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Predicting Winners at the 2019 Oscars (Plus What Should Win, And What Shoulda Been There)

I can’t recall a year where A) I cared less about the Oscars as a ceremony, B) I felt so unsure about their results, and C) I found so many of the nominees to be utterly unmoving. While a few of my very favorite films of the year scored big with nominations, most notably The Favourite with a tidy 10 noms, this year’s slate of Oscar films felt decidedly like a step backward. After the whole kerfuffle with instituting a new category that would award the Best Popular Film and then removing it, the Academy seemed to move forward with instead just nominating said “popular” films into their Best Picture category, with 2018’s domestic box office champion Black Panther scoring a Best Picture nomination in addition to a bevy of below-the-line nods as well, and critically-divisive Bohemian Rhapsody, which has been lambasted with claims of “Fake News” since its debut, collecting a heap of nominations to call its own. Read More

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Official 2018 Academy Awards Prediction

Each and every year, us film bloggers fold ourselves into a pretzel trying to prognosticate the winners of these awards downwind a country mile with nothing but the occasional whiff of “Actual Oscar Ballot”. Personally, I’ve kind of fallen out of the habit of tracking these things – but have relished the opportunity to be a voting member of our local Seattle Film Critics Society Awards – as they “sprint” (read: crawl) down the five-plus month track to the end all be all of awards’ ceremonies – The Oscars. Read More

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2017 Silver Screen Riot Awards

With the announcement of the Academy Awards nominees, we’re finally in the race to the finale of this year’s award’s seasons. Seeing that Mr. Oscar tends to get it wrong so much of the time (although this year’s nominees were fairly great across the board), we have an annual tradition of issuing our own awards to recognize the best storytelling and performances throughout the year. Since we’re not tied to any silly number of nominees, we went ahead and listed every one that we thought deserving of a mention, even if the list well exceed more than 5 or 10. You won’t find a Best Picture category here as I think that is properly summarized by our Top Ten Films segment, which I would urge you to visit if you haven’t already. With that out of the way, the SSR Award goes to… Read More

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Official 2016 Oscar Predictions

When discussing 2015 and its ilk of Oscar wannabes, most rallied around a similar sentiment: what an odd and unpredictable year for awards. At one point or another, as many as five of the eight Best Picture nominees (The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Room, Spotlight, The Revenant) could have been considered the front-runner with the vast majority of the race seemingly coming down to a Big Short vs. Spotlight showdown. Huge box office tolls and unprecedented last minute momentum moved The Revenant into the pole position at an opportune time, seemingly hucking Spotlight from the, ahem, spotlight. And right when it needed it most. These tectonic shifts have made pining down the Best Picture winner a particularly challenging game this year with an unlikely chronology of match-ups apparently leaving the battle to be waged between Adam McKay‘s financial meltdown dramedy and Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s survivorman epic.  That being said, one shouldn’t discount Tom McCarthy‘s Spotlight which could just pull a last minute KO. Now if only George Miller‘s supreme Mad Max: Fury Road had the same surprise comeback potential… Read More

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Your Official 2016 Oscar Nominees (And How My Predictions Stacked Up)

I feel like Denzel Washington at the Globes. I have a speech prepared but I forgot my reading glasses. I guess I’ll thank my family for giving me the courage to predict the Academy Award nominees. And, of course, I’d like to thank the Academy. But in all seriousness, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences unveiled their glorious Oscar nominees for 2016 and the results were staggeringly close to our predictions. Seriously, someone should employ me full-time to do this or something. There were some surprises in store, such as Carol being shut out of more than a few major categories, and some nice inclusions, like Tom Hardy getting tapped for his aces performance in The Revenant and Lenny Abrahamson for his truly superb direction in Room. I left the Spotlight team out of the spotlight and paid dearly for it as both Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams eeked their way into nods. Over on the script side, frequent favorites Quentin Tarantino and Aaron Sorkin found themselves shut out for The Hateful Eight and Steve Jobs respectively. In the end though, with The Revenant and Mad Max: Fury Road leading the nominees in terms of sheer volume, my two favorite films of 2015, I have to applaud the academy. You’ve done us right boys. Now take us home. Read More

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‘MAD MAX: FURY ROAD’ Sweeps the 2015 Seattle Film Awards

