Archive for the ‘Son of Saul’ Tag
Every time we say that a certain year is the craziest season ever, the coming season proves to be more insane than the previous one. And that fact holds true for this year, as momentum shifted all throughout the season. Between #OscarsSoWhite, #OscarsSoStraight, the Spotlight/The Big Short/Mad Max/The Revenant momentum shift, the existence of Jacob Tremblay, and Diane Ladd being “upset and chagrined”, we’ve finally come to the near end of the awards season a.k.a the pitstop which is the Oscars!
And as you figure out if you’re Team Ryan vs. Rachel, bear vs. Brie, spies vs. space, and Saoirse vs. Furiosa, let me present my predictions in all Oscar categories.
The screenplay categories are usually reserved for Best Picture contenders unless there’s something so groundbreaking that comes along (such is the case for Charlie Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in 2004 or Pedro Almodovar’s Talk to Her in 2002). This year’s nominees however had a small crossover with the Picture category as it’s only Bridge of Spies and Spotlight that got in here (for the record, the other six nominees are all ineligible here). That said, this one is the token award for Spotlight for many reasons: it’s a really good screenplay, it tackles an important topic, and it’s a consolation for being the frontrunner back in October – November. Ideally, Bridge of Spies is the runner-up, but it just feels like a filler nomination here. I’d probably go with Inside Out because the complexities of it is just something the writers would probably acknowledge.
PREDICTION: Spotlight (Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer)
ALTERNATE: Inside Out (Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmen)
Using the same logic above, all but Carol here were nominated for the Best Picture category, which is a shame basically. But enough about my personal feelings. The strongest contender here is The Big Short with its WGA and BAFTA win under its belt. Just like Spotlight, the director is also one half of the film’s writers, it’s also tackling an important and very American issue, and it’s a consolation for being the frontrunner back in early January. The closest to an alternate is probably Emma Donoghue as she translated her own work from a literary piece to the big screen, and Room is that little film that could ignite real passion.
PREDICTION: The Big Short (Adam McKay, Charles Randolph)
ALTERNATE: Room (Emma Donoghue)
What was supposed to be a really messy category ended up a really safe one as we enter the Oscar nomination stage. Remember when the Globes, SAG, BFCA, and BAFTA have different lineups in this category? And while it’s a bit unusual that Sylvester Stallone missed both SAG and BAFTA (and by miss, we mean he wasn;t even nominated), he still remains as the frontrunner here. The thing here is after his Globe win (okay his BFCA but really lol), his next stop is directly at the Oscars, and for things to work his way, both the SAG and the BAFTA must have different winners so that no one can gain momentum. The only two people nominated for both were Christian Bale and Mark Rylance. Luckily for him, the un-nominated Idris Elba won SAG (and while Elba was excellent in it, it’s basically an answer tot he diversity issue) while Mark Rylance won BAFTA. It also didn’t help that Rylance basically uncampaigned for himself the whole season — only attending the Globes when he lost that one. Watch out for Mark Ruffalo though especially is Spotlight comes strong at the Oscars. But alas, come Sunday night, we’ll be living in a world where we have acting Oscar winner Rocky Balboa.
PREDICTION: Sylvester Stallone, Creed
ALTERNATE: Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
In a year when we can finally call both Jennifer Jason-Leigh and Rachel McAdams as Oscar nominees, it’s rather unfortunate that the win isn’t between the two of them. Like Ruffalo, McAdams has a small chance as I think she’s the dark horse in this category. Then there’s Rooney Mara (or as Diane Ladd calls her, Rooney Moore) who won the Cannes (again, as Diane Ladd calls it – the Carn) Best Actress award for Carol. By now, Carol just feels like an afterthought at the Oscars, and I don’t see it winning anywhere here. The race here is basically between GG + BAFTA winner Kate Winslet vs. BFCA + SAG winner Alicia Vikander. In previous instances, the former is the stronger case than the latter (see wins by Marion Cotillard, Christoph Waltz in Django, Nicole Kidman, and Meryl Streep in The Iron Lady). However, it has to be mentioned that in the two instances that Kate won, Alicia Vikander was nominated for her turn in the low budgeted sci-fi Ex Machina. The two wins of Vikander where she beat Kate Winslet was for The Danish Girl, the same performance that’s nominated here. I think that’s a very important detail in this discussion, and add the fact that Vikander is an ingenue playing a suffering wife role (in short, this category’s two hard-ons), and voila, you have your Oscar winner!
