Sunday, August 28, 2022

Part 1 of superhero nominees at the 2022 Saturn Awards — movies

I open today's post with the paragraph that closed 'RuPaul's Drag Race' leads competition shows with eight nominations plus three more for its spinoffs.
For tomorrow's Sunday entertainment feature, I plan on taking a break from the Emmy Awards to begin my examination of the Saturn Awards nominations. Stay tuned.
I'm beginning the series with superhero film nominees, which Deadline highlighted in the second and third paragraphs of Saturn Awards Nominations: ‘The Batman’, ‘Nightmare Alley’, ‘Spider-Man’, ‘Better Call Saul’ Top List.
Warner Bros/DC’s The Batman, directed by Matt Reeves, is the top-nominated film with 12, featuring in categories including Best Superhero Film, and acting noms for Robert Pattinson, Zoe Kravitz, Paul Dano and Colin Farrell.
Marvel Studios dominated this year’s noms in the Film and Streaming categories with movies like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Thor: Love and Thunder, Sony’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, as well as Disney+ series like Loki, WandaVision, Hawkeye, Moon Knight, What If? and Ms. Marvel.
I'll get to the television superhero nominees in part 2. Today is for movies.
Superhero Film

The Batman (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony Pictures / Marvel)
The Suicide Squad (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Thor: Love and Thunder (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
In addition to the twelve nominations for "The Batman" that Deadline reported, "Spider-Man: No Way Home" earned nine nominations, "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" received seven nominations, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" and "The Suicide Squad" both have four nominations, and "Thor: Love and Thunder" has only three nominations. Based on that criterion, the contest is between "The Batman" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" as the preview image suggests and I agree. Right now, I'd vote for "The Batman," but I'm going to try to stream "Spider-Man: No Way Home" before the voting window closes to confirm my choice. That written, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if "Spider-Man: No Way Home" wins. As I've written about the Saturn Awards before, they are more about entertainment than art, and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" was the top-grossing movie of 2021. I think that counts for something with the Saturn electorate.

Actor in a Film

• Timothee Chalamet, Dune (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)
• Idris Elba, The Suicide Squad (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• Tom Holland, Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony Pictures / Marvel)
• Daniel Kaluuya, Nope (Universal Pictures)
• Simu Liu, Shang-Chi and the Legend of The Ten Rings (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
• Robert Pattinson, The Batman (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Four actors from superhero films snagged nominations in this category, more than half the field. I watched three of them and rank their performances as Robert Pattinson, Idris Elba, and Simu Liu. I have a feeling that the acting committee snubbed the best actor in a Spider-Man suit in "No Way Home," Andrew Garfield. That written, I'm not planning on voting for any of them. Instead, I'm voting for Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides in "Dune."

Actress in a Film

• Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures)
• Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place Part II (Paramount Pictures)
• Zoe Kravitz, The Batman (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• Keke Palmer, Nope (Universal Pictures)
• Emma Stone, Cruella (Walt Disney Studios)
• Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)
• Zendaya, Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony Pictures / Marvel)
The lead actresses from both of the most nominated superhero films earned nominations here. Since I haven't seen Zendaya's performance yet, I can't say who's better. I can also say that I'm not likely to vote for either. Right now, I'm voting for Emma Stone in "Cruella," but that could change after I watch "Everything Everywhere All at Once" and "Nightmare Alley," both of which have excellent nominated actresses. That written, it wouldn't surprise me if either Zoe Kravitz or especially Zendaya wins.

Supporting Actor in a Film

• Paul Dano, The Batman (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• Colin Farrell, The Batman (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• Ethan Hawke, The Black Phone (Universal Pictures)
• Richard Jenkins, Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures)
• Alfred Molina, Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony Pictures / Marvel)
• Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)
• Benedict Wong, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Like Actor in a Film, nominees from superhero films earned four nominations, the majority of the field. Other than Benedict Wong, they're all villains, Paul Dano as Riddler and Colin Farrell as Penguin from "The Batman" and Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Pending my watching "No Way Home," "Nightmare Alley," and "Everything Everywhere All at Once," I'm voting for Paul Dano. I'll revisit my choice after I stream the other three films.

