Monday, January 6, 2014

The Film Awards Clearinghouse 2014 Vol. 5-The Major Categories/HitFix's 25 "Prestige" 2014 Titles/McQueen and Cuaron

Good Monday Everybody...

I'm back to the "real world" today as classes resume and I start the second semester for this academic year. It's going to get busy!

Nevertheless, MTFB goes on as scheduled beginning with an update of Oscar predictions from The Film Awards Clearinghouse for the six major categories.


I use the publicly posted predictions of these Oscar experts as the metric for The FAC:

Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kris Tapley/HitFix-InContention
Anne Thompson/Thompson on Hollywood
Peter Knegt/IndieWire
Alex Carlson/Film Misery
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Brad Brevet/Rope of Silicon

The films position on the last FAC is in parenthesis.  Telluride #40 films are Bold.


1) 12 Years A Slave (1)
2) Gravity (2)
3) American Hustle (3)
4) Nebraska (4)
5) Captain Phillips (5)
6) Wolf of Wall Street (6)
7) Inside Llewyn Davis (8)
8) Saving Mr. Banks (7)
9) Her (9)
10) Dallas Buyers Club (10)
11) Lee Daniels' The Butler (12)
12) Philomena (11)
13) Blue Jasmine (14)
14) August: Osage County (15)
15) Fruitvale Station (13)

Comment:  No film drops out from our last look at this category and there hasn't been drastic movement.  Clearly the news of this past week's snubs of "Inside Llewyn Davis" by the Producers Guild and the Writers Guild hasn't filtered into the predictions of the nine Oscar Experts that I use to put together the FAC.  I suspect that it will in the next week or so.  The Directors Guild announcement tomorrow may be "Llewyn's" last best chance to pull out a Best Picture nomination.

On the other hand, I have a theory that "Llewyn" may be exactly that kind of picture that may not engender love from all over the various parts of the 6,000 Academy members, but may have enough passionate supporters to get it a Best Picture nomination irrespective of what the Guilds have been saying.  As a number of Oscar bloggers have pointed out, if a film can get 300 #1 votes, it's a nominee and it doesn't much matter what the other 5,700+ Academy members think.  That's universally assumed to be the explanation for the Best Picture nomination for "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" a couple of years ago.

It's wroth thinking about.

It's also worth noting that the nomination ballot deadline is Wednesday.


1) Alfonso Cuaron/Gravity (1)
2) Steve McQueen/12 Years a  Slave (2)
3) David O. Russell/American Hustle (5)
4) Paul Greengrass/Captain Phillips (3)
5) Martin Scorsese/Wolf of Wall Street (4)
6) Alexander Payne/Nebraska (6)
7) Joel and Ethan Coen/Inside Llewyn Davis (7)
8) Spike Jonze/Her (8)
9) John Lee Hancock/Saving Mr. Banks (9)
10) Lee Daniels/Lee Daniels' The Butler (10)

Comment: Russell makes a substantial move.  I think the Scorsese and Greengrass support may be soft which likely opens the door for Payne.  Coens need some DGA help tomorrow.


1) Cate Blanchett/Blue Jasmine (1)
2) Sandra Bullock/Gravity (2)
3) Emma Thompson/Saving Mr. Banks (3)
4) Judi Dench/Philomena (4)
5) Meryl Streep/August:Osage County (5)
6) Amy Adams/American Hustle (6)
7) Brie Larson/Short Term 12 (7)
8) Adele Exarchopolous/Blue is the Warmest Color (8)
9) Kate Winslet/Labor Day (9)
10) Julie Delpy/Before Midnight (10)

Comment:  Is there a little softening in the notion that Meryl Streep's nomination is a lock?  In a category that has been remarkably consistent for months, that seems to be the only suspense at this point.  

Additionally, Blanchett has been on top (way on top) in EVERY FAC.  She gets a perfect score on The FAC metric again this time around (as do the leaders in both Supporting categories in this edition of The FAC).


1) Chiwetel Ejiofor/12 Years a Slave (1)
2) Matthew McConnaughey/Dallas Buyers Club (3)
3) Bruce Dern/Nebraska (2)
4) Tom Hanks/Captain Phillips (5)
5) Robert Redford/All is Lost (4)
6) Leonardo DiCaprio/Wolf of Wall Street (7)
7) Forest Whitaker/Lee Daniels' The Butler (6)
8) Christian Bale/American Hustle (8)
9) Oscar Isaac/Inside Llewyn Davis (9)
10) Michael B. Jordan/Fruitvale Station (10)

Comment:  Redford's spot seems to still be shaky and although the latest number crunching suggests that DiCaprio is the most likely beneficiary, I'm keeping my eye on Bale and even Joaquin Phoenix for "Her".


