Uncut Gems Movie Review

When the brothers Safdie (Ben and Josh) made Good Time in 2017, the thriller centering on low-life crime figures contained segments that showed the duo was capable of creating something special. Clearly influenced by similar grimy pics in the 1970s, that film gave Robert Pattinson a role that drew him far away from a sullen romantic vampire and is primarily responsible for his current career trajectory. However, I found Good Time better in spots than as a cohesive whole. Their follow-up is Uncut Gems and it’s the “something special” that was hinted at in their predecessor.

In many ways, it stays in the Good Time lane. The setting is again the Big Apple. The characters are again a level of bottom dwelling criminals who aren’t exactly top level at their professions. And like Pattinson, Gems allows a very famous actor to try something different. Here it’s Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner, who owns a diamond store and is a degenerate gambler. In Howard’s universe, there’s not a problem that he can’t seem to make worse.

His family life is in a constant state of chaos as his wife (Idina Menzel) is ready to freeze him out and his brother-in-law (Eric Bogosian) is a loan shark that Howard owes money to. Then there’s his girlfriend Julie (Julia Fox, in her feature debut) who works for him and is a consistent source of stress. Demany (Lakeith Stanfield) is his business associate charged with bringing in celebrities and high rollers to the store. He finds one in Boston Celtics superstar Kevin Garnett, who plays himself and does so memorably.

When Howard gets his hands on a rare Ethiopian opal, it sets off a series of frenzied events. Garnett is obsessed with purchasing the rarity while Howard looks to cash in with it at auction. The hoped for financial windfall means he can pay his off his considerable debts. Yet Howard just cannot help himself as one scheme simply leads to the next one, including betting on his NBA client for large sums of money.

Like Good Time, the pacing here is relentless. For over two hours, the screenplay and direction immerse us in Howard’s out of control daily existence. It’s exhilarating and Sandler deserves a lot of the credit. These days, it’s rare to see the performer in anything other than middling to less than middling Netflix comedies. Seeing him rise to the challenge in more dramatic material shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as we saw it in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love nearly two decades ago. It’s just been a while. Howard is onscreen nearly the entire running time and for good reason. You can’t take your eyes off him.

The lead’s remarkable work is accentuated by his supporting cast. This especially applies to the women in his life as both Menzel and Fox are given notable scenes reacting to Howard’s never-ending foibles. By the time the credits roll, one could argue Uncut Gems has the happiest ending it could have if you really ponder it. This is a tale of addiction in a highly stylized setting where Howard just can’t become the winner he pines to be. His turmoil is interrupted by brief glimpses of happiness and we witness a couple of great ones. In the era that the Safdies are paying homage, Al Pacino or Robert De Niro might have played Howard. Sandler gets the job here and knocks it out the park. It’s something special.

**** (out of four)

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 30th Edition

There are two weeks to go before Oscar nominations come out and it’s been two weeks since I’ve updated my predictions. There’s not much in the way of major movement in the top races, but the numbers have shifted in some cases. Let’s break it down:

  • In Picture, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood vaults to #1 in what looks like a three-way competition between it, The Irishman, and Parasite.
  • Bong-Joon Ho rises to first in Director over Tarantino and Scorsese.
  • There is a change in Actor as Jonathan Pryce is back in over Antonio Banderas. Pain and Glory takes another hit in Original Screenplay as I’ve taken it out and put Knives Out back in.

Check in later this week for my predictions on winners for the Golden Globes, which airs this Sunday. The plan is to have Oscar predictions next Monday and then a post up on Saturday (January 11) with final predictions on the races.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. The Irishman (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

11. Bombshell (PR: 11)

12. The Farewell (PR: 12)

13. Pain and Glory (PR: 13)

14. Knives Out (PR: 13)

15. Uncut Gems (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Rocketman 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 2)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

3. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 6)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

8. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

9. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 8)

10. Pedro Almodovar, Pain and Glory (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 5)

5. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 4)

7. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

8. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 10)

9. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 8)

10. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 9)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 4)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 7)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 6)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

9. Ana de Armas, Knives Out (PR: Not Rankled)

10. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: 7)

7. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 6)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 8)

9. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 9)

10. Alan Alda, Marriage Story (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

5. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 9)

7. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

8. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

9. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

10. Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jo Yeo-Jeong, Parasite 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

7. Hustlers (PR: 7)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 8)

9. Richard Jewell (PR: 9)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

7. 1917 (PR: 8)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

9. Bombshell (PR: 7)

10. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Uncut Gems

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Atlantics (PR: 4)

5. The Painted Bird (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Corpus Christi (PR: 7)

7. Beanpole (PR: 5)

8. Honeyland (PR: 8)

9. Those Who Remained (PR: 6)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 8)

7. Abominable (PR: 6)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 7)

9. Funan (PR: 10)

10. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

3. For Sama (PR: 4)

4. One Child Nation (PR: 3)

5. Honeyland (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 8)

8. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 7)

9. Midnight Family (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Knock Down the House (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Maiden

Aquarela 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

4. Joker (PR: 3)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

7. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

8. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 7)

9. Marriage Story (PR: Not Ranked)

10. A Hidden Life (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Ad Astra

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judy (PR: 7)

7. The Irishman (PR: 6)

8. Joker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

2. The Irishman (PR: 1)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. 1917 (PR: 4)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. Bombshell (PR: 9)

10. Apollo 11 (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Knives Out

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 3)

3. Judy (PR: 2)

4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

5. Rocketman (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

7. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: 10)

8. Little Women (PR: 7)

9. Downton Abbey (PR: 4)

10. 1917 (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Joker (PR: 5)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

7. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 10)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 9)

10. Pain and Glory (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Us

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

4. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 5)

5. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 6)

7. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: 9)

8. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 8)

9. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 10)

10. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 4)

3. Little Women (PR: 3)

4. Parasite (PR: 6)

5. 1917 (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 5)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

5. Rocketman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

7. Joker (PR: 4)

8. Ad Astra (PR: 9)

9. The Irishman (PR: 8)

10. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 10)

8. Joker (PR: 6)

9. The Irishman (PR: 8)

10. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Lion King (PR: 4)

2. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

4. The Irishman (PR: 1)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 6)

7. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

8. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: 10)

9. Captain Marvel (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

And that equates to these films getting the following numbers of nods:

11 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

10 Nominations

The Irishman

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story 

7 Nominations

Little Women, Parasite

6 Nominations

Joker

5 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Rocketman

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, The Two Popes

2 Nominations

Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, American Factory, Apollo 11, Atlantics, Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Knives Out, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Pain and Glory, The Painted Bird, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose 

2019: The Year of Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler

One of the welcome cinematic storylines of 2019 involves two beloved Saturday Night Live vets who accomplished some of their finest film work, have garnered Oscar attention, and both returned to the show that made them after many years away.

I’m referring to Eddie Murphy and Adam Sandler and they both get spots in my Year of 2019 posts. Murphy had been absent from the silver screen since 2016’s drama Mr. Church. Over the past several years, he was known more for his family comedies then the raunchy comedian that sold out stadiums in the 1980s. 2019 saw a return to form with Netflix’s Dolemite Is My Name, his critically hailed recounting of Rudy Ray Moore’s contributions to movies. The pic has given Murphy his best reviews since 2006’s Dreamgirls and gotten him back into the Oscar conversation. We also witnessed the legendary performer host SNL for the first time in 35 years. 2020 will showcase Murphy returning to stand-up (something he hasn’t done since the late 1980s) and reprising his Prince Akeem character and others in Coming 2 America, which again teams him with Netflix and Dolemite director Craig Brewer.