Supporting Actress in a Film

• Awkwafina, Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
• Jodie Comer, Free Guy (20th Century Studios)
• Carrie Coon, Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sony Pictures)
• Viola Davis, The Suicide Squad (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)
• Diana Rigg, Last Night in Soho (Focus Features)
• Marisa Tomei, Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony Pictures Marvel)
Three actresses from superhero films earned nominations in this category, Awkwafina, Viola Davis, and Marisa Tomei. While I think Viola Davis is the best actress of the three, my favorite performance I've seen so far is Awkwafina's. I'm not voting for either. Instead, my choice is Jodie Comer from "Free Guy." That written, I wouldn't put it past the rest of the Saturn voters to pick Marisa Tomei.

Follow over the jump for the nominees behind the camera in superhero films.

Film Direction

• Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (Searchlight Pictures)
• Joseph Kosinski, Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)
• Jordan Peele, Nope (Universal Pictures)
• S. S. Rajamouli, RRR – Rise Roar Revolt (Sarigama Cinemas / Variance Films / Potentate)
• Matt Reeves, The Batman (Warner Bros. Pictures)
• Steve Spielberg, West Side Story (20th Century Studios)
• Jon Watts, Spider-Man: No Way Home (Sony Pictures / Marvel)
Between Matt Reeves and Jon Watts, the two nominated directors of superhero films, I'd pick Reeves. That doesn't mean either the Saturn electorate or I will vote for him. Instead, I think it will be one of Guillermo del Toro, Jordan Peele, or Stephen Spielberg. I'll figure out which one after I watch their films.

By the way, I think the best director of a speculative fiction film wasn't even nominated — Denis Villneuve for "Dune." Hmph.
Film Writing (Screenplay)

The Batman, Matt Reeves, Peter Craig (Warner Bros. Pictures)
The Black Phone, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill (Universal Pictures)
Everything Everywhere All at Once, Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert (A24)
Nightmare Alley, Guillermo del Toro, Kim Morgan (Searchlight Pictures)
Nope, Jordan Peele (Universal Pictures)
Scream, James Vanderbilt, Guy Busick (Paramount Pictures)
Spider-Man: No Way Home, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers (Sony Pictures / Marvel)
Again, the top two superhero films earned nominations in this category and, again, I don't plan on voting for either of them. Instead, I think my vote wil go to one of "Everything Everywhere All at Once, "Nightmare Alley," or "Nope."
Film Music (Composer)

Nope, Michael Abels (Universal Pictures)
Cruella, Nicholas Britell (Walt Disney Studios)
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Danny Elman (Walt Disney Studios)
The Batman, Michael Giacchino (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Nightmare Alley, Nathan Johnson (Searchlight Pictures)
Crimes of the Future, Howard Shore (Neon)
Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings, Joel P. West (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Out of the three superhero soundtracks nominated, I'd pick Michael Giacchino's for "The Batman." That doesn't mean I'll vote for it. I might just pick "Cruella" based on the total package of music, including the non-original songs, which earned the movie a Grammy nomination for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media. Just the same, I'm embedding music from "The Batman" at the end of the post.

By the way, the Saturn Awards music committee snubbed "Dune," which won Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) at the Oscars. Once again, the Saturn Awards decided to stick it to the entertainment insiders. Still, hmph.
Film Editing

Spider-Man: No Way Home, Jeffrey Ford, Leigh Folsom (Sony Pictures / Marvel)
Top Gun: Maverick, Eddie Hamilton (Paramount Pictures)
The Batman, William Hoy, Tyler Nelson (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Nightmare Alley, Cam McLauchin (Searchlight Pictures)
Everything Everywhere All at Once, Paul Rogers (A24)
Nope, Nicholas Monsour (Universal Pictures)
Ambulance, Pietro Scalia, Doug Brandt, Calvin Wimmer (Universal Pictures)
The one movie I've seen in this field is "The Batman," so I'm not ready to make a decision. I've already listed the films I plan on seeing before I vote. One of them might not be "Top Gun: Maverick," the top grossing movie of 2022 so far. It's still in theaters as I write this, where it's number four in last week's box office. That written, it's my pick to win and I might just vote for it sight unseen other than trailers.
Film Production Designer

Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings, Sue Chan (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
The Batman, James Chinlund (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Cruella, Fiona Crombie (Walt Disney Studios)
Nightmare Alley, Tamara Deverell (Searchlight Pictures)
Everything Everywhere All at Once, Jason Kisvarday (A24)
Last Night in Soho, Marcus Rowland (Focus Features)
Dune, Patrice Vermette (Warner Bros. Pictures)
For once, the Marvel film opposite "The Batman" is "Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings" instead of "Spider-Man: No Way Home." I enjoyed the production design of "Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings" more than "The Batman," but I'm not voting for either. Instead, I'm voting for "Dune," which won the equivalent Oscar.
Film Costume

Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings, Kym Barrett (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Cruella, Jenny Beavan (Walt Disney Studios)
The Batman, Jacqueline Durran, David Crossman, Glyn Dillon (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Dune, Robert Morgan, Jacqueline West (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Thor: Love and Thunder, Mayes C. Rubeo (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Nightmare Alley, Luis Sequeira (Searchlight Pictures)
The Eternals, Sammy Sheldon (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Oh, look, a nomination for "Eternals." That movie was lucky not to be snubbed, as it was nominated for Biggest Disappointment of the Year at the Golden Schmoes. Still, it was one of four superhero films earning nominations in this category, again the majority of the field and I'm sure all of them were well-earned; both "Shang-Chi" and "The Batman" deserve their nominations. That written, I'm going with the Oscar winner, "Cruella."

Film Make-Up

Crimes of the Future, Alexandra Anger, Monica Pavez, Evi Zafiropoulou (Neon)
Nightmare Alley, Jo-Ann MacNeil, Mike Hill, Megan Many (Searchlight Pictures)
The Batman, Mike Marino, Naomi Donne (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Dune, Donald Mowat, Love Larson, Eva Von Bahr (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Army of the Dead, Justin Raleigh, Ozzy Alvarez, Kevin Kirkpatrick, Victoria Down (Netflix)
Thor: Love and Thunder, Matteo Silvi, Adam Johansen (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
The Suicide Squad, Heba Thorisdottir, Greg Funk, Brian Sipe (Warner Bros. Pictures)
"Thor: Love and Thunder" is the Marvel entry in this category opposite "The Batman." I'm voting for the latter just because of the amazing transformation of Colin Farrell into Oswald "Penguin" Cobblepot. That is enough to put it over Academy Award nominee "Dune" for me, Baron Harkonnen notwithstanding. I could still recognize Stellan Skarsgård.
Film Visual / Special Effects

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Jorundur Rafn Arnarson, Erik Winquist, Joe Letteri (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Sheena Duggal, Alessandro Ongaro (Sony Pictures)
Godzilla vs. Kong, Kevin Andrew Smith (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Jurassic World Dominion, David Vickery (Universal Pictures)
Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings, Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker, Dan Oliver (Marvel / Walt Disney Studios)
Spider-Man: No Way Home, Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein, Dan Sudick (Sony Pictures / Marvel)
Top Gun: Maverick, Scott R. Fisher, Ryan Tudhope (Paramount Pictures)
While "Shang-Chi and the Legend Of the Ten Rings" and "Spider-Man: No Way Home" both earned Oscar nominations, I think the effects for "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" were more spectacular, so it's my provisional vote until I stream "Jurassic World Dominion." I'm a paleontologist and have a soft spot for dinosaurs.

As I promised, I'm embedding music from the superhero film I think most deserves to win Film Music (Composer), The Batman | Michael Giacchino | WaterTower.

The Batman - by Michael Giacchino | From The Batman Soundtrack

I tried to find more, but I couldn't find videos of instrumental scores, just songs by non-nominated composers. Darn. I wanted my readers to be able to listen and decide for themselves.

I'll return with the superhero nominees for television next. Stay tuned.

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