Venom Movie Review

A comic book origin story that often masquerades as an otherworldly buddy comedy, Venom will likely be remembered for the weirdly inspired performance of Tom Hardy and not much else. We’ve seen the title character before with Topher Grace in SpiderMan 3. The alien creature made of black goo played as a superfluous extra villain in that picture. Now Venom is ready for his closeup.

Hardy is Eddie Brock, a San Francisco investigative reporter with a lovely DA fiancée Anne (Michelle Williams) and a penchant for asking one too many questions. He does just that with gazillionaire inventor Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), who’s a beloved mogul in the community. He’s also, unbeknownst to the masses, experimenting on poor people with a mysterious alien life form that his company the Life Foundation discovered in outer space. Eddie’s inquires into these practices lead to his firing as a journalist and the dissolution of his romance.

A few months later as Eddie is down on his luck, one of Drake’s scientists spills the beans to him about further tomfoolery at the Foundation. This leads to a break-in at their research facility and one of those nasty and gooey extraterrestrials attaching themselves to Eddie. It turns out these visitors intend to destroy Planet Earth.

Yet we also find out that Eddie’s new inhabitant of his vessel has a sense of humor. And Hardy’s performance filled with strange noises, facial tics, and general bizareness makes for an often memorable duo. Venom himself is inside Eddie’s head constantly with what sounds like Christian Bale’s basement octave range from The Dark Knight series. I’m really not sure if Hardy’s work here is what you’d call good, but it’s definitely not forgettable. He seems committed to whatever the heck he’s decided Brock/Venom is and that itself is fun.

Unfortunately there’s lots of other forgettable aspects to the movie itself. This would include lots of the dialogue, the action sequences, Williams as the love interest, and Ahmed as the bad guy. Important stuff generally. It’s also amusing how crystal clear it is that director Ruben Fleischer (who’s done better with Zombieland) and the screenwriters so want this to be rated R. I assume Sony said otherwise, but the script has to reach the absolute highest level of profanity and heads being bitten off without achieving the restricted tag. I will give the writers a thumbs up for setting this in San Francisco and avoiding the umpteenth climactic battle at the Golden Gate Bridge.

I can’t deny that Hardy’s bewildering and bewitching and sometimes annoying acting nearly make this worth of the price of admission. There’s just a bit too much muck attached to it.

**1/2 (out of four)

Best Actress: A Look Back

Back at it again with my look back at major Oscar races from 1990 to the present! We’ve arrived at Best Actress. If you missed my previous posts covering the Supporting performers, you can find them here:

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

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

As I did with those posts, I’m selecting my top 3 least surprising winners and top 3 upsets. I’m also giving you my personal pick for strongest and weakest fields from the past 28 years.

For starters, here’s the list of winners from 1990 to now:

1990 – Kathy Bates, Misery

1991 – Jodie Foster, The Silence of the Lambs

1992 – Emma Thompson, Howards End

1993 – Holly Hunter, The Piano

1994 – Jessica Lange, Blue Sky

1995 – Susan Sarandon, Dead Man Walking

1996 – Frances McDormand, Fargo

1997 – Helen Hunt, As Good As It Gets

1998 – Gwyneth Paltrow, Shakespeare in Love

1999 – Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry

2000 – Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich

2001 – Halle Berry, Monster’s Ball

2002 – Nicole Kidman, The Hours

2003 – Charlize Theron, Monster

2004 – Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby

2005 – Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line

2006 – Helen Mirren, The Queen

2007 – Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

2008 – Kate Winslet, The Reader

2009 – Sandra Bullock, The Blind Side

2010 – Natalie Portman, Black Swan

2011 – Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady

2012 – Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook

2013 – Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine

2014 – Julianne Moore, Still Alice

2015 – Brie Larson, Room

2016 – Emma Stone, La La Land

2017 – Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

When it comes to Best Actress, I must say it’s probably the race with the least amount of genuine upsets. Nearly every year, there’s a pretty strong front-runner and they win – even more so than in Actor and the Supporting players. Of many non-surprises, here’s my top ones:

3. Holly Hunter, The Piano

Hunter’s work as a mute piano player in Jane Campion’s period piece was the clear favorite over significant competition that included Angela Bassett in What’s Love Got to Do With It? and the previous year’s winner Emma Thompson in The Remains of the Day. 

