Saturday, January 21, 2017

MY OFFICIAL 2017 OSCAR NOMINATION PREDICTIONS! ( ) No, no, Lawyer's Note this time, I'm playing it straight with you here.



I didn't do an Oscar Nomination Predictions Post last year. (Well, that's not true at all; turns out I did, I just did a very shorthanded version of it; you can find that post, here:

http://davidbaruffi.blogspot.com/2016/01/2016-oscar-nomination-predictions.html

So, other than that, everything else in this opening, should make sense, some might not still, but...- yeah, my researcher failed me and I don't have time to correct appropriately, sorry.)  I had computer trouble at that time, and on top of other real life situation getting in the way, I just couldn't get around to doing it. I wish I could've, but; I guess hypothetically it's not bad for me to have that precedent set; it means I could blow this off this year as well, but eh. No, it's fun prognosticating, and unlike the Emmys, where there's too many damn categories and way too many potential, worthy and in some scenario possible nominees in a given year, (And let's not even bother with the Tonys or Grammys, the former 'cause while I don't see every/most movies in time for Oscar season, I certainly don't see any Broadway show, ever, unless I get a filmed copy, and the Grammys haven't been legitimate since...- ever so it's not worth it) it's possible to do well picking the Oscars, and like every crazy person who tries to win the lottery or worst yet, people who try to guy that magical of all guessing scenarios, a perfect March Madness bracket. Which, no, I've never gotten either.

Some of you older viewers who remember my previous Oscar Nomination Prediction posts will remember how I like to pretend that I'm the best expert around and how I've always gotten every prediction right, usually with a Lawyer's Note explaining that I reserve the right to change/alter all predictions at any time, including after the announcements and ceremonies. I might do that joke some other time in the future, 'cause I think it's funny as Hell, but in the meantime, I'm just gonna do this straight. The best prognosticators, at least for the nomination process, can probably get about 60% of the nominees correct in any given years, and while it depends on the year, for the actual winners, if you can 16/24 of the winners, you've probably had a good year.

So with that in mind, I return to my annual pursuit of trying to become a Gold Derby contributor in the absolute worst possible way I could think of, by trying to out-prognosticate them on a blog that they don't read, where I either make them look stupid by doing better than them, or make me look stupid for trying and either way, they don't hire me, because I don't have the experience or resume or inside knowledge or....- I told you it was the worst way to go about it, but it's the most fun.


BEST PICTURE (Possibles, longlist)
"20th Century Women"
"American Honey"
"Arrival"
"The Birth of a Nation"
"Captain Fantastic"
"Certain Women"
"Deadpool"
"The Edge of Seventeen"
"Elle"
"Everybody Wants Some!!"
"Fences"
"Fire at Sea"
"The Fits"
"Florence Foster Jenkins"
"The Girl on the Train"
"Green Room"
"Hacksaw Ridge"
"The Handmaiden"
"Hell or High Water"
"Hidden Figures"
"I, Daniel Blake"
"Jackie"
"Julieta"
"La La Land"
"Lion"
"The Lobster"
"Love & Friendship"
"Loving"
"Manchester by the Sea"
"Miles Ahead"
"Moonlight"
"The Neon Demon"
"Nocturnal Animals"
"O.J.: Made in America"
"Other People"
"Paterson"
"The Salesman"
"Silence"
"Sing Street"
"Sully"
"Swiss Army Man"
"Things to Come"
"Toni Erdmann"
"The Witch"
"Zootopia"

Like I said, I always do a longlist, especially since with Best Picture, there's potentially five extra slots that could be filled based on percentage of vote they get, so I try to consider everything, and hopefully slips through my purview that wasn't even on this long shortlist to get nominated. I still have nightmares over fucking that up with "The Blind Side" and "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" in consecutive years. (Although I don't know how anybody predicted either of them.) Anyway, basically, the way it's playing out, if you don't have "La La Land", "Moonlight" and "Manchester by the Sea" in pretty much every reasonable category it could get in for, than you don't know how to do this. After that, I'm playing a weird hunch this year and guessing that only seven films will get nominated; I have no reasonable explanation for this, I know I talked mathematical anomaly in the past, and that's still probably there to be honest, but this does seem to be a year where the top films are getting in everywhere; so I suspect the numbers might be slanted. So, what's in and what's out, other than those three. Well, the really weird one is "Deadpool" which might sneak in, but beyond that one, the PGA, sorta went paint. "Fences" and "Hidden Figures" are curious, 'cause "Fences" has underperformed and "Hidden Figures" is jumping into the race late, and it's popular, already winning at the box office surprisingly. "Lion" is Weinstein's best chance, so he's in. "Arrival"'s stayed consistent all the way through, so I think they're in, and the DGA nod pushed that over. I'm not as sold on "Hell or High Water" or "Hacksaw Ridge" as everyone else is, and especially with a larger foreign contingent especially in the Director's branch than before, I think "Elle" and "Toni Erdmann" could be sleepers. I also think "Florence Foster Jenkins" is a sleeper, Stephen Frears, he's pulled it off before with "Philomena" which wasn't nearly as popular or a frontrunner as "FFJ" is, so, don't put it past you. "Nocturnal Animals" and especially "Loving" would have to come out of nowhere at this point. I don't see anything animated, getting in, even with the huge "Zootopia" push. The one movie that everyone's kinda wondering about is "Silence" it broke late, and it could sneak in, the way "American Sniper" did a couple years ago but "Hidden Figures" seems to have stolen that slot, and I just don't see the overall support for "Silence". It might get more technical awards, maybe even Scorsese, but I think Best Picture's a longshot at this point.

Predictions: 
BEST PICTURE
Arrival
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Lion
Manchester by the Sea
Moonlight
*Florence Foster Jenkins
*Hacksaw Ridge
*Toni Erdmann

The only of my nominees I'm on the fence on is "Hell or High Water" and like I said, I think everything after the main three this year is so split that I can literally see those three dominating the voting and then, everything else kinda fighting for scraps so, I'm taking a shot and saying fewer nominated Best Pictures, and with "FFJ", "Hacksaw Ridge" and "Toni Erdmann", if I wrong being the ones that get in, the others I'm kinda rethinking about are "Fences" and "Silence", maybe "Nocturnal Animals", although I don't know how much they really like Tom Ford in the Academy but we'll see....


DIRECTOR (Possibles, Longlist)
Maren Ade-"Toni Erdmann"
Pedro Almodovar-"Julieta"
Andrea Arnold-"American Honey"
Damien Chazelle-"La La Land"
Kelly Fremon Craig-"The Edge of Seventeen"
Garth Davis-"Lion"
Ava Duvernay-"13th"
Ezra Edelman-"O.J.: Made in America"
Tom Ford-"Nocturnal Animals"
Stephen Frears-"Florence Foster Jenkins"
Mel Gibson-"Hacksaw Ridge"
Anna Rose Holmer-"The Fits"
Jim Jarmusch-"Paterson"
Barry Jenkins-"Moonlight"
Travis Knight-"Kubo and the Two Strings"
Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheiner-"Swiss Army Man"
Pablo Larrain-"Jackie"
Ang Lee-"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"
Ken Loach-"I, Daniel Blake"
Kenneth Lonergan-"Manchester by the Sea"
David Mackenzie-"Hell or High Water"
Keith Maitland-"Tower"
Tim Miller-"Deadpool"
Rich Moore-"Zootopia"
Chan-wook Park-"The Handmaiden"
Nate Parker-"The Birth of a Nation"
Jeff Nichols-"Loving"
Kelly Reichardt-"Certain Women"
Martin Scorsese-"Silence"
Trey Edward Shults-"Krisha"
Richard Tanne-"Southside with You"
Dan Trachtenberg-"10 Cloverfield Lane"
Paul Verhoeven-"Elle"
Denis Villeneuve-"Arrival"
Denzel Washington-"Fences"
Robert Eggers-"The Witch"

I guess there's a couple names or two elsewise I could throw in here, but there's at least three names, pretty well set, and I'd probably argue four, the fact Denis Villeneuve got in for "Arrival" at DGA is probably a sign that he's in along with Chazelle, Jenkins and Lonergan, the fifth nomination went to Garth Davis for "Lion", which I'm reluctant on, A, DGA and the Oscars rarely 100% agree, but B. he's also the least well-known names of the major films out there, and there's almost always one name in the Director's Guild that's a bit out there. Terence Malick for instance for "The Tree of Life", or Benh Zeitlin for "Beasts of the Southern Wild" recently, but there've been other years where that predominantly-known-for-TV guy sneaks in, and sometimes like a Tom Hooper for "The King's Speech" they end up winning. Which is where Davis would fit in, plus, it's Weinstein. But, there's a lot of temptation out there. Most people are looking at Scorsese for "Silence", I think what's-his-name from "Deadline" might be on to something with the growing foreign membership in the Director's Branch that perhaps a Paul Verhoeven or Maren Ade, could be the one who sneaks in, instead. I wouldn't rule out Stephen Frears either, I don't think either Gibson or Washington are getting in, it's a lot harder now for an actor-turned-director to get in than it used to be in this category, and both have knocks against them. I've seen a late-breaking Scorsese film come in late before, that happened with "The Wolf of Wall Street", so it's tempting to take "Silence" I just don't know if that has the broad appeal.

Predictions: 
DIRECTOR
Maren Ade-"Toni Erdmann"
Damien Chazelle-"Lion"
Barry Jenkins-"Moonlight"
Kenneth Lonergan-"Manchester by the Sea"
Denis Villeneuve-"Arrival"

I know there's probably somebody better to take a flier on, perhaps Tom Ford or Pablo Larrain, or actually, the one I'm really worried about other than Davis is David Mackenzie getting in, but this feels like a year, where something quirky gonna's sneak in, and I just don't think it's gonna be the biggest name out there with a lesser-seen film this time, and if there's gonna be a Bennett Miller nomination out there, I think I feel safer taking a shot in the dark on somebody foreign. Paul Verhoeven might then make sense here, but since when has that ever stopped the Oscars?


ACTOR (Possibles, longlist)
Casey Affleck-"Manchester by the Sea"
Benedict Cumberbatch-"Doctor Strange"
Matt Damon-"Jason Bourne"
Adam Driver-"Paterson"
Joel Edgerton-"Loving"
Colin Farrell-"The Lobster"
Andrew Garfield-"Hacksaw Ridge"
Andrew Garfield-"Silence"
Joseph Gordon-Levitt-"Snowden"
Ryan Gosling-"La La Land"
Ryan Gosling-"The Nice Guys"
Hugh Grant-"Florence Foster Jenkins"
Jake Gyllenhaal-"Nocturnal Animals"
Tom Hanks-"Sully"
Jonah Hill-"War Dogs"
Dave Johns-"I, Daniel Blake"
Michael Keaton-"The Founder"
Rolf Lassgard-"A Man Called Ove"
Shia LaBeouf-"American Honey"
Lewis MacDougall-"A Monster Calls"
Matthew McConaughey-"Gold"
Ewan McGregor-"American Pastoral"
Viggo Mortensen-"Captain Fantastic"
Nate Parker-"The Birth of a Nation"
Sunny Pawar-"Lion"
Chris Pine-"Hell or High Water"
Ryan Reynolds-"Deadpool"
Craig Robinson-"Morris from America"
Peter Simonischek-"Toni Erdmann"
Denzel Washington-"Fences"

For some bizarre reason, Goldderby.com still has Will Smith in their Top 20 for "Collateral Beauty", which-um, based on what I've heard about the film, uh, no. Also, those ads for "The Founder" are just really sad right now. That movie got a late release, and then didn't break at all; it'll be a mini-miracle if Michael Keaton, who's not overly beloved in Hollywood to begin with, manages to get nominated for playing the founder of McDonald's in this environment. Also, I listed Hugh Grant here, but I have him getting in Supporting Actor, although a few places have switched at and it's not unprecedented for the Oscars to do that, but I don't really see a Kate Winslet-moved-to-Lead for "The Reader" happening this year, and I'm certainly not gonna try to predict it the way I screwed up and picked Steve Carell for Supporting for "Foxcatcher" that year. So, we have Affleck and Gosling for "La La Land" guaranteed, Garfield and Mortensen, are very likely Denzel got into SAG, but "Fences" has underperform everywhere else, although it did over-perform there,  and Denzel didn't get into BAFTA, which on the surface, is weird, although it's worth noting that, for some reason, he's never been nominated for BAFTA. You know, there is a weird part of me that think Ryan Reynolds could get in here, but I can't remember the last time somebody got in for a performance where their face was covered most of the time. And not like, makeup either, like covered. Hanks, is interesting default, I don't think they liked "Sully" that much however, and he's been skipped over enough times in recent years that, it's difficult to predict him again. Joel Edgerton for "Loving" I suspected would get in for a while now, they seem to be searching for a reason to nominate him, but that film has slipped through a lot of cracks already. (And honestly, as somebody who knows that story well, and seen multiple filmed tellings of it already, I'm actually surprised it did as well as it did.) Gyllenhaal's an interesting name, he got into BAFTA, Nocturnal Animals, does seem to be on the upswing, however, he's had better runs without getting nominated in recent years than he had for this one. The one name legitimately is giving me some grief, is Adam Driver. "Paterson"-, the thing that trips me up is that, I don't think the Academy like Jim Jarmusch films enough. I know most of his films, don't follow traditional narratives, but there's been an opportunity or two to honor his work, particularly the actors in his films, Bill Murray for "Broken Flowers" really stands out, but I- I just don't know if they've all seen it, even with an upset win from Driver with the L.A. critics; I'm not certain he's got enough momentum, at least not enough to overtake Denzel, for a movie, he not only directed, but also is pretty well-liked across the board.

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

I'm gonna go paint here with the SAGs. I'm worried I'm underestimating Adam Driver, but I just don't see who he kicks out.


ACTRESS (Possibles, longlist)
Amy Adams-"Arrival"
Amy Adams-"Nocturnal Animals"
Kate Beckinsale-"Love & Friendship"
Annette Bening-"20th Century Women"
Emily Blunt-"The Girl on the Train"
Jessica Chastain-"Miss Sloane"
Lily Collins-"Rules Don't Apply"
Jennifer Connolly-"American Pastoral"
Marion Cotillard-"Allied"
Auli'l Cravalho-"Moana"
Ginnifer Goodwin-"Zootopia"
Sally Field-"Hello, My Name is Doris"
Rebecca Hall-"Christine"
Taraji P. Henson-"Hidden Figures"
Sandra Huller-"Toni Erdmann"
Isabelle Huppert-"Elle"
Isabelle Huppert-"Things to Come"
Dwayne Johnson-"Central Intelligence"
Sasha Lane-"American Honey"
Jennifer Lawrence-"Passengers"
Kate McKinnon-"Ghostbusters"
Madina Nalwanga-"Queen of Katwe"
Ruth Negga-"Loving"
Natalie Portman-"Jackie"
Hayley Squires-"I, Daniel Blake"
Hailee Steinfeld-"The Edge of Seventeen"
Emma Stone-"La La Land"
Meryl Streep-"Florence Foster Jenkins"
Emma Suarez-"Julieta"
Tika Sumpter-"Southside with You"
Adriana Ugarte-"Julieta"
Alicia Vikander-"The Light Between Oceans"
Rachel Weisz-"Denial"

I know there's more opportunities for outside nominations but, I keep checking Gold Derby, and they have "Allied" ranked unusually high in a few of these category. Maybe it's an alphabetical thing, there all at 100-1 but, I don't know. Also, "Aquarius" is not eligible, so that's why Sonia Braga isn't listed here. Anyway, SAG, might be a little unreliable here. Isabelle Huppert wasn't nominated for "Elle" here, despite beating Natalie Portman in an upset and the Golden Globes, um, I'm not certain they had screened that film, also, it's just generally rare to see a Foreign Language performance nominated by the Screen Actors Guild. (She also wasn't eligible at BAFTA, so don't let that-eh snub, fool you.) Actually, weirdly, the SAG and BAFTAs matched exactly in this category, and for the most part, the consistency has been there for Amy Adams, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Meryl Streep, my initial instinct is to be worried about Amy Adams, 'cause I mentioned before how I doubt they'd nominate her again if there was any other option unless it's a year she was guaranteed to win, and she's running a distant fourth by every standard right now, but it's a fourth that's way ahead of everyone else, so I'm gonna run with it. That fifth slot, is giving everybody some headaches. BAFTA and SAG went with Emily Blunt for "The Girl on the Train", now, that's a weird choice for a couple reasons. First of all, I've seen two completely separate and different movies with that title in the last seven years, none of which have anything to do with this film, but also that movie has shown up, almost no where else. I've seen it nominated by the Casting Guild, which doesn't have a corresponding Oscar, and the Make-Up Guild, which is the most unreliable of all the Guilds in terms of predicting the Oscars. Also, I didn't hear much good about this movie. Maybe, this is the what's-her-name, the-eh, Rosamund Pike slot from "Gone Girl", which was it's only nomination, but that was a shocker when that film got snubbed, across the rest of the board. Nobody's expecting much Awards-wise from this film. It's actually bizarre how strong Blunt has been this award season. That said, she's overdue for a nomination, that's for sure, and on top of Rosamund Pike, adaptation of a big female-led thriller novel from Hollywood, have done weirdly well in this category lately. Rooney Mara for "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" remake for instance, comes to mind. And I'm not sure how much the Academy likes "Elle". If Blunt's overdue, Huppert's way overdue, but-eh, she's only won in outside-the-industry prizes, a few critics grous, the Satellites picked her, in a tie with Ruth Negga, (The Satellite Awards btw, and this sounds too ridiculous to be real, but it is, they're the low-class Golden Globes, seriously look up their history one day), as well as the Gothams and the upset Golden Globe win. But that might be enough, and it's not like they haven't been going foreign in this category lately. Two Marion Cotillard's including a win, an Emmanuelle Riva a few years ago, etc. etc. She's have to come in, kicking out both Ruth Negga for "Loving" and Annette Bening for "20th Century Women", who was an early favorite forever ago. And Taraji P. Henson for "Hidden Figures" is the big wild card in this. There's some talk Viola Davis will jump to Lead, I don't suspect the Academy is gonna do anything that sneaky this year, besides they're pushing her for Supporting where she's a favorite. I worry about overrated Amy Adams, who might split votes with "Nocturnal Animals" but that movie's campaign their Supporting Actors better than anyone and that's helped Adams keep getting in for "Arrival". Eh, pick your poison on the fifth one here.

Predictions:
ACTRESS
Amy Adams-"Arrival"
Isabelle Huppert-"Elle"
Natalie Portman-"Jackie"
Emma Stone-"La La Land"
Meryl Streep-"Florence Foster Jenkins"


SUPPORTING ACTOR (Possibles, longlist)
Mahershala Ali-"Moonlight"
Tom Bennett-"Love & Friendship"
Chadwick Boseman-"Captain America: Civil War"
Jeff Bridges-"Hell or High Water"
Kyle Chandler-"Manchester by the Sea"
Kevin Costner-"Hidden Figures"
Jamie Dorman-"Anthropoid"
Adam Driver-"Silence"
Aaron Eckhart-"Sully"
Aiden Ehrenreich-"Hail, Caesar!"
Ralph Fiennes-"A Bigger Splash"
Ben Foster-"Hell or High Water"
John Goodman-"10 Cloverfield Lane"
Hugh Grant-"Florence Foster Jenkins"
Armie Hammer-"The Birth of a Nation"
Lucas Hedges-"Manchester by the Sea"
Simon Helberg-"Florence Foster Jenkins"
Stephen Henderson-"Fences"
Alex Hibbert-"Moonlight"
Shia Labeouf-"American Honey"
Steve Martin-"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"
Alano Miller-"Loving"
Eddie Murphy-"Mr. Church"
Issei Ogata-"Silence"
David Oyelowo-"Queen of Katwe"
Liam Neeson-"Silence"
Dev Patel-"Lion"
Jeremy Renner-"Arrival"
Trevante Rhodes-"Moonlight"
Alan Rickman-"Eye in the Sky"
Peter Sarsgaard-"Jackie"
Michael Shannon-"Nocturnal Animals"
Aaron Taylor-Johnson-"Nocturnal Animals"
Hugo Weaving-"Hacksaw Ridge"
Mykelti Williamson-"Fences"

So the Supporting Actor race has been a bit of a mess. "Nocturnal Animals" seems, like it's getting someone in, right now it looks like Aaron Taylor-Johnson who won the Golden Globe in one of that night's bigger upsets, and followed it up with a surprise BAFTA nomination, although that movie overperformed there in general, but before that, Michael Shannon had been getting most of the earlier accolades for the film. Still though that SAG snub, at it was a snub, the film got in for Stunt Ensemble, so they saw it, they nominated Lucas Hedges, for "Manchester by the Sea', which is a little unusual however since he's the little kid in the movie, and I'm not certain that the Academy, that's forthcoming with nominating a kid, Hedges has been around awhile and in a lot of good movies before this one. The other four Mahershala Ali, Jeff Bridges, Hugh Grant, and probably Dev Patel, they seem like favorites and honestly their aren't too many others with huge buzz behind them. Mykelti Williamson's out promoting more than usual, I guess I could see him sneaking in. Peter Sarsgaard's overdue, but "Jackie" outside of Portman, has not gotten anything else in acting. Alan Rickman would be a great sentimental vote here, and he was great in "Eye in the Sky" I don't know how many saw that movie, and that film is not helped by being a true ensemble piece, the way it is. "Silence" has a couple potential nominees, Issei Ogata's showed up sporadically here and there, but that hit, again, broke so late, and doesn't have a noticeable upswell behind it, and the vote would split between a few nominees. Aiden Eihenreich, for "Hail, Caesar!" is a bit of a conundrum, great performance in a movie that really split audiences; I know I didn't care for it, I don't think a lot of others did, but he did have a memorable performance. I would presume Jeff Bridges was on the fence, but he's gotten in everywhere, and people seem to really like that performance and that movie; it's being remember way after it was released.

Predictions
SUPPORTING ACTOR

Mahershala Ali-"Moonlight"
Jeff Bridges-"Hell or High Water"
Hugh Grant-"Florence Foster Jenkins"
Lucas Hedges-"Manchester by the Sea"
Dev Patel-"Lion"

Yeah, I'm going paint again. I just don't see enough of an argument, yet, for somebody to be thrown off. If it's anybody, it's probably Aaron Taylor-Johnson,-, if they wanted to nominate Michael Shannon, they had every reason to do so last year with "99 Homes" (Which I think he should've actually won for btw) The thing that's really stopping me, is that all signs to point, really liking "Manchester by the Sea", especially the acting branch. So, I really can't overlook that. Throw away the SAG Stunt Ensemble nomination and "Deadpool" is technically doing better at the Guilds than "Nocturnal Animals", so I'm gonna say the kid gets in.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS (Possibles, longlist)
Amy Adams-"Nocturnal Animals"
Viola Davis-"Fences"
Dakota Fanning-"American Pastoral"
Elle Fanning-"20th Century Women"
Rebecca Ferguson-"The Girl on the Train"
Gal Gadot-"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
Greta Gerwig-"20th Century Women"
Lily Gladstone-"Certain Women"
Naomie Harris-"Hell or High Water"
Naomie Harris-"Our Kind of Traitor"
Bryce Dallas Howard-"Gold"
Scarlett Johansson-"Captain America: Civil War"
Felicity Jones-"A Monster Calls"
Riley Keough-"American Honey"
Nicole Kidman-"Lion"
Aja Naomie King-"The Birth of a Nation"
Laura Linney-"Nocturnal Animals"
Helen Mirren-"Eye in the Sky"
Mo'Nique-"Almost Christmas"
Gretchen Mol-"Manchester by the Sea"
Janelle Monae-"Hidden Figures"
Lupita Nyong'o-"Queen of Katwe"
Teresa Palmer-"Hacksaw Ridge"
Margot Robbie-"Suicide Squad"
Molly Shannon-"Other People"
Octavia Spencer-"Hidden Figures"
Hayley Squires-"I, Daniel Blake"
Kristen Stewart-"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"
Tilda Swinton-"A Bigger Splash"
Tilda Swinton-"Doctor Strange"
Rachel Weisz-"The Light Between Oceans"
Michelle Williams-"Certain Women"
Michelle Williams-"Manchester by the Sea"
Shailene Woodley-"Snowden"

Viola Davis, is probably the biggest to win, at the Oscars, right now, that's not named "La La Land", at least, so she's winning, "Manchester..." nomination for Michelle Williams, that's easy, "Moonlight", Naomie Harris, that's an easy pick, Nicole Kidman did not necessarily help herself this week, but I seriously they're gonna hold that Trump statement against her, especially since it's overall a pretty benign one, and they like her, and she's won before, and "Lion"'s the Weinstein movie, yada, yada, yada. She's also been on a roll too, more or less, since she transitioned her career to an Indy darling, let's be fair here, she's been a more ambitious actor in recent years than I think most people, myself included at one point, gave her credit for. Okay, Octavia Spencer, has gotten in nearly everywhere, braking late, although this is a bit odd, because one of the big names that she, sorta swooped in who had been picking up nominations, from like the Critics Choice Awards among others going in, was her co-star Janelle Monae. I'm gonna have to come a little clean, I knew she's a popular musician, and except for the fact that she was a fun. song I like for a few seconds, I really don't know anything about her. Musically or acting wise. Checking her Imdb.com, boy other than some voice over work, boy she picked a good year to start acting in films, and she picked some good projects too; she's in both "Moonlight" and "Hidden Figures" this year, so, she's had a great year. I don't know how many people know her, and it's been a while, since a performer in the music world got an Oscar nomination for acting. I'm looking it up, the last time, someone got nominated who was primarily a performer in the music world, for acting, was....Jesus, when did last happen...- uh, I'm not counting Jamie Foxx, he was an actor first, um, you gotta go back to Queen Latifah in "Chicago", well, I guess you can count Will Smith, technically for "The Pursuit of Happyness", um, but boy-, yes kids, Will Smith used to be a rapper, but-, boy even that was a decade ago, after that, you'd have to make some big leaps to call somebody like, Russell Crowe a musician first, even though he technically is, (And I like him as a musician, even his singing in "Les Mis".) So, I don't know about her, and Octavia Spencer's a bigger and more respected name, won this category before, etc. Greta Gerwig for "20th Century Women", boy that's a leap. If she gets in, than Annette Bening's in, I can't imagine the scenario where Bening gets snubbed but they finally let in-eh, Gerwig. Felicity Jones is listed  eighth on Gold Derby for "A Monster Calls", I don't know how many people saw that. There's a possibility that Amy Adams, if they really like "Nocturnal Animals", the Academy voters will move her to Supporting; oh God, I'd hate to see her lose twice at one Oscars. They might nominate, say Gretchen Mol for "Manchester..." maybe get two nominations in a category for a film, (Shrugs) it's been awhile since they've felt like doing that though. Teresa Palmer for "Hacksaw Ridge" on the far outside, but I'm-, I'm struggling to see it. Maybe "Certain People" can sneak Lily Gladstone in, although Michelle Williams in it that too, and that could split votes off of her for "Manchester..." (And btw, A.M.P.A.S. rules, no actor can be nominated twice in the same category in the same year, even for two different roles in two different films. You can be Lead and Supporting in the same year, but not two Leads or two Supporting, which is a stupid rule, btw, but still....-) uh, maybe Rebecca Ferguson for "The Girl on the Train" (Shrugs) If somebody gets in, outside of the SAG nominees, or Janelle Monae, or Greta Gerwig, it's gonna be a huuuuuuuuuuuuge shock.  It might be Hayley Squires for "I, Daniel Blake", but that movie has done nothing at any American award show. Running the table in Britain, she got in for BAFTA, but that's about it, and I'm  having a really difficult time justifying that here.

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

I don't normally go so paint with SAGs, and I'm sure I'm missing something...- call it playing it safe, but (Shrugs) I don't see the scenarios right now.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (Possibles, longlist)
"20th Century Women"-Mike Mills
"Allied"-Steven Knight
"American Honey"-Andrea Arnols
"Author: The JT Leroy Story"-Jeff Feuerzeig
"Barry"-Adam Mansbach
"The Birth of a Nation"-Nate Parker; Story by Nate Parker & Jean McGianni Celestin
"Cafe Society"-Woody Allen
"Captain Fantastic"-Matt Ross
"Christine"-Craig Shilowith
"The Edge of Seventeen"-Kelly Fremon Craig
"Everybody Wants Some!!"-Richard Linklater
"Eye in the Sky"-Guy Hibbert
"Florence Foster Jenkins"-Nicholas Martin
"Gold"-Patrick Massett and John Zinman
"Hail, Caesar!"-Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
"Hell or High Water"-Taylor Sheridan
"I, Daniel Blake"-Paul Laverty
"Jackie"-Marnie Blok and Karin van Hoist Pellekaan
"La La Land"-Damien Chazelle
"Little Men"-Ira Sachs & Mauricio Zacharias
"The Lobster"-Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimos Filippou
"Loving"-Jeff Nichols
"Manchester by the Sea"-Kenneth Lonergan
"Moana"-Jared Bush; Story by Ron Clements & John Musker and Chris Williams & Don Hall and Pamela Ribon and Aaron Kandell & Jordan Kandell
"Other People"-Chris Kelly
"Passengers"-Jon Spaihts
"Paterson"-Jim Jarmusch
"Patriots Day"-Peter Berg & Matt Cook and Joshua Zetumer; Story by Peter Berg & Matt Cook and Paul Tamasy & Eric Johnson
"Toni Erdmann"-Maren Ade
"The Witch"-Robert Eggers
"Zero Days"-Alex Gibney
"Zootopia"-Jared Bush & Phil Johnston, Story by Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush, Jim Reardon, & Phil Johnston and Jennifer Lee

Okay, "La La Land", "Manchester..." they're guarantees, by the way, I can't remember the last time a Musical won an Oscar for Writing. For some reason on Gold Derby, I can't find "Loving" on their odds board, which is bizarre, especially since it got into WGA, although that's not a guarantee Oscar nod, especially considering the WGAs tight rules on eligibility but that's something. And I do think, they're looking to give Jeff Nichols a nomination soon, but "Loving" feel off the map. If it's got a real shot somewhere, it'll be here. That said, "Moonlight" moving over to Adapted Screenplay, for some reason, has left an opening. I've seen "Captain Fantastic" as  possibility, I've seen "Zootopia" as a possibility, which I find weird myself, "20th Century Women", but I think there's a couple foreign films out there, "Toni Erdmann" and also, "The Lobster"; that's got such a unique and strange script, that the Original Screenplay category really loves, and this is the best place to honor it anyway. It makes the most sense, now it's figuring out if the Academy really liked "Loving" or not.

