Review: ‘Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare,’ starring Debbie Cartisano, Lance Jaggar, Chris Smith, Sharon Fuqua and Charles Brofman

December 29, 2023

by Carla Hay

An archival Challenger Foundation photo from “Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare”

Directed by Liza Williams

Culture Representation: The documentary film “Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” features an almost all-white group of people (with one Asian person) talking about their experiences with controversial entrepreneur Steve Cartisano and the high-priced “wilderness therapy” camps that he founded for troubled juveniles.

Culture Clash: Cartisano, who died of a heart attack in 2019, at the age of 63, was sued several times and had many allegations that his camps illegally abused the children who were forced to be there. 

Culture Audience: “Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in documentaries that show how abuse and exploitation are excused or covered up, but some questions remain unanswered by the end of the movie.

An archival photo of Debbie Cartisano and Steve Cartisano from “Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” succeeds in being a cautionary documentary about the dangers of boot camps that claim to be “tough love” rehab for juvenile delinquents. But the movie needed better investigative journalism about the sexual abuse allegations mentioned near the end. Sensitive viewers, be warned: This documentary is disturbing in its details of child abuse. It’s also the type of documentary that will be infuriating to anyone who thinks the perpetrators exploited the system to get away with horrible acts of violence and other crimes.

Directed by Liza Williams, “Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” begins with an awkward mention of celebrity socialite Paris Hilton going public in 2020 about experiencing physical and emotional abuse at various group facilities that she was sent to when she was a “wild child” teenager. At the beginning and end of the documentary, there’s archival footage of a 2021 press conference where Hilton and Ro Khanna (a U.S. Representative from California) made statements, after a congressional hearing to introduce a bill to protect children from abuse in group facilities. After showing this footage in the beginning, the documentary mentions that the documentary actually isn’t about Hilton’s experiences but about the “wilderness therapy” camps founded by Steve Cartisano, who is considered to be the “godfather” of this controversial way of dealing with troubled kids. (In 2019, when he was 63, Cartisano died of a heart attack while he had cancer.)

The mention of Hilton is the documentary’s way of saying that if this abuse could happen to a wealthy heiress, it can happen to anyone. However, it comes across as just using a celebrity name to hook people into watching the movie. The fact of the matter is that “Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” is about the types of experiences where children were isolated and deprived of food and bathroom facilities for long periods of time and forced to do strenuous physical activities outdoors in extreme weather conditions. This not the same type of abuse that Hilton said she experienced at a boarding school such as Provo Canyon School in Utah, where she says she was treated like an indoor prisoner and deprived of sunlight for long periods of time.

“Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” places much of the blame for “wildnerness therapy” camps on Cartisano, who is considered to be the first person to take this concept and market it into a business that can generate millions of revenue every year. These camps do not operate like juvenile detention facilities, where kids are sent by the court system. These camps have the kids’ parents or legal guardians sign over the right for the kids to be forcibly taken to these camps, with the intent of punishing the kids enough to scare them out of their troublemaking ways.

Cartisano was a former U.S. Air Force instructor and military special forces officer who had a troubled childhood himself. As mentioned in the documentary, his biological parents gave him up for adoption, and then took him back when he was 2 years old. His biological mother was a heroin addict who died when he was 17. His biological father was reportedly physically abusive.

“Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” has horrific stories from survivors of programs founded by Cartisano, who was mostly based in Utah. And even though he was sued and faced numerous allegations of child abuse in these programs, he would just shut down a program when it had too many legal problems and then start a new business under a different name and in a different location. According to the documentary, rather than toning down the extreme methods used in each program, Cartisano made each subsequent program worse than its predecessor.

First, there was the Challenger Foundation, which Cartisano founded in 1988. The Challenger Foundation sent kids to an isolated area in Utah and made them go on 500-mile hikes to get food. The children were also deprived of bathroom facilities and indoor sleeping quarters. The Challenger Foundation’s biggest controversy was the death of Kristen Chase, a 16-year-old who died in 1990, after she hiked a long distance in extreme heat while enrolled in the Challenger Foundation. Chase’s tragic passing resulted in a wrongful-death lawsuit, whose outcome is detailed in the documentary.

Legal and financial problems led to the demise of the Challenger Foundation, but that didn’t stop Cartisano from being in the “child reform” business. In the early 1990s, he moved on to founding HealthCare America, based in St. Thomas and later in Costa Rica. Instead of making the kids hike in a Utah desert, the kids had to live in harsh conditions on sailboats that went to various places in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

Pacific Coast Academy, based in Samoa, was Cartisano’s business in the 2000s. He often used the alias Steve Michaels during his Pacific Coast Academy years. Pacific Coast Academy had plans to build a massive facility and used many of the kids in the program as unpaid and untrained workers to do the construction. Critics of Cartisano say that he intentionally misled desperate parents into thinking that the kids enrolled in his programs would be in a safe and healthy environment.

The Challenger Foundation had a 63-day program, but people interviewed in the documentary say that it was not unusual for kids enrolled in the program to stay longer than 63 days if they were being “punished” for not complying with the rules. Other kids stayed longer than 63 days, simply because their parents didn’t want them to come home after the 63 days. Of course, there was an obvious incentive for the camps to extend the enrollment: more money could be made from the people paying to have the kids at the camp.

The documentary makes it clear that it’s not a coincidence that after the scandals that Cartisano had in the United States, he took his operations to countries or territories that had less restrictive laws about the type of business that he was doing. “Hell Camp” also has stories of how Cartisano’s employees would dodge authorities who would investigate complaints about Cartisano’s businesses. A disclaimer at the end of the documentary mentions that any businesses that currently have the names Challenger Foundation, HealthCare America and Pacific Coast Academy have nothing to do with companies founded by Cartisano.

Several survivors of Cartisano’s “hell camps” are interviewed in the documentary. The survivors are identified by their first names only, but their faces and voices are undisguised. The survivors who are interviewed were sent to Cartisano’s camps as teenagers, usually ages 13 to 16. Almost all of them say that the reasons they were sent to the camp were because they had drug problems. Some enrollees had other issues too, such as committing petty crimes, skipping school, or running away from home.

All of them describe experiencing physical abuse from Cartisano’s employees, including assaults, lack of medical care for injuries, food deprivation, sleep deprivation, and basic hygiene deprivation. And they say there was constant verbal and emotional abuse. All of them also say that they’ve had long-term trauma from these terrible experiences.

Challenger Foundation survivors interviewed in the documentary are Nadine, who was in the program in 1989, at the age of 15; a woman named Kinney, who was in the program in 1988, at the age of 13; and Matthew, who was in the program in 1990, at age 15. HealthCare America survivors interviewed are Adam, who was in the program in 1993, at the age of 13; and Ashley, who was in the program in 1993, at the age of 15.

The Pacific Coast Academy survivors who are interviewed are Kurt, who was in the program in 2000, at age 15; and Amber, who was in the program in 2000, at the age of 14. Kurt and Amber knew each other as friendly acquaintances before being in the program, but that all changed when Kurt and other teens in the program were ordered to torture some of the enrollees, including Amber. Kurt admits to it in the documentary, but he says he was just following orders and was too afraid to say no.

Adam’s stoic father Larry is also interviewed and doesn’t seem to have much regret about sending Adam to the HealthCare America program, although he does get a little emotional when he watches an old video of him making a surprise visit to a sobbing Adam in Costa Rica. Larry also says he didn’t know how brutally Adam was treated until it was too late. Larry is one of two parents of a camp survivor to be interviewed in the documentary.

By contrast, Matthew’s mother Kari expresses regret about putting him in the Challenger Foundation program. She remembers thinking at the time about the Challenger Foundation: “I didn’t know what else to do, but this sounds good.” Sharon Fuqua, who sued Cartisano for the wrongful death of her daughter Kristen Chase, is also interviewed, along with Fuqua’s son David, who is Kristen’s younger brother.

Cartisano’s family members and close associates who are interviewed in the documentary don’t really deny the abuse, but they go out of their way to downplay his responsibility in being the leader of a business that enabled or encouraged the abuse. His ex-wife Debbie Cartisano is the one who does the most to push the narrative that Steve was a “good guy” who “meant well” with these programs, but the way his employees behaved was “beyond his control” when he wasn’t at the camps. She also seems more interested in talking about the financial hardships that she had to go through every time Steve had shut down another one of his businesses, rather than Debbie acknowledging any suffering that any child victims experienced because of those businesses.

Also interviewed are Debbie and Steve’s daughter Catie, who openly talks about her troubled teen years of drug addiction and how she recovered from it. Her brother Dave also had the same problems and was sent to Pacific Coast Academy. (He is not interviewed in the documentary, which mentions what happened to Dave.)

Catie says in the documentary: “My dad was brilliant.” But she admits that the scandals and controversies took a toll on the family, and she wanted him to change careers: “I wanted him to do something different. I wanted our family to be normal.” Debbie also says that she wanted Steve to get out of the “child reform” business, but he refused.

The only former Cartisano camp employee interviewed in the documentary is Lance “Horsehair” Jaggar, who says that he immediately bonded with Steve because they were both veterans of the U.S. Air Force. Jaggar is unapologetic about the harsh tactics that were used on the children at these camps. Jaggar says that he doesn’t believe in beatings as punishment, but he thinks spankings are perfectly acceptable. The documentary has archival footage of Jaggar yelling insults at some of the Challenger Foundation kids. You get the feeling that whatever was on camera was very tame compared to what wasn’t on camera.

Jaggar makes this not-very-believable comment about how the kids were treated in these camps: “We broke them down, but we didn’t break them down to hurt them. We didn’t break them down to punish them. We broke them down to get rid of the old crap and help them be a better and more positive person.”

He adds with a sadistic smirk, “Some of the kids were so scared, they’d almost pass out. And that was fine by me. I wanted them to have a little fear. [For] a lot of these kids, this was it, or they were going to jail.”

Also interviewed in the documentary are reporter Chris Smith, who investigated and did news reports of Cartisano camp operations and scandals; attorney Charles Brofman, who represented Steve in several lawsuits; Max Jackson, former sheriff of Utah’s Kane County; and a former U.S. Embassy worker who is only identified by her first name: Mary Lou. The documentary includes a lot of archival footage, such as news reports, interviews that Steve did, and grainy-looking video recordings that were taken at the camps.

Although there is a variety of people interviewed for the documentary, what’s missing is more investigation into the sexual abuse allegations that aren’t mentioned until the last 20 minutes of the movie. Amber says she was sexually abused by a “chief of the village” during her time at Pacific Coast Academy, but the documentary doesn’t mention if the filmmakers followed up on this allegation to try to find this accused abuser to get his side of the story.

And there’s another sexual abuse allegation against someone else that isn’t too surprising, but this allegation is shown so late in the film, it seems like it was mainly put there for shock purposes. The documentary does not give any indication if this allegation is isolated or possibly the tip of the iceberg. If the allegation against this person is true, it’s highly likely that there are many more victims of the same type of sexual abuse, but the “Hell Camp” filmmakers didn’t seem to want to do more investigating.

Even with some noticeable flaws, “Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” is a searing look at this unsettling fact: Even when so many people speak their truths about being abused, there are still others who deny or excuse the abuse. This documentary is also a wake-up call about why these types of programs are thriving in a society that should have better ways of dealing with child delinquency. Of course, there are no easy answers, but it should be easy to know when discipline crosses the line into unacceptable and illegal abuse.

Netflix premiered “Hell Camp: Teen Nightmare” on December 27, 2023.

Review: ‘Holiday in the Vineyards,’ starring Josh Swickard, Sol Rodríguez, Eileen Davidson, Omar Gooding, Carly Jibson, Julian Rangel and Carlos Solórzano

December 25, 2023

by Carla Hay

Josh Swickard and Sol Rodríguez in “Holiday in the Vineyards” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Holiday in the Vineyards”

Directed by Alex Ranarivelo

Culture Representation: Taking place in California, the comedy film “Holiday in the Vineyards” features a racially diverse cast of characters (white, Latino and African American) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: An irresponsible playboy goes undercover to get confidential business information for his wine mogul mother, but he falls for the woman whom he has deceived to get this information.

Culture Audience: “Holiday in the Vineyards” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching inoffensive and undemanding romantic comedies.

Omar Gooding in “Holiday in the Vineyards” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Holiday in the Vineyards” is pleasant and predictable, but not in a way that’s cloying or irritating. Unlike many romantic comedies of its kind, everything in the story is believable. Some parts are dull and uneven, but the movie is watchable overall. It’s the type of film where most viewers will know how the movie ends before the movie begins, but the movie’s characters will keep viewers interested.

Directed by Alex Ranarivelo, “Holiday in the Vineyards” is the cinematic equivalent of a low-priced romance novel that is an easy way to pass the time. “Holiday in the Vineyards” (written by Cecilia Franco and David Zanardi) has an easygoing screenplay that follows a familiar formula of an irresponsible man who might be redeemed by the love of a good woman. It’s also one of those romantic comedies that involves someone telling a big lie to potential love interest, so there romance could be ruined if the deceived person finds out about the lie.

“Holiday in the Vineyards” (formerly titled “A Wine Country Christmas”) begins by showing hard-partying playboy Carter Baldwyn (played by Josh Swickard) waking up on a golf course, after being passed out drunk. Carter is very hung over and is running late for a lunch meeting with his widowed mother Margo Baldwyn (played by Eileen Davidson), who is very bossy and judgmental. She is the owner of the California-based family business called Baldwyn Wines, which is a financially successful company that sells low-quality wine.

