January 01, 2015

Tag Archives: Michael Keaton

A look at the second spot in each of the main Oscar categories

As much as people in the prognostication line of work (like me) tend to focus in on the number one spot in every Academy Award category, it’s just as important to figure out who or what the number two is. Even before the Oscar nominations have been handed out, you want to have an idea of the contender order, since that’s how you determine if any upsets could be in the cards. Sometimes, they’ll come out of nowhere, but most of the time the alternate winner is someone or something you can see coming. To quote a colleague of mine, very few people ever think there’s going to be an Oscar upset every year…until they happen. As such, I’m going to be taking a look at the number two spots in the big eight categories today. Hopefully, we can try and figure out where the upsets might be found.
In Best Picture, the number two position seems to be held by Selma, behind Boyhood of course. There are other somewhat viable winners like Birdman and The Imitation Game, but if you really look at the Academy, it appears likely to come down to Boyhood against Selma. Currently, the former is pretty far out front, but due to its unique nature, there’s plenty of time for the latter to make a real play for the victory. It’ll likely go down to the wire.
With Best Director, it’s actually probably Alejandro González Iñárritu for Birdman in spot number two, behind Richard Linklater for Boyhood. There certainly is room for an upset/split between Picture and Director, but I’m not going to predict one this early in the game. Ava DuVernay isn’t far behind for Selma, but the history making nomination that her inclusion would be might be enough for voters. Iñárritu right now is my fairly clear cut runner up.
Best Actor is a different story entirely. Without a clear cut favorite, everyone is essentially number one and number two. However, if for argument’s sake we presume that Michael Keaton is a slight frontrunner for Birdman, the number two slot is most likely Eddie Redmayne’s for The Theory of Everything. He’s only an eyelash in front of Benedict Cumberbatch for The Imitation Game and David Oyelowo for Selma, but he’s in front. Anyone who gets in will have a chance to win though, so stay tuned. Redmayne is just the current placeholder.
For Best Actress, it appears […]

Golden Globe post nomination predictions for December

As we move from Phase One to Phase Two of the awards season, things begin to take a new turn. Now, it’s not only predicting who and what is going to be nominated, but also now a focus on potential winners comes into play. In a few categories, the winner has more or less been clear as day, but in the majority of them it’s an open race still. As such, I’m going to take a shot today at attempting to predict the Golden Globe awards. The members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made their nomination picks recently, so now I get to sort through them and try to figure out how the Globes will turn out…
Before I show you the predictions, I’ll quickly give you my train of thought. Essentially, I tried to split things between Birdman and Boyhood, since I’m not sure how the voters are going to deal with The Imitation Game, Into the Woods, and The Theory of Everything. I don’t think all three will get shut out of wins, but at least one likely will. There are a few safe bets here, with the Globes likely to cite Patricia Arquette in Best Supporting Actress for one of Boyhood’s wins, Julianne Moore in Best Actress (Drama) for Still Alice, and J.K. Simmons in Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash. Those are close to locks. The other categories, give or take Best Animated Feature for The Lego Movie, are certainly up for grabs. As such, for now I’m looking to Birdman to do very well in the Comedy/Musical fields while Boyhood leads the charge in Drama. A lot remains to be seen though, so sit tight. The race is far from over at this still early juncture. Technically it’s not even Phase Two yet! We have a long way to go.
Alright, enough talk. Time for the good stuff, right? Here now is how I currently see the Golden Globe awards going down:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. Boyhood
2. The Theory of Everything
3. The Imitation Game
4. Selma
5. Foxcatcher
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
3. Into the Woods
4. St. Vincent
5. Pride
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
3. David Oyelowo – Selma
4. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
5. Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
Best Actor (Comedy or Musical)
1. Michael Keaton – Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Bill […]

Cinematic gifts from 2014

With folks all over unwrapping presents today and the year just about over, I wanted to commemorate the time by looking at the gifts that the world of cinema bestowed on us in 2014. What do I mean when I say that? Well, in my eyes, it can mean a film, a filmmaker, or a performer who we became thankful for/even more thankful for during the past 12 months. I tried to be as eclectic as possible and think broadly, but of course this is essentially who and what I loved during the year too. It’s not my top ten list, but it might give you some idea of what mine will look like. Also, I did try and tie it into the Oscar race, of course. How could I not? Anyway, enjoy!
Here now are ten gifts that cinema gave us in 2014:
1. Boyhood – Almost without exception, everyone can agree that Richard Linklater’s film is a gift to cinema. That just makes the fact that it’s the current Best Picture/Best Director/Best Original Screenplay frontrunner all the sweeter. It’s a unique experience that may never be duplicated and 2014 contained the release of it after a decade plus of preparation/shooting.
2. J.K. Simmons – Who doesn’t love Simmons? He’s one of the great character actors of our time, but he’s never had a role like the one in Whiplash to really sink his teeth into. As such, we should give thanks that this gift of a performance is now not only guaranteed to score him his first Oscar nomination, it’s almost assuredly going to win him the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor as well.
3. Life Itself – Legendary film critic Roger Ebert sadly passed away last year, but director Steve James released his amazing look at Ebert’s life this year, and what a gift it is. A touching documentary about a life well lived, it’s going to compete for Best Documentary Feature at the Oscars, though it’s already won a place in many of our hearts. It’s just that special.
4. The Fault in Our Stars – There were so many ways that this YA adaptation could have gone wrong that it’s a real gift that we got the brilliant movie that we did. The combination of director Josh Boone, writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, as well as cast members like Laura Dern, Ansel Elgort, and of course Shailene […]

A look at some potential first time Academy Award nominees this year

One of the most enjoyable things about the Oscars each and every single year is that a number of overdue veterans are finally cited with their first Academy Award nominations. These nods are sometimes for career best work and sometimes almost life achievement citations, but it’s very rare that the noms aren’t actually fully deserved. This year, there are no shortage of very deserving first timers who are only a matter of weeks away from hearing their name called out at long last. As such, I wanted to give you all a look at a number of them, mostly in the major categories, though not exclusively.
Here now are a dozen (well, technically more, as you’ll see in a moment) potential first time Oscar nominees for this year:
1. (Almost) The entire Best Actor field – With the exception of prior nominees Bradley Cooper, Ralph Fiennes, and Jake Gyllenhaal, every realistic contender for a Best Actor nomination (not to mention the win) would be a first time nominee. They mainly include Steve Carell, Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Keaton, David Oyelowo, and Eddie Redmayne, but also Ellar Coltrane, Oscar Isaac, Jack O’Connell, Timothy Spall, Channing Tatum, and Miles Teller as well. An embarrassment of riches here, so while perhaps the entire lineup in Best Actor will be first timers, more than a few will be snubbed as well.
2. J.K. Simmons – If there’s a slam dunk win to be found among the big eight Oscar categories, it’s first timer Simmons finally getting his due from the Academy. His role in Whiplash is perhaps the best he’s ever gotten, though it’s no surprise at all that he knocks it out of the park. You can put him down for his first nomination and first win in ink. It’s happening.
3. Felicity Jones – With The Theory of Everything poised to do very well on nomination morning, it seems exceedingly likely that Jones will receive her first citation from voters. At one point she was considered a potential winner too, and while that time has probably come and gone, she’s still almost certain to be nominated. From there, we’ll just have to see what happens. Snubbed a few years ago for her breakthrough performance in Like Crazy, I’m glad that Jones is getting in now.
4. Hoyte Van Hoytema – Even if Interstellar winds up snubbed in most of the big eight categories, if not all of them […]

A Mid-December Oscar Predictions Update

We’re almost at the point where it’s time for weekly Oscar prediction updates folks. It’s not quite that time, but before long it’ll be bi-weekly at least, with some precursor winner predictions thrown in for good measure. Anyway, since it’s the middle of the month, it’s time for new Academy Award predictions. With the precursors in full swing, there’s no shortage of things to consider, so expect a bit of a change in how a number of my categories look. There’s only a matter of weeks left to nail down who the nominees will wind up being, so the final time to play games is now. Once we hit January, things are far more serious. There’s no way to get things 100% accurate, but I certainly aim to come as close as I can.
What you’ll mainly see here in this latest update is a real swing in the favor of Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel. What I once had all but getting shut out could now be in line for perhaps a half a dozen nominations. I highly doubt that a total as high as that will actually occur, but the possibility is officially there. If the precursors did one thing (aside from solidifying Richard Linklater’s Boyhood as the current frontrunner/one to beat), it was to give Anderson and his movie a second life. We’ll see if it lasts, but it’s certainly been something that I took notice of. Other new things reflected here include slightly tinkered with Best Original Score and Best Original Song predictions, with the latter showing the actual song now, since the long list has now come out (along with the bake off titles for Best Hairstyling and Makeup having been announced as well). There’s still the Best Foreign Language Feature long list that we need to see, but that could be basically at any moment now, so if it hits soon I’ll just update here and make a notation. (It came out, so that’s reflected here too)
Here now, without any further delay, are my brand spanking new/up to date Academy Award predictions. Behold:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Selma
4. The Imitation Game
5. The Theory of Everything
6. Whiplash
7. The Grand Budapest Hotel
8. Gone Girl
9. Foxcatcher
10. Interstellar
Next in line: 11. A Most Violent Year 12. Into the Woods 13. Unbroken 14. Wild 15. American Sniper 16. Nightcrawler 17. Mr. Turner 18. […]

Updated Oscar predictions after the Golden Globe and SAG announcements

Happy Friday everyone! With the nominations for the Golden Globe awards and the Screen Actors Guild awards really giving a bit more shape to the Academy Award race, I thought it was time to break in a bit early with some new predictions. Yes, consider this a bonus Oscar prediction update. Enough has changed that I really think it’s apt to begin putting these up a little more often. I’m not sure I’ll do it every week just yet, but we’re closing in on that sort of time period. Obviously we’ve seen certain titles/performances really come on strong this week, while others have really faded. As such, there’s a fair amount of movement in this update.
Most notably, I’ve boosted Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Nightcrawler, while backing away from The Imitation Game, Interstellar, and Selma, to one degree or another, not to mention almost completely abandoning Unbroken. The Imitation Game and Selma are still viable Best Picture winners, but Birdman has jumped past them for now. Obviously, everything is in the shadow of Boyhood until further notice, but the jockeying below it is going on hot and heavy. Lots can and still will happen between now and the Oscar nominations being announced, so it’s hardly a set field by any stretch of the imagination.
Here now are my most up to date Academy Award predictions, reflecting the Globe and SAG nomination results (including a quick additional update to reflect the scores and songs deemed eligible by the Academy):
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Selma
4. The Imitation Game
5. Whiplash
6. Gone Girl
7. Foxcatcher
8. The Theory of Everything
9. A Most Violent Year
10. Interstellar
Next in line: 11. Unbroken 12. The Grand Budapest Hotel 13. Into the Woods 14. American Sniper 15. Fury 16. Wild 17. Mr. Turner 18. Inherent Vice 19. Nightcrawler 20. Rosewater
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Ava DuVernay – Selma
4. David Fincher – Gone Girl
5. Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Next in line: 6. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game 7. J.C. Chandor – A Most Violent Year 8. Clint Eastwood – American Sniper 9. Christopher Nolan – Interstellar 10. Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST ACTOR
1. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
2. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
3. David Oyelowo – Selma
4. Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler
5. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Next […]

A December Oscar Predictions Update

Well, the calendar has turned to December folks, so now we’re getting serious here in terms of Oscar predictions. Precursor awards are in full swing now, so expect the Academy Award picture to begin to clear itself up little by little. As I keep saying, that doesn’t mean that from now on we’ll suddenly know how the whole thing will go down, but we’re close to the point where things should make more sense. Without any unseen contenders left, all that’s left is figuring out how these various Oscar hopefuls will do. Well, that’s what I’m here for ladies and gentlemen, so let’s figure it out!
The big new piece of information here is that I’ve now seen and digested Angelina Jolie’s film Unbroken. Honestly, I’m skeptical that it’ll be a major player, which is why I now have it snubbed in the Best Picture category and not going home with a single win. I could be wrong, but I also think that Jolie will fall short in Best Director and Jack O’Connell won’t be able to break through in the Best Actor race. It’s not that I don’t think it’s a good movie, because it is, but it doesn’t feel like something that can stand up to the major players in this race. As such, voters might leave it behind.
This leaves us mostly with a race that’s going to come down to Richard Linklater’s Boyhood, Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game, and Ava DuVernay’s Selma in terms of Best Picture as well as Best Director. You can make the case that Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a potential dark horse, but aside from that, it’s those three. You’ll see what I think will happen below, but get used to seeing those titles a lot, because those are the names that will compete for Oscar glory.
Anyway, it’s time to get down to business, right? Without further delay, here is how I see the Academy Award nominations going at this current juncture, with once again my next in line picks listed for completion/as a bonus. Behold:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Selma
3. The Imitation Game
4. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Interstellar
6. Gone Girl
7. Whiplash
8. The Theory of Everything
9. Foxcatcher
10. A Most Violent Year
Next in line: 11. Unbroken 12. American Sniper 13. Into the Woods 14. Fury 15. Rosewater 16. Wild 17. Mr. Turner 18. Inherent Vice 19. Nightcrawler […]

“A Most Violent Year” wins Best Picture from the National Board of Review

Moments ago (and after keeping us on the edges of our respective seats all morning/afternoon) the National Board of Review unveiled their 2014 award winners, marking another early juncture in the precursor season. After shocking a lot of people, including myself, by giving their top prize last year to Spike Jonze’s Her, they opted this year to cite A Most Violent Year as their Best Picture of 2014. The J.C. Chandor directed film led the field with three major citations, while Birdman was next in line with two. NBR definitely had an eye on mixing things up and did so, giving a whole new slate of winners after yesterday’s New York Film Critics Circle announcement.
Obviously, the Best Picture win is a boon to Chandor’s film. Taking this prize from the likes of Boyhood, The Imitation Game, and Selma (plus Unbroken, though that’s looking less like a major player right now…more on that soon) gives A Most Violent Year a leg up on some of the other contenders hoping to crack Oscar’s lineup. Does this make it a lock for the Academy? No, but it’s something for sure and clearly puts it in the top 15 at the very least. NBR isn’t the last word by any stretch, but it’s a notable early precursor, so this win is worth paying attention to. The film also tied in Best Actor, seeing Oscar Isaac share the prize with Birdman’s Michael Keaton, as well as won Best Supporting Actress for Jessica Chastain. That’s nothing to scoff at.
The other big winner today was obviously Birdman, which had the Best Actor tie as well as the National Board of Review choosing Edward Norton as its Best Supporting Actor. If you want to get technical, it might have even tied with A Most Violent Year for the most citations, as it also showed up as one of the group’s Top Ten Films of 2014. A solid haul for sure, and one that also gives it a bit of a boost, particularly with the likes of Boyhood and The Imitation Game just showing up on that list and nowhere else. Selma only received a Freedom of Expression Award, so at least for today, Birdman beat them all back.
Elsewhere, Best Director went to perennial NBR favorite Clint Eastwood for American Sniper, while Julianne Moore took home Best Actress for Still Alice. Best Original Screenplay went to The Lego Movie […]

Golden Globe predictions for November

It’s Black Friday, so I know you’re all mostly concerned with taking advantage of various sales, but since it’s also the end of November, I wanted to bring some new Golden Globe predictions to you as well. We’ve been doing these for a while now, but this represents likelythe final one I’ll be doing before the actual nominations are announced in about two weeks on December 11th (unless I preview the announcement with a final set of predictions…we’ll see). As such, I’m hoping to really nail them this time around, and try to figure out how the Hollywood Foreign Press Association might go with their nods. The HFPA can go in some odd directions too, so these noms might even be a little more Oscar friendly than they wind up being. We’ll see though.
The biggest addition this time around is accounting for Selma in the race. I still had it shut out last time around, and while I don’t necessarily think it’s going to dominate the Globes, I do think a shut out isn’t going to happen. I also had to try to figure out what to do with Unbroken, which I don’t see until Monday. As such, I left it alone for the most part. If I do indeed do one last update to these predictions, it’ll be due at least in part to a need to account for the film, one way or another. Perhaps I’ll need to predict it for some wins? Perhaps I’ll need to drop it completely? Somewhere in between? I’ll find out at the beginning of next week and report in on the film itself, but if I do update Globe predictions, reflections on that movie will be involved for sure.
Here now though, without any further delay on my part (since as always we know that you’re really here just to see what I have below in each of the categories), are a brand spanking new set of Golden Globe nomination predictions to pour over. Behold:
Best Picture (Drama)
1. The Imitation Game
2. Selma
3. Boyhood
4. Gone Girl
5. Unbroken
If there’s a sixth: Interstellar
Best Picture (Comedy or Musical)
1. Into the Woods
2. Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
3. Whiplash
4. Begin Again
5. St. Vincent
If there’s a sixth: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Best Actor (Drama)
1. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
2. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
3. David Oyelowo – Selma
4. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
5. Timothy Spall – Mr. Turner
If […]

A Mid-November Oscar Predictions Update

I’m going to keep it short and sweet today folks, or at least a bit shorter than usual in terms of set up. You all know by now that it’s time for my middle of the month Oscar predictions update piece. Sometimes, there’s only a tinker or two to be done, but today…today I have a seismic shift to include, namely in the arrival of Selma on the scene. It’s gone from being shut out (what was I thinking?) to contending for wins in multiple major categories. In fact, more than one of the big eight categories have new winners listed, so this is a definite change in thinking. Some of it might be short lived, but that’s what the upcoming new set of predictions next month is for, right? I’ve also added the three short form categories (Animated Short, Documentary Short, and Live Action Short), though I know that’s not quite as big a selling point. Still, they’re there now, so don’t ignore them.
Anyway, let’s get down to business, shall we? Without further delay, here is how I see the Academy Award nominations going at this current juncture, with once again my next in line picks listed for completion. Behold:
BEST PICTURE
1. Boyhood
2. Selma
3. The Imitation Game
4. Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Interstellar
6. The Theory of Everything
7. Gone Girl
8. Whiplash
9. Foxcatcher
10. Unbroken
Next in line: 11. A Most Violent Year 12. Rosewater 13. Into the Woods 14. Fury 15. American Sniper 16. Inherent Vice 17. Mr. Turner 18. Wild 19. Nightcrawler 20. Still Alice
BEST DIRECTOR
1. Richard Linklater – Boyhood
2. Ava DuVernay – Selma
3. Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
4. Morten Tyldum – The Imitation Game
5. Christopher Nolan – Interstellar
Next in line: 6. David Fincher – Gone Girl 7. Damien Chazelle – Whiplash 8. Bennett Miller – Foxcatcher 9. Angelina Jolie – Unbroken 10. James Marsh – The Theory of Everything
BEST ACTOR
1. David Oyelowo – Selma
2. Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game
3. Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
4. Michael Keaton – Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance
5. Steve Carell – Foxcatcher
Next in line: 6. Jack O’Connell – Unbroken 7. Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler 8. Bradley Cooper – American Sniper 9. Matthew McConaughey – Interstellar 10. Kevin Costner – Black or White
BEST ACTRESS
1. Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything
2. Julianne Moore – Still Alice
3. Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl
4. Reese Witherspoon – Wild
5. […]

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