2019 SAG Awards Nomination Reaction

The Screen Actors Guild voters definitely had some surprises in store this morning as they unveiled their nominations for the ceremony airing on January 19th. And the biggest bombshell was… the performance of Bombshell itself, which led the major nods with four. This was followed by The Irishman, Marriage Story, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood at three.

Some quick takes before I break it down race by race. It was a bad morning for Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Little Women, and The Two Popes as they received zero nominations. For Dolemite, I thought this might be the branch that would give it some attention. It wasn’t to be.

The nominations today have made Best Actor more confusing and opened up even more the possibility of two actors that I didn’t have listed as alternates factoring into the Oscar mix. All in all, on a morning that had genuine surprises, I went 16 for 25 on my picks. Here’s how it happened:

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Bombshell, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: The absence of Marriage Story here is unexpected. Less so is the omission of the aforementioned Dolemite. I didn’t have Bombshell or Parasite named here. The Parasite nod could be construed as a strong sign that it’s a real contender for Best Picture for that other awards ceremony. This race probably comes down to Irishman or Hollywood and the latter likely has the edge.

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

Nominees: Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: It was Bale and Egerton that I didn’t have listed as my first or second alternate. Those spots were instead designated for Antonio Banderas in Pain and Glory and Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems. This opens up Bale and Egerton to greater Academy attention. It’s also worth noting that Robert De Niro’s work in The Irishman has now been snubbed by the Golden Globe and SAG voters. This makes his road to Oscar considerably bumpier. As I suspect it will be with the Oscars, I suspect it’s Driver vs. Phoenix with this category.

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

Nominees: Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

How I Did: 4/5

Analysis: No 5 for 5 projections for this blogger today and this is the only one where I named four correctly. It’s Nyong’o in over Awkwafina in The Farewell and that could assist with her Oscar cred after already picking up some critics awards. While Zellweger might be called the soft front runner, the Bombshell love certainly increases the possibility of a Theron win.

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

Nominees: Jamie Foxx (Just Mercy), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: I mentioned yesterday in my predictions post that it might be foolish to leave out Hanks and I was proven right. The genuine surprise here is Foxx, who has been falling under the radar screen as of late (I didn’t even have him in my top 10 of possibilities in my Oscar estimates on Monday). Expect that to change. Hanks and Foxx are in over Willem Dafoe for The Lighthouse (he missed the Globes too) and Anthony Hopkins for The Two Popes. As I said with the Globes, a Pacino/Pesci split could clear the way for Pitt’s trip to the podium.

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

Nominees: Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Nicole Kidman (Bombshell), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Margot Robbie (Bombshell)

How I Did: 3/5

Analysis: One item I did call was the double nomination for Johansson. I did not anticipate Kidman getting in along with her Bombshell costar Robbie. In fact, I didn’t predict either of them as I went with Florence Pugh in Little Women and Zhao Shuzhen in The Farewell. Both of those actresses also missed Globe nods. Dern and Lopez could find themselves in a battle for this one. I also wouldn’t totally rule out the chance for a ScarJo upset as voters may want to honor her double nod (as they did here with Emily Blunt in 2018 for A Quiet Place).

I imagine these SAG Award announcements will impact my thinking when I update my Oscar projections on Monday. Stay tuned…

2019 SAG Award Predictions

In a week filled with Oscar precursor activity, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award nominees will be announced tomorrow morning. This comes just two days following the reveal of the Golden Globe nods.

As you’re likely aware, this particular ceremony is made up of voters from the card carrying acting community. The top race is not honoring the Best Picture of the year. Instead, it’s bestowing the trophy for the favorite ensemble cast. This explains why, in this decade, the Oscar winner for BP and the winner here have matched only 4 of 9 times.

Let’s break it down in each category as I reveal my anticipated nominees with a first and second alternate. I’ll have a post up tomorrow recounting how I did and how the nominations could impact the Academy’s thought process.

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Motion Picture

The SAG voters are a tricky bunch to predict and the Ensemble race presents at least a dozen pictures that I feel could make the cut. When predicting the nominees, I’ll divide into three tiers that relate to the impending Oscar nods:

Our first tier consists of movies that are widely expected to be Best Picture nominees and contenders that might potentially win. That list would be The Irishman, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Parasite. I believe the first three here are close to guarantees for attention here. If any of them miss out, it’ll be widely reported as a surprising snub.

Our second tier consists of movies that are legitimate players for Best Picture nominations, but are unlikely to win. This list includes Bombshell, The Farewell, Jojo Rabbit, and Little Women. An argument could be made that Women would be most obvious to get in. Yet I think this could give Jojo the boost it needs for greater Academy attention.

