Summer 1991: The Top 10 Hits and More

It is officially summertime 2021 and that brings my annual seasonal three-part series where I take a look back at the top ten pics, flops, and other notable selections from 30, 20, and 10 years ago. That means I’ll begin with 1991 at a time where Arnold Schwarzenegger said hasta la vista to all competitors.

Let’s count down from #10 to numero Ah-nuld along with other entries worthy of discussion (both good and bad).

10. Doc Hollywood

Domestic Gross: $54 million

Michael J. Fox had a midsize hit with this fish out of water comedy about an uppity surgeon stuck in the rural south. It marks the star’s last solid performer that he headlined.

9. Boyz n the Hood

Domestic Gross: $57 million

John Singleton had one of cinema’s most memorable directorial debuts with this coming-of-age drama set in South Central. He would become the youngest filmmaker ever to be nominated at the Oscars and the critically hailed pic kickstarted the careers of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Ice Cube.

8. One Hundred and One Dalmatians 

Domestic Gross: $60 million

Disney re-released their 1961 classic three decades after its release and picked up a cool $60 million for it. Later in 1991, the studio would begin another renaissance with Beauty and the Beast becoming the first animated film to nab a Best Picture nomination. Five years later, Glenn Close would headline the live-action version and another reboot, Cruella with Emma Stone, is currently in the top five.

7. What About Bob?

Domestic Gross: $63 million

Bill Murray had one of his signature roles as the multi-phobic patient tormenting shrink Richard Dreyfuss on his vacation. Apparently this comedy was a bit dramatic behind the scenes with the two leads having an actual antagonistic relationship.

6. Hot Shots!

Domestic Gross: $69 million

Spoofs were a hot commodity in the early 90s following the success of 1988’s The Naked Gun. Jim Abrahams, one of that film’s writers, created this sendup of Top Gun and many others that starred Charlie Sheen. A sequel would follow two years later.

5. Backdraft

Domestic Gross: $77 million

Ron Howard directed this firefighting drama that heated up the box office with Kurt Russell, William Baldwin, Robert De Niro, and a creepy Donald Sutherland as a pyromaniac. There was even a sequel released in 2019 with Baldwin and Sutherland that went direct to streaming and that I frankly forgot existed.

4. The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear

Domestic Gross: $86 million

The spoofing love continued as Leslie Nielsen reprised his role as doofus detective Frank Drebin in this sequel to the 1988 classic. It couldn’t hold up the original, but it was better than part 3 which followed in 1994. And, needless to say, this was a simpler time for costar O.J. Simpson.

3. City Slickers

Domestic Gross: $124 million

As New Yorkers learning life lessons on a cattle drive, Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, and Bruno Kirby starred in the comedy smash of the summer and costar Jack Palance even ended up with a Best Supporting Actor victory. A less regarded follow-up would come in 1994.

2. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Domestic Gross: $165 million

While his accent was spotty at best, Kevin Costner parlayed his Oscar success from the previous year’s Dances with Wolves into this blockbuster about the robbing from the rich and giving to the poor hero. The highlight was Alan Rickman’s sublime work as the Sheriff of Nottingham while critics mostly turned up their noses.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Domestic Gross: $204 million

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s android went from being the bad guy in the 1984 original to the good robot in James Cameron’s sequel that gave us eye popping and revolutionary special effects and a dynamite Linda Hamilton returning as a buffed up Sarah Connor. There’s been four more entries in the franchise and none have matched the potency of this one.

Now let’s turn the focus to some other notable releases:

Thelma & Louise

Domestic Gross: $45 million

Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis both scored lead actress Academy nods for Ridley Scott’s now iconic tale of feminism and revenge with an unforgettable ending. This also marked audiences falling in love with a then unknown actor by the name of Brad Pitt.

Point Break

Domestic Gross: $43 million

Patrick Swayze starred in the previous summer’s high earner with Ghost. This surfing action pic from director Kathryn Bigelow paired the actor with Keanu Reeves and has amassed a deserved cult following. An unnecessary remake wiped out in 2015.

Dead Again

Domestic Gross: $38 million

Kenneth Branagh’s sophomore effort after the acclaim of his Shakespearian Henry V was this Hitchcock homage costarring his then wife Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia, and Robin Williams. As tributes to the Master of Suspense go, this is one of the best.

Soapdish

Domestic Gross: $38 million

Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey, Jr., and Whoopi Goldberg are part of the ensemble in this comedy set in the world of the afternoon melodramas that populate the airwaves. Not a big hit at the time, its reception has since grown.

Jungle Fever

Domestic Gross: $32 million

Spike Lee’s tale of an interracial couple played by Wesley Snipes and Annabella Sciorra received critical kudos. The two most memorable performances come from Samuel L. Jackson as a crack addict and Halle Berry (in her feature debut) as his girlfriend.

Madonna: Truth or Dare

Domestic Gross: $15 million

As she often is, Madonna was ahead of the cultural curve with this documentary set during her 1990 Blond Ambition Tour. This was reality programming before it exploded.

Barton Fink

Domestic Gross: $6 million

The Coen Brothers pitch black comedy was the darling of the Cannes Film Festival, winning Picture, Director, and Actor for John Turturro. It would land three Academy nominations including Michael Lerner in Supporting Actor.

Now it’s time for the pictures that either didn’t land with audiences or critics (or both):

The Rocketeer

Domestic Gross: $46 million

Disney was hoping for a new franchise with this comic book based property. Yet the period adventure underwhelmed at the box office. This was a different era for the genre before the MCU changed everything. Director Joe Johnston, coincidentally, would go on to make Captain America: The First Avenger 20 years later.

Dying Young

Domestic Gross: $33 million

This seems hard to believe now, but Premiere magazine predicted this romance would be the largest grossing feature of the summer. Not so much. However, Julia Roberts was just coming off her smash breakthrough Pretty Woman. This didn’t land with audiences in the same way.

Only the Lonely

Domestic Gross: $25 million

Chris Columbus was basking in the box office bonanza that was Home Alone. This rom com with John Candy and Ally Sheedy that followed six months later didn’t cause many filmgoers to leave their homes.

Mobsters

Domestic Gross: $20 million

1990 was gave us lots of mobster fare such as GoodFellas, The Godfather Part III, and Miller’s Crossing. Crowds and critics didn’t take to the Christian Slater and Patrick Dempsey versions of Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky, respectively.

Hudson Hawk

Domestic Gross: $17 million

Bruce Willis’s vanity project is considered one of the gargantuan flops in history. Grossing only about a fourth of its $65 million budget, it was awarded the Golden Raspberry for Worst Picture of the year.

V.I. Warshawski

Domestic Gross: $11 million

Based on a series of successful novels, audiences didn’t take to Kathleen Turner in the title role for this detective action comedy. It made less than half its budget.

Delirious

Domestic Gross: $5 million

Also set in the world of soap operas, this marked another dud for John Candy in the same season.

Another You

Domestic Gross: $2 million

Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder are a classic combo with well-regarded comedies like Silver Streak and Stir Crazy. Even See No Evil, Hear No Evil in 1989, despite critical scorn, performed well. That’s not the case with their last collaboration (which reviewers also drubbed).

And that concludes my look back at summer 1991. Next up is the sweltering season of 2001!

Oscars 2020: The Case of Chloe Zhao

My Case Of posts in the Best Director category reaches its fifth and final hopeful with Chloe Zhao for Nomadland. If you missed the previous four, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/03/26/oscars-2020-the-case-of-lee-isaac-chung/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/04/02/oscars-2020-the-case-of-emerald-fennell/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/04/08/oscars-2020-the-case-of-david-fincher/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/04/11/oscars-2020-the-case-of-thomas-vinterberg/

The Case for Chloe Zhao

Nomadland is absolutely the frontrunner to win Best Picture and oftentimes it matches with director (though not quite as much in recent years). Even if something upsets Nomadland in the big race, Zhao has made it a clean sweep at the precursors and that includes BAFTA, DGA, Critics Choice Awards, Golden Globes, and many other regional critics group awards. Zhao (who will next take on the MCU’s Eternals) will also make some history by becoming the second female to take the gold after Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) in 2009.

The Case Against Chloe Zhao

To be blunt – there really isn’t one. I suppose only if the Academy doesn’t embrace Nomadland like other awards bodies have and that appears unlikely.

The Verdict

Some of the major categories have some suspense around them. This one doesn’t. Zhao appears primed for victory.

My Case Of posts will continue with Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman…

DGA: The Zhaomentum Continues

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) is a pretty darn accurate predictor of who will win at the Academy Awards. In the past 20 years, the DGA and Oscar winners for Best Director have matched 17 times. It is worth noting that one of the 3 non matches was last year as Sam Mendes (1917) took DGA while Bong Joon Ho (Parasite) took the Academy’s gold.

Tonight the DGA held their ceremony and it went as expected with Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) emerging victorious. This goes along with her numerous critics groups prizes and the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award. Anyone else being named this evening would have been a surprise and it’s further evidence that Zhao is the strong favorite for Oscar. If so, she will become the second female to do so after Kathryn Bigelow for 2009’s The Hurt Locker.

This is also more evidence that Nomadland itself is in the driver’s seat for Best Picture as the Academy’s ceremony is just 15 days away. Bottom line: the Zhaomentum continues and none of the other nominees appear capable of interrupting it.

2020 Oscar Predictions: December 28th Edition

My final Oscars forecast for 2020 sees no changes in my nine Best Picture nominees (which has remained consistent for weeks), but some movement in other key races.

In Best Director, I have had David Fincher (Mank) listed at #1 for months, but that switches today as he falls to second with Chloe Zhao (Nomadland) taking the top spot. If she manages to take gold in April, Zhao would be just the second female to win the award behind Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2009. Additionally, Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) is in my final five for the first time, replacing Regina King for One Night in Miami.

While there are no changes in the lead acting competitions, the supporting players are a different story. Youn Yuh-jung in Minari sees her first appearance in my five Supporting Actress hopefuls and that takes out Helena Zengel in News of the World. Same goes for Paul Raci in Supporting Actor for Sound of Metal and that’s to the detriment of Mark Rylance in The Trial of the Chicago 7.

