Monday, January 23, 2017

2016 Oscar Predictions


Nominations are tomorrow morning.  Is it really that time of year already?  Time for me to botch the HELL out of these predictions I worked so hard to get right.



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Alright, so as much as I initially thought this would be one of those easily predictable Top 10's this year, it isn't.  Outside of three films, which have practically landed on every ballot, the consensus is a tad all over the place.  

1) La La Land

2) Manchester by the Sea

3) Moonlight

These three are no-brainers, at least they feel like it.  My gut still tells me that Moonlight is not as 'locked' as it appears just because of the content, but it is performing MUCH stronger than last year's Carol despite Carol having the better reviews (not by much, mind you), so I'm confident enough that it'll be a nominee, even if it winds up not being Top 3.  After these though, it's a touch dicier.

4) Lion

5) Hell or High Water

Back at the beginning of Award's Season I pegged Lion as a Top 5 contender...and then no one nominated it anywhere and I started to feel like it was that failed Oscar bait that comes along every year.  And then the guilds happened and the televised awards happened and suddenly this film that looked forgotten was coming up everywhere.  On the contrary, at the beginning of the season I pegged Hell or High Water as that little indie everyone wanted to see happen but ultimately never would...and then nearly every critic listed it in their Top 5 and it gained enough momentum to solidify itself in this race.

6) Fences

7) Arrival

So, I'm not sure where to place these two.  Arrival, based on nomination support with critics and even guilds, should be a Top 5 contender...but genre and pacing and what have you leave me thinking it isn't as 'sure a thing' as so many think it is.  Adams, sure...but Best Picture?  Director?  I'm not sold.  Still, not predicting it feels wrong since statistically it should get the nomination even if statistically it shouldn't.  Fences feels like that pedestrian actor's film the Academy embraces because it feels like it has to.


8) Hacksaw Ridge

I laughed at people who predicted Hacksaw Ridge would make a play for awards this season.  I laughed.  I was wrong.  I still am not confident in it...but it will not shock me to see it pop up on nomination morning.


9) Silence

Silence feels like my Achilles Heel this season.  I pegged it as the EASY frontrunner for the Oscar here (although I've always had La La Land as my surprise winner) and yet it has landed...no where.  AFI and NBR don't really could when none of the guilds have touched you, the televised awards turn their noses up at you and the critics don't support you...and you're Martin f***ing Scorsese.  It doesn't make sense...which is why part of me can't help but predict it to actually sneak into the Best Picture lineup despite lack of support.  This is AMPAS...if any awards body is NOT going to turn their noses up at Scorsese, it's them.  Still...this is a dicey prediction.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Hidden Figures
It's rising.  Ensemble notices everywhere and surprise inclusions in recent Top 10's have put this film in the race, even if the support may be a touch too late to actually translate into a BP nomination.  

Jackie
This should have struck harder, but it failed to make a dent in the awards race this year outside of Portman.  Surprising, considering it's a biopic with tremendous reviews...but it's also about a woman (like, solely about a woman) so is it really surprising?  It could (note COULD) surprise on nomination morning, but I have a feeling if a biopic is going to sneak into the race despite seemingly fizzling out it'll be...


Sully
It snagged mentions from NBR, AFI and BFCA early in the race...and then it stopped being noticed, but this is a biopic directed by a Hollywood legend starring a Hollywood legend ABOUT a real like hero so don't completely disregard the possibility of this being a dark horse contender in a lot of categories.  It isn't out of the race just because we haven't heard about it lately.


Director

There is only one lock here.  After that, anything could happen.

1) Damien Chazelle for La La Land

He hasn't landed the most places or won the most awards, but his film is WINNING BP and he is WINNING Director this year at the Oscars because he won't lose.  It's as simple as that.  He DIRECTS the hell out of this film and it will feel good to reward him and so they will.  

2) Barry Jenkins for Moonlight

3) Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester By the Sea

Jenkins has won the most this season.  Even when his film doesn't win BP, he snatches the Director award (except when it's aired on TV) and so I'm pretty sure he'll be nominated despite the fact that his film is about a subject Oscar doesn't always favor and he is a minority.  Lonergan is also pretty solid here, even if I could see either or them snubbed and I wouldn't be shocked.  Like I said, after Chazelle no one is safe.  

