No Time to Die Review

The five film run of Daniel Craig as perhaps the world’s most famous cinematic character comes to a close in No Time to Die, the 25th feature in the nearly 60-year-old 007 franchise. It began 15 years ago with Casino Royale, which I list at #2 in the canon behind only From Russia with Love (Sean Connery’s second entry).

For those who think the dedicated team behind the series have no time for surprises, be prepared. Like the midsection poker sequence in Royale that stands as one of the finest in Bond history, there’s times where they go all in. There’s also moments that harken back to the Roger Moore days and, in this case, I mean it as a compliment. By the time we reached Craig’s third and deservedly praised Skyfall in 2012, the pics had achieved a level of seriousness that risked becoming too dour.

Despite its considerable flaws, 2015’s follow-up Spectre thankfully remembered that the action and plots in this cinematic universe can be silly. 007’s 25th adventure isn’t afraid to display that. The threat to the world here involves passing a weaponized virus only through that individual’s DNA and those related to them. It’s a little ridiculous and I once again mean that in a good way.

This is not quite the triumph that Casino Royale was. In fact, I’d also rank this a smidge behind Skyfall. The villain is not particularly memorable. Like all Craig films that followed the first, no romantic entanglement will rival the one he had with Eva Green’s Vesper Lynd. Yet Die achieves the unlikely feat of bringing those fun Moore elements dashed with Timothy Dalton’s more weighty tone. The result is that Craig’s time as the super spy (the longest in terms of actual time but not volume of titles) is easily the most satisfying since Sean Connery’s.

From the jump, we realize Die is going to be a little different. The pre-title sequence begins with a franchise first: an eerie and gorgeously rendered flashback that sheds light on the childhood of Madeleine Swann. As you may recall, she’s Bond’s love interest from Spectre played by Lea Seydoux. Her connections to that criminal enterprise led by Blofeld (Christoph Waltz) is expanded upon. In the present day, James and Madeleine are making a romantic go of it. A visit to Vesper’s tomb disrupts both their safety and Bond’s trust in his current relationship.

This all occurs in the lengthy prologue before we hear Billie Eilish’s title cut. Let’s dispense with that. Ms. Eilish has some quality tunes, but her contribution is forgettable and not the kind of Bond tune you’ll be humming leaving the theater or rushing to download for the ride back.

In the serialized fashion we’ve come to expect from Craig’s tenure (something unique only to his), we jump five years to Bond in retirement. And (gasp) he’s no longer 007. MI6 is still going strong but relations with their U.S. counterparts are strained. It’s not the new 007 (Lashana Lynch) or M (Ralph Fiennes) or even his beloved Moneypenny (Naomie Harris) or Q (Ben Whishaw) that convince Bond to emerge from his Jamaican R&R. Felix Leiter (Jeffrey Wright), along with a new eager associate (Billy Magnussen), recruit him for a mission that involves dismantling SPECTRE. Bond hooks up (not literally as Bond’s libido seems to be catching up with his age) with another agent (Ana de Armas) to do so. This culminates in a wonderfully fabulous and bizarre action set piece in Cuba.

All this activity soon puts James in the same space with Madeline again and with Blofeld. And we soon meet Safin (Rami Malek), the head baddie with his own troubled history with the criminal organization. I won’t wax rhapsodic about Safin as I mentioned he’s a pretty weak villain. On the other hand, No Time to Die is not really focused on his story. This Bond story, more than any other besides Skyfall, is really about Bond. That gives us one more opportunity to soak in Craig’s terrific performance that’s spanned this quintet. One could argue the series goes too far in making it all about him. With Craig in control, you’ll hear few complaints from me (heck even Quantum of Solace had some cool stuff in it).

No Time to Die has Cary Fukunaga taking over directorial duties from Sam Mendes, who helmed the previous two. He presides over some amazing looking chases and battles that rank right at the top of what we’ve seen previously. On a slightly contradictory note, there’s one during the climax that was a little too video game oriented for my taste. The screenwriters (with an assist from Phoebe Waller-Bridge) also remember to bring the humor. As much as Safin isn’t much of a memorable character, he does get a moment with a toddler that left me chuckling for a good minute or two after their interaction. The makers also don’t forget that these pictures can be quite weird in their production design. Safin’s Poison Garden is a glorious example.

