Oscar Predictions: Bardo

If you had asked me to guess the Rotten Tomatoes score for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths before its Venice debut today, I probably would’ve needed 55 guesses before I said 45%. Yet that’s where the acclaimed filmmaker’s seventh feature currently stands.

Simply put, that is shocking. Beginning with his debut Amores perros and its nomination for best foreign language pic in 2000, every Inarritu effort has attracted the attention of the Academy. His 2003 English debut 21 Grams landed acting nods for Naomi Watts and Benicio del Toro. 2006’s Babel received seven nominations including Picture and Director. 2010’s Biutiful got mentions in the foreign race and for Javier Bardem in Best Actor. 2014’s Birdman was the biggest breakthrough with nine nods and wins for Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay among others. One year later, Inarritu would win Best Director again for The Revenant, which also finally brought Leonardo DiCaprio to the podium in its total of 12 nominations.

So… to put it mildly, anything Inarritu makes is subject to massive awards speculation. Bardo is a return to his native Mexico for a three hour Fellini inspired dramedy. A November 18th theatrical run is planned before a Netflix streaming start on December 16th. It’s said to be based on the auteur’s real life experiences and initial reaction (as evidenced by the early RT rating) is troubling. Indulgent is a common word thus far.

The festival season beginning in Venice and with Telluride and Toronto on deck is just two days old. Bardo buzz is guaranteed to be one of the biggest surprises. In my predictions last week, I had the movie, Inarritu’s direction, and Daniel Gimenez Cacho in Best Actor all ranked 4th. Griselda Sicillani was fifth in Supporting Actress and there’s where I had this for Original Screenplay. It is very possible that it could fall out of contention altogether in each race mentioned when I publish my next update on Labor Day. I am confident I won’t be predicting nominations for any of the above. The largest benefactor to a Bardo collapse could be Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave. The heralded Japanese mystery could find itself as the international frontrunner now and more of an option in the BP derby.

A slight word of caution: this is just one festival. Bardo screens in Telluride this weekend and maybe the negative chatter will turn to the positive and it won’t be the non-factor that I suspect it’s become. Even the disappointed critics are singling out Darius Khondji’s cinematography so it could continue Inarritu’s streak of every picture getting some Oscar love. Let there be no doubt, however, as that streak is in serious danger. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

2021 BAFTA Nominations Reaction

For the second year in a row, the British Academy Film Awards (or BAFTAs) showed its unpredictable nature with some shocking omissions and unexpected inclusions. The last major precursor before Oscar nominations are unveiled Tuesday, I went 63 of 99 when it comes to races with a correlation to the Academy’s competitions. Truth be told – it coulda been worse considering the surprises we witnessed today.

Let’s break them down one by one with some commentary, shall we?

Film

Nominees: Belfast, Don’t Look Up, Dune, Licorice Pizza, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: The BAFTAs delivered a great haul for Pizza. It and Don’t Look Up got in over my picks of The Tragedy of Macbeth and West Side Story (which both underwhelmed). Gut reaction says Power is in the lead.

Director

Nominees: Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Audrey Diwan (Happening), Julia Ducournau (Titane), Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), Aleem Khan (After Love)

How I Did: 4/6

Commentary: Wow – no Kenneth Branagh for Belfast or Denis Villeneuve for Dune! They miss with Anderson and Diwan taking the spots. Like with Film, Campion could be out in front.

Leading Actress

Nominees: Lady Gaga (House of Gucci), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Emilia Jones (CODA), Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World), Joanna Scanlan (After Love), Tessa Thompson (Passing)

How I Did: 3/6

Commentary: Surprises galore here! No Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos or Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter. I predicted both along with Claire Rushbrook for Ali & Ava. In their slots are Haim (continuing the Licorice love), Jones, and Thompson. I would also note no Kristen Stewart in Spencer after her SAG snub.

Now here’s an interesting stat – since 2013, the BAFTA Leading Actress recipient has matched the Oscar winner. So… are Kidman and Colman in trouble? Could Gaga be on her way to a gold statue? Does this show Haim’s potential strength at getting an Academy mention? Questions abound, but I know one thing – this year’s Actress race is as intriguing as last year’s.

