Sunday, March 13, 2022

'Shang-Chi' vs. 'Spider-Man' among movie nominees at the 2022 Critics' Choice Super Awards

Two weeks ago, I wrote "I'd normally be all awards shows all the time now... but I'm just not feeling interest is starting to wane" in CNBC explores 'Why The Future Of The Oscars And Emmys Might Be In Jeopardy'. That's because I haven't watch enough of the nominated films to have good opinions of their prospects. That's not true of the nominees for the Second Annual Critics Choice Super Awards, the subject of today's Sunday entertainment feature. I've watched most of them and have strong opinions about them.

I begin with the summary of the top movie nominees from the press release.
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” lead this year’s film nominations, with five nods apiece including Best Superhero Movie. Both Tony Leung and Simu Liu garnered Best Actor in a Superhero Movie nods for their performances in “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” while Michelle Yeoh is up for Best Actress in a Superhero Movie, and Tony Leung could also take home the award for Best Villain in a Movie. The cast of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” also earned top acting nods, with both Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield recognized with Best Actor in a Superhero Movie nominations. Additionally, Zendaya is up for Best Actress in a Superhero Movie, and Willem Dafoe could take home the trophy for Best Villain in a Movie.
Even without tallying the nominations, “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Spider-Man: No Way Home” are my co-favorites for winning this award. I might lean to "Shang-Chi" if I were a voter, but “Spider-Man: No Way Home” is literally the popular choice and the Critics Choice Association (CCA) might just agree, despite them not nominating the film at the main awards tonight while nominating "Shang-Chi" for Best Visual Effects. As for the other nominees, they should just be happy to be nominated, particularly "Zack Snyder’s Justice League," which was only on streaming. At least it wasn't "Thunder Force," which was more fun than I expected, but neither bad enough for the Razzies nor good enough to be nominated for any award of merit. That might change with the next Saturn Awards nominations, which might have the eligibility period end before the release date of “Spider-Man: No Way Home” or if it doesn't, have "Thunder Force" and "Zack Snyder’s Justice League" earn nominations for Best Film Presentation on Streaming Media, should they keep that category. I never know with them, and I'm one of their voters!

I can pick Best Actor in a Superhero Movie two ways. For best overall actor, I'd choose Idris Elba and Andrew Garfield. However, this is really best performance by an actor in a superhero movie and I suspect Simu Liu and Tom Holland gave those. I would vote for Liu, but I'm not in the CCA. They might go for Holland or Garfield. That John Cena earned a nomination shows that he's punching above his weight as an actor, if not in real life. I think it bodes well for his nomination prospects for "Peacemaker," where he is the star.

The same dichotomy applies to Best Actress in a Superhero Movie. I think the best overall best actresses are Margot Robbie, who won for the same role in "Birds of Prey" last year, Michelle Yeoh, and Emmy winner Zendaya. For the best performances, I'd say it's between Robbie and Zendaya. I'd vote for Robbie, but if there is a wave for "Spider-Man: No Way Home," it will sweep Zendaya to the podium.

Follow over the jump for the rest of the movie nominees.

I think "No Time to Die" is the favorite. Its main competition is "The Harder They Fall," as both films have two nominations at the main Critics' Choice Awards. Both awards have four nominations at the Super Awards. Between James Bond and film without a franchise, I'll vote for 007 every time.

I'm also picking Daniel Craig in this category. That it will be the last time he plays Bond just adds incentive to vote for him.

Before I move on to Actress in an Action Movie, I'm noting that Dwayne Johnson deserves a nomination, but I think the CCA misclassified "Jungle Cruise." It's a fantasy as much as an action film. The CCA's predecessor the Broadcast Film Critics Association would have dodged the issue, as it considered the first two "Pirates of the Caribbean" films to be family films, a category that doesn't any more, but which "Jungle Cruise" fits as well. Let's see how the Saturn Awards deal with "Jungle Cruise."

I may as well forecast a Bond sweep by picking Ana De Armas to win. Emmy winner Jodie Comer might be a more established actress, but I think she has a better chance to win for Best Actress in a Science Fiction/Fantasy Film for her role in "Free Guy."

I think it's between "A Quiet Place, Part II" and "Titane" for this category. "Candy Man" and "Last Night in Soho" may have as many nominations as both of them, but neither has the commercial success of "A Quiet Place, Part II" nor the critical accolades of "Titane." "Malignant" would do better than any of them with an electorate of horror fans, but they're not voting here.

I have no idea who will win this category, although I would get a kick out of Nicolas Cage winning for his wordless performance in "Willy's Wonderland."

I'm rooting for either Anya Taylor-Joy or Millicent Simmonds, but if "Titane" wins for Horror Film, then Agathe Rousselle could surprise. By the way, I think Emily Blunt was snubbed both for "A Quiet Place, Part II" and "Jungle Cruise." Let's see if the Saturn Awards remember her.

"Dune" all the way. Sorry, "Free Guy" and "Don't Look Up."

Unlike the horror actor nominees, where I shrugged because none of them stood out for me, all of these nominees put out excellent performances. I would be happy with any of them.

Same here. All of these performances were outstanding and I would have trouble picking any of them.

The scariest nominee for Best Villain in a Movie was the evil conjoined twin in "Malignant." It made for a terrifying monster. Still, that's not the kind of performance I expect the critics to vote for. Instead, I expect it will be between Idris Elba and Tony Leung, both of whom have nominations for best actor. I'd choose Leung only because that other nomination is for the same role, while Elba's isn't.

I have run out of gas for today, so I won't cover the television nominees beyond what is already in the press release. Too bad, as I have lots to say about them.

“Evil” and “Midnight Mass” tied for the most television nominations, with each earning six nods including Best Horror Series. Mike Colter and Aasif Mandvi from “Evil” garnered nominations for Best Actor in a Horror Series, while Katja Herbers and Christine Lahti are vying for Best Actress in a Horror Series, and Michael Emerson earned a nod for Best Villain in a Series. Meanwhile, “Midnight Mass” also has two actors, Zach Gilford and Hamish Linklater, competing in the category of Best Actor in a Horror Series. Both Kate Siegel and Samantha Sloyan are up for Best Actress in a Horror Series, and Sloyan was also nominated for Best Villain in a Series.
Both “Evil” and “Midnight Mass” are the two best nominees in this field and I will have a hard time picking one for Best Horror Television Series at the Saturn Awards. I'm glad they will be in different categories at the Emmy Awards, because "Evil" is a Drama Series while "Midnight Mass" is a limited series.

Stay tuned for a series of holidays beginning with Pi Day and International Day of Mathematics, Ides of March, Purim, St. Patrick's Day, Holi, the Vernal Equinox, International Day of Nowruz and this blog's 11th birthday, and World Water Day. I'll have one day for doom and gloom in the middle of all the celebrations, if that. Who knows, I might cover the winners of the Critics Choice Super Awards on the 19th, as they will be announced in the 17th.

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