Additionally, the team isn’t afraid to bring a rare level of emotion to the proceedings. However, it’s not that out of place for Craig’s service. We witnessed a love story in Casino Royale that went beyond his typical dalliances. His connection to Judi Dench’s M (particularly in Skyfall) went far deeper than the same character giving James his orders in the past. In No Time to Die, Mr. Craig’s mission involves the striking visuals that we’re used to. What’s different is that over the five adventures connected to each other, I felt like these missions developed a familial bond that shook the foundation of a franchise in a stirring fashion.

***1/2 (out of four)

Oscar Predictions: No Time to Die

The 15 year era of Daniel Craig as one of cinema’s most famous characters concludes with No Time to Die. James Bond will return… but not with arguably his best incarnation since Sean Connery. Prior to the October 8 stateside bow, the embargo lifted this evening and the results are encouraging.

007’s 25th adventure stands at 89% on Rotten Tomatoes (with 35 reviews out at press time). Many critics are calling it a surprisingly emotional swan song for Craig’s contribution to the British super spy series. There’s also hints that it resembles more of the Roger Moore era of the canon than one might expect (a direction it seemed to be taking with predecessor Spectre). Ana de Armas is drawing raves for her very short amount of screen time. The consensus on Rami Malek’s main villain seems a bit mixed. There’s some complaints about the length (a Bond high 163 minutes).

Yet no one seems to be arguing that it’s a rather fitting conclusion to Craig’s tenure in the part. So will Oscar take notice? Skyfall, the third pic in the actor’s five appearances, probably came close to a Best Picture nod. It did earn five nominations – winning Sound Editing and Original Song (Adele’s title track) with mentions in Sound Mixing, Score, and Cinematography. 2015’s follow-up Spectre (which had less laudatory reviews) managed a sole nomination in Song with Sam Smith’s “The Writing’s on the Wall” where it scored an upset victory.

I wouldn’t be shocked if an internet campaign is mounted for Craig to get a Best Actor slot (kind of as a tribute to the whole run). It’s highly unlikely to materialize. I do believe Die will make it three in a row for the songs with Billie Eilish’s title tune work. Whether she wins is a question mark (Beyonce has a ditty from King Richard that might serve as its main competition). Cinematography and Sound are two other feasible possibilities.

Bottom line: while I don’t foresee this factoring into the biggest races, tech and musical recognition could be coming its way. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

No Time to Die Box Office Prediction

***Blogger’s Note Part III (10/06): I have revised my No Time to Die prediction from $104.1 million down to $94.1 million, which would still set a COVID era record.

***Blogger’s Note Part II (10/03): With the news that Venom: Let There Be Carnage has grossed approximately $90 million out of the gate, it’s go big or go home for No Time to Die! I’m re-upping my estimate from $84.1 million to a COVID era best $104.1 million***

**Blogger’s Note (10/01): A week before its stateside premiere, I have decided to significantly increase my prediction (partly due to the apparent over performance of Venom: Let There Be Carnage). I’m going from $72.1 million to $84.1 million**

Ladies and gentlemen, the second frame of October finally marks the weekend for Daniel Craig’s swan song as 007 in No Time to Die. The 25th official entry in the James Bond franchise was gearing up for release in April of 2020 (Billie Eilish’s title track had already dropped) when COVID scuttled the plans. It experienced several more delays before at last settling on October 8. Craig is back for his fifth and final appearance along with series returnees Lea Seydoux, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright, Rory Kinnear, and Christoph Waltz. On the job for the first time are Rami Malek as the main villain, Lashana Lynch, Craig’s Knives Out costar Ana de Armas, and Billy Magnussen.

Anticipation is certainly present with the culmination of Mr. Craig’s service as the British super spy – one rivaled by only Sean Connery. He’s actually had the longest run as the character in terms of time, though not actual volume of pictures. It seems like eons since moviegoers have had their Bond fix. With the frequent pushbacks, the just shy of a six-year wait is the second lengthiest break between 007 adventures (beaten by the sabbatical of 1989’s Licence to Kill and 1995’s Goldeneye at nearly six and a half years).

Fifteen years ago, Craig defied expectations with the critically acclaimed Casino Royale. It made $40 million for its start but legged out very impressively. Sequel (and it was the first true Bond sequel) Quantum of Solace debuted two years later with $67 million. 2012’s Skyfall marked a high point at the box office as it grossed over a billion dollars worldwide. The premiere stateside is a series best $88 million. Three years later, Spectre kicked off with $70 million.

So where will this golden era of 007 culminate in terms of opening weekend? There’s certainly a range of possibilities. First things first: it will have no trouble eclipsing what Craig’s first foray achieved a decade and a half ago. I do believe the COVID times will prevent the record setting starting number of Skyfall managed (but you never know). It’s hard to totally factor in the excitement for its star’s last go-round. A video of Craig bidding adieu to his costars and crew has been widely circulated on social media in recent weeks.

My hunch is that a premiere in the range of Quantum and Spectre is most likely stateside (I’m sure its overseas haul will be massive). I’m tempted to say a low to mid 60s gross just under them could occur. However, I’ll err on the side of over performance and project low to mid 70s. (PER ABOVE: I have increased estimate from $72.1M to $84.1M to $104.1 million)

No Time to Die opening weekend prediction: $94.1 million

Early 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Actress

Last year’s Best Actress race was one of the most unpredictable and competitive in ages. Five different performers took the Oscar, Golden Globes (since they split between Drama and Musical/Comedy), SAG, and Critics Choice Award.

And, while it’s very early, 2021 appears that it could be a humdinger of a contest yet again. This is the final acting derby I am doing projections on in these initial forecasts. By far, Best Actress was the hardest one to whittle down and there were even potential contenders beyond the 15 listed that I believe could easily get into the mix.

Speaking of those earlier posts, you can peruse them here if you didn’t catch  them:

Early 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

Early 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

Early 2021 Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

When I did my inaugural 2020 posts in Actress, I correctly identified 2 of the 5 eventual nominees: winner Frances McDormand (Nomadland) and Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom). Carey Mulligan was named in Other Possibilities while I did not yet call out Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday) or Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman).

Let’s get to the hopefuls for 2021!

EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST ACTRESS

Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers

Ana de Armas, Blonde

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Jennifer Hudson, Respect

Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Other Possibilities:

Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Emilia Jones, CODA

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up

Thomasin McKenzie, Last Night in Soho

Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Margot Robbie, Canterbury Glass

Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Alicia Vikander, Blue Bayou

Rachel Zegler, West Side Story

Best Director is next up!

2019 Oscar Predictions: January 6th Edition

There are years when the Golden Globes don’t seem to have much of an impact on my Oscar predictions. That could still hold true at the end of the day, but last night’s ceremony did so and that especially applies to the Best Actor derby and my numeric rankings in general with other top races. Let us count the ways…

  • The surprising wins for 1917 as Best Drama and Sam Mendes as its director is a real story. The timing could not be more perfect as the World War I action drama opens wide this weekend. In Picture, it rises from 5th to 4th. For Mendes, he goes from 4th to 3rd and that’s at the expense of Martin Scorsese.
  • Joaquin Phoenix hits the #1 slot in the ultra competitive Best Actor competition over Adam Driver, who’s been first for many weeks. Perhaps more significantly, Taron Egerton’s victory over Leonardo DiCaprio and Eddie Murphy in the Musical/Comedy race at the Globes places in my predicted five for the first time (he goes from 10th to 5th!). I’ve also put Antonio Banderas back in and that means Robert De Niro and Jonathan Pryce are on the outside looking in.
  • In Original Screenplay, Quentin Tarantino vaults to #1 over Noah Baumbach.

And an important programming note… this is the last time you will see my weekly predictions for 2019 in this manner. With nominations out a week from today, I will have a FINAL predictions post up this weekend (likely Friday or perhaps Saturday). As of this moment, here’s how I have it all shaking out!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Parasite (PR: 3)

3. The Irishman (PR: 2)

4. 1917 (PR: 5)

5. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Farewell (PR: 12)

11. Bombshell (PR: 11)

12. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

13. Knives Out (PR: 14)

14. Uncut Gems (PR: 15)

15. Pain and Glory (PR: 13)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

4. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 6)

7. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 9)

8. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Pedro Almodovar, Pain and Glory (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

2. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

5. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 4)

7. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

8. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

9. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 9)

10. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 8)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 4)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

8. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 10)

9. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

10. Ana de Armas, Knives Out (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 7)

7. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: 6)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 8)

9. Alan Alda, Marriage Story (PR: 10)

10. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 4)

5. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 6)

7. Shuzhen Zhao, The Farewell (PR: 7)

8. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 8)

9. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

10. Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 5)

5. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

7. Hustlers (PR: 7)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 8)

9. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

10. Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

2. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. 1917 (PR: 7)

7. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

10. Bombshell (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Dolemite Is My Name

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Corpus Christi (PR: 6)

5. Atlantics (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Beanpole (PR: 7)

7. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

8. The Painted Bird (PR: 5)

9. Honeyland (PR: 8)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Funan (PR: 9)

7. Klaus (PR: 6)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 8)

9. Abominable (PR: 7)

10. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. For Sama (PR: 3)

3. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

4. One Child Nation (PR: 4)

5. Honeyland (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. Midnight Family (PR: 9)

8. Maiden (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

10. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Knock Down the House 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Joker (PR: 4)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

7. The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

8. Parasite (PR: 5)

9. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Marriage Story (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

A Hidden Life 

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Joker (PR: 8)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

9. Judy (PR: 6)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 10)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: 7)

8. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Bombshell

Apollo 11

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Judy (PR: 3)

3. Joker (PR: 2)

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: 7)

7. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 6)

8. 1917 (PR: 10)

9. Little Women (PR: 8)

10. Downton Abbey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 2)

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 3)

5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 5)

7. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. The King (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Pain and Glory

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 4)

4. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 5)

5. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: 7)

7. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 6)

8. “Letter to My Godfather” from The Black Godfather (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 9)

10. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Speechless” from Aladdin 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. 1917 (PR: 5)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 4)

7. Joker (PR: 6)

8. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

9. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

10. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ford v Ferrari 

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

8. Joker (PR: 7)

9. The Irishman (PR: 9)

10. Us (PR: 10)

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Rocketman (PR: 4)

4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 6)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 5)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: 9)

10. Us (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Lion King (PR: 1)

2. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

4. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

7. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 6)

8. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: 8)

9. Captain Marvel (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

And that equates to these pictures garnering the following numbers for nominations:

10 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

9 Nominations

The Irishman

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story

7 Nominations

Little Women

6 Nominations

Joker

5 Nominations

Parasite, Rocketman 

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell

2 Nominations

Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, Pain and Glory, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, American Factory, Apollo 11, Atlantics, Corpus Christi, Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Knives Out, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose

2019 Golden Globe Final Predictions – WINNERS

With the exception of two or three categories, the only thing that seems certain for Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards is that host Ricky Gervais will say something to upset people. With questions about who and what will emerge victorious this awards season, there is plenty of drama to go with the music and comedy this weekend.

While I spend a lot of time prognosticating the Oscars on this blog, I only did one post estimating what the Hollywood Foreign Press gave us for consideration. And now it’s time to predict the winners.

First, a quick Globes 101. This ceremony splits the lead acting races and pictures into Drama and Musical or Comedy. They do not split screenplay into Adapted or Original like the Academy does. Furthermore, unlike the Oscars, foreign pictures are nominated only in that race and are not eligible for the two top Picture categories.

This creates a fascinating dynamic Sunday evening as Oscar’s likely top three potential Best Picture winners (The Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite) are all in different races. Bottom line: the Globes could be more helpful in pointing out what direction Academy voters may go in the acting derbies. We shall see…

Here goes as I break down each competition with analysis and a winner pick:

Best Motion Picture – Drama

The Nominees: 1917, The Irishman, Joker, Marriage Story, The Two Popes

Analysis: Of the three motion picture races, this is the one I feel least confident about. In 2018, the HFPA went with a giant blockbuster and a surprise with Bohemian Rhapsody. If they go this route again, you can expect Joker to be the victor. After all, 1917 hasn’t even opened wide yet (it could sneak a win too) and the other three are Netflix releases. This ultimately serves as the first major test for The Irishman as it moves through awards season. I’ll give it the edge, but not my much.

PREDICTED WINNER – THE IRISHMAN

Alternate – Joker

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

The Nominees: Dolemite Is My Name, Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Rocketman

Analysis: Some simple math here as Hollywood is the only nominee that also scored a nod for its director. That bodes well and this is the clear frontrunner.

PREDICTED WINNER – ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

Alternate – Rocketman

Best Director

The Nominees: Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Analysis: This could certainly come down to Scorsese vs. Tarantino. Yet Sunday could be the beginning of a huge run for Joon-Ho picking up directing honors. I think that’s what happens.

PREDICTED WINNER – BONG JOON-HO

Alternate – Quentin Tarantino

Best Actor – Drama

The Nominees: Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

Analysis: The Driver vs. Phoenix battle begins with the Globes. Joker did extremely well with Globes voters and this race probably represents its best chance for a victory. Driver is quite viable, but I’m going Phoenix.

PREDICTED WINNER – JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Alternate – Adam Driver

Best Actress – Drama

The Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

Analysis: In what could absolutely be the Oscar final five, Zellweger’s work as the iconic Judy Garland seems like the type of performance HFPA will eat up. Johansson and Theron are threats, but this could be the first of a couple more Zellweger podium walks.

