The Video Game Industry is getting Unreal at GCD 2024

The Video Game Industry is getting Unreal at GCD 2024

THE CURRENT STATE OF THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY

Just like the movie industry from a year ago, the last twelve months have not been very kind to the video game industry. In contrast to the movie industry, where the pandemic single-handedly nearly ruined it with the “stay at home” order, video game sales spiked and reached unprescented highs, but soon plummeted as the pandemic slowly went away. Sales could not be sustained, which is why gaming companies had to make cuts in order to survive. Games in production were cancelled, studios shut their doors, as thousands of workers suddenly found themselves without a job.

Unfortunately, massive job layoffs started last quarter, with well over 10,000 jobs lost, and an additional 8,000 jobs were lost in the first quarter of this year. The industry has never experienced this much devastation ever. Even the big companies were vulnerable, as Sony Interactive Entertainment laid off 1,000 people in their last two quarters and Epic Games, laid off almost as many in just one day last year. As of today, layoffs still continue to worry the entire industry.

Even the prestigious E3 Conference, the most highly anticipated video game industry event in the country had to halt its operations a few years ago due to the the pandemic. It’s actual last live event was in 2019, the year before the pandemic hit. After the pandemic was over, the industry’s biggest names had pulled themselves out, such as Microsoft and Sony, two of the three biggest gaming console companies out there.

Indie games showcased at the IGF Pavilion at GDC2024 at the Moscone Convention Center. Photo by Marcus Siu.

WELCOME TO GDC 2024

This year, the Game Developer’s Conference, known as GDC, helped fill the empty void in the world of gaming conferences, at least in California and the West Coast. However, since the pandemic, companies continued to pull out conferences over the last few years. It became obvious that there just wasn’t a whole lot of new product to promote on the Expo floor compared to the pre-pandemic years.

Notably absent at GDC 2024 were Amazon Web Services and Sony Interactive Entertainment. Unity and Google were present, but did not have any product demos on the Expo floor. At least Epic – Unreal and Meta were at the show with their latest product demos.

One can easily make an argument that 2-D gaming that utilizes Unity isn’t as impressive as the heavy-weight large-scale advanced projects that Unreal Engine has or even the games coming from Meta using their latest Meta Quest 3 VR headset which is geared for Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the Metaverse.

Regardless of the turnout on the floor, this year’s conference held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco still registered nearly 30,000 attendees from all walks of life from around the globe, which was about 2,000 more than a year before. The 730 nonstop sessions, workshops, and roundtable discussions to kept game developers busy for the entire week.

The Expo floor still was quite active mostly with Indie games, where you can play them as well as meet with the games creators and developers. In addition, hundreds of exhibitors were showing off there latest wares and tools, depending on your project needs. There were also various networking parties at separate off-site venues scattered around the city in a more relaxing atmostphere, as well.

Attendees came to meet, learn, and connect…and they did.

A GDC NEWBIE: MEET ALEX CRANE

Alex Crane in front of the entrance at Moscone Convention Center for GDC2024. Photo by Marcus Siu

Alex Crane, a 2019 graduate from the University of Kansas with a B.S. in computer science, was unsure what to expect at his first ever GDC. However, he was certain about achieving his ultimate goal; to be a game producer, project lead for a game company, or find another indie studio in the Midwest. He expressed what his intentions were while attending the GDC conference.

“My goals here were definitely to attend a lot of talks and learn a lot. I attempted to start an indie studio in the past…so attending talks about people who have done the same…figure out where we went wrong, what we could have done better…it would have been good attending talks at bigger companies and learn a lot about game development.”, Crane explained.

While an undergraduate, Crane’s background included a game project called “No Lives Left”, (much like the style of the classic game “The Legend of Zelda”), a meta imagining of what would happen if your games kept on going without you. Though he had regrets on not having completed the project during the three years he worked on it, he still gained tremendous knowledge in game design and its development, as well as having experience as a project lead for over thirty developers, engineers, and artists while using Unreal Engine 4.

