Bombshell Review

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Jay Roach’s portrait of the year Fox News’ Roger Ailes’ history of sexual harassment came back to bite him on his fat ass is exhilarating, furious, compelling and thoroughly entertaining. It is also essentially and thrillingly visceral: I spent the second half of the movie having to stop myself from standing up in the crowded cinema and screaming “Take that you evil fuck!” at John Lithgow’s portrayal of this awful, awful, awful human being.

Ailes and Fox News (the movie almost entirely takes place within its network of offices, elevators, hallways and cubicles) were / are so inherently toxic, so blatantly disgusting, that it could be argued that merely to present them onscreen is to guarantee a cracker show: with villains this villainous, it’s easy to rile your audience against them and cheer at their fall. But Roach and Lithgow don’t allow Ailes to be a total grotesque; the movie, as flashy as it is, is subtler than that. And it’s not Ailes’ movie, anyway.

Weirdly, but successfully, it’s Megyn Kelly’s movie. If you’re not from the US and haven’t been obsessively reading US news since Trump, you may not have heard of her; the film sketches in the version of her required to tell this story (if not her whole story, which is very complicated) and she is brilliantly played by Charlize Theron. I’m told the simulacrum of Kelly is astonishing; I’ve never seen Kelly on air, or if I have, so little that I can’t vouch for the impersonation side of the portrayal, but it’s an honest and sincere and intelligent performance. And Margot Robbie, as a young employee at Fox News who becomes a fish in Ailes’ barrel, is, as usual, astonishing. Both women are nominated for Oscars.

The only reason not to see Bombshell – and it’s a fair one – is to avoid swimming in these disgusting, rank, poisonous, filthy waters. This is not only Fox, it’s the US under Trump, and it’s grim. But as a film, this is energising, invigorating and rather essential.

PS Special points must be awarded for the ingenious casting of the Lawson brothers as the Murdoch brothers.

Oscar Nominations 2019 / 2020 Immediate Thoughts

Here are the Oscar nominations with some of my immediate thoughts below each nomination. Overall, this could tilt a lot Quentin’s way (which I’d be very happy with), a lot Bong’s way (which would be deserved, and a win for World Cinema) or 1917 could come along and hijack things like GREEN BOOK did…

Performance by an actor in a leading role nominees:

Antonio Banderas in PAIN AND GLORY

Leonardo DiCaprio in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Adam Driver in MARRIAGE STORY

Joaquin Phoenix in JOKER

Jonathan Pryce in THE TWO POPES

Nice to see Antonio in there; total bummer Adam Sandler isn’t in there for UNCUT GEMS; race is between Joaquin and Adam Driver.

Performance by an actor in a supporting role nominees:

Tom Hanks in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Anthony Hopkins in THE TWO POPES

Al Pacino in THE IRISHMAN

Joe Pesci in THE IRISHMAN

Brad Pitt in ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

This is Brad’s all the way.

Performance by an actress in a leading role nominees:

Cynthia Erivo in HARRIET

Scarlett Johansson in MARRIAGE STORY

Saoirse Ronan in LITTLE WOMEN

Charlize Theron in BOMBSHELL

Renée Zellweger in JUDY

I’m still assuming Renée takes it.

Performance by an actress in a supporting role nominees:

Kathy Bates in RICHARD JEWELL

Laura Dern in MARRIAGE STORY

Scarlett Johansson in JOJO RABBIT

Florence Pugh in LITTLE WOMEN

Margot Robbie in BOMBSHELL

This is definitely going to Laura Dern.

Best animated feature film of the year nominees:

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON: THE HIDDEN WORLD

Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis and Bonnie Arnold

I LOST MY BODY

Jérémy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice

KLAUS

Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh and Marisa Román

MISSING LINK

Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight

TOY STORY 4

Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera

Let’s take a swing and say it’s going to I LOST MY BODY, since FROZEN 2 isn’t even nominated. Of course, MISSING LINK won the Globe (weirdly).

