FYC: Awards Season Tracker (2018-2019)

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Welcome to the 2018-2019 FYC Awards Tracker! The purpose of the Awards Season Tracker is three-fold.  The first is to keep a record of all screeners that are sent out either via hard copy or digital to various members of the Academy and major guilds.  The second is to provide an insight into the number of films and performances that are being considered for awards season.  This is in partnership with seeing the evidence of what films and performances have the support of their respective studios.  Lastly, AwardsCircuit.com has a strong following from casual movie-goers but is also read by several members of the Academy Awards that often ask for recommendations about what they “should” watch when afforded the time.  This will offer them those recommendations.  We will also keep track of all the marketing materials from the awards campaigns.  While I’m very appreciative to have the opportunity and privilege to have these sent to me, there’s nothing better than watching the films in the comfort and cold of a dark movie theater.  I encourage all of you to do the same.

(*All ratings are on a four-star scale*)

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Links to Awards Sites for Studios

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FILMNOTESRATING
Disobedience” (Bleecker Street)DVD copy – FYC (Picture, Director, Lead Actress (Weisz), Supporting Actress (McAdams), Adapted Screenplay, etc.(★★★★) – Sebastian Lelio’s hypnotic love story features outstanding cinematography and breathtaking performances by Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, and Alessandro Nivola.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (Focus Features)DVD Screener – FYC (Documentary, Picture, Director, Editing, Score) – Enclosed was a pack of “Mister Rogers Encourgemints”(★★★) – A touching and informative look into the life of a man we all greatly admired.  Neville presents with respect and admiration of an iconic figure.
The First Patient” (Duncan Entertainment Group)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – DVD copyTBD
Science Fair” (National Geographic)FYC – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
Free Solo” (National Geographic)FYC – Best Documentary Feature(★★★) – Outstanding visuals enrich this story of a man who knows no fear.  An interesting look at mountain climbing with no rope, “Free Solo” makes the audience care about the feat, and care about the man.
The Wife” (Sony Pictures Classics)FYC – Best Picture, Director, Actress (Glenn Close), etc.TBD
We the Animals” (The Orchard)No categories listed.TBD
American Animals” (The Orchard)No categories listed.TBD
The Rider” (Sony Pictures Classics)FYC – Best Picture, Director, Lead Actor, Original Screenplay, Editing, etc.TBD
Three Identical Strangers” (NEON)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screener sent. UPDATE: physical screener arrived.(★★½) – A fascinating and heartbreaking look at the lives of identical triplets who find each other.  The way in which the story unravels is as good as any mystery film playing in theaters.
All About Nina” (The Orchard)FYC – Best Picture, Actress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), etc..TBD
El Angel” (The Orchard)FYC – Best Foreign Language FilmTBD
Colette” (Bleecker Street)FYC – Best Picture, Director, Actress (Knightley), Supporting Actor (West), etc…in FYC box sleeve(★★) – Costume period dramas seem to be a standard practice for Keira Knightley but in Wash Westmoreland’s film, she truly delivers.  Co-star Dominic West is also a stand out in this timely, fiery piece.
Leave No Trace” (Bleecker Street)FYC – Best Picture, Director, Actor (Ben Foster), Supporting Actress (Thomasin McKenzie), etc…in FYC box sleeve(★★½) – Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie are a match made in heaven in this dour yet riveting drama from Debra Granik that tops “Winter’s Bone” in all the best ways.
What They Had” (Bleecker Street)FYC – Best Picture, Director, Actress (Swank), Supporting Actor (Shannon, Forster), Supporting Actress (Danner), etc…in FYC box sleeve(★★) – Moves to its own formula yet feel familiar, the film is enriched with the performances of Robert Forster (who SHOULD be heavily considered for Supporting Actor) and Blythe Danner, two veterans that have been passed over for far too long.
