Oscar Watch: Missing Link

The stop-motion animated adventure Missing Link hits theaters next weekend and it’s the latest effort from the studio Laika. Reviews have been sturdy for the Bigfoot tale featuring the voices of Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, and Zach Galifianakis. Its Rotten Tomatoes score stands at 91%.

When it comes to Oscar nominations for their material, Laika has quite the batting average… as in 100%. For their four previous efforts, they’ve also all lost to Disney titles. In 2009, Coraline lost to Up. ParaNorman came up short to Brave in 2012. In 2014, it was Big Hero 6 over The Boxtrolls. Two years later, Kubo and the Two Strings couldn’t emerge over Zootopia.

Could history repeat itself? Absolutely. While critical reaction is solid, Link has little chance at winning the Best Animated Feature award. And, yes, Mouse Factory competition is legit with sequels Toy Story 4 and Frozen 2. There’s another sequel already released from DreamWorks – How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World – that also looks to nab a nod.

With five slots, there’s a chance Link could be the first Laika flick to miss a nomination. However, their track record is considerable and I wouldn’t count it out. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Missing Link Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (04/11): On the eve of its premiere, revising this down from $13.2M to $11.7M

The studio Laika is back with their brand of critically acclaimed animated films next weekend with Missing Link. The stop-motion adventure follows an explorer tracking a Bigfoot with Hugh Jackman voicing the explorer and Zach Galifianakis as the creature. Other recognizable faces behind the mic include Zoe Saldana, Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, and Matt Lucas. Chris Butler, who made the company’s 2012 effort ParaNorman directs.

All four Laika titles in the past decade have grossed between $12-$17 million for their starts. On the high-end, there’s 2014’s The Boxtrolls with just over $17 million. On the low-end is 2016’s Kubo and the Two Strings with $12.6 million. I see no reason why Link wouldn’t fall in that same range.

Reviews have been positive as this currently stands at 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Of the new releases out next weekend, it actually opens widest on approximately 3500 screens (more than Hellboy).

I don’t believe this will top Boxtrolls, but a premiere between $13-$14 million is certainly possible.

Missing Link opening weekend prediction: $11.7 million

For my Hellboy prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/03/hellboy-box-office-prediction/

For my Little prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/06/little-box-office-prediction/

For my After prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/04/07/after-box-office-prediction/

The Front Runner Movie Review

Jason Reitman’s The Front Runner is a true political story that transfixed the nation three decades ago. The Presidential campaign of Colorado Senator Gary Hart (Hugh Jackman) happened at a time just as cable was set to dominate how we get our news. Newspapers could see it coming and The Miami Herald, for better or worse, got ahead of the curve by venturing into tabloid territory. The Washington Post here is uncertain whether they should veer in that direction. However, they see the sensationalism train beginning to roll and can’t be the highbrow publication to pump the brakes.

It was The Post that exploited a massive Commander-in-Chief scandals a few years prior with Watergate. Here it’s the extramarital activities of Hart. We first witness him in 1984 conceding to Democratic nominee Walter Mondale, who would lose badly to President Reagan. Yet his run wasn’t wasted as he becomes the film’s title four years later. He appears set to top the ticket until three wild weeks occur in 1987. It involves his relationship with a young woman Donna Rice (Sara Paxton) and the media’s fixation on it. The days of reporters looking the other way when it comes to extracurricular activity is finished.

In this screenplay from Reitman, Matt Bai, and Jay Carson, Hart is alternatively seen as a sympathetic figure while not completely ignoring that he was a lousy spouse. Vera Farmiga is wife Lee and she’s given a few moments to shine as his conflicted partner. Her performance, while more limited in time, is the strongest. She emerges as the most fascinating character, but the marriage is given short treatment. This film is more geared towards critiquing our feeding frenzy media landscape. And while the times were a-changin’ thirty years ago, the script never finds an angle to shed any meaningful light on it.

Candidate Hart himself didn’t see the tide turning and felt his personal life was just that. As played by Jackman, he’s an enigma focused on policy proposals and not the show biz acumen that comes with the territory (let’s not forget he’s attempting to succeed the first movie star POTUS). It frustrates staff including his campaign manager (J.K. Simmons). They believe in him, but realize he gets in his own way.

The Front Runner tries to say Important Things about a campaign that’s influenced all that have followed. Hart’s foibles in our current environment may be considered quaint. That said, the pic rarely makes its points seem bold or fresh. There’s been fictional politico tales such as Primary Colors and Bulworth that were more entertaining and perceptive in their take on this particular universe. This lies toward the back of the pack in the genre.

** (out of four)

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…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 15th Edition

It’s Thursday and that means my weekly Oscar predictions are updated! Here’s some developments from last week to this one:

  • On the Basis of Sex screened at the AFI Fest and I believe its Oscar hopes in all categories took a significant dip. We’ll see if it can rebound, but it’s dropped out of contention in Picture, Supporting Actor (Armie Hammer), and Original Screenplay with Felicity Jones falling to #10 in Actress.
  • Speaking of AFI Fest, Mary Queen of Scots debuts this evening at the fest. By this time next week, I’ll have a much better idea as to its prospects.
  • Both Supporting categories experienced a change. I’ve moved Sam Rockwell (Vice) back in the top 5 with Adam Driver out. I’ve also put Nicole Kidman (Boy Erased) in the predicted nominees with Rachel Weisz (The Favourite) out.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. Green Book (PR: 3)

4. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

6. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

7. First Man (PR: 7)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Vice (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Widows (PR: 10)

11. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 11)

12. Boy Erased (PR: 15)

13. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 14)

14. The Mule (PR: 13)

15. A Quiet Place (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

On the Basis of Sex

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

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

3. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 3)

4. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 4)

5. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

7. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 7)

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

9. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 8)

10. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

Best Actor

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

2. Viggo Mortensen, Green Book (PR: 2)

3. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 3)

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

5. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 6)

7. Ethan Hawke, First Reformed (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 8)

9. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 7)

10. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner

Best Actress

1. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 1)

2. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

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

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

5. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 6)

7. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 8)

8. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 9)

9. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 10)

10. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

2. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

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

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

5. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

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

8. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 6)

9. Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give (PR: 10)

10. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actress

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

2. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 3)

4. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 4)

5. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 7)

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

9. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 9)

10. Linda Cardellini, Green Book (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Widows (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Man (PR: 6)

7. Boy Erased (PR: 8)

8. The Hate U Give (PR: 9)

9. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 7)

10. Black Panther (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

1. The Favourite (PR: 3)

2. Green Book (PR: 1)

3. Roma (PR: 2)

4. Eighth Grade (PR: 4)

5. Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Reformed (PR: 7)

7. Private Life (PR: Not Ranked)

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 9)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: 7)

10. The Mule (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

On the Basis of Sex

Best Foreign Language Film

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. Cold War (PR: 2)

3. Shoplifters (PR: 3)

4. Girl (PR: 4)

5. Capernaum (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Burning (PR: 6)

7. Birds of Passage (PR: 9)

8. Never Look Away (PR: 7)

9. The Guilty (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Border (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Dogman

Best Animated Feature

1. Incredibles 2 (PR: 1)

2. Isle of Dogs (PR: 2)

3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 3)

4. Mirai (PR: 4)

5. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Smallfoot (PR: 7)

7. Ruben Brandt, Collector (PR: 6)

8. Early Man (PR: 5)

9. Lu Over the Wall (PR: 10)

10. Teen Titans Go! To the Movies (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Grinch

Best Documentary Feature

1. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PR: 3)

2. Free Solo (PR: 1)

3. Three Identical Strangers (PR: 2)

4. RBG (PR: 4)

5. Minding the Gap (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amazing Grace (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Dark Money (PR: 7)

8. Crime + Punishment (PR: 6)

9. Jane Fonda in Five Acts (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Quincy (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Science Fair

