Best Year’s Ever

As one year turns to the next in short order, it got me thinking. What are some examples of actors and directors who had remarkable calendar frames over the past few decades? The guidelines are pretty simple – the individual must have had two (and in a couple of cases, three or more) pictures that made an impact during 19(fill in the blank) or 20(fill in the blank).

And wouldn’t you know it? My ruminations quickly turned into a lengthy list that I’ve paired down to a top 25. Let’s call this Best Year’s Ever and count down from #25 to #1!

25. Channing Tatum (2012)

It was a busy year for the performer to say the least. Tatum was in Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire, but three major roles made him the star he is today. There was the hit romance The Vow, hit comedy 21 Jump Street, and his signature and semi-autobiographical title role in the summer sleeper Magic Mike (also from Mr. Soderbergh).

24. John Travolta (1996)

Two years following his major comeback in Pulp Fiction and a year following his Golden Globe nominated lead in Get Shorty, Travolta’s hot streak continued with three hits: John Woo’s action thriller Broken Arrow and fantasy dramas Phenomenon and Michael.

23. Clint Eastwood (1971)

The last two months of 1971 were fruitful for the legend. In November, he made his directorial debut with the well-reviewed psychological thriller Play Misty for Me. This began a career of dozens of behind the camera works, including Best Picture winners Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby. In December, Eastwood starred as Dirty Harry which spawned his lucky cop franchise.

22. Sigourney Weaver (1988)

Weaver won two Golden Globes 30 years ago – Best Actress (Drama) for Gorillas in the Mist and Supporting Actress for Working Girl. She would be nominated for two Oscars as well, but come up short. All part of a remarkable decade that included Ghostbusters and Aliens.

21. Joe Pesci (1990)

Pesci won an Oscar for his unforgettable supporting work in Martin Scorsese’s GoodFellas. That same fall, he was a burglar terrorizing Macaulay Culkin in the holiday classic Home Alone.

20. Kevin Spacey (1995)

Current scandals aside, there’s no denying Spacey was the movie villain of 1995. He won an Academy Award as (spoiler alert!) Keyser Soze in The Usual Suspects and as a demented serial killer in Seven. Earlier in the year, he costarred with Dustin Hoffman and Morgan Freeman in  Outbreak and headlined the critically approved indie comedy Swimming with Sharks.

19. Nicolas Cage (1997)

Leaving Las Vegas awarded Cage his Oscar two years prior. By the summer of 1997, he was a full-fledged action hero with two blockbusters in the same month: Con Air and Face/Off.

18. Will Ferrell (2003)

Ferrell’s transformation from SNL favorite to movie star happened here with the spring’s Old School as Frank the Tank and in the winter as Buddy in Elf.

17. Morgan Freeman (1989)

The nation’s Narrator-in-Chief had a trio of significant roles nearly three decades ago – his Oscar nominated chauffeur in the Best Picture winner Driving Miss Daisy, a dedicated and stern principal in Lean on Me, and a Civil War officer in Glory.

16. Steven Soderbergh (2000)

The prolific filmmaker made two Best Picture nominees with Erin Brockovich and Traffic (he would win Best Director for the latter). Both surpassed the century mark at the box office and Julia Roberts won Best Actress for Brockovich and Benicio del Toro took Supporting Actor in Traffic.

15. Halle Berry (2001)

Ms. Berry had a revealing role in the summer action fest Swordfish. She then became the first (and thus far only) African-American to win Best Actress for Monster’s Ball. This was all sandwiched between XMen hits.

14. Hugh Jackman (2017)

Berry’s XMen cast mate Jackman retired his Wolverine character to critical and audience admiration with Logan in the spring. At the end of the year, his musical The Greatest Showman was an unexpected smash.

13. Leonardo DiCaprio (2002)

Five years after Titanic, the jury was still out as to whether DiCaprio’s leading man status would hold up. His roles in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can left little doubt. He’s been one of Hollywood’s most dependable stars since.

12. Francis Ford Coppola (1974)

In 1972, Coppola made perhaps the greatest American film of all time with The Godfather. Two years later, its sequel came with enormous expectations and exceeded them. Like part one, it won Best Picture. As if that weren’t enough, he made another Picture nominee in ‘74 with the Gene Hackman surveillance thriller The Conversation.

