31 Days of Oscar 2023

During TCM’s 31 Days of Oscar every year I like to keep a running log of what I see. It’s a great chance to check off a number of films I should’ve seen already. My goals this year are: At least 31 films, 100 nominations accounted for by the films seen. As of this writing I’ve not yet seen a TCM selection this year. When I see either those or something from my To Be Watched list I’ll try to guess what the nomations are as I watch the film.

Starting with trying to get as many best animated shorts seen as I can. This is a representative list. I have viewed many, you can see which on my Letterboxd, these are the ones I’m quite sure I’d never seen all the way through.

Close (2022)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

A full write-up of this film will follow.

Weekends (2017)

Watch it here.

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Ersatz (1961)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 1

A Place in the Sun (1960)

Munro (1960)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 1

The Violinist (1959)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Sidney’s Family Tree (1958)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Trees and Jamaica Daddy (1957)

Perhaps the worst nominated animated short films I’ve seen. It’s also a weird little two-fer.

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

The Jaywalker (1956)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

When Magoo Flew (1954)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 1

The Tell-Tale Heart (1953)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Christopher Crumpet (1953)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

The Romance of Transportation in Canada (1952)

First short produce outside of the US to be nominated.

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Can be viewed here.

Pink and Blue Blues (1952)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Trouble Indemnity (1950)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Robin Hoodlum (1948)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Gypsy Life (1945)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Dog, Cat, and Canary (1944)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

How War Came (1941)

Nominations: 1

Wins: 0

Short Film Saturday: “Spies” featuring Private Snafu

The crew at Warner Brothers Animation, not unlike Disney, made some propaganda films during World War II. The Warner series was helmed by Chuck Jones with the voice talents of Mel Blanc and featured a character crafted to show soldiers and citizens what not to do. His name is Private Snafu.

Aural Memorial to Burt Bacharach

Not many songwriters become iconic to the musical layman. Burt Bacharach did just that. Despite the fact that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was released 12 years before my birth Burt Bacharach’s music imprinted itself on my childhood through the song “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” via B.J. Thomas’s rendition.

“Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head”

Later, he made another pair of impressions on me becoming a surprise mandatory ingredient of the first two Austin Powers films. His cameo amused me and I knew of him by name already. The appearances made him even more indelible.

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Austin Powers in The Spy Who Shagged Me

2022 BAM Award Nominations

Nominations are complete. Follow-up posts to come. Awards announced on March 11th.

Best Picture

Armageddon Time 

Avatar: The Way of Water

Crimes of the Future

The Cursed

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Fabelmans



The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Woman King

Best Director

James Cameron Avatar: The Way of Water

David Cronenberg Crimes of the Future

Jame Gray Armageddon Time

Steven Spielberg The Fabelmans

Dan Trachtenberg Prey

Most Overlooked Picture

Armageddon Time 

Brian and Charles

The Cursed

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile

Mad God

Best Foreign Film

Not awarded.

Best Editing 

David Brenner, James Cameron, John Refoua, Stephen E. Rivkin Avatar: The Way of Water

Sarah Broshar, Michael Kahn The Fabelmans

Christopher Donaldson Crimes of the Future

Elliot Greenberg Smile

Yorgos Mavropsaridis The Cursed

Best Actress

Jamie Lee Curtis Halloween Ends

Viola Davis The Woman King

Amber Midthunder Prey

Michelle Williams The Fabelmans

Michelle Yeoh Everything Everywhere All At Once

Best Actor

Kevin Bacon They/Them

Austin Butler Elvis

Nicolas Cage The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Daniel Craig Glass Onion

Viggo Mortensen Crimes of the Future

Best Supporting Actress

Asia Argento Dark Glasses 

Angela Bassett Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Jamie Lee Curtis Everything Everywhere All At Once

Stephanie Hsu Everything Everywhere All At Once

Thuso Mbedu The Woman King

Best Supporting Actor

Anthony Hopkins Armageddon Time 

Judd Hirsch The Fabelmans 

Pedro Pascal The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent 

Ke Huy Quan Eveything Everywhere All At Once 

Donald Sutherland Mr. Harrigan’s Phone

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Madalen Mills Tiger Rising 

Ryan Kiera Armstrong Firestarter

Rakel Lenora Fløttum The Innocents

Violet McGraw A Christmas Mystery

Momona Tamada Secret Headquarters

Gabriella Uhl 13: The Musical 

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Winslow Fegley Lyle, Lyle Crocodile

