Collateral Beauty Movie Review

David Frankel’s Collateral Beauty starts with a pretentious name and goes downhill from there. It’s a film dealing with weighty subjects in a manner that is borderline offensive and cheats the audience and its talented actors of quality. When you can’t get past an incredibly contrived concept, it makes any semblance of emotional resonance that the screenplay is trying to beat into you fail badly. And it does.

Howard (Will Smith) is an advertising exec who’s mourning the loss of his young daughter. He can’t get past the loss and he’s cut off communication with the world, including his coworkers. There’s three of them that are focused on and they’re all given their own soap opera subplots. Whit (Edward Norton) is a divorcee trying to reconnect with his own little girl. Claire (Kate Winslet) is the workaholic wanting to become a mother. Simon (Michael Pena) is terminally ill and trying to hide his diagnosis from everyone.

The trio make the tough decision to try to push Howard out of the company. In order to do so, the script invents quite a remarkably ridiculous way to do so. You see – Howard writes letters to issues he’s grappling with – Love, Death, Time. When his coworkers are at their wit’s end, they make the puzzling decision to hire an acting troupe to portray those emotions, catch Howard’s reaction to them on camera, and exploit his response for the company’s gain. It’s even more contrived than it sounds. So we have Helen Mirren as Death, Keira Knightley as Love, and Jacob Latimore as Time. Howard also reaches out to a grief counselor (Naomie Harris) who’s experienced similar life issues.

This is the type of picture that some may not want to criticize due to its subject matter. Yet Collateral Beauty deserves scorn, especially because so many other films have dealt with similar themes in far more mature and satisfying ways. There’s not a performance here worthy of praise and that’s remarkable considering the cast. Smith is stuck playing one note throughout and even Mirren (one of our finest actresses) is annoying. No actors could make this dialogue work to be fair. It’s as if screenwriter Allan Loeb took a bunch of sympathy and encouragement cards and self-help manuals, cut them up, threw them in the air, and let treacly word piles form. The result is ugly.

* (out of four)

 

Box Office Predictions: January 6-8

The first full weekend of the new year kicks off with three pictures opening wide: Oscar hopeful Hidden Figures, sci-fi franchise entry Underworld: Blood Wars, and sci-fi drama A Monster Calls. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on that trio of newcomers here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/29/hidden-figures-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/28/underworld-blood-wars-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/29/a-monster-calls-box-office-prediction/

Even with the infusion of fresh product, I do not anticipate the two-week old first and second place combo of Rogue One and Sing to change. That said, I do believe Figures stands the best chance at outperforming my estimate.

As for Blood Wars, I expect it may be the first Underworld pic of the five to open under $20 million and that puts it in fourth.

La La Land is getting a large theater expansion and should hit the top five with Passengers in sixth. The rest of the top ten could be rather tightly clustered with Monster likely outside of the top tenAnd with that, a top ten predictions for the weekend:

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $28.2 million

2. Sing

Predicted Gross: $25.3 million

3. Hidden Figures

Predicted Gross: $19.3 million

4. Underworld: Blood Wars

Predicted Gross: $17.6 million

5. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $12.8 million

6. Passengers

Predicted Gross: $9 million

7. Fences

Predicted Gross: $6.7 million

8. Moana

Predicted Gross: $6.6 million

9. Why Him?

Predicted Gross: $6 million

10. Assassin’s Creed

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

Box Office Results (December 30-January 2)

The four-day New Years weekend gave Rogue One its third weekend atop the charts, though it didn’t quite match my expectations. The spin-off took in $65.5 million (under my generous $79.9M forecast) for a still eye-popping $440M total.

Sing was second with $57.2 million, in line with my $56.6M projection for a two-week $180M take.

Passengers was third at $21 million, above my $18.3M prediction for a $66M overall gross.

Moana made $15.1 million for fourth place (higher than my $12.7M prognosis). It’s made $214M.

Rounding out the top five was Why Him? with $13.1 million, under my $16.1M estimate for a $37M tally.

In sixth, Fences also made $13.1 million (above my $9.8M prediction) for a $32M total.

