Tag Archives: Charlize Theron

2018 Golden Globe Nominations Reaction

The most known precursor to the Oscars unveiled their nominations today. Per usual, there were surprises as some films hopes potentially dim for the big prize with others rising.

As far as my predictions, I went 51/70 overall while going 5/5 in four of the fourteen races. Today I will also make my first predictions for winners with final picks coming a couple of days before the ceremony in January.

Let’s break them all down with a little analysis, shall we?

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, If Beale Street Could Talk, A Star Is Born

A bit surprisingly, Bohemian Rhapsody managed to score a nod over my prediction of First Man. I would say that at this juncture, Man is truly a question mark as to whether it garners an Oscar slot for Picture, while its inclusion in tech races still seems assured. Additionally, I think Black Panther helped its cause today to be the first comic book flick to get a Best Picture nomination from the Academy.

Predicted Winner: A Star Is Born

Best Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy

Todd’s Performance: 5/5

The Nominees: Crazy Rich Asians, The Favourite, Green Book, Mary Poppins Returns, Vice

No surprises here! Picking a winner is far more tough as I believe The Favourite, Green Book, and Vice all have legitimate shots. Both Peter Farrelly (Green Book) and Adam McKay (Vice) received Directing nods while Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite) did not. That could give those two pictures a slight edge and I’ll put it as a coin toss at the moment.

Predicted Winner: Green Book

Best Director

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

The Nominees: Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Adam McKay (Vice), Peter Farrelly (Green Book)

The aforementioned McKay and Farrelly were the ones I didn’t predict. I instead had Lanthimos and Barry Jenkins (If Beale Street Could Talk). This would seem to be between Cuaron and Cooper and I’ll give the former a tiny edge.

Predicted Winner: Cuaron

Best Actor (Drama)

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

The Nominees: Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Lucas Hedges (Boy Erased), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Hedges and Washington (a rather genuine surprise) got in over Ryan Gosling (First Man) and Ethan Hawke (First Reformed). Mr. Hawke had been on a roll with critics precursors and this is the first interruption of that. Gosling’s snub continues the troubling trend for First Man. With Christian Bale and Viggo Mortensen in the Musical/Comedy race, this appears to be a clear victory for Cooper.

Predicted Winner: Cooper

Best Actress (Drama)

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

The Nominees: Glenn Close (The Wife), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Rosamund Pike (A Private War)

Both Kidman and Pike helped their cases for Oscar attention here while my predicted nominees of Viola Davis (Widows) and Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) did not. This category appears to be Close vs. Gaga (as it may also be for the Academy). This prediction could and likely will fluctuate.

Predicted Winner: Close

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

No big surprise with Reilly getting in over Nick Robinson (Love, Simon), which was a bit of a wild card pick. Bale and Mortensen are the two winner possibilities and I’m going with the former right now.

Predicted Winner: Bale

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Todd’s Performance: 5/5

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

I’m giving Colman the win, but this could easily be changed to Blunt at some point.

Predicted Winner: Colman

Best Supporting Actor

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?), Sam Rockwell (Vice)

No Sam Elliot for A Star Is Born was unexpected, with Rockwell continuing the Vice love. Ali should be considered a soft front-runner, but a win for Driver or Grant seems feasible. I’m going for an upset pick, but could revert back to Ali.

Predicted Winner: Grant

Best Supporting Actress

Todd’s Performance: 5/5

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

Adams is probably going to win… for Sharp Objects in the television race for which she’s also nominated. Stone and Weisz could cancel one another out and Foy represents the lone high-profile nod for First Man. That leaves Ms. King and she seems to be a front-runner.

Predicted Winner: King

Best Screenplay

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: The Favourite, Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, Roma, Vice

The exclusion of A Star Is Born surprised me with Green Book honored instead. This is a tough one, but I’ll say this ends up being the sole win for The Favourite. Roma and Vice are certainly possible.

