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« Michael Cimino & the Best Director Oscar Since| Main| Judy by the Numbers: "Johnny One Note"»
Wednesday
Jul 06 2016

Comment Party: Halfway Mark - Best Pictures?

You have a pretty good idea of the films I've loved this year thanks to reviews,frequency of posting,and other "honors"- consider it a warm up before the year end party...so that we don't forget the early films.So let's dispense with all the froufrou and just get right to the questions:

If Oscar voting happened now,would LOVE & FRIENDSHIP lead?

1.If you had a 5-wide Best Picture Ballot right now (January to June releases only) who would you vote for?
2.What would Oscar nominate if
the Academy voted right now?

Here's my guesswork about the Academy.If they voted right now (only January through June releases eligible) my guess is that we'd see the following films up for Best Picture...

  • Finding Doryas a nod to Pixar,smash hits,and because they wouldn't be sure what else to pick
  • Hail Caesarbecause it's the Coen Brothers (automatic high profile / class) and they wouldn't be sure what else to pick
  • Love & Friendshipbecause it's tremendously witty and popular and also vaguely prestigious (though unfussy about it) in that it's a costume movie based on a famous author's work
  • The Witchbecause its fans are devout and A24 is having a great year

Those are four guesses but beyond that who knows?I'm not suggesting any of these would factor in at year's end but it would be so very satisfying if Oscar voters looked at the full film year instead of just its last quarter.What else do you suppose they'd go for?Sing Streetdespite its youth?Captain America Civil Wardespite its superhero-ness?The Lobsterdespite its peculiarity?Midnight Special despite its 'that's all?' ness?If we gave them one more weekend they'd surely takeThe BFGif only for Spielberg.

As silly as this exercize in speculation may be,it's telling how difficult it is to guess.In the vacuum of giant campaigns and the whole circus around getting certain films and people nominations,what would rise within a more limited pool of contenders?

BUT ENOUGH WITH OSCAR...

My personal ballot

Same list again for Best Director.If you want to be a stickler with Oscar eligibility I'd put Whit Stillman'sLove & Friendshipin theEmbrace of the Serpentsized hole.(ELIGIBILITY TRIVIA: Due to confusing Oscar rulesSerpentis ineligible this year,despite qualifying theatrical release because it was foreign-film nominated last year.Had it missed the nomination,it would have been eligible in all other categories this year due to its actual US release.That's the weirdness that also happened withCity of Godback in the day because it DID miss the nominee list in 2002 and became eligible the next year due to its follow up theatrical release in February 2003 which had been planned to coincide with the nomination it did not receive.Got it?)

Here are a few more categories (my ballot,not Oscar speculation) just for fun...

Best Original Screenplay


  • Hail,Caesar!
  • The Lobster
  • Swiss Army Man
  • The Witch
  • Zootopia

Best Adapted Screenplay

  • A Bigger Splash(based onLa Piscine)
  • Captain America: Civil War(based on various Marvel Comics)
  • The Family Fang(based on "The Family Fang")
  • High-Rise(based on "High-Rise")
  • Love & Friendship(based on "Lady Susan")

Best Editing


  • 10 Cloverfield Lane,Stefan Grube
  • A Bigger Splash,Walter Fasano
  • Captain America: Civil War,Jeffrey Ford & Matthew Schmidt
  • The Lobster,Yorgos Mavropsaridis
  • The Witch,Louise Ford

Best Visual Effects

  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Shallows
  • The Witch

Best Makeup and Hair

  • A Bigger Splash
  • Deadpool
  • Hail,Caesar!
  • Love & Friendship
  • Sing Street

Best Sound Mixing


  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • Hail Caesar
  • The Jungle Book
  • Sing Street

Best Sound Editing

  • 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • Captain America: Civil War
  • The Jungle Book
  • The Witch
  • Zootopia

Best Original Score


  • Hail,Caesar!,Carter Burwell
  • High-Rise,Clint Mansell
  • The Jungle Book,John Debney
  • The Shallows,Marco Beltrami
  • The Witch,Mark Korven

Best Adapted or Song Score

  • The Lobster-  Beethoven,Stravinksy,Shostakovich,and More...
  • Swiss Army Man- originals by Andy Hull and Robert McDowell.Plus: John Williams,and Traditionals

hmmm,what else?

P.S.Yes,we'll be updating the Oscar charts this weekend!

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Reader Comments (29)

You think Finding Dory would get a spot in the Oscar top 5 over the $1 billion dollar Zootopia which is the Animated Feature frontrunner,a smash hit by Disney and one of the best reviewed movies of the year?It think Zootopia would get that in a landslide.

Also,I do feel like there is enough Lobster love that it may even eek out a surprise screenplay nomination a la another Colin Farrell indie sleeper,"In Bruges"in 2008.This would probably put it in Oscar's fifth slot if they were announced today.

My top 5 would be:
1) Zootopia
2) Everybody Wants Some!!
3) Hello My Name is Doris
4) The Witch
5) Hail,Caesar!

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterChris James

Krisha is my favorite film from the first half of the year.

July 6,2016 | Registered CommenterMurtada Elfadl

According to RottenTomatoes,Zootopia is the best reviewed movie of the first half of the year.I don't see how it misses out on a Best Picture nomination.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterConMan

My picks:

Right Now,Wrong Then
The Measure of a Man
The Lobster
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
The Jungle Book

That's not my top 5 for the year so far,but I just like the balance of genres and styles represented.

Guesses for the Academy:

The Jungle Book,Zootopia,Love & Friendship,Sing Street and...?Because it's the Academy,they'd probably go with Money Monster or Free State of Jones,rather than Everyone Wants Some!!,Hail Caesar,or The Lobster.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Haven't seen too many movies yet this year,and of those I have the only one I was really enthusiastic about was SING STREET.I guess if I had to make a ballot now,it would like like so:

1.SING STREET
...
...
...
2.THE LOBSTER
...
3.EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!
4.LOVE & FRIENDSHIP
5.A BIGGER SPLASH

Note: Haven't seen THE WITCH,ZOOTOPIA,MIDNIGHT SPECIAL or THE FITS though hoping to catch the latter soon!

Also,if EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT were eligible,it would definitely be on my ballot.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered Commenterlylee

My top 5 so far would be:
1.Love & Friendship
2.Embrace of the Serpent
3.The Witch
4.The Lobster
5.Toss-up between Hail Caesar and A Bigger Splash.

I really hope Right Now,Wrong Then opens near me.It sounds amazing!

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Mike - If it doesn't reach a theater near you,it is currently streaming on Fandor,if you're able to access that.It's a wonderful movie - my favorite of the year so far.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

My ballot:

1.Hail,Caesar!
2.Weiner
3.Everybody Wants Some!!
4.A Bigger Splash
5.OJ: Made in America

A punctuation-heavy five.I feel like this has been one of the stronger January - June periods in memory,but there haven't been too many Academy-friendly releases.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

My top 5 so far this year:

1.Zootopia
2.Sing Street
3.The Lobster
4.Don't Think Twice
5.Everybody Wants Some!!

Still haven't seen The Witch or Love & Friendship.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJonny

In no particular order,the films I enjoyed the most so far:

Sing Street
The Lobster
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
A Bigger Splash
The Mermaid

Wanted to like Hail Caesar,but I couldn't.Maybe worth a rewatch?

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPam

My current top 5:

1.Zootopia
2.The Lobster
3.A Bigger Splash
4.Eye In The Sky
5.The Jungle Book

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterMatt

Just wait until you see The Love Witch,Nathaniel

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSimone

I'll stump for Too Late here.A wonderful little film featuring a phenomenal lead turn from John Hawkes and some great cinematography.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterTheCinescape

top 5

The Lobster
The Witch
Neon Bull
High-Rise
Green Room

+

Embrace of the Serpent

July 6,2016 | Unregistered Commenterremy

Top Five:

- The Lobster
- Everybody Wants Some!!
- Hail,Caesar!
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
- The Nice Guys

