Not sure what to watch on those rainy Sundays? Or those late Wednesday nights? Here are my awards for excellence in film and television for the third quarter (July-September) of 2023!
If we hand out awards for sports, why not movies & television? With the third quarter of 2023 in the books, it’s time to look back at the best movies, shows & performances of the last three months! (Important to note that these are my favorites, not what I think are necessarily the best; that’s what my Oscars posts are for).
For films & tv, the number of noms in each category will be half or half rounded up if there is an odd number… So this quarter, the film categories will have 10 nominations and the tv categories will have 5.
*Disclaimer: The Bear & Grey’s Anatomy both dropped their new seasons on streaming the last week of June, but I decided to push them to Q3. There was too much to watch to cram everything in, plus they just kinda feel like summer shows, don’t they?
*Double Disclaimer: Obviously I couldn’t watch every movie and show, so if you don’t see your favorite from the 3rd quarter here I do apologize. Here are the lists of films & shows from the 3rd quarter of 2023 that I watched and therefore eligible for award consideration:
Films: 19 Shows: 10
Barbie Ahsoka s1
Blue Beetle Based on a True Story s1
The Beanie Bubble The Bear s2
The Creator The Crowded Room s1
Expendables 4 Grey’s Anatomy s19
Dumb Money HSMTMTS s4
Gran Turismo Only Murders in the Building s3
Haunted Mansion Secret Invasion s1
A Haunting in Venice Twisted Metal s1
Joy Ride Winning Time s2
The Last Voyage of the Demeter
MI: Dead Reckoning Part 1
No One Will Save You
TMNT: Mutant Mayhem
Talk to Me
Now to the awards! (Each category has five nominees, winners in bold)
Favorite 3rd Quarter Cameo (1 scene, Actor & Actress Combined)
Ann Roth as Lady on the Bench (Barbie)
John Cena as a Merman (Barbie)
Baron Davis as Baron Davis (Joy Ride)
Jim Kramer as Jim Kramer (Dumb Money)
Mr. Beast as Times Square Guy (Mutant Mayhem)
This was a truly un-inspiring quarter in terms of cameos. This one ultimately came down to Baron Davis vs. John Cena, and given that when Cena popped up as a merman in Barbie I burst out laughing, I’ll give him the win. But I wouldn’t hold my breath that he will be competitive in the 2023 yearly awards.
Favorite 3rd Quarter Performance By A Supporting Actress in Film
Alexandra Jensen as Jade (Talk to Me)
America Ferrera as Gloria (Barbie)
Ayo Edibiri as Janet Walsh (Theater Camp)
Florence Pugh as Jean Tatlock (Oppenheimer)
Michelle Yeoh as Joyce Reynolds (Haunting in Venice)
Pom Klementieff as Paris (Dead Reckoning Part 1)
Rhea Pearlman as Ruth (Barbie)
Sabrina Wu as Deadeye (Joy Ride)
Stephanie Hsu as Kat (Joy Ride)
Shailene Woodley as Caroline Gill (Dumb Money)
Alexandra Jensen, Florence Pugh, Sabrina Wu and Shailene Woodley are all here to fill out the 10 noms; they were all good in their movies, no complaints whatsoever about their performances, but none of them were in serious contention here.
The next group are the actresses that, had they been in the movie for even 5 mins more, might have won: Ayo Edibiri, Michelle Yeoh and Pom Klementieff. All 3 of those ladies were incredible in their films (Edibiri and Yeoh were the best part of their movies), but ultimately just didn’t get enough screen time to really compete.
So this award really came down to Rhea Pearlman, America Ferrera and Stephanie Hsu. I enjoyed Hsu in this waaaaaaay more than in EEAAO, and Ferrera gave one of the most crowd-rousing moments of the year with her monologue. However, there was something about what Pearlman did in Barbie that really resonated with me. In a movie that felt too over-the-top in its messaging, I thought she delivered the point of the movie perfectly in a really touching way. Here’s to Pearlman getting an Oscar’s nod!
Favorite 3rd Quarter Performance By A Supporting Actor in Film
Alden Ehrenreich as Senate Aide (Oppenheimer)
David Harbour as Jack Salter (Gran Turismo)
George Lopez as Rudy Reyes (Blue Beetle)
Jackie Chan as Master Splinter (Mutant Mayhem)
Joe Bird as Riley (Talk to Me)
Matt Damon as Leslie Groves (Oppenheimer)
Michael Cera as Allan (Barbie)
Randall Park as Hunter (Strays)
Robert Downey Jr. as Lewis Strauss (Oppenheimer)
Seth Rogen as Gabe Plotnik (Dumb Money)
Unlike Supporting Actress, this category was not even close. David Harbour and Michael Cera were the silver and bronze medalists respectively, but this was RDJ from start to finish (almost literally, since Oppenheimer released in the 2nd week of the quarter). I called his Oscars win back in March, and I still feel great about it.
