Best Adapted Screenplay

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
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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

eOne on The Program

benfoster_program
eOne has acquired the North American rights to Stephen Frears’ The Program before it premiers at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 13. Ben Foster steps into the role of Lance Armstrong in this drama about the road-racing cyclist who won the Tour de France seven years in a row.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that eOne has yet to confirm whether the film will hit U.S. theaters in time for awards season, but the distrib has nothing else on its upcoming slate, according to Box Office Mojo, so an Oscar-qualifying release may be in the cards.

Frankly, the distributor’s acquisition of The Program inspires little confidence. But underestimate Frears at your own risk, especially when he’s helming a biopic. Screenwriter John Hodge may return to the fold for the first time since his 1996 adapted-screenplay bid for Trainspotting. Additionally, Foster’s flirted with awards season with both 3:10 to Yuma (2007) and The Messenger (2009); could he finally break through?

Oscar Picks: Compton Dominates

compton_pic

Hey all! Back for my first predictions update in about two weeks!

In case you missed them, here are some news bits that may prove relevant during the awards season:

Straight Outta Compton topped the U.S. box office this past weekend. With a massive opening of $60.2 million and rave reviews, F. Gary Gray’s N.W.A. biopic looks to get the campaign treatment from Universal Pictures. At this point, Jason Mitchell’s turn as Eazy-E looks like Compton’s safest bet for a nomination.

Joel Edgerton’s The Gift surprised the prior weekend. The film opened to about $11.85 million from a production budget of $5 million. The psychological thriller scored some strong critical reception, too. Maybe writer-director Edgerton’s supporting performance gains some traction?

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Toronto: More Galas and Special Screenings

OUR BRAND IS CRISIS
The Toronto International Film Festival unveiled more films set for gala screenings and special presentations earlier today. Potential contenders like About Ray (more about that one), I Saw the Light, Miss You Already, Our Brand is Crisis, and Truth are now set for world premieres at the fest. Meanwhile, 45 Years and The Witch will make their Canadian debuts.

Check out today’s additions below. Bold indicates films that may become Oscar players.

GALAS (i.e., traditional red-carpet treatment)
Disorder, director Alice Winocour, France/Belgium (North American Premiere)
Man Down, director Dito Montiel, USA (North American Premiere)
Miss You Already, director Catherine Hardwicke, United Kingdom (World Premiere)
Mississippi Grind, directors Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, USA (Canadian Premiere)
Closing Night Film: Mr. Right, director Paco Cabezas, USA (World Premiere)

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
45 Years, director Andrew Haigh, United Kingdom (Canadian Premiere)
About Ray, director Gaby Dellal, USA (World Premiere)
Angry Indian Goddesses, director Pan Nalin, India (World Premiere)
Being Charlie, director Rob Reiner, USA (World Premiere)
Body, or Cialo, director Małgorzata Szumowska, Poland (North American Premiere)
Equals, director Drake Doremus, USA (North American Premiere)
I Saw the Light, director Marc Abraham, USA (World Premiere)
London Fields, director Matthew Cullen, United Kingdom/USA (World Premiere)
ma ma, director Julio Medem, Spain/France (International Premiere)
The Meddler, director Lorene Scafaria, USA (World Premiere)
Mr. Six, or Lao Pao Er, director Guan Hu, China (North American Premiere)
Mustang, director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Turkey/France/Germany (North American Premiere)
My Mother, or Mia Madre, director Nanni Moretti, Italy/France (North American Premiere)
Our Brand is Crisis, director David Gordon Green, USA (World Premiere)
A Tale of Love and Darkness, director Natalie Portman, Israel/USA (North American Premiere)
A Tale of Three Cities, or San Cheng Ji, director Mabel Cheung, China (International Premiere)
Truth, director James Vanderbilt, USA (World Premiere)
The Wave, director Roar Uthaug, Norway (International Premiere)
The Witch, director Robert Eggers, USA/Canada (Canadian Premiere)

Box Office: The Gift Surprises

joeledgerton_thegiftLow costs and smart filmmaking make for a Gift that should keep on giving (via AceShowbiz)

Sure, last week’s No. 1 debut, Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, holds the top spot over newcomer Fantastic Four, but that’s hardly the only box-office stunner this weekend.

Perhaps the best surprise is Joel Edgerton’s directorial debut, The Gift. The film, which also features Edgerton as an eccentric man whose intentions may or may not be insidious, ranks third with an estimated $12 million. Given its production budget of $5 million and marketing costs of roughly $2.5 million, The Gift already enters the books as a success – more so than any other nationwide debut, easily. (But more on those other nationwide bows later.)

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What’s Happening with Ithaca?

I almost included this as an extended portion of a Soundtrack Scene post, but I felt this topic deserved its own space, as it pertains to much more than a film’s soundtrack.

I stumbled on some information about a new song from Meg Ryan’s World War II drama, Ithaca, called “Sugar Hill Mountain.” Grammy winner and Ryan’s former/current (???) romantic partner John Mellencamp pens the new tune, while Carlene Carter, daughter of June Carter and stepdaughter of Johnny Cash, performs.

So, iconic rock songwriter handling composition + a Carter tackling vocals + said duo likely capturing the essence of the time period accounted for in the film (safe guess, right?) + respected and adored name at the helm = awards love?

Well, maybe. (more…)