Thursday, February 28, 2019

Hail and farewell to André Previn

As the New York Times duly notes, André Previn "wrote or arranged the music for several dozen movies and was the only person in the history of the Academy Awards to receive three nominations in one year (1961, for the scores for Elmer Gantry and Bells Are Ringing and the song “Faraway Part of Town” from the comedy Pepe)." The multitalented composer-conductor and bon vivant -- who died Thursday at age 89 -- also collected Oscars for scoring Gigi (1959), Porgy and Bess (1960), Irma La Douce (1964) and My Fair Lady (1965). He did not write famous songs like ‘Summertime’ and ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’ — he arranged and orchestrated them, creating the versions heard on the soundtracks."

Lest we forget: He also composed the score (or at least that part of it that wasn't composed by Tchaikovsky) for Ken Russell's deliriously unhinged The Music Lovers, a film that played off and on for nearly two years at the Gentilly-Orleans, my favorite New Orleans art house during my college years. And, yeah, there was that Mia Farrow connection.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Answering for a friend: Who will win the Oscars?

OK, stop me if you’ve heard this one: You decided weeks ago to forego any serious Academy Award prognostications — indeed, you’re not entirely sure you’re going to actually watch the Oscarcast — when you get an anxious email on the day before Oscar night from a dear friend who’s entering an Oscar betting pool, and really needs your help with handicapping. So you sit down, look over the list of nominees, pick your favorites — except, of course, in those categories where you don’t really have a favorite — and then forget about what you’d pick because your friend wants to know what Academy voters will pick, dammit. 

And here’s the result.

Best Picture:

SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman
WILL WIN: Green Book

Lead Actor:

SHOULD WIN: Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
WILL WIN: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Lead Actress:

SHOULD WIN: Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born
WILL WIN: Glenn Close, The Wife

Supporting Actor:

SHOULD WIN: Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born
WILL WIN: Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Supporting Actress:
SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk


SHOULD WIN: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
WILL WIN: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma

Animated Feature:

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman

Animated Short:

WILL WIN: Bao, Domee Shi

Adapted Screenplay:

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: BlacKkKlansman, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee

Original Screenplay:

SHOULD WIN: First Reformed, Paul Schrader
WILL WIN: Green Book, Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly


SHOULD WIN: Cold War, Lukasz Zal
WILLWIN: The Favourite, Robbie Ryan

Best Documentary Feature:

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: RBG, Betsy West, Julie Cohen

Best Documentary Short Subject:

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: A Night at the Garden, Marshall Curry

Best Live Action Short Film: 

WILL WIN: Marguerite, Marianne Farley

Best Foreign Language Film:


Film Editing:

SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman, Barry Alexander Brown
WILL WIN: The Favourite, Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Sound Editing:

SHOULD WIN: First Man, Ai-Ling Lee, Mildred Iatrou Morgan
WILL WIN: Bohemian Rhapsody, John Warhurst

Sound Mixing:

WILL WIN: Bohemian Rhapsody

Production Design:

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Black Panther, Hannah Beachler

Original Score:

SHOULD WIN: BlacKkKlansman, Terence Blanchard
WILL WIN: Mary Poppins Returns, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman

Original Song:

SHOULD WIN: “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch
WILL WIN: “Shallow” from A Star Is Born by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando, Andrew Wyatt and Benjamin Rice

Makeup and Hair:


Costume Design:

SHOULD AND WILL WIN: Black Panther, Ruth E. Carter

Visual Effects:

WILL WIN: Solo: A Star Wars Story