Monday, January 22, 2018

Oscar nomination predictions, 2018.

The Oscar nominations come out tomorrow, and, as movie award commentary is one of the chief functions of my blog, I thought I’d predict them! The rankings are from most to least likely.

Saoirse Ronan and Beanie Feldstein (Jonah Hill's sister!) in Lady Bird

Best Film
01. The Shape of Water
02. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
03. Get Out
04. Dunkirk
05. Lady Bird
06. Call Me By Your Name
07. The Post

I forsee there being 7 nominees in Best Picture, but with the expanded Best Pic facilitating as many as 10 nominees, the extra predictions, should there be that many nominees...
08. Phantom Thread
09. The Florida Project
10. I, Tonya

I, Tonya has been performing very well with the Guilds (nominations for Producers Guild, at the WGA and Editing), but I'm hoping that what is ultimately a morally bankrupt movie which makes light of a woman complicit in her opponent having her kneecaps smashed in doesn't get enough #1 votes to make the Best Film shortlist!

Best Director
01. Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
02. Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk
03. Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
04. Greta Gerwig, Lady Bird
05. Jordan Peele, Get Out

Having now watched The Shape of Water (thank you, Odeon Screen Unseen!), I feel Chris Nolan deserves this award much more than Del Toro or McDonagh. GDT is a unique filmmaker, but his direction was much tidier and more assured in the masterpiece Pan's Labyrinth. Nolan had a much harder task in Dunkirk than any of his competitors, and it makes me sad that he's not receiving just recognition for it.

Best Actor in a Leading Role
01. Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
02. Timothée Chalamet, Call Me By Your Name
03. Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out
04. Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
05. Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

As I mentioned, dishy Timothée Chalamet will become the third youngest man to receive an Oscar nomination in this category on Tuesday. The Oscars have no problem nominating women in their early-20s in Best Actress (some of my favourites of those nominated include Ellen Page in Juno, Keira Knightley in Pride and Prejudice, Saoirse Ronan in Brooklyn), but they're weirdly sexist about age and performances, preferring their leading men to have had some life experience.

Chalamet probably won't win, but if he did, he would be breaking the record for Youngest Winner of Best Actor in a Leading Role by several years; current recipient of that honour, Adrien Brody won Best Actor a few weeks shy of 30.

For people who like their film trivia, Timmy played a young Casey Affleck in Christopher Nolan's (infinitely inferior to Dunkirk) Interstellar, which I personally think is a bit of a burn. So if all my dreams came true and Timmy did win Best Actor in March, Interstellar would feature the eerily prescient casting of 2018's Best Actor winner playing a young version of 2017's Best Actor winner!

Chalamet's nomination for Best Actor isn't just notable for his youthfulness, either: the Oscars are also known for tacitly punishing handsome actors who star in romantic films, which is why Leonardo DiCaprio was snubbed for Titanic and James McAvoy, for Atonement, two stunning performances that both make my 'Emma's 50 Favourite Male Acting Performances' canon. Ryan Gosling was also snubbed for his devastating performance Blue Valentine. So for Timmy to get nominated, so young, and for playing a character who's entire interactions in the film pertain to him falling in love and getting his heart broken, is amazingly rare.

Get it, Timmy!

I have a No Guts, No Glory nomination in this field: Denzel getting nom'd for the critically panned Roman J Israel, Esq. over James Franco, who won the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award. I just think that with all the allegations about sexual impropriety surrounding Franco as well as the current #TimesUp climate, it would be a bit of a kick in the teeth if Franco got nominated, and I reckon that may play on voters' minds.

Plus Denzel should have won last year and lost... to another man surrounded by sexual misconduct allegations. 😶😶😶😶 (Reminder that Hollyweird likes to lecture others on how to lead their lives...)

Best Actress in a Leading Role
01. Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
02. Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
03. Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
04. Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
05. Meryl Streep, The Post

That final slot is really hard to call, because The Post was completely shut out at the BAFTAs and the SAGs, yet was nominated all over the place at the Golden Globes. However, I'm predicting Streep, because all the alternatives to her probably won't inspire enough enthusiasm to get the requisite amount of first places. Chastain in Molly's Game looked great, but she's done that schtick before, and better in Miss Sloane, Judi Dench has already won an Oscar playing a queen so her turn in Victoria and Abdul will have voters (rightly or wrongly) assuming she's on autopilot, and Michelle Williams was good but not showy enough in All the Money in the World.

The only thing that may happen w.r.t to the fifth place, if the Academy took to The Florida Project better than I expected, is that adorable Brooklynn Prince 'Quvenzhané Wallis'-es her way to a surprise Best Actress Oscar nomination. I can't find her age on the internet, but I daresay she would become either the youngest or at least second youngest actress to achieve such a feat!

Best Supporting Actor
01. Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
02. Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
03. Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
04. Michael StuhlbargCall Me By Your Name
05. Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World

If the actual Oscar nominations match these predictions, I’ll have seen all the performances in this category! I'm rather optimistically predicting Michael Stuhlbarg, given he's shown up very patchily in the precursors, but, the Oscars rarely mirror the precursors identically, and I hope he's a welcome Oscar morning surprise.

Plus, I mean, if the nominations did go as these, then the inclusions of Jenkins and Plummer for performances both could have given in their sleep are utterly uninspired. I'd nominate Barry Keoghan for The Killing of a Sacred Deer and Mark Rylance for Dunkirk in their places, two performances that have sadly struggled to gain awards traction.

Bes Supporting Actress
01. Allison Janney, I, Tonya
02. Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird
03. Hong Chau, Downsizing
04. Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
05. Lesley Manville, Phantom Thread

Octavia Spencer was her usual charming self in The Shape of Water but 'Zelda' was a really meh role (think Rooney Mara in Lion-levels of meh) and hardly the showcase of her acting chops that The Help and Hidden Figures were, and thus, I don't see her getting enough #1 votes to make the shortlist, despite her film's frontrunner status.

I'm tentatively predicting Lesley Manville, despite her only precursor nomination coming at BAFTA, the awards body of her nation. At the Oscars, number 1 placings help more than the overall number of people that just had you anywhere on their list, and I can see people who feel this underrated queen (she was my pick for Best Actress in 2010 for Another Year) putting her as their number 1, ahead of Holly Hunter, her main competitor for that slot. Hunter was very watchable and convincing as the pissed off mother in The Big Sick, but three memorable mothers in this category might be overkill for voters.

Best Original Screenplay
01. Get Out
02. Lady Bird
03. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
04. The Shape of Water
05. Phantom Thread

The Big Sick's screenplay has its fans, not least due to the cute narrative (Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, real-life husband and wife who's life story from which the film is based, penned the script together), but I saw the film just before doing this nominations and I found the screenplay rather clunky, way too much telling rather than showing, and the presentation of South Asian women as caricatures and not worthy of the protagonist's time, troubling. I realise I'm not an Academy voter, but I just think Paul Thomas Anderson's writing, for the film that is Daniel Day-Lewis' swan-song, may sit better with the more cerebral Academy voters.

Also, Dunkirk totally deserves to be nominated in this category. Just because the film didn't have much dialogue doesn't mean it wasn't a clever script. Sigh.

Best Adapted Screenplay
01. Call Me By Your Name
02. The Disaster Artist
03. Molly’s Game
04. Mudbound
05. Wonder

Best Cinematography
01. Blade Runner 2049
02. Dunkirk
03. The Shape of Water
04. Darkest Hour
05. Mudbound

Best Editing
01. Dunkirk
02. Baby Driver
03. The Shape of Water
04. Get Out
05. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Original Score
01. Dunkirk
02. The Shape of Water
03. Darkest Hour
04. Coco
05. Blade Runner 2049

My suspicion that Warner Brothers are actively not campaigning for Hans Zimmer in Score was seemingly confirmed by this FYC. How rude; the panic-inducing score was a huge factor in why the film was so visceral!

I'm not sure if this was because Zimmer himself asked not to be campaigned, as he will possibly also get nominated for the score for Blade Runner 2049? But it seems unlikely; unlike when an actor being nominated against themselves in the same category potentially splitting the vote, when you listen to a film score, you're listening to the music, not the person who composed it (as opposed to when you're watching an actor, their face is what you're constantly presented with). So I am very confused why Warner Brothers seem to be actively snubbing Zimmer.

If Academy voters do decide to avoid double nominations for Zimmer, however, I reckon that fifth score nod will go to either Thomas Newman (Victoria and Abdul), Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread) or John Williams (The Post).

Original Song
01. ‘This is Me’ – The Greatest Showman
02. ‘Remember Me’ - Coco
03. ‘Ever more’ – Beauty and the Beast
04. ‘I Don’t Wanna Live forever’ – 50 Shades Darker
05. ‘Mighty River’ – Mudbound

I'm just predicting the 50 Shades song for the jokes. And if it actually happens, it will mean Zayn Malik has beaten his former One Direction bandmate Harry Styles in the race for an Oscar nomination!

I really like most of all these songs, particularly the Zayn/Taylor Swift collab because I like both of them, ‘Evermore’, which was one of the finest things about the stiff, uninspired Beauty and the Beast re-boot, and especially Remember Me, which tied in with the narrative of Coco so well, as well as being a sweet tune in its own right.

Random Emma-ish sequitur, but when I watched Insterstellar (which felt like it went on forever), I counted two f-words, both uttered by Matthew McConaughey. Now, Dunkirk was also written by Christopher Nolan, and in that, he used both of his PG-13-mandated f-words on Harry Styles.

Matthew McConaughey has an Oscar.

Just sayin', it's looking good for Harry!

Production Design
01. Dunkirk
02. Blade Runner 2049
03. The Shape of Water
04. Beauty and the Beast
05. The Greatest Showman

Costume Design
01. Beauty and the Beast
02. The Greatest Showman
03. Phantom Thread
04. I, Tonya
05. The Shape of Water

Sound Mixing
01. Dunkirk
02. Blade Runner 2049
03. Wonder Woman
04. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
05. War for the Planet of the Apes

Sound Editing
01. Dunkirk
02. Blade Runner 2049
03. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
04. Baby Driver
05. Get Out

Pixar films have historically popped up in this category (The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3), so I wouldn't be surprised if Coco got nominated here. However, I think Baby Driver (contender for one of the most overrated films of 2017), with its very noticeable, in-your-face editing and sound, will rack up a nom here at its expense, purely on the basis of most editing.

Animated Film
01. Coco
02. The Lego Batman Movie
03. Ferdinand
04. Loving Vincent
05. The Breadwinner

Foreign Film
01. In the Fade
02. The Square
03. Foxtrot
04. Loveless
05. A Fantastic Woman

Visual Effects
01. Dunkirk
02. Blade Runner 2049
03. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
04. War for the Planet of the Apes
05. The Shape of Water

I envision six techie nominations for the expensive Blade Runner 2049.

01. Bright
02. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
03. Wonder

David Ayer's Bright received horrendous reviews, but then again, so did his 2016 creation, Suicide Squad, and that won the Oscar for Best Make-Up last year! (and, frankly, that's the closest Cara Delevingne will ever get to an Oscar.) Sidebar, but, speaking of shite actresses, I am living for both my most despised actresses, Emma Watson and Jennifer Lawrence, getting Razzie nominations this year!

01. City of Ghosts
02. Icarus
03. Faces Places
04. Jane
05. Strong Island

Documentary Short
Edith + Eddie
Kayayo - The Living Shopping Baskets
Ram Dass Going Home
Ten Meter Tower

Short Film
The Eleven O'Clock
Facing Mecca
The Silent Child
Watu Wrote / All of Us 

Animated Short
Dear Basketball
In a Heartbeat
Life Smartphone
Negative Space 

Literally just copied Nathaniel's predictions in these three categories!

Finally, I know no-one asked for my opinion, but these are my personal awards for 2017 as things stand (having not seen Lady Bird, and a few other Oscar contenders):

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