Early 2020 Oscar Predictions: Best Director

My first round of Oscar predictions in this topsy turvy time known as 2020 arrives at Best Director. If you missed my initial take on the four acting races, you can find them all here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/08/11/early-2020-oscar-predictions-best-actress/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/08/10/early-2020-oscar-predictions-best-actor/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/08/09/early-2020-oscar-predictions-best-supporting-actress/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/08/09/early-2020-oscar-predictions-best-supporting-actor/

I’ve already discussed the challenges of making these August projections and many of them are the same as any other year. Yet it’s even trickier now due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever shifting release dates that accompany it. This is why I’ve left off Wes Anderson and The French Dispatch as its premiere is especially in flux. If word comes out in the near future to its unveiling, he would almost certainly be in the top 15.

Some of the pictures and their makers listed here will (at least right now) be seen in the next few weeks at festivals. As for Tenet, the latest from Christopher Nolan is expected to be out in limited fashion stateside by month’s end.

2019 was a bit more stable and I correctly identified 4 of the eventual 5 nominees in my first late summer predictions. That includes winner Bong Joon-Ho (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Martin Scorsese, (The Irishman), and Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood). My only miss was Todd Phillips for Joker and I didn’t even have him in the 10 other possibilities.

Let’s get to it with my introductory look at the players vying for behind the camera accolades!

EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BEST DIRECTOR

David Fincher, Mank

Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods

Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Other Possibilities:

Sofia Coppola, On the Rocks

Paul Greengrass, News of the World

Ron Howard, Hillbilly Elegy

Charlie Kaufman, I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah

Francis Lee, Ammonite

Tom McCarthy, Stillwater

Mike Mills, C’Mon C’Mon

Christopher Nolan, Tenet

Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

I’ll have the big daddy of them all – Best Picture – up in short order! Stay tuned…

20th Century Women Box Office Prediction

20th Century Women first screened at the New York Film Festival in the fall and quickly became mentioned for awards attention. The 1970s set comedic drama is directed by Mike Mills and stars Annette Bening, Greta Gerwig, Elle Fanning, and Billy Crudup. Reviews have been strong and it stands at 93% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Yet it can’t be denied that its Oscar hopes have appeared to dim significantly. Its Best Picture prospects appear gone and even Annette Bening (once looked at as a sure fire Actress nominee) could be on the outside looking in. This is important because the lack of buzz could greatly hurt its box office abilities when it opens wide next weekend.

Women has performed decently in limited release, but I’m not convinced that will hold true for its roll out. I’ll say this manages just under $3 million.

20th Century Women opening weekend prediction: $2.8 million

For my xXx: Return of Xander Cage prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/10/xxx-return-of-xander-cage-box-office-prediction/

For my Split prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/10/split-box-office-prediction/

For my The Founder prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/11/the-founder-box-office-prediction/

For my The Resurrection of Gavin Stone prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/01/12/the-resurrection-of-gavin-stone-box-office-prediction/

 

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: November 3rd Edition

Well – we’ve reached November, loyal blog readers and as I’ve mentioned before, I’m paring down the list of Oscar hopefuls in the eight major categories. Over the past two months, I’ve listed 25 possibilities for Best Picture and 15 for the Directing, Acting, and Screenplay races. Today, it gets whittled down to 20 in BP and 10 in the others. One development of note this week: it appears Dev Patel will be competing in Supporting Actor for Lion instead of Lead. That enters him in the derby for that race, which looks more unpredictable than any other at this moment.

There are still a number of Oscar hopefuls left to screen: Silence, Fences, Live by Night, Rules Don’t Apply, Passengers, The Founder, Hidden Figures, Miss Sloane, Gold among them. In other words, look for shifts in placement as these movies start receiving reviews and buzz in the near future.

Here’s how I have the respective competitions shaping up in this early November period:

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Fences (PR: 3)

4. Moonlight (PR: 4)

5. Lion (PR: 5)

6. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 7)

7. Jackie (PR: 6)

8. Loving (PR: 8)

9. Arrival (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities

10. Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

11. Hell or High Water (PR: 12)

12. 20th Century Women (PR: 11)

13. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 13)

14. Live by Night (PR: 15)

15. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 24)

16. Sully (PR: 14)

17. The Jungle Book (PR: 17)

18. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 16)

19. Allied (PR: 20)

20. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 18)

Dropped Out:

Nocturnal Animals, Miss Sloane, Passengers, Gold, 13th

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

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

2. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 4)

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

5. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 7)

7. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 8)

8. Pablo Larrain, Jackie (PR: 5)

9. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 9)

10. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Mike Mills (20th Century Women), Ang Lee (Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Ben Affleck (Live by Night), Clint Eastwood (Sully)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 4)

4. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

5. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 6)

7. Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 9)

8. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 8)

9. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 13)

10. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Dev Patel (Lion – moved to Supporting), Michael Keaton (The Founder), Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals), Will Smith (Collateral Beauty), Miles Teller (Bleed for This)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Annette Bening, 20th Century Women (PR: 3)

4. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 5)

5. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 6)

7. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane (PR: 7)

8. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 8)

9. Marion Cotillard, Allied (PR: 10)

10. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Taraji P. Henson (Hidden Figures), Rachel Weisz (Denial), Jennifer Lawrence (Passengers), Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals), Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 1)

2. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 3)

4. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: Not Ranked; considered to be Lead)

5. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie (PR: 6)

7. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 7)

8. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 4)

9. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 10)

10. Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Aaron Eckhart (Sully), Sunny Pawar (Lion), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Timothy Spall (Denial), Aaron Eckhart (Bleed for This), Kevin Costner (Hidden Figures)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 3)

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

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 4)

5. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 6)

7. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 7)

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

9. Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls (PR: 9)

10. Margo Martindale, The Hollars (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Helen Mirren (Eye in the Sky), Elle Fanning (20th Century Women), Janelle Monae (Moonlight), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Miss Sloane), Laura Linney (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Moonlight (PR: 3)

2. La La Land (PR: 1)

3. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

4. Loving (PR: 5)

5. Jackie (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. 20th Century Women (PR: 6)

7. Hell or High Water (PR: 7)

8. The Lobster (PR: 9)

9. Miss Sloane (PR: 8)

10. I, Daniel Blake (PR: 11)

Dropped Out:

Toni Erdmann, Allied, Rules Don’t Apply, Gold, Florence Foster Jenkins

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Lion (PR: 3)

4. Arrival (PR: 4)

5. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Hidden Figures (PR: 6)

7. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 9)

8. Live by Night (PR: 8)

9. Love & Friendship (PR: 7)

10. Certain Women (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Sully, Elle, Indignation, The Jungle Book, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

And that shall do it for now, friends! Until next time…

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 27th Edition

Thursday has arrived and that means a fresh round of Oscar predictions in the 8 biggest categories! The major development this week? The announcement that Viola Davis will compete in Supporting Actress for Fences instead of lead. I’ve had Davis firmly at #3 for weeks on my Best Actress board, but this news puts her at #1 in the supporting race. I’m also growing more confident that both Moonlight (which had a scorching debut in limited release) and Loving will make it into Best Picture and they both rise up in this week’s rankings.

Please note – this will be the final week of predicting 25 Best Picture possibilities and 15 predictions in the other races. Starting next week as November arrives, it’ll be whittled down to 20 in Picture and 10 in the others.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Fences (PR: 3)

4. Moonlight (PR: 6)

5. Lion (PR: 4)

6. Jackie (PR: 5)

7. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 7)

8. Loving (PR: 10)

9. Arrival (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities

10. Hidden Figures (PR: 9)

11. 20th Century Women (PR: 11)

12. Hell or High Water (PR: 12)

13. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 18)

14. Sully (PR: 14)

15. Live by Night (PR: 13)

16. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 15)

