On top of scoring the year’s biggest per-screen average last weekend ($101K per screen on four screens for a total of $404,874), Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name added fuel to the fire tonight by taking two Gotham Awards, Best Feature and a Breakthrough Actor trophy for Timothee Chalamet. Jordan Peele‘s Get Out wasn’t ignored — he took the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award plus a Best Screenplay award. And HE’s own James Franco took the Best Actor Gotham Award for his indelible Disaster Artist performance, and Lady Bird‘s Saoirse Ronan landed a Best Actress trophy.
A Washington Post story posted at 2:55 pm Pacific: “A woman who falsely claimed to The Washington Post that Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, impregnated her as a teenager appears to work with an organization that uses deceptive tactics to secretly record conversations in an effort to embarrass its targets.
“In a series of interviews over two weeks, the woman shared a dramatic story about an alleged sexual relationship with Moore in 1992 that led to an abortion when she was 15. During the interviews, she repeatedly pressed Post reporters to give their opinions on the effects that her claims could have on Moore’s candidacy if she went public.
“The Post did not publish an article based on her unsubstantiated account. When Post reporters confronted her with inconsistencies in her story and an internet posting that raised doubts about her motivations, she insisted that she was not working with any organization that targets journalists.”
“On Monday morning, Post reporters saw [this woman] walking into the New York offices of Project Veritas, an organization that targets the mainstream news media and left-leaning groups. The organization sets up undercover ‘stings’ that involve using false cover stories and covert video recordings meant to expose what the group says is media bias.”
After last Saturday’s “2018 Hotties” post, I added several titles and then tried to reorganize the whole thing. Right now I’ve got 20 strong-sounding features, a good percentage of which could end up as awards-bait fall releases (The Irishman, Roma, Back Seat, First Man, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Wife). Plus 7 upmarket genre films plus 13 likely standouts from (in no particular order) Benh Zeitlin, Yorgos Lanthimos, Laszlo Nemes, Clint Eastwood, Garth Davis, Richard Linklater, David McKenzie, Joel Edgerton, Robert Zemeckis, Wes Anderson‘, John Curran, Jennifer Kent, Paolo Sorrentino and Paul Verhoeven.
That makes for a total of 40 noteworthy 2018 films to look forward to, of which maybe 20 or 25 will deliver the real goods…who knows? But the year is already looking pretty nifty. And none of these fall under the category of mind-melting, idiot-brand, superhero franchise CG Asian-market slop. And yet I am looking forward to Ryan Coogler‘s Black Panther as well as Peyton Reed‘s Ant Man and the Wasp.
Topliners: 1. Martin Scorsese‘s The Irishman (Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Bobby Cannavale, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano); 2. Adam McKay‘s Backseat (Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carell, Sam Rockwell); 3. Damien Chazelle‘s First Man, a space drama about NASA’s Duke of Dullness, Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Corey Stoll, Kyle Chandler, Jason Clarke); 4. Saoirse Ronan in Mary, Queen of Scots (w/ Margot Robbie, David Tennant, Jack Lowden, Guy Pearce); 5. Clint Eastwood‘s The 15:17 to Paris (Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Bryce Gheisar, Alek Skarlatos, Thomas Lennon, Jaleel White, Tony Hale, P.J. Byrne).
6. Steve McQueen‘s Widows (Viola Davis, Cynthia Erivo, Andre Holland, Elizabeth Debicki, Michelle Rodriguez, Daniel Kaluuya, Liam Neeson, Colin Farrell); 7. Terrence Malick‘s Radegund (August Diehl, Valerie Pachner, Michael Nyqvist, Matthias Schoenaerts, Jürgen Prochnow, Bruno Ganz; 8. Alfonso Cuaron‘s Roma (Marina de Tavira, Marco Graf, Yalitza Aparicio, Daniela Demesa, Enoc Leaño, Daniel Valtierra); 9. Jacques Audiard‘s The Sisters Brothers (Jake Gyllenhaal, Joaquin Phoenix, Rutger Hauer, Riz Ahmed, John C. Reilly); 10. Barry Jenkins‘ If Beale Street Could Talk (Kiki Layne, Stephan James, Teyonah Parris, Regina King, Colman Domingo, Brian Tyree Henry, Diego Luna, Dave Franco).
11. Bryan Singer‘s Bohemian Rhapsody (15-year period from the formation of Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury up to their performance at Live Aid in 1985) w/ Rami Malek, Ben Hardy, Gwilym Lee, Joseph Mazzello, Allen Leech, Lucy Boynton. 20th Century Fox, 12.25.18; 12. Bjorn Runge‘s The Wife (Glenn Close‘s Best Actress campaign + Jonathan Pryce, Christian Slater, Annie Starke. Max Irons); 13. Felicity Jones as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in On The Basis of Sex; 14. Gus Van Sant‘s Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot (costarring Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill, Jack Black, Mark Webber); 15. Felix von Groeningen‘s Beautiful Boy with Steve Carell and Timothy Chalamet.
It was announced two days ago that Rance Howard, father of director Ron Howard and actor Clint Howard, had passed at age 89. Rance reportedly played a sheriff in Cool Hand Luke, which I happened to re-watch last week on a Miami-to-LAX flight. Due respect but I honestly don’t recall anything he said or did in that Stuart Rosenberg flick, and I can’t find a decent frame-grab either.
There’s one Rance role I’ll never forget, though, and that’s the shepherd (i.e., “irate farmer”) who ushers several sheep into a City Council meeting in Roman Polanski‘s Chinatown (’74) — “Tell me where to take ’em! You don’t have an answer for that so quick, do ya?” (Rance arrives sometime after the 2:00 mark.)