Hillbilly Elegy Review


By: Amanda Guarragi

Hillbilly Elegy is a film about generational differences, family dysfunction and psychological trauma that all stems from childhood. The film is adapted from the memoir Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance. There is a different way of life in Middletown, Ohio and the memoir explored how he was personally affected by his family. Ron Howard pulls career best performances from Amy Adams and Glenn Close but it just falls short as a whole.

The screenplay, which was adapted by Vanessa Taylor, seemed promising at the beginning of the film. There was a voiceover from a young J.D. Vance (Gabriel Basso) explaining how life was for him, living with his family and what category they fit into in the grand scale of America. The film does dive into childhood psychological trauma and how each generation has somehow damaged the next.

It does not matter how it’s delivered, it can be any form of abuse, no matter how miniscule, children are most definitely affected. It felt like an endless cycle of trauma and misguided hatred within the family unit and that is what made certain scenes rather upsetting. The decisions made by generations before, somehow affects the lineage and all it takes is one family member to break the cycle and in this case, it was J.D. Vance.

Courtesy of Netflix Film
(left) Glenn Close and Amy Adams

My dear Amy Adams – an actress who has always gone above and beyond the script- has never had a bad performance, she was transformed as Bev and had incredibly strong, emotional moments. Watching her go toe-to-toe with a heavyweight like Glenn Close, was something I didn’t know I needed. Both have been underappreciated by the Academy for many, many years and if this film is what it takes, then so be it. The film simply does not work without the two of them.

Hillbilly Elegy had some strong moments but the editing made everything feel disjointed and episodic, rather than a fluid structure as a whole. The flashbacks were filled with traumatic emotional moments, that seemed to cut through J.D.’s peace in trying to get a summer internship. It is a film that does its job in blatantly showing real social issues, while allowing its stars to put on an acting clinic to carry the film to the end.

For Glenn Close and Amy Adams, make sure you check out Hillbilly Elegy on Netflix November 24th.

Oscars Postponed to April 2021


By: Amanda Guarragi 

Since the beginning of this pandemic, the Entertainment Industry has been in constant motion and have been changing dates, for majority of the films slated for 2020. Earlier today, the Television Academy announced, that the ‘Creative Arts Emmys’ will go virtual, the annual Governor’s Balls that follow those shows and the Primetime Emmys will be canceled for the first time in history. Since the Emmys and the Oscars telecasts are both on ABC, negotiations had to be made for the Academy Awards as well.

The Academy tweeted out an information card with the changed date for the Oscars telecast, as well as a change in the eligibility dates for films that could meet the standard guidelines.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 5.01.00 PM

courtesy of @TheAcademy on Twitter

 

First on the list of ‘Key 93rd Oscars Dates’ is the Awards Eligibility. So from January 1st, 2020 – February 28th, 2021 films released during that period, will have a fair opportunity to possibly get a nomination. Seems fair right? Well, extending the eligibility date, means that the films that came out earlier this year such as, The Invisible Man, Emma, The Way Back, The High Note, Capone and Da 5 Bloods will have a more difficult time campaigning because of their release date. The cut off is around November 20th, so films that are released past that date, would normally, never make the cut. So The Academy, is tacking on 3 extra months of content in that time frame.

Second on the list is the Shortlist Announcement on February 9th, 2021. This means that there will be a very long list of possible nominees, that will be condensed in to each category, eventually becoming official nominees. This also means that the campaigning will be very different for the rest of the year. Films that came out earlier this year, should not be forgotten and the hype for each of those films, needs to be mentioned, time and time again, closer to that date. The films that I listed above, by the time next year comes, will definitely be considered a long shot because now all the postponed films have been crammed into those months.

Third on the list is the Nominations Announcement on March 15th, 2021. Every year, the Oscar Nominations day is filled with plenty of snubs and actors nominated in the wrong category. It is always a messy day because films that should have been recognized, usually don’t make the cut and they are almost always, independent films (Honey Boy and Uncut Gems)  that fly under the radar. This day is going to be much different than previous years because of the extension and the bias towards films that were released on streaming platforms or VOD.

Fourth on the list is the Oscar Sunday telecast, now being held on April 25th, 2021. This is a massive jump from the regular February/March timeslot. It is so deep in the year, that it may cause issues for other award ceremonies that come before it. What does this mean for the Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globe Awards and the SAG Awards? How do they fit into the calendar that well all know so well? The BAFTAs have already changed their date to April 11th, 2021 but the rest of the pre-Oscars telecasts have not released a statement.

Lastly, the long awaited Academy Museum will officially open on April 30th, 2021. When it opens, the Museum will be the premier institution dedicated to the arts and science of movies. The Academy Museum will offer exhibitions and programs highlighting the world of cinema. They will also present year round calendar of screenings, film series, members programs, panel discussions and family programs. Programs will include retrospectives and thematic series that present the artistic and cultural contributions from filmmakers all over the world.

Many of us have already made a shortlist of the best films that could possibly be nominated, for Oscars in 2021. There are definitely more films to add but in this article How The 2021 Oscars Will Look, If It Doesn’t Get Postponed, I go into detail and breakdown the possible nominations list for the films that are eligible. There are plenty more films to watch, so it is time to start writing down the list of possible Oscar contenders because it is going to be a very long season.

How The 2021 Oscars Will Look, If It Doesn’t Get Postponed


By: Amanda Guarragi 

Every year there are films lined up for Oscar season and some films that are sprinkled across the year, hoping to be standouts in order to be in the running. In 2020, the world has faced a global pandemic which has changed the way we live. It has also changed the way most industries operate. The Entertainment Industry has definitely felt this shift, due to the fact that movie theatres are now closed and it is unclear as to when they will reopen. Everything is up in the air and only a handful of films will be released this year, so the big question is… how are the Oscars going to work?

In a recent Variety article, Marc Malkin says that the Oscars may be postponed. The sources, who chose to remain anonymous, stated that “Definitive plans are far from being concrete at this juncture. The telecast is currently set for Feb. 28, 2021, on ABC.” The sources, who have been close to the subject, said that it will most likely be postponed. There could be potential new dates but they haven’t been fully discussed yet or properly mapped out. There were new (temporary) rule changes for Oscar eligibility released in April because of COVID -19.

“The board of governors approved a temporary hold on the requirement that a film needs a seven-day theatrical run in a commercial theater in Los Angeles County to qualify for the Oscars.” says Marc Malkin from Variety. As long as the film had a planned theatrical release, it is still eligible for an Oscar nomination. It doesn’t mean that any film premiering on a streaming service is eligible. With this shift in the moviegoing experience, it seems fitting to change the guidelines temporarily, so films that had a planned theatrical release and are currently going straight to VOD, can have the same chance in getting nominated.

If the Academy already changed the guidelines, because they sympathized with the filmmakers, who worked so hard in getting their film out there and making the conscious choice to STILL release it on VOD, why are they planning on postponing it? What was the point in changing the guidelines, if you’re about to change the game entirely? How does postponing the Oscars benefit any of the films/filmmakers?

These are the questions that I’m curious to know the answers to. There are films that have been (and will be) released this year that are eligible and “worthy” enough of an Oscar run, so why not give them an even chance? If they choose to postpone the Oscars, won’t there be double the films to choose from, in order to hand out that golden statue? Are the categories going to include 10 nominees, instead of 5, because there are more films to cover? It doesn’t seem like the best move.

These are the films that could possibly be nominated for Oscars for the 2021 season:

  • Emma 
    Best Actress: Anya Taylor Joy
    Best Cinematography: Christopher Blauvelt
    Best Director: Autumn de Wilde
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Eleanor Catton
    Best Original Score: Isobel Waller-Bridge & David Schweitzer


  • The Way Back 
    Best Actor: Ben Affleck
    Best Director: Gavin O’Connor
    Best Original Screenplay: Brad Ingelsby


  • The Invisible Man 
    Best Picture: Jason Blum & Kylie du Fresne
    Best Actress: Elisabeth Moss
    Best Director: Leigh Whannell
    Best Original Screenplay: Leigh Whannell
    Best Original Score: Benjamin Wallfisch
    Best Editing: Andy Canny


    Best Visual Effects:
    The Invisible Man 
    Wonder Woman 1984
    Tenet
    Dune
    Sonic the Hedgehog


  • Never Rarely Sometimes Always 
    Best Actress: Sidney Flanigan
    Best Original Screenplay: Eliza Hittman
    Best Cinematography: Hélène Louvart
    Best Director: Eliza Hittman


    Best Animated Feature: 
    Sonic The Hedgehog
    Onward
    Scoob!
    Trolls World Tour
    Soul



  • Tenet 
    Best Picture: Christopher Nolan & Emma Thomas
    Best Director: Christopher Nolan
    Best Actor: John David Washington
    Best Supporting Actor: Robert Pattinson
    Best Original Screenplay: Christopher Nolan
    Best Original Score: Ludwig Göransson
    Best Editing: Jennifer Lame


  • The French Dispatch 
    Best Picture: Wes Anderson, Steven Rales & Jeremy Dawson
    Best Director: Wes Anderson
    Best Original Screenplay: Wes Anderson
    Best Original Score: Alexandre Desplat
    Best Cinematography: Robert Yeoman


  • Capone 
    Best Director: Josh Trank
    Best Original Screenplay: Josh Trank
    Best Actor: Tom Hardy
    Best Supporting Actress: Linda Cardellini
    Best Cinematography: Peter Deming


  • Da 5 Bloods (Netflix)
    Best Picture: Jon Kilik, Spike Lee, Beatriz Levin & Lloyd Levin
    Best Director: Spike Lee
    Best Cinematography: Newton Thomas Sigel
    Best Original Score: Terence Blanchard
    Best Editing: Adam Gough
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Spike Lee and Kevin Willmott


  • Mank (Netflix) 
    Best Picture: David Fincher, Ceán Chaffin, Eric Roth and Douglas Urbanski
    Best Director: David Fincher
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Jack Fincher
    Best Actor: Gary Oldman
    Best Supporting Actress: Amanda Seyfried
    Best Original Score: Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
    Best Cinematography Erik Messerschmidt
    Best Editing: Kirk Baxter


  • Dune
    Best Picture: Mary Parent, Cale Boyter, Joe Caracciolo Jr. and Denis Villeneuve
    Best Director: Denis Villeneuve
    Best Adapted Screenplay: Jon Spaihts, Eric Roth & Denis Villeneuve
    Best Actor: Timothée Chalamet
    Best Supporting Actress: Rebecca Ferguson
    Best Supporting Actor: Oscar Isaac
    Best Original Score: Hans Zimmer
    Best Cinematography: Greig Fraser
    Best Editing: Joe Walker


This list that I have compiled is solely based on what I believe to be possible Oscar contenders. Majority of these films are highly anticipated and have been adamant in not moving their release date, due to COVID 19. This is all hypothetical and if the restrictions are still in place from September onwards, they need to make the decision to send it straight to VOD or postpone their film entirely. I personally think it’s not the right decision to postpone the Oscars because all of the films listed above should be given the fair chance to be nominated, based on the slate of their year. If the Academy combines the 2020 & 2021 slates, it will be too much for anyone to handle.

“It is still unclear if postponing the Oscars will also mean that the Academy will allow films released after the year-end deadline to qualify for the 2021 Oscars.” says Marc Malkin for Variety. It is a very difficult decision to make, but it is also very premature to even consider postponing, if we are only half way through the year. At the end of the day, you don’t make pictures for Oscars, as the wise director Martin Scorsese has said, but it’s sure great to get recognized for your work.

Oscars 2020: List of Winners

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards were a complete success. The reason why it was a success, was because Parasite made history as the first International Film to ever win Best Picture. Bong Joon-ho also took home a golden statue for Best Original Screenplay, Best Director and Best International Film. Parasite definitely deserved to win these awards and if you haven’t seen it yet, now is the time to do so.

Here are the list of winners….

BEST PICTURE

SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: 1917
WINNER: PARASITE 

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
SHOULD WIN: Florence Pugh, Little Women 
WILL WIN: Laura Dern, Marriage Story 
WINNER: LAURA DERN, MARRIAGE STORY 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
Al Pacino, “The Irishman”
Joe Pesci, “The Irishman”
SHOULD WIN: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood 
WILL WIN: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood 
WINNER: BRAD PITT, ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

South Korea, “Parasite”
Spain, “Pain and Glory”
France, “Les Misérables”
North Macedonia, “Honeyland”
Poland, “Corpus Christi”
SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: Parasite 
WINNER: PARASITE 

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

“In the Absence”
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
“Life Overtakes Me”
“St. Louis Superman”
“Walk Run Cha-Cha”
SHOULD WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
WILL WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
WINNER: LEARNING TO SKATEBOARD IN A WARZONE (IF YOU’RE A GIRL)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“American Factory”
“The Edge of Democracy”
“Honeyland”
“For Sama”
“The Cave”
SHOULD WIN: For Sama
WILL WIN: American Factory 
WINNER: AMERICAN FACTORY 

ORIGINAL SONG

“I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen II”
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”
SHOULD WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
WILL WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
WINNER: (I’M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAIN, “ROCKETMAN”

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“I Lost My Body”
“Klaus”
“Missing Link”
“Toy Story 4”
SHOULD WIN: Klaus/Missing Link
WILL WIN: Toy Story 4 
WINNER: TOY STORY 4 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

SHOULD WIN: Little Women 
WILL WIN: Jojo Rabbit 
WINNER: JOJO RABBIT 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: Parasite 
WINNER: PARASITE 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Adam Driver, “Marriage Story”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
SHOULD WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 
WILL WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 
WINNER: JOAQUIN PHOENIX, JOKER 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
SHOULD WIN: Saiorse Ronan, Little Women 
WILL WIN: Renée Zellweger, Judy 
WINNER: RENÉE ZELLWEGER, JUDY 

DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Todd Phillips, “Joker”
SHOULD WIN: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite 
WILL WIN: Sam Mendes, 1917 
WINNER: BONG JOON – HO, PARASITE 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

SHOULD WIN: Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 
WILL WIN: Parasite 
WINNER: ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

SHOULD WIN: The Lighthouse 
WILL WIN: 1917
WINNER: 1917 

COSTUME DESIGN

SHOULD WIN: Little Women 
WILL WIN: Jojo Rabbit 
WINNER: LITTLE WOMEN 

SOUND EDITING

SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 
WINNER: FORD V FERRARI 

SOUND MIXING

SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 
WINNER: 1917 

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Dcera (Daughter)”
“Hair Love”
“Kitbull”
“Memorable”
“Sister”
SHOULD WIN: Hair Love 
WILL WIN: Hair Love 
WINNER: HAIR LOVE 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Brotherhood”
“Nefta Football Club”
“The Neighbours’ Window”
“Saria”
“A Sister”
SHOULD WIN: Saria 
WILL WIN: Saria 
WINNER: THE NEIGHBOURS’ WINDOW

ORIGINAL SCORE

“1917,” Thomas Newman
“Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir
“Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
“Marriage Story,” Randy Newman
SHOULD WIN: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker 
WILL WIN: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker 
WINNER: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker 

VISUAL EFFECTS

“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Lion King”
SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: 1917
WINNER: 1917

FILM EDITING

SHOULD WIN: The Irishman 
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 
WINNER: FORD V FERRARI 

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

SHOULD WIN: Bombshell 
WILL WIN: Bombshell 
WINNER: BOMBSHELL 

Amanda’s Picks: Oscars 2020

Happy Oscar Sunday to my fellow cinephiles and casual moviegoers! Tonight is the night we’ve all been waiting for. The 92nd Annual Academy Awards are being televised, without a host this year for the second time. There are plenty of presenters that will be taking the stage and awarding their colleagues for their accomplishments this year.

It has been such a long journey for me, since I attended The Toronto International Film Festival in September and I made my early picks for Oscar Season. Fortunately for me, I made the right choices and majority of them are now nominated this year. Also, fun fact before I make my predictions… for the past couple of years the Grolsch People’s Choice Award winner at TIFF has won an Oscar, in this case Jojo Rabbit has a shot.

So here are my predictions…

BEST PICTURE

SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: 1917

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Kathy Bates, “Richard Jewell”
Scarlett Johansson, “Jojo Rabbit”
Florence Pugh, “Little Women”
Margot Robbie, “Bombshell”
SHOULD WIN: Florence Pugh, Little Women 
WILL WIN: Laura Dern, Marriage Story 

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE

Anthony Hopkins, “The Two Popes”
SHOULD WIN: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood 
WILL WIN: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood 

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

South Korea, “Parasite”
Spain, “Pain and Glory”
France, “Les Misérables”
North Macedonia, “Honeyland”
Poland, “Corpus Christi”
SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: Parasite 

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)

“In the Absence”
“Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
“Life Overtakes Me”
“St. Louis Superman”
“Walk Run Cha-Cha”
SHOULD WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”
WILL WIN: “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl)”

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

“American Factory”
“The Edge of Democracy”
“Honeyland”
“For Sama”
“The Cave”
SHOULD WIN: For Sama
WILL WIN: American Factory 

ORIGINAL SONG

“I’m Standing With You,” “Breakthrough”
“Into the Unknown,” “Frozen II”
“Stand Up,” “Harriet”
“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
“I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away,” “Toy Story 4”
SHOULD WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”
WILL WIN: “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again,” “Rocketman”

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

“How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World”
“I Lost My Body”
“Klaus”
“Missing Link”
“Toy Story 4”
SHOULD WIN: Klaus/Missing Link
WILL WIN: Toy Story 4 

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

SHOULD WIN: Little Women 
WILL WIN: Jojo Rabbit 

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

SHOULD WIN: Parasite 
WILL WIN: Parasite 

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE

Antonio Banderas, “Pain and Glory”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Joker”
Jonathan Pryce, “The Two Popes”
SHOULD WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 
WILL WIN: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker 

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE

Cynthia Erivo, “Harriet”
Scarlett Johansson, “Marriage Story”
Saoirse Ronan, “Little Women”
Renée Zellweger, “Judy”
Charlize Theron, “Bombshell”
SHOULD WIN: Saiorse Ronan, Little Women 
WILL WIN: Renée Zellweger, Judy 

DIRECTOR

Martin Scorsese, “The Irishman”
Bong Joon-ho, “Parasite”
Sam Mendes, “1917”
Todd Phillips, “Joker”
SHOULD WIN: Bong Joon-ho, Parasite 
WILL WIN: Sam Mendes, 1917 

PRODUCTION DESIGN

SHOULD WIN: Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood 
WILL WIN: Parasite 

CINEMATOGRAPHY

SHOULD WIN: The Lighthouse 
WILL WIN: 1917

COSTUME DESIGN

SHOULD WIN: Little Women 
WILL WIN: Jojo Rabbit 

SOUND EDITING

SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 

SOUND MIXING

SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Dcera (Daughter)”
“Hair Love”
“Kitbull”
“Memorable”
“Sister”
SHOULD WIN: Hair Love 
WILL WIN: Hair Love 

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

“Brotherhood”
“Nefta Football Club”
“The Neighbours’ Window”
“Saria”
“A Sister”
SHOULD WIN: Saria 
WILL WIN: Saria 

ORIGINAL SCORE

“1917,” Thomas Newman
“Joker,” Hildur Guðnadóttir
“Little Women,” Alexandre Desplat
“Marriage Story,” Randy Newman
SHOULD WIN: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker 
WILL WIN: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker 

VISUAL EFFECTS

“Avengers: Endgame”
“The Lion King”
SHOULD WIN: 1917
WILL WIN: 1917

FILM EDITING

SHOULD WIN: The Irishman 
WILL WIN: Ford v Ferrari 

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

SHOULD WIN: Bombshell 
WILL WIN: Bombshell 

As you can see there is only one pick for The Irishman. Does The Irishman deserve more than it’s getting this year? You bet! So I’m not voting based on preference, instead I’m voting with how award season went.
Would I want The Irishman, Joker and Once Upon A Time… in Hollywood to over perform and surprise all of us? Yes. Those were the films that stood out to me in 2019.
Would Parasite winning Best Picture be a historic moment that SHOULD happen in 2020? ABSOLUTELY.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the Oscars won’t be filled with surprises tonight! The red carpet starts at 6pm and the telecast starts at 8pm. Feel free to follow along on Twitter @amxndareviews.