Wednesday, January 15, 2014

THE FINAL FAC (Film Awards Clearinghouse)/By the Numbers/Questions About Oscar

Good Wednesday and welcome to today's special edition of The Film Awards Clearinghouse: The Final pre-Oscar nomination edition with Oscar picks in the 21 feature film categories.  Unless some serious weirdness happens, these predictions are final.

Also, I'd remind everyone that the FAC success rate over the past few years has been between 75-80% which means that I average about 4 out of 5 right in each category.  It's also worth mentioning that, more often than not, when I do miss in a category, the #6 pick is the film/person that slides into the nomination.

I use the publicly posted predictions of these Oscar experts:

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

Comment: "Dallas" goes from the outside to probable nominee.  "Llewyn" from "probable" to "probably not"...though I still think that there's a scenario where it gets in.


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

Comment: Looks like the five spot is a "pick 'em" between Scorsese, Jonze and Payne.


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
8) Adele Exarchopoulous/Blue is the Warmest Color (8)
9) Julia Louis-Dreyfuss/Enough Said (New)
10) Julie Delpy/Before Midnight (10)

Comment: It's real fight between Streep and Adams for the last spot. I'm leaning toward Adams.


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

Comment:  DiCaprio displaces Redford and the people "in the know" think that's a pretty safe bet.


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

Comment:  I think in a stronger year for this category that both Winfrey and Roberts would be in trouble but looking at the field, they're probably not.


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 (4)
5) Bradley Cooper/American Hustle (5)
6) Jonah Hill/Wolf of Wall Street (8)
7) James Gandolfini/Enough Said (6)
8) Will Forte/Nebraska (9)
9) Tom Hanks/Saving Mr. Banks (7)
10) James Franco/Spring Breakers (10)

Comment: I actually think that Bruhl is in more danger of missing than Cooper.  Jonah Hill is coming on like gangbusters.


1) 12 Years a Slave (1)
2) Captain Phillips (2)
3) Philomena (3)
4) Before Midnight (4)
5) The Wolf of Wall Street (5)
6) August: Osage County (6)
7) Short Term12 (7)
8) The Spectacular Now (9)
9) Blue is the Warmest Color (8)
10) Lone Survivor (New)

Comment:  This category has been pretty solid.


1) American Hustle (1)
2) Her (3)
3) Nebraska (2)
4) Blue Jasmine (5)
5) Inside Llewyn Davis (4)
6) Dallas Buyers Club (8)
7) Gravity (6)
8) Enough Said (7)
9) Saving Mr. Banks (New)
10) Lee Daniels The Butler (10)

Comment:  "Llewyn" is hanging on by a thread to the last spot but "Dallas" has gained a lot of traction.


1) Gravity (1)
2) 12 Years a Slave (2-TIE)
2) Inside Llewyn Davis (2-TIE)
4) Prisoners (4)
5) Nebraska (6)
6) Captain Phillips (5)
7) Rush (7)
8) Her (8)
9) The Grandmaster (New)
10) All is Lost (9)



1) Gravity (1)
2) 12 Years a Slave (2)
3) Captain Phillips (3)
4) American Hustle (4)
5) Rush (5)
6) The Wolf of Wall Street (6)
7) Inside Llewyn Davis (8)
8) All is Lost (7)
9) Her (9)
10) Lone Survivor (New)

Dropping Out: "Nebraska"

Comment: A very competitive category as well through the first six places with both "Llewyn " and "Lost" also realistic possibilities to sneak into a nomination.


1) 12 Years a Slave (1)
2) The Great Gatsby (2)
3) Saving Mr. Banks (3)
4) The Hobbit: Smaug (4)
5) Inside Llewyn Davis (5)
6) Gravity (6)
7) Her (7)
8) American Hustle (8)
9) The Invisible Woman (9)
10) Oz The Great and Powerful (10)

Comment:  That's right, a category with absolutely no movement in the past couple of weeks.  This category seems ultra-competitive through the top seven spots and I have a feeling the #8 "American Hustle" might sneak in.