Disobedience” (Bleecker Street)FYC – Best Picture, Actress (Weisz), Supporting Actress (McAdams), Supporting Actor (Nivola), etc…in FYC box sleeve(★★) – The single best film of the first half of 2018, Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz deliver career best turns, all with the visual stampede of director Sebastian Lelio, who directs with absolute precision.  Alessandro Nivola is also one of those actors, who when ignored in the awards season, we’ll look back 10 years from now and not know what we were thinking.
Filmworker” (Kino Lorber)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
Hitler’s Hollywood” (Kino Lorber)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
What Haunts Us” (Blue Fox Entertainment)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
Andre the Giant” (HBO)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
Being Serena” (HBO)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
David Bowie: The Last Five Years” (HBO)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
Elvis Presley: The Searcher” (HBO)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
John McCain: From Who the Bell Tolls” (HBO)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
The Sentence” (HBO)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” (HBO)Digital screener – Best Documentary FeatureTBD
The Misandrists” (Cartilage Films)Digital screener – Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Original Song (“What If…Down with the Patriarchy”), Actress (Susanne SachsseTBD
Mrs. Hyde” (Cartilage Films)Digital screener – Best Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Actress (Isabelle Huppert), Foreign LanguageTBD
Final Year” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
Leaning into the Wind – Andy Goldsworthy” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
The China Hustle” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
RBG” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
Boom for Real: The Late Teenage of Jean-Michel Basquiat” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
The Gospel According to Andre” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
Kusama-Infinity” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
Love, Gilda” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
Bad Reputation” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
The Last Race” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes” (Magnolia Pictures)FYC – Best Documentary Feature – Digital screenerTBD
Ismael’s Ghosts” (Magnolia Pictures)Digital screener sent under their “Narrative Feature” sectionTBD
Under the Tree” (Magnolia PicturesDigital screener sent under their “Narrative Feature” sectionTBD
Incredibles 2” (Pixar)Screener, pin – declaring us “Honorary Superheroes!”(★★) – A touching story that moves our favorite superhero family forward in their quest to be everything they were born to be.  Music is a highlight and serves for good family counterprogramming.
The Hate U Give” (20th Century Fox)DVD Screener – FYC (Picture, Actress, Supporting Actor, etc.) and Time Magazine with Amandla Stenberg on cover(★½) – The movie packs a lot in itself, with a look at racism, perception of police brutality through the eyes of blacks and whites, and a coming of age story of belonging to different communities.  Russell Hornsby’s powerhouse performance is a must-see but some bizarre choices on the editing fronts (too many slow-mo’s) hold it back from being truly great.
Isle of Dogs” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)Screener, screenplay, and score(★★) – In the world of Wes Anderson’s animated mind, where “Fantastic Mr. Fox” lives, this seems to come up short but gorgeous production values and stellar voice work keeps it afloat.
First Reformed” (A24)Screener(★★½) – Ethan Hawke lays down the gauntlet in one of his most profound and stellar performances yet. Schrader’s script pops and sizzles although not quite landing by the end.
Hereditary” (A24)Screener(★★½) – Toni Collette delivers a career-best turn in this disturbing and magnificent horror film that will have you cringing with fear.  Not sure if I’ve seen a better female performance this year.  Add Alex Wolff to one of the film’s highlights as well.
The Death of Stalin” (IFC Films)Digital and physical screenerTBD
Wildlife” (IFC Films)Digital and physical screener sent(★★) – Paul Dano’s directorial debut gives an interesting look into divorce through the eyes of a child.  Carey Mulligan helms the film with grace and ferocity, adding another stellar career highlight to her resume.  The film ultimately keeps you at a distance that may be hard to overcome.
A Quiet Place” (Paramount Pictures)DVD screener(★★½) – John Krasinski’s thriller boasts some jumps and scares, all wrapped into an engaging story of a family dealing with loss and crippling fear of the future. Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds knock their roles out of the park.
Abe & Phil’s Last Poker Game” (Gravitas)Online screenerTBD
Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)DVD Screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Actress, Supporting Actor, etc.), soundtrack CD, and hardcover script.(★★) – Marielle Hellar’s look at an entitled woman drums up more anger than probably intended due to Lee Israel’s story of privilege and criminal justice.  Richard E. Grant steals the show in every frame.