17. The Jungle Book (PR: 19)

18. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 17)

19. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 16)

20. Allied (PR: 21)

21. Miss Sloane (PR: Not Ranked)

22. Passengers (PR: 24)

23. Gold (PR: 22)

24. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 23)

25. 13th (PR: 20)

Dropped Out:

The Founder

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

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

2. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 4)

4. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 3)

5. Pablo Larrain, Jackie (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 8)

7. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 6)

8. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 7)

9. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 9)

10. Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures (PR: 13)

11. Mike Mills, 20th Century Women (PR: 11)

12. Ang Lee, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 10)

13. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Ben Affleck, Live by Night (PR: 12)

15. Clint Eastwood, Sully (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Ana DuVernay, 13th

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 5)

5. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 6)

7. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 7)

8. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 9)

9. Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

10. Michael Keaton, The Founder (PR: 10)

11. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 11)

12. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 14)

13. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 12)

14. Will Smith, Collateral Beauty (PR: 13)

15. Miles Teller, Bleed for This (PR: 15)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

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

4. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 6)

5. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 7)

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

8. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 8)

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

10. Marion Cotillard, Allied (PR: 12)

11. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 11)

12. Rachel Weisz, Denial (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers (PR: 15)

14. Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 13)

15. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Viola Davis, Fences (competing in Supporting Actress)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 1)

2. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 5)

4. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 3)

5. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie (PR: 8)

7. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

8. Aaron Eckhart, Sully (PR: 7)

9. Sunny Pawar, Lion (PR: 9)

10. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 10)

11. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 11)

12. Timothy Spall, Denial (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This (PR: 13)

14. Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky (PR: 12)

15. Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Ben Foster, Hell or High Water

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: Not Ranked, listed in Lead Actress)

2. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

3. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 3)

5. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

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

7. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

8. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 6)

9. Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls (PR: 12)

10. Margo Martindale, The Hollars (PR: 8)

11. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 9)

12. Elle Fanning, 20th Century Women (PR: 7)

13. Janelle Monae, Moonlight (PR: 13)

14. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miss Sloane (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Moonlight (PR: 4)

4. Jackie (PR: 3)

5. Loving (PR: 6)

Other Possibilties

6. 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

7. Hell or High Water (PR: 7)

8. Miss Sloane (PR: 9)

9. The Lobster (PR: 12)

10. Toni Erdmann (PR: 8)

11. I, Daniel Blake (PR: 10)

12. Allied (PR: 13)

13. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 15)

14. Gold (PR: 14)

15. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 11)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Lion (PR: 3)

4. Arrival (PR: 5)

5. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Hidden Figures (PR: 4)

7. Love & Friendship (PR: 7)

8. Live by Night (PR: 8)

9. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 15)

10. Certain Women (PR: 14)

11. Sully (PR: 10)

12. Elle (PR: 9)

13. Indignation (PR: 13)

14. The Jungle Book (PR: 12)

15. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 11)

Until next week…!

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 20th Edition

It’s Thursday, ladies and gents, and that means my weely Oscar predictions are in! There’s been some serious changes to the predictions, a new film that’s qualified itself for consideration, and some category shifting that’s occurred within the past week.

So – perhaps some explanation on where I see the state of the races in each of the eight major categories is required this week. My synopsis of said races are for your enjoyment below…

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Fences (PR: 3)

4. Lion (PR: 6)

5. Jackie (PR: 5)

6. Moonlight (PR: 7)

7. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

8. Arrival (PR: 9)

9. Hidden Figures (PR: 12)

Other Possibilities

10. Loving (PR: 10)

11. 20th Century Women (PR: 11)

12. Hell or High Water (PR: 14)

13. Live by Night (PR: 13)

14. Sully (PR: 15)

15. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 4)

16. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 17)

17. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 18)

18. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

19. The Jungle Book (PR: 20)

20. 13th (PR: 16)

21. Allied (PR: 21)

22. Gold (PR: 22)

23. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: Not Ranked)