PREDICTED WINNER – RENEE ZELLWEGER

Alternate – Scarlett Johansson

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy

The Nominees: Daniel Craig (Knives Out), Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo Rabbit), Leonardo Dicaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name)

Analysis: For Craig and Davis, it’s an honor to be nominated as this is a three person race. Both Egerton and DiCaprio should pick up significant votes and I’m awfully tempted to go Leo. However, Murphy’s acclaimed performance and his legendary status (especially coming so soon after his SNL return) could be irresistible to the HFPA.

PREDICTED WINNER – EDDIE MURPHY

Alternate – Leonardo DiCaprio

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

The Nominees: Ana de Armas (Knives Out), Awkwafina (The Farewell), Cate Blanchett (Where’d You Go Bernadette), Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), Emma Thompson (Late Night)

Analysis: Awkwafina is really the only player here with an Oscar shot so she’s a strong frontrunner. It’s pretty much that simple. I’d say de Armas is the only upset possibility and it’s rather slim.

PREDICTED WINNER – AWKWAFINA

Alternate – Ana de Armas

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

Analysis: What a list of legends we have here as Pacino and Pesci may split votes and that paves the way for Pitt. Expect this to be a familiar refrain.

PREDICTED WINNER – BRAD PITT

Alternate – Joe Pesci

Best Supporting Actress

The Nominees: Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Annette Bening (The Report), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

Analysis: The smart money is on Lopez, who’s had a remarkable comeback in 2019. I may regret this, but I’m going with a gut feeling that Dern takes it and that may represent the only win for Marriage Story of its six nods.

PREDICTED WINNER – LAURA DERN

Alternate – Jennifer Lopez

Best Screenplay

The Nominees: The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite, The Two Popes

Analysis: The only entry here I don’t see with a fair shot of winning is Popes. This is a coin flip situation. Despite what I just said about Dern, Marriage could absolutely win. The Parasite love could extend here and same with Irishman. Tough one, but I’ll give Tarantino the edge (especially since I’m betting against him in Director).

PREDICTED WINNER – ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD

Alternate – Marriage Story

Best Foreign Language Film

The Nominees: The Farewell, Les Miserables, Pain and Glory, Parasite, Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Analysis: All five pics have their ardent admirers, but here’s the deal. If Parasite doesn’t win, it would constitute the biggest upset of the evening. Not happening.

PREDICTED WINNER – PARASITE

Alternate – umm… let’s say Pain and Glory

Best Animated Feature Film

The Nominees: Frozen II, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, The Lion King, Missing Link, Toy Story 4

Analysis: Disney has 60% of the nominees here, including that rather shocking Lion King inclusion. I wouldn’t totally count out Dragon, but Pixar should get the glory.

PREDICTED WINNER – TOY STORY 4

Alternate – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

Best Orignal Score

The Nominees: 1917, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Motherless Brooklyn

Analysis: This one isn’t easy as just Brooklyn seems unlikely to get it. I’ll give Thomas Newman (1917) a small advantage over cousin Randy (Marriage Story), Alexandre Desplat (Women), and Hildur Guonadottir (Joker).

PREDICTED WINNER – 1917

Alternate – Little Women

Best Original Song

The Nominees: “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman, “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II, “Spirit” from The Lion King, “Stand Up” from Harriet

Analysis: Never count out Disney with the ballad from Frozen II, but the general consensus is it’s no “Let It Go”. There’s some serious heavy hitters here with Beyonce, Taylor Swift, and Elton John in the mix. HFPA might want to see Elton onstage.

PREDICTED WINNER – “(I’M GONNA) LOVE ME AGAIN” FROM ROCKETMAN

Alternate – “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II

So this means I’m predicting the Globes spread it around with the following winner counts:

3 Wins

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

2 Wins

Parasite

1 Win

1917, Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, The Irishman, Joker, Judy, Marriage Story, Rocketman, Toy Story 4

I’ll have a recap of the show up Sunday night with my results!

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 30th Edition

There are two weeks to go before Oscar nominations come out and it’s been two weeks since I’ve updated my predictions. There’s not much in the way of major movement in the top races, but the numbers have shifted in some cases. Let’s break it down:

  • In Picture, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood vaults to #1 in what looks like a three-way competition between it, The Irishman, and Parasite.
  • Bong-Joon Ho rises to first in Director over Tarantino and Scorsese.
  • There is a change in Actor as Jonathan Pryce is back in over Antonio Banderas. Pain and Glory takes another hit in Original Screenplay as I’ve taken it out and put Knives Out back in.

