2020 Golden Globes Reaction

Welp…

I half jokingly said I would be happy if I got half of my Golden Globe predictions correct due to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s unpredictable nature. And that’s exactly what happened as this blogger went 7/14.

The show provided some genuine whoppers when it came to upsets and the three biggest ones undoubtedly happened in the three actress races.

First things first. It was a good night for Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland, which took Best Picture (Drama) and Director. I predicted Zhao’s victory, but had The Trial of the Chicago 7 taking Picture. As for Aaron Sorkin’s Netflix drama, it won only in Screenplay (which I projected). This could give Nomadland the edge now at the Oscars and it turbo charges the narrative that Zhao is going to sweep the director categories with upcoming shows.

In the lead actor races, I went 2 for 2 with Chadwick Boseman in Drama for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Sacha Baron Cohen in Musical/Comedy for Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, which also took Best Picture (Musical/Comedy) as was expected.

However, Maria Bakalova’s victory for Actress in Borat didn’t happen as Rosamund Pike scored a surprising win for I Care A Lot. That doesn’t bode well for Bakalova’s Supporting Actress nod from the Academy.

Speaking of Supporting Actress… whoa! Jodie Foster took the trophy for The Mauritanian and I challenge you to find anyone who saw that occurring. Foster won over my pick of Amanda Seyfried in Mank. I have yet to have Foster in my top five for the Oscars and perhaps that will change when I update my estimates tomorrow.

Yet the biggest Actress shocker was in Drama with Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday (I said Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman). This is another race where nobody foresaw this development.

I thought Baron Cohen might be a double winner, but he lost Supporting Actor to Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah. This is not unexpected as I had Kaluuya as my runner-up and his chances at Oscar gold are looking pretty solid.

The only slight upset in my projections was Another Round taking Foreign Language Film over Minari. It didn’t as Minari was victorious. As expected, Soul took Animated Film and Score and was the only picture to win two Globes other than Nomadland and Borat.

My runner-up “lo Si” from The Life Ahead was Best Song over “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami. So, as previously mentioned, I got precisely half of my selections right. Oof.

So what’s this all mean? The Golden Globes created some real head scratchers in the Actress fields and I would say there’s no certainly no Academy frontrunner at the moment for Actress and Supporting Actress. Nomadland did what it needed to do. Trial had a disappointing evening while solidifying its status as the Original Screenplay heavy favorite. Kaluuya is now the odds on pick in Supporting Actor and so is Boseman for Actor. As for Twitter… look for Jason Sudeikis’s hoodie to get the most attention.

Tom & Jerry To The Rescue (?)

An age old cat and mouse contest is widening the eyeballs of box office prognosticators and theater owners courtesy of Tom & Jerry. The mix of live-action and animation reboot of a cartoon dating back to 1940 premiered simultaneously in multiplexes and HBO Max yesterday. This is how Warner Bros. is handling all their product in 2021 as we have already witnessed with The Little Things and Judas and the Black Messiah (and soon Godzilla vs. Kong). Reviews for the pic are certainly not rosy with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 23%. And with the uncertainty of the box office for nearly a year, expectations weren’t much either.

Let’s be clear: in non COVID times, Tom & Jerry heading toward a $13-$14 million opening would be considered pretty disappointing. How times have changed. When considering that millions of subscribers could simply cue it up from the comfort of home and with around half of theaters still shuttered, an estimated $12 million start is impressive. Should this number hold, it would mark the second biggest opening gross of the Coronavirus era (behind only Wonder Woman 1984).

That’s more than The Croods: A New Age managed over Thanksgiving and it legged out to over $50 million domestically. There’s no reason to think the iconic cat and mouse won’t do the same. This is also music to the ears of Disney as they prepare to release their animated Raya and the Last Dragon next weekend (along with a Disney Plus rollout).

However, this news really must be encouraging to theaters chains and owners. This is a sign that family audiences in particular will turn up for new product even if it’s available on the couch. As for material outside of that genre, the jury is still out and lots of attention should turn to the aforementioned battle of two other famous creatures (Godzilla vs. Kong) in one month. One thing seems clearer today: the outlook for theaters, while still in flux, got a little rosier.

