The Watchers

The Watchers

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Review: Coco (UK Cert PG)

Pixar have taken audiences into space, beneath the sea, and into the mind of a little girl. Where next? Well, in Coco, they take us into the Land Of The Dead. 

Set in Mexico, an aspiring young musician named Miguel wants to follow in the footsteps of his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. However, his family have a baffling but deep-rooted ban on music. On Dia de Muertos (the Day of The Dead), Miguel defies his family... and ends up in the Land Of The Dead. He has until sunrise to get back to the land of the living or be lost forever. Teaming up with a lovably dopey dog called Dante and a charming trickster named Hector Rivera, Miguel must travel through to find an ancestor to give their blessing. However, in his search, he learns some long-buried truths about his family history.

It really should go without saying, but the film looks amazing. The real-world scenes in Mexico look almost photorealistic in places, whilst the bright and technicoloured Land Of The Dead is an absolutely sumptuous feast for the eyes. There's some very funny sight gags involving some of the skeletons, and there's a lot of interesting facts given about Mexican culture in general (such as the alebrije) and the festival of Dia de Muertos in particular (such as the memorial picture altars known as ofrendas).  

Michael Giacchino's score uses traditional mariachi themes to help evoke the Mexican atmosphere, whilst the stand-out song is 'Remember Me' (written by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez, who won an Oscar for 'Let It Go' from Frozen). 'Remember Me' is used several times throughout Coco- as a major celebratory set-piece, as a love song, and as a poignant reminder of the past. 

The voice cast is really good, with young actor Anthony Gonzalez taking the main role of Miguel. Gael Garcia Bernal is strong as the charming Hector, determined to get back to the land of the living by any means necessary (even dressing up as Frida Kahlo!), whilst Benjamin Bratt adds a level of suave slickness as Ernesto. Alanna Ubach is great as the cantankerous Mama Imelda, Miguel's ancestor on the other side, whilst there's a lovely turn by Edward James Olmos as a spirit on the cusp of being forgotten, which provides one of the film's most moving moments. 

Whilst the film may look bright, there's a darkness to it that mightn't be suitable for the very young. When you discover the truth about Miguel's family, things take a pretty dark turn (which I personally loved, and which made me almost gasp). The one thing the film didn't make me do, however, was cry; Pixar have a habit of being able to get me right in the feels (the end of Toy Story 3, and the first ten minutes of Up, for example). But I didn't have that kind of connection to Coco

That isn't to take away from the frankly amazing work done by an amazingly talented team who work painstakingly to bring this world to life. A definite highlight in the Pixar filmography.

Rating: 4 outof 5


Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Review: Love, Simon (UK Cert 12A)

Imagine, if you will, if John Hughes made a high school movie which had a gay love story as its primary relationship. You'd pretty much get Love, Simon, a truly beautiful and wonderful comedy-drama written by Elizabeth Berger and  Isaac Aptaker- based on the novel Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli- and directed by Greg Berlanti (The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy, Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl). 

Simon Spier is an average 17 year old. He has a warm, loving, supportive family. He has a good group of friends. And he's gay, but he's not out. When an anonymous post on a school forum appears from another closeted student who calls himself 'Blue', Simon impulsively reaches out to him and they start to e-mail each other. Simon starts to fall for 'Blue' but, when a fellow student attempts to blackmail Simon by threatening to leak the e-mails, Simon must try and preserve his secret whilst trying to find out 'Blue''s true identity. 

Where the hell was this film when I was growing up? I really could have done with such a positive representation of LGBT+ youth during my teenage years. Simon is as far from a walking stereotype as you can imagine and, whilst there is another gay teen in the film who is very camp and very obvious (his coming-out scene is a particular highlight as a group of girls have to feign surprise at his news with one going so over-the-top), he totally owns it and is comfortable in his skin. Whilst some of what Simon does in the name of trying to stop himself being outed is kinda cruel to the other people involved, it comes from a place of fear which is totally understandable. He's worried about being rejected or hated; of course, when the inevitable does happen and he is outed, that isn't an issue. 

Nick Robinson (Jurassic World) gives a wonderfully warm and empathetic central performance as Simon. Even when he's meddling in others' love lives (all to stop himself being outed), you can't help but feel for him. He really captures that uncertainty and that inner tension, and- by the end- you're really rooting for him and 'Blue' to get together so they can have their 'great love story'. It's an accomplished and very authentic performance. 

Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why) is Simon's oldest friend Leah, and the rapport between her and Robinson is just lovely. It feels very real. Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse) is Abby, a relatively new member to the group, but a young woman who knows her own mind. Jorge Lendeborg Jr. (Spider-Man: Homecoming) is very sweet as Nick, Simon's friend who ends up unwittingly bearing the brunt of Simon's desperate dating machinations. 

Logan Miller (The Walking Dead) has a difficult role to pull off: he's Martin, the student who blackmails Simon in order to get his help to get with Abby, but Martin is such a weaselly little dweeb that you almost feel sorry for him at the same time as utterly hating him. Martin's ultimate humiliation is almost unbearable, but he just- JUST- about redeems himself at the end. There are lovely performances by Keiynan Lonsdale (The Flash) and Joey Pollari (American Crime) as Simon's schoolfriend Bram and a local waiter called Lyle- both of whom could be 'Blue'.  

Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel are great in support as Simon's parents Emily and Jack; their individual reactions to Simon's coming out are very different, but both are emotionally affecting in their own way. There's a wonderful supporting turn by Natasha Rothwell as drama teacher Ms Albright, a strong and no-nonsense woman who gets one of the best scenes when she lays into two homophobic students in the cafeteria. The only performance which doesn't work for me is that of Tony Hale, who plays vice principal Mr Worth who is trying to be 'down with the kids' but misses by a country mile. It's excruciating, but I'm sure that's more of an issue with the script. 

There are some wonderful flights of fancy in the film- such as a scene where Simon imagines his friends coming out to their parents as straight, and a dance routine to Whitney Houston's 'I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)' which even Simon thinks is a bit too gay. There's also a wonderful ambiguity used throughout when it comes to the identity of 'Blue'- similar to that used in The Limehouse Golem- where, as Simon imagines different people as 'Blue', they take over the narration. 

Unashamedly romantic, funny, poignant, touching, and very authentic, Love, Simon is one of the most positive LGBT+ films I've seen in a long time. Hell, never mind the labels, it's one of the best films I've seen so far this year. Give it a go. 

Rating: 5 out of 5


Love, Simon is on general release in the UK from 6th April 2018. 

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Review: Ready Player One (UK Cert 12A)

Ernest Cline's debut novel Ready Player One was released in 2011 and critics were impressed by the , with one reviewer calling it 'the grown-up's Harry Potter'. Unsurprisingly, a film adaptation was commissioned almost as soon as the book was published. Now, it comes to the big screen, under the direction of Steven Spielberg (The Post, Lincoln), with a screenplay by Cline and Zak Penn. 

In 2045, the world has become desolate. To escape these harsh realities, people spend most of their time in the OASIS, a virtual universe where anything is possible. OASIS was created by the brilliant James Donovan Halliday, a 1980s pop culture aficionado. When Halliday died, he released a video announcing a treasure hunt through the OASIS, looking for the three keys that would unlock an Easter Egg which would give the winner Halliday's vast fortune... and total control over the OASIS. 

In the five years since Halliday's death, despite many attempts, nobody has completed the first task- a high-octane road-race- to get the key. That is until a young man called Wade Watts, who lives in Columbus. Ohio, and goes by the online name of Parzifal, works out how to beat the race. The contest is then on to find the other two keys- but Parzifal's victory puts him in the sights of Innovative Online Industries (IOI), a multinational corporation who seek to control OASIS for their own profit. 

First off, I haven't read the book, so I can't tell you how faithful an adaptation this is. But what I can tell you is that I now want to go and read the book- and I really feel I need to see the film again. It's just superb. 

Produced under the Amblin banner (who brought us the 1980s delights of ET, The Goonies, and Back To The Future, amongst others), the film is a loving tribute to geek culture in all its forms. There's been a bit of updating since the book was first published- there's references to 'Twitch streams' and one of the first places you see in the OASIS is a Minecraft world- but there are still references to classic Atari games, Dungeons & Dragons, John Hughes movies, The Iron Giant, anime, and so much more. In a way, it's almost overwhelming how much has been put on the screen; things like the scene in the Distracted Globe nightclub and the climactic end battle feature so many little easter eggs and references that repeated viewing would be needed to get them all. 

In the same kind of way that Avatar blended real world with fantasy, the film does a great job of differentiating between the two. Wade's real world in 'The Stacks'- mobile homes piled high on one another- looks drab and grim and gritty, whilst the OASIS looks bright and sumptuous. The CGI on the avatars looks great, and the worlds created in the OASIS all look amazing- even a note-perfect version of the Overlook Hotel from The Shining

So, visually, it's stunning- no surprise there. But Ready Player One also has substance beneath the sheen. There's some pointed social commentary on the use of technology to escape reality, the nefarious plans of corporations to monetise and control people, how the real world compares to the fantasy world created online, even down to making the simple point that you may know people online but how much do you really know them? There's a lot to think about. Plus there's also the quest narrative (something I particularly enjoy) to get invested in. 

Performances are strong across the board with Tye Sheridan (Cyclops in X-Men: Apocalypse) taking the lead role of Wade/Parzifal. He's great as the hero, a young man whose real world experiences are dreadful and seeks refuge in the OASIS, only to find the actions of the online world having real-world consequences. He's a geeky obsessive but one with social skills, and you really get behind him as he progresses through the egg hunt. Olivia Cooke plays Art3mis, another participant in the egg hunt whom Parzifal has an attraction to. Their relationship blossoms in both the real world and in the OASIS. Lena Waithe is superb as Aech, Parzifal's friend in the OASIS, who turns out to be someone very different in the real world. Win Morisaki and Philip Zhao complete the motley crew known as the Hi-5 as players Daito and Shoto respectively, with Zhao getting a lot of the laughs when his real-world identity is revealed. 

Ben Mendelsohn is great as Nolan Sorrento, the weaselly yet powerful head of operations for IOI. His attempts to manipulate the game in order for IOI to win are particularly villainous, which really gives you something to root against. Even when he tries to pass himself off as not just a corporate suit, he's just so supercilious and unpleasant that you can't wait to see him fall. He's provided with great support by Hannah John-Kamen as F'Nale, a handler for IOI who does the dirty work in the real world, and by T.J. Miller who voices an OASIS character called i-R0k, who does his dirty work in the virtual world. Miller riffs on his Deadpool character as the snarky support and also gets a few laughs.  

One other performance to note is that of Simon Pegg, who appears as Halliday's former business partner Ogden Morrow. Pegg makes the most of limited screen time to provide some heart to the situation. He also makes an uncredited cameo elsewhere in the film which is particularly nice when it's revealed. Finally, Mark Rylance reunites with Spielberg after Bridge Of Spies and The BFG to play Halliday. Halliday is a shuffling eccentric who finds the real world just that little bit too difficult to navigate, hence why he built the OASIS. It's a lovely supporting performance by Rylance, who also provides the voice of Halliday's avatar in the OASIS- a wizard with the rather lovely name of Anorak.

I cannot recommend Ready Player One highly enough. Chockfull of geeky references to keep even the most avid trivia buff busy, it's also got a lot of heart, a lot of adventure and more than enough going on to make the running time of 140 minutes disappear in the blink of an eye. Superb stuff.

Rating: 5 out of 5


Ready Player One is on general release from 29th March 2018.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Review: Lady Bird (UK Cert 15)

Many people will know Greta Gerwig as an actress from films like Frances Ha, 20th Century Women, and Jackie, but she's also a screenwriter and director. She made her directorial debut in 2008 with Nights And Weekends, and both writes and directs Lady Bird, a coming-of-age story set in Sacramento in 2002. 

Leading from the front is Saoirse Ronan as the titular character. Lady Bird isn't her real name (her real name is Christine) but that is the name she wants to be known as, a name given to her by her. Whilst it would be easy to play Lady Bird as some kooky, quirky, affected caricature, Ronan's performance is very naturalistic, and very truthful. A lot of the time, in films like this, the main characters don't feel real (it's one of the issues I have with Juno, for instance), but Lady Bird feels like a real person. She thinks she knows better, but doesn't always; she makes mistakes; she argues and she bickers with friends and family, but I found myself always empathising with her (although not always agreeing). What's also nice is that Lady Bird has a defined arc and grows as a character- the ending is touching without being blatantly emotionally manipulative. 

