Thursday, June 20, 2024

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

​​By Will Mavity

The New York Film Festival has concluded. The Gotham Independent Film nominations have been announced. It’s undeniably Oscar season. Since our last check-in, “I, Tonya” released its first trailer (Kind of). Woody Allen’s “Wonder Wheel” premiered to mixed reactions, albeit raves for Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography. “Only The Brave” premiered to better than expected reviews. “The Snowman” turned out to be really, really, really bad. “Thor: Ragnarok” opened to better than expected reviews. “Battle Of The Sexes” and “Blade Runner 2049” continued to disappoint financially. And so, the race continues to take shape. 

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


​“I, Tonya” released its first trailer last week as buzz continues to grow around the film. It overperformed at the Gotham nominations, beating out more obvious contenders like “The Shape Of Water” and “Lady Bird.” Meanwhile, it has already secured two prizes from the upcoming Hollywood Film Awards. Compound that with the fact that the film apparently features extremely flashy editing (We’re talking “Whiplash” flashy.) With all its buzz, the film is looking more and more like a Best Picture nominee. And a Best Picture nominee with flashy editing? Well…how can it not get in?

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Dunkirk
2. “The Post”
3. “Darkest Hour
4. “The Shape Of Water
5. “I, Tonya”

6. “Baby Driver
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


​Admittedly, “Wonder Wheel’s” reviews turned out a bit more tepid than many were hoping. But a uniting factor in every one of those reviews was the constant presence of straight up raves for Vittorio Storaro’s lush, buttery cinematography. Right now, the final Cinematography slot feels like a battle between the two Wonders: “Wonder Wheel” and “Wonderstruck.” But as of now, “Wonder Wheel” is firmly ahead. Look out for the first trailer for “Phantom Thread” in the next week or so. There is a world where Paul Thomas Anderson’s cinematography could shake up the race. 

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


​​Michael Giacchino’s “Coco” score was singled out in a number of reviews (reviews that praised the film as a whole as well). Reviews are comparable to those of “Moana“…meaning the film likely stands a chance at a nomination or two and not a win. Still, as “Blade Runner 2049” loses more and more steam (WB is already pulling it from theaters), “Coco” takes Zimmer’s spot in the rankings. 

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. “Coco” 
9. “Blade Runner 2049
10. “Phantom Thread”

Don’t Count Out:

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


​As with Score, “Coco” reviews were solid, although perhaps not the runaway raves the film needed to pull off a “Frozen” style song sweep. 

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Call Me By Your Name” 
2. “Coco”
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


​​“I, Tonya” is beginning to feel more and more like “Dallas Buyers Club.” A low-budget festival film that premiered primarily to acting predictions and little else. As time moves on, it ends up surprising within the industry awards, and ultimately receives a number of nominations including Picture, winning two for its acting…and maybe, just maybe, for Makeup. The Hollywood Reporter recently ran a piece on how the Oscar-winning makeup team for “Dallas Buyers Club” transformed Allison Janney and Margot Robbie into unrecognizable real-life figures on a shoestring budget. It just…feels like a Best Makeup nominee. 

Predicted Nominees:

1. “Darkest Hour
2. “The Shape Of Water
3. “I, Tonya”

4. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
5. “All The Money In The World”
6. “Logan

Don’t Count Out:

7. “The Greatest Showman”
8. “IT
9. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”


​Eh…”Thor: Ragnarok” needs to be considered, I suppose? Although the tech branches appear to have a frosty relationship with Marvel at best. For the time being, I still see it missing a nomination.  Oh…”Dunkirk,” if nominated, will end up having one of the first women ever nominated. 

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


​“Only The Brave” needs to have financial legs, and make a profit, otherwise it will be forgotten in a month. BUT, if it can linger in voters’ minds, with its strong reviews and showy genre trappings, it could easily end up snagging one of those lone sound nominations a la “Unstoppable,” “Salt,” “Lone Survivor” etc. 

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

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

Don’t Count Out:

11. “Get Out
12. “Only The Brave
13. “Detroit
14. “The 15:17 to Paris”
15. “Wonder Woman

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. “Only The Brave
7. “Mother!
8. “Baby Driver
9. “Wonder Woman
10. “Get Out

Don’t Count Out:

11. “War For The Planet Of The Apes
12. “The 15:17 to Paris”
13. “Kong: Skull Island
14. “Logan
15. “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2


​This category remained relatively static this week. 

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”


Victoria & Abdul” continues to overperform financially, cementing its spot in this race. 

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

​Keep checking back as the awards begin to be announced, giving us more and more of a concrete idea as to what in God’s name is going to happen in this entirely unpredictable awards season. ​In the mean time, check out our updated predictions for these categories below.











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

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Will Mavity
Will Mavity
Loves Awards Season, analyzing stats & conducting interviews. Hollywood Critics Association Member.

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