Oscar Watch: The Midnight Sky

Netflix’s slew of December releases that are potential Oscar contenders continues with George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky. The sci-fi drama stars its director as an Arctic scientist attempting to prevent a group of astronauts from their return to Earth due to environmental hazards. The roughly $100 million budgeted pic hits theaters in a limited fashion this Friday though most viewers will see it when it materializes on the streaming service on December 23rd. Costars include Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Tiffany Boone, Kyle Chandler, Demian Bichir, and Caoilinn Springall.

The review embargo lifted today and it is most certainly a mixed bag. The Rotten Tomatoes rating is at only 54%. Numerous critics have brought up recent and similar genre fare in comparison, including Gravity (which also featured Clooney), Interstellar, The Martian, and Ad Astra. Several of them say that Sky doesn’t measure up.

It has been 15 years since Clooney’s work behind the camera has significantly attracted Oscar attention with Good Night, and Good Luck. His last two directorial efforts, The Monuments Men and Suburbicon, were both critical and commercial disappointments. With a number of write-ups skewing so-so or even negative, it’s hard to envision Sky aiming for a Picture nod or for any of the actors involved to contend.

On the other hand, reviews do suggest this could be a factor in some technical races. Most notable of them is Visual Effects, Production Design, and Sound. There is also plenty of praise for the Original Score by Alexandre Desplat, a two-time winner for his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel and The Shape of Water. 

Bottom line: it will be a struggle for The Midnight Sky to reach the attention of voters in the major races, but it could still end up with close to a handful of nominations. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

2020 Oscar Predictions: November 13th Edition

Back at it again with another round of weekly Oscar predictions and there are changes to be discussed in every major category! We begin with the grand prize – Best Picture. For the third week in a row, we have a new #1 as I’m elevating The Trial of the Chicago 7 to front runner status for the first time. It displaces Nomadland, which falls to 2nd position while Mank goes from 2nd to 3rd.

While Trial gets top billing, I am still placing David Fincher at #1 for director as I believe that could be a bit of a career achievement recognition. As stated last week, I do think Chloe Zhao could be hot on his heels. It does feel a bit strange to have Trial as the Picture favorite while not believing Aaron Sorkin will take Director, but here we are in this strange 2020 Oscar season. Speaking of that race, I now have Lee Isaac Chung for the fast rising Minari over Paul Greengrass for News of the World. 

Moving on, the review embargo lifted this week for Hillbilly Elegy and the results weren’t pretty. The Netflix title stands at just 30% on Rotten Tomatoes and that takes it out of my top 15 for Picture and top 10 in Adapted Screenplay. It also hurts the chances of its leads. Amy Adams drops out of the top 5 for Actress and that’s to the benefit of another Netflix entry with Sophia Loren in The Life Ahead. Glenn Close has been listed at #1 in Supporting Actress since I began these posts in late August. This too has changed in a currently wide open Supporting Actress field. She drops from #1 to #4, but the irony is I still think she could win. However, it’s Amanda Seyfried in Mank that vaults to #1 with Olivia Colman (The Father) and Ellen Burstyn (Pieces of a Woman) following. There’s another move in Supporting Actress with Yuh-Joun Youn for Minari in over Helena Zengel for News of the World. 

In Best Actor, it’s Riz Ahmed back in the final five and that takes out Kingsley Ben-Adir in One Night in Miami. In Supporting Actor, I have David Strathairn (Nomadland) back in the predicted quintet and that drops Bill Murray (On the Rocks) to sixth. And I am starting to buy into the theory that Chadwick Boseman could be victorious in that race for Da 5 Bloods with Anthony Hopkins a seeming favorite in Best Actor for The Father. Boseman is now #1 for supporting.

Finally, it was announced that Supernova will campaign Colin Firth for Best Actor with Stanley Tucci in supporting. They are both listed in the top ten, but I believe it’s Tucci that could potentially see a rise from his #8 spot.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Previous Ranking: 3)

2. Nomadland (PR: 1)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. The Father (PR: 7)

6. Minari (PR: 8)

7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

8. News of the World (PR: 5)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Soul (PR: 12)

11. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

12. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 13)

13. The White Tiger (PR: 14)

14. The Midnight Sky (PR: 15)

15. First Cow (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hillbilly Elegy

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

5. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

7. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 4)

8. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

9. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

4. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 5)

5. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 8)

7. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 7)

8. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 3)

9. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Meryl Streep, The Prom (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 1)

2. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

3. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 3)

4. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 7)

7. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

8. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

9. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 9)

10. Colin Firth, Supernova (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

George Clooney, The Midnight Sky 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 3)

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 5)

4. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

5. Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 6)

7. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 4)

8. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 8)

9. Natasha Lyonne, The United State vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Swankie, Nomadland (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nicole Kidman, The Prom

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 2)

2. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 3)

3. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

4. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

5. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 5)

7. Frank Langella, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. Stanley Tucci, Supernova (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

10. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Charles Dance, Mank 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Minari (PR: 3)

4. Soul (PR: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

7. On the Rocks (PR: 7)

8. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

10. Sound of Metal (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Palm Springs

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 7)

7. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

8. The White Tiger (PR: 9)

9. First Cow (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Hillbilly Elegy

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 8)

7. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 10)

8. Connected (PR: 6)

9. Lupin III: The First (PR: 7)

10. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Totally Under Control (PR: 2)

2. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 1)

3. Crip Camp (PR: 3)

4. Time (PR: 7)

5. The Dissident (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 6)

7. Boys State (PR: 5)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

10. MLK/FBI (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 1)

2. New Order (PR: 2)

3. Another Round (PR: 3)

4. The Life Ahead (PR: 4)

5. The Disciple (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. My Little Sister (PR: 5)

7. Night of the Kings (PR: 7)

8. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: 9)

9. Charlatan (PR: Not Ranked)

10. True Mothers (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Atlantis

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 4)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

8. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 9)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

10. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 2)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rebecca (PR: 5)

7. News of the World (PR: 8)

8. Coming 2 America (PR: 6)

9. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Ammonite (PR: 10)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

7. Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Tenet (PR: 7)

9. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 3)

3. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 4)

4. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

5. Mulan (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: 5)

7. Birds of Prey (PR: 7)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 6)

9. Emma (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ammonite (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

News of the World

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Soul (PR: 2)

3. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

4. News of the World (PR: 3)

5. Minari (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

7. Tenet (PR: 4)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 10)

9. Ammonite (PR: 5)

10. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 9)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

5. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

7. “Only the Young” from Miss Americana (PR: 7)

8. “Love Myself” from The High Note (PR: 8)

9. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 9)

10. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 10)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

3. Mulan (PR: 3)

4. Emma (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Rebecca (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 8)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

8. News of the World (PR: 4)

9. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

10. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 6)

Dropped Out:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 2)

3. Sound of Metal (PR: 4)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

5. Soul (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World (PR: 3)

7. Greyhound (PR: 8)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

9. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 10)

10. The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Greyhound (PR: 3)

4. The Invisible Man (PR: 5)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mulan (PR: 4)

7. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: 8)

8. Mank (PR: 6)

9. The Call of the Wild (PR: 9)

10. Dolittle (PR: 10)

And that shakes out to these features nabbing the following number of nominations:

12 Nominations

Mank

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, The Father, Minari, News of the World, One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

The Midnight Sky, Soul

3 Nominations

The Life Ahead, Mulan

2 Nominations

Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Sound of Metal, Tenet

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Another Round, Birds of Prey, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Disciple, The Dissident, French Exit, Greyhound, The Invisible Man, New Order, Onward, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Rebecca, Time, Totally Under Control, Wolfwalkers

2020 Oscar Predictions: November 6th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions begin with a blogger’s note. For the past two and a half months, I’ve been providing these updates each Thursday. This will now switch to every Friday (busy work schedule is the reason).

And we move on with a significant development in the rankings. For the first time since I began these predictions, the #1 slot for Best Picture is not named Mank. The David Fincher Netflix pic had its official review embargo lift today. Some of the critical reaction is excellent. Other write-ups, while still overwhelmingly positive, call into question whether this will take the biggest prize of all. It certainly still could in my estimation, but I’m currently giving an ever so slight advantage to Chloe Zhao’s Nomadland (and with The Trial of the Chicago 7 not far behind). I am still listing Fincher in top position with Director as I could envision a victory being a partial career achievement award. That said, Zhao is right on his heels as she would be the second female filmmaker ever to take the gold.

We continue to Best Actor as Amazon has confirmed the acting placements for the performers in Regina King’s One Night in Miami. Of note is that Kingsley Ben-Adir will be campaigned for in Best Actor with Leslie Odom Jr. vying for Supporting Actor. In my view, this increases the chances for both to make the cut as they won’t be competing against each other. Odom was already on my Supporting list last week. Ben-Adir jumps into the Actor final five and that’s to the detriment of Daniel Kaluuya for Judas and the Black Messiah. Kaluuya could absolutely still get in, but there’s uncertainty as to whether he will be campaigned for in Actor or Supporting Actor. There’s also no confirmation yet as to when Warner Bros. will release the picture. So for now, he’s on the outside looking in until further information is provided.

The Actress and Supporting Actress contests remain the same without even any ranking alterations. That’s not to indicate those races aren’t fluid. There just wasn’t anything major in the past week to shift my thinking in the past 8 days.

Finally, Disney has delayed the release dates of both Death on the Nile and Free Guy to 2021 TBD. The former was a potential nominee in several tech races such as Costume Design and Production Design. The latter could have been a hopeful in Visual Effects.

And with that, let’s get to the guesstimates!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

5. News of the World (PR: 4)

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

7. The Father (PR: 7)

8. Minari (PR: 8)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 11)

11. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 10)

12. Soul (PR: 12)

13. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 13)

14. The White Tiger (PR: 14)

15. The Midnight Sky (PR: 15)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

7. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

8. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 7)

9. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 3)

4. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

5. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 6)

7. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 7)

8. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 8)

9. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Meryl Streep, The Prom (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 1)

2. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

3. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Supporting Actor)

Other Possibilities:

6. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

7. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 7)

8. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 6)

9. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 8)

10. George Clooney, The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tom Holland, Cherry

Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 3)

4. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 6)

7. Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (PR: 7)

8. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 8)

9. Natasha Lyonne, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Nicole Kidman, The Prom (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

3. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 3)

4. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

5. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 7)

7. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 10)

8. Frank Langella, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

9. Charles Dance, Mank (PR: 9)

10. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (moved to Best Actor)

Best Original Screenplay 

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. Minari (PR: 3)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Soul (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

7. On the Rocks (PR: 6)

8. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

10. Palm Springs (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Forty-Year-Old Version

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 7)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

9. The White Tiger (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 4)

4. Onward (PR: 3)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Connected (PR: 6)

7. Lupin III: The First (PR: 8)

8. The Willoughbys (PR: 7)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

10. Earwig and the Witch (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 1)

2. Totally Under Control (PR: 3)

3. Crip Camp (PR: 2)

4. The Dissident (PR: 5)

5. Boys State (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 6)

7. Time (PR: 7)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 9)

9. 76 Days (PR: 8)

10. MLK/FBI (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 1)

2. New Order (PR: 2)

3. Another Round (PR: 3)

4. The Life Ahead (PR: 4)

5. My Little Sister (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Disciple (PR: 6)

7. Night of the Kings (PR: 5)

8. True Mothers (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: 10)

10. Atlantis (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Wife of a Spy

A Sun

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Tenet (PR: 6)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

10. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Rebecca (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Coming 2 America (PR: 4)

7. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 7)

8. News of the World (PR: 10)

9. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ammonite (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Death on the Nile

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World (PR: 4)

7. Tenet (PR: 6)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 10)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 5)

3. Mank (PR: 6)

4. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 4)

5. Coming 2 America (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

7. Birds of Prey (PR: 2)

8. News of the World (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Mulan (PR: 7)

10. Ammonite (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Emma

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 2)

2. Soul (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Tenet (PR: 4)

5. Ammonite (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

7. Minari (PR: 5)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

9. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

One Night in Miami

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 5)

5. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

7. “Only the Young” from Miss Americana (PR: 7)

8. “Love Myself” from The High Note (PR: 10)

9. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 9)

10. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 8)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

3. Mulan (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 6)

5. Rebecca (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

8. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 5)

9. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 2)

2. Tenet (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 6)

4. Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Soul (PR: 4)

7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 5)

8. Greyhound (PR: 8)

9. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Invisible Man

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Greyhound (PR: 6)

4. Mulan (PR: 3)

5. The Invisible Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mank (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

8. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: 7)

9. The Call of the Wild (PR: 8)

10. Dolittle (PR: 9)

And this equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers of nods:

12 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

News of the World

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Trial of the Chicago 7

6 Nominations

Nomadland, One Night in Miami

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, The Father

4 Nominations

Tenet

3 Nominations

Hillbilly Elegy, The Midnight Sky, Mulan, Soul

2 Nominations

The Life Ahead, Minari, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Rebecca

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Ammonite, Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Boys State, Coming 2 America, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Dissident, Emma, French Exit, Greyhound, The Invisible Man, My Little Sister, New Order, On the Rocks, Onward, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Sound of Metal, Totally Under Control, Wolfwalkers

2020 Oscar Predictions: October 22nd Edition

The big news of the week when it comes to Oscar forecasting unquestionably involves Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, the forthcoming Netflix feature starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman. The studio has confirmed that the late Mr. Boseman will contend in the lead actor race and that upends my predictions in both that category and Supporting Actor. For weeks, I have had Boseman listed in 1st position in the latter. He now moves to #2 in lead behind Anthony Hopkins in The Father. 

This significant move shifts my thinking when it comes to other performers. Most notably, I am now guesstimating that Warner Bros. will campaign for Daniel Kaluuya’s work in Judas and the Black Messiah in the supporting field. To be clear, this is not confirmed and is simply speculation. However, that alteration means Kaluuya is now listed in first for Supporting Actor. This activity also means Boseman could potentially be a double nominee as Netflix is likely to mount a campaign for him with Da 5 Bloods in supporting. I have not listed him in the top ten, but it could certainly happen. The same dynamic applies to Glynn Turman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. In the coming weeks, we will see if Boseman and Turman materialize in the top ten Supporting Actor players.

While the Actor derbies see those changes (which include Bill Murray now making the cut in Supporting Actor for On the Rocks, out tomorrow on Apple TV), Picture, Director, Actress, and Supporting Actress have remained the same.

And with that, let’s see how I have each contest shaping up!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

6. The Father (PR: 7)

7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

9. Minari (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

11. Soul (PR: 11)

12. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 13)

13. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 12)

14. Respect (PR: 14)

15. The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ammonite

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

5. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

7. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

8. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

9. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 9)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 3)

4. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 4)

5. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 7)

7. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 9)

9. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 6)

10. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, The Prom

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 1)

2. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Supporting)

3. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 2)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 3)

5. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 6)

7. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 7)

8. Tom Holland, Cherry (PR: 8)

9. Stanley Tucci, Supernova (PR: 9)

10. Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

George Clooney, The Midnight Sky

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 3)

4. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 6)

7. Mary J. Blige, Respect (PR: 7)

8. Audra McDonald, Respect (PR: 8)

9. Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Swankie, Nomadland (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Natasha Lyonne, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked – moved from Best Actor)

2. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

3. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 3)

4. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

5. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

7. Charles Dance, Mank (PR: 10)

8. Frank Langella, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

10. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 6)

Dropped Out:

Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – moved to Best Actor

Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

3. Minari (PR: 3)

4. Soul (PR: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

7. On the Rocks (PR: 7)

8. Promising Young Woman (PR: 9)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 10)

10. Palm Springs (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Respect

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 7)

7. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

8. First Cow (PR: 9)

9. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

10. Next Goal Wins (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Connected (PR: 6)

7. The Willoughbys (PR: 7)

8. Earwig and the Witch (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Lupin III: The First (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane Cannary (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Trolls World Tour

Bombay Rose

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 2)

2. Totally Under Control (PR: 3)

3. Crip Camp (PR: 1)

4. Boys State (PR: 5)

5. The Dissident (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 6)

7. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 7)

8. 76 Days (PR: 8)

9. I Am Greta (PR: Not Ranked)

10. MLK/FBI (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Welcome to Chechnya

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 1)

2. Another Round (PR: 2)

3. New Order (PR: 3)

4. My Little Sister (PR: 9)

5. Night of the Kings (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Disciple (PR: 5)

7. The Life Ahead (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: 10)

9. A Sun (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Wife of a Spy (PR: 6)

Dropped Out:

Atlantis

Ema 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 8)

7. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

9. One Night in Miami (PR: 10)

10. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Midnight Sky

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Coming 2 America (PR: 4)

5. Mulan (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rebecca (PR: 6)

7. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 9)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

9. Death on the Nile (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

News of the World

Ammonite

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 5)

4. Nomadland (PR: 3)

5. The Father (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

7. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 6)

9. Tenet (PR: 10)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

2. Birds of Prey (PR: 1)

3. Emma (PR: 8)

4. Mank (PR: 2)

5. Coming 2 America (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 5)

7. Mulan (PR: 6)

8. Respect (PR: 7)

9. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Death on the Nile (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. News of the World (PR: 2)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

4. Mank (PR: 4)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Over the Moon (PR: 10)

7. Ammonite (PR: 5)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

9. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tenet

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon (PR: 2)

3. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: Not Ranked)

4. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 3)

5. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

7. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 4)

8. “Only the Young” from Miss Americana (PR: 7)

9. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 9)

10. “Carry Me with You” from Onward (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

“Love Myself” from The High Note

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. News of the World (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

7. Rebecca (PR: 5)

8. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 9)

9. Emma (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Death on the Nile (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ammonite

Hillbilly Elegy

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. News of the World (PR: 2)

3. Sound of Metal (PR: 5)

4. Mank (PR: 7)

5. Soul (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

7. Greyhound (PR: 4)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

9. Respect (PR: 9)

10. The Prom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Midnight Sky

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Greyhound (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The Invisible Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: 6)

7. The Call of the Wild (PR: 8)

8. Birds of Prey (PR: 7)

9. Dolittle (PR: 9)

10. The Old Guard (PR: 10)

And that equates to these pictures getting the following number of nominations:

12 Nominations

Mank

9 Nominations

News of the World

8 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

6 Nominations

Nomadland

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, The Father, One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Soul

3 Nominations

Mulan

2 Nominations

Coming 2 America, Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Minari, Over the Moon, Tenet

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Ammonite, Another Round, Birds of Prey, Boys State, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Dissident, Greyhound, The Invisible Man, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Life Ahead, The Midnight Sky, My Little Sister, New Order, Night of the Kings, The One and Only Ivan, On the Rocks, Onward, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Respect, Totally Under Control, Wolfwalkers

2020 Oscar Predictions: October 15th Edition

The weekly Oscar predictions keep coming as developments from the past 7 days have altered a couple of key races. Most prominent is Best Actress, a potentially crowded field that saw the debut of French Exit with Michelle Pfeiffer. The pic debuted to mixed reviews though critics did praise her work. That said, she moves out of the top 5 and so does Kate Winslet in Ammonite. The two new performers joining the final five: Amy Adams in Hillbilly Elegy and Jennifer Hudson in Respect. 

Speaking of Elegy, the Netflix drama debuted its first trailer this week. Reaction was mixed, but it looks to me that Glenn Close especially solidified her status as a front runner in Supporting Actress.

In Best Actor, there’s movement as well since Riz Ahmed in Sound of Metal seems to be gaining steam. He moves into the top five with Tom Hanks in News of the World dropping out. And there’s changes in Supporting Actor where we’re still waiting for category placement to be determined. I moved Kingsley Ben-Adir (One Night in Miami) back to Supporting and he knocks out Yahya Abdul-Mateen II from The Trial of the Chicago 7. 

Lastly, Pixar’s Soul had its review embargo lifted prior to its Christmas streaming release. Feedback is very solid with some critics proclaiming it’s in the upper echelon on the studio’s work. It could become the fourth animated feature to get a Best Picture nod. For now, I’m saying it’s definitely the heavy favorite to win Animated Feature but it could miss the cut in the biggest race of all.

And with that, the updates are below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. One Night in Miami (PR: 6)

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 5)

7. The Father (PR: 7)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

9. Minari (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 11)

11. Soul (PR: 10)

12. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 12)

13. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Respect (PR: 14)

15. Ammonite (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

The White Tiger

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

2. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

5. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 6)

7. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

8. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

9. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 9)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

4. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 7)

5. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 4)

7. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 5)

8. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

9. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 10)

10. Meryl Streep, The Prom (PR: 9)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 1)

2. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 2)

3. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 3)

4. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 4)

5. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 6)

7. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 7)

8. Tom Holland, Cherry (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Stanley Tucci, Supernova (PR: Not Ranked)

10. George Clooney, The Midnight Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (moved to Supporting Actor)

Matt Damon, Stillwater

Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 5)

4. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 6)

7. Mary J. Blige, Respect (PR: 10)

8. Audra McDonald, Respect (PR: 7)

9. Natasha Lyonne, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 9)

10. Swankie, Nomadland (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lily Collins, Mank

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

3. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked)

4. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 7)

7. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 6)

8. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

9. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

10. Charles Dance, Mank (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Tom Pelphrey, Mank

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 2)

3. Minari (PR: 3)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Soul (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

7. On the Rocks (PR: 7)

8. Respect (PR: 9)

9. Promising Young Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Stillwater

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 9)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 7)

9. First Cow (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Next Goal Wins (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