4) Garth Davis for Lion

Until DGA I wasn't sold...but he nabbed TWO noms and he has Weinstein on his side, which accounts for something when the race is so wobbly.  With his film surprisingly rising out of nowhere, he's bound to be rising with it.  He could very well be snubbed in favor of one of the other newbies, but his film is Oscar catnip, and so I have a feeling he'll be the one nominated that everyone feels in later years stole the nomination from a more deserving and adventurous director.

5) Martin Scorsese for Silence

This is a very weak limb to go out on, but Scorsese just feels like that WTF nomination that, in retrospect, is not very WTF.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Mel Gibson for Hacksaw Ridge
David Mackenzie for Hell or High Water
Denis Villeneuve for Arrival
Denzel Washington for Fences

We're looking at two actors turned directors and two young directors on the rise.  Gibson has a lot of baggage and yet he's snagged Globe and BFCA noms and a lot of critical support for his film, so he's not out of the realm of possibility.  Washington has BFCA and a sprinkling of support but has the 'arguably' stronger film, BP-wise.  Still, I think both are behind Mackenzie and Villeneuve.  Mackenzie has the film that no one thought would and yet DAYAM it did, and he's had a lot of critics support...but so has Villeneuve and he just snagged a DGA nomination and, in his corner is the fact that he's had Oscar buzz for his last two films.  It's only a matter of time for Villeneuve, and while I don't think 'this' is his time...he's probably the closest of these 4.


Film Editing

I'm not sure where to go with the last two slots.  The Top 3 feels pretty obvious...but after that...?

1) La La Land

2) Hacksaw Ridge

3) Arrival

I can't see any of these three missing, and we all know that La La Land will win.  Showy and important to the story, these three are as locked as one can be at this point, which means they feel very sure and yet...any of them outside of La La Land could miss (but I doubt it).

4) Sully

5) Hell or High Water

This is a pure guess.  Sully feels like the kind of film that shows up somewhere in the techs (maybe a few places) because it had the singling out in reviews of technical aspects, and it's prestige.  Hell or High Water feels like the kind of film that NEEDS to show up in a few tech areas to validate it's BP nomination.  Still...I could very easily see them snubbed for...

DARK HORSE CONTENDER:

Lion
Manchester By the Sea
Moonlight
Silence

Moonlight has a LOT of mentions for it's editing and yet...it feels like one of those films that is going to perform weaker than expected.  I just see the snubs coming for anything that feels fringe, and this feels fringe.  The other three feel like those BP nominees that could very well wind up here if the wind so blows in that direction, but right now my money is not on them.

Adapted Screenplay

This category feels SO crowded, which means that there is no 'obvious' choices here.  In fact, I could see ANY of my predicted five getting snubbed, it's that up in the air.  There are legit 10 contenders here, and any of them could be nominated, snubbed or win (well, there are a few that probably wouldn't 'win' but you get my point...no one is safe).

1) Moonlight

It has landed almost everywhere, but in Original.  It was moved here, most likely in an effort to solidify a win since Original has Manchester By the Sea and La La Land duking it out for the Oscar, with Moonlight in 3rd...but this move is a tricky one because this category feels far more stacked than Original, which had Moonlight as an easy nominee.  Here I could see this screenplay win the Oscar...as well as get snubbed the nomination.

2) Arrival

Again, this could win...and yet it could find itself snubbed entirely.  It's a sci-fi film about a woman in a very political situation that feels like...right now...and I could see voters shying away from this even though it feels like the frontrunner. 

3) Fences

It's an adaptation of a stage play, and while that initially sounds like a good thing...statistically they don't do well with Oscar noms.  Still, it feels like one of those safe noms with no chance at winning, if that makes sense.  For the nom, I almost want to put this at #1 even though that makes no sense. 

4) Lion

It's the sudden swell of support that makes me lean towards this one being included, and I could even see it winning if Lion overperforms...it's a biopic and a heartwarming tale with Weinstein in it's corner and this will most likely be the only chance at a win for the film and yet, the support is recent...which makes me hesitant to say this is locked in...

