2021 Gotham Awards Wrap Up

Written by Alexander Reams

“Dread it. Run from it. Destiny arrives all the same.”

Well, folks, the time has come. Drink in the Movies is back, bringing you awards coverage for the 2021-2022 season, and tonight we begin with the 2021 Gotham Awards, the kickoff of almost every award season. 

Unlike most awards shows, I’ll give you the dessert first. After much confusion on who was leading the race here, Maggie Gyllenhaal’s debut, The Lost Daughter took home Best Picture, cementing its space in the tight Oscar race. Along with Best Picture, The Lost Daughter took home the Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award for Maggie Gyllenhaal, Best Screenplay, also Gyllenhaal, and Best Lead Performance (it was a tie but we’ll get to that later) for Olivia Colman, bringing its grand total to 4 wins. 

Best Documentary Feature was a runaway win for Flee, who has been sweeping up wins in not only Best Documentary but also Best Animated and Best Foreign Film. Despite winning multiple awards in the latter category, Flee was not nominated for Best International Film. Instead, those nominees were more focused on the even smaller foreign films, with a few Oscar hopefuls, Drive My Car, The Worst Person in the World, and Titane being on the forefront of that category with the former winning here. Ryusuke Hamaguchi has been quietly sneaking away Best International Feature wins from the other frontrunners. Quietly building steam, until now. Now, there are many eyes on this film, so MAYBE IT CAN FINALLY PLAY IN WIDE RELEASE (I would greatly appreciate it). 

There was only one other film that had more than one win, CODA, Sian Heder’s Sundance darling, which despite its wins at Sundance, does little more than cloy for us audience members to feel bad for these characters and that includes Troy Kotsur, who won Best Supporting Performance for CODA. Who should’ve won? That is a question whose answer should be so clear I don’t have to ask it, alas I do. I digress, Reed Birney for Mass should’ve won, and not as much for him but to bring attention to the film so that attention is on the one person who should be nominated, Jason Isaacs. The brightest point of CODA is Emilia Jones’ performance, who in any other year would never win, but in a weak year for Breakthrough Performer, she takes home the gold, not much more to say on that. 

Before I get to the “So What?” Best Lead Performance was a tie, you know Olivia Colman won, and the other was Frankie Faison in The Killing of Kenneth Chamberlain. I haven’t seen the film but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for it now. 

Now. So What? Well, the Gotham’s aren’t the most accurate when predicting Oscar nominations, so don’t rush to Gold Derby to change your predictions, but they can help with thinning out the crowds, and at least begin to eye in on possible nominees. I would recommend looking at The Lost Daughter a lot more, especially in the Adapted Screenplay category. Flee has been a lock for some time now, in one category or another. This is not the award show that should make you rush and change your ballot, in fact, I implore you not to. For now, we awards junkies should be celebrating the fact that awards season has returned, and this is only the beginning. 

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

Mass

Written by Alexander Reams

88/100

I still remember December 14, 2012. I had come home from school after a long day at school, then stayed after even more to wait on my mother (who was a teacher) to finish up her preparation for the next day. I remember the drive home, my mother was unusually emotional and I was thinking something had happened with my grandmother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia. When we arrived home I was told to not turn on the TV and wait for my parents. My parents went into a separate room and talked for what seemed like forever to 10-year old me. When they came out they sat me and my brother down and told us what had happened in Sandy Hook, Connecticut. 

At the time I couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Until 5 years later when I experienced that same fear, confusion, anger when there was an incident at my high school and we didn’t know what was going on if we were in any danger, or when we would be able to get out. The worst of it seemed to be the time, the waiting, the not knowing if someone was going to knock down the door and commit this act of violence. Until the aftermath came, and that hit harder than the waiting. This aftermath is what Fran Kranz’s directorial debut Mass meditates on in great strength. 

Going into the film I did not know who was who. I knew who was starring, in fact, that’s what piqued my interest in the film, specifically Jason Isaacs. Even after the film began it took 20 to 30 minutes to fully grasp who was the parents of the victim, and who was the parents of the shooter. Utilizing confusion to put tension into the film from the very first shot. First, we are introduced to Jason Isaacs’ Jay and Martha Plimpton’s Gail. Parked in front of a fence, with what looks like a high school football field behind them. Clearly cementing whose perspective the film is going to be told from. 

Soon after, we are introduced to Reed Birney’s Richard and Ann Dowd’s Linda. The latter of whom immediately thrusts a gift to Gail and then annoyingly apologizes multiple times. After this awkward interaction we spend the rest of the film marinating in this room with these people. There has been a heavy amount of conversation around Ann Dowd’s performance and unfortunately I do not see why. She is overcooking her role for the entire runtime and becomes annoying very quickly. Reed Birney and Jason Isaacs however are the unsung heroes of the film. Their presence is always felt but is never overbearing. 

Fran Kranz’s directorial debut is a quiet film with a loud presence. Not being a film that preaches gun control, but instead looks at the consequences of someone’s actions through their parents. The guilt that the parents feel, the anger, not at the person, but at that person’s parents. Kranz’s writing of all the characters is fantastic, his shot composition and use of lighting helps keep the mood light while the tone is heavy. Assembling a fantastic cast with Birney and Isaacs being the best of them. Hopefully come awards season we will see recognition for one or both of them, as they are more than worthy of the recognition. Quiet films can often be the most profound.

Mass Trailer

Mass is currently playing in limited theatrical release.

You can connect with Alexander on his social media profiles: Instagram, Letterboxd, and Twitter. Or see more of his work on his website.

Sundance 2021 | Wrap Up Discussion With Members of ForReel and Drink in the Movies

That’s a wrap for Sundance 2021! In this video, Taylor Beaumont leads a conversation with Thomas Stoneham-Judge and Taylor Baker, talking about everyone’s experiences with the festival. We recap as much as possible, from the festival platform to award winners to festival favorites to honorable mentions.

Learn more about Sundance Film Festival

Sundance 2021 Mid-Festival Round Up with Members of ForReel Movie News and Reviews

Click here to review the Festival Awards!

The festival officially runs from January 28th to February 3rd.

  • Jan. 28th – festival kicks off with the opening night welcome at 5pm MST, followed by the premiers of Coda and In the Same Breath at 6pm MST.
  • Feb. 2nd – festival awards winners are announced starting at 6pm MST.
  • Feb. 3rd – on-demand screening of award finning films takes place 8am-12pm MST.
  • Note: Short films and Indie Series programs are available for on-demand screening for the duration of the festival.

Whether you’re charting your own course through the festival, in need of guidance, or content to sit back and wait for recaps, we hope you will find some time to touch base with us here at Drink in the Movies and over at ForReel Movie New and Reviews for festival news, coverage, and updates. I spoke with Thomas & Taylor from ForReel Movie News and Reviews to talk about our favorite festival films so far, experience using the Sundance Virtual Platform, and our most anticipated remaining films. Watch the video above, and we’ll see you at Sundance 2021!