11. Michael Douglas (1987)

His signature role as greedy tycoon Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street won him an Oscar and gave him one of the most famous cinematic speeches ever. He also lit up the screen in the blockbuster thriller Fatal Attraction, which was the year’s second largest grosser.

10. Julia Roberts (1999)

She started the decade with a smash star making turn in Pretty Woman. Julia Roberts ended it with two romantic comedy summer $100 million plus earners: Notting Hill with Hugh Grant and Runaway Bride (which reunited her with Pretty costar Richard Gere). She’d win her Oscar the next year for Erin Brockovich.

9. Tom Cruise (1996)

1986 wasn’t too shabby either with Top Gun and The Color of Money. Yet it’s a decade later that serves as Cruise’s year with the franchise starter Mission: Impossible in the summer and Cameron Crowe’s Jerry Maguire, which earned Cruise a Golden Globe award and an Oscar nod. They were the third and fourth biggest hits of the year, respectively.

8. Sandra Bullock (2013)

Nearly two decades after her breakout role in Speed, Bullock had a banner 2013 alongside Melissa McCarthy in the summer comedy The Heat and her Oscar nominated turn as a stranded astronaut in the fall’s Gravity.

7. Sylvester Stallone (1985)

Sly was the undisputed champion of the box office (not to mention sequels and Roman numerals) in 1985, notching the second and third top hits of the year behind Back to the Future. They were for his two signature characters with Rambo: First Blood Part II and Rocky IV.

6. Robert Downey Jr. (2008)

A decade after all the wrong kind of headlines for his drug addiction, Downey Jr. pulled off perhaps the most impressive comeback in movie history. 2008 saw him as Tony Stark in Iron Man, the film that kicked off the MCU in grand fashion. Later that summer came Ben Stiller’s Tropic Thunder, which earned Downey a rare Oscar nod for a comedic performance.

5. Tom Hanks (1993)

There’s more than one year to consider for Hanks… 1995 (Apollo 13, Toy Story) comes to mind. Yet 1993 saw him with Meg Ryan in the now classic Sleepless in Seattle and winning an Oscar in Philadelphia as a lawyer diagnosed with AIDS. His status as a romantic and dramatic lead was solidified in a matter of months. A consecutive Academy Award followed in 1994 for Forrest Gump.

4. Mel Brooks (1974)

The director managed to make two of the most beloved comedies of all time in one year… Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. The two features combined contain some of the funniest scenes ever filmed.

3. Jennifer Lawrence (2012)

Already an Oscar nominee two years prior for Winter’s Bone, Lawrence’s road to superstardom was paved in 2012. In March came The Hunger Games, the year’s third top earner that spawned three sequels. In December came Silver Linings Playbook, where she won Best Actress.

2. Jim Carrey (1994)

In 1993, Carrey was known as a great cast member of Fox’s groundbreaking sketch show “In Living Color”. By the end of 1994, he was the most bankable comedic star in America as Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask, and Dumb and Dumber all hit screens.

1. Steven Spielberg (1993)

In a list filled with lots of choices, the #1 selection was rather easy. The highest grossing filmmaker of all time’s 1993 was astonishing. Dino tale Jurassic Park in the summer was a marvel technical achievement that began a franchise. At the time of its release, it became the largest grosser in history with the top opening weekend yet seen. Six months later, Holocaust epic Schindler’s List won seven Academy Awards (including Picture and for Spielberg’s direction).

I hope your New Year is your best yet, readers! Have a happy one…

Paddington 2 Box Office Prediction

Apologies in advance for the pun, but Warner Bros is hoping for a “beary” pleasing result when Paddington 2 debuts next weekend. It arrives three years after the original posted stellar results stateside during the MLK four-day frame. The family pic brings back Ben Whishaw as the voice of the title bear made famous by a series of childrens stories. Paul King returns in the director’s chair, as do cast returnees Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Jim Broadbent, Julie Walters, and Peter Capaldi. New but familiar faces to the series include Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson.

