2017: The Year of Blumhouse

As 2018 is nearly upon us, today begins an exploration on what and who made a lasting impression on film in 2017. And it does start with a what – in this case, a studio.

Blumhouse Productions, founded by Jason Blum, kicked off in 2009 with found footage hit Paranormal Activity. It was a massive money maker that spawned numerous sequels. From then on, Blumhouse became known for their low-budget horror flicks. This includes the Insidious, Ouija, Purge, and Sinister franchises.

Yet 2017 has marked their banner year. This started immediately in January with M. Night Shyamalan’s comeback pic Split, which debuted to $40 million and earned $138 million overall domestically. Shyamalan will be working with the studio once again with its spin-off/sequel Glass, due in 2019.

The success kept going in February with the release of Jordan Peele’s Get Out. Earning $33 million out of the gate, the acclaimed horror comedy went on to make $175 million. It’s even garnering Oscar buzz, something rare for Blumhouse (a notable exception was 2014’s Whiplash).

In the fall, Happy Death Day premiered to $26 million and $55 million total. Not all of the studio’s offerings landed with audiences this year, including The Belko Experiment, Birth of the Dragon, and Sleight.

Still, there’s little doubt 2017 has offered Blumhouse its most high-profile successes. 2018 will look to replicate the wins with new Purge and Insidious editions and a reboot of the Halloween franchise.

My look back on the winners in 2017 onscreen will continue…

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: Christmas Edition

Merry Christmas loyal blog readers! It may be Christmas, but it’s still Monday and that means my weekly Oscar predictions are in…

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 5)

3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

4. Lady Bird (PR: 2)

5. The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

6. Get Out (PR: 7)

7. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

8. The Florida Project (PR: 8)

9. Phantom Thread (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Darkest Hour (PR: 11)

11. Mudbound (PR: 10)

12. I, Tonya (PR: 12)

13. The Big Sick (PR: 15)

14. All the Money in the World (PR: 13)

15. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 14)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 4)

5. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: 7)

7. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

8. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 9)

9. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 10)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 8)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 7)

7. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out (PR: 6)

8. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 8)

9. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Robert Pattinson, Good Time (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 1)

2. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 4)

3. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

4. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

5. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

7. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

9. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

10. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel

Best Supporting Actor

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 5)

5. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World (PR: 9)

7. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 7)

8. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

9. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 10)

10. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 8)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 1)

2. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 2)

3. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

5. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: 7)

7. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

8. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 8)

9. Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip (PR: 9)

10. Lois Smith, Marjorie Prime (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Molly’s Game (PR: 2)

3. Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Wonder (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck (PR: 7)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

8. All the Money in the World (PR: 5)

9. The Beguiled (PR: 9)

10. Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Last Flag Flying

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Lady Bird (PR: 1)

2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Get Out (PR: 3)

4. The Post (PR: 4)

5. The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Big Sick (PR: 7)

7. Phantom Thread (PR: 6)

8. The Florida Project (PR: 8)

9. I, Tonya (PR: 9)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dunkirk

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco (PR: 1)

2. The Breadwinner (PR: 2)

3. Loving Vincent (PR: 3)

4. The Girl Without Hands (PR: 4)

5. Cars 3 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The LEGO Batman Movie (PR: 6)

7. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (PR: 8)

8. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (PR: 7)

9. Ferdinand (PR: 9)

10. Despicable Me 3 (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Foxtrot (PR: 1)

2. The Square (PR: 2)

3. A Fantastic Woman (PR: 4)

4. Loveless (PR: 3)

5. In the Fade (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Insult (PR: 6)

7. The Wound (PR: 7)

8. Felicite (PR: 8)

9. On Body and Soul (PR: 9)

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zKDPrpJEGBY

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane (PR: 1)

2. Faces Places (PR: 2)

3. Icarus (PR: 3)

4. LA 92 (PR: 8)

5. City of Ghosts (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Long Strange Trip (PR: 5)

7. Strong Island (PR: 6)

8. Human Flow (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Chasing Coral (PR: 10)

10. An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

One of Us

Best Film Editing

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 3)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. I, Tonya (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Baby Driver (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 5)

8. Get Out (PR: 10)

9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 8)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Lady Bird

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Post (PR: 4)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mudbound (PR: 7)

7. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

8. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 9)

9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

10. Lady Bird (PR: 10)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Dunkirk (PR: 3)

4. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 4)

5. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

7. The Post (PR: 5)

8. Downsizing (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Greatest Showman (PR: 9)

10. Phantom Thread (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Wonderstruck

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread (PR: 1)

2. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 2)

3. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

5. The Beguiled (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Darkest Hour (PR: 7)

7. The Post (PR: 4)

8. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

9. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 10)

10. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 9)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Wonder (PR: 3)

3. I, Tonya (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

4. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 4)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

6. Bright (PR: 5)

7. Ghost in the Shell (PR: 6)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 1)

2. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 3)

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 4)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

5. Dunkirk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 6)

7. Okja (PR: 9)

8. Kong: Skull Island (PR: 7)

9. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (PR: 9)

10. Alien: Covenant (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 6)

5. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonder Woman (PR: 5)

7. The Shape of Water (PR: 7)

8. Darkest Hour (PR: 10)

9. SpiderMan: Homecoming (PR: 9)

10. Coco (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Post

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 4)

5. The Greatest Showman (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 6)

7. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 7)

8. The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

9. Darkest Hour (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Coco (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Wonder Woman

Transformers: The Last Knight

Best Original Score

1. Dunkirk (PR: 2)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

3. Phantom Thread (PR: 3)

4. The Post (PR: 4)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 6)

7. Wonderstruck (PR: 5)

8. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 10)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 9)

10. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall (PR: 2)

2. “Remember Me” from Coco (PR: 1)

3. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast (PR: 3)

4. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit (PR: 4)

5. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker (PR: 8)

7. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria (PR: 9)

8. “Mighty River” from Mudbound (PR: 5)

9. “The Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

10. “The Star” from The Star (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Truth to Power” from An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

That leaves me with the following Yuletide nomination count –

11 Nominations

The Shape of Water

9 Nominations

Dunkirk

8 Nominations

The Post

7 Nominations

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

5 Nominations

Lady Bird, Blade Runner 2049

4 Nominations

Call Me by Your Name, Phantom Thread, Darkest Hour, I, Tonya

3 Nominations

Beauty and the Beast, The Greatest Showman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2 Nominations

Get Out, The Florida Project, The Disaster Artist, Mudbound, Wonder, Coco, War for the Planet of the Apes, Baby Driver

1 Nomination

Downsizing, The Big Sick, Molly’s Game, Murder on the Orient Express, The Beguiled, Marshall, Detroit, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, The Girl Without Hands, Cars 3, Foxtrot, The Square, A Fantastic Woman, Loveless, In the Fade, Jane, Faces Places, Icarus, LA 92, City of Ghosts

I shall return with New Years Day predictions! Stay tuned…

Logan Movie Review

A recurring theme in the X-Men universe has been to celebrate being different. This normally applies to the mutants being discriminated against. That’s certainly present in James Mangold’s Logan. However, unlike previous franchise entries, this one strives to be celebrated for its own efforts to be different. It’s a hard R rated venture where Hugh Jackman’s title character has developed a drinking problem and considerably more F bombs in his vocabulary (it’s the first word he utters). His claws shed the kind of blood you won’t witness in a typical PG-13 comic book adaptation.

This is a somber affair with a tone that is legitimately jarring at first. Deadpool may have been the first hugely mainstream R flick of the genre, but that’s all they have in common. Logan is different for sure, but I found that to be cause for celebration only some of the time.

There is little for Logan to be happy about as we open. It’s 2029 and the world’s mutant population is aging. No mutant has been born in a quarter century. The former Wolverine spends his days driving a limo in Texas for fat cats and bachelor parties. He drinks a lot and does his best to hide those infamous claws.

He also serves as caretaker for a frail Professor Xavier (Patrick Stewart), whose brainiac abilities have been threatened by brain disease. Logan is assisted by albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant in a fine performance). Our title hero’s past glories are sought again when he comes into contact with a mutant who isn’t supposed to be exist.

Laura (Dafne Keen) is a young girl with mutations similar to Logan’s. It turns out the military is raising youthful mutants for their own destructive purposes in Mexico. She escapes and Logan is asked to take her to a North Dakota location where others of her kind have set up a safe haven coined Eden. Logan isn’t eager to do so, but soon enough he, the girl, and Professor X are on a savage road trip. Standing in their way is Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), head of a military organization termed the Reavers and Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant), the scientist who’s experimented on the new mutants. In a series that has seen villains both memorable and not, this pair resides more in the latter category.

Logan isn’t really about its bad guys though. It’s more focused on the demons that Logan is battling himself. Oh… and he’s actually literally battling himself too in the form of a nifty genetically engineered version of himself created by those villains. The toned down story (albeit with plenty of hardcore violence) allows Jackman to go places he’s never entered into before with his signature character. Same goes for Stewart’s Professor X. The movie’s points on being a caretaker may resonate with many viewers not accustomed to seeing it in a comic book adaptation. Both actors give impressive performances, as does young Keen in her often silent work.

Ironically, it’s when we realize that the new mutants have been so inspired by the X-Men tales that came before it that Logan generates its greatest power. In other words, that would be the kind of stories we saw in the previous movies that this strives to be so dissimilar from. The final act is most potent and I felt at times it takes a little longer than it should to get there. When it finally does, Logan provides a fulfilling conclusion to Jackman’s work as Logan/Wolverine as the claws draw to a close.

*** (out of four)

Oscar Watch: The Greatest Showman

20th Century Fox waited until the last minute to lift their review embargo off The Greatest Showman, which is out in theaters today. That’s usually not a great sign and that’s been mostly proven. The musical drama featuring Hugh Jackman as circus leader P.T. Barnum is garnering mixed notices and it stands at only 43% on Rotten Tomatoes.

For the last several months, Showman hasn’t been considered much of a factor in the Oscar mix. The reaction out this morning solidifies that notion. Even though it was nominated for Golden Globes in Best Musical/Comedy and Actor for Jackman, I expect neither to be possible when it comes to the Academy. The same, by the way, can be said for Jackman’s more acclaimed work in Logan. 

Reviews have noted that Showman is more successful as an exercise in style than substance. For that, it could factor into some technical categories. Costume Design, Production Design, and Sound Mixing are all feasible nominations, but there’s a good chance that never materializes with any of them. The Globes did nominate “This is Me” for Song and Oscar could follow suit there.

Bottom line: The Greatest Showman will not play in the major categories, but down the line technical recognition is still on the table.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

The Shape of Water Movie Review

The Shape of Water is a Cold War era tale of strange love filled with director Guillermo del Toro’s boundless enthusiasm. It’s an R rated fairy tale mixing romance, horror, sci fi, comedy, and even musicals. Beyond its exploration of these genres, there are timeless and timely themes of loneliness, racism, classism, and Russian interference. For those familiar with del Toro’s previous efforts, we continue to witness his obsession with movie monsters and creature effects. It’s quite something to behold.

Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins) lives a quiet existence, literally and figuratively. She’s been a mute since infancy and her daily routine is both humorously and sadly shown. By day, she’s hanging out with her starving artist neighbor Giles (Richard Jenkins), watching musicals and listening to his troubles. By night, she’s a custodian at a secretive government Baltimore facility alongside the chatty Zelda (Octavia Spencer), who regales Elisa with her troubles as well.

These routines are disrupted when a new asset is brought into her workplace. It’s an amphibian like creature from South America (brought to life by Doug Jones) that the U.S. government has obtained. His caretaker and torturer is Colonel Strickland (Michael Shannon), who treats anyone that doesn’t look like him badly. A totally foreign creature from another world gets the brunt of it, but so do his wife and any underlings. Dr. Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) is the scientist tasked with studying Amphibian Man, but he’s got different motivations going related to the Soviets desiring this particular asset.

Elisa’s reaction to the new guest is different than anyone else’s. She takes sympathy on him – feeding the creature and playing him music. It’s a true attraction as she feels he’s the only one who communicates with her in a meaningful way. The romance that blossoms is one the audience must choose to go with. Truth be told, it’s not much different than the Beauty and the Beast angle if you really think about it.

The Shape of Water is a technical triumph of considerable proportions. The loving detail paid to the production design, costumes, special effects, and camerawork make this a visual treat. From that aspect alone, Water is a must-see.

The performance of Hawkins is a master class of expression with one’s eyes and movements. The picture wouldn’t work unless she nailed her part and she does. A particular scene where she reveals her true feelings about Amphibian Man to Giles is a high note. Speaking of Giles, Jenkins provides terrific support as the sympathetic friend also looking for love. Spencer shines as Zelda, who often serves as the audience’s mouth piece for the wild happenings going on. And Shannon creates a deliciously menacing villain to root against. He’s consumed with just “doing a good job” without thinking of the sickening acts he’s performing.

