Rampage Movie Review

A genetically deformed gorilla, wolf, and alligator walk into a major metropolitan area and destroy buildings. That was the concept of the video game in which Rampage was based upon and the movie adaptation doesn’t burden itself with over ambition in bringing it to the screen. Throw in Dwayne Johnson and lots of CG effects and what do you get? A fairly middling experience that will probably manage to thrill teenage boys whose fathers spent their quarters on the game at the arcade in the 1980s.

Davis Okoye (Johnson) is a primatologist. He’s great with animals and doesn’t really enjoy interacting with people, as the screenplay incessantly reminds us. He’s developed a particular bond with George, an albino gorilla who lives at the sanctuary where Davis works. They’re practically a comedy team as Davis has taught him tricks like flipping the bird. The duo’s future nightclub act is disrupted when a canister of debris containing genetic mutation material lands near George and causes him to grow into a destructive beast. This nasty stuff is also consumed by the aforementioned wolf and alligator.

I could go into further plot detail on the specifics, but here’s the bottom line. Rampage is all about getting that trio of monsters en route to Chicago where they can flick tanks and helicopters into buildings with ease. Davis teams up with an engineer (Naomie Harris) and an outlaw government figure (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) to not only stop the creatures, but prevent the military from overreacting to the potential carnage. And there’s Malin Ackerman and Jake Lacy as the sister/brother duo who run the evil corporation that made the stuff that turned funny George into bad George.

Unfortunately for us, there’s about an hour of filler before Rampage reaches its Windy City destination. That time is a bit of a strain. Since it’s Dwayne Johnson playing a primatologist, it will come as no shock that he’s also ex-Special Forces. We get a bit of his background (including some anti-poaching messages) and same goes for Harris’s character who used to work at the conglomerate that wreaked this havoc.

By the time we arrive at the gorilla and wolf and alligator warfare, we’re greeted with some decent set pieces in the Transformers vein. Yet that even manages to overstay its welcome and the CG, while decent, has seen stronger offerings (it’s nothing compared to the animal work in the latest Planet of the Apes pics).

This is Johnson’s second collaboration with Brad Peyton, who directed him in San Andreas. That was another so-so spectacle that was easily digestible and forgettable. The makers of and actors in Rampage do seem to know this is silly junk food and earn some points for never taking it seriously. And there’s certainly been other video game adaptations that have been way worse. We’re talking faint praise, I suppose, but Rampage can only do so much with the simple concept of “smash building, smash car, and repeat.”

**1/2 (out of four)

Rampage Box Office Prediction

Pairing Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson with a bunch of CG animals in an adventure flick? If that sounds like a recipe for box office success, that’s because Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle became Sony’s biggest hit at the end of 2017. And next weekend’s Rampage (while it won’t approach the numbers of that franchise follow-up) looks poised to bring in generous earnings.

The Warner Bros release is based loosely on the 1980s video game. It marks Johnson’s third collaboration with director Brad Peyton following Journey: The Mysterious Island and San Andreas. Both of those titles managed to top the century mark ($103 million and $155 million respectively) and this should do the same. Costars include Naomie Harris, Malin Ackerman, Joe Manganiello, Jake Lacy, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Perhaps more importantly, other costars are giant gorillas, wolf’s, and alligators.

The question is whether Rampage falls more in line with $27 million debut of Journey 2 or the $54 million accomplished by Andreas. The former seems a bit low to me while the latter is high. I’ll project a mid to possibly high 30s opening is more the ticket.

Rampage opening weekend prediction: $36.6 million

For my Truth or Dare prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/04/03/truth-or-dare-box-office-prediction/

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

David Frankel’s Collateral Beauty starts with a pretentious name and goes downhill from there. It’s a film dealing with weighty subjects in a manner that is borderline offensive and cheats the audience and its talented actors of quality. When you can’t get past an incredibly contrived concept, it makes any semblance of emotional resonance that the screenplay is trying to beat into you fail badly. And it does.

Howard (Will Smith) is an advertising exec who’s mourning the loss of his young daughter. He can’t get past the loss and he’s cut off communication with the world, including his coworkers. There’s three of them that are focused on and they’re all given their own soap opera subplots. Whit (Edward Norton) is a divorcee trying to reconnect with his own little girl. Claire (Kate Winslet) is the workaholic wanting to become a mother. Simon (Michael Pena) is terminally ill and trying to hide his diagnosis from everyone.

The trio make the tough decision to try to push Howard out of the company. In order to do so, the script invents quite a remarkably ridiculous way to do so. You see – Howard writes letters to issues he’s grappling with – Love, Death, Time. When his coworkers are at their wit’s end, they make the puzzling decision to hire an acting troupe to portray those emotions, catch Howard’s reaction to them on camera, and exploit his response for the company’s gain. It’s even more contrived than it sounds. So we have Helen Mirren as Death, Keira Knightley as Love, and Jacob Latimore as Time. Howard also reaches out to a grief counselor (Naomie Harris) who’s experienced similar life issues.

This is the type of picture that some may not want to criticize due to its subject matter. Yet Collateral Beauty deserves scorn, especially because so many other films have dealt with similar themes in far more mature and satisfying ways. There’s not a performance here worthy of praise and that’s remarkable considering the cast. Smith is stuck playing one note throughout and even Mirren (one of our finest actresses) is annoying. No actors could make this dialogue work to be fair. It’s as if screenwriter Allan Loeb took a bunch of sympathy and encouragement cards and self-help manuals, cut them up, threw them in the air, and let treacly word piles form. The result is ugly.

* (out of four)

 

Moonlight Movie Review

One not need to live in Chiron’s world in Moonlight to understand his struggles. We all have moments where we feel isolated. We all have had family drama. We all have moments where we strive to figure out who we are. The central character in this Barry Jenkins picture may experience it at an elevated level and in a universe where his identity is shunned. However, we manage to identify with him and that’s a tribute to an often subtle and smart script.

The film is told in three chapters as it follows various stages in Chiron’s life in Miami and eventually Atlanta. It begins under the heading “Little”, where we find him as a shy young boy. His mother Paula (Naomie Harris) is an absentee one and Little is soon befriended by drug dealer Juan (Mahershala Ali) and his girlfriend Teresa (Janelle Monae). They serve as his de facto parents.

Second chapter “Chiron” finds him as a teenager who’s frequently targeted at school. Paula is now a drug addict, Teresa still cares for him, and Juan is no longer in the picture. He also has a complicated relationship with longtime friend Kevin that alters between romantic and antagonistic.

Chapter three “Black” finds Chiron as a twenty something whose life has veered into territory much like Juan’s. It would probably be something his father figure would despise. The years gone by have also gotten him out of touch with Kevin, but their paths coincide once again.

Moonlight finds three actors playing Chiron (and Kevin) in these stages. Alex Hibbert is the youngster in part one, Ashton Sanders is the teen, and Trevante Rhodes is the young man. All of them shine. Same goes for the supporting players, with note deserved to Ali for putting a fresh spin on a character who could’ve been far more stereotypical.

There are events key to Chiron’s story that aren’t shown here and while I understand the structural decision not to belabor them, it does occasionally take away from its overall dramatic impact.

Yet its staying power is still significant. The film is about someone discovering their sexuality and we finds ourselves for rooting for Chiron to get there. No matter your identity, you’ll recognize and sympathize with moments of family struggle, bullying, and loneliness. Jenkins (who wrote and directed) assuredly keeps the audience wondering where his subject’s journey turns next.

***1/2 (out of four)

Todd’s Updated 2016 Oscar Winner Predictions

Good Sunday all! 15 days from today, the Oscars will air and for the next three Sundays, I’ll be giving you my take on where I see each category standing. This means my winner prediction and each nominee listed in order of likelihood to take their prize.

My final predictions will post on Sunday, February 26 prior to the broadcast the next day. Let’s get to it, shall we?

BEST PICTURE

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Manchester by the Sea

4) Hidden Figures

5) Lion

6) Arrival

7) Hacksaw Ridge

8) Hell or High Water

9) Fences

BEST DIRECTOR

1) Damien Chazelle, La La Land

2) Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

3) Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

4) Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

5) Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

BEST ACTOR

1) Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

2) Denzel Washington, Fences

3) Ryan Gosling, La La Land

4) Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

5) Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

BEST ACTRESS

1) Emma Stone, La La Land

2) Natalie Portman, Jackie

3) Isabelle Huppert, Elle

4) Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

5) Ruth Negga, Loving

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1) Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

2) Dev Patel, Lion

3) Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

4) Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

5) Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1) Viola Davis, Fences

2) Naomie Harris, Moonlight

3) Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

4) Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

5) Nicole Kidman, Lion

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1) Moonlight

2) Lion

3) Hidden Figures

4) Fences

5) Arrival

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1) Manchester by the Sea

2) La La Land

3) Hell or High Water

4) The Lobster

5) 20th Century Women

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1) Zootopia

2) Kubo and the Two Strings

3) Moana

4) My Life as a Zucchini

5) The Red Turtle

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1) The Salesman

2) Toni Erdmann

3) Land of Mine

4) A Man Called Ove

5) Tanna

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1) I Am Not Your Negro

2) O.J.: Made in America

3) 13th

4) Fire at Sea

5) Life, Animated

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Arrival

4) Lion

5) Silence

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1) Jackie

2) La La Land

3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

4) Florence Foster Jenkins

5) Allied

BEST EDITING

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Arrival

4) Hacksaw Ridge

5) Hell or High Water

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

1) Star Trek Beyond

2) Suicide Squad

3) A Man Called Ove

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1) La La Land

2) Arrival

3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

4) Hail, Caesar!

5) Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1) La La Land

2) Lion

3) Moonlight

4) Jackie

5) Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1) “City of Stars” from La La Land

2) “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

3) “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” from Trolls

4) “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land

5) “The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story

BEST SOUND EDITING

1) La La Land

2) Hacksaw Ridge

3) Arrival

4) Deepwater Horizon

5) Sully

BEST SOUND MIXING

1) La La Land

2) Hacksaw Ridge

3) Arrival

4) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

5) 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1) The Jungle Book

2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

3) Doctor Strange

4) Kubo and the Two Strings

5) Deepwater Horizon

Next Update will be Be Sunday!

2016 SAG Awards Predictions

The final major awards ceremony before Oscar takes place tonight on TBS and TNT as the 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards airs. These awards and winners are voted by fellow thespians, so the races are a bit different in the sense that there’s no Best Picture per se. Instead it’s Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture and the five nominated pictures contains one rather glaring omission: La La Land, even though it’s the front runner at the Academy Awards.

We do have the other acting races we’re accustomed to, as well as Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture. Let’s break each category down one by one with my predicted winners for this evening.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture 

Nominees: Captain Fantastic, Fences, Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

Predicted Winner: Moonlight

Analysis: The recipient here could solidify its status as Most Likely to Win Best Picture at the Oscars if La La doesn’t. I’ll predict the SAG voters give the edge to Barry Jenkins acclaimed drama over Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester, just like the Globes did.

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences)

Predicted Winner: Casey Affleck

Analysis: The five nominees match five for five with the Academy. Affleck has received the lions share of precursors thus far and I expect that to continue here. Washington is the only other possibility.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Amy Adams (Arrival), Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Predicted Winner: Natalie Portman

Analysis: Yes, I’m going for the minor upset here as Stone is the likely front runner. Only the two of them and Streep match the Oscar nods, as SAG honored Adams and Blunt instead of Isabelle Huppert (Elle) and Ruth Negga (Loving).

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Dev Patel (Lion)

Predicted Winner: Mahershala Ali

Analysis: A win by either Bridges or Patel wouldn’t surprise me, but Ali has picked up a lot of critics prizes. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, surprise Globe winner for Nocturnal Animals, isn’t present here.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Predicted Winner: Viola Davis

Analysis: Another exact match with Oscar and I expect the same result – a win for Ms. Davis. Anything else would be a surprise.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Captain America: Civil War, Doctor Strange, Hacksaw Ridge, Jason Bourne, Nocturnal Animals

Predicted Winner: Hacksaw Ridge

Analysis: This is a tough one as either of the comic book flicks could win. Still, I’ll go with the only nominated Best Picture at the Oscars. By the way, why Nocturnal is present here baffles me.

And there you have it! Happy watching tonight…

Todd’s 2016 Oscar Nominations Reaction

And… they’re out! After months of predictions and Oscar Watch posts, the 2016 Oscar nominations were announced this morning. Save for a couple of the technical categories, I must say I’m pretty pleased with my results! Per usual, there were a couple of surprising inclusions and omissions.

Let’s go race by race and see how I did, shall we? I am also including my commentary with each category and, for the first time (!) giving my first predictions on who and what will win…

Best Picture

Todd’s Performance: 9/9 (!)

Analysis: Since the Oscars went to the format where 5-10 Pictures can be nominated, 9 has mostly been the magic number and that held true this time around. There were no surprises here, as evidenced by my perfect score with the biggest race of all. The nominees are: Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight.

Winner Prediction: La La Land

There are 3 films that stand a chance – La La, Manchester, and Moonlight. Yet there’s no denying that Damien Chazelle’s musical is the front runner, as it tied the record of 14 nominations today along with All About Eve and Titanic.  

Best Director

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: There were four easy picks to make and they were all honored: Chazelle (La La), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester), and Denis Villeneuve (Arrival). The fifth slot has consistently been the tricky one in recent weeks and I went with DGA nominee Garth Davis (Lion). The Academy instead brought previous winner Mel Gibson back into their good graces once again for Hacksaw Ridge.

Winner Prediction: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

This one is tougher than Picture. Barry Jenkins has emerged victorious in a number of precursors. Ultimately I’m forecasting that Picture and Director will match in honoring Chazelle’s return to the Hollywood musical.

Best Actor

Todd’s Performance: 5/5 (!)

Analysis: The five performers recognized today have been the most likely to get in for about a month, at least. They are: Casey Affleck (Manchester), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw), Ryan Gosling (La La), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), and Denzel Washington (Fences). It played out as such.

Winner Prediction: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

Actor is essentially a two man race between Affleck and Denzel, but the Manchester lead has racked up the lions share of other awards show and I feel Oscar will follow.

Best Actress

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: Let’s get the four women I got right out of the way: Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Natalie Portman (Jackie), Emma Stone (La La), and Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins). No surprises there, but what was a bit startling was the omission of Amy Adams in Arrival. I had her ranked third out of five possibilities. Then – my sixth (Annette Bening, 20th Century Women) and seventh (Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train) place alternate picks didn’t make it in. That slot was filled with #8 – Ruth Negga in Loving. Not a huge shock as Actress has been packed for some time, but I thought Negga getting it would replace either Huppert or Streep. Not so.

