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April Foolish Predictions. What will be up for Best Picture?

It's that time of year when we Sally Streep forth to venture into brand new Oscar charts. Before I get in TOO deep into the 20+ charts, I trust that you'll let me know which imminently forthcoming pictures you heartily believe in I have totally forgotten about.

some best picture possibilities


Currently I am feel cautiously bullish on the following traditional Oscar efforst (i.e. those that with big themes / pedigree / period trappings: Fences, Birth of a Nation and Silence (though I bet the latter is all in or nothing).  I'm far more riskily "let's do this!" optimistic about a non-traditional hopefull La La Land (contemporary musical). And under the banner of 'directors Oscar hasn't yet noticed but could at some point' let's put our eggs in the baskets of Jeff Nichols (Loving), Denis Vllieneuve (Story of Your Life), and Garth Davis (Lion). Davis has never made a feature but he did co-direct the TV mini Top of the Lake and that was a-ma-zing. 

Titles that confuse me for various reasons are Story of Your Life (i'm opting to guess well received) and Passengers (i'm opting to guess close but no cigar) because they're sci-fi dramas for adults. Sci-fi is such a tricky drama to pull off well and Oscar can be so "ewww" about it. On the other hand sometimes they sit up all "ooooooh" as with Gravity. I kept both World War II pictures (Five Seconds of Silence, and The Zookeeper's Wife) outside the predicted 10 primarily because I couldn't decide between them without any real footage yet.


Viggo Mortensen in Captain Fantastic

P.S. Titles I'm personally obsessed with seeing that I'm not really thinking about in terms of Best Picture because I don't want to make myself crazy from wishful thinking including Captain Fantastic (Viggo Mortensen forever... and he deserves a great comeback movie), Mike Mills 20th Century Women (The Bening), Beat-Up Little Seagull (the return of La Pfeiffer), and United Kingdom because I so want Rosamund Pike's to really capitalize on the Gone Girl breakthrough.



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Reader Comments (24)

How to talk to girls at parties

Everything else

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRizZ

Is the Gia Coppola / Jessica Lange movie a 2017 release?

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I want to see what Netflix does with David Michod's War Machine. Clearly (it's Michod) one of my most anticipated of 2016, and they seemed close with Beasts of No Nation last year. If nothing else, I think Brad Pitt could/should get a strong Supporting Actor push.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSawyer

Much as I hate to say it, I don't see three movies about race relations/civil rights (Fences, The Birth of a Nation and Loving) cracking the top 10. I think two would be lucky to get traction in the current Oscar climate.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBD

I'm so excited that the Fences movie is actually happening - Washington and Davis, with Washington directing (he's a very strong director, IMO) and Tony Kushner handling the adaptation? Amazing.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

I read today that Five Seconds of Silence is now titled Allied.

I'm REALLY looking forward to many of these titles, particularly Fences and Story of Your Life.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterKeelay!

If La La Land is great I would love to see it get Oscar traction.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrian

Keelay - this is like it's third title now. Hee.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

BD - Chances are, Fences and/or Loving will wind up a 2017 release. As Nathaniel notes, Fences seems like a real rush release for this year, and the distributor may not want to release two Jeff Nichols films in 2016... plus next year is the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

BD: Um, what? This is EXACTLY the kind of atmosphere where more than one civil rights oriented movie will pull favour. After two years of "the hashtag", Oscar needs to overcompensate in a big way.
Suzanne: Odds on Fences being this year? 90-100%. (Both of Denzel's prior movies wound up as December drops and this is a stage adaptation drama.) Odds on Loving being this year? 20-40%. (It would frankly make tons of sense for Loving to make the move, ESPECIALLY since the closest weekend (3-1 days before) to the day and date of the 50th Anniversary of that case's conclusion? Divergent 4, Alex Kurtzman's The Mummy and World War Z II. Adult oriented counter-programming could clean up if it makes the push that weekend.)

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

EYE IN THE SKY is a really well made film on a very topical issue starring many well respected actors. I was truly surprised and impressed. Currently 92% on Rotten Tomatoes (I know, I know) with 120 reviews.

I agree it's a long shot but I don't think it should be ignored yet - depending on how some of these more obvious choices turn out.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered Commenterbillybil

billybil: Let's get Rickman that posthumous nod. Seriously, it's the least critics groups can do.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

I thought FENCES was going to be on HBO? Did that change?

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAlex

Great list. There's also another WWII story, HHhH (Weinsteins), which has a very attractive cast: Jason Clarke, Jack Reynor, Jack O'Connell, Rosamund Pike, Mia Wasikowska.

And THE LOST CITY OF Z (James Grey) with 'Golden Globe nominee Sienna Miller', LOL. But it's also from Plan B and presumably may appear at Cannes, given the director. There's a 3-minute trailer here:

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

I thought FENCES was going to be on HBO? Did that change?

The adaptation rights to Fences were always at Paramount with Scott Rudin producing. A misunderstanding with Denzel Washington implied Fences along with other August Wilson plays would be HBO productions.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

Yeah, FENCES is not a part of the HBO/August Wilson package that Denzel Washington is involved in.

I'm really keen on LOVING. I think Ruth Negga could really be someone to watch and I'd love to see her be able to get out of the Agents of SHIELD/Warcraft/World War Z world and into more prestige studio fare.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

Here is a fucking longshot. The Neon Demon for score, cinematography, sound, directing for Nicolas Winding Refn, Best Actress to Elle Fanning, and Best Supporting Actress to Jena Malone.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

Loving is absolutely being released this year and looks to be one of Focus's big ponies, since they gave it a prime November 4th release. I think Jeff Nichols could be this year's Tom
McCarthy--well respected, actor's director who finally gets his due.

I second How to Talk to Girls at Parties. I CAN'T WAIT.

Super excited about Fences--this one could be a 2017 release. They're not shooting till late April. This is such beautiful, delicate material that I really hope the studio doesn't rush it, just so it can get a late awards qualifying release. This should be more Virginia Woolf-stage to screen worthy, not August:Osage County disappointing.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

Can you imagine the best actress bloodbath from my beloved The Help ladies, Chastain and Davis? I'm dying already.

April 12, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

I like the chances of "Story of Your Life" - the Nebula Award-winning short story is excellent source material and having Amy Adams as your lead certainly does not hurt with the Oscar voters. "Sully" has such a good pedigree with the first (?) Hanks/Eastwood collaboration, and Sullenberger still has such enormous goodwill with the public (moviegoing or otherwise), this project seems like 'can't miss', Eastwoood's shaky recent history notwithstanding. And while Damien Chazelle was a surprise with a music-centric best picture nominee last time, it should surprise no one this time when he does it again with an outright musical (and maybe brings J. K. Simmons along for the awards ride one more time). Lionsgate has shown the capability to get a surprise across the finish line ("Crash", anyone?).

All three projects have me excited, but none more than Amy's next chance to finally grab the gold man.

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCarl

Really hope Beat Up Little Seagull is a comeback for Pfeiffer. Hopefully we'll hear more about it soon in regards to a distributor. Maybe Killer Films will shop it at Cannes.

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDave

Film Comment magazine states that 'Birth Of a Nation' is sloppy...

April 13, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTOM

I have another entry to the list "The Dark Horse" its in limited release bit if it goes into wider release it could be a best picture threat it features an Oscar Worthy performance from Cliff Curtis and has a 98% score on Rotten Tomatoes

April 15, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

Everybody Wants Some is clearly the best movie I've seen this year so far ....

May 1, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRod

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