2. Julia Roberts, Erin Brockovich

One of Hollywood’s biggest stars had already received nods for Steel Magnolias and Pretty Woman and there was little question that Brockovich would earn Roberts her first and only (so far) trip to the Oscar stage.

1. Charlize Theron, Monster

Theron’s metamorphosis into serial killer Aileen Wuornos swept all precursors. The rest of the field was also fairly weak that year, making her the obvious victor.

And now the “upsets”…

3. Kate Winslet, The Reader

While not a surprise when she won Oscar night, the multi-nominated Winslet was expected for much of the year to get a nod for Revolutionary Road instead. Yet it was this Stephen Daldry drama that was selected instead.

2. Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose

This was a two-way contest between Cotillard and veteran Julie Christie for Away from Her, with many believing the latter had the edge. It didn’t turn out that way.

1. Hilary Swank, Boys Don’t Cry and Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby

This #1 comes with a caveat. It wasn’t much of an upset by the time Swank won her double Oscars. What’s interesting here is that she single-handedly denied two prime opportunities for the winless Annette Bening to get a statue for American Beauty and Being Julia. 

We move to the fields. For weakest field, I’m selecting 1994 when Jessica Lange won for the little-seen Blue Sky. Other nominees were Jodie Foster in Nell, Miranda Richardson in Tom&Viv, Winona Ryder for Little Women, and Susan Sarandon in The Client. 

Strongest group in my opinion goes to 2010 with Natalie Portman’s victorious role in Black Swan. The rest of that impressive field is Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right), Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole), Jennifer Lawrence’s first nomination in Winter’s Bone, and Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine).

Best Actor is next, folks! Stay tuned…

Venom Box Office Prediction

Sony Pictures hopes to kick off a franchise and set an October opening record next weekend when Venom debuts. The picture’s namesake is an anti-hero spawned from the Spider-Man comics. Moviegoers first saw him in the form of Topher Grace in SpiderMan 3. That rendering of the character didn’t sit too well with comic book aficionados.

The studio hopes this version changes that. Ruben Fleischer, best known for Zombieland, serves behind the camera. Playing Venom and his alter ego Eddie Brock is Tom Hardy. Costars include Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Scott Haze, Reid Scott, Jenny Slate, and Woody Harrelson.

Sequels and spin-offs are hoped for and the marketing campaign has been pervasive. The reaction to trailers has been mostly positive, but word is that reviews won’t be published until the day before release. That’s not always a good sign. Similar buzz greeted Suicide Squad (among others) and it managed to meet expectations and gross $133 million in its first weekend. That stands as the largest August debut ever.

The correlation is that Venom could do the same in October, but estimates aren’t as high here. This is expected to gross between $60-$70 million. Even if it reached the low-end of that spectrum, this would top October record holder Gravity at $55 million. I’ll note that Halloween (out October 19) also stands a solid shot at exceeding that.

My feeling is this will meet projections, but on the lower end of the spectrum. How it performs in subsequent weekends will be dependent on buzz and that may be the biggest indicator on whether Sony gets its longed for cinematic universe.

Venom opening weekend prediction: $62.5 million

For my A Star Is Born prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/09/25/a-star-is-born-box-office-prediction/

The Greatest Showman Movie Review

Michael Gracey’s The Greatest Showman doesn’t burden itself with much historical accuracy or being a full-fledged look at its title subject. Its pleasures are of the surface level variety. At one point, a stuffy critic begrudgingly tells P.T. Barnum that his show has succeeded in bringing joy to people. So does this musical in many moments.

Hugh Jackman is Barnum, an endless promoter who grew up poor and never forgot how he was treated by New York’s elite. He marries his childhood sweetheart Charity (Michelle Williams), who came up with wreath and privilege. After some career misfortune in the 19th century era Big Apple, Barnum develops his greatest idea: a stage experience featuring society’s freaks. This includes a bearded lady (Keala Settle) with a beautifully booming voice and a dwarf (Sam Humphrey) who dresses as a general. He teams up with playwright Phillip Carlyle (Zac Efron), who also hails from the aristocracy but feels more at home among these outcasts. Phillip also finds love of the forbidden kind with the show’s trapeze artist (Zendaya).

