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Visual Effects Oscar Semi-Finals 

"All I know is that if I had worked on A Monster Calls, I'd be pretty pissed that I didn't get in but Sully did." -The Jack

INTERVIEWS

Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea)
Chris Kelly (Other People)
NWR (Neon Demon)

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 Index | Pic | Dir | Actress | Actor | Supp Actress |  Supp Actor | Foreign |Screenplays | Visual | Aural |Animation 

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

And now December 4th Predictions
discuss 

Tier 1 - Top Tier. It's getting hard to image the Oscar list without them

LA LA LAND
(Lionsgate)
Damien Chazelle
Dec 9th
Box Office N/A 

BRIEF REVIEW | 2ND TAKE | 3RD TAKE

NBR top ten, Critics Choice Top Ten, NYFCC Winner

My wild card pick from April is looking like the one to beat at this point. Trivia Fun: a contemporary live action movie musical with original songs hasn't been nominated in decades. The last one was Doctor Dolittlein 1967 or Nashille in 1975 if you count non-traditional musicals. Can you can believe it!?

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA
(Roadside)
Kenneth Lonergan
Nov 18th
Box Office $4+

REVIEWED | 2ND TAKE | 3RD TAKE

Gotham Nom, NBR Best Film, Critics Choice Top Ten

We started hearing "lock" as early as January for this Sundance drama from Lonergan (You Can Count On Me) and this time it might be true. This depressing drama of an uncle and nephew losing a family member is a 'male tearjerker' but it has moments of charm, too.

 

MOONLIGHT 
(A24)
Barry Jenkins
Oct 21st
Box Office $9+ 

REVIEWED & PODCAST

Gotham Winner, NBR Director, NBR top ten,Critics Choice Top Ten

This picture is superbly rendered. But it's also gay themed which could deter Oscar love (examples are endless including Carol just missing Best Pic last year). Still, the critics have rallied so one suspects at least a handful of nods including this one. 

HELL OR HIGH WATER
(CBS Films)
David Mackenzie
Aug 12th
Box Office $27 

REVIEWED

NBR top ten, Critics Choice Top Ten

 Sleeper hits of quality can sometimes be catnip for voters. They feel more like discoveries than preordained contenders. It's looking closer and closer to a sure thing. But how big can it get with Oscar?

ARRIVAL
(Paramount)
Denis Villeneuve
Nov 11th
Box Office $73+

REVIEWED & PODCAST

NBR top ten, Critics Choice Top Ten

TFE kept predicting Villeneuve's movies to be major players and it looks like one of them finally is. Arrival gets people talking and is proving popular with audiences. That can go a long long way with Oscar love when the film is also this good. 

Tier 2 - Since there can be up to 10 Nominees. But how many will we get and which of these might be the lucky ones?

 

LION 
(Weinstein Co)
Garth Davis
Nov 25th
Box Office $279K

REVIEWED

Critics Choice Top Ten

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) is a real crowdpleaser. It's a feature debut from Garth Davis who co-directed the great miniseries Top of the Lake.

 

FENCES
(Paramount)
Denzel Washington
Dec 25th
Box Office N/A 

TEASER and HIS & HERS OSCARS

Critics Choice Top Ten

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 so we shall see)

LOVING
(Focus Features)
Jeff Nichols
Nov 4th 
Box Office $5+ 

BRIEF REVIEW & PODCAST

Critics Choice Top Ten

 A documentary about this interracial married couple got some small attention but Nichols has some serious as yet unOscar noticed skills. This feature version of the same story is right in Oscar's wheelhouse though it is a little quiet and reserved for typical Oscar heat.

 

SULLY
(Warner Bros)
Clint Eastwood
Sept 9th
Box Office $124.5

REVIEWED & PODCAST

NBR top ten, Critics Choice Top Ten

 Eastwood misses as often as he hits but this was greeted warmly at the box office and Tom Hanks underrappreciated current magic could actually help motivate people to vote for this true story about a pilot who saved a bunch of lives...

 

 

 

JACKIE
(Fox Searchlight)
Pablo Larraîn
December 16th
Box Office $275K

REVIEWED

The picture's quality as well as its "I remember this" appeal to older voters and that grabby central performance made this one look likely despite its chilly anger. But the first week of awards have mostly ignored it. What's happening?
 
Tier 3 - Long Shots...

SILENCE
(Paramount)
Martin Scorsese
Dec 23rd
Box Office N/A 

NEARLY FINISHED NOW

NBR top ten

Oscar has loved all but one film (Shutter Island) that Scorsese has made this century. But aside from the easy get of the NBR for Scorsese, response has been quiet

HACKSAW RIDGE
(Fox)
Mel Gibson
November 2nd
Box Office $57+

 NBR top ten, Critics Choice Top Ten

Mel Gibson's "comeback" didn't quiet explode at the box office but the NBR and Critics Choice came running. Will Oscar forgive its corniness and weird love of gore to reembrace Gibson?

HIDDEN FIGURES
(Fox)
Theodore Melfi
Qualifying
Box Office $N/A

Trailer

NBR top ten

 

 Female Mathematicians at NASA if they want something lighte. Plus it's likely to be a box office hit. But will it be taken seriously? It's escapist and Oscar can be (though isn't always) resistant to female narratives

20TH CENTURY WOMEN
(A24)
Mike Mills
Dec 25th
Box Office $ N/A

Reviewed

NBR top ten (indie)

Mike Mills gorgeous warm ode to his mother via a fictionalizes 'it takes a village' story about a mother and son and their communal-style living feels like being hugged. But Oscar often resists feminine drama

LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP
(Roadside Attractions)
Whit Stillman
May 13th
Box Office  $14

REVIEWED

  While it might be too slight for Oscar voters who like heavy drama and long running times, it's an absolute delight. The campaign hasn't really been there for it but can the Golden Globes come to the rescue?
Tier 4 - Vote Siphoning. Everyone's Got Their Favorites

Florence Foster Jenkins (Paramount, Aug 12th)
The Birth of a Nation (Fox Searchlight, Oct 7th) Controversies and Podcast
Live By Night (Warner Bros, Dec 25th) Trailer and Craft Team
Nocturnal Animals
(Focus Features, Nov 18th) Reviewed & Podcast
A Monster Calls
(Focus Features, Dec 23rd) Reviewed
Queen of Katwe (Disney, Sept 23rd) Reviewed
Passengers (Sony/Columbia, December 21st) Trailer
Captain Fantastic (Bleecker Street, July 8th) ReviewedNBR top ten (indie)
Elle (SPC, Nov 11th) Reviewed and Podcast
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Disney, Dec 16th) Trailer
Eye in the Sky (Bleecker Street, April 1st)
The Handmaiden (Amazon, October 21st) PodcastNBR top 5 foreign
Zootopia (Disney, March 4th) Reviewish
Toni Erdmann (SPC, December 25th) Reviewed