If you want the gravy…

…You've got to get the biscuits!


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Predicting the 89th Academy Awards Nominees

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I fancy they’ll be recognized – but what about their film?

Tomorrow morning, the nominees for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced. You’ll see many a blog post trying to predict the contenders; you’ll hear many a pundit try and make the case for Film A over Film B; commenters on an infinitude of social media posts will tell you why one nomination can’t happen but another must.

Let me be an oasis of practicality amidst all the sound and fury. Let me, who has devoted more time than any reasonable man should to meditating on films and film awards, offer you my insight into what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will likely anoint and elevate into the canon.

If you wish to read my thoughts on other aspects of the awards race, I have compiled a list of key articles at the bottom of this post. We have a lot of ground to cover, and let us commence without delay.

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The Most Overrated Films of 2016

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Poor things. They don’t know what’s in store for them.

I’m the kind of guy who tends to go against the grain, so it gives me a kind of perverse delight to make the case for a film being worth rather less than it has generally been taken for.

All the same, I still love cinema (if I didn’t, why would I spend so much time writing about it?), and with many of these films, I felt a certain regret that I couldn’t share in the love so many had for them.

So my intent here is to make my case fairly, rather than smashing idols just to hear them break. A thousand assholes are doing that at any given second. Here are my picks for the most overrated films of the year.

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The Most Underrated Films of 2016

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I’ve used the other poster a bunch of times, time to give this one a chance.

Even more than taking down overrated films, I relish the ability to promote underrated ones. So many fine films languish unseen, and for so many reasons. And I consider it my responsibility as a cinephile to bring as many of these films to the light as I can.

In truth, 2016 was not as rich a year for underrated films as the past few, but there are still certainly enough to put together a respectable list, which I present to you without further ado.

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Directors Guild Award Nominations 2016

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Not too shabby for a first-timer. (Source)

All right. This is the last big guild we get. (Might be the last guild to announce period, I’m not sure.) In 12 days, the Academy announces their nominees, and after that it’s just a matter of waiting.

So let’s see what the directors have for us…

  • Damien Chazelle, La La Land
  • Garth Davis, Lion
  • Barry Jenkins, Moonlight
  • Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester By the Sea
  • Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

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ASC Award Nominees 2016

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An example of Bradford Young’s excellent cinematography for Arrival (Source).

The American Society of Cinematographers announced their award nominees today. They usually don’t match up perfectly with the Oscars, but you can count on them for at least 4 out of the 5 nominees.

Their nominees are:

  • Arrival
  • La La Land
  • Lion
  • Moonlight
  • Silence

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My Most Anticipated Films of 2017 v. 1.0

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A Janus Films release; a future Criterion Collection entry, perhaps? (Source)

As we work our way through the 2016 awards season and try to wrap up the last of that contentious year, it’s only right that we also look to the future. I can’t say if 2017 will go down as good year in film or not; less than two weeks into it I don’t even have the firmest grasp on what will come out.

But we have to start somewhere, and after some research I’ve compiled a list of 80 films which I’m anticipating – or, in some cases, dreading.

Please note that not all of my analyses are as thoughtful or in-depth as might be optimal. This is just a first casting of the net to see what awaits us. I’ll put out another rendition of this list later in the year, probably either after Cannes or right around when I do my Six-Month Awards.

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