Hale County This Morning, This Evening

Best Film Editing

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

5. Vice (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 8)

7. Widows (PR: 6)

8. The Favourite (PR: 5)

9. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 9)

10. Green Book (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 5)

4. The Favourite (PR: 4)

5. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther (PR: 7)

7. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 9)

8. Widows (PR: 6)

9. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Cold War (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Green Book

Best Production Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. First Man (PR: 4)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 3)

5. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Star Is Born (PR: 6)

7. Roma (PR: 9)

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

9. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 8)

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

Best Costume Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Colette (PR: 5)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 8)

8. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PR: Not Ranked)

9. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 9)

10. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

A Star Is Born

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

1. Black Panther (PR: 2)

2. The Favourite (PR: 1)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Stan & Ollie (PR: 5)

5. Vice (PR: 4)

6. Colette (PR: 7)

7. A Wrinkle in Time (PR: 8)

8. A Star Is Born (PR: 6)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

10. Vox Lux (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Suspiria

Best Sound Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. A Quiet Place (PR: 4)

5. Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Incredibles 2 (PR: 7)

7. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (PR: 6)

8. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 8)

9. Widows (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ready Player One (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Avengers: Infinity War

Best Sound Mixing

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. A Quiet Place (PR: 4)

4. Black Panther (PR: 3)

5. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 5)

7. Roma (PR: 6)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

9. Widows (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ready Player One (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

Avengers: Infinity War 

Best Visual Effects

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 2)

3. Ready Player One (PR: 3)

4. Black Panther (PR: 4)

5. Annihilation (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 6)

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

8. A Quiet Place (PR: 9)

9. A Wrinkle in Time (PR: 7)

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Best Original Score

1. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 3)

4. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

5. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 5)

7. Green Book (PR: 10)

8. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 9)

9. Roma (PR: 7)

10. Colette (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Suspiria

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: 4)

3. “All the Stars” from Black Panther (PR: 2)

4. “I’ll Fight” from RBG (PR: 9)

5. “I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Revelation” from Boy Erased (PR: 6)

7. “We Won’t Move” from The Hate U Give (PR: 5)

8. “Time for Change” from On the Basis of Sex (PR: 10)

9. “Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

10. “Hearts Beat Loud” from Hearts Beat Loud (PR: 8)

And that provides the following breakdown of nominations for each picture:

12 Nominations

A Star Is Born

9 Nominations

First Man, The Favourite

8 Nominations

Black Panther, Roma

6 Nominations

If Beale Street Could Talk, Vice

5 Nominations

Green Book, Mary Poppins Returns

4 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman, Mary Queen of Scots

3 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

2 Nominations

A Quiet Place, RBG

1 Nomination

Annihilation, At Eternity’s Gate, Avengers: Infinity War, Beautiful Boy, Bohemian Rhapsody, Boy Erased, Eighth Grade, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Ready Player One, Widows, The Wife, Cold War, Shoplifters, Girl, Capernaum, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Mirai, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, Free Solo, Three Identical Strangers, Minding the Gap.

And that does it for now! Until next week…

2018 Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 8th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions have arrived once again! Some important developments from last week to this one:

  • Green Book rises and First Man falls. While I still have the latter receiving a Picture nomination, I’ve put in Peter Farrelly (Green Book) over Man maker Damien Chazelle in Director. In Best Actor, Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody) gets the nod over Ryan Gosling’s work. In Adapted Screenplay, it’s Widows in and First Man out. With Green Book, it now rises to the #1 spot in Original Screenplay over Roma.
  • The AFI Fest premieres tonight with the world debut of On the Basis of Sex. We’ll have a lot more info on its Oscar viability in just hours. The same festival will bring us the first screening and buzz for Mary Queen of Scots next week.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

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

2. Roma (PR: 2)

3. Green Book (PR: 5)

4. The Favourite (PR: 3)

5. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 4)

6. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 7)

7. First Man (PR: 6)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. Vice (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Widows (PR: 12)

11. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

12. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 14)

13. The Mule (PR: 13)

14. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 11)

15. Boy Erased (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Mary Queen of Scots

Best Director

1. Alfonso Cuaron, Roma (PR: 1)

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

3. Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 3)

4. Peter Farrelly, Green Book (PR: 7)

5. Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 6)

7. Damien Chazelle, First Man (PR: 5)

8. Adam McKay, Vice (PR: 9)

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

10. Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 10)

Best Actor

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

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

3. Christian Bale, Vice (PR: 2)

4. Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 7)

5. Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ryan Gosling, First Man (PR: 5)

7. Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun (PR: 6)

8. Clint Eastwood, The Mule (PR: 8)

9. Lucas Hedges, Boy Erased (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Hugh Jackman, The Front Runner (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy

Best Actress

1. Glenn Close, The Wife (PR: 1)

2. Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

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

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

5. Yalitza Aparicio, Roma (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, Widows (PR: 6)

7. Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex (PR: 7)

8. Nicole Kidman, Destroyer (PR: 8)

9. Julia Roberts, Ben Is Back (PR: 9)

10. Emily Blunt, Mary Poppins Returns (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots

Best Supporting Actor

1. Mahershala Ali, Green Book (PR: 1)

2. Sam Elliot, A Star Is Born (PR: 4)

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

4. Timothee Chalamet, Beautiful Boy (PR: 3)

5. Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Daniel Kaluuya, Widows (PR: 8)

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

8. Sam Rockwell, Vice (PR: 6)

9. Russell Crowe, Boy Erased (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Russell Hornsby, The Hate U Give (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Robert Forster, What They Had

Best Supporting Actress

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

2. Emma Stone, The Favourite (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Vice (PR: 5)

4. Claire Foy, First Man (PR: 4)

5. Rachel Weisz, The Favourite (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased (PR: 8)

7. Natalie Portman, Vox Lux (PR: 7)

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

9. Marina de Tavira, Roma (PR: 6)

10. Linda Cardellini, Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Thomasin McKenzie, Leave No Trace

Best Adapted Screenplay

1. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 1)

2. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 3)

4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (PR: 4)

5. Widows (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Man (PR: 5)

7. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 7)

8. Boy Erased (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Hate U Give (PR: 8)

10. Black Panther (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Leave No Trace

Best Original Screenplay

1. Green Book (PR: 3)

2. Roma (PR: 1)

3. The Favourite (PR: 2)

4. Eighth Grade (PR: 4)

5. Vice (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. On the Basis of Sex (PR: 6)

7. First Reformed (PR: 7)

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

9. A Quiet Place (PR: 8)

10. The Mule (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. Cold War (PR: 2)

3. Shoplifters (PR: 3)

4. Girl (PR: 4)

5. Capernaum (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Burning (PR: 6)

7. Never Look Away (PR: 9)

8. Border (PR: 10)

9. Birds of Passage (PR: 7)

10. Dogman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Guility

Best Animated Feature

1. Incredibles 2 (PR: 1)

2. Isle of Dogs (PR: 2)

3. Ralph Breaks the Internet (PR: 3)

4. Mirai (PR: 4)

5. Early Man (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ruben Brandt, Collector (PR: 5)

7. Smallfoot (PR: 10)

8. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Grinch (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Lu Over the Wall (PR: 6)

Dropped Out:

Night is Short, Walk on Girl

Teen Titans Go! To the Movies

Best Documentary Feature

1. Free Solo (PR: 1)

2. Three Identical Strangers (PR: 2)

3. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (PR: 3)

4. RBG (PR: 4)

5. Minding the Gap (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Crime + Punishment (PR: 8)

7. Dark Money (PR: 7)

8. Science Fair (PR: 5)

9. Quincy (PR: 10)

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

Dropped Out:

The Price of Everything

Best Film Editing

1. Roma (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 3)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 1)

4. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 7)

5. The Favourite (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 6)

7. Vice (PR: 5)

8. Black Panther (PR: 8)

9. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 9)

10. Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

July 22

Best Cinematography

1. Roma (PR: 1)

2. First Man (PR: 2)

3. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 4)

4. The Favourite (PR: 6)

5. A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Widows (PR: 9)

7. Black Panther (PR: 7)

8. Cold War (PR: 5)

9. BlacKkKlansman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Green Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Mary Queen of Scots

Best Production Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

4. First Man (PR: 3)

5. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Star Is Born (PR: 6)

7. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (PR: 8)

8. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Roma (PR: 7)

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

Dropped Out:

Colette

Best Costume Design

1. The Favourite (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 3)

4. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

5. Colette (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities: 

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

7. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Crazy Rich Asians (PR: 6)

9. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 8)

10. A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

A Wrinkle in Time

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

1. The Favourite (PR: 3)

2. Black Panther (PR: 1)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

4. Vice (PR: 5)

5. Stan & Ollie (PR: 4)

6. A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

7. Colette (PR: 9)

8. A Wrinkle in Time (PR: 10)

9. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 6)

10. Suspiria (PR: 8)

Best Sound Editing

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. A Star Is Born (PR: 4)

4. A Quiet Place (PR: 3)

5. Roma (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (PR: 6)

7. Incredibles 2 (PR: 5)

8. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 9)

9. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 7)

10. Ready Player One (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Annihilation

Best Sound Mixing

1. A Star Is Born (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. Black Panther (PR: 4)

4. A Quiet Place (PR: 3)

5. Bohemian Rhapsody (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Roma (PR: 7)

7. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 5)

8. Incredibles 2 (PR: 8)

9. Mission: Impossible – Fallout (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Ready Player One

Best Visual Effects

1. First Man (PR: 1)

2. Avengers: Infinity War (PR: 2)

3. Ready Player One (PR: 4)

4. Black Panther (PR: 3)

5. Annihilation (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 6)

7. A Wrinkle in Time (PR: 8)

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

9. A Quiet Place (PR: 7)

10. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Best Original Score

1. If Beale Street Could Talk (PR: 2)

2. First Man (PR: 1)

3. Mary Queen of Scots (PR: 6)

4. BlacKkKlansman (PR: 3)

5. Widows (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mary Poppins Returns (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Roma (PR: 4)

8. Suspiria (PR: 9)

9. The Sisters Brothers (PR: 10)

10. Green Book (PR: 5)

Dropped Out:

Incredibles 2

Colette

Best Original Song

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

2. “All the Stars” from Black Panther (PR: 2)

3. “I’ll Never Love Again” from A Star Is Born (PR: 3)

4. “The Places Where Lost Things Go” from Mary Poppins Returns (PR: 4)

5. “We Won’t Move” from The Hate U Give (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Revelation” from Boy Erased (PR: Not Ranked)

7. “Always Remember Us This Way” from A Star Is Born (PR: 7)

8. “Hearts Beat Loud” from Hearts Beat Loud (PR: 10)

9. “I’ll Fight” from RBG (PR: 9)

10. “Time for Change” from On the Basis of Sex (PR: 6)

And that breaks down the following number of nominations for each film:

12 Nominations

A Star Is Born

11 Nominations

The Favourite

9 Nominations

First Man

8 Nominations

Black Panther, Roma

6 Nominations

If Beale Street Could Talk

5 Nominations

BlacKkKlansman, Green Book

4 Nominations

Mary Queen of Scots, Vice

3 Nominations

Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Mary Poppins Returns

2 Nominations

A Quiet Place, Bohemian Rhapsody, Widows

1 Nomination

At Eternity’s Gate, The Wife, Beautiful Boy, Eighth Grade, Colette, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, Annihilation, The Hate U Give, Cold War, Shoplifters, Girl, Capernaum, Incredibles 2, Isle of Dogs, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Mirai, Early Man, Free Solo, Three Identical Strangers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, RBG, Minding the Gap

 

Best Actor: A Look Back

My look back at the major Oscar categories from 1990 to the present arrives at Best Actor today! If you missed my posts covering Actress and the Supporting races, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/10/31/best-actress-a-look-back/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/10/25/best-supporting-actor-a-look-back/

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

As with those previous entries, I am picking the three least surprising winners of the last 28 years, along with the three biggest upsets. Additionally, you’ll see my personal picks for strongest and weakest fields overall.

As a primer, here are the winners from 1990 to now:

1990 – Jeremy Irons, Reversal of Fortune

1991 – Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs

1992 – Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman

1993 – Tom Hanks, Philadelphia

1994 – Tom Hanks, Forrest Gump

1995 – Nicolas Cage, Leaving Las Vegas

1996 – Geoffrey Rush, Shine

1997 – Jack Nicholson, As Good As It Gets

1998 – Roberto Benigni, Life is Beautiful

1999 – Kevin Spacey, American Beauty

2000 – Russell Crowe, Gladiator

2001 – Denzel Washington, Training Day

2002 – Adrien Brody, The Pianist

2003 – Sean Penn, Mystic River

2004 – Jamie Foxx, Ray

2005 – Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote

2006 – Forest Whitaker, The Last King of Scotland

2007 – Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood

2008 – Sean Penn, Milk

2009 – Jeff Bridges, Crazy Heart

2010 – Colin Firth, The King’s Speech

2011 – Jean Dujardin, The Artist

2012 – Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

2013 – Matthew McConaughey, Dallas Buyers Club

2014 – Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything

2015 – Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

2016 – Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

2017 – Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour

Let’s begin with the three that I’m deeming as the non-surprise winners. Whittling this down to that number was a challenge. The double wins by Hanks and Penn and even last year’s winner Oldman could’ve easily been named here, too. Here goes…

3. Al Pacino, Scent of a Woman

The legendary thespian was 0 for 6 when it came to nominations and wins entering 1992. He picked up his 7th and 8th nods that year with his supporting role in Glengarry Glen Ross and lead role as a blind former colonel in this Martin Brest directed drama. By Oscar night, it was clear he was finally going to make that trip to the podium.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant

Like Pacino, DiCaprio had been an Academy bridesmaid before… four times. His fifth nod for The Revenant guaranteed he’d finally be a winner against weak competition (more on that below).

1. Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln

I could have named the Method actor’s victory in 2007 for There Will Be Blood as well, but his win five years later as the nation’s 16th President edges it out. From the moment the Steven Spielberg project was announced, Day-Lewis was the odds on favorite and it never changed.

Now – my selections for the upsets:

3. Anthony Hopkins, The Silence of the Lambs

While it might seem an obvious win nearly 30 years later, Nick Nolte’s work in The Prince of Tides had nabbed him the Golden Globe. Additionally, there was some controversy about Sir Anthony’s inclusion in the lead race due to his approximate 16 minutes of screen time. This is truly evidence of a performance so towering that it couldn’t be ignored.

2. Roberto Benigni, Life is Beautiful

The Italian director/writer/actor was an underdog against competition that included Nick Nolte (once again) for Affliction and Ian McKellen in Gods and Monsters. Mr. Benigni seemed a bit shocked himself when his name was called, as he famously bounded exuberantly to the stage.

1. Adrien Brody, The Pianist

The smart money in 2002 was with Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt or Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York. Brody’s win was pretty shocking, as was the giant smooch he planted on presenter Halle Berry.

When it comes to overall fields, I’m going recent history with both. For strongest, I’ll give it to 2012. That’s the year Day-Lewis won for Lincoln. All other nominees were rock solid as well with Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), and Denzel Washington (Flight).

For weakest, I’m picking 2015. This is the aforementioned year of DiCaprio’s overdue win. The rest of the field, however, was a bit lacking. It consisted of Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), and Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl).

And there’s your Actor look back, folks! Keep an eye out for Best Picture soon as the final post in this series…