Category: Oscar Preview

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 8

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

While there were a handful of precursors in the last week, including the important Directors Guild of America and Producers Guild of America, all of this is overshadowed by the Academy Award nominations from earlier today. While the nominations are normally announced on a Tuesday and thus giving the Monday before over to the prior week’s events, today’s Precursor Winners & Losers will be devoted predominantly to the Oscar nominations with some influence from the DGA, PGA, and others to go along with it.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 9

Friday, Jan. 17 – Cinema Editors (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 18 – Producers Guild (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 18 – Filmfare Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Latino Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Screen Actors (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Sound Editors (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Filmfare Awards (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Jan. 19 – Online Film & TV Association (Nominations) (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: On Hiatus

As usual, through Oscar season (January and February), my regular weekly look at the Oscar chances of the films releasing on the prior weekend is put on hold. The reason for this is twofold. The first is that things are incredibly hectic during this period and extra content becomes difficult. The second reason is that few Oscar contenders for the subsequent year release, making it almost wasteful to cover that period. This feature will return in the second or third week of March.

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 7

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

The Golden Globe Awards dominate this past week of precursor revelations giving 1917 a huge boost while deflating Netflix’s balloon.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 8

Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Toronto Critics – Canadian Film (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Directors Guild – Director & First Feature (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Producers Guild (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – British Academy (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Jan. 7 – Academy Awards Nominations Voting Ends (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Vancouver Critics – Canadian Awards (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 8 – GALECA (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Jan. 8 – Publicists (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 9 – LA Online Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Georgia Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Women Journalists (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Asian Film Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Bodil Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Jan. 10 – Razzies (Nominations) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 11 – Make-Up Artists Guild (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 12 – Broadcast Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Jan. 12 – Hawaii Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Jan. 13 – Denver Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 13 – Academy Awards Nominations (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 27-29, 2019

We had four films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Little Women

Since the creation of the Academy Awards, five big-screen versions of Little Women have been made, with all but the modern day-set from 2018 being the only one to fail to earn an Oscar nomination.

George Cukor’s 1933 version with Katherine Hepburn as Jo March, earned three Oscar nominations: Best Picture, Director, and Adaptation. The latter is the only award it won. 16 years later, Mervyn LeRoy took a stab at the narrative with June Allyson as Jo and Margaret O’Brien and Elizabeth Taylor co-starring. That version wasn’t as Oscar popular, but still managed two nominations for color cinematography and color art direction, the latter of which it won. Fast-forward 45 years to the Gillian Armstrong version with Winona Ryder in the lead. Three more Oscar nominations followed with Ryder in Best Actress, Colleen Atwood for costume design, and Thomas Newman for Original Score. It did not win any.

It’s now 2019 and there have been 25 intervening years. Greta Gerwig, who was a mainstay of the indie movie scene, stepped behind the camera for the second time, the first without a co-director. With Lady Bird, Gerwig emerged as a leading voice in cinema. Her film was nominated for five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actress (Saoirse Ronan), and Best Supporting Actress (Laurie Metcalf). The film was well regarded, winning numerous awards, but Oscars were not among them. Three of her primary actors from Lady Bird make the leap to Little Women, Ronan and Timothée Chalamet in prominent roles and Tracy Letts in a supporting one.

The film has been building buzz since its debut and stands a good chance of replicating Lady Bird‘s success in all of the same categories along with Original Score, Production Design, Costume Design, and Film Editing all possibilities. Ronan’s chances in lead are a bit weaker than Florence Pugh’s chances in support, but if the film does well enough, it could easily be pulled into all of the listed categories. The only issue the film suffers from is the lack of interest male audiences have in seeing the film. There are rumors that some voters, especially at SAG, simply refused to watch the film, which could certainly cause the film harm. This is perhaps one of the reasons that sank Brokeback Mountain at the Oscars, but this time around, the diversity in the Academy could easily propel the film forward.

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 6

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

With only six precursors releasing in the days leading up to and following Christmas and an equally smaller number coming in the days before New Year’s Eve, there’s not a lot to discuss about this past week and thus not a lot of winners and losers.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 7

Thursday, Jan. 2 – Columbus Critics (Awards) (Official)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Houston Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Iowa Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Casting Society (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – British Academy (Rising Star) (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Jan. 2 – Academy Awards Nominations Voting Begins (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Georgia Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – North Carolina Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – GALECA (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Cinematographers (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Jan. 3 – Satellites (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Saturday, Jan. 4 – Chicago Independent Critics (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Jan. 4 – National Society Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Jan. 5 – Golden Globes (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Austin Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Denver Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Hawaii Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Online Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Directors Guild – Documentary (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Visual Effects Society (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Jan. 6 – Writers Guild (Nominations) (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 20-22, 2019

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

One of the most successful franchises in Oscar history, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker continues the tradition of Oscar consideration. While the prequel trilogy that George Lucas did struggled for Oscar attention, the latest three films have done much better in that department and the final film is a strong contender in a handful of categories.

While it’s unlikely the movie will end up in the top-of-the-line categories, its best opportunities come in numerous craft traditions. Original Score is its best opportunity. The last film in the franchise that John Williams will ever compose could give the Academy’s composers their last opportunity to recognize the legendary work he’s done on the series. The Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Visual Effects categories have and will always be the franchise’s strongest chances.

Apart from those four, a few other categories the film could make an appearance in are Film Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, and Costume Design. While few of these are guarantees, I could see at least Production Design being a possibility with the others have far more remote chances.

Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 5

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

While there wasn’t a lot on the precursor front in the last week, enough emerged to give us an idea of where films stand going into Oscar voting. That said, some films clearly did better than others and while the big losers aren’t really losers, they just weren’t that successful this past week.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 6

Friday, Dec. 27 – Austin Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Dec. 27 – North Carolina Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 29 – Chicago Independent Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 29 – Columbus Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 30 – Oklahoma Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 13-15, 2019

We had three films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Richard Jewell

Clint Eastwood has played the late-year release card so many times that every time he issues forth with a new film late in the year, he instantly joins the Oscar conversation. While the films since American Sniper have ultimately been disappointments with the critics and the Academy, his latest film about has already bested his most recent films in terms of Oscar chatter.

The film, about the Centennial Olympic Park bombing at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia, positions titular figure Richard Jewell as a hero who was unfairly railroaded by the media and the FBI in the case. At a time when media and FBI credibility is under constant assault by the factually challenged, the film comes off as an opportunistic screed designed to drive home a right wing narrative. Eastwood is a very prominent Republican, but this is one of his most nakedly political films he’s ever made.

That fact alone is becoming the focal point of the controversy swirling around the film that is doing lasting damage to its Oscar potential. The biggest controversy of all revolves around the depiction of the journalist at the core of the accusations against Richard Jewell, which has earned derision from several corners, especially since the character herself is unable to defend herself, having died in 2001. Her reporting was exonerated by a long-standing court case’s resolution in 2011, which doesn’t help and that fact will also help drive a rejection of the film is Oscar voters’ eyes.

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 4

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

Christmas is just around the corner, which means the vast majority of film critic groups are about to finish giving out awards. The last week has been hectic with Monday being one of the biggest announcement days of the year. There aren’t many critics groups left and it appears that the guild nominations are almost at a close. Weeks five and six will be slower before things ramp up into the final stretch.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 5

Tuesday, Dec. 17 – London Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Dec. 17 – Phoenix Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Dec. 17 – Phoenix Critics (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Dec. 18 – USC Scripter (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Dec. 19 – Florida Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Dec. 19 – Black Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 20 – Florida Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Dec. 20 – Women Journalists (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 20 – Golden Eagle Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 23 – Online Critics (Nominations) (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Dec. 6-8, 2019

We had three films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Dark Waters

Todd Haynes has a rich history with the Academy, nabbing nominations for all but three of his previous films (Poison, Safe, and Wonderstruck). That said, he’s only directed seven movies previously, so he’s just a little over 50%.

Dark Waters is a bit of a departure for Haynes who has traditionally gone after films with unique color palettes or are otherwise surreal in nature. This film is very much a down-to-earth, exploration of corporate malfeasance. It’s the kind of subject matter the Academy has loved in the past, but which has not gained traction this go around.

The film has received solid reviews, but has been virtually ignored by the precursors. That suggests the film is struggling to catch on. Ultimately, it could put Haynes into the full 50-50 category with his films.

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 3

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

When you have almost two-dozen groups announcing their winners, you know you’re in the full swing of Oscar season. Next week will be even more crazy.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 4

Tuesday, Dec. 10 – African American Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Audio Society (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Costume Designers (Nominations) (Official)
Tuesday, Dec. 10 – Preliminary Voting Ends (Official)
Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Phoenix Circle (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Cinema Editors (Nominations) (Official)
Wednesday, Dec. 11 – Screen Actors (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Dec. 12 – Chicago Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Thursday, Dec. 12 – Goya Awards (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Dec. 13 – Las Vegas Critics (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 13 – Vancouver Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 13 – Sound Editors (Nominations) (Official)
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Boston Online Critics (Awards) (Official)
Saturday, Dec. 14 – Chicago Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Boston Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Houston Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Kansas City Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – Phoenix Circle (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 15 – St. Louis Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Dallas Area Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Indiana Journalists (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Nevada Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – North Texas Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – North Texas Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Seattle Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Utah Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Vancouver Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 16 – Shortlists Announced (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Nov. 29-Dec. 1, 2019

We had two films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

The Two Popes

Fernando Meirelles has made nine films with two of them being Oscar nominees. The Two Popes is his third attempt at scoring Oscar nominations, his first attempt since 2008’s Blindness, which failed to move the Oscar needle

The film follows the unusual friendship between Pope Benedict XVI (Anthony Hopkins) and Pope Francis (Jonathan Pryce) while the latter was a mere Cardinal and as the two wrestle over Francis taking over for Benedict when the former resigns. The film seems to be a film that explores faith in a modern setting, an idea that might have some appeal to older members.

City of God and The Constant Gardener put Meirelles on the map, but his films haven’t been lighting up the year-end critics lists since those two came out, which means that a lot is riding on this outing. The Two Popes has earned solid reviews, especially with praise for its stars. Pryce, who has never been nominated for an Oscar, probably has the best chances of being nominated, after all when Francis rose to Pope, many of us remarked just how much Francis and Pryce looked alike. That fact aside, the film hasn’t earned quite the attention so far that it needs to remain in the Oscar race, but a strong showing from the AARP Movies for Grownups awards could bolster the film’s stature among older voters while younger ones aren’t as likely to be interested in the film. This might be a test case for the rise of the new members.

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 2

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

With a handful of the potential precursors that could have announced this week not present, the only one we had a chance to look at before this article was finalized was the Hollywood Critics Association (formerly the Los Angeles Online Film Critics Society), so this post is mostly based on how those films performed there.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 3

Tuesday, Dec. 3 – National Board of Review (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Dec. 4 – New York Critics (Awards) (Official)
Wednesday, Dec. 4 – American Film Institute (Awards) (Official)
Friday, Dec. 6 – San Diego Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Dec. 6 – San Francisco Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Friday, Dec. 6 – Preliminary Voting Begins (Official)
Saturday, Dec. 7 – DC Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Saturday, Dec. 7 – European Film Awards (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – DC Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – Los Angeles Critics (Awards) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – New Mexico Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – NY Online Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – San Francisco Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – St. Louis Critics (Nominations) (Official)
Sunday, Dec. 8 – Toronto Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 9 – Broadcast Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 9 – Philadelphia Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 9 – San Diego Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 9 – Seattle Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 9 – Southeastern Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 9 – Art Directors (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 9 – Golden Globes (Nominations) (Official)

Big Winners

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Nov. 22-24, 2019

We had three films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

In only her third film, director Marielle Heller has proven quite the prolific filmmaker with Oscar attention once again being focused on her.

With her first film in 2015, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Heller established herself as a critic’s darling with superlative reviews, but no Oscar attention whatsoever. That changed with her second film, 2018’s Can You Ever Forgive Me?. The film was equally well reviewed and ended up scoring three Oscar nominations for Melissa McCarthy in Best Actress, Richard E. Grant in Best Supporting Actor, and for Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty’s screenplay adaptation of Lee Israel’s autobiography of the same name. While it didn’t actually win any Oscars, it picked up 51 awards throughout Oscar season, which was a sizable uptick from the solid performance of Diary, which won 16 awards from various organizations.

Enter 2019 and her third film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood has earned slightly weaker reviews, but is no less impressive than her prior outings. This time, she’s in the conversation for numerous awards including Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Supporting Actor for Tom Hanks, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Film Editing. Hanks seems like a solid bet at this juncture and the screenplay has real potential, but Best Picture is a notoriously tough nut to crack, as is the male-dominated Best Directing category. While Heller isn’t likely to show up in the latter category where Greta Gerwig is likely to become the first woman ever to earn two nominations in the category, Best Picture is a better opportunity.

That said, when everything is said and done, I expect the film will probably only earn the one nomination in Supporting Actor, but stranger things have happened.

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Oscar Preview: Precursor Winners & Losers, Week 1

As the precursor awards continue unabated until Oscar night, I’m going to be providing a weekly update highlighting the films that have won and lost momentum through the precursor awards (and in some cases other outside influences).

With the Spirit Award nominations announced, Precursor Season for the 92nd Academy Awards is in full swing with a deluge of precursors in the coming weeks. With the truncated Oscar season, it will be fast and furious these few weeks, so let’s get prepared and start things off with a bang. This week, we’re looking at all of the precursors that have come before this week even though we’re calling it a single week.

But, before we get into this week’s winners and losers, let’s take a look at what’s coming up this week:

Week 2

Thursday, Nov. 28 – New York Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Thursday, Nov. 28 – Satellites (Nominations) (Official)
Friday, Nov. 29 – Detroit Critics (Nominations) (Unconfirmed)
Sunday, Dec. 1 – Australian Academy of Cinema and Televisions Arts (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 2 – Atlanta Critics (Awards) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 2 – Detroit Critics (Awards) (Unconfirmed)
Monday, Dec. 2 – Annie Awards (Nominations) (Official)
Monday, Dec. 2 – Gotham Awards (Awards) (Official)

Big Winners

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