The Way Back Review

The Way Back is more than your average sports film. Yes, it feels all too familiar but what really makes it stand out, is the integration of Coach Cunningham’s backstory and how it affected his outlook when coaching.

Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) used to play basketball in high school. He was the all star player and was at the top of his game. After a series of poor decisions, that were made to spite his own father, Jack ended up being in a spot he never thought he’d be in. It’s true when people say that the child pays, for the sins of the father. It’s a vicious cycle and it takes one small change, to break the cycle.

Gavin O’Connor is a fantastic director and I really enjoy his style. The Way Back felt like a tight knit sports drama, while the observational style in the camerawork, felt like I was watching a documentary. The story was incredibly realistic and that’s why it pulled on the heartstrings. More importantly, O’Connor always manages to slowly peel back the layers of his characters, making the story progression more impactful. It’s a slow burn but it’s definitely effective.

Jack Cunningham is a very strong character. He’s subdued, most of his fighting is internal and his love of basketball makes him regain control of his life. This is also Ben Affleck’s best performance to date. It could be because the subject matter is close to him, so he could relate to Cunningham a bit more, but nonetheless, it’s incredibly moving. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play such a vulnerable character. It’s heartbreaking to watch because of how personal this film is to him. Affleck and O’Connor work very well together and this is their best collaboration yet.

Cunningham’s backstory, is more complex than the trailers lead on. As the story unfolds, his demons creep out and his past continues to haunt him because he represses his pain. Once he becomes a Coach and he’s around teenagers, with the same love for basketball, that he once had, he begins to reflect on his life. It’s an internal performance from Affleck but when he’s on the court with his team, that’s when the magic happens and I couldn’t have been happier to see him like that.

Affleck is the driving force of this film and it’s such a great sports film. The whole team was great and each of them had strong backstories. It’s all about being a role model to these kids and Cunningham did that without trying to be one. Sometimes you may feel small and think that your presence doesn’t affect anyone because that’s the darkness of doubt overpowering your mind. You may not think here are people who love and appreciate your existence, but there are.

It’s strong subject matter of alcoholism was executed quite well throughout. The way O’Connor showed the abuse of alcohol was unsettling but effective. No one had to say a word, but seeing any drink in Cunningham’s hand made me sad. It’s difficult to sit through because of how well they showed the alcoholism. Majority of the time the alcoholism is discussed but never shown and that’s why The Way Back is so well done.

I’m incredibly proud of Ben Affleck and how he chose this film to be a catharsis for his own suffering. The Way Back is one of his best, if not his BEST performance and he should be recognized for this. It’s hard to be vocal about your own pain and suffering and it’s a big step to openly discuss it with the world.

2020 Critics’ Choice Awards: List of Winners

Taye Diggs hosted the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards tonight and the confusion continues as the winners were announced.

Here are the list of winners…

BEST PICTURE

1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite
Uncut Gems

MY PICK: Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

WINNER: Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

BEST ACTOR

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Robert De Niro, The Irishman
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

MY PICK: Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems 

WINNER: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 

BEST ACTRESS

Awkwafina, The Farewell
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

MY PICK: Lupita Nyong’o, Us 

WINNER: Renee Zellweger, Judy 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

MY PICK: Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

WINNER: Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie,  Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

MY PICK: Florence Pugh, Little Women 

WINNER: Laura Dern, Marriage Story 

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Julia Butters, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Noah Jupe, Honey Boy
Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit
Shahadi Wright Joseph, Us
Archie Yates, Jojo Rabbit

MY PICK: Noah Jupe, Honey Boy 

WINNER: Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit 

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

Bombshell
The Irishman
Knives Out
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood  
Parasite

MY PICK: Little Women/The Irishman 

WINNER: The Irishman 

BEST DIRECTOR

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

MY PICK: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite

WINNER: Sam Mendes, 1917 & Bong Joon Ho, Parasite 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Rian Johnson, Knives Out
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Parasite
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Lulu Wang, The Farewell

MY PICK: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

WINNER: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, Joker
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

MY PICK: Steve Zaillian, The Irishman 

WINNER: Greta Gerwig, Little Women 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
Roger Deakins, 1917
Phedon Papamichael, Ford v Ferrari
Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Lawrence Sher, Joker

MY PICK: Roger Deakins, 1917 

WINNER: Roger Deakins, 1917

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran, Joker
Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales, 1917
Jess Gonchor, Claire Kaufman, Little Women
Lee Ha Jun, Parasite
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves, The Irishman
Donal Woods, Gina Cromwell, Downton Abbey

