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Emmy Nominations 2017

Well, what a year it’s been in television. From Bette and Joan to Lily and Jane, all the faces are here. Joining me to discuss those faces are Stephanie Coffey and Ben Ladouceur

Drama Series

This Is Us

The Crown

The Americans

Stranger Things

The Handmaid’s Tale

House of Cards

Westworld

Better Call Saul

BL: I feel like Handmaid’s Tale will take it because it’s so relevant socially. It’s like, the show of our times.

T: I know it’s been said many times before, but it truly feels like we’re just a few steps away from the world that The Handmaid’s Tale flashes back to, so it gives us a glimpse into a future that feels entirely possible right now. A sci-fi dystopia this ain’t. Aside from the excellent timing of the show, it’s brilliantly written, acted and shot television – a sure winner for any year. The Crown is also brilliant, but much more traditional, I suppose. I say Handmaid’s Tale or The Crown takes it.

SC: I would just like to say I watched one episode of This Is Us and it was really bad.

T: You know what? I watched the first couple, and I would happily have got together with you and watched it and eaten pizza and cried over the cheesy nonsense storylines. But alas it just doesn’t fit into my life.

SC: We would only watch it for Fat Mandy and her weight loss problems but okay, maybe you are right. I will go with The Handmaid’s Tale.

T: I feel like we should have watched The Americans but honestly it just doesn’t interest me. Good for it though, I hear it’s good. Fun to see Strangers Things here, I guess.

SC: I feel like Stranger Things was just like Steven Spielberg porn. It was just like “here is the 80s! Remember?!”

T: Westworld is a big bag of no.

S: The robots were cool. The story blew.

T: Wait there were robots? I thought it was cowboys or some shit?

SC: Thomas the robots were cowboys…or were the cowboys robots?!

T: MIND. BLOWN.

westworld

Actor in a Drama Series

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us

Matthew Rhys, The Americans

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

Anthony Hopkins, Westworld

Liev Schrieber, Ray Donovan

Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us

T: Don’t care. Give it to Sterling K. Brown, he was great in OJ. Milo is hot. Team Jess! (shoutout to my Gilmore Girls fans wooo!).

SC: You and everyone else who has a Netflix account will enjoy that shout out. You are all lemmings!

T: How?!

SC: Netflix totally told you to watch Gilmore Girls. It told everyone.

T: I’m so glad it did. Best show ever. Okay look we’re getting sidetracked because we don’t care about this category. Who do you want to win?

SC: I glanced through and I decided Bob Odenkirk. I watched the first season of Better Call Saul. I liked it. I liked that weird show he did with David…?

T: Cross.

SC: Yes, Tobias. Give it to him.

T: Yeah I like Bob, he’s good, I can handle him winning.

better-call-saul

Actress in a Drama Series

Claire Foy, The Crown

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale

Robin Wright, House of Cards

Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder

Keri Russell, The Americans

Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld

T: Gotta be Lizzie. Although Claire Foy would be great, but she hasn’t won anything at the Globes or the BAFTAs so I doubt it.

B: I hope you’re right about Lizzie.

SC: Yes it has to be Elisabeth. Like I stated above she’s the backbone of everything she is in and she kept getting snubbed and it’s not okay. Give her one right now. She’s very good. And did you know that she chose the colour of red that robes were going to be? Talent!

T: What a fun fact! I didn’t know that. Go her! Here’s another fun fact: all her shows win Best Drama! Picket Fences, West Wing, Mad Men. All winners. This bodes well.

S: She is the four leaf clover of Emmy dramas. Now give her one for herself please. She shouldn’t have to share.  

BL: What’s… what’s Picket Fences?

T: Picket Fences was a CBS drama about a small town that ran from 1992-1996, starring Tom Skerritt and Kathy Baker. There’s nothing else to say.

elisabeth-moss

Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

John Lithgow, The Crown

Jeffrey Wright, Westworld

Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul

Michael Kelly, House of Cards

Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us

Mandy Patinkin, Homeland

David Harbour, Stranger Things

T: I love John Lithgow, he was great in The Crown. You go for it. I’ve loved him since 3rd Rock from the Sun.

BL: Yes. Even though I feel like 90% of his work in this show is just having big old man jowls. But that’s how it should be.

S: Okay yes I’m fine with him winning this. I don’t care about this category much besides him. I want to see that movie he made, Love Is Strange. Looks good. Have you seen it?

T: You know what? I tried. It’s a rich white people problems drama that’s pretty unengaging. Or else I wasn’t in the mood. I dunno. I was underwhelmed.

S: Oh darn. I was hoping it would be a tearjerker. Well I’m sure something else will come out where he’ll be someone’s dad.

the-crown-john-lithgow

Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things

Chrissy Metz, This Is Us

Thandie Newton, Westworld

Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid’s Tale

Samira Wiley, The Handmaid’s Tale

B: Where’s Winona Rider for Stranger Things? Specifically, the nomination should read “Winona Rider’s face and tear ducts, Stranger Things.”

T: Everyone thought Winona would get nominated. But she was. So. Bad. So bad. But like…in a really compelling way. OMG maybe she was doing terrible 80s movie Mum acting? Maybe her whole performance was genius?

BL: I think that was it. The whole show is so campy, so I feel like she decided to lean into the camp, or else the directors knew that that was what she’d do and just let her go for it.

S: Poor Winona. She’s always been so pretty but could she ever really act? She just kind of chews her cheeks and speaks monotone. She’s got a great agent though.

T: Uzo Aduba, stop being nominated please. There are better people in the cast.

S: Yeah I don’t understand that. Don’t get me wrong. Don’t send us hate mail (if anyone actually reads this), I love me some Uzo Aduba but can’t we just throw some other amazing actresses on OITNB a nod. Suggestions: Laverne Cox. Or Samira Wiley – double nomination! Or Danielle Brooks!

T: Ahem, Laverne is up for guest actress.

S: Why?! She’s on the show!

T: Nah man. She’s barely there anymore. She’s off making shitty procedurals with Katherine Heigl. Also, fun fact, if you appear in less than 50% of the eps in a season, you can go in as Guest. Extra Emmy nom, win.

samira

Comedy Series

Veep

Master of None

Black-ish

Silicon Valley

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Atlanta

Modern Family

S: Ooh this category is fun. Finally some room to debate! I’m between Atlanta and Master of None. Kimmy can have it next year.  

T: I can’t forgive Master of None for that godawful Manic Pixie Pasta Girl bullshit they pulled. Angela Bassett episode aside, I found that it kinda ruined the season.

S: I know I know. Pasta Girl was Al Dente. HAHA!

T: That joke…doesn’t even…what…?

S: But the other episodes Thanksgiving, I Love New York I was losing my mind!

BL: Stephanie feels no need to explain the joke. If we don’t get it, it’s our loss.

T: Those episodes were transcendent, I agree. But then he let us all down very badly.

S: Okay if we are going for a solid epic season then I have to give it to my man Donald Glover. I hope he reads this. This show was epic, poignant and also really funny. He’s already got a Globe, give him an Emmy!

T: I’d be fine with him winning an Emmy. I still need to watch this show. Um, can we talk about the lack of a nomination for Transparent? I mean, I get it, it’s not a comedy, but still. Great TV.

S: Oh, true. Yeah that should have always been in the drama. That’s a straight up The Martian faux pas. I am disappointed too now that you mention it. Jill Soloway is everything.

T: But what wins here? Probably Veep again?

BL: I watched the complete latest season of Veep on planes this year because I guess that’s what my life is now. It’s good and will probably win, even though sometimes it does that comic-panel-from-The-New-Yorker thing where it’s not that funny but it somehow communicates to you that if you don’t find the joke uproarious it’s your own fault because you’re not a very sophisticated person.

T: Whereas when Armando was still running the show, it was actually hilarious.

S: I bet you Atlanta. They are winning things. I’m telling you.

veep

Actor in a Comedy Series

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

Aziz Ansari, Master of None

Donald Glover, Atlanta

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

William H. Macy, Shameless

Zach Galifianakis, Baskets

T: Zach Galifianakis can do one. Don’t care about him. Give this to Donald, amirite? Or Jeffrey.

S: Yeah I think Donald for this one. Although it’s always tricky when you are the star of your own show. It’s less acting and more like embodying this version of yourself. When I looked at Aziz and Donald I was like I feel like what they’ve created is amazing as a whole. I know, I know, you don’t like Manic Pasta Dream Girl. However, besides Tambor, this category is light so I am going to go Donald.

T: It really is. Go for it, Donald.

BL: I feel like it will probably just go to Tambor though.

T: …probably.

transparent_101_00627-1-

 

Actress in a Comedy Series

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Veep

Tracee Ellis Ross Black-ish

Ellie Kemper Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Allison Janney Mom

Lily Tomlin Grace and Frankie

Pamela Adlon, Better Things

Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie

T: JANE FUCKING FONDA. She smashed it.

BL: Yes. If my math is right then this nomination is for the second season of Grace and Frankie? In which case it should be Jane Fonda because of her multi-episode binge drinking. She acts drunk super well, and when she makes terrible mistakes, we’re all there, making them with her.

T: It’s not, but what you say still stands. Um, who on Earth is Pamela Adlon and what is this show?

S: I just tried Googling her and I’m less clear. Also funny reading-lol moment. I was just like what is this show Janney Mom. What’s Allison up to?

T: Allison stars in Janney Mom, coming this Fall on NBC. I would watch that show.

S: We’d binge watch the shit out of that. What do you think Allison Janney is doing right now?

T: She’s getting hammered on her wagon of Emmys.

S: Just draped in Emmys.

T: Sounds painful. Umm JLD has won this category for five years running…can anyone unseat her?

S: That’s pretty legit JLD. Remember when she played the blind lady in Arrested Development?

T: Yes, and it was genius. Please can we give this to Lily Tomlin now please?

S: You know I would give anything to Lily if she needed it. It’s hers!

BL: Fine by me.

lilytomlin_graceandfrankie_lionsgate

Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live

Tony Hale, Veep

Louie Anderson, Baskets

Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Matt Walsh, Veep

T: So Alec Baldwin is here. Okay then. For that shitty Trump impression.

S: Really Alec Baldwin shade? I wasn’t expecting that.

T: From me?

S: Do you hate Alec Baldwin?

T: OMG no! I just…hmm…I dunno. Surely there are more people who could have taken this slot?

S: Ah I see. Eh, let him have a nom. Maybe not a win though. It was pretty hysterical.

T: No not a win. We all know this HAS to go to Titus.

BL: Completely. Let him have it.

S: I was just going to say. Let’s get back to the real issue which is how Titus is the funniest person alive. And how he resembles you and also a pug dog.

T: Tina Fey stole my life to write Titus. I’m going to sue her. Or at least demand half of this Emmy.

S: Omg remember when that company stole Titus’ likeness to sell sassy gas products. THAT’S YOU!

T: So meta, Tina.

