Wednesday, January 17, 2018

USC Scripter Nominees, a new look at "Dunkirk," more noncommittal Oscar nominee predictions


I woke up this morning to 5 degree weather. 5 minutes into the morning, as my kettle was just getting warm for my coffee, the power goes out. Lukewarm coffee and no computer = no blog.

Luckily, after catastrophizing the entire day, voila, power.

Yesterday, I had an amazing time being interviewed by Gary Darby for North Mississippi Spotlight on Super Talk. I hope that some of you were able to catch it. I gave my thoughts on the Golden Globes, #metoo, James Franco's chances for a nomination and Timothee Chalamet. He also asked me, if there was one movie that I thought had the best chance of winning, what would it be. Y'all know that is a hard question to answer, but the time is coming that we will all have to answer it. I told him that I very possibly would've said something different yesterday and might change my mind tomorrow, but right now, I'm going with "The Shape of Water." I would say that the SAG Awards should clear things up on Sunday, but the reality is, they probably won't. Last year's winner, "Hidden Figures" only confused things even more. Why didn't they go with "Moonlight" since "La La Land" wasn't even nominated. Who knows? I guess that thought it had the best ensemble of the year.

Yesterday the Scripter nominations came out. The University of Southern California Libraries Scripter Awards honor adapted screenplays and the authors of the original work they are adapted from. This year there are some fantastic choices considering everyone is talking so much about the Original Screenplay. Particularly, "Call Me By Your Name," "The Disaster Artist" and "Wonder Woman." That being said, I wish "The Room" itself was considered as part of the original work nomination.

I am going for "Call Me By Your Name." Having read the book and seen the movie, I will tell you that what James Ivory does with the screenplay is unbelievable. Elio narrates the entire book, letting you in on his obsessions, conflict, desires, etc...and Ivory chooses to take that narration and create original scenes instead of having Chalamet narrate his feelings. It is a truly incredible adaptation.

See the entire list below.

Last night I also rewatched "Dunkirk." SO glad that I did that.

Right now, having not seen "The Phantom Thread" both "Dunkirk" and "The Shape of Water" were dangerously close to not making my Top 10. I remember being insanely impressed with "Dunkirk," but as other films throughout the year became embedded into my soul, "Dunkirk" had less room.  I absolutely loved the characters in this film, all incredibly acted, true and honest portrayals. That being said, "Dunkirk" is about Dunkirk and it's evacuation--to put it too simplistically. Therein lies the reason that the Academy will not give it Best Picture. But it will certainly make my Top 10. And near the top. On a side note, I purchased the film from iTunes and watched it on our new 4K television, and I think I'm finally on board with purchasing films digitally from now on. I know...hard to believe, but it's true.

I also mentioned last night on Twitter, that I believed the cinematography to be absolutely stunning. I loved the visuals of "Blade Runner 2049" and want Roger Deakins to have an Oscar, just as I would love Rachel Morrison to win for "Mudbound" but in terms of camera work, lighting and yes, visuals, I believe the work Hoyte Van Hoytema does in "Dunkirk" is the best of the year.

Since we are discussing "Dunkirk," let's try to predict a few more category nominations.

Editing
If Twitter and the internet are to be believed, most people think "Dunkirk" is going to take this and that "Baby Driver" deserves it. Long gone are the days when the Editing Oscar predicts Best Picture. That being said, I would not count out "The Shape of Water" or "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri." So what takes the 5th slot? I think it's either "Get Out" or "Blade Runner 2049." Such a tough choice, but right now, I'm feeling a late surge for "Blade Runner 2049." Maybe that surge is in my head, who knows.

In order of likelihood:

"Dunkirk," Lee Smith
“Baby Driver,” Paul Machliss
“Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri,” Jon Gregory
“The Shape of Water, ”Sidney Wolinsky
“Blade Runner 2049,” Joe Walker

spoiler
“Get Out,” Gregory Plotkin 

Sound Editing
I'm literally going to contradict my earlier statement here. A tough category to predict, for certain. I think that "Logan" might have a stronger showing than we expect. And if "Wonder Woman" is going to be nominated for Best Picture, it's going to have to show up elsewhere right? 

"Dunkirk"
"Baby Driver"
"War For the Planet of the Apes"
"Star Wars: the Last Jedi"
"Wonder Woman"

spoilers:
"Logan"
"Blade Runner 2049"

Sound Mixing
I'm honestly guessing here, but I'm going to say that "Jedi" is out in this category and "The Greatest Showman" is in. Why? Apparently the Academy likes to nominate films with music in this category. Although that has been disproven in years past.

"Baby Driver"
"Dunkirk"
"War For the Planet of the Apes"
"Wonder Woman"
"The Greatest Showman"

spoilers:
"Blade Runner 2049"
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi"

USC Scripter Nominees

FILM ADAPTATION

Call Me By Your Name
(Sony Pictures Classics and Picador)
Screenwriter James Ivory and author AndreƬ Aciman

The Disaster Artist
(A24 and Simon & Schuster)
Screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber and authors Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell for their nonfiction book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside ‘The Room,’ the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made”

Logan
(20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics)
Screenwriters Scott Frank, Michael Green and James Mangold, and authors Roy Thomas, Len Wein and John Romita Sr.

The Lost City of Z
(Amazon Studios and Simon & Schuster)
Screenwriter James Gray and author David Grann

Molly’s Game
(STX Entertainment and Dey Street Books)
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and author Molly Bloom

Mudbound
(Netflix and Algonquin Books)
Screenwriters Virgil Williams and Dee Rees and author Hillary Jordan

Wonder Woman
(Warner Bros. and DC Comics)
Screenwriter Allan Heinberg and author William Moulton Marston

TV ADAPTATIONS

Alias Grace
(Netflix and Anchor)
Screenwriter Sarah Polley and author Margaret Atwood

Big Little Lies
(HBO and Berkley)
David E. Kelley, for the episode “You Get What You Need,” and author Liane Moriarty

Genius
(National Geographic and Simon & Schuster)
Noah Pink and Ken Biller for the episode “Einstein: Chapter One,” and author Walter Isaacson for his book Einstein: His Life and Word

The Handmaid’s Tale
(Hulu and Anchor)
Bruce Miller for the episode “Offred,” and author Margaret Atwood

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
(HBO and Broadway Books)
Peter Landesman, George C. Wolfe, and Alexander Woo, and author Rebecca Skloot

Mindhunter
(Netflix and Gallery Books)
Joe Penhall and Jennifer Haley for “Episode 10,” and authors John Douglas and Mark Olshaker for their nonfiction book Mindhunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit

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