BIG NOMINEES! (any film with 3 or more nominations) La La Land – 12 nominations [Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Film Editing, Art Direction, Original Score, Original Song […]
(any film with 3 or more nominations)
La La Land – 12 nominations [Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Cinematography, Film Editing, Art Direction, Original Score, Original Song x2, Sound]
Hacksaw Ridge – 7 nominations [Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Stuntwork & Choreography, Sound]
Manchester by the Sea – 6 nominations [Picture, Original Screenplay, Ensemble Performance, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress]
One of the more disturbing moments in a movie this year:
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi – 5 nominations [Picture, Director, Film Editing, Stuntwork & Choreography, Sound Editing]
Hell or High Water – 5 nominations [Picture, Director, Original Screenplay, Supporting Actor, Film Editing]
Hidden Figures – 5 nominations [Adapted Screenplay, Ensemble Performance, Supporting Actress x2, Art Direction]
Forget Beyoncé. Janelle Monáe is queen.
Rogue One – 5 nominations [Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Score, Visual Effects, Sound, Sound Editing]
Have I professed my love for Felicity Jones lately?
Captain America: Civil War – 4 nominations [Ensemble Performance, Stuntwork & Choreography, Visual Effects, Sound Editing]
Moonlight – 4 nominations [Adapted Screenplay, Ensemble Performance, Supporting Actor, Original Score]
Captain Fantastic – 3 nominations [Original Screenplay, Ensemble Performance, Actor]
The Neon Demon – 3 nominations [Cinematography, Costume Design, Makeup & Hairstyling]
Nicolas Winding Refn still hasn’t been able to put together an entire package like he did for 2011 Best Picture winner Drive, but the dark and twisted Neon Demon was a true visual feast, and probably the most Kubrick-ian movie of 2016. If you’re into that sort of thing (I clearly am).
Patriots Day – 3 nominations [Director, Film Editing, Original Score]
Is this the wrong Patriots? So sorry. [Not actually sorry.]
All Patriots fans after that comeback.
[Still not relevant to this post? Fuck you.]
People: (anyone with 2 or more nominations)
Justin Hurwitz – 3 nominations [Original Score, Original Song x2]
Casey Affleck – 2 nominations [Actor, Ensemble Performance]
Michael Bay – 2 nominations [Picture, Director]
I didn’t know if I’d ever get to say this, but welcome to the party, Michael Bay! In a better year, 13 Hours may not have made the cut, but things are what they are and Bay happened to make his best, most mature film in a soft 2016. But I don’t want that to take away from how good the film is. I realize that literally no other awards group would even consider putting 13 Hours in its Best Picture field, but I believe that has more to do with their biases against Bay’s previous work and the subject matter of the film. And that’s a shame.
Peter Berg – 2 nominations [Picture, Director]
Berg, receiving his first recognition this year, may be the first person in Biggies history to be nominated for Best Picture and Director for two different films. He directed Patriots Day, but even though that film narrowly missed out on the Best Picture race, he still gets in as a producer on Hell or High Water.
Damien Chazelle – 2 nominations [Director, Original Screenplay]
This is the second time in 3 years Chazelle has received these same two nominations. Pretty impressive for a 32-year old with two feature films under his belt. Is he the best under-40 director in Hollywood? He reunites with Ryan Gosling in 2018 for a Neil Armstrong biopic, which will no doubt place him in awards contention once again.
Ryan Gosling – 2 nominations [Actor, Original Song]
Janelle Monáe – 2 nominations [Supporting Actress, Ensemble Performance]
Viggo Mortensen – 2 nominations [Actor, Ensemble Performance]
Viggo is of course a 3-time, back-to-back-to-back Ensemble winner for the Lord of the Rings films in the early 2000’s.
Benj Pasek – 2 nominations [Original Song x2]
Justin Paul – 2 nominations [Original Song x2]
Octavia Spencer – 2 nominations [Supporting Actress, Ensemble Performance]
Spencer received the same two nominations (and won Supporting Actress) for The Help in 2011.
Emma Stone – 2 nominations [Actress, Original Song]
Michelle Williams – 2 nominations [Supporting Actress, Ensemble Performance]
NUMBER OF DIFFERENT FILMS NOMINATED: 40 (compared to 30 in 2015 and the Oscars’ 35 different nominated films in the same categories this year) – Unless I’m mistaken, this is the most films I’ve ever nominated in one year. With only one dominant nominee this year (La La Land), there was plenty of room for other films to sneak in. There were 18 movies this year with only one nomination.
NUMBER OF 2016 MOVIES I SAW (up to the day I published this post): 88 (compared to 73 in 2015)
THE STUDIO OF THE YEAR:
2016 Recipient: LIONSGATE / SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT (releases included Deepwater Horizon, Patriots Day, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, Criminal, Blood Father) – Congrats to Lionsgate on their first ever Studio of the Year victory. I’ve been blasting them left and right in recent years for singlehandedly creating the awful “split the last movie in a franchise into two films” trend with Twilight, The Hunger Games and Divergent (all of which resulted in creative disaster if you ask me). 2016 was a welcome rebound for them, as they produced several excellent films that the major studios wouldn’t touch, and they were rewarded for their courage at the box office, which was good to see.
BIGGIES MOTION PICTURE HALL OF FAME – 2017 INDUCTEES
My Hall of Fame recognizes its members’ body of work since the inception of the Biggies in 1989.
in A-B-C order (click on any name for their IMDb page)
–David Fincher (director/producer, The Alfred Hitchcock Directors Wing) – As brilliant as the guy is, and great as his films are, it’s shocking to me that he still hasn’t made the best movie of any given year. If he’d released just about any of his movies in 2016, that wouldn’t be the case. It’s not his fault he did some of his best work in the same years as Braveheart, There Will Be Blood, Drive, and Inception. Honestly, I could’ve created a 3-way tie in 2010 for The Social Network, True Grit and Inception. There are only a handful of directors in the industry I respect more than Fincher. His day will come at both the Oscars and the Biggies. Have no doubt.
–Jodie Foster (actress/director, The James Stewart Lead Actors Wing) – To my shame, she’s the first actress I’ve put in my Hall of Fame since I created it way back in 1999, but she’s my all-time favorite actress, so there’s nowhere better to start.
–Richard Hymns (sound editor, The Orson Welles Craftsmanship Wing) – The man has worked on almost all of my favorite movies. And that’s only a slight exaggeration. He is a sound god. Just look at his credits. No, really. Go look. Now. He’s got 3 Oscars and 9 nominations, and lord knows how many Biggies. (I can’t say for sure, because I’m still in the process of going back and listing the individuals nominated in the tech categories over the years.)
–Janusz Kaminski (cinematographer, The Conrad L. Hall Cinematographers Wing) – He’s been the cinematographer on every Steven Spielberg movie since Schindler’s List in 1993. ‘Nuff said.
–Frank Marshall & Kathleen Kennedy (producers, The Sam Spiegel Producers Wing) – Two of the most accomplished producers in Hollywood history. Kennedy has moved up in the world (as if that were possible) and now runs Lucasfilm for Disney. Basically, she’s the showrunner of the Star Wars movie universe and Indiana Jones. There may be no woman in Hollywood I respect more than her. Because of their decades-long relationship with Steven Spielberg, I’ve known who these two were since I was a teenager, and they were definitely among the first producers I knew by name. (They also happen to be married.)
-An honorary award is bestowed upon individuals who contributed incredible scores to both television and video games. One goes to Swedish composers Patrik Andrén & Johan Söderqvist, who scored EA’s shooter epic Battlefield 1, which I now believe is the greatest score ever created for a video game (a game that may also be my new favorite shooter ever). I’m also giving a second honorary award to Ramin Djawadi, who once again did transcendent work on HBO’s Game of Thrones (this time for season 6) in addition to scoring the first season of the network’s new, much-ballyhooed series Westworld. I’m confident in saying that each of these scores is better than any 2016 film score.
“The War to End All Wars”
Djawadi’s masterpiece “Light of the Seven”, which famously plays over the opening scenes of the season 6 GoT season finale, is the single best piece of music I heard in 2016:
And here’s his masterful Westworld theme over the show’s stunning opening credits sequence:
I’m still waiting for Djawadi’s first great film score, but his work on TV has more than made up for anything he hasn’t done for the big screen. Thankfully, with the popularity of the HBO shows he’s worked on, he’ll continue getting opportunities in film. So long as none of those films take him away from working on Game of Thrones‘ final two seasons.
Finally, on Page 5, it’s my annual lists of favorite and worst films of the year: