Widows Movie Review

Like Michael Mann’s Heat over two decades ago, Steve McQueen’s Widows is a heist movie more concerned with the personalities of the people planning them. The similarities don’t stop there. It’s got a sprawling cast with many familiar faces and an overall somber tone. This is a genre marked mostly by its entertainment value. Heists are fun onscreen with the numeric Ocean’s being the highest profile recent examples.

Unlike Heat, its central planner doesn’t pull these crimes because he’s great at it and doesn’t have a personal life. Here it’s the personal lives that lead to the planning in the first place. And in this one, it’s “she’s”. Veronica Rawlings (Viola Davis) works for the Chicago Teachers Union and is married to career thief Harry (Liam Neeson). What I’m about to write isn’t exactly a spoiler considering the title. Harry and his crew have a job go awry and they’re all killed. Besides Veronica, the widowed women include business owner Linda (Michelle Rodriguez), abused spouse Alice (Elizabeth Debicki), and new mom Amanda (Carrie Coon).

Their mourning period is disrupted by their husband’s past illegal dealings. Windy City crime lord Jamal Manning (Brian Tyree Henry) was ripped off by them and he’s ready to collect. He’s running for an alderman spot against corrupt politico Jack Mulligan (Colin Farrell). Mulligan fancies himself a man of the people and lives close to the dilapidated neighborhood he wishes to represent. He might as well live on another planet. Manning wants to enter government life to get away from a life of crime, but seems to understand that they go hand in hand in this transactional and blood soaked Chicago.

Veronica, Linda, and Alice are put in a desperate spot. A clue left behind by Harry leads them to plan a robbery of Mulligan’s dirty money while trying to keep his political opponent off their backs (Amanda chooses to not to participate). Mulligan and Manning have enforcers on their team. The former’s is his controlling and ruthless father (Robert Duvall). The latter’s is his henchman (Daniel Kaluuya), who’s sadistic and seems to genuinely enjoy his works of depravity.

There are many subplots in Widows and McQueen manages to pull it off in mostly satisfying fashion. Some work better than others. The relationship of Veronica and Harry is a complicated one that’s given emotional heft by a shared loss. The same can be said for Alice’s character. She’s been a victim her whole life it seems. There’s an empowerment element with her that makes her perhaps the easiest character to root for. Rodriguez’s story has less meat on the bones. They pick up another conspirator in Belle (a memorable Cynthia Erivo), a driven woman who serves as the driver.

You’ll not be surprised to find the performances are first-rate, particularly Davis, Debicki, and Kaluuya (there’s not a mediocre one in the bunch). The score, editing, and cinematography are also noteworthy. McQueen wrote the script along with Gillian Flynn, known for her twisty works like Gone Girl. She’s created compelling female characters there and elsewhere and she does so here. If there’s an issue, it’s that her proclivity for twists reaches a tad too far with one (which I won’t spoil). I found it unnecessary and you’ll likely recognize what I’m referring to upon viewing.

And Widows is worth viewing as it gives us some characters you want to follow. There’s nothing remarkable about the heist they’re trying to pull. The acting and technical work often does fit that description.

*** (out of four)

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/

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 

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 27th Edition

As my weekly Oscar predictions roll along, I finally had a week not loaded with festival news and screenings. As you can see, placements in the major categories don’t have quite as much volatility this week.

That said, there was news. Of the few contenders that haven’t screened, it was announced that On the Basis of Sex will open this year’s AFI Fest in November and that Mary Queen of Scots will close it. Their inclusion in the fest bumps their stock up a bit in my rankings this time around. Of course, it won’t be until they screen that we know the real story.

In other developments related to my rankings:

  • Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) overtakes Viola Davis (Widows) for the five-spot in Best Actress.
  • Additionally in Best Actress, Glenn Close (The Wife) now holds the #1 predicted slot over Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born).
  • In Best Adapted Screenplay, the five predicted pictures remain the same. However, BlackKlansman and If Beale Street Could Talk now hold the 1-2 spots over A Star Is Born and First Man.
  • Ben Foster (Leave No Trace) will apparently be campaigned for in lead Actor and not Supporting so that change has been reflected in my estimates.