Our third tier consists of movies that are long shot contenders for Oscar attention. We usually see one of these get a SAG nod. This list includes Dolemite Is My Name, Downton Abbey, Hustlers, Knives Out, and Waves. The trendy pick here is Knives as it should be quite fresh on the minds of voters. Waves would be the largest beneficiary since it’s received scant awards chatter lately. I have a hunch that Dolemite could register with the actors branch here.

Predicted Nominees

Dolemite Is My Name

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

First Alternate – Little Women

Second Alternate – Knives Out

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

The last five years of nominees have shown one 5 for 5 match with Oscar in 2016. The other four years gave us 4 out of the 5 eventual Academy nominees. In other words, this race is a massive indication of where voters may go.

2019 presents a challenge as there are nearly dozen legit contenders in the mix. Adam Driver and Joaquin Phoenix feel safe. The rest is a free for all.

Keeping with my Dolemite theme, the SAG branch may feel tempted to name the legendary Eddie Murphy here. I feel more confident about his inclusion than Adam Sandler, despite his early precursor attention.

Then I’m picking two spots between Christian Bale, Antonio Banderas, Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, and Jonathan Pryce. Not an easy task. The Globes notably snubbed De Niro. If that occurs here, expect lots of talk about his dwindling Oscar chances. I’ll say he makes it in along with Leo.

Predicted Nominees

Robert De Niro, The Irishman

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

First Alternate – Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Second Alternate – Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

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

Renee Zellweger and Scarlett Johansson feel like shoo-ins. The rest is uncertain. While Charlize Theron in Bombshell looks good for Oscar, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk she’s named here. My feeling that Little Women gets snubbed in Ensemble could filter down to Saoirse Ronan and her chances. Awkwafina, Cynthia Erivo, and Lupita Nyong’o are all in the mix.

SAG has given us surprise contenders before, like Sarah Silverman in 2015’s I Smile Back. Could we see something in that order with Mary Kay Place (Diane) or Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell)?

Predicted Nominees

Awkwafina, The Farewell

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

First Alternate – Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Second Alternate – Lupita Nyong’o, Us

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

Brad Pitt and The Irishman double play of Al Pacino and Joe Pesci should see their names called. Here’s a category where a non Oscar nominee can get in – think Hugh Grant in 2016’s Florence Foster Jenkins or Steve Carell in 2017’s Battle of the Sexes. That spot could go to someone like Wesley Snipes if my Dolemite love turns out real. There’s also Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy, Song Kang-Ho in Parasite, or Sterling K. Brown for Waves. 

Yet I suspect the final two slots will be between Willem Dafoe, Tom Hanks, and Anthony Hopkins. I’ll readily admit it feels awfully strange to predict actors will leave Hanks out, but I’ll go there with trepidation.

Predicted Nominees

Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

First Alternate – Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Second Alternate – Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy

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

SAG threw everyone for a loop last year when they didn’t nominate Regina King in If Beale Street Could Talk. She ended up taking home the Globe and Oscar. Prior to that, the previous nine SAG winners here also were victorious with the Academy.

Truth be told, this is the category I fear I could go 2 for 5 in. Laura Dern and Jennifer Lopez seem relatively safe. And then it’s picking three slots among Kathy Bates, Annette Bening, Scarlett Johansson (I do believe this is her best opportunity for a double nod), Florence Pugh, Margot Robbie, Zhao Shuzhen, and Maggie Smith. Good luck cracking this one!

Predicted Nominees

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell 

First Alternate – Margot Robbie, Bombshell

Second Alternate – Annette Bening, The Report

That does it for now! Expect a recap coming your way at some juncture tomorrow…

2019 Oscar Predictions: December 9th Edition

It’s been two weeks since I’ve prognosticated Oscar picks on the blog and a lot has happened since then. The precursors are coming out in full force with the Golden Globe nominations out this morning and numerous critics bestowing their awards or nods.

The Globes potentially provided a needed boost to The Two Popes and displayed a better than anticipated showing for Joker. 

So how have my estimates changed in the last 14 days? There’s been one change in all major categories with the exception of Director and Adapted Screenplay. They are:

  • In Best Picture, I’ve put Ford v Ferrari back in and taken out Bombshell. The official review embargo for Bombshell lapsed and the current Rotten Tomatoes score is 60%. It could still sneak in, but with that rating and a lack of precursor love, it’s certainly fallen.
  • My ongoing struggle with picking Best Actor candidates continues. Whittling it down to five is a challenge and that’s an understatement. As has been discussed previously, I truly believe all 10 listed performers could get in. For that matter, so could Paul Walter Hauser for Richard Jewell if that film does better with Academy voters than expected. This is the first time I have Leonardo DiCaprio on the outside looking in with Antonio Banderas (recipient of some precursors) getting in. Look for this saga to continue until nominations morning.
  • In Best Actress, I’ve got Awkwafina in over Cynthia Erivo. This is basically a coin flip for the five spot and there’s also Lupita Nyong’o (another precursor favorite) as a spoiler.
  • Joe Pesci has done quite well in the precursors. He’s in over Willem Dafoe for Supporting Actor.
  • Annette Bening is back in the fold over Zhao Shuzhen in Supporting Actress.
  • I’m putting Knives Out in Original Screenplay and that takes out Pain and Glory.

You can read the rest of the happenings below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Parasite (PR: 5)

5. 1917 (PR: 3)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

7. Little Women (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 11)

10. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

11. The Farewell (PR: 12)

12. Knives Out (PR: Not Ranked)

13. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

14. Richard Jewell (PR: 13)

15. Bombshell (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Rocketman

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

3. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 2)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

7. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

8. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 7)

9. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

10. Ben and Josh Safdie, Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

4. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

7. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

8. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 7)

9. Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 5)

5. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 5)

7. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 8)

8. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 7)

9. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: 10)

10. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 9)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 6)

4. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 5)

5. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

7. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 7)

8. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 9)

9. Sam Rockwell, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Wesley Snipes, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Sterling K. Brown, Waves

John Lithgow, Bombshell

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 2)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 5)

5. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 4)

7. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

8. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Nicole Kidman, Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Taylor Russell, Waves (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey

Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. The Two Popes (PR: 3)

4. Joker (PR: 5)

5. Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Hustlers (PR: 7)

7. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

8. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

9. Just Mercy (PR: 9)

10. Dark Waters (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Marriage Story (PR: 2)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Knives Out (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

7. Uncut Gems (PR: Not Ranked)

8. 1917 (PR: 7)

9. Bombshell (PR: 6)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Honey Boy

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Monos (PR: 4)

5. Invisible Life (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Atlantics (PR: 7)

7. A White, White Day (PR: 10)

8. Beanpole (PR: 8)

9. And Then We Danced (PR: 5)

10. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

Best Animated Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Missing Link (PR: 8)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 6)

7. Abominable (PR: 7)

8. Weathering with You (PR: 5)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. Apollo 11 (PR: 4)

3. One Child Nation (PR: 2)

4. For Sama (PR: 5)

5. Sea of Shadows (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 6)

7. Honeyland (PR: 8)

8. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

9. The Edge of Democracy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Maiden (PR: 3)

Dropped Out:

The Kingmaker 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Joker (PR: 5)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Parasite (PR: 6)

8. The Two Popes (PR: Not Ranked)

9. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Little Women (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 4)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Irishman (PR: 6)

8. Aladdin (PR: 10)

9. The Aeronauts (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Judy

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. 1917 (PR: 3)

3. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

4. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 4)

5. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 5)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

10. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Bombshell

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bomshell (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Judy (PR: 3)

4. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

5. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joker (PR: 7)

7. Us (PR: 5)

8. Rocketman (PR: 8)

9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. 1917 (PR: 3)

3. The Irishman (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 2)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. Downton Abbey (PR: 10)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 8)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cats

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

3. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 2)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 6)

7. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

8. Us (PR: Not Ranked)

9. The Aeronauts (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Waves (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

A Hidden Life

Ad Astra 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats (PR: 4)

4. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 3)

5. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 7)

7. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 5)

8. “I’m Standing with You” from Breakthrough (PR: Not Ranked)

9. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: 9)

10. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

“Together From Afar” from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World 

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 9)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: 7)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

5. Joker (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

6. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 4)

7. Cats (PR: 8)

8. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

9. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

10. The Irishman (PR: 9)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. The Lion King (PR: 4)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

5. The Aeronauts (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. 1917 (PR: 7)

7. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

8. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

9. Gemini Man (PR: 9)

10. Aladdin (PR: 10)

And that equates to these pictures getting the following number of nominations:

11 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

1917, Marriage Story

7 Nominations

Little Women

6 Nominations

Joker

4 Nominations

Ford v Ferrari, Parasite, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Two Popes

3 Nominations

Bombshell, Jojo Rabbit, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Frozen II, Judy, The Lion King, Pain and Glory

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, The Aeronauts, American Factory, Apollo 11, Cats, Downton Abbey, For Sama, Harriet, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Invisible Life, Knives Out, Les Miserables, The Lighthouse, Missing Link, Monos, One Child Nation, The Report, Sea of Shadows, Toy Story 4

The Critics Make Their Choices

One day ahead of the more highly publicized Golden Globe nominations, this Sunday saw the unveiling of the nods for the Critics Choice Movie Awards. And in looking over their selections in recent history, they serve as quite a harbinger for the choices that Oscar voters might make.

After a strong showing in early precursors, Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman led the way with 14 nominations. This is followed by 12 nods for Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, 9 for Greta Gerwig’s Little Women, 8 for 1917 from Sam Mendes and Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story, and 7 for Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit, Joker from Todd Phillips and Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite. 

This particular branch of voters utilizes an unpredictable scale for numbers of nominees in each category. For Best Picture, it’s always ten. Yet it fluctuates when it comes to director, the acting and screenplay races, and so forth.

Today I’ll break down the major categories and discuss each one and what it could mean come Oscar time. The ceremony airs on the CW this January 12th.

Best Picture

Nominees: 1917, Ford v Ferrari, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite, Uncut Gems

Reaction here is that the precursor love continues for Uncut Gems from Ben and Josh Safdie. This is probably the least expected feature to make the cut and the Adam Sandler led crime drama appears to be peaking at the right time. While this certainly doesn’t guarantee an Oscar nod, it’s now undoubtedly part of the conversation.

Some notable titles to miss the list: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Bombshell, The Farewell, Richard Jewell, and The Two Popes. It will be interesting tomorrow to see if the Globes finds room for Popes as part of its nominations, as it seems to be fading fast. It doesn’t help that Netflix could be primarily concerned with Irishman and Marriage Story. 

Over the last five years, there’s been four of them when eight of the Critics Choice list nabbed Best Picture attention at the Oscars. In 2017, it was nine of them. In other words, pay attention to this list.

Best Director

Nominees: Noah Baumbach (Marriage Story), Greta Gerwig (Little Women), Bong Joon-Ho  (Parasite), Sam Mendes (1917), Ben and Josh Safdie (Uncut Gems), Martin Scorsese (The Irishman), Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

And another notch in the Uncut Gems arsenal. Most recent years have seen six nominees, but there’s seven nominees in 2019. In 2016, five of the Choice directors made up the Oscar list. In 2014 and 2015, it was three and for the past two years it’s been four.

Looking over this list, it’s very feasible that there’s a five match. Who could sneak in that’s not on here? One name that comes to mind is James Mangold for Ford v Ferrari. 

Best Actor

Nominees: Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory), Robert De Niro (The Irishman), Leonardo DiCaprio (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood), Adam Driver (Marriage Story), Eddie Murphy (Dolemite Is My Name), Joaquin Phoenix (Joker), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems)

In a category that typically has six nominees, it should be no shocker that there’s seven this time around as Best Actor is packed. From 2015-2018, we have seen 5 nominees for two of the years (2015, 2018) make the Academy derby and two with 4 (2016, 2017). 2014 was a bit of an outlier with three.

As has been discussed on this blog, I believe there are 11 legitimate performers vying for 5 slots at the Oscars. The four that didn’t make the cut here are Christian Bale (Ford v Ferrari), Taron Egerton (Rocketman), Paul Walter Hauser (Richard Jewell), and Jonathan Pryce (The Two Popes). Here’s yet another example of Popes falling short.

Today’s announcements, in particular, could serve as a boost for Murphy and Sandler.

Best Actress

Nominees: Awkwafina (The Farewell), Cynthia Erivo (Harriet), Scarlett Johansson (Marriage Story), Lupita Nyong’o (Us), Saoirse Ronan (Little Women), Charlize Theron (Bombshell), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

There’s a serious correlation between these nominees and Oscar. In four of the past five years, we’ve seen five of the women getting Academy love. In 2016, it was four. That seems destined to repeat itself here as the only potential outlier in my mind is Alfre Woodard in Clemency. I would bank on five of these seven nominees being the Oscar list.

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), Tom Hanks (A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood), Anthony Hopkins (The Two Popes), Al Pacino (The Irishman), Joe Pesci (The Irishman), Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood)

These nominees are further proof of an Irishman double nod for Pacino and Pesci coming our way. We’ve seen five for five matchups in two of the past five years with this race. This also makes me think Hopkins has a much better chance for Popes attention than his lead costar Pryce.

If there’s one name not here that could factor into the Oscar mix – Shia LaBeouf in Honey Boy. All in all, no big surprises here.

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Laura Dern (Marriage Story), Scarlett Johansson (Jojo Rabbit), Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Florence Pugh (Little Women), Margot Robbie (Bombshell), Zhao Shuzhen (The Farewell)

This is indeed what I’d call the top 6 for Oscar viability. However, I wouldn’t sleep on Kathy Bates for Richard Jewell (a film these voters totally ignored). In the past half decade, we’ve never seen less than four of the nominees here getting Academy nods.

Best Original Screenplay

Nominees: The Farewell, Knives Out, Marriage Story, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Parasite

The noticeable item here is the inclusion of Knives Out. All the rest were basically foregone conclusions. It gets in instead of Bombshell, 1917, Pain and Glory, or Ford v Ferrari. Could Oscar follow suit? Definitely possible as the last two years have seen 5 for 5 matches.

Best Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, Joker, Little Women, The Two Popes

We haven’t seen a total match with the Academy from 2014 to present. I suspect that will change this time around as I believe 5 of these 6 contenders will make the Oscar cut. What gets left out? Beautiful Day, Joker, and Popes are the likely contenders.

My precursor posts will roll along in rapid succession as my take on the Los Angeles critics is up next…

2019 Golden Globe Predictions

On Monday, one of the most significant Oscar precursors announces their nominations. Yes, we have the Golden Globe nods coming out with the SAG Awards following on Wednesday (except my predictions on them early this week).

While I’ve been updating my Oscar projections on a near weekly basis, I don’t do the same with the Globes. This will serve as my first and last batch of predictions for the ceremony airing in January with Ricky Gervais hosting.

As you’re likely aware, this show does it a bit different than the Oscars by splitting their film and lead actor categories into separate Drama and Musical/Comedy categories. For each race, I’m making my five predicted features or performers that I believe will make the cut as well as a first and second alternate.

Let’s get to it!

Best Motion Picture – Drama

1917

Ford v Ferrari

The Irishman

Little Women

Marriage Story

1st Alternate – Joker

2nd Alternate – The Two Popes

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Cats

Jojo Rabbit

Knives Out

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Rocketman

1st Alternate – Dolemite Is My Name

2nd Alternate – Hustlers

Best Director

Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story

Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite

Sam Mendes, 1917

Martin Scorsese, The Irishman

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

1st Alternate – Greta Gerwig, Little Women

2nd Alternate – James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari

Best Actress – Drama

Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story

Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Renee Zellweger, Judy

1st Alternate – Lupita Nyong’o, Us

2nd Alternate – Alfre Woodard, Clemency

Best Actor – Drama

Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Robert De Niro, The Irishman

Adam Driver, Marriage Story

Joaquin Phoenix, Joker

Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes

1st Alternate – Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari

2nd Alternate – Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems

Best Actress – Comedy or Musical

Awkwafina, The Farewell

Ana de Armas, Knives Out

Beanie Feldstein, Booksmart

Emma Thompson, Late Night

Constance Wu, Hustlers

1st Alternate – Cate Blanchett, Where’d You Go, Bernadette

2nd Alternate – Kaitlyn Dever, Booksmart

Best Actor – Comedy or Musical

Daniel Craig, Knives Out

Roman Griffin Davis, Jojo Rabbit

Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Taron Egerton, Rocketman

Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

1st Alternate – Shia LaBeouf, The Peanut Butter Falcon

2nd Alternate – Himesh Patel, Yesterday 

Best Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story

Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit

Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers

Florence Pugh, Little Women

Margot Robbie, Bombshell

1st Alternate – Annette Bening, The Report

2nd Alternate – Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

Best Supporting Actor

Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes

Al Pacino, The Irishman

Joe Pesci, The Irishman

Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

1st Alternate – Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse

2nd Alternate – Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit

Best Screenplay

The Irishman

Jojo Rabbit

Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

Parasite

1st Alternate – The Two Popes

2nd Alternate – Knives Out

Best Motion Picture – Animated

Frozen II

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World

I Lost My Body

Missing Link

Toy Story 4

1st Alternate – Weathering with You

2nd Alternate – Abominable

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Atlantics

The Farewell

Pain and Glory

Parasite

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

1st Alternate – Les Miserables

2nd Alternate – Monos

Best Original Score

1917

Ford v Ferrari

Joker

Little Women

Marriage Story

1st Alternate – The Aeronauts

2nd Alternate – Us

Best Original Song

“Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats

“Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn

“(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman

“Into the Unknown” from Frozen II

“Spirit” from The Lion King

1st Alternate – “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4

2nd Alternate – “Stand Up” from Harriet

And that equates to the following features nabbing these numbers when it comes to nominations:

7 Nominations

Marriage Story

6 Nominations

The Irishman

5 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

4 Nominations

Jojo Rabbit, Little Women

3 Nominations

1917, Knives Out, Parasite, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Bombshell, Cats, The Farewell, Ford v Ferrari, Frozen II, Hustlers, Joker, Pain and Glory, The Two Popes

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Atlantics, Booksmart, Dolemite Is My Name, Harriet, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, I Lost My Body, Judy, Late Night, The Lion King, Missing Link, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Toy Story 4

Rest assured that I will have a post up with reaction to the Monday announcements with a recap on how I did! Until then…

2019 Oscar Predictions: November 25th Edition

Two key screenings took place over the week with significant Oscar implications and there’s some movement in major categories to discuss:

  • 1917, the World War I epic from Sam Mendes, finally availed itself to critics and the feedback is extremely positive. While I’d had it projected for Picture and Director for some time, its numbers (3 and 2 respectively) are the highest yet.
  • Clint Eastwood’s Richard Jewell screened at AFI Fest. Some reviews indicate it’s a contender in Picture, but I’m not quite there. It does vault back in the 15 possibilities at 13 and both Paul Walter Hauser in Actor and Kathy Bates in Supporting Actress are now in the mix, but not projected in the top five.
  • Bombshell is back in my ten projected Picture nominees over Ford v Ferrari. 
  • Zhao Shuzhen finally makes the cut in Supporting Actress, displacing Scarlett Johansson in Jojo Rabbit.
  • Tom Hanks slides to fifth in Supporting Actor after the so-so box office performance of A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I suspect he could fall out with Joe Pesci (The Irishman) and Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy) hot on his heels.
  • While my five Best Actor contenders remain the same, this is the most packed field in ages. I could legitimately see any of my ten listed thespians getting in, as well as Christian Bale (who falls to 11th).

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. 1917 (PR: 6)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 4)

5. Parasite (PR: 3)

6. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

7. Little Women (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: 8)

9. The Two Popes (PR: 9)

10. Bombshell (PR: 11)

Other Possibilities:

11. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 10)

12. The Farewell (PR: 12)

13. Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

14. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 13)

15. Rocketman (PR: 14)

Dropped Out:

Waves

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Martin Scorsese, The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Sam Mendes, 1917 (PR: 5)

3. Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite (PR: 3)

4. Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

5. Noah Baumbach, Marriage Story (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Greta Gerwig, Little Women (PR: 6)

7. Todd Phillips, Joker (PR: 9)

8. Taika Waititi, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 8)

9. James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari (PR: 7)

10. Fernando Meirelles, The Two Popes (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Adam Driver, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Joaquin Phoenix, Joker (PR: 2)

3. Robert De Niro, The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 5)

5. Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory (PR: 6)

7. Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 8)

8. Taron Egerton, Rocketman (PR: 7)

9. Paul Walter Hauser, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Christian Bale, Ford v Ferrari 

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Renee Zellweger, Judy (PR: 1)

2. Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story (PR: 2)

3. Charlize Theron, Bombshell (PR: 3)

4. Saoirse Ronan, Little Women (PR: 4)

5. Cynthia Erivo, Harriet (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Awkwafina, The Farewell (PR: 6)

7. Alfre Woodard, Clemency (PR: 8)

8. Lupita Nyong’o, Us (PR: 7)

9. Elisabeth Moss, Her Smell (PR: 9)

10. Mary Kay Place, Diane (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jodie Turner-Smith, Queen and Slim 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Laura Dern, Marriage Story (PR: 1)

2. Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers (PR: 3)

3. Margot Robbie, Bombshell (PR: 2)

4. Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell (PR: 6)

5. Florence Pugh, Little Women (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit (PR: 5)

7. Annette Bening, The Report (PR: 7)

8. Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey (PR: 8)

10. Margot Robbie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Thomasin McKenzie, Jojo Rabbit

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Al Pacino, The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes (PR: 5)

4. Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse (PR: 3)

5. Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joe Pesci, The Irishman (PR: 7)

7. Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy (PR: 6)

8. Sterling K. Brown, Waves (PR: 9)

9. Song Kang-Ho, Parasite (PR: 8)

10. John Lithgow, Bombshell (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jamie Foxx, Just Mercy

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

2. Marriage Story (PR: 1)

3. Parasite (PR: 3)

4. The Farewell (PR: 4)

5. Pain and Glory (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bombshell (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Knives Out (PR: 7)

9. Honey Boy (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Booksmart

Waves

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 2)

3. The Two Popes (PR: 4)

4. Little Women (PR: 3)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (PR: 6)

7. Hustlers (PR: 9)

8. Richard Jewell (PR: 8)

9. Just Mercy (PR: 7)

10. Dark Waters (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Downton Abbey 

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Parasite (PR: 1)

2. Pain and Glory (PR: 2)

3. Les Miserables (PR: 3)

4. Monos (PR: 8)

5. And Then We Danced (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Invisible Life (PR: 6)

7. Atlantics (PR: 7)

8. Beanpole (PR: 5)

9. Those Who Remained (PR: 9)

10. A White, White Day (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Toy Story 4 (PR: 1)

2. Frozen II (PR: 2)

3. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 3)

4. I Lost My Body (PR: 4)

5. Weathering with You (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Klaus (PR: 8)

7. Abominable (PR: 6)

8. Missing Link (PR: 7)

9. Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles (PR: 9)

10. Funan (PR: 10)

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. American Factory (PR: 1)

2. One Child Nation (PR: 2)

3. Maiden (PR: 6)

4. Apollo 11 (PR: 5)

5. For Sama (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Cave (PR: 3)

7. The Biggest Little Farm (PR: 7)

8. Honeyland (PR: 4)

9. Sea of Shadows (PR: 8)

10. The Kingmaker (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Edge of Democracy

Knock Down the House 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 2)

3. The Irishman (PR: 3)

4. The Lighthouse (PR: 4)

5. Joker (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 9)

7. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

8. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

9. Little Women (PR: 10)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Little Women (PR: 2)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

3. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 4)

4. Rocketman (PR: 5)

5. Downton Abbey (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Irishman (PR: 6)

7. Judy (PR: 10)

8. The Aeronauts (PR: 7)

9. Cats (PR: 9)

10. Aladdin (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jojo Rabbit

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 3)

3. 1917 (PR: 4)

4. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

5. Parasite (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Marriage Story (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 9)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 7)

9. Bombshell (PR: 8)

10. The Two Popes (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Rocketman

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bombshell (PR: 1)

2. The Irishman (PR: 2)

3. Judy (PR: 3)

4. Dolemite Is My Name (PR: 5)

5. Us (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 4)

7. Joker (PR: 6)

8. Rocketman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 9)

10. Cats (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. 1917 (PR: 5)

4. The Irishman (PR: 3)

5. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parasite (PR: 6)

7. Joker (PR: 7)

8. The Two Popes (PR: 10)

9. Cats (PR: 8)

10. Downton Abbey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Little Women (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Marriage Story (PR: 5)

5. Joker (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 8)

7. A Hidden Life (PR: 7)

8. Jojo Rabbit (PR: 6)

9. Waves (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ad Astra (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Into the Unknown” from Frozen II (PR: 1)

2. “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from Rocketman (PR: 2)

3. “Stand Up” from Harriet (PR: 4)

4. “Beautiful Ghosts” from Cats (PR: 3)

5. “Speechless” from Aladdin (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Spirit” from The Lion King (PR: 5)

7. “I Can’t Let You Throw Yourself Away” from Toy Story 4 (PR: 10)

8. “Daily Battles” from Motherless Brooklyn (PR: 6)

9. “Glasgow” from Wild Rose (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Together From Afar” from How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

“Show Yourself” from Frozen II

Best Sound Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 2)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 1)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 5)

5. Ad Astra (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Rocketman (PR: 6)

7. The Irishman (PR: 7)

8. Joker (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 8)

10. Cats (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Aeronauts

Best Sound Mixing

Predicted Nominees:

1. 1917 (PR: 1)

2. Ford v Ferrari (PR: 2)

3. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 3)

4. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 6)

5. Rocketman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ad Astra (PR: 5)

7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (PR: 7)

8. Cats (PR: 8)

9. The Irishman (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Joker (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Judy

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Irishman (PR: 1)

2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (PR: 2)

3. Avengers: Endgame (PR: 3)

4. The Lion King (PR: 4)

5. The Aeronauts (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ad Astra (PR: 6)

7. 1917 (PR: 10)

8. Alita: Battle Angel (PR: 8)

9. Gemini Man (PR: 7)

10. Aladdin (PR: 9)

And this all equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers of nods:

10 Nominations

The Irishman

9 Nominations

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

8 Nominations

1917

7 Nominations

Little Women, Marriage Story

5 Nominations

Joker, Parasite

4 Nominations

Bombshell, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, The Two Popes

3 Nominations

Avengers: Endgame, Ford v Ferrari, Jojo Rabbit, Rocketman

2 Nominations

Dolemite Is My Name, The Farewell, Frozen II, Harriet, Judy, The Lighthouse, Pain and Glory

1 Nomination

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Ad Astra, The Aeronauts, Aladdin, American Factory, And Then We Danced, Apollo 11, Cats, Downton Abbey, For Sama, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, Hustlers, I Lost My Body, Les Miserables, The Lion King, Maiden, Monos, One Child Nation, Toy Story 4, Us, Weathering with You

Will The Indie Spirits Nominees Showcase Oscar Gems?

This afternoon, the nominations for the 35th Independent Spirit Awards were released as we prepare for the onslaught of Oscar precursors to follow. And make no mistake – the Indie Spirits are indeed a precursor. In this decade from 2010-2018, five of the nine Best Feature winners emerged victorious with the Academy for Best Picture: 2011’s The Artist, 2013’s 12 Years a Slave, 2014’s Birdman, 2015’s Spotlight, and 2016’s Moonlight. Some of these years have three or four of the five nominees get Oscar nods in the big race.

However, 2018 marked the first year of this decade when none of the five nominated pictures at the Indies garnered any Academy love. I don’t expect that to occur for a second year in a row.

In this post, I’ll break down Feature, Director, and the four acting races and what it might mean for Oscar:

Best Feature

Nominees: A Hidden Life, Clemency, The Farewell, Marriage Story, Uncut Gems

First things first: Marriage Story is going to get a Best Picture nomination and probably wins here. And it might be the only one here that does. The Farewell has a decent shot and Uncut Gems is a potential sleeper (though I wouldn’t bet on it).

That said, Gems did tie The Lighthouse for most Indie mentions (5). And that brings us back to Marriage Story. The voters here chose to give it a special Robert Altman award honoring the team behind it. That includes cast members Adam Driver, Scarlett Johansson, Laura Dern, and Alan Alda. They all probably would’ve heard their names here had that not occurred and same goes for director Noah Baumbach. If that seems like a bit of a cheat (taking out probable winners like Driver and Baumbach), I wouldn’t argue. The silver lining is that it does make some of these categories more interesting.

Best Director

Nominees: Robert Eggers (The Lighthouse), Alma Hor’el (Honey Boy), Julius Onah (Luce), Ben and Josh Safdie (Uncut Gems), Lorene Scafaria (Hustlers)

Like Best Feature, 2018 saw no directors recognized get Academy attention. With Baumbach getting his Altman award and out of the running, that could certainly happen again as I don’t even have any of these directors in my top ten Oscar possibilities. Perhaps this could help spur chatter for the Safdies or Scafaria. Again… I wouldn’t bet on it.

Best Female Lead

Nominees: Karen Allen (Colewell), Hong Chau (Driveways), Elisabeth Moss (Her Smell), Mary Kay Place (Diane), Alfre Woodard (Clemency), Renee Zellweger (Judy)

Six out of nine winners here from 2010-2018 went onto win the Best Actress statue: Natalie Portman (Black Swan), Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook), Cate Blanchett (Blue Jasmine), Julianne Moore (Still Alice), Brie Larson (Room), and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri).

Even with Johansson not included, it could be 7/10 as Zellweger is my current Oscar front runner. Woodard and Moss stand shots at nods. The other three need not shop for red carpet dresses.

One noticeable omission is Awkwafina in The Farewell, who many are predicting for Oscar attention. I currently had her on the outside looking in at sixth. That could slide when I update my estimates on Monday.

Best Male Lead

Nominees: Chris Galust (Give Me Liberty), Kelvin Harrison, Jr. (Luce), Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse), Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems), Matthias Schoenarts (The Mustang)

Jean Dujardin (The Artist), Matthew McConaughey (Dallas Buyers Club), and Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea) are the three Indie/Oscar recipients. Only in 2015 and (yes) 2018 did no nominees get Oscar nods…

I expect that to occur again. I believe only Sandler stands a chance, but it’s a reach based on severe competition.

Best Supporting Female

Nominees: Jennifer Lopez (Hustlers), Taylor Russell (Waves), Lauren Spencer (Give Me Liberty), Octavia Spencer (Luce), Shuzhen Zhou (The Farewell)

Four winners here have picked up Academy trophies – Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), Patricia Arquette (Boyhood), and the past two winners Allison Janney (I, Tonya) and Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk).

With soft front runner Laura Dern in the Marriage Story special category thing, we could still see a third year in a row match with Lopez. Zhou and Spencer (to a lesser degree) may also find themselves in the Oscar mix.

And with Taylor Russell’s nod here, it’s a good time to mention that Waves really came up short with the Indies today. That doesn’t help its Oscar viability.

Best Supporting Male

Nominees: Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse), Noah Jupe (Honey Boy), Shia LaBeouf (Honey Boy), Jonathan Majors (The Last Black Man in San Francisco), Wendell Pierce (Burning Cane)

This category is another ultra crowded one for Oscar attention, but Dafoe and LaBeouf are legit contenders for nods. Not so with the other three. The omission of Sterling K. Brown in Waves is a surprise.

There have been four Indie/Oscar victors this decade: Christopher Plummer (Beginners), Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club), J.K. Simmons (Whiplash), and Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri). With Brad Pitt (Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) and Al Pacino (The Irishman) as likely favorites for the Academy, I wouldn’t expect a fifth match.

And there you have it, folks! My take on the Indies and which Oscar gems they could produce…