Friday, May 8, 2015

May Oscar Predictions...


It's May, a new month, and it's funny how much things will change in a mere month.  You see, April 1st is when Josh and I announced our first official Oscar predictions of the year, and in compiling my current predictions I realized that...a lot has changed for me.  Josh published his personal May predictions the other day, and this prompted me to go ahead with mine despite the fact that I was feeling overwhelmed with other blog duties and was contemplating skipping this month altogether and not posting any predictions until after Cannes.  So much could change after that, but I thought it may be fun to post what I think will change because of Cannes and the buzz that is already surrounding a few of the films in contention.

Before we get into this, I want to say that I'm almost tempted to start predicting Silence, and if I don't hear confirmation that this WILL NOT be released this year (it's slated for 2016 ATM, but recent reports have stated that the film has finished filming and is really just waiting on a few reshoots and some editing...so, it's in the same boat as The Revenant) then I probably will throw it back into my predictions starting next month.

But for now, I'm leaving it out.

And on with the predictions:



Bridge of Spies
Carol
Demolition
In the Heart of the Sea
Inside Out
Joy
The Revenant
Sicario
Suffragette
Youth

Alright, so a lot has changed here.  I've swapped out three of my previously predicted films (Brooklyn, The Danish Girl & Spectre) for some Cannes contenders and a different kind of genre film.  I've always known that my Spectre prediction was a LOT of wishful thinking and more a placeholder as I waited to hear word on other films, so dropping it wasn't hard.  The Danish Girl is a film I've been kind of on the fence about for a while because it sounds like it should be an Oscar contender and yet it also sounds like it shouldn't be.  Brooklyn comes with a lot of early buzz, but it also feels almost too young for Oscar, and we've seen a lot of typical Oscar bait focusing on youths get shafted at the Oscars.

So now we come to the three replacements.  In the Heart of the Sea looks stunning.  It's also helmed by Ron Howard, and the recent release switch from summer to December shows confidence in the studio that this is going to be an awards magnet.  Could this be this year's Master & Commander?

Sicario comes to Cannes with a lot of early buzz and good ink, and like Vallee, Villeneuve is probably on the cuff of serious Oscar attention.  I personally haven't really cared for either of them yet, but whatever.  Oh, wait, Villeneuve directed Enemy, so he gets a pass for that atrocious mess that was Prisoners.  ANYWAYS, this could prove itself to be just another genre flick, and if it's perceived as too actiony it could go the route of Blood Diamond and snag an acting nomination or two and then a few techs, but for now I'm thinking this expanded field could be kind to it.

Lastly, we have the inclusion of Youth (previously titled The Early Years).  I actually considered predicting this last month and wound up only predicting it for an Original Song nomination (since it deals with a composer and I was assuming it would have one of those beautiful compositions that snags an Original Song credit like Life of Pi did), but I was really tempted to predict Caine in particular.  Now that the ink has started flowing in and many are predicting Caine for the Canne Actor Award, I'm throwing this one in.  The Great Beauty swooped in two years ago and won Foreign Film at Oscar, and it made Sorrentino a name.  Now he's teaming up with two beloved actors (three if you count Jane Fonda) and I have to admit that the trailer looks very accessible.  I could see this being a big hit with AMPAS.

Moving on...


Sarah Gavron/Suffragette
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu/The Revenant
Steven Spielberg/Bridge of Spies
Paolo Sorrentino/Youth
Jean-Marc Vallee/Demolition

There is only one change here.  I swapped out Todd Haynes for Paolo Sorrentino.  I'm honestly wondering if Youth could become the The Artist of this year, and if the reception at Cannes is rousing I could see it going all the way and becoming this serious threat for all things Oscar.  Of course, it could fall short of high expectation, but for now I feel like it's safe to assume the best.  I'm still feeling VERY confident in Suffragette and Gavron's chances.  It feels like the right kind of atmosphere for a female driven film made by a female to make a dent with Oscar in a big way.  Spielberg feels like an early lock, given his track record and the subject matter/genre of his film, and Inarritu's recent Oscar success could make him a default nominee, especially given the word that this film is yet another technical marvel.  That leave Vallee, who I almost dropped out for Villeneuve but decided to hang onto for the sheer fact that I'm really interested to see what he does with Demolition, and the film itself sounds more Oscary than Sicario.


Bridge of Spies
Demolition
The Revenant
Sicario
Spectre 

My only change here is swapping out Joy for Sicario.  These all feel like they will rely heavily on editing to make them pop or flow and so they will probably snag attention in this category.


Bridge of Spies
Carol
The Danish Girl
The Revenant
Steve Jobs

Replacing Beasts of No Nation and Brooklyn out with The Revenant (I instantly regretted snubbing it last month) and Bridge of Spies (reportedly an Adapted work that I previously predicted in Original), this looks almost too perfect or Oscary to really happen, but then again...maybe.  I wish I had confirmation for Bridge of Spies, but for now I'm going with Adapted.


Demolition
Inside Out
Joy
Suffragette
Youth

The only change here is a result of Bridge of Spies moving to the Adapted category.  With that move, Youth pops up here.


Helena Bonham Carter/Suffragette
Rooney Mara/Carol
Ellen Page/Freeheld
Isabella Rossellini/Joy
Naomi Watts/Demolition

I'm keeping Carter, Mara and Watts from last month predictions, but I'm swapping out Ladd for her co-star Rossellini (it's time, right) and scratching Streep's cameo for Page's passion project.  First, Rossellini looks to have a super flashy role, and there is still no word on how big Ladd's role is in Joy, so I think this could be the scene stealer of the bunch.  Next, Freeheld is a very baity project with real topical themes, and Page has really fought the fight to get this story told, and being that she's a member of the LGBT community, it's something that she'll certainly campaign for in a BIG way.


Russell Crowe/Fathers and Daughters
Robert De Niro/Joy
Benicio Del Toro/Sicario
Tom Hardy/The Revenant
Mark Rylance/Bridge of Spies

Ok, so this is a mess right now.  The reason for this is that there seem to be a BOUNTY of great roles in films that I'm not quite sure will spark a fire with Oscar and a slew of films that are struggling to even get proper distribution.  Yes, it's early and things could change, but if the films are great or the performances are worthy, you'd think there would be more talk right now.  Like...Law was my frontrunner for the WIN last month...and now I don't even predict him.  The reason for that is that Genius doesn't have a distributor yet and no one is talking about it, like at all.  There is talk that Beasts of No Nation may not even be eligible if it doesn't get the right theatrical release, and early word on Chandler is that he is only in about ten minutes of the film and he's out-acted by the rest of the cast.

So I dropped them.

In their place, I went with the man with all the buzz right now, Benicio Del Toro (it's time for him to come back into the Oscar game, right?) and one of Bridge of Spies supporting players, Rylance and...my eternal wild card, Russell Crowe.  Now, I know that betting on Crowe is almost as foolish as betting against Streep at this point, but this role is SO BAITY, borderline Lead, and he's already been working the campaign trail for his film The Water Diviner, so he's going to be talked about this year.  It could call back to mind his great A Beautiful Mind performance, and if AMPAS is feeling forgiving, he could step into the race.


Michael Caine/Youth
Leonardo DiCaprio/The Revenant
Jake Gyllenhaal/Demolition
Tom Hanks/Bridge of Spies
Eddie Redmayne/The Danish Girl

I know that there is bound to be a newbie in the mix, and a lot of people are thinking it's going to be Hiddleston, but right now I'm all about this lineup and this BAIT!  Also, I refuse to accept that Gyllenhaal could get snubbed two years in a row, especially with the career resurgence he's having.  Caine looks good to possibly get a boost from a Cannes win, so that should propel him to the top of the list, and Hanks in a BP contender (with Spielberg no less), DiCaprio getting all 'physical' for a role (coupled with the fact that he's perceived as SERIOUSLY DUE) and an afterglow nom for Redmayne becoming a woman sound really good for a go at this point.

It felt almost wrong to drop Cooper, but right now I'm ok with this.


Cate Blanchett/Carol
Jennifer Lawrence/Joy
Julianne Moore/Freeheld
Carey Mulligan/Suffragette
Alicia Vikander/The Danish Girl

Freeheld getting the Oct. release date has me thinking that this could be an actor's showcase type film and, with the passion that was poured into making this as well as the respect Moore has in the industry, I'm thinking an afterglow nom is in the works.  So, with that I'm bumping Ronan out of my predictions (the only change from last month).  I still think Mulligan is winning this in a walk.


Art Direction/Production Design
Carol
Cinderella
Pan
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Suffragette

I removed The Danish Girl and Far From the Madding Crowd in favor of Cinderella (which continues to gain momentum and buzz in these categories considering everyone thought it was gorgeous) and Pan, which could be a real contender if the sets are spectacular (and we all know they have potential to be).

Cinematography
Bridge of Spies
In the Heart of the Sea
The Revenant
Sicario
Youth

So...I took out three of my previous nominees (Far From the Madding Crowd, The Hateful Eight and Spectre) and replaced them with In the Heart of the Sea, Sicario and Youth.  I could be really off with my perception of The Hateful Eight, but everything I've heard from those who have read the script and have talked to insiders is that the film is NOT Oscary at all, and while I thought it would make a play here, there are just so many films with the potential to be beautiful.

Costume Design
Carol
Cinderella
Far from the Madding Crowd
Pan
Suffragette

Brooklyn is the only film I took out, in favor of Pan.

Makeup
The Danish Girl
Pan
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Took out Southpaw (which looks great but not Oscary) and put in Pan.

Visual Effects
Avengers: Age of Ultron
In the Heart of the Sea
Jurassic World
The Martian
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Fantastic Four is the only film I took out, predicting The Martian in its place.  Word from Comicon was that the footage released for The Martian was REALLY GOOD and if this is some sort of return to form for Scott then I'm all for it.  UGH, he used to be one of my favorite directors...and then...ANYWAYS.


Sound Editing
Bridge of Spies
The Revenant
Sicario
Spectre
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sound Mixing
In the Heart of the Sea
The Martian
The Revenant
Spectre
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I've made it really clear that I never really have a clue when it comes to these categories, which is why I lump them together in my personal awards.  Like, how they gauge this is always strange and there are always films nominated that had no real support and films snubbed that, well, looked like locks.  Predicting these is always a gamble, which is why I usually tend to predict the same five films in each category.  I went went a little 'crazy' here and actually only have three crossover films (The Revenant, Spectre and Star Wars).  Who knows?

Original Score
Carter Burwell/Carol
Alexandre Desplat/Suffragette
Michael Giancchino/Inside Out
Thomas Newman/Bridge of Spies
John Williams/Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Dropping Armstrong and Newman in favor of Williams and Desplat.  

Original Song
Inside Out
Pan
Ricki and the Flash
Sing Street
Spectre

At this point, we have no clue what is going to actually have an original song, but these films seem like they could.  I previously predicted Youth (under the name The Early Years) but early word on Sing Street is strong and so I'm thinking it'll be a lock here if it's released in time.


The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
Little from the Fish Shop
The Little Prince
The Prophet

The only change is swapping out The Case of Hana & Alice for The Prophet, which has some really good early ink.  I still firmly believe that Inside Out is taking this in a walk, but time will tell.

Oh, and I'm still not predicting Foreign Film, Docs or Shorts because...

20 comments:

  1. I think you may be on to something re: Youth. The trailers have been gorgeous and I'm getting good vibes from Caine.

    I'm less convinced that Sarah Gavron would be a Best Director, especially if Joy, Sicario, Demolition and Carol are Best Pic nominees. I think they'd have to LOVE it as a potential winner for them to skip over these "overdue" men.

    I'm starting to wonder if See You Again (Furious 7) will get in for Original Song, since it's such a hit and so emotional.

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    1. Yeah, Youth really looks like it could be that game changer that usually rears it's head around this time.

      My feelings on Gavron are really because I feel like the film itself is going to be a top five contender. I feel like the criticism heaped onto the awards last year for being misogynistic could work in the film's favor since it is a poignant historical moment that is still so relevant and being that the cast is female and the director are female could make this a 'moment' type thing.

      Just a hunch.

      And if Furious 7 is nominated for something...oh, the power of Vin Diesel!

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  2. I really, really, really hope Blunt finally gets nominated this year.

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    1. That could happen for her with Sicario, if the film is a hit. My only hesitation comes from the fact that it could be more of an action performance, and those don't always land acting attention, especially for women.

      But she certainly deserves to be an Oscar nominee by now!

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  3. At this point I don't care who wins, though I'd be thrilled to see it be Carey Mulligan, but I want Charlotte Rampling to finally be nominated for 45 Years damn it!

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    1. 45 Years looks SO GOOD! I can't wait for it, and if Rampling becomes a critics darling, she could ride that wave to an Oscar nom. How awesome would it be for Rampling and Rossellini to finally be Oscar nominees in the same year!

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    2. I like Isabella well enough and have always found her a competent actress, though she has nowhere near the incandescence her mother possessed, and it would be wonderful if her performance is strong for her to receive a nod. On the other hand Charlotte Rampling has been doing extraordinary work for 50 years, Georgy Girl was only her second film and she should have been nominated for that!, so hardly anybody else living is more overdue. Not even Donald Sutherland who didn't really break into material that allowed him to show his talents until the 70's. Here's hoping.

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    3. Oh, I agree that Rampling is the more consistent or at least the more prolific talent, but Isabella is remarkable and really should have been a nominee years ago. Her ability to cover such a range of characters is no small feat. She's a character actress who can embody a vast array of characters; from the crazed to the very sane and introverted. I mean, just comparing her turn in Blue Velvet to her turn in Fearless really shows her range and her ability to sell it completely. I just love her.

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    4. Isabella hasn't had as many opportunities as Charlotte Rampling to play really complex characters, although a fat lot of good that's done for her award wise, but when she does she delivers. Have you ever seen the bizarro picture The Saddest Music in the World? I thought she was excellent there.

      I'm just hoping that the Berlin win for Rampling with heighten awareness of her film and performance when it makes it to these shores.

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    5. She was incredible in The Saddest Music in the World, and she's a Fisti nominee (you know, when I post 2003). Loved her in that.

      And I have Rampling in my top ten at the moment and really wanted to predict her, but she would need a serious critical push for her to break into the crowd of young Oscar draws who are starring in more topical films. Her film's theme (an aging marriage in the throws of turbulence due to an uncovered secret) just doesn't hold the poignant weight of films about gay and women's rights. It'll be hard for her, but I'm hopeful.

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  4. Since I no nadda...sounds all good to me:) I think if John Williams isn't nominated the Earth will blow up because he is the Meryl Streep of this category. These films all sound intriguing and what has been your percentage in actually predicting so early? I believe I asked this before but my mind is having a tough time today

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    1. This early out...not so good...at least not overall...but I think most everyone is lucky to get about 30% correct this early out. It's a lot of guesswork and wild card dreams.

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  5. Looks like Alicia Vikander is on the up and up, with a bunch of roles at the moment. I wouldn't be surprised yo see her receive some acting nominations over the next few years.

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    1. Yeah, I wholly expect her to have her Chastain moment this year.

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  6. Brilliant work man! I LOVE that you're betting on Youth, but I'm not convinced it'll enter the race. I'm on the fence on In the Heart of the Sea and Sicario. A Russell Crowe nom would be EVERYTHING! I don't see it, but I hope you're right!

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    1. The buzz around Youth is big right now, and it looks beautiful. My faith in Heart of the Sea comes from the release date change. At first, I didn't think it for much but a possible VE nom, but it looks incredible and December is such a prime release date.

      I have to keep the Crowe faith alive...right?

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  7. If Youth fares well at Cannes, I could very well see Michael Caine making a march to the Oscars. Alicia Vikander, I'm sure is great in The Danish Girl (which I am not really looking forward to tbh. It seems like blatant Oscar-bait), but I'd love to see them be brave and nominate her for Ex Machina. It's also pretty brave of you to not predict Meryl Streep, but I'm not predicting her either. Honestly, one of my biggest hopes for this awards season is that Meryl gets snubbed. I mean, she's brilliant, but let's spread the wealth, shall we?

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    1. I have high hopes for Youth.

      Vikander will most likely snag a slew of mentions for her body of work this year, ala Chastain circa 2011. She's just everywhere. The reason I have more faith in her Danish Girl performance is the fact that it will be all over Oscar's radar this year, and they tend to be lazy when nominating performances, dipping into the same pool of films, and so if Redmayne is going to get nominated (which, let's face it, he is) then he'll most likely campaign his ass off and drag Vikander along for the ride. It'll be easy for Oscar voters to check off both their names for the same film.

      And Streep...while having two films out this year...doesn't look in a good position. Her performance in Suffragette is a mere cameo (I've heard it's only one scene) and the trailer for Ricki and the Flash was AWFUL. Betting against her is usually foolish, but she does miss sometimes.

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    2. Redmayne campaigning his ass off again? Oh, the horror. This makes me afraid for Leonardo DiCaprio, Jake Gyllenhaal, and especially Michael Fassbender (my favorite actor), who are also in the conversation.

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    3. Yeah, Redmayne could pull a Tom Hanks this year if The Danish Girl is a hit all the way around. This character is probably the baitiest and most socially relevant of the bunch, maybe this past decade, and he's not afraid of whoring himself for an Oscar, so you know he'll be pimping himself out for those votes.

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