Friday, February 24, 2017

MY OFFICIAL 2016 OSCARS PREDICTIONS! (Again, I'm not doing the Lawyer's Note joke, I'm playing it straight from now on, at least until next year)



Looking back at my Predictions last year, I think I had a pretty good year, if you don't count the short films, where I completely bungled everything. I spent most of that time talking about the controversies involving the Oscars last year. This year, there aren't that many of them. No, #OscarSoWhite, thank goodness, and while there's definitely some problems with the Academy Awards, yeah, I think we're kinda done giving a shit over whether or not there's enough minority performers nominated. In fact, this is one of the most diverse classes this year, and not just in the acting races.

And yet, the real question concerning everyone, is whether or not this year is gonna be a boring Oscars, not because of the host, although I'm not as excited about Jimmy Kimmel as others are, he did do a great job at the Emmys so..., but because, it looks more and more like one movie is gonna sweep and win everything. Especially the way the academy votes now...-, let me explain, while each particular Branch selects the nominees, when the Academy expands, at least for most of the categories, basically, the whole Academy, all 6,000 or so members are allowed to vote on the winners. I don't know how you guys feel about the Make-Up Guy determining which screenplay was the best, or what actor thought the best sound editing was, but that's what we got to work with. So, Guild Awards are certainly helpful, but might not reveal the whole story. And, if a movie, is particularly popular and well-liked, well,... the last movie to get this many Oscar nominations was "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and that film, all 11 of it's nominations, a feat that has never been met, and keep in mind, that movie, not only didn't have a nomination for acting, it didn't get a Cinematography nomination. It basically won all the technical prizes, and even took a Screenplay category, that nobody thought it would win with it. But, we've also seen a couple, "Gangs of New York" and "American Hustle"'s in recent years, that went 0 for 10. (The record is 0 for 11, tie between "The Turning Point" and "The Color Purple") Basically, the main objective this year, isn't trying to predict whether "La La Land" will win, spoilers, it will, but how much it will win. For instance, the BAFTAs, the British equivalent of the Oscars gave it five awards out of it's 11 nominations there, and so, maybe, that trend will stick here. There's some overlap between BAFTA and the Oscars, right? Ah, I went back and look at those 2004 BAFTAs, when "LOTR" won the 11 Oscars, and guess what, it didn't do that well at the BAFTAs either. It won Best Picture, even stole a Writing award, but, not much else. It didn't even win Directing, that went to Peter Weir for "Master and Commander..." So, yeah, that's not the most reliable source of predictions, but still, it's a tea leaf, and there are certain things that read from it, and all the other Award prognosticators. Is it, five awards for "La La Land", is it eight, is it 11? Could it be 13? (It can't win 14, 'cause it's up twice in Song, unless somehow they tie there) And if it doesn't win something, what beats it, why, and where?

Well, let's see how I do at helping you all win your Oscar pools; I mean-eh, let's see how I do at predicting the outcome of this piece of entertainment, and not all promoting illegal gambling.

Reminder these are predictions, not preferences; I'm not basing this at all on preference of the film, if I've seen a movie, I'll let you know, and any thoughts I might have, but I will be predicting and analyzing every single category, all 24! So, let's get to it; let's start at the top, and thankfully, it's an easy one.


BEST PICTURE
Arrival-Producers: Shawn Levy, Dan Levine, Aaron Ryder and David Linde
Fences-Producers: Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington and Todd Black
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, Janno Topping, Pharrell Williams and Theodore Melfi
La La Land-Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt
Lion-Producers:Emilie 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, this is me being nit-picky, but there is a rule, that says that no more than three people can be nominated as a Producer for Best Picture. This dates back to "Shakespeare in Love"'s win, which had like a dozen producers or something, and they ended up talking and giving their acceptance speech over the closing credits. Also, and lets' be real here, not all producers are equal. Or are actually producers. I won't go into every detail, but some producers are actually involved in pushing and making a movie and making it get made, and others have smaller, limited amounts of impact on the process. Now, hypothetically, of course, there could be more than three people eligible for such a position on a film,, and the Academy has in the past made exceptions for that, (They've also made questionable decision regarding who is listed as an eligible Oscar-nominated Producer for a film; [Don Cheadle should've had an Oscar for producing "Crash"]) but still, ""Hidden Figures" and "Manchester by the Sea", this seems like a lot! Well, I did double-check the rule just in case, and basically the reason they're getting away with this is because a couple of these nominees are listing as "Producing Teams", which means when a partnership or pairing counts as one person, essentially as one singular mind. This is the same ruling that helped Joel & Ethan Coen get Oscars for Directing together, so, okay, but it sticks in my craw a bit. Anyway, can anything beat "La La Land" here? Well, history tells us no, there's been two other movies that got this many Oscar nominations, "All About Eve" and "Titanic", and both of them won Best Picture, and pretty easily at that. But, if there is a possibility of something else winning, it's probably "Moonlight", which I think everybody ranks as their second choice. If not that, I think the possible weird longshot could be "Hidden Figures" strangely enough. I don't see it happening, but despite only three nominations here, it's picked and showed up in a few more Guilds than it probably was expected to, and it's definitely the one movie, outside of "La La Land" that has picked up the most buzz. It's the popular movie, and it's the big popular blockbuster out of the bunch. That said, no, it's "La La Land", even consider some of it's detractors, and yes, there are some in the Academy, um, no, it's winning.
PREDICTION: "La La Land" 


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

Chazelle won the Director Guild Award, he's the favorite, he's won most everything so far. It's "La La Land"'s year, there's no real serious possibility of somebody else winning here. Eh, maybe Bearry Jenkins, but that would take a lot and he's a more likely threat to win Writing anyway, so there's no need to honor him here. Look, the record for youngest Best Director winner is Norman Taurog for "Skippy" back in 1931, when he 32 years and 260 days old, (I always thought it was William Friedkin for "The French Connection", and no, I didn't remember Taurog won either, for "Skippy".["Skippy" was the movie Jackie Cooper got the youngest Leading Actor Oscar nomination at the time; it's not memorable except for that fact]  He's more remembered for Directing "Boys Town" that's where you might know the name, unless maybe you're a big Elvis movie fan; he directed a few of his films, and he also was like the fourth unaccredited director for "The Wizard of Oz", but the other three names, you've heard of.) Anyway, Chazelle, just turned 32, less for 40 days ago. He is going to break the record.
PREDICTION- Damien Chazelle-"La La Land"


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

Okay, now is where it starts to get difficult. This one, is by all accounts, close. Very close. Basically, it's a coin flip between Casey Affleck and Denzel Washington. Gold Derby is split on it, the awards have been split on it, and it's getting closer and closer each day. Eh, I don't see a scenario where anybody else wins, this is the one category where almost nobody is predicting "La La Land", which is a shame for Ryan Gosling, but he hasn't won anything. Going through though, Affleck, won at Critics Choice, he won at BAFTA, He's the favorite at the Indy Spirit, he does have a Golden Globe win, and one industry award over Washington, he was the Australian Oscar over him, Other than that and a lot of Critic Awards, the industry itself, they picked Denzel Washington at SAG. Now, there's a couple caveats that doesn't make picking Washington an automatic however. Number One, Denzel had never won at SAG before, so that could've been a makeup, and two even stranger, Casey Affleck winning at BAFTA, Denzel wasn't nominated there. "Fences" was eligible, Viola Davis won, so, that's odd, except, when you go back and realize that Denzel Washington, has never been nominated for a BAFTA, ever. I'm not sure how that happened, but... (Shrugs). Washington, also, he has two Oscars already, he won for Supporting Actor for "Glory" and Leading Actor for "Training Day", you could argue that both of those were upset, but it's hard to win three, but that said, they've given a third to people lately. Meryl Streep and Daniel Day-Lewis just won their thirds in recent years, so you can't quite rule it out, yet. The whisper campaign is also out there, cause of Casey Affleck's past sexual misconduct allegations, which I'm not even gonna pretend to know enough about to discuss in detail, but they exist, and for the most part, "Manchester..." has underperformed almost all award season. They're both Oscar-nominated feature, so that criteria's out, and Washington, didn't get nominated for Directing, but, he if he does win the Oscar here, he'll become, I think only the third person to win an Acting Oscar for directing himself, after Laurence Olivier in "Hamlet" and, Roberto Benigni for "Life is Beautiful". If there's one determining factor to me, Denzel seems to want it, he's been unusually out there promoting lately, and Affleck, has been absent. That didn't matter to Stallone last year when Mark Rylance won without being able to promote, but.... (Shrugs) This is a coin flip.
PREDICTION: Denzel Washington-"Fences" 


ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Isabelle Huppert-"Elle"
Ruth Negga-"Loving"
Natalie Portman-"Jackie"
Emma Stone-"La La Land"
Meryl Streep-"Florence Foster Jenkins"

Oh boy, is Best Actor was hard, Best Actress is impossible. But, I think we've narrowed this down to two major possibilities. The favorite is Emma Stone. She won at SAG, she won the Golden Globe, she's just won at BAFTA, she won in Australia, which I noticed before anybody did btw, she's the favorite. Portman, does have Critic wins, including the Critics Choice Awards, but since she lost the Golden Globe, she hasn't won anything, and they're not in a hurry to give her a second Oscar. Plus, nobody seemed to like "Jackie", that movie's underperformed everywhere, including the Oscars, only getting three nominations and this being the only major category it got into; the tea leaves are just not showing it. Ruth Negga, has a sporadic award here and there, but "Loving"'s done even worst than "Jackie" across the board, and there's not enough of a push behind her. Meryl Streep, did give that amazing speech at the Globes, but remember, she lost, also, to Emma Stone, that was a Lifetime Achievement Award speech, and "Florence Foster Jenkins" also underperformed across the board in general. The real wild care, is Isabelle Huppert. Now, she won the Golden Globe for "Elle", she also has a sporadic victory here and there with critics groups, including the London Critics, although, not for "Elle" for her film, "Things to Come". She also, has not gone head-to-head with Stone, in an Industry award yet. She wasn't eligible for BAFTA, and SAG didn't nominate her, but I'm not certain "Elle" was eligible there either. They competed against each other in Australia, and Emma Stone won there, but that's the closest to an Industry award they've competed against each other at, and from what I've heard, both are campaigning. Traditionally, it's common for a Best Picture winner to take an acting winner, but that's not always the case, and it hasn't been for the last two years. Huppert is also favored at the Spirits to win, but Stone's not up there, but if say Natalie Portman wins their instead, then I'd be more sure of Stone's win. Also, while, this is "Elle"'s only Oscar nomination, the film didn't make the Foreign Language shortlist, it's not unprecedented; there's been a recent surprise winner in this category for a French language feature, and that was Marion Cotillard for "La Vie En Rose", which, was not even particularly well-regarded as a film, certainly not as acclaimed as "Elle" has been, and that was a pretty big upset too. Isabelle Huppert's one of the best actresses in the world, and the Academy, especially actors, and the Academy makeup is still, about 1/6 actors, would love the opportunity to honor Huppert, and this might be one of the very rare chances to do it, while Emma Stone, has numerous chances and future awards ahead of her. Can that beat the "La La Land" sweep, and, is she that big and well-respected enough over the whole Academy to beat "La La Land"? This is a tight race.
PREDICTION: Emma Stone-"La La Land" (Full disclosure, I've gone back and forth on this category more than any. Huppert, really could win this) 


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

Another difficult-to-predict category, So, Mahershala Ali, has seemed like the favorite, but he's been inconsistent all award season. He won at SAG, he won at Critics Choice, but lost at the Globes, strangely enough to Aaron-Taylor Johnson for "Nocturnal Animals", who not only didn't get nominated, but his co-star, Michael Shannon, got in instead. He then lost at BAFTA to Dev Patel, who is probably the one alternative scenario that makes the most sense. "Lion" isn't necessarily a favorite to win anywhere else, and it's got the Weinstein machine behind it, and it got into Best Picture and has generally over-performed everywhere. However, you could mark Patel's win as him being a local, he is a Brit, although he is of Indian descent, (Dev Patel, also won in Australia, btw) and his stock is rising. There's also some thought of how he was overlooked for a nomination for "Slumdog Millionaire" years ago, this could be a makeup for that. In terms of screen time, which could sometimes be a deciding factor, it's kinda weird, 'cause Patel is probably more the center of his film, but he doesn't show up in the movie until the movie about 2/3 done, but Ali, leaves his movie after the first 1/3 of the film, so it's about an even split there. Michael Shannon, might be a bit of a wild card, especially since this is "Nocturnal Animals" only nomination, but I'm not seeing it at this point, even though, he's the one guy who hasn't been nominated everywhere who's up. And since Patel is also non-white, and there's two African-American favorites in other acting categories, the possibility of an upset looms large here. That said, Supporting Actor, is generally a category that's ruled and owned by veteran actors, and Ali, while not as Jeff Bridges for instance, he's a character actor that's been in everything and probably worked with a lot of different people. Patel, great young actor, one of my favorites in fact, but hmm. Trying to figure out the math is difficult here; I can see this going either way. I don't see Hedges or Bridges pulling an out-of-nowhere upset here; they haven't won enough, and even with the Weinstein backing, I think "Moonlight" is too much well-liked.
PREDICTION: Mahershala Ali-"Moonlight"


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

Finally, an easy category. They been wanting to give it to Viola Davis for years, she's won pretty much everywhere, and when she hasn't, there's been some caveat explaining it, and she's won almost all the industry awards. Spencer has an Oscar, Kidman has one, they're not in a hurry to give them a second. Michelle Williams is approaching Amy Adams territory of being nominated and not winning, but she's barely in "Manchester..." and Naomie Harris's nomination is her award. Yeah, this is the easiest acting category to call.
PREDICTION: Viola Davis-"Fences"


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

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

Okay, this is an interesting category, "Arrival" was the winner at WGA, but, "Moonlight" was not in that category, it instead won in Original Screenplay, and I'm not sure how or why it's original in one and adapted in another, but, it's Adapted here, and it was an upset win, it winning at WGA, but it's the favorite. BAFTA went with "Lion", which surprised a lot of people. There might be an outside shot for "Hidden Figures", but I'm not really seeing it. That broke, really late and is up against, "Moonlight".
PREDICTION: "Moonlight"-Barry Jenkins; Story by Tarell Alvin McCraney


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
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

Because "Moonlight" won this category at WGA, we have to look at some of the other awards, and that's gonna be a little tricky. Basically, it looks like it's between "La La Land" and "Manchester by the Sea". Now, the last time a musical won a Screenplay prize was "Gigi", which went 9 for 9, so that was a sweep year, and if this is a sweep year, that's good for "La La Land", although, there's a reason it's been that long. Musicals, just don't win this category. Even when they sweep, "West Side Story" won ten Oscars, including Picture, Director and everything else is was up for, but lost Screenplay. It doesn't hurt that "Manchester by the Sea" was written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, an award winning playwright who's gone onto films, mostly successfully over the years. The Oscars have been notably, not as interested in splitting up the awards lately, and while "Manchester..." has most of the time; it hasn't won all. "Manchester by the Sea" and "La La Land" actually tied for Critics Choice, and "La La Land" swept the Golden Globes, including an upset for Screenplay. Is "La La Land" gonna win Screenplay? And how much do they really like "Manchester by the Sea", it under-performed, overall; didn't even get into Editing, which, except for "Birdman..." every Best Picture winner has been nominated for, for the last 30+ years. "Ordinary People" the last Best Picture to not get into Editing, and "Birdman..." didn't have much editing, so.... Does that effect the Screenplay award though? You know, I gave "LOTR" zero shot at winning the screenplay award, but that wasn't a musical. (Sigh) When they like something, they really like something. The last time a film got 14 nominations, and was nominated for Screenplay, it won.
PREDICTION: "Manchester by the Sea"-Kenneth Lonergan (Full disclosure, I've changed this choice multiple times as well. This is another close one.) 


ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
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

Well, Golden Globes went with "Zootopia", BAFTA went with "Kubo...", so did the Annie Awards btw, the Animatots' Guild, essentially, "Zootopia" was shut out there. It's won most everywhere else, but I'm skeptical. I've seen, those two films, and I preferred "Kubo..." much more than I did "Zootopia", but "Zootopia" is pretty good. "Kubo...." showed up in a lot weirder places though, getting into Guilds like Costume Design for instance, and it got into Visual Effects for the Oscars, which was a surprise. That hadn't happened for an animated film since "The Nightmare Before Christmas". "Moana" also got into another category, but that was Best Song; that's not really a category with a deep correlation to this category, or any other really. "My Life as a Zucchini" made the Foreign Language Oscar shortlist, so it probably has that vote. I might be heart more than brain here, but I just don't see "Zootopia" winning this. Laika animation is due, I don't think there's been a stop-motion animated film that's won this category yet, and this is that format's best chance yet.... (Sigh) I'm calling the upset, I have "Kubo...." taking this, and I think that film, has the momentum as well.
PREDICTION: "Kubo and the Two Strings"