Winner Prediction: Emma Stone, La La Land

I could see Stone, Portman, and maybe even Huppert taking the statue, but I’ll give Stone the gold.

Best Supporting Actor

Todd’s Performance 5/5 (!)

Analysis: I’ll give myself a hearty pat on the back for this as Supporting Actor was a tough race to wrap your head around this year. The nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Lucas Hedges (Manchester), Dev Patel (Lion), and Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals).

Winner Prediction: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Ali has won the bulk of precursors and this is the safe pick. That said, this is often a race where upsets happen and I could see Bridges, Patel, and possibly Shannon standing a chance.

Best Supporting Actress 

Todd’s Performance: 5/5 (!)

Analysis: I’ll give myself a softer pat on the back with this one as the five expected nominees held court. They are: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), and Michelle Williams (Manchester).

Winner Prediction: Viola Davis, Fences

Of all the acting races, this is the easiest to project as Davis has been the front runner for months and remains so.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: As expected – Arrival, Fences (which some had on the fence), Lion, and Moonlight are in. I had Nocturnal Animals getting a nod, but the writers chose Hidden Figures instead.

Winner Prediction: Moonlight

The Barry Jenkins picture is a heavy, heavy favorite here.

Best Original Screenplay

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

Analysis: I correctly predicted Hell or High Water, La La Land, and Manchester by the Sea. I was a bit surprised to see Captain Fantastic left off, not as much so for dark horse pick I, Daniel Blake. In their place: The Lobster and 20th Century Women.

Winner Prediction: Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan’s script is the favorite, but don’t discount a La La sweep factoring in here. Hell or High Water is a potential upset pick.

Best Animated Feature

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: I went with a bit of an upset pick with Pixar’s Finding Dory… and you usually don’t associate this category not including that studio’s work. Instead, The Red Turtle got in along with predicted nominees Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, and Zootopia. 

Winner Prediction: Zootopia

Disney is likely to see their blockbuster take the prize, though Kubo could be lurking.

Best Documentary Feature

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated, O.J.: Made in America, and 13th were correct estimates while Fire at Sea nabbed a nod instead of Cameraperson.

Winner Prediction: I Am Not Your Negro

This is a tough one as O.J. and 13th also stand decent chances.

Best Foreign Language Film

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: Tanna got in instead of predicted The King’s Choice. Other nominees: Land of Mine, A Man Called Ove, The Salesman, and Toni Erdmann.

Winner Prediction: The Salesman

The safe money could be on German comedy Erdmann, but I’m leaning toward Iranian drama The Salesman. I could switch back before showtime.

Best Cinematography

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: My Nocturnal Animals love bore no fruit again as my first alternate Lion was nominated. Other nominees: Arrival, La La Land, Moonlight, and Silence.

Winner Prediction: La La Land

I’ll go with the probable Best Picture winner, but Moonlight and Arrival are possibilities.

Best Costume Design

Todd’s Performance: 5/5 (!)

Analysis: I guess I know my costumes as I correctly predicted Allied, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster Jenkins, Jackie, and La La Land.

Winner Prediction: Jackie

The La La love could extend here and possibly even Colleen Atwood’s work for Fantastic Beasts, but I’ll go Jackie.

Best Editing

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: Hell or High Water got in as opposed to Manchester. Other nominees: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, and Moonlight.

Winner Prediction: La La Land

This category often matches Picture and it should here, too. Hacksaw and Arrival have shots.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Todd’s Performance: 1/3

Analysis: Not so good… There were seven possibilities out of three nominees and I only was able to get Star Trek Beyond right. In place of Deadpool and Florence Foster Jenkins are A Man Called Ove and Suicide Squad.

Winner Prediction: Star Trek Beyond

I guess I’ll go with it since it’s the only one I named correctly. This could change…

Best Original Score

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

Analysis: Jackie and a legitimately unforeseen Passengers got in instead of Florence Foster Jenkins and Nocturnal Animals, along with La La Land, Lion, and Moonlight.

Winner Prediction: La La Land

The musical should win here, but Lion could possibly be an upset winner. Not likely though.

Best Original Song

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: Expected nominees got in like the two from La La (“Audition” and “City of Stars”), Moana‘s “How Far I’ll Go”, and Justin Timberlake’s Trolls chart topper “Can’t Stop the Feeling!”. I went with “Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street but the voters surprisingly chose “”The Empty Chair” from Jim: The James Foley Story, a tune that was never even on my radar.

Winner Prediction: “City of Stars” from La La Land

It’s won the Golden Globe and should take this one.

Best Production Design

Todd’s Performance: 2/5

Analysis: Damn production designers! This one threw me for a loop as I only got Arrival and La La Land right. I whiffed on Jackie (which I was certain would get in), Nocturnal Animals (again), and Silence. In their place: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Hail, Caesar!, and those darn Passengers.

Winner Prediction: La La Land 

La La should have this wrapped up over the competitors.

Best Sound Editing

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Analysis: Sully got in here instead of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, along with Arrival, Deepwater Horizon, Hacksaw Ridge, and La La Land.

