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2023 Film & Television 4th Quarter Polls

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 fourth quarter (October-December) of 2023!  Circuit Artwork 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. However I’ve made a change! From now on, the floor of nominations is 5 (so even if there are 6 shows, I’ll still do 5 noms). And I’ve also put a ceiling of 10 (so even if I have 30 movies, there will be a max of 10 noms). So this quarter, the film categories will have 10 nominations and the tv categories will have 5. * Disclaimer : Obviously I couldn’t watch every  movie and show, so if you don’t see your favorite from the 4th quarter here I do apologize. Here are the lists of films & shows from the 4th quarter of 2023 that I watched and therefore eligible for award consideration:  Films: 26 Shows: 10 Anatomy of a Fall Bob’s Burgers s14 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom The Fall of the House of Usher s1 Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes Gen V s1 The Boy Who Lived Goosebumps s1 The Boy and the Heron Invincible s2 The Color Purple Loki s2 The Exorcist: Believer Monarch: Legacy of Monsters s1 Five Nights at Freddy’s The Morning Show s3 Godzilla Minus One The Santa Clauses s2 The Holdovers What If…? s2 The Iron Claw Killers of the Flower Moon The Killer Maestro The Marvels May December Next Goal Wins Nyad Old Dads Rebel Moon Part I The Royal Hotel Rustin Saltburn Thanksgiving Wish Wonka Now to the awards! (Each category has five nominees, winners in bold ) Favorite Cameo (1 scene, Actor & Actress Combined) Aaron Dean-Eisenberg (The Iron Claw) Hailee Steinfeld (The Marvels) Kelsey Grammar (The Marvels) Linda Blair (The Exorcist: Believer) Martin Short (Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) Peter Pan (Wish) Taika Waititi (Next Goal Wins) Tessa Thompson (The Marvels) Tilda Swinton (The Killer) Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple) Wow, was this a shitty quarter for cameos! Very few pop-ups in film the last few months elicited any excitement, but Steinfeld was a clear standout. In just a few seconds on screen, she showed incredible chemistry with Vellani and really, that’s all she needed to out-do the likes of Martin Short as a giant fish, Taika Waititi as a narrator and an animated Peter Pan.  Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actress in Film Danielle Brooks (The Color Purple) Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist: Believer) Iman Vellani (The Marvels) Jessica Henwick (The Royal Hotel) Jodie Foster (Nyad) Julianne Moore (May December) Olivia Colman (Wonka) Rosamund Pike (Saltburn) Teyonah Parris (The Marvels) Viola Davis (Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes) This category, however, was solid! Pike, Foster, Brooks and Vellani were all very strong contenders, delivering very different but equally riveting performances. Call me crazy, but what Viola Davis did in the newest Hunger Games movie was intoxicating. She unleashed her crazy and it was awesome to watch! For my money, Davis is maybe the greatest actress alive, and she continues to flex those muscles.  Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actor in Film Colman Domingo (The Color Purple) Dominic Sessa (The Holdovers) Harris Dickinson (The Iron Claw) Jacob Elordi (Saltburn) Jason Schwartzman (Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes) Jeremy Allen-White (The Iron Claw) Matthew Lillard (Five Nights at Freddy’s) Patrick Wilson (Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) Peter Dinklage (Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes) Robert Pattinson (The Boy and the Heron) Another stacked category! Colman Domingo had maybe the best character arc of 2023 in Color Purple. Dominic Sessa dazzled in his feature film DEBUT in Holdovers. Dickinson and Allen-White were devastating in Iron Claw. Dinklage & Schwartzman were electric in Hunger Games. Pattinson completely changed his voice for Boy and the Heron. Lillard took another fun swing at horror, and Patrick Wilson was in Aquaman. But Jacob Elordi was really great in Saltburn, portraying a sweet and endearing character who kept you waiting for him to murder someone, which he never did (I blame Euphoria) . Elordi really impressed me in this film, showing he can go toe-to-toe with one of the best young actors going in Keoghan. More Elordi please!  Favorite Performance By A Lead Actress in Film Annette Benning (Nyad) Brie Larson (The Marvels) Calah Lane (Wonka) Carey Mulligan (Maestro) Da’Vine Joy Randolph (The Holdovers) Julia Garner (The Royal Hotel) Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon) Nell Verlaque (Thanksgiving) Rachel Zegler (Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes) Santa Huller (Anatomy of a Fall) Lead Actress was a tough category to parse out. Huller, Mulligan and Benning all range from Oscar nomination locks to hopefuls, and Randolph (who I consider a lead in Holdovers ) is a lock in her own right. But in the end, Lily Gladstone out-acted Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert DeNiro in a Martin Scorcese movie. She was by far the best part of the film, so I can’t ignore that performance.  Favorite Performance By A Lead Actor in Film Barry Keoghan (Saltburn) Bill Burr (Old Dads) Bradley Cooper (Maestro) Leonardo DiCaprio (Killers of the Flower Moon) Patrick Dempsey (Thanksgiving) Paul Giamatti (The Holdovers) Ryunosuke Kamiki (Godzilla Minus One) Timothee Chalamet (Wonka) Tom Blyth (Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes) Zac Efron (The Iron Claw) Lead Actor turned into the WWE Championship belt this quarter. First Blyth held it for a couple weeks, then Giamatti took it from him. Then Keoghan and Chalamet each tried to wrestle it away, before Cooper swooped in and conducted his way to the top. But in the last week of 2023, Zac Efron came off the top rope and won the title! I’ve long felt Efron has been vastly underrated, crucified for being a Disney Channel star (as if being super-successful at a young age is a bad thing). But films like Neighbors, Greatest Showman, Extremely Wicked and Greatest Beer Run Ever have proved he’s more than Troy Bolton. But Iron Claw shattered even my high expectations for what he could be as an actor. The last scene will leave you in tears, and he should absolutely get a nomination.  Favorite Movie Scene of the 3rd Quarter Black Friday Massacre (Thanksgiving) Body-Switching Fight Scene (The Marvels) Brothers Reuniting (The Iron Claw) Conducting Mahler’s Resurrection (Maestro) Coriolanus Enters the Arena (Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes) For a Moment (Wonka) Godzilla Boat Chase (Godzilla Minus One) Kitchen Argument (Anatomy of a Fall) Naked Dancing (Saltburn) Two Ankles Out of the Water (Nyad) While there were a lot of really good movies this quarter, the 10 best scenes were a little harder to identify. The climactic, triumphant scene in Nyad had me breaking down uncontrollably, and the Jaws -like scene in Godzilla Minus One was equal parts thrilling and horrifying. At the end of the day, Cooper conducting Mahler’s Resurrection was the scene that stands out most to me. By the end, I was standing up and cheering (in my home, not at a theater. Don’t worry).  Favorite Film Godzilla Minus One The Holdovers The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes The Iron Claw Maestro Nyad The Royal Hotel Saltburn Thanksgiving Wonka I loved every movie on this list. Truly. We got a great musical (Wonka), a fun mindless slasher (Thanksgiving), a rousing sports film (Nyad), a shocking gothic thriller (Saltburn) and a moving Japanese story about a giant lizard (Godzilla Minus One) . But The Iron Claw was the one that stood out above the rest. A tragic tale about a cursed family, I was moved from beginning to end, completely losing it at the end. I highly recommend anyone watch this film, whether you’re a wrestling fan or not.  Movie Studio of the 3rd Quarter Warner Bros! No studio stood out this quarter. Netflix had the highest output, A24 had the best movie, and Universal had Holdovers along with some middling horror movies. Warner Bros. put out two very strong musicals in Wonka & The Color Purple, as well as The Boy Who Lived documentary that had me grasping for the tissues. Zaslav for the win!  Film Scoreboard:  The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbird & Snakes- 7 (1) The Marvels- 7 (1) The Iron Claw- 6 (2) Saltburn- 5 (1) Wonka- 5 Maestro- 4 (1) The Holdovers- 4 Nyad- 4 Thanksgiving- 4 The Color Purple- 3 Godzilla Minus One- 3 The Royal Hotel- 3 Killers of the Flower Moon- 2 (1) Anatomy of a Fall- 2 Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom- 2 Exorcist: Believer- 2 The Boy and the Heron- 1 Five Nights at Freddy’s- 1 The Killer- 1 May December- 1 Next Goal Wins- 1 Old Dads- 1 Wish- 1 Rebel Moon Part I- 0 *The Boy Who Lived- 0 *Documentary; not eligible for acting awards Television Favorite Guest Appearance (1 episode, Actor & Actress Combined) Anthony Starr (Gen V) Jeff Goldblum (What If…?) Kat Dennings (What If…?) Sam Rockwell (What If…?) Seth Green (What If…?) Much like on the film side, a weak quarter for cameos. Thank God for What If…? ! While I love Dennings with all my heart, I can’t deny Goldblum going full Goldblum.  Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actress in Television Carla Gugino (Fall of the House of Usher) Elizabeth Allen-Dick (The Santa Clauses season 2) Greta Lee (The Morning Show season 3) Lizze Broadway (Gen V season 1) Tara Strong (Loki season 2) While Greta Lee probably delivered the best performance in this category, Gugino’s introduction to the show at the rave (you know what scene I’m talking about) locked this award up for her. Holy moly. If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend.  Favorite Performance By A Supporting Actor in Television Eric Stonestreet (The Santa Clauses season 2) Ke Huy Quan (Loki season 2) Owen Wilson (Loki season 2) Patrick Schwarzenegger (Gen V season 1) Wyatt Russell (Monarch: Legacy of Monsters season 1) There was a clear top two here in a battle of the Loki boys. While Wilson has been excellent in this role, the addition of Ke Huy Quan was a stroke of genius. This was maybe my favorite role of his career, bringing both perfect comedic timing and emotional weight to a really excellent season of television.  Favorite Performance By A Lead Actress in Television Anna Sawai (Monarch: Legacy of Monsters season 1) Haley Atwell (What If…? Season 2) Jaz Sinclair (Gen V) Jennifer Anniston (The Morning Show season 3) Reese Witherspoon (The Morning Show season 3) Much like how supporting actor came down to the two Loki boys, lead actress came down to the two Morning Show ladies. While I’ve enjoyed both performances for 3 seasons, Anniston has been the standout for me over Witherspoon. She’s a much more relatable character than Witherspoon’s, and ultimately someone I root for far more.  Favorite Performance By A Lead Actor in Television Billy Crudup (The Morning Show) H. Jon Benjamin (Bob’s Burgers season 14) Justin Long (Goosebumps season 1) Tim Allen (The Santa Clauses season 2) Tom Hiddleston (Loki season 2) This is not even a discussion. Hiddleston has this award wrapped after episode 1, and just continued to widen the gap with each following episode.  Favorite 3rd Quarter Television Episode Glorious Purpose (Loki season 2 episode 6) Say Cheese and Die! (Goosebumps season 1 episode 1) Science/Fiction (Loki season 2 episode 5) What if… The Avengers Assembled in 1602? (What If…? Season 1 episode 8) What if… Kahhori Reshaped the World? (What If…? Season 1 episode 6) A complete Disney showdown! The What If…? episodes were awesome, but Science/Fiction really took the superhero television genre to the next level. Easily the best episode the MCU has ever put together, Hiddleston, Quan, Wilson and the rest of the crew delivered a masterpiece of superhero tv.  Favorite Show Gen V s1 Goosebumps s1 Loki season 2 The Morning Show s3 What If…? S2 Loki ran away with this award. While Goosebumps and What If…? were surprising hits, the way Marvel was able to advance the MCU storyline and play with the multiverse was inspiring. While most of their films have floundered in their attempts to explain the multiverse and time travel, they really nailed it in this show. And the idea of “I just want to be with my friends” is a huge emotional trigger for me. All-around terrific season!    Streamer of the 1st Quarter Disney+! Given that my three favorite shows from the quarter were all on Disney+, this wasn’t really a decision. While their movies in 2023 were rather disappointing, they crushed their television slate to close the year!  Television Scoreboard:  What If…? Season 2- 8 (1) Loki season 2- 7 (4) The Morning Show season 3- 5 (1) Gen V season 1- 5  Goosebumps season 1- 3 The Santa Clauses season 2- 3 Monarch: Legacy of Monsters season 1- 2 The Fall of the House of Usher season 1- 1 (1) Bob’s Burgers season 14- 1 Invincible season 2- 0 There you have it! The Film & Television Awards for the 4th Quarter of 2023! Make sure to check back in coming weeks to check out who will take home the 2023 yearly hardware!

2023 Film & Television 4th Quarter Polls
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