Monday, January 30, 2017

Dearest… 2016: Queer as Folk


As for LGBTQ cinema in 2016, it wasn’t just Moonlight.

The Handmaiden:
South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s sumptuously sensual adaptation of Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith (transferring its setting from Victorian England to early 20th century Korea) is mesmerizing in its seductive oddness. An ever-twisting tale of deceit and forbidden lust between a sly conman, a wily pickpocket and the beautiful heiress they are both trying to seduce, this finely-crafted feast for the senses continuously unfolds, revealing layer after layer of riches, notably the already infamous bathtub scene; never before has a bit of impromptu dentistry been so erotic. (9/10)

"Is this covered by my dental plan?"

Other People:
It is always a joy to discover hidden gems like this smart, bittersweet comedy/drama, SNL scribe Chris Kelly’s semi-autobiographical feature film debut. Jesse Plemons plays a New York comedy writer whose return home to Sacramento to help his dying mother is also an escape from life for him, even if he is forced to reconnect with his father, who has yet to accept him as a gay man. As the cancer-stricken mom, Molly Shannon shows she has some remarkable, previously unseen dramatic chops. (8/10)

"I drink your milkshake"

Little Men:
After his family moves into his recently deceased grandfather’s Brooklyn apartment, the quiet and arty Jake becomes fast friends with the outgoing Tony, the son of the tenant who rents out the apartment’s lower level for her struggling dress shop. Problems arise for both families when Jake’s parents have to evict Tony’s mother. Continuing his run of thoughtful character pieces such as Love is Strange, out writer/director Ira Sachs delivers a quietly moving exploration of the fleetingness of friendship. (7/10)

Boys in the 'Hood

Told in three distinct parts throughout the life of its main character, Barry Jenkins’ muted, tender meditation on what it means to be a man centers on Chiron, a black boy/teenager/man grappling with his inner desires. From his childhood with an emotionally abusive mother (Naomie Harris) to an act of violence that changes his life forever, the film closes with the protagonist finding something he never had before: hope. Mahershala Ali is quietly powerful as an unlikely father figure, but it is the performances of the trio of actors that play Chiron — Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders and Trevante Rhodes — that will stick with you. (8/10)


Spa Night:
Like Moonlight, Spa Night explores a previously underrepresented ethnicity in LGBTQ cinema, in this case Asian, through the story of a young man coming to terms with his burgeoning attraction to men. In order to help his financially struggling family, David secretly gets a job at a local all-male spa. His eyes are quickly opened to “what really goes on there”, i.e. lots and lots of anonymous gay sex, which he finds alternately fascinating and disturbing. Joe Seo gives an impressive, heartbreaking performance as the conflicted youth. (7/10)

"It's like a sauna in here."

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Dearest… 2016: Life, or Something Like It


From American heroes to international icons, biopics were in abundance in 2016.

Natalie Portman fully inhabits First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy in the hours and days following the assassination of JFK. Hers is a brittle, wounded Jackie, fiercely fighting to protect the legacy of her husband as she struggles inwardly to come to terms with her own grief and, ultimately, her place in the world. The film itself never quite lives up to the powerful performance as its center; it feels hollow and oddly unsympathetic to its subject. (7/10)

Jackie, oh.

There’s no doubt that the “Miracle on the Hudson”, when intrepid airline pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger performed an emergency water landing on the Hudson River with no casualties, was an event filled with drama. Not so much Clint Eastwood’s by-the-numbers biopic. From a villainous crash investigation team to Aaron Eckhart’s pornstache, there’s not a lot of subtlety here. Thankfully, Mr. Everyman Movie Star Tom Hanks is on hand to elevate the material merely by restraint. (6/10)

And the winner for Best Supporting Facial Hair is...

Florence Foster Jenkins:
Like a distaff Ed Wood, delusional opera diva Florence Foster Jenkins has been immortalized for doing something she loved to do really, really badly. Meryl Streep delivers a performance as ripe and plump as the arias she warbles are discordant and shrill, while Hugh Grant is very Hugh Grantish as her devotedly codependent husband. Director Stephen Frears is usually more successful with material such as this (see Mrs. Henderson Presents); this one is repetitive and (sorry) one-note. (6/10)

Before there was Flo-Jo, there was Flo-Fo.

