By: Henry J. Fromage –
So, La La Land just had its big debut, both figuratively (critics are singing its praises across the world), but also very literally (2016’s best per theater average by a mile). Is that enough to push it to the top slot?
Oscar Power Rankings
1. La La Land (+2)
Yep. Greg Ellwood of The Playlist is already calling it for La La Land, and it’s easy to see why with this week’s numbers, the awards adulation, and that showbiz setting.
In terms of pure number of nominations, this is still the film to beat, and has cleaned up with every critics group and awards body that’s yet to weigh in on the season. Are enough Oscar voters going to get on board with it in the top slot, though?
3. Manchester By the Sea (-2)
While still very much in the race, this seems to have fallen behind the other two a bit. Very nice week with both the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild nominations, though.
4. Hell or High Water (+3)
After the top three, it’s a bit wide open, but this film consistently shows up in the nomination list. Taylor Sheridan should finally get that Oscar nomination he deserved for Sicario, and a couple acting nominations could follow.
5. Silence (-1)
This didn’t factor into either the Globes or SAG nominations too heavily, but that’s what happens when you wait til the end. Certainly didn’t hurt The Wolf of Wall St. too much. Scorcese knows what he’s doing.
6. Sully (-1)
Missed out with both SAG and the Globes, which is a surprise to say the least. I still think it plays better to the Academy as a whole than either of those two groups, but worrying.
7. Fences (-1)
Getting an Ensemble nod from SAG was huge, and could be its ticket to Best Picture even though it’s unlikely to grab anything else besides Denzel and Viola’s locked-in performances.
8. Lion (+1)
A big week for a film on the bubble, grabbing the Golden Globe Drama slot and acting noms for Dev Patel and Nicole Kidman from both bodies that it needed.
9. Hidden Figures (+1)
This also did what it needed, with Octavia Spencer getting Supporting Actress love both places an Ensemble nod from SAG.
10. Jackie (+2)
Natalie Portman continues to assert herself as Best Actress front-runner, but the film as a whole just isn’t getting the other nods it needs.
11. Arrival (+2)
Snubbed in the Golden Globe Drama race in favor of Hacksaw Ridge of all things, this is starting to look like the Amy Adams show.
12. Hacksaw Ridge (unranked)
Speak of the devil- Golden Globe Drama and Best Director nods, plus Andrew Garfield recognized by both bodies? Talk about a dark horse, but one that may run surprisingly far.
13. Loving (+1)
This was completely snubbed by SAG, which is not a good sign for Edgerton and Negga, despite their Golden Globe noms.
14. 20th Century Women (-3)
Same deal for Annette Bening and this film- a Golden Globe Comedy/Musical nod isn’t going to get it done.
15. A Monster Calls (-6)
Well… I might have been wrong about this one. Despite its reported quality, the film’s made almost no impression with awards bodies.
16. Live By Night (-1)
Whither the Oscar Campaign, Ben?
17. Patriot’s Day (-1)
There was one school of thought that the Golden Globes would come out in force behind this flick, but nary a mention. Should make some good Peter Berg January money, though.
18. The Founder (-1)
This is getting its Oscar qualifying run starting now, and I still have hopes for it making an impression before Oscar voting begins, but it better get moving.
19. Gold (-1)
Heard some pretty bad chatter about this film this week, plus it got punted from Christmas to the January dumping ground. Got an Original Song nom from the Globes, though.
20. Florence Foster Jenkins (-1)
Meryl Streep will always be in the race as long as there are races to be in.
21. The Birth of a Nation (-1)
Nada. Everyone’s apparently busy trying to forget this exists.
22. Allied (-1)
Likewise, but not willfully. Will it recoup its budget?
23. Nocturnal Animals (-1)
Honestly, this probably deserves to be higher in the list, as it surprisingly grabbed Tom Ford Best Director and Best Screenplay and Aaron Taylor-Johnson Best Supporting Actor nods at the Golden Globes. I also saw it, though, and have a hard time envisioning it as a real player. It’s pure pulp, although beautifully executed pulp for sure.
24. Paterson (-1)
Still holding out hope Oscar voters realize how stupid it is Jim Jarmusch has nary an Oscar nomination to his name.
25. Miss Sloane (-1)
Well, this didn’t make the splash it wanted to. It’s clearly serious about campaigning, though.
The Jungle Book, Moana, Louder Than Bombs, Love & Friendship, Passengers, The Lobster, Toni Erdmann, Everybody Wants Some!, Indignation, Elle, Rules Don’t Apply, Queen of Katwe, Julieta, Finding Dory, Zootopia, Captain Fantastic
Off the List
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (previously 25)
People already forgot this was a thing. Voters aren’t going to remember.
This seems like a pretty solid bet for plenty of Worst of 2016 lists, which holds its own specific allure for sure.