Oscar Watch – Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese

The eyes of many Oscar prognosticators will be on The Irishman later this year. The Netflix release comes from Martin Scorsese and the Mafia saga reunites many of his favorite players like Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel. Yet the filmmaker could find himself in contention in another race with another saga featuring a legendary performer.

Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story By Martin Scorsese debuts on the same streaming service tomorrow. The concert documentary follows Dylan’s unique 1975 tour and has caught the attention of critics. It stands at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is far from the first time Scorsese has turned his attention to the rock and roll world in this genre. It began over four decades ago with The Last Waltz, his feature about The Band. He’s since made pics centered on The Rolling Stones, George Harrison, and Dylan previously (2005’s No Direction Home).

Concert docs are a rare inclusion for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars, but perhaps the Academy could decide it’s time to honor Scorsese’s contributions to the genre. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Isle of Dogs

It’s been four years since Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel garnered a host of Oscar nominations. His follow-up is the stop-motion animated comedic adventure Isle of Dogs, which hits theaters stateside in March and has made its debut at the Berlin Film Festival. The pic (say its name out loud and pick up on its apparent affection for canines) features a whole bunch of familiar faces providing voice work including Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Greta Gerwig, Scarlett Johansson, Jeff Goldblum, Frances McDormand, Ken Watanabe, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban, Courtney B. Vance, Harvey Keitel, Liev Schrieber, and F. Murray Abraham.

Reaction overseas to Anderson’s latest is that he’s delivered another winner. That likely means Dogs will follow in the steps of the director’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was nominated for Best Animated Feature by the Academy. It ultimately lost to Pixar’s Up and that powerhouse studio has The Incredibles 2 on deck this year. Additionally, it could be a factor for Mr. Anderson in Original Screenplay.

Yes, it’s early but it could already be a safe assumption that the Dogs will be on display come nomination time next year.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

A Supporting Actor Oscar History

In the eight decades of Oscar history, we have seen the Supporting Actor category honor actors from the same picture about one-fifth of the time. It’s a fairly rare occurrence, but it’s been especially so as of late. It’s been 26 years since the Academy last did so and that serves as the longest gap by a lot. 2017 could change that.

Before we get to that, a little history lesson…

The first multiple Supporting Actor nominees happened in 1939 when Harry Carey and Claude Rains were nominated for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. 

It was 14 years before it happened again with 1953’s Shane bestowing nods for Jack Palance and Brandon deWilde. The following year gave us our first three actor nominations when Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, and Rod Steiger all had their names up for On the Waterfront. The 1950s would do this twice more – in 1957’s Peyton Place for Arthur Kennedy and Russ Tamblyn and 1959’s Anatomy of a Murder for Arthur O’Connell and George C. Scott.

1961 would bring Scott another nod for The Hustler, along with Jackie Gleason. 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde nominated both Gene Hackman and Michael J. Pollard.

1971 was the first year when one of the multiple picture nominees actually won. Ben Johnson emerged victorious for The Last Picture Show, while costar Jeff Bridges was nominated.

The Godfather saga would bestow six nominations among its two classic films. The 1972 original nominated James Caan, Robert Duvall, and Al Pacino. The 1974 sequel had Robert De Niro winning the statue, along with the nominated Michael V. Gazzo and Lee Strasberg. 1976’s Rocky nominated both Mick (Burgess Meredith) and Paulie (Burt Young) while Jason Robards won for 1977’s Julia with Maximillian Schell getting a nod.

Timothy Hutton would win for Ordinary People in 1980 with costar Judd Hirsch nominated. Jack Nicholson won for 1983’s Terms of Endearment with John Lithgow getting recognition. 1986’s Platoon was granted two nominees – Willem Dafoe and Tom Berenger.

And in 1991 – Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley were nominated for Bugsy. 

That is the 16th and final time this has happened.

As mentioned, this year could potentially change that and there’s a surprising four ways for it to happen.

The least likely of the four scenarios in my opinion would be Jason Mitchell or Garrett Hedlund for Mudbound. Perhaps Mitchell could sneak in, but even that’s a long shot and the chances of both getting in seems non-existent.

The other three scenarios are all plausible. There’s Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins for The Shape of Water. We have Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me by Your Name. It wouldn’t shock me for either to occur, but maybe the best chance is Sam Rockwell (a lock for a nod) and Woody Harrelson (less so) for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. 

It’s been a quarter century since two actors from the same film heard the names called in Supporting Actor. Will 2017 change that?

Stay tuned…

Summer 1997: The Top 10 Hits and More

Put on your nostalgia goggles (or maybe the sunglasses that make you forget stuff if Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones flash a light at you) because I’m recounting the summer of 1997 on the blog today!

