Oscar Predictions: House of Gucci

While its official embargo isn’t up until two days before its unveiling on November 24th, MGM has lifted the curtain on social media reactions for House of Gucci. They are something to behold as critics are wildly divergent in their takes. There are some consistencies – it’s overlong (157 minutes), all over the place in tone (switching from camp to quite serious), and that the performances of Lady Gaga and Jared Leto will garner plenty of ink as well as memes.

So how will this play in the House of Oscar? There appear to be plenty of naysayers for the pic’s overall quality (the word “mess” has been bandied about). Enough negative reviews could certainly downgrade the chance of a Best Picture nod and I don’t see director Ridley Scott or the screenwriters (Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna) making the cut in their races. For Sir Ridley, this is his second at bat for awards attention this year after The Last Duel. Its minuscule box office earnings seem to have sunk its chances.

Besides Makeup and Hairstyling and Costume Design (where Gucci could easily show up), the Academy’s primary focus here should be the performances. The cast is filled with Oscar winners and nominees, but don’t expect much chatter for Adam Driver, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, or Salma Hayek. Driver has been lingering at the bottom of my ten Best Actor hopefuls for weeks. I’d anticipate him dropping this weekend when I update my projections.

The two performers that should vie for the ballot are Lady Gaga and Jared Leto. Three years after her Actress nod in A Star Is Born, the pop superstar’s inclusion once again seems probable. That said, don’t expect her to top the frontrunner Kristen Stewart (Spencer) and she also might be a tad behind Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye).

Leto won Supporting Actor eight years ago for Dallas Buyers Club and likely fell just short of a second nomination last year for The Little Things. The buzz for his work is that he wildly overacts in Gucci. Whether it’s tremendously entertaining or embarrassing depends on whose Tweet you lay eyes on. It’s entirely feasible that his role might be memorable enough that he gets in (especially since Supporting Actor seems wide open in 2021).

Bottom line: I’ve had House of Gucci in my top ten Picture contenders the whole way. Today I’m more skeptical it makes it. As for Gaga and Leto, their chances are stronger. My Oscar Prediction posts for the films of 2021 will continue…

Those Who Wish Me Dead Review

Taylor Sheridan’s Those Who Wish Me Dead is the second recent Warner Bros/HBO Max venture that would have felt more common as a mid 90s release. Take an Oscar winner/nominee and put them in a generic thriller where you’re saving a kid from generic assassins or solving the crimes of a demented mass murderer. Let the guilty pleasures commerce. In the serial killer genre, we saw it early this year with Denzel Washington and The Little Things. This one reminds me of titles like The Client with Susan Sarandon or The River Wild with Meryl Streep (the latter especially since it deals with forces of nature).

I’ll confess that I’ve developed a soft spot for material like this. It takes me back to a simpler time a quarter century ago where blockbusters didn’t primarily involve CG spectacles. And, yes, when movies like this took up whole shelves at Blockbuster and were rated R for non-gimmicky reasons.

Hannah (Angelina Jolie) is a smokejumper in Montana assigned to desk duty due to a wildfire that ended in tragedy. That demotion places her in a lookout tower with gorgeous natural settings that clash with her unnatural hair extensions. The monotony of her assignment takes a turn when she comes across Connor (Finn Little). The preteen is on the run from assassins (Nicholas Hoult and Aiden Gillen) who offed his forensic accountant dad. Why did his father meet his demise? The screenplay doesn’t much delve into that, but you might be interested to know that Tyler Perry has something to do with the dirty deed.

As Hannah attempts to bond with Connor, the killers frantically try to find them. Jon Bernthal is Ethan, a local sheriff with ties to the boy and he happens to be Hannah’s ex-boyfriend. He helps run a survivalist school with his expectant wife Allison (Medina Senghore) and they make it tricky for the bad guys to complete their business. This is an example of where Sheridan’s screenplay (with Michael Kortya and Charles Leavitt) hints at more compelling directions it might have gone in. When Allison gets to show her abilities while in danger and quite pregnant and on horseback, I couldn’t help but think a script about her handling these thugs would have been more rewarding.

With Jolie, she doesn’t have much of a character to work with. Her backstory involving past career missteps is thin. Her rapport with Little (in a solid performance) does have some highlights. Sheridan has created far more memorable moments in his previous written and directed works like Sicario and Hell or High Water. He’s continually shown an ability to make his scouted locations a gripping participant. That holds true with the Montana wilderness and the fire that eventually rips through it.

With Those Who Wish Me Dead, this is where words like serviceable get overused. It is, however, accurate. I found myself reasonably entertained during its brisk 100 minutes and the 90s throwback feeling makes it easier to forgive lapses in logic. This is hardly a towering achievement, but the inferno didn’t bore.

*** (out of four)

Those Who Wish Me Dead Box Office Prediction

Bloggers Update: Prediction downgraded to $3.8 million

Angelina Jolie tries to heat up the box office on May 14 with the simultaneous theatrical and HBO Max release of Those Who Wish Me Dead. The thriller casts Jolie as a fire warden attempting to protect a young boy whose father was murdered by assassins. Taylor Sheridan, director of Wind River and co-creator of the hit series Yellowstone, serves behind the camera. Costars include Finn Little, Nicholas Hoult, Jon Bernthal, and Tyler Perry.

Warner Bros. has had successes recently with their strategy of putting their product on the big screen and thru HBO’s streaming platform. This resulted in impressive openings for Godzilla vs. Kong and Mortal Kombat over the past two months. This one could be a tougher sell due to it not being part of a known franchise.

Dead will need to rely on an adult crowd turning out and Jolie’s star power. One recent comp is The Little Things with Denzel Washington. Also a Warner/HBO venture, the thriller opened domestically with $4.8 million. More theaters have opened their doors since and capacity has increased. That leads me to think that Jolie’s latest could exceed that gross, but perhaps not by much. If my estimate holds, Dead should place second next weekend behind Spiral: From the Book of Saw.

Those Who Wish Me Dead opening weekend prediction: $3.8 million

For my Spiral: From the Book of Saw prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/05/05/spiral-box-office-prediction/

For my Army of the Dead prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/05/07/army-of-the-dead-box-office-prediction/

For my Profile prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2021/05/07/profile-box-office-prediction/

2020 SAG Awards Winner Predictions

The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards airs this Easter Sunday evening in an abridged hour long ceremony and, as usual, it could carry significant Oscar implications as to who the frontrunners truly are. That means it’s time for me to put my forecasting hat on and give it my best shot with predictions.

Let’s break it down category by category, shall we? I’ll provide my runner-up selection as well.

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture

Nominees: Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Minari, One Night in Miami, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Analysis: Interestingly, the last two films in the big race (Black Panther, Parasite) won without a single nomination in the individual acting races. That had only happened two times previously between 1995-2017 with 1997’s The Full Monty and 2003’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. That will not happen for 2020’s selections as all five have at least one performer contending in a separate category.

However, in a rare occurrence, only two of the five ensembles here landed a Best Picture nomination from the Academy. Those are Minari and The Trial of the Chicago 7. Only once in SAG’s history has a movie emerged victorious here without a BP Oscar nod (1996’s The Birdcage). This serves as my annual reminder that SAG picks the best cast and not the best movie.

Truth be told, Da 5 Bloods is the only pic that I believe has little chance at winning here. Yet Ma Rainey and Miami are likely at a disadvantage due to precedent. That leaves us with Minari and Trial. The latter has seen its Oscar momentum stalled in recent weeks, but its sprawling cast could finally get the major precursor victory that it’s been missing. I’m tempted to pick it and it might be the safe choice.

Minari, on the other hand, has gained steamed recently and emerged as a potential upset winner at the Oscars against Nomadland (as has Promising Young Woman, which missed here). I’m choosing to go with the picture with the hotter hand.

Predicted Winner: Minari

Runner-Up: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Amy Adams (Hillbilly Elegy), Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

Analysis: The Golden Globe winner in this category (Andra Day for The United States vs. Billie Holiday) isn’t featured here. Therefore we can take a precursor sweep off the table for Best Actress. Adams is the sole nominee without an Oscar nomination so she’s out of contention. Mulligan has the Critics Choice Award and is looked at as the prohibitive favorite from the Academy. She’s the most likely SAG winner. Davis and McDormand could upset, but I’m relatively confident with this pick.

Predicted Winner: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Runner-Up: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Steven Yeun (Minari)

Analysis: There’s a five for five match here with the Academy, but I find this SAG lineup to be a bit more complicated due to other factors. While Boseman has taken the Globes and Critics Choice, his nod in Supporting Actor with the actors guild for Da 5 Bloods (if he wins there) opens the door for either Ahmed or Hopkins. That wouldn’t totally shock me, but it’s hard to predict against Boseman and I won’t.

Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Runner-Up: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Yuh-jung Youn (Minari), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

Analysis: Now this is a tough one. The Supporting Actress derby in the precursors has been a true head scratcher. Like in Best Actress, Golden Globe winner Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian) is nowhere to be found (she missed at the Oscars too). Colman and Zengel are the two performers who are highly unlikely to take the prize. This is a genuine three person race between Bakalova, Close, and Youn. Bakalova seems to have momentum with a recent Critics Choice victory. SAG could certainly opt for Close’s baity role (the fact that they nominated her costar Amy Adams lends credence to that). Youn is without a major precursor, but Minari‘s upswing could sweep her in.

Simply put, I’ve very torn here. With Close, the Academy’s narrative for a win is that she’s without an Oscar and is looked at as overdue. SAG, on the other hand, has bestowed trophies for her twice including just two years ago for The Wife. Bakalova has the disadvantage of being in a comedy, but that hindrance may not matter much in this wide open field. I’m left with buying the Minari momentum for Youn. However, I can’t stress enough how feasible a win is for all three actresses.

Predicted Winner: Yuh-jung Youn, Minari

Runner-Up: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chadwick Boseman (Da 5 Bloods), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Leslie Odom Jr. (One Night in Miami)

Analysis: This one is far simpler than Supporting Actress as Kaluuya has racked up the Globe and Critics Choice and is the heavy favorite. The only wrinkle, as mentioned above, is if SAG voters decide to honor Boseman here instead of in Best Actor. It probably won’t happen, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Predicted Winner: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah

Runner-Up: Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods

And there you have it! I’ll have reaction up on Sunday evening. Until then…

 

2020 Oscar Predictions: March 8th Edition

February 21st was the last date I published Oscar predictions and a lot has changed since then. We have had the Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards. The PGA nominations came out today. All of those events have altered categories below. This also serves as the penultimate estimates as the actual nominations come out a week from today!

Let me break down the big changes in the major races:

  • In Best Picture, it’s Judas and the Black Messiah in my projected nine nominees. I have finally eliminated Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods from the mix. Contrary to several prognosticators and despite its notable PGA omission, I still have News of the World on my board. Titles like Sound of Metal and The Father still lurk.
  • Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman) makes her first appearance for Best Director and that drops Regina King (One Night in Miami)
  • Steven Yeun (Minari) vaults into the Actor race with Delroy Lindo (Da 5 Bloods) falling. In fact, I now only have Bloods getting one nomination and that’s Chadwick Boseman in Supporting Actor. I’m not super confident in that anymore since he appears to a heavy favorite to win Best Actor for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  • The fifth slot for Supporting Actor is now filled by David Strathairn (Nomadland) over Mark Rylance (The Trial of the Chicago 7)
  • Maria Bakalova’s comedic work in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm nabs the fifth Supporting Actress spot over Helena Zengel (News of the World).

In addition to these changes, we have new number ones in Best Picture (Nomadland over Trial), Supporting Actor (Daniel Kaluuya from Judas and the Black Messiah over Sacha Baron Cohen in Trial), and Supporting Actress (The Father‘s Olivia Colman over Hillbilly Elegy‘s Glenn Close).

Now… about Supporting Actress. While Boseman, Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman), and Kaluuya can rightly be called front runners in their respective categories, I’ve never seen Supporting Actress more wide open. I have Colman listed at #1 because she’s the only performer that I’m saying gets a nod with relative confidence. There’s no favorite (or favourite if you will) at the moment. Maybe the SAG Awards will help clear it up. Doubtful.

You can peruse all the activity below and I’ll have my final predictions up this Friday!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (Previous Ranking: 2)

2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 6)

5. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

6. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 7)

8. News of the World (PR: 8)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

10. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

11. The Father (PR: 11)

12. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

15. The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

First Cow

Another Round

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 5)

5. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

7. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 7)

8. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

9. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

10. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 1)

2. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 3)

3. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

4. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

5. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 8)

7. Rosamund Pike, I Care a Lot (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

9. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 7)

10. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

7. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 7)

8. Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

9. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

10. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 3)

2. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

3. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

4. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 2)

5. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

6. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

7. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 5)

8. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 6)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

10. Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

2. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

3. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

4. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

7. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 6)

8. Jared Leto, The Little Things (PR: 8)

9. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 7)

10. Alan Kim, Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Promising Young Woman (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

5. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Sound of Metal (PR: 5)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

8. Soul (PR: 9)

9. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

4. The Father (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. First Cow (PR: 5)

7. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 10)

8. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 7)

9. The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Emma

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Onward (PR: 4)

4. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (PR: 7)

8. Trolls World Tour (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 8)

10, Earwig and the Witch (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Demon Slayer

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Time (PR: 1)

2. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 2)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 5)

5. Boys State (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 6)

7. Crip Camp (PR: 7)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. Collective (PR: 5)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. A Sun (PR: 3)

Other Possibilities:

6. La Llorona (PR: 9)

7. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 7)

8. Dear Comrades! (PR: 8)

9. Night of the Kings (PR: 6)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 2)

2. Mank (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

5. Minari (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 10)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities: 

6. News of the World (PR: 9)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 10)

8. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

9. The Glorias (PR: 8)

10. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 7)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 4)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Father (PR: 6)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

8. Tenet (PR: 7)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

One Night in Miami

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Emma (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 3)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: 6)

7. The Glorias (PR: 7)

8. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: 10)

9. The Little Things (PR: 9)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Tenet (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Minari (PR: 5)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 9)

9. Ammonite (PR: 10)

10. The Little Things (PR: 8)

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “lo Si” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 4)

4. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

5. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 7)

7. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 10)

8. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

9. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: 8)

10. “The Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 9)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. Mulan (PR: 9)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 7)

7. Emma (PR: 2)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

9. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 8)

10. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Judas and the Black Messiah

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 4)

4. Mank (PR: 3)

5. Greyhound (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

8. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 6)

9. Soul (PR: 8)

10. Mulan (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. The One and Only Ivan (PR: 8)

7. Soul (PR: 6)

8. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: 9)

10. Bloodshot (PR: 10)

This equates to these pictures nabbing the following numbers:

13 Nominations

Mank

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, News of the World, Nomadland, The Trial of the Chicago 7

6 Nominations

Minari

5 Nominations

Judas and the Black Messiah

4 Nominations

One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman

3 Nominations

The Father, Mulan, The Midnight Sky, Sound of Metal, Tenet

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Emma, Hillbilly Elegy, Soul, Welcome to Chechnya

1 Nomination

Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Boys State, The Croods: A New Age, Da 5 Bloods, Dick Johnson Is Dead, Greyhound, The Life Ahead, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, A Sun, Time, Two of Us, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Wolfwalkers

Tom & Jerry To The Rescue (?)

An age old cat and mouse contest is widening the eyeballs of box office prognosticators and theater owners courtesy of Tom & Jerry. The mix of live-action and animation reboot of a cartoon dating back to 1940 premiered simultaneously in multiplexes and HBO Max yesterday. This is how Warner Bros. is handling all their product in 2021 as we have already witnessed with The Little Things and Judas and the Black Messiah (and soon Godzilla vs. Kong). Reviews for the pic are certainly not rosy with a current Rotten Tomatoes score of 23%. And with the uncertainty of the box office for nearly a year, expectations weren’t much either.

Let’s be clear: in non COVID times, Tom & Jerry heading toward a $13-$14 million opening would be considered pretty disappointing. How times have changed. When considering that millions of subscribers could simply cue it up from the comfort of home and with around half of theaters still shuttered, an estimated $12 million start is impressive. Should this number hold, it would mark the second biggest opening gross of the Coronavirus era (behind only Wonder Woman 1984).

That’s more than The Croods: A New Age managed over Thanksgiving and it legged out to over $50 million domestically. There’s no reason to think the iconic cat and mouse won’t do the same. This is also music to the ears of Disney as they prepare to release their animated Raya and the Last Dragon next weekend (along with a Disney Plus rollout).

However, this news really must be encouraging to theaters chains and owners. This is a sign that family audiences in particular will turn up for new product even if it’s available on the couch. As for material outside of that genre, the jury is still out and lots of attention should turn to the aforementioned battle of two other famous creatures (Godzilla vs. Kong) in one month. One thing seems clearer today: the outlook for theaters, while still in flux, got a little rosier.

2020 Golden Globe Winner Predictions

Awards watching season kicks into (later than usual) gear this Sunday with the 78th Annual Golden Globes hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler! While I have not spent time doing weekly posts on this ceremony like I do with the Oscars, it’s certainly a potential sign of things to come from the Academy (and sometimes not so much).

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association is a notoriously tricky bunch to predict as they often call up out of nowhere nominees in their major categories. This year is no exception and that will be discussed below. The pandemic uncertainty that was 2020 and some races that truly feel wild open gives us some real drama as to the pictures and actors who will win on Sunday.

Simply put, I’ll feel good if I get half my predictions right and that’s a lower bar than usual. Let’s walk through each category with my estimated victor and runner-up, shall we?

Best Motion Picture (Drama)

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Despite a better than anticipated showing for Promising Young Woman, this is likely a showdown between Nomadland and Trial (as I suspect it will be for the Oscars). Quite frankly, this is a tough call and basically a coin flip. However, I lean ever so slightly with HFPA going with the more traditional pick and that means Trial.

Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Nomadland

Best Motion Picture (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Hamilton, Music, Palm Springs, The Prom

The inclusion of Sia’s critically drubbed Music stands as one of the more bizarre nods in recent Globes history and that’s saying a lot. Palm Springs certainly has its fervent fans while The Prom once seemed like a potential winner until its mixed reviews. Meryl Streep’s exclusion in the Actress field for it says something as well. So it’s Borat vs. Hamilton in my view. 14 years ago, the original Borat lost out to Dreamgirls. Certainly the overall pedigree and acclaim for Hamilton makes it a possibility, but the attention garnered by Sacha Baron Cohen’s sequel might be too hard to resist.

Predicted Winner: Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Hamilton

Best Director

Nominees: Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman), David Fincher (Mank), Regina King (One Night in Miami), Aaron Sorkin (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Chloe Zhao (Nomadland)

Even with my Trial pick in Picture, Chloe Zhao has emerged as a heavy favorite for the duration of awards season and she has the critics trophies already to prove it. Fincher is probably more of a threat to upset than Sorkin here, but Zhao is one of the safer bets of the night.

Predicted Winner: Chloe Zhao, Nomadland

Runner-Up: David Fincher, Mank

Best Actress (Drama)

Nominees: Viola Davis (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Andra Day (The United States vs. Billie Holiday), Vanessa Kirby (Pieces of a Woman), Frances McDormand (Nomadland), Carey Mulligan (Promising Young Woman)

It’s Davis vs. McDormand vs. Mulligan as I see it and there’s a case to be made for all three. That said, I already mentioned that Promising was a major winner on nomination morning as it achieved nods everywhere it really could have been expected to. I feel it’ll win somewhere and this is the most probable. Had Rainey got a Picture nod, I would probably list Davis as the runner-up, but I’ll go with McDormand instead.

Predicted Winner: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

Runner-Up: Frances McDormand, Nomadland

Best Actor (Drama)

Nominees: Riz Ahmed (Sound of Metal), Chadwick Boseman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Anthony Hopkins (The Father), Gary Oldman (Mank), Tahar Rahim (The Mauritanian)

Sunday night could very well be the start of Boseman sweeping his way through the season. I do have a nagging feeling that Hopkins is going to win either here or at SAG. It would not be a shock at all for that to occur yet I’ll stick with Boseman.

Predicted Winner: Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Runner-Up: Anthony Hopkins, The Father

Best Actress (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), Kate Hudson (Music), Michelle Pfeiffer (French Exit), Rosamund Pike (I Care a Lot), Anya Taylor-Joy (Emma)

Expect Taylor-Joy to win on Sunday night, but not here. Instead she appears bound to get some hardware on the TV side for the heralded Queen’s Gambit. Like the picture itself, Hudson’s nomination was totally unforeseen. Bakalova was the breakout star of Borat. She’s being campaigned for in Supporting Actress at the Oscars, but the HFPA seems destined to honor her. Pfeiffer and Pike are moderate threats and I’ll give the runner-up edge to the former.

Predicted Winner: Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit

Best Actor (Musical/Comedy)

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm), James Corden (The Prom), Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton), Dev Patel (The Personal History of David Copperfield), Andy Samberg (Palm Springs)

Let’s face it: the Golden Globes this year has an excellent chance at turning into the Sacha Baron Cohen Show. He won this race for the first Borat and he’s the odds-on favorite to make it two for two. Miranda poses the only real threat in my opinion.

Predicted Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

Runner-Up: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton 

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Glenn Close (Hillbilly Elegy), Olivia Colman (The Father), Jodie Foster (The Mauritanian), Amanda Seyfried (Mank), Helena Zengel (News of the World)

For Foster and Zengel, it’s an honor to be nominated. As for the other three, this feels like a genuine three performer race in which I could easily foresee Close, Colman, or Seyfried’s name being called. I’m calling this (with zero confidence) for Seyfried as I think HFPA could go with the relative newcomer over Close and Colman (who have each won three Globes).

Predicted Winner: Amanda Seyfried, Mank

Runner-Up: Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (just over Colman)

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Sacha Baron Cohen (The Trial of the Chicago 7), Daniel Kaluuya (Judas and the Black Messiah), Jared Leto (The Little Things), Bill Murray (On the Rocks), Leslie Odom, Jr. (One Night in Miami)

Another really tough one. It would be right up HFPA’s alley to give Leto the surprise win. And Kaluuya and Odom Jr. are strong possibilities. I don’t feel great about saying Sacha will have this big of a night, but I kinda feel that’s the way this goes. Confidence level? Zilch.

Predicted Winner: Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah 

Best Screenplay

Nominees: The Father, Mank, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, The Trial of the Chicago 7

This is an additional race where voters could choose to honor Promising Young Woman, but Trial is the frontrunner and I’m not picking against it.

Predicted Winner: The Trial of the Chicago 7

Runner-Up: Promising Young Woman

Best Animated Feature Film

Nominees: The Croods: A New Age, Onward, Over the Moon, Soul, Wolfwalkers

Don’t be surprised if this is the same Oscar five with the same result. While Wolfwalkers is a critical darling, it’s risky to bet against Pixar and I won’t do so.

Predicted Winner: Soul

Runner-Up: Wolfwalkers

Best Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Another Round, La Llorona, The Life Ahead, Minari, Two of Us

The smart money is on Minari, which is expected to get a Best Picture nod from the Academy. However, I can’t help but point out that it picked up nominations nowhere else (including Actor, Supporting Actor, and Screenplay where it could have). That opens the door for Another Round which also has ardent supporters. I’m going for the slight upset.

Predicted Winner: Another Round

Runner-Up: Minari

Best Original Score

Nominees: Mank, The Midnight Sky, News of the World, Soul, Tenet

Another category that Oscar could match. And this may come down to Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross vs. themselves for Mank and Soul. I’ll give their Pixar work the edge.

Predicted Winner: Soul

Runner-Up: Mank

Best Original Song

Nominees: “Fight for You” (Judas and the Black Messiah), “Hear My Voice” (The Trial of the Chicago 7), “lo si (Seen)” (The Life Ahead), “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami), “Tigress & Tweed” (The United States vs. Billie Holiday)

Anything could happen here, but “Speak Now” is a trendy pick for the Oscar and HFPA could follow suit.

Predicted Winner: “Speak Now” (One Night in Miami)

Runner-Up: “lo si (Seen)” from The Life Ahead

That means I’m predicting the following number of wins for these pictures:

3 Wins

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, The Trial of the Chicago 7

2 Wins

Soul

1 Win

Another Round, Mank, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Nomadland, One Night in Miami, Promising Young Woman

And there you have it! My picks for the Sacha Baron… err, Golden Globes! Let’s see how it shakes out and I’ll have a post up Sunday night with my thoughts about the show and how I performed….

2020 Oscar Predictions: February 21st Edition

It’s a good week for News of the World and Minari and not so much for The Father with my latest Oscar prediction updates. News is back in my estimated nine Picture nominees and that drops The Father out. Da 5 Bloods is clinging ever so slightly to the nine spot with Judas and the Black Messiah, The Father, and Sound of Metal hot on its heels.

In Director, I’m replacing Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) over Florian Zeller (The Father). In Supporting Actress, Helena Zengel’s Globes/SAG nominated turn in News of the World makes the final cut replacing Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm).

And there’s a new #1 in Actress with Carey Mulligan nabbing the pole position over Viola Davis in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

You can read about all the movement below! And on a side note, I will have winner predictions for the Golden Globes (airing February 28) up later this week.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

6. Minari (PR: 6)

7. Promising Young Woman (PR: 9)

8. News of the World (PR: 11)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

11. The Father (PR: 8)

12. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. First Cow (PR: 14)

15. Another Round (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: 8)

7. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 5)

8. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

9. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 9)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 2)

2. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

3. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

5. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 8)

8. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 7)

9. Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

10. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 10)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

7. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 7)

8. Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

10. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Ben Affleck, The Way Back

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 3)

3. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 2)

4. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

5. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 6)

7. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 5)

8. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

10. Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

4. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

7. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 6)

8. Jared Leto, The Little Things (PR: 7)

9. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

10. Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Promising Young Woman (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

5. Sound of Metal (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 5)

9. Soul (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

4. The Father (PR: 3)

5. First Cow (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. News of the World (PR: 7)

7. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 6)

8. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

9. Emma (PR: 10)

10. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hillbilly Elegy

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (PR: 7)

8. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

9. Demon Slayer (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Trolls World Tour

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Time (PR: 2)

2. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 1)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Boys State (PR: 4)

5. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 6)

7. Crip Camp (PR: 5)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: 9)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. A Sun (PR: 3)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. Collective (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Night of the Kings (PR: 6)

7. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 8)

8. Dear Comrades! (PR: 9)

9. La Llorona (PR: 7)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 5)

5. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

7. Tenet (PR: 6)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

9. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

10. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 3)

3. Emma (PR: 2)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

7. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 6)

8. The Glorias (PR: 8)

9. News of the World (PR: 9)

10. Promising Young Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Ammonite

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 7)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Father (PR: 4)

7. Tenet (PR: 6)

8. Promising Young Woman (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 9)

10. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

Dropped Out:

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom 

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Emma (PR: 5)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: 6)

7. The Glorias (PR: 7)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

9. The Little Things (PR: 10)

10. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: 9)

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Minari (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 5)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

8. The Little Things (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 8)

10. Ammonite (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

The Life Ahead 

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

5. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

7. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: 10)

8. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: 9)

9. “Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

10. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 8)

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Emma (PR: 2)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 3)

4. News of the World (PR: 5)

5. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 6)

7. Tenet (PR: 7)

8. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 8)

9. Mulan (PR: 9)

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Tenet (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. News of the World (PR: 5)

5. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. Soul (PR: 6)

9. Greyhound (PR: 9)

10. Mulan (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Da 5 Bloods

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Birds of Prey (PR: 5)

5. Mulan (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Soul (PR: 7)

7. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: 8)

8. The One and Only Ivan (PR: 6)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: 9)

10. Bloodshot (PR: 10)

That works out to these pictures grabbing these numbers in term of nominations:

13 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

The Trial of the Chicago 7

7 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, News of the World

6 Nominations

Minari, Nomadland

5 Nominations

One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods

3 Nominations

Emma, The Father, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Midnight Sky, Promising Young Woman, Sound of Metal

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Birds of Prey, Hillbilly Elegy, Mulan, Soul, Tenet, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

1 Nomination

Another Round, Boys State, Collective, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, First Cow, The Life Ahead, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida?, A Sun, Time, Two of Us, Welcome to Chechnya, Wolfwalkers

2020 Oscar Predictions: February 15th Edition

We are now precisely one month away from nominations in this elongated Oscar season! The big development from last week was the release of shortlists in six categories covering feature length titles: Documentary Feature, International Feature, Makeup and Hairstyling, Original Score, Original Song, and Visual Effects. That’s why you’ll see significant changes in those races particularly…

Yet that’s not all as I’ve swapped out some performers and movies in five top tier competitions.

  • In Best Picture, Promising Young Woman is in my estimated nine and that takes out News of the World
  • The fifth slot for Best Actress now goes to Andra Day in The United States vs. Billie Holiday and this drops Sophia Loren for The Life Ahead
  • For the first time, I’m listing Maria Bakalova (Borat Subsequent Moviefilm) in Supporting Actress. That means Ellen Burstyn (who’s missed SAG and Globe nods) is on the outside looking in
  • The screenplay races both have alterations with Never Rarely Sometimes Always in Original Screenplay (over Da 5 Bloods) and First Cow back in Adapted over I’m Thinking of Ending Things

You can peruse all the movement below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (Previous Ranking: 1)

2. Nomadland (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. One Night in Miami (PR: 5)

6. Minari (PR: 8)

7. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. The Father (PR: 7)

9. Promising Young Woman (PR: 10)

Other Possibilities:

10. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 11)

11. News of the World (PR: 9)

12. Sound of Metal (PR: 12)

13. Soul (PR: 13)

14. First Cow (PR: 14)

15. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 15)

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. David Fincher, Mank (PR: 2)

3. Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. Regina King, One Night in Miami (PR: 4)

5. Florian Zeller, The Father (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari (PR: 8)

7. Spike Lee, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

8. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (PR: 9)

9. George C. Wolfe, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

10. Shaka King, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Paul Greengrass, News of the World (PR: 10)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman (PR: 3)

3. Frances McDormand, Nomadland (PR: 2)

4. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 4)

5. Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Amy Adams, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 6)

7. Sophia Loren, The Life Ahead (PR: 5)

8. Zendaya, Malcolm & Marie (PR: 8)

9. Sidney Flanigan, Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit (PR: 9)

Dropped Out:

Kate Winslet, Ammonite

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Anthony Hopkins, The Father (PR: 2)

3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal (PR: 3)

4. Gary Oldman, Mank (PR: 4)

5. Delroy Lindo, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Steven Yeun, Minari (PR: 6)

7. Mads Mikkelsen, Another Round (PR: 7)

8. Tom Hanks, News of the World (PR: 10)

9. Kingsley Ben-Adir, One Night in Miami (PR: 8)

10. Ben Affleck, The Way Back (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian 

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 1)

2. Olivia Colman, The Father (PR: 3)

3. Amanda Seyfried, Mank (PR: 2)

4. Youn Yuh-jung, Minari (PR: 4)

5. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ellen Burstyn, Pieces of a Woman (PR: 5)

7. Helena Zengel, News of the World (PR: 6)

8. Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian (PR: 8)

9. Saoirse Ronan, Ammonite (PR: 9)

10. Dominique Fishback, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 10)

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Leslie Odom, Jr., One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 3)

4. Chadwick Boseman, Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Mark Rylance, The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bill Murray, On the Rocks (PR: 7)

7. Jared Leto, The Little Things (PR: 6)

8. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

9. David Strathairn, Nomadland (PR: 9)

10. Glynn Turman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 10)

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Promising Young Woman (PR: 3)

4. Minari (PR: 4)

5. Never Rarely Sometimes Always (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 5)

7. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 6)

8. Soul (PR: 7)

9. Sound of Metal (PR: 8)

10. Palm Springs (PR: 10)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nomadland (PR: 1)

2. One Night in Miami (PR: 2)

3. The Father (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. First Cow (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. I’m Thinking of Ending Things (PR: 5)

7. News of the World (PR: 6)

8. The White Tiger (PR: 8)

9. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 9)

10. Emma (PR: 10)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Wolfwalkers (PR: 2)

3. Over the Moon (PR: 3)

4. Onward (PR: 4)

5. The Croods: A New Age (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Willoughbys (PR: 6)

7. Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (PR: 7)

8. Earwig and the Witch (PR: 8)

9. Bombay Rose (PR: 9)

10. Trolls World Tour (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Demon Slayer

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 4)

2. Time (PR: 1)

3. Dick Johnson Is Dead (PR: 3)

4. Boys State (PR: 7)

5. Crip Camp (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Collective (PR: 9)

7. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: Not Ranked)

8. The Truffle Hunters (PR: 8)

9. 76 Days (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The Dissident

Totally Under Control

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. Another Round (PR: 1)

2. Quo Vadis, Aida? (PR: 2)

3. A Sun (PR: 5)

4. Two of Us (PR: 4)

5. Collective (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Night of the Kings (PR: 3)

7. La Llorona (PR: 9)

8. I’m No Longer Here (PR: 7)

9. Dear Comrades! (PR: 8)

10. The Mole Agent (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Notturno

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 2)

2. Nomadland (PR: 1)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 4)

5. Minari (PR: 9)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 6)

7. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

8. The Midnight Sky (PR: 8)

9. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 7)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

I’m Thinking of Ending Things

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Emma (PR: 3)

3. Mank (PR: 2)

4. Mulan (PR: 4)

5. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 6)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

8. The Glorias (PR: 9)

9. News of the World (PR: 7)

10. Ammonite (PR: 10)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Nomadland (PR: 4)

4. The Father (PR: 3)

5. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. Tenet (PR: 8)

7. News of the World (PR: 5)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: 9)

9. Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 7)

Dropped Out:

Minari

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 1)

2. Hillbilly Elegy (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 3)

4. Birds of Prey (PR: 6)

5. Emma (PR: Not Ranked)

Other Possibilities:

6. Pinocchio (PR: Not Ranked)

7. The Glorias (PR: Not Ranked)

8. One Night in Miami (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Little Things (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Borat Subsequent Moviefilm

The Trial of the Chicago 7

News of the World

Mulan

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Soul (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. News of the World (PR: 3)

4. The Midnight Sky (PR: 4)

5. Tenet (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. Minari (PR: 8)

7. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

8. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 7)

9. Ammonite (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The Life Ahead (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Hillbilly Elegy

The Little Things

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Speak Now” from One Night in Miami (PR: 1)

2. “Seen” from The Life Ahead (PR: 2)

3. “Hear My Voice” from The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 3)

4. “Turntables” from All In: The Fight for Democracy (PR: 6)

5. “Fight for You” from Judas and the Black Messiah (PR: 5)

Other Possibilities:

6. “Free” from The One and Only Ivan (PR: 9)

7. “The Wuhan Flu” from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (PR: Not Ranked)

8. “Husavik” from Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga (PR: 7)

9. “Rain Song” from Minari (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “Never Break” from Giving Voice (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

“Rocket to the Moon” from Over the Moon

“Only the Young” from Miss Americana

“Tigress & Tweed” from The United States vs. Billie Holiday 

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Mank (PR: 1)

2. Emma (PR: 3)

3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 2)

4. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 8)

5. News of the World (PR: 4)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Midnight Sky (PR: 7)

7. Tenet (PR: 10)

8. The Personal History of David Copperfield (PR: 6)

9. Mulan (PR: 5)

10. The United States vs. Billie Holiday (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Father

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Sound of Metal (PR: 1)

2. Mank (PR: 2)

3. Tenet (PR: 3)

4. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (PR: 4)

5. News of the World (PR: 7)

Other Possibilities:

6. Soul (PR: 6)

7. The Midnight Sky (PR: 5)

8. The Trial of the Chicago 7 (PR: 9)

9. Greyhound (PR: 8)

10. Da 5 Bloods (PR: 10)

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Tenet (PR: 1)

2. The Midnight Sky (PR: 2)

3. Mank (PR: 9)

4. Mulan (PR: 5)

5. Birds of Prey (PR: 6)

Other Possibilities:

6. The One and Only Ivan (PR: Not Ranked)

7. Soul (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Welcome to Chechnya (PR: Not Ranked)

9. Love and Monsters (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Bloodshot (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Invisible Man

Greyhound

Wonder Woman 1984

Sonic the Hedgehog

The Call of the Wild 

That shakes out to these films getting these numbers in terms of nods:

13 Nominations

Mank

8 Nominations

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Trial of the Chicago 7

6 Nominations

The Father, Nomadland

5 Nominations

Da 5 Bloods, One Night in Miami

4 Nominations

Minari, News of the World

3 Nominations

Emma, Promising Young Woman, Tenet

2 Nominations

All In: The Fight for Democracy, Birds of Prey, Hillbilly Elegy, Judas and the Black Messiah, The Midnight Sky, Mulan, Soul, Sound of Metal, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

1 Nomination

Another Round, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, Boys State, Collective, Crip Camp, The Croods: A New Age, Dick Johnson Is Dead, First Cow, The Life Ahead, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Onward, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Quo Vadis, Aida, A Sun, Time, Two of Us, Wolfwalkers

The Little Things Review

John Lee Hancock’s The Little Things was apparently written in 1993 and there is indeed a retro vibe. This feels like it could have been in a VHS case taking up a whole shelf at Blockbuster. It might have starred Denzel Washington back then. Not everything has changed. Nearly three decades later, however, you can stream it away without having to remember to rewind.

Set in 1990, someone is killing young women in Los Angeles and those investigating haven’t moved past square one. Joe Deacon (played by Washington) is a former LAPD detective now doing deputy grunt work north of the city. When he has to make a trip to the City of Angels, he discovers the spree could be related to an unsolved series of killings that he never cracked. Newcomer Jimmy Baxter (Rami Malek) is heading up the current investigation. For reasons never quite spelled out, he’s more than eager to allow Deacon to become his off the books partner. It’s hinted at early on that Deacon’s previous work left him unwelcome in the force and that lurks over the two hour plus runtime.

Their pairing leads to some dead ends until they happen upon Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), who seemingly fits the profile of the perp. Problem is, the aggressively weird suspect might just have a jones for the attention. He’s a true crime buff who appears thrilled sitting in the interrogation room with the iconic one way mirror. Deacon and Jimmy are the cats trying to catch this potential killer with the mousy hair for most of the second half. With Leto portraying him, he gives the character his bizarre all that is pretty humorous and compulsively watchable.

So many of these procedurals pose the question of whether all this grisly work by the detectives is worth the emotional strain it causes. In The Little Things, the answer is murkier and that provides some slightly intriguing twists. I don’t want to give it too much credit, but every little bit helps and so does the involvement of three Oscar winners.

Comparisons to Seven (basically the standard bearer of these types) are inevitable and there’s even a car ride with the killer (?) bearing the promise of a case cracking discovery. The Little Things is often boxed in with familiar story beats and some head into credibility straining territory. Isn’t that what most of those 90s era VHS selections did though? Perhaps I’m being too kind and I don’t envision rewinding Things anytime soon. Yet even with its flaws, Hancock’s delve into this genre is a reasonably rewarding throwback.

*** (out of four)