Final Oscar Predictions: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda!


What a long and lively season it has been. Most excitingly, this year’s Oscar ceremony is less predictable, with many categories open for slaughter. We could very well see a Best Picture winner with the lowest win tally in eons, or even a potential steamroller in The Revenant. Now onto the final prediction dive, where I also share some Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’s: what could win, what I would pick, and what should have been nominated. Oscar Prediction pages can also be found here.

Of course, if you missed the filmmixtape Best of the Year or my votes for the craft categories, be sure to check those out too! On to the predictions…

BEST PICTUREIt’s down to a battle of big canvas craft and small scale dramatic fireworks between The Revenant and Spotlight. My money is on Spotlight, helped by broad support on the preferential ballot (probably getting the lion’s share of #2 and #3 votes) versus The Revenant‘s vocal dissenters.

  • COULDA – The Big Short
  • WOULDA – Room
  • SHOULDACarol

Continue reading “Final Oscar Predictions: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda!”

Final Oscar Predictions and Wishful Thinking

The 2016 Oscar nominations will finally be revealed early Thursday morning, and our Prediction pages have been given the final update before the big announcement. I may not have done so well with those Golden Globes winner predictions, but then again no one did. Also included with the links below are the first Wishful Thinking choices of outside candidates that would be a delightful surprise.


Best Picture

  • Wishful Thinking: SicarioMy take over at The Film Experience says it all: this is one hefty film with all elements in sync. It has received some guild love (most notably from the PGA), but remains an outsider. If it gets in, you can thank the preferential ballot and a passionate fanbase.

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In Review!: “Carol”

As gay people, we’re acutely cognizant of nuances of perception and communication. When a portion (or entirety) of one’s life is spent forced to suppress self-expression, we become scientists of our own behavior and scrutinize how any minute tic will reveal our identity. Whether we have hidden because of social norms or for safety, the necessity to do so results in a social class of experts in subtle social interaction. The hyper-sensitivity electrifies when we meet one of our own and use these adaptive skills to acknowledge shared truths, to show compassion, to express romantic interest. The liberated YouTube generation knows nothing of the experience of not being able to speak plainly to your own camp.

Somehow, we find eachother.


Such are the fascinations of Todd Haynes’s passionately observed Carol, a love story of stolen glances and charged embraces that is as interested in the queer longings of the central duo as it is with what remains unspoken between any of Haynes’s 50s era denizens. Rarely has every frame been so essential and packed with specific behavior in contemporary cinema, and the film is a staggering assemblage of craft that services the truth for which Haynes reaches and richly achieves. Haynes captures the breathlessness of flirtation and first touches, the cured infection of prior loves into the dynamic, the ease of feeling accepted fully. Yes, it’s relatable to anyone who’s been in love, but make no mistakes: this is a gay story, the stakes raised by the language unavailable to two women in a time where they have to hide in plain sight.

Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) is an unimposing shopgirl whose life gets a kickstart by the intrigued Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), a soon-to-be divorcé shopping for a Christmas present for her prized daughter. Naturally, things are complicated by Therese’s boyfriend (Jake Lacy) pushing for next steps and Harge Aird (Kyle Chandler) open to reconciliation if Carol plays it straight. The vulnerability that Mara and Blanchett bring to the lovers as they discover each other in the moment is breathtaking as Therese and Carol are by turns awkward, turned on, patient, and enamored. These women aren’t stoic enigmas, but social outliers discovering how to communicate their mutual interest without words.

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Year-End Kudos Off to the Races

Get ready for the December glut of critics awards and major nominations! Last night were the Gotham Awards, an NYC-hosted celebration of independent film. I covered the highlights over at The Film Experience, and it was a delightfully quick-witted ceremony capped by a delightful tribute to Todd Haynes introduced by his comrade and muse Julianne Moore.

Today the National Board of Review, typically the first out of the gate for critics organizations kudos, announced Mad Max: Fury Road as the best film of the year. They had major love for The Martian, winning Best Director (Ridley Scott), Best Actor (Matt Damon), and Best Adapted Screenplay (Drew Goddard). Other major players were Room and The Hateful Eight with two significant wins each, and joined The Martian in the NBR’s Top Ten Films of the Year list. Check out the rest of their votes!

Tomorrow, we’ll see prizes from the New York Film Critics’ Circle, with more to come in the following week and the Golden Globe nominations arriving on the 10th. I’m playing catch-up these few weeks, but you can expect the filmmixtape Best of 2015 sometime closer to the Oscar cermony this February.