Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Surveying The Oscar Field: The 2017 Below The Line Categories (Part 3)

By Will Mavity

The New York Film Festival enters its final week, and TIFF is long-over. Oscar contenders start opening in wide release. We are officially into Oscar season. And as such, contenders begin to cement themselves. We have one or two new entries into Oscar competition, as Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles” landed a distributor and Oscar-qualifying release date. “Blade Runner 2049” premiered to strong reviews, but underwhelming box office returns. Time will tell whether its relative financial woes hinder its Oscar hopes. As a genre film, it was already facing an uphill battle with Oscar voters. Arguably, it needed to be a financial hit to make a major dent in the season. Finally, the first trailer for Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” dropped, showcasing breathtaking cinematography courtesy of Vittorio Storaro. 

Without further ado, here is where are tech races stand since our last check-in two weeks ago. ​

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

BEST FILM EDITING

Darkest Hour

​”Blade Runner 2049’s” disappointing box office returns, compounded with the revelation that the film is extremely deliberately paced suggests that it will likely not be a major editing contender. Similarly, although the film juggles two time periods, further reports from “Wonderstruck” NYFF screenings indicate that its leisurely pacing will keep it out of Editing contention. 

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Dunkirk
2. “The Post”
3. “Darkest Hour”
4. “The Shape Of Water
5. “Baby Driver

6. “I, Tonya”
7. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
8. “Blade Runner 2049
9. “Molly’s Game”
10. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Don’t Count Out:

11. “The 15:17 To Paris”
12.  “Wonderstruck
13. “The Florida Project
14. “Get Out
15. “Call Me By Your Name

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Wonder Wheel

​While Roger Deakins remains the frontrunner due to his overdue narrative and critical acclaim, Hoyte Van Hoytema is picking up steam for “Dunkirk,” particularly in light of “Blade Runner 2049’s” disappointing initial box-office returns. A non-Best Picture nominee has not won Cinematography in more than a decade, which suggests that if “Blade Runner 2049” is going to be the film that ends Deakins’ losing streak, it needs to be a Best Picture nominee. At this stage, that seems unlikely. Meanwhile, WB is busy campaigning “Dunkirk,” sending out Blu-Ray screeners to voters. Hoyte’s work in the film is big and flashy, if not as much as Deakins’. Meanwhile, “Wonder Wheel’s” trailer showcased extraordinary work from Vittorio Storaro. Variety’s Kris Tapley has already seen the film and believes Storaro’s work is strong enough to snag a nomination (The second-ever for a Woody Allen film). We will know as of later this week, once the film has its NYFF premiere. Finally, as Scott Cooper’s “Hostiles” is officially being released this year, its haunting Cinematography merits mention. 

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Blade Runner 2049
2. “Dunkirk” 
3. “Darkest Hour”
4. “The Shape Of Water
5. “Wonder Wheel” 

6. “Wonderstruck
7. “Phantom Thread”
8. “Call Me By Your Name
9. “The Post”
10. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Don’t Count Out:

11. “Mudbound” 
12. “The Greatest Showman”
13. “The Lost City Of Z
14. “Hostiles”
15. “The Florida Project

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

The Shape Of Water

​Relatively little has changed in this category since two weeks ago. As the buzz around “Three Billboards” increases, while “Wonderstruck’s” buzz continues to fade, one has to consider whether or not Burwell’s less showy work in the better-liked “Billboards” sneaks in over his work in the almost-silent “Wonderstruck.” Meanwhile, Hans Zimmer’s work in “Blade Runner 2049” seems to have been too atmospheric to make a major impression on critics or presumably AMPAS.

Predicted Nominees:

1. “The Shape Of Water
2. “Dunkirk
3. “Darkest Hour”
4. “Wonderstruck
5. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

6. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
7. “The Post”
8. “Blade Runner 2049
9. “Coco”
10. “Phantom Thread”

Don’t Count Out:

11. “The Greatest Showman”
12. “Battle Of The Sexes
13. “Victoria & Abdul
14. “Wonder Woman” 
15.  “Hostiles”

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Call Me By Your Name

​Relatively little has changed for this category. Don’t count out either Dianne Warren effort, despite “Marshall’s” tepid reviews. 

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Coco”
2. “Call Me By Your Name
3. “Beauty And The Beast
4. “Cries From Syria”
5. “The Greatest Showman”

6. “Detroit
7. “Marshall
8. “Get Out
9 “Chasing Coral”
10. “Fifty Shades Darker

Don’t Count Out:

11. “Battle Of The Sexes
12. “Ferdinand”
13. “The Lego Batman Movie
14. “An Inconvenient Sequel
15. “The Promise

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

​This category remains intriguing. The majority of the frontrunners feature only one character with heavy makeup: “The Shape Of Water,” “Darkest Hour,” “It,” “All The Money In The World,” etc. Which means, we have room for some of those classic makeup branch surprises. Keep an eye on “Logan” and “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.” “Blade Runner 2049” has disappeared from the list, in light of boasting relatively little showy makeup (Leto’s eyes aside.)

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Darkest Hour”
2. “The Shape Of Water
3. “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2

4. “All The Money In The World”
5. “Logan
6. “The Greatest Showman”

Don’t Count Out:

7. “IT
8. “I, Tonya”
9. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Blade Runner 2049

​”Blade Runner 2049’s” strong reviews and impressive practical effects keep it in a winning position. 

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Blade Runner 2049
2. “War For The Planet Of The Apes
3. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
4. “Dunkirk
5. “Logan

6. “Beauty And The Beast
7. “The Shape Of Water
8. “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
9. “Thor: Ragnarok”
10. “Kong: Skull Island

Don’t Count Out:

11. “Wonder Woman
12. “Justice League”
13. “Okja
14. “Spiderman: Homecoming
15. “Alien: Covenant

BEST SOUND MIXING & BEST SOUND EDITING

Dunkirk

​”Blade Runner 2049” has firmly cemented itself into both Sound races courtesy of its extraordinary work. Regardless of how it fares in other categories, it could not be safer here. 

1. “Dunkirk
2. “Baby Driver
3. “Blade Runner 2049
4. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
5. “The Shape Of Water

6. “Darkest Hour”
7. “Mother!
8. “Wonderstruck
9. “The Greatest Showman”
10. “The Post”

Don’t Count Out:

11. “Get Out
12. “Detroit
13. “The 15:17 to Paris”
14. “Wonder Woman
15. “Beauty And The Beast

And for Sound Editing….

​Predicted Nominees:

1. “Dunkirk
2. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
3. “The Shape Of Water
4. “Blade Runner 2049
5. “Detroit

6. “Mother!
7. “Get Out
8. “War For The Planet Of The Apes
9. “Wonder Woman
10. “The 15:17 to Paris”

Don’t Count Out:

11. “Baby Driver
12. “Kong: Skull Island
13. “Logan
14. “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
15. “Spiderman: Homecoming

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

The Greatest Showman

​If you took one look at the trailer for “Wonder Wheel,” the first thing you would notice is Storaro’s cinematography. The second thing you would notice is the incredible production design, artfully recreating a colorful vintage Cony Island. “Wonder Wheel,” if acclaimed, could easily follow “Midnight In Paris’s” footsteps to a Production Design nomination. Oh, and did you see those sets in “Blade Runner 2049?” There is no justice in the world if that is not nominated. 

Predicted Nominees:

1. “The Shape Of Water
2. “Blade Runner 2049
3. “Wonder Wheel”
4. “The Greatest Showman”
5. “Darkest Hour”

6. “Wonderstruck
7. “Beauty And The Beast” 
8. “Murder On The Orient Express”
9. “Phantom Thread”
10. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Don’t Count Out:

11. “The Post”
12. “Victoria & Abdul
13. “Dunkirk
14. “Mudbound”
15. “Suburbicon”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Murder On The Orient Express

​”Victoria & Abdul” is over-performing financially. AMPAS already LOVES to acknowledge Victorian period piece costume work. This seems as good a place as any to reward the film for its box-office successes. 

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Phantom Thread”
2. “Beauty And The Beast” 
3. “The Greatest Showman” 
4. “Murder On The Orient Express”
5. “Victoria & Abdul

6. “Darkest Hour”
7. “The Shape Of Water
8. “Wonderstruck
9. “Thor: Ragnarok”
10. “Blade Runner 2049

Don’t Count Out:

11. “The Beguiled
12. “Battle Of The Sexes
13. “I, Tonya”
14. “Suburbicon”
15. “Lady Macbeth

Between now and the next edition, “Thor: Ragnarok” reviews will have dropped, letting us know if the film will enter more firmly into the Production Design, Costume Design, Makeup, and Visual Effects races. Be sure to check back in two weeks to see how the race has continued to progress. In the mean time, check out our updated predictions for these categories below.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

BEST FILM EDITING

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

BEST SOUND MIXING

BEST SOUND EDITING

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

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

Will Mavity
Will Mavityhttps://nextbestpicture.com
Loves Awards Season, analyzing stats & conducting interviews. Hollywood Critics Association Member.

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