Saturday, November 26, 2022

Surveying The Oscar Field: The 2017 Above The Line Categories (Part 4)

By Michael Schwartz

NYFF is over and the Oscar race continues. While not much as changed drastically (We’re still waiting on something ANYTHING on “Phantom Thread” and “The Post”) there have been a few minor adjustments in my predictions which I wanted to share with all of you.

Click below to find out where I think the race currently stands.

*The following are Michael Schwartz’s predictions and do not reflect the thoughts of others at Next Best Picture*

BEST PICTURE

​We have come to a point where just about every Best Picture contender has been seen. The only outliers are Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” and Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Phantom Thread.” TIFF breakout hit “I, Tonya” is receiving more love as it plays at regional festivals. Perhaps it is more than simply an acting play. Think “Dallas Buyers Club,” which ended up with a surprising six nominations. We know that the race has come down to about 15-20 films. The top contenders of those include…

Predicted Nominees

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Call Me By Your Name
The Shape Of Water
The Post
Dunkirk
Darkest Hour
Get Out
The Florida Project
I, Tonya
Lady Bird

BEST DIRECTOR

​Still hovering around the same names here. One interesting development is the inclusion of Martin McDonagh. Six of the last seven TIFF audience award winners went on to receive Best Director nominations. With “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” gaining some serious steam, it is time to take it seriously here.

Predicted Nominees:

Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk
Guillermo del Toro – “The Shape Of Water
Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Joe Wright – “Darkest Hour”
Luca Guadagnino – “Call Me By Your Name

Don’t Count Out:

Steven Spielberg – “The Post”
Sean Baker – “The Florida Project
Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird
Denis Villeneuve – “Blade Runner 2049
Jordan Peele – “Get Out

BEST ACTOR

​Gary Oldman is still way out in front. He is ahead of the pack so much so that he is really the only “locked” contender here. We’re still waiting for Tom Hanks in “The Post”, but I’m feeling pretty good about James Franco in the meantime. His film “The Disaster Artist” seems to be a rousing audience hit that could make the industry take notice. As proven in “The Artist”, “Argo”, and “Birdman”, the Academy loves movies about actors and Hollywood. Gyllenhaal has dropped down for me due to “Stronger’s” lack of box office and overall presence in the race (Plus, they have failed to nominate him many times before).

Predicted Nominees:

Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”
Timothée Chalamet – “Call Me By Your Name
Tom Hanks – “The Post”
James Franco – “The Disaster Artist”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Phantom Thread”

Don’t Count Out:

Jake Gyllenhaal – “Stronger
Christian Bale – “Hostiles”
Hugh Jackman – “The Greatest Showman”
Denzel Washington – “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Andrew Garfield – “Breathe

BEST ACTRESS

​Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” did not make the splash many were expecting at NYFF. Put that on top of unfavorable talk surrounding Allen in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and things suddenly aren’t looking so great for Kate Winslet anymore. Still, her sheer presence may be enough for a nomination. It won’t be easy though. Margot Robbie of “I, Tonya” seems to be taking advantage of her film’s buzz. The Aussie actress has never been nominated despite very steady (And acclaimed) work since 2013’s ”The Wolf Of Wall Street”. Perhaps she makes the final cut. This is still a competitive race, but we are developing a better sense of who is out in front. 

Predicted Nominees:

Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep – “The Post”
Sally Hawkins – “The Shape Of Water
Judi Dench – “Victoria And Abdul
Kate Winslet – “Wonder Wheel

Don’t Count Out:

Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
Jessica Chastain – “Molly’s Game”
Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird
Emma Stone – “Battle Of The Sexes
Annette Bening – “Film Stars Don’t Die In Liverpool”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

​Willem Dafoe really seems to be capitalizing on love for “The Florida Project”. Supporting Actor is a category that loves rewarding veterans, so he certainly has that factor working in his favor. However, they also love over the top villains, which gives a nice boost to Sam Rockwell, who continues to earn raves for his work in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”. Rounding out the rest of the predicted nominees are Michael Shannon and ”Call Me By Your Name” co-stars Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg. Shannon has proven himself to be an Oscar favorite with surprise nominations in both 2008 and 2016. Hammer and Stuhlbarg certainly have the necessary reviews, but we haven’t seen co-stars nominated in the same category since Melissa Leo and Amy Adams in 2010. Finally, watch out for Dustin Hoffman here. I would be more willing to predict him had his film not been a Netflix release.  

Predicted Nominees:

Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project
Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Michael Stuhlbarg – “Call Me By Your Name
Armie Hammer – “Call Me By Your Name
Michael Shannon – “The Shape Of Water

Don’t Count Out:

Dustin Hoffman – “The Meyerowitz Stories (New And Selected)
Ben Mendelsohn – “Darkest Hour”
Richard Jenkins – “The Shape Of Water
Mark Rylance – “Dunkirk
Kevin Spacey – “All The Money In The World”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Allison Janney and Laurie Metcalf (“Lady Bird”) are still out in front while the rest of the category remains at a standstill. Barring any last minute surprises from “The Post” or “Phantom Thread”, I think we have our five nominees.

Predicted Nominees:

Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird
Melissa Leo – “Novitiate”
Holly Hunter – “The Big Sick
Octavia Spencer – “The Shape Of Water

Don’t Count Out:

Brooklynn Prince – “The Florida Project
Lesley Manville – “Phantom Thread”
Kristin Scott Thomas – “Darkest Hour”
Mary J. Blige – “Mudbound
Hong Chau – “Downsizing”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

​James Ivory might as well pick up his award now for “Call Me By Your Name” because this year’s adapted screenplay race is as thin as it’s ever been. In terms of nominations, I’m interested to see what happens with “Hostiles.” The script was written a number of years ago by the late Donald E. Stewart, a former winner for “Missing.” That would be interesting recognition. Other than that though, the lineup is incredibly lonely.

Predicted Nominees:

Call Me By Your Name
Molly’s Game
The Disaster Artist
Hostiles
Last Flag Flying

Don’t Count Out:

Mudbound
All The Money In The World
Wonderstruck
First They Killed My Father
Star Wars: The Last Jedi 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

​So much more excitement here in this screenplay category. In fact, it’s tough to narrow the contenders down to five. Between “Lady Bird” and “The Big Sick”, I’m afraid only one (If either) can make it in. It’ll be an uphill climb with traditional Oscar fare such as “Darkest Hour” hanging around too. If the film is a top tier Best Picture contender, do not discount it here.

Predicted Nominees:

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
The Post
Get Out
The Shape Of Water
Darkest Hour

Don’t Count Out:

Lady Bird
The Big Sick
I, Tonya
The Florida Project
Battle Of The Sexes

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

​No change from the last update. I’m still on team “Coco” unless proven otherwise.

Predicted Nominees:

Coco
Ferdinand
Cars 3
The Breadwinner
Mary And The Witch’s Flower

Don’t Count Out:

Loving Vincent
The Lego Batman Movie
Despicable Me 3
The Boss Baby
In This Corner Of The World

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

​“Visages/Villages”, AKA “Faces/Places” continues to charm the festivals while scoring well in limited release. Who doesn’t want to nominate Agnes Varda? Feeling very good about her odds.

Predicted Nominees:

Faces/Places
Icarus
Step
Whose Streets?
City Of Ghosts

Don’t Count Out:

Jane
Chasing Coral
Strong Island
Hell On Earth
Bobbi Jene

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“Foxtrot” is certainly one of the most talked about festival favorites. Sony Pictures Classics has a good history here and will give the film a qualifying release before wide expansion in March.

Predicted Nominees:

Foxtrot
First They Killed My Father
Loveless
The Square
BPM (Beats Per Minute)

Don’t Count Out:

Happy End
A Fantastic Woman
Pop Aye
Razzia
Racer And The Jailbird

What are your thoughts on the race so far? Are your predictions far off from mine? What do you agree/disagree with? Please let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out the rest of the team’s predictions below.

BEST PICTURE

BEST DIRECTOR

BEST ACTOR

BEST ACTRESS

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

You can follow Michael and hear more of his thoughts on the Oscars and Film on Twitter at @mikemovie

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