Achievement in cinematography nominees:

THE IRISHMAN

Rodrigo Prieto

JOKER

Lawrence Sher

THE LIGHTHOUSE

Jarin Blaschke

1917

Roger Deakins

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Robert Richardson

This is going to Roger Deakins. The best thing about 1917 – the only thing, really – is the cinematography.

Achievement in costume design nominees:

THE IRISHMAN

Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson

JOJO RABBIT

Mayes C. Rubeo

JOKER

Mark Bridges

LITTLE WOMEN

Jacqueline Durran

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Arianne Phillips

Wide open. Could be a sneaky win for JOJO?

Achievement in directing nominees:

THE IRISHMAN

Martin Scorsese

JOKER

Todd Phillips

1917

Sam Mendes

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Quentin Tarantino

PARASITE

Bong Joon Ho

Quentin or Bong.

Best documentary feature nominees:

AMERICAN FACTORY

Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert

THE CAVE

Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjær

THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY

Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan

FOR SAMA

Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts

HONEYLAND

Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska and Atanas Georgiev

It should go to FOR SAMA or THE EDGE OF DEMOCRACY but could go to AMERICAN FACTORY.

Best documentary short subject nominees:

IN THE ABSENCE

Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam

LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL)

Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva

LIFE OVERTAKES ME

John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson

ST. LOUIS SUPERMAN

Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan

WALK RUN CHA-CHA

Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt

Haven’t seen ‘em.

Achievement in film editing nominees:

FORD V FERRARI

Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland

THE IRISHMAN

Thelma Schoonmaker

JOJO RABBIT

Tom Eagles

JOKER

Jeff Groth

PARASITE

Yang Jinmo

PARASITE? JOKER? Hard to say. THE IRISHMAN? Can a three and a half hour picture win Best Editing? It’s nuts and sad that ONCE UPON A TIME isn’t in here. They’ll probably give it to the cars (FORD V FERRARI).

Best international feature film of the year nominees:

CORPUS CHRISTI

Poland

Directed by Jan Komasa

HONEYLAND

North Macedonia

Directed by Ljubo Stefanov and Tamara Kotevksa

LES MISÉRABLES

France

Directed by Ladj Ly

PAIN AND GLORY

Spain

Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

PARASITE

South Korea

Directed by Bong Joon Ho

PARASITE, obviously. This is ROMA all over again, except maybe, just maybe, this year PARASITE also takes Best Picture…

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling nominees:

BOMBSHELL

Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker

JOKER

Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou

JUDY

Jeremy Woodhead

MALEFICENT: MISTRESS OF EVIL

Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White

1917

Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole

What is 1917 doing in there? Anyway, it has to be BOMBSHELL, right? But maybe JOKER.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score) nominees:

JOKER

Hildur Guðnadóttir

LITTLE WOMEN

Alexandre Desplat

MARRIAGE STORY

Randy Newman

1917

Thomas Newman

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

John Williams

This is going to the world’s coolest Icelander, Hildur Guðnadóttir, for JOKER.

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song) nominees:

“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from TOY STORY 4

Music and Lyric by Randy Newman

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from ROCKETMAN

Music by Elton John

Lyric by Bernie Taupin

“I’m Standing With You” from BREAKTHROUGH

Music and Lyric by Diane Warren

“Into The Unknown” from FROZEN II

Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez

“Stand Up” from HARRIET

Music and Lyric by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo

They’re gonna give it to Elton and Bernie because they’re ELTON AND BERNIE.

Best motion picture of the year nominees:

FORD V FERRARI

Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold, Producers

THE IRISHMAN

Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers

JOJO RABBIT

Carthew Neal and Taika Waititi, Producers

JOKER

Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers

LITTLE WOMEN

Amy Pascal, Producer

MARRIAGE STORY

Noah Baumbach and David Heyman, Producers

1917

Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall, Producers

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino, Producers

PARASITE

Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho, Producers

ONCE UPON A TIME or PARASITE. I’m happy with either but as a lifelong Quentin devotee I would love him to win this. It’s his ‘personal’ film, it’s the one that everyone can enjoy, I’ve come to understand why the violence at the end is as it is… this film is brilliant and worthy and I’d love it to win.

