First Look at Best Picture 2017

Last year at this time La La Land was the frontrunner for Best Picture. Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea were close behind, but it was still all about La La Land. As soon as a film is labeled a front runner the take down begins. As the season went on people noticed that La La Land had some issues. A white guy inventing jazz, Ryan Gosling couldn’t sing, Emma Stone’s character had it way too easy before becoming a successful actress and that ending.

This year in October we have no real frontrunner. It’s very unusual to not have a movie that most of, if not all of the Oscar bloggers are predicting to win Best Picture. The closest we have is Dunkirk. It appears to have the most buzz surrounding it right now. We also have Call Me by Your Name (my personal favorite) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, The Shape of Water, The Florida Project and Darkest Hour. A few of these are bound to get a nomination, but we are still waiting to see a few other like The Post and Phantom Thread.

Will the 4 Gotham Awards nominations for Get Out push it into the Oscar race? Can Wonder Woman get a nomination? Is Battle of the Sexes out of the race? What about the Big Sick? Basically, we don’t know anything at this point. We can only guess what films the Academy might go for. We will know a little more once some of the critics awards are announced beginning at the end of November. It will really start to come together when the major guilds like the PGA, DGA, SAG and ACE announce their nominations. A consensus will build and everything will come into focus.

Here is my first pass at which films could get a Best Picture nomination:

Frontrunners
Dunkirk
Call Me By Your Name
Darkest Hour
The Shape of Water
The Florida Project
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Lady Bird
Get Out
The Post
I, Tonya

Alternatives
Battle of the Sexes
Phantom Thread
Wonder Woman
Mudbound
Hostiles
Molly’s Game
The Big Sick

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It’s Happens More Than You Think

Since the Harvey Weinstein story broke last week, we are learning more about how pervasive this problem really is. Former Editor and Co-Owner of The Hollywood Reporter, Janice Min was on Bill Maher Friday night. Great interview, lots of insight…we are doomed.

I,Tonya Teaser Trailer

I, Tonya premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last month. Directed by Craig Gillespie, I, Tonya is based on the real story from the 90’s when figure skater Tonya Harding, played by Margot Robbie, conspired to injure her rival Nancy Kerrigan. With hopes of getting Kerrigan out of competition.

The film has been gaining traction on the festival circuit and is looking to be an awards season contender. Robbie just earned a Gotham Awards nomination this week.  Allison Janney plays Harding’s abusive mother and is also in the awards conversation.

The first teaser trailer was released this week. I, Tonya hits theaters in New York and Los Angeles on December 8th.

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.

Academy Kicks Out Harvey Weinstein

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Harvey Weinstein has been kicked out of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after an emergency board meeting on Saturday. He is no longer a member and has been stripped of his voting rights.

Weinstein was fired a week ago from the company he co-founded following harassment and assault allegations going back decades.

The board is made up of 54 members, including Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. The number of votes to remove Weinstein was well above the two thirds needed. The Academy has been criticized in the past for ignoring other allegations of sexual misconduct. Woody Allen, Casey Affleck and Roman Polanski have all won Oscars despite such claims. Bill Cosby is still an academy member.

More decisions will be made regarding Weinstein’s future. France is discussing whether to revoke his Legion of Honour, the country’s highest civilian distinction, according to President Emmanuel Macron’s office Saturday.

The Producers Guild of America will hold an emergency board meeting on Monday to decide whether Weinstein should be kicked out of the organization. In 2012, he received the PGA’s Milestone Award.

Women continue to come forward about Weinstein’s inappropriate behavior. Angelina Jolie, Gwyneth Paltrow allege harassment as well as Minka Kelly, Kate Beckinsale, Mira Sorvino and Rose McGowan.

Weinstein had his share of accomplishments. His biggest was getting his film Shakespeare in Love to beat out Saving Private Ryan for Best Picture in 1999. His fall from grace was swift and harsh. The “Oscar Whisperer” is no more and deservedly so.

 

Harvey Weinstein Fired From Weinstein Co.

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Harvey Weinstein put up the money and was the power behind some of the biggest films of the past 25 years.

Know as the “Oscar Whisperer”, the 65-year-old has been involved in the production of 20 films that have been nominated for best picture.  Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King, Shakespeare In Love and The English Patient all went on to win the Academy Award. Other films to get Oscar nominations include Pulp Fiction and Gangs of New York.

Harvey and his brother Bob Weinstein founded Miramax in 1979, turning it into a major  player before selling it to Disney in 1993. They continued to work with Miramax until 2005 when they quit to start Weinstein Company, which was responsible for The King’s Speech, Django Unchained and Silver Linings Playbook.

There have always been rumors about Harvey’s inappropriate treatment of women that worked for him. A New York Times article the past week alleged inappropriate behavior with women in the last 30 years. In it, actress Ashley Judd described being lured to Weinstein’s hotel room, to find him wearing a bathrobe and requesting sexual favors. It had claims from other women working for the company and  official settlements from people, including Rose McGowan, who was issued a $100,000 settlement. Now several more women have reportedly come forward to allege serious sexual misconduct.

In a statement, Weinstein said he “came of age in the 60’s and 70’s, when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different. I have since learned it’s not an excuse, in the office – or out of it. To anyone. I realised some time ago that I needed to be a better person and my interactions with the people I work with have changed.”

The Weinstein Company announced on Sunday that its directors have fired Harvey Weinstein.

A statement released from the company read “In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company – Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar – have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”

If Harvey would have stayed on and continued to produce movies, every actress or actor working with him would forever be questioned about why they would support someone accused of sexual harassment. To this day same questions are asked of people that work with Woody Allen and Roman Polanski. The Weinstein Company had no choice but to fire its founder.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Wins Top Prize at TIFF

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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