This month, February is a preview of things to come. And for things delayed! The Oscars will be held this year on Sunday, April 25th, so there will be a few months to go yet before the Oscar “Buzz” and predictions heat up. A good indicator always for the Oscar nominees are the many award shows that precede it. The Golden Globes, the SAG (Screen Artists Guild) awards, the BAFTA (British Equivalent of Oscar) and the Sundance Film Festival all preview some of the pre-eminent films of the past year.
CODA won the Sundance Film Festival Best Picture; and Frances McDormand will surely be a nominee for Best Actress in Nomadland; plus the late Chadwick Boseman has been nominated in multiple categories for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. For current information and up to date reviews of the latest award nominees and winners, check out 6 Degrees of Film magazine each week.
Tributes to those we lost
We just heard of the passing of Christopher Plummer, an exceptional actor who after so many credits, will always best known for his role of Captain Von Trapp in “The Sound of Music.” Cicely Tyson also died recently, and that fact only serves to remind us of the talents of those pioneers who helped to break barriers for African-American women in film.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is one of the films that is showing at the movies and is streaming currently. And as mentioned, the late Chadwick Boseman has broken ground for nominations in a variety of categories, for roles in Ma Rainey’s as well as the many memorable roles he created. Boseman, like Mr Plummer in Sound of Music, will be known primarily as the defining character in the Black Panther Marvel series. Some other notable films for Black History Month include Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner starring Sidney Poitier, playing on Turner Classic this month. But I would recommend the original documentary series “Eyes on the Prize” and Spike Lee’s Malcolm X with Denzel Washington for those who seriously want to delve into Black History. The movie: The Black Panther is another obvious choice to watch, as well as Hidden Figures, both of these films being much more recent and notably well received. Chadwick Boseman was also brilliant as Jackie Robinson in 42 and to complete your viewing, there is his turn as the famed first Black Supreme Court Justice, Thurgood Marshall, playing Marshall as a rising young lawyer in the early fifties in the film- Marshall.
Armchair Film Fest
At 6 Degrees, each week we highlight the film events as well as the small screen feature films that are notable enough to record and watch (Sometimes known as “Binge-watching”!)….This month on Turner Classic Movies, they are featuring:
- Comedies with Mel Brooks: Blazing Saddles and The Producers are shown this month, both starring Gene Wilder.
- Robert Ryan: The Film Noir star is a particular favorite of mine-he is featured in Marine Raiders, The Set-up (Directed by Sound of Music director Robert Wise), and a Western-Trail Street.
- Romantic Valentine’s: For those who would like to see something romantic around Valentine’s Day, know that some of the most enduring romantic couples of all time are found in Hollywood’s Golden Age films. Casablanca features one such couple, and Doctor Zhivago features another. Alas, (Spoiler alert), both are films about a timeless love that endures, but if you are a fan of happy endings- Love doesn’t always lead to ‘Happily ever-afters” even in Hollywood!
The state of Hollywood films in 2021
There are still many delays of big-studio films due to the ongoing Pandemic. James Bond will wait till November to debut with Daniel Craig in his last Bond film-No Time to Die. Some films will be released for streaming and On-Demand due to COVID-19 concerns. Stay tuned for announcements as the release dates have changed frequently these past months.
That’s all for now, folks, and like everything else during the era of Covid, we will have to wait and see what the next few months bring in terms of Oscar nominations as well as the release dates for this year. Denzel Washington is currently starring in The Little Things, one of the films listed as popular at the drive-in’s, if you are lucky enough to find one near you! Check it out if you can…Till next time, see you at the movies!-ML