While Barnum finally finds the financial success he’s longed for, it doesn’t buy him respect and that’s a consistent through line in the screenplay. Both the wealthy class and hecklers who lurk around the theater believe the freak show atmosphere is a disgrace. Barnum tries to combat this by touring with famed European opera star Jenny Lind (Rebecca Ferguson). Both his family and circus employees feel the neglect.

The brisk 105 minute running time features 11 song and dance numbers that move the plot along, often in montage fashion. Even a cursory Wiki read of Barnum’s grand life reveals that Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon’s script aren’t making a biopic. Like the man it’s about, this picture is style over substance. The message of inclusion and acceptance is unmistakable and frequently touching. Most importantly, the musical numbers (from the team behind La La Land) produce plentiful happy feels.

With his theater background, Jackman is more than well suited to play the man in the top hat. He’s the focal point in many of the song and dance interludes. Yet it’s “Rewrite the Stars”, a gorgeously choreographed sequence with Efron and Zendaya, that proved most memorable for me.

A stuffy critic could gripe that a rewrite should have explored more of Barnum’s real existence. However, the joyous vibe while I was watching is enough to justify admission here.

*** (out of four)

I Feel Pretty Movie Review

I Feel Pretty offers an often amusing, if certainly not profound, twist on the mistaken identity comedy with a star who fully commits to her performance. That performer is Amy Schumer, who had a breakout role in 2015’s often inspired Trainwreck. She followed that up with the totally unimpressive mother/daughter pic Snatched. Considering those titles, I was a bit and often pleasantly surprised by its lack of reliance on the raunchy factor.

Schumer plays Renee, who works on the website for a high-end NYC based cosmetics company. Her works places her in a basement and she dreams of working at the headquarters on Fifth Avenue. Renee doesn’t even care if that means being the receptionist and taking less pay. In her mind, her inability to get that position is due to her non-model looks. However, when she bumps her noggin at a SoulCycle session, she wakes up thinking she looks exactly like those beauties.

What follows is a mistaken identity movie where only the lead is mistaken about her identity. Her confidence (as she perceives from her outward appearance) gets her moving up the corporate  ladder and developing a rapport with boss Avery (Michelle Williams, trying a rare hand at comedy with a Kardashian-esque high voice). Renee also begins dating the sweet Ethan (Rory Scovel), who’s attracted to her self-assurance.

Renee’s newfound outlook on life puts her in bikini contests, but it also negatively affects her dynamic with her two besties (Busy Philips and Aidy Bryant). Emily Ratajkowski turns up as Renee’s definition of the perfect girl. Surprise… we find out stunning women have issues too.

The blurred lines of our protagonist’s perception leads to some rather obvious developments in a screenplay from Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein, who also direct. Schumer does her darndest to elevate the material by giving it her all. Watching her false reactions to those around her provides a number of chuckles, though the script struggles to keep it fresh after a while. It’s no Trainwreck or the near train wreck that Snatched was, but I feel it reminded me of the qualities of its lead.

**1/2 (out of four)

I Feel Pretty Box Office Prediction

Nearly three years ago, comedian Amy Schumer broke through on the big screen in a major way with Trainwreck. Last summer, she hit a bit of a sophomore slump with Snatched. Will the third time be a charm or a disappointment with next weekend’s I Feel Pretty?

Schumer stars as an ordinary gal who hits her head and wakes up thinking she’s attained supermodel looks. The pic comes from directors Abby Kohn and Mark Silverstein, making their directorial debut after writing features including Never Been Kissed, The Vow, and How to Be Single. Costars include Michelle Williams, Emily Ratajkowski, Rory Scovel, Aidy Bryant, Busy Philips, and real supermodels Naomi Campbell and Lauren Hutton.

As mentioned, Schumer’s Trainwreck debuted in the summer of 2015 to $30 million and an eventual $110 million domestic gross. Two years later, her collaboration with Goldie Hawn, Snatched, grabbed a lesser $19 million out of the gate and then petered out with just $45 million overall.

I Feel Pretty was originally scheduled to open in June of this year before being pushed up to April 27. It was recently moved up a week due to The Avengers staking claim on that release date. Reviews are not out yet and that could both help or hinder its prospects. For instance, Blockers managed to premiere to over $20 million just last weekend and the positive word-of-mouth helped. Snatched, on the other hand, probably wasn’t assisted by its mediocre reaction.

I’ll say Pretty doesn’t reach the $20 million mark and its prospects are more likely in the mid to high teens teens range.

I Feel Pretty opening weekend prediction: $16.2 million

For my Super Troopers 2 prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/04/13/super-troopers-2-box-office-prediction/

For my Traffik prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/04/14/traffik-box-office-prediction/

All the Money in the World Movie Review

Ridley Scott’s All the Money in the World is made with all the competence in the world you would imagine from this filmmaker retelling one of the most famous kidnappings in modern history. It’s a story built for a cinematic rendering that’s moderately successful in its execution. The screenplay from David Scarpa takes liberties with what really happened on occasion, but sticks to many of the bizarre facts surrounding the taking of John Paul Getty III.

In 1973, 16-year-old Getty (Charlie Plummer) was living a carefree life in Rome when he was abducted.  The demands for ransom were based on good cause. Getty’s grandfather is J. Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer, no relation to the actor playing his grandson). Not only is the elder Getty currently the wealthiest man on Earth, the oil tycoon is the wealthiest man to ever walk it. There’s one significant issue: he’s also notoriously stingy and his potential heirs are not enjoying his riches.

That means young Paul’s mother Gail (Michelle Williams) must ask her former father-in-law for the $17 million demanded for his safe return. Paul’s father (Andrew Buchan) is essentially out of the picture both literally and figuratively – off somewhere in a drug induced haze. Mr. Getty has no interest in paying. Some of his reasons seem valid as he figures it will be open season on all his grandkids if he acquieses. Most of his actions re-enforce his reputation as a persnickety cheapskate.

Mr. Getty does direct one of his advisers, former CIA man Fletcher Chase (Mark Wahlberg), to investigate. He believes at first that Paul may have set up the snatching himself for a generous payday. When that wrongheaded theory proves false, a lengthy negotiation develops between Gail, Mr. Getty, and a rather large group of crime figures involved in Paul’s capture.

All the Money in the World, of course, has its own notable backstory as Kevin Spacey filmed the entire role portraying Mr. Getty. When numerous sordid allegations came forth about him, director Scott made the unheard of decision to recast the role with Plummer just weeks before its release. You wouldn’t know of the behind the scenes drama upon viewership. The 88-year-old gives a strong performance as the unlikable billionaire who never seems to recognize normal human emotion or find a dollar he doesn’t attempt to stretch as far as humanly possible. Similar acclaim goes to Williams as the mother desperately trying to come up with solutions when everyone else assumes she can just snap her fingers and cash magically appears. Another solid performance worthy of mention is Romain Duris as Cinquanta, one of the kidnappers who develops a bond with Paul and is far more sympathetic to the situation than his grandpa is. The weak spot is Wahlberg. He’s an actor capable of fine work, but I never managed to fully buy him here as the hardened CIA man.

Some of the events depicted here are accentuated for dramatic effect, including an ending for Mr. Getty that didn’t follow until years later. Most of the time, the picture glides by on Scott’s sturdy direction and its inherently compelling tale of inheritors with a bad benefactor.

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: January 15th Edition

We have arrived at my penultimate weekly Oscar predictions. With the Oscar nods arriving in 8 days, I will be making my final estimates next Monday. And as we get closer and closer to actually knowing the nominees, there are some notable changes today:

  • Jordan Peele has at last entered my predicted five in the Director category,  replacing Steven Spielberg.
  • Daniel Kaluuya is in Best Actor for the first time, replacing Tom Hanks.
  • Frances McDormand has taken the #1 spot in Actress over Saoirse Ronan.
  • In more good news for Three Billboards, Sam Rockwell has reached the top spot in Supporting Actor over Willem Dafoe.
  • Octavia Spencer has replaced Holly Hunter in Supporting Actress.

