Thursday, January 12, 2017


The BAFTA and PGA weren't the only industry groups that got a word in yesterday. Here's a summary of other artisan guilds and societies that have had their say in advance of Friday's Oscar deadline:

Arrival -- Bradford Young
La La Land -- Linus Sandgren
Lion -- Greig Fraser
Moonlight -- James Laxton
Silence -- Rodrigo Prieto
That's a mighty fine-looking lineup, folks.
In fact, swap one of these out for The Light Between Oceans and you have my own personal ballot. As it stands, this could be a perfect match-up with Oscar's cinematography branch. To see Bradford Young and Greig Fraser nominated alongside eachother would certainly make happy many a cinephile who have itched to see them recognized for years. But I have a sneaky suspicion Robert Richardson could still figure in for Live By Night. He's pulled the very same trick sans guild nomination before.


Sound Mixing -- Live Action Motion Picture
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge
La La Land
Rogue One
I'm not sold on Doctor Strange as an Oscar nominee here (no MCU movie has been nominated in this category if you can believe it). As to what takes it over, I'm leaning towards Arrival, which is infinitely more deserving anyway, but quality of work is no guarantee with this branch. Are we all excited to see Kevin O'Connell (Hacksaw Ridge) lose his 21st Oscar to another musical on February 26th?
I know I am (*ties hangman's noose around neck*)

Sound Mixing -- Animated Motion Picture
Finding Dory
Kubo and the Two Strings
The Secret Life of Pets
Much as I prefer Kubo and Zootopia overall, I have to throw vote Moana's way for this honour. The mix is full-bodied and pristine and has a lot more to it than just songs.

Sound Mixing -- Documentary
Eat That Question: Frank Zappa in His Own Words
O.J.: Made in America
The Music of Strangers: Yo Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble


Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
“Doctor Strange”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children”
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”
“The Jungle Book”
Ouch. No love for Arrival here or in any category. But I'm willing to believe the Academy's vfx branch will do the right thing. Not that any contender is going to beat The Jungle Book anyway.

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature
“Deepwater Horizon”
“Jason Bourne”
Surely this goes to the Oscar-shortlisted (and possible surprise nominee) Deepwater Horizon.

Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature
“Finding Dory”
“Kubo and the Two Strings”
“The Little Prince”
If this goes to anything other than the Oscar-shortlisted (and also potential surprise nominee *fingers crossed*) Kubo and the Two Strings, I'll heat my hat, shit it out into a box and ship it to the VES with a note saying, "Look what you did."

Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”; Niffler
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”; Grand Moff Tarkin
“The Jungle Book”; King Louie
“The Jungle Book”; Shere Khan
“Warcraft”; Durotan
If actors were voting on this category, you can bet the heavily motion-captured King Louie would win, but I suspect the vfx community will be more into the uncanny CG Peter Cushing. Do you think people in 1977 would believe you if you told them, "40 years from now, animators will play Tarkin and an actor will play that cartoon ape from The Jungle Book"?

Outstanding Animated Performance in an Animated Feature
“Finding Dory”; Hank
“Kubo and the Two Strings”; Kubo
“Kubo and the Two Strings”; Monkey
“Moana”; The Mighty Maui
I'd give my vote to Monkey, but I can understand the appeal Hank the octopus would hold for animators.

Outstanding Created Environment in a Photoreal Feature
“Deadpool”; Freeway Assault
“Doctor Strange”; London
“Doctor Strange”; New York City
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”; Scarif Complex
Can I ask why The Jungle Book missed here? Isn't the entire movie a created environment?

Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature
“Finding Dory”; Open Ocean Exhibit
“Kubo and the Two Strings”; Hanzo’s Fortress
“Kubo and the Two Strings”; Waves
“Moana”; Motonui Island
Either of Kubo's entries would be worthy (it could fill all four slots).

Outstanding Virtual Cinematography in a Photoreal Project
“Doctor Strange”; New York Mirror Dimension
“Game of Thrones”; Battle of the Bastards
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”; Space Battle
“The Jungle Book”
Why the random inclusion of an episodic TV series? I thought they had their own categories?

Outstanding Model in a Photoreal or Animated Project
“Deepwater Horizon”; Deepwater Horizon Rig
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”; Princess Leia
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”; Star Destroyer
“Star Trek Beyond”; Enterprise
Are we really sure a five-second shot of Leia merits its own nomination here? I'll give my vote to Deepwater.

Outstanding Effects Simulations in a Photoreal Feature
“Alice Through the Looking Glass”; Rust
“Doctor Strange”; Hong Kong Reverse Destruction
“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”; Jedha Destruction
“The Jungle Book”; Nature Effects
Gotta be Jungle Book, although that Doctor Strange scene was pretty cool...

Outstanding Effects Simulations in an Animated Feature
“Finding Dory”
“Kubo and the Two Strings”; Water
Another one for Kubo, I suspect. VES usually gives all their animated categories to the same movie.

Outstanding Compositing in a Photoreal Feature
Doctor Strange; New York City
Independence Day: Resurgence; Under The Mothership
The Jungle Book
X-Men: Apocalypse; Quicksilver Rescue
Again, Jungle Book deserves it here.


Period and/or Character Makeup
“Doctor Strange”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Hail, Caesar!”
“Suicide Squad”
Hate it as I do, Suicide Squad's most (or only) successful element was its makeup designs. With another citation from this guild for effects makeup, might we be underestimating its chance at a nomination? Remember that this branch cares little for the quality of the films they nominate.

Contemporary Makeup
“Captain Fantastic”
“La La Land”
“Manchester by the Sea”
“Nocturnal Animals”
“Zoolander 2”
No clue. I guess it goes to La La Land due to Best Picture momentum?

Special Makeup Effects
“Doctor Strange”
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Star Trek Beyond”
“Suicide Squad”
Deadpool, Star Trek and Suicide Squad are all on the Oscar shortlist. But presumably not all of them will make it. Star Trek feels the strongest here, but could Deadpool's unexpected endurance on the circuit this season carry it to a token nomination?

Contemporary Hair Styling
“La La Land”
“Nocturnal Animals”
“The Girl on the Train”
Wasn't Spy a 2015 movie?

Period and/or Character Hair Styling
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”
“Florence Foster Jenkins”
“Hail, Caesar!”
Y'know what: This is a good slate. I'd have a tough time voting between Jackie (already snubbed by the Academy despite winning the BFCA), Hail Caesar (a stealth nomination possibility) and Florence Foster Jenkins (the presumed frontrunner since it's the only one of the seven Oscar finalists to score with both this guild and the BAFTA, and the only one with even trace amounts of residual Best Picture heat).


Period Costume Design
The Dressmaker
Florence Foster Jenkins
Hail, Caesar!
Hidden Figures
Where's Joanna Johnston for Allied? For shame! But all hope is not lost. The Academy almost always picks one that the guild did not, but there's a lot of choice out there for that mystery slot: The Handmaiden, Silence, Live By Night, Rules Don't Apply, Love & Friendship. And I've been mulling over the possibility of The Dressmaker turning up here on Oscar morning. Like Coco Avant Chanel, The Devil Wears Prada and The Adventures of Priscilla: Queen of the Desert before it, its clothes are so much a part of the narrative that the branch may not be able to resist.

Fantasy Costume Design
Doctor Strange
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Kubo and the Two Strings
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Deborah Cook's nod here for Kubo (an historic first for animated films) is far and away the coolest guild nomination of the season.

Contemporary Costume Design
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Captain Fantastic
La La Land
Nocturnal Animals
La La Land an the obvious slam dunk here for Mary Zophres (also nominated in the Period category for her fun Hail Caesar outfits), but less so for an Oscar nod. If there's any area where the Best Picture frontrunner is vulnerable, it's with the Academy's traditionally contemporary-averse design branch.


Feature English Language -Effects/ Foley
Deepwater Horizon
Doctor Strange
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
The Jungle Book
Captain America: Civil War

Feature English Language -Dialogue/ ADR
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Hidden Figures
Hell or High Water

Feature Music
Hacksaw Ridge
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
13 Hours
Doctor Strange
Don't Breathe
Star Trek Beyond
Warcraft: The Beginning

Feature Musical
Florence Foster Jenkins
La La Land
Sing Street

Feature Animation
Finding Dory
Kubo And The Two Strings
The Little Prince
The Red Turtle

Feature Documentary
Amanda Knox
Before The Flood
Passage To Mars
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years
The Eagle Huntress
The Ivory Game
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and The Silk Road Ensemble

Feature Foreign Language -Effects/ Foley/ Dialogue/ ADR
The Handmaiden
The King's Choice
Toni Erdmann
Under the Shadow

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