Monday, July 22, 2019

'Aladdin' vs. 'Mary Poppins Returns' at the 2019 Saturn Awards

I told my readers "the next installment should be about the fantasy film nominees, after I celebrate Souther" at the conclusion of 'Ready Player One' vs. 'Bumblebee' at the 2019 Saturn Awards.  I begin by quoting what I wrote about the nominees for Best Fantasy Film release in How did my predictions for the Saturn Awards movie nominees compare to reality?
As for which movies will make the list of nominees for Best Fantasy Film Release at the Saturn Awards, I offer the following: "Mary Poppins Returns," "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald," "A Wrinkle in Time," "Disney's Christopher Robin," "The House With A Clock In Its Walls," and "The Nutcracker and the Four Realms."  Of all of them, "The House With A Clock In Its Walls" is the weakest nominee and the most likely to be replaced by another movie, probably one of "Rampage," "Mortal Engines," or "The Kid Who Would be King."
I had the least confidence in my ability to pick the nominees for Best Fantasy Film Release and I was right, as only two of my choices made it, although I can claim that it was because of the expanded deadline for nominees.
  • Aladdin (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Dumbo (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • Godzilla, King of the Monsters (Warner Bros. / Legendary Pictures)
  • Mary Poppins Returns (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Toy Story 4 (Pixar Animation / Walt Disney Studios)
  • Yesterday (Universal Pictures)
Five of the seven films are from the three-month extension to the eligibility period, so of course I wouldn't have forecast them as nominees.  That written, those three months resulted in a much better field than would have happened otherwise.  Still, I'll be casting my vote for the better of the two films I predicted would earn a nomination, "Mary Poppins Returns."
After counting the nominations, I'm not as confident about "Mary Poppins Returns" winning, despite my vote.  "Aladdin" leads the fantasy film nominees with nine nominations, which might be the second highest of any movie at these awards, while "Mary Poppins Returns" has six, "Godzilla: King of the Monsters" four, "Dumbo" three, "Toy Story 4" two, and "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" and "Yesterday" one each.  "Aladdin" could very easily beat "Mary Poppins Returns."

Follow over the jump for the other categories in which the fantasty films have nominations.  I'm being a good environmentalist and recycling what I wrote for 'Avengers: Endgame' vs. 'Aquaman' at the 2019 Saturn Awards.

I begin with the nominees for Best Animated Film Release along with my commentary.
  • The Grinch (Universal Pictures)
  • How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World (Universal Pictures)
  • The Incredibles 2 (Pixar Animation / Walt Disney Studios)
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Sony Pictures)
  • Toy Story 4 (Walt Disney Studios)
I called four and saw one of my alternates "How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World" make it in over the artistically weakest of the top five "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," while the expanded eligibility period allowed "Toy Story 4" to get in over "Isle of Dogs."  The latter movie will have to be satisfied with itsEMA Award.  As for which one I'll vote for, it's a choice between "Incredibles 2" and "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse."  Since I tend to vote for the entertainment professionals' choice unless I have compelling reasons otherwise, that would make it "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse."
I don't think that will happen.  Instead, I expect "Incredibles 2" will win, despite my vote as well as the opinion of nearly all the professional organizations, including and especially the Motion Picture Academy.
Since "Toy Story 4" earned a nomination in both the fantasy and animation categories, I should note that I think it has an outside chance of pulling off an upset in the animation category, but not the fantasy category; the field is too good and too crowded.

Best Actress in a Film

Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Jamie Lee Curtis, Halloween
Nicole Kidman, Destroyer
Brie Larson, Captain Marvel
Lupita Nyong’o, Us
Octavia Spencer, Ma
While I'm pretty confident Brie Larson will win this award, she's not getting my vote.  Instead, I'm voting for Emily Blunt, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for her performance.  The same could be said about Nicole Kidman for her role in "Destroyer," but Emily Blunt won the SAG Award for her supporting role in "A Quiet Place," so that breaks any possible tie for me.
I might have more to say about this category when I write about the horror and thriller nominees, so stay tuned.

Best Supporting Actor in a Film

Josh Brolin, Avengers: Infinity War
John Lithgow, Pet Sematary
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Poppins Returns
Lewis Pullman, Bad Times at The El Royale
Jeremy Renner, Avengers: Endgame
Will Smith, Aladdin
Steven Yeun, Burning
My guess is that Josh Brolin will win as Thanos, giving "Avengers: Infinity War" its only trophy of the night.  I might vote for him, but I'm inclined to vote for Lin-Manuel Miranda, who, like his co-star, earned a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.
Will Smith is the other nominee from a fantasy film for his role as The Genie.  If he weren't competing with Thanos, he might win, but he is, so I don't think he will.  I'm still voting for Miranda.

Best Supporting Actress in a Film

Cynthia Erivo, Bad Times at The El Royale
Karen Gillan, Avengers: Endgame
Amber Heard, Aquaman
Scarlett Johansson, Avengers: Endgame
Naomi Scott, Aladdin
Hailee Steinfeld, Bumblebee
Zendaya, Spider-Man: Far From Home
I have only the foggiest idea of who will win this category.  My gut says Scarlett Johansson, but it could as easily be her co-star Karen Gillan.  I'm not planning voting for either.  Instead, my first choice is Amber Heard, which would make up for her Razzie nomination, which I thought was part of a bad joke.  If someone can persuade me of the merits of Zendaya, I might change my vote, but they only have a week.
Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine is the fantasy nominee here.  Despite all of the nominations for "Aladdin," she is still at a disadvantage to the Gillan and Johansson from "Avengers: Endgame," which has more nominations.

