Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby criddic3 » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:27 am

MaxWilder wrote: The Dark Knight’s omission cemented for its fans (a much larger group than Wall-E fans) the notion that the Academy had become out of touch, elitist, irrelevant. This posed a real long-term threat to viewership.


The irony of that is that, for the most part, genre films have not really benefited much from the expansion. Mad Max: Fury Road and District 9 are the two I can think of. Campaigns for Star Trek and Star Wars: The Force Awakens fell short. This year's Get Out will probably gain from the longer list, while such films as The Conjuring were totally ignored. And animated Up and Toy Story 3 took a spot. So it's been a mixed blessing for fans of popular fare, as opposed to critical indie darlings like The Kids Are All Right or Lion. I like that it does provide a fairly diverse field of choices, but there are still deep genre biases.
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby MaxWilder » Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:31 am

OscarGuy wrote:WALL-E had won LA Critics, Chicago Critics, Boston Critics, and Online Critics awards for Best Picture. It was nominated at the Broadcast Critics and it was top ten at the National Board of Review. These are not inconsequential achievements. I'd say it was far more acclaimed than The Dark Knight

AMPAS made the change to hold on to viewers. In the past it had been common for astonishingly popular, well reviewed films to receive BP nods. The Dark Knight’s omission cemented for its fans (a much larger group than Wall-E fans) the notion that the Academy had become out of touch, elitist, irrelevant. This posed a real long-term threat to viewership.

The Wall-E audience consisted, to a great extent, of kids. The Oscar snub meant nothing to them. Grown Wall-E fans were used to animated films not being nominated; it was nothing new. If any of them cited critics awards in their impassioned rants—well, they were never not going to watch the Oscars. Long-term ratings were not in jeopardy because Wall-E was omitted; The Dark Knight spurred the change.
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby Sabin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 3:07 pm

The Original BJ wrote
It's interesting that Sabin compared Sean Baker to Zeitlin (and I love that you referred to him as a young guy breaking through, as it's quite encouraging for me to hear a 46 year-old referred to that way).

Have you seen him??? Isn’t never guess he was 46. Also, he makes films like a very young man.

The Original BJ wrote
Another interesting quirk is that, under the old system, Phantom Thread seems like the kind of movie that would get Director/Screenplay, but miss Best Picture (i.e. Vera Drake, Talk to Her, The Sweet Hereafter). But now with the expansion, and with the supremely competitive Director and Original Screenplay fields this year, I'd actually rate Best Picture the MOST likely of the three nominations for Phantom Thread to pick up.

And in all of those instances you listed above, I wouldn’t have shortlisted any of them for Best Director, let alone Best Picture. I have NO idea how ‘Phantom Thread’ will play. Comsidering that our sole Pictureless Best Director nominee, Bennett Miller, was a previous nominee with a slow deliberate psychological drama makes one wonder if PTA’s latest could be their bag. One looks to ‘The Master’ and thinks perhaps if he can’t get a writing nomination for that, then he’s not beloved, simply ‘There Will Be Blood’ was. But I see his writing nomination for ‘Inherent Vice’ as more telling. If he can get nominated for THAT, perhaps he’ll always be in the mix.
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby OscarGuy » Thu Jan 18, 2018 1:26 pm

WALL-E had won LA Critics, Chicago Critics, Boston Critics, and Online Critics awards for Best Picture. It was nominated at the Broadcast Critics and it was top ten at the National Board of Review. These are not inconsequential achievements. I'd say it was far more acclaimed than The Dark Knight, which only picked up Best Picture prizes from Austin and Utah critics groups, Nolan picked up only two Best Director awards as well. Even Andrew Stanton beat Nolan at the Utah critics awards for Best Director. It was huge in terms of critical acclaim. While a lot of the attention was focused on The Dark Knight, WALL-E also got a fair bit of attention by its failure to make the list, since many thought it would become only the second animated film ever nominated for Best Picture. While Dark Knight does have the lion's share of the "blame" for the extension, having two of the most popular and acclaimed films of the year lose out on Best Picture nominations was a fairly sizable event.
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby Sabin » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:39 pm

OscarGuy wrote
That was also the year of the WALL-E snub. Yeah, Dark Knight gets a lot of the attention, but WALL-E was also a major snub that morning when many thought it would get nominated and the usual chorus of "they ignore animated films" built up.

That's not how I remember it. It was mostly about 'The Dark Knight.' That film was a phenomenon. Unadjusted for inflation, it was the biggest film since 'Titanic.' 'WALL-E' was easily the more critically beloved film but it was relatively low-grossing by PIXAR standards and wasn't nearly the phenomenon. If 'WALL-E' had been nominated, I think the backlash would have been a little less intense, but it was the fact that they passed on both of those films (in that order) for 'The Reader.' So, yeah...while both of them were major snubs, I think it's fair to just say "They changed it because of 'The Dark Knight.'
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby MaxWilder » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:22 pm

OscarGuy wrote:That was also the year of the WALL-E snub. Yeah, Dark Knight gets a lot of the attention, but WALL-E was also a major snub that morning when many thought it would get nominated and the usual chorus of "they ignore animated films" built up.

WALL-E had great reviews and strong box office (although several Pixar releases boasted those credentials), but it wasn't the first animated film to cause that uproar. (It must have been louder for The Lion King, which didn't have the best animated film consolation prize.) The Dark Knight, on the other hand, was a phenomenon. At the time TDK was the second-highest domestic grosser ever (behind Titanic) and made A-listers out of Bale and Nolan. I think the change would have been made with or without WALL-E.

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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:05 am

OscarGuy wrote:American Honey got no Oscar nominations. I'm not sure where that comparison fits in.


They are both festival-praised, verite-style independent films about young people living in poverty, set against the commercial sprawl of America. American Honey got zero Oscar nods. So if Florida Project gets only the one it’s widely expected to receive, it would be American Honey with an acting nomination.

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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby OscarGuy » Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:05 am

That was also the year of the WALL-E snub. Yeah, Dark Knight gets a lot of the attention, but WALL-E was also a major snub that morning when many thought it would get nominated and the usual chorus of "they ignore animated films" built up.
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby MaxWilder » Thu Jan 18, 2018 9:29 am

Are the Olympics extending the voting period?

The Dark Knight, one of the two films that helped usher in the five-plus fields

What’s the other one? TDK seems to get all the credit for that.

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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby Precious Doll » Thu Jan 18, 2018 8:12 am

OscarGuy wrote:American Honey got no Oscar nominations. I'm not sure where that comparison fits in.


Same style of film with The Florida Project earning just one nomination based solely on a swoop of the major critics awards. If it wasn't for Willem Dafoe (lets say Sean Baker regular Karren Karagulian played the Willem Dafoe role) the film would be receiving the same number of nominations that American Honey did - none.
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby OscarGuy » Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:46 am

American Honey got no Oscar nominations. I'm not sure where that comparison fits in.
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby The Original BJ » Thu Jan 18, 2018 12:29 am

Great analysis of where the race stands as we head into next week.

There's a good possibility The Post ends up having a Selma-like haul. I've learned not to bet against Meryl Streep -- and probably won't be doing so this year -- but should she miss, it's very possible the movie only hangs on to Picture and Original Score. (If there is one thing I will never bet against, it's a John Williams nomination). The WGA miss is a genuinely bad sign for its Screenplay chances, and can't really be explained away by the late release date. (For what it's worth, that screener came to us a week before The Shape of Water did, which still managed to land a nomination). That, and the DGA omission suggest folks just aren't quite jiving to it in the way many anticipated based on pedigree/subject, and I have a tough time seeing it overperform.

It's interesting that Sabin compared Sean Baker to Zeitlin (and I love that you referred to him as a young guy breaking through, as it's quite encouraging for me to hear a 46 year-old referred to that way). Because one thing I was thinking about is that both Amour and The Tree of Life, two films we've often used as arthouse precedents for Picture/Director candidates, were directed by veteran filmmakers with pretty established fan bases. (Malick even had previous Picture/Director Oscar nominations). Which is to say, I wonder if Anderson might have a stronger base of support within the Academy, making Phantom Thread a stronger player for this spot than The Florida Project. I still get the feeling Florida Project will end up like American Honey with an acting nomination, but of course it's still similar enough to Beasts of the Southern Wild that its hopes might not be completely over just yet.

Another interesting quirk is that, under the old system, Phantom Thread seems like the kind of movie that would get Director/Screenplay, but miss Best Picture (i.e. Vera Drake, Talk to Her, The Sweet Hereafter). But now with the expansion, and with the supremely competitive Director and Original Screenplay fields this year, I'd actually rate Best Picture the MOST likely of the three nominations for Phantom Thread to pick up.

