Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Oscars 2016: Going Into Thursday Morning

So, a lot of the industry guilds have had their say in what will likely be announced as nominees this year. But for this post, I will make my predictions on what will not only get in for Best Picture, but which films have the most support from the guilds to indicate how the industry is thinking.

I'll start off with who I feel is in the top 5 for Best Picture:

Mad Max: Fury Road: Seems like an unusual choice given their history with genre films. But it has had quite the support across the board: The Producers Guild, Directors Guild, Editors Guild, American Society of Cinematographers, Cinema Audio Society (Sound Mixing), Visual Effects Society, Costume Designers Guild, Stunt Ensemble at the Screen Actors Guild, and the Art Directors Guild. It only missed the Writers Guild and may not have gotten in for Best Film at the BAFTAs, but still has 7 tech nods there. So the passion is still there.

The Revenant: It has its Golden Globe win for Best Motion Picture- Drama. So, it's pretty safe in that regard. But also scored with the Producers, Directors, Editors, Cinematographers, Art Directors, Sound Mixers, Visual Effects Artists, and even a SAG nomination for Leonardo DiCaprio. It also didn't get a Writers Guild nomination. But that's not too surprising.

The Martian: Now onto the Golden Globe winner for Best Motion Picture- Musical Or Comedy. This one got support from a few craft guilds. But it still has support from the Producers, Directors, Writers, and the Editors. All of which are crucial to not only getting in Best Picture, but winning which I think it very well could given its box office, director Ridley Scott's overdue buzz, and above the line guild support.

Spotlight: What was once considered a runaway frontrunner has crucially underperformed in the guilds. It did land with the Producers, Directors, Actors, and the Writers. But it didn't get an Editing Guild nomination. Also, it got shut out at the Globes Sunday night and has trouble getting individual acting nominations. It'll still get in. But whether it wins is still up in the air.

The Big Short: This one also got shut out at the Globes. But like Spotlight, it is performing well in above the line guilds: Producers, Directors, Writers, Actors, and even the Editors. The fact that it deals with touchy subject matter, the housing bubble, might also touch a nerve with voters.

Now, the rest of the batch that seems to be hanging in the balance:

Carol: This critical favorite's nominations seem to be in jeopardy. For one, it got snubbed by the Producers and the Directors. That indicates that if the film does get in Best Picture, it likely won't win. It did land with the Actors, Cinematographers, Writers, and Costume Designers, though. So there's hope that it'll make it in Best Picture I suppose.

Bridge of Spies: This one isn't exactly an underperformer. But considering the pedigree involved and subject matter, one would think it would hit every key place. It did land with the Producers, but Spielberg got snubbed by the Directors and it didn't get nominated by the Editors. It did get nominated by the Writers, Actors, Cinematographers, Costume Designers, Visual Effects Artists, and the Sound Mixers. So, I would say it is pretty safe for a Best Picture nomination. If they nominated War Horse for Best Picture, it's evident that Spielberg has his fans within the Academy.

Room: This one I'm petrified for. Mainly because I thought it was the best film of last year and it would be a shame if it got left out. It hasn't landed with ANY of the guilds except the Actors. But it did get a BAFTA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay as well as Best Actress. I'm not expecting it to win if it gets in Best Picture. But I'm hopeful it gets in because there's always a little movie that could and it might be Room.

 It did land a Producers Guild nomination, an Acting nod for Saoirse Ronan, and a nod from the Costume Designers, indicating potential below-the-line support. It didn't land a Writers Guild nomination, but it was ineligible which won't be a big strike against it. Plenty of screenwriters have gone on to even win without a Writers Guild nomination. I've been watching Gold Derby editor Tom O'Neil and Deadline reporter Pete Hammond discuss the Oscar race and Hammond says when he talks to voters about what they like, they bring up Brooklyn. So there is likely passion for it. Also, the film has been doing decent box office (Around $23 million against a $10 million budget). That helps.

Ex Machina: A film like this landing a Producers Guild nomination amongst studio giants is quite telling. Also, the film got in over distributor A24's own Room and landed a Directors Guild nomination for Alex Garland. Even if it is a special Directorial Debut category, it still gives a hint that there is love for it. It also got a Critics Choice and BAFTA nomination for Best Original Screenplay and might get a Supporting Actress nomination for Alicia Vikander. A definite dark horse.

Sicario: This one has had quite a late surge, emerging at the Producers, Writers, Editors, and the Cinematographers Guild. It didn't get a Directors Guild nomination or love from the Screen Actors Guild. But Benicio Del Toro has emerged as a dark horse contender for Best Supporting Actor thanks to his BAFTA nomination and if they love the film enough, director Denis Villeneuve could surprise.

Straight Outta Compton: This one is another legitimate threat to get in Best Picture because of how it landed at important above the line guilds. It not only got a Producers Guild nomination, but one from the Writers Guild and even a SAG Ensemble nomination. It didn't get nominated by the Sound Mixers which is surprising given that it's a film about music. But we'll see if the Academy will make up for that. The film is also helped by the fact that it deals with heavy subject matter and even delves into the world of show business. It isn't hurt by how it is the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time, making $200 million worldwide against a $28 million budget. The more I think about it, the more I think we might be underestimating this one.

Anyways, based on the industry showing of all these films, here is my final prediction for Best Picture in case they are feeling 10 this year:

The Big Short 
Bridge of Spies 
Mad Max: Fury Road 
The Martian 
The Revenant 
Straight Outta Compton 

Alt: Ex Machina and Room

So that's my prediction for Best Picture. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section and here's hoping that tomorrow morning has something good in store for us all. Thanks for reading!