Oscar Predictions – Hallelujah: Leonard Cohen, a Journey, a Song

Documentaries of the musical variety often face a tough road from that branch of Academy voters. For every Summer of Soul (which won the prize last year), there’s entries like The Sparks Brothers or The Velvet Underground and Miss Americana. That trio all missed the cut over the last couple of years.

Daniel Geller and Dayna Goldfine co-direct Hallelujah: Leonardo Cohen, a Journey, a Song, an adaptation of musical journalist Alan Light’s book. It focuses on Canadian crooner Cohen’s trademark tune “Hallelujah”.

Reviews are mostly laudatory with an 85% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t sense enough enthusiasm for this to be a genuine player. Perhaps it could make the Documentary Feature shortlist, but it might take a Hail Mary for it to make the top five. My Oscar Prediction posts will continue…

2021 BAFTA Nominations Reaction

For the second year in a row, the British Academy Film Awards (or BAFTAs) showed its unpredictable nature with some shocking omissions and unexpected inclusions. The last major precursor before Oscar nominations are unveiled Tuesday, I went 63 of 99 when it comes to races with a correlation to the Academy’s competitions. Truth be told – it coulda been worse considering the surprises we witnessed today.

Let’s break them down one by one with some commentary, shall we?

Film

Nominees: Belfast, Don’t Look Up, Dune, Licorice Pizza, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: The BAFTAs delivered a great haul for Pizza. It and Don’t Look Up got in over my picks of The Tragedy of Macbeth and West Side Story (which both underwhelmed). Gut reaction says Power is in the lead.

Director

Nominees: Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza), Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog), Audrey Diwan (Happening), Julia Ducournau (Titane), Ryusuke Hamaguchi (Drive My Car), Aleem Khan (After Love)

How I Did: 4/6

Commentary: Wow – no Kenneth Branagh for Belfast or Denis Villeneuve for Dune! They miss with Anderson and Diwan taking the spots. Like with Film, Campion could be out in front.

Leading Actress

Nominees: Lady Gaga (House of Gucci), Alana Haim (Licorice Pizza), Emilia Jones (CODA), Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World), Joanna Scanlan (After Love), Tessa Thompson (Passing)

How I Did: 3/6

Commentary: Surprises galore here! No Nicole Kidman for Being the Ricardos or Olivia Colman in The Lost Daughter. I predicted both along with Claire Rushbrook for Ali & Ava. In their slots are Haim (continuing the Licorice love), Jones, and Thompson. I would also note no Kristen Stewart in Spencer after her SAG snub.

Now here’s an interesting stat – since 2013, the BAFTA Leading Actress recipient has matched the Oscar winner. So… are Kidman and Colman in trouble? Could Gaga be on her way to a gold statue? Does this show Haim’s potential strength at getting an Academy mention? Questions abound, but I know one thing – this year’s Actress race is as intriguing as last year’s.

Leading Actor

Nominees: Adeel Akhtar (Ali & Ava), Mahershala Ali (Swan Song), Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog), Leonardo DiCaprio (Don’t Look Up), Stephen Graham (Boiling Point), Will Smith (King Richard)

How I Did: 3/6

Commentary: Smith’s inclusion here (which I didn’t project) just might solidify him as the Oscar frontrunner (with Cumberbatch pretty close behind). Academy hopefuls Andrew Garfield (Tick, Tick… Boom!) and Denzel Washington (Macbeth) were left out as was Daniel Craig in his swan song as Bond in No Time to Die. In their place – Smith, Ali (following up on his Globe nominated turn), and DiCaprio.

Side note – somehow, Denzel has never been nominated for a BAFTA.

Supporting Actress

Nominees: Caitriona Balfe (Belfast), Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter), Ariana DeBose (West Side Story), Ann Dowd (Mass), Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard), Ruth Negga (Passing)

How I Did: 4/6

Commentary: Dowd finally shows up! I must say – no huge shockers here as she and Ellis made it over Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog) and Kathryn Hunter (Macbeth). We’ll see if DeBose’s potential sweep continues here.

Supporting Actor

Nominees: Mike Faist (West Side Story), Ciaran Hinds (Belfast), Troy Kotsur (CODA), Woody Norman (C’Mon C’Mon), Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog), Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

How I Did: 3/6

Commentary: There was a double dose of Dog love for Plemons (who I didn’t predict) and Smit-McPhee (who I did and he could certainly win). I also went with Faist’s costar David Alvarez instead in a last minute switch that I now regret. And young Norman is responsible for the only nod for C’Mon C’Mon. I also went with Benicio del Toro for The French Dispatch and Jamie Dornan in Belfast. At this point, an Oscar nod for Dornan seems like a reach. Also worth noting is that, despite Pizza over performing, no Bradley Cooper.

Original Screenplay

Nominees: Being the Ricardos, Belfast, Don’t Look Up, King Richard, Licorice Pizza

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Here’s a list that may absolutely match the Oscar one. I said After Love over Richard (which had a solid day). Like with the Academy, this might be a Belfast v. Pizza showdown and considering how well the latter did, I might lean that way.

Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: CODA, Drive My Car, Dune, The Lost Daughter, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Went with West Side Story over Dune. This is Power‘s to lose.

Animated Film

Nominees: Encanto, Flee, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines

How I Did: 3/4

Commentary: Rather predictable list though I said Ron’s Gone Wrong instead of Luca.

Film Not in the English Language

Nominees: Drive My Car, The Hand of God, Parallel Mothers, Petite Maman, The Worst Person in the World

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: No Flee here or Titane with God and Mothers in. Drive My Car is the favorite.

Documentary

Nominees: Becoming Cousteau, Cow, Flee, The Rescue, Summer of Soul

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Summer of Soul did well when factoring in the surprise Editing nod. It made it along with Cousteau over my picks of The Sparks Brothers and The Velvet Underground.

Cinematography

Nominees: Dune, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die, The Power of the Dog, The Tragedy of Macbeth

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Well – Macbeth got something (!) Only miss here was going with Belfast instead of Alley.

Costume Design

Nominees: Cruella, Cyrano, Dune, The French Dispatch, Nightmare Alley

How I Did: 2/5

Commentary: There’s always a pesky 2/5 race where I just whiff. I got Cyrano and Dune right but the others popped up over House of Gucci, Last Night in Soho, and West Side Story. I didn’t predict it, but Cruella could be the main competition for Dune.

Editing

Nominees: Belfast, Dune, Licorice Pizza, No Time to Die, Summer of Soul

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Soul‘s aforementioned placement is unexpected – could it possibly follow suit with the Academy? Also didn’t project Pizza. They are in over Last Night in Soho and (you guessed it) West Side Story.

Makeup and Hair

Nominees: Cruella, Cyrano, Dune, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, House of Gucci

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Cyrano over The Electrical Life of Louis Wain. Honestly, other than Cyrano, I think any of the hopefuls could take this.

Original Score

Nominees: Being the Ricardos, Don’t Look Up, Dune, The French Dispatch, The Power of the Dog

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Ricardos and Don’t Look Up in; The Green Knight and Spencer out. Probably a showdown of Dune v. Dog. 

Production Design

Nominees: Cyrano, Dune, The French Dispatch, Nightmare Alley, West Side Story

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Here’s a rare category where I incorrectly had West Side missing. It’s in, along with Cyrano (which had a decent haul with tech races) over Belfast and Macbeth.

Sound

Nominees: Dune, Last Night in Soho, No Time to Die, A Quiet Place Part II, West Side Story

How I Did: 4/5

Commentary: Place over Belfast. Expect Dune to reign supreme.

Special Visual Effects

Nominees: Dune, Free Guy, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, The Matrix Resurrections, No Time to Die

How I Did: 3/5

Commentary: Should be another victory for Dune as Free Guy and Ghostbusters made it over my selections of The King’s Man and Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.

And there’s your recap. As a reminder, my FINAL Oscar predictions (which I’m currently beating myself up over) will be posted tomorrow! Stay tuned…

2021 BAFTA Predictions

The last major precursor nominations before Tuesday’s Oscar nods come out tomorrow and it’s the British Academy Film Awards or BAFTAs. Let’s discuss them a bit, shall we? The BAFTAs can be a confusing branch to figure out.

For starters, the number of nominees in each category is a tad puzzling. Best Film has five as do the tech races and screenplay derbies. Director and the acting competitions contain 6 while Animated Film is 4. However, Documentary and “Film Not in the English Language” is 5. Got that?

While past years have matched the Oscars fairly closely in the big categories, 2020 was an exception. While 4 of the 5 Best Film contenders ended up nabbing BP mentions from the Academy, it was just 3 of the directors. For Best Actor, it was also 3 but in Best Actress only two. Same goes for Supporting – 3 in Actor, 2 in Actress.

In other words, projecting the BAFTAs is a major crapshoot but I’ll try. Since it’s British voters, titles such as the BBC’s After Love are expected to perform well in some of the major races.

Another major note – I am only forecasting competitions where there’s a direct correlation to the Academy. Therefore I’m not weighing in on Best British Film, Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer, or Casting.

For each race, I’ll give you my picks (and I triple checked the numbers) and an alternate. A recap on how I did and my general thoughts are up tomorrow and my final Oscar predictions will be up Friday!

Film

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

West Side Story

Alternate: No Time to Die

Director

Predicted Nominees:

Kenneth Branagh, Belfast

Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog 

Julia Ducournau, Titane

Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car

Aleem Khan, After Love

Denis Villeneuve, Dune

Alternate: Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Leading Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter

Lady Gaga, House of Gucci

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Claire Rushbrook, Ali & Ava

Joanna Scanlan, After Love

Alternate: Kristen Stewart, Spencer

Leading Actor

Predicted Nominees:

Adeel Akhtar, Ali & Ava

Daniel Craig, No Time to Die

Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!

Stephen Graham, Boiling Point

Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Alternate: Will Smith, King Richard

Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

Caitriona Balfe, Belfast

Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter

Ariana DeBose, West Side Story

Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Kathryn Hunter, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Ruth Negga, Passing

Alternate: Vinette Robinson, Boiling Point

Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

David Alvarez, West Side Story

Benicio del Toro, The French Dispatch

Jamie Dornan, Belfast

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Alternate: Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza

Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

After Love

Being the Ricardos

Belfast

Don’t Look Up

Licorice Pizza

Alternate: The French Dispatch

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

CODA

Drive My Car

The Lost Daughter

The Power of the Dog

West Side Story

Alternate: The Tragedy of Macbeth

Animated Film

Predicted Nominees:

Encanto

Flee

The Mitchells vs. the Machines

Ron’s Gone Wrong

Alternate: Luca

Film Not in the English Language

Predicted Nominees:

Drive My Car

Flee

Petite Maman

Titane

The Worst Person in the World

Alternate: The Hand of God

Documentary

Predicted Nominees:

Cow

Flee

The Rescue

The Sparks Brothers

The Velvet Underground

Alternate: Summer of Soul

Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

No Time to Die

The Power of the Dog

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Alternate: West Side Story

Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

Cyrano

Dune

House of Gucci

Last Night in Soho

West Side Story

Alternate: Cruella

Editing

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

Last Night in Soho

No Time to Die

West Side Story

Alternate: The Power of the Dog

Makeup and Hair

Predicted Nominees:

Cruella

Dune

The Electrical Life of Louis Wain

The Eyes of Tammy Faye

House of Gucci

Altenrate: Last Night in Soho

Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

Dune

The French Dispatch

The Green Knight

The Power of the Dog

Spencer

Alternate: No Time to Die

Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

The French Dispatch

Nightmare Alley

The Tragedy of Macbeth

Alternate: West Side Story

Sound

Predicted Nominees:

Belfast

Dune

Last Night in Soho

No Time to Die

West Side Story

Alternate: The Power of the Dog 

Special Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

Dune

The King’s Man

The Matrix Resurrections

No Time to Die

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Alternate: Ghostbusters: Afterlife

2021 Oscar Predictions: October 3rd Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions enters the month of October with no changes in my forecasted Picture and Director nominees. However, we do have movement in the acting derbies:

    • The five spot in Best Actor seems to change every Sunday. This time I’m swapping out Bradley Cooper (Nightmare Alley) for Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon) once again.
    • In Actress, Jennifer Hudson (Respect) falls out in favor of Olivia Colman for The Lost Daughter. 
    • Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard) makes my Supporting Actress five for the first time at the expense of Jayne Houdyshell (The Humans).

My #1’s in the biggest competitions stay put with Belfast (Picture), Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog (Director), Kristen Stewart in Spencer (Actress), Will Smith in King Richard (Actor), Caitriona Balfe for Belfast (Supporting Actress), and Bradley Cooper in Licorice Pizza (Supporting Actor).

You can peruse all the activity for all the races below as I now have Belfast and Dune tied for garnering the most nods.

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Dune (PR: 4) (-1)

6. King Richard (PR: 9) (+3)

7. House of Gucci (PR: 5) (-2)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-3)

10. Spencer (PR: 10) (E)

Other Possibilities:

11. Don’t Look Up (PR: 11) (E)

12. Flee (PR: 12) (E)

13. CODA (PR: 13) (E)

14. Mass (PR: 14) (E)

15. A Hero (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Humans

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee (PR: 9) (-1)

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 7) (+3)

5. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 10) (E)

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 8) (E)

9. Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom! (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 4) (E)

5. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 8) (E)

9. Judi Dench, Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Kathryn Hunter, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Toni Collette, Nightmare Alley

Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Corey Hawkins, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Troy Kotsur, CODA (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. King Richard (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Mass (PR: 3) (-1)

5. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Don’t Look Up (PR: 6) (-1)

8. A Hero (PR: 8) (E)

9. The Hand of God (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 10) (E)

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Humans (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. West Side Story (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Dune (PR: 7) (-1)

9. CODA (PR: 8) (-1)

10. Passing (PR: 10) (E)

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee (PR: 1) (E)

2. Luca (PR: 2) (E)

3. Encanto (PR: 3) (E)

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines (PR: 4) (E)

5. Belle (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Vivo (PR: 6) (E)

7. Raya and the Last Dragon (PR: 7) (E)

8. Ron’s Gone Wrong (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Where Is Anne Frank (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Charlotte (PR: 8) (-2)

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 5) (+2)

4. The Hand of God (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Petite Maman (PR: 4) (-1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers (PR: 6) (E)

7. Happening (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Drive My Car (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Compartment No. 6 (PR: 8) (-1)

10. 7 Prisoners (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

I’m Your Man

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue (PR: 1) (E)

2. Flee (PR: 2) (E)

3. Summer of Soul (PR: 6) (+3)

4. Attica (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Lost Leonardo (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. President (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The First Wave (PR: 9) (+2)

8. Becoming Cousteau (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Julia (PR: 7) (-2)

10. Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

The Sparks Brothers

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Dune (PR: 1) (-1)

3. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (E)

4. Belfast (PR: 4) (E)

5. The Power of the Dog (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story (PR: 6) (E)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (E)

9. No Time to Die (PR: Not Ranked)

10. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

The Hand of God

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Cruella (PR: 4) (+2)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune (PR: 3) (-1)

5. West Side Story (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (+1)

8. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (-2)

9. The French Dispatch (PR: 9) (E)

10. Cyrano (PR: 10) (E)

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Belfast (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Licorice Pizza (PR: 4) (E)

5. West Side Story (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. King Richard (PR: 9) (+3)

7. The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Don’t Look Up (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Spencer (PR: 10) (+1)

10. House of Gucci (PR: 8) (-2)

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 4) (+1)

4. Spencer (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Cruella (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: Not Ranked)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Licorice Pizza (PR: 9) (E)

10. The Green Knight (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

The French Dispatch 

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. Spencer (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (E)

4. Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+2)

5. The French Dispatch (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Licorice Pizza (PR: 7) (+1)

7. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 4) (-3)

8. King Richard (PR: 10) (+2)

9. Belfast (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Luca (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Don’t Look Up

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Be Alive” from King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die (PR: 2) (E)

3. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto (PR: 4) (+1)

4. “Down to Joy” from Belfast (PR: 3) (-1)

5. “So May We Start” from Annette (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities: 

6. “Here I Am” from Respect (PR: 5) (-1)

7. “Every Letter” from Cyrano (PR: 7) (E)

8. “Believe” from The Rescue (PR: 8) (E)

9. “Anonymous Ones” from Dear Evan Hansen (PR: Not Ranked)

10. “At the Automat” from The Automat (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

“Don’t Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nightmare Alley (PR: 1) (E)

2. Dune (PR: 2) (E)

3. The French Dispatch (PR: 4) (+1)

4. West Side Story (PR: 3) (-1)

5. Belfast (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Spencer (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Power of the Dog (PR: Not Ranked)

8. Licorice Pizza (PR: 8) (E)

9. Cyrano (PR: 10) (+1)

10. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 9) (-1)

Dropped Out:

House of Gucci 

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. West Side Story (PR: 2) (E)

3. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 5) (+2)

4. Belfast (PR: 6) (+2)

5. No Time to Die (PR: 8) (+3)

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley (PR: 4) (-2)

7. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 3) (-4)

8. A Quiet Place Part II (PR: 9) (+1)

9. Eternals (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Cyrano (PR: Not Ranked)

Dropped Out:

Don’t Look Up

King Richard

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune (PR: 1) (E)

2. The Matrix Resurrections (PR: 2) (E)

3. Eternals (PR: 3) (E)

4. Godzilla vs. Kong (PR: 4) (E)

5. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (PR: 7) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 5) (-1)

7. The Suicide Squad (PR: 8) (+1)

8. Spider-Man: No Way Home (PR: 6) (-2)

9. Free Guy (PR: 9) (E)

10. Jungle Cruise (PR: 10) (E)

And that equates to these pictures gathering these numbers in terms of nominations:

10 Nominations

Belfast, Dune

7 Nominations

Nightmare Alley, The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

House of Gucci, West Side Story

5 Nominations

King Richard, Licorice Pizza, Spencer, The Tragedy of Macbeth

3 Nominations

Flee, Mass

2 Nominations

C’Mon C’Mon, Cruella, Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Humans, The Lost Daughter, No Time to Die

1 Nomination

Annette, Attica, Belle, Cyrano, Eternals, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, The Lost Leonardo, Luca, The Matrix Resurrections, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, Petite Maman, The Rescue, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Summer of Soul, The Worst Person in the World

2021 Oscar Predictions: September 26th Edition

My weekly Oscar predictions has at last expanded to all categories covering feature films! That means we have counts on how each picture will fare and I have Dune and Nightmare Alley leading the way to 10 nods apiece.

There are changes to ponder as Don’t Look Up takes the biggest fall. I have been toying with removing the Netflix disaster drama from Best Picture contention for a couple of weeks. A clip from the pic circulated yesterday and drew some criticism, but I wouldn’t judge it from that brief glimpse. This is more of a hunch that Up might not going for a BP vibe. So it’s out with Up and in with Spencer. Additionally, C’Mon C’Mon rises in Original Screenplay over Adam McKay’s latest.

In other developments:

    • The Tragedy of Macbeth premiered at the New York Film Festival Friday and solidified its BP viability. Same goes for Denzel Washington. There’s still a question mark as to whether Frances McDormand will be placed in lead or supporting (sounds like a case could be made for both). For now, I’m putting her back in Best Actress and saying she gets in. Same goes for Jennifer Hudson in Respect. Their inclusion knocks out Penelope Cruz (Parallel Mothers) and Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter).
    • I’m back to projecting Bradley Cooper as a double nominee. His placement in Actor for Nightmare Alley removes Joaquin Phoenix (C’Mon C’Mon).
    • The Supporting Actress derby seems to be getting a new #1 each week. This time it’s Caitriona Balfe for Belfast. 

Lots more to peruse in the inaugural expanded listings below!

Best Picture

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (Previous Ranking: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 3) (+1)

3. The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Licorice Pizza (PR: 6) (-1)

8. West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. King Richard (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Spencer (PR: 12) (+2)

Other Possibilities:

11. Don’t Look Up (PR: 9) (-2)

12. Flee (PR: 16) (+4)

13. CODA (PR: 13) (E)

14. Mass (PR: 14) (E)

15. The Humans (PR: 11) (-4)

Dropped Out:

The Hand of God

The French Dispatch

Tick, Tick… Boom!

A Hero

The Lost Daughter

C’Mon C’Mon

Being the Ricardos

Cyrano

Passing 

Parallel Mothers

Best Director

Predicted Nominees:

1. Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Guillermo del Toro, Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. Kenneth Branagh, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Denis Villeneuve, Dune (PR: 4) (E)

5. Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Ridley Scott, House of Gucci (PR: 6) (-1)

8. Steven Spielberg, West Side Story (PR: 8) (E)

9. Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Flee (PR: 12)

10. Pablo Larrain, Spencer (PR: 10)

Dropped Out:

Adam McKay, Don’t Look Up

Paolo Sorrentino, The Hand of God

Reinaldo Marcus Green, King Richard

Asghar Farhadi, A Hero

Stephen Karam, The Humans

Best Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Kristen Stewart, Spencer (PR: 1) (E)

2. Lady Gaga, House of Gucci (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 2) (-1)

4. Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: Not Ranked) – moved from supporting

5. Jennifer Hudson, Respect (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers (PR: 4) (-2)

7. Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (-2)

8. Rachel Zegler, West Side Story (PR: 8)

9. Jodie Comer, The Last Duel (PR: 13) (+4)

10. Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley (PR: 7) (-3)

Dropped Out:

Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World

Jennifer Lawrence, Don’t Look Up

Emilia Jones, CODA

Halle Berry, Bruised

Tessa Thompson, Passing

Best Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Will Smith, King Richard (PR: 1) (E)

2. Benedict Cumberbatch, The Power of the Dog (PR: 2) (E)

3. Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 3) (E)

4. Peter Dinklage, Cyrano (PR: 4) (E)

5. Bradley Cooper, Nightmare Alley (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Joaquin Phoenix, C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 5) (-1)

7. Adam Driver, House of Gucci (PR: 7) (E)

8. Nicolas Cage, Pig (PR: 11( (+3)

9. Clifton Collins, Jr., Jockey (PR: 10) (+1)

10. Leonardo DiCaprio, Don’t Look Up (PR: 8) (-2)

Dropped Out:

Andrew Garfield, Tick, Tick… Boom!

Ben Foster, The Survivor

Jude Hill, Belfast

Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza

Amir Jadidi, A Hero

Best Supporting Actress

Predicted Nominees:

1. Caitriona Balfe, Belfast (PR: 2) (+1)

2. Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog (PR: 3) (+1)

3. Ann Dowd, Mass (PR: 1) (-2)

4. Ariana DeBose, West Side Story (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities: 

6. Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard (PR: 7) (+1)

7. Marlee Matlin, CODA (PR: 11) (+4)

8. Ruth Negga, Passing (PR: 14) (+6)

9. Toni Collette, Nightmare Alley (PR: 9) (E)

10. Meryl Streep, Don’t Look Up (PR: 12) (+2)

Dropped Out:

Frances McDormand, The Tragedy of Macbeth – moved to lead

Rooney Mara, Nightmare Alley

Judi Dench, Belfast

Martha Plimpton, Mass

Dakota Johnson, The Lost Daughter

Best Supporting Actor

Predicted Nominees:

1. Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza (PR: 1) (E)

2. Richard Jenkins, The Humans (PR: 2) (E)

3. Jamie Dornan, Belfast (PR: 3) (E)

4. Jason Isaacs, Mass (PR: 4) (E)

5. Jared Leto, House of Gucci (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog (PR: 6) (E)

7. Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog (PR: 10) (+3)

8. Corey Hawkins, The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 7) (-1)

9. Jon Bernthal, King Richard (PR: Not Ranked)

10. Andrew Garfield, The Eyes of Tammy Faye (PR: 14) (+4)

Dropped Out:

Mark Rylance, Don’t Look Up

Ciaran Hinds, Belfast

Willem Dafoe, Nightmare Alley

David Alvarez, West Side Story

Troy Kotsur, CODA

Reed Birney, Mass

Best Original Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. Belfast (PR: 1) (E)

2. Licorice Pizza (PR: 2) (E)

3. Mass (PR: 4) (+1))

4. King Richard (PR: 5) (+1)

5. C’Mon C’Mon (PR: 6) (+1)

Other Possibilities:

6. Don’t Look Up (PR: 3) (-3)

7. Spencer (PR: 7) (E)

8. A Hero (PR: 10) (+2)

9. The Hand of God (PR: 8) (-1)

10. The Worst Person in the World (PR: 12) (+2)

Dropped Out:

The French Dispatch

Parallel Mothers

Being the Ricardos

Last Night in Soho

Annette

Best Adapted Screenplay

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Power of the Dog (PR: 1) (E)

2. Nightmare Alley (PR: 2) (E)

3. House of Gucci (PR: 4) (+1)

4. The Humans (PR: 3) (-1)

5. The Lost Daughter (PR: 5) (E)

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth (PR: 6) (E)

7. Dune (PR: 7) (E)

8. CODA (PR: 8) (E)

9. West Side Story (PR: 9) (E)

10. Passing (PR: 10) (E)

Dropped Out:

Cyrano

Tick, Tick… Boom!

The Last Duel

The Green Knight

In the Heights

Best Animated Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. Flee 

2. Luca

3. Encanto

4. The Mitchells vs. the Machines

5. Belle

Other Possibilities:

6. Vivo

7. Raya and the Last Dragon

8. Charlotte

9. Ron’s Gone Wrong

10. Where Is Anne Frank 

Best International Feature Film

Predicted Nominees:

1. A Hero

2. Flee

3. The Hand of God

4. Petite Maman

5. The Worst Person in the World

Other Possibilities:

6. Parallel Mothers

7. Drive My Car

8. Compartment No. 6

9. 7 Prisoners

10. I’m Your Man

Best Documentary Feature

Predicted Nominees:

1. The Rescue 

2. Flee

3. Attica

4. President

5. The Lost Leonardo

Other Possibilities:

6. Summer of Soul

7. Julia

8. The Sparks Brothers

9. The First Wave

10. Becoming Cousteau 

Best Cinematography

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. The Tragedy of Macbeth

3. Nightmare Alley

4. Belfast

5. The Power of the Dog

Other Possibilities:

6. West Side Story

7. Spencer

8. Licorice Pizza

9. The French Dispatch

10. The Hand of God

Best Costume Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Spencer

2. House of Gucci

3. Dune

4. Cruella

5. Nightmare Alley

Other Possibilities:

6. The Tragedy of Macbeth

7. West Side Story

8. Licorice Pizza

9. The French Dispatch

10. Cyrano

Best Film Editing

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. Belfast

3. Nightmare Alley

4. Licorice Pizza

5. West Side Story

Other Possibilities:

6. The Power of the Dog

7. Don’t Look Up

8. House of Gucci

9. King Richard

10. Spencer

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Predicted Nominees:

1. House of Gucci

2. Dune

3. Spencer

4. The Eyes of Tammy Faye

5. Nightmare Alley

Other Possibilities:

6. Cruella

7. Cyrano

8. West Side Story

9. Licorice Pizza

10. The French Dispatch

Best Original Score

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. Spencer

3. The Power of the Dog

4. The Tragedy of Macbeth

5. The French Dispatch

Other Possibilities:

6. Nightmare Alley

7. Licorice Pizza

8. Cyrano

9. Don’t Look Up

10. King Richard

Best Original Song

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Be Alive” from King Richard

2. “No Time to Die” from No Time to Die

3. “Down to Joy” from Belfast

4. “Colombia, Mi Encanto” from Encanto

5. “Here I Am” from Respect

Other Possibilities:

6. “So May We Start” from Annette

7. “Every Letter” from Cyrano

8. “Believe” from The Rescue

9. “Don’t Look Up” from Don’t Look Up

10. “At the Automat” from The Automat

Best Production Design

Predicted Nominees:

1. Nightmare Alley

2. Dune

3. West Side Story

4. The French Dispatch

5. Spencer

Other Possibilities:

6. House of Gucci

7. Belfast

8. Licorice Pizza

9. The Tragedy of Macbeth

10. Cyrano

Best Sound

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. West Side Story

3. The Matrix Resurrections

4. Nightmare Alley

5. The Tragedy of Macbeth

Other Possibilities:

6. Belfast

7. Don’t Look Up

8. No Time to Die

9. A Quiet Place Part II

10. King Richard

Best Visual Effects

Predicted Nominees:

1. Dune

2. The Matrix Resurrections

3. Eternals

4. Godzilla vs. Kong

5. Don’t Look Up

Other Possibilities:

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home

7. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

8. The Suicide Squad

9. Free Guy

10. Jungle Cruise

And that gives us the first take on how many nominations the various pictures will receive:

10 Nominations

Dune, Nightmare Alley

8 Nominations

Belfast

7 Nominations

The Power of the Dog

6 Nominations

House of Gucci, Spencer, The Tragedy of Macbeth

5 Nominations

Licorice Pizza, West Side Story

4 Nominations

King Richard

3 Nominations

Flee, The Humans, Mass

2 Nominations

Encanto, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, The French Dispatch, The Matrix Resurrections, Respect

1 Nomination

Attica, Belle, C’Mon C’Mon, Cruella, Cyrano, Don’t Look Up, Eternals, Godzilla vs. Kong, The Hand of God, A Hero, The Lost Daughter, The Lost Leonardo, Luca, The Mitchells vs. the Machines, No Time to Die, Petite Maman, President, The Rescue, The Worst Person in the World

Oscar Watch: The Velvet Underground

The 2021 crop of documentary hopefuls has the potential to be quite a sonically pleasing affair. Just recently, I discussed Questlove’s heralded Summer of Soul which seems like a surefire contender. We also have acclaimed directors known most for non-docs staking a claim in the subgenre.

At the Cannes Film Festival, Todd Haynes has just debuted The Velvet Underground. Focused on the influential NYC band featuring Lou Reed, this is yet another acclaimed example of an auteur dipping back into the musical vaults. Edgar Wright did so earlier this year with The Sparks Brothers. Peter Jackson has his three-part The Beatles: Get Back hitting Disney Plus in November.

Haynes is most known for numerous indie darlings. His screenplay for 2002’s Far from Heaven was nominated, but he was surprisingly not mentioned for directing or writing with 2015’s Carol. Could the Academy recognize him here?

It’s now standard practice on the blog to point out that the Academy’s documentary branch is a fickle bunch. There could simply be too many rock docs competing against each other (and I’d certainly give Soul an edge over this). However, depending on the forthcoming competition, there could potentially be room for this Underground offering. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Oscar Watch: Annette

Vive la France!

The film community (and Oscar prognosticators like yours truly) are experiencing another return to normalcy today as the Cannes Film Festival kicked off today. The French fest is starting two months later than we are accustomed to, but it’s in-person and showcasing at least a handful of potential awards contenders.

The 2020 Cannes experience, before its cancellation, was supposed to feature Leos Carax’s Annette. The acclaimed auteur makes his English language debut in this musical headlined by Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard. Early reviews are up and they indicate this will be a polarizing picture. The Rotten Tomatoes meter is at 85% for the moment.

Driver stars as a comedian (nearly all critics compare his character to Andy Kaufman) in a bad romance with Cotillard’s opera singer. This sounds like a meaty and memorable role for Driver. I’ll let you read about what he’s doing during a particular number called “We Love Each Other So Much”. Buzz indicates Cotillard (a Best Actress winner in 2007 for La Vie en Rose and nominee in 2014 for Two Days, One Night) may not have enough of a role to compete for a third recognition. If so, it would probably come in Supporting Actress. Some reviews have praised Simon Helberg’s supporting role. The Big Bang Theory costar likely came close to a nod for 2016’s Florence Foster Jenkins. This would have to generate a lot of love for him to be a factor.

That leaves Driver and his biggest 2021 competition could be himself. He will appear this autumn in not one, but two eagerly awaited Ridley Scott directed hopefuls. This includes a possibility at Supporting Actor in The Last Duel and especially in the lead derby for House of Gucci. If the latter doesn’t become a serious contender, I wouldn’t be shocked to see him gather his third try at gold in the past four years. Driver nabbed a supporting mention for 2018’s BlacKkKlansman and the following year in the lead with Marriage Story. 

There could be numerous potential slots for its original songs which were composed by rock band Sparks (they’re subject to an appreciated documentary out now made by Edgar Wright). Initial attention includes numerous shoutouts to opening tune “So May We Start”.

Some of the raves indicate that the Cannes crowd may eat this up more than the Academy. Expect the chatter to include some pining for its inclusion in the ten Best Pic finalists and others saying it has no place there. Amazon Studios, which will put this in theaters August 6 and on their streaming service two weeks later, will need to mount quite a campaign for it to make the cut.

Bottom line: hey, festivals are back and I’m loving it! Not everyone is loving Annette, but there’s enough admirers early on to keep it on the radar. My Oscar Watch posts will continue…