Monday, November 20, 2017

The 49th Annual NAACP Image Award Nominations

Full list including more television, music, and literature at www.naacpimageawards.net/

The ceremony will be on the MLK Holiday: January 15th.

Full list on nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
Ava DuVernay
Bruno Mars
Chadwick Boseman
Chance the Rapper
Issa Rae
JAY-Z

MOVIES

Outstanding Motion Picture
Detroit
Get Out
Girls Trip
Marshall
Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture
Algee Smith “Detroit”
Chadwick Boseman “Marshall”
Daniel Kaluuya “Get Out”
Denzel Washington “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Idris Elba “The Mountain Between Us”

Outstanding Actress in a Motion Picture
Amandla Stenberg “Everything, Everything”
Danai Gurira “All Eyez on Me”
Halle Berry “Kidnap”
Natalie Paul “Crown Heights”
Octavia Spencer “Gifted”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Idris Elba “THOR: Ragnarok”
Laurence Fishburne “Last Flag Flying”
Lil Rel Howery “Get Out”
Nnamdi Asomugha “Crown Heights”
Sterling K. Brown “Marshall”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Audra McDonald “Beauty and the Beast”
Keesha Sharp “Marshall"
Regina Hall “Girls Trip"
Tessa Thompson “THOR: Ragnarok”
Tiffany Haddish “Girls Trip”

Outstanding Independent Motion Picture
Detroit
Last Flag Flying
Mudbound
Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
Wind River

Outstanding Film Documentary
I Called Him Morgan
STEP
Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities
The Rape of Recy Taylor
Whose Streets?

Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture
Dee Rees, Virgil Williams "Mudbound"
Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani “The Big Sick”
Jordan Peele “Get Out”
Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver “Girls Trip”
Mark Boal “Detroit”

Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture
Dee Rees “Mudbound”
Jordan Peele “Get Out”
Malcolm D. Lee “Girls Trip”
Reginald Hudlin “Marshall”
Stella Meghie “Everything, Everything”

TELEVISION

Outstanding Comedy Series
Ballers
black-ish
Dear White People
Insecure
Survivor’s Remorse

Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series
Anthony Anderson "black-ish”
Aziz Ansari “Master of None”
Dwayne Johnson “Ballers”
Keegan-Michael Key “Friends from College”
RonReaco Lee “Survivor’s Remorse”

Outstanding Actress in a Comedy Series
Danielle Brooks “Orange is the New Black”
Issa Rae “Insecure”
Loretta Devine “The Carmichael Show”
Niecy Nash “Claws”
Tracee Ellis Ross “black-ish ”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Ernie Hudson “Grace and Frankie”
Jay Ellis “Insecure”
John David Washington “Ballers”
Omar Miller “Ballers”
Tituss Burgess “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Leslie Jones “Saturday Night Live”
Marsai Martin “black-ish”
Tichina Arnold “Survivor’s Remorse”
Uzo Aduba “Orange is the New Black”
Yvonne Orji “Insecure”

Outstanding Drama Series
Greenleaf
Power
Queen Sugar
This Is Us
Underground

Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series
Kofi Siriboe “Queen Sugar”
Mike Colter “Marvel’s The Defenders”
Omari Hardwick “Power”
Sterling K. Brown “This Is Us ”
Terrence Howard “Empire”

Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series
Jurnee Smollett-Bell “Underground”
Kerry Washington “Scandal”
Rutina Wesley “Queen Sugar”
Taraji P. Henson “Empire”
Viola Davis "How to Get Away with Murder”

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Bryshere Gray "Empire”
Dondre Whitfield “Queen Sugar”
Joe Morton “Scandal”
Jussie Smollett “Empire”
Trai Byers “Empire”

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Lynn Whitfield "Greenleaf”
Naturi Naughton “Power”
Samira Wiley “The Handmaid’s Tale”
Susan Kelechi Watson “This Is Us”
Tina Lifford "Queen Sugar”

Outstanding Television Movie, Limited – Series or Dramatic Special
Flint
Shots Fired
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
The New Edition Story
When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story

Outstanding Actor in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Bryshere Grey “The New Edition Story”
Idris Elba “Guerrilla”
Laurence Fishburne “Madiba”
Mack Wilds “Shots Fired”
Woody McClain “The New Edition Story”

Outstanding Actress in a Television Movie, Limited-Series or Dramatic Special
Jill Scott “Flint”
Oprah Winfrey “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"
Queen Latifah “Flint”
Regina King “American Crime”
Sanaa Lathan “Shots Fired”

Outstanding Directing in a Comedy Series
Anton Cropper “black-ish” – Juneteenth
Barry Jenkins “Dear White People” – Chapter 5
Justin Simien “Dear White People” – Chapter 1
Spike Lee “She’s Gotta Have It” – #NolasChoice
Ken Whittingham “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” – Kimmy Bites an Onion!

Outstanding Directing in a Dramatic Series
Carl Franklin “13 Reasons Why” – Tape 5, Side B
Ernest R. Dickerson “The Deuce” – Show and Prove
Gina Prince-Bythewood “Shots Fired” – Hour One: Pilot
Jeffrey Byrd “Switched at Birth” – Occupy Truth
Jonathan Demme “Shots Fired” Hour Six: The Fire This Time

Outstanding Directing in a Television Movie or Special
Allen Hughes “The Defiant Ones”
Chris Robinson "The New Edition Story” – Night 1
Codie Elaine Oliver “Black Love”
Kevin Hooks “Madiba ” – Night 2
Mark Ford “Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G.”

Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series
Aziz Ansari "Master of None” – Thanksgiving
Janine Barrois “Claws” – Batsh*t
Justin Simien “Dear White People” – Chapter 1
Issa Rae “Insecure” – Hella Great
Issa Rae “Insecure” – Hella Perspective

Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series
Anthony Sparks "Queen Sugar” – What Do I Care for Morning
Ava DuVernay “Queen Sugar” – Dream Variations
Erica Anderson “Greenleaf” – The Bear
Gina Prince-Bythewood “Shots Fired” – Hour One: Pilot
Vera Herbert “This Is Us” – Still Here

Outstanding Writing in a Television Movie or Special
Abdul Williams “The New Edition Story” – Night Two
Alison McDonald “An American Girl Story: Summer Camp, Friends for Life”
Cas Sigers-Beedles “When Love Kills: The Falicia Blakely Story”
May Chan “An American Girl Story – Ivy & Julie 1976: A Happy Balance”
Peter Landesman, Alexander Woo, George C. Wolfe “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

2017 American Music Award Winners

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Niall Horan

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”

TOUR OF THE YEAR
Coldplay

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars, “That’s What I Like”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
Bruno Mars

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – POP/ROCK
Lady Gaga

FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP – POP/ROCK
Imagine Dragons

FAVORITE ALBUM – POP/ROCK
Bruno Mars, “24K Magic”

FAVORITE SONG – POP/ROCK
Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber, “Despacito”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
Keith Urban

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – COUNTRY
Carrie Underwood

FAVORITE DUO OR GROUP – COUNTRY
Little Big Town

FAVORITE ALBUM – COUNTRY
Keith Urban, “Ripcord”

FAVORITE SONG – COUNTRY
Keith Urban, “Blue Ain’t Your Color”

FAVORITE ARTIST – RAP/HIP-HOP
Drake

FAVORITE ALBUM – RAP/HIP-HOP
Kendrick Lamar, “DAMN.”

FAVORITE SONG – RAP/HIP-HOP
DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne, “I’m The One”

FAVORITE MALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
Bruno Mars

FAVORITE FEMALE ARTIST – SOUL/R&B
Beyonce

FAVORITE ALBUM – SOUL/R&B
Bruno Mars, “24K Magic”

FAVORITE SONG – SOUL/R&B
Bruno Mars, “That’s What I Like”

FAVORITE ARTIST – ALTERNATIVE ROCK
Linkin Park

FAVORITE ARTIST – ADULT CONTEMPORARY
Shawn Mendes

FAVORITE ARTIST – LATIN
Shakira

FAVORITE ARTIST – CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL
Lauren Daigle

FAVORITE ARTIST – ELECTRONIC DANCE MUSIC (EDM)
The Chainsmokers

TOP SOUNDTRACK
Moana

Sunday, November 19, 2017

First 2018 SAG Nomination Predictions - Film

Best Ensemble
Call Me By Your Name
Lady Bird
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Actor
Timothee Chalamet "Call Me By Your Name"
Daniel Day-Lewis "Phantom Thread"
James Franco "The Disaster Artist"
Jake Gyllenhaal "Stronger"
Gary Oldman "Darkest Hour"

Best Actress
Sally Hawkins "The Shape of Water"
Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Margot Robbie "I, Tonya"
Saoirse Ronan "Lady Bird"
Meryl Streep "The Post"

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe "The Florida Project"
Armie Hammer "Call Me By Your Name"
Sam Rockwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Mark Rylance "Dunkirk"
Michael Stuhlbarg "Call Me By Your Name"

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige "Mudbound"
Allison Janney "I, Tonya"
Melissa Leo "Novitiate"
Laurie Metcalf "Lady Bird"
Octavia Spencer "The Shape of Water"

Monday, November 13, 2017

First 2018 Golden Globe Film Predictions

Best Picture - Drama
Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Picture - Comedy/Musical
Battle of the Sexes
The Big Sick
Get Out
The Greatest Showman
Lady Bird

Best Actor - Drama
Timothee Chalamet "Call Me By Your Name"
Daniel Day-Lewis "Phantom Thread"
Jake Gyllenhaal "Stronger"
Tom Hanks "The Post"
Gary Oldman "Darkest Hour"

Best Actress - Drama
Annette Bening "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool"
Jessica Chastain "Molly's Game"
Sally Hawkins "The Shape of Water"
Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Meryl Streep "The Post"

Best Actor - Comedy/Musical
Steve Carell "Battle of the Sexes"
James Franco "The Disaster Artist"
Hugh Jackman "The Greatest Showman"
Daniel Kaluuya "Get Out"
Kumail Nanjiani "The Big Sick" 

Best Actress - Comedy/Musical
Judi Dench "Victoria and Abdul"
Margot Robbie "I, Tonya"
Saoirse Ronan "Lady Bird"
Emma Stone "Battle of the Sexes"
Emma Watson "Beauty and the Beast"

Best Director
Luca Guadagnino "Call Me By Your Name"
Joe Wright "Darkest Hour"
Christopher Nolan "Dunkirk"
Guillermo Del Toro "The Shape of Water"
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri"

Best Supporting Actor
Willem Dafoe "The Florida Project"
Armie Hammer "Call Me By Your Name"
Sam Rockwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Mark Rylance "Dunkirk"
Michael Stuhlberg "Call Me By Your Name"

Best Supporting Actress
Mary J. Blige "Mudbound"
Allison Janney "I, Tonya"
Laurie Metcalf "Lady Bird"
Octavia Spencer "The Shape of Water"
Kristin Scott Thomas "Darkest Hour"

Saturday, November 11, 2017

First 2018 Grammy Nomination Predictions

Album of the Year
Kendrick Lamar "DAMN."
Miranda Lambert "The Weight of These Wings"
Lorde "Melodrama"
Bruno Mars "24K"
Ed Sheeran "Divide"

Record of the Year
Kesha "Praying"
Kendrick Lamar "Humble"
Bruno Mars "That's What I Like"
Ed Sheeran "The Shape of You"
Taylor Swift "Look What You Made Me It"

Song of the Year
Taylor Swift "Better Man"
Kendrick Lamar and Michael Len Williams "Humble"
Lady Gaga, Hillary Lindsey, and Mark Ronson "Million Reasons"
Kesha, Ben Abraham, Andrew Joslyn, and Ryan Lewis "Praying"
Ed Sheeran, Steve Mac, Johnny McDaid, Kandi Burruss, Tameka Cottle, and Kevin Briggs "The Shape of You"

Best New Artist
Alessia Cara
Khalid
Logic
Old Dominion
SZA

Friday, November 10, 2017

Academy Announces 26 Animated Feature Submissions

“The Big Bad Fox & Other Tales”
“Birdboy: The Forgotten Children”
“The Boss Baby”
“The Breadwinner”
“Captain Underpants The First Epic Movie”
“Cars 3”
“Cinderella the Cat”
“Coco”
“Despicable Me 3”
“The Emoji Movie”
“Ethel & Ernest”
“Ferdinand”
“The Girl without Hands”
“In This Corner of the World”
“The Lego Batman Movie”
“The Lego Ninjago Movie”
“Loving Vincent”
“Mary and the Witch’s Flower”
“Moomins and the Winter Wonderland”
“My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea”
“Napping Princess”
“A Silent Voice”
“Smurfs: The Lost Village”
“The Star”
“Sword Art Online: The Movie – Ordinal Scale”
“Window Horses The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming”

With this group, my current and first predictions in this category are:

The Breadwinner
Coco
In This Corner of the World
The Lego Batman Movie
Loving Vincent

Sunday, November 5, 2017

The 30th European Film Award Nominations

Winners will be announced December 9th!

Best European Film
BPM (Beats per Minute)
Loveless
On Body and Soul
The Other Side of Hope
The Square

Best European Director
Ildiko Enyedi, "On Body and Soul”
Aki Kaurismaki, “The Other Side of Hope”
Yorgos Lanthimos, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Ruben Ostlund, “The Square”
Andrey Zvyagintsev, “Loveless”

Best European Actor
Claes Bang, “The Square”
Colin Farrell, "The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Josef Hader, “Farewell to Europe”
Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, “BPM (Beats per Minute)”
Jean-Louis Trintignant, “Happy End”

Best European Actress
Paula Beer, “Frantz”
Juliette Binoche, “Bright Sunshine In”
Alexandra Borbely, “On Body and Soul”
Isabelle Huppert, “Happy End”
Florence Pugh, “Lady Macbeth”

Best European Documentary
Austerlitz
Communion
La Chana
Stranger in Paradise
The Good Postman

Best European Animated Feature
Ethel & Ernest
Louise by the Shore
Loving Vincent
Zombillenium

Best European Comedy
King of The Belgians
The Square
Vincent and The End of The World
Welcome to Germany

Best European Screenwriter
Ildiko Enyedi, “On Body and Soul”
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou, “The Killing of a Sacred Deer”
Ruben Ostlund, “The Square”
Oleg Negin and Andrey Zvyagintsev, “Loveless”
François Ozon, “Frantz”

Friday, November 3, 2017

2nd Critics Choice Documentary Awards

Best Documentary
Jane

Best Director 
(TIE) Evgeny Afineevsky (Cries from Syria) and Frederick Wiseman (Ex Libris: The New York Public Library)

Best First Documentary
Kedi

Best Political Documentary
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Best Sports Documentary
Icarus

Best Music Documentary
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives

Best Song in a Documentary
“Jump” (Step) – written by Raphael Saadiq, Taura Stinson and Laura Karpman, performed by Cynthia Erivo

Best Documentary Series
The Vietnam War

Best Ongoing Documentary Series
American Masters

Most Innovative Documentary
(TIE) Dawson City: Frozen Time and Last Men in Aleppo

Thursday, November 2, 2017

International Documentary Association (IDA) Award Nominations

Best Feature
City of Ghosts
Dina
Faces Places
LA 92
Strong Island 

Best Short
Edith+Eddie
The Fight
Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Long Shot
Mr. Connolly has ALS
The Rabbit Hunt

Pare Lorentz Award
Watani: My Homeland
Intent to Destroy

ABC News VideoSource Award
Blood On The Mountain
Elián
Icarus
LA 92
Obit

Best Curated Series Award
American Experience
Dokumania
Independent Lens
POV
Reel South

Best Limited Series Award
Daughters of Destiny
The Defiant Ones
The Keepers
The Vietnam War
TIME: The Kalief Browder Story

Best Episodic Series Award
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Chef’s Table
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
MARS
Planet Earth II

Best Short Form Series Award
Field of Vision
Shorts on Time
The Guardian documentaries
The New York Times Op-Docs
The Secret Life of Muslims

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award
Believers (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
Chomo (National Film and Television School – United Kingdom)
How To Make A Pearl (UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism)
Man on Fire (University of Texas, Austin)
Room 140 (Stanford University)

Creative Recognition Award Winners

Best Cinematography
Machines

Best Editing
Dawson City: Frozen Time

Best Music
Brimstone and Glory

Best Writing
Donkeyote

2017 British Independent Film Award Nominations

Best British Independent Film
The Death of Stalin
God's Own Country
I Am Not a Witch
Lady Macbeth
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best International Independent Film
The Florida Project
Get Out
I Am Not Your Negro
Loveless
The Square

Best Director
Armando Iannucci "The Death of Stalin"
Francis Lee "God’s Own Country"
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Runago Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"
William Oldroyd "Lady Macbeth"

Best Screenplay
Alice Birth "Lady Macbeth"
Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, and Ian Martin "The Death of Stalin"
Francis Lee "God's Own Country"
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Rungano Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"

Best Actress
Emily Beecham "Daphne"
Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Margaret Mulubwa "I Am Not a Witch"
Florence Pugh "Lady Macbeth"
Ruth Wilson "Dark River"

Best Actor
Jamie Bell "Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool"
Paddy Considine "Journeyman"
Johnny Harris "Jawbone"
Josh O'Connor "God's Own Country"
Alec Secareanu "God's Own Country"

Best Supporting Actress
Naomi Ackie "Lady Macbeth"
Patricia Clarkson "The Party"
Kelly MacDonald "Goodbye Christopher Robin"
Andrea Riseborough "The Death of Stalin"
Julie Walters "Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool"

Best Supporting Actor
Simon Russell Beale "The Death of Stalin"
Steve Buscemi "The Death of Stalin"
Woody Harrelson "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Ian Hart "God’s Own Country"
Sam Rockwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Most Promising Newcomer
Naomi Ackie "Lady Macbeth"
Harry Gilby "Just Charlie"
Cosmo Jarvis "Lady Macbeth"
Harry Michell "Chubby Funny
Lily Newmark "Pin Cushion"

Best Debut Director
Deborah Haywood "Pin Cushion"
Francis Lee "God's Own Country"
Thomas Napper "Jawbone"
Rungano Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"
William Oldroyd "Lady Macbeth"

Debut Screenwriter
Alice Birch "Lady Macbeth"
Gaby Chiappe "Their Finest"
Johnny Harris "Jawbone"
Francis Lee "God’s Own Country"
Rungano Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"

Breakthrough Producer
Gavin Humphries "Pin Cushion"
Emily Morgan "I Am Not a Witch"
Brendan Mullin and Katy Jackson "Bad Day for the Cut"
Fodhla Cronin O'Reilly "Lady Macbeth"
Jack Tarling and Manon Ardisson "God’s Own Country"

The Discovery Award
Even When I Fall
Halfway
In Another Life
Isolani R
My Pure Land

Best Documentary
Almost Heaven
Half Way
Kingdom of Us
Uncle Howard
Williams

Best British Short Film
1745
The Entertainer
Fish Story
Work
Wren Boys

Best Cinematography
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
I Am Not a Witch
Jawbone
Leaning Into the Wind
Lady Macbeth

Best Casting
Lady Macbeth
God’s Own Country
The Death of Stalin
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Best Costume Design
My Cousin Rachel
The Death of Stalin
How to Talk to Girls at Parties
I Am Not a Witch
Lady Macbeth

Best Editing
Williams
Jawbone
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Death of Stalin
Us and Them

Best Effects
The Ritual
Journeyman
The Death of Stalin
Double Date
Their Finest

Best Make Up & Hair Design
I Am Not a Witch
Breathe
Journeyman
The Death of Stalin
Lady Macbeth

Best Music
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Leaning into the Wind
I Am Not a Witch
Jawbone
The Death of Stalin

Best Production Design
Lady Macbeth
The Death of Stalin
Final Portrait
I Am Not a Witch
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

Best Sound
God’s Own Country
I Am Not a Witch
Jawbone
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Breathe

Friday, October 27, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Picture

Post-Festival Predictions
Blade Runner 2049
Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
Dunkirk
The Florida Project
Get Out
Lady Bird
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Other Contenders - Battle of the Sexes, I Tonya, Mudbound, Phantom Thread, The Big Sick, Logan, The Greatest Showman, Wonder Woman, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Big Sick, Downsizing, Wonderstruck, Last Flag Flying, Coco, Detroit, Stronger, Molly's Game, Stronger, The Beguiled, Victoria and Abdul, mother!, War for the Planet of the Apes, Breathe, Murder on the Orient Express, Marshall, First They Killed My Father, Wind River

Commentary - As always, I start with ten, knowing that things can change. There are a few at this point I think are slam dunks. First, is Dunkirk, whose summer release will not hamper its ability to woo Oscar voters. I would also add Guillermo Del Toro's The Shape of Water, Joe Wright's Darkest Hour, and Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. Shape of Water is the director's film with style, Darkest Hour is the historical biopic that voters love, and Three Billboards is this year's surprise contender who will ride its Toronto audience award all the way to Oscar glory. Smaller projects like The Florida Project, Call Me By Your Name, and Lady Bird, are hoping to join the list of small indies that have become Oscar staples. Blade Runner 2049 may not be a box office hit, but I think that the directors and the tech folks will elevate it the way they have Mad Max and Arrival in recent years. The Post is the one big contender we really don't know yet, but Steven Spielberg + Meryl Streep + Tom Hanks = Oscar gold until we see otherwise. Finally, Get Out is the little film that could. It is not at all a typical Oscar movie, and this does make me nervous. But if it continues to retain its buzz, it could be the big surprise of this season. On the outside are some potent contenders though. Battle of the Sexes was deemed "crowd pleaser", but that is exactly why I think it is a bigger contender than folks are giving it credit for. These type of historical, crowd-pleasing biopics often find their way into this race (see Hidden Figures, The Help and The Blind Side for examples). I, Tonya is biting and gaining attention, Mudbound is in if Netflix plays their cards right, The Big Sick is heartfelt, Phantom Thread has all the right pieces, Stronger is emotional, and The Greatest Showman is the lurking contender I am keeping my eye on. The big guys like Star Wars, Coco, Planet of the Apes, and Logan are once again fighting for a slot, and the mixed contenders like Downsizing, Wonderstruck, mother!, Victoria and Abdul, Marshall, Wind River, and Last Flag Flying are hoping that they still have enough passionate voters to sneak in.

Academy Announces 170 Entries for Best Documentary Feature

Here are the 170 Entries:

“Abacus: Small Enough to Jail”
“Aida’s Secrets”
“Al Di Qua”
“All the Rage”
“All These Sleepless Nights”
“AlphaGo”
“The American Media and the Second Assassination of President John F. Kennedy”
“And the Winner Isn’t”
“Angels Within”
“Architects of Denial”
“Arthur Miller: Writer”
“Atomic Homefront”
“The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman’s Portrait Photography”
“Bang! The Bert Berns Story”
“Bending the Arc”
“Big Sonia”
“Bill Nye: Science Guy”
“Birthright: A War Story”
“Bobbi Jene”
“Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”
“Born in China”
“Born to Lead: The Sal Aunese Story”
“Boston”
“Brimstone & Glory”
“Bronx Gothic”
“Burden”
“California Typewriter”
“Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story”
“Casting JonBenet”
“Chasing Coral”
“Chasing Trane”
“Chavela”
“Citizen Jane: Battle for the City”
“City of Ghosts”
“Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives”
“Cries from Syria”
“Cruel & Unusual”
“Cuba and the Cameraman”
“Dawson City: Frozen Time”
“Dealt”
“The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson”
“Destination Unknown”
“Dina”
“Dolores”
“Dream Big: Engineering Our World”
“A Dying King: The Shah of Iran”
“Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis (Our Friends)”
“Earth: One Amazing Day”
“11/8/16”
“Elian”
“Embargo”
“Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars”
“Escapes”
“Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray”
“Ex Libris – The New York Public Library”
“Extraordinary Ordinary People”
“Faces Places”
“The Farthest”
“The Final Year”
“Finding Oscar”
“500 Years”
“Food Evolution”
“For Ahkeem”
“The Force”
“The Freedom to Marry”
“From the Ashes”
“Gaga: Five Foot Two”
“A German Life”
“Get Me Roger Stone”
“Gilbert”
“God Knows Where I Am”
“Good Fortune”
“A Gray State”
“Hare Krishna! The Mantra, the Movement and the Swami Who Started It All”
“Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story”
“Hearing Is Believing”
“Hell on Earth: The Fall of Syria and the Rise of ISIS”
“Human Flow”
“I Am Another You”
“I Am Evidence”
“I Am Jane Doe”
“I Called Him Morgan”
“Icarus”
“If You’re Not in the Obit, Eat Breakfast”
“The Incomparable Rose Hartman”
“An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power”
“Intent to Destroy”
“Jane”
“Jeremiah Tower The Last Magnificent”
“Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton”
“Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold”
“Joshua: Teenager vs. Superpower”
“Karl Marx City”
“Kedi”
“Keep Quiet”
“Kiki”
“LA 92”
“The Last Dalai Lama?”
“The Last Laugh”
“Last Men in Aleppo”
“Legion of Brothers”
“Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982 – 1992”
“Let’s Play Two”
“Letters from Baghdad”
“Long Strange Trip”
“Look & See”
“Machines”
“Man in Red Bandana”
“Mr. Gaga: A True Story of Love and Dance”
“Motherland”
“Mully”
“My Scientology Movie”
“Naples ’44”
“Neary’s – The Dream at the End of the Rainbow”
“Night School”
“No Greater Love”
“No Stone Unturned”
“Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press”
“Nowhere to Hide”
“Obit”
“Oklahoma City”
“One of Us”
“The Paris Opera”
“The Pathological Optimist”
“Prosperity”
“The Pulitzer at 100”
“Quest”
“Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman”
“The Rape of Recy Taylor”
“The Reagan Show”
“Restless Creature: Wendy Whelan”
“Risk”
“A River Below”
“Rocky Ros Muc”
“Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World”
“Santoalla”
“School Life”
“Score: A Film Music Documentary”
“Served Like a Girl”
“The Settlers”
“78/52”
“Shadowman”
“Shot! The Psycho Spiritual Mantra of Rock”
“Sidemen: Long Road to Glory”
“The Skyjacker’s Tale”
“Sled Dogs”
“Soufra”
“Spettacolo”
“Step”
“Stopping Traffic: The Movement to End Sex-Trafficking”
“Strong Island”
“Surviving Peace”
“Swim Team”
“Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton”
“Take My Nose… Please!”
“They Call Us Monsters”
“32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide”
“This Is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous”
“Tickling Giants”
“Trophy”
“Twenty Two”
“Unrest”
“Vince Giordano – There’s a Future in the Past”
“Voyeur”
“Wait for Your Laugh”
“Wasted! The Story of Food Waste”
“Water & Power: A California Heist”
“Whitney. “Can I Be Me””
“Whose Streets?”
“The Work”

Sunday, October 22, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Director

Post Festival Predictions
Luca Guadagnino "Call Me By Your Name"
Denis Villeneuve "Blade Runner 2049"
Joe Wright "Darkest Hour"
Christopher Nolan "Dunkirk"
Guillermo Del Toro "The Shape of Water"

Other Contenders - Steven Spielberg "The Post", Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", Dee Rees "Mudbound", Paul Thomas Anderson "Phantom Thread", Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird", Jordan Peele "Get Out", Sean Baker "The Florida Project",  Michael Gracey "The Greatest Showman", Patty Jenkins "Wonder Woman", Rian Johnson "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Kathryn Bigelow "Detroit", Alexander Payne "Downsizing", James Mangold "Logan", Ridley Scott "All the Money in the World", Edgar Wright "Baby Driver", Sofia Coppola "The Beguiled", Michael Showalter "The Big Sick", Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris "Battle of the Sexes", Todd Haynes "Wonderstruck", Richard Linklater "Last Flag Flying", Aaron Sorkin "Molly's Game", Darren Aronofsky "mother!", Matt Reeves "War for the Planet of the Apes", Taylor Sheridan "Wind River"

Commentary - In the last several years of the Best Picture expansion, this category has rewarded the visionary director, the technical expertise director, over the Best Picture winner. The one exception was Birdman, which was a combination of technical expertise, ensemble acting, and an Academy-friendly story line, and overcame this split. That is why I have three directors at the top: Christopher Nolan, Denis Villeneuve, and Guillermo Del Toro. These are the types of directors, and their films the types of films, that the Academy has awarded in this category in recent years. I also think that this branch, which has hailed foreign directors in the past, will reward Italian Luca Guadagnino for Call Me By Your Name, which is also stylish in its own right. Joe Wright missed out for Atonement, but Darkest Hour is climbing the Oscar charts, and he is well-overdue for some recognition from his peers. But these five are in the lion fight. First is Martin McDonagh. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri is a crowd-pleaser, and he is on the cusp. Steven Spielberg is always in contention, Dee Rees, Sean Baker, Greta Gerwig, and Jordan Peele are breakout stars, and previous nominees like Paul Thomas Anderson, Richard Linklater, Ridley Scott, Darren Aronofsky, Kathryn Bigelow, Alexander Payne, and Sofia Coppola will inspire votes. Michael Gracey could inspire folks with the showy Greatest Showman, Patty Jenkins, James Mangold, Matt Reeves and Rian Johnson could get one for the studio films, Aaron Sorkin's directorial debut got good reviews, Edgar Wright is visionary, Michael Showalter is now a proven master of indie comedies, Dayton and Feris brought a crowd-pleaser, and Todd Haynes has been flirting with Oscar for years. All should be kept on your radar.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

2017 IFP Gotham Independent Film Award Nominations

I am SO late on these:

Best Feature
Call Me by Your Name
The Florida Project
Get Out
Good Time
I, Tonya

Best Documentary
Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
Rat Film
Strong Island
Whose Streets?
The Work

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Maggie Betts "Novitiate"
Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird"
Kogonada "Columbus"
Jordan Peele "Get Out"
Joshua Z. Weinstein "Menashe"

Best Screenplay
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani "The Big Sick"
Mike White "Brad’s Status"
James Ivory "Call Me by Your Name"
Kogonada "Columbus"
Jordan Peele "Get Out"
Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird"

Best Actor
Willem Dafoe "The Florida Project"
James Franco "The Disaster Artist"
Daniel Kaluuya "Get Out"
Robert Pattinson "Good Time"
Adam Sandler "The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)"
Harry Dean Stanton "Lucky"

Best Actress
Melanie Lynskey "I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore"
Haley Lu Richardson "Columbus"
Margot Robbie "I, Tonya"
Saoirse Ronan "Lady Bird"
Lois Smith "Marjorie Prime"

Breakthrough Actor
Mary J. Blige "Mudbound"
Timothée Chalamet "Call Me by Your Name"
Harris Dickinson "Beach Rats"
Kelvin Harrison, Jr. "It Comes at Night"
Brooklynn Prince "The Florida Project"

Breakthrough Series – Long Form
Atlanta
Better Things
Dear White People
Fleabag
Search Party

Breakthrough Series – Short Form
555
Inconceivable
Junior
Let Me Die a Nun
The Strange Eyes of Dr. Myes

Special Gotham Jury Award
The Cast of Mudbound

Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017 American Music Award (AMA) Nominees

ARTIST OF THE YEAR
Bruno Mars
The Chainsmokers
Drake
Kendrick Lamar
Ed Sheeran

NEW ARTIST OF THE YEAR
James Arthur
Niall Horan
Julia Michaels
Post Malone
Rae Sremmurd

COLLABORATION OF THE YEAR
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey
“Despacito” – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber
“I’m The One” – DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil Wayne
“Don’t Wanna Know” – Maroon 5 feat. Kendrick Lamar
“Starboy” – The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk

BEST MALE POP/ROCK ARTIST
Bruno Mars
Drake
Ed Sheeran

BEST FEMALE POP/ROCK ARTIST
Lady Gaga
Rihanna
Alessia Cara

FAVORITE POP/ROCK DUO OR GROUP
Coldplay
The Chainsmokers
Imagine Dragons

FAVORITE POP/ROCK ALBUM
“Starboy” – The Weeknd
“24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
“More Life” – Drake

FAVORITE POP/ROCK SONG
“Despacito” – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber
“Shape Of You” – Ed Sheeran
“Closer” – The Chainsmokers feat. Halsey

FAVORITE MALE SOUL/R&B ARTIST
Bruno Mars
Donald Glover
The Weeknd

FAVORITE FEMALE SOUL/R&B ARTIST
Beyonce
Kehlani
Rihanna

FAVORITE SOUL/R&B ALBUM
“24K Magic” – Bruno Mars
“Awaken, My Love!” – Donald Glover
“Starboy” – The Weeknd

FAVORITE SOUL/R&B SONG
“That’s What I Like” – Bruno Mars
“Location” – Khalid
“Starboy” – The Weeknd

FAVORITE RAP/HIP-HOP ARTIST
Drake
Kendrick Lamar
Migos

FAVORITE RAP/HIP-HOP ALBUM
“More Life” – Drake
“DAMN.” – Kendrick Lamar
“Culture” – Migos

FAVORITE RAP/HIP-HOP SONG
“I’m The One” – DJ Khaled feat. Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne
“HUMBLE.” – Kendrick Lamar
“Black Beatles” – Rae Sremmurd feat. Gucci Mane

FAVORITE EDM ARTIST
The Chainsmokers
DJ Snake
Calvin Harris

FAVORITE MALE COUNTRY ARTIST
Sam Hunt
Thomas Rhett
Keith Urban

FAVORITE FEMALE COUNTRY ARTIST
Miranda Lambert
Maren Morris
Carrie Underwood

FAVORITE COUNTRY DUO OR GROUP
Florida Georgia Line
Little Big Town
Old Dominion

FAVORITE COUNTRY ALBUM
“They Don’t Know” – Jason Aldean
“From A Room: Volume 1” – Chris Stapleton
“Ripcord” – Keith Urban

FAVORITE COUNTRY SONG
“Body Like A Back Road” – Sam Hunt
“Dirt On My Boots” – Jon Pardi
“Blue Ain’t Your Color” – Keith Urban

FAVORITE ALTERNATIVE ROCK ARTIST
Imagine Dragons
Linkin Park
Twenty One Pilots

FAVORITE ADULT CONTEMPORARY ARTIST
Bruno Mars
Shawn Mendes
Ed Sheeran

FAVORITE CONTEMPORARY INSPIRATIONAL ARTIST
Lauren Daigle
MercyMe
Chris Tomlin

FAVORITE LATIN ARTIST
Daddy Yankee
Luis Fonsi
Shakira

VIDEO OF THE YEAR
“That’s What I Like” – Bruno Mars
“Shape Of You” – Ed Sheeran
“Despacito” – Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee feat. Justin Bieber

TOUR OF THE YEAR
Garth Brooks
Coldplay
U2

TOP SOUNDTRACK
Guardians of the Galaxy, Volume 2: “Awesome Mix Vol. 2”
Moana
Trolls

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Actor

Post-Festival Predictions
Timothee Chalamet "Call Me By Your Name"
Daniel Day-Lewis "Phantom Thread"
Jake Gyllenhaal "Stronger"
Hugh Jackman "The Greatest Showman"
Gary Oldman "Darkest Hour"

Other Contenders - Tom Hanks "The Post", Andrew Garfield "Breathe", James Franco "The Disaster Artist", Jeremy Renner "Wind River", Daniel Kaluuya "Get Out", Sam Elliott "The Hero", Steve Carell "Battle of the Sexes", Steve Carell "The Last Flag Flying", Denzel Washington "Roman J. Israel, Esq", Kumail Nanjiani "The Big Sick", Christian Bale "Hostiles", Ryan Gosling "Blade Runner 2049", Chadwick Boseman "Marshall", Hugh Jackman "Logan", Miles Teller "Thank You For Your Service", James McAvoy "Split", Matt Damon "Downsizing", Kevin Spacey "All the Money in the World", Javier Barden "mother!", Robert Redford "Our Souls at Night", Kenneth Branagh "Murder on the Orient Express", Robert Pattinson "Good Time", Joel Edgerton "It Comes At Night", Tom Cruise "American Made", John Boyega "Detroit", Adam Sandler "The Meyerowitz Stories", Donald Sutherland "The Leisure Seeker"

Commentary - After the fests, one name stands out among the pack. Of course I am speaking of Gary Oldman. He has everything going for him: overdue status, brilliant performance, biopic, film with overall Oscar potential. Can something unseat him? Of course! It is only mid-October and the next three months or so could change a lot. But Oldman feels like one of those inevitable contenders, and so far, it looks like everyone is happy to go along for the ride. A surprise contender is Jake Gyllenhaal. He was not really on my radar, but Stronger has earned him raves. In a race that I actually think is rather weak, he is a previous nominee who recently missed out for some great roles, and this is the type of role that actors love. I think he finally earns himself a second Oscar nomination. While younger actors have always struggled here, I think that Timothee Chalamet, who is apparently just awesome in Call Me By Your Name can be an exception to the rule, if the film continues to play well. The last two slots I am saving for sights unseen. Daniel Day-Lewis is re-teaming up with Paul Thomas Anderson in what he says will be his last film. And Hugh Jackman gets to sing, dance, and play a real life character. Plus he also has a stunning performance in Logan to bolster him. I think that, on paper at least, these look like perfect roles for two beloved actors. My first alternate slot goes to Tom Hanks. Like always, folks are rushing to predict him, but then I go back to Captain Phillips and Bridge of Spies, and so many other performances in the last fifteen years that have been overlooked. So for now, I am leaving him out. Beyond those six, the field, in my opinion, gets muddled. You have previous winners and nominees like Jeremy Renner, Andrew Garfield, James Franco, Steve Carell, Denzel Washington, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Matt Damon, Kevin Spacey, Javier Bardem, Robert Redfrod, Kenneth Branagh, and Tom Cruise. But in each of their cases, there is something that makes me hesitate. It's either the film is not well-received, or the film is too small, or to controversial, or lacking buzz. But for whatever reason, none have risen to the top. YOu have legends like Sam Elliott and Donald Sutherland doing great late-career work, and young talents like Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Kaluuya, Kumail Nanjiani, Miles Teller, Robert Pattinson, and John Boyega patiently waiting for Oscar breakthrough. But right now, they all need more buzz to breakthrough.

Friday, October 13, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Actress

Post-Festival Predictions
Sally Hawkins "The Shape of Water"
Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Margot Robbie "I, Tonya"
Emma Stone "Battle of the Sexes"
Meryl Streep "The Post"

Other Contenders - Kate Winslet "Wonder Wheel", Saoirse Ronan "Lady Bird", Jessica Chastain "Molly's Game", Judi Dench "Victoria and Abdul", Annette Bening "Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool", Michelle Williams "All the Money in the World", Carey Mulligan "Mudbound", Daniela Vega "A Fantastic Woman", Gal Gadot "Wonder Woman", Diane Kruger "In the Fade", Claire Foy "Breathe", Jennifer Lawrence "mother!", Salma Hayek "Beatriz at Dinner", Debra Winger "The Lovers", Helen Mirren "The Leisure Seeker", Jane Fonda "Our Souls at Night", Charlize Theron "Atomic Blonde", Isabelle Huppert "Happy End"

Commentary - This race is packed this year, and it will take a while to really sort out the top five. First, we have to make room for the obligatory Meryl Streep slot. Sometimes she does make it in, but she does more than she doesn't, and I discounted her last year for most of the season and I was wrong. Plus she is pairing up with Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. Sounds like Oscar gold. Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri's Toronto prize is a big deal, and previous winner Frances McDormand is ripe for an Oscar comeback. Despite being a mute performance, I think the power and popularity of Shape of Water, and her performance, will put Sally Hawkins back into the Oscar race for the first time since Blue Jasmine. Margot Robbie has been on the verge of Oscar for years now, and her role in I, Tonya has been earning raves. Finally, while a lot of Oscar prognosticators have written off Battle of the Sexes as a "crowd-pleaser", that is exactly why I am keeping it in a lot of these races. It is the kind of feel-good film like Hidden Figures last year, that wins the hearts of voters. Emma Stone is last year's winner, is fantastic as Billie Jean King, in a film I think Oscar voters will love. I say she earns her third nomination. Beyond those five though are some potent contenders. Kate Winslet is apparently fantastic in Wonder Wheel, although early reviews have been mixed. Saoirse Ronan earned raves out of the fests for Lady Bird, Jessica Chastain sizzles in Molly's Game, Annette Bening is the reason to watch Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool, and Judi Dench is, well, Judi Dench. Those only make my top ten, and there are still plenty of names to think about. Gal Gadot deserves some love for Wonder Woman, Carey Mulligan is still searching for that second Oscar nomination, Michelle Williams is overdue, and names like Diane Kruger, Claire Foy, Jennifer Lawrence, Jane Fonda, Isabelle Huppert, and Debra Winger will inspire support.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The 2nd Annual Critics Choice Documentary Award Nominations

Best Documentary
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
Beware the Slenderman
Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds
Chasing Coral
City of Ghosts
Cries From Syria
Dawson City: Frozen Time
Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis
Ex Libris: The New York Public Library
Faces Places
Jane
Kedi
One of Us
Spettacolo
Strong Island

Best Director
Evgeny Afineevsky – Cries from Syria
Amir Bar-Lev – Long Strange Trip
Matthew Heineman – City of Ghosts
Bill Morrison – Dawson City: Frozen Time (
Doug Nichol – California Typewriter
Jeff Orlowski – Chasing Coral
Irene Taylor Brodsky – Beware the Slenderman
Ceyda Torun – Kedi
Agnès Varda & JR – Faces Places
Frederick Wiseman – Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Best First Documentary
California Typewriter
Kedi
Nowhere to Hide
Step
Strong Island
Whose Streets?

Best Political Documentary
11/8/16
Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power
City of Ghosts
Dolores
The Reagan Show

Best Sports Documentary
AlphaGo
Disgraced
Icarus
Speed Sisters
Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton
Trophy

Best Music Documentary
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of our Live
Contemporary Color
Eagles of Death Metal: Nos Amis
I Called Him Morgan
Long Strange Trip
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World

Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary
The Cats of Istanbul – Kedi
Etty – One of Us
Al Gore – An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power \
Laird Hamilton – Take Every Wave: The Life of Laird Hamilton
Dolores Huerta – Dolores
Gigi Lazzarato – This is Everything: Gigi Gorgeous
The Sung Family – Abacus: Small Enough to Jail

Most Innovative Documentary
78/52
Casting JonBenet
Dawson City: Frozen Time
Karl Marx City
Kedi
Last Men in Aleppo

Best Song in a Documentary
An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power – “Truth to Power” – OneRepublic
Chasing Coral – “Tell Me How Long” – Kristen Bell
Cries From Syria – “Prayers for This World” – Cher
Dina – “Best I Can” – Michael Cera featuring Sharon Van Etten
Served Like a Girl – “Dancing Through the Wreckage” – Pat Benatar
Step – “Jump” – Cynthia Erivo

Best Limited Documentary Series (TV/Streaming)
The Defiant Ones
Five Came Back
The Keepers
The Nineties
Planet Earth II
The Vietnam War

Best Ongoing Documentary Series (TV/Streaming)
30 for 30
American Masters
Frontline
Independent Lens
POV
VICE

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Technical Categories

Best Cinematography
Roger Deakins "Blade Runner 2049"
Hoyte van Hoytema "Dunkirk" 
Dan Laustsen "The Shape of Water"
Steve Yedlin "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Edward Lachmann "Wonderstruck"

Other Contenders - Bruno Delbonnel "Darkest Hour", Paul Thomas Anderson "Phantom Thread", Seamus McGarvey "The Greatest Showman", Rachel Morrison "Mudbound", Linus Sandgren "Battle of the Sexes", Sayombhu Mukdeeprom "Call Me By Your Name", John Mathieson "Logan", Anthony Dod Mantle "First They Killed My Father", Ben Davis "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", Matthew Jensen "Wonder Woman", Tobias A. Schliessler "Beauty and the Beast", Vittorio Storaro "Wonder Wheel", Ben Richardson "Wind River", Masanobu Takayanagi "Hostiles", Dion Beebe "The Snowman", Dariusz Wolski "All the Money in the World", Michael Seresin "War for the Planet of the Apes"

Best Costume Design
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
The Greatest Showman
Murder on the Orient Express
Victoria and Abdul

Other Contenders - Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film, Wonderstruck,The Beguiled, Blade Runner 2049, Mudbound, Wonder Wheel, Dunkirk, Battle of the Sexes, The Shape of Water,  Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman, The Post, The Death of Stalin, Suburbicon, Marshall, Hostiles, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, The Glass Castle, Breathe, Call Me By Your Name, Ladybird, Detroit, Goodbye Christopher Robin

Best Film Editing
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
The Post
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Other Contenders - Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Get Out, Wonder Woman, Battle of the Sexes, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Mudbound, The Greatest Showman, Logan, Wonderstruck, Wonder Wheel, Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film, Victoria and Abdul, Detroit, War for the Planet of the Apes, I, Tonya, Hostiles, All the Money in the World, Stronger, Downsizing, Last Flag Flying

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Beauty and the Beast
Darkest Hour
The Greatest Showman

Other Contenders - Logan, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Dunkirk, The Beguiled, All the Money in the World, Wonder, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Battle of the Sexes, Victoria and Abdul, I Tonya, Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film, Thor: Ragnarok, Wonderstruck, Detroit, Hostiles, It, The Post, Logan Lucky, Justice League, mother!

Best Original Score
Dario Marianelli "Darkest Hour"
Alexandre Desplat "The Shape of Water"
Thomas Newman "Victoria and Abdul"
John Williams "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Hans Zimmer "Dunkirk"

Other Contenders - John Williams "The Post", Carter Burwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", John Debney, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul "The Greatest Showman", Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer "Blade Runner 2049", Michael Giacchino "War for the Planet of the Apes", Michael Giacchino "Coco", Carter Burwell "Wonderstruck", Marco Beltrami "Logan", James Newton Howard "Detroit"

Best Original Song
I will wait till the contenders list is released, this category always has surprises left off or included.

Best Production Design
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049\
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Other Contenders - Murder on the Orient Express, Victoria and Abdul, The Greatest Showman, Dunkirk, Untitled Paul Thomas Anderson Film, Wonder Wheel, Battle of the Sexes, Mudbound, The Post, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Logan, Thor: Ragnarok, Marshall, Call Me By Your Name, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Justice League, Detroit, War for the Planet of the Apes, Hostiles

Best Sound Editing
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Logan
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Wonder Woman

Other Contenders -  The Shape of Water, Justice League, Beauty and the Beast, Detroit, Battle of the Sexes, The Greatest Showman, Get Out, War for the Planet of the Apes, Coco, Transformers: The Last Knight, Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Baby Driver, Atomic Blonde, The Post, Mudbound, Hostiles, Kong: Skull Island, Darkest Hour, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Thank You For Your Service, Mudbound, Okja, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Murder on the Orient Express

Best Sound Mixing
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Dunkirk
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Wonder Woman

Other Contenders - The Shape of the Water, Justice League, Logan, Detroit, Battle of the Sexes, The Greatest Showman, Get Out, War for the Planet of the Apes, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Coco, Transformers: The Last Knight, Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Baby Driver, Atomic Blonde, The Post, Mudbound, Hostiles, Kong: Skull Island, Darkest Hour, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Thank You For Your Service, Mudbound, Okja, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Murder on the Orient Express

Best Visual Effects
Beauty and the Beast
Blade Runner 2049
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

Other Contenders -  Justice League, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Thor: Ragnarok, Kong: Skull Island, Okja, Life, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Murder on the Orient Express

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Adapted Screenplay

Post-Festival Predictions
James Ivory "Call Me By Your Name"
Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, and Peter Fellows "The Death of Stalin"
James Mangold, Scott Frank, and Michael Green "Logan"
Aaron Sorkin "Molly's Game"
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams "Mudbound"

Other Contenders - John Pollono "Stronger", Brian Selznick "Wonderstruck", Sofia Coppola "The Beguiled", Hossein Amini, Peter Straughn, and Soren Sveistrup "The Snowman", Richard Linklater and Darryl Ponicsan "Last Flag Flying", Lee Hall "Victoria and Abdul", Rian Johnson "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Hampton Fancher and Michael Green "Blade Runner 2049", Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber "The Disaster Artist", Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber "Our Souls at Night", David Scarpa "All the Money in the World", Jason Dean Hall "Thank You For Your Service", Steve Conrad "Wonder", Allan Heinberg, Zach Snyder and Jason Fuchs "Wonder Woman", Matt Bomback, Matt Reeves, Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver "War for the Planet of the Apes", Michael Green "Murder on the Orient Express"

Commentary - This category is so weak this year, in terms of pure Oscar bait contenders, but I'm hopeful that it leads to some of the thought provoking blockbusters that deserve recognition to finally make the cut here. For example, so far, I think Logan is in this race, and could go where other Marvel films have come up short (including Deadpool last year, despite a WGA nod). It is the type of character arch that writers will enjoy, and it is way more than its action. I thought about Blade Runner 2049, but so far its praise is for its direction and technical prowess, not its story. But Wonder Woman, The Last Jedi (hopefully), War for the Planet of the Apes, and Blade Runner, are all making the case that big sometimes does mean better, and with a lack of normal writing contenders, one of these might sneak in. Right now, my bet is Logan. Beyond Logan, I have probably what are considered the three "Oscar bait" scripts. Sorkin is a previous winner here, and Molly's Game has decent reviews. In a tough year, it might have had the same fate as Steve Jobs did a few years ago, but with less choice, Sorkin is an easy spot to fill. Call Me By Your Name continues to heat up the Oscar race since its premiere at Sundance in January, and right now I would consider it the front runner. Finally, Mudbound still has a tough hill to climb if Netflix doesn't play the game, but once again, in a weaker race, it may not matter in this category. In the final slot, I have a real wild card. I remembered that not that long ago, In the Loop, another Armando Iannucci comedy snuck into this race by surprise. The Death of Stalin got great reviews, and is just the kind of curve ball contender that could attract some writers to its cause. Beyond those five (and the potential blockbusters), I would watch out for Stronger, which is mostly getting buzz for its performances, but is a solid film with good buzz. Wonderstruck feels like it belongs here, but we need more consensus after its mixed festival launch. The Beguild is probably dead in terms of the Oscar race, but it will have supporters, the team of Neustadter and Weber have been flirting with Oscar recognition for years, and now have two more attempts this year. David Scarpa is writing for Ridley Scott, Jason Hall is a previous nominee, Victoria and Abdul could inspire older voters. But I think the two that we all really need to watch out for are Last Flag Flying and The Snowman. Last Flag Flying has mixed reviews, and The Snowman looks too genre for Oscar voters. But with names like Richard Linklater and Peter Straughn, both previous nominees in this category, on board, they could end up surprise screenplay contenders.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Academy Announces 92 Foreign Language Film Submissions

Afghanistan, “A Letter to the President,” Roya Sadat, director;
Albania, “Daybreak,” Gentian Koçi, director;
Algeria, “Road to Istanbul,” Rachid Bouchareb, director;
Argentina, “Zama,” Lucrecia Martel, director;
Armenia, “Yeva,” Anahit Abad, director;
Australia, “The Space Between,” Ruth Borgobello, director;
Austria, “Happy End,” Michael Haneke, director;
Azerbaijan, “Pomegranate Orchard,” Ilgar Najaf, director;
Bangladesh, “The Cage,” Akram Khan, director;
Belgium, “Racer and the Jailbird,” Michaël R. Roskam, director;
Bolivia, “Dark Skull,” Kiro Russo, director;
Bosnia and Herzegovina, “Men Don’t Cry,” Alen Drljević, director;
Brazil, “Bingo - The King of the Mornings,” Daniel Rezende, director;
Bulgaria, “Glory,” Petar Valchanov, Kristina Grozeva, directors;
Cambodia, “First They Killed My Father,” Angelina Jolie, director;
Canada, “Hochelaga, Land of Souls,” François Girard, director;
Chile, “A Fantastic Woman,” Sebastián Lelio, director;
China, “Wolf Warrior 2,” Wu Jing, director;
Colombia, “Guilty Men,” Iván D. Gaona, director;
Costa Rica, “The Sound of Things,” Ariel Escalante, director;
Croatia, “Quit Staring at My Plate,” Hana Jušić, director;
Czech Republic, “Ice Mother,” Bohdan Sláma, director;
Denmark, “You Disappear,” Peter Schønau Fog, director;
Dominican Republic, “Woodpeckers,” Jose Maria Cabral, director;
Ecuador, “Alba,” Ana Cristina Barragán, director;
Egypt, “Sheikh Jackson,” Amr Salama, director;
Estonia, “November,” Rainer Sarnet, director;
Finland, “Tom of Finland,” Dome Karukoski, director;
France, “BPM (Beats Per Minute),” Robin Campillo, director;
Georgia, “Scary Mother,” Ana Urushadze, director;
Germany, “In the Fade,” Fatih Akin, director;
Greece, “Amerika Square,” Yannis Sakaridis, director;
Haiti, “Ayiti Mon Amour,” Guetty Felin, director;
Honduras, “Morazán,” Hispano Durón, director;
Hong Kong, “Mad World,” Wong Chun, director;
Hungary, “On Body and Soul,” Ildikó Enyedi, director;
Iceland, “Under the Tree,” Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, director;
India, “Newton,” Amit V Masurkar, director;
Indonesia, “Turah,” Wicaksono Wisnu Legowo, director;
Iran, “Breath,” Narges Abyar, director;
Iraq, “Reseba - The Dark Wind,” Hussein Hassan, director;
Ireland, “Song of Granite,” Pat Collins, director;
Israel, “Foxtrot,” Samuel Maoz, director;
Italy, “A Ciambra,” Jonas Carpignano, director;
Japan, “Her Love Boils Bathwater,” Ryota Nakano, director;
Kazakhstan, “The Road to Mother,” Akhan Satayev, director;
Kenya, “Kati Kati,” Mbithi Masya, director;
Kosovo, “Unwanted,” Edon Rizvanolli, director;
Kyrgyzstan, “Centaur,” Aktan Arym Kubat, director;
Lao People’s Democratic Republic, “Dearest Sister,” Mattie Do, director;
Latvia, “The Chronicles of Melanie,” Viestur Kairish, director;
Lebanon, “The Insult,” Ziad Doueiri, director;
Lithuania, “Frost,” Sharunas Bartas, director;
Luxembourg, “Barrage,” Laura Schroeder, director;
Mexico, “Tempestad,” Tatiana Huezo, director;
Mongolia, “The Children of Genghis,” Zolbayar Dorj, director;
Morocco, “Razzia,” Nabil Ayouch, director;
Mozambique, “The Train of Salt and Sugar,” Licinio Azevedo, director;
Nepal, “White Sun,” Deepak Rauniyar, director;
Netherlands, “Layla M.,” Mijke de Jong, director;
New Zealand, “One Thousand Ropes,” Tusi Tamasese, director;
Norway, “Thelma,” Joachim Trier, director;
Pakistan, “Saawan,” Farhan Alam, director;
Palestine, “Wajib,” Annemarie Jacir, director;
Panama, “Beyond Brotherhood,” Arianne Benedetti, director;
Paraguay, “Los Buscadores,” Juan Carlos Maneglia, Tana Schembori, directors;
Peru, “Rosa Chumbe,” Jonatan Relayze, director;
Philippines, “Birdshot,” Mikhail Red, director;
Poland, “Spoor,” Agnieszka Holland, Kasia Adamik, directors;
Portugal, “Saint George,” Marco Martins, director;
Romania, “Fixeur,” Adrian Sitaru, director;
Russia, “Loveless,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, director;
Senegal, “Félicité,” Alain Gomis, director;
Serbia, “Requiem for Mrs. J.,” Bojan Vuletic, director;
Singapore, “Pop Aye,” Kirsten Tan, director;
Slovakia, “The Line,” Peter Bebjak, director;
Slovenia, “The Miner,” Hanna A. W. Slak, director;
South Africa, “The Wound,” John Trengove, director;
South Korea, “A Taxi Driver,” Jang Hoon, director;
Spain, “Summer 1993,” Carla Simón, director;
Sweden, “The Square,” Ruben Östlund, director;
Switzerland, “The Divine Order,” Petra Volpe, director;
Syria, “Little Gandhi,” Sam Kadi, director;
Taiwan, “Small Talk,” Hui-Chen Huang, director;
Thailand, “By the Time It Gets Dark,” Anocha Suwichakornpong, director;
Tunisia, “The Last of Us,” Ala Eddine Slim, director;
Turkey, “Ayla: The Daughter of War,” Can Ulkay, director;
Ukraine, “Black Level,” Valentyn Vasyanovych, director;
United Kingdom, “My Pure Land,” Sarmad Masud, director;
Uruguay, “Another Story of the World,” Guillermo Casanova, director;
Venezuela, “El Inca,” Ignacio Castillo Cottin, director;
Vietnam, “Father and Son,” Luong Dinh Dung, director.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Original Screenplay

Post-Festival Predictions
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjani "The Big Sick"
Anthony McCarten "Darkest Hour"
Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird"
Paul Thomas Anderson "Phantom Thread"
Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Other Contenders - Guillermo Del Toro and Vanessa Taylor "The Shape of Water", Christopher Nolan "Dunkirk", Mark Boal "Detroit", Simon Beaufoy "Battle of the Sexes", Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor "Downsizing", Liz Hannah and Josh Singer "The Post", Matthew Aldrich, Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich "Coco", Simon Baker and Chris Bergoch "The Florida Project", Jordan Peele "Get Out", Taylor Sheridan "Wind River", Darren Aronofsky "mother!", Jenny Bicks, Michael Ardnt, and Bill Condon "The Greatest Showman", Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymius "The Killing of the Sacred Deer", Joon-ho Bong and Jon Ronson "Okja", Edgar Wright "Baby Driver", Woody Allen "Wonder Wheel", Michael Haneke "Happy End", Steven Soderbergh "Logan Lucky"

Commentary - This is a really tough race, as quality contenders keep piling up. By the way, this is good news that this race is so tough. In the era of sequels, prequels, and unnecessary remakes, its nice to know there are still a few great original ideas left in Hollywood. So let's start with my current five. The Big Sick is just the kind of comedy that writers enjoy, and the fact that its based on the true story of its writers adds an extra layer of appeal. Out of the fall film festivals, three contenders have emerged in many categories: Darkest Hour, Three Billboard Outside Ebbing Missouri, and Lady Bird. These three have wowed critics, and all could end up with Best Picture nominations, or at least many across the categories. Plus, Oscar winner Martin McDonagh, Oscar nominee Anthony McCarten, and indie superstar Greta Gerwig, are all names that writers will recognize as awards worthy. Finally, Paul Thomas Anderson gets a writing nomination almost every film he releases, and Phantom Thread, with Daniel Day-Lewis at its lead, feels like it has Oscar written all over it. I know what your thinking: what about The Shape of Water? Genre pieces have trouble getting into non-technical categories, and even those that love the film think that some of its storylines are not the best. Del Toro has been nominated here before for genre work, and he is getting raves for his latest. But for now, I'll take my chances on leaving him out. I am also, begrudingly leaving out the perennial nominees of Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor. Downsizing still has a lot of potential, but its mixed reaction from the film festivals means it has an uphill climb. Battle of the Sexes is a crowd pleaser, that, as it has opened around the country, is getting rave reviews, and Simon Beaufoy is an Oscar winner. But this feels like a film that writers will not find as worthy as other branches. Steven Spielberg's latest is in the running, but screenplay doesn't always tag along. Detroit was a box-office dud, but its visceral and Mark Boal is an Oscar winner, so don't count him out. Coco could join other past Pixar favorites, The Florida Project is set to be an indie contender, Wind River features an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, The Greatest Showman could be more than its title, mother! could inspire writers who respect Aronofsky, and never count out previous nominees/winners Woody Allen, Michale Haneke, Steve Soderbergh, and the team of Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymius Filippou. Finally, Get Out is going to get a well-deserved Oscar push, and Jordan Peele is definitely one to watch for.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions - Best Supporting Actor

Post-Festival Predictions
Armie Hammer "Call Me By Your Name"
Ben Mendelsohn "Darkest Hour"
Jason Mitchell "Mudbound"
Sam Rockwell "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
Michael Stuhlbarg "Call Me By Your Name"

Other Contenders - Kevin Spacey "All the Money in the World", Mark Rylance "Dunkirk", Tom Hardy "Dunkirk", William Dafoe "The Florida Project", Harrison Ford "Blade Runner 2049", Garrett Hedlund "Mudbound", Patrick Stewart "Logan", Woody Harrelson "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", Ray Romano "The Big Sick", Idris Elba "Molly's Game", John Hurt "Darkest Hour", Sterling K. Brown "Marshall", Josh Gad "Marshall", Christoph Waltz "Downsizing", LilRey Howery "Get Out", Tracey Letts "Ladybird", Richard Jenkins "The Shape of Water", Will Poulter "Detroit", Michael Shannon "The Shape of Water", Mark Hamill "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Laurence Fishburne "Last Flag Flying", Bob Odenkirk "The Post", Lucas Hedges "Lady Bird", Timothee Chamalet "Lady Bird", John Boyega "Detroit", John Boyega "Star Wars: The Last Ledi", Chris Pine "Wonder Woman"

Commentary - So I initially thought that they would campaign Armie Hammer for co-lead for Call Me By Your Name. But it looks like they are going to campaign him as co-supporting with Michael Stuhlbarg. Right now, I actually have them both making the cut. This film continues to garner support, the Moonlight win shows they are not afraid of gay storylines, and both are well-liked veteran actors with rave reviews. Now they could fall out as newer contenders emerge, but 9 months after it premiered at Sundance, both are still top of mind, which is good news after the onslaught of the fall fests. Jason Mitchell continues to hold on to his slot from Sundance as well. Mudbound has a lot of the potential with the potential with the Academy, but I will constantly reinforce that Netflix has to have the right strategy or it will get lost in the shuffle. Out of the fests, emerged Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri which after its Toronto win has skyrocketed in people's Oscar predictions. Woody Harrelson is reliably great, but the raves have been saved for Sam Rockwell (and Frances McDormand). He is a veteran, has been excellent for years, and is way overdue for some awards recognition. Finally, after winning a surprise Emmy, and building a quality indie film cred over the last couple of years, Ben Mendelsohn's role as King George VI is earning raves out of the fests, and Darkest Hour is a huge Oscar contender. Beyond that, this category has a lot of question marks. Is Kevin Spacey just makeup or more in All in the Money in the World? Is Dunkirk going to inspire the acting branch, or just the tech ones? Is The Florida Project going to get enough attention for William Dafoe? Will genre contenders like Patrick Stewart, Harrison Ford, Mark Hammil, LilRey Howrey, Michael Shannon, John Boyega or Chris Pine breakthrough? What about Tracey Letts, Lucas Hedges, and Timothee Chamalet from the well-liked Lady Bird? Or Garret Hedlund joining his co-star? Or the guys from Marshall, Detroit, Christoph Waltz, Laurence Fishburne, Ray Romano, or Bob Odenkirk? In a few months, all of these questions will be answered, but for now, this race is a toss up.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Post-Festival Predictions: Best Supporting Actress