The Old Man & the Gun” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)DVD Screener – FYC (Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress, etc.)(★★) – Robert Redford and Sissy Spacek are charming in this pleasant look at a bank robber in his aging years.  While not elevating the material as we’ve seen David Lowery do in the past, the film sits perfectly in the middle of a joyful watch.
First Man” (Universal Pictures)DVD Screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Lead Actor, Supporting Actress, etc.) hardcover screenplay, and soundtrack.(★★) – Damien Chazelle clearly has a vision for his films, and “First Man” features some of the best sound work and cinematography seen in years.  A cold, distant storytelling doesn’t exactly invite a fair amount of emotion but Claire Foy’s rapturous performance gets lots of it.
Eighth Grade” (A24)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actress, etc.)(★★½) – Lightly labeled as a comedy, this heartfelt and often times, heartbreaking examination of a young girl’s eighth-grade year tears the viewer to shreds with emotional depth.  Elsie Fisher and Josh Hamilton are dynamic and pure in their roles.
The Great Buddha” (Chang Chen Films)DVD ScreenerTBD
Beautiful Boy” (Amazon Studios)DVD Screener – FYC (Picture, Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, etc.)(★★) – One of the films that have dipped by the moment since seeing it at TIFF.  Giving it another shot, it was exponentially worse the second time, misdirecting the brillance of Steve Carell and Timothee Chalamet, and allows Maura Tierney to deliver a brilliant portrayal with less than a dozen lines.
Cold War” (Amazon Studios)DVD Screener – FYC (Picture, Foreign Language, Actress, etc.), Martini Mixer and cup set with Vinyl soundtrack.(★★) – Joanna Kulig is a star, through and through, in this dramatic but hard to love look at two people during the Cold War, music and love are agents of relenting passion that just can’t connect.
The Front Runner” (Sony Pictures)Digital screener(★½) – A hollow, vacant look at a presidential candidate that feels proud that it could timely but instead says absolutely nothing about responsibility or the parties involved.  Vera Farmiga is wasted to nothing while Hugh Jackman can’t do anything to engage his character.
Crazy Rich Asians” (Warner Bros.)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Ensemble, Supporting Actress, etc.) and soundtrack(★★½) – An utter delight, “Crazy Rich Asians” offers big laughs and heart, partnering with another stellar outing from Michelle Yeoh, who deserves awards attention for her best Meryl Streep-Devil Wears Prada turn.
Stan & Ollie” (Sony Pictures Classics)DVD screener(★★½) – John C. Reilly and Steve Coogan are a match made in heaven as Laurel and Hardy.  A touching story of aging comedians trying to make their final performances count, all elevated by a touching score by Rolfe Kent and script by Jeff Pope.
Puzzle” (Sony Pictures Classics)DVD screenerTBD
The Happy Prince” (Sony Pictures Classics)DVD screener TBD
A Star is Born” (Warner Bros.)Packaged DVD screener, with signed letter and notebook from Bradley Cooper(★★½) – The performance of Bradley Cooper’s career was directed by himself in this moving remake, showcasing luminous musical numbers and a raw, touching turn from Lady Gaga and Sam Elliott.  First half is MUCH better than the second.
Mirai” (GKIDS)Digital screenerTBD
At Eternity’s Gate” (CBS Films)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Actor, Director, etc..)(½) – Indulgent execution is what torpedos this look at Vincent Van Gogh into the ground despite a strong effort from Willem Dafoe at the helm.  The edits are long and bizarre, with even worse placed voiceovers.
Never Look Away” (Sony Pictures Classics)DVD screenerTBD
Capernaum” (Sony Pictures Classics)DVD screener(★★) – One of the few perfect films from 2018, that I’ll probably never see again due to its heavy material but offers a compelling case to allow writer/director Nadine Labaki to helm any film she wants for all-time.  And God Bless the young Zain.
Ruben Brandt, Collector” (Sony Pictures Classics)DVD screenerTBD
Burning” (CGV Arthouse)DVD screenerTBD
Suspiria” (Amazon Studios)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Score, etc.)TBD
You Were Never Really Here” (Amazon Studios)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Actor, etc.)(★★) – Joaquin Phoenix delivers another intense, invigorating performance, this time paired with the great Lynne Ramsay, who frame a scene with minimal effort.  While the story doesn’t leave the viewer satisfied, multiple viewings could help this one climb the ranks.
Ben is Back” (Roadside Attractions)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Actor, Actress, Original Screenplay, etc.)(★★) – A tale of two movies that seem shoved together with no cohesive transition into the next.  With that said, both Lucas Hedges and Julia Roberts are able to keep the film from becoming a disaster of epic proportions before the credits roll.
Vox Lux” (NEON)Digital and physical screenerTBD
Boy Erased” (Focus Features)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Song, etc.)(★★½) – Emotions run deep in this film about gay conversion therapy and allow star Lucas Hedges to solidify his place in the future of cinema.  Co-stars Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman also shine in what offers to be a very promising directorial career from writer/director Joel Edgerton.
BlackKklansman” (Focus Features)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, etc..)(★★½) – Spike Lee’s best film since “25th Hour” has John David Washington delivering a breakout turn with Adam Driver showing subtle and brilliant marks of depth.  Terence Blanchard’s score is the technical highlight that can’t be ignored.
Deadpool 2” (20th Century Fox)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Comedy, etc..) and Original Song(★★) – Not really “getting” the first outing for this superhero, this seemed way less try hard, and even more, fun to engage with boasting some pretty impressive visuals.
The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Actress, Original Screenplay, etc.), promo book, deck of playing cards(★★) – The first half is very fun to play with, allowing its ensemble of women to shine greatly, particularly Olivia Colman, but by the end, the fun juice runs out and Yorgos Lanthimos leaves the film in a very awkward place.
The Grinch” (Universal Pictures)DVD Screener – FYC (Best Animated Feature, Best Original Song, etc.), Soundtrack and Song CDs.(★★) – Dull, unimaginative, and lacking any visual prowess, this adaptations is just as unnecessary as expected, with the only redemption coming from Danny Elfman’s music and an ending that feels somewhat touching.
Green Book” (Universal Pictures)DVD screener – FYC (Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, etc.)(★★½) – A touching story of friendship that encompasses two showstopping turns from Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali but even more surprising is that it was directed by Peter Farrelly, the same mind that gave us “Dumb & Dumber” and “There’s Something About Mary.”
Mid90s” (A24)DVD screener – FYC – (Best Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, etc.) with a “Mid90s” CD.TBD
The Kindergarten Teacher” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(★★) – Maggie Gyllenhaal shines in another vivacious performance.  Film skates on the uncomfortable, weird side but you’re invested in what’s going on.
Hold the Dark” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Roxanne Roxanne” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Nappily Ever After” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
The Land of Steady Habits” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Roma” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories). Hardbound screenplay, press book(★★) – A masterpiece like no other.  A personal, incredibly moving portrait of a woman living in Mexico and how we dissect and examine life and its offerings.  Cuaron’s best with a breakout and masterful performance by Yalitiza Aparicio, paired with sensational cinematography and sound work.
Mowgli” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(★★½) – Not your kids “Jungle Book” movie but Andy Serkis’ confidence behind the camera is showing.  He has a visual eye that works but he still lacks the right story to connect it with.
Black Panther” (Marvel)Vinyl Soundtrack(★★½) – One of Marvel’s finest efforts, “Black Panthers” soars with action and excitement, with Ryan Coogler’s assured hands and Michael B. Jordan’s single best performance yet.
Searching” (Sony Pictures)Digital screener(★★½) – John Cho has never been this good as a father looking for his daughter through video chats and conferences.  A film that unfolds meticulously and has the makings of a classic crime thriller.
