With the Oscar race quickly heating up, awards season is about to be everywhere at once | Trending

Actress Margot Robbie wears a sultry red dress and smokes a cigarette in character in a photo from the upcoming movie Babylon.
Margot Robbie in Damien Chazelle’s Babylon, a film that got a mixed response when it opened last week. (Paramount)

My Favorite Season is a monthly column by CBC Arts producer Peter Knegt that traces the six-month “season” that is both his favorite and By Moira Rose. Explore all things awards before the big one: the Oscars on March 12, 2023.

As November draws to a close, awards season is doing just the opposite. Earlier this week, the Independent Spirit Awards announced their annual nominations. And after a short break for American Thanksgiving, things get wild, with the first ceremony of the season on November 28 (the Gotham Awards) followed by two consecutive weeks of non-stop announcements, including the New York Film Critics Circle winners (Dec. 2), the Los Angeles Film Critics Association winners (Dec. 11), the Golden Globe nominations (December 12) and Critics Choice Award nominations (December 12). December 14).

Also, almost every major contender is saved Avatar: The Way of Water it has now at least been screened for critics, including what had been the biggest question mark of the season, that of Damien Chazelle. Babylon (more on that in a bit). Basically: giddy, seasonal awards. Our time is near!

So where exactly are things heading into this storm? Well, if Spirit and Gotham Award nominations are any indication of momentum, Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert’s (genre anarchy!) sci-fi action comedy-drama hit! Everywhere Everything at once looks very strong so far. It led the Spirit Awards with 8 nominations, including Best Feature Film and nominations for its four main cast members: Michelle Yeoh, Ke Huy Quan, Jamie Lee Curtis and Stephanie Hsu. Yeoh and Quan also earned nominations at the Gotham Awards, where the film is also up for Best Picture. This certainly bodes well for their Oscar chances, and as a big fan of both film and awards season they recognize the films that they weren’t made as “Oscar Bait”, I couldn’t be happier.

Do other movies get big boosts from Spirits and the Gothams? Three of my other favorites of the year: Todd Field’s TARwhich led the Gothams with 5 nominations and came in second Everywhere to Spirits with 7 mentions; Sarah Polley’s women talkingthat the winner of the Spirit Awards Robert Altman Award (which brings together the entire cast, director and casting director of a film and has previously gone to the eventual Oscar winners for Best Picture) has already been announced movie). Protagonism i moonlight); and, perhaps most surprisingly, first-time director Charlotte Wells After the sunwhich is riding an enthusiastic critical response (as it should be: the film is extraordinary) to multiple nominations for both awards, including two for its stars Paul Mescal and Frankie Corio (who makes his acting debut in the film and is also … only 12 years) .

Actors Frankie Corio and Paul Mescal cuddle on a couch as characters in a scene from the new movie Aftersun.
Frankie Corio (left) and Paul Mescal in Aftersun by Charlotte Wells. (A24)

Notably, both the Spirits and the Gothams did something for the first time this year: they eliminated genre-specific acting categories (and, frankly, good on them and I hope others follow in their footsteps soon). Mescal, for example, is competing in “best lead performance” at both ceremonies, meaning she’s up against the likes of Yeoh and Cate Blanchett for TAR. Interestingly, any fears that the lumping of all genres into acting categories would result in a career dominated by male-identified artists proved unfounded. Als Esperits, Mescal and The Inspection Star Jeremy Pope are the only men, nominated along with 8 women. In the Gothams, there were 3 men and 7 women in this category.

Now, it’s important to note that in addition to having non-genre acting categories, another thing where the Spirits and Gothams are different from most other awards is that only certain films are classified. In The Spirits, it is produced in the United States (or co-produced, as After the sun) films with a budget of less than $30 million. For the Gothams, the budget ceiling is $35 million and the films must have been written and/or directed and/or produced by a US citizen. So if you were reading this thinking that all of this must be bad news for the big Oscar contenders The Banshees of Inisherin or Triangle of sadness (both non-American) or Babylon or The Fabelmans (both too expensive), it’s not…necessarily.

Actor Gabriel LaBelle looks into the lens of a film camera in a still from the film The Fabelmans, which is based on its director Steven Spielberg's youth.
Vancouver-born actor Gabriel LaBelle basically plays a young version of Steven Spielberg in The Fabelmans. (universal)

My updated Oscar prediction charts (which you can read here) are still betting that these four films will be nominated for Best Picture, along with the aforementioned one TÁR, Women talking i Everywhere Everything once. And I am currently giving the last three places to Top Gun: Maverick, Pinocchio by Guillermo Del Toro i elvis. (I was tempted to go out on a whim and put After the sun in there, but it still seems like too much of a feat for such a small film…though I think Mescal gets a shot at Best Actor.)

The next few weeks of announcements, especially for awards where all of these films are eligible, should paint a much clearer picture of who’s in and who’s out, though I’m paying more attention to how two films films in particular are: The Fabelmans i Babylon.

The Fabelmans — Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical film about his youth — has basically been seen as the Oscar front-runner ever since it debuted to raves (and the People’s Choice Award) at the Toronto International Film Festival of September It’s out in theaters now, and that it hasn’t arrived at the box office I expected. A big showing at awards like the Golden Globes and Critics Choice, which she almost certainly will have, will provide a much-needed boost to help him in what (at least for now) looks like a better photo career between her and Everywhere Everything at once.

Babylon, meanwhile, doesn’t hit theaters until Christmas. But the film set in 1920s Hollywood starring Margot Robbie, Diego Calva and Brad Pitt has begun screening to voting members of various awards, and while there is still a critics’ embargo, they have allowed people who have seen it note their thoughts on social media. media These thoughts have been… everywhereranging from the ecstatic to the disastrous (here’s mine, for what it’s worth, and… it’s definitely in the latter group). At this point, Babylon it could end up with 12 Oscar nominations or just a few. (Even if voters don’t like it overall, it’ll be hard to resist giving it well-deserved nominations for its ambitious production design, costume design, and cinematography.)

My guess is this Babylon it ultimately lands somewhere in the middle; I can’t imagine something so divisive is a threat to win Best Picture. On the other hand, it’s still only been 4 years green book won, so anything is possible. A place seems very likely Babylon will prosper is the Golden Globes, which have historically eaten films of similar cinematic excess. But there’s also the question of whether the Golden Globes can regain any kind of relevance afterward a racial exclusion scandal caused the ceremony to be canceled last year. But more on that in the next edition of this column, which will be published shortly after the Globe nominations are announced on December 12.

Check out our latest predictions for the 2023 Academy Awards here.

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