5) Hidden Figures

And speaking of recent support...this one is getting a lot of it.  This feels like such a pedestrian nomination and yet these branches usually respond well to humor laced into it's drama, and this is also a biopic and those are two very strong plus's.  Sharp dialog and important subject...maybe this is stronger than I think...?

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Hacksaw Ridge
Love & Friendship
Nocturnal Animals
Silence
Sully

Love & Friendship should have been a slam-dunk, but it wasn't.  It was snubbed in key places and now feels like a lost cause, and yet if it snags a nom I could see it making a play for the win.  Nocturnal Animals shouldn't even be in this race...it is so UN-Oscary...and yet it has snagged noms all over the place, not just for it's screenplay, and so it popping up on nomination morning isn't out of the question.  My biggest question-mark, though, is Silence, which feels like the kind of film that gets this nomination even if it's snubbed everywhere else and yet...WHAT IT HAPPENING WITH THIS MOVIE!?!?!?!

Original Screenplay

Four spots are locked in, with a wide open last spot and three contenders and yet...I could see something getting nominated here that absolutely NO ONE saw coming...

1) Manchester By the Sea

2) La La Land

3) Hell or High Water

4) The Lobster

The win will be between the BP winner (La La Land) and the critical darling (Manchester By the Sea) and I have no idea who is taking it.  Hell or High Water is locked in here as the also ran and The Lobster is that weird artsy film that snags a nomination here because of passion votes.  Moonlight changing it's category has left a hole here, though, because nothing else feels like a real nominee...which leaves me to predict...

5) Captain Fantastic

And this is ONLY because of Mortensen's rise.  He's landing everywhere almost out of nowhere and that means that voters are watching his movie.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

20th Century Woman
Jackie

Jackie was supposed to be a frontrunner here and yet no one cares about this movie anymore, and while 20th Century Woman feels like a screenplay contender, has anyone seen this movie?  

Supporting Actress

#OscarSoDiverse?

1) Viola Davis in Fences

2) Michelle Williams in Manchester by the Sea

One of these two women will win...and it'll most likely be Davis even though Williams has the most critical support and is still in this, with the stronger film and all...but who are we kidding, this race was over the minute Davis's category was switched.

3) Naomi Harris in Moonlight

Her reviews are...surprising mixed, with quite a few feeling like she WAY overdoes this and yet critics have anointed her an Oscar contender and the precursors have followed suit so her nomination is practically assured.

4) Nicole Kidman in Lion

Even without the rise of her film, Kidman has been in this since the beginning thanks to a rather weak field and that feeling as if it were time to bring her back.  Much like Winslet last year, Kidman will be that returning previous winner that no one questions even if she has no chance to win (although...Winslet came VERY close last year, shocking the world).

5) Octavia Spencer in Hidden Figures

I didn't see this coming, but SAG and Globes don't lie, and despite having internal competition, she's been deemed the victorious one and her nomination feels all but assured. 

DARK HORSE CONTENDER:

Greta Gerwig in 20th Century Woman

She's landed on many critics awards ballots and yet, her film just didn't strike and she was snubbed where it counted (missing the Globes, which seemed like a sure bet, hurt her a lot) and so I feel as though our lineup is pretty much set in stone and yet, if anyone makes a surprise entry it'll be Gerwig.

Lily Gladstone in Certain Women

She SHOULD be a contender, considering that the critics tried to make her a thing, but I doubt many voters bothered to see her movie despite her acclaim within it.  Missed opportunity on AMPAS part to be even more diverse (I mean, she's Native American, which, less face it, makes it even HARDER for her to break in with Hollywood and Oscar).

Supporting Actor

I don't even know what to think of this category right now.  This is NOT how I saw this going down.  Liam Neeson seemed like the ultra obvious choice and yet...he's looking at a snub?  No one has nominated him anywhere?  What?  Who is going to win the Oscar?  I have absolutely NO IDEA!