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterT-Bone

Nat: The only film I think we would be able to KNOW the Academy would go for in Picture,if they voted as of June 30,is Zootopia.The VVitch (yes,I insist on spelling it as "vvitch") and Love and Friendship are probable.Beyond those three,I'd actually guess The Nice Guys is pretty much secure (retro cool nostalgia with a Shane Black twist AND the Academy gloating over how "we loved a flop"(see also: It's A Wonderful Life)) and either Hail Caesar!or Everybody Wants Some!!for the fifth slot.
Roark: Except no one really LIKED Free State of Jones or Money Monster all that much.Even with only six months of films to choose from,those wound up below the cut-off for Best Picture plausibility.Jungle Book was far from Legend of Tarzan reviews and the critics who saw it liked it,but I don't think "#1 vote"level passion was particularly common.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

Other than "Sing Street"and maybe "Love and Friendship,"I expect these other films to sink lower in my list as the year goes on.
1.Sing Street
2.Love and Friendship
3.The Lobster
4.The Witch
5.Captain America: Civil War

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Hmmm.not buying everyone's positivity that Zootopia would make it.The Academy appears to have moved past their brief interest in nominating Animated Films for best picture...i only said "finding dory"because of their tiny memory and it would have been ubiquitous during voting if the year ended now.

July 6,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

My top 5:
1.Kaili Blues
2.The Lobster
3.Right Now,Wrong Then
4.Embrace of the Serpent
5.The Witch

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterZach

My Top 5:
THE FITS
KRISHA
A BIGGER SPLASH
THE WITCH
THE LOBSTER

I definitely agree ZOOTOPIA would be in - money,zeitgeist,widely loved.I wonder if THE LOBSTER would actually be A24's more likely film with it's equally vocal fans,esp since horror like THE WITCH would probably struggle to be nominated even with minimal competition.

July 6,2016 | Registered CommenterChris Feil

I'm wondering if LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP can get an Adapted Screenplay Oscar nomination at the end of the year.I'm currently predicting it alongside BILLY LYNN,FENCES,LION and SILENCE.

Maybe HAIL,CAESAR!will get a nod for Costumes or Production Design too?And THE JUNGLE BOOK for VFX?It would be sad if all of these films were forgotten by year's end...

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteve G

"The Jungle Book"

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Right now,I would vote for:
Sing Street <3 <3 <3
The Lobster
10 Cloverfield Lane
Hail Caesar
A Bigger Splash
:

July 6,2016 | Unregistered Commenterchasm301

Steve G -- i think Jungle Book has a good chance of surviving for tech nods.But i don't think anybody thinks it deserves a Best Picture nomination.

Chris -- probably a good point on The Witch vs The Lobster.I love them both but i guess it's a lot to ask to want Oscar to love them,too.

July 6,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I agree that Finding Dory would be in over Zootopia AND that they would be unlikely to nominate 2 animated films in a 5 field contest.Also by the time Finding Dory bows out of theaters,will Zootopia really still be ahead in $$?Not sold on that.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

I don't think we should be too optimistic that either will be up for BP.Inside/Out couldn't do it and it was more acclaimed than these.And IOwas up for Best Screenplay.

July 6,2016 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

My favourites up until now,although I doubt academy would nominate any of these except maybe the first one:

1.Zootopia
2.Love & friendship
3.Eddie the eagle
4.Eye in the sky
5.En man som heter Ove (A man named Ove)
----
Alternatives
6.The Witch
7.Umimachi diary (Our little sister)
8.Under sandet (Under the sand)
9.Mountains may depart

July 7,2016 | Unregistered CommenterKrister

The Fits,The Lobster,Midnight Special,and ....ummmmm ...Love & Friendship and Hail Caesar,I guess.Maybe A Bigger Splash?L&F and HC are not particularly great movies,but I enjoyed them.

July 7,2016 | Unregistered CommenterCharlieG

Hello,my name is Doris
Zootopia
Finding Dory
The Witch
The Family Fang

July 8,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJack

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