2020 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

Awards watching season kicks into (later than usual) gear this Sunday with the 78th Annual Golden Globes hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! While I have not spent time doing weekly posts on this ceremony like I do with the Oscars, it’s certainly a potential sign of things to come from the Academy (and sometimes not so much).

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a notoriously tricky bunch to predict as they often call up out of nowhere nominees in their major categories. This year is no exception and that will be discussed below. The pandemic uncertainty that was 2020 and some races that truly feel wild open gives us some real drama as to the pictures and actors who will win on Sunday.

Simply put, I’ll feel good if I get half my predictions right and that’s a lower bar than usual. Let’s walk through each category with my estimated victor and runner-up, shall we?

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Despite a better than anticipated showing for Promising Young Woman, this is likely a showdown between Nomadland and Trial (as I suspect it will be for the Oscars). Quite frankly, this is a tough call and basically a coin flip. However, I lean ever so slightly with HFPA going with the more traditional pick and that means Trial.

Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Nomadland

Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

The inclusion of Sia’s critically drubbed Music stands as one of the more bizarre nods in recent Globes history and that’s saying a lot. Palm Springs certainly has its fervent fans while The Prom once seemed like a potential winner until its mixed reviews. Meryl Streep’s exclusion in the Actress field for it says something as well. So it’s Borat vs. Hamilton in my view. 14 years ago, the original Borat lost out to Dreamgirls. Certainly the overall pedigree and acclaim for Hamilton makes it a possibility, but the attention garnered by Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel might be too hard to resist.

Predicted Winner: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Hamilton

Best Director

Nominees: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Regina King (One Night in Miami), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

Even with my Trial pick in Picture, Chloe Zhao has emerged as a heavy favorite for the duration of awards season and she has the critics trophies already to prove it. Fincher is probably more of a threat to upset than Sorkin here, but Zhao is one of the safer bets of the night.

Predicted Winner: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Runner-Up: David Fincher, Mank

Best Actress (Drama)

Nominees: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

It’s Davis vs. McDormand vs. Mulligan as I see it and there’s a case to be made for all three. That said, I already mentioned that Promising was a major winner on nomination morning as it achieved nods everywhere it really could have been expected to. I feel it’ll win somewhere and this is the most probable. Had Rainey got a Picture nod, I would probably list Davis as the runner-up, but I’ll go with McDormand instead.

Predicted Winner: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Runner-Up: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Best Actor (Drama)

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian)

Sunday night could very well be the start of Boseman sweeping his way through the season. I do have a nagging feeling that Hopkins is going to win either here or at SAG. It would not be a shock at all for that to occur yet I’ll stick with Boseman.

Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Runner-Up: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma)

Expect Taylor-Joy to win on Sunday night, but not here. Instead she appears bound to get some hardware on the TV side for the heralded Queen’s Gambit. Like the picture itself, Hudson’s nomination was totally unforeseen. Bakalova was the breakout star of Borat. She’s being campaigned for in Supporting Actress at the Oscars, but the HFPA seems destined to honor her. Pfeiffer and Pike are moderate threats and I’ll give the runner-up edge to the former.

Predicted Winner: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), James Corden (The Prom), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield), Andy Samberg (Palm Springs)

Let’s face it: the Golden Globes this year has an excellent chance at turning into the Sacha Baron Cohen Show. He won this race for the first Borat and he’s the odds-on favorite to make it two for two. Miranda poses the only real threat in my opinion.

Predicted Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton 

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

For Foster and Zengel, it’s an honor to be nominated. As for the other three, this feels like a genuine three performer race in which I could easily foresee Close, Colman, or Seyfried’s name being called. I’m calling this (with zero confidence) for Seyfried as I think HFPA could go with the relative newcomer over Close and Colman (who have each won three Globes).

Predicted Winner: Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Runner-Up: Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (just over Colman)

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami)

Another really tough one. It would be right up HFPA’s alley to give Leto the surprise win. And Kaluuya and Odom Jr. are strong possibilities. I don’t feel great about saying Sacha will have this big of a night, but I kinda feel that’s the way this goes. Confidence level? Zilch.

Predicted Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah 

Best Screenplay

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

This is an additional race where voters could choose to honor Promising Young Woman, but Trial is the frontrunner and I’m not picking against it.

Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Promising Young Woman

Best Animated Feature Film

Nominees: The Croods: A New Age, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers

Don’t be surprised if this is the same Oscar five with the same result. While Wolfwalkers is a critical darling, it’s risky to bet against Pixar and I won’t do so.

Predicted Winner: Soul

Runner-Up: Wolfwalkers

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Another Round, La Llorona, The Life Ahead, Minari, Two of Us

The smart money is on Minari, which is expected to get a Best Picture nod from the Academy. However, I can’t help but point out that it picked up nominations nowhere else (including Actor, Supporting Actor, and Screenplay where it could have). That opens the door for Another Round which also has ardent supporters. I’m going for the slight upset.

Predicted Winner: Another Round

Runner-Up: Minari

Best Original Score

Nominees: Mank, The Midnight Sky, News of the World, Soul, Tenet

Another category that Oscar could match. And this may come down to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross vs. themselves for Mank and Soul. I’ll give their Pixar work the edge.

Predicted Winner: Soul

Runner-Up: Mank

Best Original Song

Nominees: “Fight for You” (Judas and the Black Messiah), “Hear My Voice” (The Trial of the Chicago 7), “lo si (Seen)” (The Life Ahead), “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami), “Tigress & Tweed” (The United States vs. Billie Holiday)

Anything could happen here, but “Speak Now” is a trendy pick for the Oscar and HFPA could follow suit.

Predicted Winner: “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami)

Runner-Up: “lo si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead

That means I’m predicting the following number of wins for these pictures:

3 Wins

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Trial of the Chicago 7

2 Wins

Soul

1 Win

Another Round, Mank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman

And there you have it! My picks for the Sacha Baron… err, Golden Globes! Let’s see how it shakes out and I’ll have a post up Sunday night with my thoughts about the show and how I performed….

Chaos Walking Box Office Prediction

The sci-fi adventure Chaos Walking, on its surface, seems to have a lot going for it. It’s based on a well regarded series of YA novels by Patrick Ness (who cowrote the screenplay). Doug Liman, maker of successful pics like The Bourne Identity, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and Edge of Tomorrow, directs. The two stars are instantly recognizable faces from recent franchises blockbusters: Daisy Ridley (Rey from Star Wars) and Tom Holland (the current Spider-Man). And Lionsgate ponied up a reported $125 million to make it.

Yet closer inspection reveals a different story as it opens next Friday in multiplexes. Chaos was originally slated for release all the way back in pre-COVID March 2019. Poor test screenings allegedly forced reshoots which were overseen by Don’t Breathe director Fede Alvarez. The pandemic has shifted the drop date once again from January of this year to early March.

Now it appears the high budget Walking is limping its way into theaters in already uncertain times. In addition to its stars, the supporting cast includes Mads Mikkelsen, Demian Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, and David Oyelowo. I’m not even confident that the awareness level of its existence is enough to bring in the intended audience. This has been looked at as a potential major flop for some time and I don’t foresee this exceeding any expectations upon release.

Chaos Walking opening weekend prediction: $2.8 million

For my Raya and the Last Dragon prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/02/23/raya-and-the-last-dragon-box-office-prediction/

Raya and the Last Dragon Box Office Prediction

A totally different kind of COVID test arrives in theaters March 5 with the release of Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon. It’s the latest traditionally animated feature from the Mouse Factory and it hits multiplexes and Disney+ on the same day. The fantasy adventure is co-directed by Don Hall (who made Big Hero 6 for the studio) and Carlos Lopez Estrada (maker of the decidedly non Disney pic Blindspotting). The predominately Asian-American voice cast includes Kelly Marie Tran, Awkwafina, Gemma Chan, Daniel Dae Kim, Sandra Oh, Benedict Wong, and Alan Tudyk.

Raya marks the highest profile release of 2021 thus far on the big screen. The question is whether family audiences will mostly opt to shell out thirty bucks to watch it on the tube. All things considered – that’s probably less money than a night out for a clan of four to view it. And the Disney+ model is already familiar to subscribers with recent products such as Mulan and Soul.