This has become a seasonal tradition around here and I gave you the top 10 summer hits of 1987 and more earlier this week. If you missed that post, you can find it here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/08/01/summer-1987-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

This time around, we’re going back 20 years when Nicolas Cage accounted for 25% of the top 8 moneymakers and Batman crashed and burned.

We’ll begin with the top ten and then get to some other notable pics and flops:

10. Hercules

Domestic Gross: $99 million

Disney’s ‘toon couldn’t reach the century mark and that was considered a disappointment after early and mid 90s smashes like Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King. 

9. Contact

Domestic Gross: $100 million

Robert Zemeckis’s follow-up to Forrest Gump (which ruled summer 1994) was a well-regarded science fiction drama with Jodie Foster and an emerging Matthew McConaughey.

8. Con Air

Domestic Gross: $101 million

This action thriller from the Bruckheimer factory is our first to feature Mr. Nicolas Cage (who was coming off a recent Oscar win), along with an all-star cast including John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, and Ving Rhames.

7. George of the Jungle

Domestic Gross: $105 million

Disney probably didn’t anticipate this remake of the  cartoon starring Brendan Fraser would manage to out perform Hercules, but that it did.

6. Batman and Robin

Domestic Gross: $107 million

This may have placed sixth for the summer, but Batman and Robin came in well below its three predecessors and director Joel Schumacher and new Caped Crusader George Clooney have been apologizing about it for the last 20 years. We’re still trying to block out those Arnold/Mr. Freeze bad puns.

5. Face/Off

Domestic Gross: $112 million

Mr. Cage teamed up for Mr. John Travolta for John Woo’s entertainingly over-the-top sci-fi and action mash-up.

4. My Best Friend’s Wedding

Domestic Gross: $127 million

Julia Roberts made a return to box office dominance in this rom com which featured stolen scenes from costar Rupert Everett.

3. Air Force One

Domestic Gross: $172 million

“Get off my plane!” became one of the season’s catchphrases with Harrison Ford as the butt kicking POTUS battling Russian terrorist Gary Oldman in the skies.

2. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Domestic Gross: $229 million

Steven Spielberg’s eagerly anticipated follow-up to 1993’s Jurassic Park kicked off with the biggest opening weekend of all time (at that time). However, in the end, it couldn’t manage to top the gross of its predecessor. If you’d polled probably any box office analyst at the beginning of the year, they likely would have said it’d be #1 for the summer. Yet that honor ended up belonging to…

1. Men in Black

Domestic Gross: $250 million

A franchise was born and Will Smith made it two summers in a row with the top grossing picture (the previous year being Independence Day) with Barry Sonnenfeld’s megahit sci-fi action comedy.

And now for some other notable pics:

The Fifth Element

Domestic Gross: $63 million

Audiences and critics didn’t quite know what to make of Luc Besson’s visual feast featuring Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman, and Chris Tucker. Sound familiar? Same thing is happening 20 years later with Besson’s Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. 

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

Domestic Gross: $53 million

The Mike Myers 007 spoof performed well, but it wasn’t until home video that Powers turned into a genuine phenomenon spawning countless catchphrases. Its sequel two summers later would earn more in its opening weekend that part 1 did in its domestic total.

The Full Monty

Domestic Gross: $45 million

This British import about unconventional male strippers was the summer’s true sleeper and went on to earn a host of Oscar nominations, including Best Picture. Monty would earn over $250 million worldwide compared to its tiny $3.5 million budget.

Cop Land

Domestic Gross: $44 million

After appearing in a string of high-octane action flicks, Sylvester Stallone changed it up with this crime drama featuring an impressive supporting cast that included Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Harvey Keitel.

And now for some of the season’s large belly flops:

Speed 2: Cruise Control

Domestic Gross: $48 million

Keanu Reeves didn’t want to touch it, but Sandra Bullock came back for this ridiculed sequel where Jason Patric was the new lead. Considered by many to be one of the worst follow-ups of all time.

Out to Sea

Domestic Gross: $29 million

Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau created comedic gold with The Fortune Cookie and The Odd Couple and reunited years later to box office fortune with the Grumpy Old Men movies. This one? Not so much.

Father’s Day

Domestic Gross: $28 million

Ivan Reitman directing Robin Williams and Billy Crystal in a high-profile comedy? Sounds like a good recipe, but the product was mediocre at best and audiences didn’t turn out.

Excess Baggage

Domestic Gross: $14 million

Two summers earlier, Alicia Silverstone had broken out with Clueless. The summer of 1997 was a breakdown. In addition to appearing as Batgirl in the already discussed Batman and Robin, this action comedy with Benicio del Toro bombed big time.

Steel

Domestic Gross: $1.7 million

People may have wanted to watch Shaquille O’Neal on the basketball court, but they had zero interest in watching him as the title superhero in this disaster.

