Friday, May 7, 2021

'Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood' and the fantasy and animated movie nominees at the Saturn Awards for Flashback Friday

Moving on from science fiction and horror, the genre at this year's Saturn Awards with the nominee boasting the most nominations is fantasy as "Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood" ended up with seven total nominations, including one for Best Fantasy Film Release. Like all Tarantino films, it takes place in an alternate reality, one that diverged from ours when the Allies killed Hitler in "Inglourious Basterds" and where the Manson Family fails to kill Sharon Tate, so it qualifies as fantasy, if just barely.

Like my previous posts, I begin with the nominees from the Saturn Awards website.
Best Fantasy Film Release:
Bill & Ted Face the Music
Jumanji: The Next Level
The Lion King
Maleficent: The Mistress of Evil
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood
Sonic the Hedgehog
The Witches
The best film in this field is definitely "Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood" and I suppose I'll vote for it. On the other hand, the film that best depicts a conventional fantasy world with magic and monsters is "Maleficent: The Mistress of Evil" with three nominations. If I wanted to protest the categorization of "Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood" as fantasy, I could vote for it or "The Lion King," which also has three nominations. I won't, but some of the voters might, or they could vote for "Bill & Ted Face the Music" to show their love of nostalgic entertainment. I think "Maleficent" is more likely to be the popular choice.

Since I don't know of a better place to put them and most of them qualify as fantasies as well, I'm examining animated movies next.
Best Animated Film Release:
The Addams Family
Frozen II
Spies in Disguise
Trolls: World Tour
The only film in this field nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the Oscars was "Onward," while the only other Oscar nominated entry was "Frozen II," which earned a nod for Original Song. I suppose the professional choice would be "Onward" while the popular choice would be "Frozen II." The latter was the highest grossing animated movie and the fourth highest grossing movie overall in 2019. I think I'm going with the popular choice, "Frozen II." I would like to think the Saturn electorate would, too, because that would be a way of telling off the Hollywood professionals and insiders, but they could surprise me.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the nominations for fantasy films.

Best Film Director:
J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker)
Niki Caro (Mulan)
Mike Flanagan (Doctor Sleep)
Christopher Nolan (Tenet)
Gina Prince-Blythewood (The Old Guard)
Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood)
Leigh Whannell (The Invisible Man)
I'm finding deciding on my vote and what the rest of the electorate will choose difficult. I see three big-name directors on the list, J.J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan, and Quentin Tarantino, and a real up-and-comer in Leigh Whannell. The popular choice would be Abrams, while the professional choices would be Nolan or Tarantino. Right now, I'm leaning to Nolan or Whannell for my vote, while I suspect the Saturn electorate will pick either Abrams or Tarantino. By the time I blog about action and thriller films, I'll make my decision.
I've changed my mind. Out of this entire field, only Tarantino earned a nomination for directing at the Oscars the last two years, so I'm voting for him.
Best Film Screenplay:
Doctor Sleep (Mike Flanagan)
Joker (Todd Phillips, Scott Silver)
Mulan (Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Lauren Hynek, Elizabeth Martin)
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (Quentin Tarantino)
Parasite (Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin-won)
Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (Chris Terrio, J.J. Abrams)
Tenet (Christopher Nolan)
Out of all these, I'm leaning to Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin-won for "Parasite" or Todd Phillips and Scott Silver for "Joker." I think the Saturn electorate would prefer "Joker," which might be enough for me to join them.
Tarantino was certainly inventive in his fantasy, which earned him an Oscar nomination, but he still lost to both of the films I'm considering.
Best Film Editing:
Doctor Sleep (Mike Flanagan)
Knives Out (Bob Ducsay)
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (Fred Raskin)
Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (Maryann Brandon, Stefan Grube)
Tenet (Jennifer Lame)
I think the editing is as big a deal as the visual effects in "Tenet," so I'll probably vote for it. I suspect I'll be in good company, as it's currently my pick for the Saturn electorate's choice.
None of these movies earned a nomination at the Oscars for editing, although both "Knives Out" and "Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood" earned nominations at the American Cinema Editors Awards for Best Edited Feature Film - Comedy, but lost to "Jojo Rabbit," while "Joker" was nominated for Best Edited Feature Film - Drama, losing to "Parasite." That's enough to get me to change my vote to one of these three, especially "Knives Out," which was cleverly edited.
Best Film Production Design:
Jojo Rabbit (Ra Vincent)
Joker (Mark Friedberg)
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Patrick Tatopoulos)
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (Barbara Ling)
Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (Rick Carter, Kevin Jenkins)
Tenet (Nathan Crowley)
"Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood" won the Oscar last year, while "JoJo Rabbit" and "Tenet" were merely nominated and the Oscars ignored the rest, so I'm voting for Barbara Ling. I wouldn't be surprised if the Saturn electorate voted for "Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker."
Since I already made my comment about "Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood," I'm moving on to the next category.
Best Film Costume: Ad Astra (Albert Wolsky)
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (Erin Benach)
Jojo Rabbit (Mayes C. Rubeo)
Mulan (Bina Daigeler)
Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood (Arianne Phillips)
Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (Michael Kaplan)
Out of this field, the professional choices are "JoJo Rabbit," "Mulan," and "Once Upon a Time... In Hollywood." Out of that field, I'd vote for "JoJo Rabbit." The popular alternatives would be "Birds of Prey" and "The Rise of Skywalker." I expect the Saturn voters would pick either "Mulan" or "Birds of Prey."
I haven't changed my mind. Next!