S: Please insert a photo of you Titus and a Pug below this category. Thank you.

titus

Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Vanessa Bayer, Saturday Night Live

Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live

Anna Chlumsky, Veep

Judith Light, Transparent

Kathryn Hahn, Transparent

T: Right so how did THREE SNL ladies get in here? I mean, good for them, but kinda makes for a dull category.

S: I was like yeah sorry cut Vanessa Bayer, maybe? Also. who cares…JUDITH AND KATHRYN.

BL: No, I liked Vanessa Bayer’s weather girl who was too nervous to talk properly. Also I think it’s her last season so this is the last-hurrah nomination.

T: Judith wins for Hand in my Pocket. Kathryn wins for best actress alive. The new Meryl. A tie? Anna Chlumsky go home.

S: New Meryl. So bold. Yeah, I just love Kathryn. She can do literally no wrong, ever. Although that Judith and her Alanis. The judges will never be able to decide. It has to be a tie. And they can lipsync for their lives to see who wins. I’ve been watching too much Drag Race.

T: WHERE’S JANE KRAKOWSKI?

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Best Actor in a Limited Series or a Television Movie

Robert De Niro, The Wizard of Lies

Riz Ahmed, The Night Of

John Turturro, The Night Of

Geoffrey Rush, Genius

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective

Ewan McGregor Fargo

T: I’m so glad Robert De Niro got a nomination for that Wizard of Oz remake or whatever.

S: I heard it was good. I almost watched it with my sister but then we watched Bad Moms instead which KATHRYN HAHN is in.

T: She’s getting a lot of Oscar buzz for it.

S: That’s a joke right?

T: If I had it my way…anyway, I don’t care about these people, give it to Riz Ahmed because he’s the best.

S: Okay look was The Night Of amazing? No. Is Riz Ahmed the biggest QT babe that I have such a crush on? Yes. So there you have it.

T: Crushing haaaaard. Okay happy Emmys Riz!

riz

Best Actress in a Limited Series or a Television Movie

Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies

Jessica Lange, Feud

Susan Sarandon, Feud

Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies

Carrie Coon, Fargo

Felicity Huffman, American Crime

T: Holy Christ. Best category ever.

S: Yeah this is literally your wet dream of a category.

T: Ew, but yes.

S: Ha. Okay I’m sorry everyone was great but NICOLE acted the MOST.

T: You know what……….I completely agree. Nicole wins.

S: If you don’t believe us just watch Nicole’s therapy scene where she displays 700 emotions without saying a word.

T: If anyone was unconvinced of Nicole’s towering genius, this show will change their mind. Abso, 100%. Now then, Felicity Huffman you’re a genius, I love you, but you’re going home empty-handed along with Carrie Coon.

S: Ha. We could have left it at just praising Nicole but you just had to throw shade on Felicity.

T: I was getting them out of the way so I could focus on the big juicy performances by Jessica and Susan as Joan and Bette.

S: Fair. I mean Felicity isn’t going to win, let’s be real. Jessica and particularly Susan had a great year. I love Susan’s Bette. Big shoes too. Impressive.

T: Susan WAS Bette. There were times I had to blink a few times and remember that it wasn’t actually Bette on my screen. It was a mesmerising performance. Although Jessica didn’t become Joan in quite the same way, she absolutely smashed it and gave a towering, heartbreaking performance. If it was Jessica V Susan I think I’d give it to Jessica.

S: It’s almost sad we have so much talent in the same category. I feel like summoning up some pageant tears and declaring “we are all winners!”

T: Nicole should break her trophy and give pieces to everyone else.

S: One piece for Regina George!

feud

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Television Movie

Stanley Tucci, Feud

Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies

Alfred Molina, Feud

David Thewlis, Fargo

Bill Camp, The Night Of

Michael Kenneth Williams, The Night Of

S: I feel bad saying Skarsgard should win because Perry was so creepy and terrible but it was a really good performance.

T: Agreed. It feels weird, but he was incredible. Personally, I’d give this to Alfred Molina.

S: Yeah it’s awks to award spousal abuse so maybe we should give it Alfred Molina. Or how about Stanley Tucci? He’s always sidekicking around.

T: Oh he was great in Feud. Where he screams CUUUUUNT about Bette Davis. So great.

S: Sounds like we’ve made a decision: Stanley Tucci for yelling CUNT at Susan Sarandon…Is that awkward too though? I don’t know, I’m lost in this category.

T: Tucci wins for saying CUNT. Deal.

FEUD: BETTE & JOAN -- Stanley Tucci as Jack Warner. CR: Kurt Iswarienko/FX.

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Television Movie

Regina King American Crime

Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies

Laura Dern, Big Little Lies

Judy Davis Feud

Jackie Hoffman, Feud

Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies

T: Shailene Woodley, go home.

S: Ugh she is the one thing wrong with Big Little Lies. You know I was talking to someone, (might have been you) and we were saying how Reese literally had the worst plotline and she was mesmerizing. Shailene you had rape survivor single mom raising a child and you were like watching paint dry. Why Shailene? Why?

T: I know right? She was way out of her depth. Judy Davis was hilarious as the gorgon Hedda Hopper, and Jackie Hoffman was also brilliant as Mamacita. But for me this goes to Laura Dern. Or does it? Did she do that much?  

S: Yeah I might be blinded by my Laura Dern love. Like I can literally watch that Frozen Birthday Party Drama for dayz. But I think one of the Feud ladies might be more deserving. I bet they will give it to Shailene.

T: Ugh please god no. I vote for Judy Davis.

S: I like the character name Mamacita so she gets my vote.

mamacita

Limited Series

Big Little Lies

Feud: Bette and Joan

The Night Of

Fargo

Genius

T: This goes to BLL right? In my heart it goes to Feud.

S: Yeah it’s def going to BLL. I’m happy though. That show was all kinds of genius and it only did SEVEN fantabulous episodes. Get in there, make a great show, get out.  

bll

TV Movie

The Wizard of Lies

Sherlock: The Lying Detective

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Black Mirror: San Junipero

Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colours

T: Dolly. Parton.

S: Haha of course. Look I’m sorry I can’t go down that road with you because San Junipero was the most heartbreakingly beautiful thing i saw this year and I sat and bawled alone for 5 minutes after the credits.  

T: OK I’ll go with that.

S: Wait till Ben gets here. I know he’ll agree with me.

T: No he won’t he doesn’t understand women, esp. Lesbians.

S: Ben stand up for yourself poindexter!

BL: The only correct I have to make is that I understand lesbians slightly better than I understand straight women. But yes, I completely agree with Stephanie, San Junipero is possibly my favourite thing I watched last year.

T: I just really think the academy should like pull a shocker and give it to that shitty Lifetime Dolly Parton movie. Can you imagine the uproar? It would almost be as good as accidental La La Land Oscar envelope non-winner gate.

Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors - Season 1

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline

Hank Azaria, Ray Donovan

Gerald McRaney, This Is Us

B.D. Wong, Mr. Robot

Brian Tyree Henry, This Is Us

Denis O’Hare, This Is Us

T: I don’t know what these words mean.

S: This category is a snoooooreeeeeee. Why is everyone from This Is Us? It isn’t good.

T: Fuck they’ve really gone for it right? I vote BD Wong, whoever he is. Maybe he plays the robot on Mr Robot, I don’t know, I don’t care.

S: Yes he plays the Robot that convinces all the other robots to perform a broadway musical ROBOTS!

T: Oh shit that’s what this show is? I should get on that…

S: yes you can here the award winning song “Love Me Before I Rust Away.” Tear. Jerker.

T: Can you imagine the pitch meeting? “It’s SMASH, but with ROBOTS!”

mrrobot_show_2560x1440

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series

Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away With Murder

Laverne Cox, Orange Is the New Black

Shannon Purser, Stranger Things

Alison Wright, The Americans

Alexis Bledel, The Handmaid’s Tale

Ann Dowd, The Leftovers

BL: It’s gotta be Barb. Nobody would be complaining about justice for Barb if it weren’t for that actual performance.

T: BARB! Barb for the win! I love that she’s nominated. That’s just the coolest. Also RORY GILMORE yeeeey. She was amazing in Handmaid’s Tale. Honestly I never knew she had it in her.

S: You know what? While I was watching that show I was like I’m not hating on Alexis Bledel and that’s very surprising for me. So in line with that I will award her an Emmy!

rory

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series

Matthew Rhys, Girls

Riz Ahmed, Girls

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Saturday Night Live

Dave Chappelle, Saturday Night Live

Tom Hanks, Saturday Night Live

Hugh Laurie, Saturday Night Live

T: If Riz is winning for actor in a limited series, then this should go to Lin-Manuel Miranda because he was amazing and he’s amazing and I love him. Insert Hamilton pun here.

S: Wow, so much SNL. Um yes. Riz can win for The Night Of. I did not enjoy the writing for his character in Girls. He felt like an afterthought. Lin-Manuel! As Thomas knows I broke down and started listening the Hamilton soundtrack this week (I wanted to wait until I saw the musical, but that might never happen) I also watched Moana. And I’m just like Lin Manuel you are so freakin talented. Oh Thomas maybe he can get an EGOT!

T: I have every faith that he will, but he’s currently just an EG.

snl

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series

Wanda Sykes, Black-ish

Becky Ann Baker, Girls

Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live

Carrie Fisher, Catastrophe

Angela Bassett, Master of None

Kristen Wiig, Saturday Night Live

T: I’m torn. Carrie Fisher, the Lord ha’mercy on her soul, is great and should posthumously win things. However, this has to go to Angela Bassett for one of the best episodes of television ever on Master of None. Gutted there’s no Laura Dern for Kimmy Schmidt.

S: I feel the same way. RIP Carrie. We love you. But ANGELA. Oh my word. That episode is amazing. I also just recently rewatched Waiting to Exhale. I relived the moment where Angela burns all her husband’s clothes because he leaves her for a white woman and this is totally unrelated but I just wanted to talk about that. Best scene ever. Angela for the win!

master-of-none

Best Documentary

30 for 30

The Keepers

American Masters

Chef’s Table

Planet Earth II

T: The Keepers x 1000. Although Planet Earth was amazing. Those snakes gave me nightmares.

S: FUCKING JANE DOE OH DEAR GOD THAT SHOW. THE SADNESS. THE ANGER. FUCK FUCK FUCK. MURDER NUN SHOW HAS TO WIN.

Jane Doe! Oh dear God, that show. The sadness. The anger. Fuck. Murder Nun show has to win.

T: Sister Cathy! Jane Doe aka Glenn Close! Oh god this show made me cry with sadness and rage. All the Emmys.

S: It is the LEAST you can do. ALL OF THEM. Sidebar that little lizard guy who got away from the snakes in Planet Earth two. I’ve never cheered so loud.  

TD: I know right? Actually had a nightmare about those snakes tho. My therapist found that very interesting.

S: Snakes are trying to get you! WATCH OUT!

The-Keepers

Oscar Nominations 2017

While this year’s Oscar nominations have been praised for their record-breaking diversity, they’ve also been criticised for some major snubs and the inclusion of some fairly undesirable characters. Two steps forward, one step back; still, progress?

Here with me to discuss the nominees are Cinematographer Stephanie Coffey and Poet Ben Ladouceur. 

Best Picture

Arrival

T: This is one of my favourite films of Oscar season. I saw it twice! It’s about a lady saving the world through communication and compassion! It’s smart sci-fi in the vein of Ex Machina and Never Let Me Go.

B: And Eternal Sunshine! But I didn’t like the font they used when they suddenly started giving the alien language subtitles. It was a terrible font I am trying to forget. I hope this movie loses.

T: Completely reasonable.

S: I still haven’t seen it. I will, I promise. But I can’t help but think it’s a bargain bin Contact. I’m sorry Amy. I love you. If I ever get famous and this surfaces, please still work with me.

T: Contact was…ungood. “They should have sent a poet” – Jodie Foster. Fun fact: Arrival was also the name of Abba’s first great album and the title song has bagpipes in it.

B: I wish this movie had bagpipes in it. But we’ll talk about the soundtrack later.

Fences

S: I’m going on Thursday! I’ve been warned it’s like five hundred hours of non stop dialogue! I can’t wait to see Viola’s snot nose crying in more context than the trailer.

B: Yesterday I rewatched her seven-minute movie-stealing scene in “Doubt” and there was a lot of nose dripping. And a lot of blinking. She’s cracked the code of acting: equal parts snot and blinks. That’s how you win awards. That’s all it is.

Hacksaw Ridge

T: No.

S: Why did we just forget that Mel Gibson is anti-semitic and terrible? God, Hollywood you have the memory of a goldfish. No, Mel Gibson you can’t come to the party…

Hell or High Water

T: No.

S: “I don’t understand the question, therefore I won’t respond.” – Lucille Bluth. I’m pretty sure I used this joke last year but it still applies.

Hidden Figures

T: Yey Hidden Fences.

S: This movie looks fun. I think I’m going to take my mom!

T: Let’s all take our Mums! Even though mine is kinda racist, she really loves all the Shondaland shows so she’ll probably dig this.

La La Land

T: This film was a delightful confection. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but two minutes after leaving the cinema I’d forgotten everything that had happened. Hollow. “La La Land ties with All About Eve and Titanic for most Oscar nominations ever!” – yeah, All About Eve had FIVE nominations for acting. Blah Blah Bland and All About Eve are not comparable. Bye.

S: Ugh. I wanted to love this. I thought this movie was going to save me from my bleak winter and fill my heart with joy. There were a lot of nice things about this movie. It was pretty, it had gorgeous cinematography but it just felt flat. It didn’t have that something special. I had no tears and I wanted tears. I also think the last five minutes was better than the whole movie. 

B: I’m sick of show business movies winning awards. Like, there are so many movies about Hollywood. It’s why I hated Birdman. The guy’s problem is he wants to be a successful actor. That’s a pretty specific conflict for so many “must-see” films to have in common. There are so many career fields, ripe for the dramatizing! Where’s the must-see blockbuster about, like, beekeepers? Or proofreaders? Show me it.

Lion

T: This keeps being described as ‘moving’, so I guess I’ll see it.

S: I keep having amnesia about this film. I keep forgetting what Nicole Kidman is doing at events and things. And then I’m like “oh right you did a movie”.  I’ll watch it on my couch when Netflix releases it in a few weeks.

Manchester By the Sea

T: This was very good. Sad white men are important. Kenneth Lonergan is a great writer and director, but if you want to watch a really great film of his with similar themes, check out You Can Count On Me. It has all the same stuff – loner guy, small town, family death – except it also stars Laura Linney. And thus is vastly superior. Write-in Best Picture nomination for You Can Count On Me!

S: You had me at Laura Linney. I vote for this write-in!

Moonlight

S: Moonlight had some story structure flaws. It could have been a bit tighter and the characters a bit more developed but looking at the whole category it might have been the best of the bunch. Until I see Contact II, it has my vote.

T: Missing: Jackie. What the hell?! Out of this lot, I’d probably go with Arrival to be honest.

S: Hidden Fences! I vote for that.

B: I feel like it’ll be the Manchester By the Sea movie because things happening next to water is very moving to people.

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)

Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)

Dev Patel (Lion)

Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)

T: GWAN MICHAEL SHANNON. I thought he was great in Nocturnal Animals.

S: Weird that the Globes went for Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Sorry Thomas, but I think that was a better choice. Taylor-Johnson was needlessly sinister and such a nut bar. For the Globes, I still felt like I liked Mahershala Ali better but I was like okay Aaron Taylor-Johnson played a pretty good nut bar. I’ll allow this. But Michael Shannon. Man detective. Meh.

T: A testament to the wide range of male-centric stories just dying to be told, this category features not one but TWO grizzled southern sheriffs with Shannon and Jeff Bridges. But I just really, really like Michael Shannon.

S: I don’t understand this, so I’m going to talk about how Jeff Bridges made a sleeping tape. He recorded himself talking peacefully. You can listen to it and have good dreams thanks to Jeff Bridges. It’s like meditation. You can find it at www.dreamingwithjeff.com. For some reason he teamed up with the my website provider. What up squarespace? It popped up one day when I went in to log onto my website and update it… I was like WTF Jeff Bridges. This is hilarious. I posted it on Facebook and no one took the bait….but now people have to listen to me!

T: Lucas Hedges is a great young talent who provides some much needed light and shade to this movie. A nice contrast to Casey Affleck’s misery-fest performance. You go Lucas! Dev, you will always be the kid from Skins. But good for you.

S: I fuckin’ love Skins. Cassie was so crazy. In my opinion Ali was the best thing about Moonlight. I loved his performance and when he holds little Chiron in the sea. That was such a beautiful moment and so I think he should win.

B: Simon Helberg was great in Florence Foster Jenkins and maybe should have been nominated in this category. That’s my hot take.

Best Actor

Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)

Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)

Ryan Gosling (La La Land)

Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)

Denzel Washington (Fences)

T: Casey Affleck is a sex rapist*. Hollywood doesn’t mind that, though. They gave Woody Allen his most recent Oscar in 2012 and he’s a proven child sex rapist. Anyway, Affleck is quite good in this and the likely winner.

*Casey Affleck is an alleged sexual harasser.

S: Yes. I banned this movie because I don’t care about it and I don’t want to support men accused of sexual harassment. Sorry Casey. You are a bargain bin Ben Affleck and even he is bargain bin so you are like the DVD that has scratches on it and has to be thrown away. Also I learned from the Golden Globes he only got this role because Matt Damon turned it down which for some reason is funny to me.

 

T: Andrew Garfield, you were great in Boy A and Never Let Me Go so I can’t begrudge you this. I just have no intention of ever seeing this movie.

S: I quite like him. But no to this movie. Never Let Me Go was a very good film. Should we just talk about that film instead?

T: Never Let Me Go is heartbreaking and filled with brilliant performances. The resigned sadness in Carey Mulligan’s face at the end, and that beautiful score. So haunting.

B: And Keira Knightley being vindictive and desperate both at the same time effectively! Ugggh. Never Let Me Go should win best actor.

S: See this is waaay better. I feel calmer already…

T: Ryan Gosling’s nomination is baffling.

B: Oh yeah? How come? I haven’t seen it yet. Is he just okay?

T: He’s charming Ryan Gosling doing his charming Ryan Gosling thing. Lovely dancing, but that’s it.

S: Yes, Thomas is right. It’s just Ryan Gosling playing the piano and looking hot. He’s been in MUCH better films than this.  Give him a retroactive Oscar for Place Beyond the Pines, or Half Nelson, or Blue Valentine. Heck, Young Hercules! Breaker High! Something else.  

Someone else! – Homer Simpson

B: Young Hercules!

S: If the Academy wasn’t a bunch of annoying losers they would be all like, “We’re really, reaaaally sorry Denzel for giving you an Oscar for Training Day. Here is a real Oscar for a movie you put your heart and soul into.” But no they’ll give it to Casey Affleck. BOOOOOOOO.

Best Actress

Isabelle Huppert (Elle)

Ruth Negga (Loving)

Emma Stone (La La Land)

Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

T: Oh, Emma. You did your best, but there wasn’t much to work with. You’re only an okay singer and you didn’t have many beats to play. My main beef with her win here is that in a couple of years I’m confident she will deliver an absolutely brilliant performance in a much better film and won’t win because they already gave it to her here.

S:  This one is really heartbreaking for me. I love Emma. I always have. But this just wasn’t very good and you just weren’t very good in it. I think the okay singer thing was my biggest problem. Like, it’s a musical. You have to be a good singer. Those are the rules. I didn’t make them. I agree with Thomas. Her Oscar is like three years away and it’s going to be amazing.

T: Natalie Portman IS Jackie Kennedy. She plays the different layers of Jackie’s grief so well. THIS is the one that should win.

S: I like Natalie. I still hate Oscar baiting biopics. But sure, give it to her.

T: You know what? Florence Foster Jenkins is the kind of late-career Meryl performance that people sneer at. The fact is, Meryl is excellent in this, as usual. Will it be mentioned anywhere in her obituary? No.

B: Yes yes, go Meryl. But this is the slot that should have been Amy Adams’. It’s crazy that she’s not on here. She’s a total Overlooked Olga.

S: Lol to overlooked Olga.

T: An egregious oversight, especially seeing as Arrival was nominated for eight awards and she basically is the whole movie. Also missing: Sarah Paulson for Blue Jay, Susan Sarandon for The Meddler and Sally Field for Hello, My Name Is Doris. Come at me.

S: I fear Amy is like too good and then each year some one-off comes in and takes her Oscar. Like everyone every year is like yeah, yeah, she’s amazing but did you see? Emma danced this year! Amy is so long overdue. WHERE IS HER OSCAR?

B: I hope Huppert wins. This movie was batshit crazy. It’s by the Showgirls director. This movie is like Showgirls, but France instead of LA, and the video game industry instead of the stripper industry, and a fantastic lead actress instead of a terrible one. Also about times as much sexual violence. And it does that French movie thing where there are like 10 supporting characters with their own little subplots for no reason. Oh, I want to see this again. No idea why it isn’t on the foreign nominee list, though to be fair I haven’t seen any of the movies that actually made it onto the list. #teamisabelle

T: Loving has been under the radar but the love for Ruth Negga’s performance has been solid. Good for her.

S: Yeah, why is this film so under the radar? Ruth Negga is stunning and I heard she was really good in this. I will watch sometime this week and report back.

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis (Fences)

Naomie Harris (Moonlight)

Nicole Kidman (Lion)

Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)

Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

T: I BEEN STANDIN’ BESIDE YOU FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS. Enough said. A wagon of Oscars for Viola. Technically a lead performance? Anyway, this puts her closer to EGOT as after this she will have an Emmy, Oscar and a Tony.

S:  Viola got her Globe this year. So all she needs is the O.

T:  No Steph, the G is for Grammy…

S: Oh. I don’t think she’s ever getting a Grammy.

T: Three words: spoken word album

S: She just does a spoken word album to get the EGOT?

T: All she has to do is narrate a bunch of nursery rhymes and she’s there.

B: Even just her reading the classifieds. And it would be in the bag.

S: I’m still bummed it wasn’t a lead. This is a lead performance. Viola deserves BEST ACTRESS etched on her Oscar.

T: Fun slash sad fact: with her third nomination, Viola Davis becomes the black performer with the most Oscar nominations in history. Another fun slash sad fact: this is only the third time that three actors of colour have been nominated in a single category. The other years were 2004 and 2007. And our final fun slash sad fact: Octavia is the first black woman to be nominated for another Oscar after winning. Hattie, Whoopi, Halle, Jennifer, Monique and Lupita haven’t managed it. (Sidebar, Hattie is dead, so never will.)

B: Lupita will get around to it some time soon.

S: I love Octavia. Two for Octavia! You go Octavia! Sidebar of my own: can we please find a way to give Whoopi another Oscar? SISTER ACT 3: HABITUAL HABITING

T: “There was one habit she just couldn’t break…”

S: “…dressing up as a Nun for obscure reasons.”

T: So, Michelle Williams is in Manchester by the Sea for ten minutes and just cries the whole time. No.

B: Umm if that’s true it makes me want to see it more.

T: …why?

S: Yeah, Ben…Why?

B: She cries well. Why hasn’t there been a Joni Mitchell biopic yet? When they get around to making one, it will suddenly occur to everyone that Michelle Williams is the perfect person. And she’ll just cry and smoke and play guitar. Doesn’t that sound good?

T: Okay, yeah, I can see that. Better than Taylor fucking Swift doing it anyhow.

Best Score

Jackie

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Passengers

T: La La Land gets this, right? Aside from that, Jackie has a great score and I’m surprised Arrival isn’t nominated in this category. Also, apparently Dustin O’Halloran, who did the excellent music for Transparent, is now an Oscar nominee for Lion. Well done Dustin!

B: Fun fact, Arrival was disqualified because the song at the beginning and end isn’t an original song. It’s called “On the Nature of Daylight” and it’s in every movie you’ve ever seen. And movies are disqualified if they have too many non-original songs diluting the original material. And to be fair, when you think of music from Arrival, this is the song you think of.

S: Thanks for that fun fact, Ben! It’s important to educate our audiences!

T: I agree that’s a very memorable part of the score, and I love Max Richter, but for me the standout part is where it keeps going WAAAAAAAAAAARGH really loudly and made me jump.

S: WTF Passengers? I think it has to go to La La Land because if the musical movie doesn’t win best score then what is it doing?

Best Song

Audition (La La Land)

Can’t Stop the Feeling! (Trolls)

City of Stars (La La Land)

The Empty Chair (Jim: The James Foley Story)

How Far I’ll Go (Moana)

T: This is a toss-up between the Academy’s boner for La La Land and their boner for Lin-Manuel Miranda. I’m gonna say that this goes to Lin because he’s the man of the moment, the decade, the century.

B: I haven’t heard any of these songs so my pick is “The Empty Chair” because I assume it is a sequel to the Les Mis song “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” about how the tables aren’t empty anymore but there’s this one chair that’s still empty and it’s too bad.

T: Okay but who is Jim James Foley? And why does he have these disparate empty chairs and tables? Is he a lesser Les Mis character? This category raises more questions than it answers.

S: Hahah. WHO THE HELL IS JIM JAMES FOLEY? He was Prisoner 24602. He was right  behind Jean Valjean. Didn’t you see him?

T: Um so you know how Wicked tells the flipside of Wizard of Oz? Maybe we could write a musical called 24602 about this guy whose chair is empty.

S: OMG. This might be our life’s purpose. Real talk though: I actually liked City of Stars. It was catchy in a cute, mumbly sort of way. I’ll go with that.

Best Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water

La La Land

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea

20th Century Women

T: La La Land. Honest to God. Give it a rest. Give it to 20th Century Women, because ladies. Fun fact: that movie is the same director as Beginners, which I know absolutely crushed you Steph.

S: God this category is L-I-T-E. None of these were really that good. I haven’t seen 20th Century Women yet. Let’s go with that!  

B: Yes, to 20th Century Women.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival

Fences

Hidden Figures

Lion

Moonlight

T: I vote Arrival.

B: I don’t know man! Arrival was good, but it was kind of plothole city. I read the book right after and the book actually takes care of all the plotholes. It’s a lot more pedantic and attentive to logic than the movie — there are actual diagrams about light refraction at some point — and so the emotions it causes are that much more effective, since you’re totally on board with what’s going on. The movie didn’t have nearly as much theoretical groundwork. Instead of making you cry with math, it made you cry with violins. So, yes, lovely movie, but imperfect adaptation. (To be fair, I acknowledge that it had a lot more math and science in it than basically any other Hollywood movie. More fog too.)

S: Ben has given me a new goal in life. I want to cry with math! I’m going to blindly pick Fences. I’VE BEEN STANDING BESIDE YOU FOR 18 YEARS!!!

Animated Feature

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life As a Zucchini

The Red Turtle

Zootopia

Remember last year when that movie “The Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared” was nominated and we were convinced that the Academy was playing tricks on us? Well, what on God’s green Earth is “My Life As A Zucchini”?!

S: Haha I have no idea. The Academy is trying to see if we’re still woke!

Guys, I bloody loved Zootopia. I watched it Hungover one day and it made me really happy. It has a great message. And Jenny Slate plays a lamb and it took me the whole movie to figure out it was her. It was driving me crazy! For those of you who don’t know, Jenny Slate is the genius behind Marcel the Shell with Shoes on:

She’s a very talented comedienne who has done many other things but this still cracks me up to this day.

T: Can we make her a write-in for best actress for Obvious Child please?

S: YES! Totes. And also can we just TAKE NOTE that Mona Lisa Saperstein is one of the best characters ever created. #parksandrec4lyfe. Basically Jenny Slate we love you! Don’t ever change. Here is a video I just found of Jenny doing the voice recording for her Zootopia lamb:

 

Best Director

Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)

Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge)

Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)

Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)

T: Have we all forgotten that Mel Gibson is a bigot? Like, this is not okay. Anyway, Pablo Larrain should have been nominated for Jackie. Ridiculous. This will probably go to Damien Chazelle for La La Land right? And while I can’t begrudge him per se, I’d rather see this go to Denis Villeneuve.

S: There’s too many boys in this category. I’m bored. Sure, Damien, fine, you can have this. But just remember that Whiplash was better…oops, that sounds like a threat. It wasn’t. I’m just very passionate about this issue.   

Best make-up and hairstyling

A Man Called Ove

Star Trek Beyond

Suicide Squad

T: Write-in nomination for the wigs in Florence Foster Jenkins.

S: Agreed. I’m actually thinking Florence Foster Jenkins is the dark horse of this whole competition.

T: Imagine if Meryl swoops in and takes Oscar #4 for FFJ? That would be a lol.

S: Omg. And then she makes another amazing speech about how Trump is a dolt and America needs to figure it out. The curtain comes down and the show is over folks!

The 2016 Emmy Nominations Were Mostly Wonderful

Following a disappointingly narrow batch of Oscar nominations, it was refreshing to see a list of Emmy nominees that reflects the diversity of storytelling on television. While the great and good of the film community are congratulating themselves for having Sulu hug a boy or dance to Madonna or something equally Earth-shatteringly homosexual in Star Trek, in TV land we’re busy discussing shows dealing with a wide array of female, queer and racially diverse themes. 

I teamed up with Stephanie Coffey and Ben Ladouceur to talk wigs, Helen Hunt and Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

Lead Actress in a Drama:

Claire Danes, Homeland

Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder

Taraji P. Henson, Empire

Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black

Keri Russell, The Americans

Robin Wright, House of Cards

T: Homeland is still a thing?

S: Claire Danes, go away. Unless you are hanging out with Aziz in Master of None. That was great.

B: I’m throwing my weight behind Tatiana, for playing 50 different lesbians or something.

S: Tatiana is also pretty incredible with her 18 different roles. Ben, I think she just plays one lesbian, though. She is an amazing actress and woo, Canada!  

B: If you watch the show for long enough, a streetcar goes by, and you feel like Toronto is a magical land.

T: Toronto *is* a magical land, Ben. It would be nice to see a Canadian win this. Following on from Viola’s landmark win last year, I feel like this would be equally historic. But this will probably go to Viola Davis for the second year in a row, right? And I’m completely fine with that because she’s a genius.

S: This is tough. I love Viola but I couldn’t do Season two of HTGAWM. (Wow. Long acronym). The mystery was too much of a let down in season one and the amount of time they flashed back to clues because they don’t trust their audience was insufferable. But the best thing about the show is its lead actress, so she is deserving.

viola-davis

Lead Actor in a Drama:

Kyle Chandler, Bloodline

Rami Malek, Mr. Robot

Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul

Matthew Rhys, The Americans

Liev Schreiber, Ray Donovan

Kevin Spacey, House of Cards

T: I find it hard to care about any of these people and their shows. I say give it to Rami Malek, because why not?

B:. I have never seen Mr. Robot. It seems like the new Breaking Bad, in that like four or five straight males told me that I HAVE to check it out. I assume it’s about a robot named Mr. Robot, and that he can’t get wet or he’ll malfunction, but where he lives it’s always raining. Enjoy your Emmy, Mr. Robot!

T: It’s like that show Billions. Straight boys are jizzing over it but gay Twitter says there are no ladies doing lady things so don’t bother. I choose gay Twitter. Mr Robot for the win!

S: Bob Odenkirk! I too ignored the straight boys on Breaking Bad but then watched Better Call Saul in an act of defiance. It was brilliant and I vote for that because I prefer my robots to be Alicia Vikander.

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Lead Actor in a Limited Series:

Bryan Cranston, All the Way

Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

Idris Elba, Luther

Cuba Gooding Jr., The People vs. O.J. Simpson

Tom Hiddleston, The Night Manager

Courtney B. Vance, The People vs. O.J. Simpson

T: Fuck this whole category, because Oscar Isaac was not nominated for Show Me A Hero, which was exceptional.

B: I just googled Show Me a Hero, it looks good. By “it” I mean Oscar Isaac’s moustache.

T: Anything in or around Oscar Isaac’s face is usually 10/10. I have major issues with Tom Hiddleston – he’s a pretty face but I find him completely vacuous, and I’m in the minority that thought The Night Manager was unwatchable.

S: Yes! No more Hiddleswift PR please!

T: This should absolutely go to Courtney B Vance, I thought he was amazing in the show. Also because he was wearing a wig but he was the only person that didn’t look absolutely ridiculous. Plus, he’s married to Angela Fucking Basset.

S: Angela FUCKING Basset.

B: Yes, give it to Vance, who not only acted well, but also grew a moustache.

S: Yes. I’m with you guys. Mostly because of not looking ridiculous in a wig. I’m getting strong images of how terrified I was of John Travolta in this series. Ughhhh.

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Lead Actress in a Limited Series:

Kirsten Dunst, Fargo

Felicity Huffman, American Crime

Audra McDonald, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grille

Sarah Paulson, The People vs. O.J. Simpson

Lili Taylor, American Crime

Kerry Washington, Confirmation

T: How long have we been banging on about Sarah Paulson? Three years now? She was utterly brilliant in OJ and she’s usually the best thing in pretty much anything she does. Give her the fucking Emmy already.

B: I’ve been in love with Paulson since Studio 60, in which she was the only good thing. If I could travel time, I would visit zero dinosaurs and instead travel back a mere six years to go see the 2010 Broadway production of “Collected Stories” with her and Linda Lavin. So if she wins, I’ll be happy.

T: You have quite a thing for Lili Taylor too if I remember correctly?

B: I DO love Lili Taylor, and I am so honoured that you remember that about me. I just want to have brunch with her every once and awhile. Her and Helen Hunt and Embeth Davidtz. And at the start of brunch when we’re all sitting down, we’re like, “No mimosas!” but then one of us orders one anyway, and that gets the ball rolling, and we’re all drinking one mimosa each and talking about how silly we are, so silly, three silly girls and their silly friend Ben.

T: This sounds like a brunch I would turn up to with a really open mind and my heart would sink in like the first three minutes.

S: Why are the mimosas so forbidden, Ben? “No we can’t. We can’t. OMG Helen you are so bad! I’m ordering one too!”

T: Maybe I could convince Embeth to slope off with me? Anyway, I remember you like Lili Taylor because you loved her character on Six Feet Under, who was just the worst.

B: You watched it wrong, she was the best thing about that show.

S: Ben has been on my radar of questionable female actress choices since the inception of his bizarre love for boring Helen Hunt. However, Sarah Paulson bridges the gap finally! To quote Thomas’ drunken voicemail last week, “Pleeeeeease give Sarah Paulson an Emmyyyyyy. She’s a fuuuuuucking genius!”   

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Lead Actor in a Comedy:

Anthony Anderson, Black-ish

Aziz Ansari, Master Of None

Will Forte, Last Man on Earth

William H. Macy, Shameless

Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley

Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent

T: I feel like we should really be watching Black-ish. The clips I’ve seen look funny.

B: I watched Black-ish’s Very Special Episode about BLM, which was great, but probably not that emblematic of the show’s comic sensibilities.

T: I’m torn here between Aziz Ansari and Jeffrey Tambor. I’d say Aziz is funnier and the fact that he writes and directs the show is a huge achievement. But this is probably Tambor’s to lose. Transparent season two was excellent and I think he was great in it.

B: Let’s give it to Forte, whose show is not perfect, but neither am I and neither are you.

S: Aziz! I loved season two of Transparent but I’d like to see some other players get wins this year. Can someone give Gaby Hoffman an Emmy? Or perhaps some Jill Soloway love? Tambor was brilliant but I think Aziz has created a Master-ful show that touches on a lot of important topics and is hilarious.

T: Puns are always welcome.

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Lead Actress in a Comedy:

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep

Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish

Laurie Metcalf,Getting On

Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer

Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie

T: Firstly, Maria Bamford got snubbed for the hilarious Lady Dynamite. It was genius. Shocked to see her left off the list. As you said before, Ben, Grace and Frankie is perfect television so Lily Tomlin deserves to be here. And Tracee Ellis Ross is hilarious so I’m not surprised to see her here. Who takes it? JLD, again? In my heart of hearts I would love this to go to Lily Tomlin.

B: I’m OK with anyone here winning. I’m most OK with Tomlin.

S: Tracee Ellis Ross or Amy Schumer. Lily Tomlin can win if there is a write in vote for Grandma.

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Comedy Series:

Black-ish

Master of None

Modern Family

Silicon Valley

Transparent

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Veep

T: In terms of the most laughs I got out of a show this year, Kimmy Schmidt takes it for me.

S: Titus Burgess really carried the show for me this season. I wouldn’t say it was the best show of the year but I definitely laughed.

T: In terms of purely artistic achievement, this is between Master of None and Transparent.

B: Transparent was REMARKABLE, but I didn’t laugh – mostly I winced and cringed and almost-cried and thought about how one day we’re all going to die. But yes: for best show, it should be Transparent, but for funniest show, Unbreakable.

S: Transparent is heartbreakingly beautiful but it’s one of those odd ‘should it be in the comedy section?’ nominees. I watched Man on the Land S2E9 three times and just bawled. Hari Nef was INCREDIBLE. She should have received a nod!

B: Master of None didn’t do it for me. I feel broken but it’s true.

S: Ben, I’m starting to doubt you again and after we just reconciled over Sarah Paulson. Master of None was amazing. I’m also like the biggest Aziz Ansari fan so I could be biased…no, it’s great.

B: Yeah, I know I’m in the minority here. I appreciate that Ansari is a man with a mandate, addressing social issues. I’m just not driven wild by his schtick.

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Drama Series:

The Americans

Better Call Saul

Downton Abbey

Game of Thrones

Homeland

House of Cards

Mr. Robot

T: I watch none of these shows. I loathe Downton Abbey. Give it to Mr. Robot. Sure.

B: You don’t watch Game of Thrones? I assume everyone in England does because it’s filmed in the big soccer field across the street from everyone’s house.

T: You know how everyone in Toronto had a walk-on in Being Erica? Everyone in the UK has played a tree on Game of Thrones.

S: I DON’T CARE. ACTUALLY put Transparent in this category and voila! A winner.

B: Also, this is where I mention that I have watched Downton Abbey start to finish, and enjoyed every minute. This season was one of the stronger ones. There were car crashes, and the finale was so incredibly CONCLUSIVE. Not a single loose thread. Basically everyone either got married or died, and there was no middle ground, because that’s how aristocracy works.

T: I hate the aristocracy, I hate the crappy writing on this shitty show, and I hate you, Ben.

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TV Movie:

All the Way

Confirmation

Luther

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

A Very Murray Christmas

T: Umm, weren’t all of these reviewed as bad or mediocre? Unless I’m forgetting something. Give it to Bill Murray for all I care.

B: Confirmation, let’s say.

S: No guys! Did you see the Christmas special? It was like Sofia Coppola does sparse atmospheric Christmas where nothing happens but I put my famous friends in it so it’s fine. Does Black Mirror White Christmas count as a T.V. movie? The one with Jon Hamm. I just watched that and it’s really good. Write in?

T: Steph, with her characteristic finger on the pulse, has singled out a show that was released in 2014.

S: D’oh! … Please disregard Stephanie. *Sneaks in answer* Sherlock because it was probably good.

Bill-Murray-Christmas

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series:

Louie Anderson, Baskets

Andre Braugher, Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Keegan-Michael Key, Key & Peele

Ty Burrell, Modern Family

Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Tony Hale, Veep

Matt Walsh, Veep

T: First off, three of these nominees are actors of color, well done academy. Tituss Burgess had the most hilarious year on UKS, give it to him. Tony Hale and Matt Walsh are solid – in particular it’s great to see Walsh recognised. What. On Earth. Is. Baskets?

B: Just googled it. On Baskets, Louie apparently plays a nagging old woman, which is probably a very large step back for the trans rights movement. Let’s give it to Braugher for the quality of his role: a gay black man who has grown into a hardass after dealing with years of bullshit in an intolerant work environment. His character is heavily informed, but ultimately not defined by, his queer experience and that, to me, is the best possible future of gays on TV.

T: Are we saying, Ben, that Brooklyn Nine Nine is one of the great queer texts of our time?

B: Yes. Andy Samberg is like ten Gore Vidals.

S: Not only actors of colour but two queer black characters. I think this is definitely proving that Hollywood films need to catch up to TV in terms of diversity. Andre Braugher as Captain Holt is one of my favourite TV characters ever! Not only is Holt a complex queer character, Braugher’s comedic timing and monotone delivery exemplify his supreme acting chops.

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Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie:

Jesse Plemons, Fargo

Bokeem Woodbine, Fargo

Hugh Laurie, The Night Manager

Sterling K. Brown, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

David Schwimmer, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

John Travolta, The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

T: Who is Bokeem Woodbine, he’s my new favourite person. Like a chipmunk or something got nominated for an Emmy.

B: I got lost at Woodbine subway station once. I was hungover and I took the subway the wrong way and ended up in Scarborough. So I don’t like Bokeem Woodbine.

T: This should definitely go to Sterling K Brown, he was amazing as Darden. John Travolta was hilaire and Ross Kardashian is just no. I really like Jesse Plemons. Generally. That’s all I have to say about him.

B: I agree! Sterling K. Brown.

T: Are you just agreeing for the sake of it? I’m pretty sure you only watched one episode of OJ…

B: I’m agreeing because I trust you Thomas.

S: I will jump in and admit that I am going to blindly agree with Thomas because I don’t like anyone else. I watched three episodes of OJ.

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Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series:

Niecy Nash, Getting On

Allison Janney, Mom

Kate McKinnon , Saturday Night Live

Judith Light, Transparent

Gaby Hoffmann, Transparent

Anna Chlumsky, Veep

T: Janney again? I love her, you know I do, but like come on love you’ve got a wagon of Emmys. Ease up. Would be great to see Kate McKinnon win this, and there’s a possibility as she rides the wave of her Ghostbusters success. See previously: Melissa McCarthy for Mike and Molly. Anna Chlumsky is great, and the Transparent ladies also. Tough one. WHERE THE FUCK IS JANE KRAKOWSKI? I WILL SET THE BUILDING ON FIRE.

B: Yes, she is a notable absence. So is June Diane Raphael, Brianna from Grace & Frankie, whose business scenes with Lily Tomlin were one of the best things about the season. Give it to the ghostbuster.

T: Ladybuster for the win!

S: GABBY HOFFMAN. I love her. Ever since I used to watch Now & Then as a little girl and dream about my future. She was so good in Transparent this season. I’m very proud of her.

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Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series:

Maura Tierney, The Affair

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Lena Headey, Game Of Thrones

Emilia Clarke, Game Of Thrones

Maisie Williams, Game Of Thrones

Constance Zimmer, UnREAL

T: The only person I care about here generally is Maura Tierney. I’ve only just watched The Affair and my God now I remember how great she is. Give this to her immediately.

B: Constance Zimmer! Nobody watches UnREAL except for me, I think, but it’s fantastic, and Zimmer is especially good. Great to see UnREAL get one nod.

T: I hear it’s good, I should probably watch it. Also you should watch The Affair, it has the edgy yet solidly Mom sensibility that I think you would really dig.

B: On it.

S: Actually Ben, I have also watched UnReal and know about Constance Zimmer. She is quite good. However, I think I have to go with Thomas on this one. SPOILER ALERT: Helen gets high in Season two and says she queefed at the hairdressers and her hair gets accidentally bleached and it’s ridiculous. Season two is all about Helen and she delivers a complex performance. Plus she’s the mom from Liar Liar, so…

T: Maura Tierney has been a genius since ER which I was watching way before Liar Liar because I’m a Mum/Mom.

S: Yes I’m your bratty daughter who caught on to all your ladies in the 90s and you keep trying to “show me where they got their start” and I’m like “mommmm you don’t understand me, Maura Tierney is married to Jim Carey and they have a kid with a mushroom cut. That’s it!”

T: I know, I’m just a Maura Tierney completist.

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Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie:

Melissa Leo, All The Way

Regina King, American Crime

Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Hotel

Kathy Bates, American Horror Story: Hotel

Jean Smart, Fargo

Olivia Colman, The Night Manager

T: This is very strong. Paulson again?

B: Sarah Paulson could win two this way! That’s always fun.

T: Remember when Elisabeth Moss was up for two and we were like “SHE COULD WIN BOTH” and we held hands during her categories during the ceremony and we were disappointed x2?

B: I’ve done my best to forget that moment, but yes, I remember all too well.

S: I’m just going to throw my hat in for Kathy Bates. “It’s your men out there!”

sarah-paulson-american-horror-story-hotel

Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series:

Bob Newhart, The Big Bang Theory

Tracy Morgan, Saturday Night Live

Larry David, Saturday Night Live

Bradley Whitford, Transparent

Martin Mull, Veep

Peter MacNicol, Veep

T: Give it to Principal Kraft.  

B: Where is the rest of the Sabrina The Teenage Witch cast in today’s entertainment milieu? If you had told me, back then, it would be Principal Kraft still doing stuff, I’d have been, I guess, a somewhat bummed-out eleven-year-old. Where’s Libby, Aunt Zelda, Jenny, Harvey? (For her part, Melissa Joan Hart is the trainwreck nobody is talking about. You’ll all be quoting me on this one day.)

T: She recently starred in God’s Not Dead 2, so she’s doing fine. I guess. Fun fact: Beth Broderick retrained in psychology and is now Steph Coffey’s psychologist. True story.

S: Melissa Joan Hart is clinging on to the cliff of success in Melissa and Joey with Joey “Woah” Lawrence. They also did an ABC movie called Holiday in Handcuffs that’s on Netflix. I watched it when I shame spiralled at Christmas a few years back. Let’s all write in a vote for Beth Broderick!  

B: Zelda Spellman! Yes!

The-Cast-of-Sabrina-The-Teenage-Witch

Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series:

Laurie Metcalf, The Big Bang Theory

Christine Baranski, The Big Bang Theory

Tina Fey & Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live

Melissa McCarthy, Saturday Night Live

Amy Schumer, Saturday Night Live

Melora Hardin, Transparent

T: Ladies. A joint Emmy for Tina & Amy.

B: Happy with any of these.

T: Could it be any cuter that Tina & Amy get nominated as one person?

S: Can that happen? I mean I’m happy for Tina and Amy but is that a thing? A joint nom? Also, clearly if they are nominated as a pair then I’m voting for them.

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Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series:

Margo Martindale, The Americans

Carrie Preston, The Good Wife

Laurie Metcalf, Horace And Pete

Ellen Burstyn, House Of Cards

Molly Parker, House Of Cards

Allison Janney, Masters Of Sex

B: Molly Parker is Canadian. She played a necrophiliac in a 90s movie. Who hasn’t, though.

S: Lol to playing 90s necrophiliacs.

T: We’ve all had a bash. Did you know Raynor and co’s drama teacher in High School played the dead blonde lady in Murder at 1600?

S: Thanks, Tom. Now I want to ignore the work I have to do to today and watch some 90s Welsey Snipes. Murder at 1600, Passenger 57, can’t wait.

Thanks guys! Check back in for our post-Emmys round-up after the ceremony takes place on September 18.

The 2016 Ocars Were The Dullest Ever

It’s no secret that we felt that the 2016 Oscar nominations sucked, so it was a bit of a struggle summoning up the will to sit through a four hour ceremony celebrating a very bad set of nominees. But we’re nothing if not dedicated here at Spindle, so without further ado let our film writers Stephanie Coffey and Thomas Dearnley-Davison walk you through it. 

Let’s start with that monologue:

S: Chris Rock tells shiny white people that Hollywood is “sorority racist.” *crickets* shiny white people can’t deal.

T: I love the awkward close-ups to all the white actors in the audience who really, I feel, shouldn’t be applauding the idea of black people getting shot on the regs by cops but don’t know what else to do.

S: Yeah the awkward laughter is a little unbearable. It’s like we want to be supportive, we don’t know what to laugh at because Chris Rock is being too real so we’ll smile at everything.

T: Right? Least funny monologue ever, but also probably the best. What do you think?

S: I think the problem is that racism isn’t funny. He had to be real. He definitely addressed the issues but I think it was actually difficult to make light of the situation. I also think he used the platform to just tell Hollywood what is going on. You aren’t being supportive of black filmmakers, you think you are liberal but you aren’t helping.

T: Yeah like that bit about the Obama fundraiser where he said to the President all these rich white donors don’t hire black people. What is the point of giving a million dollars to a black presidential candidate when you are actively closing down avenues of opportunity for minorities?

S: He’s right. We all have to actively fix the problem. So filmmakers, writers, actors, whomever think about diversity in all your work! It doesn’t matter your background you can help tell human stories.

Best Supporting Actress: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

S: Alicia why do you look like Disney Princess Barbie? I love you but this Beauty and the Beast thing, I dunno. I was muttering “not Kate, not Kate” over and over and they got it right! Well, sort of: I would have preferred Ex Machina to be your win. And it should be Best Actress. But you are so talented and thank god it wasn’t that Godawful Steve Jobs performance again.

T: Oh God, I woke up this morning and scrabbled to check my phone for this very reason. Thank God it wasn’t Kate. I love you, Kate Winslet, I truly do, we’re from the same part of the world (shoutout to the Home Counties!), so I feel like in a different life we could have been close personal friends, but you did not deserve your second Oscar for this.

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Alicia Vikander accepts her Oscar dressed as Disney Princess Barbie

Best Original Screenplay: Spotlight

T: I guess the screenplay for Spotlight was fine. Just like the rest of the movie. Should have been Inside Out but they clearly they don’t care about a little girl’s feelings. Also it was written by a lady and they’re not allowed to win stuff.

S: I always get the feeling the writing award goes to something that wouldn’t win a bigger award but that was important, so I was really hoping for Inside Out or Straight Outta Compton. I guess Inside Out did win Best Animated, but still…Straight Outta Compton would have been a huge surprise and a great nod for such a shitty night.

T: Yeah but the writers were both white! The only nomination for the black movie was for the white people. That just sums up this whole shitty Academy.

S: Ugh. I can’t even…

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short

S: White mansplaining wins in least diverse year. Yay! *sobs* Dear God, try harder Hollywood. At least seemingly liberal white man with large spectacles tells audience not to vote for crazy billionaires – progress?

T: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I do not need the financial crisis mansplained to me by a bunch of guys in wigs. And WHY THE FUCK did Phyllis Nagy not win for Carol? Oh yeah, because she’s gay and her movie is all about ladies.

Production Design, Costume Design, Make-up: Mad Max: Fury Road

S: Mad Max sweeps sets, costumes and make up. I feel like Thomas is going to be really upset but I’m like okay it’s fine. And the Costume Designer was so badass with her skull jacket.

T: You know what? Good for Mad Max. I hear it’s a lady picture but with added explosions. And it’s funny because there’s so many angles to it. For example, I was discussing the movie with a fellow uber-feminist, while my white straight brother was completely baffled as to what we were talking about. Quoth he: ‘all I saw were car crashes and explosions’. Something for everyone, guys. Something for everyone.

S: Sorry straight white brother but yes they snuck in the feminism so boys wouldn’t notice.

T: Boys are stupid. I’m so glad The Revenant did not win for production design. As one Oscar voter put it, ‘The whole movie is set outside. Who’s the Production Designer? God?”

Also, yes that’s Jenny Beavan – she’s a Brit and she’s amazing. Stephen Fry described her as a bag lady at the Baftas, and everyone went mental. He had a point. Also check out how literally no-one claps as she walks down to collect her award…

https://vine.co/v/igWT9HBUnXp/embed/simple

Best Editing: Margaret Sixell, Mad Max: Fury Road

S: This Mad Max editing woman has a great Diane Keaton thing going on. Love her.

T: That’s Margaret Sixel, who – fun fact – is married to Mad Max director George Miller!

S: Ooh, power couple!

Best Visual Effects: Ex Machina

S: LITTLE VICTORIES, GUYS. Maybe this will fuel my Ex Machina sequel idea: hot robot in the city. It’s like 9 to 5 and Working Girl except she keeps murdering everybody so it’s always really awkward.

T: I’m dying. That’s fucking hilarious.

S: Like, she gets passed over for a promotion so just stabs that person at the copier…

T: I would watch the shit outta that movie. The best visual effect in Ex Machina was them making Dreamboat Oscar Isaac slightly less attractive. Oh, who am I fucking kidding, he was a dreamboat from start to finish, weird 80s professor glasses and all. What were we talking about? Oh yeah, good for this movie! It’s about ladies!

Best Supporting Actor: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

S: Again, I was chanting “not Rocky not Rocky not Rocky”…I heard Mark R – and I was like, RUFFALO! Rylance…what?

T: I’m so fucking glad Sly did not get this for Creed, or ‘Black Rocky’, as Chris Rock put it. I did not care about Black Rocky, I did not go and see Black Rocky. If you want to see a great movie directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Michael B. Jordan then I’d recommend Fruitvale Station. Finally watched it this weekend, it’s utterly brilliant and I cried and cried and cried. Also Octavia Spencer is the stoic Mom so there’s just like a whole bunch of reasons to watch it. Instead of Black Rocky.

Also, hold up, Mark Rylance is brilliant. I haven’t seen Bridge of Spies – why the hell would I have seen Bridge of Spies? – however he’s a Brit and a hugely talented theatre actor. Does occasional TV – he was amazing in Wolf Hall. Did you see Wolf Hall?

S: No I didn’t see Wolf Hall. And that’s not the point. NOBODY saw Bridge of Spies. I cannot even adjudicate his performance because I will NEVER see Bridge of Spies. This movie doesn’t exist. So just give it back to Mark Ruffalo and be done with it.

T: Oh man, I hated Mark Ruffalo in Spotlight. Seriously, bullshit performance. 0 stars. However, I rewatched The Kids Are All Right the other day to remind myself that he’s actually brilliant. He shouuld have won for that.

S: The whole category was a joke. You know what, maybe that’s it. Maybe they were bribed to care about Sylvester Stallone and Mark Ruffalo and what’s his name in a wig, and then the Academy went rogue and was like all these people suck let’s at least give it to the guy who was good in Wolf Hall.

Best Original Song: Sam Smith, Jimmy Napes, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’

S: Gaga killed it.

