Sunday, January 26, 2020

CANON OF FILM: "A FISH CALLED WANDA"

A FISH CALLED WANDA (1988)

Director: Charles Crichton
Screenplay: John Cleese based on the story by John Cleese & Charles Crichton



After Kevin Kline saw his performance at a preview showing of “A Fish Called Wanda,” he was convinced his performance was so awful that he would never work again. Instead, he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, one of the rare occasions a comedic performance has won. 

Considered by some, the unofficial 5th Monty Python film, written by John Cleese, and starring him and fellow-Python Michael Palin. I'm not entirely sure I can go that far, not that Monty Python's influence isn't obviously here, it's all over the movie, but this is too tight of a narrative for them. That said, “A Fish Called Wanda,” is certainly one of the most outlandishly funniest films of the last thirty years;  I've seen people argue that it's the best comedy of the '80s and that's saying something considering how revered that era is for comedy films. The film’s story weaves a subtle, and sometimes not-so-subtle satire on British & American differences, while simultaneously telling an incredibly convoluted tale of jewel thieves constantly crossing, double-crossing, and sometimes triple-crossing each other. 

It’s not a typical con movie though, the crime occurs right in the first ten minutes, the rest of the movie is the criminals scheming and hiding each other and trying to con each other into getting the jewels they stole for themselves. I’ll try to simplify the story as much as I can. The Wanda in the title, not only refers to the femme fatale, (Jamie Lee Curtis) the one who’s trying to double-cross everybody the most, but to a literal fish that animal lover Ken (Palin) cherishes, along with numerous other fishes, and basically all other animals. He’s the son of George (Tom Georgeson) the head planner of the heist, who becomes incarcerated afterwards, but not before hiding the jewels from everyone else. Wanda, is currently playing George, along with her “brother” Otto (Kline) who’s probably the most obnoxious American is the history of film, and particularly hates it when somebody calls him stupid. The joke being that he’s incredibly stupid, to such an extent, at one point, Wanda lists off a long list of things he’s wrong about. (Insert your own Trump joke here if you want, I'd rather not.) 

Wanda’s also playing Otto, planning to take him out afterwards, because of course she is, however after George’s incarceration, she begins going with his barrister Archie Leach (Cleese, character symbolically named after Cary Grant’s real name) to try and get information out of him. This is about the first twenty minutes of the film, and it gets more ridiculous and hilarious from there. 

The film was directed by longtime British comedy director, Charles Crichton, who on the surface is kind of an odd directing choice. He'd been a comedy director forever, sure, but he wasn't exactly a huge name to begin with and this was long after his prime. He worked on a lot in British television, but he had only directed one theatrically-released feature film in the previous two decades before "A Fish Called Wanda". Previously the only movie that he was really known and remembered for was "The Lavender Hill Mob", which was also a comedy movie about some conmen, and actually is really good; it's noteworthy for a great Alec Guinness performance, and the film won the Screenplay Oscar in 1951. 

He is important to the film though. I have no doubt that film more-or-less emerged from John Cleese's mind then Crichton, but Monty Python's humor was improv inspired and even their works that aren't literally just a random bunch of sketches shoved together, are basically still just a bunch of random together. I mean, yeah, there's plot and stories to "...The Holy Grail" and "...Life of Brian", and those are exceptional movies, but it's hard to say that all those scenes would naturally go together in other films to tell a story. Crichton though was a movie veteran who was an expert at structure, so I imagine he probably had the job of taking this idea from Cleese and forming and shaping it into a manic but elaborate jewel thief story, that involves several disturbing animal deaths, including the death of a fish, as a manner of torture. 

I'm a bit surprised "A Fish Called Wanda" gets so little recall these days, it's twisted in that kind of way that should be more memorable and outlandish. I think it's the possible that a post-Farrelly Brothers/Judd Apatow form of a Hollywood comedy world has sort of altered some of our older interpretations of comedy, but still, like, this is some classic screwball comedy though. Especially with how the major American performers are naturally juxtaposed to the sensibilities of the British performers. I love the running joke that Wanda is erotically turned on by hearing foreign languages, so Otto gives the most absurdly stereotypical faux-Italian that you can imagine, and then, when Archie begins speaking in several different languages, legitimately, speaking them, from somebody who was taught very young, she gets way more aroused when she hears foreign languages spoken correctly, and from a proper upstanding Brit as well. This joke gets funnier btw the more foreign languages invade out entertainment avenutes, especially with Korean films and music having suddenly taken over these days, but even before then, yeah Americans are utterly fascinated with people speaking other languages, as long as we never actually learn to speak them ourselves; that's true then, it's true now. 

I don't know how much some of those modern comedic sensibilities have inched their way towards reinterpreting "A Fish Called Wanda" but it certainly isn't talked about enough. It's a classic comedy involving, sex, nudity, slapstick, a stuttering hitman, and the accidental killing of three Yorkshire terriers, it all adds up to a roustabout getaway, that’s as irreverent as it is outlandishly funny. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

92ND ANNUAL OSCAR NOMINATIONS POSTMORTEM AND ANALYSIS! Another year, another batch of predictions gotten way wrong.



Well, I woke up early, and still late for the announcements this time around in the morning, but I caught up quickly enough. BTW, when I say "early", I mean, early in the YEAR! Why the hell are we doing this so soon, we're not even halfway through the month! I remember years when the Oscars used to be in April! They keep happening earlier and earlier and to be honest, I have no idea why anymore! Do Academy votes only get like a day or two anymore to catch up on anything they missed before they have to vote; like, you're the Oscars, what's the fucking rush! I'd be amazed if all the votes even got mailed to you in time at this rate! Okay, I'm sure you have a online voting option now, but still; I could've really used, like another week or two before we got to this and it's really starting to freak me out that they're doing this earlier and earlier now. I mean, fuck, we're not even three weeks until the OSCARS! Seriously, fuck this shit! You're the Oscars, they can all wait for you; wait 'til fucking March next time. I remember when it was shocking when the Oscars were in February, now their on the 9TH!!!! You're like the Super Bowl in reverse, STOP THIS NONSENSE, wait a bit next time. At least long enough for me to start writing the correct year down on my checks, shit!

Speaking of shit, the nominations, the announcements, not who got nominated. Look, it's better than last year, when you had Kumail Nanjani and Tracee Ellis Ross pretending like their here guest hosting Regis & Kathie Lee, but why are you guys trying so hard to change this!? Also, who the hell is clapping!? You're in an empty theater and you didn't invite the press, nobody's applauding at every nomination! I'm one of the ones who usually defends canned audience laughter, but c'mon!

Also, I'm all for diversity, but this is the second year in a row, you'd had an Asian actor and a African-American woman sit down and read the names and in Issa Rae's case; I have a hard time calling her a movie star; she's certainly never been in anything that the Academy has ever honored as far as I know. Look I know you're under a lot of pressure to appear like you're much more inclusive and diverse then you are, at that's a good thing btw, and I appreciate the effect. But I feel like you're just trying to put up your token races to show that you have them. And if you're going to do that, like, can you get people who I more immediately associate with movies? Wake up Angela Bassett, or Mo'Nique or how about Halle Berry, even! Seriously, you want to prove you're diverse, how about wake up Halle and have her read off the nominees! In fact, I want to do that! I'm officially campaigning for Halle Berry to be one of the presenters for the Oscars Nominations announcement next year. You can her with Cho or some other ethnically diverse actor who's a big movie star, Errfan Khan or The Rock maybe, and put them on a real stage, call in the Press so we can have real reactions to the nominees instead of canned laughter, maybe push the announcement to a slightly more reasonable time, like 7:30 or something, and get a giant TV screen and have them announce the nominees in front of it! I am officially campaigning for the Academy to do this next year! #WakeUpHalleBerry2021, and while we're at it, maybe we can hire a real host too! #OscarsNeedAHost!

Alright, let's go over the nominees and see how badly the Academy decided to screw up my perfect Gold Derby ballot this year. (Note: asterisks next to nominees indicate correct prediction.)


BEST PICTURE
*1917-Pro.: Sam Mendes, Pippa Harris, Jayne-Ann Tenggren and Callum McDougall
Ford v Ferrari-Pro.: Peter Chernin, Jenno Topping and James Mangold
*The Irishman-Pro.: Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, Jane Rosenthal and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
*Jojo Rabbit-Pro.: Carthew Neal and Taika Waititi
*Joker-Pro.: Todd Phillips, Bradley Cooper and Emma Tillinger Koskoff
*Little Women-Pro.: Amy Pascal
*Marriage Story-Pro.: Noah Baumbach and David Heyman
*Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-David Heyman, Shannon McIntosh and Quentin Tarantino
*Parasite-Pro.: KWAK Sin-Ae and BONG Joon Ho

I know this is gonna sound a bit like I'm saying I got this right even though I didn't, but-eh, well, all the films I did predict to get nominated, got nominated. I only thought there'd be eight nominees, but that's still not bad. I think had "Ford v Ferrari" done better at BAFTA, 'cause I had it in my predictions until then, but when they underperformed there, where I thought a film about Le Mans would have more traction, I kinda re-evaluated it after that. That's probably why I put "Knives Out" and "Bombshell" in my ninth and tenth spots. I'm kicking myself at that one, 'cause I feel like I should've had that, but...- Damn BAFTA making me second guess.


DIRECTING
*BONG Joon-ho-"Parasite"
*Sam Mendes-"1917"
Todd Phillips-"Joker"
*Martin Scorsese-"The Irishman"
*Quentin Tarantino-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"

I'm really shocked Todd Phillips got in here. It's actually kinda scaring me, since "Green Book" managed to win Best Picture without a Peter Farrelly nomination last year, and that was another comedy director making a serious dramatic film too. Although, I guess Adam McKay's recent shift like that never bothered me, 'cause I always thought of him as a great director to begin with, "Anchorman..." and "The Other Guys" are hilarious btw, but with Phillips...- look, I haven't seen "Joker" yet, it's probably really good, but I have never thought of Todd Phillips as a particularly strong director and to be honest, I never thought his comedy films were that great. Even "The Hangover", it's funny, but I don't actually think it's as compelling or interesting as others do and the more time has past, the worst it gets too; it's far from the great comedy of our time. Well, I'll probably like "Joker" more then "Green Book" when I do get to it, so at least there's that. I had Baumbach getting in instead. I'm actually really surprised how much "Marriage Story" has underperformed. I haven't seen the movie yet, sure, but still this is pretty shocking to me; I wonder if this is a case of a film seeming too familiar to the Acaemy awards. I mean, it's a movie about entertainment people getting divorced, it's probably something that hits a little too close to home for a lot of members of the Academy. 


LEADING ACTOR
Antonio Banderas-"Pain and Glory"
*Leonardo DiCaprio-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
*Adam Driver-"Marriage Story"
*Joaquin Phoenix-"Joker"
Jonathan Pryce-"The Two Popes"

Eh, yeah, after I posted my ballot, I started looking around at some others and I kept seeing Antonio Banderas's name, and-eh, yeah, I should've saw that coming. He's long overdue for a nomination, and it's a beloved Almodovar film..., yeah, I probably should've taken a second look at that one and recalibrated that thinking; I'm glad he finally got a nomination though, he was long overdue. I had Christian Bale in 'cause he got in at SAG, but I guess I should've paid more attention to Jonathan Pryce's nod at BAFTA. Taron Egerton getting snubbed though is really a bit surprising for me at this point; he had gotten in everywhere and especially considering how beloved they liked Rami Malek and "Bohemian Rhapsody" last year, which in hindsight still feels like their love of that film feels weird and misplaced, it seems weird that they didn't care as much for "Rocketman". So, Banderas, I'm kicking myself, but Egerton getting snubbed, that one surprises me a lot.


LEADING ACTRESS
Cynthia Erivo-"Harriet"
*Scarlett Johansson-"Marriage Story"
Saorise Ronan-"Little Women"
*Charlize Theron-"Bombshell"
*Renee Zellweger-"Judy"

Goddammit! I knew it was a bad idea to jump on "The Farewell" train. I knew "Little Women" would underperform, and it did, but the Academy just loves Saoirse Ronan, and if there's a reason to nominate her, she's always getting in. I guess I just wanted Nyong'o in too much, but I really am shocked that Cynthia Erivo got in. Looking back, I probably shouldn't have ignored her SAG nomination, but I kinda figured since she's probably getting in for Song, which she did, that I could go elsewhere there, plus the movie itself, it only got Song and Actress, it just didn't do well anywhere else and that was across the whole award season. Oh well.


SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Kathy Bates-"Richard Jewell"
*Laura Dern-"Marriage Story"
*Scarlett Johansson-"Jojo Rabbit"
*Florence Pugh-"Little Women"
*Margot Robbie-"Bombshell"

Well, I know how this happened. Jennifer Lopez getting snubbbed, eh, I didn't predict it, but I should've 'cause she's always been a bit overlooked and yeah, she's not exactly overly beloved by some people in Hollywood. Also, "Hustlers" was basically only getting her if it gets anything, so it was easy to ignore. I gotta remember that in the future, if a Supporting Actor/Actress gets in everywhere, but only for that, he/she is probably a snub at Oscars. Now, why Kates Bates getting in for "Richard Jewell" of all thing? Well, while Lopez isn't beloved by the Academy, Kathy Bates has a lot of Academy pull, much more then people realize. Perhaps a little too much actually, she's pretty high up in the Board, and I've heard rumor that she was the reason the Academy left Joan Rivers off the In Memoriam that year, 'cause she hated her; that's only a rumor but yeah, she has the same kind of influence over the Academy that Lily Tomlin kinda has over the Television Academy, so I probably should've thought of that more, but again, she only got in at the Globes and I don't think anybody thought she had much of a chance at that.


SUPPORTING ACTOR
Tom Hanks-"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
Anthony Hopkins-"The Two Popes"
*Al Pacino-"The Irishman"
*Joe Pesci-"The Irishman"
*Brad PItt-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"

Well, the three we expected got in. Well, I guess the Academy couldn't stomach turning down Mr. Rogers twice, so kudos to Tom Hanks for finally getting nominated this millenium. I guess the Acting Branch just liked the "Parasite" cast as a whole and not any individual performance? I don't know; Anthony Hopkins getting in, I guess that's nice. First time he's been in since the last century, so I guess he was due and as we've learned throughout this nominations list, the Academy does indeed have a Netflix account and they like to use it. I had Willem Dafoe in here instead; I'm glad I called "The Lighthouse" for Cinematography, but yeah, I guess I was stretching trying to give it two. Boy, it's a good thing Cynthia Erivo got in, or #OscarsSoWhite would've defintiely struck again. Oh, wait, Banderas's nomination too. Wait, would you consider Spaniards to be Not White? Eh, he's speaks Spanish in his film, I guess he qualities.


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
*The Irishman-Steven Zaillian
*Jojo Rabbit-Taika Waititi
*Joker-Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
*Little Women-Greta Gerwig
*The Two Popes-Anthony McCarten

This was a pretty easy call, so I'm not celebrating my 5 for 5 on this one. There's always one writing category that becomes easier to predict since there's less films that can reasonably be considered nominees, so.... This'll be an interesting race though.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
1917-Sam Mendes and Krysty Wilson-Cairns
*Knives Out-Rian Johnson
*Marriage Story-Noah Baumbach
*Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Quentin Tarantino
*Parasite-BONG Joon Ho and HAN Jin Won

I had "The Farewell" here, again, I shouldn't have jumped on that train, but "1917" getting in here is a big sign. It also showed up in Editing, which is even a bigger sign, especially considering what got snubbed there; we'll get to that, but right now, I have "1917" in as the Best Picture favorite. It getting in here is huge. Also,  "Knives Out" get the annual award for getting only one nomination and that being in Writing, so congratulations for that prestigious honor!  Also, husband and wife Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig each got writing nominations in the same year, but in different categories and for different films. I'm not sure that's happened before or not, but that's a cool little factoid.


ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
*How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World-Dean DeBlois, Bradford Lewis and Bonnie Arnold
*I Lost My Body-Jeremy Clapin and Marc du Pontavice
Klaus-Sergio Pablos, Jinko Gotoh and Marisa Roman
Missing Link-Chris Butler, Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight
*Toy Story 4-Josh Coogley, Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera

HOLY FUCK! This was the first time today I uttered loudly at a snub. I'll admit, I just didn't buy into "Missing Link" much at all; I just couldn't figure out a spot for it and I thought there was gonna be something  more off-the-wall that would get in instead, and I guess "I Lost My Body" and "Klaus" getting in was that off-the-wall quota, but I certainly thought "Missing Link" was more likely to get in than "Frozen II" getting snubbed! What the hell happened there; were the A.M.P.A.S. just pissed off at all the "Let It Go" their kids were singing in their home and wanted revenge?! Wow. Also, Netflix got two movies into this category; that shouldn't be overlooked.


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
*American Factory-Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
The Cave-Feras Fayyad, Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjaer
The Edge of Democracy-Petra Costa, Joanna Natasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan
*For Sama-Waad Al-Kateab and Edward Watts
Honeyland-Ljubo Stefanov, Tamara Kotevska and Atanas Georgiev

And the unpredictable Documentary Branch keeps it's streak up. That said, I did see a lot of people had "The Cave" and "Honeyland" on their ballot, but "Apollo 11" getting snubbed is really weird. I guess it's partly because it's all just old footage reedited. I mean, I heard some people think it might actually sneak into the Editing category, but I guess some people don't think of that as a true documentary. That's the best guess I can come up with. Also, "Honeyland" is the first film get nominated for both Best Documentary Feature and Best International/Foreign Language Film, so congratulation to the nation of North Macedonia! We're going with North Macedonia now? Alright.


BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Corpus Christi (Poland)
Honeyland (North Macedonia)
*Les Miserables (France)
*Pain and Glory (Spain)
*Parasite (South Korea)

Yeah, as a rule stay away from documentaries in the Forei  (sigh) International Film category, but apparently this "Honeyland" is really a special one. Little surprised "Atlantics" didn't get in here; I thought that one was pretty sure to be in, but I guess the Academy didn't get around to that one on their Netflix account. I knew it wouldn't be "Beanpole" that got that last Eastern European holocaust film slot, but I went with "The Painted Bird" instead. I guess, I was trying to figure out which country was the more respected filmmaking country, honestly it's pretty close between Poland, Czech Republic and Russia historically, so I'm not surprised I missed that one.


CINEMATOGRAPHY
*1917-Roger Deakins
*The Irishman-Rodrigo Prieto
Joker-Lawrence Sher
*The Lighthouse-Jarin Blaschke
*Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Robert Richardson

Okay, I guess there was a reason to leave off "Ford v Ferrari". (Shrugs) Alright, called that wrong. Still, I looked at the trailer for "Joker"; eh, maybe there's better lighting over the whole movies. Other than that, I'm happy I called "The Lighthouse" but I guess nothing really surprising here.


COSTUME DESIGN
The Irishman-Sandy Powell and Christopher Peterson
*Jojo Rabbit-Mayes C. Rubeo
Joker-Mark Bridges
Little Women-Jacqueline Durran
*Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Arianne Phillips

So, the night before the Oscar nominations, the Critics Choice awards happened and they gave "Dolemite is My Name" their Costume Design award. I think I thought that might get in here, because Ruth E. Carter had won the year before for "Black Panther", but you know, in hindsight, she's usually been ignored by the Oscars for most of her career. I had Jacqueline Durran getting snubbed instead; I am just stupid for that. And of course, I through in "Aladdin" as my 100-1 odds shot to get in, so that one, yeah, I probably should've rethought that. I'm a little surprised "The Irishman" got in though. "Little Women" also missed the CDGs so that's why I missed that one. "Joker" makes sense but I thought that was too modern a film, and that was also snubbed by CDG. Actually, this is actually a weird list since all of the films got into Best Picture. That doesn't usually happen; the last time it did was-eh, um,... um...-, hold on has that ever happened? (Google search) No, it hasn't! Wow, no wonder I was so off; I couldn't imagine five Best Picture nominees getting in here, 'cause it never happened before, even during the years when they gave out two Costume Design Oscars, one of color and for black-and-white films.

FILM EDITING
*Ford v Ferrari-Michael McCusker
*The Irishman-Thelma Schoonmaker
*Jojo Rabbit-Tom Eagles
Joker-Jeff Groth
*Parasite-Jinmo YANG

Okay, so, no "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" is a bad omen. I had the rest getting in, boy does this mean it's between "The Irishman" and "Joker" for Best Picture? Well, yeah, pretty much. Well, "Parasite" I guess got everything it needed, but there hasn't been a Best Picture winner without an acting nomination since-eh, I think "Slumdog Millionaire". I guess "1917" is still in, since that movie has that one take motif, which, the only movie to win Best Picture in the last forty years to win Best Picture without editing was "Birdman..." so, I guess that's the standard that keeps "1917" in this. "1917" btw, won the Critics Choice Editing award, so yeah, I guess "1917" is still in, and by that logic, I think it's still Best Picture favorite.


MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
1917-Naomi Donne, Tristan Versluis and Rebecca Cole
*Bombshell-KAZU HIRO, Anne Morgan, and Vivian Baker
Joker-Nicki Ledermann and Kay Georgiou
*Judy-Jeremy Woodhead
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil-Paul Gooch, Arjen Tuiten and David White

Goddamn Makeup Branch, you had to be weird again! Well, that's more proof that "1917" and "Joker' are head-to-head for Best Picture. Now, I gotta watch "Maleficent 2"; I didn't like the first one. That's it now, even with five nominees and an other normal-looking field of nominees you can imagine in the Makeup & Hairstyling shortlist, they will pick, guarentee, the strangest and most unusual pick. Also with "Judy" and "1917"'s nominations, more proof that the Makeup and Hairstylings Guild are absolutely useless Oscar prognosticators. Next time, I'm going by the trailers; I did that the year only I predicted "Suicide Squad" I should just stick with that.


ORIGINAL SCORE
*1917-Thomas Newman
*Joker-Hildur Godnadottir
*Little Women-Alexandre Desplat
*Marriage Story-Randy Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker-John Williams

Well, congratulations John Williams on your-eh, one, two, three, four, five, seven...- eh, 578th Oscar nomination, or whatever the hell it is. I think it's his 51st actually; he's actually really close to Walt Disney's record of 59; like he could reach it if this keeps up. Since 1967, eh, he had one stretch of six years where he didn't get nominated for anything, but other than that, it's pretty much clockwork that he'll get something, like, once every year or two, and he's been a double nominee several times; this is not an impossible goal if he keeps working. He's 87, Norman Lear's still producing TV and winning awards and he's ten years older then John. He's got two more projects lined up. I thought this as Actress would be where "Us" would show up, but I did hear some rumors that "Us" had some controversy of not being entirely original, so I guess I should've bumped it off for that. I guess I would've liked to have seen something different, but we still got a pretty good battle between the winless Thomas Newman's who tied his cousin's record for music nominations without that Hildur girl who's last name nobody can spell correctly for "Joker".


ORIGINAL SONG
"I'm Standing With You"-Breakthrough-Music/Lyric: Diane Warren
*"Into the Unknown"-Frozen II-Music/Lyrics: Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez
*"Stand Up"-Harriet-Music/Lyris: Joshuah Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo
*"(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again"-Rocketman-Music: Elton John; Lyric: Bernie Taupin
"I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away"-Toy Story 4-Music/Lyrics: Randy Newman

Okay, so we're just nominating Diane Warren no matter what she writes a song for now! Look, Academy, I know you want to write this wrong, like, legit, you've screwed her at least twice that I can think of when she should've won, and she is overdue, she's approaching both Newmans with this, her 10th nomination without a win, but you've gotta be a little more selective here; she's clearly not winning this year, why even bother?! Speaking of people who took forever to finally win this thing, I also overlooked Randy Newman in my predictions for the song from "Toy Story 4"; eh, I guess that was a cute song, and I did have it, like 7th or 8th among the shortlist; I guess I don't have any problems with the nomination, I just thought it was one of his least memorable ones. It might work better in the context of the movie. Also, are we just nominating any actress who was a songwriting credit for her film twice now?! That's the second time in a few years I've missed that; after Mary J. Blige pulled off that double-nomination pairing in a year, and I'd have to check, but I don't remember anyone pulling that off before; I don't even think Streisand did that, and now it's happened twice in what a three-year span? At least it makes more sense here, 'cause I'll be honest, as much as I love "Mudbound" I never really understood why she got the acting nomination or that, so kudos to Erivo, I guess. "Glasgow" got robbed though!


PRODUCTION DESIGN
*1917-Pro.: Dennis Gassner; Set: Lee Sandales
*The Irishman-Pro.: Bob Shaw; Set: Regina Graves
*Jojo Rabbit-Pro.: Ra Vincent; Set: Nora Sopkova
*Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Pro.: Barbara Ling; Set: Nancy Haigh
*Parasite-Pro.: LEE Ha Jun; Set: CHO Won Woo

Huh. I actually got this category completely right! I legitimately thought I was crazy not throwing a sci-fi or fantasy film into this, but-eh, wow. Um, cool. This is an interesting category too; I'm not certain who's gonna get in this? Critics Choice went with "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood", I guess that's the favorite for now, but I can see any of these winnning.


SOUND EDITING
*1917-Oliver Tarney and Rachel Tate
*Ford v Ferrari-Donald Sylvester
*Joker-Alan Robert Murray
*Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Wylie Stateman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker-Matthew Wood and David Acord

Interestingly, I got four right in each of the Sound categories, and I got the same four right in both; I just kept missing the last one. I had "Avengers..." here, and they went "Star Wars..."; I guess I thought since "Star Wars..." got such a negative critical reaction that "Avengers..." would've been more likely to get in here instead, but I get they just like "Star Wars" better, which, honestly I can understand. Oh, Wylie Stateman btw, this is his ninth nomination and he's yet to win. Not sure who the favorite is here actually; I imagine it's probably between the war movie and the racing movie. All five films are Best Picture nominees too. That hasn't happened, ever, either. First the Costume Designers, now the Sound Editors are just matching Best Picture? I know it's nine nominees, but stilll. (Okay, it did happen in '81 when "Raiders of the Lost Ark" won the award but back then, there was only one nominee; they didn't really give out Sound nominations back then.


SOUND MIXING
*1917-Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
Ad Astra-Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulano
*Ford v Ferrari-Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow
*Joker-Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic and Tod Maitland
*Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Michael Minkler, Christian P. Minkler and Mark Ulano

I think everybody thought that if "Ad Astra" was gonna show up anywhere that it would've been in Visual Effects; ironically it blanked there, but usurped "Rocketman" and "Avengers..." to sneak in the last spot for Sound Mixing. (Although Gary Rydstrom is a legendary sound mixer, so I probably should've caught that early.) "Rocketman" really got snubbed here, only getting Best Song. I'm trying to understand this, apparently they loved, "Bohemian Rhapsody" way more then I did, especially in these sound categories last year, meanwhile, I don't think "Rocketman"'s the greatest jukebox musical ever or anything, but I certainly found it for more compelling and interesting then "Bohemian Rhapsody" last. Sound Mixing is usually where the music film gets in, I guess they didn't like the film.


VISUAL EFFECTS
1917-Guillaume Rocheron, Greg Butler and Dominic Tuohy
*Avengers: Endgame-Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Matt Aitken and Dan Sudick
The Irishman-Pablo Helman, Leandro Estebecorena, Nelson Sepulveda-Fauser and Stephane Grable
*The Lion King-Robert Legator, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliot Newman
*Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker-Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach and Dominic Tuohy

Yeah, there's something weird going on here. I'm convinced now. I know I should've put "The Irishman" in; I should've look more into the technology-, I mean, there was talk about it, but VES only put them in Supporting Effects and that was it,- I guess I should've look into how revolutionary it was. Anyway, no "Alita: Battle Angel", which ran the table at VES, and yeah, we have no "Gemini Man", I guess that was me taking a shot. But still, the have "Avengers...", they "Star Wars...", basically they're nominating the obligatory, like-, the biggest movies that they, hypothetically could nominated, that might be considered the best, biggest or most important movies of the year. I mean, I'm not crazy about, movies that are probably objectively worst getting in instead, but if the special effects are better, then I don't know why they shouldn't be in instead. There should be more variety in these technical categories, in general. Maybe if they only had five Best Picture noms, in wouldn't seem so homogenous, but especially in the technical categories, most of the times, you don't just want to continuously see only the same films nominated in every category.


ANIMATED SHORT
Dcera (Daughter)-Daria Kashcheeva
*Hair Love-Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
*Kitbull-Rosana Sullivan and Kathryn Hendrickson
Memorable-Bruno Collet and Jean-Francois Le Corre
*Sister-Siqi Song

The three I saw ended up getting in. That could just be that they were also the best of the bunch, but I suspect availability helps. I had some inkling that "Dcera" might get in, I think I had that one sixth. Eh, "Memorable" was not memorable to me and I'm really surprised they went with "The Physics of Sorrow" instead, especially considering the uniqueness of the animation style. I guess the story in "Memorable" might be better then it reads.


LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
*Brotherhood-Meryam Joobeur and Maria Gracia Turgeon
Nefta Football Club-Yves Piat and Damien Megherbi
*The Neighbors' Window-Marshall Curry
*Saria-Bryan Buckley
A Sister-Delphie Girard

I'm not terribly shocked I missed on "Sometimes, I Think About Dying," I knoew I should've probably picked "A Sister", but I only got a trailer of that, and I saw the whole of "Sometimes...", which I frankly probably liked the best of the bunch. I did see "Nefta Football Club", I think I had it 6th, that was a good one too, I just thought "Refugee"'s looked more impressive. The only one of the nominees that I didn't see in fact was "A Sister". I guess that could also mean that availability helps here, although both me and the Academy decided to pass on "Miller & Son". BTW, short film people, come up more interesting and unique titles! Seriously, we a short cartoon called "Sister" and a short live-action nominee called, "A Sister". As well as a film called "Daughter", a film called "Brotherhood",- like, c'mon, you're a short film already! Nobody's watching you to begin with, don't make it easier to skip over you with a generic forgettable title. You don't have to call something "Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)" but come up with better than this. "Kitbull" for instance; that's a unique word that stands out and isn't obnoxiously long or painfully generic, so it can be done, you know.


DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
In the Absence-Yi Seung-Jun and Gary Byung-seok Kam
*Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)-Carol Dysinger and Elena Andreicheva
Life Overtakes Me-John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson
*St. Louis Superman-Smriti Mundhra and Sami Khan
*Walk Run Cha-Cha-Laura Nix and Colette Sandstedt

I guess in terms of subject matter, "In the Absence" is probably a little more important a doc then "Fire in Paradiese" although I hate saying something like that, 'cause I'm literally comparing horrorific tragedies where several people lost their lives to one another, but I guess that's why "In the Absence" got in and I can honestly kinda respect that, believe it or not. "Life Overtakes Me" though; I guess that was good, and that tackles a distressing pattern of illness of the world, but I really thought there were better option here, especially "Stay Close" which was one of the more entertaining films on the shortlist, but even if you didn't care about the filmmaking and cared more about the content; I would've picked "The Nightcrawlers" to get in instead. I guess it makes a little sense, since there's usually one weird hospital. Glad to see some inspiring and fun ones get in though, especially "St. Louis Superman"; that could be a spoiler here. It stands out as different enough for me. Still suspect Learning to Skateboard..." might be ahead early on. Oh, also, Netflix 2 nominations here, A&E got one, MTV got one and New York Times got one here, so PBS got screwed but other then that, the quota's were met there.

Alright, we got way too little time 'til the envelopes are opened now. Let me do my count here, I got 85 correct out of 25 x 5 + 9 = eh, 134, 85/134  eh, 63%, I've done better in the past. This shortened Oscar season is already painful and there's no host to look forward to in a couple weeks. I'll be back for predictions and analysis of and for the show itself. 



Sunday, January 12, 2020

MY OFFICIAL 2019 92nd OSCARS NOMINATIONS PREDICTIONS!!!

Last year, I basically punted with the Oscar predictions. It's not that I got things right or wrong; I always get one or two these wrong and nobody honest ever actually gets these entirely right, ever, but mostly I was just preoccupied and busy. I was behind on films, even for me, and I wasn't really able to spend the time I wanted to analyze and consider the possible nominations and winners as before. And I just wasn't able to participate in the award season as I normally would've liked too. I'm not gonna say that that condition has changed necessarily; I steal feel more behind then ever and I have even less time to keep up with things than ever before. I feel like I spend what little free time I ever get anymore writing about movies then I ever do watching them. I don't want to feel this disconnected with the Awards race, but it seems like I am more often than not anymore and that's just to keep up. I'm trying desperately more and more often to cover these films, yet, I don't actually have the ability to see them in a timely manner I like. I can't see them in a timely manner even when I have the ability. I still haven't gotten to "The Irishman" yet, and I have a Netflix account, it's streaming. I find time to finally start watching "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" on it, but somehow, I can't seem to get around to "The Irishman".

I wish I had more time, but it's a catch-22, if I spend more time on that now, then I can't spend time on this, and vice-versa and also, I can't get too much ahead on something, 'cause professionally outside of this blog, without getting into too many details, I'm in a bit of limbo myself. Just sorta waiting around to be called upon and while there's benefits to that, it means I have to pick-and-choose the projects I'm working on in my spare time more carefully, including this blog. But that makes some sense too, especially considering that more-than-ever the Oscars themselves seem to be in limbo.

The last couple years, and especially during John Bailey's run as President, and thank Christ he's out, finally, the Oscars have been doing exactly the oppossite of what they should. They've been trying to please and react to whatever they believe everybody else seems to want. Announcements done like morning news segments that feel like bad Regis & Kelly reruns, the Popular Film category debacle, the bizarre shortlists idea for categories that frankly do not benefit from having them, (And genuinely pisses me off, especially since for categories like Best Song, I prefer a longlist, so I can find cool songs that I wouldn't otherwise) the strange sudden need to change the Foreign Language category to the International Film category, and worst of all, the insistence on not having a host. When I did finally watch last years Oscars, it was fucking awful not having a host, and no I don't understand why we're doing that again. What the hell, just ask Ricky Gervais or Ellen DeGenerous or whomever, what do they want and need for the gig, and give it to them! We need M.C.'s stop acting like an ancient idea. That's the big problem, all these decisions, good and bad have been the Academy trying to please or accomodate everyone else, when what they should really be doing is setting the trends for others to follow instead. That's always been the Academy's strength and more and more they're losing and forgetting that.

Let's hope, if nothing else, we look back on the films that win and get nominated for the little gold naked men statues this year, at least feel progressively in the art and craft of filmmaking at least. Although after last year, who knows. And since I do know some people who might be in some Oscar pools, or making bets through other nefarious means, let's go through the annual motions of this and try to help everybody who only cares about that too. I always try to prepare for every reasonable possibility in every category and then make then do my Carnac the Magnificent impression, so let's once again put what little reputation I have as a pundit/prognosticator on the line.

Let's start with Best Picture.


2019 OSCARS PREDICTIONS!

BEST PICTURE (Possibles, longlist)
"1917"
"Ad Astra"
"The Aeronauts"
"Alita: Battle Angel"
"Apollo 11"
"Ash is Purest White"
"Atlantics"
"Avengers: Endgame"
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
"Blinded By the Light"
"Bombshell"
"Booksmart"
"Bunuel and the Labyrinth of the Turtles"
"Cats"
"Clemency"
"Dark Waters"
"Diane"
"Doctor Sleep"
"Dolemite is My Name"
"Downton Abbey"
"The Etruscan Smile"
"The Farewell"
"For Sama"
"Ford v Ferrari"
"Gemini Man"
"Give Me Liberty"
"The Good Liar"
"Harriet"
"A Hidden Life"
"High Life"
"Honey Boy"
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"
"Hustlers"
"I Lost My Body"
"The Irishman"
"Joker"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"Judy"
"Just Mercy"
"Knives Out"
"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"
"Les Miserables"
"The Lighthouse"
"The Lion King"
"Little Women"
"Luce"
"Marriage Story"
"Midsommar"
"Monos"
"Motherless Brooklyn"
"Mouthpiece"
"The Mustang"
"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
"Pain and Glory"
"Parasite"
"The Peanut Butter Falcon"
"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"
"Queen & Slim"
"The Report"
"Richard Jewell"
"Rocketman"
"Seberg"
"Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker"
"Tel Aviv on Fire"
"Toy Story 4"
"The Two Popes"
"Uncut Gems"
"Us"
"Waves"
"Weathering for You"
"Wild Rose"
"Yesterday"

As always, I try to include any or as many possible winners for each category that isn't shortlisted, because I've had it in the past where a film or two that I didn't even consider a Best Picture candidate has snuck in to Best Picture or other categories. Remember, Best Picture, it's a ranked voting system, so ten films, maximum are on these ballots and a floating number between 5-10 films can be nominated, and in order to be nominated, the film must show up here, on a minimum of 5% of the total ballots. According to Deadline, there's a little 8,200 members of the voting Academy this year, and all of them are eligible to vote for Best Picture. (Other categories, are a little more limiting to the Branch the members are in. [Also, I know most of you probably know this, but some don't and I do get new readers regularly, it's always nice to remind people]) For those wondering where I get these titles, a few places, there's an Academy Awards Reminder list of all the eligible films:

https://pmcdeadline2.files.wordpress.com/2019/12/92nd_oscars_reminder_list.pdf

I'm also paying very close attention to several award shows, most notably the Guild Awards, since those often have the most correlation with Academy voting members, and I keep an eye on Gold Derby's odds, you can find those at Goldderby.com. So basically, if I can find somebody who thinks that a movie is a Best Picture of the year and eligible, I'm including it in this longlist, and the same goes for most of the categories that the Academy hasn't already shortlisted. With Best Picture, the big one is the Producer's Guild, PGA, and no real surprises here. PGA is noteworthy cause the have the same voting system as the Oscars for Best Picture. No real shocker here, I guess they included "Ford v Ferrari" instead of "Bombshell" which the Screen Actors Guild, SAG, had in their Ensemble category. All the BAFTA nominees were in PGA, and DGA, the Directors Guild for Best Director, Golden Globes, they included "The Two Popes", "Dolemite is My Name and "Rocketman", but they had separate Drama and Comedy categories, but still, surprised they matched pretty well actually. Basically, I think it's a guarantee nomination, right now for "1917", "The Irishman", "Joker", "Little Women", "Marriage Story", "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" and "Parasite", that's seven. They usually have at least eight.... I think "Jojo Rabbit" probably has the eighth slot; I'm a little nervous, 'cause I've been fooled by a surprise DGA nomination in the past, and "Jojo Rabbit" got that this year. I'm trying to figure out now, if anything else gets 5% of the vote. I can see "Knives Out", "Bombshell", "Ford v Ferrari" and maybe "Rocketman" and "The Two Popes" fighting for a possible ninth or tenth spot. Critics Choice threw in "Uncut Gems" as a spoiler, I'm very reluctant to pick that, especially with that being an Adam Sandler-led movie, even though Benny & Josh Safide have been some very interesting up-and-comers, they might sneak into screenplay, but they're movies are pretty polarizing to begin with; I'm just not seeing a 5% threshold being broken for them.


BEST PICTURE (PREDICTIONS)
1917
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Joker
Little Women
Marriage Story

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Parasite
*(9th) Knives Out
*(10th) Bombshell


I think it's only gonna be eight, but look out for "Knives Out" as a surprise nominee; the fans of that movie seem to be huge, so I can see that getting a lot of big number one votes. "Bombshell" was been overperforming everywhere, mostly in the acting categories and the actors do hold most of the positions at the Academy, so if there's a nine or ten, it's one of them, and if they're in and something else is out, or they pick less films this year, I think "Little Women", probably is on the bubble for Best Picture, and I think "Jojo Rabbit", might be a little strange for the Academy. I know that director Taika Waititi has been a bit strange for me in the past..., so that's my reasoning. I originally wasn't gonna put "Joker" in there, but it led the BAFTAs (British Oscars equivalent) in nominations, and overperformed at the Golden Globes, which-, the Globes I don't really focus on much, but that with the BAFTAs; I think that puts it in.


BEST DIRECTOR (Possibles, longlist)
Waad Al-Kaleab and Edward Walls-"For Sama"
Pedro Almodovar-"Pain and Glory"
Benedict Andrews-"Seberg"
Noah Baumbach-"Marriage Story"
Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert-"American Factory"
Craig Brewer-"Dolemite is My Name"
Scott Z. Burns-"The Report"
Chris Butler-"Missing Link"
BONG Joon-ho-"Parasite"
Chinonye Chukwu-"Clemency"
Jeremy Clapin-"I Lost My Body"
Laure de Clermont-Tonnens-"The Mustang"
Josh Coolet-"Toy Story 4"
Bill Condon-"The Good Liar"
Petra Costa-"The Edge of Democracy"
Destin Daniel Cretton-"Just Mercy"
Nia DaCosta-"Little Woods"
Mati Diop-"Atlantics"
Clint Eastwood-"Richard Jewell"
Michael Engler-"Downton Abbey"
Robert Eggers-"The Lighthouse"
Dexter Fletcher-"Rocketman"
Feras Fayyad-"The Cave"
Mike Flanagan-"Doctor Sleep"
Greta Gerwig-"Little Women"
Rupert Goold-"Judy"
James Gray-"Ad Astra"
Alma Har'el-"Honey Boy"
Tom Harper-"The Aeronauts"
Todd Haynes-"Dark Waters"
Marielle Heller-"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
Alex Holmes-"Maiden"
Tom Hooper-"Cats"
Rian Johnson-"Knives Out"
Kent Jones-"Diane"
Asif Kapadia-"Diego Maradona"
Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov-"Honeyland"
Ang Lee-"Gemini Man"
Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck-"Frozen II"
Kasi Lemmons-"Harriet"
Terrence Malick-"A Hidden Life"
James Mangold-"Ford v Ferrari"
Melina Matsoukas-"Queen & Slim"
Fernando Meirelles-"The Two Popes"
Sam Mendes-"1917"
David Michod-"The King"
Kirill Mikhanovsky-"Give Me Liberty"
Todd Douglas Miller-"Apollo 11"
Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz-"The Peanut Butter Falcon"
Edward Norton-"Motherless Brooklyn"
Julius Onah-"Luce"
Amy Overbeck-"The Biggest Little Farm"
Sergio Pablos-"Klaus"
Jordan Peele-"Us"
Todd Phillips-"Joker"
Jay Roach-"Bombshell"
Anthony Russo & Joe Russo-"Avengers: Endgame"
Benny Safdie & Josh Safdie-"Uncut Gems"
Lorene Scafaria-"Hustlers"
Celine Sciamma-"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"
Martin Scorsese-"The Irishman"
Trey Edward Schultz-"Waves"
Makoto Shinksi-"Weathering with You"
Steven Soderbergh-"The Laundromat"
Joe Talbot-"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"
Quentin Tarantino-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
Taiki Waititi-"Jojo Rabbit"
Lulu WANG-"The Farewell"
Nanfu WANG and Jialing ZHANG-"One Child Nation"
Olivia Wilde-"Booksmart"

So, among the Guilds, the DGA is generally the most accurate Oscar predictor out there. They went with Tarantino, Scorsese, BONG, Mendes and Waititi. Now that said, it's a bit rare for the five DGA nominees to perfectly match with the five Oscar nominees. It hasn't happened since 2009, so there's usally at least one that's left off at the Oscars. So, who else can get in here? Well, Todd Phillips got in at BAFTA and the Globes, Critics Choice had Gerwig, Baumbach and the Safdie Brothers. I guess you can never count out Terrence Malick, he's been nominated without any previous nods before. James Mangold, might be able to sneak in if the academy likes "Ford v Ferrari" more then we think they do right now. I think BONG Joon-Ho is safe, but last year, we had a rare surprise second Directing nominee for a foreign language film in the category; I think if that happens, Celina Sciamma might be the most likely second nominee. Plus, she gets into the quota of a female director as well, so does Lulu Wang for "The Farewell", if the Academy cares about not getting bombasted on Twitter for that. Fernando Meirelles has pulled off the little-to-no prognosticator nominees before as well. At one point I might've said to look out for Eastwood, but I'm not seeing that now.


BEST DIRECTOR (PREDICTIONS)
Noah Baumbach-"Marriage Story"
BONG Joon-ho-"Parasite"
Sam Mendes-"1917"
Martin Scorsese-"The Irishman"
Quentin Tarantino-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"

This is a tough one; normally in this situation I would defer consider deferring to who got into SAG Ensemble, but actually last year for the first time since "Braveheart" won Best Picture, they missed completely, and this year, particularly notable for being missing on that list was "Marriage Story", which was kinda strange, 'cause it got in everywhere else there. They also had "Bombshell" but that's not getting in for Directing. The only reason I'm kinda leaning towards Baumbach over Gerwig for "Little Women" and Waititi for "Jojo Rabbit" is seniority; I think the Academy is more ready to reward Baumback after a long directing career. Gerwig was already nominated a couple years ago for "Lady Bird", so there's no real rush on her, and Taika Waititi; I guess if you count his early New Zealand work he's been around for awhile; I remember not caring about "Eagle vs. Shark" and "Boy" but he's fairly new on the Hollywood scene. (Also, Baumbach is actually Greta Gerwig's real life husband, so they might want to even that household out? I don't know; I'm trying to consider everything that could sway a vote or two.) I think it's between Baumbach and Waititi for the last spot; I'm gonna lean towards Baumbach, and Waititi gets in for Screenplay as consulation, probably. I guess Todd Phillips or Pedor Almodovar wouldn't entirely surprise me either, but I'm not sure BAFTA and Globes support is enough for him.


BEST ACTOR (Possibles, longlist)
Christian Bale-"Ford v Ferrari"
Antonio Banderas-"The Laundromat"
Antonio Banderas-"Pain and Glory"
Hugh Bonneville-"Downton Abbey"
Timothee Chalamet-"The King"
Woo-Sik CHOI-"Parasite"
Daniel Craig-"Knives Out"
Willem Dafoe-"The Lighthouse"
Willem Dafoe-"Motherless Brooklyn"
Matt Damon-"Ford v Ferrari"
Roman Griffin Davis-"Jojo Rabbit"
Robert De Niro-"The Irishman"
Leonardo DiCaprio-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
August Diehl-"A Hidden Life"
Adam Driver-"Marriage Story"
Adam Driver-"The Report"
Taron Egerton-"Rocketman"
Jimmie Falls-"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"
Chris Galust-"Give Me Liberty"
Kelvin Harrison, Jr.-"Luce"
Kelvin Harrison, Jr.-"Waves"
Paul Walter Hauser-"Richard Jewell"
Andre Holland-"High Flying Bird"
Michael B. Jordan-"Just Mercy"
Noah Jupe-"Honey Boy"
Daniel Kaluuya-"Queen & Slim"
George Mackay-"1917"
George Mackay-"Ophelia"
Felix Maritaud-"Sauvage/Wild"
Ewan McGregor-"Doctor Sleep"
Ian McKellar-"The Good Liar"
Rory Kinnear-"Peterloo"
Eddie Murphy-"Dolemite is My Name"
Edward Norton-"Motherless Brooklyn"
Robert Pattinson-"The Lighthouse"
Joaquin Phoenix-"Joker"
Brad Pitt-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
Jonathan Pryce-"The Two Popes"
Brad Pitt-"Ad Astra"
Eddie Redmayne-"The Aeronauts"
Matthew Rhys-"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
Franz Rogowski-"Transit"
Mark Ruffalo-"Dark Waters"
Adam Sandler-"Uncut Gems"
Matthias Schoenaerts-"The Mustang"
Will Smith-"Gemini Man"
Jacob Tremblay-"Good Boys"

Best Actor is always a little difficult to predict, but I think we've mostly narrowed this down. SAG went DiCaprio, Egerton, Bale, Driver and Phoenix. Christian Bale, I'm reluctant to discard completely, 'cause the Academy has often nominated him recently, kinda arbitrarily sometimes. "The Big Short" is the big example in that regard for me. Also, he hasn't gotten in more often other than SAG. Critics Choice added Banderas, Murphy and Sandler, BAFTA threw in Pryce. Those are basically the nine that have popped up most everywhere. You can throw in Robert De Niro, but they don't need to give me another one, and Scorsese leading men in gangsters movies have actually not done well in the past..... If there's something really shocking here, maybe Roman Griffin Davis. Also, kind of a really outside name, Woo-Sik CHOI for "Parasite". That film got a very rare SAG Ensemble nomination, despite being a Foreign Language film, and it's run the table most everywhere else, it'd be a little odd for it to not pop up for an acting nomination somewhere.... Usually a presumed Best Picture foreign language contender gets an acting nomination, not counting "Letter from Iwo Jim" the last one that didn't was-eh, "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" I think. And that could be called an action movie which are typically ignored for acting roles, so before then, eh, you gotta go back to, wow, "Cries & Whispers". That actually surprises me; I would've thought Liv Ullmann would've gotten in for that.... Anyway, ....

BEST ACTOR (PREDICTIONS)
Christian Bale-"Ford v Ferrari"
Leonardo DiCaprio-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
Adam Driver-"Marriage Story"
Taron Egerton-"Rocketman"
Joaquin Phoenix-"Joker"

The only reason I'm not going with CHOI is because I think "Parasite" might be more likely to get in for Supporting Actor. I thought about either Eddie Murphy or Adam Sandler instead of Christian Bale, I can see either one of them getting in instead, but I think they have one or two hurdles too many. Sandler in particular is getting in at all the critics awards, but he missed all three of the big ones, SAG, Globes and BAFTA, and I don't think they're in a hurry to nominate him anyway, and Eddie Murphy, eh, would be nice, but I think some people might still be annoyed at him after how he reacted when he lost for "Dreamgirls", (Even though, he definitely should've won for that.) He's putting on a charm offensive though, so maybe he can sneak in here; I can also see DeNiro or Pryce getting in instead of Bale, or maybe DiCaprio get a surprise snub here, but short of feeling anything solid, I'm just gonna go paint with SAG here. I wouldn't mind seeing Antonio Banderas finally get nominated for an Almodovar film, but that movie is just overshadowed by several other foreign films this year.... Yeah, I'm just following SAG on this one.

BEST ACTRESS (Possibles, longlist)
Awkwafina-"The Farewell"
Cate Blanchett-"Where'd You Go Bernadette?"
Jessie Buckley-"Wild Rose"
Ana de Arnas-"Knives Out"
Kaitlyn Dever-"Booksmart"
Michelle Dockerty-"Downton Abbey"
Trine Dyrholm-"Queen of Hearts"
Joel Edgerton-"The King"
Cynthia Erivo-"Harriet"
Beanie Feldstein-"Booksmart"
Rebecca Ferguson-"Doctor Sleep"
Ainsling Franciosi-"The Nightingale"
Adele Haenel-"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"
Francesca Hayward-"Cats"
Isabelle Huppert-"Frankie"
Scarlett Johansson-"Marriage Story"
Felicity Jones-"The Aeronauts"
Jennifer Lopez-"Hustlers"
Gugu Mbatha-Raw-"Fast Color"
Thomasin McKenzie-"Jojo Rabbit"
Noemie Merlant-"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"
Helen Mirren-"The Good Liar"
Julianne Moore-"Gloria Bell"
Elisabeth Moss-"Her Smell"
Lupita Nyong'o-"Us"
Valerie Pancher-"A Hidden Life"
Mary Kay Place-"Diane"
Florence Pugh-"Fighting with My Family"
Florence Pugh-"Midsommar"
Saoirse Ronan-"Little Women"
Rosa Salazar-"Alita: Battle Angel"
Kristin Stweart-"Seberg"
Charlize Theron-"Bombshell"
Emma Thompson-"Late Night"
Jodie Turner-Smith-"Queen & Slim"
Michelle Williams-"After the Wedding"
Alfre Woodard-"Clemency"
Constance Wu-"Hustlers"
Renee Zellweger-"Judy"

Tricky category here; I think the only sure thing is Renee Zellweger. SAG went Erivo, Johansson, Nyong'o and Theron along with her. The only thing regarding regarding Scarlett Johansson that I'm worried about is that the fact that she's never been nominated, and at this point, if she doesn't get in now, then when? Famously, she kinda got snubbed for "Lost in Translation", partly because of some confusion regarding which category she was eligible for, and also because she was going for lead for "Girl with a Pearl Earring", so there was that, and she was still a new young actress at the time. However, the fact that even now, she's never been nominated, is just bizarre, although once again, two chances. (Although this time, she's clearly in Supporting for "Jojo Rabbit".) Anyhow, most other places have put Saoirse Ronan in for "Little Women", probably instead of Cynthia Erivo, who's struggled to get in most places outside of SAG, and the movie overall has not done well. Like, it's a biopic of Harriet Tubman, and it didn't even get into Best Picture at the Black Reel Awards! Like, part of me kinda is impressed that there were five other movies they found more impressive and representative of African-American films and filmmakers but still.... "Judy" not popping up in Best Picture categories either though, so there's that double-standard, but Erivo might get in for Song and Zellweger has the personal redemption arc, and it's Judy Garland she's playing so.... Theron I think is solidly in, Ronan, probably, the Academy tend to nominate her every chance she gets. Outside of that, Awkwafina might be a spoiler here; she won at the Globes for Musical and Comedy, but I don't know how many have seen that. I think Nyong'o might be the surprise fifth nominee; I've noticed the people who liked "Us" a lot are big on her performance and for a movie that came out earlier in the year, and as a movie that's supposedly underwhelming as Jordan Peele' s sophmore horror directing effort; it's overperformed at a lot of awards and Nyong'o in particular. The fact that she got into SAG, I thought was big. If there's somebody outside the norm, I could maybe see a scenario or two where Adele Haenel, Elisabeth Moss or Thomasin McKenzie or Mary Kay Place could sneak in, but I think they're on the outside looking in.


BEST ACTRESS (PREDICTIONS)
Awkwafina-"The Farewell"
Scarlett Johansson-"Marriage Story"
Lupita Nyong'o-"Us"
Charlize Theron-"Bombshell"
Renee Zellweger-"Judy"

So, I'm going out on a limb here and taking Awkwafina. I originally has Saoirse Ronan in instead, and she might still get in; I'm probably overrating Nyong'o if anything, but I'm a bit skeptical of "Little Women"'s overall popularity and I suspect Florence Pugh will get into Supporting, so if they want to honor it with an acting performance, that makes a little more sense to me then honoring Ronan again, and I think "The Farewell" is big enough that they're aware of it; the Globe win really helps Awkwafina, and yeah, there might be some voters who are looking for a diversity quota vote, and she would fit here, as well as fit the new talent, up-and-comer vote too. I'm still a bit skeptical, but I think I'm gonna gamble on this one and put her in.


BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (Possibles, longlist)
Alan Alda-"Marriage Story"
Joe Alwyn-"Harriet"
Alec Baldwin-"Motherless Brooklyn"
Antonio Banderas-"Pain and Glory"
Jamie Bell-"Rocketman"
Jon Bernthal-"Ford v Ferrari"
Sterling K. Brown-"Waves"
Jim Carter-"Downton Abbey"
Timothee Chalamet-"Little Women"
Dean-Charles Chapman-"1917"
Chris Cooper-"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
James Corden-"Cats"
Willem Dafoe-"The Lighthouse"
Willem Dafoe-"Motherless Brooklyn"
Robert De Niro-"Joker"
Robert Downey, Jr.-"Avengers: Endgame"
Chiwetel Ejiofor-"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"
Idris Elba-"Cats"
Chris Evans-"Knives Out'
Robert Fairchild-"Cats"
Jamie Foxx-"Just Mercy"
Victor Garber-"Dark Waters"
Brendan Gleeson-"Frankie"
Danny Glover-"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"
Jon Hamm-"The Report"
Tom Hanks-"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
Kelvin Harrison, Jr.-"Waves"
Paul Walter Hauser-"Richard Jewell"
Lucas Hedges-"Honey Boy"
Lucas Hedges-"Waves"
Aldis Hodge-"Clemency"
Anthony Hopkins-"The Two Popes"
Tommy Lee Jones-"Ad Astra"
Noah Jupe-"Honey Boy"
Ray Liotta-"Marriage Story"
Rob Morgan-"Just Mercy"
Robert Pattinson-"The King"
Clarke Peters-"Harriet"
Greg Kinnear-"Frankie"
Shia Labeouf-"A Hidden Life"
Tracy Letts-"Ford v Ferrari"
John Lithgow-"Bombshell"
Richard Madden-"Rocketman"
Jonathan Majors-"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"
Malcolm McDowell-"Bombshell"
Ian McKellan-"Cats"
Ben Mendehlson-"The King"
Leslie Odom, Jr.-"Harriet"
Gary Oldman-"The Laundromat"
Al Pacino-"The Irishman"
Joe Pesci-"The Irishman"
Brad Pitt-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
Bill Pullman-"Dark Waters"
Tim Robbins-"Dark Waters"
Sam Rockwell-"Jojo Rabbit"
Sam Rockwell-"Richard Jewell"
Michael Shannon-"Knives Out"
Wesley Snipes-"Dolemite is My Name"
Corey Stoll-"The Report"
Donald Sutherland-"Ad Astra"
SONG Kang-Ho-"Parasite"
Taika Waititi-"Jojo Rabbit"
Michael Kenneth Williams-"Motherless Brooklyn"
Bruce Willis-"Motherless Brooklyn"

Note to Gold Derby: don't put all the actors names in the first all-star cast film you see every year onto the Oscar polls! Especially since rarely do people actually get nominated in all-star cast films to begin with. Anyway, Brad Pitt is a clear lock. Pacino and Pesci, have been popping up everywhere, they're basically locks. After that, I think it gets a little tricky.... I do think Tom Hanks is probably in, but I'm worried about it. "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" has underperformed across the board, you could argue category fraud with him here too, some might call him a lead, but mostly, he's just been snubbed a lot lately. He hasn't been since nominated since "Cast Away"! That was almost twenty years ago, and it's not like there weren't opportunities. I knew he's a member of the Board of Directors, but still, he's been in five Best Picture nominees since then, not one nomination, and that's on top of other projects where he deserved the nod more, but he got all the big nods this year. SAGs, Critics, BAFTA and the Globes, and he's shown up on a lot of local critics awards too. Assuming he's fourth... well, SAG went Jamie Foxx for "Just Mercy", which is a bit of a strange nomination; that movie hasn't shown up anywhere else major, and the movie hasn't performed great either. There's usually one weird SAG nod where you really just ignore completely, like the Naomi Watts "St. Vincent" year, or Sarah Silverman's "I Smile Back" nominations (Although I do love that performance) that might be it this year. The weird thing is, most people think this is where "Parasite" will get in for SONG Kang-ho, normally that makes sense, 'cause foreign films rarely do well at SAG, so you gotta take a bit of a guess on them, but "Parasite" actually was on the SAG radar and it got in for Cast. It's also overperformed everywhere, but not always in the acting races. It'd be weird if it got the expected Director and Picture nomination, especially for a foreign film, without taking one actor along. Outside of him, Anthony Hopkins for "The Two Popes" might make some sense here. Willem Dafoe for "The Lighthouse" might be a spoiler; he's pulled off some unexpected weird nominations in recent years, I've seen some put Alan Alda in there thinking "Marriage Story" might get a nominee in every acting category, kinda like how Jacki Weaver unexpectedly got in for "Silver Linings Playbook" a few years ago. I'm not certain the Academy has seen "Dolemite is My Name", but for something outta leftfield Wesley Snipes might be a surprise here. If more people had seen "Waves", I might consider Kelvin Harrison, Jr. as a potential spoiler too, but that movie just doesn't have the audience.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR (PREDICTIONS)
Willem Dafoe-"The Lighthouse"
Al Pacino-"The Irishman"
Joe Pesci-"The Irishman"
Brad Pitt-"Once Upon a Time in Hollywood"
SONG Kang-ho-"Parasite"

This is another one where I changed my choice after I wrote it down. I talked myself out of predicting Tom Hanks. On top of the other thing that's got me worried about Tom Hanks is that last year, the Academy snubbed "Won't You Be My Neighbor?" the documentary about Mr. Rogers, so it's possible for them to snub Tom Hanks and Mr. Rogers, especially since this film isn't as highly regarded. I'm gonna take a gamble on Dafoe doing this again. I do get the feeling that they're trying to get him an Oscar soon anyway, and he gets in for that weird movie that might not show up anywhere else a lot. That and I just don't think the Academy wants to give Hanks another nomination unless it's something particularly different for him, and Mr. Nice Guy playing Mr. Rogers is almost too obvious. If he couldn't get it for Walt Disney, then I'm not sure why he'd get it here. (Shrugs)


BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (Possibles, longlist)
Tichina Arnold-"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"
Caitriona Balfe-"Ford v Ferrari"
Kathy Bates-"Richard Jewell"
Annette Bening-"The Report"
Julia Butters-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Yeo-jeung CHO-"Parasite"
Kyleigh Curran-"Doctor Sleep"
Jamie Lee Curtis-"Knives Out"
Penelope Cruz-"Pain and Glory"
Ana de Armas-"Knives Out"
Elizabeth Debicki-"Vita & Virginia"
Judi Dench-"Cats"
Laura Dern-"Little Women"
Laura Dern-"Marriage Story"
Joanne Froggatt
Isla Fisher-"The Beach Bum"
Julia Fox-"Uncut Gems"
Lucy Gallina-"The Irishman"
Renee Elise Goldsberry-"Waves"
Adele Haenel-"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"
Anne Hathaway-"Dark Waters"
Jennifer Hudson-"Cats"
Scarlett Johansson-"Avengers: Endgame"
Scarlett Johansson-"Jojo Rabbit"
Mindy Kaling-"Late Night"
Nicole Kidman-"Bombshell"
Brie Larson-"Just Mercy"
LEE Jeung-Eun-"Parasite"
Sophia Lillis-"It: Chapter Two"
Jennifer Lopez-"Hustlers"
Lesley Manville-"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"
Gugu Mbatha-Raw-"Motherless Brooklyn"
Thomasin McKenzie-"Jojo Rabbit"
Elizabeth McGovern-"Downton Abbey"
Janelle Monae-"Harriet"
Indya Moore-"Queen and Slim"
Julianne Moore-"After the Wedding"
Ruth Negga-"Ad Astra"
Lupita Nyong'o-"Us"
Anna Paquin-"The Irishman"
Florence Pugh-"Little Women"
Da'Vine Joy Randolph-"Dolemite is My Name"
Margot Robbie-"Bombshell"
Margot Robbie-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
Taylor Russell-"Waves"
Chloe Sevigney-"Queen and Slim"
Maggie Smith-"Downton Abbey"
Lauren "Lolo" Spencer-"Give Me Liberty"
Octavia Spencer-"Luce"
Imelda Staunton-"Downton Abbey"
Maryl Streep-"The Laundromat"
Meryl Streep-"Little Women"
Taylor Swift-"Cats"
Marisa Tomei-"Frankie"
Julie Walters-"Wild Rose"
Shahadi Wright Joseph-"Us"
Shuzhan ZHAO-"The Farewell"

If you're wondering "Cats" and "Downton Abbey" people on here, uh, look I love Gold Derby, but they do put odds outs pretty damn early sometimes.... Futures bets kids, don't make them! Alright, SAG was a bit interesting here, 'cause they threw two "Bombshell" people in, with Kidman and Robbie getting in, along with Dern for "Marriage Story", Johansson for "Jojo Rabbit" and Lopez for "Hustlers". If more people did that, I think I'd be more tempting to have the Oscars repeat, but it's probably more likely they're going with one. Or, none. Margot Robbie at BAFTA got in for both "Bombshell" and "Once Upon a Time... in America", and that's kinda interesting, because the Oscars don't allow an actor to be nominated twice in the same category in the same year, for different films. Personally, I hate this rule; if the same actor happened to give two of the five best performances that year in a category, then they should be eligible in the category for both, but that's neither here nor there. Still, I think Robbie is more likely to get in for "Bombshell", Dern is safely in, Lopez... hmm, well she didn't get into SAG or BAFTA, which is not great, but I think she's taking the Sly Stallone path to a nomination, so that doesn't bother me too much. I'm a little concerned if she's liked enough in the Academy to get in; part of me is worried this is Jennifer Aniston with "Cake" all over again, but I'll chance it. I can see, one of the "Parasite" girls showing up, maybe Meryl Streep because Meryl.... Kathy Bates might get in for "Richard Jewell"; that movie has gotten a lot of backlash but so has some of Eastwood's other recent contenders that underperformed at other awards. However, she didn't get into SAG or BAFTA or Critics Choice; I don't see her getting in. The only name, I'm kinda wondering about is Shuzhen ZHAO for "The Farewell". I can see Awkwafina getting in on name recognition and her Oscar campaigning; I'm not sure ZHAO can pull that off as well, but other than who I'm picking, she the one I suspect could most get in.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS (PREDICTIONS)
Laura Dern-"Marriage Story"
Scarlett Johansson-"Jojo Rabbit"
Jennifer Lopez-"Hustlers"
Florence Pugh-"Little Women"
Margot Robbie-"Bombshell"

Honestly up until a week ago, I thought ZHAO would be on here, but "Jojo Rabbit" overperforming at SAG and BAFTA among other awards recently has convinced me that it's an Oscar favorite and Johansson is the most likely actor to get in for that.


ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (Possibles, longlist)
"After the Wedding"
"Avengers: Endgame"
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
"Cats"
"Dark Waters"
"Doctor Sleep"
"Downton Abbey"
"Frozen II"
"Gloria Bell"
"The Good Liar"
"A Hidden Life"
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"
"Hustlers"
"I Lost My Body"
"The Irishman"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"Joker"
"Judy"
"Just Mercy"
"The Laundromat"
"Les Miserables"
"The Lion King"
"Little Women"
"Luce"
"Motherless Brooklyn"
"Richard Jewell"
"Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker"
"Toy Story 4"
"The Two Popes"

God, this is a weak category this year. Writing awards are always a little odd, especially in Adapted Screenplay, usually it's fairly easy to tell when something is adapted from another work, but there's a couple ones here that are odd. "A Hidden Life" on it's surface is an Original work, but because it's a biopic that's based on the writings of it's main protagonist, the Academy it was adapted this year. Another odd ruling ironically is "Les Miserables" the French International Oscar submission this year; that's actually an original film, despite the title, but it's ruled Adapted on the "Whiplash" standard where the filmmaker originally made a short film called "Les Miserables" and they then later adapted that project into their own feature film. So, they're essentially adapting their own work. (Shrugs) Anyway, WGA went "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood", "The Irishman", "Jojo Rabbit", "Little Women", and "Joker". Not a bad list, in fact the only other movies I've seen pop up regularly are "Hustlers" and "The Two Popes", the latter of which strangely got listed by WGA as an Original Screenplay, even though it's based on a play by the screenwriter. I-, I don't know. WGA is weird, wait 'til we get to the Original Screenplay to really show you that.

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (PREDICTIONS)
The Irishman-Steven Zaillian
Jojo Rabbit-Taika Waititi
Joker-Todd Phillips & Scott Silver
Little Women-Greta Gerwig
The Two Popes-Anthony McCarten

I'm basically going with the expected ones here. I can possibly see "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" getting in. "Hustlers", I've seen pop up once or twice, but I doubt it. The only other film that might show up 'cause it got something noteworthy is "Dark Waters".  That one got the nomination for something called the USC Scripter Award, which honors both, the screenplay and the creators of the original work that the script was based on. That's kind of an important secondary screenwriter award so the fact that got into that is a little noteworthy, but I don't really see it getting in. It's the least-known of all the titles that I think could get nominated. If I have to pick something outside the expected here, maybe "Motherless Brooklyn" or "Downton Abbey", but we're really talking longshot here at that rate.


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (Possibles, longlist)
"1917"
"Ad Astra"
"The Aeronauts"
"Atlantics"
"Bombshell"
"Booksmart"
"The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"
"The Cave"
"Clemency"
"Dolemite is My Name"
"The Edge of Democracy"
"The Farewell"
"Ford v Ferrari"
"Foster"
"Frankie"
"Gemini Man"
"Give Me Liberty"
"The Great Hack"
"Greener Grass"
"Harriet"
"Her Smell"
"High Flying Bird"
"Honey Boy"
"The King"
"The Kingmaker"
"Knives Out"
"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"
"Late Night"
"The Lighthouse"
"Marriage Story"
"Midsommar"
"Out for Blood"
"Pain and Glory"
"Parasite"
"Peterloo"
"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"
"Queen & Slim"
"The Report"
"Rocketman"
"Seberg"
"Uncut Gems"
"Us"
"Waves"
"Weathering with You"
"Wild Rose"

This is a tougher category and here, you actually can't trust the WGA, 'cause several of the potential nominees in this category were not eligible for the WGA Awards. They have a rule where you have to be a member of the WGA in order to be eligible for the awards; this knocks out more people then you think, 'cause not everybody's actually in the Writier's Guild. Quentin Tarantino in particular is notorious for having never joined the Guild. Other big contenders not eligible included "The Farewell", "Midsommar" and "Pain and Glory". They did nominate "Knives Out", "Marriage Story" and "Parasite" those three are expected to get in; they got in alongside "1917" and "Booksmart". "1917" is coming on late, that could get in, although the feeling I'm getting is that it's a directing accomplishment, not a screenwriting accomplishment, but I can still see it getting in. "Booksmart" getting in, eh, possible but there's a lot of other contenders. "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" could be a spoiler, so could "Uncut Gems"; if the Academy wants to honor that, this might be the best place.  "Queen & Slim" I've seen pop up occasionally. "Us" could get in. "Ford v Ferrari" could get in....


ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (PREDICTIONS)
The Farewell-Lulu Wang
Knives Out-Rian Johnson
Marriage Story-Noah Baumbach
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Quentin Tarantino
Parasite-BONG Joon-ho and JIN Won Han

I was debating between a few for the last slot, I gave it to "The Farewell", 'cause I counted and it showed up the most out of all the other nominees at awards. I'm not sure that's the best way, but I think it's probably the one getting in over "1917", "Booksmart", "Pain and Glory" and "Uncut Gems". This also makes me more confident in my Awkwafina prediction, so this'll be fun to see how this blows up in my face.


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE (Eligible)
"Abominable"
"The Addams Family"
"The Angry Birds Movie 2"
"Another Day of Life"
"Away"
"Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles"
"Children of the Sea"
"Dilili in Paris"
"Frozen II"
"Funan"
"Genndy Tartakovsky's 'Primal'-Tales of Savagery"
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"
"I Lost My Body"
"Klaus"
"The Last Fiction"
"The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part"
"Marona's Fantastic Tale"
"Missing Link"
"Ne Zha"
"Okko's Inn"
"Pachamama"
"Promare"
"Rezo"
"The Secret Life of Pets 2"
"Spies in Disguise"
"The Swallows of Kabul"
"This Magnificent Cake!"
"The Tower"
"Toy Story 4"
"Upin & Ipin: The Lone Gibbon Kris"
"Weathering with You"
"White Snake"

Okay, the voting is a little more limiting then Picture as voters have to be apart of the Animation Committee, at least at the nomination point here; the final choice is open to everybody, but usually it's the animation branch and experts who pick the nominees. Mostly, you get the same expected popular and expected title from the year, but there occasionally could be a more unusual nominee sneaking in. Among those, "Another Day of Life" won the European Film Award last year for Animated feature, "Away" got an Annie Awards nomination, which isn't exactly a Guild but is the probably the U.S.-based awards you most look for Animation excellence. It wasn't in a major category, but if I know it's on their radar, I put that into the consideration pile. "Bunuel and the Labyrinth of the Turtles" got a lot of praise across several awards, including the Annies, that one also about a historical film about a filmmaker too, it's a biopic essentially, so I can easily see that one finding appeal. "Dilili in Paris", "Funan", "I Lost My Body", "Marona's Fantastic Tale", "Ne Zha", "Okko's Inn", "Pachamama" "Promare", "The Swallows of Kabul", "The Tower", "Weathering with You" and "White Snake" also have certain levels of acclaim and awareness, with probably 'Weathering with You", "Ne Zha" and in particular "I Lost My Body", which has become a big Netflix hit on top of critical acclaim. "Gennady Tartakovsky's 'Primal'-Tales of Savagery" is a bit of a weird one, 'cause I think it's basically a TV series by the famed animator behind "Samurai Jack" and this latest show of his, I guess was reconstructed into a theatrical film at one, or something to that effect. I've heard of that happening, but not in a while, like you gotta go back to like, the '80s for something like that.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE (PREDICTIONS)
Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles
Frozen II
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
I Lost My Body
Toy Story 4

I'm taking a bit of a gamble on "Bunuel..." here, I thought about "Okko's Inn" or "Weathering with You" since they're the big Japanese animated ones in the list, or possibly "Ne Zha" but I wasn't seeing it. There could another popular Hollywood one here like "Missing Link" or "Klaus" getting in instead, I'm gonna take a shot and say two unusual ones get in though.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (Shortlist)
"Advocate"
"American Factory"
"The Apollo"
"Apollo 11"
"Aquarela"
"The Biggest Little Farm"
"The Cave"
"The Edge of Democracy"
"For Sama"
"The Great Hack"
"Honeyland"
"Knock Down the House"
"Maiden"
"Midnight Family"
"One Child Nation"

Proabably the biggest surprise with this shortlist of films for the Documentary Feature category is that, there's no real surprise here. Usually there's something kinda off-center or something that was  popular that kinda missed out strangely, and there's been some controversial nominations in recent years, but this year, pretty much all the films you expected. I literally didn't have to look up any of these films 'cause I'd heard of them all and they've all gotten some notable amount of awards and critical acclaim. That said, I'm still presuming nothing when it comes to nominations, 'cause it's the documentary branch, they will fuck this up somehow. So, let's narrow this down a bit, Netflix movies include, "American Factory", "Knock Down the House", "The Edge of Democracy" and "The Great Hack", "The Apollo" is HBO, "Apollo 11" is CNN, "The Cave" is National Geographic, "For Sama" is Frontline/PBS, and "One Child Nation", is Amazon's. Welcome to the documentary cinema's first ture commercialization age everyone! Hope you enjoy it at least. (Oh, I don't think it's Hulu's film per se, but "The Biggest Little Farm" got on Hulu, so if you want to through them in there too...)


BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE (PREDICTIONS)
American Factory
Apollo 11
Aquarela
For Same
One Child Nation

"American Factory", "For Sama" and "Apollo 11" have popped up most everywhere; I think they're probably in, don't be too surprised if something in that mix is out, 'cause it is the Documentary category afterall, but.... After that, I threw in "Aquarela" since that looked like the most impressive cinematography of the bunch; it also fits the environmental film quota since it's about melting glaciers and whatnot. "One Child Nation"; that one might be wishful thinking on me, since I liked Nanfu Wang's previous feature "Hooligan Sparrow" so much, but I have a feeling that one's gonna connect. A lot of people have "Honeyland" or "The Cave" instead; "Honeyland" btw is also on the International Film shortlist as well, and I can easily see us underestimating "Knock Down the House' and "The Edge of Democracy" too though.


BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Shortlist)
"Atlantics" (Senegal)
"Beanpole" (Russia)
"Corpus Christi" (Poland)
"Honeyland" (North Macedonia)
"Les Miserables" (France)
"Pain and Glory" (Spain)
"The Painted Bird" (Czech Republic)
"Parasite" (South Korea)
"Those Who Remained" (Hungary)
"Truth and Justice" (Estonia)

Let's first get the elephant out of the way, I don't get why the name of this category's was changed. And it's only the name of the category too, no rules was changed regarding what qualifies or is eligible for this category, and there are things that some can argue are worth changing or altering about the International Film or as it was called, Foreign Language Film category, but all they did was change the name, and for the worst. I mean, if it's International, why can't English-language films from other countries like the UK or Australia or Canada also be included? I don't know, apparently upset at the word 'foreign', probably for jingoistic reasons that I don't want to think about, but as far as I can tell, there's nothing wrong with the word itself and if you have to change it, "Film Not In the English Language" might've been better and more accurate. Anyway, onto the category. This is another instance where the shortlist are all basically what was expected. The real big names are "Pain and Glory", that's Pedro Almodovar's film, and of course "Parasite", BONG Joon-Ho's film, and if South Korea doesn't get a nominated film here, then it's never getting in, because "Parasite" is a very likely Best Picture nominee, but I've seen the Academy blow this category on South Korean films several times now, so....  Other than them, there's a lot of new names here director-wise, so this is a little hard to judge. Since they increased the shortlist in this category from nine to ten, for some reason, I'm just hoping I don't get all of these wrong this year.

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (PREDICTIONS)
Atlantics (Senegal)
Les Miserables (France)
Pain and Glory (Spain)
The Painted Bird (Czech Republic)
Parasite (South Korea)

I've got "Parasite" and "Pain and Glory" in, I'm throwing in "Atlantics" cause it's one of the more unique ones. After that, I took a flyer on "The Painted Bird" for the Eastern European holocaust movie submission, (There's three options here) and after that, I decided on "Les Miserables" over "Honeyland". "Honeyland" could get into this category and miss documentary, "Waltz with Bashir" did something similar awhile back, but French film, french title, even if it's not a remake of the Hugo novel and it's a completely original story, that should be enough to get it over.


BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (Possibles, longslit)
"1917"-Roger Deakins
"Ad Astra"-Hoyte van Hoytema
"Alita: Battle Angel"-Bill Pope
"Aquarela"-Ben Bernhard, Viktor Kosakovsky
"Atlantics"-Claire Mathon
"Avengers: Endgame"-Trent Opaloch
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood'-Jody Lee Lipes
"The Biggest Little Farm"-John Chester
"Bombshell"-Barry Ackroyd
"Booksmart"-Jason McCormick
"Cats"-Christopher Ross
"The Cave"-Mohammad Eyad, Muhammed Khamir, Ammar Suleiman
"Dark Waters"-Edward Lachman
"Doctor Sleep"-Michael Fimognari
"Dolemite is My Name"-Eric Steelberg
"Downton Abbey"-Ben Smithard
"The Farwell"-Anna  Franquesa Solano
"Ford v Ferrari"-Phedon Papamichael
"Gemini Man"-Dion Beebe
"The Good Liar"-Tobias A. Schliessler
"Harriet"-John Toll
"A Hidden Life"-Jorg Widmer
"Honey Boy"-Natasha Braier
"Honeyland"-Fejmi Daut, Samir Ljuma
"Hustlers"-Todd Banhazi
"The Irishman"-Rodrigo Prieto
"Jojo Rabbit"-Mihai Malaimare, Jr.
"Joker"-Lawrence Sher
"Judy"-Ole Bratt Birkeland
"Just Mercy"-Brett Pawlak
"The King"-Adam Arkapaw
"Knives Out"-Steve Yedlin
"The Laundromat"-Peter Andrews
"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"-Adam Newport-Berra
"The Lighthouse"-Jarin Blaschke
"The Lion King"-Caleb Deschanel
"Little Women"-Yorick Le Saux
"Marriage Story"-Robbie Ryan
"Midsommar"-Pawel Pogorzelski
"Monos"-Jasper Wolf
"Motherless Brooklyn"-Dick Pope
"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"-Robert Richardson
"Pain and Glory"-Jose Luis Alcaine
"Parasite"-Kyong-Pyo HONG
"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"-Claire Mathon
"Queen & Slim"-Tat Radcliffe
"The Report"-Eigil Bryld
"Richard Jewell"-Yves Belanger
"Rocketman"-Dick Pope
"Sea of Shadows"-Richard Ladkani
"Seberg"-Rachel Morrison
"Shadow"-Xiaoding Zhao
"Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker"-Dan Mindel
"Toy Story 4"-Jean-Claude Kalache and Patrick Lin
"Uncut Gems"-Daniel Lopatin
"Us"-Mike Gloulakis
"Waves"-Drew Daniels

Okay, the American Society of Cinematography Awards usually are good prognosticators here, with possibly one or two exceptions, they went, "1917", which yeah, theyr're the favorite, along with "Ford v Ferrari", "The Irishman", "Joker", "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood". That latter's a little bit of a surprse, the ASC's got a history of ignoring Robert Richardson for some reason. BAFTA left him off this year, and put in "The Lighthouse" instead, which did have ackownledgement from the ASC. It didn't get nominated for the big award they give out, but it did get the Spotlight Award they give out, along with "Honey Boy" and "Monos". That said, something weird did happen in this category last year, when three foreign language films, "Cold War", "Never Look Away" and "Roma" got into the category. "Roma" everybody expected and "Cold War" was on a lot of ballots, but "Never Look Away" came out of nowhere. This wasn't a new phenomonen either, they've been honoring foreign film cinematography for awhile now. So, I gotta imagine "Parasite" is in the discussion, and I think "Portrait of a Lady on Fire" could be a player here. "Honeyland" might, if it wasn't a documentary, but that's really hard to get in. The other strange one I'm wondering about is "A Hidden Life" that'a s Terrence Malick directed film, and while he's not working with Lubezski on this one, his movies have a tendency to break into this category even when they don't get anything else.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (PREDICTIONS)
1917-Roger Deakins
Ford v Ferrari-Phedon Papamichael
The Irishman-Rodrigo Prieto
The Lighthouse-Jarin Blaschke
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Robert Richardson

I think everybody has always written in Roger Deakins's second Oscar win this year, but this a crowded year where the nomination is an admiraable prize. I even ended up adding a film to that list above, "Shadow" the Chinese film by Zhang Yimou, that's one that could also surprise even though it hasn't shown up anywhere. I think it won't but you can replace these five with five other films twice over and nobody would complain.  That said, I'm taking off "Joker" from ASC and going with "The Lighthouse". I just have a feeling they're just not gonna be able to ignore black and white like that. I've seen some leave off "Ford v Ferrari", I'm not sure why; I guess it's more likely to compete in Editing, but it made everything it needed to.


BEST COSTUME DESIGN (Possibles, longlist)
"1917"-David Crossman and Jacqueline Durran
"Ad Astra"-Albert Wolsky
"The Aeronauts"-Alexandra Byrne
"Aladdin"-Michael Wilkinson
"Avengers: Endgame"-Judianna Makovsky"
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"-Arjun Bhasin
"Bombshell"Colleen Atwood
"Captain Marvel"-Sanja M. Hays"
"Cats"-Paco Delgado
"Clemency"-Suzanne Barnes
"Dark Waters"-Christopher Peterson
"Doctor Sleep"-Terry Anderson
"Dolemite is My Name"-Ruth E. Carter
"Downton Abbey"-Anna Robbins
"Dumbo"-Colleen Atwood
"The Farewell"-Vanessa Porter and Athena Wang
"Ford v Ferrari"-Daniel Orlandi
"The Good Liar'-Keith Madden
"Harriet"-Paul Tazewell
"A Hidden Life"-Lisy Christi
"Honey Boy"-Natalie O'Brien
"Hustlers"-Mitchell Travers
"Jojo Rabbit"-Mayes C. Rubeo
"Joker"-Mark Bridges
"Judy"-Jany Temime
"Just Mercy"-Francine Jamison-Tanchuck
"The King"-Jane Petrie
"Knives Out"-Jenny Eagan
"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"-Amanda Ramirez
"The Laundromat"-Ellen Mirojnick
"The Lighthouse"-Linda Muir
"Little Women"-Jacqueline Durran
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"-Ellen Mirojnick
"Marriage Story"-Mark Bridges
"Midsommar"-Andrea Flesch
"Motherless Brooklyn"-Amy Roth
"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"-Arianne Phillips
"Pain and Glory"-Paola Torres
"Parasite"-Se-Yeon CHOI
"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"-Dorothee Guiraud
"Queen & Slim"-Shiona Turini"
"The Report"-Susan Lyall
"Richard Jewell"-Deborah Hopper
"Rocketman"-Julian Day
"Seberg"-Michael Wilkinson
"Shazam!"-Leah Butler
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"-Michael Kaplan
"The Two Popes"-Luca Canfora and Beatriz De Benedetto
"Uncut Gems"-Miyako Bellizzi
"Us"-Kym Barrett
"Waves"-Rachel Dainer-Best
"Wild Rose"-Anna Robbins

I always like the Costume Designers Guild Awards, because they honor a lot of shows through several categories distinction. Contemporary film, sci-fi/fantasy film, and period film, so they honor a lot and it makes them a good prognosticator; you usually have to figure out, which of these five are getting in. The only one I think in contemporary that has a shot is "Knives Out", well, maybe "Hustlers", but I doubt it. Period film though, "Dolemite...", "Downton Abbey", "Jojo Rabbit", 'Once Upon a Time... in America" and "Rocketman"! That's a good list, but then we get to sci-fi and fantasy, "Aladdin", "Avengers...", Captain Marvel", "Maleficent...," and "Star Wars...". Okay, anything that can get in that's not here....? Well, the one that's noticably missing is "Little Women", and I think that might get in, if for no other reason then Jacqueline Durran is one of those designers who always gets nominated, often twice/year, but eh,  she just might have too much competition this year. Also, "Judy" could possibly sneak in, historical Hollywood recreating, but again kind of a tough year to me.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN (PREDICTIONS)
Aladdin-Michael Wilkinson
Dolemite is My Name-Ruth E. Carter
Jojo Rabbit-Mayeo C. Rubio
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Arianne Phillips
Rocketman-Julian Day

So, BAFTA went with "Judy" and "Little Women" interestingly enough, that wasn't enough for me to put them in, but they did go with "Jojo Rabbit" so I put that in, instead of "Downton Abbey", which I'm a little nervous about. Normally BAFTA might be a tiebreaker to me but historically, never liked "Downton...." BAFTA also gives out TV awards in England, and that show was probably bigger in America then in Britian even. It makes me worried a bit, but I think "Little Women" not getting into the CDGs is damning and just looking around at what got in there, are they gonna pick "Star Wars" again, that's more Visual Effects this year, and then going with an MCU film? Eh, I don't know, a lot of those are just costumes they had before for "Avengers...", "Captain Marvel" might get in, though; I had that in and out of my nominees for a bit there. They nominated "Maleficent" a few years ago, I don't know if they'll nominate a sequel to that, but-eh, it's a 100-1 shot on Goldderby.com, but "Aladdin" fits their pattern. They've nominated, "Beaury and the Beast", "Cinderella", 'Maleficent", all these high-profile Disney live-action ones, why not "Aladdin" which looks like it was more of a challenge and frankly just off the trailer, the costumes looked amazing! You guys can do what you want but, I'm gonna take the gamble here on "Aladdin" and see what happens.


BEST EDITING (Possibles, longlist)
"1917"-Lee Smith
"Ad Astra"-John Axelrad and Lee Haugen
"The Aeronauts"-Mark Eckersley
"American Factory"-Lindsay Utz
"Apollo 11"-Todd Douglas Miller
"Avengers: Endgame"-Jeffrey Ford and Matthew Schmidt
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"-Anne McCabe
"The Biggest Little Farm"-Amy Overbeck
"Bombshell"-Jon Poll
"Booksmart"-Jamie Gross
"Cats"-Melanie Oliver
"Clemency"-Phyllis Housen
"Dark Waters"-Affonso Goncalves
"Diego Maradona"-Chris King
"Doctor Sleep"-Mike Flanagan
"Dolemite is My Name"-Billy Fox
"Downton Abbey"-Mark Day
"The Farewell"-Matt Friedman and Michael Taylor
"For Sama"-Chloe Lambourne, Simon McMahon
"Ford v Ferrari"-Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker
"Frozen II"-Jeff Draheim
"Gemini Man"-Tim Squyres
"Give Me Liberty"-Kirill Mikhanovsky
"The Good Liar"-Virginia Katz
"Harriet"-Wyatt Smith
"A Hidden Life"-Rehman Nizar Ali, Joe Gleason and Sebastian Jones
"Honey Boy"-Dominic LaPerriere and Monica Salazar
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"-John K. Carr
"Hustlers"-Kayla Emter
"I Lost My Body"-Benjamin Massoube
"The Irishman"-Thelma Schoonmaker
"Jojo Rabbit"-Tom Eagles
"Joker"-Jeff Groth
"Judy"-Melanie Ann Oliver
"Just Mercy"-Nat Sanders
"The King"-Peter Sciberras
"Klaus"-Pablo Garcia Revert
"Knives Out"-Bob Ducsay
"The Last Black Man in San Francisco"-David Marks
"The Laundromat"-Mary Ann Bernard
"The Lighthouse"-Louise Ford
"The Lion King"-Adam Gerstel and Mark Livolsi
"Little Women"-Nick Houy
"Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound"-David J. Turner and Thomas G. Miller
"Marriage Story"-Jennifer Lame
"Missing Link"-Stephen Perkins
"Motherless Brooklyn"-Joe Klotz
"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"-Fred Raskin
"One Child Nation"-Nanfu Wang
"Pain and Glory"-Teresa Font
"Parasite"-Jinmo YANG
"Portrait of a Lady on Fire"-Julien Lacheray
"Queen & Slim"-Pete Beaudreau
"The Report"-Greg O'Bryant
"Richard Jewell"-Joel Cox
"Rocketman"-Chris Dickens
"Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese"-David Tedeschi, Damian Rodriguez
"Sea of Shadows"-Georg Michael Fischer, Verena Schonauer
"Seberg"-Pamela Martin
"The Secret Life of Pets 2"-Tiffany Hillkurtz
"Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker"-Maryann Brandon and Stefan Grube
"Sword of Trust"-Tyler L. Cook
"Toy Story 4"-Axel Geddes
"The Two Popes"-Fernando Stutz
"Uncut Gems"-Ronald Bronstein and Benny Safdie
"Us"-Nicholas Monsour
"Waves"-Isaac Hagy and Trey Edward Shults

To this day, for whatever reason, the most accurate predictor to a Best Picture win is at minimum, receiving a Best Film Editing nomination. It even happened last year with "Green Book", somehow. So, while I do look at the American Cinema Editors' Eddie Awards for guidance, I'm looking partly for the most interesting editing job and partly for the movies most likely to win Best Picture. Among the films that meet ACE nods and Best Picture likely wins, "Once Upon a Time..." and "Jojo Rabbit" got into the ACE-Comedy category, and "The Irishman", "Joker", "Marriage Story" and "Parasite" got into Drama. Okay that's six, but then, when it comes to Best Picture wins, two things can alter this, one is anything with heavy music emphasis, that puts "Rocketman" in the discussion, but that didn't get in at ACE, but action movies does have representation, and in particular, action movies with chase scenes. Ask any editor, chase sequences are by far the most difficult thing to edit. This if where "Ford v Ferrari" comes in.

BEST EDITING (PREDICTIONS)
Ford v Ferrari-Andrew Buckland and Michael McCusker
The Irishman-Thelma Schoonmaker
Jojo Rabbit-Tom Eagles
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Fred Raskin
Parasite-Jinmo YANG

There's a couple films I'm concerned about here, "1917", might've been late to be screened for the Eddies and Lee Smith is a big time beloved editor, so perhaps he should get in. Also, I had "Joker" in for a second, but I switched it with "Jojo Rabbit" late; I was skeptical, but it's shown up everywhere it needs to, and I'm using the SAG Ensemble category as a tiebreaker, and "Jojo Rabbit" got in there, "Joker", "1917", and "Marriage Story" they didn't. Also, I'm a little torn on how much will the Academy love "Marriage Story" to predict a nomination for it. It underperformed at the Globes and didn't do well at BAFTA; I don't think it's a major Best Picture player which is why I'm leaving it off and keeping "The Irishman" on, even though-, I know it's a favorite right now, but I wonder if "The Irishman" will be snubbed here, well, because of it's length. It's well over three hours, if anybody thinks it's too long, it'll be the editors, even if the editors admire the hell out of Thelma Schoonmaker. That said, the editors aren't going to ignore "Ford v Ferrari". They might strangely miss "1917" thinking it's more a cinematography effort in the same vein as "Birdman...", but a beloved car racing historical car racing action thriller, no! Just, not happening!


BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING (Shortlist)
"1917"
"Bombshell"
"Dolemite is My Name"
"Downton Abbey"
"Joker"
"Judy"
"Little Women"
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"
"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
"Rocketman"

They FINALLY, changed the rules this year and convinced the Makeup and Hairstyling Branch to go form three to five nominees. I genuinely don't know what the hold up on that was, and it's a good change, but the Academy, I know for a fact, wanted this to go to five for years, but the Makeup Branch kept it at three instead! That went through several Academy presidents presidents pushing for that change and I have absolutely no idea why they kept choosing to just have three. It's not like visual effects where some movies have them and some don't, most every movie has some degree of makeup, even the lowest budget films I can think of. Also, the Majeup and Hairstyling Guild Awards, lovingly called the MUAHs, like a kiss sound, mmm-mu-AAAH, is notoriously useless as a predictor, usually. It helps that this shortlist is noticeably lacking anything really off-the-beaten path,- like I still haven't even watched "Border" from last year yet, off-the-beaten so, they might be more helpful this year. Honoestly, I usually just watch the trailers of the films, if not the films themselves, and just pick the makeup job I find most interesting and I'm like, right half the time doing that.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING (PREDICTIONS)
Bombshell
Dolemite is My Name
Judy
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Rocketman

Well, "Bombshell" is getting in, that's a no brainer, so is "Rocketman", eh, "Dolemite..."'s an Eddie Murphy movie on top of everything else, so that's probably in. I feel like, it's between "Joker", "Judy" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" for the last three spots. I can see them overlooking "Once...." although I like the amount of makeup and hairstyling needed for that, and I'm-, I went back and forth on this one for awhile, ultimately, I'm going against the Guild, 'cause, yeah, I probably can't trust them, I'm going with "Judy", 'cause I think Zellweger has a better shot of winning the Oscar for her makeup heavy performance then Phoenix does for his. There's been a slight pattern towards that in recent years, where a major acting award coincides with a makeup nod or win. "The Iron Lady" and "Dallas Buyers Club" examples come to mind right away, so in a year where nothing immediately sticks out as so weird it has to be nominated, I'll say "Judy" gets in over "Joker".


BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (Shortlist)
"1917"-Thomas Newman
"Avengers: Endgame"-Alan Silvestri
"Bombshell"-Theodore Shapiro
"The Farewell"-Alex Weston
"Ford v Ferrari"-Marco Beltrami & Buck Sanders
"Frozen II"-Christophe Beck
"Jojo Rabbit"-Michael Giacchino
"Joker"-Hildur Gudnadottir
"The King"-Nicholas Brittell
"Little Women"-Alexandre Desplat
"Marriage Story"-Randy Newman
"Motherless Brooklyn"-Daniel Pemberton
"Pain and Glory"-Alberto Iglesias
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"-John Williams
"Us"-Michael Abels

Normally, I'd try to listen to some of these scores, but I'm already behind, and I barely have the time to do it for the Songs. That said, we do have something of a music guild now. The SCLs or the Society of Composers and Lyricists included "Avengers...", "Jojo Rabbit", "Joker" and "Us", and in the Independent film category "Pain and Glory". They also awards a bunch of films that didn't make the shortlist.  Also, most people think this is the Newmans' year as both Thomas Newman for "1917" and Randy Newman for "Marriage Story" are heavy favorites, especially with Thomas Newman famous for being winless, which btw, how the hell have these brothers continues to be winless for double-digit nominations?

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (PREDICTIONS) 
1917-Thomas Newman
Joker-Hildur Godnottir
Little Women-Alexandre Desplat
Marriage Story-Randy Newman
Us-Michael Abels

I'm fairly certain about "1917", "Joker" and "Marriage Story" just based on the common trends, "Litttle Women", has popped up everywhere it needs to and Desplat is beloved. That last spot is really bothering me. I can see John Williams getting it for "Star Wars...' again, I can see "Jojo Rabbit" getting in. I can see Alan Silvestri for "Avengers..." getting in....- The one I kept seeing pop up in Critics Groups and the like was "Us"; I hate taking so many flyers, but one of these has to it, so I'm gonna try that.


BEST ORIGINAL SONG
"Speechles"-"Aladdin"
"Letter to My Godfater"-"The Black Godfather"
"I'm Standing with You"-"Breakthrough"
"Da Bronx"-"The Bronx USA"
"Into the Unknown"-"Frozen II"
"Stand Up"-"Harriet"
"Catchy Song"-"The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part"
"Never Too Late"-"The Lion King"
"Spirit"-"The Lion King"
"Daily Battles"-"Motherless Brooklyn"
"A Glass of Soju"-"Parasite"
"(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again"-"Rocketman"
"High Above the Water"-"Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am"
"I Can't Let You Throw Yourself Away"-'Toy Story 4"
"Glasgow"-"Wild Rose"

Now again the SCL Guild is making this category a little more helpful now, but generally I just listen to these songs. Now, in the old days, I'd listen to literally ALL the eligible songs, but for reasons I don't fully get, the Academy only releases the shortlists for the music categories, and I think this is stupid personally. First of all, I don't think they should have them; not every movie has an original score, not every film has original songs, you can put them all out there and let the voters and public decide between everyone of them! I don't like the music categories having shortlists; perhaps it'll help avoid any more "Alone Yet Not Alone" bullshit but I still don't think that's a good idea. Anyway, most of these nominations have gotten in somewhere. SCL went "Speechless", "I'm Standing With you", "Into the Unknown", "Stand Up" and "High Above the Water", the Golden Globes had three of those, along with a song from "Cats" 'cause they announced early and thought that'd be a contender, but then they gave it to "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again", from "Rocketman", so that's in contention. Elton's also got a song from "The Lion King" in here that's pretty good too; which is interesting 'cause that's the movie he famously won his Oscar for 25 years ago, but that movie get a vote-split with Beyonce's song "Spirit", although I'm not big on that song at all, and it hasn't popped up much. Frankly Cynthia Erivo's song from "Harriet" is basically a much better version of that one. There's a decent collection of big names here, on top the aforementioned, there's T-Pain, Pharrell, Randy Newman, Paul Williams wrote a song that Robert Klein performs, strangely enough, Thom Yorke & Flea, what a weird combo that is? Also, Diane Warren up for the "Breakthrough" movie song, she's had nine nominations, zero wins, eh, she's still due, it's a decent song.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG (PREDICTIONS)
"Into the Unknown"-Frozen II-Kristin Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez
"Stand Up"-Harriet-Joshua Brian Campbell and Cynthia Erivo
"(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again"-Rocketman-Music: Elton John; Lyrics: Bernie Taupin
"High Above the Water"-Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am-Kathryn Bostic
"Glosgow"-Wild Rose-Caitlyn Smith, Kate York and Mary Steenburgen

I listened to all the songs, I liked most of them; I thought "The Last Godfather" song kinda sucked, and the "Motherless Brooklyn" song was just-, God, what the hell happened there? I love Thom Yorke, and I love Flea, but those two don't belong together! Most everything else was somewhere between underwhelming and decent. I ended up going with the "Frozen II" song, the "Wild Rose" song which I wondered why that kept popping up untin I heard it for myself... Yeah, that's getting in. The Elton John song's getting in; well, the "Rocketman" one, although I did like his new "Lion King" one better then Beyonce's one. I debated for the last three between the "Harriet" song, the "Toni Morrison..." song  and the song from "Parasite". I ultimately left off the "Parasite" song, but that could be in, that's a nice little song, even I can't understand the lyrics.


BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (Possibles, longlist)
"1917"
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
"Abominable"
"Ad Astra"
"The Addams Family"
"Avengers: Endgame"
"Dolemite is My Name"
"Downton Abbey"
"Dumbo"
"Ford v Ferrari"
"Frozen II"
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
"The Irishman"
"John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"Joker"
"Judy"
"Klaus"
"Knives Out
"The Lion King"
"The Lighthouse"
"Little Women"
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"
"Midsommar"
"Missing Link"
"Motherless Brooklyn"
"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
"Parasite"
"Queen & Slim"
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker"
"Toy Story 4"
"The Two Popes"
"Us"
"The White Crow"

Like the CGD, the Art Directors' Guild also separated it's categories into Contemporary, Sci-Fi and Period films. (And Animation too, which should get more acknowledgement in this category.) It was the ADG that made me think about "Ford v Ferrari" for the category but it missed at BAFTA, where it really should've hit. It underperformed all around there, but still, it caught most below-the-line categories there, and it missed that one. That leaves, "1917", "The Irishman", "Jojo Rabbit", "Joker" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" among the Perior films from ADG. Usually something from sci-fi or fantasty sneaks in, but I can't for the life of me figure out what, and I think there's a contemporary choices that are interesting here. "Parasite", "Knives Out" and "Us" in particular feel like they're players in this race. Maybe "Star Wars" or "Aladdin as a spoiler, I think "Ad Astra" is stronger is visual effects....

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN (PREDICTIONS)
1917
The Irishman
Jojo Rabbit
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Parasite

Fairly certain "Parasite" gets in along with the rest from the Period genre. I just couldn't pinpoint what fantasy or sci-fil film gets in here, so I guess I'm gonna play it safe and say none will this time.


BEST SOUND EDITING (Possibles, longlist)
"1917"
"Abominable"
"Ad Astra"
"The Aeronauts"
"Aladdin"
"Apollo 11"
"Atlantics"
"Avengers: Endgame"
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
"Bimded By the Light'
"Bombshell"
"Captain Marvel
"Cats
"The Cave"
"Dark Waters"
"Diego Maradona"
"Doctor Sleep"
"Dolemite is My Name"
"Downton Abbey"
"Dumbo"
"Echo in the Canyon"
"The Fall of the American Empire"
"Ford v Ferrari"
"Frozen II"
"Gemini Man"
"Gully Boy"
"A Hidden Life"
"Honey Boy"
"How to Train Your Dragon; The Hidden World"
"Hustlers"
"The Irishman"
"John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"Joker"
"Judy"
"The King"
"Knives Out"
"The Lighthouse'
"The Lion King"
"Little Women"
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"
"Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound"
"Missing Link"
"Motherless Brooklyn"
"Once Upon a time... in Hollywood"
"Pain and Glory"
"Parasite"
"Queen & Slim"
"The Report"
"Richard Jewell"
"Rocketman"
"Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese"
"Sea of Shadows"
"Shadow"
"Shazam!"
"Spies in Disguise"
"Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker"
"Toy Story 4"
"Uncut Gems"
"Us"
"Waves"
"White Snake"
"Wild Rose"
"Yesterday"

There's actually been some rumors recently abound regarding the Academy possibly bringing these two sound categories, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing together again in the future, possibly as early as next year, which, eh....- well, originally there was only one Sound category a long time ago, but honestly, I hope they don't go back in that direction. I haven't heard suspicions why, probably because most people don't know the difference between them, although yes they're related skills, but there are actually huge difference between them, but I also suspect that they might be considering this in order to bring in a new category, and hopefully it'll be Casting, which is currently the only Branch of the Academy that doesn't have a correlated Oscar award, which I would be in favor of, but I don't think you should take an award away just to add that, but I digress.... Sound Editing, just a reminder, this is the gathering and collecting of sounds and inserting them into the movie. The Motion Pictures Sound Editors Guild (aka the Golden Reel Awards) they have a ton of categories of recording sound, and they also have extra nominees in each category, so they're a bit all over the map here. "1917", "Avengers: Endgame", "Ford v Ferrari", "Jojo Rabbit", "Joker", "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood".... They also have separate categories for Foreign films and Animated film, "Parasite" obviously goes into Foreign, and was recognize, but don't always overlook Animation; it's often just as impressive and noteworthy how the sounds are achieved for films like "WALL-E" or "The Polae Express" or "The Incredibles" in years past, which have either been nominated in these categories or even sometimes win. I don't think that's gonna happen here. Last year, was a little weird 'cause the music film won twice, even though it logically doesn't make sense, typically war and action movies do better in Editing and Mixing is where the music nominees come in.

BEST SOUD EDITING (PREDICTIONS)
1917
Avengers: Endgame
Ford v Ferrari
Joker
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

So, I'm sticking with mostly action and war movies here. I thought about both "Star Wars..." and "Ad Astra" instead of "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" and "Joker", and I was reluctant to put those in, but "Joker" overperforming at SAG helps, and also, "Ad Astra" and strangely "Star Wars", underperformed at the Golden Reels, only getting into one category, "Joker" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" got into two. I'm still a bit iffy, but "Star Wars" is kinda been slighted mostly and, even though it got into BAFTA over "Avengers..." I have a hard time kicking out "Avengers" this year, so I think "Star Wars...." might fall out here.


BEST SOUND MIXING (Possibles, longlist)
"1917"
"Abominable"
"Ad Astra"
"The Aeronauts"
"Aladdin"
"Apollo 11"
"Atlantics"
"Avengers: Endgame"
"A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"
"Bombshell"
"Captain Marvel"
"Cats"
"The Cave"
"Dark Waters"
"Diego Maradona"
"Doctor Sleep"
"Dolemite is My Name"
"Downton Abbey"
"Dumbo"
"Echo in the Canyon"
"The Fall of the American Empire"
"Ford v Ferrari"
"Frozen II"
"Gemini Man"
"Gully Boy"
"A Hidden Life"
"Honey Boy"
"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World"
"Hustlers"
"The Irishman"
"John Wick: Chapter 3-Parabellum"
"Jojo Rabbit"
"Joker"
"Judy"
"The King"
"Knives Out"
"The Lighthouse"
"The Lion King"
"Little Women"
"Making Waves: The Art of Cinematic Sound"
"Maleficent: Mistress of Evil"
"Missing Link"
"Motherless Brooklyn"
"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
"Pain and Glory"
"Parasite"
"Queen & Slim"
"The Report"
"Richard Jewell"
"Rocketman"
"Sea of Shadows"
"Shadow"
"Shazam!"
"Spies in Disguise"
"Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker"
"Toy Story 4"
"Uncut Gems"
"Us"
"Waves"
"White Snake"
"Wild Rose"
"Yesterday"

Sound mixing is basically, what happens to the sounds in the movie, after the editors have collected and placed them onto the film. It's the touching up, it's the mixing and blending of the soundsof the sounds, basically adjusting them and making them make sense. The Cinema Audio Society Awards, they had,  in theire one main, Live-Action category, "Ford v Ferrari", "The Irishman", "Joker", "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" and "Rocketman", so there we go with that one obvious big musical one getting in. (Sorry "Cats"). Uh, "The Irishman" did get into the Golden Reels but only in one category; I know some people are predicting it it could reasonably get in, but usually it's the Editing and Mixing mostly end up the same unless there's a musical rule. Now, if I'm adding "Rocketman" already, now what do I take out to put 'The Irishman" in? Hmmm....

BEST SOUND MIXING (PREDICTIONS)
1917
Ford v Ferrari
Joker
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood
Rocketman

This is where "Avengers..." falls off for me. It didn't get into CAS, neither did "Star Wars"; they did put in "Joker"; if they wanted to put in another popular superhero blockbuster, I think they would've. They don't need to, and they have an alternative that's a potential Best Picture contender already, ergo move out "Avengers", in comes "Rocketman". That's my thinking anyway.


BEST VISUAL EFFECTS (Shortlist)
"1917" 1
"Alita: Battle Angel" 5
"Avengers: Endgame" 3
"Captain Marvel" (1)
"Cats"
"Gemini Man"  2
"The Irishman" 2
"The Lion King" 5
"Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" 4
"Terminator: Dark Fate"

Okay, Visual Effects Society Awards,- I fell for the avoiding-this-"Guild" trap last year and put in "Black Panther" despite getting completely overlooked there; I'm not doing that this year. So, if it doesn't show up somewhere here, I'm not considering that film. That means, "Cats" is out. Alright everything else got something....  In their biggest category, they have "Alita...", "Avengers..." "Gemini Man", "The Lion King" and "Star Wars...". "1917" and "The Irishman" got in for Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Film, which means, movie isn't based on Effects, but the crucial effects that mattered were strong and great. (I think that's what the category means.) Occasionally an action movie like "Deepwater Horizon" might get the credit solely there and get into the Oscars, but "The Irishman" is mostly job a mob movie.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS (PREDICTIONS)
Alita: Battle Angel
Avengers: Endgame
Gemini Man
The Lion King
Star Wars: Episode IX-The Rise of Skywalker

I checked BAFTA quickly, I cheched the Critics, but I'm gonna stick with the Guild here. They loved "Alita...", they loved "The Lion King", those films ran the table, all the other ones got in multiple categories there. That's not only they liked the Visual Effects, but there was also more visual effects in those films to honor, and that's why I'm tipping the scale towards them. More visual effects means more work, and that's gonna be a tiebreaker over everything else to me.


BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM (Shortlist)
"Dcera (Daughter)"
"Hair Love"
"He Can't Live Without Cosmos"
"Hors Piste"
"Kitbull"
"Memorable"
"Mind My Mind"
"The Physics of Sorrow"
"Sister"
"Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Day"

Honestly, when it comes to the Short Film categories, mostly I just do research. If I can find the short film online, then I'll watch it; if I can only find the trailer I watch that. If I run across a title at some other award show that's on the shortlist, I'll note it. A few other details might pop up, but mostly I just trust my own instincts more then Gold Derby or anything. If I think something looks amazing or tells a great story, then I'm probably gonna put it in, and frankly I recommend doing that anyway, especially with the animated short category. It does bite me in the ass sometimes, for instance I still can't believe "Dear Basketball" won a couple years ago, (Sometimes name recognition does help) but mostly I'm just picking the ones that I think I would vote for. Remember the nominees are picked by the branch and in the shorts case, by a committee. Usually, they're going to just pick the ones they like, so you might as well just do the same.


BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM (PREDICTIONS)
Hair Love
Kitbull
Mind My Mind
The Physics of Sorrow
Sister

I was able to watch three of these short films, and they all MADE ME CRY!!!!!!!!!!! (Sigh) I end up picking all of them. The other two, "Mind My Mind", seemed like the most fun and different one. More adult-oriented comedic one; I always like to pick one that's a little weird. Then, I went for "The Physics of Sorrow" because it looked like the greatest animation accomplishment of the rest. It was also done a past nominee; the guy behind "Blind Vaysha" for those who might remember. It looked and sounded impressive. Going with them.


BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM (Shortlist)
"Brotherhood"
"The Christmas Gift"
"Little Hands"
"Miller & Son"
"Nefta Football Club"
"The Neighbors' Window"
"Refugee"
"Saria"
"A Sister"
"Sometimes, I Think About Dying"

Basically, the same as above for Animated films, although more then animated, I pay a little more attention to see if anybody making the film has a resume of note. Occasionally you'll run into a situation where somebody famous is involved in a short film, often somebody who may've been overlooked for an Oscar once or twice before. Sometimes those movies whether they're good or not will sneak in and give somebody a cheap Oscar. There might a entry or two like that here, "A Sister" sticks out to me since one of the actors was in a Belgian film I liked a lot. Also, subject matter, well, often matters here. There's no Holocaust film here, but there's definitely subject matter that will make people take notice.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM (PREDICTIONS)
Brotherhood
The Neighbors' Window
Refugee
Saria
Sometimes, I Think About Dying

Tough category. I think "Brotherhood" is the heavy favorite. I saw it, it's decent. The ones I loved that I saw were "The Neighbor's Window" and "Sometimes, I Think About Dying"; they were the interesting ones to me, but I get the feeling "Brotherhood" is the important one here. "Saria" and "Refugee" I threw in because they had important tales, an orphanage fire and Syrian refugees specifically, ("Brotherhood" is also about refugees in the part of the world too.) but they also looked like the biggest production and I think all things being equal, they'll look at the biggest productions of the shorts. Most impressive filmmaking, not necessarily expensive, but definitely looks like they should be making features, well-made.  I also saw "Miller and Son" was which a decent little short, good story and subject matter; I think it won a Student Oscar, but I mostly thought it was okay. Kinda liked "Nefta Football Club" a little more, I thought about putting that one in, but "The Neighbors Window" is funnier and more touching for a comedy.


BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT (Shortlist)
"After Maria"
"Fire in Paradise"
"Ghosts of Sugar land"
"In the Absence"
"Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)"
"Life Overtakes Me"
"The Nightcrawlers"
"St. Louis Superman"
"Stay Close"
"Walk Run Cha-Cha"

I wasn't joking about the commercialization of documentaries and you can see this in the Short Subject categories. Which means, several of these Short Subject documentaries are readily available through many of the streaming sites. I should probably use the words, "Commercialized Promotion" instead of commercialization 'cause that's mostly what they films have done, they've made documentaries more easily and readily available for everyone to watch. "After Maria", "Fire in Paradise", "Life Overtakes Me" and "Ghosts of Sugar Land" are on Netflix, "In the Absence" is available on Youtube and Vimeo, "Stay Close" is apart of "POV" on PBS, "Learning to Skateboard..." is on A&E, "The Nightcrawler" is on National Geographic, "St . Louis Superman" is produced by MTV of all places, and "walk Run Cha-Cha, that's the latest New York Times entry. Whether people actually are, I have no idea, but I hope people do.


BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT (PREDICTIONS)
Fire in Paradise
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone
Stay Close
St. Louis Superman
Walk Run Cha-Cha

I actually watched all of the shortlist docs except for "St. Louis Superman", which at this time, was the only one I couldn't find but based on the trailer I watched, I'm putting it in. The only I'm a little sad to leave out was "The Nightcrawlers" that's actually a pretty good one that I was hoping to find room for, but sadly I just couldn't find it. Admittedly, there are some depressing films in this batch, so if you go through all ten of those, be forewarned. The one of those that I loved was "Fire in Paradise", everything else seemed more or less, good and important but not necessarily interesting filmmaking-wise, "Fire in Paradise" had that Errol Morris-esque interrotron interview method that I admired and actually greatly missed when watching "Wyrmwood" recently from him. After that, I took a couple of the lighter subject matters, and I took the other interesting filmmaking experimenting method on "Stay Close".

Alright, I really thought I'd get this done a little earlier then this, but still ahead of last year, so I'll take it. Here's to winning on Gold Derby this year.