Wednesday, September 21, 2016

89th Academy Award Predictions (summary)

Updated: 21 September 2016

PICTURE
Arrival
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
The Birth of a Nation
Fences
La La Land
Lion
Loving
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
Silence

DIRECTING
Ang Lee (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Jeff Nichols (Loving)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Martin Scorsese (Silence)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Joel Edgerton (Loving)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Denzel Washington (Fences)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Amy Adams (Arrival)
Viola Davis (Fences)
Ruth Negga (Loving)
Emma Stone (La La Land)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Steve Martin (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Liam Neeson (Silence)
Timothy Spall (Denial)

PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Lupita Nyong'o (Queen of Katwe)
Kristen Stewart (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Eric Heisserer, based on the short story by Ted Chiang (Arrival)
Jean-Christophe Castelli, based on the novel by Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
James Schamus, based on the novel by Philip Roth (Indignation)
Barry Jenkins, based on the play by Tarell McCraney (Moonlight)
Jay Cocks, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô (Silence)

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Noah Oppenheim (Jackie)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Jeff Nichols (Loving)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Mike Mills (20th Century Women)

ANIMATED FEATURE
Christian Desmares, Franck Ekinci (April and the Extraordinary World)
Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings)
Ron Clements, John Musker (Moana)
Michael Dudok de Wit (The Red Turtle)
Byron Howard, Rich Moore (Zootopia)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Neruda (Chile)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Ma' Rosa (Philippines)
Julieta (Spain)
My Life as a Courgette (Switzerland)

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Bradford Young (Arrival)
John Toll (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Linus Sandgren (La La Land)
Oscar Faura (A Monster Calls)
Rodrigo Prieto (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Francine Jamison-Tanchuck (The Birth of a Nation)
Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Mary Zophres (La La Land)
Sandy Powell (Silence)
Linda Muir (The Witch)

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Joe Walker (Arrival)
Tim Squyres (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Tom Cross (La La Land)
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders (Moonlight)
Ruy Diaz, Thelma Schoonmaker (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Doctor Strange
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival)
Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
Opetaia Foa'i, Mark Mancina, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana)
Fernando Velázquez (A Monster Calls)
TBA (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
"Audition: The Fools Who Dream" (La La Land)
"Flicker" (Audrie and Daisy)
? (Moana)
"Back to Life" (Queen of Katwe
"Try Everything" (Zootopia)

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
Mark Friedberg (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Charles Wood (Doctor Strange)
Stuart Craig, James Hambidge (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
David Wasco (La La Land)
Dante Ferretti (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
The Birth of a Nation
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Doctor Strange
La La Land
Moana
A Monster Calls
Silence

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Arrival
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
A Monster Calls
Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
Charles Wood (Doctor Strange)
Stuart Craig, James Hambidge (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
David Wasco (La La Land)
Guy Hendrix Dyas (Passengers)
Dante Ferretti (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Passengers
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Doctor Strange
La La Land
Moana
Passengers
Silence

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Arrival
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Passengers
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Other Categories 2017

Updated: 21 September 2016

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY)
Eric Heisserer, based on the short story by Ted Chiang (Arrival)
Jean-Christophe Castelli, based on the novel by Ben Fountain (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
James Schamus, based on the novel by Philip Roth (Indignation)
Barry Jenkins, based on the play by Tarell McCraney (Moonlight)
Jay Cocks, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô (Silence)

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
Noah Oppenheim (Jackie)
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Jeff Nichols (Loving)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Mike Mills (20th Century Women)

ANIMATED FEATURE
Christian Desmares, Franck Ekinci (April and the Extraordinary World)
Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings)
Ron Clements, John Musker (Moana)
Michael Dudok de Wit (The Red Turtle)
Byron Howard, Rich Moore (Zootopia)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Neruda (Chile)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)
Ma' Rosa (Philippines)
Julieta (Spain)
My Life as a Courgette (Switzerland)

ACHIEVEMENT IN CINEMATOGRAPHY
Bradford Young (Arrival)
John Toll (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Linus Sandgren (La La Land)
Oscar Faura (A Monster Calls)
Rodrigo Prieto (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN COSTUME DESIGN
Francine Jamison-Tanchuck (The Birth of a Nation)
Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
Mary Zophres (La La Land)
Sandy Powell (Silence)
Linda Muir (The Witch)

ACHIEVEMENT IN FILM EDITING
Joe Walker (Arrival)
Tim Squyres (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Tom Cross (La La Land)
Joi McMillon, Nat Sanders (Moonlight)
Ruy Diaz, Thelma Schoonmaker (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Doctor Strange
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
Jóhann Jóhannsson (Arrival)
Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)
Opetaia Foa'i, Mark Mancina, Lin-Manuel Miranda (Moana)
Fernando Velázquez (A Monster Calls)
TBA (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
"Audition: The Fools Who Dream" (La La Land)
"Flicker" (Audrie and Daisy)
? (Moana)
"Back to Life" (Queen of Katwe
"Try Everything" (Zootopia)

ACHIEVEMENT IN PRODUCTION DESIGN
Charles Wood (Doctor Strange)
Stuart Craig, James Hambidge (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)
David Wasco (La La Land)
Guy Hendrix Dyas (Passengers)
Dante Ferretti (Silence)

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND EDITING
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Passengers
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

ACHIEVEMENT IN SOUND MIXING
Doctor Strange
La La Land
Moana
Passengers
Silence

ACHIEVEMENT IN VISUAL EFFECTS
Arrival
Captain America: Civil War
Doctor Strange
Passengers
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

BEST ACTRESS 2017

Updated: 14 September 2016

MOST LIKELY

1. EMMA STONE (LA LA LAND)

Role: Mia, an aspiring actress in Los Angeles

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Volpi Cup for Best Actress, Venice Film Festival

Emma Stone is America's Sweetheart, with one nomination already under her belt. But this is her true breakthrough performance for awards consideration, according to the same critics who have rained lavish praise on the film. Though it does not often translate to an Oscar win, the win in Venice is BIG. At this point (Fences unseen), a win is very likely.


2. VIOLA DAVIS (FENCES)

Role: Rose Maxson, wife of a former baseball player struggling to provide for his family

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Viola Davis is one of the most highly regarded actresses currently working (in both film and TV). She had won a Tony Award for this same role when she played it on the stage. She has some very powerful scenes here. It's difficult to imagine her missing out on a nomination even if the film itself isn't a slam dunk.

LIKELY

3. NATALIE PORTMAN (JACKIE)

Role: Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, with a win for Black Swan

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

The adjectives "astonishing" and "spectacular" don't get thrown around so easily when it comes to performances (unless you're Meryl Streep or Cate Blanchett, I suppose), but those are the very words that have been used to describe Natalie Portman's perf as Jackie Kennedy. Some even say it tops her Oscar-winning turn in Black Swan. Now that the acclaimed movie has an Oscar-friendly distributor (Fox Searchlight Pictures) and release date (9 December), a nomination has become that much likelier.

MAYBE

4. RUTH NEGGA (LOVING)

Role: Mildred Loving, half of an interracial couple embroiled in legal and social woes

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Ruth Negga has become quite popular to TV audiences with appearances in several mainstream shows, but she hasn't been much known her film work until now. And what a breakthrough performance! In a film heavily buzzed for a Best Picture nomination, no less.

POSSIBLE

5. AMY ADAMS (ARRIVAL)

Role: Louise Banks, a linguist called in to communicate with an alien species

Oscar Record: 5 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Amy Adams is almost a default nominee, so if anyone can get nominated for a science fiction performance, then it's her. Reviews for both the film and her perf have been highly positive. But it's more restrained than others in this category so that might be a minus.