PREDICTION: Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
ALTERNATE: Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Leonardo di Caprio. End of discussion.
Welp I’m joking. With the end of the discussion part I mean. But yes, it’s time to say goodbye to the memes. Leonardo di Caprio is finally winning an Oscar. And I can already imagine the standing ovation. It’s gonna be long, and there’s gonna be tears, and a camera will be panned to Kate Winslet crying as if it wasn’t Rose’s fault why Jack died in that obscure little movie they starred together 19 years ago called Titanic (do you remember that one?). And I’m happy for Leo, as we know that’s one off his bucket list. He knows this is the closest chance he had at winning, and he milked every moment of it surpassing all his co-nominees. As for starters, he went all the way to the Pope. I mean he has God on his side already (sorry Matt Damon but God is farther than the space you’re stuck with in The Martian). Second, di Caprio is so intense as an actor that you have no idea he almost died
getting that Oscar shooting The Revenant (did you experience that too Bryan Cranston? No? Oh better luck next time). Third, he knows how to choose the roles that will finally net him the win (There’s a reason why he passed on that Jobs role, Fassbender). And lastly, he even sent a prepared Skype video of his speech at the BFCA when he can’t attend (Not even Eddie Redmayne thought of doing that last year). Basically what I’m saying is that it’s time.
PREDICTION: Leonardo di Caprio, The Revenant
ALTERNATE: Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
There’s one performance that swept all the precursors in this category this year, and obviously it’s the same performance winning on Sunday night. Brie Larson will walk away with an Oscar for her riveting performance in Room. There really is a strong support for the movie (as proven by director Lenny Abrahamson’s surprise Directing nod), and Brie is this award season’s darling with trades calling her as the next big thing already. It also doesn’t hurt that she’s friends with some of the it girls in Hollywood (co-nominee Jennifer Lawrence as for starters, Amy Schumer too, and then Rooney Mara as well). It’s basically a coronation of another Hollywood it girl, and we can’t be happier enough as she deserves it.
PREDICTION: Brie Larson, Room
ALTERNATE: Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
History is about to be rewritten as Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu will win his consecutive Best Directing Oscar for The Revenant. With the narrative of how much it was difficult to make The Revenant, he’s about to be rewarded with a second Oscar in here especially since he also won the Directors Guild which is the most accurate precursor in this category. Both McKay and McCarthy will be getting their dues in the Screenplay category, and Abrahamson is the unique passion vote that has no chance of winning. Miller could have had the momentum on his side had he won the DGA which unfortunately he didn’t. At this stage, no matter what happens in the Best Picture race is different, as this one’s a lock already.
PREDICTION: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, The Revenant
ALTERNATE: Adam McKay, The Big Short
This is a really strong category, and I applaud the Academy for going with films like When Marnie was There and Boy and the World here. That said, this is Inside Out‘s award, as it probably won 99% of all the Animated Feature awards given throughout this season (and deservedly so). It’s a bit sad when you think how the film didn’t fare stronger outside of this category (except for that weak Original Screenplay one.)
PREDICTION: Inside Out
FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM:
Ever since the Academy changed the voting winner of the pattern here (they’re up for grabs for the whole membership instead of a small panel of voters who will sign they’ve watched all five movies nominated), the winner has always been the most buzzed film of the group. Son of Saul is that movie this year. Coming off from a Jury Prize winner at Cannes, winning countless Foreign Language Film mentions one after the other, Hollywood can’t resist this Holocaust story. That said, there were rumors that this didn’t make it the shortlist in a popular vote. In that case, watch out for crowd-pleasing Mustang as France aims another win in this category. That said, I’d still give Son of Saul the advantage.
PREDICTION: Son of Saul
The documentary about the late Amy Winehouse seems like the frontrunner here as it won majority of the precursors in this category. That said, it’s really not the type that wins here if we’re basing it at history. Interestingly enough, the closest contender is about another musician – Nina Simone, as Netflix campaigned the hell out of What Happened, Miss Simone? Netflix has been very eager to duplicate their TV domination at the Oscars, and the all around snubbing of Beasts of No Nation will just pump themselves up further in this category. That said, I wonder how the great Joshua Oppenheimer feels, that every time his documentary is nominated here, it loses to a musically-themed film (flashback to The Act of Killing losing to 20 Feet from Stardom two years ago).
ALTERNATE: What Happened, Miss Simone?
Now here are the rest of the technical categories (which is difficult because Mad Max: Fury Road and The Revenant are competing in eight of this (save for Score and Song) and we really don’t know how the Academy will vote here:
Remember when we used to be upset before when we feel like the Academy doesn’t recognize the greatness of Chivo Lubezki? I guess the Oscars make up for it so much that he’s now a shoo-in to win his third consecutive Academy Award in this category for The Revenant.
PREDICTION: Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
ALTERNATE: John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
While Sandy Powell is competing against herself in this category, I think it’s Jenny Beavan is the one to win the Oscar as part of the semi-sweep by Mad Max in here. That said, we really can’t dismiss the really showy costume work done in Cinderella.
PREDICTION: Jenny Beavan, Mad Max: Fury Road
ALTERNATE: Sandy Powell, Cinderella
While a nomination here is crucial for a movie aiming for a Best Picture win, only one of the last five winners of this category has won Best Picture (that would be 2012’s Argo). Lately, they’re into really showy and flashy editing which makes me think it’s between The Big Short and Mad Max: Fury Road. I’ll be giving the edge to the former.
PREDICTION: Hank Corwin, The Big Short
ALTERNATE: Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road
HAIRSTYLING AND MAKE UP:
And here’s another Mad Max/Revenant showdown. People have really been amazed by the makeup in The Revenant especially that of the close ups of di Caprio’s face, but I think the overall work in Mad Max: Fury Road will prevail.
PREDICTION: Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, Damian Martin, Mad Max: Fury Road
ALTERNATE: Siân Grigg, Duncan Jarman, Robert Pandini, The Revenant
It’s time to give the legendary Ennio Morricone a competitive Oscar. Sure he won an Honorary one nine years ago, but this is one of the times AMPAS is playing catch up. The great thing is that he actually deserves it. That said, don’t underestimate the nostalgia that Star Wars brought to the voters as it’s done by the most nominated person in the history of this category.
PREDICTION: Ennio Morricone, The Hateful Eight
ALTERNATE: John Williams, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
To quote the mighty Diane Ladd, “I am upset and chagrined” with what happened to this category this year. While this has given us the delight of calling 50 Shades of Grey an Oscar nominated film, this year seems to be the most problematic. You know shit just happened when you’re rooting for Wiz Khalifa song, but See You Again was snubbed here. For what it’s worth, both Simple Song #3 and Manta Ray are great songs, and the producers have fucked up not giving the performers the right to perform their song in whole just because they are not mainstream artists. Sadly, the race is between two drecks: Sam Smith’s abomination of coming up with a Bond song, then there’s the pairing of Diane Warren and Lady Gaga who’s campaigning desperation combined made Leonardo di Caprio look like Joaquin fucking Phoenix. In a fair world, none of these two messes should have been nominated in the first place, but I guess an overdue win for Diane Warren will happen just so the Academy can finally be over and done with her.
PREDICTION: Til It Happens to You (The Hunting Ground)
ALTERNATE: Writings on the Wall (Spectre)
Just for completely setting up a whole world in the entirety of the film, I guess Mad Max will win this one over The Revenant which is mostly criticized for it being an “outside shoot.” Don’t underestimate Bridge of Spies as this type of traditional production design has its passionate supporters, as proven by Lincoln‘s upset in 2012, incidentally another Spielberg film.
PREDICTION: Colin Gibson, Lisa Thompson, Mad Max: Fury Road
ALTERNATE: Jack Fisk, Hamish Purdy, The Revenant
What I’ve noticed here is that when different films end up winning Editing and Mixing, it’s because the winner in Mixing (which tends to go to musicals) aren’t nominated in Editing instead of the other way around. But when the Mixing winner is eligible for both, it wins both (the only time in the last 15 years it didn’t happen is when Slumdog Millionaire and The Dark Knight won one apiece). This same scenario can happen to both The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road, but I doubt the majority of the voting body cares more than us, so let’s just say The Revenant will be winning both Sound categories.
PREDICTION: The Revenant
ALTERNATE: Mad Max: Fury Road
PREDICTION: The Revenant
ALTERNATE: Mad Max: Fury Road
The golden rule here is that when there’s a Best Picture contender here, count on it to make it a part of the sweep. That is unless you’re competing against another contender (see: District 9 losing to Avatar in 2009 or Master and Commander losing to Return of the King in 2003). As a matter of fact, you have to go all the way back to 1970 to see a Best Picture contender lose here with Patton. So what happens when you have three of the five nominees here are Best Picture contenders too? Then there’s the other fact, one where in all three Star Wars films won this category too. And among the prequels, two of those are nominated as well. This category could really go to many directions; thus, I’ll just be going with another Star Wars win. The Revenant can upset this as part of the sweep and because the much-talked about bear rape scene is the stuff that wins you Oscars here.
PREDICTION: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
ALTERNATE: The Revenant
There you ha..oh wait. We have Best Picture left.
What a crazy year for this category. As for starters, it seemed like Spotlight had the momentum all throughout the season being the uniter of critical choices as well as the populist one. It was a movie that has a strong message, it had a great ensemble, and it conveys a sense of “importance.” That is until, we’ve seen its televised awards performance dwindle. Remember when Michael Keaton was supposed to be nominated too? And then there’s the ACE Editing snub which made it seem like Spotlight was a weak frontrunner all along. Then came The Big Short getting in all the momentum as it got nominated among all guilds where it was predicted to receive. After all, it’s about an important time in America, it’s timely, it’s political, and it’s about white dudes. Then there was the Mad Max: Fury Road contingent as well; basically revived by the critics and hitting in precursors left and right.
Come Golden Globes, The Revenant ends up sweeping, and we’re all probably like “hey it’s just a makeup win because they snubbed Birdman last year.” Which was half true. But the other truth is that it’s from the current Best Director winner starring the likely Best Actor champion who is also the biggest star in the world. And while we’re at that, they snubbed both Spotlight and The Big Short whose total wins is zilch. The BFCA stayed safe and went with Spotlight again. At the Oscar nomination announcement, The Revenant, Mad Max: Fury Road, Spotlight, and The Big Short all performed well, some more than others. But come Producers Guild Awards, which uses the same voting practice as the Oscars, The Big Short ended up with the win; thus making it the frontrunner again. After all, it’s about an important time in America, it’s timely, it’s political, and it’s about white dudes.
At the SAG Awards, current frontrunner The Big Short was expected to win the Ensemble award, which is mostly the equivalent of Best Picture then. So when Demi Moore (are we in the 90s?) announced “the cast of Spotlight“, oh wait we have a new frontrunner again, and it’s Spotlight. It was a movie that has a strong message, it had a great ensemble, and it conveys a sense of “importance.”
When the DGA awarded it to The Revenant, it’s getting clearer that Mad Max is a clear fourth in this race. Maybe The Revenant was the frontrunner all along. It topped the nomination tally, it has the Best Actor winner (which has a good crossover with Best Picture), and they really seem to buy its narrative of “we almost died for this film!” The BAFTAs follow suit but unlike the Globes, we can’t say “hey it’s just a makeup win because they snubbed Birdman last year.” Which was still half true.Again, it’s from the current Best Director winner starring the likely Best Actor champion who is also the biggest star in the world.
Now think about it. If The Revenant is winning this, then why it didn’t win PGA? How come The Big Short won there? Remember that it’s the one that used the same voting patterns as the Oscar. A movie with few #1s can still benefit if it has more #2s and #3s than a film with #1s yet has #9s as well. So which among between Spotlight (It was a movie that has a strong message, it had a great ensemble, and it conveys a sense of “importance.”), The Big Short (It’s about an important time in America, it’s timely, it’s political, and it’s about white dudes.), and The Revenant (It’s from the current Best Director winner starring the likely Best Actor champion who is also the biggest star in the world) will prevail?
PREDICTION: The Revenant
The Oscars happen on Monday here in Manila at 9AM! Happy Oscars day! Tweet to talk to me about the Oscars: @nikowl
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.
Best Motion Picture – Drama
“Mad Max: Fury Road”
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.
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.
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.
Best Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical
“The Big Short”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Animated Feature Film
“The Good Dinosaur”
“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.
Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
“The Brand New Testament”
“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.
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.
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.
Best TV Series – Drama
“Game of Thrones”
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 .
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.
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.
Best TV Series – Comedy
“Mozart in the Jungle”
“Orange Is the New Black”
PREDICTION: “Transparent”. The last three shows who have won multiple awards here were Glee, Desperate 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.
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.
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!
Best TV Movie or Limited-Series
“American Horror Story: Hotel”
“Flesh and Bone”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Come mid-week of December, the Academy Foreign Language Film Committee will unveil the shortlist of who will proceed in getting a chance to be nominated at the 88th Oscars for the Best Foreign Language Film category. The two-month long screening started last October 19 with India’s “Court” opening this year and will end on December 14 with Latvia’s “Modris.” This year, 80 countries are eligible to be nominated after Afghanistan’s disqualification since the announcement.
As always, the process is as follows: after all the screenings are made by the foreign language film committee, the list will be trimmed down to nine: six of those were the top vote getters from popularity vote. The other three will be chosen by a special selected committee that will save three more from the rest of the film that finished seventh down to the last. From this list is where the final five nominees will be announced alongside all the other categories on Oscar nomination morning come January.
This year offers a really eclectic group of submissions ranging from Cannes favorites, past Oscar nominees in this category, and some popular picks. And while the shortlist can still surprise us every now and then with its inclusions (Estonia’s “Tangerines” last year came out of nowhere) and exclusions (remember when Spain’s “Blancanieves” was a shoo-in here?), here are 18 films you should watch out for.
After last year’s nomination for “Relatos Salvajes“, Argentina aims a back to back nomination in this category. This year, they’ve submitted the Venice entry “El Clan” which won its director Pablo Trapero the Silver Lion. Based on the Puccio family of Argentina, the film hasn’t only been a hit with critics, but a box office performer as well. That’s a strong combo that helps the film’s chances for a Top 9 mention.
Every now and then, the Academy decides to pick up a quirky comedy in its top nine selection. The past few years we’ve seen Sweden’s “Simple Simon” and Denmark’s “Superclasico” making the shortlist. This year, Jaco van Dormael’s Belgian fill fits the bill. The film revolves around God living in a Brussels apartment tormenting the people. It got good word when it premiered at the Directors Fortnight at Cannes and stars Oscar nominee Catherine Deneuve to boot.
One of the most buzzed contenders this year is Brazil’s “The Second Mother” helmed by female director Anna Muylaert. Not only is this one of the more popular films of the year,but its US distributor Oscilloscope Films is campaigning the hell out of it. After all, this is picking up awards left and right starting from that acting win in Sundance up to its Audience Award in Berlin. This is the type of a crowd-pleasing film that can easily get in a popular vote.
After giving its country their first ever nomination three years ago with No, Chile submitted another Pablo Larrain film in contention this year. In “El Club“, four retired Catholic priests in a small Chilean town share a house where they reveal and open their secrets and sins. This drama seems like one that can appeal to the Academy voting crowd, so this Berlin entry stands a good chance of moving on to the next round.
Hoping for their breakthrough nomination this year is Colombia who has submitted 22 times in the past but to no avail. This year, they went with arthouse raved film “Embrace of the Serpent” which has been sweeping a lot of wins from different festivals around the world from India to Cannes and Odessa to Lima. The movie, about two scientists looking for a rare plant, was also nominated just last week at the Independent Film Spirit Awards.
Denmark is one of those countries that perform well enough in this category. 12 overall nominations including a back to back win in 1987 and 1988 for “Babette’s Feast” and “Pelle, the Conqueror” is a rare achievement for any country in this category. Just in the past five years alone, four of those finished in the top 9, three got nominated, and they won their third one in 2010. This year, they went with “A War“, about a Danish military team in Afghanistan captured by the Talibans. If that’s not baity, then you don’t probably know what that means.
Ethiopia is still fairly new to the Oscar race, as their first submission was only in 2010. That said, don’t underestimate this small gem, as it has narrative written all over it being the first Ethiopian film to ever participate at the Cannes Film Festival. It also screened at Toronto earlier this year, and had critics calling it “endearing.” Working that popular crowd votes, I see.
Gaining quick momentum right now is France’s entry “Mustang.” Never mind its Turkish contribution, as it wasn’t disqualified (which makes it an acceptable French submission by the committee). But “Mustang” has been on an upward trajectory since its Toronto screening back in September. The story of five orphaned sisters growing up in a conservative society, the film is the perfect combination of a critically backed movie that has a wide voters appeal, and I can see it challenging the frontrunners to a win if it continues to increase its buzz.
The first of the two Sony Pictures Classic entry this year is Germany’s “Labyrinth of Lies.” Germany whose last trip to the Oscars was still back in 2009 for “The White Ribbon” can see themselves in contention again for this drama film that received lots of raves at this year’s TIFF. When a young prosecutor opened a case again to bring justice to the people involved,it also opened a lot of secrets during the whole process. This type of crime drama has brought lots of nominations and even wins to some of the other countries before, so it’s likely that this German entry can be another addition to the list.
Like Ethiopia, Guatemala is another country that’s fairly to the whole Oscar process. 21 years after their first submission in 1994, they’re in contention again with “Ixcanul.” Winning the Alfred Bauer Prize at this year’s Berlinale, the movie which was written and directed by Jayro Bustamante tells the story of an underage woman whose unwanted pregnancy affected her own planned destiny is the type of small scale stories that might appeal to the voters.
Probably the frontrunner in this category, if asked to pick one, is the Cannes breakout movie of the year. Son of Saul, director Laszlo Nemes’ debut feature, set in the Holocaust period is one that’s likely to sweep the Foreign Language Film winners for the year. It also helps that it’s being backed by one of the most competent distributors this year, Sony Pictures Classics. With how far the film has been out front, you know SPC would have screwed this up if it fails to win this Oscar come February.
24 years since their only nomination in this category for “Children of Nature“, Iceland is likely looking at their overdue follow up nom. The winner of this year’s Un Certain Regard section at Cannes, this dark comedy about two brothers who haven’t spoken to each in each other in 40 years perfectly hits all targets of critically acclaimed movie, appealing to Academy demographic, and one that also boasts of competent and decent production. If the voters are sick of Holocaust already, this can be their go-to alternate.
“Court” is a controversial choice for India this year. Don’t fret though, as it’s positive controversy. Seems like this is the film that everyone in India roots for to be submitted, and they actually did. The film speaks a lot about their own system, and that is some sort of a catnip in this category. India’s last nomination was still way back in 2001 for “Lagaan“, and this is the closest they’ve come to nomination #4.
Aside from Holocaust, another appealing subject for Oscar to consider you in this category is a film that features a child in its subject. Just in the last ten years alone, there was that win for “Tsotsi” and nominations for “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Tsotsi.” In “Theeb“, not only is the kid the central figure of the story, but it also was set in the midst of World War I. Kids and wars is an uber combo that they probably might not resist. Its director also picked up the Best Director plum at last year’s Venice Film Festival.
Norway’s “The Wave” probably sounds like that middlebrow American disaster film, but I think that’s what adds to its appeal and chances. It’s a story of the triumph of the human spirit set in a small Norwegian town that will be devastated by a 250 feet tsunami. It’s also based on a distinct tsunami incident that happened in Norway almost 80 years ago. With competent visual effects and production, as well as an easy story to follow, this can be a crowd pleaser as it was a success story.
Surprisingly enough, Romania hasn’t been in an Oscar race though they’ve came close with a Top 9 mention for Cannes winner “Beyond the Hills.” This year, they’re targeting to get that elusive first nod with Silver Bear Best Director Radu Jude’s “Aferim!“ which gives an interesting take on history in terms of prejudices, beliefs, and nationalities. That sounded more like a beauty pageant travel, but I can see this film appealing with the voters both because of its theme and its production.
If not Belgium, then maybe Sweden can score another comedy in the top 9 shortlist, thanks to Roy Andersson’s “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.” After all, they came close already in entering the top nine but missing the actual nod in 2008 (for “Everlasting Moments“), 2010 (for “Simple Simon“) and last year (for “Force Majeure“) that this might be the vehicle to that 15th nomination. It’s not hard to see it getting nominated as it won Best Film in Venice and has received overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Third time might be the charm for acclaimed auteur Hou Hsiao-Hsien after his two earlier films (1989’s “A City of Sadness” and 1998’s “Flowers of Shanghai” both failed to make the cut during those respective years. That said, his comeback film “The Assassin” is one of Cannes’ success stories this year, and with HHH himself even winning the plum for Best Directing. This is a critically backed film reaping best of the years mentions, and while there’s still a chance it can get snubbed altogether, we can count on the committee to probably save it for a Top 9 placement.
Right now, I feel comfortable in thinking that “Son of Saul“, “Mustang“, and “Rams” are the three strongest contenders. But then again, it’s difficult to pin down what they will really go for. And which country will benefit from the surprise out of nowhere mention? I’d probably ranked these eighteen films as such:
01. “Son of Saul” (Hungary)
02. “Mustang” (France)
03. “Rams” (Iceland)
LIKELY GOOD CHANCES:
04. “A War” (Denmark)
05. “The Second Mother” (Brazil)
06. “The Clan” (Argentina)
07. “The Wave” (Norway)
08. “The Club” (Chile)
IN THE MIX:
09. “The Brand New Testament” (Belgium)
10. “The Assassin” (Taiwan)
11. “Labyrinth of Lies” (Germany)
12. “Ixcanul (Volcano)” (Guatemala)
13. “Theeb” (Jordan)
14. “A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence” (Sweden)
DON’T BE SURPRISED IF THEY WERE SNUBBED:
15. “Court” (India)
16. “Lamb” (Ethiopia)
17. “Aferim!” (Romania)
18. “Embrace of the Serpent” (Colombia)
Talk to me about it on Twitter: @nikowl