In these uncertain pandemic days, it is difficult to find any real comps for opening weekend estimates. The Croods: A New Age debuted over Thanksgiving weekend and took in a better than anticipated $14 million over the five-day frame with nearly $10 million of it from the traditional Friday to Sunday portion. Yet that’s not exactly a reliable comp as Croods was a sequel to a well known property out during a holiday period. Still… this is Disney…

As I’ve said repeatedly with any box office guesstimates for nearly a year, we are in unpredictable territory. However, I’ll say Raya makes between $9-$13 million and I’ll go a bit on the higher end of that range.

Raya and the Last Dragon opening weekend prediction: $12.3 million

For my Chaos Walking prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/02/24/chaos-walking-box-office-prediction/

2020 Oscar Predictions: February 21st Edition

It’s a good week for News of the World and Minari and not so much for The Father with my latest Oscar prediction updates. News is back in my estimated nine Picture nominees and that drops The Father out. Da 5 Bloods is clinging ever so slightly to the nine spot with Judas and the Black Messiah, The Father, and Sound of Metal hot on its heels.

In Director, I’m replacing Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) over Florian Zeller (The Father). In Supporting Actress, Helena Zengel’s Globes/SAG nominated turn in News of the World makes the final cut replacing Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm).

And there’s a new #1 in Actress with Carey Mulligan nabbing the pole position over Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

You can read about all the movement below! And on a side note, I will have winner predictions for the Golden Globes (airing February 28) up later this week.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

6. Minari (PR: 6)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 9)

8. News of the World (PR: 11)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

11. The Father (PR: 8)

12. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. First Cow (PR: 14)

15. Another Round (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

7. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 5)

8. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

9. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 2)

2. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

3. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

5. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 8)

8. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 7)

9. Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

10. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

7. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 7)

8. Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

10. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Ben Affleck, The Way Back

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 3)

3. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

4. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

5. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 6)

7. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 5)

8. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

10. Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

4. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

7. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 6)

8. Jared Leto, The Little Things (PR: 7)

9. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

10. Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Promising Young Woman (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 5)

9. Soul (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

4. The Father (PR: 3)

5. First Cow (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World (PR: 7)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 6)

8. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

9. Emma (PR: 10)

10. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hillbilly Elegy

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (PR: 7)

8. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

9. Demon Slayer (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Trolls World Tour

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Time (PR: 2)

2. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 1)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Boys State (PR: 4)

5. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 6)

7. Crip Camp (PR: 5)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. A Sun (PR: 3)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. Collective (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Night of the Kings (PR: 6)

7. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 8)

8. Dear Comrades! (PR: 9)

9. La Llorona (PR: 7)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 5)

5. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

7. Tenet (PR: 6)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 3)

3. Emma (PR: 2)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

7. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 6)

8. The Glorias (PR: 8)

9. News of the World (PR: 9)

10. Promising Young Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ammonite

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 7)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Father (PR: 4)

7. Tenet (PR: 6)

8. Promising Young Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 9)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Emma (PR: 5)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: 6)

7. The Glorias (PR: 7)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

9. The Little Things (PR: 10)

10. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 5)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

8. The Little Things (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

10. Ammonite (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Life Ahead 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

5. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

7. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 10)

8. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: 9)

9. “Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

10. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 8)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Emma (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 5)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

7. Tenet (PR: 7)

8. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 8)

9. Mulan (PR: 9)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 5)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. Soul (PR: 6)

9. Greyhound (PR: 9)

10. Mulan (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Da 5 Bloods

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Birds of Prey (PR: 5)

5. Mulan (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Soul (PR: 7)

7. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 8)

8. The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: 9)

10. Bloodshot (PR: 10)

That works out to these pictures grabbing these numbers in term of nominations:

13 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, News of the World

6 Nominations

Minari, Nomadland

5 Nominations

One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods

3 Nominations

Emma, The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Midnight Sky, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Birds of Prey, Hillbilly Elegy, Mulan, Soul, Tenet, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

1 Nomination

Another Round, Boys State, Collective, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, First Cow, The Life Ahead, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, A Sun, Time, Two of Us, Welcome to Chechnya, Wolfwalkers

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar Review

The heights of Kristin Wiig and Annie Mumolo’s writing partnership has been airborne for a decade now. In their 2011 collaboration Bridesmaids (which was Wiig’s deserved breakout on the big screen), the funniest scene of many took place on a plane with the bridal party trying and failing to get to Vegas. That thwarted flight was uproariously due to the lead’s drunken exploits. Wiig and Mumolo’s teaming ten years later in Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar again provides my favorite highlight above the clouds.

