ENSEMBLE IN A COMEDY
Once again, Wes Anderson beautifully integrates longtime collaborators (Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman) and newcomers (Tom Hanks, Margot Robbie) into his largest ensemble yet. Whether inside the story or out of it – in a context I won’t spoil – they all get moments to shine.
ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction
Wright has stunned in supporting part for more than 25 years, but gets his first starring role since Basquiat. To absolutely no one’s surprise, he nails it. As the curmudgeonly writer who leans into the stereotypical “urban fiction” that seems to sell like hotcakes, he’s both right and wrong in his cynical POV. Opening himself up to new possibilities may not change his literary opinions, but they certainly let him see the real world in a new light.
ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Emma Stone, Poor Things
While the word “fearless” gets tossed around a lot when discussing performers who get fully nude or play addicts, I think it applies to Stone’s turn here. Playing an impulsive creation of a mad scientist (Willem Dafoe), she learns all about the world’s good and bad qualities at an accelerated pace. This lets her be curious, playful, and at times, annoying as hell. Much like her diabolical turn on The Curse, she’s fearlessly letting herself be unlikable.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY
Ryan Gosling, Barbie
Gosling can go from deadly serious to deadly funny like nobody’s business. He had this award sewn up the second he started playing Matchbox Twenty’s “Push.”
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY
Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers
While certainly not the comic center of The Holdovers, her turn as bereft cook Mary gives the film an added gravitas. She lends a sympathetic ear to both teacher (Paul Giamatti) and student (Dominic Sessa) while still being her own complete person.
ENSEMBLE IN A DRAMA
The 1972 Miami Dolphins of “That Guys.” While Florence Pugh, Emily Blunt and especially Olivia Thirlby give strong turns, the movie is understandably is dominated by the boys. Oscar winners pop up for just five minutes of screen time! That’s how stacked this cast is.
ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Barry Keoghan, Saltburn
The Irish actor assumes the final form of his Creepy Little Guys, a mundane middle-class sociopath whose obsessions drive him to commit depraved acts as he ingratiates himself into the obscenely wealthy Catton family. What makes Keoghan stand out is not his nude dance or *that scene* or even *that scene* but the way he can subtly manipulate his face and tone of voice to lure each member of the family into his web.
ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon
It’s a breakthrough only in the sense that more people have seen this movie than any of her other films combined. I already gave her my Supporting Actress in a Drama award for Certain Women, so I’ve been in awe for years now. In lesser hands, it would have been blank stares and wailing. But Gladstone makes a historical figure come to life, a real person and not just a victim.
SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA
Charles Melton, May December
The former Riverdale hunk absolutely blew me away, more than holding his own against two Oscar winners (Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore). The final shot of his face will stick with me for years to come.
SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA
Rachel McAdams, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Welp. We’re now at the point where the former star of teen classics is playing the mother of a teen. But McAdams is as effervescent as ever, ready to jump in as her daughter (Abby Ryder Fortson) faces all the highs and lows of adolescence. But the scene where she explains to Margaret why they don’t see her parents anymore is some of her very best acting.