Monday, January 13, 2020


By José Alberto Hermosillo
Oscar Nominations 2020

"Little Women" will faceoff the Big Men at the 92nd Academy Awards on Sunday, January 9th, 2020.

This year, most of the stories are mostly male-driven works directed by men. Those titles include, "Joker," "1917," "Ford v Ferrari," "Jojo Rabbit," "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood," "The Irishman," but "Marriage Story" and "Parasite" are more gender-balanced projects. "Little Women" looks up for more gender equality in every sense.

Most of the films qualifying in the main categories were screened in theaters in Los Angeles and New York in 2019.

Looking back, the year 2019 will be remembered as one of the most uneven years in recent history. Optimistically thinking, with more productions directed by women and other communities, we will start seeing the #OscarsSoWhite like something from the past.

Many new Hollywood productions are oriented to close "the gender gap." The producers are also looking up for more "diversity and inclusion."

In the mid-time, we can relax, sit back and enjoy the admirable works that so many talented people in the industry brought us and who deserve recognition by the members of the Academy.
The big favorite is "Joker" with more nominations, 11; "1917" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" have 10, and "Little Women" has 8.

"Parasite" has six nods. Therefore, it did not break the record of more nominations for a foreign film like "Roma" had last year with 10 or "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" also with 10 nominations for a non-English film in the year 2000.

"Pain and Glory" has two, Antonio Banderas for the best actor and Spain for the best international feature.

"Honeyland" from North Macedonia opened in theaters mid-July, and it has two nominations, for best international feature film and for best documentary feature.

Once again, no women were nominated for the best director, but more women were nominated in other essential categories as best picture producers, writers, and music composers.

Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards

Performance by an actor in a leading role
  • Antonio Banderas in “Pain and Glory
  • Leonardo DiCaprio in “Once Upon a Hollywood”
  • Adam Driver in “Marriage Story”
  • Joaquin Phoenix in “Joker”
  • Jonathan Pryce in “The Two Popes” 

Performance by an actor in a supporting role
  • Tom Hanks in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”
  • Anthony Hopkins in “The Two Popes”
  • Al Pacino in “The Irishman”
  • Joe Pesci in “The Irishman”
  • Brad Pitt in “Once Upon a Hollywood”

