2017 Gotham Awards Nominations Announced

The Gotham Awards are the first out of the gate to announce their nominations. This is our first look at which films are going to be part of the movie awards conversation this year.

2012 was the last time that the Best Picture winner did not get either a Gotham nomination or win the Gotham award. 12 Years a Slave was nominated. Birdman, Spotlight, and Moonlight all won the Gotham and then won Best Picture.  The time before that was in 2009 when The Hurt Locker was nominated, won the Gotham and went on to win Best Picture.

This year Get Out received the most nominations with 4.  There has been a lot of speculation about the chances of Get Out being recognized during awards season. Movies released early in the year rarely do, but Get Out is that good.

Happy to see Call Me by Your Name and The Florida Project get recognized.

The winners will be announced at a ceremony on November 27th.

Full List of movie nominations:

Best Feature
Call Me by Your Name
The Florida Project
Get Out
Good Time
I, Tonya

Best Documentary
Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
Rat Film
Strong Island
Whose Streets?
The Work

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award
Maggie Betts for Novitiate
Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
Kogonada for Columbus
Jordan Peele for Get Out
Joshua Z Weinstein for Menashe

Best Screenplay
The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani
Brad’s Status, Mike White
Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory
Columbus, Kogonada
Get Out, Jordan Peele
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig

Best Actor
Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project
James Franco in The Disaster Artist
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out
Robert Pattinson in Good Time
Adam Sandler in The Meyerowitz Stories
Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky

Best Actress
Melanie Lynskey in I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore
Haley Lu Richardson in Columbus
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird
Lois Smith in Marjorie Prime

Breakthrough Actor
Mary J. Blige in Mudbound
Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name
Harris Dickinson in Beach Rats
Kelvin Harrison, Jr. in It Comes at Night
Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project

* The 2017 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating committee also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award for ensemble performance to Mudbound, The award will go to actors Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Wins Top Prize at TIFF


Martin McDonagh’s, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri took home the Audience Award at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday. It beat out other favorites like The Shape of Water, Call Me By Your Name, Lady Bird, and Stronger. I, Tonya was first runner-up and Call Me by Your Name was second runner-up.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri stars Frances McDormand as a mother who becomes frustrated by the police’s progress in her daughter’s murder that she rents out three billboards with a message for the town’s police. Also starring Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell, the film has already received significant Oscar buzz since its premiere at TIFF.

Fourteen of TIFF’s Audience Award winners have gone on to become Best Picture nominees since 1978, including last year’s La La Land. Five of the prize winners ended up winning Best Picture, Chariots of Fire, American Beauty, Slumdog Millionaire, The King’s Speech, and 12 Years a Slave.

The last time a movie won the TIFF Audience Award but failed to earn a Best Picture nomination was Where Do We Go Now in 2010.  Three Billboards now gets a major publicity boost and joins the Oscar buzz conversation.

List of TIFF winners:

People’s Choice: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Martin McDonagh (Runner-up: I, Tonya, Craig Gillespie. Second runner-up: Call Me By Your Name, Luca Guadagnino)

Midnight Madness: Bodied, Joseph Kahn (Runner-up: The Disaster Artist, James Franco)

Documentary: Faces Places, Agnès Varda, JR (Runner-up: Long Time Running, Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier)

Best Canadian Short Film: Pre-Drink, Marc-Antoine Lemire

Best Short Film: Min börda, Niki Lindroth von Bahr

Best Canadian First Feature: Luk’Luk’I, Wayne Wapeemukwa

Best Canadian Feature Film: Les Affamés, Robin Aubert

Toronto Platform Prize: Sweet Country, Warwick Thornton

The Florida Project Trailer

A24 continues to take the risks that other studios are afraid to do. Great reward comes with great risk. Last year they took home the Oscar for Moonlight.

The Florida Project is a film that tells the story of Moonee (Brooklynn Prince), a precocious 6-year-old girl who lives with her mother Halley (Bria Vinaite) in a community of extended-stay motel guests in pastel-streaked Orlando. It’s a hard life seen through the eyes of youthful adventure, a tightrope walk, really. And in a world where no one can say with any confidence what an Oscar movie really is anymore, it certainly has a chance.

Academy Announces New President

From Panarmenia.net….Cinematographer John Bailey is the new president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, The Associated Press reports.

The organization’s board of governors elected Bailey to a one-year term late Tuesday, August 8. He succeeds Cheryl Boone Isaacs, who has held the post since 2013. Boone Isaacs became a very visible representative of the organization during her tenure, with the #OscarsSoWhite scandal and this year’s best-picture flub. She said earlier this year that she would not seek re-election.

Bailey’s film credits include “American Gigolo,” "The Big Chill,” "Groundhog Day” and “As Good as It Gets.” He has been a film academy governor representing the cinematography branch for 14 years.

The film academy president traditionally appears on the Academy Awards telecast. Next year’s ceremony is the 90th.

Oscar Watch – Mudbound

Mudbound had a lot of great buzz coming out of Sundance this year. Directed by Dee Rees and starring Carey Mulligan, Jason Mitchell and Mary J. Blige. It deals with two men returning home from World War II to work on a farm in rural Mississippi where they struggle to deal with racism and adjusting to life after war.” 