Oscar favorite La La Land expanded its theater count and earned a scorching $12.5 million for seventh (I said $10M). It’s danced to $37M thus far.

Eighth place: Assassin’s Creed with $11.3 million, in range with my $12.2M take for a $42M gross.

The pictures in ninth and tenth were ones I incorrectly had outside my predicted top 10. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them made $5.6 million (overall earnings: $225M) and Manchester by the Sea took in $5.4 million ($29M total).

Collateral Beauty was 11th with $5.4 million (I said $5.2M) for a weak $27M gross. Office Christmas Party was 12th with $4.5 million (I was a touch higher at $5.8M) for a total of $52M.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: December 30-January 2

Well, it’s both the final box office weekend of 2016 and first one of 2017 and that means four-day holiday estimates once again. There are no new titles premiering over the New Years frame as Christmas holdovers look to dominate the charts.

During the last two years where we saw New Years Day fall on a Sunday (2005, 2011), returning films routinely saw increases compared to the three-day portion of the Christmas weekend. While many may not match the four-day takes of the previous weekend, I wouldn’t look for any precipitous drops for anything.

Bottom line – this weekend should look a whole lot like the one that just concluded with Rogue One and Sing easily in the one and two spots, some Oscar hopefuls continuing their stellar runs, and some Christmas disappointments (more on that below) hoping for a soft cushion in their sophomore frames.

With that, we’ll do a top 10 Estimates for the Friday to Monday weekend ahead:

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $79.9 million

2. Sing

Predicted Gross: $56.6 million

3. Passengers

Predicted Gross: $18.3 million

4. Why Him?

Predicted Gross: $16.1 million

5. Moana

Predicted Gross: $12.7 million

6. Assassin’s Creed

Predicted Gross: $12.2 million

7. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $10 million

8. Fences

Predicted Gross: $9.8 million

9. Office Christmas Party

Predicted Gross: $5.8 million

10. Collateral Beauty

Predicted Gross: $5.2 million

Box Office Results (December 2326)

As expected, Rogue One ruled the holiday box office, bringing in $96.1 million over the Friday to Monday Christmas weekend. This is just over my $92.8M prediction to bring its total to a merry $318 million.

Illumination Entertainment’s animated Sing posted a strong second place debut to the tune of $55.8 million from Friday to Monday and $75.5 million since its Wednesday opening (in line with my respective estimates of $55.3M and $74.1M).

The news was not quite as jolly for the Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt sci-fi thriller Passengers. Met with generally mediocre reviews, the pic made $30 million since its Wednesday premiere and $22.6 million over the weekend. My prognoses were higher at $42M and $31.4M.

James Franco/Bryan Cranston comedy Why Him? had a decent opening with $15.5 million, a bit above my $13.2M prediction. It could enjoy a nice hold this weekend.

Video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed posted unimpressive results with $14.8 million from Friday to Monday and $22.2 million since Wednesday, not reaching my predictions of $19.8M and $28.1M.

Disney’s Moana earned $12.5 million (compared to my $10.1M forecast) for a $185 million haul.

Denzel Washington’s Fences took in a healthy $11.6 million (I was lower at $8.6M) in just two days as it opened on Christmas.

Another strong Oscar hopeful, La La Land, also expanded on the holiday and brought in $9.2 million. I was lower again with a $7.5M estimate.

Office Christmas Party made $7 million (I said $6.2M) to bring its gross to $44M.

Finally, Will Smith flop Collateral Beauty rounded out the top ten with $6.3 million (I said $5.3M) for an underwhelming tally of $17M.

**On a personal note and as a movie lover, I do want to mention the sad news of the day and simply say Rest In Peace to the great and iconic Carrie Fisher.

That does it for now. Until next time…

Box Office Predictions: December 23-26

Ho Ho Ho!!!

It’s Christmas weekend at the box office and it’s expected to be a bustling one as five new pictures open in wide release, an Oscar front runner continues to expand, and the second weekend of Rogue One is upon us.

