2022 Oscar Predictions: July 24th Edition

The release schedule for 2022 is always shifting (though thankfully not as much as in 2020 and 2021). This week, there were reports that Netflix’s Rustin will be pushed to 2023. While this isn’t 100% confirmed, it’s enough that I’ve moved it out of contention and that’s significant. I had it pegged for a Best Picture nomination as well as Actor (Colman Domingo) and Supporting Actress (Audra McDonald) in my post from 7 days ago.

The beneficiary of Rustin falling out of contention? None other than Top Gun: Maverick. Let me be clear – I’m very skeptical that it receives a nod in the biggest race of all. Yet it’s hard to ignore the potency of its box office supremacy over the summer. Oscar voters will know that audiences will root for its inclusion. And that could be enough to push it past the finish line.

In Actor, Bardo‘s Daniel Gimenez Cacho replaces Domingo while Zoe Kazan (She Said) rises to the final five in Supporting Actress. There’s another change in Actress as I’m putting Cate Blanchett (Tar) in the mix over Regina King (Shirley). The latter is another Netflix effort where the release date seems uncertain. If they verify 2022 in the near future, she could (and probably would) get back in the mix.

You can read 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: 5) (E)

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Empire of Light (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

11. She Said (PR: 11) (E)

12. White Noise (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Tar (PR: 13) (E)

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

15. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 18) (+3)

16. Elvis (PR: 16) (E)

17. Till (PR: 21) (+4)

18. Broker (PR: 19) (+1)

19. Decision to Leave (PR: 22) (+3)

20. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 20) (E)

21. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

22. Thirteen Lives (PR: 17) (-5)

23. Amsterdam (PR: 23) (E)

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

25. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rustin

The Killer

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. 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: 7) (E)

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 8) (E)

9. Darren Aronofsky, The Whale (PR: 9) (E)

10. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (E)

11. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 11) (E)

12. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Todd Field, Tar (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Chinoye Chukwu, Till (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hirokazu Kore-ada, Broker 

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: 3) (E)

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

5. Cate Blanchett, Tar (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Regina King, Shirley (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 10) (+1)

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

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (E)

12. Frances McDormand, Women Talking (PR: 12) (E)

13. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: 13) (E)

14. Florence Pugh, Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Annette Bening, Nyad 

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. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Song-Kang Ho, Broker (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 13) (+3)

11. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 11) (E)

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

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

14. Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye (PR: 15) (+1)

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

Dropped Out:

Colman Domingo, Rustin 

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. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 6) (E)

7. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Patricia Clarkson, She Said (PR: 12) (+1)

12. Nina Hoss, Tar (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Griselda Sicillani, Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Whoopi Goldberg, Till (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Audra McDonald, Rustin

Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth

Jodie Foster, Nyad 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 4) (+2)

3. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zen McGrath, The Son (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 9) (E)

10. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 12) (+2)

11. Michael Ward, Empire of Light (PR: 8) (-3)

12. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Ralph Fiennes, The Menu (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Colin Farrell, Thirteen Lives (PR: 11) (-3)

15. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 14) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Glynn Turman, Rustin 

Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. Tar (PR: 7) (E)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 8) (E)

9. Decision to Leave (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Broker (PR: 10) (E)

11. The Menu (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Amsterdam (PR: 13) (+1)

13. Don’t Worry Darling (PR: 14) (+1)

14. Bros (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Rustin 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

5. White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. She Said (PR: 6) (E)

7. Till (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Woman King (PR: 12) (+4)

9. Thirteen Lives (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 11) (+1)

11. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 9) (-2)

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

13. Bones and All (PR: 13) (E)

14. The Good Nurse (PR: 10) (-4)

15. Elvis (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Close

The Killer

2022 Oscar Predictions: July 17th Edition

For my mid-July Oscar predictions, the Picture, Director, Actress, and Actor remain intact (with some ranking maneuvering). Same goes for the Screenplay races. However, there are some significant changes in the supporting fields. In Supporting Actress, I’ve moved Audra McDonald (Rustin) and Vanessa Kirby (The Son) in the final five while taking Hong Chau (The Whale) and Zoe Kazan (She Said) out. For Supporting Actor, I’ve had Robert De Niro (Killers of the Flower Moon) perched in #1 for many weeks. With this update, he drops all the way out of the top 5 with Paul Dano (The Fabelmans) now in first position. This moves Colin Firth (Empire of Light) into the predicted quintet.

As for other news, Taika Waititi’s sports pic Next Goal Wins appears to have pushed to 2023 (it was originally slated for 202o) and that explains it dropping out of contention. And for those who haven’t caught the recently released trailers for She Said and Amsterdam, you can find them 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: 5) (E)

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Son (PR: 7) (E)

8. Empire of Light (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Whale (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Rustin (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. She Said (PR: 11) (E)

12. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 13) (+1)

13. TAR (PR: 14) (+1)

14. White Noise (PR: 12) (-2)

15. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 15) (E)

16. Elvis (PR: 17) (+1)

17. Thirteen Lives (PR: 19) (+2)

18. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 21) (+3)

19. Broker (PR: 16) (-3)

20. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 22) (+2)

21. Till (PR: 24) (+3)

22. Decision to Leave (PR: 23) (+1)

23. Amsterdam (PR: 20) (-3)

24. The Killer (PR: 25) (+1)

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

Dropped Out:

Next Goal Wins 

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: 7) (E)

8. Florian Zeller, The Son (PR: 10) (+2)

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

10. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 15) (+4)

12. Noah Baumbach, White Noise (PR: 11) (-1)

13. Hirokazu Kore-ada, Broker (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Park Chan-wook, Decision to Leave (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Todd Field, TAR (PR: 13) (-2)

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. 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. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 10) (+3)

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

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

10. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Helen Mirren, Golda (PR: 11) (E)

12. Frances McDormand, Women Talking (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Jessica Chastain, The Good Nurse (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Annette Bening, Nyad (PR: Not Ranked)

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

Dropped Out:

Lesley Manville, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris 

Michelle Williams, Showing Up

Jennifer Lawrence, Red, White, and Water 

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 1) (E)

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

3. Colman Domingo, Rustin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Bardo (PR: 7) (E)

8. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (E)

9. Song Kang-Ho, Broker (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 10) (E)

11. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 15) (+4)

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

13. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans (PR: 14) (E)

15. Christian Bale, The Pale Blue Eye (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins

Christian Bale, Amsterdam 

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. Audra McDonald, Rustin (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Vanessa Kirby, The Son (PR: 12) (+7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Zoe Kazan, She Said (PR: 5) (-2)

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

9. Sadie Sink, The Whale (PR: 11) (+2)

10. Laura Dern, The Son (PR: 6) (-4)

11. Jean Smart, Babylon (PR: 8) (-3)

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

13. Nina Hoss, TAR (PR: 13) (E)

14. Dakota Johnson, Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 14) (E)

15. Jodie Foster, Nyad (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dolly De Leon, Triangle of Sadness 

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Jesse Plemons, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Colin Firth, Empire of Light (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon (PR: 1) (-5)

7. Glynn Turman, Rustin (PR: 7) (E)

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

9. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Woody Harrelson, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 13) (+3)

11. Colin Farrell, Thirteen Lives (PR: 11) (E)

12. Seth Rogen, The Fabelmans (PR: 10) (-2)

13. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 12) (-1)

14. Russell Crowe, The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 15) (+1)

15. Anthony Hopkins, Armageddon Time (PR: 9) (-6)

Dropped Out:

John David Washington, Amsterdam 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Babylon (PR: 3) (E)

4. Empire of Light (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Bardo (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Tar (PR: 10) (+3)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Rustin (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Broker (PR: 9) (-1)

11. Decision to Leave (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Cha Cha Real Smooth (PR: 14) (+2)

13. Amsterdam (PR: 11) (-2)

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

15. Bros (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

Aftersun 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Son (PR: 2) (E)

3. Women Talking (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

5. White Noise (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. She Said (PR: 6) (E)

7. Thirteen Lives (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Till (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Greatest Beer Run Ever (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Good Nurse (PR: 11) (+1)

11. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 15) (+4)

12. The Woman King (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Bones and All (PR: 13) (E)

14. Close (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Killer (PR: 12) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Next Goal Wins

The Pale Blue Eye 

You can anticipate the next update around the first of August!

Best Picture 2010: The Final Five

After the 2008 Oscars, the Academy decided to expand the number of Best Picture nominees from five to ten. This rule would hold for 2009 and 2010 and then it shifted from anywhere between 5 and 10 (where it was typically 8 or 9). As of 2021, we’re back to a set 10.

Yet what if that had never happened? What if only five nominees from the last decade plus made the cut? My initial writeup where I predicted which five from 2009 would have done so can be found here:

Best Picture 2009: The Final Five

Now we move to 2010. It was a year in which Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech led the evening with 11 nominations. It would win four – Director, Colin Firth for Best Actor, Original Screenplay, and the big prize Picture. So there’s 20% of our theoretical lineup.

As for the others, let’s take them one by one and I’ll give my thoughts on whether each would’ve made that other 80% of the quintet.

127 Hours

In 2010, Danny Boyle was coming off 2008’s Slumdog Millionaire. That little film that could cleaned up on Oscar night with 8 trophies including Picture. This survival drama with James Franco landed six nods. It won zero, but earned recognition in the Best Pic prerequisites that count like screenplay and editing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. This is a tough one. As you’ll see below, there are more than five pics that check important boxes. My hunch is that it would’ve nabbed the fifth slot (though you may feel differently when you read on and I tell you what doesn’t make my cut).

Black Swan

Darren Aronofsky’s intense balletic drama earned Natalie Portman an Actress statue and four other nods: Director, Cinematography, and Film Editing. Certainly the director and editing mentions are notable as is Portman’s victory.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. When Picture and Director were both set at five, they rarely matched. 4 out of 5 directors matching the BP nominations was most common. Here’s an example where I don’t think a match would’ve occurred. The biggest reason? Of the 10 BP nominees, Swan is the only one that didn’t land a screenplay nod. That’s significant.

The Fighter

Mark Wahlberg’s passion project didn’t land him a nod, but it did for three of his costars. Christian Bale took home Supporting Actor while onscreen mother Melissa Leo won Supporting Actress (with Amy Adams also nominated). The direction, screenplay, and editing also were up for a total of 7 nominations.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. The wins in the two acting races and the fact that it hit in all the key precursors give the relevant tale of the tape.

Inception

There’s speculation that the reason the Academy switched to 10 nominees is because Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was omitted from the five in 2008. His follow-up two years later did not miss the expanded cut. It won Oscars for half of its 8 nominations – Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Cinematography, and Visual Effects. The other three nods besides Picture were Original Screenplay, Score, and Art Direction.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. And here’s where some readers may disagree. I’m giving 127 Hours an ever so slight edge over this. Why? The 8 nods don’t mean much to me because the bulk of them are in tech races. By the way, The Dark Knight also received 8 nominations. Its misses are what make me skeptical as Nolan didn’t get in for his direction and it also wasn’t up for editing.

The Kids Are All Right 

The family drama received acting mentions for Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo and for its original screenplay.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. Too many heavy hitters this year and it was probably toward the bottom of the ten that got in.

The Social Network

David Fincher’s saga about the founding of Facebook won three of its 8 nods in Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, and Score.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes… easily. It was probably #2 behind King’s Speech in terms of winning Picture and Director.

Toy Story 3

The Pixar threequel holds the distinction of being the second animated title to make the BP list after Beauty and the Beast. On Oscar night, it won Animated Feature as well as Original Song and received an Adapted Screenplay nod.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. The Academy probably would’ve been OK with it being a slam dunk Animated Feature winner if only five pics were in contention.

True Grit

The Coen Brothers Western remake was behind only King’s Speech in terms of nominations with 10. Beside Picture – you had Director(s), Actor (Jeff Bridges), Supporting Actress (Hailee Steinfeld), Adapted Screenplay, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Art Direction, Cinematography, and Costume Design. It went 0 for 10.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Despite the batting average, the sheer volume of nods indicates it would have still been included.

Winter’s Bone

This indie drama introduced the Academy and many moviegoers to Jennifer Lawrence. She received a nomination as did her costar John Hawkes in Supporting Actor. Adapted Screenplay was in the mix too.

Does It Make the Final Five? 

No but here is a prime example of a smaller film that received attention due to the broadening of the BP base.

So that means if there had been just five Best Picture nominees in 2010, I believe they would have been:

The King’s Speech

127 Hours

The Fighter

The Social Network

True Grit

I will be back soon with my final five take on 2011!

Oscar Predictions: Death on the Nile

Tomorrow morning, Kenneth Branagh appears poised to land nominations for Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay for his passion project Belfast. Before he made that Oscar contender, he shot Death on the Nile. A follow-up to 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express, the pic has faced a turbulent journey to the big screen (it opens Friday).

Originally slated for October 2020, Nile experienced numerous COVID related delays. Then there was the matter of its costar Armie Hammer having a massive public relations fallout due to revelations about his personal life.

Four Oscars ago, I actually predicted Orient would receive a Costume Design nomination and it was certainly in the running for Production Design. It came up empty handed. The review embargo for Nile lapsed today and it currently stands at 71% on Rotten Tomatoes. That’s better than the 60% that its predecessor garnered and many critics are claiming that this is an improvement.

That said, I don’t envision any nods (even the aforementioned tech races) materializing for this. It will probably be long forgotten in voters minds a year from now. Branagh, on the glass full side, should be pleased with the forthcoming Belfast love. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Death on the Nile Box Office Prediction

Hercule Poirot is back in mystery solving form (quite a while after he was supposed to be) when Death on the Nile sets sail in theaters on February 11th. The follow-up to 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express finds Kenneth Branagh back as the famed Agatha Christie sleuth. As he did with Express, the star directs himself. Tom Bateman reprises his role from the predecessor. The supporting cast includes Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer (the pic was shot was shot prior to troubling details about his personal life surfaced), Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders, and Letitia Wright.

Budgeted at a reported $90 million, Nile was originally slated for multiplexes in December 2020 before numerous COVID delays. In that time, Branagh made Belfast and it’s become one of the favorites to win Best Picture at the Oscars.

Back in 2017, Orient debuted to a better than anticipated $28 million. It stalled a bit in subsequent weekends, but eventually hit just over $100 million domestically. At that time, audiences gave it a B Cinemascore grade – not bad though certainly not impressive.

That calls into question whether moviegoers will be excited for another dose of Poirot and his suspects. Furthermore, Nile will attempt to skew towards a female crowd. Some could be distracted with the release of the Jennifer Lopez rom com Marry Me. There’s also a football game on Sunday that could eat into the grosses.

I deduce that this might make about half of what Express accomplished for its start.

Death on the Nile opening weekend prediction: $14.3 million

For my Marry Me prediction, click here:

Marry Me Box Office Prediction

For my Blacklight prediction, click here:

Blacklight Box Office Prediction

Oscar Watch: The Mauritanian

Political legal drama The Mauritanian, which tells of the true life trial of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner, hits theaters on February 19th and its embargo lifted this week. Kevin Macdonald, who directed Forest Whitaker to a Best Actor Oscar in The Last King of Scotland, is behind the camera with a cast headlined by Jodie Foster, Tahar Rahim, Shailene Woodley, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Zachary Levi.

Critical reaction thus far is quite mixed with a 55% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Distributor STX Entertainment has already announced the category placements of Rahim for lead actor and two-time winner Foster for Supporting Actress. They are the two performers getting the most praise for their work.

However, the subject matter and the so-so feedback will present a challenge for The Mauritanian to reach audiences and awards voters. Two years ago, the similarly themed The Report had a much better Tomatoes rating (82%) and a thought that Annette Bening could contend in Supporting Actress. That never materialized and I’d be surprised if this ends up being a player in a couple of months. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Summer 2010: The Top 10 Hits and More

Today on the blog, we come to the third and final replay of the cinematic summers from 30, 20, and 10 years ago. If you missed my posts covering 1990 and 2000, you may find them right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/07/18/summer-1990-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/07/25/summer-2000-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

This brings us to 2010 where sequels ruled the top 3 slots and a couple of other significant franchises were born. We also all had our collective minds blown by Christopher Nolan’s brand of time shifting sci-fi action.

As I have with previous entries, I’ll recount the top ten hits, some other notable titles, and the flops of the season. Let’s get at it!

10. The Other Guys

Domestic Gross: $119 million

The buddy cop comedy marked the fourth collaboration in six years between director Adam McKay and his lead Will Ferrell after Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Step Brothers. It also marks Ferrell’s first teaming with Mark Wahlberg and the pair would go on to make two successful and family friendlier Daddy’s Home pics.

9. The Last Airbender

Domestic Gross: $131 million

Based on the Nickelodeon animated series, the fantasy adventure marked a departure from M. Night Shyamalan’s twisty suspense thrillers. It did, however, maintain the filmmaker’s recent trend of critically savaged titles (arriving two years behind the lambasted The Happening). It couldn’t match its reported $150 million budget stateside.

8. Grown Ups

Domestic Gross: $162 million

Adam Sandler continued to prove himself review proof with this comedy where he recruited buddies Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider for another sizable hit. A sequel followed three years later.

7. The Karate Kid

Domestic Gross: $176 million

Produced by his parents Will and Jada, this retooling of the 1984 blockbuster starred Jaden Smith with Jackie Chan as his mentor. Shot for just about $40 million, it grossed over $300 million worldwide. Surprisingly, a planned sequel never materialized.

6. Shrek Forever After

Domestic Gross: $238 million

Typically a gross of $238 million is quite an achievement, but not necessarily in this case for the Dreamworks animated franchise. Forever grossed less than its three predecessors and generated mixed critical reaction.

5. Despicable Me

Domestic Gross: $251 million

At the start of summer 2010, not many would have have projected this original Illumination Entertainment animated tale would outdo Shrek. Yet that’s exactly what occurred and two sequels and the Minions spin-off franchise have followed.

4. Inception

Domestic Gross: $292 million

Coming hot off the heels of 2008’s The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan had another huge earner in his collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio. It might have been a challenge to follow the plot, but audiences gave it their best and a worldwide take over $800 million occurred. Multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture (though not Nolan’s direction), resulted.

3. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Domestic Gross: $300 million

2010 found audiences still enraptured by the Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner vampire romance. The third entry in the series set a midnight earnings ($30 million) opening record that stood for a year before Harry Potter swept it away.

2. Iron Man 2

Domestic Gross: $312 million

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was still in its infancy a decade ago as this was the third pic of the bunch. Part 2 posted fine numbers, but was considered a bit of a letdown compared to the first edition. It did mark the first appearance of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and a buff and whip cracking Mickey Rourke as the main villain.

1. Toy Story 3

Domestic Gross: $415 million

Pixar easily ruled the season with the third flick in the studio’s startup series. Arriving 15 years after the original, the return of Woody and Buzz was a critical darling that earned a Best Picture nomination and lots of love from all ages. Part 4 would follow in 2019.

And now for some other noteworthy pictures from the time frame:

Salt

Domestic Gross: $118 million

Arriving two years after her action hit Wanted, this spy thriller hovered just outside the top 10 and managed to just outgross its $110 million budget in North America.

The Expendables

Domestic Gross: $105 million

Sylvester Stallone led a band of action heroes in this early August title that tapped the nostalgia of moviegoers. A pair of sequels followed that would bring in more genre heavy hitters like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Wesley Snipes, Chuck Norris, and Harrison Ford.

Eat Pray Love

Domestic Gross: $80 million

This adaptation of a 2006 bestseller starring Julia Roberts brought in a sizable female audience and hit just over $200 million worldwide against a $60 million budget.

Dinner for Schmucks

Domestic Gross: $73 million

Steve Carell and Paul Rudd headlined this midsize hit that got mixed reviews. It has since turned into a bit of a cult favorite in subsequent years.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Domestic Gross: $31 million

There’s no question that I could have put this teen action romance in the misfires column as it made just a fraction of its $85 million price tag. However, the Edgar Wright title has since achieved significant status as an impressive original work with a major following.

The Kids Are All Right

Domestic Gross: $20 million

This domestic dramedy became a major awards player and was nominated for Best Picture with acting nods going to Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo.

MacGruber

Domestic Gross: $8 million

Just as with Pilgrim, this SNL spin-off with Will Forte was a financial bomb. Yet it has also turned into a cult classic and there’s a rumored sequel or TV spin-off in the making.

Winter’s Bone

Domestic Gross: $6 million

This indie mystery is notable for introducing Jennifer Lawrence to critics, if not a wide audience. Bone would earn the star her first Oscar nomination in addition to a Best Picture nod. Of course, Ms. Lawrence would break out in the next two years with the X-Men and Hunger Games series and her Oscar victory happened in 2012 with Silver Linings Playbook. 

And now for some movies that didn’t match their expectations:

Robin Hood

Domestic Gross: $105 million

With a budget that may have been as high as $200 million, Robin Hood reunited Russell Crowe with Ridley Scott. A decade earlier, they made Gladiator which was a giant hit that won Best Picture. As for this version of the oft told saga, it’s largely forgotten.

Sex and the City 2

Domestic Gross: $95 million

The second installment cinematically of the beloved HBO series, part 2 made more than $50 million below its predecessor from 2008. Critics also savaged it.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Domestic Gross: $90 million

A hoped for franchise for Disney, the $150 million fantasy pic couldn’t hit the century mark in North America. Lead Jake Gyllenhaal has since expressed his regret for doing it.

The A-Team

Domestic Gross: $77 million

A year after his breakthrough in The Hangover, this action pic based on the 1980s TV series didn’t quite turn Bradley Cooper (alongside Liam Neeson) into an action star. Audience mostly found it, well, expendable.

Knight and Day

Domestic Gross: $76 million

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz couldn’t provide enough star power for this action comedy to get near its budget north of $100 million.

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Domestic Gross: $43 million

Perhaps nine years was too long a break between sequels. The original family tale was an unexpected hit at $93 million in 2001, but the long gestating sequel didn’t gross half that number.

Jonah Hex

Domestic Gross: $10 million

This DC Comics based title with Josh Brolin in the title role and Megan Fox was an instant flop, barely making eight figures against a $47 million budget. It also held a sad 12% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

And that wraps up my looks at the summers of decades past, folks! I’ll have 1991, 2001, and 2011 recaps up in a year’s time…

Oscar Watch: Hope Gap

Alongside Glenn Close and Amy Adams, Annette Bening could be the most high profile and acclaimed actress that has yet to win Oscar gold despite multiple nominations. She is a four time nominee – once for Supporting Actress in 1990’s The Grifters and thrice nominated in the lead race with 1999’s American Beauty, 2004’s Being Julia, and 2010’s The Kids Are All Right. In both 1999 and 2004, Bening was likely the runner-up and lost both awards to Hilary Swank (for Boys Don’t Cry and Million Dollar Baby, respectively).

There’s a feeling that her time may come, but this year’s Hope Gap is unlikely to get her there. The drama premiered last fall at the Toronto Film Festival. Focusing on her strained marriage with Bill Nighy, Gap is directed by William Nicholson. He’s known most for his screenwriting with credits including the Oscar winning Gladiator as well as Shadowlands, Nell, and Les Miserables (2012 version).

So while the Oscar pedigree is certainly present, reviews are decidedly more mixed. The Rotten Tomatoes rating stands at a so-so 63% after Gap forewent a theatrical release and went straight to VOD. Perhaps Bening will have a bite at the Supporting Actress apple with October’s Death on the Nile, the follow-up to Murder on the Orient Express. As for Gap, there’s scant hope. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

A Marvel Cinematic Oscar History: Best Supporting Actress

Wrapping up my look back at the 110 Oscar nominees and 20 winners that have appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Iron Man in 2008 and continuing through its next two releases (Black Widow and The Eternals), we arrive at Best Supporting Actress. If you missed my posts for the lead races and Supporting Actor, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/04/12/a-marvel-cinematic-oscar-history-best-actor/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/04/14/a-marvel-cinematic-oscar-history-best-actress/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/04/16/a-marvel-cinematic-oscar-history-best-supporting-actor/

Supporting Actress has the least number of nominees (19), but equals the most victories with six (tying Best Actor). We start with those six gold recipients:

Tilda Swinton, who appeared in Doctor Strange, won in 2007 for Michael Clayton

Marisa Tomei, Aunt May in the Spider-Man pics, was a surprise victor in 1992 for My Cousin Vinny

Cate Blanchett, the villainess in Thor: Ragnarok, in 2004 for The Aviator

Lupita Nyong’o, of Black Panther, for 2013’s 12 Years a Slave

Rachel Weisz, who’s in the forthcoming Black Widow, for 2005’s The Constant Gardner

Angelina Jolie, who will appear in The Eternals, in 1999’s Girl, Interrupted

As for the 13 other nominees:

Scarlett Johansson, aka Black Widow, for last year’s Jojo Rabbit

Natalie Portman, Thor’s flame, for 2004’s Closer

Glenn Close, who appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, is a three-time nominee in this category for 1982’s The World According to Garp, 1983’s The Big Chill, and 1984’s The Natural

Rachel McAdams, also of Doctor Strange, for 2015’s Spotlight

Marisa Tomei was nominated twice more after her Vinny win for 2001’s In the Bedroom and 2008’s The Wrestler

Cate Blanchett received two additional nods for 2006’s Notes on a Scandal and 2007’s I’m Not There

Annette Bening, from Captain Marvel, for 1990’s The Grifters

Florence Pugh, costar of the upcoming Black Widow, for last year’s Little Women

Rachel Weisz received another nod for 2018’s The Favourite 

And that concludes my look back on the MCU and its Oscar pedigree. Hope you enjoyed!

A Marvel Cinematic Oscar History: Best Actress

Today brings part two of my exploration of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the rather astonishing number of actors in the MCU that have received Oscar nominations or won. The total is 110 nominations and 20 wins. I started with the lead performers who received Best Actor nods and victories. If you missed that post, you can find it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/04/12/a-marvel-cinematic-oscar-history-best-actor/

We move to Best Actress and the numbers there are bit lower. For Actor, it’s 33 nominations and 6 wins, encompassing 23 total men. For Actress, it’s 11 women who’ve received a tally of 22 nominations and 4 trips to the stage. The reasoning behind this could be simple. It wasn’t until the 22nd MCU pic (last year’s Captain Marvel) where a female received overall top billing. And Captain Marvel herself is among the 4 victorious thespians. I’ll remind you that I am including Marvel’s next two features (Black Widow and The Eternals) in the count.

Let’s break them down by winners first:

Gwyneth Paltrow, Iron Man’s main squeeze Pepper Potts, won in 1998 for Shakespeare in Love

Natalie Portman, girlfriend to Thor in those first two pics, won in 2010 for Black Swan

Cate Blanchett, nemesis to the Asgard God in Thor: Ragnarok, took the prize in 2013 for Blue Jasmine

Captain Marvel Brie Larson was a gold recipient in 2015 for Room

Here are the 18 nominees:

Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow, scored her first leading actress nod last year for Marriage Story

Natalie Portman was additionally nominated in 2016 for Jackie

Glenn Close, who appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, is a four-time nominee in the lead category for 1987’s Fatal Attraction, 1988’s Dangerous Liaisons, 2011’s Albert Nobbs, and 2018’s The Wife

Cate Blanchett received three more nods for 1998’s Elizabeth, 2007 sequel Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and 2015’s Carol

Angela Bassett, mother to Black Panther, was nominated for her portrayal of Tina Turner in 1993’s What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Michelle Pfeiffer, costar of Ant-Man and the Wasp, is a three-time contender for 1988’s Dangerous Liaisons (alongside Close), 1989’s The Fabulous Baker Boys, and 1992’s Love Field

Annette Bening, from Captain Marvel, is also a three-time hopeful for 1999’s American Beauty, 2004’s Being Julia, and 2010’s The Kids Are All Right

Salma Hayek, from the upcoming The Eternals, scored a nomination for 2002’s Frida

Angelina Jolie, also from The Eternals, got a nod for 2008’s Changeling

I’ll have Supporting Actor up in short order!