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100 Best of the 21st Century?

"Carol >>>>>>>>>> most of these movies" - Clarence

"The more I see these snooty lists, the more I get turned off of by film critics. What about Lord of the Rings, The Hours, The Devil Wears Prada..." -Jono

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - The movie you're hoping to see every time you go in the cinema" - Jeremy

 

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

 discuss on the blog

 

Before the Chart... For the Conscientious Voter 

Films that have already played that the serious voters will see given either their reviews, pedigree, ambitions, or cultural impact: Captain Fantastic, Love & Friendship, The Witch, The Lobster, Sing Street, Captain America: Civil War, Hail Caesar!, and Zootopia

And now the July Predictions

Tier 1 - Top Predictions

Loving
(Focus Features)
Jeff Nichols
Nov 4th

The documentary about this interracial married couple got some small attention but Nichols has some serious as yet unOscar noticed skills. Might this period drama be the one to move him up a level? Advanced buzz is strong.

 

The Birth of a Nation
(Fox Searchlight)
Nate Parker
October 7th

It's dangerous to start the year as a frontrunner as this provocatively titled picture about a slave rebellion did at Sundance. Will it be a hit? Will it's violence in such a rough year for race relations disturb the Academy? Great release date choice.

La La Land
(Lionsgate)
Damien Chazelle
Dec 16th

My wild card pick in April doesn't look so crazy after seeing the trailer. Yes, launching contemporary musicals into the Oscar ranks hasn't been done in (decades?) but so what. Surprises do occur. It's Chazelle's Whiplash follow up. If they fall in love...

 

Silence
(Paramount)
Martin Scorsese
November tba

Though you never can tell how long Scorsese will take in post-production, this 17th century missionairy drama about Jesuit priests in Japan has been in post for a long time already so it should make its November plans

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
(Universal)
Ang Lee
Nov 11th

While contemporary satire is NOT easy to transfer to the screen, everyone seems to love this book and we know that Oscar sits up straight to listen when Ang Lee spin his yarns. Crossing fingers

 

Tier 2 - And... (since there can be up to 10 Nominees)

Arrival (Paramount)
Denis Villeneuve
Nov 11th

That generic new title isn't helping. This sci-fi drama stars Amy Adams as a linguist tasked with communicating with aliens. TFE keeps predicting Villeneuve's movies to be major players and each time they seem to be getting closer to the conversation. So we'll stick with our hunch.

Fences
(Paramount)
Denzel Washington
December tba

Though production rushed to get this one filmed can the Tony winning 50s set drama about a garbage man and his wife transfer to the big screen with not just its cast but its magic intact? (Denzel has not wowed as a director thus far.)

 

Manchester by the Sea (Roadside)
Kenneth Lonergan
Nov 18th

While you started hearing "lock this" and "lock that" as early as January for this Sundance drama from Lonergan (You Can Count On Me, Margaret) it won't be that easy. will they go for this glum drama of an uncle and nephew?

Sully
(Warner Bros)
Clint Eastwood
Sept 9th

Eastwood misses as often as he hits when he takes a swing but if he can harness some of Tom Hanks underrappreciated current magic for this true story about a pilot who saved a bunch of lives, more Oscar noms could follow

Lion 
(Weinstein Co)
Garth Davis
Nov 25th

This true story about an Indian man (played by Dev Patel) searching for his origins after being adopted and raised in Australia (Nicole Kidman is mommy) could be a real tearjerker. Or a complete miss. Who knows?! It's a feature debut from Garth Davis who co-directed the great miniseries Top of the Lake.

 
Tier 3 - But Watch Out For...

Passengers
(Sony)
Morten Tyldum
Dec 21st

Chris Pratt and Jennfier Lawrence wake from their suspended animation 100 years before schedule in this sci-fi drama. Uh oh. But how romantic is it? How sci-fi? Do they have chemistry? Is it an adult sci-fi or slow simmer visual fx piece? so many questions

The Founder
(Weinstein Co)
John Lee Hancock
December 16th

The Weinstein Co moved this from August despite their promise last season to 'make August happen' Will this have appeal beyond Hancock's usual mainstream friendly inspiring tales?

Love and Friendship
(Roadside Attractions)
June 3rd

While it might be slight for Oscar voters who like heavy drama and long running times, it's a delight and seems likely to be reenergized by Golden Globe nominations

 

Allied(Paramount)
Robert Zemeckis
Nov 23rd

Another World War II drama and the title is so generic. We'd place this much higher given the delicious leads (Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard) but Zemeckis has been struggling to connect with audiences in the same way that he used to. But high hopes regardlees.

Florence Foster Jenkins
(Paramount)
Stephen Frears
August 12th

If the Academy is in the mood for something lighter but still resonant, might they fall for this confection about a terrible singer in her last years and the husband who wants her dreams to come true?

 

 

 
Tier 4 - Longer Shots. But So Much Could Still Happen

The Girl on the Train
(Universal)
October 7th

If they want mainstream thrills (and finally realize they love Blunt)

The Lobster
(A24)
May 13th

If they want boldness and critics rally at year's end

Bleed For This
(Open Road)
November 4th

If it transcends its genre (they do like boxing) but more likely an acting thing

The Light Between Oceans
(Disney/ Dreamworks)
September 2nd

If Oscar wants intimacy this year

Zootopia OR Moana
(Disney)
March 4th / Nov 23rd

The moment has probably passed for animated features in Best Picture but you never know

 
Other Titles

in order of release date
Snowden (Open Road. Sept 16th), Queen of Katwe (Disney, Sept 23rd), Denial (Bleecker Street, Sept 30th), A Monster Calls (Focus Features, Oct 14th), American Pastoral (Lionsgate, Ot 21st), Rules Don't Apply (Fox, Nov 11th), Elle (SPC, Nov 11th), Nocturnal Animals (Focus Features, Nov 18th), Miss Sloane (Dec 9th), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney, Dec 16th), Collateral Beauty (New Line, Dec 16th),

waiting on release date
20th Century Women (A24, tba), Beat-up Little Seagull (tba, tba), Free Fire (A24, tba), How to Talk to Girls at Parties (A24, tba), Wild Oats (Weinstein Co, TBA), Wilson (Fox Searchlight, tba)

Waiting until 2017
At least that's the current plan
. Could move up if they sense an opportunity Live by Night (Warner Bros), Same Kind of Different Than Me (Paramount), The Zookeeper's Wife (Focus)