Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 9th Edition

It’s Thursday and that means my weekly updated Oscar predictions are in!

Some developments from the past seven days:

  • Steven Spielberg’s The Post is down to just one nomination in my predictions. It’s the big one (Best Picture), but it’s clinging for dear life to the 9th spot with pics like I, Tonya and Get Out getting closer to getting in. Obviously, no one has seen it yet so this is based solely on buzz alone. We did get our first trailer for it this week at long last.
  • Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird makes a major leap this week into both Picture and Actress (Saoirse Ronan). That means Blade Runner 2049 has fallen out of my predicted nine in Picture with Meryl Streep out in Actress for The Post (she held the #1 spot for weeks).
  • For the first time, Martin McDonagh’s directorial work in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is in. That means Luca Guadagnino (Call Me by Your Name) is currently out.
  • In Best Actor, I’ve finally taken Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman out of the top 5, replaced with Andrew Garfield in Breathe.
  • Michael Stuhlbarg (Call Me by Your Name) replaces Michael Shannon for The Shape of Water in Supporting Actor. If that happens, Call Me would be the first Supporting Actor race to feature two actors (Stuhlbarg, Armie Hammer) from the same picture since Bugsy in 1991 (Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley).
  • Mary J. Blige enters the top 5 in Supporting Actress, replacing Kristin Scott Thomas in Darkest Hour. 

That means all 8 major categories have seen changes. Lastly, there’s the unprecedented news that broke last night involving Christopher Plummer reshooting all of Kevin Spacey’s scenes in Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World. Shockingly, the studio is still looking to make its December 22 release date. If that happens, Plummer might be one to look out for in Supporting Actor.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

4. Three Billboards Outside, Ebbing Missouri (PR: 6)

5. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

6. Mudbound (PR: 4)

7. Lady Bird (PR: 10)

8. The Florida Project (PR: 7)

9. The Post (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

10. I, Tonya (PR: 11)

11. Get Out (PR: 15)

12. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 9)

13. Phantom Thread (PR: 12)

14. Detroit (PR: 14)

15. Last Flag Flying (PR: 13)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

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

3. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

4. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 6)

5. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

7. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 9)

8. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 10)

9. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 8)

10. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

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

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

4. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 4)

5. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

7. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 10)

8. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 8)

9. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 7)

10. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 9)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 2)

3. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 6)

5. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 3)

7. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 7)

8. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 8)

9. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 9)

10. Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

7. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

9. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

10. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

3. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 2)

4. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 7)

5. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

7. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 6)

8. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: 8)

9. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

10. Bria Vinaite, The Florida Project (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Mudbound (PR: 2)

3. Molly’s Game (PR: 4)

4. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

5. Last Flag Flying (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Disaster Artist (PR: 8)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 5)

8. The Beguiled (PR: 7)

9. Stronger (PR: 9)

10. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

3. Lady Bird (PR: 5)

4. The Florida Project (PR: 4)

5. Get Out (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

7. The Big Sick (PR: 6)

8. I, Tonya (PR: 10)

9. The Post (PR: 8)

10. Phantom Thread (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dunkirk

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. BPM (Beats Per Minute) (PR: 1)

2. In the Fade (PR: 2)

3. Loveless (PR: 8)

4. First, They Killed My Father (PR: 3)

5. The Square (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Foxtrot (PR: 5)

7. Happy End (PR: 4)

8. A Fantastic Woman (PR: 7)

9. Tom of Finland (PR: 10)

10. The Divine Order (PR: 9)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco (PR: 1)

2. The Breadwinner (PR: 2)

3. Loving Vincent (PR: 3)

4. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (PR: 4)

5. Ferdinand (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cars 3 (PR: 7)

7. The LEGO Batman Movie (PR: 6)

8. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (PR: 10)

9. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (PR: 8)

10. Despicable Me 3 (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cries from Syria (PR: 4)

2. Jane (PR: 5)

3. City of Ghosts (PR: 1)

5. Icarus (PR: 3)

5. Risk (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Human Flow (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Step (PR: 6)

8. Kedi (PR: 10)

9. Long Strange Trip (PR: Not Ranked)

10. One of Us (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

Dina

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

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

5. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Get Out (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Mudbound (PR: 5)

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 8)

9. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 9)

10. Detroit (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Post

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Phantom Thread (PR: 5)

7. Wonder Wheel (PR: 9)

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

9. Mudbound (PR: 7)

10. mother! (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Greatest Showman

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

3. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

4. Phantom Thread (PR: 4)

5. Dunkirk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 6)

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 8)

8. Wonderstruck (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Greatest Showman (PR: 7)

10. Wonder Wheel (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Call Me by Your Name

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread (PR: 1)

2. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

4. The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

5. The Beguiled (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonder Wheel (PR: 8)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 5)

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

9. The Post (PR: 9)

10. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 6)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

4. The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

5. Phantom Thread (PR: 3)

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

8. I, Tonya (PR: 5)

9. It (PR: 9)

10. Thor: Ragnarok (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Blade Runner 2049

Wonderstruck

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 1)

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

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 2)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Dunkirk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Spider-Man: Homecoming (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Wonder Woman (PR: 8)

9. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 7)

10. Thor: Rangarok (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Kong: Skull Island

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

5. Transformers: The Last Knight (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Baby Driver (PR: 9)

7. Coco (PR: 7)

8. Wonder Woman (PR: 4)

9. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 10)

10. Spider-Man: Homecoming (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Detroit

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 3)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 6)

5. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

7. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

8. Transformers: The Last Knight (PR: 8)

9. Coco (PR: 10)

10. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Detroit

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

4. Wonderstruck (PR: 4)

5. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 6)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Post (PR: 7)

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

10. Coco (PR: 5)

Dropped Out:

The Greatest Showman

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. “Remember Me” from Coco (PR: 1)

3. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker (PR: 3)

4. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast (PR: 4)

5. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Come Alive” from The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

7. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit (PR: 7)

8. “The Promise” from The Promise (PR: 8)

9. “If I Dare” from Battle of the Sexes (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“To Be Human” from Wonder Woman

That leaves the following breakdown of nominations:

11 Nominations

The Shape of Water

10 Nominations

Dunkirk

9 Nominations

Darkest Hour

7 Nominations

Blade Runner 2049

6 Nominations

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

5 Nominations

Call Me by Your Name

4 Nominations

Mudbound, Lady Bird

3 Nominations

The Florida Project, Phantom Thread, Wonderstruck, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2 Nominations

I, Tonya, Coco, Cries from Syria, The Greatest Showman

1 Nomination

The Post, Stronger, Breathe, Battle of the Sexes, Novitiate, Downsizing, Molly’s Game, Last Flag Flying, Get Out, BPM (Beats Per Minute), In the Fade, Loveless, First, They Killed My Father, The Square, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales, Ferdinand, Jane, City of Ghosts, Icarus, Risk, The Beguiled, War for the Planet of the Apes, Transformers: The Last Knight, Baby Driver, Marshall, Fifty Shades Darker. 

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The Star Box Office Prediction

Sony Pictures is hoping family and faith-based audiences make the journey to The Star next weekend. The animated tale is centered around some talking animals and their adventures as the first Christmas is occurring. Some familiar faces in both the film and music world provide voices including Steven Yeun, Gina Rodriguez, Keegan-Michael Key, Tyler Perry, Kristin Chenoweth, Zachary Levi, Tracy Morgan, Anthony Anderson, Mariah Carey, Kelly Clarkson, Kris Kristofferson, Christopher Plummer, Ving Rhames, Gabriel Iglesias, Patricia Heaton, and even Oprah Winfrey.

Made for a small reported budget of just $18 million, The Star will hope to shine brightly with its intended audience before Pixar’s Coco arrives just five days later for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Prognosticating for this one is a little tricky. I could certainly see it exceeding expectations with a gross high in the teens. However, I believe a more likely scenario is an opening weekend in the lower double digits to maybe lower teens with hope that it holds over well the following holiday weekend (even with the Coco competition).

The Star opening weekend prediction: $10.3 million

For my Justice League prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/07/justice-league-box-office-prediction/

For my Wonder prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/08/wonder-box-office-prediction/

Wonder Box Office Prediction

Jacob Tremblay made quite an impression on audiences and critics two years ago as an abducted child in the Oscar nominated Room. Next weekend, he headlines the drama Wonder, portraying a child with a facial deformity trying to fit into a new school. The film is based on a 2012 novel by R.J. Palacio and is directed by Stephen Chbosky, best known for making the adaptation of his own novel – 2012’s The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson are cast as Tremblay’s parents.

Wonder will attempt to bring in both female and family audiences. For family audiences, there is the animated The Star opening against it (though that should skewer younger) and a little something called Justice League that lots of kids may want to see (though that should skewer more to younger males).

As I see it, I don’t look for Wonder to necessarily have an impressive opening. Low double digits to possibly lower teens seems about right. That said, if audiences like it and if it achieves solid word-of-mouth, it could play well into the Thanksgiving weekend that follows and beyond.

Wonder opening weekend prediction: $12.9 million

For my Justice League prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/07/justice-league-box-office-prediction/

For my The Star prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/08/the-star-box-office-prediction/

Justice League Box Office Prediction

The DC Cinematic Universe has reached Marvel Cinematic Universe territory as Justice League debuts next weekend. The reported $300 million production brings many of the company’s comic book creations together as it hopes to have the largest opening of the fourth quarter of 2017 until Star Wars hits next month.

In March of 2016, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice brought Superman (Henry Cavill) and Batman (Ben Affleck) together for the first time. Now they’re joined by Aquaman (Jason Momoa), The Flash (Ezra Miller), and Cyborg (Ray Miller). And, oh yes, there’s Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), who just happened to star in her own summer 2017 pic that surprisingly turned out to the season’s biggest blockbuster ($412 million). Man of Steel and BvS director Zack Snyder is behind the camera once again. Other costars include series returnees Amy Adams, Diane Lane, Jeremy Irons, and the introduction of J.K. Simmons as Commissioner Gordon. Expect some other familiar faces to pop up too.

Batman v Superman opened to a terrific $166 million a year and a half ago. However, poor reviews and mixed word-of-mouth meant a heavily front loaded gross. It ended up with $330 million. If nothing had happened in the interim, it may be a legitimate question as to whether some moviegoers are primed to see these characters again. The fantastic reception earned by Wonder Woman should help (there could be a sizable female audience who go to this simply to see Gadot’s character so quickly again).

That said, I don’t expect League to get close to that BvS number in its first three days. In fact, it could compete for biggest comic book adaptation debut of the month since Thor: Ragnarok posted $122 million this past weekend.

I believe it will just get there and probably post a premiere in line with another DC property – summer 2016’s Suicide Squad, which made $133 million for its start. I’ll put it just a bit under that.

Justice League opening weekend prediction: $128.4 million

For my Wonder prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/08/wonder-box-office-prediction/

For my The Star prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/08/the-star-box-office-prediction/

Box Office Predictions: November 10-12

Two notable entries enter the box office derby this weekend as comedy sequel Daddy’s Home 2 with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg and Kenneth Branagh’s Agatha Christie adapted remake Murder on the Orient Express. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on both here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/10/31/daddys-home-2-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/01/murder-on-the-orient-express-box-office-prediction/

Neither newbie is likely to come anywhere near dislodging Thor: Ragnarok from a second weekend atop the charts. The critically acclaimed threequel is probably looking at a drop in the mid to possibly high 50s, which is par for the course for most MCU sequels.

The biggest question of the weekend is whether Home or Express nabs the #2 spot. Knowing that comedy sequels often under perform their predecessors (that happened just this past weekend), I’ve got Murder edging out Daddy’s for the runner-up position.

A Bad Moms Christmas should drop to fourth with Jigsaw rounding out the top five.

And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend ahead:

1. Thor: Ragnarok

Predicted Gross: $53.8 million (representing a drop of 56%)

2. Murder on the Orient Express

Predicted Gross: $24.6 million

3. Daddy’s Home 2

Predicted Gross: $21.8 million

4. A Bad Moms Christmas

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (representing a drop of 48%)

5. Jigsaw

Predicted Gross: $2.9 million (representing a drop of 57%)

Box Office Results (November 3-5)

Thor: Rangarok easily posted the highest debut in its particular franchise and the 7th largest Marvel Cinematic Universe opening with $122.7 million, topping my $107.6M forecast. Terrific word-of-mouth certainly contributed to it opening nearly $40 million above its predecessor Thor: The Dark World. 

A Bad Moms Christmas had an unimpressive debut in second with $16.7 million over the traditional three-day weekend. I was a bit higher at $18.7 million. The sequel opened on Wednesday and has taken in $21.2 million since then. Again, that’s below my projection of $26.2 million. It failed in five days to earn the $23.8 million accomplished by its predecessor in summer 2016. 

Jigsaw dropped to third with $6.5 million compared to my $5.9 million estimate. The horror pic has grossed $28 million so far.

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween was fourth with $4.5 million (I said $4.1 million) for a $42 million overall tally.

Geostorm rounded out the top five with $3.1 million (I went with $2.7 million) for $28 million total.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

War for the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

The latest iteration of the Planet of the Apes saga that began nearly a half century ago concludes on a major franchise high note. What Rupert Wyatt began in satisfying fashion with 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Matt Reeves continued with success in 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is elevated even more so with War for the Planet of the Apes. Mr. Reeves returns behind the camera with an epic and sorrowful tale of Caesar’s (Andy Serkis) constant battle between his species and the humans remaining to fight them.

The third installment also continues the perfection of the motion capture wizardry that brings the apes to life. It’s been enormously impressive in parts 1 and 2. It’s taken another leap forward in War. That said, we’re grown accustomed to legions of these characters being seen in our blockbusters. A compelling story must follow and it’s present.

When Dawn concluded, Caesar had dispensed of treacherous right-hand ape Koba but knew what was left of the human race’s army would hunt him. War opens two years later with Caesar, his family, and the other apes dwelling in the woods. Their nemesis here is a demented colonel (Woody Harrelson) and his devoted military men. Tragedy strikes and it pits Caesar on a revengeful mission against the Colonel, who isn’t too far removed from the character of Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. Harrelson is a great villain here with his own backstory in this dystopian world.

War introduces us to some new characters – both real and generated. There’s a mute young girl (Amiah Miller) who joins the apes on their joinrney. Series aficionados will reocognize her signifance quickly. Steve Zahn also brilliantly brings “Bad Ape” to life, a former zoo inhabitant who provides some much needed comic relief to the proceedings.

Yet this trilogy has focused mostly on Caesar and Serkis’s absolutely astonishing portrayal of him. The effects team goes even further in making him seem so very real. The writing and the actor’s commitment succeed in making his arch very emotional.

War for the Planet of the Apes is the best of the three and the other two were both quite solid. This is the end of this particular Apes chapter, but Reeves and his team leave us with the possibility of more and wanting it.

***1/2 (out of four)

Wind River Movie Review

For his first directorial effort, Taylor Sheridan has taken cues based on his past acclaimed screenplays to effective order in Wind River. Like his written work the year prior in Hell or High Water, this picture concerns a group of citizens who feel invisible and cut off from society in many aspects. In High Water, it was West Texas dwellers in the hot desert sun who saw the American dream pass them by. In River, it’s the inhabitants residing in sub zero temperatures on an Indian reservation in Wyoming that bears the film’s title.

As Sheridan has brought the issue of crime into both Sicario and High Water, it’s a homicide that awakens the characters sense of injustice. Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) is a fish and wildlife officer who discovers the body of an 18-year-old girl in the frozen tundra. His job typically consists of hunting predators eating the livestock. This new discovery means he’ll assist in hunting a different form of predator. It’s young FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) who gets the call to provide federal assistance and she finds herself out of her element in the seemingly constant snowstorm elements.

Much like High Water, there are genre aspects that are familiar. What sets that movie apart and the same holds true here is a fascinating landscape to watch it in. Not every character that Lambert and Banner investigate is involved in the grisly crime, but they all seem bonded by the consequences of their far-off existence in this remote world.

It’s a pleasure to watch the talented Renner in a role that doesn’t involve assisting The Avengers or Ethan Hunt. His backstory is the emotionally charged one as his own young daughter suffered a similar fate to the victim here. There are moments where Renner reminds us of his significant dramatic abilities. Most of the other players exist to advance the plot (Olsen’s role is rather underwritten), but solid support is provided by Graham Greene as the sheriff and Gil Birmingham as the grieving father. Jon Bernthal turns up briefly as the victim’s boyfriend in a sequence that goes from sweet to horrific in a matter of seconds.

Wind River is a visually striking experience that easily proves Sheridan’s abilities behind the camera can match his writing. The West Texas residents of High Water may have been troubled and outraged by their lot in life, but they also had a sense of pride of where they came from. The people of Wind River feel the same. And our time spent with them is worthwhile.

*** (out of four)

Oscar Watch: Murder on the Orient Express

Ok, so perhaps you’re thinking the idea of Murder on the Orient Express receiving Oscar attention is a track taken too far. Yet it’s not so crazy when considering that the Sidney Lumet 1974 version of Agatha Christie’s whodunnit novel garnered an impressive six nods, including Best Picture and Actor (Albert Finney). Ingrid Bergman even won Supporting Actress 43 years ago for her role.