The five newbies are: animated musical Sing, Jennifer Lawrence/Chris Pratt sci fi romantic thriller Passengers, video game adaptation Assassin’s Creed with Michael Fassbender, James Franco/Bryan Cranston comedy Why Him?, and Denzel Washington family drama Fences. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/14/sing-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/14/passengers-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/14/assassins-creed-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/14/why-him-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/14/fences-box-office-prediction/

When it comes to crunching the numbers for the fresh product, one must consider the release dates of each. Sing, Passengers, and Assassin’s Creed all debut this Wednesday. Why Him? will be out Friday. Fences won’t be out until Christmas Day on Sunday, so it’s only two days of grosses to factor in for it.

As I see it, Sing should rather easily be tops among the newbies with Passengers in third. I do wonder if the mostly negative reviews for the J. Law title could hinder it, but I’m still going with a low 40s four-day. I have Creed and Why Him? rounding out the top five with Fences managing a seventh place showing for its 48 hour haul.

As for the second weekend of Rogue One, a 40% dip would put it in the low  90s and that would be good for the 4th largest second weekend of all time. Last year’s record setter The Force Awakens fell just 39% in its sophomore frame (and that was just 3 day gross) for a $149M gross.

As for other holdovers, the holiday weekend typically sees either small drops (and sometimes slight increases) and that’s reflected in my estimates. Additionally, La La Land (currently on 200 screens) is expected to triple its theater count and it should experience a more significant bump.

And with that- I’m doing a top ten predictions for this crazy four-day weekend:

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $92.8 million (representing a 40% drop)

2. Sing

Predicted Gross: $55.3 million (Friday to Monday), $74.1 million (Wednesday to Monday)

3. Passengers

Predicted Gross: $31.4 million (Friday to Monday), $42 million (Wednesday to Monday)

4. Assassin’s Creed

Predicted Gross: $19.8 million (Friday to Monday), $28.1 million (Wednesday to Monday)

5. Why Him?

Predicted Gross: $13.2 million

6. Moana

Predicted Gross: $10.1 million (representing a drop of 21%)

7. Fences

Predicted Gross: $8.6 million (Sunday-Monday)

8. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $7.5 million

9. Office Christmas Party 

Predicted Gross: $6.2 million (representing a drop of 28%)

 

10. Collateral Beauty

Predicted Gross: $5.3 million (representing a drop of 25%)

Box Office Results (December 16-18)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story blasted off with an impressive $155 million, good for the 12th largest domestic debut of all time. While it didn’t match my generous $168.3M projection, this is still a fine start for the first spin-off in the heralded franchise and its A Cinemascore grade bodes well for its second weekend and beyond.

Another Disney title – their animated hit Moana – was second with $12.7 million (above my $9M estimate) for a $162M total.

Office Christmas Party was third in its second weekend with $8.5 million, ahead of my $7.1M forecast for a tally of $31M.

The news was not so festive for Will Smith as his critically drubbed Collateral Beauty gave the star his worst wide opening of his career. It made just $7.1 million, well under my $11.4M prediction. I’ve got it experiencing a meager decline over Christmas weekend, but any way you look at it, this is a huge disappointment.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was fourth with $5 million (in line with my $4.8M take) for a $207M haul.

Two Oscar contenders held the six and seven spots. Manchester by the Sea earned $4.2 million in its expansion (I was close with $4.4M) for a total of just over $14M. The aforementioned La La Land continued its sizzling per screen averages with $4.1 million (I said $4.2M) to put its take at just over $5M. As mentioned, it should continue to impress over the holidays and awards season.

And that does it for now, folks! Wishing you a Merry Christmas this weekend and and hopefully a joyous time at the movies…

Oscar Watch: Collateral Beauty

OK – stop rolling your eyes. When Collateral Beauty (out Friday) had its trailers unveiled months ago, it was not out of the question that the film could receive some awards chatter. After all, the cast is made up of multiple Oscar winners and nominees – Will Smith, Edward Norton, Helen Mirren, Kate Winslet, and Keira Knightley. Maybe its director David Frankel (who’s had some hits with The Devil Wears Prada and Marley & Me) would enter a new phase of his career that included Academy attention.