Wiig is Star and Mumolo is Barb. They are Nebraskan BFF’s recently fired from their jobs and looking to shake things up. When they decide that a Florida trip is the way to do it, their discussion on the flight involves them inventing a superstar woman named Trish. The dialogue proves the following: just like their characters, Wiig and Mumolo can create seemingly improvised silliness that is downright hilarious. Their emotional investment in the fictitious Trish is a sight to behold.

The best moments here are throwaway lines and conversations that could have worked just as well with Barb and Star as characters on Saturday Night Live doing a Weekend Update bit. Is that enough to satisfactorily fill two hours? Not really, but you can’t help but praise the leads/co-writers for trying.

Barb and Star is far more of a dumb comedy than Bridesmaids and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The tone is pure farce and there’s unexpected musical performances that interrupt the absurdity. We have Jamie Dornan showing a different shade of his personality from his Christian Grey persona (he gets perhaps the most memorable singing assignment). Wiig gets to pull double duty as a villainess with an aversion to sunlight. Her grand plan involves destroying Vista Del Mar and unleashing deadly mosquitoes on the town’s populace (think Austin Powers levels of scheming). Dornan is her lover/henchman sent to do some of the dirty work. When he meets the sweet and naive Midwestern besties, the possibilities of a throuple get real and then real complicated.

It seems irrelevant to spend much word space delving into the plot – which is incidental. Barb and Star works or doesn’t based on how much you believe this premise can be stretched. I have to be frank. I’m not referring to the franks that our two heroines put in their soup during Talking Club, which is Nebraska’s version of ladies night and is run with military precision by its leader (Vanessa Bayer). The film sort of runs out of steam (not the steam emanating from said franks) about midway through by my meter. The inventive Trish talk, the hot dog soup, and the dawning of the Dornan dalliances are all first half occurrences. I do give the script some props for being so gleefully bizarre. Wiig and Mumolo’s second effort is destined to become a cult classic and I imagine Barb and Star Halloween costumes (love those culottes) this fall. I could never quite fully escape the feeling that it might have worked better as shorter sketches on the program that made Wiig a star before Star.

**1/2 (out of four)

2020 Oscar Predictions: February 15th Edition

We are now precisely one month away from nominations in this elongated Oscar season! The big development from last week was the release of shortlists in six categories covering feature length titles: Documentary Feature, International Feature, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Original Song, and Visual Effects. That’s why you’ll see significant changes in those races particularly…

Yet that’s not all as I’ve swapped out some performers and movies in five top tier competitions.

  • In Best Picture, Promising Young Woman is in my estimated nine and that takes out News of the World
  • The fifth slot for Best Actress now goes to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday and this drops Sophia Loren for The Life Ahead
  • For the first time, I’m listing Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) in Supporting Actress. That means Ellen Burstyn (who’s missed SAG and Globe nods) is on the outside looking in
  • The screenplay races both have alterations with Never Rarely Sometimes Always in Original Screenplay (over Da 5 Bloods) and First Cow back in Adapted over I’m Thinking of Ending Things

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

6. Minari (PR: 8)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. The Father (PR: 7)

9. Promising Young Woman (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 11)

11. News of the World (PR: 9)

12. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. First Cow (PR: 14)

15. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 15)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 8)

7. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: 9)

9. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 3)

3. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

4. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

5. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 5)

8. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 8)

9. Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Kate Winslet, Ammonite

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

7. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 7)

8. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 10)

9. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

10. Ben Affleck, The Way Back (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 3)

3. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 2)

4. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

5. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 5)

7. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 6)

8. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

10. Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

4. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 7)

7. Jared Leto, The Little Things (PR: 6)

8. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

9. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

10. Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Promising Young Woman (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

7. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

8. Soul (PR: 7)

9. Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. First Cow (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 5)

7. News of the World (PR: 6)

8. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

9. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 9)

10. Emma (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (PR: 7)

8. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 8)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

10. Trolls World Tour (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Demon Slayer

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 4)

2. Time (PR: 1)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Boys State (PR: 7)

5. Crip Camp (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 9)

7. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Dissident

Totally Under Control

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. A Sun (PR: 5)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. Collective (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Night of the Kings (PR: 3)

7. La Llorona (PR: 9)

8. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 7)

9. Dear Comrades! (PR: 8)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Notturno

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 2)

2. Nomadland (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Minari (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 6)

7. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

8. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

9. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Emma (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 6)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. The Glorias (PR: 9)

9. News of the World (PR: 7)

10. Ammonite (PR: 10)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 4)

4. The Father (PR: 3)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 8)

7. News of the World (PR: 5)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Minari

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Birds of Prey (PR: 6)

5. Emma (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Glorias (PR: Not Ranked)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Little Things (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The Trial of the Chicago 7

News of the World

Mulan

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Tenet (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Minari (PR: 8)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

9. Ammonite (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Life Ahead (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hillbilly Elegy

The Little Things

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 6)

5. “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 9)

7. “The Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

8. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 7)

9. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon

“Only the Young” from Miss Americana

“Tigress & Tweed” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Emma (PR: 3)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

4. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

5. News of the World (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

7. Tenet (PR: 10)

8. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 6)

9. Mulan (PR: 5)

10. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Father

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Tenet (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Soul (PR: 6)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

9. Greyhound (PR: 8)

10. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 9)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. The One and Only Ivan (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Soul (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Bloodshot (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Invisible Man

Greyhound

Wonder Woman 1984

Sonic the Hedgehog

The Call of the Wild 

That shakes out to these films getting these numbers in terms of nods:

13 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Trial of the Chicago 7

6 Nominations

The Father, Nomadland

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Minari, News of the World

3 Nominations

Emma, Promising Young Woman, Tenet

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Birds of Prey, Hillbilly Elegy, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Midnight Sky, Mulan, Soul, Sound of Metal, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

1 Nomination

Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Boys State, Collective, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, First Cow, The Life Ahead, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida, A Sun, Time, Two of Us, Wolfwalkers

The Little Things Review

John Lee Hancock’s The Little Things was apparently written in 1993 and there is indeed a retro vibe. This feels like it could have been in a VHS case taking up a whole shelf at Blockbuster. It might have starred Denzel Washington back then. Not everything has changed. Nearly three decades later, however, you can stream it away without having to remember to rewind.

Set in 1990, someone is killing young women in Los Angeles and those investigating haven’t moved past square one. Joe Deacon (played by Washington) is a former LAPD detective now doing deputy grunt work north of the city. When he has to make a trip to the City of Angels, he discovers the spree could be related to an unsolved series of killings that he never cracked. Newcomer Jimmy Baxter (Rami Malek) is heading up the current investigation. For reasons never quite spelled out, he’s more than eager to allow Deacon to become his off the books partner. It’s hinted at early on that Deacon’s previous work left him unwelcome in the force and that lurks over the two hour plus runtime.

Their pairing leads to some dead ends until they happen upon Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), who seemingly fits the profile of the perp. Problem is, the aggressively weird suspect might just have a jones for the attention. He’s a true crime buff who appears thrilled sitting in the interrogation room with the iconic one way mirror. Deacon and Jimmy are the cats trying to catch this potential killer with the mousy hair for most of the second half. With Leto portraying him, he gives the character his bizarre all that is pretty humorous and compulsively watchable.

So many of these procedurals pose the question of whether all this grisly work by the detectives is worth the emotional strain it causes. In The Little Things, the answer is murkier and that provides some slightly intriguing twists. I don’t want to give it too much credit, but every little bit helps and so does the involvement of three Oscar winners.

Comparisons to Seven (basically the standard bearer of these types) are inevitable and there’s even a car ride with the killer (?) bearing the promise of a case cracking discovery. The Little Things is often boxed in with familiar story beats and some head into credibility straining territory. Isn’t that what most of those 90s era VHS selections did though? Perhaps I’m being too kind and I don’t envision rewinding Things anytime soon. Yet even with its flaws, Hancock’s delve into this genre is a reasonably rewarding throwback.

*** (out of four)

2020 Oscars Shortlist Analysis

Taylor Swift will not be performing an Oscar nominated track at this April’s ceremony. Sonic the Hedgehog will not be the Oscar nominated Sonic the Hedgehog. Sacha Baron Cohen’s makeup team from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm who transformed him into former President Donald Trump will not see their work recognized.

These are some of the headlines from today’s unveiling of shortlists in six categories covering feature films from the Academy. On the positive side for its respective studios, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey could contend in at least three races. A documentary about refugees from Chechnya is a Visual Effects hopeful. And Borat is still on the board for his song “Wuhan Flu”. There were mixed results from the announcements for features such as Hillbilly Elegy, The Invisible Man, and The United States vs. Billie Holiday.

Let’s break this all down and what it means for my weekly predictions, shall we?

Best Documentary Feature

Fifteen films were shortlisted today as follows:

76 Days

All In: The Fight for Democracy

Boys State

Collective

Crip Camp

Dick Johnson Is Dead

Gunda

MLK/FBI

The Mole Agent

My Octopus Teacher

Notturno

The Painter and the Thief

Time

The Truffle Hunters

Welcome to Chechnya

Analysis: 

There are two docs I had in my top ten that missed the cut: The Dissident, which I had ranked all the way up in second and Totally Under Control, which I had sixth. This is a pretty open race in 2020 and I had Time in first position two days ago. All In and Dick Johnson are sturdy contenders as well.

Best International Feature Film

Fifteen films were shortlisted today as follows:

Another Round

Better Days

Charlatan

Collective

Dear Comrades!

Hope

I’m No Longer Here

La Llorona

The Man Who Sold His Skin

The Mole Agent

Night of the Kings

Quo Vadis, Aida?

A Sun

Sun Children

Two of Us

Analysis:

My only top ten hopeful falling out was my #10 Notturno (which made the Documentary list). No real surprises with Another Round as a soft frontrunner to win.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Ten films were shortlisted as follows:

Birds of Prey

Emma

The Glorias

Hillbilly Elegy

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

The Little Things

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Mank

One Night in Miami

Pinocchio

Analysis:

Two of my predicted nominees from my last round had their possibilities cease today: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm and The United States vs. Billie Holiday (ranked fourth and fifth respectively). Also dropped: The Trial of the Chicago 7 (#7), News of the World (#8), and Mulan (#9). Ma Rainey will probably remain in my #1 spot with Hillbilly and Mank following.

Best Original Score

Fifteen films were shortlisted as follows:

Ammonite

Blizzard of Souls

Da 5 Bloods

The Invisible Man

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

The Life Ahead

The Little Things

Mank

The Midnight Sky

Minari

Mulan

News of the World

Soul

Tenet

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Analysis:

My #6 entry Hillbilly Elegy was a rather notable miss here while my other nine entries are still in the mix. This race could come down to Atticus Ross and Trent Reznor competing against themselves with Soul and Mank.

Best Original Song

Fifteen films were shortlisted as follows:

“Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy

“See What You’ve Done” from Belly of the Beast

“Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

“Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga

“Never Break” from Giving Voice

“Make It Work” from Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

“Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah

“Seen” from The Life Ahead

“Rain Song” from Minari

“Show Me Your Soul” from Mr. Soul!

“Loyal Brave True” from Mulan

“Free” from The One and Only Ivan

“Speak Now” from One Night in Miami

“Green” from Sound of Metal

“Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7

Analysis:

As mentioned, no Taylor Swift for her track “Only the Young” from Miss Americana. Yet a larger omission was “Over the Moon” from the animated Rocket to the Moon, which I had ranked at #4. Another to miss the cut: “Tigress & Tweed” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday, which achieved a Golden Globes nod. “Speak Now” might have an edge, but I wouldn’t count out “Seen”.

Best Visual Effects

Ten films were shortlisted as follows:

Birds of Prey

Bloodshot

Love and Monsters

Mank

The Midnight Sky

Mulan

The One and Only Ivan

Soul

Tenet

Welcome to Chechnya 

Analysis:

Some genuine shockers in VE with my #3 The Invisible Man and #4 Greyhound out of contention. Also missing: Wonder Woman 1984 (#7), Sonic the Hedgehog (#8), and The Call of the Wild (#10). In their places are pics I didn’t have on my radar like Bloodshot and Love and Monsters (the Chechnya nod was at least spoken of in recent days). Soul getting in certainly gives it a solid shot at inclusion, but Tenet and The Midnight Sky still appear to be the heavyweights.

Today’s news will certainly alter what you see when I update my estimates this weekend! Stay tuned…