Favorite 3rd Quarter Performance By A Lead Actress in Film
America Ferrera as Jenny (Dumb Money)
Ashley Park as Audrey (Joy Ride)
Ayo Edibiri as April O’Neil (Mutant Mayhem)
Hayley Atwell as Grace (Dead Reckoning Part 1)
Isla Fisher as Maggie (Strays)
Kaitlyn Dever as Brynn (No One Will Save You)
Margot Robbie as Barbie (Barbie)
Megan Fox as Gina (Expendables 4)
Rosario Dawson as Gabbie (Haunted Mansion)
Sophie Wilde as Mia (Talk to Me)
Shoutout to America Ferrera, getting the rare double-nomination in the same quarter! While she had a much stronger chance in Supporting than in Lead, still an impressive feat nonetheless.
Ashley Park was brilliantly funny in Joy Ride, and will hopefully continue to get more opportunities to lead comedies.
Another double! Ayo Edibiri also had a better chance in Supporting than here, but she was a great April O’Neil and had great chemistry with those loveable turtles.
Haley Atwell is my new celebrity crush. Took me a while to get there, but she is flawless in Dead Reckoning. Can’t wait to see more of her in Part 2!
Isla Fisher is here simply to fill out 10 nominees.
Dever delivered a really strong performance, especially considering she had no dialogue to help her. I didn’t love the movie, but I did love her.
Margot Robbie was excellent as Barbie. While I’m lower on the movie than most, I would be stunned if I don’t hear her name when the Oscars nominations are announced.
Megan Fox is also just here to round out 10 nominees.
Rosario Dawson is also (spoiler alert) a double nominee! What a quarter for these hard-working ladies. She stands a much better chance on the television side of things, but I enjoyed her in Haunted Mansion.
And there’s the winner, Sophie Wilde. She was absolutely incredible in Talk to Me, and deserves to be in awards conversations. It seems like she might have her own franchise to lead moving forward, but if she isn’t the lead in the next Jordan Peele movie, it will be a huge missed opportunity. Welcome to the winner’s circle, Sophie Wilde!
Favorite 3rd Quarter Performance By A Lead Actor in Film
Archie Madekwe as Jann Mardenborough (Gran Turismo)
Ben Platt as Amos Klobuchar (Theater Camp)
Cillian Murphy as J. Robert Oppenheimer (Oppenheimer)
John David Washington as Joshua (The Creator)
Kenneth Brannagh as Hercule Poiroit (Haunting in Venice)
LaKeith Stanfield as Ben Matthias (Haunted Mansion)
Paul Dano as Keith Gill/Roaring Kitty (Dumb Money)
Ryan Gosling as Ken (Barbie)
Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt (Dead Reckoning Part 1)
Xolo Mariduena as Jaime Reyes/Blue Beetle (Blue Beetle)
Archie Madekwe really surprised me in Gran Turismo. I don’t think he’ll be a star, but I think he can be in a lot of good projects and rack up a lot of these nominations.
I love Ben Platt, I think he’s the sneaky MVP of the Pitch Perfect franchise. I won’t lie, I wanted a liiiiitle more out of him in Theater Camp, but he was still good enough to get nominated here towards the back-end.
John David Washington is going to be a movie star, dammit, if it’s the last thing Hollywood does! Give me The Creator over Tenet 8 days of the week. He flashed the action and the drama, comfortably getting into the field.
With all due respect to Brannagh, he’s here to fill out 10 nominees. While he was better in Venice than Nile, the only mystery that needs to be solved here is why they’re still making these movies.
LaKeith Stanfield is a fantastic actor, but let’s be honest Haunted Mansion isn’t near the top of his resume. He was the best part of the movie, even if his storyline did feel wildly out of place in a kids movie about a Disney ride.
Paul Dano was brilliant in Dumb Money, even if it is absurd that he would run a 4:00 minute mile. No offense Dano, I’m sure you’re in great shape. But not that great.
Ryan Gosling is here because there is no world in which he’s a supporting actor in Barbie; I wouldn’t be surprised if he actually had more screen time than Margot Robbie! The movie was really about his journey, and he brought it all; the action, the comedy, the music, and the drama. Great performance from Gosling!
Cruise is gonna Cruise, man. And he Cruise’s so well!
Xolo Mariduena looked like he was having a lot of fun playing a superhero, and that is how Hollywood battles superhero fatigue; have fun! These movies are starting to feel stale because they feel rinse-and-repeat. Let these actors have fun, and everyone will be back in.
But Cilian Murphy is the clear winner. A sensationally haunting performance that demonstrated how underrated Murphy has been his entire career. God I hope he wins the Oscar!
Favorite Movie Scene of the 3rd Quarter
Airport Three-Card-Monty in Abu Dhabi (Dead Reckoning Part 1)
Dance the Night Away Number (Barbie)
Securing Alphie (The Creator)
Jaime Becomes the Blue Beetle (Blue Beetle)
Motorcycle Jump/Train Sequence (Dead Reckoning Part 1)
Oppenheimer and Einstein Lakeside Chat (Oppenheimer)
Podium at Le Mans (Gran Turismo)
Riley Gets Possessed (Talk to Me)
Seance (Haunting in Venice)
Trinity Test (Oppenheimer)
With all due respect to the jaw-dropping scenes in Dead Reckoning and the horrifying possession scene in Talk to Me, the Trinity Test in Oppenheimer is the winner. How Nolan shot the explosion, sucked all the sound out, this will be hard to top this all year long.
Favorite 3rd Quarter Film
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part I
Talk to Me
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem
Barbie is a fun movie. Do I think it’s as great as everyone else thinks? Absolutely not. But I had a good time watching it, and I can’t wait for the Greta Gerwig musical.
The Creator is an interesting sci-fi film, particularly for society today. If this movie had been 30 minutes less, it would have been infinitely better, but I still enjoyed this film.
I thoroughly loved Dumb Money! The only negative is that it did feel a little in-the-weeds with Wall Street, but this was a fun film with some awesome characters.
Gran Turismo is one of the most surprising movie of the year for me. I never played the game, and I had pretty low expectations going in… and I loved it! I thought from start to finish, this movie was awesome.
Joy Ride is the best comedy of the year so far. No Hard Feelings is a close second, but this movie was laugh-out-loud over and over again.
Dead Reckoning Part 1 was a thrill ride, and it’s a damn shame it underperformed at the box office (shame on you!). Tom Cruise literally rode a motorcycle off a cliff, and it WASN’T the best scene in the movie! I cannot wait until Part 2, but Part 1 was excellent and the runner-up for Favorite Film of Quarter 3.
Talk to Me is not only the best horror movie of 2023, but the best since Hereditary. Great acting, great premise, great sound design, this movie had it all.
Mutant Mayhem is *hot take inbound* the best animated movie of 2023. Not only that, it might be the best TMNT movie ever! I loved this film, and can’t wait for the sequel.
Theater Camp starts rough; through 50 minutes I was not on board. However, the back half is excellent, so much so that it grabbed a nomination here.
And then there is Oppenheimer. What a film. It’s got an amazing score. It’s got incredible performances from maybe the greatest cast ever assembled. And it has one of the most awe-inspiring scenes in a very long time. Oppenheimer rules and is going to be a force come March.
Movie Studio of the 3rd Quarter
Paramount! This quarter was incredibly spread out across the studios. It came down to Sony with Gran Turismo and Dumb Money vs. Paramount with Dead Reckoning and Mutant Mayhem. In the end, Dead Reckoning is my second favorite movie of 2023 and Mutant Mayhem is my favorite animated movie of 2023, so Paramount gets the *slight* nod.
Oppenheimer- 8 (4)
Barbie- 9 (2)
Talk to Me- 5 (1)
Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning: Part I- 6
Dumb Money- 6
Joy Ride- 5
Gran Turismo- 4
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem- 4
Blue Beetle- 3
The Creator- 3
Haunting in Venice- 3
Theater Camp- 3
Haunted Mansion- 2
Expendables 4- 1
No One Will Save You- 1
The Beanie Bubble- 0
The Last Voyage of the Demeter- 0
*Documentary; not eligible for acting awards
Favorite 3rd Quarter Guest Appearance (1 episode, Actor & Actress Combined)
John Mullaney as Stevie (The Bear)
Jon Bernthal as Mikey (The Bear)
Jamie Lee-Curtis as Donna Berzatto (The Bear)
Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker (Ahsoka)
Matthew Broderick as Matthew Broderick (Only Murders in the Building)
The Bear made a hell of a run at this award, taking over HALF of the nominations, including the reigning Supporting Actress Oscar winner AND my favorite comedian of all-time. And my idol Ferris Bueller was really fun in OMITB. However, Anakin Skywalker himself returned in full for Ahsoka and it damn-near brought me to tears! Hayden gets a lot of grief for the prequels, but he is a good actor and when put in a position to succeed, he can really soar. His episode of Ahsoka might be my favorite 45 minutes of Star Wars ever.
Favorite 3rd Quarter Performance By A Supporting Actress in Television
Olivia Colman as Sonya Falsworth (Secret Invasion)
Neve Campbell as Raven (Twisted Metal)
Kim Raver as Dr. Teddy Altman (Grey’s Anatomy)
Meryl Streep as Loretta Durkin (Only Murders in the Building)
Julia Lester as Ashlyn (HSMTMTS)
The fact that Neve Campbell, Kim Raver and Julia Lester are nominated speaks to how thin this quarter was for supporting actresses. Olivia Colman was great, but it’s hard to beat Meryl f’ing Streep.
Favorite 3rd Quarter Performance By A Supporting Actor in Television
Kingsley Ben-Adir as Gravik (Secret Invasion)
Ebon-Moss Bachrach as Cousin Richie (The Bear)
Will Arnett/Samoa Joe as Sweet Tooth (Twisted Metal)
Adrien Brody as Pat Riley (Winning Time)
Sean Patrick Small as Larry Bird (Winning Time)
On the other hand, what a quarter for supporting actors! I could have picked 5 Winning Time guys, but chose to spread the love around. Ben-Adir was by far the best part of that godforsaken Secret Invasion show. Moss-Bachrach is always excellent in The Bear. And then Twisted Metal had a fantastic dual role with Sweet Tooth, having Samoa Joe play him but Will Arnett voice him (he was the best character in the show and I will not hear arguments against that). But this comes down to the Winning Time boys, and of course we couldn’t give this to a Celtic! Adrien Brody was born to play Pat Riley, and I’m so sad we will never get to see him continue. But the transformation we got had me on the edge of my seat, and the locker room scene is still the best scene of television I’ve seen this year.
Favorite 3rd Quarter Performance By A Lead Actress in Television
Ayo Edibiri as Sydney Adamu (The Bear)
Emilia Clarke as G’iah (Secret Invasion)
Amanda Seyfried as Rya Goodwin (The Crowded Room)
Rosario Dawson as Ahsoka Tano (Ahsoka)
Selena Gomez as Mabel (Only Murders in the Building)
Emilia Clarke, Amanda Seyfried and Selena Gomez were all great but were not really in contention here. Rosario Dawson was great in Ahsoka, and I cannot wait to see where her character goes from here, but Ayo Edibiri is so great in The Bear that she has to get the win. Not to mention, she is a TRIPLE nominee this quarter! History! And heck if I had seen Bottoms, she might have grabbed 4! An all-time quarter from Edibiri had to culminate in at least one win, right?
Favorite 3rd Quarter Performance By A Lead Actor in Television
Jeremy Allen-White as Carmy Berzatto (The Bear)
Tom Holland as Danny Sullivan (Crowded Room)
Martin Short as Oliver Putnam (Only Murders in the Building)
Joshua Bassett as Ricky (HSMTMTS)
John C. Reilly as Dr. Jerry Buss (Winning Time)
Bassett and Holland are here to meet our 5 nominee quota. Martin Short was excellent, I think his best performance in 3 seasons of OMITB, but this came down to two guys that won Favorite Lead Actor Quarter Awards a year ago in Jeremy Allen-White and John C. Reilly. Ultimately I went with Allen-White not only for his brilliant portrayal in his show, but also because Reilly seemed to take a step back in season 2 of Winning Time, conceding more screen time to Brody and the rest of the ensemble.
Favorite 3rd Quarter Television Episode
Fishes (The Bear season 2 episode 6)
Shadow Warrior (Ahsoka season 1 episode 5)
The Hamburger Hamlet (Winning Time season 2 episode 5)
The White Room (Only Murders in the Building season 3 episode 4)
The Bear (The Bear season 2 episode 10)
Another category that The Bear had at least 40% of the nominees and couldn’t win. What a shame! But dammit if that episode of Winning Time wasn’t spectacular. Seeing Pat Riley finally evolve was what I had been waiting for for 2 seasons, and it was well worth the wait. And since the show was unceremoniously canceled, it turns out that that was actually the climax of the show. Not what we expected, but I’ll always cherish that episode. AND FUCK BOSTON!
Favorite 3rd Quarter Show
Ahsoka season 1
Winning Time season 2
The Bear season 2
Only Murders in the Building season 2
HSMTMTS season 4
This quarter was actually quite easy to determine the 5 shows that got a nomination here, and the 5 that didn’t. It was the have and have-not’s the past few months on the show front, but Winning Time ended up having the most. Winning Time is now automatically in the end-of-year awards, but The Bear and Ahsoka have great chances to be right there with em.
Streamer of the 3rd Quarter
Hulu! Disney+ gave it a run here. Ahsoka and HSMTMTS both were very good shows this quarter, and Secret Invasion also happened. But in the end, The Bear and Only Murders in the Building were both excellent and carried Hulu to the win.
Winning Time- 5 (3)
The Bear- 9 (2)
Only Murders in the Building- 6 (1)
Ahsoka- 4 (1)
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series- 3
Secret Invasion- 3
The Crowded Room- 2
Twisted Metal- 2
Grey’s Anatomy- 1
Based on a True Story- 0
There you have it! The Film & Television Awards for the 3rd Quarter of 2023! Make sure to check back in at the beginning of January to check out who will take home some hardware for the 4th quarter!