24. Passengers (PR: 23)

25. The Founder (PR: 24)

Dropped Out:

Miss Sloane

I, Daniel Blake

Where The Race Stands…

With La La Land as the current front runner and there’s no doubt about it. The conventional wisdom for the last several weeks is that there were three fall entries that could potentially give it a run for its money: Martin Scorsese’s Silence, Denzel Washington’s Fences, and Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. That dynamic shifted dramatically when Halftime opened to middling reviews when it screened at the New York Film Festival this weekend. The film has now dropped 11 spots and out of my predicted nominees and it’s unlikely to make its way back in. Silence and Fences now seem the only likely pictures to stand in the way of La La. Meanwhile, Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge makes a serious jump into the possibilities – from not ranked a week ago to #18.  I’ve also found room for the Warren Beatty pic Rules Don’t Apply, which has yet to screen. Others on the list of possibilities that have yet to be reviewed (meaning they could jump up when they do or fall out completely): Hidden Figures (which I have in the ninth spot at the moment for a nod), Live by Night, Passengers, Allied, Gold, The Founder and others not currently in the top 25 such as Miss Sloane and Collateral Beauty. 

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

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

2. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 3)

3. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 4)

4. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

5. Pablo Larrain, Jackie (PR: 5)

Other Possibilties

6. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 7)

7. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 8)

8. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 9)

9. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 10)

10. Ang Lee, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 2)

11. Mike Mills, 20th Century Women (PR: 12)

12. Ben Affleck, Live by Night (PR: 11)

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

14. Clint Eastwood, Sully (PR: 13)

15. Ana DuVernay, 13th (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Where the Race Stands…

With two-time Oscar winner Ang Lee falling 8 spots after the NYFF Halftime reaction. Chazelle remains at #1 as he’s been for weeks as we await Scorsese and Washington’s films. I’m growing more confident that Lonergan manages to squeeze into the top five.

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 4)

5. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 8)

7. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 6)

8. Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (PR: Not Ranked in Lead Actor)

9. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Michael Keaton, The Founder (PR: 9)

11. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 10)

12. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 11)

13. Will Smith, Collateral Beauty (PR: 12)

14. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 15)

15. Miles Teller, Bleed for This (PR: 13)

Dropped Out:

Joe Alwyn, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Ben Affleck, Live by Night

Where the Race Stands…

Up in the air until we see Denzel’s work in Fences, which could potentially become the immediate front runner as I’m currently estimating. Casey Affleck is getting raves, too and has held steady at #2 for weeks. Andrew Garfield is on the outside looking in for now, but could get in for either Silence or Hacksaw Ridge. There’s also late breaking news that Taylor Hackford’s The Comedian was given a December release for Oscar consideration and perhaps that’ll bode well for its star, Robert De Niro (though I’m not prepared to include him in the mix quite yet). And there’s last week’s reveal that Warren Beatty will compete in this category instead of Supporting, as was previously thought.

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 3)

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

5. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 7)

7. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 6)

8. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 9)

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

10. Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures (PR: 12)

11. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 10)

12. Marion Cotillard, Allied (PR: 14)

13. Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 11)

14. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train (PR: 13)

15. Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers (PR: 15)

Where the Race Stands…

As one of the most competitive Best Actress races in history. Both Stone and Portman are serious contenders for the win and we haven’t even seen heard the word on Davis’s work in Fences. They appear to be the trio that could win. In any other year, Bening’s acclaimed performance in Women might earn her some overdue recognition, but probably not this year. The fifth slot is much trickier and I almost picked Adams (for Arrival and not Nocturnal Animals) over Negga. Just to show you the competitiveness, Streep in most years would be a shoo-in for her 20th (!) nomination for Jenkins, but could be left out. Others to keep an eye on: Chastain and a dark horse nominee like Hall.

