Monday, November 30, 2015

The 25th IFP Gotham Award Winners

Best Feature - Spotlight

Best Actress - Bel Powley "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"

Best Actor  - Paul Dano "Love & Mercy"

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director - Jonas Carpigano "Mediterranea"

Best Screenplay - Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer "Spotlight"

Breakthrough Actor - Mya Taylor "Tangerine"

Best Documentary - The Look of Silence

Special Jury Award - Ensemble Performance - Spotlight

The Gotham Independent Film Audience Award - Tangerine

Gotham Appreciation Award - Ellen Cotter of Angelika Film Center Theaters

Breakthrough Series - Short Format - Shugs and Fats

Breakthrough Series - Longform - Mr. Robot

2015 Soul Train Music Award Winners

Album of the Year - The Weeknd "Beauty Behind the Madness"

Song of the Year - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk"

Best New Artist - Jidenna

Best R&B/Soul Male Artist - The Weeknd

Best R&B/Soul Female Artist - Jill Scott

Best Hip-Hop Song of the Year - Kendrick Lamar "Alright"

Best Collaboration - Omarion feat. Chris Brown and Jhene Aiko "Post to Be"

Best Dance Performance - Silento "Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)"

Best Gospel/Inspirational Song - Lecrae "All I Need Is You"

Video of the Year - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk"

Centric Certified Award - Tyrese

The Ashford & Simpson Songwriter's Award - Common and John Legend "Glory"

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: The Indie Spirits, The Critics, and the Road Ahead

The next two weeks or so are going to be a non-stop onslaught of critics awards, culminating with SAG and Golden Globe nominations mid-next week, then the Critics Choice the next Monday. It is going to be a whirlwind, but within a few weeks we could know a lot more about the Oscar race. First let's talk about the Spirits. The two films that solidified their Oscar status were Carol and Spotlight, and I will get to their critical prospects in a moment. These were not surprises, and I am still predicting both will do well with Oscar voters. But several films either took a hit or made strides in the race based on their overall performance at the Spirits. Anomalisa is a creative film with a lot of support, that I thought was going to be too weird to breakout beyond the Animated Feature category. But if it continues to rake in critical support, it may get enough of a boost to make a play at several categories, particularly screenplay, and maybe, just maybe Best Picture. Beasts of No Nation still has an uphill climb, because its subject matter is a downer. But, like Anomalisa, continued and sustained critical support can boost its chances in several categories, particularly Idris Elba. There are two films that I thought took a bit of a hit, and are going to need some help. The first is Room. It got a lot of love from the Indie Spirits, and many consider it a lock for a Best Picture nomination, and Brie Larson the leader for Best Actress. I still think all of those things are in the cards, the Indie Spirits are nice, but they are not Academy voters. That being said, missing out of the top prize at both Gotham and the Indie Spirits is odd, and a bit disconcerting for a film with so much awards potential. Finally, I was hoping Love & Mercy would make a play in more categories particularly Elizabeth Banks. But alas, only Paul Dano made the cut. Word is that the film is being remembered by Oscar voters, and I do hope at least a few critics groups remember it in the next few weeks.

Now come the critics, and unlike last year, I feel like there are so many possibilities. Last year it felt like Birdman and Boyhood were going to dominate the critics and they did all the way through to the big night. But this year, I am simply not sure where they will go. Carol and Spotlight seem like safe places for critics, as both films are beloved by these groups. They are big Oscar contenders, and have a cinematic quality to them that will appeal to these groups. But they could also throw us a curve ball. The aforementioned Beasts of No Nation and Anomalisa seem like outside choices that could garner some big wins. Then there are the big guys like Inside Out, The Martian, and Mad Max. You would think that big studio projects like that wouldn't need a boost, but in terms of the Oscar race, they are all non-traditional Best Picture contenders, but they also happen to be beloved films among critics. I don't honestly know how the critics are going to pan out, but I think that there will be much less than a consensus this year, which means that it will come down to the guilds, starting with SAG. Even now though, the number of potential nominees for ensemble is astounding, and it will take a while to sort everything out. It is only the beginning, and as always, we'll have to wait and see...

2015 Sight and Sound Top 20 Films

Always an interesting list, with Taiwan's Foreign Language contender The Assassin topping the list. While there are plenty of unique choices, there is also a nice mix of Oscar contenders including Carol, Inside Out, Mad Max, 45 Years, Son of Saul, Amy, Anomalisa, and The Look of Silence.

1. The Assassin
2. Carol
3. Mad Max: Fury Road
4. Arabian Nights
5. Cemetery of Splendor
6. No Home Movie
7. 45 Years
8. Son of Saul
9. (TIE) Amy and Inherent Vice
11 (TIE) Anomalisa and It Follows
13. Phoenix
14. (TIE) Girlhood, Hard to Be a God, Inside Out, Tangerine, and Taxi Tehran
19. (TIE) Horse Money and The Look of Silence

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The 31st Annual Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations.

I will do a full rundown this weekend, but of course I have some initial thoughts. Carol is the strongest here, and I think the critics will continue its streak. Although, with both Mara and Blanchett getting in here, and both competing for lead at the Globes, the Weinstein's initial plan is getting a bit more complicated. Spotlight grabbed five nods, including the Robert Altman Award, but none of its individual cast members were recognized. Maybe this was intentional, because of the Altman prize, but no Keaton, Ruffalo, or McAdams, all of which are in the running for Oscar nods. Finally, Room got some big nods along the way, but once again missed out for Director and Feature (it missed out at the Gothams too). This has to be troubling for its awards team, because so many folks have it ranked high on their list. Maybe this is just the indie folks going for something like Tangerine instead because it has no shot otherwise, but for a film that is poised to be a huge Oscar contender, its second miss in a row is interesting at least. Finally, while last year's Best Feature nominees featured 4 of 5 that went on to a Best Picture Oscar nod, I have a feeling they are going to diverge a lot more than that this time around, with Tangerine, Beasts of No Nation, and Anomalisa probably not going to make the cut on the other end. Here is the full list of nominees:

Best Feature
Beasts of No Nation

Best Director
Sean Baker "Tangerine"
Cary Joji Fukunaga "Beasts of No Nation"
Todd Haynes "Carol"
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson "Anomalisa"
Tom McCarthy "Spotlight"
David Robert Mitchell "It Follows"

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman "Anomalisa"
Donald Margulies "The End of the Tour"
Phyllis Nagy "Carol"
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer "Spotlight"
S. Craig Zahler "Bone Tomahawk"

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
James White
Manos Sucias
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best First Screenplay
Jesse Andrews "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"
Joseph Carpignano "Mediterranea"
Emma Donoghue "Room"
Marielle Heller "The Diary of a Teenage Girl"
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, and Myna Joseph "The Mend"

Best Male Lead
Christopher Abbott "James White"
Abraham Attah "Beasts of No Nation"
Ben Mendelsohn "Mississippi Grind"
Jason Segel "The End of the Tour"
Koudous Seihon "Mediterranea"

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett "Carol"
Brie Larson "Room"
Rooney Mara "Carol"
Bel Powley "The Diary of A Teenage Girl"
Kitana Kiki Rodriquez "Tangerine"

Best Supporting Male
Kevin Corrigan "Results"
Paul Dano "Love & Mercy"
Idris Elba "Beasts of No Nation"
Richard Jenkins "Bone Tomahawk"
Michael Shannon "99 Homes"

Best Supporting Female
Robin Bartlett "H."
Marin Ireland "Glass Chin"
Jennifer Jason Leigh "Anomalisa"
Cynthia Nixon "James White"
Mya Taylor "Tangerine"

Best Documentary
Heart of Dog
The Look of Silence
The Russian Woodpecker

Best International Film
Embrace the Serpent (Colombia)
Girlhood (France)
Mustang (France, Turkey)
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Sweden)
Son of Saul (Hungary)

Best Cinematography
Beasts of No Nation
It Follows
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Best Editing
Manos Sucias
Heaven Knows What
It Follows

John Cassavetes Award (Best Feature Under $500,000)
Christmas, Again
Heaven Knows What
Out of My Hand

Robert Altman Award

Kiehl’s Someone to Watch Award
God Bless the Child
King Jack
Songs My Brothers Taught Me

19th Annual Piaget Producers Award
Darren Dean
Mel Eslyn
Rebecca Green and Laura D. Smith

The 21st annual Truer Than Fiction Award
Among the Believers
A Woman Like Me

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Picture

November Predictions
Bridge of Spies
The Hateful Eight
The Martian
The Revenant
Steve Jobs

Other Contenders - Inside Out, The Danish Girl, Black Mass, Mad Max: Fury Road, Son of Saul, The Big Short, Straight Outta Compton, In the Heart of the Sea, Sicario, Youth, Creed, Beasts of No Nation, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Trumbo, Truth, The Walk, Suffragette, Macbeth, Love & Mercy, 45 Years, Spectre, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Concussion, By the Sea, Legend, The Lady in the Van, I'll See You in My Dreams, Ricki and the Flash, Anomalisa, The Good Dinosaur, Everest, 99 Homes, Jurassic World, Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Spy, Trainwreck, Our Brand is Crisis

Commentary - Here's what we know. Spotlight is locked and loaded, The Martian is beloved and a real contender, and Room is the emotionally powerhouse dark horse. Steve Jobs and Bridge of Spies are the technically brilliant standard Oscar fare that are getting all the right momentum at the right time. Joy, The Revenant, and The Hateful Eight are all still major unknowns, although I assume within the next week or two we will start to have screenings that will determine their fate. Finally, the indie darlings of Carol and Brooklyn are holding on, although both are going to need the critics to get them over the line. Those are my current top ten, although they are very fluid. I had Inside Out in there for a long time, and it pains me to move it out, because my guess is that at year's end it will still easily be one of the best films, if not the best film, of the year. Mad Max is still sitting on the outside as well, and I am hoping that between critics, and the techs that they can muscle it into one of these slots. Tom Hooper's The Danish Girl seemed like a perfect fit for Best Picture, and it could still get back in, but it really feels like the type of film that gets several nods, but doesn't have the power (or the overall reviews) to beat out better films in what is an increasingly competitive year. Black Mass started off strong but has dipped significantly. The Big Short is getting great reviews, but even the positive ones admit that its a strange mix of humor, and a lot of information that can be hard to grasp. It has enough star power to prove me wrong, but it just doesn't feel like an Oscar film. Straight Outta Compton should be in the conversation, but a hip-hop film will probably not appeal to a lot of voters, although that didn't stop Hustle & Flow from making a impact a decade ago (and this film was much more successful). Youth will appeal to older voters, Son of Saul will have its supporters (although a lot of folks are turned off by it), Creed could bring Rocky back into the Oscar ring, and true stories The Walk, Truth, In the Heart of the Sea, Concussion, and Trumbo are all fighting to remain relevant. There are the smaller indies like 45 Years, I'll See You in My Dreams, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Legend, The Lady in the Can, and 99 Homes, and the big guys like Jurassic World, The Avengers, The Hunger Games, Spy, Trainwreck, and Spectre. And of course, this conversation would not be complete without Star Wars. It is going to be such a huge phenomena, and is perfectly straddling the line between older-voter nostalgia and too-big-to-ignore zeitgeist magic, and it could be a perfect combination.

Producers Guild of America (PGA) Documentary Feature Nominations

The Producer's Guild has announced its five nominees for Best Documentary Feature. Last year, only one of the nominees, Virunga made the Oscar top five. But with Amy, The Hunting Ground, and The Look of Silence all making the PGA cut, they could have a much better track record this time around. The five nominees are:

The Hunting Ground
The Look of Silence
Something Better to Come.

The Television nods will be announced on December 8th, and the rest of the nods on January 5th. The PGA Awards will be on January 23rd.

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Director

November Predictions
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu "The Revenant"
Tom McCarthy "Spotlight"
David O. Russell "Joy"
Ridley Scott "The Martian"
Steven Spielberg "Bridge of Spies"

Other Contenders - Danny Boyle "Steve Jobs", Lenny Abrahamson "Room", Quentin Tarantino "The Hateful Eight", Laszlo Nemes "Son of Saul", George Miller "Mad Max: Fury Road", Todd Haynes "Carol", John Crowley "Brooklyn", Tom Hooper "The Danish Girl", Ryan Coogler "Creed", Adam McKay "The Big Short", Denis Villeneuve "Sicario", Ron Howard "In the Heart of the Sea", Scott Cooper "Black Mass", F. Gary Gray "Straight Outta Compton", J.J. Abrams "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens", Bill Pohlad "Love & Mercy", Sarah Gavron "Suffragette", Jay Roach "Trumbo", Robert Zemeckis "The Walk", Paolo Sorrentino "Youth", James Vanderbilt "Truth", Justin Kurzel "Macbeth", Bill Condon "Mr. Holmes", Angelina Jolie "By the Sea", Andrew Haigh "45 Years", Cary Joji Fukunaga "Beasts of No Nation", Pete Docter and Ronnie Del Carmen "Inside Out", Alfonso Gomez-Rejon "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", Duke Johnson and Charlie Kaufman "Anomalisa", Brian Helgeland "Legend", Sam Mendes "Spectre"

Commentary - This, like most years, is a race that is far from over, and as always, I keep waiting for the surprise nominee that no one was thinking about. Tom McCarthy is going to go from indie director to Oscar nominee with Spotlight, this year's Oscar front runner. For a long time, I had not included Ridley Scott, because I didn't think The Martian would be getting this kind of buzz and support. For the record, The Martian is beloved by all those who see it, and Scott is an extremely overdue film maker. Even if say Spotlight wins Best Picture, I could see them splitting to finally give Scott the Oscar he deserves. Bridge of Spies is apparently hitting all the right notes with Oscar voters, and I don't think they will pass up another opportunity to reward Steven Spielberg, who is clearly still at the top of his game. Finally, I am still holding slots for two of the three big unknowns left in this season. David O. Russell and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's new films look fantastic, and both are recent nominees/winners with incredible track records. But this leaves out Danny Boyle who captures the energy of Sorkin's script in Steve Jobs. It leaves out Lenny Abrahamson, who has brought this season's breakout hit Room. It leaves off Quentin Tarantino, the great George Miller's revisionist mind in Mad Max, and Todd Haynes, John Crowley and Tom Hooper for their extraordinary romantic films Carol, Brooklyn, and The Danish Girl. This leaves out Laszlo Nemes who hopes to join the likes of Julian Schnabel, Pedro Almodovar, and Michael Haneke as the foreign contender. Ryan Coogler has revived the Rocky franchise, Adam McKay has brought comedy into economics, F. Gary Gray made Straight Outta Compton a huge success, Denis Vileneuve brought intensity in Sicario, and Ron Howard brings Moby Dick to life in In the Heart of the Sea, and that doesn't even cover them all. There's J.J. Abrams, Bill Pohlad, Paolo Sorrentino, Bill Condon, Jay Roach, Robert Zemeckis, Andrew Haigh, and the Inside Out duo, all still there looking to make the cut.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The 2015 American Music Award Winners

I will update the winners as they come in!

Artist of the Year
 - One Direction
New Artist of the Year Presented by Kohl's - Sam Hunt
Song of the Year - Taylor Swift "Blank Space"
Collaboration of the Year Un-Leashed By T-Mobile - Skrillex & Diplo feat. Justin Bieber "Where Are U Now"
Favorite Album - Pop/Rock - Taylor Swift "1989"
Favorite Male Artist - Pop/Rock - Ed Sheeran
Favorite Female Artist - Pop/Rock - Ariana Grande
Favorite Duo or Group - Pop/Rock - One Direction
Favorite Album - Rap/Hip-Hop - Nicki Minaj "The Pinkprint"
Favorite Artist - Rap/Hip-Hop - Nicki Minaj
Favorite Album - Soul/R&B - The Weeknd "Beauty Behind the Madness"
Favorite Male Artist - Soul/R&B - The Weeknd
Favorite Female Artist - Soul/R&B - Rihanna
Favorite Album - Country - Florida Georgia Line "Anything Goes"
Favorite Male Artist - Country - Luke Bryan
Favorite Female Artist - Country - Carrie Underwood
Favorite Duo/Group - Country - Florida Georgia Line
Favorite Artist - Alternative Rock - Fall Out Boy
Favorite Artist - Adult Contemporary - Taylor Swift
Favorite Artist - Latin - Enrique Iglesias
Favorite Artist - Contemporary Inspirational - Casting Crowns
Favorite Artist - EDM - Calvin Harris
Favorite Soundtrack - Pitch Perfect 2

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Actor

November Predictions
Matt Damon "The Martian"
Johnny Depp "Black Mass"
Leonardo DiCaprio "The Revenant"
Michael Fassbender "Steve Jobs"
Eddie Redmayne "The Danish Girl"

Other Contenders - Tom Hanks "Bridge of Spies", Will Smith "Concussion", Michael Caine "Youth", Bryan Cranston "Trumbo", Michael B. Jordon "Creed", Ian McKellen "Mr. Holmes", Steve Carell "The Big Short", Geza Rohrig "Son of Saul", Tom Courtenay "45 Years", Samuel L. Jackson "The Hateful Eight", Abraham Attah "Beasts of No Nation", Jake Gyllenhaal "Southpaw", John Cusack "Love & Mercy", Chris Hemsworth "In the Heart of the Sea", Michael Fassbender "Macbeth", Mark Ruffalo "Infinitely Polar Bear", Thomas Mann "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", Joseph Gordon-Levitt "The Walk", Tom Hardy "Legend", Andrew Garfield "99 Homes", Tobey Maguire "Pawn Sacrifice", Bill Hader "Trainwreck", Ben Kingsley "Learning to Drive", Robin Williams "Boulevard", Joaquin Phoenix "Irrational Man", Jesse Eisenberg "The End of the Tour", Shameik Moore "Dope"

Commentary - I am still sticking with the same five I have had for a while now. Michael Fassbender knocks it out of the park as Steve Jobs, and is a previous nominee. Matt Damon is fantastic in The Martian, and the film has risen to the top of the Oscar pack. Eddie Redmayne will get a nomination just after winning for this transgender character in The Danish Girl. And while The Revenant has not been seen, Leonardo DiCaprio feels like a safe bet here, and if he and the film are as good as they look, he could finally end his Oscar drought. The last slot had been reserved for Johnny Depp, and for the moment he holds his slot, despite a dramatic dip in buzz for Black Mass. Beyond those five, Tom Hanks is still sitting there, hoping to right the Bridge of Spies wave to the nod they owe him for Captain Phillips. Will Smith is apparently good, but also apparently really subtle in Concussion, and the film as a whole is getting mixed reactions. Youth could play well with older voters, and Michael Caine is a two-time winner. Bryan Cranston is great in Trumbo and is probably still getting good vibes from Breaking Bad. Michael B. Jordan has been a young star to watch for a while, and is apparently fantastic in Creed. Ian McKellen is a beguiling Sherlock Holmes, Steve Carell is back to funny in The Big Short, Tom Courtenay is fantastic in 45 Years, and Geza Rohrig could be a compelling foreign contender this year. Samuel L. Jackson might be bumped up to lead for The Hateful Eight, Chris Hemsworth could breakthrough with In the Heart of the Sea, and Tom Hardy is jaw-dropping in Legend. Throw in Jake Gyllenhaal, John Cusack, Thomas Mann, Bill Hader, Abraham Attah, and Shameik Moore, and this race is far from over.

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Actress

November Predictions
Cate Blanchett "Carol"
Brie Larson "Room"
Jennifer Lawrence "Joy"
Charlotte Rampling "45 Years"
Saoirse Ronan "Brooklyn"

Other Contenders - Carey Mulligan "Suffragette", Lily Tomlin "Grandma", Blythe Danner "I'll See You In My Dreams", Emily Blunt "Sicario", Maggie Smith "The Lady in the Van", Julianne Moore "Freeheld", Patricia Clarkson "Learning to Drive", Charlize Theron "Mad Max: Fury Road", Sandra Bullock "Our Brand is Crisis", Melissa McCarthy "Spy", Cate Blanchett "Truth", Meryl Streep "Ricki and the Flash", Bel Powley "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", Helen Mirren "Woman in Gold", Sally Field "Hello, My Name is Doris", Julia Roberts "Secret In Their Eyes", Kitana Kiki Rodriguez "Tangerine", Amy Schumer "Trainwreck", Juliette Binoche "Clouds of Sils Maria", Alicia Vikander "Testament of Youth", Carey Mulligan "Far From the Maddening Crowd", Amy Poehler "Sisters", Tina Fey "Sisters", Amy Poehler "Inside Out", Sarah Silverman "I Smile Back", Greta Gerwig "Mistress America", Jennifer Lawrence "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2", Lily James "Cinderella", Naomi Watts "While We're Young"

Commentary - After several years of not being able to find five women the Academy would want to vote for, this race looks like it could be even more competitive than the Best Actor race, and it is refreshing indeed. Brie Larson is way out front for her powerful performance in Room, although Saoirse Ronan, and most likely Jennifer Lawrence will be right on her heels. Cate Blanchett still feels like a safe bet for Carol, which is finally opening to more audiences, and should continue to do well with critics. The final slot seems tricky at the moment. Carey Mulligan has been there, but Suffragette's buzz has lessened significantly in the last month or so. Lily Tomlin is still in there, and could get a big boost next week at the Indie Spirits. But she has a lot of veterans like herself knocking on that last slot. Blythe Danner is getting a huge push for I'll See You In My Dreams, Maggie Smith hopes to get going with a Globe nod for The Lady in the Van, and then there is the magnificent Meryl Streep. Even though Ricki and the Flash was a disappointment, she is still Meryl Streep. I actually think another veteran could surprise here. When Charlotte Rampling got a surprise SAG nod for Restless a couple of years ago (which eventually led to an Emmy nomination), it proved that she is a beloved veteran among her peers. I think she will do well with the Brits, and may end up with a BAFTA nod, and I think both critics and older Academy voters are going to really eat up 45 Years, and her performance. There is also Patricia Clarkson, Charlize Theron's magnificent performance in Mad Max, Julianne Moore, Bel Powely, Juliette Binoche, and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez. Finally, while funny rarely does well with Academy voters between Melissa McCarthy, Amy Schumer, Naomi Watts, Greta Gerwig, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, and Sandra Bullock, they should be paying more attention.

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Supporting Actor

November Predictions
Robert DeNiro "Joy"
Tom Hardy "The Revenant"
Michael Keaton "Spotlight"
Mark Ruffalo "Spotlight"
Mark Rylance "Bridge of Spies"

Other Contenders - Bradley Cooper "Joy", Sylvester Stallone "Creed", Idris Elba "Beasts of No Nation, Benicio Del Toro "Sicario", Jacob Tremblay "Room", Harvey Keitel "Youth", Jeff Daniels "Steve Jobs", Samuel L. Jackson "The Hateful Eight", Kurt Russell "The Hateful Eight", Bruce Dern "The Hateful Eight", Walton Goggins "The Hateful Eight", Demian Bichir 'The Hateful Eight", Christian Bale "The Big Short", Brad Pitt "The Big Short", Joel Edgerton "Black Mass", Paul Dano "Love & Mercy", Stanley Tucci "Spotlight", Liev Schreiber "Spotlight", John Slattery "Spotlight", Robert Redford "Truth", Emory Cohen "Brooklyn", Domnhall Gleeson "Brooklyn", Josh Brolin "Sicario", Harrison Ford "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens", Adam Driver "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens", Seth Rogen "Steve Jobs", Kyle Chandler "Carol", Michael Shannon "99 Homes", Jason Segal "The End of the Tour", Oscar Isaac "Ex Machina", Corey Hawkins "Straight Outta Compton", Paul Giamatti "Straight Outta Compton", Paul Giamatti "Love & Mercy", Tom Holland "In the Heart of the Sea", Benjamin Walker "In the Heart of the Sea", Edgar Ramirez "Joy"

Other Contenders - So Michael Keaton might finally win the Oscar they owe him for Birdman? The answer is yes. He might also be joined by Mark Ruffalo, who has rocketed up a lot of folks predictions recently, probably due to the fact that Spotlight is such a actor's piece that we assume that they are going to rake up in these categories. Tom Hardy is still holding strong, The Revenant sight unseen. Mark Rylance was one of the biggest parts of Bridge of Spies, and is a beloved actor who may get an Emmy nomination and an Oscar nomination for his first big television and film role in the same year. The last slot had been reserved for Bradley Cooper, because underestimating him in the past has cost me some major cred. But in all of the buzz coming for Joy, it is the legend Robert DeNiro that is getting all of the attention. So I am going with him for the obligatory David.O. Russell Best Supporting Actor slot. So those are the five, with a sixth. But there are tons of other potentials as this race is incredibly deep. Room is rising in the charts, and we have seen child actors get in here, so watch out for Jacob Tremblay, who is really a lead. Sylvester Stallone is suddenly in the running as Creed finally screened, and he, Jordan, and the film are getting great notices. Idris Elba is still on a lot of folks list, and apparently the numbers on Netflix are great. But that film is so rough to watch, its brilliant, but tough, and I'm not sure he can get in over the contenders from more palatable films for voters. Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin (as well as Emily Blunt in lead), should be in consideration for Sicario, but once again, not the most palatable film for voters. The Hateful Eight guys are all still in here, but I recently switched out Jackson, who had been holding a slot since last March for Ruffalo, who is a known entity. But Christoph Waltz won back to back Oscar for Tarantino films in this category, so if one of these guys emerges, watch out. Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen are great in Steve Jobs, Joel Edgerton is the best part of Black Mass, Robert Redford is a convincing Dan Rather, and don't forget the other two Spotlight guys, or the rather large cast of the upcoming, but still unknown, In the Heart of the Sea. The Big Short has two big previous Oscar winners, Paul Dano could get in due to love for the nostalgia of Love & Mercy, and Jason Segal, the Straight Outta Compton guys, and the amazing Emory Cohen for Brooklyn could also get some attention.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Supporting Actress

November Predictions
Jennifer Jason Leigh "The Hateful Eight"
Rooney Mara "Carol"
Rachel McAdams "Spotlight"
Alicia Vikander "The Danish Girl"
Kate Winslet "Steve Jobs"

Other Contenders - Joan Allen "Room", Jane Fonda "Youth", Elizabeth Banks "Love & Mercy", Julie Walters "Brooklyn", Helen Mirren "Trumbo", Kristen Stewart "Clouds of Sils Maria", Diane Ladd "Joy", Isabella Rossellini "Joy", Virginia Madsen "Joy", Olivia Cooke "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", Marion Cotillard "Macbeth", Rachel Weisz "Youth", Gugu Mbatha Raw "Concussion", Phylicia Rashad "Creed", Laura Linney "Mr. Holmes", Sarah Paulson "Carol", Phyllis Smith "Inside Out", Mindy Kaling "Inside Out", Helena Bonham Carter "Suffragette", Anne-Marie Duff "Suffragette", Meryl Streep "Suffragette", Ellen Page "Freeheld", Rose Byrne "Spy", Alicia Vikander "Ex Machina", Lola Kirke "Mistress America", Melissa Leo "The Big Short", Marisa Tomei "The Big Short", Julianne Nicholson "Black Mass", Cate Blanchett "Cinderella"

Commentary - This race seemed easy the last couple of weeks. There were three locks: Alicia Vikander, Rooney Mara, and Kate Winslet. All their films had been seen, they were good to go. Sight unseen, Jennifer Jason Leigh has been a nice placeholder, and the early footage promises at least an interesting performance. There seemed to be but one slot that was up for grabs. And then the Globes through us a curve ball. They decided (and rightfully so), that Vikander and Mara were not really supporting and bumped them up to lead. I think the studios are going to ignore this and keep barreling forward with their supporting campaigns, and hope to rebound at SAG/BAFTA/BFCA. For now, I am leaving those two here, although this really could open up this race to a lot of other great contenders just below the line. For the fifth spot, I am sticking with Rachel McAdams. Spotlight is a actor's paradise, and I don't think that will be reserved just for the guys. But if the two get moved around, that could lead to another nod for Joan Allen, who is magnificent in Room. It could mean that Elizabeth Banks gets in for a magnanimous year so far, and Love & Mercy feels like a sleeper hit. Jane Fonda is predicted by a lot of folks, but Youth needs to prove it can jive with older voters they way I think it can, and her role is apparently really small. Helen Mirren was great in Woman in Gold (the film was not so great), and Trumbo is another movie about Hollywood, that is another sleeper to watch for. The Joy trio could continue David O. Russell's streak in this category, but let's see the film before we determine which of the three is the real deal. Kristen Stewart, Phylicia Rashad, Helena Bonham Carter, Anne-Marie Duff, Ellen Page, and The Big Short duo should also be in the mix. I would like to add two names that will unfortunately be forgotten come Oscar time. First is Rose Byrne who is now 3 for 3 (Bridesmaids, Neighbors, and now Spy), in great comedic supporting roles. Finally, and certainly not least, is Phyllis Smith as Sadness in Inside Out. I personally created a Voiceover award for my personal film awards because every year there are fantastic performances that deserve their own category and recognition. She steals the show in Inside Out, and the joins a long list of voice performers who deserve recognition.

Academy Announces Finalists for Best Live Action Short and Best Animated Short

First, the ten finalists for Best Live Action Short are:

Ave Maria
Bad Hunter
Bis Gleich (Till Then"
Contrapelo (Against the Grain)
Day One
Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
The Free Man (Zi You Ren)
Winter Light

And the top ten Animated Shorts this year are:

Bear Story (Historia De Un Oso)
Car Face (Autos Portraits)
If I Was God...
Love in the Time of March Madness
My Home
An Object at Rest
Sanjay's Super Team
We Can't Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Television Nominations

The American Society of Cinematographers has announced its two television categories nominations:

Episode of a Regular Series
Vanja Cernjul, ASC, HFS, Marco Polo, “The Fourth Step” (Netflix)
David Greene, CSC, 12 Monkeys, “Mentally Divergent” (SyFy)
Christopher Norr, Gotham, “Strike Force” (Fox)
Crescenzo Notarile, ASC, AIC, Gotham, “Scarification” (Fox)

Fabian Wagner, BSC, Game of Thrones, “Hardhome” (HBO)

Television Movie, Miniseries or Pilot
Martin Ahlgren, Blindspot, "Pilot" (NBC)
Pierre Gill, CSC, Casanova, "Pilot" (Amazon)
James Hawkinson, The Man in the High Castle, "Pilot"(Amazon)
Jeffrey Jur, ASC, Bessie (HBO)

Romain Lacourbas, Marco Polo, "Pilot" (Netflix)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Adapted Screenplay

November Predictions
Phyllis Nagy "Carol"
Drew Goddard "The Martian"
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Mark L. Smith "The Revenant"
Emma Donoghue "Room"
Aaron Sorkin "Steve Jobs"

Other Contenders - Nick Hornby "Brooklyn", Lucinda Coxon "The Danish Girl", Charlie Kaufman "Anomalisa", Andrew Haigh "45 Years", Adam McKay and Charles Randolph "The Big Short", Ryan Coogler and Aaron Covington "Creed", John McNamara "Trumbo", Cary Joji Fukunaga "Beasts of No Nation", Jesse Andrews "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl", Donald Margulies "The End of the Tour", Billy Ray "Secret in Their Eyes", Mark Mallouk and Jez Butterworth "Black Mass", Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, and Michael Arndt "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens", James Vanderbilt "Truth", Robert Zemeckis and Christopher Browne "The Walk", Charles Leavitt, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver "In the Heart of the Sea", George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nick Lathouris "Mad Max: Fury Road", Jeffrey Hatcher "Mr. Holmes", Marielle Heller "The Diary of a Teenage Girl", Jacob Koskoff, Michael Lesslie, and Todd Louiso "Macbeth", Peter Landesman "Concussion", Peter Straughn "Our Brand is Crisis"

Commentary - Unlike the Original side of things, this category has had some shake up. The Danish Girl and Brooklyn are still both major Oscar contenders, and both could be Best Picture nominations. But this category is just so stacked this year that at the moment they are just right outside the top five. As are the scripts for The Big Short, Creed, Trumbo, 45 Years, Beasts of No Nation, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Black Mass, The Walk, Truth, In the Heart of the Sea, Mr. Holmes, Star Wars, and The End of the Tour, although all of them should be kept on your radar. So who did make the cut? First at the top of the list is Aaron Sorkin's script for Steve Jobs. I know the box office was a dud, but this is still a well-liked movie among the folks that matter, and Sorkin's scripts are perfect fodder for other writers. Room is rapidly rising up the charts in a lot of categories, and while Gillian Flynn couldn't pull the nod for adapting her own script, I think that Emma Donoghue will have a better shot, as the emotional part of Room will make it a bigger Oscar contender in the long run compared to the emotionally hollow Gone Girl. The Revenant returns recent screenplay winner Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to the fold, and while it is still unseen, history and name recognition keep it in the top. Carol is in a similar road with Brooklyn and The Danish Girl, but I think it will have more critical support, and will end up being a bigger Oscar hit than the other two (although all are going to nail several big nominations across the board). Finally, while The Martian is in fact a science fiction film. There is a lot of humanity, heart and humor in the story. So while these genre films usually don't score well here, The Martian is such a huge Oscar contender, and the novel by Andy Weir was beloved, so there is some literary backing. It could see the writers instead going for something like Brooklyn, but if The Martian remains too big to ignore, this could be another category it conquers.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Denzel Washington to Receive Cecil B. DeMille Honor at Golden Globes

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), has announced its recipient for this year's Cecil B. DeMille Award. Denzel Washington is a worthy winner here, although it seems like it has become less of a lifetime achievement award, and more of a "working actor who is a veteran" award, but either way this is a great selection for the HFPA. Denzel is a two-time Oscar winner, and has won two Golden Globes (and a Tony), over this illustrious career, which includes roles in films and in television: A Soldier's Story, Cry Freedom, St. Elsewhere, Glory, Mo' Better Blues, Malcolm X, Philadelphia, Courage Under Fire, He Got Game, The Hurricane, Training Day, Remember the Titans, Antwone Fisher, Inside Man, American Gangster, The Great Debaters, Flight, The Equalizer, and the upcoming Magnificent Seven remake. Congratulations to Denzel Washington for this incredible honor.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Original Screenplay

November Predictions
Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen "Bridge of Spies"
Quentin Tarantino "The Hateful Eight"
Pete Docter, Ronnie Del Carmen, Meg LeFauve, and Josh Cooley "Inside Out"
David O. Russell and Annie Mumolo "Joy"
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer "Spotlight"

Other Contenders - Laszlo Nemes and Clara Royer "Son of Saul", Taylor Sheridan "Sicario", Paolo Sorrentino "Youth", Michael Alan Lerner and Oren Moverman "Love & Mercy", Abi Morgan "Suffragette", Paul Weitz "Grandma", Nancy Meyers "The Intern", Amy Schumer "Trainwreck", Alex Garland "Ex Machina", Jonathan Herman, Andrea Berloff, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus "Straight Outta Compton", Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi, Bahareh Azimi "99 Homes", Olivier Assayas "Clouds of Sils Maria", Alan Bennett "The Lady in the Van", Meg LeFauve "The Good Dinosaur", Simon Beaufoy and William Nicholson "Everest", Angelina Jolie "By the Sea", Rick Famuyiwa "Dope", March Basch and Brett Haley "I'll See You in My Dreams", Diablo Cody "Ricki and the Flash", Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig "Mistress America", Tim Talbott "The Stanford Prison Experiment", Noah Baumbach "While We're Young", Woody Allen "Irrational Man", Eliot Laurence "Welcome to Me"

Commentary - I have had the same group of five for months, and have felt absolutely no urge to change in until I am convinced otherwise. Sight unseen, the three folks involved in The Hateful Eight and Joy respectively, Annie Mumolo, David O. Russell, and Quentin Tarantino still seem like safe bets. Matt Charman teaming up with the Coen Bros. for Bridge of Spies also seems like a good bet, especially the Coens, who have rebounded from Unbroken with a film that is playing well for audiences, critics, and apparently Academy members. Pixar usually does well in these categories, and I still think Inside Out is a Best Picture contender. Plus, the writers will love the film's completely original concept. Finally, leading the Best Picture race is Spotlight, and McCarthy and Singer should easily be brought in with what is sure to be a sweep of nominations for the film. So if these five don't fit the mold, then what will? A lot of folks are still banking on the older voters loving Youth, but I need to see it to believe it. Son of Saul is apparently  bceing pushed hard, but recent Academy viewings have been mixed. Love & Mercy is nostalgia heaven, Suffragette is powerful, Ex Machina creative, and Trainwreck absolutely hilarious. Quirky comedies like Irrational Man, Dope, I'll See You in My Dreams, While We're Young, Welcome to Me, The Lady in the Van, The Intern, and Mistress America could gain traction starting with critics and the Indie Spirits. The Good Dinosaur hopes to double up for Pixar with Inside out, Straight Outta Compton should be in the mix, Ricki and the Flash was penned by Oscar winner Diablo Cody, and darker films like 99 Homes, Clouds of Sils Maria, and Sundance winner The Stanford Prison Experiment hope they are remembered come year's end.

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Techs Part II

Best Original Score
Thomas Newman "Bridge of Spies"
Alexandre Desplat "The Danish Girl"
Johann Johannsson "Sicario"
Howard Shore "Spotlight"
John Williams "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Other Contenders - Michael Giacchino "Up", James Horner "Southpaw", Daniel Pemberton "Steve Jobs", Carter Burwell "Carol", Hans Zimmer "Freeheld", Mychael Danna "The Good Dinosaur", Tom Holkenborg "Mad Max: Fury Road", Ennio Morricone "The Hateful Eight", Harry Gregson-Williams "The Martian", James Horner "The 33", Alan Silvestri "The Walk", Carter Burwell "Anomalisa", Carter Burwell "Mr. Holmes", Michael Brook "Brooklyn", Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto "The Revenant", Patrick Doyle "Cinderella", Thomas Newman "Spectre", James Newton Howard "Concussion", Roque Banos "In the Heart of the Sea", Dario Marianelli "Everest", Michael Giacchino "Joy", Jed Kurzel "Macbeth", John Powell "Pan", Alexandre Desplat "Suffragette", David Lang "Youth"

Best Original Song

Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Other Contenders - The Danish Girl, Carol, Brooklyn, Crimson Peak, The Hateful Eight, Mad Max: Fury Road, Room, Steve Jobs, Macbeth, The Assassin, By the Sea, Black Mass, Mr. Holmes, Macbeth, Pan, Suffragette, Trumbo, The 33, Far From the Maddening Crowd, In the Heart of the Sea, Legend, Joy, Ex Machina, Youth, The Walk, Spectre, Tomorrowland, The Big Short, The Lady in the Van

Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Other Contenders - Everest, The Walk, Jurassic Park, In the Heart of the Sea, Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Bridge of Spies, Sicario, Love & Mercy, The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, Ant-Man, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Crimson Peak, Fantastic Four, Beasts of No Nation, Pan, San Andreas, The Last Witch Hunter, Point Break, Southpaw, Tomorrowland, Black Mass, Son of Saul, Ex Machina The Good Dinosaur, Steve Jobs, Straight Outta Compton, Cinderella, Macbeth, Furious 7, Spy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Best Sound Mixing
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
The Revenant
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Other Contenders - Everest, The Walk, Jurassic Park, In the Heart of the Sea, Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Bridge of Spies, Sicario, Love & Mercy, The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, Ant-Man, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Crimson Peak, Fantastic Four, Beasts of No Nation, Pan, San Andreas, The Last Witch Hunter, Point Break, Southpaw, Tomorrowland, Black Mass, Son of Saul, Ex Machina The Good Dinosaur, Steve Jobs, Straight Outta Compton, Cinderella, Macbeth, Furious 7, Spy, The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Best Visual Effects
Jurassic World
Mad Max: Fury Road
The Martian
Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Other Contenders - In the Heart of the Sea, Spectre, The Walk, Ant-Man, The Revenant, Everest, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, Ex Machina, Terminator Genisys, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II, Cinderella, Tomorrowland, San Andreas, Furious 7, Pan, Fantastic Four, Pixels, Spy, Sicario, The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Crimson Peak, Victor Frankenstein

Saturday, November 14, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Techs Part I

Best Cinematography
Robert Richardson "The Hateful Eight"
John Seale "Mad Max: Fury Road" 
Dariusz Wolski "The Martian"
Emmanuel Lubezki "The Revenant"
Roger Deakins "Sicario" 

Other Contenders - Janusz Kaminski "Bridge of Spies", Anthony Dod Mantle "In the Heart of the Sea", Hoyte Van Hoytema "Spectre", Daniel Mindel "Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens", Dick Pope "Legend", Edward Lachman "Carol", Ping Bin Lee "The Assassin", Danny Cohen "Room", Danny Cohen "The Danish Girl", Christian Berger "By the Sea", Matyas Erdely "Son of Saul", Alwin Kuchler "Steve Jobs", Dariusz Wolski "The Walk", Yves Belanger "Brooklyn", Masanobu Takaynagi "Black Mass", Linus Sandgren "Joy", Salvatore Totino "Everest", Luca Bigazzi "Youth", Barry Ackroyd "The Big Short" 

Best Costume Design
Crimson Peak

Other Contenders - Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Far From the Maddening Crowd, The Hateful Eight, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens", Trumbo, Suffragette, Mr. Holmes, Black Mass, Bridge of Spies, Joy, Spectre, By the Sea, Pan, Legend, A Little Chaos, Ex Machina, Beasts of No Nation, The 33, Ricki and the Flash, Youth, In the Heart of the Sea, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II, The Martian, Victor Frankenstein, The Last Witch Hunter

Best Film Editing
Bridge of Spies
The Martian 
The Revenant

Other Contenders - Mad Max: Fury Road, Steve Jobs, The Hateful Eight, Room, Carol, Brooklyn, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, Sicario, The Danish Girl, In the Heart of the Sea, The Big Short, Black Mass, Beasts of No Nation, Youth, The Walk, Trumbo, Secret in Their Eyes, Macbeth, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Everest, The 33, Suffragette, Truth

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

Other Contenders - Carol, The Revenant, Crimson Peak, Black Mass, The Hateful Eight, Pan, Trumbo, In the Heart of the Sea, Macbeth, Steve Jobs, Cinderella, The Walk, Brooklyn, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Ant-Man, The 33, Jupiter Ascending, The Martian, Freeheld, Ricki and the Flash, Far From the Maddening Crowd, Youth, Ex Machina 

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Animated Feature

November Predictions
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
The Peanuts Movie

Other Contenders - Minions, Shaun the Sheep Movie, When Marnie Was There, The Boy and the Beast, Boy and the World, Home, Hotel Transylvania 2, Regular Show: The Movie, Moomins on the Riviera, The Laws of the Universe - Part 0, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Commentary - Inside Out remains in the lead, and I still think it can snag a Best Picture nominations, especially as there is a renewed push for the film with its DVD release. Pixar was hoping for a double whammy this year, and early reviews of The Good Dinosaur suggest that they will accomplish just that. I don't think that it will end up with Inside Out level of reviews, but it should easily make the top five. Anomalisa is apparently strange, but it a critical favorite whose uniqueness will appeal to the Academy's animators. GKids has another big contender this year in Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, and while there are more populist choices waiting on the outside looking in, remember that Song of the Sea beat out The LEGO Movie for a nomination last year. I think that the final slot, after months of waiting for it to be seen, will in fact go to The Peanuts Movie. It just made $44 Million in its opening weekend (losing to Bond, so second place is pretty good), has the reviews, and has a nostalgia factor that I think will play well with older Academy voters. There are three other films of teh bunch that seem like strong possibilities to upset. Despicable Me 2 got in after the first film didn't, and Minions was a monster hit this year. But it needs precursors to prove the industry is ready for it to be nominated for an Oscar, because while the film is charming, it might be too light for this more artistic group (especially when three  better-reviewed populist choices are already in the mix). When Marnie Was There is the big Japanese selection, and while its not Miyazaki, it has that feel, which has been popular in the past. Finally, Shaun the Sheep Movie, from the team that brought you Wallace and Gromit. I had it in fifth place until The Peanuts rolled in, but it could easily bounce back in.

The Oscar Narrative: November Predictions - Best Documentary Feature and Foreign Language Film

Best Documentary Feature - November Predictions
Cartel Land
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
He Named Me Malala
The Look of Silence

Other Contenders - The Hunting Ground, Listen to Me Marlon, Where to Invade Next, What Happened, Miss Simone?, The Wolfpack, The Russian Woodpecker, Meru, In Jackson Heights, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Stray Dog, Best of Enemies, Heart of the Dog, Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom, The Black Panthers: The Vanguard of a Revolution, Dark Horse, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Iris, All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records, Prophet's Play, Meet the Patels, An Open Secret

Commentary - The last couple of years have been a boon for nonfiction filmmaking and this year is no exception. In fact, it has prompted me to do what I should have done a long time ago, and that is introduce a documentary award at The Awards Psychic Awards! So let's rundown just how deep this list really is. Already making its way on the European side of things, Amy, the Amy Winehouse doc is set to be the front runner going into December. Not far behind is Joshua Oppenheimer's The Look of Silence (hoping to go where Act of Killing couldn't) and Cartel Land, both of which cleaned up at the Cinema Eye nominations just this week. He Named Me Malala is such a popular documentary and definitely has the zeitgeist to go all the way. Finally, HBO's Going Clear might follow up its Emmy wins with an Oscar as well. That one might have some trouble because it really goes after Hollywood and a lot of its biggest stars. But then again, it didn't stop it from winning Emmys, so there is a definitely a movement for it. But that leaves off The Hunting Ground, Michael Moore's latest, Listen to Me Marlon, What Happened, Miss Simone?, Meru, The Russian Woodpecker, and The Wolfpack, along with probably a dozen other films that could compete. Like Foreign Language below, a lot of this race depends on who makes the top 15 short list, which should be out in a few weeks.

Best Foreign Language Film - November Predictions
The Assassin (Taiwan)
Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
Mustang (France)
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Sweden)
Son of Saul (Hungary)

Other Contenders - Rams (Iceland), The Second Mother (Brazil), Goodnight Mommy (Austria), Arabian Nights Volume 2 - The Desolate One (Portugal), Felix et Meira (Canada), A War (Denmark), Theeb (Jordan), Aferim! (Romania), Home Care (Czech Republic), The Club (Chile), The Clan (Argentina), Ixcanul Volcano (Guatemala), The Brand New Testament (Belgium), Viva (Ireland), Void (Lebanon), Loreak (Spain), The Last Reel (Cambodia), 1944 (Estonia), Twilight of Shadows (Algeria), Sivas (Turkey), Court (India)

Commentary - This race will become a lot clearer when the second round short list is announced. Right now there are so many titles, and it will be hard to determine which of the dozens of options will gain enough traction to spark the Academy's interest. Song of Saul seems to be the only safe bet here, as it is also trying to gain traction in other races besides this one. Early word is that Academy voters are more mixed on it than the festival goers, but I still feel like it is going to be nominated here. Labyrinth of Lies out of Germany is the other film, so far, that seems to be gaining consensus as a major front runner. Mustang out of France just did well at AFI Fest, and has been gaining good traction out of the fests, A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence cleaned up at the European Film nominations, so it will have a lot of support going into Oscar season. Finally, there is usually at least one representative from east Asia , and Taiwan's The Assassin seems to be the one to look out for this time around. Rams, Second Mother, Goodnight Mommy, A War, Home Care, The Clan, Arabian Nights, and Theeb also look strong, but this list could, and probably will change dramatically once the short list rolls in.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The 4th Annual Awards Psychic Music Award Nominations

Another year, another great set of albums and songs. I am proud to announce the nominees for the 4th Annual Award Psychic Music Awards. It was a great batch of contenders, and it was hard to narrow all of them down, but I was, as always, glad to do it. Starting tonight, maybe tomorrow, I will do my pre-pre-cursor November Oscar Predictions, and the nominations for the Grammy Awards will be announced on December 7th. This is always my favorite time of year. It's not just because I love Thanksgiving and Christmas, with family and friends, and the decorations and the food. But I love what I do here at The Awards Psychic, and the Oscar and Grammy season are about to heat up. As always, we'll have to wait and see...

Album of the Year
Alabama Shakes "Sound & Color"
D'Angelo and the Vanguard "Black Messiah"
Dr. Dre "Compton"
Florence + The Machine "How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful"
Kendrick Lamar "To Pimp a Butterfly"
Sleater-Kinney "No Cities to Love"
Sufjan Stevens "Carrie & Lowell"
Taylor Swift "1989"
Wilco "Star Wars"

Single of the Year
Alabama Shakes "Don't Wanna Fight"
Common and John Legend "Glory"
George Ezra "Budapest"
Florence + The Machine "Ship to Wreck"
Kendrick Lamar "Alright"
Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney "FourFiveSeconds"
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk"
Sia "Elastic Heart"
Taylor Swift "Blank Space"

Best New Artist
Leon Bridges
George Ezra
FKA Twigs
Sam Hunt
Vance Joy
Maddie and Tae
Meghan Trainor

Best Pop Album
Charli XCX "Sucker"
George Ezra "Wanted on Voyage"
Florence + The Machine "How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful"
Tori Kelly "Unbreakable Smile"
Lana Del Rey "Honeymoon"
Taylor Swift "1989"
Meghan Trainor "Title"

Best Rap Album
Azealia Banks "Broke With Expensive Taste"
Big Sean "Dark Sky Paradise"
Dr. Dre "Compton"
Drake and Future "What a Time to Be Alive"
Drake "If You're Reading This You're Too Late"
J. Cole "2014 Forest Hills Drive"
Kendrick Lamar "To Pimp A Butterfly"
Nicki Minaj "The Pinkprint"

Best Rock/Alternative Album
Ryan Adams "1989"
Alabama Shakes "Sound & Color"
Fall Out Boy "American Beauty/American Psycho"
Foo Fighters "Sonic Highways"
Hozier "Hozier"
Sleater-Kinney "No Cities to Love"
Sufjan Stevens "Carrie & Lowell"
Wilco "Star Wars"

Best R&B Album
Leon Bridges "Coming Home"
D'Angelo and the Vanguard "Black Messiah"
K. Michelle "Anybody Wanna Buy a Heart"
Miguel "Wildheart"
Ne-Yo "Nonfiction"
Jazmine Sullivan "Reality Show"
Tinashe "Aquarius"
The Weeknd "Beauty Behind the Madness"

Best Country Album
Sam Hunt "Montevallo"
Little Big Town "Pain Killer"
Maddie & Tae "Start Here"
Reba McEntire "Love Somebody"
Kacey Musgraves "Pageant Material"
Darius Rucker "Southern Style"
Chris Stapleton "Traveller"
Zac Brown Band "Jekyll + Hyde"

Best Pop Performance
George Ezra "Budapest"
Florence + The Machine "Ship to Wreck"
Rihanna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney "FourFiveSeconds"
Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars "Uptown Funk"
Ed Sheeran "Thinking Out Loud"
Sia "Elastic Heart"
Taylor Swift "Blank Space"
Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar "Bad Blood"
Meghan Trainor feat. John Legend "Like I'm Gonna Lose You"

Best Rock Performance
Ryan Adams "Bad Blood"
Alabama Shakes "Don't Wanna Fight"
Fall Out Boy "Uma Thurman"
Foo Fighters "Something From Nothing" 
Mumford & Sons "Believe"
Sleater-Kinney "Bury Our Friends"
Sufjan Stevens "Should Have Known Better"
Wilco "Random Name Generator"

Best R&B Performance
Beyonce "7/11"
Leon Bridges "Coming Home"
D'Angelo and the Vanguard "Really Love"
Janet Jackson "Unbreakable"
K. Michelle "Hard to Do"
Miguel feat. Wale "Coffee"
Jazmine Sullivan "Let it Burn"
Tinashe feat. Iggy Azalea "All Hands on Deck"
The Weeknd "Can't Feel My Face"

Best Rap Performance
Big Sean feat. Drake and Kanye West "Blessings"
Common and John Legend "Glory"
Drake "Emergy"
Flying Lotus feat. Kendrick Lamar "Never Catch Me"
Kendrick Lamar "Alright"
Nicki Minaj "The Night is Still Young"
Nicki Minaj feat. Drake and Lil Wayne "Truffle Butter"
Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth "See You Again"

Best Country Performance
Sam Hunt "Take Your Time"
Maddie & Tae "Fly"
Miranda Lambert "Little Red Wagon"
Little Big Town "Girl Crush"
Kacey Musgraves "Biscuits"
Chris Stapleton "Nobody to Blame"
Carrie Underwood "Little Toy Guns"
Zac Brown Band "Homegrown"

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

2015 Cinema Eye Honors Nominations

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Feature Filmmaking
Cartel Land
Listen to Me Marlon
The Look of Silence
The Wolfpack

Outstanding Achievement in Direction
Cartel Land
Heart of a Dog
In Jackson Heights
In Transit
The Look of Silence

Outstanding Achievement in Editing
Best of Enemies
How to Change the World
Listen to Me Marlon
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck

Outstanding Achievement in Production
Cartel Land
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
The Look of Silence

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Cartel Land
The Look of Silence

Outstanding Achievement in Graphic Design or Animation
Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
Heart of the Dog
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
The Nightmare
Thank You For Playing

Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Score
Cartel Land
The Heart of the Dog
The Nightmare

Outstanding Achievement in a Debut Feature Film
Kings of Nowhere
Peace Officer
Pervert Park
The Russian Woodpecker
The Wolfpack

Spotlight Award
Almost There
Field Niggas
Frame By Frame

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Filmmaking for Television
Deep Web
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Private Violence
Whitey: The United States of America vs. James J. Bulger

Audience Choice
Best of Enemies
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
The Hunting Ground
Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Where to Invade Next?
The Wolfpack

Outstanding Achievement in Nonfiction Short Filmmaking
The Breath
Buffalo Juggalos
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul
Hotel 22

Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: First Golden Globe Predictions - Best Picture - Drama

First Predictions
Bridge of Spies
The Hateful Eight
The Revenant

Other Contenders - Steve Jobs, Carol, Room, Beasts of No Nation, The Danish Girl, Sicario, Brooklyn, Mad Max:: Fury Road, Straight Outta Compton, In the Heart of the Sea, Suffragette, Black Mass, By the Sea, Everest, Macbeth, Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, The Walk, Youth, Spectre, Concussion, Freeheld, Fifty Shades of Grey, Truth, Secret in Their Eyes, Freeheld, Love and Mercy, 45 Years, Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, Jurassic World, Furious 7, Ex Machina, Z for Zachariah, Woman in Gold, Far From the Maddening Crowd, The Age of Adaline, Southpaw, Creed, Max, The 33, The Perfect Guy, Legend, Pawn Sacrifice, Point Break

Commentary - This is a tough race as always, and some of the smaller contenders should not fear if they don't get in here. Actually looking at last year's nominees, the Globes have definitely started to embrace smaller titles with films like Foxcatcher and Boyhood making the cut. So let's start with Spotlight, which has been dominating the conversation as of late. An indie film at its core, it is getting a lot of buzz, has a huge popular cast, and feels right up the Globes alley. The Globes love everything Spielberg and Tarantino, so I expect their latest films (if The Hateful Eight is well received) to continue to shine. That leaves just two spots, and I am reserving them for the next David O. Russell and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu films. The last several films of both directors have registered here, and both have Best Picture winners within the last decade. But that leaves out the likes of Steve Jobs, Carol, Room, The Danish Girl, Beasts of No Nation and Brooklyn, all of whom are hoping to launch Oscar bids. Then there the big guys like Straight Outta Compton, Mad Max, Star Wars, In the Heart of the Sea, Black Mass, Spectre, and others. Then throw in the star vehicles like Concussion, Woman in Gold, Southpaw, Creed, and The Walk. The foreign guys like Son of Saul and Youth could be popular as well, and then there is By the Sea. Its reviews have been pretty bad, but it is Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, never underestimate those two. Right now this race seems like it is really in flux, and I bet we'll have some surprises come mid-December.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

2015 European Film Award Nominations

Best European Film
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
The Lobster

Best European Comedy
A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
The Belier Family
The Brand New Testament

Best European Documentary
A Syrian Love Story
Dancing With Maria
The Look of Silence
Toto and His Sisters

Best European Director
Roy Andersson "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence"
Yorgos Lanthimos "The Lobster"
Nanni Moretti "My Mother"
Sebastian Schipper "Victoria"
Paolo Sorrentino "Youth"
Matgorzata Szumowska "Body"

Best European Actor
Michael Caine "Youth"
Tom Courtenay "45 Years"
Colin Farrell "The Lobster"
Christian Friedel "13 Minutes"
Vincent London "The Measure of a Man"

Best European Actress
Margherita Buy "My Mother"
Laia Costa "Victoria"
Charlotte Rampling "45 Years"
Alicia Vikander "Ex Machina"
Rachel Weisz "Youth"

Best European Screenwriter
Roy Andersson "A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence"
Alex Garland "Ex Machina"
Andrew Haigh "45 Years"
Radu Jade and Florin Lazarescu "Aferim!"
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou "The Lobster"
Paolo Sorrentimo "Youth"

Best Animated Film
Shaun the Sheep Movie
Song of the Sea

Best European Short
Field Study
Kung Fury
Our Body
Smile, The World Will Smile Back
Son of the World
Symbolic Threats
The Runner
The Translator
This Place We Call Our Home

Best Debut Film
Goodnight Mommy
Slow West
Summers Downstairs

Juried Awards
European Cinematographer - Martin Gschlacht "Goodnight Mommy"
European Editor - Jacek Drasia "Body"
European Production Designer - Sylvie Olive "The Brand New Testament"
European Costume Designer - Sarah Blenkinsop "The Lobster"
European Composer - Cat's Eyes "The Duke of Burgundy"
European Sound Designer - Vasco Pimentel and Miguel Martins "Arabian Nights: Vol. I - III"

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The 49th Annual Country Music Association (CMA) Award Winners

Entertainer of the Year
Luke Bryan

Album of the Year
Chris Stapleton "Traveller"

Single of the Year
Little Big Town "Girl Crush"

Song of the Year
Girl Crush

Male Vocalist of the Year
Chris Stapleton

Female Vocalist of the Year
Miranda Lambert

New Artist of the Year
Chris Stapleton

Vocal Duo of the Year
Florida Georgia Line

Vocal Group of the Year
Little Big Town

Music Video of the Year
Maddie & Tae "Girl in a Country Song"

Musical Event of the Year
Keith Urban feat. Eric Church "Raise 'Em Up"

Musician of the Year
Mac McAnally

Academy Announces Animated Feature Finalists

With a full sixteen contenders, we could have the full five nominee slate. Check out the full list below, and my updated predictions:

“The Boy and the Beast”
“Boy and the World”
“The Good Dinosaur”
“Hotel Transylvania 2”
“Inside Out”
“Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet”
“The Laws of the Universe - Part 0”
“Moomins on the Riviera”
“The Peanuts Movie”
“Regular Show: The Movie”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”
“The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water”
“When Marnie Was There”

Update Predictions
The Good Dinosaur
Inside Out
Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet
The Peanuts Movie

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The 31st Annual IDA Award Nominations

As always, a great launch for the documentary contenders, and big names like Amy, Listen to Me Marlon, and The Look of Silence look like the contenders we thought they were. Here is the full list of nominees, and the ceremony will take place on December 5, 2015.

Best Feature Award
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
Listen to Be Marlon
The Look of Silence
The Russian Woodpecker
What Happened, Miss Simone?

Best Short Award
Body Team 12
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
The Face of Ukraine: Casting Oksana Baiul
Last Day of Freedom

Best Curated Series Award
30 for 30
American ReFramed
Independent Lens

Best Limited Series Award
Blood Brothers
Hard Earned
The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst
Life Story
Rebel Architecture

Best Episodic Series Award
Chef's Table
Morgan Spurlock Inside Man
The Seventies
This is Life with Lisa Ling

Best Short Form Series Award
Do Not Track
Highrise: Universe Within
The New York Times Op-Docs
POV Interactive Documentaries
We the Economy: 20 Short Films You Can't Afford to Miss

David L. Wolper Student Documentary Award
The Archipelago
The Blue Wall
El Cacao
In Attla's Tracks
Looking at the Stars

Pare Lorentz Award
How to Change the World

ABC News VideoSource Award
Best of Enemies
Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll
Night Will Fall
What Happened, Miss Simone?

Creative Recognition Award Winners
Best Cinematography - Artem Ryzhykov "The Russian Woodpecker"
Best Editing - Joe Beshenkovsky and Brett Morgen "Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck"
Best Writing - Stevan Riley and Peter Ettedgui "Listen to Me Marlon"
Best Music - Jonathan Kirkscey "Best of Enemies"

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

2016 People's Choice Award Nominations

For more information, and of course to vote visit:

Favorite Movie
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Furious 7
Inside Out
Jurassic World
Pitch Perfect 2

Favorite Movie Actor
Channing Tatum
Chris Pratt
Johnny Depp
Robert Downey Jr.
Will Smith

Favorite Movie Actress
Anne Hathaway
Melissa McCarthy
Meryl Streep
Sandra Bullock
Scarlett Johansson

Favorite Action Movie
Avengers: Age of Ultron
The Divergent Series: Insurgent
Furious 7
Jurassic World
Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Favorite Action Movie Actor
Chris Hemsworth
Chris Pratt
Dwayne Johnson
Robert Downey Jr.
Vin Diesel

Favorite Action Movie Actress
Charlize Theron
Emily Blunt
Michelle Rodriguez
Scarlett Johansson
Shailene Woodley

Favorite Animated Movie Voice
Adam Sandler
Amy Poehler
Sandra Bullock
Selena Gomez

Favorite Comedic Movie
Pitch Perfect 2
Ted 2

Favorite Comedic Movie Actor
Jack Black
Kevin Hart
Mark Wahlberg
Robert De Niro
Will Ferrell

Favorite Comedic Movie Actress
Amy Schumer
Anna Kendrick
Melissa McCarthy
Rebel Wilson
Sofia Vergara

Favorite Dramatic Movie
The Age of Adaline
Fifty Shades of Grey
The Longest Ride
The Martian
Straight Outta Compton

Favorite Dramatic Movie Actor
Channing Tatum
George Clooney
Johnny Depp
Matt Damon
Will Smith

Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress
Blake Lively
Dakota Johnson
Jennifer Lopez
Kate Winslet
Rachel McAdams

Favorite Family Movie
Hotel Transylvania 2
Inside Out

Favorite Thriller Movie
The Boy Next Door
Insidious: Chapter 3
Taken 3

Favorite TV Show
The Big Bang Theory
Game of Thrones
Grey’s Anatomy
The Voice
The Walking Dead

Favorite Network TV Comedy
2 Broke Girls
The Big Bang Theory
Mike & Molly
Modern Family
New Girl

Favorite Comedic TV Actor
Andy Samberg
Jesse Tyler Ferguson
Jim Parsons
Johnny Galecki
Matthew Perry

Favorite Comedic TV Actress
Anna Faris
Kaley Cuoco
Melissa McCarthy
Sofía Vergara
Zooey Deschanel

Favorite Network TV Drama
Grey’s Anatomy
How To Get Away With Murder

Favorite Dramatic TV Actor
Jesse Williams
Justin Chambers
Scott Foley
Taylor Kinney
Terrence Howard

Favorite Dramatic TV Actress
Ellen Pompeo
Kerry Washington
Sara Ramirez
Taraji P. Henson
Viola Davis

Favorite Cable TV Comedy
Baby Daddy
Faking It
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Real Husbands of Hollywood
Young & Hungry

Favorite Cable TV Drama
Bates Motel
The Fosters
Pretty Little Liars
Rizzoli & Isles

Favorite Cable TV Actor
Adam DeVine
Christian Slater
Eric Dane
Kevin Hart
Taye Diggs

Favorite Cable TV Actress
Ashley Benson
Hilary Duff
Lucy Hale
Sasha Alexander
Shay Mitchell

Favorite Premium Cable TV Show
Masters of Sex

Favorite Premium Cable TV Actor
Dwayne Johnson
Joshua Jackson
Justin Theroux
Matt LeBlanc
Nick Jonas

Favorite Premium Cable TV Actress
Claire Danes
Emmy Rossum
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Kristen Bell
Lisa Kudrow

Favorite TV Crime Drama
Criminal Minds
Person of Interest

Favorite TV Crime Drama Actor
Jim Caviezel
LL Cool J
Mark Harmon
Nathan Fillion
Shemar Moore

Favorite TV Crime Drama Actress
Emily Deschanel
Lucy Liu
Mariska Hargitay
Pauley Perrette
Stana Katic

Favorite Network TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy Show
Beauty and the Beast
Once Upon a Time
The Vampire Diaries

Favorite Cable TV Sci-Fi/Fantasy ShowAmerican Horror Story
Game of Thrones
Teen Wolf
The Walking Dead

Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actor
David Tennant
Ian Somerhalder
Jensen Ackles
Misha Collins
Sam Heughan

Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy TV Actress
Caitriona Balfe
Emilia Clarke
Ginnifer Goodwin
Jennifer Morrison
Lady Gaga

Favorite Competition TV Show
America’s Got Talent
American Ninja Warrior
Dancing with the Stars
The Voice

Favorite Daytime TV Host
Dr. Oz
Ellen DeGeneres
Rachael Ray
Steve Harvey
Wendy Williams

Favorite Daytime TV Hosting Team
Good Morning America
Live with Kelly and Michael
The Talk
The View

Favorite Late Night Talk Show Host
Conan O’Brien
James Corden
Jimmy Fallon
Jimmy Kimmel
Stephen Colbert

Favorite Streaming Series
House of Cards
The Mindy Project
Orange is the New Black
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

Favorite Actor In A New TV Series
Chace Crawford
John Stamos
Josh Peck
Rob Lowe
Zachary Levi

Favorite Actress In A New TV Series
Emma Roberts
Jamie Lee Curtis
Lea Michele
Marcia Gay Harden
Priyanka Chopra

Favorite Animated TV Show
American Dad!
Bob’s Burger
Family Guy
The Simpsons
South Park

Favorite New TV Comedy
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Dr. Ken
The Grinder
Life in Pieces
The Muppets
Scream Queens
Truth Be Told

Favorite New TV Drama
Blood & Oil
Code Black
Heroes Reborn
Minority Report
The Player
Wicked City

Favorite Male Artist
Ed Sheeran
Justin Bieber
Luke Bryan
Nick Jonas
The Weeknd

Favorite Female Artist
Demi Lovato
Lana Del Rey
Selena Gomez
Taylor Swift

Favorite Group
Fall Out Boy
Fifth Harmony
Imagine Dragons
Maroon 5
One Direction

Favorite Breakout Artist
Fetty Wap
Shawn Mendes
Tori Kelly
The Weeknd

Favorite Male Country Artist
Blake Shelton
Brad Paisley
Dierks Bentley
Keith Urban
Luke Bryan

Favorite Female Country Artist
Carrie Underwood
Cassadee Pope
Kacey Musgraves
Miranda Lambert
Reba McEntire

Favorite Country Group
The Band Perry
Florida Georgia Line
Lady Antebellum
Little Big Town
Zac Brown Band

Favorite Pop Artist
Demi Lovato
Ed Sheeran
Kelly Clarkson
Selena Gomez
Taylor Swift

Favorite Hip-Hop Artist
Big Sean
Kendrick Lamar
Nicki Minaj
Wiz Khalifa

Favorite R&B Artist
Chris Brown
Janet Jackson
The Weeknd

Favorite Album
American Beauty / American Psycho by Fall Out Boy
Beauty Behind the Madness by The Weeknd
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late by Drake
Smoke + Mirrors by Imagine Dragons
Title by Meghan Trainor

Favorite Song
“Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift feat. Kendrick Lamar
“Can’t Feel My Face” by The Weeknd
“Love Me Like You Do” by Ellie Goulding
“See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa feat. Charlie Puth
“What Do You Mean?” by Justin Bieber

Favorite Music Icon
Paul McCartney
Steven Tyler
Stevie Wonder

Favorite Social Media Celebrity
Anna Kendrick
Britney Spears
Dwayne Johnson
Taylor Swift

Favorite Social Media Star
Cameron Dallas
Frankie Grande
Lele Pons
Matt Bellassai
Nash Grier

Favorite Mobile Game
Candy Crush Saga
Despicable Me: Minion Rush
Fruit Ninja
Plants vs. Zombies
Temple Run

Favorite Video Game
Batman: Arkham Knight
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Grand Theft Auto V
Super Smash Bros.

Favorite YouTube Star
Connor Franta
Grace Helbig
Jenna Marbles
Miranda Sings
Tyler Oakley

The Seriously Popular Award
Bella Thorne
Cara Delevingne
Kylie Jenner
Maddie Ziegler
Ruby Rose

British Independent Film Award (BIFA) Nominations

As always an eclectic bunch that includes leading contenders like Macbeth, The Lobster, and 45 Years. Check out the nominations below:

Best British Independent Film
45 Years
Ex Machina
The Lobster

Best Director
Andrew Haigh "45 Years"
Asif Kapadia "Amy"
Alex Garland "Ex Machina"
Yorgos Lanthimos "The Lobster"
Justin Kurzel "Macbeth"

Best Actor
Tom Courtenay "45 Years"
Colin Farrell "The Lobster"
Michael Fassbender "Macbeth"
Tom Hardy "Legend"
Tom Hiddleston "High-Rise"

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard "Macbeth"
Carey Mulligan "Suffragette"
Charlotte Rampling "45 Years"
Saoirse Ronan "Brooklyn"
Alicia Vikander "The Danish Girl"

Best Supporting Actor
Luke Evans "High-Rise"
Brendan Gleeson "Suffragette"
Domhnall Gleeson "Brooklyn"
Sean Harris "Macbeth"
Ben Whishaw "The Lobster"

Best Screenplay
Andrew Haigh "45 Years"
Nick Horby "Brooklyn"
Alex Garland "Ex Machina"
Amy Jump "High-Rise"
Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthymis Filippou "The Lobster"

Most Promising Newcomer
Agyness Deyn "Sunset Song"
Mia Goth "The Survivalist"
Abigail Hardingham "Nina Forever"
Milo Parker "Mr. Holmes"
Bel Powley "A Royal Night Out"

Best Debut Director (The Douglas Hickox Award)
Colin Hardy "The Hallow"
Paul Katis "Kajaki: The True Story"
Chris and Ben Blaine "Nina Forever"
John Maclean "Slow West"
Stephen Fingleton "The Survivalist"

The Discovery Award
Andrew Starke and Steve Oram "AAAAAAAAH!"
Daniel Konrad Cooper, Tim Phillips, Charlie Covell, Chanya Button "Burn Burn Burn"
Jeanie Finlay "Orion: The Man Who Would Be King"
Oliver Nias "The Return"
Tilly Wood, Paula Crikard, and Heidi Greensmith "Winter"

Best Documentary
Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance
How to Change the World
A Syrian Love Story

Best International Independent Film
Force Majeure
Son of Saul

Producer of the Year
Tristan Goligher "45 Years"
James Gay-Rees "Amy"
Paul Katis and Andrew De Lotbiniere "Kajaki: The True Story"
Ceci Dempsey Ed Guiney, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Lee Magiday "The Lobster"
David A. Hughes and David Moores "The Violators"

Achievement in Craft
Adam Arkapaw "Macbeth" - Cinematography
Mark Digby "Ex Machina" - Production Design
Chris King "Amy" - Editing
Fiona Weir "Brooklyn" - Casting
Andrew Whitehurst "Ex Machina" - Visual Effects

Best British Short
Love is Blind

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Oscar Narrative: First Golden Globe Predictions - Best Picture - Comedy/Musical

First Golden Globe Predictions
The Big Short
The Martian

Other Contenders - Grandma, Sisters, The Lady in the Van, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Burnt, Our Brand is Crisis, Pitch Perfect 2, The Intern, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Cinderella, Ricki and the Flash, Rock the Kasbah, Ant-Man, Irrational Man, Diary of a Teenage Girl, While We're Young, Mistress America, Dope, Tangerine, I'll See You In My Dreams, Welcome to Me, Danny Collins, Learning to Drive, Infinitely Polar Bear, Hot Pursuit, The Wedding Ringer, Sleeping With Other People, The DUFF, Focus, The Final Girls, Get Hard, Man Up, Aloha, Entourage, Ted 2, Magic Mike XXL, Pixels, Vacation, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., American Ultra, Jem and the Holograms, Scouts Guide to the Apocalypse, The Night Before, Love the Coopers, Daddy's Home

Commentary - So this year is not the best for comedies, in terms of depth. This compared to recent years where films like Birdman, The Wolf of Wall Street, Nebraska, Her, etc., all Best Picture contenders battled it out. There are a few in the mix. The Martian is a huge Oscar contender, and could launch a full-on Best Picture campaign with a win here at the Globes. The other real contender is The Big Short. Right now it is a question mark, but there is a lot of positive buzz about it heading into the fall, and could be a last-minute surprise. The other three (actually all of the other contenders, should probably just enjoy the Globes love). Trainwreck and Spy are the two big comedy hits of the summer. Sometimes they go for films like this, sometimes they don't. With fewer contenders in the running, and with the star power behind each (Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Melissa McCarthy, etc.), they both feel like solid contenders. The last slot, for now, goes to Trumbo, a film about a Hollywood screenwriter with Bryan Cranston and Helen Mirren, which is getting decent reviews out of the fall fests. Right behind it are films like Grandma (is it just about Tomlin?), The Lady in the Van (Smith?), The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (the first one was nominated, but was better received), The Intern (mixed reviews, but they like Nancy Meyers), Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (too indie for Globe voters?), and Cinderella (wild card). There are the big guns like Ant-Man and Pitch Perfect 2, as well as the well-reviewed indies (which don't do as well at the more star-powered driven Globes), like Diary of a Teenage Girl, Irrational Man, Welcome to Me, I'll See You in My Dreams, Dope, Infinitely Polar Bear, Mistress America, Danny Collins, Learning to Drive, Tangerine, and American Ultra. Then there are those star-powered vehicles with terrible reviews that could pull a "The Tourist" and still get in like Aloha, Ricki and the Flash (really more mixed reviews, and actually not a bad pick), Rock the Kasbah, Brunt, Our Brand is Crisis, and Hot Pursuit.