The Post-Festival Landscape

For the films of 2018
Big Magilla
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Re: The Post-Festival Landscape

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:44 pm

My running predicitons are close to Sabin's except:

Best Picture - BlackKkKlansman instead of Black Panther with Boy Erased and Beautiful Boy added to his 8

Director - Spike Lee (BlacKkKlansman) instead of Steve McQueen, though McQueen would be my sixth pick

Actor - Viggo Mortensen (Green Book) instead of Robert Redford

Actress - Glenn Close (The Wife) instead of Emma Stone

Supporting Actor - John C. Reilly (Stan & Ollie) instead of a second nod for Hedges

Supporting Actress - Linda Cardellini (Green Book) instead of Amy Adams

Original Screenplay - At Eternity's Gate and Stan & Ollie instead of Buster Scruggs and First Grade but I'm not high on either scenario

Adapted Screenplay - Widows instead of Can You Ever Forgive Me?
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Re: The Post-Festival Landscape

Postby Precious Doll » Fri Sep 21, 2018 3:56 pm

Vox Lux will be released in December.

If its anything like Brady Corbett's first film The Childhood of a Leader it won't be getting any attention from the Academy.
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Re: The Post-Festival Landscape

Postby Sabin » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:49 am

What the heck, let's just jump into the deep end of the pool here...

BEST PICTURE
BLACK PANTHER
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?
THE FAVOURITE
FIRST MAN
GREEN BOOK
ROMA
A STAR IS BORN
WIDOWS

BEST DIRECTOR
THE FAVOURITE / Yorgos Lanthimos
FIRST MAN / Damien Chazelle
ROMA / Alfonso Cuaron
A STAR IS BORN / Bradley Cooper
WIDOWS / Steve McQueen

BEST ACTOR
AT ETERNITY’S GATE / Willem DaFoe
BOY ERASED / Lucas Hedges
FIRST MAN / Ryan Gosling
THE OLD MAN AND THE GUN / Robert Redford
A STAR IS BORN / Bradley Cooper

BEST ACTRESS
BEN IS BACK / Julia Roberts
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? / Melissa McCarthy
THE FAVOURITE / Emma Stone
A STAR IS BORN / Lady Gaga
WIDOWS / Viola Davis

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
BEAUTIFUL BOY / Timothee Chalamet
BEN IS BACK / Lucas Hedges
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? / Richard E. Grant
GREEN BOOK / Mahershala Ali
A STAR IS BORN / Sam Elliott

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
BOY ERASED / Nicole Kidman
THE FAVOURITE / Olivia Colman
FIRST MAN / Claire Foy
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK / Regina King
VICE / Amy Adams

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS / Joel & Ethan Coen
EIGHTH GRADE / Bo Burnham
THE FAVOURITE / Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara
GREEN BOOK / Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly
ROMA / Alfonso Cuaron

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
BOY ERASED / Joel Edgerton
CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? / Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
FIRST MAN / Josh Singer
IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK / Barry Jenkins
A STAR IS BORN / Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters
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Re: The Post-Festival Landscape

Postby Sabin » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:11 pm

As always, great writeup, Tee.

At this point last year, I thought that The Shape of Water had a terrific shot at Best Picture by virtue of the fact that it was going to register in so many categories. Then I saw the film and my estimation of it sank because I found it sweet-hearted but meandering and a bit confused... and then it won Best Picture. So, I don't feel too off-base in sight-unseen prognostication this year.

Once again, we are looking at another year where the female acting categories are just loaded with possibilities while the male categories are anemic. I'll write about the latter first...

This is the first year I can think of where there is nobody on the Best Actor horizon that remotely looks like a winner. Everybody seems to like Robert Redford in The Old Man and The Gun but I've read no passion. My critic friend who has seen First Man loves it but says Ryan Gosling remains an unsympathetic cipher. I have seen Vice and trust me: no. Carelly is apparently the maudlin center of an overly maudlin film. Viggo Mortenson and John C. Reilly look too broad and quirky in their films. And while Rami Malek certainly looks remarkable in the part of Freddy Mercury, the film has two huge strikes against it: 1) at least trailer-form the film appears to "straightwash" Mercury (we shall see), and of course 2) it is a Bryan Singer film. I need to see First Reformed and BlacKKKlansman but something tells me no.

That leaves: Bradley Cooper, Willem DaFoe, and Lucas Hedges. Of these actors, DaFoe certainly looks like the best bet. Previously nominated just this past year (with two more prior), playing a tormented historical figure, great reviews, already winning awards. But how big is this movie going to go? It looks very... art-house, let's say. It's Schnabel, after all. The kind of film that sweeps the critic's awards and then fails to land.

Bradley Cooper has already been nominated three times. There's almost no doubt he is going to be nominated for A Star Is Born and clearly he will have great, Oscar-worthy scenes. The question is how many awards CAN this guy win on Oscar night? Between acting, directing, writing, producing, and song-writing, which of these talents will drum up the most spotlight?

Of these performances, which are the actors going to vote for? My gut says Cooper.

I didn't write about Lucas Hedges because it seems as though he will possibly be factoring into the Best Supporting Actor race as well and so in discussing Lucas Hedges we must discuss boy races. Boy Erased looks like the better bet but some reviews are singling his Ben is Back performance out as more affecting. If he is nominated for Boy Erased as a lead and Ben is Back as supporting, it's hard to see him losing for Ben is Back. He may be 21, but he's Academy royalty, he's being written/directed by his father Peter Hedges, and he's not just already a nominee for Manchester by the Sea but he was in two major Best Picture nominees last year.

If that doesn't happen, where does the race settle? There's something that feels a bit contained or too ensemble about Richard E. Grant, Sam Elliott, and Adam Driver. Response to Beautiful Boy has been very muted. Even if Michael B. Jordan is able to break through for Black Panther, there's something a bit silly about his character winning. My friend who has seen Widows has told me "not a chance" for Kaluuya. Which leaves Mahershala Ali, the first person I discounted, having just won... but then I thought "Why not Mahershala?" Christoph Waltz won and then won again. He's a lead pushed to support. Green Book looks like a crowd-pleaser with wide appeal and this would seem to be a good place to honor it as a whole, especially if it crosses over big. And he is an actor whom I get the impression people enjoy watching give speeches. If not Hedges, perhaps Ali.

NOTE: my friend has seen The Old Man and the Gun and said that Redford should be considered a very strong contender for Best Actor, with only one thing standing in his way: it is a very light film. Every late era Redford film is sort of a commentary of sorts on the Redford image. This one is no different and Redford's chemistry with Sissy Spacek is apparently quite good. Again, it sounds like a film more embraced by critic's than Academy voters.
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Re: The Post-Festival Landscape

Postby Big Magilla » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:44 pm

I think John C. Reilly is more likely to be nominated for Stan & Ollie than The Sisters Brothers.

Conundrums:

Odd that Margot Robbie now seems to have a better chance at being nominated as Elizabeth I in support in Mary Queen of Scots than Saoirse Ronan has as the title character in lead unless of course the film is a huge success and she rebounds.

Both Emma Stone and Rachel Weitz are said to have larger roles than Olivia Coleman in The Favourite but I guess we'll have to wait a bit to see how the critics' groups and for your consideration ads place them. Coleman could presumably be the presumptive favorite in support but would face stiff competition in lead.

Mahershala Ali in Green Book and Reilly in Stan & Ollie are co-leads but are more likely to be campaigned in support.
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Re: The Post-Festival Landscape

Postby Reza » Wed Sep 19, 2018 1:11 pm

An excellent analyses, Mister Tee. I keep refering to it but a tad annoying to scroll down.

So here's a summary (with a few additions) of the contendors of 2018:

Best Picture
Roma
The Favourite
A Star is Born
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Widows
BlacKkKlansman
Black Panther
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Green Book
The Sisters Brothers
The Old Man and the Gun
Vice

Best Actor
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Viggo Mortensen, Green Book
Ryan Gosling, First Man
Willem Dafoe, At Eternity's Gate
Robert Redford, The Old Man and the Gun
John C. Reilly, The Sisters Brothers
Steve Carell, Beautiful Boy
John David Washington, BlacKkKlansman
Christian Bale, Vice
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Ethan Hawke, First Reformed
Lucas Hedges, First Erased

Best Actress
Glenn Close, The Wife
Lady Gaga, A Star is Born
Viola Davis, Widows
Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Emma Stone, The Favourite
Julia Roberts, Ben is Back
Yalitza Aparicio, Roma
Toni Collette, Hereditary
Nicole Kidman, Destroyer
Saoirse Ronan, Mary Queen of Scots
Felicity Jones, On the Basis of Sex
Kiki Layne, If Beale Street Could Talk
Natalie Portman, Vox Lux

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Timothée Chalamet, Beautiful Boy
Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Sam Elliott, A Star is Born
Daniel Kaluuya, Widows
Lucas Hedges, Ben is Back
Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman
Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther
Russell Crowe, Boy Erased
John C. Reilly, Stan and Ollie
Jude Law, Vox Lux

Best Supporting Actress
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
Rachel Weisz, The Favourite
Margot Robbie, Mary Queen of Scots
Elizabeth Debicki, Widows
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Claire Foy, First Man
Sissy Spacek, The Old Man and the Gun
Amy Adams, Vice
Nicole Kidman, Boy Erased
Linda Cardellini, Green Book

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron, Rome
Steve McQueen, Widows
Barry Jenkins, If Beale Street Could Talk
Damian Chazelle, First Man
Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman
Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite
Bradley Cooper, A Star is Born
Marielle Heller, Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Peter Farrelly, Green Book

Adapted Screenplay
First Man
If Beale Street Could Talk
Widows
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
A Star is Born
BlacKkKlansman
Leave No Trace
The Death of Stalin

Original Screenplay
Roma
Green Book
The Favourite
Eighth Grade
First Reformed
Vice
Sorry to Bother You
Last edited by Reza on Fri Sep 21, 2018 6:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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The Post-Festival Landscape

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:59 pm

Venice, Telluride and Toronto are history. Prizes have been given out, and, from here, we proceed full-on into a potentially interesting Fall film season. As expected, the three festivals have substantially populated what was previously a barren landscape. We now have a decent idea of what films will be in contention next February – though not much sense of who’s likely to win.

For the best film category, the clear critical choice to date is Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma – 96 on Metacritic at last count; beloved by pretty much everyone save Owen Gleiberman. It’s got to be the current favorite for December critics’ awards. But, of course, its Oscar negatives are easy to pinpoint: a subtitled, black-and-white effort released through Netflix is going to have to break past a number of barriers (though Mudbound’s showing last year does offer encouragement on the Netflix front). The company says it’s giving the film some kind of theatrical release, but one wonders how far that’ll go past a few major cities (or how long it’ll last). Cuaron’s status as previous winner should help with AMPAS – I can certainly see him getting into the film/director slots, regardless. Beyond that, though, the film’s awards future is murky.

Second place among critics would go to Lanthimos’ The Favourite, the only other film to run the gauntlet and emerge with a Metacritic score above 90 (91, to be exact). The film seems a bit of an odd duck: “a lesbian period-piece All About Eve” is one description I’ve heard. It’s apparently a lot of fun, which is helpful, but it still may be limited by Lanthimos’ weirdness. Even so, it’s thought to be a sure thing for acting and design nods. After Dogtooth, I’d never have bet on Lanthimos ascending to major Oscar contention, but at this point, having seen similarly fringe directors make the leap, I rate the film a strong contender.

Among the films getting high praise, the easiest sell to middle-of-the-road voters is likely A Star Is Born – a movie no one seems to hate and many seem to love. There’s general expectation it’ll be a big hit, and easily rack up nominations for film, actor and actress (director might require more of a push). It’s probably the safest best picture prediction for right now; the usual jump-the-gun caucus is ready to give it the trophy today. I remain a tad skeptical, for two reasons: 1) however good it may be, is there that much enthusiasm for the third remake of an 80-year-old movie (one never before deemed the year’s best)?, and 2) in this Oscar era, musicals have often been a subject of Oscar blogger over-inflation – Dreamgirls and Les Miz were both invincible front runners on first exposure, then faded; La La Land of course was nipped at the finish line; and even Chicago, which managed to scratch out a best picture win, became the first nominated DGA choice in 28 years to lose best director. (Back in ‘68/’72, musicals won Oscars over DGA choices; in ‘02/’16, musical DGA winners were upset. This suggests the current environment is less pro-musical that pundits assume.) I wonder if A Star is Born is being set up for disappointment.

First Man didn’t get as strong a response as these first three titles – it’s a solid but unspectacular 83 on Metacritic – yet it’s being touted as a sure thing for Oscar nominations. I don’t know if this boosterism is due to Chazelle’s recent Academy success, or if people just assume a movie on a serious subject like the space program is super Oscar-friendly. If the latter, I’d remind them that much the same thinking had everyone calling Apollo 13 an Oscar lock…until it suddenly wasn’t. Let’s just say for now that the film has as good a chance as any so far viewed to make the expanded best picture slate.

You can say the same for two movies by directors in an exclusive club: black directors whose films won best picture but failed to take the directing prize. Impressively, both Barry Jenkins and Steve McQueen have followed up their Oscar triumphs with movies mostly very well received by critics (they share 86 scores on Metacritic). Both were Toronto-only premieres, which is a boost for the festival – in recent years, films opening there after skipping Venice and Telluride have tended toward second tier. If Beale Street Could Talk didn’t get the universal acclaim of Moonlight – there were “not much happens in it” murmurs from some – but a good number of the reactions were passionate, and its second place finish in the Toronto People’s Choice award is a very good sign. Widows was touted upfront as more a commercial effort, but McQueen seems to have layered his crime story with enough social critique and nuance that response was strong overall, perhaps changing the view of the film. (A bit like the way attitudes toward The Departed shifted a decade ago.) Both these films will likely be in the conversation for prime nominations next January.

And, coupled with the already well-situated BlacKkKlansman, it raises the question BJ posed a while back: if there are multiple serious contenders created by/featuring black artists, will this make Black Panther’s guerilla candidacy a more difficult sell? However much the entertainment press thinks Black Panther is a no-brainer, it will be fighting serious genre resistance (many of these same pundits once thought The Dark Knight unassailable). If the film is just one of several offering diversity – that is to say, if it’s deprived of one of its selling points -- I’m not sure it’ll make it for the long haul.

Beyond these major contenders, I’d say Can You Ever Forgive Me? has some shot at cracking the best picture list. It’s not a behemoth, but it seems likely to spark acting/writing nominations, and that’s a solid path to a best picture nod. And Green Book, the People’s Choice winner, appears like it has that crowd-pleaser thing going. Its premise, to me, seems groan-worthy, but I must note that even some critics who balk at its subject matter say it’s more enjoyable than it has much right to be. Its current Metacritic reading is an unimpressive 66, but that could shift as more critics weigh in.

There are other films that got some level of critical support at the festivals -- The Sisters Brothers and The Old Man and the Gun – but they appear too small to really contend for a spot. Beyond that, I’m happy to be informed of anything I’ve left out. Though, note: I’m only discussing films with a scheduled release date; movies like Gloria Bell – which got surprisingly enthusiastic response – and Vox Lux seem to be fodder for next year’s contest. And I have deliberately excluded such going-in hopefuls as Boy Erased, The Front Runner, Ben is Back and Beautiful Boy – a few might survive as acting possibilities, but the critical response as a whole knocked them out of best picture contention. (Much the same, though at another level, for Life Itself, which got some of the most murderous reviews I’ve ever seen come out of the festivals.)

We’ll have to hope this group tides us over, because – apart from McKay’s Vice, which Sabin was good enough to preview for us this past weekend – I don’t see much in the yet-to-come category that offers much promise. It’s basically a batch of biopics (Bohemian Rhapsody, Mary Queen of Scots, On the Basis of Sex) plus Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen, which looks dreadful. I’m of course open to happy surprise – The Big Short and Selma are recent efforts that popped up late in the action. But you can’t count on more than what’s currently on tap.

On to lead actor, which, for what seems the umpteenth year in a row, offers an alarmingly weak slate. Whatever the fate of his film, Bradley Cooper seems the strongest candidate out so far – by virtue of both reviews and his rapidly-accumulating number of nominations. Viggo Mortensen, another multiple nominee, is said to be a solid lead actor candidate for Green Book (with Ali going in support); his chances will ride with the film’s overall performance. Ryan Gosling may well be back again for First Man -- though that seems more an adjunct to a best picture campaign than anything particular about his performance. Willem Dafoe, in At Eternity’s Gate, got what seemed the strongest critical response of any actor at the festivals, but there’s widespread feeling his film won’t be an easy sell for audiences. Still, he stands a decent shot at critics’ notice (unless they feel they did their duty by him last year), which could push him into the race. There’s some possibility voters might offer a farewell salute to Robert Redford with The Old Man and the Gun…though reaction to the film has been of the “nice but REALLY mild” variety. John C. Reilly got a number of genuinely enthusiastic reviews for The Sisters Brothers – the strongest response he’s had in a long while – but the film itself is so iffy it might sink him. And it’s possible Steve Carell will be noticed in Beautiful Boy, though his co-star seems to be getting the stronger ink.

The dearth of passionate choices might allow John David Washington to sneak in for BlacKkKlansman, despite his role not providing many attention-getting scenes. Alternatively, one or another of the later debut-ers could fill out the slot – Christian Bale in Vice and Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody seeming the strongest options.

And then we come to lead actress, which, for the fourth year in a row, is far more competitive than the male side of the ledger – in fact, we’re teeming with strong prospects. It may be time we start thinking of this as a new golden age for women’s roles. Remember: Glenn Close’s The Wife premiered at Toronto last year, and the decision was made to bump her to this year because the competition then was so daunting. Up to a point, that strategy has worked: her film has indeed made its mark, and put her in this year’s race. Yet she may ultimately find herself facing every bit as tough a field. From critical/audience response at the festivals, one has to think Lady Gaga, for A Star is Born, and Melissa McCarthy, for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, are strong likelihoods for nomination and serious contenders for the win. Perennial favorite Viola Davis isn’t far behind, having garnered major kudos for Widows.

The ladies from The Favourite are, for the moment, causing category confusion. Dominant perception is that Olivia Colman is strongest in show, but she’s apparently got a borderline role, for which many think she should compete in (and maybe run away with) supporting actress. The studio, however, has yet to sign off on this, and in fact seems to be leaning lead. If they do opt for that route, Colman is a likely nominee here; if they settle on supporting, it’s entirely possible Emma Stone will instead secure a best actress nod for the film. (Only Rachel Weisz seems clearly a supporting contender.)

And, wait – there’s more! Julia Roberts has got her best notices since Erin Brockovich for Ben is Back (though reaction to the film is very divided), making her at least a solid contender. And Yalitza Aparicio, the mother in Roma, has received major raves, and is now being given a full-on push for the rare non-English-language nomination. Is the slate filled by now? It seems like twice over.

This embarrassment of riches probably makes it less likely that a well-regarded performance in a problematic/divisive film can break through. We already had Toni Collette/Hereditary in that category, and festival debut-er Nicole Kidman/Destroyer seems to fit the slot, as well. The best hope for these actresses would be to score a critics’ award push, but, even with that, I think it’d be uphill for them.

