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an honorary for David Lynch 

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Directors (For Sama)
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90th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2017 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only




26 films were eligible which means we'll have a five-wide category again. Discuss on the blog



The Boss Baby
Official Site

March 31st

RT Score: 52%
Box Office: $175

previous wins: --

The Breadwinner
Official Site
(Cartoon Saloon/GKids)
November 17th

RT Score: 90%
Box Office: $242k+

previous wins: LAFCA

Official Site
November 22nd)

RT Score: 96%
Box Office: $200+

previous wins:

NBR, NYFCC ,Critics Choice Globe

Loving Vincent

Official Site
(Good Deed)
Sept 22nd

RT Score: 80%
Box Office: $6+

previous wins: --


Official Site
(Fox/Blue Sky)
Dec 15th

RT Score: n/a
Box Office: $79+

previous wins: --

Who was left out?
The Lego Batman Movie
and Despicable Me 3 were both doing well in precursors if not ever winning (Coco hogging those prizes). The foreign film The Big Bad Fox and Other Tales was probably the highest profile of the many critical darlings among the foreign films (aside from Breadwinner that is)
Will win / Should win: Pixar has taken a good chunk of these Oscars and this year won't prove any different since Coco  is so moving and colorful.



Discuss on the blog

Dear Basketball

Glen Keane (director) and Kobe Bryant (writer) 1st nominations!
Glen Keane Productions

6 minutes. Hand drawn. US

The famous animator Keane illustrates Kobe Bryant's poem

Garden Party
multiple directors

7 minutes. CGI. France

Amphibians explore their surroundings

Dave Mullins (debut as director) and Dana Murray (debut as producer 1st nominations!)

Pixar Animation Studios

7 minutes. CGI. US

a monster living in a lost and found box


Negative Space
Max Porter (debut film 1st nomination!) and Ru Kuwahata 1st nomination!
Ikki Films

5 minutes. Stop Motion. France

Revolting Rhymes
Jakob Schuh (2nd nomination)  & Jan Lachauer (2nd nomination)
Magic Light pictures

29 minutes. CGI. UK

Schuh and Lachauer were both nominated in this category before but for different films.

Who was left out? We're heartbroken that the instantly beloved gay short In a Heartbeat didn't convert its finalist status into a nomination. Other finalists shut out were the amusing Life Smartphone and the amputee veteran drama Cradle . Other finalists were Fox and the Whale and Lost Property Office  
Will win / Should win:
Revolting Rhymes and Dear Basketball both won Annie awards (in slightly separate shorts categories) so watch out for either of those. Our own Chris Feil thinks that Negative Space is the best and will also win, though.





170 titles made the long list of eligibility. The Academy then narrowed it down to 15. And the nominees (links go to our reviews) are...

Tier 1 - Predicted Nominees

Abacus: Small Enough to Jail 
Steve James (1st nomination in this category)

James (Hoop Dreams) finally scores in doc with this look at the only company indicted in the mortgage crisis

Previous wins: Critics Choice (Political), and Sarasota Film Festival

Faces Places 
Agnes Varda and Jr. (1st nominations! but Varda just got her Honorary )


a playful doc in rural France.

 Previous wins: NYFCC BSFC, Cannes (Golden Eye), and  LAFCA, and a smattering of festival and critics prizes

Bryan Fogel
1st nomination!  



An expose of the doping epidemic in Olympic sports

Previous wins: Critics Choice (Sports), and a smattering of festival prizes

Last Men in Aleppo 
 Firas Fayyad, Kareem Abeed, and & Soren Steen Jespersen 1st nominations!

Another doc on the White Helmets. You might remember a doc short called White Helmets  (different filmmakers) which won that category last year

Previous wins: APSA, and a smattering of festival and critics prizes

Strong Island
Yance Ford (debut film / 1st nomination!)

The filmmaker examines the death of their brother and problematic judicial system 

Previous wins: Frameline, Gotham, and a smattering of festival and critics prizes

Who was left out?
The big misses were the archive footage nature doc Jane which was expected to the frontrunner for the statue as well as the acclaimed  City of Ghosts both of which were from previous nominees in this category. The other finalists were: Chasing Coral, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, LA 92, One Of Us, Ex-Libris: New York Public Library, Long Strange Trip, Unrest, and Human Flow
Will win / Should win: We'll get back to you on that!



Discuss on the blog

Laura Checkoway 1st nomination!
Heart is Red and Kartemquin Films

29 minutes. US

The story of the world's oldest interracial newlyweds, both in their 90s, who met at the park

Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Frank Stiefel
1st nomination! 
Stiefel & Co.

40 minutes. US

Portrait of a 56 year old artist who has suffered from mental health issues her whole life.

Elaine McMillion Sheldon 1st nomination!
Netflix, The Center for Investigative Reporting, and A Requisite Media Production

39 minutes. US


Three women fight the opoid epidemic in West Virginia

Knife Skills
Thomas Lennon
(4th nomination | 1 win)
TFL Films

40 minutes. US

A portrait of a restaurant opening in Cleveland and ex-cons learning to cook.

Traffic Stop
Kate Davis
1st nomination!
Q Ball Productions

31 minutes. US


This is about an African American schoolteacher in Texas who is stopped for a routine traffic violation but the situation escalates

Who was left out: The other finalists were Alone, 116 Cameras, Kayayo, Ten Meter Tower (which we loooved -- *sniffle*), and Ram Dass Going Home
Will win / Should win: Glenn Dunks, our resident documentary expert, thinks that Heroin(e) and Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 are the strongest from the batch though he thinks the win is between Heroine and Edith+Eddie



Discuss on the blog

Dekalb Elementary

Reed Van Dyk
1st nomination!

21 minutes

Inspired by a 9/11 call during a school shooting in Atlanta

The Eleven O'Clock
Derin Seale
1st nomination!

13 minutes

A comic short in which a patient believes he is his therapist's therapist.

My Nephew Emmett
Kevin Wilson Jr
1st nomination!

20 minutes

Based on the 1955 true story of the murder of Emmett Till

The Silent Child
Chris Overton and Rachel Shenton
1st nomination!
Slick Films

20 minutes

a four year old deaf girl finally learns to communicate thanks to a social worker. Rachel Shenton also co-stars.

Watu Wrote / All of Us
Katja Benrath
1st nomination!
Hamburg Media School

22 minutes
Germany / Kenya

About a bus incident involving Muslims and Christians coming together during a terrorist attack

Who was left out:
The other finalists were Lost Face, Rise of a Star (which co-starred Catherine Deneuve!), Witnesses (starring Virginia Ledoyen), Facing Mecca, and Icebox (which has already signed a deal to be adapted into a feature film)
Will Win / Should Win:
We'll have to get back to you on this.