Post Festival Predictions
Mary J. Blige "Mudbound"
Allison Janney "I, Tonya"
Laurie Metcalf "Lady Bird"
Kristen Scott Thomas "Darkest Hour"
Michelle Williams "The Greatest Showman"

Other Contenders - Carrie Fisher "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Octavia Spencer "The Shape of Water", Melissa Leo "Novitiate", Hong Chau "Downsizing", Kristen Wiig "Downsizing", Holly Hunter "The Big Sick", Michelle Pfeiffer "mother!", Lesley Manville "Phantom Thread", Margot Robbie "Goodbye Christopher Robin", Catherine Keener "Get Out", Sarah Paulson "The Post", Carrie Coon "The Post", Julianne Moore "Wonderstruck", Lois Smith "Marjorie Prime", Kate Hudson "Marshall", Juno Temple "Wonder Wheel", Julia Roberts "Wonder", Nicole Kidman "The Killing of the Secret Deer", Chloe Sevigny "Lean on Pete", Penelope Cruz "Murder on the Orient Express", Judi Dench "Murder on the Orient Express", Dafne Keen "Logan", Rosamund Pike "Hostiles", Rebecca Feguson "The Greatest Showman", Rebecca Ferguson "The Snowman", Tiffany Haddish "Girls Trip", Michelle Williams "Wonderstruck"

Commentary - I have moved Carrie Fisher out of the top five for a moment, but I still have hope that Oscar voters will finally recognize this role and this incredible woman. In the post-festival world, some previously unknown contenders have emerged. Laurie Metcalf and Allison Janney are known more for their television and stage work, but both are beloved veteran actresses with impeccable resumes. Both have emerged out of the festivals with career-best work, and rave reviews. This category can favor veteran actors, and first-time nominees, so both have a great show if the buzz can be sustained. After Darkest Hour premiered, it was clear that this would be a hit with Oscar voters, so I moved Kristen Scott Thomas into this race. She is a previous nominee, and plays Clemmy Churchill, which is a role that has earned other actresses many accolades. The other two are still hanging from my original summer predictions. If Netflix pushes Mudbound right, it could be a big Oscar contender, including singer Mary J. Blige who earned raves out of Sundance. But Netflix just lost big at the Emmys, and I wonder if their release and marketing strategy will work with Oscar voters. Finally, I am holding out a spot for perennial nominee Michelle Williams. If The Greatest Showman is good enough, she could easily be the front runner. We have seen the narrative of "overdue" play well in recent years with wins from the likes of Viola Davis, Julianne Moore, and others. Williams definitely fits into that category. Beyond those five, there are plenty of contenders waiting in the wings. Octavia Spencer is yet again a scene-stealer in The Shape of Water, which earned raves out of Venice. Melissa Leo is always well-liked, Hon Chau and Kristen Wiig might overcome Downsizing's mixed reviews, Holly Hunter is the best contender from the first half of the year, and despite mixed reactions, mother! could earn Michelle Pfeiffer another Oscar nomination. Lesley Manville is an overdue veteran in a PTA film, Lois Smith is a legend, television stars Carrie Coon and Sarah Paulson could rise with The Post, Julia Roberts could return as the mom in Wonder, Kate Hudson could finally make an Oscar comeback, and Nicole Kidman could make it back to back nominations following her first Emmy win. Also, watch out for the blockbuster contenders Catherine Keener, Dafne Keen, Penelope Cruz, and the fantastic Tiffany Haddish.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The 69th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards

I will update the winners live!:

Best Drama Series - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Comedy Series - Veep
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Sterling K. Brown "This is Us"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Elisabeth Moss "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Donald Glover "Atlanta"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - John Lithgow "The Crown"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Ann Dowd "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Alec Baldwin "Saturday Night Live"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Kate McKinnon "Saturday Night Live"
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Laura Dern "Big Little Lies"
Best Directing in a Drama Series - Reed Morano "The Handmaid's Tale - Offred (Pilot)"
Best Writing in a Drama Series - Bruce Miller "The Handmaid's Tale - Offred (Pilot)"
Best Directing in a Comedy Series - Donald Glover "Atlanta - B.A.N."
Best Writing in a Comedy Series - Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe "Master of None - Thanksgiving"
Best Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Made for Television Movie - Black Mirror: San Junipero
Best Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Riz Ahmed "The Night Of"
Best Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Nicole Kidman "Big Little Lies"
Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Alexander Skarsgard "Big Little Lies"
Best Directing in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Jean-Marc Vallee "Big Little Lies"
Best Writing in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Charlie Brooker "Black Mirror: San Junipero"
Best Variety Talk Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Variety Sketch Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Directing in a Variety Series - Don Roy King "Saturday Night Live - Host: Jimmy Fallon"
Best Writing in a Variety Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Reality Competition Series - The Voice

Saturday, September 16, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Final List

Here we go! The final of the final list. There is no going back:

Best Drama Series - Stranger Things
Best Comedy Series - Veep
Best Actor in a Drama Series - Sterling Brown "This is Us"
Best Actress in a Drama Series - Elisabeth Moss "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Actor in a Comedy Series - Anthony Anderson "black-ish"
Best Actress in a Comedy Series - Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series - John Lithgow "The Crown"
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series - Millie Bobby Brown "Stranger Things"
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series - Alec Baldwin "Saturday Night Live"
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series - Kate McKinnon "Saturday Night Live"
Best Directing in a Drama Series - Stranger Things - The Vanishing of Will Byers
Best Writing in a Drama Series - The Handmaid's Tale - Offred (Pilot)
Best Directing in a Drama Series - Atlanta - B.A.N."
Best Writing in a Drama Series - Master of None - Thanksgiving
Best TV Movie - Sherlock: The Lying Detective
Best Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Riz Ahmed "The Night Of"
Best Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Nicole Kidman "Big Little Lies"
Best Supporting Actor in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Alexander Skarsgard "Big Little Lies"
Best Supporting Actress in a TV Movie/Limited Series - Laura Dern "Big Little Lies"
Best Directing of a TV Movie/Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Writing of a TV Movie/Limited Series - The Night of - Call of the Wild
Best Reality-Competition Series - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Variety Talk Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Variety Sketch Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Directing in a Variety Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Writing in a Variety Series - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Drama Series and Best Comedy Series

Best Drama Series
Will Win - Stranger Things

Could Win - The Handmaid's Tale, This is Us, or Westworld

Should Win - This is Us or Stranger Things

Commentary - This is still a tight race, and until the envelope is opened, we will all be waiting with anticipation. With 22 nominations, Westworld had every opportunity to continue HBO's streak. But only winning five Creative Arts Emmys is actually not great for a show with film quality technical achievements. Westworld should have been this year's Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire, and it fell way short. But it is still in this, because HBO is an Emmy juggernaut. The Handmaid's Tale is the newest of the contenders, and had some nice, some surprising wins last weekend. But in my mind this is a battle between two. This is Us is the one that stands out in this race. It is the only broadcast show, it is emotional, feel-good, and it is a massive phenomenon across all ages. It could win, despite missing out in directing and writing, and it would be a massive win for the veterans or traditionalists in this industry who still believe in joy and exuberance on television. But I think that after it over-performed last week, this is Stranger Things' to lose. It is nostalgic, emotional, beautifully crafted, and like This Is Us, can be categorized as a phenomenon. I think Netflix, with its clout, finally conquers one of these big races. Streaming finally eclipses its competition. And a brilliant, genre series that has enticed millions, will win a well-deserved Best Drama Series Emmy.

Best Comedy Series
Will Win - Veep

Could Win - Atlanta or Master of None

Should Win - black-ish

Commentary - Duh. Atlanta and Master of None are auteur brilliance. But neither are going to get enough votes to beat Veep. Let's face it. Emmy voters like their comedies funny. Master of None is, but Atlanta is really not. It's great. But it's not funny. Veep is the kind of show that wins this category a lot, and a third win in a row is going to happen. If anything else wins, I will eat crow, but I find it highly unlikely that anything can upset.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Actor and Actress in a Drama Series

Best Actor in a Drama Series
Will Win - Sterling K. Brown "This is Us"

Could Win - Bob Odenkirk "Better Call Saul"

Should Win - Either Brown or Odenkirk

Commentary - Bob Odenkirk finally has a shot this year, but I think that Sterling K. Brown is a juggernaut in this race. He just won last year, he is beloved among these voters, and of the two shows, This is Us has a lot more support across the acting branches compared to Better Call Saul. I think it is Brown to the podium again. On a personal note, either win would make me happy, both are great actors in great roles.

Best Actress in a Drama Series
Will Win - Elisabeth Moss "The Handmaid's Tale"

Could Win - Claire Foy "The Crown" or Evan Rachel Wood "Westworld"

Should Win - Moss

Commentary - A few months ago, this was Foy's to win, with Wood as the spoiler. But since the premiere of The Handmaid's Tale, Elisabeth Moss has shot to the top. The show did surprising well at the Creative Arts, including the win for Alexis Bledel, Moss is overdue after her Mad Men run, and this role really has the buzz compared to the other nominees.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Actor in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Anthony Anderson "black-ish"

Could Win - Jeffrey Tambor "Transparent" or Donald Glover "Atlanta"

Should Win - Anthony Anderson "black-ish"

Commentary -  So let's be honest, I have been playing this safe; and it would not be an Emmy season without at least one out of the box choice. So here it is: Anthony Anderson. Jeffrey Tambor could easily win a third, as Transparent remains popular with the actors, despite a Comedy Series snub. Zach Galifianakis could pull a Louie Anderson playing a clown, which has won several folks Emmys including Eric Stonestreet recently. Aziz Ansari is popular, William H. Macy is a beloved veteran, and Donald Glover, while an unusual choice considering Emmy history, would be a bold one for this industry. Most folks are predicting either Glover or Tambor, and it would not be surprising if either won. Honestly, any of these six winning would not shock me. This is why I am going out on a limb for this category. In my opinion, there are too many maybes, and that usually spells surprise at the Emmys. In this, the year of the anti-Trump, Anthony Anderson's Lemons episode is just the fodder that led McCarthy and Chappelle to guest acting Emmys. It will probably help McKinnon and Baldwin in these categories as well. Of course, some would argue that Tambor and Glover winning would also make political statements, but theirs would be a bit more subtle. I think that Anderson is overdue for some recognition for this role, I think the climate is right, and I think this category is ripe for an upset.

Monday, September 11, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Actress in a Comedy Series

Will Win - Julia Louis-Dreyfus "Veep"

Could Win - Allison Janney "Mom" or Tracee Ellis Ross "black-ish"

Should Win - Tracee Ellis Ross "black-ish"

Commentary - Will anyone de-throne the reigning queen? Probably at some point, but I don't think it is going to be this year. Until Julia Louis-Dreyfus loses, I am picking her to win. If anyone can pull off a miracle, I think that it is either Allison Janney or Tracee Ellis Ross. Janney is beloved among these voters, and has won for this role before. Ross would have been in a better position had black-ish earned more nominations, but never discount a pregnant story line. It has afforded many actresses Emmys over the years.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Part II

Once again, I will update the winners live!:

Best Guest Actor in a Drama Series - Gerald McRaney "This is Us"
Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series - Alexis Bledel "The Handmaid's Tale"
Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series - Dave Chappelle "Saturday Night Live"
Best Guest Actress in a Comedy Series - Melissa McCarthy "Saturday Night Live"
Best Casting in a Drama Series - Stranger Things
Best Casting in a Comedy Series - Veep
Best Casting in a Movie/Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Children's Program - Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas
Best Short Form Comedy or Drama Series - Los Pollos Hermanos Employee Training
Best Actor in a Short Form Series - Kim Estes "Dicks"
Best Actress in a Short Form Series - Jane Lynch "Dropping the Soap"
Best Cinematography for a Multi-Camera Series - The Ranch
Best Cinematography for a Half-Hour Single Camera Series - Veep
Best Cinematography for a One-Hour Single Camera Series - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Cinematography for a Limited Series/Movie - The Night Of
Best Commercial - Calling JohnMalkovich.com - Squarespace
Best Costumes, Contemporary for Comedy, Drama or Limited Series - Big Little Lies
Best Costumes, Period/Fantasy for Comedy, Drama, or Limited Series - The Crown
Best Multi-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series - The Big Bang Theory
Best Single Camera Picture Editing for a Drama Series - Stranger Things: Chapter 1
Best Single Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series - Master of None
Best Single Camera Picture Editing in a Limited Series for Movie - The Night Of
Best Hairstyling in a Single Camera Series - Westworld
Best Hairstyling in a Movie or Limited Series - Feud: Bette and Joan
Best Creative Achievement in Interactive Media in a Scripted Series - Westworld
Best Original Interactive Program - The People's House - Inside The White House With Barack And Michelle Obama
Best Makeup for a Single-Camera Series - Westworld
Best Makeup Movie/Limited Series - Feud: Bette and Joan
Best Prosthetic Makeup - American Horror Story: Roanoke
Best Main Title Design - Stranger Things
Best Main Title Music Theme - Stranger Things
Best Music Composition for a Series - House of Cards
Best Music Composition for Movie/Limited Series - Fargo
Best Music Supervision - Big Little Lies
Best Production Design for a Contemporary/Fantasy Series - The Handmaid's Tale
Best Production Design for a Period One-Hour Series - The Crown
Best Production Design for a Half-Hour Narrative - Veep
Best Sound Editing for a Series - Stranger Things
Best Sound Editing for a Movie/Limited Series - The Night Of
Best Sound Mixing for a One-Hour Comedy/Drama Series - Westworld
Best Sound Mixing for a Half-Hour Comedy/Drama Series - Mozart in the Jungle
Best Sound Mixing for a Movie/Limited Series - The Night Of
Best Stunt Coordination for a Comedy or Variety Series - Shameless
Best Stunt Coordination for a Drama, Movie or Limited Series - Marvel's Luke Cage
Best Special Visual Effects - Westworld
Best Special Visual Effects in a Supporting Role - Gotham

Saturday, September 9, 2017

2017 Creative Arts Emmy Awards: Part I

I will be updating the winners live!:

Best Structured Reality Program - Shark Tank
Best Unstructured Reality Program - United Shades of American with W. Kamau Bell
Best Special Class Program - The 70th Annual Tony Awards
Best Reality Host - RuPaul Charles "RuPaul's Drag Race"
Best Variety Special - Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special 2017
Best Animated Program - Bob's Burgers
Best Short Form Animated Program - Adventure Time
Best Writing for a Variety Special - Full Frontal with Samantha Bee Presents Not the White House Correspondents Dinner
Best Directing for a Variety Special - Glenn Weiss "The Oscars"
Best Voiceover Performance - Seth MacFarlane "Family Guy"
Best Narrator - Meryl Streep "Five Came Back"
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Series - Planet Earth II
Best Documentary or Nonfiction Special - 13th
Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking - LA 92
Best Informational Series or Special - Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
Best Directing in a Nonfiction Program - Ezra Edelman "O.J.: Made in America"
Best Writing in a Nonfiction Program - Ava DuVernay and Spencer Averick "13th"
Best Short Form Reality or Nonfiction Series - Viceland at the Women's March
Best Short Form Variety Series - The Daily Show - Between the Scenes
Best Casting in a Reality Program - Born This Way
Best Choreography - (TIE) Mandy Moore "Dancing with the Stars" and Travis Wall "So You Think You Can Dance?"
Best Cinematography in a Nonfiction Program - Planet Earth II - Islands
Best Cinematography in a Reality Program - Born This Way
Best Costumes in a Variety, Nonfiction, or Reality Program - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Picture Editing for a Nonfiction Program - O.J.: Made in America
Best Picture Editing for a Structured or Competition Reality Program - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Picture Editing for an Unstructured Reality Program - Life Below Zero
Best Picture Editing for a Variety Program - Last Week Tonight With John Oliver
Best Hairstyling in a Multi-Camera Series or Special - Hairspray Live!
Best Interactive Program - Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Best Creative Achievement in Interactive Unscripted - The Oscars: All Access
Best Innovation in an Interactive Program - Pearl
Best Lighting Design in a Variety Series - Dancing With the Stars
Best Lighting Design in a Variety Special - Super Bowl XI Halftime Show with Lady Gaga
Best Makeup for a Multi-Camera Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Motion Design - (TIE) 13th and Beyond Magic
Best Music Direction - Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories that Changed America
Best Music and Lyrics - Common, Robert Glasper, and Karriem Riggins "13th - Letter to the Free"
Best Production Design in a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Series - Saturday Night Live
Best Production Design in a Variety, Nonfiction or Reality Special - Hairspray Live!
Best Sound Editing in a Nonfiction Program - The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
Best Sound Mixing in a Nonfiction Program - The Beatles: Eight Days a Week
Best Sound Mixing in a Variety Program - (TIE) 59th Grammy Awards and 2017 Rock and Roll Hal of Fame Induction Ceremony
Best Technical Direction for a Movie, Limited Series or Special - Hairspray Live!
Best Technical Direction for a Series - Saturday Night Live

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

Will Win - John Lithgow "The Crown"

Could Win - Ron Cephas Jones "This is Us", David Harbour "Stranger Things", or Jeffrey Wright "Westworld"

Should Win - Ron Cephas Jones "This is Us"

Commentary - John Lithgow has been ahead in this race for months now. He won the SAG, and lost the Golden Globe to an Emmy contender from last. So not much stands in his way right? This category has haunted me the last few years, because it has been forever since I actually got it right. It also has been a category ripe for upsets. Like when Jonathan Banks lost for the first season of Better Call Saul, or Ben Mendelsohn's shocking win last year over Banks and the Game of Thrones guys. That is why I am keeping three other potentials in my back pocket and might even switch one out as we enter the final stretch. First on the list is Ron Cephas Jones, who could be this year's Margo Martindale. He is one that was borderline in getting in, but now that he is, the popularity of his show, and the emotional performance he gives might equal Emmy gold. Jeffrey Wright is fantastic in Westworld, a previous Emmy winner, and could be a harbinger of the show's popularity if he wins. Finally, Stranger Things is on track to potentially win Drama Series, which could pull in David Harbour. I recently re-watched Stranger Things, and was surprised at how good he was. I loved his character, but a second viewing shows a lot of depth and could be the surprise of the night.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Will Win - Millie Bobbie Brown "Stranger Things"

Could Win - Chrissy Metz "This is Us"  or Thandie Newton "Westworld"

Should Win - Chrissy Metz "This is Us" or Millie Bobbie Brown "Stranger Things"

Commentary - If the popular ballot reflects the cultural zeitgeist then Millie Bobby Brown, who has been campaigning like its going out of style will win, plus at such a young age, her performance is astonishing. But in this wide-open race with all new contenders, this really is a three-way race, and child actors have never had the best luck with Emmy voters. Chrissy Metz is the breakout star of This is Us, which is clearly beloved by the actors, and Thandie Newton could be the big win for Westworld, which got loads of support, much of which was unexpected, across the categories. All of that being said, I am sticking with Brown. She is working the circuit, her character immediately became iconic, and Stranger Things is going to win at least one big award that night.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

2017 Emmy Predictions: Best Supporting Actor and Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
Will Win - Alec Baldwin "Saturday Night Live"

Could Win - Tituss Burgess "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" or Louie Anderson "Baskets"

Should Win - Tituss Burgess "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"

Commentary - Alec Baldwin was the face of the political and cultural zeitgeist this year, and even just revived his character right in the thick of Emmy voting on the summer edition of Weekend Update. But let's face it, in any other year, a nomination, let alone a win would be amazing. His character is one note (to be fair that is his material), he lacks depth, and he isn't a regular player on SNL. But the political happenings in the world are clearly weighing on Emmy voters, and it would be dumb to ignore that. But, if voters are looking elsewhere, watch out for last year's winner Louie Anderson, who has another great season, and my personal favorite Tituss Burgess. In the old episode system, his Lemonade-inspired episode would have equaled Emmy gold.

Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
Will Win - Kate McKinnon "Saturday Night Live"

Could Win - Leslie Jones "Saturday Night Live", Judith Light "Transparent", or Anna Chlumsky "Veep"

Should Win - Kate McKinnon "Saturday Night Live"

Commentary - Unlike Alec Baldwin, Kate is not only at the forefront of the cultural zeitgeist thanks to her turn as Hillary Clinton, but has her always fantastic array of incredible characters as SNL's biggest star. If she can beat Allison Janney last year, she can easily win this year. But there are a few factors that could hurt her. First, she has two of her cast mates nominated against her, which could split votes, particularly Leslie Jones who is popular right now. Also, the actors may want to reward Judith Light who had an excellent season on Transparent. Finally, and this is just my theory. Two from Transparent and three for SNL could split the votes, and the great Anna Chlumsky might finally win for the ever-popular Veep.