Monday, December 16, 2019

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood and Marriage Story loom large among nominees for Houston Film Critics Society awards

Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is the leader of the pack — but Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story is not too far behind as they head toward the homestretch .

That’s the takeaway for anyone handicapping the 13th annual awards of the Houston Film Critic Society. Nominations for the organization’s accolades were announced late Sunday evening, with winners to be revealed during a Jan. 2 extravaganza at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Tarantino’s audaciously entertaining and wish-fulfilling comedy-drama picked up a total of seven nominations — including one in the HFCS’s Best Movie Poster Art Category — while Baumbach’s intimate view of marital discord scored six nods. Both films have been nominated for Best Picture, along with 1917, The Farewell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Knives Out, Parasite, and Uncut Gems.

“We’re a passionate, adventurous group,” says HFCS president Doug Harris. “This list of nominees represents the thousands of screening hours our members have devoted to uncovering the year’s most distinctive films so that we can bring the best of cinema from around the world to the audiences we serve.”

Because of unusually close voting tallies, Harris added, some categories have six, rather than the customary five, nominations. For example, six actresses will compete for Best Actress, including Charlize Theron of Bombshell, Awkwafina of The Farewell, Renée Zellweger of Judy, Scarlett Johansson of Marriage Story, Saoirse Ronan of Little Women, and Lupita Nyong’o of Us

Johansson is also up for Best Supporting Actress for Jojo Rabbit, along with Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell; Laura Dern, Marriage Story; Florence Pugh, Little Women; Margot Robbie, Bombshell; and Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell.

Best Actor nominees include Leonardo DiCaprio for Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, Adam Driver for Marriage Story, Eddie Murphy for Dolemite is My Name, Joaquin Phoenix for Joker, and Adam Sandler for Uncut Gems.

Earlier this month, the HFCS announced its nominees for the Texas Independent Film Awards which honor films made in Texas: Bull, Building the American Dream, Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Pub, Seadrift and Sleeping in Plastic.

Winners in 18 categories will be presented at the Jan. 2 event. But wait, there’s more: Legendary producer, director and talent nurturer Roger Corman will be on hand to receive a lifetime achievement award. (The following evening, Jan 3, Corman will return to MFAH for a screening of his 1964 classic The Masque of the Death, and a post-screening Q&A conducted by... by... well, actually, by me.) And Ellyn Needham, wife of the late movie stunts pioneer Hal Needham, will present the HFCS’s inaugural award for Best Stunt Coordination Team.

Tickets for the 13th annual HFCS Awards can be purchased on the MFAH website. Ticketholders will be invited to attend, at no additional charge, an after party across the street from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston at the Ultimate Ransom Room at the Hotel ZaZa Houston Museum District. 

The Houston Film Critics Society’s 13th Annual Movie Awards are underwritten in part by Leonard Courtright and the Keystone Family of Companies, with additional support provided by Balcones Distilling. 

2019 Houston Film Critics Society Nominations

Best Picture
1917; The Farewell; The Irishman; Jojo Rabbit; Joker; Knives Out; Marriage Story; Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Parasite; Uncut Gems

Best Director
Bong Joon Ho, Parasite; Sam Mendes, 1917; Martin Scorsese, The Irishman; Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Lulu Wang, The Farewell

Best Actor
Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Adam Driver, Marriage Story; Eddie Murphy, Dolemite is My Name; Joaquin Phoenix, Joker; Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

Best Actress
Awkwafina, The Farewell; Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story; Lupita Nyong’o, Us; Saoirse Ronan, Little Women; Charlize Theron, Bombshell; Renée Zellweger, Judy

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse; Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes; Al Pacino, The Irishman; Joe Pesci, The Irishman; Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood

Best Supporting Actress
Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell; Laura Dern, Marriage Story; Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit; Florence Pugh, Little Women; Margot Robbie, Bombshell; Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

Best Screenplay
Knives Out; Marriage Story; Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Parasite; The Farewell

Best Cinematography
1917; The Irishman; The Joker; Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Parasite

Best Animated Feature
Frozen II; How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World; I Lost My Body; Missing Link; Toy Story 4

Best Original Score
1917; Joker; Little Women; Marriage Story; Us

Best Original Song
Glasgow, Wild Rose; Home to You, The Aeronauts; I Punched Keanu Reeves, Always Be My Maybe; (I’m Gonna) Love Me Again, Rocketman; Into the Unknown, Frozen II; Stand Up, Harriet

Best Foreign Language Film
Atlantics; Corpus Christi; Les Miserables; Monos; Pain and Glory; Parasite

Best Documentary Feature
American Factory; Apollo 11; Biggest Little Farm; For Sama; Hail Satan; They Shall Not Grow Old

Texas Independent Film Award
Bull; Building the American Dream; Nothing Stays the Same: The Story of the Saxon Bar; Seadrift; Sleeping in Plastic

Visual Effects
1917; Ad Astra; Avengers: Endgame

Best Stunt Coordination Team
Crawl; Ford v Ferrari; Furie; John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum; Shadow

Best Movie Poster Art
Birds of Passage; John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum; Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood; Parasite; Portrait of a Lady on Fire; The Last Black Man in San Francisco.

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