This year’s Golden Steve nominees for motion picture achievement

April 1, 2022 • 9:00 am

My nephew Steven’s website now has only about one post per year: his list of the “Golden Steve Awards”—both nominees and winners for Steven’s best movies of the year. In the post below (click on screenshot), you can see his nominees from this year, but in the post below I list only the Big Six categories plus “Best Foreign Film” (the latter for the reason given below).

The winners from each of the categories below will be announced on April 10.

My nephew cannot be described as modest, but he knows his onions, so I’d pay attention to his choices and view them if you can.

I quote Steven’s introduction to the nominations

Far and away the most coveted of motion picture accolades, Golden Steves are frequently described as the Oscars without the politics. Impervious to bribery, immune to ballyhoo, unswayed by sentiment, and riddled with integrity, this committee of one might be termed in all accuracy “fair-mindedness incarnate.” Over 165 of the year’s most acclaimed features were screened prior to the compilation of this ballot. First, some caveats:

1) Owing to a lifelong suspicion of prime numbers, each category comprises six nominees, not five.

2) A film can be nominated in only one of the following categories: Best Animated Feature, Best Non-Fiction Film, Best Foreign Language Film. Placement is determined by the Board of Governors. Said film remains eligible in all other fields.

3) This list is in no way connected with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences—a fact that should be apparent from its acumen. Please look elsewhere for Oscar analysis.

Best Picture

Drive My Car
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog
Red Rocket
The Worst Person in the World

Best Director

Sean Baker, Red Rocket
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Lost Daughter
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Michael Sarnoski, Pig
Joachim Trier, The Worst Person in the World

Best Actor

Nicolas Cage, Pig
Clifton Collins Jr., Jockey
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog
Winston Duke, Nine Days
Hidetoshi Nishijima, Drive My Car
Simon Rex, Red Rocket

Best Actress

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Isabelle Fuhrman, The Novice
Alana Haim, Licorice Pizza
Brittany S. Hall, Test Pattern
Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Best Supporting Actor

Richard Ayoade, The Souvenir Part II
Anders Danielsen Lie, The Worst Person in the World
Mike Faist, West Side Story
Vincent Lindon, Titane
Will Patton, Sweet Thing
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ann Dowd, Mass
Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog
Toko Miura, Drive My Car
Ruth Negga, Passing
Suzanna Son, Red Rocket

And I’ll add this category, since Steven mentions if below.

Best Foreign Language Film

Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi)
A Hero (Asghar Farhadi)
Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul)
Parallel Mothers (Pedro Almodovar)
Petite Maman (Celine Sciamma)
The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier)

When I asked Steven what he thought of the “offcial” Oscar awards, he said this:

I don’t agree with any of the main winners, and would nominate only Campion. CODA is predictable, feel-good pabulum. Its win derives from a ranked balloting system in place since 2009, in which voters order their choices from 1-10 instead of checking the box of their favorite film. As such, it’s better to be everyone’s second or third choice than divisive (and possible to win without a single #1 vote). But of course nearly all great films are divisive, and middle-of-the-road picks like The King’s Speech, Argo, Green Book, and now CODA are black marks on the Academy’s record.

A rare bright spot was the victory of the truly exceptional Drive My Car. It’s the first Japanese film ever nominated for Best Picture, and a most deserving choice for Best International Film.

And here are the Rotten Tomatoes ratings (click on latter to read critics’ reviews):

17 thoughts on “This year’s Golden Steve nominees for motion picture achievement

  1. Nice to see Steve giving some love to Pig and to Nick Cage’s performance in it.

    On my way out of the theater after seeing it, I called my bestie the teaching chef and insisted he promise to see it immediately. One needn’t be a foodie to appreciate the film’s quality and charms, though it doesn’t hurt.

    1. It was excellent, and so was Cage. Cage is always a lock for me when he does one of his “I’m actually in a serious movie and going to ACT” efforts.

      It’s a shame he spent his money so frivolous, and thus has to spend most of each year appearing in garbage where he’s on set for a week or two and makes five or ten million bucks. But I’m glad he still appears in a movie or two every year for himself/the rest of us. It’s the old Scorcese/Coppola/Spielberg “one for them, one for me” thing, except he’s an actor, so he can do five for them and one for him every year. And Coppola ended up making mostly shit movies, and the breadth of his oeuvre shouldn’t be compared to the likes of Scorsese or Spielberg.

      1. When Cage is hot, he’s hot, and when he’s not, he’s not. He’s given some great performances (Raising Arizona, 8mm, and Adaptation, fr’instance) and some real stinkers (take your pick). His uncle, FFC, made four of the greatest American films ever in under a decade, but hasn’t done much since.

        The line about “one for them, one for me” comes from Steven Soderbergh, IIRC. The only firm I can recall Scorcese making for purely commercial reasons is Color of Money, Anyone who can make films like Age of Innocence, Kundun, Last Temptation of Christ, and King of Comedy side-by-side with the likes of Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, and The Departed — now that’s a cat’s got some range.

        1. Scorsese is at the very top, nonpareil imo. Kubrick is a close second, but I must slight on lack of product. I really only “know” movies from the 60’s onward. It’s like my comic collection, I own nothing from “the Golden Age”…basically late 30’s- late 50’s. What can I say, reality only became real for me in the 60’s. Well, very late 60’s as in the last year… Age will always be the greatest bias.

          Thanks thread folks for recommending “Pig”. I have sentiments for Cage as well and after reading these comments, I’ll be watching it tonight. Smoke a bowl. Eat some calzone.

  2. The winners from each of the categories below will be announced on April 10.


    I don’t agree with any of the main winners, and would nominate only Campion

    So we already know that Jane Campion did not win the Golden Steve for best director.

  3. To be honest, I wasn’t going to read this until I read the first paragraph, and I found that I absolutely adore you’re nephew’s humor! He’s a very funny writer.

    Also, glad to see Pig and Red Rocket getting some love.

  4. I still don’t understand the fuss about Power of the Dog. To me it was one of the worst films I’ve seen in a while. There was little to no plot, character arcs were left hanging, etc. I kept watching to see if anything was going to happen, since a lot of things were teased, but they were just ignored.

    1. Lotta people had a hard time imagining Cummerbund Bandersnatch as a cowboy.

      I started watching it on the home big screen a while back, but fell asleep during the opening scene (just one of the reasons I like to see a film, especially the first time, in an actual theater). Still planning to give it an honest chance. Maybe this weekend.

  5. I heartily agree with Michael Glenister. Power of the Dog maybe wasn’t the worst film of all time but he is correct in his description of the film. I kept waiting for the “metaphor” but none appeared. Nor did any plot, nor was there a script of any kind to keep one interested. This is another example of using glorious photography and scenery instead of substance and script. Let’s go back to the black and white films of the 40s and 50s with snappy intelligent dialogue, wonderful characters and all the things that films can give us if directors don’t get carried away with vague concepts instead of understanding that much of the public is smart enough to not get fooled by magician’s tricks. No more “director’s cut”; let’s demand quality and substance like the films of Preston Sturges, Billy Wilder, the Coen brothers, Woody Allen,not to mention all the great foreign directors like Denys Arcand, Pedro Almodovar and Mike Leigh and Armand Despleshin. We need to learn more from foreign directors and stop appeasing low and middle brow Americans. (Remember Wilder’s Ace in the Hole? How about First Reformed? Two of America’s best films ever).

  6. I liked Drive My Car (any film that so copiously references Uncle Vanya knows how to get on my good side) but I don’t quite understand the fuss over it. And I don’t think it needed to be three hours long. I know that arthouse cinema has been rebelling against the frantic editing and short attention-span filmmaking of Hollywood, but now Hollywood is making three-hour-long superhero films (the newest Batman) and getting stodgy. We need a new Eisenstein or Abel Gance to shake up cinema!

    1. I liked Belfast. A lot. Great performances and a great Van the Man soundtrack. Then again, I can see where some might’ve found it light going for a film set during The Troubles. But, hey, it was told from the PoV of a nine-year-old, so that didn’t bother me a bit.

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