The weather outside is frightful, unless you live in California where the weather outside is another perfect day (of sun), and next week is going to be one of those very crowded and exciting weeks for awards announcements. We’ll go through them one by one.
Sunday, December 3 — the Los Angeles Film Critics Association – we expect this to be a Lady Bird/Get Out day with those films taking the lion’s share of the vote, with Call Me By Your Name and The Florida Project getting some love. There is always the chance that the LAFCA will change the game slightly and award, say, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, or I, Tonya. But the wave is in motion and that wave seems to favor Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele, at least at the moment.
Monday, December 4 — the Annies announce their nominations. We expect to see many awards for Pixar’s Coco, posisbly also the Breadwinner, Ferdinand, The Boss Baby, etc.
Wednesday, December 6 — the Critics Choice nominations are announced. They are coming in much earlier than they used to in hopes of now being influencers rather than predictors of the Oscars. We will be doing an official preview and predictions later but basically these will be the easiest of all to predict because we know who the critics choice folks are. They are “us” — not specifically, but those who dwell in our world: pundits, bloggers, and a few actual critics. I can see this group broadening the conversation to include Dunkirk, Nolan, Del Toro, etc. The Critics Choice should be the first big showing for movies that aren’t the tiny circle of influence the critics have. These guys aren’t really critics — they hover more closely to industry than they do critics, and are proudly more populist. They should be fun to predict and they could throw a wild card or two into the mix.
Thursday, December 7 — the AFI reveals their top ten films of 2017. Again, we’ll be doing a more formal preview and predictions for this group, but generally speaking the ten films they pick have about a 75% match with Oscar. They are selected by a handful of people, with attention paid to choosing a diversified but small group of folks, around 20 or so. They do pick what they think of as the best, but a lot of times, like the Golden Globes and now the Critics Choice, they represent the early part of the race, not how it ultimately turns out. Although this feels like an unusual year, so who knows. You can probably guess as well as I can by now which movies will get in, but we feel certain the list will include: Lady Bird, Get Out, Dunkirk, The Florida Project, Call Me By Your Name, The Post, The Shape of Water, Three Billboards (I would guess) – that’s eight, and then there will be a few more – maybe Coco gets in. We’ll dig a little deeper in a few days.
Monday, December 11 – the Golden Globe nominations. These are by far the most “important” of the award announcements. They aren’t the final answer because that comes a month later in January when the PGA and DGA and BAFTA all announce. But the Globes will be a make or break moment for the frontrunners right now. It’s going to be strange that Lady Bird and Get Out will both be in the comedy category, so we’ll be watching to see which of those end up in the writing and directing categories. Also watch which films in drama show up in those categories because no film has ever won Best Picture that also won the Globes that didn’t at least have a best director nomination. Driving Miss Daisy was the only film I could find that won both but had no Best Director nomination with either group. All stats lead to Driving Miss Daisy. We’ll do a contest, predictions, and preview next week,
Wednesday, December 13 – The SAG-AFTRA folks ring in. This could complicate things somewhat as they only have five slots for ensemble. With one or two exceptions in each category, the SAG nominations are usually a pretty good template for what to expect at the Oscars in terms of acting nominations. There is always a surprise or two, however, but following SAG is usually a pretty good way to go for many of the contender slots.
That’s it for now. Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to get ugly.