I do believe PARASITE has a shot because of the preferential ballot. I suspect PARASITE will be up there among the 1s and 2s on a lot of voting forms while Quentin, who does have some detractors, may be down the list on some, and the preferential ballot favours generally loved films over polarising ones.

UNCUT GEMS should have been here, certainly instead of FORD V FERRARI and JOJO RABBIT and 1917 (but the latter could have a weird sweep, which would be a crying shame, because it’s empty spectacle).

If 1917 takes it, that’s “a GREEN BOOK” as far as I’m concerned.

Achievement in production design nominees:

THE IRISHMAN

Production Design: Bob Shaw

Set Decoration: Regina Graves

JOJO RABBIT

Production Design: Ra Vincent

Set Decoration: Nora Sopková

1917

Production Design: Dennis Gassner

Set Decoration: Lee Sandales

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Production Design: Barbara Ling

Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh

PARASITE

Production Design: Lee Ha Jun

Set Decoration: Cho Won Woo

Wow. Great category. 1917, ONCE UPON A TIME, PARASITE, THE IRISHMAN… all contenders.

Best animated short film nominees:

DCERA (DAUGHTER)

Daria Kashcheeva

HAIR LOVE

Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver

KITBULL

Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson

MEMORABLE

Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre

SISTER

Siqi Song

Haven’t seen ‘em.

Best live action short film nominees:

BROTHERHOOD

Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon

NEFTA FOOTBALL CLUB

Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi

THE NEIGHBORS’ WINDOW

Marshall Curry

SARIA

Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre

A SISTER

Delphine Girard

Haven’t seen ‘em.

Achievement in sound editing nominees:

FORD V FERRARI

Donald Sylvester

JOKER

Alan Robert Murray

1917

Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Wylie Stateman

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Matthew Wood and David Acord

FORD V FERRARI, right? The cars, right?

Achievement in sound mixing nominees:

AD ASTRA

Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano

FORD V FERRARI

Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow

JOKER

Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland

1917

Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano

1917, right? Because it’s “immersive”?

Achievement in visual effects nominees:

AVENGERS: ENDGAME

Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick

THE IRISHMAN

Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephane Grabli

THE LION KING

Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliot Newman

1917

Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy

STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER

Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach and Dominic Tuohy

If they give this to THE IRISHMAN – for the “de-aging” – that’ll be a laugh. It kind of has to go to THE LION KING, right? But maybe they give it to Marvel (AVENGERS: ENDGAME).

Adapted screenplay nominees:

THE IRISHMAN

Screenplay by Steven Zaillian

JOJO RABBIT

Screenplay by Taika Waititi

JOKER

Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver

LITTLE WOMEN

Written for the screen by Greta Gerwig

THE TWO POPES

Written by Anthony McCarten

If they give this to JOJO it’ll be a shame, but they might, because it’s got a lot of nominations. It really should go to Steven Zaillian (IRISHMAN) or Greta Gerwig (LITTLE WOMEN).

Original screenplay nominees:

KNIVES OUT

Written by Rian Johnson

MARRIAGE STORY

Written by Noah Baumbach

1917

Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns

ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD

Written by Quentin Tarantino

PARASITE

Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won

Story by Bong Joon Ho

This is Quentin’s.

Feel free to comment.

CJ

Our Oscar Reviews on Skipi.tv

With hours before the Oscars, here are some of our skipi.tv reviews and/or discussions of nominated films:

TONI ERDMANN:

CJ Reviews ‘Toni Erdmann’

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA:

CJ Reviews ‘Manchester By The Sea’

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC:

CJ Reviews ‘Captain Fantastic’

JACKIE with Paul Byrnes:

‘Jackie’ Review

HELL OR HIGH WATER with Paul Byrnes:

‘Hell Or High Water’ Review

LA LA LAND with Paul Byrnes:

‘La La Land’ Review

HIDDEN FIGURES with Miriam Capper:

‘Hidden Figures’ Review

Oscar Picks and Predictions

It’s an interesting year. Only one film is a true, ground-breaking masterpiece, but all of the films in the mix are good – very good. Common wisdom seems to suggest that the one that I found least brilliant is going to triumph on the night in the top two categories, but by my reckoning, the best film of the year is going to take home six Oscars – no mean feat for a bonkers action movie that is the third sequel to a crazy little unregulated Ozploitation flick from the late 70s.

Listen to the Podcast version of this stuff here: https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/movieland/id668507582?mt=2

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)

Bear Story

Prologue

Sanjay’s Super Team

We Can’t Live Without Cosmos

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: World of Tomorrow

SOUND EDITING

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

SOUND MIXING

Bridge of Spies

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

ORIGINAL SONG

SHOULD WIN: ‘Earned It’ – Fifty Shades of Grey

‘Manta Ray’ – Racing Extinction

‘Simple Song No. 3’ – Youth

WILL WIN: ‘Till it Happens to You’ – The Hunting Ground

‘Writing’s on the Wall’ – Spectre

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)

Burwell’s score for Carol is perfect. But Morricone is old, the maestro of western scores, and only has an “honorary” Oscar.

Thomas Newman – Bridge of Spies

SHOULD WIN: Carter Burwell – Carol

WILL WIN: Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight

Johann Johannsson – Sicario

John Williams – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

VISUAL EFFECTS

This will be where Star Wars gets one – or will Mad Max: Fury Road get this too?

Ex Machina

SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

WILL WIN: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

COSTUME DESIGN

Carol

Cinderella

The Danish Girl

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

FILM EDITING

If The Big Short wins here, then the whole night may go a different way. But until that happens:

The Big Short

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

PRODUCTION DESIGN

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: The Revenant

Sicario

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)

The best category of the night. All deserve the award. What a year for adaptations!

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Charles Randolph and Adam McKay – The Big Short

Nick Hornby – Brooklyn

Phyllis Nagy – Carol

Drew Goddard – The Martian

Emma Donoghue – Room

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)

It would be deeply embarrassing if the academy voters tried to “give one to black artists” in this year of The Diversity Oscars, only to see the white authors of Straight Outta Compton ascend the stage. Awkward!

Matt Charman, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen – Bridge of Spies

Alex Garland – Ex Machina

Pete Doctor, Meg LeFauce, and Josh Cooley – Inside Out

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Josh Singer and Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff – Straight Outta Compton

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Alicia Vikanda plays a leading role in The Danish Girl and should have been nominated in the Lead Actress category – or at least submitted for it. She should not win a supporting Oscar, but she will.

SHOULD WIN: Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

WILL WIN: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Again, there were better supporting performances this year – including John Cusack, for example, in Love and Mercy. Tom Hardy would deserve it, but Sly will get it.

Christian Bale – The Big Short

SHOULD WIN: Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

WILL WIN: Sylvester Stallone – Creed

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Really, the Best Actor of 2015 was Paul Dano in Love and Mercy, and he’s not nominated. Fassbender is the best of a very misguided, incomplete list. But it’s “Leo’s year,” right?

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

Matt Damon – The Martian

WILL WIN: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

SHOULD WIN: Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Saoirse Ronan made Brooklyn work in an old-fashioned star vehicle but Brie Larson made you believe she was the mother of that kid – plus everything else.

Cate Blanchett – Carol

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Brie Larson – Room

Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Amy

Cartel Land

The Look Of Silence

What Happened, Miss Simone?

Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight For Freedom

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

SHOULD WIN: Anamolisa 

Boy and the World

WILL WIN: Inside Out

Shaun The Sheep Movie

When Marnie Was There

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Colombia – Embrace of the Serpent

France – Mustang

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Hungary – Son of Saul

Jordan – Theeb

Denmar – A War

DIRECTING

Up until the Director’s Guild Awards, I thought George Miller was going to win here. Now I think the DGA winner will, giving him two in a row (he won this category last year for Birdman).

Adam McKay – The Big Short

SHOULD WIN: George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

WILL WIN: Alejandro González Iñárritu – The Revenant

Lenny Abramson, Room

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

BEST FILM

My opinions here have been previously expressed and haven’t changed. The Revenant is gorgeous, but Mad Max: Fury Road is a game-changing cinematic masterpiece.

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

SHOULD WIN: Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

WILL WIN: The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

Enjoy the Oscars folks!