Hacksaw Ridge:
In the middle of Mel Gibson’s biography of Desmond Doss, a World War II US Army medic who was the first conscientious objector to be awarded the Medal of Honor, is as good a war movie as any in recent memory, anchored by a shockingly great Andrew Garfield as its lanky hero. Alas, it is bookended by a cornball Americana opening and closed out with Garfield karate chopping grenades out of the air. Oh Mel… (7/10)

I suppose The Amazing Spider-Man was good for something after all.

If you’ve heard of TV news reporter Christine Chubbuck, you know more about her tragic death – she committed suicide live on the air in 1974 – than her troubled life. Attempting to fill in the details leading up to her shocking demise proves to be too much for the film though, as we the viewers are as perplexed by her actions as the other characters when the (respectfully done) moment arrives. Rebecca Hall overcomes the script’s shortcomings, capturing Chubbuck’s lonely ambition. (6/10)

Reflections of a Goldenrod Dinner Jacket

Imagine being lost in a city unknown to you, separated from your family and unable to communicate. Oh, and your only five years old. This is the incredible but true story of Saroo Brierley, born in India but raised by an adoptive family in Australia who, as a young adult, set out to find his long lost family by using Google Earth. Director Garth Davis, in his feature film debut, creates something unique and special, a quiet epic, a personal odyssey of longing and faith. As Saroo before and after, the casting gods were smiling when they found little Sunny Pawar, and Dev Patel is stunning, finally shedding his Slumdog Millionaire dorkiness for good. Have tissues handy, you’ll need them. (9/10)

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Moonlight Shines Bright at the 2016 Dorian Awards

Fences, Moonlight, The Handmaiden

Since 2009, the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (of which I and my fellow Movie Dearest critic Chris Carpenter are members) have presented the Dorian Awards (named after Dorian Gray, the literary creation of GALECA's patron saint Oscar Wilde) to honor the year's best in film and television, and the winners for 2016 were announced today.

The year's top winner, Moonlight, the moving drama about a young black man coming to terms with his sexuality, won five awards (tying with last year's big winner Carol) including Film of the Year and LGBTQ Film of the Year. Writer/director Barry Jenkins won for Director and Screenplay of the Year, and Mahershala Ali (who plays a drug dealer/father figure in the film) was honored with the Film Performance - Actor award. Additionally, Trevante Rhodes, one of three actors who play the main character at different ages in Moonlight, was named the Rising Star of Year.

Viola Davis won Film Performance - Actress for her stand out role in Fences. Academy Award front runner La La Land was deemed the Visually Striking Film of the Year, while the South Korean lesbian romance The Handmaiden and the epic O.J.: Made in America won Foreign Language Film and Documentary of the Year, respectively. Christine, the biopic about TV news reporter Christine Chubbock who committed suicide on live television, was named the Unsung Film of the Year, while the Kate Winslet melodrama The Dressmaker took the prize for Campy Film of the Year.

The Real O'Neals

For the third year in a row, Transparent won the same three television awards: TV Comedy, LGBTQ TV Show and TV Performance - Actor of the Year, for star Jeffrey Tambor. The acclaimed limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson was the TV Drama of the Year, while its leading lady Sarah Paulson won the TV Performance - Actress award. The ABC sitcom The Real O'Neals, about a gay teen coming out to his Catholic family, was named the Unsung TV Show of the Year, while Full Frontal with Samantha Bee and RuPaul's Drag Race All-Stars were named TV Current Affairs Show and Campy TV Show of the Year, respectively.

Kate McKinnon (as Hilary Clinton) singing "Hallelujah" the weekend after the US presidential election on Saturday Night Live was singled out as the TV Musical Performance of the Year, with McKinnon also named, along with Broadway's Hamilton creator/Disney's Moana songwriter Lin Manuel Miranda, as the Wilde Artists of the Year. And the Wilde Wit award went to the late Carrie Fisher.