Predicted Winner: The Favourite

Best Foreign Language Film

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

The Nominees: Capernaum, Girl, Never Look Away, Roma, Shoplifters

Capernaum in, Cold War out. Roma will win. Enough said.

Predicted Winner: Roma

Best Animated Feature Film

Todd’s Performance: 5/5

The Nominees: Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Interent, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

This could certainly be the Academy five. The Hollywood Foreign Press loves their Pixar. Dogs and Spider-Man could threaten, but the safe pick is Incredibles 2.

Predicted Winner: Incredibles 2

Best Original Score

Todd’s Performance: 2/5

The Nominees: A Quiet Place, Isle of Dogs, Black Panther, First Man, Mary Poppins Returns

Ouch. Didn’t fare well here as I only predicted First Man and Poppins. A shocking omission was Beale Street, which some see as the Academy favorite in this race. Considering its lackluster reception for Man, it could dangerous to pick it over Poppins, but here goes.

Predicted Winner: First Man

Best Original Song

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

The Nominees: “All the Stars” (Black Panther), “Girl in the Movies” (Dumplin’), “Requiem for a Private War” (A Private War), “Revelation” (Boy Erased), “The Shallow” (A Star Is Born)

I had two Poppins tracks in and not “Revelation” or “Requiem”. This is going Gaga.

Predicted Winner: “The Shallow” (A Star Is Born).

And there you have it folks! I’ll have updated Oscar predictions up later today…

2018 Golden Globe Predictions

The Golden Globes, perhaps the biggest precursor of all to the Oscars, unveils their nominees this Thursday as awards prognosticators like me attempt to read tea leaves. As a reminder, the Globes do it a bit differently than the Academy. For Picture and lead acting races, nominees are divided into Drama and Musical/Comedy. Unlike the Oscars, Screenplay is just one category with five pictures, whether they’re original or adapted works.

It should be strong showings for A Star Is Born and The Favourite in particular. Another difference between Globes and Oscar is that foreign features are only honored in their particular category. That’s significant this year as Roma will only be called for Foreign Language Film.

One item to pay attention to – Clint Eastwood’s The Mule. Despite coming out a week from Friday, it has yet to have reviews come out (perhaps this will change by Thursday). If it makes a showing in any of the dramatic races, that could bode well for Oscar attention.

Here are my predictions for the nominees in each category, along with an alternate and a wild card pick. I’ll have my weekly Oscar predictions updated on Thursday and we’ll see if the Globes alter those picks in any way.

Let’s get to it!

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

A Star Is Born

BlacKkKlansman

Black Panther

First Man

If Beale Street Could Talk

Alternate – Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Wild Card – The Mule

Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Crazy Rich Asians

The Favourite

Green Book

Mary Poppins Returns

Vice

Alternate – Eighth Grade

Wild Card – Private Life

Best Director

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Alfonso Cuaron, Roma

Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite

Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman

Alternate – Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Wild Card – Damien Chazelle, First Man

Best Actor (Drama)

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Ryan Gosling, First Man

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Alternate – Clint Eastwood, The Mule

Wild Card – Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased

Best Actress (Drama)

Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Glenn Close, The Wife

Viola Davis, Widows

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alternate – Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back

Wild Card – Toni Collette, Hereditary

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Christian Bale, Vice

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun

Nick Robinson, Love, Simon

Alternate – John C. Reilly, Stan & Ollie

Wild Card – Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 2

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Charlize Theron, Tully

Constance Wu, Crazy Rich Asians

Alternate – Regina Hall, Support the Girls

Wild Card – Kathryn Hahn, Private Life

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alternate – Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite

Wild Card – Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Best Supporting Actress

Amy Adams, Vice

Claire Foy, First Man

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Alternate – Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

