Best Picture 2019: The Final Five

We have reached 2019 in my posts speculating on a specific piece of Oscar history. As awards followers are aware, 2009 saw the Academy expand the Best Picture category from five movies to ten. That lasted for two years and in 2011, it switched to anywhere from 5-10 with 8 or 9 as the magic numbers for several years. In 2021, the number reverted back to a set ten.

What if that hadn’t happened? What if the BP derby had stayed at a quintet? What pictures would have made the cut?

In 2019, there were nine films vying for the prize. We know one thing for sure. Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is in since it made history and became the first non-English language title to take Best Picture. It had a big night as it also won Director, Original Screenplay, and International Feature Film.

There’s 8 others to consider. Only half make cut. Let’s get into it!

Ford v Ferrari

James Mangold’s 1960s set sports drama starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale had four total nominations and won 2 of them (Sound Editing and Film Editing). It wasn’t as fortunate in Picture or Sound Mixing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. I say this knowing the Film Editing victor usually lands a BP nod (though not the case with 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum and 2011’s The Girl with Dragon Tattoo). However, Ford achieved the least number of overall mentions among the 9 contenders and missed key races including Director, any acting derbies, and screenplay.

The Irishman

Martin Scorsese’s return to the Mob genre was Netflix’s highest profile Oscar player yet. It earned ten overall nods including for Scorsese, two Supporting Actor bids for Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, and Adapted Screenplay. Going 0 for 10, Robert De Niro was a somewhat surprising omission for his lead work.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Despite the lack of wins, the sheer number of inclusions indicate the legendary filmmaker and cast would vie for the top award.

Jojo Rabbit

Taika Waititi’s unique take on WWII was up for 6 races including Scarlett Johansson for Supporting Actress and Film Editing. The sole victory (a major one) was Adapted Screenplay where it beat out three other BP nominees.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, but this was easily the hardest to leave off. The Screenplay win suggests it certainly could have. A miss in Director was a deciding factor and the fact that I couldn’t omit any of the final five I ended up going with.


Warner Bros. had unexpected bragging rights as this Scorsese inspired take on the DC Comics villain had the best haul with 11 nods. This includes Todd Phillips in Director and key precursors like Editing and Adapted Screenplay. The two wins came courtesy of Joaquin Phoenix in the title role and in Original Score.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Usually the leader of the pack does and this popped up in categories it originally wasn’t anticipated to.

Little Women

Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed version of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel was also up for Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh), Adapted Screenplay, Score, and Costume Design (which was its only victory).

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. Simple math here. If I didn’t put Jojo in (which won Adapted Screenplay), I can’t justify vaulting this over it.

Marriage Story

Just like Little Women, Noah Baumbach’s drama was up for six and managed one. The win was Laura Dern (who was also in Women) in Supporting Actress while it also vied for Actor (Adam Driver), Actress (double nominee Scarlett Johansson), Original Screenplay, and Original Score.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Just like Little Women – no. Like Women, not making the Director race and not winning screenplay make this a fairly easy forecast.


The World War I epic from Sam Mendes boasted 10 nominations with 3 statues for Sound Mixing, Cinematography, and Visual Effects. The Editing miss was obvious since the picture famously used few cuts.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. In fact, this was likely the runner-up to Parasite. It went into the evening as the favorite for BP and Director until Joon-ho’s film made its history.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth feature was slotted for 10 categories including QT for director, Leonardo DiCaprio in Actor, and Original Screenplay where its two-time winning scribe lost to Joon-ho. The two victories were Brad Pitt in Supporting Actor and Production Design.

Does It the Final Five?

Yes though I admit the Editing snub had me questioning it. An argument can be made for Jojo, but I ultimately think Quentin and company get in.

So that means your 2019 Final Five is:

The Irishman



Once Upon a Time in Hollywood


I will note that this quintet mirrors the individuals who were up for Best Director. That is typically not a 5/5 match. It happened occasionally when there were 5 BP nominees and I feel this is a time where it would’ve.

2020 will be up soon and if you missed the posts covering 2009-18, they can be accessed here:

Oscar Predictions: Cairo Conspiracy

Tarik Saleh’s political thriller Cairo Conspiracy (known as Boy from Heaven in other areas of the globe) is Sweden’s submission for International Feature Film at the Oscars. Following its premiere at Cannes in early summer, Saleh took the Best Screenplay prize. With shortlists being announced last week, it’s one of 15 foreign entries vying for 5 slots.

Cairo isn’t quite as acclaimed as some other hopefuls with its 71% Rotten Tomatoes score. The Swedes, on the other hand, are pretty crafty at getting their pics nominated. There’s been two in the past decade with 2016’s A Man Called Ove and 2017’s The Square. You do have to go back a ways to find the previous winner in 1983’s Fanny and Alexander.

It was a question mark whether Conspiracy would even make the shortlist. I suspect it won’t be seen in the eventual quintet despite its country’s previous successes. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. Review

Adamma Ebo’s Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. concentrates on a mission to atone while the screenplay can’t always find a tone of its own. A comedy that wants to dive deeper into its themes, it is served by two dynamic lead turns from Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown. The inconsistency doesn’t always serve them.

Adapting her own short film, Soul struggles to account for its feature length. The concept is simple. Lee-Curtis Childs (Brown) is the pastor of a once booming Southern Baptist megachurch. Wife Trinitie (Hall) is The First Lady. Numerous scandals involving Lee-Curtis’s relationships with young males have dwindled the membership from hundreds to a mere handful. A documentary crew is present to chronicle either a resurrection or their final downfall as they are planning an Easter comeback service.

Will anyone show up? Competition is fierce as another couple (Conphidance and Nicole Beharie) are planning the debut of a rival location on the same Sunday. Many former congregants seem likely to jump ship as Lee-Curtis and Trinitie are desperate to maintain some of them.

In the beginning stages, Honk seems inspired by Christopher Guest’s acclaimed mockumentaries. It doesn’t fully commit to that format in the way that his best works did. A tone in the more serious range rises as it goes along. Lee-Curtis must confront a victim (Austin Crute) who won’t settle like the others and Trinitie must confront their troubled marriage.

The decadence of their lifestyle is the focus of the satire and it makes the Childs an easy and familiarly covered target. The actors playing them almost make this worthwhile anyway. Hall and Brown both have emotional monologues that showcase their power. It’s a testament to their performances that we think legions of their parishioners might turn back up. Trinitie, especially, is a character that could’ve been fascinating given her tortured connection with her potentially irredeemable spouse. She needed more substance than she’s granted. I have no doubt Hall would have excelled at fleshing her out.

One running joke is about how the documentary’s director (never seen) won’t say anything despite prodding from her subjects. Honk‘s maker Ebo, who wrote this expansion, gives voice to a promising premise that feels unfulfilled. It seems like it has plenty to say and never quite settles on how to say it all.

**1/2 (out of four)

Oscar Predictions: The Blue Caftan

The nation of Morocco has submitted a total of 18 pictures for consideration from 1977 to the present in the Academy’s International Feature Film race. Only two have made the shortlist – 2011’s Omar Killed Me and this year’s The Blue Caftan. They’re hoping the latter is the first to make the final five.

Maryam Touzani’s relationship drama starring Lubna Azabal and Saleh Bakri premiered at Cannes back in May to appreciative reviews. The Rotten Tomatoes meter is at 93%. Her previous film Adam from 2019 was also Morocco’s designee for IFF, but didn’t make the shortlist like her sophomore feature length effort.

Of the 15 features vying for five spots, I didn’t have Caftan in the top ten for possibilities when I updated my projections last weekend. This will likely remain the case in my next forecast. In the international competition, there’s always the possibility for a surprise. It happened last year with Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom. Caftan could do the same though I wouldn’t count on it. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

M3GAN Box Office Prediction

It’s nice to have a trailer that’s inspired countless memes – mainly from its demented title character doll busting creepy dance moves. M3GAN is the first wide release of 2023 and it appears poised to start the year off on a profitable note. The sci-fi horror pic comes from director Gerard Johnstone with a screenplay by Malignant scribe Akela Cooper. Jason Blum and James Wan serve as producers as the Blumhouse label looks to have another buzzy hit. Allison Williams headlines the cast and she’s no stranger to moneymaking fright fests that open early in the calendar year (2017’s Get Out). The supporting players include Violet McGraw, Ronny Chieng, and Brian Jordan Alvarez.

With a marketing campaign showcasing the alarming and humorous robotic pal, M3GAN may open on pace with other hit genre pics of recent times. I could see it debuting somewhere in between the $30 million from last January’s Scream reboot and the near $23 million that Smile took in during the fall. That’ll be enough to produce smiles and screams of joy for Universal.

M3GAN opening weekend prediction: $24.8 million

Oscar Predictions: A Man Called Otto

Marc Forster’s A Man Called Otto is the second cinematic rendering of Fredrik Backman’s 2012 Swedish dramedy novel titled A Man Called Ove. The first originated from that nation in 2015, drew wide critical praise, and was nominated for both Best Foreign Language Film and Best Makeup Hairstyling at the Oscars.

The American remake is out for an awards qualifying run on December 30th before a wide release on January 13th. I’m really wondering if Sony Pictures dropped the ball a bit with their campaign. Reviews are of the mixed variety with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of 74%. However, this sounds like a crowdpleaser that might win over audiences and rustle up decent business.

In a stronger year for lead, I might discount Hanks. The two-time recipient of the prize and six-time nominee plays against type as a widowed grumpy old man. Four slots in the Actor derby seem spoken for: Austin Butler for Elvis (in which Hanks costars), Colin Farrell in The Banshees of Inisherin, Brendan Fraser in The Whale, and Bill Nighy for Living. The fifth seems wide open with Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick), Hugh Jackman (The Son), and Paul Mescal (Aftersun) among those in contention. If Otto had been allowed a little more runway for its buzz to build, I’d throw Hanks in that mix. Now it might simply be too late.

That same logic applies to Mariana Treviño and even more so. The Mexican actress is getting rave notices. More than any other of the acting competitions, Supporting Actress has lots of possibilities and perhaps no slam dunk nominees. Had Sony mounted a spirited drive for Treviño, her inclusion would have been feasible. It’s still doable though unlikely.

There is one category where Otto could hear its name called. Of the 15 announced shortlist tunes for Original Song, “Til You’re Home” is in. The track is performed by the star’s wife Rita Wilson and Sebastiān Yatra. It was a surprise entry in the field and I’d be surprised if it makes the eventual five. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

December 30-January 1 Box Office Predictions

Hollywood is hoping that the closeout to 2022 looks better than Christmas weekend. There’s a solid chance that it will. While no new wide releases are on deck, holdovers could see their earnings increase from the prior holiday.

In previous years when Christmas Eve was on Saturday, that meant the typical biggest day of the weekend isn’t as potent (look up 2005, 2011, 2016). Moviegoers treat weekdays similar to Fridays and Saturdays during the end of the year with many on vacation and schools on break. For 2022, you can add a unique wrinkle with this past weekend. Many areas of the country (including where this blogger was) were experiencing winter storm conditions and bitter cold that prevented a night out. The forecast is rosier as we ring in the new year.

The years I mentioned saw most of their returnees see percentage gains. Avatar: The Way of Water will obviously make it a three-peat and I’m envisioning a slight uptick.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish seems destined for the heftiest lift in the 25-30 percent region. Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody should remain in third and I could see a 15-20% increase considering its A Cinemascore grade.

Babylon, after a dismal start and a C+ Cinemascore, may be an exception as it could diminish slightly. So could Violent Night considering the Yuletide theme. That might mean Black Panther: Wakanda Forever goes from 6th to 4th.

Here’s how I see that top 6 panning out:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water

Predicted Gross: $65.8 million

2. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

Predicted Gross: $16.1 million

3. Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody

Predicted Gross: $5.6 million

4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Predicted Gross: $4.5 million

5. Babylon

Predicted Gross: $3.2 million

6. Violent Night

Predicted Gross: $3.1 million

Box Office Results (December 23-25)

Due to the reasons listed above, it wasn’t the merriest of Christmases for multiplexes. Nearly all titles couldn’t match my projections. In its sophomore frame, Avatar: The Way of Water took in $63.3 million from Friday to Sunday for an easy 1st place. I was $10 million higher at $73.4 million. The ten-day haul is $261 million. James Cameron’s long in development sequel is poised to hit a billion worldwide tonight and that third week gross should be impressive.

DreamWorks Animation had a far from purr-fect start in second (I’m sorry) for their long in development follow-up Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. It managed $12.4 million from Friday to Sunday and $18.5 million since its Wednesday premiere. I went with $18.3 million and $28.5 million, respectively. Luckily this could have a second life (maybe even nine) with little competition for its intended audience.

Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody couldn’t find its groove with a flat $4.7 million opening in third. I was much more optimistic with $11.5 million. Despite mostly negative reviews, the crowds that did turn up liked what they saw and this should get a decent bump.

Damien Chazelle’s Babylon was a pricey dud. With a reported $80 million price tag, the three hour hard R rated tale of early Hollywood fizzled with only $3.6 million in fourth. I predicted $8.7 million. As mentioned, the only bumps I expect this to experience are the ones the characters are doing.

Violent Night rounded out the top five with $3.5 million (I said $3.3 million). Overall take is $41 million. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever was sixth with $3.4 million, on pace with my $3.2 million forecast for $426 million total.

And that does it for now, folks. Happy New Year!

2022 Oscar Predictions: December 26th Edition

My last Oscar Predictions for this calendar year comes with no changes in Director, Actress, Actor, Supporting Actor, or the screenplay competitions. Yet not all is quiet. I’m finally giving Netflix a BP entrant, but it’s not Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (though I considered it). All Quiet on the Western Front is in the 10 and that knocks out Triangle of Sadness.

Let’s talk Babylon. I came very close to dropping it from my BP list after its dismal box office performance and a C+ Cinemascore grade. It’s clinging to the race in 10th. I almost replaced it with The Whale (which has also received plenty of mixed reaction). I have a gut feeling that one of them still makes the cut and I’m leaning toward the former at the moment.

In Supporting Actress, Claire Foy’s work in Women Talking is out in favor of costar Jessie Buckley. That would mark her second nomination in as many years.

There’s new #1s in International Feature Film with All Quiet displacing Decision to Leave and Documentary Feature with Navalny leaping over All That Breathes.

And, of course, the shortlists released Wednesday are reflected in various categories below. I’ll have my first estimates in calendar year 2023 up next weekend as we inch closer to nomination morning!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Previous Ranking: 1) (Even)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 4) (E)

5. Elvis (PR: 6) (+1)

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Tár (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Women Talking (PR: 7) (-1)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Babylon (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Whale (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 12) (E)

13. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (-3)

14. RRR (PR: 11) (-3)

15. The Woman King (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

She Said

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Todd Field, Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (E)

7. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: ) (-2)

10. S.S. Rajamouli, RRR (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tár (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 4) (E)

5. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 6) (E)

7. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Naomi Ackie, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 4) (E)

5. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Tom Hanks, A Man Called Otto (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 8) (E)

9. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 4) (-5)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (E)

8. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Aftersun (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Babylon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Menu (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:


Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. She Said (PR: 2) (E)

3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. White Noise (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bones and All (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Son

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 1) (E)

2. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Turning Red (PR: 2) (-1)

4. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Bad Guys (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Wendell and Wild (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Strange World (PR: 8) (E)

9. Lightyear (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Inu-Oh (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Sea Beast

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1 . All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Decision to Leave (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Close (PR: 3) (E)

4. Saint Omer (PR: 4) (E)

5. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. EO (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Joyland (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Quiet Girl (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Holy Spider (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:


Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Navalny (PR: 2) (+1)

2. All That Breathes (PR: 1) (-1)

3. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Fire of Love (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Descendant (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Territory (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Moonage Daydream (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Janes (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Retrograde (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Bad Axe (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Good Night Oppy


Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (+1)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Babylon (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Empire of Light (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Bardo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (E)

10. Tár (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:


Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Woman King (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Fabelmans (PR: 7) (E)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Corsage (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Women Talking (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Elvis (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Babylon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Women Talking (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (-1)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:


Decision to Leave

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Batman (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Emancipation (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Amsterdam (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Blonde (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Crimes of the Future (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Woman King



Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: Not Ranked)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. She Said (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Empire of Light

The Batman

White Noise


Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Stand Up” from Till (PR: Not Ranked)

8. “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise (PR: 7) (-1)

9. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

“Nobody Like U” from Turning Red

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (E)

5. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King

Empire of Light

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+3)

5. The Batman (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Babylon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Moonage Daydream (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:



Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Batman (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Nope (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Thirteen Lives (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jurassic World: Dominion (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Everything Everywhere All at Once


Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Good Night Oppy

That equates to these movies garnering these numbers of nods:

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin

7 Nominations

Babylon, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

6 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Women Talking

4 Nominations


3 Nominations

The Batman, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Living, The Whale

2 Nominations

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Triangle of Sadness

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Close, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Navalny, She Said, My Father’s Dragon, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, RRR, Saint Omer, The Son, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, Turning Red, The Woman King

2022: The Year of Hong Chau

My Year Of posts focused on six performers who gave audiences a memorable 2022 culminates with what I’ll consider the Utility Player prize. This goes to a character actor who improves the viewing experience of the projects they’re in. We could coin it the Patricia Clarkson or J.T. Walsh Award.

This year, I’m giving it to Hong Chau. Five years ago, she received Golden Globe and Critics Choice nominations for her supporting part in Alexander Payne’s Downsizing. An Oscar nod was expected to follow, but didn’t materialize.

In the half decade since, she’s been seen more in small screen material. That changed in ’22 with two critically heralded roles in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale and Mark Mylod’s The Menu. For the former, her Liz (caretaker and confidant to Brendan Fraser’s lead) could mark Chau’s first Academy recognition. For the latter, her Elsa (second in command to the sadistic chef played by Ralph Fiennes) was a highlight in a terrific cast.

At the Cannes Film Festival in May, another Chau performance received acclaim. Kelly Reichardt’s Showing Up features her with Michelle Williams in a dramedy that sports a 95% Rotten Tomatoes score. It’ll be released stateside in 2023. So will Wes Anderson’s Asteroid City where she’ll be part of his typical impressive ensemble that includes Tom Hanks, Tilda Swinton, Margot Robbie, Edward Norton, and many more. Chau is also cast in Yorgos Lanthimos’s And with Emma Stone, Jesse Plemons, Willem Dafoe, and Margaret Qualley.

Among all those well-known filmmakers and stars, Chau stands out and earns a final slot in the Year Of write-ups.

2022: The Year of Austin Butler

My six-part series of performers who had a lot shaking at multiplexes continues with Austin Butler. Like previous subject Jenna Ortega, he first gained recognition in small screen CW fare such as The Carrie Diaries. By 2019, he was turning up in a smallish role for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

This year, he broke out in a massive way as the title character in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic. Critics and audiences immediately lavished praised for his embodiment of the legend. In addition to its $151 million domestic haul, Butler can already claim Golden Globe and Critics Choice Best Actor nods. The Academy will surely follow suit and he’s a threat to take gold (along with Brendan Fraser in The Whale and Colin Farrell for The Banshees of Inisherin).

Butler closed out the year hosting SNL with a heartfelt monologue honoring his late mother. He’ll be seen in the Dune sequel in 2023 as well as The Bikeriders with Tom Hardy and Jodie Comer.

Going from a relative unknown to a headliner in 2022… Butler did it. My Year Of posts will culminate with a character actor with a lot on her ’22 menu…