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. Green Book (PR: 5)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 7)

7. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Vice (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

11. Widows (PR: 12)

12. Boy Erased (PR: 11)

13. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 18)

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

15. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 14)

16. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 17)

17. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 15)

18. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 19)

19. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 23)

20. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 21)

21. Leave No Trace (PR: 25)

22. Eighth Grade (PR: 24)

23. Beautiful Boy (PR: 20)

24. The Front Runner (PR: 16)

25. Stan and Ollie (PR: 22)

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

2. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 3)

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

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

5. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 7)

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

9. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 9)

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

11. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 12)

12. Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 11)

13. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 14)

14. Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 13)

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

Best Actor

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

2. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 2)

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

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

5. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 8)

7. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 6)

8. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 10)

9. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 7)

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

11. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Supporting Actor)

12. John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 13)

13. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 12)

14. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 9)

15. Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here

Best Actress

1. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 2)

2. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

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

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

5. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 5)

7. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 10)

8. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 11)

9. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 7)

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

11. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 8)

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

13. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 12)

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

15. Keira Knightley, Colette (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade

Best Supporting Actor

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

2. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 2)

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

4. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

5. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 7)

7. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 9)

8. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 8)

9. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 6)

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

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

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

13. Jason Clarke, First Man (PR: 14)

14. Steve Carell, Vice (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (moved to Lead Actor)

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. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

7. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 8)

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

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

10. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 13)

11. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 11)

12. Elizabeth Debicki, Widows (PR: 10)

13. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace (PR: 14)

14. Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Linda Cardellini, Green Book (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Maura Tierney, Beautiful Boy

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 3)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

4. First Man (PR: 2)

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Leave No Trace (PR: 15)

7. Widows (PR: 6)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

9. Boy Erased (PR: 7)

10. Black Panther (PR: 9)

11. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 14)

12. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 12)

13. Disobedience (PR: 13)

14. The Front Runner (PR: 10)

15. Beautiful Boy (PR: 11)

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Green Book (PR: 3)

3. Roma (PR: 2)

4. Eighth Grade (PR: 5)

5. Vice (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Reformed (PR: 6)

7. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 14)

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 8)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 7)

10. Ben Is Back (PR: 12)

11. Stan and Ollie (PR: 9)

12. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 10)

13. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 11)

14. Hereditary (PR: 13)

15. Sorry to Bother You (PR: 15)

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 20th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions are below for your perusal! The whirlwind festival season of Venice/Telluride/Toronto has come to an end and there’s precious few Academy contenders left to screen as the races come into more focus.

Here are some significant developments over the week:

  • The rise of Green Book after it won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival. The Peter Farrelly directed race relations drama has vaulted into the Best Picture contest as it rises from #10 on last week’s list to #5. It replaces Boy Erased in my listing of the nine predicted Picture nominees. We are not entirely sure yet that it’s Viggo Mortensen for lead Actor and Mahershala Ali for Supporting Actor, though that appears to be the case. Mortensen is now a predicted nominee (going from #8 to #4) and that means I took Robert Redford’s performance in The Old Man & The Gun out. Ali rises from #5 to #2 in Supporting Actor.
  • In Best Director, I’ve gone back to Spike Lee being nominated for BlacKkKlansman over Barry Jenkins for If Beale Street Could Talk.
  • The Best Actress five remains the same, but I’ll note that Yalitza Aparicio’s work in Roma is sneaking up there as far a predicted nominee.
  • Word is out that Natalie Portman in Vox Lux will be campaigned for in Supporting Actress and not lead. My rankings reflect that change.
  • Speaking of Supporting Actress, I now have both Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz in for The Favourite. Weisz replaces Nicole Kidman in Boy Erased (that film has taken a big hit as of late in my rankings and we’ll see if it recovers).
  • Stan and Ollie released its first trailer and while I don’t have it predicted for actual nominations, the film makes its first appearance as far as possible nods in Picture, Supporting Actor (John C. Reilly), and Original Screenplay.
  • The critically acclaimed Leave No Trace from earlier this year makes its inaugural showing for possible nominations in Picture, Supporting Actress (Thomasin McKenzie), and Adapted Screenplay.

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: 10)

6. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 5)

7. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

8. Black Panther (PR: 9)

9. Vice (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

10. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 11)

11. Boy Erased (PR: 7)

12. Widows (PR: 12)

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

14. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 16)

15. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 15)

16. The Front Runner (PR: 13)

17. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 23)

18. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 19)

19. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 17)

20. Beautiful Boy (PR: 21)

21. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 18)

22. Stan and Ollie (PR: Not Ranked)

23. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 24)

24. Eighth Grade (PR: Not Ranked)

25. Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ben Is  Back

Cold War

Peterloo

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. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

7. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 12)

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

9. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 7)

10. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 9)

11. Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 13)

12. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 11)

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

14. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 8)

15. Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jason Reitman, The Front Runner

Best Actor

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

2. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 3)

3. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 2)

4. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 8)

5. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 5)

7. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 7)

8. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 12)

9. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 9)

10. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

11. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 13)

12. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 11)

13. John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 10)

14. Chadwick Boseman, Black Panther (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here (PR: 14)

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. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 6)

7. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 9)

8. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 7)

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

10. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 13)

11. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 12)

12. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 11)

13. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 14)

14. Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade (PR: 15)

15. Keira Knightley, Colette (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (moved to Supporting Actress)

Best Supporting Actor

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

2. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 5)

3. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

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

5. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: 13)

7. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 8)

8. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 6)

9. Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther (PR: 9)

10. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 7)

11. John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie (PR: Not Ranked)

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

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

14. Jason Clarke, First Man (PR: 14)

15. Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased

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: 7)

5. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 5)

7. Michelle Yeoh, Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 10)

8. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Lead Actress)

9. Sissy Spacek, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 6)

10. Elizabeth Debicki, Widows (PR: 8)

11. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 11)

12. Linda Cardellini, Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 14)

14. Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Maura Tierney, Beautiful Boy (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Vera Farmiga, The Front Runner

Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex

Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 3)

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 7)

7. Boy Erased (PR: 6)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 10)

9. Black Panther (PR: 8)

10. The Front Runner (PR: 9)

11. Beautiful Boy (PR: 12)

12. The Sisters Brothers (PR 11)

13. Disobedience (PR: 14)

14. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 13)

15. Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Wildlife

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. Green Book (PR: 4)

4. Vice (PR: 3)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Reformed (PR: 11)

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

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 8)

9. Stan and Ollie (PR: Not Ranked)

10. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 9)

11. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Ben Is Back (PR: 7)

13. Hereditary (PR: 14)

14. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 12)

15. Sorry to Bother You (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Vox Lux

Mid90s

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 13th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions in the major categories, as expected, has seen some significant shifting. This is mostly due to the Toronto Film Festival and the screenings of several major contenders.

Here are some quick notes on the movement that’s taken place in the past seven days:

  • The addiction drama Beautiful Boy has taken a hit in the standings, due to a mixed Toronto reaction. It falls from #5 all the way to #21 in the Best Picture derby. Additionally, I have taken it out the 5 predicted nominees in Best Actor (Steve Carell) and Adapted Screenplay. However, Timothee Chalamet is still looking good for Supporting Actor.
  • If Beale Street Could Talk had its much awaited debut up north. I basically had it as a place holder pick at #1 in both Picture and Director, but it’s fallen in both races to #5 and #4, respectively. This vaults A Star Is Born to the #1 slot in BP with Alfonso Cuaron’s direction of Roma currently topping Best Director.
  • The elimination of the Best Popular Film category could be a good thing for Black Panther. For the first time, I have it included in my nine predicted BP nominees.
  • Peter Farrelly’s Green Book seemed to be a crowd favorite in Toronto. While I have it just outside my BP rankings, it’s now included in Best Original Screenplay and Mahershala Ali is predicted for Supporting Actor. It’s not entirely certain yet whether he will be placed in that category or go co-lead with Viggo Mortensen.
  • Speaking of category placement, we’re still not sure where Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz will end up for The Favourite. Right now, I’m assuming Colman in Actress and both Stone and Weisz for Supporting Actress. I’ve now got Stone getting a nod for the first time.
  • The Dick Cheney biopic starring Christian Bale has apparently switched its working title name Backseat to Vice.
  • My current Best Actor predictions now include Ryan Gosling (First Man) and Robert Redford (The Old Man & The Gun) with the aforementioned Carell and Hugh Jackman (The Front Runner) out.
  • In Best Actress, solid Toronto chatter for the work of Viola Davis (Widows) puts her in the mix with Nicole Kidman (Destroyer) taken out.
  • Widows also shined a light on Daniel Kaluuya as he’s said to have a terrific part in it. He is now included in Supporting Actor along with Green Book‘s Ali. Sam Rockwell (Vice) and Russell Crowe (Boy Erased) have been moved out of the predicted nominees.
  • In Supporting Actress, Emma Stone has replaced Vera Farmiga (The Front Runner).
  • Yorgos Lanthimos has been included in my 5 director nominees and that means Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) is on the outside looking in currently.

Here’s the whole breakdown for this week!

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

2. Roma (PR: 3)

3. First Man (PR: 4)

4. The Favourite (PR: 6)

5. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR 1)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 7)

7. Boy Erased (PR: 8)

8. Vice (PR: 9 – previously known as Backseat)

9. Black Panther (PR: 11)

Other Possibilities:

10. Green Book (PR: 18)

11. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 15)

12. Widows (PR: 14)

13. The Front Runner (PR: 10)

14. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 25)

15. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 24)

16. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 13)

17. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 21)

18. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 17)

19. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 16)

20. Ben Is Back (PR: Not Ranked)

21. Beautiful Boy (PR: 5)

22. Cold War (PR: 20)

23. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 23)

24. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 19)

25. Peterloo (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

July 22

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 2)

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

3. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 4)

4. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

5. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

7. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 8)

8. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 9)

9. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 12)

10. Ryan Coogler, Black Panther (PR: 13)

11. Steve McQueen, Widows (PR: 15)

12. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Jacques Audiard, The Sisters Brothers (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Joel and Ethan Coen, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Jason Reitman, The Front Runner (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Felix Van Groeningen, Beautiful Boy

Mike Leigh, Peterloo

Josie Rourke, Mary Queen of Scots

Best Actor

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

2. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 6)

4. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 8)

7. Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy (PR: 3)

8. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 10)

9. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 5)

10. John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers (PR: 14)

11. John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 9)

12. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 12)

13. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 15)

14. Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here (PR: 13)

15. Stephan James, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 11)

Best Actress

1. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 4)

4. Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 5)

5. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 12)

7. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: 7)

8. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 9)

9. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 3)

10. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

12. Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 10)

13. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 11)

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

15. Elsie Fisher, Eighth Grade (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Joanna Kulig, Cold War

Best Supporting Actor

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

2. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 4)

3. Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 2)

4. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 3)

7. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 5)

8. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 7)

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

10. Oscar Isaac, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 6)

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

12. Ben Foster, Leave No Trace (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Nicholas Hoult, The Favourite (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Jason Clarke, First Man (PR: 12)

15. Joel Edgerton, Boy Erased (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Matthew McConaughey, White Boy Rick

J.K. Simmons, The Front Runner

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: 7)

4. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 3)

5. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sissy Spacek, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 14)

7. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 11)

8. Elizabeth Debicki, Widows (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Maura Tierney, Beautiful Boy (PR: 6)

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

11. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Vera Farmiga, The Front Runner (PR: 4)

13. Kathy Bates, On the Basis of Sex (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 8)

15. Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Amy Ryan, Beautiful Boy

Blythe Danner, What They Had

Rachel McAdams, Disobedience 

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

2. First Man (PR: 5)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

4. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

5. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Boy Erased (PR: 4)

7. Widows (PR: 13)

8. Black Panther (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Front Runner (PR: 7)

10. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 10)

11. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 12)

12. Beautiful Boy (PR: 2)

13. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 9)

14. Disobedience (PR: 11)

15. Wildlife (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

The Miseducation of Cameron Post

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. Vice (PR: 3)

4. Green Book (PR: 6)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Ben Is Back (PR: 9)

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 10)

9. At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 5)

10. Vox Lux (PR: 8)

11. First Reformed (PR: Not Ranked)

12. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 12)

13. Mid90s (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Hereditary (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Sorry to Bother You (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Peterloo

Isle of Dogs

Bohemian Rhapsody

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…