The sequel received a bit of unexpected publicity this fall as it was originally to be distributed by the Weinstein Company. When controversy swirled around Harvey Weinstein, Warner swooped in and picked up distribution rights. The well-reviewed predecessor premiered in January 2015 to a $25 million long weekend opening with a $76 million eventual haul. Part 2 has already taken in nearly $100 million overseas and has critics on its side, with a 100% currently on Rotten Tomatoes.

There is still competition out there for family audiences as Jumanji should still be posting solid grosses. The sequel may not quite match the earnings of the first, but I’ll predict it manages to top $20 million out of the gate.

Paddington 2 opening weekend prediction: $22.4 million (Friday to Monday estimate)

For my The Post prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/04/the-post-box-office-prediction/

For my The Commuter prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/03/the-commuter-box-office-prediction/

For my Proud Mary prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/01/03/proud-mary-box-office-prediction/

2016 SAG Awards Predictions

The final major awards ceremony before Oscar takes place tonight on TBS and TNT as the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards airs. These awards and winners are voted by fellow thespians, so the races are a bit different in the sense that there’s no Best Picture per se. Instead it’s Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and the five nominated pictures contains one rather glaring omission: La La Land, even though it’s the front runner at the Academy Awards.

We do have the other acting races we’re accustomed to, as well as Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture. Let’s break each category down one by one with my predicted winners for this evening.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture 

Nominees: Captain Fantastic, Fences, Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

Predicted Winner: Moonlight

Analysis: The recipient here could solidify its status as Most Likely to Win Best Picture at the Oscars if La La doesn’t. I’ll predict the SAG voters give the edge to Barry Jenkins acclaimed drama over Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester, just like the Globes did.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Predicted Winner: Casey Affleck

Analysis: The five nominees match five for five with the Academy. Affleck has received the lions share of precursors thus far and I expect that to continue here. Washington is the only other possibility.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Amy Adams (Arrival), Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Predicted Winner: Natalie Portman

Analysis: Yes, I’m going for the minor upset here as Stone is the likely front runner. Only the two of them and Streep match the Oscar nods, as SAG honored Adams and Blunt instead of Isabelle Huppert (Elle) and Ruth Negga (Loving).

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion)

Predicted Winner: Mahershala Ali

Analysis: A win by either Bridges or Patel wouldn’t surprise me, but Ali has picked up a lot of critics prizes. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, surprise Globe winner for Nocturnal Animals, isn’t present here.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Predicted Winner: Viola Davis

Analysis: Another exact match with Oscar and I expect the same result – a win for Ms. Davis. Anything else would be a surprise.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Hacksaw Ridge, Jason Bourne, Nocturnal Animals

Predicted Winner: Hacksaw Ridge

Analysis: This is a tough one as either of the comic book flicks could win. Still, I’ll go with the only nominated Best Picture at the Oscars. By the way, why Nocturnal is present here baffles me.

And there you have it! Happy watching tonight…

Todd’s 2016 FINAL Oscar Predictions!

Well, here we are folks! After four months of (almost) weekly columns predicting the nominees and dozens of individualized Oscar Watch posts, the Academy Award nominations will be officially announced on Tuesday, January 24th around 8:30AM Eastern time. These are my final predictions. I’ve pontificated all year on who and what these nominees might be, so we’ll keep this simple. I’m listing my predicted nominees in each race as well as a first and second alternative. On Tuesday evening, I’ll have a post up recounting how I did.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

First Alternate: Nocturnal Animals

Second Alternate: Loving

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Garth Davis, Lion

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

First Alternate: Martin Scorsese, Silence

Second Alternate: Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchster by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

First Alternate: Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals

Second Alternate: Joel Edgerton, Loving

Best Actress

Amy Adams, Arrival

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

First Alternate: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Second Alternate: Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Second Alternate: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

First Alternate: Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women

Second Alternate: Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival

Fences

Lion

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Hidden Figures

Second Alternate: Loving

Best Original Screenplay

Captain Fantastic

Hell or High Water

I, Daniel Blake

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

First Alternate: The Lobster

Second Alternate: Toni Erdmann

Best Animated Feature

Finding Dory

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

Zootopia

First Alternate: The Red Turtle

Second Alternate: The Little Prince

Best Documentary Feature

Cameraperson

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made in America

13th

First Alternate: Gleason

Second Alternate: The Ivory Game

Best Foreign Language Film

The King’s Choice

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Toni Erdmann

First Alternate: My Life as a Zucchini

Second Alternate: It’s Only the End of the World

Best Cinematography

Arrival

La La Land

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

Silence

First Alternate: Lion

Second Alternate: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Costume Design

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land

First Alternate: Silence

Second Alternate: Love & Friendship

Best Editing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

First Alternate: Lion

Second Alternate: Hell or High Water

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Deadpool

Florence Foster Jenkins

Star Trek Beyond

First Alternate: A Man Called Ove

Second Alternate: Suicide Squad

Best Original Score

Florence Foster Jenkins

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Jackie

Second Alternate: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Original Song

“Audition” from La La Land

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls

“City of Stars” from La La Land

“Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street

“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

First Alternate: “Runnin” from Hidden Figures

Second Alternate: “Faith” from Sing

Best Production Design

Arrival

Jackie

La La Land

Nocturnal Animals

Silence

First Alternate: Hacksaw Ridge

Second Alternate: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Sound Editing

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First Alternate: Sully

Second Alternate: The Jungle Book

Best Sound Mixing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Sully

First Alternate: Deepwater Horizon

Second Alternate: Deadpool

Best Visual Effects

Arrival

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Jungle Book

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First Alternate: Deepwater Horizon

Second Alternate: The BFG

That gives yours truly the following nomination breakdown:

14 Nominations

La La Land

10 Nominations

Arrival

8 Nominations

Moonlight

7 Nominations

Manchester by the Sea

6 Nominations

Lion

5 Nominations

Hacksaw Ridge, Nocturnal Animals

4 Nominations

Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins

3 Nominations

Hell or High Water, Jackie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2 Nominations

Hidden Figures, Captain Fantastic, Moana, Silence, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

1 Nomination

Elle, I, Daniel Blake, Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Zucchini, Zootopia, Cameraperson, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated, O.J.: Made in America, 13th, The King’s Choice, Land of Mine, A Man Called Ove, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann, Allied, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Trolls, Sing Street, Deepwater Horizon, Sully, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book

And there you have it – my FINAL (yikes) Oscar predictions! Check back on Tuesday for the postmortem.

Todd’s 2016 Oscar Predictions: January 12th Edition

Well, hello everyone! It’s Thursday and my first Oscar predictions of the new year have rolled in…

In the past two weeks we’ve seen the Golden Globes occur, which showered its love upon La La Land. We’ve had BAFTA and Producers Guild nominations (that one produced a surprise nod for Deadpool and puts the comic book pic in the top 20 for the firs time). And the Director Guild announced their five nominees this morning, which exactly matches my picks here. We’ve seen pictures (in my estimation) increase their chances (Arrival, Hidden Figures) and others fall a bit (Silence).

On Thursday the 19th, I will make my final round of Thursday predictions and on Sunday the 22nd – my “final” final predictions prior to the announcement on January 24th.

Here’s how I see it all right now…

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Moonlight (PR: 3)

3. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

4. Arrival (PR: 7)

5. Lion (PR: 5)

6. Fences (PR: 4)

7. Hidden Figures (PR: 8)

8. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 9)

9. Hell or High Water (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

10. Silence (PR: 6)

11. Loving (PR: 11)

12. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 12)

13. Sully (PR: 13)

14. Jackie (PR: 14)

15. Deadpool (PR: Not Ranked)

16. 20th Century Women (PR: 15)

17. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 16)

18. Patriots Day (PR: 17)

19. Captain Fantastic (PR: 19)

20. Zootopia (PR: 20)

Dropped Out:

The Jungle Book

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

1. Damien Chazelle, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 3)

4. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 6)

5. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

7. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 4)

8. David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water (PR: 9)

9. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 8)

10. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 4)

5. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 5)

7. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 7)

8. Michael Keaton, The Founder (PR: 8)

9. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Adam Driver, Paterson

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 5)

5. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

7. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train (PR: 9)

8. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 7)

9. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane (PR: 8)

10. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 1)

2. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 2)

3. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 4)

4. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 3)

5. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

7. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Ben Foster, Hell or High Water (PR: 7)

9. Issey Ogata, Silence (PR: 8)

10. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 3)

3. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 4)

5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 6)

7. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 7)

8. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 10)

9. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 8)

10. Lupita Nyong’o, Queen of Katwe (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Moonlight (PR: 1)

2. Arrival (PR: 4)

3. Lion (PR: 2)

4. Fences (PR: 3)

5. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Hidden Figures (PR: 9)

7. Loving (PR: 8)

8. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

9. Silence (PR: 5)

10. Elle (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sully

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Hell or High Water (PR: 3)

4. Captain Fantastic (PR: 4)

5. Toni Erdmann (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities

6. The Lobster (PR: 6)

7. 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

8. Jackie (PR: 7)

9. Zootopia (PR: 9)

10. Eye in the Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I, Daniel Blake

Best Animated Feautre

Predicted Nominees

1. Zootopia (PR: 1)

2. Kubo and the Two Strings (PR: 2)

3. Moana (PR: 3)

4. The Red Turtle (PR: 4)

5. The Little Prince (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities

6. My Life as a Zucchini (PR: 5)

7. Finding Dory (PR: 6)

8. Your Name (PR: 9)

9. Sausage Party (PR: 10)

10. Sing (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

April and the Extraordinary World

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees

1. I Am Not Your Negro (PR: 1)

2. Gleason (PR: 4)

3. O.J.: Made in America (PR: 2)

4. 13th (PR: 3)

5. Cameraperson (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. The Ivory Game (PR: 9)

7. Life, Animated (PR: 5)

8. The Eagle Huntress (PR: 8)

9. Weiner (PR: 10)

10. Fire at Sea (PR: 7)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees

1. Toni Erdmann (PR: 1)

2. The Salesman (PR: 2)

3. Land of Mine (PR: 3)

4. My Life as a Zucchini (PR: 6)

5. A Man Called Ove (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. The King’s Choice (PR: 5)

7. Tanna (PR: 8)

8. It’s the Only the End of the World (PR: 9)

9. Paradise (PR: 7)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Arrival (PR: 4)

3. Moonlight (PR: 2)

4. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

5. Silence (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities

6. Lion (PR: 6)

7. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

9. Jackie (PR: 8)

10. Hell or High Water (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Jungle Book

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees

1. Jackie (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 7)

4. Allied (PR: 3)

5. Love & Friendship (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 5)

7. Silence (PR: 6)

8. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Live by Night (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Best Editing

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 4)

4. Arrival (PR: 3)

5. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Silence (PR: 5)

8. Lion (PR: 7)

9. Hell or High Water (PR: 8)

10. Sully (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Jackie

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees

1. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 1)

2. Deadpool (PR: 3)

3. Star Trek Beyond (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities

4. A Man Called Ove (PR: 5)

5. Suicide Squad (PR: 4)

6. The Dressmaker (PR: 6)

7. Hail, Caesar! (PR: 7)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Lion (PR: 2)

3. Moonlight (PR: 3)

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 6)

5. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Jackie (PR: 5)

8. The BFG (PR: 9)

9. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 8)

10. The Jungle Book (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Hidden Figures 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees

1. “City of Stars” from La La Land (PR: 1)

2. “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana (PR: 2)

3. “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land (PR: 3)

4. “Runnin” from Hidden Figures (PR: 5)

5. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” from Trolls (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities

6. “Letters to the Free” from 13th (PR: 6)

7. “Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street (PR: 4)

8. “The Rules Don’t Apply” from Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

9. “Faith” from Sing (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “The Great Beyond” from Sausage Party (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“I’m Still Here” from Miss Sharon Jones

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

5. Silence (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 8)

8. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 5)

9. Allied (PR: 6)

10. The Jungle Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Live by Night

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees

1. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 3)

4. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 5)

5. Sully (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Arrival (PR: 6)

7. The Jungle Book (PR: 9)

8. Patriots Day (PR: 7)

9. Deadpool (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Allied (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Captain America: Civil War

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 2)

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 3)

4. Arrival (PR: 4)

5. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 5)

Other Possibilties

6. Patriots Day (PR: 8)

7. Sully (PR: 6)

8. The Jungle Book (PR: 9)

9. Deadpool (PR: 10)

10. Passengers (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Allied 

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees

1. The Jungle Book (PR: 1)

2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 2)

3. Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Doctor Strange (PR: 4)

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. The BFG (PR: 5)

7. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 10)

8. Kubo and the Two Strings (PR: 8)

9. Captain America: Civil War (PR: 7)

10. Passengers (PR: 9)

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

14 Nominations

La La Land

9 Nominations

Arrival

8 Nominations

Moonlight

7 Nominations

Manchester by the Sea

6 Nominations

Lion, Hacksaw Ridge

4 Nominations

Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

3 Nominations

Hidden Figures, Hell or High Water, Jackie

2 Nominations

Captain Fantastic, Nocturnal Animals, Toni Erdmann, Moana, Silence, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Deepwater Horizon

1 Nomination

Elle, Zootopia, Kubo and the Two Strings, The Red Turtle, The Little Prince, I Am Not Your Negro, Gleason, O.J.: Made in America, 13th, Cameraperson, The Salesman, Land of Mine, My Life as a Zucchini, A Man Called Ove, Allied, Love & Friendship, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Trolls, Sully, The Jungle Book, Doctor Strange.

And that does it for now! Until next week…

2016 Golden Globes Reaction

To borrow a phrase that will surely be used many times over this evening and tomorrow, the Hollywood Foreign Press went ga ga for La La Land at the Golden Globes and made some history in the meantime. The Damien Chazelle musical won 7 trophies and was victorious in every category it was nominated for: Picture (Musical/Comedy), Director (Chazelle), Screenplay (Chazelle), Actor in Musical/Comedy (Ryan Gosling), Actress in Musical/Comedy (Emma Stone), Score, and Original Song (“City of Stars”). And ladies and gents – that’s a record number of wins in Globes history, topping the six received by One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Midnight Express.

The biggest shocker of the night happened right away when Aaron Taylor-Johnson’s work in Nocturnal Animals took Supporting Actor. It was a big surprise when he was nominated and far more so that he won. There’s a pretty decent possibility he could be the extremely rare GG winner to not receive an Oscar nod (though he certainly just upped his chances).

Overall – this blogger went 9 for 14 in his picks. The La La Express was responsible for a couple of those misses. I predicted Hugh Grant in Florence Foster Jenkins over Gosling and Moonlight over La La for screenplay.

A slightly less surprising miss – Isabelle Huppert in Elle taking Best Actress (Drama). I predicted Natalie Portman in Jackie. Elle also took Foreign Language Film over my pick Toni Erdmann, yet that wasn’t totally unexpected.

So… what does this all mean for the big dog, the Academy Awards? Well, La La Land is unquestionably the favorite with the runner-up being Moonlight, which I correctly predicted for Best Drama.

In acting races, Best Actor (Drama) recipient Casey Affleck in Manchester by the Sea maintains an edge over Denzel Washington for Fences. Emma Stone is beginning to look more solid by the day for Actress. Supporting Actor is more of a question mark to be sure, though Mahershala Ali in Moonlight is what we’ll call a soft front runner. I correctly predicted Viola Davis for Supporting Actress in Fences and she remains the Academy fave.

Animated Feature went to Disney’s Zootopia and it holds as the mostly likely Oscar winner.

As for the show itself, it felt a little long and rushed at the same time. Steve Carell and Kristin Wiig provided the biggest laughs while host Jimmy Fallon was moderately successful in the short time he was given (he did seem to disappear pretty quickly).

That’s my recap, folks! Updated Oscar predictions coming Thursday…

2016 Golden Globes: Who Will Win?

This Sunday evening, the Golden Globes (perhaps the most significant Oscar precursor) airs with Jimmy Fallon hosting. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes divide both Picture and the Lead Acting races in two categories: Drama and Musical/Comedy.

Here’s how I have each race playing out with the winners predicted. As a side note, I decided to not do my weekly Oscar predictions yesterday and will have an updated post on Thursday next week!

With that, let’s get to the races…

Best Drama

The Nominees: Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

Todd’s Prediction: Moonlight

Analysis: Not an easy prediction as this will probably boil down to Moonlight and Manchester, with both Hacksaw and Lion being potential spoilers (Water is only pic I see as having no shot). The winner of this category will likely vault into a two-way race with La La Land as to what comes out on top at Oscar time.

Best Musical/Comedy

The Nominees: 20th Century Women, Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, La La Land, Sing Street

Todd’s Prediction: La La Land

Analysis: It would be pretty shocking if Damien Chazelle’s ode to Hollywood musicals didn’t win here. I suppose perhaps Jenkins has a dark horse shot, but this is the easiest pick of the bunch to make.

Best Director

The Nominees: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Longergan (Manchester by the Sea)

Todd’s Prediction: Damien Chazelle

Analysis: Jenkins has racked up a slew of precursors and a win for Gibson would be seen as completing a remarkable comeback after multiple personal issues. However, at the end of the day, I believe the La La love will extend to its director.

Best Actor (Drama)

The Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences).

Todd’s Prediction: Casey Affleck

Analysis: Like the Oscar race, this looks to be between Affleck and Washington. I’ll give the former the slight edge as he’s won more precursors and Manchester itself was nominated for Picture, whereas Fences was not.

Best Actress (Drama)

The Nominees: Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals), Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Todd’s Prediction: Natalie Portman

Analysis: While I wouldn’t totally rule out an Adams or Huppert win, Portman has the edge in her acclaimed role of Mrs. Kennedy.

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

The Nominees: Colin Farrell (The Lobster), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins), Jonah Hill (War Dogs), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)

Todd’s Prediction: Hugh Grant

Analysis: Conventional wisdom would point to a Gosling win, but I believe the Hollywood Foreign Press will provide a bit of an upset here and honor Grant. Also – don’t be too shocked if Reynolds manages to surprise.

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

The Nominees: Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply), Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Todd’s Prediction: Emma Stone

Analysis: Bening and Streep are long shots, but it would be a rather large upset if Stone didn’t emerge victorious here.

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), Dev Patel (Lion), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)

Todd’s Prediction: Mahershala Ali

Analysis: Bridges or Patel are feasible, but Ali has received the bulk of precursor awards and I believe that will continue here.

Best Supporing Actress

The Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Todd’s Prediction: Viola Davis

Analysis: Davis is the clear front runner here and at the Oscars. An upset win (possible for any of these actresses other than Spencer) could dispel that notion, but it probably won’t occur.

Best Screenplay

The Nominees: Hell or High Water, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Nocturnal Animals

Todd’s Prediction: Moonlight

Analysis: La La and Manchester are in the mix here, but this is probably where Barry Jenkins will get his win and not for direction.

Best Original Score

The Nominees: Arrival, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight

Todd’s Prediction: La La Land

Analysis: Tough one and it’s not out of the question to envision any of them winning. I’ll just go La La and see what happens.

Best Original Song

The Nominees: “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls, “City of Stars” from La La Land, “Faith” from Sing, “Gold” from Gold, “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

Todd’s Prediction: “City of Stars”

Analysis: There’s some real heavy hitters here: Justin Timberlake, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Stevie Wonder with nominations. Yet I think the HFPA honors La La once again.

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, Sing, Zootopia

Todd’s Prediction: Zootopia

Analysis: Kubo has a shot and you can never dismiss Disney with Moana. However, there’s another acclaimed Mouse Factory title in the mix and I believe Zootopia gets in.

Best Foreign Language Film

The Nominees: Divines, Elle, Neruda, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann

Todd’s Prediction: Toni Erdmann

Analysis: Elle could absolutely win here (and perhaps The Salesman), but I’ll go with Academy favorite Erdmann.

And that does it, folks! I’ll have a post up Sunday night letting you know how well (or poorly) I did. Until then…