Oscar Predictions: Theater Camp

Sundance premiered Theater Camp, the feature-length version of a 2020 short film of the same name. The comedy comes from directors Molly Gordon (who can be seen as Jonah Hill’s sibling in this weekend’s You People on Netflix) and Nick Lieberman. They cowrote the screenplay with Ben Platt (originator of the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway) and Noah Galvin (who would later play Hansen onstage). Gordon, Platt, and Galvin are included in the cast along with Jimmy Tatro, Patti Harrison, Ayo Edebiri, Amy Sedaris, and Alan Kim.

Set at an upstate New York camp for aspiring musically inclined stage stars, critics are mostly saying Theater has limited but charming appeal. The Rotten Tomatoes meter is at a decent 80%. Searchlight believes the breakout potential is enough that they bought it for $8 million and plan a theatrical distribution later this year.

Perhaps some Academy voters went to the kind of camp that’s both celebrated and lampooned here. I don’t believe the reviews are there for it to make any sort of Oscar push. Perhaps the Golden Globes will take a gander for Motion Picture – Musical/Comedy, but even that could be a reach. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

Oscars: The Case of All Quiet on the Western Front

As is tradition every Oscar season on the blog, it’s time to dig a bit deeper into the nominees for Best Picture, Director, and the four acting derbies. These are my Case Of posts where I lay out the merits for and against the 35 contenders in the aforementioned competitions. Yes, that’s 35 individual posts and we start with the 10 hopefuls in BP.

This will occur alphabetically so All Quiet on the Western Front is on deck!

The Case for All Quiet on the Western Front:

Edward Berger’s antiwar epic is the only title that’s won Best Picture before. The 1929-30 ceremony (the 3rd ever Oscars) bestowed best in show to the 1930 version of Erich Maria Remarque’s novel. If we believe BAFTA is a reliable precursor to Academy glory, Front is loaded with a leading 14 nominations. Tied with The Banshees of Inisherin with 9 nods, the pair is second only to Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s 11. This is Netflix’s one and only contender so the streamer has and will be campaigning hard.

The Case Against All Quiet on the Western Front:

The nine mentions are impressive and more than anticipated. However, a couple of misses are key. Not many films end up winning BP that are omitted in Editing and that applies here. Most importantly, Berger did not make the quintet in Director. While there have been recent examples of the directors of BP recipients not making that cut (Ben Affleck for Argo, Peter Farrelly for Green Book, Sian Heder last year with CODA), this seems like the type of project where the filmmaker needed in to have much hope of taking the biggest prize. That’s not the only chink in the armor. Quiet was widely expected to take the Golden Globe statue for foreign feature and lost in an upset to Argentina, 1985. Netflix hasn’t won a BP yet.

Other Nominations:

Adapted Screenplay, International Feature Film, Cinematography, Makeup & Hairstyling, Original Score, Production Design, Sound, Visual Effects

The Verdict:

Quiet appears close to a lock to make noise in International Feature Film (I wouldn’t bet on an Argentina upset on Oscar night). While its haul of nine is laudable, its chances in BP are low-key.

My Case Of posts will continue with Avatar: The Way of Water!

You People Review

You People begins with podcaster Ezra (Jonah Hill) and his cohost Mo (Sam Jay) having a chat about the former’s relationship status. They compare it to the various albums of Drake as far as his moods (looking for love Drake vs. party boy Drake). It sounds like the idea of a conversation you’d have in a movie screenplay before the scribes try for authenticity. Hill and cowriter/director Kenya Barris (creator of sitcom black-ish) rarely get to the authenticity part as this race and family relations concoction feels overly workshopped. There are glimpses in the third act, but what a waste of talent for so much of it.

Ezra’s heart is taken by Amira (Lauren London) after mistaking her for his Uber driver. The couple’s meet cute quickly elevates to an engagement and the meet the parents business complicates the bliss. His are Julia-Louis Dreyfus’s doting Jewish mom Shelley and hubby Arnold (David Duchovny), whose lines are 90% describing 90s rapper Xzibit. Hers are devout Muslim Akbar (Eddie Murphy) and wife Fatima (Nia Long). Ezra’s streaming show is about cultural interactions. Those of the in-laws could fill a season’s worth of content.

The problem is it’s not profound and feels rather tame. A lunch table talk about the ebony and ivory aspects of Forrest Gump is shrimpy in its impact. Same goes for when Ezra is stuck in the car with his future father-in-law as a Jay-Z/Kanye track using a forbidden word comes up. These are sitcom level situations with the humor stuck in bland-ish gear.

A cast filled with familiar faces do add some welcome laughs. Small contributions from Mike Epps as Akbar’s degenerate brother and Molly Gordon as Ezra’s exasperated sister help. Barris and Hill manage to inject a little emotion in the waning moments that could satisfy ardent rom com devotees.

For the most part, You People is listless. The biggest surprise is the term applies to Murphy’s performance. The legend is usually the spark plug even in his mediocre pics. This recalls his lethargic work in Beverly Hills Cop III more than anything else. When that’s the comparison I’m making with his filmography, the heat is off when it comes to his normal firepower.

** (out of four)

Oscar Predictions: Fair Play

One of the buzziest titles to play at Sundance was writer/director Chloe Domont’s Fair Play, blending romance with corporate intrigue. It was snatched up for a princely sum of $20 million by Netflix with a planned rollout this year. The thriller stars Alden Ehrenreich (known by many from the title role in Solo: A Star Wars Story) and Phoebe Dynevor of Bridgerton fame).

Said to be a pic that will spark plenty of conversation, the Rotten Tomatoes score is 96%. This could be a streaming (and reportedly steamy) crowdpleaser that doesn’t warrant much awards chatter. Or Netflix could mount a campaign, especially for the original screenplay. We don’t know yet since they’ll have plenty of other features to tout come nominations time. Fair Play, at the least, announced itself as an option. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

29th SAG Awards Nominations Reaction

The morning after The Banshees of Inisherin beat Everything Everywhere All at Once for Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) at the Golden Globes, the two BP Oscar hopefuls tied for most nominations from the Screen Actors Guild voters. The Globes Drama winner The Fabelmans, meanwhile, had a more disappointing showing including one particular unexpected omission.

We are in the thick of awards season and I’m pretty pleased to report I went 25/30 on my SAG picks! Let’s walk through the six competitions with how I did and some general analysis. Final predictions for this ceremony will come closer to the February 26th airdate.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Babylon, The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once, The Fabelmans, Women Talking

How I Did: 4/5

I went with The Woman King over the sprawling cast of Babylon. I’ll admit I was feeling a bit bold picking Women Talking after a subpar season, but it managed to make the cut while none of its performers garnered individual noms.

It doesn’t turn out this way in most years at SAG, but this prize may well come down to the three movies mostly likely to take the Oscar BP: Banshees, EEAAO, and Fabelmans.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Tár), Viola Davis (The Woman King), Danielle Deadwyler (Till), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

How I Did: 4/5

There are two headlines here in my opinion. The first is that Michelle Williams did not get in for The Fabelmans. Most prognosticators, including this one, have her sitting in 3rd for the Academy rankings.

Another is that Ana de Armas has made it for the Globes and SAG. A few weeks ago, her work as Marilyn Monroe in Blonde had fallen out of my top 10 possibilities. Now she is a serious threat for the Oscar quintet. I had Williams over de Armas projected.

As for the winner – this should come down to Blanchett v. Yeoh (both freshly minted Globe recipients).

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Austin Butler (Elvis), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Inisherin), Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Bill Nighy (Living), Adam Sandler (Hustle)

How I Did: 4/5

SAG news other the nominees themselves was made today when it was announced that Netflix will livestream the show starting next year. It was also an unexpectedly solid morning for the streamer. In this race, the surprise inclusion was Adam Sandler for Hustle (which premiered on the subscription service). I had Tom Cruise (Top Gun: Maverick) forecasted instead.

It’s worth noting that Cruise has now missed Globe and SAG. For the former, it was easy to explain considering he had a highly publicized break with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. No such explanation is found with SAG. His chances for Oscar are shaky.

The dynamics of this derby are intact. Butler, Farrell, Fraser, and Nighy appear to be safe bets for Academy attention. The fifth spot is wide open and Sandler got some exposure this morning. As for a winner at SAG, it’s a three-person fight between Butler, Farrell, and Fraser.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Angela Bassett (Black Panther: Wakanda Forever), Hong Chau (The Whale), Kerry Condon (The Banshees of Inisherin), Jamie Lee Curtis (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Stephanie Hsu (Everything Everywhere All at Once)

How I Did: 4/5

Bassett, Condon, and Curtis are the trio who’ve landed in all major precursors thus far. Jamie Lee’s costar Hsu makes it in over my pick of Jessie Buckley (Women Talking).

The Golden Globes honored Bassett last night and she could absolutely snag this trophy. However, I’m less convinced she sweeps than the chances of a sweep in Supporting Actor (more on that below). Let’s see if Condon or Curtis, especially, make it interesting.

A quick Women Talking comment. Even though Buckley or Claire Foy (who’s received nothing so far) are mostly or totally MIA, I still could see the Academy putting one of them up. We saw that they can throw a curveball in this race (Judi Dench in Belfast last year).

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Paul Dano (The Fabelmans), Brendan Gleeson (The Banshees of Inisherin), Barry Keoghan (The Banshees of Inisherin), Ke Huy Quan (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Eddie Redmayne (The Good Nurse)

How I Did: 5/5 (!)

After viewing Quan’s heartfelt remarks at Globes, it seems like a sweep is in the cards. My one perfect category means Redmayne has landed Globe and SAG love. The Academy could still leave him out and same goes for Dano. We’ll see if alternates like Judd Hirsch (The Fabelmans), Brian Tyree Henry (Causeway), or Globe nominee Brad Pitt (Babylon) can sneak in.

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture

The Nominees: Avatar: The Way of Water, The Batman, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Top Gun: Maverick, The Woman King

How I Did: 4/5

Avatar got in over my call of Everything Everywhere All at Once (YOU try being a stuntman waving those hot dog fingers!). The original Black Panther won in 2018 so perhaps the sequel will follow suit. Another sequel (Maverick) may prevent that.

That works out to the following number of SAG mentions for these pics:

5 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin, Everything Everywhere All at Once

2 Nominations

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The Fabelmans, The Whale, The Woman King

1 Nomination

Avatar: The Way of Water, Babylon, The Batman, Blonde, Elvis, The Good Nurse, Hustle, Living, Tár, Till, Top Gun: Maverick

White Noise Review

Noah Baumbach’s White Noise begins with a professorial dissertation on the American public’s fascination with car crashes in the movies. In the course of the next two hours plus, this adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 1985 novel careens wildly from genre to genre with divergent tones scraping against one another. That’s not an accident. I think Baumbach made the picture he set out to make.

I can’t speak to the source material though a common thread is that it’s unfilmable. Here we are though I suspect many will concur. Set in the time period when the book was penned, Jack Gladney (Adam Driver) teaches Hitler Studies at a liberal arts college. It’s the kind of higher ed institution where the faculty deem themselves brilliant and every utterance carries the weight of gospel. No matter that Professor Gladney is secretly learning German despite his self professed expertise on their history. The comedic highlight of his work comes in a “lecture off” with a colleague (Don Cheadle) who teaches Elvis Studies to his non-suspicious minded pupils.

Jack is married to Babette (Greta Gerwig). They are each on their fourth marriage with a blended brood of as many kids. Denise (Raffey Cassidy), spawned from a previous Babette nuptial, is worried about strange pills that Mom is taking called Dylar. Her stepdad is mostly oblivious and not just about that. When a train accident spills chemicals near their home, Jack seems more concerned with dinner than evacuation routes. A black cloud from the “Airborne Toxic Event” does set them off on the road where adventures in comedy, noir, relationship dramas, and Spielbergian sci-burbia await.

The real black cloud involves the fear of death. Jack and Babette are practically in a competition about who it frightens most. The screenplay has some dark and demented fun exploring the distractions to not think about The End. I must confess there were times, especially in the first act, where I wondered if the means to this movie’s eventual end was worth it. White Noise is a lot – lots of mood swings, lots of story crammed in. It falters sometimes like its college faculty in thinking it’s sharper than it is. Still those big swings are admirable and the cast is devoted to the many frames of mind. I’m not sure I always bought Driver as the aloof middle aged dad, but he’s terrific at times and so is Gerwig.

This is exhilarating and maddening and both words apply frequently. I rarely wanted to look away – sorta like a car crash though it’s tougher to categorize the sadistic allure.

*** (out of four)

Best Picture 2019: The Final Five

We have reached 2019 in my posts speculating on a specific piece of Oscar history. As awards followers are aware, 2009 saw the Academy expand the Best Picture category from five movies to ten. That lasted for two years and in 2011, it switched to anywhere from 5-10 with 8 or 9 as the magic numbers for several years. In 2021, the number reverted back to a set ten.

What if that hadn’t happened? What if the BP derby had stayed at a quintet? What pictures would have made the cut?

In 2019, there were nine films vying for the prize. We know one thing for sure. Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite is in since it made history and became the first non-English language title to take Best Picture. It had a big night as it also won Director, Original Screenplay, and International Feature Film.

There’s 8 others to consider. Only half make cut. Let’s get into it!

Ford v Ferrari

James Mangold’s 1960s set sports drama starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale had four total nominations and won 2 of them (Sound Editing and Film Editing). It wasn’t as fortunate in Picture or Sound Mixing.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. I say this knowing the Film Editing victor usually lands a BP nod (though not the case with 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum and 2011’s The Girl with Dragon Tattoo). However, Ford achieved the least number of overall mentions among the 9 contenders and missed key races including Director, any acting derbies, and screenplay.

The Irishman

Martin Scorsese’s return to the Mob genre was Netflix’s highest profile Oscar player yet. It earned ten overall nods including for Scorsese, two Supporting Actor bids for Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, and Adapted Screenplay. Going 0 for 10, Robert De Niro was a somewhat surprising omission for his lead work.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Despite the lack of wins, the sheer number of inclusions indicate the legendary filmmaker and cast would vie for the top award.

Jojo Rabbit

Taika Waititi’s unique take on WWII was up for 6 races including Scarlett Johansson for Supporting Actress and Film Editing. The sole victory (a major one) was Adapted Screenplay where it beat out three other BP nominees.

Does It Make the Final Five?

No, but this was easily the hardest to leave off. The Screenplay win suggests it certainly could have. A miss in Director was a deciding factor and the fact that I couldn’t omit any of the final five I ended up going with.

Joker

Warner Bros. had unexpected bragging rights as this Scorsese inspired take on the DC Comics villain had the best haul with 11 nods. This includes Todd Phillips in Director and key precursors like Editing and Adapted Screenplay. The two wins came courtesy of Joaquin Phoenix in the title role and in Original Score.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. Usually the leader of the pack does and this popped up in categories it originally wasn’t anticipated to.

Little Women

Greta Gerwig’s acclaimed version of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel was also up for Actress (Saoirse Ronan), Supporting Actress (Florence Pugh), Adapted Screenplay, Score, and Costume Design (which was its only victory).

Does It Make the Final Five?

No. Simple math here. If I didn’t put Jojo in (which won Adapted Screenplay), I can’t justify vaulting this over it.

Marriage Story

Just like Little Women, Noah Baumbach’s drama was up for six and managed one. The win was Laura Dern (who was also in Women) in Supporting Actress while it also vied for Actor (Adam Driver), Actress (double nominee Scarlett Johansson), Original Screenplay, and Original Score.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Just like Little Women – no. Like Women, not making the Director race and not winning screenplay make this a fairly easy forecast.

1917

The World War I epic from Sam Mendes boasted 10 nominations with 3 statues for Sound Mixing, Cinematography, and Visual Effects. The Editing miss was obvious since the picture famously used few cuts.

Does It Make the Final Five?

Yes. In fact, this was likely the runner-up to Parasite. It went into the evening as the favorite for BP and Director until Joon-ho’s film made its history.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Quentin Tarantino’s ninth feature was slotted for 10 categories including QT for director, Leonardo DiCaprio in Actor, and Original Screenplay where its two-time winning scribe lost to Joon-ho. The two victories were Brad Pitt in Supporting Actor and Production Design.

Does It the Final Five?

Yes though I admit the Editing snub had me questioning it. An argument can be made for Jojo, but I ultimately think Quentin and company get in.

So that means your 2019 Final Five is:

The Irishman

Joker

1917

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

I will note that this quintet mirrors the individuals who were up for Best Director. That is typically not a 5/5 match. It happened occasionally when there were 5 BP nominees and I feel this is a time where it would’ve.

2020 will be up soon and if you missed the posts covering 2009-18, they can be accessed here:

2022 Oscar Predictions: December 26th Edition

My last Oscar Predictions for this calendar year comes with no changes in Director, Actress, Actor, Supporting Actor, or the screenplay competitions. Yet not all is quiet. I’m finally giving Netflix a BP entrant, but it’s not Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (though I considered it). All Quiet on the Western Front is in the 10 and that knocks out Triangle of Sadness.

Let’s talk Babylon. I came very close to dropping it from my BP list after its dismal box office performance and a C+ Cinemascore grade. It’s clinging to the race in 10th. I almost replaced it with The Whale (which has also received plenty of mixed reaction). I have a gut feeling that one of them still makes the cut and I’m leaning toward the former at the moment.

In Supporting Actress, Claire Foy’s work in Women Talking is out in favor of costar Jessie Buckley. That would mark her second nomination in as many years.

There’s new #1s in International Feature Film with All Quiet displacing Decision to Leave and Documentary Feature with Navalny leaping over All That Breathes.

And, of course, the shortlists released Wednesday are reflected in various categories below. I’ll have my first estimates in calendar year 2023 up next weekend as we inch closer to nomination morning!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (Previous Ranking: 1) (Even)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 4) (E)

5. Elvis (PR: 6) (+1)

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Tár (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Women Talking (PR: 7) (-1)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Babylon (PR: 9) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Whale (PR: 13) (+2)

12. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 12) (E)

13. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 10) (-3)

14. RRR (PR: 11) (-3)

15. The Woman King (PR: 15) (E)

Dropped Out:

She Said

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans (PR: 1) (E)

2. Daniels, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Todd Field, Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Sarah Polley, Women Talking (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. James Cameron, Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (E)

7. Edward Berger, All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Baz Luhrmann, Elvis (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Damien Chazelle, Babylon (PR: ) (-2)

10. S.S. Rajamouli, RRR (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Ruben Ostlund, Triangle of Sadness

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Cate Blanchett, Tár (PR: 1) (E)

2. Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Danielle Deadwyler, Till (PR: 4) (E)

5. Margot Robbie, Babylon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Viola Davis, The Woman King (PR: 6) (E)

7. Olivia Colman, Empire of Light (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ana de Armas, Blonde (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Jennifer Lawrence, Causeway (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Naomi Ackie, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance with Somebody (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Austin Butler, Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Fraser, The Whale (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Bill Nighy, Living (PR: 4) (E)

5. Hugh Jackman, The Son (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tom Cruise, Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Paul Mescal, Aftersun (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Jeremy Pope, The Inspection (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Tom Hanks, A Man Called Otto (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Diego Calva, Babylon (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Gabriel LaBelle, The Fabelmans

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 2) (E)

3. Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Jessie Buckley, Women Talking (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Dolly de Leon, Triangle of Sadness (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Hong Chau, The Whale (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Janelle Monae, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 8) (E)

9. Claire Foy, Women Talking (PR: 4) (-5)

10. Carey Mulligan, She Said (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 3) (E)

4. Paul Dano, The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (E)

5. Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway (PR: 6) (E)

7. Ben Whishaw, Women Talking (PR: 7) (E)

8. Eddie Redmayne, The Good Nurse (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Brad Pitt, Babylon (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Tom Hanks, Elvis (PR: 10) (E)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Tár (PR: 4) (E)

5. Triangle of Sadness (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Aftersun (PR: 6) (E)

7. Decision to Leave (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Babylon (PR: 7) (-1)

9. The Menu (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bardo (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Elvis

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. She Said (PR: 2) (E)

3. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Whale (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. White Noise (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 9) (E)

10. Bones and All (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Son

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 1) (E)

2. Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Turning Red (PR: 2) (-1)

4. My Father’s Dragon (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Bad Guys (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Wendell and Wild (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Strange World (PR: 8) (E)

9. Lightyear (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Inu-Oh (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Sea Beast

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1 . All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Decision to Leave (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Close (PR: 3) (E)

4. Saint Omer (PR: 4) (E)

5. Argentina, 1985 (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bardo (PR: 6) (E)

7. EO (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Joyland (PR: 9) (+1)

9. The Quiet Girl (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Holy Spider (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Klondike

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Navalny (PR: 2) (+1)

2. All That Breathes (PR: 1) (-1)

3. All the Beauty and the Bloodshed (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Fire of Love (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Descendant (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Territory (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Moonage Daydream (PR: 9) (+2)

8. The Janes (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Retrograde (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Bad Axe (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Good Night Oppy

Sr.

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 4) (+1)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Babylon (PR: 3) (-2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Empire of Light (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Bardo (PR: 8) (E)

9. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 9) (E)

10. Tár (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nope

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Elvis (PR: 2) (E)

3. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Woman King (PR: 4) (E)

5. Living (PR: 9) (+4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (PR: 6) (E)

7. The Fabelmans (PR: 7) (E)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-3)

9. Corsage (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Women Talking (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Banshees of Inisherin

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (E)

4. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 6) (+2)

5. Elvis (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Babylon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Women Talking (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 7) (-1)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tár

Decision to Leave

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Elvis (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Whale (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Batman (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Babylon (PR: 3) (-1)

5. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 9) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Emancipation (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Amsterdam (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Blonde (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Crimes of the Future (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Everything Everywhere All at Once

The Woman King

X

Corsage

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Women Talking (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Fabelmans (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Babylon (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 8) (+2)

7. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: Not Ranked)

9. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

10. She Said (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Empire of Light

The Batman

White Noise

Tár

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. “Naatu Naatu” from RRR (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 3) (E)

4. “Ciao Papa” from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 4) (E)

5. “Applause” from Tell It Like a Woman (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Carolina” from Where the Crawdads Sing (PR: 6) (E)

7. “Stand Up” from Till (PR: Not Ranked)

8. “New Body Rhumba” from White Noise (PR: 7) (-1)

9. “This Is a Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 8) (-1)

10. “Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength)” from Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

“Nobody Like U” from Turning Red

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Babylon (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 4) (E)

5. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Fabelmans (PR: 6) (E)

7. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Banshees of Inisherin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Woman King

Empire of Light

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 1) (E)

2. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 2) (E)

3. Elvis (PR: 3) (E)

4. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: 7) (+3)

5. The Batman (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Everything Everywhere All at Once (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Babylon (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Moonage Daydream (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Nope

RRR

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Avatar: The Way of Water (PR: 1) (E)

2. Top Gun: Maverick (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Batman (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (PR: 5) (+1)

5. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. All Quiet on the Western Front (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Nope (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Thirteen Lives (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jurassic World: Dominion (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Everything Everywhere All at Once

RRR

Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio

Good Night Oppy

That equates to these movies garnering these numbers of nods:

9 Nominations

The Fabelmans

8 Nominations

The Banshees of Inisherin

7 Nominations

Babylon, Elvis, Everything Everywhere All at Once

6 Nominations

Avatar: The Way of Water, Top Gun: Maverick

5 Nominations

All Quiet on the Western Front, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Women Talking

4 Nominations

Tár

3 Nominations

The Batman, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Living, The Whale

2 Nominations

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Triangle of Sadness

1 Nomination

All That Breathes, All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Argentina, 1985, Close, Decision to Leave, Descendant, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Fire of Love, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Navalny, She Said, My Father’s Dragon, Puss in Boots: The Last Wish, RRR, Saint Omer, The Son, Tell It Like a Woman, Till, Turning Red, The Woman King

Oscar Predictions: The Pale Blue Eye

Scott Cooper’s The Pale Blue Eye opens in select theaters this weekend prior to its January 6th Netflix bow. Set in 1830, the mystery casts Christian Bale as a detective working alongside Harry Melling’s Edgar Allan Poe. The supporting cast includes Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones, Timothy Spall, and Robert Duvall.

Marking the third collaboration between Cooper and Bale after Out of the Furnace and Hostiles, this is being greeted with decidedly mixed notices. The Rotten Tomatoes score is currently 57% with some writers praising the production value while criticizing the gloomy vibe.

Netflix clearly had no real plans to mount an awards campaign for this. They probably could’ve tried for Production and/or Costume Design. It showed up nowhere in the Globe or Critics Choice mentions. The Academy is highly likely to follow suit. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

2022: The Year of Jenna Ortega

My posts covering actors who had an impactful 2022 continues with a new Scream Queen.

Before we get to her, I came close to giving Jamie Lee Curtis her own dedicated write-up. The OG SQ might nab a first Oscar nomination for her supporting work in Everything Everywhere All at Once and she finished up her iconic role (probably right?) as Laurie Strode in Halloween Ends.

Just as Curtis was concluding her participation in a vaunted horror franchise, 20-year-old Jenna Ortega was making her presence known in another. Some viewers first saw her on the CW series Jane the Virgin. In 2021, Ortega drew acclaim for her more grown-up performance in the HBO Max drama The Fallout. It was this year that she broke out in another genre via January’s Scream. With over $80 million in its domestic coffers, she’ll be back in March for Scream VI.

More kudos followed in March for Ti West’s exploitation homage X. Ortega played a crew member on a porn set who gets more than she bargained for out of the experience. X marked the spot for many critics with its 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Ortega’s frighteningly good ’22 went into overdrive with Netflix’s Wednesday. From Tim Burton, the blend of comedy and horror and its 8 episodes cast the actress as Wednesday Addams from the The Addams Family. Debuting last month, it shot to #1 on the streamer in over 80 countries and holds the record for most hours viewed for a series in the first week of release. In others words, it’s a phenomenon every day of the week.

Needless to say, a second season is already in the planning stages. With her Scream sequel on deck and a role in the thriller Finestkind with Ben Foster and Tommy Lee Jones coming up, Ortega should continue to make her spooky presence known. My Year Of posts will continue with another actor who started out on the CW and had a whole lot shaking on the silver screen this year…