Performance by an actress in a leading role
  • Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet”
  • Scarlett Johansson in “Marriage Story”
  • Saoirse Ronan in “Little Women”
  • Charlize Theron in “Bombshell”
  • Renée Zellweger in “Judy”
Performance by an actress in a supporting role
  • Kathy Bates in “Richard Jewell”
  • Laura Dern in “Marriage Story”
  • Scarlett Johansson in “Jojo Rabbit”
  • Florence Pugh in “Little Women”
  • Margot Robbie in “Bombshell”
Best animated feature film of the year
  • “How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World” Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis and Bonnie Arnold
  • “I Lost My Body” Jérémy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
  • “Klaus” Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh and Marisa Román
  • “Missing Link” Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight
  • “Toy Story 4” Josh Cooley, Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera
Achievement in cinematography
  • “The Irishman” Rodrigo Prieto
  • “Joker” Lawrence Sher
  • “The Lighthouse” Jarin Blaschke
  • “1917” Roger Deakins
  • “Once upon a Hollywood” Robert Richardson
Achievement in costume design
  • “The Irishman” Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Mayes C. Rubeo
  • “Joker” Mark Bridges
  • “Little Women” Jacqueline Durran
  • “Once upon a Hollywood” Arianne Phillips
Achievement in directing
  • “The Irishman” Martin Scorsese
  • “Joker” Todd Phillips
  • “1917” Sam Mendes
  • “Once upon a Hollywood” Quentin Tarantino
  • Parasite Bong Joon Ho
Best documentary feature
  • “American Factory” Steven Bognar, Julia Reichert and Jeff Reichert
  • The Cave Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjær
  • “The Edge of Democracy” Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan
  • “For Sama” Waad al-Kateab and Edward Watts
  • Honeyland Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska and Atanas Georgiev
Best documentary short subject
  • “In the Absence” Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-Seok Kam
  • “Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)” Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
  • “Life Overtakes Me” John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson
  • “St. Louis Superman” Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
  • “Walk Run Cha-Cha” Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt
Achievement in film editing
  • “Ford v Ferrari” Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
  • “The Irishman” Thelma Schoonmaker
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Tom Eagles
  • “Joker” Jeff Groth
  • Parasite Yang Jinmo
Best international feature film of the year
Achievement in makeup and hairstyling
  • “Bombshell” Kazu Hiro, Anne Morgan and Vivian Baker
  • “Joker” Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
  • “Judy” Jeremy Woodhead
  • “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White
  • “1917” Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)
  • “Joker” Hildur Guðnadóttir
  • “Little Women” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Marriage Story” Randy Newman
  • “1917” Thomas Newman
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” John Williams
Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)
  • “I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away” from “Toy Story 4.”
    Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
  • “(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman”
    Music by Elton John; Lyric by Bernie Taupin
  • “I'm Standing With You” from “Breakthrough”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “Into The Unknown” from “Frozen II”
    Music and Lyric by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
  • “Stand Up” from “Harriet”
    Music and Lyric by Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo 
Best motion picture of the year
  • “Ford v Ferrari” Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold, Producers
  • “The Irishman” Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Carthew Neal and Taika Waititi, Producers
  • “Joker” Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Producers
  • “Little Women” Amy Pascal, Producer
  • “Marriage Story” Noah Baumbach and David Heyman, Producers
  • “1917” Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall, Producers
  • “Once upon a Hollywood” David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino, Producers
  • Parasite Kwak Sin Ae and Bong Joon Ho, Producers
Achievement in production design
  • “The Irishman” Production Design: Bob Shaw; Set Decoration: Regina Graves
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Production Design: Ra Vincent; Set Decoration: Nora Sopková
  • “1917” Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Lee Sandales
  • “Once upon a Hollywood” Production Design: Barbara Ling; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
  • “Parasite Production Design: Lee Ha Jun; Set Decoration: Cho Won Woo 
Best animated short film
  • “Dcera (Daughter)” Daria Kashcheeva
  • “Hair Love” Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
  • “Kitbull” Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
  • “Memorable” Bruno Collet and Jean-François Le Corre
  • “Sister” Siqi Song 
Best live-action short film
  • “Brotherhood” Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
  • “Nefta Football Club” Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi
  • “The Neighbors' Window” Marshall Curry
  • “Saria” Bryan Buckley and Matt Lefebvre
  • “A Sister” Delphine Girard
Achievement in sound editing
  • “Ford v Ferrari” Donald Sylvester
  • “Joker” Alan Robert Murray
  • “1917” Oliver Tarney and Rachael Tate
  • “Once upon a Hollywood” Wylie Stateman
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Matthew Wood and David Acord
Achievement in sound mixing
  • “Ad Astra” Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano
  • “Ford v Ferrari” Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow
  • “Joker” Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland
  • “1917” Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
  • “Once upon a Hollywood” Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano 
Achievement in visual effects
  • “Avengers: Endgame” Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick
  • “The Irishman” Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephane Grabli
  • “The Lion King” Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliot Newman
  • “1917” Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy
  • “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach and Dominic Tuohy
Adapted screenplay
  • “The Irishman” Screenplay by Steven Zaillian
  • “Jojo Rabbit” Screenplay by Taika Waititi
  • “Joker” Written by Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
  • “Little Women” Written for the screen by Greta Gerwig
  • “The Two Popes” Written by Anthony McCarten 
Original screenplay
  • “Knives Out” Written by Rian Johnson
  • “Marriage Story” Written by Noah Baumbach
  • “1917” Written by Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
  • “Once upon a Hollywood” Written by Quentin Tarantino
  • Parasite Screenplay by Bong Joon Ho, Han Jin Won; Story by Bong Joon Ho
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Tuesday, December 31, 2019


By José Alberto Hermosillo
The Best Films of The Decade:

2010 - Biutiful
2011 - The Artist
2012 - Silver Linings Playbook
2013 - Gravity
2014 - Birdman
2015 - Anomalisa
2016 - Moonlight
2017 - The Greatest Showman
2018 - Roma
2019 - Transit

The Best and more existentialist films of the decade 

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“Invisible Life” Melodrama is Not Dead Thanks to Brazilian Cinema

By José Alberto Hermosillo
“Invisible Life” is a nostalgic, affectionate, and well-crafted masterpiece.

The Brazilian/German co-production is a profound and artistic adaptation of Martha Batalha’s novel “A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmăo” to the screen. 