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 1)

2. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 2)

3. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 3)

4. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 4)

5. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 10)

7. Aaron Eckhart, Sully (PR: 6)

8. Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie (PR: 8)

9. Sunny Pawar, Lion (PR: 9)

10. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 11)

11. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 12)

12. Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This (PR: 13)

14. Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

15. Ben Foster, Hell or High Water (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (moved to Lead Actor list)

Steve Martin, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Timothy Spall, Denial

Where the Race Stands…

Absolutely and 100% percent wide open… so much so that I’m not confident any of my current picks make the final cut. Some would argue Grant is in, but I’m not totally convinced. Shannon is such a well-respected actor that he’s probably in, but reaction has been very mixed on Nocturnal Animals. Neeson and Henderson’s work has yet to be seen. Bottom line: this particular category could change a lot over the next few weeks.

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 3)

4. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

5. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities

6. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 7)

7. Elle Fanning, 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

8. Margo Martindale, The Hollars (PR: 8)

9. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 9)

10. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: Not Ranked)

11. Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 6)

12. Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Janelle Monae, Moonlight (PR: 13)

14. Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 11)

15. Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold (PR: 12)

Dropped Out:

Sienna Miller, Live by Night

Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miss Sloane

Where The Race Stands…

Seemingly with Williams and Harris as the two front runners and it’s been that way for a while after Manchester and Moonlight, respectively, hit the festival circuit. Perhaps one of the two actresses from the not yet screened Hidden Figures (Spencer and Monae, who also got positive notices for Moonlight) could make a play. Otherwise, this looks like a two-way competition at the moment.

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Jackie (PR: 3)

4. Moonlight (PR: 4)

5. 20th Century Women (PR: 6)

Other Possibilties

6. Loving (PR: 7)

7. Hell or High Water (PR: 5)

8. Toni Erdmann (PR: 9)

9. Miss Sloane (PR: 8)

10. I, Daniel Blake (PR: 14)

11. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 11)

12. The Lobster (PR: 12)

13. Allied (PR: 10)

14. Gold (PR: 13)

15. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Captain Fantastic

Where the Race Stands…

As a race that La La Land may not automatically win over Manchester by the Sea. Jackie and Moonlight are also looking solid for nominations with a fifth slot that I keep changing up between 20th Century Women, Loving, and Hell or High Water.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Lion (PR: 3)

4. Hidden Figures (PR: 7)

5. Arrival (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

7. Love & Friendship (PR: 11)

8. Live by Night (PR: 8)

9. Elle (PR: 10)

10. Sully (PR: 9)

11. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 4)

12. The Jungle Book (PR: 14)

13. Indignation (PR: 12)

14. Certain Women (PR: 13)

15. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Denial

Where the Race Stands…

In a waiting pattern as Fences and Silence have yet to screen. They could both be heavy hitters. If they both falter, look to Lion. 

And that does it for this week, folks! Until next time…

Todd’s Weekly Oscar Predictions: October 13th Edition

It’s Thursday and that means my weekly Oscar predictions are in! As with previous weeks, I’m ranking the top 25 most likely Best Picture nominees along with top 15 in seven other big races. Come November – those numbers will dwindle to 20 and 10, respectively. You can see where each nominee has risen or fallen or stayed the same from one week ago.

Some developments… Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is expected to screen this weekend so the buzz will be out (meaning its Oscar picture will become more clear soon). Loving took a hit this week and is out of my Best Picture predictions for the first time (enter Arrival). And the poor debut of The Birth of a Nation has knocked it out of the top 25 altogether.

**I’ll note again that just because I rank a picture, director, or actor at #1 doesn’t mean I’m predicting them to win. It just means their first on chances of a nomination. I won’t get into predicting winners until after the nominations are released.

And with that… let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 3)

3. Fences (PR: 2)

4. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 5)

5. Jackie (PR: 9)

6. Lion (PR: 4)

7. Moonlight (PR: 7)

8. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

9. Arrival (PR: 11)

Other Possibilities

10. Loving (PR: 8)

11. 20th Century Women (PR: 19)

12. Hidden Figures (PR: 10)

13. Live by Night (PR: 13)

14. Hell or High Water (PR: 15)

15. Sully (PR: 12)

16. 13th (PR: 16)

17. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 14)

18. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 20)

19. Miss Sloane (PR: 24)

20. The Jungle Book (PR: 18)

21. Allied (PR: 23)

22. Gold (PR: 22)

23. Passengers (PR: Not Ranked)

24. The Founder (PR: 21)

25. I, Daniel Blake (PR: 25)

Dropped Out:

The Birth of a Nation

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

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

2. Ang Lee, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 3)

3. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 2)

4. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 4)

5. Pablo Larrain, Jackie (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 5)

7. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 9)

8. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 7)

9. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 8)

10. Jeff Nichols, Loving (PR: 10)

11. Ben Affleck, Live by Night (PR: 13)

12. Mike Mills, 20th Century Women (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Clint Eastwood, Sully (PR: 12)

14. Ana DuVernay, 13th (PR: 11)

15. Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 1)

2. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 4)

4. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 3)

5. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 7)

7. Joe Alwyn, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 6)

8. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 10)

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

10. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 9)

11. Matthew McConaughey, Gold (PR: 11)

12. Will Smith, Collateral Beauty (PR: 14)

13. Miles Teller, Bleed for This (PR: 12)

14. Ben Affleck, Live by Night (PR: 13)

15. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 3)

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

5. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 6)

7. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 7)

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

9. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 9)

10. Rebecca Hall, Christine (PR: 14)

11. Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 11)

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

13. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train (PR: 13)

14. Marion Cotillard, Allied (PR: 12)

15. Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers (PR: 15)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 2)

2. Liam Neeson, Silence (PR: 1)

3. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 4)

4. Stephen Henderson, Fences (PR: 3)

5. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Aaron Eckhart, Sully (PR: 5)

7. Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

8. Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie (PR: 9)

9. Sunny Pawar, Lion (PR: 7)

10. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 13)

11. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 10)

12. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 14)

13. Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This (PR: 12)

14. Steve Martin, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 11)

15. Timothy Spall, Denial (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Alan Rickman, Eye in the Sky

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Michelle Williams, Manchster by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 3)

4. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 4)

5. Elle Fanning, 20th Century Women (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities

6. Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 6)

7. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 11)

8. Margo Martindale, The Hollars (PR: 7)

9. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 8)

10. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures (PR: 9)

11. Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

12. Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold (PR: 12)

13. Janelle Monae, Moonlight (PR: 13)

14. Sienna Miller, Live by Night (Not Ranked)

15. Guga Mbatha Raw, Miss Sloane (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

3. Jackie (PR: 4)

4. Moonlight (PR: 3)

5. Hell or High Water (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. 20th Century Women (PR: 7)

7. Loving (PR: 5)

8. Miss Sloane (PR: 11)

9. Toni Erdmann (PR: 15)

10. Allied (PR: 14)

11. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 9)

12. The Lobster (PR: 10)

13. Gold (PR: 13)

14. I, Daniel Blake (PR: 8)

15. Captain Fantastic (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Zootopia

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Fences (PR: 1)

2. Silence (PR: 2)

3. Lion (PR: 3)

4. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (PR: 5)

5. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Arrival (PR: 8)

7. Hidden Figures (PR: 7)

8. Live by Night (PR: 9)

9. Sully (PR: 6)

10. Elle (PR: 11)

11. Love & Friendship (PR: 12)

12. Indignation (PR: 10)

13. Certain Women (PR: Not Ranked)

14. The Jungle Book (PR: 13)

15. Denial (PR: 15)

Dropped Out:

A Monster Calls

Whew! And there you have it… I’ll be back at it next Thursday!

Oscar Watch: 20th Century Women

The New York Film Festival has screened another high-profile Oscar contender and that would be Mike Mills’s 20th Century Women. The comedic drama set in the late 1970s was unveiled today to a lot of positive reviews and some that pointed out various flaws.

I’ve included Women on my list of 25 possible Best Picture nominees (as of yesterday it stood at #19). Based on the initial buzz, it could move up some slots next Thursday. Yet I would maintain that it’s unlikely at this juncture that it’ll be included among the five to ten eventual nominees. Same goes for Mills in the Director race.

The director’s last effort (Beginners) nabbed Christopher Plummer a Best Supporting Actor victroy. And it’s in the acting categories that this film has always seemed like a stronger contender and the New York screening has confirmed that. Ms. Bening has heard her name called for Academy recognition four times, but she’s never won. My latest predictions listed her as fourth for likelihood in receiving a Best Actress nod and that still seems right. Critics have praised her work here and she’s probably on her way to her fifth nomination. It still appears, however, that the trio of Emma Stone (La La Land), Natalie Portman (Jackie), and Viola Davis (Fences) have a firmer chance at actually winning.

Early notices have also pointed out the work of both Elle Fanning and Greta Gerwig. It’s unlikely that both will be nominated in Supporting Actress (though you never know). The edge currently goes to Gerwig. As for Crudup in Supporting Actor, he’s probably on the outside looking in, though it’s worth noting that Supporting Actor looks wide open at the moment. While Mills won’t see a Directing nod, Original Screenplay is possible (though there’s major competition there too).

Bottom line: The early buzz for 20th Century Women solidified the standing of Bening and Gerwig, with outside shots at other races.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Todd’s 2016 Weekly Oscar Predictions: September 8th Edition

As readers of my blog may have seen last week, I made my first initial round of Oscar predictions last week. Now… we move onto the next phase. Every Thursday, I will be giving my weekly updated Oscar predictions in the following categories: Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, Adapted Screenplay.

When we get into the later part of the year, the list will expand to include other categories. Each Thursday, I will list 25 possibilities for Best Picture and 15 possibilities for the other races and you’ll be able to track whether the picks go up or down on a weekly basis.

Please note that if I rank something #1 in a certain race, it doesn’t mean I think it’ll win. It means I think its nomination is currently the most probable. The film festival season (especially Toronto) can and probably will alter some of these picks even next week.

Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1) La Land Land

2) Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

3) Silence

4) Fences

5) Moonlight

6) Loving

7) Manchester by the Sea

8) Nocturnal Animals

9) American Pastoral

Other Possibilities:

10) The Birth of a Nation

11) Lion

12) Jackie

13) Arrival

14) 20th Century Women

15) Hidden Figures

16) Sully

17) Passengers

18) Hell or High Water

19) Allied

20) Moana

21) The Founder

22) The Jungle Bok

23) Collateral Beauty

24) Gold

25) Live by Night

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1) Damien Chazelle, La La Land

2) Ang Lee, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

3) Martin Scorsese, Silence

4) Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

5) Denzel Washington, Fences

Other Possibilities:

6) Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

7) Jeff Nichols, Loving

8) Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

9) Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation

10) Denis Villenueve, Arrival

11) Garth Davis, Lion

12) Ewan McGregor, American Pastoral

13) Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures

14) Pablo Larrain, Jackie

15) Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1) Denzel Washington, Fences

2) Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

3) Joel Edgerton, Loving

4) Michael Keaton, The Founder

5) Joe Alwyn, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Other Possibilities:

6) Tom Hanks, Sully

7) Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals

8) Ryan Gosling, La La Land

9) Dev Patel, Lion

10) Trevante Rhodes, Moonlight

11) Bryan Cranston, Wakefield

12) Ewan McGregor, American Pastoral

13) Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation

14) Andrew Garfield, Silence

15) Miles Teller, Bleed for This

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1) Emma Stone, La La Land

2) Viola Davis, Fences

3) Natalie Portman, Jackie

4) Ruth Negga, Loving

5) Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Other Possibilities:

6) Amy Adams, Nocturnal Animals

7) Isabelle Huppert, Elle

8) Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

9) Amy Adams, Arrival

10) Rooney Mara, Una

11) Taraji P. Henson, Hidden Figures

12) Jennifer Lawrence, Passengers

13) Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

14) Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane

15) Marion Cotillard, Allied

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1) Steve Martin, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

2) Liam Neeson, Silence

3) Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

4) Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

5) Stephen Henderson, Fences

Other Possibilities:

6) Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

7) Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

8) Aaron Eckhart, Bleed for This

9) Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply

10) Timothy Spall, Denial

11) Billy Crudup, 20th Century Women

12) Vin Diesel, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

13) John Legend, La La Land

14) Aaron Eckhart, Sully

15) Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1) Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

2) Naomie Harris, Moonlight

3) Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals

4) Kristen Stewart, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

5) Bryce Dallas Howard, Gold

Other Possibilities:

6) Dakota Fanning, American Pastoral

7) Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women

8) Aja Naomi King, The Birth of a Nation

9) Nicole Kidman, Lion

10) Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

11) Julianne Moore, Maggie’s Plan

12) Elle Fanning, 20th Century Women

13) Helen Mirren, Collateral Beauty

14) Margo Martindale, The Hollars

15) Laura Dern, The Founder

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1) Manchester by the Sea

2) Moonlight

3) La La Land

4) Loving

5) Jackie

Other Possibilities:

6) 20th Century Women

7) Hell or High Water

8) The Lobster

9) The Birth of a Nation

10) The Founder

11) Zootopia

12) Gold

13) Passengers

14) Rules Don’t Apply

15) Allied

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1) Fences

2) Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

3) Nocturnal Animals

4) Silence

5) American Pastoral

Other Possibilities:

6) Lion

7) Hidden Figures

8) Arrival

9) Love & Friendship

10) The Girl on the Train

11) Elle

12) Sully

13) Live by Night

14) Denial

15) The Jungle Book

And that’ll do it for now, folks! My weekly updates will be back next Thursday…

2016 Early Oscar Predictions: Best Director

Day 5 of my early 2016 Oscar predictions continues with Best Director and this week has already helped solidify the standings of two: Damien Chazelle for La La Land (who looks like a shoo-in for a nod) and Tom Ford for Nocturnal Animals (not guaranteed; but very good chance).

Then there’s Martin Scorsese for Silence. The legendary director has been nominated 8 times for this award, including for five of his last six pictures (winning for 2006’s The Departed). It’s a safe pick to put him in, but the only uncertainty is whether or not Silence is actually released this year.

Ang Lee has won the award twice (for Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi) and his Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk looks poised for several nominations.

There are many other possibilities: Denzel Washington could land his first directorial attention for Fences. Jeff Nichols’ Loving has already been the subject of much acclaim. Both Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea) could find themselves in the mix, as could Denis Villenueve (Arrival) and Morten Tyldum (Passengers) for their science fiction pics.

Also worth noting: Nate Parker for The Birth of a Nation. This is a tricky one as the movie has been a critical hit yet prevalent stories on his past have called into question whether the Academy will make that a factor. We shall see.

Here’s how I have the race right now:

TODD’S EARLY OSCAR PREDICTIONS – BEST DIRECTOR

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Ang Lee, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk

Martin Scorsese, Silence

Denzel Washington, Fences

Other Possibilities:

Ben Affleck, Live by Night

Warren Beatty, Rules Don’t Apply

Garth Davis, Lion

Ana DuVernay, The 13th

Clint Eastwood, Sully

Gareth Edwards, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

David Frankel, Collateral Beauty

Stephen Gaghan, Gold

John Lee Hancock, The Founder

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Ken Loach, I, Daniel Blake

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water

John Madden, Miss Sloane

Ewan McGregor, American Pastoral

Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures

Mike Mills, 20th Century Women

Jeff Nichols, Loving

Nate Parker, The Birth of a Nation

Rob Reiner, LBJ

Tate Taylor, The Girl on the Train

Morten Tyldum, Passengers

Denis Villenueve, Arrival

Ben Younger, Bleed for This

Robert Zemeckis, Allied

Best Picture tomorrow!