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Janelle Monae's Breakout Year

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89th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2016 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

DECEMBER 5th Predictions

Animated Feature Predictions
Last year 16 films were eligible, just barely triggering a 5 wide nominee field. Things aren't as tight this year with 27 eligible titles. You can generally assume one or two foreign entries will make the nominee list. This year is SO competitive. It's tough to see which films will fall by the wayside. 

Zootopia
(Disney)
CG
March 4th
Box Office $341 

REVIEWED

Prizes
11 Annie nominations, Critics Choice Nom, NYFCC Winner

The Red Turtle 
(Wild Bunch / Studio Ghibli)
Traditional
Box Office $N/A 

Qualifying Week

REVIEWED

Prizes
5 Annie nominations,
EFA nomination, Critics Choice Nomination

Moana
(Disney)
CG
Nov 23rd
Box Office $N/A 

Prizes
6 Annie nominations, Critics Choice Nomination

Kubo and the Two Strings
(Laika/Focus)
Stop Motion
Aug 19th

REVIEWED

Prizes
NBR winner, 10 Annie nominations, Critics Choice Nomination

 

Your Name
(GKids)
Funimation
Box Office $N/A  

Qualifying Week

Prizes
2 Annie nominations, LAFCA Winner

 

 Already the frontrunner for the Oscar having debuted to massive box office, audience love, and critical hosannas (the magic trifecta).

 

more on Zootopia

 Studio Ghibli, still in flux post-Miyazaki, stepped in to help finish this French production - it's a dialogue free film about a man stranded on an island. And it's amazing. 

 

more on The Red Turtle

 

As Disney's first musical since their gargantuan Frozen hit and their big release post the already beloved Zootopia, and Miranda's first project since Hamilton, the stakes (and expectations) are sky high.

more on Moana

One of these years the US's most unique animation studio is going to win the top prize right? It's unlikely that Kubo will be the one but it's as gorgeous as ever from this essential studio

more on Kubo

 

This body swap adventure about a teen girl and teen boy was a phenomenon in Japan. Will it appeal to the animation branch?

Could Also Be Contenders...

Finding Dory
(Disney/Pixar
CG
June 17th
Box Office $486

REVIEWED

Prizes
3 Annie nominations, Critics Choice Nomination


The Little Prince  
(Netflix)
Mixed Medium
Box Office $N/A  

Qualifying Week

REVIEWED

Prizes
2 Annie nominations,

Miss Hokusai
Oct 14th
(GKids)
Traditional
Box Office $222K 

Prizes
1 Annie nomination

Sing!
(Illumination / Universal)
CG
Box Office $N/A  

Opens Dec 21st

Prizes
1 Annie nomination,

Sausage Party
(Sony/Columbia)
CG
August 12th
Box Office $97.6  

Prizes
1 Annie nomination

 

It might seem crazy to doubt a lock for this one but Pixar's new sequel craze has been disheartening and this is a simple retread of the original

more on Dory

While this is screening on Netflix, they also secured a qualifying theatrical engagement. It was popular abroad. Might Oscar like it too? GKids has proven formidable at snagging nominations but it's not entirely easy to suss out which foreign entries they'll champion

Reviews were joyous from its festival bow arguing that the last act is something special even if its just a jukebox musical

On the other hand the Annies weren't all that taken with it for something so mainstream. 

Sony is pushing this one hard for a nomination. But will voters go with something this irreverent and raunchy?

 Reviewed

Tier 3 - Longer Shots. - 27 Titles in Total Are Eligible

April & the Extraordinary World
(GKids)
Traditional
April 8th
Box Office $unknown 

REVIEWED

Prizes
1 Annie nomination

Phantom Boy
(GKids)
Traditional
July 15th
Box Office $34K 

REVIEWED

Prizes
tba

If they want one of their foreign picks and Red Turtle is too untraditional for them. GKids sometimes has more than they can handle. This French delight may be too tiny to be noticed. But I, for one, loved it.
 
NEXT YEAR?

Loving Vincent (Painted), The Lego Batman Movie, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Cars 3, Despicable Me 3, Coco, Astrid Silverlock, and The Wild Bunch, Adama (France), Animal Crackers, Henchmen (Bron Studios), The Last Prince of Atlantis (Russia), Little Door Gods (China), Master Jiang and the Six Kingdoms (China), Sly Cooper

 

Animated Short Finalists
The following ten films will compete for the five-wide shortlist in January. They are...

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

Inner Workings
Leo Matsuda
& Sean Lurie
(Disney)

Piper
Alan Barillaro & Marc Sondheimer
(Pixar)

Blind Vaysha
Theodore Ushev
(NFBC)
The Head Vanishes
Franck Dion (NFBC and ARTE France Cinema Dept)
Happy End
Jan Saska
(Famu-Film & TV School Academy of Prague)

(US, 7 minutes)

Hilarious short about a man with a dull day job learning to seize the inner day and make the best of it. (Matsuda previously worked on the features Big Hero 6 and Wreck-It Ralph)

Trailer

(US, 6 minutes)

a baby bird learns to overcome her fear and find her own food (played before Finding Dory)

Streaming Rental

(Canada, 8 min)

a woman's left eye can only see the past, her right on the future

(Canada/France, 9 minutes)

A woman with dementia takes the train to the seaside

Trailer

(Czech Republic, 6 minutes)

"a black comedy about death with a happy ending."

Clip

Tier 2 - But any combo of films seems possible!
Pearl
Patrick Osborne (1 nom | 1 win)
(Google Spotlight Stories / Evil Eye Pictures)
Pear Cider and Cigarettes
Robert Valley
Sour Tes Doigts
Marie-Christine-Courtés & Ludivine Berthouloux (Vivement Lundi & Novanima)
Once Upon a Line
Alicja Jasina
Borrowed Time
Andrew Coats & Lou Hamou-Lhadj (Quorum Films)

(US, 5 minutes)

Osborne previously won the Oscar for Feast. His newest short is about a girl and her father on a cross country trip

Now Streaming

 

(Canada/UK, 35 minutes)

A documentary short about a man trying to help his friend quit drinking

Streaming Rental

Trailer

 

(France, 13 minutes)

A young woman revives the story of her grandmother in colonial Indochina. Beautiful watercolory look.

 

(US, 10 minutes)

"a man leads a humdrum existence, until he meets somebody"

Trailer

(US, 7 minutes)

A sheriff returns to the scene of an accident which haunts him.

(Both directors previously worked on various Pixar films)

Trailer

Do you know of any others that were in the mix before the great winnowing? We think Oscar should release the long semi-finals list as they do with features.

 

 

Documentary Feature Predictions
We have the 145 film long semi-finalist list so let's make predictions of what makes the 15 wide finalist list...

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

Zero Days
Alex Gibney
(2 noms | 1 win) 

Reviewed

The 13th
Ava DuVernay
(never nominated) 

Reviewed

 

 

O.J.: Made in America Reviewed

Fire at Sea
 
ReviewedInterview

Weiner
Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg
(never nominated) 

Reviewed

Cyber Crime / Politics  Race / Politics / Prison    Culture / Family Politics / Scandal
Tier 2 - Also Easy to Imagine as Nominees

The Ivory Game
Keif Davison
(1 nomination)
Richard Ladkani
(never nom'ed)

Tower
Keith Maitland
(never nominated)

Reviewed

Newtown

Kim A Snyder
(never nominated) 

Reviewed

I Am Not Your Negro
Raoul Peck
(never nominated) 

Gleason
Clay Tweel
(never nominated) 

      Race / Literature / History  Disease / Sports / Family
Tier 3 - Will They Make the 15 Wide Finalist List?

The Eagle Huntress
 Otto Bell

Reviewed

My Love Don't Cross That River
Jin Mo-Young

Reviewed 

Trapped 
Dawn Porter

Reviewed

 Miss Sharon Jones
Barbara Kopple

Reviewed

Life Animated

Roger Ross Williams 
(1 nom | 1 win) 

  Biography / Marriage  Abortion / Politics Showbiz / Music Can anyone explain how a TV miniseries is eligible for a feature film prize again?
Tier 4 - Daring Long Shots for the Finalist List (though this branch can be stuffy about more frisky and more experimental works)

Camera Person
Kirsten Johnson

Reviewed

Kate Plays Christine
Robert Greene

Reviewed

Tickled

Reviewed

Into the Inferno Reviewed Hooligan Sparrow
Filmmaking / Memoir Acting / Experimental Web / Culture Werner Herzog  

The Semi-Finals (145 Films will compete)

The Abolitionists, Abortion: Stories Women Tell, All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone, Almost Holy, Amanda Knox (Glenn's review), Among the Believers, Anne Frank Then and Now, The Anthropologist, Apparition Hill, Art Bastard, The Ataxian, Audrie & Daisy (Glenn's review), Author: The JT Leroy Story, The Bad Kids, Be Here Now (The Andy Whitfield Story), The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years (Glenn's review), A Beautiful Planet, Beauty Bites Beast”, Becoming Mike Nichols (Glenn's review), Before the Flood, Behind Bayonets and Barbed Wire, Behind the Cove – The Quiet Japanese Speak Out!, Best and Most Beautiful Things, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened, A Billion Lives, Black Women in Medicine, Blood on the Mountain, Boy 23: The Forgotten Boys of Brazil, The Brainwashing of My Dad, Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, By Sidney Lumet, The C Word, Cameraperson (Glenn's reviewBFCA nominee), Citizen Soldier, City of Gold, Class Divide, Colliding Dreams, Command and Control, Dancer, Danny Says, Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War, Disturbing the Peace, Do Not Resist, Don’t Blink – Robert Frank, The Eagle Huntress (Nathaniel's review), Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words (Glenn's review), Eating You Alive, Equal Means Equal, Eva Hesse, Everything Is Copy – Nora Ephron: Scripted & Unscripted (Glenn's review)

A Family Affair, Finding Babel, Fire at Sea (Amir's reviewJose's interviewBFCA nominee), The First Monday in May (Jose's interview), Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, Francofonia, Generation Startup, Gimme Danger, Gleason (BFCA nominee), Harry & Snowman, Hate Rising with Jorge Ramos, Holy Hell, Hooligan Sparrow, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, Huntwatch, I Am Not Your Negro, Indian Point, Into the Inferno (Glenn's review), Iron Moon, Ivory. A Crime Story, The Ivory Game, Jim: The James Foley Story, Kate Plays Christine (Glenn's review), Keepers of the Game, Landfill Harmonic, The Last Man on the Moon, Life, Animated (BFCA nominee), Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Glenn's review), Look at Us Now, Mother!, The Lovers and the Despot (Glenn's review), Magnus, Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (Manuel's review), Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing, Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame, Mavis!, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, Mifune: The Last Samurai, Miss Sharon Jones! (Glenn's review), The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, My Love, Don’t Cross That River (Glenn's review), National Bird, National Parks Adventure, Never Surrender, Newtown (Glenn's review), Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (Glenn's review), Notes on Blindness, Nuts! (Glenn's review)

A Family Affair, Finding Babel, Fire at Sea (Amir's reviewJose's interviewBFCA nominee), The First Monday in May (Jose's interview), Floyd Norman: An Animated Life, Francofonia, Generation Startup, Gimme Danger, Gleason (BFCA nominee), Harry & Snowman, Hate Rising with Jorge Ramos, Holy Hell, Hooligan Sparrow, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change, Huntwatch, I Am Not Your Negro, Indian Point, Into the Inferno (Glenn's review), Iron Moon, Ivory. A Crime Story, The Ivory Game, Jim: The James Foley Story, Kate Plays Christine (Glenn's review), Keepers of the Game, Landfill Harmonic, The Last Man on the Moon, Life, Animated (BFCA nominee), Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World (Glenn's review), Look at Us Now, Mother!, The Lovers and the Despot (Glenn's review), Magnus, Making a Killing: Guns, Greed, and the NRA, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures (Manuel's review), Marathon: The Patriots Day Bombing, Marinoni: The Fire in the Frame, Mavis!, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, Mifune: The Last Samurai, Miss Sharon Jones! (Glenn's review), The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble, My Love, Don’t Cross That River (Glenn's review), National Bird, National Parks Adventure, Never Surrender, Newtown (Glenn's review), Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (Glenn's review), Notes on Blindness, Nuts! (Glenn's review)

O.J.: Made in America (Glenn's reviewBFCA nominee), Off the Rails, Older than Ireland, Olympic Pride, American Prejudice, On the Map, 100 Years, One Woman’s Fight for Justice, Our Last Tango, Presenting Princess Shaw, The Red Pill, Rigged 2016, The Rolling Stones Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip across Latin America, Rooted in Peace, The Ruins of Lifta, Seasons, The Seventh Fire, Shadow World, Silicon Cowboys, Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang, Solitary, Southwest of Salem: The Story of the San Antonio Four (Glenn's review), Starving the Beast, The Syndrome, Thank You for Your Service, Theo Who Lived, They Will Have to Kill Us First – Malian Music in Exile, 13th (Glenn's reviewBFCA nominee), This Is Life, Tickled (Josh's reviewBFCA nominee), Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru (Glenn's review), Tower (Glenn's reviewBFCA nominee), The Trans List, Trapped (Glenn's review), Trezoros: The Lost Jews of Kastoria, USS Indianapolis The Legacy, The Uncondemned, Under the Gun, Under the Sun (Glenn's reviewAPSA nominee), Underfire: The Untold Story of Pfc. Tony Vaccaro, Unlocking the Cage, Vaxxed: From Cover-Up to Catastrophe, Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience, We Are X, Weiner (Daniel's reviewBFCA nominee), When Two Worlds Collide, The Witness (Glenn's reviewBFCA nominee), Zero Days (Glenn's review)

Not on the Semi-Finals List For Reasons Unbeknownst To Us

The Event- Sergei Loznitsa (Reviewed), In Transit -Albert Maysles (& more) Reviewed, One More Time With Feeling -Andrew Dominik Reviewed, Strike a Pose -Interview | Reviewed , No Home Movie -Chantal Akerman, A Guy From Fenyang -Walter Salles, Women He's Undressed -Gillian Armstrong

 

Documentary Short Finalists
The following ten films will compete for the five-wide shortlist in January. They are...

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

Joe's Violin
Kahane Cooperman
(never nom'ed - but multiple Emmys)

Extremis
Dan Krauss
(1 nomination)

The Mute's House
Tamar Kay
(debut film)
Watani: My Homeland
Marcel Mettelsiefen
(never nom'ed)
The White Helmets
Orlando Einsiedel
(1 nomination)

(US, 24 minutes)

a 91 year old Holocaust survivor donates his violin

Now Streaming

(US, 24 minutes)

End of life decisions in the ICU

Now Streaming

(Israel, 32 minutes)

A mother and son live in an abandoned building in Hebron in the West Bank

Trailer or Purchase

(UK, 40 minutes)

A family of refugees from Aleppo tries to make a new home in Germany

Trailer

(UK, 41 minutes)

First responders rescuing victims of airstrikes in Syria

Now Streaming

Tier 2 - But any combo of films seems possible!

Frame 394
Richard Williamson
(never nom'ed)

Brillo Box (3¢ off)
Lisanne Skyler
(never nom'ed)
Close Ties
Zofia Kowalewksa
(never nom'ed)
4.1 Miles
Daphne Matziaraki
(Student Academy Award Win)
The Other Side of Home
Jesse Ross
(never nom'ed)

(Canada, 30 minutes)

A Toronto expert on image stabilization gets involved in the investigation of a high profile shooting

Now Streaming

(US, 40 minutes)

The life of an Andy Warhol scultpure from supermarket to home to art market

Reviewed

(Poland, ??? minutes)

a bickering couple with a troubled marriage celebrate their 45th anniversary

Trailer

(21 minutes)

A coast guard captain must save 1000s of refugees from drowning

Now Streaming

(UK, 32 minutes)

a Turkish woman attends the100th commemoration of the Armenian genocide. Her grandmother was a survivor

Trailer

 

Do you know of any others that were in the mix before the great winnowing? We think Oscar should release the long semi-finals list as they do with features.

 

Live Action Short Finalists
The following ten films will compete for the five-wide shortlist in January. They are...

Tier 1 - Current Predictions

 
Graffiti
Lluis Quilez
(Participant Media, Euphoria Prod, and Ainur Films)
Silent Nights Aske Bang (never nom'ed) and Kim Magnusson (5 noms / 2 wins) (M & M Prod) Bon Voyage
Marc Raymond Wilkins
Joel Jent (Dschoint Ventschr Film-production)
Sing
Kristof Deak
and Kim Magnusson, producer (M & M Prod.)
Nocturne in Black
Jimmy Kerouz
(Columbia University)

(Spain/Ukraine, 30 minutes)

A man thinks he is the lone survivor post apocalype but then he discovers new graffiti

Trailer

(Denmark, ??? minutes)

No Info yet but this producer and company have an Oscar history.

(Turkey/Switzerland, 21 minutes)

A cruise ship finds a sinking refugee boat

(Hungary, 25 minutes)

a new girl uncovers a secret about her new music school's winning choir

Trailer

(Lebanon, 23 minutes)

This short won the Student AcademyAward

Tier 2 - But any combo of films seems possible!
La Femme et le TGV
Timo Von Gunten
(arbel gmbh)
Ennemis Intérieurs / Domestic Enemies
Selim Azzazi
(Qualia Films)
Timecode
Juanjo Giménez, director (Nadir Films)
The Way of Tea (Les Frémissements du Thé)
Marc Fouchard and Matthieu Devillers (Existenz, BlackBox and P904)
The Rifle, The Jackal, The Wolf, and the Boy
Oualid Mouaness
(Tricycle Logic)

(Switzerland, 30 minutes)

This film stars Jane Birkin (mother of Charlotte Gainsbourg)

Trailer

(France, 27 minutes)

A film about 1990s Algerian terrorism cels in France

(Spain, 15 minutes)

two security guards working different shifts

(France, 21 minutes)

A skinhead visits a grocery story

(Lebanon, 18 minutes)

a coming of age story about brothers who take their father's rifle without consent in contemporary rural Lebanon

Do you know of any others that were in the mix before the great winnowing? We think Oscar should release the long semi-finals list as they do with features.