Blockbuster sequels to 13- and 36-year-old films nominated for Best Picture with no correlating nods for directing, acting, or writing, An independent release cited for directing, acting, and writing nods with no corresponding Best Picture acknowledgment. The most nods of the year – 11 in all – awarded to a foreign-language remake that debuted on Netflix. Welcome, folks, to my official, inevitably misguided attempts at predicting the January 24 Oscar nominations!

I, personally, found the experience of Skinamarink extremely tiresome and legit-scary for maybe 100 seconds of its 100-minute running length. Dammit, though, if I can't get this thing out of my head.

With the final presentation in the Figge Art Museum's current Film at the Figge series - its lineup having boasted award-winning international works that deal with death, loss, and grief in unexpected ways - a modern masterpiece and last year's winner of the Best International Feature Oscar will be screened on January 26 in Drive My Car, writer/director Ryusuke Hamaguchi's superb Japanese drama that The Guardian awarded five stars and called "an engrossing and exalting experience."

Telling the remarkable life story a Gandhian eco-activist who stood up to the corporate Goliaths of industrial agriculture, rose to prominence in the food-justice movement, and inspired an international crusade for change, the first presentation in River Action's annual QC Environmental Film Series will be screened at the Figge Art Museum on January 22, with the Davenport venue hosting the area premiere of 2022's award-winning documentary The Seeds of Vandana Shiva.

There's no doubt a smarter, meaner movie tucked inside director Gerard Johnstone's M3GAN, but the largely dopey, relatively tame one we're given is a lot of fun, too.

In the Figge Art Museum's current Film at the Figge series, the Davenport venue is screening international, award-winning works that deal with death, loss, and grief in unexpected ways, and the affecting and arresting lineup continues on January 19 with It's Only the End of the World, Xavier Dolan's award-winning French-Canadian drama lauded by The Guardian as a "brilliant, stylized, and hallucinatory evocation of family dysfunction."

Before composing my annual list of adored movies from the past year, I gave serious thought to continuing the presentation I initiated in the first year of COVID, with write-ups on 20 favorites from 2020 followed by 21 favorites from 2021. Certainly, there were 22 winners from 2022 to emphatically celebrate, yes? Well … yes and no.

Over the course of three hours and nine minutes, there's one sensationally effective, entertaining, and even educational sequence in Damien Chazelle's Babylon even if, like everything else in this wildly indulgent and obnoxious old-Hollywood saga, it, too, eventually gets royally effed up.

Fans of such animated masterpieces as Castle in the Sky, Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, Howl's Moving Castle, and the Oscar-winning Spirited Away will be in for a day of delights when the Rock Island Public Library's downtown branch hosts January 4's Studio Ghibli Film Fest, a day of screenings, snacks, and activities such as creating Totoro cutouts and learning the art of writing Japanese characters.