Mr. Sandler also hit the 30 Rock building to headline SNL. He hadn’t been back in that role since being fired from the show in the mid 90s and embarking on his own wildly successful film career. The SNL gig saw him perform a humorous and touching tribute to cast mate Chris Farley. His partnership with Netflix includes this year’s Murder Mystery with Jennifer Aniston. There’s already a sequel planned for it. And the critical kudos came with crime thriller Uncut Gems, which opens wide on Christmas. That pic, from directors Ben and Josh Safdie, has Sandler picking up awards precursors and, like Murphy, in the mix for Academy attention. He’ll return to his preferred streaming service next year with Hubie Halloween.

For SNL, 2019 will be remembered as a time when two of their most famous alumni returned. For Murphy and Sandler, it’s a time when they gave us some of the most memorable onscreen work.

Uncut Gems Box Office Prediction

Veering far away from the Netflix comedies like Murder Mystery that he’s become known for over the past few years, Adam Sandler headlines the critically heralded crime thriller Uncut Gems and it expands nationwide on Christmas, The pic comes from directors Ben and Josh Safdie and the supporting cast includes future NBA hall of famer Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Lakeith Stanfield, Julia Fox, pop star The Weeknd, and Eric Bogosian.

Since its initial screenings at the Telluride Film Festival in late August, Gems has shone brightly with reviewers. It stands at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes and Sandler has picked up early awards precursors and could be in the running for an Oscar nomination. How will this translate to box office dollars? For the past two weeks, the film has been in limited release in five venues and performed well with $1 million in its coffers.

Whether or not Gems translates widely to mainstream viewers across the country is a trickier question. Even with Sandler’s involvement, this may cater more towards the art house circuit as opposed to audiences looking for holiday options. I’ll project that this hits mid single digits from Friday to Sunday and low double digits for the extended five-day rollout.

Uncut Gems opening weekend prediction: $5.7 million (Friday to Sunday); $11 million (Wednesday to Sunday)

For my Little Women prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/little-women-box-office-prediction/

For my Spies in Disguise prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/12/17/spies-in-disguise-box-office-prediction/

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 16th Edition

It’s been another action packed week on the Oscar predicting front! Since last Monday, the SAG Award nominations came out and today – we saw numerous categories reveal their shortlists. This is when races are whittled down to 10 or 15 possible nominees and it applies to International Feature Film, Documentary Feature, Original Score and Song, Makeup and Hairstyling, and Visual Effects. As always, there were surprises. These include “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats unlisted from Song, The Irishman absent from Makeup and Hairstyling, and Ad Astra and The Aeronauts left out for Visual Effects. You’ll notice that in these categories – there’s more dropouts than normal and that’s why.

As for the top line races, we have changes:

  • I am finally estimating that nine movies will be nominated for Best Picture instead of ten and that puts The Two Popes on the outside looking in.
  • The bad news for Popes continues as it’s Leonardo Dicaprio in and Jonathan Pryce out. I still have Robert De Niro clinging to the five spot, despite missing the Globes and SAG. We shall see if he remains in the fold as time goes on.
  • In Actress, it’s Cynthia Erivo in and Awkwafina out. I’ve got Lupita Nyong’o in the sixth position after a strong week of precursor love. She’s knocking right on the door.
  • Scarlett Johansson is back in for Supporting Actress to the detriment of Annette Bening. Like the SAG Awards, that means I’m projecting a double nomination for ScarJo. That would mark her first and second nominations.
  • In Original Screenplay, I’ve got Pain and Glory back in over Knives Out.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 4)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 3)

5. 1917 (PR: 5)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 8)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

9. Little Women (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

10. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

11. Bombshell (PR: 15)

12. The Farewell (PR: 11)

13. Knives Out (PR: 12)

14. Uncut Gems (PR: 13)

15. Rocketman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Richard Jewell

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

3. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 4)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 8)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

8. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 9)

10. Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

4. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 3)

5. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

7. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

8. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 7)

9. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 10)

10. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 8)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 6)

5. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

7. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 5)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

9. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 9)

10. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 8)

7. Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 6)

9. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 7)

10. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sam Rockwell, Richard Jewell

Wesley Snipes, Dolemite Is My Name

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

5. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 5)

8. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 7)

9. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: 9)

10. Jo Yeo-Jeong, Parasite (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Taylor Russell, Waves

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 5)

4. The Two Popes (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 7)

7. Hustlers (PR: 6)

8. Just Mercy (PR: 9)

9. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Knives Out (PR: 5)

7. Bombshell (PR: 9)

8. 1917 (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

10. Uncut Gems (PR: 7)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Atlantics (PR: 6)

5. Beanpole (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Those Who Remained (PR: 10)

7. Corpus Christi (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Honeyland (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Painted Bird (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Truth and Justice (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Monos

Invisible Life

A White, White Day

And Then We Danced

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Abominable (PR: 7)

7. Weathering with You (PR: 8)

8. Klaus (PR: 6)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 2)

3. One Child Nation (PR: 3)

4. For Sama (PR: 4)

5. Honeyland (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. The Edge of Democracy (PR: 9)

8. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 8)

9. Maiden (PR: 10)

10. Aquarela (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sea of Shadows

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Joker (PR: 3)

4. The Irishman (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Lighthouse (PR: 5)

7. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: 6)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

9. A Hidden Life (PR: 9)

10. Ad Astra (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Two Popes

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

2. Little Women (PR: 1)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Judy (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Cats (PR: 10)

10. The Aeronauts (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Aladdin

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 4)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

4. 1917 (PR: 2)

5. Parasite (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marriage Story (PR: 5)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 10)

9. Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

The Two Popes 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. Judy (PR: 3)

3. Joker (PR: 6)

4. Downton Abbey (PR: Not Ranked)

5. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 5)

7. Little Women (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Rocketman (PR: 8)

9. 1917 (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (PR: Not Ranked)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 4)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

7. Us (PR: 8)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

9. Avengers: Endgame (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Motherless Brooklyn (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Waves

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 4)

4. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 5)

5. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 10)

7. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

8. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 6)

9. “A Glass of Soju” from Parasite (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. 1917 (PR: 2)

3. Little Women (PR: 4)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 8)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

8. The Irishman (PR: 9)

9. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

10. John Wick – Chapter 3: Parabellum (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 9)

8. The Irishman (PR: 10)

9. Cats (PR: 7)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 8)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

4. The Lion King (PR: 3)

5. 1917 (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

7. Gemini Man (PR: 9)

8. Captain Marvel (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Cats (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Terminator: Dark Fate (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Ad Astra

Aladdin

And that equates to the following pictures nabbing these numbers for nominations:

10 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

1917, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

Joker

7 Nominations

Little Women, Marriage Story

6 Nominations

Parasite

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, Pain and Glory, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lion King, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, American Factory, Apollo 11, Atlantics, Beanpole, The Farewell, For Sama, Honeyland, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Les Miserables, Missing Link, One Child Nation, Toy Story 4, Wild Rose

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 9th Edition

It’s been two weeks since I’ve prognosticated Oscar picks on the blog and a lot has happened since then. The precursors are coming out in full force with the Golden Globe nominations out this morning and numerous critics bestowing their awards or nods.

The Globes potentially provided a needed boost to The Two Popes and displayed a better than anticipated showing for Joker. 

So how have my estimates changed in the last 14 days? There’s been one change in all major categories with the exception of Director and Adapted Screenplay. They are:

  • In Best Picture, I’ve put Ford v Ferrari back in and taken out Bombshell. The official review embargo for Bombshell lapsed and the current Rotten Tomatoes score is 60%. It could still sneak in, but with that rating and a lack of precursor love, it’s certainly fallen.
  • My ongoing struggle with picking Best Actor candidates continues. Whittling it down to five is a challenge and that’s an understatement. As has been discussed previously, I truly believe all 10 listed performers could get in. For that matter, so could Paul Walter Hauser for Richard Jewell if that film does better with Academy voters than expected. This is the first time I have Leonardo DiCaprio on the outside looking in with Antonio Banderas (recipient of some precursors) getting in. Look for this saga to continue until nominations morning.
  • In Best Actress, I’ve got Awkwafina in over Cynthia Erivo. This is basically a coin flip for the five spot and there’s also Lupita Nyong’o (another precursor favorite) as a spoiler.
  • Joe Pesci has done quite well in the precursors. He’s in over Willem Dafoe for Supporting Actor.
  • Annette Bening is back in the fold over Zhao Shuzhen in Supporting Actress.
  • I’m putting Knives Out in Original Screenplay and that takes out Pain and Glory.

