Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Monday Oscar Odds: Tuesday Edition

I spent all of yesterday morning and early afternoon eagerly awaiting the announcement of the shortlists for nine different categories, and of course it wasn’t released until just after I had to leave for an event and a screening. Therefore, what I planned to put up yesterday had to wait for today. I’ll look at six of the newly clearer races below, but first: the SAG nominations.

SAG announced their picks on Wednesday, with only a few surprises and snubs. John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) got a boost while Ethan Hawke (First Reformed) was left off again. Viola Davis (Widows) can kiss her chances goodbye as Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns) showed her strength. She even managed a second bid for “A Quiet Place” along with Margot Robbie (Mary, Queen of Scots), bumping Claire Foy (First Man) and, much more shockingly, Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk). Sam Elliott (A Star is Born) showed up after his Globe snub, replacing Sam Rockwell (Vice). The ensemble race contained more surprises. “A Star is Born” managed to get in despite having a small cast, joined by “BlacKkKlansman” and “Black Panther,” cementing their Oscar prospects, and “Crazy Rich Asians,” whose presence here doesn’t really increase its Best Picture chances. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a more unexpected choice, making it a very likely Best Picture contender given the stats that no Best Motion Picture – Drama Globe nominee also recognized in this race has ever been snubbed for the top Oscar. This is bad news for “The Favourite” and “Vice,” though I’d liken them to “The Shape of Water” and “Call Me By Your Name” last year, both of which weren’t affected by missing out here. “Roma” wasn’t ever going to make the cut, in my opinion, so being left off is no big deal, whereas “If Beale Street Could Talk” is more problematically absent. “Widows” is officially dead, which saddens me. The one change I'm making is a slight substitution in Best Picture, though I may reverse that based on guild honorees.

The alphabetical first of the shortlists released by the Academy today was that for Best Documentary Feature. I’ve seen just four of them – “Crime + Punishment,” “Of Fathers and Sons,” “On Her Shoulders,” and “Three Identical Strangers.” I’ve been meaning to see “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” (which my wife saw at Sundance and loved), “RBG,” “Free Solo,” “Minding the Gap,” “Shirkers,” and “Hale County This Morning, This Evening,” as well as “Dark Money” and “The Silence of Others.” I’ve never even heard of “Charm City,” “Communion,” “The Distant Barking of Dogs.” Even with less than 30% of the films screened, all five that I had previously predicted are on this shortlist. I’m not changing my list until I’ve seen more. I’m also not commenting on the short film categories since I’ve seen nothing in those.

Next up is Best Foreign Language Film, which didn’t present too many surprises. “Girl” (Belgium), which I’m actually seeing tonight, is the one Golden Globe nominee that didn’t make the cut. Best Picture frontrunner “Roma” (Mexico), “Shoplifters” (Japan), and “Capernaum” (Lebanon) are all in, as is Globe nominee “Never Look Away” (Germany) and the Globe-snubbed “Cold War” (Poland). Joining them is “Burning” (South Korea), a great choice, and three films I have yet to see: “Birds of Passage” (Colombia), “The Guilty” (Denmark), and “Ayka” (Kazakhstan). A few films I had seen didn’t make the cut, like “The Cakemaker” (Israel), “El Angel” (Argentina), and “Beauty and the Dogs” (Tunisia). I never expected the latter of those to make it, but would have been very pleased if it had. I’m tempted to swap “Burning” in for “Never Look Away” after having seen it, and I think I’ll do that for the moment.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling only has three nominees, now drawn from a pool of seven. I haven’t seen and don’t plan to see “Suspiria,” and I’m not sure I’m going to bother with “Border” either, especially after it didn’t make the cut as the Swedish Foreign Film entry. “Vice” and “Stan and Ollie” make sense here because of just how much they disguise their leads, while “Mary, Queen of Scots” is a decent regal choice even I see a much stronger case for “The Favourite,” which didn’t make the bake-off. The mentions here for “Black Panther” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” mark the latest wave of popularity for these two films, though I don’t think either of them will ultimately make the final list.

Best Original Score would usually have been announced around this time with a list of the full 156 contenders, but instead, which I didn’t even realize, we just get the fifteen finalists this time around. I’m seeing Golden Globe nominee “Mary Poppins Returns” tomorrow night, and missing just three more, all of which are available on demand or will be within the next three weeks: “Ready Player One” (HBO Go), “Avengers: Infinity War” (Netflix, December 25), and “Annihilation” (Hulu, January 5). The expected frontrunners are Golden Globe nominees “First Man,” “Isle of Dogs,” “A Quiet Place,” and “Black Panther.” Other buzzy films placing here are “Vice,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “BlacKkKlansman,” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” Less expected finalists are “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” and, most excitingly, “The Death of Stalin.” I plan to listen to all of these once I’ve seen them and offer more detailed analysis, including who the composers are, with my current predictions listed below.

Best Original Song also got fifteen finalists instead of the ninety eligible being revealed. Only “Requiem for a Private War” (A Private War) is missing from the list of Golden Globe nominees. “Shallow” (A Star is Born) remains, in my mind, the frontrunner, with “All the Stars” (Black Panther), “Revelation” (Boy Erased), and “Girl in the Movies” (Dumplin’) all in a good spot with Globe mentions. Other expected contenders are “I’ll Fight” (RBG), “The Place Where Lost Things Go” (Mary Poppins Returns), and “Trip a Little Light Fantastic” (Mary Poppins Returns). Entertainingly blunt anthems like “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” (The Ballad of Buster Scruggs) and “A Place Called Slaughter Race” (Ralph Breaks the Internet) are fun choices, but not what I’d expect to become nominees. Though I’ve seen the films, I don’t remember “Treasure” (Beautiful Boy), “OYAHYTT” (Sorry to Bother You), and “The Big Unknown” (Widows). I’ll have to listen to “We Won’t Move” (The Hate U Give), “Keep Reachin’” (Quincy), and “Suspirium” (Suspiria). I’m going to make a playlist shortly and will report back with my thoughts.

Finally, there’s Best Visual Effects, where all five of my predictions from the originally-announced twenty appear on this revised ten. I’ve seen just two: “Black Panther” and “First Man,” both of which are likely to be nominated. “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Ready Player One” seem like good bets to be join them, as could “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” or “Ant-Man and the Wasp.” I’m not as confident about “Christopher Robin” or “Mary Poppins Returns” getting in, but maybe “Welcome to Marwen” could. I’m not changing anything at the moment.

That’s it with the big announcements until guilds start unveiling their nominees on January 4th, so this feature will be back after that time as full predictions in all categories begin, as well as Golden Globe and SAG odds, as well as an early look at my favorites of the year!

Best Picture
Black Panther
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Favourite
Eighth Grade
Green Book
If Beale Street Could Talk
Mary Poppins Returns
A Star is Born

Best Director
Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman)
Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)
Alfonso Cuaron (Roma)
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
Adam McKay (Vice)

Best Actor
Christian Bale (Vice)
Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born)
Ethan Hawke (First Reformed)
Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)

Best Actress
Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins Returns)
Glenn Close (The Wife)
Olivia Colman (The Favourite)
Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)
Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali (Green Book)
Timothee Chalamet (Beautiful Boy)
Adam Driver (BlacKkKlansman)
Sam Elliott (A Star Is Born)
Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)

Best Supporting Actress
Amy Adams (Vice)
Claire Foy (First Man)
Regina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)
Emma Stone (The Favourite)
Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)

Best Original Screenplay
Eighth Grade
The Favourite
First Reformed
Green Book

Best Adapted Screenplay
Black Panther
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
If Beale Street Could Talk
A Star is Born

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Mary, Queen of Scots
Stan and Ollie

Best Original Score
Black Panther
The Death of Stalin
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Isle of Dogs

Best Original Song
“All the Stars” (Black Panther)
“Revelation” (Boy Erased)
“Trip a Little Light Fantastic” (Mary Poppins Returns)
“I’ll Fight” (RBG)
“Shallow” (A Star is Born)

Best Animated Feature
Incredibles 2
Isle of Dogs
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Documentary
Of Fathers and Sons
On Her Shoulders
Three Identical Strangers
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Best Foreign Film
Burning (South Korea)
Capernaum (Lebanon)
Cold War (Poland)
Roma (Mexico)
Shoplifters (Japan)

Best Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther
First Man
Ready Player One
Solo: A Star Wars Story

No comments: