Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

89th Academy Awards Winner Predictions   Leave a comment

It’s that time of the year! The biggest and most prestigious night in Hollywood is coming this weekend. It’s time to hand out Oscars to the most popular and best campaigned films and performances of the previous year. The biggest story this year is all about La La Land and how this musical romance story nabbed 14 nominations tying with Titanic and All About Eve as the most nominated in Academy history. Now, while it stands a really great chance of nabbing that Best Picture win, the real question begs: how many Oscars will it take along with it? Here are my final predictions in all 21 categories.

adapted-screenplay

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:

Just a few months ago, the Academy deemed both Moonlight and Loving as adapted screenplays as compared to their initially campaigned original ones. This becomes some sort of the de facto award for Moonlight to win after being the runner-up all season. It even solidified its status as a strong frontrunner here after winning the Best Original Screenplay recognition from the Writers’ Guild Awards, beating stronger frontrunners La La Land and Manchester by the Sea in the process. The only possible spoiler here is BAFTA winning screenplay of Lion. But at this stage, we might even consider it as a distant second to Moonlight.

PREDICTION: Moonlight (Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney)
ALTERNATE: Lion (Luke Davies)

orig-screenplay

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:

One of the few remaining up in the air categories is the Original Screenplay category. So far, the rundown is that the Globes went for La La Land while BAFTAs went with Manchester by the Sea. The BFCA didn’t help as it gave a tie to the two aforementioned films. While the WGAs went with Moonlight. What works for Manchester is that it’s a writer’s type of movie — it’s a focused character study and can also serve as a way to reward Manchester by the Sea (more on this later). However, we don’t know what the extent does the Academy adore La La Land because this can simply be a part of the sweep. One can’t also consider the spread the wealth considering Birdman won this one two years ago at the extent of rewarding both Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel. As much as it’s a nailbiter, I guess I’ll have to go with…

PREDICTION: Manchester by the Sea (Kenneth Lonergan)
ALTERNATE: La La Land (Damien Chazelle)

supp-actress

SUPPORTING ACTRESS:

Before I go to predicting this rather easy category, let’s acknowledge the two achievements this year’s nominees had. First up, it’s the first year ever where an acting category had three black actresses to be nominated (Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, and Octavia Spencer). Speaking of Octavia Spencer, she became the first female black acting Oscar winner to receive a follow up nomination after winning five years ago for The Help.  Anyway, probably the only acting category that we can sign, seal, and deliver, this one is Viola Davis’ to lose! After two turns at being the runner-up finisher (losing to Penelope Cruz in 2008 and to Meryl Streep in 2011), Viola is the latest addition to the winner of the Triple Acting Club with this impending Oscar win as the wife in Fences. Don’t be surprised if she siphons at least 95% of the total votes here, leaving the rest of the nominees with 5% to share apiece. For runner-up, I’d say Michelle Williams (now going 4-0) is the next in line for a win.

PREDICTION: Viola Davis, Fences
ALTERNATE: Nicole Kidman, Lion

supp-actor

SUPPORTING ACTOR:

Given how easy Supporting Actress to predict is, the same can’t be said about its male counterpart. Supporting Actor is a tad of clusterfuck actually. Let’s begin with the Globes where non-nominated Aaron Taylor-Johnson pulled off the upset. Sadly for him, despite BAFTA nomination in his name, it was his co-star Michael Shannon who nabbed the Oscar nod for the film. SAG went by going with Mahershala Ali of Moonlight, which was an easy get for him. Come BAFTA, they went their own way and rewarded British Dev Patel for his turn in the Harvey Weinstein-backed Lion, possibly throwing another curve to Ali’s frontrunner status. Three things: it has to be emphasized that Oscar voting this season started the day after Patel won the BAFTA so that could help things. Second, Dev is also the closest possible contender to continue the trend of ‘winning for a real life person‘ narrative which has continues since 1998. Third, it’s the second consecutive year where Globes (Sylvester Stallone), SAG (Idris Elba), and BAFTA (Mark Rylance) all went different routes and last year, BAFTA prevailed. That said, I think Mahershala Ali is still the frontrunner (albeit a really not strong one), and that he can still pull off the win even by a hair for his turn in Moonlight. Always watch out for Dev Patel until Alicia Vikander opens that envelope.

PREDICTION: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
ALTERNATE: Dev Patel, Lion

lead-actress

LEAD ACTRESS:

It’s probably one of the strongest years for Lead Actress contenders that there isn’t enough room for the likes of Amy Adams in Arrival, or Annette Bening in 20th Century Women, both of whom would be really competitive in any other year that’s not 2016. After her BFCA win, it seems like Natalie Portman went on a different trajectory for Jackie losing further momentum. It also didn’t help that the movie didn’t latch on well enough in terms of picking up above the line nominations. Who replaced her as the alternate? Golden Globe winner Isabelle Huppert for Elle. SPC has really managed to turn an impressive campaign thus far for this French legend, and while others are toying with the idea of a possible upset on Oscar night, she’ll be a strong runner-up. It didn’t help that the British studio didn’t do any efforts to submit Elle in time to be eligible for the BAFTA, and that she was SAG snubbed despite being eligible. This one is Emma Stone’s to lose, as she ticks many of the boxes that fit the winning criteria — young actress, previous nominee, at the peak of her career, very charming and has campaigned well in the Best Picture frontrunner. As much as we want Oscar winner Isabelle Huppert to happen, it’s Emma Stone’s name written in that envelope.

PREDICTION: Emma Stone, La La Land
ALTERNATE: Isabelle Huppert, Elle

lead-actor

LEAD ACTOR:

Up until two weeks ago, it’s all but Casey Affleck’s to lose. He won two of the critics trifecta (and was a runner-up at LAFCA), won over 40 recognition for his performance in Manchester by the Sea including the Gotham, the BFCA. and the Golden Globe (much to the stress of Brie Larson). Then Denzel Washington won the SAG and there’s no turning back. He just stole all the momentum moving forward, and now it’s a nailbiter come Oscar evening. Affleck won the BAFTA afterwards, but it’s a Dezel-less field, and the latter’s snub probably helped him siphon more votes in the end. Affleck’s chances aren’t also helped by the idea that his sexual assault story is popping up during the last stage of the campaign period. You know what this race seems like? The Best Actor 2001 race. Actor A has received all accolades and precursor sweep then, until personal issues against him were brought up. Oscar winning actor B was seen as the alternate, and when the envelope was opened, it was his name written there. Actor A is Russell Crowe and Actor B, as you guessed it, is Denzel Washington. This reeks too much of a coincidence that between the industry love for him, the #OscarsSoWhite, and his legacy, we’ll see a 2001 redux and Denzel goes on to win his third Oscar.

PREDICTION: Denzel Washington, Fences
ALTERNATE: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

directing

DIRECTOR:

I don’t think there’s any room for upset in this category already, as he literally swept all precursors leading to the Oscars. After all, the movie he’s directed is seen as a directorial achievement above anything else. And his two closest competition will likely be rewarded in the Screenplay category. So I say it’s an easy win for La La Land‘s Damien Chazelle.

PREDICTION: Damien Chazelle, La La Land
ALTERNATE: Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

animated-feature

ANIMATED FEATURE:

This year doesn’t really have that strong of a lock contender as compared to let’s say Toy Story 3 in 2010, Finding Nemo in 2003, or Inside Out last year, but Zootopia is a strong frontrunner to say the least. It has the box office performance, the critical backup, as well as the precursor win to go land an Oscar. Its only possible hurdle, albeit a small one, is Kubo and the Two Strings who performed and picked up steam in the latter part of the season. That said, this is still Zootopia‘s to lose.

PREDICTION: Zootopia
ALTERNATE: Kubo and the Two Strings

foreign-language-film

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:

It’s really a strange category if there’s one. The consensus seem to go to Germany’s Toni Erdmann with its critical performance. It might not have won the Globe but it lost to snubee Elle. It did not win BAFTA as well, but it lost to last year’s Oscar winner Son of Saul so it does not count too. However, this category, since its change of winner process determination, has been kinder to crowdpleasers which Toni Erdmann is not. That certainly helps Sweden’s A Man Called Ove to the equation. After all, it also received another nomination for Best Make Up & Hairstyling. Then comes Asghar Farhadi’s ban issue which coincidentally happened during the voting process. Voting for Farhadi’s nominated film The Salesman can be seen as a vote of statement against Trump, and if there’s one thing that Hollywood loves he most, it’s making a statement. I don’t know if that’ll be enough, but it can be a memorable moment in the show.

PREDICTION: The Salesman (Iran)
ALTERNATE: A Man Called Ove (Sweden)

documentary

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
Here’s another category where I’ll see the voters rallying around and make a statement, so it probably means it will go to either 13th, an exploration of race and justice system in America, or I Am Not Your Negro tackling the history of racism in United States. That said, between the renewed interest with the OJ Simpson case (all thanks to the Emmy winning series “People v. OJ Simpson“), I think the eight-hour documentary event OJ: Made in America will pick up the win in the end.

PREDICTION: OJ: Made in America
ALTERNATE: 13th

Here are the rest of the categories:

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
Consider this as an easy sweep for the that small unknown musical called La La Land
PREDICTION: La La Land
ALTERNATE: Lion

BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
There couldn’t have been a more perfect and ideal moment for Hollywood to honor it-man Lin-Manuel Miranda than this year especially after the juggernaut that is called Hamilton. Guess what’s an equally juggernaut piece there is? It’s that small unknown musical called La La Land.
PREDICTION: “City of Stars“, La La Land
ALTERNATE:How Far I’ll Go“, Moana

BEST FILM EDITING:
The flashy war scenes in Hacksaw Ridge can be tempting as hell, but I don’t think there’s stopping La La Land to get that closest precursor tech category to nab with its Best Picture win.
PREDICTION: La La Land
ALTERNATE: Hacksaw Ridge

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY:
Sure, the ASC went with the more natural and outdoor type of cinematography that Lion did, but when it comes to the overall voting body of AMPAS, they might not resist the charm of good old’ Hollywood and include this in the sweep.
PREDICTION: La La Land
ALTERNATE: Lion

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
PREDICTION: La La Land
ALTERNATE: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Probably the trickiest to predict, it would have been an easy win for La La Land had it not been a modern-set traditional musical in the likes of those huge Broadway sets. it won the Costume Guild, and it’s the only winner that’s a nominee this year. That said, the BAFTAs went for the more traditional ones, with Jackie, a recreation of the iconic fashion that the late Jackie Kennedy left us. BAFTA has a strong correlation in this category correctly predicting the winners since 2007. I’ll probably stick with that stat. But then, you know La La Land is just lurking around the corner.
PREDICTION: Jackie
ALTERNATE: La La Land

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING:
I still can’t believe that the make-up branch who have embraced trash time and again resisted to go for baity Deadpool in here. That said, expect the more obvious and flashy make-up and hairstyling of Star Trek: Beyond to dominate here, after winning for the first movie back in 2009.
PREDICTION: Star Trek Beyond
ALTERNATE: Suicide Squad

BEST SOUND MIXING:
Chicago, Ray, Dreamgirls, and Les Miserables are four of the winners in this category’s history. See a pattern there? Add this up to the La La Land train then!
PREDICTION: La La Land
ALTERNATE: Hacksaw Ridge

BEST SOUND EDITING:
If Film Editing can’t do it for Hacksaw Ridge, then maybe Sound Editing can. After all, this is one aspect of La La Land that has really received lots of negative criticisms. That said, you’ll never know with the Academy. How many of the whole body can even distinguish Sound Editing from Sound Mixing? How many will just namec heck the most popular film in the bunch? if it managed to get that nomination (which it surisingly did), then why not make it all the way to a win too?
PREDICTION: Hacksaw Ridge
ALTERNATE: La La Land

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
Remember how this category usually is connected to the Best Picture frontrunner? Much to the surprise of a lot of people, Arrival missed an easy get here. While the flashiest here is Doctor Strange, I think the whole narrative of The Jungle Book being both a commercial and critical success will help it gets its Oscar win in this category.
PREDICTION: The Jungle Book
ALTERNATE: Doctor Strange

And lastly, the big one of the night:

picture

BEST PICTURE:

Unlike the complexity of the past year where it was basically a three-way race between Spotlight, The Big Short, and The Revenant, this one is pretty easy. La La Land is poised to sweep the biggest trophy of the night alongside eight other Oscars. It has basically achieved record after record, winning the most Golden Globes ever, being the first Best Picture winner to miss the SAG ensemble lineup, and joining Titanic and All About Eve as the most nominated films in academy history. As much as people are sick and over it, the movie still written on the envelope will be La La Land.

PREDICTION: La La Land
ALTERNATE: Moonlight

There you have it! The 89th Academy Awards will be on Sunday (Monday morning here in Manila) to be shown on HBO.

89th Academy Awards Nominations Predictions   Leave a comment

fa316e73-6761-4b39-8d58-7fbfcf22ef60

With months and months of speculations, all predictions will finally be decided upon as the Academy unveils its 89th Academy Awards nominations tomorrow night, Manila time. This season, just like the previous one, brought in lots of crazy moments as we progress the past few months. Frontrunners like Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, and Nate Parker’s Birth of a Nation both sizzled mid-way. Viola Davis competed in Supporting after talks of being in Lead a year before, and who knew that Mel Gibson can still do a Hollywood comeback after all these years? Anyway, here we go, I’ll share my predictions in all 24 Oscar categories.

BEST PICTURE

As you may know, Best Picture is a fluid category which can have as many as ten and as low as five nominees. We have a really strong triumvirate heading to Oscar season with Damien Chazelle’s LA-set musical La La Land, Kenneth Lonergan’s small drama Manchester by the Sea, and critically acclaimed Moonlight from Barry Jenkins. All three led the season in terms of critical acclaim and precursor performance. Consider three all set and locked in.

Next up, two films which really overperformed all season, overcoming doubts and possible barriers throughout their campaigns. The Amy Adams-starrer Arrival has managed to sweep both critics, audience, and guilds off its feet, beating possible “genre bias” against it. And despite all the behind the scene shenanigans over The Weinstein Company, Harvey Weinstein proves he still has it in him pushing Lion to a distant but comfortable fifth place spot.

And then it gets tricky. I’d say that Hell or High Water is sixth, with its whirlwind of a performance, getting remembered when it was very low-key, and getting snubbed for guilds when it started to pick up some steam. That said, I think it’s one of the few films that target the dude-bros/majority of the AMPAS membership so I think it’s safely in. next up are two POC led films whose sequel Hidden Fences has been repeated a lot this season (sadly, not in jest). Fences, directed and starred by Denzel Washington is a film adaptation of a Broadway winning play, while Hidden Figures, who defies box office expectation each week peaks at the right time during voting. While I won’t be surprised if one of these two gets snubbed (because these + Moonlight and Lion will mean half of the eight nominees are about POC and as much as Hollywood claims they are embracing, the past two years proved otherwise), I’m still sticking them both in and close my predictions at eight.

In the event that these surpass the eight, I think Mel Gibson’s sorta Hollywood comeback Hacksaw Ridge which surprisingly did well the last few weeks, can fill in the AMPAS membership quota targeted at old, white grandpas. After Clint Eastwood’s Sully sizzled, this can be their feel good movie of the year. Then there’s also Martin Scorsese’s opus Silence which was a victim of Paramount handling three strong films this season; thus coming really late to the party.

Predictions:
• Arrival
• Fences
• Hell or High Water
• Hidden Figures
• La La Land
• Lion
• Manchester by the Sea
• Moonlight

9th (but not predicted): Hacksaw Ridge
10th (but not predicted): Silence

BEST DIRECTOR

It’s really not safe to stick with the DGA five considering that the only time that happened was back in 2000. That said, the last time it also happened was a group of all first-time nominees, which also reflects this year’s batch. Well, it only becomes a problem when you consider that the biggest spoiler to this group is welp… another first timer. I think Damien Chazelle, Kenneth Lonergan, and Barry Jenkins are all safe here, while Denis Villeneuve strikes me as one who’ll finally get his welcome to the club mention. After all, his previous films have been slowly getting Oscar nominations, so it’s just a matter of time to finally get one for him. Last spot I see is between Garth Davis who pulled off that surprise DGA nod (over favorites such as Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, and Mel Gibson) or David Mackenzie (whose film did not submit for the DGAs.) Toss a coin to get your answer and mine right now says Garth Davis.

Predictions:

• Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
• Damien Chazelle, La La Land
• Garth Davis, Lion
• Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
• Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

SPOILER: David Mackenzie, Hell or High Water

BEST ACTOR

Casey Affleck is back nine years after receiving his first nod for The Assassination of Jesse James, but not only is he back as a nominee, moreso a frontrunner to win the Oscar this year for Manchester by the Sea. Two of his closest contenders include Denzel Washington, on his way to pick up his seventh career nod for his role in Fences and Golden Globe winner Ryan Gosling, the effortlessly charming pianist in La La Land, whose only Oscar nod was exactly a decade ago for Half Nelson. With two major films this year, more exposure can only help Andrew Garfield to finally include “Oscar nominee” before his name, but with Silence coming in too late in the game, all his previous mentions were for his role as the lead soldier in Hacksaw Ridge. The last spot can go to Joel Edgerton in Loving, or maybe a late gamechanger Jake Gyllenhaal for Nocturnal Animals, but I’d play safe and predict Viggo Mortensen for Captain Fantastic, as he has earned Globe, SAG, and BAFTA nods for this already.

PREDICTIONS:
• Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea
• Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge
• Ryan Gosling, La La Land
• Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic
• Denzel Washington, Fences

SPOILER: Joel Edgerton, Loving

BEST ACTRESS

If we’re being diplomatic about it, it’s a “good” problem to not figure out the Best Actress lineup this year when it was the easiest to do so the last few years. That means great roles for women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s have all been receiving great ink for their memorable performances. But for prediction’s sake, it’s still difficult to pin down how this category will be like. I guess we better start with Emma Stone then, as she’s probably the safest here and the likely recipient of this award come Oscar night. As much as we salivate over the possibility of a Portman snub (after those really career-best notices), it’s not gonna happen. Pencil Natalie’s turn as Jackie Kennedy another sure contender here. After that, I’m tempted to say Meryl Streep is third. This role, in another “transformative” performance is something the members of the Academy will eat up. Add the fact that her iconic Golden Globe speech came right during voting period just surely helps her more. Now this is where it gets tricky. I’d put Isabelle Huppert for Elle in fourth, and while I think it’s the pessimist in me talking, I’m still open to the idea of a possible snub. After all, it’s a movie that’s not a priority watch with an actress in her 60s carrying the film in one of the strongest years of this category. I really should comfort myself with the fact that she earned the critics trifecta, the Drama Globe upset, and SPC’s priority but I;m just preparing myself for the worst here. Then there’s Amy Adams, who’s some sort of a name-check but not in a Meryl or C/Kate level yet. This will be her sixth nod in 12 years and that ratio is good to predict her. That said, we had an extra week of voting which could help Annette Bening in the little and underseen 20th Century Women or Taraji p. Henson as the face of Hidden Figures to spoil the party, and in the event that happens, I’d say Adams is the first one good to go.

PREDICTIONS:
• Amy Adams, Arrival
• Isabelle Huppert, Elle
• Natalie Portman, Jackie
• Emma Stone, La La Land
• Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

SPOILER: Annette Bening, 20th Century Women

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Proving to be the category that provides the clusterfuck, Supporting Actor can either be as easy as 1-2-3 or as confusing as that Math lady meme we’ve all used by now. I feel like Moonlight‘s Mahershala Ali, Hell or High Water‘s Jeff Bridges, and Lion‘s Dev Patel are already sure locks here. Hugh Grant feels like it can go eitherway. He fits the bill of someone nabbing precursor nods only to come short in the end, but then he also fits the bill of a filler, carried over nod. But when the one who drags your nod is none other than Meryl Streep, then I guess he’s in too. Now that last spot is indeed very tricky. The obvious option is Golden Globe winner Aaron Taylor-Johnson who also picked up a BAFTA nod for his turn in Nocturnal Animals. If not him, then maybe Lucas Hedges of Manchester by the Sea. But then this is the category that has provided us Jonah Hill in Wolf of Wall Street and Tom Hardy for The Revenant, so a coattail is very much in talks here. Possible performances that fit the bill are Michael Shannon for Nocturnal Animals, Issei Ogata for Silence, and Ben Foster for Hell or High Water.

Predictions:
• Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
• Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
• Hugh Grant, Florence Foster Jenkins
• Dev Patel, Lion
• Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Nocturnal Animals

SPOILER: Ben Foster, Hell or High Water

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Probably the most “boring” of the four acting categories, this one seems like it’s set in stone. Davis, Harris, Kidman, and Williams have appeared in all precursors by far. Critics went for Lily Gladstone whose film isn’t even being campaigned. The BAFTAs went with Haley Squire of I, Daniel Blake which is the BAFTA-est pick they can go to at BAFTAs. Thus, it benefits Oscar winner Octavia Spencer who picked up GG and SAG nods for Hidden Figures. I don’t see a scenario of Greta Gerwig spoiling the race especially considering that her possible coattail Annette Bening is struggling to get hers too. Maybe Spencer’s co-star Janelle Monae is the only alternate here, as she’s helped by starring in both Hidden Figures and Moonlight. That said, Octavia is the more established name here, and a good narrative to boot as the first black actress to receive a nomination after her win.

Predictions:
• Viola Davis, Fences
• Naomie Harris, Moonlight
• Nicole Kidman, Lion
• Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures
• Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

SPOILER: Janelle Monae, Hidden Figures

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Count on the Writer’s branch to revive the lesser buzzed films in contention this year, and I think The Lobster has that slot all filled up. Thus, as much as I, Daniel Blake makes sense as an Oscar morning surprise, I’ll stick with the consensus of La La Land, Manchester by the Sea, Hell or High Water, and Captain Fantastic in here.

Predictions:
• Captain Fantastic
• Hell or High Water
• La La Land
• The Lobster
• Manchester by the Sea

SPOILER: I, Daniel Blake

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Yes I’m predicting a Fences snub here which makes sense and doesn’t make sense simultaneously. First up, I think Moonlight, Lion, and Arrival are semi-locks here already. While Hidden Figures surprisingly got in a nice haul of Adapted Screenplay mentions from the BAFTAs to the WGA up to the USC Scripter and BFCAs. The last spot can easily go to Fences (which is the safe choice to be frank about it), or to Silence (which was once perceived as the frontrunner here). I went with Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals here instead because the baity adaptation can probably overcome the writers’ judgment of Ford being a writer.

Predictions:
• Arrival
• Hidden Figures
• Lion
• Moonlight
• Nocturnal Animals

SPOILER: Fences

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

I think at this stage it’s already hard to deny that Toni Erdmann is probably winning this one, so a nod is already assured for this FLF frontrunner. Denmark has a successful streak in this category this decade as well, and Land of Mine appeals to such an AMPAS demographic I think it’s getting in. Sweden’s A Man Called Ove strikes the perfect balance between comedy and drama, and is reminiscent of the other nominees in this category the past few years. Paradise is a bit of an  out of the box pick, but I guess they can’t resist another World War II film in contention from the Venice Best Director of last year. And the only reason I had The Salesman in here is because of Asghar Farhadi’s 2011 victory in this category that we’ve had some sort of reception already to his works. That said, don’t be surprise to see Xavier Dolan joining the race as this type of family melodrama and him working with a lot of Hollywood actors can certainly push him to a nom.

Predictions:
• Land of Mine (Denmark)
• A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
• Paradise (Russia)
• The Salesman (Iran)
• Toni Erdmann (Germany)

SPOILER: It’s Only the End of the World (Canada)

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Still ahead of this race is Zootopia which had both the critical and audience backing to be one to beat in this race. Hot on its heels though is Kubo and the Two Strings which has overperformed a tad during this previous guilds run. I actually can see a scenario of them pitting it as the non-Zootopia vote. With it hitting both the Foreign Language Film and Best Animated Film shortlist, I expect My Life as a Zucchini to at least nab one, and since I’m not predicting it in FLF, I’ll go ahead and insert it here. Moana, which was supposed to be a last minute challenger to Zootopia just fell short in the end and while its decent box office performance and pop culture impact push me to predict it, I won’t be surprised to see it get snubbed on Oscar morning.Lastly, The Red Turtle seems more of a personal preference than a prediction here, but we’ll be needing the traditional animated representative in this category and I’m leaning to it by a hair over the hit animated film Your Name.

Predictions:
• Kubo and the Two Strings
• Moana
• My Life as a Zucchini
• The Red Turtle
• Zootopia

SPOILER: Sing

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

At the start of the season, O.J.Made in America can suffer a bit of a backlash since its a seven hour documentary feature that originated from TV. But it seems like it has the support now to not only get nominated, but even go all the way to a win. Joining it willbe the foreign documentary Fire At Sea, two films that will probably speak close to the voters due to their “cinematic” themes: Cameraperson and Life, Animated. And in the race (no pun intended) for that last spot are two documentaries that tackle about race — Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro and Ava Duvernay’s 13th. The latter seems like one who’s bound for a snub so I’m going with the former.

Predictions:
• Cameraperson
• Fire At Sea
• I Am Not Your Negro
• Life, Animated
• O.J.: Made in America

SPOILER: 13th

Now as for the rest of the technical categories…

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
• Arrival
• La La Land
• Lion
• Moonlight
• Silence

SPOILER: Nocturnal Animals

BEST COSTUME DESIGN
• Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
• Florence Foster Jenkins
• Hail, Caesar!
• Jackie
• La La Land

SPOILER: The Dressmaker

BEST EDITING
• Arrival
• Hell or High Water
• La La Land
• Manchester by the Sea
• Moonlight

SPOILER: Lion

BEST HAIRSTYLING & MAKE UP
• Deadpool
• A Man Called Ove
• Star Trek Beyond

SPOILER: Florence Foster Jenkins

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE
• The BFG
• Kubo and the Two Strings
• La La Land
• Lion
• Moonlight

SPOILER: Jackie

BEST ORIGINAL SONG
• “Audition” (La La Land)
• “Angel by the Wings” (The Eagle Huntress)
• “City of Stars” (La La Land)
• “How Far I’ll Go” (Moana)
• “A Minute to Breathe” (Before the Flood)

SPOILER:  “Drive It Like You Stole It” (Sing Street)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
• Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
• Hail, Caesar!
• Jackie
• La La Land
• Silence

SPOILER: The Handmaiden

BEST SOUND EDITING
• Arrival
• Deepwater Horizon
• Hacksaw Ridge
• Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
• Sully

SPOILER: Hell or High Water

BEST SOUND MIXING
• Arrival
• Hacksaw Ridge
• La La Land
• Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
• Sully

SPOILER: Silence

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
• Arrival
• Doctor Strange
• Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
• The Jungle Book
• Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

SPOILER: Passengers

MULTIPLE NOMINATIONS:
13: La La Land
9: Arrival
8: Moonlight
7: Lion
6: Manchester by the Sea
4: Hell or High Water
3: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Fences, Florence Foster Jenkins, Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, Jackie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2: Captain Fantastic, Hail Caesar!, Kubo and the Two Strings, A Man Called Ove, Moana, Nocturnal Animals, Silence, Sully

Philippines’ 89th Oscar Submission: Ma’Rosa   Leave a comment

ma-rosa-posterYesterday, the Film Academy of the Philippines announced Brillante Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa as the country’s submission in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Academy Awards that will happen on February 2017. The film bested nine other entries which includes Berlin winner Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis, Cinemalaya Best Picture Pamilya Ordinaryo, and the last minute addition Ang Babaeng Humayo by Lav Diaz.

This is the first time for director Brillante Mendoza who has been shortlisted thrice before (2009 for Kinatay, 2013 for Thy Womb, and 2015 for Taklub). Mendoza has also won Best Director at Cannes Film Festival back in 2009, also for Kinatay. In a way, he’s – for lack of a better term – overdue for an Oscar submission. Why he hasn’t represented us thus far is really surprising.

Ma’Rosa, tells a day in the life of a poor family, headed by their matriarch Rosa (played by Jaclyn Jose), as they scramble to find the money to pay off the corrupt policemen that have arrested them or dealing drugs. Back in May, it competed at the Cannes Film Festival Main Competition section where it pulled off the historic Best Actress win for Jose, being the first Filipina and Southeast Asian actress to do so. Certainly, it has the clout and the festival exposure.

Now let’s dissect its chances. Can Ma’Rosa pull off that elusive first nomination for the Philippines? For those counting, we’ve submitted 27 times in the past — back from our very first in 1953 for Manuel Conde’s Genghis Khan up to last year’s Heneral Luna from Jerrold Tarog) to no avail. No nomination and no shortlist mention.

As mentioned above, one of the things going for Ma’Rosa is its festival exposure. Not only did it take a home a prize at Cannes, it also played at the Toronto Film Festival. It has partnered with sales agency company Films Distribution which also distributed current Best Foreign Language Film winner Son of Saul. Impressive, right? Well not in the sense you’re thinking of. It has to be clarified though. Films Distribution is not an Oscar-campaigner studio per se. It’s not the same as Focus Features or Fox Searchlight or even The Weinstein Company. Son of Saul‘s win last year was due to being campaigned by Focus Features which handled its whole awards run campaign. Ma’Rosa doesn’t have that.. yet. In reality, the most Films Distribution can do is to help the movie gain more festival exposure. Going by a quick search shows that after Toronto, it’s also heading to BFI London, which is good. More festival exposure is always better.

Reviews by foreign critics is always a factor too. It has to be mentioned first that Mendoza is really as divisive when it comes to foreign critics. Remember when the late Roger Ebert mentioned that Kinatay surpassed Vincet Gallo’s The Brown Bunny as “the worst film in Canes history?” So it’s a  bit of delight that Ma’Rosa is probably one of the better-reviewed films in his filmography. While critics still had reservations, they were more welcoming than the usual. THR mentioned “Thankfully, and as in his other features, Mendoza again manages to turn his locations into a character in its own right. ” Variety’s Maggie Lee summed it best when she said “Boasting a simple, coherent plot shot with real-time, handheld verismo, it’s a work of understated confidence that will not disappoint his festival acolytes, but probably won’t win many new converts.

A lot has been mentioned about how we, at a certain extent, can be helped by our own country’s narrative right now. As the world probably knows already, we’re very vocal in our battle with the issue of drugs. And many feel that the movie is timely and that can help buzz. Historically, not really. This category really doesn’t care about that, to be frank. A year after Brokeback Mountain lost Best Picture, a significant amount of queer films were submitted for Best Foreign language Film including our own Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros. The total number of gay films nominated that year? Zero. In 2010, an election year in many countries, a lot of them rode that narrative, again including us when we submitted Dondon Santos’ Noy and Brazil went with Lula. Number of election themed nominated movies that year? Zero. This whole controversy reminded me just three years ago when we went with Transit as our submission (make no mistake, still a great film, just not a great Oscar entry) over the snubbed On the Job and the FAP’s reasoning was that they don’t want to submit a film that showed the negative side of the country. Submitting Ma’Rosa I guess is a huge leap to the other direction, if that means something.

The biggest factor that can probably help Ma’Rosa is its Cannes win. Sure its only Best Actress (and by only I mean that in the hierarchy of Cannes wins, its in the lower tier alongside Best Actor and Best Screenplay. This sentence, by no means, does not intend to take anything away from the marvelous Jaclyn Jose), but a win is still a win. And that it’s still buzz. For a movie that was perceived as a non-event of some sort at Cannes (it was one of the least buzzed films of the competition, but then it’s pretty understandable since he’s competing with the likes of veterans and/or those with Hollywood cast), how it ended up going home with a win is a win itself already.

Now let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Three days ago, it was announced that Lav Diaz’ Ang Babaeng Humayo will go for a September 23 release, which would make it eligible for this year since it’ll be meeting the necessary requirements to contend. The huge amount of buzz over its historic Golden Lion win (the highest honor ever received by a Filipino movie in history) is too much to ignore. Sure, it’s a Lav Diaz film which means it runs for more than three hours, and that didn’t help Norte two years ago. That said, foreign critics being unanimously positive about it, plus the film being called as his most accessible (especially since Diaz is another name that’s divisive to foreign critics), with a sure huge company to back its campaign (Charo Santos was the president of the biggest TV network in the country), it’s basically a decision too obvious to make by that time. That’s why it’s a tad surprising that the announcement happened yesterday. This prompted Humayo to move back to a September 28 screening, which will make it ineligible for next year’s submission too. That, and the buzz over Golden Lion and the Toronto inclusion will be old news by then. Let it be clear though that none of this should be pointed against Ma’Rosa, Mendoza, or any of his team, since decision wasn’t really theirs.

A few weeks ago pre-Venice Film Fest, I wrote about the possible submissions and strongly felt that none of the films would do the trick. In that case, why not throw a bone to Mendoza’s Ma’Rosa. But the whole Golden Lion win affected everything. My final verdict says that nope we ain’t getting that nomination nor that Top 9 mention.  If anything, my takeaway with this year is that we’ve finally acknowledged and submitted Mendoza’s work (which was already beyond deserving back in 2009 when we had that tragic Ded na si Lolo submission), but at the expense of a stronger contender. I’d love to be wrong though.

Off to next year.

89th Oscar Foreign Language Film: What Should the Philippines Submit?   6 comments

thumbnail 1

It’s the time of the year! By September, the Film Academy of the Philippines will submit one movie to the Academy of Motion Pictures, Arts, and Sciences (AMPAS) that will be our bid to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 89th Academy Awards. This will be our 28th participating year and we are yet to receive a nomination.

To qualify as an eligible submission, the Academy’s rule states that “The motion picture must be first released in the country submitting it no earlier than October 1, 2015, and no later than September 30, 2016, and be first publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.

Currently nine countries have already announced their submissions with our likely winner, Germany’s Toni Erdmann, in the longlist already. So which film will be our best bet to advance forward? I’ve divided them in three different categories.

DISCLAIMER: It has to be cleared that this ISN’T the final shortlist from the Film Academy of the Philippines yet, and are just mere speculations and recommendations.

FRONTRUNNERS:

anino sa likod ng kahapon

ANINO SA LIKOD NG BUWAN
Director: Jun Lana
Screenplay: Jun Lana
Cast: LJ Reyes, Luis Alandy, Anthony Falcon
Philippine Release Date: July 20, 2016

Amidst conflict between the military and communists, three people are confronted with a difficult dilemma.

Jun Lana, no stranger from Oscar representative (he directed our 2012 submission Bwakaw), is in contention yet again for his latest effort which is a one-long two-hour take staged just like a play with only three characters interacting all throughout the movie. The film also has participated alongside many different international festivals both in Asia and Europe (though none in the Big 4 major film festivals). That said, the film is unanimously considered as one of the best from 2015 among local critics.

felix manalo

FELIX MANALO
Director: Joel Lamangan
Screenplay: Bienvenido Santiago
Cast: Dennis Trillo, Bela Padilla, Gabby Concepcion
Philippine Release Date: October 7, 2015

Felix Ysagun Manalo is a sprawling historical epic that traces the origin of Iglesia Ni Cristo (The Church of Christ) which is established in the Philippines from its humble beginnings in 1914 through the present day.

Definitely one of the most divisive films of last year, Felix Manalo is epic in its landscape detailing one of the most important personalities among Iglesia ni Cristo’s history. This almost three-hour movie boasts so much of its lavish production design and staging, that it would tick all boxes in an “baity Oscar film” checklist. But beyond the grandeur is a straightforward storytelling, and one that was considered as “weak” and “safe” by most critics. That said, never underestimate the taste of the FAP to include this in the shortlist, as they’re one easily swayed by buzz regardless if those were organic or fabricated.

hele sa hiwagang hapis

HELE SA HIWAGANG HAPIS
Director: Lav Diaz
Screenplay: Lav Diaz
Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Piolo Pascual, Susan Africa
Philippine Release Date: March 26, 2016

In the midst of revolution, a young poet and the man that ruined his life travel through the jungle in search of safety. At the same time, a grieving widow encounters mystical beings on a mountain while searching for the body of her beloved revolutionary.

Winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year (with jury president Meryl Streep awarding them), there’s no doubt that this is one of the two most-buzzed films we have in world cinema for this year. Imagine if we submitted this and have Oscar winner Meryl Streep and Oscar nominee Clive Owen campaign this right? But let’s not get ahead of ourselves as that’s a bit of a reaching. The thing with Hele is that we have already attempted to submit a Diaz film back in 2014 via Norte which is half the running time of this one and arguably his most universal effort thus far, and yet the Academy didn’t give in to it.

honor thy father

HONOR THY FATHER
Director: Erik Matti
Screenplay: Erik Matti, Michiko Yamamoto
Cast: John Lloyd Cruz, Meryll Soriano, Tirso Cruz III
Philippine Release Date: December 25, 2015

A family is caught in a financial ruin after being involved in a ponzi scheme.

With an Erik Matti film in contention yet again, it reminds me of probably the biggest miss we had not submitting On the Job back in 2013. What made that more infuriating was the committee’s response that they don’t want to submit a film that shows a negative image of the Philippines. Yeah, right. Anyway, Matti is back again this time with the MMFF entry Honor Thy Father which made its premiere a year ago at the Toronto International Film Festival. Honor‘s best shot is that I can see the film appealing to the Western crowd with its theme and execution. That said, the film feels bit of an after thought by now, but with every controversy that the film has encountered, it just ended up soaring higher. Maybe, FAP atones to Erik Matti this time around?

ignacio de loyola

IGNACIO DE LOYOLA
Director: Paolo Dy, Cathy Azanza
Screenplay: Paolo Dy
Cast: Andreas Munoz, Javier Godino, Julio Perillan
Philippine Release Date: July 27, 2016

In 16th Century Spain, a soldier born of nobility gives his life of luxury to become a pilgrim devoted to God and his people.