The film depicts the lives of two sisters growing up in Brazil and their tortuous separation by their conservative parents in the 1950s - Eurídice (Carol Duarte), the extraordinary pianist/aspiring soloist, and Guida (Julia Stocker), the one who yearns to be a devoted housewife.
Invisible Life, still photo ©2019 Amazon Original
A series of unfortunate events will determine the fate of the Gusmăo sisters. Their separation was caused mainly by the pre-established authoritarian male structure of that time. 

When life sets them apart, their hearts remained together by the illusion of writing to each other, emotionally speaking. Those undelivered letters are the thread of the film that upholds the melodrama until the end.

Furthermore, Eurídice is forced to marry a man who doesn't care for her vocation. And Guida, after a wrecked relationship with a Greek sailor, upon her return, is banished from her parents' house, forcing her to look for her well-being out in the streets, where prostitution can be one of the solutions. 

At that time, sexism and tyranny suppressed women's dreams, goals, and desires – they couldn’t aspire for higher education or a better-paying job unless they pushed the bar

The sisters' experience can compare to the lives of our mothers and grandmothers who didn't have the opportunities they deserved. They could be someone famous if they only were allowed to fulfill their dreams.
Karim Aïnouz, director of "Invisible Life." Photo Jose Alberto Hermosillo ©2019 Festival in LA
Director Karim Aïnouz (“Madame Satã,” “Futuro Beach”) took a risky decision to adapt the novel to the big screen with delicacy and mastery. 

"Invisible Life" is not only a well-told family melodrama but a social and political document that transcends to our days in defense of women’s emancipation, if we can read between the lines.

Born in Fortaleza, Brazil, Aïnouz fluctuates residency between Berlin and New York. In the creation of “Invisible Life,” Aïnouz was inspired partly by the life of his single mother, her enormous spirit for survival, and the courage she had to take care of her children.

After a private screening in Hollywood, Aïnouz was questioned by viewers about altering the novel’s ending. He said, adapting the ending to the screen took him more than a year. The end rightfully complements the entire movie, making it more poetic and cinematic. The writer's collaboration team includes Murilo Houser and Inés Botargaray in the credits.
Invisible Life, still photo ©2019 Amazon Original
In charge of the sumptuous cinematography is the talented cinematographer Hélène Louvart. She worked in other relevant films around the globe such as “Happy as Lazzaro” in Italy, “Maya” in France and India, “Petra” in Spain, “Dark Night” in Florida, “Beach Rats” in New York, and now “Invisible Life” in Brazil.

With a plethora of colors and elaborate set compositions, “Invisible Life” is a tropical allegory full of liveliness, heartening emotions, and nostalgia.

The editing elongates the flow of the story and can be confusing towards the end if we don't follow the family tree-line carefully, but the film is still enjoyable.

“Invisible Life” can be compared with other compelling and classic melodramas such as the Best Picture Oscar winner “Rebecca” by Alfred Hitchcock, “Imitation of Life” by Douglas Sirk, “Like Water for Chocolate” by Alfonso Arau, and “All About My Mother” by Pedro Almodóvar.
Invisible Life, Italian poster.
“Invisible Life” won Un Certain Regard in Cannes and the CineCoPro Award at the Munich Film Festival. Now, it has a nomination for an Independent Spirit Award. The film inspires women to continue breaking barriers and closing the gender gap, optimistically speaking.

The timing of these engaging melodrama couldn't be better as we see today’s women pushing barriers that limited previous generations to accomplish their goals and reached out for more opportunities, leaving behind the oppressive world remarkably and exquisitely depicted in “Invisible Life.”
Jose Alberto Hermosillo, a film critic. And Karim Aïnouz, director of "Invisible Life." ©2019 Festival in LA
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Saturday, December 28, 2019


By José Alberto Hermosillo
Prepare to enjoy two consecutive and amazing weekends of Nordic movies at the Writers Guild of America Theater in Beverly Hills at the Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. 2020. The festival’s 21st edition includes a remarkable selection of films from the Northern European countries - including Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden.

The festival screens some fantastic shorts and documentaries as well. 