Winner Prediction: Hacksaw Ridge

Could be La La, Arrival, or even Deepwater, but I’ll give this to Hacksaw for its lone win.

Best Sound Mixing

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

Surprise nod here for 13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghazi. I had Sully picked. Other nominees: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, La La Land, and Rogue One.

Winner Prediction: La La Land

Hard to imagine La La not taking this one.

Best Visual Effects

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

Deepwater Horizon and Kubo and the Two Strings made it in as opposed to Arrival (bit surprised there) and Fantastic Beasts (not as much so). Other nominees: Disney trio Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book, and Rogue One.

Winner Prediction: The Jungle Book

This could be a close one with Rogue, but I’ll predict Mowgli and his amazing CG animals pals.

That leaves this official breakdown of nominations:

14 Nominations

La La Land

8 Nominations

Arrival, Moonlight

6 Nominations

Hacksaw Ridge, Lion, Manchester by the Sea

4 Nominations

Fences, Hell or High Water

3 Nominations

Hidden Figures, Jackie

2 Nominations

Deepwater Horizon, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Florence Foster Jenkins, Kubo and the Two Strings, A Man Called Ove, Moana, Passengers, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

1 Nomination

Allied, Captain Fantastic, Doctor Strange, Elle, Fire at Sea, Hail, Caesar!, I Am Not Your Negro, Jim: The James Foley Story, The Jungle Book, Land of Mine, Life, Animated, The Lobster, Loving, My Life as a Zucchini, Nocturnal Animals, O.J.: Made in America, The Red Turtle, The Salesman, Silence, Star Trek Beyond, Suicide Squad, Sully, Tanna, 13th, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Toni Erdmann, Trolls, 20th Century Women, Zootopia

And HERE is my current WINNER breakdown:

9 Wins

La La Land

2 Wins

Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

1 Win

Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, I Am Not Your Negro, Jackie, The Jungle Book, The Salesman, Star Trek Beyond, Zootopia

And that (whew) does it for now! You can rest assure I’ll be back shortly before the big ceremony to make final winner picks. Until then…

 

 

Todd’s 2016 FINAL Oscar Predictions!

Well, here we are folks! After four months of (almost) weekly columns predicting the nominees and dozens of individualized Oscar Watch posts, the Academy Award nominations will be officially announced on Tuesday, January 24th around 8:30AM Eastern time. These are my final predictions. I’ve pontificated all year on who and what these nominees might be, so we’ll keep this simple. I’m listing my predicted nominees in each race as well as a first and second alternative. On Tuesday evening, I’ll have a post up recounting how I did.

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

First Alternate: Nocturnal Animals

Second Alternate: Loving

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Garth Davis, Lion

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

First Alternate: Martin Scorsese, Silence

Second Alternate: Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchster by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

First Alternate: Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals

Second Alternate: Joel Edgerton, Loving

Best Actress

Amy Adams, Arrival

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

First Alternate: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Second Alternate: Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Second Alternate: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

First Alternate: Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women

Second Alternate: Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival

Fences

Lion

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Hidden Figures

Second Alternate: Loving

Best Original Screenplay

Captain Fantastic

Hell or High Water

I, Daniel Blake

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

First Alternate: The Lobster

Second Alternate: Toni Erdmann

Best Animated Feature

Finding Dory

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

Zootopia

First Alternate: The Red Turtle

Second Alternate: The Little Prince

Best Documentary Feature

Cameraperson

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made in America

13th

First Alternate: Gleason

Second Alternate: The Ivory Game

Best Foreign Language Film

The King’s Choice

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Toni Erdmann

First Alternate: My Life as a Zucchini

Second Alternate: It’s Only the End of the World

Best Cinematography

Arrival

La La Land

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

Silence

First Alternate: Lion

Second Alternate: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Costume Design

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land

First Alternate: Silence

Second Alternate: Love & Friendship

Best Editing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

First Alternate: Lion

Second Alternate: Hell or High Water

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Deadpool

Florence Foster Jenkins

Star Trek Beyond

First Alternate: A Man Called Ove

Second Alternate: Suicide Squad

Best Original Score

Florence Foster Jenkins

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Jackie

Second Alternate: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Original Song

“Audition” from La La Land

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls

“City of Stars” from La La Land

“Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street

“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

First Alternate: “Runnin” from Hidden Figures

Second Alternate: “Faith” from Sing

Best Production Design

Arrival

Jackie

La La Land

Nocturnal Animals

Silence

First Alternate: Hacksaw Ridge

Second Alternate: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Sound Editing

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First Alternate: Sully

Second Alternate: The Jungle Book

Best Sound Mixing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Sully

First Alternate: Deepwater Horizon

Second Alternate: Deadpool

Best Visual Effects

Arrival

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Jungle Book

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First Alternate: Deepwater Horizon

Second Alternate: The BFG

That gives yours truly the following nomination breakdown:

14 Nominations

La La Land

10 Nominations

Arrival

8 Nominations

Moonlight

7 Nominations

Manchester by the Sea

6 Nominations

Lion

5 Nominations

Hacksaw Ridge, Nocturnal Animals

4 Nominations

Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins

3 Nominations

Hell or High Water, Jackie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

2 Nominations

Hidden Figures, Captain Fantastic, Moana, Silence, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

1 Nomination

Elle, I, Daniel Blake, Finding Dory, Kubo and the Two Strings, My Life as a Zucchini, Zootopia, Cameraperson, I Am Not Your Negro, Life, Animated, O.J.: Made in America, 13th, The King’s Choice, Land of Mine, A Man Called Ove, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann, Allied, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Trolls, Sing Street, Deepwater Horizon, Sully, Doctor Strange, The Jungle Book

And there you have it – my FINAL (yikes) Oscar predictions! Check back on Tuesday for the postmortem.

Todd’s 2016 Oscar Predictions: January 12th Edition

Well, hello everyone! It’s Thursday and my first Oscar predictions of the new year have rolled in…

In the past two weeks we’ve seen the Golden Globes occur, which showered its love upon La La Land. We’ve had BAFTA and Producers Guild nominations (that one produced a surprise nod for Deadpool and puts the comic book pic in the top 20 for the firs time). And the Director Guild announced their five nominees this morning, which exactly matches my picks here. We’ve seen pictures (in my estimation) increase their chances (Arrival, Hidden Figures) and others fall a bit (Silence).

On Thursday the 19th, I will make my final round of Thursday predictions and on Sunday the 22nd – my “final” final predictions prior to the announcement on January 24th.

Here’s how I see it all right now…

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Moonlight (PR: 3)

3. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 2)

4. Arrival (PR: 7)

5. Lion (PR: 5)

6. Fences (PR: 4)

7. Hidden Figures (PR: 8)

8. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 9)

9. Hell or High Water (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

10. Silence (PR: 6)

11. Loving (PR: 11)

12. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 12)

13. Sully (PR: 13)

14. Jackie (PR: 14)

15. Deadpool (PR: Not Ranked)

16. 20th Century Women (PR: 15)

17. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 16)

18. Patriots Day (PR: 17)

19. Captain Fantastic (PR: 19)

20. Zootopia (PR: 20)

Dropped Out:

The Jungle Book

Best Director

Predicted Nominees

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

2. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight (PR: 2)

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

4. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival (PR: 6)

5. Garth Davis, Lion (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities

6. Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

7. Martin Scorsese, Silence (PR: 4)

8. David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water (PR: 9)

9. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 8)

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

Dropped Out:

Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. Denzel Washington, Fences (PR: 2)

3. Ryan Gosling, La La Land (PR: 3)

4. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 4)

5. Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Joel Edgerton, Loving (PR: 5)

7. Tom Hanks, Sully (PR: 7)

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

9. Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Andrew Garfield, Silence (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Adam Driver, Paterson

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Emma Stone, La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Natalie Portman, Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Amy Adams, Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 5)

5. Isabelle Huppert, Elle (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

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

7. Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train (PR: 9)

8. Ruth Negga, Loving (PR: 7)

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

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

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees

1. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight (PR: 1)

2. Dev Patel, Lion (PR: 2)

3. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea (PR: 4)

4. Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water (PR: 3)

5. Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

7. Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Ben Foster, Hell or High Water (PR: 7)

9. Issey Ogata, Silence (PR: 8)

10. Mykelti Williamson, Fences (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Kevin Costner, Hidden Figures

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees

1. Viola Davis, Fences (PR: 1)

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

3. Naomie Harris, Moonlight (PR: 2)

4. Nicole Kidman, Lion (PR: 4)

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

Other Possibilities

6. Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women (PR: 6)

7. Helen Mirren, Eye in the Sky (PR: 7)

8. Molly Shannon, Other People (PR: 10)

9. Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures (PR: 8)

10. Lupita Nyong’o, Queen of Katwe (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Felicity Jones, A Monster Calls

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Moonlight (PR: 1)

2. Arrival (PR: 4)

3. Lion (PR: 2)

4. Fences (PR: 3)

5. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Hidden Figures (PR: 9)

7. Loving (PR: 8)

8. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

9. Silence (PR: 5)

10. Elle (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sully

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees

1. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Hell or High Water (PR: 3)

4. Captain Fantastic (PR: 4)

5. Toni Erdmann (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities

6. The Lobster (PR: 6)

7. 20th Century Women (PR: 5)

8. Jackie (PR: 7)

9. Zootopia (PR: 9)

10. Eye in the Sky (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I, Daniel Blake

Best Animated Feautre

Predicted Nominees

1. Zootopia (PR: 1)

2. Kubo and the Two Strings (PR: 2)

3. Moana (PR: 3)

4. The Red Turtle (PR: 4)

5. The Little Prince (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities

6. My Life as a Zucchini (PR: 5)

7. Finding Dory (PR: 6)

8. Your Name (PR: 9)

9. Sausage Party (PR: 10)

10. Sing (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

April and the Extraordinary World

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees

1. I Am Not Your Negro (PR: 1)

2. Gleason (PR: 4)

3. O.J.: Made in America (PR: 2)

4. 13th (PR: 3)

5. Cameraperson (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. The Ivory Game (PR: 9)

7. Life, Animated (PR: 5)

8. The Eagle Huntress (PR: 8)

9. Weiner (PR: 10)

10. Fire at Sea (PR: 7)

Best Foreign Language Film

Predicted Nominees

1. Toni Erdmann (PR: 1)

2. The Salesman (PR: 2)

3. Land of Mine (PR: 3)

4. My Life as a Zucchini (PR: 6)

5. A Man Called Ove (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. The King’s Choice (PR: 5)

7. Tanna (PR: 8)

8. It’s the Only the End of the World (PR: 9)

9. Paradise (PR: 7)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Arrival (PR: 4)

3. Moonlight (PR: 2)

4. Nocturnal Animals (PR: 5)

5. Silence (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities

6. Lion (PR: 6)

7. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

8. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

9. Jackie (PR: 8)

10. Hell or High Water (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Jungle Book

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees

1. Jackie (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 7)

4. Allied (PR: 3)

5. Love & Friendship (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 5)

7. Silence (PR: 6)

8. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

9. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Live by Night (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Alice Through the Looking Glass

Best Editing

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Moonlight (PR: 2)

3. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 4)

4. Arrival (PR: 3)

5. Manchester by the Sea (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Silence (PR: 5)

8. Lion (PR: 7)

9. Hell or High Water (PR: 8)

10. Sully (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Jackie

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees

1. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 1)

2. Deadpool (PR: 3)

3. Star Trek Beyond (PR: 2)

Other Possibilities

4. A Man Called Ove (PR: 5)

5. Suicide Squad (PR: 4)

6. The Dressmaker (PR: 6)

7. Hail, Caesar! (PR: 7)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Lion (PR: 2)

3. Moonlight (PR: 3)

4. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 6)

5. Florence Foster Jenkins (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Nocturnal Animals (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Jackie (PR: 5)

8. The BFG (PR: 9)

9. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 8)

10. The Jungle Book (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Hidden Figures 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees

1. “City of Stars” from La La Land (PR: 1)

2. “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana (PR: 2)

3. “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” from La La Land (PR: 3)

4. “Runnin” from Hidden Figures (PR: 5)

5. “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” from Trolls (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities

6. “Letters to the Free” from 13th (PR: 6)

7. “Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street (PR: 4)

8. “The Rules Don’t Apply” from Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 8)

9. “Faith” from Sing (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “The Great Beyond” from Sausage Party (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“I’m Still Here” from Miss Sharon Jones

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Jackie (PR: 2)

3. Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 7)

5. Silence (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 10)

7. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 8)

8. Rules Don’t Apply (PR: 5)

9. Allied (PR: 6)

10. The Jungle Book (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Live by Night

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees

1. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 1)

2. La La Land (PR: 2)

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 3)

4. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 5)

5. Sully (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities

6. Arrival (PR: 6)

7. The Jungle Book (PR: 9)

8. Patriots Day (PR: 7)

9. Deadpool (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Allied (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Captain America: Civil War

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees

1. La La Land (PR: 1)

2. Hacksaw Ridge (PR: 2)

3. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 3)

4. Arrival (PR: 4)

5. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 5)

Other Possibilties

6. Patriots Day (PR: 8)

7. Sully (PR: 6)

8. The Jungle Book (PR: 9)

9. Deadpool (PR: 10)

10. Passengers (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Allied 

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees

1. The Jungle Book (PR: 1)

2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (PR: 2)

3. Arrival (PR: 3)

4. Doctor Strange (PR: 4)

5. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities

6. The BFG (PR: 5)

7. Deepwater Horizon (PR: 10)

8. Kubo and the Two Strings (PR: 8)

9. Captain America: Civil War (PR: 7)

10. Passengers (PR: 9)

That equates to the following number of nominations for each film:

14 Nominations

La La Land

9 Nominations

Arrival

8 Nominations

Moonlight

7 Nominations

Manchester by the Sea

6 Nominations

Lion, Hacksaw Ridge

4 Nominations

Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

3 Nominations

Hidden Figures, Hell or High Water, Jackie

2 Nominations

Captain Fantastic, Nocturnal Animals, Toni Erdmann, Moana, Silence, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Deepwater Horizon

1 Nomination

Elle, Zootopia, Kubo and the Two Strings, The Red Turtle, The Little Prince, I Am Not Your Negro, Gleason, O.J.: Made in America, 13th, Cameraperson, The Salesman, Land of Mine, My Life as a Zucchini, A Man Called Ove, Allied, Love & Friendship, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Trolls, Sully, The Jungle Book, Doctor Strange.

And that does it for now! Until next week…

2016 Golden Globes: Who Will Win?

This Sunday evening, the Golden Globes (perhaps the most significant Oscar precursor) airs with Jimmy Fallon hosting. Unlike the Academy Awards, the Globes divide both Picture and the Lead Acting races in two categories: Drama and Musical/Comedy.

Here’s how I have each race playing out with the winners predicted. As a side note, I decided to not do my weekly Oscar predictions yesterday and will have an updated post on Thursday next week!

With that, let’s get to the races…

Best Drama

The Nominees: Hacksaw Ridge, Hell or High Water, Lion, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

Todd’s Prediction: Moonlight

Analysis: Not an easy prediction as this will probably boil down to Moonlight and Manchester, with both Hacksaw and Lion being potential spoilers (Water is only pic I see as having no shot). The winner of this category will likely vault into a two-way race with La La Land as to what comes out on top at Oscar time.

Best Musical/Comedy

The Nominees: 20th Century Women, Deadpool, Florence Foster Jenkins, La La Land, Sing Street

Todd’s Prediction: La La Land

Analysis: It would be pretty shocking if Damien Chazelle’s ode to Hollywood musicals didn’t win here. I suppose perhaps Jenkins has a dark horse shot, but this is the easiest pick of the bunch to make.

Best Director

The Nominees: Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals), Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Kenneth Longergan (Manchester by the Sea)

Todd’s Prediction: Damien Chazelle

Analysis: Jenkins has racked up a slew of precursors and a win for Gibson would be seen as completing a remarkable comeback after multiple personal issues. However, at the end of the day, I believe the La La love will extend to its director.

Best Actor (Drama)

The Nominees: Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Joel Edgerton (Loving), Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge), Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic), Denzel Washington (Fences).

Todd’s Prediction: Casey Affleck

Analysis: Like the Oscar race, this looks to be between Affleck and Washington. I’ll give the former the slight edge as he’s won more precursors and Manchester itself was nominated for Picture, whereas Fences was not.

Best Actress (Drama)

The Nominees: Amy Adams (Nocturnal Animals), Jessica Chastain (Miss Sloane), Isabelle Huppert (Elle), Ruth Negga (Loving), Natalie Portman (Jackie)

Todd’s Prediction: Natalie Portman

Analysis: While I wouldn’t totally rule out an Adams or Huppert win, Portman has the edge in her acclaimed role of Mrs. Kennedy.

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

The Nominees: Colin Farrell (The Lobster), Ryan Gosling (La La Land), Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins), Jonah Hill (War Dogs), Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)

Todd’s Prediction: Hugh Grant

Analysis: Conventional wisdom would point to a Gosling win, but I believe the Hollywood Foreign Press will provide a bit of an upset here and honor Grant. Also – don’t be too shocked if Reynolds manages to surprise.

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

The Nominees: Annette Bening (20th Century Women), Lily Collins (Rules Don’t Apply), Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen), Emma Stone (La La Land), Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

Todd’s Prediction: Emma Stone

Analysis: Bening and Streep are long shots, but it would be a rather large upset if Stone didn’t emerge victorious here.

Best Supporting Actor

The Nominees: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Simon Helberg (Florence Foster Jenkins), Dev Patel (Lion), Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)

Todd’s Prediction: Mahershala Ali

Analysis: Bridges or Patel are feasible, but Ali has received the bulk of precursor awards and I believe that will continue here.

Best Supporing Actress

The Nominees: Viola Davis (Fences), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), Nicole Kidman (Lion), Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures), Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

Todd’s Prediction: Viola Davis

Analysis: Davis is the clear front runner here and at the Oscars. An upset win (possible for any of these actresses other than Spencer) could dispel that notion, but it probably won’t occur.

Best Screenplay

The Nominees: Hell or High Water, La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight, Nocturnal Animals

Todd’s Prediction: Moonlight

Analysis: La La and Manchester are in the mix here, but this is probably where Barry Jenkins will get his win and not for direction.

Best Original Score

The Nominees: Arrival, Hidden Figures, La La Land, Lion, Moonlight

Todd’s Prediction: La La Land

Analysis: Tough one and it’s not out of the question to envision any of them winning. I’ll just go La La and see what happens.

Best Original Song

The Nominees: “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls, “City of Stars” from La La Land, “Faith” from Sing, “Gold” from Gold, “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

Todd’s Prediction: “City of Stars”

Analysis: There’s some real heavy hitters here: Justin Timberlake, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Stevie Wonder with nominations. Yet I think the HFPA honors La La once again.

Best Animated Feature

The Nominees: Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, Sing, Zootopia

Todd’s Prediction: Zootopia

Analysis: Kubo has a shot and you can never dismiss Disney with Moana. However, there’s another acclaimed Mouse Factory title in the mix and I believe Zootopia gets in.

Best Foreign Language Film

The Nominees: Divines, Elle, Neruda, The Salesman, Toni Erdmann

Todd’s Prediction: Toni Erdmann

Analysis: Elle could absolutely win here (and perhaps The Salesman), but I’ll go with Academy favorite Erdmann.

And that does it, folks! I’ll have a post up Sunday night letting you know how well (or poorly) I did. Until then…