]

Like the ghost of TLC, this album is straight up 90's pop/r&b perfection, with a Rihanna edge.  

01 ~ I See You [The xx]

As a fan of their previous work, this is their MASTERwork; so much texture and depth and diversity here.  A truly passionate album.

Monday, January 23, 2017

2016 Oscar Predictions

Nominations are tomorrow morning.  Is it really that time of year already?  Time for me to botch the HELL out of these predictions I worked so hard to get right.

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Season Full of Awards: DGA

I don't know what's happened to me.  I'm completely falling down on the job.  I promised to keep up with the awards this year as a way to boost my personal blogging and I missed the Globe winners AND the BAFTA noms (yes, I saw them or read about them or whatever, but I didn't blog about them) and despite telling myself for like a week that I was going to, I'm not.  I feel like I'm still trying to find my place within the community that I love and part of me feels so out of it.  I HATE that I am not blogging as much as I used to or that I'm not stopping by to comment on your blogs like I used to...I just can't seem to get it together.

Anyways, this was not supposed to be some sob-blog post, but rather a measly attempt to weigh in on the Oscar race.

DGA...the Directors Guild of America.  They don't always get it right, but a lot of times they point us in the right direction.

Who did they nominate?

Damien Chazelle / La La Land
Garth Davis / Lion
Barry Jenkins / Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan / Manchester By the Sea
Denis Villeneuve / Arrival

For those following the Oscar race, ATM, the directing category is really up in the air after the solidified winner, Damien Chazelle.  After that, it's anybody's guess.  I know that this seems like a vapid statement when you look at the fact that Barry Jenkins has won more critics prizes than anyone else, but let's be real here...Moonlight, as good as it may be, is not an AMPAS film, and because of that he is not infallible.  He's most likely getting the nom, but being a black director making a film about the 'gay' black community is not a sure-fire Oscar nom.

He also missed BAFTA.

Lonergan is also very much in this, but not assured considering that he has the least 'directorly' film in contention.  Still, the fact that Manchester By the Sea and Moonlight feel like the closest bet to Oscar BP locks next to the actual Oscar winner (yes, I said it...and I called it in like April) La La Land kind of makes them very likely Oscar nominees.

That leaves us with a slew of names that I can't wrap my brain around.

Mackenzie has been gaining rapid traction for his western, Hell or High Water, which looks like a Top 5 BP contender at this point.  He's been nominated by a slew of critics, including BFCA.  Garth Davis seemed almost dead, but Weinstein must be working his magic because after missing everywhere...he managed the DGA nom.  Villeneuve has been mentioned all year long, and he snagged BAFTA and DGA...but I'm so skeptical because as much as I love Arrival, it is sci-fi and that is never a safe Oscar bet...except for when it is.

And then there is Gibson, who's ultra-violent film has been doing really well with critics for some reason.

But my biggest director question mark is Martin Scorsese.  His film, Silence, hasn't landed ANYWHERE this season (very slight hyperbole there) and it has me wondering if it's dead entirely...except that I'm pretty sure it isn't.  I have a feeling this will be one of those instances where AMPAS showers it with nominations we should have all seen coming, including director.  It also doesn't hurt that every other possibly nominee, outside of Gibson, would be a first time nominee.  Oscar likes to nominate a veteran somewhere.

So...where does that leave us?

Lonergan and Jenkins...very likely.
Davis, Mackenzie and Villeneuve...most likely battling it out for that 'welcome to the club' nom (even though Chazelle, Jenkins and Lonergan would also be first time nominees).
Scorsese...wild card nom statistics defy.

My money, atm, is on a lineup of Chazelle, Davis, Jenkins, Lonergan, Scorsese...but I have many doubts.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2016 Mouthi Awards Ceremony

The ceremony for the 2016 Mouthi Awards took place in an undisclosed hospital in Malibu, CA on December 31st at 8:00 PM, Eastern Standard Time.

It was hosted by Bruce Caitlyn Jenner.

Here are the highlights:

Thursday, December 15, 2016

A Season Full of Awards: SAG ~ Nominations

Captain Fantastic
Hidden Figures
Manchester By the Sea

La La Land missing here makes sense even if I predicted that they'd still nominate it.  It is a two-person show with little mention ever of the supporting cast, so the fact that they stuck with ensemble heavy films makes sense.  Captain Fantastic kind of came out of nowhere though.  I had heard rumbling that it could play well, but I didn't believe it.  I guess I was wrong.

Supporting Actress
Viola Davis for Fences
Naomi Harris for Moonlight
Nicole Kidman for Lion
Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams for Manchester By the Sea

So, it is now looking like this is our lineup.  I didn't believe the Spencer nom but she hit here and the Globes so it looks like consensus has settled on her within the ensemble, and she's a previous Oscar winner who many think was snubbed back in 2013, so this makes sense.  What an F-You to #OscarsSoWhite, too, if we get three actresses of color in one category.

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water
Lucas Hedges for Manchester By the Sea
Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel for Lion

Ali and Bridges are locked in for the Oscars, but this category still feels ripe for a surprise, especially since Silence is a late contender with multiple options going for it in this category alone.  I have faith in Hedges, who has cleaned up this season by proving he's more than just a 'breakthrough' contender.  Almost everyone has nominated him here.  Sadly, Oscar isn't always kind to young actors, and so he could still be snubbed, but I am predicting a nom for him.  Grant and Patel could both happen...but right now I think one of them will be left off for the likes of Liam Neeson.

Lead Actor
Casey Affleck for Manchester By the Sea
Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling for La La Land
Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington for Fences

So, this was the kiss of death for Tom Hanks.  I think he needed this to stay in the race.  I don't think this will be our lineup.  I'm still a little hesitant to trust in the Garfield nom.  I think that Silence could cause confusion as to which performance to nominate and that could lead to him being snubbed.  I also don't wholly trust in Mortensen, who has felt like a fringe contender at best all season.  I still hold out faith that Edgerton will get in.  He didn't hit here, like I expected, but supposedly screeners went out very late and so that could explain it.  His role is such AMPAS bait and so I hate a strong feeling he'll surprise come nomination morning.

Lead Actress
Amy Adams for Arrival
Emily Blunt for The Girl on the Train
Natalie Portman for Jackie
Emma Stone for La La Land
Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins

LMAO a thousand times for the randomness of this Blunt nomination.  OMG!!!  This has made my year.  So...we can count her out immediately, which frees up a spot here (which we know is going to Huppert), but I still think we could see a surprise in the form of Ruth Negga (I know, this seems crazy) replacing Streep.  Adams, Portman and Stone seem locked in.  Whoever takes this will most likely take the Oscar (cough*Stone*cough).

Monday, December 12, 2016

A Season Full of Awards: The Golden Globes ~ Nominations

Picture ~ Drama
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight first thought was 'maybe they didn't see Silence' and then I read that they did so apparently they just really didn't like it, which is odd since they usually fawn all over Scorsese.  But, there is a lot of weird stuff happening all over these nominations.  Lion shows up a lot here, which was a touch unexpected, and I think both Hell or High Water and Hacksaw Ridge are cemented firmly in this race now.

Picture ~ Comedy/Musical
20th Century Women
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

I did NOT see Deadpool coming, but Sing Street is such an awesome surprise.  Just saw it last night and I'm currently IN LOVE!

Damien Chazelle for La La Land
Tom Ford for Nocturnal Animals
Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester By the Sea

Ok, things are starting to get a little weird now, considering that Ford shows up here (just wait for all the Nocturnal Animals love) but the rest I sort of saw coming (didn't count on Jenkins, but he's doing VERY well this season).  Gibson...could be headed to the Oscars?

Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea
Nocturnal Animals

Nocturnal Animals showing up everywhere here is strange for the sole reason that it just feels so 'dead' as far as AMPAS is concerned.  In fact, I don't see it snagging a single nomination, especially not for Screenplay.  The rest are on their way to the Oscars, for sure.

Supporting Actress
Viola Davis for Fences
Naomi Harris for Moonlight
Nicole Kidman for Lion
Octavia Spencer for Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams for Manchester By the Sea

I don't know what to make of Hidden Figures.  Is it even in this race?  Spencer and Monae seem to be splitting decisions and not in a good way.  It's either one or the other, not both, which leads me to believe that neither will make it with AMPAS.

Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water
Simon Helberg for Florence Foster Jenkins
Dev Patel for Lion
Aaron Taylor-Johnson for Nocturnal Animals

Poor Michael Shannon.  The best reviews of the entire cast of his film and what looked like a surefire critics darling and a) he loses all the critics awards to Ali and b) be gets snubbed with the Globes in favor of his co-star.  And who the hell is Simon Helberg.  Ball was seriously dropped here.  Is Neeson even getting nominated?  They could have went with Foster or Sarsgaard or Hedges.  This is a very weird lineup.

Lead Actor ~ Drama
Casey Affleck for Manchester By the Sea
Joel Edgerton for Loving
Andrew Garfield for Hacksaw Ridge
Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington for Fences

The first real Hanks snub of the season and I'm seriously starting to think that both Edgerton and Garfield are getting Oscar noms in favor of Hanks.

Lead Actor ~ Comedy/Musical
Colin Farrell for The Lobster
Ryan Gosling for La La Land
Hugh Grant for Florence Foster Jenkins
Jonah Hill for War Dogs
Ryan Reynolds for Deadpool

The fact that Russell Crowe was snubbed is heartbreaking, even if I saw it coming.  His comedic timing and chemistry with Gosling (who could have been double nominated and probably should have) was a thing of real beauty.  That being said, Farrell popping up is glorious.

Lead Actress ~ Drama
Amy Adams for Arrival
Jessica Chastain for Miss Sloane
Isabelle Huppert for Elle
Ruth Negga for Loving
Natalie Portman for Jackie

This is the only category I predicted 5/5.  I called the Chastain nom.  They love to reach out to every possible star they can, and she made sense.  

Lead Actress ~ Comedy Musical
Annette Bening for 20th Century Women
Lily Collins for Rules Don't Apply
Hailee Steinfeld for The Edge of Seventeen
Emma Stone for La La Land
Meryl Streep for Florence Foster Jenkins

LOL, didn't Lily Collins get...bad reviews?  I bet Steinfeld wishes this were a weaker year, because her reviews could have carried her to a Ellen Page style nom (she's already an Oscar nominee), but Stone is taking this in a walk and both Bening and Streep have their claws in that Oscar nom over Steinfeld, who simply won't happen.

Arrival (Johann Johannsson)
Hidden Figures (Benjamin Wallfisch, Pharrell Williams & Hans Zimmer)
La La Land (Justin Hurwitz)
Lion (Hauschka & Dustin O'Halloran) 
Moonlight (Nicholas Britell)

I love seeing La La Land included all over the place because I was afraid the beautiful music would be shunned due to the song heavy soundtrack.  I don't know what to make of all the Moonlight attention in this category.  Is it happening?


'Can't Stop The Feeling!' from Trolls
'City of Stars' from La La Land
'Faith' from Sing
'Gold' from Gold
'How Far I'll Go' from Moana

You nominated Sing Street for Picture and...don't include a single song when practically every one is better than the five you nominate?  This is just plain stupid.

Animated Film
Kubo and the Two Strings
My Life as a Zucchini 

I didn't expect them to love Sing so much.  

Foreign Film
The Salesman
Toni Erdmann

We are starting to see a real consensus.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

A Season Full of Awards: American Film Institute (AFI) ~ Nominees

Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea

What does all this mean?  Jackie and Loving are, most likely, dead...Zootopia is winning the Animated Film Oscar, Fences is probably Top 5 (which means Denzel is probably happening in Director) and Hell or High Water and Hacksaw Ridge are the REAL DEAL this season.  This is shaping up to look like an obvious Oscar ballot.