Check in later this week for my predictions on winners for the Golden Globes, which airs this Sunday. The plan is to have Oscar predictions next Monday and then a post up on Saturday (January 11) with final predictions on the races.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. The Irishman (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

11. Bombshell (PR: 11)

12. The Farewell (PR: 12)

13. Pain and Glory (PR: 13)

14. Knives Out (PR: 13)

15. Uncut Gems (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Rocketman 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 2)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

3. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 6)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

8. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

9. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 8)

10. Pedro Almodovar, Pain and Glory (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 5)

5. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 4)

7. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

8. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 10)

9. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 8)

10. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 9)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 4)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 7)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 6)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

9. Ana de Armas, Knives Out (PR: Not Rankled)

10. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: 7)

7. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 6)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 8)

9. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 9)

10. Alan Alda, Marriage Story (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

5. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 9)

7. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

8. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

9. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

10. Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jo Yeo-Jeong, Parasite 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

7. Hustlers (PR: 7)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 8)

9. Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

7. 1917 (PR: 8)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

9. Bombshell (PR: 7)

10. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Uncut Gems

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Atlantics (PR: 4)

5. The Painted Bird (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Corpus Christi (PR: 7)

7. Beanpole (PR: 5)

8. Honeyland (PR: 8)

9. Those Who Remained (PR: 6)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 8)

7. Abominable (PR: 6)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 7)

9. Funan (PR: 10)

10. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

3. For Sama (PR: 4)

4. One Child Nation (PR: 3)

5. Honeyland (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 8)

8. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 7)

9. Midnight Family (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Knock Down the House (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Maiden

Aquarela 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

4. Joker (PR: 3)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

7. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

8. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 7)

9. Marriage Story (PR: Not Ranked)

10. A Hidden Life (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Ad Astra

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judy (PR: 7)

7. The Irishman (PR: 6)

8. Joker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

2. The Irishman (PR: 1)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. 1917 (PR: 4)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. Bombshell (PR: 9)

10. Apollo 11 (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Knives Out

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 3)

3. Judy (PR: 2)

4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

5. Rocketman (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

7. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: 10)

8. Little Women (PR: 7)

9. Downton Abbey (PR: 4)

10. 1917 (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 5)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

7. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 10)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 9)

10. Pain and Glory (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Us

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

4. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 5)

5. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 6)

7. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: 9)

8. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 8)

9. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 10)

10. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 4)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Parasite (PR: 6)

5. 1917 (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 5)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

5. Rocketman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

7. Joker (PR: 4)

8. Ad Astra (PR: 9)

9. The Irishman (PR: 8)

10. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 10)

8. Joker (PR: 6)

9. The Irishman (PR: 8)

10. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Lion King (PR: 4)

2. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

4. The Irishman (PR: 1)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 6)

7. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

8. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: 10)

9. Captain Marvel (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

And that equates to these films getting the following numbers of nods:

11 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

10 Nominations

The Irishman

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story 

7 Nominations

Little Women, Parasite

6 Nominations

Joker

5 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Rocketman

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, The Two Popes

2 Nominations

Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, American Factory, Apollo 11, Atlantics, Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Knives Out, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Pain and Glory, The Painted Bird, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose 

2019 Golden Globe Nominations Reaction

Perhaps the most preeminent Oscar precursor announced their nominations this morning and that means it’s both time for my analysis and a report on how yours truly did with the predictions!

Some quick takes before breaking down each race… Joker and The Two Popes had good mornings and did better than anticipated. Marriage Story led the way with 6 nominations followed by The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood with five apiece. As for Martin Scorsese’s gangster epic, it did miss in one key category.

Let’s take it race by race, shall we?

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: 1917, The Irishman, Joker, Marriage Story, The Two Popes

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: As mentioned, it was indeed a solid morning for Joker and Popes. Those were the two entries I didn’t predict and they got in over Ford v Ferrari and Little Women (which had a rather subpar day). They were my two picks for alternates at least. This appears to be a race between the pictures with the most nods – Irishman and Marriage Story with the former having the edge (see Director).

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Dolemite Is My Name, Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Rocketman

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: It was my first alternate Dolemite getting in over Cats, which did screen for Hollywood Foreign Press voters even though its review embargo hasn’t yet lapsed. This is Hollywood‘s category to lose and it’s the strong front-runner.

Best Director

Nominees: Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Todd Phillips (Joker), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: The surprise here is certainly Phillips, who I didn’t have listed as an alternate. He gets in over Noah Baumbach, which could mean a Best Drama victory for the film itself got tougher. I’m thinking Scorsese vs. Tarantino here with Joon-Ho as a very serious spoiler.

