Monday, January 2, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: Pre-Guild Predictions - Best Picture

Pre-Guild Predictions
Florence Foster Jenkins
Hacksaw Ridge
Hell or High Water
Hidden Figures
La La Land
Manchester By the Sea

Other Contenders - Silence, Loving, Sully, Jackie, 20th Century Women, Captain Fantastic, Nocturnal Animals, Patriot's Day, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Jungle Book, Live By Night, Allied, Rule's Don't Apply, Toni Erdmann, Miss Sloane, The Lobster, Deadpool, Moana, Love & Friendship, Deepwater Horizon, The Founder, I, Daniel Blake, American Honey, Certain Women, Cafe Society, Elle, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Handmaiden, Paterson

Commentary - I think that this race is starting to coalesce around ten nominees, with a few hoping that the guilds rescue them. Fences, Manchester By the Sea, and Moonlight are the front runner for that SAG Ensemble, and throw in La La Land which is sure to score a nod, and you probably have your top four contenders for Best Picture, assuming they run the gamut on the other major guilds. I also think that Hell or High Water is in a great position. The last 3-5 slots are where it gets tricky. Lion seems to be doing pretty well, with the Globes and SAG giving it some major nominations. Hacksaw Ridge also feels like it is pretty safe at the moment, given all of the awards love. Although a Mel Gibson backlash is always on the horizon. Arrival is one that I expect will start to do much better, especially as these tech guilds begin to announce. Those are my eight nominations if the last two years repeat in terms of total nominees. But on the off-chance that there more than eight, I am going with SAG ensemble nominee Hidden Figures, which has the historical, feel-good, actor-driven vote, and Florence Foster Jenkins. I had not had FFJ anywhere close to the top ten in a while, but it did well at SAG and the Globes, and when I started redoing my tech predictions, I realized it could be in play across a lot of categories. So many branches recognizing it across the board puts it in a much better position that I had initially assumed it would be in. Silence looks like it could get some nominations, but unless the guilds go for it, I don't see a lot of support. Jackie, Sully, Loving, and 20th Century Women all looked like big contenders early on. While I think all will land nominations in at least one category, guild surprises are the only way they get back into the BP race. Beyond that, there are a lot of titles, and beyond Captain Fantastic, Nocturnal Animals, and Patriots Day, I don't think any really are in the hunt.

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