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68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 3: Comedy   Leave a comment

After the reality and variety, plus TV movie and limited series, we continue our 2016 Emmy prediction series with the hilarious shows and performances from our comedy shows. Last year, Veep dominated winning Series, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Writing. Will they pull off the same feat again this year? Can Jim Parsons come back in the race? And will they finally give up on Modern Family?

comedy directing

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Any Given Saturday” (Gail Mancuso)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari)
• Silicon Valley, “Founder Friendly” (Mike Judge)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Jill Solloway)
• Veep, “Kissing Your Sister” (David Mandel)
• Veep, “Mother” (Dale Stern)

Seventh nominee: Silicon Valley, “Daily Active Users” (Alec Berg)

Let’s begin by me saying that I think black-ish would have a huge Emmy breakout this season. I mean, sure maybe Anthony Anderson’s surprise nod last year was maybe due to a tie, but whatever. The improved quality of the second season had the critics pushing for it. It’s also somehow of a statement show, and it says a lot that Emmy winner Gail Mancuso decided to submit for this show instead of 4x winner Modern Family here. I’ll also probably predict a lot of Master of None here, and maybe Aziz Ansari follows Lena Dunham and Louis C.K. to pick up nods for their directing and writing efforts too. Silicon Valley, Transparent, and Veep are mainstays here and it’s just a matter of choosing which show will pick up multiple nominations. Thus, bet on current Emmy champ Veep to be it.

comedy writing

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Hope” (Kenya Barris)
• Lady Dynamite, “Pilot” (Pam Brady & Mitch Hurwitz)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang)
• Silicon Valley, “The Uptick” (Alec Berg)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Ali Liebegott)
• Veep, “Mother” (Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck)

Seventh nominee: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, “Kimmy Finds Her Mom!” (Tina Fey & Sam Means)

It’s unfortunate that Lady Dynamite didn’t have an explosion in terms of reception, but it’s the writers we’re talking about here, and they’re more reactive to quality as compared to the other branches; thus, a pilot written by multiple Emmy winner Mitch Hurwitz does stand a chance to get nominated. After that, we have the same five shows I’m predicting for Directing, though if there’s a spoiler here, maybe Tina Fey gets back in the race, her first since 30 Rock.

comedy guest actor

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

• Fred Armisen, “Saturday Night Live
• Larry David, “Saturday Night Live”
• Peter MacNicol, “Veep”
• Tracy Morgan, “Saturday Night Live”
• Martin Mull, “Veep”
• Bradley Whitford, “Transparent”

Seventh nominee: Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory”

Three SNL men have competed here in the past, so it’s not as if it’s something new. After all, they’re working on three entirely different narratives. Fred Armisen is a past SNL member, and we all know how much they love to nominate those previous members even in the past years alone (there’s Tina and Amy and Jimmy (winning twice) and Kirsten and Maya and Bill)! Tracy Morgan has a comeback narrative. I mean have you seen the reception to him when he presented at the Emmys last year? They LOVE him! As for Larry David, this is his first bid at an acting Emmy and him playing Bernie Sanders will help him further. Last year’s winner Bradley Whitford is back at it again, so you can pencil a nomination for him again. Then for the last two spots, I went with two Veep men: Martin Mull who played Bob Bradley, and previous Emmy nominee Peter MacNicol who I’d say is the non-SNL actor frontrunner in here.

comedy guest actress

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Ellen Burstyn, “Mom”
• Claire Danes, ”Master of None”
• Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, “Saturday Night Live”
• Anjelica Huston, “Transparent”
• Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”

Seventh nominee: Lisa Kudrow, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

I have mixed reactions with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler competing as one especially since this is likely Amy Poehler’s first actual legit bid at an Emmy. But hey, if that’s what it’ll take for her to finally win, then let’s go for it. Joining her is Melissa McCarthy who got nominated for all the times she hosted SNL too, Christine Baranski who’s also a multi-guest nominee for this role. Then there’s Ellen Burstyn who’ll Allison Janney her way to both Guest Comedy and Drama nominations. Oscar winner Anjelica Huston had a much-buzzed stint on Transparent, so I think she’ll be in. Last spot is up for grabs, we have lots of contenders from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, that maybe we can get in a second Guest nod for a solo Tina Fey, or the much-buzzed Lisa Kudrow, but I’ll go on a limb and say that Claire Danes gets in for Master of None. It has that Louie guest stint vibes for me, though that show is infallible as well (Sarah fuckin Baker, everyone).

