Category: Oscar Preview

Oscar Preview: Who’ll Be Back? – Part 1

On our message board, the UAADB (Unofficial Academy Award Discussion Board), we have an annual tradition where we look at the year’s Oscar nominees in certain categories and try to decide if the individual will make a return to the Oscars at some point in the near future. There’s also a bonus section for predicting what non-nominated talent who was a major competitor during the given year will soon become an Oscar nominee.

I’m turning that concept into a 7-week feature for Cinema Sight. In addition to the acting and directing categories that our members traditionally cite, I’m going to throw in Animated Feature bringing the category count to six plus an additional week for the bonus section.

We start off our first week with Best Actor. Below are the five actors nominated for Best Actor this year. Each section is followed by a small gallery of all of their Oscar-nominated roles.

Best Actor

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 17-19, 2017

We had one films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Life

What can the original Alien tell us about space-faring dramas with a horror slant? They can tell us a lot, but Oscar’s affinity for them has waned a bit since Ridley Scott brought his storied creature feature to the big screen in 1979. Then, the film was nominated for just two Oscars: Best Art Direction and Best Visual Effects, earning H.R. Giger and company the award for art direction. These days, it’s much tougher for such films to break through.

The big question is how much of a horror film is this versus a regular sci-fi drama? Those have been much more in Oscar favor of late since District 9 broke the Best Picture logjam seven years ago. Life sports an international cast headlined by Ryan Reynolds and Oscar nominee Jake Gyllenhaal. Their presence adds more weight now than they might have a few years ago when neither was producing weighty dramas or acclaimed superhero films.

Early reviews suggest a film that prizes human relationships about scares, which may give the film an advantage in the Oscar race, but not much of one. It’s March and few, if any, films of this type that release so early in the year make many inroads with Oscar voters. Isolating itself to the craft categories where artists are more full-year minded, the film is sure to make a case for consideration in Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects, but there will be massive competition this year, which means it may ultimately go unheralded.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Mar. 10-12, 2017

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Kong: Skull Island

The king of the beasts has long been of fascination to American audiences. Like Godzilla is to Japan, King Kong has entertained and enthused audiences since the original film was released in 1933. Frequently emulated and oft referenced, King Kong finds itself revitalized every few years by a new voice. Peter Jackson was the last director to do so in 2005, taking home three Oscars out of four nominations.

Twelve years later and taking a slightly different tack than the previous films, Kong: Skull Island has entered the marketplace and its Oscar potential is already decided: Visual Effects is likely a key component to the film’s chances with Sound Mixing and Sound Editing also in the mix.

The real question is: can it do better than Jackson’s film? I doubt it. That film took advantage of emerging techonolgy and Jackson was hot off his oft-celebrated Lord of the Rings trilogy, so had plenty of good will to leverage into Oscar season even though the film had its detractors. Without the New York City component, or the period detail, it’s unlikely the film can pick up a Production Design nomination and a March release will make it tougher for voters to recall the film well enough to top the undoubted slew of competitors coming out later in the year.

Oscar Preview: 2017 to Date

We had three films release in 2017 so far with the potential for Oscar nominations.

The Lego Batman Movie

There are currently fifteen more animated films slated for release in 2017. That doesn’t mean more won’t come along as GKids has been well known to release late for Oscar consideration. However, looking over what’s to come this year, there’s no reason to believe that The Lego Batman Movie will have relatively light competition. On the list of possible contenders are Pixar’s Cars 3, Universal’s Despicable Me 3, and Pixar’s Coco. That’s not a lot. Further, there are reasons to believe that not all of these will be contenders.

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, FINAL

The precursors are over and the Oscars are finished. Here are the winners and losers of Oscar Season 2016.