1) Mahershala Ali in Moonlight

2) Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water

Ali has SWEPT the critics awards and yet, the first chance he had to give an acceptance speech everyone would here he lost to that contender no one thought was a contender (what?) and yet Ali still feels like the best bet, alongside Bridges, for the actual nomination.  I wonder if he'll actually win...I mean, he could (as could Bridges), but this category feels so up in the air.

3) Lucas Hedges in Manchester by the Sea

I called this!!! Everyone told me he'd be this 'Breakthrough' only type contender and yet the critics ADORED him and SAG nominated him and he's IN THIS.  Yes, he could very well be snubbed due to his age, but he's campaigning HARD and his film is doing better than any other film in this category (since it's clearly #2 in the BP race) so his nomination feels like a sure thing to me.

4) Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins

Co-lead alongside Streep in a film that has good reviews, is a biopic and has given him the best reviews of his career?  Yeah, he feels like a sure thing.  Hell, he could even win...shockingly enough.  BAFTA nominating him in Supporting kind of sealed the deal for him.  I think he's very much in this.

5) Dev Patel in Lion

Patel feels like he could get the shocking snub we didn't see coming even though he's, arguably, the lead being demoted to lock in a nom.  His film is on the rise, sure, but this last spot feels so open for a shock...

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Ben Foster in Hell or High Water
Liam Neeson in Silence
Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals
Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Nocturnal Animals

Who saw Aaron Taylor-Johnson coming?  It doesn't make sense.  Sure, he had great notices, but Michael Shannon had the best reviews of that film...a film that looked like it had no shot at an Oscar nom for anything despite Shannon racking up critics nominations...and then out of nowhere the Globes and BAFTA showers the film with nominations and they SNUB Shannon and nominate Taylor-Johnson...and the Globes give him the WIN!  That being said, I'm not sold on this nomination.  It feels...like it won't happen.  His Globes speech was a snore.  That was his chance to have voters WANT him to be in the race.  Who cares about this guy?  I still think Neeson could surprise, but that could be me being stubborn.  Foster probably should be happening and yet Bridges is probably preventing that.


Lead Actor

I...have such doubts!

1) Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea

2) Denzel Washington in Fences

3) Ryan Gosling in La La Land

This is happening.  I may even place Gosling in a better position than Washington, to be honest, but Affleck will most likely walk away with this unless voters try to give 'his and hers' Oscars to Washington and Davis...but the urgency to give Washington his THIRD Oscar isn't there and Affleck's raves are...substantial, so I see him walking away with it.  After these three, though...I'm very unsure.  I see four actors fighting for those last two spots.

4) Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic

5) Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge

BAFTA, Globe AND SAG bit for these two actors, and in a year where it feels a touch wide open here, that could be enough.  Still, I feel like there could be a surprise here in the form of two actors in biopic roles that have garnered them enough attention to warrant our attention.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Joel Edgerton in Loving

I'm going against my better judgement here, because I have been predicting Edgerton through and through all year and despite many thinking he was vulnerable, I wouldn't accept that idea.  If I were to hand out the Oscar right now, I'd give it to him.  His performance in Loving was nothing short of brilliant, and he deserves this...but his film is all but dead and I just don't think enough support will be given to this subtle of a turn when they could give the newbie slot to previous snubbie Garfield in a showier role.

Tom Hanks in Sully

Hanks looked like an early lock...and then his film fell flat, but it wouldn't be beyond AMPAS to resurrect this type of a film, including nominating it's star (who had raves).



Lead Actress

The debate all year has been, not about who would be nominated, but about who would win.  I'm sorry folks, but I've said this all year and will continue to say it...despite what the critics say, we all know who is winning this.

1) Emma Stone as '' in La La Land

Critics were all over Huppert and Portman...but Stone has something they don't...the movie AMPAS will FAWN ALL OVER!  Huppert is a foreign actress looking at her first nomination (if she gets the nomination) in a film that is very divisive and dark and will get no other nominations.  She's this year's 'Marion Cotillard'...but not the Cotillard that wins Oscars.  Portman, on paper, has a lot going for her.  Previous Oscar winner in a biopic playing American royalty in a role that has garnered her career best raves...but she has a lot going against her in the simple fact that no one cares about her movie.  Jackie will struggle to get more than two nominations...hell, it'll struggle to get two.  Stone, on the other hand, is looking at a film that is most likely locked in to WIN seven awards with the possibility to win around twelve.  She's a previous nominee, a current 'it girl' (her slate of upcoming projects is INSANELY diverse and full of auteurs and interesting roles) and charming as hell...and the role is not just some one note gimmick...she SLAYS!  

