Friday, February 23, 2018

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

Best Animated Feature
Will Win - Coco
Could Win - n/a
Should Win - Coco
Commentary - If anything wins other than Coco, it will go down as one of the greatest Oscar upsets in history, you can bank on this one.

Best Documentary Feature
Will Win - Faces Places
Could Win - Last Men in Aleppo and Icarus
Should Win - Faces Places
Commentary - This whole race got shaken when Jane was inexplicably left off the list. Winners in this category split between feel good and hard-hitting zeitgeist, which to me narrows it down to three. Last Men in Aleppo and Icarus are the zeitgeist films focusing on Syria and Russia respectively. Faces Places is the feel good film about a legend and her career. Both Icarus and Last Men have mediocre reviews (not that Oscar voters probably know that), and both have only recently been elevated to a potential winner status because of the Jane snub. Last Men in Aleppo made headlines, like The Salesman, due to visa issues under the new administration. But it also feels like last year's news, and it hasn't been as prominent in the news as The Salesman's headlines were. I think that a fantastic story about a revolutionary female filmmaker in the year of Me Too and Times Up will sway more Oscar voters then half-decent zeitgeist efforts.

Best Foreign Language Film
Will Win - A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
Could Win - The Square (Sweden)
Should Win - A Fantastic Woman (Chile)
Commentary - This is a really interesting year for this category. It has kind of flown under the radar all year, and the nominees seem to be lost in the overall Oscar conversation. The Square has been popular since Cannes, but it is really divisive, and has not won as much as folks thought it would. A Fantastic Woman feels like it is in the lead here, being a very timely topic that discusses issues that transgender individuals face. This also could turn off some voters. While Hollywood is always labeled as liberal, there are a lot of older, more conservative voters within the Academy that might go for something else. I also think Loveless needs to be taken into consideration, but in the end I think it is A Fantastic Woman's to lose.

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