1) Lupita Nyong'o/12 Years a Slave (1)
2) Jennifer Lawrence/American Hustle (2)
3) Oprah Winfrey/Lee Daniels' The Butler (3)
4) June Squibb/Nebraska (4)
5) Julia Roberts/August: Osage County (5)
6) Sally Hawkins/Blue Jasmine (7)
7) Octavia Spencer/Fruitvale Station (6)
8) Margo Martindale/August: Osage County (8)
9) Scarlett Johansson/Her (9)
10) Lea Seydoux/Blue is the Warmest Color (New)

Comment: Margot Robbie (Wolf) drops off the top ten in this category.  Frankly, I think the only locks are Nyong'o and Lawrence.  


1) Jared Leto/Dallas Buyers Club (1)
2) Michael Fassbender/12 Years a Slave (2)
3) Barkhad Abdi/Captain Phillips (3)
4) Daniel Bruhl/Rush (5)
5) Bradley Cooper/American Hustle (8)
6) James Gandolfini/Enough Said (6)
7) Tom Hanks/Saving Mr. Banks (4)
8) Jonah Hill/Wolf of Wall Street (7)
9) Will Forte/Nebraska (9)
10) James Franco/Spring Breakers (New)

Comment: Jake Gyllenhaal's "Prisoners" performance drops off the FAC.  This is the most fluid of any major category at this point with a big jump for Bradley Cooper and a big dive for Tom Hanks.  As I have said, I think "Mr. Banks" has been losing gas for about a month and this would seem to provide a little gas to the theory.  Cooper's rise underlines the general warm up for "American Hustle" as does Russell's movement in the directing category.  I've been saying for a good long time that I think "American Hustle" is the film that has a chance to knock off "12 Years" not "Gravity".  Some of the pros seem to be coming around to that possibility as well.

Bottom line, though, I still think "12 Years" is going to win the Big Prize on Mar. 2.

Finally, my bold prediction that TFF #40 films would get 40 nominations may be in some serious jeopardy. With "Llewyn" in trouble and Redford also looking more dicey, 40 nominations may not be achievable after all.

In all, in these six major categories and if these metrics were 100% accurate on Jan. 16 Telluride #40 films would have 13 nominations with another seven possibilities.

Next edition of MTFB/FAC will look at where we stand in Screenplay categories, Cinematography, Film Editing and Production Design.


Last week HitFix posted 25 films that were their "most anticipated" for 2014.  They've followed that up this week with a listing of 25 "Prestige" films that they're looking forward to and I thought it would be interesting to parse those for possible Telluride #41 titles.  So here's what they listed that seems to me to have some T-ride potential for 9 months from now:

# 20-Justin Kurzel's "MacBeth" with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.  It's produced by See Saw and distributed by The Weinstein's, both of which make it at least a possibility.

#15-Alejandro Gonazalez Inarritu's "Birdman".  Frankly, I'll be surprised if this is NOT at Telluride unless Inarritus' foray into comedy (that's right, it's a comedy) proves too great a stretch for the man behind "Babel", "Biutiful" and "21 Grams".  That's a valid concern looking at his body of work.

#14-"Untitled Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig School Project".  Again, I'd kind of b surprised if this doesn't play at Telluride.  Baumbach and Gerwig's "Frances Ha" was well received at TFF #39 and Baumbach has a previous history with the fest.

#9-Mike Leigh's "Mr. Turner".  The third straight film to list here that I think is almost a lock to play Telluride.  Leigh has been a frequent guest of the fest, so I expect him to be back with this film about artist J.M.W. Turner.

#8-Thomas Vinterberg's "Far from the Madding Crowd".  This one isn't as solid a lock as the previous three but Vinterberg's "The Hunt" played well at TFF #39 and could still be a Best Foreign Language Oscar nominee in a few days.  It probably doesn't hurt that Carey Mulligan has been a Telluride gust previously with "An Education" and "Never Let Me Go".  Fox Searchlight is producing which could also decide to try to place the film in the Telluride lineup.

#7-Bennett Miller's "Foxcatcher".  Admittedly, I may be wishing for this to be true much more than it's real chances to play.  This film was included on the HitFix list last week as well.  Again, Miller and Sony Pictures Classics make it a not completely unrealistic possibility.

#4- Todd Haynes' "Carol".  Mostly I've included this because Haynes' "I'm Not Here" played at Telluride in 2007 and The Weinstein's are distributing...also Film4 is part of the producing group. I'd just like to stoke the fires for a possible Cate Blanchett tribute.

There are other films in the list of 25 that I'd LIKE to see show up at the SHOW.  Their #1 is Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"..yes please.  But I don't think that's terribly likely.  Others on the list that I'd like to see in the San Juans but seem on the unlikely side, at least at the moment:
Christopher Nolan's "Interstellar" (although friend of the blog Christopher Schiller thinks it might be a possibility), David Fincher's "Gone Girl", David Cronenberg's "Map to the Stars", Jon Stewart's "Rosewater" and Angelina Jolie's "Unbroken".

Finally, the article itself speculates that "Foxcatcher", "Birdman" and the Baumbach project could be Telluride material.

Find the article here:


Here are major profiles of the two men who are expected to duke it out for the Best Director Oscar.  McQueen's is from The Guardian and Cuaron's if from The New York Times:

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