    At the same time, he became the President and Events chair for the “KU Game Developers Association” for the University of Kansas and has hosted many hackathons and jam events, such as “Game Jam”, which he is currently the Midwest Regional Organizer overseeing eight U.S. states for the “Global Game Jam”, an event that spans the entire world. In addition to having the opportunity to connect with professors who teach game design, as well as IGDA (International Game Developer’s Association) members, Crane was an organizer for “Flyaway Indies” and “Amber Waves of Games”, which is dedicated to connecting and showcasing video game developers who live in the Midwestern United States all through a discord server.

    Even with all his Midwest connections, Crane was somewhat disappointed not having the opportunity to meet or connect with some of the bigger name game companies at GDC 2024, especially on the Expo floor.

    “There’s a few of the bigger names and then not much else other than third party software that assists with the development of games as opposed to companies that develop games or game engines”, Crane continued. “You’ve got Epic and Unity here, a couple of other bigger names but I was expecting a bit more of that…Microsoft has their thing upstairs but it’s just for swag. They don’t really have recruiters here or anything or any of that. I didn’t know what to expect though since it’s my first time.”

    However, as far as networking and connecting with other game developers from around the country, Crane found GDC to be quite useful. “I was surprised to meet so many people from the Midwest. I didn’t know there were so many developers in Wisconsin and Michigan. I wasn’t actually aware some companies have some campuses there.”, Crane remarked.

    Indeed, out of all the advantages that the conference has to offer, connecting and networking is a huge plus at GDC. Despite all the gloom and doom around the Gaming industry now even more vulnerable than ever with the threat of A.I. in the horizon, it hopefully won’t stop the 30,000 attendees who like Crane, have drive and passion to pursue their dreams as game developers.

    The world certainly needs them.

    Meta Quest demo booth at GDC 2024. Photo by Marcus Siu.
    20 Days of Mariupol: An Essential Documentary

    20 Days of Mariupol: An Essential Documentary

    20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL directed, produced and filmed by MSTYSLAV CHERNOV. Courtesy of PBS

    When watching the evening news every night on television with its almost repetitive nature of headlines covering yet another senseless mass killing somewhere in the U.S, I often hear criticism from others claiming there is hardly any media coverage in other parts of the world whose acts are even more tragic and horrific. 

    This is true, especially in those countries that do not represent human rights and whose brutal leaders do not want the “truth” to be exposed, especially when they are hiding possible war crimes. Such is the case in Ukraine, with the Russian invasion of the city of Mariupol.

    The public takes it for granted that media covers just about everything with the utmost detail in the free world, but in reality, they have very little knowledge of what types of obstacles that journalists are up against in many corners of the world. Media certainly has its limitations with communications and can possibly spread misinformation or even disinformation that follows a propaganda agenda.

    This is why director Mstyslav Chernov made “20 Days of Mariupol”.

    “20 Days of Mariupol” is one of those rare films that shows the challenges that war-journalists have to face. Chernov, who also produced and shot the film, gives us a humanistic, yet non-sympathetic first person perspective of the ongoing crisis span during the first twenty days of the Russia-Ukraine war that your nightly news cannot possibly summarize, even if they had all of the footage sent to them on a timely basis each night for the broadcast.

    Chernov had forty minutes of his footage published on television, but still had a good thirty hours of unused footage that would be used for the source of his documentary, which won the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival nearly a year ago.

    “I wanted to do more with that because the scale was so huge and you can’t really show that with news pieces”, Chernov continues, “We live in age of not just misinformation but misinterpretation…to persist that misinterpretation we need much more context for better understanding in the audience.”

    “That’s where documentary films are becoming to be so important that they they give more than just one or two minute news pieces which can be overwhelming, but still you see them and you forget”, Cerno explained. “I kept meeting people who escaped from Mariupol who carried this city within them, but the city was did not exist anymore, so the city was just there in in their hearts. Making this film was also a way to to preserve it as it was being bombed and destroyed, but still existed. It was the way to preserve Mariupol in history, as well”.

    20 DAYS IN MARIUPOL
    directed, produced and filmed by MSTYSLAV CHERNOV. Courtesy of PBS

    Along with Chernov, the film documents his AP (Associated Press) team of Ukrainian journalists trapped in the besieged city of Mariupol as they struggle to continue their work documenting atrocities of the Russian invasion. As the only international reporters who remain in the city, they capture what later become defining images of the war: dying children, mass graves, the bombing of a maternity hospital, and more. 

