This is not the new series promised a couple of posts ago.  Instead, this is the stuff that usually goes into my Best Picture post – an ongoing reaction to how things are looking, although I will probably add in more notes related to other awards as well.  I am posting this for a few reasons.  The first is that the death of the hard drive has lead to me being really swamped as I struggle to rewrite 19 reviews for my Best Adapted Screenplay posts and that is making it hard to get things done.  The second is that a lot of the things I notice about the awards as they are handed out during the season aren’t things you read elsewhere because other writers are under deadlines and I am not and they don’t have my spreadsheets; to that end I would like a forum to introduce these connections as they are happening rather than months later.  The third is that it gives a place on the blog for people to leave comments about current awards season news without needing to comment on the latest blog post, no matter the relevance (reminder that on weekdays, I can’t approve comments while at work, so don’t panic if your comment doesn’t show up right away).

This will not replace the Oscar notes and trivia I do the morning of the nominations (23 January), though I will link to it when it happens.  Anytime I add something in this post I will make it “sticky” so that it goes up to the top of the page.  But that won’t make it re-post or put it on V’s Facebook again.  I will continue to do this at least through the first few days after the Oscars on 4 March.  So, any day that awards are handed out by critics groups or guild nominations (or Globes, BAFTA, etc) are announced, there is a good chance I will add to this post.  I will start with the first couple of days worth that I had from working on the eventual Best Picture post, based on the first two critics groups.  Oh, and by the way, I haven’t actually seen Dunkirk yet, but given my love for Nolan’s films, I feel comfortable putting that FYC ad there (actually, I’ve seen it now (6 Dec) and it will take something amazing in The Post, The Shape of Water or Call Me By Your Name to keep Dunkirk from winning the Nighthawk).  But I get no revenue from it or from anything ever on this site.

28 November:  The awards season unofficially kicks off with the National Board of Review.  They go with The Post, not just for Picture, but also Actor and Actress.  The last bit is interesting because it’s been five years since any film won both Actor and Actress at the critics awards and it wasn’t at the same group (Silver Lining Playbook – Actor from NBR, Actress from LA).  No film has won Actor and Actress from the same awards group since Lost in Translation in 2003 (Boston).  No film has won Picture, Actor and Actress from the same critics group since Leaving Las Vegas in 1995 (LA) and A Passage to India is the only previous film to do it at the NBR.  But what might be most interesting is that this is a Spielberg film.  From 1985 to 1993 three Spielberg films won Best Picture at the NBR (two also winning Director) but since Schindler’s List no Spielberg film has won any award at the NBR (yes, not even Saving Private Ryan or Lincoln).  That’s strong support from a group that hasn’t been looking his way for a long time.

30 November:  The New York Film Critics chime in.  Moonlight, last year, was the first film since 2012 to win awards from all six critics groups.  After two groups, we’re already down to only four films that could do that: Lady Bird (Picture and Actress from NY, Supporting Actress and Director from NBR), The Florida Project (Director from NYFC, Supporting Actor from both), Phantom Thread (Screenplay from both) and Coco (Animated Film from both).  Of the 20 films to score as many points at the NBR as The Post, only four of them, Cabaret, The Conversation, Mississippi Burning and The Martian, failed to earn any awards from the NYFC as The Post did.  But The Post and Lady Bird are likely Best Picture nominees now.  Since the Best Picture lineup expanded in 2009, only one winner from each group has failed to be nominated: A Most Violent Year (2014 NBR) and Carol (2015 NYFC).  Before that, the NYFC was a bit spotty (14 of the previous 20 winners earned Oscar noms) but the NBR had been solid (every winner since 2000 and only two in the previous 20 years).  Going back, it’s less certain for Greta Gerwig as the NBR Best Director winner for Lady Bird because the NBR has been better at predicting a Picture nomination for its Director winner than Director (seven times in that same period their Best Director winner earned a Picture nom at the Oscars but not a Director nom).  As for winning, the NYFC winner hasn’t won the Oscar for Best Picture since 2011 and the NBR winner hasn’t done so since 2008.  The agreement of both groups on Willem DaFoe is fascinating though.  The NYFC has been spot-on with Supporting Actor recently (its last four winners have all won the Oscar) while the NBR hasn’t (no winner since 2012 – they were the only critics group that dissented on either J.K. Simmons or Mahershala Ali and they did it on both, as well as on Christoph Waltz in 2009 and Martin Landau in 1994 – every time since the Chicago group formed and made it six critics groups that five critics groups have given Supporting Actor to the same actor it’s always been the NBR, who have traditionally gone first, who have been the odd group out and they have also been dissenters in the same way in other categories).  But only once since 1995 have the NBR and NYFC actually agreed on Supporting Actor and it was Josh Brolin for Milk who didn’t win the Oscar.  Now, as for Phantom Thread winning Screenplay from both groups?  Only two original scripts have won both and while Manchester went on to win the Oscar last year, The Squid and the Whale in 2005 was a critics darling (four critics awards) but won none of the awards groups (nominated but lost at the BFCA, WGA and Oscars).  Coco is on much more solid ground, not only because four of the previous five times the NBR and NYFC agreed on Best Animated Film it went on to win the Oscar (there was a sixth time but was before the Oscar category existed) but also because there really doesn’t seem to be much competition this year.  I wouldn’t be surprised if Coco sweeps all the groups though that has never happened because the LAFC went with Anomalisa instead of Inside Out two years ago and gave Wall-E Best Picture in 2008 and therefore gave Best Animated Film to Waltz with Bashir.  Lady Bird is one of 12 films in the last 30 years to earn at least 150 points from both the NBR and the NYFC.  Of those other 11 films, five of them failed to earn that many points from the LAFC (three of them going home empty handed in LA).  So, if Lady Bird does well in LA, we’re looking at a true critics darling on a level with the other six films: Schindler’s List, Pulp Fiction, LA Confidential, Brokeback Mountain, Social Network and Moonlight.  Though, what you may notice is that those type of critics darlings often don’t win the Oscar.  By the way, what does the absence of Dunkirk so far mean for its Best Picture hopes?  Nothing.  Six of the last eight Oscar winners failed to win anything at the NBR and Argo went home empty-handed from both groups.  Birdman, it should be remembered, won big at only one group (Boston) and didn’t win Best Picture from any group.

1 December:  A couple of quick non-Oscar notes.  My guess is the next post will be 4 December (the Annie noms).  Also, looking at BoxOfficeMojo today, I noticed that of the Top 7 films of the year (through today, domestic box office), I saw all of them in the theater.  In spite of years of constant movie-going, I haven’t seen even the Top 3 in the theater in one year since 2008 and haven’t seen more than the top 3 (going down the list) since 2005.  I have never seen all of the Top 7 in the theater.  And with Last Jedi still to come, I may get to the Top 8 and if Justice League passes Logan, it will be the Top 9.  That’s just astounding to me.  Between Transformers, Hunger Games, Twilight, Fast and the Furious, stupid comedies, there’s always been something there that I didn’t see in the theater (and sometimes not at all).  But this year, apparently the box office and I have aligned.  For the record, that’s two films with Veronica (Wonder Woman, Spider-Man), four with Veronica and Thomas (Beauty and the Beast, Guardians, Thor, Despicable Me) and one by myself (It).

3 December:  Well, the LAFC didn’t go for Coco because that’s what they do (see above); it also means that while Pixar has won five Oscars in the last decade (and a good chance for a sixth this year) they have only won the LAFC once (Toy Story 3).  They did continue streaks going for Phantom Thread (Score), Lady Bird (Supporting Actress) and Florida Project (Supporting Actor).  They gave Best Picture to Call Me By Your Name, which was a tiny bit surprising because while it had tied for Director and won Actor, Shape of Water had tied for Director, won Actress and Cinematography and finished as the runner-up in Score and Production Design so it seemed to have an overall stronger support.  The Call Me win means the first three critics groups have given the award to three different films for the third straight year and if you want to read anything into it, it was the LAFC winner that went on to win the Oscar in both of the two previous years.  The Best Actor win for Timothée Chalamet in both New York and LA bodes well for him; it’s been seven years since an actor won both groups but the last four to do so all won the Oscar (the last to win both and not win the Oscar was Bill Murray in 2003).  With Sally Hawkins winning in LA it’s the third time in four years that the first three groups have given Best Actress to three different actresses and the previous two times it was the NBR winner who went on to win the Oscar.  The DaFoe win is really interesting; since the NBR winner has always been the odd man out during Supporting Actor domination (see above), he’s only the second to win all three groups (Jack Nicholson did it in 1983).  Laurie Metcalf is the first Supporting Actress to win the NBR and LAFC since 2010.  The double love in LA is also out of the ordinary.  Prior to this year, the only year that had two films with at least 200 points at the LAFC was in 1981 (250 for Atlantic City, 200 for Reds) while Call Me By Your Name earns 260 and The Shape of Water earns 210.

4 December:  Well, the Annies throw their own wrench into the mix.  To find an Annie nominee with a Metacritic rank below 60 you have to go back to 2013 (The Croods).  You have to go back to 2012 to find three (Hotel Transylvania, Rise of the Guardians).  And in those years, there wasn’t an obvious film that was overlooked.  But in this year, in the main Feature category, the Annies have nominated Boss Baby (50, and from what Veronica says, lucky to get that), Cars 3 (59) and Despicable Me 3 (49, though not really that bad in my opinion).  Even with the assumption that Blue Sky must have screwed up Ferdinand, that still leaves out The LEGO Batman Movie, not only a solid box office success (as of today, #12 for the year and just ahead of Boss Baby) but also, with a Metacritic score of 75, better reviewed than seven of the ten nominees among the Feature and Independent Feature categories (it tied with an eighth and one doesn’t have a score yet, so, basically, it’s only behind Coco).  So this just reeks of DreamWorks having a lot more voters at the Annies than Warners does.

6 December:  The Broadcast Film Critics (also known as the Critic’s Choice) nominations are out and that means we know the Oscar nominees!  Actually, not quite true, but mostly.  Since the Oscars went to a variable number of nominees in 2011 only four films have managed a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars without a BFCA nom: Amour, Philomena, American Sniper and Hidden Figures, and it should be remembered that the last two of those didn’t get wide releases until January and managed to build on very strong guild support across the board and phenomenal box office.  And only two of the 28 films in that stretch of years that earned Picture, Director and Screenplay nominations at the BFCA failed to earn Best Picture noms at the Oscars (Gone Girl, Unbroken).  Which means good news for The Shape of Water, The Post, Call Me By Your Name, Get Out, Lady Bird and Three Billboards.  It’s less good news for Dunkirk for the Oscar win because it only got Picture and Director and no film has won the Oscar without a Screenplay nom at the BFCA since 2004.  The last three Best Picture nominees at the BFCA are The Big Sick, The Florida Project and Darkest Hour with the first one also getting a Screenplay nom.  I’ve only seen three of the ten nominees and I’ve seen them all in the last four days: Dunkirk, Get Out and The Big Sick.  But this is all bad news for some of the Oscar hopefuls from earlier in the year like mother, Detroit or The Beguiled.  It’s also not great news for Phantom Thread, though that at least earned an Actor nomination.

10 December:  The Boston Society of Film Critics add their two cents (or, twelve awards, as the case may be).  The most prominent thing is that Phantom Thread wins Picture and Director.  That means we now have four different films and because of the tie in LA for Director, five different directors winning the first four critics groups.  The last time those four groups had all different directors was 2008.  The last time they had all different pictures was 2002 (when they also had all different directors) and that year Chicago, which won literally no critics awards, went on to win Best Picture at the Oscars.  DaFoe continues to win, again the only actor other than Nicholson in 1983 to win all four of these groups.  Laurie Metcalf wins again but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s a shoe-in for an Oscar; two of the last three actresses to win these three groups (NBR, LAFC, BSFC) failed to win the Oscar (Amy Ryan in 2007, Judy Davis in 1992).  The wins for Phantom Thread give it strength (as well as Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name and Florida Project); of the 19 films with at least 300 raw critics points after the first four groups since the Oscars expanded in 2009, 18 of them have earned Picture nominations at the Oscars.  But there’s always Carol, which had 10 more raw points at this point than Phantom Thread does.  Phantom Thread, Lady Bird and Florida Project have now won something at all four critics groups.  Moonlight is the only film since 2012 to manage a win from all six groups; no year since 2006 has had multiple films to do so and there haven’t been three films to do it in the same year since 1979 before the Boston or Chicago awards existed.  And what about The Post, now that it’s been passed over entirely by three groups?  Well, the list of films to win Best Picture at the NBR and get nothing from NY, LA or Boston includes such Oscar snubs as Empire of the Sun, Quills and A Most Violent Year but then again it also includes Dances with Wolves and Forrest Gump, both of which went on to major Oscar glory.  I’ll keep the post sticky at least through much of the week, with the Globe nominations coming tomorrow (I’ll be at work then probably going to an afternoon showing of The Shape of Water, so probably nothing from me until late afternoon), the Chicago Film Critics giving their awards on Tuesday night (they’re the only critics group that announce nominees and they’re already available here) and then the SAG nominees on Wednesday but after that, it’ll probably be mostly off-sticky until early January when all the guilds start chiming in.

11 December:  I have now seen The Shape of Water (brilliant, but Dunkirk is still my #1).

Golden Globe Reactions:  The Shape of Water leads the pack with 7 nominations, the most for a Drama in four years.  The bad news is that the last three Dramas to earn 7 nominations at the Globes all won only one Globe each and no film has won more than one since 2007.  The good news is that two of those films, The King’s Speech and 12 Years a Slave, went on to win Oscar gold.  The Post and Three Billboards both earn 6 noms each including Picture, Director and Screenplay.  The Post is also the first Drama in 10 years and joins Cold Mountain and Atonement as the only ones this century to earn the big 5 noms.  Since only one film since the Best Picture race expanded at the Oscars has earned the big three noms from the Globes and failed to earn an Oscar nom for Best Picture (The Ideas of March), that’s good news for all three.  The most notable surprises were Call Me By Your Name being passed over for both Director and Screenplay while The Big Sick earned no nominations at all, being pushed out by I Tonya and The Disaster Artist in Picture – Comedy and by Baby Driver in Actor – Comedy.  That is extremely bad news for The Big Sick as you can see in the Picture segment below.

State of the Categories:  I’m going to look at the non-acting categories and where they are the moment.  I’ll wait on acting until after the SAG nominations on Wednesday.

Picture:  Only three films since the current BP slate was set in 2011 have earned Globe and BFCA nominations and missed out on an Oscar nom (Moonrise Kingdom, Inside Llewyn Davis, Carol), so that means we have a starting slate of The Shape of Water, The Post, Three Billboards, Dunkirk, Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird and Get Out.  Since no film has ever earned Picture, Director and Screenplay nominations at the BFCA and Globes and failed to earn an Oscar nomination, the first three are in really good shape.  Phantom Thread won a critics award but got passed over at both the BFCA and the Globes.  The last film with that resume to earn an Oscar nomination was back in 1989 but the good news is that it also starred Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot).  What about The Big Sick?  It might be dead in the water.  Only one film has ever earned a BFCA but failed to earn a Globe nomination while competing in the Comedy category and still gone on to earn an Oscar nomination and that was A Serious Man in a year where there were 10 guaranteed nominees.

Director:  I was saying to Veronica last night it would be kind of awesome in the age of the racist-in-chief if a Mexican director won the Oscar for the fourth time in five years.  She replied, “Why not a woman?” and I commented, “could be someone black”.  Those last two are very low probability now since Gerwig and Peele were both passed over by the Globes and the last director to win the Oscar without a Globe nomination, ironically given all the news lately, was Roman Polanski.  In fact, only two directors since 1955 have won the Oscar without a Globe nom so the best money is either del Toro or Nolan taking home a well deserved Oscar.  Guillermo is in the lead at the moment but two years ago Todd Haynes had a substantial lead at this point and then missed out on both DGA and Oscar noms (though he still won the Consensus).  But you never know who will be nominated in this category at the Oscars.  In 2014, they nominated Bennett Miller (without his film no less) with only a festival win and in 2015 they went with Lenny Abrahamson with only a Satellite nom as a precursor and snubbed Ridley Scott when he was the favorite to win before the nominations.  And how about this for the wide open state of this race: thanks to the tie in LA, five different directors have won the first four critics awards.  Of those five, only one, Guillermo, earned a Globe nomination.

Adapted Screenplay:  There isn’t much to go on yet.  Only one adapted script won a critics award (The Disaster Artist).  But also only one adapted script earned a Globe nomination (Molly’s Game), the first time the Globes have gone for less than two adapted scripts since 2001.  I would have bet on Call Me By Your Name to win the Oscar and it’s not dead yet because eight films have won the Oscar without even a Globe nom although Precious is the only one to do so since 2003.

Original Screenplay:  Phantom Thread was hurt by being passed over by the BFCA and the Globes (and a stacked category) but the last three original scripts to win two critics awards but fail to earn either a BFCA or Globe nom all earned Oscar noms (A Separation, Happy-Go-Lucky, The Savages).  Get Out‘s chances of winning the Oscar were certainly hurt by the Globe snub; only three original scripts have won the Oscar in the last 20 years without a Globe nom (Talk to Her, Little Miss Sunshine, Milk).

Cinematography:  There is no consensus yet, with three different films winning critics awards (and all three earning BFCA noms).  But that doesn’t mean anything for Oscar.  After all, four of the last six films that were dominating the Consensus at this point in the race failed to win the Oscar (Tree of Life, The Master, Carol, Moonlight).

Animated Film:  Coco has this, hands down.  It won three of the first four critics groups and is one of only three films to earn nominations from the Annies, Globes and BFCA (The Breadwinner and Loving Vincent are the others).

Best Foreign Film:  There’s not a lot of consensus yet.  Four films were nominated by both the Globes and BFCA but the one film only nominated for the former won a critics award and one of the two only nominated for the latter is in the lead because it has won two critics awards.  What makes this category so interesting at this point is that every film in the running so far (eight films) was actually submitted to the Oscars.  So there won’t be any big film like The Handmaiden or Blue is the Warmest Color that wins big but is hurt by by being ineligible for the Oscar.

13 December:  Probably my last update until after the new year, when the guilds will start hitting almost every weekday.  I’ll try to see some of the major films before then, although I don’t even know if The Post or Phantom Thread will be open in Boston by then.  Next year at least I can drive up to LA if I really want to.

Chicago Film Critics:  They go with Lady Bird, which is especially good news for it.  It makes Lady Bird the only film with two Best Picture awards.  The last four times (2013, 2011, 2006, 2003) that no film won at least three awards a film with two awards won the Oscar.  Christopher Nolan makes it six directors among film critics groups and helps move his chances of winning the Oscar up.  Willem DaFoe continues his unprecedented run.  Laurie Metcalf continues hers as well; if she wins the NSFC she will be just the fourth supporting actress to win five critics awards though she will have won the same five awards Judy Davis won in 1992 when she didn’t somehow lost the Oscar to Marisa Tomei.

SAG and the Acting Categories:

Ensemble:  I was absolutely stunned when the three films I figured were shoe-ins for this category all got passed over (The Post, Dunkirk, Call Me By Your Name).  The lesson for The Post (and Phantom Thread and All the Money in the World) is the one they should have learned after Hateful Eight was completely passed over by SAG two years ago: if you’re a late opening film, get your screeners out early.  It is true that no film has won Best Picture at the Oscars without a SAG Ensemble nomination since 1995 which would bode very well for Lady Bird which is the strongest tracking of the five Ensemble nominees.  But, until 2005, it was true you needed at least a Globe nom, until 2012 you needed a Best Director nomination, until 2014 you needed a Best Editing nomination and until 2015 you needed to win at least two other awards.  I’d say there’s still a good chance the SAG necessity ends this year.

Actor:  So is Timothée Chalamet the front-runner now?  After all, Tom Hanks and Daniel Day-Lewis both failed to earn SAG noms.  It’s true that since the SAG Awards began that no one has won Best Actor without at least a SAG nom (and Casey Affleck last year was the first to do so without a SAG win in 13 years).  But this decade the Oscars have average one actor a year who wasn’t SAG nominated and there were two in 2013 so Hanks and Day-Lewis could still easily earn Oscar noms.  As for Chalemet being the front-runner?  Well, Gary Oldman has been the presumed front-runner for months and if you think the absence of any critics awards hurts him, I’ll remind you that three years ago, Eddie Redmayne also failed to win any critics awards before going on to win the Globe, SAG, BAFTA and the Oscar.

Actress:  Meryl Streep is hurt by the lack of a SAG nom (like with Actor, no one has won without at least a SAG nom) but could steal easily earn an Oscar nom.  The main race for winner has really always been between Sally Hawkins and Saorise Ronan.  Actress has had even more Oscar nominees without a SAG nom than Actor this decade including two each in each of the last two years.  It will be interesting to see if the NSFC gives one a boost over the other since they can easily split the Globe wins.  I must admit, even though I haven’t seen it, I am sad there was no nomination for Annette Bening.  Last year she gave my #3 performance and missed out on a nomination, in 1999 she won the Nighthawk (but not the Oscar) and in 1990 and 2004 I have her Oscar nominated performances ranked higher than the actual winner.  But then again, Ronan I though should have won the Oscar in 2007 and I thought she better than the winner two years ago and in 2008 Hawkins gave the Best Actress performance with the most Consensus points (by far) to fail to earn an Oscar nom so this category is full of worthy actresses who are overdue.

Supporting Actor:  This category is where SAG becomes the key element (maybe) or not necessary at all (maybe).  In 2011 Albert Brooks had a massive Consensus lead at this point in the race until he failed to earn a SAG nomination which was followed by snubs at both the BAFTAs and the Oscars.  But in 2012, Christoph Waltz only had a Globe nomination and went on to win the Globe, BAFTA and Oscar without even a SAG nomination.  Willem DaFoe seems destined for an Oscar at this point.  No one has ever won LA, NY and Boston and failed to win the NSFC and that win would give him an unprecedented six group sweep (never done in either supporting category).  He already has 348 Consensus points and only two actors have reached that total without winning the Oscar: Burt Reynolds in 1997 and Thomas Haden Church in 2004 and both lost to heralded Hollywood stars finally winning an Oscar after several nominations (Robin Williams, Morgan Freeman).  Richard Jenkins and Woody Harrelson just don’t engender that kind of love.  At this point, this is the award I would bet the most money on for the Oscars.  Jenkins and Sam Rockwell seem like strong bets for nominations.  But after that, it will all depend on film support, especially given that the BFCA gave two nominations to Call Me By Your Name and the SAG gave it none.  Also remember – in this category in 2014 the Oscars matched SAG 5 for 5 but the next year it only matched 2 out of 5.

Supporting Actress:  Laurie Metcalf is all but assured an Oscar nom; she’s a mile above the next eligible performance in Consensus points who failed to get an Oscar nom (Cameron Diaz in 2001).  But, of the 20 actresses above her in Consensus points, seven of them failed to win the Oscar, so she’s far from a sure bet to win it all yet, though if Lady Bird is strong for Best Picture that could help.  Well, now that I write that, it might not be true.  From 1996 to 2002 four films won Picture and Supporting Actress.  But outside of that seven year stretch only three other films have won both awards in the last 60 years while 14 times in that stretch the Picture winner was nominated for Supporting Actress but didn’t win.  Just like Actor, Supporting Actress has been averaging about one Oscar nominee per year who wasn’t SAG nominated.  I’m guessing that will be Octavia Spencer, especially if Shape of Water leads in total nominations.

One last note on Dunkirk.  So far, it hasn’t been at the top of the total nominations or wins (it has 13 noms, tied for 6th and 3 wins, tied for 7th and is in 9th place in points).  But The Revenant was in a similar position in 2015 (just two more noms at the BFCA and one more at the Globes because of acting).  Like The Revenant it lost out on a SAG Ensemble nom.  But The Revenant went on to win Best Director and ended up second in points, wins and noms in 2015.  I suspect the guilds and the BAFTAs will really bring up Dunkirk‘s totals.  At this point, I am still hopeful that Christopher Nolan will win the Oscar.

19 December:  No new nominations but the Academy has released several of its eligibility lists.  That includes Original Score (nothing specific to report although it makes it clear that Their Finest is an eligible film this year which is nice because it was really good and flew under the radar), Makeup, Original Song and the semi-finalists for Visual Effects (after the original 20 eligible films) and Foreign Film.

All I have to say about Original Song is that La La Land proved you can submit multiple songs, earn multiple nominations and still win the Oscar.  So why are Greatest Showman and Coco only submitting one song each, especially since Coco’s songs are so wonderful?  I just don’t get that theory.

As for Visual Effects, the expanding number of super-hero films hasn’t altered the races that much.  After the three Marvel nominees in 2014, in 2015 there were only two semi-finalists (Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron) and neither earned nominations.  Last year, of the six on the eligibility list, only two were semi-finalists and only Dr. Strange earned a nomination.  This year, there were six eligible films and only Guardians has even made the semis.  I won’t be surprised if it’s not nominated (I’ve seen seven of the semi-finalists and nine of the other ten eligible films and my own list would be Last Jedi, Dunkirk, Shape of Water, Kong and Guardians personally, all of which made the semis).

The Foreign semis are interesting for a couple of reasons, one of which causes me to predict Loveless as a nominee.  The first is that before this year, only four directors, since the semi-finalist process began in 2006 have been semi-finalists twice and all of them have earned nominations: Asghar Farhadi (wins in 2011, 2016), Joseph Cedar (nominations in 2007 and 2010), Michael Haneke (nominated in 2009, won in 2012) and Susanne Bier (nominate in 2006, won in 2010).  This year, we add two more to that list, the first of whom directed Loveless (Andrey Zvyagintsev, nominated in 2014 for Leviathan).  But the other is Ruben Östlund who was only a semi-finalist in 2014 for Force Majeure and is again one this year for The Square.  So, he’s the first director to make the semis twice without being at least nominated the first time.  As for the countries themselves?  Well, Senegal is a complete blank slate as it has made the semis this year with its first submission.  Lebanon is also a blank slate because while it has submitted most years since 2006 this is the first time it has made the semis.  South Africa has only made the semis once and wasn’t nominated but it did win the Oscar in 2005, the last year before this process began.  Chile has made the semis once and was nominated.  Hungary only made the semis in 2013 but it won the Oscar in 2015.  Sweden made the semis three times before breaking through with a nomination last year (it had also been nominated in the last seven years before the new process).  Russia has been nominated two of the three times it made the semis and the director portion makes it clear I think it’s headed for a nomination.  That leaves two countries.  One is Germany which is making the semis for the eighth time, the most from any country and is has been nominated four of those times.  But as for the last country?  Well, it makes Foxtrot perhaps the most sure bet for a nomination, at least according to the statistical analysis.  This is the fifth time that Israel has made the semis and the first four times, it all earned nominations.

One last little note.  I am interested that Okja made the semis for Visual Effects and Bright for Makeup because the Academy has made it clear they don’t think much of Netflix’s feature films.  After all, they passed over Idris Elba for Beasts of No Nation, helping to ensure their “Oscars so white” year.  Which makes it interesting that Goldderby is all but guaranteeing that Mudbound will be nominated for Adapted Screenplay.  We’ll see how that plays out.

3 January:  The ACE Eddies chime in.  What do they mean?  Well, in the small sense (Best Editing at the Oscars), it means that we know the winner among a choice of 13 films because only two films have ever won the Oscar without being at least nominated for the Eddie: West Side Story (1961) and Z (1969).  Since the overwhelming consensus among Oscar pundits is that Dunkirk will win, that’s not a surprise.  That doesn’t mean Dunkirk will win the Eddie (although it is a pretty good bet); three of the last five Oscar winners only earned nominations and didn’t win the Eddie.  One thing to note: since La La Land didn’t win the Oscar last year (against most predictions), it still means that since the Eddies began their Drama / Comedy split in 1999, only Chicago has won the Oscar from the Eddies’ Comedy category.  That doesn’t bode well for Get Out potentially winning.  But what about the larger picture?  Well, Birdman was Eddie nominated but won the Oscar for Best Picture without an Editing nom (the first since 1980) and Spotlight won the Oscar for Best Picture without even getting an Eddie nom (the first since 1989) so we really don’t know anything more about Best Picture than we did yesterday.

Two other things to note about the Eddies.  It doesn’t mean anything for The LEGO Batman Movie earning an Oscar nomination just because it got nominated at the Eddies.  Since the Eddies began their Animation category in 2009 even though they only nominate three (four once), only twice (2009, 2016) have all of the Eddie nominees gone on to earn Oscar noms for Best Animated Film.  Given that the Eddies are a major guild and one of the few that has a specific Animation category, it’s interesting that there’s been such a disconnect.  The other thing is that the Eddies nominated Three Billboards as a Comedy.  That makes Billboards the first film since the Eddies began their genre split in 1999 to consider something as a Comedy that the Globes had already nominated in the Drama category.

One other note on Three Billboards.  It is the highest regarded screenplay this year to be declared ineligible by the WGA (it drives me apeshit that each year Goldderby knows how many scripts are eligible but either can’t find out or doesn’t tell us the specific scripts).  That makes things easier for the WGA although one of the following scripts will still not make their nominees: Phantom Thread, Lady Bird, Get Out, The Shape of Water, The Post and The Big Sick.  It shouldn’t hurt Billboards at the Oscars (although the competition might); after all, of the first seven original screenplays to earn both BFCA (since they began regular nominations in 2001) and Globe noms but be ineligible for the WGA, six of them went on to nominations (all but The Hateful Eight) and three of them, The King’s Speech, Django Unchained and Birdman went on to win the Oscar.

4 January:  First, come the Art Directors Guild.  They are, for predictions purposes, pretty useless.  Yes, it’s true we basically know the Oscar winner because since the guild started in 1996, every Oscar winner has at least earned a nomination.  But even if we know which three of the 15 nominated films will ultimately win the three categories, it doesn’t tell us anything.  For one thing, while the last four Oscar winners all won the ADG before that, there was only a 60% overlap.  Second, there are three categories and in the last three years, all three have given us an eventual Oscar winner, with Period in 2014 (Grand Budapest Hotel), Fantasy in 2015 (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Contemporary last year (La La Land).  It’s likely to be Period or Fantasy (let’s be frank, it’s likely to be Shape of Water or Blade Runner with the latter at least in part due to the fact that first film lost to Gandhi) because La La Land was the first Contemporary category winner to win the Oscar and the fast majority of nominees come from the former two categories.  Actually, last year was doubly weird because not only did the Contemporary winner go on to win the Oscar but the Period winner, Hidden Figures, didn’t even get nominated, just the second time (after Curse of the Golden Flower in 2006) that the Period winner didn’t at least earn an Oscar nom.

So, after braving the “bomb cyclone” that is covering my city in snow and wind and which arrived a month too early to be the 40th Anniversary release of the Blizzard of 78 (by my estimation probably a foot of snow so far with no sign of stopping and snowing so hard and fast that my footprints from when I left the house were I gone when I got back twenty minutes later), the damn writers on the west coast have finally gotten out of bed and announced the WGA nominations.

The first bit I have to comment on is that I have been an X-Men fan basically my whole life and I just don’t get the acclaim for Logan.  I would much rather have had Wonder Woman as an adapted nominee (or It, honestly).  The second thing is that not only was Phantom Thread passed over (not surprising) but so was The Post, yet again.  I will talk more below as to what that does to its chances.  Perhaps the biggest thing, though, is that I Tonya was nominated instead of The Post.  Has the Oscar potential for it been underestimated?  It’s weird for me to see it just because my sister used to skate at the same rink with Harding and watched her skate when we lived in Portland.  I lived through her story.  But only two of “Gurus of Gold” have it in their Top 10 and both have it at #10.  GoldDerby has it in 14th but with 100-1 odds like all the also-rans.  Yes, it missed out on a BFCA nomination and that really hurts.  It doesn’t have the box office oomph that the last two films that earned Oscar noms without a BFCA nom did (American Sniper, Hidden Figures) though it is playing well in a limited release.  And it has now earned an ACE, WGA and two SAG noms.  Since the SAG Awards began in 1994, only 49 films have earned all of those and 42 of them earned Picture noms at the Oscars.  More importantly, since the Best Picture race expanded in 2009 14 of the 15 films to do that have earned Best Picture noms and the only exception, August: Osage County, didn’t have a Globe Picture nom going for it.  I have been seeing seven solid candidates for a while now (The Post, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, Get Out, Lady Bird, Three Billboards, Call Me By Your Name) and wondering what could stretch the race to eight (since there have been at least eight nominees every year since the category became fluid) and if it isn’t The Big Sick (blanked at the Globes) or The Florida Project (small guild / Globe support), it just might be I Tonya.

Now what about The Post?  How strong is it?  Right now, with a Globe nom, a BFCA nom and the NBR win, it still looks quite solid.  Yes, it hurts being blanked by SAG and the WGA and if it gets passed over by the PGA that is a real concern (especially since they nominate 10).  But just this decade (with the fluid BP noms at the Oscars), the following films have had almost no guild support and still earned Oscar noms: Tree of Life, Extremely Annoying and Incredibly Trite, Amour, Philomena and Selma.  Those five films were completely blanked by the PGA, DGA and WGA and only Philomena earned a SAG nom (just one), yet they were all in there come Oscar time.  What might be a bigger deal is that Dunkirk might look less strong to win since, in the history of the WGA Awards (since 1948), the only Oscar winner for Best Picture to fail to earn a WGA nom while eligible was Gladiator.  But I think it looks more and more, especially since there have been so many splits in the previous five years, that Nolan will win Director and that another film will win Best Picture.  After all, while I still haven’t seen it (who wants to come to snowy Boston and babysit so Veronica and I can go together?), both the Gurus and GoldDerby have Lady Bird at the top odds to win Best Picture.

5 January:  Who’s looking smart today?  Certainly I’m looking smarter than GoldDerby who suddenly had to take away their 100-1 odds for I Tonya and put up an entire article about how it may find its way into the Best Picture race.  Other than that, the PGA went with some obvious choices.  The big 7 were all in.  The Big Sick was also in (not unexpected).  I Tonya was in, which I didn’t find surprising after the analysis I did yesterday (although, to be fair, a few days ago, it would have been quite surprising).  Molly’s Game is in.  And Wonder Woman is in as there was a tie and there were 11 nominees, but that shouldn’t be too surprising since Deadpool was in last year (and since Wonder Woman doesn’t have the Globe and WGA noms that Deadpool had, it really shouldn’t be seriously considered as an Oscar contender).

So, I Tonya looks very strong now.  Only four films have earned the mix of guild nominations that I Tonya has (PGA, WGA, ACE, two SAG) and not earned an Oscar nom and all of them were in 2002 or before so not as relevant given the larger Best Picture field (for the record, they were Being John Malkovich, Almost Famous, Billy Elliot and Adaptation).  But what about the other two films?  Well, Molly’s Game is on a better footing, also having PGA, WGA and ACE nominations though the lack of a Globe nom, lack of BFCA nom and lack of any SAG noms certainly doesn’t help.  The Big Sick has the PGA and BFCA combo working for it but of the films since the expanded field that earned an Oscar nom with the PGA-BFCA combo but without a Globe nom, none were Comedies.  In fact, the only Comedy in my lifetime to earn an Oscar nom without a Globe nom was A Serious Man.  So that doesn’t bode well for The Big Sick.  Likewise, Darkest Hour and The Florida Project both look weak since no film has made the Oscar lineup with just a BFCA nom (but no Globe or PGA noms) since 2011.  As for the big 7 films mentioned before?  Well, since 2007 the only film to earn PGA, BFCA and Globe noms and fail to earn an Oscar nom was Moonrise Kingdom.  So any of those 7 failing to make it would be very surprising at this point.

Tomorrow night is the NSFC but I may not comment on them till Sunday morning.  We’ll see.  The Globes are Sunday night and I will try to put up something before I go to bed because otherwise it would have to wait until Monday afternoon, after I am home from work (provided no more snow problems).  Oh yeah, the Makeup Guilds also chimed in and now I am forced to watch Pitch Perfect 3 but given how much Veronica enjoyed the first two that was really going to happen anyway.

6 January:  The NSFC has finished off the critics awards and Lady Bird won big.  How big?  Tied for the 4th most points ever with Unforgiven behind only Atlantic City, The Pianist and The Social Network.  It won Picture, Director, Screenplay and Supporting Actress (and was a fairly close second in Actress).  It’s the film to take the big three awards since The Social NetworkLady Bird also ends up with the most critics points by far.  This also becomes just the third time since the Chicago Film Critics began their awards in 1988 that multiple films in one year have won awards from all six groups.  Lady Bird was a big winner from five groups and won Supporting Actress in LA while Willem Dafoe won Supporting Actor at every group (and The Florida Project also won Director at the NYFC).  Dafoe, in fact, is now at #7 all-time in the Consensus list without any awards group yet and without the Oscars or BAFTAs doing their nominations.  He has the chance to be the first Supporting Actor to ever earn 11 nominations.  I’ve never been a huge Dafoe fan and I haven’t seen the film yet but he’s a very good actor who has done very good work across the board for a long time, from Platoon to Last Temptation of Christ to Shadow of the Vampire to his comedic work in Wes Anderson films.  Since he hasn’t been Oscar nominated a lot (twice) and his performance has been so overwhelmingly acclaimed, it’s clear this isn’t a career award but a real consensus on his performance.

8 January:  The Golden Globes immediately remind me that there’s a reason I don’t predict awards.  In a sense, I make predictions with the Globes because the last few years rather than write them down immediately in my awards notebook that I have been keeping since 1989 (enough pages left to do two more years after this one), I put them in the spreadsheet and only write them down in the notebook just before the actual ceremony.  I also keep them in a list by category rather than by film like I do with the Oscars.  So, the last few years, I tend to write them down in order that I think they are likely to win.  In 2015, that meant I had eight circled names at the front of their categories, though that didn’t include either Picture category (I had Spotlight and The Big Short).  Last year, every category but three had the first name circled, with Moonlight winning Picture (I had it second behind Manchester) and Actress – Drama and Supporting Actor being the last names written, which was relevant for the first award of the note: Best Supporting Actor.

Leave it to the Globes, the day after Willem Dafoe became the first Supporting Actor to ever sweep the critics awards to then not give him the award.  He’s already 7th all-time on the Consensus list and that makes him the 2nd highest on the list to not win the Globe.  Of course, the highest on the list is Mahershala Ali who lost the Globe lost year to Aaron Taylor-Johnson, an actor who, according to the Consensus (and me) wasn’t even the best supporting actor performance in his own film.  Taylor-Johnson’s wins last year is one of the strangest in Globe history, though I was reminded of another of those types of wins when Frances McDormand won and I commented to Veronica, “Maybe that’s to make up for her losing to Madonna when she was nominated for Fargo.”

But that gets back to my list.  I had as many of my “2nd place choices” (ones I thought were my second most likely to win) as I did ones I actually got right (for the record, Picture – Comedy, Actor – Drama, Actress – Comedy, Score, Animated Film).  So what does all this mean?  The Globes used to be the populist turn after the critics award, giving their Best – Drama award to the likes of Dances with Wolves, Forrest Gump, Titanic and Gladiator presaging Oscar wins for all of them.  But in 2009, after they were the only group to give Avatar Best Picture, they turned towards the critics and critical darlings like The Social Network and Boyhood, which wouldn’t go on to win the Oscar did win the Globe.  So what to make of the Three Billboards win?  It won no critics awards from any of the six major groups, the first film to do that and then win the Globe since Avatar.  Can we ignore that because Lady Bird is still the frontrunner, with three critics wins for Picture, by far the most points from critics and a win at the Globes?  Though, I expected Lady Bird to sweep all four of its awards and not only did it lose Screenplay, more surprising, it lost Supporting Actress.

So what about the two actress races?  I wasn’t as surprised when Laurie Metcalf lost since Dafoe had lost and because I Tonya has been rising.  Because Metcalf won five critics awards instead of six, she’s not as high yet on the all-time list (15th) and, amazingly, the seven actresses immediately above her all lost the Globe and the five immediately above her lost the Globe and the Oscar.  So, it’s entirely possible that Metcalf is a critical darling who mostly washes out at the awards groups like we’ve already seen this century in 2003 from Patricia Clarkson, 2004 from Virginia Madsen, 2007 from Amy Ryan and 2011 from Jessica Chastain.  Though, the Globe winner has been mixed in those cases, with two of them (Renee Zellweger in 2003 and Octavia Spencer in 2011) going on to win the Oscar and two of them not winning again after the Globes (Natalie Portman in 2004, Cate Blanchett in 2007).  As for Actress, I’ll remind you that it’s been 16 years since the lead actress won the Oscar without winning the Globe.  That doesn’t bode well for Sally Hawkins.  Fran could ride a wave like Sandra Bullock did in 2009, a win streak that began with the Globe (Fran is the first since Bullock to win the Globe in Drama without any critics wins and only the third this century), but Bullock didn’t have an Oscar while Fran does.  So watch out for Saoirse Ronan.

As for acting, I don’t know what to think about Rockwell winning.  Is it an aberration like Taylor-Johnson?  The start of something like Christoph Waltz in 2012 when he had no critics wins and not even a SAG nomination, yet would go on to win the Oscar?  Either way, it prevents Dafoe from an unprecedented sweep of all the awards.  In Actor, this could very well be the start of an awards sweep by Gary Oldman like it was for Eddie Redmayne three years ago (who also won no critics awards).  But who will the Oscar nominees be?  If Oldman, Chalamet and Day-Lewis are in, what about the last two slots?  Is Hanks safe without a SAG nomination?  Can Franco and Kaluuya both get in?  Can Denzel sneak in?  People think the Oscars love Hanks and Day-Lewis but Denzel has two Oscars and with seven nominations already, has two more than either of them.  Can he become the ninth male to earn eight Oscar nominations for acting?  Neither Globe winner won a critics award, something that has only happened twice since 1993: 2013 and 1998, when Roberto Benigni of all people won the Oscar.

And what about Director?  Does this screw Nolan?  Well, four of the last five Globe winners went on to win the Oscar.  But only one of the five before that did, so it’s anybody’s guess still at this point.  Guillermo is in 1st place at the Consensus right now (though if he hadn’t won, he would be tied with Greta Gerwig) but last year Chazelle only won the Consensus because he won the Oscar (and he still barely won) and in 2015, Todd Haynes won the Consensus and failed to even earn DGA or Oscar noms.  As a gut feeling, I want to predict Nolan, Guillermo, Spielberg, Gerwig and Peele to be nominated but I don’t know whether to see that’s my DGA predictions or Oscar predictions or both (though they haven’t actually lined up perfectly since 2009).  And remember, those predictions are without having seen Lady Bird, Call Me By Your Name or Three Billboards.  But at the moment, because I count more thing for the Director Consensus Awards than any other category (because it plays into my all-time Top 100 list), the actual Consensus Top 5 is Guillermo, Gerwig, Guadagnino, Nolan and Sean Baker.

For the record, I thought both The Post (in spite of having seen it and having it leapfrog The Shape of Water into my #2 spot for the year) and Three Billboards would go home winless last night and that they would be rivals among the most points and nominations ever to go winless at the Globes.  Instead, it’s just The Post, which is in a long tie for 3rd most nominations and is tied for the 6th most points without a win.

One last little bit from the Globes.  The two films this year that had the most nominations so far without a win were Three Billboards and I Tonya.  Both now have at least one win.

9 January:  Turns out I should have been looking at the IndieWire calendar and not GoldDerby because the latter had the BAFTA nominations as being tomorrow and left me unprepared.  Maybe I wasn’t the only unprepared person this year as I’m thinking The Post might not have been released in time.  How else to explain a major Oscar contender receiving zero nominations?  It’s not unprecedented – Million Dollar Baby wasn’t eligible until the following year and such Oscar nominees as Winter’s Bone, Tree of Life, Her and Dallas Buyers Club all failed to earn any nominations.  But it sure doesn’t help, especially less than 48 hours after going winless at the Globes.  And the lack of screeners most likely hurt The Post at SAG and the WGA.  20th Century-Fox just dropped the ball on that.  So, let’s look at the major races now, after the Globe awards and BAFTA nominations.

Picture:  Just looking at Best Picture precedents in the current era (2011-2016) say that Lady Bird is in for an Oscar nomination (three critics win).  The same for Call Me By Your Name, Three Billboards, The Shape of Water and Dunkirk (all four other awards groups).  The Post would seem to be safe (three groups, the NBR win).  Get Out could be out (Moonrise Kingdom matched it with the PGA, Globe, BFCA and lack of a BAFTA or a critics award win) but is likely in (the other 10 films that match it all earned nominations and five of them also earned Director nominations at the Oscar as well).  Just sticking with what the Best Picture awards tell us, the last three contenders are tricky.  The Big Sick could be in or out (of the nine films with a BFCA and PGA nomination but nothing else, five were nominated).  I Tonya, just looking here, would seem to be out (the four precedents with a Globe and PGA nomination are The Ides of March, Bridesmaids, Foxcatcher and Deadpool, all of which were out) but as I mentioned a few days ago, other things come into play.  And the only film to just earn a BFCA and BAFTA nom before Darkest Hour was Drive which only earned one Oscar nomination at all.

Actress:  If The Post was ineligible that might not matter for nominating Meryl (who the Academy loves anyway).  Right now, the Consensus is, in order, Hawkins, Ronan, Fran, Robbie and Meryl.  But remember, only twice in the last six years have the Consensus nominees also been the Oscar nominees and no one is close enough to make the Consensus list with an Oscar nomination and push out one of those top 5.  One of them could be this year’s Tilda Swinton (We Need to Talk About Kevin), Marion Cotillard (Rust and Bone), Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks) or Amy Adams (Arrival).

Actor:  Each of the previous two years, the Consensus nominees were the Oscar nominees which bodes will for Chalemet, Kaluuya, Oldman, Hanks and Franco.  But strange things have happened like winning multiple critics and awards nominations and failing to earn an Oscar nom (Paul Giamatti in Sideways), earning all four awards groups and failing to earn an Oscar nom (Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips) or leaping straight into the Oscar nominees without any nominations (Tommy Lee Jones in In the Valley of Elah and Bradley Cooper in American Sniper).

Supporting Actress:  Even putting SAG aside, it would be unprecedented for Metcalf, Janney or Spencer not to get nominated.  No one with BAFTA, BFCA and Globe noms have ever failed to earn an Oscar nom.  Chau and Blige are good bets for the other slots but not necessarily safe ones as Cameron Diaz (Vanilla Sky), Mila Kunis (Black Swan) and Helen Mirren (Trumbo) all earned the BFCA-Globe-SAG trifecta and failed to add the Oscar nom (Diaz even had two critics wins as well).  And Maggie Gyllenhaal (Crazy Heart), Jackie Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) and Laura Dern (Wild) have all landed in the Oscar race with no previous nominations in the last decade.

Supporting Actor:  I think we can safely assume that Willem Dafoe will be nominated and that Hugh Grant will not receive his first Oscar nomination for Paddington 2 in spite of the BAFTA nomination (it’s not even eligible, though we will be seeing it on Monday because my wife finds the first one so bearably charming (yes, pun intended)).  The lack of a BAFTA nomination for Richard Jenkins is very surprising given the overall BAFTA love for the film.  There’s not a lot of consensus this year with only Dafoe and Rockwell earning all the awards groups nominations.  They seem safe.  But the other three nominees could come from the group of Jenkins, Harrelson, Plummer, Hammer, Stuhlbarg or even a nominee from a Best Picture nominee that leaps directly into the Oscar race like Max Von Sydow did in 2011 or Jonah Hill in 2013, so possibly Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Michael Shannon or Bob Odenkirk.

Director:  We’ll know more after the DGA in a couple of days.  Last year, the five Consensus nominees were also the Oscar nominees but four of them were also DGA nominees and only three were BAFTA nominees.  The year before, the Consensus winner earned a BAFTA nom but then didn’t earn a DGA or Oscar nom.  Right now, the Consensus nominees are del Toro, Gerwig, Guadagnino, Nolan and Baker.  But Baker, the least likely of those for a DGA nom, is just a few points above Peele and within a DGA nomination of McDonagh and Anderson.  And it’s worth pointing out that without the Oscar nom last year Gibson is out of Consensus in favor of Tom Ford, so the DGA and Oscar noms can really affect the Consensus a lot at this point (and if he gets in with both, Spielberg is in the Consensus).  Gerwig still stands a decent chance of a nomination in spite of the BAFTA and Globe snubs.  Six directors this decade have already earned Oscar noms without those two and the only one with more Consensus points than Gerwig is Terrence Malick for Tree of Life.  You just never know with the directors branch at the Oscars as the nominations for Benh Zeitlin, Bennett Miller and Lenny Abrahamson prove.  And remember – nothing is a sure bet as Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge), Marc Forster (Finding Neverland), Christopher Nolan (Inception), Ben Affleck (Argo), Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty), Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips) and Ridley Scott (The Martian) can all tell you since they all earned DGA-BFCA-BAFTA-Globe noms and several of them won critics awards and none of them earned Oscar nominations in spite of their films’ Best Picture nominations.

Foreign Film:  As is often the case, the BAFTAs are worthless here.  Three of their nominees are from 2016.  One of them didn’t make the semis at the Oscars.  That leaves Loveless.

Cinematography:  At this point, even without the ASC chiming in yet, I think we can safely assume nominations for Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk and Shape of Water.  Since the BFCA began their Cinematography awards regularly in 2009, 29 films have earned BFCA and BAFTA noms and 25 of them went on to Oscar noms.

Original Screenplay:  No film with as many Consensus points as Lady Bird or Get Out has ever failed to earn an Oscar nom.  No film yet has earned the first four awards groups and not earned an Oscar nom so The Shape of Water is also in good shape.  Given the Globes and BAFTA love, it bodes well for Three Billboards.  That would leave The Post, I Tonya,The Big Sick and even Phantom Thread vying for that final spot.

Adapted Screenplay:  Call Me By Your Name is the easy prediction for winning the Oscar (though, as the Oscar win for Sling Blade and the Oscar loss for Up in the Air prove, easy predictions aren’t always correct ones in this category).  Molly’s Game looks like a safe bet for a nomination (though, as Gone Girl and Steve Jobs show, safe bets don’t always pan out in this category either).  What else is there?  The Disaster Artist, most likely.  Mudbound, if the Academy overcomes its Netflix thing.  One of a slough of single nomination films like Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool, Logan or Wonder (BAFTA nominees Paddington 2 and The Death of Stalin aren’t eligible).  Something daring out of left field like It, Wonder Woman, The Last Jedi, Trainspotting or The Beguiled?  If Blade Runner does well at the Oscars it could also sneak in here.  The only scripts to earn nominations without at least two previous noms since 2007 were both Best Picture nominees (Winter’s Bone, Beasts of the Southern Wild) so this will be a strange year no matter what.

9 January (later):  Maybe GoldDerby can’t read a calendar because the ASC was also supposed to be tomorrow and it just announced.  The likelihood of the three Blade Runner 2049, Dunkirk and Shape of Water getting nominated got more secure with ASC nominations for all three.  Only two films have earned ASC, BFCA and BAFTA noms and failed to earn Oscar noms and one of them, 12 Years a Slave, was in a year with 7 ASC nominees (the other was Les Miserables).  The other two nominees are Darkest Hour (from not on the Consensus list to the Top 5 in one day) and Mudbound (sitting fairly comfortably at #4).  Those could falter at the Academy depending on the Academy’s love for them.  It doesn’t hurt that Darkest Hour‘s cinematographer is Bruno Delbonnel (who has 4 noms already) or that Mudbound was filmed by Rachel Morrison, the first female ASC nominee.

The Shape of Water, by the way, is now at 45 total nominations (that I track).  The Top 10 cuts off with 57 and #1 is Lincoln with 65.  There are still five guilds to go (one of which, the VES, could give it multiple noms) and the Oscars.  Lincoln‘s record is very much in sight.

10 January:  Two more guilds chime in and what have we learned?  Well, the CAS should tell us either 3 or 4 of the Oscar nominees.  Of the first 16 years this century, 13 times either 3 or 4 of the CAS nominees went on to Oscar nominations.  The other three years were 2 (2011) and all 5 (2000, 2003).  The nominees are Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, The Last Jedi, Baby Driver and Wonder Woman.  The first four match the BAFTAs and I suspect will also match the Oscars with the fifth BAFTA nominee, Blade Runner, making it in.

The Costume Designers Guild also chimed in and the odds are the Oscar nominees will be one of the 10 films nominated in Fantasy and Period.  In the history of the CDG, no Oscar winner has come from the Contemporary category and La La Land, last year, was the first nominee from that category in a decade.  But only once since 2006 have all five Oscar nominees earned CDG nominations first so don’t count out films like Darkest Hour, Victoria & Abdul or even The Beguiled just because they didn’t earn nominations today.

The Shape of Water adds two more nominations to go up to 47.  And it and Dunkirk become the 31st and 32nd films to earn nominations from the major four tech guilds (ACE, ASC, CAS, ADG).  That’s good news for both a DGA nomination and an Oscar nomination.  The only film not to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture with all four guilds was Inside Llewyn Davis which was also the one of the first 30 films to not earn a PGA nom.  Also, except for Davis and Skyfall, all the films have also earned DGA noms (and at least one MPSA nom as well).

Because the Makeup Guild Award has been around such a short time (1999-2003, then not again until 2013-present) only three films have earned nominations from all eight tech guilds: Return of the King, Birdman and Mad Max: Fury RoadThe Shape of Water still has a chance to make it nine.  It also could end up with anywhere from 10 total guild noms (Top 80 all-time) to 13 (Top 30) and if does well at the MPSE and VES as many as 18 (tied for 5th).

11 January:  Well, the DGA has chimed in.  Spielberg is out, McDonagh is in (otherwise, my predictions were correct).  So, let’s look at what this means for the Oscars, based on this century (actually, just 2001-present, so that the BFCA is included).

Guillermo del Toro:  Globe win.  That means he’s almost certainly in, no matter what.  The only Globe winner not to earn an Oscar nom since 2001 was Ben Affleck and that year, the Oscar nominations were the Tuesday before the Globe ceremony instead of two weeks after.  Currently #1 in the Consensus.

Greta Gerwig:  The #2 Consensus nominee so far.  She earned BFCA and DGA noms but no Globe or BAFTA noms.  That leaves her comparable to seven previous directors, only three of whom earned Oscar noms (Taylor Hackford in 2004, Gus Van Sant in 2008, Lee Daniels in 2009).  But Gerwig has two critics wins and the only one of those seven with a critics win was Van Sant (and he was in).

Jordan Peele:  Currently #5 in the Consensus but listed here because he has the same tracking as Gerwig but without the critics wins.  He is much less certain.  His film is very highly regarded and that should help.  Could we face the disturbing possibility of the third time in five years of a black director winning Best Picture and not winning Best Director at the Oscars?

Martin McDonagh:  He’s #6 in Director but his film is #3 for Picture.  He has the four major precursor nominations (DGA-BAFTA-Globe-BFCA).  Of the 39 directors who did that before this year, 32 of them earned Oscar noms.  However, he also didn’t earn a Director award (or even a runner-up) from any of the six major critics awards.  That reduces the precedents to 5 directors, two of whom weren’t nominated (including the most recent, Paul Greengrass in 2013), though Ang Lee did that and won the Oscar in 2012.

Christopher Nolan:  He’s also got the four major precursors but adds in a critics award.  That leaves 17 precedents, all but two of whom (Kathryn Bigelow in 2012, Ridley Scott in 2015) earned Oscar noms.  Plus Nolan has been historically snubbed before (he’s one of the seven to earn the four major precursors and fail to earn an Oscar nom in 2010).  Right now, he’s at #3 in the Consensus.

Luca Guadagnino:  The current #4 in the Consensus.  Only five directors have earned BFCA and BAFTA but not DGA or Globe noms.  Of those five, only one, Paul Greengrass in 2006, earned a nomination.  He had two critics wins though and Guadagnino only has one.

Steven Spielberg:  Currently at #9 but I’m not listing Sean Baker (one critics win, very minor nominations at the Satellites and Indies) and P.T. Anderson (one critics win, one runner-up) because they are very unlikely to be nominated in spite of being higher than Spielberg at the moment.  He’s got a Globe and a BFCA nomination but not the DGA or the BAFTA and no critics wins (though one for Best Picture).  That same combination kept Peter Jackson out of the Oscar nominees in 2005, David Fincher out in 2014 and Ava DuVernay out as well in 2014.  But it didn’t prevent Mel Gibson from earning an unwarranted Oscar nomination last year.

One interesting thing about this: several of the highly ranked Consensus directors who missed out on Oscar nominations since the current Picture format started at the Oscars still ended up with their films missing Best Picture like Nicolas Winding Refn in 2011, David Fincher in 2014, Todd Haynes in 2015 and Tom Ford in 2016.  All seven of the directors that I just listed still look very strong for Best Picture.  But only five get in at the director’s race.  But just remember – Benh Zeitlin, Bennett Miller and Lenny Abrahamson.  Abrahamson only had a Satellite nom (like Dee Rees this year for Mudbound).  Zeitlin had an Indie nomination and a critics runner-up (similar but not exactly like Sean Baker).  Bennett Miller won Best Director at Cannes and Foxcatcher wasn’t even Best Picture nominated which should give Sofia Coppola some hope for The Beguiled.

12 January:  Well, the BFCA have spoken and they have said that even though they are critics, they don’t give a damn what the critics groups thought.  Overwhelming critical winners like Willem Dafoe and Laurie Metcalf didn’t win.  The Shape of Water won its first Best Picture award.  Lady Bird, the overwhelming #1 film at the critics awards and my #1 film of the year, went home empty handed.  I won’t say much more than that because none of the awards really change the nomination likelihoods (every winner was pretty much a solid lock for a nomination anyway).  What it really said was something about who will win at the Oscars and given things like Dreamgirls or Ridley Scott, I don’t feel there’s much point in speculating on the eventual winners until we actually know the nominees.  I will just say this: this is the sixth time that the BFCA winner was not either of the Globe winning films.  It happened twice early on (Fargo, LA Confidential).  But the last four times it has happened, the BFCA winners were The Departed, No Country for Old Men, The Hurt Locker and Spotlight.  So, the odds of a Best Picture win for The Shape of Water just went considerably up.  But they are still just odds.  Even if the it prevails at the PGA, there are three films who wont he BFCA and PGA and still lost the Oscar: Saving Private Ryan, Brokeback Mountain and La La Land.  And we’re actually already in unprecedented territory.  Before last night, only four films had won the BFCA without having won Best Picture at one of the critics group first and all four of them (Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Chicago, Argo) had won the Globe first.

16 January:  So, The Shape of Water, as mentioned in the comments field, was blanked at the VES.  That pretty much wipes out its chances of catching Lincoln for the all-time lead.

I may chime in later this week on the various Tech categories and what might get nominated next week.  There’s nothing else to report until the PGA and SAG awards this weekend.

19 January:  I meant to start this earlier, but I’ve been quite busy at the movies the last several days (not commenting yet on what I’ve seen).  So, for the next couple of days, I’m going to add in a category at a time, as I finish it.  I’m looking at the categories, as I look at them, from lowest scoring to highest scoring.  I am looking at them in isolation at the moment, which means they aren’t necessarily “final predictions” and really aren’t predictions at all, but just analysis based on past performance.  The “in isolation” part is key at the moment.  Steve Pond has predicted all the categories, for instance, and has The Post with a Best Picture nomination and only Best Score to go with it.  When I do my more “final” predictions, I will take into account all the categories and the likelihood of how many total nominations a film will get.  Long story short, I will update this throughout the next few days as I finish a category.

Best Original Song:  Because there is no Song guild (Grammies don’t work because of different rules and eligibility dates) and no BAFTA category, there is really only the Globes and BFCA to compare it with.  In the 16 years that all three groups have given awards, only four songs have won all three (“The Losin’ Kind”, “Skyfall”, “Glory”, “City of Stars”).  Twice, a song won the Globe and BFCA and wasn’t even Oscar nominated (“Old Habits Die Hard”, “The Wrestler”).  “Remember Me” (Coco) and “This is Me” (The Greatest Showman) are very likely nominees because they both got both nominations and each won once, though that didn’t help the song from Furious 7 two years ago which won the BFCA and earned a Globe nom and failed to earn an Oscar nom.  My best guess is that one of the songs from Beauty and the Beast and one of the Sufjan Stevens songs from Call Me By Your Name will earn nominations.  Steve Pond might be right that they’ll nominate the new Elvis Costello song from Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool which is heavily featured in the trailer and he has been nominated before.  If the Academy embraces Mudbound (they have been resistant to feature films from Netflix) they might nominate its song.  They might go for Taylor Swift.  But one thing to remember – the last four songs nominated by the Academy that weren’t Globe or BFCA nominated (two in 2014, one each the last two years) were all from documentaries.  Not only that, but in 2015, two songs nominated for both the BFCA and Globe were bumped in favor of documentaries and the same thing happened in 2014.  There are a lot of documentaries with eligible songs and I would bet on at least one of them earning a nomination.

Best Makeup:  Logic would dictate that the three nominees would be Darkest Hour, I Tonya and Wonder.  The first two are legitimate Best Picture nominee contenders and the third is mostly known for its makeup.  All three were nominated at the BAFTA and BFCA and all three were on the semi-finalists list.  But logic and the Makeup Branch of the Academy don’t often go hand in hand.  A Best Picture winner on the short-list wasn’t nominated (The Artist) and since 2009 there have been six Best Picture nominees that were on the shortlist and were either BAFTA or BFCA nominated that failed to earn Oscar nominations.  That includes American Hustle which won both awards (and a Makeup Guild award for the hair) which was passed over for Bad Grandpa and Lone Ranger.  You could look at Bright on the semi-finalists list and think there’s no way that they would nominate it but I would remind you that it’s a terrible movie directed by David Goyer and starring Will Smith without a BAFTA or BFCA nomination – in other words the same combination that actually won the Oscar last year.

Best Costume Design:  Do you go with the precedents?  Steve Pond doesn’t think so, passing over The Shape of Water in his predictions in spite of the trifecta of BAFTA-CDG-BFCA noms.  In the eight years the BFCA has been giving the award only three films have been nominated for all three and passed up for the Oscar, but two of them were recent (Saving Mr. Banks in 2013, which was passed over in almost every category and Brooklyn in 2015 which was a Best Picture nominee) while in their places were two films with none of those three nominations (The Grandmaster, The Revenant).  The weight of the award suggests Phantom Thread, Beauty and the Beast and The Shape of Water are good bets.  It’s been four years since the Oscars went with a film that had a CDG nomination but not the BAFTA or BFCA which suggests Blade Runner, Wonder Woman, I Tonya and Darkest Hour are also safer bets than Greatest Showman or Murder on the Orient Express.  While I am not discussing winners much at this point, I will point out that the BAFTAs and BFCAs have always agreed and that except for last year’s surprise (a pleasant one though) win for Fantastic Beasts they have also presaged the Oscar winner.  Your best bet, possibly in any category, is that Phantom Thread will win the Oscar.  In fact, history makes it a more sure bet than for it to win the CDG – three films have failed to win the CDG after winning the first two and the first two of those, The Artist and The Great Gatsby, won the Oscar over the CDG winners (W.E., 12 Years a Slave).

Best Animated Film:  What can we be sure of?  This branch didn’t nominate The Adventures of Tintin, The LEGO Movie or Finding Dory.  So critical consensus, awards and massive box office don’t necessarily mean Academy approval.  They love GKIDS (four straight years with a nomination, eight nominations in six years) but Breadwinner is a GKIDS film and it’s one of the three very likely nominees (along with expected winner Coco and Loving Vincent).  Steve Pond goes with Ferdinand and The LEGO Batman Movie.  But neither was Annie nominated and no film has made it to the Oscar race without an Annie nomination since 2004.  Only two non-GKIDS films have made it without three previous nominations since 2007 and they were a Pixar and a Ghibli film.  That would lean towards Boss Baby and Despicable Me 3 for the final two noms.  Or GKIDS could snag three nominations, with Napping Princess and Mary and the Witch’s Flower.  Don’t think that having a potential song nominee makes Ferdinand any more likely; five films since 2004 have earned Song nominations while being passed over for Animated Film (Polar Express, Tangled, Rio, LEGO Movie, Trolls).  So best of luck to anyone trying to predict the last two nominees.

Best Foreign Film:  While I have been fairly coy over which films I have or haven’t seen, I will admit that at this point I have only seen one film even submitted for this category and it isn’t a semi-finalist.  This is a unique year, only the second in which there are five semi-finalists that already have nominations from previous groups (in 2014 there were actually six and Force Majeure, a film with four noms and two wins was bumped for Tangerines, which at least had a Globe nom).  Of the five, the best bets are Loveless (Russia does well), In the Fade (ditto, not to mention the Globe / BFCA wins), Foxtrot (lacking noms but Israel has been loved by the Academy), The Square (the most Consensus points so far) and then A Fantastic Woman.  Steve Pond bumps Foxtrot for The Wound.  You never know what the Academy will do; every year of the last eleven except 2014 had at least two Oscar nominees which didn’t have any precursor nominations but then again every year but 2014 had fewer than five semi-finalists with a precursor nomination.

Best Sound Editing:  There’s really nothing to help us here.  The BAFTAs and BFCA don’t have an award for this category.  The guild doesn’t announce until the day before the Oscars (better than several years recently where it was actually after the Oscars) and their main category has eight nominees generally so that still doesn’t help.  We know the Oscars like Sci-Fi films (one winner this decade, five other nominees) and War films (one winner, four other nominees) so Dunkirk, Blade Runner and Last Jedi are all good picks.  It will be interesting if Steve Pond is correct in picking Wonder Woman since they don’t particularly like super-hero films (since Dark Knight won over Iron Man in 2008 there have been no super-hero nominations).  Baby Driver is a likely nominee.  The fifth nominee could be one of several films but if Shape of Water is a dominant film it could get in here.

Best Sound Mixing:  It’s good to have overlap in your predictions between the two sound categories, but not have them completely the same.  Since Sound Editing became a regular category in 2006, 8 out of 11 times four of the five nominees have been the same and only once (2010) has it been fewer than three.  But it has never been five.  While this category historically has also had good overlap with Best Picture, there’s no guarantee there, as will be mentioned in a minute.  Since 2000 (when the BAFTAs settled on five nominees), there have been 46 films that have earned both BAFTA and CAS nominations and 40 of them went on to Oscar nominations, there have been weirdness with the last four that didn’t (one, the first Hobbit, didn’t make it at the Academy while the second, with no BAFTA or CAS nominations did while the other three were all Best Picture nominees (District 9, Black Swan, Zero Dark Thirty)).  That should bode well for Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, The Last Jedi and Baby Driver.  Since 13 Hours was the first film in three years without either previous nomination that would mean the fifth nominee is likely either Wonder Woman or Blade Runner.  In fact, don’t be surprised to see those first four films earn both Sound nominations with the fifth nominee being Wonder Woman and Blade Runner the two fifth nominees in each category.

Best Visual Effects:  The BFCA began their award in 2009 and the next year the Oscars went to five nominees, so this decade is the best stretch to look at.  In that stretch, there have been several surprise nominees, films that weren’t nominated at the BAFTAs or BFCA and weren’t nominated in the main category at the VES (Visual Effects in an Effects Driven Film), films like Real Steel, Snow White and the Huntsman and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  They have also passed over films nominated by all three groups like Pacific Rim, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and Fantastic Beasts.  Sometimes, the surprise nominee was the film that actually won the Supporting Visual Effects award at the VES while failing to earn BAFTA or BFCA noms (Hereafter, The Lone Ranger and Deepwater Horizon all fit that bill while Revenant managed a BFCA nom as well).  With Dunkirk probably the favorite in that category it looks good to join probably nominees Last Jedi, Blade Runner and War for the Planet of the Apes.  That would leave one nominee.  From 1971 to 2014, only three films earned Picture and Visual Effects nominations and didn’t win the latter (Apollo 13, Master and Commander, District 9) and all three of them lost to another Picture nominee.  That would seem to bode ill for Shape of Water which is unlikely to win the award but in 2015, three films were nominated and all lost to Ex Machina (The Martian, The Revenant, Mad Max).  So this could easily be another notch on Shape’s journey towards the most nominations.

Best Original Score:  Since 2006, when the BFCA settled on five nominees, only one film with an Oscar eligible score has earned Globe, BAFTA and BFCA noms and failed to earn an Oscar, though ironically, it was Best Picture winner 12 Years a Slave (three films earned those three nominations but were ineligible at the Oscars: Birdman, The Revenant and Arrival).  Likewise, only four times this decade has a score been nominated without one of those three groups nominating it first.  That’s very good news for Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water), Hans Zimmer (Dunkirk) and Jonny Greenwood (Phantom Thread).  Zimmer and Desplat both have Oscars but Greenwood has never even been nominated.  What about those final two spots?  Well, Three Billboards is probably out; since 2006 there have been 18 scores to earn a Globe nomination but not a BAFTA or BFCA nom and only one of them, Defiance in 2008, has earned an Oscar nom (and three of them were Best Picture nominees at the Oscars so that might not help).  So that leaves 50 time Oscar nominee John Williams (The Post) going against Hans Zimmer again (with Benjamin Wallfisch on Blade Runner) and Dario Marionelli (Darkest Hour).  Williams has Globe and BFCA noms and while that combo has only been 4 of 9 times since 2006, it’s been good 4 of the last 5 times, including three Best Picture nominees.  The other two scores have BAFTA and BFCA noms and three of the previous five with that combo have gone on to Oscar noms.  That leaves six major contenders and like Steve Pond, I’m going against Blade Runner on this.

Best Production Design:  No film since 2010 has failed to earn an Oscar nomination when achieving BAFTA, BFCA and ADG nominations which would mean four of the five slots are filled with Blade Runner, The Shape of Water, Beauty and the Beast and Dunkirk (the last of which Steve Pond doesn’t predict).  That would leave three films vying for the final spot (unless Pond is right and Dunkirk doesn’t make it).  Phantom Thread is in the weakest position as Mr. Turner is the only film since 2011 to earn an Oscar nom without an ADG nom (since they have 15 noms spread across three categories).  Murder on the Orient Express (Pond’s fifth nominee) has the ADG and BFCA going for it and five of the 10 films in that position have earned Oscar noms.  Darkest Hour has the BAFTA nominee to go along with its ADG nomination which has worked for 3 of the previous 10 films, but two of them earned Best Picture noms (American Hustle, Imitation Game), so if Darkest Hour is a Best Picture nominee that probably increases its odds (only District 9 in this position earned a Best Picture nom but not a nom here).

That’s probably all for tonight.  I’ll try to get to the other categories tomorrow.

20 January:  Continuing on with the categories.

Best Cinematography:  The best bets, in order, are Blade Runner, Dunkirk and The Shape of Water.  All three of them have ASC, BAFTA and BFCA nominations.  I think Darkest Hour is probably in (I also have it at #8 likelihood for Best Picture right now).  The final spot depends on how strongly the Academy embraces Mudbound.  If they don’t, I would guess Call Me By Your Name.  But I can conceivably see Mudbound getting anywhere from 1 to 4 nominations and this is one of those.

Best Editing:  A tricky one to predict.  Signs can point to a nomination and it can still come up short.  Best Picture can be a factor and also not mean anything.  Dunkirk and Baby Driver tied for the BFCA win and they both have BAFTA and ACE nominations.  That generally leads to a nomination.  But not always.  Ask Best Picture nominee Inception (another Nolan film) or even Best Picture winner Birdman, both of which followed up BFCA wins and BAFTA and ACE nominations with Oscar snubs, both of them to films that didn’t have BAFTA or BFCA nominations but were Best Picture nominees (The Fighter, American Sniper).  The Shape of Water and Blade Runner look like solid 3rd and 4th picks, with the trifecta BAFTA-BFCA-ACE noms.  But Up in the Air, Wolf of Wall Street and The Martian all fell short with that resume and all three were Best Picture nominees (the first two also being Director nominees).  Up in the Air and Wolf were especially strange snubs since they were replaced by the only two films since the BFCA started giving the award in 2009 to earn Oscar nominations without a BAFTA, BFCA or ACE nomination (Precious, Dallas Buyers Club).  Those last two are evidence that Best Picture can really help your chances, especially given other films that have earned Oscar noms without BAFTA or BFCA noms like The Descendants, Moneyball, Silver Livings Playbook and Hell or High Water.  This category has always had a high correlation with Best Picture at the Oscars; only three winners in my lifetime weren’t Picture nominees.  But it’s much stronger now, with only two films earning Editing nominations since the Picture expansion without a Picture nomination (though one was the surprise winner The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).  What all of that says is that the odds are against the Academy nominating both Baby Driver and Blade Runner.  It’s not impossible, but there are good odds that one of them (my guess is the latter) will be bumped for any of the following: The Post, Three Billboards, Get Out or Lady Bird, all of which were ACE nominees while The Post earned a BFCA nom and Billboards a BAFTA nom.

20 January  (later):  Because I discussed all the major awards up above after all the nominations, there is little point in rehashing them.  Some time, probably on Monday, I will put up my predictions, something I have never done before and a lot of them might be wrong, but, with a couple of exceptions, they are basically what past performances tell us to expect (with no guarantee of future results, of course).  I will probably comment late tonight or tomorrow about the PGA winner and late tomorrow or early Monday on the SAG winners but unless someone out of left field wins that I’m not expecting, those won’t affect my nomination predictions.  The vast majority of what I am predicting will be things I have seen but that’s not a factor in it – I am trying to just go based on what the other groups have done and historical analysis tells us to expect and not based on what I feel should be nominated.

I will just say this.  Unless Jessica Chastain manages to make it into the nominees (I haven’t seen Molly’s Game), this will be, in my opinion, the single best field of Best Actress nominee performances in the history of the Academy Awards.  They are already the best Top 5 in history at the Nighthawk Awards even without having seen Chastain’s performance.

21 January:  The Shape of Water wins the PGA.  It becomes the 14th film to win both the PGA and the BFCA.  Of the first 13, 10 of them went on to win the Oscar.  But the other three, Saving Private Ryan, Brokeback Mountain and La La Land, were all heavy favorites to win the Oscar on Oscar night (and all the way up until the final award as all three won Best Director).  But this year is different for a couple of reasons.  For one, The Shape of Water didn’t win the Globe.  The only two films to win the PGA and BFCA without winning the Globe were No Country for Old Men and The Hurt Locker, both of which went on to win the Oscar.  But those two films bring up the other thing: The Shape of Water didn’t win any of the six critics awards for Best Picture.  The only films to win the PGA and BFCA without winning any critics awards were Gladiator, Chicago and Argo and yes, they all went on to win the Oscar, but all three won the Globe as well.  So we’re in uncharted territory here.  What about another film winning?  Lady Bird and Three Billboards won the Globe and that gives them a shot but only two Globe winners have won the Oscar while winning the Globe and losing the BFCA, though one of them was Moonlight last year (the other was Shakespeare in Love).  They are also the only two to win the Oscar and Globe while losing the PGA.  The Globes also have the worst predictive ratio lately: only 5 of the last 13 Oscar winners won the Globe as opposed to 8 each for the PGA and BFCA.  But there is also still hope for Dunkirk.  Two films have won the Oscar without winning the BFCA or the PGA or the Globe: Million Dollar Baby and Crash.  You can point out that no film has won the Oscar without the SAG Ensemble since 1995, the first year of the award.  But, hey, we’re already in new territory, so that may not hold up either.

22 January:  Well, SAG has spoken and while the awards groups all seem to be agreeing that doesn’t mean they agree with me, the Consensus or the likelihood of winning an Oscar (although the last is still very high).  We’ll start with the Consensus.  Because none of the four actors who have swept the SAG, BFCA and Globes so far won any of the critics awards, none of them even have a mathematical possibility of winning the Consensus (Fran could tie for the win if she won the BAFTA and Oscar and Hawkins failed to earn an Oscar nom) – those are all basically assured to Chalemet, Hawkins, Dafoe and Metcalf.  As for me, well, I agree with Oldman, don’t agree with Fran or Janney but don’t argue it and fully understand it while Rockwell doesn’t make my Top 5 and I don’t even think he’s the best supporting performance in his own movie.  As for the Oscars?  Well, the history of the awards points to Janney as the best likelihood.  Not only is Supporting Actress the only one of the four awards in which a SAG-BFCA-Globe winner has never lost the Oscar but it’s also the award that has the far greatest history this decade of a winner sweeping all five awards groups (five of the seven times this decade with a sixth time being complicated in that the performance that won three of the awards was nominated in the lead category at the BAFTAs and Globes; only in 2013 was there any real disagreement among the awards groups).  But looking at the three previous times this has happened (someone winning those first three but not the Oscar), there were circumstances involved there that shouldn’t impact on Oldman or Rockwell winning but might with Fran.  Russell Crowe, in 2001, lost the Oscar but he had just won the year before, had thrown a hissy fit at the BAFTAs when his speech was cut off (which was right around when voting ended for the Oscars) and when Denzel won, it gave us an historic moment of two black actors winning the lead Oscars.  Julie Christie in 2007 also already had an Oscar, which is why history might work against Fran (Christie failed to win the BAFTA so if Fran wins the BAFTA but not the Oscar it would be unprecedented in Actress).  The final case, Eddie Murphy in 2006, had failed to earn a BAFTA nom, had been in a film that had stumbled at the Oscar nominations, failing to earn a Best Picture nom and had just starred in a terrible, terrible film that was bringing him bad press right when final voting was taking place.  None of those things should impact on Oldman or Rockwell potentially winning.

One last little bit about SAG winners.  Three Billboards is now the 12th film to win two individual awards at the SAG Awards (irregardless of whether or not they won the Ensemble award).  Of the first 11 films, only four of them (As Good as It Gets, Million Dollar Baby, The Fighter, Dallas Buyers Club) went on to win those same two Oscars, none of which won Ensemble.

22 January  (later):  The MPSE has chimed in as the last nominations other than the Oscars (thankfully before the Oscars rather than after as it has been in some years).  However, I pointed out to them that they had problems with two of their categories not coming up correctly and now all of their nominations have been taken down.  Baring what happens with their Animation and Music categories, I actually didn’t get hosed by them this year.  Every Foreign nominee was submitted to the Oscars (unfortunately one of them was a 2016 submission still not available on DVD in the States, The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, which hopefully won’t end up like The Hypnotist (2012) and Uzumasa Limelight (2014), the only two nominees from those years in any category that I haven’t seen because they haven’t been released on DVD in the States.  In fact, King’s Choice, one of their nominees from last year, just finally came out on DVD here.)  Every film in the categories I was able to see is a film I’ve either already seen or already needed to see (other than the Foreign nominees every one of their nominees had earned a nomination from at least one other guild except Detroit).  They did give two nominations to The Shape of Water, which puts it at 50 total nominations, one more than La La Land last year.  If it gets the 14 nominations at the Oscars that some are predicting, it will end up with 64 total nominations, one behind Lincoln for the all-time record for things that I track.  Actually, now that they have released their Music category (the Animation still wasn’t working and now they’re all gone again), The Shape of Water goes up one more.  So it’s at 51 and 14 Oscar nominations would tie Lincoln.  Also, I now have to see The Lost City of Z and Transformers: The Last Knight, but its Razzie nomination last night had already assured the latter.

22 January  (FINAL PREDICTIONS):  I don’t normally do predictions.  Most of the things I write come after the fact.  It’s true that for the last few years, I have made little lists that are essentially predictions the morning of the nominations but that’s because, as they are announcing live, it’s easy to circle correct things and cross off and write something over the few things that are wrong.  And I don’t like to predict what voters will do because they can ignore all rationality and taste.  But, since I have been doing all these posts as things have happened, it feels like I should do some predictions.

I learned a lesson about predictions 25 years ago when I bet my sister that A Few Good Men would get 7 nominations.  It didn’t because I didn’t know as much about predicting then.  It was harder to pick Actor in the days before SAG and the BFCA.  Picking it for Adapted Screenplay was reasonable, especially since A River Runs Through It made it to the Oscar lineup without a precursor.  And who would have guessed that Rob Reiner, already one of only three two time DGA-Globe nominees to fall short at the Oscars (John Huston and Spielberg were the others) would become the first one to fall short three times even though his film finally made it into the Oscar lineup.  I lost money on that bet and I haven’t repeated that.  But I also bring that up because the predictions I feel shakiest about below are my nominations in, you guessed it, Actor, Screenplay and Director, for The Post (well, that and my fifth pick for Adapted Screenplay).  Most of my picks are based on historical analysis with a few gut feelings but they are not personal preference, though I will point out that as it happens I didn’t predict multiple nominations for any film I haven’t seen and outside of Foreign (missing all 5) and Animated (missing two), there are only five films I’m even predicting will get a nomination at all that I haven’t seen: Molly’s Game, The Disaster Artist, The Florida Project, Downsizing and Wonder.  One last word about The Post, which I am predicting to do better than most other people who have put up predictions.  I just finished reading Katharine Graham’s Personal History and I find the whole adaptation concept a little puzzling, since there are more scenes in the film that are directly described in that book than scenes in Lincoln that were actually depicted in the pages of Team of Rivals, yet The Post is an original screenplay.  Just strange how it all works out.

My predictions are listed by category.  If you see a number after a film, that’s the number of nominations I gave it total and there aren’t any more nominations for the film after that point.  If a film only receives one nomination, I don’t list a number.  I’m not predicting winners, so the films are listed how I happened to write them down (grouped by film, often), not in any particular order about how strongly I feel about my prediction.  For song, I’m not listing the song either because I feel it’s not necessary or because I haven’t decided which song from the film.  For acting, I am only listing the actor unless that’s the final nomination for a film.  Addendum: correct predictions are now marked in blue.  Of my Best Picture nominees, only one of them, Lady Bird, did I have all their nominations correctly predicted.

Foreign Film:  Loveless, Foxtrot, The Square, A Fantastic Woman, In the Fade
Animated Film:  Coco, Loving Vincent, Breadwinner, The LEGO Batman Movie, Ferdinand
Song:  Coco (2), Greatest Showman, Call Me By Your Name, Beauty and the Beast, some documentary
Makeup:  Wonder, I Tonya, Darkest Hour
Costume Design:  The Shape of Water, Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, Beauty and the Beast
Sound Editing:  The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049, Baby Driver, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Visual Effects:  The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049, War for the Planet of the Apes, Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Sound Mixing:  The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Wonder Woman, Baby Driver, Star Wars: The Last Jedi (3)
Production Design:  The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Blade Runner 2049, Darkest Hour, Beauty and the Beast (3)
Original Score:  The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, The Post
Cinematography:  The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Darkest Hour, Call Me By Your Name, Blade Runner 2049 (5)
Editing:  The Shape of Water, Dunkirk, Get Out, Three Billboards, Baby Driver (3)
Supporting Actress:  Metcalf, Janney, Spencer, Lesley Manville, Chau (Downsizing)
Supporting Actor:  Jenkins, Rockwell, Harrelson, Hammer, Dafoe  (The Florida Project)
Actress:  Hawkins, Ronan, McDormand, Robbie, Streep
Actor:  Oldman, Chalamet, Kaluuya, Hanks, Day-Lewis (Phantom Thread – 4)
Adapted Screenplay:  Call Me By Your Name, Molly’s Game, The Disaster Artist, Mudbound, Wonder Woman  (2)
Original Screenplay:  The Shape of Water, Get Out, Lady Bird, Three Billboards, The Post
Director:  del Toro, Nolan, Gerwig, McDonagh, Spielberg
Picture:  The Shape of Water (14), Dunkirk (9), Darkest Hour (7), Three Billboards (7), The Post (6), Call Me By Your Name (6), Lady Bird (5), Get Out (4) – if they nominate 9 then I Tonya (4)

23 January:  Reactions to the actual Oscar nominations can be seen here.  The post will return to Sticky around 3 February or so, after my two 2011 posts, then it will alternate a bit being Sticky depending on new posts (giving new posts two or three days each to be at the top).

27 January:  Now that we’re past the nominations, we’ll start focusing on the potential winners.  The ACE awards were last night and they went to Dunkirk and I Tonya (and Coco, but no one ever seems to pay attention the editing films in animated films no matter how good they are).  Does ACE tell us who will win the Oscar?  Not necessarily.  Three of the last four Oscar winners (Gravity, Whiplash, Hacksaw Ridge) didn’t win at ACE.  Gravity did win the BFCA and the other two won the BAFTA.  Last year, La La Land won the BFCA and the ACE but lost the BAFTA and then the Oscar.  The first three groups have only agreed once before (Mad Max: Fury Road) and that film did go on to win the Oscar.  So if Dunkirk wins the BAFTA, where it is considered the favorite, that would put it in excellent position to win the Oscar.  What about Best Picture at the Oscars?  ACE tells us nothing there.  Most BP winners are nominated at ACE but since that covers six of the BP nominees that doesn’t help.  Also, in 2014, Birdman was nominated at ACE but not for Editing at the Oscars while in Spotlight wasn’t nominated at ACE but was nominated at the Oscars.

Tonight is the ADG.  Every BFCA winner has gone on to win the ADG so that should bode well for The Shape of Water.  Of those eight films, six have gone on to win the Oscar with Alice in Wonderland and Lincoln both failing to win the BFCA, ADG or BAFTA but then having surprising wins at the Oscars over Inception and Anna Karenina.

28 January:  Well, because they were competing in separate categories, both The Shape of Water and Blade Runner won the ADG.  The Shape of Water probably has the edge because of the BFCA win but we’ll see what happens at the BAFTAs.  One thing of note: before 2003, the longest stretch between Best Picture winners that also won the Oscar for Art Direction (Production Design) was eight years.  It’s now been 15 years since Return of the King won both, almost double the previous record.  Can Shape of Water finally break that?

4 February:  Let’s handle the Annie winners first: Coco and The Breadwinner.  That was pretty much expected and it would be a big, big deal if Coco doesn’t win the Oscar.  Right now, Coco is headed towards an Inside Out type-sweep, winning 10 awards (all the groups and all the critics except the LAFC).  If it wins the BAFTA and Oscar, it would tie Inside Out for the most Consensus points ever.

Then there’s the DGA.  Guillermo won, which is hardly surprising.  It would be unprecedented at this point if he doesn’t win the Oscar; of the 10 directors who have swept the DGA-Globe-BFCA, the only one who didn’t win the Oscar was Ben Affleck, who hadn’t been nominated.

Interestingly enough, it’s a much less likely bet for him to win the BAFTA.  Yes, the last four directors who got that trifecta won the BAFTA as well (Danny Boyle, Affleck, Alfonso Cuaron, Damien Chazelle), but of the first six, only one of them, Ang Lee in 2005, won the BAFTA while James Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Sam Mendes, Peter Jackson and Martin Scorsese all fell short.  The actual BAFTA winners in those years were, shall we say, very surprising: Baz Luhrmann (his only nomination, let alone win), Peter Weir (his only win), Pedro Almodovar (his only nomination, let alone win unless you count Cannes), Peter Weir (again, and again, his only win) and Paul Greengrass (who, unlike the other four had at least won two critics awards).  However, since 2006, the BAFTA winner has either been the Consensus winner or 2nd place finisher.  In fact, in the three times that the BAFTA winner has disagreed with the Oscar since 2006, all three times the BAFTA winner finished higher in the Consensus than the Oscar winner (2010 when Consensus winner David Fincher won the BAFTA, 2012 when BAFTA winner Ben Affleck finished 2nd and Oscar winner Ang Lee finished 3rd and 2014 when BAFTA winner Richard Linklater was the Consensus winner).  So, all of this looks really strong for Guillermo to win the BAFTA and then the Oscar and for me to say what does Christopher Nolan have to do to win the god damn Oscar?

12 February:  The WGA has chimed in.  In adapted, Call Me By Your Name is very likely to win the Oscar.  At first glance, it looks like Arrival (BFCA win, WGA win, no Globe nom) which didn’t win the Oscar but Arrival might very well have won the Oscar had Moonlight not been placed in the Adapted category at the Oscars (where it wasn’t for any other group).  While The Big Short did earn a Globe nom (while Call Me did not), it is more similar to Big Short since it will likely win the BAFTA and it also won the CFC (which Big Short also won).  From 2004-2016 only three WGA winners failed to win the Oscars.  Two of them were odd exceptions (Captain Phillips didn’t have to compete with 12 Years a Slave which was WGA ineligible and I have already mentioned Arrival).  The odd one out, of course, is Up in the Air which dominated all the awards (the first four awards groups, three critics awards) and inexplicably lost the Oscar to Precious.  So you can never be 100% certain.

Original is a tougher race but it might also be over.  It’s true that four of the last seven Oscar winners didn’t win the WGA but three of them were ineligible and the fourth, Manchester by the Sea, had to contend with Moonlight at the WGA.  It’s more telling perhaps that each of the last seven Oscar winners did win the BFCA.  Get Out won both the WGA and the BFCA.  As much as I am rooting for Lady Bird, Get Out is certainly topical and all eight of the films to win Best Original Screenplay the WGA and the BFCA all went on to win the Oscar.  In fact, as frustrating as I find it, right now the odds look like Lady Bird joins The Post as the only Best Picture nominees this year to win no awards.  Even the one thing that slowed Get Out down (no Globe nom) didn’t slow Little Miss Sunshine, which also won the WGA and BFCA before winning the BAFTA and Oscar.

14 February:  The VES chimes in and they love War for the Planet of the Apes.  But, first, that should be taken with a grain of salt and second, no one should be surprised.  The VES loved the previous two Apes films (all three won the main award, Visual Effects in an Effects Driven Film) and the Oscars haven’t cared.  And it wasn’t just the Apes films – in 2015, the VES didn’t even nominate Ex Machina, which would go on to win the Oscar.  Don’t think the BFCA mean anything here either, since both Apes films also won the BFCA.  Wait until the BAFTA to make your bets – they went with Interstellar in 2014 over the second Apes and so did the Oscars.

The other interesting thing about the VES is that Coco won all four of its nominations.  With three awards at two guilds left to go (Sound, two Sound Editing), Coco so far has won every guild award it was nominated for.  It moved up to 410 guild points yesterday, passing Big Hero 6, Ratatouille and Up and is now behind only Frozen for all-time guild points for an Animated Film.  If it wins two of the three it would tie Frozen (with the exact same resume as Frozen if what it loses is one of the SE noms) but if it wins all three it becomes the first Animated Film to win 10 guild awards and will have a new points record as well (its 10 nominations are tied for third all-time behind Tintin and Kubo, both of which received more VES noms than Coco did).

18 February:  Well Blade Runner has now clinched the Consensus win for Best Cinematography after its ASC win but that most definitely does not mean it is a cinch to win the Oscar.  The biggest support for that, of course, is that two of the 12 films still above it on the all-time Consensus list, Children of Men (9th all-time) and Tree of Life (1st all-time) both dominated the critics and won the ASC but both lost the Oscar.  In fact of the 31 ASC winners, only 13 have gone on to win the Oscar.  I could point out that recently the winners were the same three years in a row (2013-2015) but those were also the three Chivo wins so that might have been more about him than them finally lining up.  The BAFTAs also don’t do a great job, historically, of lining up (only seven times from 1989 to 2011) but they have definitely done better lately (the last five winners have lined up) so tonight might give us a better idea.  The BFCA has been the best barometer (since it became a regular award in 2009, only one year did the BFCA winner not win the Oscar – in 2011 when the BFCA split between two films and neither won the Oscar).  The only film win the BFCA and the BAFTA and not win the Oscar was in 2000, the first year that the BFCA gave the award (before dropping it until 2009) when both awards went to Gladiator.  So, if Blade Runner wins the BAFTA, that’s a great sign for Roger Deakins finally winning an Oscar.

I will end here with a flippant comment.  If Deakins doesn’t win, feel free to blame me.  In 2006, Children of Men dominated the awards (three critics, ASC, BAFTA wins) and lost to Pan’s Labyrinth which won without a BAFTA win or even an ASC nomination (though it did have two critics wins).  In 2011, Tree of Life, which had swept the critics and won the ASC and BFCA lost to Hugo which hadn’t won an award yet.  So why would a potential Blade Runner loss be blamed on me?  The one thing Pan and Hugo have in common is that they both won the Nighthawk.  So, if Dunkirk wins the Oscar, that’s on me.  Which makes me a little sad.  Deakins is one of the greatest cinematographers ever.  He’s going to earn his 13th Nighthawk nomination this year.  But he has also never won a Nighthawk in spite of being third all-time in points (and on my weighted scale he’s really close to passing Sven Nykvist for 1st all-time).

18 February (later):  The BAFTAs have finished announcing.  They won’t air here for another 3 1/2 hours but why wait to know the winners if Stephen Fry won’t be presenting?  Besides, the winners just annoy me.  A quick run-through of the winners and what it might mean, so if you want to watch the show tonight, don’t read the next paragraph yet.

Coco wins Animated which surprises no one.  The same with Darkest Hour for Makeup and Phantom Thread for Costume Design.  Any of those losing the Oscar would be a shock.  Blade Runner wins Cinematography (strengthening Deakins’ possibility for an Oscar though read my caveat above) and Visual Effects (undermining the hopes for Apes at the Oscars).  Dunkirk wins Sound as expected (sadly, its only win) but since CAS hasn’t yet gone, we’ll see which direction the Oscars go (since the BFCA has no Sound category); the last two BAFTA winners didn’t win the Oscar but the eight before that did.  But, since 3 of the last 5 BAFTA winners that didn’t win the Oscar did win the CAS who the hell knows with the Oscars.  The Shape of Water wins Art Direction, giving it the BAFTA-ADG-BFCA trifecta but Inception had that in 2010 and lost the Oscar.  The Shape of Water also wins Score; having also won the BFCA and Globe it’s basically assured to win the Oscar as all five films to do that previously went on to win the Oscar.  Baby Driver wins Editing which is bad news for Dunkirk; they tied at the BFCA and Dunkirk won ACE but since 2009 when ACE and BAFTA split their awards the Academy has never yet gone for the ACE winner.  The BAFTAs don’t help with the Foreign Film race for this year because they go with The Handmaiden which is kind of awesome because it means it now beats out Toni Erdmann for the Consensus in 2016 and since I rate The Handmaiden 25 points higher than Toni Erdmann that makes me quite happy.  The Screenplay races go to Call Me By Your Name (an easy Oscar prediction) and Three Billboards (which bollocks up the race because of what I wrote on 12 February) and just irritates the shit out of me as a writer because I think the writing is massively flawed.  Original Screenplay might be the category that is the deciding factor in people’s Oscar pools.  The acting races go to the same four that apparently everybody but me has agreed upon (I do agree with Oldman).  They also all but assure that all three amigos will be Oscar winners soon.  Of the 10 directors to win the BAFTA, DGA and Globe (and the BFCA if they’re recent enough), only Ben Affleck failed to win the Oscar and he wasn’t nominated.

Now, what about Best Picture?  Three Billboards won the BAFTA and won the Globe but didn’t win the PGA or BFCA.  Shakespeare in Love did that and won the Oscar over Saving Private Ryan (Globe – Drama winner, PGA, BFCA winner) but Atonement (which, granted didn’t even earn a PGA nom) fell to No Country for Old Men which won the PGA and BFCA like The Shape of Water.  If I were to bet, I would go with The Shape of Water leading in the nominations and having a Director nomination but I wouldn’t have bet on any of this for Three Billboards.  In my opinion it’s the weakest BAFTA winner since Gladiator in 2000.  But it’s just the second film since 1967 to win Best Film and Best British Film, which is astounding since it’s mostly an American film with just a British director.  It’s just about the least British film to ever win and that it won and Dunkirk wasn’t even nominated leaves me just empty.  It does show that the BAFTAs really don’t like to give big sweeps as no film has won Picture-Director-Screenplay since 2011 and only four films have done it since 1993.  They definitely prefer teaming it with Director though as Three Billboards is the first film since 2010 and just the third since 1996 to win Picture and Screenplay but not Director (the Oscars have gone with Picture-Screenplay but not Director three of the last four years).

19 February:  The MPSE also gave their awards last night.  Given that they have 6 categories and a lot of nominees I wouldn’t normally bother to point it out.  But, Coco failed to win in one category (Musical).  First, that means that Coco can no longer become the highest scoring animated film ever at the guilds – it can only tie Frozen (which won Musical in its year but lost Animated Film).  But that’s also Coco‘s second loss of the season (it also lost Song at the Globes).  Only its second loss.  Coco is currently sitting with 21 nominations and 16 wins with three left to be decided (CAS, its two Oscar noms).  Of the well-over 250 films to earn at least 21 nominations, only 6 have had 5 or fewer losses and four of them pre-date the BFCA and most of the guilds, thus lowering their potential for losses (Bridge on the River Kwai lost two, A Man for All Seasons lost three, Ben Hur lost three, On the Waterfront lost five).  Even one win out of the remaining three (and I think it’s very likely to win two and has a good shot for all three) means Coco beats both Sideways and Up (five losses each).  Outside of Bridge, the next highest film with only two losses is Frozen with 15 wins out of 17 noms (like Coco it also lost Song at the Globes) then Best Years of Our Lives which only lost one but only had 13 nominations.  The record, by the way, for most wins without a loss in the categories I track is Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit with 8 followed by Beginners and Son of Saul with 7 each and It Happened One Night with 6.

21 February:  So, The Shape of Water beat Phantom Thread at the CDG last night.  Does that mean Phantom Thread won’t win the Oscar?  Unlikely.  Twice before, a film won the BFCA and BAFTA and was widely expected to win the Oscar but lost at the CDG.  In both cases (The Artist, The Great Gatsby), they still went on to win the Oscar in spite of the lack of a CDG award.  Expect Phantom Thread to do the same.  Everyone else does.

25 February:  Well, the final two guilds have chimed in.  Dunkirk won the CAS (as did Coco) which should make it the front-runner for the Oscar.  But then again, last year the Oscar went to Hacksaw Ridge after it failed to win either the BAFTA or CAS and the year before it went to Mad Max after Revenant won both earlier awards so who knows with these voters.  Darkest Hour continues to be the Makeup front-runner after winning both the Period and Visual Effects Makeup Awards at the MUAHS.  This concludes the guild awards and all pre-Oscar awards.

I will probably post something about what the odds favor on Saturday.  In the middle of the week, I may put my introductory piece about my new series.  I had considered continually updating this post throughout the actual Oscars but I have decided against doing that if for no other reason than it would keep me too busy when I’m trying to watch the actual awards.

25 February (Acting Note):  It’s believed by most that the four acting races at the Oscars are foregone conclusions since Russell Crowe in 2001 is the only person in any of the four acting categories to win the first four awards groups and not win the Oscar.  But, no matter who wins the Oscar, the four acting races are already decided at the Consensus Awards.  And none of the four Oscar frontrunners are winning the Consensus (those are going to Chalemet, Hawkins, Dafoe and Metcalf, the latter two also winning the Nighthawk).  If the Oscars hold true, that would make this the first time since 2002 that neither lead Consensus winner wins the Oscar and it would mean this year would join 1974 and 1998 as the only years where none of the Consensus winners win the Oscar.  Either way, this is not a normal year, but then again, that just kind of sums up 2017 as a whole, not just at the movies.

4 March:  So, we’ve reached Oscar day.  I’ve spent the last three months going through everything, which I won’t rehash.  I’ll just list each category, what the precedents suggest is going to win and what I would like to win (even if I have no expectation that my desired choice win).  If I only list one film, I agree with what I think the Academy is going to award.

  • Best Foreign Film:  The Square is the most likely but don’t be surprised to see a curveball here.  The Oscars often ignore the Consensus here.  Indeed, almost everyone at Gurus is predicting A Fantastic Woman which hasn’t won anything.  Of the two nominees I have seen, I prefer The Square.
  • Best Animated Film:  Coco
  • Best Original Song:  “Remember Me” is still my thought but it could easily be “This is Me”.  My choice is “Remember Me” but as you’ll see in my Year in Film on Monday or Tuesday, my top choices weren’t even submitted.
  • Best Makeup:  Darkest Hour
  • Best Costume Design:  Phantom Thread
  • Best Sound Editing:  Dunkirk
  • Best Visual Effects:  Blade Runner for the Academy, Last Jedi for me, no complaints from me if Blade Runner wins
  • Best Art Direction:  The Shape of Water
  • Best Sound Mixing:  Dunkirk
  • Best Original Score:  The Shape of Water for the Academy, Last Jedi for me, definitely no complaints from me if Shape wins
  • Best Cinematography:  Blade Runner for the Academy, Dunkirk for me; really can’t complain if Roger Deakins finally wins an Oscar since he’s one of the greatest cinematographers in history and I don’t want him to end up like Gordon Willis
  • Best Editing:  Dunkirk
  • Best Supporting Actress:  Janney for the Academy, Metcalf for me; the last time there were two performances in this category I rated this high was in 2004 (Cate Blanchett for Aviator, Natalie Portman for Closer) so I’m okay with Janney winning
  • Best Supporting Actor:  Rockwell for the Academy, Dafoe for me; unless Three Billboards wins Screenplay or Picture, this is the win that will annoy me the most – I really just don’t think Rockwell was all that great and he doesn’t even make my Top 10 for the year
  • Best Actor:  Oldman
  • Best Actress:  McDormand for the Academy, Ronan for me; Fran would annoy me only because she already has an Oscar – she’s my #3 but in the best year in the history of this category
  • Best Adapted Screenplay:  Call Me By Your Name
  • Best Original Screenplay:  Get Out for the Academy, Lady Bird for me; the categories that are least secure are Foreign Film, Song, Visual Effects, Picture and this one and this might be the least because of the way the awards split – only Purple Rose of Cairo has won the BAFTA and Globe (like Billboards) and lost the Oscar but no script has ever won the BFCA and the WGA (like Get Out) and lost the Oscar – I’m inclined to think the Academy will go with Get Out for its timeliness and because it will be the film’s only win
  • Best Director:  del Toro for the Academy, Nolan for me, but del Toro is my #3 in a strong year so no complains
  • Best Picture:  The Shape of Water (my #3) for the Academy, Lady Bird for me, which, yes I am predicting to win no Oscars which would make it my second #1 in three years (both female dominated) to win no Oscars