You can read it all here with those last estimates coming in one week!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Dunkirk (PR: 4)

5. Get Out (PR: 6)

6. The Post (PR: 5)

7. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

8. The Florida Project (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

9. The Big Sick (PR: 9)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 11)

11. Mudbound (PR: 10)

12. Darkest Hour (PR: 13)

13. Phantom Thread (PR: 12)

14. Molly’s Game (PR: 14)

15. Wonder Woman (PR: 15)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 3)

4. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 5)

7. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 7)

8. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

9. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 9)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

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. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out (PR: 7)

5. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

7. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 6)

8. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 8)

9. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 9)

10. Robert Pattinson, Good Time (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (PR: 1)

3. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya (PR: 3)

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

5. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

7. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 9)

9. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

10. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World (PR: 7)

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

8. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

9. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: 10)

10. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 1)

2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 2)

3. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities:

6. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 5)

7. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: 8)

8. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 7)

9. Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Bria Vinaite, The Florida Project

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Molly’s Game (PR: 2)

3. Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Wonder (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. All the Money in the World (PR: 8)

9. Wonder Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Hostiles (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Beguiled

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Lady Bird (PR: 2)

3. Get Out (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Florida Project (PR: 6)

7. I, Tonya (PR: 8)

8. The Post (PR: 7)

9. Phantom Thread (PR: 9)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Dunkirk

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco (PR: 1)

2. The Breadwinner (PR: 2)

3. Loving Vincent (PR: 3)

4. The Girl Without Hands (PR: 4)

5. Ferdinand (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cars 3 (PR: 7)

7. The LEGO Batman Movie (PR: 6)

8. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (PR: 8)

9. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (PR: 9)

10. Despicable Me 3 (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Foxtrot (PR: 1)

2. Loveless (PR: 2)

3. A Fantastic Woman (PR: 4)

4. In the Fade (PR: 5)

5. The Insult (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Square (PR: 6)

7. The Wound (PR: 7)

8. On Body and Soul (PR: 8)

9. Felicite (PR: 9)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane (PR: 1)

2. Faces Places (PR: 2)

3. Long Strange Trip (PR: 3)

4. Icarus (PR: 5)

5. City of Ghosts (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Strong Island (PR: 6)

7. Last Men in Aleppo (PR: 7)

8. LA 92 (PR: 9)

9. One of Us (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Human Flow (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 6)

5. The Post (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. I, Tonya (PR: 5)

7. Get Out (PR: 7)

8. Lady Bird (PR: 9)

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. The Post (PR: 4)

5. Mudbound (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

7. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 7)

8. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

9. Wonderstruck (PR: 9)

10. I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Lady Bird

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 3)

3. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

4. Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

5. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. Phantom Thread (PR: 5)

8. Downsizing (PR: 9)

9. The Post (PR: 7)

10. Wonderstruck (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Greatest Showman

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread (PR: 1)

2. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 2)

3. The Post (PR: 5)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. The Beguiled (PR: 10)

8. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

9. The Greatest Showman (PR: 8)

10. I, Tonya (PR: 4)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Wonder (PR: 2)

3. I, Tonya (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

4. Bright (PR: 4)

5. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

6. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 5)

7. Ghost in the Shell (PR: 7)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 1)

2. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 3)

5. Dunkirk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Okja (PR: 6)

7. Kong: Skull Island (PR: 8)

8. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 7)

9. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (PR: 9)

10. Alien: Covenant (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

5. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

7. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

8. Coco (PR: 8)

9. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 10)

10. Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Post

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 6)

7. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

8. Detroit (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Coco (PR: 8)

10. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Post

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. Phantom Thread (PR: 4)

4. The Post (PR: 3)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

7. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 9)

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

9. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

10. Wonderstruck (PR: 10)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall (PR: 1)

2. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman (PR: 2)

3. “Remember Me” from Coco (PR: 3)

4. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit (PR: 5)