comedy supp actor

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
• Adam Driver, “Girls”
• Laurence Fishburne, “black-ish”
• Tony Hale, “Veep”
• Hugh Laurie, “Veep”

Seventh nominee: Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine”

Tony Hale is a given at this point, especially after winning twice for that role already. Congratulations Ty Burrell, you’re the last man standing from Modern Family, and I think he’s here to stay for the next few years. It would be such an Emmy thing to do to finally stop nominating Adam Driver since he finally made it big as a movie star, but if he can survive last year’s almost Girls shut-out, then maybe he can still squeeze in a nod or two. Tituss Burgess also seems like a possible consecutive nod. His is a role that this category loves if we’re to base it on the history of this. Andre Braugher can easily score another nod, but I think voters are already over Brooklyn Nine Nine by now, and while it is Andre Braugher we’re talking about, there’s a lot of other veterans they can nominate here… which leads me to Laurence Fishburne in black-ish. It’s a tad surprising that even after so many years, Hale has been the only Veep supporting actor nominated but maybe winning Series last year can finally score them an additional acting nod. Since there’s no consensus on who the second actor might be (Tim Simons is probably what critics will push, but Gary Cole is the only other male nominated performance from this show), so go the easy route and predict the most prominent one in the group; thus it’s Hugh Laurie.

comedy supp actress

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
• Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
• Allison Janney, “Mom”
• Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Judith Light, “Transparent”
• Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

Seventh nominee: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”

It’s hilarious that all eight(!) women from last year are still eligible to be nominated again this year, but since I don’t think we’re going eight here again, I’d say Mayim Bialik and Niecy Nash are the first to go. Allison Janney is definitely back and in contention for a third straight win here, and so is Anna Chlumsky. Jane Krakowski is someone they love to nominate (however, winning is a different story), so I think she’ll be back as well. And it’s safe to say that they won’t be cutting Kate McKinnon in an election season of all years, so there’s four. The last two slots are between 2x previous Emmy champ Julie Bowen of Modern Family and the two Transparent ladies — last year’s nominee Gaby Hoffmann and Judith Light. All three make sense as nominees, but I feel Modern Family is going on a decline here, thus cutting Bowen off in the process.

comedy lead actor

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
• Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
• Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle”
• Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
• William H. Macy, “Shameless”
• Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Seventh nominee: Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”

Let’s begin with those that will surely be back. Of course, there’s no better way to start this than with Jeffrey Tambor who’ll even probably win this again (and deservedly so). After his surprise nod last year, I think Anthony Anderson will be back too, as well as perennial Emmy favorite William H. Macy. Will Forte scooped three major surprise nods last year, so I feel like in a relatively empty category like this one, he has the industry support and clout to pull off another one.Now this is where it gets tricky — sure Louis C.K. and Matt Leblanc aren’t eligible this time around so it’s opening up a free slot (since there are seven nominees last year). I’m currently predicting Aziz Anzari, as mentioned above already, to have his Louis C.K. (or Lena Dunham or Will Forte or whatever) moment, but I won’t be surprised if he gets Ellie Kemeper-ed in the end, meaning lead star of the nominated show snubbed. For now, I’d keep him in. As for that last slot, we can have a Jim Parsons come back again (yes as much as we’re sick of him and his show now) and Don Cheadle has been nominated all seasons his show was eligible (and this is the final season so there’s that), but I’mma go risky and put in Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal here only because I think Amazon’s really, really aggressive campaigning will at least bear one good result for them.

comedy lead actress

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Lena Dunham, “Girls”
• Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
• Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
• Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
• Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Seventh nominee: Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”

The question here basically is who are the five other women Julia Louis Dreyfus is beating for that fifth consecutive Emmy? As for starters, there’s Lily Tomlin who got in last year for Grace and Frankie without her partner Jane Fonda. Maybe both of them gets nominated this year, who knows? Then there’s Ellie Kemper who missed last year, but then again, last year is the most competitive category of the race since whenever so maybe it’s safe to say she’s in this year (or is she?) To continue my black-ish breakout year narrative, there’s also Tracee Ellis Ross who’ll be the first black woman to be nominated since Phylicia Rashad exactly 30 years ago (talk about narrative)! With a clear resurgence in quality, I think Lena Dunham will also be back after a year of absence. This can be a way to reward her and her season since Girls feels like an afterthought already. Now I’m definitely crazy for excluding Amy Schumer out. Sure, she doesn’t have a breakthrough big year like last year because not all years can be like that, but the lukewarm reception of this Inside Amy Schumer season feels like it’s ripe for a possible miss. Think of the other one time-nominated performances here (Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross in Desperate Housewives, Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Laura Linney in The Big C, Sarah Silverman in The Sarah Silverman Program, Lea Michele in Glee, Taylor Schilling in Orange is the New Black) — all those in really huge breakout seasons that they snubbed after. After all, I think she can get her due in the Variety Sketch category. Now this is where it gets crazier — I’m removing Amy Schumer for a CW actress. The Emmys are so allergic of CW they don’t even nominate their guest actresses (not even when they’re as legendary as Rita Moreno). But I think that sooner or later they’ll cave in. This year, they have two in contention: Globe winner this year Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-girlfriend and Globe winner last year Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin. Now I don’t think both are getting in, and while Bloom is the more current one, I’d say the Emmys will be y’know.. like the Emmys and be a year late in acknowledging Gina Rodriguez just like when they nominated Tatiana Maslany when no one’s predicting her anymore.

comedy series

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish (ABC)
• Master of None (Netflix)
• Modern Family (ABC)
• Silicon Valley (HBO)
• Transparent (Amazon)
• Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
• Veep (HBO)

Eighth nominee: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

As for the Series categories, we have two slots freed up this year because of Louie having no season this year and Parks and Recreation‘s departure. While people are toying around with the idea of Modern Family missing already, I’m not sure that will happen yet for this year, at least. They probably have one or two years in them before they get dropped off. Meanwhile all the other four nominees are guaranteed to be back as well – current winner Veep, Transparent, Silicon Valley, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Considering that Netflix is really great when it comes to campaigning their own shows, I’d say Master of None gets in in a category with seven spots. And lastly, I began my mention of it and end with it too –Black-ish seems like its poised for an Emmy breakout. Not only will it be the remaining network representative (especially since Modern Family is on its way out), but it’s about family too, so expect it to be there.

Tomorrow, to complete the list, the cream of the crop among the television dramas!

Talk to me about this one on Twitter: @nikowl

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67th Cannes Film Festival Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

Photo from redriff.com

And we have finally reached the end of the season. The end of the 67th Cannes Film Fest a.k.a the world’s biggest film festival is upon us in a few hours. Now that all films in the In Competition have screened, it’s time to predict on which films and performances will garner prizes from our jury headed by Jane Campion. As the whole season progressed, there have been lots of talks about the films in contention this year. From Still the Water‘s Naomi Kawase’s claim that she’s going Palme or nothing, to Xavier Dolan’s dedicating his possible win to the filmmakers of his generation, Cannes has never been louder – and more competitive – than ever. This year we have no solid frontrunner like that of Amour in 2012 or Blue is the Warmest Color like last year so predicting things is much trickier this time around. With that said, here’s how I foresee Campion and company’s decisions in all seven categories.

Two Days, One Night

SCREENPLAY:

PREDICTION: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, “Two Days One Night
The Dardenne brothers have always ended up with something during their last five participation in the main competition of the Cannes Film Fest. So as expected, they’re bound to end up winning one for this latest film which is a hit from the critics and watchers alike. While the possibility of them receiving a third Palme d’or is very much possible, the reward can also happen to lead actress Marion Cotillard whose third time is probably the charm for these voters. That said, I think they’re ending up with the Screenplay award instead which will continue their impressive record of winning in competition.

ALTERNATE: Andrey Zvyagintsev, Oleg Negin, “Leviathan
If not the pair of brothers, then maybe this pair of writing pals will end up winning n this category instead. There seems to be a level of disconnect in terms of the reception between critics with Leviathan, but if the jury is sold, this can be the most fitting place for them to reward it.

Timothy Spall

ACTOR:

PREDICTION: Timothy Spall, “Mr. Turner
Mike Leigh’s lead acting roles have a tendency to attract awards and recognition, and Mr. Turner  seems to be no exception. Timothy Spall’s transformation as the British painter J.M.W. Turner is one that screams acting, and this seems to be the most fitting place to reward the film. Make no mistake though, as there are lots of other contenders in this category as well.

ALTERNATE: the male ensemble of Foxcatcher (Steve Carell, Channing Tatum, Mark Ruffalo)
I know what you’re thinking. Cannes winner Channing Tatum? Well yeah that’s indeed close to happening. If the jury can’t decide on which Foxcatcher actor to reward, then they might give a share to all three actors instead for their contribution in this well received Bennett Miller’s cold drama. Ensemble wins are pretty regular at festivals, so it’s not as if this is the first time that it will happen. That said, watch out for Gaspard Ulliel in Saint Laurent or Haluk Bilginer of Winter Sleep to be competitive for the win as well.

Juliette Binoche

ACTRESS

PREDICTION: Juliette Binoche, “Clouds of Sils Maria
Sure, Binoche has won just four years ago with Certified Copy, but never underestimate this jury’s love for Juliette Binoche. A lot of them are vocal huge fans of the actress, and that alone might put her instantly to the top. Besides, Sils Maria is such an actressing role. It’s about an actress reclaiming a position that was hers before. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they give a joint prize to Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart who’s been receiving career best reviews here. For now, I’ll stick with solely Binoche, but I wouldn’t count out that possibility.

ALTERNATE: Anne Dorval, “Mommy
Xavier Dolan is a great actor’s director, as he surely brings out the best of his actors in the screen (sadly, the same can’t be said for his performances in his films). From what I’ve read tho, Dorval’s too much of a showy, too much in your face, cold role that might turn some members of the jury off. There’s also the possibility of Mommy winning the Palme which will easily eliminate Dorval from the conversation. Also take note of Marion Cotillard’s great ink for the Dardennes’ Two Days, One Night. Girl has been waiting for her Actress prize for the third year now (after losing for Rust and Bone and The Immigrant)  and this might be her time. There’s also Julianne Moore who’ll be the second actress (after Binoche) to win the trifecta of Actress wins in all three big festivals for Maps to the Stars. But I’m not really counting on that to happen.

Mommy

DIRECTOR:

PREDICTION: Xavier Dolan, “Mommy
Dolan is a co-frontrunner for the Palme, there’s no doubt about that one. And if anything, his is the type of experimental approach that this jury could possibly appreciate. With that said, if a consensus has to be played out in the jury, I think they’ll give him the Directing award instead. For all the style approaches that Dolan used in Mommy including the type of screen he used in the final output, i think it’s pretty obvious that this is the place where they’ll reward the film instead.

ALTERNATE: Naomi Kawase, “Still the Water
Kawase came to Cannes prepared with the Palme in her sight. But seems like a lot of films upstaged hers though. Never mind that since Jane Campion is a vocal Kawase fan, and unless she pulls an Isabelle Adjani and demands the rest of them to give the Palme to this, then this directorial effort might be her best shot for a win this year. After all, there have been so many talks with only one female director winner in Cannes history, so this will some sort of a passing the torch style if she wins this one. Plus with the divisiveness of Still the Water, this fits the bill of other underwhelming or critically panned films that still ended up winning Director the last few years (Brillante Mendoza for Kinatay in 2009, Carlos Reygadas for Post Tenebras Lux in 2012, and last year’s Aman Escalante for Heli). The other female director Alice Rohrwacher is also a contender here.

