Saturday, November 26, 2016

Predictions: 2017 OSCAR NOMINATIONS (three months before the ceremony).

The aim is to also post predictions in a month's time, and before when they get announced, on January 24th 2017, as well, so I can see how my guesses change. Here goes!

Disclaimer: as I haven't seen a lot of these films, a lot of what I'm saying is just guesswork. I could end up despising a bunch of these movies once I view them, and completely alter my predictions! For  predictions more grounded in research and opinion, check out Nathaniel's impressive compendium. He's a professional film writer so he's seen most of the films discussed, and thus, his word carries a lot more clout!

Any number between 5 and 10 could get nominated, so I'm going...
01. La La Land
02. Fences
03. Moonlight
04. Silence
05. Manchester by the Sea
06. Jackie
07. Arrival
08. Lion

Of these titles, I've so far only seen Arrival, which I was very impressed with, particularly given my innate aversion to sci-fi. It was a smart movie, but more importantly, it was a humane movie, and that, coupled with the tight, unostentatious visuals, means it deserves to get nominated.

Of the other seven, Jackie interests me the least, but then again we all know my thoughts about Natalie 'earnest' Portman, haha.  La La Land, Fences and Moonlight look absolutely captivating in their own ways, and I can't wait to watch them. 

Despite the fact that Scorsese is my favourite director, Silence's trailer left me a bit cold. I'm not sure what's up with Adam Driver and Andy Garfield's accents, and it just seems to lack the energy of a Wolf of Wall Street or The Depahted. But, we'll see.

01. Damien Chazelle, La La Land
02. Pablo Larraín, Jackie
03. Martin Scorsese, Silence
04. Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
05. Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Pablo Larraín has two films that are in serious contention at the 2017 Oscars, the other being Chile's entrant in to the Foreign Language Film category, Neruda, starring Mexican hottie Gael García Bernal (I totally just said his name out loud with an affected Latinamerican accent whilst typing this, haha). Chazelle's Whiplash was my favourite film of 2014, and his direction on it (particularly the scenes where JK Simmons yells at Miles Teller) were superb. Apparently La La Land is even more assured than Whiplash so that, the strong critical response the film has garnered, surely render him the frontrunner.

01. Denzel Washington, Fences
02. Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
03. Ryan Gosling, La La Land
04. Tom Hanks, Sully
05. Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge

Andy Garfield is a bit of a left-of-field shout, but I just think that he can't appear in two prestige pictures and get totally ignored, and Silence's trailer didn't really seem like it had a 'proper' lead, so I've plumped for this. Plus, he was HELLA snubbed for The Social Network (fourth favourite performance of 2010, just saying).

Tom Hanks impressed audiences in both Bridge of Spies and Captain Philips and most people were surprised he didn't get nominated for at least one of them, particularly given the Academy are fond of him (he's the only actor to have won Best Actor back-to-back, for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump, respectively. Although Eddie Redcarpet sure tried hard to achieve that feat by stealing roles from transgender actresses, just saying). So many feel Hanks is due a nomination this year.

I currently have Denzel listed as frontrunner just because I don't want creepy Casey Affleck to be frontrunner, given his past history of groping a sleeping woman. Hopefully that holds him back from achieving the gold and leads Denzel to receive his third Oscar.

01. Natalie Portman, Jackie
02. Emma Stone, La La Land
03. Annette Bening, 20th Century Woman
04. Amy Adams, Arrival
05. Jessica Chastain, Miss Sloane

Sigh. I am so gutted that Viola Davis is campaigning as Supporting Actress for Fences rather than Leading. From reports of people who have seen the film, it's one of those borderline cases (so not as brazen as, say, Felicia Vikander in The Danish Girl and my girl Rooney Mara in Carol last year), and Viola just submitted herself in Support to give herself more of a fighting chance of getting the gold. Which I get, #YouDoYou, but even from her clips in the trailer, she was immense, and I feel that, even with less screen time than Portman, she would have run her and Stone close. Viola is a leading lady and deserves no less than to be acknowledged as one!!!!!

Anyway, yeah, looks like Natalie Portman's heading towards her second Oscar.

Jessica Chastain for Miss Sloane is a bold pick, given most predictions have listed Isabelle Huppert, an icon of French cinema, for Elle in her place. It is indeed a travesty that Huppert doesn't even have one Oscar nomination. But as we know, talent only comes to play about 15% of the time at the Oscars. Emily Blunt doesn't have an Oscar nomination, either. 😒

I feel Miss Sloane, about a gun lobbyist, has a strongly political slant that could play well into Hollywood's hands given the recent US elections. I follow Chastain on Facebook and she's already been pointing out the parallels between the movie and life, so...

Finally, Amy Adams is very well-liked by the Academy, and is due an Oscar statuette at some point. Her performance in Arrival won't win, as it was too muted and unflashy, but the overall quality of the film, her popularity, and the fact that she was also in Nocturnal Animals makes me feel it would be churlish of them to deprive her of her sixth nomination.

Supporting Actor
01. Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
02. Peter Sarsgaard, Jackie
03. Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
04. Liam Neeson, Silence
05. Stephen Henderson, Fences

Ali has been picking up raves everywhere for his performance in Moonlight, so much so that I highly doubt his limited screen time (the film is told in three parts so every actor bar Naomie Harris is only in, at most, a third of it) will be to his detriment. Plus a really solid piece of acting lingers with your regardless of how short the running time was (think: Anne Hathaway in Les Mis).

From the trailers, Lucas Hedges looks like he's doing great work in Manchester by the Sea. Oscars can be a bit sexist in that in the Supporting Actress category, they're more than happy to nominate/award young girls (eg Hailee Steinfeld in True Grit, Saoirse Ronan in Atonement, Anna Paquin in The Piano), whereas they're stingier with dishing out slots for boys of comparable ages. But with their egregious omission of Jacob Tremblay last year for Room, they've got some atonement of their own to do. Hopefully Hedges reaps the dividends. 

Supporting Actress
01. Viola Davis, Fences
02. Naomie Harris, Moonlight
03. Nicole Kidman, Lion
04. Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
05. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miss Sloane

I'll admit that the prevalence of women of colour in this category is influenced by some heavy wishful thinking on my part! But seriously, no-one needs to make reparations more than the Oscars for last year's complete whitewash. By all means nominate a white actor if they were good, but 'talent' argument doesn't really work given they nominated Eddie Redcarpet for The Danish Girl, Jennifer Lawrence for Joy, Mark Ruffalo for Spotlight and Christian Bale for The Big Shortperformances that compare very unfavourably to Oscar nominated-performances in the past. To say those selections were mediocre would be an insult to mediocrity.

So yeah, I don't give a sh_t if the Oscars go too far the other way in terms of affirmative action this year; performers of colour are owed some kudos. 

Naomie Harris is apparently amazing in a de-glam role as the junkie mum of the protagonist in Moonlight. She was always charming as flirty Moneypenny in the James Bond movies, so looking forward to seeing her in this role. Hidden Figures sounds great: uncredited women of colour who did all the grunt work for NASA and didn't get the credit for it. Apropos, and pretty similar to the Oscars, actually.

And Britain's very own Gugu Mbatha-Raw is a luminous screen presence (Mark Kermode, in his review of Free State of Jones, described a scene where she smiled, saying 'the whole screen lit up'), and should have been given the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast instead of Emma Watson. Gugu is strikingly beautiful, has musical and dramatic training (unlike Emma), has previously played someone called Belle (in Amma Asante's Belle), and, most importantly, can actually act. 

But ofc Emma Watson got the part.

As I said, Hollywood has some serious reparations to make.

Original Screenplay

01. Jackie
02. 20th Century Woman
03. Manchester by the Sea
04. Moonlight
05. Zootopia

Adapted Screenplay
01. Fences
02. Lion
03. Arrival
04. Silence
05. Hidden Figures

I'm not going to bother predicting the technicals, foreign film and short films until closer to the time when I've seen more.

I shall check back after the actual nominations come out and compare how I did! =)

1 comment:

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