The previously announced Timeless Star Award recipient, cult movie icon John Waters, had this to say about his honor: "Timeless Star? Wow! Does that mean good-old or crazy-new? Either way, I’m thrilled and honored to be called a star no matter which side of the camera I choose to be on." Waters joins our previous "Timeless" Award winners Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury, Cloris Leachman, Ian McKellen, George Takei, Lily Tomlin and Betty White... wouldn't that make for a fabulous dinner party?

See the comments section below for the complete press release.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Random Thoughts: The 2016 Oscar Nominations


The announcement today of the nominations for the 89th Annual Academy Awards held a few surprises but was, for the most part, what was expected. And we can all breath a sigh of relief that this year's slate, which offers an ample dose of diversity across the board, will shut up all those "Oscar So White" complaints... at least for this year.

Some records were made or at least matched, the big one being La La Land's eye-opening haul of 14 nominations, tying the record with All About Eve and Titanic for the most Oscar nominations for a single film, a feat even the most ardent of La La-ers didn't see coming (Sound Editing, really?). Also of note is Viola Davis' Supporting Actress nod for Fences, her third career nomination, which makes her the most nominated black woman in Academy history (yes, really). And what is increasingly looking like overkill is the semi-annual nomination of Meryl Streep, who once again broke her own record and now has a total of 20 acting nominations. That she did it for a questionable performance (in that trifle Florence Foster Jenkins) in a highly competitive Best Actress field (which doesn't happen very often, mind you) is even more of a frustration. But hey, she did that speech at the Golden Globes, so... whatever.

"...Eighteen! Nineteen! TWENTY!!!"

Some random thoughts on the various categories:

The Best Picture race is back up to nine contenders after two years at just eight. Some things to ponder: if they had stayed at ten nominations, what would be the tenth? I'd say Jackie (the only film with more than two nominations that isn't already a BP nominee) or maybe Zootopia, although some were predicting everything from the epic documentary O.J.: Made in America to the box office superhero hit Deadpool. (A wise word to Oscar pundits out there: don't get all whipped into a frenzy by curveballs thrown by the precursor awards.) Also, if we were still at only five nominees, which ones would have made the cut? I'd say the three heavyweights (La La Land, Manchester by the Sea and Moonlight) for sure, plus Arrival and Lion. Your thoughts?

Speaking of Lion, it's a really shame that Garth Davis, who was nominated twice for the Directors Guild Award (which I believe is a first) got passed over for the often hamfisted direction of Hacksaw Ridge by Mel Gibson, who I guess is now officially back in the Hollywood fold. Of note: all the Best Director nominees except Gibson are first timers, and if Damien Chazelle wins he will be the youngest direction winner ever (he just turned 32).

His birthday party was wild.

As for the acting races, Best Actor and Supporting Actress went as planned, copied verbatim from the Screen Actors Guild nominations. Supporting Actor deviated slightly from most predictions, with Michael Shannon, not Aaron Taylor-Johnson, getting recognized for Nocturnal Animals (Shannon was an early favorite, but then things got all wonky with the Golden Globes, go figure).

And, as previously stated, Best Actress was a crowded race this year, with first timers, acting legend Isabelle Huppert (for Elle) and relative newcomer Ruth Negga (for Loving) in, previous nominees Amy Adams (for Arrival) and Annette Bening (for 20th Century Women) out.

What she said.

In addition to Huppert and Negga, the other first time acting nominees are Mahershala Ali, Andrew Garfield, Naomie Harris, Lucas Hedges and Dev Patel. And the Oscar winners among this year's acting class are Jeff Bridges, Nicole Kidman, Natalie Portman, Octavia Spencer, Meryl Streep (three previous wins) and Denzel Washington (two previous wins).

I'm glad to see the quirky The Lobster and the otherwise sadly overlooked 20th Century Women up for Original Screenplay, especially over the anticipated (but highly overrated) Captain Fantastic. And is Tarell Alvin McCraney, author of the play that inspired Adapted Screenplay nominee Moonlight, the only openly LGBTQ person nominated this year...?*

I'm bummed that Hail, Caesar! didn't get recognized for its Old Hollywood costumes and the Sing Street showstopper "Drive It Like You Stole It" missed the cut for Original Song, it sure would have rocked the Kodak Theatre (and I'm still pissed that Disney didn't even submit The Rock and roll number "You're Welcome" from Moana). By the by, the song nominees are a definite improvement over last year's, and I'm sure the producers were ecstatic that the hit pop ditty "Can't Stop the Feeling" was chosen, ensuring a ratings-drawing Justin Timberlake performance.

Hopefully more impressive than this.

But did the music branch have to pick another documentary dirge? (That would be that Sting toe-tapper "The Empty Chair" from Jim: The James Foley Story.)

In closing, I would like to thank the Academy for not nominating The Birth of a Nation, The Founder and Sing as I really didn't want to have to watch them. And on a similar note: thanks Academy for forcing me to watch Deepwater Horizon, Passengers and Trolls.

The Academy Awards will be presented on Sunday February 26.

* Duh, Scott Rudin is one of the nominated producers of Best Picture contender Fences.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dearest… 2016: Scary Movies

2016’s films that went bump in the night.

The Witch:
Subtitled “A New England Folk Tale”, this atmospheric chiller is a slow burn, with well-earned scares that sneak up on you like a mist in a moonlit forest. A 17th century Puritan family, alone on their isolated farm, is set upon by unknown forces, beginning when their infant child disappears during a game of peek-a-boo. Writer/director Robert Eggers and lead actress Anya Taylor-Joy make impressive debuts with this low-key skin-crawler. You’ll never look at a lone rabbit in the woods the same way again. (8/10)

This does not end well.

Green Room:
If you have a phobia of being trapped in a backwoods skinhead bar that is surrounded by flesh-eating dogs, this is not the movie for you. The late Anton Yelchin and his punk band are caught at the wrong place at the worst time in this intense, claustrophobic nail-biter that is all the more horrific for being firmly set in the real world. Even more disturbing is Yelchin’s fellow Star Trek alum Patrick Stewart as the white supremacist pub owner, icily dispatching his red-laced thugs as easily as he did photon torpedoes. (7/10)

Worst away team ever.

The Eyes of My Mother:
A decapitated cow head, the violent murder of a mother with her young daughter in the next room, the subsequent brutal torture of her killer… that’s just the beginning of this bleak, almost unbearably nihilistic horror film, and it gets even worse. This one is extremely disturbing (it makes Green Room look like Green Acres), more so thanks to its moodily effective black and white photography and a shockingly raw performance from newcomer Kika Magalhaes as the daughter, all grown up with maternal desires of her own. (7/10)

Oh lord, she's not sawing wood.

10 Cloverfield Lane:
After an unexplained cataclysm renders the Earth’s atmosphere unlivable, a woman finds herself in an underground bunker built by a survivalist who may not be the Good Samaritan he wants her to believe he is. John Goodman turns in a creepy, unnerving performances and the cramped tension builds effectively… until a ridiculous eleventh hour plot twist that may be the worst in movie history. Seriously, your jaw will drop at how fast and how far this one goes off the rails into batshit crazy territory. (Without the twist: 7/10; with the twist: 5/10)

Stop it. Stop it right now.

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dearest… 2016: Melody Time

Along with a pair from the big screen, we dip into a trio of made for TV tuners in our look back at the movie musicals of 2016. 

Grease Live!:
1978’s Grease is one of the most popular movie musicals of all time, so they had big shoes to fill, and they pulled it off… mostly. High School Musical’s good girl Vanessa Hudgens stole the show as Pink Lady Rizzo, while boy-next-door Aaron Tveit was miscast as greaser Danny. The producers smartly included the movie’s original songs (you know everyone wanted "You're the One That I Want"), but bombed with a number written for a stunt cast Carly Rae Jepsen. Even so, in the end Grease was still the word. (7/10)

Chills were multiplying.

