Widows Box Office Prediction

Widows is Steve McQueen’s follow-up to 2013’s Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave and it boasts an impressive cast and its own awards buzz. Viola Davis headlines the heist thriller alongside Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, and Liam Neeson.

Opening next weekend, the film sits at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. It could potentially contend in Best Picture, Actress (Davis), Supporting Actor (Kaluuya) and its Adapted Screenplay from Gone Girl and Sharp Objects writer Gillian Flynn. So how will that translate to box office bucks?

I believe the likelihood is that Widows will succeed in appealing to action fans and manage to bring in a sizable female audience. Yet it should also be the type of performer that experiences solid holds from weekend to weekend and not necessarily have a huge opening. Mid teens appears to be the correct forecast for its start.

Widows opening weekend prediction: $15.8 million

For my Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/06/fantastic-beasts-the-crimes-of-grindelwald-box-office-prediction/

For my Instant Family prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/11/07/instant-family-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Widows

Five Oscars ago, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave took home Best Picture and it’s been five years for his follow-up to debut. That picture is Widows, a heist drama based on a 1983 British miniseries and it’s premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

Reviews for the film are encouraging, but I’m not too sure they’re strong enough for a realistic shot at Best Picture, Director, or Adapted Screenplay (by the director and Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn) nods.

As for the actors involved, that could be a different story. An impressive supporting cast includes Michelle Rodriguez, Colin Farrell, Jacki Weaver, Robert Duvall, and Liam Neeson. Most of the ink, however, has been reserved for its star Viola Davis. She won Supporting Actress just two years back for Fences. It appears she could factor into the lead Actress race this time around, though competition could be steep. If there’s anything chance at supporting players being recognized, both Daniel Kaluuya (nominated for last year’s Get Out) and Elizabeth Debicki have been singled out in some reviews.

Bottom line: Widows is doubtful for Best Picture, but Davis and maybe a supporting performance or two could be in the mix.

The film opens domestically on November 16. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Roman J. Israel, Esq. Movie Review

Like his directorial debut Nightcrawler, Dan Gilroy combines a myopically focused central character with Los Angeles landscapes in Roman J. Israel, Esq. Denzel Washington is Roman, the secret weapon in a small law firm known for its justice fighting pursuits. He’s a behind the scenes legal guru who’s uncomfortable in the courtroom and dealing with people in general.

When the public face of the firm suffers a heart attack, Roman (who I’ll refer to as that but always uses his full name and title) must go job searching. He pairs up with George Pierce (Colin Farrell), who runs a more successful operation that puts dollar signs over the virtuous work Roman is used to. It creates an opportunity for him to expand his wallet, as he struggles with the morality of his more high scale surroundings and assignments.

Part of the conscience searching is represented by Maya (Carmen Ejogo), a civil rights activist inspired. She works in an underpaid environment that her new friend would flourish in. Yet he also is effective with George until a questionable ethical decision about a murder case changes things.

Gilroy created a masterwork in 2014 with Nightcrawler. In that, Gilroy wrote Jake Gyllenhaal his best role as a strange but ingenious man whose work comes before all else. That traits apply to Roman and we have Washington providing a unique and always watchable performance. With big glasses, an Afro, and an extensive music collection constantly filling his ear buds, we’ve never seen Denzel quite like this and he seems to relish it.

Unlike Nightcrawler, this picture doesn’t totally work. The court case involved is practically an afterthought. The interpersonal relationships between Roman with George and Maya feel a tad underserved. This may be because the central figure here can’t get too close to anyone, but the film sometimes feels as distant as he is.

Washington almost makes it all worth it anyway, but ultimately Roman J. Israel, Esq. is well meaning and also slightly disappointing.

**1/2 (out of four)

 

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Movie Review

I’m not an attorney, but I’ve heard of the legal term known as Clean Hands. I might have heard it first from Judge Judy. Regardless, in layman’s speak, it means a defendant claims that a plaintiff can’t argue for equal remedy because they’re engaged in bad acts as well. I realize a lawyer might challenge my interpretation, but I’m reviewing a movie and I’m not on trial. Clean Hands could have been a more appropriate name than what I’m writing about, but instead we have the more pretentious The Killing of a Sacred Deer from director Yorgos Lanthimos.

