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Entries in Best Picture (167)

Wednesday
Jan132016

Who will be nominated for Best Picture? Our Final Predictions.

The wisest thing to do in Oscar prediction in most years is a holistic approach. Start with Best Picture and let everything flow outward from that. Many technical or acting nominations throughout Oscar history are headscratchers unless you notice that their housing film was up for the big prize. People love what they love and they love blindly. Or, well, that's not right. That's... ungenerous. I don't think anyone is willfully myopic  -- which is why diversity in Academy membership is so important -- it's just that we all have our limitations and our fields of vision can be narrowed by any number of things including time spent looking at options.

If there were still only five. Oscar.... so manly!

For my own awards -- which statistically always include more movies than Oscars field each year -- this is probably because I see more movies and I probably fuss over my ballot more than 90% of Academy voters. They're inside the raging storm (and as some of them have told me over the years they either see movies very early before they're out in the world or well after the fact depending on their connection to the filmmakers studios and demands of current projects) while we're outside the storm looking at it and able to consider it from more vantage points. Of course that always brings the danger of overthinking it, the #1 easiest trap for pundits. "Guilty!" I shout, knowing myself

How many of these pictures will also be nominated? Last year we had 8 nominees in total.

Best Picture is unusually competitive this year and it's been a  clogged up mess. The sudden lurching away from critical darlings  Carol & Mad Mad Fury Road -- no secret at all that they're my two favorite films of the year -- that some pundits were predicting to lead the nomination tallies as recently as a week or two ago, toward more traditional Oscar Bait like The Revenant and The Big Short (read: heavily masculine, more traditional in form and message) has been a bit disheartening. I go on about this and the gender bias of Best Picture in my intermittent column at Towleroad. I am hopeful that Carol will be nominated still but it's no sure thing. I expect Carol and Room and Brooklyn are in the same 'could go either way' boat .. and together with longer shots Sicario and Inside Out -- well it's hard to miss that these are all extremely well reviewed films with female leads. So why are none of them sure things? Oscar might me walking into an #OscarsSoMale situation tomorrow morning. But we'll cross our fingers and hope voters realized during balloting that women are 50% of the human race and their stories aren't any less important and when they're told so gorgeously it'd be a real shame to pass them over. 

UPDATED CHARTS: PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTORALL SOUND CATEGORIES 

Sunday
Jan102016

Golden Globe Winners: That Damn Bear Movie and the Martian Surge. 

Technical issues with my TV and my phone and my computer tonight?  -- someone did some voodoo on TFE for the booziest Hollywood party this year! They suck but their timing is pure evil genius so we bow down. Obviously there will be a bit more Globes tomorrow but for tonight, a quick list of winners, super brief thoughts and amusing tweets after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan052016

Surprises Abound for the PGA Nominations

Chris here. In addition to the Art Directors Guild earlier in the morning, today the Producers Guild of America announced their feature film nominations, and we have some surprises.

The omissions included Carol (take a breath, everyone) and Room, both also left out from the ADG nominations. We may be passionate fans of Carol around these parts, but the miss here is a sign that our pony still has to capitalize on its momentum to continue in the race. Room on the other hand is a tiny, non-American produced film that was probably overestimated to show up in a group that has leaned populist enough nominate the likes of Star Trek and Skyfall.

Speaking of blockbuster candidates, The Force Awakens also missed out here. While thought to potentially upset here, the franchise's Oscar hopes can now likely be put to bed for major categories. Here are our nominees:

The Darryl F. Zanuck Award for Outstanding Motion Picture

  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn
  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton

The biggest surprises are Ex Machina and Sicario, also surprising at the ADG - are you sensing a trend? While they are not major Best Picture threats for the Oscar race, their place here shows passionate support brewing and certainly raises their profile. Straight Outta Compton, whose ensemble was recognized by SAG, is one of the bigger financial successes here and a nice nod to Universal's outstanding year at the box office.

Check after the jump for who got the biggest boost...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec222015

Critics Choice Wars Episode XXI: A Shark Jump

As you have undoubtedly heard the Broadcast Film Critics Association yelled "do over" this weekend, seeing the response to Star Wars: The Force Awakens from both audiences (with those record breaking numbers) and critics. The organization had voted before the film screened as had literally all of major Oscar precursors. Instead of accepting that deadlines are deadlines -- which all other organizations did because who the hell doesn't? -- they asked members to vote on whether it should be added into the Best Picture lineup after the fact.

Some of us were angry to even be asked. The question was surely rhetorical for after it was asked it was clear that by even asking the BFCA would add the picture, breaking all semblance of standard operating procedure and sound voting practices. [More...]

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Thursday
Dec172015

On the Problematic AFI List

I realize I'm quite late in sharing the AFI's annual top ten list but it was only because it felt redundant. The American Film Institute starting making top ten lists of the year's most "significant" American films in 2000. For the first ten years or so their lists did have some interesting pockets, detours from Oscar buzz if you will. They were willing to include fan favorites and comedies (High Fidelity, Best in Show, The 40 Year Old Virgin) that weren't "prestige" enough for Oscar, surprise hits that weren't in any "best picture" game (Friday Night Lights, Devil Wears Prada) superhero blockbusters (Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, The Dark Knight) and low budget indies (Wendy & Lucy, Half Nelson). This year, it's like the jury just looked at Best Picture prediction charts and copied down the titles.

Those plus Star Wars: The Force Awakens which they pushed back their announcement to consider and/or to include depending on how cynical you're feeling. More...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec112015

Oscar Prediction Updates - Carol's Up. But What's Down?

Will Oscar voters love how obsessed with Oscar statues the SAG nominated TRUMBO is? It's been an enormously busy week with precursor decisions confusing and clarifying in equal measure. Even if you don't put much stock in the Critic's Choice Awards (also known as the BFCA, an organization that includes your host) it'll be interesting to see what they come up with since ballots were due today and so many questions remain. Though the organization prides itself on Oscar predictive power (a very weird thing to pride yourself on unless you're a pundit rather than a critic) the confusing nature of the race won't make things easy on any pundit.

While I've been accused of overthinking various races often (who, me?) such is the curse of punditry and Oscar obsessiveness. Here's where I think we stand now...

PICTURE & DIRECTOR If this race we're taking place in 2008 with the old school five-wide race it would obviously be Spotlight, The Martian, Carol, The Revenant, and Room at this point with one of the directors jettisoned for Mad Max's overachievement by George Miller. Beyond that it's so complicated both because we don't know how many nominees we'll get and because seven other pictures still seem plausible as a Best Picture nominee for one reason or another though they had shakier reactions in these first two precursor weeks. For instance: Creed hasn't been doing all that well but I still think it's a big Oscar possibility. Am I crazy or just concussed? And speaking of...

The SAG miss for Sir Ian McKellen could spell trouble for his Oscar dream

ACTOR While I don't imagine we'll see a repeat of Will Smith's Globe nominated Concussion performance on the Oscar shortlist it's one of about ten performances that still seem to be in the race. You'll have to cleave that in half in January. DiCaprio, Redmayne, Fassbender, and Cranston all have the key nominations (Globe & SAG) but each year at least one or two people across the four categories with that combo miss and you need #1 votes given the Academy's nomination tallying system. So which performances or beloved actors have the most passion behind them? This is why I still think Michael B Jordan or even Sir Ian could surprise despite the lack of SAG or Globe love; it's always important to remember that those voting bodies are quite dissimilar to Oscar's acting branch.

SUPPORTING ACTOR Precursors have coalesced around Michael Shannon, Idris Elba, and Mark Rylance but because the former two weren't what people widely expected, CHAOS REIGNS. Sly Stallone still feels like a potential winner IF he's nominated. And will Oscar really deprive anyone from Spotlight of an acting nomination? That would be so weird for such an actor's friendly Best Picture frontrunner.

but who will be on CHARLOTTE's ballot? ACTRESS & SUPPORTING ACTRESS We'll have to list these two together because of the ongoing controversy surrounding Rooney Mara (one half of Carol's brilliant romantic coupling) and Alicia Vikander (who has two films splitting supporting honors Ex Machina and The Danish Girl, even though she's the leading lady of both). The discussions around these two have sucked so much oxygen out of the room for other women (in both the leading and supporting races) that I imagine they're both still getting nominated for Supporting DAMNIT since voters likely haven't thought through their other options . The solution: quality longshots should be working their asses off for the next two weeks to remind people of their existence (We're talking to you: Kristen Stewart, Elizabeth Banks, Julie Walters, and Cynthia Nixon)  since Academy voters don't get their ballots until the end of the year. Over in lead actress only four women feel secure (yes, that includes Charlotte Rampling. Come at me!) which means it's a true free for all for the fifth-slot. This week I chose Lily Tomlin as the lucky lady but it could be anyone from the second tier of the chart (or Mara or Vikander).

The other category charts will be updated this weekend -- SAG & Globe choices tell us virtually nothing about Oscar tastes when it comes to the other categories so we can think awhile longer on it.

Investigate the new charts and report back. What does your crystal ball say?

Wednesday
Dec022015

Can "Creed" Go 12 Rounds With Oscar?

In the past 48 hours I've screened The Revenant, Joy, and Creed. Since the first two are still under embargo we're not allowed to speak of them yet. I will say these non spoilers that The Revenant continues the tradition of Inaritu's love of miserable arguably suicidal men, and Joy continues in the tradition of David O. Russell sandbox like playgrounds for actors eager to play with their new parts. But...embargo!

As movie buffs well know, the original Rocky was a smash hit when it premiered in December 1976, becoming the biggest box office hit of that year, making a star of Sly Stallone, charting a #1 single ("Gonna Fly Now"), and earning an incredible 10 Oscar nominations. It eventually won Picture, Director, and Editing on the big night. And against unreal competition too: Network, Taxi Driver, Bound for Glory, and All The President's Men. The Rocky series spawned a few popular sequels but eventually exhausted its welcome as film franchises do. Creed, smartly plays like both a straight sequel (VII) and a spinoff or rebirth with Rocky Balboa passing the franchise torch to Apollo Creed's son Adonis (Michael B Jordan).

So let's talk Creed and Oscar and the ways it could well factor into the Oscar race after the jump...

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