Monday, October 5, 2015

Semi-Final Oscar Predictions


I feel like such an Oscar loser this year.  UGH, I feel like a blogger loser, period.  I've been so lackluster here since July, all thanks to this big move (moving is SO STRESSFUL) and so I feel so far behind on everything.  LOL, my last Oscar predictions look like a batch of "no, no, nope" thanks to the fact that reviews, screenings and production notes have changed the face of the Oscar race so drastically over the past few months.

So, here we come to the last chance I'm going to get to update these predictions until the new year, which will be deep into the heart of the race, and so I'm calling these my semi-final predictions because, let's be honest here, I won't be updating these again until the night before nomination morning.

So what am I thinking?


Picture

Beasts of No Nation
Bridge of Spies
Brooklyn
Carol
Inside Out
Joy
The Revenant
Son of Saul
Spotlight
Steve Jobs

I don't even know what's happening here.  So many films are getting reviewed and being written off that it's almost becoming a barren wasteland of potential for Best Picture.  Like, nothing even feels like a winner, at this point, even the film everyone is touting as the frontrunner (Spotlight).  

So...these are my thoughts:

First we have the filler.  These are the films that are looking at a 'nomination is your reward' type spots.  Steve Jobs has solid reviews and some performances that are looking at nominations/fight for wins and coupled with Oscar winners Sorkin and Boyle and you have a film tailor-made to lose the Oscar.  Bridge of Spies is also getting solid (slightly underwhelmed) reviews, but in a year where all the big guns tend to be dropping the ball, Oscar could very easily resort to lazy-voting for a Spielberg film.  And then there is Brooklyn.  Crowd-pleaser, solid reviews, easy film-making with memorable arcs; it's a story that has a lot of admirers and one that could get a lot of support in the coming months.

Then we have passion picks.  These are films that probably won't win the big one, but they are in the hunt for more #1 votes due to respect of pedigree or sensational reviews.  Son of Saul is that type film.  The frontrunner for Foreign Film, this film came out of Cannes with a LOT of buzz, and it's right in line with what Oscar tends to embrace; the Holocaust.  It doesn't hurt that these reviews are BEYOND and tend to focus on aspects that induce passion.  Carol is another film that could really snag a lot of passion votes.  Themes aside, Haynes is a marvelous director who deserves an Oscar breakthrough, and Blanchett is a name that demands respect (and those reviews are no joke).  I don't think I see this one winning, but nominated; for sure!  And then we have Inside Out.  Those reviews were undeniable, and they still stand as some of the best of the year.  The swell of love for what Pixar accomplished is hard to shake, and so I can see an easy nom here due to the passion that is bound to back it.

And then we have the sight unseen contenders.  The Revenant and Joy have yet to be seen or reviewed and yet based on directors, cast, stories, buzz and trailers, they are certainly contenders and in the hunt for a win.

I still have no faith in The Hateful Eight.

And lastly, we have the frontrunners; at this point.  Beasts of No Nation has extremely solid reviews, a lot of supporters and a topical subject that is bound to keep people talking.  The only real obstacle here would be Netflix as being an un-proven distributor, but with these reviews and their seriousness to play the game, I see this as being a big contender.  But then you have Spotlight.  I love how early screenings pretty much labeled this mediocre and so many were writing it off...and then the festival circuit happened and it became the frontrunner for the Oscar.  With a cast getting raves and a subject that is bound to ignite real feelings in the viewer, I can see why this is connecting.

But will it go all the way?

Director

Cary Fukunaga/Beasts of No Nation
Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu/The Revenant
Tom McCarthy/Spotlight
Laszlo Nemes/Son of Saul
David O. Russell/Joy

This usually boils down to the top five films in root for the win, or the top five and a directorial achievement that is considered undeniable.  So, I'm considering our two frontrunners and our two unseen contenders as Oscar's top four...and I'm thinking that the passion behind Son of Saul will be enough to snag it a nomination here (and a few more elsewhere).

Film Editing
Beasts of No Nation
Bridge of Spies
Joy
The Revenant
Spotlight

BP noms with flashy cuts.  

Adapted Screenplay
Beasts of No Nation
Brooklyn
Carol
The Revenant
Steve Jobs

The Danish Girl and Room could make a play here, but I have a feeling this will, as per usual, fall back on the BP race, and since I don't predict either of those for that kind of embrace, I'm leaving them out.

Original Screenplay
Bridge of Spies
Inside Out
Joy
Son of Saul
Spotlight

Honestly, I don't see any other players here, unless Youth gets some sort of late in the game revival.

Supporting Actress

Diane Ladd/Joy
Rooney Mara/Carol
Isabella Rossellini/Joy
Alicia Vikander/The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet/Steve Jobs

This is looking like a tricky one to predict all of a sudden.  Winslet and Mara are locked, and I honestly think Winslet is hunting for her second Oscar win unless Joy produces a solid contender.  Vikander is having the kind of year where a nomination makes sense, and yet her Oscar vehicle is slowly dying and so her nomination, while probably, is not sewn up anymore.  And that brings us to Joy, the last film (practically) to be seen to help understand this category, and it's a film that has a lot of potential.  It's about time we had a double dip here, and so I'm going with Ladd (who will campaign her butt off) and Rossellini (who is said to have the flashiest role) and praying that Rossellini has the goods to win the gold.  

Supporting Actor

Robert De Niro/Joy
Idris Elba/Beasts of No Nation
Tom Hardy/The Revenant
Mark Ruffalo/Spotlight
Mark Rylance/Bridge of Spies

The biggest shakeup here comes from the fact that everyone in Spotlight is campaigning in Supporting, and since Ruffalo is getting the best ink, I'm leaning towards a nom for him.  Everyone keeps trying to say that Keaton is all of a sudden due, but let's be honest...he's not.  Rylance is getting standout mentions for Bridge of Spies, and so this would be a place to nominate the film.  Elba, quite honestly, is looking like a possible sweeper here.

Lead Actor

Leonardo DiCaprio/The Revenant
Michael Fassbender/Steve Jobs
Tom Hanks/Bridge of Spies
Eddie Redmayne/The Danish Girl
Geza Rohrig/Son of Saul

Leonardo DiCaprio wins.  The end.  LOL, but after that...what?  Fassbender has the reviews and Redmayne has the role.  Then...Hanks has the respect and Spielberg so I'm thinking he could make a dash, and I'm currently putting Rohrig in for my Wild Card passion pick.  He has great notices, and I just can't with the idea that Depp is actually going to get a nomination. 

Lead Actress

Cate Blanchett/Carol
Angelina Jolie/By the Sea
Brie Larson/Room
Jennifer Lawrence/Joy
Saoirse Ronan/Brooklyn

This category.  I don't even know anymore.  I thought Mulligan was winning, now I don't even think she's getting the nomination.  I thought Rampling was looking at her first ever nom, but now Larson is coming on like a beast and I have a feeling she's going to be detracting from the critics boost Rampling will need to get in.  So, I'm thinking Blanchett, Lawrence (unless her film bombs), Ronan and Larson are looking really good for noms, and while Tomlin and Rampling have the reviews, I'm going to step outside the box and predict that Jolie's passion project opens to surprisingly great reviews and she steps in as a real threat to the win.

And then we have the techs, which I'm not going to bother talking about:

Art Direction
Brooklyn
Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Pan

Cinematography
Beasts of No Nation
Carol
The Revenant
Sicario
Son of Saul

Costume Design
Brooklyn
Carol
Cinderella
The Danish Girl
Pan

Makeup
The Danish Girl
Pan
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Visual Effects
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Pan
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Spectre
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Sound Mixing
In the Heart of the Sea
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Revenant
Sicario
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Score
Carter Burwell/Carol
Alexandre Desplat/The Danish Girl
Michael Giacchino/Inside Out
Ennio Morricone/The Hateful Eight
Howard Shore/Spotlight

While I think that The Hateful Eight is going to be an Oscar flop, the idea of having Ennio Morricone nominated again is kind of too much to predict against.

Song
‘Cold One’ from Ricki and the Flash
‘The Light that Never Fades’ from Meru
'On Children' from The Prophet
'Till It Happens to You' from The Hunting Ground
‘Story to Tell’ from He Named me Malala

I have a feeling that 'See You Again' is going to be that populous song that everyone loves and roots for to get the nom that is snubbed due to the fact that, well, it's not prestigious at all, and so it'll get the consolation prize of being performed during the In Memorium section.

Animated Film
Animalisa
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
The Little Prince
The Prophet

Animalisa is getting GREAT ink, but I don't see it having the pull to dethrone Inside Out, which is far more accessible and has made a much bigger splash.

Foreign Film
Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
Mustang (France)
The Second Mother (Brazil)
Son of Saul (Hungary)
The War (Denmark)

Outside of Son of Saul, I have no idea, but currently Brazil and Germany are getting a lot of buzz, and we all know how well France does in this category.  I'm going with Denmark as my Wild Card pick based on subject alone.

Documentary
Amy
He Named Me Malala
The Hunting Ground
The Look of Silence
Meru

It's about that time when the contenders are becoming known, but it's still way too early to know anything.  I'm assuming that He Named Me Malala is going to be a frontrunner, while the poignancy of The Look of Silence and The Hunting Ground cements them as contenders.  Early word on Meru is good, and Amy has a lot of passion behind it, so for now, this is what I'm thinking.

And that's it for now!  Let's see how this race looks come end of December, when I have a chance to look at it again.

32 comments:

  1. http://www.imdb.com/board/bd0000005/thread/249022587 :)

    This year is a nightmare to predict. Had The Revenant not be so grim (someone has seen it and says that it may be too much for Academy, yet I think hey western is not that far from what they can bring themselves to like) and Inarittu didn't win, this would be easy. But then Steve Jobs is apparantly something solid but not the film one loves, Carol is said to be too polished...so Spotlight? In actors categories I think this may finally be DiCaprio's year. It's a hugely demanding role and he is way overdue for this. Like, seriously, ffs the man fights a bear, get a grip Academy. Larson I think may win and the film may get BP nomination - people are very passionate about this one and she is campaigning like insane, just look at her twitter. I fear they may throw something Vikander for her out of control campaigning and crying in the movie Hathaway style. And Elba winning would be great because I don't want Hardy to win just yet.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG, if Joy moves to next year, insanity will ensue in the prognosticating world, since many are holding out for that to be our frontrunner.

      I'm pretty much with you on everything else, as you can see. I don't know if I am ready to predict Larson as our eventual winner, but she is campaigning hard, and that counts, and there is a lot of passion for this role (which also happens to be BAITY), so she could certainly pull off the win. In fact, Lead Actress seems like the hardest to pin down because I don't see anyone as an actual winner right now, but someone has to win in the end.

      Might as well be Larson!

      I'm all in for an Elba win. Hardy is on fire and will win soon, I would put money on it, but he'll also have a lot more opportunities to wow us and Elba may never get this chance again.

      Delete
    2. Yeah Elba is flirting too much with some crap this seems like the right moment to award him, he really stars in some terrible stuff so when he is actually in something good...go for it. The danger for Hardy to win at first nom would be that the Oscar curse gets to him and I so don't want that. He has no projects lined up and this is his year so who knows maybe they even nominate him for Legend? I think Del Toro will be nominated for Sicario. His reviews are some of the best I've seen and the Academy likes him a lot. They will like the film I think and he has the best shot to get in out of the nominees. I just cannot warm up to Carol. It looks to...stylish for me. Just like all the other Haynes movies. Academy usually nominated stuff like that but it doesn't win often

      Delete
    3. Yeah, I don't see Carol as a winner, but this is said to be Hayne's most accessible work, and so the polish is bound to get it some noms.

      And I forgot about Del Toro! I was going to put him in and forgot. I feel good about that five though, especially with the ink Rylance is getting and the fact that Spielberg is Oscar catnip and he feels like the kind of lazy filler that tends to sneak in.

      But Del Toro's reviews are tremendous.

      Delete
  2. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand this is why I don't even attempt to predict nominations. It makes the grey squishy thing between my ears go all thumpy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, I hear you. I try and follow the race closely all year, but even at that, there are a lot of late in the year contenders or performances/films that don't even get great ink that start to pop up by the time we hit televised awards, so it's all a guessing game at this point.

      Delete
  3. Eh, I'll wait until the end of December/January until I start thinking too hard about this kind of stuff. Most of these films I had to look up haha, and knowing Australia, we probably won't get to see them until after the actual Oscars anyway.

    Side note: If Pan gets that many nominations for technical stuff, I'll cry - that shit was awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh NO!!! Is Pan that awful? I just got tickets for this...and I'm actually excited about it. UGH...I hope it's not that awful!

      Delete
  4. Great list and I agree with much of what you have here but I think Johnny Depp and Black Mass will be on the list because people are all agog at his acting in this film. I agree about the leads in Carol and I hope Isabella Rossellini gets some love that she deserves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I refuse to believe that Depp is happening. There are some pundits that clearly want him to happen, but the reviews have not been as kind as they have, so I'm on the fence.

      I will be conducting prayer circles for Rossellini come January.

      Delete
  5. I don't bother with these predictions as I think it's a fucking waste of time. Plus, I really hope Eddie Redmayne doesn't win again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL...thanks.

      And he won't. Not now. His reviews haven't been undeniable, and his film will fight for a filler BP nod, if that. He'll probably get the nom based on character alone, but he's not winning unless DiCaprio flops and the Academy is grasping at straws.

      And even then...there's Fassbender.

      Delete
  6. I really don't stress about this stuff because I really don't give the academy too much water anyway. These won't be my favourite films of the year, and I hardly ever ask an old white dude for his recommendation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, as you can see from my personal awards, I never agree with AMPAS (or VERY rarely), but half the fun of movie watching is predicting awards, at least for me. It's why I started blogging in the first place.

      Delete
  7. I'm not feeling Angelina Jolie as a real contender. I like Jolie, but I fear that the film will mainly be a showcase for how gorgeous her and Brad are. I still think Larson is in it to win it.

    I also think DiCaprio should be a lock to be nominated. Both he and Fassy. The other three slots seem pretty open. I'll say this right now, though. One of those slots ain't going to Johnny Depp. I've seen Black Mass and his character is too cold and unsympathetic and the performance, while decent, isn't commanding enough.

    I still think Inside Out can get in for Best Picture, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I threw Jolie in as a Wild Card. Her film is still such a mystery and I could see it coming out and surprising people, and she's a STAR so if she delivers, in this wasteland, she could be a contender.

      DiCap is winning. Fassy and Redcarpet are getting nominated. After that, who the hell knows.

      Inside Out is still in for BP. I don't see it missing, yet.

      Delete
    2. Understandable about Jolie. Our Best Actress predictions currently are similar except I have Charlotte Rampling instead of Jolie.

      I'm also predicting a Redmayne snub. But if he does get nominated, he might not be so aggressive this time around. One reason is that he just won and he might be too busy filming Harry Potter to be thirsty.

      Delete
    3. I can't see Redmayne missing, to be honest. The role is too baity, and while the film doesn't have the unanimous praise we thought it might, the reviews are not awful, and his reviews are certainly enough to get him a nom in a field that is practically dead.

      I mean, who else?

      Delete
    4. Good question, lol. But there's Matt Damon for The Martian (hoping this happens. Loved his character.), Ian McKellen for Mr. Holmes, Will Smith for Concussion, Michael Caine for Youth, and I would say Tom Hardy for Legend, but the film had a pretty mixed reception and he'll probably get in for The Revenant anyway.

      Delete
    5. I'm starting to consider Damon as a possible spoiler here...not for the win, but for the nom. His reviews are solid, and The Martian is looking like it could be a contender in above the line categories.

      McKellen has steady support, but will it be enough? I doubt it.

      Caine has great reviews, but Youth is dying.

      Hardy won't make it twice, not for such a mixed film...and his Revenant performance could even be snubbed if word is correct that his accent is an issue.

      I'm not buying Smith...

      So, it's rather barren, honestly. I mean, regardless, I highly...HIGHLY doubt that Redmayne will miss.

      Delete
  8. Oy, why do I cringe when I see David O' Russell's name again... the trailer for JOY does nothing for me and I'm so over J-Law, like REALLY bored even just seeing her face. I probably will skip that movie altogether. Cary Fukunaga/Beasts of No Nation seems like a real possibility, and it'd be lovely if he gets a shot, he's such a talented director. I'm very curious about Spotlight which sadly I won't be able to go to the screening this week. Btw, 99 Homes is such an excellent film, and both Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon delivered Oscar-worthy performances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm tired of the O. Russell love (and to an extent the JLaw love) too, but it's hard to deny that they have a serious draw ATM.

      I'm all for Beasts of No Nation being a serious contender! It looks great, and I love Fukunaga's work.

      Delete
  9. Hats off to you and everyone else that try to predict this stuff. I just can't. Just way too far out for me to entertain the notion. I don't even start to pay attention to who the frontrunners might be until the noms are announced.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know how you feel...it's a lot to take in, and I'm not sure I'll be able to keep this up next year...I mean, my coverage last year was pretty heavy...and I already know I'll be missing the bulk this year!

      Delete
  10. Nicely done buddy! It'll be interesting to see how much your predictions change by January.

    I don't have as much faith in Son of Saul, and I'm starting to doubt Beasts of No Nation again, though Elba looks solid at the moment. I've also backed off Pan, perhaps foolishly. Oh well, who knows. I just hope DiCaprio finally wins.

    Morricone!!! I forgot about that. He could definitely get in.

    I'm buying the Depp nom for now, but we'll see.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This race changes so quickly right now. It's insane. Like, I post these and then all of a sudden I'm reading many doubts on Beasts...like...last week it was still being heavily predicted! WTF! LOL, Oscar prognosticating is such hard work!

      Delete
  11. I can't keep up with this year it's too hard! I'm still unsure about Joy. O'Russell has a great track record but that film sounds nowhere near as interesting as American Hustle or Silver Linings Playbook.

    I hope Brie gets in for The Room, I just finished that book recently. I think it would be great if the kid got in there too, he's got a lot of tough things to do.

    I want JGL in there for The Walk but that will never happen because I can't have nice things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But speaking of The Walk, I really think that has a good shot at visual effects. That movie makes you feel like you're on top of those towers.

      Delete
    2. According to the reactions from the Joy screening last night, the film should probably be considered our top contender at this point. Apparently, it's a stunner.

      Delete
    3. Visual Effects is always difficult because they tend to go BIG and ignore the more subtle or less 'CGI obvious' films...except for when they don't, like with Master and Commander or The Hereafter...it's like rules are never rules with this branch (and Makeup) so it really is anyone's game ATP.

      Delete
  12. Interesting picks. Disagree with you on a some things.

    - I think Hateful Eight will rock

    - Mad Max: Fury Road for Cinematography is a lock.

    -Think Keaton will get nominated over Ruffalo because from what I've heard he gives the best performance of the movie, some are even campaigning him as the front-runner in that category.

    - Dont see any reason why Bencio Del Toro misses out. He is phenomenal in Sicario and I do think he will make the cut come February.

    - Not so sure Son of Saul will get this much love. It probably will win Best Foreign Film since its Cannes competitor isnt even in the mix but Best Actor, Director and Picture seem like a long-shot for me.

    - And I do think Danny Boyle and Todd Haynes will be nominated for Best Director. Haynes is overdue and I've heard Boyle's praises from almost every Steve Jobs reviews. Plus, I think the Academy might like the fact that he filmed the movie in 16, 35 and Digital

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just have no faith in The Hateful Eight. I may be acting foolishly, but from what I've read of the script and what those who have read the entire script have said, it's not Academy friendly...and I kind of hated the trailer.

      I wouldn't call Mad Max a lock in anything, because it's the kind of the film that could do really well from a populous standpoint with the Academy...or could get absolutely nothing.

      Ruffalo has the stronger reviews, honestly. The only reason that Keaton may have the edge is because so many are upset about his loss last year...but I wonder if the outrage is really in AMPAS. They could both get in, but I actually think, wish his reviews, Ruffalo has the edge here, especially since he was thought to be the Lead of the film, and now he's being campaigned in Supporting.

      Del Toro was one I wanted to predict, but didn't. He'll be Sicario to make a dent with other awards bodies to build momentum. The film, despite the reviews, just doesn't feel like and Oscar film, which will hurt him in a category with so many contenders.

      The buzz for Son of Saul is rising, and the studio is planning a HUGE awards push for it, so I could see it being a very big player.

      Really...most of the big reviews I've read or heard discussed mentioned that Boyle was the film's main flaw. I just feel like Steve Jobs is the kind of film that has solid enough reviews to snag some important noms, but not enough to solidify is as a top 5 contender, but that's just me...and that's just this very moment.

      In a month of two I could agree 100% with everything you just said :-D

      Delete