Predictions: 
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Hell or High Water-Taylor Sheridan
La La Land-Damien Chazelle
The Lobster-Yorgos Lanthimos and Erthimos Filippou
Manchester by the Sea-Kenneth Lonergan
Toni Erdmann-Maren Ade


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (Possibles, longlist)
"Arrival"-Eric Heisserer
"American Pastoral"-John Romano
"The BFG"-Melissa Mathison
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"-Jean-Christophe Castelli
"Deadpool"-Rhett Resse & Paul Wernick
"Elle"-David Birke
"Fences"-August Wilson
"Finding Dory"-Andrew Stanton and Victoria Strause
"The Girl on the Train"-Erin Cressida Wilson
"Hacksaw Ridge"-Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight
"The Handmaiden"-Seo-Kyung Chung & Chan-Wook Park
"Hello, My Namie is Doris"-Laura Terruso & Michael Showalter
"Hidden Figures"-Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
"Julieta"-Pedro Almodovar
"The Jungle Book"-Justin Marks
"Lion"-Luke Davies
"Live by Night"-Ben Affleck
"Love & Friendship"-Whit Stillman
"A Monster Calls"-Patrick Ness
"Moonlight"-Barry Jenkins
"Nocturnal Animals"-Tom Ford
"Queen of Katwe"-William Wheeler
"Silence"-Jay Cocks & Martin Scorsese
"Snowden"-TKieran Fitzgerald and Oliver Stone
"Sully"-Todd Komarnicki

Well, with "Moonlight" being moved here, it becomes the easy favorite. That means, at least one of the WGA nods falls out. The obvious choice is "Deadpool", but, here's the thing...-, I kinda think "Fences" might be in more trouble. Here's the thing, it's August Wilson, adapting his own play, to the big screen, which...- yikes. Nobody's won for adapting their own material since "The Cider House Rules" and that was a book, keep in mind, a play adapted, is even trickier, and adapting your own material, there's a bit of a bump you have to climb. You're basically, just reformatting, and I know that's not always case, but as somebody who's had a monologue performed on a stage, and done some screenwriting on the side, they're similar enough. It doesn't help that this is a loaded category by the way this year. "Lion" can sneak in here, "Love & Friendship" I didn't like it, but Whit Stillman, petty well respected. "Hacksaw Ridge" didn't get into Adapted Screenplay either, neither did "Elle" or "The Handmaiden" this would be a good place to honor them. And still, I keep coming back and thinking about "Deadpool", can it actually combat all this and get in?

Predictions:
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Arrival-Eric Heisserer
Hidden Figures-Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
Lion-Luke Davies
Moonlight-Barry Jenkins
Nocturnal Animals-Tom Ford

Agh! I have it sixth, sorry. I'm disappointed too.


ANIMATED FEATURE FILM (Eligible films)
25 April
The Angry Birds Movie
April and the Extraordinary World
Bilal
Finding Dory
Ice Age: Collision Course
Kingslaive Final Fantasy XV
Kubo and the Two Strings
Kung Fu Panda 3
The Little Prince
Long Way North
Miss Hokusai
Moana
Monkey King: Hero is Back
Mune
Mustafa & the Magician
My Life as a Zucchini
Phantom Boy
The Red Turtle
Sausage Party
The Secret Life of Pets
Sing
Snowtime!
Storks
Trolls
Your Name
Zootopia

With 27 eligible feature films, this year is by far the biggest year for the category and possibly the biggest year for animation, ever. That just makes narrowing this down to five harder. The good news is, the consensus in the animation community seems to be that this year, quality-wise, was mediocre. "Zootopia" is the favorite, and I almost think by default, 'cause nothing else seems to have united everybody. I've seen "April and the Extraordinary World" top a few critics Top Ten lists, and always at either one or two, and honestly, I'm not sure it's getting in. "My Life as a Zucchini" made the Foreign Language Film shortlist, and I'm not sure it's getting in. "Kung Fu Panda 3" was as good if not better than the first two which previously got nominated, and I don't know if it's getting in. I think I can narrow down which ones aren't, I'd be very surprised to see "The Angry Birds Movie", "Trolls" or "Sing" show up on Nomination day, or the latest "Ice Age" sequel, how and why do they keep making those. And there's fourteen movies called "Kingslaive Final Fantasy" that I've never heard of before. (Sigh) Alright, let's see if we can pick out the guarantees, "Zootopia", eh, "Kubo and the Two Strings", they like Laika, that's their best in a while, eh, "Moana" that's Lin-Manuel Miranda's musical, that's probably in, so, that leaves, two open spots? Hmm, taking a second look at the Annie's they didn't seem to like "April..." much, so I think I'll toss that out. I gotta imagine "My Life as a Zucchini" gets in. If it gets into Foreign Language Film and not, Animated Feature, there's gonna be some questions. They didn't like "Sausage Party", did they like "Your Name" a little bit, but I think they liked "The Red Turtle" more.

Predictions: 
ANIMATED FEATURE
Kubo and the Two Strings
Moana
My Life as a Zucchini
The Red Turtle
Zootopia

(Shrugs) Tough category to predict this year, I can pretty easily see myself getting all five of these wrong, but I'm gonna stick with this ballot.


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (Shortlist)
"13th"
"Cameraperson"
"Command and Control"
"The Eagle Huntress"
"Fire at Sea"
"Gleason"
"Hooligan Sparrow"
"I Am Not Your Negro"
"Life, Animated"
"O.J.: Made in America"
"Tower
"Weiner"
"The Witness"
"Zero Days"

This is a very competitive documentary race this year. Obviously, "O.J.: Made in America" is the heavy although it's a little unusual for the Academy to honor a production that long, but there's widespread support and it's an L.A. story, a Hollywood story, etc. The other, pretty certain lock is "Cameraperson", I've seen some people hypothesizing that that film could get into Editing even. (It won't, it's not eligible, but it's a nice thought) I'm currently thinking that's a spoiler. "13th" and "Weiner" are the other two that seem to have come up a lot. I'm not as sold on "Weiner", myself. "The Eagle Huntress" has been going up on a lot of people rankings and shown up on some awards. "Fire at Sea" is about that Italian ship that sank a few years ago, that's probably got some backers. "Gleason" was okay, about famed football player Steve Gleason. "Hooligan Sparrow" is about an undercover human rights activists going into China, that can be something that appeals to the Academy. "I Am Not Your Negro", a biodoc on James Baldwin, "The Ivory Game" s about ivory poaching, eh, I think Netflix has better options this years. "Life, Animated", that's a movie about film helping an autistic child, so the power of movies, "Tower" is the interesting wild card, 'cause that's an animated documentary and it's about a famous mass shooting. "Zero Days", Alex Gibney, the great documentarian, it's about the Stuxnet Malware Virus, he's always a threat, "The Witness" about an old unsolved murder, where people reported watched the crime happen and did nothing. "Command and Control" got into WGA, I believe, that's about an almost nuclear assault that the U.S. was close to launching. This is traditionally a tough category to pick and it's unusually loaded this year. I'm not even sure subject matter is a huge factor this time either, and it's interesting documentaries are way more mainstream than ever before and more creative in terms of filmmaking in a long time, so this is one of the most intriguing categories at the Oscars.

Predictions: 
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
13th 
Cameraperson
The Eagle Huntress
O.J.: Made In America
Tower

"Tower", I'm going out on a bit of a limb, the other four, eh "The Eagle Huntress" is probably in, and the other three I'm fairly certain are in, but this category is a loaded crapshoot, so we'll see.


FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE (Shortlist)
"It's Only the End of the World" (Canada)
"The King's Choice" (Norway)
"Land of Mine" (Denmark)
"A Man Called Ove" (Sweden)
"My Life as a Zucchini" (Switzerland)
"Paradise" (Russia)
"The Salesman" (Iran)
"Tanna" (Australia)
"Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Ah, here's an ecclectic mix. Well, "Toni Erdmann", if it's not nominated, that'll be the biggest shock, 'cause while, I-, I never want to say a film is guaranteed to win in this category, which is known for unexpected and huge upsets, but "Toni Erdmann"'s a lock for a nomination. After that, it's a bit more up in the air. Based on names, which isn't a guarantee, but I have a hard time imagining "The Salesman" not getting in. That's Asghar Farhadi's latest movie; maybe some might be getting of his classical family drama approach, but I've loved every film of his so far, including the film he won his first Foreign Language Oscar for, "A Separation", which is one of the best films this decade so far. A strange anomaly is Australia, with a submission at all, much less making it to the shortlist, and I've heard good things about "Tanna". "It's Only the End of the World", Xavier Dolan, one of the most interesting young filmmakers out there, and I don't really know what the Academy thinks of him yet. The Aforementioned, "My Life as a Zucchini", it's an animated feature; countries have submitted animated films before, none have ever been nominated, except for "Waltz with Bashir", from Israel, which was the favorite that year and lost to "Departures" from Japan, honestly I never liked that film as much as everyone else seemed to so, I was okay with that. "Paradise" looks like a good choice. "The King's Choice", eh, maybe, Erik Poppe, he made one movie I liked, "Hawaii, Oslo", but it wasn't great or anything. "A Man Called Ove" has shown up at several award shows. can never completely eliminate Sweden, when they've got a film in, I don't know. I suspect there's more interesting better films that voters will gravitate towards. "Land of Mine", is the kind of film, that I suspect gets in, decent director, maybe. Another tough category, and it didn't help that the Globes went with "Elle" which didn't get in here.


Predictions:
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
It's Only the End of the World (Canada)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
Paradise (Russia)
The Salesman (Iran)
Toni Erdmann (Germany)

I know I got at least one right. Um, don't think the animated one's getting in, and based on which one's have shown up more often, and who's a recognizable director name, I'm pretty confident in this list. "A Man Called Ove" is worrying me, although we know the makeup people like it, so that's something. (Shrugs)


CINEMATOGRAPHY (Possibles, longlist)
"Allied"-Don Burgess
"American Honey"-Robbie Ryan
"Arrival"-Bradford Young"
"The BFG"-Janusz Kaminski
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"-John Toll
"The Birth of a Nation"-Elliot Davis
"Cafe Society"-Vittorio Storaro
"Doctor Strange"-Ben Davis
"The Eagle Huntress"-Simon Niblett
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"-Philippe Rousselot
"Fences"-Charlotte Bruus Christensen
"Fire at Sea"-Gianfranco Rosi
"Florence Foster Jenkins"-Danny Cohen
"The Girl on the Train"-Charlotte Bruus Christensen
"Gold"-Robert Elswit
"Hacksaw Ridge"-Simon Duggan
"Hail, Caesar!"-Roger Deakins
"The Handmaiden"-Chung-hoon Chung
"Hell or High Water"-Giles Nuttgens
"Hidden Figures"-Mandy Walker
"Jackie"-Stephane Fountain
"The Jungle Book"-Bill Pope
"Knight of Cups"-Emmanuel Lubezki
"La La Land"-Linus Sandgren
"The Light Between Oceans"-Adam Arkapaw
"Lion"-Greig Fraser
"Live By Night"-Robert Richardson
"Manchester by the Sea"-Jody Lee Lipes
"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"-Bruno Delbonnel
"A Monster Calls"-Oscar Faura"
"Moonlight"-James Laxton
"The Neon Demon"-Natasha Braier
"Nocturnal Animals"-Seamus McGarvey
"Passengers"-Rodrigo Prieto
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"-Greig Fraser
"Rules Don't Apply"-Caleb Deschanel
"Silence"-Rodrigo Prieto

Kind of a weird Cinematography year. A lot of the traditional favorites of the Academy, I don't suspect are getting in this year. Bradford Young for "Arrival", seems like a lock, Linus Sandgren for "La La Land" is a lock. I suspect "Silence" will start sneaking in here, for Rodrigo Prieto, but I don't suspect Emmanuel Lubezki's gonna win his fourth straight, although "Knight of Cups" does have great cinematography, and poor Roger Deakins, if he gets in for "Hail, Caesar!" we might be talking race, 'cause there's a sentimental factor, but does he really want to win for that one? And I don't know if enough people liked "The Jungle Book" or "The BFG" to get Pope or Kaminski in this time. "Moonlight" got in at the Guild, so I'm taking Laxton, so did "Lion", uh, I'm not sure that Weinstein influence spreads to the Cinematographer's branch, although I think it's definitely in the running. Gold Derby has "Jackie" in that fifth slot, that's a possibility, "Hacksaw Ridge" is a possibility too, but I think "Nocturnal Animals" is probably the best bet. Seamus McGarvey has been on a roll in Hollywood for a while, I think they want to honor him at some point, that makes sense, and I know some people, who don't like Tom Ford, and really think McGarvey is the true artist behind his films. I don't really think I buy that, but I bet that helps McGarvey's chances within the Cinematographer's community.

Predictions
CINEMATOGRAPHY

Arrival-Bradford Young
La La Land-Linus Sandgren
Moonlight-James Laxton
Nocturnal Animals-Seamus McGarvey
Silence-Rodrigo Prieto

If the Deakins vote comes out, maybe watch out for "Hail, Caesar!" but I think they're gonna put that off 'til later.


COSTUME DESIGN (Possibles, longlist)
"Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie"-Rebecca Hale
"Alice Through the Looking Glass"-Colleen Atwood
"Allied"-Joanna Johnston
"Assassin's Creed"-Timothy Everest and Sammy Sheldon Differ
"The BFG"-Joanna Johnston
"Cafe Society"-Suzy Benzinger
"Captain Fantastic"-Courtney Hoffman
"Doctor Strange"-Alexandra Byrne
"The Dressmaker"-Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"-Colleen Atwood
"Fences"-Sharen Davis
"Florence Foster Jenkins"-Consolata Boyle
"Hail, Caesar!" Mary Zophres
"The Handmaiden"-Sang-gyeong Jo
"Hidden Figures"-Renee Ehrlich Kalfus
"The Huntsman: Winter's War"-Phedon Papamichael
"Jackie"-Madeline Fontaine
"Kubo and the Two Strings"-Deborah Cook
"La La Land"-Mary Zophres
"The Legend of Tarzan"-Francine Jamison-Tanchuck
"The Light Between Oceans"-Erin Benach
"Lion"-Cappi Ireland
"Live By Night"-Jacqueline West
"Love & Friendship"-Eimer Ni Mhaoldomhhaigh
"Loving"-Erin Benach
"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"-Colleen Atwood
"Nocturnal Animals"-Ariane Phillips
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"-David Crossman and Glyn Dillion
"Silence"-Dante Ferretti

Gold Derby has "Silence" right now, getting in, even though that didn't get a CDG nomination; it did break late and Dante Ferretti is beloved, so I get the logic there. "Jackie" is way ahead according to most experts, and yeah, that makes sense actually. After that, and "La La Land", we're gonna be looking at names, Colleen Atwood, big name, she's got a couple choice, but I suspect "Fantastic Beasts..." has the edge over "Alice..." and "Miss Peregrine..." this time, although don't be too surprised if her name gets called more than once. "Kubo and the Two Strings" has become a late player, getting a surprised CDG nomination, the first ever given to an animated film. I have a hard time imagining they'll ignore a film like "The Dressmaker", just based on profession alone. "The Handmaiden", this might be that film's best shot at a nomination also,  The other fun one might be, "Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie" which got one of those, "Oh yeah," nominations by the Guild, which of course, makes sense considering that franchise. Um, I can't imagine too many contemporary films getting in though, so, I think "La La Land" is it there. Which covers Zophres, so I suspect, "Hail, Caesar!" might be out. "Doctor Strange", seems like a decent choice, but, eh. They nominated the "Snow White and the Huntsman" film, and previous "Star Wars" movies, so that why those latest incarnations are listed, I don't know however.

Predictions: 
COSTUME DESIGN
The Dressmaker-Marion Boyce and Margot Wilson
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them-Colleen Atwood
Florence Foster Jenkins-Consolata Boyle
Jackie-Madeline Fontaine
La La Land-Mary Zophres

I'm not gonna jump on the "Silence" train here, Dante Ferretti is a good costume designer, but he's more respected for his art direction and production design, I think he's a more likely choice there. And there's almost always one weird choice in this category, uh, I'm debating between "The Handmaiden" and "The Dressmaker", and I keep thinking back "Marie Antoinette" wins and "The Invisible Woman" nominations, and I just can't ignore that this a film about clothing, is gonna get ignored by the Costume Design people. They nominated it for their Guild, so I'm gonna go out on that limb.


FILM EDITING (Possibles, Longlist)
"Allied"-Mick Audsley and Jeremiah O'Driscoll
"Arrival"-Joe Walker"
"The BFG"-Michael Kahn
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"-Tim Squyres
"Bleed for This"-Zachary Stuart-Pontier
"The Birth of a Nation"-Steven Rosenblum
"Deadpool"-Julian Clarke
"Deepwater Horizon"-Gabriel Fleming & Colby Parker Jr.
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"-Mark Bay
"Fences"-Hughes Winborne
"Florence Foster Jenkins"-Valerio Bonelli
"Gleason"-Clay Tweel
"Gold"-Douglas Crise & Rick Grayson
"Hacksaw Ridge"-John Gilbert
"Hail, Caesar!"-Roderick Jaynes
"The Handmaiden"-Jae-Bum Kim & Sang-beom Kim
"Hell or High Water"-Jake Roberts
"Hidden Figures"-Peter Teschner
"I Am Not Your Negro"-Alexandra Strauss
"Jackie"-Sebastian Sepulveda
"The Jungle Book"-Mark Livolsi with Adam Gerstal
"Kubo and the Two Strings"-Christopher Murrie
"La La Land"-Tom Cross
"Lion"-Alexandre de Franceschi
"Live By Night"-William Goldenberg
"The Lobster"-Yorgos Mavropsaridis
"Loving"-Julie Monroe
"Manchester by the Sea"-Jennifer Lame
"Moana"-Jeff Draheim
"Moonlight"-Joi McMillon & Nat Sanders
"Nocturnal Animals"-Joan Sobel
"O.J.: Made in America"-Bret Granato, Maya Mumma and Ben Sozanski
"Passengers"-Maryann Brandon
"Patriots Day"-Gabriel Fleming & Colby Parker Jr.
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"-John Gilroy, Colin Goudie and Jabez Olssen
"Silence"-Thelma Schoonmaker
"Sully"-Blu Murray
"Swiss Army Man"-Matthew Hannam
"Weiner"-Eli Despres
"Zootopia"-Fabienne Rawley & Jeremy Milton

Editing, is often a better predictor of Best Picture than Director, and except for "Birdman or '(The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)" there hasn't been a Best Picture winner that didn't get nominated for Editing since "Ordinary People" and "Birdman..." is a pretty extreme exception because that movie, basically, had a few really well-hidden cuts in them, and editors will probably tell you how that's easier than it seems. But, still, great movies will show up here, and "La La Land", "Moonlight" and "Manchester..." are gimmes, it's the other too, that are up in the air. "Arrival", sci-fi, that's probably in, and Joe Walker's a great editor, they'll want to honor him. "Hacksaw Ridge" is the one I'm not as sold on as everyone else, "Silence" even though it didn't show up at the ACE Awards, makes sense, and Thelma Schoonmaker is almost as big as Scorsese, "O.J.: Made in America", would be an interesting choice; I don't think a documentary has gotten into Editing since "Hoop Dreams", and despite it being six hours long, I don't think they're gonna penalize that, but it's a documentary, it's a longshot in most outside categories. I can something like "Sully" or "Nocturnal Animals" show up here, but I'm-, (I might be thinking heart over head on this one, but if it's something, outside of a Best Picture, it's a often a chase movie, or something that require a lot of differing editing techniques, something's that catching the eye, an action movie, that relies on a lot of the editing to tell the story, and thinking about that, and what showed up at the Guilds, lately; I'm gonna take a big gamble on this one, but I think it makes sense, as an Editor's Film, so.....

Predictions
FILM EDITING
Arrival-Joe Walker
Deadpool-Julian Clarke
La La Land-Tom Cross
Manchester by the Sea-Jennifer Lame
Moonlight-Joi McMillon & Nat Sanders

Yeah, this is where I think "Deadpool" begins to show up. Just thinking that movie, and thinking about the editing, and there's a lot of editing in that film, and a lot of a variety of kinds of editing. I could hypothetically see something like "Manchester by the Sea", maybe fall short and make room for "Hacksaw Ridge", but still, comedy editing, which is harder than people think voice editing too, action editing, montages a plenty, I think that movie's gonna get more Editing love than people realize. It's a gamble, probably the biggest limb, I'm on, but I kinda think it's a good limb.


MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING (Shortlist)
"Deadpool"
"The Dressmaker"
"Florence Foster Jenkins"
"Hail, Caesar!"
"A Man Called Ove"
"Star Trek Beyond"
"Suicide Squad"

So, the most nominated at the Makeup & Hair Stylists Guild or the MUAH Awards, was "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them". (Sigh) Second-most tied, with two nominations were, "La La Land", (Sigh), "Nocturnal Animals", (Sigh), "Hail, Caesar!" okay, hmm, and "Suicide Squad" (Sigh) Is there anything else here that they nominated? Eh, "Florence Foster Jenkins" and "Deadpool". and "Star Trek Beyond", so only "The Dressmaker" and "A Man Called Ove" got without a Guild nod, and from recent history, I know damn well, so what, 'cause this branch will do whatever they feel like. I still don't understand why they only allow themselves three nominations-, that's the Branch of the Academy, the Makeup & Hairstyling people decided that, not the whole Academy, they want them to go to five too. I don't know why they don't, really makes no sense to me, but (Shrugs)  Honestly, in my mind, the best way to go about this, is to watch the trailers and pay attention to the makeup and see if there's something that really is striking. Um alright, so "Deadpool" good makeup, although it's mainly, one big job, but they've nominated that before. "The Dressmaker", I don't know if there's anything special, but it's quite good, and there's a large cast of it. "Hail, Caesar!" has good makeup, although I think I'm rethinking it for Costumes more, "Florence Foster Jenkins" has really strong makeup, all around. "A Man Called Ove", obviously the comparison is to last year's out of nowhere nominee, "The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" but that movie, had one character, playing several eras of one person's life, I didn't see anything in this; I'm worried, this branch has a tendency to do something like nominate "The Lone Ranger" or "Bad Grandpa", so, who knows. The "Star Trek" franchise has a history of legendary makeup, eh, it looks like there's a couple characters her that would make sense for it to be nominated this time. "Suicide Squad", yeah ,that has quite a lot of in a lot of different areas, so that makes sense as well. The only ones that would, surprise me if they were nominated would be "The Dressmaker" and "A Man Called Ove", although I'm half-tempted to pick the latter", but, I think I'm just gonna, (Gulp) trust the judgment of the MakeUp and Hairstylist Guild to match with my observations.

Predictions: 
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Florence Foster Jenkins
Star Trek Beyond
Suicide Squad

Eh, I might see "Deadpool" instead of "Suicide Squad" if they really hated it, but this is one of those incidents, where even if it's an unpopular movie, I think most will concede the makeup, so, I'm just gonna go with, and let's hope I don't completely screw up this category like I did last year.


PRODUCTION DESIGN (Possibles, Shortlist)
"20th Century Women|
"Alice Through the Looking Glass"
"Allied"
"Arrival"
"The BFG"
"The Birth of a Nation"
"Cafe Society"
"Captain Fantastic"
"Doctor Strange"
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"
"Fences"
"Florence Foster Jenkins"
"Hacksaw Ridge"
"Hail, Caesar!"
"The Handmaiden"
"Hell or High Water"
"Hidden Figures"
"Jackie"
"The Jungle Book
"Kubo and the Two Strings"
"Kung Fu Panda 3"
"La La Land"
"The Legend of Tarzan"
"Lion"
"The Little Prince"
"Live By Night"
"Love & Friendship"
"Manchester by the Sea"
"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"
"A Monster Call"
"Moonlight"
"The Neon Demon"
"Nocturnal Animals"
"Passengers"
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
"Rules Don't Apply"
"Silence"
"Trolls"
"The Witch"
"Zootopia"

I went to double check the Oscars last year to see how Production Design was divided up, I was surprised to find that that "Star Wars" film didn't get in, which makes some sense, sci-fi is of course special, but possibly too computer generated to really be great Art Direction and Set Decoration. So it's tempted to go against the sci-fi and fantasy stuff, but then I remember that "Mad Max: Fury Road" won last year and that was just desert. And one really great design of Immortal Joe's world and of course all the automobiles and whatnot. So, yeah, let's see, "La La Land" has the contemporary whimsy card, "Arrival" settles the sci-fi nod, there's needs to be a fantasy nod, "Fantastic Beasts..." seems to be the favorite there and yeah, checking the Guild, "Passengers" might be an outside possibility but "Rogue One", is a sequel, maybe not as much original design, "Doctor Strange"is also apart of a universe, yeah, that makes sense. Dante Ferretti, means that "Silence" makes sense here, and they like one that's an exactness in terms of recreating the past, and while "Hail, Caesar!' and "Cafe Society" might have that covered, "Jackie", probably has that more well-covered. That's the top five at Gold Derby's odds, and yeah, that makes the most sense to me. Maybe if we find out, they really like "Hidden Figures" or "Hacksaw Ridge" or "The Handmaiden", maybe. "Florence Foster Jenkins" I think is stronger elsewhere, but perhaps... "The BFG" would be a nice surprise here, but hmm, I think this category is pretty well set.

Predictions: 
Arrival-Production Design: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Marie-Soleil Denomme, Paul Hotte and Andre Valade
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them-Production Design: Stuart Craig and James Hambridge; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock
Jackie-Production Design: Jean Rabasse; Set Decoration: Veronique Melery
La La Land-Production Design: David Wasco; Set Decoration: Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
Silence-Production Design: Dante Ferretti; Set Decoration: Francisco Lo Schiavo


ORIGINAL SCORE (Possibles, Longlist, albeit an abbreviated one)
"10 Cloverfield Lane"-Bear McCreary
"20th Century Women"-Roger Neill
"Alice Through the Looking Glass"-Danny Elfman
"Allied"-Alan Silvestri
"American Pastoral"-Alexandre Desplat
"The Angry Birds Movie"-Heitor Pereira
"The BFG"-John Williams
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"-Mychael Danna and Jeff Danna
"The Birth of a Nation"-Henry Jackman
"Deadpool"-Tom Holkenborg
"Denial"-Howard Shore
"Doctor Strange"-Michael Giacchino
"Elle" Anne Dudley
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"-James Newton Howard
"Fences"-Marcelo Zarvos
"Finding Dory"-Thomas Newman
"Florence Foster Jenkins"-Alexandre Desplat
"The Founder"-Carter Burwell
"Hail, Caesar!"-Carter Burwell
"Hacksaw Ridge"-Rupert Gregson-Williams
"Hell or High Water"-Nick Cave and Warren Ellis
"Hidden Figures"-Pharrel Williams and Benjamin Wallfisch
"The Huntsman: Winter's War"-James Newton Howard
"Jackie"-Mica Levi
"Julieta"-Alberto Iglesias
"The Jungle Book"-John Debney
"Kubo and the Two Strings"-Dario Marianelli
"La La Land"-Justin Hurwitz
"The Light Between Oceans"-Alexandre Desplat
"Lion"-Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka
"Live By Night"-Harry Gregson-Williams
"The Little Prince"-Hans Zimmer and Richard Harvey
"Loving"-David Wingo
"Midnight Special"-David Wingo
"Moana"-Mark Mancina
"Moonlight"-Nicholas Britell
"Mr. Church"-Mark Isham
"The Neon Demon"-Cliff Martinez
"Nocturnal Animals"-Abel Korzeniowski
"O.J.: Made in America"-Gary Lionelli
"Passengers"-Thomas Newman
"Patriots Day"-Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross
"Pele: Birth of a Legend"-A.R. Rahman"
"Po"-Burt Bacharach
"Queen of Katwe"-Alex Heffes
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"-Michael Giacchino
"Sausage Party"-Alan Menken and Christopher Lennertz
"The Secret Life of Pets"-Alexandre Desplat
"Sing"-Jody Talbot
"Sully"-Christian Jacob
"Star Trek Beyond"-Michael Giacchino
"Trolls"-Christopher Beck
"X-Men: Apocalypse"-John Ottman
"Zootopia"-Michael Giacchino


For those curious, for whatever reason, a few scores that might've been obvious nominees, have been disqualified for not being original enough, basically. "Arrival", "Manchester by the Sea" and "Silence" for one reason or another, that I honestly, (Shrugs) look, I'm not musically inclined, so I'm not gonna pretend I can tell what's original or not, but, I defer to the Academy in these instances. It doesn't really matter, too much this year, since the consensus is pretty much a guarantee for "La La Land" to win. (The Academy has a list of all the eligible films btw, here: http://www.oscars.org/news/145-original-scores-2016-oscar-race, as well as news releases of everything that's shortlisted for each category as well as a full reminder list of all the films eligible for the major awards. (Which is how I know something like "Cameraperson" has only one shot at winning and that's in Documentary Feature) (Deep breath) Okay, um, well, there aren't to many Awards that are precursors for the Score of Song categories, there is something I found out about, only a day or two ago called the Hollywood Music in Media Awards, or the HMMAs, which, I guess, is a halfway-decent prognosticator, although they also give awards for Music Supervision as well as soundtracks, so they're an overall, Music in Media Award show. They recommended, "Moonlight", "The Jungle Book", and strangely, even for the animated film category, "The Secret Life of Pets". god, Alexandre Desplat does a lot of movie scores; that's easily the fourth most likely one he'll get nominated for. Other than "La La Land" and "Moonlight", that seem to be the only two somewhat consistent winners, "Jackie", looks like it's getting in, which I'm happy about, 'cause Mica Levi should've won a couple years ago for "Under the Skin", and didn't get nominated, "Lion" is a late-comer, that makes. Now, there's a "Star Wars" movie out, and currently Gold Derby has that fifth, but it has "The BFG" a close sixth and rising. Now, "The BFG" is John Williams, and I suspect most think he did the score for "Rogue One..." but actually that was Michael Giacchino, who I thought should've won this award last year for "Inside Out", but he wasn't nominated. Or, was he? Actually, who did win this last year? (Checking Oscar.com) Oh, right, Ennio Morricone, for "The Hateful Eight". Alright I can forgive that one. But, yeah, he should've been nominated. Curiously that time, Williams, did the "Star Wars" film, and not the Spielberg film, "Bridge of Spies", and both got nominated. Hmm. Look, it isn't like the Music Branch hasn't been lazy over the years, hell they had to change the Best Original Song rules, multiple times in recent year, just so it looks like the voters actually gave a shit, hell, I've written on that on multiple occasions, but less noteworthy is some of the complacency with the Best Score category. I kinda forgive it more, 'cause it's not like John Williams is bad. Is his 50 Oscar nominations good, eh, yes, but I would question a couple of them, at least. I mean, he's been nominated against himself three times just this century, that's not counting the five other times that has happened! I don't know, do you remember "The Book Thief" score, or "Memoirs of a Geisha"? Okay, second one's a bad example, but I hated that film. But the point I'm making is that, how widespread is the John Williams effect in the Academy? I mean, I questioned his nomination for "Star Wars" last year, I mean, it was basically a twist on his original "Star Wars" score, but, I don't know, I guess that's fine, but...-, the point I'm bouncing around is that, I know I'm looking at a list of names, but do the voters? They see "Star Wars", they think, "Oh, John Williams", and they see Spielberg's film, "Oh, John Williams", check, and check? And it's not like there interesting other choices there, Alexandre Desplat's best chance is probably "Florence Foster Jenkins", hell that movie's about music, that's usually a guarantee in. Or, "Hell or High Water", I bet some people would like to nominate Nick Cave. Hell, Pharrell Williams for "Hidden Figures", how is he not in Gold Derby's Top Ten right now? Hmm....  Well, something gotta give here.

Predictions: 
ORIGINAL SCORE
Florence Foster Jenkins-Alexandre Desplat
La La Land-Justin Hurwitz
Lion-Dustin O'Halloran and Hauschka
Moonlight-Nicholas Britell
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story-Michael Giacchino

I hate playing this game, but I'm gonna say that "Jackie" misses, over "Lion", tsk, just based on the fact that the "Lion" soundtrack sounds more like a more complete film soundtrack that the more experimental "Jackie". (Also, while I haven't seen either movie, and don't really know how the score is used in these films yet, just listening to them separated with a film attachment,than "Lion" sounds more varied and interesting to me.) and I'm just gonna take a shot and say that the voters probably didn't get impacted enough by "The BFG" to have an impact. I've been wrong before, but since there's a split, and it's a loaded field this year in a category, then I think they'll just award "Star Wars", and give something else a nod like "Florence Foster Jenkins" for instance.


ORIGINAL SONG (Possibles, shortlist)
"Letter to the Free"-"13th" *
"Just Life Fire"-"Alice Through the Looking Glass" *
"Friends"-"The Angry Birds Movie"
"Flicker"-"Audrie & Daisy" *
"A Minute to Breathe"-"Before the Flood"   1/2*
"The Only Way Out"-"Ben-Hur"
"Still Falling for You"-"Bridget Jones's Baby"  *
"F That"-"The Bronze"   *
"Drift and Fall Again"-"Criminal" 1/2*
"Take Me Down"-"Deepwater Horizon"  1/2*
"Sad but True (Dreamland Theme)"-"Dreamland" *
"Angel By My Wings"-"The Eagle Huntress"  1/2*
"I'm Crying"-"Free State of Jones"    1/2*
"Down with Mary"-"Too Late"
"Gold"-"Gold"    1/2*
"Champions"-"Hands of Stone"
"Dance, Rascal Dance"-"Hello, My Name is Doris"
"I See a Victory"-"Hidden Figures"
"Running"-"Hidden Figures"  *
"Sixty Charisma Scented Blackbirds"-"How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change" 1/2 *
"My Superstar"-"Ice Age: Collision Course"   1/2*
"Seeing You Aruond"-"Ithaca"
"The Empty Chair"-"Jim: The James Foley Story"1/2*
"Audition (The Fool Who Dreams"-"La La Land" 1/2*
"City of Stars"-La La Land" *
"Start a Fire"-"La La Land" *
"Cateura Vamos a Sonar (We Will Dream)"-"Landfill Harmonic  1/2*
"Better Love"-"The Legend of Tarzan"   1/2*
"Never Give Up"-"Lion"  *
"Equation"-"The Little Prince"
"Turnaround"-|"The Little Prince"
"Moonshine"-"Live by Night"  *
"Loving"-"Loving"  1/2*
"Hurry Home"-"Max Rose"
"Gone 2015"-"Miles Ahead"  1/2*
"Wish That You Were Here"-"Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children"   1/2*
"I'm Still Here"-"Miss Sharon Jones"  *
"How Far I'll Go"-"Moana"   1/2*
"We Know the Way"-"Moana"
"Waving Goodbye"-"The Neon Demon"  1/2*
"I'm Back"-"Never Surrender"
"Ordinary World"-"Ordinary World"   1/2*
"Levitate"-"Passengers"   1/2*
"Ginga"-"Pele: Birth of a Legend"   1/2*
"Nobody Knows"-"Pete's Dragon"    1/2*
"Something Wild"-"Pete's Dragon"   *
"Dancing with Your Shadow"-"Po"
"I'm So Humble"-"Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping"    *
"Stay Here"-"Presenting Princess Shaw" 1/2*
"Back to Life"-"Queen of Katwe"  1/2*
"Rules Don't Apply"-"Rules Don't Apply" 1/2*
"The Great Beyond"-"Sausage Party" *
"Faith"-"Sing"  *
"Set It All Free"-"Sing"   *
"Go Now"-"Sing Street" *
"Drive It Like You Stole It"-"Sing Street" *
"The Veil"-"Snowden"  1/2*
"Hymn"-Snowtime! 1/2*
"Holdin' Out"    1/2*
"Heathens"-"Suicide Squad"
"Flying Home"-"Sully"
"Petit Metier"-"They Will have to Kill Us First: Malian Music in Exile"
"Down with Mary"-"Too Late"
"Can't Stop the Feeling"-"Trolls"
"Get Back Up Again"-"Trolls" 1/2*
"Smile"-"The Uncondemned" 1/2*
"La Venus"-"We Are X"
"The Ballad of Weiner-Dog"-"Weiner-Dog"
"Try Everything"-"Zootopia"

Before anybody asks, "Suckers for Pain" is ineligible. I don't know why, probably a sample issue. That's typically why it's hard for rap songs to get in here. Although I see one potential nominee that's already done it. Anyway, when I do this, similar to my approach to the-eh, makeup categories, I do actually listen to as many and as much of the Oscar-eligible songs as possible, before coming to a decision on them. Now, some years there's only a few songs, I've seen years with less than 40 eligible, but this year there was 91, so I had quite a lot to sit through. I know it's a lot, but I learned my lesson on this, I need to hear them all, or as many as I can anyway; don't think you can just check earlier awards and look at the expert opinions blindly, this category has no predictability, at all, and just because there's an obvious song to be nominated, or wins every award going in, don't think for a second that's guaranteed a nomination. That said, I remember times where, there weren't a lot of songs up and most of them just put me to sleep. This time, a better variety, a lot of good songs, and frankly, I enjoyed a great many of them. I didn't love all of them, but a lot more stood out, and there were a lot of songs from major artists I had heard of before. It actually seems like studios are really going out of their way to make this category interesting and competitive again. That said, this is a pointless year to do that, 'cause "La La Land" getting two nominations, it's only a matter of which two songs, and it's winning btw, and the other three.... (Shrugs, sigh) Well, it's difficult for me to figure out which songs I'd pick, and legitimately some of these artists are some of my favorite of all-time and it's painful for me to narrow it down to who I'd nominate, I'd can't imagine an actual voter's troubles. I'm just gonna presume, everything after "La La Land", is a split vote, so (Sigh), I'm just take a couple educated guesses based on the trends of the Music Branch, as erratic as they are, and the quality of the songs. I don't know how else to do this, even if it's a huge favorite, if I don't think it's that good, I'm not gonna predict it. Just-, I trust my gut instinct before everything else, so, hmmm.... (Deep breath)

Predictions:
BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Runnin'"-"Hidden Figures"
"City of Stars"-La La Land
"Start a Fire"-La La Land
"Something Wild"-Pete's Dragon
"Drive It Like You Stole It"-Sing Street

Honestly, I have absolutely no idea why I'm picking the songs I'm picking, and I have basically abandoned the entire strategy I laid out above, 'cause, there were really too many good songs up there, that honestly, if they were nominated I wouldn't complain. Some I'd much rather see get in, I'm a huge Tori Amos and Sia fan among others for instance, and  I think Pharrell's getting in because he won't get in for Score, so they'll give him another Song nomination. I think there's too big a John Carney constituent to ignore "Sing Street" and "Drive It Like You Stole It' is a great song, and eh, well there's always a song from a documentary nominated now, and (Sigh) honestly, I flipped a coin between that and the Common song and the one from "Miss Sharon Jones" and-, well I flipped the coin, and then decided to put in the Lindsay Stirling song from "Pete's Dragon" instead. . Honestly, there have been years, recent years, where I couldn't tell you five songs that were even memorable the second they finished playing. I could easily like, 20 songs that I would legitimately vote for and in other years should've won, and well over half the 91 eligible songs that, frankly, I at least, understand why they would be nominated. Potential spoilers, "Letter to the Free", "I'm Still Here", any one of Sia's four songs, especially, "Never Give Up", "The Great Beyond", I can't rule out the "Sausage Party" song, "The Empty Chair" that's J. Ralph and Sting, "Gold", that's Iggy Pop, both songs from "Sing" are amazing, especially "Faith", and I think I like the other one better personally, "Wish That You Were Here", that's a beautiful song from Florence and the Machine, probably a longshot I liked was the song from "Dreamland", that felt like a great orchestral album track from like a good Pink Floyd album. I liked "Just Like Fire", "I liked "Heathens", I liked the song from "Bridget Jones's Baby", be prepared for shockers in category; I'm going be happy getting one right in my predictions for this, I swear.


BEST SOUND EDITING (Possibles, shortlist)
"13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi"
"13th"
"Allied"
"Arrival"
"Assassin's Creed"
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
"The BFG"
"The Birth of a Nation"
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"
"Captain America: Civil War"
"Deadpool"
"Deepwater Horizon"
"Doctor Strange"
"Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words"
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"
"Finding Dory"
"Florence Foster Jenkins"
"Gleason"
"Hacksaw Ridge"
"Hell or High Water"
"Jason Bourne"
"The Jungle Book"
"Kubo and the Two Strings"
"La La Land"
"The Legend of Tarzan"
"Live By Night"
"Moana"
"The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble"
"O.J.: Made in America"
"Passengers"
"Patriots Day"
"Pete's Dragon"
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
"The Secret Life of Pets"
"Silence"
"Star Trek Beyond"
"Suicide Squad"
"Sully"
"Zootopia"

This is always a bit of a tricky category, not the least of which because the Sound Editors Guild has decided to drag their feet again and haven't announced their nominees yet this year, so I'm flying a bit blind, although the CAS, which is the Sound Mixers Guild has their nominees out. I know we go through it every year, but Sound Editors, gather all the sounds, to be used for the film, which often means creating those sounds, Sound Mixers, take those sounds and layer them over the film tracks appropriately. This Variety article explains it well:

http://variety.com/2016/artisans/production/oscars-sound-editing-mixing-explained-1201682457/

And look, I know, I get confused sometimes too; you're not alone. The tricky thing this time with the category is that "La La Land" is a Musical, now normally, if there is a difference, because music has to be recorded and layered in, Musicals will often do much better in Sound Mixing than Sound Editing, or movies that deal with music in general. "Whiplash", "Les Miserables", "Dreamgirls", "Ray", "Chicago", these are movies just this decade, all music-heavy films that won for Sound Mixing, but weren't nominated for "Sound Editing". That said, "La La Land" is on such a run, and honestly when you really think about it, that makes absolutely no sense, 'cause you're still recording the music as it's being played, either on set or otherwise, so actually, it should be in Mixing more often,...-, but I digress, eh,-. Anyway, it's weird to see it show up in Sound Editing, where normally a battle or war or sci-fi or action movie wins, even though, a lot of the sounds for some of those movies, are probably readily available for me to download and use and nobody would think twice about it, but uh-, again, I digress. So, the big question, is, where does "La La Land" fall here, or does it slip? This category has a bit of a weird Oscar history, so it's not entirely reliable, but the last time Musical, not counting that one song in "The Polar Express" was nominated in the category, a straight-up multi-song musical film, was "Aladdin". Still though, you can be pretty certain that about 80% of the nominees will coincide here, so, the CAS put up "La La Land". Even if we presume, their out, what the nomination that replaces it?

Predictions: 
Arrival
Deepwater Horizon
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Sully

Yeah, I'm not going against the trend quite yet. They've given a musical a Best Picture win, with a Sound Mixing and without the Editing nod before.


SOUND MIXING (Possibles, Shortlist)
"13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi"
"13th"
"Allied"
"Arrival"
"Assassin's Creed"
"Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
"The BFG"
"The Birth of a Nation"
"Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"
"Captain America: Civil War"
"Deadpool"
"Deepwater Horizon"
"Doctor Strange"
"Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words"
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"
"Finding Dory"
"Florence Foster Jenkins"
"Gleason"
"Hacksaw Ridge"
"Hell or High Water"
"Jason Bourne"
"The Jungle Book"
"Kubo and the Two Strings"
"La La Land"
"The Legend of Tarzan"
"Live By Night"
"Moana"
"The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble"
"O.J.: Made in America"
"Passengers"
"Patriots Day"
"Pete's Dragon"
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
"The Secret Life of Pets"
"Silence"
"Star Trek Beyond"
"Suicide Squad"
"Sully"
"Zootopia"

Yeah, basically the same list, but there's a couple oddities there though. No only, "La La Land" taking a nomination, but "Florence Foster Jenkins" comes into play here. Movies that revolve around music, also tricky. If both of those get in, what's left out? Hmmm....

Predictions:
BEST SOUND MIXING
Arrival
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Sully

Well, I kicked out "The Jungle Book", although the nominee in both the sound categories I'm actually worried about is "Arrival", it didn't get nominated by the CAS, they went with "Doctor Strange", I'm debating it, because I think I need a fantasy film in this mix, but it's hard to say. but looking through Oscar history, sci-fi does well, war movies do well, I guess the exception recently is "Hugo", "The Dark Knight" won in Editing, not Mixing, and that's more action than fantasy, even the "LOTR" movies have a surprising weaker record in Sound than you'd probably think. Yeah, if it's really big, something might get nominated, but we're talking "Avatar" big, and that lost twice, so I think I'm okay on "Arrival".


VISUAL EFFECTS (Shortlist)
"Arrival"
"The BFG"
"Captain America: Civil War"
"Deepwater Horizon"
"Doctor Strange"
"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"
"The Jungle Book"
"Kubo and the Two Strings"
"Passengers"
"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"

The VES is not quite a Guild per se, but their the Visual Effects Society and they're awards are usually a good prognosticator. They have a bit of an anomaly as they have "Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children" in their batch of nominees, and that's absent, the rest though, "Doctor Strange", "Fantastic Beasts...", "The Jungle Book", and "Rogue One..." seem like likely nominees. Now, my initial would be "Arrival", but they didn't nominate that, anywhere. They nominated "Silence" for something, so they must have seen "Arrival" if they waited around for "Silence" to come out. Hmm... The intriguing movie on the shortlist is "Kubo and the Two Strings", I guess to some extent most animated movies could be considered special effects in their entirety, but it's not a bad choice, it's just a risky one. Although considering a couple of the Guilds that movie that got into, I might have to hold "Kubo..." in my back pocket for later. Still though, I think the best approach is to just look at the special effects again.

Predictions: 
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
The Jungle Book
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

I think it's close between a couple titles for the last slot, I was tempted to give it to "Passengers" as well as to "Kubo and the Two Strings", but I'll believe a fully-animated feature film gets into Visual Effects when I see it happen. There's a few examples of partially-animated, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" for instance, also "Mary Poppins" if you really want to go back, but the special effect was that the animation was side by side in the same space (Or as close as they could get back then) with the live actors, we're talking totally different thing here. Just checking the VES nods and the trailers, I'm going with "Deepwater Horizon"; I think that's a difficult reenactment, that involves a lot of practical mixed with visual effects, that they'll admire more than maybe everyone else would.


ANIMATED SHORT FILM (Shortlist)
"Blind Vaysha"
"Borrowed Time"
"Happy End"
"The Head Vanishes"
"Inner Workings"
"Once Upon a Line"
"Pear Cider and Cigarettes"
"Pearl"
"Piper"
"Sous Tes Doights  (Under Your Fingers)"

Dear Readers,

If you truly want to win your Oscar pools, the best way to get a significant over everybody else, is to learn and study the Short Film categories. They will not be easy, but the significance of this advantage is truly immeasurable. I knew this beforehand, and personally I've learned it to, I lost all three last year and it killed my otherwise good ballot. For starters, watch the short films if possible. It's time consuming but they're shorts and sometimes they're more readily available than you may realize. (Not always though) If you can't get to a screening, at least, see the trailers of the shorts online. If nothing else, you should be able to get some idea of the story, the style of the film, what it's about, and in the case of animated shorts, the kind of animation they use and how effective it might be. Secondly, double-check the film's potential nominees, and possibly if there's anyone famous in the short that you might recognize. It's a rarity, but if there's something that might trump content, (Or help fully-realize the content) or predict the potential winner or nominee, it's usually if there's some name involved that somebody might recognize. Short films are more of a higher art overseas than they are here, so you might find somebody who only makes short films and he/she might get extra nominations for his/her work, since it's most likely more familiar to you as the voters. Or they just know the guy/gal. (Shrugs) Of course, sometimes none of that matters and you should just seek out the best of the potential nominees and vote for them too, that's works about the same amount of time as well.

Predictions:
ANIMATED SHORT FILM
"Inner Workings"
"Pear Cider and Cigarettes"
"Pearl"
"Piper"
"Sous Tes Doights (Under the Fingers)"

The one I'm somewhat concerned about is "Blind Vaysha", I think that might sneak in over "Pear Cider and Cigarettes". I'm not as sold on "The Head Vanishes", I've heard that could get in as well, but I think the apple in the bag or oranges is pear cigar and cigarettes this time.


LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM (Shortlist)
"Bon Voyage"
"Ennemis Interieurs"
"Graffiti"
"La Femme et le TGV"
"Nocturne in Black"
"The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf and the Boy"
"Silent Nights"
"Sing (Mindenki)"
"Timecode"
"The Way or Tea (Les Fremissements du The)"

First of all, whoever's in charge of promoting "Silent Nights", somebody's gotta tell them to get an Imdb.com page. It's not just me either, by the way, Indiewire couldn't find a link to their trailer, and I have to find their Facebook page to get anything out of them. It's weird too, it's not like it's made by unknowns, one of the producers was apart of a film I loved called "Sound of Noise", that was pretty well-received by most, and other notable projects; she's not a nobody by any means. That said, there's one or two shorts here that I'm worried about. For instance, "La Femme et le TGV" stars Jane Birkin, who, I don't think too many of my younger readers would be aware of, she was somebody, might have been more famous as a cultural icon than as an actress, but she was huge in the '60s and 70s, especially in Europe. Her daughter is Charlotte Gainsbourg, if that helps. So for that reason alone, I'm kinda thinking I should find a spot for that film, but even Gold Derby is pushing away from that one.

Predictions
LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM 
Bon Voyage
Graffiti
Nocturne in Black
Sing (Mindenki)
Timecode 

"Sing" is a musical, and it looks like a good one, "Nocturne in Black" won the Student Film Oscar earlier, so I think that's in, and "Timecode" and "Bon Voyage" seem to have run away with quite a few festival awards. "Graffiti"'s I'm a little worried about, but there's almost always one mostly silent movie that gets in, and this one's about the apocalypse and a lone survivor, so I think I'm safe on that one. I'm worried about "Silent Nights" which is a bit of a mystery and "The Way of Tea", but I think I'm okay here.


DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM (Shortlist)
"4.1 Miles"
"Brillo Box (3¢ Off)"
"Close Ties"
"Extremis"
"Frame 394"
"Joe's Violin"
"The Mute's House"
"The Other Side of Home"
"Watani: My Homeland"
"The White Helmets"

Last category folks, Documentary Short Films. (Sigh) Finally. Anyway, eh, I always leaves this category for last, but again, if you can watch these movies, watch them, and as of this moment, many are available. "Frame 394" is on Youtube at the moment, "Extremis" and "The White Helmets" are on Netflix, "Brillo Box" I believe is an HBO production, and it's probably on HBOGo, "The Other Side of Home" is on Feeln, so, look around for some of these short title, in all the categories if you can. I'm gonna try to catch one or two of these in expectations for the Oscars nominations and maybe the Oscars, especially since, most of the rest of the nominees have some prognosticating system where you probably didn't need to have seen the film to make at least an educated guess, but these categories, they require the research and they're usually rewarding for those who take the effort. Anyway, last predictions, here we go.

Predictions
DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM
4.1 Miles
Brillo Box (3¢ Off)
Joe's Violin
Watani: My Homeland
The White Helmets


"4.1 Miles", "Watani..." and "The White Helmuts" deal with the Refugee crisis, I'm taking a shot on "Brillo Box", because it's a small little short that follows a piece of Andy Warhol's art over generations, that seems like it's nice and fun. I was tempted to go with-eh, "Frame 394" because it's about film, to some extent, I just watched it actually, it's pretty good, gets a little slow and meticulous in the middle, but it can show up. It's got a Black Lives Matter story, mixed with video footage of a cop killing a suspect, and analyzing the footage to find out exactly what happened, and it's not as, clear cut as it seems, so there's stuff there; I-eh, just thought, they needed one thing fun. (Unfortunately be forewarned most of the doc shorts are depressing.) Um, I kinds re-thought that and decided the Warhol piece might be even more interesting. And "Joe's Violin" is a modern-day look at the Holocaust, through a survivor donating his violin to a school, so that's uplifting and sad and Holocaust; it hits every button. My gut instinct would've been to not pick so many refugee stories, but they're really different, each of them, so I don't think I'm risking too much. "Extremis" might show up too, that's a hospital doc that's on Netflix. If it was streaming beforehand it might be more well-known, that's something to keep in mind. I think I'd rather gamble on Warhol.

Alright folks, Oscar nominations are announced on Tuesday, 24th, I will wake up early to watch the stream like everyone, or knowing my luck, I would've been up all night anyway, and I would've caught the stream, and I'll analyze the nominations, just like I did here, going over, ev-very, category, in full detail. Shocks, snubs, potential upset and spoilers, the favorites, hopefully some of the wild shots in the dark that I got right. (Com on, "Toni Erdmann" in Director, c'mon "Deadpool" in Film Editing!) Until then, take my advice, or not, if you can find someone smarter.






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