T: Gaga went full on Tori Amos in her song, piano bench humping and all. I liked it.

S: Sam Smith I love you and your message but I loathe Spectre: the film, the song, Daniel Craig’s foot face. To quote The Weeknd, Spectre isn’t worth it, you don’t deserve it. Lady Gaga worked it.

T: So this is a thing now? The Bond theme song automatically goes on to win the Oscar? Fuck you, Sam Smith. The best nominated song was Simple Song #3 from ‘Youth’. I listen to that in my flat all the time, it’s beautiful. But it’s opera and it’s sung by an Asian lady so of course they weren’t going to vote for it.

S: Or like give it to Gaga for The Hunting Ground. Super relevant issue and she’s still a pop star. Just care a little. James Bond is so misogynistic and outdated and terrible.

Best Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant.

S: Iñárritu ignores the stick man for ages and gives a diversity speech.

T: That’s fucking rich – he’s just made an epic movie where natives are solely depicted as savages or noble tree-whisperers, and the only female character in the whole goddamned thing is a silent native woman who gets repeatedly raped by white men. Sort. It. The. Fuck. Out.

S: Yeah it’s interesting that Iñárritu has now made a career of white male protagonists, and his female characters have actually be terribly stereotypical. He’s talented but definitely not changing the status quo. I might have just had an epiphany that he’s a good TECHNICAL director. But the content is f-ing stereotypical.

T: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Jason Moore was snubbed for ‘Sisters’. Who else do you think should have been nominated?

S: Sean Baker for Tangerine. God that was a great film. Shot on iPhones and it looks amazing, such a feat. Champion that direction, Hollywood.

T: Oh God, I’m a big racist transphobe and I have not seen Tangerine. I will endeavour to watch it this week as it’s on UK Netflix.

S: Do it tonight. It’s brilliant. If you are reading this, finish the article because we spent a lot of time on it and then you go watch Tangerine too. Unless you did already and then good for you, Glen Coco.

Best Actress: Brie Larson, Room

S: Brie takes it. No surprises here. We love her. She’s perfect. That’s it, that’s all.

T: But dude, what the fuck is she wearing?

S: I kinda wanted to sweep that under the rug…

T: It should be about the art, not the fashion, but by God that’s the elephant in the room.

S: …but okay you opened the bag: The fashion was the worst it’s ever been. Like I know the 90s are back but guys, not terrible 90s prom dresses. The belt with the matching hair piece and a twist? I’m just going to need to accept that she’s talented and fashion isn’t really her thing. Her stylist should be fired immediately though. Also random side bar did you see Reese Witherspoon with like flouncy poofs across her chest. Like WHO dressed these people?

T: I have no idea what Reese was doing, however I find it brilliant that she and Tina Fey turned up wearing the same thing. And Tina wore it best. Boom.

Best Actor: Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

S: Imagine if they snubbed Leo, again, for, like, Matt Damon on Mars. He’d quit Hollywood. He’d die. But he won. Why does every keep giving him standing ovations? It’s sort of annoying. Like I get he got snubbed but hasn’t this night taught us that so do a lot of people? Sorry Leo. There’s bigger fish to fry now. I don’t care about your big important manly film.

T: You know who should have been nominated instead of these losers? Those Ex Machina guys. Probably Domhnall over Oscar but either one really.

S: And Michael B. Jordan. Like if you’re going to nominate Stallone then nominate Black Rocky too. If this is a good movie he clearly contributed to it.

T: You know what was completely snubbed? Macbeth. That movie was fucking incredible. Michael and Marion are a dream team and should have won every award going. So we’re saying the best actor list should have been Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Fassbender (but for Macbeth) – and who’s the 5th?

S: IDRIS ELBA! Bam!

T: FUCKING NAILED IT. Of course. Can you imagine that line-up would have been 3 out of 5 people of colour. And every one of them so much more deserving than any of the dull white dudes who actually got nominated.

Best Picture: Spotlight

S: Oh fuck this, I’m going to bed.

T: Spotlight? Okay I have a lot of feelings about this. Firstly, I fucking hated The Revenant so literally any other movie could have taken it and I’d be super happy. In theory, Spotlight is such a damned Important Film which shines a Spotlight (GEDDIT?) on a really horrible and pervasive issue in society. So, good for it. It was just lifeless as a piece of entertainment. Sorry guys.

S: You know what I’m realizing? This actually was a time warp. No diversity, Spotlight, weird 90s prom dresses. Like wasn’t this the year that Marty Mcfly and Doc go to the future? Something happened with the Delorean and we totally transported back to 1993 and so that’s why this is all happening. MYSTERY SOLVED. You are all welcome.

T: Holy fuck! Who knew? I’m so glad you’re here on this journey with me.

First published on Spindle Magazine.

The Oscar Nominations Sucked Hard

From the inclusion of films with middling reviews to the exclusion of any non-white performers in the acting categories, this year’s Oscar nominations were a mixed bunch, to put it kindly. At Spindle we were so incensed we simply had to vent our frustration, so here our film writers Stephanie Coffey and Thomas Dearnley-Davison provide you with an angry guide to the films up for awards.

Best Picture

The Big Short

T: I don’t need the financial crisis mansplained to me. Buh-bye.

S: To quote my friend Rich Sibblies “it’s the movie where everybody is wearing a wig.” So in the spirit of Amy and Tina we’ll call this “Explosion at the Wig Factory II”.

T: Agreed.

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Bridge of Spies

S: I don’t even have time to be funny about this one. No. Just no.

T: I’m sure it’s very worthy and all. And I’m sure it has many match-fades to the stars and stripes, because Spielberg. Not my cup of tea really.

Bridge-of-Spies

Brooklyn

S: You know this seems like a nice story that my Irish Nan would tell me.  

T: That’s why I loved this movie. It reminded me of my dear Irish Nan. #immigranttears.

brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

S: You know, I didn’t hate this movie. I never thought it would be an Oscar film, but I’m so angry at awards season I’m kind of like fuck it. GO MAD MAX!

T: I like your chutzpah. I haven’t seen it…I look forward to catching this late at night half-cut and sort-of remembering that it’s pretty good the next day.

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The Martian

S: I watched this on a plane. I was all like fine, I’m on a plane, I’ll watch Interstellar II and find out what happened when Matthew McConaughey left Matt Damon on Mars. I turned it off after 20 minutes and switched to Hot Pursuit starring Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara. Hot Pursuit is a better film than The Martian.

martian-movie

The Revenant

T: Oh God, FINE I’ll go and see this. But I just want people to know I really, really don’t want to. It seems unnecessarily gruelling. I did not enjoy Birdman, so the reviews saying this movie is the best thing since sliced bread do not particularly move me.

S: Honestly, Iñárritu’s wild hair and his goatee. His fervour for life and art make me believe he  knows something I don’t. I’m with Thomas – I really don’t want to see this but, like, I have to.

Room

S: Read my review of Room right here on Spindle! *plugs own work*

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Spotlight

S: Am I the only one that feels like I would have cared more about this film in 1993?

T: Where the fuck is Carol?! This list is completely null and void without a nomination for Carol. And 45 Years. This whole list stinks of old white dude. What do you think?

S: I think Inside Out should be Best Picture of the Year. IT’S ABOUT A LITTLE GIRL’S FEELINGS.

Actor

Bryan Cranston – Trumbo

S: “I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it.” – Lucille Bluth

bryan cranston trumbo

Matt Damon – The Martian

S:… see above.

Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant

S: JUST GIVE IT TO LEO. HE TRIED SO HARD.

T: Leo’s going to get this, right? There’s not much else to say here.

Michael Fassbender – Steve Jobs

S: Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs inspires an unexplained rage in me. Also it’s not your turn Fassbender and we all know you can do better than this. Just patiently wait your turn in the checkout line and you’ll be cashed out soon.

steve jobs michael fassbender

Eddie Redmayne – The Danish Girl

T: Eddie’s performance is absolutely atrocious. I have no idea how he was nominated. 

S: Eddie, you’re like the boy in drama class where we’re like… Okay Eddie, we get it. You’re good. Just let someone else have a turn in the improv circle.

Actress

Cate Blanchett – Carol

S: We love you, Cate. Cate would graciously just give it to Brie.

T:  If only it was two months ago, Cate would have swept this. To be fair, Cate has two Oscars so can probably afford to give someone else a go.

carol slider

Brie Larson – Room

T: I’m guessing this will go to Brie Larson? Brie is great so I’m happy for her to get this.

S: You’re very good, Brie. And you’re also very charming and likeable. I would be very fine with you receiving an award. I still love you as Kate Gregson from United States of Tara. Best show. Bring back Tara.

Jennifer Lawrence – Joy

T: I wish they’d have booted out Jennifer Lawrence in favour of Lily Tomlin.

S: If I could somehow time travel, I would erase JLaw’s win for Silver Linings Playbook and then I’d be okay with Joy being her first win, but I’m sorry she cannot have another one.

Charlotte Rampling – 45 Years

T: HOORAY for Charlotte Rampling. I’m so happy. Brilliant film, magnetic performance.

Saoirse Ronan – Brooklyn

S: You’re very talented, Saoirse! Don’t worry, babe. Your Oscar is coming soon!

T: Yeah and I think she knows that, so we cool this year.

Supporting Actor

Christian Bale – The Big Short

Tom Hardy – The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo – Spotlight

Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone – Creed

Spotlight-movie

S: OMG this category blows. My vote is for Mark Ruffalo because he usually adds value to most films. I am blindly assuming he made Spotlight better.

T: Yeah I wouldn’t be upset if Ruffalo took it. Go Mark! Why not give it to Sylvester Stallone, just for a laugh?

S: It’s not funny to make Sylvestor Stallone an Oscar winner. This is like when Three 6 Mafia won an Oscar.

T: What the hell is Three 6 Mafia?

S: It’s 2006, the handsome Jon Stewart is hosting and Three 6 Mafia wins Best Original Song for the acclaimed “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp.” Queen Latifah announces the winner and can’t even contain her confusion. Jon Stewart utters the famous quote “I just want to make something very clear: Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars; Three 6 Mafia, one.”

T: Oh god I remember! THEY BEAT DOLLY PARTON FOR BEST SONG. Sacrilege. Also, ‘the handsome Jon Stewart’? Okay Mom.

S: I happen to find Jon Stewart very attractive. He was a mediocre host, but still.

Supporting Actress

Jennifer Jason Leigh – The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara – Carol

Rachel McAdams – Spotlight

Alicia Vikander – Ex Machina

Kate Winslet – Steve Jobs

T: Firstly, Rachel McAdams stole Jane Fonda’s nomination. I mean I’m sure she’s a nice girl and all but it’s fucking J. Fo, for Christ’s sake. Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander are both leads, so shouldn’t be here anyway. Who’s going to take this? Winslet just won the Globe…do we think she’s the frontrunner here? OH GOD we could have Kate and Leo winning on the same night! Amazing.

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S: No no no. Thomas, Kate’s fine. She won for The Reader. We don’t want a Meryl repeat where she wins for a crap film. And let the Kate and Leo thing go. She married Ned Rocknroll, we can’t trust her love life anymore.

T: As Amy Lavelle said here on Spindle, “I don’t know which is more offensive; his first name or his last”

S: Kudos, Amy. You’re going to change your last name to Rocknroll and you’re like you know what would sound really cool with that… Ned?

T: Also, I did not like The Reader.

S: Well that’s something we will need to discuss, in length, over Skype. Because she was amazing. But in anycase, Kate does not need a Best Supporting and especially not for this crap Steve Jobs film where she didn’t do anything.

T: Okay then who deserves it? I’d be happy with Rooney.

S: Alicia Vikander is giving me major big star vibes and I want her to win everything. Actually, wait. If this is how I feel then she should not win Best Supporting as it can be the kiss of death and she’s a lead! Fine I’ll be okay with Rooney. She’s quaint.

T: You haven’t seen Carol, which makes you gaycist.

S: YOU STOLE IT FROM ME. You stole Carol and Brooklyn and Suffragette! Damn UK release dates.

T: I’m sorry the release dates changed and I got to review it first

S: I’m also curious as to why Rachel McAdams specifically stole J.Fo’s nod…?

T: J.Fo was a shoo-in the whole time, and Rachel McAdams was a maybe at best. All the other nominees were locked-in quite a while ago, ergo Rachel McAdams stole J.Fo’s nomination. Rachel McAdams is really short. I saw her in Toronto at the LCBO at Dundas and Dovercourt one time.

Director

Lenny Abrahamson – Room

Alejandro G Iñárritu – The Revenant

Tom McCarthy – Spotlight

Adam McKay – The Big Short

George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road

the-revenant

T: Lenny Abrahamson for Room but no Todd Haynes for Carol? Really? Isn’t the whole thing about Room that the film is less good than the performances? How the fuck did this happen? I am so upset. All these other people can fuck off. I’m sure Iñárritu will probably take it and we can all go take a nap.

S: Yes. Iñárritu will win. He will talk about the passion of filmmaking and I will be like YES Iñárritu! I’m into this!

T: He won last year. He needs to back the fuck up.

S: Well then they should have included someone who is a decent contender. Like if Ridley was there they could be doing the Stallone thing and be like “here take this, here’s an award 30 years later.” Or as my friend Keri Wallace said “It could be his Training Day” Shout out to Keri Wallace who also cares a lot about pop culture.

T: I would have said Todd Haynes (obvs) but also Andrew Haigh for 45 Years. You know what? Let’s just fuck it all and include whoever directed Trainwreck or Sisters or Grandma or some other lady picture.

S: So our final decision is the director of Sisters? I’m okay with that.

T: Yes. Jason Moore should have been nominated for Sisters.

S: This is how little we care about this category. There is now a space in my brain that knows the Director of Sisters’ name.

Sisters-Tina-Fey-Amy-Poehler

Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room

T: Everyone is wanking over The Big Short, but we all know this should go to Carol. Phyllis Nagy’s script is beautiful. But because MEN is the theme this year, it will go to Explosion in the Wig Factory II.

S: Thomas nailed it. I can’t add anything here at the risk of being redundant.

Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight

Straight Outta Compton

T: I bet this goes to Spotlight because it’s such an Important film with lots of well-meaning white men in it.

S: Spotlight lost to Philadelphia in 1993.

T: Inside Out. Hands down.

S: INSIDE OUT IS ABOUT A LITTLE GIRL’S FEELINGS. It should win.

T: It’s one of the few films in the whole list that deals with women and feelings, and seeing as Carol ain’t gonna get shit then Inside Out should.

S: Agreed. Preach.
INSIDE-OUT-19

Cinematography

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

Sicario

T: Well Steph, you’re the cinematographer so you tell me? I vote Carol, because they did a thing with a type of film and stuff (I can’t remember all the clever things about cameras I wrote in my review.)

S: Odd category. My money is on The Revenant because they went into the wilderness and the cinematographer froze to death.

T: Ugh, how long are they going to bang on about the wilderness element? You’re a Canadian cinematographer. You go out into the cold with a camera and freeze to death all the time. You should have an Oscar. In fact, I’m changing my vote. Stephanie Coffey for the win.

S: YES. STEPHANIE COFFEY for the win. I’m going to be a big star. But these people are in Hollywood. They don’t understand snow there so they are very impressed with these men and the elements.

the hateful eight

Costume Design

Carol

Cinderella

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant

T: I vote Carol once again. Magnificent. I hope The Danish Girl doesn’t get it because I want that film to go away empty-handed and think about what it’s done. Also, Sandy Powell is a legend so if she wins for Carol or Cinders then I’d be happy.

S: Sigh. There were A LOT of dresses in The Danish Girl. So. Many. Pretty. Dresses. I would be happy with Carol or The Danish Girl.  

the danish girl uk release

Best Make-up and Hair

Mad Max: Fury Road

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

The Revenant

T: Firstly, what is this film called The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared? The Academy are now making films up just to see if anyone’s paying attention in the smaller categories.

S: This is like hour three of the show. Everyone’s bored and like “fuck, just get to Best Actor and Actress so I can turn it off and find out about Best Picture tomorrow.” They throw in this fake film just to see if you’ve fallen asleep. The Academy is all like ‘Gotcha.” The Academy, they’re such pranksters.

T: Will Mad Max get this one? Oh God, it’s going to be The Revenant isn’t it!

S: You know what? I was going to go on a diatribe about how the makeup was actually really good in Mad Max. I was really impressed. I forgot it’s a bunch of old white dudes who are going to be really impressed with how Leo has icicles on his face in the wilderness.

T: Can we just refer to Revenant as The Wilderness from now on?

S: You took the words right out of my mouth…

Production Design

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

T: Oof, tricky: how do you put costume stuff against sci-fi stuff? The Academy leans towards costume dramas in these categories so I’m thinking Danish Girl or Wilderness takes it. Although there is a lot of love for Mad Max, so it could swoop in and take it.

S: I know you still think The Danish Girl should sit in the corner and think about what it did. But those sets were really stunning. I’m going to vote Danish Girl. If they only win the side awards, like the ones where really talented people tried really hard, is that okay?

T: Okay fine. I will accept craft awards because that was the only thing good about it.

T: There are some other awards, but I don’t care about those.

S: Phew I didn’t want to do anymore either. Production Design is where I draw the line. I really only pay attention to the other awards because I’m in this pool where forty bucks is at stake…

 

Theatre Review: Bull @ The Young Vic

There’s a reason why Mike Bartlett’s funny and brutal ‘Bull’ runs only 55 minutes. If you sat through two and a half hours of this, you would lose your mind. 

We’re invited to spectate as three employees at an unnamed corporation battle it out to keep their jobs. Corporate downsizing means one of them is about to be fired, and big boss Carter (Nigel Lindsay) is coming any minute to decide who’s for the chopping block: icy, manipulative Isobel (Susannah Fielding), cocky, arrogant Tony (Max Bennett) or jittery, insecure Thomas (Marc Wootton).

The action takes place in a boxing ring, and there couldn’t be a more appropriate setting to witness the bullying, power-plays and outright psychological warfare waged by Isobel and Tony against hapless Thomas. Marc Wootton’s portrayal of a man out of his depth in this cutthroat world is faultless, sadly suggesting that this may not be a unique situation for one of life’s perennial losers. Bennett and Fielding tear into their roles with glee, aptly circling him like bloodhounds ready to take down the weakest of the pack.

bull 2

Director Clare Lizzimore manages to marry the raw physicality of a boxing match with the outward civility of a 21st-century office environment. Isobel’s sleek hair and perfect make-up belie her barely-concealed viciousness, while at one point the lean, muscular Tony displays his washboard torso to Thomas for a good five minutes as a primal declaration of superiority. (Unbelievably I was seated directly behind Max Bennett during this sequence, and therefore denied what was undoubtedly a glorious view).

Carter finally arrives and while he offers helpful take-downs of each of the characters, (a wonderful, brief performance from Lindsay as the boss we’ve all had who just has no time for all your whinging), he’s ultimately on the side of the alphas.

Max Bennett is convincing as Tony, fully inhabiting his smarm and public-school superiority complex, but he draws the short straw with a character who gets much less to do than his sparring partners. Instead the spoils go to Susannah Fielding, who gets to deliver the powerhouse speech that brings the play to its climax and finally brings Thomas’ house of cards tumbling down.

Bartlett offers no easy answers: ‘Bull’ asks what happens when we abandon our compassion and attack those perceived to be weaker than us. The answer, apparently, is that we survive.

  • ‘Bull’ is on at The Young Vic until January 16th. Tickets £25; £10 ringside standing tickets are available for each performance.

Theatre Review: Barbarians

“There’s always a fucking wall in the way. Always get so far, and there’s a wall to block it.”

The characters in Barrie Keefe’s Barbarians, revived at The Young Vic, are always on the wrong side of those walls, struggling to catch a break in a world where the odds are stacked against them. School-leavers Paul (Brian Vernel), Jan (Alex Austin) and Louis (Fisayo Akinade) roam the streets of 1970s Lewisham – a place where even their school Careers Advisor is now on the dole – looking not just for employment but purpose, acceptance and a sense of belonging. Keefe’s play, first staged in 1977, shows us in brutal detail the anger, violence and intolerance that erupts when society turns its back on its youth.

The audience is confronted by the characters’ anger from the second they enter the space. The actors prowl and sneer, making uncomfortable eye contact as you shuffle into your seat and look for a safe spot to place your mid-range Merlot. At this point we are the insiders, the oppressors; representatives of the system. Hemmed in by a sparse, chipboard set, the actors kick and punch and scramble to be heard. Brian Vernel’s Paul, in particular, will not be ignored. The most hopeless of the trio, his predilection for petty crime and physical violence prove to be his only outlets for his anger, embodied in a chilling performance by Vernel.

There’s hope among the bleakness for Louis, recent graduate of a refrigeration course who suspects there’s more to life than his current lot. Fisayo Akinade perfectly captures Louis’ mixture of naivety and burgeoning awareness, saying in our recent interview that “out of the three of them I feel that he matures the most, which is a really great arc to play – that sort of slow realisation that actually your mates may not be the best thing for you.”

Alex Austin does well with a difficult character, stuck between these two worlds – will he find the surrogate family he craves in the army cadets, or does the answer lie with the National Front? Racism is of course the thread that runs through the piece, pulsing with an ugly energy (complemented by the excellent music and sound design throughout) – eventually rearing its head with devastating consequences.

While the material is somewhat dated by references to Thatcher, Doc Marten’s and the Front, Director Liz Stevenson does well to bring to the fore Barbarians’ central warning: that if we turn our back on our youth, the consequences will be dire.

  • Barbarians runs from until 19 December at The Young Vic. Tickets £10/£15 available on the Young Vic website.