Eli Golden 13: The Musical 

Brooks Repeta Armageddon Time

Walker Scobell The Adam Project

Mason Thames The Black Phone

Rueby Wood Better Nate Than Ever

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Aria Brooks Better Nate Than Ever

Alma Brynsmo Ramstad The Innocents

Julia Butters The Fabelmans

Mykal-Michelle Harris Cheaper by the Dozen

Millie Kiss The Cursed

Madeleine McGraw The Black Phone

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Jack Champion Avatar: The Way of Water

Max Mackintosh The Cursed

Daniel Ranieri The Tender Bar

Javon ‘Wanna’ Walker Samaritan

Jaylin Webb Armageddon Time

Xinyu Zhang Dark Glasses

Best Youth Ensemble

Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, Jack Champion, Britain Dalton, Bailey Bass, Duane Evns, Jr. Avatar: The Way of Water

Kylie Rodgers, Andre Robinson, Kaylee Blosenski, Aryan Simhadri, Leo Abelo Perry, Mykal-Michelle Harris, Christian Cote, Sebastian Cote, Alijah Francis Cheaper by the Dozen

Max Mackintosh, Tommy Rodger, Millie Kiss, Tom Sweet, Áine Rose Daley The Cursed

Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, Keeley Karsten, Alina Bruce, Julia Butters, Birdie Borria, Sophia Kopera, Sam Rechner, Oakes Fegley, Isabelle Kusman, Chandler Lovelle The Fabelmans

Walker Scobell, Keith L. Williams, Momona Tamada, Abby Jane Witherspoon, Kezii Curtis Secret Headquarters

Mason Thames, Madeline McGraw, Miguel Cazarez Mora, Rebecca Clarke, J. Gaven Wilde, Spencer Fitzgerald, Jordan Isaiah White, Brady Ryan, Tristan Pravong, Jacob Moran, Brandy Hepner, Banks Repeta The Black Phone

Best Cast

Boyd Holbrook, Kelly Reilly, Alistair Petrie, Roxane Duran, Nigel Betts, Stuart Bowman, Simon Kunz, Amelia Crouch, Max Mackintosh, Tommy Rodger, Áine Rose Daly, Millie Kiss, Tom Sweet, et al. The Cursed

Michelle Yeoh, Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jamie Lee Curtis, Tallie Medel, Jenny Slate, Biff Wiff, et al. Everything Everywhere All At Once

Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Seth Rogen, Gabriel Labelle, Mateo Zoryon Francis-DeFord, Keeley Karsten, Alina Bruce, Julia Butters, Birdie Borria, Judd Hirsch, Sophia Kopera, Jeannie Berlin, Robin Bartlett, Sam Rechner, Oakes Fegley, Isabelle Kusman, Chandler Lovelle, et al. The Fabelmans

Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Janelle Monáe, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr.,Kate Hudosn, Dave Bautista, Jessica Henwick, Madeline Cline, Noah Segan, Jackie Hoffman, Dallas Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Hugh Grant et al. Glass Onion

Viola Davis, Thuso Mbedu, Lashana Lynch, Sheila Atim, John Boyega, Jordan Bolger, Hero Fiennes Tiffin, Jimmy Odukoya, Masali Baduza, Jayme Lawson, Adrienne Warren, Chioma Umeala,  et al. The Woman King

Best Original Screenplay

Sean Ellis The Cursed

Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Daniel Kwan, Dan Scheiner Everything Everywhere All at Once

Jordan Peele Nope 

Steven Spielberg, Tony Kushner The Fabelmans

Best Adapted Screenplay

Patrick Aison, Dan Trachtenberg, Jim Thomas Prey

David Cronenberg Crimes of the Future

Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill and Joe Hill The Black Phone

James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick, Kevin Williamson Scream

Rian Johnson Glass Onion

Best Cinematography

Bruno Delbonnel The Tragedy of MacBeth

Janusz Kaminski The Fabelmans 

Charlie Sarroff Smile

Larkin Seiple Everything Everywhere All At Once

Mandy Walker Elvis

Best Visual Effects

Avatar: The Way of Water

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Everything Everywhere All At Once