This morning, the Seattle Film Critics’ Survery unleashed their winners and it was Mad Max: Fury Road who took the proverbial cake and ate it too. Curated by Should I See It‘s Mike Ward, the full press release is included below:

George Miller’s post-apocalyptic epic Mad Max: Fury Road steamrolled the competition, and was named the Best Picture of 2015 by Seattle’s film community. The film nearly swept the competition, earning 10 out of a potential 11 award wins in the third annual Seattle Film Awards survey. Read More

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Silver Screen Riot’s Official 2016 Oscar Nomination Predictions

Every year, us adamant movie bloggers have a tradition of predicting not only the winners of the Academy Awards but the actual nominees. Does it sound like sheer insanity? Of course it does! It’s tilting at windmills. Nothing more. Nonetheless, we labor to push the proverbial rock up the hill eternal, shooting blindly into the dark. This year there’s so many variables that predicting the nominations has been more difficult than ever. The only sure things at this point seem to be Spotlight and The Big Short for Best Picture, Leonardo DiCaprio for Best Actor, Brie Larson for Best Actress, Sylvester Stallone for Best Supporting Actor and a handful of technical nods for the likes of Mad Max and The Martian. Read More

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2015 Silver Screen Riot Awards

2015 has come and gone as has most of our recap coverage for the year. The one remaining elephant in the room is the 2015 Silver Screen Riot Awards where we pick and choose from the elite and populist alike to make our selection for best director, performer, cinematographer, screenplay, documentary, foreign film, action movie, horror movie and comedy. You’ll see a winner and a runner-up as well as a list of honorable mentions that are sorta ranked but without too much scrutiny paid to that ranking. Our awards (thankfully) don’t come with all too much description (read: none) but you’ll find some nice pictures in place of the words that probably would have gone unread. Because it’s been a long week and we know you’ll probably just scan for the winners anyways. So, concluding 2015 once and for all, here it is: the 2015 Silver Screen Riot Awards. Read More

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Oscar Wrap Up: Winners 'n' Thoughts

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Well, as I predicted, this year was a big bust for me. My prognosticating digits went down the toilet with a paltry 16-8 (my worst year in half a decade, especially in light of my 22-2 numbers of last year) but at least I knew going into the ceremony that I was taking some gambles. Boyhood barely got a sniff at Oscar gold and Whiplash managed to steal fire in a few slots (taking home the third most awards with three total wins) but the big winners of the night were Birdman (4) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (4).

As for the actual entertainment value of the show, this critic would give it a resounding “meh.” It had its moments – Graham Moore‘s stirring speech, “Glory”, Jack Black‘s musical interruption, hammered Terrence Howard, the realization that Common’s real name is Lonnie Lynn – but its pitfalls were ever more memorable – including an impressive but overlong and unnecessary Sound of Music tribute, Neil Patrick Harris‘ wet blanket of a magic trick, John Travolta latching onto Idena Menzel‘s face like an Alien facehugger. Can we just not invite him back?

And though NPH was an all-around bust of a host, this year’s ceremony did manage to award some of the best films in a long while. Consider this year’s trio of Birdman, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Whiplash and compare to last year’s Gravity, 12 Years a Slave and Dallas Buyers Club. I know which threesome I would pick up at the video store.

As for our Oscar contest, this year’s winners were r0ckwithme and FilmActually‘s Shane Slater. Congrats! You win prizes!

You’ve likely already seen the winners list but below are the trophy-takers in bold and my incorrect predictions in red. Here’s hoping that next year I have much better numbers on the board.

BEST PICTURE
Boyhood
The Imitation Game
Birdman
The Theory of Everything
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Whiplash
Selma
American Sniper

BEST DIRECTOR
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Birdman
Wes Anderson, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Morten Tyldum, The Imitation Game
Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Julianne Moore, Still Alice
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything
Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Michael Keaton, Birdman
Eddie Redmayne,
The Theory of Everything
Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Patricia Arquette, Boyhood

Emma Stone, Birdman
Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Laura Dern, Wild

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Edward Norton, Birdman
Ethan Hawke, Boyhood
Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher
Robert Duvall, The Judge

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, A
rmando Bo, Birdman
Richard Linklater, Boyhood
Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler
Dan Futterman and E. Max Frye, Foxcatcher

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Graham Moore, The Imitation Game

Anthony McCarten, The Theory of Everything
Damien Chazelle, Whiplash
Jason Hall, American Sniper
Paul Thomas Anderson, Inherent Vice

FILM EDITING
American Sniper
Boyhood
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
Whiplash

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
Ida (Poland)
Leviathan
(Russia)
Tangerines
(Estonia)
Timbuktu
(Mauritania)
Wild Tales
(Argentina)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Big Hero 6
How to Train Your Dragon 2
The Boxtrolls
Song of the Sea
The Tale of Princess Kaguya

ANIMATED SHORT FILM
Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees, The Bigger Picture (National Film and Television School)
Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi, The Dam Keeper (Tonko House)
Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed, Feast (Walt Disney Animation Studios)
Torill Kove, Me and My Moulton (Mikrofilm in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada)
Joris Oprins, A Single Life (Job, Joris & Marieke)

LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis, Aya (Chasis Films)
Michael Lennox, director, and Ronan Blaney, Boogaloo and Graham (Out of Orbit)
Hu Wei and Julien Féret, Butter Lamp (La Lampe au Beurre de Yak)(AMA Productions)
Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger, Parvaneh (Zurich University of Arts)
Mat Kirkby, director and James Lucas, The Phone Call (RSA Films)

DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
Citizenfour
Last Days in Vietnam
Virunga
Finding Vivian Maier
The Salt of the Earth

DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Perry Films, Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1

Wajda Studio, Joanna
Warsaw Film School, Our Curse
Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica, The Reaper (La Parka)
Weary Traveler, White Earth

CINEMATOGRAPHY
Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman

Dick Pope, Mr. Turner
Robert D. Yeoman, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Ryszard Lenczewski and Łukasz Żal, Ida
Roger Deakins, Unbroken

ORIGINAL SCORE
Johann Johannsson, The Theory of Everything
Alexandre Desplat, The Imitation Game
Alexandre Desplat, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Hans Zimmer, Interstellar
Gary Yershon, Mr. Turner

ORIGINAL SONG
Gregg Alexander, Danielle Brisebois, Nick Lashley, and Nick Southwood, “Lost Stars” (Begin Again)
John Legend and Common, “Glory” (Selma)
Shawn Patterson, Joshua Bartholomew, Lisa Harriton, and The Lonely Island, “Everything Is Awesome” (The Lego Movie)
Diane Warren, “Grateful” (Beyond the Lights)
Glen Campbell, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” (Glen Campbell … I’ll Be Me)

COSTUME DESIGN
Colleen Atwood, Into the Woods
Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive, Maleficent
Milena Canonero, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Jacqueline Durran, Mr. Turner
Mark Bridges, Inherent Vice

PRODUCTION DESIGN
Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock, The Grand Budapest Hotel

Suzie Davies and Charlotte Watts, Mr. Turner
Dennis Gassner and Anna Pinnock, Into the Woods
Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis, and Paul Healy, Interstellar
Maria Djurkovic and Tatiana Macdonald, The Imitation Game

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard, Foxcatcher
Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier, The Grand Budapest Hotel
Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White, Guardians of the Galaxy

VISUAL EFFECTS
Interstellar
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
X Men: Days of Future Past
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

SOUND EDITING
Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman, American Sniper

Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock, Birdman
Brent Burge and Jason Canovas, The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
Richard King, Interstellar
Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro, Unbroken

SOUND MIXING
American Sniper
Birdman
Unbroken
Interstellar
Whiplash

 

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2015 Oscar Predictions (Or the Unexpected Virtue of Winning Your Oscar Pool)

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It’s that magical time of year when film come to a head, colliding in a battleground of prestige, vying for golden statuettes that boast careers and fatten paychecks. This year’s Academy Awards nomination met with controversy out of the gate – most notably for the exclusion of noted female and African-American directors, actors and screenwriters – but that hasn’t stalled the herds of celebrities literally waiting in the wings to reward each other and today is the biggest and easily the most important of the awards season. So don your fanciest dress, pop your priciest wine and set out the stinkiest cheeses because today months and months of speculation and prognostication end to the tune of shiny statues. Read More