2) Isabelle Huppert in Elle

3) Natalie Portman in Jackie

Portman is probably more locked in than Huppert (given the SAG nomination and the fact that she's a previous winner) but Huppert slayed with critics and won the Globe, so she's very much in this.

4) Amy Adams in Arrival

I will be the first one to tell you that Amy Adams is overrated and that Oscar nominates her too much...but her performance in Arrival is BEYOND WORDS amazing and her most deserving nomination to date (assuming she gets the nomination)...which is why I'm nervous she'll get the shaft.  She's super subtle...which is never good when you're up against more vibrant performances, but it won't hurt her that her competition is also...somewhat subtle.

5) Meryl Streep in Florence Foster Jenkins

Well, Streep isn't subtle...but Streep is Streep and once again, despite critics not caring, it didn't matter because the televised awards did care.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Annette Bening in 20th Century Woman
Ruth Negga in Loving

The one thing everyone was saying after Cannes was that Ruth Negga was locked in as an Oscar nominee...and then the season happened and she seemed to get squeezed out of the conversation despite still being in it.  There are only six names in this conversation (lol, Blunt...no) and due to the embrace of the films in discussion, Negga looks to be on the outside of the eventual lineup.  Still, both she and Bening have the reviews that would validate their nominations, and so if Streep or Adams (or even Huppert, if we're honest) find themselves snubbed, it'll be in favor of one of these two.

Art Direction

I feel like the techs are going to give us some surprises, but I'm not sure where they'll come.  The love has been scattered all over the place.  Here alone there are have been nearly thirty films with some accolades (or nominations) thrown their way.  Outside of La La Land (which will land everywhere, even if it doesn't ultimately win) I'm pulling predictions out of thin air here because I have no clue.  Right now I'm thinking...

1) La La Land
2) Silence
3) Arrival
4) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
5) The Handmaiden

So, as he discussed, La La Land is the only real lock.  Silence feels like it would make sense IF the film gets an AMPAS surge, especially because it's a showy period piece.  Arrival could benefit from this guild oddly adoring all things sci-fi.  I mean, if a film like Gravity...which had...like...a solitary set piece...can get a nom here, then Arrival can for those tents and that spacecraft and that beautiful glass house.  Fantastic Beasts feels like the fantasy film of the year, awards wise, and The Handmaiden is that wildcard foreign flick that EARNS this nom.  But...GODD**N there are a lot of contenders here.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Allied
Cafe Society
Hacksaw Ridge
Hail, Caesar!
Hidden Figures
Jackie
Nocturnal Animals
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Like, I could see ANY of these nominated.  Jackie has a lot of love in this department, but this film feels so dead right now.  Outside of that, you have scattered support for all these films...and they all feel like Oscary noms.  Between the gaudy fantasy of Alice or the Hollywood nostalgia or Hail, Caesar! and Cafe Society or the showy work in Nocturnal Animals or the period work in Hidden Figures...it really just depends on where voters throw their support.  Anything could happen.

Cinematography

Again, La La Land and then...who the hell knows!  I'm thinking...

1) La La Land
2) Arrival
3) Silence
4) Moonlight
5) Lion

But I'm very skeptical for the sheer fact that this guild loves to support their own and if this is our lineup then all nominees will be newbies.  That's why...

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Cafe Society
Hail, Caesar
Live By Night
Nocturnal Animals

I have a feeling someone here is going to surprise.  I'm not predicting it, but I should.  McGarvey has two Oscar noms to his name and acclaimed SHOWY work in Nocturnal Animals, but his film is just so UN-Oscary that I have a feeling it's getting snubbed everywhere.  Robert Richardson has three Oscars at home already, but Live By Night has gone NO WHERE this season.  Deakins is Deakins and Storaro also has three Oscars, but both Cafe Society and Hail, Caesar! have been treated like the lesser work of legends and while they are pretty films, they are NOT showy and so I can't put money on either being nominated. 

Costume Design

I feel like we could be in for a surprise here...but for now I'm betting on...

1) La La Land
2) Jackie
3) Silence
4) Florence Foster Jenkins
5) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

It'll be weird for me if La La Land wins here...not because it isn't worthy but because contemporary rarely has a shot here and the costuming in La La Land is NOT showy contemporary.  It's very good and works beautifully within the film, but it isn't what you would call showy work...but right now it's the frontrunner almost by default since nothing else feels locked here.  Jackie could be the winner, but I'm not sure voters will care enough to actually vote for it.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Allied
Cafe Society
The Dressmaker
The Handmaiden
Love & Friendship

This branch loves period and they love loud, but this was a weird year of very few LOUD contenders.  I wouldn't be shocked if something like The Handmaiden or The Dressmaker popped up seemingly out of nowhere because of the sheer prominence of their costuming.

Makeup

LOL, who knows...

1) Deadpool
2) Florence Foster Jenkins
3) A Man Called Ove

For some reason, Hollywood is trying to make Deadpool happen at Oscars...and this seems like an easy win for a film that they seem to really like but can't legitimately call 'the best'.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

The Dressmaker
Hail, Caesar!
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

There's the rest of your shortlist...who knows.

Visual Effects

Let's be honest here, this is pretty much all about two contenders, ATP...

1) The Jungle Book

2) Doctor Strange

I don't for a second think that The Jungle Book is losing this...but if it lost, it would most likely be to Doctor Strange, which has gotten massive raves for it's visuals.  After that, two seem very likely...

3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

4) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I would have thought that Rogue One would have gotten more accolades this season, but there may be some truth in the fact that overexposure is kind of killing the Star Wars franchise for voting bodies.  Look at the Ex Machina win last year (which I wholly endorsed).  Rogue One should be a lock for a nom and yet it isn't.

And then we have...

5) Arrival

So...I'm not super confident that this will get the nom.  It has great visuals (except for that scene where Adams is actually in that watery crap with the aliens...because that scene looked awful) but it's subtle compared to the other potential noms...BUT we've seen a pattern of Oscar BP noms snagging surprise wins here (Hugo for example) and so IF it gets this nomination, if could be the dark horse fort the win.

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Captain America: Civil War
La La Land
A Monster Calls
Sully

If they liked A Monster Calls more or if Sully overperforms of if La La Land is going to rake in everything...

Sound Editing

I hate predicting these categories.  They are always...so difficult to decipher...but here goes nothing...

1) Arrival
2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
3) Hacksaw Ridge
4) The Jungle Book
5) Passengers

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:
Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
La La Land
Silence

Sound Mixing

And...

1) La La Land
2) Hacksaw Ridge
3) The Jungle Book
4) Arrival
5) Sully

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Allied
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Original Score

So, I was all aboard the Arrival train for this (I LOVE THAT SCORE SO MUCH) but it is ineligable because the Academy is stupid.  That being said, we all know what is going to 'surprisingly' win this (I really did not see this coming)...

1) La La Land

It's such a lovely score.  Next up, I see something that feels very Oscary all locked in here...

2) Lion

And then...who the hell knows?  I'm going out on a limb and saying that they embrace a recent 'hit', welcome an art house favorite and continue to pour favor on a 'favorite' of theirs.  This branch is not always open to embracing new things.

3) Hidden Figures
4) The BFG
5) Jackie

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Moonlight
Nocturnal Animals
Silence

Nocturnal Animals and Moonlight SHOULD be predicted because of their strong showing with critics...but those movies are just not the kind that get embraced by Oscar in such a large way...no matter how deserving.  Silence...who knows?

Original Song

This branch is never predictable, so I'm prepared to be wrong about all but one of these...

1) 'City of Stars' from La La Land

It'll win, in a walk...and it'll deserve to (at least of what they'd nominate) but after this...

2) 'How Far I'll Go' from Moana
3) 'Audition (The Fools Who Dream)' from La La Land

I'm fairly confident in these two.  I could be wrong, but I think they'll make it...after this...

4) 'I'm Still Here' from Miss Sharon Jones

Isn't there usually a pick from a doc?

5) 'I See Victory' from Hidden Figures

The fifth spot is REALLY throwing me because I could see anything here, really...but I'm crossing my fingers that this feeling that Hidden Figures will overperform pays off...

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

'Can't Stop the Feeling' from Trolls
'Drive it Like You Stole It' from Sing Street
'Faith' from Sing
'Running' from Hidden Figures

And I could honestly see any of these nominated over the four I predicted that were not City of Stars.

Animated Film

This VERY quickly became a two-way race with really one clear victor despite the critical attention thrown at Kubo...

1) Zootopia

2) Kubo and the Two Strings

They are in...period.

3) The Red Turtle

4) Moana

I feel pretty confident in both of these as well, even if they aren't locked in.  Reviews for Moana were...not as strong as expected, and critical support for Red Turtle was...not as strong as expected, but they are both pretty safe bets.

5) My Life as Courgette

When in doubt...go with the foreign artsy flick with raves...

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

Finding Dory
Miss Hokusai
Sing
Trolls
Your Name.

This branch can be hard to predict...so anything is possible when you think about it.


Documentary Feature

I'm actually almost 100% confident in these predicted five...

1) OJ: Made in America
2) The 13th
3) I Am Not Your Negro
4) Weiner
5) Cameraperson

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

The Eagle Huntress
Fire at Sea
Gleason
Life Animated

All of these had support from the critics and guilds...but not as much support (or as recent support) as the aforementioned predictions.  Still, there could be a surprise.  If I had to guess, I'd guess The Eagle Huntress could break in...


Foreign Language Film

The short list really effed up predictions because outside of Toni Erdmann, all expected contenders were slashed (Elle, Neruda) and so we're left with a group of films with a mere spattering of support and zero consensus as to which ones should move on.

1) Toni Erdmann

2) A Man Called Ove

3) The Salesman

These three feel like the strongest thanks to some critical wins as well as the other possible nominations (A Man Called Ove is on the shortlist for Makeup) but I only feel REALLY confident in Toni Erdmann, which looks poised to win.

4) Land of Mine

This feels like the kind of film that Oscar embraces here...

5) It's Only the End of the World

And this one is a COMPLETE wild card...wishful thinking prediction mainly because I NEED Dolan to be an Oscar nominee...and he made headlines at Cannes and it only makes sense that Oscar would embrace his worst reviewed film.  Dolan is also a recent Academy member...so they know who he is and we all know he'll vote for himself!

DARK HORSE CONTENDERS:

My Life as a Zucchini
Tanna

Anything, really, but these two feel the most likely to surprise. 

Animated Short

So...I have no clue, but I'm guessing here based on Studio and synopsis...

1) Piper
2) The Head Vanishes
3) Sour Tes Doigts
4) Blind Vaysha
5) Once Upon a Line

Documentary Short

Again...this is (somewhat) blind guessing here.

1) Joe's Violin
2) The White Helmets
3) Watani: My Homeland
4) Extremis
5) The Other Side of Home

Live Action Short

Same...

1) Nocturne in Black
2) Silent Nights
3) The Rifle, The Jackal, The Wolf and The Boy
4) Bon Voyage
5) The Way of Tea

11 comments:

  1. My hope is that"#OscarSoDivers" extends past nominating minorities in acting categories and actually giving more indie and foreign films more recognition, and this could be the prefect year for that at least in terms of what's nommed. There's no doubt that La La Land is winning everything, but it's be SO COOL to see Elle or The Handmaiden get recognition in some technical categories at the very least. Same goes for Moonlight and The Lobster! The funny thing is, it seems like a lot of the nest reviewed films from 2016, were hold-overs from 2015, I've never really seen that happen before...

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  2. I always compare your list to what has been nominated and you have a great track record plus there are always surprises of people who are nominated or should have been nominated but weren't. La La Land will win big this year and I can't see how a musical would not win for best score and best song. I do find it weird that Jackie didn't get all the love and I don't know why but I didn't hear a lot about this film. It makes me think that the money men were not behind it. I think Viggo Mortensen will get nominated..he won't win, but he will be nominated. Zootopia will win. I have no idea about all the rest but pretty much agree with what you have written here. It will be fun to see what is in the running.

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  3. I think it broke out a shade to late to make it but I wouldn't be completely surprised if Hidden Figures snuck in with a Best Pic nom. It doesn't stand a prayer of winning...does anything but La La Land but it's an awful good MOVIE movie and usually when something like that comes along, i.e. Raiders of the Lost Ark or the similar to this Apollo 13, they often make the cut.

    I'm glad to see Octavia Spencer getting attention for her work in the movie but too bad that the equally good Janelle Monae isn't getting the same level.

    Again I don't think she has will get within a mile of winning but I want Isabelle Huppert to get an Oscar nomination, damn it! It's not that she needs one to enhance her luster but the sick making thought that she has none when Adams looks to be on the verge of yet another is infuriating!! If there's to be a snub let it be Adams, from what I've read she's deserving at last but how many undeserved one has she gotten? Spread the wealth to Negga, Bening or Taraji P. Henson.

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  4. Did you put Foster in there just so I wouldn't bitch about it?

    Have you seen Jackie? Portman should be handed every single award this season for it. I really wish Rebecca Hall would be in the conversation for Christine. It's a shame no one saw that.

    Ugh, Luke Hedges. No. I have so many I'd place before him. Hugh Grant shouldn't be in supporting either but that's none of my business. *sips tea*

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  5. I really love reading your Oscar Predictions posts! Without comparing side by side it looks like you were spot on in some categories!
    Still so many movies I need to catch up on though :)

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  6. Just took a look at the actual noms. Not bad, friend.

    The lack of a nom for Silence doesn't surprise me in the least. I say that because every prediction I read or heard before today basically said the same thing (even yours): "It's not getting any love from anyone else, but it's Scorsese!" Didn't sound like a great reason for a nom, but what do I know. That said, had it gotten 10 noms, I wouldn't have been surprised, either, because hey, it's Scorsese. Now, what really would've solidified a nom for him is changing his name to Meryl Streep.

    I am surprised Hidden Figures snuck in there for some noms, but I'm with Joel - I'd be just as fine with Janelle Monae getting that nom instead of Spencer.

    Another surprise is how Sully died in the water this year, pardon the pun. Like you have noted, it just feels like an Oscar type of film. Plus, Hanks is really good in it.

    "I will be the first one to tell you that Amy Adams is overrated and that Oscar nominates her too much...but her performance in Arrival is BEYOND WORDS amazing..." I'm so with you on every word of this. She is totally overrated, but really great in Arrival. Too bad she didn't get the nom.

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  7. I still can't fathom how Silence has been released into the world. I put more effort into timing farts than the studio has put behind Scorcese's latest. I haven't seen it, but what the Hell is going on around here?

    I think, like you, the Academy hates Hanks. Yes. I said it. (I mean who doesn't love Forrest f--king GUMP!??)

    (awesome post, man! [you nailed this shit!])

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  8. Why all you think that Amy Adams is overrated?
    I think she was perfect in Junebug in 2005, and she should have won the academy award.
    In 2008 she was nominated for Doubt and i think she was not only the best part of the movie but also she was way better then Cruz or Davis.
    Well, her nomination in Fighter (2010) was not nomination-worhy
    I loved her work in The Master because I think she was capable of not being overshadowed by the career-best performance by Hoffman and Phoenix.
    Her performance in American Hustle wasn't that great and she shouldn't have been nominated that year.
    But this year, in Arrival, she was amazing and her snub is shocking. But even if i think she was fantastic, her work was not as good as Portman or Huppert, but i still rate her above Stone, Negga and Streep.

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    1. For me, I generally find her on the bland side. Occasionally, she knocks it out 4th e park like she did in Arrival. More often than not I struggle to understand why the accolades keep coming her way. She isn't a bad actress, by any stretch. I just don't think she's amazing.

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