Best Film Make-Up:
Bill & Ted Face the Music (Bill Corso, Kevin Yagher, Dennis Liddiard, Stephen Kelley, Bianca Appice)
Doctor Sleep (Robert Kurtzman, Bernadette Mazur)
It Chapter Two (Sean Sansom, Shane Zander, Iantha Goldberg)
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (Arjen Tuiten, David White)
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark (Norman Cabrera, Mike Hill, Mike Elizalde)
Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (Amanda Knight, Neal Scanlan)
The only Oscar nominee here is "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," so I'm voting for it. I'm not sure about my Saturn electorate favorite, but I wouldn't be surprised if they voted for the scary demon clown in "It Chapter Two."
Again, I've already stated my opinion of the fantasy nominees, so I'm moving on.

Best Film Visual / Special Effects:
Ad Astra (Scott R. Fisher, Allen Maris)
Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (Mark Hawker, Yael Majors, Greg Steele)
It Chapter Two (Kristy Hollidge, Nicholas Brooks)
The Lion King (Ken Egly, Robert Legator)
Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach, Dominic Tuohy)
Tenet (Andrew Jackson, Andrew Lockley, Scott Fisher, Mike Chambers)
Terminator: Dark Fate (Neil Corbould, Eric Barba, Vinod Gundre, Sheldon Stopsack)
Once again, the Saturn Awards stuck it to the experts by not nominating last year's winner, "1917." I guess what the Television Academy classifies as Special Effects in a Supporting Role do not impress them. As I figured out early on, the Saturn Awards are about entertainment more than art and they like spectacular, not subtle. On that note, I think they will support this year's Oscar winner for Visual Effects, "Tenet," where they probably think the experts got it right. I will vote along with them.
All of "The Lion King" consists of special effects, so it might have a chance on technical achievement. That's not enough to convince me to vote for it or think the Saturn electorate will. Again, too subtle.

Now for a category I first covered in 'Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark' on Cinco De Mayo plus the horror, independent, and international film nominees at the 2021 Saturn Awards.
Best Performance by a Younger Actor in a Film:
Ella Jay Basco (Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn))
Julia Butters (Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood)
Kyliegh Curran (Doctor Sleep)
Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo Rabbit)
Lexy Kolker (Freaks)
JD McCrary (The Lion King)
Kyliegh Curran from "Doctor Sleep" is the horror nominee and a worthy choice, but I'm not voting for her. I'm voting for Roman Griffin Davis as the title character in "Jojo Rabbit." I found that an easy choice.
I had to look up Julia Butters. It's not a good sign that I didn't know her character existed before writing about her nomination.

None of the nominated fantasy or animated movies had their composers nominated, so I'm closing today's installment with music from "Tenet." I'm being a good environmentalist by recycling TENET Official Soundtrack | POSTERITY - Ludwig Göransson from Politics, government, and diversity in movie nominees at the 2021 Critics Choice Awards.

POSTERITY, a new song by Ludwig Göransson from the #OfficialMovieSoundtrack of TENET starring: John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Himesh Patel and Michael Caine
I still haven't decided on my vote for Best Film Composer.

That concludes today's entry. Stay tuned for a retrospective about the highlights of Crazy Eddie's Motie News on Pinterest and the next installment about the Saturn Awards, which will be about either comic book movies or action/adventure movies.

Previous entries about the 2021 Saturn Awards

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