Tuesday, January 23, 2018

THE 2018 OSCAR NOMINATIONS ANALYSIS! (Yeah, I've just noticed that I'm off on the years on these things; I'll figure out how to fix it later.)


DAVID works on the computer, typing on Blogger, one of about two dozens windows opened at once. He turns to the TV behind hime, where the Roku screensaver blinks 3:300am.


I better go to bed.

David gets up and exits the living room.


Alarm clocks rings. David gets up. Presses snooze button. Goes back to sleep.


David gets up.


Alright, I'm up; I know what day it is.

Davis enters the living room and sits down in front of the TV.


Let's put the Oscar noms on.


David scares himself awake!


Aw f***!

Alright, I overslept. Sorry, I've been busy and trying lately, and somehow my Eagles are in the Super Bowl, so I'N distracted movie-wise. But, I'm awake and typing now. Let's get to it. Oscar nominations announcements and analysis!

Oh-kay, what the hell is this? So, they've decided  to have Andy Serkis and Tiffany Haddish host the thing:

(In my best Clive Anderson/Drew Carey/Aisha Tyler, take you pick, voice)
 in the style of,... hosting the Children's Miracle Network telethon. (Sigh, headslap) Ac-Academy, why do you insist on making these things so complicated?. Just-, just announce the nominees. Fine, this is better than whatever Cheryl Boone-Isaacs demented ideas were for this thing, but c'mon. Wake up two Academy members everybody knows, put them behind the podium in front of the biggest TV screen you can find, and just announce the damn thing. I know you have younger voters now, but you're not young and you're not cool, this is the ninetieth of these things you've done! You never were cool, you're never gonna be cool; please stop trying to be.

Okay, getting who I'm fairly certain was Salma Hayak to do the Costume Design video was cool, but honestly, these sort of the video clips would be cool on the Oscars show itself, you know? They're not really cool at 5:30am when only the press are groggily awake. Yeah, I'm going through this as I watch this year. I'll go through each category at the end and give you some thoughts and brag or hide in shame depending on how well I predicted a category or not.

What? Rebel Wilson as a diner waitress, Katrina and the Waves' "Walking on Sunshine," this is the Animation opening? Okay, see, this is exactly what I'm talking about when I say to just keep it simple and don't do anything stupid, so you don't put yourself out there for criticsm; literally, what does any of that have to do with animation? Literally, name one of those elements and explain how that's intricately linked with animation? Don't do shit like this, and you won't open yourself to criticisms, okay! I mean, if this was on the show before the category, we'd say, "Okay, that was weird, but cool," but here..., you're asking for this. At least pick a song from an animated movie, why "Walking on Sunshine?" that has nothing to do with any movie! Congratulations on wasting $200,000 for the rights for that.

Also, if you're gonna use the big screen, show something more than just the text when they're announcing. I'm not seeing anything, I'm just listening Andy Serkis and Tiffany Haddish talk, like c'mon, where's the Graphics Department, show a still of the movie as they mention it. I don't get this, why are you making all these expensive shorts and then going cheap here?

(elongated yawn)

Alright, Serkis and Haddish stumbled through this well enough, let's get to the big stories. Stars represent went I got a prediction correct, and you can see my predictions, at the links below:




*Call Me By Your Name
1/2*Darkest Hour
*Get Out
*Lady Bird
Phantom Thread
*The Post
*The Shape of Water
*Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Wow, "Phantom Thread" came up on the outside and stole "I, Tonya" slot at the last second. That's a bit of a shock 'cause "I, Tonya" had gotten in everywhere and I'm guessing the older voters who remember the damn thing, were just too sick of this constant reliving the tabloid journalism of the early nineties after all the O.J. stuff last year. (Which, by the way, if you don't know this story or wasn't alive for the whole Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding thing, little advice, don't mention you don't know, and look the damn thing up, NOW! I'm declaring that, the line in which you are two young to be alive. [And yes, readers my age and older, I've run into people, into people who were a little saddened that the movie was "spoiled" for them! And it wasn't for irony purposes either, like when we were young and we criticized "Titanic", by claiming that we knew was the ship was gonna sink, they did not know this story!] Seriously, we've lived through it, we've barely gotten over the PTSD we have over the whole thing, go do your research, please. I can still spell Gillooly correctly, without looking it up; this is recent history to us!...-)

(Several deep calming breaths)

Sorry, I went to a dark place there. Um, where was I? Right, they went back to nine this year, so it's a bit more of a divided field than we probably thought, although "Phantom Thread" is the only real shock and it turns out they like that one. Hang on though, there's some shockers coming in the big categories.


Paul Thomas Anderson-"Phantom Thread"
*Guillermo Del Toro-"The Shape of Water"
*Greta Gerwig-"Lady Bird"
*Christopher Nolan-"Dunkirk"
*Jordan Peele-"Get Out"

Anyway congratulation to Jordan Peele, becoming only the fifth Black man, to get nominated for Directing, and fourth African-American, let's run through the rest, John Singleton, "Boyz in the Hood", Lee Daniels for "Precious....", Steve McQueen for "12 Years a Slave" and of course, last year Barry Jenkins for "Moonlight". Huh, wow the last two of those won Best Picture. I wonder if that's a trend I should pay attention to....

Also, Greta Gerwig, fifth woman, ever nominated, after Lina Wertmuller for "Seven Beauties" back in the seventies and then Jane Campion for "The Piano", Sofia Coppola for "Lost in Translation', and of course, the only female winner Kathryn Bigelow, who won for "The Hurt Locker".

And yet, the biggest snub of the night is Martin McDonagh, not getting in for "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and boy was it shocking to hear Paul Thomas Anderson's name; I don't know anybody with him in their predictions, and I did a huge, "Wait, who's out!" wail when I heard that name. McDonagh's lack of a nomination is interesting though. Of course, you don't need one a Directing nomination to win, although it's really rare, Ben Affleck for "Argo" the most famous recent one, although earlier you can go back to "Driving Miss Daisy" which was a huge upset at the time, winning despite Bruce Beresford not getting nominated. Before that, you gotta go back to like the earliest Oscars to see it. It's weird though, 'cause it did great, everywhere else and where it was supposed to, and then a Directing snub. Sure, it is one of those film's that's more of a Writing picture, McDonagh for those who don't know is a renowned playwright, mainly, he was nominated once before for Writing "In Bruges" and actually he has an Oscar already; he won for a short film called "Six Shooter" awhile back, he also did "Seven Psychopaths" his other famous big film project, but he is more known as writer than a director. Which is also weird 'cause P.T. Anderson, I'll get to it in a bit, but was snubbed in Writing, and usually when they honor him, it's in the Writing category, not necessarily in Directing. Also, "The Shape of Water" looks like the favorite, but it doesn't have the SAG Ensemble nomination, that's the snub that foreshadowed "La La Land" losing last year and no film has won Best Picture without that nomination since "Braveheart" and that was the SAG Awards first year in existence (and a notoriously goofy Awards season in general where every prognosticator got it wrong it seems)., and it was "Three Billboards..." that won the SAG Ensemble this year, so, this particular snub is throwing everything off right now.


*Timothee Chalamet-"Call Me By Your Name"
*Daniel Day-Lewis-"Phantom Thread"
*Daniel Kaluuya-"Get Out"
*Gary Oldman-"Darkest Hour"
Denzel Washington-"Roman J. Israel, Esq."

Okay, that's the last time I ignore Denzel Washington when he's got a shot. I did the same thing with "Flight" years ago, I didn't believe it and I just disregarded him completely as a possibility despite some obvious signs he was getting in...., but the big snub, James Franco, let's talk about this. The allegations against him, I think helped, even though it was really late in the voting, there was a few days left, although I was honestly a bit shocked, that he was getting in everywhere until now.

Look, I haven't seen "The Disaster Artist", or read the book, it looks funny and good, and I haven't seen "The Room" yet, I probably will soon, 'cause apparently, it's the kind of thing I need to see now, but I've seen enough Youtube reviews of "The Room", to know about it, and I do not get the fascination with Tommy Wiseau. He made a bad movie, and apparently he's a little weird, so? Seriously, I don't get it. Some people are really obsessed with him, and I can kinda get that, 'cause I've gotten that, "How are you even a thing look" a lot, 'cause there's a lot about me that's really weird. I mean, I've been known to headbang and throw up the devil horns to Lisa Loeb songs, I get it, but if that's the whole thing, that he's weird, and that's the joke...- then I don't need him or the people obsessed with him. I got told I was shit-posting when I made a joke on Twitter during the Golden Globes about how I didn't want to see Tonya Harding onstage, and said, "... I already went through WISEAU, I can't deal with HARDING." and somebody accused me of "shitposting" because of that. Eh, okay maybe, from everything I've heard he sounds like a untalented weird prick though, and that's fine, and apparently there's a bunch of people out there, trying to make off him being an untalented, weird prick, and I'm a little less fine about that, because that's just the joke, "He's so weird, let's laugh!" I'm not getting that. So..., yeah, I can't say I'm disappointed in this snub. Whether it was the Globes fiasco, or the accusations against Franco that came later, thank Ally Sheedy for getting the ball rolling by the way, and why do you have an Acting School anyway Mr. Franco....?

Little surprised that there was enough pull to snub him, very surprised it was Denzel, who's the only nomination for a film that hasn't gotten the greatest reviews, but, like I said, I should've learned after "Flight". Denzel is the male Meryl Streep, no matter what it is, if he's got any awards buzz at all for it, he's getting for it. Speaking of Meryl....


*Sally Hawkins-"The Shape of Water"
*Frances McDormand-"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
*Margot Robbie-"I, Tonya"
*Saiorse Ronan-"Lady Bird"
*Meryl Streep-"The Post"

Yeah, nothing really surprising here. It looked scary for a bit because "Victoria & Abdul" over-performed in the technical categories so Judi Dench looked like a possibility. Nothing really shocking, Frances McDormand looks to be favorite to win her second, look out for Hawkins, Robbie or Ronan who could sneak in, and the count on Meryl Streep, this is her 21st Oscar nomination, everybody. Remember, the old record for a female was twelve by Katherine Hepburn. By the way this and Picture were "The Post"'s only nominations. Last time a film got those two and only those categories, "The Blind Side". Weird.


*Willem Dafoe-"The Florida Project"
*Woody Harrelson-"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"
*Richard Jenkins-"The Shape Of Water"
Christopher Plummer-"All the Money in the World"
*Sam Rockwell-"Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

I really did not buy the Christopher Plummer thing; I had Michael Stuhlbarg in, and "All in the Money in the World" didn't get anything else, and this, at age 88, makes him the oldest acting nominee of all-time by the way; I think he's already the oldest person to ever win an Oscar, winning six years ago for "Beginners", which was that film's only nomination as well. So, it's possible that he breaks his own record, but I'm doubting it. For those who don't know, "All the Money in the World" originally starred Kevin Spacey but after the sexual allegations against him, became public knowledge, all his scenes were re-shot with Christopher Plummer in the role instead, those re-shoots have stirred some of their own controversy in fact, regarding the actors fees for it among other things, so this is basically an anti-Kevin Spacey vote to me. (Shrugs) I personally kinda almost wish they go and strip his two Oscars instead, but it is Christopher Plummer, he's probably incredible in the film, I'm shocked he got in. I really didn't buy in even after the Globes and the surprise BAFTA nomination he got, although the BAFTAs like the film way more than the Academy did. Nothing else surprising, although you have to go back a long time to see two actors nominated from the same movie in this category. last time that happened was 1990 when Harvey Keitel and Ben Kingsley were both nominated for "Bugsy".


Mary J. Blige-"Mudbound"
*Allison Janney-"I, Tonya"
Lesley Manville-"Phantom Thread"
*Laurie Metcalf-"Lady Bird"
*Octavia Spencer-"The Shape of Water"

The big snub here is Holly Hunter for "The Big Sick", replaced by Lesley Manville, finally getting her first career nomination, for "Phantom Thread", that's the movie we've all underestimated here apparently. Mary J. Blige's nomination for "Mudbound", she's actually twice nominated, she got into Best Song for the film as well, and she's also the first actor to be nominated for a film that was directed an African-American woman, so congrats for that and great to see Dee Rees nominated in Screenplay as well. I had Hong Chau for "Downsizing" with the last slot; I should've known better on that one, 'cause that was a performance that garnered some controversy. First time in awhile that somebody whose more famous as a singer got in for acting. The last one I believe was, well- in this category, it was Jennifer Hudson winning for "Dreamgirls". It's also proof that-eh, the Academy officially has a Netflix membership and not just for the documentaries, so floodgates are open now there.


*Call Me By Your Name-James Ivory
*The Disaster Artist-Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber
*Logan-Scott Frank & James Mangold and Michael Green; Story: James Mangold
*Molly's Game-Aaron Sorkin
*Mudbound-Virgil Williams and Dee Rees

Hey superhero fans! Why aren't you guys celebrating, you got into Writing this year! Yeah, with "Logan", this marks the first ever Oscar nomination for a superhero movie! Okay live-action superhero movie, technically "The Incredibles" was nominated for Original Screenplay but first for a comic book movie however. And I called it, I'm proud of this one, most people had "Wonder" getting in here.

This is a weird year in both writing categories by the way, the only film in this category nominated for Best Picture is "Call Me By Your Name", which I suspect is the favorite with "Mudbound" or "Molly's Game" being the strong second choice, an in total only five of the nine Best Picture nomiees, got a writing nomination. That's really rare. Since 2009, when they expanded the Best Picture category only one other time has that few Best Picture nominees gotten into Writing. It was 2011, when, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close", "The Help", "The Tree of Life" and "War Horse" all got Best Picture but missed Screenplay, interestingly that was a nine film year too.


The Big Sick-Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani
*Get Out-Jordan Peele
*Lady Bird-Greta Gerwig
*The Shape of Water-Guillermo Del Toro & Vanessa Taylor
*Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-Martin McDonagh

This is what really makes P.T. Anderson's directing nomination so shocking, not only did he not get into an admittedly crowded Original Screenplay category, he got snubbed by "The Big Sick" strangely enough, and that's that movie's only nomination; it didn't even get Holly Hunter in. I thought it was surely out to, "I, Tonya", but logically, if you asked me what did P.T. Anderson get a nomination for "Phantom Thread" for, I would've thought he got in here instead. Anyway, congratulations to Jordan Peele, he is the third person to ever get nominated for Producing, Directing and Writing, for his directorial debut. I had too look this one up by the way, even I didn't know this one, the other two, Warren Beatty for "Heaven Can Wait" and James L. Brooks for "Terms of Endearment". This is an uber-competitive category this year, I said that Writing might be the new Editing category that predicts the Best Picture winner, this year might be the test for that. It's been five years since a Best Picture winner did not win Writing, and the four frontrunners are in this category. I'll call it now, whoever wins this category, probably wins Best Picture.


The Boss Baby-Tom McGrath and Ramsey Naito
*The Breadwinner-Nora Twomey and Anthony Leo
*Coco-Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson
Ferdinand-Carlos Saldanha
*Loving Vincent-Dorota Kabiela, Hugh Welchman and Ivan MacTaggart

Well, I noticed after I made my predictions that I had four non-American films in my predictions and this was the year that the Academy opened up the voting in this category to everyone and not just the Animation branch, so, yeah, I probably shouldn't be surprised by "The Boss Baby" got in. Actually, I don't get why that film keeps getting made fun of. Okay, I haven't seen it yet, maybe when I do, it'll become clear, but I don't get it. I've never understood why that premise is so ridiculous and mockable. You ever had to take care of a Baby? They seem demanding like a mob boss to me, so... Eh, this category is "Coco", and four others happy to be nominated and that was always gonna be what it was, so.... (Shrugs)

(POST-SCRIPT NOTE: Oh, apparently a lot of people who are pissed/saddened by "The LEGO Batman Movie", not getting in here, um... reallly? I didn't have it in. They didn't like the first "The LEGO Movie" and this year, there were two lesser LEGO films to choose between; honestly I didn't even remotely consider that one, and I liked the film but that I'm kinda shocked some of you took that as a serious contender.)


Abacus: Small Enough to Jail-Steve James, Mark Mitten and Julie Goldman
*Faces Places-Agnes Varda, JR and Rosalie Varda
*Icarus-Bryan Fogel and Dan Cogan
Last Men in Aleppo-Feras Fayyad, Kareem Abeed and Soren Steen Jespersen
Strong Island-Yance Ford and Joslyn Barnes

Whoa! The Documentary branch went way off than what most were predicting. Okay, congratulations Yance Ford, I believe the first Trans filmmaker to get a nomination, at least as a director, for "Strong Island" which doesn't surprise me, although I didn't predict it, 'cause I wasn't as thrilled with it as others were, but, kudos to her. It is an impressive movie by the way, very haunting. "Jane" was shutout, most had that film as the favorite, and I had "City of Ghosts" instead of "Last Men in Aleppo", I knew there was gonna be at least one film about Syria getting in, but forget the chimps and forget the Syrians, we got to talk about "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail" getting in, 'cause this is a shocker to me.

Not because of the film, but the fact that the Steve James finally broke into Documentary Feature. If you don't know this story, I won't go over it entirely, but he's guy who directed "Hoop Dreams" which famously was snubbed by the Academy and controversially so, 'cause apparently the fix was in, and it caused an entire restructuring of the Documentary Branch of the Academy, and he's been screwed by them ever since, including not getting in for "Life Itself" the great documentary about Roger Ebert, which everybody thought was the frontrunner to win easily that year and like "Hoop Dreams" it should've been nominated. I didn't even bother predicting him; I just assumed he was getting left off again, but it's his first nomination in the category, about damn time.


*A Fantastic Woman-Sebastian Lelio (Chile)
The Insult-Ziad Doueiri (Lebanon)
*Loveless-Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia)
On Body and Soul-Ildiko Enyedi (Hungary)
*The Square-Ruben Ostlund (Sweden)

I guess the really big shock here is "In the Fade" Fatin Akin's feature, he's the one big-named director who was on the shortlist that didn't get in here, and that's a shame 'cause he's somebody who usually has trouble getting into this category cause he's from Germany I believe but he's of Turkish descent. (There's a big Turkish community in large German cities, it's a long story) and so, a lot of his movies, usually are co-productions from two or three different countries, but the Academy only allows one film per country to be submitted, 'cause people think it's the director's that are nominated for Foreign Language film, they're not technically however, it's the country that's nominated. It's a weird thing involving Oscar selecting groups in each country,- but the directors aren't technically nominated, it's the country. I know, it's stupid and they absolutely need to change this, like yesterday, but anyway, usually his films, it's hard to even tell what country they're from not only cause he makes movies in both/several countries, but also the funding matters for this category. You have to have local funding, this has disqualified a few films over the years, most notably a film from Uruguay couple decades ago, cause most of it's funding came from Brazil. Anyway, Akin, he always has a hard time finding a country for this, for some of those reasons, and I was hoping to see him here. Especially since it had a big star in it like Diane Kruger that's known here. Real shock him not getting in.

Um, other than that, I almost predicted "The Insult", I should've gone with my instinct there. I think it's between "Loveless" and "The Square" currently, in a very close race.


*Blade Runner 2049-Roger Deakins
*Darkest Hour-Bruno Delbonnel
*Dunkirk-Hoyte van Hoytema
*Mudbound-Rachel Morrison
*The Shape of Water-Dan Lautsen

Thank Christ! Congratulations Rachel Morrison, the first female ever nominated for Outstanding Cinematography, which was indeed, the only category left, outside of Actor and Supporting Actor of course where a woman hadn't been nominated, and that was indeed ridiculous. I have no idea how that lasted so long, but that's it. Anyway, I don't think there was any real shocker here,  "Call Me By Your Name" was the only film that I think that was a serious contender that was left. And, yes, poor Roger Deakins, we all think this is his year, it's his 14th nomination, he's never won, he's one of the greats, hopefully it's his year.


*Beauty and the Beast-Jacqueline Durran
Darkest Hour-Jacqueline Durran
*Phantom Thread-Mark Bridges
The Shape of Water-Luis Sequeira
Victoria & Abdul-Consolata Boyle

Wow, I really missed this category entirely. Well, I was wrong Jacqueline Durran did get in twice, um, "Victoria & Abdul" really over-perform getting some impressive craft nominations; I almost predicted it for Makeup & Hair, I remember, but didn't have it for Costumes. "The Shape of Water", just ran through the craft, it ended up with 13 nominations, that's one shy of tying the record. I'm not sure who the favorite for this category would be, although I'm leaning towards Mark Bridges 'cause of how big a part the costumes play in that film, so....


*Baby Driver-Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos
*Dunkirk-Lee Smith
I, Tonya-Tatiana S. Reigel
*The Shape of Water-Sidney Wolinsky
*Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-Jon Gregory

Edgar Wright fans can rejoice, they finally honored his Editing and Sound work that his films are known for and don't think that film's out of the running for the win "Baby Driver"'s got a lot of chasing and a lot of editing to music, literally the two toughest things for editors to edit, and the two things that win Oscars for Editing. This is a strange category though, 'cause "I, Tonya" was snubbed for Picture, so it's appearance here is a bit weird, normally this is the best prognosticator of a Best Picture winner, and maybe it still is, if you go by that logic than "Dunkirk", "The Shape of Water" and "Three Billboards..." are the Oscar frontrunners, and only "Birdman..." won without an Editing nomination, and that film had very little editing in it, and before that, you gotta go back to "Ordinary People" being the last film to win. Although, good news for "Lady Bird" and "Get Out" fans, the last one before "Ordinary People" to win without the Editing nomination, of course, and very famously won without it, "Annie Hall", so, maybe a comedy doesn't need it to win....?


*Darkest Hour-Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski and Lucy Sibbick
Victoria & Abdul-Daniel Phillip and Lou Sheppard
Wonder-Arjen Tuiten

Ouch. Well, at least I didn't completely miss this category up. Um, I wanted to pick "Victoria & Abdul" 'cause I did look through that trailer and really loved the makeup, but I thought it was a longshot at best. Really surprised "Wonder" got in, I don't know why, the Makeup Branch...- Well, I think I start a sentence nearly every year with "I don't know why the Makeup Branch...", cause they do a lot of weird things, but they keep nominating, these films with only one big makeup job, like "Wonder", for instance. They did this for "A Man Called Ove", for "Bad Grandpa" famously, I don't quite get it. They already only nominate three, why focus in on, like the one big makeup job, when something like "Cloud Atlas" for instance has lots of different kinds of elaborate make up on all it's cast and it might not even get on the shortlist. BTW, spoilers, this is the only nomination for any film with "Wonder" in the title.


*Dunkirk-Hans Zimmer
*Phantom Thread-Jonny Greenwood
*The Shape of Water-Alexandre Desplat
Star Wars: The Last Jedi-John Williams
*Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri-Carter Burwell

They really didn't care for "The Post" did they. Oh well, John Williams got in but not for that, he got in for "Star Wars...", so I had the nominees right but I just had the films wrong. Um, I don't know who's favorite though, I suspect it's between Hans Zimmer 'cause I've been hearing a lot of people thinking that's the best and Jonny Greenwood for "Phantom Thread". He's the great guitarist for Radiohead, and he's been doing P.T. Anderson's scores for a little while now, and he isn't always eligible for one reason or another until now. The music branch is anal about how much is has to be Orignal in an Original Score but he finally got in here. Good for him.


"Mystery of Love"-Call Me By Your Name-Sufjan Stevens
*"Remember Me"-Coco-Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
*"This is Me"-The Greatest Showman-Benj Pasek and Justin Paul
*"Stand Up for Something"-Marshall-Diane Warren and Lonnie R. 'Common' Lynn
"Mighty River"-Mudbound-Mary J. Blige, Raphael Saadiq and Taura Stinson

(Shrugs) I was gambling on my other two predictions I had in this category, so this is about the five most suspected. Um, little surprised "Call Me By Your Name" got in, 'cause it had two songs in consideration, and normally if something has multiple eligible songs, if they don't get two in they don't get either, so, that actually leads me to think that it might be the favorite, even though I know some people are pissed that it's other song "Visions of Gidion" didn't get in instead. That said, tough category. You got the Lopez's who won before and he's an EGOT winner, you have the same crew behind "La La Land" in for "The Greatest Showman" song, which was an upset winner at the Globes. Common is back, and this time with Diane Warren who, I've been cheering for, for years now, this is her ninth nomination now,- she's getting into Randy Newman territory at this point, and she's never won this award. If you don't know-, you probably know dozens of her songs just don't know the name, she's the quintessential pop songwriter, sometimes to her detriment admittedly, but you can go through the list here:


You'll recognize so many songs, it's ridiculous how much she's written and all the artists she's written for or with. I'd like to see her finally win. She should've won a couple years ago for the with the song Lady Gaga was nominated for, and also Mary J. Blige maybe has her best shot at a win here.


*Beauty and the Beast-Pro.: Sarah Greenwood; Set: Katie Spencer
*Blade Runner 2049-Pro.: Dennis Gassner; Set: Alessandra Querzola
Darkest Hour-Pro.: Sarah Greenwood; Set: Katie Spencer
*Dunkirk-Pro.: Nathan Crowley; Set: Gary Fettis
*The Shape of Water-Pro.: Paul Denham Austerberry; Set: Shane Vieau and Jeff Melvin

Ooh, Jacqueline Durran's not the only person up against herself this year, kudos, Sarah Greenwood. I underestimated "Darkest Hour", not across the board, but-eh, I thought it would be a little sparer. I had "The Post" sneaking in, instead. Hmm tough category to predict right now. "Darkest Hour", I suspect is a longshot, but any of the others I can easily see winning this. And none of the nominees are former winners in this category, that's interesting.


Baby Driver-Julian Slater
*Blade Runner 2049-Mark Mangini and Theo Green
*Dunkirk-Richard King and Alex Gibson
*The Shape of Water-Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira
Star Wars: The Last Jedi-Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce

Eh, I woke up late and I'm past deadline, let's do both of these at once!


*Baby Driver-Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H. Ellis
Blade Runner 2049-Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill
*Dunkirk-Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker and Gary A. Rizzo
*The Shape of Water-Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern and Glen Gauthier
Star Wars: The Last Jedi-David Parker, Michael Semanick, Ren Klyce and Stuart Wilson

Well, no technical difference between these categories this year. and I got the same amount wrong. (Shrugs) Last year, these categories really behaved erratically most everybody missed both of them, and it led to Kevin O'Connell, on his 20th nomination, finally winning his first Oscar for "Hacksaw Ridge". We also Greg P. Russel, a 17-time nominee, disqualified for some illegal campaigning for "13 Hours...", (And based on the reason for his disqualification; I don't get why the whole wasn't disqualified. He was in contention for the "Transformers..." film this year, so-eh, I have no reason to force myself through that, so Kudos's Academy. Eh, just as a rule, Sound Editing, go with the War movie, that could be either "Dunkirk" or "Star Wars", and Sound Mixing, if all else fails, go with the musical, eh..., ooh, that makes "Baby Driver" interesting in that category....


*Blade Runner 2049-John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover
*Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2-Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick
Kong: Skull Island-Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus
*Star Wars: The Last Jedi-Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Carbould
*War for the Planet of the Apes-Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist

Wow, a shocking omission for "The Shape of Water"- (I called "Guardians..." over "Dunkirk", Visual Effects don't like period war movies, remember that) means that there's no Best Picture nominee in this category. I suspect that means "Blade Runner 2049", is the early favorite, it's the most nominated of the bunch, but since they know Roger Deakins will likely win for that, I wonder if "War for the Planet of the Apes" might finally win one here. Huh, I just realized we two different Simians competing with each other here. King Kong vs. Planet of the Apes, huh. Will the apes cancel each other out?


Dear Basketball-Glen Keane and Kobe Bryant
*Garden Party-Victor Caire and Gabriel Grapperon
*Lou-Dave Mullins and Dana Murray
Negative Space-Max Porter and Ru Kuwahata
*Revolting Rhymes-Jakob Schuh and Jan Lachauer

You really had to invade the film world, Kobe Bryant? All those championships weren't enough for ya? All-star awards, MVPs, that time you scored eighty-one in a game? (Sigh) Well, I missed that one, and Negative Space. Uh, look out for "Garden Party" and "Revolting Rhymes" those are two big sleepers in this category. It's not a runaway for "Lou" and Pixar, once the voters see the nominees, this can get interesting.


*Edith+Eddie-Laura Checkoway
*Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405-Frank Stiefel
*Heroin(e)-Elaine McMillion Sheldon and Kerrin Sheldon
*Knife Skills-Thomas Lennon
Traffic Stop-Kate Davis and David Heilbroner

Ah! I almost got it. I went against "Traffic Stop" even though that one's been streaming on HBO for awhile; I should've thought about that one a second. Actually New York Times didn't get any in, which is a real shock to me. I had "Ten Meter Tower", in at least. Well, if it's availabillity probably "Heroin(e)', that's on Netflix, but-eh, "Edith+Eddie" and "Knife Skills" I suspect are just as strong.


*DeKalb Elementary-Reed Van Dyk
The Eleven O'Clock-Darin Seale and Josh Lawson
My Nephew Emmett-Kevin Wilson, Jr.
*The Silent Child-Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton
*Watu Wote/All of Us-Katja Benrath and Tobias Rosen

I knew I was tempting fate going against Emmit Till in anything awards related, and I'm really shocked "Rise of a Star" got snubbed especially with such a big star like Catherine Deneuve in that one. That's a shocker to me. Eh, I'm debating but I think it's either "DeKalb Elementary" or the Student Oscar winner "Watu Wote..." winning this. That'd be a rare African film to win as well.

Alright, hope you all enjoyed this. I'm way-past deadline, somebody else can look up my percentage; the Oscar are the first Sunday in March this year, yeah, no more February Oscars, please, yeah! Glad their back to March. This Oscar season just got interesting and strange. And I need a break from it, so I'm gonna go catch up on the "This Is Us" episodes I missed.

I'm David Baruffi, and when it comes to the Oscars, I always get the last word.

(David gets off computer, and sits down in the living room chair, turns on his Roku, and immediately falls asleep before putting his show on.)

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