Oscar Watch: All Is True

A couple of months back, All Is True was announced as a surprise addition to the awards season calendar. At the time, it seemed like a legitimate contender. The tale of William Shakespeare in his later years comes from director Kenneth Branagh, who is no stranger to the Bard. His 1989 version of Henry V and 1996 Hamlet rendering both received Oscar nods, while Much Ado About Nothing and Othello (both from the mid 90s) did not. The filmmaker plays Shakespeare with a supporting cast including Judi Dench and Ian McKellen.

True is out in limited release today and a funny thing happened over the past few weeks. The picture received zero attention in precursors and the review embargo lifted just today. The result? Mixed critical reaction with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 57%.

Bottom line: I don’t expect this to garner any nominations come Oscar time as its fortunes clearly dwindled. And that, ladies and gentlemen, looks to be my final Oscar Watch post of 2018! My weekly predictions will be posted every Thursday up until the nominees are revealed. And as for what comes in 2019 – my Oscar Watch posts will continue…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: December 20th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions are here again and there’s been some developments to discuss:

  • Earlier this week, a number of categories released their shortlists: Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature, Makeup and Hairstyling, Visual Effects, Original Score, Original Song. As you’ll see, those picks reflect the new landscape for those races.
  • I’m going back to picking nine Best Picture selections and that means that First Man is out for the first time.
  • Black Panther is a predicted nominee in Adapted Screenplay, making its inaugural appearance. It replaces Crazy Rich Asians.
  • In Original Screenplay, Eighth Grade is back in over Vice.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

5. Green Book (PR: 4)

6. Black Panther (PR: 7)

7. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

8. Vice (PR: 8)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. First Man (PR: 10)

11. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 14)

12. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 11)

13. Eighth Grade (PR: 12)

14. A Quiet Place (PR: Not Ranked)

15. First Reformed (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Crazy Rich Asians

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 3)

4. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 8)

7. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 6)

8. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 7)

9. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 9)

10. Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 10)

Best Actor

1. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 4)

4. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 3)

5. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 8)

7. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 6)

8. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 9)

9. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 7)

10. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased

Best Actress

1. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

2. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 3)

3. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 1)

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparacio, Roma (PR: 6)

7. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 7)

8. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 9)

9. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 10)

10. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 8)

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

2. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 2)

3. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

5. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 7)

8. Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give (PR: 9)

9. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 8)

10. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actress

1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 6)

7. Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place (PR: 10)

8. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 7)

9. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Marina De Tavira, Roma (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians

Natalie Portman, Vox Lux

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 3)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Black Panther (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Man (PR: 7)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 5)

8. Leave No Trace (PR: 8)

9. The Hate U Give (PR: 9)

10. Widows (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 3)

3. Green Book (PR: 2)

4. First Reformed (PR: 5)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vice (PR: 4)

7. A Quiet Place (PR: 7)

8. Private Life (PR: 9)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 10)

10. Sorry to Bother You (PR: 8)

Best Foreign Language Film

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. Cold War (PR: 2)

3. Shoplifters (PR: 3)

4. Capernaum (PR: 5)

5. Burning (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Never Look Away (PR: 6)

7. Birds of Passage (PR: 9)

8. The Guilty (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Ayka (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Girl

Border

I Am Not a Witch

Best Animated Feature

1. Incredibles 2 (PR: 1)

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PR: 2)

3. Isle of Dogs (PR: 3)

4. Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 4)

5. Mirai (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Early Man (PR: 7)

7. Smallfoot (PR: 6)

8. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (PR: 9)

9. Ruben Brandt, Collector (PR: 8)

10. Lu Over the Wall (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PR: 1)

2. Free Solo (PR: 4)

3. Three Identical Strangers (PR: 2)

4. RBG (PR: 3)

5. Minding the Gap (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Crime + Punishment (PR: 6)

7. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (PR: 9)

8. Shirkers (PR: 8)

9. Dark Money (PR: 7)

10. Of Fathers and Sons (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Science Fair

Best Film Editing

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. First Man (PR: 2)

4. The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vice (PR: 4)

7. Black Panther (PR: 7)

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 10)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Green Book (PR: 6)

Dropped Out:

If Beale Street Could Talk 

Best Cinematography

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 5)

4. The Favourite (PR: 3)

5. Cold War (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

8. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 8)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Green Book (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Vice

Best Production Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

4. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 3)

5. First Man (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Roma (PR: 8)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 5)

8. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 9)

9. A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

10. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: Not Ranked)

7. A Star Is Born (PR: 8)

8. Colette (PR: 6)

9. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 7)

10. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

1. Black Panther (PR: 1)

2. Vice (PR: 3)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

4. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 9)

5. Border (PR: Not Ranked)

6. Stan & Ollie (PR: 4)

7. Suspiria (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Favourite

Mary Poppins Returns

Colette

A Star Is Born

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Best Sound Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 3)

3. A Quiet Place (PR: 2)

4. Roma (PR: 5)

5. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Star Is Born (PR: 4)

7. Incredibles 2 (PR: 6)

8. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (PR: 8)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 7)

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 9)

Best Sound Mixing

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. Black Panther (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 6)

5. A Quiet Place (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 5)

7. Roma (PR: 7)

8. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

9. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 9)

Best Visual Effects

1. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. Ready Player One (PR: 3)

4. Black Panther (PR: 5)

5. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 7)

7. Ant-Man and the Wasp (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Welcome to Marwen (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Christopher Robin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Incredibles 2

Aquaman

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

A Quiet Place

Best Original Score

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. BlackKlansman (PR: 4)

5. Isle of Dogs (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 7)

7. A Quiet Place (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Annihilation (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Vice (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Mary Queen of Scots

Incredibles 2

Colette

Suspiria 

Best Original Song

1. “Shallow” from A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. “All the Stars” from Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. “I’ll Fight” from RBG (PR: 4)

5. “Girl in the Movies” from Dumplin (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

7. “Revelation” from Boy Erased (PR: 6)

8. “We Won’t Move” from The Hate U Give (PR: 10)

9. “A Place Called Slaughter Race” from Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 8)

10. “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs for Wings” from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Time for Change” from On the Basis of Sex

And that gives these pictures the following number of nominations:

10 Nominations

A Star Is Born, The Favourite

9 Nominations

Black Panther

8 Nominations

First Man, Mary Poppins Returns

7 Nominations

Roma

6 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman

5 Nominations

If Beale Street Could Talk

4 Nominations

Green Book, Vice

3 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Mary Queen of Scots

2 Nominations

A Quiet Place, Cold War, First Reformed, Isle of Dogs, Ready Player One, RBG

1 Nomination

Avengers: Infinity War, Beautiful Boy, Bohemian Rhapsody, Burning, Capernaum, Dumplin, Eighth Grade, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Free Solo, Incredibles 2, Minding the Gap, Mirai, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Shoplifters, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Three Identical Strangers, The Wife, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Oscar Watch: Welcome to Marwen

Nearly a quarter century ago, Robert Zemeckis was the toast of Oscar night with Forrest Gump, famously beating out now classic works including Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption. With the release of Welcome to Marwen this Friday, it’s clear that things have changed.

The true life drama (based on the acclaimed 2010 documentary Marwencol) casts Steve Carell as a victim of violence who develops amnesia and invents his own fantasy world. From the release of its first trailer, the film failed to garner any awards buzz. We are now seeing reviews only two days before it release. That’s rarely a positive sign. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is currently a troubling 21%. Box office estimates are low.

Bottom line: Welcome to Marwen never developed as a contender and the buzz out today shows why. There is one caveat. The pic did make the shortlist of ten possible nominees for Best Visual Effects. However, my current projections show Avengers: Infinity War, First Man, Black Panther, Ready Player One, and Mary Poppins Returns as the ones that will elevate. My weekly picks will be released early tomorrow and (spoiler alert!) Marwen will place 8th. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: December 14th Edition

A day late, but my weekly Oscar predictions are up for your review! Enjoy…

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Green Book (PR: 4)

5. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

6. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 5)

7. Black Panther (PR: 8)

8. Vice (PR: 7)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

10. First Man (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

11. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 11)

12. Eighth Grade (PR: 13)

13. First Reformed (PR: 12)

14. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Widows

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 3)

4. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 6)

7. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 7)

8. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 10)

10. Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

Best Actor

1. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 3)

4. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 4)

5. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 6)

7. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 7)

8. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 8)

10. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Clint Eastwood, The Mule

Best Actress

1. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 1)

2. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

5. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 6)

7. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 8)

8. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 7)

9. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Rosamund Pike, A Private War

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

2. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 3)

3. Sam Ellliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

4. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

5. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 8)

7. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 6)

8. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 7)

9. Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give (PR: 9)

10. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actress

1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 10)

7. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

8. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

9. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 7)

10. Emily Blunt, A Quiet Place (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Marina De Tavira, Roma

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. First Man (PR: 5)

8. Leave No Trace (PR: 9)

9. The Hate U Give (PR: 10)

10. Widows (PR: 7)

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Green Book (PR: 3)

3. Roma (PR: 2)

4. Vice (PR: 4)

5. First Reformed (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Eighth Grade (PR: 6)

7. A Quiet Place (PR: 8)

8. Sorry to Bother You (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Private Life (PR: 7)

10. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Ben Is Back

Best Foreign Language Film

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. Cold War (PR: 2)

3. Shoplifters (PR: 3)

4. Burning (PR: 6)

5. Capernaum (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Never Look Away (PR: 7)

7. Girl (PR: 5)

8. Border (PR: 8)

9. Birds of Passage (PR: 9)

10. I Am Not a Witch (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

1. Incredibles 2 (PR: 1)

2. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PR: 2)

3. Isle of Dogs (PR: 3)

4. Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 4)

5. Mirai (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Smallfoot (PR: 6)

7. Early Man (PR: 8)

8. Ruben Brandt, Collector (PR: 7)

9. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (PR: 10)

10. Lu Over the Wall (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PR: 1)

2. Three Identical Strangers (PR: 2)

3. RBG (PR: 4)

4. Free Solo (PR: 3)

5. Minding the Gap (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Crime + Punishment (PR: 6)

7. Dark Money (PR: 7)

8. Shirkers (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (PR: 8)

10. Science Fair (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Quincy

Best Film Editing

1. Roma (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. Vice (PR: 6)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Green Book (PR: 9)

7. Black Panther (PR: 5)

8. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 8)

9. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 7)

10. A Quiet Place (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Widows

Best Cinematography

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 3)

3. The Favourite (PR: 4)

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

5. A Star Is Born (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. Cold War (PR: 7)

8. BlacKkKlansman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Vice (PR: 10)

10. Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Widows

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Best Production Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 6)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Man (PR: 3)

7. A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

8. Roma (PR: 5)

9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 9)

10. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Colette (PR: 7)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 5)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: 6)

9. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PR: Not Ranked)

10. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Bohemian Rhapsody 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling 

1. Black Panther (PR: 1)

2. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 2)

3. Vice (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Stan & Ollie (PR: 4)

5. The Favourite (PR: 5)

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 8)

7. Colette (PR: 6)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

9. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Deadpool 2

Best Sound Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. A Quiet Place (PR: 2)

3. Black Panther (PR: 4)

4. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

5. Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Incredibles 2 (PR: 6)

7. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 7)

8. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (PR: 8)

9. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 9)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

Best Sound Mixing

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. Black Panther (PR: 5)

4. A Quiet Place (PR: 3)

5. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

7. Roma (PR: 7)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

9. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 9)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

1. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. Ready Player One (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. Black Panther (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Incredibles 2 (PR: 9)

7. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 6)

8. Aquaman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 8)

10. A Quiet Place (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Best Original Score

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

5. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Incredibles 2 (PR: 10)

7. Black Panther (PR: 9)

8. Isle of Dogs (PR: 6)

9. Colette (PR: 7)

10. Suspiria (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Widows

Best Original Song

1. “The Shallow” from A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. “All the Stars” from Black Panther (PR: 3)

3. “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 2)

4. “I’ll Fight” from RBG (PR: 4)

5. “Girl at the Movies” from Dumplin (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Revelation” from Boy Erased (PR: 6)

7. “Time for Change” from On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

8. “A Place Called Slaughter Race” from Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 8)

10. “We Won’t Move” from The Hate U Give (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born 

And that equates to the following films getting these numbers for nominations:

11 Nominations

A Star Is Born

10 Nominations

The Favourite

8 Nominations

Black Panther, First Man

7 Nominations

Mary Poppins Returns, Roma

6 Nominations

If Beale Street Could Talk, Vice

5 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman

4 Nominations

Green Book, Mary Queen of Scots

3 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

2 Nominations

Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians, First Reformed, A Quiet Place, RBG

1 Nomination

The Wife, Beautiful Boy, Cold War, Shoplifters, Burning, Capernaum, Incredibles 2, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Isle of Dogs, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Mirai, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Three Identical Strangers, RBG, Free Solo, Minding the Gap, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Dumplin’

 

Oscar Watch: The Mule

It seemed a little odd that Clint Eastwood’s The Mule held its review embargo for as long as it did (it’s out tomorrow). After all, the crime thriller which features Eastwood in front of the camera for the first time since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve certainly was an on paper awards contender based on history. The director is no stranger to Oscar attention as Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby both won Best Picture.

Critical reaction is out and it’s actually pretty decent with a current Tomato rating of 82%. However, I suspect the best comparison for this would be the last time Eastwood directed himself – 2008’s hit Gran Torino. That feature landed with audiences, but failed to garner a single nomination from the Academy.

Bottom line: while reviews are mostly positive, The Mule is likely to be more of a potential hit with audiences than Oscar voters. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

2018 SAG Awards Nominations Reaction

The SAG Awards were announced this morning and a couple of items are clear. First, the Screen Actors Guild nods handed us some genuine surprises. Second, this branch of thespians really love them some Emily Blunt!

I went 18/25 on my predictions and let’s break down each category with some thoughts and my first winner predictions (with final ones coming right before the January ceremony).

Best Ensemble Film

Nominees: A Star Is Born, Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Rich Asians

The nominations reflected yours truly going just 2/5 (ouch). And there were shockers. If Beale Street Could Talk, with its sprawling cast, being snubbed counts as one. I also figured The Favourite and Vice could get in. It was probably foolish to think A Star Is Born would be left out, even if its only a trifecta of actors getting the lions share of attention. BlacKkKlansman wasn’t too surprising, but the inclusion of Bohemian Rhapsody definitely is. It’s probably time to start talking about the real chance it gets a Best Picture nomination, despite many mediocre reviews. The only two I got right: Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. As I see it now, Star could win here. Yet I’m still going with SAG honoring a larger group of performers and I’ll go with an unprecedented MCU victory (for now).

Predicted Winner: Black Panther

Best Actor

Nominees: Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book), John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman)

Four out of five here with Ethan Hawke’s work in First Reformed and his momentum from critics group being interrupted. It’s John David Washington getting in for BlacKkKlansman instead. I had Ryan Gosling for First Man in as an alternate and it’s worth mentioning that the Neil Armstrong biopic received zero nominations.

Bale and Mortensen might have shots (and maybe even Malek), but Cooper has the edge.

Predicted Winner: Cooper

Best Actress

Nominees: Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns), Glenn Close (The Wife), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Four for five. My upset pick of Toni Collette getting recognition for Hereditary didn’t pan out. Instead it was the aforementioned Ms. Blunt in with the rest of the expected nominees. Even with Actress having lots of options in 2018, this is beginning to look like the consensus Academy five. Like the Oscar race, I expect this to come down to Close v. Gaga.

Predicted Winner: Gaga

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliot (A Star Is Born), Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Five for five. Like Actress, this is also looking to be the most probable group of Oscar nominees. And it’s a genuine three-way competition between Ali, Elliot, and Grant. You could flip a coin at the moment.

Predicted Winner: Ali

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Amy Adams (Vice), Emily Blunt (A Quiet Place), Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots), Emma Stone (The Favourite), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Three for five. The exclusion of Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk (considered somewhat of an Oscar favorite) is totally unexpected. So is the inclusion of Blunt, who got an Actress nod and was a surprise nominee two years ago for The Girl on the Train. Claire Foy didn’t get in for First Man as Margot Robbie did (that could help her chances with the Academy). Honestly, I would have picked King to win had she been named here. I could see either of the Favourite ladies possibly winning, but I’ll go with Adams (who’s also nominated in the TV race for Sharp Objects). She could also win that and probably will.

Predicted Winner: Adams

And there you have it! Expect plenty more awards show and Oscar analysis in short order.

2018 SAG Awards Predictions

Yet another major precursor enters the fold tomorrow when the Screen Actors Guild nominations are announced. Unlike other awards shows, it’s wise to remember that this ceremony is solely voted upon by the thespians who make up SAG. That means no Director race.

More importantly, it means “Best Picture” does not exist. The big prize is Best Ensemble. That designation favors films with large casts. Let’s break down the five major categories with predictions and an alternate and wild card, shall we?

Best Ensemble

As mentioned, big casts help. That would seem to favor something like If Beale Street Could Talk with its sprawling one, as well as Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. Another pic fitting the bill is Vice. As long as the guild members saw it in time, I think it stands an excellent shot.

A Star Is Born is more of a question mark. While it could be looked at as a soft front-runner for Best Picture (along with Roma, which I don’t believe factors here), the actors garnering attention are Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, and Sam Elliot. While I believe they will be individually noticed, I’m questioning whether the picture itself is named here. The Favourite (even with it also being focused mostly on three actresses) likely has a better chance. There’s certainly other possibilities and they include BlacKkKlansman, Green Book, and Widows (though it’s seen its awards fortunes dwindle).

Predicted Nominees

Black Panther

Crazy Rich Asians

The Favourite

If Beale Street Could Talk

Vice

Alternate – A Star Is Born

Wild Card – Widows

Best Actor

The nominees for Actor here are a solid predictor for Oscar inclusion. In 2015 and 2017, four of the performers here went on to be honored by the Academy. In 2016, it was all five. I’m going with the 5 men I see as most likely to score an Oscar nod at this juncture – with a sneaking suspicion that Ryan Gosling for replace one of then.

Predicted Nominees

Christian Bale, Vice

Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book

Alternate – Ryan Gosling, First Man

Wild Card – Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Best Actress

There’s not quite as much match with Oscar and SAG here – three in 2015 and 2016 and four last year. As has been discussed many times on this blog, Best Actress is packed in 2018. The potential for a “surprise nominee” here is very real. I feel the need to pick one and I’m going with Toni Collette in Hereditary over the more probable Academy nominee Emily Blunt in Mary Poppins Returns.

Predicted Nominees

Glenn Close, The Wife

Toni Collette, Hereditary

Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alternate – Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns

Wild Card – Viola Davis, Widows

Best Supporting Actor

We had an outlier in 2015 when only two of the SAG nominees here got Oscar attention. For the past two years, it’s been four. If there’s a real shocker here, look out for names like Daniel Kaluuya (Widows) or Russell Hornsby (The Hate U Give). I’m not willing to be that bold with my picks though.

Predicted Nominees

Mahershala Ali, Green Book

Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Alternate – Sam Rockwell, Vice

Wild Card – Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

Best Supporting Actress

The SAG/Oscar match was four in 2015, five in 2016, and three for 2017. I’m estimating the five performers here match last week’s Golden Globe nominations. If there’s a surprise, look for Thomasin McKenzie (Leave No Trace), Natalie Portman (Vox Lux), or Marina de Tavira (Roma).

Predicted Nominees

Amy Adams, Vice

Claire Foy, First Man

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk

Emma Stone, The Favourite

Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Alternate – Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased

Wild Card – Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians

And there you have it! I’ll have reaction up tomorrow after the announcements are made.

 

The Critics Choose Their Buffet

The Broadcast Film Critics Association announced their nominees for the Critics Choice Awards today, with the show itself airing January 13. Unlike some precursors, it truly can be a window of what’s to come with Oscar nods… with a significant caveat.

This particular awards ceremony lists six to seven performers and directors in those races. Therefore we know one or two nominees won’t make the cut for the gold statue. As for Best Picture, they do name ten and that’s the highest number the Academy can honor. Critics Choice has a large number of categories, but we shall focus on the top six in today’s analysis and use the last three ceremonies for historical context.

Best Picture

Nominees: BlacKkKlansman, Black Panther, The Favourite, First Man, Green Book, If Beale Street Could Talk, Mary Poppins Returns, Roma, A Star Is Born, Vice

In 2015, all eight Oscar nominated films were named here. In 2016, it was eight of the nine Academy honorees named, with Hidden Figures missing the Critics cut. Last year, it was 8/9 again with Phantom Thread as the outlier.

The 10 nominees this year exactly match my current top 10 Oscar possibilities. These selections serve as potential bad news for titles such as Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Eighth Grade, First Reformed, Crazy Rich Asians and Widows. If any of them make it in, First Man is likely the most vulnerable.

Best Director

Nominees: Damien Chazelle (First Man), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Alfonso Cuaron (Roma), Peter Farrelly (Green Book), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite), Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman), Adam McKay (Vice)

Three and five and four. Those are the respective number of nominated directors here from 2014-2016 that made the Academy cut.

The story here is the surprising omission of Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk. Whether that is a sign of something to come is questionable. Chazelle, Farrelly, and McKay might have helped themselves a bit today.

Best Actor

Nominees: Christian Bale (Vice), Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born), Willem Dafoe (At Eternity’s Gate), Ryan Gosling (First Man), Ethan Hawke (First Reformed), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)

2015 saw a five for five match while the last two years have seen four Critics nominees receive Oscar love. As in the previous two races, First Man got a boost yet again for the box office disappointment that had previously underwhelmed in precursors. This list not including Robert Redford’s work in The Old Man & The Gun could mean the end of the road for his potential inclusion.

Best Actress

Nominees: Yalitza Aparicio (Roma), Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns), Glenn Close (The Wife), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Olivia Colman (The Favourite), Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born), Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Simple math here. Over the past three years, the five women listed for the Best Actress Oscar have all been mentioned here. By the way, the three winners match as well.

This year is crowded for Best Actress (more so than Actor). Today’s nominations could be best news for Viola Davis (Widows), Nicole Kidman (Destroyer), Julia Roberts (Ben Is Back), Saoirse Ronan (Mary Queen of Scots), and Rosamund Pike (A Private War).

As for actual nominees, Aparicio and Collette helped their momentum to potentially dislodge one or two of the others.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Green Book), Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy), Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman), Sam Elliot (A Star Is Born), Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther)

Unlike the last race, 2015 and 2016 saw four Critics recipients here get Academy attention. Last year, it was three. While Jordan helped himself, we could still see Sam Rockwell (Vice) or possibly Nicholas Hoult (The Favourite) in the mix.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Amy Adams (Vice), Claire Foy (First Man), Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased), Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk), Emma Stone (The Favourite), Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Five for five match three years ago and four for five the last two years. Right now, these six women are my top six Oscar contenders. If there’s a name not here that could sneak in for Academy voters, perhaps it’s Natalie Portman in Vox Lux, though it’s weak limited release debut over the past weekend doesn’t help at all.

It never lets up this time of year with Awards prognosticating. SAG nods will be unveiled Wednesday. I’ll have predictions up in short order with reaction up soon after!

L.A. Loves Roma

Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexican drama Roma continued its precursor love today as the Los Angeles Film Critics Association awarded it Best Film. While that’s certainly a feather in the cap for something that’s a near lock for a Best Picture nod, it’s not necessarily a harbinger of what’s to come. Only once in this decade have the LAFCA and the Academy agreed on their top race  – 2015’s Spotlight.

While Cuaron’s effort got the big prize, the filmmaker himself came in second in directing to a surprise selection of Debra Granik for Leave No Trace. Her name hasn’t surfaced much for Academy consideration and I currently do not have her in my top 10 possibilities. Ironically, only two directors this decade have shared the Oscar and this category. One is Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water last year. The other? Cuaron for 2013’s Gravity.

Three of the acting winners are seen as strong players for the Oscars: Ethan Hawke (First Reformed) in Actor, Olivia Colman for The Favourite in Actress, and Supporting Actress victor Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk. In Supporting Actor, Steven Yeun won for his work in the South Korean mystery Burning. He’s been nowhere on Oscar’s radar and likely won’t be.

With Roma taking Best Film overall, the LAFCA had a tie in their Foreign Film race between Burning and Shoplifters.

Can You Ever Forgive Me? got some attention, taking Screenplay over runner-up The Favourite. That could help its already decent chances at an Adapted Screenplay nod down the road.

Another surprise came in their documentary pick – the Netflix release Shirkers from Singapore. It has not been discussed much in what’s seen as a crowded field of selections.

SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse took Animated Film, further positioning itself as the main rival to Pixar front-runner Incredibles 2.

My updated Oscar predictions will be up Thursday!

Oscar Watch: Mortal Engines

The big-budget dystopian adventure Mortal Engines is out next weekend and signs are pointing to a sub par performance at the box office. While it’s directed by first timer Christian Rivers, it comes from the writing team of Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, and Philippa Boyens. This is the trio behind the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises, as well as 2005’s King Kong remake.

Those pictures have a slew of technical Oscar nominations and wins to their credit. So it’s worth wondering if Engines could compete in some of those races. Unlike most of the aforementioned pics, reviews are not strong here with a current rating of 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, Visual Effects and the two sound categories could potentially be in play.

My feeling is that only Visual Effects is possible and that could be a stretch. MCU titles Avengers: Infinity War and Black Panther likely have their spots reserved with a third (AntMan and the Wasp) in the mix. Disney also has Mary Poppins Returns and Solo: A Star Wars Story competing. Other serious contenders include First Man and Ready Player One.

Bottom line: I wouldn’t completely dismiss Engines as a contender for Visual accolades, but don’t count on it. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…