Best Score

Terence Blanchard The Woman King

Cody Carpenter, John Carpenter, Daniel A. Davies Firestarter 

Howard Shore Crimes of the Future

Cristobal Tapia de Veer Smile

John Williams The Fabelmans

Best Soundtrack

The Adam Project


Metal Lords

Minions: The Rise of Gru Spirited


Best Song

“The Bloodmaster” Eli Golden, Frankie McNellis, JD McCrary, Lindsey Blackwell, Shechinah Mpulwana, Nolen Debuc, & Ensemble 13: The Musical

“On Broadway (Busking Version)” Rueby Wood, Lucky Chops  Better Nate Than Ever

“Machinery of Torment” Skullflower Metal Lords

“One Way or Another” Bette Middler, Sarah Jessica Parker & Kathy Najimy Hocus Pocus 2

“Good Afternoon” Spirited Ryan Reynolds, Will Ferrell, The Spirited Ensemble Spirited

Best Art Direction

Andrew Babbitt Glass Onion

Rossitsa Bakeva Barbarian 

Mark Beneceraff Armageddon Time

Dylan Cole, Ben Procter Avatar: The Way of Water

Paulo Gonçalves, Patrick Schmitt The Cursed

Best Costume Design 

Ruth E. Carter Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Madeline Fontaine The Cursed

Catherine Martin Elvis 

Gersha Phillips The Woman King

Stephanie Porter Prey

Best Sound Editing and Mixing 

Johnny Burn, Keith Kohn Nope

Dave Chrastka Avatar: The Way of Water

Dave Grimaldi, Angelo Palazzo The Adam Project

Dan Kenyon Smile

Gary Rydstrom, James Mather, Al Nelson Top Gun: Maverick

Best Makeup

Alexandra Anger Crimes of the Future

Mark Coulier and Shane Thomas Elvis

Clarisse Domine The Cursed

Camille Friend, Joel Harlow Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

John Russell, Natasa Krstic Hellraiser

Best Documentary

Not Awarded 

Robert Downey Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year


Ingmar Bergman Lifetime Achievement Award


Special Jury Award


Neutron Star Award


Mini-Review: Malandro (A Opera do Malandro)

I first wrote about this movie for a version of the Underrated Dramas series that Rupert Pupkin Speaks started that I spun-off on my page:

When playing national word-association most will mention football (soccer) when it comes to Brazil. I would hope they would also mention music at some point if pressed for more words. Chico Buarque is among Brazilian music’s legendary names. Here you have a film that’s a dramatization of songs he wrote, but also quite a telling and compelling drama. The images I always associated with these songs in my mind here are given form and context in a great way, incorporating period and obfuscated commentary.

This is one that I know definitely qualifies for the underrated simply because of how overlooked it is. Firstly, there is the fact of the pure lack of unavailability with regards to the title. With a surge in interest in works from Brazil in the 1980s with some of its successful films like Pixote, the rise of Sonia Braga in Hollywood and Marîlia Pera in indies here, the film came here and even had a VHS release.

That’s how I saw it as a rental from Movies Unlimited. All the historical and social context about Brazil in 1941 aligning itself with the Nazi Germany against popular sentiment, is conveyed through the tale. The word malandro is a very specifically Brazilian describing a sort of wiseguy, a guy on the wrong side of the law and tracks whose not a hardened criminal and looking to have good time. It also helps that he’s often referred to that way so it becomes almost like a common noun rather than an adjective.

Not speaking Portuguese really only robs you some of the lyrics, but the music and singing are great and the meaning of the songs are well portrayed in subtitles if not poetic any longer.

It’s a wonder this film has not been restored and repacked on Blu-ray from some repertory label. If you can track it down it’s well worth it.

Mini-Review: Gung Ho (1986)

This is a film that I saw in my high school economics class. Aside from playing the stock version of fantasy sports before the tech bubble burst (so it was really fun) we saw a few films. This was one of them and I found it quite funny. Because “underrated” is such troublesome term one of the parameters I used was the film’s Rotten Tomatoes score. A 35 certainly does rank as a film that was roundly dismissed.

Some may think of Ron Howard as a director without a signature, but I tend to see him as more the invisible hand type who is versatile, a poor man’s modern-day Michael Curtiz. Aside from that Michael Keaton stars in this movie and he automatically makes anything better, and it’s indisputably ‘80s in its political incorrectness.