Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The Oscar Narrative: Final Nomination Predictions - Best Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, and Foreign Language Film

Best Animated Feature
The Breadwinner
Despicable Me 3
The LEGO Batman Movie
Loving Vincent

Other Contenders - Ferdinand, The Boss Baby, Mary and the Witch's Flower, The Girl with No Hands, In This Corner of the World, Cars 3, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, The Big Bag Fox and Other Tales

Commentary - This category always had its surprises, but over the years we knew to expect a GKids nomination or an oddball choice. But this year, the process is open to more people, and the question now is whether those eccentric tastes will hold, or will a more populist nomination set emerge on nomination morning? I am trying to strike that balance. The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent are smaller films, but have enough support to make the cut. We know Coco is in, but the other two slots are tricky. Do smaller films like Mary and the Witch's Flower or The Girl With No Hands breakthrough, or some of the bigger films? Those include Ferdinand, The Boss Baby, The LEGO Batman Movie, and Despicable Me 3. Right now I am going with LEGO and Despicable Me, but I think any of these four could pair up for the final two slots, and even something with such poor reviews as The Boss Baby could be an Oscar nominee. It keeps popping up everywhere throughout the guilds. We'll have to wait and see...

Best Documentary Feature
City of Ghosts
Faces Places
Last Men in Aleppo
Strong Island

Other Contenders - Icarus, Chasing Coral, Ex Libris - The New York Public Library, Human Flow, Abacus: Small Enough to Jail, LA 92, Long Strange Trip, Unrest

Commentary - This one feels tougher this year, with not really a clear front runner. Jane and Faces Places feel like the top two, but the rest of the race is so muddled that anything could happen. City of Ghosts bring Matthew Heinman back to the race, a popular director among this bunch, and Last Men In Aleppo, which also tackles Syria could ride the zeitgeist, and the aftermath of The White Helmets winning in the short category to a nomination. Finally, Netflix will not be forgotten, so I expect Strong Island to make it in, and Chasing Coral and Icarus could grab a slot as well.

Best Foreign Language Film
A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
Foxtrot (Israel)
In the Fade (Germany)
Loveless (Russia)
The Square (Sweden)

Other Contenders - The Wound (South Africa), The Insult (Lebanon), Felicite (Senegal), On Body and Soul (Hungary)

Commentary - I feel comfortable enough with four: A Fantastic Woman, In the Fade, Loveless, and The Square. For the last slot, part of me wants to pick The Wound, but Foxtrot seems like the more obvious choice with this group.

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