You can peruse all the rest of the activity below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. Minari (PR: 7)

6. The Father (PR: 5)

7. One Night in Miami (PR: 6)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

9. News of the World (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 12)

11. Promising Young Woman (PR: 13)

12. Sound of Metal (PR: 10)

13. Soul (PR: 11)

14. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 14)

15. First Cow (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Mauritanian

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 2)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 1)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 7)

5. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

7. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

8. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

9. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Darius Marder, Sound of Metal

Paul Greengrass, News of the World 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 3)

3. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 4)

4. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 2)

5. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 6)

7. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 7)

8. Kate Winslet, Ammonite (PR: 10)

9. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 9)

10. Robin Wright, Land (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Meryl Streep, The Prom

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 7)

7. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

8. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 8)

9. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

10. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 2)

3. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

5. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 5)

7. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

8. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 9)

9. Olivia Cooke, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

10. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

4. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

7. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 7)

8. Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: Not Ranked)

9. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

10. Stanley Tucci, Supernova (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Frank Langella, The Trial of the Chicago 7 

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Minari (PR: 3)

4. Promising Young Woman (PR: 4)

5. Soul (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

7. Sound of Metal (PR: 7)

8. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 8)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

10. The Forty-Year-Old Version (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

On the Rocks

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. The Father (PR: 3)

3. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. First Cow (PR: 5)

Predicted Nominees:

6. News of the World (PR: 7)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 6)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 8)

9. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 9)

10. The Mauritanian (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 7)

7. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 6)

8. Connected (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Demon Slayer (PR: 9)

10. Bombay Rose (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Trolls World Tour

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Totally Under Control (PR: 1)

2. Time (PR: 2)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. The Dissident (PR: 4)

5. Boys State (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 8)

7. Crip Camp (PR: 6)

8. Collective (PR: 7)

9. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 10)

10. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 9)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 3)

4. My Little Sister (PR: 4)

5. Collective (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Night of the Kings (PR: 5)

7. Dear Comrades! (PR: 7)

8. Never Gonna Snow Again (PR: 6)

9. A Sun (PR: 8)

10. Notturno (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Tenet (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Minari (PR: 5)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

8. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 9)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 8)

10. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

5. Mulan (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World (PR: 6)

7. The Prom (PR: 7)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 10)

9. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 8)

10. Ammonite (PR: 9)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Nomadland (PR: 4)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

7. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

8. News of the World (PR: 6)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Tenet (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Minari

Promising Young Woman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Birds of Prey (PR: 3)

4. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 5)

5. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mank (PR: 4)

7. Mulan (PR: 7)

8. Pinocchio (PR: 8)

9. Emma (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Prom (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

News of the World

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 3)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 5)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

8. Tenet (PR: 7)

9. One Night in Miami (PR: 10)

10. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon (PR: 3)

3. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

4. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

5. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy

Other Possibilities:

6. “Only the Young” from Miss Americana (PR: 6)

7. “Poverty Porn” from The Forty-Year-Old Version (PR: 8)

8. “Wear Your Crown” from The Prom (PR: 9)

9. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

“(If Only You Could) Save Me” from Mank

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Mulan (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

4. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 3)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Emma (PR: 10)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 7)

9. News of the World (PR: 6)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Prom

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 3)

3. Tenet (PR: 2)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

5. News of the World (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

7. Soul (PR: 7)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 10)

9. The Prom (PR: 9)

10. Mulan (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Trial of the Chicago 7

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. The Invisible Man (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 6)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonder Woman 1984 (PR: 5)

7. Sonic the Hedgehog (PR: 8)

8. Mank (PR: 7)

9. Greyhound (PR: 9)

10. The Call of the Wild (PR: 10)

And that equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers in terms of nominations:

11 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

7 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

6 Nominations

The Father, Nomadland

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, Minari

4 Nominations

News of the World, One Night in Miami

3 Nominations

Hillbilly Elegy, Sound of Metal, Mulan, Soul, Tenet, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

2 Nominations

Birds of Prey, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Promising Young Woman

1 Nomination

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Boys State, Collective, Dick Johnson Is Dead, The Dissident, Earwig and the Witch, Emma, First Cow, I’m No Longer Here, The Invisible Man, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Life Ahead, The Midnight Sky, My Little Sister, Onward, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Quo Vadis, Aida?, Time, Totally Under Control, Wolfwalkers

See y’all in 2021!

X-Men at 20: A Look Back

Twenty years ago today, Bryan Singer’s X-Men arrived in theaters and it’s not hyperbole to call it one of the most influential pictures of the 21st century. The 20th Century Fox release found the comic book genre at a rather low point at the end of that said century. While Blade was a nice size hit in 1998, the years prior found at a lot to be desired with the quality of the genre. 1995 brought us Judge Dredd and 1997 saw the release of Batman and Robin, which found the Caped Crusader with Bat nipples and bad reviews.

X-Men, though it’s hard to remember now, was released at a time where the idea of superhero tales was an uncertain box office prospect. This is two years before Spider-Man broke all kinds of financial records. This is five years prior to Christopher Nolan reinvigorating the Bat franchise with his Dark Knight trilogy. And this was eight years before Robert Downey Jr. was cast as Tony Stark/Iron Man, officially kicking off the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

In the summer of 2000, X-Men was by no means a guaranteed hit. It did, however, have credibility with the behind the scenes talent and cast. Bryan Singer was known for his heralded The Usual Suspects. Acclaimed actors Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen (fresh off an Oscar nod for Gods and Monsters), Anna Paquin, and Halle Berry were among the onscreen players. And it was another casting decision that provided its most enduring legacy. Russell Crowe, who headlined that summer’s Oscar winner Gladiator, originally turned down the part of Wolverine. Dougray Scott was then cast in the role, but had to drop out when his role as the villain in Mission: Impossible II (also out that summer) prevented him from filming. So it was the unknown Hugh Jackman who donned the claws. He would go on to make it his signature role as he played Logan/Wolverine in numerous sequels and spin-offs (including three stand-alone projects of wildly divergent qualities).

Let’s back up. Before the 2000 release, X-Men was in development for over a decade and a half. At one point, James Cameron was slated to produce with his then wife Kathryn Bigelow attached to direct. Later on, Robert Rodriguez turned the project down. A gander at the pic’s Wikipedia page is an entertaining read (Mariah Carey was in the mix for Storm at one juncture and Angela Bassett was first choice). X-Men was rushed to make its summer release date 20 years ago today after it was originally intended for Christmas 2000.

That rushed feeling does show on up on screen a little, but the overall end result speaks for itself. What occurred two decades ago is a major mark in the comic book movie renaissance that continues to this day. The franchise has certainly had its ups and downs. X2: X-Men United was the first sequel in 2003 and it is generally considered a high point. Three years later, Brett Ratner took over directorial reigns with The Last Stand and (while a huge hit) the quality took a dip. Matthew Vaughn would reestablish critical kudos in rebooting the series in 2011 with First Class (bringing Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence to the screen playing younger counterparts to key characters). Jackman’s first spin-off X-Men Origins: Wolverine faced deserved backlash while 2017’s Logan was lauded and landed an Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination. And a cheeky and R rated offshoot called Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds would dazzle audiences and critics alike. Last summer’s Dark Phoenix didn’t do any dazzling and was another low ebb in the series. Spin-off The New Mutants has seen release date changes that began in 2018 and it’s pretty much a running joke as to whether it will ever come out.

That long road began in 2000 and has shaped the cinematic universe since. And if you had to mark a spot for the comic book landscape today as it stands now on the screen, it started that day.

Summer 2009: The Top 10 Hits and More

Today we continue with my recaps of the movie summers from 30, 20, and 10 years ago. I’ve already covered 1989 and 1999 and if you missed them, you can find them right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/10/summer-1989-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/07/23/summer-1999-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

Looking over the 2009 list, it’s a reminder of how one thing in particular has changed in just a decade. In the summer of 2008, Iron Man came out and kickstarted the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Two seasons later, Iron Man 2 followed. In every summer since, there’s been a massive MCU title often ruling the charts. 2009 is the last year not to feature one.

Instead, one of the most indelible images from 10 years past is Mike Tyson belting out a Phil Collins classic.

As I’ve done with previous entries, I’ll recount the top ten hits along with some other notable pics and flops. Let’s get to it!

10. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra

Domestic Gross: $150 million

Hasbro was kind of the MCU of this summer by bookending the top 10. Based on their popular set of action figures, Cobra spawned a sequel and introduced many moviegoers to Channing Tatum.

9. The Proposal

Domestic Gross: $163 million

What a year for Sandra Bullock. First she has this huge rom com with Ryan Reynolds and months later gets her Oscar winning turn in The Blind Side. Not to mention Betty White is in this!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IiL0pskex2U

8. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian

Domestic Gross: $177 million

While it couldn’t match the $250 million earned by its 2006 predecessor, the Ben Stiller led  family adventure sequel still did enough for a part 3 to eventually follow.

7. XMen Origins: Wolverine

Domestic Gross: $179 million

The first of three spinoffs for Hugh Jackman’s iconic clawed character, this is generally considered the worst of them. It still made a pretty penny and gave us a first glimpse at Ryan Reynolds as Wade Wilson, aka Deadpool.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QvLeNgzmjcE

6. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Domestic Gross: $196 million

The third of these five animated tales, Dinosaurs stands at the largest grosser by a mere $1 million over 2006 predecessor Ice Age: The Meltdown.

5. Star Trek

Domestic Gross: $257 million

J.J. Abrams was able to bring this long running film and TV milestone to the next generation in a critically acclaimed way. His reboot remains the highest grossing entry in the canon of Trek. Two sequels so far have followed.

4. The Hangover

Domestic Gross: $277 million

The breakout comedy of the summer made stars out of Bradley Cooper and Zach Galifianakis in particular and had the aforementioned Mike Tyson musical moment of glory. Two lesser regarded sequels followed.

3. Up

Domestic Gross: $293 million

Pixar had another smash hit with this tale of aging and wonder that contains my personal favorite sequence of any of their titles. The opening montage of a couple’s journey through life is simultaneously beautiful and devastating.

2. Harry Potter and the HalfBlood Prince

Domestic Gross: $301 million

This sixth Potter pic set up the two part franchise finale and it stands at the third biggest grosser behind the eighth and final entry and the first film in 2001.

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Domestic Gross: $402 million

The follow-up to the 2007 original, Michael Bay’s metallic action extravaganza is the high point in terms of box office dollars overall and largest opening, even though critics mercilessly crucified it.

And now for some other notable flicks from the summer that was 10 years ago:

Angels & Demons

Domestic Gross: $133 million

The sequel to The Da Vinci Code, the return of Tom Hanks as Robert Langdon performed decently, but nowhere near the $217 million achieved by its predecessor. The next sequel Inferno bombed.

Inglourious Basterds

Domestic Gross: $120 million

Quentin Tarantino’s revisionist World War II saga become his best earning pic at the time and earned a slew of Oscar nods, including a win for scene stealer Christoph Waltz.

District 9

Domestic Gross: $115 million

Made for a mere $30 million, Neill Blomkamp announced himself a serious force of sci-fi nature with heralded work that nabbed a Best Picture nod.

Public Enemies

Domestic Gross: $97 million

This gangster tale from Michael Mann was headlined by Johnny Depp and Christian Bale as they took a break between their respective pirate and bat franchises. It was a slight box office disappointment as it couldn’t quite match its $100 million budget back domestically.

Julie & Julia

Domestic Gross: $94 million

Meryl Streep got her umpteenth Oscar nod playing famed chef Julia Child in this Nora Ephron dramedy that proved to be a nice August hit.

Bruno

Domestic Gross: $60 million

There was enough goodwill left over from Sacha Baron Cohen’s smash Borat to propel this satire about a fashion journalist to a $30 million opening weekend. It fell off quickly after that impressive start.

Drag Me to Hell

Domestic Gross: $42 million

Following on the heels of his SpiderMan trilogy, this horror comedy brought Sam Raimi back to his Evil Dead roots. Box office dollars were just ok, but critics appreciated it.

(500) Days of Summer

Domestic Gross: $32 million

Made for a tiny $7.5 million, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel charmed audiences with this rom com from Marc Webb. He would take over the Spidey franchise from Raimi shortly thereafter.

The Hurt Locker

Domestic Gross: $17 million

Kathryn Bigelow’s intense tale of bomb technicians in Iraq made a name for Jeremy Renner. While its box office earnings weren’t that potent, the real reward came later when it won the Oscar for Best Picture and Bigelow became the first female to be awarded Best Director.

We move to pictures that failed to meet expectations or were outright flops.

Terminator Salvation

Domestic Gross: $125 million

The Governor of California sat this one out and this McG directed franchise entry couldn’t match the opening of part 3 from six years prior. Today it’s perhaps best known for a secretly recorded onset argument between McG and star Christian Bale.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Domestic Gross: $65 million

A remake of a 1974 Walter Matthau action flick about hijacked subway cars, Tony Scott’s collaboration starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta fell short of anticipated blockbuster status.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=pa4w4NyhIY4

Funny People

Domestic Gross: $51 million

Judd Apatow had made two huge comedies with The 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. This one centered on the world of stand-up with Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen. It was more personal and divided critics and crowds alike.

Land of the Lost

Domestic Gross: $49 million

Based on a loopy 1970s TV series, Will Ferrell had a rare bomb with this critically derided prehistoric pic. It didn’t earn half of its $100 million price tag back stateside.

Year One

Domestic Gross: $43 million

Yet another prehistoric comedic failure, the talents of director Harold Ramis and Jack Black and Michael Cena couldn’t get reviewers or audiences on its side.

Imagine That

Domestic Gross: $16 million

Families ignored this particular Eddie Murphy headliner that stands as one of his lowest grossing efforts.

And that does it for my seasonal summer recaps! A year from now… look for 1990, 2000, and 2010 coming your way.

Oscar History: 2012

It’s been quite some time since I’ve done an Oscar History post (about two and a half years) and I’m at 2012. It was a year in which Seth MacFarlane hosted the show – fresh off his comedy smash Ted. Here’s what transpired in the major categories with some other pictures and performers I might have considered:

The year saw nine nominees for Best Picture in which Ben Affleck’s Argo took the top prize. Other nominees: Amour, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook (my personal favorite of the year), and Zero Dark Thirty. 

Many Wes Anderson fans would contend that Moonrise Kingdom should have made the cut. And I could certainly argue that The Avengers (perhaps the greatest comic book flick and the year’s biggest grosser) was worth a nod.

The nominations in Best Director were a huge surprise at the time. While Argo won the top prize of all, Affleck was not nominated for his behind the camera efforts. It was the first time since Driving Miss Daisy‘s Bruce Beresford where an Oscar-winning Picture didn’t see its filmmaker nominated.

Instead it was Ang Lee who was victorious for Life of Pi over Michael Haneke (Amour), David O. Russell (Silver Linings Playbook), Steven Spielberg (Lincoln), and Benh Zeitlin (Beasts of the Southern Wild).

In addition to Affleck, it was surprising that Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) was not included. And I certainly would have put in Tarantino for Django.

The race for Best Actor seemed over when the casting of Daniel Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln was announced. And that’s exactly how it played out as he won his third Oscar over a strong slate of Bradley Cooper (Playbook), Hugh Jackman (Les Miserables), Joaquin Phoenix (The Master), and Denzel Washington (Flight).

The exclusion of John Hawkes in The Sessions could have been welcomed, but I’ll admit that’s a solid group.

Jennifer Lawrence won Best Actress for Silver Linings over Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark), Emmanuelle Riva (Amour), Quvenzhane Wallis (Beasts), and Naomi Watts (The Impossible).

Again, no major qualms here. I did enjoy the work of Helen Mirren in Hitchcock (for which she did get a Golden Globe nod).

Supporting Actor was competitive as Christoph Waltz won his second statue for Django (three years after Inglourious Basterds). He was a bit of a surprise winner over Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln. Other nominees: Alan Arkin (Argo), Robert De Niro (Playbook), and Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Master).

Here’s a year where there’s a lot of others I thought of. Waltz won, but I think the work of Leonardo DiCaprio and Samuel L. Jackson in Django was equally impressive. There’s Javier Bardem as one of the greatest Bond villains ever in Skyfall. Or John Goodman’s showy role in Flight. As for some other blockbusters that year, how about Tom Hiddleston in The Avengers or Matthew McConaughey in Magic Mike? And my favorite comedic scene of that year was due to Giovanni Ribisi in Ted…

In Supporting Actress, Anne Hathaway was a front-runner for Les Miserables and there was no upset. Other nominees: Amy Adams (The Master), Sally Field (Lincoln), Helen Hunt (The Sessions), and Jacki Weaver (Playbook).

Judi Dench had more heft to her part as M in Skyfall that year and I’ll also give a shout-out to Salma Hayek’s performance in Oliver Stone’s Savages.

And there’s your Oscar history for 2012! I’ll have 2013 up… hopefully in less than two and a half years!

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 2nd Edition

Thursday is here and that means my weekly Oscar predictions have kicked off for the month of November!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, means some changes have arrived. I am now expanding to include every category covering feature-length movies and listing my most likely possibilities in each. Additionally, I am slimming down the Best Picture possibilities from 25 to 15 and now just 10 instead of 15 in the other races.

There are a couple of revisions shown below I would like to cover. First, Steven Spielberg’s The Post has been high on my list for weeks. However, persistent rumors abound that it may not be the surefire contender that it appears to be on paper. Therefore, it’s taken a hit this week. I still have it listed for Picture and Actress (Meryl Streep), but it’s fallen out of my predicted nominees in other categories.

Another change is one that intersects with the news of the day and it cannot be ignored. Due to recent allegations that have surfaced in the last few days, there is little question that Kevin Spacey’s chances for Supporting Actor in All the Money in the World have potentially disappeared. That revision is also reflected today.

Now, for the first time, my thoughts on all the races for the 2017 Oscars:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

4. Mudbound (PR: 8)

5. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 6)

7. The Florida Project (PR: 7)

8. The Post (PR: 3)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Lady Bird (PR: 10)

11. I, Tonya (PR: 11)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 13)

13. Last Flag Flying (PR: 15)

14. Detroit (PR: 12)

15. Get Out (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Battle of the Sexes

Downsizing

The Greatest Showman

The Big Sick

All the Money in the World

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Wonderstruck

Molly’s Game

Wind River

Coco

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

4. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 8)

5. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 6)

7. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

8. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 3)

9. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 10)

10. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread

Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying

Craig Gillespie, I, Tonya

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 6)

5. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 7)

7. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

8. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 8)

9. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 10)

10. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel Esq. (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Christian Bale, Hostiles

Matt Damon, Downsizing

Jeremy Renner, Wind River

Algee Smith, Detroit

Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

2. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

3. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 1)

4. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 6)

7. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 8)

8. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 7)

9. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 9)

10. Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman

Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project

Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Diane Kruger, In the Fade

Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 4)

5. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

7. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

9. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 12)

10. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World

Will Poulter, Detroit

Christoph Waltz, Downsizing

Patrick Stewart, Logan

Idris Elba, Molly’s Game

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 2)

3. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

5. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 6)

7. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: 8)

9. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

10. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled

Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck

Tatiana Maslany, Stronger

Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck

Sarah Paulson, The Post

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Mudbound (PR: 2)

3. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

4. Molly’s Game (PR: 3)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck (PR: 5)

7. The Beguiled (PR: 8)

8. The Disaster Artist (PR: 7)

9. Stronger (PR: 10)

10. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

All the Money in the World

Thank You for Your Service

First, They Killed My Father

The Death of Stalin

Wonder

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

2. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 3)

4. The Florida Project (PR: 4)

5. Lady Bird (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Big Sick (PR: 7)

7. Get Out (PR: 8)

8. The Post (PR: 6)

9. Dunkirk (PR: 10)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Phantom Thread

Downsizing

Wind River

Battle of the Sexes

Coco

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. BPM (Beats Per Minute)

2. In the Fade

3. First, They Killed My Father

4. Happy End

5. Foxtrot

Other Possibilities:

6. The Square

7. A Fantastic Woman

8. Loveless

9. The Divine Order

10. Tom of Finland

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco

2. The Breadwinner

3. Loving Vincent

4. Birdbag: The Forgotten Children

5. Ferdinand

Other Possibilities:

6. The LEGO Batman Movie

7. Cars 3

8. Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

9. Despicable Me 3

10. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. City of Ghosts

2. Risk

3. Icarus

4. Cries from Syria

5. Jane

Other Possibilities:

6. Step

7. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson

8. Dina

9. One of Us

10. Kedi

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk

2. The Shape of Water

3. Darkest Hour

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

5. Mudbound

Other Possibilities:

6. Blade Runner 2049

7. The Post

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

9. Call Me by Your Name

10. Detroit

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049

2. Dunkirk

3. The Shape of Water

4. Darkest Hour

5. Phantom Thread

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck

7. Mudbound

8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

9. Wonder Wheel

10. The Greatest Showman

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water

2. Blade Runner 2049

3. Darkest Hour

4. Phantom Thread

5. Dunkirk

Other Possibilities:

6. Beauty and the Beast

7. The Greatest Showman

8. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

9. Wonder Wheel

10. Call My by Your Name

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread

2. Beauty and the Beast

3. Darkest Hour

4. The Greatest Showman

5. Victoria and Abdul

Other Possibilities:

6. Blade Runner 2049

7. The Beguiled

8. Wonder Wheel

9. The Post

10. Murder on the Orient Express

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour

2. The Shape of Water

3. Phantom Thread

Other Possibilities:

4. The Greatest Showman

5. I, Tonya

6. Beauty and the Beast

7. Thor: Ragnarok

8. Blade Runner 2049

9. It

10. Wonderstruck

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049

2. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

3. War for the Planet of the Apes

4. The Shape of Water

5. Dunkirk

Other Possibilities:

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

7. Beauty and the Beast

8. Wonder Woman

9. Thor: Ragnarok

10. Kong: Skull Island

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk

2. Blade Runner 2049

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

4. Wonder Woman

5. Transformers: The Last Knight

Other Possibilities:

6. The Shape of Water

7. Coco

8. Detroit

9. Baby Driver

10. War for the Planet of the Apes

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk

2. Blade Runner 2049

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

4. The Shape of Water

5. The Greatest Showman

Other Possibilities:

6. Baby Driver

7. Detroit

8. Transformers: The Last Knight

9. Darkest Hour

10. Coco

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour

2. Dunkirk

3. The Shape of Water

4. Wonderstruck

5. Coco

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

7. The Post

8. Blade Runner 2049

9. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

10. The Greatest Showman

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Remember Me” from Coco

2. “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall

3. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker

4. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast

5. “Come Alive” from The Greatest Showman

Other Possibilities:

6. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria

7. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit

8. “The Promise” from The Promise

9. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman

10. “To Be Human” from Wonder Woman

And that leaves my inaugural breakdown for number of nominations by each picture:

12 Nominations

The Shape of Water

11 Nominations

Darkest Hour

10 Nominations

Dunkirk

6 Nominations

Blade Runner 2049

5 Nominations

Call Me by Your Name, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Phantom Thread

4 Nominations

Mudbound, The Greatest Showman

3 Nominations

The Florida Project, Coco, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

2 Nominations

The Post, I, Tonya, Lady Bird, Victoria and Abdul, Beauty and the Beast

1 Nomination

Stronger, Battle of the Sexes, Novitiate, Downsizing, Last Flag Flying, Molly’s Game, First, They Killed My Father, In the Fade, BPM (Beats Per Minute), Happy End, A Fantastic Woman, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, Birdbag: The Forgotten Children, Ferdinand, City of Ghosts, Risk, Icarus, Cries from Syria, Jane, War for the Planet of the Apes, Wonder Woman, Transformers: The Last Knight, Wonderstruck, Marshall, Fifty Shades Darker 

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 26th Edition

My weekly Thursday predictions are in for the eight major categories at the Oscars. As October closes out, we will see some changes beginning next week as November rolls in. This will be the final week of listing 25 possibilities for Best Picture and 15 for the other seven races. Starting next week, the Best Picture possibilities will go down to 15 and 10 in the other categories. Additionally, on November 2, I’ll be bringing in the other categories related to feature films.

Over the past week, we’ve seen first trailers hit for I, Tonya and Phantom Thread, both threats to get multiple nods. The Phantom trailer and subsequent news also introduced us to Vicky Krieps, who apparently will be campaigned for in an already packed lead actress race. I’m still on The Florida Project bandwagon and it moves from 9th to 7th this week in BP possibilities. Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird also makes a big jump in the rankings.

The film Chappaquiddick was moved to 2018 and that now removes the (long shot) possibility that Jason Clarke could have received a Best Actor nod portraying Senator Ted Kennedy.

Yet the biggest development of the week is Warner Bros announcement that Clint Eastwood’s The 15:17 to Paris will be opening in February 2018. There’s still a chance it could receive a limited late year push for Oscar consideration, but for now it’s out of contention.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

3. The Post (PR: 2)

4. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

5. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 4)

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 6)

7. The Florida Project (PR: 9)

8. Mudbound (PR: 7)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

10. Lady Bird (PR: 18)

11. I, Tonya (PR: 15)

12. Detroit (PR: 10)

13. Phantom Thread (PR: 12)

14. Get Out (PR: 20)

15. Last Flag Flying (PR: 11)

16. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 14)

17. Downsizing (PR: 16)

18. The Greatest Showman (PR: 17)

19. The Big Sick (PR: 22)

20.  All the Money in the World (PR: 19)

21.  Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 23)

22.  Wonderstruck (PR: 21)

23. Molly’s Game (PR: 25)

24. Wind River (PR: 24)

25. Coco (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The 15:17 to Paris

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

3. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 2)

4. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

5. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

7. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 6)

8. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 7)

9. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 9)

10. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 15)

11. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 13)

12. Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit (PR: 10)

13. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying (PR: 15)

15. Craig Gillespie, I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying

Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

5. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 6)

7. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 8)

8. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 10)

9. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 9)

10. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 7)

11. Jeremy Renner, Wind River (PR: 11)

12. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 13)

13. Matt Damon, Downsizing (PR: 12)

14. Algee Smith, Detroit (PR: 15)

15. Kumail Nanjiani, The Big Sick (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jason Clarke, Chappaquiddick (moved to 2018)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

4. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

5. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 9)

7. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 6)

8. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 7)

9. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

10. Vicky Krieps, Phantom Thread (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman (PR: 11)

12. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (PR: 10)

13. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: 12)

14. Diane Kruger, In the Fade (PR: 14)

15. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Jennifer Lawrence, mother! (PR: 15)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 4)

5. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

7. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 8)

8. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 7)

9. Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World (PR: 9)

10. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: 13)

11. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: 10)

12. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 12)

13. Christoph Waltz, Downsizing (PR: 11)

14. Patrick Stewart, Logan (PR: 14)

15. Idris Elba, Molly’s Game (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Garrett Hedlund, Mudbound

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 2)

3. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

5. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 7)

7. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 8)

8. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: 9)

9. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

10. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled (PR: 11)

12. Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck (PR: 10)

13. Tatiana Maslany, Stronger (PR: 12)

14. Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck (PR: 13)

15. Sarah Paulson, The Post (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Michelle Pfeiffer, mother!

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Mudbound (PR: 2)

3. Molly’s Game (PR: 4)

4. Last Flag Flying (PR: 3)

5. Wonderstruck (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

7. The Disaster Artist (PR: 12)

8. The Beguiled (PR: 9)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

10. Stronger (PR: 11)

11. All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

12. Thank You for Your Service (PR: Not Ranked)

13. First, They Killed My Father (PR: 15)

14. The Death of Stalin (PR: 13)

15. Wonder (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

The 15:17 to Paris

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Darkest Hour (PR: 6)

4. The Florida Project (PR: 4)

5. Lady Bird (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Post (PR: 3)

7. The Big Sick (PR: 5)

8. Get Out (PR: 8)

9. I, Tonya (PR: 10)

10. Dunkirk (PR: 7)

11. Phantom Thread (PR: 12)

12. Downsizing (PR: 11)

13. Wind River (PR: 13)

14. Battle of the Sexes (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Coco (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Detroit 

Wonder Wheel

And there you have it! My final October predictions. I’ll be back next week with all the categories for the first time…

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 19th Edition

My weekly round of Thursday Oscar predictions in the eight major categories brings a couple of updates from the past week:

Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel premiered at the New York Film Festival and the mixed reaction has caused it to roll all the way out of the top 25 possibilities for Best Picture. Kate Winslet still stands a decent shot at Best Actress in a very crowded race, but her nomination seems a bit less assured to me now. The film also takes a hit in the Original Screenplay derby.

It’s looking like The Leisure Seeker with Donald Sutherland will not be released until 2018. I’ve had the actor on the lower rungs of possibility for Best Actor, but until I see confirmation of an awards qualifying end of year release date, he’s out for now.

And with that, let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Post (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

6. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 5)

7. Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 10)

9. The Florida Project (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

10. Detroit (PR: 12)

11. Last Flag Flying (PR: 11)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 15)

13. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 14)

14. Battle of the Sexes (PR: 13)

15. I, Tonya (PR: 17)

16. Downsizing (PR: 18)

17. The Greatest Showman (PR: 16)

18. Lady Bird (PR: 22)

19. All the Money in the World (PR: 20)

20. Get Out (PR: 19)

21. Wonderstruck (PR: 21)

22. The Big Sick (PR: 23)

23. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 25)

24. Wind River (PR: 24)

25. Molly’s Game (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Wonder Wheel 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 2)

3. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 6)

5. Joe Wright, Darkest Hour (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

7. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 5)

8. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 8)

9. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 10)

10. Kathryn Bigelow, Detroit (PR: 11)

11. Clint Eastwood, The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 12)

12. Richard Linklater, Last Flag Flying (PR: 14)

13. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 13)

14. Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Woody Allen, Wonder Wheel

Jordan Peele, Get Out

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread (PR: 2)

3. Timothee Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

4. Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman (PR: 3)

5. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 6)

7. Steve Carell, Last Flag Flying (PR: 7)

8. Andrew Garfield, Breathe (PR: 9)

9. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 8)

10. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 10)

11. Jeremy Renner, Wind River (PR: 11)

12. Matt Damon, Downsizing (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 13)

14. Jason Clarke, Chappaquiddick (PR: 15)

15. Algee Smith, Detroit (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Donald Sutherland, The Leisure Seeker 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

4. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 5)

5. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

7. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 7)

8. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 8)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 9)

10. Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project (PR: 11)

11. Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman (PR: 10)

12. Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (PR: 12)

13. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 15)

14. Diane Kruger, In the Fade (PR: 13)

15. Jennifer Lawrence, mother! (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Carey Mulligan, Mudbound

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project (PR: 1)

2. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 2)

3. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 3)

4. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 5)

5. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Michael Stuhlbarg, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 4)

7. Ben Mendelsohn, Darkest Hour (PR: 7)

8. Jason Mitchell, Mudbound (PR: 6)

9. Kevin Spacey, All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

10. Will Poulter, Detroit (PR: 9)

11. Christoph Waltz, Downsizing (PR: 11)

12. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 12)

13. Bryan Cranston, Last Flag Flying (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Patrick Stewart, Logan (PR: 13)

15. Garrett Hedlund, Mudbound (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Colin Farrell, The Beguiled

Jim Belushi, Wonder Wheel

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 3)

3. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 2)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

5. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water (PR: 8)

7. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 5)

8. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 7)

9. Claire Foy, Breathe (PR: 10)

10. Julianne Moore, Wonderstruck (PR: 11)

11. Kirsten Dunst, The Beguiled (PR: 9)

12. Tatiana Maslany, Stronger (PR: 13)

13. Millicent Simmonds, Wonderstruck (PR: 12)

14. Sarah Paulson, The Post (PR: 15)

15. Michelle Pfeiffer, mother! (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Juno Temple, Wonder Wheel

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Mudbound (PR: 2)

3. Last Flag Flying (PR: 4)

4. Molly’s Game (PR: 3)

5. Wonderstruck (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

7. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

8. The 15:17 to Paris (PR: 9)

9. The Beguiled (PR: 6)

10. All the Money in the World (PR: 10)

11. Stronger (PR: 12)

12. The Disaster Artist (PR: 11)

13. The Death of Stalin (PR: 13)

14. Wonder (PR: 15)

15. First, They Killed My Father (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Thank You for Your Service

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

3. The Post (PR: 2)

4. The Florida Project (PR: 6)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

7. Dunkirk (PR: 10)

8. Get Out (PR: 8)

9. Lady Bird (PR: 9)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 11)

11. Downsizing (PR: 12)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 13)

13. Wind River (PR: 14)

14. Detroit (PR: 15)

15. Wonder Wheel (PR: 4)

I’ll be back next Thursday with a fresh round of predictions!