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kenmorefield

2019 Awards and Predictions

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Over in the Ecumenical Jury threads we sometimes have discussion about films or performances before voting. I find these helpful, especially since the end-of-the-year is a glutted with screeners. I especially appreciate people who aren't jury members making recommendations. 

Several participants in this board vote for one or more critics groups. I figured I'd make a thread for people who wanted to make suggestions for films or performances that might warrant attention. I'm especially appreciative for any suggestions of films or performers you think are deserving that may not be getting as much attention. 

What are some of your favorites in any of these categories (which we vote on in the NCFCA)?

BEST NARRATIVE FILM

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM

BEST ANIMATED FILM

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

BEST DIRECTOR

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

BEST ACTOR

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

BEST ACTRESS

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

BEST SPECIAL EFFECTS

BEST MUSIC

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For Best Animated Film, give “I Lost My Body” a look.

I also am a fan of the look of “Alita: Battle Angel,” but I have no idea if the way they made that film qualifies as a special effect, animation or something else.

Edited by Christian

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52 minutes ago, Christian said:

For Best Animated Film, give “I Lost My Body” a look.

I also am a fan of the look of “ Alita: Battle Angel,” but I have no idea if the way they made that film qualifies as a special effect, animation or something else.

Thanks Christian. You are the second person in several hours who has recommended I Lost My Body, so I will definitely check that out.

 

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It occurred me as I read your post that I wasn't sure if you were asking specifically for EJ screening recommendations, or more broadly for local critics-group voting consideration. I think it's the latter, but just in case it's the former - and you may have discussed this in the dedicated EJ thread, although I didn't see any mention there when using the search engine - you might want to prioritize Just Mercy. I see that Peter has a thread on the film with just an initial post. As I mentioned to a friend on Twitter, it's a film that doesn't do much for me cinematically, but which doesn't need to do anything more than point a camera at its excellent performers and let them do their thing - their "thing" being bringing to life one of the most Christian-drenched storylines I've seen in a mainstream release in recent memory. It's primarily, I think, a polemical film about the death penalty, and that might alienate some viewers who aren't opposed to the death penalty (I'm not opposed, FWIW). But from its opening moments, it's clear that some of its characters - those imprisoned and those not - have church backgrounds, and Christian faith/practice comes to the fore at key moments. It's sometimes subtle, but it's also hard to overlook/ignore. I appreciated that, as well as the (to me) shocking statistics about wrongful convictions among those on death row. I've seen the film twice in the past week - I didn't plan to, but my wife wanted to see it and decided to watch it again. I'm glad I gave it a second look. The film's strengths grew; its weaknesses faded (but didn't disappear).

Edited by Christian

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4 hours ago, Christian said:

It occurred me as I read your post that I wasn't sure if you were asking specifically for EJ screening recommendations, or more broadly for local critics-group voting consideration. I think it's the latter, but just in case it's the former - and you may have discussed this in the dedicated EJ thread, although I didn't see any mention there when using the search engine - you might want to prioritize Just Mercy. I see that Peter has a thread on the film with just an initial post. As I mentioned to a friend on Twitter, it's a film that doesn't do much for me cinematically, but which doesn't need to do anything more than point a camera at its excellent performers and let them do their thing - their "thing" being bringing to life one of the most Christian-drenched storylines I've seen in a mainstream release in recent memory. It's primarily, I think, a polemical film about the death penalty, and that might alienate some viewers who aren't opposed to the death penalty (I'm not opposed, FWIW). But from its opening moments, it's clear that some of its characters - those imprisoned and those not - have church backgrounds, and Christian faith/practice comes to the fore at key moments. It's sometimes subtle, but it's also hard to overlook/ignore. I appreciated that, as well as the (to me) shocking statistics about wrongful convictions among those on death row. I've seen the film twice in the past week - I didn't plan to, but my wife wanted to see it and decided to watch it again. I'm glad I gave it a second look. The film's strengths grew; its weaknesses faded (but didn't disappear).

Actually I meant for other groups. 
I realized over the years that the EJ is just about the only group for which I've ever had "discussion." There seems to be some (antiquated?) idea in the blogosphere that lobbying is gauche or wrong. (Perhaps this originated with the Oscars?). I was also somewhat discouraged last year that all three of the groups I voted had finalists and lists that were nearly indistinguishable. I'm not saying be different for the sake of being different, but part of the joy of this job is just bringing attention to things that you think deserve it.

I'm not sure why, but JM didn't do it for me. Perhaps it was because I saw it at a film festival and had serious movie fatigue. Perhaps it is because it seemed so designed to win awards. It felt like a collection of trailer moments rather than a fully realized narrative. 

That said, I saw the film among a largely African-American audience, and the energy was palpable. 

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For Best Documentaries, some that might get neglected include Exit Music, Los Reyes, Hail Satan? (I'll say it again, deserves serious consideration for Ecumenical Jury, too), Kifaru, The Cave, Who Will Write Our History

Similarly, Best Foreign Films: La Belle Epoque, Synonyms, Les Miserables, Zombi Child, Beanpole

I haven't been following predictions for English language films, but I hope Lupita Nyong'o gets an Oscar nod for Us, and Jennifer Lopez for Hustlers.

And in a fair world, Dark Water and Hearts and Bones would be getting more attention as excellent features.

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