It's pretty rare to have a movie that seems like it genuinely could be a Best Picture nominee, but could also blank completely, but The Big Sick still feels like it's right in that spot. Most of the other potential candidates have at least one or two dead-certain nominations, but The Big Sick is perilously on the bubble in all three of its potential categories. I could just as easily see voters embrace it wholeheartedly or not at all.

I of course don't think it will get a Best Picture nomination, but it's probably at least worth mentioning Wonder Woman, which got PGA AND AFI nominations, and which you know will be the subject of plenty of "the Academy snubbed popular movies" articles on nomination morning. (Or, god forbid, "the Academy snubbed female directors" pieces, if Gerwig misses.) The precedent for a nomination is about zero, but I might at least admit that its nomination chances are at least slightly above zero.

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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby Sabin » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:58 pm

Great writeup, Tee. Wish I held off a day or so before posting.

Mister Tee wrote
The Florida Project would initially have appeared the stronger hopeful, given the number of film/director critics’ prizes it received. Its profile – high critical praise/low grosses – is what has created many a lone director in the past. ... Yet…it seems so much like the KIND of film that pulls off this late run, I can’t discount it.

You've mentioned three films in comparison to 'The Florida Project': 'Amour,' 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' and 'The Tree of Life.' All three of them picked up Best Director nominations. 'The Florida Project' seems like the kind of film that could pick up a low nomination total to go along with Picture and Director nominations. And similarly to Benh Zeitlin, Sean Baker is a young white guy breaking through.

A24 hasn't shown strength enough to get more than one film into the Best Picture fray before but it would make sense that this year that could change. Especially after winning for 'Moonlight' this year.


Mister Tee wrote
Darkest Hour has, except for Gary Oldman, failed most everywhere, even places (NBR, Broadcasters), where you’d have thought it would have broken through if it were in any way serious. ... But, for purposes of completeness, I’ll say it’s not yet most sincerely dead.

I guess the question is do we really think we're going to make it through Oscar morning without rolling our eyeballs at least once? Or muttering the words "Of course, they had to nominate [fill in the blank]..."? I don't.
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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby dws1982 » Wed Jan 17, 2018 8:07 pm

Somehow it's going to work out that The Shape of Water is going to be the only likely Best Picture nominee that I won't be able to see before the nominations. For whatever reason, it hasn't made its way to my town yet. I was at a theater in Nashville that was showing it in mid-December, but I passed on staying for the later showing, because I was sure it would be in Huntsville by Christmas and I could see it on the break. Over three weeks later, I'm still waiting on it to show up. Call Me By Your Name and I, Tonya open on Friday, along with possible dark-horse Phantom Thread. (Of the dark-horses, The Florida Project never broke out enough to make it here.)

critic definitely has a point about Darkest Hour's audience. I think the popularity of Downton Abbey has given these British period pieces a wider appeal than they would've had even ten years ago. My parents weren't in to British TV or movies, but after Downton Abbey, they're always looking for a new British show to watch, and I'm sure they'd love Darkest Hour.

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Re: Nominations Landscape -- Part 1: Best Picture

Postby OscarGuy » Wed Jan 17, 2018 7:46 pm

I think there might be another dark horse worth considering: Blade Runner 2049. Denis Villeneuve came out of nowhere for a Best Director nomination at BAFTA with hometown fave Joe Wright available. The film is likely to be nominated in Original Score, Editing (ACE nom), Cinematography (ASC nom), Production Design (ADG nom), Sound Mixing (did not get a CAS nom, which was surprising), Sound Editing (MPSE hasn't announced yet), and Visual Effects (VES noms, tied for most). It's got a CDG nomination as well, though I think Costume Design is well out of its reach. That's a potential for 5 to 7 tech nominations. The film was incredibly well reviewed, but didn't get support from PGA, SAG, or DGA, which might indicate its weakness.

Still, in the years since the Best Picture expansion, Carol, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Foxcatcher, Interstellar, Skyfall, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo are the only films to score 5 or more Oscar nominations and not receive a Best Picture citation as well. Of those, none of those had seven or more nominations. You would have to go back the last five-year to find a film to earn more than 6 nominations (Carol had 6) that didn't get a Best Picture nod and that was The Dark Knight, one of the two films that helped usher in the five-plus fields.

At 7, it would be among a very short list (17 films) with seven or more nominations without a Best Picture nomination. If it could pick up an eighth, it would join Dark Knight in the top 6. I have my doubts about Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, so I'm leaning towards five, which means it's still a longshot, but one that shouldn't entirely be ignored.
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