Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: December 1st Edition

Hello all! Welcome to December and welcome to my weekly Thursday Oscar predictions!

It’s been seven days since my last Turkey Day estimates in the eight major categories. A lot can change in a week and there’s been significant developments since we were all couch bound after our Thanksgiving feasts.

Let us count them…

1) Martin Scorsese’s Silence finally held some screenings, meaning buzz is out. Official reviews are embargoed until December 10, but the first reactions indicate that the director’s latest could be a force in the Oscar race. My predictions reflect that. Furthermore, initial word makes one wonder whether it’ll be Liam Neeson or Adam Driver that get the lion’s share of attention in Supporting Actor.

2) A number of awards precursors have rolled out their winners and nominations. We begin with the National Board of Review. Yesterday, the NBR bestowed their winners upon us. They are: Manchester by the Sea (Best Film), Barry Jenkins for Moonlight (Director), Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea (Actor), Amy Adams in Arrival (Actress), Jeff Bridges in Hell or High Water (Supporting Actor), Naomie Harris in Moonlight (Supporting Actor), Manchester by the Sea (Original Screenplay), and Silence (Adapted Screenplay). The critics organization also lists ten other pictures on the year’s best list and they are: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hail Caesar!, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Moonlight, Patriots Day, Silence, and Sully. Now – the NBR’s list of films have not and will not match what the Academy does. For instance, Hail Caesar! is not going to nab a Best Picture nod (it’s never been in my top 20 list of possibles and still isn’t). All the others, however, are at least feasible. The most notable snub is Fences, though I’d say it’s still near the top for Academy recognition. Lion is another notable omission.

3) The Critics Choice Awards came out today with their nominations. An important caveat: Silence (and Passengers and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) weren’t screened in time for consideration. The CCA nominates 10 pictures and they are: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, La La Land, Lion, Loving, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, and Sully. Another note: the upcoming Jackie got no Picture love from the NBR or CCA.

There are seven nominees for Best Director and six each in the acting and screenplay races. They are:

Director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea), David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water), Denis Villeneueve (Arrival), and Denzel Washington (Fences). Gibson’s nod is a fascinating one and he may have slightly increased his chances at Oscar attention. That said, it’s important to remember that Scorsese (who’s almost sure to get a nomination) was ineligible.

Actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Tom Hanks (Sully), and Denzel Washington (Fences). Nothing out of the ordinary here, though Garfield seems more likely to get Acting attention for Silence via the Academy.

Actress: Amy Adams (Arrival), Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie), and Emma Stone (La La Land). Note: No nod for either Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) or Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane).

Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Ben Foster (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion), and Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals). Note: While some awards prognosticators have listed Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins as a possibility, his fortunes seem to be dwindling. Also, no Mykelti Williams or Stephen Henderson for Fences. 

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis (Fences), Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Janelle Monae (Hidden Figures), and Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea). No real surprises here.

Original Screenplay: Hell or High Water, La La Land, The Lobster, Loving, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight. Again, no shocks though the ignoring of Jackie continues here.

Adapted Screenplay: Arrival, Fences, Hidden Figures, Lion, Nocturnal Animals, Sully. With Hacksaw getting Pic and Director and Actor attention, a bit surprising it didn’t land a nod here.

4) The New York Film Critics Circle named their winners today. La La Land (the current front runner for Best Picture) was victorious. However, Director went to Barry Jenkins yet again for his work in Moonlight. Casey Affleck took another Actor prize with Isabelle Huppert in Elle helping her case out with an Actress win. Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) and Michelle Williams (for both Manchester and Certain Women) won their Supporting categories. The NYFCC combines screenplay into one and Manchester took top honors there.

Whew. Lots of information, I know, with plenty to digest! Taking all that into account and knowing there’s a bunch more precursors to come – here’s where I have the eight major races standing at this moment:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 4)

3. Moonlight (PR: 3)

4. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

5. Fences (PR: 2)

6. Lion (PR: 5)

7. Arrival (PR: 8)

8. Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

9. Loving (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

10. Hell or High Water (PR: 11)

11. Jackie (PR: 9)

12. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 16)

13. Sully (PR: 15)

14. Patriots Day (PR: 13)

15. 20th Century Women (PR: 12)

16. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 17)

17. Live by Night (PR: 14)

18. Passengers (PR: Not Ranked)

19. The Jungle Book (PR: 18)

20. The Founder (PR: 19)

Dropped Out:

Gold

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 4)

4. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 3)

5. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 6)

7. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 7)

8. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 8)

10. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Pablo Larrain, Jackie

Best Actor

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 4)

4. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 5)

5. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities

6. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 3)

7. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 7)

8. Michael Keaton, The Founder (PR: 6)

9. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (PR: 3)

4. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 4)

5. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 8)

7. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane (PR: 5)

8. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 7)

9. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

10. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 1)

2. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 3)

3. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 2)

4. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 5)

5. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 6)

7. Adam Driver, Silence (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 8)

9. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 7)

10. Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 3)

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 4)

5. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 6)

7. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 7)

8. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 8)

9. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 9)

10. Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

2. Moonlight (PR: 1)

3. La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Hell or High Water (PR: 4)

5. Loving (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

7. The Lobster (PR: 8)

8. Jackie (PR: 7)

9. Patriots Day (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Captain Fantastic (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Gold

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 3)

3. Lion (PR: 2)

4. Arrival (PR: 5)

5. Hidden Figures (PR: 6)

Other Possibilties

6. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 4)

7. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 8)

8. Sully (PR: 10)

9. Elle (PR: 9)

10. Indignation (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Live by Night

Whew! And there you have it…

Let’s see what transpires over the next 7 days until my next round! Until then…

 

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