Best Picture 2012: The Final Five

My latest Final Five post brings us to 2012 and the Oscars that occurred nearly a decade ago. If you’re reading this series for the first time, this is where I whittle the 8-10 Best Picture nominees from every year since 2009 to five. As you may know, it was in 2009 that the Academy stopped listing a quintet of movies for the big prize and expanded it upwards. If you missed my write-ups about 2009, 2010, and 2011 – you can access them here:

Best Picture 2009: The Final Five

Best Picture 2010: The Final Five

Best Picture 2011: The Final Five

As we do with each year, we start with the obvious. Ben Affleck’s Argo certainly would have made the cut since it won BP. 2012 was a strange year with the Academy’s voters. Argo emerged as the first film since 1989’s Driving Miss Daisy where the BP recipient’s director wasn’t nominated in that category. It’s happened twice since with 2018’s Green Book and last year’s CODA. I will admit that picking a fifth entry was challenging. The other 3 besides Argo seem pretty clear. Let’s get into it!

Amour

Michael Haneke’s French drama was the easy winner of Foreign Language Film and nabbed 3 other nods: Director, Actress (Emmanuelle Riva), and Original Screenplay.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, though an argument can certainly be made. I would venture that with only five, the narrative would’ve been that it had no trouble in the foreign race and that would be the reward.

Beasts of the Southern Wild

This micro-budgeted indie fantasy from Benh Zeitlin scored a surprise directing nod as well as Actress (Quvanzhane Wallis) and Adapted Screenplay.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. It received the least amount of nominations of the nine nominees and won none of its four mentions. That said, it’s not entirely out of the question that it could have snuck in.

Django Unchained

Quentin Tarantino scored the biggest hit of his career with this Western which won Original Screenplay and Supporting Actor (Christoph Waltz). It also received nods for Cinematography and Sound Editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, though an argument can be made yet again (especially with the Original Screenplay victory). That said, misses for directing and editing are indications that it might have just missed.

Les Miserables

With 8 nominations and wins for Supporting Actress (Anne Hathaway), Sound Mixing, and Makeup and Hairstyling, the adaptation of the famed musical was one of the biggest box office performers of the bunch.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No… and stop me if you’ve heard this before… but an argument could be made. Like Django, the directing and editing omissions prevent me from saying it is top five.

Life of Pi

Ang Lee’s visually striking adaptation of a bestseller tied with most nominations (11). Lee would win for his behind the camera work and it would pick up gold statues for Score, Cinematography, and Visual Effects. Unlike our last two contenders, it did receive an editing nod.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Furthermore, it was probably the runner-up for the win.

Lincoln

Steven Spielberg’s historical tale was the other movie to receive 11 nominations. The sole win was for Daniel Day-Lewis’s embodiment of the 16th POTUS in Best Actor.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Despite the 1 for 11 showing, the sheer number of nods strongly suggest its inclusion.

Silver Linings Playbook

With 8 nominations and Jennifer Lawrence taking Best Actress, this was the rare pic that scored nominations in all 4 acting derbies. Unlike Lawrence – Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, and Jacki Weaver didn’t win their respective races. This was also up for David O. Russell’s direction, Adapted Screenplay, and Editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes – based on where else it landed attention.

Zero Dark Thirty

Kathryn Bigelow’s follow-up to her Oscar winning The Hurt Locker won Sound Editing. Jessica Chastain was up for Actress with Original Screenplay and Editing nods making it five overall. Bigelow’s snub in the directing race was unexpected.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes, but this is the one I’m most unsure about. One could easily make the case for Amour or Beasts or Django or Les Miserables. The fact that this had the screenplay nod and editing made me pick it.

So in my view your abbreviated 2012 BP lineup would be:

Argo

Life of Pi

Lincoln

Silver Linings Playbook

Zero Dark Thirty 

2013 is up next!

2022 Oscar Predictions: June 23rd Edition

My final Oscar predictions for the month of June comes with some news out today that Yorgos Lanthimos’s Poor Things is likely delayed until 2023. While I didn’t have it being nominated in any of the major races, it was listed in other possibilities in Picture, Director, Actress (Emma Stone), Supporting Actor (for Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo), and Adapted Screenplay.

As for other shifts, I’m putting Empire of Light back in the 10 BP nominees and that’s to the detriment of She Said. In Supporting Actress, I’m dropping Zoe Kazan in She Said from the high five in favor of Rustin‘s Audra McDonald.

I’ll additionally note that Top Gun: Maverick continues to rise as it flies to the #12 slot. Its continued box office domination increases the chances for BP inclusion. Time will tell if it breaks the top 10 or eventually falls out of favor. However, I have no doubt now that Paramount will mount a robust campaign considering its phenomenon status.

In Best Actor, the #1 position is back to Hugh Jackman (The Son) over Brendan Fraser in The Whale. Speaking of the former pic, I’ve moved Laura Dern’s work to supporting instead of lead.

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture 

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Women Talking (PR: 6) (+1)

6. The Son (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Bardo (PR: 7) (E)

8. Empire of Light (PR: 11) (+3)

9. The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. Rustin (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. She Said (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 18) (+6)

13. White Noise (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Broker (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Amsterdam (PR: 14) (-1)

16. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 17) (+1)

17. Tar (PR: 19) (+2)

18. Elvis (PR: 20) (+2)

19. Decision to Leave (PR: 16) (-3)

20. Next Goal Wins (PR: 21) (+1)

21. Thirteen Lives (PR: 22) (+1)

22. Triangle of Sadness (PR: Not Ranked)

23. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 24) (+1)

24. Till (PR: 25) (+1)

25. The Killer (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Poor Things

Armageddon Time

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

7. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 11) (+4)

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Hirokazu Kore-ada, Broker (PR: 10) (E)

11. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (+3)

12. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 12) (E)

13. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (-4)

14. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Todd Field, Tar (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 6) (E)

7. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (E)

12. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Michelle Williams, Showing Up (PR: 14) (E)

15. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Emma Stone, Poor Things 

Laura Dern, The Son (moved to Supporting Actress)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 2) (+1)

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

3. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 6) (E)

7. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Song Kang-ho, Broker (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives (PR: 15) (E)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Actress)

7. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 4) (-3)

8. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 11) (-2)

14. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 14) (E)

15. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 9) (E)

10. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: Not Ranked)

13. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Don Cheadle, White Noise (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Willem Dafoe, Poor Things

Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (+5)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 11) (+6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Rustin (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Broker (PR: 5) (-3)

9. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Adapted)

10. Tar (PR: 10) (E)

11. Amsterdam (PR: 7) (-4)

12. Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (-4)

13. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Bros (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Aftersun

Armageddon Time

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story 

Nope 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Women Talking (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Whale (PR: 3) (-1)

5. White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. She Said (PR: 6) (E)

7. Next Goal Wins (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Till (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Bones & All (PR: 12) (+3)

10. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 15) (+5)

11. The Killer (PR: Not Ranked)

12. The Good Nurse (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 13) (E)

14. Thirteen Lives (PR: 11) (-3)

15. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Poor Things 

The Banshees of Inisherin (moved to Original Screenplay)

2022 Oscar Predictions: June 13th Edition

My updated weekly Oscar predictions goes from 6 categories to 8 with the inclusion of both screenplay derbies! It’s the first time we’ve seen some titles in my possibilities such as Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Nope, The Greatest Beer Run Ever, and Bones & All. 

As for changes in the other races, I’m putting Rustin back in BP and that means Empire of Light drops from the top ten. Danielle Deadwyler (Till) returns to my top five in Actress over Cate Blanchett in Tar. 

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Son (PR: 6) (+1)

6. Women Talking (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Bardo (PR: 7) (E)

8. She Said (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. Rustin (PR: 11) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Empire of Light (PR: 10) (-1)

12. White Noise (PR: 20) (+8)

13. Broker (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Amsterdam (PR: 14) (E)

15. Poor Things (PR: 13) (-2)

16. Decision to Leave (PR: 15) (-1)

17. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 18) (+1)

18. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 17) (-1)

19. Tar (PR: 16) (-3)

20. Elvis (PR: 21) (+1)

21. Next Goal Wins (PR: 22) (+1)

22. Thirteen Lives (PR: 19) (-3)

23. Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

24. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 25) (+1)

25. Till (PR: 24) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Aftersun 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

7. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (E)

10. Hirokazu Kore-eda, Broker (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (PR: 13) (E)

14. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (E)

15. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

George C. Wolfe, Rustin 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 3) (E)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Emma Stone, Poor Things (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (E)

9. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 10) (E)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (E)

12. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Michelle Williams, Showing Up (PR: 14) (E)

15. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 15) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 1) (E)

2. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 4) (E)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 10) (+4)

7. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Song Kang-Ho, Broker (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 11) (E)

12. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 12) (E)

13. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 15) (+2)

14. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Michael Ward, Empire of Light

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 4) (E)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 9) (E)

10. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 13) (E)

14. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 11) (-4)

Dropped Out:

Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things (PR: 6) (E)

7. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 8) (-2)

11. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (-1)

12. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 15) (+2)

14. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things (PR: 14) (E)

15. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 12) (-3)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once

2. Babylon

3. The Fabelmans

4. Bardo

5. Broker

Other Possibilities:

6. Rustin

7. Amsterdam

8. Decision to Leave

9. Empire of Light

10. Tar

11. Triangle of Sadness

12. Aftersun

13. Armageddon Time

14. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery 

15. Nope 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Killers of the Flower Moon

2. The Son

3. The Whale

4. Women Talking

5. White Noise

Other Possibilities:

6. She Said

7. Poor Things

8. The Banshees of Inisherin

9. Next Goal Wins

10. Till

11. Thirteen Lives

12. Bones and All

13. Top Gun: Maverick

14. Avatar: The Way of Water

15. The Greatest Beer Run Ever 

2022 Oscar Predictions: June 6th Edition

My first Oscar predictions in the six major categories for the month of June sees Top Gun: Maverick rising 3 spots to #17 in the BP derby. My ten predicted nominees remain the same as do the five estimated individuals in Director, Actor, and Supporting Actor. There are changes in Actress with Cate Blanchett (Tar) in my five over Danielle Deadwyler (Till) and in Supporting Actress with Hong Chau (The Whale) being elevated over Vanessa Kirby in The Son. You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (E)

5. Women Talking (PR: 6) (+1)

6. The Son (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Bardo (PR: 7) (E)

8. She Said (PR: 9)

9. The Whale (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Rustin (PR: 11) (E)

12. Broker (PR: 12) (E)

13. Poor Things (PR: 18) (+5)

14. Amsterdam (PR: 14) (E)

15. Decision to Leave (PR: 13) (-2)

16. Tar (PR: 24) (+8)

17. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 20) (+3)

18. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 19) (+1)

19. Thirteen Lives (PR: 16) (-3)

20. White Noise (PR: 15) (-5)

21. Elvis (PR: 17) (-4)

22. Next Goal Wins (PR: 23) (+1)

23. Aftersun (PR: 25( +2)

24. Till (PR: 22) (-2)

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

Dropped Out:

Armageddon Time 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 5) (+1)

5. The Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (E)

7. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 11) (+4)

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Hirokazu Kore-eda, Broker (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 12) (E)

13. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (PR: 15) (+2)

14. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 14) (E)

15. George C. Wolfe, Rustin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

David O. Russell, Amsterdam 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (E)

9. Emma Stone, Poor Things (PR: 9) (E)

10. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 10) (E)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Michelle Williams, Showing Up (PR: 13) (-1)

15. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 15) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 4) (E)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Song King-Ho, Broker (PR: 6) (E)

7. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 9) (E)

10. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 8) (-2)

11. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 11) (E)

12. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Michael Ward, Empire of Light (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives

Paul Mescal, Aftersun 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 14) (E)

15. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Whoopi Goldberg, Till

Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (-2)

5. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things (PR: 6) (E)

7. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 9) (E)

10. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 13) (+3)

11. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 14) (+2)

13. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 8) (-5)

14. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Andre Holland, Shirley

2022 Oscar Predictions: May 29th Edition

As May comes to a close and the Cannes Film Festival wraps up, I’m giving you a fresh update in the six major Oscar categories!

In Best Picture, I’m elevating Empire of Light from Sam Mendes into the top ten and that takes Rustin out. The Daniels from Everything Everywhere All at Once vault into Director to the detriment of Sarah Polley for Women Talking. 

Empire of Light also benefits in Best Actress with Olivia Colman in over Carey Mulligan from She Said. While Actor and Supporting Actress remain unchanged, there’s two alterations in Supporting Actor with Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere…) and Jesse Plemons (Killers of the Flower Moon) in over John David Washington (Amsterdam) and Tom Hanks (Elvis).

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The Son (PR: 5) (E)

6. Women Talking (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Bardo (PR: 8) (+1)

8. She Said (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Empire of Light (PR: 16) (+7)

10. The Whale (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. Rustin (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Broker (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Decision to Leave (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Amsterdam (PR: 11) (-3)

15. White Noise (PR: 13) (-2)

16. Thirteen Lives (PR: 21) (+5)

17. Elvis (PR: 20) (+3)

18. Poor Things (PR: 14) (-4)

19. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 15) (-4)

20. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: Not Ranked)

21. Armageddon Time (PR: 19) (-2)

22. Till (PR: 18) (-4)

23. Next Goal Wins (PR: 25) (+2)

24. Tar (PR: 17) (-7)

25. Aftersun (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King

Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Don’t Worry Darling 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

    1. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Dan Kwan & Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Bardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Sam Mendes, Empire of Light (PR: 15) (+6)

10. Hirokazu Kore’eda, Broker (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Maria Schrader, She Said (PR: 8) (-4)

13. David O. Russell, Amsterdam (PR: 13) (E)

14. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

George C. Wolfe, Rustin 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 2) (E)

3. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 9) (+5)

5. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Naomi Ackie, I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 8) (E)

9. Emma Stone, Poor Things (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 10) (-1)

12. Michelle Williams, Showing Up (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 14) (E)

15. Saoirse Ronan, See How They Run (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling

Tilda Swinton, Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Song Kang-Ho, Broker (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Christian Bale, Amsterdam (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Adam Driver, White Noise (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 7 (-3)

11. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Viggo Mortensen, Thirteen Lives (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 8) (-5)

14. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 13) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Joaquin Phoenix, Disappointment Blvd.

Idris Elba, Three Thousand Years of Longing 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 13) (+5)

9. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Whoopi Goldberg, Till (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Margot Robbie, Amsterdam (PR: 9) (-3)

13. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Anne Hathaway, Armageddon Time (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rooney Mara, Women Talking 

Margaret Qualley, Poor Things

Thuso Mbedu, The Woman King

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Willem Dafoe, Poor Things (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 15) (+8)

8. John David Washington, Amsterdam (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Andre Holland, Shirley (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 12) (E)

13. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 4) (-10)

15. Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things (PR: 10) (-5)

Dropped Out:

Frankie Faison, Till 

Oscar Predictions: Armageddon Time

James Gray has been a favorite of the critical community when it comes to writer/directors, but that hasn’t translated to Academy attention. The sole nod for his seven previous pictures belongs to 2019’s Ad Astra and a Sound Mixing nomination.

His latest is Armageddon Time and it’s a Queens set autobiographical tale taking place in the early 1980s. The film has debuted at Cannes and Focus Features will almost certainly make an awards push for it. Anne Hathaway, Jeremy Strong, Anthony Hopkins, and newcomers Banks Repeta and Jaylin Webb headline the cast.

The coming-of-age drama is receiving its share of kudos with the embargo lifted. That praise is not universal as other reviewers and bloggers are calling it a disappointment.

There was some question as to whether Strong or Hopkins would be the most likely recipient of the studio’s Supporting Actor push. Based on early buzz, I’d bet on the latter with Hathaway in the mix for Supporting Actress. I wouldn’t look for either to make my predicted five when I update my list on my blog. Other possibilities include Best Original Screenplay or Darius Khondji’s cinematography. However, with the somewhat mixed reaction stemming from overseas, Armageddon may simply fizzle out as the busy time of the season heats up in a few months. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

22 for ’22: Oscars Early Look

It’s been an entire week since The Slap… check that, the 94th Academy Awards where CODA parlayed its Sundance buzz from January 2021 all the way to a Best Picture victory.

That also means I’ve managed to wait a whole week without speculation for the next Academy Awards which will hopefully be a slap free zone. So what are some titles that could be vying for attention?

On May 27th and after numerous delays, Top Gun: Maverick will find Tom Cruise returning to his iconic role some 36 years after the original. There’s a decent chance it could be up for similar prizes that its predecessor landed like Sound, Film Editing, and Song (courtesy of Lady Gaga apparently). Visual Effects is a possibility as well.

My weekly Oscar prediction posts won’t begin until mid to late August. In the meantime, you’ll get individualized write-ups for pics that open or screen at festivals.

Yet for today – I feel the need. The need to identify 21 other 2022 titles that might end up on the Academy’s radar. Enjoy!

Armageddon Time

Despite acclaimed movies like The Lost City of Z and Ad Astra, James Gray has yet to connect with awards voters. This drama, rumored to be centered on his Queens upbringing, is the next hopeful and features a stellar cast including Anne Hathaway, Anthony Hopkins, and Jeremy Strong. Release Date: TBD

Avatar 2

The 2009 original amassed nine nominations and won took home three. The first sequel (there’s three more on the way) arrives in December from James Cameron. Will it capture the critical and box office magic of part one? That’s impossible to know at this juncture, but one can safely assume it’ll be up for some tech categories like Sound and Visual Effects. Release Date: December 16th

Babylon

Damien Chazelle is no stranger to the big dance. Whiplash was a BP nominee and J.K. Simmons won Supporting Actor. Chazelle took Director for his follow-up La La Land along with Emma Stone’s Actress victory and it almost famously took BP. First Man nabbed four nominations, but missed the top of the line races. Babylon is a period drama focused on Hollywood’s Golden Age and should be right up the Academy’s alley. The cast includes Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, and Tobey Maguire. Release Date: December 25th

Canterbury Glass

Robbie also turns up in David O. Russell’s latest ensemble piece. Anytime he’s behind the camera, Oscar nods typically follow (think The Fighter, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle). Slated for November, the dramedy also features Christian Bale, John David Washington, Rami Malek, Zoe Saldana, Robert De Niro, Mike Myers, and… Chris Rock. Release Date: November 4th

Elvis

Arriving in June but with a Cannes unveiling in May, Baz Luhrmann’s musical bio of The King stars Austin Butler in the title role and Tom Hanks as The Colonel. If this doesn’t contend for the major awards, I would still anticipate potential tech recognition (Production Design, Sound, etc…). Release Date: June 24th

Empire of Light

Sam Mendes was likely in the runner-up position in 2019 for Picture and Director (behind Parasite) with 1917. His follow-up is an English set romance starring Olivia Colman (who would be going for her fourth nomination in five years), Michael Ward, and Colin Firth. Release Date: TBD

Everything Everywhere All at Once

From two filmmakers known collectively as Daniels, Once is already out in limited release with spectacular reviews (97% on RT). The sci-fi action comedy might be too bizarre for the Academy, but I wouldn’t count it out as its admirers are vocal. Picture, Director, Actress (Michelle Yeoh), and Original Screenplay are all on the table. Release Date: out in limited release, opens wide April 8th

The Fabelmans

Steven Spielberg directs a semi-autobiographical tale and cowrites with his Lincoln and West Side Story scribe Tony Kushner. The cast includes Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, and Paul Dano. Needless to say, this is a major contender on paper. Release Date: November 23rd

Killers of the Flower Moon

Alongside The Fabelmans, this might be the most obvious nominee from a personnel standpoint. Martin Scorsese helms this western crime drama featuring Jesse Plemons, Lily Gladstone, and his two frequent collaborators Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro. Apple TV just became the first streamer to get a BP victory with CODA. This could be the second in a row. Release Date: November

Poor Things

In 2018, The Favourite scored a whopping ten nominations. Based on an acclaimed 1992 novel, Poor Things is Yorgos Lanthimos’s follow-up and it reunites him with Emma Stone along with Willem Dafoe, Ramy Youssef, and Mark Ruffalo. The plot sounds bizarre but it could also be an Oscar bait role for Stone and others. Release Date: TBD

Rustin

One of Netflix’s contenders is George C. Wolfe’s profile of gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (played by Colman Domingo). In 2020, Wolfe directed Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman to nods for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Look for Domingo to be a competitor and the supporting cast includes Chris Rock (maybe he will be back at the show), Glynn Turman, and Audra McDonald. Release Date: TBD

See How They Run

The 1950s set murder mystery could provide 27-year-old Saoirse Ronan with an opportunity to land her fifth nomination. Sam Rockwell, David Oyelowo, Adrien Brody, and Ruth Wilson are among the supporting players. Tom George directs. Release Date: TBD

She Said

Five years after the scandal rocked Hollywood, She Said from Maria Schrader recounts the New York Times sexual misconduct investigation into Harvey Weinstein. Zoe Kazan, Carey Mulligan, and Patricia Clarkson lead the cast. Release Date: November 18th

The Son

Florian Zeller won Best Adapted Screenplay in 2020 for The Father along with Anthony Hopkins taking Best Actor. This follow-up (based on the director’s play) finds Hopkins reprising his Oscar-winning part in supporting fashion. Other cast members seeking awards attention include Hugh Jackman, Laura Dern, and Vanessa Kirby. Release Date: TBD

TAR

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Todd Field behind the camera. Previous efforts In the Bedroom and Little Children received 8 nominations between them. A decade and a half following Children comes this Berlin set drama with Cate Blanchett, Noemie Merlant, and Mark Strong. Release Date: October 7th

Three Thousand Years of Longing

Scheduled for a Cannes bow in May, Longing is a fantasy romance from the legendary mind of George Miller (who last made Mad Max: Fury Road which won six tech Oscars). Idris Elba and Tilda Swinton star. Release Date: TBD

The Whale

Darren Aronofsky directed Mickey Rourke to a comeback narrative nod for 2008’s The Wrestler. Two years later, his follow-up Black Swan earned Natalie Portman a statue. Brendan Fraser is hoping for the same treatment with The Whale as he plays a 600 pound man attempting to reconnect with his daughter. Costars include Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, and Samantha Morton. I’d expect Makeup and Hairstyling could also be in play with this. Release Date: TBD

White Noise

Not a remake of the Michael Keaton supernatural thriller from 2005, this is Noah Baumbach’s follow-up to Marriage Story. Based on a 1985 novel, it’s the filmmaker’s first picture based on other source material. Marriage landed three acting nods (with Laura Dern winning Supporting Actress). The cast here includes frequent Baumbach collaborator Adam Driver, real-life partner Greta Gerwig, Raffey Cassidy, Andre Benjamin, Alessandro Nivola, and Don Cheadle. This could be Netflix’s strongest contender. Release Date: TBD

The Woman King

Expect this West Afrian set historical epic from Gina Prince-Bythewood to be heavily touted by Sony with awards bait roles for leads Viola Davis and Thuso Mbedu. The supporting cast includes John Boyega and Lashana Lynch. Release Date: September 16th

Women Talking

Based on a 2018 novel, Sarah Polley writes and directs this drama focused on eight Mennonite women and their story of abuse. The sterling cast includes Frances McDormand, Jessie Buckley, Ben Whishaw, Claire Foy, and Rooney Mara. Release Date: TBD

And that’s just a small preview of the features that could materialize for the 95th Academy Awards! As always, the speculation on this site will continue throughout the year and into the next. Stay tuned…

Summer 2001: The Top 10 Hits and More

My annual recounting of the cinematic seasons that preceded 30, 20, and 10 years prior continues on the blog today with the summer of 2001! It was a frame dominated by an animated jolly green giant that kicked off a massive franchise for its studio.

As is tradition, I’ll run through the top 10 domestic grossers as well as other notables pics and some flops. If you missed my post covering 1991’s May-August output, you can find it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/06/26/summer-1991-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

Let’s get to it!

10. Dr. Dolittle 2

Domestic Gross: $112 million

Eddie Murphy returned as the doc who talks to animals in this sequel that managed to cross the century mark, but failed to approach the $144 million earned by its 1998 predecessor. This would mark the end of Eddie’s involvement in the franchise, but a direct to DVD third helping came in 2006.

9. Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

Domestic Gross: $131 million

Angelina Jolie (fresh off an Oscar for Girl, Interrupted) headlined the video game adaptation that, despite weak reviews, spawned a sequel and an eventual reboot with Alicia Vikander that will soon get its own follow-up.

8. The Fast and the Furious

Domestic Gross: $144 million

We first saw Vin Diesel and Paul Walker and those souped up whips 20 years ago. Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or haven’t heard of The Rock), this begat a franchise which is still running strong today. F9 is currently the #1 movie in America in this series that has topped a billion bucks.

7. American Pie 2

Domestic Gross: $145 million

Universal quickly green lighted this sequel to 1999’s smash hit comedy. The gross out gags in part 2 (which resulted in another theatrical effort in 2003 and numerous direct to DVD entries) stands as the largest worldwide earner of the bunch.

6. Planet of the Apes

Domestic Gross: $180 million

Tim Burton’s reimagining of the 1968 classic didn’t result in the new franchise that 20th Century Fox hoped for. Critics had their knives out for Mark Wahlberg’s lead performance and the surprise ending that didn’t pack the wallop of Charlton Heston’s encounter with the Statue of Liberty. The studio would get their successful trilogy a decade later beginning with Rise of the Planet of the Apes (which will be covered in 2011’s blog post).

5. Jurassic Park III

Domestic Gross: $181 million

Joe Johnston took over directorial duties from Steven Spielberg is this threequel. Sam Neill was back in this dino-tale that (while profitable) failed to reach the heights of the first two commercially. A reboot 14 years later would get the series back in billion dollar good standing.

4. Pearl Harbor

Domestic Gross: $198 million

Michael Bay’s romantic war epic failed with reviewers but still approached $200 million domestically and $450 million worldwide. Its six Golden Raspberry nominations topped its four Oscar nods.

3. The Mummy Returns

Domestic Gross: $202 million

Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz returned for this adventure sequel to the 1999 hit that topped part 1 domestically by nearly $50 million. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would join the fun here and was rewarded with his spin-off (The Scorpion King) the next year. A third Mummy landed with disappointing results in 2008.

2. Rush Hour 2

Domestic Gross: $226 million

It was the best of times for director Brett Ratner and stars Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan as this action comedy built upon the grosses of the 1998 original. A third would follow six years later.

1. Shrek

Mike Myers as the title character ogre, Eddie Murphy stealing scenes with his voice work as Donkey, and Cameron Diaz as Princess Fiona proved that Disney wasn’t the only animation game in town. Shrek even competed for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in this DreamWorks game changer that resulted in three sequels and a stage musical.

And now for some other notables flicks from the summer that was:

The Princess Diaries

Domestic Gross: $108 million

Disney’s live-action fairy tale served as a breakout role for Anne Hathaway and a return to the studio for Julie Andrews for the first time since Mary Poppins. A 2004 sequel followed.

The Others

Domestic Gross: $96 million

With its own Sixth Sense style twist ending, this gothic horror pic with Nicole Kidman earned solid reviews and got genre fans to turn out.

Legally Blonde

Domestic Gross: $96 million

Shrek isn’t the only feature to spawn a Broadway treatment. So did this Reese Witherspoon hit which also resulted in a sequel and a third Blonde that is slated for May 2022.

Cats & Dogs

Domestic Gross: $93 million

Dr. Dolittle wasn’t the only animal game in town. This kiddie pic featuring featuring talking creatures also began a franchise.

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence

Domestic Gross: $78 million

Long planned as a project for Stanley Kubrick (who passed away in 1999), Steven Spielberg directed this sci-fi visual feast with Haley Joel Osment. The film elicited strong reactions from critics and crowds (both positively and negatively). It may not have reached $100 million domestic, but it’s still a picture people like to debate about today and that’s more that can be said for most titles on this list.

Swordfish

Domestic Gross: $69 million

Hugh Jackman and John Travolta headlined this action pic which somewhat underperformed expectations. This is mostly known as the film that paid Halle Berry an extra $500,000 to go topless during a few seconds of screen time.

Moulin Rouge!

Domestic Gross: $57 million

Baz Luhrmann’s postmodern musical with Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor scored 8 Oscar nominations and has its legions of fans that have endured over the past two decades.

Sexy Beast

Domestic Gross: $6 million

This crime drama is mostly known for its menacing supporting turn from Sir Ben Kingsley, who was rewarded with an Oscar nod.

Ghost World

Domestic Gross: $6 million

Terry Zwigoff’s dark comedy (based on a late 90s comic book) earned raves for its screenplay and for costars Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson, and Steve Buscemi.

And now for some pictures that did not meet expectations:

America’s Sweethearts

Domestic Gross: $93 million

Yes, it may have approached $100 million, but this rom com starring Julia Roberts and featuring John Cusack, Billy Crystal (who cowrote), and Catherine Zeta-Jones didn’t come near what her previous blockbusters like My Best Friend’s Wedding, Notting Hill, and Runaway Bride managed.

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Domestic Gross: $84 million

Disney’s animated sci-fi adventure was a letdown that didn’t recoup its reported $100 million budget domestically. A hoped for franchise with TV spin-offs and Disneyland ride attraction never rose to the surface.

Scary Movie 2

Domestic Gross: $71 million

This rushed horror spoof follow-up to the 2000 surprise smash couldn’t get close to the $157 million of the original. However, this didn’t stop several sequels from following that achieved greater success.

Evolution

Domestic Gross: $38 million

Director Ivan Reitman and supernatural comedy sure worked well in 1984 with Ghostbusters. Not so much here in this DreamWorks flop with David Duchovny which earned less than half its budget in North America.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Domestic Gross: $32 million

Tomb Raider was an example of a video game adaptation that made money. Not so here with this rendering of the popular role playing fantasy series that didn’t score with audiences.

Ghosts of Mars

Domestic Gross: $8 million

It wasn’t a good day at the box office for this science fiction flop from director John Carpenter and Ice Cube.

Pootie Tang

Domestic Gross: $3 million

Moviegoers didn’t turn out for this comedy written and directed by Louis C.K. that originated from a sketch on The Chris Rock Show (who costars). Despite the failed run at the box office, it has since become a cult hit.

And that does it for 2001, folks! Look for my post about summer 2011 in the coming days…

Oscar Watch: The Last Thing He Wanted

In 2017, the period drama Mudbound likely just missed the cut for Best Picture consideration at the Oscars. The critically hailed Netflix production from director Dee Rees arrived at a time where Academy voters were probably still leery of the streaming service garnering significant nods. Mary J. Blige did manage a nomination for Supporting Actress.

Mudbound started its awards buzz at the Sundance Film Festival three years ago. Rees’s follow-up is the political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted and it’s also scheduled for a Netflix bow in February. The film stars Anne Hathaway, Ben Affleck, Rosie Perez, Edi Gathegi, Mel Rodriguez, Toby Jones, and Willem Dafoe in this adaptation from a Joan Didion novel.

The acclaim that greeted Rees and her picture three years ago has not repeated itself in 2020. The Last Thing currently sits at 0% (oof) on Rotten Tomatoes with reviews declaring it a serious misfire from a gifted filmmaker. The festival circuit frequently pushes along movies for consideration. It can also have the opposite effect of shutting those prospects down completely. And that’s where this seems bound. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Cats

Yes, readers, the words Oscar and Cats are in the same post title, so get on board! Truthfully, this shouldn’t be surprising at all. The adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical comes from director Tom Hooper. His last three films (The King’s Speech, Les Miserables, The Danish Girl) garnered a total of 24 nominations and 8 wins, including Speech nabbing Best Picture. Each one of them gave us one acting winner – Colin Firth in Speech, Anne Hathaway in Miserables, and Alicia Vikander for Danish. 

So to say Cats had potential awards pedigree is not an understatement. Had being the objective term. One day before its release, the review embargo is up. Note to everyone: Oscar contenders don’t lapse their embargo 24 hours before release.

This has proven accurate as the Rotten Tomatoes score for Cats is currently… 19%. Some reviews are of a mixed nature while others are deeming it an unmitigated disaster. Weeks ago, the prospect of a Jennifer Hudson nod in Supporting Actress seemed at least feasible. There will be no second nomination for the Dreamgirls winner.

That said, Cats is definitely contending in one race. Earlier this week, the Academy released their shortlist for Visual Effects nominees. Ten pictures were named and this is one of them. This seems potentially amusing as a number of reviews say the visual look is ugly and garish. I don’t expect this to make the final five and I foresee chatter as to how this got on the shortlist over material like Ad Astra and Spider-Man: Far From Home. Could this show up in other races like Production Design or Makeup and Hairstyling? That seems like a reach.

The one category where Cats did seem like a genuine player was Best Original Song via “Beautiful Ghosts”. That track is sung by costar Taylor Swift and it seemed like a good excuse for the Academy to get her on the stage. Surprisingly, “Ghosts” was excluded from the 15 finalists that were also named this week.

I’ve ended dozens and dozens of these Oscar Watch posts with “My Oscar Watch posts will continue…”. Indeed they will. However, this appears to be the final one of 2019. Have no fear as the Sundance Film Festival is around the corner in January and there’s always Oscar bait at that event. Therefore, my Oscar Watch posts will continue… in 2020. And in the meantime, my predictions for this year’s Academy nominees will continue as well.