1) "Let It Go"/Frozen (1)
2) "Young and Beautiful"/The Great Gatsby (2)
3) "Moon Song"/Her (5)
4) "So You Know What It's Like"/Short Term 12 (3)
5) "Ordinary Love"/Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (9)
6) "Happy"/Despicable Me 2 (6)
7) "In the Middle of the Night"/Lee Daniels The Butler (10)
8) "Amen"/All is Lost (4)
9) "I See Fire"/The Hobbit: Smaug (7)
10) "You and I Ain't Nothin' No More"/Lee Daniels The Butler (8)

Comment:  Biggest jump: "Ordinary Love".  Biggest drop: "Amen".


1) Gravity (1)
2) 12 Years a Slave (2)
3) The Book Thief (4)
4) Saving Mr. Banks (3)
5) Philomena (5)
6) Captain Phillips (6)
7) All is Lost (7)
8) Her (8)
9) Monsters University (9)
10) Rush (10)



1) Frozen (1)
2) The Wind Rises (2)
3) The Croods (3)
4) Monsters University (4)
5) Despicable Me 2 (5)
6) Ernest and Celestine (6)
7) Letter to Momo (7)
8) Epic (9)
9) Cloudy with a  Chance of Meatballs 2 (8)
10) O Apostolo (10)

Comment: Pretty hot race between "Despicable Me 2" and "Ernest and Celestine" for the fifth spot.


1) The Act of Killing (4) (TFF #39)
2) Stories We Tell (2) (TFF #39)
3) Blackfish (1)
4) 20 Feet from Stardom (3)
5) The Square (5)
6) Tim's Vermeer (6)
7) Cutie and the Boxer (7)
8) God Loves Uganda (10)
9) The Armstrong Lie (8)
10) Dirty Wars (New)

Dropping out: "After Tiller"

Comment: Documentary is always a tough category to pick and always very competitive.  Big jump for "The Act of Killing".


(Note: The Academy has short listed this category to nine films)

1) The Hunt (1) (TFF #39)
2) Broken Circle Breakdown (6)
3) The Great Beauty (5)
4) Two Lives
5) The Notebook
6) The Grandmaster
7) Omar
8) The Missing Picture 
9) An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker

When TFF #40 misses making it to 40 overall nominations on Thursday morning it may well be because of this category.  TFF almost always has strong presence in the Foreign Language category but the Academy' s short list really put a damper on that.


1) Gravity (1)
2) The Hobbit: Smaug (2)
3) Pacific Rim (3)
4) Iron Man 3 (4)
5) Star Trek Into Darkness (5)
6) World War Z (7)
7) Elysium (6)
8) Oblivion (8)
9) The Lone Ranger (9)
10) Thor 2 (New)

Dropping Out: Man of Steel

Comment:  Another very stable category heading into Thursday morning's announcements.


1) 12 Years a Slave (1)
2) The Great Gatsby (3)
3) American Hustle (2)
4) Saving Mr. Banks (4)
5) The Invisible Woman (7)
6) Inside Llewyn Davis (5)
7) Lee Daniels' The Butler (6)
8) Oz The Great and Terrible (9)
9) Hunger Games: Catching Fire (10)
10) The Hobbit: Smaug (8)

Comment:   No film dropped away but "Invisible Woman" made a significant move into the fifth slot.  "Llewyn's" prospects may have dimmed slightly due to the perception that the film is in some Oscar trouble overall.  The 1-4 spots seem solid but #5 looks like it'll be close.


1) Gravity (1)
2) Captain Phillips (2)
3) Rush (3)
4) All is Lost (4)
5) The Lone Ranger (5)
6) Iron Man 3 (6)
7) Pacific Rim (7)
8) Man of Steel (8)
9) World War Z (New)
10) Star Trek Into Darkness (9)

Dropping Out: Oblivion.

Comment:  A remarkably stable category with the 1-8 spots unmoving.  At this point, "Gravity" is the only sure nomination with "Captain Phillips" a near lock.


1) Gravity (1)
2) Rush (2)
3) Inside Llewyn Davis (5)
4) All is Lost (4)
5) Captain Phillips (3)
6) 12 Years a Slave (6)
7) The Lone Ranger (7)
8) The Hobbit: Smaug (9)
9) Frozen (New)
10) Man of Steel (8)

Dropping Out: Pacific Rim

Comment:  The one place on the charts where "Llewyn" actually picked up ground.  "Gravity", again, is a lock.  Spots 2-4 are probable.

And a reminder of the seven film short list for BEST MAKEUP/HAIR
American Hustle
Bad Grandpa
The Lone Ranger
The Great Gatsby
Dallas Buyers Club
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters


If the FAC is 100% accurate, this is the breakdown of what happens tomorrow morning:

Telluride films with nominations:

"12 Years a Slave" (leading all films) with 11 nominations: Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Production Design, Score and Costumes.

"Gravity" with 9 nominations: Best Picture, Director, Actress, Cinematography, Editing, Score, Visual Effects, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing.

"Nebraska" with 5  nominations: Best Picture, Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, Cinematography.

"Inside Llewyn Davis" with 3 nominations: Best Original Screenplay, Cinematography and Sound Mixing.

"All is Lost" with 2 nominations: Sound Editing, Sound Mixing.

"Prisoners" 1 nomination: Best Cinematography.

"The Invisible Woman" with 1 nomination: Best Costumes.

"The Wind Rises" with 1 nomination: Best Animated Feature.

Absent the Short film categories, it appears that Telluride #40 gets 33 nominations in the 21 feature categories with an additional 3 nominations for TFF #39 films.

There are also 19 other "possible" nominations for TFF #40 films.


Earlier this week, I contacted about a dozen people and asked them four questions.  The respondents come from Oscar experts, bloggers, journalists, Academy members, screenwriters and more.  Here's what I asked them:

1) What will be the biggest surprise Thursday morning?
2) What's going to happen that you will dislike?
3) What's will happen that you'll be happiest about?
4) What should happen that won't?

As an example, here are what my responses would be:

1) Meryl Streep isn't nominated for "August: Osage County".
2) The only thing that I can come up with would be if "Gravity" gets an Original Screenplay nomination.
3) "12 Years a Slave" leading the nomination count.
4) Oscar Isaac should get a nomination for Best Actor but it's not going to happen.

Some of the other responses that came in:

For #1, the question about the biggest surprise tomorrow morning the responses broke down according to surprises of omission and inclusion.  Omission type surprises included The Coens and "Inside Llewyn Davis" being generally shut out and a significant number of respondents didn't actually pinpoint a specific person to be omitted but rather pointed to the Best Actor and Best Director categories.

Surprises of inclusion included some speculation that either Jean Marc Vallee/Dallas Buyers Club or Stephen Frears/Philomena might pick up a Best Director nomination.  Also another respondent feels like a James Gandolfini nomination is going to surprise in The Best Supporting Actor race.

#2...what will happen that you'll dislike:  Again, omission and inclusion.  Nominations that were mentioned that WILL happen that will set some teeth on edge:
"Captain Phillips" and "Gravity" getting a Best Picture nomination.
Maybe all of the Best Original Song nominees.

Films excluded that will set some hair on fire:
"Wolf of Wall Street", "Fruitvale Station" and "Inside Llewyn Davis" not nominated for Best Picture.
There's also a lot of general disgruntlement with the films in the Foreign Language category.

#3 What's going to make you happy?

Scorsese nominated for Best Director for "Wolf of Wall Street"
Nominations for "Her" as Best Picture and for Best Original Screenplay.
A Best Doc nomination for "Stories We Tell"
Christian Bale NOT being nominated.
Nominations for Best Supporting Actor for Barkhad Abdi/Captain Phillips and Daniel Bruhl/Rush.
A Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for "Before Midnight".

And #4- What should but won't happen?

Nominations for Adele Exarchopoulous and Lea Seydoux for "Blue is the Warmest Color"
Robert Redford's Best Actor nomination (which I note was considered all but a lock after Telluride and has dwindled to the point that Redford is maybe on the outside looking in).
No directing nod for Spike Jonze/Her.
No nominations for Jeff Nichols' "Mud".
No writing nomination for Nicole Holofcener for "Enough Said"

and my favorite: Peter O'Toole will not be announcing the nominees...

Tune in tomorrow morning for the nomination announcements and I'll have them posted tomorrow here as well.  Later in the day, I'll have some ruminations about what actually has been announced.

Until then...

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