The aggrieved party in our story is teenager Martin (Barry Keoghan), whose father died three years ago in a surgery performed by Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell, reuniting with his The Lobster director). The two befriend each other after the incident and Martin is eventually ingratiating himself with the doc’s family – wife Anna (Nicole Kidman), teen daughter Kim (Raffey Cassidy), and younger brother Bob (Sunny Suljic). Martin seems a bit strange and too eager to please, but his motives turn out far darker. He blames the doctor for his loss and plans to exact revenge.

Lanthimos isn’t interested with playing in the run of the mill revenge fantasy thriller genre. No family pet is harmed in the making of his screenplay with Efthymis Filippou, though there is one. Instead Martin wants to harm the family and any one of them will do. He also manages to capture the heart of Kim while he moves forward with his acts.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a dark and unsettling experience that sometimes struggles to earn the pain we go through watching it. From a technical standpoint, it’s often expertly rendered with a Kubrick like sense of clinical precision and a loud and evocative score. Farrell and Kidman (just seen together in The Beguiled) are just fine as the parents facing increasingly difficult circumstances and choices, but it’s Keoghan who electrifies plenty of his scenes. His misguided Martin gets under everyone’s skin, including ours.

That said, the style of Deer is frequently more potent than its subject and I struggled with whether it was worth it in the end. For all its bells and whistles, it kind of is a typical revenge fantasy with art house touches. Dr. Murphy may have made his mistakes, but there’s a Clean Hands defense when he discovers Martin’s bad acts. For this viewer, I offer a mixed defense of the picture itself.

**1/2 (out of four)

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Now that Harry Potter’s wand has been cinematically retired (at least until Warner Bros figures out how to eventually resuscitate him), it’s J.K. Rowling to the rescue with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This is the first entry in the wizardry world with a screenplay directly from the famed author who created it. This expands greatly on her 2001 novel (which is when Harry debuted onscreen) to create another franchise meant to draw youngsters into its spell, as well as Potter fans of all ages.

In order to achieve that goal, David Yates is back directing. He’s responsible for the last four features in the Potterverse. Our central character this time around is Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne), a magizoologist from London who comes to New York City circa 1926 with a briefcase full of creatures. It’s not clear immediately why he’s in the Big Apple, but his back story tells us of his time at a little school called Hogwarts where he was expelled and was tutored by a much younger Dumbledore.

Wizards need to be registered stateside and Newt finds himself generating the skepticism of Tina (Katherine Waterston), who works for MACUSA, the Magical Congress of the United States of America (obviously). She’s frustrated with her job, which is headed by its President (Carmen Ejogo) and enforced by Colin Farrell’s head of security. Newt and Tina team up to protect his various beasts and those who wish to destroy them. It’s not a two-person team as Newt befriends aspiring baker and World War I vet Jacob (Dan Fogler). Tina’s mind reading sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) is also involved and is the apple of Jacob’s eye. Before we continue with the rest of the review, let me declare that the subplot of Jacob and Queenie’s flirtation and budding romance was my favorite thing about the movie. Fogler serves as the general comic relief here anyway and does so quite wonderfully. Sudol shines in her first role. Their chemistry has genuine magic and if there was ever a case for a rom com spin-off of a hoped for multi-billion dollar franchise, this is it.

Moving on, that’s a small but very winning part of the two-hour plus running time. I wish I could say the chemistry between Newt and Tina was as impressive, but it’s not. Tina is a bit of a blank slate in this first installment and it certainly remains to be seen whether Redmayne’s Newt will come anywhere close to being as beloved as you know who. He’s got a long way to go. Not even Harry Potter could have sold doing a “mating dance” with a titillated CG rhino and neither can Newt. On the other hand, Beasts has its own version of a Star Wars-like cantina scene with Ron Perlman’s cool voicing of a nefarious creation and it’s a highlight.

