Men in Black: International Movie Review

You won’t need one of those neuralyzer doohickeys to forget Men in Black: International, which extends the rust developed from part two of the franchise on. Will Smith has moved on from this series to dealing with aliens in Netflix pics and being the man in blue in Disney remakes. Tommy Lee Jones has retired as well. So the Marvel Cinematic duo of Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson from Thor: Ragnarok don the sunglasses in this reboot. Their chemistry was better with the MCU team and that movie had a funnier alien in the guise of Jeff Goldblum.

Hemsworth is the hunky Agent H, top operative at the U.K. MiB branch run by Liam Neeson’s High T. Thompson is essentially a fangirl of the super secretive force who’s been aware of their existence since childhood. She recruits herself to the suit and is assigned by Emma Thompson’s Agent O (reprising her Men in Black 3 part) to travel overseas and partner with her Thor. The plot involves stopping a nasty species that goes by the Hive. One of the baddies is an arms dealer played by Rebecca Ferguson that had an inter species love affair with H. Some of the other villains are kept secret for most of the running time, though you’ll see it coming from a galactic mile away. And there’s Kumail Nanjiani voicing the CG creation Pawny. He gets in a few mildly amusing lines.

F. Gary Gray has taken over directorial duties from Barry Sonnenfeld and he doesn’t have to top a high bar of its predecessors. 1997’s original was a fun summer blockbuster melding science fiction and comedy with genuine chemistry from the two leads. I struggle to recall anything about the first sequel. #3 was a slight improvement if only for Josh Brolin’s uncanny impression of a young Tommy Lee Jones.

I doubt many have much of an affinity for this franchise beyond what came 22 years ago. And while International does indeed trot the globe from Paris to London and Morocco and New York to Italy, it mostly feels flat.

** (out of four)

Men in Black: International Box Office Prediction

The Men in Black are back onscreen for the first time in seven years, but they look a lot different this time around. Subtitled International, this is a sequel/reboot of the franchise that ruled the summer 22 years ago. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones are nowhere to be found. Instead it’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and Thor: Ragnarok stars Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson in the lead roles with F. Gary Gray taking over directorial duties from Barry Sonnenfeld. The supporting cast includes Rebecca Ferguson, Kumail Nanjiani, Rafe Spall, Liam Neeson, and Emma Thompson (reprising her role from 2012’s MIB3).

Despite its two stars being part of this season’s behemoth Avengers: Endgame, audiences might be skeptical to revisit a two decade old series that they identified with Smith (currently headlining the hit Aladdin). Comparing the opening grosses of the MIB trilogy that preceded it is tricky. All three opened over holiday weekends with the first two over July 4th and the third over Memorial Day weekend. Their traditional Friday to Sunday grosses were consistent in the low to mid 50s. When factoring in the extra holiday additions, parts one and two got into the 80s with #3 nearing $70 million. It’s worth mentioning that each entry earned less domestically overall than the previous one.

Men in Black: International, holiday or no holiday, looks bound for the lowest premiere yet in the franchise. I’ll say low 30s.

Men in Black: International opening weekend prediction: $30.7 million

For my Shaft prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/06/shaft-box-office-prediction/

For my Late Night prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/__trashed/

For my The Dead Don’t Die prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/06/09/the-dead-dont-die-box-office-prediction/

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious is our eighth – yes, eighth – installment of a franchise that it would have been ridiculous to imagine there being that many entries. We’re a long way from the original 16 years ago that was sort of a drag racing rip-off of Point Break, or Point Brake as I deemed it in my review. That said, a common thread among the series is its willingness to be knowingly ridiculous while weaving in endless monologues about the importance of family.

The formula took on a different tone in predecessor Furious 7, which admirably managed to deal with the death of franchise stalwart Paul Walker in its conclusion. In that sense, Fate ushers in a new chapter. New characters are introduced, old ones are rehashed, and the level of silliness is brought to a level not quite seen before. Yes, cars go fast here. However, part 8 owes more to James Bond flicks when they were less grim (think Roger Moore era with a quarter billion dollar budget).

As I’ve written in previous Furious critiques, plot is secondary but here’s what you need to know: Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has turned on his team. Sort of. He’s being forced to team up with criminal mastermind Cipher (Charlize Theron), who evades authorities in the air on an invisible plane. See what I mean? Isn’t that the kind of villain 007 might battle in the late seventies? Now on the wrong side of justice, Dominic and Cipher must go against Dom’s “family”, including wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and the familiar players played by Dwayne Johnson (whose goofy character is still good for some funny and bizarre moments), Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russell, and more. Part 7’s main villain Jason Statham is more of a team player this time around and even Oscar winner Helen Mirren turns up as his mum. Statham is granted a fight scene towards the end where he has to be delicate with some cargo he’s carrying (you’ll see what I mean). The scene is genuinely humorous and quite well choreographed.

The plot is all an excuse for the massive action spectacles and globe trotting we’ve become accustomed to and we have it here in Cuba, New York City, and Russia. The climactic sequence set on Russian frozen tundra employs the usual expensive vehicles, but we also are treated to tanks and submarines. Remember the ice action in Pierce Brosnan’s Bond flick Die Another Day? Think that, but it’s not embarrassingly awful.

Our Furious sagas rise and fall on the ability for us to check our brains at the Universal logo. By the third act, I’d succumbed once again to its cheesy charms. Maybe one day this series will truly stall like it briefly did in 2006’s Tokyo Drift. Not yet though and that’s some kind of testament to its durability.

*** (out of four)

The Fate of the Furious Box Office Prediction

Universal Pictures’ billion dollar franchise keeps rolling along as The Fate of the Furious
parks into multiplexes on Easter Weekend. The eighth (yes, eighth) street racing action spectacle finds Straight Outta Compton director F. Gary Gray taking over behind the camera. Fate finds the majority of thespians associated with the series returning – Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacis, Jason Statham, Kurt Russell, and Nathalie Emmanuel. We also have a pair of Oscar winners joining the mix with Charlize Theron and Helen Mirren, as well as Scott Eastwood (whose dad has won some Oscars). Of course, this is the first picture (excluding 2006’s Tokyo Drift) without Paul Walker, who died during the filming of Furious 7.

When Diesel and Walker returned to the franchise in 2009’s Fast and Furious, it sparked a box office resurgence that’s never let up. That fourth entry debuted to $70 million with an overall $155M domestic haul. Follow-up Fast Five in 2011 opened to $86 million ($209M eventual tally). 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 made $97 million out of the gate and $238M eventually. And 2015’s Furious 7 easily set the high mark with a $147 million premiere and $353M overall.

The grosses of Furious 7 were likely (and sadly) expanded due to it being Walker’s last on-screen appearance. Therefore it stands to reason that Fate probably won’t reach the heights of that predecessor. That said, this looks to be a franchise that is still going strong and it would be surprising if it didn’t post the second largest bow thus far.

I’ll predict the fate of this is an opening gross in the low to mid $120M range.

The Fate of the Furious opening weekend prediction: $122.7 million

For my Gifted prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/04/09/gifted-box-office-prediction/

Todd’s FINAL 2015 Oscar Predictions

Here we are folks! After numerous posts prognosticating on what and whom will be nominated for the Academy Awards honoring 2015’s best, we will all collectively find out tomorrow morning. This Oscar season has been filled with much intrigue and a great deal of uncertainty.

Many questions abound:

  • Will the performances of Rooney Mara (Carol) and Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl) be recognized in lead Actress or Supporting Actress? That query alone makes predicting both of those races tricky this year. I will go with both being recognized in Supporting, but if Oscar voters go lead with one or both, it changes the whole dynamic. There’s also the possibility that Vikander could be honored in Supporting for Ex Machina and not Danish, which adds to the confusion.
  • Will the Academy nominate their first Star Wars pic (The Force Awakens) since the original 38 years ago? It’s already become the highest grossing film of all time and could certainly lead to even more eyeballs watching the telecast. That said, I have it narrowly missing the cut.
  • Will Leonardo DiCaprio finally win the gold statue for his work in The Revenant? Precursor awards including the Golden Globes point to yes. A nomination seems assured.
  • Is Spotlight truly the front runner or not? Many other possibilities are out there for an “upset” win. It is, at best, a soft front runner.
  • I’ll finally note that my predictions reflect a belief that Straight Outta Compton will be shut out. This goes against what several other predictors are saying and many have it being recognized in Best Picture. Another high profile offering that I have coming up empty: Black Mass.

As I’ve done for the last several weeks, I’m listing my predicted nominees and other possibilities in each category by likelihood of being nominated. Just because I have something listed as #1 doesn’t mean I’m predicting it to win (I’ll have my first blog post up predicting the winners this weekend). In parentheses after each entry is how far each predicted nominee/possibility has fallen from my previous predictions last week. On Thursday evening, I’ll have a post up letting you know how well (or not so much) I did.

Let’s get to it, shall we? My FINAL predictions:

Best Picture

As I see it, there are 21 films vying for anywhere from 5-10 spots. The magic number is usually 9 (last year it was 8). I’m going with 9 this year, though I believe 10 is more probable than 8. And strangely enough, my predicted nine has stayed the same over the course of the last month or so. Straight Outta Compton, Sicario, and even The Force Awakens have made some waves of late, but I still have them narrowly missing.

  1. Spotlight (No Change)
  2. The Big Short (No Change)
  3. The Revenant (+3)
  4. Mad Max: Fury Road (-1)
  5. The Martian (No Change)
  6. Carol (+1)
  7. Bridge of Spies (+1)
  8. Room (-4)
  9. Brooklyn (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

10. Straight Outta Compton (No Change)

11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (No Change)

12. The Hateful Eight (No Change)

13. Sicario (+1)

14. Inside Out (-1)

15. Steve Jobs (+1)

16. Ex Machina (+2)

17. Trumbo (No Change)

18. Beasts of No Nation (-3)

19. Son of Saul (+1)

20. The Danish Girl (-1)

21. Creed (No Change)

Best Director

Tuesday’s Directors Guild of America usually provides a reasonably reliable snap shot of at least three or four of the nominees that will end up being recognized here. Their picks were Tom McCarthy, Ridley Scott, George Miller, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and Adam McKay. Of those, McKay seems the most vulnerable (with Miller and Scott behind). I’ll keep my prediction for Todd Haynes in and there’s certainly a chance there’s a shocker nominee as we sometimes see in this category.

  1. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight (+1)
  2. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant (+1)
  3. Ridley Scott, The Martian (+1)
  4. George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road (-3)
  5. Todd Haynes, Carol (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies (+1)

7. Adam McKay, The Big Short (-1)

8. Denis Villenueve, Sicario (+5)

9. Lenny Abrahamson, Room (-1)

10. F. Gary Gray, Straight Outta Compton (+1)

11. John Crowley, Brooklyn (-2)

12. Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight (-2)

13. J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (-1)

14. Jay Roach, Trumbo (Previously Unranked)

15. Cary Fukanaga, Beasts of No Nation (-1)

16. Alex Garland, Ex Machina (Previously Unranked)

17. Laszlo Nemes, Son of Saul (-2)

18. Ryan Coogler, Creed (Previously Unranked)

19. Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs (Previously Unranked)

20. Tom Hooper, The Danish Girl (Previously Unranked)

Best Actor

This race is increasingly looking like ‘The Leo Show” with Mr. DiCaprio likely to nab (finally) his first Oscar. Only Leo seems to be a totally safe bet (though it would be a surprise to me if Redmayne and Fassbender don’t get in and probably Cranston too). I would say numbers 5-8 are practically interchangeable while anything 9 or below would be a fairly big surprise.

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant (No Change)
  2. Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl (No Change)
  3. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
  4. Bryan Cranston, Trumbo (No Change)
  5. Matt Damon, The Martian (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steve Carell, The Big Short (-1)

7. Will Smith, Concussion (No Change)

8. Johnny Depp, Black Mass (No Change)

9. Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes (No Change)

10. Michael Caine, Youth (No Change)

11. Michael B. Jordan, Creed (+1)

12. Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul (-1)

Best Actress

As previously discussed, all the rules go out the window if either Rooney Mara or Alicia Vikander are recognized here instead of in Supporting Actress. That said, I feel pretty confident about Larson, Ronan, and Blanchett. The rest? Not so much.

  1. Brie Larson, Room (No Change)
  2. Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn (No Change)
  3. Cate Blanchett, Carol (No Change)
  4. Jennifer Lawrence, Joy (+1)
  5. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road (+1)

7. Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold (+1)

8. Emily Blunt, Sicario (+3)

9. Blythe Danner, I’ll See You in My Dreams (+1)

10. Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back (-1)

11. Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van (Previously Unranked)

Best Supporting Actor

Bottom line: I feel like Rylance and Stallone are the only safe bets here. This category has been wide open for quite some time and all 12 performers listed here could get in. Very curious to see how this works out come tomorrow.

  1. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies (No Change)
  2. Sylvester Stallone, Creed (+1)
  3. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation (-1)
  4. Paul Dano, Love and Mercy (+1)
  5. Christian Bale, The Big Short (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael Keaton, Spotlight (No Change)

7. Michael Shannon, 99 Homes (No Change)

8. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight (No Change)

9. Tom Hardy, The Revenant (No Change)

10. Jacob Tremblay, Room (+1)

11. Benicio del Toro, Sicario (-1)

12. Jason Mitchell, Straight Outta Compton (Previously Unranked)

Best Supporting Actress

Rooney Mara and Alicia Vikander seem like safe bets – as long as they’re nominated here and not in Actress. Kate Winslet (fresh off a Globe win) and Jennifer Jason Leigh should play here, too. The fifth slot is truly up for grabs, I feel.

  1. Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl (No Change)
  2. Rooney Mara, Carol (No Change)
  3. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs (+1)
  4. Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight (-1)
  5. Helen Mirren, Trumbo (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jane Fonda, Youth (-1)

7. Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria (No Change)

8. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight (+1)

9. Joan Allen, Room (-1)

10. Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina (No Change)

11. Elizabeth Banks, Love and Mercy (No Change)

12. Marion Cotillard, MacBeth (Previously Unranked)

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Spotlight (No Change)
  2. Inside Out (No Change)
  3. Bridge of Spies (+1)
  4. The Hateful Eight (-1)
  5. Sicario (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ex Machina (-1)

7. Straight Outta Compton (No Change)

8. Love and Mercy (No Change)

9. Son of Saul (+2)

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. The Big Short (No Change)
  2. Carol (No Change)
  3. Room (No Change)
  4. Steve Jobs (+1)
  5. Brooklyn (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Martian (No Change)

7. The Revenant (+1)

8. Beasts of No Nation (+1)

9. Trumbo (-2)

10. Mad Max: Fury Road (Previously Unranked)

11. Anomalisa (No Change)

Best Animated Feature

  1. Inside Out (No Change)
  2. Anomalisa (No Change)
  3. Shaun the Sheep Movie (No Change)
  4. Kahlil Gabran’s The Prophet (No Change)
  5. The Peanuts Movie (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Good Dinosaur (-1)

7. When Marnie Was There (No Change)

8. Minions (Previously Unranked)

Best Documentary Feature (First Time Predictions)

  1. Amy
  2. The Look of Silence
  3. Winter on Fire
  4. Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
  5. He Named Me Malala

Other Possibilities:

6. Listen to Me Marlon

7. Best of Enemies

8. The Hunting Ground

9. Where to Invade Next

10. Heart of the Dog

Best Foreign Language Film (First Time Predictions)

  1. Son of Saul
  2. Mustang
  3. A War
  4. The Brand New Testament
  5. Embrace of the Serpent

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fencer

7. Labyrinth of Lies

8. Theeb

9. Viva

Best Production Design

  1. The Danish Girl (No Change)
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road (+1)
  3. Bridge of Spies (+1)
  4. Carol (-2)
  5. The Revenant (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brooklyn (-1)

7. The Martian (Previously Unranked)

8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (+3)

9. The Hateful Eight (-3)

10. Cinderella (-3)

Best Cinematography

  1. The Revenant (No Change)
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  3. The Hateful Eight (No Change)
  4. Bridge of Spies (+1)
  5. Sicario (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Carol (+1)

7. Son of Saul (+2)

8. The Martian (-2)

9. The Assassin (-1)

10. Spotlight (Previously Unranked)

Best Costume Design

  1. The Danish Girl (No Change)
  2. Carol (No Change)
  3. Cinderella (+1)
  4. Brooklyn (-1)
  5. Far from the Madding Crowd (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mad Max: Fury Road (+6)

7. The Hateful Eight (-1)

8. Suffragette (-1)

9. The Revenant (No Change)

10. Mr. Holmes (Previously Unranked)

Best Editing

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. The Big Short (No Change)
  3. Spotlight (+2)
  4. The Revenant (No Change)
  5. Bridge of Spies (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Martian (-3)

7. Sicario (+3)

8. Steve Jobs (-2)

9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (+3)

10. The Hateful Eight (-1)

11. Room (-3)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. The Revenant (No Change)
  3. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (+1)

Other Possibilities:

4. Black Mass (-1)

5. Mr. Holmes (No Change)

6. Concussion (No Change)

7. Legend (No Change)

Best Sound Mixing

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. The Revenant (+3)
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (No Change)
  4. Sicario (No Change)
  5. The Martian (-3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Hateful Eight (No Change)

7. Bridge of Spies (Previously Unranked)

8. Jurassic World (-1)

Best Sound Editing

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (No Change)
  3. The Revenant (No Change)
  4. The Martian (No Change)
  5. The Hateful Eight (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sicario (-1)

7. Jurassic World (+1)

8. Bridge of Spies (Previously Unranked)

Best Visual Effects

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (No Change)
  3. Jurassic World (No Change)
  4. The Martian (No Change)
  5. The Revenant (Previously Unranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ex Machina (-1)

7. The Walk (No Change)

8. Ant-Man (Previously Unranked)

9. Avengers: Age of Ultron (-1)

10. In the Heart of the Sea (-4)

Best Score

  1. The Hateful Eight (No Change)
  2. Carol (+1)
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (+2)
  4. Bridge of Spies (-2)
  5. The Danish Girl (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spotlight (No Change)

7. Mad Max: Fury Road (+1)

Best Original Song

  1. “See You Again” from Furious 7 (+2)
  2. “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground (-1)
  3. “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre (+4)
  4. “Simple Song #3” from Youth (No Change)
  5. “So Long” from Concussion (-3)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey (-1)

7. “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey (-1)

These FINAL predictions reflect a belief that the following pictures will receive this number of nominations:

10 Nominations

The Revenant

9 Nominations

Mad Max: Fury Road

8 Nominations

Carol

7 Nominations

Bridge of Spies

6 Nominations

The Martian

5 Nominations

The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight

4 Nominations

The Big Short, Brooklyn, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

3 Nominations

Room, Sicario, Steve Jobs

2 Nominations

Inside Out, Trumbo

1 Nomination

Beasts of No Nation, Cinderella, Concussion, Creed, Far from the Madding Crowd, 45 Years, Furious 7, The Hunting Ground, Joy, Jurassic World, Love and Mercy, The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, Spectre, Youth

And there you have it, folks! My final Oscar predictions! I’ll have an update posted tomorrow. Until then…

 

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: January 8th Edition

We have arrived at my weekly Friday predictions for who and what will be nominated for the Oscars honoring 2015 pictures. This will be the last Friday I’ll be doing so because the nominations themselves come out this Thursday, January 14th. I will have one final post of predictions either on Tuesday or Wednesday next week.

One consistent source of consternation is whether Rooney Mara will be nominated in lead Actress or Supporting Actress for Carol (same goes, to a lesser degree, for Alicia Vikander’s work in The Danish Girl). Last week, I had her in Actress, but now I’m switching back to Supporting. We shall see. As with my posts every week, it will show where the movers and shakers have shifted around with chances of nomination.

So here goes… my penultimate Oscar predictions…

Best Picture

  1. Spotlight (No Change)
  2. The Big Short (+1)
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road (+1)
  4. Room (-2)
  5. The Martian (+1)
  6. The Revenant (+1)
  7. Carol (-2)
  8. Bridge of Spies (+1)
  9. Brooklyn (-1)

Other Possibilities:

10. Straight Outta Compton (+3)

11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (-1)

12. The Hateful Eight (No Change)

13. Inside Out (-2)

14. Sicario (+4)

15. Beasts of No Nation (-1)

16. Steve Jobs (No Change)

17. Trumbo (+2)

18. Ex Machina (Previously Unranked)

19. The Danish Girl (+1)

20. Son of Saul (-5)

21. Creed (-4)

DROPPED OUT: Anomalisa

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Director

  1. George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road (+1)
  2. Tom McCarthy, Spotlight (-1)
  3. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant (+1)
  4. Ridley Scott, The Martian (-1)
  5. Todd Haynes, Carol (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

6. Adam McKay, The Big Short (No Change)

7. Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies (+1)

8. Lenny Abrahamson, Room (-1)

9. John Crowley, Brooklyn (+3)

10. Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight (-1)

11. F. Gary Gray, Straight Outta Compton (Previously Unranked)

12. J.J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (-1)

13. Denis Villenueve, Sicario (Previously Unranked)

14. Cary Fukanaga, Beasts of No Nation (-1)

15. Laszlo Nemes, Son of Saul (-5)

DROPPED OUT: Ryan Coogler, Creed

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Actor

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant (No Change)
  2. Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl (+1)
  3. Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs (-1)
  4. Bryan Cranston, Trumbo (+1)
  5. Steve Carell, The Big Short (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Matt Damon, The Martian (-2)

7. Will Smith, Concussion (No Change)

8. Johnny Depp, Black Mass (-2)

9. Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes (+1)

10. Michael Caine, Youth (-1)

11. Geza Rohrig, Son of Saul (+2)

12. Michael B. Jordan, Creed (-1)

DROPPED OUT: Tom Hanks, Bridge of Spies

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: Carell. Out: Damon.

Best Actress

  1. Brie Larson, Room (No Change)
  2. Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn (No Change)
  3. Cate Blanchett, Carol (No Change)
  4. Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years (+2)
  5. Jennifer Lawrence, Joy (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rooney Mara, Carol (-2) MOVED TO SUPPORTING

7. Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)

8. Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold (+1)

9. Sarah Silverman, I Smile Back (Previously Unranked)

10. Blythe Danner, I’ll See You in My Dreams (-2)

11. Emily Blunt, Sicario (Previously Unranked)

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: Rampling. Out: Mara (moved to supporting)

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies (No Change)
  2. Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation (+1)
  3. Sylvester Stallone, Creed (-1)
  4. Christian Bale, The Big Short (No Change)
  5. Paul Dano, Love and Mercy (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael Keaton, Spotlight (No Change)

7. Michael Shannon, 99 Homes (-2)

8. Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight (-1)

9. Tom Hardy, The Revenant (-1)

10. Benicio del Toro, Sicario (+1)

11. Jacob Tremblay, Room (-1)

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: Dano. Out: Shannon.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl (+2)
  2. Rooney Mara, Carol (Previously Ranked in lead Actress)
  3. Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight (-2)
  4. Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs (-2)
  5. Jane Fonda, Youth (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Helen Mirren, Trumbo (-2)

7. Kristen Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria (+2)

8. Joan Allen, Room (-3)

9. Rachel McAdams, Spotlight (-3)

10. Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina (-2)

11. Elizabeth Banks, Love and Mercy (-1)

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: Mara, Fonda. Out: Mirren, Allen.

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Spotlight (No Change)
  2. Inside Out (No Change)
  3. The Hateful Eight (No Change)
  4. Bridge of Spies (No Change)
  5. Ex Machina (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sicario (+4)

7. Straight Outta Compton (-1)

8. Love and Mercy (-1)

9. Trainwreck (Previously Unranked)

10. Mad Max: Fury Road (Previously Unranked)

11. Son of Saul (-2)

12. 99 Homes (-4)

DROPPED OUT: Joy

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. The Big Short (No Change)
  2. Carol (+1)
  3. Room (-1)
  4. Brooklyn (+1)
  5. Steve Jobs (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Martian (No Change)

7. Trumbo (+3)

8. The Revenant (-1)

9. Beasts of No Nation (-1)

10. The Danish Girl (+2)

11. Anomalisa (-2)

DROPPED OUT: Creed, Mad Max: Fury Road (moved to Original)

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Animated Feature

  1. Inside Out (No Change)
  2. Anomalisa (No Change)
  3. Shaun the Sheep Movie (No Change)
  4. Kahlil Gabran’s The Prophet (+1)
  5. The Good Dinosaur (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Peanuts Movie (-2)

7. When Marnie Was There (No Change)

DROPPED OUT: Minions

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: The Good Dinosaur. Out: The Peanuts Movie.

Best Production Design

  1. The Danish Girl (+1)
  2. Carol (-1)
  3. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  4. Bridge of Spies (No Change)
  5. Brooklyn (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Hateful Eight (-1)

7. Cinderella (-1)

8. MacBeth (+3)

9. The Revenant (-1)

10. Far From the Madding Crowd (No Change)

11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (-2)

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: Brooklyn. Out: The Hateful Eight.