Sing Street:
Following Once and Begin Again, director John Carney delivers another musical mini-masterpiece with this charmingly romantic tale set in 1980s Dublin. Fresh-faced newcomer Ferdia Walsh-Peelo plays the typical teenager who forms a band to impress a girl, the difference being that he is actually talented, a surprise to him as it is anyone else. Original, period perfect pop songs (such as the standout, better-be-Oscar nominated “Drive It Like You Stole It”) and appropriately cheesy music videos add to the fun, retro vibe. (8/10)

The Dance at the Gym

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again:
Fox had been threatening a remake of the original midnight movie cult phenomenon for years and finally delivered it last October… was it a trick or a treat? A little bit of both, actually. It really was a treat to see Laverne Cox let loose and totally camp out as Frank N. Furter, and the reimagined opening number was vintage cool. Less of a treat was the horrible idea to incorporate (fake) audience participation, and the hyper-choreographed “Time Warp” was an assault on the senses. (6/10)

Kiss and Makeup

Hairspray Live!:
Way back in 1988, who knew that John Waters’ quirky little indie Hairspray would become such a pop culture staple? Remixing the best of the Broadway musical with its 2007 film adaptation is one thing, but the most important reason for the necessity of this third filmed version was to finally preserve the Tony winning performance of Harvey Fierstein as big mamma Edna Turnblad on film. Hopefully you did like I did and fast-forwarded through all that “live viewing party” nonsense during its original broadcast. (7/10)

Twist and Shout

La La Land:
Mixing influences from such movie musical masters as Donen, Minnelli and especially Jacques Demy, Damien Chazelle creates a truly original post-millennium musical that is also a bittersweet rumination on fame, love and the road not taken. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone take the stock characters of the brooding jazz musician and the aspiring actress and deliver winning, fresh performances as real people in a world just like our own... except for all the breaking into song and that dance number in the middle of a L.A. traffic jam. Not just a valentine to the its titular "city of stars", but a love letter to all us "fools who dream". (9/10)

Dancing with the Stars

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Dearest… 2016: Crime and Punishment


Politics, crime and racial issues dominated the documentaries of 2016.

O.J.: Made in America:
Don’t let the nearly 8-hour running time of this epic documentary series feature deter you from watching this exhaustive exposé of race relations in America through the prism of the life of one Orenthal James Simpson. From his football superstardom and the “trial of the century” to his lesser-known later legal woes, director Ezra Edelman constructs a powerful, often disturbing, but ultimately binge-worthy biography of a man who flew so high only to fall so, so far. (8/10)

Glove Story

The Witness:
The 1964 murder of Kitty Genovese became an infamous case of urban apathy as 38 of her fellow New Yorkers reportedly did nothing to help her. Following her brother Bill as he investigates the crime and its aftermath, this fascinating documentary unfolds like a mystery, with moments of bittersweet revelation and discoveries of maddening misinformation. The witness of the title is ultimately Bill himself, a man who will go to great lengths to find the truth even if the answers are as elusive as a scream fading into the night. (8/10)

Silent Night

Selma director Ava Duvernay delivers a powerful indictment of the American penal system in 13th, named after the constitutional amendment that abolished slavery. Or did it? It is compellingly argued that, thanks to institutional racism, prison orange is the new black oppression. And with the evidence presented it is A) amazing, B) baffling, C) enraging, or D) all of the above that this has been going on for over 150 years. A vital additional voice to the rallying cry for justice and equality. (8/10)

American Horror Story

I Am Not Your Negro:
With a title like that, you know this one has something to say… and in the voice of Samuel L. Jackson no less, speaking the words of gay writer and intellectual James Baldwin in an(other) examination of race relations in the United States. What sets it apart is director Raoul Peck’s use of evocative imagery to accompany Baldwin’s eloquent prose, from old Hollywood movies and vintage advertising to the latest disturbing police brutality cell phone videos. The more things change... (7/10)

Baldwin, James Baldwin.