5. “Mighty River” from Mudbound (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast (PR: 6)

7. “The Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

8. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker (PR: 7)

9. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria (PR: 9)

10. “The Star” from The Star (PR: 10)

And that leaves the following breakdown of nominations for each picture –

14 Nominations

The Shape of Water

9 Nominations

Dunkirk

7 Nominations

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

6 Nominations

The Post

5 Nominations

Lady Bird, Blade Runner 2049

4 Nominations

Get Out, Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Mudbound

3 Nominations

Phantom Thread, I, Tonya, Baby Driver

2 Nominations

The Florida Project, The Disaster Artist, Wonder, Coco, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Greatest Showman

1 Nomination

Downsizing, Molly’s Game, The Big Sick, Victoria and Abdul, War for the Planet of the Apes, Marshall, Detroit, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, The Girl Without Hands, Ferdinand, Foxtrot, Loveless, A Fantastic Woman, In the Fade, The Insult, Jane, Faces Places, Long Strange Trip, Icarus, City of Ghosts

See you next week!

Todd’s 2017 Weekly Oscar Predictions: January 8th Edition

Two major developments since last week’s Oscar predictions as the Golden Globes happened and the Production Guild Award nominations came out. Combined with other precursor activity, one thing has become clear to me:

It was time to remove Dunkirk from its months long perch in the #1 slot. It’s fallen to #4 and we finally have a new #1 – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Truth be told, I could have just as easily put The Shape of Water or Lady Bird in that spot. It’s a close race, folks!

Guillermo del Toro replaces Christopher Nolan in the top spot for director, as does Allison Janney in Supporting Actress over Laurie Metcalf.

We are only 15 days away from nominations and here’s my take at this moment:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

3. Lady Bird (PR: 5)

4. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

5. The Post (PR: 3)

6. Get Out (PR: 7)

7. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 8)

8. The Florida Project (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

9. The Big Sick (PR: 12)

10. Mudbound (PR: 11)

11. I, Tonya (PR: 13)

12. Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

13. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

14. Molly’s Game (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Wonder Woman (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

Blade Runner 2049

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk (PR: 1)

3. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird (PR: 4)

4. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 5)

5. Steven Spielberg, The Post (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jordan Peele, Get Out (PR: 8)

7. Sean Baker, The Florida Project (PR: 6)

8. Luca Guadagnino, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

9. Dee Rees, Mudbound (PR: 9)

10. Paul Thomas Anderson, Phantom Thread (PR: 10)

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. James Franco, The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Tom Hanks, The Post (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq. (PR: 6)

7. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out (PR: 7)

8. Jake Gyllenhaal, Stronger (PR: 9)

9. Christian Bale, Hostiles (PR: 8)

10. Robert Pattinson, Good Time (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird (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. Meryl Streep, The Post (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game (PR: 6)

7. Judi Dench, Victoria and Abdul (PR: 7)

8. Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 10)

9. Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World (PR: 8)

10. Kate Winslet, Wonder Wheel (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

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

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

3. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. Woody Harrelson, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World (PR: 7)

8. Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes (PR: 8)

9. Michael Shannon, The Shape of Water (PR: 9)

10. Mark Rylance, Dunkirk (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jason Mitchell, Mudbound 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Allison Janney, I, Tonya (PR: 2)

2. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird (PR: 1)

3. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. Hong Chau, Downsizing (PR: 5)

5. Holly Hunter, The Big Sick (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Melissa Leo, Novitiate (PR: 8)

8. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread (PR: 7)

9. Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Bria Vinaite, The Florida Project (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Kristin Scott Thomas, Darkest Hour 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 1)

2. Molly’s Game (PR: 2)

3. Mudbound (PR: 3)

4. The Disaster Artist (PR: 4)

5. Wonder (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Wonderstruck (PR: 7)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

8. All the Money in the World (PR: 8)

9. Hostiles (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Beguiled (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Blade Runner 2049

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

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

2. Lady Bird (PR: 2)

3. Get Out (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. The Big Sick (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Florida Project (PR: 7)

7. The Post (PR: 6)

8. I, Tonya (PR: 9)

9. Phantom Thread (PR: 8)

10. Dunkirk (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Darkest Hour

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Coco (PR: 1)

2. The Breadwinner (PR: 2)

3. Loving Vincent (PR: 3)

4. The Girl Without Hands (PR: 5)

5. Ferdinand (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The LEGO Batman Movie (PR: 6)

7. Cars 3 (PR: 4)

8. Birdboy: The Forgotten Children (PR: 8)

9. The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales (PR: 9)

10. Despicable Me 3 (PR: 10)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Foxtrot (PR: 1)

2. Loveless (PR: 2)

3. The Insult (PR: 4)

4. A Fantastic Woman (PR: 3)

5. In the Fade (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Square (PR: 5)

7. The Wound (PR: 7)

8. On Body and Soul (PR: 9)

9. Felicite (PR: 8)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane (PR: 1)

2. Faces Places (PR: 2)

3. Long Strange Trip (PR: 5)

4. City of Ghosts (PR: 3)

5. Icarus (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Strong Island (PR: 4)

7. Last Men in Aleppo (PR: 7)

8. Human Flow (PR: Not Ranked)

9. LA 92 (PR: 8)

10. Ex Libris – The New York Public Library (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Chasing Coral 

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. The Shape of Water (PR: 2)

3. The Post (PR: 3)

4. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 4)

5. I, Tonya (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Baby Driver (PR: 6)

7. Get Out (PR: 9)

8. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 8)

9. Lady Bird (PR: 7)

10. Darkest Hour (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. The Post (PR: 4)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

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

7. Mudbound (PR: 7)

8. Call Me by Your Name (PR: 9)

9. Wonderstruck (PR: 6)

10. Lady Bird (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Hostiles

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Dunkirk (PR: 3)

4. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 4)

5. Phantom Thread (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. The Post (PR: 7)

8. Darkest Hour (PR: 8)

9. Downsizing (PR: 5)

10. The Greatest Showman (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Phantom Thread (PR: 1)

2. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 2)

3. The Shape of Water (PR: 3)

4. I, Tonya (PR: Not Ranked)

5. The Post (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Murder on the Orient Express (PR: 6)

7. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 5)

8. The Greatest Showman (PR: 4)

9. Darkest Hour (PR: 9)

10. The Beguiled (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Darkest Hour (PR: 1)

2. Wonder (PR: 2)

3. I, Tonya (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

4. Bright (PR: 3)

5. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 5)

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

7. Ghost in the Shell (PR: 7)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 1)

2. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 4)

5. Dunkirk (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Okja (PR: 6)

7. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (PR: 8)

8. Kong: Skull Island (PR: 7)

9. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (PR: 9)

10. Alien: Covenant (PR: 10)

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 4)

4. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

5. The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

7. Coco (PR: 8)

8. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

9. Detroit (PR: 10)

10. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 9)

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dunkirk (PR: 1)

2. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 2)

3. Baby Driver (PR: 3)

4. The Shape of Water (PR: 6)

5. The Greatest Showman (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 4)

7. War for the Planet of the Apes (PR: 7)

8. Coco (PR: 8)

9. The Post (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Beauty and the Beast (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Detroit

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Shape of Water (PR: 1)

2. Dunkirk (PR: 2)

3. The Post (PR: 4)

4. Phantom Thread (PR: 3)

5. Darkest Hour (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Victoria and Abdul (PR: 6)

7. Blade Runner 2049 (PR: 7)

8. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (PR: 10)

9. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (PR: 8)

10. Wonderstruck (PR: 9)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Stand Up for Something” from Marshall (PR: 1)

2. “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman (PR: 3)

3. “Remember Me” from Coco (PR: 2)

4. “Mighty River” from Mudbound (PR: 5)

5. “It Ain’t Fair” from Detroit (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Evermore” from Beauty and the Beast (PR: 6)

7. “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” from Fifty Shades Darker (PR: 8)

8. “The Mystery of Love” from Call Me by Your Name (PR: 7)

9. “Prayers for this World” from Cries from Syria (PR: 9)

10. “The Star” from The Star (PR: 10)

And that leaves the following nomination breakdown for each picture –

13 Nominations

The Shape of Water

9 Nominations

Dunkirk

8 Nominations

The Post

7 Nominations

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

5 Nominations

Lady Bird, I, Tonya, Blade Runner 2049

4 Nominations

Call Me by Your Name, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread

3 Nominations

Mudbound

2 Nominations

Get Out, The Florida Project, The Disaster Artist, The Big Sick, Wonder Coco, Beauty and the Beast, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Baby Driver, The Greatest Showman

1 Nomination

Downsizing, Molly’s Game, War for the Planet of the Apes, Marshall, Detroit, The Breadwinner, Loving Vincent, The Girl Without Hands, Ferdinand, Foxtrot, Loveless, The Insult, A Fantastic Woman, In the Fade, Jane, Faces Places, Long Strange Trip, City of Ghosts, Icarus

 

2017 Golden Globe Predictions

The most high-profile Oscar precursor arrives Sunday night when Seth Meyers hosts the Golden Globe awards. Of course, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association operates a bit differently by divvying its major categories (Picture, Actor, Actress) into Drama and Musical/Comedy.

As has been a common theme lately, one of the “Musical/Comedy” entries is a bit questionable – Jordan Peele’s Get Out. To be fair, it is a difficult picture to classify. The Golden Globes can often shed some light on Oscar contenders or solidify front runners. Here are my predictions, race by race, on who and what will emerge victorious and my runner-up picks:

Best Picture (Drama)

Nominees: Call Me by Your Name, Dunkirk, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: The Shape of Water

Runner-Up: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: The Disaster Artist, Get Out, The Greatest Showman, I, Tonya, Lady Bird

Predicted Winner: Lady Bird

Runner-Up: The Disaster Artist

Best Director

Nominees: Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk), Ridley Scott (All the Money in the World), Steven Spielberg (The Post)

Predicted Winner: del Toro

Runner-Up: Nolan

Best Actor (Drama)

Nominees: Timothee Chalamet (Call Me by Your Name), Daniel Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread), Tom Hanks (The Post), Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour), Denzel Washington (Roman J. Israel, Esq.)

Predicted Winner: Oldman

Runner-Up: Chalamet

Best Actress (Drama)

Nominees: Jessica Chastain (Molly’s Game), Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Meryl Streep (The Post), Michelle Williams (All the Money in the World)

Predicted Winner: Hawkins

Runner-Up: McDormand

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Steve Carell (Battle of the Sexes), Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver), James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Hugh Jackman (The Greatest Showman), Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out)

Predicted Winner: Franco

Runner-Up: Jackman

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Judi Dench (Victoria and Abdul), Helen Mirren (The Leisure Seeker), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird), Emma Stone (Battle of the Sexes)

Predicted Winner: Ronan

Runner-Up: Robbie

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Willem Dafoe (The Florida Project), Armie Hammer (Call Me by Your Name), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World), Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Predicted Winner: Plummer

Runner-Up: Rockwell

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Mary J. Blige (Mudbound), Hong Chau (Downsizing), Allison Janney (I, Tonya), Laurie Metcalf (Lady Bird), Octavia Spencer (The Shape of Water)

Predicted Winner: Janney

Runner-Up: Metcalf

Best Screenplay

Nominees: Lady Bird, Molly’s Game, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Runner-Up: Lady Bird

Best Animated Feature

Nominees: The Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand, Loving Vincent

Predicted Winner: Coco

Runner-Up: Loving Vincent

Best Foreign Language Film 

Nominees: A Fantastic Woman, First, They Killed My Father, In the Fade, Loveless, The Square

Predicted Winner: First, They Killed My Father

Runner-Up: A Fantastic Woman

Best Score

Nominees: Dunkirk, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Predicted Winner: Dunkirk

Runner-Up: The Shape of Water

Best Song

Nominees: “Home” from Ferdinand, “Mighty River” from Mudbound, “Remember Me” from Coco, “The Star” from The Star, “This is Me” from The Greatest Showman

Predicted Winner: “This is Me”

Runner-Up: “Remember Me”

I’ll have a recap up Sunday night with how I did! Until then…