Monday, February 27, 2017

May I Have the Envelope Please...No, No, the Correct Envelope / Oscars Love Telluride's 2016 Lineup

Welcome to Monday


It was an insane night full of surprises large and small with the largest being the announcing of one Best Picture winner only to have that reversed in favor of a surprise upset winner.  Moonlight won Best Picture but only found out after La La Land had been announced and a number of thank you speeches had come from La La Land producers.

Here is that moment from ABC News and YouTube:

Here are your winners from the 89th Academy Awards:

Picture: Moonlight

Director: Damien Chazelle/La La Land
Actress: Emma Stone/La La Land

Actor: Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis/Fences
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali/Moonlight
Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea
Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight
Film Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Cinematography: La La Land

Original Score: La La Land
Original Song: City of Stars/La La Land
Animated Feature: Zootopia
Documentary: OJ: Made in America
Foreign Language Film: The Salesman
Production Design: La La Land
Costumes: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Makeup/Hair: Suicide Squad
Sound Mixing: Hacksaw Ridge

Sound Editing: Arrival
Visual Effects: The Jungle Book

Animated Short: Piper Pearl
Live Action Short: Sing
Documentary Short: The White Helmets

Moonlight wins three Oscars: Best Picture, Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay
La La Land wins six Oscars: Best Actress, Director, Score, Song, Cinematography and Production Design
Manchester by the Sea wins two Oscars: Best Actor and Original Screenplay

Other Telluride 2016 wins Arrival for Best Sound Editing and The White Helmets for Best Short Documentary.

Telluride's 43rd iteration hosted films with 13 Oscar wins out of 42 nominations.

For the seventh straight year (and eighth of the last nine years)  the Oscar Best Picture winner has "premiered" for the first time on the North American continent at the Telluride film festival.

The FAC had a lackluster night going 15 of 24.  In the other categories, the "upset" winner listed in Thursday's post won and in six categories the winner was off the FAC altogether on Thursday.

I'm really re-thinking how or even if The FAC is viable in its current incarnation.

Past FAC results:

2016: 15/24
2015: 20/24
2014: 22/24
2013: 18/24 (25 tie in Sound Editing)
2012: 18/24
2011: 17/24
2010: 14/24

So, there's that.

Finally another huge shout out to Barry Jenkins and the entire Moonlight crew.  In all the years I've been writing about Telluride and the Oscars there has never been a truer expression of TFF in terms of the Oscar Best Picture winner than this at a number of levels and Barry's a good guy to boot.  You can't ask for a better ending than that despite the weird way that it went down.

Congratulations Barry and Mahershala and Tarell.

Now, it's time to return to the first purpose of this space which is to begin to puzzle out the films that will make their way to the San Juans over Labor Day weekend in six months time.

More on Thursday.


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Thursday, February 23, 2017

The (Probably) Final FAC Predictions for Oscar #89 / Final Oscar Calls from Experts (Updated) / Late Breaking: Toronto Down to Downsize

Good Thursday to you...


We are just days away from the Oscars -on Sunday night on ABC- and here are the (probably) final predictions from The Film Awards Clearinghouse.  Barring some weird movement or unforeseen circumstance, this will be the last post from MTFB/FAC until Monday's regularly scheduled post.  In that, I'll do some semblance of analysis based on the results of Sunday's ceremony.

Today's predictions include updated data for the eight categories that have seemed to have been the most contentious over the past few weeks since nominations were announced:  Actor, Original Screenplay,Sound Editing, Costumes, Makeup/Hair and the three Short Form categories: Live Action, Animated and Documentary.  I also did a quick update on Best Picture.

On Oscar night itself, I'll be semi-live-tweeting.  Also probably a good deal of re-tweeting.  Check out my Twitter account @Gort2.

As always, The FAC uses the published predictions of the following experts to derive its picks:

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

TFF #43 films are in Bold.  Categories that were deemed "Toss Ups" are indicated with ***

Winner: Enemies Interiors
Upset: Timecode
Comment: Since last week, a big surge for  Ennemis Interieurs puts it on top, marginally over Timecode.


Winner; Joe's Violin
Upset: The White Helmets
Comment:  Last week's two leaders switch places but the metric still makes this a squeaky tight race.

Winner: Piper
Upset: Pearl
Comment:  Piper's lead has increased substantially over the past week.  Still not a lock by any means.

Winner: La La Land
Upset: Hacksaw Ridge

Winner: Hacksaw Ridge
Upset: La La Land

Winner; The Jungle Book
Upset: Rogue One

Winner: Star Trek Beyond
Upset: A Man Called Ove

Winner: Jackie
Upset: La La Land
Comment:  Jackie has opened up a slight, but real,  lead in this category.  La La Land could still sneak a win here, however.


Winner: La La Land
Upset: Arrival or Fantastic Beasts

Winner: City of Stars/La La Land
Upset: Could come from Moana or Trolls

Winner: La La Land
Upset: Moonlight or Lion

Winner: The Salesman
Upset: Toni Erdmann

Winner: Zootopia
Upset: Kubo and the Two Strings

Winner: OJ: Made in America
Upset: 13th or I Am Not Your Negro


Winner: La La Land
Upset: Lion

Winner: La La Land
Upset: Arrival

Winner: Manchester by the Sea
Upset: La La Land
Comment: Manchester has moved into a more secure position in the last week.

Winner: Moonlight
Upset: Arrival


Winner: Mahershala Ali/Moonlight
Upset: Dev Patel/Lion

Winner: Viola Davis/Fences
Upset: Michelle Williams/Manchester by the Sea

Winner: Denzel Washington/Fences
Upset: Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea
Comment: Still a whisker thin margin for Washington.

Winner: Emma Stone/La La Land
Upset: Isabelle Huppert/Elle


Winner: Damien Chazelle / La La Land
Upset: Barry Jenkins/Moonlight


Winner: La La Land
Upset: Moonlight
Comment: Other possible upset players: Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea and Lion

Expected win totals:

La La Land 9
Moonlight 2
Fences 2
 No other film with more than a single win.

TFF #43 films with 13 wins.

A last thought.  I'm feeling a bit of  an intuition that La La Land might actually upset in both Original Screenplay and Costumes.


Here the FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS from various experts.  I WILL BE UPDATING this section through Sunday:

Kristopher Tapley/Variety

Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter

Clayton Davis (and Friends)/Awards Circuit

Awards Daily

Film School Rejects

Awards Watch Podcast

Gold Derby


Movie City News Gurus of Gold

Anne Thompson/Indiewire

Indiewire Critics Survey

Nathaniel Rogers/The Film Experience

Jason Osiason/Fantastic Film Fans


There are multiple reports that the Torotno International Film Festival is going to shrink its feature film lineup by about 20% or from approximately 300 films down to 240ish.

Here's that story from:

The Hollywood Reporter


The Playlist


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Monday, February 20, 2017

A Look at "Interesting Categories" / Writers Guild Honors Telluride Film Time Two / Berlin Analysis / 300,000

Glad you're back from the weekend...hope it was painless...and sorry that today's post is a little later than usual...


I the last post here, I divided the 24 Oscar categories into roughly thirds...roughly, and I labeled them Locks, Interesting and Toss Ups.  I'm updating those in the "Interesting" category today to see of there has been any movement into either of the categories or if they've remained "interesting".  On Thursday, I'll post The (Probably) Final FAC that will include updates of entire group of 24 categories with extra emphasis on puzzling out any movement in the Toss Up categories.

The nine "Interesting" categories are: Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Foreign Language Film, Documentary Feature, Animated Feature, Original Song, Film Editing, Cinematography and Production Design.  Here's the latest updated skinny on them.

Supporting Actor-Despite Dev Patel's win at BAFTA last week, the experts still have Mahershala Ali comfortably in the lead for his role in Moonlight.

Adapted Screenplay- Barry Jenkins and  Tarell Alvin McCraney's Moonlight script looks like it hasn't suffered any loss of momentum. Though the script for Lion has moved from the bottom spot in the experts ranking to a second place spot just in front of Arrival.

Foreign Language Film- The turn in this category because of the travel ban coming from the Trump administration continues to influence how the experts say Oscar voters are going to go in this category.  The Salesman maintains a recent solid lead with Toni Erdmann trailing off even a bit more over the past week and a bit of a surge for A Man Called Ove.

Documentary Feature- O.J.: Made in America maintains a solid lead with a bit of a surge for I am Not Your Negro.

Animated Feature- Kubo's BAFTA win has only eaten marginally into Zootopia's perceived dominance.

Original Song-  Apparently everyone clucks about vote splitting between the two nominated songs from La La Land and no one thinks that it's actually going to happen.  Exactly one of the nine experts I use says How Far I'll Go/Moana wins (Anne Thompson/Indiewire) and the rest say City of Stars/La La Land.

Film Editing- Hacksaw Ridge has moved into a more competitive position after its BAFTA win but every one of the Oscarologists listed above thinks La La Land wins this Sunday night.

Cinematography- Lion's ASC win doesn't seem to have this category very much.  Still very solid for La La Land.

Production Design- Fantastic Beasts' win at BAFTA has boosted it to the #2 spot in The FAC but a large majority of FAC experts still say La La Land.


Despite my listing these nine categories as interesting and allowing for a week of contemplation, The FAC seems relatively confident that La La Land will win: Film Editing, Cinematography, Original Song and Production Design among these nine categories which, when added to what we think are already "Locked" wins: Picture, Director, Actress, Score and Sound Mixing put it at nine Oscars.

That means that one win in the Toss Up categories gets it to double digit wins, two ties the all time record and three sets a new record of 12 wins.  La La Land is in four Toss Up races: Best Actor, Original Screenplay, Costumes and Sound Editing.  Its chances of winning any of those in order of likelihood are: Original Screenplay, Costumes. Sound Editing and Actor is least likely.

Moonlight looks good for two Oscars for Ali as Supporting Actor and Jenkins and McCraney.

Again, fully a fully updated FAC is coming your way Thursday with the (probably) final predictions for the 89th Oscars.


It appears that TFF #43 was a good fest to be a writer that was a part of the lineup as the WGA named Moonlight by Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney the Best Original Script of the Years (it's in the Adapted category for Sunday night's Oscars) and Eric Heisserer's Arrival the Best Adapted Screenplay of the year in ceremonies held last night in both New York and Los Angeles.

Because of Moonlight's opposite categorization for Oscar, the WGA results likely don't tell us very much about what's going to happen Sunday night in the close, close, close Original category.  Had Manchester by the Sea or La La Land prevailed last night, we might have a had a clue but what we did find out is that Moonlight, as we have suspected, seems like a very good bet to win the Adapted category on Sunday night.

WGA  stories and analysis are here:

from Awards Daily.

from Variety.

from The Hollywood Reporter.


Welp...The Berlinale is over with awards passed and critical notice taken.  Which should lead serious Telluride watchers to ponder what films from Berlin will appear on the TFF #44 program when it is announced on Aug. 31?

That there will be one, two or even three Berlin titles at TFF #43 seems very likely as that has been a trend for awhile.  Take note...

Berlin's presence in Telluride's recent programs:

2016: Fire at Sea (Golden Bear winner), Things to Come
2015: Taxi (Golden Bear winner), 45 Years, Ixcanul
2014: 50 Year Argument, '71, The Decent One, Diplomacy
2013: Gloria, Fifi Howls from Happiness, Le Maison de la Radio, Slow Food Story, On Death Row
2012: Barbara, A Royal Affair
2011: Forgiveness of Blood, Mondo Lux, Pina, A Separation (Golden Bear winner), Target, The Turin Horse
2010: Daniel Schmid, If I Want to Whistle I Whistle, The Illusionist
2009: Gigante, London River
2008: Happy-Go-Lucky, I've Lover You So Long
2007: The Counterfeiters

So what made waves at Berlin that we might think make the T-ride lineup?  Start with the Golden Bear winner Ildiko Enyedi's On Body and Soul.  The last two Golden Bear winners have played Telluride (Fire at Sea and Taxi) but On Body and Soul has no current U.S. distribution and we may be in a more common year where the Golden Bear does not play Telluride.

So what else?  Angneiska Holland's Spoor won the Silver Bear and Holland has been a Telluride participant before: Burning Bush, In Darkness.  So that seems like a real possibility.

Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman won the Screenplay prize and Lelio has a recent T-ride profile with Gloria in 2013.

Three other competition films to keep an eye out for are Volker Schlondorff's Return to Montauk,
Sally Potter's The Party and Aki Kaurismaki's The Other Side of Hope which win the prize for Best Direction.

I'll be keeping an eye on these five films (and perhaps one or two others) in terms of U.S. distribution and announced release dates here in the states.


Michael's Telluride Film Blog/The Film Awards Clearinghouse blew through its 300,000th view over the weekend.  Thanks to everyone for reading.  It's difficult for me to believe the overall number and that MTFB/FAC went from the 250,000 mark to 300,000 in less than six months (we hit 250,000 on Sept. 1. 2015).



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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Setting the Oscar Table / Gurus and Derby Oscar Predcitions

Good Thursday America, how are you?


Oscar time is T-minus 10 days...

Looking at where things stand after last weekend's BAFTA Awards...The last big precursor is the Writers Guild on Sunday.

The FAC (Film Awards Clearinghouse) is set to make it's homestretch run over the next week and a half.  To do that, I have divided the 24 categories into three separate pools:  Categories that appear Locked another category that I call Interesting and a third category that are your Toss Ups.

Today a quick look at The Locked then on Sunday I'll update The Interesting and The Toss Ups. Then I'll have The (Probably) Final FAC on Thursday, Feb. 23.

SO, with that stipulation...The Locked:

Visual Effects: The Jungle Book.  The FAC says so and BAFTA confirmed.

Sound Mixing: La La Land.  The FAC says so and despite the BAFTA win for Arrival, remember that BAFTA has only the single Sound category whereas Oscar has Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. The Mixing Oscar generally likes musicals which is why La La Land is still the solid favorite here.

Original Score: La La Land.  So says The FAC and BAFTA agreed.

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis/Fences.  Maybe the most solid lock of all locks.

Actress: Emma Stone/La La Land.  SAG , GG and BAFTA all tell The FAC that Emma goes home with the trophy.

Direction: Damien Chazelle/La La Land:  DGA, GG and BAFTA.  It's his.

Picture:  Despite moves here and there - Hidden Figures SAG Ensemble win, the surprising strength of Lion at the BAFTAs, Moonlight's overwhelming critical praise- it still appears that La La Land is all but certain to win the night's biggest prize.

The Interesting...a selection of categories in which there is an identifiable leader but, due to recent events, they are certainly not locked categories.  To wit:

Cinematography:  La La Land leads here but the win for Lion in this category at BAFTA keeps it contestable.

Production Design:  La La Land, again is probable but the BAFTAs like Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and that keeps the category lively for Oscar.

Original Song: Again, the very likely winner is City of Stars fro La La splitting with the films other song, Audition, could allow for a win for the red hot Lin Manual Miranda for his song from Moana and don't count out Justin Timberlake for Trolls either.

Film Editing:  La La Land is the favorite here but the BAFTA win for Hacksaw Ridge prevents a Locked status.

Foreign Language Film:  A category that looked solid for Toni Erdmann until a Presidential Executive Order.  Trump's travel ban flipped the category and has made Iranian film maker Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman a bit of a favorite in just the last two weeks.  BAFTA didn't help as the Brits named last year's foreign Oscar winner, Son of Saul, their winner for this past year.

Documentary Feature:  O.J. Made in America has been the presumed favorite for months and has dominated precursors but...I have always been leery that The Academy would embrace a multiple episodic, mutli-houred "film" that has been produced for ESPN.  That plus a win for Ava DuVernay's 13th at The BAFTAs on Sunday keep this category interesting.

Animated Feature:  Zootopia, much like OJ:MIA, has been dominant through the season but the BAFTA win for Kubo and the Two Strings keep the category from being a lead pipe cinch.

Adapted Screenplay:  Category weirdness and BAFTA keep this from being a lock for Moonlight. That script has bounced between the Original and Adapted categories all season long depending on which organization was doing the categorizing.  Lion won this category in England Sunday. Moonlight won the USC Scripter for adapted script on Saturday.  It's probably still Moonlight's...but...

Supporting Actor:  Dev Patel's BAFTA upset for Lion over Mahershala Ali for Moonlight makes the category interesting despite Ali's precursor dominance.

And then there are the categories that are too close to call...

Like all three of the shorts categories.  Notoriously tricky to predict and this year is no different.

The Live Action category could be won by any of four films: Silent Nights, Sing, Timecode or Enemmis Interieurs.  Even Le Femme et le TVG could win.

Documentary short is likely a toss up between The White Helmets and Joe's Violin.

Animated Short is tight between Piper and Pearl.

In feature categories...

Makeup/Hair looks like a toss-up between Star Trek Beyond and A Man Called Ove.

Costumes might favor Jackie slightly over La La Land especially with its BAFTA win but it's still too close to call.

Sound Editing:  Hacksaw Ridge has a tiny edge here but La La Land is still strong.  Arrival's BAFTA win for Sound could also presage a win for it as well.

AND the two tightest races...

Original Screenplay:  An incredibly tight race between Manchester by the Sea and La La Land. Manchester probably leads by a hair.

Best Actor:  Denzel wins SAG, Affleck won BAFTA (for which Denzel wasn't even nominated).  It's the definition of a toss-up.  Denzel leads by the barest of margins.


Take a look at both of the latest Gurus of Gold Oscarologist compilation vote and The Gold Derby and here's what you'll find...

Both say La La Land wins Best Picture, Director, Actress, Cinematography, Costumes (although close with Jackie), Film Editing (though The Gurus regard it as a really tight fight with Hacksaw Ridge), Production Design (although, again, The Gurus say it's close over Fantastic Beasts), Score, Song (City of Stars) and Sound Mixing.  For a La La Land total of 10 Oscars.

Both say Denzel Washington beats Casey Affleck but The Gurus have it close.  Both also have Washington's Fences co-star Viola Davis winning Supporting Actress easily.

Both say Mahershala Ali wins Supporting actor for Moonlight.  The Derby sees it as more one-sided than The Gurus do.  Both also have Moonlight winning Adapted Screenplay handily.

Both have Manchester by the Sea winning Original Screenplay over La La Land but with some reservations.

Both say Star Trek Beyond wins Makeup/Hair but both also suggest that it's a dogfight.

Both say Hacksaw Ridge squeaks out a win in Sound Editing over La La Land.

Both say The Jungle Book wins Visual Effects.

Both say Zootopia for Animated Feature...Gurus say Kubo is close.

Both say O.J.: Made in America wins Doc feature.

Both pick The Salesman in a squeaker over Toni Erdmann for Foreign Language Film.

Both say Piper wins Animated short in a close battle.  The Gurus say it's tight with Pearl while The Derby suggests it's tight with Blind Vaysha.

Both say Enemmis Interiuers wins Live Action Short.

They diverge on one category which is  Doc Short with The Derby saying Extremis wins over Joe's Violin and The Gurus saying that The White Helmets wins over...Joe's Violin.

Check the latest Gold Derby odds here.

and the latest Gurus of Gold here.

And, with his own look at what he perceives as the five closest Oscar contests: Actor, Original Screenplay, Film Editing, Makeup/Hair and Foreign Language Film... here is analysis from Variety's Kristopher Tapley.

That's all for this Thursday.  More on Monday.


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Monday, February 13, 2017

The FAC's Oscar Predix for Six Categories / BAFTA Names Its Winners

Monday...Monday...take that as you will...


We're coming down to the home stretch of Oscar Season.  The BAFTA's were handed out in London last night (see below) and that's the last piece of evidence pointing us in any direction for what might happen on Oscar night itself.

Oscar final voting begins today and runs to Feb. 21.  Of course, the envelopes are opened on Feb. 26. with today's installment of The FAC I'll have completed a set of predictions for all 24 categories in the last week.  I'll update categories as we move through the next two weeks and have a final posting update in the Thursday, Feb. 23 posting.  That said...

Here are the Oscar winner predictions for the last six categories that The FAC hasn't addressed in this last week: Cinematography, Costumes, Makeup/Hair and the Shorts: Animated, Documentary and Live Action.

As always The FAC uses the published predictions of the following experts to derive its picks:

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

TFF #43 films are in Bold.


1) La La Land
2) Lion
3) Moonlight
4) Arrival
5) Silence

Comment: Despite Lion's ASC win last week, La La Land seems fairly secure for the win here.


1) La La Land
2) Jackie
3) Florence Foster Jenkins
4) Fantastic Beasts
5) Allied

Comment: La La leads here but it's a tight race with Jackie.  This is one of about three or four categories (the others are probably Original Screenplay, Sound Editing and Cinematography) that will determine whether La La Land gets double-digit wins, ties for most Oscars won of all time (11) or, conceivably, breaks the record.


1) Star Trek Beyond
2) A Man Called Ove
3) Suicide Squad

Comment: A moderately close contest between Star Trek and Ove with the Treksters having a sight edge.


1) Piper
2) Pearl
3) Borrowed Time
4) Blind Vaysha
5) Pear Cider and Cigarettes

Comment: This is perceived as a tight two horse race between Piper and Pearl.  Off The FAC metric...I wouldn't be stunned by a win from either or even Borrowed Time.


1) The White Helmets
2) Joe's Violin
3) 4.1 Miles
4) Extremis
5) Watani: My Homeland

Comment: A dead heat between The White Helmets and Joe's Violin and that's no exaggeration.  The two films were tied in The FAC metric with the tie broken in The White Helmets favor as it had one more pick at the top from The FAC professionals.  This Oscar could easily swing to either film.


1) Silent Nights
2) Sing
3) Timecode
4) Ennemis Interieurs
5) Le Femme et le TVG

Comment: The predictions in this category are all over the place.  Any of the five could win.

Should The FAC be 100% accurate, La La Land would win another two trophies and added to the previous FAC predictions over this past week would give it a total of 10 trophies on Oscar night: Picture, Director, Actress, Film Editing, Cinematography, Original Score, Original Song (City of Stars), Costumes, Production Design and Sound Mixing.

La La would miss, according to the FAC, in Original Screenplay, Sound Editing, Best Actor and its other Original Song nomination.  The loss to itself for Best Song means that 13 Oscars are the ceiling for La La and the loss of Ryan Gosling in the Best Actor category seems all but certain (to either Denzel Washington or Casey Affleck).  That means that La La Land has to run the table of every one of its remaining nominations to set the all time record which seems a tall order.

I've been saying for a long while that I think La La Land ends the night with nine Oscars.  A great night, but not record setting.  Still, it would be the most since 2003's Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Currently The FAC has La La Land winning 10 Oscars.

Moonlight wins two.
Fences wins two.

Single Oscar winning films look to be:

Manchester by the Sea
O.J.: Made in America
The Salesman
Hacksaw Ridge
The Jungle Book
Star Trek Beyond

And the Shorts: Piper, The White Helmets and Silent Nights.

Total Oscars going to TFF #43 films: 14.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (sometimes referenced as the British Oscars) awarded their accolades for the 2016 film year last night (which was late afternoon here in the states).

Damien Chazelle's La La Land did well but it wasn't the blowout that the Golden Globes night was for the film.  La La Land picked up five of the 11 BAFTA's it was nominated for.  Of course, the five wins did include the biggest prize of the night: Best Picture.  La La Land also won for Chazelle's direction and Emma Stone won Best Actress.  It also won for Score and Cinematography.

Kenneth Lonergan's Manchester by the Sea won two honors for Original Screenplay and for Casey Affleck as Best Actor.

Denis Villeneuve's Arrival won the award for Best Sound (a trophy that many thought La La Land might well pick up.

Barry Jenkins' Moonlight surprisingly went home empty-handed.  The film had been nominated for four BAFTAs.

Lion was the other surprise of the night winning two awards for Dev Patel as Best Supporting Actor and also winning for Adapted Screenplay.

Major (Oscar analogous categories) winners here with TFF #43 films in Bold.

Picture: La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle/La La Land
Actress: Emma Stone/La La Land
Actor: Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea
Supporting Actress: Viola Davis/Fences
Supporting Actor: Dev Patel/Lion
Adapted Screenplay: Lion
Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea
Documentary: 13th
Foreign Language: Son of Saul (TFF #42)
Animated Feature: Kubo and the Two Strings
Original Music: La La Land
Cinematography: La La Land
Editing: Hacksaw Ridge
Production Design: Fantastic Beasts
Costumes: Jackie
Makeup/Hair: Florence Foster Jenkins
Sound: Arrival
Visual Effects; The Jungle Book

What does any of this mean for Oscar night?
Does it mean that La La Land is likely to fall short in film editing, production, design, costume or film editing?
Does Moonlight get shut out on Feb. 26th?

Most of the pundits seem to think that the BAFTA results might show a smallish trend away from the La La Land avalanche but that it's still solid for a number of wins including picture and director.  It does seem less likely that it will tie or break the record of winning 11 trophies.

BAFTA coverage is here:

from Kristopher Tapley/Variety-In Contention

from Anne Thompson/Indiewire

from Pete Hammond/Deadline

from Paul Sheehan/Gold Derby

from Oliver Lyttleton/The Playlist

from Nathaniel Rogers/The Film Experience

That's a wrap for Monday.  More to come on Thursday...


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Thursday, February 9, 2017

More Predicted Oscar Winners from The FAC / Oscar Nominees for Cinematography and Film Editing / Big Talk from Directors / Could We See TONY Erdmann at a Future Telluride?

Welcome to Thursday...


On Monday, The FAC took its first stab at predicting the winners of the Oscar in 12 categories.  In today's post I continue down that road with a look at six additional categories: Original Score, Original Song, Production Design, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing and Visual Effects.

As always The FAC uses the published predictions of the following experts to derive its picks:

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

Telluride #43 films are in Bold.


1) La La Land
2) Moonlight
3) Lion
4) Jackie
5) Passengers

Comment:  Looks like La La's to lose.


1) City of Stars/La La Land
2) How Far I'll Go/Moana
3) Audition/La La Land
4) Can't Stop the Feeling/Trolls
5) The Empty Chair/Jim: The James Foley Story

Comment: I still think the Moana song could win this despite The FAC metric.


1) La La Land
2) Arrival
3) Fantastic Beasts
4) Hail. Caesar
5) Passengers

Comment: La La Land seems to be the prohibitive favorite.


1) Hacksaw Ridge
2) La La Land
3) Arrival
4) Deepwater Horizon
5) Sully

Comment:  This category could tell the tale in as far as La La Land's quest to tie or break the record for most Oscar wins ever.  The record is 11.   La La is nominated for 14 but at the maximum can only win 13 because of the double Best Song nominations.  Hacksaw is a solid favorite but certainly doesn't have a lock on the trophy.


1) La La Land
2) Hacksaw Ridge
3) Arrival
4) Rogue One
5) 13 Hours

Comment;  Back to solid La La Land ground here.


1) The Jungle Book
2) Rogue One
3) Doctor Strange
4) Deepwater Horizon
5) Kubo and the Two Strings

Comment:  Looks solid for Jungle Book.

In these six categories La La Land is leading for four Oscars and Hacksaw Ridge and The Jungle Book would get one each.  Added to Monday's totals, The FAC has La La Land at eight wins with Moonlight at two and Fences at two.   Manchester by the Sea would be the other TFF #43 film with a win.

I'll have The FAC's look at the final six categories on Monday.


Here are a couple pf profiles of the cinematographers from La La Land and Moonlight both of whom are Oscar nominated for their work:

About DP Linus Sandgren of La La Land from Indiewire.

And focusing on editor Joi McMillon who cut Moonlight also from Indiewire.


The Film Stage posted a 2 and 1/2 hour round table of this year's DGA nominees: Chazelle, Jenkins, Lonergan and Villeneuve who were featured at TFF #43 as well as Garth Davis of Lion.  That massive discussion can be found  Here from YouTube:

The Film Stage post is here.

AND FINALLY...COULD WE SEE TONY ERDMANN AT A FUTURE TELLURIDE? (yes, I spelled it Ton-y on purpose because I'll bet they Americanize it that way)

Image via

Breaking news the last two days:  There will apparently be an American remake of Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann to star Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig.  Reports say the project is at Paramount and is looking for a writer and director.

You have to wonder if a film that will almost certainly be Nicholson;s last major role might not be considered for a spot at T-ride which would be both weird and kind of fitting as the original Toni Erdmann screened for the first time in North America at last fall's soiree.

Lots of coverage here for the announcement of the new version:

Variety,  The Film Stage  and Hollywood Elsewhere.


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Monday, February 6, 2017

The Film Awards Clearinghouse (FAC) First Look at Predicted Oscar Winners / Directors and DPs Diverge / Berlin Looms

You might notice that this is a Monday and we're still here...


Here's your first look at where The FAC thinks will shake down when the envelopes are opened at the Oscar ceremony on Feb. 26th.

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

Telluride #43 films are in Bold.


1) La La Land
2) Moonlight
3) Manchester by the Sea
4) Hidden Figures
5) Arrival
6) Lion
7) Hacksaw Ridge
8) Hell or High Water
9) Fences

Comment:  The top award has seemed and continues to seem the prohibitive favorite for La La Land. I thought that was true over Labor Day (and shared that thought with one of the experts listed above). Despite its lack of a SAG ensemble nomination...won by Hidden Figures, which appears to have gotten a boost among the predictors...La La Land is a unanimous #1 pick for Best Picture.


1) Damien Chazelle/La La Land
2) Barry Jenkins/Moonlight
3) Kenneth Lonergan/Manchester by the Sea
4) Denis Villeneuve/Arrival
5) Mel Gibson/Hacksaw Ridge

Comment:  Chazelle's DGA win all but signals that he's a lock here.  It also appears very likely that we'll get back to "normal" this year and that Best Film and Director will correspond with each other after three out of the for years of busting that trend:

2016: Best Pic: Spotlight, Best Dir: Inarritu/The Revenant
2014: Best Pic: 12 Years a Slave, Best Dir: Cuaron/Gravity
2013: Best Pic: Argo, Best Dir: Ang Lee/Life of Pi


1) Emma Stone/La La Land
2) Natalie Portman/Jackie
3) Isabelle Huppert/Elle
4) Meryl Streep/Florence Foster Jenkins
5) Ruth Negga/Loving

Comment:  A race that has been perceived as a tight battle between Stone and Portman has taken a solid turn towards Stone.  In many quarters, Portman isn't perceived as the biggest threat to Stone, Huppert might be and neither is being seen as very threatening.


1) Denzel Washington/Fences
2) Casey Affleck/Manchester by the Sea
3) Ryan Gosling/La La Land
4) Andrew Garfield/Hacksaw Ridge
5) Viggo Mortensen/Captain Fantastic

Comment: This was seen as a tight race in early fall and then Affleck started winning almost every critics award making him a solid favorite but Denzel's win a SAG turned that all around this last week and now this category is perceived as barn burner.  In The FAC metric they two men are separated by a single point.  It's close, my friends.


1) Viola Davis/Fences
2) Naomie Harris/Moonlight
3) Michelle Williams/Manchester by the Sea
4) Nicole Kidman/Lion
5) Octavia Spencer/Hidden Figures

Comment:  The world will come to an end if Davis isn't the winner here.


1) Mahershala Ali/Moonlight
2) Jeff Bridges/Hell or High Water
3) Dev Patel/Lion
4) Lucas Hedges/Manchester by the Sea
5) Michael Shannon/Nocturnal Animals

Comment:  Ali is the strong favorite.


1) Moonlight
2) Arrival
3) Hidden Figures
4) Fences
5) Lion

Comment" Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney look like solid leaders here.


1) Manchester by the Sea 
2) La La Land
3) Hell or High Water
4) The Lobster
5) 20th Century Women

Comment:  Our second squeaker.  A single point separates Manchester and La La Land in this category.  For those passionate about whether La La Land ties or passes the all time record for Oscar wins (11 is the record held by Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) this category is probably crucial.


1) La La Land
2) Arrival
3) Moonlight
4) Hacksaw Ridge
5) Hell or High Water

Comment:  La La Land is a substantial leader here.


1) Zootopia
2) Kubo and the Two Strings
3) Moana
4) The Red Turtle
5) My Life as a Zucchini

Comment;  Any other winner but Zootopia would be a big upset.


1) OJ: Made in America
2) 13th
3) Life, Animated
4) I am Not Your Negro
5) Fire at Sea

Comment:  OJ: MIA is a solid favorite but I think it may still vulnerable to the perception that it isn't really a "feature".


1) The Salesman
2) Toni Erdmann
3) Land of Mine
4) A Man Called Ove
5) Tanna

Comment:  What a difference an unconstitutional executive order can make.  Throughout the fall Toni Erdmann has been seen as the most likely FLF Oscar winner but with the White House's Travel ban on seven Muslim majority nations and The Salesman's Asghar Farhadi's decision to stay away from the Oscars, The Salesman has zoomed past Toni Erdmann to become the leader in this category.

It's not a prohibitive lead, so Toni Erdmann could still take the trophy home, but that's nit where I'd put my money if I where the wagering type.

If you're counting...from these 12 categories...

La La Land would win four Oscars: Picture, Director, Actress and Editing.
Moonlight would win two: Supporting Actor and Adapted Screenplay
Manchester by the Sea would win one: Original Screenplay

Non TFF #43 films would win:

Fences (two): Actor and Supporting Actress
and Animated: Zootopia
Documentary: OJ:MIA
Foreign Language: The Salesman

I'll have a look at more categories on Thursday.


The Directors Guild of America named Damien Chazelle the winner of their highest honor for feature films on Saturday as was expected but the American Society of Cinematographers surprised with a win for Lion for Best Cinematography.

Oscar predictors have been bullish that La La Land was the likely winner in that category but with the A.S.C. win for Greig Fraser that consensus will likely change.

I noticed yesterday, however that Variety/In Contention's guru Kristopher Tapley was suggesting via Twitter that he still thought that La La Land would probably still win the Oscar in that category.  I'm inclined to agree with Tapley because of the difference in the people that will be casting ballots.

Here is coverage of the DGA Awards:

from Greg Kilday at The Hollywood Reporter

from Gregory Ellwood at The The Playlist

from Anne Thompson at Indiewire

and from The Gold Derby

Additionally, here is coverage of the A.S.C. awards from Bill Desowitz at Indiewire.


The Berlin International Film Festival launches this week (Feb. 9-19) and almost certainly will World Premiere a film or two that we'll see on the slate of TFF #44 in September.  Last year, as an example, both Mia Hansen-Love's Things to Come and Gianfranco Rosi's Oscar nominated Fire at Sea made their way from Germany to southwestern Colorado.

So, naturally, I take the Berlin lineup seriously as a source of possible Telluride films and this year has some prime candidates.  I was perusing a Playlist article over the weekend that highlights 10 films from the Berlin lineup that have serious Telluride potential based on the past presence of their directors at TFF.

They include:

Sally Potter's The Party.  Potter was previously represented at Telluride in 2012 with Ginger and Rosa.

Volker Sclondorff's Return to Montauk.  Schlondorff was a tribute recipient in 2014 and guest directed last year's fest.

Aki Kaurismaki's The Other Side of Hope.  Kaurismaki's Le Harve was presented at Telluride in 2011.

Sebastian Lelio's A Fantastic Woman.  Lelio's Gloria was on the TFF bill of fare in 2013.

Agneiszka Holland's Spoor.  Holland was at Telluride in 2011 with Darkness and 2013 with Burning Bush.

The complete story from The Playlist is here.

That's a wrap for Monday.  More for you on Thursday...


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Updates for Oscar / Sundance Sails into the Sunset / Jenkins on Moonlight

Welcome to Thursday and another day on this cinematic road...


We are a week removed from the announcement of nominations for the 89th Academy Awards and, as you might expect, Oscar prognosticators are beginning to offer their opinions regarding what performers and films will now actually win the statues in 3 -plus weeks.  The ceremony happens on Feb. 26th.

The Hollywood Reporter's Scott Feinberg has a first pass at predicted winners.

Scott currently has Damien Chazelle's La La Land still in front to win despite the success of Hidden Figures at last weekend's Screen Actors Guilds awards.  Additionally, Feinberg says La La Land will also win: Direction (Chazelle), Actress (Stone), Cinematography, Costumes, Film Editing, Original Score, Original Song (City of Stars), Production Design, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing for a total of  11 Oscars. Personally, I'm not as bullish on La La Land's chances to get to that total.

Feinberg also currently has TFF #43 films winning in a few other places on Oscar night.

He has Moonlight winning Supporting Actor (Ali) and Adapted Screenplay.

He has Manchester by the Sea winning Original Screenplay but now favors Denzel Washington/Fences  over Manchester's Casey Affleck for Best Actor.

A few other notes.  Feinberg favors Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman in the Foreign Language category over what has been regarded as the front runner for many months and that's TFF #43 and Maren Ade's Toni Erdmann.

Feinberg doesn't mention it and I have been reluctant to mention it as well, but I have wondered if there might be a surge for The Salesman in light of the Trump administration's  Muslim ban and Farhadi's announced intention to not attend the Oscar ceremony.  I think that's a very real possibility and it seems that Feinberg may be thinking that as well.

Among the Short Film categories, Feinberg has The White Helmets winning Best Short Doc.  It also played TFF last Labor Day.

All told, Feinberg has Telluride films winning 15 of the 24 Oscar categories.

Additionally, Variety's head Oscar guru, Kristopher Tapley, also has an initial pass at winners up at his In Contention section of that publication/website.  His take:

He has La La Land winning Best Picture, Director, Actress, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Costume, Film Editing, Original Score, Original Song (City of Stars), Production Design and sound Mixing.  Total: 11

Moonlight winning: Supporting Actor with Ali and Adapted Screenplay.

Manchester winning: Best Actor for Affleck.

Tapley has Toni Erdmann winning Best Foreign Language Film bit doesn't have any TFF #43 films picking up any Oscar hardware for the Shorts categories.

His Telluride total is 15.

Check all of Tapley's predictions here.

Meanwhile, the gang at Awards Watch led by Erik Anderson has their first wave of picks for winners up as well.   You can see their complete list and tally here.

Awards Watch predicts that La La Land will win Best Picture, Direction, Actress, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, Production Design, Costumes, Original Score, Original Song (City of Stars), Sound Mixing and maybe Film Editing...based on AW's nomination predictions for that category.  Total for La La Land according to AW: 11

Moonlight is picked for Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Manchester by the Sea's Casey Affleck is favored over Denzel for Best Actor

Other TFF #43 films favored by AW: Toni Erdmann for Foreign Language and The White Helmets for Best Short Doc.

The AW Oscar total for Telluride is 16.


The Sundance Film Festival closed last weekend and that's always at least a little bit interesting.  For years it's seemed like there are always rumors that one of more Sundance film swill end up on the Telluride program even though that "rule" about T-ride only programming films that have not yet screened in North America.

We know that rumors floated early this time last year that Fox Searchlight was going to push hard to get Nate Parker's Birth of a Nation into T-ride after spending $17+ million bucks.  We also know that didn't pan out almost certainly due to the PR swirl and negative publicity up regarding Parker's past.

BUT...Manchester by the Sea and The Eagle Huntress both made the TFF #43 list after having bowed at Sundance marking, at least in my experience, the first time that two films were programmed that bucked the "rule".  I have noted on a number of occasions that The Savages did the same in 2007 as did An Education in 2009.  Sembene! did in 2015.

I think we have to wonder if the 2016 presence of two Sundance titles indicates a growing willingness to program a hot Sundance title or two from now on.

It might also be noted that both Manchester and Eagle did NOT play Cannes after their bow at Sundance.

So, looking at this year's Sundance crop, can we deduce any films that might fit the mold to go to Telluride?

I took a look at the films that earned Sundance honors and critical acclaim as well as what films sold to which distributors and finally, the directors.  Keep in mind that Manchester ended up at Amazon/Roadside Attractions and Eagle Huntress  which was distributed by Sony Pictures Classics.

Indiewire's Anne Thompson posted a story this week assessing the films of Sundance in the context of the 2017 awards season.  Zack Sharf, also of Indiewire, posted and updated a running list of the acquisitions for the fest.  So, I combined the two...

Call Me By My Name - Dir: Luca Guadagnino-Sony Pictures Classics
The Big Sick- Dir: Michael Showalter- Amazon (and likely Roadside Attractions)
Mudbound- Dir: Dee Rees- Netflix
Novitiate- Dir: Margaret Betts- Sony Pictures Classics
The Hero- Dir: Brett Haley- The Orchard

City of Ghosts- Dir: Matthew Heineman- Amazon
Icarus- Dir: Bryan Fogel- Netflix
An Inconvenient Sequel: Dir- Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk- Paramount
Chasing Coral- Dir: Jeff Orlowski- Netflix

 It's also worth noting that A24 has the distribution for A Ghost Story from director David Lowery.

Looking at the combined lists, I can't find any single film that seems head and shoulders a likely Sundance/Telluride crossover.  None of the directors have a feature TFF track record.


I have added a couple of articles that feature Moonlight writer/director Barry Jenkins talking about the making of the eight time Oscar nominated film that is widely regarded as the only real threat to steal Best Picture from La La Land.  Here they are:

From the Film Society of Lincoln Center

From The Playlist

That's all for this Thursday.  Have a great weekend...


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