Oscars 2023 Aftermath: A safe and focused show gets the awards show back on track
And just like that, the 95th Academy Awards faded out to black.
Last night's Oscars felt safe, a bit old-fashioned and way more focused than in recent years...which is exactly what the awards show needed and wanted. After last year's "slap heard 'round the world," the Oscars were making headlines for all the wrong reasons, and no one was talking about the movies themselves. That slap at least made the Oscars relevant in 2022, after several years of heavy criticism, backlash and declining ratings. But that's not exactly the buzz that is worthy of the Oscars rich history. At 95, Oscar was in serious need of a face-lift, and not of the variety that Will Smith provided to Chris Rock.
The biggest night in Hollywood is almost here: The 95th Academy Awards air live on Sunday, March 12th on ABC (WXYZ) at 8pm EST. And now you can watch them in style - on the big-screen and with fellow movie-lovers - at this year's annual Oscar Gala at The Maple Theater in Bloomfield Twp.
One of my favorite programs of each and every year is once again in theaters: I urge everyone reading this to seek out the 2023 Oscar Nominated Short Films Program, where you can watch all of this year's nominated Short Films across three categories: Animated, Live-Action and Documentary.
The series begins in theaters on Friday, February 17th and runs until Oscar Sunday, on March 12th. Check your local listings for where it is showing in your area (in Detroit, you can find them at the Detroit Film Theater at the DIA...but get your tickets fast as this program always sells out and is among the most popular programs at the theater each year).
I've now seen them all, and here are my reactions to this year's batch of nominated Short Films.
Tom Santilli's Top 20 Films of 2022
2022 is nearing its end, and for many, it's good-riddance. The movie industry has shown resilience with some massive blockbusters this year, and a return to people seeing movies in theaters.
Well, certain movies. Be careful what you wish for. The industry has morphed into something that none of us expected, a landscape where films like "Top Gun: Maverick" and "Avatar: The Way of Water" can still make BILLIONS of dollars world-wide, but where most rom-coms or other "adult-slanted" films that we're used to, like "Tar" or "The Fabelmans," aren't able to justify their budgets with theatrical income alone.
And while many of the streaming platforms in 2022 are still losing money, we're still seeing some experimental release strategies as the studios try to navigate the changing landscape. Disney's "Turning Red" was a good little film, but one that made almost nothing when it was released simultaneously on Disney+. One of the greatest "see-it-with-a-crowd" films of 2022, Netflix's "Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery," was shamefully only released to theaters for a seven-day run, before landing on Netflix weeks later.
If anything, 2022 was another transitional year, as the movie theaters, the studios and the streaming platforms continue to forge their future business models. Not every superhero film was a financial success (see "Black Adam"), and while "Lightyear" and "Strange World" were box office disasters, "Minions: The Rise of Gru" made nearly a billion dollars.
But 2021 did represent a return to movie theaters, and the future looks bright. With a slew of films from 2020 held over and released into 2021 and beyond, there definitely was no shortage of content in 2021 at the box office or on the ever-increasing streaming platforms at our disposal.
Critics Choice Awards 2022 Nominations have been announced, 'Everything Everywhere All At Once' leads with fourteen in total
The Critics Choice Award Nominations have been announced! The Critics Choice Association - one of the most prestigious critic groups in the world (and one in which both Tom Santilli and Greg Russell are voting members!) have just named their "Best of 2022" nominations in their film categories.
The Michelle Yeoh led "Everything Everywhere All At Once" led the way with 14 total nominations, including Best Picture. Steven Spielberg's "The Fabelmans" was in second with 11 nominations (including one for Spielberg himself). Damien Chazelle's wild "Babylon" film scored 9 noms, as did the critically-acclaimed "The Banshees of Inisherin."
The Critics Choice Awards will air on Sunday, January 15th, 2023, live from the Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, with Chelsea Handler hosting for the first time. Jeff Bridges is set to receive the group's Lifetime Achievement Award.
See the full list of nominations below!
"The Slap Heard Around The World" is all that anyone is talking about (rightly so) or will remember from the 2022 Academy Awards. But it was bad even before that moment, dubbed on Twitter afterwards by Mark Hamill as "#UgliestOscarMoment_Ever."
3 hour and 42 minute run-time, after all the hoopla surrounding the decision to move and minimize eight of the awards to the pre-show? "The Army of the Dead" is the "fan-favorite" movie of 2021? The most cheer-worthy movie moment - IN THE HISTORY OF MOVIES - is..."The Flash enters The Speed Force"? Francis Ford Coppola, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino are brought on-stage to celebrate the 50th anniversary of "The Godfather," despite the fact that Robert De Niro was not in that film?
WTF is going on?
Predicting the 2022 Oscars!
The 94th annual Academy Awards are right around the corner, airing this Sunday, March 27th at 8pm (EST) on ABC. Though ratings have been down across the board for ALL awards shows since the pandemic, this year's Oscars are trying hard to bring in more overall viewership with a few new twists (some a bit controversial) and some special treats for their movie-loving audience.
Musical performances from Billy Eilish & Finneas, Beyoncé, Reba McEntire and Sebastian Yatra have already been announced, as have a list of presenters including Dj Khaled, Jennifer Garner, Bill Murray, Tony Hawk, H.E.R., Shawn Mendes, Samuel L. Jackson, Tyler Perry, Woody Harrelson, Mila Kunis and John Travolta, to name a few. It was also recently announced that Rachel Zegler, the 20-year-old star of the Oscar-nominated "West Side Story," will also be a presenter, after an online campaign went viral when she revealed that she was not invited to attend the Oscars. The Oscars will be hosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes, and it's the first time the Oscars have gone with a host since Jimmy Kimmel hosted in 2017 and 2018.
There are a lot of opinions when it comes to the Oscars, especially in our divided times (I urge you to read a fantastic article where two opposing film lovers - one very pro-Oscars and one very, very against them by clicking here). But with the theme of the show this year being "Movie Lovers Unite" (#MovieLoversUnite), the Oscars are hoping to get people more involved than ever, having added a "fan favorite" vote-in category as well as having average folks vote for their favorite movie scene of all-time.
Predicting what will happen at the Oscars this year, how many people will watch (or not watch) and who will win is all part of the fun. In that spirit, here are my best predictions in all 23 categories for this year's 94th Academy Awards (full disclaimer: Yes I have seen all entries and these opinions are made without any inside knowledge, and represent who I THINK will win, and not necessarily who I would WANT to see win):
The nominations for the 94th Academy Awards are in, having just been announced this morning, and just like every other year we have our fair share of surprises, snubs and well-deserving films/performances.
Read on for more reaction and for a full list of this year's Oscar Nominees!
The Detroit Film Critics Society unveiled their 2021 Nominations across 13 categories this morning. The AppleTV+ film "CODA" led all films with 5 total nominations, with "King Richard" and "Don't Look Up" taking 4 a piece. All three films were nominated for Best Picture.
The Winners in all categories were announced on Monday, Dec 6th. Please visit www.detroitfilmcritics.com for more information and to support this year's batch of Detroit-centric film critics.
Read on for this year's full list of nominations, with WINNERS in bold.
In some ways, it's hard to believe we're half-way through 2021...but following 2020 (the year that felt like an entire decade in and of itself), the faster we get back to some sense of "normal" the better.
Movies are just now starting to pick up into full swing, with Summer blockbusters like "F9" setting post-pandemic records and inching towards pre-pandemic levels. Theaters across the country are open and at full capacity, and we're somehow just a few months away from what is hopefully a "normal" awards season for film.
Before that rush of "award films" in the Fall, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at the best of 2021 so far. I've left off films that came out in early 2021 that were still eligible for last year's pandemic-adjusted awards season (films like "The Father" and "Supernova" were omitted). And you'll note four of my top ten thus far are documentary films (it's already a strong year for the genre).
With that, here are my Top 10 films of 2021 so far...in no particular order...as well as where you can watch them currently.
Looking for a specific movie or review?