Best Actor – Drama

Nominees: Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: That key category that The Irishman missed is here with Robert De Niro not getting in the mix in favor of my first alternate Christian Bale. Another miss here is Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems as he’s won some precursors from the critical community. Just like the Oscars could be, this may come down to Driver or Phoenix.

Best Actress – Drama

Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

How I Did: 5/5

Analysis: No surprises here! It is worth mentioning that, despite some early critical precursor love, the work of Lupita Nyong’o in Us didn’t factor in. Zellweger may have the edge here, followed by Johansson or Theron. This could also match what the Academy does.

Best Actor – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Daniel Craig (Knives Out), Roman Griffin Davis (Jojo Rabbit), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name)

How I Did: 5/5

Analysis: Another sweep here as this list was as anticipated. DiCaprio is the favorite, but don’t sleep on Murphy or Egerton as spoilers.

Best Actress – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Awkwafina (The Farewell), Cate Blanchett (Where’d You Go Bernadette), Ana de Armas (Knives Out), Beanie Feldstein (Booksmart), Emma Thompson (Late Night)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: It’s first alternate Blanchett in for over Constance Wu from Hustlers. As I do believe Awkwafina is the only actress here with Oscar viability, look for her to win here.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

How I Did: 5/5

Analysis: Today could have given a boost to Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse or other outliers such as Wesley Snipes (Dolemite) or Song Kang-Ho (Parasite), but it wasn’t to be as this very star studded list materialized as predicted. With Pacino and Pesci potentially splitting votes, Pitt is in the driver’s seat.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Kathy Bates (Richard Jewell), Annette Bening (The Report), Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: I was a little shakier here as my first alternate Bening and unlisted Bates get in over Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit) and Florence Pugh (Little Women). Expect Dern vs. Lopez in this one.

Best Screenplay

Nominees: The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite, The Two Popes

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Another feather in the cap for Popes, which could in over Jojo (which had a rather subpar morning). Hollywood could have a very slight edge over Marriage. 

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Nominees: The Farewell, Les Miserables, Pain and Glory, Parasite, Portrait of a Lady on Fire

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Nothing unexpected as Les Miserables (my first alternate) was named over Atlantics. No doubt that Parasite is the massive favorite.

Best Motion Picture – Animated

Nominees: Frozen II, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, The Lion King, Missing Link, Toy Story 4

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Perhaps the shocker of the day is The Lion King nabbing a nod here. I said I Lost My Body instead. With Disney holding now three of the five slots, they’ve got 60% chance to win. Dragon could upset, but Toy Story is the probable recipient.

Best Original Score

Nominees: 1917, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Motherless Brooklyn

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Brooklyn got a surprise nod. I had Ford v Ferrari instead. 1917 looks to take the trophy.

Best Original Song

Nominees: “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman, “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II, “Spirit” from The Lion King, “Stand Up” from Harriet

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: Second alternate “Stand Up” is in over my “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn. The Globe voters could be tempted to go with Elton John here, though Frozen II is probably a soft favorite.

So, al in all, I went 54 for 70 on my overall estimates. The Golden Globes airs January 5th on NBC with Ricky Gervais hosting.

2019 Golden Globe Predictions

On Monday, one of the most significant Oscar precursors announces their nominations. Yes, we have the Golden Globe nods coming out with the SAG Awards following on Wednesday (except my predictions on them early this week).

While I’ve been updating my Oscar projections on a near weekly basis, I don’t do the same with the Globes. This will serve as my first and last batch of predictions for the ceremony airing in January with Ricky Gervais hosting.

As you’re likely aware, this show does it a bit different than the Oscars by splitting their film and lead actor categories into separate Drama and Musical/Comedy categories. For each race, I’m making my five predicted features or performers that I believe will make the cut as well as a first and second alternate.

Let’s get to it!

Best Motion Picture – Drama

1917

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Little Women

Marriage Story

1st Alternate – Joker

2nd Alternate – The Two Popes

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Cats

Jojo Rabbit

Knives Out

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Rocketman

1st Alternate – Dolemite Is My Name

2nd Alternate – Hustlers

Best Director

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story

Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

1st Alternate – Greta Gerwig, Little Women

2nd Alternate – James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari

Best Actress – Drama

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

1st Alternate – Lupita Nyong’o, Us

2nd Alternate – Alfre Woodard, Clemency

Best Actor – Drama

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Robert De Niro, The Irishman

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

1st Alternate – Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari

2nd Alternate – Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

Best Actress – Comedy or Musical

Awkwafina, The Farewell

Ana de Armas, Knives Out

Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart

Emma Thompson, Late Night

Constance Wu, Hustlers

1st Alternate – Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette

2nd Alternate – Kaitlyn Dever, Booksmart

Best Actor – Comedy or Musical

Daniel Craig, Knives Out

Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Taron Egerton, Rocketman

Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

1st Alternate – Shia LaBeouf, The Peanut Butter Falcon

2nd Alternate – Himesh Patel, Yesterday 

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

1st Alternate – Annette Bening, The Report

2nd Alternate – Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

1st Alternate – Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse

2nd Alternate – Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit

Best Screenplay

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

1st Alternate – The Two Popes

2nd Alternate – Knives Out

Best Motion Picture – Animated

Frozen II

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body

Missing Link

Toy Story 4

1st Alternate – Weathering with You

2nd Alternate – Abominable

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Atlantics

The Farewell

Pain and Glory

Parasite

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

1st Alternate – Les Miserables

2nd Alternate – Monos

Best Original Score

1917

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

1st Alternate – The Aeronauts

2nd Alternate – Us

Best Original Song

“Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats

“Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman

“Into the Unknown” from Frozen II

“Spirit” from The Lion King

1st Alternate – “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4

2nd Alternate – “Stand Up” from Harriet

And that equates to the following features nabbing these numbers when it comes to nominations:

7 Nominations

Marriage Story

6 Nominations

The Irishman

5 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

4 Nominations

Jojo Rabbit, Little Women

3 Nominations

1917, Knives Out, Parasite, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Bombshell, Cats, The Farewell, Ford v Ferrari, Frozen II, Hustlers, Joker, Pain and Glory, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Atlantics, Booksmart, Dolemite Is My Name, Harriet, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Judy, Late Night, The Lion King, Missing Link, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Toy Story 4

Rest assured that I will have a post up with reaction to the Monday announcements with a recap on how I did! Until then…

Knives Out Movie Review

Whodunits aren’t an omnipresent genre on the silver screen these days and rare recent ones like Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express have had a bit of an unnecessary regurgitated vibe to it. Not so with Rian Johnson’s Knives Out, which displays  the writer/director’s enthusiasm for playing in this murderous sandbox to satisfactory effect. Like the 1974 version of Orient Express, we have a 007 involved. 45 years ago, it was Sean Connery and now it’s Daniel Craig. There’s a Marvel superhero (Chris Evans) playing decidedly against type. A captain of the American crime novel industry meets his demise in a stately manner that’s a triumph of production design. Craig and Evans are having a good time here, as is the rest of the cast. Some get better opportunities to shine than others. One of the standouts even has her crowd pleasing moments that involves regurgitation.

The Thrombey family is celebrating the 85th birthday of their patriarch Harlan (Christopher Plummer), a wealthy novelist who won’t allow his capers to be adapted into films or TV specials. This is a source of frustration for son Walt (Michael Shannon), who cares for his publishing empire. The family drama doesn’t stop there. Harlan is prepared to expose family secrets or cut off the gravy train for eldest daughter Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her philandering husband (Don Johnson) and daughter-in-law and would-be life coaching guru Joni (Toni Collette). Evans is the black sheep grandson in a clan where that’s saying something. Everyone has a reason to get rid of Harlan. His most healthy relationship is with a non-family member – caretaker Marta (Ana de Armas). She’s from another country and it could be Brazil or Ecuador and one ending with “guay”. Don’t ask the Thrombeys as they express an admiration for her, but hilariously have no clue where she came from. This is all part of Johnson’s integration of the immigration debate into a screenplay that manages to occasionally weave current events into the foul play happenings.

That foul play means Harlan’s celebration is short-lived. Enter private detective Benoit Blanc as played by Craig and his work is a far cry from James Bond. Adopting a thick Southern drawl and a patient attitude to finding the killer, Blanc nevertheless seems a step ahead of the other policemen investigating. They want to believe Harlan might have committed suicide as the evidence suggests. Yet no whodunit script could make it that simple, could it?

Knives Out clues the audience in on some revelations before they enter Blanc’s consciousness from time to time. Johnson probably could have held some back for stronger pacing results. And some of the performers never quite have the running time to develop their roles. These turn out to be minor criticisms in the grand scheme. De Armas and Evans form the yin and yang of the case and are afforded the most clock time in the game along with Craig. The frequent twists and turns experienced are a hoot as we anticipate what Johnson will throw up on the screen next.

*** (out of four)