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‘Tis the Season to Be Nominated: Encore, Encore!

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Alexandria, VA – It was beginning to feel a lot like Awards Season everywhere we turned. December kicked off the cavalcade of Hollywood kudos with major entertainment association nominations streaming steadily these many weeks out of Tinseltown. January routinely harbors hope, anticipation, and resolve for promises harkening the new year. It also means film aficionados are gearing up for the grand glitterati finale of Red Carpet Hollywood Hysteria: Awards Season.

Planet Hollywood offers no shortage of award occasions. At last count, 22 film industry awards will be bestowed between now and February, culminating in the real showstopper, the 92nd Academy Awards on February 9, 2020. The big award guns that foretell Oscar contention include the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) along with the influential Directors Guild (DGA) and Producers Guild (PGA).

Golden Globe and BAFTA voting ended December 30. The Directors Guild of America and the Producers Guild of America nominations were due January 6, one day before Oscar voting closes. Oscar nominations are announced the morning of January 13, with the really big show four weeks later.

Reviewing films spotlighted by At Z Movies and ReelZ throughout 2019 reveals a cornucopia of notably Oscar-caliber performances, direction, and filmmaking arts.

Twenty-first-century master of horror Jordan Peele terrified even the most unflappable filmgoer with his follow-up social commentary/psychological thriller masterpiece US. Lupita Nyong’o’s riveting depiction of the dichotomy of self has garnered her Best Actress attention.

The murder mystery, who-didn’t-do-it dramedy Knives Out earned a Golden Globe Best Picture nomination. James Bond 007, aka Brit Daniel Craig, broke out of his super spy typecast with wry wit and a droll, withering drawl that comes just short of making a die-hard southerner’s skin crawl. This delightful performance caught the eye of the critics and peer nominators alike.

Multiple award-winning actress Cynthia Erivo (snubbed for Widows in 2018), enters award season with two Golden Globe nominations for Harriet. Erivo gave a groundbreaking performance as the storied abolitionist and legendary heroine Harriet Tubman. This performance is Oscar destined, if not a Best Actress winner, then surely a nominee. She also received a Golden Globe nomination for co-writing the original song “Stand Up” with Joshua Brian Campbell.

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To date, Erivo is also in contention for the Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and the Critics’ Choice Award. Should Cynthia Erivo win the Oscar, she will be one of only 15 actors, producers, directors, and composers to achieve the ultimate EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) status.

British actor Taron Egerton (star of the Elton John biopic Rocketman) is, not surprisingly, up for a BAFTA Rising Star Award and a Golden Globe, as well as a SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role. But Taron’s terrific portrayal of the epic angst of the legendary music man faces tough competition from the driven Adam Driver in Marriage Story and a pathological Joaquin Phoenix in the controversial Batman franchise prequel Joker, along with fellow Oscar-winning contenders Leonardo DiCaprio for Quentin Tarrantino’s Once Upon a Time In Hollywood and Christian Bale in Ford v Ferrari.

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Chances are that Brad Pitt may at last get an Oscar for his supporting performance in the extraordinary reimagining of the savage 1969 murder of the actress Sharon Tate by the Manson Family killers. Pitt is already nominated for a SAG and a Golden Globe for this role. Pitt got an Oscar in 2013 as a producer of 12 Years a Slave.

Always amazing Australian two-time Oscar-winning heavyweight Cate Blanchett, who’s racked up 338 nominations and 159 wins, scored a surprise Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Musical/Comedy for Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Blockbuster John Wick 3: Parabellum will likely earn technical nominations, if not collect a few awards for the interminable internecine pas-de-deux-packed action. No doubt there will be odds-on favorites and personal fan favorites for which to root.

Who doesn’t want to see Tom Hanks win another Oscar? A third Oscar would tie him with Daniel Day Lewis for most Academy Awards for a lead actor. Hanks will receive the Cecile B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association at the 77th Annual Golden Globes. It promises to be a beautiful night in the neighborhood.

Photo: Austin Hargrave

Dust off the popcorn maker and your favorite red carpet gawker accoutrements for the 92nd Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to be held at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood. In the meantime, enjoy the preambles to Oscar night with previews of coming attractions, and distractions, throughout the days and weeks of Award Season to come. Hooray for Hollywood! It’s show time!!!

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Kelly MacConomy

Kelly MacConomy is the Arts Editor for The Zebra Press.

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