This is right up The Academy’s alley. Except for the fact that it is being distributed by Netflix. The film premiered to a standing ovation at Sundance and Netflix spent $12.5 million to get the rights. Making it the largest deal to come out of Sundance this year. 

Movie studios don’t like streaming services getting too much attention, but Netflix and Amazon are willing to take the risks that the majors won’t. Although Amazon made it in last year with Manchester by the Sea. It’s probably only a matter of time before Netflix is accepted. 

The film premiered to a standing ovation at the Sundance Film Festival. But the movie’s substantial budget (north of $10 million) made a sale close slowly, after a bidding war failed to materialize. Even so, Netflix spend $12.5 million on the film, making it the largest deal to come out of Sundance 2017.

No release date yet and trailer coming soon. 

2017 Oscar Nomination Predictions

The Oscar nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced Tuesday, January 24th at 5:18am PST.
I used the predictions of other Oscar bloggers and Oscarologists, as well as my own opinion to come up with my list. Here goes nothing.

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

Best Director
Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Barry Jenkins (Moonlight)
Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester by the Sea)
Denis Villeneueve (Arrival)
Garth Davis (Lion)

Best Actor
Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea)
Denzel Washington (Fences)
Ryan Gosling (La La Land)
Andrew Garfield (Hacksaw Ridge)
Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Actress
Emma Stone (La La Land)
Natalie Portman (Jackie)
Amy Adams (Arrival)
Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Isabelle Huppert (Elle)

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea)
Dev Patel (Lion)
Hugh Grant (Florence Foster Jenkins)
Aaron Taylor-Johnson (Nocturnal Animals)

Best Supporting Actress
Viola Davis (Fences)
Naomie Harris (Moonlight)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Michelle Williams (Manchester by the Sea)
Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures)

Best Adapted Screenplay
Hidden Figures

Best Original Screenplay
Manchester by the Sea
La La Land
Hell or High Water
The Lobster

Best Animated Feature
Kubo and the Two Strings
The Red Turtle
Finding Dory

Best Documentary Feature
O.J.: Made in America
The Eagle Huntress
Life, Animated

Best Foreign Language Film
Toni Erdmann
The Salesman
A Man Called Ove
Land of Mine

Best Cinematography
La La Land

Best Costume Design
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Captain Fantastic
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Film Editing
La La Land
O.J.: Made in America
Manchester by the Sea

Makeup and Hair Styling
Florence Foster Jenkins
Star Trek Beyond

Best Original Score
La La Land
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Original Song
“City of Stars” (La La Land)
“How Far I’ll Go” (Moana)
“Audition” (La La Land)
“Drive It Like You Stole It” (Sing Street)
“Can’t Stop the Feeling!” (Trolls)

Best Production Design
La La Land
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Doctor Strange

Best Sound Editing
La La Land
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Sound Mixing
La La Land
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Best Visual Effects
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Jungle Book
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Best Live Action Short
Nocturne in Black
Bon Voyage
The Rifle, the Jackal, the Wolf and the Boy

Best Animated Short
Inner Workings
Once Upon a Line
The Head Vanishes

Best Documentary Short
The White Helmets
Joe’s Violin
Brillo Box (3¢ Off)
Watani: My Homeland

Can La La Land Really Win Best Picture?


La La Land was called the Best Picture frontrunner way back in August when it premiered at the Venice Film Festival. It then maintained its frontrunner status at both the Telluride and Toronto film festivals. Now that the guilds have announced their nominations, is La La Land really a lock to win Best Picture?

-It did not get the SAG nomination. 160,000 actors vote in SAG with a majority of them also voting in the Oscars. If they thought that it was strong enough it would have received the SAG nomination. Regardless of being a typical ensemble or not. Last year when we thought the Revenant was going to win Best Picture, it too was missing a SAG nomination. Spotlight had the SAG and won. The last time a movie won Best Picture WITHOUT a SAG Ensemble nomination was Braveheart in 1996. That is a big stat to overcome. 

-It’s been the clear leader for 6 months already, and early frontrunners have a hard time making it all of the way. It’s a long Oscar season and people are getting tired of hearing about La La Land and questioning if it is really “that good”.

-The Oscars are no longer afraid to split Best Picture and Best Director. The more visual film gets Director (Gravity, The Revenant) and the thematic film gets Best Picture (12 Years a Slave, Spotlight). I can easily see Best Director going to Damien Chazelle and Picture going to Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea.

-Best Picture often has a good backstory that everyone can root for. (e.g. the movie was almost never made or the director worked his whole life and almost died etc) Director Damien Chazelle has not much adversity in his life. He went to Harvard and his first film Whiplash was a huge success. Voters like a more down and out backstory.

-People aren’t afraid to hate La La Land. It is socially acceptable to not be a fan. In the preferential ballot that the Oscars use, a film has to be overwhelmingly loved to win. The least divisive film that anyone can sit down, watch and love or at least like wins. That may not be La La Land.

-Musicals rarely win Best Picture. When they do, the singing must be spectacular. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are not the strongest singers ever seen on film.

Predicting La La Land for Best Picture is still a pretty safe bet right now. It still needs to win the PGA and DGA to be in the game. Don’t discount Moonlight just yet.