Monday, May 14, 2018

'The Shape of Water' vs. 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Saturn Awards

As I mentioned in Climate for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I need to concentrate on the Saturn Awards between now and the deadline for voting, May 28.  To that end, I am looking at the third-most nominated movie at this year's ceremony, "The Shape of Water."  The Best Picture at the Oscars earned nine nominations: Best Fantasy Film Release, Best Actress in a Film for Sally Hawkins, Best Supporting Actress in a Film for Octavia Spencer, Best Film Director for Guillermo del Toro, Best Film Screenplay for Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor, Best Film Production Design, Best Film Editing, Best Film Music, and Best Film Make-Up.  I'll list and comment on all the categories in which it is nominated, along with Best Film Costume Designer and Best Film Special/Visual Effects, categories in which its likely competitors for Best Fantasy Film Release, "Beauty and the Beast" and "Kong: Skull Island" have nominations.

Here are the categories in which "The Shape of Water" and "Beauty and the Beast" earned nominations from File 770.
Best Fantasy Film Release:

"Beauty and the Beast" (Walt Disney Studios)
"Downsizing" (Paramount)
"Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle" (Sony Pictures)
"Kong: Skull Island" (Warner Bros.)
"Paddington 2" (Warner Bros.)
"The Shape of Water" (Fox Searchlight)
"The Shape of Water" earned 14 Oscar nominations, winning four of them, Best Picture, Best Director, Original Score, and Production Design.  It also won awards at the Golden Globes, Critics' Choice Movie Awards, and BAFTA Awards, so it's the entertainment establishment's choice.  It's also mine, as I explicitly take the establishment position unless persuaded otherwise by the performance.

If the entertainment professionals were voting, its main competition would be "Beauty and the Beast" with four nominations at the Saturn Awards — Best Fantasy Film Release, Best Actress in a Film for Emma Watson, and Best Film Production Design, where it is competing against "The Shape of Water," and Best Film Costume Designer.  It would also be stiff competition with a younger electorate, such as that for the Teen Choice Awards, where it won three awards including Choice Fantasy Movie or the MTV Awards, where it won two including Movie of the Year.  I don't think a lot of either are voting, especially since the teens and tweens won't be paying the $25 or $40 to become members.*

The third film that might be the entertainment industry's choice is "Kong: Skull Island," which has two nominations at the Saturn Awards, Best Fantasy Film Release and Best Special Effects, the latter being a category in which it was nominated for an Oscar.  I'm not too worried about it.  Instead, I think another fantasy in a jungle with exotic animals could be the spoiler, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle."  Remember, as I wrote first in Speculative fiction nominees at the 2018 SAG Awards, "the Saturn Awards are about entertainment not art, they don't care for subtle, and they love to stick it to the experts."  "Jumanji" fits the bill; it's very entertaining, it's not subtle, and voting for it would stick it to the experts, as it is the second highest grossing film to not earn an Oscar.  In fact, it's only nominations and victories for the movie itself outside of the Saturn Awards are at the Kids' Choice Awards and MTV Awards.  On the one hand, that would stick it to the experts.  On the other, maybe I shouldn't worry for one of the reasons that I'm not too worried about "Beauty and the Beast" — too young a fan base.

Before I move on to the rest of the nominations, I want to point out a snub, the absence of "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales."  It was the third highest grossing fantasy movie of 2017 and earned five nominations at the Teen Choice Awards, but got no love at the Saturn Awards.  However, it was also a multi-Razzie nominee with Johnny Depp earning two nominations for Worst Actor and Worst Screen Combo along with "His Worn-Out Drunk Routine" and Javier Bardem earning one for Worst Supporting Actor combined with his performance in "mother!"  That might have meant something this year.  The Saturn Awards ignored all the Razzie nominees other than "mother!" — those nominations might have been undeserved — even though there were quite a few movies that were eligible for awards and Razzie nominations didn't deter the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films from nominating either "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" or "Independence Day: Resurgence" last year.  Either the Saturn Awards movie committees agreed with the Razzie voters or there were enough quality fantasy films that they could safely ignore the fifth (and I hope final) installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and nominate "Downsizing" and "Paddington 2" instead.  In any event, it's a quality field.

Enough of my ranting.  Follow over the jump for my thoughts about the rest of the nominations for "The Shape of Water," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Kong: Skull Island."