Best Cinematography

  1. The Revenant (No Change)
  2. Mad Max: Fury Road (+1)
  3. The Hateful Eight (-1)
  4. Sicario (No Change)
  5. Bridge of Spies (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Martian (No Change)

7. Carol (+1)

8. The Assassin (Previously Unranked)

9. Son of Saul (-2)

DROPPED OFF: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Costume Design

  1. The Danish Girl (+1)
  2. Carol (-1)
  3. Brooklyn (+1)
  4. Cinderella (-1)
  5. Far from the Madding Crowd (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Hateful Eight (No Change)

7. Suffragette (+3)

8. Trumbo (Previously Unranked)

9. The Revenant (No Change)

10. MacBeth (-2)

11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (No Change)

12. Mad Max: Fury Road (-5)

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Editing

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. The Big Short (+5)
  3. The Martian (+1)
  4. The Revenant (-2)
  5. Spotlight (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steve Jobs (-1)

7. Bridge of Spies (+1)

8. Room (+4)

9. The Hateful Eight (No Change)

10. Sicario (-4)

11. Straight Outta Compton (Previously Unranked)

12. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (-2)

DROPPED OUT: Carol

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: The Big Short. Out: Steve Jobs.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. Black Mass (+1)
  3. The Revenant (-1)

Other Possibilities:

4. The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared (+2)

5. Concussion (-1)

6. Mr. Holmes (-1)

7. Legend (No Change)

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Sound Mixing

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. The Martian (+2)
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (-1)
  4. Sicario (+1)
  5. The Revenant (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Hateful Eight (No Change)

7. Jurassic World (+1)

8. In the Heart of the Sea (-1)

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Sound Editing

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (+1)
  3. The Revenant (-1)
  4. The Martian (No Change)
  5. Sicario (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Hateful Eight (+1)

7. In the Heart of the Sea (-2)

8. Jurassic World (No Change)

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: Sicario. Out: In the Heart of the Sea.

Best Visual Effects

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road (No Change)
  2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (No Change)
  3. Jurassic World (+1)
  4. The Martian (-1)
  5. Ex Machina (No Change)

Other Possibilities:

6. In the Heart of the Sea (No Change)

7. The Walk (No Change)

8. Avengers: Age of Ultron (Previously Unranked)

9. Everest (-1)

DROPPED OFF: The Revenant

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Original Score

  1. The Hateful Eight (No Change)
  2. Bridge of Spies (No Change)
  3. Carol (No Change)
  4. The Danish Girl (+1)
  5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spotlight (No Change)

7. Steve Jobs (No Change)

8. Mad Max: Fury Road (+1)

DROPPED OFF: Inside Out, The Revenant

WHAT’S CHANGED: No Changes

Best Original Song

  1. “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground (No Change)
  2. “So Long” from Concussion (+1)
  3. “See You Again” from Furious 7 (-1)
  4. “Simple Song #3” from Youth (No Change)
  5. “Love Me Like You Do” from Fifty Shades of Grey (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey (-1)

7. “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre (-1)

WHAT’S CHANGED – In: “Love Me Like You Do”. Out: “Earned It”.

These current predictions reflect the following breakdown of films getting these numbers:

9 Nominations

Mad Max Fury Road

8 Nominations

Carol, The Revenant

6 Nominations

Bridge of Spies, The Martian

5 Nominations

The Big Short, Brooklyn, The Danish Girl

4 Nominations

The Hateful Eight, Spotlight, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

3 Nominations

Room. Sicario, Steve Jobs

2 Nominations

Ex Machina, Inside Out

1 Nomination

Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Black Mass, Cinderella, Concussion, Creed, Far from the Madding Crowd, Fifty Shades of Grey, 45 Years, Furious 7, The Good Dinosaur, The Hunting Ground, Joy, Jurassic World, Kahlil Gabran’s The Prophet, Love and Mercy, Shaun the Sheep Movie, Trumbo, Youth

That’ll do it for now, folks! I’ll have my FINAL Oscar predictions up next week…

 

Oscar Watch: Straight Outta Compton

Last weekend the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton became a cultural phenomenon, grossing an astonishing $60 million out of the gate. This rocketed past even the most lofty expectations. The film’s A Cinemascore grade prove audiences were very pleased. Its 89% Rotten Tomatoes rating show critics are behind it too.

This brings up a question that I wouldn’t have thought to ask even a week ago: could Straight Outta Compton get some Oscar love? The short answer: it’s possible but unlikely. Compton will need the help of at least two or three hotly anticipated autumn releases not to meet their awards potential. That often happens, but one other summer release (and a much different one) is currently the front runner for this season’s potential Picture nominees: Pixar’s Inside Out.

Still – Oscar voters could certainly show a cool factor and express themselves by bringing Compton into the mix. Its only real shot is probably a stand alone Best Picture nod. Director F. Gary Gray and the actors shouldn’t be a factor. For now, this blogger will say it’s a long shot, but we shall see how the next four and a half months plays out.