The bottleneck also suggests studios are wise to hold back some well-received festival performers in hope of finding an easier environment next year. Julianne Moore in Gloria Bell, Natalie Portman in Vox Lux, and Isabelle Huppert in Greta populate this category. Moore, in particular, received glowing notices, and could be in a Glenn Close-like situation a year from now.

Barring surprise, there probably won’t be much more added to the field between now and December – Focus seems to be treating Mary Queen of Scots like an unwanted stepchild, suggesting neither Ronan nor Robbie will be back this year, and Felicity Jones’ turn as Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems ethnically ludicrous -- though of course we have to wait for critical/public response.

As to supporting actor: It’s 30 years since Richard E. Grant burst on the scene with Withnail and I, and it appears he might at last crack the Oscar list, for his turn opposite McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Two of last year’s lead actor nominees may well join him: Daniel Kaluuya, for a borderline psychopath role in Widows, and Timothee Chalamet, playing a drug addict in Beautiful Boy. (Reviews for the latter movie were soft, but enthusiastic for Chalamet.) Lucas Hedges, like Chalamet a Lady Bird vet, is a possibility in a role (written/directed by his father) in Ben is Back. Mahershala Ali could well return for his part of the two-hander that is Green Book. And veteran Sam Elliott seems to have his best shot ever at a nomination, for what’s described as a small but potent role in A Star is Born. With BlacKkKlansman’s Adam Driver already in the hunt – and, though I don’t see it, Michael B. Jordan being touted for Black Panther -- we have a well-filled slate, with someone from Vice a possible add-on.

Supporting actress, as noted above, could turn largely on whether Olivia Colman is positioned in the category. An actress much liked from BBC-TV performances, in a crowd-pleasing role/popular film, would seem to have an excellent shot at taking the prize home. Rachel Weisz, also in The Favourite, could well be a co-nominee. Elizabeth Debicki was singled out from the cast of Widows, and Regina King received much the same treatment vis a vis If Beale Street Could Talk. Claire Foy has the faithful-wife role in First Man; the combination of good reviews and exposure from The Crown could get her into the race. And Sissy Spacek, absent from Oscar lists since 2001, could return in The Old Man and the Gun. And, before the year is out, Amy Adams could crash this group, playing Lynne Cheney in Vice.

The best director category could offer a reunion of mid-teens contenders, with Cuaron, Chazelle, Jenkins, and McQueen all poised to return. If the latter two both make it, and long-overdue Spike Lee joins them, it’d mean three African-American nominees at once, when there’s never even been as many as two. Of course, they’ll have to contend with Yorgos Lanthimos and Bradley Cooper, both in search of their first nominations; Marielle Heller of Can You Ever Forgive Me?, looking to add to the still-short list of female nominees; and Peter Farrelly of Green Book, hoping to mimic the Adam McKay “you thought I was a clown but look at me now” leap to respectability.

The law of averages alone suggested we wouldn’t have a repeat of the drastic tilt between adapted and original screenplays we saw last year. The adapted side is substantially more filled out than it was for 2017 – First Man, If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows, Can You Ever Forgive Me? and A Star is Born all fall on that half of the ledger, with BlacKkKlansman previously in competition. Such a crowded field will make it difficult for something like Leave No Trace or The Death of Stalin to slip in, the way Logan did last year. That said, the original group isn’t entirely weak, with Roma, Green Book and The Favourite leading the pack, added to early candidates Eighth Grade, First Reformed and Sorry to Bother You – with Vice likely to join later. This is a category where something unexpected – maybe a foreign film? – could sneak in. Or our old friends the Coens, for their middling-received The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

I don’t have the energy or inclination to go through down-ballot possibilities, other than to note that The Favourite appears an across-the-board design candidate, First Man is likely to contend in cinematography and the sound/editing realm, and a number of films (First Man and Beale Street among them) have been touted for musical scores. But more on all that when I’ve seen some of these films and can comment with knowledge. For now, this is the lay of the land.


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