Tag Archives: Cannes Film Festival

Oscar Watch: Capernaum

I recently did an Oscar Watch post for Shoplifters, the Japanese drama that won the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. It stands an excellent shot at a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.

So, too, does the Cannes winner for the Jury Prize and that is Capernaum. This Lebanese tearjerker from director Nadine Labaki is said to be an audience favorite. It recently played at the Toronto Film Festival and buzz continued to increase. The Jury Prize recipient in 2017 was Russia’s Loveless and it went on to score an Academy nod.

The category is beginning to look crowded with such titles as Roma, Cold War, Shoplifters, and Sunset (among others) as contenders. If Capernaum makes it in, it would be only the second picture from Lebanon to do so. Yet it would also be two in a row as last year’s The Insult was the first.

Bottom line: Capernaum stands a solid shot among the five movies to be recognized in the Foreign Language Film race.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Shoplifters

Back in May, the Japanese family drama Shoplifters took Cannes by storm and won the Palme d’Or (the festival’s top prize). It comes from director Hirokazu Kore’eda and five years earlier, his pic Like Father, Like Son won the jury prize at the same festival.

Japan has unsurprisingly picked Shoplifters as its official selection for Academy consideration. Based on the Cannes love, it stands an excellent shot at making the final five. It’s likely to face serious competition from Roma (the odds on favorite), Cold War, Sunset, and others which will be discussed on here in short order.

Bottom line: pencil Shoplifters in for inclusion come nominations time. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Cold War

Four years ago, Polish filmmaker Pawel Pawlikowski saw his feature Ida take the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. This year at the Cannes Film Festival, his new drama Cold War earned him the Best Director prize there. Now that it’s also played at Venice, the film continues to gather steam for the 2018 Academy Awards.

Most reviews have been raves and it’s highly likely that Poland will submit this as its selection for Oscar attention. Its inclusion in Foreign Language Film appears to be a given. The big question is whether it could possibly cross over and compete in Best Picture.

At best, there’s usually only one foreign feature that makes the leap into the largest race of all. In 2018, that slot appears to already be filled by Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma. However, if a number of American features fail to meet expectations, you never know.

Additionally, the lead actress in War is Joanna Kulig and critics have hailed her work. A nomination for her could be a long shot. Once again, Roma could have a greater chance at recognition with the work of newcomer Yalitza Aparicio.

Bottom line: Cold War is in fine position with Foreign Language Film, while anything else is a far more unclear question mark.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

BlacKkKlansman Box Office Prediction

***Blogger’s Note II (08/09/18): My estimate is once again increasing – from $7.6M to $9.6M

**Blogger’s Note (08/08/18): I have revised my estimate from $5.6M up to $7.6M

The latest Spike Lee joint is the first in a while that comes with Oscar buzz and widespread  critical acclaim when BlacKkKlansman debuts next weekend. The true life crime flick about an African-American detective infiltrating the Ku Klux Klan premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and was instantly a highlight. Its Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 96%.

The cast includes John David Washington (son of Denzel), Adam Driver, Laura Harrier, Topher Grace, Corey Hawkins, Paul Walter Hauser, and Harry Belafonte. Jason Blum and Jordan Peele serve as producers. The awards buzz could give this a shot at performing decently as it opens on approximately 1500 screens.

One comp that BlacKkKlansman might want to avoid is Detroit, which opened around the same time last year to disappointing results. That pic made $7.1 million in its first wide release frame on about twice as many screens.

This seems to garnering more buzz, however. I’ll say Mr. Lee’s latest manages between $5-6 million.

BlacKkKlansman opening weekend prediction: $9.6 million

For my The Meg prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/31/the-meg-box-office-prediction/

For my Slender Man prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/31/slender-man-box-office-prediction/

For my Dog Days prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/31/dog-days-box-office-prediction/

Film Festival Season Approaches: The 2018 Hopefuls

We may be smack dab in the middle of the summer movie season, but Oscar season will be taking shape before we know it. This week, the organizers of the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals have unveiled lineups for the pictures that will be premiering at their events in a few weeks. Many of them are awards hopefuls.

To give you an idea of the importance of festivals when it comes to Oscar nominees, six of last year’s nine nominees premiered at some combination of Toronto, Venice, Telluride, New York, Sundance, or Cannes. Every Best Picture winner from this decade and beyond played at one of them. The last one that didn’t was The Departed back in 2006.

The months of September-December are the fertile ground for most nominated features. Last year, seven of the nine Picture nominees came out in that time frame. In 2016 – it was 8 out of 9.

Beginning in late August/early September, I will begin my weekly Oscar prediction columns. It works like this:

Late August/Early September – first posting of predictions in the categories of Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress

Months of September and October – weekly Oscar predictions column post covering those 6 categories, as well as Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay. For Best Picture, I will be ranking possibilities numbered 1-25. For other categories, it will be numbered 1-15.

Months of November through announcement of nominations – weekly Oscar predictions column covering every category involving feature films. For Best Picture, I will be ranking possibilities numbered 1-15. For other categories, it will be numbered 1-10.

While these posts are a month away, today I bring you 25 fall awards hopefuls that I suspect I’ll be mentioning frequently. Most of these are premiering at the high-profile quartet of upcoming fests (Venice, Toronto, New York, Telluride). Some aren’t, but could certainly be added to Telluride or New York especially (as they’re more known for surprise screenings).

Let’s get to it!

A Star is Born

The third remake of the musical drama marks the directorial debut of Bradley Cooper and features a potential showcase role for his costar Lady Gaga. Early word of mouth is already strong.

At Eternity’s Gate

He received a nomination for his supporting work last year for The Florida Project and Willem Dafoe plays Vincent Van Gogh in what could be another awards bait role.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Backseat

Expect Adam McKay’s follow-up to The Big Short to receive plenty of attention. Christian Bale is Cheney with Amy Adams as wife Lynne and last year’s Supporting Actor winner Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Beautiful Boy

Steve Carell plays the father of a meth addict played by Timothee Chalamet, who was nominated last year for Call Me by Your Name.

Ben is Back

Lucas Hedges and Julia Roberts headline this family drama that premieres at Toronto.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Bohemian Rhapsody

Despite some behind the scenes drama in its filming, all eyes will be on Rami Malek’s work as Queen front man Freddie Mercury.

Boy Erased

Perhaps an even larger showcase role for Lucas Hedges is this drama where he plays a homosexual sent to conversion camp. Joel Edgerton directs and costars along with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Melissa McCarthy received an Academy Award nomination with her breakthrough role in Bridesmaids. This drama about writer Lee Israel could muster attention for her yet again.

First Man

Director Damien Chazelle has seen both of his efforts (Whiplash, La La Land) nominated for Best Picture and he’s the youngest filmmaker to ever win Best Director. His third pic is a Neil Armstrong biopic starring Ryan Gosling. It opens the Venice Film Festival.

If Beale Street Could Talk

The follow-up to his Oscar winning Moonlight, Barry Jenkins directs this drama set in 1970s Harlem.

July 22

United 93 and Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass brings his latest to Netflix and it focuses on the 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Life Itself

Premiering at Toronto, this ensemble drama includes Oscar Isaac, Olivia Munn, Annette Bening, and Antonio Banderas.

Mary Poppins Returns

She’s already a contender for A Quiet Place and Emily Blunt could face competition from herself with Disney’s expected monster hit.

Mary Queen of Scots

They were both nominated for Best Actress last year and now Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie star in this historical drama about the title character and Queen Elizabeth I.

Old Man & The Gun

David Lowery directs Robert Redford in the true life tale of a prison escape artist. Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck costar.

On the Basis of Sex

The documentary RBG could get noticed by the Documentary branch, as could this biopic which casts Felicity Jones as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Peterloo

Acclaimed British director Mike Leigh returns with this historical 19th century drama.

Roma

This Mexican family drama is Alfonso Cuaron’s first directorial effort since his acclaimed Gravity.

Suspiria

Call Me by Your Name maker Luca Guadagnino shifts gears for this remake of the 1970s horror classic. Don’t be surprised if this receives attention in some technical categories.

The Favourite

The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos is behind this historical drama featuring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz.

The Front Runner

Jason Reitman directs this biopic of failed Presidential candidate Gary Hart with Hugh Jackman cast in the role.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

The Sisters Brothers

John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jake Gyllenhaal are among the cast in this Western from acclaimed French director Jacques Audiard.

Welcome to Marwen

Steve Carell stars in this unique looking drama from Forrest Gump maker Robert Zemeckis.

Widows

It’s been five years between projects for Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen. This heist thriller stars recent winner Viola Davis.

And there’s your very early preview of some titles to keep an eye on over the coming months. Those Oscar posts will start rolling out weekly in about a month! Stay tuned…

Oscar Watch: Whitney

There’s been some high-profile documentaries as of late focused on high-profile people. This Friday, that trend continues with the release of Whitney. It covers the life of the late Whitney Houston and is directed by Kevin Macdonald. He’s known for making fictional efforts such as The Last King of Scotland and State of Play, as well as critically heralded docs Touching the Void and Marley (which covered another legendary musician).

Whitney screened in May at the Cannes Film Festival to positive notices (the Rotten Tomatoes score is at 90% right now). In order for it to be noticed by Oscar voters, it would need to get on equal footing with other recent acclaimed docs like RBG and Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

This could be a challenge. My feeling is that Whitney may have trouble making the short list come nomination time as voters may save their love for other entries.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Everybody Knows

This year’s opening selection for the Cannes Film Festival came with understandable questions about its Oscar possibilities. The Spanish language dramatic thriller Everybody Knows, after all, is from director Asghar Farhadi and he’s made two winners in the Best Foreign Language Film category (2012’s A Separation and last year’s The Salesman). It stars two Academy recipients with real life spouses Javier Bardem (Supporting Actor in 2007 for No Country for Old Men) and Penelope Cruz (2008’s Supporting Actress in Vicky Christina Barcelona).

Yet the buzz out of France likely quashed any notions of Academy recognition. Critics say Knows isn’t in the league of Farhadi’s previous works. Its Rotten Tomatoes score is just 46% as of this writing.

Bottom line: the director is one of the few who’s created more than Foreign Language Oscar winner, but Everybody Knows is in no position to be his third.