MY PICK: Bob Shaw, Regina Graves, The Irishman 

WINNER: Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

BEST EDITING

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, Ford v Ferrari
Yang Jinmo, Parasite
Fred Raskin, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Thelma Schoonmaker, The Irishman
Lee Smith, 1917

MY PICK: Thelma Schoonmaker, The Irishman 

WINNER: Lee Smith, 1917 

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Ruth E. Carter, Dolemite Is My Name
Julian Day, Rocketman
Jacqueline Durran, Little Women
Arianne Phillips, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson, The Irishman
Anna Robbins, Downton Abbey

MY PICK: Ruth E. Carter, Dolemite Is My Name 

WINNER: Ruth E. Carter, Dolemite Is My Name 

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Bombshell
Dolemite Is My Name The Irishman
Joker
Judy
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Rocketman

MY PICK: The Irishman 

WINNER: Bombshell 

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1917
Ad Astra
The Aeronauts
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
The Lion King 

MY PICK: Ad Astra 

WINNER: Avengers: Endgame 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Abominable
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

MY PICK: Missing Link 

WINNER: Toy Story 4 

BEST ACTION MOVIE

1917
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Spider-Man: Far From Home

MY PICK: Ford v Ferrari 

WINNER: Avengers: Endgame 

BEST COMEDY

Booksmart
Dolemite Is My Name
The Farewell
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out

MY PICK: Booksmart 

WINNER: Dolemite Is My Name 

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE

Ad Astra
Avengers: Endgame
Midsommar
Us

MY PICK: Us 

WINNER: Us 

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

Atlantics
Les Misérables
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

MY PICK: Parasite 

WINNER: Parasite 

BEST SONG

“Glasgow (No Place Like Home)”, Wild Rose
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”, Rocketman
“I’m Standing With You”, Breakthrough
“Into the Unknown”, Frozen II
“Speechless”, Aladdin
“Spirit”, The Lion King
“Stand Up”, Harriet

MY PICK: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” Rocketman  

WINNER: “Glasgow (No Place Like Home)”, Wild Rose
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”,  Rocketman

BEST SCORE

Michael Abels, Us 
Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker
Randy Newman, Marriage Story
Thomas Newman, 1917
Robbie Robertson, The Irishman

MY PICK: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker

WINNER: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker

My picks are in BOLD and the winners will be highlighted in GOLD

BEST DRAMA SERIES

The Crown (Netflix)
David Makes Man (OWN)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Pose (FX)
Succession (HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)
Watchmen (HBO)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC)
Mike Colter,  Evil (CBS)
Paul Giamatti, Billions (Showtime)
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor (ABC)
Tobias Menzies, The Crown (Netflix)
Billy Porter, Pose (FX)
Jeremy Strong, Succession (HBO)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Christine Baranski, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Regina King, Watchmen (HBO)
Mj Rodriguez, Pose (FX)
Sarah Snook, Succession (HBO)
Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

Asante Blackk, This Is Us (NBC)
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple)
Asia Kate Dillon, Billions (Showtime)
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Justin Hartley, This Is Us (NBC)
Delroy Lindo, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Tim Blake Nelson, Watchmen (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)
Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Audra McDonald, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Jean Smart, Watchmen (HBO)
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Susan Kelechi Watson, This Is Us (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SERIES

Barry (HBO)
Fleabag (Amazon)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Mom (CBS)
One Day at a Time (Netflix)
PEN15 (Hulu)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Ted Danson, The Good Place (NBC)
Walton Goggins, The Unicorn (CBS)
Bill Hader, Barry (HBO)
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Paul Rudd, Living with Yourself (Netflix)
Bashir Salahuddin, Sherman’s Showcase (IFC)
Ramy Youssef, Ramy (Hulu)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Alison Brie, GLOW (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Showtime)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag (Amazon)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
Anthony Carrigan, Barry (HBO)
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place (NBC)
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Nico Santos, Superstore (NBC)
Andrew Scott, Fleabag (Amazon)
Henry Winkler, Barry (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place (NBC)
Sian Clifford, Fleabag (Amazon)
Betty Gilpin, GLOW (Netflix)
Rita Moreno, One Day at a Time (Netflix)
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Molly Shannon, The Other Two (Comedy Central)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

Catch-22 (Hulu)
Chernobyl (HBO)
Fosse/Verdon (FX)
The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
When They See Us (Netflix)
Years and Years (HBO)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Brexit (HBO)
Deadwood: The Movie (HBO)
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Guava Island (Amazon)
Native Son (HBO)
Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Christopher Abbott, Catch-22 (Hulu)
Mahershala Ali, True Detective (HBO)
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Jared Harris, Chernobyl (HBO)
Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us (Netflix)
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Noah Wyle, The Red Line (CBS)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Anne Hathaway, Modern Love (Amazon)
Megan Hilty, Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)
Joey King, The Act (Hulu)
Jessie Mueller, Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)
Merritt Wever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon (FX)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Asante Blackk, When They See Us (Netflix)
George Clooney, Catch-22 (Hulu)
John Leguizamo, When They See Us (Netflix)
Dev Patel, Modern Love (Amazon)
Jesse Plemons, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Stellan Skarsgård, Chernobyl (HBO)
Russell Tovey, Years and Years (HBO)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

Patricia Arquette, The Act (Hulu)
Marsha Stephanie Blake, When They See Us (Netflix)
Toni Collette, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Niecy Nash, When They See Us (Netflix)
Margaret Qualley, Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Emma Thompson, Years and Years (HBO)
Emily Watson, Chernobyl (HBO)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES

Big Mouth (Netflix)
BoJack Horseman (Netflix)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix)
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Undone (Amazon)

BEST TALK SHOW

Desus & Mero (Showtime)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL

Amy Schumer Growing (Netflix)
Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (Netflix)
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons (ABC)
Ramy Youssef: Feelings (HBO)
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby (Netflix)
Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia (Netflix)
Wanda Sykes: Not Normal (Netflix)

Amanda’s Picks: The 25th Annual Critics Choice Awards

The 25th Annual Critics Choice Awards are on tonight and it is the second award show of the Oscar season! After the winners were announced for the Golden Globes, the race for Best Picture is a bit cloudy, considering 1917 took Best Director and Best Picture Drama.

So…here are my picks ahead of tonight’s telecast.

Best Picture

1917
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Parasite
Uncut Gems

MY PICK: Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

Best Actor

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory
Robert De Niro, The Irishman
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Adam Driver, Marriage Story
Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name
Joaquin Phoenix, Joker
Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

MY PICK: Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems 

Best Actress

Awkwafina, The Farewell
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet
Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Saoirse Ronan, Little Women
Charlize Theron, Bombshell
Renée Zellweger, Judy

MY PICK: Lupita Nyong’o, Us 

Best Supporting Actor

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes
Al Pacino, The Irishman
Joe Pesci, The Irishman
Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

MY PICK: Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story
Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit
Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers
Florence Pugh, Little Women
Margot Robbie,  Bombshell
Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

MY PICK: Florence Pugh, Little Women 

Best Young Actor/Actress

Julia Butters, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit
Noah Jupe, Honey Boy
Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit
Shahadi Wright Joseph, Us
Archie Yates, Jojo Rabbit

MY PICK: Noah Jupe, Honey Boy 

Best Acting Ensemble

Bombshell
The Irishman
Knives Out
Little Women
Marriage Story
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood  
Parasite

MY PICK: Little Women/The Irishman 

Best Director

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Bong Joon Ho, Parasite
Sam Mendes, 1917
Josh Safdie and Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
Martin Scorsese, The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood

MY PICK: Bong Joon Ho, Parasite 

Best Original Screenplay

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story
Rian Johnson, Knives Out
Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won, Parasite
Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Lulu Wang, The Farewell

MY PICK: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Greta Gerwig, Little Women
Noah Harpster and Micah Fitzerman-Blue, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes
Todd Phillips & Scott Silver, Joker
Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit
Steven Zaillian, The Irishman

MY PICK: Steve Zaillian, The Irishman 

Best Cinematography

Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
Roger Deakins, 1917
Phedon Papamichael, Ford v Ferrari
Rodrigo Prieto, The Irishman
Robert Richardson, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Lawrence Sher, Joker

MY PICK: Roger Deakins, 1917 

Best Production Design

Mark Friedberg, Kris Moran, Joker
Dennis Gassner, Lee Sandales, 1917
Jess Gonchor, Claire Kaufman, Little Women
Lee Ha Jun, Parasite
Barbara Ling, Nancy Haigh, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bob Shaw, Regina Graves, The Irishman
Donal Woods, Gina Cromwell, Downton Abbey

