Friday, December 9, 2016

2017 Golden Globe Predictions

The Golden Globe nominations will be announced next Monday, and I am going to lock my predictions in right now.  I would like to think I am good at predicting this group, but there could be so many wild cards (I am not going to to even attempt to predict their television nominees).

Best Film (Drama)
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Silence

Hacksaw Ridge, is the film that I think will "surprise" people and show up here. I could also see 6 films showing up here too, the sixth being something like Lion or Hidden Figures.

Best Actor (Drama)
Casey Affleck-Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield-Hacksaw Ridge
Tom Hanks-Sully
Viggo Mortensen-Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington-Fences

Best Actress (Drama)
Amy Adams-Arrival
Taraji P. Henson-Hidden Figures
Isabelle Huppert-Elle
Ruth Nega-Loving
Natalie Portman-Jackie

Best Film (Comedy/Musical)
20th Century Women
Florence Foster Jenkins
Hail, Cesar!
La La Land
Rules don't Apply

Best Actor (Comedy/Musical)
Adam Driver-Patterson
Warren Beatty-Rules don't Apply
Ryan Gosling-La La Land
Hugh Grant-Florence Foster Jenkins
Ryan Reynolds-Deadpool

Best Actress (Comedy/Musical)
Kate Beckinsale-Love & Friendship
Annette Bening-20th Century Women
Hailee Steinfeld-Edge of 17
Emma Stone-La La Land
Meryl Streep-Florence Foster Jenkins

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

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis-Fences
Naomie Harris-Moonlight
Nicole Kidman-Lion
Janelle Monae-Hidden Figures
Michelle Williams-Manchester by the Sea

Best Director
Damien Chazelle-La La Lamd
Mel Gibson-Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins-Moonlight
Kenneth Lonnergan-Manchester by the Sea
Martin Scorsese-Silence

Best Screenplay
Arrival
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
La La Land
Lion

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Oscar Predictions (November 2016)

Not much has changed.  This is the calm before the critics storm.

Do the Critics Matter ?
Of course, but in many ways they cloud judgement, and prevent you from assessing the difference between Academy and critic perception.  They can also push a film into consideration that could have been ignored.

Last year Carol was one of the critics darlings, it was the best reviewed film (according to Metacritic, scoring a 95).  45 Years was number 2 with a 94.  Both showed up at the Oscars, which is great, but neither were in the Best Picture or Director category, and neither won any Oscars.  Carol won the top prize at the NY Film Critics awards, and many other places.

The LA film Critics went for Spotlight, the eventual Best Picture winner, and another critics darling.  Spotlight was the fourth highest rated film with critics.  This was put on the map at Toronto, and was well liked across the board.  I would argue this won Best Picture and was helped by critics, but the actors pushed this through, because it was a true ensemble piece.

This year the two films that seem to be highest on the critics radar are Manchester by the Sea, and Moonlight.  Both films did well at the Gotham Awards (nominations wise) and the Independent Spirit Awards.  Moonlight and Manchester, will do best at the NY Film Critics awards.  I would bet La La Land wins at the LA Film Critics Awards.  There are of course other groups play a role.  The National Board of Review picked Mad Max last year, and it was highly talked about it pushed the film into serious contention.  In the end critics can help rubber stamp and a push a performance on the trajectory.

The acting win narrative, like the Best Picture win is a different narrative.  Look for Casey Affleck and Natalie Portman to scoop a lot of lead acting wins with the critics, but I will argue that Washington and Stone stand a better chance at winning the Oscars. The nominations/winners start getting announced this week, but they are never a perfect crystal ball.

The Sound of Silence

There is not much to say, other than the first trailer which was released in the last week was stunning.  I am curious if critics/journalists/voters will get to see this film anytime soon.  This will impact its nomination tally, especially if critics can help add to the passion project story.

My Predictions:

I have laid out my predictions for the major categories (outside of screenplay). Films/performances that have been seen are ranked above any film or performance that has not been seen.

Best Picture
1-La La Land
2-Manchester by the Sea
3-Moonlight
4-Fences

5-Jackie
6-Arrival
7-Hidden Figures

8-Sully
9-Lion
10-Silence

*Hell or High Water and Loving were bumped for Arrival and Hidden Figures 


Contenders:
20th Century Women

Hacksaw Ridge 
Hell or High Water 
Loving 

*Hacksaw Ridge was added as a contender 

Best Director
1-Damien Chazelle-La La Land
2-Barry Jenkin-Moonlight
3-Kenneth Lonnergan-Manchester by the Sea
4-Pablo Larrain-Jackie
5-Martin Scorsese-Silence

*this list remains the same

Contenders: 
Jeff Nichols-Loving
Denis Villeneueve-Arrival
Denzel Washington-Fences

*Ang Lee was bumped from this list 

Best Actor
1-Casey Affleck-Manchester by the Sea
2-
Denzel Washington-Fences
3-Joel Edgerton-Loving
4-Tom Hanks-Sully
5-
Ryan Gosling-La La Land

* list remains the same, but Gosling bumped to five, Washington moved to two

Contenders:
Andrew Garfield-Silence/Hacksaw Ridge 
Michael Keaton-The Founder


*Jake Gyllenhaal for Nocturnal Animals and Robert DeNiro for The Comedian were removed from this list

Best Actress
1-Emma Stone-La La Land
2-Natalie Portman-Jackie
3-Annette Benning-20th Century Women
4-Ruth Negga-Loving
5-Amy Adams-Arrival

*Amy Adam bumped up to this list

Contenders:
Jessica Chastain-Miss Sloane
Taraji P. Henson-Hidden Figures
Isabelle Huppert-Elle

Meryl Streep-Florence Foster Jenkins

*Meryl Streep bumped to contender, Adams is no longer a contender for Nocturnal Animals

Supporting Actor
1-Mahershala Ali-Moonlight
2-Jeff Bridges-Hell or High Water
3-Lucas Hedges-Manchester by the Sea
4-Dev Patel-Lion 
5-Liam Neeson-Silence

*Ali was bumped to one, Bridge moved from contender to 2, Hedges from 1 to 3, Patel was moved from Lead to Supporting.

Contenders:
Jovan Adepo-Fences
Hugh Grant-Florence Foster Jenkins

Stephen Henderson-Fences 
Michael Shannon-Nocturnal Animals
Peter Sargaard-Jackie

*Aaron Eckheart in Bleed for This was removed, Stephen Henderson in Fences was added 


Best Supporting Actress
1-
Viola Davis-Fences Naomi Harris-Moonlight
2-Michelle Williams-Manchester by the Sea
3-Naomi Harris-Moonlight
4-Nicole Kidman-Lion
5-Janelle Monae-Hidden Figures 

*Monae jumped from non entity to top five 

Contenders:
Laura Dern-The Founder

Gretta Gerwig-20th Century Women
Felicity Jones-A Monster Calls
Molly Shannon-Other People

*Gerwig was bumped to contender 


Best Adapted Screenplay
1-Arrival
2-Lion
3-Fences
4-Silence
5-Hidden Figures

*Stays the same 

Best Original Screenplay
1-Manchester by the Sea
2-Moonlight
3-La La Land
4-Jackie
5-Hell or High Water 


*Stays the same

Monday, November 14, 2016

Oscar Watch 2016-Predicting Best Actress is going to be Tough!

Image result for best actress 2017The last year there were this many strong (emphasis on strong) Best Actress contenders was 2003.   Here is the full list of contenders, starting with the five women nominated for the Oscars:

Charlize Theron-Monster
Keisha Castle Hughes-Whale Rider
Diane Keaton-Something's Gotta Give
Samantha Morton-In America
Naomi Watts-21 Grams

Theron and Keaton were the only two women nominated both the Globes and SAG and eventually at the Oscars. Both women were snubbed at the BAFTAs. Naomi Watts was nominated at SAG and the BAFTA awards.  The three of these women were the closest things to locks this year.

Hughes was nominated in Supporting at SAG, but there was a push for her to be lead, and like with Kate Winslet in The Reader she ended up in the right category.  Samantha Morton came completely out of left field with her nomination, but was a strong contender.

After these eventual nominees, the strongest contenders were:

Evan Rachel Wood from Thirteen  was the only performer nominated at Globes and SAG, but missed the Oscars.

Scarlett Johansson had two Globe nominations, one in Comedy/Musical for Lost in Translation, and one for Girl with the Pearl Earring; she was nominated for both in the BAFTA Lead Actress category.

Uma Thurman had a Globe nomination and BAFTA nomination for Kill Bill Volume One, Nicole Kidman got a Globe nomination for Cold Mountain.  There was enough love for this film that made Kidman a contender.  Patrica Clarkson snagged a SAG nomination for The Station Agent, hard to figure this one out, but it also received a SAG ensemble nomination.

Including the eventual nominees, and counting both Johansson's performances twice there were 10 strong contenders in this category. This year appears to have to have a similar situation, except this many of this year's contenders come from strong Best Picture contenders, which is rare.  None of the 2003 nominees were in films that were nominated, or even close to being nominated for Best Picture, so this will shake things up, and may make this slate of nominees tough to predict.

Where they stand now?

1-Emma Stone-La La Land-Land is the BP front runner, Stone is previous Oscar nominee in what is seen as lighthearted lovely film.  Stone also sings and dances which helps.

2-Natalie Portman-Jackie-I think Portman will make up a lot of ground in this divisive political climate.  Many of the Hollywood liberals may want to honor a performance that recognizes the beauty of Camelot, Jackie, and the performance itself.

I believe these are the only two locks, and that  the other contenders are fighting for the three remaining slots.  My order on who comes next changes daily.

3-Amy Adams-Arrival-Adams has five other nominations; she is well liked especially among actors, and I think Arrival will be boosted by a decent box office. Adams also gives a fantastic performance, and could be a spoiler this season.

4-Ruth Negga-Loving-When I hear people talk about Loving the first thing I hear people say is how much they loved her performance.  Negga  is a relative newcomer, but I think actors will respond to her and this role.

5-Annette Benning-20th Century Women-I am Isabellwavering on her, I know she has support, and is well liked and will campaign hard, but I wonder how much this film will have an impact. The buzz has waned, but I think her strong Hollywood support will keep her here.

At the moment these look like a solid five based on word of mouth, and buzz, but there is still a ton of time left.

6-Meryl Streep-Florence Foster Jenkins-Never underestimate Ms. Streep, this film will play well on screener, but none have gone out yet.  This is also feels like a performance that would get Streep a nomination in any other year, and she is in the running.

7-Isabelle Huppert-Elle-Foreign language films/foreign produced films have gotten many actresses nominated in this category over the last few years, and Huppert is overdue for a nomination.  I think the subject matter may prevent people from watching, but she is is still a strong contender, and may snag a Globe nomination.

8-Taraji P. Henson-Hidden Figures-Figures finally screened, and it bodes well that there was tons of heart, and some sadness that elevated this film.  Henson has been nominated before, and her strong presence on TV  and in popular culture may help her.

9-Jessica Chastain-Miss Sloane-Another film that recently screened at AFI, and there were many positive mentions for Chastain, and the way she exudes and embodies this character in a fantastic way.

All of these women stand a strong chance to be nominated, there is no certainty, but I am excited that this category has numerous strong contenders.

Critics Choice (TV Nominees) lack the Critical Piece in their Name-2016 Nominees

2016 Critics' ChoiceWhat happened this year TV Critics? Did you get a lazy and copy and paste the Emmy nominees?  Let's take this section by section:
Comedy
 Atlanta and Fleabag being included in Comedy Series and in the lead acting race are big wins, and the shining nominations in this category.  These were the only new shows to make a dent in these categories, and their dent was not even that big.  How do you put in Tony Hale or Ty Burrell over Keith Stanfield or Brian Tyree Henry from Atlanta?  The person from Veep who should have been nominated was Sam Richardson.
Modern Family getting three nominations, and new cutting edge shows like Insecure and Divorce getting skunked proves these critics either aren't watching television or they were too lazy to think outside the box.
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt doing well across the board is the best thing they can claim in these categories.
Drama
These categories had the biggest failures.  I will start with the exclusion of The Americans which was the third highest rated series on Metacritic this year.  I do know that this only represents only the first three episodes, but you can say the same about Mr. Robot, and even if you cooled on The Americans second half it still had more positives than Robot (both should be there).
Let's talk about Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright's inclusion, in a show that has become laughably implausible like Scandal, but Scandal doesn't pretend.  Wright is solid but has no business being here.  If you are going to nominate The Crown for Drama how do you ignore Claire Foy? Same thing for Stranger Things and Winona Ryder?
The show that snaked the most was Luke Cage.  Last year this group at least nominated Krysten Ritter in Lead Actress.  How do you nominated the Mahershala Ali for House of Cards and not Luke Cage? Yet you have Peter Dinklage and Christian Slater who honestly were solid but did nothing that stood our in their shows.  I could say the same thing for Simone Missick in Cage, but no let's rubber stamp last year's winner Constance Zimmer or one of the Thrones women.
To put this in perspective Game of Thrones, Westworld, and Strangers Things were ranked in the 60s on Metacritic (a compilation of critics reviews) but all received nominations. Rectify on the other is strongest reviewed show of the year, and did not even receive a Best Actor nomination. 
Limited Series/Movie
I was not surprised the Emmy Awards snubbed Connor Jessup for American Crime, but how does Tim Matheson score a nomination for Killing Regan?  American Crime had a much stronger, better reviewed second season but was snubbed in series.
Where is The Night Of? Love or hate the way this show ended, there were some amazing performances which deserved recognition, again critically well received, but missing.
Conclusion
These nominations are a joke, the critics reviews meaningless. When your awards (as a Critics group) are almost a carbon copy of the Emmy Award nominations its time to take a good look in the mirror and ask where did you go wrong.
BEST COMEDY SERIES
Atlanta – FX
Black-ish – ABC
Fleabag – Amazon
Modern Family – ABC
Silicon Valley – HBO
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix
Veep – HBO
BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Ellie Kemper – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix
Julia Louis-Dreyfus – Veep – HBO
Kate McKinnon – Saturday Night Live – NBC
Tracee Ellis Ross – Black-ish – ABC
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – Fleabag – Amazon
Constance Wu – Fresh Off the Boat – ABC
BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Anthony Anderson – Black-ish – ABC
Will Forte – The Last Man on Earth – FOX
Donald Glover – Atlanta – FX
Bill Hader – Documentary Now! – IFC
Patrick Stewart – Blunt Talk – Starz
Jeffrey Tambor – Transparent – Amazon
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES
Julie Bowen – Modern Family – ABC
Anna Chlumsky – Veep – HBO
Allison Janney – Mom – CBS
Jane Krakowski – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix
Judith Light – Transparent – Amazon
Allison Williams – Girls – HBO
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES
Louie Anderson – Baskets – FX
Andre Braugher – Brooklyn Nine-Nine – FOX
Tituss Burgess – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix
Ty Burrell – Modern Family – ABC
Tony Hale – Veep – HBO
T.J. Miller – Silicon Valley – HBO
BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A COMEDY SERIES
Alec Baldwin – Saturday Night Live – NBC
Christine Baranski – The Big Bang Theory – CBS
Larry David – Saturday Night Live – NBC
Lisa Kudrow – Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Netflix
Liam Neeson – Inside Amy Schumer – Comedy Central
BEST ANIMATED SERIES
Archer – FX
Bob’s Burgers – FOX
BoJack Horseman – Netflix
Son of Zorn – FOX
South Park – Comedy Central
The Simpsons – FOX
BEST REALITY COMPETITION SERIES
America’s Got Talent – NBC
MasterChef Junior – FOX
RuPaul’s Drag Race – Logo
Skin Wars – GSN
The Amazing Race – CBS
The Voice – NBC
BEST STRUCTURED REALITY SERIES
Chopped – Food Network
Inside The Actors Studio – Bravo
Penn & Teller: Fool Us – The CW
Project Runway – Lifetime
Shark Tank – ABC
Undercover Boss – CBS
BEST UNSTRUCTURED REALITY SERIES
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown – CNN
Chrisley Knows Best – USA Network
Deadliest Catch – Discovery
Ice Road Truckers – History
Intervention – A&E
Naked and Afraid – Discovery
BEST TALK SHOW
Full Frontal with Samantha Bee – TBS
Jimmy Kimmel Live! – ABC
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – HBO
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Comedy Central
The Late Late Show with James Corden – CBS
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon – NBC
BEST REALITY SHOW HOST
Ted Allen – Chopped – Food Network
Tom Bergeron – Dancing with the Stars – ABC
Anthony Bourdain – Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown – CNN
Nick Cannon – America’s Got Talent – NBC
Carson Daly – The Voice – NBC
RuPaul – RuPaul’s Drag Race – Logo
BEST DRAMA SERIES
Better Call Saul – AMC
Game of Thrones – HBO
Mr. Robot – USA Network
Stranger Things – Netflix
The Crown – Netflix
This Is Us – NBC
Westworld – HBO
BEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Sam Heughan – Outlander – Starz
Rami Malek – Mr. Robot – USA Network
Bob Odenkirk – Better Call Saul – AMC
Matthew Rhys – The Americans – FX
Liev Schreiber – Ray Donovan – Showtime
Kevin Spacey – House of Cards – Netflix
BEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Caitriona Balfe – Outlander – Starz
Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder – ABC
Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black – BBC America
Keri Russell – The Americans – FX
Evan Rachel Wood – Westworld – HBO
Robin Wright – House of Cards – Netflix
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones – HBO
Kit Harington – Game of Thrones – HBO
John Lithgow – The Crown – Netflix
Mandy Patinkin – Homeland – Showtime
Christian Slater – Mr. Robot – USA Network
Jon Voight – Ray Donovan – Showtime
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Christine Baranski – The Good Wife – CBS
Emilia Clarke – Game of Thrones – HBO
Lena Headey – Game of Thrones – HBO
Thandie Newton – Westworld – HBO
Maura Tierney – The Affair – Showtime
Constance Zimmer – UnREAL – Lifetime
BEST GUEST PERFORMER IN A DRAMA SERIES
Mahershala Ali – House of Cards – Netflix
Lisa Bonet – Ray Donovan – Showtime
Ellen Burstyn – House of Cards – Netflix
Michael J. Fox – The Good Wife – CBS
Jared Harris – The Crown – Netflix
Jeffrey Dean Morgan – The Walking Dead – AMC
BEST MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
All the Way – HBO
Confirmation – HBO
Killing Reagan – National Geographic
Roots – History
The Night Manager – AMC
The People v. O.J. Simpson – FX
BEST ACTOR IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Bryan Cranston – All the Way – HBO
Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock: The Abominable Bride – PBS
Cuba Gooding Jr. – The People v. O.J. Simpson – FX
Tom Hiddleston – The Night Manager – AMC
Tim Matheson – Killing Reagan – National Geographic
Courtney B. Vance – The People v. O.J. Simpson – FX
BEST ACTRESS IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Olivia Colman – The Night Manager – AMC
Felicity Huffman – American Crime – ABC
Cynthia Nixon – Killing Reagan – National Geographic
Sarah Paulson – The People v. O.J. Simpson – FX
Lili Taylor – American Crime – ABC
Kerry Washington – Confirmation – HBO
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Sterling K. Brown – The People v. O.J. Simpson – FX
Lane Garrison – Roots – History
Frank Langella – All the Way – HBO
Hugh Laurie – The Night Manager – AMC
John Travolta – The People v. O.J. Simpson – FX
Forest Whitaker – Roots – History
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A MOVIE MADE FOR TELEVISION OR LIMITED SERIES
Elizabeth Debicki – The Night Manager – AMC
Regina King – American Crime – ABC
Sarah Lancashire – The Dresser – Starz
Melissa Leo – All the Way – HBO
Anna Paquin – Roots – History
Emily Watson – The Dresser – Starz