Featured Articles


My Predictions for the 90th Academy Awards


dunkirk-1024x428

 The 90th Academy Awards will be presented during the annual Oscars telecast on March 4th, 2018 with nine films vying for Best Picture and no shortage of interesting storylines amongst the nominees.  As usual, I will weigh in on 17 of the 24 categories with my picks for both the film/person I believe WILL WIN, and also my pick for who I believe SHOULD WIN if I were submitting an Oscar ballot. 


MY PICK = My choice if I were filling out an official Oscar Ballot.


WILL WIN = The choice I believe the Academy will make for the winner.


WINNER = Updated on March 5th, 2018 with the actual winner.


Visual Effects

Blade Runner 2049(WILL WIN) (WINNER)

John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert and Richard R. Hoover

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2"

Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Jonathan Fawkner and Dan Sudick

Kong: Skull Island"

Stephen Rosenbaum, Jeff White, Scott Benza and Mike Meinardus

Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

Ben Morris, Mike Mulholland, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould

War for the Planet of the Apes(MY PICK)

Joe Letteri, Daniel Barrett, Dan Lemmon and Joel Whist


Makeup & Hairstyling

Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, & Lucy Sibbick -Darkest Hour”     (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Daniel Phillips & Lou Shappard  - “Victoria & Abdul”

Arjen Tuiten - Wonder"


Sound Mixing

Julian Slater, Tim Cavagin and Mary H. Ellis -Baby Driver"

Ron Bartlett, Doug Hemphill and Mac Ruth - Blade Runner 2049"

Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo and Mark Weingarten -Dunkirk”        (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Christian Cooke, Brad Zoern and Glen Gauthier -The Shape of Water"

David Parker & Michael Semanick - Star Wars: The Last Jedi"


Sound Editing

Julian Slater - Baby Driver"

Mark Mangini and Theo Green - Blade Runner 2049"

Richard King and Alex Gibson - Dunkirk(WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Nathan Robitaille and Nelson Ferreira -The Shape of Water"

Matthew Wood and Ren Klyce  -Star Wars: The Last Jedi"


Production Design

Sarah Greenwood & Katie Spencer -Beauty and the Beast

Dennis Gassner & Alessandra Querzola - Blade Runner 2049”        (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Sarah Greenwood & Katie Spencer - Darkest Hour

Nathan Crowley & Gary Fettis - Dunkirk

Paul Austerberry & Shane Vieau -The Shape of Water(WINNER)


Original Score

Hans Zimmer - Dunkirk

Jonny Greenwood - Phantom Thread

Alexandre Desplat - The Shape of Water(WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

John Williams -Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Carter Burwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"


Film Editing

Paul Machliss and Jonathan Amos -Baby Driver

Lee Smith - Dunkirk(WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Tatiana S. Riegel - I, Tonya

Sidney Wolinsky -The Shape of Water

Jon Gregory - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"


Costume Design

Jacqueline Durran -Beauty and the Beast

Jacqueline Durran - Darkest Hour

Mark Bridges -Phantom Thread(WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Luis Sequeira -The Shape of Water

Consolata Boyle - “Victoria & Abdul”


Cinematography

Roger A. Deakins -Blade Runner 2049(WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Bruno Delbonnel -Darkest Hour

Hoyte van Hoytema -Dunkirk

Rachel Morrison - Mudbound

Dan Laustsen -The Shape of Water


Adapted Screenplay

James Ivory - “Call Me by Your Name(WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber -The Disaster Artist"

Scott Frank & James Mangold - “Logan"

Aaron Sorkin -Molly’s Game(MY PICK)

Virgil Williams and Dee Rees -Mudbound"


Original Screenplay

Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani - “The Big Sick"

Jordan Peele -Get Out(WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird” 

Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor - The Shape of Water"

Martin McDonagh - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”     (MY PICK)


Actor In A Supporting Role

Willem DaFoe - The Florida Project(MY PICK)

Woody Harrelson  -Three Billboards Outiside Ebbing, Missouri

Richard Jenkins -The Shape of Water

Christopher Plummer  -All the Money in the World

Sam Rockwell - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”       (WILL WIN) (WINNER)


Actress In A Supporting Role

Mary J. Blige -Mudbound

Allison Janney -I, Tonya(WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Lesley Manville -Phantom Thread

Laurie Metcalf -Lady Bird(MY PICK)

Octavia Spencer -The Shape of Water"


Actor In A Leading Role

Timothee Chalamet -Call Me by Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis -Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya - Get Out

Gary Oldman - Darkest Hour(WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Denzel Washington - “Roman J. Israel, Esq."


Actress In A Leading Role

Sally Hawkins -The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand - Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri(WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Margot Robbie -I,Tonya

Saoirse Ronan - Lady Bird

Meryl Streep - The Post"


Directing

Christopher Nolan -Dunkirk(MY PICK)

Jordan Peele - Get Out

Greta Gerwig - Lady Bird

Paul Thomas Anderson -Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro -The Shape of Water(WILL WIN) (WINNER)


Best Picture

“Call Me by Your Name”

Darkest Hour

Dunkirk(MY PICK)

Get Out

"Lady Bird

Phantom Thread

The Post

The Shape of Water(WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"

Updated March 5th, 2018:  After putting all my hopes on “La La Land” in 2017, resulting in correctly picking a meager 10 of 17 categories, I chose a different method this year, not automatically presuming “The Shape of Water” and its 13 nominations would win in every category.  Oscar tends to spread things out, recognizing some of the other Best Picture nominees with at least one award so as to allow most to not go home empty handed.  This strategy, along with analyzing the latest trends established by the many precursor awards shows and critics circles, led to my correctly choosing 16 out of 17 categories!  My lone loss, go figure, was picking against “The Shape of Water” in the Production Design category, going instead with the striking visuals achieved in “Blade Runner 2049”.  

Back in July, I really had thought “Dunkirk” would finally bring director Chris Nolan his long deserved Oscar, particularly since other blockbuster filmmakers, such as James Cameron and Steven Spielberg, had won Oscar gold when departing from the science fiction and action genres to direct historical epics that would go on to become known as their best films.  But then came Guillermo del Toro and his genre mash up “The Shape of Water”, which seemed to resonate with the voting masses as the film to beat going in to awards season.  My Top 10 Films of 2017 included four of the eventual Best Picture nominees of which “Dunkirk”, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, and “The Shape of Water” comprised my top three respectively.  I was saddened when my number five film, “Lady Bird”, was shut out completely, but those aforementioned top three were the only films to win multiple Oscars, so my nose for a good film seems to be intact.  As always, I can’t wait to see what comes our way in 2018!

My Predictions for the 89th Academy Awards


ff-lalaland-review-22rv03

     The 89th Academy Awards will be presented during the annual Oscars telecast on February 26th, 2017 with a trio of frontrunners, “La La Land”, Manchester by the Sea”, and “Moonlight”, vying for wins in the top categories.  Thankfully, there seems to be less controversy this year as opposed to last, with plenty of diversity amongst the very deserving nominees in all categories.  As usual, I will weigh in on 17 of the 24 categories with my picks for both the film/person I believe will win, and also my pick for who I believe should win if I were submitting an Oscar ballot. 

MY PICK = My choice if I were filling out an official Oscar Ballot.

WILL WIN = The choice I believe the Academy will make for the winner.

WINNER = Updated on February 27th, 2017 with the actual winner.


Visual Effects

Deepwater Horizon

Doctor Strange

The Jungle Book (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Kubo and the Two Strings

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (MY PICK)

Makeup & Hairstyling

A Man Called One

Star Trek Beyond (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Suicide Squad (WINNER)

Sound Mixing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge (MY PICK) (WINNER)

La La Land (WILL WIN)

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi

Sound Editing

Arrival (WINNER)

Deepwater Horizon

Hacksaw Ridge (MY PICK)

La La Land (WILL WIN)

Sully

Production Design

Arrival

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Hail, Caesar!

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Passengers

Original Score

Jackie

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Lion

Moonlight

Passengers

Film Editing

Arrival

Hacksaw Ridge (WINNER)

Hell or High Water

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Moonlight

Costume Design

Allied

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (WINNER)

Florence Foster Jenkins

Jackie

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Cinematography

Arrival

La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Lion

Moonlight

Silence

Adapted Screenplay

Arrival

Fences

Hidden Figures

Lion (MY PICK)

Moonlight (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Original Screenplay

Hell or High Water (MY PICK)

La La Land 

The Lobster

Manchester by the Sea (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

20th Century Women

Actor In A Supporting Role

Mahershala Ali - Moonlight (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Jeff Bridges - Hell or High Water (MY PICK)

Lucas Hedges  - Manchester by the Sea

Dev Patel - Lion

Michael Shannon - Nocturnal Animals

Actress In A Supporting Role

Viola Davis - Fences (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Naomie Harris  - Moonlight

Nicole Kidman - Lion

Octavia Spencer - Hidden Figures

Michelle Williams  - Manchester by the Sea

Actor In A Leading Role

Casey Affleck  - Manchester by the Sea (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Andrew Garfield - Hacksaw Ridge

Ryan Gosling - La La Land

Viggo Mortensen - Captain Fantastic

Denzel Washington  - Fences (WILL WIN)

Actress In A Leading Role

Isabelle Huppert - Elle

Ruth Nega - Loving

Natalie Portman - Jackie

Emma Stone - La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Meryl Streep - Florence Foster Jenkins

Directing

Denis Villeneuve - Arrival

Mel Gibson - Hacksaw Ridge

Damien Chazelle - La La Land (WILL WIN) (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Kenneth Lonergan - Manchester by the Sea

Barry Jenkins  - Moonlight

Best Picture

Arrival

Fences

Hacksaw Ridge

Hell or High Water

Hidden Figures

La La Land  (WILL WIN) (MY PICK)

Lion

Manchester by the Sea

Moonlight   (WINNER)


February 27, 2017:  Well wasn’t that fun?  Perhaps the biggest snafu in Oscar history has completely overshadowed the fact “Moonlight” may have pulled off the biggest upset in Oscar history as well.  Like many others who find merit in the challenge of predicting the Academy Awards, I went with “La La Land” as the overwhelming favorite to win the majority of the 14 categories of which it was nominated.  And though the musical went on to win a field leading 6 statuettes, there was a sense early on in the ceremony that “La La Land” may not have been the awards juggernaut we thought.  Early losses in several technical categories may have foreshadowed the eventual outcome in the Best Picture race.  Doubling down on “La La Land” left me with a middling 10 of 17 correct picks.

Equally as surprising was the complete shut out of “Hell or High Water”, “Lion”, and “Hidden Figures”, which brings up the point that nine Best Picture nominees tends to water down the field and create unrealistic expectations considering there are only so many awards to spread around.  And though I considered “Moonlight” to be a fine film, I wasn’t as high on it as others obviously were, preferring 10 other films in 2016 as having the elements necessary for Oscar glory.  Nonetheless, the 89th Academy Awards served as the culmination of yet another fine year at the movies, and I’m already looking forward to seeing what the rest of 2017 has in store.

My Predictions for the 88th Academy Awards

The_Revenant_96187

     The 88th Academy Awards will be handed out Sunday, February 28th, 2016 during the annual Oscars telecast and as usual, there is plenty of controversy, intrigue, and competition as the endless campaigning for the coveted golden statuettes reaches the home stretch.  Here, I weigh in on 17 of the 24 categories with my picks for both the film/person I believe will win, and also my pick for who I believe should win if I were submitting an Oscar ballot.

MY PICK = My choice if I were filling out an official Oscar Ballot.

WILL WIN = The choice I believe the Academy will make for the winner.

WINNER = Updated on February 29th, 2016 with the actual winner.

Visual Effects

Ex Machina (WINNER)

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian

The Revenant

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (MY PICK) (WILL WIN)


Makeup And Hairstyling

Mad Max: Fury Road (MY PICK) (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

The 100 Year Old Man 

The Revenant


Sound Mixing

Bridge of Spies

Mad Max: Fury Road  (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

The Martian

The Revenant (MY PICK)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Sound Editing

Mad Max: Fury Road (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

The Martian

The Revenant

Sicario

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (MY PICK)


Production Design

Bridge of Spies

The Danish Girl

Mad Max: Fury Road (MY PICK) (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

The Martian

The Revenant


Original Score

Bridge of Spies

Carol

The Hateful Eight (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Sicario (MY PICK)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Film Editing

The Big Short

Mad Max: Fury Road  (WINNER)

The Revenant (MY PICK) (WILL WIN)

Spotlight

Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Costume Design

Carol

Cinderella

The Danish Girl (MY PICK)

Mad Max: Fury Road (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

The Revenant


Cinematography

Carol

The Hateful Eight

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Revenant (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Sicario (MY PICK)


Adapted Screenplay

The Big Short (MY PICK) (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Brooklyn

Carol

The Martian

Room


Original Screenplay

Bridge of Spies

Ex Machina

Inside Out

Spotlight (MY PICK) (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Straight Outta Compton 


Actor in a Supporting Role

Christian Bale - The Big Short

Tom Hardy - The Revenant

Mark Ruffalo - Spotlight

Mark Rylance - Bridge of Spies (WINNER)

Sylvester Stallone - Creed (MY PICK) (WILL WIN)


Actress in a Supporting Role

Jennifer Jason Leigh - The Hatelful Eight

Rooney Mara  - Carol

Rachel McAdams - Spotlight

Alicia Vikander - The Danish Girl (MY PICK) (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Kate Winslet - Steve Jobs


Actor in a Leading Role

Bryan Cranston - Trumbo

Matt Damon - The Martian

Leonardo DiCaprio - The Revenant (MY PICK) (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Michael Fassbender - Steve Jobs

Eddie Redmayne - The Danish Girl


Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett - Carol

Brie Larson - Room (MY PICK) (WILL WIN) (WINNER)

Jennifer Lawrence - Joy

Charlotte Rampling - 45 Years

Saoirse Ronan - Brooklyn


Directing

Lenny Abrahamson - Room

Alejandro Inarritu - The Revenant (MY PICK) (WINNER)

Tom McCarthy - Spotlight 

Adam McKay - The Big Short

George Miller - Mad Max: Fury Road (WILL WIN)


Best Picture

The Big Short (WILL WIN)

Bridge of Spies

Brooklyn

Mad Max: Fury Road

The Martian (MY PICK)

The Revenant

Room

Spotlight (WINNER)

February 29, 2016:  I suppose 12 out of 17 isn’t bad.  I went for upsets in both the Directing and Best Picture categories, but came up empty.  Certainly, the biggest shocks of the night for me (and likley most of Hollywood) was Mark Rylance’s win over Stallone in the Supporting Actor category, and to a lesser extent, “Ex Machina” winning the VFX Oscar over the favorite going in, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.