This year’s best actor is ... Mia Goth?

A young woman raises a pitchfork above her head in "Pearl," a prequel to "X."
Mia Goth makes with a pitchfork in the horror film “Pearl.”

I’m watching a trailer for the newly reedited “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” wondering about borrowing true genius to prop up indulgence and how pretty much any movie, no matter how insufferable, could be made to look appealing by coopting a Beatles song.

But, hey, it brought the brilliant nonsense of “I Am the Walrus” into my day, so there’s that. I’m Glenn Whipp, columnist for the Los Angeles Times, host of the Envelope’s Friday newsletter, currently sitting on a cornflake, waiting for the van to come. Let’s get to it.

Making a stab at a Mia Goth awards campaign

The other night before taking in David O. Russell’s disappointing “Amsterdam,” I was sitting with a handful of colleagues (a.k.a. weirdos), all members of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. and we were sharing our favorite performances of the past couple of months. And one name kept coming up: Mia Goth, known to some for her turn opposite Anya Taylor-Joy in “Emma” and right now for her work in two connected A24 horror movie collaborations with filmmaker Ti West, “X” and “Pearl.”

I could tell you all about these two movies, but instead I’ll defer to super-fan Martin Scorsese, who I picture writing this while curled up in a fetal position at 3 in the morning.


“Ti West’s movies have a kind of energy that is so rare these days, powered by a pure, undiluted love for cinema. You feel it in every frame. A prequel to ‘X’ made in a diametrically opposite cinematic register (think 50s Scope color melodramas), ‘Pearl’ makes for a wild, mesmerizing, deeply — and I mean deeply — disturbing 102 minutes. West and his muse and creative partner Mia Goth really know how to toy with their audience ... before they plunge the knife into our chests and start twisting. I was enthralled, then disturbed, then so unsettled that I had trouble getting to sleep. But I couldn’t stop watching.”

Repeat: He ... could ... not ... fall ... asleep. Hopefully, Scorsese takes a break from working on his next movie, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” to host a (midnight) screening or two of “Pearl,” the origin story of the murderous old woman Goth played in “X” and a showcase for her go-for-broke acting. (Goth also played an aspiring porn actor in “X,” a close cousin to Mark Wahlberg’s “gonna be a big, bright shining star” role in “Boogie Nights.”) My pal Jen Yamato recently wrote about Goth and “Pearl.” Don’t read until you’ve seen the movie though.

Certainly, “Pearl” is not a traditional academy movie. But some critics group is going to plant the flag for Goth this year, prompting more people to check it out. Maybe that bunch of L.A. weirdos? Check back in a couple of months.

a woman embraces a scarecrow
Mia Goth in “Pearl.”
(Christopher Moss / A24)

‘Fabelmans’ out in front?

Steven Spielberg was onstage at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre, talking about the End or, more precisely, how his new movie memory piece, “The Fabelmans,” isn’t quite the End or a signal that he’s retiring but simply an acknowledgment that the clock is ticking.

“It wasn’t now or never,” he said of making the long-gestating film, a crowd-pleasing look back on his childhood and a burgeoning passion for making movies, “but I almost felt that way.”


And you don’t have to be a 75-year-old filmmaking legend to relate in some way to Spielberg’s sentiments. If you care about movies — and I’m guessing that if you’re reading this you have at least a passing interest — you’ve probably felt that it might be now or never for the medium itself, particularly if you’ve recently wandered through a deserted multiplex, silent barns that at times feel like Blockbuster Video stores circa 2010.

Which is why, after the fall film festivals in Venice, Italy, Telluride, Colo., and Toronto, this year’s awards season seems to be shaping up as a celebration of movies, both in the content of the films themselves (“The Fabelmans,” Sam Mendes’ “Empire of Light,” Damien Chazelle’s still-unscreened Golden Age of Hollywood extravaganza “Babylon”) and, perhaps, in Oscar voters’ willingness to acknowledge the few well-reviewed box office hits (“Top Gun: Maverick,” “Everything Everywhere All at Once”) that coaxed audiences — and life — back into theaters.

I recapped the festival season recently, offering a few early thoughts on what movies emerged from Venice, Telluride and Toronto in good shape. Amid the breathless buzz, there’s more than a few good movies for you to enjoy in the coming months.

A man in a suit and round glasses waves
Steven Spielberg attends the premiere of “The Fabelmans” at the Toronto International Film Festival.
(Evan Agostini / Invision/ AP)

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NBC bringing back the Golden Globes

My colleague Stacy Perman has been keeping tabs on the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. since a Los Angeles Times investigation raised questions about the group’s ethical and financial lapses and revealed that not one of the then-87 members was Black.


That investigation led to NBC bailing on the Globes last year, but the network will televise the ceremony this year — albeit on a Tuesday and with a narrower one-year deal, in part to ensure that the organization remains committed to the reforms it had undertaken, a person familiar with the discussion told Perman.

What we don’t know is whether studios and personal publicists will get back on board, as the enacted HFPA reforms haven’t been particularly meaningful or sincere. This story is, as they say, developing.

Golden Globe statuettes
Does anyone still want a Golden Globe?
(Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)


I’d love to hear from you. Email me at

Can’t get enough about awards season? Follow me at @glennwhipp on Twitter.