Here are the rest of the categories for which the fantasy film nominees are nominated, along with my comments, recycled originally from 'The Last Jedi' and 'Star Wars Rebels' at the Saturn Awards for Star Wars Day.  I'll only add a comment if I haven't already made one about one of the fantasy film nominees.
Best Actress in a Film:

Gal Gadot “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.)
Sally Hawkins “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Frances McDormand “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” (Fox Searchlight)
Lupita Nyong’o “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Rosamund Pike “Hostiles” (Entertainment Studios)
Daisy Ridley “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
Emma Watson “Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney Studios)
Finally, the Oscar winner, Frances McDormand, is among the nominees, along with another nominee, Sally Hawkins, along with a past winner, Lupita Nyong’o, and a former nominee, Rosamund Pike.  I will probably vote for either McDormand or Hawkins.  I don't expect the plurality of the Saturn electorate will.  Instead, I think they will vote for Gal Gadot, who I correctly predicted would be nominated in this category....
Best Supporting Actress in a Film:

Ana De Armas “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.)
Carrie Fisher “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
Danai Gurira “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Lois Smith “Marjorie Prime” (FilmRise)
Octavia Spencer “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Tessa Thompson “Thor: Ragnarok” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Kelly Marie Tran “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
I thought Carrie Fisher, Octavia Spencer, and Kelly Marie Tran would be nominated and they were.  I also though Hong Chau from "Downsizing" would be as well, but she wasn't.  Darn.  Still, I'm pleased to see Dani Gurira and Tessa Thompson nominated.  As for Lois Smith, I was tempted to say "who?" until I found out she won the Satellite Award in this category, beating the Oscar winner Allison Janney and Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalf, who won this category at the Gold Derby Awards and National Board of Review.  I'm not going to dispute her being here instead of Janney.

As for my opinion of the nominees, I'm voting for Spencer, but I expect Fisher will win.
Best Film Director:

Ryan Coogler “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Guillermo del Toro “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Patty Jenkins “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.)
Rian Johnson “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
Jordan Peele “Get Out” (Universal)
Matt Reeves “War for the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox)
Denis Villeneuve “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.)
Guillermo del Toro won the Oscar in this category while Jordan Peele was nominated, so I would think they're the favorites, even with the fans voting.  Just the same, this is a talented field and any one of them can win with the right fanbase mobilization.  I'm voting for Del Toro, but my pick for spoiler would be Patty Jenkins or Ryan Coogler.
Best Film Screenplay:

Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Hampton Fancher, Michael Green “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.)
Jordan Peele “Get Out” (Universal)
Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green “Logan” (20th Century Fox)
Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Rian Johnson “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
Allan Heinberg “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.)
The Oscar winner is Jordan Peele for "Get Out" and the nominees are Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green for “Logan” and Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor for “The Shape of Water.”  I'll wait until I see "Logan" and "The Shape of Water" to determine if I think either are better than "Get Out," which I'd vote for now.  As for who wins, I hope it's one of the Oscar nominees, but with this electorate, one can never tell.
Best Film Production Design:

Sarah Greenwood “Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney Studios)
Hannah Beachler “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Dennis Gassner “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.)
Paul Denham Austerberry “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Rick Heinrichs “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
Hugues Tissandier “Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets” (STX Films /EuroCorp)
Three of these movies, “Beauty and the Beast,” “Blade Runner 2049,” and “The Shape of Water,” were nominated for the Oscar in this category with “The Shape of Water” winning.  In addition, “Beauty and the Beast,” “Blade Runner 2049,” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” earned nominations at the the Art Directors Guild Awards with “The Shape of Water” and “Blade Runner 2049” winning their categories.  About the only surprise is “Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets” being nominated instead of "Wonder Woman," "Logan," "Downsizing," or "Murder on the Orient Express," but it's not an undeserved nomination, just surprising.  I will need to watch all the nominees except "Black Panther" before I decide (I don't expect it will be available for home viewing before voting closes), but I expect I'll vote for "The Shape of Water."  As for it winning, I'm not too sure; "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" or "Black Panther" could pull off an upset.
Best Film Editing:

Michael P. Shawver, Claudia Castello “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Paul Rubell, Christian Wagner “The Fate of the Furious” (Universal)
Gregory Plotkin “Get Out” (Universal)
Michael McCusker, Dirk Westervelt “Logan” (20th Century Fox)
Sidney Wolinsky “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Bob Ducsay “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
All of the five films nominated for Film Editing at the Academy Awards were nominated at the Saturn Awards in their genre categories, but only one, “The Shape of Water,” was nominated in this category.  Both "Baby Driver" and "Dunkirk" were nominated in the Action category and were snubbed in favor of "The Fate of the Furious."  Really?  "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" was nominated in the Thriller category and "I, Tonya" was nominated in the Independent Film category.  I wouldn't have minded picking among them myself with the Satellite Award winner, "War for the Planet of the Apes," or Gold Derby nominee, "Get Out," as the sixth choice.  If I had, I'd have voted for "Baby Driver" or "I, Tonya."  That's not happening.  As it is, I'm voting for either "The Shape of Water" or "Get Out."  I don't know who might win other than those two.
Best Film Music:

Ludwig Goransson “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Michael Giacchino “Coco” (Walt Disney Studios)
John Debney, Joseph Trapanese “The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)
Alexandre Desplat “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
John Williams “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
Carter Burwell “Wonderstruck” (Amazon / Roadside Attractions)
Four of the Oscar nominees for Original Score and two of the Oscar nominees for Original Song were eligible, as the films their music accompanied were nominated for at least one Saturn Award.  Only four of the six earned a nomination in this category, "Coco," "The Greatest Showman," "The Shape of Water," and "The Last Jedi."  "Dunkirk" and "Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri" did not earn nominations.  However, I wouldn't say they were snubbed; I was not impressed with their soundtracks.  On the other hand, "Black Panther" is probably a good choice.  As for my vote, it's split among "Coco," "The Greatest Showman," and "The Shape of Water."  I doubt any of them will win, even (or especially) since "The Shape of Water" won the Oscar.  Instead, I expect "The Last Jedi" to be the favorite.
I made another comment about "The Shape of Water" in Drink to 'Coco' at the Saturn Awards for Cinco De Mayo.
The one bit of hope is that last year's Oscar winner for both Best Original Score and Best Original Song, "La La Land," won Best Music last year, so both "Coco" and "The Shape of Water," another film I could celebrate today, still have a fair chance, although it doesn't happen often that the Oscar winner becomes the Saturn Award winner, even when nominated.
As I have for all the rest of the nominees for Best Film Music, I'll embed a video at the end of the entry.
Best Film Costume Designer:

Jacqueline Durran “Beauty and the Beast” (Walt Disney Studios)
Ruth E. Carter “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Ellen Mirojnick “The Greatest Showman” (20th Century Fox)
Michael Kaplan “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Warner Bros.)
Olivier Beriot “Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets” (STX Films / EuroCorp)
Lindy Hemming “Wonder Woman” (Warner Bros.)
In the absence of "Phantom Thread," the Oscar winner, this is a wide-open, high-quality field with two Oscar nominees, "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Shape of Water," and two additinal nominees from the Costume Designers Guild, "Wonder Woman" and "The Greatest Showman."  Of the four, "The Shape of Water" and "Wonder Woman" won their respective categories.  "Black Panther" makes for a worthy addition -- I would not be surprised if it is nominated for an Oscar in this category next year -- making up for "Thor: Ragnarok" not being nominated.  I am surprised that “Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets” beat "The Last Jedi," but that's all; as I've written before, its nomination is not undeserved.  As for me, I might vote for "Wonder Woman."
I screwed this one up badly, especially about "The Shape of Water."  It was not nominated for this category at all, even though it earned one at the Academy Awards.  That's a snub!  So my remark about "Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets” beating "The Last Jedi" becomes one about it beating "The Shape of Water."  Once again, my comment about the Saturn Awards being about entertainment, not art, finds more support.
Best Film Make-Up:

Joel Harlow, Ken Diaz “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Donald Mowat “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.)
John Blake, Brian Sipe “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Alec Gillis, Sean Sansom, Tom Woodruff, Jr., Shane Zander “It” (Warner Bros.)
Mike Hill, Shane Mahan “The Shape of Water” (Fox Searchlight)
Peter Swords King, Neal Scanlan “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
Arjen Tuiten “Wonder” (Lionsgate)
Only "Wonder" from the three Oscar nominees appears here.  I don't know if that makes it the favorite.  Instead, I'd look among the speculative fiction nominees galore at the Makeup and Hair Stylists Guild Awards, “Blade Runner 2049,” “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2,” “The Shape of Water,” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”  I am somewhat surprised that "Beauty and the Beast" was not nominated, but this category is make-up, not hair.  Out of all four, "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" won.  On that alone, it has my vote.
Best Film Special / Visual Effects:

Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, Dan Sudick “Black Panther” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
John Nelson, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover, Gerd Nefzer “Blade Runner 2049” (Warner Bros.)
Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner, Dan Sudick “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza, Mike Meinardus “Kong: Skull Island” (Warner Bros.)
Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Chris Corbould, Neal Scanlan “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Lucasfilm Ltd./Walt Disney Studios)
Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist “War for the Planet of the Apes” (20th Century Fox)
This is the Oscar field with "Black Panther" added.  I have no problem with this, as I am all in favor of defending the professional/insider consensus except for when it completely screws up, which it didn't do here.  While “Blade Runner 2049” is the Oscar winner and “War for the Planet of the Apes” is the one I thought should have won (and I might vote for it), I expect "The Last Jedi" will win unless the trippy space scenery of “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” impresses the voters.
I'm not an optimist about the chances of "Kong: Skull Island."  If one wants fantastic apes, the ones in “War for the Planet of the Apes” are better.

As I promised above, I'm embedding a video of the music from "The Shape of Water."  Here is the title theme of the movie.

The Shape Of Water (From "The Shape Of Water" Soundtrack) · Alexandre Desplat · The London Symphony Orchestra · Dominique Lemonnier
I plan on posting an entry about the horror nominees tomorrow.  "Get Out" vs. "IT," anyone?

*Here's an updated version of the pitch I make for my readers to become members: "Click here to apply for an affiliate membership.  At $25, one can vote for the best films and television shows.  At $40, one can vote for all categories.  I've already paid my $40.  I hope my readers do, too."

Also, I think it's about time I posted a linkspam containing all the previous entries in this series, just as I always have for my annual retrospectives.  Not only will that direct potential voters to all the rest of my thoughts on the nominees, when I get to the retrospective on the Saturn Awards I promised in Climate for the seventh year of Crazy Eddie's Motie News, I can direct readers to both.  Opportunity!

Previous entries about the 2018 Saturn Awards:

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