Dumplin‘” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories), signed sheet music from Dolly PartonTBD
The Miseducation of Cameron Post” (FilmRise)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(★★½) – Chloe Grace Moretz and Jennifer Ehle helm this tragic look at conversion therapy, digging into the weeds of its hurtful existence, with an aesthetic that is both inviting and alarming.
Vice” (Annapurna Pictures)DVD screener(★★) – Christian Bale may at his best as Dick Cheney, melting into a man of horrible traits and qualities.  Adam McKay has an agenda that is welcomed at times but can’t sustain its balance of comedy and serious subject matter.
Destroyer” (Annapurna Pictures)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(★★½) – Nicole Kidman will always have the chops to act in a mailbox but this is one of the few occurrences where she was the wrong choice for a role that she is both too old and young for.  The film unravels well but its conclusion makes you undo and rethink everything you just saw, and not in a good way.
The Sisters Brothers” (Annapurna Pictures)DVD screener, Coal, and Clay Tooth cleanser and whitener, film soundtrackTBD
Sorry to Bother You” (Annapurna Pictures)Blu-Ray/DVD retail copy – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(★★½) – Talk about flying over my head, despite Lakeith Stanfield and Tessa Thompson’s fun and savage turns, Boots Riley’s dystopian-like outlook never really gets off the ground
If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna Pictures)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(★★) – A film that is an all-timer in every sense.  From stellar performances from the ENTIRE cast, beautiful cinematography by James Laxton, and lovely script, and riveting direction by Barry Jenkins, this will be one of those films that we revisit in 20 years and say to ourselves, how did we not give that film every award on the planet?
A Simple Favor” (Lionsgate)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Blindspotting” (Lionsgate)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Border” (NEON)DVD studio screener package – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Monsters and Men” (NEON)DVD studio screener package – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Assassination Nation” (NEON)DVD studio screener package – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Gemini” (NEON)DVD studio screener package – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Borg vs. McEnroe” (NEON)DVD studio screener package – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Revenge” (NEON)DVD studio screener package – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Active Measures” (NEON)DVD studio screener package – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Widows” (20th Century Fox)DVD screener, score, and song(★★½) – Steve McQueen’s bombastic crime thriller features another Sean Bobbit camera work to die for along with crisp editing from Joe Walker.  The ensemble is downright magnificent but its Daniel Kaluuya that stands out as the menacing villain.
Private Life” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(★★½) – Tamara Jenkins’ script slivers through drama and comedy with ease.  Kathryn Hahn has never been better while Paul Giamatti just makes it look too easy.
A Twelve Year NightDVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
The Resistance BankerDVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Bohemian Rhapsody” (20th Century Fox)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(½) – Rami Malek’s transcendent performance as Freddie Mercury holds “Bohemian Rhapsody” together but it just barely gets over the hump with fantastic music and a Live Aid concert to remember.
On the Basis of Sex” (Focus Features)Original song and soundtrack CD(★★) – Felicity Jones may have accent problems but she gets into the raw emotion of RBG with grace and honor, partnered with a sensitive turn from Armie Hammer, the film hits most of the right chords and becomes a crowd pleaser.
Mary Poppins Returns” (Walt Disney Pictures)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories), Original score CD(★★) – Emily Blunt’s performance may very well be her best and any time she’s on screen, we are transfixed on her wonderous details.  The film also packs a joyous wallop in a number that will go down as an all-time great (“Trip a Little Light Fantastic”) and an ending that makes a case that Angela Lansbury
The Other Side of the Wind” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)(★★) – This is not for general audiences.  This is for film historians, critics, and academics.  There’s no comfort that can come from a casual viewer and watching a smorgasbord Orson Welles movie.  With that said, some of it is great (John Huston), much of it is not.
They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” (Netflix)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD
Ralph Breaks the Internet” (Walt Disney Pictures)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories). USB Outlet cube(★★½) – Outdoes its predecessor with an vast new world, fun new characters, and an original song that everyone will love.  Disney Princesses are also in need of their own spin-off, combo film for all us to enjoy. Just saying.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (Paramount Pictures)DVD screener – FYC (Best Picture, Director, and all categories)TBD

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