Watch out Felix Manalo, there’s another religious biography in contention. Kidding aside, I can already imagine the FAP members creaming themselves over this one. For one, the casting of a foreign star in lead role will make them think it can add extra buzz to our own entry (this isn’t an Oscar rule after all. Lots of foreign actors starred in films from other countries which ended up as submissions. Case in point: French star Emmanuelle Riva in Austria’s Amour, Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal in Chilean film No, and even our own Angeli Bayani in Sinagpore’s Ilo-ilo). Plus, the religious theme somehow gives it more importance and a “good image” per se in representing the country (which apparently is an unwritten rule; see: On the Job again in 2013).

ma'rosa

MA’ROSA
Director: Brillante Mendoza
Screenplay: Troy Espiritu
Cast: Jaclyn Jose, Andi Eigenmann, Julio Diaz, Felix Roco, Jomari Angeles
Philippine Release Date: July 6, 2016

A poor family scrambles to find the money to pay off the corrupt policemen that have arrested the parents for dealing drugs.

Sure it was one of the least buzzed entries at Cannes main competition this year, until the great Jaclyn Jose earned the coveted Best Actress win and the rest, as they say, is history. Ma’Rosa is currently participating now at Toronto International Film Festival and I think it has the most buzz for any Filipino film competing for this year when it comes to foreign exposure. And at this stage, after all his trips to Cannes and Berlin and Venice and TIFF, isn’t Brillante Mendoza overdue for a Filipino Oscar submission? I lobbied that Taklub was our best shot last year, but they can make up for it with Ma’Rosa this year.

pamilya ordinario

PAMILYA ORDINARYO
Director: Eduardo Roy Jr.
Screenplay: Eduardo Roy Jr.
Cast: Ronwaldo Martin, Hasmine Killip, Sue Prado, Moira Lang
Philippine Release Date: August 31, 2016

Jane and Aries are teenage parents. They make a living out of stealing on the streets… until fate hits back at them.

After sweeping major awards at the recently concluded Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival including wins for Best Picture, Best Director for Eduardo Roy Jr., and Best Actress for newcomer Hasmine Killip, this runaway favorite is getting an instant cinema release in time for the Oscar cutoff. Add the fact that it’s also heading to Venice under the “Venice Days” sidebar (think of it as their answer to Cannes’ Directors Fortnight section), and it’s on the right track. This also has the makings to appeal to an international audience,

POTENTIAL SHORTLIST MENTIONS:

tier 2

Don’t be surprised to see any of these films in this group make it in the final shortlist.

DUKOT
Director: Paul Soriano
Screenplay: Froilan Medina
Cast: Enrique Gil, Ricky Davao, Christopher de Leon, Shaina Magdayao
Philippine Release Date: July 13, 2016

With Paul Soriano helming it (one of the producers of our 2013 Oscar submission “Transit“), this suspense drama about an abducted son also brags of an ensemble composed of some of the biggest names in the country both newbies and veterans.

ANG HAPIS AT HIMAGSIK NI HERMANO PULI
Director: Gil Portes
Screenplay: Enrique Ramos
Cast: Aljur Abrenica, Louise delos Reyes, Enzo Pineda, Menggie Cobarrubias
Philippine Release Date: September 21, 2016

In the tradition of our love for hero films — some of which are deserved (last year’s Heneral Luna), some of which are good (Supremo), and some which are just flat out terrible (El Presidente), let’s say hello to Hermano Puli.

MAGTANGGOL
Director: Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez
Screenplay: Henrie Enaje, Henry dela Cruz, Sigfreid Barros Sanchez
Cast: Dina Bonnevie, Ejay Falcon, Joonee Gamboa, Tom Rodriguez
Philippine Release Date: June 8, 2016

Only because of its serious topical theme (with them even doing special screening this National Heroes Day), I can see this political themed film making a (not so) surprise appearance in the shortlist. Think of how Kamkam by Joel Lamangan made it to the Top 4 in 2014.

A SECOND CHANCE
Director: Cathy Garcia-Molina
Screenplay: Henrie Enaje, Henry dela Cruz, Sigreid Barros Sanchez
Cast: Carmi Raymundo, Vanesssa Valdez, Cathy Garcia-Molina
Philippine Release Date: November 25, 2015

We have that one slot, almost always reserved to those box office hits that tackle more serious topics than the usual. Not to say that they aren’t deserving since most of them actually are, but they  happen to end up in the shortlist. Examples include 2008’s Caregiver, or 2010’s Sa’yo Lamang, maybe even last year’s That Thing Called Tadhana can somewhat be considered.

TANDEM
Director: King Palisoc
Screenplay: Zig Marasigan
Cast: JM de Guzman, Nico Antonio, Rochelle Pangilinan
Philippine Release Date: February 17, 2016

As for starters, the producers of this film were also the producers of our previous submission Heneral Luna, so if anything, they;d sure be willing to campaign. This film got good to great reviews with solid performances from the leads, but if you compare it to other entries, it’s a tad low-key (in terms of buzz and not of film quality). And if it’s already low-key here, can you imagine how it would fare to the foreign market?

WALANG FOREVER
Director: Dan Villegas
Screenplay: Paul Sta. Ana
Cast: Jennylyn Mercado, Jericho Rosales, Lorna Tolentino
Philippine Release Date: December 25, 2015

For an MMFF film, this one got solid reviews and even swept the Gabi ng Parangal of last year. This is also from the Dan Villegas and Jennylyn Mercado team-up, which reminds us that English Only Please, was part of the short-list that year.

ELIGIBILITY ISSUES:

tier 3

So these movies have appeared in different indie film festivals but haven’t fulfilled the seven-day commercial distribution yet. This does not mean that these movies are bad obviously they’re not because there have been buzz for some of them to be submitted. Well, they still have the whole month of September to book a screening if they plan to be considered eligible. Or they can wait for next year instead. For what it’s worth, some films who made it in the shortlist the previous years aren’t from the same year where they participated in festivals. As for examples, the 2008 Cinemalaya film Boses only got a commercial screening in 2012, and thus was included in the shortlist for the 2012 Oscars. Same goes for Ian Lorenos’ Alagwa which gave Jericho Rosales his Urian in 2012 but was in the 2014 shortlist.

FINAL VERDICT:

For this year, I think we can trim it down to three films which would all be decent submissions by any means. For starters, there’s the John Lloyd starrer Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis with its Berlin victory, but is simply hindered by the 8-hr running time. Not that Lav Diaz needs Oscars anyway to validate his impressive work; it’s just that sometimes the Academy just doesn’t fit into a certain director’s style. Then there’s the other John Lloyd starrer Honor Thy Father, which I can see a scenario with it connecting to a foreign audience, if they’re gonna push it hard and run aggressive with it. That’s a big if, by the way. In the end, maybe Jaclyn Jose’s Cannes win can also be Brillante Mendoza’s first RP submission to the Academy. It’s doing its assignment by participating in TIFF and its Cannes win, but us submitting a Mendoza film for once won’t do us any harm, regardless of the end result if it gets in or not.

Share your thoughts with me! You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 4: Drama   Leave a comment

Before Emmy nominee Anthony Anderson and Lauren Graham announce the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations tomorrow, we’ll finish our four-part predictions series over here at Tit for Tat. Since we’re already done with reality and variety, TV movie and limited series, as well as comedy yesterday, we’re left with the TV dramas.

Last year, Game of Thrones swept last year, and while that’s bound to happen again, let’s see who can expect some nominations for themselves.

drama directing

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Better Call Saul, “Klick” (Vince Gilligan)
• Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards” (Miguel Sapochnik)
• Game of Thrones, “The Door” (Jack Bender)
• Homeland, “The Tradition of Hospitality” (Lesli Linka Glatter)
• Horace and Pete, “Episode 10” (Louis C.K.)
• Vinyl, “Pilot” (Martin Scorsese)

Seventh nominee: Game of Thrones, “Home” (Jeremy Podeswa)

It’s a tad surprising that Game of Thrones hasn’t won yet for any of their Episode 9, but they have been nominated for it, so expect at least two nominations for the show again. Then there’s legendary director Martin Scorsese in contention again after winning for the Boardwalk Empire pilot back in 2011. Sure Vinyl is dead by now and was also canceled by HBO already, but that won’t stop them from name-checking and recognizing it here. Vince Gilligan hasn’t won for Directing for any Breaking Bad episode, maybe Better Call Saul can seal the deal for him. I also think Louis C.K. can also pull off his usual directing and writing nominations he usually does in the Comedy genre. Lastly, Homeland has been nominated thrice in its last four seasons, but with a resurgence, I expect that it will be a mainstay here the same way Boardwalk Empire was during its run.

drama writing

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• The Americans, “Persona Non Grata” (Joe Weisberg & Joel Fields)
• Better Call Saul, “Klick” (Heather Marion & Vince Gilligan)
• Game of Thrones, “Battle of the Bastards” (David Benioff & D.B. Weiss)
• Horace and Pete, “Episode 3” (Louis C.K.)
• The Leftovers, “International Assassin” (Damon Lindelof & Nick Cuse)
• Mr. Robot, “eps1.0_hellofriend.mov” (Sam Esmail)

Seventh nominee: Downton Abbey, “August 1925” (Julian Fellowes)

As we all know, the writers branch are the most experimental and least sheepy when it comes to nominations; thus nominations for shows like Battlestar Galactica, The Wire, and The Americans the previous years. Speaking of The Americans, I think they’ll get a consecutive nomination here again for this year. Another out of the box pick I trust them to do is The Leftovers‘ much-buzzed episode “International Assassin.” Both Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones are also poised to return here with nominations for their prominent episodes this season. I expect them to welcome new shows such as Mr. Robot and Horace and Pete with nominations too.

drama guest actress

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Ellen Burstyn, “House of Cards”
• Allison Janney, “Masters of Sex”
• Natasha Lyonne, “Orange is the New Black”
• Laurie Metcalfe, “Horace and Pete”
• Margo Martindale, “The Americans”
• Cicely Tyson, “How to Get Away with Murder”

Seventh nominee: Stockard Channing, “The Good Wife”

Previous winners Allison Janney and Margo Martindale are likely bound to return as long as they’re still eligible, so those are two slots taken already. Then there are those previous nominees such as Natasha Lyonne of Orange is the New Black and Cicely Tyson for How to Get Away with Murder to come back as well. As mentioned yesterday in the Comedy Guest Actress, I think Ellen Burstyn will also pick up a second Guest Actress nomination for her turn in House of Cards. This is the same actress they nominated for a 15-second appearance back in 2006 and a win for the short-lived small show Political Animals. To complete the list, expect another Emmy favorite Laurie Metcalfe to earn another nomination for her much talked about episode in Horace & Pete. The talks are even about her winning this category.

drama guest actor

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Beau Bridges, “Bloodline”
• Reg E. Cathey, “House of Cards”
• Josh Charles, “The Good Wife”
• Michael J. Fox, “The Good Wife”
• Pablo Schreiber, “Orange is the New Black”
• Max von Sydow, “Game of Thrones”

Seventh nominee: David Strathairn, “The Blacklist”

As for starters, there’s current Emmy champ Reg E. Cathey who’s eligible again this year for House of Cards.  The rest is a mix of previous nominated performances and familiar faces that are usually nominated. There’s 2x nominee Josh Charles who comes back on The Good Wife‘s final episode, as well as thrice-nominated Michael J. Fox for the same show as well. Last year’s nominee Pablo Schreiber can also expect to hear his name called again for his infamous Pornstache role in Orange is the New Black. With Dame Diana Rigg moving to Supporting now, Oscar nominee Max von Sydow can be the Guest acting nominee from Game of Thrones this year. And lastly, there’s Beau Bridges, who has been a mainstay in the guest actor categories, previously for shows such as Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, The Closer and Masters of Sex to score another nomination, this time for Bloodline.

drama supp actress

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Uzo Aduba, “Orange is the New Black”
• Christine Baranski, “The Good Wife”
• Emilia Clarke, “Game of Thrones”
• Edie Falco, “Horace and Pete”
• Lena Headey, “Game of Thrones”
• Maggie Smith, “Downton Abbey”

Seventh nominee: Rhea Seehorn, “Better Call Saul”

Five of last year’s nominees are all eligible again this year, and I expect current champ Uzo Aduba to be nominated as the representative of Orange is the New Black. Christine Baranski has been nominated all previous six years of The Good Wife that it would be weird if she missed out on the last year of the show’s eligibility. I don’t see Game of Thrones slowing down for this year at least, so expect the pair of Lena Headey and Emilia Clarke to get in too. Dame Maggie Smith was surprisingly snubbed last year and was replaced by co-star Joanne Froggatt, but I expect the reverse results for them this year, especially on Downton Abbey‘s final season. As for the newbie in the group, maybe they’d welcome 4x winner Edie Falco in her first drama since The Sopranos.

drama supp actor

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Alan Alda, “Horace and Pete”
• Jonathan Banks, “Better Call Saul”
• Jim Carter, “Downton Abbey”
• Peter Dinklage, “Game of Thrones”
• Michael McKean, “Better Call Saul”
• Christian Slater, “Mr. Robot”

Seventh nominee: Michael Kelly, “House of Cards”

Welp, Peter Dinklage will be a mainstay in this category as long as Game of Thrones is on air, so that’s one slot for him. There’s also Jonathan Banks of Better Call Saul and Jim Carter of Downton Abbey to return as well. Joining them as newbies of the group are Alan Alda of Horace & Pete who last won nine years ago for the final season of The West Wing. There’s also Golden Globe winner Christian Slater of Mr. Robot, and while I see a scenario that they give him the obvious snub, I still think he’d get in. The last spot I think is a battle of the Michaels — House of Cards‘ Michael Kelly vs. Better Call Saul‘s Michael McKean, though I expect the latter to get in instead.

drama lead actress

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Claire Danes, “Homeland”
• Viola Davis, “How to Get Away with Murder”
• Taraji P. Henson, “Empire”
• Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
• Keri Russell, “The Americans”
• Robin Wright, “House of Cards”

Seventh nominee: Michelle Dockery, “Downton Abbey”

It’s a boring category this year, as we all know Viola Davis will easily score her second consecutive Emmy for the role of Annalise Keating in How to Get Away with Murder. We can also expect both Robin Wright and Claire Danes to get nominated for the respective seasons of their shows too. In a more stacked group, someone like Taraji P. Henson can be snubbed after Empire lost its buzz, but we think she can squeeze in another year for a nomination. 2x Emmy winner for this performance, Julianna Margulies can either get one last nod or just be completely forgotten, but I guess she has the clout enough to pull off. Last slot can be between three different women: there’s Michelle Dockery who will also come back after sitting out for a year, there’s Tatiana Maslany who got the surprise inclusion last year. However, I’m going out on a limb and predict that the Emmys will finally realize The Americans do exist and nominate Keri Russell.

drama lead actor

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES:
• Steve Buscemi, “Horace and Pete”
• Paul Giammatti, “Billions”
• Rami Malek, “Mr. Robot”
• Bob Odenkirk, “Better Call Saul”
• Matthew Rhys, “The Americans”
• Kevin Spacey, “House of Cards”

Seventh nominee: Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”

Aside from returning nominees Kevin Spacey of House of Cards, and Bob Odenkirk of Better Call Saul, the rest can be a lineup of new names in this category. As for starters, there’s the men of Horace & Pete. While both Louis C.K. and Steve Buscemi can get in, I guess the former will get his due in the writing and directing categories while multiple acting nominee Buscemi gets in solely here. Then there’s another Emmy favorite Paul Giammatti who was just nominated for his guest stint in Inside Amy Schumer last year. While Billions has the option to go with him or Emmy winner Damian Lewis, we’re going with the more familiar name between the two. Rami Malek of Mr. Robot can be seen as too much of an outlier here, but we’re holding on the idea that the Emmys will embrace the show somehow; thus I’m including him. To round up the list, Bloodline‘s Kyle Chandler and Ray Donovan‘s Liev Schreiber can easily score another nod, same goes for Hugh Bonneville of Downton Abbey, but just like my risk in the Lead Actress, I’ll go on a limb and predict Matthew Rhys of The Americans to score a nomination too.

drama series

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES:
• Better Call Saul (AMC)
• Downton Abbey (PBS)
• Game of Thrones (HBO)
• Homeland (Showtime)
• House of Cards (Showtime)
• Mr. Robot (USA)
• Orange is the New Black (Netflix)

Eighth nominee: Horace and Pete (louisck.net)

Now this one can see a lot of movements to maybe really limited ones. Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul. Downton Abbey, House of Cards, and Homeland are sure nominations, I think. three shows are competing however for the last two slots. There’s Orange is the New Black who happened to be the subject of many of ATAS’ weird rule changes which makes you think they’re sabotaging it. That said, it has survived last year despite four nods, and the love for Season 4 can overcome the Season 3 blah-ness. Then there’s Mr. Robot, which I’m still somehow pessimistic that the Emmys will embrace. It’s a USA show, and the title might make voters think it’s about a techy show and they won’t touch it (true story). Then there’s Horace & Pete, a show made and starred by a group of Emmy winners. It has all the factors of a shoo-in nomination really, but the question is, with aggressive campaigning and all, will voters really acknowledge such? Any of the three missing is a feasible scenario, and since there are only two slots, I’ll go crazy and predict a Horace & Pete snub even if it gets multiple acting nominations.

There you have it! Watch out for the Primetime Emmy announcement nomination tomorrow night, July 14 (Manila time).

68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 3: Comedy   Leave a comment

After the reality and variety, plus TV movie and limited series, we continue our 2016 Emmy prediction series with the hilarious shows and performances from our comedy shows. Last year, Veep dominated winning Series, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Writing. Will they pull off the same feat again this year? Can Jim Parsons come back in the race? And will they finally give up on Modern Family?

comedy directing

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Any Given Saturday” (Gail Mancuso)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari)
• Silicon Valley, “Founder Friendly” (Mike Judge)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Jill Solloway)
• Veep, “Kissing Your Sister” (David Mandel)
• Veep, “Mother” (Dale Stern)

Seventh nominee: Silicon Valley, “Daily Active Users” (Alec Berg)

Let’s begin by me saying that I think black-ish would have a huge Emmy breakout this season. I mean, sure maybe Anthony Anderson’s surprise nod last year was maybe due to a tie, but whatever. The improved quality of the second season had the critics pushing for it. It’s also somehow of a statement show, and it says a lot that Emmy winner Gail Mancuso decided to submit for this show instead of 4x winner Modern Family here. I’ll also probably predict a lot of Master of None here, and maybe Aziz Ansari follows Lena Dunham and Louis C.K. to pick up nods for their directing and writing efforts too. Silicon Valley, Transparent, and Veep are mainstays here and it’s just a matter of choosing which show will pick up multiple nominations. Thus, bet on current Emmy champ Veep to be it.

comedy writing

OUTSTANDING WRITING IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish, “Hope” (Kenya Barris)
• Lady Dynamite, “Pilot” (Pam Brady & Mitch Hurwitz)
• Master of None, “Parents” (Aziz Ansari & Alan Yang)
• Silicon Valley, “The Uptick” (Alec Berg)
• Transparent, “Man on the Land” (Ali Liebegott)
• Veep, “Mother” (Alex Gregory & Peter Huyck)

Seventh nominee: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, “Kimmy Finds Her Mom!” (Tina Fey & Sam Means)

It’s unfortunate that Lady Dynamite didn’t have an explosion in terms of reception, but it’s the writers we’re talking about here, and they’re more reactive to quality as compared to the other branches; thus, a pilot written by multiple Emmy winner Mitch Hurwitz does stand a chance to get nominated. After that, we have the same five shows I’m predicting for Directing, though if there’s a spoiler here, maybe Tina Fey gets back in the race, her first since 30 Rock.

comedy guest actor

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:

• Fred Armisen, “Saturday Night Live
• Larry David, “Saturday Night Live”
• Peter MacNicol, “Veep”
• Tracy Morgan, “Saturday Night Live”
• Martin Mull, “Veep”
• Bradley Whitford, “Transparent”

Seventh nominee: Bob Newhart, “The Big Bang Theory”

Three SNL men have competed here in the past, so it’s not as if it’s something new. After all, they’re working on three entirely different narratives. Fred Armisen is a past SNL member, and we all know how much they love to nominate those previous members even in the past years alone (there’s Tina and Amy and Jimmy (winning twice) and Kirsten and Maya and Bill)! Tracy Morgan has a comeback narrative. I mean have you seen the reception to him when he presented at the Emmys last year? They LOVE him! As for Larry David, this is his first bid at an acting Emmy and him playing Bernie Sanders will help him further. Last year’s winner Bradley Whitford is back at it again, so you can pencil a nomination for him again. Then for the last two spots, I went with two Veep men: Martin Mull who played Bob Bradley, and previous Emmy nominee Peter MacNicol who I’d say is the non-SNL actor frontrunner in here.

comedy guest actress

OUTSTANDING GUEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Christine Baranski, “The Big Bang Theory”
• Ellen Burstyn, “Mom”
• Claire Danes, ”Master of None”
• Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, “Saturday Night Live”
• Anjelica Huston, “Transparent”
• Melissa McCarthy, “Saturday Night Live”

Seventh nominee: Lisa Kudrow, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”

I have mixed reactions with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler competing as one especially since this is likely Amy Poehler’s first actual legit bid at an Emmy. But hey, if that’s what it’ll take for her to finally win, then let’s go for it. Joining her is Melissa McCarthy who got nominated for all the times she hosted SNL too, Christine Baranski who’s also a multi-guest nominee for this role. Then there’s Ellen Burstyn who’ll Allison Janney her way to both Guest Comedy and Drama nominations. Oscar winner Anjelica Huston had a much-buzzed stint on Transparent, so I think she’ll be in. Last spot is up for grabs, we have lots of contenders from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, that maybe we can get in a second Guest nod for a solo Tina Fey, or the much-buzzed Lisa Kudrow, but I’ll go on a limb and say that Claire Danes gets in for Master of None. It has that Louie guest stint vibes for me, though that show is infallible as well (Sarah fuckin Baker, everyone).

comedy supp actor

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Tituss Burgess, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Ty Burrell, “Modern Family”
• Adam Driver, “Girls”
• Laurence Fishburne, “black-ish”
• Tony Hale, “Veep”
• Hugh Laurie, “Veep”

Seventh nominee: Andre Braugher, “Brooklyn Nine Nine”

Tony Hale is a given at this point, especially after winning twice for that role already. Congratulations Ty Burrell, you’re the last man standing from Modern Family, and I think he’s here to stay for the next few years. It would be such an Emmy thing to do to finally stop nominating Adam Driver since he finally made it big as a movie star, but if he can survive last year’s almost Girls shut-out, then maybe he can still squeeze in a nod or two. Tituss Burgess also seems like a possible consecutive nod. His is a role that this category loves if we’re to base it on the history of this. Andre Braugher can easily score another nod, but I think voters are already over Brooklyn Nine Nine by now, and while it is Andre Braugher we’re talking about, there’s a lot of other veterans they can nominate here… which leads me to Laurence Fishburne in black-ish. It’s a tad surprising that even after so many years, Hale has been the only Veep supporting actor nominated but maybe winning Series last year can finally score them an additional acting nod. Since there’s no consensus on who the second actor might be (Tim Simons is probably what critics will push, but Gary Cole is the only other male nominated performance from this show), so go the easy route and predict the most prominent one in the group; thus it’s Hugh Laurie.

comedy supp actress

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anna Chlumsky, “Veep”
• Gaby Hoffmann, “Transparent”
• Allison Janney, “Mom”
• Jane Krakowski, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Judith Light, “Transparent”
• Kate McKinnon, “Saturday Night Live”

Seventh nominee: Julie Bowen, “Modern Family”

It’s hilarious that all eight(!) women from last year are still eligible to be nominated again this year, but since I don’t think we’re going eight here again, I’d say Mayim Bialik and Niecy Nash are the first to go. Allison Janney is definitely back and in contention for a third straight win here, and so is Anna Chlumsky. Jane Krakowski is someone they love to nominate (however, winning is a different story), so I think she’ll be back as well. And it’s safe to say that they won’t be cutting Kate McKinnon in an election season of all years, so there’s four. The last two slots are between 2x previous Emmy champ Julie Bowen of Modern Family and the two Transparent ladies — last year’s nominee Gaby Hoffmann and Judith Light. All three make sense as nominees, but I feel Modern Family is going on a decline here, thus cutting Bowen off in the process.

comedy lead actor

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Anthony Anderson, “black-ish”
• Aziz Ansari, “Master of None”
• Gael Garcia Bernal, “Mozart in the Jungle”
• Will Forte, “The Last Man on Earth”
• William H. Macy, “Shameless”
• Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”

Seventh nominee: Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”

Let’s begin with those that will surely be back. Of course, there’s no better way to start this than with Jeffrey Tambor who’ll even probably win this again (and deservedly so). After his surprise nod last year, I think Anthony Anderson will be back too, as well as perennial Emmy favorite William H. Macy. Will Forte scooped three major surprise nods last year, so I feel like in a relatively empty category like this one, he has the industry support and clout to pull off another one.Now this is where it gets tricky — sure Louis C.K. and Matt Leblanc aren’t eligible this time around so it’s opening up a free slot (since there are seven nominees last year). I’m currently predicting Aziz Anzari, as mentioned above already, to have his Louis C.K. (or Lena Dunham or Will Forte or whatever) moment, but I won’t be surprised if he gets Ellie Kemeper-ed in the end, meaning lead star of the nominated show snubbed. For now, I’d keep him in. As for that last slot, we can have a Jim Parsons come back again (yes as much as we’re sick of him and his show now) and Don Cheadle has been nominated all seasons his show was eligible (and this is the final season so there’s that), but I’mma go risky and put in Golden Globe winner Gael Garcia Bernal here only because I think Amazon’s really, really aggressive campaigning will at least bear one good result for them.

comedy lead actress

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A COMEDY SERIES:
• Lena Dunham, “Girls”
• Ellie Kemper, “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
• Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
• Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
• Tracee Ellis Ross, “black-ish”
• Lily Tomlin, “Grace and Frankie”

Seventh nominee: Amy Schumer, “Inside Amy Schumer”

The question here basically is who are the five other women Julia Louis Dreyfus is beating for that fifth consecutive Emmy? As for starters, there’s Lily Tomlin who got in last year for Grace and Frankie without her partner Jane Fonda. Maybe both of them gets nominated this year, who knows? Then there’s Ellie Kemper who missed last year, but then again, last year is the most competitive category of the race since whenever so maybe it’s safe to say she’s in this year (or is she?) To continue my black-ish breakout year narrative, there’s also Tracee Ellis Ross who’ll be the first black woman to be nominated since Phylicia Rashad exactly 30 years ago (talk about narrative)! With a clear resurgence in quality, I think Lena Dunham will also be back after a year of absence. This can be a way to reward her and her season since Girls feels like an afterthought already. Now I’m definitely crazy for excluding Amy Schumer out. Sure, she doesn’t have a breakthrough big year like last year because not all years can be like that, but the lukewarm reception of this Inside Amy Schumer season feels like it’s ripe for a possible miss. Think of the other one time-nominated performances here (Teri Hatcher and Marcia Cross in Desperate Housewives, Zooey Deschanel in New Girl, Laura Linney in The Big C, Sarah Silverman in The Sarah Silverman Program, Lea Michele in Glee, Taylor Schilling in Orange is the New Black) — all those in really huge breakout seasons that they snubbed after. After all, I think she can get her due in the Variety Sketch category. Now this is where it gets crazier — I’m removing Amy Schumer for a CW actress. The Emmys are so allergic of CW they don’t even nominate their guest actresses (not even when they’re as legendary as Rita Moreno). But I think that sooner or later they’ll cave in. This year, they have two in contention: Globe winner this year Rachel Bloom for Crazy Ex-girlfriend and Globe winner last year Gina Rodriguez for Jane the Virgin. Now I don’t think both are getting in, and while Bloom is the more current one, I’d say the Emmys will be y’know.. like the Emmys and be a year late in acknowledging Gina Rodriguez just like when they nominated Tatiana Maslany when no one’s predicting her anymore.

comedy series

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES:
• black-ish (ABC)
• Master of None (Netflix)
• Modern Family (ABC)
• Silicon Valley (HBO)
• Transparent (Amazon)
• Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
• Veep (HBO)

Eighth nominee: Mozart in the Jungle (Amazon)

As for the Series categories, we have two slots freed up this year because of Louie having no season this year and Parks and Recreation‘s departure. While people are toying around with the idea of Modern Family missing already, I’m not sure that will happen yet for this year, at least. They probably have one or two years in them before they get dropped off. Meanwhile all the other four nominees are guaranteed to be back as well – current winner Veep, Transparent, Silicon Valley, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Considering that Netflix is really great when it comes to campaigning their own shows, I’d say Master of None gets in in a category with seven spots. And lastly, I began my mention of it and end with it too –Black-ish seems like its poised for an Emmy breakout. Not only will it be the remaining network representative (especially since Modern Family is on its way out), but it’s about family too, so expect it to be there.

Tomorrow, to complete the list, the cream of the crop among the television dramas!

Talk to me about this one on Twitter: @nikowl

68th Primetime Emmy Awards Nominations Predictions Part 2: TV Movie and Limited Series   Leave a comment

Before Anthony Anderson and Lauren Graham announce the 68th Primetime Emmy Awards nominees on July 14, here’s a preview on who can get nominated come Thursday. Yesterday, we tackled the Reality and Variety Series, this time the focus is on the TV Movies and the Limited Series. The past few years saw the rise in the limited series genre, now even eclipsing the acclaim of the current dramas on the boob tube. This year, we can have a rehash of the 2013 race when it’s Ryan Murphy vs. Fargo. Here are my predictions in all eight longform series categories.

tv movie

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE:
• All the Way (HBO)
• Confirmation (HBO)
• The Dresser (Starz)
• Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (BBC)
• A Very Murray Christmas (Netflix)

Sixth nominee: Luther (BBC America)

While the Jay Roach political drama has this Emmy wrapped up already, let’s discuss which ones will join it as co-nominees. As for starters, there’s the other HBO political film Confirmation, which is basically the runner-up HBO TV movie of the year. We always have those (Hemingway & Gellhorn to Game Change, Taking Chance to Grey GardensYou Don’t Know Jack to Temple Grandin.. you get the point). After its surprise win haul back in 2013 taking home three major Emmys, they’ll surely nominate the new Sherlock special too. Expect the Emmys to fall in love with The Dresser, albeit it being on Starz; after all, it stars two acting veterans, an Oscar-winning material, and it’s British. As for that last spot, considering how much Netflix is great at campaigning, I’m going with that A Very Murray Christmas from Emmy winner Bill Murray.

miniseries

OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES:
• American Crime (ABC)
• Fargo (FX)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story (FX)
• The Night Manager (AMC)
• Roots (History Channel)

Sixth nominee: Show Me A Hero (HBO)

As mentioned, the big story here is The People v. O.J. Simpson, which I expect to dominate the nominations. It was critically acclaimed, it had Ryan Murphy in a very prominent case in Murica, and it’s star-studded. Considering how much Ryan Murphy’s pilot seasons always go well with Emmy nods, expect this to be a shoo-in here. Not to be left behind of course is another FX gem, Fargo, whose first season won the Emmy of this category too. It premiering last year and being more subtle than the showy OJ showcase could cost it wins, but not nominations. ABC’s American Crime (not to be confused with American Crime Story — we saw what you did there, Ryan Murphy) is also poised to come back. After all, it’s ABC’s only push here and had a decent showing with the nods last year. Roots is one of the most iconic and memorable shows in TV history and is still an Emmy record holder, so expect the new version to at least be acknowledged with a nom. That last spot is tricky — there’s HBO’s Show Me A Hero which feels like an afterthought at this stage, but it’s HBO’s only shot here plus it stars one of Hollywood’s current it boys Oscar Isaac. But there’s also AMC’s The Night Manager which they are campaigning aggressively, stars Tom Hiddleston and multiple Emmy nominee Hugh Laurie. I can see it both go ways, but for now let’s stick with the latter.

longform lead actor

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Bryan Cranston, “All the Way”
• Benedict Cumberbatch, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
• Cuba Gooding Jr., “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Ian McKellen, “The Dresser”
• Courtney B. Vance, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Patrick Wilson, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: Oscar Isaac, “Show Me A Hero”

Talk about an insanely competitive category. You literally can fill this group with at least a dozen names. To be frank, I think only Bryan Cranston is a lock here. His LBJ performance which previously netted him a Tony will likely join an Emmy as well (will Oscar follow?). To a certain extent, I think Courtney B. Vance is also safe considering he’s the breakout performer among the lads in the show. Benedict Cumberbatch pulled off an upset in an equally strong category back in 2013 (against Mark Ruffalo, Idris Elba, and Fargo guys) so it’s not impossible for him to pull one off again this time. Then this is where it gets tricky. Patrick Wilson is probably my fourth, though the passive, subtle role can somehow hurt him especially in an insane category like this one. That said, I’m sticking with him. I also think they won’t let the opportunity of nominating any of The Dresser actors pass by. It’s tough between Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins and Sir Ian McKellen, so you can just go eitherway (maybe even both get in?), and for now I went with McKellen. Cuba Gooding Jr. just feels like he’ll be a part of the OJ lovefest, and considering he’s playing the titular character, I’d go predict him as well. Watch out for Oscar Isaac though considering how much he’s an in-demand actor now. Other notable names to consider are The Night Manager‘s Tom Hiddleston, Bill Murray in A Very Murray Christmas, Idris Elba in Luther, and even Sir Ben Kingsley in Tut.

longform lead actress

OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Kirsten Dunst, “Fargo”
• Felicity Huffman, “American Crime”
• Rachel McAdams, “True Detective”
• Audra McDonald, “Lady Day at Emersons Bar and Grill”
• Sarah Paulson, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Kerry Washington, “Confirmation”

Seventh nominee: Blythe Danner, “Madoff”

Unlike its male counterpart, the Lead Actress category is wider than usual. Of course, one expects that Confirmation‘s Kerry Washington, Fargo‘s Kristen Dunst, and People v. OJ Simpson‘s Sarah Paulson are all but sure now. After that, there’s Emmy winner Audra McDonald for her HBO special too. We can also see two American Crime actresses in this category, but it’s safer to go with Emmy  winner Felicity Huffman. As for that last spot, there’s her co-star Lili Taylor, and Emmy favorite Blythe Danner in Madoff, but let’s go daring a bit and predict that her Oscar luck would extend here so I say Rachel McAdams for True Detective. longform supp actor

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Sterling K. Brown, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Ted Danson, “Fargo”
• Martin Freeman, “Sherlock: The Abominable Bride”
• Hugh Laurie, “The Night Manager”
• David Schwimmer, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Bokeem Woodbine, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: John Travolta, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”

What it it with male acting categories that they are really jampacked this year? The Supporting one is full of potential categories, and there’s a chance that it can go The Normal Heart way with four bids in it. That said, I’ll go predictable and include only two: Sterling K. Brown, and David Schwimmer’s TV comeback. That said, if they go star heavy, there’s John Travolta and Nathan Lane, both of whom can benefit from name-checking from voters. Martin Freeman won this category too back in 2013 against The Normal Heart group, so unless the lukewarm reviews for The Abominable Bride catches on, then he’s safe here. Ted Danson is a TV veteran, but he’s no easy bid as well, though being the veteran among Fargo supporting actors might help him. I might also be personally bias here with my prediction of Bokeem Woodbine, also from Fargo, but they nominated Alison Tolman two years ago, so there’s a precedent. Lastly, if The Night Manager is indeed a successful campaign, still Emmyless Hugh Laurie can sneak in a nomination for this as well. That said there’s also Forest Whitaker for Roots, Frank Langella for All the Way, and Denis O’Hare of AHS: Hotel to consider.

longform supp actress

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
• Connie Britton, “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story”
• Regina King, “American Crime”
• Melissa Leo, “All the Way”
• Sarah Paulson, “American Horror Story: Hotel”
• Jean Smart, “Fargo”

Seventh nominee: Olivia Colman, “The Night Manager”

I might be underestimating American Horror Story: Hotel this year, but not in this category. I’ve dismissed it in previous years only for it to come back stronger, though Jessica Lange’s absence really hurt it. That said, double nods for Kathy Bates and Sarah Paulson are still safe bets. Speaking of safe bets, Emmy veteran Jean Smart’s cold, conniving matriarch in Fargo might even be competitive for the win. Meanwhile, a lesser known actress would definitely not be in contention considering the small of the role, but it’s Oscar and Emmy winner Melissa Leo in a supportive wife role in All the Way so it’s safe to say she’s getting in. Lastly, to continue my narrative of strong OJ Simpson love, I’m predicting that the scene-chewing performance of Connie Britton will give her another nod (I mean she got in for Nashville).

longform directing

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• All the Way (Jay Roach)
• Fargo, “Loplop” (Keith Gordon)
• The Night Manager (Susanne Bier)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy” (Ryan Murphy)
• The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “The Race Card” (John Singleton)
• Roots, “Night Four” (Bruce Beresford)

Seventh nominee: Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Douglas MacKinnon)

I went safe with my predictions here — only two OJ episodes, one by Ryan Murphy and one by John Singleton, then Jay Roach will surely get in as well. There’s a Fargo episode in between, from the same one who pulled off the upset win back in the first season, and then there’s Oscar winner Susanne Bier in a well-campaigned British program. Last one is between a Sherlock episode and a Roots finale from a popular 80s movie director, and since I think Sherlock won’t go as perfectly lucky as the last time, I give the edge to Roots.

longform writing

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A TV MOVIE OR MINI SERIES:
• All the Way (Robert Schenkkan)
• American Crime, “Episode Seven” (John Ridley)
• Fargo, “Palindrome” (Noah Hawley)
• The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “From The Ashes of Tragedy” (Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski)
• The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” (D.V. DeVincentis)
• Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss)

Seventh nominee: The Night Manager (David Farr)

Like in Directing, went safe here by including only two OJ Simpson episodes, All the Way, and a Fargo one too. But instead of The Night Manager, I replaced it with another British series — Sherlock considering it won this category the last time it contended. And instead of Roots,  we have Oscar winner John Ridley’s penned American Crime episode to round up the group.

Next up, the LOL shows of the comedy categories as we continue our 68th Emmy nomination prediction series tomorrow.

Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl