Sunday, May 21, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: First 2018 Oscar Predictions - Best Actress

First 2018 Predictions
Jessica Chastain "Molly's Game"
Isabelle Huppert "Happy End"
Jennifer Lawrence "Mother!"
Emma Stone "Battle of the Sexes"
Meryl Streep "Untitled Steven Spielberg Project"

Other Contenders - Brie Larson "The Glass Castle", Frances McDormand "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri", Carey Mulligan "Mudbound", Sally Hawkins "The Shape of Water", Sally Hawkins "Maudie", Kate Winslet "The Mountain Between Us", Michelle Pfeiffer "Where is Kyra?", Elle Fanning "Mary Shelley", Judi Dench "Victoria and Abdul", Rooney Mara "Mary Magadalene", Nicole Kidman "The Beguiled", Kirsten Dunst "Woodshock", Elle Fanning "How to Talk to Girls at Parties", Gal Gadot "Wonder Woman", Cynthia Nixon "A Quiet Passion", Marion Cotillard "Ismael's Ghost", Mackenize Davis "Tully", Natalie Portman "Annihilation", Raffey Cassidy "The Killing of a Sacred Deer", Jennifer Lawrence "Red Sparrow", Alicia Vikander "Submergence", Diane Lane "Felt", Jane Fonda "Our Souls at Night", Saoirse Ronan "Lady Bird", Debra Winger "The Lovers", Charlize Theron "Atomic Blonde", Elisabeth Moss "The Square", Emma Watson "Beauty and the Beast", Rosamund Pike "A United Kingdom", Kristen Stewart "Personal Shopper", Anne Hathaway "Colossal", Katherine Waterston "Alien: Covenant", Naomi Watts "The Book of Henry", Zoe Kazan "The Big Sick", Aubrey Plaza "Ingrid Goes West", Blake Lively "All I See Is You", Renee Zellweger "Same Kind of Different As Me", Daisy Ridley "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Anna Kendrick "Pitch Perfect 3", Lesley Manville "Phantom Thread"

Commentary - It looks like Best Actress is going to be category for two years in a row, which is awesome because it means there are great roles for women. Emma Stone returns to the race just one year after winning for La La Land, and playing Billie Jean King is Oscar bait. Meryl Streep will star opposite Tom Hanks for the first time, and work with Steven Spielberg. This is a woman who gets nominated for Into the Woods, so a Pentagon Papers film with those two involved seems like a solid Oscar better. Jennifer Lawrence is another favorite, and Aronofsky has already won a actress this award. Jessica Chastain has been off the circuit for a while, but her pairing with Aaron Sorkin might get her back in the race. Finally, after finally cracking the Oscar race, Isabelle Huppert returns as the lead in the new Michael Haneke film. These are the top five for now, but there are plenty of options for Oscar voters, at least early on. Brie Larson could return with The Glass Castle, whose first trailer looks promising. The first trailer for Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri looks like it is a real contender, and that Frances McDormand could return to this race for the first time in over a decade. Previous nominees and winners like Carey Mulligan, Sally Hawkins (in two roles), Kate Winslet, Judi Dench, Rooney Mara, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Debra Winger, Alicia Vikander, Natalie Portman, Saoirse Ronan, Diane Lane, Naomi Watts,  Jane Fonda, and Renee Zellweger, all have big projects that could return them to the race. There are some smaller films with big roles from Raffey Cassidy, Elle Fanning, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Stewart, Elisabeth Moss, Aubrey Plaza, Zoe Kazan, and Lesley Manville, all talented actresses who have yet to crack the Oscar race yet. Finally, don't forget the genre folks like Emma Watson, Charlize Theron, Daisy Ridley, Anna Kendrick, Anne Hathaway, and Katherine Waterston.

2017 Theatre World Awards

Outstanding Broadway or Off-Broadway Debut Performance
Carlo Alban "Sweat"
Christy Altomare "Anastasia"
Denee Benton "Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812"
Jon Jon Briones "Miss Saigon"
Barrett Doss "Groundhog Day"
Amber Gray "Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812"
Josh Groban "Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812"
Lucas Hedges "Yen"
Raymond Lee "Vietgone"
Eva Noblezada "Miss Saigon"
Jeremy Secomb "Sweeney Todd"
Cobie Smulders "Present Laughter"

Dorothy Loudon Award for Excellence in the Theater Honoree
Katrina Lenk "Indecent" and "The Band's Visit"

John Willis Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theater Honoree
Glenn Close "Sunset Blvd"

Special Theatre World Honoree
Dave Malloy "Natasha, Pierre, & The Great Comet of 1812"

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The 83rd Annual Drama League Awards

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Dear Evan Hansen

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
Oslo

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A BROADWAY OR OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
Jitney

DISTINGUISHED PERFORMANCE AWARD
Ben Platt "Dear Evan Hansen"

DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN MUSICAL THEATER
Bette Midler

UNIQUE CONTRIBUTION TO THEATER
Bill Berloni

FOUNDER'S AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN DIRECTING
Michael Greif

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Battle of the Sexes Trailer

The pair behind Little Miss Sunshine return with last year's winner Emma Stone and previous nominee Steve Carell, and Oscar-winning screenwriter Simon Beaufoy to tell the story of the match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. This has Oscar written all over it. The first trailer looks great, and this is definitely on my must-see list this year:

Jimmy Kimmel to Host 2018 Oscars

This afternoon, the Academy announced that Jimmy Kimmel would return to host the 2018 Oscars, the first host to do back to back gigs since Billy Crystal in the late 90's. After last year's late announcement, this gives the producers and Kimmel more time for the show. I actually was a bit mixed about him, although he did a lot better than some of the other recent hosts (poor Neil Patrick Harris should stick to the Tonys). Some of his bits, like that extended tour group fell flat, but I like the way he handled the awkward ending. Either way, Oscar news is Oscar news, which always makes me happy. For the record, I will graduate in December from my Master's program, which means that for (most) of this Oscar season, I will finally be back on track. All will soon be right with the world.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: First 2018 Oscar Predictions - Best Supporting Actor

First 2018 Predictions
Steve Carell "Battle of the Sexes"
Lucas Hedges "Lady Bird"
John Hurt "Darkest Hour"
Jason Mitchell "Mudbound"
Michael Shannon "The Current War"

Other Contenders - Oscar Isaac "Suburbicon", Josh Brolin "Suburbicon", Sterling K. Brown "Marshall", Ed Harris "Mother!", Zac Efron "The Greatest Showman", Idris Elba "Molly's Game", Christoph Waltz "Downsizing", Alec Baldwin "Downsizing", Neil Patrick Harris "Downsizing", Woody Harrelson "The Glass Castle", Woody Harrelson "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri", Sam Rockwell "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri", Bruce Dern "Chappaquiddick", Kenneth Branagh "Dunkirk", Tom Hardy "Dunkirk", Cillian Murphy "Dunkirk", Mark Rylance "Dunkirk", Harry Styles "Dunkirk", Will Poulter "Detroit", Jack Raynor "Detroit", Mark Hamill "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Joaquin Phoenix "Mary Magdalene", Chiwetel Ejiofor "Mary Magdalene", Garrett Hedlund "Mudbound", Jeffrey Tambor "The Death of Stalin", Harrison Ford "Blade Runner 2049", Michael Shannon "The Shape of Water", Richard Jenkins "The Shape of Water", Patrick Stewart "Logan", Ben Foster "Hostiles", Ray Romano "The Big Sick", Michael Stuhlbarg "Call Me By Your Name", Kevin Kline "Beauty and the Beast", Josh Gad "Beauty and the Beast", Jacob Tremblay "The Book of Henry", Ben Mendohlson "Darkest Hour", Javier Bardem "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales"

Commentary - In the Supporting Actress race, I mentioned the power of nostalgia. Like Carrie Fisher, John Hurt has been under-rewarded by major awards, and with only a measly two Oscar nominations to his name, one of his final roles, as Neville Chamberlain, may get him some posthumous recognition. Steve Carell has managed to make his way from a sitcom star to Oscar nominee, and his role opposite Emma Stone with the Little Miss Sunshine duo at the helm seems like a perfect formula for Oscar gold. Jason Mitchell broke out with his role in Straight Outta Compton, and word is, he is fantastic in Dee Ree's Sundance breakout Mudbound. Michael Shannon actually has several options this year, and his surprise nomination for Nocturnal Animals reminds us that he is a beloved among these actors. I think the historical drama The Current War is a safer bet. Finally, Lucas Hedges was a breakout star in Manchester By the Sea. This year, Greta Gerwig's second directorial effort Lady Bird, could return him to the Oscar race. Those top five have some stiff competition. Suburbicon offers two big roles from Oscar Isaac and Josh Brolin, Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown has a meaty role in the Thurgood Marshall biopic, Idris Elba meats Aaron Sorkin, Woody Harrelson has two great roles, and there are plenty of great contenders from the casts of Dunkirk and Downsizing, both huge Oscar potentials. Zac Efron might make the leap to Oscar contender in Greatest Showman, Mark Hammill might pull a Alec Guinness, Bruce Dern returns, and there is the pair of Joaquin Phoenix and Chiwetel Ejiofor in Mary Magdalene. Also be on the lookout for Jeffrey Tambor, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jacob Tremblay, Sam Rockwell, Richard Jenkins, and Ben Mendelsohn. Finally, don't forget the genre contenders like Harrison Ford, Patrick Stewart,  the Beauty and the Beast guys, and Javier Bardem, who might sneak in.

Monday, May 8, 2017

2017 Outer Critics Circle

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY PLAY
Oslo

OUTSTANDING NEW BROADWAY MUSICAL
Come From Away

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY PLAY
If I Forget

OUTSTANDING NEW OFF-BROADWAY MUSICAL
The Band’s Visit

OUTSTANDING BOOK OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Irene Sankoff & David Hein "Come From Away"

OUTSTANDING NEW SCORE (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
David Yazbek "The Band’s Visit"

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Jitney

OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL (Broadway or Off-Broadway)
Hello, Dolly!

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A PLAY
Kevin Kline "Present Laughter"

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Laura Linney "The Little Foxes"

OUTSTANDING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Andy Karl "Groundhog Day"

OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Bette Midler "Hello, Dolly!"

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A PLAY
Danny DeVito "The Price"

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A PLAY
Cynthia Nixon "The Little Foxes"

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Gavin Creel "Hello, Dolly!"

OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL
Jenn Colella "Come From Away"

OUTSTANDING SOLO PERFORMANCE
Simon McBurney "The Encounter"

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A PLAY
Rebecca Taichman "Indecent"

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR OF A MUSICAL
Christopher Ashley "Come From Away"

OUTSTANDING CHOREOGRAPHER
Warren Carlyle "Hello, Dolly!"

OUTSTANDING SET DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Mimi Lien "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Catherine Zuber "War Paint


OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Bradley King "Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812"

OUTSTANDING PROJECTION DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Aaron Rhyne "Anastasia"

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN (Play or Musical)
Gareth Owen "Come From Away"

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS
Larry Hochman "Hello, Dolly!"

JOHN GASSNER AWARD
Bess Wohl "Small Mouth Sounds"

32nd Annual Lucille Lortel Award Winners

Outstanding Play
Oslo

Outstanding Musical
The Band's Visit

Outstanding Revival
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Outstanding Solo Show
Notes from the Field

Outstanding Director
Bartlett Sher "Oslo"

Outstanding Choreographer
David Dorfman "Indecent"

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play
Joe Morton "Turn Me Loose"

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Play
Jennifer Ehle "Oslo"

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical
Ben Platt "Dear Evan Hansen"

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical
Katrina Lenk "The Band's Visit"

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play
Michael Aronov "Oslo"

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play
Randy Graff "The Babylon Line"

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Joel Perez "Sweet Charity"

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Rachel Bay Jones "Dear Evan Hansen"

Outstanding Scene Design
Laura Jellinek "A Life"

Outstanding Costume Design
Susan Hilferty "Love, Love, Love"

Outstanding Lighting Design
Mark Barton "Signature Plays: Edward Albee's The Sandbox, María Irene Fornés' Drowning,

Adrienne Kennedy's Funnyhouse of a Negro"

Outstanding Sound Design
Mikhail Fiksel "A Life"

Outstanding Projection Design
Jared Mezzocchi "Vietgone"

Sunday, May 7, 2017

2017 MTV Movie and Television Awards

I will update the winners live!:

Movie of the Year - Beauty and the Beast
Show of the Year - Stranger Things
Best Actor in a Movie - Emma Watson "Beauty and the Beast"
Best Actor in a Show - Millie Bobbie Brown "Stranger Things"
Best American Story - black-ish
Best Comedic Performance - Lil Rey Howrey "Get Out"
Best Documentary - 13th
Best Duo - Hugh Jackman and Daphne Keen "Logan"v
Best Fight Against the System - Hidden Figures
Best Hero - Taraji P. Henson "Hidden Figures"
Best Host - Trevor Noah "The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"
Best Kiss - Ashton Sanders and Jharrel Jerome "Moonlight"
Best Musical Moment - Grease Live! - You're the One That I Want
Best Reality Competition - RuPaul's Drag Race
Best Tearjerker - This is Us - Jack and Randall at Karate
Best Villain - Jeffrey Dean Morgan "The Walking Dead"
MTV Next Generation Award - Daniel Kaluuya
MTV Generation Award - The Fast and the Furious

2017 MTV Movie and Television Award Predictions

Movie of the Year 
Beauty and the Beast

Show of the Year
Stranger Things

Best Actor in a Movie
Hugh Jackman "Logan"

Best Actor in a Show
Millie Bobbie Brown "Stranger Things"

Best Comedic Performance
Adam DeVine "Workaholics"

Best Hero
Millie Bobbie Brown "Stranger Things"

Best Villain
Jeffrey Dean Morgan "The Walking Dead"

Best Duo
Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen "Logan"

Best Kiss
Dan Stevens and Emma Watson "Beauty and the Beast"

Best Tearjerker
Game of Thrones - Hodor's Death

Best Host
Ellen DeGeneres "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"

Best Reality Competition Show
The Voice

Best American Story
black-ish

Best Documentary
O.J.: Made in America

Best Fight Against the System
Get Out

Next Generation
Daniel Kaluuya

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: First 2018 Oscar Predictions - Best Supporting Actress

First 2018 Predictions
Annette Bening "The Seagull"
Mary J. Blige "Mudbound"
Carrie Fisher "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Octavia Spencer "The Shape of Water"
Michelle Williams "The Greatest Showman"

Other Contenders - Kristen Wiig "Downsizing", Julianne Moore "Wonderstruck", Julianne Moore "Suburbicon", Kristin Scott Thomas "Darkest Hour", Michelle Pfeiffer "Mother!", Nicole Kidman "How to Talk to Girls at Parties", Margot Robbie "Goodbye Christopher Robin", Julia Roberts "Wonder", Kirsten Stewart "Lizzie", Rebecca Ferguson "The Greatest Showman", Rebecca Ferguson "The Snowman", Amy Schumer "Thank You Four Your Service", Naomi Watts "The Glass Castle", Tilda Swinton "Okja", Kirsten Dunst "The Beguiled", Elle Fanning "The Beguild", Rosamund Pike "Hostiles", Juno Temple "Wonder Wheel", Rachel McAdams "Disobedience", Penelope Cruz "Murder on the Orient Express", Lily James "Darkest Hour", Laurie Metcalf "Lady Bird", Daisy Ridley "Murder on the Orient Express", Dafne Keen "Logan", Allison Williams "Get Out", Catherine Keener "Get Out", Nicole Kidman "The Killing of a Sacred Deer", Alicia Silverstone "The Killing of a Sacred Deer", Andrea Risenborough "Battle of the Sexes", Kate Mara "Chappaquiddick", Katherine Waterston "The Current War", Charlize Theron "Tully", Emma Thompson "Beauty and the Beast", Audra McDonald "Beauty and the Beast", Glenn Close "The Girl with all the Gifts", Anika Noni Rose "Everything, Everything", Holly Hunter "The Big Sick", Candice Bergen "Home Again", Kristin Chenoweth "The Star", Gina Rodriguez "The Star"

Commentary - For some reason, this feels like a category that has a lot of contenders, but will probably end up like last year's race where five emerge with little wiggle room. What I mean is that there are a lot of big names, but none of them, expect for one, really screams "Oscar". That one is, of course, Michelle Williams. She would have probably won last year, had Viola Davis not switched to Supporting Actress. She is starring in a huge Oscar vehicle opposite Hugh Jackman, and she is now in the overdue status. Beyond that though, there feels like a lot of flexibility. Annette Bening was robbed of a nod for 20th Century Women this year, and has another opportunity to earn a long overdue Oscar. If The Seagull is good, she is probably going to be Williams' main challenger. Mudbound came out of Sundance with a ton of buzz, and leading the pack was the performance of Mary J. Blige. Singers often make their way into this category (Janelle Monae was close last year), and apparently Blige steals the show. Last year, I was reminded of two things. First, Octavia Spencer is simply fabulous. Second, these voters love her. She is back this year with a big role in Guillermo Del Toro's latest. Finally, sometimes, every once in a while, nostalgia hit these voters. Carrie Fisher is said to have a pretty big role in the next Star Wars film, her last. She is a beloved icon in this industry, and I could see Oscar voters wanting to give her one final, and deserved salute. Beyond those five there are so many to consider. Kristin Wiig is an Oscar-nominated screenwriter, but the latest Alexander Payne film could make her an acting nominee as well. Julianne Moore has two great roles  this year, Kristin Scott Thomas could return for her role as Clemmy Churchill, Julia Roberts could be in the mix for Wonder, Naomi Watts, Tilda Swinton, Nicole Kidman in two roles, Catherine Keener, and Charlize Theron are all in the mix, and all have history with the Oscars. Kristen Stewart has been flirting with Oscar glory with her string of awesome indie appearances, Laurie Metcalf is a legend, Katherine Waterston is a star on the rise, Kirsten Dunst is re-teaming with Sofia Coppoila, Juno Temple has a lot of potential, as do Rebecca Ferguson (in two roles), Margot Robbie, Andrea Risenborough, Kate Mara, and yes, even Amy Schumer.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: First 2018 Oscar Predictions - Best Original Screenplay

First 2018 Predictions
Mark Boal "Detroit"
Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor "Downsizing"
Michael Arndt, Jenny Bicks, and Bill Condon "The Greatest Showman"
Michael Haneke "Happy End"
Paul Thomas Anderson "Phantom Thread"

Other Contenders - Adrian Molina and Lee Unkrich "Coco", Anthony McCarten "Darkest Hour", Christopher Nolan "Dunkirk", Darren Aronofsky "Mother!", George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Joel and Ethan Coen "Suburbicon", Simon Beaufoy "Battle of the Sexes", Taylor Sheridan "Wind River", Jordan Peele "Get Out", Woody Allen "Wonder Wheel", Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon "The Big Sick", Efthymis Filippou and Yorgos Lanthimos "The Killing of a Sacred Deer", Martin McDonagh "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri", Vanessa Taylor and Guillermo del Toro "The Shape of Water", Michael Mitnick "The Current War", Diablo Cody "Tully", Peter Landesman "Felt", Bong Joon-ho and Jon Ronson "Okja", Kate Dippold "Snatched", Greta Gerwig "Lady Bird", Scott Cooper and Donald Stewart "Hostiles", David Robert Mitchell "Under the Silver Lake", Noah Baumbach "The Meyerowitz Stories", Sean Baker and Chris Bergoch "The Florida Project", Gregg Hurwitz "The Book of Henry", Olivier Assayas "Personal Shopper", Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, Steven Bagatourian "All Eyez on Me", Geremy Jasper "Patti Cake$", Eliza Hittman "Beach Rats", Carlos Kotkin, Simon Moore, and Tom Sheridan "The Star"

Commentary - A lot of big names are returning to this race. Mark Boal (with Kathryn Bigelow at the helm), Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, Micheal Haneke, Michael Arndt, and Paul Thomas Anderson all have buzzed projects returning, and right now those five films make up my current predictions: Detroit, Downsizing, The Greatest Showman, Happy End, and Phantom Thread. But there are a lot of folks waiting to try to steal some slots. Christopher Nolan returns with his WWII epic Dunkirk, previous nominee Anthony McCarten tackled Winston Churchill, Woody Allen has yet another offering, The Coen Bros. and George Clooney are teaming up again, Oscar winner Martin McDonagh returns, and last year's nominees Taylor Sheridan, and the team of Filippou and Lanthimos hope to have back to back successes. Simon Beaufoy returns to the Oscar race with a new film from the duo behind Little Miss Sunshine, as does Guillero Del Toro and Diablo Cody. Indie favorites like Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Scott Cooper, Bong Joon-ho, David Robert Mitchell, Olivier Assayas, and the breakout success that was Jordan Peele's Get Out hope to be one of those small films that the writing branch goes to bat for. Finally, look for some of the Sundance favorites like Patti Cake$ and Beach Rats which let the festival with a ton of buzz. It's always too early to really determine any race, but this one looks like it is going to be a fun one to watch.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: First 2018 Oscar Predictions - Best Adapted Screeplay

First 2018 Predictions
Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, and Walter Fasano "Call Me By Your Name"
Richard Linklater "Last Flag Flying"
Aaron Sorkin "Molly's Game"
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams "Mudbound"
Brian Selznick "Wonderstruck"

Other Contenders - Liz Hannah "Untitled Steven Spielberg Project", Sofia Coppola "The Beguiled", Philippa Goslett and John Cameron Mitchell "How to Talk to Girls at Parties", Andrew Haigh "Lean on Pete", Lee Hall "Victoria and Abdul", Lynne Ramsay "You Were Never Really Here", Jason Dean Hall "Thank You For Your Service", Destin Daniel Cretton, Andrew Lanham, and Marti Noxon "The Glass Castle", Hossein Amini and Matthew Michael Carnahan "The Snowman", Alex Garland "Annihilation", Hampton Fancher and Michael Green "Blade Runner 2049", Michael Green "Murder on the Orient Express", Steve Conrad "Wonder", Rian Johnson "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers "Spider-Man: Homecoming", Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos "Beauty and the Beast", Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green "Logan", John Logan, Dante Harper, Jack Paglen, and Michael Green "Alien Covenant", Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner, Anders Thomas Jensen, and Nikolaj Arcel "The Dark Tower", Allan Heinberg, Zack Snyder, and Jason Fuchs "Wonder Woman", Michel Hazanavicius "Redoubtable", Olivier Assayas and Roman Polanski "Based on a True Story", Mark Bomback and Matt Reeves "War for the Planet of the Apes", John Boorman, Todd Komarknicki, Farhad Safinia, "The Professor and the Madman", Kent Haruf, Scott Neustadter, and Michael H. Weber "Our Souls at Night", Armando Iannucci, David Schneider, Ian Martin, and Peter Fellows "The Death of Stalin", Stephen Schiff, Michael Finch, Edward Zwick, Marshall Herskovitz "American Assassin", Michael Carney, Alexander Foard, and Ron Hall "Same Kind of Different As Me", Helen Edmundson and Philippa Goslett "Mary Magdalene"

Commentary - It is so hard at the beginning of the season to discern the contenders, but it's also a nice exercise, because it let's you know where you are going. To start my top five, I am looking at two big contenders out of Sundance: Mudbound and Call Me By Your Name. Last year, Manchester By the Sea went all the way from Sundance to a screenplay Oscar. Both received rave reviews, both are from great novels, and both seem to have the power to stay throughout the season. Aaron Sorkin barely missed for Steve Jobs (and he was robbed), but his directorial debut Molly's Game, gives an opportunity to make an Oscar comeback. Richard Linklater's Everybody Loves Somebody!! was an awards dud, but he has made his way into the screenplay categories before, and is always a threat. Finally, with Todd Hayne's latest, Brian Selznick's script for Wonderstruck will be in the mix. Beyond those five there are plenty of baity projects including the latest films from Garth Davis, Steven Spielberg, Andrew Haigh, John Cameron Mitchell, Jason Dean Hall, Lynne Ramsay, Sofia Coppola, Michel Hazanavicius, and Stephen Frears. Then there is a huge rift, between the smaller films/Oscar bait, and the big kahunas. There are tons of blockbusters and blockbusters in the making that always seem like they can breakthrough, but often don't. That being said, these films cannot be discounted, as you never know when one is going to breakthrough. This group includes: The Snowman, Blade Runner 2049, Annihilation, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Logan, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Wonder, Murder on the Orient Express, Beauty and the Beast, Alien Covenant, The Dark Tower, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Wonder Woman.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

71st Annual Tony Award Nominations

Best Musical
Come From Away
Dear Evan Hansen
Groundhog Day
Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812

Best Play
A Doll’s House, Part 2
Indecent
Oslo
Sweat

Best Revival of a Musical
Falsettos
Hello, Dolly!
Miss Saigon

Best Revival of a Play
August Wilson's Jitney
The Little Foxes
Present Laughter
Six Degrees of Separation

Best Actor in a Musical
Christian Borle, “Falsettos”
Josh Groban, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”
Andy Karl, “Groundhog Day”
David Hyde Pierce, “Hello, Dolly!”
Ben Platt, “Dear Evan Hansen”

Best Actress in a Musical
Denée Benton, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”
Christine Ebersole, “War Paint”
Patti LuPone, “War Paint”
Bette Midler, “Hello, Dolly!”
Eva Noblezada, “Miss Saigon”

Best Actor in a Play
Denis Arndt, “Heisenberg”
Chris Cooper, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
Corey Hawkins, “Six Degrees of Separation”
Kevin Kline, “Present Laughter”
Jefferson Mays, “Oslo”

Best Actress in a Play
Cate Blanchett, “The Present”
Jennifer Ehle, “Oslo”
Sally Field, “The Glass Menagerie”
Laura Linney, “The Little Foxes”
Laurie Metcalf, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Best Featured Actor in a Musical
Gavin Creel, “Hello, Dolly!”
Mike Faist, “Dear Evan Hansen”
Andrew Rannells, “Falsettos”
Lucas Steele, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”
Brandon Uranowitz, “Falsettos”

Best Featured Actress in a Musical
Kate Baldwin, “Hello, Dolly!”
Stephanie J. Block, “Falsettos”
Jenn Colella, “Come From Away”
Rachel Bay Jones, “Dear Evan Hansen”
Mary Beth Peil, “Anastasia”

Best Featured Actor in a Play
Michael Aronov, “Oslo”
Danny DeVito, “The Price”
Nathan Lane, “The Front Page”
Richard Thomas, “The Little Foxes”
John Douglas Thompson, “Jitney”

Best Featured Actress in a Play
Johanna Day, “Sweat”
Jayne Houdyshell, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
Cynthia Nixon, “The Little Foxes”
Condola Rashad, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
Michelle Wilson, “Sweat”

Best Direction of a Play
Sam Gold, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”
Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “Jitney”
Bartlett Sher, “Oslo”
Daniel Sullivan, “The Little Foxes”
Rebecca Taichman, “Indecent”

Best Direction of a Musical
Christopher Ashley, “Come From Away”
Rachel Chavkin, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”
Michael Greif, “Dear Evan Hansen”
Matthew Warchus, “Groundhog Day”
Jerry Zaks, “Hello, Dolly!”

Best Book of a Musical
Irene Sankoff and David Hein, “Come From Away”
Steven Levenson, “Dear Evan Hansen”
Danny Rubin, “Groundhog Day”
Dave Malloy, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”

Best Original Score
“Come From Away,” Music and Lyrics: Irene Sankoff and David Hein
“Dear Evan Hansen,” Music and Lyrics: Benj Pasek & Justin Paul
“Groundhog Day,” Music and Lyrics: Tim Minchin
“Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812,” Music and Lyrics: Dave Malloy

Best Choreography
Andy Blankenbuehler, “Bandstand”
Peter Darling and Ellen Kane, “Groundhog Day”
Kelly Devine, “Come From Away”
Denis Jones, “Holiday Inn”
Sam Pinkleton, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”

Best Orchestrations
Bill Elliott and Greg Anthony Rassen, “Bandstand”
Larry Hochman, “Hello, Dolly!”
Alex Lacamoire, “Dear Evan Hansen”
Dave Malloy, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”

Best Costume Design of a Play
Jane Greenwood, “The Little Foxes”
Susan Hilferty, “Present Laughter”
Toni-Leslie James, “Jitney”
David Zinn, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Best Costume Design of a Musical
Linda Cho, “Anastasia”
Santo Loquasto, “Hello, Dolly!”
Paloma Young, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”
Catherine Zuber, “War Paint”

Best Lighting Design of a Play
Christopher Akerlind, “Indecent”
Jane Cox, “Jitney”
Donald Holder, “Oslo”
Jennifer Tipton, “A Doll’s House, Part 2”

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Howell Binkley, “Come From Away”
Natasha Katz, “Hello, Dolly!”
Bradley King, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”
Japhy Weideman, “Dear Evan Hansen”

Best Scenic Design of a Play
David Gallo, “Jitney”
Nigel Hook, “The Play That Goes Wrong”
Douglas W. Schmidt, “The Front Page”
Michael Yeargan, “Oslo”

Best Scenic Design of a Musical
Rob Howell, “Groundhog Day”
David Korins, “War Paint”
Mimi Lien, “Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812”
Santo Loquasto, “Hello, Dolly!”