Oscar Watch: The Favourite

As far as Oscar hopefuls go, the Venice Film Festival is now 3 for 3 as far as major releases becoming contenders. Today saw the screening of The Favourite, the 18th century set drama from director Yorgos Lanthimos. Early reviews are quite strong and it has now put itself into serious contention.

Lanthimos is known for his bizarre features including The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Neither received much love from awards voters, but The Favourite is said to be his most accessible pic to date. That could bode well for its inclusion in both Picture and Director.

As far as acting attention, any potential love will go to the women of its cast. Olivia Colman is likely to be campaigned for in lead Actress and her chances have significantly improved following the Venice debut. As for Rachel Weisz or Emma Stone in the Supporting field, that remains less clear (I’d give Weisz a bit of an edge if either makes it). I wouldn’t look for its actors like Nicholas Hoult or Joe Alwyn to be factors.

Additionally, The Favourite appears on a good course for an Original Screenplay nod. Tech nominations in Production Design, Cinematography, Costume Design, and Makeup & Hairstyling are also on the table.

Bottom line: The Favourite could be a favorite in several races for nominations. Expect this to vault up my chart in several categories in next week’s ranked predictions.

The Favourite opens stateside on November 23. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Film Festival Season Approaches: The 2018 Hopefuls

We may be smack dab in the middle of the summer movie season, but Oscar season will be taking shape before we know it. This week, the organizers of the Toronto and Venice Film Festivals have unveiled lineups for the pictures that will be premiering at their events in a few weeks. Many of them are awards hopefuls.

To give you an idea of the importance of festivals when it comes to Oscar nominees, six of last year’s nine nominees premiered at some combination of Toronto, Venice, Telluride, New York, Sundance, or Cannes. Every Best Picture winner from this decade and beyond played at one of them. The last one that didn’t was The Departed back in 2006.

The months of September-December are the fertile ground for most nominated features. Last year, seven of the nine Picture nominees came out in that time frame. In 2016 – it was 8 out of 9.

Beginning in late August/early September, I will begin my weekly Oscar prediction columns. It works like this:

Late August/Early September – first posting of predictions in the categories of Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress

Months of September and October – weekly Oscar predictions column post covering those 6 categories, as well as Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay. For Best Picture, I will be ranking possibilities numbered 1-25. For other categories, it will be numbered 1-15.

Months of November through announcement of nominations – weekly Oscar predictions column covering every category involving feature films. For Best Picture, I will be ranking possibilities numbered 1-15. For other categories, it will be numbered 1-10.

While these posts are a month away, today I bring you 25 fall awards hopefuls that I suspect I’ll be mentioning frequently. Most of these are premiering at the high-profile quartet of upcoming fests (Venice, Toronto, New York, Telluride). Some aren’t, but could certainly be added to Telluride or New York especially (as they’re more known for surprise screenings).

Let’s get to it!

A Star is Born

The third remake of the musical drama marks the directorial debut of Bradley Cooper and features a potential showcase role for his costar Lady Gaga. Early word of mouth is already strong.

At Eternity’s Gate

He received a nomination for his supporting work last year for The Florida Project and Willem Dafoe plays Vincent Van Gogh in what could be another awards bait role.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Backseat

Expect Adam McKay’s follow-up to The Big Short to receive plenty of attention. Christian Bale is Cheney with Amy Adams as wife Lynne and last year’s Supporting Actor winner Sam Rockwell as George W. Bush.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Beautiful Boy

Steve Carell plays the father of a meth addict played by Timothee Chalamet, who was nominated last year for Call Me by Your Name.

Ben is Back

Lucas Hedges and Julia Roberts headline this family drama that premieres at Toronto.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Bohemian Rhapsody

Despite some behind the scenes drama in its filming, all eyes will be on Rami Malek’s work as Queen front man Freddie Mercury.

Boy Erased

Perhaps an even larger showcase role for Lucas Hedges is this drama where he plays a homosexual sent to conversion camp. Joel Edgerton directs and costars along with Nicole Kidman and Russell Crowe.

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Melissa McCarthy received an Academy Award nomination with her breakthrough role in Bridesmaids. This drama about writer Lee Israel could muster attention for her yet again.

First Man

Director Damien Chazelle has seen both of his efforts (Whiplash, La La Land) nominated for Best Picture and he’s the youngest filmmaker to ever win Best Director. His third pic is a Neil Armstrong biopic starring Ryan Gosling. It opens the Venice Film Festival.

If Beale Street Could Talk

The follow-up to his Oscar winning Moonlight, Barry Jenkins directs this drama set in 1970s Harlem.

July 22

United 93 and Captain Phillips director Paul Greengrass brings his latest to Netflix and it focuses on the 2011 terrorist attacks in Norway.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

Life Itself

Premiering at Toronto, this ensemble drama includes Oscar Isaac, Olivia Munn, Annette Bening, and Antonio Banderas.

Mary Poppins Returns

She’s already a contender for A Quiet Place and Emily Blunt could face competition from herself with Disney’s expected monster hit.

Mary Queen of Scots

They were both nominated for Best Actress last year and now Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie star in this historical drama about the title character and Queen Elizabeth I.

Old Man & The Gun

David Lowery directs Robert Redford in the true life tale of a prison escape artist. Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck costar.

On the Basis of Sex

The documentary RBG could get noticed by the Documentary branch, as could this biopic which casts Felicity Jones as Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Peterloo

Acclaimed British director Mike Leigh returns with this historical 19th century drama.

Roma

This Mexican family drama is Alfonso Cuaron’s first directorial effort since his acclaimed Gravity.

Suspiria

Call Me by Your Name maker Luca Guadagnino shifts gears for this remake of the 1970s horror classic. Don’t be surprised if this receives attention in some technical categories.

The Favourite

The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos is behind this historical drama featuring Olivia Colman, Emma Stone, and Rachel Weisz.

The Front Runner

Jason Reitman directs this biopic of failed Presidential candidate Gary Hart with Hugh Jackman cast in the role.

**NO TRAILER AT PRESS TIME

The Sisters Brothers

John C. Reilly, Joaquin Phoenix, and Jake Gyllenhaal are among the cast in this Western from acclaimed French director Jacques Audiard.

Welcome to Marwen

Steve Carell stars in this unique looking drama from Forrest Gump maker Robert Zemeckis.

Widows

It’s been five years between projects for Oscar winning 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen. This heist thriller stars recent winner Viola Davis.

And there’s your very early preview of some titles to keep an eye on over the coming months. Those Oscar posts will start rolling out weekly in about a month! Stay tuned…

The Killing of a Sacred Deer Movie Review

I’m not an attorney, but I’ve heard of the legal term known as Clean Hands. I might have heard it first from Judge Judy. Regardless, in layman’s speak, it means a defendant claims that a plaintiff can’t argue for equal remedy because they’re engaged in bad acts as well. I realize a lawyer might challenge my interpretation, but I’m reviewing a movie and I’m not on trial. Clean Hands could have been a more appropriate name than what I’m writing about, but instead we have the more pretentious The Killing of a Sacred Deer from director Yorgos Lanthimos.

The aggrieved party in our story is teenager Martin (Barry Keoghan), whose father died three years ago in a surgery performed by Dr. Steven Murphy (Colin Farrell, reuniting with his The Lobster director). The two befriend each other after the incident and Martin is eventually ingratiating himself with the doc’s family – wife Anna (Nicole Kidman), teen daughter Kim (Raffey Cassidy), and younger brother Bob (Sunny Suljic). Martin seems a bit strange and too eager to please, but his motives turn out far darker. He blames the doctor for his loss and plans to exact revenge.

Lanthimos isn’t interested with playing in the run of the mill revenge fantasy thriller genre. No family pet is harmed in the making of his screenplay with Efthymis Filippou, though there is one. Instead Martin wants to harm the family and any one of them will do. He also manages to capture the heart of Kim while he moves forward with his acts.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a dark and unsettling experience that sometimes struggles to earn the pain we go through watching it. From a technical standpoint, it’s often expertly rendered with a Kubrick like sense of clinical precision and a loud and evocative score. Farrell and Kidman (just seen together in The Beguiled) are just fine as the parents facing increasingly difficult circumstances and choices, but it’s Keoghan who electrifies plenty of his scenes. His misguided Martin gets under everyone’s skin, including ours.

That said, the style of Deer is frequently more potent than its subject and I struggled with whether it was worth it in the end. For all its bells and whistles, it kind of is a typical revenge fantasy with art house touches. Dr. Murphy may have made his mistakes, but there’s a Clean Hands defense when he discovers Martin’s bad acts. For this viewer, I offer a mixed defense of the picture itself.

**1/2 (out of four)

Oscar Watch: The Florida Project

The first trailer was released today for The Florida Project, a coming of age drama that debuted at Cannes earlier this summer. It is director Sean Baker’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed 2015 feature Tangerine and early word for this Project is quite glowing as well. The pic was snatched up by A24 for distribution rights and it opens in limited release on October 6th.

Rotten Tomatoes currently has Florida at 100% and it stands a good chance at some 2017 Oscar recognition. A24 has proven itself to be a player over the last couple of cycles in the awards derby by distributing such titles as Ex Machina, Room, The Lobster, 20th Century Women, and most notably – last year’s Best Picture winner Moonlight. 

Early buzz here suggests a nomination may well be in store for Willem Dafoe. If so, it would mark his third nomination after 1986’s Platoon and 2000’s Shadow of the Vampire. Reviews suggest this is one of his finest performances. It’s not totally clear if he’ll be campaigned for in Lead Actor or Supporting, but the smart money is on the latter. I would also say it’s worth keeping an eye on the Original Screenplay category where Baker and co-writer Chris Bergoch could find themselves in the mix.

As for Best Picture, A24 would need one heck of a push to make that happen, but they’ve proven themselves before. For that reason, this Project is one to keep an eye on when it comes to nominations.

Todd’s Updated 2016 Oscar Winner Predictions

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

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

BEST PICTURE

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Manchester by the Sea

4) Hidden Figures

5) Lion

6) Arrival

7) Hacksaw Ridge

8) Hell or High Water

9) Fences

BEST DIRECTOR

1) Damien Chazelle, La La Land

2) Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

3) Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

4) Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

5) Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

BEST ACTOR

1) Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

2) Denzel Washington, Fences

3) Ryan Gosling, La La Land

4) Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

5) Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

BEST ACTRESS

1) Emma Stone, La La Land

2) Natalie Portman, Jackie

3) Isabelle Huppert, Elle

4) Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

5) Ruth Negga, Loving

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1) Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

2) Dev Patel, Lion

3) Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

4) Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

5) Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1) Viola Davis, Fences

2) Naomie Harris, Moonlight

3) Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

4) Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

5) Nicole Kidman, Lion

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1) Moonlight

2) Lion

3) Hidden Figures

4) Fences

5) Arrival

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1) Manchester by the Sea

2) La La Land

3) Hell or High Water

4) The Lobster

5) 20th Century Women

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1) Zootopia

2) Kubo and the Two Strings

3) Moana

4) My Life as a Zucchini

5) The Red Turtle

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

1) The Salesman

2) Toni Erdmann

3) Land of Mine

4) A Man Called Ove

5) Tanna

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

1) I Am Not Your Negro

2) O.J.: Made in America

3) 13th

4) Fire at Sea

5) Life, Animated

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Arrival

4) Lion

5) Silence

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1) Jackie

2) La La Land

3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

4) Florence Foster Jenkins

5) Allied

BEST EDITING

1) La La Land

2) Moonlight

3) Arrival

4) Hacksaw Ridge

5) Hell or High Water

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING

1) Star Trek Beyond

2) Suicide Squad

3) A Man Called Ove

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1) La La Land

2) Arrival

3) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

4) Hail, Caesar!

5) Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1) La La Land

2) Lion

3) Moonlight

4) Jackie

5) Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

1) “City of Stars” from La La Land

2) “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

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

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

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

BEST SOUND EDITING

1) La La Land

2) Hacksaw Ridge

3) Arrival

4) Deepwater Horizon

5) Sully

BEST SOUND MIXING

1) La La Land

2) Hacksaw Ridge

3) Arrival

4) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

5) 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1) The Jungle Book

2) Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

3) Doctor Strange

4) Kubo and the Two Strings

5) Deepwater Horizon

Next Update will be Be Sunday!

Todd’s 2016 Oscar Nominations Reaction

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

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

Best Picture

Todd’s Performance: 9/9 (!)

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

Winner Prediction: La La Land

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

Best Director

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

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

Best Actor

Todd’s Performance: 5/5 (!)

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

Winner Prediction: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

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

Best Actress

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: Emma Stone, La La Land

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

Best Supporting Actor

Todd’s Performance 5/5 (!)

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

Winner Prediction: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

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

Best Supporting Actress 

Todd’s Performance: 5/5 (!)

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

Winner Prediction: Viola Davis, Fences

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

Best Adapted Screenplay

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: Moonlight

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

Best Original Screenplay

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

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

Winner Prediction: Manchester by the Sea

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

Best Animated Feature

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: Zootopia

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

Best Documentary Feature

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: I Am Not Your Negro

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

Best Foreign Language Film

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: The Salesman

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

Best Cinematography

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: La La Land

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

Best Costume Design

Todd’s Performance: 5/5 (!)

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

Winner Prediction: Jackie

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

Best Editing

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: La La Land

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

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Todd’s Performance: 1/3

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

Winner Prediction: Star Trek Beyond

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

Best Original Score

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

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

Winner Prediction: La La Land

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

Best Original Song

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

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

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

Best Production Design

Todd’s Performance: 2/5

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

Winner Prediction: La La Land 

La La should have this wrapped up over the competitors.

Best Sound Editing

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: Hacksaw Ridge

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

Best Sound Mixing

Todd’s Performance: 4/5

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

Winner Prediction: La La Land

Hard to imagine La La not taking this one.

Best Visual Effects

Todd’s Performance: 3/5

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

Winner Prediction: The Jungle Book

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

That leaves this official breakdown of nominations:

14 Nominations

La La Land

8 Nominations

Arrival, Moonlight

6 Nominations

Hacksaw Ridge, Lion, Manchester by the Sea

4 Nominations

Fences, Hell or High Water

3 Nominations

Hidden Figures, Jackie

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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

And HERE is my current WINNER breakdown:

9 Wins

La La Land

2 Wins

Manchester by the Sea, Moonlight

1 Win

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

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

 

 

Todd’s 2016 FINAL Oscar Predictions!

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

Let’s get to it!

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

First Alternate: Nocturnal Animals

Second Alternate: Loving

Best Director

Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Garth Davis, Lion

Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea

Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

First Alternate: Martin Scorsese, Silence

Second Alternate: Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge

Best Actor

Casey Affleck, Manchster by the Sea

Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling, La La Land

Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington, Fences

First Alternate: Jake Gyllenhaal, Nocturnal Animals

Second Alternate: Joel Edgerton, Loving

Best Actress

Amy Adams, Arrival

Isabelle Huppert, Elle

Natalie Portman, Jackie

Emma Stone, La La Land

Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

First Alternate: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

Second Alternate: Emily Blunt, The Girl on the Train

Best Supporting Actor

Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water

Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel, Lion

Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins

Second Alternate: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

Best Supporting Actress

Viola Davis, Fences

Naomie Harris, Moonlight

Nicole Kidman, Lion

Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

First Alternate: Greta Gerwig, 20th Century Women

Second Alternate: Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures

Best Adapted Screenplay

Arrival

Fences

Lion

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Hidden Figures

Second Alternate: Loving

Best Original Screenplay

Captain Fantastic

Hell or High Water

I, Daniel Blake

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

First Alternate: The Lobster

Second Alternate: Toni Erdmann

Best Animated Feature

Finding Dory

Kubo and the Two Strings

Moana

My Life as a Zucchini

Zootopia

First Alternate: The Red Turtle

Second Alternate: The Little Prince

Best Documentary Feature

Cameraperson

I Am Not Your Negro

Life, Animated

O.J.: Made in America

13th

First Alternate: Gleason

Second Alternate: The Ivory Game

Best Foreign Language Film

The King’s Choice

Land of Mine

A Man Called Ove

The Salesman

Toni Erdmann

First Alternate: My Life as a Zucchini

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

Best Cinematography

Arrival

La La Land

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

Silence

First Alternate: Lion

Second Alternate: Hacksaw Ridge

Best Costume Design

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land

First Alternate: Silence

Second Alternate: Love & Friendship

Best Editing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight

First Alternate: Lion

Second Alternate: Hell or High Water

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Deadpool

Florence Foster Jenkins

Star Trek Beyond

First Alternate: A Man Called Ove

Second Alternate: Suicide Squad

Best Original Score

Florence Foster Jenkins

La La Land

Lion

Moonlight

Nocturnal Animals

First Alternate: Jackie

Second Alternate: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Original Song

“Audition” from La La Land

“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” from Trolls

“City of Stars” from La La Land

“Drive It Like You Stole It” from Sing Street

“How Far I’ll Go” from Moana

First Alternate: “Runnin” from Hidden Figures

Second Alternate: “Faith” from Sing

Best Production Design

Arrival

Jackie

La La Land

Nocturnal Animals

Silence

First Alternate: Hacksaw Ridge

Second Alternate: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Sound Editing

Arrival

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First Alternate: Sully

Second Alternate: The Jungle Book

Best Sound Mixing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge

La La Land

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Sully

First Alternate: Deepwater Horizon

Second Alternate: Deadpool

Best Visual Effects

Arrival

Doctor Strange

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

The Jungle Book

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

First Alternate: Deepwater Horizon

Second Alternate: The BFG

That gives yours truly the following nomination breakdown:

14 Nominations

La La Land

10 Nominations

Arrival

8 Nominations

Moonlight

7 Nominations

Manchester by the Sea

6 Nominations

Lion

5 Nominations

Hacksaw Ridge, Nocturnal Animals

4 Nominations

Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins

3 Nominations

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

2 Nominations

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

1 Nomination

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

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