    The film also draws on Chernov’s daily news dispatches and personal footage of his own country at war. It offers a vivid, harrowing account of civilians caught in the siege, as well as a window into what it’s like to report from a conflict zone, and the impact of such journalism around the globe.

    Chernov also serves as the narrator of the film and in spite of its subject matter, he does so in a calm fashionable manner. This was done after he realized he was imposing his emotions to the audience on the first take. His team agreed that his narration should sound like he would in a normal conversation, regardless of what was on screen. His narration reminds me of how Werner Herzog would narrate as an effective storyteller in his films, and it worked extremely well for this documentary.

    Chernov initially emerged in 2008 as a fine arts photographer shooting in as many as forty different countries and winning awards all around the world. In 2013, he became the President of the Ukrainian Association of Professional Photographers (UAPF) and eventually started documentary multi-format (photo/video/text) working in journalism for the Associated Press, as well as being a war correspondent covering international conflicts and novelist known for his coverage of the Revolution of Dignity, War in Donbas, the downing of flight MH17, Syrian civil war, and the Battle of Mosul in Iraq.

    He recently received the Pulitzer Prize for his work, shared with Evgeniy Maloletka, Vasilisa Stepanenko, and Lori Hinnant, for the Ukraine coverage. In addition, “20 Days of Mariupol” had just been selected last week as one of the fifteen shortlisted films to be elgible for the Academy Award for Documentary Feature film, as well as being shortlisted for International Feature film representing the country of Ukraine.

    Unlike most documentaries, it is free to stream and accessible to everyone on YouTube above. It is also available on the PBS app. and is also available on DVD. Regardless of its bleak nature, this is essential viewing for everyone.

    (L-R) Rick Goldsmith interviews Director Mstyslav Chernov at a screening of “20 Days of Mariupol” in San Francisco. Photo by Marcus Siu.
    Farewell to 25 Years of red envelopes

    Farewell to 25 Years of red envelopes

    September 29th marks a very sad day for the remaining one million loyal Netflix DVD subscribers including myself. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the company announced earlier this year to pull the plug and close its DVD rental operations.

    Needless to say, the DVD rental business for the company had been dwindling down ever since its streaming services became the primary choice for its subscribers all over the world and disrupted the video and movie industry.

    To give you an idea, Netflix’s DVD revenue totaled $60 million for the first six months of 2023. In comparison, Netflix’s streaming revenue in the United States for the same period reached $6.5 billion. In 2022, the DVD business generated $145.7 million, down 20% year-over-year, which represented just 0.5% of its total revenue. That’s just half of one percent!

    In their early beginnings in 1998, they couldn’t have chosen a more opportune time to get into the DVD rental business. DVD’s were at the beginning of their popularity. It also was the perfect format to ship and mail off to millions of customers due to its light weight and size. They wouldn’t have been very profitable during the days of VHS and Beta. Could you imagine Netflix stuffings bulky VHS or Beta tapes in the mail to make it in the video rental business to try to make a profit?

    Instead of wasting time and gas and driving back and forth to rent and return the movies to brick and mortar video stores, customers only had to deal with their mailboxes with Netflix. They also had the luxury of returning it anytime, without any late fee to any mailbox. To many customers who are habitually late in returning their DVD rentals, it was a blessing.

    Netflix was the primary reason why Blockbuster Video went out of business in 2010, along with the many independent mom and pop video stores that was virtually in nearly every neighborhood.

    Nowadays, it’s unfathomable to even think that people actually made special trips back and forth to a video store just to rent and return a video.

    As a Netflix subscriber, I had two gripes. There was no way to filter down movie titles that were only available in blu-ray when searching thru their inventory. The other issue that I had was trying to figure out what version of the movie that I would get if there was a title that had been released multiple times, I wouldn’t be able to tell which version of the movie I would get. Customer service was useless with those issues.

    But, overall, I will miss this wonderful service.

    Netflix not only changed our lives forever with the good old “red envelope” rental subscription for a good ten to fifteen years, but also with the introduction of their streaming services in 2007 it changed the world and the way we watched movies.

    But is that a good thing?

    Sure there are lots of great popular shows that are currently streaming on Netflix, but unfortunately the number of streaming titles in their catalog are very limited and cannot compete with the number of titles in the Netflix DVD catalog. Netflix streams about 4,000 titles at any given time, but during the peak of DVD rentals ten years ago, there were as many as 100,000 titles to choose from when DVD rental subscription peaked with over 20 million subscribers before streaming was even an option.

    With their former DVD subscription, it was great to be able to search their vast inventory ranging from not just blockbuster feature films, but TV shows, documentaries, foreign films, and even music performances and videos. In addition, I loved being able to watch the extras and bonus features that were included on the DVD’s.

    After mailing over five billion DVD’s and Blu-ray’s envelopes since 1998, Netflix has come to the end of an era for DVD rentals, but it certainly has been a great twenty five year run for Netflix and its appreciative customers, such as myself. It was a major part of my life.

    In the future, I hope Netflix will realize that there is a demand for their own titles that should be released to home media. I do see some hope as “The Irishman” did get a release on the Criterion label, but would love to see more Netflix releases, such as “Squid Game” get a release, as well.

    If they decide against releasing their movies to retail, they could at least compromise and have more special supplements streamable, like they did for “The Irishman”, with a Q&A session. I still want to know how certain movies were made along with a behind the scenes featurette, and watch interviews and commentaries with the filmmakers.

    Now with my Netflix DVD subscription coming to an end, I may be forced to change my viewing habits and subscribe to their streaming services, but I know I will absolutely miss seeing Netflix’s red envelope in my mailbox every few days.

    It’s like losing a good friend…

    The 2023 Game Developer’s Conference

    The 2023 Game Developer’s Conference

    You could feel the sheer excitement in the air surrounding San Francisco’s Moscone Center where exhibitor’s and attendees convened at the 2023 Game Developer’s Conference. It recently happened a few weeks ago from March 20th thru the 24th when the Games Developer’s Conference tied its pre-pandemic record of 28,000 attendees in San Francisco that was set in 2019, more than doubling the number of in-person attendees from last year at San Francisco’s Moscone Convention Center.

    It was all about the return of the “in-person” experience, having the strong desire and necessity of connecting with one another. Whether it was at one of the many numerous and inspiring sessions that was going on all week, or in one of the populated halls on the expo floor with some of the biggest names in the gaming world, or at a social mixer networking party with peers and leaders in the games industry; everyone seemed eager to seek and discover connections and to gain insight within their craft.

    It seemed as though the conference hadn’t missed a beat since the pandemic.

    For those who are unfamiliar with GDC, The Game Developers Conference® (GDC) is the world’s largest professional game industry event with market-defining content for programmers, artists, producers, game designers, audio professionals, business decision-makers, and others involved in the development of interactive games and immersive experiences. It also is the world’s largest and longest-running event serving professionals dedicated to the art and science of making games

    All in all, GDC 2023 featured more than 1,000 speakers and 700+ sessions, workshops, roundtable discussions and networking opportunities. 330+ exhibitors were present to display their newest technologies, programs and services on the GDC Expo Floor, including industry leaders like Amazon Web Services, Adobe, Discord, Google, NEXON and more.

    It was also a space for attendees to play and connect with the developers behind new and exciting independent games, including the finalists from the Independent Games Festival (IGF) and the alt.ctrl.GDC exhibit that is home to games that use alternative controllers like toaster ovens, giant oversized hats and others.

    When you walk in the entrance on the South Side, some of the biggest name in gaming with attendees waiting in line for a demo as soon as they entered the hall, including Meta and Sony. Unity and Unreal were to the left of them and had even bigger booths with lots of play space. In fact, many of the companies were not signing anyone up for demos because they filled up within the first hour after the expo opened. Sign ups were available the next morning, as soon as they opened at 10 am, but filled up quickly. What I noticed this year compared to previous years is that there are more companies are using VR/AR/MR/XR and smart glasses for immersive gaming.

    WELCOME TO THE METAWORLD

    At the Meta booth, they had four demos, including Demeo, Ironman, Among Us, and a Mixed Reality Fencing Prototype which is the one I participated in. I requested the demo that would make use of the Meta Quest Pro, their flagship VR goggles. Unfortunately, Meta was having some wi-fi or battery issues and it took awhile to fix, but when it worked, I had a blast in my ten minute slot sword fighting against my opponent on the other side of the wall.

    My opponent quickly got up to ten points, and just when I thought it was over, I was quick to go for another ten rounds. I was able to come out victorious. Ironically, after meeting my opponent, I found out he used to fence in Finland. Not sure if I should try the real thing next time I’m in Europe.

    A swordfight at the Meta booth. The player on the left actually won, even thought the player on the right was an experience fencer.

    A Meta rep also was roaming around the booth and touting their new Meta-Ray Ban glasses. She had me put them on and told me that they can capture what you are seeing in real time. Meta’s first generation of smart glasses have built-in cameras, open-ear audio, and seamless social sharing. Sort of a POV for the user that is sharable to others.

    I can imagine that people may not have rush out and shoot with their smartphones any longer, if they wanted to capture something spontaneously by the touch of their finger. I immediately thought that this would be a great way to monitor the world around us and share our experiences together, as it doesn’t necessarily need to be for game sharing purposes. Perhaps, it could cut down on crime, since we might all be wearing these on a daily basis?

    NReal booth demos the Air Glasses at GDC2023. Photo by Marcus Siu

    AUGMENTED REALITY IS JUST NREAL

    Another company that I was happy to see having a nice booth at the Expo Hall was Nreal. I was first introduced to them at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara in 2019 and wrote about them with their impressive augmented reality technology. This time, they were demonstrated their latest “Air” AR Glasses on laptops and smartphones, which reminds me of Google Glass, but has much better promise.

    My first impression with these ultra-lightweight Nreal Air glasses, which could easily be confused as regular fashion sunglasses, is an amazing 201″ spatial display that gets casted from your device, whether it’s streaming from a game on the cloud, a compatible smartphone, or a iMac.

    It has Micro-OLED panels and it is just has an amazing immersive display. As I put them on, I was looking at floating apps and browsers that I could select with my mouse, and be transported watching videos. Imagine watching Netflix or having a big screen for cloud gaming on the big screen anywhere you go.

    A glimpse at the Pico Booth at GDC 2023. Photo by Marcus Siu.

    META’S MAIN COMPETITOR?

    If there is a Meta competitor on the Expo floor, it would probably be Pico from China who made their debut at GDC. They had a nice booth showing the evolution of their hardware products over they years, much displayed like it would be at a VR museum, if there was one.

    The release of their Pico 4 was getting some buzz on the floor, but didn’t get any official announcement when it would actually be released. This is probably due to the fact that their parent company, Bytedance, also owns TikTok, is still trying to settle with the Senate hearings.

    What a great time to be a game developer! Here are a slideshow of a few scenes from the Expo floor.

    originally published on https://mlsentertainment.wordpress.com/2023/04/21/the-2023-game-developers-conference-future-glimpse-of-the-latest-spectacles/

    #OscarsSoAsian – The 95th Annual Academy Awards and Predictions

    #OscarsSoAsian – The 95th Annual Academy Awards and Predictions

    THE SLAP HEARD AROUND THE WORLD

    It’s been nearly a year since Will Smith infamously slapped Oscar host Chris Rock live onstage at last year’s Academy Awards telecast after cracking a “G.I. Jane” joke aimed at Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. It was indeed a surreal moment as the audience watched Smith laugh initially then turn to his wife who was fuming from the inside, got up from his chair to approach the stage and strike Rock.

    Most of the audience thought that it was just “part of the act”, but when Smith returned to his seat and shouted expletives at Rock, they realized it was not.

    Though the “teary eyed” and emotional Smith was allowed to return onstage to accept his Best Actor Oscar for “King Richard” after the incident, the Academy of Motion Pictures Sciences (AMPAS) decided a few weeks later that Smith would be barred from attending any Oscar ceremonies for the next ten years.

    Months later, Apple TV announced a new movie called “Emancipation” to be released in late Fall starring Will Smith. At first, I thought it was about his documentary regarding his “freedom” from the Academy not having to attend the Oscars for the next ten years. Last weekend, Chris Rock premiered his Netflix special called “Selective Outrage”. “I rooted for Will Smith my whole life,” he said. “The other day, I watched “Emancipation” just so I could watch him getting whipped.”

    All kidding aside, it’s a shame that had happened. It was one step forward for diversity, but two steps back. Or is it?

    Sure, you can make a case there should have been at least more than two African-American nominees list this year for the acting categories. Viola Davis in “The Woman King” and Danielle Deadwyler in “Till” come to mind. You can also make a case that their directors from those films, Gina Prince Bythewood or even Chinonye Chukwu should have made the list in their category, even in a very competitive field.

    Regardless of these omissions, the Academy is seems to be doing a formidable job of accomplishing its goals of diversifying the Academy since the #OscarsSoWhite movement eight years ago. They are clearly doing its best to continue its efforts in representing all groups, not just African-American filmmakers. If you look at this years nominations, it’s clearly diverse.

    With four nominations, more Asian performers were recognized by the Academy in 2023 than in any single year in its history. In addition, Malaysian “Everything Everywhere All At Once” star Michelle Yeoh is only the second Asian best actress nominee in 95 years of Oscars history, with a strong chance of becoming the first winner.

    After the embarrassing “Slap Heard Around The World” Oscars telecast like last year, we need a bit of comic relief. You can certainly bet our host for this year’s Oscars, Tonight Show’s own Jimmy Kimmel will prepare a lot of material that should keep us comfortably and uncomfortably laughing during the telecast. I can’t imagine a better host to open up the show and look forward to his monologue.

    OSCAR PREDICTIONS

    This may be the most difficult year in predicting the Oscars ever, but here are my predictions for the 95th Annual Academy Awards.

    BEST PICTURE:

    Exactly a year ago, when this “mind bending” independent film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” had it’s World Premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 11th, 2022. Since that time, the film went on to become A24’s highest grossing film ever. It was re-released three times due to it’s popularity, including a one-night only at IMAX, and its re-release on January 27th thanks to a resurgence of interest for its leading eleven Academy Award nominations. It has won the top prizes from the Director’s Guild, Producer’s Guild, the Writer’s Guild, and won a record-breaking four awards at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards. Though it lost at the BAFTA’s to “All Quiet on the Western Front”, the British Academy Awards, there is too much momentum for this film to lose at this year’s Oscars.

    Everything Everywhere All at Once with Oscar nominees, Stephanie Hsu, Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan. Photo Credit: Courtesy of A24.

    BEST ACTOR:

    After watching Brendan Fraser in his heart-wrenching performance in “The Whale” as a 600 pound recluse, I was certain that was getting the Oscar. Fraser just recently won at the SAG awards, so we know at least a majority of actors loved his performance. However, the Academy didn’t embrace “The Whale” as much as they did “Elvis” with its eight nominations. “The Whale” was nominated for three awards, but wasn’t nominated as Best Picture or even screenplay.

    I still keep changing my tune on my prediction for Best Actor even as I write, as picking Elvis starts to make more sense. The Academy loves bio-pics, and it’s rare to have an actor be able to portray someone as iconic as Elvis. Jamie Foxx played Ray Charles, Rami Malek played Freddie Mercury, and Renée  Zellweger played Judy Garland and they all won the Oscar.

    The extreme dedication of Butler for three years of his life is exemplary. As a method actor, he not only acted as Elvis, but embodied himself in his role as “The King”. He looked, sang and danced like him by watching tapes and films of him when production was down during COVID. He needed to be able to discern how Elvis talked and walked during certain periods of his career since they needed to shoot scenes out of sequence. He put posters and photos all over his wall during the shutdown when his co-star Tom Hanks, who played the Colonel caught COVID-19.

    Even after the movie was done, he could not let go of Elvis, even as he went about promoting his film. He was Elvis 24/7 and still could not leave the King. He didn’t even see his family for three years because he was so focused on his role. What a hound dog!

    This will be a tight race, but I think the “King” will live on.

    AUSTIN BUTLER as Elvis in Warner Bros. Pictures’ drama “ELVIS,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

    BEST ACTRESS:

    Another difficult category to predict is Best Actress, which is really a race between the two-time Oscar winner, Cate Blanchett and Michelle Yeoh. Even on a fair playing field, I probably would have leaned for Cate Blanchett for her performance as Lydia Tár, one of the most extraordinary performances that she has ever done, if not the best.

    She has proven she can play just about anything, including Spazzatura, the monkey in “Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio”. If there is a sequel to “Everything Everywhere All at Once”, the Daniels may want her to play a googly eyed rock, and she may get another nomination.

    However, Michelle Yeoh, who gets her second Oscar nomination for “Everything Everywhere All at Once” since “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, even with her hot dog fingers, can still just beat anyone up against her…and not just the music exit prompters at the Golden Globes. She is well loved not just in Hollywood, but globally, and the Academy would probably want to honor her the award, rather than give Blanchett a third.

    She would also be a fitting tribute to honor the first Asian Best Actress Oscar winner as she has made a tremendous contribution to World Cinema during her lifetime. It would be fitting and iconic.

    Maybe the U.S. mint she will issue her own coin one day.

    Evelyn Wang (Michelle Yeoh) is an average Chinese mother who reluctantly becomes a superhero, jumping alternate worlds and absorbing powers to fight an evil villain.
    A24

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:

    When Ke Huy Quan stopped getting roles after being a formidable child star working in movies such as Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom alongside with Harrison Ford with Steven Spielberg directing, and a cult timeless movie classic called “The Goonies”, Quan believed the best was over. He stopped getting roles and decided to stop acting and work behind the scenes, notably with Wong Kar Wai as an assistant director. Nearly broke, he told his agent that he needed to work and found a role that he really wanted. The real life story of Quan is inspirational to any actor who was once in the spotlight and wants to return to it.

    If there is any category that is the “sure thing”, this is it. He has won nearly every “Best Supporting Actor” award, with the exception of the BAFTA, in which Barry Keoghan won for his role in “The Banshees of the Inisherin”. I highly doubt Keoghan will repeat on American turf.

    Hollywood loves a comeback story. Ke Huy Quan is the real deal.

    Ke Huy Quan in EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE. ALLYSON RIGGS / A24 / COURTESY EVERETT COLLECTION

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

    This could be the category that will be most difficult to predict. Early in the Awards season, Angela Bassett was the frontrunner for “Black Panther – Wakanda Forever”. She won the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award. However, the momentum shifted. Just recently, Jamie Lee Curtis won the SAG award and Kerry Condon won the BAFTA. I have a feeling that the Academy will split votes between Curtis and Bassett more in recognition for their life work as veteran actors and the Academy would still like to honor “The Banshees of the Inisherin” as an Oscar winner. This is the only possible category that it could potentially win. Condon most likely will take the award, and deservedly so.

    Kerry Condon in the film THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN. Photo by Jonathan Hession. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

    One real mystery remains, however. Now that Will Smith is barred from the Oscars, who will present the Best Actress award to this years recipient?

    MLS Entertainment’s Oscar Predictions:

    Best Picture: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
    Best Actor: Austin Butler, “Elvis”
    Best Actress: Michelle Yeoh, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
    Best Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
    Best Supporting Actress: Kerry Condon “The Banshees of Inisherin”
    Best Director: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
    Best Adapted Screenplay:  Sarah Polley “Women Talking ”
    Best Original Screenplay: Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
    Best Cinematography: “All Quiet on the Western Front”
    Best Costume Design: “Elvis”
    Best Film Editing: “Everything Everywhere All at Once”
    Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “The Whale”
    Best Music (Original Score): “All Quiet on the Western Front”
    Best Music (Original Song): “Naatu Naatu”
    Best Production Design: “All Quiet on the Western Front”
    Best Sound: “Top Gun Maverick”
    Best Visual Effects: “Avatar: The Way of Water”
    Best Animated Feature Film: “Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio”
    Best Foreign Language Film: “All Quiet on the Western Front”
    Best Documentary (Feature): “Navalny”
    Best Documentary (Short Subject): “Elephant Whisperers”
    Best Short Film (Animated): “The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse”
    Best Short Film (Live Action): “An Irish Goodbye”


    originally published on
    https://wordpress.com/post/mlsentertainment.wordpress.com/8262

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