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2021 Oscar Snubs:

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This years Oscars threw a few surprise nominations at us. In this piece, I will be looking through some of the people who may feel unlucky not to be getting glammed up on the 25th April. Check out my snubs for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor.

Best Picture:
This years Best Picture nominations are some of the strongest competitors for this prize in recent memory. However, there’s a couple of films that will feel aggrieved not to have made it in…

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

After picking up five nominations in other categories, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will feel put out that it didn’t clinch the Best Picture nomination too. Realistically, it should’ve picked up a nod for Best Picture.

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

One of the most divisive films of the year, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is an incredibly visceral and at times mind boggling film. Its not the kind of film the Oscars normally like, proven by its total of zero nominations however it would’ve been fantastic to see this in the running!

Another Round

One of my personal favourites to come out of a terrific batch of 2020 films, Another Round should’ve been a strong contender for Best Picture. It’ll surely sweep the award for Best International Feature, but with Vinterberg’s nod for Best Director, it’s a big miss in the race for Best Picture.

Supernova

A bit of a long shot this one (and not the only one to come up in this piece), but Supernova was another favourite that felt like it would be right up the Academies street. It’s touching and intimate portrayal of the strains love can feel when combatted with dementia was fantastically done. Just up staged in this awards season by The Father!

Best Director:
Aaron Sorkin

It feels like another snub to not have Sorkin in the running for Best Director, particularly given all the other nominations The Trial of the Chicago 7 received for Oscar night. A big miss but there’s nobody in the lineup I would take out to be replaced by Sorkin.

Charlie Kaufman

Another long shot I know. Kaufman should’ve been in the running for Screenplay and Director. No other filmmaker created something as visceral and bizarre as he did.

Best Actress:
The race for Best Actress has been one of the highlights of this topsy turvy awards season. We’re less than two weeks away and still no further to predicting who will take home the award. Here’s some of the actresses who will feel disappointed to not be in the mix.

Han Yeri

Within the excellence of Minari, Han Yeri does shine amongst her fantastic costars who are rightly nominated. Her performance is fantastic and it’s a shame that she isn’t in the running for this year.

Kate Winslet

Say what you will about Ammonite (and a lot has been said), Kate Winslet is the sheer driving force of the film. Whilst the film leaves a lot to be desired, Winslet is an absolute powerhouse who is ultimately let down by the quality of her surroundings.

Elisabeth Moss

Toni Collette, Lupita Nyongo’o and now Elisabeth Moss. The Academy has once again failed to recognise an excellent performance delivered in the horror genre. Moss is wholly captivating in her turn in The Invisible Man.

Rosamund Pike

Another stand out performance of the year, Rosamund Pike is excellent in I Care A Lot, equalling her performance given in her Oscar nominated performance for Gone Girl. Given her Golden Globe win for this performance too, it’s a shame not to see her nominated.

Sidney Flanigan

Sidney Flanigan’s first acting credit is a truly heartbreaking and real performance delivered in Never Rarely Sometimes Always. Easily one of the best performances put in from last year.

Best Actor:

Mads Mikklesen

Mads Mikklesen feels like an actor who is surely destined to pick up at least one Oscar nomination in his career. He should’ve been nominated in The Hunt and should’ve been nominated for Another Round too. He blends comedy and tragedy expertly and I don’t see any of the other nominees for this year putting in a dance routine like him!

Delroy Lindo

Probably the biggest snub from this years Oscars, Delroy Lindo is pure brilliance in Da 5 Bloods. Playing a man on a mission and a man with nothing to lose, he puts in the best performance of his career and the second best performance of the year (behind Anthony Hopkins).

Ben Affleck

Another long shot, but Ben Affleck delivers the best performance of his entire career in The Way Back (or Finding the Way Back), playing a haunted character with an addiction who sets out on the road to coach his former high school basketball team. A great performance!

Best Supporting Actress

Ellen Burstyn

Up there with Lindo in terms of the weight of snub, Ellen Burstyn was truly spectacular in Pieces of a Woman. The monologue she delivers to Vanessa Kirby is breathtaking. I’m not sure how Glenn Close got the nod over her. The Academy really messed up this one.

Jodie Foster

Joining Rosamund Pike as another Golden Globe winner to not be nominated for the Oscar. It’s surprising not to see Jodie Foster, who is so obviously an Academy favourite, not be nominated. Another one who suffered from her overall surroundings perhaps?

Toni Collette

Another long shot, but Toni Collette is excellent in I’m Thinking of Ending Things. Any four of the actors could’ve been nominated, however Collette puts in my personal favourite performance of the four. It would’ve been nice to see her get what she deserved for Hereditary.

Best Supporting Actor:

Stanley Tucci

Stanley Tucci delivers a career best performance in Supernova (in a career filled with notable performances). Would’ve been an absolute delight to have seen him get his second Oscar nomination for a film he truly puts his heart and soul into.

Jeremy Strong

Taking nothing away from Sacha Baron Cohen’s performance, but he and Jeremry Strong feel like a double act in The Trial of the Chicago 7. It’s a shame to not have them both nominated as I felt they both complimented and played each off each other excellently.

Alan Kim

The highlight of awards season, Alan Kim has been an absolute breath of fresh air for everyone who has been paying attention. His Critics Choice Awards speech being one of the highlights. Not necessarily a snub, just one I would’ve absolutely loved to have seen.

Frank Langella

To make a film like The Trial of the Chicago 7 work, you obviously need the characters to root for, which we get. You also need a villain of the piece, and this role is played to a tee by Langella. A truly hateable character!

23 years old-Manchester-Film Studies Graduate-Qualified Film and Media Teacher-Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Olivia Colman enthusiast. Check out my Letterboxd for more reviews and film goodness. letterboxd.com/joelhowarth

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Space Jam: A New Legacy – Review | Sadly not a Slam-dunk

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As a child of the nineties, I’m gonna hold my hands up and say that I was onboard the hype-train for Space Jam: A New Legacy – the sequel to one of Warner Bros most bizarre properties. In the 1996 Space Jam, basketball player Michael Jordan (at the peak of his fame) gets pulled through a golf hole into the animated Looney Tunes world and must compete in a basketball game against some aliens in order to save Bugs Bunny and the gang from a lifetime of slave labour as nightclub entertainment… for real, that was the plot.

I would say only something as ridonkulous as Space Jam could’ve been made in the 90’s. But here we are 25 years later and we have WB’s cashing in on the nostalgia of 30 year old millennials like myself, bashing out a CGI-upgraded rehash – only with LeBron James heading to Toon World this time.

Does it posses the same magic of the first film? Let’s just say some ideas are better off left in the nineties. 

The plot of New Legacy sees Lebron pushing his son Dom (Cedric Joe) down the basketball path but Dom would rather spend his summer designing video games. After a father/son spat, LeBron and Dom are sucked into the Warner Brothers Serververse by a malevolent artificial intelligence known as Al G Rhythm (a gleeful Don Cheadle), where LeBron is forced to compete in a livestream basketball game with the Looney Tunes – which he must win if he wants his kidnapped son back. It’s not a copy-and-paste job of the first film but it certainly hits all the beats you expect it to.

Naturally the visual effects have come a long way in the last quarter of a century, so the film is more visually dynamic and detailed than the predecessor. But still, there’s an artificiality to New Legacy. It’s got the looks and the moves but it lacks heart. Sure, there’s fun sequences to enjoy – a trippy world-hopping scene, making pitstops at numerous WB intellectual properties is a standout but the final product left me feeling empty.

What gave the first Space Jam its distinct flavours was its epic soundtrack. To this day I still attest it’s one of the most underrated film soundtracks of all time. With its collection of smooth R&B tracks from Seal, Barry White, Robin S, and ahem R Kelly, it resulted in Space Jam having an unexpected amount of soul. I can’t say the same thing with New Legacy. The music choices are functional but the most effective were the nods to the previous film like 2 Unlimited’s Get Ready and Technotronic’s Pump Up the Jam. Everything else was merely background noise. 

LeBron James’ acting leaves a lot to be desired. It’s clear he’s giving the task of carrying a movie his best attempt but the audience is very aware that we’re watching a performance. A pitch-meeting scene where LeBron even says “Athletes doing acting never goes well” would’ve been funny, if it not for James’ inability to nuance his delivery of the line with some irony. Best stick to hoops LeBron.

What was even more surprising was the lack of personality in Zendaya’s voice work as Lola Bunny. Comparatively to Kath Soucie who previously voiced the spunky basket-dunking-bunny, Zendaya felt rather unremarkable in the role.

Also how does a film with a recycled plot manage to be almost half an hour longer than the original? Where the first film was a brisk 90 minutes, New Legacy certainly overstays its welcome clocking in at nearly 2 hours. 

Space Jam: A New Legacy proves that lightening doesn’t strike twice. There’s enough entertaining sequences and zany moments for kids to enjoy and adults are sure to get a kick out of the Warner Brothers Easter Eggs hiding in the mise-en-scène. Who knows, perhaps the 5 – 12 year olds of today will be speaking with fond nostalgia of New Legacy when they hit 30 but from the perspective of this bitter millennial this unnecessary sequel is merely a glossy and soulless cash-cow. 

★★☆☆☆

Space Jam: A New Legacy is in Cinemas worldwide on July 16th and also available on HBO Max in some regions.

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Wagman Studios | 2021 Summer Movies Mashup

Summer blockbusters are back! Take a look at this short mashup containing over 20 of the summer’s hottest movies

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Summer blockbusters are back! Take a look at this short mashup containing over 20 of the summer’s hottest movies

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Netflix | Stranger Things: Season 4 – Teases Eleven’s Back Story

The upcoming fourth season of the American science fiction horror television series Stranger Things, titled Stranger Things 4, was announced by Netflix in September 2019. The fourth season has continued to be produced by the show’s creators the Duffer Brothers, along with Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen, and Iain Paterson.

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The upcoming fourth season of the American science fiction horror television series Stranger Things, titled Stranger Things 4, was announced by Netflix in September 2019. The fourth season has continued to be produced by the show’s creators the Duffer Brothers, along with Shawn Levy, Dan Cohen, and Iain Paterson.

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