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

7-Hidden Figures


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

20th Century Women

Hacksaw Ridge 
Hell or High Water 

*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

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
Denzel Washington-Fences
3-Joel Edgerton-Loving
4-Tom Hanks-Sully
Ryan Gosling-La La Land

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

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

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.

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
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 

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
5-Hidden Figures

*Stays the same 

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

*Stays the same

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