Thursday, September 22, 2016

The First FAC for Oscar 2016-17 / A Brutally Honest Assessment / A Look at Mifune

If it's Thursday this must be a new post from MTFB/FAC...


Here's your first look at the Film Awards Clearinghouse view of the four most major of major Oscar categories.  Our first stab at checking the Oscar temperature for this season evaluates the races for Best Picture, Director, Actress and Actor with particular focus on the films that played as a part of the 43rd Telluride Film Festival.

For our first pass at these films I have used the publicly available Oscar predictions from the following pundits:

Erik Anderson/Awards Watch
Clayton Davis/Awards Circuit
Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter
Joey Magidson/Hollywood News
Nathaniel Rogers/Film Experience
Sasha Stone/Awards Daily
Kristopher Tapley/Variety-InContention
Anne Thompson/Indiewire

Other prognosticators may be added as the season progresses.

TFF #43 films are in Bold.

Best Actor

1) Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea
2) Denzel Washington/Fences
3) Ryan Gosling/La La Land
4) Joel Edgerton/Loving
5) Tom Hanks/Sully

6) Andrew Garfield/Silence
7) Dev Patel/Lion
8) Michael Keaton/The Founder
9) Joe Alwyn/Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
10) Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Snowden

Best Actress

1) Emma Stone/La La Land
2) Viola Davis/Fences
3) Natalie Portman/Jackie
4) Ruth Negga/Loving
5) Meryl Streep/Florence Foster Jenkins

6) Annette Bening/20th Century Women
7) Amy Adams/Arrival
8) Isabelle Huppert/Elle
9) Jessica Chastain/Miss Sloane
10) Emily Blunt/The Girl on the Train

Best Director

1) Damien Chazelle/La La Land
2) Ang Lee/Billy Lynn
3) Martin Scorsese/Silence
4) Kenneth Lonergan/Manchester by the Sea
5) Barry Jenkins/Moonlight

6) Denzel Washington/Fences
7) Jeff Nichols/Loving
8) Denis Villenueve/Arrival
9) Garth Davis/Lion
10) Pablo Larrain/Jackie

Best Picture

1) La La Land
2) Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
3) Manchester by the Sea
4) Silence
5) Fences
6) Lion
7) Loving
8) Moonlight
9) Arrival
10) Jackie
11) Sully
12) Hidden Figures

If these predictions were 100% accurate (and they won't be...check below) then:

La La Land would be nominated for all four of these major awards.
Manchester by the Sea would have three nominations.
Moonlight would be twice nominated assuming at least eight films are nommed for Best Picture as has been the case for the past few years.
Arrival has a shot at three nominations.
Sully has a shot at two nominations.

Some observations:

Every Best Picture winner since I started doing The FAC has appeared somewhere on the First FAC. The last four years, the First FAC has had the BP winner start at the top spot (Spotlight, Birdman, 12 Years a Slave and Argo).  That bodes really well for La La Land.  The two years before that (2010, 2011), the film that was at #2 in the First FAC won BP (The Artist, The King's Speech) which bodes well for Billy Lynn.  In 2009, The Hurt Locker started at #6 on the First FAC and in 2008, Slumdog Millionaire was at #11 on my First FAC.

The First FAC, on average, includes 85% of the nominees for any of the four major categories.  Best Picture is the trickiest as the average there is 81%.  There are frequently one, two or sometimes three films that get a BP nomination that don't appear on the First FAC.  Last year, for example, neither The Big Short nor Mad Max:Fury Road were on the First FAC.  So expect a couple of films to sneak on as the season progresses that aren't already on the list.  Some possible suspects would be: Miss Sloane, Nocturnal Animals or Live by Night.

The First FAC is nominally better at getting the directors right.  That average is 83%.  The acting categories are better with the First FAC averaging naming 90% of Best Actress nominees and 88% of Best Actor nominees.

Last year the First FAC had 6 of 8 BP nominees, 3 of 5 directors (missed Adam McKay/The Big Short and Lenny Abrahamson/Room, and went 5 of 5 in both lead acting categories.

So look at the list above closely.  The history of The FAC suggests that a vast majority of the nominees are on the above lists as are the likely winners.  As a matter of fact, of the 32 winners in these four categories since the FAC started, 30 of them appeared somewhere on The First FAC for their year.  The two exceptions being Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock as Best Actor and Actress for 2009's Crazy Heart and The Blind Side respectively.  So 94% of the time, your winners are already on the First FAC of the season.

I'll have the second edition of The FAC next week and look at the Supporting Acting and Screenplay categories.


Indiewire's (and MTFB TFF film rating Pro) Anne Thompson trains her analysis on the films that have been in the news the past three weeks from Telluride, Venice and Toronto and offers her insight about them and the way the land lays moving forward into Oscar season in this post from yesterday.

Take a look to see where your favorite film for TFF #43 stands in her view.


Mifune: The Last Samurai played as a part of the Telluride 2016  as a part of the Backlot program.  It wasn't a film that enough attendees saw to merit inclusion in this year's Peeps or Pros ratings but the people that did see it and report to MTFB seemed to truly enjoy it.  The Steve Ozazaki film has a trailer which is here from YouTube:

You can also take a look at Alex Billington's First Showing coverage here.

That's all for now.  More to come on Monday.  Have a great weekend.


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