Like Tarantino or Spielberg at their best, del Toro is a filmmaker who clearly loves his job and adores the history of movies. The Shape of Water gives him a chance to dabble in multiple genres and put his own unique spin on them. His passion is infectious.

***1/2 (out of four)

Oscar Watch: All the Money in the World

When the Golden Globe nominations were announced early last week, there were three rather significant surprises. All the Money in the World, which is out Christmas Day, garnered a trio of nominations that no one really saw coming: Ridley Scott for his direction (even though the film itself failed to get a Picture nod), Michelle Williams for Actress, and Christopher Plummer for Supporting Actor.

This begged the question: could the Globes love translate to Oscar affection? The true-life kidnapping thriller had its review embargo lifted today and answers have become (somewhat) more clear. Early critical reaction is positive and it stands at 89% at the moment on Rotten Tomatoes.

Much of the praise is indeed focused on the direction and the two performers listed above (Mark Wahlberg will not factor into Best Actor). Yet we all know the picture has generated unexpected publicity in the last few weeks. Mr. Plummer took over the role of J. Paul Getty when Kevin Spacey became embroiled in scandal. The latter had already shot his entire supporting part and even a trailer was released with Spacey prominently featured.

Amazingly, it was a month and half ago that Plummer was brought in to replace him and director Scott has delivered the finished product in time for release. This unprecedented move has certainly brought Money a lot of attention. It’s certainly possible that the Hollywood Foreign Press (who bestows Globe nominations) were rewarding Scott for his quick turnaround and Plummer for his rapid filming of the role.

Will Oscar follow? Probably not. Many of the overall positive reviews have quibbled with script aspects and delivery. I do not see a Best Picture nomination as likely and that should put Scott out of the running. However, if Money somehow manages to be nominated in the biggest category, Scott would probably follow suit. I would not bet on it (even though many thought Scott was snubbed two years ago for The Martian).

As for the two actors nominated for Globes, Best Actress is incredibly crowded in 2017. It’s hard to dispute Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Meryl Streep (The Post), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), and Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water) as the five front-runners for the five spots with performers like Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game) and Judi Dench (Victoria and Abdul) waiting in the wings. I simply don’t see room for Williams at this point.

Plummer could be a different story. Supporting Actor is fairly busy, but I see only Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project) and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards) as absolute sure things for nominations. My weekly Monday predictions will still probably leave Plummer on the outside looking in, but he’s definitely got a chance.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

 

Oscar Watch: Darkest Falls

On November 2nd of this year when I made my initial round of Oscar predictions, Darkest Hour was flying high. I had Joe Wright’s biopic of Winston Churchill starring Gary Oldman tabbed for 11 nominations, behind only Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water (which still appears likely to garner the most nods).

Yet in the last few weeks as my weekly predictions have continued, Darkest has fallen more than any other legit awards contender. Those 11 predicted nominations have now become just 3 as of my estimates yesterday.

In early November, I predicted Hour would clock the following nominations:

Best Picture (where it had it ranked #3)

Best Director (3rd)

Best Actor, Oldman (1st)

Best Supporting Actress, Kristin Scott Thomas (4th)

Best Original Screenplay (3rd)

Best Film Editing (3rd)

Best Cinematography (4th)

Best Production Design (3rd)

Best Costume Design (3rd)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling (1st)

Best Score (1st)

Flash forward to today and Darkest Hour has dropped from my projected Picture nominees. While it stood at 3rd just a few weeks ago, I have it now on the outside looking in at #11. That bottom rung of possibility for Picture puts in a dogfight with films such as The Florida Project, Mudbound, and Phantom Thread for recognition.

Furthermore, in the Director, Supporting Actress and Original Screenplay categories – I no longer have them listed in my top 10 possibilities. As for most of the other technical categories like Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, and Score, I have it ranked somewhere between 7-9 on the chances scale.

The news isn’t all bad. Mr. Oldman has consistently ranked #1 in Actor. Barring an upset from Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread, odds are that he will pick up his first gold statue for his work as the British Prime Minister. That love could easily transform to the makeup work done on the character, where I have Hour listed as first. And I still have it getting in for Cinematography.

All in all, the best case scenario in my view would be about 8 nominations. However, my latest estimates don’t have it coming close to that. While other contender’s stocks have risen in the last couple of months, Darkest has gone the opposite way.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…