You can read the rest of the happenings below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Parasite (PR: 5)

5. 1917 (PR: 3)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Little Women (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 11)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Farewell (PR: 12)

12. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Richard Jewell (PR: 13)

15. Bombshell (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Rocketman

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

3. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 2)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

8. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 7)

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

4. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

7. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

8. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 7)

9. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 5)

5. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 5)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 8)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 7)

9. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 10)

10. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 6)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 5)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

7. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 7)

8. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 9)

9. Sam Rockwell, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Wesley Snipes, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sterling K. Brown, Waves

John Lithgow, Bombshell

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 5)

5. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 4)

7. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

8. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Taylor Russell, Waves (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. The Two Popes (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 5)

5. Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hustlers (PR: 7)

7. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

8. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

9. Just Mercy (PR: 9)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Marriage Story (PR: 2)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

7. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

8. 1917 (PR: 7)

9. Bombshell (PR: 6)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Honey Boy

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Monos (PR: 4)

5. Invisible Life (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Atlantics (PR: 7)

7. A White, White Day (PR: 10)

8. Beanpole (PR: 8)

9. And Then We Danced (PR: 5)

10. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 6)

7. Abominable (PR: 7)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 5)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 4)

3. One Child Nation (PR: 2)

4. For Sama (PR: 5)

5. Sea of Shadows (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. Honeyland (PR: 8)

8. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

9. The Edge of Democracy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Maiden (PR: 3)

Dropped Out:

The Kingmaker 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Joker (PR: 5)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Parasite (PR: 6)

8. The Two Popes (PR: Not Ranked)

9. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Little Women (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Irishman (PR: 6)

8. Aladdin (PR: 10)

9. The Aeronauts (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Judy

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. 1917 (PR: 3)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

4. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 4)

5. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 5)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

10. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Bombshell

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bomshell (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Judy (PR: 3)

4. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. Us (PR: 5)

8. Rocketman (PR: 8)

9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. 1917 (PR: 3)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 2)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 10)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 8)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 2)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

8. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Aeronauts (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Waves (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

A Hidden Life

Ad Astra 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats (PR: 4)

4. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

5. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 7)

7. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 5)

8. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 9)

10. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Together From Afar” from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 9)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: 7)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

5. Joker (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

7. Cats (PR: 8)

8. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

9. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

10. The Irishman (PR: 9)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. The Lion King (PR: 4)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

5. The Aeronauts (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. 1917 (PR: 7)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

8. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

9. Gemini Man (PR: 9)

10. Aladdin (PR: 10)

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

11 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story

7 Nominations

Little Women

6 Nominations

Joker

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Parasite, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Two Popes

3 Nominations

Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Frozen II, Judy, The Lion King, Pain and Glory

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, The Aeronauts, American Factory, Apollo 11, Cats, Downton Abbey, For Sama, Harriet, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Invisible Life, Knives Out, Les Miserables, The Lighthouse, Missing Link, Monos, One Child Nation, The Report, Sea of Shadows, Toy Story 4

The Critics Make Their Choices

One day ahead of the more highly publicized Golden Globe nominations, this Sunday saw the unveiling of the nods for the Critics Choice Movie Awards. And in looking over their selections in recent history, they serve as quite a harbinger for the choices that Oscar voters might make.

After a strong showing in early precursors, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman led the way with 14 nominations. This is followed by 12 nods for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 9 for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, 8 for 1917 from Sam Mendes and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, and 7 for Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, Joker from Todd Phillips and Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite. 

This particular branch of voters utilizes an unpredictable scale for numbers of nominees in each category. For Best Picture, it’s always ten. Yet it fluctuates when it comes to director, the acting and screenplay races, and so forth.

Today I’ll break down the major categories and discuss each one and what it could mean come Oscar time. The ceremony airs on the CW this January 12th.

Best Picture

Nominees: 1917, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite, Uncut Gems

Reaction here is that the precursor love continues for Uncut Gems from Ben and Josh Safdie. This is probably the least expected feature to make the cut and the Adam Sandler led crime drama appears to be peaking at the right time. While this certainly doesn’t guarantee an Oscar nod, it’s now undoubtedly part of the conversation.

Some notable titles to miss the list: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Bombshell, The Farewell, Richard Jewell, and The Two Popes. It will be interesting tomorrow to see if the Globes finds room for Popes as part of its nominations, as it seems to be fading fast. It doesn’t help that Netflix could be primarily concerned with Irishman and Marriage Story. 

Over the last five years, there’s been four of them when eight of the Critics Choice list nabbed Best Picture attention at the Oscars. In 2017, it was nine of them. In other words, pay attention to this list.

Best Director

Nominees: Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Bong Joon-Ho  (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Ben and Josh Safdie (Uncut Gems), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

And another notch in the Uncut Gems arsenal. Most recent years have seen six nominees, but there’s seven nominees in 2019. In 2016, five of the Choice directors made up the Oscar list. In 2014 and 2015, it was three and for the past two years it’s been four.

Looking over this list, it’s very feasible that there’s a five match. Who could sneak in that’s not on here? One name that comes to mind is James Mangold for Ford v Ferrari. 

Best Actor

Nominees: Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Robert De Niro (The Irishman), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)

In a category that typically has six nominees, it should be no shocker that there’s seven this time around as Best Actor is packed. From 2015-2018, we have seen 5 nominees for two of the years (2015, 2018) make the Academy derby and two with 4 (2016, 2017). 2014 was a bit of an outlier with three.

As has been discussed on this blog, I believe there are 11 legitimate performers vying for 5 slots at the Oscars. The four that didn’t make the cut here are Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell), and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes). Here’s yet another example of Popes falling short.

Today’s announcements, in particular, could serve as a boost for Murphy and Sandler.

Best Actress

Nominees: Awkwafina (The Farewell), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

There’s a serious correlation between these nominees and Oscar. In four of the past five years, we’ve seen five of the women getting Academy love. In 2016, it was four. That seems destined to repeat itself here as the only potential outlier in my mind is Alfre Woodard in Clemency. I would bank on five of these seven nominees being the Oscar list.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

These nominees are further proof of an Irishman double nod for Pacino and Pesci coming our way. We’ve seen five for five matchups in two of the past five years with this race. This also makes me think Hopkins has a much better chance for Popes attention than his lead costar Pryce.

If there’s one name not here that could factor into the Oscar mix – Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy. All in all, no big surprises here.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Margot Robbie (Bombshell), Zhao Shuzhen (The Farewell)

This is indeed what I’d call the top 6 for Oscar viability. However, I wouldn’t sleep on Kathy Bates for Richard Jewell (a film these voters totally ignored). In the past half decade, we’ve never seen less than four of the nominees here getting Academy nods.

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees: The Farewell, Knives Out, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

The noticeable item here is the inclusion of Knives Out. All the rest were basically foregone conclusions. It gets in instead of Bombshell, 1917, Pain and Glory, or Ford v Ferrari. Could Oscar follow suit? Definitely possible as the last two years have seen 5 for 5 matches.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, The Two Popes

We haven’t seen a total match with the Academy from 2014 to present. I suspect that will change this time around as I believe 5 of these 6 contenders will make the Oscar cut. What gets left out? Beautiful Day, Joker, and Popes are the likely contenders.

My precursor posts will roll along in rapid succession as my take on the Los Angeles critics is up next…