MY PICK: Bob Shaw, Regina Graves, The Irishman 

Best Editing

Ronald Bronstein, Benny Safdie, Uncut Gems
Andrew Buckland, Michael McCusker, Ford v Ferrari
Yang Jinmo, Parasite
Fred Raskin, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Thelma Schoonmaker, The Irishman
Lee Smith, 1917

MY PICK: Thelma Schoonmaker, The Irishman 

Best Costume Design

Ruth E. Carter, Dolemite Is My Name
Julian Day, Rocketman
Jacqueline Durran, Little Women
Arianne Phillips, Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Sandy Powell & Christopher Peterson, The Irishman
Anna Robbins, Downton Abbey

MY PICK: Ruth E. Cater, Dolemite Is My Name 

Best Hair and Makeup

Bombshell
Dolemite Is My Name The Irishman
Joker
Judy
Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood
Rocketman

MY PICK: The Irishman 

Best Visual Effects

1917
Ad Astra
The Aeronauts
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
The Irishman
The Lion King 

MY PICK: Ad Astra 

Best Animated Feature

Abominable
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Missing Link
Toy Story 4

MY PICK: Missing Link 

Best Action Movie

1917
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Spider-Man: Far From Home

MY PICK: Ford v Ferrari 

Best Comedy

Booksmart
Dolemite Is My Name
The Farewell
Jojo Rabbit
Knives Out

MY PICK: Booksmart 

Best Sci-Fi or Horror Movie

Ad Astra
Avengers: Endgame
Midsommar
Us

MY PICK: Us 

Best Foreign Language Film

Atlantics
Les Misérables
Pain and Glory
Parasite
Portrait of a Lady on Fire

MY PICK: Parasite 

Best Song

“Glasgow (No Place Like Home)”, Wild Rose
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again”, Rocketman
“I’m Standing With You”, Breakthrough
“Into the Unknown”, Frozen II
“Speechless”, Aladdin
“Spirit”, The Lion King
“Stand Up”, Harriet

MY PICK: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again” Rocketman  

Best Score

Michael Abels, Us 
Alexandre Desplat, Little Women
Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker
Randy Newman, Marriage Story
Thomas Newman, 1917
Robbie Robertson, The Irishman

MY PICK: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker

The following picks will be in BOLD. 

Best Drama Series

The Crown (Netflix)
David Makes Man (OWN)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Pose (FX)
Succession (HBO)
This Is Us (NBC)
Watchmen (HBO)

Best Actor in a Drama Series

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us (NBC)
Mike Colter,  Evil (CBS)
Paul Giamatti, Billions (Showtime)
Kit Harington, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Freddie Highmore, The Good Doctor (ABC)
Tobias Menzies, The Crown (Netflix)
Billy Porter, Pose (FX)
Jeremy Strong, Succession (HBO)

Best Actress in a Drama Series

Christine Baranski, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Olivia Colman, The Crown (Netflix)
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve (BBC America)
Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Regina King, Watchmen (HBO)
Mj Rodriguez, Pose (FX)
Sarah Snook, Succession (HBO)
Zendaya, Euphoria (HBO)

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Asante Blackk, This Is Us (NBC)
Billy Crudup, The Morning Show (Apple)
Asia Kate Dillon, Billions (Showtime)
Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Justin Hartley, This Is Us (NBC)
Delroy Lindo, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Tim Blake Nelson, Watchmen (HBO)

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown (Netflix)
Gwendoline Christie, Game of Thrones (HBO)
Laura Dern, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Audra McDonald, The Good Fight (CBS All Access)
Jean Smart, Watchmen (HBO)
Meryl Streep, Big Little Lies (HBO)
Susan Kelechi Watson, This Is Us (NBC)

Best Comedy Series

Barry (HBO)
Fleabag (Amazon)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Mom (CBS)
One Day at a Time (Netflix)
PEN15 (Hulu)
Schitt’s Creek (Pop)

Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Ted Danson, The Good Place (NBC)
Walton Goggins, The Unicorn (CBS)
Bill Hader, Barry (HBO)
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Paul Rudd, Living with Yourself (Netflix)
Bashir Salahuddin, Sherman’s Showcase (IFC)
Ramy Youssef, Ramy (Hulu)

Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Christina Applegate, Dead to Me (Netflix)
Alison Brie, GLOW (Netflix)
Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
Kirsten Dunst, On Becoming a God in Central Florida (Showtime)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Catherine O’Hara, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Fleabag (Amazon)

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC)
Anthony Carrigan, Barry (HBO)
William Jackson Harper, The Good Place (NBC)
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Nico Santos, Superstore (NBC)
Andrew Scott, Fleabag (Amazon)
Henry Winkler, Barry (HBO)

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon)
D’Arcy Carden, The Good Place (NBC)
Sian Clifford, Fleabag (Amazon)
Betty Gilpin, GLOW (Netflix)
Rita Moreno, One Day at a Time (Netflix)
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek (Pop)
Molly Shannon, The Other Two (Comedy Central)

Best Limited Series

Catch-22 (Hulu)
Chernobyl (HBO)
Fosse/Verdon (FX)
The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Unbelievable (Netflix)
When They See Us (Netflix)
Years and Years (HBO)

Best Movie Made for Television

Brexit (HBO)
Deadwood: The Movie (HBO)
El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Guava Island (Amazon)
Native Son (HBO)
Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television

Christopher Abbott, Catch-22 (Hulu)
Mahershala Ali, True Detective (HBO)
Russell Crowe, The Loudest Voice (Showtime)
Jared Harris, Chernobyl (HBO)
Jharrel Jerome, When They See Us (Netflix)
Sam Rockwell, Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Noah Wyle, The Red Line (CBS)

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television

Kaitlyn Dever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Anne Hathaway, Modern Love (Amazon)
Megan Hilty, Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)
Joey King, The Act (Hulu)
Jessie Mueller, Patsy & Loretta (Lifetime)
Merritt Wever, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Michelle Williams, Fosse/Verdon (FX)

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television

Asante Blackk, When They See Us (Netflix)
George Clooney, Catch-22 (Hulu)
John Leguizamo, When They See Us (Netflix)
Dev Patel, Modern Love (Amazon)
Jesse Plemons, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie (Netflix)
Stellan Skarsgård, Chernobyl (HBO)
Russell Tovey, Years and Years (HBO)

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television

Patricia Arquette, The Act (Hulu)
Marsha Stephanie Blake, When They See Us (Netflix)
Toni Collette, Unbelievable (Netflix)
Niecy Nash, When They See Us (Netflix)
Margaret Qualley, Fosse/Verdon (FX)
Emma Thompson, Years and Years (HBO)
Emily Watson, Chernobyl (HBO)

Best Animated Series

Big Mouth (Netflix)
BoJack Horseman (Netflix)
The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (Netflix)
She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (Netflix)
The Simpsons (Fox)
Undone (Amazon)

Best Talk Show

Desus & Mero (Showtime)
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (TBS)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)

Best Comedy Special

Amy Schumer Growing (Netflix)
Jenny Slate: Stage Fright (Netflix)
Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Norman Lear’s All in the Family and The Jeffersons (ABC)
Ramy Youssef: Feelings (HBO)
Seth Meyers: Lobby Baby (Netflix)
Trevor Noah: Son of Patricia (Netflix)
Wanda Sykes: Not Normal (Netflix)

Just Mercy Review

Destin Daniel Cretton directed a generic biopic, based on the unfair treatment and systemic racism towards the black community, by the corrupt Alabama police force. Yes, these stories are powerful, when executed by talented actors, such as Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan. Of course, it holds important values, which should be enforced in today’s society but these stories are getting repetitive and it’s frustrating to watch. Stories such as this one, involving wrongful conviction and mass incarceration are unfortunately still a harsh reality in America.

Does this film evoke an emotional response? Yes.

Are the actors delivering an important story in order to show this corruption in America? Yes.

However, within the past couple of years we’ve seen this narrative multiple times. We need more stories that have black actors in different roles. For every biopic that involves segregation or police brutality, there are only one or two films that break the character mould.

To make matters worse America is still in this state, the corruption is still there and it hasn’t gotten better, it just looks different. So showing the past and spreading hope that it should have changed, is ineffective because unless the system changes, these films are sadly a reality for so many people and shouldn’t be produced globally for mass consumption as Oscar bait any longer.

The film is purely used as Oscar bait. Yes, it has very important content but the actors are the reason this film was watchable. The pacing was extremely slow and the only scenes that really grabbed me were the scenes between Jamie Foxx and Michael B. Jordan. They were both incredibly strong together and they drove the narrative forward but it just wasn’t enough for me.