So it wasn’t unreasonable to include the Picture, the Lead Actor with Mr. Smith, and supporting players like Norton and Mirren in the realm of possibility for nominations. Yet there was also a general feeling from the trailers that perhaps it was trying a bit too hard. Reviews out today seem to confirm that notion. Bottom line? Collateral Beauty won’t get any Oscar nods.

Interestingly, a number of critical write-ups have called it the Hollywood version of Manchester by the Sea, which also deals with the heavy issue of losing a child. Those reviews haven’t exactly meant it as a compliment. While Manchester is poised for many nominations (including Picture), Beauty‘s best hope now is to connect with audiences. At least its costar Naomie Harris looks certain to be recognized, but it’ll be for Moonlight and not this.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Box Office Predictions: December 16-18

It’s going to be one heck of an interesting weekend at the box office as Will Smith’s latest hits theaters and two serious Oscar hopefuls expand their theater counts. Collateral Beauty debuts while Manchester by the Sea and La La Land gain screens. You can peruse my detailed prediction post on Beauty here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/06/collateral-beauty-box-office-prediction/

Oh and I almost forgot… there’s this spin-off flick called Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opening as well. My take on its opening weekend gross is here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/06/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-box-office-prediction/

In all seriousness, Rogue will certainly dominate the box office and I’ve got it slated for the 8th largest domestic opening of all time (just topping this spring’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice).

As for Will Smith’s drama, I’ve got Beauty managing a low double digits gross, which would likely put it in second with Moana and Office Christmas Party dropping to third and fourth.

As for the awards hopefuls, Manchester is expanding its theater count to around 1200 and that might be good enough for 5th or 6th, depending on how far Fantastic Beasts falls in its fifth weekend.

Then there’s La La Land, which currently holds the front runner status for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It had a sizzling debut this weekend on only 5 screens. At press time, it’s uncertain just how many screens it’ll expand to on Friday, but if it’s around 200 or so, it could easily enter the top 10 at as high at #7.

This is how the blog readers feel about my Rogue and Beauty estimates:

Rogue One – 43% Just About Right, 37% Too Low, 20% Too High

Collateral Beauty – 39% Too High, 33% Too Low, 28% Just About Right

And here’s a top 7 estimates for the weekend:

1. Rogue One:  A Star Wars Story

Predicted Gross: $168.3 million

2. Collateral Beauty

Predicted Gross: $11.4 million

3. Moana

Predicted Gross: $9 million (representing a drop of 52%)

4. Office Christmas Party

Predicted Gross: $7.1 million (representing a drop of 55%)

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Precicted Gross: $4.8 million (representing a drop of 54%)

6. Manchester by the Sea

Predicted Gross: $4.4 million

7. La La Land

Predicted Gross: $4.2 million

Box Office Results (December 9-11)

Disney’s Moana held the top spot for the third week in a row with $18.5 million, just under my $19.6M estimate for a total of $144M thus far.

Jennifer Aniston/Jason Bateman comedy Office Christmas Party had a decent debut in second with $16.8 million, a bit under my $18.4M prognosis. With a fairly weak Cinemascore grade of B, it’ll still look to play well throughout the holiday season.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was third with $10.4 million, in line with my $10M estimate for a $198M tally.

Arrival was fourth with $5.5 million (I said $5M) for a $81M total and $100M looking within reach.

I incorrectly had Doctor Strange outside of my predicted top 6, but it was fifth with $4.5 million. It’s earned $222M.

Allied was sixth with $3.9 million (I said $4.7M) and it’s made $35M.

Seventh place actually belonged to Nocturnal Animals, which expanded its screen count and earned a middling $3.1M.

Finally, we come to Miss Sloane with Jessica Chastain. I predicted it at sixth with $4.6 million, but it only managed a lackluster $1.8M for 11th place.

And that’s all for now, folks! Until next time…

 

 

Collateral Beauty Box Office Prediction

After headlining the summer comic book hit Suicide Squad, Will Smith switches to drama mode in the holiday season with Collateral Beauty. Out next weekend, the pic casts the Fresh Prince as a father who loses his child and begins writing letters to events and feelings such as Love, Death, and Time. It turns out those things are embodied by real people and some of them are famous actors. Costars include Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, and Michael Pena. David Frankel, who’s had his hits (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley & Me) and misses (The Big Year anyone?), directs.

