Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

The Original BJ
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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby The Original BJ » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:32 am

And if you really want to take it further, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was predicted by many to be a Best Picture nominee -- with PGA, DGA, and WGA mentions, it likely just missed the Best Picture lineup. So The Force Awakens was really the only movie completely divorced from the Best Picture discussion to nab an Editing nomination in the past decade, something that was much more common in the years prior, with nominations for films like The Bourne Ultimatum, Blood Diamond, Collateral, The Matrix, and Air Force One. (And I think you could make an argument that Children of Men and Cinderella Man were pretty far out on the fringes of the Best Picture conversation -- they might have struggled to make a field of 8 or 9 -- even if they are more Best Picture-type films.)

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Mister Tee » Tue Dec 26, 2017 12:55 am

I hadn't really noticed, till you said it here, that editing has become so wholly subsumed by best picture politics (it was always somewhat related, but the years since the expansion takes it to the extreme). All the more amazing, in, that Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won the category, when even snagging the nomination was a long-shot.

I agree Dunkirk seems the clear leader, and I think Get Out will also easily qualify under the suspense=editing rubric. The nomination for The Force Awakens felt like it was part of an industry-wide "welcome back Star Wars" thing; I'm not sure I'd expect that to continue. Any of Shape of Water, The Post, Lady Bird or Three Billboards showing up would be a sign of strength in the overall contest. I very much doubt Blade Runner, because its relaxed pacing (some -- not me -- would complain about it as slow) is pretty much the opposite of what gets editors wound up. Baby Driver, though, is almost exactly what they have gone for in the past -- lots of editing flash; the fact it's nowhere near a best picture contender is of no moment. I think there's a real good chance it makes the cut.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Sabin » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:42 pm

A down-ballot question: where do we stand on Best Film Editing? On Oscar nominations morning, it will be one of the two most important things we look at to predict the eventual winner.

The only film I'm confident about is 'Dunkirk.' It's the likely winner. Since the Best Picture roster expanded, only two films have been nominated for Best Film Editing with a corresponding Best Picture nomination, so I don't think it's terribly wise to bet on 'Blade Runner 2049,' 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi,' or 'Baby Driver.' 'Blade Runner 2049' was cut by Joe Walker, but at almost three hours, I'm not sure how much editing they think actually happened. 'The Last Jedi' is a fantastically well-edited film, as good as any 'Star Wars' film, but there's a real backlash against it. And 'Baby Driver'...well, I just didn't like it, but I assume it's possible.

'Call Me By Your Name,' 'The Florida Project,' and 'Mudbound' might be in the Best Picture hunt but they don't seem like the sort of films that typically get a Best Film Editing nomination.

So, it's 'Dunkirk' plus some combination of 'Darkest Hour,' 'Get Out,' 'Lady Bird,' 'The Post,' 'The Shape of Water,' and 'Three Billboards...' Of these additional contenders, 'The Post' is the only film whose editor has a previous nomination (and win). Many of these editors have been brought over from TV. 'The Post' and 'The Shape of Water' look like clear contenders, but I thought they both had very real pacing issues. 'Get Out' and 'Lady Bird' would seem too small to break in, but they're excellently paced films. 'Lady Bird' especially is a wee thing, but it flies by. A nomination for 'Darkest Hour' would be a shame but it's busy enough for such a thing to happen. I actually feel pretty solid about including 'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri' as a strong example of invisible editing. I was never aware of the shots cutting back and forth.

Right now, I would predict:
'Dunkirk'
'Get Out'
'Lady Bird'
'The Post'
'Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri'
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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Dec 25, 2017 1:32 pm

flipp525 wrote:
Reza wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:Best actor hasn’t changed over the course of the month: there’s still no really defensible alternative to Gary Oldman


I think you may be seriously underestimating Timothée Chalamet.

I agree. Where is the supposed enthusiasm for Gary Oldman’s performance? Chalamet has out-performed him in the pre-cursor critic prizes and most people think he gives a very natural, tender, surprising performance. The bold, blustery nature of Oldman’s performance might have played better if this were, like, 2004 or something. But voters and the “new Academy” might be looking for something different this year. And I also think that standard biopic fatigue has set in.

Chalamet is absolutely in this game and I, for one, am rooting for him wholeheartedly.


I hope no one's confusing my analysis for rooting. I made it clear in my reviews of the two films that I think Chalamet's performance stands miles over Oldman's, and I'd love to see him win.

But I've noted the same thing BJ has: that Call Me by Your Name seems to be under-performing in key spots, notably the Globes (no director/screenplay) and SAG (no Ensemble or either supporting actor). This is queasily similar to Carol's early run, and has me worried about the flm's ultimate strength. If it doesn't make it into PGA's list of ten, I'll move on to full-fledged panic.

This is why I'm iffy on Chalamet's chances of upsetting Oldman. However weak Oldman's film/performance profile is, he does have the career points, along with the expected-all-year-long status, that Chalamet utterly lacks. Think about Renee Zellweger in 2003: there wasn't much evidence AMPAS liked her movie (even the writers didn't nominate it), and people openly joked about the Annie Oakley aspect of her work. But the "it's her time" narrative was enough to carry her through, regardless. For Chalamet to have the chance he deserves, his film is going to need to break through in a way it hasn't thus far. I'll fervently wish for it to do so, but wishes aren't reality.

And this, to answer anonymous' question earlier, is also why I'm not 100% ready to declare the film the sure winner for adapted screenplay, despite my thinking it had it nailed a few weeks back. I'd been going on the premise it would be the only best picture nominee in the category. It's still the most likely of best picture contenders to show up on the adapted side, but if it misses best picture/director, it'll be more on a level field with Molly's Game/Mudbound etc., and may not be certain to emerge victorious. Again: I'm not speaking of my hopes, but of clear-eyed analysis.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby flipp525 » Mon Dec 25, 2017 12:59 pm

Reza wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:Best actor hasn’t changed over the course of the month: there’s still no really defensible alternative to Gary Oldman


I think you may be seriously underestimating Timothée Chalamet.

I agree. Where is the supposed enthusiasm for Gary Oldman’s performance? Chalamet has out-performed him in the pre-cursor critic prizes and most people think he gives a very natural, tender, surprising performance. The bold, blustery nature of Oldman’s performance might have played better if this were, like, 2004 or something. But voters and the “new Academy” might be looking for something different this year. And I also think that standard biopic fatigue has set in.

Chalamet is absolutely in this game and I, for one, am rooting for him wholeheartedly.
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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Reza » Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:19 am

Mister Tee wrote:Best actor hasn’t changed over the course of the month: there’s still no really defensible alternative to Gary Oldman


I think you may be seriously underestimating Timothée Chalamet.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:46 pm

Okri wrote:Which is not unfair.


True but The Huffington Post could have done without the line "All but Kruger are considered to be in the running for lead actress Oscar nominations for 2018" because Benning, Winslet & Chastain aren't in the running either. Only Ronan is a sure-bet.

Why on earth the LA Times didn't think to mix in some supporting actress potentials, like Octavia Spencer & Mary J. Blige, over no chancers is beyond comprehension really. Well, that's not true, they did it because like Hollywood they like to whitewash.
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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Okri » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:29 pm

Which is not unfair.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:22 pm

I'm only hoping Sean Baker can make the cut but really doubt he will.

Meanwhile this is exactly the sort of reaction we can expect if Peele and/or Gerwig miss out:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/ ... e5a7a22dbd
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Okri » Sun Dec 24, 2017 10:15 pm

Well I would be disappointed if Peele and Gerwig were overlooked, not gonna lie. I also expect to see them at the DGA. And I truly love McDonagh as a playwright (though I didn't go nuts for 3 Billboards like many). Honestly, I don't know why we should be anything less than disappointed that two people representing marginal voices get excluded when the two films they directed are both among the most critically acclaimed films of the year.

I think supporting actor is interesting. I wonder if Shannon can make it. He's done it before without much precursor support and he's now in a best picture contender. I can imagine a scenario where Stuhlbarg gets boxed out just because SPC sucks.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby The Original BJ » Sun Dec 24, 2017 8:50 pm

In all honesty, I don't think any scenario where the directors' branch doesn't nominate BOTH Jordan Peele AND Greta Gerwig is going to result in outrage from Woke Twitter, for coming up with a list that is either Just a Bunch of White People (as Mister Tee suggests, ignoring the fact that a nominee is Latino) or Just a Bunch of Men, or both. This would inevitably lead to arguments discussing "ALL of the women" the voters overlooked (suggesting that people like Angelina Jolie or Patty Jenkins ever had a prayer) or "ALL of the people of color" who could have been cited (the directors of Thor: Ragnarok and Girls Trip!), most of whom were clearly inferior to the actual contenders. This is a conversation that I just don't know how to engage with in any meaningful way -- any take that isn't outrage is interpreted as being in opposition to more opportunities and recognition for women and people of color, which I am very clearly FOR. (For the record, I would be both super excited to see either of them nominated for helming two of my favorite films of the year, while also not remotely bothered to see either of them left off for a bunch of other exciting directors who helmed all of my other favorite films of the year -- and I just don't know how to convey the nuance of that take to the Jada Pinkett Smith brigade.) It will be very interesting to see the list DGA comes up with, though -- if Peele/Gerwig are not to be nominated at the Oscars, I'd almost rather they be omitted there too, just to diminish folks' expectations for seeing them on that ballot.

The enthusiasm for Chalamet in some circles certainly exceeds my initial expectations -- the idea of him as a Best Actor winner is starting to seem more possible than I'd thought. And yet, while Call Me By Your Name is certainly outperforming Darkest Hour, it hasn't exactly stormed the recent precursors either, having softer Globe/SAG hauls than many of us expected. (For what it's worth, it's running well behind not only Moonlight but also Carol at this stage in the game, to make reductive comparisons.) It would seem to me that enormous enthusiasm surrounding his film would almost be necessary for Chalamet to overcome the age/experience hurdle to win, and right now it's a bit hard to get a read on whether he has that.

My hope for Best Actress is that whoever loses the Drama Globe wins the SAG, and we end up with a basically even race between Ronan, Hawkins, and McDormand at the Oscars. I'm with Mister Tee in thinking Robbie is running a step below those three, mainly because I, Tonya just isn't the heavy hitter those other films are, but also because the other actresses all seem more in line career-wise for a trophy. This would be Ronan's third nomination, Hawkins's second (but given her big run of Happy-Go-Lucky prizes, it'll feel like her third), and McDormand has had two losing nominations (plus Emmy and Tony wins) since her first Oscar.

At this point, I'm going to stick with my prediction that Stuhlbarg makes the Supporting Actor list until the bitter end, mainly because he's EXACTLY the kind of actor who gets an Oscar slot in this category even after missing Globe/SAG. So many of the others -- Alda in The Aviator, Shannon in Revolutionary Road, Hurt in A History of Violence, Von Sydow in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close -- were veteran actors rewarded for brief but incisive roles, and he's-everywhere-this-year Stuhlbarg with his late-film monologue fits that bill to a T.

I'd say the fact that Lady Bird is a much more widely-admired film than I, Tonya is definitely an advantage for Metcalf. But it's worth noting just how much of an awards magnet Janney has been over the years, winning multiple Emmys for The West Wing even past that show's prime, winning multiple Emmys for Mom when I don't think that show even had a prime to start with. And it should be acknowledged that she's never won a Golden Globe, despite a bunch of nominations, so that group may finally want to reward her with that prize.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Sabin » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:30 pm

Mister Tee wrote
When I wrote that Oscar-history-of-Spielberg piece a number of years back, Eric pointed out that, whatever you think of the two films involved, Shakespeare in Love’s defeat of Saving Private Ryan shattered that long-time paradigm – Ryan had got 1998’s best reviews, won both the NY & LA Critics prizes, and been the year’s box-office champ; by all rights and precedent, it should have coasted to victory. At the time, the Shakespeare win seemed a one-off (and, for his detractors, the epitome of Weinstein evil). But I wonder if it was more a sign of things to come.

Perhaps this was the first time that the Oscar race became something political. Like a primary. Where we started micromanaging the race. What was there to micromanage before? When 'Braveheart' beat 'Apollo 13,' was anybody desperate for an autopsy? But when 'Saving Private Ryan' lost, consensus immediately became: "Oh, it was the actors." Perhaps it was the first time that a perfect film to win Best Picture became stale. Unlike 'The Silence of the Lambs' (or this year's 'Get Out'), it was never the underdog. And Harvey Weinstein was able to turn that against it. We've seen examples of films bucking that trend, last this past year with 'Moonlight' and 'La La Land.' But nothing with the wide cultural impact of 'Saving Private Ryan.'

Mister Tee wrote
Just as we’re no longer a nation that gets our information from the 6:30 News on three television stations, maybe we’re also no longer one that agrees on one film to represent the industry at its peak.

Exactly. I think you could make an excellent case for 1999 being a turning point. Sure, we look at 1999 as a watershed year for cinema, but did any film have the broad cultural impact of 'The Sopranos?' Or 'The West Wing?' I'd say no. I'd also say that 'Saving Private Ryan' was the last time that the industry had a peak they seemed proud of.
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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby anonymous1980 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 2:11 pm

Mister Tee wrote:
I don’t have the time or energy to delve into the below-line categories just now, but I’ll repeat what was said a few weeks ago: the only category I’d bet the rent money on is Animated Feature to Coco. This could be one of the most competitive Oscar nights in a long while.


What could beat Call Me By Your Name in Adapted Screenplay?

. So, it probably comes down to the Globe: if Chalamet (the most logical challenger) wins there, it becomes interesting, with SAG then a major battlefield. But an Oldman win at HFPA for his film’s sole nomination would mean the decision’s been made and won’t be changed.


There's also the factor that Gary Oldman has been openly bashing the Golden Globes in the press, the past few years. So I think Chalamet, a charming fresh face whose film is also nominated for Best Drama Picture, could definitely win if enough members are pissed off enough to allow that to be the deciding factor. If Oldman wins the Globe, he could run with it all the way to the Oscar after getting over those two obstacles.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:26 pm

Precious Doll wrote:Also, I would like to think that Roger Deakins is a walk-in for a win with Blade Runner 2049. If he losses the Academy better damn well give him an honorary Oscar next year because it is getting beyond a joke.

Deakins would definitely have my vote, but the competition is hefty -- both Dunkirk and The Shape of Water have strong claims, and the advantage of best picture nominations, something Blade Runner is unlikely to match.

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Re: Pre-Christmas Look at the Top Races

Postby Precious Doll » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:23 am

I do think A Fantastic Woman will steamroll to a best foreign language win, so much so in fact that if I were arranging presenters I'd by checking to see if Caitlyn Jenner would be willing to present the award. After all she did appear (as Bruce) in Can't Stop the Music.

Also, I would like to think that Roger Deakins is a walk-in for a win with Blade Runner 2049. If he losses the Academy better damn well give him an honorary Oscar next year because it is getting beyond a joke.
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