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Potential Academy Award players from Cannes

Now that the 2016 Cannes Film Festival is safely in our rearview mirror, we can do what always happens a few days after the fest concludes…try and find some Oscar buzz! Yes, Cannes this year had some definite movies that will be in the conversation for Academy Award nominations, though as I said earlier in the week, it likely won’t be coming from their slate of prize winners. The Palme d’Or winning I, Daniel Blake doesn’t seem poised for much love, so while a title or two from the competition section will sniff the precursor season, there will be as much attention paid to the ones that played our of competition in 2016. That’s just how it wound up going down this year, though nothing is set in stone just yet…

The big one it seems, if you had to choose, is Loving from Jeff Nichols. That’s the film with across the board potential, as it resembled awards bait from the start. Look for that one to have a big campaign launched in Best Picture, Best Director (for Nichols), Best Actor (for Joel Edgerton), Best Actress (for Ruth Negga), Best Supporting Actor (for Michael Shannon), Best Original Screenplay (also for Nichols), and a handful of technical categories. I can’t promise anything at this moment, but expect Edgerton, Negga, and Nichols to show up plenty as the awards season gets underway. Nominations aren’t promised, but heavy contention for said nominations basically is. Loving is the one to take to the bank if you were betting on one Cannes title to go all the way to Oscar night, without question.

Also in competition and getting a bit of buzz were things like Paterson and Toni Erdmann. They’re longer shots, for sure, basically limited to the former hoping for attention in Best Actor (for Adam Driver), Best Supporting Actress (for Golshifteh Farahani), and Best Original Screenplay (for Jim Jarmusch), along with Best Original Screenplay (for Maren Ade) and Best Foreign Language Feature for the latter. I actually have a strong feeling/hunch that Toni Erdmann will wind up with a Foreign Language Feature citation if it’s actually submitted, but Paterson is probably a long shot. It’s frankly just too small, and while Driver got buzz, he’ll have bigger contenders to compete with when the time comes.

the nice guys, crowe, gosling

Out of competition, we had The Nice Guys from Shane Black to definitely keep in the back of our minds. Also, there’s Woody Allen’s Café Society, which is likely the smarter play. With Black’s movie, I think the ship might have sailed with the middling box office, but if the precursors save it, look for Best Picture, Best Director (for Black), Best Actor (Russell Crowe and/or Ryan Gosling), Best Supporting Actor (Crowe and/or Gosling), Best Supporting Actress (for Kim Basinger or Angourie Rice), Best Original Screenplay (for Anthony Bagarozzi and Black), Best Production Design, and Best Film Editing to be considered. As for Allen’s flick, it just depends on if voters are in the mood or not. I suspect a campaign across the board is coming, with Best Picture, Best Director (for Allen), Best Actor (for Jesse Eisenberg), Best Actress/Best Supporting Actress (for Kristen Stewart), Best Supporting Actor (for Steve Carell), Best Original Screenplay (for Allen), Best Cinematography, and more techs. Don’t sleep on that one, which I’ve seen and loved.

Of course, keep in mind that nothing is guaranteed right now. Cannes is barely a thing of the past and we’re months out still from the awards season. Once the summer is over, we’ll have a better idea of what is going to get noticed during the precursors or not, but right now everything is an option. You could also make the case that Steven Spielberg’s The BFG is a sure thing for tech contention, and you wouldn’t be wrong. We’ll have to stay tuned and just see what ends up happening. Anything can and likely will happen, so don’t do anything rash. Sit tight…

Stay tuned to see how these various contenders do throughout the rest of the year!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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