 The features include this year’s Oscar submissions, such as “The Mover” from Latvia, and “Stupid Young Heart” from Finland. 
The outstanding erotic thriller “Queen of Hearts” submitted from Denmark, with the extraordinary performance of the renowned Danish actress Trine Dyrholm (“In a Better World,” “Love is All You Need,” “Nico”). 
The festival continues screening the highly praised and critics' favorite “A White, White Day” from Iceland.
Special mention to the charming film representing Sweden “And Then We Danced” about a risky love among the very traditional Georgian dances.
Another of the festival highlights is the unmissable Academy shortlisted epic, “Truth and Justice” from Estonia.
The Opening Night Gala includes a reception with a buffet before the screening of sensational book adaptation of “Out Stealing Horses” from Norway.
The Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. closes with “Daniel” from Denmark. The story is about a Danish photographer captured by ISIS in Syria in 2013 and held hostage for 398 days. 
 James Koenig, host, director, and founder of the SFFLA. Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo, Festival in LA ©2019
Many of the films will include Q & A's with the filmmakers, cast, and crew. After each movie, they are always ready to talk about the arts and crafts in their film industry. The Nordic visitors: like mingle with Angelinos. 
Gustav Mollër, director of The Guilty. Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo, Festival in LA ©2019
Scandinavian Film Festiva LAl 2020 Festival in LA ©2019
If one of your New Year resolutions is to start watching good movies, the Scandinavian Film Festival L.A. is the answer. The festival is considered, for many, a small gem in the Los Angeles festival circuit. 
 Photo: José Alberto Hermosillo, Festival in LA © 2019
The hospitability and organization of the festival make any film lover feel welcome. The receptions include good wine, food, live music, and stunning quality of films from the countries located on the top of the world. 
 SFFLA Cake. Photo José Alberto Hermosillo, Festival in LA ©2019
You can buy your season pass for $140.00 to all the films and events.
Individual tickets are $12.00.
Scandinavian Film Festival LA Festival in LA ©2019
For more information about the Scandinavian Film Festival Los Angeles, please visit the festival's website, 

Scandinavian Film Festival LA 2020. Festival in LA ©2019
PROGRAM: schedule.

Follow SFFLA by email  -  Facebook  - Twitter @scandifilmfest
 Film Critic José Alberto Hermosillo, ©2019
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By José Alberto Hermosillo
Nineteen Best Films of 2019
Nineteen Best Films of 2019:

1. Transit
2. Joker
3. 1917
4. Little Women
5. Invisible Life
6. The Irishman
7. Honeyland
8. Dolemite is My Name
9. The Painted Bird
10. Portrait of a Lady on Fire
11. Parasite
12. Pain and Glory
13. Les Misérables
14. The Two Popes
15. Synonyms
16. Song of Names
17. Honey Boy
18. And Then We Danced
19. The Biggest Little Farm

SPECIAL MENTION: Our Time, Deerskin, Nobadi, Us, The Cave, The Farewell, Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Mustang, Giant Little Ones, Marriage Story, American Factory, The Report, Maiden, The Aeronauts, The Great Hack, The Art of Self Defense, Apollo 11, Knock Down the House, High Life.

🎥  🎞  📽  🎬

The year 2019 brought us some fascinating films - many of those you probably never heard of, or have no time to watch them. Many movies have no possibilities for an award or won't get an Oscar buzz - many critics may agree that the best film of the year will not necessarily be the most highly praised or rewarded movie of the year.
"Transit" is the most sublime, obsessively beautiful story of 2019. This modern and existentialist masterwork is comparable with classics such as "Casa Blanca" or "Touch of Evil."  
Films like "Joker" deserve to win Best Picture, "1917" is a masterpiece as well. "Little Women," a movie narrated from the writer's point-of-view and directed by a woman, is the best adaptation of the classic American novel so far. 
Some productions from other countries enrich the list of best films of the year, such as the Brazilian masterwork "Invisible Life." The French productions "Portrait of a Woman on Fire" and "Les Misérables" are also great movies worth your time. 
In the foreign section, we have the Swedish production, "And Then We Danced" about Georgian dancers in love. Finally, the most controversial film of the year, and difficult to swallow, the black and white WWII drama "The Painted Bird."
The year 2019, also brought us a few big disappointments. I was not referring to Cats, Richard Jewell, The Fanatic, Rambo: Last Blood, Terminator: Dark Fate, or Ugly Dolls. But that is another story. 

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