2016 Oscar Picks: Nov. 27, 2016

For anyone who’s been looking forward to what I have to say about this awards season, I apologize for being out of the loop, save for an occasional tweet or slew of tweets. I hope to get more into blogging in the coming weeks, but for now, here’s a glimpse at my picks for the top eight Oscar categories. Am I completely out of it, or am I right on the money? Let me know!

Best Picture

  1. La La Land
  2. Moonlight
  3. Manchester by the Sea
  4. Silence
  5. Fences
  6. Arrival
  7. Jackie
  8. Sully

If There Are More than 8…

  1. Lion
  2. Patriots Day

Best Director

  1. Damien Chazelle for La La Land
  2. Barry Jenkins for Moonlight
  3. Kenneth Lonergan for Manchester by the Sea
  4. Martin Scorsese for Silence
  5. Denis Villeneuve for Arrival

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  1. Emma Stone for La La Land
  2. Natalie Portman for Jackie
  3. Amy Adams for Arrival
  4. Annette Bening for 20th Century Women
  5. Isabelle Huppert for Elle

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  1. Casey Affleck for Manchester by the Sea
  2. Denzel Washington for Fences
  3. Tom Hanks for Sully
  4. Ryan Gosling for La La Land
  5. Andrew Garfield for Silence

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  1. Viola Davis for Fences
  2. Naomie Harris for Moonlight
  3. Michelle Williams for Manchester by the Sea
  4. Nicole Kidman for Lion
  5. Molly Shannon for Other People

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  1. Liam Neeson for Silence
  2. Mahershala Ali for Moonlight
  3. Lucas Hedges for Manchester by the Sea
  4. Jeff Bridges for Hell or High Water
  5. Dev Patel for Lion

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Moonlight
  2. Manchester by the Sea
  3. Jackie
  4. La La Land
  5. The Lobster

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Silence
  2. Fences
  3. Arrival
  4. Love and Friendship
  5. Sully

Soundtrack Scene: Sia Says Hello to The Neon Demon

siaA photo of Sia (via Celebuzz)

In addition to her five Grammy nominations, alternative songstress-turned-pop chanteuse Sia has landed two Golden Globe nominations for songs she’s contributed to films. However, the motion-picture academy has yet to recognize her work. Will 2016 be the year that changes?

While the vocal powerhouse behind “Chandelier” and “Breathe Me” co-wrote “Try Everything” for Disney’s recent masterpiece Zootopia – no, it’s not too early to say that – something tells me that a song so poppy won’t impress AMPAS’ music branch – especially when the song failed to hit it big on pop radio.

But (more…)

My First Post in Forever

aliciavikander_exmachina2

The last time I posted on the blog, the Oscar race looked something like this: Alicia Vikander’s dazzling performance in The Danish Girl was in category limbo, Steve Jobs still looked like an Oscar juggernaut, no one took The Martian seriously (happy days, indeed), and we had no idea what to expect from The Big Short. Which just goes to show you, quite a few things have changed since my last post.

To make a long story short, I started a new job in October. I’m enjoying the work… but it has taken up a large chunk of my time. Whatever time I do have, I spend with friends and family – often at the movies, of course. In other words, the blog has taken a backseat to everything else.

But I’m trying to find a balance. On that note, check out my updated personal picks for 2015.

Post-Toronto Oscar Picks

Apologies for the lack of official blog updates, y’all.

In case you missed it, Room won the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. Also, Paramount Pictures enters the Oscar race with Adam McKay’s The Big Short. After closing AFI, the housing-crisis drama (which may go for comedy prizes at the Golden Globes) will select locations on Dec. 11 and go wide later that month.

Anyway, here’s a quick (read: messy) rundown of where I think the race is heading.

Best Picture

  1. Carol
  2. The Revenant
  3. The Hateful Eight
  4. The Danish Girl
  5. Spotlight
  1. Youth
  2. Steve Jobs
  3. Inside Out
  4. Beasts of No Nation
  5. Room

Best Director

  1. Todd Haynes for Carol
  2. Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight
  3. Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant
  4. Thomas McCarthy for Spotlight
  5. Paolo Sorrentino for Youth

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  1. Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
  2. Cate Blanchett for Carol
  3. Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
  4. Jennifer Lawrence for Joy
  5. Brie Larson for Room

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
  2. Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
  3. Michael Caine for Youth
  4. Johnny Depp for Black Mass
  5. Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  1. Rooney Mara for Carol
  2. Diane Ladd for Joy
  3. Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight
  4. Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs
  5. Jane Fonda for Youth

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  1. Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation
  2. Samuel L. Jackson for The Hateful Eight
  3. Michael Keaton for Spotlight
  4. Tom Hardy for The Revenant
  5. Seth Rogen for Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Paolo Sorrentino for Youth
  2. Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight
  3. Pete Docter, et al. for Inside Out
  4. Thomas McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight
  5. David O. Russell and Annie Mumolo (story) for Joy

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Phyllis Nagy for Carol
  2. Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith for The Revenant
  3. Lucinda Coxon for The Danish Girl
  4. Aaron Sorkin for Steve Jobs
  5. Cary Joji Fukunaga for Beasts of No Nation

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. Inside Out
  2. Anomalisa
  3. The Good Dinosaur
  4. When Marnie Was There
  5. Shaun the Sheep Movie

Slapbang Oscar Picks

We’re in the middle of the Toronto International Film Festival; the New York Film Festival is right around the corner; and we still have AFI lurking ahead.

I hope to update my Oscar pages shortly after Toronto concludes in a few days. But I felt the need to make some kind of “unofficial” blog update to reflect the changing tides – the success of Spotlight, the disappointment of Freeheld, and the seemingly final verdict on category placement for Carol. (For anyone wondering, I’m still holding on category placements for some films, hence my somewhat odd picks for now.)

Anyway, here’s a quick (read: messy) rundown of where I think the race is heading.

Best Picture

  1. Carol
  2. The Revenant
  3. The Hateful Eight
  4. The Danish Girl
  5. Spotlight
  1. Youth
  2. Steve Jobs
  3. Inside Out
  4. Beasts of No Nation
  5. Bridge of Spies

Best Director

  1. Todd Haynes for Carol
  2. Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight
  3. Alejandro González Iñárritu for The Revenant
  4. Thomas McCarthy for Spotlight
  5. Paolo Sorrentino for Youth

Best Actress in a Leading Role

  1. Alicia Vikander for The Danish Girl
  2. Cate Blanchett for Carol
  3. Saoirse Ronan for Brooklyn
  4. Jennifer Lawrence for Joy
  5. Charlotte Rampling for 45 Years

Best Actor in a Leading Role

  1. Leonardo DiCaprio for The Revenant
  2. Eddie Redmayne for The Danish Girl
  3. Michael Caine for Youth
  4. Johnny Depp for Black Mass
  5. Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

  1. Rooney Mara for Carol
  2. Diane Ladd for Joy
  3. Jennifer Jason Leigh for The Hateful Eight
  4. Kate Winslet for Steve Jobs
  5. Jane Fonda for Youth

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

  1. Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation
  2. Samuel L. Jackson for The Hateful Eight
  3. Michael Keaton for Spotlight
  4. Tom Hardy for The Revenant
  5. Seth Rogen for Steve Jobs

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Paolo Sorrentino for Youth
  2. Quentin Tarantino for The Hateful Eight
  3. Pete Docter, et al. for Inside Out
  4. Thomas McCarthy and Josh Singer for Spotlight
  5. David O. Russell and Annie Mumolo (story) for Joy

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. Phyllis Nagy for Carol
  2. Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith for The Revenant
  3. Lucinda Coxon for The Danish Girl
  4. Aaron Sorkin for Steve Jobs
  5. Cary Joji Fukunaga for Beasts of No Nation

Best Animated Feature Film

  1. Inside Out
  2. Anomalisa
  3. The Good Dinosaur
  4. When Marnie Was There
  5. Shaun the Sheep Movie

Open Road Sets Cinematic Citizen for 2016 Bow

jgl_snowden
Open Road Films removed Oliver Stone’s Snowden from its Dec. 25 slot. The biopic, led by Joseph Gordon-Levitt as (who else?) controversial NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has yet to find a new release date.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Concussion with Will Smith Nad Gugu Mbatha-Raw!) and Joy with Jennifer Lawrence are currently slated to hit theaters nationwide on Dec. 25, as are (God help us) Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Daddy’s Home with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg, and the Point Break remake; The Hateful Eight and The Revenant arrive at select locations.

Maybe Open Road bumped Snowden to avoid the holiday glut of new releases; the distrib may be gearing to push Thomas McCarthy’s Spotlight this season. With raves out of Telluride and Venice and a spot at Toronto, the drama may land nods for McCarthy and Josh Singer’s original script, performances from Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, and Michael Keaton, and maybe even the top prize. Spotlight hits select locations on Nov. 6.

With Snowden out of the running, Gordon-Levitt’s only (sort-of) Oscar hopeful now is Robert Zemeckis’ The Walk, which centers on French high-wire artist Philippe Petit – subject of the Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire (2008) – whose crossing of the World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974 was deemed “the artistic crime of the century.”

Despite Gordon-Levitt’s shaky accent in the trailers, the Sony release will kick off the New York Film Festival later this month. Then again, that probably has more to do with Zemeckis’ NYFF pull than The Walk as a film, so maybe I shouldn’t have too much faith in this one, which hits IMAX locations on Wednesday, Sept. 30, and nationwide on Friday, Oct. 9.