January 02, 2015

Tag Archives: David Fincher

An end of the summer stab at Golden Globe predictions

Hi everyone! As previously mentioned in my last installment, I was originally planning on waiting to take a new look at Golden Globe predictions until the summer was over (so basically September), but I couldn’t resist. I’m back now with what’s my third look at the Golden Globe Awards, with this time around, a new theory to try and drum up some different predictions. Here goes nothing!
To reiterate once again, the big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions. As such, I’ve again got Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and David Fincher’s Gone Girl ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here. You also still potentially lose certain indie players, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, just as one example, though others could be movies like J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows longer shot work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and maybe even Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight or Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here to have a shot at not just contention for nods, but actual noms, as well as wins. Nominations that would have been wishful thinking with the Academy and AMPAS are very much in play with the categories that the HFPA deals in. That’s just the nature of the beast here folks. The one tweak here is that I’m trying to focus on some European contenders, since they often can do well with the HFPA. This could benefit contenders like The Imitation Game, Mr. Turner, and The Theory of Everything.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part, are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Unbroken
2. Gone Girl
3. Foxcatcher
4. The Imitation Game
5. Mr. Turner
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Inherent Vice
3. Men, Women & Children
4. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Begin Again
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
2. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
3. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
4. Gael Garcia Bernal – Rosewater
5. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
2. Michael Keaton – Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Mark Ruffalo – Begin Again
4. Ralph Fiennes – […]

A Mid-August Oscar Predictions Update

Here we are again. Since we’re now in the middle of August folks, you must know what time it is. Yup, it’s time for me to come to you all once again with some new and (hopefully) even more up to date Oscar predictions, my second one this month. As usual, I hope they’ll represent another bit of a change from speculation on towards educated guesswork now that awards season is fast approaching us. We still have a long way to go in the season overall, and these new predictions will likely be mostly wrong in the end anyway, but with each passing update (two a month now) I’m trying to figure it all out and get more and more confident in backing particular horses. If that sounds a bit repetitive to you, well…it’s still kind of the nature of the beast for this thing. If nothing else, this endeavor continues to sort of show where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to change and evolve into something truly competitive and quantifiable, especially when precursor season kicks into gear.
Continuing on with the trend that I’ve had all year so far (including earlier this month), you can see films like David Fincher’s Gone Girl, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance, Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have poised to be among the most nominated at this year’s ceremony. Overall, my predictions are only a little bit different this time around, since last time out I totally swapped out all my winners. I’m mixing and matching here now, trying to find the right match. It might not wind up particularly accurate yet, but until the festival season begins next month and more of these movies actually screen for critics, we’re still guessing more often than not. It’s just a matter of trying to make the guesses more and more educated as the season progresses.
By now, you all obviously know that I could go on and on about all of the changes I’ve made or considered making, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is just how I see the Academy Awards shaping up to look like at this midway juncture in the year:
BEST PICTURE
1. Gone Girl
2. Unbroken
3. Foxcatcher
4. Boyhood
5. Birdman or The Unexpected […]

“Gone Girl” by David Fincher: An August Oscar Predictions Update

Welcome to August folks. Now that we’re well into the second half of 2014 and reaching the end of the summer, it’s time for me to come to you again with some new and (hopefully) even more up to date Oscar predictions. I sincerely hope that they’ll represent another bit of a change from speculation on towards educated guesswork now that awards season is fast approaching us. We still have a long way to go in the season overall, don’t me wrong, and these new predictions will likely be wrong more than right in the end anyway, but with each passing update I’m getting attempting to figure it all out and get more and more confident in backing particular horses as opposed to other ones that I’ve mentioned previously. If that sounds a bit repetitive to you, well…that’s still kind of the nature of the beast for this. If nothing else, this endeavor continues to sort of show where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to change and evolve into something truly competitive and quantifiable, especially when precursor season kicks into gear later on in 2014.
Continuing the trend I’ve had all year so far, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have pegged to be among the most nominated at this year’s ceremony, though it’s now joined by Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman as well and David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Overall, my predictions are a bit different this time, in a purposefully experimental way. I’m predicting new winners in each of the major categories (and all of the technical ones as well, so it’s brand new winners all around), seeing how they look as compared to what I’ve been saying so far this year. It might not wind up particularly accurate, but until the festival season begins next month and more of these movies actually screen, we’re still guessing more often than not. It’s just a matter of trying to make the guesses more and more educated as the season progresses.
Obviously, you al know that I could go on about all of the major changes that I’ve made (basically all over the place, which translates to everywhere, at least in terms of winners) this time around, particularly with titles like MacBeth and Suite française opting to delay until next awards season, but […]

Will Comic Con ever launch a Best Picture winner?

Each and every year, it seems like the annual San Diego Comic Con becomes more of a launching pad for future summer blockbusters. Now sure, they also still have comic books and television shows and everything in between (including talks by Kevin Smith), but these days most outlets go to cover the film studio panels, getting early looks at upcoming superhero flicks and the like. Something you rarely see though is prestige pictures getting put forward. Could that change one day though? Could we one day see Comic Con become a place where Oscar hopefuls go to tease voters early? I’m not sure we ever will in that overt way, but I think we’re going to see at the very least nominees come from the Con. With the convention coming to a close over the weekend, this sort of thing has been on my mind a bit.
What do I mean when I say that we’ll at least see nominees from the Con? Take for example how Warner Brothers brought out Christopher Nolan during their panel to talk about Interstellar, their upcoming science fiction epic. Hot on the heels of Gravity likely being the runner up in Best Picture at the most recent Academy Awards, there’s certainly the possibility that this could contend for a win in the top category. Sci-fi seems to be the most likely correlation here, but I don’t think it’s the only one to be found. Perhaps going forward war films can try to take this route as well?
While a superhero flick is unlikely to ever crack the lineup at this point (if The Avengers or The Dark Knight couldn’t do it, it’ll be a while before a new type of superhero movie comes out and can), something based off of a pre-existing property certainly could. If The Hobbit franchise from Peter Jackson had been better received, that’s one example for sure. Also, imagine if Comic Con had been as big as it is now back when David Fincher’s Fight Club had come out? It’s not hard to see that having a big Hall H presentation and wowing the crowd. There’s clearly types of films that can appeal to both a Hall H audience member and an Oscar voter…
Basically, film festivals currently serve the same purpose for prestige fare as Comic Con does for blockbusters. An exclusive group of audience members and journalists see something early (a […]

A second stab at Golden Globe predictions

I was originally planning on waiting to take another look at the Golden Globe awards and my predictions for that precursor until the summer was over, but with the festival announcements in full swing, it seems like a nice time to approach these again. Next week brings new Oscar predictions on my part (also informed by the New York and Toronto Film Festival announcements), so this is a good way to bide our time until then. There’s certainly a bit of a separation between the two, so it’s a far cry from the same sort of predictions, as you’ve probably already gathered by now. The Globes and the Oscars are very different animals, to say the least. You can argue about the actual impact that the former has on the latter, but at the very bare minimum, it influences perception, so it must be reckoned with to some degree.
Once again, the big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they sometimes tend to go for the bigger names or the bigger productions. As such, I’ve got Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken and David Fincher’s Gone Girl ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here, even though I won’t have the same sort of lineup when you see my Oscar predictions at the start of August (stay tuned for that, obviously). You also potentially lose certain indie players, as you’ll see evidenced by much smaller nomination totals (or even shutouts) for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, just as one example, though others could be movies like J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows longer shot work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods, and maybe even Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight or Zach Braff’s Wish I Was Here to have a shot at not just contention for nods, but actual noms, as well as wins. Nominations that would have been wishful thinking with the Academy and AMPAS are very much in play with the categories that the HFPA deals in. That’s just the nature of the beast here folks.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part, are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Unbroken
2. Gone Girl
3. Foxcatcher
4. Interstellar
5. Rosewater
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Inherent Vice
2. Into the Woods
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Birdman […]

The New York Film Festival is upping its Oscar game this year

With only three announcements, the annual New York Film Festival has managed to make their 52nd fest probably the biggest one of the year. I’ve been going the past few years and it’s slowly transformed into an awards season destination, but 2014 seems primed to be the year they really start to challenge the Toronto Film Festival for Oscar launch pad supremacy. Their Opening, Centerpiece, and Closing selections are always top notch selections, but this year they really seem to have outdone themselves. NYFF may very well have their best slate ever, and they’re still announcing the rest of their lineup at some point in the next few days.
In the Opening spot, they’re debuting David Fincher’s Gone Girl. Fincher has been there before with The Social Network, so he certainly knows how bit a launching pad this can be. When that movie debuted, it almost ran away with the entire Oscar season, at least until The King’s Speech stole the show at the end of the precursor season. This time around, his mystery/thriller starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike will seek get him back into the Best Picture and Best Director lineup. From the early looks of it (as well as this big time slot), the odds of that seem pretty good for Fincher and Gone Girl.
In the normally more low-key Centerpiece spot, they’ve shocked a lot of folks by landing the premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice. This isn’t Anderson’s first NYFF rodeo either, as both Boogie Nights and Punch Drunk Love were shown at previous installments of the festival. PTA has made more difficult to embrace than normal flicks the last few times out, and while There Will Be Blood was nominated a ton by the Academy, they ignored everything but the performances in The Master. This time, my guess is that they split the difference, to some degree. A comedic mystery of sorts, Inherent Vice stars Joaquin Phoenix and will look to establish itself as a critical favorite once this NYFF bow occurs.
Finally, their Closing selection is the North American launch of Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman (or as it’s apparently also called: Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Iñárritu is an NYFF veteran, as this will also be his third time showing a film there. He previously brought Amores Perros as well as 21 Grams to the fest. A dramedy starring Michael Keaton, it’s a […]

“Unbroken” by Angelina Jolie: Best Adapted Screenplay contender

As you fine folks all must know by now, it’s one thing entirely to read early Academy Award predictions in order to see what pundits like myself think will happen this winter, but it’s a whole separate thing to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that specific regard, I’m continuing to run down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what or who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might potentially take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing on from the acting categories and hitting the writing ones…starting with Best Adapted Screenplay
Here are the ten particular films/scripts that I have in play for Best Adapted Screenplay, with the top five cracking the unofficial lineup at this point:
1. Unbroken – Angelina Jole’s World War II epic has a heavyweight group of writers involved, namely Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, William Nicholson, and Richard LaGravenese. That’s perhaps the most A list screenplay ever, and one of the many reasons why I have this as a huge Oscar contender. Right now, it has to be one of the top players in Adapted Screenplay. I have it winning right now, but some other options could certainly wind up heavily challenging it before all is said and done.

2. Inherent Vice – Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson has never won an Oscar, despite having a few screenplays in contention previously, but maybe this is the year for him. PTA seems like more of a hopeful in Best Director usually, but his move from Original to Adapted (There Will Be Blood was his first) screenplays might give him a new and better opportunity. If the movie winds up a big player, I can see him potentially getting the win here.
3. Rosewater – Can Jon Stewart write a film? We know he can write comedy, but this is something completely different. I’m cautiously optimistic, since if he hits this one out of the park, it’s a surefire contender. We won’t know for a while now about this hopeful, but once […]

“Birdman” by Alejandro González Iñárritu: A July Oscar Predictions Update

Now that we’re into July and the second half of 2014, it’s high time that I’m coming to you again with some new and even more up to date Oscar predictions. Hopefully they’ll represent a bit of a change from speculation to educated guesswork now that awards season is not too far away. We still have a very long way to go in the season overall and these new predictions will likely be wrong more than right anyway, but with each passing update I’m getting more and more confident in backing particular horses as opposed to previous ones I’ve mentioned. If that sounds a bit repetitive, well…that’s still kind of the nature of the beast right now. If nothing else, this continues to sort of show where I’m coming from as the months pass and the race begins to change and evolve into something truly competitive and quantifiable, especially when precursor season kicks into gear later on in 2014.
Continuing the trend I’ve had all year, you can see that films like Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken, Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher, and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar are the ones that I have pegged to be the biggest winners at this year’s ceremony, though it’s now joined by Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman as well. Overall, my predictions still begin with Foxcatcher dominating at this early point in the season, though Unbroken still should do decently well too, at least in terms of nominations. Birdman is one of the year’s potential X factors though, so I wanted to make sure it got a bit of an extra mention here. A lot can and will still change, but if you’re looking for an early horse to bet on, it’s really either Foxcatcher or Unbroken right now in my mind, though evolutions are coming. There are some small changes elsewhere in most categories, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s still about those two contenders here for me.
I could go on about the more substantial changes that I’ve made (there’s again a noticeable change in a number of big categories) this time around, but I know at this point you mostly just want to see actual predictions, so here now is how I see the Academy Awards shaping up to look like at this midway juncture in the year:
BEST PICTURE
1. Foxcatcher
2. Unbroken
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Gone Girl
5. Birdman
6. Rosewater
7. Big Eyes
8. Interstellar
9. Fury
10. Inherent Vice
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Bennett […]

A first stab at Golden Globe predictions

We’re still a week and change away from a new set of Oscar predictions, so I figured today I’d mix it up and give you all my first set of Golden Globe predictions. One of the most noteworthy (if not the most important) precursors in terms of testing out winners, the Globes are the second biggest show out there, so you have to take note of them. As such, they get this early treatment in a way that not ever other precursor does.
The big difference you’ll see here between the Academy and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association is that they sometimes go for the bigger names or the bigger production. As such, I’ve moved Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken ahead of Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher here, even though I have the opposite for Oscar. You also lose certain indies, as you’ll see by smaller nomination totals for Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, for example. On the flip side though, the inclusion of comedies and musicals allows work like John Carney’s Begin Again, Clint Eastwood’s Jersey Boys, and Rob Marshall’s Into the Woods to have a shot at not just nominations, but wins.
Here now though, without further delay, are my initial Golden Globe predictions:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Unbroken
2. Foxcatcher
3. Big Eyes
4. Rosewater
5. Interstellar
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Inherent Vice
2. Into the Woods
3. Men, Women, & Children
4. Begin Again
5. Jersey Boys
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
2. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
3. Gael Garcia Bernal – Rosewater
4. Ben Affleck – Gone Girl
5. Oscar Isaac – A Most Violent Year
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Joaquin Phoenix – Inherent Vice
2. Adam Sandler – Men, Women, & Children
3. Mark Ruffalo – Begin Again
4. Seth Rogen – Neighbors
5. John Lloyd Young – Jersey Boys
Best Actress (Drama)
1. Amy Adams – Big Eyes
2. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
3. Michelle Williams – Suite française
4. Reese Witherspoon – Wild
5. Shailene Woodley – The Fault in Our Stars
Best Actress (Comedy or Musical)
1. Keira Knightley – Begin Again
2. Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
3. Rosemarie DeWitt – Men, Women, & Children
4. Emily Blunt – Into the Woods
5. Rose Byrne – Neighbors
Best Supporting Actor
1. Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
2. Christoph Waltz – Big Eyes
3. Channing Tatum – Foxcatcher
4. J.K. Simmons – Whiplash
5. Takamasa Ishihara – Unbroken
Best Supporting Actress
1. Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year
2. Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
3. Jennifer Garner – Men, Women, & Children
4. Laura Dern – The Fault in Our Stars
5. Jena Malone – Inherent […]

Steve Carell: 2015 Best Actor contenders

As you folks all know by now, it’s one thing to read early Academy Award predictions (including my own) at this point in the year in order to see what folks like myself think will happen in six months, but it’s another thing entirely to actually know something about who and what will be in contention. To help out in that regard, I’m running down some of the major contenders in each Oscar category in order to prep you all for the season to come. Basically, the format will have me saying a few words about what/who I feel are the top tier contenders right now in said categories, along with a longer list afterwards of many of the other hopefuls that the Academy might take a shine to. Consider this a sort of before the awards season cheat sheet to have in your back pocket.
Today I’m continuing with arguably the biggest of the acting categories…Best Actor.
Here are the ten thespians that I have in play for Best Actor, with the top five cracking the lineup at this point:
1. Steve Carell (Foxcatcher) – I tried to stay away from this obvious pick early on, but after the phenomenal reviews out of the Cannes Film Festival, it’s silly not to have Carell in your top spot. There’s a small chance he could go Supporting in order for Foxcatcher to maximize potential nominations/wins, but right now he’s the clear frontrunner here. It’d be folly to bet against him at this point.
2. Joaquin Phoenix (Inherent Vice) – I think we can all agree that Phoenix will win an Oscar one day, it’s just a matter of when. With his second collaboration with Paul Thomas Anderson, an opportunity is front and center, provided of course that the material isn’t too out there for the average Academy member. We shall see, but rightt now you have to at least be considering him heavily.
3. Timothy Spall (Mr. Turner) – The other leading man to really benefit from Cannes reviews, Spall seems more likely than not to score his first nomination for this biopic. Some have speculated that he could really challenge for the win too. I don’t quite see that happening, but hey…stranger things have certainly happened. Spall is probably the only person besides Carell that’s closing in a lock for a nomination this early.
4. Ben Affleck (Gone Girl) – Affleck is still without an acting […]

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