Tag Archives: Dianne Wiest

Best Supporting Actress: A Look Back

Today begins a new blog series where I’m looking back at five of the major Oscar categories from 1990 to the present: the four acting races and Best Picture. This is essentially the time period where I’ve closely watched and analyzed. My charge? Picking the three largest upsets in each said category and the three least surprising winners… a film or performer where it truly would have been a shock if they didn’t emerge victorious.

We begin with Best Supporting Actress and this is one in which there have been some genuine upsets over the past quarter century plus. Unlike some other races we’ll get to later, it was not a challenge to pick three unexpected winners.

The other agenda item here is I’m picking my personal selections for strongest and weakest overall field among the five nominees in the acting derby’s and five-ten for Best Picture.

For starters, here’s the list of women that won gold statues in the supporting race from 1990 to now:

1990 – Whoopi Goldberg, Ghost

1991 – Mercedes Ruehl, The Fisher King

1992 – Marisa Tomei, My Cousin Vinny

1993 – Anna Paquin, The Piano

1994 – Dianne Wiest, Bullets Over Broadway

1995 – Mira Sorvino, Mighty Aphrodite

1996 – Juliette Binoche, The English Patient

1997 – Kim Basinger, L.A. Confidential

1998 – Judi Dench, Shakespeare in Love

1999 – Angelina Jolie, Girl, Interrupted

2000 – Marcia Gay Harden, Pollock

2001 – Jennifer Connelly, A Beautiful Mind

2002 – Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago

2003 – Renee Zellweger, Cold Mountain

2004 – Cate Blanchett, The Aviator

2005 – Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardner

2006 – Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls

2007 – Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

2008 – Penelope Cruz, Vicky Christina Barcelona

2009 – Mo’Nique, Precious

2010 – Melissa Leo, The Fighter

2011 – Octavia Spencer, The Help

2012 – Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

2013 – Lupita Nyong’o, 12 Years a Slave

2014 – Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

2015 – Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

2016 – Viola Davis, Fences

2017 – Allison Janney, I, Tonya

I’ll begin with the least surprising winners. Truthfully, there are plenty of selections (and will be in each race) to pick from here. It’s normal procedure for the front runner to actually win. Here’s three that did just that:

3. Dianne Wiest, Bullets Over Broadway

Of the 28 recipients to choose from, note that 3 of them were under the direction of Woody Allen. None were surprise winners. That’s most evident with Wiest’s showcase work as an aging diva here. Her win here came just eight years following her Oscar winning role in another Allen pic, Hannah and Her Sisters.

2. Jennifer Hudson, Dreamgirls

Fans of the Broadway play this is based upon knew Ms. Hudson could have a legitimate breakthrough part here. She nailed it and her win was never in much doubt.

1. Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables

Similar to Hudson’s victory, Hathaway’s casting as Fantine and her “I Dreamed a Dream” dramatic solo made her the odds-on favorite from the moment the project was announced. That never changed.

Now we get to the upsets and there were four to choose from. I could easily include Anna Paquin in The Piano, who became the second youngest winner when she beat out favorite Winona Ryder for The Age of Innocence. Here’s 3 I rank as even more surprising:

3. Marcia Gay Harden, Pollock

Harden had won no significant precursors and Kate Hudson was expected to have her name called for Almost Famous. She wasn’t even nominated for a Golden Globe or SAG.

2. Juliette Binoche, The English Patient

While the film itself was the anticipated winner for Picture (which it did), the Oscars were expected to select the legendary Lauren Bacall for her work in Barbra Streisand’s The Mirror Has Two Faces. Yet it was Binoche’s performance that was unexpectedly honored.

1. Marisa Tomei, My Cousin Vinny

For starters, comedic roles are rarely nominated and wins are even more unheard of. Tomei was a newcomer in a picture that wasn’t a factor in any other category. Her competition was a list of venerable actresses: Judy Davis (Husbands and Wives), Joan Plowright (Enchanted April), Vanessa Redgrave (Howards End), and Miranda Richardson (Damages). The victory here was so shocking that conspiracy theories emerged that presenter Jack Palance had accidentally read the wrong name. That’s been debunked, but Tomei’s trip to the stage remains one of Oscar’s largest jaw droppers.

As for the fields, I’m going with 1991 for the weakest link in the chain. I probably would have given the award to Juliette Lewis in Cape Fear. However, the group was not particularly strong:

Mercedes Ruehl, The Fisher King (Winner)

Diane Ladd, Rambling Rose

Juliette Lewis, Cape Fear

Kate Nelligan, The Prince of Tides

Jessica Tandy, Fried Green Tomatoes

For the strongest field overall, I went with 2004 when Cate Blanchett won for her portrayal of Katherine Hepburn in Martin Scorsese’s The Aviator. The other nominees:

Laura Linney, Kinsey

Virginia Madsen, Sideways

Sophie Okonedo, Hotel Rwanda

Natalie Portman, Closer

And there you have it! I’ll have Supporting Actor up soon…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 18th Edition

Back at it again with my weekly Thursday predictions in the major categories for this year’s Oscars! Here’s some tidbits about developments over the past week:

  • Damien Chazelle’s First Man experienced a lackluster liftoff at the box office this past weekend with just $16 million (about $5 million or so below expectations). Will this alter its course for numerous nominations? Short answer: probably not. However, I do have it dropping spots in Picture, Director, and Actor while still predicting nods for all three. Claire Foy remains at #2 behind Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) for Supporting Actress.
  • Speaking of that category, it will finally confirmed this week regarding placement of performers for The Favourite. Olivia Colman will compete in lead Actress with Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in Supporting. As I have projected for weeks, I think that bodes well for all three actresses in garnering nods.
  • Beautiful Boy performed very well in limited release last week and I have vaulted Timothee Chalamet back to the #1 spot in the fluid Supporting Actor race.

And with that – here’s where I think Oscar standings are at this moment in time…

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. The Favourite (PR: 4)

4. Green Book (PR: 5)

5. First Man (PR: 3)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

7. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 7)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Vice (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 11)

11. Widows (PR: 10)

12. The Mule (PR: 12)

13. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 15)

14. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 16)

15. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 17)

16. Boy Erased (PR: 14)

17. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 13)

18. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 18)

19. Leave No Trace (PR: 19)

20. Eighth Grade (PR: 22)

21. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 25)

22. Beautiful Boy (PR: 23)

23. The Hate U Give (PR: Not Ranked)

24. A Quiet Place (PR: Not Ranked)

25. The Front Runner (PR: 24)

Dropped Out:

At Eternity’s Gate

The Sisters Brothers

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 5)

4. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 3)

5. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

7. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 7)

8. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 8)

9. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 10)

10. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 11)

11. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 13)

12. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 12)

13. Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 14)

14. Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 9)

15. Jon M. Chu, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased

Best Actor

1. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 3)

4. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 5)

5. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 6)

7. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 7)

8. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 9)

9. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 8)

10. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 11)

11. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 10)

12. Lucas Hedges, Ben Is Back (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: 15)

14. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 14)

15. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Stephan James, If Beale Street Could Talk 

Best Actress

1. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 6)

7. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 7)

8. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 8)

9. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 9)

10. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 11)

11. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 12)

12. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 10)

13. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 14)

14. Carey Mulligan, Wildlife (PR: 13)

15. Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Keira Knightley, Colette

Best Supporting Actor

1. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 3)

2. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

3. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

4. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 6)

7. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 8)

8. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 7)

9. Steve Carell, Vice (PR: 9)

10. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 12)

11. Armie Hammer, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 10)

12. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 11)

13. Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Robert Forster, What They Had (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Tim Blake Nelson, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Brian Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk

Bradley Cooper, The Mule

Best Supporting Actress

1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 6)

7. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 8)

8. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 7)

9. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 9)

10. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 11)

11. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace (PR: 13)

12. Sissy Spacek, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 10)

13. Rachel McAdams, Disobedience (PR: 14)

14. Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 15)

15. Dianne Wiest, The Mule (PR: 12)

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Widows (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Man (PR: 6)

7. Leave No Trace (PR: 7)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

9. Boy Erased (PR: 9)

10. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 10)

11. Beautiful Boy (PR: 14)

12. Black Panther (PR: 11)

13. The Hate U Give (PR: 12)

14. The Front Runner (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Disobedience (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Wildlife

Best Original Screenplay

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. The Favourite (PR: 2)

3. Green Book (PR: 3)

4. Eighth Grade (PR: 5)

5. Vice (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 6)

7. First Reformed (PR: 7)

8. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 10)

9. A Quiet Place (PR: 9)

10. The Mule (PR: 8)

11. Private Life (PR: 11)

12. Ben Is Back (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Stan and Ollie (PR: 14)

14. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 12)

15. Sorry to Bother You (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Mid90s

Capernaum

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 11th Edition

Back at ya with my weekly Oscar predictions! Here’s some tidbits that have transpired over the past seven days:

  • While the official review embargo has not lifted, Bohemian Rhapsody has screened and early word-of-mouth is out. Reaction for this film itself seems mixed and it has caused the Freddie Mercury biopic to drop to 25th in my BP rankings and out of my Original Screenplay possibilities. On the other hand, chatter about Rami Malek’s performance is terrific. For the first time, he enters my top 5 predicted Actor nominees, knocking out Willem Dafoe’s work in At Eternity’s Gate. One thing seems certain: the lead actor race is looking very crowded at the moment.
  • Speaking of that category, it was confirmed that Stephan James from If Beale Street Could Talk will be campaigned for in that category (I’ve had him listed in Supporting previously).
  • In Best Actress, I have switched Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born) back to #1 over runner-up Glenn Close in The Wife. This appears to be a close contest between the two at the moment.
  • There is still uncertainty about category placement for the three women of The Favourite. Some chatter has Emma Stone as the obvious Actress candidate along with Olivia Colman. Everyone seems to agree that Rachel Weisz will land in Supporting Actress. For now, I’m keeping Colman in Actress with Stone/Weisz in Supporting, but changes could happen.
  • Also in Supporting Actress, I am now listing Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk) at #1 over Claire Foy (First Man).
  • Widows is just on the outside of my predicted nominees in a number of races including Picture, Actress (Viola Davis), and Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya). I feel it will get nominated for something and I am including it in Adapted Screenplay over First Man.

And with that, let’s get to it!

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. First Man (PR: 3)

4. The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. Green Book (PR: 5)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

7. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 7)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Vice (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Widows (PR: 11)

11. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

12. The Mule (PR: 15)

13. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 16)

14. Boy Erased (PR: 12)

15. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 14)

16. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 13)

17. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 17)

18. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 19)

19. Leave No Trace (PR: 23)

20. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 20)

21. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 21)

22. Eighth Grade (PR: 25)

23. Beautiful Boy (PR: 22)

24. The Front Runner (PR: 24)

25. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 18)

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 3)

4. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

5. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

7. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 7)

8. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 8)

9. Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 14)

10. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 9)

11. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

12. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 13)

13. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 11)

14. Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 12)

15. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 15)

Best Actor

1. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 5)

4. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 4)

5. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 3)

7. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 7)

8. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 8)

9. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 11)

10. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 10)

11. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 14)

12. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 9)

13. Stephan James, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: Not Ranked)

14. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 13)

15. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 15)

Best Actress

1. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

2. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 1)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 6)

7. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 8)

8. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

9. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 11)

10. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 10)

11. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 9)

12. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 13)

13. Carey Mulligan, Wildlife (PR: 14)

14. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 15)

15. Keira Knightley, Colette (PR: 12)

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

2. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 2)

4. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 6)

7. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 7)

8. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Steve Carell, Vice (PR: 9)

10.  Armie Hammer, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 13)

11. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 10)

12. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 12)

13. Tim Blake Nelson, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Brian Tyree Henry, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Bradley Cooper, The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie

Jason Clarke, First Man

David Tennant, Mary Queen of Scots

Best Supporting Actress

1. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

2. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 1)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 6)

7. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

8. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 10)

9. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 7)

10. Sissy Spacek, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 9)

11. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 11)

12. Dianne Wiest, The Mule (PR: 15)

13. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace (PR: 13)

14. Rachel McAdams, Disobedience (PR: 12)

15. Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 14)

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

5. Widows (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Man (PR: 4)

7. Leave No Trace (PR: 7)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

9. Boy Erased (PR: 9)

10. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 11)

11. Black Panther (PR: 10)

12. The Hate U Give (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Disobedience (PR: 12)

14. Beautiful Boy (PR: 13)

15. Wildlife (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Sisters Brothers

The Mule (Moved to Original Screenplay)

Best Original Screenplay

1. Roma (PR: 2)

2. The Favourite (PR: 1)

3. Green Book (PR: 3)

4. Vice (PR: 4)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 6)

7. First Reformed (PR: 7)

8. The Mule (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Adapted)

9. A Quiet Place (PR: 10)

10. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 9)

11. Private Life (PR: 11)

12. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 8)

13. Mid90s (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Stan and Ollie (PR: 15)

15. Capernaum (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hereditary

Bohemian Rhapsody

Ben Is Back

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 4th Edition

My first Oscar predictions of October are here as the new month has brought in some important scheduling announcements!

First, it has been confirmed that Clint Eastwood’s The Mule will indeed be released in 2018. While some reports suggest it’s more of a commercial play for Warner Bros than an awards one… its release means I’m including it for the first time in a number of categories as a possibility (Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay). You just can’t discount Eastwood from the awards derby.

We also learned that Mike Leigh’s Peterloo and the sci-fi tale Alita: Battle Angel have been moved to 2019. While neither of them were considered players in the major categories, both could have been contenders in down the line tech races. Not anymore.

In other developments:

  • Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy) has been ranked #1 since late August in Supporting Actor, but that now changes to Mahershala Ali in Green Book.
  • The first trailer for Vice is out. It maintains its spot at #9 on my Best Picture possibilities, but I’ve now moved Sam Rockwell into the five predicted nominees for Supporting Actor. I’m also vaulting Christian Bale from the 5 spot in Best Actor to second.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. First Man (PR: 3)

4. The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. Green Book (PR: 4)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

7. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 7)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Vice (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

11. Widows (PR: 11)

12. Boy Erased (PR: 12)

13. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 15)

14. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 13)

15. The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

16. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 14)

17. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 19)

18. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 16)

19. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 20)

20. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 18)

21. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 17)

22. Beautiful Boy (PR: 23)

23. Leave No Trace (PR: 21)

24. The Front Runner (PR: 24)

25. Eighth Grade (PR: 22)

Dropped Out:

Stan and Ollie

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 2)

4. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

5. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

7. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 7)

8. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 9)

9. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 8)

10. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

11. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 11)

12. Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 15)

13. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 14)

15. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers 

Best Actor

1. Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 5)

3. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 3)

4. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 2)

5. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 6)

7. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 7)

8. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 8)

10. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 10)

11. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 9)

12. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: 11)

13. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 13)

14. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 14)

15. John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther

Best Actress

1. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 1)

2. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 6)

7. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

8. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 8)

9. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 9)

10. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 11)

11. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 10)

12. Keira Knightley, Colette (PR: 15)

13. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 12)

14. Carey Mulligan, Wildlife (PR: 14)

15. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 13)

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 2)

2. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 1)

3. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 4)

4. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 3)

5. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 5)

7. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

8. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Steve Carell, Vice (PR: 14)

10. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 11)

11. John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie (PR: 10)

12. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 9)

13. Armie Hammer, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 12)

14. Jason Clarke, First Man (PR: 13)

15. David Tennant, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate

Best Supporting Actress

1. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 1)

2. Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 7)

7. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

8. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 9)

9. Sissy Spacek, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 8)

10. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 11)

11. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 10)

12. Rachel McAdams, Disobedience (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace (PR: 13)

14. Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 14)

15. Dianne Wiest, The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Elizabeth Debicki, Widows

Linda Cardellini, Green Book

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. First Man (PR: 4)

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 7)

7. Leave No Trace (PR: 6)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

9. Boy Erased (PR: 9)

10. Black Panther (PR: 10)

11. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 11)

12. Disobedience (PR: 13)

13. Beautiful Boy (PR: 15)

14. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 12)

15. The Mule (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Front Runner

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 3)

3. Green Book (PR: 2)

4. Vice (PR: 5)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 9)

7. First Reformed (PR: 6)

8. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 12)

9. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

10. A Quiet Place (PR: 8)

11. Private Life (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Hereditary (PR: 14)

13. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 13)

14. Ben Is Back (PR: 10)

15. Stan and Ollie (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Sorry to Bother You 

The Mule Charges Into Oscar Contention

A bit of an awards season surprise turned up today when Warner Bros announced that Clint Eastwood’s The Mule will be out on December 14. The film casts Eastwood in the true story of a World War II vet who becomes a courier for Mexican drug cartels at age 80.

The Mule marks Eastwood’s first turn in front of the camera since 2012’s Trouble with the Curve. It’s the first time he’s directed himself since 2008’s hit Gran Torino. While it’s been a little while since he’s acted, he has been churning out directorial efforts every year. It’s no accident that every time he does, Oscar chatter follows.

Over the past quarter century plus, Eastwood has seen a number of his pictures win and be nominated. In 1992, Unforgiven won Best Picture and Director. Twelve years later, Million Dollar Baby was a surprise late addition to the awards season calendar (as this is). It also won Picture and Director. Additionally, Mystic River, Letters from Iwo Jima, and American Sniper all received nods in the big race.

Just last year, The 15:17 to Paris was assumed to be another possibility for inclusion for consideration. It ended up coming out in February of this year and was a commercial and critical failure. Paris is nowhere on the radar screen for Academy chatter this year.

Will The Mule be a different story? Another Million Dollar Baby that alters the Oscar race? While we’ll have to wait for buzz and reviews (there’s not even a trailer yet), some signs point to no.

There’s already rumors that Warner Bros is looking at this as more of a commercial venture  than one they will focus on for awards campaigning. The studio already has a very serious contender on its docket with A Star Is Born. Speaking of, Eastwood’s costars here include Bradley Cooper (director and star of Born) as well as Dianne Wiest, Michael Pena, Laurence Fishburne, Taissa Farmiga, and Alison Eastwood.

Even if Warner doesn’t see this as their largest Academy player, we will see if critics and audiences feel differently. One thing is for sure – we have another movie to keep an eye on in 2018.

Sisters Movie Review

The effortless chemistry of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler worked like a charm on Weekend Update but generated a disappointment in their first feature, 2008’s Baby Mama. Sisters is a generally more satisfying experience that finds its stars (specifically Fey) playing against type. The pic rarely wants to be anything more than a raunchy party comedy and it works well enough on that level, even while we know these players are capable of much more.

Sisters casts Poehler as Maura, a nurse who’s always trying to help and inspire people, often to a “bit too much” degree. Fey is Kate, an irresponsible stylist whose own teen daughter doesn’t wish to be around her very often. When the siblings parents (James Brolin and Dianne Wiest) decide to sell the Orlando home where the girls grew up, they don’t take it so well. Their frustration eventually results in one last blowout party like they had in high school. This time though, Maura decides to let her freak flag fly while Kate is dubiously tasked with being the responsible one.

The screenplay by SNL writer Paula Pell occasionally gets emotional with messages about family and Fey and Poehler help greatly in selling it. As mentioned, however, this is content to be a fun R rated laugher complete with some sex, drugs supplied by John Cena, and early 90s hip hop like “Informer” by Canadian rapper Snow. There’s an obligatory romantic subplot for Maura with handyman James (Ike Barinholtz) that feels slightly forced but does produce a memorable moment with a music box. The script also finds some amusing moments for its stellar supporting cast, including Maya Rudolph as Kate’s old high school nemesis, Rachel Dratch as an eccentric old classmate, and Bobby Moynihan as that old friend constantly telling lame jokes. And a shout out to Greta Lee as nail salon worker Hae Won, who shines in her small role and has one of the pic’s funniest scenes with Poehler. On the other hand, John Leguizamo’s loser ex classmate role may have been the victim of the cutting room floor as he has little to do. And while Fey is always stellar, I’ll admit that I never fully bought her in this role.

We have seen both lead actresses do seriously terrific stuff on TV, whether on SNL or their shows “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation”. Sisters doesn’t match those achievements but provides two hours worthy of their talents and provides a party worth checking out.

*** (out of four)

Sisters Box Office Prediction

Nearly eight years after they had a decent size hit with Baby Mama, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler team up again for Sisters, out next Friday. The modestly budgeted $30 million comedy also stars Maya Rudolph, John Leguizamo, Ike Barinholtz, John Cena, James Brolin, and Dianne Wiest.

Universal Pictures is hoping that Sisters will appeal to a female demographic that may not be chomping at the bit to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which this bravely opens against. The two stars certainly have their fans and the strategy may work. 2008’s Baby Mama earned $17.4 million out of the gate and an eventual gross of a sturdy $64 million.

Based on the competition alone, I feel Sisters will struggle to reach that opening number next weekend yet it could manage close to Mama’s grosses if it performs well over the subsequent holiday weekends.

Sisters opening weekend prediction: $13.9 million

For my Star Wars: The Force Awakens prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/12/08/star-wars-the-force-awakens-box-office-prediction/

For my Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2015/12/10/alvin-and-the-chipmunks-the-road-chip-box-office-prediction/