The Oscar nominations are out, and in spite of the fact that Hallelujah, Nope, RRR and Decision to Leave, Dolly De Leon, Viola Davis, Paul Dano, and Danielle Deadwyler were inexplicably excluded, at least Brian Tyree Henry and Judd Hirsch were honored. Anyway, it’s time for our Umpteenth Annual Laemmle Oscar Contest! If you, dear moviegoer, can accurately predict how the members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will vote in all 23 categories, (or close to it), you will win movie passes good at all Laemmle venues! The 95th Academy Awards take place on Sunday, March 12 and we’ll announce the winners soon afterwards. Good luck!
And the Top Ten Customer-Chosen films of 2022, in order from 1 to 10, are [drum roll]:
- Everything Everywhere All at Once
- The Banshees of Inisherin
- The Fabelmans
- Top Gun: Maverick
- Triangle of Sadness
- Decision to Leave
It’s a terrific list, arguably better than the one AMPAS announced this week, which excluded RRR, Nope, Aftersun and Decision to Leave. Films 2-4 and 9, hyperlinked for your convenience, are still in theaters!
Keep those Top Ten contest entries coming. You have until this Sunday, January 22 to give it some thought and enter here. So far, unsurprisingly, it looks like many Laemmle moviegoers are kvelling about Everything Everywhere All at Once, Top Gun: Maverick, and RRR. We’ll have final results next week. You can read Greg Laemmle’s list and leading American film critics’ lists if you need inspiration. Personally, my favorite is Jordan Peele’s spectacular Nope. No doubt my reaction was influenced by the fact that I saw it in a packed, sold-out theater on opening night, because movies are better in theaters!
Have you caught up on the 2022 movies you wanted to see? Regardless, it’s time to submit your Top Ten lists. Tell us which films you liked best here and you’ll be entered into a raffle for free Laemmle gift cards! If you need inspiration, here’s Greg Laemmle on the state of arthouse moviegoing and his favorite features of the last year, with some thoughts about each:
“At some level, the best that can be said is that at least we were open for all twelve months of the year. And after 2020 and 2021, that was a positive. But given that the year both started and ended with Omicron surges, the movie exhibition sector is still not in a post-Covid environment.
We all like a good Top Ten list. They’re fun to make, entertaining to read, and amusing to argue over. In 2003 I included Love, Actually on my Top Ten list and an erudite film critic friend practically did a spit take he was so shocked I would put such an admittedly middlebrow entertainment among my other choices, which were more esoteric and in line with his tastes. But, hey! Enjoy the art you enjoy and don’t be ashamed of it.
This is a roundabout way of saying we’ll be collecting your Top Ten lists the first week of 2023. We’ll include the entry form in that week’s newsletter and, assuming he catches up on the buzzy films he hasn’t seen yet, Greg Laemmle’s Top Ten list. By submitting your list you’ll be entered into a raffle for free Laemmle gift cards!
For inspiration, here are some Top Ten lists the nation’s leading film critics have submitted and — good news! — many of the titles — No Bears, One Fine Morning, EO, and Return to Seoul — are either now playing or coming soon so you can see them as they were meant to be seen, theatrically. They are hyperlinked below.
- The Fabelmans
- The Batman
- Holy Spider
- Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody
- Turn Every Page: The Adventures of Robert Caro and Robert Gottlieb
- 13: The Musical
- Saint Omer
- Good Luck to You, Leo Grande
- The Batman
- After Yang
- The Whale
- You Won’t Be Alone
Welp, that’s a wrap for the 2022 Oscars and our contest. Laemmle moviegoers were able to foresee the Academy’s choices very accurately with two exceptions: they went for the more conventional Best Picture nominee with CODA over The Power of the Dog and the artier choice with Best Animated Short nominee Windshield Wiper over the family-friendly Robin Robin. The Power of the Dog was in a tight race for Best Adapted Screenplay with eventual winner CODA. Best Original Screenplay split somewhat evenly between Paul Thomas Anderson for Licorice Pizza and eventual winner Kenneth Branagh for Belfast.
See the full results in cool pie charts at laemmle.com/oscars. We’ll announce our winners on this page on Thursday, March 31.
The sad, shocking incident during the ceremony overshadowed everything but one thing worth taking a second look at is Kevin Costner‘s presentation of the Best Director Oscar. It was probably the best presentation of the evening. He has won the award himself, of course, 30 years ago for Dances with Wolves. He spoke movingly and deliberately about the experience of seeing movies in theaters and how seeing How the West was Won at the Cinerama Dome inspired him to become an actor and filmmaker. The in-person audience giggles at first, but by the end you could hear a pin drop. Here’s a transcription and video:
You know, about a half-mile from here, I saw my first full-length adult movie. I know what you’re thinking, but I was seven years old and I was away from my parents and wanted to have some fun. It was a cowboy movie called How the West Was Won. And what I witnessed that afternoon in the Cinerama Dome was perfect. The curtain, when we still had them, opened to a film almost four hours long. It had an intermission where the score continued, subtly signaling at one point that the second half was about to start. I don’t know where everyone went, but I wasn’t going to move an inch. I decided that I would not give up my magic seat. I was determined that I would not miss a minute. And as I sat in that dark that afternoon 60 years ago, all I really knew was that I was in careful hands. Little did I know that three directors would be responsible for that epic moment in my life. They fired my imagination, and they captured my heart. That’s what can happen when you direct a movie. You can change a mind. You can change the trajectory of a life, of a career. You can capture a heart. But you can’t do it alone. And directors, tonight’s directors all know the possibilities. They know what’s at stake. It’s why they give their precious time. It’s why they choose to fight through the long days, and the longer nights, and the endless questions, and the inevitable second guessing that comes from those who would do it differently if given half a chance. These five directors have all managed to stay the course. They have all held the line and masterfully given us the gift of a single vision, and for that we honor them.
3) Drive My Car
The Oscar nominations are out, and in spite of the fact that Bradley Cooper was robbed of one and possibly even two nominations, it’s time for our Umpteenth Annual Laemmle Oscar Contest! Correctly guess how the Academy will vote and win movie passes good at all Laemmle venues and Laemmle Virtual Cinema.