Sunday, April 24, 2016

2016 Saturn Awards for Movies, part 3: People behind the camera

Yesterday, I told my readers to "Stay tuned for Entertainment Sunday, which should be last installment about this year's Saturn Awards nominees."  Here are the final batch of nominees, beginning with the nominees for best director as listed on the Saturn Awards website and presented in the order given at the Wikipedia page.

    Best Director

    J. J. Abrams – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Guillermo del Toro – Crimson Peak
    Alex Garland – Ex Machina
    George Miller – Mad Max: Fury Road
    Peyton Reed – Ant-Man
    Ridley Scott – The Martian
    Colin Trevorrow – Jurassic World

Out of this distinguished group, I'd vote for George Miller.  He was able to tell a great story with lots of visuals and very little dialog.  My second choice would be Ridley Scott and the third would be Alex Garland.  As for who will win, I expect this electorate might give the award to J. J. Abrams, who is my fourth choice.

Follow over the jump for the rest.

    Best Writing

    Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins – Crimson Peak
    Alex Garland – Ex Machina
    Drew Goddard – The Martian
    Jane Goldman and Matthew Vaughn – Kingsman: The Secret Service
    Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly, and Colin Trevorrow – Jurassic World
    Lawrence Kasdan, J. J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris – Mad Max: Fury Road

The best original screenplay of the bunch was for "Ex Machina," while the best adapted screenplay was for "The Martian."  I've already written that I'd vote for "The Martian" for Best Science Fiction Film, but this time I'll give the nod to "Ex Machina."  It handled its philosophical theme extremely intelligently.  As for who I expect will win, again this electorate will likely pick "The Force Awakens."  It was very well written--for a "Star Wars" movie.  It helps that it had the best writer of the series in Lawrence Kasdan and that J. J. Abrams is as good a writer as he is a director, which is more than I can say about George Lucas.

    Best Music

    Jóhann Jóhannsson – Sicario
    Junkie XL – Mad Max: Fury Road
    M.M. Keeravani – Baahubali: The Beginning
    Ennio Morricone – The Hateful Eight
    Fernando Velázquez – Crimson Peak
    John Williams – Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Yes, I know Morricone won the Oscar for Best Score, as I predicted.  I'm not voting for him.  I was rooting for John Williams in February, and I'll be voting for Williams now.  So, I expect, will the rest of the electorate, except for the people from India.  "Baahubali" is making a big push for these awards and I suspect enough people from India and Bollywood fans in general might pay the $40 to vote for the film.  That's my pick for an upset in this category.

    Best Editing

    Ant-Man – Dan Lebental and Colby Parker, Jr.
    Furious 7 – Christian Wagner, Dylan Highsmith, Kirk Morri, and Leigh Folsom Boyd
    Kingsman: The Secret Service – Eddie Hamilton and Jon Harris
    Jurassic World – Kevin Stitt
    Mad Max: Fury Road – Margaret Sixel
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey

For the same reason I'm voting for George Miller, I'm voting for Margaret Sixel.  Both of them were able to tell an amazing story mostly through visuals.  Besides, Sixel already won the Oscar for this film; sometimes, the Motion Picture Academy gets genre films right.

    Best Production Design

    Baahubali: The Beginning – Sabu Cyril
    Crimson Peak – Thomas E. Sanders
    Jurassic World – Ed Verreaux
    Mad Max: Fury Road – Colin Gibson
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Rick Carter and Darren Gilford
    Tomorrowland – Scott Chambliss

Again, I'm going with the Academy Awards voters and voting for Colin Gibson.  The upsets might come from fans of "The Force Awakens" and "Baahubali."

    Best Costume Design

    Avengers: Age of Ultron – Alexandra Byrne
    Baahubali: The Beginning – Rama Rajamouli and Prashanti Tipirineni
    Cinderella – Sandy Powell
    Crimson Peak – Kate Hawley
    Kingsman: The Secret Service – Arianne Phillips
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Michael Kaplan

"Mad Max: Fury Road" won the Oscar in this category, but was not even nominated here.  The only other Oscar nominee on the list is "Cinderella."  I'm tempted to go with "Crimson Peak" or "Baahubali" instead.  Decisions, decisions.

    Best Make-up

    Black Mass – Joel Harlow, Kenny Niederbaumer
    Crimson Peak – David Martí, Montse Ribé, Xavi Bastida
    The Hateful Eight – Gregory Nicotero, Howard Berger, Jake Garber, Heba Thorisdottir
    Mad Max: Fury Road – Lesley Vanderwalt, Damian Martin, Elka Wardega
    Sicario – Donald Mowat
    Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Neal Scanlan

I'm following the lead of the Academy Awards voters and casting my ballot for "Mad Max: Fury Road."  Turning Johnny Depp into Whitey Bulger was an accomplishment, but not as much as all the work in post-apocalyptic Australia.

          Best Special Effects   
Avengers: Age of Ultron – Paul Corbould, Chris Townsend, Ben Snow, and Paul Butterworth
Ex Machina
– Andrew Whitehurst, Paul Norris, Mark Williams Ardington and Sara Bennett
Jurassic World – John Rosengrant, Michael Lantieri and Tim Alexander
Mad Max: Fury Road – Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams
The Martian – Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner
Star Wars: The Force Awakens – Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould
This is a tough category.  "Ex Machina" won the Oscar against most of these films.  "Mad Max: Fury Road" has better practical effects.  "The Martian" had special effects that made the world completely believable.  Finally, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" was my favorite going into the Academy Awards and is likely to be the sentimental favorite for the Saturn Awards.  For different reasons than I wrote above for Costume Design, decisions, decisions.

That completes this series about the nominees--for now.  I'll get back to my readers when I actually cast my ballot.

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