6. MERYL STREEP (FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS)

Role: Florence Foster Jenkins, a New York heiress and opera singer with little actual singing talent

Oscar Record: 19 nominations, with wins for Kramer vs. Kramer, Sophie's Choice, The Iron Lady

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


7. JESSICA CHASTAIN (MISS SLOANE)

Role: Elizabeth Sloane, a ruthless political strategist who is pit against the gun lobby

Oscar Record: 2 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


8. ANNETTE BENING (20TH CENTURY WOMEN)

Role: Dorothea Fields, a single mother trying to teach her teenage son about freedom and love

Oscar Record: 4 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


9. RACHEL WEISZ (DENIAL)

Role: Deborah E. Lipstadt, who is pit in a legal battle against Holocaust deniers

Oscar Record: 1 nomination and win for The Constant Gardener

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. ISABELLE HUPPERT (ELLE)

Role: Michèle LeBlanc, a businesswoman assaulted in her home and out for revenge

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Amy Adams (Noctural Animals)
Kate Beckinsale (Love and Friendship)
Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train)
Sonia Braga (Aquarius)
Marion Cotillard (Allied)
Krisha Fairchild (Krisha)
Sally Field (Hello My Name is Doris)
Rebecca Hall (Christine)
Jennifer Lawrence (Passengers)
Blake Lively (The Shallows)
Rooney Mara (Lion)
Helen Mirren (Eye in the Sky)
Madina Nalwanga (Queen of Katwe)
Susan Sarandon (The Meddler)
Anya Taylor-Joy (The Witch)
Alicia Vikander (The Light Between Oceans)
Renee Zellweger (Bridget Jones's Baby)

BEST PICTURE 2017

Updated: 14 September 2016

MOST LIKELY

1. LA LA LAND (16 December, Lionsgate)

Producers: Fred Berger, Gary Gilbert, Jordan Horowitz, Marc Platt
Director: Damien Chazelle
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Finn Wittrock, J.K. Simmons

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival

The combination of nostalgia over the old Hollywood musical and excitement over wunderkind Damien Chazelle's follow-up to the brilliant Whiplash easily propelled this to the top 10 Oscar-buzzed films of the year. Very generous reviews from Venice have catapulted it to the top. This is the film to beat come Oscar night. It's difficult to imagine a scenario where this does not get nominated for Best Picture and get the most nominations.


2. MANCHESTER BY THE SEA (18 November, Roadside Attractions)

Producers: Lauren Beck, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, Kimberly Steward, Kevin J. Walsh
Director: Kenneth Lonergan
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Cast: Casey Affleck, Michelle Williams, Kyle Chandler, Lucas Hedges

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Since debuting at Sundance last January, Manchester by the Sea has received an astounding amount of praise from critics and audiences, making it top the earliest Oscar prediction charts. Though the buzz never died down, Telluride reinvigorated it and reminded everyone how amazing the film and its principal actors are. It's the greatest potential threat to La La Land's domination.

LIKELY

3. BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK (11 November, Sony Pictures Releasing)

Producers: Simon Cornwell, Stephen Cornwell, Ang Lee, Marc Platt, Tom Rothman, Rhodri Thomas
Director: Ang Lee
Writer: Jean-Christophe Castelli, based on the novel by Ben Fountain
Cast: Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund, Steve Martin, Chris Tucker, Joe Alwyn

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Ang Lee is much respected and loved by the Academy, having won the Oscar for Best Director twice. The film almost immediately received buzz as soon as it was announced. Though still largely unseen, it's a very safe bet particularly with the reliable Lee at the helm. And of course, it's a theme that normally resonates with the voters.

MAYBE

4. LOVING (4 November, Focus Features)

Producers: Nancy Buirski, Ged Doherty, Colin Firth, Sarah Green, Peter Saraf, Marc Turtletaub
Director: Jeff Nichols
Writer: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Ruth Negga, Joel Edgerton, Will Dalton, Michael Shannon

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Palme d'Or, Cannes Film Festival

Loving came roaring out of the Cannes Film Festival, beginning a strong and largely sustained buzz for the film itself and leads Ruth Negga and Joel Edgerton. With the controversy surrounding the Academy's lack of diversity last year, this is likely to resonate with voters. Director Jeff Nichols has been building a great resume in recent years and garnering respect from the industry, so the timing is ripe.


5. SILENCE (November 2016, Paramount Pictures)

Producers: Vittorio Cecchi Gri, Barbara De Fina, Randall Emmett, Martin Scorsese, Emma Tillinger Koskoff, Irwin Winkler
Director: Martin Scorsese
Writer: Jay Cocks, based on the novel by Shûsaku Endô
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Liam Neeson, Adam Driver, Ciarán Hinds, Tadanobu Asano

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Martin Scorsese's passion project has been in the making for many years and is finally set to open this November. Predictably, the anticipation for it is quite high. But will it really be released this year? There's no definite release date for it in the US yet, and it has not been screened for anyone. It's the biggest question mark out of all contenders right now. Once the release is confirmed, this will likely shoot up the ranks.

6. LION (25 November, The Weinstein Company)

Producers: Iain Canning, Angie Fielder, Emile Sherman
Director: Garth Davis
Writer: Luke Davies, based on the book by Saroo Brierley and Larry Buttrose
Cast: Dev Patel, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, David Wenham

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

This could potentially be the biggest tearjerker among the contenders, with a very uplifting story of self-discovery. The trailer promises a lot of that. And of course, Harvey Weinstein is backing it all the way and that matters.

POSSIBLE

7. ARRIVAL (11 November, Paramount Pictures)

Producers: Daniel S. Levine, Shawn Levy, David Linde, Karen Lunder, Aaron Ryder
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Writer: Eric Heisserer, based on the short story by Ted Chiang
Cast: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Michael Stuhlbarg, Forest Whitaker

I'm still not entirely convinced that a science fiction film can easily get into the Best Picture race despite a great showing by sci-fi films in last year's Oscars. However, the reviews out of Venice and Telluride have been largely positive, with comparisons to Kubrick and Spielberg being thrown around. And Denis Villeneuve has been building quite the name for himself with excellent, well crafted films in the last few years.


8. FENCES (25 December, Paramount Pictures)

Producers: Todd Black, Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington
Director: Denzel Washington
Writer: August Wilson, based on his play
Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Mykelti Williamson, Russell Hornsby, Stephen Henderson

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Though Denzel Washington has not gotten traction  in the Oscars for his directed films, he's very well respected by the Academy. This film also has a rich legacy in theater, having won a Pulitzer and several Tonys for both its original run in 1987 and the revival in 2010, which starred (and won Tonys for) Washington and Viola Davis.


9. MOONLIGHT (21 October, A24)

Producers: Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adele Romanski
Director: Barry Jenkins
Writers: Barry Jenkins, Tarell McCraney
Cast: Mahershala Ali, Janelle Monáe, Naomie Harris, André Holland

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

It has been seen and very much loved, with fervor virtually as strong as that for La La Land. So why doesn't it rank higher? It's a movie about blacks and the LGBT, neither of which are easy sells to the Academy. But if it wows even audiences upon wide release, it will likely cruise its way up pundits' charts. It's the perfect opportunity for the Academy to make the Oscars relevant.


10. THE BIRTH OF A NATION (7 October, Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Aaron L. Gilbert, Preston L. Holmes, Nate Parker, Kevin Turen
Director: Nate Parker
Writers: Nate Parker, Jean McGianni Celestin
Cast: Nate Parker, Armie Hammer, Aja Naomi King, Jackie Earle Haley

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Win, Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival
Win, Grand Jury Prize, Sundance Film Festival

I won't believe that the controversies about Nate Parker have completely derailed the Oscar chances of the film itself, which was widely and ebulliently praised and awarded at Sundance. The voters probably won't give Parker himself a shot at an Oscar, but the powerful film itself is a different story. It was just given a standing ovation in Toronto.



11. JACKIE (9 December, Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Producers: Darren Aronofsky, Pascal Caucheteux, Scott Franklin, Ari Handel, Juan de Dios Larraín, Mickey Liddell
Director: Pablo Larraín
Writer: Noah Oppenheim
Cast: Natalie Portman, Peter Sarsgaard, Greta Gerwig, Billy Crudup, John Hurt

Pre-Oscar Citations:
Nomination, Golden Lion, Venice Film Festival

Win, Best Screenplay, Venice Film Festival


12. 20TH CENTURY WOMEN (21 December, A24)

Producers: Anne Carey, Megan Ellison, Youree Henley
Director: Mike Mills
Writer: Mike Mills
Cast: Annette Bening, Bill Crudup, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, Lucas Jade Zumann

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


13. SULLY (9 September, Warner Bros.)

Producers: Clint Eastwood, Frank Marshall, Tim Moore, Allyn Stewart
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writer: Todd Komarnicki, based on the book by Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Zaslow
Cast: Tom Hanks, Anna Gunn, Laura Linney, Aaron Eckhart

Pre-Oscar Citations: None



14. A MONSTER CALLS (6 January 2017, Focus Features)

Producers: Belén Atienza, Mitch Horwits, Jonathan King
Director: J.A. Bayona
Writer: Patrick Ness, based on his book
Cast: Felicity Jones, Toby Kebbell, Liam Neeson, Sigourney Weaver, Geraldine Chaplin, Lewis MacDougall

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


15. QUEEN OF KATWE (30 September, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)

Producers: John B. Carls, Lydia Dean Pilcher
Director: Mira Nair
Writer: William Wheeler, based on the book by Tim Crothers
Cast: Lupita Nyong'o, David Oyelowo, Madina Nalwanga

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Allied
American Pastoral
Bleed for This
Collateral Beauty
Denial
Florence Foster Jenkins
The Founder
The Girl on the Train
Hell or High Water
Indignation
Light Between Oceans
Love and Friendship
Miss Sloane
Noctural Animals
Passengers
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Rules Don't Apply
Snowden
The Witch
Zootopia

Sunday, September 11, 2016

BEST DIRECTOR 2017

Updated: 11 September 2016

MOST LIKELY

1. ANG LEE (BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK)

Oscar Record: 5 nominations as producer and director, with wins for directing Brokeback Mountain and Life of Pi

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


2. DAMIEN CHAZELLE (LA LA LAND)

Oscar Record: 1 nomination as writer, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


3. KENNETH LONERGAN (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA)

Oscar Record: 2 nominations as writer, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

MAYBE

4. MARTIN SCORSESE (SILENCE)

Oscar Record: 12 nominations as producer, director, writer, with a win for directing The Departed

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

POSSIBLE

5. JEFF NICHOLS (LOVING)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


6. DENZEL WASHINGTON (FENCES)

Oscar Record: 6 nominations as actor, with wins for acting in Glory and Training Day

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


7. BARRY JENKINS (MOONLIGHT)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


8. GARTH DAVIS (LION)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


9. DENIS VILLENEUVE (ARRIVAL)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. NATE PARKER (THE BIRTH OF A NATION)

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Robert Zemeckis (Allied)
Ben Younger (Bleed for This)
Kelly Reichardt (Certain Women)
Mick Jackson (Denial)
Stephen Frears (Florence Foster Jenkins)
John Lee Hancock (The Founder)
Tate Taylor (The Girl on the Train)
David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water)
James Schamus (Indignation)
Pablo Larraín (Jackie)
John Madden (Miss Sloane)
J.A. Bayona (A Monster Calls)
Tom Ford (Nocturnal Animals)
Mira Nair (Queen of Katwe)
Warren Beatty (Rules Don't Apply)
Oliver Stone (Snowden)
Clint Eastwood (Sully)
Mike Milles (20th Century Women)
Robert Eggers (The Witch)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 2017

Updated: 11 September 2016

MOST LIKELY

1. MICHELLE WILLIAMS (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA)

Role: Randi, ex-wife of a man who is forced by circumstances to return to his hometown

Oscar Record: 3 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

With three nominations to her name, Michelle Williams is much liked by the Academy. She has only a short screentime in this film, but it's said that she makes very good use of it and packs a punch. If the film is as favored by voters as it is expected to be, Williams is the one to beat.

LIKELY

2. KRISTEN STEWART (BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK)

Role: Kathryn Lynn, sister of the soldier returning to his hometown from a engagement in Iraq

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Kristen Stewart has earned her dues. Having missed out on what would have been a well deserved nomination last year for her performance in Clouds of Sils Maria, she's back with a large supporting role in what will likely be a major Oscar contender. If the movie does well, she's a likely bet for at least her first nomination.

MAYBE


3. NAOMIE HARRIS (MOONLIGHT)

Role: Paula, a crack addict who's the mother of a black gay man

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


The film is receiving very positive reviews off Telluride and will probably be a major player given its themes. Naomie Harris has the type of scene-chewing role that Oscar loves. But her performance has not been singled out in many reviews.


4. NICOLE KIDMAN (LION)

Role: Sue Brierley, adoptive mother to an Indian boy seeking his past

Oscar Record: 3 nominations, with a win for The Hours

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

If the film catches on and Harvey Weinstein's very vocal campaigning works, Nicole Kidman might get a fourth nomination (and it's a wonder why this excellent actress has only three at this point). The role is definitely Oscar fodder: an adoptive mother who's torn between keeping her family together and allowing her son to explore his true parentage. The tears are sure to come with scenes involving her character.

POSSIBLE

5. LUPITA NYONG'O (QUEEN OF KATWE)

Role: Harriet Nakku, mother of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi

Oscar Record: 1 nomination and win for 12 Years a Slave

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

If Walt Disney has a winner in their hands and campaigns as well for it as they have for their animated films, Lupita Nyong'o is certainly a contender. It's a feel-good film but if they show even glimpses of Harriet Nakku's struggles for her family to survive, it's going to be perfect vehicle for Nyong'o's characteristic vulnerable strength.


6. FELICITY JONES (A MONSTER CALLS)

Role: Conor's Mother, who has a terminal illness but is helping her son the best she can

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None



7. AJA NAOMI KING (THE BIRTH OF A NATION)

Role: Cherry

Oscar Record: No nomination


Pre-Oscar Citations: None


8. ELLE FANNING (20TH CENTURY WOMEN)

Role: Julie, the provocative friend of teenager Jamie Fields

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


9. SIGOURNEY WEAVER (A MONSTER CALLS)

Role: Grandma, tough and emotionally distant

Oscar Record: 3 nominations, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. RACHEL WEISZ (THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS)

Role: Hannah Roennfeldt

Oscar Record: 1 nomination and win for The Constant Gardener

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Valorie Curry (American Pastoral)
Laura Dern (The Founder)
Kate Dickie (The Witch)
Dakota Fanning (American Pastoral)
Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl on the Train)
Greta Gerwig (20th Century Women)
Keira Knightley (Collateral Beauty)
Melissa Leo (Snowden)
Margo Martindale (The Hollars)
Penelope Ann Miller (The Birth of a Nation)
Helen Mirren (Collateral Beauty)
Julianne Moore (Maggie's Plan)
Margot Robbie (Suicide Squad)
Katey Sagal (Bleed for This)
Chloe Sevigny (Love and Friendship)
Molly Shannon (Other People)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)
Tilda Swinton (Doctor Strange)
Gabrielle Union (The Birth of a Nation)
Kate Winslet (Collateral Beauty)
Shailene Woodley (Snowden)

Monday, September 05, 2016

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR 2017

Updated: 5 September 2016

LIKELY

1. LUCAS HEDGES (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA)

Role: Patrick Chandler, a boy who loses his father and gets his estranged uncle as his legal guardian

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

In what is likely the most unpredictable category this year, the top spot goes to Lucas Hedges in part because neither La La Land nor Loving, the other top contenders that have been seen, do not have highly viable contenders in this category. But it's mostly because he has been getting a lot of praise from critics and audiences. He's probably a very likely bet for at least a nomination even if he's quite young for Oscar.

MAYBE

2. STEVE MARTIN (BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK)

Role: Norm Oglesby, owner of the Dallas Cowboys

Oscar Record: No nomination, 1 Honorary Oscar

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

It would be awesome to see Steve Martin finally get an acting nomination, and what better vehicle than this potential Oscar juggernaut? He just has to be his usual charming self and make enough of an impression to get into this rather weak-looking category.

POSSIBLE

3. LIAM NEESON (SILENCE)

Role: Father Cristóvão Ferreira, a priest in Japan sought by his fellow Jesuits

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

So little is known of this film, not the least of which is whether or not it will actually be eligible for this year's Oscars. Once that's confirmed, he'll probably shoot up in the rankings. It's a very meaty role in a highly anticipated Martin Scorsese passion project and it's the one that the plot revolves around.


4. HUGH GRANT (FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS)

Role: St. Clair Bayfield, British stage actor and life partner of operatic singer Florence Foster Jenkins

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

It's not too crazy that Hugh Grant does not have a single Oscar nomination to his name considering his past roles, but just like with Martin, wouldn't it be awesome for him to finally get one? And it would be richly deserved, as he is amazingly charming and touching in this film. Never better. Hopefully the early release date does not hurt his chances. It's going to depend on the campaign now.


5. TIMOTHY SPALL (DENIAL)

Role: David Irving, English author known for being a racist Holocaust denier

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

He probably came close to a Best Actor nomination for Mr. Turner, where he was amazing. On paper, this role is perfect Oscar fodder, especially in a category that's notorious for honoring villains. If the film does well, expect him to be surer bet.


6. MAHERSHALA ALI (MOONLIGHT)

Role: Juan, a drug dealer who acts as a surrogate father to a young gay black man

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


7. AARON ECKHART (BLEED FOR THIS)

Role: Kevin Rooney, trainer of boxer Vinny Paz

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


8. ADAM DRIVER (SILENCE)

Role: Father Francisco Garrpe, a Jesuit priest persecuted in Japan

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


9. STEPHEN HENDERSON (FENCES)

Role: Jim Bono, best friend of baseball player turned waste collector Troy Maxson

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. NICK OFFERMAN (THE FOUNDER)

Role: Richard "Dick" McDonald, one of the founders of the McDonald's food chain

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Jovan Adepo (Fences)
Tadanobu Asano (Silence)
Warren Beatty (Rules Don't Apply)
Tom Bennett (Love and Friendship)
Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water)
Matthew Broderick (Rules Don't Apply)
Kyle Chandler (Manchester by the Sea)
Robert De Niro (Hands of Stone)
Vin Diesel (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Aaron Eckhart (Sully)
John Goodman (10 Cloverfield Lane)
Jackie Earle Haley (The Birth of a Nation)
Armie Hammer (The Birth of a Nation)
Garrett Hedlund (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Ralph Ineson (The Witch)
Edward Norton (Collateral Beauty)
David Oyelowo (Queen of Katwe)
Jeremy Renner (Arrival)
Alan Rickman (Eye in the Sky)
Craig Robinson (Morris from America)
Michael Shannon (Loving)
Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals)
J.K. Simmons (La La Land)
Mark Strong (Miss Sloane)
Chris Tucker (Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk)
Hugo Weaving (Hacksaw Ridge)
David Wenham (Lion)
Forest Whitaker (Arrival)
Mykelti Williamson (Fences)

BEST ACTOR 2017

Updated: 5 September 2016

MOST LIKELY

1. CASEY AFFLECK (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA)

Role: Lee Chandler, a man forced to return to his hometown to become the legal guardian of his nephew

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

It's not everyday that an actor receives "career-best performance" notices. And Casey Affleck is no slouch, having turned in some great performances in the past. The film's expected to be a major Oscar player, so he's a very likely nominee and a solid contender for the win.

LIKELY

2. DENZEL WASHINGTON (FENCES)

Role: Troy Maxson, a former baseball player and now a waste collector struggling to provide for his family

Oscar Record: 6 nominations, with wins for Glory and Training Day

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood's most respected actors, and this role won him a Tony when he played it on the stage. Plays don't always carry over well to cinema, but if this one does, Washington is a surefire nominee and a threat to win.


3. JOEL EDGERTON (LOVING)

Role: Richard Loving, one half of an interracial couple being persecuted by the law and society

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Joel Edgerton is easily one of the hardest working actors today, and he's almost always amazing in his performances. This beloved movie is likely his ticket to a first nomination that will be very well deserved. If he gets nominated, he can even win this.

MAYBE

4. RYAN GOSLING (LA LA LAND)

Role: Sebastian, a Los Angeles jazz musician

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

Men have historically found it more difficult to break through into Oscar glory for a musical. And while the film is being praised to high heavens and his performance is getting good ink (and the chemisty between him and Emma Stone is said to be perfect), it's Stone who's getting the lion's share of hallelujahs and Oscar buzz. Still, it's difficult to imagine a scenario where only Stone gets nominated.

POSSIBLE

5. DEV PATEL (LION)

Role: Saroo Brierly, an Indian man adopted by an Australian couple but out in search of his past

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None

This call was tough. On the one hand, I don't think the Academy can ignore Tom Hanks (who I've placed sixth) for a fourth straight time, especially with the positive reviews he's been getting for Sully. On the other, Dev Patel is the more exciting and, strangely enough, logical choice: he's in a potentially bigger film, his role (and the film itself) has more dramatic heft and potential for big drama, he has Harvey Weinstein's push, the film has a more Oscar-friendly date, and the calls for greater diversity among nominees will certainly highlight his ethnicity. There's still a lot of goodwill for him over Slumdog Millionaire. Plus he also has The Man who Knew Infinity out, and he's said to be really good in that one, too.


6. TOM HANKS (SULLY)

Role: Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, the pilot who gets embroiled in controversy after doing an emergency landing in the Hudson River

Oscar Record: 5 nominations, with wins for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


7. MICHAEL KEATON (THE FOUNDER)

Role: Ray Kroc, the Illinois businessman whose cunning and savvy allows him to take over the McDonald's fast food chain

Oscar Record: 1 nomination, no win

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


8. ANDREW GARFIELD (SILENCE)

Role: Father Sebastião Rodrigues, a Portuguese Jesuit priest who faces persecution in Japan

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


9. JOE ALWYN (BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK)

Role: Billy Lynn, a soldier being feted in his hometown after a tour in Iraq

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


10. NATE PARKER (THE BIRTH OF A NATION)

Role: Nat Turner, the slave who led the slave rebellion in Virginia in 1831

Oscar Record: No nomination

Pre-Oscar Citations: None


Other Contenders:
Don Cheadle (Miles Ahead)
Bryan Cranston (Wakefield)
Billy Crudup (20th Century Women)
Benedict Cumberbatch (Doctor Strange)
Adam Driver (Silence)
Michael Fassbender (The Light Between Oceans)
Colin Firth (The Lobster)
Ben Foster (Hell or High Water)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Snowden)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Demolition)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Noctural Animals)
Andre Holland (Moonlight)
Shia LeBeouf (American Honey)
Logan Lerman (Indignation)
Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls)
Ewan McGregor (American Pastoral)
Viggo Mortensen (Captain Fantastic)
David Oyelowo (A United Kingdom)
Chris Pine (Hell or High Water)
Brad Pitt (Allied)
Chris Pratt (Passengers)
Edgar Ramirez (Hands of Stone)
Will Smith (Collateral Beauty)
Miles Teller (Bleed for This)