Leading Actor

Nominees: Adeel Akhtar (Ali & Ava), Mahershala Ali (Swan Song), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up), Stephen Graham (Boiling Point), Will Smith (King Richard)

How I Did: 3/6

Commentary: Smith’s inclusion here (which I didn’t project) just might solidify him as the Oscar frontrunner (with Cumberbatch pretty close behind). Academy hopefuls Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick… Boom!) and Denzel Washington (Macbeth) were left out as was Daniel Craig in his swan song as Bond in No Time to Die. In their place – Smith, Ali (following up on his Globe nominated turn), and DiCaprio.

Side note – somehow, Denzel has never been nominated for a BAFTA.

Supporting Actress

Nominees: Caitriona Balfe (Belfast), Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Ann Dowd (Mass), Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard), Ruth Negga (Passing)

How I Did: 4/6

Commentary: Dowd finally shows up! I must say – no huge shockers here as she and Ellis made it over Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog) and Kathryn Hunter (Macbeth). We’ll see if DeBose’s potential sweep continues here.

Supporting Actor

Nominees: Mike Faist (West Side Story), Ciaran Hinds (Belfast), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Woody Norman (C’Mon C’Mon), Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

How I Did: 3/6

Commentary: There was a double dose of Dog love for Plemons (who I didn’t predict) and Smit-McPhee (who I did and he could certainly win). I also went with Faist’s costar David Alvarez instead in a last minute switch that I now regret. And young Norman is responsible for the only nod for C’Mon C’Mon. I also went with Benicio del Toro for The French Dispatch and Jamie Dornan in Belfast. At this point, an Oscar nod for Dornan seems like a reach. Also worth noting is that, despite Pizza over performing, no Bradley Cooper.

Original Screenplay

Nominees: Being the Ricardos, Belfast, Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Here’s a list that may absolutely match the Oscar one. I said After Love over Richard (which had a solid day). Like with the Academy, this might be a Belfast v. Pizza showdown and considering how well the latter did, I might lean that way.

Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: CODA, Drive My Car, Dune, The Lost Daughter, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Went with West Side Story over Dune. This is Power‘s to lose.

Animated Film

Nominees: Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines

How I Did: 3/4

Commentary: Rather predictable list though I said Ron’s Gone Wrong instead of Luca.

Film Not in the English Language

Nominees: Drive My Car, The Hand of God, Parallel Mothers, Petite Maman, The Worst Person in the World

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: No Flee here or Titane with God and Mothers in. Drive My Car is the favorite.

Documentary

Nominees: Becoming Cousteau, Cow, Flee, The Rescue, Summer of Soul

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Summer of Soul did well when factoring in the surprise Editing nod. It made it along with Cousteau over my picks of The Sparks Brothers and The Velvet Underground.

Cinematography

Nominees: Dune, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Well – Macbeth got something (!) Only miss here was going with Belfast instead of Alley.

Costume Design

Nominees: Cruella, Cyrano, Dune, The French Dispatch, Nightmare Alley

How I Did: 2/5

Commentary: There’s always a pesky 2/5 race where I just whiff. I got Cyrano and Dune right but the others popped up over House of Gucci, Last Night in Soho, and West Side Story. I didn’t predict it, but Cruella could be the main competition for Dune.

Editing

Nominees: Belfast, Dune, Licorice Pizza, No Time to Die, Summer of Soul

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Soul‘s aforementioned placement is unexpected – could it possibly follow suit with the Academy? Also didn’t project Pizza. They are in over Last Night in Soho and (you guessed it) West Side Story.

Makeup and Hair

Nominees: Cruella, Cyrano, Dune, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, House of Gucci

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Cyrano over The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Honestly, other than Cyrano, I think any of the hopefuls could take this.

Original Score

Nominees: Being the Ricardos, Don’t Look Up, Dune, The French Dispatch, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Ricardos and Don’t Look Up in; The Green Knight and Spencer out. Probably a showdown of Dune v. Dog. 

Production Design

Nominees: Cyrano, Dune, The French Dispatch, Nightmare Alley, West Side Story

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Here’s a rare category where I incorrectly had West Side missing. It’s in, along with Cyrano (which had a decent haul with tech races) over Belfast and Macbeth.

Sound

Nominees: Dune, Last Night in Soho, No Time to Die, A Quiet Place Part II, West Side Story

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Place over Belfast. Expect Dune to reign supreme.

Special Visual Effects

Nominees: Dune, Free Guy, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, The Matrix Resurrections, No Time to Die

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Should be another victory for Dune as Free Guy and Ghostbusters made it over my selections of The King’s Man and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

And there’s your recap. As a reminder, my FINAL Oscar predictions (which I’m currently beating myself up over) will be posted tomorrow! Stay tuned…

2021 BAFTA Predictions

The last major precursor nominations before Tuesday’s Oscar nods come out tomorrow and it’s the British Academy Film Awards or BAFTAs. Let’s discuss them a bit, shall we? The BAFTAs can be a confusing branch to figure out.

For starters, the number of nominees in each category is a tad puzzling. Best Film has five as do the tech races and screenplay derbies. Director and the acting competitions contain 6 while Animated Film is 4. However, Documentary and “Film Not in the English Language” is 5. Got that?

While past years have matched the Oscars fairly closely in the big categories, 2020 was an exception. While 4 of the 5 Best Film contenders ended up nabbing BP mentions from the Academy, it was just 3 of the directors. For Best Actor, it was also 3 but in Best Actress only two. Same goes for Supporting – 3 in Actor, 2 in Actress.

In other words, projecting the BAFTAs is a major crapshoot but I’ll try. Since it’s British voters, titles such as the BBC’s After Love are expected to perform well in some of the major races.

Another major note – I am only forecasting competitions where there’s a direct correlation to the Academy. Therefore I’m not weighing in on Best British Film, Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer, or Casting.

For each race, I’ll give you my picks (and I triple checked the numbers) and an alternate. A recap on how I did and my general thoughts are up tomorrow and my final Oscar predictions will be up Friday!

Film

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Alternate: No Time to Die

Director

Predicted Nominees:

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog 

Julia Ducournau, Titane

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car

Aleem Khan, After Love

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Alternate: Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Leading Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Claire Rushbrook, Ali & Ava

Joanna Scanlan, After Love

Alternate: Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Leading Actor

Predicted Nominees:

Adeel Akhtar, Ali & Ava

Daniel Craig, No Time to Die

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!

Stephen Graham, Boiling Point

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Alternate: Will Smith, King Richard

Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Kathryn Hunter, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Ruth Negga, Passing

Alternate: Vinette Robinson, Boiling Point

Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

David Alvarez, West Side Story

Benicio del Toro, The French Dispatch

Jamie Dornan, Belfast

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Alternate: Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

After Love

Being the Ricardos

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

Alternate: The French Dispatch

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

CODA

Drive My Car

The Lost Daughter

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Alternate: The Tragedy of Macbeth

Animated Film

Predicted Nominees:

Encanto

Flee

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Ron’s Gone Wrong

Alternate: Luca

Film Not in the English Language

Predicted Nominees:

Drive My Car

Flee

Petite Maman

Titane

The Worst Person in the World

Alternate: The Hand of God

Documentary

Predicted Nominees:

Cow

Flee

The Rescue

The Sparks Brothers

The Velvet Underground

Alternate: Summer of Soul

Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Alternate: West Side Story

Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

Cyrano

Dune

House of Gucci

Last Night in Soho

West Side Story

Alternate: Cruella

Editing

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

Last Night in Soho

No Time to Die

West Side Story

Alternate: The Power of the Dog

Makeup and Hair

Predicted Nominees:

Cruella

Dune

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

Altenrate: Last Night in Soho

Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Dune

The French Dispatch

The Green Knight

The Power of the Dog

Spencer

Alternate: No Time to Die

Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

The French Dispatch

Nightmare Alley

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Alternate: West Side Story

Sound

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

Last Night in Soho

No Time to Die

West Side Story

Alternate: The Power of the Dog 

Special Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

Dune

The King’s Man

The Matrix Resurrections

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Alternate: Ghostbusters: Afterlife

The French Dispatch Box Office Prediction

Wes Anderson’s latest comedy The French Dispatch is being delivered to 52 theaters on October 22nd before its wide release the following weekend. The anthology pic arrives a year after its COVID delay. It received a premiere at the Cannes Film Festival over the summer.

Like most of his unique tales, Dispatch features a massive cast (many of whom have appeared in multiple previous works from the director). That list includes Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Timothee Chalamet, Lyna Khoudri, Mathieu Amalric, Stephen Park, Owen Wilson, Anjelica Huston, Elisabeth Moss, Liev Schrieber, Willem Dafoe, Edward Norton, Fisher Stevens, Henry Winkler, Bob Balaban, Rupert Friend, Griffin Dunne, and three actors from No Time to Die (Lea Seydoux, Jeffrey Wright, and Christoph Waltz).

There is no question that Anderson has an ardent fanbase. However, there’s some drawbacks. Reviews are not quite up to the level of other features like Moonrise Kingdom or The Grand Budapest Hotel. The Rotten Tomatoes score is 79% and it is not thought to be an awards contender. That’s unlike his previous live-action film Hotel, which was nominated for nine Oscars and won four. It ended up with $59 million domestically after a long and leggy run in multiplexes. This might be fortunate to nab a couple of tech nods from the Academy.

Dispatch‘s wide release on October 29th comes with caveats in terms of my prediction. I have yet to see a theater count and that could easily alter my projection once known. However, I’m leaning towards this being one of Anderson’s lesser earning titles. This is somewhat of a placeholder estimate, but I’ll say $3-5 million seems likeliest.

The French Dispatch opening weekend prediction: $3.8 million

For my Last Night in Soho prediction, click here:

Last Night in Soho Box Office Prediction

For my Antlers prediction, click here:

Antlers Box Office Prediction

For my My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission prediction, click here:

My Hero Academia: World Heroes’ Mission Box Office Prediction

For my A Mouthful of Air prediction, click here:

A Mouthful of Air Box Office Prediction

Oscar Watch: The French Dispatch

Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch was supposed to premiere at Cannes in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic altered that plan. One year later, the auteur’s latest has screened in the French Riviera and it’s probably the most eagerly awaited debut of the festival. The film boasts an ensemble that is to be expected from the filmmaker and it reads like a who’s who of his frequent collaborators and several other previous awards nominees: Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Timothee Chalamet, Frances McDormand, Lyna Khoudri, Jeffrey Wright, Mathieu Amalric, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Elisabeth Moss, Liev Schrieber, Edward Norton, Willem Dafoe, Saoirse Ronan, Christoph Waltz, Jason Schwartzman (who shares a story credit with Anderson and others), Bob Balaban, and Anjelica Huston. Yeah, I know.

Early reviews indicate that this anthology (out stateside on October 22) is a loving ode to journalism and that could be right up the alley of Academy voters. Yet some buzz is also indicating this isn’t among his strongest efforts. One thing seems certain: Dispatch is a visual feast that should easily assert itself in several technical categories. That certainly includes Production Design, Costume Design, Alexandre Desplat’s Original Score, Cinematography, and perhaps Makeup and Hairstyling (though that race in particular could be packed this year).

What do all those races have in common? They were all nominations received for Anderson’s 2014 pic The Grand Budapest Hotel, which scored nine mentions (winning for Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Score, and Production Design). Don’t be surprised if this is a major hopeful in those same categories.

As for the massive amount of actors, here’s a fun fact: no performance from an Anderson production has ever been nominated. That seems hard to believe, but his casts often make it tricky to pick a favorite or two to mount a campaign for. Del Toro, Chalamet, Wright, and McDormand have been singled out in some write-ups already. I suspect none will emerge to make the Oscar cut. Chalamet has hope in lead actor for Dune and the same can be said for McDormand with The Tragedy of Macbeth (time will tell).

Now to the biggest derbies. Will The French Dispatch manage Best Picture, Director, and Original Screenplay nods? The latter seems most possible. And while some European chatter indicates the other two could be out of reach, it’s important to remember that it took a little time for Budapest Hotel to become the Academy player that it turned out to be.

Bottom line: the future is cloudy for Dispatch when it comes to the most high-profile competitions. Some Academy love down the line in the tech races already seems highly likely. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: No Sudden Move

The wildly eclectic filmography of Steven Soderbergh peaked with awards voters in 2000 when two of his pictures (Erin Brockovich and Traffic) represented 40% of that year’s Best Picture Oscar nominees. While Gladiator took the big prize, Soderbergh took gold for his direction of the latter. Half of the 2000 acting contenders came from his work with Julia Roberts as Best Actress for Brockovich and Benicio del Toro in Supporting Actor with Traffic.

Since then, the Academy has failed to nominate any of Soderbergh’s many efforts that followed. This weekend, No Sudden Move premiered on HBO Max. The 1950s crime thriller, in addition to costarring del Toro, features a large cast including Don Cheadle, David Harbour, Jon Hamm, Amy Seimetz, Brendan Fraser, Kieran Culkin, Noah Jupe, Julia Fox, Ray Liotta, and Bill Duke.

Reviews are solid as this sits at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes. Yet this appears to be another genre flick that is unlikely to make an impression with the Academy. Bottom line: it’s been over two decades since Soderbergh was in the Oscar mix and don’t look for Move to suddenly change that. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

James Bond: An Oscar History

Of the six actors to have played the most famous spy in cinematic history, only one of them has ever been nominated for an Oscar. That would be, of course, Sean Connery and he was victorious in 1987 for his supporting work in The Untouchables. It is worth noting that the last two Bonds (Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Craig) have Golden Globes nods in the Musical/Comedy category for The Matador and Knives Out, respectively.

With the recent death of Sir Connery, this got me thinking… how many actors from the nearly 60 year old franchise have been recognized by the Academy? And how much Oscar attention has the series itself received? For the first question, it was rather limited until Craig took over the role. For the second question, 9 out of the 24 official 007 entries have managed to get on awards voters radar screens. So let’s break it down, shall we?

Goldfinger (1964) was the third feature in the franchise and it marked the first nomination and win for the Bond catalogue. The pic took the Best Sound Effects trophy. One year later, Thunderball won for its Visual Effects. Connery’s final official appearance in 1971’s Diamonds Are Forever resulted in a nod for its sound.

When Roger Moore took over the part, his debut saw the first theme song nominated courtesy of Paul McCartney’s title track to 1973’s Live and Let Die. There would also be song nods for both The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and For Your Eyes Only in 1981. Spy would mark the first Bond flick to score multiple mentions with its score and art direction. And Moore’s 1979 space opus Moonraker was nominated for its visual effects.

George Lazenby’s one-off appearance in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Timothy Dalton’s two 1980s pictures, and the 1990s-early 2000s four film Pierce Brosnan run yielded zero Oscar mentions. Same goes for Craig’s first two outings Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. 

So it had been over 30 years since a Bond adventure had been recognized on Oscar night when 2012’s Skyfall landed a franchise record 5 nominations. It won two with Adele’s theme song and its sound editing. The other nods were Score, Sound Mixing, and Cinematography. The song love would continue with 2015’s Spectre when Sam Smith won for his tune.

Add that up and we have 15 total nominations for the series and 5 wins.

We move to the thespians and their fortune at the big show. As mentioned, before the recent run of Craig titles, it was a bit limited. In fact, the number of actors who are Oscar nominees from the Craig run nearly equals everything that came before it. Giancarlo Giannini appeared in Casino and Quantum and he was a Best Actor nominee in 1975 for Seven Beauties. Ralph Fiennes (otherwise known as M) is a double nominee for Schindler’s List and The English Patient. Naomie Harris (or Moneypenny) achieved a Supporting Actress mention for 2016’s Moonlight. Albert Finney showed up in Skyfall and he was nominated five times in his long career. Craig’s original “M” was Judi Dench and she dates back to the Brosnan era. She’s a one-time winner with 6 other nominations.

That’s just the good guys. In the Craig era, the villains come with serious awards cred. Javier Bardem from Skyfall had taken Supporting Actor five years earlier in No Country for Old Men and is a two-time Best Actor nominee for Before Nights Falls and Biutiful. Christoph Waltz (Spectre) is a double Supporting Actor winner with Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. And the next pic – the oft delayed No Time to Die – has Rami Malek as its main baddie. In 2018, he gave his acceptance speech for Bohemian Rhapsody. 

Going back to the beginning, From Russia with Love featured Lotte Lenye (a 1961 nominee for The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone) and Robert Shaw (nominated three years after Russia for A Man for All Seasons). And that’s actually the extent of performers from the Connery era nominated for Oscars… sort of. The legend did return to the role in 1983’s Never Say Never Again, though it is not considered part of the “official” catalogue. It does boast three Academy players with Klaus Maria Brandauer (Out of Africa), Max Von Sydow (Pelle the Conquerer and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), and Kim Basinger (Supporting Actress recipient for 1997’s L.A. Confidential).

Telly Savalas costarred with Lazenby in Secret Service and he was nominated seven years earlier for his work in Birdman of Alcatraz. In the Moore era, there’s just Topol. He’s best known his nominated work in Fiddler on the Roof and he costarred in For Your Eyes Only. In the Dalton double feature, we have Benicio del Toro as he was a henchman in Licence to Kill. Over a decade later, he would win Supporting Actor for Traffic and get another nod for 21 Grams. Things picked up a bit with Brosnan. In addition to Dench, a trio of actresses were on their way or had already achieved nominations. Halle Berry co-headlined Die Another Day one year after winning Actress for Monster’s Ball. Minnie Driver had a small role in Goldeneye and would have her breakout part (along with Supporting Actress inclusion) two years later with Good Will Hunting. And Rosamund Pike was also in Die Another Day a decade plus before her Actress nod for Gone Girl. 

A final word. Not one of the 24 released 007 features has achieved any acting, directing, writing, or picture nominations of its own. Skyfall probably came the closest as some prognosticators wondered whether it could be the first to nab a Picture nod. It didn’t materialize, but its five nominations indicate it might have come the closest. Indeed, Daniel Craig’s time as Bond has seen him costar with the most Academy friendly costars. Let’s see if the next performer to play the iconic spy gets to act alongside that same kind of pedigree.

Cannes Do Spirit

The Cannes Film Festival, originally scheduled for May in the French Riviera, was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, an announcement today confirmed that the long running fest will exist in some form. And like everything in 2020… it’s a little confusing. A lineup announcement of 56 pictures was put out as being in the Cannes fold. However, these titles will premiere at various other events scheduled later in the year such as the Toronto and Telluride festivals, among others.

Awards watchers know that Cannes is a fertile breeding ground for Oscar hopefuls. Just last year, Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite won top Cannes prize the Palme d’or and eventually won Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Some other titles (among many) that premiered at Cannes and got Oscar attention include Apocalypse Now, The Piano, Pulp Fiction, and The Pianist. 

So what are some significant 2020 Cannes contenders that could vie for Oscar gold? I’ll give you a quintet and we start with Wes Anderson’s The French Dispatch. The latest effort from the acclaimed filmmaker is his live-action follow-up to 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel which nabbed a leading nine nominations at that year’s Oscars. The cast is filled with familiar faces and many Anderson regulars including Benicio del Toro, Adrien Brody, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Timothee Chalamet, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Willem Dafoe, and Anjelica Huston. It is obviously high on the list for potential players throughout awards season.

Ronan also costars in Ammonite, a period drama from director Francis Lee. Her costar is Kate Winslet and between the two of them they have 11 Academy nominations. Expect plenty of chatter as to their viability in the performance races.

Steve McQueen is premiering not one, but two pictures with the Cannes label – Lovers Rock and Mangrove. The director saw his 2013 pic 12 Years a Slave awarded Best Picture. Both of his new titles focus on race relations in the United Kingdom.

Finally, Pixar is in the mix with Soul. Originally scheduled for summer, it was pushed back to November and is rightfully seen as a top tier contender in the Animated Feature derby. Featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey, Soul is directed by Pete Docter. He’s responsible for two of the studio’s most acclaimed entries and Oscar winners – 2009’s Up and 2015’s Inside Out.

I would suspect that the 51 other Cannes selections could wind up in the mix as well (especially in the International Feature Film race). Time will tell, but the Cannes label will carry on in 2020 (albeit under unforeseen and unique circumstances).

A Marvel Cinematic Oscar History: Best Supporting Actor

Continuing with my series showcasing the voluminous amount of Oscar nominees and winners that have appeared in the 25 Marvel Cinematic Universe pictures (including the upcoming Black Widow and The Eternals), we arrive at Best Supporting Actor.

If you missed my previous posts covering the lead performers in Actor and Actress, 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/

Supporting Actor, of the four acting categories, contains the most nominees at 36. However, there are only 4 wins represented. As a reminder, the MCU has given us 110 total nominees and 20 golden recipients.

Let’s start with the four gentlemen who made a trip to the podium:

Sam Rockwell, who costarred in Iron Man 2, took gold in 2017 for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri 

Tommy Lee Jones, who appeared in Captain America: First Avenger, emerged victorious in 1993 for The Fugitive

Benicio del Toro, who memorably appeared in Guardians of the Galaxy, won in 2000 for Traffic

J.K. Simmons, who popped up in Spider-Man: Far From Home reprising his role as J. Jonah Jameson from the original Spidey trilogy, won in 2014 for Whiplash

And now the 29 additional performers who received nods:

Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey Jr., received a nomination in 2008 for Tropic Thunder

Jeff Bridges, the Iron Man villain, is a four-time nominee for 1971’s The Last Picture Show, 1974’s Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 2000’s The Contender, and Hell or High Water in 2016

Samuel L. Jackson, who has played Nick Fury in numerous MCU entries, got a nod in 1994 for Pulp Fiction

Edward Norton, who was the Hulk before Mark Ruffalo, is a two-time nominee for 1996’s Primal Fear and 2014’s Birdman

Tim Roth, bad guy in Norton’s The Incredible Hulk, for 1995’s Rob Roy

William Hurt, whose MCU appearances also began in The Incredible Hulk, for 2005’s A History of Violence

Sam Rockwell was nominated a year after his Billboards win in 2018 for Vice

Anthony Hopkins, Thor’s dad, for 1997’s Amistad and last year’s The Two Popes

Stanley Tucci, also of Captain America: First Avenger, in 2010 for The Lovely Bones

Mark Ruffalo is a three-time nominee: 2010’s The Kids Are All Right, 2014’s Foxcatcher, and in 2015 for Spotlight

Jeremy Renner, aka Hawkeye, in 2010’s The Town

Ben Kingsley, from Iron Man 3, is a two-time mention for 1991’s Bugsy and 2001’s Sexy Beast

Benicio del Toro also received a nomination for 2003’s 21 Grams

Bradley Cooper, Rocket from Guardians of the Galaxy, for 2013’s American Hustle

Djimon Hounsou, who first appeared in Guardians, for both 2003’s In America and 2006’s Blood Diamond

John C. Reilly, another Guardians performer, for 2002’s Chicago

Josh Brolin, aka Thanos, for 2008’s Milk

Sylvester Stallone, who appeared in the Guardians sequel, for 2015’s Creed

Matt Damon, who had a cameo in Thor: Ragnarok, for Invictus in 2009

Jude Law, from Captain Marvel, received a nomination 20 years earlier for The Talented Mr. Ripley

Jake Gyllenhaal, villain for Spider-Man: Far From Home, for 2005’s Brokeback Mountain

And that does it for now, folks! I’ll have Supporting Actress up in short order…

 

 

Dora and the Lost City of Gold Box Office Prediction


Making the leap from the Nickelodeon small screen for a live action rendering, Dora and the Lost City of Gold looks to cash in at theaters next weekend. The family adventure is based on the animated series “Dora the Explorer” that started back in 2000. James Bobin, best known for The Muppets reimagining and Alice Through the Looking Glass, directs. Isabela Moner, recently seen in Instant Family, is the title character with a supporting cast including Eugenio Derbez, Michael Pena, and Eva Longoria. Danny Trejo and Benicio del Toro provided voice work

Paramount is hopeful that a pot of gold will exist with Latino audiences and kids who’ve made the TV show part of their programming over the last many years. The film is probably review proof and they’ve been mixed so far. This shouldn’t face much trouble having the largest debut of the five pictures arriving over the weekend. I’ll say high teens to low 20s is where this lands.

Dora and the Lost City of Gold opening weekend prediction: $19.7 million

For my The Kitchen prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/31/the-kitchen-box-office-prediction/

For my Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/31/scary-stories-to-tell-in-the-dark-box-office-prediction/

For my The Art of Racing in the Rain prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/31/the-art-of-racing-in-the-rain-box-office-prediction/

For my Brian Banks prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/08/04/brian-banks-box-office-prediction/