Best Performance by a Younger Actor

Evan Alex, Us
Asher Angel, Shazam!
Millie Bobby Brown, Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Jack Dylan Grazer, Shazam!
Tom Holland, Spider-Man: Far From Home
Shahadi Wright Joseph, Us
Millicent Simmonds, A Quiet Place
I expect that Tom Holland will win this again, but my vote is going to Millicent Simmonds, who I predicted last year would earn a nomination in this category.
I'm glad to see that Millie Bobby Brown earned a movie nomination, although that came at the expense of her earning one in the equivalent TV category.  She might beat Tom Holland, but I doubt it.
Best Film Director

Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck, Captain Marvel
Karyn Kusama, Destroyer
Jordan Peele, Us
Guy Ritchie, Aladdin
Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, Avengers: Endgame
Steven Spielberg, Ready Player One
James Wan, Aquaman
Zhang Yimou, Shadow
I'm not convinced the voters have a clear favorite, as the Russo Brothers, Boden and Fleck, and Wan all have a shot.  I'm not voting for any of them.  Instead, my choice is between Spielberg and Peele with Peele first.  I know, I generally boycotting voting for films that got in because of the extended deadline, but I think Spielberg is past his prime (and his attempts to squash streaming films from qualifying for the Oscars annoyed me), while I think Peele's best days in film are ahead of him.  Also, he's that good.
Guy Ritchie managed to make a very commercial film in "Aladdin," something he's not necessarily known for.
Best Film Production Design

Bill Brzeski, Aquaman
Ruth De Jong, Us
Rick Heinrichs, Dumbo
Gemma Jackson, Aladdin
Horace Ma Gwong-Wing, Shadow
John Myhre, Mary Poppins Returns
Charles Wood, Avengers: Endgame
"Aquaman" was gorgeous, but it wasn't even nominated for the Oscar in this category.  "Mary Poppins Returns" was, so it has my vote. I expect "Aladdin" would be the major competition for both "Avengers: Endgame" and "Mary Poppins Returns."
Best Film Editing

Jeffrey Ford, Matthew Schmidt Avengers: Endgame (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
James Herbert, Aladdin (Walt Disney Studios)
Nicholas Monsour, Us (Universal Pictures)
Kirk Morri, Aquaman (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Evan Schiff, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (Lionsgate / Summit)
Christopher Tellefsen, A Quiet Place (Paramount)
"A Quiet Place" earned an Oscar nomination for Sound Editing, not film editing, but that's good enough for me.  I have no idea which film everyone else will vote for and I'm not sure I care.
The fantasy nominee in this category is "Aladdin."  I think it's an underdog to "Avengers" Endgame.
"Best Film Music

Danny Elfman, Dumbo
Bear McCreary, Godzilla, King of the Monsters
Alan Menken, Aladdin
Marc Shaiman, Mary Poppins Returns
Alan Silvestri, Avengers: Endgame
Alan Silvestri, Ready Player One
I wouldn't be surprised if Alan Silvestri wins for either "Avengers: Endgame" or "Ready Player One," but I'm voting for "Mary Poppins Returns."  It was the only one of the nominees to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures and it was nominated for both music categories, Original Score and Original Song.
I will embed a video of Oscar nominee "The Place Where Lost Things Go" at the end of this entry.
Best Film Costume

Kym Barrett, Aquaman
Leah Butler, Shazam!
Judianna Makovsky, Avengers: Endgame
Chen Minzheng, Shadow
Sandy Powell, Mary Poppins Returns
Michael Wilkinson, Aladdin
"Mary Poppins Returns" earned an Oscar nomination for the equivalent category, so it has my vote.  Still, I expect either "Aquaman" or "Avengers: Endgame" will win. On second thought, "Aladdin" might have a better chance at this award than I first thought; the costumes are gorgeous and the kind of colorful voters interested in entertainment over art would like.
Best Film Special/Visual Effects

A Quiet Place
Avengers: Endgame
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Ready Player One
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Based on my general boycott of films nominated during the extended period, my choice is easy, "Ready Player One."  It earned an Oscar nomination in this category and that's good enough for me.
I'll repeat what I wrote about this category in 'Ready Player One' vs. 'Bumblebee' at the 2019 Saturn Awards.
That written, I would be pleasantly surprised if "Ready Player One" wins.  Instead, I'm expecting either "Avengers: Endgame" or "Godzilla: King of Monsters" to earn this title.
Now, Emily Blunt - The Place Where Lost Things Go (From "Mary Poppins Returns").

“The Place Where Lost Things Go”
Performed by Emily Blunt
Music by Marc Shaiman
Lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
I plan on writing about another Emily Blunt movie tomorrow, when I cover the horror nominees.  Stay tuned.

Previous entries in this series:

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