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Cinema Chat: A review of the 2024 BAFTA awards, plus 'Perfect Days' and 'Drive Away Dolls' open in downtown Ann Arbor

(Mick Baker)rooster


The Oscars will be bestowed on Sunday, March 10. So that you may prepare for the big event and get the needed hints to win you Oscar pool, MTF Executive Director Russ Collins, film programmer and cinema guru Nick Alderink and film and music maven Martin Bandyke will talk about the 96th Academy Awards on Thursday, March 7 at 7:00 PM at the State Theatre. Mark your calendar and come on down to the State to get Oscar insight and advance Academy Awards advice.


Best Film

  • “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • “The Holdovers”
  • “Killers of The Flower Moon”
  • “Oppenheimer” – WINNER
  • “Poor Things”

Outstanding British Film

  • “All of Us Strangers”
  • “How to Have Sex”
  • “Napoleon”
  • “The Old Oak”
  • “Poor Things”
  • “Rye Lane”
  • “Saltburn”
  • “Scrapper”
  • “Wonka”
  • “The Zone of Interest” – WINNER

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer

  • “Blue Bag Life”
  • “Bobi Wine: The People’s President”
  • “Earth Mama” – WINNER
  • “How To Have Sex”
  • “Is There Anybody Out There?”

Film Not in the English Language

  • “20 Days In Mariupol”
  • “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • “Past Lives”
  • “Society of the Snow”
  • “The Zone of Interest” – WINNER


  • “20 Days In Mariupol” – WINNER
  • “American Symphony”
  • “Beyond Utopia”
  • “Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie”
  • “Wham!”

Animated Film

  • “The Boy and the Heron” – WINNER
  • “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget”
  • “Elemental”
  • “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”


  • Andrew Haigh, “All of Us Strangers”
  • Justine Triet, “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • Alexander Payne, “The Holdovers”
  • Bradley Cooper, “Maestro”
  • Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer” – WINNER
  • Jonathan Glazer, “The Zone of Interest”

Adapted Screenplay

  • Andrew Haigh, “All of Us Strangers”
  • Cord Jefferson, “American Fiction” – WINNER
  • Christopher Nolan, “Oppenheimer”
  • Tony McNamara, “Poor Things”
  • Jonathan Glazer, “The Zone of Interest”

Original Screenplay

  • Justine Triet and Arthur Harari, “Anatomy of a Fall” – WINNER
  • Greta Gerwig and Noah Baumbach, “Barbie”
  • David Hemingson, “The Holdovers”
  • Bradley Cooper and Josh Singer, “Maestro”
  • Celine Song, “Past Lives”

Leading Actor

  • Barry Keoghan, “Saltburn”
  • Bradley Cooper, “Maestro”
  • Cillian Murphy, “Oppenheimer” – WINNER
  • Colman Domingo, “Rustin”
  • Paul Giamatti, “The Holdovers”
  • Teo Yoo, “Past Lives”

Leading Actress

  • Carey Mulligan, “Maestro”
  • Emma Stone, “Poor Things” – WINNER
  • Fantasia Barrino, “The Color Purple”
  • Margot Robbie, “Barbie
  • Sandra Hüller, “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • Vivian Oparah, “Rye Lane”

Supporting Actor

  • Dominic Sessa, “The Holdovers”
  • Jacob Elordi, “Saltburn”
  • Paul Mescal, “All of Us Strangers”
  • Robert De Niro, “Killers of The Flower Moon”
  • Robert Downey Jr., “Oppenheimer” – WINNER
  • Ryan Gosling, “Barbie”

Supporting Actress

  • Claire Foy, “All of Us Strangers”
  • Danielle Brooks, “The Color Purple”
  • Da’Vine Joy Randolph, “The Holdovers” – WINNER
  • Emily Blunt, “Oppenheimer”
  • Rosamund Pike, “Saltburn”
  • Sandra Hüller, “The Zone of Interest”

Original Score

  • Robbie Robertson, “Killers of The Flower Moon”
  • Ludwig Göransson, “Oppenheimer” – WINNER
  • Jerskin Fendrix, “Poor Things”
  • Anthony Willis, “Saltburn”
  • Daniel Pemberton, “Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse”

Costume Design

  • Jacqueline Durran, “Barbie”
  • Jacqueline West, “Killers of The Flower Moon”
  • Dave Crossman and Janty Yates, “Napoleon”
  • Ellen Mirojnick, “Oppenheimer”
  • Holly Waddington, “Poor Things” – WINNER

Production Design

  • Sarah Greenwood and Katie Spencer, “Barbie”
  • Jack Fisk and Adam Willis, “Killers of The Flower Moon”
  • Ruth De Jong and Claire Kaufman, “Oppenheimer”
  • Shona Heath, James Price and Zsuzsa Mihalek, “Poor Things” – WINNER
  • Chris Oddy, Joanna Maria Kuś and Katarzyna Sikora, “The Zone of Interest”

Special Visual Effects

  • Jonathan Bullock, Charmaine Chan, Ian Comley and Jay Cooper, “The Creator”
  • Theo Bialek, Stephane Ceretti, Alexis Wajsbrot and Guy Williams, “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3”
  • Neil Corbould, Simone Coco, Jeff Sutherland and Alex Wuttke, “Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One”
  • Henry Badgett, Neil Corbould, Charley Henley and Luc-Ewen Martin-Fenouillet, “Napoleon”
  • Tim Barter, Simon Hughes, Dean Koonjul and Jane Paton, “Poor Things” – WINNER

Make Up and Hair

  • Kay Georgiou and Thomas Nellen, “Killers of The Flower Moon”
  • Sian Grigg, Kay Georgiou, Kazu Hiro and Lori McCoy-Bell, “Maestro”
  • Jana Carboni, Francesco Pegoretti, Satinder Chumber and Julia Vernon, “Napoleon”
  • Luisa Abel, Jaime Leigh McIntosh, Jason Hamer and Ahou Mofid, “Oppenheimer”
  • Nadia Stacey, Mark Coulier and Josh Weston, “Poor Things” – WINNER


  • Laurent Sénéchal, “Anatomy of a Fall”
  • Thelma Schoonmaker, “Killers of The Flower Moon”
  • Jennifer Lame, “Oppenheimer” – WINNER
  • Yorgos Mavropsaridis, “Poor Things”
  • Paul Watts, “The Zone of Interest”


  • Rodrigo Prieto, “Killers of The Flower Moon”
  • Matthew Libatique, “Maestro”
  • Hoyte van Hoytema, “Oppenheimer” – WINNER
  • Robbie Ryan, “Poor Things”
  • Łukasz Żal, “The Zone of Interest”



A 2023 drama film directed by Wim Wenders, from a script written by Wenders and Takuma Takasaki. A co-production between Japan and Germany, the film combines four short stories and stars Kōji Yakusho in the role of a toilet cleaner. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, where it premiered on 25 May and won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the Best Actor Award for Kōji Yakusho. It was nominated for the Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards, becoming the first film not directed by a Japanese filmmaker to be nominated as the Japanese entry.

Hirayama seems utterly content with his simple life as a cleaner of toilets in Tokyo. Outside of his very structured everyday routine he enjoys his passion for music and for books. And he loves trees and takes photos of them. A series of unexpected encounters gradually reveal more of his past. A deeply moving and poetic reflection on finding beauty in the everyday world around us.


A 2024 American comedy road film directed by Ethan Coen. Coen wrote the screenplay with his wife Tricia Cooke. It stars Margaret Qualley, Geraldine Viswanathan, Beanie Feldstein, Colman Domingo, Pedro Pascal, Bill Camp, and Matt Damon. It is the debut of Coen as a solo director, excluding the documentary "Jerry Lee Lewis: Trouble in Mind" (2022), without the collaboration of his brother, Joel. It is also his first narrative film since "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs" (2018).

This comedy caper follows Jamie, an uninhibited free spirit bemoaning yet another breakup with a girlfriend, and her demure friend Marian who desperately needs to loosen up. In search of a fresh start, the two embark on an impromptu road trip to Tallahassee, but things quickly go awry when they cross paths with a group of inept criminals along the way.


A 2024 American epic science fiction film directed by Denis Villeneuve, who co-wrote the screenplay with Jon Spaihts. The sequel to "Dune" (2021), it is the second of a two-part adaptation of the 1965 novel "Dune" by Frank Herbert and follows Paul Atreides as he unites with the Fremen people of the desert planet Arrakis to wage war against House Harkonnen. Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Zendaya, Charlotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem reprise their roles from the first film, with Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Christopher Walken and Léa Seydoux joining the ensemble cast.

The film will explore the mythic journey of Paul Atreides as he unites with Chani and the Fremen while on a warpath of revenge against the conspirators who destroyed his family. Facing a choice between the love of his life and the fate of the known universe, he endeavors to prevent a terrible future only he can foresee.



Part of the U-M Center for Japanese Film Studies 2024 Series

After several threatening calls from a local salesman, a homemaker becomes increasingly afraid to answer her apartment door. Presented in Japanese with English subtitles.

Curator's note: Banmei Takahashi learned the craft in pink film at Wakamatsu Productions, so it should be no surprise that this unnerving film pushes both buttons and boundaries. Set during the prosperity of the bubble era, the story centers on a housewife and her stalker.

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" — PLAYS TONIGHT AT 7:30 PM AT THE STATE

Part of the Late Night Classics series

After arriving safely home from their unprecedented victory in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) discover that they must do a quick turnaround and begin a Victors Tour. As she and Peeta travel throughout the districts, Katniss senses a rebellion is stirring. However, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) proves that he is still very much in control when word comes of a cruel change in the rules for the upcoming 75th Hunger Games. From director Francis Lawrence.


Part of the Late Night Classics series

Known in Japan as "Cowboy Bebop: Knockin' on Heaven's Door," this is a 2001 Japanese anime science fiction action film based on the 1998 anime series "Cowboy Bebop" created by Hajime Yatate. Several staff from the original series worked on the film, including director Shinichirō Watanabe. The Japanese and English voice casts also reprised their roles.

The film was conceived by Watanabe as an extension of his work on the television series, which he had treated as a series of miniature films. The film is set between episode 22 and episode 23 of the original series. The plot centers on a mysterious terrorist planning to exterminate the human population of Mars by releasing a virus. The bounty hunter crew of the spaceship Bebop works to capture the terrorist and prevent the attack.


Part of the Falasteen on Screen series

Jordan, 1967. Some people follow the masses, others the sun. Tarek, 11, eccentric and unbounded, runs away from home in this search for freedom. A journey of the human spirit that knows no borders. From writer/director Annemarie Jacir. Presented in Arabic with English subtitles.


"The Taste of Things"

Set in France in 1889, the film follows the life of Dodin Bouffant (Benoît Magimel) as a chef living with his personal cook and lover Eugénie (Juliette Binoche). They share a long history of gastronomy and love, but Eugénie refuses to marry Dodin, so the food lover decides to do something he has never done before: cook for her. From director Tran Anh Hung. Presented in French with English subtitles. Surprisingly to many, it beat out "Anatomy of a Fall" (nominated be Best Picture) as France’s entry.

Oscar Shorts 2024

For the 19th consecutive year, the Oscar-Nominated Short Films are playing the Michigan Theater. With all three categories offered – Animated, Live Action and Documentary – this is your annual chance to predict the winners (and have the edge in your Oscar pool)! A perennial hit with audiences around the country and the world, don’t miss this year’s selection of shorts. Please know, essentially, none of these programs are for children, not even the animation. The Academy Awards take place Sunday, March 10th.

Oscar-nominated Short Films 2024: Live-Action

  • "The After" (Canada)
  • "Invincible" (Denmark)
  • "Knight of Fortune" (USA)
  • "Red, White and Blue" (UK)
  • "The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar" (UK)

Oscar-nominated Short Films 2024: Animated

  • "Letter to a Pig" (France)
  • "Ninety-Five Senses" (USA)
  • "Our Uniform" (Iran)
  • "Pachyderme" (France)
  • "War Is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko" (USA)

Oscar-nominated Short Films 2024: Documentary

  • "Island in Between" (Taiwan)
  • "Nǎi Nai & Wài Pó" (USA)
  • "The ABCs of Book Banning" (USA)
  • "The Barber of Little Rock" (USA)
  • "The Last Repair Shop" (USA)

"The Zone of Interest"

Oscar nominated for Best Picture

A 2023 historical drama film written and directed by Jonathan Glazer, loosely based on the 2014 novel by Martin Amis. It stars Christian Friedel as the German Nazi commandant Rudolf Höss, who strives to build a dream life with his wife, Hedwig (Sandra Hüller), in a new home next to the German Auschwitz concentration camp.

The film premiered at the 76th Cannes Film Festival on 19 May 2023 to acclaim, winning the Grand Prix Prize. It was named Best Film by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and selected as one of the top-five international films of 2023 by the National Board of Review.

The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Glazer and Best International Feature Film. A new film from writer/director Jonathan Glazer (‘Under the Skin’)

"American Fiction"

Oscar nominated for Best Actor, Jeffrey Wright

A 2023 American comedy-drama film written and directed by Cord Jefferson, in his feature directorial debut. Based on the 2001 novel "Erasure" by Percival Everett, the film follows a frustrated novelist-professor who jokingly writes an outlandishly stereotypical "Black" book out of spite, only for the book to be published and receive widespread fame and acclaim. It stars Jeffrey Wright, Tracee Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Sterling K. Brown, John Ortiz, Erika Alexander, Leslie Uggams, Adam Brody, and Keith David.

Director Cord Jefferson's hilarious directorial debut, which confronts our culture's obsession with reducing people to outrageous stereotypes. Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a frustrated novelist who is fed up with the establishment profiting from "Black" entertainment that relies on tired and offensive tropes. To prove his point, Monk uses a pen name to write an outlandish "Black" book of his own, a book that propels him to the heart of hypocrisy and the madness he claims to disdain.

"Poor Things" 

Oscar nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, and 9 other categories

From director Yorgos Lanthimos ("The Favourite," 2018) and starring Emma Stone, Mark Ruffalo and Willem Dafoe. Brought back to life by an unorthodox scientist, a young woman runs off with a lawyer on a whirlwind adventure across the continents. Free from the prejudices of her times, she grows steadfast in her purpose to stand for equality and liberation.

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Mat Hopson is the local news producer for WEMU’s broadcast of Morning Edition and announcer for the Saturday morning 8AM-1 PM block. He also produces “creative:impact” hosted by Deb Polich and assembles and publishes the news stories and special features found here on wemu.org.
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