The makers of this fly-on-the-wall look at a modern political campaign must have been high-fiving each other when it starts to implode from a sex scandal. Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner (bravely? foolishly?) decides to run for Mayor of NYC, until evidence of his sexting random skanks on the internet resurfaces; cue the media frenzy. You can see the toll it takes as Weiner’s (brave? foolish?) façade slowly erodes on camera. In the end, you may not respect him, but you may feel sorry for him. The schmuck. (8/10)

(Hey, I made it through that whole review without making one dick joke!)

[Insert dick joke here]

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dearest… Outrageous Fortune

The hilariously hedonistic escapades of Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone have been a gay fave since Ab Fab made its television debut 25 years ago. Their unique brand of bawdy bad behavior has finally made the leap to cinemas in the flashy, fun and fashionably late Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie.

Not much has changed.

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are back in their iconic roles, along with just about every actor who ever appeared on the TV show (Lulu! Gran! Baby Spice!), not to mention a slew of celebrity cameos, from Jon Hamm to Dame Edna to Rebel Wilson. With Ab Fab on the big screen, everything is bolder, campier and far more expensive… just the way Eddy and Pats love it. And you’ll love it too, sweetie darlings.

Dearest Rating: 8/10

Review by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dearest… 2016: Science Fiction Double Features


Movie Dearest continues its look back at 2016, this time with a pair of fortuitous double features featuring the two most enduring sci-fi franchises of all time.

For the Love of Spock:
Leonard Nimoy’s son Adam Nimoy directs this (expectedly) loving homage to his late father and the still iconic character that he brought to life half a century ago. All the expected Trek cast members, past and present, make appearances, plus celebrity fans such as Jim Parsons (both in and out of character as Sheldon Cooper). A fitting tribute to a Vulcan and the man who played him, both of whom will live long and prosper in the hearts of many for generations to come. (7/10)

What he said.

Star Trek Beyond:
In the third of the rebooted Star Trek series and the first to be pretty much independent from the past incarnations (maybe that explains the Beyond in the title) the new Kirk and Company take on an alien warlord played by Idris Elba bent on, you know, destroying the Federation and stuff. Well trod Trek territory aside, there are spectacular set pieces and no absence of humor, thanks to a screenplay co-written by Scotty himself, Simon Pegg. (7/10)

Oh yeah, and Sulu is gay now.

Elstree 1976:
A long time ago, in a country just across the pond, a little sci-fi film was being made, and it needed extras. Little did anyone know at the time that that little sci-fi film, called Star Wars, would become, well, Star Wars. This breezy if a tad overlong doc profiles the actors who, after playing everything from alien barmaids to that stormtrooper guy who hit his head, found themselves as (very) minor celebrities, action figured and cashing in on their 15 seconds of fame on the Comic-Con circuit. (6/10)

The Cod Couple

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story:
For a movie that had its whole plot spoiled 40 years ago, this first of several Star Wars spin-offs is a tense, exciting thrill ride that roller coasters to its final moments, cannon balling smack into the start of the original 1977 classic. As that film’s opening crawl summarized, a ragtag group of rebels valiantly set out to get their grubby hands on the plans for that ultimate killing machine, the Death Star, a suicidal mission that, in more ways than one, leads to "a new hope". (8/10)

Rebel with a Cause

Reviews by Kirby Holt, Movie Dearest creator, editor and head writer.

Friday, January 13, 2017

2016 Dorian Awards Basking in Moonlight's Glow



Nominations for the 8th Annual Dorian Awards by the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA)* were announced yesterday, with recent Golden Globe winners and Oscar hopefuls Moonlight and La La Land leading the way.

As expected, the powerful coming of age drama Moonlight dominated the nominations with seven, including Film of the Year and LGBTQ Film of the Year, while the modern musical La La Land landed six. Joining these two in the Film of the Year category are the contemporary drama Manchester by the Sea, which picked up four nominations total, the Jacqueline Kennedy biopic Jackie and the 70s-set dramedy 20th Century Women, both coming in with three nominations each.

La La Land

Other multiple nominees in the film categories are the South Korean period romance The Handmaiden, also with four nominations, and the stage adaptation Fences, the French psychological thriller Elle and the gay-themed indie Other People, all with two nominations apiece.

Both Mahershala Ali and Trevante Rhodes were nominated for Film Performance of the Year - Actor for their performances in Moonlight, along with Globe winners Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea and Ryan Gosling for La La Land. Denzel Washington in Fences rounds out the category.

Manchester by the Sea

The nominees for Film Performance of the Year - Actress are Washington's Fences co-star Viola Davis, Elle star Isabelle Hupert and La La Land's leading lady Emma Stone, Globe winners all, along with Natalie Portman from Jackie and Annette Bening from 20th Century Women.

La La Land, Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea have been the front runners this award season, and the helmers for each of them — Damien Chazelle, Barry Jenkins and Kenneth Lonergan, respectively — picked up Directors Guild of America nominations yesterday as well as Dorian Award nominations for Director of the Year. All three films were also nominated for the Screenplay of the Year Dorian. Jackie's Pablo Larraín and The Handmaiden's Park Chan-wook fill out the director category, while 20th Century Women and the black comedy The Lobster complete the screenplay nominations.

20th Century Women

The Handmaiden and Elle are joined by Things to Come (also starring Isabelle Hupert), Neruda (also directed by Pablo Larraín) and the German comedy Toni Erdmann in the Foreign Language Film of the Year race. The racial issues documentaries I Am Not Your Negro, O.J.: Made in America and 13th, along with Tickled and political doc Weiner, will compete for Documentary of the Year.

The Dorians also have some unique categories, beginning with, naturally, LGBTQ Film of the Year. In addition to The Handmaiden, Moonlight and Other People, those nominees include Being 17 and Closet Monster. Films deserving greater attention — such as American Honey, Captain Fantastic, Christine, Other People and Sing Street — are spotlighted in the Unsung Film of the Year category, while the memorable visuals of Arrival, The Handmaiden, Jackie, La La Land and Moonlight are singled out for the Visually Striking Film of the Year award.


And last but not least for the film awards, whether they were over the top by design or by accident, the following films are nominees for Campy Film of the Year: Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (the big screen version of the Britcom classic/gay fave), King Cobra (a based-on-fact look at the seedy side of gay porn), Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford's divisive neo-noir), The Dressmaker (Kate Winslet's revenge-by-couture melodrama) and The Neon Demon (a Valley of the Dolls for the 21st century).

In the television categories, the FX miniseries The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story continued its award dominance with four nominations, followed by Amazon's Transparent with three nods. Other notable nominees include Black Mirror, The Crown, Hairspray Live!, Orange is the New Black, The Real O'Neals, Stranger Things and Westworld. See the comments section below for the full list of TV nominations.

John Waters

In addition to honoring the best in film and television for the year, GALECA also recognizes individuals with four additional categories. The up-and-comers up for the "We’re Wilde About You!" Rising Star of the Year include Millie Bobby Brown (of Stranger Things), Lucas Hedges (of Manchester by the Sea), Connor Jessup (of American Crime), Ruth Negga (of Loving) and Trevante Rhodes (of Moonlight). Samantha Bee, Bill Maher, Kate McKinnon, John Oliver and the late Carrie Fisher are nominated for the "Wilde Wit" of the Year award. McKinnon is also a finalist for the "Wilde Artist" of the Year award, joined by Beyoncé, Viola Davis, Barry Jenkins and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

And the winner of this year's GALECA "Timeless" Award, presented to an artist "whose exemplary career is marked by character, wisdom and wit", is John Waters, the iconic writer/director of such cult classics as Pink Flamingos, Female Trouble, Desperate Living, Polyester, Hairspray, Cry-Baby and Serial Mom. Previous "Timeless" Award winners include Jane Fonda, Angela Lansbury, Cloris Leachman, Ian McKellen, George Takei, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.

The Dorian Awards are named after the classic character Dorian Gray, created by GALECA's "patron saint" Oscar Wilde. The winners will be announced on January 26.

* Movie Dearest critics Chris Carpenter and Kirby Holt are members of the Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA).