Marriage Is The Gotham Story

The first significant awards show of 2019 happened this evening with the Gotham Independent Film Awards. And while it’s not as much of a reliable precursor as SAG or the Globes, there’s always something to extrapolate… eh?

I say unreliable because last year’s Best Feature Winner – The Rider – didn’t measure a blip on the radar screen of Oscar voters. On the other hand, the category’s winners from 2014-2016 (Birdman, Spotlight, Moonlight) won the big prize with the Academy.

Tonight was a very good night for Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, which premieres on Netflix this Friday. The divorce drama took the top prize in addition to Baumbach’s screenplay, the audience award, and Driver’s work for Best Actor. He appears to be a near lock for a nomination in an extremely competitive and crowded Best Actor race.

Curiously, Driver’s costar Scarlett Johansson did not get an Actress nod here for her work. And it was Awkwafina who took that award for The Farewell. This could assist in getting her Oscar attention. I’ve got her as an on the bubble contender. Her victory here over Alfre Woodard in Clemency and Elisabeth Moss for Her Smell could be a sign that she has an edge.

Unlike The Rider last year, no one will be surprised if Marriage Story gets a Best Picture nomination and it could even contend to win along with Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman, Parasite, 1917, and Jojo Rabbit. One thing is for sure – this first ceremony in early December is a solid notch in its belt.

The Rider Takes The Film Critics Cup

The National Society of Film Critics bestowed their best of 2018 awards today and it showcases another victory for Chloe Zhao’s western drama The Rider. The indie pic already won Best Picture at the Gotham Awards over some higher profile competition. With two top prize victories, is there any chance The Rider could gallop into Oscar contention?

That seems doubtful, but you never know. This particular critics branch has previously honored movies that the Academy ignored. Recent examples include 2013’s Inside Llewyn Davis from the Coen Brothers and 2014’s Goodbye to Language from legendary French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. It is worth noting that the winners in 2015 and 2016 (Spotlight, Moonlight) won the Oscar and last year’s Lady Bird was nominated.

In the Director race, it was another trophy for Alfonso Cuaron’s work in Roma. He already has achieved status as the Academy favorite. He also won for his cinematography.

Ethan Hawke received yet another critics prize here for Actor in First Reformed, as did Olivia Colman in Actress for The Favourite. The latter’s Oscar chances seem assured while Hawke is more of a mystery (I’ve got him in currently). Regina King’s SAG snub is seeming less and less important as she got another honor in Supporting Actress for If Beale Street Could Talk. And Steven Yeun added to his reviewer group awards here with his Supporting Actor role in Burning. He’s racked several up, but still appears to be a long shot for Academy inclusion. Same goes for Screenplay as the Society went with The Death of Stalin. I’ve yet to include it in my Adapted Screenplay projections. It’s possible, but it probably won’t get in.

So while it was another good day for The Rider, I’m still skeptical that will equate to Oscar attention.

 

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 29th Edition

We’ve had the Gotham Awards, the National Board of Review, and New York Film Critics Circle transpire over the past week and my Oscar predictions are updated! Let’s get to it:

Best Picture

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

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Green Book (PR: 7)

5. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

6. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 6)

7. Vice (PR: 5)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 10)

10. First Man (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

11. First Reformed (PR: Not Ranked)

12. Eighth Grade (PR: 14)

13. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 12)

14. Widows (PR: 11)

15. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

The Mule

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

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

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

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

5. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 7)

7. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 6)

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

9. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 8)

10. Rob Marshall, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 10)

Best Actor

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

2. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

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

4. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: 5)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 6)

7. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 7)

8. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 9)

9. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 8)

10. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 10)

Best Actress

1. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 3)

3. Olivia Colman, The Favourite (PR: 2)

4. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 6)

7. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 7)

8. Toni Collette, Hereditary (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 8)

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

Dropped Out:

Nicole Kidman, Destroyer

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

2. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

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

4. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

5. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 6)

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

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

9. Steve Carell, Vice (PR: 9)

10. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give

Best Supporting Actress

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

2. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 2)

3. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 3)

4. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 5)

5. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

7. Marina De Tavira, Roma (PR: Not Ranked)

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

9. Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 7)

10. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, Mary Poppins Returns

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 2)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. First Man (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 5)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 9)

8. The Hate U Give (PR: 7)

9. Boy Erased (PR: 8)

10. Leave No Trace (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. First Reformed (PR: 6)

4. Green Book (PR: 3)

5. Eighth Grade (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vice (PR: 4)

7. A Quiet Place (PR: 7)

8. Private Life (PR: 8)

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

10. The Mule (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. Cold War (PR: 2)

3. Shoplifters (PR: 3)

4. Capernaum (PR: 5)

5. Burning (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Never Look Away (PR: 8)

7. Border (PR: 10)

8. Girl (PR: 4)

9. Birds of Passage (PR: 6)

10. The Guilty (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I Am Not a Witch

Best Animated Feature

1. Incredibles 2 (PR: 1)

2. Isle of Dogs (PR: 2)

3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PR: 4)

4. Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 3)

5. Mirai (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Smallfoot (PR: 8)

7. Early Man (PR: 6)

8. Lu Over the Wall (PR: 9)

9. Ruben Brandt, Collector (PR: 7)

10. Tito and the Birds (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

Best Documentary Feature

1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PR: 1)

2. Three Identical Strangers (PR: 2)

3. Free Solo (PR: 3)

4. RBG (PR: 4)

5. Minding the Gap (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Crime + Punishment (PR: 7)

7. Hale County This Morning, This Evening (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Dark Money (PR: 8)

9. Amazing Grace (PR: 6)

10. Science Fair (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Quincy

Jane Fonda in Five Acts

Best Film Editing

1. First Man (PR: 2)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

3. Roma (PR: 3)

4. Black Panther (PR: 7)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 8)

7. Green Book (PR: 10)

8. Vice (PR: 5)

9. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

10. BlacKkKlansman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Mary Poppins Returns

Best Cinematography

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 5)

3. The Favourite (PR: 2)

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

5. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 6)

7. Cold War (PR: 7)

8. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 8)

9. Widows (PR: 9)

10. Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

BlacKkKlansman

Best Production Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. First Man (PR: 5)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

5. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Roma (PR: 6)

7. A Star Is Born (PR: 8)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 7)

9. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 9)

10. Colette (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Best Costume Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

5. Colette (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 7)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 6)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 8)

10. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

If Beale Street Could Talk

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

1. Black Panther (PR: 1)

2. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 2)

3. Vice (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 7)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

6. Stan & Ollie (PR: 5)

7. Colette (PR: 6)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: 8)

9. A Wrinkle in Time (PR: 10)

10. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Suspiria

Best Sound Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 3)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

4. A Quiet Place (PR: 4)

5. Roma (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

7. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

8. Annihilation (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 10)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Bohemian Rhapsody

Best Sound Mixing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. Black Panther (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

5. A Quiet Place (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 7)

7. Roma (PR: 6)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

9. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 10)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 9)

Best Visual Effects

1. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. Ready Player One (PR: 4)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

5. Black Panther (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Annihilation (PR: 6)

7. A Wrinkle in Time (PR: 8)

8. Solo: A Star Wars Story (PR: 7)

9. A Quiet Place (PR: 10)

10. AntMan and the Wasp (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

1. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

4. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 4)

5. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 7)

7. Colette (PR: 6)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 8)

10. Roma (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Green Book

Best Original Song

1. “The Shallow” from A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 2)

3. “I’ll Fight” from RBG (PR: 3)

4. “All the Stars” from Black Panther (PR: 4)

5. “Time for Change” from On the Basis of Sex (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. “We Won’t Move” from The Hate U Give (PR: 6)

7. “Girl in the Movies” from Dumplin’ (PR: Not Ranked)

8. “I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born (PR: 5)

9. “Revelation” from Boy Erased (PR: 7)

10. “Gravity” from Free Solo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is Born

”A Place Called Slaughter Race” from Ralph Breaks the Internet

That equates to the following number of nominations for each picture:

11 Nominations

A Star Is Born

10 Nominations

The Favourite, First Man

9 Nominations

Black Panther

8 Nominations

Mary Poppins Returns

6 Nominations

If Beale Street Could Talk, Roma

5 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman

4 Nominations

Green Book, Mary Queen of Scots, Vice

3 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

2 Nominations

First Reformed, A Quiet Place, RBG

1 Nomination

Bohemian Rhapsody, The Wife, Beautiful Boy, Eighth Grade, Cold War, Shoplifters, Capernaum, Burning, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Mirai, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Three Identical Strangers, Free Solo, Minding the Gap, Colette, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, On the Basis of Sex

NBR Goes Green

The National Board of Review bestowed its annual honors today for the pictures of 2018 and they went green. That means it was a very good day for Peter Farrelly’s race relations drama Green Book and it might have come at just the right moment. It won Best Film at a time when its box office performance has been lackluster and lead Viggo Mortensen got into hot water for remarks at a recent event. The last three winners of the NBR top prize (Mad Max: Fury Road, Manchester by the Sea, The Post) all received Picture nominations at the Oscars (it’s worth pointing out that none of them won).

I don’t expect Green Book to emerge victorious at the Academy Awards, but this does help its case for a nomination. The NBR is also unique in that it names 10 other movies as their favorites beyond the big recipient. The list this year is as follows:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Black Panther

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Eighth Grade

First Reformed

If Beale Street Could Talk

Mary Poppins Returns

A Quiet Place

Roma

A Star Is Born

Over the past decade or so, usually 5-7 of those 11 honorees go on to Oscar recognition. In addition to Green Book, I’m currently assuming Black Panther, If Beale Street Could Talk, Roma, and A Star Is Born are in. That’s five. I’m also growing more confident that Mary Poppins Returns could manage to reach the final nine or ten nominees. The rest remain question marks. Eighth Grade and First Reformed seem to be gaining steam, but I’m uncertain they’ll get all the way to the top. The three that I believe are least likely are Can You Ever Forgive Me?, A Quiet Place, and Buster Scruggs. 

Bradley Cooper took Directing honors for A Star Is Born and he’s already a safe bet for Academy inclusion. His costars Lady Gaga and Sam Elliot took the Actress and Supporting Actor races. All in all, it was a fine day for A Star Is Born. Elliot’s win is a boost for him and it’s a little surprising they didn’t name Green Book costar Mahershala Ali, considering the film’s other successes today.

Speaking of Green Book, the aforementioned Mr. Mortensen took Best Actor. He’s looking good for an Oscar nod, but I still put him behind Cooper and Christian Bale (Vice) when it comes to winning possibilities.

Regina King’s work in If Beale Street Could Talk earned her Supporting Actress and she’s a lock for Oscar inclusion.

Paul Schrader’s original screenplay for First Reformed was honored for the second day in a row after its Gotham Award. For the past couple of weeks, I’ve had Reformed just on the outside of my nominated predictions in that category. I foresee that changing on Thursday when I update them… though I’m uncertain which entry falls out between The Favourite, Roma, Vice, and Eighth Grade. Barry Jenkins took Adapted Screenplay for Beale Street and he’s got a real shot at the gold statue.

The notable snubs on the list are primarily BlacKkKlansman, The Favourite, First Man and Vice. However, it’s worth noting again that plenty of movies have missed the NBR cut and managed Oscar glory.

As for some down the line honorees – Incredibles 2 won Best Animated Film, RBG took Best Documentary, and Cold War got Best Foreign Language Film. All seem bound for the final five a couple of months from now.

And there’s your NBR report, folks! The New York Film Critics are on deck next and I’ll have a recap of that one Thursday!

Gotham Takes a Ride

The Gotham Awards were held this evening in the Big Apple and the annual ceremony honoring the year’s best in independent filmmaking provided a couple of legitimate surprises. Chloe Zhao’s Western The Rider was a surprise winner for Best Feature, beating out the favored The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk. The Rider premiered all the way back in April after originally screening at Cannes in May 2017. The acclaimed film from director Chloe Zhao has not been on my Oscar radar screen whatsoever.

Should it be? If you look at Gotham’s winners for the last few years, you may deduce that the answer is yes. From 2014-2016, the honored feature (Birdman, Spotlight, Moonlight) went on to win Best Picture in the biggest race of all. Call Me by Your Name from last year got a nomination. On the flip side, the recipients from 2012 and 2013 (Moonrise Kingdom and Inside Llewyn Davis) failed to garner Academy recognition. The Rider will more than likely fall in that camp, unlike fellow nominees The Favourite and Beale Street. The other two features nominated were Madeline’s Madeline (an Oscar non-factor) and First Reformed (more on that in a minute).

The Actress race also provided an unexpected winner in the way of Toni Collette for Hereditary. She won out over Glenn Close, who seems bound for an Oscar nod in The Wife. Best Actress is crowded this year, but the fourth and fifth slots seem open to several leading ladies. If Collette can manage some critics awards (which are coming very soon), expect her name to earn more chatter. For the time being, I still believe a nomination is a reach. That could change.

For Actor, Ethan Hawke was a victor for First Reformed. Unlike Actress, this year’s crop of potential Actors at the Oscars is a little weaker. Hawke seems to be gaining momentum at the right time. Last week, I included him in my predicted five for the first time. I feel better and better about it.

Speaking of First Reformed, Paul Schrader (who also directed it) picked up the Screenplay award. Somehow he has never been Oscar nominated… not even for his Taxi Driver screenplay over four decades ago. In order to get his first, his original script would need to knock out one of the following contenders in that race: The Favourite, Roma, Green Book, Eighth Grade, or Vice. That could be a tall order, but it’s certainly possible.

Check back tomorrow as the National Board of Review (a significant precursor) unveils their winners. I’ll have reaction to that with updated Oscar predictions on Thursday!

Gotham Awards Reaction 2018

It’s only mid-October, but the first significant precursor of awards season rolled out nominations today in the form of the Gotham Awards. If you’re not familiar, the Gothams honor independent film in a limited number of categories.

While not as prolific as the Golden Globes or SAG nominations, there has been a correlation with movies and performers nominated here getting Oscar attention. Let’s take a look at the past five Gotham awards nominees and how they matched up with the Academy:

In 2013, 12 Years a Slave was nominated for Best Feature and went on to win the Oscar. In the Best Actor race, eventual Academy winner Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club) was victorious here and Chiwetel Ejiofor (Slave) also was nominated for both. Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine) was nominated here and went on to win the gold statue. It’s worth noting that the Gothams do not have supporting acting categories (we’ll get to that in a minute).

In 2014, three movies that got Best Picture nods were honored here: Birdman (Oscar winner), Boyhood, and The Grand Budapest Hotel. In the acting races, Michael Keaton (Birdman) and Oscar/Gotham winner Julianne Moore (Still Alice) were included.

For 2015, no Best Actor nominees for the Gothams correlated to Oscars. However, there were actress match-ups with Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room) and Cate Blanchett (Carol). Also – the Gotham and Oscar Best Picture winners were the same – Spotlight.

That happened once again in 2016 as Moonlight won the Oscar and the Gotham. Manchester by the Sea was also nominated for both. Casey Affleck’s work in that film won Best Actor at both ceremonies. For Actress, Natalie Portman as Jackie got double nods.

Last year, two Gotham Film nominees got Best Picture recognition: Call Me by Your Name and Get Out. In Actor, it was Daniel Kaluuya for Get Out as a double recipient. In Actress, same goes for Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Margot Robbie (I, Tonya). And coming back to the fact that there’s no supporting races, Willem Dafoe received an Actor nomination at the Gothams for The Florida Project while being recognized for Supporting Actor at the Oscars.

So, as you can see, there’s usually some overlap for the two ceremonies. And that brings us to today’s nominees and how I think that overlap will occur this year:

In the Gotham Best Feature race, the nominees are:

The Favourite

First Reformed

If Beale Street Could Talk

Madeline’s Madeline

The River

The average number of Gotham/Oscar film nominees lately has been two and that likely holds true here with The Favourite and If Beale Street Could Talk. The other three are highly unlikely to get Academy recognition.

In the Best Actor race, the nominees are:

Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Ben Foster, Leave No Trace

Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Ethan Hawke, First Reformed

LaKeith Stanfield, Sorry to Bother You

Grant is probably this year’s Willem Dafoe and will be recognized by the Academy in Supporting Actor. Adam Driver falls in the same category, but is more of a long shot. Stanfield is out of the running for Actor at the Oscars, while Foster and Hawke remain possibilities. That said – like 2015 – this could well be a year where there’s no matches.

That is not the case with Actress and the nominees are:

Glenn Close, The Wife

Toni Collette, Hereditary

Kathryn Hahn, Private Life

Regina Hall, Support the Girls

Michelle Pfeiffer, Where is Kyra?

Collette is a possible nominee, but it’s Close that seems a near lock for Oscar attention and a possible win. The others? Not so much.

Finally, a Special Jury prize was initiated that honors the three actresses from The Favourite. That would be Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz and all three could find themselves in the mix at Oscar time. The Gothams did the same jury designation for 2014’s Foxcatcher and 2015’s Spotlight. 

So there you have it! My take on how the Gotham Awards will relate to the biggest awards show of all…