Sonic Youth wrote:It's really odd - refreshing, but odd - to think that the three biggest locks for AMPAS' Best Picture are Birdman, Boyhood and Grand Budapest. It's like an inversion of the norm. Other years, we'd be wondering which of the three would be fighting for that 'fifth slot' (back when there WERE only five slots). But this year, they'll be the main focus. At least, that's how it's looking so far.
The only comparable recent year would be 2007, when I awoke to the headline "No Country, There Will Be Blood lead nominations".
But, as you say, this is "so far" – I remain gun-shy, after that 1999 experience, where The Talented Mr. Ripley and Being John Malkovich looked great after the Globe nominations, but Oscar morning gave us The Green Mile and The Cider House Rules.
Nevertheless…as of this morning, my instincts seem to be borne out way better than last year: Grand Budapest Hotel is performing as I thought/hoped, and the ridiculous "Unbroken stinks but they'll nominate it for everything" bandwagon has met (hopefully not temporary) reality
Selma more or less proves it was just an availability issue with SAG, getting the key nominations a best picture contender should (though the screenplay omission is interesting – esp. given the apparent dispute between DuVernay and Webb).
I'll continue to disbelieve in Foxcatcher despite its victories in the past two days. People are looking at Gyllenhaal as the due-to-be-bumped actor candidate, but I think Carell is more likely to fall – I can't see Foxcatcher getting any on-the-bubble nominations (Ruffalo, in a weak category, is far safer). It's still possible Bradley Cooper, Osca Isaac, or (especially) Timothy Spall will rise up at AMPAS.
Aniston again, but the star-whoring aspect of the Globes may mean that doesn't mean much. I still see that fifth slot in best actress as a wild card, not to feel settled till January 15th. (Which seems WAY early for nominations, but I just looked it up last night, and that's when they're coming)
This could be our Academy line-up in both supporting categories, but it's conceivable one of the hovering supporting actress contenders (Russo, Stewart, Der, Coon) could still get in, at the expense of…dare one suggest Streep isn't rock solid? And I live in hope Oscar voters won't default to Duvall, though, as BJ said yesterday, even coming up with an alternate candidate is a challenge.
If this directing slate is repeated at AMPAS, it'd be cause for at least muted celebration. The only way to improve it would be for Fincher to be replaced by…I don't know; Mike Leigh? Of course, the worry is AMPAS will go for someone worse – Tyldum or Marsh; Chazelle would be viewed as a popular choice, but not by me. (Though the "Whiplash could get all major nods" scenario took something of a hit today)
Is Wes Anderson ready to make the same run in screenplay that Woody Allen did three years ago, or Jonze did last year? From barely-nominated to Oscar winner in one fell swoop?
So, are non-US animated films even eligible here? The way this list goes, you'd expect the frickin' Penguins of Madagascar.
And best song remains the crazy-ass category, with most of the tunes people think likely for Oscar nods omitted, and the winner anyone's guess.