Big Winners

Moonlight came into the season the most acclaimed drama in the race. This exceedingly small indie wasn’t your typical Oscar vehicle, but through perseverance, support from critics, and a wave of audience appreciation, the film not only won the two categories it was expected to win at the Oscar (Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay), it also managed to capture Best Picture in one of the biggest upsets in Oscar history. It received 218 awards through its precursor run, only seven shy of the tally La La Land had for the season.
Manchester by the Sea didn’t make quite the gains in Oscar season as Moonlight or La La Land, but its star, Casey Affleck, became the most honored actor in precursor history, taking home 35 different awards for Best Actor. The only trophy he didn’t win was at Screen Actors Guild and Denzel had never won, so he had to settle for also-ran status. The film surged at the end and claimed what was once thought an assured victory, Original Screenplay, and a capping win by Affleck in Best Actor.
Hacksaw Ridge was Mel Gibson’s attempt to recover from the stinging rebuke he received after several antisemitic and other remarks he has made over the year. Not only did his film secure six Oscar nominations, he picked up a Best Director nomination against all conventional wisdom. His film took home two Oscars and that makes his film a winner.
Viola Davis rolled through Oscar season like few supporting actresses have and did so to the total of 23 different awards. While there were accusations of category fraud in order to help secure her the win, the ultimate result was the same, an Oscar on the mantle after her third nomination and two previous close misses.
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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 13

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

It’s almost over. Other than the Costume Designers Guild tonight, there is only one precursor left (The Spirit Awards), one non-precursor left (the Razzies), and the Oscars themselves. All other precursors have been announced and we’ll so find out who the ultimate winners and losers are.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 14

Saturday, February 25 – Spirit Awards (Official)
Saturday, February 25 – Razzie Awards (Official)
Sunday, February 25 – The Oscars

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 12

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

This week, we had five precursors, four that could have Oscar impact and one that’s purely informative. The latter one is the Grammys. Their off-set eligibility period (October through September), leaves the vast majority of Oscar competitors off the list, so we largely ignore them. The others are fairly impactful.

Two are guilds: Visual Effects Society and Art Directors Guild. One is an outside organization with a tremendous track record of predicting Adapted Screenplay: USC Scripter. One is the British equivalent to the Oscars and they have, at times, been a fine forecaster of the Oscars.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 13

Saturday, Feb. 18 – Audio Society Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – Make-Up Artists Guild Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – Sound Editors Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – Writers Guild Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 19 – Satellites (Ceremony) Awards (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 11

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

A lot happened this weekend with the Directors Guild, Annie Awards, and Cinematographers selecting their winners for the year.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 12

Tuesday, Feb. 7 – Visual Effects Society Awards (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 11 – Art Directors Awards (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 11 – Sci-Tech Awards Awards (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 11 – USC Scripter Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 12 – British Academy Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 12 – Grammy Awards Awards (Official)
Monday, Feb. 13 – Academy Awards Voting Begins Awards (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 10

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

I missed yesterday’s due date, so I’m catching up with the Oscar Preview post today.

The Oscar nominations were finally announced. These were immediately followed by three guild awards, including two biggies. Here’s a look at the winners and losers of the Oscar nominations, American Cinema Editors (ACE) awards, Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards, and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) awards.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 11

Saturday, Feb. 4 – Annie Awards Awards (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 4 – Cinematographers Awards (Official)
Saturday, Feb. 4 – Directors Guild Awards (Official)
Sunday, Feb. 5 – Online Film & TV Association Awards (Official)
Monday, Feb. 6 – Nominees Lunch Awards (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 9

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

There were only two groups announcing this past week and neither will have significant impact on the Oscar race, so I’m going to leave off the “winners” and “losers” for this week since there really aren’t any. Instead, you get a rest before the Oscar nominations tomorrow, and a look at the upcomin awards, including the PGA on Saturday and the live announcement of the SAG awards on Sunday.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 10

Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Sound Editors Nominations (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Academy Awards Nominations (Official)
Friday, Jan. 27 – Cinema Editors Awards (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 28 – Producers Guild Awards (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 29 – Screen Actors Awards (Official)

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 8

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

The last week has been a whirlwind of precursor organizations announcing. Matter of fact, other than the Motion Picture Sound Editors Guild and the Online Film & Television Association, all nominating groups have announced. From here, there’s only one critics group left to award their prizes out of London, plus all of the Guilds and other groups. With so much going on in one week, how does that mean our Oscar contenders fared? Some did quite well, some did poorly, while others did less-than-spectacular, but not objectively awful.

The British Academy (BAFTA) caused the most confusion with its refusal to nominate Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) for Best Director. They also nominated films like I, Daniel Blake and actors like Emily Blunt, none of whom have been particularly effective players this year. After that, things played out mostly normally through the Producers Guild (PGA), Directors Guild (DGA), and several creative guilds.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 9

Sunday, Jan. 22 – Online Film & TV Association Nominations (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 22 – London Critics Awards (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 7

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

It’a big week in the precursors with several guilds announcing their nominations. While other groups announced last week, the one of supreme importance was the Golden Globes, which happened last night. As such, this week’s winners and losers are based on their performance at the Globes.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 8

Tuesday, Jan. 10 – British Academy Nominations (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – Producers Guild Nominations (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – Cinematographers Nominations (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – Audio Society Nominations (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – Visual Effects Society Nominations (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – Make-Up Artists Guild Nominations (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 10 – Toronto Critics – Canadian Film Awards (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 11 – USC Scripter Nominations (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 11 – Directors Guild – Documentary Nominations (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 12 – Costume Designers Nominations (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 12 – Directors Guild – Director & First Feature Nominations (Official)
Friday, Jan. 13 – Georgia Film Critics Association Awards (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 6

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

When I said yesterday that there weren’t any precursors in the prior week to merit an article, that was incorrect. There were three groups, North Carolina, Austin, and the Online critics groups. However, their nominations were commonplace and did not merit an entire article. What the article normally provides and that I should have gone ahead and done was present the precursors for the upcoming week. So, a day late and after the OFCS have announced their awards and the American Cinema Editors their nominations, here’s the upcoming schedule.

Week 7

Tue. 03 – Oklahoma Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Tue. 03 – Toronto Critics – Canadian Film (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Tue. 03 – Online Critics (Awards) (Official)
Tue. 03 – Cinema Editors (Nominations) (Official)
Wed. 04 – Writers Guild (Nominations) (Official)
Thu. 05 – Costume Designers (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thu. 05 – Art Directors (Nominations) (Official)
Thu. 05 – Academy Awards Voting Begins (Oscars) (Official)
Fri. 06 – British Academy (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Mon. 09 – Georgia Film Critics Association (Nominations) (Official)

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 30, 2016-Jan. 1, 2017

With this, we reach then end of 2017. While some of these films opened on December 25, I counted them as full-weekend releases for the 53rd and final weekend of 2016. This is posting in place of the Precursor Winners & Losers article that is going up on Mondays through the end of Oscar season because there were no precursors or nominees handed out within the last week that will impact the upcoming Oscar race.

This also means that this normal weekly round-up Oscar Preview article will be going on hiatus through the end of Oscar season when we’ll recap the first two months of 2017 and their Oscar chances. Until then, here are the five films that released between December 25 and December 30 that have Oscar potential

20th Century Women

Director Mike Mills is no stranger to the Oscars. Six years ago, he broke through with his film Beginners, which earned Christopher Plummer his long overdue competitive Oscar. Can lightning strike twice? Annette Bening sure hopes so.

Starring Bening, Elle Fanning, Greta Gerwig, and Billy Crudup, three women explore love and freedom in 1970s California. Bening has been chasing Oscar for several years now and has found herself frequently against juggernauts. This year may be no exception. Natalie Portman seems like she’s on a streak through Oscar season, but the road bump would more likely be Emma Stone rather than Bening.

Bening is also not guaranteed a nomination. Although she’s appeared in several contests, including with the Screen Actors Guild, the Academy only has five slots and SAG refused to nominate Isabelle Huppert, who seems like a major force in the race and Bening could be ejected for her, though Meryl Streep is more likely to be the one who bumps her out. Gerwig has also received some attention for her performance, but she’s an indie darling who doesn’t do enough with Hollywood to merit their consideration.

The film could also be a screenwriting nominee, but that’s about as far as the film is likely to go at this juncture.

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 23-25, 2016

We had five films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Passengers

In spite of the critical drubbing this film has received, Passengers did satisfactorily at the U.S. box office. That means it’s not going to be instantly ignored by the Academy.

When the project was announced, many thought that with Oscar nominee Morten Tyldum (The Imitation Game) on board to direct and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence to star alongside fellow box office star Chris Pratt, the film would have the potential to become a major Oscar player.

Before that could happen, Arrival showed up and wowed critics, making it the year’s heavy favorite to be an Oscar player. Passengers could still have overcome and made a second play, but then people saw it. The reviews weren’t good and audiences were even lukewarm to it giving it a weak “B” rating with CinemaScore.

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