Reviews are out today for the Kenneth Branagh remake opening next Friday. Some of the critical notices have paid homage to Branagh’s apparently glorious mustache in his portrayal of detective Hercule Poirot. The reviews themselves have been mixed and it currently stands at 64% on Rotten Tomatoes. Not bad, but nowhere near what it needs for awards chatter.

It’s not exactly a surprise, but I wouldn’t suspect we’ll find this Express iteration getting the kind of Academy attention we saw four decades ago.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 2nd Edition

Thursday is here and that means my weekly Oscar predictions have kicked off for the month of November!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, means some changes have arrived. I am now expanding to include every category covering feature-length movies and listing my most likely possibilities in each. Additionally, I am slimming down the Best Picture possibilities from 25 to 15 and now just 10 instead of 15 in the other races.

There are a couple of revisions shown below I would like to cover. First, Steven Spielberg’s The Post has been high on my list for weeks. However, persistent rumors abound that it may not be the surefire contender that it appears to be on paper. Therefore, it’s taken a hit this week. I still have it listed for Picture and Actress (Meryl Streep), but it’s fallen out of my predicted nominees in other categories.

Another change is one that intersects with the news of the day and it cannot be ignored. Due to recent allegations that have surfaced in the last few days, there is little question that Kevin Spacey’s chances for Supporting Actor in All the Money in the World have potentially disappeared. That revision is also reflected today.

Now, for the first time, my thoughts on all the races for the 2017 Oscars:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

4. Mudbound (PR: 8)

5. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 6)

7. The Florida Project (PR: 7)

8. The Post (PR: 3)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Lady Bird (PR: 10)

11. I, Tonya (PR: 11)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 13)

13. Last Flag Flying (PR: 15)

14. Detroit (PR: 12)

15. Get Out (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Battle of the Sexes

Downsizing

The Greatest Showman

The Big Sick

All the Money in the World

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Wonderstruck

Molly’s Game

Wind River

Coco

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

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

3. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

4. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 8)

5. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 6)

7. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

8. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 3)

9. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 10)

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

Dropped Out:

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying

Craig Gillespie, I, Tonya

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

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

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

4. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 6)

5. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 7)

7. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

8. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 8)

9. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 10)

10. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel Esq. (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Christian Bale, Hostiles

Matt Damon, Downsizing

Jeremy Renner, Wind River

Algee Smith, Detroit

Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

3. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 1)

4. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 6)

7. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 8)

8. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 7)

9. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 9)

10. Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman

Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project

Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Diane Kruger, In the Fade

Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

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

4. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 4)

5. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

9. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 12)

10. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World

Will Poulter, Detroit

Christoph Waltz, Downsizing

Patrick Stewart, Logan

Idris Elba, Molly’s Game

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 2)

3. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

5. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 6)

7. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: 8)

9. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

10. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled

Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck

Tatiana Maslany, Stronger

Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck

Sarah Paulson, The Post

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Mudbound (PR: 2)

3. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

4. Molly’s Game (PR: 3)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck (PR: 5)

7. The Beguiled (PR: 8)

8. The Disaster Artist (PR: 7)

9. Stronger (PR: 10)

10. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

All the Money in the World

Thank You for Your Service

First, They Killed My Father

The Death of Stalin

Wonder

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

4. The Florida Project (PR: 4)

5. Lady Bird (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Big Sick (PR: 7)

7. Get Out (PR: 8)

8. The Post (PR: 6)

9. Dunkirk (PR: 10)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Phantom Thread

Downsizing

Wind River

Battle of the Sexes

Coco

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. BPM (Beats Per Minute)

2. In the Fade

3. First, They Killed My Father

4. Happy End

5. Foxtrot

Other Possibilities:

6. The Square

7. A Fantastic Woman

8. Loveless

9. The Divine Order

10. Tom of Finland

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco

2. The Breadwinner

3. Loving Vincent

4. Birdbag: The Forgotten Children

5. Ferdinand

Other Possibilities:

6. The LEGO Batman Movie

7. Cars 3

8. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

9. Despicable Me 3

10. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. City of Ghosts

2. Risk

3. Icarus

4. Cries from Syria

5. Jane

Other Possibilities:

6. Step

7. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

8. Dina

9. One of Us

10. Kedi

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk

2. The Shape of Water

3. Darkest Hour

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

5. Mudbound

Other Possibilities:

6. Blade Runner 2049

7. The Post

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

9. Call Me by Your Name

10. Detroit

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049

2. Dunkirk

3. The Shape of Water

4. Darkest Hour

5. Phantom Thread

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck

7. Mudbound

8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

9. Wonder Wheel

10. The Greatest Showman

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water

2. Blade Runner 2049

3. Darkest Hour

4. Phantom Thread

5. Dunkirk

Other Possibilities:

6. Beauty and the Beast

7. The Greatest Showman

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

9. Wonder Wheel

10. Call My by Your Name

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread

2. Beauty and the Beast

3. Darkest Hour

4. The Greatest Showman

5. Victoria and Abdul

Other Possibilities:

6. Blade Runner 2049

7. The Beguiled

8. Wonder Wheel

9. The Post

10. Murder on the Orient Express

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour

2. The Shape of Water

3. Phantom Thread

Other Possibilities:

4. The Greatest Showman

5. I, Tonya

6. Beauty and the Beast

7. Thor: Ragnarok

8. Blade Runner 2049

9. It

10. Wonderstruck

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049

2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

3. War for the Planet of the Apes

4. The Shape of Water

5. Dunkirk

Other Possibilities:

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

7. Beauty and the Beast

8. Wonder Woman

9. Thor: Ragnarok

10. Kong: Skull Island

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk

2. Blade Runner 2049

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

4. Wonder Woman

5. Transformers: The Last Knight

Other Possibilities:

6. The Shape of Water

7. Coco

8. Detroit

9. Baby Driver

10. War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk

2. Blade Runner 2049

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

4. The Shape of Water

5. The Greatest Showman

Other Possibilities:

6. Baby Driver

7. Detroit

8. Transformers: The Last Knight

9. Darkest Hour

10. Coco

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour

2. Dunkirk

3. The Shape of Water

4. Wonderstruck

5. Coco

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

7. The Post

8. Blade Runner 2049

9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

10. The Greatest Showman

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Remember Me” from Coco

2. “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall

3. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker

4. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast

5. “Come Alive” from The Greatest Showman

Other Possibilities:

6. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria

7. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit

8. “The Promise” from The Promise

9. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman

10. “To Be Human” from Wonder Woman

And that leaves my inaugural breakdown for number of nominations by each picture:

12 Nominations

The Shape of Water

11 Nominations

Darkest Hour

10 Nominations

Dunkirk

6 Nominations

Blade Runner 2049

5 Nominations

Call Me by Your Name, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Phantom Thread

4 Nominations

Mudbound, The Greatest Showman

3 Nominations

The Florida Project, Coco, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2 Nominations

The Post, I, Tonya, Lady Bird, Victoria and Abdul, Beauty and the Beast

1 Nomination

Stronger, Battle of the Sexes, Novitiate, Downsizing, Last Flag Flying, Molly’s Game, First, They Killed My Father, In the Fade, BPM (Beats Per Minute), Happy End, A Fantastic Woman, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, Birdbag: The Forgotten Children, Ferdinand, City of Ghosts, Risk, Icarus, Cries from Syria, Jane, War for the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, Transformers: The Last Knight, Wonderstruck, Marshall, Fifty Shades Darker 

Murder on the Orient Express Box Office Prediction

43 years ago, Sidney Lumet’s adaptation of the Agatha Christie murder mystery novel Murder on the Orient Express received six Oscar nods and winning box office results. This time around, it’s Kenneth Branagh both directing and starring in the new version, playing super sleuth Hercule Poirot (portrayed in 1974 by Albert Finney). Just like in the original, an all-star cast surrounds including Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, and Leslie Odom Jr.

Orient will look to cash in with adult moviegoers and hope that competition doesn’t get in the way. Thor: Ragnarok (by the way, the first Thor was directed by Branagh) will be in its second weekend. Daddy’s Home 2 opens directly against it.

Even though this is a remake based on a well-known property, Murder could stand out among the sequels it’s pitted against. If reviews and word-of-mouth are encouraging, it could additionally play well throughout subsequent weekends.

I’ll predict Express chugs along to a mid 20s opening and it could well compete for the #2 slot with Daddy’s Home 2 as Thor should retain top position in its sophomore frame.

Murder on the Orient Express opening weekend prediction: $24.6 million

For my Daddy’s Home 2 prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/10/31/daddys-home-2-box-office-prediction/