Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Oscar Narrative: First 2017 Predictions - Best Picture

First Nomination Predictions
Battle of the Sexes
Blade Runner 2049
Call Me By Your Name
Molly's Game
The Papers
Phantom Thread

Other Contenders - Darkest Hour, Wonder Woman, Mother!, The Big Sick, Suburbicon, The Current War, Marshall, The Greatest Showman, Wonderstruck, Coco, The Glass Castle, The Shape of Water, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Victoria and Abdul, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Get Out, Logan, Baby Driver, Mary Magdalene, The Beguiled, The Snowman, Thank You For Your Service, Murder on the Orient Express, Beauty and the Beast, Wonder Wheel, The Dark Tower, The Killing of the Sacred Deer, War for the Planet of the Apes, Okja, The Meyerowitz Stories, Tully, Wind River, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2., The Lego Batman Movie, Kong: Skull Island, Justice League, It Comes at Night, The Florida Project

Commentary - Can a big film breakthrough? Get Out, Logan, War for the Planet of the Apes, and Wonder Woman have all made their cases, and we still have to see Justice League, The Last Jedi, Spider-Man, Coco, The Dark Tower, and Murder on the Orient Express. For now, I am leaving them out, because this Academy is just not into these films, although hopefully new membership will move the dial. I do think that Denis Villeneuve's take on Blade Runner will make the cut, because after Arrival spent most of the awards season floundering in predictions, it was the industry voters themselves that rescued it. I think auteur-driven films will do well, with Phantom Thread, Call Be My Your Name, Detroit, and Mudbound all in the mix. I also think though that crowd pleasers such as The Papers, Downsizing, and Battle of the Sexes will be in the mix. Finally, Aaron Sorkin has written some spectacular pieces. If he is as good of a director as he is a writer, watch out for Molly's Game. But the big guys, the Oscar bait, like Dunkirk, Downsizing, and The Papers could round out the bunch. Joe Wright's Darkest Hour feels like Oscar bait, but such high profile biopics could go either way. The Big Sick is doing well with critics, but it feels like an Indie Spirit contender more than an Oscar one, although it deserves to stay in the mix. The Greatest Showman looks like a huge spectacle, and if its a contender I hope it is seen a lot sooner than its release date. Stephen Frears should never be discounted with his upcoming Victoria and Abdul, Guillermo Del Toro returns, The Beguiled is getting early love, and Wind River could ride its Sundance glow, and Sean Baker could break through beyond the Indie Spirits with The Florida Project. Finally, keep a lookout for Mary Magdelene, The Snowman, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri, Thank You For Your Service, and Tully.

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