Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Happy Oscar Nomination Announcement Day, Everyone!

Alright, busy morning, still sorting everything out, but before I get into the nominations and how well or bad I did, what the hell was with that damn Live Stream video package! Oh my god, that was abhorent, obnoxious, stupid...-, look, I know their hearts are in the right place, but you can overthink this, and boy did they overthink this. Please, you don't need to make a spectacle of the nominations, that's what the show's for. Get a stage, call the Press, get a few big TV behind you, bam! Read off the nominations! Things are simple for a reason, they've been doing this for 90 years, there's a reason it works the way it does. Anybody ever tells you they wish they change the nomination announcements to something different, show them this, and tell them to shut up! Yeah, Jennifer Hudson, is gonna talk about how the Oscar experience will change all of your lives for being nominated, hope you know that, Meryl Streep! Ugh! Let the Oscars be the Oscars, don't overthink it, somebody please stop Cheryl Boone-Isaacs from herself.

(Deep breath)

Anyway, let's look at who got in, and how did I do, and take a quick look at each category. Here we go, let's start with Best Pictures, Stars denote an accurate prediction from me.

*Arrival-Producers: Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde
Fences-Producers: Scott Rudin, Denzel Washingto and Todd Black
1/2*Hacksaw Ridge-Producers: Bill Mechanic and David Permut
*Hell or High Water-Producers: Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn
*Hidden Figures-Producers: Donna Gigliotti, Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi
*La La Land-Producers: Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt
*Lion-Producers: Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Angie Fielder
*Manchester by the Sea-Producers: Matt Damon, Kimberly Steward, Chris Moore, Lauren Beck and Kevin J. Walsh
*Moonlight-Producers: Adele Romanski, Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner

Okay, first of all, whatever happened to that, no more than three Producers rule, unless given special exemption? Didn't we learn that lesson after the "Shakespeare in Love" fiasco? Ugh. Anyway, I guess they're all worthy. "La La Land" pulled off a tie with a record 14 nominations, which ties, "All About Eve" and "Titanic", for the most in history, and in case you're wondering, both of those won, Best Picture. It's got all the momentum, the races are somewhere else. Still, so much for that, only seven films nominated theory. (Eye roll, sigh) we're back to nine and "Fences" I totally whiffed on, I thought-eh, either "Florence Foster Jenkins" or possibly "Toni Erdmann" would get in, if it was extended to ten, but I correctly predicted the seven I did, so that's something.

*Damien Chazelle-"La La Land"
Mel Gibson-"Hacksaw Ridge"
*Barry Jenkins-"Moonlight"
*Kenneth Lonergan-"Manchester by the Sea"
*Denis Villeneuve-"Arrival"

I had eliminated Gibson from serious contention after he missed DGA; I thought he really needed that to get in, Garth Davis for "Lion" was the odd-man out, which makes sense actually, 'cause Gibson, if anybody remember the weird year when "Braveheart" won, he flew under the radar of most people at the time then too. Barry Jenkins, is now the third African-American to be nominated for Best Director, after Lee Daniels for "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire" and John Singleton for "Boys N the Hood", so congratulations for him, and cheer up #Oscarsowhite people, he's far from the only one this year.

*Casey Affleck-"Manchester by the Sea"
*Andrew Garfield-"Hacksaw Ridge"
*Ryan Gosling-"La La Land"
*Viggo Mortensen-"Captain Fantastic"
*Denzel Washington-"Fences"

Not much to say here, no shockers, got all my predictions in the category right. Basically, it's the SAG list. Interesting possibility of Denzel Washington, if they're gonna reward him, he didn't get into Director, and the Picture, really doesn't have a shot, it's have to be a third Acting Oscar here. Somebody has to beat Casey Affleck though.

*Isabelle Huppert-"Elle"
Ruth Negga-"Loving"
*Natalie Portman-"Jackie"
*Emma Stone-"La La Land"
*Meryl Streep-"Florence Foster Jenkins

You know, I personally feel stupid on this one. Not that I had Ruth Negga, if I thought it was gonna be somebody else to sneak in, it probably would've been Annette Bening (And boy, I was worried when "20th Century Women" showed up for Writing, but we'll get to that) but I really should not have predicted Amy Adams. I even said it last year, two years ago;

"...Amy Adams has been nominated so often now that, I have a suspicion...., that if none of the voters think she really has a chance to win at this point, then I don't think it's overly worth it to nominate her..." 

I listened to myself two years ago, and I was right and I should've listened to myself saying that now-, it's weird that "Arrival" did so well, basically everywhere else, but Amy Adams gets the snub, but honestly, it's a four-horse race, and she was running fifth, and now, Ruth Negga is running fifth. Good for her, "Loving"'s only nomination by the way, that'll disappoint some. And yes, let's check the count, if you're counting and I know you are, this is Meryl Streep's 20th nomination! Reminder, the record she beat was 13, so, yeah, she's killed that. Who's gonna win, too early to call.

*Mahershala Ali-"Moonlight"
*Jeff Bridges-"Hell or High Water"
*Lucas Hedges-"Manchester by the Sea"
*Dev Patel-"Lion"
Michael Shannon-"Nocturnal Animals"

You know, I just saw "Florence Foster Jenkins", I'm gonna review it soon, I'm really pissed that Hugh Grant didn't get nominated. I'm kinda annoyed by that if I'm honest, you know what, the rest I got. Interesting, eclectic group, an great African-American supporting actor, a legendary Hollywood veteran, a great young actor from India, a very talented young kid, who's already been in a shocking amount of good movies, in leading roles, and whatever species Michael Shannon is, (I'm kidding Michael, just kidding.) but no, this is a good group. Part of me wonders if Shannon getting in, over his co-star Aaron Taylor-Johnson who had the surprise Golden Globe win and BAFTA nomination is that this is a makeup for not nominating for "99 Homes", but, I think there's nothing too wrong with that either. And it's a bit up in the air who wins this still, so interesting race. Still, Hugh Grant not getting in, ah, he was so good in that, that would've been so nice. That's really unfortunate.

*Viola Davis-"Fences"
*Naomie Harris-"Moonlight"
*Nicole Kidman-"Lion"
*Octavia Spencer-"Hidden Figures"
*Michelle Williams-"Manchester by the Sea"

I was so confident in this category that I put extra token bet on it on my Gold Derby bet and you know what, I won, so... I think somebody pointed this out, and I'd have to go through the records, but three African-American actresses nominated in this category, I think that's a record, and in fact, you have to go back to '85, to find the last time there were two African-American women n the category, and that was Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey, both nominated from "The Color Purple". I'm going back, but I don't think three has happened. Of course, this category, the first category in which an African-American was nominated and won an Oscar, that was Hattie McDaniel for "Gone with the Wind", way back in 1939, believe it or not. Admittedly a really long period between hers and other historic wins, sadly, but this is a historic group and category this year, and I think most are projecting Viola Davis to win. Spencer already has one, so they're in no hurry for her.... (Shrugs)

*Arrival-Eric Heisserer
Fences-August Wilson
*Hidden Figures-Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
*Lion-Luke Davies
*Moonlight-Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney

Little surprised the nominated Tarell McCraney, since I thought the switched "Moonlight" to Adapted because it was a story that he had, that was translated into film-, eh, oh well, anyway, eh, I'm a little surprised August Wilson got in. I had "Nocturnal Animals" instead, which they overall, did not like; which I thought that film had momentum going in here, but my thinking, they're adapting a play pretty straight-forward to a film; I know, last year with Emma Donaghue's nomination for "Room", there were getting a little lax on the, adapting your own work thing, but I'm still kinda surprised that didn't get called out. But, "Fences" overperformed in general, so (Shrugs). Eh, I think it's probably "Moonlight", maybe "Arrival" can upset, but I think this is where they honor "Moonlight".

*Hell or High Water-Taylor Sheridan
*La La Land-Damien Chazelle
*The Lobster-Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
*Manchester by the Sea-Kenneth Lonergan
20th Century Women-Mike Mills

"20th Century Women"'s nomination, really caught me offguard. I had "Toni Erdmann", I think' Loving" would've made sense there, but instead, "20th Century Women" and that's the only thing that film got, that sticks out like a sore thumb. Glad they remember "The Lobster" which I did predict. That really came out of nowhere, I did list it as a possibility but that's weird. Especially since it didn't get anything else. Strange.

*Kubo and the Two Strings-Travis Knight and Arianne Sutner
*Moana-John Musker, Ron Clements and Osnat Shurer
*My Life as a Zucchini-Claude Barras and Max Karli
*The Red Turtle-Michael Dudok and Toshio Suzuki
*Zootopia-Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer

Whew! 27 possible nominations in this category, most ever, and I nailed it. This was a tough category to predict too. Eh, I think "Zootopia" is vulnerable as well, "Kubo..." got into Special Effects, and "My Life as a Zucchini" got into this, didn't get Foreign, but they seem to like it. "Moana" could upset here....- I don't think it's a "Zootopia" runaway, so be weary here.

*13th-Ava DuVernay, Specer Averick and Howard Barish
Fire at Sea-Gianfrance and Donatella Palermo
I Am Not Your Negro-Raoul Peck, Remi Grellety and Hebert Peck
Life, Animated-Roger Ross Williams and Julie Goldman
*OJ: Made in America-Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow

So, there's been three African-American nominees for Best Director, but this year, there are four African-American Director nominees, just in Documentary Feature. That's a statistic there for you. Uh, no "Cameraperson" which I thought was a guarantee in, but this was a competitive year, "Life, Animated" makes sense that's a documentary about a filmmaker. "I Am Not Your Negro" was one I wasn't sure of. "Weiner" was one most people thought would get in; I knew it wouldn't. That movie, just-, it was interesting,was it the best, god no. But, it's "O.J...." to lose honestly. Maybe "13th", they might Ava DuVernay for not nominated her for "Selma" a couple years back.... (Shrugs) I don't know for sure, but I think "O.J.: Made in America" is the longest movie to ever get nominated. I'd have to double-check, but it's a long-running time, so I wouldn't be shocked if it is, and it's the favorite to win.

Land of Mine (Denmark)-Directed by Martin Zandvliet
*A Man Called Ove (Sweden)-Directed by Hannes Holm
*The Salesman (Iran)-Directed by Asghar Farhadi
Tanna (Australia)-Directed by Bentley Dean and Martin Butler
*Toni Erdmann (Germany)-Directed by Maren Ade

A little history here, "Tanna" is the first Australian movie to ever be nominated in the Foreign Language film, it does once in a blue moon happen, an English-speaking country, submitting a Foreign Language film, but it's rare. I'm not sure what to make of Xavier Dolan's snub for his latest film, the great French Canadian, young director, very young director. The Oscars don't seem quite sold on him, yet. Denmark has been, going through a bit of a film renaissance, I probably should've thought of that. All the Dogme directors are mature and hitting their strides so, there's that. It's always a bit unpredictable, "A Man Called Ove" did sneak into Makeup & Hair, so they like that one, but I suspect, "Toni Erdmann"'s the favorite, but they do like Asghar Farhadi however, and I bet they if there's an upset, "The Salesman" is the first place I'd look. Not sure I see it yet, but that's the Foreign Language Oscar can be unpredictable, so....

*Arrival-Bradford Young
*La La Land-Linus Sandgren
Lion-Greig Fraser
*Moonlight-James Laxton
*Silence-Rodrigo Prieto

Well, Roger Deakins won't win this time either. Eh, this is actually an interesting category, 'cause there's no former winners and only Rodrigo Prieto, who got "Silence"'s only nomination, he's the only one who's ever been nominated before. So, there will be a new winner here. Bradford Young, I think the first African-American to ever be nominated for Cinematography, Yes, first, second black person after Remi Adefarasin, who was nominated years ago for "Elizabeth". Normally this is category filled with Lubezki, Richardson, Deakins, Kaminski, lot of veteran names, not this time.

Allied-Joanna Johnston
*Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them-Colleen Atwood
*Florence Foster Jenkins-Consolata Boyle
*Jackie-Madeline Fontaine
*La La Land-Mary Zophres

I had heard, like, right before the nominations came out, some people talking about how "Allied"'s costumes were great, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. It didn't show up at the Costume Designers Guild though and that was confusing. I would've thought it'd show up there, but they don't always match up exactly with the Guilds but, I hadn't seen it anywhere else. Other than that, Colleen Atwood, Mary Zophres, a couple veterans there. There'll definitely be some "Jackie" love, for the period. Only "Fantastic Beasts..." got in as a fantasy. I had "The Dressmaker" I'm a little stunned that didn't get into Costumes. A movie about a person who makes clothes, Costume people... (Shrugs) I thought that was obvious, glad I got the rest right though.

*Arrival-Joe Walker
Hacksaw Ridge-John Gilbert
Hell or High Water-Jake Roberts
*La La Land-Tom Cross
*Moonlight-Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon

Well, this is where I went and died on the "Deadpool" train, but a shocking omission of "manchester by the Sea", replaced with, probably "Hell or High Water" I imagine. That's not good, for it's Oscar chances. I had that film running third up until now, and only "Birdman..." has won without an Editing nomination, and that was a fluke, you have to go back to "Ordinary People" to see that anomaly happen again. That's a shocking omission. Joi McMillon, only the second African-American nominated for Editing, and you have to go back to Hugh A. Robertson, who edited "Midnight Cowboy" back in '69, to find another African-American nominee. Eh, it's probably between, "La La Land", "Arrival" and "Hacksaw Ridge", the musical, the war movie, the sci-fi action-y film. Something like "Moonlight" upsets, than look out.

A Man Called Ove-Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
*Star Trek Beyond-Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
*Suicide Squad-Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson

Okay, so, the two from "A Man Called Ove" are the same two nominated last year, with "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" last year, apparently they two Swedish makeup people are really beloved in the Makeup branch. I had "Florence Foster Jenkins", probably a fool's errand not picking the weird one in the Makeup category. Eh, after that, both "Star Trek" and "Suicide Squad" were considered by most, longshot, I'm glad I predicted them. I'm sure there's some upset that "Suicide Squad" got in, but I haven't seen it yet. We'll see.....

*Arrival-Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Paul Hotte
*Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them-Production Design: Stuart Craig; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Hail, Caesar!-Production Design: Jess Gonchar; Set Decoration: Nancy Haigh
*La La Land-Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
Passengers-Production Design: Guy Hendrix Dyas; Set Decoration: Gene Serdana

Really shocked, "Jackie" didn't show up here; I thought that was a real sure thing. "Hail, Caesar!" snuck in instead; I was worried about that film for Costume Design, but it's Production Design was great too, and "Passengers" came out of nowhere. More love for that film, than I thought it had. Other than that, nothing too shocking. I mean, I hate to be too boring going ahead here, but "La La Land" is taking a lot of these, and they're probably less competitive then we're gonna make them out to be for the next few weeks, so.....

Jackie-Mica Levi
*La La Land-Justin Hurwitz
*Lion-Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka
*Moonlight-Nicholas Britell
Passengers-Thomas Newman

Well, so much for the John Williams effect here. Glad to see Mica Levi get in, for "Jackie", little surprised, I wasn't sold that score was as good as "Under the Skin", which she should've been nominated for, but wasn't. Thomas Newman, in for "Passengers", which I did manage to write down in the possibles, but yeah, I mean, congratulations to all of you for losing to "La La Land" in a month or so. Um, little surprised "Florence Foster Jenkins", the other music based movie, doesn't get into Score, glad I predicted "Lion" though; that was a last-second change for me.

"The Empty Chair"-Jim: The James Foley Story- Music/Lyric: J. Ralph and Sting
"Audition (The Fools Who Dream)"-La La Land-Music: Justin Hurwitz; Lyric: Benji Pasek and Justin Paul
*"City of Stars"-La La Land-Music: Justin Hurwitz; Lyric: Benji Pasek and Justin Paul
"How Far I'll Go"-Moana-Musix/Lyric: Lin-Manuel Miranda
"Can't Stop the Feeling"-Trolls-Music/Lyric: Justin Timberlake, Max Martin and Karl John Schuster

Okay, I did like this song, but I do not get the Academy's fascination with J. Ralph, and nominating him for every documentary he scores, but it's nice to see Sting, he could be the 11th Rock'n'Roll Hall of Famer, and 12th win overall who could have an Oscar, it's not happening. Uh, of course, Lin-Manuel Miranda, if he wins, fresh off "Hamilton," it he wins, he supercedes, Robert Lopez as the youngest EGOT winner, that's not gonna happen. Justin Timberlake-, eh, look it's going, probably to "City of Stars", the only one of these nominees I predicted correctly. I did have two "La La Land" in the category, I had "Start a Fire" instead of "Audition..." which I still think was a better song, but this is a loaded year, and a decent batch of nominees. I think it could've been better and more interesting, but, (Sigh) oh well. Very surprised "Runnin'" from "Hidden Figures" didn't get in, that's the biggest shock for me.

*Arrival-Sylvain Bellemare
*Deepwater Horizon-Wylie Stateman and Renee Tondelli
*Hacksaw Ridge-Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
La La Land-Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
*Sully-Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

So, remember when I said, Musicals don't get into Sound Editing, they usually only get into Sound Mixing... well, "La La Land" got into Sound Editing. (Shrugs) I- look, it's "La La Land"'s year folks. I thought it would be "Star Wars", and I got "Deepwater Horizon" in when I doubt too many others predicted that, so... (Shrugs)

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi-Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers, Jeffrey J. Haboush and Mac Ruth
*Arrival-Ganepy Strobi and Claude La Haye
*Hacksaw Ridge-Kevin O'Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace
*La La Land-Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee and Steve A. Morrow
*Rogue One: A Star Wars Story-David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson

Okay, before you guys say anything, yes, I had "13 Hours..." listed in my possible shortlist for Sound Mixing. This is why I do those long lists of possibles, in case there's something that's frickin' strange, and no I didn't come close to predicting it, but it did get into a precursor. It was nominated for Best Sound at the Satellite Awards, where it lost to "Hacksaw Ridge". And Greg P. Russell, by the way, this is his seventeenth Oscar nomination, never one, never has Kevin O'Connell, who's now on his 20th nomination, they're two of the all-time losers that the Academy, I can't imagine him winning this year, even though they're up again. It's, Sound Mixing, there's a musical up, "La La Land"'s probably getting in, it might even win Editing. A bit weird that only three films correspond in these Sound catgories this year; you can usually expect at least four, but boy, that "13 Hours..." through everyone for a loop there.

*Deepwater Horizon-Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Jason billington and Burt Dalton
*Doctor Strange-Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli and Paul Corbould
*The Jungle Book-Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon
Kubo and the Two Strings-Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean and Brad Schiff
*Rogue One: A Star Wars Story-John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel and Neil Corbould

"Kubo and the Two Strings" nomination is pretty historic, the second entirely animated feature to get into Visual Effects, "Kubo..." has really over-performed across the board, and this one's huge, and it could potentially pull off the upset over "The Jungle Book". I had predicted "Fantastic Beasts...", but only "Doctor Strange" and "Kubo..." the only fantasies to get in. A lot of interesting choices here. I'm glad I predicted "Deepwater Horizon"'s two nomination accurately; I think a few people stayed away from that one. "The Jungle Book" has won most of the predecessors, but this is it the only place it got in, same with "Doctor Strange" but the rest got in somewhere else....

(Correction: "Kubo..." is the second fully-animated feature to be nominated for Visual Effects, "The Nightmare Before Christmas" was also previously nominated)

Blind Vaysha-Theodore Ushev
Borrowed Time-Andrew Coats and Lou Hamou-Lhadj
*Pear Cider and Cigarettes-Robert Valledy and Cara Speller
*Pearl-Patrick Osborne
*Piper-Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer

I had "Inner Workings" and "Sous Tes Doights (Under the Fingers)", I should've known to knock out "Inner Workings", but I kept seeing it listed; I was dumb there. I'm glad I called "Pear Cider & Cigarettes" I don't think everybody had that one, but very surprised that "Borrowed Time" got in; i wasn't particularly thinking that was getting in. I think "Blind Vaysha", "Pearl" and "Piper" are in a three-way race, pretty much, with "Piper" being the favorite.

Ennemis Interieurs-Selim Azzazi
La Femme et le TGV-Tim von Gunten and Giacun Caduff
Silent Nights-Aske Bang and Kim Magnusson
*Sing-Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy
*Timecode-Juanjo Gimenez

Ah, I knew I should've put the Jane Birken film in their. (Frustrated sigh) I hate doing bad at these. "Silent Nights", I think can play spoiler has truly come out of nowhere. Really shocked "Nocturne in Black" didn't show up here, I thought that an "Bon Voyage" were practically automatics. "Ennemis Interieurs", seem like on long conversation, which can be good; I was looking more at the filmmaking of the rest honestly.

*4.1 Miles-Daphne Matzairaki
Extremis-Dan Krauss
*Joe's Violin-Kahane Cooperman and Raphaela Neihausen
*Watani: My Homeland-Marcel Mettelsiefen and Stephen Ellis
*The White Helmets-Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara

I had "Brillo Box" getting in; I thought the Warhol one would've been more appealing than "Extremis" which was about a-eh people deciding between people debating whether to keep people alive through machines or not. And I saw "Extremis" actually, I thought it was okay, but Dan Krauss has been nominated before. So has Orlando von Einsiedel, he was for "Virunga" recently. I'm glad I called all three refugee stories getting in; I suspect "Joe's Violin" has a slight edge, but it's early, and I did see that one as well; it was enjoyable. Maybe "The White Helmuts" are a close second choice.

How did I do, overall, I did, ... carry the one, I got 88 and a 1/2 out of 121, predicting; is that right? Let me count again... 81 + 7 1/2, yeah, that's not bad to me. Good average, could've done better. Alright, more thorough analysis when the Oscars approach. In the meantime, here are the nominees, time to go watch some movies, if you haven't already, and we got a month to finalize predictions. Basically, how many will "La La Land" win? I think I'm predicting at least eight, spoilers. But we'll see....

Hope you all had a Happy Oscar Nomination Day!

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