Wild Card – Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians

Best Animated Feature Film

Incredibles 2

Isle of Dogs

Mirai

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Alternate – Smallfoot

Wild Card – The Grinch

Best Foreign Language Film

Cold War

Girl

Never Look Away

Roma

Shoplifters

Alternate – Capernaum

Wild Card – I Am Not a Witch

Best Screenplay

A Star Is Born

The Favourite

If Beale Street Could Talk

Roma

Vice

Alternate – Green Book

Wild Card – First Reformed

Best Original Score

BlacKkKlansman

First Man

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary Poppins Returns

Mary Queen of Scots

Alternate – Widows

Wild Card – Suspiria

Best Original Song

“All the Stars” from Black Panther

“Girl in the Movies” from Dumplin’

“The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns

“The Shallow” from A Star Is Born

“Trip a Little Light Fantastic” from Mary Poppins Returns

Alternate – “I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born

Wild Card – “A Place Called Slaughter Race” from Ralph Breaks the Internet

And that equates to the following number of nominations for each picture:

6 Nominations

The Favourite

5 Nominations

A Star Is Born, If Beale Street Could Talk, Mary Poppins Returns

4 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman, First Man, Roma, Vice

3 Nominations

Green Book

2 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Crazy Rich Asians

1 Nomination

Black Panther, At Eternity’s Gate, First Reformed, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Wife, Widows, The Old Man & The Gun, Love, Simon, Eighth Grade, Tully, Beautiful Boy, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Cold War, Never Look Away, Shoplifters, Mary Queen of Scots

I’ll have reaction up on Thursday with updated Oscar picks later that day!

Best Actress: A Look Back

Back at it again with my look back at major Oscar races from 1990 to the present! We’ve arrived at Best Actress. If you missed my previous posts covering the Supporting performers, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/10/25/best-supporting-actor-a-look-back/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/10/20/best-supporting-actress-a-look-back/

As I did with those posts, I’m selecting my top 3 least surprising winners and top 3 upsets. I’m also giving you my personal pick for strongest and weakest fields from the past 28 years.

For starters, here’s the list of winners from 1990 to now:

1990 – Kathy Bates, Misery

1991 – Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs

1992 – Emma Thompson, Howards End

1993 – Holly Hunter, The Piano

1994 – Jessica Lange, Blue Sky

1995 – Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking

1996 – Frances McDormand, Fargo

1997 – Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets

1998 – Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love

1999 – Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry

2000 – Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich

2001 – Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball

2002 – Nicole Kidman, The Hours

2003 – Charlize Theron, Monster

2004 – Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby

2005 – Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

2006 – Helen Mirren, The Queen

2007 – Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

2008 – Kate Winslet, The Reader

2009 – Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

2010 – Natalie Portman, Black Swan

2011 – Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

2012 – Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

2013 – Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

2014 – Julianne Moore, Still Alice

2015 – Brie Larson, Room

2016 – Emma Stone, La La Land

2017 – Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

When it comes to Best Actress, I must say it’s probably the race with the least amount of genuine upsets. Nearly every year, there’s a pretty strong front-runner and they win – even more so than in Actor and the Supporting players. Of many non-surprises, here’s my top ones:

3. Holly Hunter, The Piano

Hunter’s work as a mute piano player in Jane Campion’s period piece was the clear favorite over significant competition that included Angela Bassett in What’s Love Got to Do With It? and the previous year’s winner Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day. 

2. Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich

One of Hollywood’s biggest stars had already received nods for Steel Magnolias and Pretty Woman and there was little question that Brockovich would earn Roberts her first and only (so far) trip to the Oscar stage.

1. Charlize Theron, Monster

Theron’s metamorphosis into serial killer Aileen Wuornos swept all precursors. The rest of the field was also fairly weak that year, making her the obvious victor.

And now the “upsets”…

3. Kate Winslet, The Reader

While not a surprise when she won Oscar night, the multi-nominated Winslet was expected for much of the year to get a nod for Revolutionary Road instead. Yet it was this Stephen Daldry drama that was selected instead.

2. Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

This was a two-way contest between Cotillard and veteran Julie Christie for Away from Her, with many believing the latter had the edge. It didn’t turn out that way.

1. Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry and Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby

This #1 comes with a caveat. It wasn’t much of an upset by the time Swank won her double Oscars. What’s interesting here is that she single-handedly denied two prime opportunities for the winless Annette Bening to get a statue for American Beauty and Being Julia. 

We move to the fields. For weakest field, I’m selecting 1994 when Jessica Lange won for the little-seen Blue Sky. Other nominees were Jodie Foster in Nell, Miranda Richardson in Tom&Viv, Winona Ryder for Little Women, and Susan Sarandon in The Client. 

Strongest group in my opinion goes to 2010 with Natalie Portman’s victorious role in Black Swan. The rest of that impressive field is Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence’s first nomination in Winter’s Bone, and Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine).

Best Actor is next, folks! Stay tuned…

Young Adult and Tully Movie Review

Two films this decade have combined the talents of director Jason Reitman, screenwriter Diablo Cody, and star Charlize Theron. Both have given Theron, who won a deserved Oscar 15 years ago for Monster another opportunity to step out of action heroine mode. That’s where she’s resided a lot recently and Reitman’s camera and Cody’s words have given her a chance to stretch.

Young Adult from 2011 is more rough around the edges, more uncomfortable, and ultimately more memorable. Theron is Mavis, who spends a little time ghost writing YA novels and the rest of her life in an aimless haze of alcohol and unreachable fantasy. She grew up in the small town of Mercury, Minnesota and moved on up to Minneapolis. When Mavis receives an email announcing the arrival of her high school sweetheart’s baby, it triggers a road trip. Her heart is set on getting Buddy (Patrick Wilson) back. Mavis seems blissfully (and often drunkenly) oblivious that his Buddy’s wife (Elizabeth Reaser) is a pretty cool mom, special ed instructor, and part-time band drummer.

Patton Oswalt’s Matt becomes Mavis’s drinking buddy and earpiece to her plans. Matt was badly assaulted in school in a sort of hate crime. They form a sad and occasionally sweet partnership accentuated by two fine performers playing them.

The title of this picture doesn’t only apply to the genre of novels that Mavis authors. She may be 37, but her mind is stuck in two decades old reversal. You may hear her bragging about leaving her small town roots, but she’s never fully escaped those prom queen days. Cody deserves kudos for making the central character a complicated one. You’ll cringe at her and sympathize with her moments later.

Tully from the spring of this year finds Theron in a different mode. She’s Marlo, a frazzled mother of two youngsters (one of whom has special needs). She’s extremely pregnant with a third when we meet her. While Mavis was the small town gal who made it out, Marlo made it to New York City in her youth and returned to the burbs. She finds her existence mundane with her little ones and slightly dull hubby (Ron Livingston). Her well off brother offers to foot the bill for a night nanny with the hope of restoring some balance to her long days and sleep deprived evenings.

This is when the free-spirited Tully (Mackenzie Davis) arrives. She doesn’t just help out with the new infant, but provides a sounding board to Marlo’s issues. Theron’s character here is more sympathetic while still maintaining some of the quirks (a word that gets some humorous play here) that we expect from Cody’s writing.

Theron’s award winning turn in Monster found her shedding her outward beauty. You find that in both projects here to varying degrees. Tully is more deliberate in its pacing and an act three revelation doesn’t feel as profound as it wants to be. It’s still worth your time for Theron’s work and some incisive commentary about the joys and sorrows of parenthood.

Young Adult is a bit more brave in its script and overall execution. You may not have any clue how Mavis will end up in life when the credits roll, but the time spent with her is even more rewarding on a cinematic level.

Young Adult

***1/2 (out of four)

Tully

*** (out of four)

Red Sparrow Movie Review

Jennifer Lawrence teams up with her Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence once again with Red Sparrow. This spy thriller could rightfully be called The Somber Games. To put it in Red Bull terms, there are times when Sparrow could use some wings.

While Lawrence gives a solid performance, the film never quite strikes a satisfying balance between wanting to be a little trashy and wanting to take itself as stone faced seriously as every character who inhabits it.

Here we have Jenny from the Red Block – with the star playing Dominika. She’s a well-known Russian ballerina whose career is cut short in a freak injury. Unable to care for her ill mother (Joely Richardson) or make ends meet, her high-ranking government official uncle (Matthias Schoenaerts) offers her an ultimatum. Dominika is to become an employee of the Foreign Intelligence Service and extract information from suspects by any means possible.

This brings her to an intensive training course called State School 4 or as she later coins it – Whore School. It’s an apt description as most of the methods taught by its headmaster (Charlotte Rampling) involve seduction. Her training soon puts her in close contact with CIA agent Nash (Joel Edgerton) as he knows the true identity of a Russian mole.

Based on a 2013 novel by Jason Matthews, Red Sparrow follows the spy flick playbook of frequent double crosses and surprising character reveals. Unlike some recent entries in the well-worn genre, it’s bursts of violence are hardcore and it’s filled with sex. Dominika is tasked with always staying a step ahead of her mostly male coworkers and marks. That almost always involves their uncontrolled libido.

Director Lawrence and Jennifer Lawrence deserve some credit for making this pretty interesting for the first hour or so. The pic is not short on style and watching Dominika first adapt to her new reality has some entertaining and unexpected pleasures at first.

After a while, however, Red Sparrow struggles as it devolves into more familiar torture scenes and unsurprising “surprises”. Unlike Atomic Blonde with Charlize Theron (a much better genre experience), there’s hardly any sense of fun here. The Lawrence’s seem convinced that the dour happenings are enough to sustain a 140 running time. Not quite.

**1/2 (out of four)

Tully Box Office Prediction

A brave airline pilot executes a miraculous landing on the Hudson River…

Ok, wrong movie as Jason Reitman’s Tully is delivered to theaters next weekend. The comedic drama stars Charlize Theron as a frazzled mom who gets some help from a kindly sitter played by Mackenzie Davis. Ron Livingston costars.

Tully debuted at the Sundance Film Festival to strong critical notices and it sits at 93% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. The film reunites Theron with her Young Adult director and screenwriter Diablo Cody, who also scripted Reitman’s Oscar nominated Juno. It’s a break from the action for Theron after pics including Mad Max: Fury Road, The Fate of the Furious, and Atomic Blonde.

Scheduled to debut on a rather low 1200 screens, Tully may open to a fairly smallish gross with hopes of legging out well in future weekends.

Tully opening weekend prediction: $5 million

For my Overboard prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/04/24/overboard-box-office-prediction/

For my Bad Samaritan prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/04/28/bad-samaritan-box-office-prediction/

Gringo Box Office Prediction

Gringo is action comedy laced with marijuana humor and it hits theaters next weekend. The film marks the directorial debut of Nash Edgerton (previously known for being a stunt coordinator). The cast includes David Oyelowo, Charlize Theron, Nash’s brother Joel Edgerton, Thandie Newton, Amanda Seyfried, Sharlto Copley, and the King of Pop’s daughter Paris Jackson.

Distributed by Amazon Studios and STX Entertainment, I’m having trouble envisioning much of an audience for it. The cast probably isn’t enough to get moviegoers too interested (save for maybe Theron) and the trailers and TV spots might not do enough to keep this from being a home viewing experience.

Gringo is rolling out on approximately 2400 screens (higher than I would have anticipated), but I’ll predict it struggles mightily to break through to American audiences.

Gringo opening weekend prediction: $3.1 million

For my A Wrinkle in Time prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/02/28/a-wrinkle-in-time-box-office-prediction/

For my The Hurricane Heist prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/03/01/the-hurricane-heist-box-office-prediction/

For my The Strangers: Prey at Night prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/02/28/the-strangers-prey-at-night/