Monday, November 7, 2016

A Season Full of Awards: HFA (Hollywood Film Awards)

LOL, I know that these awards truly mean nothing, since they're all purchased by the studios in an attempt to get Oscar traction, but they happened last night so we might as well discuss them.  Let's take a look at their roster of winners (since they don't have nominees).

Hollywood Career Achievement Award
Eddie Murphy

This seems like an odd choice, even for them.  I mean, usually they tend to attach this award to a name that actually has Oscar traction (De Niro, Keaton, Ford etc.) and Mr. Church has none of that, but whatever...he has had a pretty incredible career so these kinds of awards are deserved.

Hollywood Producer Award 
Marc Platt (La La Land, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, The Girl on the Train)

So this is their equivelent of a Best Picture award this year, I guess, and it's obviously going to La La Land considering that both The Girl on the Train and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Oscar chances anymore.  LOL at how that turned out (especially for Billy Lynn) but who cares.  This award's body is a joke anyway.  They probably made all these decisions before seeing any of these films.

Hollywood Director Award 
Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

So, he's not happening with Oscar, but this is actually a touch telling considering some of the buzz his film is actually getting.  It's not strong enough to actually make a big play, especially not with the more prestigious guilds and with Oscar, but I could actually see Gibson and company making a dash for some of the lesser critics and even the Globes, where they LOVE to starf*ck.

Hollywood Actor Award 
Tom Hanks, Sully

I'm predicting him for the Oscar nom, ATM.  The category is so weak and his reviews are stellar, but he never campaigns so this could be a problem for him in the long run.  He was snubbed for his last two film (for which he recieved stellar reviews as well) but every race is different and this one looks more favorable for him.

Hollywood Actress Award 
Natalie Portman, Jackie

Not sure why she bought this one, since her reviews alone have cemented her as a frontrunner, but I still think Emma Stone is taking this rather easily so...

Hollywood Supporting Actor Award 
Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

He has the reviews and many think he's got the narrative (reliable and likable star who finally has an Oscar break) and he's WORKING the curcuit, but I'm a little weary of his actual Oscar chances.  I like Grant a lot, but he just doesn't feel like an Oscar nominee to me, and I have a feeling that even if he hits all precursors he could still wind up being that random snub in favor of a tagalong nom from a more prestigious film.  We'll just need to see how this season shapes up.

Hollywood Supporting Actress Award 
Nicole Kidman, Lion

Like Winslet last year, this feels like the kind of supporting role that gets a legendary Oscar winning actress a welcome back nom.  Her last nom was in 2010 (Winslet's was in 08) so it makes sense, and the category is fluid enough ATM to validate it.

Hollywood Breakout Actress Award 
Naomie Harris, Collateral Beauty and Moonlight

I love how excited everyone is for Harris despite the fact that most everyone I know who's seen the film says she's the weakest part of it (some say she's downright bad) but her career deserves this and so I'm so happy for her to finally have a moment that could hopefully lead to many more moments.  It's like Henson circa 2008...lovely nomination for a meh performance delivered by a brilliant actress finally getting recognized.  

New Hollywood Award 
Lily Collins, Rules Don’t Apply

She's been around for quite a while this is kind of dumb (same for Harris except that I consider Breakout more the year where people start to recognize you, and so it makes more sense for Harris...but New Hollywood...for someone who's already helmed a Snow White adaptation alongside Julia Roberts YEARS ago?

Hollywood Spotlight Award 
Janelle MonĂ¡e, Hidden Figures

How many 'breakout' awards do they need?  I've heard she's the best thing about Hidden Figures and better than Harris in Moonlight so I'm excited for her movie career.  If it's anything like her music one, I'll be VERY happy.

Hollywood Ensemble Award 

I have a feeling no one will care about this movie at all once it's released.

Hollywood Comedy Award 
Robert De Niro, The Comedian

Ok, so this is one perforamnce I'm intrigued by because it is being pushed out to us almost out of the blue entirely in a very weak year for Lead Actor (at least in terms of Oscar) and De Niro was recently welcomed back to the club (thank you Russell) and this kind of role could be GOLD if written right, so I wonder if he could get a late in the season surge once it's dropped and wind up being embraced by the likes of SAG and eventually Oscar.  Time shall tell.

Hollywood Breakthrough Director Award 
Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

This film looks SICK...but I have a strong feeling no member of AMPAS will even watch it.

Hollywood Screenwriter Award 
Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

And the Oscar goes to...

Hollywood Blockbuster Award 
The Jungle Book

I kind of hate these kinds of awards because, who cares, but I really liked this movie so...

Hollywood Song Award 
"Can't Stop the Feeling!" - Justin Timberlake, Trolls

I HATE this song, but it's catchy AF and it's a HUGE hit so this makes sense.  I'm not entirely sure of the Oscar chances here.  It feels almost too pop-culture populist at this point, but then again a song like Happy came close to dethroning the Disney juggernaut of it's year, so you never know.

Hollywood Documentary Award 
Before the Flood

Another film to keep an eye on?

Hollywood Animation Award 

Listen, I really, really liked this one.  I love Disney, and this film had such a strong and cleverly executed message.  That said, this year has a few foreign animated films with RAVES upon RAVES and it would be so nice to see Oscar embrace something different for a change.  I'm not going to hold my breath, but maybe, just maybe, we'll see a surprise.  Zootopia doesn't feel as strong as many of the past frontrunners we've seen.

Hollywood Cinematography Award 
Linus Sandgren, La La Land

I have a feeling La La Land is going to RAKE IN the techs, but Silence has yet to be seen, and it has the potential to snag a could of these.

Hollywood Film Composer Award 
Mychael Danna, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and Storks

I love Danna's work, but with the beath of Billy Lynn, this won't translate into an Oscar nom.

Hollywood Editor Award 
John Gilbert, Hacksaw Ridge

I wonder...

Hollywood Visual Effects Award 
Doctor Strange (Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff)

I have a feeling this will be our Superhero Movie nom this year.  It looks like a rip off of Inception in the trailers (yet not as revolutionary) and I still think that either Rogue One or The Jungle Book is winning, but the nom looks likely here.

Hollywood Sound Award 
The Jungle Book (Christopher Boyes, Frank Eulner)

Deserved.  Hopefully Oscar will agree (at least for the nom).

Hollywood Costume Design Award 
Albert Wolsky, Rules Don’t Apply

I don't know what to make of this movie.  It looks AWFUL, but as far as techs are concerned (and maybe Beatty) it could actually make a dash.  I mean, Oscar loves a period piece, especially in costumes and art direction and...acting.

Hollywood Make-Up & Hair Styling Award 
Hacksaw Ridge (Shane Thomas, Angela Conte, Bec Taylor, Noriko Waztanabe)

They LOVED this movie.  I don't think Oscar will, but this definitely put it in the race, at least a little bit.

Hollywood Production Design Award 
Wynn Thomas, Hidden Figures

Hmmm.  This film feels like such a non-starter so I'm not predicting it for anything, Oscar-wise, and this award feels odd considering that there are more prestigious films that could have taken this, but it is period and awards tend to love NASA related stuff as of late, especially in this category.  I still don't think this movie (and this award) is going anywhere.


  1. Each mention of La La Land gets me more hyped for that movie. I can't believe the UK has to wait till January! It's KILLING me. I never considered Doctor Strange for any kind of visual noms but now I've seen it, woah. It's crazy!
    - Allie

    1. Yeah, the buzz for those visuals is probably enough to secure it...especially since it's a late in the year release and so it's going to be seen closer to voting.

      And La La Land...UGH...the sooner the better with that one!

  2. Cool beans. Again, most of these films seem kinda "meh" apart from La La Land and Nocturnal Animals. One film I'm hyped as fuck for now is a Korean period drama/thriller called The Handmaiden that can see getting a foreign film nod, and maybe even costume design, makeup, art direction, cinematography, and maybe even editing! I know how unlikely it seems but stillllll <3

    1. It has great reviews and looks really, really good...but outside of a foreign film nod and maybe a tech or won't strike with Oscar.

      Always the fate of these kinds of films.

    2. It also looks like it's already in theaters now... but I have no idea where or how to easily see it!

    3. Tried that already, no dice. Is it anywhere near you?

  3. I feel like such a dumbass since I haven't heard about many of these films and have no clue about that JT song. If Hollywood has "forgiven" Mel Gibson, I believe his film will be up for numerous awards. I do want to see this film as well since I love war films. I also can't wait to see La-La Land and believe it will be up for numerous awards. I don't know about the others and will now go looking them up:)

    1. Hacksaw Ridge has decent reviews, but I just can't see it factoring in much anywhere, to be honest.

      Maybe editing...err...nope, not even there.

  4. My take on the Hollywood Film Awards is this.... I will state what Sam Mendes said when he won some awards at that festivities. "Thank you for giving me an award for a movie that no one hasn't seen yet".

    It's a bunch of bullshit that is essentially Hollywood patting yourself in the back to make you feel like you're special and never really award anything of substance or something that is really important.

  5. Oh, I am getting sad reading your Stone predictions...I would want her to win because unlike Portman she is likable and Portman having 2 is just wrong but Portman's reviews are just so much better than Stone.

    1. Portman's reviews are stellar, indeed, but I just feel a strong Stone narrative coming along. Reviews don't always mean Oscar when there are other factors in play, and the fact that Portman already has an Oscar and Stone has the clear BP frontrunner and has that it girl status PLUS is so likable (and knows how to campaign in a charming way vs. needy one) could put her out in front. Portman could still steamroll if the critics make her unbeatable, but Stone has already won a major award (Venice) and is already out there campaigning so I could see her giving Portman a real run for her money.

    2. Aren't there like only 4 actresses who won Volpi Cup who won an Oscar? There's some curse to that thing or something:P

    3. LOL, you're probably right! Venice on it's own means nothing (just like Cannes) but couple that with a film like La La Land could mean something. I mean, look at DuJardin back in 2011. He won the Cannes Actor prize but when it came to award's season it looked like it was going to boil down to a Clooney/Pitt battle and then...The Artist became unbeatable and DuJardin charmed the hell out of everyone all the way to Oscar glory. I could see a very similar path for Stone/La La Land.

      But nothing is certain...yet.

  6. How is Naomie Harris a breakout? She's been giving good performances for ages?

    The AMPAS better watch Nocturnal Animals, that looks great.

    1. Yeah, 'Breakout' has a very thin meaning with many of these award's groups.

      Nocturnal Animals looks incredible!

  7. I think Portman might start to be undeniable (with Stone at least getting the Golden Globe), but we'll see.

    Haha, I'm just going to have a prayer circle for Hugh Grant for the next two months.

    I hope Sing Street doesn't miss a nom for something like "Can't Stop the Feeling!". Eek.

    1. I still feel quite strongly that Stone will sweep the televised awards...but we'll see. She's EVERYWHERE and she makes so much sense as the actual Oscar winner when you think about it.