May 28, 2017

How the awards season has evolved

Casey Affleck  Michele Williams Manchester by the Sea
Time for something a bit fun and potentially a little bit embarrassing for me. What could it be? Well, looking back on how the season has evolved by checking my initial Oscar predictions for this year, of course! In past years, this has been occasionally cringe inducing, while sometimes it’s actually been a point of pride. This year, spoiler alert, it’s somewhere in between, which is probably where it should be. That’s the nature of the beast though, as it’s impossible to know what will play during an upcoming precursor season. You basically just either back an obvious prestige picture or try and pick out one of the promising things at the Sundance Film Festival. I mixed and matched this past time, to mostly solid effect.

Below you will see my first set of Academy Award predictions, which you can compare to my most recent ones. For once, these aren’t as bas as they could have been. In over a half dozen categories, you could argue that I might end up spot on. The way I like to judge things is with Best Picture, and depending on how things shake out on Tuesday morning, I could have anywhere from three to five nominees, which is pretty good. If there’s one early pick I’m proud of, it’s having Casey Affleck as my Best Actor winner for Manchester by the Sea. Closely following that is being on board with La La Land as a major contender from the get go.

LaLaLand
Here’s a look at what I was predicting a year ago:

BEST PICTURE

1. Manchester by the Sea
2. Silence
3. La La Land
4. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
5. The Light Between Oceans
6. Jackie
7. The Birth of a Nation
8. Lion
9. The Founder
10. Passengers

Next in line: 11. Sully 12. Story of Your Life 13. Collateral Beauty 14. War Machine 15. A United Kingdom 16. The Zookeeper’s Wife 17. Snowden 18. Nocturnal Animals 19. 20th Century Women 20. Loving 21. The Lost City of Z 22. LBJ 23. The Circle 24. Demolition 25. The BFG

BEST DIRECTOR

1. Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
2. Martin Scorsese – Silence
3. Damien Chazelle – La La Land
4. Ang Lee – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
5. Derek Cianfrance – The Light Between Oceans

Next in line: 6. Nate Parker – The Birth of a Nation 7. Pablo Larraín – Jackie 8. Clint Eastwood – Sully 9. John Lee Hancock – The Founder 10. Morten Tyldum – Passengers

BEST ACTOR

1. Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
2. Ryan Gosling – La La Land (or The Nice Guys)
3. Michael Keaton – The Founder
4. Will Smith – Collateral Beauty
5. Michael Fassbender – The Light Between Oceans

Next in line: 6. Tom Hanks – Sully 7. Andrew Garfield – Silence 8. Chris Pratt – Passengers 9. Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Snowden 10. Dev Patel – Lion

BEST ACTRESS

1. Amy Adams – Nocturnal Animals (or Story of Your Life)
2. Emma Stone – La La Land
3. Jennifer Lawrence – Passengers
4. Ruth Negga – Loving
5. Natalie Portman – Jackie

Next in line: 6. Jessica Chastain – The Zookeeper’s Wife 7. Emily Blunt – The Girl on the Train 8. Alicia Vikander – The Light Between Oceans 9. Emma Watson – The Circle 10. Rosamund Pike – A United Kingdom

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

1. Liam Neeson – Silence
2. Steve Martin – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
3. Peter Sarsgaard – Jackie
4. Kyle Chandler – Manchester by the Sea
5. Oscar Isaac – The Promise

Next in line: 6. Jeremy Renner – Story of Your Life 7. Adam Driver – Silence 8. Aaron Eckhart – Sully 9. J.K. Simmons – La La Land 10. Michael Shannon – Loving

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

1. Laura Dern – The Founder
2. Kristen Stewart – Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
3. Michelle Williams – Manchester by the Sea
4. Naomi Harris – Collateral Beauty
5. Shailene Woodley – Snowden

Next in line: 6. Rachel Weisz – The Light Between Oceans 7. Jennifer Jason Leigh – LBJ 8. Laura Linney – Sully 9. Gretchen Mol – Manchester by the Sea 10. Kate Winslet – Collateral Beauty

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

1. Manchester by the Sea
2. La La Land
3. Passengers
4. Loving
5. The Birth of a Nation

Next in line: 6. Jackie 7. Collateral Beauty 8. The Founder 9. The Nice Guys 10. LBJ

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

1. The Light Between Oceans
2. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
3. Silence
4. War Machine
5. Sully

Next in line: 6. The Zookeeper’s Wife 7. Story of Your Life 8. Nocturnal Animals 9. The Lost City of Z 10. Snowden

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

1. Zootopia
2. Finding Dory
3. The Secret Life of Pets
4. Moana
5. Storks

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

1. Silence
2. The Lost City of Z
3. Passengers
4. La La Land
5. The Light Between Oceans

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

1. Silence
2. La La Land
3. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
4. Manchester by the Sea
5. The Circle

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

1. Silence
2. The Light Between Oceans
3. Alice Through the Looking Glass
4. The Birth of a Nation
5. The Zookeeper’s Wife

BEST FILM EDITING

1. La La Land
2. Manchester by the Sea
3. Silence
4. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
5. Jason Bourne

BEST MAKEUP & HAIRSTYLING

1. Alice Through the Looking Glass
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
3. Silence

BEST SOUND MIXING

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. La La Land
3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
4. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
5. Jason Bourne

BEST SOUND EDITING

1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
2. La La Land
3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
4. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
5. Jason Bourne

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

1. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
2. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
3. The BFG
4. Independence Day: Resurgence
5. Midnight Special

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

1. Story of Your Life
2. The Light Between Oceans
3. Finding Dory
4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
5. The Birth of a Nation

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

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BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

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BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FEATURE

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BEST ANIMATED SHORT

?

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

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BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

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the-founder-movie-2016-trailer-michael-keaton
As you can see from this first set of predictions, there’s a definite difference between now and then. Some movies, like La La Land, Lion, and Manchester by the Sea, have sustained. Others, like Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, The Light Between Oceans, and Passengers have fallen short. Still others, like Moonlight, were just complete unknowns at the time. It’s all just fascinating to me, so I wanted to share with you all. Make of this what you will, but if nothing else, it’s simply fun to see how the year evolved, at least in terms of predictions. Now, to continue the waiting game for the actual nominees to be announced…

Stay tuned for my final predictions on Monday!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He also contributes to several other film-related websites.

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