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‘The Punisher’ Season 2 Review: Marvel’s Most Violent Hero Finds More Humanity 

[Editor’s note: This review contains spoilers for “The Punisher” Season 2, including the ending.]

One of the most remarkable things about “The Punisher” is the way in which it doesn’t hold in its rage. This is a show that feels fundamentally angry about the world — the criminals working within the system, the systems which oppress good people, the good people who get chewed up through no fault of their own. And it doesn’t hold back, thanks to good ol’ Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal), rampaging his way through the world, dealing out his own brand of justice.

The most violent of the “Defenders” universe series, Bernthal’s take on the Punisher was first introduced in “Daredevil” Season 2, but barring a cameo or two his spin-off is easily the most disconnected from the rest of the franchise, one which can easily be enjoyed without catching up on “Iron Fist” or “Luke Cage.” Season 2, after an en media res hyper-violent opener, is followed by a “Two Days Earlier…” that reveals Frank’s post-Season 1 path: easing us back in by showing us the former Marine-turned-vigilante at perhaps his most relaxed.

Frank’s just bopping around America, enjoying the sights in a vagabond way, but just at a moment when he seems like he’s found real peace, trouble ends up finding him. The premiere introduces Amy (Giorgia Whigham), a young girl chock full of moxy, but not enough moxy to keep her from danger. Protecting her eventually becomes Frank’s sole focus — very scary news for those who are trying to track her down.


Marvel's The Punisher

Marvel’s The Punisher

Cara Howe/Netflix

What makes this season of “The Punisher” work so well is that it feels less like a Season 2 and more like a Season 5, a standalone story in the established adventures of Frank Castle. The core of the season is the bond that develops between Frank and his new young friend, a surrogate daughter who’s his match in terms of stubbornness and spine. The forces chasing her, led by the fanatical and lethal Pilgrim (Josh Stewart), are funded by evil billionaires with Russian ties, making this season’s bad guys very interesting in the current political climate.

Read More:  Jon Bernthal’s Message to Alt-Right Fans of Marvel’s ‘The Punisher’: ‘F*ck Them’

Pilgrim, as villains go, proves terrifying thanks to his Old Testament-esque ruthlessness — religious groups probably won’t be too happy about the character, especially his faded Iron Cross tattoo indicating his Nazi leanings, but the show makes a point of establishing just why he’s so devoted to his cause. Nearly everyone on this show seems to agree on one fact: protecting your family is worth killing for. (Even if it means threatening someone else’s family along the way.)

As for returning characters from Season 1, they vary in what they add to the series. Marvel series have an established pattern of relying on two villains to sustain 13 episodes worth of plot, and thus welcome back Billy Russo, now transformed into this show’s take on classic “Punisher” nemesis Jigsaw. However, Billy’s crime rampage is given less narrative weight than his relationship with Krista Dumont (Floriana Lima), the psychologist assigned to work with him after the extreme trauma Billy sustained at the hands of Frank in Season 1.

Marvel's The Punisher

“Marvel’s The Punisher.”

Cara Howe/Netflix

It doesn’t take too long for it to be clear that Krista has secrets of her own, and it also doesn’t take too long for it to be clear that things between her and Billy are heading in a Harley Quinn/Joker direction. It’s a more sensitive and nuanced depiction of that sort of bond than, say, whatever was happening in David Ayer’s “Suicide Squad.” But it also falls into the category of “feels awfully familiar…”

Meanwhile, it’s a pleasure to see Amber Rose Revah back as Madoni, who continues to be an ever-intriguing bridge between the world of law and order and the pitch-black space in which Frank operates. In “Punisher’s” world, learning to let Frank do his thing is the smartest way to avoid getting hurt, but it’s not a lesson many pick up easily (as witnessed by how beat-up and broken this entire cast is looking by the end of the season).

Cast-wise, it remains impressive to see how well Bernthal carries this show: In any other actor’s hands, Frank as a character could easily fall apart, but Bernthal’s innate charisma is always lurking beneath his bulldog exterior, even when he’s literally grunting like an animal mid-attack.

Marvel's The Punisher

“Marvel’s The Punisher.”

Cara Howe/Netflix

In addition, Whigham (the daughter of Shea Whigham, whose previous screen work includes “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser” and “13 Reasons Why”) has real scene-stealing potential in this and future projects, and brings real fun and life to a series that, in its first season, leaned too hard on the darkness of the premise. This show desperately needed a character like her, to add some light to the darkness, and while the end of Season 2 witnesses her hop a bus to a happier life, hopefully the dynamic she brought to the screen is something a Season 3 would find a way to echo.

Of course, Season 3 is not a given. “Punisher” Season 2 launches under a bit of a dark cloud, as it could be the second-to-last new season of Marvel television on Netflix, following the cancellation of “Iron Fist,” “Daredevil,” and “Iron Fist,” with only “Jessica Jones” set to return for another season at this point. Theoretically, then, the last image we get of Bernthal as the Punisher could be the final moments of the Season 2 finale: skull t-shirt exposed, guns ablaze, Frank screaming like he’s the only one who sees how mad the world really is.

For this show, there are far worse ways to go.

Grade: B+

“Marvel’s The Punisher” Season 2 is streaming now on Netflix.

Final Oscar Predictions: Why ‘Roma’ Still Has Momentum — IndieWire’s Movie Podcast 

Oscar votes are in and nominations are just around the corner. Campaigns are taking a weeklong break. But what will happen on Tuesday morning? Even educated guesses don’t tell the whole story. Nevertheless, most pundits can agree that “Roma” remains a serious frontrunner in a very competitive year. Even so, “A Star Is Born” and “Green Book” stand to do quite well — but don’t count out “BlacKkKlansman” or “The Favourite.” If you’ve been following the hype, you know that a few popular titles could do quite well…or not so well. And what about the underdogs that deserve to sneak in? No matter what happens, someone’s going to be upset about the outcome. Place your bets now!

In this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson take one last pass at predicting the nominations while looking ahead to a very different film event as Sundance kicks off on Thursday.

Listen to the full episode below.

Screen Talk is available on iTunes.

You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. Browse previous installments here, review the show on  and be sure to let us know if you’d like to hear the hosts address specific issues in upcoming editions of Screen Talk. Check out the rest of IndieWire’s podcasts on iTunes right here.

‘Grace and Frankie’ Review: Season 5 Is Fun, Silly, and Running Out of Time 

If Rust Cohle walked into Grace and Frankie’s beach house, snapped open a Lone Star, and started talking about time as a flat circle, Jane Fonda’s unflappable hostess would slip a coaster under his tall boy and make herself a martini. Lily Tomlin’s relentlessly positive hippie would probably crack a joke about some old peyote trip that had her seeing in 2-D for weeks.

But they’d know what he’s talking about. These time-tested broads recognize how history repeats itself. They know many of life’s moments come back around in one way or another, and the weight of the past can be crushing. Their only twist on Matthew McConaughey’s tortured musings would be that they want the circle to continue; instead of feeling trapped in a constant loop of pain, they’d look for ways to keep things spinning. Because in Season 5, the best friends feel their time is running out.

While the Netflix comedy has never shied away from heavy subject matter, Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris’ latest season finds motivation in a growing sense of an encroaching end — not for the show, which has already been renewed for Season 6, but for the characters. Things are going pretty well, all things considered, for the four leads, and they’re panicking (ever so slightly) while trying to preserve their newfound happiness. Grace and Frankie, along with their ex-husbands, have learned to embrace the lives thrust upon them at the start of the series — and are making decisions based on the time they have left.

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Grace and Frankie” Season 5, including the ending.]

Grace and Frankie Season 5 Sam Waterston

Sam Waterston in “Grace and Frankie”

Ali Goldstein / Netflix

Still, the season is light on big changes. Just as everything they’ve ever done will happen again, many old story arcs repeat themselves in Season 5, starting with a quick resolution to the duo’s housing crisis. After their kids convinced them to sell the beach house and move to a retirement community, Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) simply convince the young, famous buyer to sell it back to them. In less than two hours, the big changes foreshadowed at the end of Season 4 disappear into a faint memory of Rupaul Charles and two adorable miniature pigs. (He’s Nicole Ritchie’s irritated assistant, and they are her extravagant pets.)

Once the status quo is restored, tried-and-true dynamics are explored once more. Frankie puts on her advocate hat to get her fellow senior citizens more time at a cross walk. (Those timers are pretty short.) Grace throws herself into work. Robert (Martin Sheen) has a new musical to worry about, and Sol (Sam Waterston), well, Sol takes an interesting turn.

Calling himself the “new Sol,” Frankie’s former husband and Robert’s current husband decides he’s not going to live his life for others anymore. While it’s true Sol has always been overly generous with his time and attention to friends and family, the onscreen shift is slight. He doesn’t cook dinner as much. He falls in love with dogs (purchasing a crazy cute Jack Russell puppy). He fights with Robert about what’s expected of him, without defining a new set of expectations.

Grace and Frankie Season 5 Lily Tomlin Jane Fonda

Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in “Grace and Frankie”

Ali Goldstein / Netflix

What’s clear (and worrisome) is that the “new Sol” may not be Robert’s ideal partner. Just as many couples struggle to adapt when one member changes independently, Robert and Sol enter an adjustment period. And while Robert expects dinner and extra attention from Sol, most of Sol’s issues with Robert are about keeping him alive. He gets mad when he drinks or eats a cheeseburger. He’s upset when Robert buys too many donuts or doesn’t get enough exercise. Sol is totally focused on keeping Robert alive, while Robert just wants to live while he’s still here.

The couple never addresses their differing outlooks (not yet, anyway), but similar concerns pop up with Grace and Frankie, as well. First, Grace gets upset with Frankie when the kooky bohemian rediscovers her extreme rejection of conventional values. She recommits to veganism. She abandons the palatial house for a yurt. She says she’s going to shower even less. Grace sees these choices not just as a rejection of what Frankie has become, but a rejection of who Frankie has become while living with Grace. She thinks Frankie is retreating from their relationship and demands Frankie see the value in what they’ve built together.

Frankie, of course, does just that. She’s always quick to admit her mistakes, just as Grace is stubborn in doing the same. But what Frankie’s panic comes back to is the same feeling Grace has about work: They don’t know what to value with the time they have left. When Grace complains to a friend about being so busy, the friend asks why she’s so focused on work? With the time they have left, why not spend it with her boyfriend, Nick (Peter Gallagher), her roommate, Frankie, or the rest of her family?

Grace And Frankie

Jane Fonda and Peter Gallagher in “Grace and Frankie”

Ali Goldstein / Netflix

Grace doesn’t have a good answer, so she tries to distance herself from the office. She quits the business she was running with her daughters, and when she and Frankie have a fight — Frankie tweets that they’ll give away free vibrators… to over 50,000 people — Grace goes on vacation with Nick, leaving her partner to clean up a mess she’d usually handle. Frankie feels abandoned and Grace feels free, causing the worst crisis of the season, but a flashback episode about what could’ve been (featuring Fonda with botched plastic surgery and Tomlin with exquisite purple dreadlocks) manages to re-center them both. Once again, the two friends come to realize why they need each other, even though they were borderline enemies before their husbands came out of the closet.

And yet… Grace has made a big decision: She married Nick. How will that affect her relationship with Frankie? The two just recommitted to each other as friends and roommates, while Nick said he accepted Grace and Frankie as a “package deal.” Will that change when they’re married? Should it?

Thus is the intriguing war within “Grace and Frankie.” The sitcom formula demands Grace and Frankie stick together, while the dramatic reality that edges its way into the series has led the narrative to this point. Grace and Nick aren’t moving, and Frankie isn’t moving out. For as much as the permanent roommate dynamic kept the show in dramatic stasis for most of Season 5, it also means Kauffman and her writing team will have to come up with a way to explore how a romantic couple and a platonic friend can live together in harmony; how a friendship and a romance can blossom under the same roof. It’s not the edgiest concept, but the value of friendship has been Kauffman’s field of study for the last three decades — how her views have developed should make for more great TV.

Moreover, time is running out. Even though “Grace and Frankie” has been renewed for Season 6, there’s always been a sense of covetous appreciation around the set. Fonda and Tomlin want to make more seasons, more often. Kauffman has been making the rounds to panels and press, excited to talk about subject matter (and a show) she loves. Six seasons is a long run for a series. How much longer can it last? How fresh can it remain? When will it be time to say goodbye, and what do they want to do before then? With age comes experience, with experience wisdom, and the power trio behind “Grace and Frankie” know to appreciate a good thing while it’s happening.

Seniors are often told they’ve “earned the right” to walk slowly, drive slowly, and live slowly, while the rest of the world speeds by. But Grace and Frankie have also earned the right to live as they please, whether it fits the traditional mold or not. The same goes for their creators, who’ve earned the right to make whatever show they please. Time may be a flat circle, where certain melodies loop over and over again, but these ladies just want to find a way to keep the record spinning a little longer.

Grade: B

“Grace and Frankie” Season 5 is streaming now on Netflix. The series has already been renewed for a sixth season.

Sundance 2019 Deals: The Complete List of Festival Purchases So Far 

There are few acquisition festivals quite like Sundance, where movies enter as unknowns and leave as Oscar hopefuls with million-dollar deals backing them. 2018 titles that went on to critical and financial success included “Searching,” “Sorry to Bother You,” “Eighth Grade,” and “Blindspotting”; though not as high-profile as the likes of “Call Me by Your Name” or “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” such films serve as a reminder of Park City’s importance in shaping the year in movies.

Running from January 24 – February 3 in Park City, Utah, this year’s edition of the festival is sure to produce a number of buzzworthy offerings. Here’s our constantly updated compendium of every Sundance 2019 acquisition.

Title: “The Brink”

Buyer: Magnolia Pictures

Section: Documentary Premieres

“Alison Klayman and producer Marie Therese Guirgis have pulled off an amazing achievement, going behind the scenes of a historic political and cultural moment and capturing it with both true artistry and import,” said Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles. “‘The Brink’ must be seen by all who care about the dynamics of where our world is heading.”

Title: “The Tomorrow Man”

Buyers: Bleecker Street (domestic), Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions (foreign)

Section: Premieres

“Noble Jones has created a uniquely charming love story between master actors John Lithgow and Blythe Danner,” Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen said. “I’m thrilled to be working with my old colleague James Schamus and the team at Anonymous Content.”

Read More: Documentaries Could Sell Big at Sundance 2019, But Buyers Should Exercise Caution

Title: “Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men”

Buyer: Showtime

Section: Indie Episodic

“Wu-Tang Clan is a seminal group that deserves a seminal documentary,” said Vinnie Malhotra, EVP Nonfiction Programming at Showtime Networks. “Sacha Jenkins delivers just that, not only reminding us of their powerful history through vintage footage, but also placing their impact in modern-day perspective that will be meaningful both to their diehard fans and music fans in general.”

Title: “The Souvenir”

Buyer: A24

Section: World Drama

“Each of Joanna’s films has a mesmerizing power and uncommon intimacy, and The Souvenir shows a filmmaker at the height of her craft,” A24 said in a release announcing the deal. The film brilliantly captures the heady, formative days of first love and a young woman’s efforts to give shape to her art, and we could not be more excited to bring The Souvenir to a wide audience.”

‘Carmen Sandiego’ Review: Exciting New Animated Version Stays Educational in Unexpected Ways 

At first glance, Carmen Sandiego doesn’t seem like a character that needs an origin story. For anyone who’s played a version of the computer and video games that helped birth Carmen’s trademark red coat and fedora or ever watched one of the multiple TV shows those games eventually spawned, the iconography and the character went hand in hand.

In most of those versions, Carmen was the character disappearing around the corner before she could be caught. Some found her leaving tiny clues and messages for those trailing in her wake. So it makes sense then that for a new version of the title character with some fresh ambitions of her own, “Carmen Sandiego” would need a little bit of a reintroduction.

The first season of the new Netflix animated series opens up with a two-part story called “Becoming Carmen Sandiego,” which tracks Carmen’s (Gina Rodriguez) narrated journey from being the only infant on an island of elite trained international criminals to becoming the only one with the right tools to stay one step ahead of all of them. Though not told solely through her perspective, the show is still unmistakably hers even as she amasses more and more people trying to catch her.

Once the series moves past that opening exposition, it settles into its episode-by-episode caper of the week format, which finds Carmen jetting (or souped-up speedboating) around the world to steal back priceless artifacts from the agents of VILE, the group of international thieves that she once longed to join. Through these adventures, the show still manages to steer into a few of the elements that hit home its educational DNA. A mini animated factsheet precedes a trip to each new country, giving an overview of local exports, notable customs, and relative population size in an informative, visually pleasing package.

Carmen Sandiego Netflix FIght

“Carmen Sandiego”


Beyond the factual tidbits for its all-ages audience, “Carmen Sandiego” flips the character’s story a little by making its title character more of a Robin Hood/Indiana Jones hybrid than just a criminal mastermind. Rather than being the mysterious string-puller, Carmen is a young woman fighting the powers of greed and corruption in the name of historical preservation. (Sometimes, she manages to do it single-handedly.)

After beginning as somewhat benevolent trainers in the two-part opening, the various agents and central high council of VILE — shown scheming as their agents are dispatched to everywhere from Ecuador to the Netherlands — slide closer to cartoon villainy. But rather than a row of doughy mustache-twirlers, this new brand of baddies have a certain pizazz of their own. And their pursuits aren’t without real potential repercussions; Carmen’s first mission is to effectively save a major Indonesian food supply from an attempt at ecological sabotage.

As dynamic as Carmen’s various enemies are, those within her camp take a little bit longer to find their respective grooves. As fun as the brother/sister team of Zack and Ivy (Michael Hawley and Abby Trott) are and as informative as the benevolent hacker counterpart Player (Finn Wolfhard) can be, they still serve similar roles as humanitarian henchmen. They’re the closest the show comes to making goofier concessions to a younger crowd, but as the series progresses and they become more than a series of quips, they’re an example of how a strong Carmen doesn’t have to come at the expense of the evolving depth of the supporting players, whether friend or foe.

Carmen Sandiego Netflix 2019

“Carmen Sandiego”


Rodriguez voices Carmen as someone who mostly lets her actions speak for her. This incarnation of the character isn’t solely built on personality and wardrobe. She’s just as compelling in the way she vanquishes her would-be enemies as she is in the pursuit of the still-unanswered questions about her real family.

The goal of most episodes’ eventual hand-to-hand combat sequences between Carmen and her trackers is never for these agents to wantonly maim each other in pursuit of stolen paintings. But the show doesn’t sacrifice any stakes by steering its characters towards guns that dispense grappling hooks and GPS tracking devices instead of bullets. In fact, the show is richer for not setting up a simple showdown of brains versus brawn. These face-offs between the forces of VILE, Team Carmen, and other invested parties are compelling to watch because — like its central heroine — most people doing the fighting have plenty of both.

Some of that layered ambition makes its way to the animation style as well. Not just confined to car chases and running against the backdrop of international city skylines, “Carmen Sandiego” follows an exciting inventive streak when it comes to VILE transportation and technological advancements. One of Carmen’s school nemeses has an energy blaster of sorts that stands out against the clean, precise angular lines of the 2D background. An early skydiving sequence swoops down from dizzying heights all the way to safe ground below. The venues change — there’s an underwater voyage, a journey through the desert, a slick maneuver in the halls of an art museum — but the range of character designs ensures that the humans battling over these treasures bring just as much vitality to what’s on display.

So “Carmen Sandiego” continues the tradition of educational entertainment, but the show has lessons beyond a textbook. It offers an implicit crash course in espionage thriller parlance and conventions, all while giving younger viewers an educational gateway to a bigger world. There’s a common refrain about the power of teamwork that’s more understood than underlined. And rather than attach a monetary or punitive value to these artifacts being swiped, the biggest lesson is how important and rewarding it can be to protect something worth saving. That’s always a helpful reminder.

Grade: B+

“Carmen Sandiego” is now available to stream on Netflix. 

VES to Honor Illumination’s Chris Meledandri with Lifetime Achievement Award 

The Visual Effects Society (VES) has tapped Illumination founder/producer Chris Meledandri with its Lifetime Achievement Award, which will be presented at the 17th Annual VES Awards on February 5th at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. It marks the first such honor for an accomplished filmmaker from animation.

“Chris Meledandri has greatly contributed to the advancement and ever-increasing success of mainstream animated entertainment over the last 20 years,” said Mike Chambers, VES Board Chair. “His leadership in the industry is paving the way for future generations of artists and producers and he has helped redefine the profile of animation and visual effects on a global scale.”

Benedict Cumberbatch voices the Grinch in

“The Grinch”

Photo Credit: Illumination and U

Read More: Avengers: Infinity War’ Leads VES Awards with Six VFX Nominations, with Surprising Shutouts

Previous winners of the VES Lifetime Achievement Award have included James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Ray Harryhausen, George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, John Dykstra, Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy, Sir Ridley Scott, and Ken Ralston.

Since founding Illumination in 2008, the Oscar-nominated Meledandri has produced two of the highest-grossing animated films of all time (“The Secret Life of Pets” and “Despicable Me 2”), as well as the highest grossing franchise, “Despicable Me.” Collectively, Illumination’s eight films have grossed more than $6 billion globally.

Prior to Illumination, Meledandri, was the founding president of 20th Century Fox Animation, where he created the hugely successful “Ice Age” franchise.

Illumination’s upcoming films include “The Secret Life of Pets 2” (June 7th), “Minions 2” (July 3rd, 2020), and “Sing 2” (Christmas 2020).

As previously announced, the VES Visionary Award will be presented to acclaimed writer-director-producer Jonathan Nolan. The VES Award for Creative Excellence will be presented to award-winning creators-executive producers-writers-directors David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

2019 Oscar Nomination Predictions: Our Final Selections, Ranked for Each Category 

The 2019 Oscar race is all about Best Popular Film. Not only does the Academy not need that new category after all this year (or it seems, a well-liked Oscar host), but more big-grossers than ever are vying for spots on the final Oscar ballot to be revealed on January 22. Which might mean more people will tune into an Oscar show, rooting for mainstream movies they actually care about.

But while more popular hits, led by Bradley Cooper’s blockbuster “A Star is Born,” (Warner Bros.) are in contention for multiple categories including Best Picture, bragging rights may still wind up with Netflix’s first bonafide Best Picture candidate, Alfonso Cuarón’s cinephile-dream “Roma,” which commanded a more robust arthouse release than any Netflix film to date, along with a lavish promotional campaign, and has been widely viewed on the global streaming platform.

The Golden Globe and Critics Choice winner and Mexico’s black-and-white foreign-language Oscar entry, “Roma” is a hybrid four-hankie drama driven by artistic and technological ambitions that delivers a strong message about social strata in Mexico. It is shaping up to be a strong contender for the Best Picture prize.

But only triple threat Bradley Cooper’s “A Star is Born” — a contemporary backstage musical update of the familiar story made three times before — has a perfect score on guild nominations, showing strong support from both actors and crafts, including SAG Ensemble, DGA, PGA and WGA nods. And Spike Lee’s provocative true story “BlacKkKlansman” (Focus Features) also boasts that recognition from all four guilds, but with less craft support.

By my tally, “Roma,” “A Star Is Born” and “The Favourite” will rack up 10 nominations apiece, followed by “Black Panther” and “First Man” with eight, “Vice ” with seven, “Mary Poppins Returns” with six, “BlacKkKlansman” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” with five, and “Green Book” with four.

4117_D017_09462_R Topher Grace stars as David Duke and Adam Driver as Flip Zimmerman in Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, a Focus Features release.Credit: David Lee / Focus Features


David Lee

Clearly, $30-million “A Star Is Born” boasts the most support from the Academy’s 17 branches and will earn the most nominations: by my count, 10. Why so many? Rookie Cooper has crafted a moving romantic drama with compelling live performances by himself and Lady Gaga, who will inevitably win Best Song. Academy voters are moved by this fourth update of the venerable show business story. No other film boasts such wide support. But as impeccably crafted as the movie is, Cooper may have made a high degree of difficulty look too easy. Is “A Star Is Born” the movie Academy voters want to represent Hollywood at this place and time? In recent years they have leaned into harder-hitting socially-conscious dramas like “Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” and “12 Years a Slave.”

Ryan Coogler

“Black Panther”


Ryan Coogler’s SAG Ensemble and PGA nominee “Black Panther,” Marvel’s lauded historic chart-buster, also boasts strong craft backing and landed a SAG Ensemble nod –but without any acting nominations. As Marvel villain Killmonger, Michael B. Jordan plays the film’s most nuanced and layered character, but hasn’t gained traction in the Supporting Actor race, and Coogler did not land a nod from the mainstream DGA. At age 32, he may be deemed young enough to return another year. And as much of a cultural achievement as “Black Panther” is, many still consider it a comic-book movie.

Two films based on real people landed SAG (but not ensemble), DGA, PGA and WGA nominations: true 60s road movie “Green Book” (Peter Farrelly) should score for its two popular stars Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali as well as Original Screenplay, as it battles complaints that the story is told from the white point of view; “Vice” will also get support from the writers and actors branches for writer-director Adam McKay and Globe and Critics Choice-winner Christian Bale (this year’s Gary Oldman) and long-overdue Amy Adams as Republican power couple Dick and Lynne Cheney. Both films have passionate backers.

“Crazy Rich Asians”

Sanja Bucko

Beyond the top five contenders for Best Picture, the field could wind up with up to 10 nominees, depending on how passionate voters are this year. While inclusion is still a strong factor with an increasingly diverse voting body, it looks unlikely than any women will score Director slots this year, and ground-breaking Oscar-nominated Rachel Morrison (“Mudbound”) is a long-shot for cinematography for “Black Panther,” although her teammates Hannah Beachler and Ruth Carter are strong contenders for Production and Costume Design, respectively.

Only thirty-one percent of Academy voters, however, are women. So we could also see the Academy’s dominant white-male contingent swing toward action movie “Black Panther” (eight likely nominations) and Queen musical “Bohemian Rhapsody” (five likely nominations, including Globes Best Actor-winner Rami Malek).

“A Quiet Place”


This year, two other popular entries took PGA Top Ten slots, John Krasinski’s well-mounted virtually silent thriller “A Quiet Place” and Jon M. Chu’s rollicking romantic comedy “Crazy Rich Asians.” “A Quiet Place,” starring Emily Blunt (who also earned kudos in the title role in “Mary Poppins Returns”) could register in the Sound or Supporting Actress categories, while “Crazy Rich Asians” also landed a SAG Ensemble nomination and the Critics Choice Comedy award. Star Michelle Yeoh is a long-shot for Supporting Actress.

Historically, stats reveal that SAG Ensemble winners don’t always match up with Best Picture nominations or wins. Last year’s Ensemble winner was Fox Searchlight comedy “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” which took home SAG and Oscar statues for Best Actress Frances McDormand and Supporting Actor Sam Rockwell. But “The Shape of Water” became the second Best Picture Oscar winner in 23 years without a SAG Ensemble nomination, following “Braveheart” back in 1995. Neither 2015’s “The Revenant” nor 2016’s “La La Land,” both missing SAG Ensemble nominations, were able to achieve a Best Picture win.

Thus, “Roma,” which won the often-predictive top Critics’ Choice award, could also win Best Picture without landing a SAG Ensemble nomination. An Oscar nomination for Yalitza Aparicio would reveal some support from the Academy’s dominant actors branch, which has come through for both non-pro actors (Haing S. Ngor of “The Killing Fields”) and Harold Russell (“The Best Years of Our Lives”) as well as such foreign-language stars as Isabelle Huppert and Marion Cotillard.

Read More: ‘Roma’ Will Be the Best Picture Nominee to Beat

“Bohemian Rhapsody”

20th Century Fox/YouTube

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is an anomaly this year, winning the Best Drama Golden Globe and Best Actor for Malek (which really doesn’t mean much in Oscar terms) as well as a more meaningful SAG Ensemble nomination and Best Actor slot. The musical also has landed many craft guild nominations, which indicates wide support. However, a directing nomination is unlikely for non-DGA nominee Bryan Singer, who was fired from the movie and is tainted by sexual assault allegations. While it’s hard to imagine many voters putting a Queen biopic with a Metascore of 49 at number one on their Best Picture nomination ballot, it could be in their top five. Don’t be shocked if “Bohemian Rhapsody” squeezes into the Best Picture race.

Emma Stone in the film THE FAVOURITE. Photo by Yorgos Lanthimos. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Emma Stone in the “The Favourite”

Yorgos Lanthimos

More typical of recent Oscar entries is specialty hit “The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight), which surprisingly did not land a SAG Ensemble nod, although its three stars were nominated. While Yorgos Lanthimos did not land a DGA nomination for this visually sumptuous, wickedly funny portrait of a power-mad monarch (Olivia Colman) romancing two of her ladies in waiting (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz), he may wind up with a directing nod from the Academy, as well as an Original Screenplay slot (the film was not WGA-eligible), and craft nominations including cinematography and costumes. The British movie leads the BAFTA field with 12 nominations, and Olivia Colman took home the comedy Globe and Critics Choice awards.

Another Searchlight release, Marielle Heller’s New York memoir “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” will likely land acting nods for the deliciously drunken performances of Melissa McCarthy and Richard E. Grant as well as an Adapted Screenplay nomination for Nicole Holofcener.

First Man (Movie) Ryan Gosling

“First Man”

Universal Pictures

Likely to rack up seven craft nominations is Damien Chazelle’s moon race success d’estime, “First Man,” which stumbled at the box office but has done well with guild nominations. It could also land a Best Picture spot as well as a win for Justin Hurwitz’s Globe and Critics Choice-winning score.

A long shot for a Best Picture slot is “Moonlight” writer-director Barry Jenkins’ elegant James Baldwin adaptation “If Beale Street Could Talk,” which won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Critics Choice Awards (over “BlacKkKlansman”). “If Beale Street Could Talk” could could also notch nominations for Globe and Critics Choice-winning Supporting Actress (Regina King) — even without a SAG mention — as well as composer Nicholas Britell for Score.

Two A24 films, religious drama “First Reformed” and coming-of-age comedy “Eighth Grade,” have attracted enough attention from critics groups to make long overdue “Taxi Driver” writer Paul Schrader and newcomer Bo Burnham long-shots for Original Screenplay, and Ethan Hawke a real possibility for Best Actor.

“Cold War”

Amazon Studios

In the foreign film race, four movies are likely to make the cut from the foreign committee: “Roma,” Pawel Pawlikowski’s gorgeous black-and-white European romance “Cold War” (Poland) — which could land a cinematography slot, if not a nod for breakout Joanna Kulig — Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s universal family drama “Shoplifters” (Japan), and Nadine Labaki’s gritty story of a street kid, “Capernaum” (Lebanon). The fifth slot is a race among South Korea’s “Burning,” Denmark’s “The Guilty” and Florian Henkel Von Donnersmarck’s “Never Look Away” (Germany).

In the documentary race, four box-office hits are vying for slots: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi’s climbing feat “Free Solo” (National Geographic), Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg valentine “RBG” (CNN/Magnolia), triplet thriller “Three Identical Strangers” (Neon) and Fred Rogers tearjerker “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (Focus Features), while strong contenders include Bing Liu’s moving memoir “Minding the Gap” (Hulu) and embedded Syrian jihadi family portrait “Of Fathers and Sons” (Kino Lorber).

Here are my final Oscar predictions, in order of likelihood to win. We learn the results at the crack of dawn on January 22.

Best Picture

“Roma” (Netflix)
“A Star Is Born” (Warner Bros.)
“BlacKkKlansman” (Focus Features)
“Green Book” (Universal)
“Vice” (Annapurna)
“Black Panther” (Marvel/Disney)
“The Favourite” (Fox Searchlight)
“First Man” (Universal)
“Bohemian Rhapsody” (Fox)
“If Beale Street Could Talk” (Annapurna)

Best Director

Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”)
Spike Lee (“BlacKkKlansman”)
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Yorgos Lanthimos (“The Favourite”)
Adam McKay (“Vice”)

Best Actor

Christian Bale (“Vice”)
Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”)
Ethan Hawke (“First Reformed”)

Best Actress

Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)
Glenn Close (“The Wife”)
Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”)

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali (“Green Book”)
Richard E. Grant (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
Sam Elliott (“A Star Is Born”)
Timothee Chalamet (“Beautiful Boy”)
Adam Driver (“BlacKkKlansman:)

Best Supporting Actress

Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”)
Amy Adams (“Vice”)
Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”)
Emma Stone (“The Favourite”)
Emily Blunt (“A Quiet Place”)

Best Adapted Screenplay

“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“Black Panther”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Leave No Trace”

Best Original Screenplay

“The Favourite”
“Green Book”
“First Reformed”

Best Animated Feature

“Incredibles 2”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
“Ralph Breaks the Internet”
“Isle of Dogs”

“Age of Sail”

Best Animated Short

“Age of Sail”
“Bird Karma”

Best Live Action Short


Best Cinematography

“The Favourite”
“First Man”
“A Star Is Born”
“Cold War”

Best Costumes 

“Black Panther”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“The Favourite”
“Mary Queen of Scots”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”

“Free Solo”

Best Documentary Feature

“Free Solo”
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
“Minding the Gap”
“Of Fathers and Sons”

Best Documentary Short

“Black Sheep”
“Women of the Gulag”
“End Game”
“Period. End of Sentence.”

Best Editing

“A Star Is Born”
“The Favourite”
“First Man”

Best Foreign Language Film

“Roma” (Mexico)
“Cold War” (Poland)
“Shoplifters” (Japan)
“Capernaum” (Lebanon)
“Never Look Away” (Germany)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“Black Panther”

Best Production Design

“Black Panther”
“The Favourite”
“Mary Poppins Returns”
“First Man”

Best Original Score

“First Man”
“If Beale Street Could Talk”
“Isle of Dogs”
“Mary Poppins Returns”

Best Original Song

“Shallow” (“A Star Is Born”)
“All the Stars” (“Black Panther”)
“I’ll Fight” (“RBG”)
“The Place Where Lost Things Go” (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
“Trip a Little Light Fantastic” (“Mary Poppins Returns”)

Best Sound Editing

“A Quiet Place”
“First Man”
“A Star Is Born”
“Black Panther”

Best Sound Mixing

“A Star Is Born”
“Bohemian Rhapsody”
“A Quiet Place”
“First Man”

Best Visual Effects

“Black Panther”
“Ready Player One”
“Avengers Infinity War”
“First Man”
“Mary Poppins Returns”

The World Loves Marie Kondo, But It Was America That Needed Her 

In 2016, two years after the English translation of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” became a best-seller, Marie Kondo moved to Los Angeles to establish her home organization consultancy in America. Amidst her culture shock, the Japanese native soon realized her new country also provided something that her homeland did not: unprecedented levels of clutter on which to practice her art.

On Netflix’s “Tidying Up With Marie Kondo,” we see her gently guide clients to confront years of accumulation: towering stacks of baseball cards, never-worn athletic shoes literally decaying in the box. Kondo admits that one client, an empty-nester obsessed with collecting Christmas nutcracker dolls, has more clothes than she has ever encountered.

“Japanese homes are much smaller than American homes,” Kondo said through her interpreter, Marie Iida, who also appears on the show. “American homes have ample space so that it’s a difference of quantity. There’s a tendency to want to have more things when you have a bigger space.”

Kondo’s tidy takeover of America began with that understanding, and now the release of her Netflix reality series has made her, and the KonMari Method, a household name. “Americans do tend to buy more in bulk. That’s a cultural difference,” Kondo said. “Speaking from the KonMari Method point of view, there’s nothing wrong with buying things in bulk.” The key is in how one stores those Costco items in a pleasing and accessible way.


“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”

Denise Crew/Netflix

While social media backlash likes to portray Kondo as a strict minimalist, she doesn’t oppose consumerism, or even clutter — as long as those things “spark joy” in you. The KonMari Method instructs clients to sort through household items in a specific order — clothing, books, papers, miscellaneous items, and sentimental items — and discard what doesn’t pass the joy litmus test.

Clients learn to awaken that sensitivity at their own pace. “[On the show,] I’d say the shortest time was for a person who’d immediately get it with the first category,” said Kondo. “When they touched their clothes, they’d understand what it is to mean for something to spark joy. So [learning in] one day would be the shortest. For the longest, I’d say about a week. If they started with clothes, it’d take them all the way to the category of books or even paper for them to understand it.”

Once they master that skill, however, Kondo found Americans to be more decisive than the Japanese. “It’s hard to generalize because it all depends on the person,” she said. “But I would say that on average, Japanese people tend to need more time to deeply think about what it is that may spark joy because they’re not as confident in their feelings or their thoughts.”

Kondo must pivot when one “Tidying Up” client proves remarkably adept. When recent widow Margie plows through her clothes in no time, she’s eager to tackle her husband’s clothes – a painful reminder in their shared closet of his passing. Initially Kondo tells her that sentimental items should be left at the end. Eventually, Kondo relents and tweaks the process for Margie.

“In Margie’s case, while she was tidying her own clothes, she already felt that she was ready to start sorting her husband’s clothes. She was ready to have that resolved,” said Kondo. “Of course, there are guidelines to the KonMari Method, but it’s always important to listen.”


“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”

Denise Crew/Netflix

That need for empathy initially gave her concerns about producing the show in America. “I have been conducting tidying lessons in Japan and communication is important obviously in understanding what my clients are thinking and fostering a deep relationship,” she said. “But this time, I knew I had to do that with an interpreter, so I was a little worried how deeply I would be able to communicate with them and build a relationship with my clients.” Netflix bridges that gap with a mix of subtitles and Iida’s on-the-spot interpretations, which are borne from a three-year working relationship with Kondo.

As much as possible, Kondo also wanted the show to provide an accurate portrayal of the extensive process. “Usually it takes an incredibly long time to go through this process at the client’s home,” she said. “Of course, for a TV show, you’ll only see one piece of that segment. So it was important to capture that moment when the client understands what it means for something to spark that joy for them and having them express that verbally on their own. It was something I was careful about.”

Ultimately, the lasting impact of Kondo’s strategies lies in the promise of a better life. Kondo posits that a home that only makes room for joyful objects eliminates stress. As the head of a multi-billion dollar company who leads a picture-perfect life complete with husband, KonMari Media CEO Takumi Kawahara, and two adorable daughters (who have already begun to fold their clothes, KonMari-style), she is the ultimate brand ambassador.

Kondo exudes a serene charisma that Iida understood should be conveyed faithfully, down to the tone, pauses, and movements. “In a TV show like this, it was very integral that I pay attention not only to what everyone was saying … but I also paid a lot of attention to her tone of voice, her posture, hand gestures, and so on,” said Iida. “I didn’t want her personality and character to get lost in translation.”

“Tidying Up With Marie Kondo”


Kondo inspires clients to try some of the more conceptually foreign aspects of KonMari. Although Kondo doesn’t consider herself religious, her technique is inspired by Shinto, a Japanese folk religion that believes all things have a spiritual essence. This is why each object is thought to have the ability to spark joy, and why Kondo suggests thanking each discarded item for its service.

Kondo also takes the time to “greet” each house she is about to help, kneeling in a central spot and closing her eyes to commune with the home and set an intention for an end result. On “Tidying Up,” she eventually tweaks this practice to include her clients.

“When I was doing my lessons in Japan, I loved greeting the house myself. I did it alone,” she said. “But during the shooting, it dawned on me that ‘Oh, why aren’t I asking the families to do this?’ That was something that I started in the middle of the shooting. Greeting a home is not something that I enforce, but I ask if it’s something that the family would like to try.”

Those who participate in this KonMari Method to decluttering madness often find themselves becoming sentimental in front of the cameras. In fact, an outpouring of emotion is a common occurrence on the show as each client confides their feelings of frustration, sadness, or shame to Kondo. One client even remarks on how his marriage has improved now that the clutter is gone.

“It’s not myself so much, but the effect of the tidying process,” Kondo said. “There’s something therapeutic about it.” KonMari mission accomplished.

Season 1 of ”Tidying Up With Marie Kondo” is currently sparking joy on Netflix.

Missing FilmStruck? OVID.TV, a New Arthouse Streaming Service, Will Launch in March 

With FilmStruck gone and Fandor recently sold to a new entity, cinephiles would appear to be running out of streaming services catered toward them. Here to fill that void is OVID.TV, a new venture from six different independent film distributors — Bullfrog Films, Distrib Films US, First Run Features, Grasshopper Film, Icarus Films, and KimStim — set to launch in March. In a statement announcing the new SVOD platform, OVID is is said to be “designed to provide North American viewers with access to thousands of mostly un-streamable documentaries, independent films, and notable works of international cinema.”

Jonathan Miller of Icarus Films, who will serve as director of OVID, said, “the time for this kind of partnership is now, as the streaming giants focus on generating fast-turnaround new content, this coalition will offer new access to high-quality catalogs found nowhere else, featuring some of the most celebrated filmmakers and films in the canon.”

At the time of launch, OVID.TV will offer hundreds of documentaries currently unavailable on other services. Among the featured filmmakers are Chantal Akerman, Michael Apted, Nikolaus Geyrhalter, Patricio Guzman, Heddy Honigmann, Chris Marker, Ross McElwee, Bill Morrison, Raoul Peck, Jean Rouch, Wang Bing, and Travis Wilkerson.

More films will be added this summer, with a focus on those directed by Bi Gan, Pedro Costa, Claire Denis, Bruno Dumont, Cheryl Dunye, Philippe Garrel, Nikita Mikhalkov, Eric Rohmer, Raul Ruiz, Dominga Sotomayor, Jean-Marie Straub, and Danielle Huillet. After that, OVID will debut curated collections on a monthly basis.

OVID is officially an iniative of Docuseek, a streaming platform geared toward colleges and universities that currently boasts more than 1,500 titles. No subscription details have been announced as of yet.

‘Roma’ Lands MPSE Golden Reel Nominations 

“A Quiet Place, “Black Panther,” “First Man,” and “Roma” each scored three sound editing nominations for the the 66th annual MPSE Golden Reel Awards (to be held February 17th and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel). (Surprisingly, “Roma” was left out of the Cinema Audio Society Mixing nominations.)

They will compete for dialogue/ADR, effects/foley, and music underscore. Honored in the musical category were “A Star Is Born,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “Mary Poppins Returns.”

Emily Blunt A Quiet Place

“A Quiet Place”

Paramount Pictures

Read More: ‘A Quiet Place,’ ‘Black Panther, ‘First Man’ Lead CAS Sound Mixing Nominations

Other dialog/ADR nominees included “A Star Is Born,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Green Book,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” “Mission Impossible: Fallout,” and “The Favourite.” Also competing for effects/foley  are “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Deadpool 2, ” “Mission Impossible: Fallout,” and “”Ready Player One.” The other music underscore nominees included “Aquaman,” “Isle of Dogs,” “Mission Impossible: Fallout,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.”

Among the foreign film entries were “2.0,” “Capernaum,” “Cold War,” “The Guilty,” “Never Look Away,” “Redbad,” “The Happy Prince,” and “Winter Brothers.” The feature documentary nominees were led by “Free Solo,” “Generation Wealth,” “McQueen,” “Quincy,” “Shirkers,” “Three Identical Strangers,” “They Shall Not Grow Old,” and two Morgan Neville films, “They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead,” and “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”

Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..Black Panther/T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

“Black Panther”


Animated feature nominees included “Incredibles 2,” “Isle of Dogs,” “Peter Rabbit,” “Ralph Breaks the Internet,” “Smallfoot,” “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” and “The Grinch.” And nominated for animated shorts were DreamWorks’ “Bilby” and “Bird Karma,” “Crow: The Legend,” “Lost Property Office,” “Overwatch Reunion,” “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mystic Mayhem,” “Spy Kids: Mission Critical” (“The Vinyl Countdown”), “Star Wars: Rebels” (“The World Between Worlds”), and “Steven Universe” (“Reunited”).

66th Annual MPSE Golden Reel Award Nominees

Feature Film – Dialogue / ADR
“A Quiet Place” – Paramount Pictures
“A Star Is Born” – Warner Bros.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – Twentieth Century Fox
“First Man” – Universal Pictures
“Green Book” – Universal Pictures
“Mary Poppins Returns” – Walt Disney Studios
“Mission Impossible: Fallout” – Paramount Pictures
“Roma” – Netflix
“The Favourite” – Fox Searchlight

Feature Film – Effects / Foley
“A Quiet Place” – Paramount Pictures
“Avengers: Infinity War” – Walt Disney Studios / Marvel Studios
“Black Panther” – Walt Disney Studios / Marvel Studios
“Deadpool 2” – Twentieth Century Fox
“First Man” – Universal Pictures
“Mission Impossible: Fallout” – Paramount Pictures
“Ready Player One” – Warner Bros.
“Roma” – Netflix
“The Favourite” – Fox Searchlight

Feature Film – Music Underscore
“Aquaman” – Warner Bros.
“A Quiet Place” – Paramount Pictures
“Black Panther” – Walt Disney Studios / Marvel Studios
“First Man” – Universal Pictures
“Isle of Dogs” – Fox Searchlight
“Mission Impossible: Fallout” – Paramount Pictures
“Roma” – Netflix
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” – Sony Pictures Entertainment
“The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” – Netflix

Feature Film – Musical
“A Star Is Born” – Warner Bros.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” – Twentieth Century Fox
“Mary Poppins Returns” – Walt Disney Studios

Feature Film – Foreign
“2.0” – AA Films
“Capernaum” -Sony Pictures Classics
“Cold War” – Amazon Studios
“The Guilty” – Magnolia Pictures
“Never Look Away” – Sony Pictures Classics
“Redbad” – Epic Pictures Group
“The Happy Prince” – Sony Pictures Classics
“Winter Brothers” – Kimstim Films

Feature Film- Documentary
“Free Solo” – National Geographic
“Generation Wealth” – Amazon Studios
“McQueen” – Bleeker Street Media
“Quincy” – Netflix
“Shirkers” – Netflix
“Three Identical Strangers” – Neon
“They Shall Not Grow Old” – Fathom Events
“They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead” – Netflix
“Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” – Focus Features

Non-Theatrical Documentary
“All or Nothing: Michigan Wolverines”, “Be the Game Changer” – Amazon Studios
“Bobby Kennedy for President” “I’d Like to Serve” – Netflix
“Gymkhana Files” “Where it All Began” – Amazon Studios
“Medal of Honor” – Netflix
“Operation Odessa” – Showtime
“Searching for Sound: Islandman and VeYasin” – Red Bull TV
“The Zen Diaries of Garry Shandling” – HBO
“Watergate” – Representational Pictures

Non-Theatrical Feature
“Extinction” – Universal Pictures
“Game Over Man” – Netflix
“My Dinner With Hervé” – HBO
“Tau” – Netflix
“The Christmas Chronicles” – Netflix

Feature Film – Animation
“Incredibles 2” – Walt Disney Pictures
“Isle of Dogs” – Fox Searchlight Pictures
“Peter Rabbit” – Sony Pictures Entertainment
“Ralph Breaks the Internet” – Walt Disney Animation Studios
“Smallfoot” – Warner Bros.
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” – Sony Pictures Entertainment
“The Grinch” – Universal Pictures

Non-Theatrical Animation
“Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” – Warner Bros. / DC Entertainment
“Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Super-Villain High” – Warner Bros. / DC Entertainment
“Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash” – Warner Bros. Animation
“Next Gen” – Netflix
“Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay” – Warner Bros. Animation / DC Entertainment
“The Death of Superman” – Warner Bros. Animation
“Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia” – DreamWorks / Netflix

Short Form Animation
“Bilby” – Universal Pictures
“Bird Karma” – Universal Pictures
“Crow: The Legend” – Baobab Studios
“Lost Property Office” – 8th in Line Productions
“Overwatch “Reunion” – Blizzard Entertainment
“Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mystic Mayhem” – Nickelodeon
“Spy Kids: Mission Critical” “The Vinyl Countdown” – Netflix
“Star Wars: Rebels” “The World Between Worlds” – Disney / ABC
“Steven Universe” “Reunited” – Cartoon Network

Non-Theatrical Animation
“Batman: Gotham by Gaslight” – Warner Bros. / DC Entertainment
“Lego DC Super Hero Girls: Super-Villain High” – Warner Bros. / DC Entertainment
“Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: The Flash” – Warner Bros. Animation
“Next Gen” – Netflix
“Suicide Squad: Hell to Pay” – Warner Bros. Animation / DC Entertainment
“The Death of Superman” – Warner Bros. Animation
“Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia” – DreamWorks / Netflix

Gaming: Computer Cinematic
“Battlefield V” – Electronic Arts
“God of War” – Sony Interactive Entertainment
“League of Legends” – Riot Games
“Spider-Man” – Sony Interactive Entertainment
“World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth” – Blizzard Entertainment

Gaming: Computer Interactive Game Play
“Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey” – Ubisoft
“Battlefield V” – Electronic Arts
“God of War” – Sony Interactive Entertainment
“Shadow of the Tomb Raider” – Square Enix
“Spider-Man” – Sony Interactive Entertainment

Broadcast Media: Live Action Under 35:00
“Ballers” “This is Not Our World” – HBO
“Barry” “Chapter Seven: Loud, Fast, and Keep Going” – HBO
“Everything Sucks!” “We Were Merely Freshmen” – Netflix
“Kidding” “The Cookie” – Showtime
“One Day at a Time” “Homecoming” – Netflix
“Star Trek: Short Treks” – “The Brightest Star” – CBS All Access
“Sweetbitter” “Now Your Tongue is Coded” – Starz
“The Good Place” “Janet(s)” – NBC / Universal
“Young Sheldon” “An 8-Bit Princess and a Flat Tire Genius” – CBS

Broadcast Media: Short Form Music / Musical
“American Horror Story” “The End” – FX Network
“Fortitude” “Season 3, Episode 4” – Amazon Studios
“Homecoming” “Stop” – Amazon Studios
“Maniac” “Windmills” – Netflix
“McMafia” “Season 1, Episode 4” – AMC Networks
“One Strange Rock” “Home” – National Geographic
“The Alienist” “A Fruitful Partnership” – TNT
“The Americans” “Harvest” – FX Network
“Vikings” “Moments of Vision” – History Channel / MGM Television

Broadcast Media: Short Form Dialogue / ADR
“Atlanta” “Teddy Perkins” – FX Network
“Better Call Saul” “Talk” – AMC Networks
“Marvel’s Jessica Jones” “Three Lives and Counting” – Netflix
“The Americans” “Harvest” – FX Network
“The Handmaid’s Tale” “Holly” – Hulu / MGM Television
“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” – “The Wolf” – Amazon Studios
“Vikings” “Moments of Vision” – History Channel / MGM Television
“The X-Files” “This” – Fox Network

Broadcast Media: Short Form Effects / Foley
“Atlanta” “Teddy Perkins” – FX Network
“Nightflyers” “Torches and Pitchforks” – Syfy
“The First” “Near and Far” – Hulu
“The Terror” “Go For Broke” – AMC Networks
“The Walking Dead” “A New Beginning” – AMC Networks
“The X-Files” “My Struggle” – Fox Network
“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” – “French Connection” – Amazon Studios
“Vikings” “Moments of Vision” – History Channel / MGM Television

Broadcast Media: Single Presentation
“Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence” – Amazon Studios
“Collateral” – Netflix
“Dirty Computer” – Wondaland
“King Lear” – Amazon Studios
“Phillip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams” – Amazon Studios

Broadcast Media Longform Music / Musical
“American Crime Story” “Manhunt” – FX Network
“Counterpart” “Birds of a Feather” – Starz
“Marvel’s Luke Cage” “I Get Physical” – Netflix
“Ozark” “Gold Coast” – Netflix
“The Handmaid’s Tale” “The World” – Hulu / MGM Television
“The Little Drummer Girl” “Part 3” – AMC Networks
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” “We’re Going to the Catskills” – Amazon Studios
“Westworld” “Riddle of the Sphinx” – HBO

Broadcast Media Longform Dialogue / ADR
“Altered Carbon” “Out of the Past” – Netflix
“Better Call Saul” “Winner” – AMC Networks
“Bodyguard” “Season 1, Episode 2” – Netflix
“House of Cards” “Chapter 73” – Netflix
“Marvel’s Daredevil” “Blindsided” – Netflix
“Narcos: Mexico” “Just Say No” – Netflix
“Ozark” “Gold Coast” – Netflix
“The Handmaid’s Tale” “The Last Ceremony” – Hulu / MGM Television
“Westworld” “Riddle of the Sphinx” – HBO

Broadcast Media Longform Effects / Foley
“Altered Carbon” “Out of the Past” – Netflix
“Castle Rock” “Severance” – Hulu
“Homeland” “All In” – Showtime
“Patrick Melrose” “Bad News” – Showtime
“The Haunting of Hill House” “Two Storms” – Netflix
“The Man in the High Castle” “Jahr Null” – Amazon Studios
“Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” “Pilot” – Amazon Studios
“Westworld” “Virtu e Fortuna” – HBO

Verna Fields Student Filmmaker Award
“Crush” – USC Film School
“Edison’s Diorama” – Chapman University
“Facing It” – National Film and Television School
“Fish Boy” – National Film and Television School
“Inanimate” – National Film and Television School
“Police” – National Film and Television School
“So Far, So Good” – Fryderyk Chopin University of Music
“The Beacon”- Chapman University