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How it would all look if I selected the nominees and winners each year!

And the Dickie Award goes to...


When I walked out Asteroid City in June, and The Holdovers in November, I did not think that either would be my Best Pic of the year. And I will maintain that this year was a bit underwhelming to me, personally. But they each lingered in my heart and in my cinematic bones, and upon second viewing of each (which for both was the day before the Oscars), they're each utter triumphs to me.

Asteroid City is NOT for everyone. It is a meandering, contemplative mood-piece that is certainly a real test of the limits of how much "Andersonia" even Wes fans can handle. But to me it is his boldest, richest, most meta-cinematic and inventive movie, and to me balances world-building, heart, and artistic messaging just perfectly. I feel IMMERSED when I watch it, and just want to go back.

It's hard to not deem it my #1 of the year, but I can't resist how much The Holdovers moves me, how much it harkens back to cinemas of decades gone by, and tells stories at the PACE at which so few do these days. While Asteroid is doing something I've never seen before (and boy do I love to applaud that), The Holdovers is doing something we don't do anymore, and that I want to hold onto forever; and that, at this moment, feels more important to me. I want to bask in the richness of character and the slow-burn of the evolution of inter-character relationships, and no movie has done that this well in years. And I think you can't possibly make a viewer laugh & cry at once (perhaps my favorite thing to do at the movies) as successfully as this movie does without that quality. 

Bravo director Alexander Payne and writer David Hemingson. Some consider your gem "good, but... is it really high art?", and honestly - I think that's a testament to the rich subtlety of your craft. If they had noticed how good this movie was, you'd have done it too ostentatiously. Thank you for giving us a movie for the ages, that I look forward to returning to every so often whenever I want to feel like a movie is giving me a nice warm hug.

And Wes - ignore the haters and keep doing you. I for one am here for it (most of the time ;)

Dickie Awards 2023
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