There are other performances worthy of note, including Ezra Miller as an abused teen with mysterious powers and Samantha Morton as his wizard hating adopted mom doing the abuse. Our main villain Grindelwald is mostly just spoken of but not seen (kind of like Voldemort was for a bit), but we know he’ll play a bigger role as the series moves along.

Fantastic Beasts is heavy on effects (most of them eye-catching) and creating the visually arresting template for sequels. I didn’t think it reached a Sorcerer’s Stone level of quality as far as part 1’s, but Rowling is generally successful in making us curious about what comes next with this real and generated crop of characters.

*** (out of four)

Roman J. Israel, Esq. Box Office Prediction

Denzel Washington headlines Roman J. Israel, Esq., which expands nationwide over the Thanksgiving weekend. From Nightcrawler director Tony Gilroy, the legal drama hopes to appeal to the star’s fans and adult moviegoers looking for alternatives over the Turkey Day frame. Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo costar.

Israel has some issues that could block it from achieving solid grosses. While Washington can be a draw, this isn’t an action pic which are often his highest earners. Additionally, there is little awards buzz and reviews have been mixed (it sits at 55% currently on Rotten Tomatoes).

I’ll estimate that this won’t even reach double digits over the full five-day holiday weekend.

Roman J. Israel, Esq. opening weekend prediction: $5 million (Friday to Sunday), $6.9 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Coco prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/11/14/coco-box-office-prediction/

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 19th Edition

My weekly round of Thursday Oscar predictions in the eight major categories brings a couple of updates from the past week:

Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel premiered at the New York Film Festival and the mixed reaction has caused it to roll all the way out of the top 25 possibilities for Best Picture. Kate Winslet still stands a decent shot at Best Actress in a very crowded race, but her nomination seems a bit less assured to me now. The film also takes a hit in the Original Screenplay derby.

It’s looking like The Leisure Seeker with Donald Sutherland will not be released until 2018. I’ve had the actor on the lower rungs of possibility for Best Actor, but until I see confirmation of an awards qualifying end of year release date, he’s out for now.

And with that, let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 5)

7. Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 10)

9. The Florida Project (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Detroit (PR: 12)

11. Last Flag Flying (PR: 11)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 15)

13. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 14)

14. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 13)

15. I, Tonya (PR: 17)

16. Downsizing (PR: 18)

17. The Greatest Showman (PR: 16)

18. Lady Bird (PR: 22)

19. All the Money in the World (PR: 20)

20. Get Out (PR: 19)

21. Wonderstruck (PR: 21)

22. The Big Sick (PR: 23)

23. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 25)

24. Wind River (PR: 24)

25. Molly’s Game (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Wonder Wheel 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6uefZOL41x4

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

5. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

7. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 5)

8. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

9. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 10)

10. Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit (PR: 11)

11. Clint Eastwood, The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 12)

12. Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying (PR: 14)

13. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 13)

14. Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Woody Allen, Wonder Wheel

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 3)

5. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 6)

7. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 7)

8. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 9)

9. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 8)

10. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 10)

11. Jeremy Renner, Wind River (PR: 11)

12. Matt Damon, Downsizing (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 13)

14. Jason Clarke, Chappaquiddick (PR: 15)

15. Algee Smith, Detroit (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Donald Sutherland, The Leisure Seeker 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

4. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 5)

5. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

7. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 7)

8. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 9)

10. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (PR: 11)

11. Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman (PR: 10)

12. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: 12)

13. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 15)

14. Diane Kruger, In the Fade (PR: 13)

15. Jennifer Lawrence, mother! (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Carey Mulligan, Mudbound

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 5)

5. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 4)

7. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 7)

8. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 6)

9. Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

10. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: 9)

11. Christoph Waltz, Downsizing (PR: 11)

12. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 12)

13. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Patrick Stewart, Logan (PR: 13)

15. Garrett Hedlund, Mudbound (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Colin Farrell, The Beguiled

Jim Belushi, Wonder Wheel

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=B_8S5Ze8q48

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 3)

3. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 2)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

5. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 8)

7. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 5)

8. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 7)

9. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: 10)

10. Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck (PR: 11)

11. Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled (PR: 9)

12. Tatiana Maslany, Stronger (PR: 13)

13. Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck (PR: 12)

14. Sarah Paulson, The Post (PR: 15)

15. Michelle Pfeiffer, mother! (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Juno Temple, Wonder Wheel

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Mudbound (PR: 2)

3. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

4. Molly’s Game (PR: 3)

5. Wonderstruck (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

7. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

8. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 9)

9. The Beguiled (PR: 6)

10. All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

11. Stronger (PR: 12)

12. The Disaster Artist (PR: 11)

13. The Death of Stalin (PR: 13)

14. Wonder (PR: 15)

15. First, They Killed My Father (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Thank You for Your Service

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

3. The Post (PR: 2)

4. The Florida Project (PR: 6)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

7. Dunkirk (PR: 10)

8. Get Out (PR: 8)

9. Lady Bird (PR: 9)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 11)

11. Downsizing (PR: 12)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 13)

13. Wind River (PR: 14)

14. Detroit (PR: 15)

15. Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

I’ll be back next Thursday with a fresh round of predictions!

The Beguiled Movie Review

Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled is a more satisfying exercise in atmosphere than in storytelling. A remake of an early 70s Don Siegel/Clint Eastwood production, the film sets us three years into the Civil War in Virginia at a nearly abandoned girls school. The inhabitants consist of just five students, head teacher Miss Farnsworth (Nicole Kidman), and other instructor Edwina (Kirsten Dunst).

Their quiet existence is jolted when wounded Union soldier Corporal John McBurney (Colin Farrell) seeks refuge to recover from his injuries. This is when a series of ulterior motives plays out over an hour and a half. Miss Farnsworth runs her enterprise with an exacting demeanor that the Corporal’s presence alters. Edwina is looking to escape the confines of the Southern mansion’s trappings and sees the Corporal’s presence as that chance. Alicia (Elle Fanning) is the feisty student and the Corporal’s presence awakens her desires for further rebellion. As for the Corporal? His motives are an ever-changing guessing game as he charms his way through the lonely home and the people in them.

The Beguiled is ultimately a tale of empowerment told in a melodramatic and brisk manner. Clocking in at just over 90 minutes, writer/director Coppola hits the mark creating the claustrophobic setting. There may be a massive war going on around them that’s affecting their lives, but the picture sets its sights solely on the drama in the home. That said, the action happening inside is only somewhat intriguing. That may just be a matter of a rather simple concept that can only go so far in dramatic weight.

The performances are uniformly fine, but it’s Kidman who has the best material to work with in shaping her character. You question where her actions come from and how her back story informs them. Not so much with the rest of the players. Ultimately The Beguiled is a bit of a disappointment that still evokes an often interesting sense of time and place.

**1/2 (out of four)

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 12th Edition

It’s Thursday and that means a fresh round of my weekly Oscar predictions in the eight major categories. Some thoughts from the past week:

I can’t help but wonder if the disappointing box office performance of Blade Runner 2049 will hurt its chances at nominations for Picture and Director. It certainly doesn’t help. I had the film and director Denis Villeneuve getting in last week. Today that changes, but we’ll see if it manages to rise back up in subsequent weeks.

Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel is slated to premiere at the New York Film Festival tonight and that means reviews will be up. I have it getting nominations in Picture, Actress, and Original Screenplay right now, but lots of questions will be answered in a matter of hours.

Sean Baker’s The Florida Project seems to be garnering a lot of goodwill and for the first time, I have it taking a major jump into an actual nomination. We’ll see if that sticks.

Finally, it appears Steven Spielberg’s The Post will qualify for Original Screenplay and not Adapted as previously thought. That change has been reflected here.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 6)

6. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

7. Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Wonder Wheel (PR: 9)

9. The Florida Project (PR: 19)

Other Possibilities:

10. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

11. Last Flag Flying (PR: 12)

12. Detroit (PR: 13)

13. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 11)

14. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 15)

15. Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

16. The Greatest Showman (PR: 14)

17. I, Tonya (PR: 17)

18. Downsizing (PR: 18)

19. Get Out (PR: 16)

20. All the Money in the World (PR: 21)

21. Wonderstruck (PR: 24)

22. Lady Bird (PR: 20)

23. The Big Sick (PR: 22)

24. Wind River (PR: Not Ranked)

25. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Molly’s Game

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

5. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

7. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 5)

8. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

9. Woody Allen, Wonder Wheel (PR: 9)

10. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit (PR: 11)

12. Clint Eastwood, The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 14)

13. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

14. Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying (PR: 12)

15. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Battle of the Sexes

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

4. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 3)

5. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 6)

7. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 8)

8. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel Esq. (PR: 7)

9. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 11)

10. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 9)

11. Donald Sutherland, The Leisure Seeker (PR: 10)

12. Jeremy Renner, Wind River (PR: 13)

13. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 12)

14. Algee Smith, Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Jason Clarke, Chappaquiddick (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Domhnall Gleeson, Goodbye Christopher Robin

Best Actress 

Predicted Nominees:

1. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

4. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

5. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 7)

7. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

8. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 9)

10. Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman (PR: 10)

11. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (PR: 13)

12. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: 11)

13. Diane Kruger, In the Fade (PR: 12)

14. Carey Mulligan, Mudbound (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Jennifer Lawrence, mother!

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

5. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 7)

7. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

8. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 8)

9. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: 11)

10. Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World (PR: 9)

11. Christoph Waltz, Downsizing (PR: 13)

12. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Patrick Stewart, Logan (PR: 12)

14. Colin Farrell, The Beguiled (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Jim Belushi, Wonder Wheel (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying

Laurence Fishburne, Last Flag Flying

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 4)

3. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 2)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 5)

5. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

7. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 8)

8. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

9. Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled (PR: 9)

10. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: 10)

11. Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck (PR: 11)

12. Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck (PR: 12)

13. Tatiana Maslany, Stronger (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Juno Temple, Wonder Wheel (PR: 13)

15. Sarah Paulson, The Post (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Margot Robbie, Goodbye Christopher Robin

Cicely Tyson, Last Flag Flying

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 2)

2. Mudbound (PR: 3)

3. Molly’s Game (PR: 5)

4. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

5. Wonderstruck (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Beguiled (PR: 10)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 6)

9. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 12)

10. All the Money in the World (PR: 9)

11. The Disaster Artist (PR: 11)

12. Stronger (PR: 13)

13. The Death of Stalin (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Thank You for Your Service (PR: 15)

15. Wonder (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

The Post (moved to Original Screenplay)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. The Post (PR: Not Ranked, moved from Adapted Screenplay)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

4. Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Florida Project (PR: 11)

7. The Big Sick (PR: 5)

8. Get Out (PR: 6)

9. Lady Bird (PR: 9)

10. Dunkirk (PR: 7)

11. I, Tonya (PR: 8)

12. Downsizing (PR: 12)

13. Phantom Thread (PR: 13)

14. Wind River (PR: 14)

15. Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Greatest Showman

And there you have it! I’ll be back at it next Thursday with fresh predictions…

Oscar Watch: Roman J. Israel, Esq.

The reaction to the film itself was mixed, but Denzel Washington has increased his chances for an eighth Oscar nomination for Roman J. Israel, Esq. The legal drama is director Dan Gilroy’s follow-up to his acclaimed 2014 pic Nightcrawler (which is one of my favorite movies of the last few years). Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejogo costar.

As mentioned, reviews from its Toronto Film Festival screening have not all been positive (it’s at 71% currently on Rotten Tomatoes). Yet critics have singled out Denzel’s work here. His inclusion in Best Actor might be its only chance at Academy recognition. Gilroy could land an Original Screenplay nod (as he did for Nightcrawler), but that race is already looking busy.

Mr. Washington has won twice – for Supporting Actor in 1989’s Glory and lead in 2001’s Training Day. Just last year, he probably came very close to getting his third for Fences (he lost to Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea).

In my intital round of predictions last Thursday, I had the performer playing the title character here ranked 15th. He’ll be ranked higher in the second round on Thursday.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…