Laurie Metcalf is just superb as Lady Bird's mother Marion. She could easily have just been a caricatured dragon-lady- the hardass parent, the bad cop- but, as one character says, she's scary but warm. Marion is having to provide for the whole family as her husband has been laid off, so works double shifts as a psych nurse. She comes across as a woman who deeply wants the best for her daughter but just doesn't know how to communicate with her; a shared moment of understanding after listening to an audiobook in the car soon descends into their usual bickering. Her rapport with Ronan is great; you believe them as a family unit. Metcalf is also a very expressive actress; she can say more in the roll of an eye or a purse of the lip than others can say with a paragraph of dialogue. 

Playwright Tracy Letts (August: Osage County) is in front of the camera here as Lady Bird's father Larry. A kind-hearted, soft man, trying to find a place for himself after being laid off, he's supportive of his daughter whilst trying to mitigate between her and Marion. It's a sensitive and lovely turn. Lucas Hedges (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Manchester By The Sea) is similarly strong as Danny, Lady Bird's boyfriend who is hiding a secret of his own, whilst Timothee Chalamet is great as the arrogant and pretentious Kyle, a world away from the sensitive Elio of Call Me By Your Name. He's the 'bad boy' who Lady Bird dates after her relationship with Danny ends, but she soon learns that he's not all he's cracked up to be.  Beanie Feldstein provides great support as Lady Bird's friend Julie, who gets sidelined for the 'popular crowd' but who is a genuine friend and who is burdened with an unfortunate crush on one of her teachers, and there's also a lovely supporting turn by Lois Smith as Sister Sarah Joan, one of the teachers at Lady Bird's school who gets some great lines like 'six inches for the Holy Spirit' when telling people not to dance too closely. 

Gerwig's script is tight, with nothing superfluous or padded in it; the film nips along at a nice pace, only lasting 94 minutes. It also feels very authentic, very honest. It really captures the uncertainty of taking your first tentative steps into adulthood, and all of the associated fears and concerns that come with that. It's a great piece of writing.

It's an accomplished comedy-drama impeccably acted by a superb ensemble cast. Definitely worth a watch.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Sunday, 4 March 2018

Awards Season 2018: The 90th Academy Awards

All in all, it was a night of no real surprises, but pleasant enough. 

Unlike last year, this year's Oscars ceremony didn't do anything controversial. Hell, even the winners were pretty safe (for the most part- a film about Russian doping at the Olympics winning Best Documentary Feature might be classed as a bit dicey).

Jimmy Kimmel returned as host; although general critical reception was a bit mixed, I enjoyed his performance for the most part, so was glad to see him back. It was kind of the same this year: mostly, he did well, and he acknowledged when things didn't hit. His opening speech made reference to last year's Best Picture farrago, the disgrace of Harvey Weinstein, and the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements (which were mentioned quite a bit, as you'd expect). This year's gimmick was to take a bunch of A-listers over to a nearby cinema to thank the cinema-going public for their continued support (an interesting idea, but one which one of the included montages did with a bit more style and grace). Another interesting idea was- to streamline the show as much as possible- Kimmel was giving away a jetski as a prize for the shortest acceptance speech (won by costume designer Mark Bridges whose acceptance speech was a positively svelte 36 seconds). 

Some of the guest presenters were better than others- there were a couple of lovely introductions by previous Oscar winners Eva Marie Saint and Rita Moreno who presented Best Costume Design and Best Foreign Language Film respectively, and I quite enjoyed the banter between Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster (who was on crutches) suggesting that she'd been crocked by Meryl Streep! 

The musical numbers- for each of the Best Original Song nominees- were very diverse in their performances, with 'Remember Me' from Coco going for a full production number, whilst Sufjan Stevens gave a very different (and much more stripped back) performance for Call Me By Your Name's 'The Mystery Of Love'. My favourite performance, however, came from Keala Settle who gave an absolutely storming rendition of 'This Is Me' from The Greatest Showman. There was also a poignant performance by Eddie Vedder of the late Tom Petty's 'Room At The Top' for the In Memoriam section. 

On to the awards themselves...

So, five out of six is alright. I'm not at all surprised that The Shape Of Water won Best Picture, and it is a worthy winner of the top prize (I did like that Guillermo del Toro checked the envelope before starting his acceptance speech!). All the acting categories fell as expected, with Gary Oldman giving a lovely speech which ended with him asking his 99-year-old mum to put the kettle on, and then Frances McDormand giving a typically no-f's-given speech which brought the crowd in the Dolby Theatre to its feet. Sam Rockwell was the first winner of the evening (as Best Supporting Actor was the first award of the night), and Allison Janney gave a touching, self-deprecating speech which was lovely. 

I was very pleased with The Silent Child's win for Best Live Action Short Film; it's the story of a profoundly deaf child who struggles to communicate. It's a British film, and writer Rachel Shenton used sign language in her acceptance speech. I was also very pleased with James Ivory winning Best Adapted Screenplay; at 89, he is the oldest man to have won a competitive Academy Award. After thirteen non-starts, cinematographer Roger Deakins found fourteen was the charm as he finally clinched an Oscar for his work on Blade Runner 2049. He gave a humble and rather charming acceptance speech. Also, basketball superstar Kobe Bryant can now add an Oscar to his list of accolades, as he won for writing the Best Animated Short Film Dear Basketball. 

The Shape Of Water was the big winner of the night, taking home four Oscars, with Dunkirk taking home three, and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Darkest Hour, Coco, and Blade Runner 2049 winning two Oscars apiece. Despite multiple nominations, there was nothing for Lady Bird, Mudbound, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, or Baby Driver

Below is the full list of winners at the 90th Academy Awards:

Best Motion Picture of the Year: The Shape Of Water

Best Actor: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Best Actress: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape Of Water)

Best Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Best Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory (Call Me By Your Name)

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: Coco

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: A Fantastic Woman

Best Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049

Best Editing: Dunkirk

Best Production Design: The Shape Of Water

Best Costume Design: Phantom Thread

Best Makeup and Hairstyling: Darkest Hour

Best Original Score: The Shape Of Water

Best Original Song: 'Remember Me' (Coco)

Best Sound Mixing: Dunkirk

Best Sound Editing: Dunkirk

Best Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049

Best Documentary (Feature): Icarus

Best Documentary (Short Subject): Heaven Is A Traffic Jam On The 405

Best Animated Short Film: Dear Basketball

Best Live Action Short Film: The Silent Child

Congratulations to all winners!

So that's awards season done for another year. Thank you all for your patience and your indulgence. It's time to put awards shenanigans to bed until November. Speaking of putting things to bed, I'm going to put myself to bed. It's 6:15am here in the UK, and I could really do with some sleep. 


Awards Season 2018: Tez's Official Oscar Predictions

Tonight, the great and good of Hollywood will convene to celebrate the best of film-making in 2016 at the 90th Academy Awards, which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel for the second time. Hopefully there won't be anything as controversial as the La La Land/Moonlight mix-up (although Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty are returning to hand out Best Picture again!), but given everything that's happened in the intervening year (Weinstein, Spacey, #MeToo and #Time'sUp, not to mention a year of President Trump), I wouldn't bet on it!

It has become a tradition for me to predict the nominations and the winners in the main six categories (the four acting categories, Best Director and Best Picture).  I've done this since 2003 with varying degrees of success. 

So, without further ado, here are my predictions for who will win.

Best Supporting Actress: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Allison Janney has been the standout winner of the Best Supporting Actress awards throughout this awards season, with the Golden Globes, Screen Actors' Guild, Critics' Choice, BAFTA, and Independent Spirit Awards all giving her this honour for her brilliant, foul-mouthed performance as Tonya Harding's abusive and pretty loathsome mother LaVona. Never withou a cigarette or an insult on her lips, there's no attempt to soften or ameliorate the character. LaVona's a monster and Janney plays that to the hilt. 

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Another standout winner of this awards season, Rockwell's turn as the dimwatt racist hick police officer Jason Dixon who butts heads with the force of nature that is Mildred Hayes has garnered accolades from most major awards bodies, so I really don't see the Academy giving it to anyone else. It would be very easy for Dixon to be played as a stereotype or as broad, but Rockwell's superb performance lifts him from just being the comic relief. 

Best Actress: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

21 years after winning the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Fargo, Frances McDormand could well be adding a second one to her collection for her powerhouse performance as grieving mother Mildred Hayes. Mildred is a gift of a character: forthright, angry, upset, guilty, frustrated, determined. McDormand takes the role with both hands and runs with it. An absolutely fantastic performance that should rightfully take home the gold tonight. 

Best Actor: Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

I think a lot of people think this is a foregone conclusion. Oldman's performance as Winston Churchill is just superlative. Buried beneath some astonishing prosthetics, Oldman goes beyond mimicry to find an authentic and very believable take on Churchill. Whilst the film itself is a little patchy, you cannot deny that Oldman's performance is powerful. 

Best Director: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape Of Water)

Apart from Jordan Peele at the Independent Spirit Awards, all other bodies have given Best Director to Guillermo del Toro and that pattern is more than likely to repeat tonight- and it'll be incredibly well deserved. The world del Toro has created in The Shape Of Water is sublime, he gets strong performances from his entire cast, and the visual aspects of the film are stunning. 

Best Picture: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Now, this is the one I'm torn on. Basically, I'm of the opinion that it is between Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape Of Water for the big award. Both films have their merits and both films have taken the Best Picture prizes at various other awards ceremonies. So, I won't be at all surprised if I'm wrong and The Shape Of Water wins (although I'm not sure whether the older generation of Academy voters may find the implication of a woman falling in love with an aquatic creature distasteful). But for me, given the climate that we're currently in- where race and gender equality are firmly in the spotlight- I think the Academy will back Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

As for some of the other categories, I think it'll be Phantom Thread for Best Costume Design, Call Me By Your Name for Best Adapted Screenplay, Coco for Best Animated Feature and 'Remember Me' for Best Original Song (although I preferred 'This Is Me' from The Greatest Showman personally). 

I'll be watching live tonight to watch all the action unfold from the Dolby Theatre. I'll do a post tomorrow with my thoughts on the ceremony and a list of all the winners. 

Now for some industrial strength caffeine to help me power through!


Awards Season 2018: Independent Spirit Awards Winners

This is the first of two (possibly three?) posts today about awards season, as it all comes to the grand finale tonight with the 90th Academy Awards. They can be viewed on a dedicated Sky Movies channel in the UK and on ABC in the US.

But before I get on to post my Oscar predictions, there's one more awards body to get out of the way first. 

Yesterday- Saturday 3rd March- saw the handing out of the 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards, in a ceremony hosted by Nick Kroll (Loving, Sing, Vacation) and John Mulaney (Mayne Street, Saturday Night Live) for the second year running.

As you no doubt know by now, the Independent Spirit Awards honour films made (partly or wholly) outside the major film studio system. Some of the winners are below.

Best Feature: Get Out

Best Female Lead: Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Male Lead: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me By Your Name)

Best Supporting Female: Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Best Supporting Male: Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Director: Jordan Peele (Get Out)

Best Screenplay: Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird)

Best First Screenplay: Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick)

Best Cinematography: Call Me By Your Name

Best First Feature: Ingrid Goes West

Best International Film: A Fantastic Woman

Best Documentary: Faces Places

John Cassavetes Award: Life And Nothing More

The John Cassavetes Award is given to the creative team of a film budgeted at less than $500,000. The full list of winners can be found here.

A fairly even spread of awards, with no one film totally dominating. Get Out, Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and I, Tonya all came away with two awards each. 

With wins here, McDormand, Janney, and Rockwell surely cement their positions for winning the Oscars (but more on that later). I'm really pleased with both of Call Me By Your Name's wins- Timothee Chalamet's central performance is just superb and Sayombhu Mukdeeprom's cinematography is utterly gorgeous. 

Get Out is a very worthy winner of Best Picture and of Best Director, but it may struggle to replicate that success at the Oscars, due to it being up against more mainstream fare. However, in a hotly contested Original Screenplay category, it could be taking at least one statuette home. 

So, with that done, this just leaves the main event: the Oscars tonight. As promised, my predictions for the big winners will be coming later today.