Le Meraviglie

 

JURY PRIZE

PREDICTION: Alice Rohrwacher, “Le Meraviglie
Rohrwacher’s case is very interesting this year. While the rest of the critics are raving about this film, the French one seemed to be so adamant about it even ranking it as the lowest in their polls. But except for that, it has been performing greatly among all the other ones. I think in this case, the French are clearly the outliers, and this Italian director can score a Jury Prize from the panel of voters.

ALTERNATE: Naomi Kawase, “Still the Water
If not, then maybe the other woman in the festival, Naomi Kawase, can end up winning this. Seems like Still the Water, for all its divisiveness, is the type of of film that gains really passionate fans and those fans might be the ones making up the decision this year. If they can’t come up with a consensus of this one winning the Palme, then the Jury Prize might be good enough as the palce to reward it.

Timbuktu

 

GRAND PRIX

PREDICTION: Abderrhamane Sissako, “Timbuktu
Despite premiering at the earlier part of the festival, Sissako’s Timbuktu not only managed to raise the bar for competition this year, but they also were able to maintain this momentum all throughout the festival. With a riveting “OMG important” political topic tackled in the film, I’m quite confident that this will be getting home with an award. It’s one of the year’s most lauded films and this might give him another win after his Un Certain Regard victory 21 years ago.

ALTERNATE: Jean-Luc Godard, “Goodbye to Language 3D
Going into the competition, Godard is another one who’s a common denominator of influence and inspiration among the members of this year’s Cannes jury. But despite strong polarizing reactions with this one, and with reports of the jury not giving a care about it, who knows if they’ll give this an award or if they will leave it to the dust?

Winter Sleep

 

PALME D’OR

PREDICTION: Nuri Blige Ceylan, “Winter Sleep
And as for the biggest prize, I think that it is Ceylan’s time to win the Palme for this year. Not only did he manage to sustain the high expectations given to him after Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, he was able to translate that with near consensus critical appraisal for this one. Winter Sleep is the type of film that I think can avoid the polarizing reaction from the jury and one that can be on the middle ground when the other polarizing films bring down each other. Also, the technical achievement of this film is outstanding that it might certainly put it on top of the jury’s preference list for this year.

ALTERNATE: Xavier Dolan, “Mommy
When Dolan vocally mentioned his frustration of Laurence Anyways not getting a Main Competition slot two years ago, it seemed as if his ego’s feeding him with that statement. And for his first foray into the big leagues, he certainly did not disappoint with the raves his film is getting. I admit, even I was surprised with this reception to Dolan’s film, since he’s usually polarizing and divisive that his film getting a favorable consensus is new to me. I can envision a scenario of him winning the Palme actually, and being the youngest director to pull that off. But is the jury ready for that? Let’s see.

As for the annual snubbed film of the year that will join the ranks of Mike Leigh’s Another Year, Aki Kaurismaki’s  Le Havre, Leos Carax’ Holy Motors, and Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty, my bet is on Godard’s “Goodbye to Language 3D.” Seems like it will be too divisive for the jury to have a consensus on where to award it, regardless of its great reviews.

There you have it. Another year at Cannes has ended and this year seemed more competitive than the previous one. Sure we don’t have the totally groundbreaking ones, but we don’t have total clunkers this year (though the closest would have been Michel Hazanavicius’ The Search and Atom Egoyan’s Captives). I’m excited the most for Dolan, Ceylan, Assayas, Dardennes, and Cronenberg, so I hope we’d get to see them sooner. For the Un Certain Regard, Lisandro Alonso’s Jauja, Pascale Ferran’s Bird People, and Ryan Gosling’s Lost River (bad reviews be damned) are on the top of my list. Who do you think will end up winnign this year? Can Dolan be the youngest Palme director winner? is third time the charm for Marion Cotillard? Can Channing Tatum and Kristen Stewart add Cannes winner on their names? And can Naomi Kawase shift careers as the next Nostradamus now? I bet you’re excited to find out.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl