Friday, February 7, 2020

MY OFFICIAL 92nd OSCARS PREDICTIONS! Alright, they want to get these done too quickly, then I'll get-them-done quickly too. (Well, quickly for me.)

I'm gonna try to get this posted at least a couple days before the show this year, but this is such a weird Oscars season. It's a short one to begin with, which, (Sigh) honestly I just don't get why we're hurrying this out? I joked about making jokes that the host should be making before these blogs, but I'm not sure if we had a host we'd even have time. Here's a layup joke for yeah though: The Oscar voting period was so short this year, the voters had to start submitting their ballots even though they were only half-way through "The Irishman".

I don't know why this sudden change; I've been regretting the way the Oscars have been inching closer and closer to the beginning of the year, for about, a decade or two now actually, but even moreso then how much I'm rushed, mostly I just get the reasoning why? You're the Oscars, we don't need to be in a hurry? You're the literal last say on the year, take your time? Is it the promotional appeal? I still don't get why it's so fast, wouldn't you want a few more weeks before nominations to prepare for the Oscar promotion and then a couple more weeks to promote after the nominations come out? (Sigh) I don't know, apparently if the movie isn't a superhero or supervillain movie I guess, nobody cares anymore.

I don't know, the no-host thing pisses me off, the ridiculously short voting period pisses me off, the fact that I'm still trying to catch up on 2018 while also trying to watch all the Oscar-nominated 2019 films pisses me off.... Maybe I'm just slow, but good god, if I can better things to do then to rush to watch every important movie the second they come out, then goddamn, how much nothing are the Academy voters lives? I thought they'd be busy making all the movies to see everything. This is probably why the nominations are so, homogenous. I swear to Christ, this is the most uninteresting, lazy group of Oscar nominees I've ever seen. That's not to say that these are bad choices; from what I've seen so far I'm actually very excited about most of the movies so far, but my God, this group of nominees, especially when you dive deep into the craft categories, like, it is clear that the Academy had only seen a few films, or that they were, for the most part, trying desperately to only pick the films closest to what they thought were going to be the Best Picture nominees and didn't really research too much beyond that. There's an exception here or there, but there are some categories here that I just was caught off guard by how lazy the Academy was. So, if you want an argument other then my personal gripes that the Oscars are occurring too soon this year, here, pushing the awards to later in the year, more often than not, leads to a far more compelling and interesting group of nominees, and probably a more accurate and decisive group too. (Shrugs)

Okay, maybe not, but I'd rather see that then just see the same eight movies show up everywhere. But that's what we got, so let's try to predict the future. REMINDER: These are PREDICTIONS, they're not PREFERENCES. I haven't seen most of the nominees in most categories yet, if I have I'll let you know, if I have I'll let you know, but I'm predicting, not giving you preferences. Those comes when I give out my own made up awards later on down the road.


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

Okay, before I begin analysis, there's one more layer of laziness I want to talk about with the Oscars. Their website,is unusually lazy this year. For every nominee, there used to be a little note about how often they've been nominated and every other time they've been nominated, but here, they just decided to not even bother with that. Anyway, the Best Picture category has been the most difficult to predict among the main prizes, but I think we've finally narrowed it down to two, "1917" and "Parasite", with possibly, "The Irishman", "Joker", "Jojo Rabbit" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" struggling to play spoiler. "1917" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" are both missing the Editing nomination that most BP winners need, the last time that's happened was "Birdman..." and that film had little editing. "1917" however is in the same boat as "Birdman..." in that the film looks like it was made in one shot, so the precedent favors "1917" on top of that, it's won nearly every prognosticator until now. It won PGA, it won DGA, it won BAFTA, "Once Upon a Time..." won at the Critics Choice, but that's probably an anomoly, however the one it did lose, and in fact didn't get nominated for was SAG Ensemble, that went to "Parasite", which has the Editing nomination. Most of the academy are actors, and "Parasite"; it seems like the Academy wants to give the Best Picture award to a foreign language film, and this one feels like the closest yet. The last two years though, the Best Picture winner didn't get into SAG Ensemble, "The Shape of Water" and "Green Book" both missed out in that category, but this would easier to pick "1917" if it got something at SAG, and it missed everything, and as far as I can tell, it was eligible. "Parasite" didn't get anything in acting other then Ensemble though, and both frontrunners missed every acting awards, and there hasn't been a Best Picture winner to do that since "Slumdog Millionaire". This is gonna come down to the preferential ballot, and which film gets more number one and number two or three votes; I know there's a little negative campaigning going on for each film, but I don't it's having a huge effect one way or another this time around.

PREDICTION: "1917"  "Parasite"
This is close, and I'm not positive; I've changed my mind a few times this week and I've gotten this category way wrong the last couple years. It's a bit weird 'cause both movies are peeking at the right time. I'm just gonna stick with precedent; I got screwed by picking "Roma" to pull off the Foreign Language and Best Picture double win last year and that didn't happen, until I see it, I'm just not gonna take a shot at it in Best Picture. That was, until I started looking at some anonymous ballots. Yeah, I don't normally look too deeply in this, 'cause usually these are people who are way on the fringe of the Academy to begin with, but not always, anyway there's a string of articles through the various news feeds you'd think of that are anonymous Academy members who reveal their ballot and why they vote for who they vote for. However, I desperately looked around at these for Best Picture, 'cause I was kinda stumped, and well, they were mixed, but I get the sense that in a ranked ballot, more people probably have "Parasite" ranked a little higher on their ballots then "1917". And it showed up at more Guild awards too. "1917", broke late, but eh, how did some of these miss the Guilds but get in at the Academy? That seems weird and I get the sense that there's more widespread support for "Parasite", but this is so close.... I know there's parts of the Academy that want a foreign language film to win, and there's a lot of love for BONG Joon-ho.

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

So, with the preferential ballot, there is more of a chance for a Best Picture/Best Director split then ever before. Not always, but it's more common. It might happen, it's definitely between Sam Mendes and BONG Joon-ho, who actually tied at Critics Choice for Best Picture. That said Sam Mendes has won basically everything else. If there is a split then it'll be "1917" losing Best Picture to something else, probably "Parasite". That'd be interesting, last year the foreign film won Directing but not Picture, this year, the foreign film wins Picture but not Director? That can happen.

PREDICTION: Sam Mendes-"1917"
Stick with DGA on this one. Mendes is the easy pick.

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"

I gotta be honest here, I'm a bit surprised at just how much "Joker" keeps getting at these Awards. It led the nominations with eleven, and yet, it's only got a 69% on Rotten Tomatoes, by far the worst ratings of any Best Picture nominee, and frankly it's seemed to split audiences as well as critics. Yet it continued to way overperformed when it came to the nominations. When it comes to winning though, it's only consistently gotten in a few categories and this is one of the big ones. I think the generally consensus is that Joaquin Phoenix is due and that this performance seems to be the one thing everybody can agree on with the film. If there's a spoiler, I can probably see either Antonio Banderas or Adam Driver pulling it off, but everything would have to go right and we would have to just completely under-estimate some of the resentment some may have at Joaquin Phoenix, and there is some out there. He's been known to be difficult and there is that infamous performance art period where he tried to rap in character for a year. I mean, that was at the same time that Casey Affleck got ding for the #MeToo allegations against him that led him to not show up the year after he won his Oscar but Joaquin seems to get a pass.

PREDICTION: Joaquin Phoenix-"Joker"
I get the feeling that Joaquin is getting the pass for "Joker", even by those who don't like the film because of how far and outlandish he takes it. It reminds me a lot of Daniel Day-Lewis's win for "There Will Be Blood" which also famously got people voting for the performance even though people hated the film.

Cynthia Erivo-"Harriet"
Scarlett Johansson-"Marriage Story"
Saoirse Ronan-"Little Women"
Charlize Theron-"Bombshell"
Renee Zellweger-"Judy"

I'm not as sold that Renee Zellweger is gonna win this as everyone else seems to be. For one thing, it's Judy Garland at the Oscars; call me superstitious, but that's never turned out well. (Shrugs) Okay, maybe this time it'll be different, she's won all the major precursors including SAG, BAFTA, Globes, Critics Choice, etc. Still though, the movie itself got very little; it seems to be the only big non Best Picture nominee that everyone presumes to win a major award, and yet, I gotta admit, it does seem a little strange to me that we're putting Renee Zellweger into the 2-time winner category. (Although considering she won for "Cold Mountain" of all goddamn things, one of her worst performances, well, sure I'm all for a makeup on her.) Plus, she's got the comeback story narrative, but so did Judy Garland in her life once upon a time, and that didn't do shit for her either. I'm actually very close to predicting Scarlett Johansson to pull of the upset here, that might be because I've seen "Marriage Story" plus she's overdue as well. She's a double nominee who's become the en vogue choice to pull off the upset in Supporting Actress for "Jojo Rabbit", which could happen, 'cause voters who see her in "Jojo Rabbit" and then also see her in "Marriage Story" when they look at Laura Dern's work there.... like I can see the path, but I don't know, I think they might want to just say "fuck it", she deserved it for "Marriage Story" and give it to her there. Also, this is a huge makeup for not nominating her for several films, most notably "Lost in Translation". which arguably was another year she should've been nominated twice.... (They were trying to put her in Supporting for that film and Lead for "Girl with a Pearl Earring") I don't know, maybe if there was one precursor....

PREDICTION: Renee Zellweger-"Judy"
Look out for Scarlett here in case this is a Glenn Close losing to Olivia Colman year, but I can't quite call it.

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"

I, and everybody else thinks that the two "The Irishman" nominees are gonna split the vote. There's some talk about that film possibly going 0 for 10, which is possible, and would actually be the second Scorsese film to pull that off, after "Gangs of New York". I don't know about that, but yeah, neither Pacino or Pesci are winning here; no this is the easiest call, they give to the one nominee who hasn't won yet. Yeah, Brad Pitt's never won and he's overdue and he's won all the predecessors.... Yeah, this is an easy call, I genuinely cannot see a scenario where anybody else wins. Maybe, Anthony Hopkins for "The Two Popes", if enough people went to watch it, but again, he's won, there's no immediate need to honor him....

PREDICTION-Brad Pitt-"Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"

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

I think there's possibility that we're slightly overlooking Florence Pugh here. "Little Women" was popular and got two acting nominations, and she fits the prototype of a new, popular young engenue to win this award. Still though, this is basically between Laura Dern and Scarlett Johansson. Oddly though, they're both in the same movie, "Marriage Story" even though Scarlett's nominated in Lead for that film, while Laura Dern's in for Supporting, so one of the two is gonna beat their co-star. Both of them are overdue, but if there's somebody more overdue, it's Laura Dern. Hell, her whole family is overdue, neither her father or her mother ever won either and that's the one thing that's tipping the scale for me, that and the fact that she's won all the precursors. That said, if my thought process on ScarJo being more likely to pull of the upset in Lead Actress then Supporting, this would create a weird scenario where Supporting Actress winner wins by beating her co-star who won Lead Actress for the same movie. That's actually happened before, back in '93 when Anna Paquin won for "The Piano" beating Holly Hunter for "The Firm". I don't know, I guess it would make a little more sense if Scarlett Johansson won here. The voters watch Laura Dern in "Marriage Story" and they see Scarlett's work there and then watch "Jojo Rabbit"....

PREDICTION: Laura Dern-"Marriage Story"
This is by far the closest of the acting races and I might switch between Laura Dern and Scarlett Johansson a couple times until Sunday. Also, why are the photos on the website for the supporting actors, mostly two-shots or group shots? Why in the hell are the Oscars so lazy this year!?!?!?!?! Couldn't find a single decent photo of just the actors from the movie? WTH?

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

Okay the writing categories are also a little tricky. WGA went with "Jojo Rabbit" in a bit of a surprise, and it also won at BAFTA where they had the same five nominees as the Oscars. I think most people feel it's between "Little Women" and "Jojo Rabbit"; I wouldn't necessarily eliminate "The Irishman" and "Joker" from pulling the upset here, especially, "Joker"; I just have a sense that we're overlooking that film somewhere.... but I guess the argument here is that Gerwig could take this as consolation for getting snubbed for Director? I don't know, I mean, Waititi was snubbed for Director too, and he got into DGA. I have to think about this one a bit, 'cause I think it is close, and there's a chance something weird can happen here, but I'm gonna go with the hot hand.

PREDICTION: "Jojo Rabbit"-Taika Waititi

1917-Sam Mendes & Krysty Wilson-Cairns
Knives Out-Rian Johnson
Marriage Story-Noah Baumbach
Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood-Quentin Tarantino
Parasite-BONG Joon-Ho, HAN Jin Won; Story by BONG Joon-Ho

This is another category where the Awards have been split lately. Quentin Tarantino won at both the Globes and the Critics Choice Awards, but he wasn't eligible for WGA, because QT has never joined WGA. However "Parasite" won at WGA and won at BAFTA. There's no real rush to give it to QT, he's won twice, and I suspect they want to give BONG something more then just International Film. If they like "Marriage Story" more then I think they do, maybe that's where Baumbach wins, but I think the Baumbach/Gerwig pairing are going home empty-handed again.

PREDICTION: "Parasite"-BONG Joon-ho & HAN Jin Won

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World-Director: Dean Deblois; Producers: Bradford Lewis and Bonnie Arnold
I Lost My Body-Director: Jeremy Clopin; Producer: Marc du Pontavice
Klaus-Director/Producer: Sergio Pablos; Producers: Jinko Gotoh and Marisa Roman
Missing Link-Director: Chris Butler; Producers: Arianne Sutner and Travis Knight
Toy Story 4-Director: Josh Cooley; Producers: Mark Nielsen and Jonas Rivera

This is a category I am going back and forth on. I thought, originally, the battle was going to be between "I Lost My Body" and "toy Story 4", but then "Missing Link", got the upset win at the Golden Globes, that threw everything for a loop, then the nominations came out and "Frozen II" was surprisingly left off, and "Klaus" got the last entry. Then the Annie Awards, screwed everything up by giving "Klaus" every award it seems, and then it won at BAFTA. So I'm just looking through everything else I can find, um, it looks the Producers took "Toy Story 4", the Visual Effects people seemed to like "Missing Link" more. Uh, just looking through all the other awards out there, "Klaus" hit late, but it's been winning more often then not, when it shows up, but "Toy Story 4" seemed to the one movie that hasn't missed anything. The Oscars like it; it got a surprise Song nomination as well. "Klaus" has the distribution edge, it might have the timing, the Academy probably would rather honor an original work instead of a sequel...- But they honored "Toy Story 3" here.... Man, even Gold Derby is basically calling this a coin flip.

This category is known for upsets, but I'm gonna sitck with "Toy Story 4". It's either that or "Klaus" any other result would just blow my mind at this point. This is another one I might change a few times up until I post this though. I can kinda dismiss the Annie here since this is general Oscar voting pool now, and also, "Klaus" is a Spain/UK production, so that could be why it won at BAFTA. After that, I'm sticking with the Guilds, and "Toy Story 4" was the one that showed up the most.

American Factory-Director/Producer: Steven Bognar & Julia Reichert; Producer: jeff Reichert
The Cave-Director: Feras Fayyad; Producers: Kirstine Barfod and Sigrid Dyekjaer
The Edge of Democracy-Director/Producer: Petra Costa; Producer: Joanna Nalasegara, Shane Boris and Tiago Pavan
For Sama-Director/Producer: Waad al-Kateab; Director: Edward Walls
Honeyland-Director/Producer: Ljubo Stefanov; Director: Tamara Kotevska; Producer:  Alanas Georgiev

Talk about a category known for upsets.... Most of the precursors went to "Apollo 11". BAFTA went with "For Sama", I can see that easily winning. "American Factory" is kind of the de facto favorite. I will say it's a bit weird to me that "For Sama", missed the Critics Choice Documentary Awards nomination; it get left out of a category of ten; that's a bit shocking in hindsight. That's a weird omission, but it could have no effect for this; it is the critics so.... I do get the feeling, if all else is equal, streaming service matter. "American Factory" and "The Edge of Democracy" are on Netflix, "For Sama" is on Youtube right now, as apart of Frontline/PBS, "The Cave" and "Honeyland", which is also a Best International Film nominee are on Hulu. "Honeyland" could play a spoiler, 'cause it's not winning International Film over "Parasite", so, this would be where to honor it.

PREDICTION: "American Factory" 
Honestly, I'm just going with "American Factory" because that's a project that the Obamas were involved with. All else being kinda equal, I'm just gonna take a shot and say that's the tiebreaker. That plus Netflix.

Corpus Christi (Poland)
Honeyland (Honeyland)
Les Miserables (France)
Pain and Glory (Spain)
Parasite (South Korea)

I still don't get why we changed the title, at least without changing any of the rules or anything. Anyway, the Oscars goes to the country technically, but the director accepts it, so BONG Joon-Ho will at least give one speech for sure. Yeah, I guess "Pain and Glory" has a slight chance in case people want to split the vote and try to give "Parasite" best picture, eh, but I don't see it.

PREDICTION: "Parasite" (South Korea) 

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

Ths is another predictable category. I was happy to see Roger Deakins finally win his first Oscar for "Blade Runner 2049", but to be honest, I didn't care for that film and don't think it was one of Roger Deakins's very best cinematography. That said, he's never done a one-take film before and he's still owed a lot more. Eh, if there's a spoiler, maybe "The Lighthouse" if enough voters saw it, but yeah, this is one of the easiest Oscars to predict.

PREDICTION: "1917"-Roger Deakins

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

I can't really trust the CDG Awards here, 'cause despite having fifteen films nominated over three categories, only "Jojo Rabbit" and "Once Upon a TIme... in America" got Guild and Oscar nominations. I don't know what happened there, but this category is exhibit A in my laziness claim for the Oscars this year. This is the first time, ever that every nominee in the category is also up for Best Picture! FIRST TIME EVER that's happened! (Sigh) I guess "Little Women" of the nominees has won the most precursors despite missing at the Guilds. That was the one everybody seemed to admire. I think it's between "Little Women" and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood". It does make the most sense to honor "Little Women" here; I guess it's in play for Writing or maybe Supporting Actress, but I think this would make the most sense. The Academy also loves Jacqueline Durran.

PREDICTION: "Little Women"
I'm not entirely sold on this, I suspect "Once Upon a Time... in America" call pull this off, but I think it's more likely to win in Production Design, so I'm gonna give this one to "Little Women".

Ford v Ferrari-Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland
The Irishman-Thelma Schoonmaker
Jojo Rabbit-Tom Eagles
Joker-Jeff Groth
Parasite-YANG Jinmo

ACE Eddies went with both "Jojo Rabbit" and "Parasite" in a surprise win there. BAFTA threw a curveball in this by picking "Ford v Ferrari", which I had in my number one spot for most of the season. Honestly, I'm still trying to force myself to pick that one, 'cause that looks like the one the Editors would pick. It's a movie about auto racing and chase scenes, ask any editor, are the toughest things to edit well. But "Parasite" wasn't nominated there, and "Parasite" did beat "Ford v Ferrari" at the Eddies. So, if the editors are picking "Parasite", I'm gonna have to go with them here. "The Irishman" might be another spoiler, since they love Thelma Schoonmaker, but I'm not seeing it this time. They've honored her enough, and I doubt they're giving it to her for a nearly four hour film.

PREDICTION: "Parasite"

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

So, in this year of homogenuous laziness groupthink at the Oscars, can I just say that A. i'm glad that the absurdly fickle Makeup Branch finally caved and decided to go to five nominees for the first time, after years of pointlessly narrowing themselves to three, and B. that they truly just, do not give a fuck. They're like, "Yeah, we gotta do five now, and you all want to nominate the same movie everywhere! Fuck you, we're nominating the "Maleficent..." sequel! HA-HA!" I mean, it ain't winning, but at least it seems like somebody thought to not just go with the few movies everybody's seen. This is another fairly easy category; "Bombshell" is the heavy favorite; they've won all the precursors it won at the MUAHs. I guess "Joker" or "Judy" could be a minor spoiler here, but the guild love Kazu Hiro on top of everything else. He won after coming out of retirement for "Darkest Hour" a couple years ago, and he's gonna win here for "Bombshell" pretty easily I imagine.

PREDICTION: "Bombshell"

Joker-Hildur Gudnadottir
Little Women-Alexandre Desplat
Marriage Story-Randy Newman
1917-Thomas Newman
Star Wars; The Rise of Skywalker-John Williams

Four BP nominees, and John Williams got in again. Actually, these were essentially the five that most predicted anyway. This is a spot where it looked like "1917" would start picking up more and more of the craft awards, and Thomas Newman does have a shot here. Newman, like his cousin Randy, who is also a nominee this year, he's gotten to fifteen nominations without a win yet. However, "Joker" has been taking this award, literally everywhere. She won at SCL, she won at BAFTA, she won the Globe, even Critics Choice gave it Hildur Gu-, I can't- I put a d there, but it's more an o with, hold on, I'll just copy and paste: Hildur Guðnadóttir. There we go. I'm sure I've got those symbols somewhere in my word processing thing... I don't really know my Icelandic accent marks that well. Um... so, I've predicting Hildur, girl, to win. Icelandic musician girl that's not Bjork.

I will try to learn these marks later; I promise. What the hell is that, an acute accent, and a-eh, what the hell-? Do you Icelandics have letters we don't use? God, you're harder to figure out then which part of a Korean/Japanese/Chinese person's name is the Family name. (P.S. that's why I all-caps BONG in BONG Joon-Ho. If you're wondering that, that's why; when there's a Korean, Japanese, Chinese, or Hungarian name, I capitalize the family name. [Yeah, Hungarians do that family name first thing too.])

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

There's always a possibility of an upset here. I can "Stand Up" pulling it off here, especially if there's enough sympathy votes for Cynthia Erivo to get something, I can see Randy Newman winning again; I think we want to see Diane Warren finally win; I think this is her eleventh nomination, but-eh, I can't imagine she's winning with this one. The "Frozen II" song; I think I would've given it a better chance if it got into Animated Feature. "Rocketman" really underperformed as well, getting only this nomination, but I think the only thing here that makes a certain amount of sense. It won the Globe, it's won the most of the other precursors; it didn't win at SCL, that went to "Stand Up", but it also wasn't nominated there, it's beaten the "Harriet" song most other places....

PREDICTION: "(I'm Gonna) Love Me Again"-Rocketman

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

This is another category that's normally much less lazy. I told you Costume Design never had all their nominees nominated for Best Picture. That's not entirely true for best Production Design, but it's close. I checked, you have to go back to 1962, for a year when five Best Picture nominees got into Production Design. The caveat is that, there were two Production Design categories back then; one for color films, and one for black-and-white films. So, fifty percent of their nominees that years. (Sigh) Anyway, this is a weird one. "1917" didn't get nominated by the ADG, they honored instead, "Parasite" for contemporary film and "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" for period film. I think it's between those two;  although BAFTA went with "1917" however, and that was over "Once Upon a Time...", not over "Parasite" though. It's very rare for a non-fantasy, contemporary film to win in this category. This is a very conflicting category; I have a feeling that if "Parasite" or "1917" win this, it could a foreshadower for Best Picture. I'm gonna take a shot and go third party though.

PREDICTION: "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood"
I gotta imagine that's winning something more then just Best Supporting Actor; and this makes the most sense here.

1917-Oliver Tarney and Rachael 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

The sound categories were also a bit lazier then expected this year as well. Four BP nominees in each of them; that's just weird. I swear it's almost like these voters got together and said, "Let's get as close as we can to nominating all the BP nominees without everybody outright calling 'Bullshit!' on us. (Shrugs) I mean, yeah, it with all due respect to whoever did the Sound Editing and Mixing, but if "Little Women" were nominated instead of "Star Wars...", I'd- yeah, I'd probably be calling bullshit. Anyway, just a reminder, to simplify this greatly sound editing is the creating and capturing of sounds, the sound mixers are the ones who take those sound and refine them mix them after their captured and created. The Golden Reels are the awards the Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Guild gives out for these, they're one of the few Guilds that went 1917, for their big prize. "Ford v Ferrari" did win something smaller, and "1917" won at BAFTA", they're the two favorites, and usually this category favors war movies, action films. I think "Once Upon a Time..." might be a little more in it then it looks, 'cause Wylie Stateman is one of those guys who's never won, despite, I think this is his ninth nomination. I still gotta lean towards "1917" ultimately.


1917-Mark Taylor and Stuart Wilson
Ad Astra-Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson and Mark Ulana
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

The Cinema Audio Society had a tradition of being the last Guild to give out their awards, usually waiting 'til the day before the Oscars, but this year, they actually got it done early, so, well, kudos, at least they were an awards that knew it had to happen earlier and it did. Unlike the Oscars, which should take it's time and happen later, but aren't. Actually, this is kinda interesting, "1917" wasn't nominated for them, so they honored "Ford v Ferrari" instead. They also nominated "Rocketman" and usually if there is a trend with the Sound categories, if they split, there's usually a musical film that might pull off the upset in this category. Unfortunately that's not the case here, although last year "Bohemian Rhapsody" strangely won both sound categories, so this could be mute. That said, I think "Ford v Ferrari" is gonna win something here, and if it's not winning editing, then I'll call for the one Guild award it got.

PREDICTION: "Ford v Ferrari"
Yeah, this is one of the ones I'm taking a real flyer on, this seems like a year where the two sound awards will go together, but, I don't know; I feel like the technical awards between "1917" and "Ford v Ferrari" are closer then we think. I have "Ford v Ferrari" either second or first in every category except Best Picture that it's up in.

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 Stephanie Grabli
The Lion King-Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Elliot Newman
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker-Roger Guyett, Neal Scanlan, Patrick Tubach and Dominc Tuohy

"1917" also didn't show up at the VES Awards, which split their vote a bit, but "The Lion King" was the most awarded there, which makes sense, 'cause basically that whole movie is a special effects. In fact, some have basically claimed that the film was basically just an animated feature. The second choice was "The Irishman" which is being noted for it's age-reversing technology, which, from what I can tell, especially with actors, they weren't exactly crazy about. BAFTA went with "1917" eh, I'm kinding leaning that way too, but I'm also kinda thinking, "Avengers..." honestly. Like, it didn't win much anywhere, except the Critics Choice strangely. It's the only place here to really honor the MCU and I don't think the Academy's in a hurry to give "Star Wars" anything this year.

I've changed my mind a few times here but I took one last look at the history of the award. There's that one weird year where "Ex Machina" beat out three BP nominees and a "Star Wars" movie, but other then that, almost always, the category goes to either a BP nominee, or a film that could've conceivably been a Best Picture nominee. That leaves "The Irishman" and "1917", and I don't think "The Irishman" is gonna get it, so I'm just gonna go with the expected here and take "1917".

Dcera (aka Daughter)-Daria Kashcheeva
Hair Love-Matthew A. Cherry and Karen Rupert Toliver
Kitbull-Writer/Director: Rosana Sullivan; Producer: Kathryn Hendrickson
Memorable-Writer/Director: Bruno Collet; Producer: Jean-Francois Le Corre
Sister-Siqi Song

I was able to watch three of these; I haven't seen "Dcera" and "Memorable", but I did see trailers of them. "Sister" is pretty good actually,  but I've heard a few people are kinda iffy on it; some of them misinterpreted as an anti-abortion piece, it's actually about the "One Child" policy in China and it's against that, but I still would put it a distant third of the three I saw. I think it was a longshot anyway, this is basically between "Hair Love" and "Kitbull" the two big short films that aired alongside big animated features. I've seen both those movies, and they both made me cry. Man, animated shorts used to be funny, now they're just sad all the time. Maybe lay off the pathos so much; get me a decent Bugs Bunny cartoon once in a while? Tom & Jerry at least? Christ. Um... hmmm....

I can see either "Hair Love" or "Kitbull" winning, especially on a full Academy ballot. This is kind of a coin flip for me to be honest; I think both shorts are great for different reasons; I'm just going with "Hair Love" 'cause I think it's slightly more important, but these are both two really great short films and one of them's gonna be a deserving winner.

Brotherhood-Director/Producer: Meryam Joobeur; Producer: Maria Gracia Turgeon
Nefta Football Club-Director: Yves Piat; Producer: Damien Megherbi
The Neighbors' Window-Marshall Curry
Saira-Director: Bryan Buckley; Producer: Matt Lefebrve
A Sister-Delphine Girard

Okay, first of all, there's an animated short called "Sister" nominated for an Oscar, in the same year that a live-action short film called "A Sister" is nominated for an Oscar. Guys, especially for you short filmmakers, 'cause I know that's how a lot of young filmmakers start, myself included, come up with creative names for your films! Seriously, like, I know sometimes a perfect title fits what you're doing but, try harder; please! Like, are you gonna remember a film called "A Sister", even a good one? I haven't seen this film, but I know the story and what it's about and how it's about it, and it could've had a different title.  I did see, "Brotherhood", "Nefta Football Club" and "The Neighbor's Window". All five of these have a decent argument for winning though, "Brotherhood" is the heavy favorite, and it's a very powerful short, but it's slipping. "Saria" I haven't seen, but it's also really powerful and based on a true story that's particularly sad. "A Sister" is a French film that has a cameo by a pretty well-known Belgian actress, Veerle Baetens, you might remember her from "The Broken Circle Breakdown", but-eh, "The Neighbor's Window" is-, for one thing it's the only English language film, and it'd be my personal pick of the ones I've seen; I liked it a lot, and it's also got some notable names behind it. most notably Maria Dizzia from "Orange is the New Black" and some other notable names behind the scenes in Hollywood. That said, the one that I keep hearing about people loving is the one that's the longest shot on Gold Derby right now, "Nefta Football Club", which I liked a lot as well; it's objectively the funniest of the shorts. It's also got a nice message, it's not too long, it's fun, but not stupid. Plus I've been pretty conservative on these picks overall, but I gotta take at least one deep gamble and these are the categories that can make or break your ballot, and are known for upsets....

PREDICTION: "Nefta Football Club"

In the Absense-Director: YI Seung-Jun; Producer: Gary Bying-Seok KAM
Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)-Director: Carol Dysinger; Producer: Elena Andreicheva
Life Overtakes Me-John Haptas and Kristine Samuelson
St. Louis Superman-Smrili Mundhra and Sami Khan
Walk Run Cha-Cha-Director: Laura Nix; Producer: Colette Sandstedt

The only one of these I haven't seen is "St. Louis Superman" which is actually the one I kinda think could pull off the upset. Right now, "Learning to Skateboard..." is the favorite, and that's a pretty good short. That and "Walk Run-Cha Cha" were my favorites of the group. "In the Absense" could win because of the importance of it's subject matter, "Like Overtakes Me" is also a Netflix film, I guess that can have an effect, but honestly it was pretty easy to watch most of these, and "St. Louis Superman" is an MTV production, so even though I missed it, it might've been seen. That said, I'm going with the favorite here.

PREDICTION: "Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)"
Just as general rule, if you're not sure, pick the one with the most interesting name. I still think "St. Louis Superman" can pull this off though, but I was able to watch it, I might've been more convinced.

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