Sunday, February 26, 2017

My picks for tonight's Academy Awards!

Tonight is the big night!  The ceremony begins at 5:30 PST, and the red carpet fashion coverage will be in full swing by 4:00. 

Here is my "stars and hearts" list for all the nominees, with the gold star next to the one that I predict to win, and the red heart next to the one I like best.

Best Picture

    Hacksaw Ridge
    Hell or High Water
    Hidden Figures
    La La Land
    Manchester by the Sea

Should have been nominated: Eye in the Sky, Julieta, Nocturnal Animals, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Evolution, Wiener-Dog

Actress in a Leading Role

    Isabelle Huppert, Elle
    Ruth Negga, Loving
    Natalie Portman, Jackie
    Emma Stone, La La Land
    Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Should have been nominated: Amy Adams, Arrival; Annette Bening, 20th Century Women; Susan Sarandon, The Meddler

Actor in a Leading Role

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

Should have been nominated: Michael Keaton, The Founder; Tom Hanks, A Hologram for the King

Actress in a Supporting Role

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

Should have been nominated: Ellen Burstyn, Wiener-Dog; Laura Linney, Nocturnal Animals

Actor in a Supporting Role
    Mahershala Ali, Moonlight
    Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water
    Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea
    Dev Patel, Lion
    Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Should have been nominated: Ben Foster, Hell or High Water; Andre Holland, Moonlight; Danny DeVito, Wiener-Dog; Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar!


    Denis Villeneuve, Arrival
    Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge
    Damien Chazelle, La La Land
    Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea
    Barry Jenkins, Moonlight

Should have been nominated: Tom Ford, Nocturnal Animals; Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Evolution; Pedro Almodovar, Julieta; Todd Solondz, Wiener-Dog

Adapted Screenplay

    Arrival, Eric Heisserer
    Fences, August Wilson
    Hidden Figures, Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi
    Lion, Luke Davies
    Moonlight, Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney

Should have been nominated: Julieta, Pedro Almodovar; Nocturnal Animals, Tom Ford; Deadpool, Rhett Reese and Paul Werlich,

Original Screenplay

    Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan
    La La Land, Damien Chazelle
    The Lobster, Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou
    Manchester by the Sea, Kenneth Lonergan
    20th Century Women, Mike Mills

Should have been nominated: The Founder, Robert D. Siegel; Wiener-Dog, Todd Solondz

Animated Feature Film
    Kubo and the Two Strings
    My Life as a Zucchini
    The Red Turtle

Should have been nominated: Finding Dory

Foreign Language Film

    Land of Mine (Denmark)
    A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
    The Salesman (Iran)
    Tanna (Australia)
    Toni Erdmann (Germany)

Should have been nominated: Julieta, Evolution, Things to Come, The Handmaiden, Elle

Documentary Feature

    Fire at Sea
    I Am Not Your Negro
    Life, Animated
    O.J.: Made in America

Should have been nominated: The Eagle Huntress; Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures


    Arrival, Bradford Young
    La La Land, Linus Sandgren
    Lion, Greig Fraser
    Moonlight, James Laxton
    Silence, Rodrigo Prieto

Should have been nominated:  Jackie, Stephane Fontaine; Manchester by the Sea, Jody Lee Lipes; Things to Come, Denis Lenoir; Evolution, Manuel Dacosse

Film Editing
    Arrival, Joe Walker
    Hacksaw Ridge, John Gilbert
    Hell or High Water, Jake Roberts
    La La Land, Tom Cross
    Moonlight, Nat Sanders and Joi McMillon
Should have been nominated: Nocturnal Animals, Joan Sobel; Manchester by the Sea, Jennifer Lame; Sebastian Sepulveda, Jackie

Production Design

    Arrival, Patrice Vermette and Paul Hotte
    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Stuart Craig and Anna Pinnock
    Hail, Caesar! , Jess Gonchor and Nancy Haigh
    La La Land, Davis Wasco and Sandy Reynolds-Wasco
    Passengers, Guy Hendrix Dyas and Gene Serdena

Should have been nominated: Hacksaw Ridge, Barry Robison; Julieta, Carlos Bodelon; Lion, Chris Kennedy; Jackie, Jean Rabasse

Costume Design

    Allied, Joanna Johnston
    Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Colleen Atwood
    Florence Foster Jenkins, Consolata Boyle
    Jackie, Madeline Fontaine
    La La Land, Mary Zophres

Should have been nominated: Miss Sloane, Georgina Yarhi; Julieta, Sonia Grande

Makeup and Hairstyling

    A Man Called Ove, Eva von Bahr and Love Larson
    Star Trek Beyond, Joel Harlow and Richard Alonzo
    Suicide Squad, Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini, and Christopher Nelson

Should have been nominated: Nocturnal Animals, Julieta, Jackie

Original Score 

    Jackie, Mica Levi
    La La Land, Justin Hurwitz
    Lion, Dustin O’Halloran and Hauschka
    Moonlight, Nicholas Britell
    Passengers, Thomas Newman

Should have been nominated: Loving, David Wingo; The Founder, Carter Burwell; Julieta, Alberto Iglesias

Original Song

    “Audition (The Fools who Dream),” La La Land
    “Can’t Stop the Feeling,” Trolls
    “City of Stars,” La La Land
    “The Empty Chair,” Jim: The James Foley Story
    “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

Should have been nominated: "The Rules Don't Apply," Rules Don't Apply; "Just Like Fire," Alice Through the Looking Glass

Sound Editing

    Arrival, Sylvain Bellemare
    Deepwater Horizon, Wylie Stateman and Renée Tondelli
    Hacksaw Ridge, Robert Mackenzie and Andy Wright
    La La Land, Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
    Sully, Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman

Sound Mixing

    Arrival, Bernard Gariépy Strobl and Claude La Haye
    Hacksaw Ridge, Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie, and Peter Grace
    La La Land, Andy Nelson, Ai-Ling Lee, and Steve A. Morrow
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, David Parker, Christopher Scarabosio, and Stuart Wilson
    13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, Greg P. Russell et al

Visual Effects

    Deepwater Horizon, Craig Hammack, Jason Snell, Justin Billington, and Burt Dalton
    Doctor Strange, Stephane Ceretti, Richard Bluff, Vincent Cirelli, and Paul Corbould
    The Jungle Book, Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones, and Dan Lemmon
    Kubo and the Two Strings, Steve Emerson, Oliver Jones, Brian McLean, and Brad Schiff
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, John Knoll, Mohen Leo, Hal Hickel, and Neil Corbould

Animated Short Film

    Blind Vaysha
    Borrowed Time
    Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Should have been nominated: The Head Vanishes, Asteria

Live Action Short Film

    Ennemis Intérieurs
    La Femme et le TGV
    Silent Nights

Documentary Short Subject

    4.1 Miles
    Joe’s Violin
    Watani: My Homeland
    The White Helmets

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Here are my picks for tonight's Oscars!

I'm ready for the Oscars!  Here are my bold predictions, marked with gold stars.  The red hearts are for the ones I liked the most.

Best Picture
  • The Big Short
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Brooklyn 
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Room
  • Spotlight
There is a real chance that Spotlight or The Big Short could take this prize.  But The Revenant has the epic, timeless qualities of many past Best Picture winners.  Meanwhile, I’m a sucker for a well-made coming-of-age story, and Brooklyn is a very fine example. 

Best Director
  • Adam McKay, The Big Short
  • Alejandro G. Iñárritu, The Revenant
  • George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
  • Lenny Abrahamson, Room
  • Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
I’m confident that Iñárritu will win Best Director for the second year in a row.  My heart goes to Abrahamson for drawing out spectacular performances from Brie Larson and particularly young Jacob Tremblay.

Best Actress
  • Brie Larson, Room
  • Cate Blanchett, Carol
  • Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
  • Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
  • Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
A tremendous year for lead actresses! How about a five-way tie?

Best Actor
  • Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
  • Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl 
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
  • Matt Damon, The Martian
  • Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Should have been nominated: Jacob Tremblay, Room; Ian McKellen, Mr. Holmes.

Best Supporting Actress
  • Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
  • Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs 
  • Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
  • Rooney Mara, Carol
Vikander and Mara had leading roles, so it’s unfair to compare them against the other three nominees.  In my perfect world, the nominee from Carol in this category would be Sarah Paulson.

Best Supporting Actor
  • Christian Bale, The Big Short
  • Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
  • Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies 
  • Sylvester Stallone, Creed
  • Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Rylance is stunning in Bridge of Spies, and he might be the upset winner.  But Stallone is ready for his lifetime achievement award.  Should have been nominated: Michael Shannon (99 Homes); John Cusack (Chi-Raq).

Best Adapted Screenplay
  • The Big Short 
  • Brooklyn
  • Carol
  • The Martian
  • Room

Best Original Screenplay
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Ex Machina
  • Inside Out
  • Spotlight
  • Straight Outta Compton
Compton is ambitious and creative, but some of the dialogue is embarrassingly bad.  Ex Machina is revolting.  Bridge of Spies has old-fashioned charm.  Spotlight is elegant and forceful.  Inside Out is wonderful.

Best Visual Effects
  • Ex Machina
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian 
  • The Revenant
  • Star Works: The Force Awakens

Best Production Design
  • Bridge of Spies
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road 
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant

Best Original Score
  • Bridge of Spies
  • Carol
  • The Hateful Eight 
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Original Song
  • “Earned It” from 50 Shades of Grey
  • “Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction
  • “Simple Song #3” from Youth
  • “Til It Happens to You” from The Hunting Ground
  • “Writing’s On The Wall” from Specture
If you haven’t listened to “Manta Ray,” pull it up on YouTube.  Still, I’m excited that Lady Gaga will be taking home the Oscar.

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

Best Costume Design
  • Carol  
  • Cinderella
  • The Danish Girl
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
I’m obsessed with Jake Lacy’s boxy plaid overcoat and matching boxy plaid red scarf, Rooney Mara’s plaid stocking cap, Sarah Paulson’s plaid knit suit, and so many other plaid outfits in Carol.

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

Best Film Editing
  • The Big Short
  • Mad Max: Fury Road
  • The Revenant
  • Spotlight
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Sound Editing
  • Max Max: Fury Road
  • The Martian
  • The Revenant
  • Sicario
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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

Best Foreign Language Film
  • Embrace of the Serpent
  • Mustang
  • Son of Saul
  • Theeb
  • A War

Best Animated Feature
  • Anomalisa
  • Boy and the World
  • Inside Out  
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie
  • When Marnie was There

Best Animated Short
  • Bear Story
  • Prologue
  • Sanjay’s Super Team
  • We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
  • World of Tomorrow

Best Live-Action Short
  • Ave Maria
  • Day One
  • Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
  • Shok 
  • Stutterer

Best Documentary Short                                                      
  • Body Team 12
  • Chau, Beyond the Lines
  • Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
  • A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness 
  • Last Day of Freedom

Best Documentary Feature                                                   
  • Amy
  • Cartel Land
  • The Look of Silence 
  • What Happened, Miss Simone?
  • Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

I hope you all enjoy the show!