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

Okay, this is a tough category. BAFTA went "13th", but "O.J. Made in America" wasn't nominated there, and I don't think it was eligible. They're the two that I think are the heavy favorite in the category. I've seen and I've seen "Life, Animated" but I'm thinking "13th". The documentary awards have been splitting everywhere. Here's the thing, "13th" is probably the important documentary, plus they own Ava Duvernay, for almost ignoring "Selma" a few years back. But this is Hollywood, and you cannot throw a rock without hitting somebody who, was somehow connected to the trial. Hell, I have a couple O.J. 2nd or 3rd degree connections myself. The question is, is that good or bad for the film? Now, the movie is also six hours long, is that good or bad for the movie? It's the longest film to ever get nominated for anything and it would be the longest to ever win. "13th" is Netflix production, they are pushing it hard, Netflix does not have an Oscar win yet though, and they want one. It's not like ESPN has one either though. (Somebody's gonna have to figure out the TV vs. Movie rules with documentaries at some point)
PREDICTION: "O.J.: Made in America"


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

I've heard rumblings of a very sudden shift in this category towards "A Man Called Ove" winning, which shocked the hell out of me, but I suppose it makes some sense. "Tanna", is the first ever Australian film to be nominated in the category. That said, I suspect the favorite is still "Toni Erdmann", which was most of the awards it's been up for, and as apparently popular and enough people are interested in the story here, that it's getting an American remake. Not a guaranteed sign that a film will win, but it's not a bad omen. But, "The Salesman" Asghar Farhadi's feature, who's not showing up to the Oscars, due to the Muslim ban, that's sparked attention. And he's won before, a few years ago for "A Separation", Hollywood likes to ban together and basically everybody is on there side here. That said, there's also controversy with "A Man Called Ove" and some of it's stars being denied entrance.
PREDICTION: "The Salesman" (Iran)


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

The Cinematographers' Guild, pulled a strange one with "Lion" getting the upset win here. They had been an accurate predictor of this award for the last three years. The thing is, the same person won that award for the last three years, and historically, the Cinematographers' Guild hasn't been a great predictor. In fact, you go back enough in their history, you find some particularly strange choices from them. (There's no way anybody remembers "Blaze", and no way that wouldn't have won if it wasn't shot by Haskell Wexler) And the really weird thing, is that, while the Academy has never paid too close attention to the nominees for this category, this is a weird year where almost all the nominees are new nominees. Rodrigo Preito was nominated once before, but awhile ago. for "Brokeback Mountain" but that's it. The rest are first-time nominees, and you generally don't see that in this category. I'm not sold on "Lion", especially with a "La La Land" sweep being the domineering wisdom. This is also the only place to honor "Silence", and maybe one of the few to honor "Arrival", and I'm not necessarily sure we can rule out "Moonlight" here either. When the last time a musical won this category? (Searching) Uh, you gotta go back to "Cabaret" and if you don't count that as a musical, than you go back to "My Fair Lady". I'm trying to think if there's something technical that narrows this down a bit, like 3D or overtly special effects, but I don't know if "Arrival" is that ingrained in those aspects as say, "Avatar" or "Hugo" was.
PREDICTION: "La La Land"-Linus Sandgren


COSTUME DESIGN
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

Here's something kinda unusual, a contemporary film being the favorite in the Costume Design category. Also weird, was the Costume Designers Guild. Now, "La La Land" won for Contemporary film, but "Jackie" which is somewhat of a presumed favorite as well, they lost to "Hidden Figures" of all things, out of nowhere. "Fantastic Beasts..." is also a slight second choice presumably, and should've won the fantasy category there, but they lost to "Doctor Strange". So, "La La Land" is the only one in the category that won a Guild Award. Part of me, can't tell whether "Jackie" is a contender or not, despite winning most of the awards, I'm wondering if people are gonna thing that's just replication instead of design? Actually, I'm most worried about a spoiler from "Allied"; which didn't get into the Guild Awards for some reason but I think is a bit of a threat. But, this is a split vote, between "Jackie" and "La La Land". Normally you think, the best dress will win, but I don't really think people think that with "Florence Foster Jenkins" even though the costumes for that film are great.
PREDICTION: "La La Land" (Last minute switch, it's tight between this and "Jackie", but I'm going with "La La Land", it won where it needed to) 


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

Interestingly, the second choice in this category, and climbing fast into possible upset territory is "Hacksaw Ridge", which makes a little bit of sense. It's a war movie, a lot of action. That said though, the ACE Eddies winner was actually "Arrival" beating out "Hacksaw..." for Dramatic Feature. I'm also a little weary of "Arrival", because that's not necessarily a big action film, the way "Hacksaw Ridge" is, not the way, other sci-fi movies tend to be. That's always the wild card in this category, we're looking for action and chases especially. That's why "Hell or High Water" I suspect snuck it. It's basically a chase sequence to some extent and not much else, at least on paper, although a lot of other stuff happens, and it's slower speed than I think the Editors' like their chases. Still, there's one other exception that gives action and chases a run for their money, other than being, a great movie, and that's music. Editing to music can be difficult, especially when matching it on screen. Tom Cross, already had one Oscar for "Whiplash", I think it's gonna win again. I don't see "Hacksaw..." sneaking in, especially since it couldn't win the Guild. It won BAFTA in a bit of an upset, but.... (Shrugs)
PREDICTION-"La La Land"-Tom Cross


MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
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

Well, just taking a quick look at the Makeup & Hairstyling Guild Awards, The MUAHS, well, "Suicide Squad" had two nominations, while "Star Trek Beyond" had one, but it beat "Suicide Squad in that category, but "Suicide Squad won in the other category, and pretty much everywhere else, some other film won. "A Man Called Ove" seems to also be popular, but I-eh, I guess it's a good makeup job on Ove, but is it anything special? I kinda got it when this part were up last year for "The 100-Year-Old-Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared" and other than that, 'cause that one showed a single actor portraying a part for like eighty years of his life. "A Man Called Ove", I guess it's slightly impressive, but I don't get why it's nominated. I've seen "Star Trek Beyond" I was impressed with the makeup. Honestly, I'm about to see "Suicide Squad" and I keep hearing how bad the film is, and watching the reaction videos of people just really upset that the film got nominated, but honestly, I-, the makeup looks really fucking good in the movie. Maybe I'm missing something, but that's the one I'd vote for, just based on look and the work and the numerous different kinds of makeup involved, but, it hasn't beaten "Star Trek..." anywhere. (Shrugs) And "Star Trek" and makeup, those two go together.....
PREDICTION: "Star Trek Beyond"


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

It's a music category, "La La Land"'s winning. Don't think too hard about this.
PREDICTION: "La La Land"


ORIGINAL SONG
"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

It's a music category, "La La Land"'s gonna win. Don't think-, Oh, wait, which song. Eh, "City of Stars" has won everywhere, it's "City of Stars". And can somebody please explain the Music Branch's infatuation with J. Ralph?
PREDICTION: "City of Stars"-La La Land


PRODUCTION DESIGN
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

"La La Land" has won most of the awards for Production Design, I think they're the favorites. "Hail, Caesar!", I would've thought had a shot, but it didn't even win it's category for the Art Directors Guild, losing, again, a weird Guild award win for "Hidden Figures" out of nowhere. "Passengers" however, won it's Guild award category, a bit of an upset over "Arrival" and "Fantastic Beasts..." but I didn't think that was a major contender, and I don't think anyone else does either. Although I thought it was impressive production design, (Sigh) That said, "La La Land", musical, production design in musicals, the go together more often than not.
PREDICTION: "La La Land"


SOUND EDITING 
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

Okay, "La La Land" inclusion in this category is confusing, 'cause even in the best circumstances, musicals rarely make Sound Editing. They'll often win Sound Mixing, but Sound Editing, they're often skipped over. Reminder, Editing is the Recording and Creation of sounds, Mixing is the way those sounds and mixed and place onto the film, essentially. I'm- I'm actually not that sure why Sound Editing usually doesn't include musicals, but it doesn't, even though it did win for Musical at the Sound Editors Guild Awards, the Golden Reels. There's two scenarios, if there's a musical or music-based film, it wins for Mixing, but the loudest and/or most noise usually wins editing. Sorry Wylie.
PREDICTION: "Hacksaw Ridge"


SOUND MIXING
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

I feel sorry for Greg P. Russell, he's gonna lose again. 0 for 17. (Sigh) "La La Land", Musical, sound mixing, it's already sweeping....
PREDICTION: "La La Land"


VISUAL EFFECTS
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

(Sigh) Pretty much, this entire run, "The Jungle Book" has been winning Visual Effects, there' nothing that's an obvious Best Picture surrogate here to indicate something else could win. "Kubo..." could, pull off the upset, "Deepwater Horizon" also won at the VES Society Awards, but yeah, "The Jungle Book" has just run over everything. It probably is the most effects, and most complex...- kinda hard to go against it, and there's obvious that has a real shot. I guess there's always a possibility of "Star Wars", but it's not it's the only movie with groundbreaking special effect every year now.
PREDICTION: "The Jungle Book"



ANIMATED SHORT
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

Believe it or not, I did manage to be able to see almost all of these; I haven't gotten to "Blind Vaysha". So, I can talk a little bit about them. The two, I was most intrigued by are the two favorites, "Pearl" and "Piper". "Pearl" is a fascination 360 degree animation experiment, that Google and Youtube did, and Patrick Osborne; he's the guy behind "Feast", which won the Oscar a couple years ago for Disney. That said, I loved "Piper" a little more. It's a wonderful little story, about a little bird, it's Pixar, who haven't won in a while, I think they're due. The others are interesting in their own right, although I didn't care for "Borrowed Time", but yeah, I think it's between "Pearl" and "Piper", and it's basically a debate over story vs. animation technique.
PREDICTION: "Piper"


LIVE-ACTION SHORT
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

Now, unfortunately I'm going a little more blind into this one, 'cause I wasn't able to watch any of these. Okay, "Silent Nights", Kim Magnusson has a won a couple Oscars as a producer of other shorts like "Helium" and "Election Night", so "Silent Nights" is a contender. I've heard very mixed reactions to "Ennemis Interieurs", although I don't know how much that matters in the short categories. As a rule, before anything else, I look subject matter first, but there's nothing overtly Holocaust-y or something like that, but before that, I check to see if there's anybody involved in the film who might be famous and well-known. Actually, quite a few of these nominees are that, and all the experts seem all over the map here. I'm very worried about "La Femme et le TGV" being a surprise win, 'cause it has the biggest star in it, with Jane Birkin. I dismissed it, before, because I hadn't heard much else about it, but it got in. I've seen a few people predicting it. "Ennemis Interrieurs", "Sing" and "Timecode" also have quite a few acknowledgements with them. "Silent Nights" is the real tearjerker in the group and the one that's the biggest mystery, but it's got pedigree behind it. (sigh) Alright, I'm just gonna go with the trailer I like the best.
PREDICTION: "La Femme et le TGV"


DOCUMENTARY SHORT
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 was able to see four of these, I didn't see "Watani..." yet, which I've heard could play spoiler. Of the other two refugee movies, I preferred "The White Helmuts" to "4.1 Miles" myself. Honestly, I didn't like "Extremis" much at all. I do like "Joe's Violin", which is essentially the Holocaust entry. Um, it's a good one though, but I cant' tell, if the refugee movies will split the vote and lead to something else winning, or if they're gonna come together.
PREDICTION: "The White Helmets" 

Alright, those are my final predictions. We'll see. I'm very worried about Emma Stone, but I think we're pretty good here. And I have "La La Land" winning  1,2,... 8,9, I have it winning 10. That's a lot. That hasn't happened since "LOTR", went 11 for 11, but I'm betting the sweep on this one. It's gonna be close to that, so be prepared. It's the other categories where it's not in play, where I think upset are most likely. I'm gonna really be annoyed if "A Man Called Ove" gets Foreign Language Film and I didn't switch it, but... Oh well. Happy Oscar Weekend Everyone. Here's my picks. (Deep breath) Time to make your own.



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