Screen Shot 2020-11-25 at 6.21.27 AMThat’s just a reminder that Mark Harris is a funny and smart writer who already wrote one of the single best books about film ever written (Pictures at a Revolution).  He has a new biography of Mike Nichols and even though I rarely buy biographies at all and certainly not new and in hardcover, I will be getting this when it goes on sale on Tuesday.  His Twitter feed is also worth reading and I do that everyday even though I’m not even on Twitter.

So, here is a new post where people can comment on the Awards season for 2020 even though it’s now 2021 because, well, because everyone pushed things off in the hopes that the pandemic would be over and though we’re making progress, there’s still way too far to go to be hopeful that there will be a real awards season and all the films that got delayed still won’t get real releases.

I’m posting this now partially because the six major critics groups have now all made announcements with the NBR going last instead of first and still being their usual disagreeable selves by not giving Nomadland Best Director like the other five groups did.

(Brief digression: I’m not commenting on the quality of the pick for Nomadland.  I still haven’t seen it.  Movie theaters are still closed in California (and I’m in agreement on that).  What’s more, I’m going to be my usual coy self about what my actual #1 film is though I will say that I think for the first time in five years it won’t get a Best Picture nomination and I’m not going to reply to any guesses).

But I’m also doing this post now because the critics don’t matter.  This post should go up before the Golden Globes announce their nominations on Wednesday because they are what matters.

Right now you are thinking that I have lost my mind.  The Golden Globes?  The group that awarded Madonna over Fran McDormand, that gave multiple awards to Scent of a Woman after they were wined and dined by the filmmakers?  The group that gave three nominations to The Tourist?

Seriously.  The Golden Globes.  Every year we get a bunch of articles about how meaningless the Golden Globes are and how we shouldn’t even pay attention to them.  But here’s the deal: they have real meaning when it comes to predicting what the Oscars will nominate and after all, isn’t that the real game here?

The fact is that the critics mean jack shit for the Oscars if the Globes don’t back them up.  Globe nominations mean something for Oscar nominations.  Want the results?  Here they are.  Four films won Best Picture in the 2010s without a single critics Best Picture win but only two films have won Best Picture without a Globe nomination since 1955!  From 1989 to 2008 (the last 20 years of the 5 BP Era), 84% of the nominees earned a Globe nomination for Picture.  In that same stretch, 9 films won multiple Best Picture awards from the major critics groups and failed to earn an Oscar nomination.

It’s not just Picture either.  Look at Best Director.  In the 2010s, twice a Consensus Best Director winner failed to earn an Oscar nomination, let alone win the Oscar (Kathryn Bigelow, Todd Haynes).  Only two Oscar winners have failed to earn a Globe nomination since 1955!

In Best Actor, the last three Oscar winners failed to win a single critics award combined while critics darling Ethan Hawke in 2018 couldn’t even manage a nomination.  But Roberto Benigni is the only Oscar winner since 1953 to win without a Globe nom.  The story is the same in actress with more Oscar winners in the last five years failing to have a single critics win than Oscar winners without a Globe nom in the last seventy years.

Best Director is the best comparison because it’s the only one of the biggest five where both groups have the same number of nominees.  There have been 102 Globe nominees this century (the occasional sixth nominee) and 69 of those have also earned Oscar noms with half of the winners the same and just one winner knocked out in each direction (no Affleck at the Oscars, no Polanski at the Globes).  That crossover is almost as good as the DGA-Oscar crossover (77) and better than the BAFTAs or the BFCA.

But the most important thing is that the Globes come early.  Sometimes they come too early and proper denigration of a forthcoming film hasn’t hit (Nine, I’m looking at you).  But as embarrassing as the long history of the Globes can be, the reason that Oscar obsessives look at them is because they actually do still matter.

I will make one last note that no one should comment on the irony of my title.  Yes, Brokeback Mountain won Picture at the Globes while Crash is the only Oscar winner without a Globe nom since 1973 but it’s the nominations that matter, not the wins as only seven of the last 16 Oscar winners won the Globe first (yes, I count Parasite among as one of the seven).

In some ways, it’s still a bit too early to talk about the Oscars.  The submission list hasn’t been released yet.  In spite of a lot of writing on the previous post, the official list of International Film submissions only came out a few hours ago.  A lot of films aren’t yet widely available.

But the critics have chimed in.  Nomadland is the big winner with 15 awards (tied for 13th all-time) and 1066 points (12th all-time).  Though it’s worth pointing out that the film directly above it on the all-time points list is Far From Heaven (no Oscar nom for Picture or Director).  Its director, Chloe Zhao, is currently in 31st place all-time on the Best Director Consensus list (for points, not for percentage) but she’s behind Todd Haynes (Carol) and Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) and they didn’t earn Oscar noms.  First Cow won Best Picture at the NYFC but then won no other critics awards but that might not hurt since the last two films to do that (Quiz Show, Accidental Tourist) went on to Best Picture nominations in the 5 BP Era.  What’s more, its director, Kelly Reichardt, is in second place at the Consensus thanks to runner-up finishes at three critics groups and an Indie Spirit nomination.  The LAFC gave their Best Picture to a film that isn’t actually a film (it’s television) and has five different parts and isn’t even Oscar eligible.

If the critics are right then sometime in April (good god this season will last forever), Nomadland will win Picture with Zhao taking home Director and Delroy Lindo, Sidney Flanigan, Paul Raci and Youn Yuh-jung will all win Oscars.  But if that were the case, you could ask Greta Gerwig, Timothée Chalamet, Sally Hawkins, Willem Dafoe and Laurie Metcalf how they like looking at their Oscars from 2017.  Oh, wait, that’s right.  The Oscars went to Guillermo del Toro, Gary Oldman, Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell and Allison Janney, who won a combined two critics awards but all won the Globe before winning the Oscar.

30 January:

I have now looked closer at the Animated and Foreign lists.  First, the Animated.  There are 27 films on the list but it’s interesting that only 11 of those were also on the BAFTA eligible list and almost none of the GKIDS films were on the BAFTA list.  But there are also 8 films on the list without a listed distributor at the IMDb.  Hell, there’s one film (Nos Ili Zagoyor Ne Takikh) which doesn’t even appear on the IMDb.  In fact, every mention of it online is literally a list of the eligible films.  What the hell is this film?  How is it Oscar eligible?  The front-runners are clearly Soul and Wolf Walkers.  Normally, the Annies are announced by the time the list is even released but they won’t be until March so the Globes will be the first taste here.  My guess is Onward will pull a second nomination for Pixar but no idea beyond that.

On to Foreign Film.  Obviously, Another Round is the front-runner for its critical success, availability and because the director is a former nominee (for The Hunt although his The Celebration should have earned him one).  Colombia’s Memories of My Father is from a former winner (Fernando Trueba) and the Czech Republic film is from former nominee Agnieszka Holland who is Polish and made the brilliant Europa Europa which wasn’t submitted by Germany in 1991.  Dear Comrades! is getting solid support for a director (Andrei Konchalovsky) mostly known in the States for Tango & Cash and Runaway Train.  F.T. has many predictions and comments on the original awards post here.

Notes on Foreign submissions.  Plowing my way through past years, I had finally seen all the submissions from 23 different countries but now that drops back down to 12, only two of which have submitted more than two films and both no longer exist (USSR, East Germany).  The big six that drop down to the high 90’s now in my percentage seen chart are (in ascending order of number of submissions), Russia, Colombia, Argentina, India, Poland and France.  A record 93 countries had their submissions accepted.  There were actually 97 submissions but two were disqualified and two just weren’t on the final list.  The disqualifications are Uzbekistan and Belarus.  The two not on the list are more interesting: Bhutan (whose submission would have been just its second and its first since 1999) and Algeria.  Algeria is interesting because it makes it the country with the most submissions still in existence (four former Communist countries had more) without a submission.  In fact, it’s one of only six countries with 10 or more submissions without a film this year, followed by U.K., Australia, Puerto Rico, Afghanistan and Nepal.  On the other hand, France, as the only country with a submission every year of the award’s existence (65), obviously has the longest continuous streak of submissions.  But you know what has the second longest?  It’s not Italy or Japan (64 each but missed in 1973 and 1976 respectively) or Spain (62, 1966).  It’s actually Hungary, which didn’t start submitting until 1965 (making it the 30th country to start) but hasn’t missed a year since.  And after that it’s the Netherlands, with a streak back to 1973.  There are 31 countries that have submitted every year so far this century.  I’ll also note that after having its first submission disqualified (read the rules people – you can’t have a film with a majority of English dialogue), Portugal submitted Vitalina Varela, the new film from acclaimed director Pedro Costa, just the second time they have submitted a Costa film.  We’ll see if it’s more of a charm than the 8 times they submitted films from acclaimed director Manoel de Oliveira because Portugal holds the record of 36 submissions (now 37) without an Oscar nomination (followed by Romania, now at 36 and Egypt, now at 35).

2 February:

A quick update on Best Director, since it’s the only category where I count the Indies and Satellites.  At the moment, Chloe Zhao has a big Consensus lead followed by Kelly Reichardt and Spike Lee.  That might bode well for Zhao – the last two years the director in the lead at this point was Bong Joon-ho and Alfonso Cuaron.  However, while two directors in the previous eight years before that won Best Picture at the Oscars (Steve McQueen, Barry Jenkins), no director from 2010 to 2017 who was in first place at this point in the race (critics done, Indies / Satellite noms) went on to win the Oscar.  So, again, wait for the Globes.  I will point out that Zhao and Lee Isaac Chung (Minari) are the 20th and 21st directors since 2010 to earn both Satellite and Indie noms.  But only 10 of the first 19 went on to earn Oscar noms and none since 2017 (Jordan Peele).  Zhao is in better shape.  All-time, the only director to earn multiple critics wins, an Indie nom and a Satellite nom and not earn an Oscar nom was Todd Haynes in 2002 (though he won both the Indie and the Satellite in spite of no Oscar nom).  For the record, 15 directors have gone on earn Oscar noms since 2010 without either a Satellite or Indie nom including one winner (Ang Lee) though it’s interesting to note that of those 15, only 8 of them also earned DGA noms.  Also, even the Globes aren’t a sure thing as both Adam McKay (in 2015) and Denis Villeneuve earned DGA and Oscar noms without Satellite, Indie or even Globe noms (and McKay did it even without a BFCA nom).

3 February:

Well, the Globes have chimed in and with some of the usual complete idiocy (Jared fucking Leto? Kate Hudson? Music?).  But they’ve also undermined expectations.  As mentioned above, when commenting on the acting frontrunners, the Globes can undermine things and boy did they, with failing to nominate a single one of the four leaders.  Da 5 Bloods got literally nothing (pretty awkward since Spike’s kids are the Golden Globe ambassadors this year).  If you’ve been following in the comments, F.T.’s prediction of The Father is undermined by lack of a Director nom and my supposition that maybe One Night in Miami might make it in is undermined by it failing to earn a Picture nom.  Also interesting that the acting fields (and director) are so diverse but all of the black themed films that earned multiple noms (One Night in Miami, Ma Rainey, Judas and the Black Messiah, United States vs. Billie Holiday) got shut out in Picture.  It probably will push me to pony up $20 for Promising Young Women on PPV but I’ll probably wait until News of the World drops in price to see that.  And all the Prime films will probably wait until the Oscars release the eligible list so I know what I’ll need to see in the course of a month I have no intention of paying for.  This year is unique in that all of the Screenplay nominees and four of the Director nominees are from the Best Picture – Drama nominees but the fifth is a Drama film not nominated for Picture or Screenplay.  The closest that’s come is in 1992 except that one of the four Picture / Director / Screenplay nominees was a Comedy (and that the film without Director won Picture and Screenplay because the Globes are, after all, the Globes).  After I am done with work I will update with some more info when it comes to what this means historically with the acting categories.  Note also that this damages Da 5 Bloods hopes for Oscar wins but not noms.  Recent films with zero Globe noms include True Grit, Tree of Life and American Sniper.  On the other hand, First Reformed and Uncut Gems also received no Globe noms, so it might not be a good bet.

3 February (later):

Well, I’ve had a chance to look at the acting races and this year is unprecedented.  I’ll look at each category before tomorrow’s SAG noms and Sunday’s BFCA noms (announcing on Super Bowl Sunday? Way to get your lead buried) make things clearer.  But before I do, one response to both a comment and to an article I read.  Hillbilly Elegy is a bad film (I have it at a 41 which is low **) but Close herself is quite good (sadly, my current winner since Davis is lead but I haven’t seen three of the nominees).  But a 41 makes it a better film than 45 films the Globes have nominated in the past including a Best Picture winner (Love Story) and 10 other Picture nominees, four of which are * films (Burlesque, The Tourist, The Ninth Configuration, Patch Adams) and I feel like Music might also be pretty damn bad.  So just remember, for as important the Globes are for Oscar prognostication (and I make the strong case for it above), this is far from their most embarrassing moment.

Supporting Actress: Messed up in that special Globe way by putting Bakalova in lead (for the record, she could be the sixth Oscar nominee in Supporting Actress to earn a lead nom at the Globes, three of whom, Tatum O’Neal, Maggie Smith and Catherine Zeta-Jones actually won the Oscar).  But Youn Yuh-jung is missing altogether, just like Kristin Stewart in 2015.  Stewart missed out on everything after the Critics but Joan Allen in 1995 won four critics awards, missed a Globe nom and earned an Oscar nom.

Supporting Actor:  No actor has won four awards like Paul Raci and then missed out on a Globe nom and the last to win three and do it, Christopher Plummer in 1999, missed out on an Oscar nom as well.  But Raci may be more similar to Albert Brooks in 2011 who earned a Globe nom but missed out on SAG and then Oscar.  So tomorrow may be a better barometer for Raci.  Brooks is the only performance to earn more points than Raci’s 204 without a SAG nom.  With the other two actors who won critics awards (Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman) also out at the Globes, it’s anyone’s game (I would say anyone except Leto but let’s remember the Globe win for Aaron Taylor-Johnson over Mahershala Ali in 2016).

Actor:  The good news for Delroy Lindo is that of the first six actors to win multiple critics awards and then fail to earn a Globe nom, four of them went on to Oscar noms (Marlon Brando, 1973, Robert De Niro, 1990, Robert Duvall, 1997, Jeremy Renner, 2009) while just two missed out (Jeremy Irons, 1988, David Thewliss, 1993).  The bad news is the last three to do so (Timothy Spall, 2014, Ethan Hawks, 2018, Adam Sandler, 2019) all missed out.  Worth noting that the three who didn’t recently also failed to earn SAG noms so tomorrow is a better barometer for Lindo.  Unlike the two supporting races (where Bakalova has the lead thanks to the Globes but in a different category and Raci maintains his huge lead), the lack of a Lindo nom puts Boseman in first place at the Consensus and my prediction is that he stays there until the end (and though I haven’t seen Ahmed or Hopkins, I’m doubtful anyone will knock Boseman from the top of my list).

Actress:  The most interesting race.  Coming into today, Flanigan had a slim lead over Mulligan and McDormand but now she drops to third.  Last year, the lead at this point was actually Mary Kay Place in a film that almost no one saw.  That didn’t change on Globe morning because in second place was Lupita Nyong’o who also didn’t earn a Globe nom.  What will happen with SAG?  Will Ammonite come back into play?  Is this now a two-horse race between Fran going for a third Oscar and Mulligan going for the one she should have won in 2009?  There’s also the issue at play in terms of the article claiming Mulligan wasn’t hot enough to play the role and that it should have been played by the film’s producer, Margot Robbie, an argument to me that is undermined, not only for the sheer obnoxiousness of it, but because I personally find Mulligan hotter than Robbie.

4 February

Supporting Actress:  My fear that Seyfried would win the Oscar is likely gone.  The only ones to do so in Supporting Actress without a SAG nom are Marcia Gay Harden (fractured year, won a critics award) and Regina King (won multiple critics awards).  Likely Oscar winner is probably Bakalova or maybe even Youn.  But the Oscars have proven lately they don’t mind rewarding the same people close together (Ali) so Colman could definitely win.

Supporting Actor:  Raci is now Albert Brooks.  I predict no Oscar nom.  But Supporting Actor is an odd category with four Oscar nominees this century with no precursors and five more with precursors but not SAG or Globes, so Raci could follow the William Hurt in 2005 path.  I can’t believe Leto was nominated by SAG as well.  He was terrible.  I wonder if the Oscars nominate three black men (one of whom is dead) and then give the award to Cohen.

Actor:  Lindo now has followed the Spall / Hawke / Sandler path of multiple critics awards and being blanked by the Globes and SAG.  None of them earned Oscar noms.  The BFCA is unlikely to clear this up with their expansion of nominees but I see Boseman, Hopkins, Ahmed, Oldman and a fifth nominee who could be Lindo or Yuen or Rahim or even Hanks or Mikkelsen.

Actress:  After just ranting in the comments that Flanigan is much better than Adams, it’s Adams who earns a SAG nom.  Still see a two-way race for the Oscar but like Actor, a solid front four (Fran, Mulligan, Viola, Kirby) and an open fifth slot for Adams or Flanigan or Day or even Winslet, Loren, Zendaya or Taylor-Joy.  Flanigan is probably unlikely – the only actresses to win multiple critics awards, miss out on the Globes and SAG and end up earning an Oscar nom are notably all not American (Christie, Riva, Cotillard, Rampling).

Ensemble:  Though SAG is adamant that Ensemble is not a Best Picture award, it’s notable that SAG gave noms to three of the five predominantly black films that the Globes passed over in Picture (Da 5 Bloods, Ma Rainey, One Night in Miami).  Shape of Water and Green Book proved you don’t need the Ensemble nomination to win the Oscar but it helps which probably helps Trial of the Chicago 7.  I’ll be positive and say I think there’s a good chance it wins Ensemble because it’s a big ensemble piece with great acting all around and not because it’s the only mostly white film in the running.

8 February

Quick first reactions to CC (let’s face it, no one calls it the BFCA anymore except me and CC is much easier to type) with more later.

  • F.T.’s idea that The Father could win Best Picture at the Oscars is probably dead.  Last film to win without a Picture nom at the CC was Braveheart, the first year of the award when there were no nominees.
  • Da 5 Bloods has righted the ship but maybe not enough to be a real contender.  It had Picture and Director but not Screenplay.
  • The odds are 75/78 that Mank, Trial, Nomadland, Promising Young Woman, One Night in Miami (in spite of missing Pic at the Globes) and Minari (in spite of only getting Foreign at the Globes) are BP nominees at the Oscars.  The three in the past that didn’t make it to the Oscar Picture race with Picture / Director / Screenplay noms at the BFCA are Unbroken, Gone Girl and First Man.  If you figure The Father as the seventh nominee and Ma Rainey for the eight that leaves the final two spots to be fought over by Da 5 Bloods, News of the World, Sound of Metal or perhaps a surprise contender.
  • Why did I include Ma Rainey when it was passed over at the Globes for Picture?  First, it has a SAG Ensemble nomination which helps.  Second, of the 51 films to earn Picture, Screenplay and Ensemble noms at the CC, only three of them failed to earn an Oscar nom, one of which is from the 5 BP Era.  The lack of a Director nom doesn’t hurt that much: the odds are still 9/12 based on past history.  The film that missed in the 5 BP Era?  Doubt, which also starred Viola Davis (the other two are The Town and Moonrise Kingdom).  But does anyone think Doubt wouldn’t have been a nominee if the Expanded BP Era had been around in 2008?
  • They either dropped the Animated Film award or forgot to put it in the announcement.  No listing for it and at the bottom, Soul is listed with just the Score nom.  See the final bullet point.
  • Life Ahead nominated by Globes and CC but not Dear Comrades! and to me that’s just star power over the quality of the film (yes, I’ve seen both).
  • Mank has 12 noms which is tied for 5th most ever.  But, of the 7 films to earn 12 or more before today only three won Picture at the CC (12 Years, La La Land, Shape of Water).
  • Interesting to note that whatever country it was made in, Minari, with 9 noms, sets a record for a foreign language film at the CC beating the 7 for Parasite last year and the 8 for Roma the year before.  Interesting to see what effect is has on the Oscar race if it wins the Globe (likely) and the CC (very likely – no film nominated for Picture and Foreign has ever lost the latter at the CC) and if Oscar voters, without a clear front-runner based on awards still go for Another Round or go their own way (remember that Amelie and Pan’s Labyrinth both lost the Oscar).
  • The first time in 10 years that none of the Globe Comedy / Musical nominees made the CC Picture list.  Last time was in 2010 when Globe winner The Kids are All Right earned 4 CC awards but not Picture.
  • The CC used to have various genre awards (Comedy, Action, etc.) which, except for Comedy, they moved to their “genre awards” show which meant I didn’t have to ignore a bunch of categories like in the past.  But, they apparently also pushed Animated Film to that group so it doesn’t show up with their regular awards and even their own list just lists Soul with one nom (Score).  Very odd way to do things that kind of de-legitimizes an award that other groups also give out.

More detailed analysis later in the day when I am done with work.

8 February (later):

Later than I planned because I watched News of the World and Another Round.

Foreign Film:  Best to leave until tomorrow when the Oscars release the shortlist (although I seem to recall that often comes late in the day).  But I will say that things moving to PPV has advantages as this easily the earliest I’ve seen all the critics winners in this category.

Animated Film:  It looks like Soul and Wolfwalkers will compete for the win with Onward, Over the Moon and a fifth nominee along for the ride but you never know with the Academy since this category is littered with films that earned the five precursor award groups and got blanked at the Oscars.  I’m good with this if the fifth nominee is Shaun and not Croods or Willoughbys.  But the Annies (who are very late this year as opposed to very early) and their Indie category might point the way to an eventual fifth nominee that comes from GKIDS (four submissions including Earwig and the Witch and Ride Your Wave).

Original Screenplay:  Only two out of 45 films have earned CC and Globe noms and failed to earn Oscar noms (Man who Wasn’t There, Hateful Eight) so that’s good news for Promising Young Woman, Mank and Trial.  But with Minari and Sound of Metal vying for Picture noms, that bodes less well for Never Rarely in spite of its three critics wins.  On the other hand, no film with three wins has ever failed to earn an Oscar nom so something will bend here; its lack of a Globe nom might not matter since First Reformed missed out on the Globes, BAFTA and WGA and still parlayed its three critics wins and CC nom (and eventual win) into an Oscar nom.

Adapted Screenplay:  The Globe / CC nom isn’t as guaranteed here with five misses out of 41 films, including a Globe winner (About Schmidt) and three films since 2014 (Gone Girl, Steve Jobs, Nocturnal Animals).  But Nomadland and The Father are still good bets.  News of the World, One Night in Miami and Ma Rainey are probably good bets though, with First Cow the only CC nom looking unlikely (I wouldn’t bet on it earning any Oscar nominations honestly).

Supporting Actress:  Only five times out of 65 have a Supporting Actress with Globe, CC and SAG noms failed to earn an Oscar nom but three of those were within the last five years (Helen Mirren, Hong Chau, J-Lo) so Bakalova, Close and Colman are very solid bets but not 100%.  Youn has SAG and CC but not the Globe and 7 of the first 10 to do that still made the Oscar list and, perhaps more importantly, all four of the ones who had critics wins made it.  That could mean that Seyfried and Zengel are competing for one spot.  Zengel has SAG and Globe but not CC (22/27) and the Oscars often like this category for younger actresses.  Seyfried has Globe and CC but not SAG (11/16) and doesn’t have a critics win like 6 of the 11 did (though, to be fair, so did 3 of the other 5).  I’m not a fan of Seyfried or her performance but it’s the statistics that make it look like the 6th spot.  Most people still have her in.  The BAFTAs will really help in this category.

Supporting Actor:  Getting GG, CC and SAG gives 60/63 results so that’s very good for Kaluuya, Cohen and Odom.  I see Bozeman getting in because the possibility of a double posthumous nomination works well for the Academy’s publicity.  I think Raci is more likely the fifth nominee.  Only Albert Brooks has won four critics awards and failed to earn an Oscar nom.  The SAG miss is bad for Raci but Waltz won this in 2012 and Regina King won in 2018 without SAG noms.  Murray and (ugh) Leto are the next in line.

Actor:  The CC gave the middle finger to the Globes by nominating eight actors, none of whom were Globe Comedy noms.  They also gave us all the middle finger by nominating eight and doing nothing to help us sort out the race.  Of the first 77 actors to earn SAG / CC / Globe noms, 69 of them earned an Oscar nom.  If that’s the case, it’s still Bozeman, Hopkins, Ahmed and Oldman with Lindo, Yuen, Hanks and maybe even Mikkelson vying for the final nom, depending on how strongly their films are embraced.

Actress:  With SAG / CC / GG noms, Mulligan, Fran, Davis and Kirby are up to 72/79 odds though every other year seems to bring one of those who doesn’t make it and three of those seven had a critics win each (all three had the NBR).  Day and Flanigan both have the CC and both missed out on SAG.  Day has a Globe nom but no critics wins (3/7).  Flanigan has multiple critics wins but no Globe nom (3/3 but none were American).  And the BAFTAs can’t help this race because, amazingly, neither Day nor Flanigan were long-listed.  But Amy Adams and Zendaya are.  If either gets a BAFTA nom they’re in a very rare position.  That would make Adams SAG and BAFTA but not CC or Globe (or a critics win) which only matches Saorise Ronan in 2009 and Noomi Rapace in 2010 and neither earned an Oscar nom.  If Zendaya gets a BAFTA nom to go with her CC nom (but not GG or SAG) that would only match Susan Sarandon in 1994 (pre-dating CC) who got an Oscar nom and Emily Blunt in 2016 who didn’t.

Director:  All five of the Globe nominees earned CC noms.  To date, 60 of 78 have gone on to earn Oscar noms.  But, of the other 18, 13 earned Picture noms at the Oscars including three in the 5 BP Era and two of those films even won Picture at the Oscar.  We really need to wait for the DGA and BAFTAs.  Of the 18 who didn’t make it, 10 had DGA noms, 11 had BAFTA noms and 9 of those overlapped.  But, of the first 60, all but two had DGA noms and all but 9 had BAFTA noms (all but 3 until 2012 when things started to change).  Always remember that Kathryn Bigelow and Todd Haynes won the Consensus and failed to get Oscar noms and that Ridley Scott entered Oscar nom morning as the favorite to win and also failed to earn a nom.  And between Benh Zietlin, Bennett Miller, Lenny Abrahamson and Pawel Pawlikowski, there’s always the “where the fuck did that come from?” factor.  Also, Zhao is a DGA, Oscar or BAFTA nom away from clinching the Consensus Award.

Picture:  Thanks in part to both the LAFC and the Globes putting up films that don’t even qualify for the Oscars because they’re considered television and the CC pretending the Comedy categories at the Globes didn’t exist we are already at 18 films with points at the Consensus Awards, the most since 1962, a year, I should point, when the Globes nominated 20 films and the BAFTAs nominated 20 as well with very little overlap.  That’s 18 films with the PGA and BAFTAs still to go.  Since the Oscars expanded, only 6 out of 78 films have failed to earn an Oscar nom if they had Globe and CC noms and only two of those were Drama nominees (Carol, If Beale Street) and with the Oscars back to 10 guaranteed nominees, I would think Nomadland, Mank, Promising, Trial and Minari (yes, Foreign counts for this) are very safe bets.  The Father is now in trickier territory – only 9 films since 2009 have made it with Globe but the GG and even the PGA doesn’t help that much (if it gets a PGA nom odds are still just 5/21).  What about the 5 films nominated at the CC but not the Globes?  Those odds are much better – 17 of 33 films made it to the Oscars with that story including two last year (Little Women, Ford).  The PGA helps – the odds are 12/19 for CC / PGA noms without Globe noms.  What about a film hoping to still have a chance without a Globe or CC nom?  Like say Judas and the Black Messiah?  Well, you better hope for a PGA nom.  Since the PGA began in 1989, nine films have earned Oscar noms without the Globe or CC but with PGA but only two films have made it into the race without any of those three.  The good news for a miracle is that one of those three was The Blind Side in 2009.  The bad news is that Blind Side did that with massive box office appeal.  Thanks to the pandemic, even after 11 years of inflation, Blind Side, at $255 mil would easily have been the #1 film this year.  There just isn’t a film that people went to see like that.

9 February:

The Oscar shortlists are here and let’s look at them.

International Film:  Well, not much in the way of surprises unless you count F.T.’s continued disappointment at the underachieving of The Endless Trench (to be fair, I agree).  Actually, I’m quite surprised at the passing over of Blizzard of Souls which is the second highest of the foreign films I’ve seen and did end up on the Score shortlist, so clearly people saw it, but then again, different voting groups.  In fact, of the six eligible films I rated at ***.5 (I haven’t seen a **** yet but I’m watching Two of Us tomorrow), over half didn’t make the longlist with What We Wanted and Preparations… also excluded.  But if the final five is Another Round, Two of Us, La Llorona, Collective and Dear Comrades! I’ll actually have seen all five before the nominations which is a first.  As I wrote above, PPV is helpful this year.  The BAFTAs have very different eligibility rules so I’ll point out that all of the eligible films that were on the BAFTA longlist ended up on the Oscar longlist.

Makeup:  Ten on the shortlist but missing two CC noms (Promising Young Woman, Billie Holiday).  My own top two in this category right now are both on the list (Emma, Birds of Prey).  Only 5 of the 10 are on the 15 film BAFTA longlist but three of those weren’t eligible.

Song:  In true Oscar form, they didn’t even shortlist “Tigress & Tweed”, the song from Billie Holiday (not a good sign for an Andra Day nomination if the other two things it got nominated for at the CC are guaranteed not to earn noms) that was Globe / CC nominated.  They did list the other four Globe noms (three of which earned CC noms) and one of the other two CC noms.  But they’ve also added in four songs from Docs and we know the Oscars love them their docs.  Thankfully there’s no crap Diane Warren song to be added in.

Score:  Other than longlisting Blizzard of Souls when it wasn’t in International Film, no big deals here.  It includes all five GG / CC nominees and the sixth CC nom as well.  There’s a 9/15 overlap with the BAFTA longlist.  Interesting that Ammonite makes the Oscar list when it wasn’t one of its 8 mentions on the BAFTA list.  (I have been “discreetly corrected” that Ammonite did make the BAFTA list and that is correct – I had accidentally written down Another Round in its place). I’m in great shape for seeing the films on this list which I also was for the BAFTA list which is interesting given the lower crossover.

Visual Effects:  So they passed over three of the CC nominees, all of which were also longlisted at the BAFTAs (Greyhound, Invisible Man, WW1984) and instead actually longlisted a … documentary.  That’s different.  And Mank again after being longlisted at the BAFTAs and earning a surprise CC nom.  Honestly, looking at the longlist, part of me feels they should go back to what they used to do and dispense with noms in this category this year and just give the award to Tenet.  I will point out that the four films not longlisted for the BAFTAs weren’t actually eligible at the BAFTAs.

10 February:

Not an update so much as several notes about the current status and what I’ll be doing.  I’ll probably leave this as the top post until the WGA on the 16th.  Based on the calendar last year, the full Oscar submission list might be released around the 17th, so I’ll probably make some notes about that.  But after that, I’ll put up two different posts (1940s, 1912-1949) before the Globes on the 28th.  After that, I imagine I’ll leave it stuck at the top full the first couple of weeks of March and then hopefully be able to pull it down for a bit and get three related posts up (Animated Film, Kids, Disney).

  • I missed that there is a damn Diane Warren song because Steve Pond’s list of the eligible songs, I realized later, lists the singer, not the songwriter.  The Academy likes her (11 noms) but doesn’t really like her (no wins) so she’ll likely get a nom for a song I found ignorable (as opposed to F.T.).  I don’t much like her work for the most part, but I do think twice she wrote a nominated song significantly better than the Oscar winner that year (“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, “Till it Happens to You”).
  • While I’ve looked at last year’s post to get an idea of the calendar (because I can’t find a good one this year), it’s only partially worked.  I’ve been adding two months to last year’s dates, which has worked with the Oscars but not with others as most of the critics groups announced on their regular time anyway (good for them) and many of the tech guilds (ADG, CAS, ADG, CDG) which had announced on this schedule last year pushed things back three months instead of two with their noms coming in early March.  So we’re not quite at the same point as this time in December last year, though the critics, CC and GG have chimed in as well as SAG so there is some comparison.
  • By the way, while the ADG hasn’t done its noms yet, it does have full lists of eligible films and the categories, which is awesome.  I wish every guild did that.  Thank you ADG.
  • Last year, OUATiH had 35 noms and 1100 points at this point while Parasite was close behind in points and had 11 wins.  Nomadland is actually ahead of that in points (1393) because of strong critics support (15 wins) but only Nomadland (26) and Mank (21) have over 20 noms so far and no film aside from Nomadland has more than 660 points.
  • A reminder about the BAFTA longlists not to read too much into any one film’s success.  In 2011, the last time they released longlists, Midnight in Paris and Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which did quite well with other awards groups, managed to take a combined 25 BAFTA longlist mentions and earn only 3 BAFTA noms.

16 February:

The WGA has announced so it’s time to look in on the Screenplay Awards.  After this, unless the Oscar eligible lists come out and I comment on them, this post will drop down as I start putting up other posts and will go back up to the top at the end of the month with the Globes (which I won’t update as the show airs like last year because my computer is not in the same room as the television anymore).  Also, remember that at the WGA, it’s far more important to look at what gets boosted by getting in than what gets left out, given the huge number of prominent scripts that are ineligible every year.

Adapted Screenplay:  With neither of the Adapted Globe nominees eligible (Nomadland, The Father) at the WGA, it means that, for the first time since 2013 and just the second time since 1999, no Adapted script will earn nominations from all five awards groups (AA, WGA, BAFTA, CC, GG).  Assuming Nomadland and The Father as in without a problem, that suggests the other three Oscar nominees will be the three films to earn WGA and CC noms (News of the World, Ma Rainey, One Night in Miami).  The latter two get Best Picture boosts as well as they also earned SAG Ensemble noms and 30 of the 37 films since 2009 to earn both WGA and SAG Ensemble earned Best Picture noms at the Oscars (3 of the 7 that didn’t also didn’t earn PGA noms, so wait until those and the odds go up).  Ma Rainey is also just the 9th film to earn WGA, SAG Ensemble as well as Actor and Actress at SAG, the first five of which won Best Picture at the Oscars, though the 6th, The Station Agent, was blanked at the Oscar noms.  The other two WGA noms are Borat (which, I’ll remind you, is a sequel that earned an Oscar nom with only a WGA nom before it) and The White Tiger (which has better chances at BAFTA).

Original Screenplay:  Promising Young Women and Trial of the Chicago 7 both now have WGA, CC and GG noms.  Of the first 35 films to do that, all but four earned BAFTA noms (two of which that didn’t won the Oscar oddly enough – Good Will Hunting and Her) and all but The Man Who Wasn’t There earned Oscar noms.  If you throw in very likely non-WGA eligible CC / GG nominee Mank (in spite of my low opinion of the script – like with Joker last year, Anthony Lane’s review of the film really hit all my feelings on it) and non-WGA eligible CC nominee Minari that would leave just one Oscar spot open for a field that includes WGA snub Never Rarely (very much matching First Reformed which did earn an Oscar nom two years ago but in a much weaker field), WGA / CC nom Sound of Metal (especially if it’s a Picture nominee) and the last two WGA noms, Judas and the Black Messiah (strong contender) and Palm Springs (would be a big surprise to sneak into a field this strong).

Picture:  Amazingly, I can see something happening that has never happened in the history of the Oscars (partially because it wasn’t possible in the 5 BP Era), the closest it came was in 2010 when Black Swan was pushed out for Another Year: a perfect match between writing and Picture.  If the 5 Adapted Screenplay noms are Nomadland, The Father, Ma Rainey, One Night in Miami and News of the World and the 5 Original Screenplay noms are Minari, Mank, Promising Young Woman, Trial and Sound of Metal, those could be the 10 Best Picture nominees (apparently not a guarantee yet this year but still possible).  That would be something for the record books.  Hell, even if those are the screenplay noms and one of them is missing in Picture, as long as nothing else got in for Picture, it would still be a first (in no year outside the 5 BP Era have all five Picture nominees earned writing noms and even then wasn’t all that common – not once until 1964 and only 20 times in 65 years).

27 February:

Art Direction:  The ADG became the second of the tech guilds to chime in (Makeup already went as well but they have so many categories (5) and their leading nominee (Bill & Ted) wasn’t even Oscar shortlisted).  Four films have now been ADG and CC nominated (Mank, Ma Rainey, News of the World, Tenet) which is very good news for them.  Of the 55 films to earn noms in both, 42 earned Oscar noms.  It’s far from a guarantee given the other 14, especially three of those (Inglorious Basterds, Black Swan, Joker) also earned BAFTA noms and still didn’t get an Oscar nom.  I would guess that Mank, Ma Rainey and Tenet are very very strong with News of the World a very probable.  But sadly for Emma and David Copperfield, the other two CC noms, things look bad in spite of their magnificent work.  Because the ADG has multiple categories only 11 films before these two have managed CC noms without ADG noms and the last of those to earn an Oscar nomination was War Horse way back in 2011 and that includes sumptuous period work last year for both Little Women and Downton Abbey.  Still, this might be the year that changes because I can see one of those two getting in, possibly even over News of the World, in spite of historical precedent.  For the record, since the CC began their award in 2009, there have been 13 Oscar nominees without a CC nom including Jojo Rabbit last year.  Of those, nine earned an ADG nom (the last to earn an Oscar nom without either was Mr. Turner in 2014).  But more telling is that seven of the 13 earned BAFTA noms (five earned both BAFTA and ADG noms).  The last film to blank at all three and still earn an Oscar nom was Midnight in Paris.  Perhaps because the ADG have so many nominees, only two films have earned CC and BAFTA noms and failed to earn an ADG nom (War Horse, Carol) and earned an Oscar nom and one didn’t so if Emma or Copperfield makes it at BAFTA, that’s a good bet for a final nominee.  One thing that could boost Trial of the Chicago 7: of the nine films to fail to earn a CC nom but earned an Oscar nom anyway since 2011, six of them were Best Picture nominees.

These nominees also form a bridge to the next part.  First, I had seen 18 of the 20 nominees already.  That’s interesting since I was missing one in Fantasy (the only one I hadn’t seen on their eligibility list – Pinocchio) and one in Animated (one of just two I hadn’t seen – The Croods).  The second one is the interesting one in that the other eligible Animated film at the ADG that I haven’t yet seen is Spongebob.  A film that was listed as eligible in the Animated Film category at the Oscars but clearly isn’t as it turns out Paramount didn’t submit it at all.  It wasn’t on the Eligible Film list.  More on that below as I move into the next section.

Oscar Eligibility List:  You may have read elsewhere that this year’s 366 submissions is the most since 1970.  That’s the kind of thing that paid reporters in the industry can report quickly before I even know the list has been released since bizarrely the Academy didn’t even put it in the news section of their website.  Whoever runs their press releases is a fucking moron.  But anyway, I’m here to give you context on those numbers, a far more detailed analysis on the craziest year in Oscar history.

First, let’s start with Spongebob.  It’s bizarre enough for a film to be listed as Animated Eligible and then be left off the eligibility list entirely.  But Spongebob, even at just under $5 million, is the #41 grossing film of 2020.  In fact, it’s one of 11 films in the Top 50 that weren’t submitted, the highest being New Mutants, the #11 film and one of just three films I went to see in a theater in 2020 (in a drive-in, but still, I went to see it).  Compare to 2019 (highest grossing film not submitted was #80) or 2018 (highest was #27, just one in the Top 50 and four in the Top 100).  Going back to 1977, the only two Top 20 films ever not submitted before were Matrix Reloaded (#4 in 2003, not submitted because they submitted just Revolutions) and the Special Edition of Star Wars in 1997 (#8) which obviously wasn’t eligible.  That so many major studios (studios with Top 50 films that weren’t submitted include Disney, Columbia, United Artists, Paramount and TriStar) didn’t submit the actual higher grossing films is just one more bizarro thing.

Continuing with box office in bizarro year, Bad Boys for Life has a 99.99% change of being the first #1 film at the box office to fail to earn a single Oscar nomination since Catching Fire in 2013 and just the fourth one since 1977 (Three Men and a Baby, Spider-Man 3).  Unless Tenet somehow manages a surprise Picture nom (unlikely), News of the World has a good chance to become the lowest-grossing highest-grossing Picture nominee since forever (long past 1977) and since it’s currently at #28, most likely the lowest-ranked highest-grossing Picture nominee ever (I only have results back to 1977 but I have a hard time believing that any year before 1977 had a film lower than #28 and the lowest since 1977 are The Aviator and Brokeback which were both #22).  Speaking of Brokeback, this year will definitely break the streak of having at least one $100 million film since 2005 and likely the first year since 1966 that no nominee breaks $50 million (not even accounting for inflation – just gross).  Bad Boys, by the way, is the first #1 from Columbia since 2007 and the first non-Spider-Man #1 for them since Kramer vs. Kramer in 1979 and it breaks the five year Disney streak.  It could be worse: Paramount hasn’t had the #1 since Titanic and Universal hasn’t since Jurassic Park.  Hell, since then, Fox had four, DreamWorks had two and New Line had one and they’ve all been bought out since then.  A whopping 259 submissions didn’t get listed on BOM and that doesn’t include the 54 Netflix submissions (I list those separately on my box office page) and the 12 films listed as 2021 releases at BOM.  Compare that to 2019 where just 92 films (not including Netflix) weren’t listed at BOM.

On to the actual submission list.  First, the context.  Yes, this year had more submitted films than any year since 1970: 366.  In fact, aside from the blip of 371 in 1970, you have to go back to 1958 to beat this number.  Of course, from 1945 to 1958, the average number of submissions was 426.  But does this strange year mean we’re going back to the old days?  Well, no and for a couple of reasons.  First, there was the extended year, which was stupid, but also helpful.  Once I figure out the Prime stuff this week (now that I know what the submissions are and won’t have Prime briefly and miss out like last year when it ended and they still hadn’t released Les Miserables or Seberg) I will have seen almost every nominated film so far except for The Father and The Mauritanian (both go VOD after the noms but before the Oscars).  A couple of less important films will still be unseen by me (Music, French Exit, Croods) but I’ll have everything important well before the Oscars (hell, I have them mostly now – I’m at over 80% of the nominations and awards even without the combined 30 noms and 11 wins for Sound of Metal, One Night in Miami, Borat and Small Axe, the last of which I won’t list as a film but list on awards). Now, that aside, the thing about the extended year means that 2021 will likely have less submitted films (two fewer months), so we’ll need to look at the total number next year.  But, yes, submissions have been steadily increasing.  After a stretch from 1974 to 2013 where the submissions never exceeded 311 and rarely reached 300, the last seven years have averaged 337 and have never dipped below 300.  So is it more films?  No.  It’s documentaries.  In 1970, the last year to exceed this year, there were 12 submitted docs.  Back in the 50’s, there were maybe a handful each year.  This year?  Well over 90, a full fourth of the submissions.  Feature film submissions have definitely increased, since from 1989 to 2001, even with increasing (but still small) number of docs, the average # of submissions was just 246.  But it’s mostly about the documentaries.  Hell, this year, Greenwich Entertainment ponied up over $100,000 to submit 10 docs for the Best Picture race and I really can’t fathom as to why.  But doc makers have been putting their films in the main race lately and that’s the real reason for the rise in numbers.

But that’s not the only context I’ll provide because I have my glorious spreadsheet that lists all the submission numbers ever.  I’m going to tackle the studios as well because I might be literally the only person on the planet who has the numbers to do it.  I’ll go in increasing order of submission.  And don’t worry, I won’t tackle all 94 distributors that put a film in the race but I do want to mention several of them.

First, as a group, the majors only submitted 62 films in this very strange year.  That’s by far the lowest in history (the previous low was 86 in 1987), not helped by the studios that didn’t submit anything (next paragraph).  They also account for just 16.94% of the submitted films.  That crushes last year’s all-time low of 28.49%.  Back in the 00’s, the majors accounted for nearly half of the submitted films but with the rise of small little independents and docs (rarely submitted by the majors), the number has been on the wane for the last decade.  Next year might see a bump because the majors were the ones who really pulled things away and into 2021 or beyond but we’ll have to see how the numbers all end up working out.

Fox / MGM:  Not a surprise that MGM didn’t submit a film.  After all, they didn’t release one.  They also didn’t submit any films from 2010-17 before releasing five from 2018-19.  Fox, of course, was bought by Disney and their films I now count as Disney films.  Before that, they were #1 all-time in submissions (2426), almost 200 ahead of Universal and Warners and won’t be surpassed until the end of the decade most likely (RKO is still in the Top 10 all-time and they haven’t submitted a film since 1956).  More importantly, Fox was one of just two studios (along with Universal) to have been in the Top 10 for submissions every year in Oscar history (partially because I count 20th Century-Fox, Fox Films and Fox Searchlight all together as one studio).  Now it’s just Universal keeping the streak alive.

Indican Pictures:  Why am I mentioning them?  Because starting in 2000, this little indie has released 149 films listed on Box Office Mojo that have grossed a combined $9.89 million.  But it took Killer Raccoons! 2! Dark Christmas in the Dark for them to have their first ever Oscar submission.

Strand Releasing:  After submitting at least 4 films in each of the previous 18 years, Strand releases just one and it’s not their 2020 release available on Netflix (that’s Monsoon but they submitted The Artist’s Wife).

TriStar:  Kept from missing out on a submission for the second time in three years because The Last Vermeer was transferred to TriStar from Sony Pictures Classics.

United Artists:  Thanks to the remake of Valley Girl, UA had submissions in consecutive years for the first time since 2004-05.  Of course, that means I now have to watch the remake of Valley Girl when, without a BOM listed domestic release (where they list Orion Classics as the distributor – good lord, the MGM / UA / Orion stuff makes it hard to figure this all out), it would have been way, way, way, way, way down my list.  But at least I can see it now on Hulu.

Showtime:  Thanks to their three submitted docs (Belushi, Kingdom of Silence, My Psychedelic Love Story), they can join other television networks like Starz, ESPN and PBS as official submitters to my annoyance.

Columbia:  Just four submissions, their lowest since 1944 when the Academy lists them with zero submitted films but also lists them with four nominated films (for a combined 9 nominations) so their record keeping isn’t the best.  But it’s actually the third time in the last decade they didn’t have among the 10 most submissions in a year.  Those submissions include Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island (I hate when films are listed like that!) and Monster Hunter, a Screen Gems release, but I’ve folded all the Screen Gems into Columbia for these purposes.

Roadside Attractions:  Now up to 111 films all-time which means it’s getting close to being shifted from the random category to the major Indies (cut-off is 150).  With six submissions, its streak of at least six submissions is at 12 straight years, one of just seven studios with a current streak that long.

Lionsgate:  With six submissions, their streak is at 20 straight years, the only non-major aside from Sony Pictures Classics with a current streak that long.  In fact, by hitting 20 years, they surpassed the streaks for New Line and Miramax (19 years each).  The only non-majors to hit 20 straight years with at least 6 submissions are Monogram / Allied Artists (1943-1966), Sony Pictures Classics (1995-2020), AIP (1956-1980) and Lionsgate (2001-2020).

Paramount:  Just 8 films because they seem to be the studio most committed to theatrical releases (even their new streaming service will only get their releases 45 days later instead of same-day like Warners).  It’s their lowest submission total ever but it puts them back in the Top 10 unlike last year when their 9 releases didn’t get them there (they also didn’t make the Top 10 in 1949).  Paramount was the all-time leader for the first decade of the Oscars (623 submissions in the first decade) but they were the rare major not to ever hit 30 submissions again after 1940 and they have drifted all the way down to 5th place all-time.  Six of their eight submissions actually had theatrical releases but the other two (Blue Story, Mighty Oak) ended up on Hulu.  They also, bizarrely, didn’t submit Spongebob even after it was listed as an animated eligible film.

Sony Pictures Classics:  As mentioned above, they now own the longest streak ever for a non-major with 26 straight years of at least 6 submissions.  They actually have 9 and it’s the 24th straight year they’ve released at least nine films, a longer current streak than any distributor except Universal and Warners.  What’s more, four of the films are BOM listed and two others (French Exit, The Father) are 2021 releases.

Disney:  Disney bought Fox last year and it’s a good thing they did because six of their 11 submitted releases came from there.  Three were 20th Century films (Call of the Wild, Underwater, Empty Man) though as mentioned before, they didn’t submit New Mutants even though it grossed more than Underwater or Empty Man.  It also had three Searchlight films (Copperfield, Downhill, Wendy).  Given all of that, it’s interesting that French Dispatch got pushed to this year.  Of the 15 films released by Walt Disney Studios in 2020, all but Onward were re-issues and Onward’s grosses were crushed because things started closing in its second weekend (I was honestly a bit nervous seeing it on the first weekend and by the second weekend, we passed on King Kong even though we had bought tickets and I haven’t been back to my office since).  Still, Onward was the #7 film of the year and almost certainly would have passed several of the films above it if not for the timing of things (no film above it was released after it – Tenet was #8 on the year although Croods might pass it).  There’s also Nomadland which is a Searchlight film.  Disney also pushed three films to Disney+ (One and Only Ivan, Mulan, Soul) but pushed all their Marvel stuff to 2021.

Neon:  After winning Best Picture last year (and hilariously dissing the Big Orange Traitor afterwards) and 12 submissions this year (fifth most), Neon would look like it’s taking a big leap.  But Ammonite has come up short on early awards groups and Dear Comrades is not getting the attention I feel it deserves and Neon may end up with no Oscar nominations.  I do wish that the $7 that I gladly spent to watch Ammonite on VOD counted towards its gross.

Warner Brothers:  It reached 15 films only because of the HBO Max films.  That includes Roald Dahl’s The Witches, which I had hoped would be ineligible and I wouldn’t push myself to watch it.  I would complain about the title but the Academy also listed WW84, the only group aside from me to realize that was the film’s actual title, so those cancel each other out.  Once I watch The Witches later today (gaah!), Warners will be the only studio with more than a handful of films that will be complete for me this year because Netflix has Bombay Rose (not yet released) and Disney didn’t put The Empty Man on Disney+.  The 15 submissions are their lowest since 1987 but continues their streak of at least 15 back to 1983, the longest current streak.

IFC Films:  From 2000 to 2014, IFC submitted 61 films which is strange since BOM lists them with 347 films in that period.  During that period they earned a total of 10 Oscar nominations, over half of which were for Boyhood.  Since 2014, IFC has submitted 76 films including 16 this year out of 157 listed at BOM (32 of which were this year – IFC far and away had the most listed films at BOM this year) but haven’t had a single Oscar nominee and this year isn’t likely to change that.

Universal:  Early in the year, Universal was the first to break with theaters by putting Trolls World Tour on VOD.  That’s ironic, first, because Trolls is Oscar eligible and second because, partially thanks to Focus Features, the indie wing of Universal (which I count as Universal for these statistics), Universal was more committed than any other major to theatrical releases.  All told, it had 23 films listed at BOM for a total of $301 million, the most by any studio this year and it would have been the most by far if Bad Boys for Life hadn’t seriously outgrossed every film this year.  Only 35 films this year grossed $9 million or more (I dropped it from $10 because 2 of the 3 films between the two were Universal) and 10 of them were Universal films; no one else had more than 5.  What’s more, of the 12 films to earn over $9 million since COVID, five of them were Universal films (Come Play, Let Him Go, Freaky, Croods, News of the World).  Universal had 23 submissions, continuing the longest streak of at least 20 submissions (back to 2005).  It also, with eight more submissions than Warners, passed it into second place all-time with 2263.  Pretty good for a studio that was in 6th place as recently as 1992 and 5th place as recently as 2011.  But they had the most submissions four times in the last decade and had more than anybody else for the 10s.

unknown:  Ah, the problems with information.  There are 33 Oscar submissions this year for which the IMDb lists no U.S. distributor.  But then again, I had to add alternate titles to two films on the IMDb based on what the Oscars listed (Calamity Jane, which didn’t even agree with the Oscar’s own Animated list and Snake White: Love Endures).  Those 33 may change but they may not.  Until 1970, the Academy listed distributors with their Reminder List so the unknown number was very small until then (1 in 1933, 7 in 1935, 1 in 1941).  But after that, things get sketchy.  From 1971 to 1979 there are 157 submitted films with no listed distributor at the IMDb including a peak of 35 in 1973.  It gets better after that with just 117 without a listed distributor from 1980 to 2011.  But then it gets screwy again with 165 from 2012 to this year including the second highest number ever this year with 33.  Maybe we’ll know more in the future but we don’t know more about the ones in the past, so maybe not.

Netflix:  This is fucking astounding.  My cut-off on my spreadsheet for tracking the studios is separated into majors (Warners, Paramount, Fox, Universal, Columbia, MGM, UA, RKO, Disney), the major indies (at least 150 submissions total), major foreign distributors (at least 30 total, majority of submissions non-U.S. films) and “the rest”.  But when I broke this all down last year, I put Netflix in the indies even though they only had 101 because it was obvious from how they were building (just 13 submissions from 2013 to 2016 then 28 (the most that year), 29 and 31 (again the most)) that they would reach 150 soon.  I didn’t think it would be this year.  Let’s look at two things.  First, Netflix is now at 155, in just its eighth year of submitting films.  A few other recent major indies after eight years: Orion – 94, TriStar – 108, Miramax – 80, SPC – 63, Lionsgate – 81, TWC – 92.  Even with built in support and starting quickly, no one else is even close and Netflix started slow.  The 155 total submissions pass TWC all-time (which had 153) and move into 27th place all-time.  Another year like this and it would pass SGP / Lippert, New World, Strand, Amkino / Artkino and AEP.  Hell, two more strong years and it’s battling Orion and TriStar (still both barely alive) for that final spot in the Top 20 (the Top 18 all have at least 258, so the 226 for TriStar and 217 for Orion are way short once Netflix gets up there).

But then there is the more staggering number.  Netflix submitted 54 films this year.  Let’s put that in perspective.  The most submitted in the 10s?  31 from Universal in 2018 (which included Focus) and Netflix in 2019.  The most in the 00s?  Fox (including Searchlight) in 2006 with 36.  Disney was the only studio to break 30 in the 90s with 33 in 1995.  Universal topped the 80s with 25 in 1983.  The only studio in the 70s with more than 27 was UA in its final huge year of 1970 with 39.  The last time a studio broke 40 was Fox with 41 back in 1960.  Netflix is the first film to break 50 since UA had 53 way the hell back in 1957.  The 54 submissions is the most since Columbia in 1951 back in the stretch from 1947-53 where it averaged almost 56 submissions a year because it started submitting all its B Westerns and Series films.  Netflix’s number is completely insane.

However, Columbia’s 391 films from 1947-53 only resulted in 45 noms and that’s only because of the 13 for From Here to Eternity.  Of the 340 films Columbia submitted from 1947-52, they only earned a combined 29 Oscar nominations.  Netflix could actually come close to that with just 3 films (Trial, Mank, Ma Rainey) and when you factor in all the other films that could earn noms (Da 5 Bloods, Dig, Eurovision, Hillbilly, Life Ahead, Over the Moon, Pieces of a Woman, Prom) it could crush that number.  It’s been 18 years since a studio had more than 22 nominations (Miramax had 31 back in 2002) but Netflix could easily do that this year.  If all three of their big films earn Picture noms and one of them wins, it could be just the third studio to reach 200 points in the Best Picture race since 1976 (Miramax in 2002, Fox in 2017).  If Da 5 Bloods makes it four noms and one of them wins, it will be the first studio with 250 points since MGM in 1939.

1 March:

I don’t have time before work to do a detailed analysis of the impact of a Golden Globes that included a couple of jaw-dropping moments that are also historical (last time both Actress winners not nominated for SAG was 1995 and it’s the first time ever that all three female acting winners failed to be SAG nominated).  I’ll update later in the day.  Also, these next two weeks will be all about updates with the MPSE today, CAS and VES tomorrow, Annies on Wednesday and CDG on Thursday.  Then next week we get the PGA on Monday, the DGA and BAFTAs on Tuesday, the ASC on Wednesday and ACE on Thursday.  Oscar voting doesn’t start until this Friday so the voters still have a chance to take all of this in.

Golden Globes Stats and Trivia:  First, the aforementioned stat about SAG.  Now on to other stats and trivia:

      • No film won more than two awards.  That’s the first time that’s happened since 2009.
      • 2009 was also, coincidentally, the last time an Animated Film won Best Score.  And because the award didn’t exist back in 1989-94, it’s the only previous time a film has won both awards.
      • Nomadland leads with 265 points.  The last film to lead the Globes with that few points was (which I can do more easily now that I learned how to sort with colors in Excel) Traffic back in 2000.
      • With the Globes complete, Nomadland now leads in points at the critics and the Globes, just the 21st film to ever do that and the first in a decade.  But counting back a decade you might realize I’m talking about Social Network, which, historically, isn’t a good sign for Nomadland.  The first 13 films to lead in points at both the critics and the Globes included 12 Best Picture winners at the Oscars (Treasure of the Sierra Madre was the lone exception).  But of the last seven films to do so?  Only two Oscar winners (Schindler’s List, Slumdog) and five films that lost at the Oscars (Prizzi’s Honor, Traffic, Lost in Translation, Brokeback, Social Network).  Maybe David Fincher was consoling himself with that stat last night (probably not – he had the shot after he lost to keep him happy).
      • Another things that looks good but history is against it is that Nomadland won both Picture and Director at the Globes.  The last four films to do that?  1917, La La Land, The Revenant and Boyhood, none of which won Picture at the Oscars.  In fact, this century of the 10 films to win Picture and Director at the Globes, two repeated at the Oscars (Return of the King, Slumdog), one won Picture (Argo), three won Director (Brokeback, Revenant, La La Land) and four won neither (Avatar, Social Network, Boyhood, 1917).
      • The Globes were so determined to spread the wealth that in spite of 13 nominations between the 10 Best Picture nominated films only one of the six acting awards went to a Picture nominee.  The last time that only one of the acting awards was won by a Picture nominee?  Back in 1954 when there were only winners and there were no nominees for Best Picture.
      • Mank lead with 6 nominations but won none.  The last film to lead in noms and win none was Carol in 2015.  The last film with 6 or more to lead in total noms and get blanked was The Godfather Part III in 1990.
      • In fact, three films earned 4 or more noms and get blanked: Mank, Promising Young Woman and The Father.  The last time there were three films with 4 or more noms that all went home empty-handed was 2008 (Frost/Nixon, Benjamin Button, Doubt).
      • Rosamund Pike won Actress – Comedy with her film’s only nomination, the first time that’s happened since 2007.
      • In a year where the Globes realized they had an issue concerning Black people and awarded three acting awards to Black actors, they nominated three songs from films about the Black experience and another from a film with an important part of the film being the muzzling of a Black man and then gave the award to the whitest person possible, Diane Warren.  It was also the first time a Foreign film has won Best Song.

Song:  Let’s transition with that award that would have caused me to spit out my drink if I wasn’t too busy waiting to write down the winner instead of taking a sip.  I’ll just remind you that Warren has won a Globe before in 2010 for a song the Oscars didn’t even bother to nominate, which is nuts in itself, since it seems like the Oscars always nominate Warren.  With “Tigress & Tweed” not short-listed, I’d still bet more on “Fight for You”, “Speak Now” or “Hear My Voice” at the Oscars.

Score:  I except, like 2009 (Pixar) and 2010 (Reznor / Ross), Soul will follow a Globe win with an Oscar win.  I’m glad Trent already has an Oscar because that would kind of suck if both his Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction and another Oscar happen in quarantine.

Animated Film:  Not a guarantee but only Cars (the first year of the Globe) has won the Globe and the CC and not won the Oscar.  Bet on Soul.  Because the Annies have 10 noms and the BAFTAs only have three, neither will give us much insight into the other nominees (especially since Farmageddon was BAFTA nominated last year).  Wolfwalkers and Onward are very likely.  Over the Moon seems decently solid.  In spite of the (terrible) nom for the original Croods, I expect the final nominee to be an import (maybe A Whisker Away if not a GKIDS film).

Foreign Film:  Another Round will probably look deceptively weak going into the Oscars.  I expect Minari to win the CC and probably the BAFTA (where it’s on the longlist though oddly not on the longlist for Picture perhaps, ironically, because it’s such an American experience film and those are the British awards).  This is really screwy this year.  Two of the critics winners are from last year (Bacurau, which is Oscar eligible in other categories and Beanpole) and two of the Globe / BFCA nominees aren’t eligible (Minari, which is American, Life Ahead, because France picked the far superior Two of Us).  That leaves La Llorona actually in first place at the moment followed by Another Round, Collective and Two of Us.  Two other semi-finalists definitely deserve to be in the mix (Dear Comrades, A Sun) and there’s Mole Agent which is also quite good and different.  Another Round is still seen as the easy front-runner in spite of not being in front at all.

Supporting Actress:  Holy shit was that a surprise.  Clearly Jodie Foster didn’t think she would win.  Yes, Regina King won without a SAG nom two years ago but she had dominated the critics.  Foster is the first Globe winner without a CC nom since 2000.  Does this mean Oscar voters will rush to see the film?  Do Bakalova and Youn now join the list of critics winners who get nowhere?  Yet, they’re both SAG and CC nominated while Foster is neither and Seyfried is missing SAG.  In fact, Seyfried’s chances seem pretty dead – the last Oscar winner without a Globe win or a SAG nom was Marcia Gay Harden, whose win was almost certainly helped by two performances in the same film (Almost Famous) and that one of the nominees had just won the Oscar two years before.  That win guaranteed we won’t have the recent wave of four actors winning the Globe and then sweeping the rest (CC, SAG, BAFTA, Oscar), something that also can’t happen in Actress.  Bad sign for Bakalova winning unless you’re cynical enough to believe that Andra Day’s win was all about being Black.

Supporting Actor:  I gotta tell you, this was a great way to start the night.  I haven’t seen One Night in Miami or Sound of Metal yet but right now, my Top 5 are four performances from Trial in #2-5 with Kaluuya my easy winner.  I can see an Oscar lineup of the Top 5 at the Consensus right now (Raci, Boseman, Kaluuya, Cohen, Odom).

Actor:  This is really Boseman’s year and he deserves it.  That performance was phenomenal.  That he died before it was even released I think will easily win people over who weren’t already won over.  Unless the BAFTAs throw in something different, the race is still Boseman, Oldman, Hopkins, Ahmed and the fifth slot up between Lindo, Yuen, Rahim or a wild card.

Actress:  I definitely didn’t see that coming.  I thought Mulligan was a lock (she’s definitely winning the Nighthawk, though to be fair, if Davis were in supporting where she should be, she would definitely win that instead of coming second at the Nighthawks to Mulligan).  As I mentioned above, the last time neither Globe winner was SAG nominated was in 1995 when Sharon Stone and Nicole Kidman won at the Globes (partially because SAG put Joan Allen in lead).  Kidman was considered an Oscar lock until she wasn’t nominated (the big fuss that year was that both Comedy winners (Travolta was the other) were Scientologists and neither earned Oscar noms) and Stone was heralded as a likely winner thanks to her Globe win until a SAG win propelled Sarandon to her Oscar after three losses in the previous four years.  The CC had no nominees back then to enter the mix (just a winner who, ironically, was Kidman) and neither Stone nor Sarandon were BAFTA nominated (but Kidman was!).  If Mulligan, Davis, Fran and Kirby, who all have SAG / Globe / CC noms all make it into the Oscar race that just leaves one spot for two Globe winners whose films have just hit streaming services 3 and 10 days ago and could make Oscar voters scramble to watch them in the next week.  And that would leave Flanigan out in the cold still (likely at this point, sadly).  Neither Billie Holiday nor I Care a Lot is a comfortable watch and the lead performances are the best things about each film.  The BAFTAs won’t help this situation because neither Pike nor Day is even on the longlist (nor is Flanigan).  That means the fifth spot could be a surprise nominee like Kate Winslet (which would please me) or Jessie Buckley (which would please mountanto for this year’s entry in the “Film Erik Hated But Some Other Passionately Love”).

Screenplay:  Just remember that Sorkin won the Globe five years ago and then wasn’t even nominated for the Oscar.  So the Globes told us nothing here, especially since they have just five nominees in one category.  Wait for the BAFTA noms.

Director:  It’s probably not a surprise that I’m not a big fan of Nomadland but I’m not.  Still, I can’t deny Zhao is in the pole position.  But I wouldn’t call it a guarantee like a lot of people are doing today.  Yes, only 19 directors have earned this many total Consensus points (she’s at 587 with the BAFTA, DGA and Oscar noms still to come) and won the Globe as well.  But three of the people on that list still failed to win the Oscar: David Fincher, Marty (Hugo) and the director who might be the forecast for Zhao – Richard Linklater.  Linklater even won the CC and BAFTA before losing the DGA and the Oscar.  The win changes nothing about the nomination race: still likely Zhao, Fennell, Fincher and Sorkin with a fifth spot in competition from Spike, Regina King, Lee Isaac Chung or maybe a surprise candidate.  Spike can’t be the fifth BAFTA nominee (he’s not longlisted) so the BAFTA spot could really help someone else.  The BAFTAs and the DGA announce the same day so that will be the big day for this category.

Picture:  I don’t know how much this changes.  Cohen might get multiple Oscar noms (S Actor for Trial, A Screenplay for Borat) but I don’t see this putting Borat into play for Picture.  And as for Nomadland, I’ll point out again the stats on Boyhood like I did for Director.  You are welcome to chalk it up to me not being a fan of the film (and I wasn’t a big fan of Boyhood either) but I really don’t see the Oscar voters, a much larger group than the HFPA, giving the Oscar to Nomadland.  And even if it wins the CC and BAFTA (both of which Boyhood won) it might not matter.  In fact, I could easily see Zhao winning the Oscar and losing Picture to Trial.  But here are the stats: nine films before this year have won at least three Best Picture awards at the critics and won the Globe.  Of those nine, Terms of Endearment, Schindler’s List and Moonlight won the Oscar.  The other six are Saving Private Ryan, Sideways, Brokeback, Social Network, Boyhood and Lady Bird.  Of the six that lost, five won the CC and two of those also won BAFTA.  In fact, because the CC began in 1995, no film has ever won the Globe, the CC, three critics awards and won the Oscar because Moonlight lost the CC.  What might be more telling is that of those six films, only Ryan and Brokeback won the PGA.  Last decade, King’s Speech, Birdman and Shape of Water all won the Oscar without a single critics Picture win and they all lost the Globe and two of the three lost the BAFTA.  But they all won the PGA.

3 March:  Several guilds have chimed in and it’s time to see what they’ve had to say and if it means anything.

MPSE:  Well, it definitely doesn’t mean anything.  The Sound Editors were just the third guild to have an award, almost a decade before the Oscars gave them a category (the only category aside from the Annies to beat the Oscars unless the Oscars finally come through with an Ensemble category in the future).  Now they’re the only guild to be ditched as they’ve been folded into the Sound award.  They’ve had a zillion nominees forever because of their multiple categories but I finally ditched all that and concentrated just on their main category but it still doesn’t really mean much for the Oscars.

CAS:  The other sound group and they made me scratch my head when they passed over Tenet.  Now that doesn’t mean Tenet is out of the running because the CC don’t have a Sound award (they bizarrely ditched it after 2011) to be an early bellwether and because 1917 (rightly) won the Oscar last year without a CAS nom (Whiplash won in 2014 without one as well).  I would bet on Tenet (in spite of no nom), News of the World, Greyhound, Sound of Metal (all up for the MPSE as well) and possibly a toss-up between the other two CAS noms, Mank and Trial, depending on whichever one has more total noms on nomination morning.  All six of those are also longlisted at the BAFTAs as are other potential nominees Soul (CAS nommed in their Animated category), Midnight Sky and WW84 (both MPSE nommed).

VES:  Well, the VES and Oscars have disagreed before but they have mostly held true with the main VE category at VES.  VES has three categories that I care about at this point: Animated (1 nominee ever – Kubo and an Oscar semi-finalist this year with Soul), Supporting Visual Effects (just 4 Oscar nominees through 2017, all of which won Supporting at the VES, only Hugo won the Oscar) and then the main VE category with 10 winners going on to win at the Oscars, all of the winners earning an Oscar nom and 4 more Oscar winners losing at the VES.  Since 2008, at least three nominees at the Oscars each year have been nominated in the VE category at VES, five times there were four nominees and in 2017 the VE category matched with the Oscars 5/5.  Yes, Ex Machina won the Oscar in 2015 without a VES nom, yes, First Man won with a Supporting win in 2018 and yes, 1917 somehow won the Oscar without even winning Supporting (losing to Oscar nominee Irishman).  But what to make of this year when, of the 10 Oscar semi-finalists, only 5 of them even earned VES nominations?  What’s more, one was in Animated (Soul) and two were in Supporting (Mank, Welcome to Chechnya).  Only two semi-finalists managed VE noms in a category that’s had at least three actual Oscar nominees since 2008 (back when there were only three Oscar nominees).  So what will happen at the Oscars?  Tenet and Midnight Sky seem easy picks.  Mank is the only other film with a VES nom, CC nom, BAFTA longlist and an Oscar longlist even though I don’t really see why.  Soul has a VES nom, BAFTA and Oscar and it might just join Kubo.  As for the fifth Oscar nominee?  Welcome to Chechnya might break through or Mulan (it has a BAFTA longlist and a CC nom).  Or the Academy does love them some apes and they could go with The One and Only Ivan.  Who fucking knows in this weird year.

One more thing about the VES this year because it points to an interesting statistic.  News of the World so far has managed noms from the WGA, CAS, ADG, VES and MPSE.  It also has a SAG nom (Supporting Actress).  That might seem a random group, but it’s a wide array of support at the guilds.  In fact, it’s a rare wide array as only three other films have ever managed all of those: The Aviator, Black Swan and Joker, all of which did very well at the Oscars.  Unless News of the World misses a PGA nom on Monday, expect it to get an Oscar nom.

Actually the PGA will be very important this year (it’s very important every year, but it will help cut through things this year).  Since the Oscars expanded in 2009, over 80% of films with a WGA nom and at least one SAG nom have earned Best Picture noms at the Oscars.  This year there are eight films with WGA and SAG noms (Ma Rainey, Trial, News, One Night, Sound of Metal, Borat, Pieces of a Woman, Judas).  But several major contenders weren’t WGA eligible (Mank, Minari, The Father, Nomadland).  So which two (or more) of those films are out at the PGA are at a distinct disadvantage.

Annies:  How the fuck did Over the Moon get passed over at the Annies?  Easy.  This is the same organization that allowed DreamWorks to buy all its employees memberships and allowed How to Train Your Dragon beat Wall-E.  What are two of the nominated films over Over the Moon?  DreamWorks crap The Croods (still a very good possibility for the Oscars sadly) and Trolls.  When was the last time a CC and Globe nominee failed to earn an Annie nom I thought to myself?  Never, the answer is.  Until today.  Could it still get an Oscar nom?  Well, yes.  I’d say three spots are nailed down (Soul, Onward, Wolfwalkers) and I expect those to be the three BAFTA nominees.  That leaves two more spots.  Shaun the Sheep has a BAFTA (last year), Annie and CC noms but the lack of a Globe nom hurts (witness Monsters University and Finding Dory).  The Croods has Globe, Annie and CC noms.  Over the Moon could make the leap without an Annie nom; Ferdinand did it in 2017.  This is really another case where the PGA will make things clearer; they did nominate the wonderful Abominable last year from the same production company as Over the Moon (they have very similar looks) but they were the only ones.  What’s more, the Academy has a tendency to not care what other groups think, as Frozen II proved last year after earning Annie, Globe, CC, BAFTA and PGA noms and still failing to earn an Oscar nom.  And this is the same group that gave an Oscar nomination to that piece of shit Boss Baby.

The CDG goes tomorrow but unless there’s something bizarre, I might not add anything again until Monday when the PGA announces and we get a better handle on Picture and Animated Film.  Now I’m off to the television to pay $20 to find out why the Globes awarded Jodie Foster.

8 March:  So the CC is over and what did we learn?  Very little, as I explained above.  Nomadland won big (Picture, Director, A. Screenplay, Cinematography) but winning over non-industry groups is not the same as winning the PGA, BAFTA or Oscar.  Mulligan and Bacalova righted their ships but the Globe winners weren’t nominated.  There weren’t any surprises among the tech categories except that there was a tie in Editing and both those films are good contenders for the Oscar.  Best Song went to One Night in Miami, which will be ironic if it wins the Oscar because it gives Odom an Oscar while Miranda is just an Oscar away (in spite of having been nominated before) from an EGOT.  Bozeman cemented himself (Clooney is the only Globe / CC winner since 2002 not to win the Oscar and he lost to a performance from a Best Picture winner) and Kaluuya solidified himself as the front-runner (Stallone is the only Globe / CC winner since 2006 not to win the Oscar and he wasn’t SAG nominated).  The PGA is later today and that will give us the best barometer of the Best Picture race.  The PGA and CC never completely agree.  There are 12 major contenders (the CC nominees, The Father, Judas) and the PGA usually has at least one wild card.  Last year was the first time since 2010 that the PGA didn’t nominate at least one film that wasn’t either Globe or CC nominated.  However, only two of those “surprise” films went on to earn Oscar noms and they were both massive commercial successes released very late (American Sniper, Hidden Figures), something that can’t happen this year thanks to COVID.  No films in the last two years earned Oscar noms without PGA noms.  So today’s list should clear up the Picture race.

Animated Film:  The PGA didn’t really clear things up.  Soul, Wolfwalkers and Onward look like locks.  The Croods looks like it should be but it doesn’t feel like one (at least partially because I hated the first one but the new one is the only one of the PGA nominees I haven’t seen) and let’s remember that Frozen II had all five awards groups (Croods has three) and didn’t earn an Oscar nom – the Academy is less warm-hearted towards animated sequels.  I still see Over the Moon getting nominated with the fifth nominee maybe being a foreign film (hopefully not Catch a Wave which was insanely stupid).  Shaun could be the final nominee but again, it’s a sequel.  It’s a wait and see.

Picture:  I almost mentioned Borat as a potential PGA nom but I didn’t think they would do it with an already crowded field but they did.  The one advantage of a Borat nomination at the Oscars is that it is the only contender (with the caveat that I haven’t seen The Father) that I rank lower than potential winner Nomadland.  We’ll look at the numbers here based on films since 2011 (the current Oscar system of 5-10 nominees until it goes back to 10 nominees next year).

locks (PGA / Globe / CC noms):  Nomadland, Mank, Promising Young Woman, Trial, Minari

Yes, I count the Foreign Film as a Globe nom for Minari (just like Roma and Parasite).  Of 59 films, only Moonrise Kingdom failed to earn an Oscar nom and it was a Comedy Globe nom and none of these five are.

solid (PGA / CC noms):  One Night in Miami, Ma Rainey, Sound of Metal

Of the 14 films to earn PGA and CC noms without Globe noms, 9 earned Oscar noms and one of the six that didn’t was a Comedy (Big Sick), the only one since 2015 not to earn an Oscar nom.  Of the 9 that made it, one had a critics win (Little Women) and two had BAFTA noms (Bridge of Spies, Arrival) so a BAFTA nom would turn this to a lock.  This would make a field of 8 and that might just be our Oscar list.

shaky:  Judas, News of the World, The Father

Judas did earn a PGA nom but as mentioned above, only American Sniper and Hidden Figures turned a PGA nom without CC or Globe into an Oscar nom and they both had big box office to back them up at the right time.  News is the 12th film to earn a CC nom but not Globe, PGA or a critics win.  Of the first 11, eight of them earned nothing else.  In 2017, Darkest Hour earned a BAFTA and then an Oscar nom.  But in 2011, Drive earned a BAFTA but Extremely Stupid and Incredibly Condescending became the only film of the current system to land an Oscar nom with just a CC nom.  I felt News needed broad guild support and unless it lands a surprise DGA nom I see it as out.  Then there is The Father.  Could it be the 9th nominee?  Since 2011, only three films have earned a Globe – Drama nominee but failed to earn a PGA or a CC nomination.  Two of them failed to earn Oscar noms (Rush, Two Popes).  But the other one, Philomena, was a British film that earned a BAFTA nom.  So tomorrow could make a big difference for The Father.

fairly unique:  Borat, Da 5 Bloods

Borat has a Globe – Comedy win and a PGA nom.  No other film has done that since 2011 and only The Kids are All Right has ever done it before and that was in a year of 10 guaranteed nominees.  Bohemian Rhapsody did have a Globe win and a PGA nom but it had massive audience appeal at the box office and it won the Globe for Drama.  Da 5 Bloods has one critics win (NBR) and a CC nom but no Globe or PGA just like Tree of Life.  Both are on very shaky ground.

All told, if you’re going to bet, bet on 8 films earning Oscar noms this year unless The Father scores a BAFTA nomination tomorrow, in which case bet on 9.

Tomorrow is the BAFTA noms (early – I’ll have reactions in the morning if I’m up enough before work – I’m doing this on my lunch break) but also the DGA.  Will the DGA nominate three females?  They’ve only nominated three in the last 11 years (16 if you count Bigelow only once).  Of the first 78 directors to earn Globe and CC noms, 68 of them earned DGA noms and the last not to do so was Spielberg in 2017.  Amazingly, the list includes five former DGA winners (Jackson, Eastwood (twice), Gibson, Spielberg).  So Zhao, Fennell, King, Sorkin and Fincher look like your best bets.  But that doesn’t necessarily translate to the Oscars.  In 2018, all five Globe nominees earned CC noms and then went on to DGA noms.  But two of them (Farrelly, Cooper) got passed over at the Oscars.  Also, I should note that Fincher is one of the 10 who didn’t earn a DGA nom with Globe and CC noms (Gone Girl).

9 March:  Because the BAFTAs waited until 2 PM their time to announce (presumably to hit the morning talk shows for LA) I don’t have enough time for an analysis before work.  And honestly, it might not be necessary.  With their new voting procedures, the BAFTAs went back to their old ways of putting in a lot more performances that no one else bothered nominating.  And I’m floored that anyone can vote for Best Actress and not have Carey Mulligan and Viola Davis in their Top 5.  The key thing is that The Father got its needed boost and it’s in a good spot for a 9th slot in the Best Picture race at the Oscars.  Other than Animated Film, almost every category had at least one nomination that I found perplexing.  But, as the comments make clear, different people have different reactions to films.

One quick odd note.  The BAFTAs are noted for often nominating their own.  It’s interesting that all four acting categories have a major contender who has been nominated across the board who is missing who is British.  What’s more, three of them are interesting in that they are Brits playing Americans (Oldman, Mulligan, Cohen) with the fourth playing a Brit (Colman).  What the fuck is up with that?

DGA:  It’s going to take a lot more time than I have on my lunch break to unpack the BAFTA noms.  But the DGA is far easier to look at.  And they are much more consistent with everything else.  They didn’t quite pick the Consensus (Spike Lee was in 3rd) but their five nominees are now the Consensus.  Of their five nominees, all five had CC noms, four had Globe noms (all but Chung) and four even had Satellite noms (all but Fennell).  I’ve seen much discussion today over how the BAFTAs went “indie” but only Zhao and Chung crossed over with the Indies at the BAFTAs.  Meanwhile after two straight years with no DGA / Indie crossover, three directors have earned both (Zhao, Chung, Fennell).  It’s the first time since 2014 that multiple nominees have crossed over and only the fifth time there have been multiple (and the first time with three).  Unless Kelly Reichardt or Eliza Hittman wins the Indie it will be once again the history that the only Indie non-winners to earn DGA noms lost to another DGA nom (Reiner in 1986, Clooney in 2005, Payne in 2011, Gonzalez Inarritu in 2014).  Neither the DGA nor BAFTA found room for Regina King so she will have to make do with her Nighthawk nom for consolation (she’s not in 5th place so even if Florian Zeller somehow makes my Top 5, she’s still safe).  This could be a year where the DGA and Oscars match 5/5 (last time was 2009) but last decade saw such high profile snubs of directors at the Oscars including Nolan, Bigelow, Affleck, Scott, McDonagh and Cooper, all of whom had DGA (and most everything else) and still weren’t on that final Oscar list, so you just never know.

The BAFTAs:  Well after being very white last year, the BAFTAs blew up their nomination process and what we got today was very different.  It’s probably not bad, as mountanto notes, that they will no longer be Oscars East.  And it might be so much of a change like F.T. suggests that they’ll change at least some things back.  What was very clear is that there wasn’t a whole lot of consensus, either with other groups or within the group.  So let’s look at some of the stats about today’s noms:

  • From 2009 (when the PGA expanded to 10 nominees) to 2019, only two films earned Best Picture noms at the BAFTAs without either a PGA or CC nom (Tinker Tailor, I Daniel Blake).  Two did it today (Mauritanian, The Father).  Of the four films to earn BAFTA but not Oscar noms in that period, none earned PGA noms and two of them were the aforementioned that also didn’t earn CC noms.  If The Father falls short (I expect Mauritanian to fall short), it will be the first time since 2011 where multiple BAFTA nominees failed to earn Oscar noms (Tinker Tailor, Drive).
  • At least one high profile nominee was missing from all four acting races.  That’s odd enough (the last time there was a snub in all four acting categories who had SAG, CC and Globe noms was 2007 (Gosling, Jolie, Affleck, Ryan) and since the CC began only three times has it happened in all four categories in one year (2003 and 2004 were the other two).
  • What’s more, all four of those snubs (if we’re not counting Viola Davis and Glenn Close who also fit the description) are British (Oldman, Mulligan, Cohen, Colman) although the first three are all playing Americans.  Brits usually do better at the BAFTAs, not worse.  The last time a Brit was snubbed at the BAFTAs after CC, Globe and SAG noms in Actress was 2018 (Emily Blunt), in Supporting Actress was 2015 (Helen Mirren) and for Actor and Supporting was 2003 and 2001 (both were Ben Kingsley, amazingly enough).
  • What does this mean for the Oscars?  Probably nothing.  Here are the numbers, by category of people who were snubbed at the BAFTAs after earning SAG, CC and Globe numbers
    • Actor: 9/15 including two Oscar winners (Nicholson, McConaghy) and it’s worth remembering that three of the six Oscar misses earned their Globe nom in Comedy
    • Actress: 13/16 including two Oscar winners (Swank in 2004, Bullock)
    • Supporting Actor:  20/21  (only Michael Shannon in 2017 failed to earn an Oscar nom) and there were four Oscar winners (Spacey, Gooding, Freeman, Leto)
    • Supporting Actress:  14/19 including two Oscar winners (Jolie, Leo)
  • A couple of other acting notes:
    • Did the critics awards, which were mostly back in December, see Judas?  If they didn’t does that change the narrative over Paul Raci?  Would Kaluuya have won many of those awards?
    • The BAFTAs nominated four performances in Supporting Actress with no previous nominations while passing over five performances that not only earned noms before today, but were longlisted at the BAFTAs and were from films that earned BAFTA noms in other categories.
  • A reminder that like years ago when the BAFTAs did the longlists, the number of nods on the longlist does not correspond to BAFTA noms.  Trial had the most (14) and received just 3 noms.  Saint Maud had 9 nods and its 1 nom for British Film is the same as two other films which only received that 1 nod (Limbo, Mogul Mowgli).  Quo Vadis, on the other hand, earned noms for both its nods.
  • On that same note, I’ve seen 64 of the 77 films that earned longlist nods and I account for all but 25 of the non-Best British Film nods.  Yet, out of those 25 nods there are 9 nominations (not including British Film) for The Father, Quo Vadis, Aida, Pinocchio and County Lines.
  • Only one film (Nomadland) was nominated for Picture and Director.  The last time that happened?  Back in 1989 when there were only four nominees in each (as opposed to 5 and 6 today).  That film was Dead Poets Society and it won Best Picture.
  • Babyteeth became the first film to ever earn a Best Director nom and no other noms.
  • Quo Vadis, Aida earned just two noms (Director, Foreign Film).  That means, after having Best Director as a category since 1968, today we doubled the total number of films in BAFTA history with a Best Director nomination and less than 3 nominations total (If, A Wedding).  And for most of that time there were fewer nominees and fewer categories.
  • Nomadland leads the nominations.  With Mank and Trial, there’s no way I would have bet on that.  What’s more, Nomadland leads with just 7 nominations.  It’s been 5 years since we had a year with no double-digit nominees and the last time 7 was enough to lead the way was back in 1980 when there were just four nominees in a category selection that had five fewer categories.
  • Rocks is nominated for British Film, Director and Screenplay but not Picture.  The last film to do that was 127 Hours back in 2010 and Rocks is just the fourth film ever to do it (Gosford Park, United 93).
  • On the other hand, Trial has a Picture nom but just three noms total.  The only other Best Picture nominees with less than four nominations since 1995 are The Descendants and Spotlight.
  • It’s true that the acting and Director categories (and British Film) expanded but there are 44 different nominated films.  Last year there were 31 and no year before this one ever had more than 35.
  • With two films earning Adapted Screenplay noms that had no previous noms (The Dig, The Mauritanian) and the BAFTAs nominating two WGA-ineligible films (Nomadland, The Father) it means that for the first time since 1999, there is only one film nominated for the WGA and the BAFTA (White Tiger).  The WGA ineligible films had already guaranteed that this will be the first year since 2013 that no Adapted Screenplay earns all five awards group noms.
  • Prior to 2018, only 11 films had ever been nominated for Director and Foreign Film and only two since 2001.  But then we had Roma, Cold War, Parasite and now three this year: Minari, Another Round, Quo Vadis.
  • However, prior to this year, every film nominated for Director and Foreign Film was also nominated for Screenplay.  This year, two of them weren’t (Minari, Quo Vadis, the latter of which wasn’t even longlisted for its (original) script).
  • The Foreign Film nom for Les Miserables means it earned noms from all four awards groups (the other three were all last year) giving 2019 three films like that (Parasite, Pain and Glory) while 2020 only has the possibility for one (Another Round) but I’m quite pleased the BAFTAs went for Dear Comrades rather than Life Ahead.
  • On the flip side of that only Toy Story 4 earned noms from all the awards groups last year in Animated Film while this year is likely to have three (Soul, Onward, Wolfwalkers).
  • In regards to Les Miserables, it’s not the only late arrival.  Clemency, after not earning any nominations that I track in 2019 lands in Britain and lands a very surprising Best Actress nomination.  It’s worth remembering the flip side of that is David Copperfield (no BAFTA noms but eligible last year) and Farmageddon (BAFTA nominated for Animated Film last year).
  • Soul is currently 7 for 7 in awards I track.  That would tie the all-time record (Beginners, Still Alice, Son of Soul, all of which had the same category for all their wins).  It will probably lost at least one guild but I think it will definitely lose Best Sound at the BAFTAs (how can Sound of Metal not win given the importance to the film as a whole?).  The flip side, by the way is Frost/Nixon which went 0 for 27.  The most noms without a win so far this year is Emma with six.

10 March:  So apparently the ASC has joined the Globes (Music) and the BAFTAs (a whole lot) in the “where the fuck did that come from?” game this year.  The expected nominations came for Nomadland, Mank and News of the World.  Those three are just about guaranteed Oscar noms as 36 of the 40 films that earned ASC, BAFTA and CC noms earned Oscar noms.  What’s more, three of the four films that didn’t earn Oscar noms were in years where there were 4 films with that resume (Les Mis, 12 Years a Slave, Ford v Ferrari) leaving only First Man (and how the bloody fuck did the Oscars pass that over?).  The fourth nominee is Trial, which is a little odd (the first film since Silence in 2016 to earn an ASC without either the BAFTA or CC) but not too odd (it is a big Best Picture contender and is now leading in total guild points).  Then comes the fifth nominee.  Is it CC nominee Minari, Da 5 Bloods, Tenet or First Cow?  Nope.  Is it BAFTA nominee Judas or Mauritanian?  Nope.  It’s Cherry, a film with just one guild nomination so far.  First, unless Cherry earns another surprise nom tomorrow from ACE, it has just two guild noms for 40 points, which is quite low for an ASC nominee (since 2008 only nine films have an ASC nom but less than three noms and five of those were foreign films).  Second, it means the ASC nominated two films not nominated by either the BAFTAs or CC, the first time this has happened since 2007 which is before the CC began giving out the award (and even then both of the two films in 2007 had critics wins).  That means the Cinematography Consensus Award, which hasn’t had a field of more than nine films since 2009 and has never had a field with more than 11 films, already has 12 films (Small Axe won two critics awards) without the Oscar nominations having arrived.  The Consensus winner, however, is already clear.  Nomadland is already in 13th place all-time with 263 points and if it wins the BAFTA, ASC and Oscar it will end up second all-time behind just Roma (it can lose one of those and still be 3rd all-time behind Tree of Life).

11 March:  ACE nominated early in the day but I saw the nominations one minute before I went out the door to take my mother to get her second vaccination and then Veronica and I got our own Fauci ouchies (but we got the Johnson & Johnson so we’re done) so I’m just now getting around to this.  It wasn’t too much of a surprise and the five Drama nominees are in the Top 7 in points at the guilds and overall.  But there are still a few interesting things to point out now that the guilds are finally done with all their nominations:

  • ACE has Promising Young Woman as a Comedy, which in one sense, it is, but in one sense it isn’t.  It has a dark comedic ending but overall, I would stick with Drama like the Globes even though Comedy could use the help this year.
  • To that extent, two films earned ACE nominations without any other guilds noms: I Care a Lot and On the Rocks.  That brings us to other interesting ACE stats:
    • When ACE began its awards in 1961 there were only three other groups (DGA, WGA, MPSE).  So, for a long time, they nominated films with no other noms.  Even after they dropped to three nominees in 1972, they still had a lot of nominees with no other guild nominations (in fact six films in the first four years).  But, starting in 1987, that all changed.  From 1987 to 1998, even with the other guilds seeming to add a new award every single year, only one ACE nominee failed to earn another guild nom and it was a surprise: Casino.  I would do a rant about how they could possibly nominate Casino in a year where they didn’t nominate Sense and Sensibility but that same year they gave their award to Braveheart, the only time that whole decade they disagreed with the Oscar winner.  But, in 1999, ACE added a Comedy category.  Since then there have been 19 ACE nominees in 22 years with no other guild noms and without fail every single one has been a Comedy nominee.

Now for larger guild news now that all the noms are in:

  • The most noms is Mank with 11 but Trial leads in points with 295.  Mank’s 11 isn’t historically high (it would have tied for 3rd last year) and this is the first time in five years only one film reaches double-digits.
  • With so many major contenders being WGA ineligible only two films earned PGA-DGA-WGA-ACE noms (Trial, Promising) and only the former earned a SAG ensemble.  That’s just like 2015 (two in the former, one in the latter) and that might be really relevant in a second.
  • Nomadland has just 5 guild noms.  Only one film with less than 6 guild noms has won Best Picture at the Oscars since 1992 (before several guilds began their awards) and that was Spotlight in 2015 with 5.
  • However, Nomadland, if it wins the Oscar, would be the first film to do so without either a WGA nom or SAG Ensemble nom since 1995 (the first year of the Ensemble award).  Four times in five years last decade a WGA ineligible film won the Oscar but all of them had the key SAG nom.
  • News of the World looked really strong at this time last week having received 6 guild noms and 12 BAFTA longlist nods.  But this week brought only 4 BAFTA noms (all in Tech categories) and only one of the big final four guild noms.  A bad time to look weak, right during the voting time for the Oscars (which ended yesterday).  It’s in 8th place in noms overall (20) but only 11th in points.
  • After never happening before 2018, we have the third year in a row of a film earning over 250 points at the critics, at least 75 points at the CC and being completely blanked at the BAFTAs, Globes and guilds.  So, this year’s version of First Reformed (one Oscar nom) and Uncut Gems (no Oscar noms) is Never Rarely Sometimes Always (probably no Oscar noms).  In an odd circumstance, I think the film in this slot has gotten better every year.

22 March:  So the WGA was last night and Borat and Promising Young Woman won.  What does that mean?

For Borat, it means very little as Nomadland is very likely to win the Oscar.  But it does bring up interesting statistics.  For instance, it’s the first film to win Adapted Screenplay at the WGA without either a BAFTA or a CC nom (actually the first not to have both) since American Splendor in 2003.  Second, it’s the first to win the WGA with just two total Consensus noms since Sling Blade in 1996.  And unless it actually wins the Oscar, it’s got the lowest Consensus point total for a WGA winner since Roxanne in 1987.

For Promising Young Woman, first, it means it has clinched the Consensus win.  Second, it makes it very likely to win the Globes.  There have been four previous times when the Globe winner was Original but it didn’t win the CC (like Trial).  While 2018 was an outlier (the WGA winner, Eighth Grade, had won neither), in the other three years (2003, 2006, 2017), the film that won the WGA (no matter whether it won the Globe like Lost in Translation or the CC like Little Miss Sunshine or Get Out) went on to win the Oscar.  But the 2018 one comes into play simply because Green Book won the Globe but not the CC or WGA and went on to win the Oscar and Best Picture and that could be relevant.  I could easily be completely wrong but I still have a feeling that Nomadland could win Director and Trial could end up winning Picture.

Next up is the PGA on Wednesday.  I could say that if Nomadland wins the PGA, it’s a done deal at the Oscars but 2005 makes me think that if Trial wins the SAG Ensemble (which Nomadland is not nominated for) that could make a difference.  I haven’t seen anything that suggests this (which isn’t to say that other people out there haven’t said or written it) but if Trial does win the Oscar, I would imagine a future storyline could be that the actors branch is by far the biggest branch at the Academy and not only is Trial an actor’s film, but Nomadland is almost explicitly the opposite in that it employs so very few professional actors.

One thing I will mention as well – if The Father does come out on VOD on Friday like it’s supposed to, I will have seen every film with at least 2 nominations except for Music, which means my Year in Film and Best Picture posts can follow hard on the Oscars instead of being delayed in order for me to see all the important films like in past years.

25 March:  So yes Nomadland won the PGA but if you look two paragraphs up you can see why that might not make a difference.  There are no hard and set rules anymore.  Aside from Brokeback losing after sweeping the four awards groups, every year since 2012 has had something happen with the Picture race that had never happened before (or at least not in a very long time).

  • 2012:  Argo wins without a Director nomination (first since 1989, second since 1932)
  • 2013:  Gravity wins 7 Oscars but not Picture (first since 1977 or 1972 depending on how you count)
  • 2014:  Birdman wins without an Editing nomination (first since 1980)
  • 2015:  Spotlight wins with only one other win (first since 1952)
  • 2016:  La La Land earns 14 noms but loses Picture
  • 2017:  The Shape of Water wins without SAG Ensemble nom (first since 1995, second ever)
  • 2018:  Green Book is the only film since WGA began in 1948 to lose the WGA not get a Director nom at the Oscars and still win Picture
  • 2019:  Parasite is a foreign language film

That’s not to say that Nomadland isn’t still the favorite.  Indeed, there’s a good chance that Nomadland could win four of its six Oscars.  Six is a low number of noms for a Picture winner historically; the average is 8.8 and if you only count from 1936 forward (when most current categories were in existence) it’s up to 9.3.  But the average over the last 8 years is 7.8 and three winners had six or fewer.  Four would also be below average for wins; the average is 5.0 and it goes up to 5.4 if you start in 1939 when Picture winners started becoming more dominant.  But it may surprise you to realize that no Picture winner has won more than 4 Oscars since 2011 and only three have done so since 2003 when Return of the King won 11.  Some interesting stats about that:

  • From 1982 (Gandhi) to 2003, the average Picture winner won 6.4 Oscars and no winner won fewer than 4 (and only 4 of the 22 won that few).
  • Since 2003, the average Picture winner won 4 Oscars and only three beat that number while six won fewer than 4.
  • From 1982 to 2003 only one film won more than 4 Oscars but not Picture (Saving Private Ryan) and no film won more than the Picture winner in its year (though Fellowship and A Beautiful Mind tied).
  • But since 2003, five films have won more than 4 Oscars without winning Picture with four of those winning more than the Picture winner (Aviator, Gravity, La La Land, Mad Max) and the other tying (Hugo).

5 April:  So the “leaked” SAG winners was wrong as I thought it might be.  I only saw it reported from two places: one is a noted Hollywood troll who I wouldn’t click on because he’s such a scumbag the CC has tossed him out.  The other, the one where I actually read them, had a racist footnote of “we all know Bozeman, Davis and Kaluuya don’t deserve to win” so fuck him.  I’ll look real quick at the five categories and what they might mean for the Oscars.  Then, with the VES the only thing before the weekend, I’ll think about whether I leave this post up continually or if I can get the 650-601 post done before then (likely the former).  Next weekend has the DGA and BAFTA, so I’ll definitely update then.  The following weekend has the Annies and four tech guilds, so I may pass on updating.

Initial post-Oscar comments are best left on the Oscar nomination post.  I’ll probably have the Year in Film up within a few days after the actual Oscars, followed within a few days by the Best Picture post.  After that, I’ll hopefully get back to some kind of decent schedule, with the Animated Film / Kids / Disney posts once they are ready and continue with the Top 1000 and Adapted Screenplay as I get closer to catching up to 2011.

Best Picture:  Either it was already a done deal with Nomadland or the SAG Ensemble award for Trial leads the way to a Crash like victory (except being a far better film).  As I’ve explained, the thinking would be that actors make up the largest branch of the Academy, Trial is an actors film and Nomadland is mostly non-professionals.  But it could easily go to NomadlandSpotlight is another example of the SAG winner taking home Picture when lacking a lot of other metrics, and for that matter so is Parasite.

Best Actor:  The easiest.  Bozeman is not as easily my #1 since I’ve now seen The Father, but it’s still not that close.  And the only SAG / Globe winner not to win the Oscar is Russell Crowe in 2001 who had won the year before.

Best Supporting Actor:  Also pretty easy.  Kaluuya is my #1 over three Trial actors and Odom (Raci is my #7 thanks the Oscar bizarre decision to put Steinfeld in supporting – in fact, Steinfeld is my #6 whether he’s in lead or supporting).  But Raci wins the Ensemble.  Perhaps that’s because the critics groups voted before Kaluuya’s film had been seen by anyone which is the stupid way this year worked.  It would also make Kaluuya the third in four years to potentially sweep all five awards groups and still not win the Consensus (Rockwell vs Dafoe; Ali vs Grant).  Lots of SAG winners have failed to win the Oscar but only Eddie Murphy won SAG, Globe and CC (like Kaluuya) and lost the Oscar.  And being British, Kaluuya is in good shape at the BAFTAs.

Best Supporting Actress:  I originally had this last as the most inexplicable race but then I wrote the Actress piece and realized it’s the oddest.  Coming into the awards groups, we had two actresses tied with three critics awards apiece: Maria Bakalova and Youn Yuh-jung, neither of them the historic trend towards Oscar winners.  Bakalova is the only person with a nomination from all five awards groups, but she was in lead at the Globes (and oddly lost a weak group).  Youn was blanked at the Globes and lost the CC to Bakalova.  Close really had the prospective sympathy vote (one thing I read today that Youn was a surprise winner over Bakalova and Close, although sympathy is all Close has going for her).  Colman simply had the best performance (she’s the Nighthawk winner) but just won an Oscar two years ago (over Close no less) and was one of the Brits oddly passed over by the BAFTAs.  Amanda Seyfried, who doesn’t even earn points for her performance at the Nighthawks, was widely touted as a potential winner, at least until SAG said “meh” like I did.  And of course the Globes gave their award to someone no one else nominated.  So who wins?  Colman, in spite of the Nighthawk, is the least likely, given her win two years ago.  Close has sympathy and a long history in Hollywood and Seyfried has youth and a solid history in Hollywood.  But neither has a win yet (at the awards I track for the Consensus Award) and it’s been almost 30 years since Marisa Tomei won the Oscar without a win.  In fact, Bakalova and Yuen have four wins each and since 2007, every Oscar winner has at least five wins.  Yuen has a long acting history but that didn’t help Lauren Bacall in 1996 or Isabelle Huppert in 2015 or Charlotte Rampling in 2016.  But Yuen also is from a Picture nom and it’s the film’s best shot at an Oscar.  But the Oscars also like youth and beauty and Bakalova has both (if you remember what she really looks like or the end of the film rather than the rest of it).  Youn won SAG and the SAG winners are 18/27 at the Oscars.  I suppose it’s worth pointing out that SAG winners are 0/2 at the Oscars when not nominated at the Globes.  And Bakalova does have the CC and while the early years had a lot of disagreement (less than half the time from 1995 to 2007), no CC winner has failed to win the Oscar since Amy Ryan in 2007 and that includes Lupita Nyong’o, who lost at the Globes and Regina King who wasn’t even nominated at SAG.

Best Actress:  Well now it’s a weird race.  Mulligan is my #1 but it’s very close over Davis.  I just feel that Davis should have been in supporting because it’s clearly a supporting role and she would have won the Nighthawk by a mile.  If Davis wins, I’ll be glad, but not as glad as if Mulligan had won (especially since Mulligan has already won a Nighthawk and lost the Oscar back in 2009).  In the Consensus, at the moment, Fran and Mulligan are tied with 280 and then Flanigan, Kirby and Davis are tied with 161.  We are now in unchartered territory.  Since the CC began in 1995, in no year were the SAG / Globe – Drama / Globe – Comedy and CC given to four different actresses, at least until this year.  And since, in spite of six nominees, none of those four are nominated for the BAFTA, those won’t help.  At this point, whoever wins should be surprised because it’s a coin toss.

For the record, the SAG winners place like this at the Nighthawk Awards: Ensemble #1 (in Ensemble, not saying in Picture), Actor #1, Actress #2, Supporting Actor #1, Supporting Actress #3.  But a hell of a year in that all four individual winners weren’t white.  And kudos to Michael Keaton for now being the first person to win the Ensemble award with three different casts (Birdman, Spotlight, Trial).

11 April:  The guilds have continued.  The VES gave their main award to Midnight Sky which would seem like a blow to Tenet‘s Oscar hopes but not really.  In the first 12 years of the VES awards (2002-2013), that award winner went on to win the Oscar 9 times (and one other time it went to the winner in the Supporting category).  But since 2013, only Jungle Book has won both the VES award and the Oscar.  First Man won in supporting, 1917 was nominated in supporting and Blade Runner 2049 and Nolan’s own Interstellar all were nominees.  Hell, Ex Machina wasn’t even nominated at VES.

On the flip side, Mank is very likely headed for Oscar gold in Production Design.  The Academy has been the opposite with the ADG.  From 1996 to 2012, the Oscars gave their award to a film that didn’t win at the ADG a whopping 7 times.  But since 2012, no film has won the Oscar without winning the ADG first and I don’t see Mank breaking that streak.  Tenet also won at the ADG but Mank won the BAFTA and CC and the only films to win the ADG, BAFTA and CC and not win the Oscar were Gladiator and, ironically, Nolan’s Inception.

Chloé Zhao won the DGA which surprised no one and while there is little point in looking at statistics, I am nothing if not thorough.  It’s true that there is an example of someone having already won the Globe, CC and DGA and losing the Oscar: Sam Mendes.  Last year.  But Mendes tied at the CC with Bong and won no critics awards (while Bong won three and placed at a fourth).  There is also Affleck, but he wasn’t nominated at the Oscars.  Unless she somehow loses the BAFTA tonight, I can’t see a world in which she loses the Oscar.

I can, of course, see a world where the film doesn’t win.  But it’s an admittedly unlikely theory and unless Trial wins no Oscars before Picture, we won’t know if that theory is correct until the final award on Oscar night.  The safe money is on Nomadland still.

Two last little notes, both tied into the same film.  First, I’ll do an update tomorrow (maybe late tonight) after the BAFTAs but, with only the CDG in mid-week (Tuesday?  Why?), I might do another actual post before next week’s other guilds.  Or, since the major guilds have chimed in, I might just move this post off sticky and do a couple of posts before the Oscars.  But I expect Ma Rainey to win the CDG (though the Nighthawk winner is still undecided between that and Emma).  It’s true that a whopping four films in less than a decade lost the CDG after winning both BAFTA and the CC but Ma Rainey feels strong.  Which ties in to the other note.  It’s already won two of the BAFTAs awarded last night.  That makes it the first film to win multiple BAFTAs with less than four total nominations since Great Gatsby in 2013 (ironically, one of the films that won the BAFTA and CC and lost the CDG).  What’s amusing, is that if Ma Rainey also wins Actor, it will be the first film to win all three of its nominations since… The Great Gatsby in 1974.

With four critics wins, three CC awards, a Globe, two BAFTAs (so far) and four guild awards (so far), Ma Rainey is looking at 14 total awards.  Historically, that’s not all that high (125 films before this year with over half coming this century).  However, only 11 of those won that many without a Best Picture nomination at the Oscars and all but two of those were in the 5 BP Era (the other two are Coco and If Beale Street Could Talk).  If Ma Rainey wins three more awards (very likely between the CDG, Actor at the BAFTAs and its 5 Oscar nominations of which it could easily win three if not four), it will have the second most awards ever for a non Best Picture nominee behind the 19 for Far From Heaven.  Indeed, it could tie or potentially even pass (less likely) Far From Heaven to be the all-time champion of wins while being passed over for the industry’s most prestigious award.  You blew it with that one Oscar voters.

11 April (Post-BAFTAs, so if you’re planning to watch whatever version of television they’re doing, don’t read):  Well, this changes things a little, maybe.  My theory is based on Trial needing to likely win Screenplay and I had to wonder what the odds of that were given that Promising won the BAFTA and the WGA but Green Book won the Oscar with only a Globe win before that.  So it’s far-fetched but still not entirely out of the question.

The Father winning Adapted Screenplay was nice (the only one of the BAFTA nominees even close to my Top 5) but Nomadland still probably wins the Oscar.  Hopkins winning is like Davis winning SAG for me – a close 2nd place so it doesn’t bother me that much and Boseman probably still wins the Oscar (the only other actor to win SAG, the Globe and CC and lose the BAFTA was Jeff Bridges and he still won the Oscar).  Fran winning Actress isn’t a surprise.  It means a wide open race for Actress and don’t think they’ll go with Mulligan just because she doesn’t have an Oscar while Fran and Davis both have one – that didn’t stop voters in 2004 or 2017.  If Mulligan wins, she and Fran tie for the Consensus; if not, then Fran wins.  Supporting Actor is clinched – no one has won the four awards groups and not won the Oscar and he’ll be the eighth person in 14 years to sweep all five after never happening before 2007 even though the CC began in 1995.

Supporting Actress is now very interesting.  This is now just the third time that two actresses have over 300 consensus points.  In 1995, Mira Sorvino had 325 and Joan Allen had 311 but Allen did that mostly with critics, had no Globe nom and no awards groups wins.  In 2013, Lupita Nyong’o had 330 and Jennifer Lawrence had 306 as they split the five awards groups and each won two critics awards.  This year, Youn is now at 336 with three critics wins as well as SAG and the BAFTA and probably the better chance for the Oscar now.  Bakalova has the other three critics wins and the CC.  It’s also interesting because of the newness of it.  Actor has an Oscar winner and the star of one of the biggest films of all-time.  Actress has two Oscar winners and a former Oscar nominee.  Supporting Actor is pretty locked on with a former nominee.  Supporting Actress has two actresses that, unless you are a massive fan of Korean films, you’ve probably never heard of before a few months ago, and they both deserve to be in this race.  Good for them.

18 April:  Not putting the post back on sticky, partially because I just put a new post up and partially because I’d prefer people put their post-Oscar ceremony comments on the Oscar nomination post, but I am going to make a couple of quick comments now that the guilds are complete.

  • Ma Rainey ties Trial with 360 points making Ma Rainey the only film aside from Hud to lead in guild points and not earn an Oscar nom for Picture.
  • Trial coming in first doesn’t aid my Best Picture theory.  Though the Oscar winner often leads the guilds in points (47 out of 72), it hasn’t done so recently with Shape of Water being the only one of the last five Oscar winners to do so.
  • Mank winning the ASC even though Nomadland is running away with the Consensus is not at all surprising and I almost predicted it on here.  It’s the third ASC winner in the last five years to win the ASC and win none of the other nine awards joining Lion and Cold War.  In fact, of the Top 10 Consensus points all-time in Cinematography, only four of them won the ASC.
  • It is surprising that Nomadland has won the PGA and DGA and no other guild awards because it’s never happened before.  Of the 24 films to win both awards, the average (including Nomadland) is 5.9 wins and the only other films to win less than four are Silence of the Lambs, Schindler’s List (both of which were before a lot of the guild awards began) and 1917 and they all won three.  But three of the last five Oscar winners won just two guild awards and Spotlight even went 2 for 5 like Nomadland (though Spotlight earned more points).
  • After my recalibration of the guild awards (ditching several MPSE and VES categories), Soul is the first film to sweep all its awards with this many nominations, going 6 for 6.  The previous high was 5 for 5 with Frozen and Coco before the ADG added an Animated category.  Soul is also the only film to win more than 5 awards without a PGA nom and DGA nom and it earned neither.
  • Ma Rainey is at 15 wins and 1107 points without an Oscar nom for Best Picture.  The wins are currently a tie for 4th all-time and the points are 11th all-time.  Any win would move into a tie for 2nd place with Leaving Las Vegas and Wall-E but it would take four wins to tie Far From Heaven for 1st place all-time while in terms of points, winning Actor, CD and Makeup would pass Being John Malkovich and If Beale Street Could Talk but if Davis manages another win, it would also pass The Master, The Dark Knight and Cold Mountain and end in 6th behind Almost Famous, Leaving Las Vegas, Far From Heaven, Carol and Adaptation.  Meanwhile, while Soul is way behind in points, it’s tied with 15 wins and in the same position for moving up all-time.  It’s true that there are more awards than ever before but it says something not great about the Oscars when two of the top three films all-time in award wins without a Best Picture nomination could come from this year, the last year they do this nonsense of nominating a number between 5 and 10 and they nominated eight.