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90th Oscars. Oscar Contenders of 2017 - For prediction, discussion, entertainment purposes only

 discuss on the blog

 

DEC 25TH PREDICTIONS

COSTUME DESIGN
Extremely difficult to predict this year because the "leaders" as it were aren't really costume films


Tier 1 - Predicted 5

 

Victoria and Abdul Consolata Boyle 
(2 nominations)

Boyle gets to costume Britian and Indian VIPs this time around and the clothes get plot points, too.

Beauty and the Beast Jacqueline Durran 
(4 noms | 1 win)

 | Critics Choice Nom

 The visibility is there as well as the iconic costumes recreated. But will that be enough without reinventing them (a la Cinderella)

Phantom Thread
Mark Bridges
(2 noms, 1 win)

 | Critics Choice Nom

It's a fashion drama and he's a great designer. But overall reception to the film might determine whether this rises or falls.

The Post

Ann Roth
(4 noms | 1 win) 

She's long been a favorite of Streep's and they're bringing her out for The Post events. Streep's costumes are particularly memorable

The Beguiled 

Stacey Battat 
(never nominated)

 

Civil War era girls school. There are plenty of dresses to gawk at and their finery is noted within the film

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

The Greatest Showman
Ellen Mirojnick
(never nominated)

Circus costumes, top hats, etcetera. It better look great

Battle of the Sexes

Mary Zophres 
(2 nominations) 

 

Less gaudy 70s work than you'd expect, varied fun sports wear. Zophres is really on a roll lately.

Wonder Woman
Lindy Hemming (1 nom | 1 win)

Critics Choice Nom

If a big campaign makes a dent anywhere, might it be here?

Wonderstruck

Sandy Powell 
(12 noms | 3 wins)

 

Powell's work is always stellar and she gets two time frames to play with here - but no one is talking about the film

Bladerunner 2049
Renee April
(never nominated)

Critics Choice Nom

The Academy doesn't embrace sci-fi all that often in costuming but this film looks great

 

Tier 3 -Vote Siphoners?

  • Darkest Hour Jacqueline Durran (4/1)
  • Murder on the Orient Express Alexandra Byrne (4 noms / 1 win)
  • The Shape of Water (Luis Sequeira (0)  | Critics Choice Nom
  • My Cousin Rachel Dinah Collin
  • Dunkirk Jeffrey Kurland (1/0)
  • Lost City of Z Sonia Grande
  • Marshall Ruth E Carter (2/0)
  • Mudbound Michael T Boyd

 

 

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Seems like this race could go any which way (in terms of nominations), though I still suspect it's between Dunkirk & Blade Runner for the win

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Dunkirk
Hoyt Van Hoytema
(never nominated)

wins: --
noms:
Critics Choice

 

Hoytema is next in line for the  "when are they going to nominate him after so many great looking films?" complaints

Blade Runner 2049
Roger Deakins
(13 nominations)

wins: --
noms:  
Critics Choice

If he doesn't win soon they'll have to give him an honorary.

Shape of Water 
Dan Laustsen
(never nominated)

wins: LAFCA Win 
noms:  
Critics Choice

 

It sure looks lovely. But with so many legendary DPs hoping for play this year will it be a surprise miss?

Call Me By Your Name
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom
(never nominated)

wins: --
noms: Spirit,Critics Choice

It's a lovely lovely film but perhaps too low key for this branch? Or will the sun dappled Italy get to them?

Mudbound
Rachel Morrison
(never nominated)

wins: NYFCC  
noms: Critics Choice

If nominated she'll be the first female cinematographer ever thus honored. But the non big screen factor could really hurt in this category

 
Tier 2 - Potential Spoilers

The Post
Janusz Kaminski
(6 nominations / 2 wins)

If they embrace the film across the board he might be in. But he hasn't been challenging himself in so long.

Wonder Wheel
Vittoria Storaro
(4 noms | 3 wins)

He's a legendary cinematographer and this film is a showcase for his bravura gifts -- SO MUCH CINEMATOGRAPHY. That said cinematographers don't readily embrace Woody Allen pictures...

Darkest Hour
Bruno Delbonnel (4 nominations)

His last two nominations were for very monochromatic work. Hopefully there's more variety this time

Battle of the Sexes
Linus Sandgren
(1 nom | 1 win)

The movie is surprisingly lovely. Can he compete furing his La La Land victory lap?

Wonderstruck

Ed Lachmann (2 nominations)

This great cinematographer is nearly always worthy. But his nomination count is way too low.

Tier 3 - Vote Siphoning from...
  • The Greatest Showman Seamus McGarvey (2 noms)
  • mother! Matthew Libatique (1/0)
  • Detroit Barry Ackroyd (1/0)
  • Beguiled Philippe le Sourd (1/0)
  • Logan John Mathieson (2/0)
  • Lost City of Z Darius Khonjdi (1/0)
  • Beach Rats () Spirit Nominee
 

 

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Will they go subtle or gaudy this year?
Or both?

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Blade Runner 2049
Dennis Gassner
(5 noms | 1 win)

wins: LAFCA
noms:  
Critics Choice

They love Gassner and the first film is arguably the most influential art direction of the last 30 years.

Shape of Water
Paul Austerberry
(never nominated)

wins: --
noms:
Critics Choice

Apart from Blade Runner this may be the showiest job of the year. Totally sells the fable and Cold War noirishness

The Post
Rick Carter (4 noms, 2 wins)

wins: --
noms: --

He pulled off a surprise win with Lincoln and I bet they like this films old newspaper fascination - printing presses and all

Beauty & the Beast 
Sarah Greenwood
(4 nominations)

wins: --
noms:
Critics Choice

She could well be competing against herself. But will they go with the noisy Disney recreation or the war drama?

 

Dunkirk
Nathan Crowley
(3 nominations)

wins: --
noms:  
Critics Choice

He could be competing with himself: see also The Greatest Showman

 
Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Downsizing

Stefania Cella
(never nominated)

Will AMPAS respond to its visual ambitions... which are unusual for a Payne film. If the film gets in a tech category I bet it's this one.

Wonderstruck
Mark Friedberg
(never nominated)

He's an amazing designer and Todd Haynes movies always look fantastic. But for some reason Oscar always ignores his great work.

Darkest Hour
Sarah Greenwood
(4 nominations)

She could well be competing against herself. But will they go with the noisy Disney recreation or the war drama instead?

Mudbound
David J Bomba
(never nominated)

It's low-key for this category but well wrought and the farms are memorably mucky or unfinished exposing the workmanship [write-up]

Wonder Wheel
Santo Loquasto (3 noms)

Production Design isn't a common nomination for Woody Allen pictures but Loquasto often does very fine work

Tier 3 - Vote Siphoning From...

 

  • Battle of Sexes Judy Becker (1/0)
  • The Greatest Showman Nathan Crowley (3/0)
  • The Beguiled (Anne Ross, 0/0)
  • Logan François Audouy (0/0)
  • Murder on Orient Express (Jim Clay, 0/0)  | Critics Choice Nom
  • Phantom Thread (Mark Tildesley, 0/0)  | Critics Choice Nom
  • Wonder Woman (Aline Bonetto, 2/0)
  • Zookeeper's Wife (Suzie Davies, 1/0)
  • The Last Jedi Rick Heinrichs (3/1)

 

 

 

FILM EDITING
This category generally requires Best Picture heat or a lot of noticeable editing (as with action and war films) so it's hard to know in advance which films might make the editor's swoon (unlike other craft categories where you can suss out the particular challenges and how visible they'll be)

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Dunkirk
Lee Smith
(2 nominations)

LAFCA Win  | Critics Choice Nom

 

 The Post
Michael Kahn (8 noms, 3 wins)

 | Critics Choice Nom

 

 

Shape of Water Sidney Wolinsky

(never nominated)

 | Critics Choice Nom

 

Get Out
Gregory Plotkin
(never nom'ed)

 

 

Three Billboards

(Jon Gregory, never nominated)

 
Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

 

Darkest Hour

 

 Valerio Bonelli 

(never nom'ed)

 

Call me By Your Name

Walter Fasano
(never nom'ed)

Spirit Nominee

 

 

Baby Driver
Jonathan Amos & Paul Machliss (never nom'ed)

 | Critics Choice Nom

Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Bob Ducsay

 

Downsizing 

Kevin Tent (1/0) 

 

Tier 3 - Vote Siphoning from...
  • Detroit William Goldenberg (5 noms/1 win) & Harry Yoon
  • Blade Runner 2049 Joe Walker (2 noms) Critics Choice Nom
  • Battle of the Sexes Pamela Martin (1/0)
  • Phantom Thread Dylan Tichenor (2/0)
  • The Florida Project Sean Baker
  • Lady Bird Nick Houy
  • I Tonya Spirit Nominee
 

 

VISUAL EFFECTS
This category was once far more predictable than it is now. That's because visual effects movies have been all the rage since the turn of the century and there are more and more of them. Even the sure things aren't sure things anymore. Notice their semi random love for or dismissal of superhero pictures.
[more on the 10 wide finalist list]

Tier 1 - Predicted 5

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Revenge of the Sith is the only Star Wars film to miss out on Visual FX honors

Blade Runner 2049

It's still horrific that the original film lost this category (to the much less deserving ET). Do over?

Critics Choice Nom

War of the Planet of the Apes

The previous two pictures in this rebooted franchise have been nominated. Weirdly they've yet to win

Critics Choice Nom

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Can Vol 2 win the same nominations as its predecessor? (Makeup and Visual FX)

Dunkirk

This will be interesting to watch. Will they go for all practical effects in this era of CGI worship?

Critics Choice Nom

Tier 2 - Also Could Be Strong

Shape of Water

The memorable images might be considered more triumphs of lighting and sets but the creature sure is cool

 | Critics Choice Nom

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Most visual effects but it could be a surprise nominee.

Okja

A lower profile than the other films but like Shape of Water, a memorable central creature

Kong Skull Island

Though the effects are impressive it's got so much competition. And they passed over its predecessor Godzilla (2014)

Alien: Covenant 

A somewhat surprising finalist given that they booted out the superhero hits. Alien 3's visual fx nod 25 years ago was the last Oscar attention for this franchise

 

Tier 3 - Already out of the race...

Semifinalists (the list was 20 wide) that did not make the finals (a list of but 10 remains). Notice that they kicked out every superhero film EXCEPT Guardians of the Galaxy.

  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Beauty & the Beast
  • Jumanji
  • Justice League
  • Life
  • Logan
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming
  • Thor: Ragnarok  | Critics Choice Nom
  • Wonder Woman  Critics Choice Nom

Visual effects films that did not make the semi-finals

  • Transformers The Last Knight
  • Fate of the Furious
  • Geostorm
  • Downsizing
  • The Mummy

 

 

 

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Year after year one of the hardest categories to get a bead on. The seven finalists...

Tier 1 - Predicted 3

 

Darkest Hour
Ivana Primorac (never nominated) 

Transforming Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill is a challenge that will catch their eye. 

 | Critics Choice Nom

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

John Blake (1 nomination), Camille Friend (never nominated) 

The original was nominated in this category. Since there are some new characters they could repeat

Wonder
Naomi Bakstad (never nominated), Robert Pandini (1 nomination)

Will facial prosthetics still trigger Oscar love? It worked for Mask in the 80s

 | Critics Choice Nom

Tier 2 - The Other Finalists / Potential Spoilers

 

I Tonya

lotsa unflattering wigs and moustaches for that white trash 90s fee

Critics Choice Noml

 

Bright

Most makeup: elves, orcs, etcetera in this sci-fi fantasy cop drama for Netflix

Ghost in the Shell

Strangely it missed the Visual FX finals which it seems more of an 'achievement in' if you will...

Victoria & Abdul

Occassionally this category will embrace period hairstyling but usually they want prosthetic makeup fx

Tier 3 Already out of the running

The films that were excluded were arguably just as impressive, and a few of them even moreso from this always baffling category. Notable films not included in the 7 wide finals for 3 nominations:

  • Bladerunner 2049
  • Logan previously nominated makeup team
  • Murder on the Orient Express
  • Wonder Woman
  • The Mummy
  • Kong Skull Island
  • Lost City of Z
  • Pirates of the Caribbean previously nominated makeup team
  • Power Rangers
  • The Shape of Water Critics Choice Nom
  • Beauty and the Beast  | Critics Choice Nom