And that does it for now, folks, but I’ll be back soon recounting 2007!

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: December 4 Edition

We are a bit over a month away from Oscar nominations coming out (January 14th) and it’s time to ramp up my predictions for what and whom will be nominated in the eight top races. I’m adding the two Screenplay categories (Original and Adapted) for the first time and the plan is to make weekly Oscar predictions each weekend until nominations come out. With each race, I’ll inform you what’s changed since the previous predictions post.

And with that, let’s get to predicting, shall we?

Best Picture

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Inside Out

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

Other Possibilities:

Beasts of No Nation

The Big Short

Creed

The Danish Girl

Joy

Mad Max: Fury Road

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Steve Jobs

Straight Outta Compton

Changes Since Last Predictions: Bridge of Spies, Inside Out (IN), Joy, Steve Jobs (OUT)

Best Director

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Ridley Scott, The Martian

Other Possibilities:

Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs

Ryan Coogler, Creed

John Crowley, Brooklyn

Cary Fukanaga, Beasts of No Nation

Todd Haynes, Carol

Tom Hooper, The Danish Girl

David O. Russell, Joy

Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies

Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

Changes Since Last Predictions: George Miller (IN), David O. Russell (OUT)

Best Actor

Matt Damon, The Martian

Johnny Depp, Black Mass

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Other Possibilities:

Michael Caine, Youth

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Tom Hanks, Bridge of Spies

Michael B. Jordan, Creed

Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes

Will Smith, Concussion

Changes Since Last Predictions: NONE

Best Actress

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Other Possibilities:

Emily Blunt, Sicario

Blythe Danner, I’ll See You in My Dreams

Carey Mulligan, Suffragette

Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van

Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road

Lily Tomlin, Grandma

Changes Since Last Predictions: Charlotte Rampling (IN), Blythe Danner (OUT)

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Michael Keaton, Spotlight

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Other Possibilities:

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Paul Dano, Love and Mercy

Benicio del Toro, Sicario

Joel Edgerton, Black Mass

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Harvey Keitel, Youth

Jacob Tremblay, Room

Changes Since Last Predictions: Tom Hardy (IN), Idris Elba (OUT)

Best Supporting Actress

Jane Fonda, Youth

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Other Possibilities:

Joan Allen, Room

Elizabeth Banks, Love and Mercy

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Kristin Stewart, Clouds of Sils Maria

Julie Walters, Brooklyn

Changes Since Last Predictions: Jane Fonda (IN), Joan Allen (OUT)

Best Original Screenplay (first prediction in category)

Bridge of Spies

The Hateful Eight

Inside Out

Love and Mercy

Spotlight

Other Possibilities:

Joy

Sicario

Straight Outta Compton

Youth

Best Adapted Screenplay (first prediction in category)

Anomalisa

Brooklyn

Carol

Room

Steve Jobs

Other Possibilities:

The Big Short

Creed

The Martian

The Revenant

And there you have it – folks! The next update will come next weekend…

 

Todd’s Oscar Predictions: November Edition

We have arrived at my third round of Oscar predictions for the month of November. Some has changed, some has stayed the same. We’ll go through each of the six major categories one by one…

Let’s go!

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

This is the one category where I’ve made no changes, though any of the others listed as possibilities could find their way in. Most have Jane Fonda in the mix already, but I’m not quite there yet.

TODD’S PREDICTIONS  in SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Joan Allen, Room

Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

Rooney Mara, Carol

Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

Other Possibilities:

Elizabeth Banks, Love and Mercy

Jane Fonda, Youth

Diane Ladd, Joy

Rachel McAdams, Spotlight

Isabella Rossellini, Joy

Julie Walters, Brooklyn

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

And here we have the most changes of any category! Coming out of nowhere last week was Sylvester Stallone’s acclaimed performance in Creed and as of now, here appears to be a strong contender for a nod and maybe even the win. I’m also including Mark Ruffalo and re-including Idris Elba. Falling out are Benicio del Toro, Robert De Niro, and Tom Hardy, though they all remain possibles. This category has a whole lot of potential nominees, but only five slots available.

TODD’S PREDICTIONS for SUPPORTING ACTOR

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Michael Keaton, Spotlight

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Sylvester Stallone, Creed

Other Possibilities:

Christian Bale, The Big Short

Bradley Cooper, Joy

Paul Dano, Love and Mercy

Benicio del Toro, Sicario

Robert De Niro, Joy

Joel Edgerton, Black Mass

Harrison Ford, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight

Harvey Keitel, Youth

Jason Mitchell, Straight Outta Compton

Kurt Russell, The Hateful Eight

Jacob Tremblay, Room

BEST ACTRESS

Four slots seem to be rather safe and have been for awhile: Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson, Jennifer Lawrence, and Saoirse Ronan. The fifth slot could legitimately be any of the others listed, but for now I’ve removed Carey Mulligan and replaced her with Blythe Danner.

TODD’S PREDICTIONS for ACTRESS

Cate Blanchett, Carol

Blythe Danner, I’ll See You in My Dreams

Brie Larson, Room

Jennifer Lawrence, Joy

Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

Other Possibilities:

Emily Blunt, Sicario

Carey Mulligan, Suffragette

Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years

Maggie Smith, The Lady in the Van

Charlize Theron, Mad Max: Fury Road

Lily Tomlin, Grandma

BEST ACTOR

Only one change here as I currently feel the massive box office success of The Martian will get Matt Damon in. That takes Michael Caine out. Watch out for Will Smith, though, even though I don’t yet have him in the final  cut.

TODD’S PREDICTIONS for ACTOR

Matt Damon, The Martian

Johnny Depp, Black Mass

Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

Other Possibilities:

Michael Caine, Youth

Bryan Cranston, Trumbo

Tom Hanks, Bridge of Spies

Michael B. Jordan, Creed

Will Smith, Concussion

BEST DIRECTOR

Two changes here as I believe Danny Boyle may miss out and George Miller won’t be the wild card pick I predicted in October. This puts David O. Russell and Ridley Scott in.

TODD’S PREDICTIONS for DIRECTOR

Lenny Abrahamson, Room

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant

Tom McCarthy, Spotlight

David O. Russell, Joy

Ridley Scott, The Martian

Other Possibilities:

Danny Boyle, Steve Jobs

Ryan Coogler, Creed

John Crowley, Brooklyn

Cary Fukanaga, Beasts of No Nation

Todd Haynes, Carol

Tom Hooper, The Danish Girl

George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

Steven Spielberg, Bridge of Spies

Quentin Tarantino, The Hateful Eight

BEST PICTURE

I am still predicting nine nominees out of the possible five-ten and I’ve made two changes. I’m putting Carol back in the mix and The Martian in for the first time. That leaves out Bridge of Spies and The Danish Girl, though both remain major contenders. It’s worth noting that Steve Jobs, due to its disastrous box office performance, is not even close to a shoo in  and it could fall off.

TODD’s PREDICTIONS for PICTURE

Brooklyn

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Joy

The Martian

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight

Steve Jobs

Other Possibilities:

Beasts of No Nation

The Big Short

Bridge of Spies

Creed

The Danish Girl

Inside Out

In the Heart of the Sea

Mad Max: Fury Road

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Straight Outta Comption

And that does it for my November Oscar predictions, folks! I’ll have the December predictions up shortly before Christmas…

Todd’s October Oscar Predictions: Best Supporting Actor

This evening on the blog, we continue forward with my second round of predictions (October edition) for Oscar nominees in the six major categories. Yesterday it was Supporting Actress and now we’re onto Supporting Actor. Since my initial round of predictions over a month and a half ago, much has changed.

In fact, only two of my predicted five nominees from that original prognostication post made the cut this time around: Tom Hardy in The Revenant and Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies. 

Gone are Bradley Cooper in David O. Russell’s Joy and I’ve substituted him for his supporting costar Robert De Niro. It’s worth noting that Russell’s last three films resulted in Supporting nods for Christian Bale in The Fighter (who won), De Niro in Silver Linings Playbook, and Cooper in American Hustle. In other words, Russell’s actors get nominated.

Also out are Harvey Keitel in Youth and Kurt Russell for The Hateful Eight, though both remain possibilities. Word around Hollywood is that Samuel L. Jackson is the standout male performance in Hateful Eight, though it’s unclear at this juncture whether he’ll be campaigned for in lead or supporting.

Joining the fray are Michael Keaton for Spotlight (whose nomination seems the most assured at this juncture) and Benicio del Toro for his acclaimed role in Sicario.

Other possibilities are plentiful, including Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight. If that were to occur and Keaton got recognized as well, it’d be the first time in 24 years that two actors from the same picture were nominated in this category. That was Bugsy when both Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley got nods.

This is a very fluid category, as evidenced by the major changes I’ve made since early September and we’ll see if it continues along its unpredictable path when my third round of predictions comes in November.

TODD’S BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR PREDICTIONS (ROUND TWO)

Benicio del Toro, Sicario

Robert De Niro, Joy

Tom Hardy, The Revenant

Michael Keaton, Spotlight

Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies

Other Possibilities:

Bradley Cooper, Joy

Paul Dano, Love and Mercy

Joel Edgerton, Black Mass

Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation

Samuel L. Jackson, The Hateful Eight

Harvey Keitel, Youth

Seth Rogen, Steve Jobs

Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight

Kurt Russell, The Hateful Eight

Jacob Tremblay, Room

I’ll be back with Best Actress tomorrow!