The trailers for Beauty leave no doubt that this aims to be a tearjerker appealing to an adult (and probably more female) crowd. Word of mouth could cause this to play well throughout the Christmas season. For its opening, I don’t anticipate anything higher than to low to possibly mid teens. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is opening against it and I think it’s a rather safe bet it will dominate the charts and possibly siphon away some of the females Beauty is looking to attract.

Though they are certainly not apples to apples comparisons, I could actually see this performing similarly to last year’s Tina Fey/Amy Poehler comedy Sisters. That pic also opened against the Star Wars franchise (in the form of The Force Awakens) at $13.9 million and subsequently managed to perform admirably from weekend to weekend. I’ll predict this falls a couple million under that.

Collateral Beauty opening weekend prediction: $11.4 million

For my Rogue One: A Star Wars Story prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2016/12/06/rogue-one-a-star-wars-story-box-office-prediction/

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 3rd Edition

Well – we’ve reached November, loyal blog readers and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m paring down the list of Oscar hopefuls in the eight major categories. Over the past two months, I’ve listed 25 possibilities for Best Picture and 15 for the Directing, Acting, and Screenplay races. Today, it gets whittled down to 20 in BP and 10 in the others. One development of note this week: it appears Dev Patel will be competing in Supporting Actor for Lion instead of Lead. That enters him in the derby for that race, which looks more unpredictable than any other at this moment.

There are still a number of Oscar hopefuls left to screen: Silence, Fences, Live by Night, Rules Don’t Apply, Passengers, The Founder, Hidden Figures, Miss Sloane, Gold among them. In other words, look for shifts in placement as these movies start receiving reviews and buzz in the near future.

Here’s how I have the respective competitions shaping up in this early November period:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Fences (PR: 3)

4. Moonlight (PR: 4)

5. Lion (PR: 5)

6. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 7)

7. Jackie (PR: 6)

8. Loving (PR: 8)

9. Arrival (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities

10. Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

11. Hell or High Water (PR: 12)

12. 20th Century Women (PR: 11)

13. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 13)

14. Live by Night (PR: 15)

15. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 24)

16. Sully (PR: 14)

17. The Jungle Book (PR: 17)

18. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 16)

19. Allied (PR: 20)

20. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 18)

Dropped Out:

Nocturnal Animals, Miss Sloane, Passengers, Gold, 13th

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 4)

4. Kenneth Longergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 3)

5. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 7)

7. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 8)

8. Pablo Larrain, Jackie (PR: 5)

9. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 9)

10. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Mike Mills (20th Century Women), Ang Lee (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Ben Affleck (Live by Night), Clint Eastwood (Sully)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 4)

4. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

5. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 6)

7. Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 9)

8. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 8)

9. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 13)

10. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Dev Patel (Lion – moved to Supporting), Michael Keaton (The Founder), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), Will Smith (Collateral Beauty), Miles Teller (Bleed for This)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (PR: 3)

4. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 5)

5. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 6)

7. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane (PR: 7)

8. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 8)

9. Marion Cotillard, Allied (PR: 10)

10. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures), Rachel Weisz (Denial), Jennifer Lawrence (Passengers), Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals), Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 1)

2. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 3)

4. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: Not Ranked; considered to be Lead)

5. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie (PR: 6)

7. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 7)

8. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 4)

9. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 10)

10. Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Aaron Eckhart (Sully), Sunny Pawar (Lion), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Timothy Spall (Denial), Aaron Eckhart (Bleed for This), Kevin Costner (Hidden Figures)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 3)

3. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 4)

5. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 6)

7. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 7)

8. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 8)

9. Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls (PR: 9)

10. Margo Martindale, The Hollars (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Helen Mirren (Eye in the Sky), Elle Fanning (20th Century Women), Janelle Monae (Moonlight), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Miss Sloane), Laura Linney (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Moonlight (PR: 3)

2. La La Land (PR: 1)

3. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

4. Loving (PR: 5)

5. Jackie (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. 20th Century Women (PR: 6)

7. Hell or High Water (PR: 7)

8. The Lobster (PR: 9)

9. Miss Sloane (PR: 8)

10. I, Daniel Blake (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Toni Erdmann, Allied, Rules Don’t Apply, Gold, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Lion (PR: 3)

4. Arrival (PR: 4)

5. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Hidden Figures (PR: 6)

7. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 9)

8. Live by Night (PR: 8)

9. Love & Friendship (PR: 7)

10. Certain Women (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Sully, Elle, Indignation, The Jungle Book, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

And that shall do it for now, friends! Until next time…

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 27th Edition

Thursday has arrived and that means a fresh round of Oscar predictions in the 8 biggest categories! The major development this week? The announcement that Viola Davis will compete in Supporting Actress for Fences instead of lead. I’ve had Davis firmly at #3 for weeks on my Best Actress board, but this news puts her at #1 in the supporting race. I’m also growing more confident that both Moonlight (which had a scorching debut in limited release) and Loving will make it into Best Picture and they both rise up in this week’s rankings.

Please note – this will be the final week of predicting 25 Best Picture possibilities and 15 predictions in the other races. Starting next week as November arrives, it’ll be whittled down to 20 in Picture and 10 in the others.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Fences (PR: 3)

4. Moonlight (PR: 6)

5. Lion (PR: 4)

6. Jackie (PR: 5)

7. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 7)

8. Loving (PR: 10)

9. Arrival (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities

10. Hidden Figures (PR: 9)

11. 20th Century Women (PR: 11)

12. Hell or High Water (PR: 12)

13. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 18)

14. Sully (PR: 14)

15. Live by Night (PR: 13)

16. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 15)

17. The Jungle Book (PR: 19)

18. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 17)

19. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 16)

20. Allied (PR: 21)

21. Miss Sloane (PR: Not Ranked)

22. Passengers (PR: 24)

23. Gold (PR: 22)

24. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 23)

25. 13th (PR: 20)

Dropped Out:

The Founder

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 4)

4. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 3)

5. Pablo Larrain, Jackie (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 8)

7. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 6)

8. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 7)

9. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 9)

10. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: 13)

11. Mike Mills, 20th Century Women (PR: 11)

12. Ang Lee, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 10)

13. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Ben Affleck, Live by Night (PR: 12)

15. Clint Eastwood, Sully (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Ana DuVernay, 13th

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 5)

5. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 6)

7. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 7)

8. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 9)

9. Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

10. Michael Keaton, The Founder (PR: 10)

11. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 11)

12. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 14)

13. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 12)

14. Will Smith, Collateral Beauty (PR: 13)

15. Miles Teller, Bleed for This (PR: 15)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

4. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 6)

5. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 7)

7. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane (PR: 9)

8. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 8)

9. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

10. Marion Cotillard, Allied (PR: 12)

11. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 11)

12. Rachel Weisz, Denial (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers (PR: 15)

14. Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 13)

15. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Viola Davis, Fences (competing in Supporting Actress)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 1)

2. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 5)

4. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 3)

5. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie (PR: 8)

7. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

8. Aaron Eckhart, Sully (PR: 7)

9. Sunny Pawar, Lion (PR: 9)

10. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 10)

11. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 11)

12. Timothy Spall, Denial (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This (PR: 13)

14. Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky (PR: 12)

15. Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Ben Foster, Hell or High Water

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: Not Ranked, listed in Lead Actress)

2. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

3. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 3)

5. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 5)

7. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

8. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 6)

9. Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls (PR: 12)

10. Margo Martindale, The Hollars (PR: 8)

11. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 9)

12. Elle Fanning, 20th Century Women (PR: 7)

13. Janelle Monae, Moonlight (PR: 13)

14. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miss Sloane (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Moonlight (PR: 4)

4. Jackie (PR: 3)

5. Loving (PR: 6)

Other Possibilties

6. 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

7. Hell or High Water (PR: 7)

8. Miss Sloane (PR: 9)

9. The Lobster (PR: 12)

10. Toni Erdmann (PR: 8)

11. I, Daniel Blake (PR: 10)

12. Allied (PR: 13)

13. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 15)

14. Gold (PR: 14)

15. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 11)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Lion (PR: 3)

4. Arrival (PR: 5)

5. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Hidden Figures (PR: 4)

7. Love & Friendship (PR: 7)

8. Live by Night (PR: 8)

9. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 15)

10. Certain Women (PR: 14)

11. Sully (PR: 10)

12. Elle (PR: 9)

13. Indignation (PR: 13)

14. The Jungle Book (PR: 12)

15. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 11)

Until next week…!

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 20th Edition

It’s Thursday, ladies and gents, and that means my weely Oscar predictions are in! There’s been some serious changes to the predictions, a new film that’s qualified itself for consideration, and some category shifting that’s occurred within the past week.

So – perhaps some explanation on where I see the state of the races in each of the eight major categories is required this week. My synopsis of said races are for your enjoyment below…

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Fences (PR: 3)

4. Lion (PR: 6)

5. Jackie (PR: 5)

6. Moonlight (PR: 7)

7. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

8. Arrival (PR: 9)

9. Hidden Figures (PR: 12)

Other Possibilities

10. Loving (PR: 10)

11. 20th Century Women (PR: 11)

12. Hell or High Water (PR: 14)

13. Live by Night (PR: 13)

14. Sully (PR: 15)

15. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 4)

16. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 17)

17. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 18)

18. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

19. The Jungle Book (PR: 20)

20. 13th (PR: 16)

21. Allied (PR: 21)

22. Gold (PR: 22)

23. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: Not Ranked)

24. Passengers (PR: 23)

25. The Founder (PR: 24)

Dropped Out:

Miss Sloane

I, Daniel Blake

Where The Race Stands…

With La La Land as the current front runner and there’s no doubt about it. The conventional wisdom for the last several weeks is that there were three fall entries that could potentially give it a run for its money: Martin Scorsese’s Silence, Denzel Washington’s Fences, and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. That dynamic shifted dramatically when Halftime opened to middling reviews when it screened at the New York Film Festival this weekend. The film has now dropped 11 spots and out of my predicted nominees and it’s unlikely to make its way back in. Silence and Fences now seem the only likely pictures to stand in the way of La La. Meanwhile, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge makes a serious jump into the possibilities – from not ranked a week ago to #18.  I’ve also found room for the Warren Beatty pic Rules Don’t Apply, which has yet to screen. Others on the list of possibilities that have yet to be reviewed (meaning they could jump up when they do or fall out completely): Hidden Figures (which I have in the ninth spot at the moment for a nod), Live by Night, Passengers, Allied, Gold, The Founder and others not currently in the top 25 such as Miss Sloane and Collateral Beauty. 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 3)

3. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 4)

4. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

5. Pablo Larrain, Jackie (PR: 5)

Other Possibilties

6. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 7)

7. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 8)

8. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 9)

9. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 10)

10. Ang Lee, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 2)

11. Mike Mills, 20th Century Women (PR: 12)

12. Ben Affleck, Live by Night (PR: 11)

13. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Clint Eastwood, Sully (PR: 13)

15. Ana DuVernay, 13th (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Where the Race Stands…

With two-time Oscar winner Ang Lee falling 8 spots after the NYFF Halftime reaction. Chazelle remains at #1 as he’s been for weeks as we await Scorsese and Washington’s films. I’m growing more confident that Lonergan manages to squeeze into the top five.

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 4)

5. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 8)

7. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 6)

8. Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (PR: Not Ranked in Lead Actor)

9. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Michael Keaton, The Founder (PR: 9)

11. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 10)

12. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 11)

13. Will Smith, Collateral Beauty (PR: 12)

14. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 15)

15. Miles Teller, Bleed for This (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Joe Alwyn, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Ben Affleck, Live by Night

Where the Race Stands…

Up in the air until we see Denzel’s work in Fences, which could potentially become the immediate front runner as I’m currently estimating. Casey Affleck is getting raves, too and has held steady at #2 for weeks. Andrew Garfield is on the outside looking in for now, but could get in for either Silence or Hacksaw Ridge. There’s also late breaking news that Taylor Hackford’s The Comedian was given a December release for Oscar consideration and perhaps that’ll bode well for its star, Robert De Niro (though I’m not prepared to include him in the mix quite yet). And there’s last week’s reveal that Warren Beatty will compete in this category instead of Supporting, as was previously thought.

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 3)

4. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

5. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 7)

7. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 6)

8. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 9)

9. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane (PR: 8)

10. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures (PR: 12)

11. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 10)

12. Marion Cotillard, Allied (PR: 14)

13. Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 11)

14. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train (PR: 13)

15. Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers (PR: 15)

Where the Race Stands…

As one of the most competitive Best Actress races in history. Both Stone and Portman are serious contenders for the win and we haven’t even seen heard the word on Davis’s work in Fences. They appear to be the trio that could win. In any other year, Bening’s acclaimed performance in Women might earn her some overdue recognition, but probably not this year. The fifth slot is much trickier and I almost picked Adams (for Arrival and not Nocturnal Animals) over Negga. Just to show you the competitiveness, Streep in most years would be a shoo-in for her 20th (!) nomination for Jenkins, but could be left out. Others to keep an eye on: Chastain and a dark horse nominee like Hall.

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 1)

2. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 3)

4. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 4)

5. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 10)

7. Aaron Eckhart, Sully (PR: 6)

8. Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie (PR: 8)

9. Sunny Pawar, Lion (PR: 9)

10. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 11)

11. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 12)

12. Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This (PR: 13)

14. Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Ben Foster, Hell or High Water (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (moved to Lead Actor list)

Steve Martin, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Timothy Spall, Denial

Where the Race Stands…

Absolutely and 100% percent wide open… so much so that I’m not confident any of my current picks make the final cut. Some would argue Grant is in, but I’m not totally convinced. Shannon is such a well-respected actor that he’s probably in, but reaction has been very mixed on Nocturnal Animals. Neeson and Henderson’s work has yet to be seen. Bottom line: this particular category could change a lot over the next few weeks.

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 3)

4. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities

6. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 7)

7. Elle Fanning, 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

8. Margo Martindale, The Hollars (PR: 8)

9. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 9)

10. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 6)

12. Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Janelle Monae, Moonlight (PR: 13)

14. Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 11)

15. Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Sienna Miller, Live by Night

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miss Sloane

Where The Race Stands…

Seemingly with Williams and Harris as the two front runners and it’s been that way for a while after Manchester and Moonlight, respectively, hit the festival circuit. Perhaps one of the two actresses from the not yet screened Hidden Figures (Spencer and Monae, who also got positive notices for Moonlight) could make a play. Otherwise, this looks like a two-way competition at the moment.

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Jackie (PR: 3)

4. Moonlight (PR: 4)

5. 20th Century Women (PR: 6)

Other Possibilties

6. Loving (PR: 7)

7. Hell or High Water (PR: 5)

8. Toni Erdmann (PR: 9)

9. Miss Sloane (PR: 8)

10. I, Daniel Blake (PR: 14)

11. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 11)

12. The Lobster (PR: 12)

13. Allied (PR: 10)

14. Gold (PR: 13)

15. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Captain Fantastic

Where the Race Stands…

As a race that La La Land may not automatically win over Manchester by the Sea. Jackie and Moonlight are also looking solid for nominations with a fifth slot that I keep changing up between 20th Century Women, Loving, and Hell or High Water.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Lion (PR: 3)

4. Hidden Figures (PR: 7)

5. Arrival (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

7. Love & Friendship (PR: 11)

8. Live by Night (PR: 8)

9. Elle (PR: 10)

10. Sully (PR: 9)

11. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 4)

12. The Jungle Book (PR: 14)

13. Indignation (PR: 12)

14. Certain Women (PR: 13)

15. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Denial

Where the Race Stands…

In a waiting pattern as Fences and Silence have yet to screen. They could both be heavy hitters. If they both falter, look to Lion. 

And that does it for this week, folks! Until next time…