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90th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2017 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

 

NOVEMBER 28th PREDICTIONS

COSTUME DESIGN
Extremely difficult to predict this year because the "leaders" as it were aren't really costume films


Tier 1 - Predicted 5

 

Victoria and Abdul Consolata Boyle 
(2 nominations)

Boyle gets to costume Britian and Indian VIPs this time around and the clothes get plot points, too.

Beauty and the Beast Jacqueline Durran 
(4 noms | 1 win)

 | Critics Choice Nom

 The visibility is there as well as the iconic costumes recreated. But will that be enough without reinventing them (a la Cinderella)

Phantom Thread
Mark Bridges
(2 noms, 1 win)

 | Critics Choice Nom

It's a fashion drama and he's a great designer. But overall reception to the film might determine whether this rises or falls.

The Post

Ann Roth
(4 noms | 1 win) 

She's long been a favorite of Streep's and they're bringing her out for The Post events. Streep's costumes are particularly memorable

Wonder Woman
Lindy Hemming (1 nom | 1 win)

 | Critics Choice Nom

 If a big campaign makes a dent anywhere, might it be here?

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

The Beguiled 

Stacey Battat 
(never nominated)

 

Civil War era girls school. There are plenty of dresses to gawk at and their finery is noted within the film

The Greatest Showman
Ellen Mirojnick
(never nominated)

Circus costumes, top hats, etcetera. It better look great

Battle of the Sexes

Mary Zophres 
(2 nominations) 

Less gaudy 70s work than you'd expect, varied fun sports wear. Zophres is really on a roll lately.

Wonderstruck

Sandy Powell 
(12 noms | 3 wins)

Powell's work is always stellar and she gets two time frames to play with here - but no one is talking about the film

Murder on the Orient Express
Alexandra Byrne
(4 noms | 1 win)

 

Early hopes that it would be a visual spectacle and not just a parade of famous faces are slowly dying - the trailer didn't have as much costume pizazz as we expect from Byrne. Curious.

Tier 3 - Longer Shots ?

Tier 4 -Other Possibilities (Never nominated unless a number appears)

  • Darkest Hour Jacqueline Durran (4/1)
  • The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira (0)  | Critics Choice Nom
  • My Cousin Rachel Dinah Collin
  • Dunkirk Jeffrey Kurland (1/0)
  • Lost City of Z Sonia Grande
  • Marshall Ruth E Carter (2/0)
  • Mudbound Michael T Boyd
  • Blade Runner Renee April  | Critics Choice Nom

 

 

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Seems like this race could go any which way (in terms of nominations), though I still suspect it's between Dunkirk & Blade Runner for the win

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Dunkirk
Hoyt Van Hoytema
(never nominated)

 | Critics Choice Nom

 

Hoytema is next in line for the  "when are they going to nominate him after so many great looking films?" complaints

Blade Runner 2049
Roger Deakins
(13 nominations)

 | Critics Choice Nom

If he doesn't win soon they'll have to give him an honorary.

Darkest Hour
Bruno Delbonnel (4 nominations)

His last two nominations were for very monochromatic work. Hopefully there's more variety this time

Call Me By Your Name
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
(never nominated)

 | Critics Choice Nom

It's a lovely lovely film but perhaps too low key for this branch? Or will the sun dappled Italy get to them?

Wonderstruck

Ed Lachmann (2 nominations)

This great cinematographer is nearly always worthy. But his nomination count is way too low.

 
Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

The Post
Janusz Kaminski
(6 nominations / 2 wins)

If they embrace the film across the board he might be in. But he hasn't been challenging himself in so long.

Shape of Water 

Dan Laustsen
(never nominated)

LAFCA Win  | Critics Choice Nom

It sure looks lovely. But with so many legendary DPs hoping for play this year will it be a surprise miss?

Wonder Wheel
Vittoria Storaro
(4 noms | 3 wins)

He's a legendary cinematographer and this film is a showcase for his bravura gifts -- SO MUCH CINEMATOGRAPHY. That said cinematographers don't readily embrace Woody Allen pictures...

Battle of the Sexes
Linus Sandgren
(1 nom | 1 win)

The movie is surprisingly lovely. Can he compete furing his La La Land victory lap?

All the Money in the World
Dariusz Wolski
(never nominated)

When will he finally be honored? Ridley Scott films are hit and miss with Oscar

Tier 3 - Long Shots
  • Breathe Robert Richardson (9/3)
  • The Greatest Showman Seamus McGarvey (2 noms)
  • mother! (Matthew Libatique (1/0)
  • Detroit (Barry Ackroyd, 1/0)
  • Beguiled (Philippe le Sourd, 1/0)
  • Call Me By Your Name (Sayombhu Mukdeeprom, 0/0) Spirit Nominee
  • Logan John Mathieson 2/0)
  • Lost City of Z (Darius Khonjdi, 1/0)
  • Mudbound (Rachel Morrison, 0/0) NYFCC Win  | Critics Choice Nom
  • Film Stars Don't Die... Urszula Pontikos
  • Beach Rats () Spirit Nominee
 

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Will they go subtle or gaudy this year?

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Beauty & the Beast 

Sarah Greenwood
(4 nominations)

 | Critics Choice Nom

She could well be competing against herself. But will they go with the noisy Disney recreation or the war drama?

Shape of Water
Paul Austerberry
(never nominated)

 | Critics Choice Nom

Apart from Blade Runner this may be the showiest job of the year. Totally sells the fable and Cold War noirishness

Blade Runner 2049
Dennis Gassner
(5 noms | 1 win)

 LAFCA Win  | Critics Choice Nom

They love Gassner and the first film is arguably the most influential art direction of the last 30 years. Can this possibility live up to it?

Dunkirk
Nathan Crowley
(3 nominations)

 | Critics Choice Nom

He could be competing with himself: see also The Greatest Showman

 The Post
Rick Carter (4 noms, 2 wins)

He pulled off a surprise win with Lincoln and I bet they like this films old newspaper fascination - printing presses and all

 
Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Downsizing

Stefania Cella
(never nominated)

Will AMPAS respond to its visual ambitions... which are unusual for a Payne film. If the film gets in a tech category I bet it's this one.

The Greatest Showman

Nathan Crowley
(3 nominations)

The circus milieu gives Crowley plenty of chances to shine. And if they don't fall for this he's also got Dunkirk

Darkest Hour
Sarah Greenwood
(4 nominations)

 

She could well be competing against herself. But will they go with the noisy Disney recreation or the war drama instead?

Wonderstruck
Mark Friedberg
(never nominated)

He's an amazing designer and Todd Haynes movies always look fantastic. But for some reason Oscar always ignores his great work.

Wonder Wheel
Santo Loquasto (3 noms)

Production Design isn't a common nomination for Woody Allen pictures but Loquasto often does very fine work

Tier 3 - Longer Shots?

 

  • Battle of Sexes Judy Becker (1/0)
  • The Beguiled (Anne Ross, 0/0)
  • Logan François Audouy (0/0)
  • Mudbound (David J Bomba, 0/0) write-up
  • Murder on Orient Express (Jim Clay, 0/0)  | Critics Choice Nom
  • Phantom Thread (Mark Tildesley, 0/0)  | Critics Choice Nom
  • Wonder Woman (Aline Bonetto, 2/0)
  • Zookeeper's Wife (Suzie Davies, 1/0)
  • The Last Jedi Rick Heinrichs (3/1)

 

 

 

FILM EDITING
This category generally requires Best Picture heat or a lot of noticeable editing (as with action and war films) so it's hard to know in advance which films might make the editor's swoon (unlike other craft categories where you can suss out the particular challenges and how visible they'll be)

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Dunkirk
Lee Smith
(2 nominations)

LAFCA Win  | Critics Choice Nom

 The Post
Michael Kahn (8 noms, 3 wins)

 | Critics Choice Nom

 

Shape of Water Sidney Wolinsky

(never nominated)

 | Critics Choice Nom

 

Get Out
Gregory Plotkin
(never nom'ed)

 

 

Three Billboards

(Jon Gregory, never nominated)

 
Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

 

Darkest Hour

 

 Valerio Bonelli 

(never nom'ed)

 

Call me By Your Name
Walter Fasano
(never nom'ed)

 

 

Downsizing 
Kevin Tent (1/0)
Blade Runner 2049
Joe Walker
(2 nominations)

Baby Driver
Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss (never nom'ed)

 | Critics Choice Nom

Tier 3 - Long Shots?
  • Call Me By Your Name Walter Fasano Spirit Nominee
  • Detroit William Goldenberg (5 noms/1 win) & Harry Yoon
  • Battle of the Sexes Pamela Martin (1/0)
  • Phantom Thread Dylan Tichenor (2/0)
  • The Last Jedi Bob Ducsay
  • The Florida Project Sean Baker
  • Lady Bird Nick Houy
  • Wonderstruck Affonso Gonçalves
  • I Tonya Spirit Nominee
 

 

VISUAL EFFECTS
This category was once far more predictable than it is now. That's because visual effects movies have been all the rage since the turn of the century and there are more and more of them. Even the sure things aren't sure things with so many sequels in the mix. Even the Star Wars franchise has missed (only once but it has!)  

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Revenge of the Sith is the only Star Wars film to miss out on Visual FX honors

Blade Runner 2049

It's still horrific that the original film lost this category (to the much less deserving ET). Do over?

 | Critics Choice Nom

War of the Planet of the Apes

The previous two pictures in this rebooted franchise have been nominated. Weirdly they've yet to win

 | Critics Choice Nom

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Can Vol 2 win the same nominations? (Makeup and Visual FX)

Dunkirk

This will be interesting to watch. Will they go for all practical effects in this era of CGI worship?

 | Critics Choice Nom

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Wonder Woman

 Historically speaking Oscar shrugs at Warner Bros superhero movies that aren't Batman films. On the other hand, it's a mega hit and there will be a campaign

 | Critics Choice Nom

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Oscar liked this franchise... back when Sam Raimi was directing it. Will they come around again?

Shape of Water


(never nominated)

 

The memorable images might be considered more triumphs of lighting and sets but the creature is cool. We shall see.

 | Critics Choice Nom

Kong Skull Island

Though the effects are impressive it's got a ton of competition. And they passed over its predecessor Godzilla (2014)

Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Oscar loved this franchise at first. Will the time away soften their hearts (they ignored the last film completely)

Tier 3 - TEN LONGSHOTS -- THEY MADE THE FINALIST LIST OF 20!
  • Valerian...
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Alien Covenant 
  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Jumanji
  • Justice League
  • Life
  • Logan
  • Thor: Ragnarok  | Critics Choice Nom

KEY FILMS THAT DID *NOT* MAKE THE FINALIST LIST

 

  • Transformers The Last Knight
  • Fate of the Furious
  • Geostorm
  • Downsizing
  • The Mummy

 

 

 

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Year after year one of the hardest categories to get a bead on. They love old age prosthetics except when they don't. They love lots of wig work except when they don't. They don't like CGI characters, except when they do. Etcetera.

Tier 1 - Predicted 3

   
 

Darkest Hour
Ivana Primorac (never nominated) 

Transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill is a challenge that will catch their eye. 

 | Critics Choice Nom

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

John Blake (1 nomination), Camille Friend (never nominated) 

The original was nominated in this category. Since there are some new characters they could repeat

Logan
Joel Harlow (3 noms / 1 win), Gloria Pasqua Casny (1 nomination)

The X-franchise has not been an Oscar favorite but they like Harlow's work and this film, more serious and definitely better reviewed could make a play for this prize.

 
Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Blade Runner 2049

If one could ever since what the Oscars were looking for in this category one might have a better idea...

 

Shape of Water
Jordan Samuel (never nominated) 

This 60s set fantasy from Guillermo Del Toro might look great but Oscar hasn't embraced many of his films.

 | Critics Choice Nom

Wonder
Naomi Bakstad (never nominated), Robert Pandini (1 nomination)

Will facial prosthetics still trigger Oscar love? It worked for Mask in the 80s

 | Critics Choice Nom

Murder on the Orient Express

if they go nuts for Poirot's insane moustache

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Peter King (2 noms | 1 win), Rick Findlater (1 nomination)

Diminishing Oscar returns for this franchise but 50% of them have been nominated in Makeup

Tier 3 Other potential bake off finalists
  • Atomic Blonde
  • Greatest Showman
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Valerian and...
  • Wonder Woman
  • The Mummy
  • Kong Skull Island
  • Lost City of Z
  • Power Rangers
  • Thor: Ragnarok
  • I Tonya  | Critics Choice Nom
  • Beauty and the Beast  | Critics Choice Nom