French Exit

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Connected (PR: 7)

7. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

8. Trolls World Tour (PR: 9)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 8)

10. Calamity, a Childhood of Martha Jane (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Earwig and the Witch

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Crip Camp (PR: 1)

2. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 2)

3. Totally Under Control (PR: 7)

4. The Dissident (PR: 5)

5. Boys State (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 4)

7. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 6)

8. 76 Days (PR: 8)

9. MLK/FBI (PR: 9)

10. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Notturno 

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 1)

2. Another Round (PR: 2)

3. New Order (PR: 3)

4. Night of the Kings (PR: 4)

5. The Disciple (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wife of a Spy (PR: 7)

7. Atlantis (PR: 9)

8. Ema (PR: Not Ranked)

9. My Little Sister (PR: 6)

10. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

A Sun

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

8. Tenet (PR: 6)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Coming 2 America (PR: 8)

5. Mulan (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rebecca (PR: Not Ranked)

7. News of the World (PR: 4)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

9. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 7)

10. Ammonite (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Death on the Nile

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 7)

5. News of the World (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. One Night in Miami (PR: 6)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

8. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

10. Tenet (PR: 10)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Birds of Prey (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 3)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

4. Coming 2 America (PR: 5)

5. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mulan (PR: 4)

7. Respect (PR: 6)

8. Emma (PR: 9)

9. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 10)

10. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 2)

2. News of the World (PR: 3)

3. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 1)

5. Ammonite (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 6)

9. Tenet (PR: 9)

10. Over the Moon (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Minari

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon (PR: 2)

3. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 3)

4. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 4)

5. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

7. “Only the Young” from Miss Americana (PR: 7)

8. “Love Myself” from The High Note (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 8)

10. “Carried Me with You” from Onward (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“Seen” from The Life Ahead

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. News of the World (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 5)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. Rebecca (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

7. Ammonite (PR: 8)

8. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Judas and and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

10. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Death on the Nile

The Midnight Sky

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. News of the World (PR: 3)

3. Soul (PR: 2)

4. Greyhound (PR: 6)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

7. Mank (PR: 4)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

9. Respect (PR: 9)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Greyhound (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The Invisible Man (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: 6)

7. Birds of Prey (PR: 8)

8. The Call of the Wild (PR: 7)

9. Dolittle (PR: 10)

10. The Old Guard (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Free Guy 

And that means I am estimating the following movies end up with these numbers:

11 Nominations

Mank

9 Nominations

News of the World

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Trial of the Chicago 7

6 Nominations

Nomadland, One Night in Miami

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, The Father

4 Nominations

Soul

3 Nominations

Hillbilly Elegy, Mulan

2 Nominations

Ammonite, Coming 2 America, Greyhound, Minari, Over the Moon, Sound of Metal, Tenet

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Another Round, Birds of Prey, Boys State, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Disciple, The Dissident, Emma, Giving Voice, The Invisible Man, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Midnight Sky, New Order, Night of the Kings, The One and Only Ivan, Onward, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Rebecca, Respect, Totally Under Control, Wolfwalkers

Early 2020 Oscar Predictions: Best Actor

My impossibly early first looks at the major Oscar races for 2020 arrives at Best Actor. If you happened to miss my posts concerning the supporting performers, you may find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/08/09/early-2020-oscar-predictions-best-supporting-actress/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/08/09/early-2020-oscar-predictions-best-supporting-actor/

Unlike nearly all of the potential contenders in Supporting Actor and Actress, there are already two viable possibilities from pictures that have already screened or seen release. The Sundance Film Festival shed light on Anthony Hopkins in the forthcoming The Father while Netflix’s Spike Lee joint Da 5 Bloods showcased career best work from Delroy Lindo. If it not yet known whether Lindo will compete in lead or supporting, but I’m guessing he lands here.

As for other hopefuls, there are many intriguing storylines. On the Rocks finds comedic legend Bill Murray reuniting with director Sofia Coppola. Their 2003 collaboration Lost in Translation marked Mr. Murray’s only nomination thus far. Three years after his win for Darkest Hour, Gary Oldman will headline Netflix’s Mank from David Fincher, which on paper seems like a very awards friendly venture. And the trailer out last week for Judas and the Black Messiah appears to be a bait worthy role for Daniel Kaluuya (though its release date is still up in the air).

There’s plenty more recognizable faces to consider. I nearly put Ben Affleck among the top 15. His spring sports drama The Way Back gave him some of the best critical reaction of his career. Yet he’s likely a long shot.

In 2019, my inaugural August estimates yielded an impressive three of the five eventual nominees: Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), and Adam Driver (Marriage Story). In my 10 other possibilities, the other two contenders were also named: Jonathan Pryce in The Two Popes and the winner, Joaquin Phoenix as Joker. 

Here’s my first take!

EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST ACTOR

Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods

Bill Murray, On the Rocks

Gary Oldman, Mank

Other Possibilities:

Timothee Chalamet, Dune

George Clooney, The Midnight Sky

Matt Damon, Stillwater

Ansel Elgort, West Side Story

Michael Fassbender, Next Goal Wins

Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Tom Hanks, News of the World

Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon

John David Washington, Tenet

Steven Yeun, Minari

Best Actress is up next! Stay tuned…

Summer 2000: The Top 10 Hits and More

As I do every summer on the blog, I am looking back at the cinematic seasons of 30, 20, and 10 years ago and recounting the top ten hits, other notable pics, and some misfires. A week ago, I covered the summer of 1990 (when we all were “ghosted”). If you missed it, you can peruse it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/07/18/summer-1990-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

Today brings us to the dawn of the new century. What struck me is that there weren’t a whole lot of outright flops, but the ones that were are rather significant bombs. Let’s take a trip down memory lane of 2000 and were we not entertained?!?!

10. The Patriot

Domestic Gross: $113 million

Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger teamed up with disaster flick specialist Roland Emmerich for this Revolutionary War era drama that managed to just achieve blockbuster status and barely top its reported $110 million budget stateside.

9. Big Momma’s House

Domestic Gross: $117 million

Negative reviews couldn’t prevent this Martin Lawrence comedy from nearly quadrupling its $30 million budget and spawning two eventual sequels. 30% also happens to be its Rotten Tomatoes score.

8. Nutty Professor II: The Klumps

Domestic Gross: $123 million

Eddie Murphy’s sequel to his 1996 hit certainly didn’t get the reviews of its predecessor, but it fell only $5 million short of the domestic gross of part 1 and introduced superstar Janet Jackson as his new love interest. Part 2 also greatly expanded Eddie’s work as other members of the Klump brood. As you can see from numbers 8 and 9, it was a big summer for comedians in fat suits.

7. Dinosaur

Domestic Gross: $137 million

The prehistoric Disney animated adventure is not one of their most talked about titles in recent decades, but it was still a profitable venture that grossed nearly $350 million worldwide.

6. What Lies Beneath

Domestic Gross: $155 million

Despite mixed reviews, Robert Zemeckis’s Hitchcockian thriller starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer landed big with audiences. Its filming schedule is a memorable one. Zemeckis was shooting Cast Away with Tom Hanks and there was a long break in filming so its star could shed weight and grow his long beard. It was enough time for the director to fit in Beneath. 

5. Scary Movie

Domestic Gross: $157 million

The summer’s biggest comedy was a Scream spoof from filmmaker Keenan Ivory Wayans. Shot for less than $20 million, it spawned four sequels and became its own franchise.

4. X-Men

Domestic Gross: $157 million

I recently wrote about the 20th anniversary of X-Men here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/07/14/x-men-at-20-a-look-back/

That post talks about its significant impact on the comic book genre that has dominated the 21st century.

3. The Perfect Storm

Domestic Gross: $182 million

Wolfgang Peterson’s fact based disaster drama with George Clooney and Mark Wahlberg was not much of a hit with critics, but crowds were swept up in the waves.

2. Gladiator

Domestic Gross: $187 million

Ridley Scott’s historical action drama kicked off summer 2000 and made a global superstar out of Russell Crowe and provided a juicy supporting part for Joaquin Phoenix. The film became an Oscar darling – winning Best Picture and Crowe taking Best Actor. This is the rare summer popcorn pic that achieved awards glory.

1. Mission: Impossible 2

Domestic Gross: $215 million

This sequel cruised to the top spot of earners for the season. Now that there’s been six editions in the franchise, this John Woo directed experience is generally (and rightfully) considered the weakest of the bunch. Yet that didn’t prevent huge grosses.

And now for some other notable features:

Chicken Run

Domestic Gross: $106 million

This still stands as the highest grossing stop-motion animated feature of all time and it doubled its budget domestically. A sequel is in development, but it was recently announced that lead voice Mel Gibson will not be part of the proceedings.

Gone in 60 Seconds

Domestic Gross: $101 million

Despite poor reviews, Nicolas Cage and Angelina Jolie’s remake of the 1970s heist pic still zoomed (barely) past $100 million and was a solid performer overseas.

Me, Myself & Irene

Domestic Gross: $90 million

The Farrelly Brothers reunited with their Dumb and Dumber star Jim Carrey for this comedy that earned mixed reaction. This was nowhere near the hit that the brothers had two years earlier with their runaway success There’s Something About Mary, but it still made money.

Space Cowboys

Domestic Gross: $90 million

Clint Eastwood guided this “old guys in space” tale alongside Tommy Lee Jones to a very respectable gross and decent critical reaction.

Hollow Man

Domestic Gross: $73 million

Paul Verhoeven’s take on the H.G. Wells novel starred Kevin Bacon and earned a Visual Effects Oscar nomination (losing to Gladiator). While it didn’t make its budget back stateside, it ended up doubling its price tag when factoring in foreign markets. A direct to video sequel followed.

Shaft

Domestic Gross: $70 million

Samuel L. Jackson took over the iconic private dick role from Richard Roundtree (who costarred here) in this sequel from the late John Singleton. Christian Bale memorably plays a villain here. Another sequel followed in 2019 and it was an outright flop.

Bring It On

Domestic Gross: $68 million

Made for only $11 million, this teen cheerleading comedy was an unexpected hit that gave Kirsten Dunst and Gabrielle Union a boost in their careers. Five direct to video sequels followed as well as a stage musical.

The Cell

Domestic Gross: $61 million

Despite so-so reviews, this twisty supernatural thriller with Jennifer Lopez easily topped its $33 million budget. It has continued to have ardent admirers including the late Roger Ebert, who awarded it four stars.

Coyote Ugly

Domestic Gross: $60 million

This tale about saloon life with Piper Perabo and John Goodman managed to take in over $100 million worldwide against a $45 million budget and has become a cult favorite since.

The Original Kings of Comedy

Domestic Gross: $38 million

A stand-up comedy pic grossing this much in theaters is notable. Spike Lee directed Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, and Cedric the Entertainer and audiences turned out.

As I mentioned, the total bombs aren’t plentiful here. However, they’re notable:

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

Domestic Gross: $26 million

A pet project of Robert De Niro, this loose take on the 1960s animated series grossed a third of its budget domestically and was quickly forgotten.

Titan A.E.

Domestic Gross: $22 million

20th Century Fox had a big failure here at the start of the 21st century with this animated sci-fi tale with Matt Damon as a leading voice. The price tag was reportedly around $90 million and it made just $36 million worldwide.

Battlefield Earth

Domestic Gross: $21 million

Based on a work from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, audiences and critics savaged this sci-fi tale with John Travolta. It won a then record 7 Golden Raspberry Awards and was mocked relentlessly for its poor quality.

And that does it, folks! I’ll have 2010 recounted on the blog in the coming days…

Best Supporting Actor: A Look Back

Continuing on with my look back at the major categories from 1990 to the present at the Oscars, we arrive at Best Supporting Actor! If you missed my post regarding Supporting Actress, you can find it right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/10/20/best-supporting-actress-a-look-back/

As I did with that blog entry, I’m picking the top 3 least surprising winners (performers who essentially sailed right through awards season) and the 3 biggest upsets in each race. I am also selecting the strongest and weakest fields overall.

As a primer, here are the 28 actors whose support earned them a golden statue:

1990 – Joe Pesci, GoodFellas

1991 – Jack Palance, City Slickers

1992 – Gene Hackman, Unforgiven

1993 – Tommy Lee Jones, The Fugitive

1994 – Martin Landau, Ed Wood

1995 – Kevin Spacey, The Usual Suspects

1996 – Cuba Gooding Jr., Jerry Maguire

1997 – Robin Williams, Good Will Hunting

1998 – James Coburn, Affliction

1999 – Michael Caine, The Cider House Rules

2000 – Benicio del Toro, Traffic

2001 – Jim Broadbent, Iris

2002 – Chris Cooper, Adaptation

2003 – Tim Robbins, Mystic River

2004 – Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby

2005 – George Clooney, Syriana

2006 – Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine

2007 – Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

2008 – Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

2009 – Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds

2010 – Christian Bale, The Fighter

2011 – Christopher Plummer, Beginners

2012 – Christoph Waltz, Django Unchained

2013 – Jared Leto, Dallas Buyers Club

2014 – J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

2015 – Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

2016 – Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

2017 – Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri 

There are plenty to choose from as far least surprising winners, but here’s my top ones:

3. Gene Hackman, Unforgiven

Clint Eastwood’s Western picked up a slew of awards on Oscar night and Hackman’s inclusion in that race was never really in doubt. It was his second statue after winning Best Actor 21 years previously for The French Connection.

2. Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight

It was director Christopher Nolan giving numerous awards speeches on behalf of the late Ledger, as his work playing the iconic villain swept all precursors as well. This remains not only the only win in the omnipresent superhero genre in the 21st century, but the only nomination.

1. Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men

Like Ledger, Bardem created a bad guy for the ages in the Coen Brothers Oscar-winning picture. He picked up all the precursors as well for his role.

And now the upsets!

3. James Coburn, Affliction

There was clearly no front-runner in 1998 as a different actor was honored in each preceding awards show. Ed Harris took the Golden Globe for The Truman Show, Billy Bob Thornton (A Simple Plan) was victorious at the Critics Choice Awards, Robert Duvall’s role in A Civil Action was honored at SAG, and Geoffrey Rush (Elizabeth) was the BAFTA recipient. Surely one of them would win the Oscar, but it instead went to Mr. Coburn.

2. Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

In 2015, the general consensus was that Sylvester Stallone would punch out the competition in his signature role for Creed. That would have been quite a feat after Rocky took Best Picture in 1976 – nearly four decades prior. Yet it didn’t materialize when Rylance made the trip to the podium.

1. Alan Arkin, Little Miss Sunshine

Along the same lines, Eddie Murphy was the strong favorite for his rare dramatic work in Dreamgirls. With Jennifer Hudson as a sure thing for Supporting Actress (which did happen), the musical looked safe for a supporting sweep. The Academy surprisingly went another route by honoring Arkin.

And now to the fields overall and choosing a strongest and weakest. For the least impressive of the bunch, I’m going with 2011. Here were the nominees:

Christopher Plummer, Beginners (winner)

Kenneth Branagh, My Week with Marilyn

Jonah Hill, Moneyball

Nick Nolte, Warrior

Max Von Sydow, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

When it comes to best overall field, I chose 1993. This is the year that Tommy Lee Jones got the gold in The Fugitive. That’s a rare acting win for an action flick. It was deserved in my view and the other four nominees were very strong as well. They were:

Leonardo DiCaprio, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

Ralph Fiennes, Schindler’s List

John Malkovich, In the Line of Fire

Pete Postlethwaite, In the Name of the Father

Furthermore, I could keep going with other deserving actors that year, including Val Kilmer in Tombstone and Sean Penn for Carlito’s Way. 

The next trip down memory lane will be Best Actress and it will be up soon!

Summer 1998: The Top 10 Hits and More

Continuing with my recaps of the movie summers from 30, 20, and 10 years ago – we arrive at 1998. If you missed my post recounting the 1988 season, you can find it right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/11/summer-1988-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

1998 was a rather astonishingly sequel lite summer with only one making up the top ten moneymakers. And while 2018 will be known for its Avengers phenomenon, it was a much different story with Avengers two decades ago.

Behold my synopsis of the top 10 hits, along with other notables and flops:

10. The Mask of Zorro

Domestic Gross: $94 million

He may be playing Pablo Picasso on TV now, but Antonio Banderas had a significant hit (alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins) in this tale of the famed swashbuckler. A less successful sequel would follow in 2005.

9. Mulan

Domestic Gross: $120 million

Disney’s 36th animated feature (with a voice assist from Eddie Murphy) didn’t reach the heights of titles like Aladdin or The Lion King, but the Mouse Factory has already commissioned a live-action version slated for 2020.

8. The Truman Show

Domestic Gross: $125 million

Jim Carrey’s first major big screen foray outside of zany comedy, Peter Weir’s reality show pic garnered critical acclaim for the film itself and the star’s performance.

7. Lethal Weapon 4

Domestic Gross: $130 million

The final teaming of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover (with Chris Rock and Jet Li joining the mix) made slightly less than part 3 and was generally considered rather mediocre, especially considering the heights that the franchise started from.

6. Godzilla

Domestic Gross: $136 million

Coming off the massive success of Independence Day, Roland Emmerich’s tale of the giant green monster was expected to possibly be summer’s biggest hit. It came in well below expectations with critics and audiences. A better regarded version arrived in 2014.

5. Deep Impact

Domestic Gross: $140 million

Our first asteroid disaster flick on the list came from Mimi Leder with a cast including Tea Leoni, Elijah Wood, and Robert Duvall. Moviegoers loved their asteroids 20 years ago.

4. Dr. Dolittle

Domestic Gross: $144 million

Eddie Murphy was still in popular family guy mode with this remake of the Rex Harrison animal tale. A sequel would follow in 2001.

3. There’s Something About Mary

Domestic Gross: $176 million

The Farrelly Brothers had the comedic smash of the summer in this effort that made Ben Stiller a huge star and had a showcase role for Cameron Diaz’s talents.

2. Armageddon

Domestic Gross: $201 million

Our second asteroid pic (this one from Michael Bay) comes with Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler… and an Aerosmith ballad that played all season long.

1. Saving Private Ryan

Domestic Gross: $216 million

Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed World War II drama with Tom Hanks has one of the most intense first scenes in cinematic history. It was considered the Oscar front-runner until it lost in an upset to Shakespeare in Love. 

And now for some other notable films:

The X-Files

Domestic Gross: $83 million

Bringing David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s alien themed FOX TV show to the big screen turned out to be a profitable venture. An ignored sequel would follow 10 years later.

Blade

Domestic Gross: $70 million

The vampire-centric Wesley Snipes flick spawned two sequels and major cult status.

Out of Sight

Domestic Gross: $37 million

Its box office performance was middling, but Steven Soderbergh’s romantic crime pic showed George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez at their best. Critics dug it.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Domestic Gross: $10 million

Not a success at the time, but Terry Gilliam’s wild ride featuring Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson created a serious following in subsequent years.

And now for some flops:

Six Days, Seven Nights

Domestic Gross: $74 million

Harrison Ford was flying high off the success of Air Force One one summer earlier, but audiences and reviewers weren’t as kind to this action comedy with Anne Heche.

Snake Eyes

Domestic Gross: $55 million

Likewise, Nicolas Cage experienced a trilogy of mega hits during the two previous summers with The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off. This one from Brian De Palma didn’t impress nearly as much.

The Avengers

Domestic Gross: $23 million

Not THOSE Avengers, ladies and gents. This big screen adaptation of the 1960s TV series with Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, and Sean Connery landed with a thud in August. No sequels here.

54

Domestic Gross: $16 million

Mike Myers was coming off a little something called Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery when this pic about the famed NYC nightclub opened. Critics weren’t kind and crowds didn’t turn up.

BASEketball

Domestic Gross: $7 million

Trey Parker and Matt Stone rarely create something that isn’t massively successful – like “South Park” and The Book of Mormon. This sports comedy is the rare exception, though it has developed a following since.

And there you have it – the summer of 1998! Look for 2008 shortly…

Ocean’s 8 Box Office Prediction

A franchise is reborn with a twist when Ocean’s 8 lands in theaters next weekend. It’s been over a decade since the Ocean’s 11-13 heist sagas with George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, and a bunch of other famous faces being directed by Steven Soderbergh. Each entry made a little less at the box office as they went along, but they all opened between $35-$40 million. Soderbergh just produces here with Gary Ross taking over the directorial duties. He’s had hits such as Seabiscuit and The Hunger Games, but his most recent was the Matthew McConaughey flop Free State of Jones. 

The aforementioned twist is that it’s the ladies getting in on the thievery this time around. Sandra Bullock plays the sister of Clooney’s character from the first trilogy and she’s the mastermind of a crew that includes Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter, and Awkwafina. Anne Hathaway is the target of the score with James Corden, Dakota Fanning, and host of celebrity cameos included among the cast.

Ocean’s 8 looks to bring in a sizable female audience and their male counterparts may not mind coming along for the ride. The high-profile cast, especially Bullock, certainly doesn’t hurt and this stands a real shot at having the highest Ocean’s debut of all. That’s not guaranteed as I could see the low bar being in the low 30s. That would fall under the previous low of $36 million by Ocean’s Thirteen in 2007.

However, I’m leaning more towards a high 30s to possibly mid 40s roll out for Sandra and company. I’ll estimate it somewhere in between.

Ocean’s 8 opening weekend prediction: $42.6 million

For my Hereditary prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/05/30/hereditary-box-office-prediction/

For my Hotel Artemis prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/05/30/hotel-artemis-box-office-prediction/