88th Academy Awards: Best Picture Rankings   2 comments


This has been some sort of a tradition here at Tit for Tat, wherein I rank all the Oscar Best Picture nominees. This is the closest I can come to filling out a ballot, so imagine how yours would look like. It’s also rather unfortunate that the best American film of the year (among those that legitimately has a chance to get nominated) was criminally snubbed. In case you didn’t get the reference, that was for Todd Haynes’ Carol. The other snub this year is Pixar’s Inside Out, getting lost in the shuffle once guild and critics season began. That said, this season also has the widest Best Picture race since 2006, so that makes up for it at least.

Moving on, in 2012, it was Michael Haneke’s “Amour” which ended up as my #1. The following year, Spike Jonze’s “Her” was my top pick for 2013. Last year, Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” was my personal choice among the 2014 nominees. Which film will join the list? Here’s my take from The Big Short to Spotlight.

The Martian

08. THE MARTIAN (Ridley Scott, director)

Decent popcorn thriller, yup. But Oscar Best Picture caliber it ain’t. In what is deemed as the “comeback” of Ridley Scott to form, we find Matt Damon growing potatoes in space. Of course, it’s really much more than that, and one thing that made The Martian work was how it managed to make its case separate from the two other “space” films of this decade (Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar). In hindsight, this light approach also ended up as a double edge-sword as it was so pedestrian in its predictability. There isn’t really anything to hold your attention here because the movie didn’t have anything at risk. With all the talks about how this was Ridley’s comeback, I’d make a case on how it was more of Matt Damon’s comeback. He’s certainly the star of this show, and the film bogs down whenever he’s not on screen. It’s a performance that relies heavily on an actor’s charisma, and he sure brought a lot to Mars in it. Anything outside of him suffers (all the NASA scenes in particular) and whoever thought that Donald Glover’s character suddenly saving the whole NASA group would surely make Abed from Community shake his damn head off. Even the big ‘saving’ scene in the end pales in comparison from all the other space films. Let’s just be thankful Matt Damon didn’t have a backstory so at least in that aspect, they’re redeemed. The Martian is as direct as one can get that it’s hilarious when it tries to present ‘conflict.’ For that alone, I’m good with its Comedy placement at the Golden Globes.



07. BROOKLYN (John Crowley, director)

Home is where the heart is, but in Brooklyn‘s case, heart is where the home is. John Crowley’s Brooklyn goes straight to the point in its simple tale of a young immigrant coming to America in the 50s. There is so much heart in it that you can’t help but be swept away by the old-fashioned approach of the movie. But its simplicity is not without flaws. To an extent, it tends to go overboard with its saccharine sweetness. I also had issue with the film’s uneven pacing where there is a clear divide between acts with the last part losing the previous ones’ momentum. I’m also a tad bothered by the faux green screen in some scenes (especially the one in the liner. That said, Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan is a very gifted actress, and her performance is an integral part of why this film worked. Co-star Emory Cohen was such a delightful surprise though; at times, even providing the scene stealing performance in the movie.  With Brooklyn, simplicity is beauty and boy did it elevate that simplicity to certain heights.


The Revenant

06. THE REVENANT (Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu, director)

As for starters, let me say that I’m really not a fan of Iñarittu’s previous works in general, but I really have some conflicting thoughts about this. Suffice to say, Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography remains to be the highlight of it. It’s ironic that a film as “gritty” as this can look so glowing, thanks to Chivo. The Revenant started out really strong with its first 15 minutes or so, but as the movie progresses, so do the themes it tried to tackle. There’s revenge, there’s survival, there’s spirituality and it would have benefited by trimming at least one of those. Leonardo di Caprio’s physical commitment in the film is really admirable, but when you think of the works he has churned out in the last ten years alone (such as his underrated work in Shutter Island, or in Revolutionary Road and The Departed) or against his previous nominated performances in The Wolf of Wall Street and The Aviator, winning for this is a bit anti-climactic. But then again, it is probably for the better as we can finally put a rest to the internet’s claim on how he is the most overdue actor for an Oscar. Also, rearranging Tom Hardy’s name would lead you to DORTY HAM which is probably what he was serving in his performance. As much as the film has impressive moments here and there, my usual gripe with Alejandro’s works is present yet again, as he can’t seem to avoid the overindulgence in his movies.



05. ROOM (Lenny Abrahamson, director)

There are those films that bring such discomfort while watching them that you find it real hard to revisit, and to a certain extent, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room fits the bill. Based from Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same title, the film is about a young mother and her son trapped and living in a small.. well.. uhm… room. The movie wasted no time in making the audience feel what was going through with Ma and Jack (played to perfection by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay, but more of them later) that you’re already invested with the film and their situation. A film like this benefits from having these very detailed small scenes later building up to a huge bubble of emotions just waiting to explode, and as a viewer, there’s just no turning back anymore. At the risk of not being a spoiler, I’d leave the rest of what has happened in the movie, but let me say that this was gut wrenching throughout in a way that isn’t manipulative or forced (except for the musical score in some key scenes which were overdone). Brie Larson is expected to win the Best Actress Oscar at the end of this month, and deservedly so. Her performance is one you’d appreciate not right off the bat, but moreso for its lasting impact. And while I usually have reservations with performances from child actors, Jacob Tremblay is simply a revelation. What a find. Seeing his personality this whole awards season and that being so different than what was showcased in the movie can also be credited to the focused direction by Lenny Abrahamson.  Room is a film that resonates well even after the credits rolled already, and its effect lingers with you.


The BigShort

04. THE BIG SHORT (Adam McKay, director)

I’m probably one of the last persons to be personally affected by the American financial crisis back in 2008, but Adam McKay’s The Big Short was a joyride to watch from start to finish. Where the film’s main strength lies is its energy, outpouring with its quick cuts and use of loud soundtracks and memories of the 2008 fiasco that even if you’re not totally aware of the subject matter, it easily lures you in. What it makes up for its technicality with all its economic jargon thrown here and there are random celebrities ranging from Margot Robbie in a bathtub up to Selena Gomez breaking the fourth wall explaining to you what was really happening. From there, it’s a confident piece of work from someone who probably knew that a film whose theme is as heavy as this must be done in an opposite yet still skillful approach. That’s why when the film suddenly tries to go all in on the dramatic aftermath of the tragedy, the impact, while still there, stales a bit. Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street, a film many has compared to this one, has done a much better job in injecting the balance to its energy. The ensemble was good and serviceable, with no one having a huge standout moment (except for the horrible wigs). The one thing that The Big Short excellently accomplished is that it delivered this relevant, thought-provoking message from a tragic time in America by simply capturing your attention to look in it.


Bridge of Spies

03. BRIDGE OF SPIES (Steven Spielberg, director)

When you’re a director as accomplished as Steven Spielberg, sometimes you’d wonder if they still have anything left to prove. Then there will also be those instances when you know they just want to tell a story. That’s how I viewed his Cold War drama Bridge of Spies. This latest Tom Hanks starrer is something that we’ve seen already many times in the past, but Spielberg puts his touch in it and turns into a solid and engaging time at the movies. It’s traditional, but it’s definitely the approach that this film needs. If this was done in the 90s, it probably would have won Oscars for everybody. It was solid and safe throughout from your usual Spielberg staples: Kaminski’s cinematography, Hanks in the lead role. I even find delight in the screenplay written by the Coens, as the output of line readings were enjoyable. If anything, I somehow missed John Williams’ score here (Thomas Newman just doesn’t cut it for me).  Oh and if anything, Mark Rylance was such a hoot, giving the classic supporting actor performance in the movie. Like The Martian, this is a film where you already have an idea on how it will play out in the end, but unlike that one, Spielberg makes it compelling all throughout the duration of the movie. But, he really just can’t help it with the last scene though, no?



02. SPOTLIGHT (Tom McCarthy, director)

Call it whatever you like — straightforward, text book approach, procedural, by the numbers. But these aren’t really negatives when it comes to Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight. As a matter of fact, rare is such an instance when someone manages to make these words sound great in the context of a movie. Spotlight is compelling in its topic, its scope, screenplay and its direction but what made it more effective is the restraint it had to avoid obvious tropes just to make it preachy and over dramatic. I understand, however, that this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and what I might consider as good can be someone else’s serviceable. The movie also benefits from its ensemble of actors, from Michael Keaton’s low-key subtle leader to the team’s newest member Liev Schreiber. There’s also Oscar nominee Rachel McAdams (oh boy I love saying that!) contributing to the whole group. The only one who stands out differently for me was Mark Ruffalo, and while I feel that there are really people like his character, it’s a bit too outlandish for this usually dependable actor. Having the interest in journalism back from high school also appealed to me and probably is a factor with how I like Spotlight, but one can’t deny that it’s a assured, smart, and tight piece of powerful work.

Mad Max Fury Road

01. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (George Miller, director)

Only few films take you into one helluva ride, and George Miller’s comeback along with the Mad Max series just sweeps everyone off its feet, dusty sands and all. It’s really insane that a franchise as dated as this one can breathe life even topping its predecessors (though one really doesn’t need to watch all the previous films to identify with this one). As for starters, it’s a visual spectacle on all levels, with its attention to the details a highlight — making you feel as if you’re a part of the whole journey with them. THE.FUN.JUST.WON’T.STOP. But more than anything else, it presents a very important take on feminism (with Charlize Theron’s Imperator Furiosa on the forefront) in this time and age when Beyonce has probably overused the same word to death already. Mad MaxFury Road never gets contented with just fulfilling our visual hunger with its polished colors, guitar players, and endless car chase scenes one after the other; with it, it also thrives to weave moments of tender sincerity and proclaim bold statements both in the world where these characters existed and to the audience’s as well. Everything about this projects seems risky on paper, but it all paid off. Indeed, it’s one of the best moments in cinema this past year (and of the decade too).


So how does your ranking look like? How many have you seen from this year’s batch? Which are your favorites? And who would you be rooting for come Oscar night? Talk to me about it by tweeting me:@nikowl

22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

Three weeks after the Golden Globes, the second of the Big 4 guilds will be announcing their winners as the Screen Actors Guild Awards happen this weekend. It’s a fairly “bad” year per se in terms of SAG acting nominees’ correlation to eventual Oscar nominees as it’s tying record of 14/20. Whether it’s because of late releases, Netflix, or their love for Helen Mirren, it’s both good and bad that the SAGs are going their own path. That said, here are the predictions in 14 different categories this year.


film ensemble

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Beasts of No Nation
The Big Short
Straight Outta Compton

PREDICTION: The Big ShortEnsembles can go two way really: big cast or well-utilized cast. The Big Short is more of the former. The names attached to it are some of the biggest and most respected in Hollywood that casting your vote for the film means an appreciation to Brad Pitt, Mark Ruffalo, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell. That’s too huge a ‘squad’ for them to pass on.

ALTERNATE: SpotlightThen there’s the well-utilized cast of Spotlight. Previously, this category tends to reward stronger traditional ensembles such as this one. But then again, the SAG Ensemble award has also been indirectly referred to as the “Best Picture” category at the SAGs that sometimes the stronger picture automatically wins. This year, The Big Short fills that bill.

film actor

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
BRYAN CRANSTON / Dalton Trumbo – “TRUMBO” (Bleecker Street)
JOHNNY DEPP / James “Whitey” Bulger – “BLACK MASS” (Warner Bros. Pictures)
LEONARDO DiCAPRIO / Hugh Glass – “THE REVENANT” (20th Century Fox)
MICHAEL FASSBENDER / Steve Jobs – “STEVE JOBS” (Universal Pictures)
EDDIE REDMAYNE / Einar Wegener/Lili Elbe – “THE DANISH GIRL” (Focus Features)

PREDICTION: Leonardo di Caprio, The Revenant. It’s really di Caprio’s year; thus, there’s no one stopping him. Like you have no idea how it’s not even close. After all, he hasn’t won an individual SAG (or even an Ensemble SAG) for that matter.

ALTERNATE: Bryan Cranston, Trumbo. Cranston probably comes to a distant second only because of the TV factor. His Walter White is still one of the most iconic TV characters in recent years, but even that wouldn’t be enough to topple Hurricane Leo.

film actress

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
CATE BLANCHETT / Carol Aird – “CAROL” (The Weinstein Company)
HELEN MIRREN / Maria Altmann – “WOMAN IN GOLD” (The Weinstein Company)
SAOIRSE RONAN / Eilis – “BROOKLYN” (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
SARAH SILVERMAN / Laney Brooks – “I SMILE BACK” (Broad Green Pictures)

PREDICTION: Brie Larson, Room. Larson gets the advantage here considering that she has been the stronger frontrunner all along. Besides, Room, despite missing on an Ensemble nod, has two nominations as compared to her closest competitor which happens to be…

ALTERNATE: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn. Unless tides shift, then Ronan still probably has a chance. Surprisingly enough, this is her first SAG nomination (she was snubbed for Atonement) so both her and Larson are ingenues in the race.

film supp actor

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
CHRISTIAN BALE / Michael Burry – “THE BIG SHORT” (Paramount Pictures)
IDRIS ELBA / Commandant – “BEASTS OF NO NATION” (Netflix)
MARK RYLANCE / Abel Rudolph – “BRIDGE OF SPIES” (DreamWorks)
MICHAEL SHANNON / Rick Carver – “99 HOMES” (Broad Green Pictures)

PREDICTION: Christian Bale, The Big Short. Without Stallone in the equation, it’s really difficult to pinpoint which direction both the SAG and the BAFTA will go to. If the same person wins both, then we have a race. If it gets divided, then Stallone wins handily. That said, I’d give this win to Christian Bale, simply for being in the strongest film here. No one has won an acting SAG without getting nominated at the Oscars which eliminates three contenders here, and Disney hasn’t effectively been active in promoting Bridge of Spies. 

ALTERNATE: Jacob Tremblay, Room. But if there’s one performance that can overcome the Oscar snub and equate it to a win, it has got to be Jacob Tremblay. This nine-year old has continuously charmed and swept off events one after the other, that Sylvester Stallone better thank him in his speech if he wins on Oscar night.

film supp actress

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
ROONEY MARA / Therese Belivet – “CAROL” (The Weinstein Company)
RACHEL McADAMS / Sacha Pfeiffer – “SPOTLIGHT” (Open Road Films)
HELEN MIRREN / Hedda Hopper – “TRUMBO” (Bleecker Street)
ALICIA VIKANDER / Gerda Wegener – “THE DANISH GIRL” (Focus Features)
KATE WINSLET / Joanna Hoffman – “STEVE JOBS” (Universal Pictures)

PREDICTION: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl. This category loves its ingenues and giving them a welcome win can even be considered a tradition. With a busy year Alicia Vikander had, plus that long suffering wife role she had, this is, as Christoph Waltz would say it, an “uber bingo!

ALTERNATE: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs. I’m a bit iffy on the idea that Kate is winning three individual movie SAGs, let alone all for supporting roles. I still think that the love for Steve Jobs is more of an HFPA thing rather than an industry momentum.

film stunt

Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
“EVEREST” (Universal Pictures)
“FURIOUS 7” (Universal Pictures)
“JURASSIC WORLD” (Universal Pictures)
“MAD MAX: FURY ROAD” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

PREDICTION: Mad Max: Fury Road. Predicting this is likely picking up a paper in a box, but let’s give the advantage to the most buzzed contender which is Mad Max.

ALTERNATE: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Then again, this is Stunts we’re talking about, and that shot of Tom Cruise hanging off a plane was one of the most buzzed this year, so maybe it can go Mission: Impossible‘s way.


tv miniseries actor

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries
IDRIS ELBA / DCI John Luther – “LUTHER” (BBC America)
BEN KINGSLEY / Grand Vizier Ay – “TUT” (Spike)
RAY LIOTTA / Lorca/Tom Mitchell – “TEXAS RISING” (History)
MARK RYLANCE / Thomas Cromwell – “WOLF HALL” (Masterpiece/PBS)

PREDICTION: Idris Elba, Luther. This could really go to anyone in the group, I’m just giving Luther the advantage because they’ve finally recognized it after so many seasons, and it can be a consolation to those not voting for Elba in Film.

ALTERNATE: Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall. Indeed one of the more buzzed performances of the previous season was from this British thespian. Somehow, both the Emmys and Globes denied him of the win though. Maybe the actors will be more receptive to it.

tv miniseries actress

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries

PREDICTION: Queen Latifah, Bessie. Latifah is a previous winner in this same category, so there’s an advantage. Plus it’s the only “prestige” vehicle in this weak lineup.

ALTERNATE: Nicole Kidman, Grace of Monaco. Welp they’ve boldly had the guts to nominate this, so might as well take it all the way to a win. It’s about an actor and Nicole Kidman hasn’t received and SAG yet.

tv drama actor

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series
JON HAMM / Don Draper – “MAD MEN” (AMC)
RAMI MALEK / Elliot – “MR. ROBOT” (USA Network)
KEVIN SPACEY / Francis Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

PREDICTION: Jon Hamm, Mad Men. It’s surprising to think that Jon Hamm has never won an individual SAG Award yet, but as strange as that sounds, he really hasn’t yet. And since the SAGs are sentimental to farewell shows, this could be another on the list.

ALTERNATE: Rami Malek, Mr. Robot. But then, they can also go on their own way and reward the most buzzed TV breakthrough performance of the season. The show is so not SAG’s alley, so the mere fact they’ve nominated it is an indication of strong support.

tv drama actress

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
CLAIRE DANES / Carrie Mathison – “HOMELAND” (Showtime)
MAGGIE SMITH / Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham – “DOWNTON ABBEY” (Masterpiece/PBS)
ROBIN WRIGHT / Claire Underwood – “HOUSE OF CARDS” (Netflix)

PREDICTION: Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder. Where’s Taraji P. Henson by the way? Anyway, this is the same lineup from the previous year, only without Tatiana Maslany which means she was the one in sixth last year who tied to a nomination. Three of these shows have a “been there, done that” feel, so let’s just stick with actors favorite Viola Davis.

ALTERNATE: Maggie Smith, Downton Abbey. Or they might as well give it to the Dame instead despite her continuous snubbing of all her American awards show nominated recognition.

tv drama ensemble

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Downton Abbey
Game of Thrones
House of Cards
Mad Men

PREDICTION: Mad MenOne last hurrah for the ensemble they’ve rewarded twice in the past.

ALTERNATE: Game of Thrones. Or they might as well give in to the deafening buzz of this thrice nominated, but never rewarded ensemble yet.

tv comedy actor

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series
LOUIS C.K. / Louie – “LOUIE” (FX Networks)
WILLIAM H. MACY / Frank – “SHAMELESS” (Showtime)
JEFFREY TAMBOR / Maura Pfefferman – “TRANSPARENT” (Amazon)

PREDICTION: Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent. I actually expected that they’d already nominate him last year, but it seemed like they waited for the whole season to finish first. Now he’s off to dominate this one to join his Globe and Emmy wins.

ALTERNATE: William H. Macy, Shameless. Mr. Macy is an actor’s actor and his not so surprising upset last year is a proof of that.

tv comedy actress

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series
UZO ADUBA / Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren – “ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK” (Netflix)
EDIE FALCO / Jackie Peyton – “NURSE JACKIE” (Showtime)
JULIA LOUIS-DREYFUS / President Selina Meyer – “VEEP” (HBO)

PREDICTION: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep. After losing last year, the win is probably back in White House with JLD winning a second one for this role.

ALTERNATE: Uzo Aduba, Orange is the New Black. But this category also loves its supporting players, so they can just give Uzo Aduba a consecutive win here.

tv comedy ensemble

Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series
The Big Bang Theory
Key & Peele
Modern Family
Orange is the New Black

PREDICTION: Veep. This one can really go to any of the ensembles except The Big Bang Theory and Key & Peele. But with their Emmy win and increasing guild support, then I’d give the slight edge.

ALTERNATE: Orange is the New Black. At this point, Orange is the New Black felt like a passe already, but never underestimate this current champ composed of 40 member-ensemble to pull off a repeat win.

You can talk to me about this on Twitter: @nikowl

88th Academy Awards Nominations Predictions   1 comment


After almost a year of doing monthly predictions, it has now come to this. The one moment in the year where all discussions and predictions will really be put into test. Tomorrow, the Academy announces the nominations for the best in 2015 film. To say that this year is probably the craziest one in years is really an understatement. Too many films which looked locks ended up as flops and vice versa. Then there’s that crazy Supporting Actor category with more than ten men in contention. Plus, the category confusion with many of the contenders this year. So before AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, John Krasinski, Ang Lee, and Guillermo del Toro announce the nominations, I’ll provide my insights as to who can get nominated in all 22 categories.

• The Big Short
• Bridge of Spies
• Brooklyn
• Carol
• Mad Max: Fury Road
• The Martian
• The Revenant
• Room
• Spotlight

10th (but not predicted): Straight Outta Compton

So Best Picture is a clusterfuck this year among many other things. But the way I see it, the category is divided into the upper tier, the middle tier, and the lower tier. In the upper tier, you have your frontrunners and those that benefited from the critics, guilds, and televised precursors season. You have Globe winners The Revenant and The Martian, as well as critics strong performer Spotlight and The Big Short which performed well at the guilds. I think those four are sure things here already.

The middle tier are for those who performed well at some parts, but we have some reservations with the inclusion. Carol was hit or miss with the guild getting in at WGA and at the Globes and BAFTA, but was skipped over at the DGA and PGA. Then there’s Mad Max: Fury Road whose resurgence by the critics really helped its chances. But then when everything started to make sense, the BAFTA snubs for Picture and Director happened. On the other side, there’s Bridge of Spies by Steven Spielberg who was hit or is with the guilds getting surprise inclusion but missing some key ones too. That said, it leading the BAFTA nods helped its chances. I think all three will still make it here though.

Now this is where it gets tricky. I have both Brooklyn and Room next in line even if both have caveats. Brooklyn didn’t manage to breakout well enough aside from the Saoirse Ronan mentions. Even at BAFTA, which should have been its major strength, the film didn’t overperform there. Room on the other hand was also expected to both be a critical and televised breakout, yet it didn’t happen too outside at the Globes. If anything though, being attached to the potential Best Actress winner can help its chances here. I think that if only one of these two make it here, that can be telling with our Best Actress race as well. But then I won’t be surprised if both makes it, or if both gets snubbed here.

Since we have ten spots as a maximum number of nominees here, that last spot can go to the surprise strong guild performers such as Sicario and Straight Outta Compton so don’t be surprised if either gets mentioned come Oscar nomination morning. I’d stick with my current nine as the predicted lineup though.

• Todd Haynes, Carol
• Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant 
• Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
• Adam McKay, The Big Short
• George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road

SPOILER: Ridley Scott, The Martian

The director lineup can be patterned with the “Upper 7” films I mentioned earlier. There’s a huge chance that we’ll end up with the same DGA five lineup for this year, but I’d like to make it seem more adventurous than that. Truth is, aside from current winner Alejandro Iñárritu, I can see a scenario where the each of the six remaining directors miss. Despite some minor trips throughout the season, I still think that Tom McCarthy is safely in here, as well as Adam McKay. Both have the same narrative in the sense that they’re finally being taken seriously in these passion projects. Todd Haynes is both a prediction and a wish here. Despite the DGA snub, part of me thinks that a director like him benefits the most from the Oscar voting being exclusive to only the directors branch. There’s always a spot reserved for a respected auteur, and he might be it. But more than that, I’m clinging to the fact that Carol is Harvey Weinstein’s main horse this year, and if he can get that unknown Morten Tyldum over Clint Eastwood happen last year, then he better work thrice his ass off for Todd Haynes to happen. I’m not counting on Spielberg to get in this year only because he missed DGA and the DGAs love him more than the Academy. The last spot is a bit tricky between two of respected veterans who are directing big, flashy efforts. In a race of Ridley Scott vs. George Miller, I see passion siding Miller’s way with Scott following the path of Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips after garnering precursor nominations for it.

• Steve Carell, The Big Short
• Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
• Matt Damon, The Martian
• Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
• Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs

SPOILER: Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl

The BAFTA five also seems like its set in stone that it’s boring me too much, and I decided to tinker around with it even if this means that it’ll backfire on me come actual announcement. Considering that it’s finally Leonardo di Caprio’s year (RIP memes, you’ll forever be missed!), it’s basically just a matter of who’s joining him. Two sure names you’d hear are Michael Fassbender for Steve Jobs and Bryan Cranston for Trumbo. Fassy, despite the massive failing of Steve Jobs in the box office department managed to hang on for its dear life that this nomination is likely now. Same goes for Cranston who even got in at BAFTA even if odds aren’t on his side. Matt Damon will likely get in because he’s an American hero and he’s starring on a strong Best Picture contender, and knowing the strong connection between the two categories, this helps him. He’s likely battling the same spot with Steve Carell who’s also on a Top 3 Best Picture contender and if last year taught us anything, it’s that we should never underestimate him. Sure, it’s lacking that he’s missing out on nominations even if the movie keeps on harboring nods, but then this is the Academy we’re talking about here. So as I go back and forth between Damon, and Carell, I’d likely end up predicting both and go with a shocking Eddie Redmayne snub. Between him being the current winner, it’s not as if he needed a back to back validation nod anymore, and The Danish Girl is the weakest film in this lineup.

• Cate Blanchett, Carol
• Brie Larson, Room
• Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
• Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
• Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn

SPOILER: Helen Mirren, Woman in Gold

You have the big three here with Brie Larson, Cate Blanchett, and Saoirse Ronan being mainstay among precursors all season. Cate can enjoy nod #7 this year, as I see no path on her winning this year. In a battle of Brie vs. Saoirse though, I have to say that while Saoirse drew the first blood winning NY, it’s Brie who’s having the narrative of the Best Actress performance of the year. Since we’re talking about nominations here, I’d leave the win talk somewhere else.

As for the last two slots, I initially though that either Rooney Mara of Carol or Alicia Vikander of The Danish Girl can be promoted here due to the loud noise of their “category fraud”, but I don’t feel like either of them can muster enough support to actually end up here, especially since televised precursors have been scattered with their placements. That leaves me with Jennifer Lawrence earning nod #4 for Joy. She won the Golden Globe earlier this week and while one could credit it to the fact that she’s the only Oscar contender here, Joy as a film is still gaining decent support with the guilds, so the film is being seen. Plus, of course there’s the fact that she’s the world’s biggest star right now will help her as well.

In a much competitive year, Charlotte Rampling, despite NSFC and LA wins, would be snubbed this year considering she only collected a BFCA nod among the televised precursors. That said, in a year as open as this one with no strong possible alternate, then she can thank the lucky stars as that means she can still earn an Oscar nomination for it. I’m certain that had Jennifer Aniston’s “Cake happened this year, she would have been competitive for that nomination even more than last year. If there’s any veteran though who can surprisingly make it here, count on Helen Mirren in “Woman in Gold as this could be the category where they can reward her, plus she’s a winner and multiple nominee, and this is about Nazis and is produced by Weinstein. That SAG inclusion was telling.

• Christian Bale, The Big Short
• Tom Hardy, The Revenant
• Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
• Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
• Jacob Tremblay, Room

SPOILER: Sylvester Stallone, Creed

I’d say the person who’d get this category correct might as well be called a genius because this is the category that’s probably the most headache inducing of them all. Well everyone not named Mark Rylance has a reason to be nervous at 5:30 AM because as far as I know, he’s the only one spared from the mess here (now watch him be snubbed!). Aside from him, I’d say Christian Bale can get his third career nod this decade as the acting representative of the Big Short especially if Carellreally will fall short in the end  .

Just a month ago, it seems like history will be made as Spotlight is likely the first movie since Bugsy in 1991 to garner two supporting actor nominations. That is until the televised precursor happens. Now both Mark Ruffalo and Michael Keaton are hanging on for their dear lives. That said, I’ll be predicting Ruffalo here as he’s gaining last minute momentum between his BFCA and BAFTA nominations plus being in a strong Best Picture upper tier movie.

Then there’s Jacob Tremblay of Room who only got a SAG nod on top of his BFCA Child Actor nomination. One can take his SAG nod with a grain of salt considering the SAG loves child performances that didn’t take off at Oscars such as Freddie Highmore in Finding Neverland to Dakota Fanning in I Am Sam. That said, I’m sticking with Tremblay just because he can be a strong coattail to the Best Actress frontrunner.

Speaking of coattails, I’ll go and predict Tom Hardy of The Revenant for the last slot. He’s starring with the likely Best Actor winner and he’s having a great year starring in the likely two most nominated Best Picture nominees. As for Sylvester Stallone and Creed, sure the Globes reception with his win is convincing that there’s passion for him, but he has nothing except Globe and BAFTA on his side.

• Rooney Mara, Carol
• Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
• Helen Mirren, Trumbo
• Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
• Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs

SPOILER: Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight

The continuous category confusion here for both Alicia Vikander and Rooney Mara just ended up costing them both momentum for the win and thus, giving us that random Kate Winslet Golden Globe nod just two days ago. That said, count on the three to get in here. And while Vikander is competing against herself here between her two performances, chances are she’d end up getting nominated for her baitier performance in The Danish Girl.

Rachel McAdams is a hit or miss here. On one hand, she can be the ensemble representative just like Christian Bale was for The Big Short especially since Supporting Actor is a clusterfuck. But then she only got BFCA + SAG nods for it. That said, I’m keeping her in especially since that combination has done wonders for performances that came from Best Picture contenders. So unless it’s a lone acting showcase movie, then this can be a really strong combination.

Jennifer Jason Leigh makes sense as the fifth slot here, but what gives me pause is upon thinking that only Robert Forster got nominated for a Tarantino directed movie that isn’t a Best Picture nominee. Add the fact that Leigh doesn’t really have much to do until the second to third hour, and we don’t know how they’ll respond to this. Personally speaking, I’d rather keep my expectations low about her so if she ends up in the end, I’d be happy. But maybe this Oscar career nod will fail short after all. This veteran slot can easily be given to Dame Helen Mirren who’s campaigning a lot and except for that BAFTA snub, she’s starring with likely nominee Bryan Cranston which helps her a lot.

• Bridge of Spies
• Ex Machina
• The Hateful Eight
• Inside Out
• Spotlight

SPOILER: Straight Outta Compton

I don’t know what to do with that fifth slot, but I guess I’ll just go with the flow and consider that Ex Machina PGA nod as a sign of strength. Don’t underestimate Straight Outta Compton and Sicario though given their great guild runs.

• Anomalisa
• The Big Short
• Carol
• Room
• Steve Jobs

SPOILER: The Martian

I’m probably the lone person predicting Anomalisa at this point but I guess I’m relying on the writers branch being that quirky group who still gives us surprises every now and then. After all, this is Charlie Kaufman we’re talking about here. Only The Big Short seems like a sure thing here and the rest can easily be disposed one way or another (Steve Jobs can be a Sorkin fatigue, Room might not translate outside acting, Carol was snubbed at the Globes, The Martian is more of a visual rather than a storytelling vehicle). Predicting Brooklyn gives me pause considering that Hornby was just snubbed last year for Inherent Vice of all movies to replace it, so maybe he’s just not an Academy fan in the end.

• Labyrinth of Lies (Germany)
• Mustang (France)
• Son of Saul  (Hungary)
• Theeb (Jordan)
• A War (Denmark)

SPOILER: The Brand New Testament (Belgium)

I’m just going here with the fact that this group is a mixture of the usual themes that this category lovers to award — strong studio backed films (Son of Saul, Labyrinth of Lies), films about children (Mustang, Theeb) and about war (A War). A lot seemed to be predicting The Brand New Testament though which gives me a bit of a pause since they love including comedies in the final nine but only for them to miss the actual lineup (Superclasico, Force Majeure).

• Anomalisa
• The Good Dinosaur
• Inside Out
• The Peanuts Movie
• Shaun the Sheep

SPOILER: When Marnie Was There

Sticking with the Globe five since it’s a good mixture of critically acclaimed films and box office performers. But sometimes they’d throw in an obscure foreign animated film here which benefits When Marnie Was There in the lineup.

• Amy
• Cartel Land
• He Named Me Malala
• Listen to Me Marlon
• The Look of Silence

SPOILER: The Hunting Ground

It’s a bit weird that this year, a lot has been person documentaries which gives me a pause if all three among Amy, He Named Me Malala, and Listen to Me Marlon will all make it. On the other, these are three different figures so there’s that. The Look of Silence is from Joshua Oppenheimer and they embraced him with The Act of Killing two years ago. Cartel Land is that “important” documentary in the lineup, though it is battling the same spot with the likes of The Hunting Ground, and Winter on Fire.

Now as for the rest of the technical categories…

• Carol
• The Hateful Eight
• Mad Max: Fury Road
• The Revenant
• Sicario

SPOILER: Bridge of Spies

• Carol
• Cinderella
• Crimson Peak

• The Danish Girl
• Mad Max: Fury Road

SPOILER: Macbeth

• The Big Short
• Mad Max: Fury Road
• The Martian
• The Revenant
• Spotlight

SPOILER: Bridge of Spies

• The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
• Mad Max: Fury Road
• The Revenant

SPOILER: Mr. Holmes

• Bridge of Spies
• The Hateful Eight
• Sicario
• Spotlight
• Star Wars: The Force Awakens


• “Feels Like Summer” (Shaun the Sheep Movie)
• “I Run” (Chi-Raq)
• “The Light that Never Fails” (Meru)
• “See You Again” (Furious 7)
• “Simple Song #3” (Youth)

SPOILER: “Love Me Like You Do” (50 Shades of Gray)

• Bridge of Spies
• Crimson Peak
• Mad Max: Fury Road
• The Martian
• Star Wars: The Force Awakens

SPOILER: The Revenant 

• Mad Max: Fury Road
• The Martian
• The Revenant
• Star Wars: The Force Awakens

SPOILER: Inside Out

• Bridge of Spies
• Mad Max: Fury Road
• The Martian
• The Revenant
• Star Wars: The Force Awakens

SPOILER: Sicario

• Ant Man
• Mad Max: Fury Road
• The Martian
• The Revenant

• Star Wars: The Force Awakens

SPOILER: Jurassic World 

10 –
Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant
7 –
Carol, The Martian, Spotlight
6 –
The Big Short, Bridge of Spies
5 –
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4 –
3 –
Brooklyn, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, Steve Jobs
2 –
Anomalisa, The Danish Girl, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep, Trumbo

Talk about this with me on Twitter: @nikowl

73rd Golden Globe Awards Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

The Golden Globes weekend has officially started! In two days, the first televised awards ceremony of the season begins with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) announces their winners of the 73rd Golden Globe Awards in a night filled with chocolates, booze, and stars. This year, Denzel Washington is the recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille distinction, as Ricky Gervais comes back as the host after three years. With Tom Hanks to Mel Gibson, and Channing Tatum to Eva Longoria expected to attend, let’s predict who will end up heading to the Globes stage to give their awards speeches on Sunday (Monday here in the Philippines) in all 25 categories.


film drama picture

Best Motion Picture – Drama
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
“The Revenant”

PREDICTION: Spolight. Despite showing some weakness, this still remains as the strongest contenders among the dramatic nominees here. It will still win this category pretty easily, and there’s a chance it can only end up winning this one ala 12 Years a Slave two years ago.

ALTERNATE: Mad Max: Fury Road. This can basically be any of the films here. Carol, albeit leading the nominations is a weak contender here and can even be emptyhanded. It can also be The Revenant after snubbing eventual Oscar winner Alejandro Inarritu last year. But Mad Max is that populist and critical choice that the Golden Globes are known for.

film drama actor

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Bryan Cranston (“Trumbo”)
Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”)
Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”)
Eddie Redmayne (“The Danish Girl”)
Will Smith (“Concussion”)

PREDICTION: Leonardo DiCaprio (“The Revenant”). Unlike the Oscars, the Globes haven’t been cruel to Leo winning twice in the past already. That said, being the Oscar frontrunner helps him win his third Globe come Sunday.

ALTERNATE: Michael Fassbender (“Steve Jobs”). Fassbender is a Golden Globe winner waiting to happen, and he’s now on his third nomination in five years. In a Leo-less field, he’s probably sweeping now.

film drama actress

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Cate Blanchett (“Carol”)
Brie Larson (“Room”)
Rooney Mara (“Carol”)
Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”)
Alicia Vikander (“The Danish Girl”)

PREDICTION: Brie Larson (“Room”). Room overperformed with nominations at the Globes this year, which makes me think that Larson got this one.

ALTERNATE: Saoirse Ronan (“Brooklyn”). Watch out for Saoirse Ronan though who’s every inch in this race and can still steal the momentum from Larson.

film comedy

Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
“The Big Short”
“The Martian”

PREDICTION: “The Big Short”. With The Big Short only getting stronger as each day passes, it can start its Best Picture road by winning this category on Sunday.

ALTERNATE: “The Martian”. The Globes has been into some hot water after placing this film in the Comedy genre, so I think it will somehow affect its chances here if it ends up winning. As a reminder, the film’s comedy placement won only by a single vote so there’s that.

film comedy actor

Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
Christian Bale (“The Big Short”)
Steve Carell (“The Big Short”)
Matt Damon (“The Martian”)
Al Pacino (“Danny Collins”)
Mark Ruffalo (“Infinitely Polar Bear”)

PREDICTION: Matt Damon (“The Martian”). Considering that Matt Damon hasn’t won a Golden Globe yet for acting, this makes sense as a place to reward The Martian especially if it ain’t winning Best Picture.

ALTERNATE: Steve Carell (“The Big Short”). While there’s still a path for Carell to win, the fact that they placed Christian Bale here will siphon some votes among The Big Short fans here.

film comedy actress

Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Comedy
Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Spy”)
Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”)
Maggie Smith (“The Lady in the Van”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grandma”)

PREDICTION: Jennifer Lawrence (“Joy”). This category feels like the dire one last year, and Lawrence is still likely the only Oscar contender here (yup, we’re still not counting on the Dame), so maybe an easy #3 for Lawgend.

ALTERNATE: Amy Schumer (“Trainwreck”). Hollywood’s it girl for 2015 is off to have an even greater 2016, and the Globes love that kind of coronation so this win is really possible.

film supp actor

Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Paul Dano (“Love & Mercy”)
Idris Elba (“Beasts of No Nation”)
Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”)
Michael Shannon (“99 Homes”)
Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”)

PREDICTION: Mark Rylance (“Bridge of Spies”). Rylance is an unlikely Golden Globe winner, but at this stage he’s really the strongest contender so I say why not?

ALTERNATE: Sylvester Stallone (“Creed”). This type of rewarding a veteran and even a huge moviestar is such a Globes-y thing to do, so count on the HFPA starfuckers to throw him a moment.

film supp actress

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture
Jane Fonda (“Youth”)
Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”)
Helen Mirren (“Trumbo”)
Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”)
Kate Winslet (“Steve Jobs”)

PREDICTION: Alicia Vikander (“Ex Machina”). They love Alicia Vikander so much that they nominated her twice, and considering she has no chance in Drama Lead Actress, they’ll reward her here instead.

ALTERNATE: Jennifer Jason Leigh (“The Hateful Eight”). The Globes are more appreciative of Tarantino performances, and this can signal that she’s still in the race like the trajectory of Christoph Waltz in 2012.

film directing

Best Director – Motion Picture
Todd Haynes (“Carol”)
Alejandro G. Iñárritu (“The Revenant”)
Tom McCarthy (“Spotlight”)
George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”)
Ridley Scott (“The Martian”)

PREDICTION: George Miller (“Mad Max: Fury Road”). Surprisingly enough, this is Miller’s first ever Globe nomination so this can be his lifetime award already from the HFPA.

ALTERNATE: Ridley Scott (“The Martian”). Then there’s three-time nominee Ridley Scott who also hasn’t won here yet, and while he has already directed a Globe BP winning movie, Miller has the stronger “technical directorial achievement” narrative.

film screenplay

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Emma Donoghue (“Room”)
Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (“Spotlight”)
Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (“The Big Short”)
Aaron Sorkin (“Steve Jobs”)
Quentin Tarantino (“The Hateful Eight”)

PREDICTION: Charles Randolph, Adam McKay (“The Big Short”). Never underestimate this contender. Like what I’ve said, it’s just on an upward trajectory for now. Considering the last three wins here are upsets, I’ll give this duo the edge.

ALTERNATE: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer (“Spotlight”). It’s a battle between the two Best Picture contenders, but Spotlight has the edge in terms of winning more awards in Screenplay thus far.

film animated

Best Animated Feature Film
“The Good Dinosaur”
“Inside Out”
“The Peanuts Movie”
“Shaun the Sheep Movie”

PREDICTION: “Inside Out”. This remains the critical pick of the year, and with huge box office performance to boot. So I’d say it’s still ahead.

ALTERNATE: “Anomalisa”. This isn’t a Globes type of pick, but it has the critics behind it, and the HFPA are more welcoming to stop motion type of animation.

film foreign language film

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“The Brand New Testament”
“The Club”
“The Fencer”
“Son of Saul”

PREDICTION: “Son of Saul”. This is still the frontrunner and no film has yet appeared to challenge it for the win. It has the prestige and the studio to nab this win.

ALTERNATE: “Mustang”. Probably Mustang comes the closest to an alternate, but I still see it falling short.

film score

Best Original Score
Carter Burwell (“Carol”)
Alexandre Desplat (“The Danish Girl”)
Ennio Morricone (“The Hateful Eight”)
Daniel Pemberton (“Steve Jobs”)
Ryuichi Sakamoto Alva Noto (“The Revenant”)

PREDICTION: Ennio Morricone (“The Hateful Eight”). They won’t let a year pass by without giving Harvey a win so it’s between his two films here. I’d give the edge to Ennio as he’s a veteran in this category.

ALTERNATE: Carter Burwell (“Carol”). This can be the place to reward Carol. After all, it’s rare for the top nomination earner movie to not take home at least one prize.

film song

Best Original Song
“Love Me Like You Do” from “Fifty Shades of Grey”
“One Kind of Love” from “Love & Mercy”
“See You Again” from “Furious 7”
“Simple Song No. 3” from “Youth”
“Writing’s on the Wall” from “Spectre”

PREDICTION: “One Kind of Love” from “Love & Mercy”. While this has been ineligible at the Oscars, it actually makes more sense considering that most winners here tend to get snubbed there.

ALTERNATE: “See You Again” from “Furious 7”. The pop songs are probably canceling each other out, but if there’s one who can overcome this, it’s a song about a Hollywood actor who passed away.


tv drama

Best TV Series – Drama

“Game of Thrones”
“Mr. Robot”

PREDICTION: “Mr. Robot”. With the HFPA’s love for cable shows, it’s not surprising if they went with this critically loved breakout show from USA.

ALTERNATE: “Empire”. One has to go back nine years ago in 2006 when the top TV drama series went to a network show and that was for ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. The closest comparison to how huge that show was in recent years was the Empire mania that has happened last year .

tv drama actor

Best Actor in a TV Series – Drama
Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”)
Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”)
Wagner Moura (“Narcos”)
Bob Odenkirk (“Better Call Saul”)
Liev Schreiber (“Ray Donovan”)

PREDICTION: Rami Malek (“Mr. Robot”). Nine of the last 15 years here all came from freshman shows. But considering that the Globes tend to do a package deal of awarding a show + its lead actor (Homeland and Danes, Transparent and Tambor, Brooklyn Nine Nine and Samberg, Girls and Dunham and so on and so forth), Malek makes sense as the winner here.

ALTERNATE: Wagner Moura (“Narcos”). Following that pattern above, maybe its Narcos + Moura who might end up as the winners here.

tv drama actress

Best Actress in a TV Series – Drama
Caitriona Balfe (“Outlander”)
Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”)
Eva Green (“Penny Dreadful”)
Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”)
Robin Wright (“House of Cards”)

PREDICTION: Taraji P. Henson (“Empire”). Just like at the Emmys, I predict that this will be a Taraji vs. Viola battle. I give the edge to Taraji P. Henson though since Cookie is the type of role that Globes are made to award.

ALTERNATE: Viola Davis (“How to Get Away With Murder”). It can easily be Viola too considering she made history with her Emmy win, but for some reason the HFPA are reluctant to reward her. She lost to Meryl in 2011 despite being the frontrunner, and when she was a shoo-in here last year, she lost to Ruth Wilson of all people. Maybe the HFPA aren’t just fans of her.

tv comedy series

Best TV Series – Comedy
“Mozart in the Jungle”
“Orange Is the New Black”
“Silicon Valley”

PREDICTION: “Transparent”. The last three shows who have won multiple awards here were GleeDesperate Housewives, and Sex and the City so they’re more into dramedies here, which helps current champ Transparent to go 2/2.

ALTERNATE: “Veep”. It’s surprising to think that this is the first Series nomination of Veep, but maybe its Emmy win can help it win its Globe trophy as well.

tv comedy actor

Best Actor in a TV Series – Comedy
Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”)
Gael Garcia Bernal (“Mozart in the Jungle”)
Rob Lowe (“The Grinder”)
Patrick Stewart (“Blunt Talk”)
Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”)

PREDICTION: Aziz Ansari (“Master of None”). We’re sure with besties J.Law and Schumer in the crowd, the HFPA would use the said platform to give Aziz a memorable moent when he gives his speech.

ALTERNATE: Jeffrey Tambor (“Transparent”). That said, it can also be an easy back to back win for Jeffrey Tambor who can just dominate the awards shows with his brave performance for this show.

tv comedy actress

Best Actress in a TV Series – Comedy
Rachel Bloom (“Crazy Ex Girlfriend”)
Jamie Lee Curtis (“Scream Queens”)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”)
Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”)
Lily Tomlin (“Grace & Frankie”)

PREDICTION: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Veep”). I guess we can consider that the HFPA aren’t just into Veep at all.Not even her one-two punch of film and TV work two years ago ended up with a Globe win despite getting four consecutive Emmy wins already. But this race is a weak one, and with the show getting nominated as well, maybe she can finally inch a win.

ALTERNATE: Lily Tomlin (“Grace & Frankie”). Jamie Lee Curtis makes sense as an alternate, but Scream Queens is too flop of a show that even HFPA won’t bite. So I guess they’d probably give it to Lily Tomlin who’s a double nominee that night!

tv longform

Best TV Movie or Limited-Series
“American Crime”
“American Horror Story: Hotel”
“Flesh and Bone”
“Wolf Hall”

PREDICTION: “Fargo”. After their surprise victory last year, then a 2/2 is indeed possible knowing that it received the same, if not more, love this year.

ALTERNATE: “Wolf Hall”. But then sometimes, they just want to embrace their British love and award this equally acclaimed series which got the same nominations as Fargo.

tv longform actor

Best Actor in a Limited-Series or TV Movie
Idris Elba (“Luther”)
Oscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”)
David Oyelowo (“Nightingale”)
Mark Rylance (“Wolf Hall”)
Patrick Wilson (“Fargo”)

PREDICTION: Oscar Isaac (“Show Me a Hero”). This is the closest that the Globes can ride on the Star Wars wave, and Isaac is a breakthrough star waiting to happen so maybe he wins here?

ALTERNATE: Patrick Wilson (“Fargo”). We know the HFPA loves Idris but he has been rewarded for this role already. Maybe Mark Rylance but I have him pegged in Film Supporting Actor already. So that leaves me with Wilson here as the alternate.

tv longform actress

Best Actress in a Limited-Series or TV Movie
Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”)
Lady Gaga (“American Horror Story: Hotel”)
Sarah Hay (“Flesh & Bone”)
Felicity Huffman (“American Crime”)
Queen Latifah (“Bessie”)

PREDICTION: Kirsten Dunst (“Fargo”). I predict that Fargo is winning an acting one alongside its Series win, and rewarding Kirsten Dunst makes more sense than Wilson in that more competitive race.

ALTERNATE: Queen Latifah (“Bessie”). Everyone’s predicting Lady Gaga just for the sheer “Globesness” of it, but I think the HFPA is serious about being taken seriously again, so I don’t think they’d go that road. Queen Latifah makes more sense as an alternate.

tv supp actor

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Limited-Series or TV Movie
Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”)
Damian Lewis (“Wolf Hall”)
Ben Mendelsohn (“Bloodline”)
Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”)
Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”)

PREDICTION: Tobias Menzies (“Outlander”). The surge of love for Outlander would not go home unrewarded, as I think Menzies’ very challenging dual role would end up with a Globe win for him.

ALTERNATE: Christian Slater (“Mr. Robot”). Slater makes sense as the runner-up here, as I don’t think Mr. Robot is going 3/3.

tv supp actress

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited-Series, or TV Movie
Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”)
Joanne Froggatt (“Downton Abbey”)
Regina King (“American Crime”)
Judith Light (“Transparent”)
Maura Tierney (“The Affair”)

PREDICTION:Regina King (“American Crime”). After that surprising Emmy win back in September, I can see the Globes following suit with a win here.

ALTERNATE: Uzo Aduba (“Orange is the New Black”). Aduba’s upset loss last year reminded me of when Jane Lynch lost the first time in 2010 only to win the succeeding year. Aduba can still follow suit to this.

So what are you predicting this year to win at the Globes? Happy Golden Globes weekend!

Talk to me about it by tweeting me: @nikowl

Entertainers of the Year 2015   Leave a comment

Better late than never, but here are the stars who shined the most last 2015.

EOTY 2015

I’ve started doing this in 2011 in the vein of Entertainment Weekly’s “Entertainer of the Year” tag to those career-defining years of some pop culture/entertainment personalities. In previous years, the title has been given to Anne Curtis (2011), Nora Aunor (2012), Joel Torre (2013), and Antoinette Jadaone (2014). This year, these 13 (well technically, 18) personalities made the cut.

Six years since his breakthrough with “Engkwentro”, Diokno had a great 2015 finally releasing his much-awaited follow up “Above the Clouds” which has been a steady presence in local and international fests. He quickly released another film, the Q Cinema entry “Kapatiran”, and has invaded the boob tube with the first Cinema One series “Single/Single” starring Matteo Guidicelli and Shaina Magdayaowhich was met with great reviews.

While luck wasn’t on their side when they joined the third season of Pilipinas Got Talent back in 2011, little did this shadow play group know that they’re bound for bigger things as they brought pride to the county after winning Asia’s Got Talent in 2015 beating representatives from other countries such as Mongolia, China, Thailand, and Japan.

Born with a showbiz connection can be a double-edged sword, but not for Janine Gutierrez whose 2015 can be summed up by being one of the new magazine muses as proven by the multiple covers she had this year. Plus, it’s also the year of her film breakthrough starring alongside her mother in the MMFF entry “Buy Now, Die Later.”

Spoken word poetry has never been as prominent into the mainstream pop culture since Juan Miguel Severo’s viral video of “Ang Huling Tulang Isusulat Ko Para Sa’yo” appeared on our Facebook timelines last year. This has led to multiple TV appearances and interviews and recurring roles on primetime soap “On the Wings of Love” and an MMFF movie via “Walang Forever.”

Once seen as wallflower with a pretty face, 2015 was probably the career best year for Coleen Garcia, as she breaks out of her own shell appearing on multiple magazines this year, her first primetime lead role as part of the “Pasion de Amor” ensemble, and her first movie lead role “Ex with Benefits” that has made more than a hundred million in the box office.

Jennylyn ended 2014 on a good note winning her first MMFF Best Actress for “English Only Please.” But that was just the beginning of a great year ahead as she also topped the FHM 100 Sexiest list this year as the “Philippines’ Finest.” But what’s more amazing with the trajectory of Jennylyn’s career is how she can shift from sexy to sweet in a snap, as 2015 was the year when she cemented herself as the queen of romance movies this year with her hits like The Prenup and Walang Forever (where she bagged her second consecutive Best Actress MMFF trophy).

It was the celebrity wedding of the year if there ever was one. It was in February when they announced to the world about their engagement, and four months later, she was already walking down the aisle. Their love story has transpired a lot of “awws” and has become the ideal relationship to a lot of hopeless romantics out there. And their personal careers have been excellent as well with Paul directing the critically acclaimed “Kid Kulafu” while Toni earned another box office hit with “You’re My Boss.”

People say they’re following the footsteps of the iconic triumvirate of Tito, Vic, and Joey as the next landmarks in comedy. The group of Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros has equally brought energy to the whole Kalyeserye phenomenon and thus should be equally credited for the success of such.

After starring in thankless supporting roles in mainstream offerings, John Arcilla showed that his biggest break will come at a later stage of his career. Sure he had his share of lead roles in different independent films such as “Sa North Diversion Road” and “Halaw”, but his turn as the underrated Filipino hero Antonio Luna in the biggest surprise hit of the year “Heneral Luna” has definitely made him a household name. Not only that, but his performance in it is now one of the most iconic ones in recent local movie history. Expect his name in the local awards derby this year.

Proving that he’s a talent that’s for keeps, John Lloyd Cruz owned the last two months of the year in local entertainment. In November, the follow up to the pop culture staple “One More Chance” premiered after seven years of waiting, and it has now claimed the record of the highest grossing movie of all time with more than half a billion earnings. Then in December, he showed another side of himself as an actor in a career best performance in the MMFF entry “Honor Thy Father”, where he also shared producing credits. It’s clear that John Lloyd is in control of the trajectory of his career and a talent like his is really admirable.

After three tries, not only did Pia Wurtzbach nab the Miss Universe Philippines title, but she went all the way and ended the 42-year drought of the Philippines in conquering the Universe. While this was done in the most dramatic and telenovela-like fashion, one can’t discredit the amount of effort and hardwork Pia did in order to give glory to the country. Probably the most beautiful thing during the three hour telecast was her genuine reaction after the mishap when it was revealed that she was the actual winner showing the world – the universe, rather – that she is confidently beautiful inside and out.

What could have been a one-hit wonder ended up as one of the biggest loveteams of 2015. James Reid and Nadine Lustre, collectively labeled as Jadine, have moved into the big leagues and have probably made all the other pairings be wary of their presence. 2015 was the premiere of their first dramatic movie “Para sa Hopeless Romantic”, but more than that, it was their debut to primetime teleserye that sealed the deal for them via “On the Wings of Love” which is probably considered as the most refreshing show on primetime in years. We’re certain that we still haven’t seen the best of Jadine yet, and that bigger things await them this 2016.

Some of the world’s best discoveries happened via accident. One can probably add “AlDub” to the list, as the accidental pairing of Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza has taken 2015 by storm. Whether it’s the hundreds of millions of tweets with the hashtag #ALDUB in it, the endless amount of commercials, billboards, and advertisements with their faces in it, their daily kilig shenanigans on Kalyeserye, and their first MMFF movie that’s likely to be this edition’s topgrosser, no word has defined 2015 local pop culture scene than Aldub.

88th Oscars Predictions: December Edition   Leave a comment

After the critics and the televised precursors unveiled their nominations, here’s the December roundup of my Oscar predictions. To say this year’s crazy is an understatement — that Spotlight Supporting Actor debacle, the rise of Trumbo, Mad Max made its case, and Joy underwhelms. Here’s my last batch of predictions before the final one in January.

best picture

best director

best actor

best actress

best supporting actor

best supporting actress

best original screenplay

best adapted screenplay

animated docu

flf original song

tech 1

tech 2

tech 3

Current tally:
10: Mad Max: Fury Road
9: The Revenant
8: Carol
7: The Martian
6: Spotlight
5: The Big Short, Star Wars: The Force Awaken
4: Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, The Hateful Eight, Inside Out, Room
3: Brooklyn
2: Anomalisa, Shaun the Sheep, Sicario, Steve Jobs

Talk to me on Twitter: @nikowl

Posted December 17, 2015 by Nicol Latayan in Uncategorized

73rd Golden Globe Awards Nominations Predictions   Leave a comment

After last night’s SAG nominations, we’re hopeful that at least Golden Globes will also bring the crazy. Last night, Trumbo went big, The Martian was snubbed, and the Spotlight guys probably split votes.  Let’s see if the Globes follow suit or if they do their own thing. Here are my predictions in all 25 categories.


film drama

“Bridge of Spies”
“Beasts of No Nation”
“The Revenant”

NEXT IN LINE:Brooklyn“, “Room“, “The Hateful Eight

Johnny Depp, “Black Mass
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, “Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, “The Danish Girl
Will Smith, “Concussion

NEXT IN LINE: Michael Caine, “Youth“, Tom Hanks, “Bridge of Spies“, Bryan Cranston, “Trumbo

Cate Blanchett “Carol
Brie Larson “Room
Rooney Mara, “Carol
Saoirse Ronan “Brooklyn
Alicia Vikander “The Danish Girl

NEXT IN LINE: Carey Mulligan, “Suffragette”, Charlize Theron, “Mad Max: Fury Road“, Charlotte Rampling, “45 Years

film comedy

“The Big Short”
“The Diary of a Teenage Girl”
“The Martian”

NEXT IN LINE: “Sisters”, “The Intern”, “Spy”

Christian Bale, “The Big Short
Steve Carell, “The Big Short
Bradley Cooper, “Burnt
Matt Damon, “The Martian
Joaquin Phoenix, “Irrational Man

NEXT IN LINE: Robert de Niro, “The Intern“, Al Pacino,”Danny Collins“, Bill Hader, “Trainwreck

Jennifer Lawrence, “Joy
Amy Schumer, “Trainwreck
Maggie Smith, “The Lady in the Van
Meryl Streep, “Ricki and the Flash
Lily Tomlin, “Grandma

NEXT IN LINE: Anne Hathaway, “The Intern“, Bel Powley, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl“, Melissa McCarthy, “Spy

film supporting

Benicio del Toro, “Sicario
Idris Elba, “Beasts of No Nation
Michael Keaton,“Spotlight
Mark Ruffalo, “Spotlight
Mark Rylance, “Bridge of Spies

NEXT IN LINE: Tom Hardy, “The Revenant“, Walton Goggins, “The Hateful Eight“, Sylvester Stallone, “Creed

Jennifer Jason Leigh, “The Hateful Eight
Rachel McAdams, “Spotlight
Helen Mirren, “Trumbo
Kristen Stewart, “Clouds of Sils Maria
Kate Winslet, “Steve Jobs

NEXT IN LINE: Jane Fonda, “Youth”, Julia Roberts, “Secret in their Eyes“, Alicia Vikander, “Ex Machina

Todd Haynes, “Carol
Alejandro G. Inarritu, “The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, “Spotlight
George Miller,”Mad Max: Fury Road
Ridley Scott, “The Martian

NEXT IN LINE: David O. Russell, “Joy“, Steven Spielberg, “Bridge of Spies“, Quentin Tarantino, “The Hateful Eight

“The Big Short”
“Bridge of Spies”
“Steve Jobs”

NEXT IN LINE:Carol“, “The Hateful Eight”, “The Martian

film flf animated song

“The Good Dinosaur”
“Inside Out”

NEXT IN LINE: “The Peanuts Movie”, “Shaun the Sheep Movie

Labyrinth of Lies” (Germany)
Mustang” (France)
Phoenix” (Germany/Poland)
The Second Mother” (Brazil)
Son of Saul” (Hungary)

NEXT IN LINE:A War” (Denmark), “Dheepan” (France), “The Clan” (Argentina)

“The Danish Girl”
“The Hateful Eight”
“The Revenant”

NEXT IN LINE: , “Bridge of Spies”, “Mad Max: Fury Road”, “Inside Out”

Earned It” (50 Shades of Gray)
Love Me Like You Do” (50 Shades of Grey)
Phenomenal” (Southpaw)
See You Again” (Furious 7)
Writing’s On the Wall” (Spectre)

NEXT IN LINE:One Kind of Love” (Love & Mercy), “Flashlight” (Pitch Perfect 2), “Cold One” (Ricki and the Flash)


tv drama

“Game of Thrones”
“House of Cards”
“Mr. Robot”

NEXT IN LINE: “Better Call Saul”, “Homeland”, “The Leftovers”

Terence Howard, “Empire
Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot
Wagner Moura, “Narcos
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan
Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards

NEXT IN LINE: Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul“; Justin Theroux, “The Leftovers“; Kyle Chandler, “Bloodline

Claire Danes, “Homeland
Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson, “Empire
Krysten Ritter, “Jessica Jones
Robin Wright, “House of Cards

NEXT IN LINE: Jaimie Alexander, “Blindspot“; Priyanka Chopra, “Quantico“; Ruth Wilson, “The Affair

tv comedy

“Master of None”
“Orange is the New Black”
“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

NEXT IN LINE: “The Last Man on Earth”, “Casual”, “Silicon Valley”

Aziz Ansari, “Master of None
Billy Eichner, “Difficult People
Will Forte, “Last Man on Earth
Rob Lowe, “The Grinder
Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent

NEXT IN LINE: Anthony Anderson, “Black-ish“; Andy Samberg, “Brooklyn Nine Nine“; Thomas Middleditch, “Silicon Valley

Rachel Bloom, “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Julia Louis Dreyfus, “Veep
Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin
Constance Wu, “Fresh Off the Boat

NEXT IN LINE: Jamie Lee Curtis, “Scream Queens“; Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie“; Jane Fonda, “Grace and Frankie

tv longform

“Deutschland 83”
“Show Me A Hero”
“Wolf Hall”

NEXT IN LINE: “American Crime”, “American Horror Story: Hotel”, “True Detective”

Idris Elba, “Luther
Oscar Isaac, “Show Me A Hero
Jason Isaacs, “Dig
Mark Rylance, “Wolf Hall
Patrick Wilson, “Fargo

NEXT IN LINE: David Oyelowo, “Nightingale“; Colin Farrell, “True Detective 2“; Timothy Hutton, “American Crime

Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo
Felicity Huffman, “American Crime
Nicole Kidman, “Grace of Monaco
Lady Gaga, “American Horror Story: Hotel
Queen Latifah, “Bessie

NEXT IN LINE: Rachel McAdams, “True Detective“; Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Hotel“; Saoirse Ronan, “Stockholm, Pennsylvania

tv supporting

Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Ted Danson, “Fargo
Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones
Damian Lewis, “Wolf Hall
Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot

NEXT IN LINE: Jussie Smollett, “Empire“; Pedro Pascal, “Narcos“; Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul

Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black
Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones
Mo’nique, “Bessie
Regina King, “American Crime
Jean Smart, “Fargo

NEXT IN LINE: Julie Walters, “Indian Summer“; Allison Janney, “Mom“; Niecy Nash, “Scream Queens

The Golden Globe nominations will be announced tonight at 9PM in Manila time by Jeremy Piven, Kate Beckinsale, Peter Krause, and Paula Patton.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl



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