Margo has become accustomed to Carter being flaky, but she’s losing her patience with him. Margo’s father-in-law George Baldwyn (who is deceased) founded Baldwyn Wines. She wants to retire in the near future but is determined to keep the business in the family. And so, Margo expects Carter (who is an only child) to eventually take over the company.

However, Margo has serious doubts that Carter is capable of being the leader of anything. He has a history of being flaky and selfish. He was engaged to a woman named Emma Dixon (played by Annika Noelle), who had Margo’s approval. However, Carter called off the wedding and callously told Emma by text that he decided to break up with her.

While Margo waits for Carter to show up for the lunch meeting, Margo is rude to a waiter who serves her some Baldwin win at this lunch meeting. She spits out the wine and barks at the waiter: “We sell this wine! We don’t drink it!” She then orders the waiter to serve her the high-quality wine that she thinks she deserves.

During the meeting between Margo and Carter, she tells him that she wants to go to the rural town of Los Santos, where she wants to buy a property in foreclosure called Huckabee Vineyard Estate. Margo has heard that there’s a rival company that might be bidding on ths property. Carter has been given the task of going undercover at Los Santos to try to find out any insider information to help Margo have the upper hand in closing this deal.

Margo orders Carter to “blend in” when he’s in Los Santos. And that means Carter can’t call attention to himself as the spoiled and wealthy heir of Baldwyn Wines. Through a series of circumstances, Carter makes an impromptu decision to pretend that he’s a carpenter. It’s a lie that he tells to several people in Los Santos, including the main target of his undercover investigation: Valentina Espinoza (played by Sol Rodríguez), the real-estate agent that is representing Huckabee Vineyard Estate in the sale.

Valentina is a lonely and grieving young widow, whose husband Chris died of cancer. The movie doesn’t say how long he’s been dead, but it appears to be less than two years. Valentina and Chris’ two sons are Fernando (played by Julian Rangel ), who’s about 10 or 11 years old, and Santiago, nicknamed Santi (played by Carlos Solórzano), who’s about 7 or 8 years old. Valentina gets help from her best friend Cindy (played by Carly Jibson), who is a nurse, in taking care of the children.

It just so happens that Valentina has a guest house that is dire need of a cleanup and renovation. Chris and Valentina have their “meet cute” moment (he crashes a private tour that she’s giving of Huckabee Vineyard Estate), he eagerly accepts Valentina’s offer for him to stay in the guest house. His glee quickly turns to dismay when Valentina says he can stay there for free on one condition: He has to renovate the guest house with supplies, which she says shouldn’t be a problem for Chris because he told her that he’s a carpenter.

Valentina says she will pay for all of the supplies and sends Chris goes to a local store called Walker Hardware. Mo Walker (played by Omar Gooding), the store’s friendly and helpful owner, quickly figures out that Chris has lied to Valentina about being a carpenter. Omar thinks that Chris told this lie because Chris wants to date Valentina. Chris denies that he hs a romantic interest in Valentina, but we all know where this story is going. The movie shows as soon as Carter arrives in Los Santos that the town is having an upcoming event on December 23 called the Holiday Garagiste and Artisanal Wine Festival.

“Holiday in the Vineyards” has a lot of the expected occurrences in a “bad boy/good girl” romance formula, where a “bad boy” has to do some soul-searching about his part harmful actions, in order become a better person who’s “worthy” of the love of the “good girl.” Carter goes from someone who’s a commitment-phobic bachelor who can’t picture himself spending too much time taking care of kids to someone who is surprised at how good he is with Valentina’s children and how much he likes the small-town life of Los Santos.

Meanwhile, Valentina also has to rethink how much her grief is holding her back from trying to find happiness and romantic love again. “Holiday in the Vineyards” realistically shows the hesitancy of a widowed person who is afraid and reluctant to get back into the dating scenes. As attractive and accomplished as Valentina is, she not immune from insecurities and sadness. Rodríguez’s portrayal of Valentina is some of the best acting in the movie.

The “sidekick” characters of Cindy and Mo bring most of the movie’s comedy in ways that are often stereotypical, with some of their jokes landing better than other jokes. Cindy is a jokester and a flirtatious bachelorette who is looking for love. And you can almost do a countdown to the scene where Cindy meets Mo, who is also single, and predict how she’s going to react to him.

Mo is an amateur winemaker who makes wine out of his garage, but his wine needs a lot of improvement, to put it nicely. A running joke in the movie is that Mo often asks Carter for Carter’s opinion on Mo’s wine. Every time Carter drinks Mo’s wine, Carter gags and/or spits out the wine.

“Holiday in the Vineyards” doesn’t have any big surprises. But thankfully, there are no over-the-top and ridiculous scenes of people declaring they’ve fallen in love with each other and want to spend the rest of their lives with a love interest whom they’ve known for less than a week. Any transformation that Carter might go through is well-earned and doesn’t looked forced. The romance in the story, just like this movie, is sweet and has enough charm to keep most viewers interested.

Netflix premiered “Holiday in the Vineyards” on December 13, 2023.

Review: ‘Leave the World Behind’ (2023), starring Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, Kevin Bacon, Farrah Mackenzie and Charlie Evans

December 24, 2023

by Carla Hay

Mahershala Ali, Myha’la, Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke in “Leave the World Behind” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Leave the World Behind” (2023)

Directed by Sam Esmail

Some language in Spanish with no subtitles

Culture Representation: Taking place in New York state, the sci-fi/dramatic film “Leave the World Behind” (based on the 2020 novel of the same name) features a predominantly white cast of characters (with some African Americans, one Latina and one Asian person) representing the working-class, middle-class and wealthy.

Culture Clash: A group of people in a quiet Long Island neighborhood have different reactions when they find out that they are experiencing some kind of apocalypse. 

Culture Audience: “Leave the World Behind” will appeal primarily to fans of the movie’s headliners and apocalyptic dramas that leave room for elements of mystery.

Charlie Evans and Farrah Mackenzie in “Leave the World Behind” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

The apocalyptic drama “Leave the World Behind” isn’t really about any faraway, unknown enemies responsible for the attack. It’s more about how people respond to a crisis when they think enemies are closer to home. The movie’s story might frustrate viewers who want a more definitive ending, but “Leave the World Behind” is supposed to be an observational commentary on how people can have very different reactions if they think they are experiencing an apocalypse.

Written and directed by Sam Esmail, “Leave the World Behind” is based on Rumaan Alam’s 2020 novel of the same name. It’s a mostly suspenseful movie that occasionally drags and gets repetitive in some areas when it becomes obvious that certain characters are stuck being where they are during a massive cyberattack that sends things into chaos. Viewers will get more satisfaction from watching “Leave the World Behind” if they don’t expect the movie to answer the question of how the cyberattack happened. It’s more important to see “Leave the World Behind” for what it is: an exploration of why the characters say and do the things they do during this attack.

“Leave the World Behind” begins by introducing the four-person family whose weekend vacation is disrupted by this mysterious catastrophe. Upper-middle-class spouses Amanda Sandford (played by Julia Roberts) and Clay Sandford (played by Ethan Hawke) live in New York City with their two children: 16-year-old Archie Sandford (played by Charlie Evans) and Rosie Evans (played by Farrah Mackenzie), who’s about 12 or 13 years old. Clay wakes up one morning to find out that Amanda has spontaneously rented a luxury vacation home on New York’s Long Island for the family to have a getaway weekend.

Amanda, who is an ad agency executive, is domineering and has a prickly personality. Early on the movie, she tells Clay one of the main reasons why she wants to have this getaway trip: “I hate people.” Clay, who is a book author, is friendly and easygoing. Amanda tends to think the worst of people, while Clay is much more open-minded and optimistic.

Archie and Amanda are generally well-behaved adolescents, but they have their occasional bratty or rebellious moments. Archie spends a lot of time playing video games, while Amanda is currently obsessed with watching all of the episode of the sitcom “Friends” in chronological order. Amanda is generally more curious than Archie is, but she is also more high-strung and more likely to get agitated.

When the Sandfords arrive at the house, which is near a beach, things seem to be going very well. Rose does some grocery shopping at a nearby store and notice a man in the parking lot. He’s stocking his truck with a lot of water and canned goods, as if he’s preparing for an emergency. Viewers later find out that this man is a contractor named Danny (played by Kevin Bacon), who is indeed a “doomsday prepper.”

It isn’t long before bizarre thngs start to happen. The Sandfords are at a beach that is fairly crowded when an oil tanker slowly heads toward the beach and then crashes on the beach. Luckily, no one on the beach gets hurt, but it appears to be a ship that got there on its own, since no one is inside the ship. The beach patrol employees have no answer for this weird incident.

Later, when the Sandfords are back at the house, Amanda notices that there is no longer any WiFi service and phone service in the house. Clay and Amanda also notice a mother deer and her kid in the house’s backyard. As already shown in the trailers for “Leave the World Behind” the Sandfords will be seeing a lot more deer in the near future. Observant viewers will notice that the appearances of groups of animals are supposed to be connected to the high-pitched noises that the people in the movie end up hearing.

Later that night, sometime after midnight, the Sandfords get some unexpected visitors, who knock at the front door. The kids are asleep, so Amanda and Clay open the door and find two strangers who are dressed like they just came from a formal event: George “G.H.” Scott (played by Mahershala Ali) politely introduces himself and his daughter Ruth (played by Myha’la, also known as Myha’la Herrold), who’s about 18 or 19 years old. (In the “Leave the World Behind” book,” Ruth is G.H.’s wife.)

G.H. says he’s sorry for showing up unannounced so late at night, but he explains that he’s the owner of the house. G.H. explains that he and Ruth were attending a symphony concert in New York City, which is experiencing a sudden blackout. They live in a 14th-floor apartment, but G.H. has a bad knee and would have to walk up a flight up stairs to get to the apartment, since the building’s elevator isn’t working during the blackout. Instead, they decided to drive to their Long Island home and spend the night there.

Amanda knows that she communicated by email with the house’s owner, but she never saw a photo of him before she rented the place. Her immediate reaction is to be suspicious. She expresses doubt and surprise that G.H. owns the house. G.H. later mentions that he’s a financial manager and that he’s owned the house for the past 20 years,.

Amanda’s reaction has racial undertones, since Amanda is white, and the Scotts are African American. Amanda doesn’t say it out loud, but she finds it hard to believe that black people could own this house. She’s reluctant to let them into the house, but Clay is much more trusting and gracious and lets G.H. and Ruth inside to continue the conversation.

Amanda gets even more suspicious when she asks G.H. to show his photo ID to prove who he says he is, but G.H. says he left his photo ID in the jacket he was wearing at the symphony. In the chaos of the blackout, he left the jacket behind at the venue. To prove that he at least knows the house, G.H. uses keys to open a drawer, where he takes out an envelope of cash.

G.H. and Ruth offer to stay in the basement during this unexpected visit. As an apology and to make up for the inconvenience, G.H. offers to give Clay and Amanda $1,000 in cash, which is half of the cost that Amanda and Clay paid for the weekend rental. Amanda still doesn’t G.H. and Ruth, but Clay convinces her to accept this deal.

In a private conversation that Amanda has with Clay, she says that G.H. and Ruth could be servants of the house’s owner, and this unexpected visit could be a set-up for a robbery. Clay thinks she’s being too paranoid. Because there is no WiFi and no phone service in the house, the Sandfords have no way of verifying what G.H. is saying.

There’s a period of time, early on in “Leave the World Behind,” when the movie keeps viewers guessing if there will be some kind of confrontation between Amanda and the Scotts. Ruth has immediately picked up on Amanda’s hostility, which can easily be interpreted as racial hostility. In response, Ruth is abrupt and sarcastic in communicating with Amanda.

There’s also apprehension behind Ruth’s demeanor. G.H.’s wife/Ruth’s mother is an art dealer who is away on a trip to Morocco. G.H. have been unable to reach her because of the blackout. And now, they’ve found out that there’s no communication services in their Long Island hom.

However, the WiFi service briefly comes back when Amanda gets news alerts on her phone that say there are cyberattacks happening. But the alerts soon disappear, and she wonders if she imagined what she saw. However, electricity still works in the house, and the TV news is showing that the United States in under a cyberattack from unknown sources. It isn’t long before the house loses electricity too.

Meanwhile, more strange things keep happening, some of which are revealed in the trailers for “Leave the World Behind.” Some of the movie’s visual effects look credible, while other visual effects look too much like the computer-generated imagery that it is. The Scotts and the Sandfords soon find out that the cyberattack has caused planes to crash. Although there are external forces that are causing the widespread disaster, the movie takes a very intimate look at how the some of the story’s main characters cause their own types of internal disarray through mistrust and fear.

“Leave the World Behind” also poses a familiar question that’s often found in stories where people are in life-or-death situations: “Will someone help strangers in need, or will someone only be concerned with helping loved ones?” The movie also shows how, when faced with the possibility of death, how people might see life differently.

The cast members’ performances aren’t award-worthy, but they are competent and believable. “Leave the World Behind” doesn’t follow the usual formula of having a warm-hearted mother for a family in crisis. Amanda is downright unpleasant and isn’t afraid to admit it. However, there are a few moments when some cracks appear in Amanda’s hard shell of a personality. These moments are among the best in “Leave the World Behind,” which isn’t about strong heroics during a crisis but what happens when people during a crisis feel they are their most vulnerable.

Netflix released “Leave the World Behind” in select U.S. cinemas on November 22, 2023. The movie premiered on Netflix on December 8, 2023.

Max launches culinary series ‘Chasing Flavor’ with Carla Hall

December 21, 2023

Carla Hall posing out front of Taco Tamix food truck with El Pastor Taco, as seen on “Chasing Flavor” (Photo courtesy of Food Network/Max)

The following is a press release from Max:

Celebrity chef and best-selling author Carla Hall takes viewers on a global adventure to explore the unexpected roots of popular dishes within today’s American food culture on the original Max series “Chasing Flavor.” Beginning on February 1, 2024, follow along as Carla’s curiosity about America’s most delicious dishes from chicken pot pie to ice cream leads her to Ghana, Italy, Turkey, and more. Along the way, Carla traces the history and lineage of dishes, discovering the interconnected, international origins and cultures that paved the way for today’s American cuisine – because if you don’t know the history, then you don’t know the dish. Join Carla as she chases flavor across the globe to find out how it all comes together on the American plate. 

“’Chasing Flavor’ brings together so many of the things I am passionate about.  It’s about food, and family, and sharing stories and history and travel. And more importantly, giving credit to the cultures that had a hand in a particular dish,” said Hall. “I’m really proud of this show.  Everyone involved in making it, myself included, put their heart and souls into it.  It was a wonderful adventure, and I can’t wait for others to share it.” 

Throughout the six half-hour episodes, Carla dives into American classics from shrimp and grits to hot chicken, to barbeque, and more. On one episode, Carla is on an unexpected dairy adventure that takes her from the United States, to Italy, and to Turkey to discover the origins of ice cream. Stopping at the top ice cream spots in New York and Philadelphia, Carla learns the unique churning methods used to give the classic dessert its smooth, creamy texture. Then, in Italy Carla gets a lesson on the difference between ice cream and gelato, and in Turkey, Carla is like a kid again playing with her food as she uncovers a unique ingredient that gives ice cream its silkiness.  

Carla’s travels do not end there as she goes on a taco trip to Mexico and discovers how a vertical flame helped cultures collide to create tacos al pastor. She also explores how Jamaica helped to shape the flaky crust of chicken pot pie, and in Ghana, she gets a spicy taste of the roots of hot chicken with chef Eric Adjepong. With every bite in every country, Carla’s journey highlights the influences that have shaped American cuisine.  

“Chasing Flavor” is produced by Fremantle’s Original Productions for Max. 

# # # 

Max®, which launched May 23, 2023, is an enhanced streaming platform from Warner Bros. Discovery, delivering unparalleled quality content for everyone in the household. With a personalized user experience that brings unique and unexpected stories ranging from the best of unscripted to the highest quality in scripted programming to live news to sports, Max is the destination for HBO Originals, Warner Bros. films, Max Originals, the DC universe, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, CNN Max, Bleacher Report Sports Add-On, an expansive offering of kids and family content, and best-in-class programming across food, home, reality, lifestyle, and documentaries from leading brands like HGTV, Food Network, Adult Swim, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, TLC, ID and more, all in one place. 

2024 Critics Choice Awards: ‘Barbie’ is the top nominee; ‘The Morning Show’ leads TV nominations

December 13, 2023

The following is a combination of press releases from the Critics Choice Association:

Ana Cruz Kayne, Sharon Rooney, Alexandra Shipp, Margot Robbie, Hari Nef and Emma Mackey in “Barbie” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

 The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced the film category nominees for the 29th annual Critics Choice Awards. The winners will be revealed at the star-studded gala hosted by Chelsea Handler, which will broadcast LIVE on The CW on Sunday, January 14, 2024 (7:00 – 10:00 pm ET – delayed PT, check local listings).

“Barbie” leads this year’s film contenders, earning 18 nominations overall. In addition to Best Picture, Best Comedy, and Best Hair and Makeup nods, the film racked up several acting nominations including Best Actress for Margot Robbie, Best Supporting Actor for Ryan Gosling and Best Supporting Actress for America Ferrera. Ariana Greenblatt is also up for Best Young Actor/Actress, and the cast garnered a Best Acting Ensemble nomination. Greta Gerwig earned a nod for Best Director and both Gerwig and Noah Baumbach are contenders for Best Original Screenplay. Rodrigo Prieto was nominated for Best Cinematography while Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer are up for Best Production Design, along with Nick Houy for Best Editing and Jacqueline Durran for Best Costume Design. Several of the film’s hit songs received nominations as well including “Dance the Night,” “I’m Just Ken,” and “What Was I Made For,” while Mark Ronson and Andrew Wyatt were nominated for Best Score.

Also up for Best Picture are “Oppenheimer” and “Poor Things,” which each garnered an outstanding 13 nominations, along with “Killers of the Flower Moon” which collected 12 nominations. Rounding out the Best Picture category are “American Fiction,” “Maestro,” “Past Lives,” “Saltburn,” “The Color Purple” and “The Holdovers”.

“We are so excited to celebrate this year’s remarkable projects, performances, and the people who made it all possible at the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards,” said CCA CEO Joey Berlin. “This year saw an incredible number of blockbuster hits and beautiful stories brought to life in these exceptional films.”

The 29th annual Critics Choice Awards will air live on The CW from 7:00 – 10:00 pm ET (delayed PT, check local listings). The Critics Choice Awards are bestowed annually to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, they are the most accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations.

As previously announced, “The Morning Show” leads the television contenders for the 29th annual Critics Choice Awards with six nominations. In addition to Best Drama Series, the show earned several acting nominations including Best Actress in a Drama Series for both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Billy Crudup was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, while Nicole Beharie and Karen Pittman both earned nods for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

The Critics Choice Association (CCA) announced the TV category nominees for the 29th Annual Critics Choice Awards. The winners will be revealed at the star-studded Critics Choice Awards gala hosted by Chelsea Handler, which will broadcast LIVE on The CW on Sunday, January 14, 2024 (7:00 – 10:00 pm ET – delayed PT, check local listings).

“The Morning Show” (Apple TV+) leads the television contenders for the 29th annual Critics Choice Awards with six nominations. In addition to Best Drama Series, the show earned several acting nominations including Best Actress in a Drama Series for both Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. Billy Crudup was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, while Nicole Beharie and Karen Pittman both earned nods for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

“Succession” (HBO | Max) followed with an impressive five nominations overall, including Best Drama Series. Kieran Culkin and Jeremy Strong are both nominated in the Best Actor in a Drama Series category, while Sarah Snook garnered a nomination for Best Actress in a Drama Series and Matthew MacFadyen is up for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series. 

“A Small Light” (National Geographic), “Abbott Elementary” (ABC), “Beef” (Netflix), “Lessons In Chemistry” (Apple TV+), “Loki” (Disney+), “Reservation Dogs” (FX), and “The Bear” (FX) tied with four nominations each.

The 29th annual Critics Choice Awards will air live on The CW from 7:00 – 10:00 pm ET (delayed PT, check local listings). The Critics Choice Awards are bestowed annually to honor the finest in cinematic and television achievement. Historically, they are the most accurate predictor of Academy Award nominations. The 29th annual Critics Choice Awards show will be executive-produced by Bob Bain Productions and Berlin Entertainment. The Critics Choice Awards are represented by Dan Black at Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

Sponsors of the Awards include Champagne Collet, Delta Air Lines, FIJI Water, Milagro Tequila, d’Arenberg and Maison L’Envoyé wines.

Follow the 29th annual Critics Choice Awards on Twitter and Instagram @CriticsChoice and on Facebook/CriticsChoiceAwards. Join the conversation using #CriticsChoiceAwards.

ABOUT THE CRITICS CHOICE ASSOCIATION (CCA)

The Critics Choice Association is the largest critics organization in the United States and Canada, representing more than 600 media critics and entertainment journalists. It was established in 2019 with the formal merger of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, recognizing the intersection between film, television, and streaming content. For more information, visit: www.CriticsChoice.com.

ABOUT THE CW NETWORK

The CW Network, LLC is one of America’s major broadcast networks and reaches 100% of US television households. The CW delivers 15 hours of primetime entertainment programming per week in addition to over 300 hours of sports per year as the broadcast home to LIV Golf, ACC football and basketball games, “Inside the NFL,” WWE NXT beginning in 2024 and NASCAR Xfinity Series beginning in 2025. The fully ad-supported CW App, with more than 96 million downloads to date, is available for free to consumers on all major platforms and is home to the latest episodes and seasons of The CW’s primetime programming, live streaming of LIV Golf tournaments and a library of entertaining film and television content for on-demand viewing. The CW is 75%-owned by Nexstar Media Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXST), a leading diversified media company and largest CW affiliate group with 42 CW and CW Plus affiliates, covering 39% of the population. For more information about The CW, please visit www.cwtv.com.

FILM NOMINATIONS FOR THE 29TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

BEST PICTURE

  • American Fiction
  • Barbie
  • The Color Purple
  • The Holdovers
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Maestro
  • Oppenheimer
  • Past Lives
  • Poor Things
  • Saltburn

BEST ACTOR

  • Bradley Cooper – Maestro
  • Leonardo DiCaprio – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Colman Domingo – Rustin
  • Paul Giamatti – The Holdovers
  • Cillian Murphy – Oppenheimer
  • Jeffrey Wright – American Fiction

BEST ACTRESS

  • Lily Gladstone – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Sandra Hüller – Anatomy of a Fall
  • Greta Lee – Past Lives
  • Carey Mulligan – Maestro
  • Margot Robbie – Barbie
  • Emma Stone – Poor Things

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Sterling K. Brown – American Fiction
  • Robert De Niro – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Robert Downey Jr. – Oppenheimer
  • Ryan Gosling – Barbie
  • Charles Melton – May December
  • Mark Ruffalo – Poor Things

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Emily Blunt – Oppenheimer
  • Danielle Brooks – The Color Purple
  • America Ferrera – Barbie
  • Jodie Foster – Nyad
  • Julianne Moore – May December
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph – The Holdovers

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

  • Abby Ryder Fortson – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
  • Ariana Greenblatt – Barbie
  • Calah Lane – Wonka
  • Milo Machado Graner – Anatomy of a Fall
  • Dominic Sessa – The Holdovers
  • Madeleine Yuna Voyles – The Creator

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

  • Air
  • Barbie
  • The Color Purple
  • The Holdovers
  • Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Oppenheimer

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Bradley Cooper – Maestro
  • Greta Gerwig – Barbie
  • Yorgos Lanthimos – Poor Things
  • Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
  • Alexander Payne – The Holdovers
  • Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Samy Burch – May December
  • Alex Convery – Air
  • Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer – Maestro
  • Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach – Barbie
  • David Hemingson – The Holdovers
  • Celine Song – Past Lives

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Kelly Fremon Craig – Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.
  • Andrew Haigh – All of Us Strangers
  • Cord Jefferson – American Fiction
  • Tony McNamara – Poor Things
  • Christopher Nolan – Oppenheimer
  • Eric Roth & Martin Scorsese – Killers of the Flower Moon

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Matthew Libatique – Maestro
  • Rodrigo Prieto – Barbie
  • Rodrigo Prieto – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Robbie Ryan – Poor Things
  • Linus Sandgren – Saltburn
  • Hoyte van Hoytema – Oppenheimer

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Suzie Davies, Charlotte Dirickx – Saltburn
  • Ruth De Jong, Claire Kaufman – Oppenheimer
  • Jack Fisk, Adam Willis – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer – Barbie
  • James Price, Shona Heath, Szusza Mihalek – Poor Things
  • Adam Stockhausen, Kris Moran – Asteroid City

BEST EDITING

  • William Goldenberg – Air
  • Nick Houy – Barbie
  • Jennifer Lame – Oppenheimer
  • Yorgos Mavropsaridis – Poor Things
  • Thelma Schoonmaker – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Michelle Tesoro – Maestro

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Jacqueline Durran – Barbie
  • Lindy Hemming – Wonka
  • Francine Jamison-Tanchuck – The Color Purple
  • Holly Waddington – Poor Things
  • Jacqueline West – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Janty Yates, David Crossman – Napoleon

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

  • Barbie
  • The Color Purple
  • Maestro
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Priscilla

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • The Creator
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
  • Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
  • Oppenheimer
  • Poor Things
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

BEST COMEDY

  • American Fiction
  • Barbie
  • Bottoms
  • The Holdovers
  • No Hard Feelings
  • Poor Things

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • The Boy and the Heron
  • Elemental
  • Nimona
  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
  • Wish

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • Anatomy of a Fall
  • Godzilla Minus One
  • Perfect Days
  • Society of the Snow
  • The Taste of Things
  • The Zone of Interest

BEST SONG

  • “Dance the Night” – Barbie
  • “I’m Just Ken” – Barbie
  • “Peaches” – The Super Mario Bros. Movie
  • “Road to Freedom” – Rustin
  • “This Wish” – Wish
  • “What Was I Made For” – Barbie

BEST SCORE

  • Jerskin Fendrix – Poor Things
  • Michael Giacchino – Society of the Snow
  • Ludwig Göransson – Oppenheimer
  • Daniel Pemberton – Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
  • Robbie Robertson – Killers of the Flower Moon
  • Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt – Barbie

NOMINATIONS BY FILM FOR THE 29TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

AIR – 3

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Original Screenplay – Alex Convery

Best Editing – William Goldenberg

ALL OF US STRANGERS – 1

Best Adapted Screenplay – Andrew Haigh

AMERICAN FICTION – 5

Best Picture

Best Actor – Jeffrey Wright

Best Supporting Actor – Sterling K. Brown

Best Adapted Screenplay – Cord Jefferson

Best Comedy

ANATOMY OF A FALL – 3

Best Actress – Sandra Hüller

Best Young Actor/Actress – Milo Machado Graner

Best Foreign Language Film

ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT’S ME, MARGARET. – 2

Best Young Actor/Actress – Abby Ryder Fortson

Best Adapted Screenplay – Kelly Fremon Craig

ASTEROID CITY – 1

Best Production Design – Adam Stockhausen, Kris Moran

BARBIE – 18

Best Picture

Best Actress – Margot Robbie

Best Supporting Actor – Ryan Gosling

Best Supporting Actress – America Ferrera

Best Young Actor/Actress – Ariana Greenblatt

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Greta Gerwig

Best Original Screenplay – Greta Gerwig & Noah Baumbach

Best Cinematography – Rodrigo Prieto

Best Production Design – Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer

Best Editing – Nick Houy

Best Costume Design – Jacqueline Durran

Best Hair and Makeup

Best Comedy

Best Song – “Dance the Night”

Best Song – “I’m Just Ken”

Best Song – “What Was I Made For”

Best Score – Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt

BOTTOMS – 1

Best Comedy

ELEMENTAL – 1

Best Animated Feature

GODZILLA MINUS ONE – 1

Best Foreign Language Film

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 – 1

Best Visual Effects

KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON – 12

Best Picture

Best Actor – Leonardo DiCaprio

Best Actress – Lily Gladstone

Best Supporting Actor – Robert De Niro

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Martin Scorsese

Best Adapted Screenplay – Eric Roth & Martin Scorsese

Best Cinematography – Rodrigo Prieto

Best Production Design – Jack Fisk, Adam Willis

Best Editing – Thelma Schoonmaker

Best Costume Design – Jacqueline West

Best Score – Robbie Robertson

MAESTRO – 8

Best Picture

Best Actor – Bradley Cooper

Best Actress – Carey Mulligan

Best Director – Bradley Cooper

Best Original Screenplay – Bradley Cooper & Josh Singer

Best Cinematography – Matthew Libatique

Best Editing – Michelle Tesoro

Best Hair and Makeup

MAY DECEMBER – 3

Best Supporting Actor – Charles Melton

Best Supporting Actress – Julianne Moore

Best Original Screenplay – Samy Burch

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART ONE – 1

Best Visual Effects

NAPOLEON – 1

Best Costume Design – Janty Yates, David Crossman

NIMONA – 1

Best Animated Feature

NO HARD FEELINGS – 1

Best Comedy

NYAD – 1

Best Supporting Actress – Jodie Foster

OPPENHEIMER – 13

Best Picture

Best Actor – Cillian Murphy

Best Supporting Actor – Robert Downey Jr.

Best Supporting Actress – Emily Blunt

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Christopher Nolan

Best Adapted Screenplay – Christopher Nolan

Best Cinematography – Hoyte van Hoytema

Best Production Design – Ruth De Jong, Claire Kaufman

Best Editing – Jennifer Lame

Best Hair and Makeup

Best Visual Effects

Best Score – Ludwig Göransson

PAST LIVES – 3

Best Picture

Best Actress – Greta Lee

Best Original Screenplay – Celine Song

PERFECT DAYS – 1

Best Foreign Language Film

POOR THINGS – 13

Best Picture

Best Actress – Emma Stone

Best Supporting Actor – Mark Ruffalo

Best Director – Yorgos Lanthimos

Best Adapted Screenplay – Tony McNamara

Best Cinematography – Robbie Ryan

Best Production Design – James Price, Shona Heath, Szusza Mihalek

Best Editing – Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Best Costume Design – Holly Waddington

Best Hair and Makeup

Best Visual Effects

Best Comedy

Best Score – Jerskin Fendrix

PRISCILLA – 1

Best Hair and Makeup

RUSTIN – 2

Best Actor – Colman Domingo

Best Song – “Road to Freedom”

SALTBURN – 3

Best Picture

Best Cinematography – Linus Sandgren

Best Production Design – Suzie Davies, Charlotte Dirickx

SOCIETY OF THE SNOW – 2

Best Foreign Language Film

Best Score – Michael Giacchino

SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE – 3

Best Visual Effects

Best Animated Feature

Best Score – Daniel Pemberton

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: MUTANT MAYHEM – 1

Best Animated Feature

THE BOY AND THE HERON – 1

Best Animated Feature

THE COLOR PURPLE – 5

Best Picture

Best Supporting Actress – Danielle Brooks

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Costume Design – Francine Jamison-Tanchuck

Best Hair and Makeup

THE CREATOR – 2

Best Young Actor/Actress – Madeleine Yuna Voyles

Best Visual Effects

THE HOLDOVERS – 8

Best Picture

Best Actor – Paul Giamatti

Best Supporting Actress – Da’Vine Joy Randolph

Best Young Actor/Actress – Dominic Sessa

Best Acting Ensemble

Best Director – Alexander Payne

Best Original Screenplay – David Hemingson

Best Comedy

THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE – 1

Best Song – “Peaches”

THE TASTE OF THINGS – 1

Best Foreign Language Film

THE ZONE OF INTEREST – 1

Best Foreign Language Film

WISH – 2

Best Animated Feature

Best Song – “This Wish”

WONKA – 2

Best Young Actor/Actress – Calah Lane

Best Costume Design – Lindy Hemming

​​TELEVISION NOMINATIONS FOR THE 29th ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

BEST DRAMA SERIES

  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • The Diplomat (Netflix)
  • The Last of Us (HBO | Max)
  • Loki (Disney+)
  • The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
  • Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)
  • Succession (HBO | Max)
  • Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty (HBO | Max)

BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

  • Kieran Culkin – Succession (HBO | Max)
  • Tom Hiddleston – Loki (Disney+)
  • Timothy Olyphant – Justified: City Primeval (FX)
  • Pedro Pascal – The Last of Us (HBO | Max)
  • Ramón Rodríguez – Will Trent (ABC)
  • Jeremy Strong – Succession (HBO | Max)

BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

  • Jennifer Aniston – The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
  • Aunjanue Ellis – Justified: City Primeval (FX)
  • Bella Ramsey – The Last of Us (HBO | Max)
  • Keri Russell – The Diplomat (Netflix)
  • Sarah Snook – Succession (HBO | Max)
  • Reese Witherspoon – The Morning Show (Apple TV+)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES

  • Khalid Abdalla – The Crown (Netflix)
  • Billy Crudup – The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
  • Ron Cephas Jones – Truth Be Told (Apple TV+)
  • Matthew MacFadyen – Succession (HBO | Max)
  • Ke Huy Quan – Loki (Disney+)
  • Rufus Sewell – The Diplomat (Netflix)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES

  • Nicole Beharie – The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
  • Elizabeth Debicki – The Crown (Netflix)
  • Sophia Di Martino – Loki (Disney+)
  • Celia Rose Gooding – Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (Paramount+)
  • Karen Pittman – The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
  • Christina Ricci – Yellowjackets (Showtime)

BEST COMEDY SERIES

  • Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Barry (HBO | Max)
  • The Bear (FX)
  • The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
  • Poker Face (Peacock)
  • Reservation Dogs (FX)
  • Shrinking (Apple TV+)
  • What We Do in the Shadows (FX)

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

  • Bill Hader – Barry (HBO | Max)
  • Steve Martin – Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
  • Kayvan Novak – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
  • Drew Tarver – The Other Two (HBO | Max)
  • Jeremy Allen White – The Bear (FX)
  • D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai – Reservation Dogs (FX)

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

  • Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
  • Quinta Brunson – Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Ayo Edebiri – The Bear (FX)
  • Bridget Everett – Somebody Somewhere (HBO | Max)
  • Devery Jacobs – Reservation Dogs (FX)
  • Natasha Lyonne – Poker Face (Peacock)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES

  • Phil Dunster – Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
  • Harrison Ford – Shrinking (Apple TV+)
  • Harvey Guillén – What We Do in the Shadows (FX)
  • James Marsden – Jury Duty (Amazon Freevee)
  • Ebon Moss-Bachrach – The Bear (FX)
  • Henry Winkler – Barry (HBO | Max)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES

  • Paulina Alexis – Reservation Dogs (FX)
  • Alex Borstein – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
  • Janelle James – Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Sheryl Lee Ralph – Abbott Elementary (ABC)
  • Meryl Streep – Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
  • Jessica Williams – Shrinking (Apple TV+)

BEST LIMITED SERIES

  • Beef (Netflix)
  • Daisy Jones & the Six (Prime Video)
  • Fargo (FX)
  • Fellow Travelers (Showtime)
  • Lessons in Chemistry (Apple TV+)
  • Love & Death (HBO | Max)
  • A Murder at the End of the World (FX)
  • A Small Light (National Geographic)

BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (Showtime)
  • Finestkind (Paramount+)
  • Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie (Peacock)
  • No One Will Save You (Hulu)
  • Quiz Lady (Hulu)
  • Reality (HBO | Max)

BEST ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • Matt Bomer – Fellow Travelers (Showtime)
  • Tom Holland – The Crowded Room (Apple TV+)
  • David Oyelowo – Lawmen: Bass Reeves (Paramount+)
  • Tony Shalhoub – Mr. Monk’s Last Case: A Monk Movie (Peacock)
  • Kiefer Sutherland – The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial (Showtime)
  • Steven Yeun – Beef (Netflix)

BEST ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • Kaitlyn Dever – No One Will Save You (Hulu)
  • Carla Gugino – The Fall of the House of Usher (Netflix)
  • Brie Larson – Lessons in Chemistry (Apple TV+)
  • Bel Powley – A Small Light (National Geographic)
  • Sydney Sweeney – Reality (HBO | Max)
  • Juno Temple – Fargo (FX)
  • Ali Wong – Beef (Netflix)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • Jonathan Bailey – Fellow Travelers (Showtime)
  • Taylor Kitsch – Painkiller (Netflix)
  • Jesse Plemons – Love & Death (HBO | Max)
  • Lewis Pullman – Lessons in Chemistry (Apple TV+)
  • Liev Schreiber – A Small Light (National Geographic)
  • Justin Theroux – White House Plumbers (HBO | Max)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES OR MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • Maria Bello – Beef (Netflix)
  • Billie Boullet – A Small Light (National Geographic)
  • Willa Fitzgerald – The Fall of the House of Usher (Netflix)
  • Aja Naomi King – Lessons in Chemistry (Apple TV+)
  • Mary McDonnell – The Fall of the House of Usher (Netflix)
  • Camila Morrone – Daisy Jones & the Six (Prime Video)

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE SERIES

  • Bargain (Paramount+)
  • The Glory (Netflix)
  • The Good Mothers (Hulu)
  • The Interpreter of Silence (Hulu)
  • Lupin (Netflix)
  • Mask Girl (Netflix)
  • Moving (Hulu)

BEST ANIMATED SERIES

  • Bluey (Disney+)
  • Bob’s Burgers (Fox)
  • Harley Quinn (HBO | Max)
  • Scott Pilgrim Takes Off (Netflix)
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks (Paramount+)
  • Young Love (HBO | Max)

BEST TALK SHOW

  • The Graham Norton Show (BBC America)
  • Jimmy Kimmel Live! (ABC)
  • The Kelly Clarkson Show (NBC)
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO | Max)
  • Late Night with Seth Meyers (NBC)
  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)

BEST COMEDY SPECIAL

  • Mike Birbiglia: The Old Man and the Pool (Netflix)
  • Alex Borstein: Corsets & Clown Suits (Prime Video)
  • John Early: Now More Than Ever (HBO | Max)
  • John Mulaney: Baby J (Netflix)
  • Trevor Noah: Where Was I (Netflix)
  • Wanda Sykes – I’m an Entertainer (Netflix)

NOMINATIONS BY PROGRAM FOR THE 29TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

A MURDER AT THE END OF THE WORLD (FX) – 1

Best Limited Series

A SMALL LIGHT (National Geographic) – 4

Best Limited Series

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Bel Powley

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Liev Schreiber

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Billie Boullet

ABBOTT ELEMENTARY (ABC) – 4

Best Comedy Series

Best Actress in a Comedy Series – Quinta Brunson

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Janelle James

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Sheryl Lee Ralph

ALEX BORSTEIN: CORSETS & CLOWN SUITS (Prime Video) – 1

Best Comedy Special

BARGAIN (Paramount+) – 1

Best Foreign Language Series

BARRY (HBO | Max) – 3

Best Comedy Series

Best Actor in a Comedy Series – Bill Hader

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Henry Winkler

BEEF (Netflix) – 4

Best Limited Series

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Steven Yeun

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Ali Wong

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Maria Bello

BLUEY (Disney+) – 1

Best Animated Series

BOB’S BURGERS (Fox) – 1

Best Animated Series

DAISY JONES & THE SIX (Prime Video) – 2

Best Limited Series

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Camila Morrone

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (Netflix) – 1

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Carla Gugino

FARGO (FX) – 2

Best Limited Series

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Juno Temple

FELLOW TRAVELERS (Showtime) – 3

Best Limited Series

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Matt Bomer

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Jonathan Bailey

FINESTKIND (Paramount+) – 1

Best Movie Made for Television

HARLEY QUINN (HBO | Max) – 1

Best Animated Series

JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE! (ABC) – 1

Best Talk Show

JOHN EARLY: NOW MORE THAN EVER (HBO | Max) – 1

Best Comedy Special

JOHN MULANEY: BABY J (Netflix) – 1

Best Comedy Special

JURY DUTY (Amazon Freevee) – 1

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – James Marsden

JUSTIFIED: CITY PRIMEVAL (FX ) – 2

Best Actor in a Drama Series – Timothy Olyphant

Best Actress in a Drama Series – Aunjanue Ellis

LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER (HBO | Max) – 1

Best Talk Show

LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS (NBC) – 1

Best Talk Show

LAWMEN: BASS REEVES (Paramount+) – 1

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – David Oyelowo

LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY (Apple TV+) – 4

Best Limited Series

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Brie Larson

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Lewis Pullman

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Aja Naomi King

LOKI (Disney+) – 4

Best Drama Series

Best Actor in a Drama Series – Tom Hiddleston

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Ke Huy Quan

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Sophia Di Martino

LOVE & DEATH (HBO | Max) – 2

Best Limited Series

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Jesse Plemons

LUPIN (Netflix) – 1

Best Foreign Language Series

MASK GIRL (Netflix) – 1

Best Foreign Language Series

MIKE BIRBIGLIA: THE OLD MAN AND THE POOL (Netflix) – 1

Best Comedy Special

MOVING (Hulu) – 1

Best Foreign Language Series

MR. MONK’S LAST CASE: A MONK MOVIE (Peacock) – 2

Best Movie Made for Television

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Tony Shalhoub

NO ONE WILL SAVE YOU (Hulu) – 2

Best Movie Made for Television

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Kaitlyn Dever

ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (Hulu) – 2

Best Actor in a Comedy Series – Steve Martin

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Meryl Streep

PAINKILLER (Netflix) – 1

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Taylor Kitsch

POKER FACE (Peacock) – 2

Best Comedy Series

Best Actress in a Comedy Series – Natasha Lyonne

QUIZ LADY (Hulu) – 1

Best Movie Made for Television

REALITY (HBO | Max) – 2

Best Movie Made for Television

Best Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Sydney Sweeney

RESERVATION DOGS (FX) – 4

Best Comedy Series

Best Actor in a Comedy Series – D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai

Best Actress in a Comedy Series – Devery Jacobs

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Paulina Alexis

SCOTT PILGRIM TAKES OFF (Netflix) – 1

Best Animated Series

SHRINKING (Apple TV+) – 3

Best Comedy Series

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Harrison Ford

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Jessica Williams

SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE (HBO | Max) – 1

Best Actress in a Comedy Series – Bridget Everett

STAR TREK: LOWER DECKS (Paramount+) – 1

Best Animated Series

STAR TREK: STRANGE NEW WORLDS (Paramount+) – 2

Best Drama Series

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Celia Rose Gooding

SUCCESSION (HBO | Max) – 5

Best Drama Series

Best Actor in a Drama Series – Kieran Culkin

Best Actor in a Drama Series – Jeremy Strong

Best Actress in a Drama Series – Sarah Snook

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Matthew MacFadyen

TED LASSO (Apple TV+) – 1

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Phil Dunster

THE BEAR (FX) – 4

Best Comedy Series

Best Actor in a Comedy Series – Jeremy Allen White

Best Actress in a Comedy Series – Ayo Edebiri

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Ebon Moss-Bachrach

THE CAINE MUTINY COURT-MARTIAL (Showtime) – 2

Best Movie Made for Television

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Kiefer Sutherland

THE CROWDED ROOM (Apple TV+) – 1

Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Tom Holland

THE CROWN (Netflix) – 3

Best Drama Series

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Khalid Abdalla

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Elizabeth Debicki

THE DIPLOMAT (Netflix) – 3

Best Drama Series

Best Actress in a Drama Series – Keri Russell

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Rufus Sewell

THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (Netflix) – 2

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Willa Fitzgerald

Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Mary McDonnell

THE GLORY (Netflix) – 1

Best Foreign Language Series

THE GOOD MOTHERS (Hulu) – 1

Best Foreign Language Series

THE GRAHAM NORTON SHOW (BBC America) – 1

Best Talk Show

THE INTERPRETER OF SILENCE (Hulu) – 1

Best Foreign Language Series

THE KELLY CLARKSON SHOW (NBC) – 1

Best Talk Show

THE LAST OF US (HBO | Max) – 3

Best Drama Series

Best Actor in a Drama Series – Pedro Pascal

Best Actress in a Drama Series – Bella Ramsey

THE LATE SHOW WITH STEPHEN COLBERT (CBS) – 1

Best Talk Show

THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL (Prime Video) – 3

Best Comedy Series

Best Actress in a Comedy Series – Rachel Brosnahan

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series – Alex Borstein

THE MORNING SHOW (Apple TV+) – 6

Best Drama Series

Best Actress in a Drama Series – Jennifer Aniston

Best Actress in a Drama Series – Reese Witherspoon

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Billy Crudup

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Nicole Beharie

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Karen Pittman

THE OTHER TWO (HBO | Max) – 1

Best Actor in a Comedy Series – Drew Tarver

TREVOR NOAH: WHERE WAS I (Netflix) – 1

Best Comedy Special

TRUTH BE TOLD (Apple TV+) – 1

Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series – Ron Cephas Jones

WANDA SYKES: I’M AN ENTERTAINER (Netflix) – 1

Best Comedy Special

WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS (FX) – 3

Best Comedy Series

Best Actor in a Comedy Series – Kayvan Novak

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series – Harvey Guillén

WHITE HOUSE PLUMBERS (HBO | Max) – 1

Best Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie Made for Television – Justin Theroux

WILL TRENT (ABC) – 1

Best Actor in a Drama Series – Ramón Rodríguez

WINNING TIME: THE RISE OF THE LAKERS DYNASTY (HBO | Max) – 1

Best Drama Series

YELLOWJACKETS (Showtime) – 1

Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series – Christina Ricci

YOUNG LOVE (HBO | Max) – 1

Best Animated Series

TELEVISION NOMINATIONS BY COMPANY FOR THE 29TH ANNUAL CRITICS CHOICE AWARDS

HBO | Max – 23

Netflix – 21

Apple TV+ – 16

FX – 16

Hulu – 8

ABC – 6

Paramount+ – 6

Prime Video – 6

Showtime – 6

Disney+ – 5

National Geographic – 4

Peacock – 4

NBC – 2

Amazon Freevee – 1

BBC America – 1

CBS – 1

Fox – 1

Max – 1

2024 Golden Globe Awards: ‘Barbie’ is the top nominee

December 11, 2023

Emma Mackey, Simu Liu, Margot Robbie, Ryan Gosling and Kingsley Ben-Adir in “Barbie” (Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

The following is a press release from CBS:

[Editor’s Note: In the movie categories, “Barbie” has the most nominations (10), followed by “Oppenheimer,” which has eight nominations. In the TV categories, “Succession” has the eight nominations, followed by five nominations each for “The Bear” and “Only Murders in the Building.”]

The Golden Globes® announced the nominees of the 81st ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE® AWARDS, which will air Sunday, January 7, 2024 (8:00 PM, ET/5:00 PM, PT) live on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ (live and on demand for Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers, or on demand for Paramount+ Essential subscribers the day after the special airs)*. The nominations were announced by Cedric the Entertainer and Wilmer Valderrama, who presented nominees for each of the 27 award categories.

Multi-Emmy Award®-winning producing duo Glenn Weiss and Ricky Kirshner of White Cherry Entertainment (WCE) will serve as executive-producing showrunners for the 81st ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE® AWARDS, with Weiss also set to direct. Produced and owned by Dick Clark Productions, the Golden Globe Awards has been viewed in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide and is one of the few awards ceremonies to include both motion picture and television achievements.

Following is the complete list of nominees for the 81st ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS:

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

  • ANATOMY OF A FALL (NEON)
  • KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON (Apple Original Films)
  • MAESTRO (Netflix)
  • OPPENHEIMER (Universal Pictures)
  • PAST LIVES (A24)
  • THE ZONE OF INTEREST (A24)

BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

  • AIR (Amazon MGM Studios)
  • AMERICAN FICTION (Orion Pictures / Amazon MGM Studios)
  • BARBIE (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • THE HOLDOVERS (Focus Features)
  • MAY DECEMBER (Netflix)
  • POOR THINGS (Searchlight Pictures)

BEST MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED

  • THE BOY AND THE HERON (GKIDS)
  • ELEMENTAL (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE (Universal Pictures)
  • SUZUME (Crunchyroll / Sony Pictures Entertainment)
  • WISH (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

CINEMATIC AND BOX OFFICE ACHIEVEMENT

  • BARBIE (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3 (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
  • JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 (Lionsgate)
  • MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – DEAD RECKONING PART 1 (Paramount Pictures)
  • OPPENHEIMER (Universal Pictures)
  • SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE (Sony Pictures Releasing)
  • THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE (Universal Pictures)
  • TAYLOR SWIFT: THE ERAS TOUR (AMC Theatres Distribution)

BEST MOTION PICTURE – NON-ENGLISH LANGUAGE

  • ANATOMY OF A FALL (NEON) – FRANCE
  • FALLEN LEAVES (MUBI) – FINLAND
  • IO CAPITANO (Pathe Distribution) – ITALY
  • PAST LIVES (A24) – USA
  • SOCIETY OF THE SNOW (Netflix) – SPAIN
  • THE ZONE OF INTEREST (A24) – UNITED KINGDOM / USA

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

  • ANNETTE BENING (NYAD)
  • LILY GLADSTONE (KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON)
  • SANDRA HÜLLER (ANATOMY OF A FALL)
  • GRETA LEE (PAST LIVES)
  • CAREY MULLIGAN (MAESTRO)
  • CAILEE SPAENY (PRISCILLA)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA

  • BRADLEY COOPER (MAESTRO)
  • LEONARDO DICAPRIO (KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON)
  • COLMAN DOMINGO (RUSTIN)
  • BARRY KEOGHAN (SALTBURN)
  • CILLIAN MURPHY (OPPENHEIMER)
  • ANDREW SCOTT (ALL OF US STRANGERS)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

  • FANTASIA BARRINO (THE COLOR PURPLE)
  • JENNIFER LAWRENCE (NO HARD FEELINGS)
  • NATALIE PORTMAN (MAY DECEMBER)
  • ALMA PÖYSTI (FALLEN LEAVES)
  • MARGOT ROBBIE (BARBIE)
  • EMMA STONE (POOR THINGS)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

  • NICOLAS CAGE (DREAM SCENARIO)
  • TIMOTHÉE CHALAMET (WONKA)
  • MATT DAMON (AIR)
  • PAUL GIAMATTI (THE HOLDOVERS)
  • JOAQUIN PHOENIX (BEAU IS AFRAID)
  • JEFFREY WRIGHT (AMERICAN FICTION)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE

  • EMILY BLUNT (OPPENHEIMER)
  • DANIELLE BROOKS (THE COLOR PURPLE)
  • JODIE FOSTER (NYAD)
  • JULIANNE MOORE (MAY DECEMBER)
  • ROSAMUND PIKE (SALTBURN)
  • DA’VINE JOY RANDOLPH (THE HOLDOVERS)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE

  • WILLEM DAFOE (POOR THINGS)
  • ROBERT DE NIRO (KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON)
  • ROBERT DOWNEY JR. (OPPENHEIMER)
  • RYAN GOSLING (BARBIE)
  • CHARLES MELTON (MAY DECEMBER)
  • MARK RUFFALO (POOR THINGS)

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE

  • BRADLEY COOPER (MAESTRO)
  • GRETA GERWIG (BARBIE)
  • YORGOS LANTHIMOS (POOR THINGS)
  • CHRISTOPHER NOLAN (OPPENHEIMER)
  • MARTIN SCORSESE (KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON)
  • CELINE SONG (PAST LIVES)

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE

  • GRETA GERWIG, NOAH BAUMBACH (BARBIE)
  • TONY MCNAMARA (POOR THINGS)
  • CHRISTOPHER NOLAN (OPPENHEIMER)
  • ERIC ROTH, MARTIN SCORSESE  (KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON)
  • CELINE SONG (PAST LIVES)
  • JUSTINE TRIET, ARTHUR HARARI (ANATOMY OF A FALL)

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE

  • JERSKIN FENDRIX (POOR THINGS)
  • LUDWIG GÖRANSSON (OPPENHEIMER)
  • JOE HISAISHI (THE BOY AND THE HERON)
  • MICA LEVI (THE ZONE OF INTEREST)
  • DANIEL PEMBERTON (SPIDER-MAN: ACROSS THE SPIDER-VERSE)
  • ROBBIE ROBERTSON (KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON)

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE

  • “ADDICTED TO ROMANCE” — SHE CAME TO ME; Music & Lyrics by: Bruce Springsteen
  • “DANCE THE NIGHT” — BARBIE; Music & Lyrics by: Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt, Dua Lipa, Caroline Ailin
  • “I’M JUST KEN” — BARBIE; Music & Lyrics by: Mark Ronson, Andrew Wyatt
  • “PEACHES” — THE SUPER MARIO BROS. MOVIE; Music & Lyrics by: Jack Black, Aaron Horvath, Michael Jelenic, Eric Osmond, John Spiker
  • “ROAD TO FREEDOM” — RUSTIN; Music & Lyrics by: Lenny Kravitz
  • “WHAT WAS I MADE FOR?” — BARBIE; Music & Lyrics by: Billie Eilish O’Connell, Finneas O’Connell

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

  • 1923 (PARAMOUNT+)
  • THE CROWN (NETFLIX)
  • THE DIPLOMAT (NETFLIX)
  • THE LAST OF US (HBO | MAX)
  • THE MORNING SHOW (APPLE TV+)
  • SUCCESSION (HBO | MAX)

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

  • ABBOTT ELEMENTARY (ABC)
  • BARRY (HBO | MAX)
  • THE BEAR (FX)
  • JURY DUTY (AMAZON FREEVEE)
  • ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING (HULU)
  • TED LASSO (APPLE TV+)

BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE (NETFLIX)
  • BEEF (NETFLIX)
  • DAISY JONES & THE SIX  (PRIME VIDEO)
  • FARGO (FX)
  • FELLOW TRAVELERS (SHOWTIME)
  • LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY (APPLE TV+)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

  • HELEN MIRREN (1923)
  • BELLA RAMSEY  (THE LAST OF US)
  • KERI RUSSELL (THE DIPLOMAT)
  • SARAH SNOOK (SUCCESSION)
  • IMELDA STAUNTON (THE CROWN)
  • EMMA STONE (THE CURSE)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA

  • BRIAN COX (SUCCESSION)
  • KIERAN CULKIN (SUCCESSION)
  • GARY OLDMAN (SLOW HORSES)
  • PEDRO PASCAL (THE LAST OF US)
  • JEREMY STRONG (SUCCESSION)
  • DOMINIC WEST (THE CROWN)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

  • RACHEL BROSNAHAN (THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL)
  • QUINTA BRUNSON (ABBOTT ELEMENTARY)
  • AYO EDEBIRI (THE BEAR)
  • ELLE FANNING (THE GREAT)
  • SELENA GOMEZ (ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING)
  • NATASHA LYONNE (POKER FACE)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

  • BILL HADER (BARRY)
  • STEVE MARTIN (ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING)
  • JASON SEGEL (SHRINKING)
  • MARTIN SHORT (ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING)
  • JASON SUDEIKIS (TED LASSO)
  • JEREMY ALLEN WHITE (THE BEAR)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES, OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • RILEY KEOUGH (DAISY JONES & THE SIX)
  • BRIE LARSON (LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY)
  • ELIZABETH OLSEN (LOVE & DEATH)
  • JUNO TEMPLE (FARGO)
  • RACHEL WEISZ (DEAD RINGERS)
  • ALI WONG (BEEF)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES, OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION

  • MATT BOMER (FELLOW TRAVELERS)
  • SAM CLAFLIN (DAISY JONES & THE SIX)
  • JON HAMM (FARGO)
  • WOODY HARRELSON (WHITE HOUSE PLUMBERS)
  • DAVID OYELOWO (LAWMEN: BASS REEVES)
  • STEVEN YEUN (BEEF)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE ON TELEVISION

  • ELIZABETH DEBICKI (THE CROWN)
  • ABBY ELLIOTT (THE BEAR)
  • CHRISTINA RICCI (YELLOWJACKETS)
  • J. SMITH-CAMERON (SUCCESSION)
  • MERYL STREEP (ONLY MURDERS IN THE BUILDING)
  • HANNAH WADDINGHAM (TED LASSO)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE ON TELEVISION

  • BILLY CRUDUP (THE MORNING SHOW)
  • MATTHEW MACFADYEN (SUCCESSION)
  • JAMES MARSDEN (JURY DUTY)
  • EBON MOSS–BACHRACH (THE BEAR)
  • ALAN RUCK (SUCCESSION)
  • ALEXANDER SKARSGÅRD (SUCCESSION)

BEST PERFORMANCE IN STAND-UP COMEDY ON TELEVISION

  • RICKY GERVAIS (RICKY GERVAIS: ARMAGEDDON)
  • TREVOR NOAH (TREVOR NOAH: WHERE WAS I)
  • CHRIS ROCK (CHRIS ROCK: SELECTIVE OUTRAGE)
  • AMY SCHUMER (AMY SCHUMER: EMERGENCY CONTACT)
  • SARAH SILVERMAN (SARAH SILVERMAN: SOMEONE YOU LOVE)
  • WANDA SYKES (WANDA SYKES: I’M AN ENTERTAINER)

About The Golden Globe® Awards

As a premier entertainment award since 1944, the annual Golden Globe Awards has honored achievements in both television and film. Over the last three decades, the licensing fees from the Golden Globe Awards have enabled donations of more than $55 million to entertainment-related charities including scholarship programs, film restoration projects and humanitarian efforts. This funding has also supported diverse programs in partnership with advocacy groups aimed at promoting greater access in Hollywood for underserved communities. Dick Clark Productions is the owner and producer of the Golden Globe Awards. For more information on the Golden Globe Awards, please visit www.GoldenGlobes.com and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and in Spanish on Twitter, and Facebook.

About Dick Clark Productions

Dick Clark Productions is the world’s largest producer and proprietor of televised live event entertainment programming including the “Academy of Country Music Awards,” “American Music Awards,” “Billboard Music Awards,” “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest,” “Golden Globe Awards,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” from 19 Entertainment and DCP, and “Streamy Awards.” Dick Clark Productions owns one of the world’s most extensive and unique entertainment archive libraries with more than 60 years of award-winning shows, historic specials, performances, and legendary programming. Dick Clark Productions is a Penske Media company. For more information, please visit www.DickClark.com.

About CBS

CBS, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, creates and distributes industry-leading content across a variety of platforms to audiences around the world. The Company has businesses with origins that date back to the dawn of the broadcasting age as well as new ventures that operate on the leading edge of media. It includes some of the industry’s most successful and popular brands and businesses: CBS Television Network, CBS News and Stations, CBS Sports, CBS Studios, CBS Media Ventures and CBS digital properties.

*Paramount+ with SHOWTIME subscribers will have access to stream live via the live feed of their local CBS affiliate on the service, as well as on demand. Paramount+ Essential subscribers will not have the option to steam live but will have access to on-demand the day after the special airs.

Review: ‘You Were My First Boyfriend,’ starring Cecilia Aldarondo

December 4, 2023

by Carla Hay

Xander Black and Cecilia Aldarondo in “You Were My First Boyfriend” (Photo courtesy of HBO)

“You Were My First Boyfriend”

Directed by Cecilia Aldarondo and Sarah Enid Hagey

Culture Representation: Taking place in Florida and in New York, the autobiographical documentary film “You Were My First Boyfriend” features a Latino and white group of people representing the working-class and middle-class and who are connected in some way to filmmaker Cecilia Aldarondo.

Culture Clash: Aldarondo reminisces about her teenage years and confronts some of her personal demons by re-enacting some of her best and worst teenage experiences and memories.

Culture Audience: “You Were My First Boyfriend” will appeal primarily to viewers who are interested in movies that explore how adults can still be affected by angst that they had when they were teenagers.

An archival photo of Caroline Baker and Cecilia Aldarondo as teenagers in “You Were My First Boyfriend” (Photo courtesy of HBO)

If you had a chance to re-enact some of your most memorable teenage experiences (the good, the bad and the in between) in a documentary, would you do it? Most people wouldn’t, but the unconventional “You Were My First Boyfriend” shows what it was like for a filmmaker to revisit her past on camera. The film is a mixture of re-enactments, interviews with people who knew her when she was a teenager, and hindsight-fueled personal introspection.

Even though “You Were My First Boyfriend” is steeped in 1990s nostalgia, the themes in this documentary can be relatable to people of many generations. Filmmaker/narrator Cecilia Aldarondo gives an emotionally honest look at her self-esteem struggles. “You Were My First Boyfriend” had its world premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival.

Aldarondo and Sarah Enid Hagey directed and wrote “You Were My First Boyfriend,” but this is Aldarondo’s life story—specifically, about how Aldarondo is still dealing with insecurities that have affected her since childhood. Aldarondo (whose family is of Puerto Rican heritage) spent most her childhood in Winter Park, Florida, where she and her family were among the minority of Latino people in their predominantly white neighborhood.

The high school that Aldarondo and her two older sisters attended also had a predominantly white population. Aldarondo says of Winter Park: “People say it’s a nice place to grow up, but it always felt like a foreign place to me.” (Aldarondo is currently based in New York.)

In the beginning of “You Were My First Boyfriend,” Aldarondo says in a voiceover: “Imagine you had a nightmare where you had to relive your adolescence. My memories shine almost like a diamond. But not because I love them but because I hate them.”

Aldarondo doesn’t hold back in letting viewers know what her insecurities are that she says have plagued her since she was a child. In high school, she was socially awkward, had very few friends, and didn’t date anyone. Aldarondo says that she always felt inadequate and less attractive, compared to her two older sisters, whom Aldarondo feels got more attention and admiration from people inside and outside the family. It didn’t help that Aldarondo vividly remembers a few of her older female relatives making insulting remarks about Aldarondo’s weight.

Aldarondo’s sister Laura Gallegos is in several scenes in the documentary. And although Gallegos is a loving and supportive sister who gives Aldarondo pep talks and constant encouragement, there’s still a little bit noticeable tension between the sisters. Aldarondo comes across as somewhat jealous that Gallegos has a “perfect” life of domestic stability, while Gallegos seems a little envious that Aldarondo has a career that’s about creative freedom.

It’s also interesting to see how the two sisters sometimes have very different memories of the same childhood experiences. Not surprisingly, Gallegos doesn’t remember or says she wasn’t fully aware of all the emotional pain that Aldarondo says she was going through at the time in their childhoods when Aldarondo often felt invisible or sidelined in their own family. The documentary has some very raw emotions that show the complicated dynamics between the two sisters as they sort through their past and present.

Early on in the movie, there are scenes of Aldarondo (who graduated from high school in 1994) at her 25th high school reunion. As she drives to the reunion location, she says out loud, “I feel like I’m returning to the scene of an invisible crime, but the masochist in me tells me, ‘You must go [to this reunion].'”

At the reunion, Aldarondo engages in friendly conversations, but she still looks slightly uncomfortable. She says in a voiceover she feels like the people and the atmosphere have lot of the same elitist “country club” attitude that she experienced in high school. When an unidentified male former classmate comments on Aldarondo’s curly hair, there are some racial undertones when he asks her, “What did you channel for your hair?” She replies sarcastically, “Puerto Rico.” Perhaps realizing that his comment could be taken as an insult, he adds, “Your hair is amazing.”

Aldarondo tells documentary viewers up front that a big reason why she wanted to go to the reunion was to see a classmate named Joel, whom she says she had an intense crush on, from when they were in 6th grade to 12th grade. Aldarondo says she was too shy to ever flirt with Joel, or make it known that she wanted to date him, because she felt that he was out of her league. Before going to the reunion, Aldarondo reads some of her lovelorn journal entries about Joel, who never dated her and didn’t know that she had such a huge crush on him.

However, according to Aldarondo, Joel’s high school girlfriend knew about this crush and set up Aldarondo to have a potentially humiliating moment at a high school dance. Aldarondo says that this girlfriend told Aldarondo that Joel wanted to dance with Aldarondo, so Aldarondo approached Joel at the dance. He seemed confused when Aldarondo told him what his girlfriend said, but he politely asked Aldarondo to dance.

Joel didn’t know it at the time, but that dance (as awkward as it was for both of them) made a big impact on Aldarondo. On the one hand, it was like a dream come true for her. On the other hand, Aldarondo knew that she was only dancing with Joel because his girlfriend at the time intended it to be a prank. This experience is one of many from her teenage years that Aldarondo says still “haunt” her.

It should come as no surprise that Aldarondo meets up with Joel in the documentary to confess that she had a secret crush on him. She even goes as far as reading some of the things she wrote in her journal about him. What makes “You Were My First Boyfriend” different from most other documentaries that would have this type of reunion scene is that Aldarondo takes it a step further and recreates this fateful high school dance, by hiring real teenage actors (Xander Black has the role of Joel) and Aldarondo portraying the teenage version of herself.

If all of this sounds like some kind of therapy, Aldarondo freely admits that it is. (Hired actor Black even points out that these re-enactments must be like therapy for Aldarondo.) Aldarondo’s live-in partner Gabriel “Gabe” Kristal is shown in the documentary as being very supportive of what she’s doing in the documentary.

Kristal also gamely participates when Aldarondo asks him to recreate a scene from the high school drama series “My So-Called Life,” one of her favorite shows from her teenage years. In these “My So-Called Life” recreations, Aldarondo is protagonist Angela Chase (originally played by Claire Danes), and Kristal portrays Angela’s hard-to-get crush Jordan Catalano (originally played by Jared Leto). These “My So-Called Life” recreated scenes are intended to be amusing.

The title of “You Were My First Boyfriend” is somewhat misleading because the documentary isn’t completely focused on Aldarondo’s teenage obsession with Joel (who was never her boyfriend) and her reunion with him. A much more meaningful part of the documentary is about Aldarondo coming to terms with how her insecurities cost her a close friendship. With hindsight comes a lot of regret.

Before and during high school, Aldarondo had a best friend named Caroline Baker. The two girls had many interests in common (such as watching movies and TV shows), but Baker was much more open and secure about being a nerd than Aldarondo was. Aldarondo says in the documentary that there was a time in her high school years when some of the school’s popular girls began to pay attention to Aldarondo and invited her to join them in some of their social activities. As a result, Aldarondo ended her friendship with Baker, because she thought that the popular girls wouldn’t think she was very cool if she continued to hang out with Baker.

The documentary also shows Aldarondo confronting an ugly truth about her teenage past. As much as she felt shunned by many of her classmates because of snobbery, Aldarondo did some shunning of her own in how she treated Baker for the same snobbish reasons. The documentary shows whether or not Baker reunites with Aldarondo. In the teenage re-enactment scenes, Trinity Soos has the role of teenage Baker. The documentary includes footage of Aldarondo’s difficult audition process to find the right actress for the role.

Aldarondo also acknowledges her failings and flaws in being a passive part of the bullying among her fellow students. She describes an incident that took place at a girls’ summer camp when she saw two girls bully another girl, and Aldarondo did nothing to stop it. The guilt of being a bully enabler weighed on Aldarondo, and what she decided to do about it is shown in the documentary. It’s one of the most emotionally powerful moments in the movie.

Not everything in “You Were My First Boyfriend” is about Aldarondo reliving painful memories. One of the more light-hearted (but bittersweet) sections of the movie is when Aldarondo and her sister Gallegos do a re-enactment of Tori Amos’ 1992 “Crucify” music video. It might sound self-indulgent and a little dorky, but in the movie, it comes across as sweet and endearing for Aldarondo to recreate this music video that is special to her. The teenage friendship scenes with Aldarondo and Soos (as Baker) are also delightful to watch.

Documentary filmmakers who make themselves the stars of their movies often do so because they’re seeking recognition for monumental achievements that they want to put in the documentary. Aldarondo did not make “You Were My First Boyfriend” with the intention of winning a Pulitzer Prize. However, by exposing herself in such a candid and truthful way, she has made a very personal documentary that might help give insecure people more confidence to show who they really are and go on a path toward healthy self-acceptance.

HBO premiered “You Were My First Boyfriend” on November 8, 2023.

Review: ‘Candy Cane Lane’ (2023), starring Eddie Murphy

November 25, 2023

by Carla Hay

Thaddeus J. Mixson, Genneya Walton, Madison Thomas, Tracee Ellis Ross and Eddie Murphy in “Candy Cane Lane” (Photo by Claudette Barius/Amazon Content Services)

“Candy Cane Lane” (2023)

Directed by Reginald Hudlin

Culture Representation: Taking place in El Segundo, California, the fantasy/comedy film “Candy Cane Lane” features a racially diverse (African American and white) cast of characters representing the working-class and middle-class.

Culture Clash: A married father, who’s desperate to win a local Christmas decorating contest, makes a misguided deal with a corrupt elf, who forces him to gather items that are mentioned in the carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

Culture Audience: “Candy Cane Lane” will appeal primarily to fans of star Eddie Murphy and anyone who will tolerate badly made Christmas movies.

Eddie Murphy, Jillian Bell and Madison Thomas in “Candy Cane Lane” (Photo by Claudette Barius/Amazon Content Services)

“Candy Cane Lane” is a rotten, weird, and unfunny mess. Add this junk to the list of Eddie Murphy misfires meant to be crowd pleasers but just turn off many people. There’s also a semi-accidental animal cruelty scene that’s played for laughs. Horrendous.

Directed by Reginald Hudlin and terribly written by Kelly Younger, “Candy Cane Lane” is the type of outdated and tacky movie that could’ve been released direct-to-video in the 1990s. But the fact that some big names were involved in making this movie (Murphy and Oscar-winning “A Beautiful Mind” producer Brian Grazer are two of the “Candy Cane Lane” producers), and because there was a large-enough budget for the movie’s over-reliance on visual effects, “Candy Cane Lane” looks misleadingly like a cute and glossy comedy.

About 15 minutes into the movie, viewers will find out there’s nothing cute about the onslaught of bad jokes, dull scenarios, annoying characters, and a tangled story that just seems to be making up things as it goes along. “Candy Cane Lane” goes off on so many different tangents, it’s like a bunch of half-baked ideas thrown into a trash heap that’s left to fester and then gets covered up with some shiny Christmas embellishments to attract viewers. There are some very talented comedic actors in “Candy Cane Lane,” but they often look somewhat embarrassed by the utter garbage that they have to say as their lines of dialogue.

“Candy Cane Lane” is the first feature film for screenwriter Younger, whose two previous screenwriting credits are for Disney+ shows: the 2021 TV special “Muppets Haunted Mansion” and the 2020 limited series “Muppets Now.” It just goes to show that hack screenwriters can get awful screenplays made into a movie if they know the right people who are willing to waste their money in making this type of humiliating dreck. “Candy Cane Lane” star Murphy is considered to be a great stand-up comedian, and he can excel in sketch comedy, but he has very questionable taste in choosing his family-oriented projects, which are usually low-quality (even with large budgets) and way beneath his talent.

“Candy Cane Lane” (which takes place in El Segundo, California, and was filmed in nearby Los Angeles) begins by telling audiences about a big annual Candy Cane Lane contest that takes place in El Segundo. It’s a Christmas decorating contest for the exteriors of people’s homes. The household that’s chosen as the one with the best decorations is the winner of the contest. A local cable TV station called Prism Cable gives coverage to the contest, which also has a Candy Cane Lane parade. Expect to see a lot of garish and ugly Christmas decorations in this movie that is supposedly “award-worthy” by Candy Cane Lane contest standards.

Chris Carver (played by Murphy) and his neighbor Bruce (played by Ken Marino) have been extremely competitive with each other because of this contest, which Bruce has won for the past four years. Bruce and Chris put up a front of being friendly with each other in public, but in reality, they see each other as fierce and bitter rivals. Winning this contest becomes an obsession for Chris, but then other things happen in the movie where the contest becomes almost like an afterthought, and “Candy Cane Lane” really goes off the rails into irredeemable stupidity. The character of Bruce is barely in the movie; his screen time is less than 10 minutes.

Chris and his wife Carol Carver (played by Tracee Ellis Ross) have three children. Their eldest child Joy Carver (played by Genneya Walton), who’s about 17 or 18 years old, is a star on her high school’s track team and is in the process of applying to universities. Middle child Nick (played by Thaddeus J. Mixson), who’s about 16 or 17 years old, is an aspiring musician who is in the school’s marching band. Youngest child Holly (played by Madison Thomas), who’s about 9 or 10 years old, doesn’t seem to have any interests. Holly is written as a walking cliché of what bad comedies do when the youngest kid in the family is a girl: She is only there to look cute, make some wisecracks, and help the adults when they need help.

Observant viewers will notice even before it’s pointed out later in the movie that all of the Carver kids have Christmas-themed names. Nick is obviously named after St. Nicholas. Even the name Carol has a Christmas association to it. These names are supposed to be an example of how Chris has a fixation on Christmas. Chris Carver’s name is somewhat similar to Kris Kringle (also known as Santa Claus), but the frequently whiny and petulant “Candy Cane Lane” protagonist Chris Carver has none of the appeal and charm of Kris Kringle.

Christmas isn’t the only thing that’s a fixation for Chris, who is somewhat fanatical about his loyalty to his college alma mater: the University of Southern California (USC). Chris (who is a sales executive) and Carol (who’s a manager at a peanut factory) met when they were students at USC. Chris expects all of his children to also go to USC.

However, Joy announces to her parents near the beginning of the movie that she doesn’t want to go to USC and would rather go to the University of Notre Dame, which is more than 2,100 miles away in South Bend, Indiana. Chris does not take this announcement very well and thinks that Joy will change her mind about going to USC. This conflict over Joy’s choice of universities is awkwardly brought up later in one of the movie’s many poorly written and sloppily staged scenes that fall flat with unamusing jokes.

Chris will soon have more to worry about than which university Joy chooses to attend. He’s laid off from his job at a company called Sydel Twain Industrial Plastics, where he was a longtime employee, but the company’s new owner is making staff cuts. Trevante Rhodes has a useless cameo as an executive named Tre, who coldly tells Chris in a conference room that Chris is no longer working at the company.

Chris gets a wrapped bathrobe package as a parting gift from the company. “I don’t want your fleece!” Chris says angrily. He quickly changes his mind and says maybe he does want the fleece after all. If you think this is hilarious, then feel free to waste time watching “Candy Cane Lane,” because this is what the movie is trying to pass off as “comedy.”

Chris eventually tells Carol that he lost his job, but he asks her not to tell their children because he doesn’t want the kids to worry, especially during the Christmas holiday season. Carol has her own job concerns: She really wants a promotion, which could happen soon if she impresses the right people.

It just so happens that the Candy Cane Lane contest has announced that this year’s grand prize is $100,000, which makes Chris even more determined to win, considering he doesn’t know when he will find his next job. With the contest approaching, Chris forces his kids to help him get new Christmas decorations. Chris and Holly find a “pop-up store,” which sells elaborate Christmas decorations. Chris and Holly go to this store multiple times in the movie and don’t seem to think it’s strange that they are always the only customers in the store and there’s only one person working there.

The first time they visit the store, Chris and Holly are in awe of all the unique decorations. They are greeted by a seemingly helpful employee named Pepper Mint (played by Jillian Bell), who convinces Chris to buy a massive artificial Christmas tree that is packaged in a container shaped like a giant sardine can. While ringing up the sale at the cash register, Pepper tells Chris that he doesn’t have to read the fine print on the long receipt before he signs the receipt. “Honestly, it’s like signing your life away,” she says with obvious sarcasm.

It turns out that Pepper is really a corrupt elf, who tricked Chris into signing his life away. Chris gets the spectacular tree that he wants: It magically unfolds into a giant 12-tier tree that can best be described as looking like stacks of Christmas cookie circular tin containers that are glued together. The tree is such a sensation, it makes the news on Prism Cable.

Prism Cable has two irritating news anchors: perpetually perky Kit (played by Danielle Pinnock) and constantly jaded Emerson (played Timothy Simons), who are an excruciatingly ridiculous on-air duo providing commentary throughout the story. Kit has decided that her irksome nephew Josh (played by D.C. Young Fly), who has an alter ego as a social media influencer named Sunny Roberts, deserves to be on TV, so she lets this dolt become an “on the scene” correspondent.

The Carver family tree’s lights are so far-reaching, the lights can be seen by an airplane in the sky. The problem is that by opening up this tree, Chris has triggered the unwitting “bargain” that he made with Pepper. Suddenly, things mentioned in the Christmas carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas” start appearing randomly in the Carver family’s lives. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” famously mentions a partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, three French hens, four calling birds, five golden rings, six geese that lay eggs, seven swimming swans, eight milk maids, nine dancing ladies, 10 leaping lords, 11 pipers and 12 drummers.

They don’t appear in the order that they are mentioned in the song. Everything is haphazard, just like this entire movie. The seven swans are the first to appear, as they end up in the Carver family’s backyard swimming pool. Somehow in this very disjointed story, Chris finds out that in order to get out of this deal with Pepper, he must give her the golden rings. And so, there’s a “hunt” to track down these rings.

But that’s not where “Candy Cane Lane” gets really mindless. There’s a huge swath of the movie about Chris discovering that there are talking miniature figurines in Pepper’s shop. The figurines (which are all dressed as Christmas people from the 19th century) look, act and move like human beings. Pepper is keeping these figurines captive against their will.

Three of the figurines get the most dialogue out of all the other figurines. Pip (played by Nick Offerman) is a top-hat-wearing Brit who is the leader of the trio. Pip’s American sidekicks are sassy maiden Cordelia (played by Robin Thede) and goofy lamplighter Gary (played by Chris Redd), who occasionally bicker with each other. The other figurines that appear briefly in the movie to sing are a group of five carolers, played by the real-life singing group Pentatonix. The members of Pentatonix are Scott Hoying, Mitch Grassi, Kirstin Maldonado, Matt Sallee and Kevin Olusola.

Pip, Cordelia and Gary are desperate to be “free from the torment of eternal Christmas” under Pepper’s captivity, according to Pip. This all leads to an “escape and chase” part of the story that further jumbles the already idiotic plot. It’s as if the filmmakers knew they didn’t have enough ideas for the part of the story about the Candy Cane Lane contest and decided to come up with some bad ideas as filler.

Although there’s a disclaimer at the end of “Candy Cane Lane” that says no animals were harmed during the making of the movie, there’s some obvious contempt for winged animals in this film, because depicting and seeing these animals get hurt are used as wretched jokes in the movie. For example, in a scene where Carol is giving some powerful executives a tour of her factory, she sees one of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” chickens hiding in a packing box. In a panic, while the executives aren’t looking, Carol takes the bird out of the box and cruelly throws it at some operating assembly line equipment, where she knows the bird will be immediately decapitated. This decapitation is not explicitly shown on screen, but the movie makes it clear that the bird has died because of Carol’s reckless actions, and the “Candy Cane Lane” filmmakers want viewers to laugh about it.

The acting performances in “Candy Cane Lane” range from mediocre to stiffly awful. Murphy is just going through the motions playing the “stressed-out dad” character that he has played in several other terrible comedies where he’s the family patriarch who gets involved in some problems. Bell’s depiction of the Pepper character is a weak parody of Christmas villains. Apparently, Bell thinks bugging out her eyes makes her look menacing. Pip, Cordelia and Gary can best be described as irritating as pesky flies.

David Alan Grier shows up as Santa Claus, in a cameo role that is written in a racially problematic way, considering that people call him “Black Santa” in the movie, and he speaks like a lower-class person. (“Candy Cane Lane” screenwriter Younger is white.) When a white Santa Claus is in a movie, no one in the movie says, “Oh, look, there’s White Santa.” A black man with the name Santa Claus in a movie doesn’t have to be identified as “Black Santa” by the movie’s characters, and he doesn’t have to get reduced to speaking like an angry black man from the ghetto. It’s very passive-aggressive racism from the “Candy Cane Lane” filmmakers.

And for the love of cinema, the filmmakers of these horrible “comedies” about African American families need to stop making every African American teenage boy in the family have integrity problems and/or portrayed as not being a good student in school. “Candy Cane Lane” has an unnecessary plot development about Nick being deceitful by hiding a secret from his family: He’s close to flunking in his math class, and his parents find out about this lie.

“Candy Cane Lane” is not the type of atrocious film with moments that overcome the lousy parts of the movie. “Candy Cane Lane” just gets worse and worse, until there’s no hope the story will ever recover. And just like many obnoxiously terrible movies, “Candy Cane Lane ” has end credits with a blooper reel that shows the cast members enjoyed making this trash. It’s probably more enjoyment than most viewers will get if they have the endurance to watch “Candy Cane Lane” until the very end.

Amazon MGM Studios released “Candy Cane Lane” in select U.S. cinemas on November 24, 2023. Prime Video will premiere the movie on December 1, 2023.

Review: ‘Black Barbie: A Documentary,’ starring Kitty Black Perkins, Stacey McBride-Irby and Beulah Mae Mitchell

November 24, 2023

by Carla Hay

A scene from “Black Barbie: A Documentary” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

[EDITOR’S NOTE: After Netflix acquired “Black Barbie: The Documentary,” the movie’s title was shortened to “Black Barbie.”]

“Black Barbie: A Documentary”

Directed by Lagueria Davis

Culture Representation: The documentary film “Black Barbie: A Documentary” features a predominantly African American group of people (with some white people, Latin people, and Asians) discussing the history of black Barbie dolls and/or racial issues for Barbie dolls.

Culture Clash: There is an ongoing struggle for black Barbie dolls to not be perceived as inferior or less important than white Barbie dolls.

Culture Audience: “Black Barbie: A Documentary” will appeal primarily to people who are interested in watching a documentary about the intersection of Barbie dolls with African American history.

Stacey McBride-Irby, Kitty Black Perkins and Beulah Mae Mitchell in “Black Barbie: A Documentary” (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

“Black Barbie: A Documentary” is essential viewing not just for people who are interested in this often-overlooked part of Barbie doll history but also for people who aren’t fans of Barbie dolls but want to watch a fascinating pop culture documentary. The movie (which has a total running time of 100 minutes) packs in a lot of different layers that are mostly cohesive. The movie is fairly ambitious in how it puts certain things in a broader historical and sociological context, thereby avoiding being a formulaic Barbie doll documentary that would probably ignore these larger issues.

Directed by Lagueria Davis (who wrote and spoke the movie’s narration and is one of the movie’s producers), “Black Barbie: A Documentary” had its world premiere at the 2023 SXSW Film & TV Festival and has since made the rounds at numerous other festivals, including its New York premiere at the Urbanworld Festival. Davis has said in many interviews that it took her 12 years to make this documentary. It shows in the amount of meticulous research in “Black Barbie: A Documentary,” which makes everything easier to understand by including a timeline of events.

This not a documentary made by a “Barbie fangirl.” In fact, in her narration, Davis (who occasionally appears on screen in the movie) tells viewers from the beginning that in her childhood, she didn’t even like Barbie dolls and never had an interest in them. She says that what inspired her to make this documentary was hearing stories from her aunt Beulah Mae Mitchell, who was one of the first black employees for Mattel, the Barbie toy manufacturing company, where Mitchell worked from 1955 to 1999.

The first Barbie doll, which went on sale to the mass market in 1959, was invented by Mattel co-founder Ruth Handler and was inspired by Ruth’s real-life daughter Barbara. Barbie dolls became a hit because they were not the type of shapeless woman dolls that were usually being sold at the time but were dolls designed to emulate the curves and contours of a fully developed woman. The first black Barbie doll went on sale in 1968, at the height of the Black Power movement.

Mitchell was mostly a receptionist throughout her career at Mattel, but she was privy to a lot of insider information that she shares in the documentary. Mitchell also kept many valuable mementos and memorabilia from her time with Mattel, some of which is shown in this documentary and would be right at home in a Barbie museum. In “Black Barbie: A Documentary,” Mitchell describes Ruth Handler as a kind and generous boss who always asked for feedback from employees on how to improve the company. Nevertheless, for years, Mattel had a blind spot or resistance to the idea of Mattel making Barbie dolls that were any race other than white.

Mitchell says part of that resistance came from cultural conditioning at the time in the United States, when it was more acceptable to “erase” people of color from representation in many areas of life where people of color existed. The image manufactured for Barbie at the time and which still exists today is that Barbie leads a life of glamour and privilege, which are often out of reach for people who are treated as being on the margins of society.

In the documentary, Mitchell comments: “My mother loved dolls. I loved dolls. I loved fashion.” Mitchell remembers that she was growing up, she was so used to seeing only white dolls being sold as the “pretty dolls,” that “it didn’t occur to me” that dolls that weren’t white could be included as “pretty dolls” too. She remembers the usual black dolls that were around in her childhood were the Aunt Jemima dolls that were considered frumpy and unattractive.

The reasons why the first black Barbie wasn’t introduced until 1968 had as much to do with race as economics. There was deep skepticism that there would be enough demand for black Barbie dolls to make the dolls a profitable investment for Mattel. The underlying doubt was that although black people might buy black Barbie dolls, what about white people, the majority race that was buying Barbie dolls?

“Black Barbie: A Documentary” briefly goes off on an interesting but necessary tangent by mentioning the famous Clark doll tests of 1947, as an example of how dolls can often influence how young people think of racial differences. Psychologist spouses Mamie Clark and Kenneth Clark conducted tests with white and black children by giving them a choice between choosing a white baby doll or black baby doll. The children almost always chose the white dolls, thereby showing how white supremacist racism can be internalized from a very young age.

These test results were used successfully in arguments in favor of making racial segregation illegal in U.S. public education in the 1954 landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education. However, legislating racial justice in public education is one thing. Trying to do that in the business world is another thing.

As is often the case when white-owned corporate companies exclude representation of races that aren’t white, the excluded races create their own businesses. “Black Barbie: The Documentary” admirably mentions the importance of Shindana Toys, a co-op company that was the first major manufacturer of black dolls and became very successful at it. Shindana Toys, which was in business from 1968 to 1983, was a division of Operation Bootstrap Inc.

Mattel noticed the success of Shindana and saw that there was a viable economic demand to make Barbie dolls more racially inclusive. And so, the first black Barbie doll was launched in 1968. Her name was Christie, who was marketed as a friend of Barbie’s. In 1969, another black Barbie doll named Julia was introduced. Julia was inspired by Diahann Carroll’s title character in the TV comedy series “Julia,” where Carroll starred as a young widowed mother who is a nurse.

Eventually, Mattel responded to requests from consumers to make people of color dolls not just as sidekick friends to Barbie but as dolls named Barbie. Kitty Black Perkins was the designer of Mattel’s first black doll named Barbie, which was introduced in 1979 and went on sale in 1980. Black Perkins, who worked at Mattel from 1976 to 2003, is considered the most influential person at Mattel in creating a wider range of black Barbie dolls.

Black Perkins’ interviews in the documentary are among the most insightful. She mentions that a child psychologist was brough in by Mattel to assess her work when designing Mattel’s first black doll named Barbie. Black Perkins says that psychologist backed off when it was obvious that Black Perkins, as an African American, knew better than the psychologist on what should be done in creating a black Barbie doll. She also says that Mattel gave very little promotion to the first black Barbie doll that she designed.

Black Perkins mentored Stacey McBride-Irby, a Mattel designer who continued Black Perkins’ legacy in creating new black Barbie dolls, when McBride-Irby worked for Mattel from 1996 to 2011. One of the documentary’s highlights is showing Mitchell, Black Perkins and McBride-Irby—three generations of black women who have long histories with Mattel’s Barbie dolls—sitting down together for a talk. Their conversation doesn’t look forced or contrived. It’s a joy to watch. McBride-Irby mentions that her own daughter was an influence in many of McBride Irby’s design decisions for black Barbie dolls.

“Black Barbie: A Documentary” also has the expected array of talking head interviews with Barbie doll collectors, historians, entertainers, cultural experts and former Mattel employees. The movie acknowledges that Mattel has come a long way in diversifying Barbie dolls. However, the documentary also points out that there could be more progress in how Mattel’s “Barbie” animated movies still push the idea that the only Barbie who deserves the most attention has to be a white female who is thin, blonde and pretty.

For example, even though the “Barbie” animated movies have introduced a black Barbie named Brooklyn Barbie as a friend counterpart to white Malibu Barbie, the storylines often still presents Brooklyn Barbie as a sidekick, not the main star of the story. Malibu Barbie is still at the center of the marketing campaigns for these movies. If racism is mentioned in the “Barbie” animated movies, Malibu Barbie does most of the talking about it.

Mason Williams—Mattel’s senior director of diversity, equity, and inclusion—is interviewed in the documentary. He looks visibly uncomfortable in the documentary when he’s confronted with criticism that Mattel’s “Barbie” animated movies still don’t show racial equality among the Barbies. Williams gives a tepid response by saying that these changes take time and won’t happen overnight.

One of the best parts of “Black Barbie: A Documentary” is in the last third of the movie, when it goes beyond just talking head interviews and shows a series of focus groups with children (about 7 to 12 years old, male and female and of diverse races) to discuss what they think when they are presented with various Barbie dolls and are asked questions about these dolls. Yeshiva Davis (a therapist whose specialty is family and marriage) is the leader of these focus groups.

The results of these focus groups are revealing about children’s attitudes about race relations and perceptions of physical attractiveness, as well as how these attitudes affect their judgments of others and themselves. The children’s answers are sometimes funny and sometimes sad but always come across as very unfiltered and honest. Davis is then shown discussing the results of these focus groups with various educators and cultural historians, who comment on the children’s answers.

Perhaps that is the greatest takeaway of “Black Barbie: A Documentary”: It’s not about which black Barbie dolls are bestsellers for Mattel. It’s about how Barbie dolls, like them or not, have a great deal of influence on how people (especially impressionable children) can view the world.

Netflix will premiere “Black Barbie: A Documentary” on June 19, 2024.

2023 National Dog Show: see photos and videos

November 23, 2023

2023 National Dog Show Best In Show Winner, a French Bulldog named Winston (Photo by: Virginia Sherwood/NBC)

The following is a press release from NBC:

Stache, a proud and confident Sealyham Terrier, delivered a hometown victory on Thanksgiving Day, winning Best in Show at Philadelphia’s prestigious 22nd National Dog Show Presented by Purina.

Stache’s triumphant moment was broadcast to a massive holiday audience on NBC following the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Margery Good of Cochranville, Penn., a Philadelphia suburb, guided Stache to the title, impressing Best in Show judge Carrie Chase of Martinsburg, W.V.

The #2-ranked Terrier and #12-ranked All-Breed show dog in America, Stache is from a legendary line of dogs that includes his grandfather, Charmin, winner of the World Dog Show, the AKC National Championship and Crufts, the famed Birmingham, England competition where he bested 22,000 dogs in 2008.

“This dog’s condition, breed type and showmanship all come together to produce the epitome of an excellent dog,” said Chase, who selected the Terrier over a top-rated lineup that included a Shih Tzu (Toy Group), Great Dane (Working Group), Chesapeake Bay Retriever (Sporting Group), Dalmatian (Non-Sporting Group), German Shepherd (Herding Group) and Azawahk (Hound Group). “At the end of the day, it’s a dog show and you want them to display all of their great attributes.”

“It’s an exhilarating feeling to win,” said Good, a prominent and popular handler who won the nearby Montgomery County Kennel Club Terrier Show with Stache in October. “Stache deals easily with multiple things happening around him. He’s so well-balanced and he loves to show. I loved seeing him have his celebratory dinner (kibble on the silver-plated trophy tray).” Stache’s registered name is GCHP CH Goodspice Efbe Money Stache.

Reserve Best in Show (second place) went to a Dalmatian named Pumpkin and handler Michael Scott from East Brunswick, N.J. Winner of the Non-Sporting Group, Pumpkin’s registered name is GCHP Planett’s Pop Star.

The following are the other 2023 National Dog Show Group winners:

  • Sporting – a Chesapeake Bay Retriever named M of Alexandria, Ohio
  • Working – a Great Dane named Carson from Atlanta
  • Hound – an Azawahk named Yaro of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla
  • Herding – a German Shepherd Dog named Heathcliff of Jasper, Ga
  • Toy – a Shih Tzu named Comet from Monclova, Ohio

This year marks the 22nd edition of the holiday special, which has become a family viewing tradition since its inception in 2002. NBC will air an encore presentation of the two-hour special on Nov. 25 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

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