FF+ 2020 Oscar-Nominated Short Films & Oscar Predictions

For Oscars week, we bring you our annual review of this year’s excellent slate of nominated short film selections, as well as our Oscar predictions. Unlike many pundits, we would never tell you to follow our lead, but maybe us talking through our picks will help you find some clarity.

Live-Action Shorts – 0:01:59

Animated Shorts – 0:28:42

Documentary Shorts – 0:47:04

Oscar Predictions – 1:09:15


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2020 Oscar Locks

If you’ve spent any amount of time in Feelin’ Film circles, whether it be the Facebook group or our active Twitter community, you’ve likely heard the following phrase: Jeremy is always right. Listen, I don’t know who came up with it and it’s really flattering, but for a guy like myself who just oozes humility, it’s a bit embarrassing. It also happens to be completely true. It’s a pretty heavy cross to carry that would crush most men, but it’s one that I am glad to bear. As everyone’s favorite Uncle Ben said, with great power comes great responsibility. With this in mind, given that it’s Oscar season and knowing that some people like to make Oscar season a little more interesting, I thought I would give back to you, the normies, and provide you with the stone-cold locks to win the major Academy Awards in 2020. So without further ado, for the second year in a row, here are Jeremy’s Oscar locks! You’re welcome.

Best Supporting Actor

Anthony Hopkins, The Two Popes; Brad Pitt, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood; Joe Pesci, The Irishman; Al Pacino, The Irishman; Tom Hanks, A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Should’ve been nominated: Christian Bale, Ford vs. Ferrari

I want to win: Full disclosure, I haven’t seen The Two Popes or A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood so I cannot speak to the work done by Hopkins or Hanks, but I absolutely adored all of the work that the other nominees did this year. The Irishman was stellar across the board thanks in part to Al Pacino’s stunning performance as Jimmy Hoffa and Joe Pesci’s wonderfully understated Russell Buffalino. But Brad Pitt gave my favorite performance in what was (spoilers for later) my favorite movie of the year and so he is my personal pick to go home with the statue.

Will win: Ultimately it looks like this is a two-horse race between Pesci and Pitt that will be won by the man who should be People’s Sexiest Man Alive until he dies, Brad Pitt, as Pesci loses a few votes to Al Pacino from those wanting to reward The Irishman.

Supporting Actress

Laura Dern, Marriage Story; Margot Robbie, Bombshell; Scarlett Johansson, Jojo Rabbit; Florence Pugh, Little Women; Kathy Bates, Richard Jewell

Should’ve been nominated: Jennifer Lopez, Hustlers; Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell

I want to win: In my opinion, and I know this is controversial, Margot Robbie gave the best performance of those nominated this year. Her portrayal of the fictional amalgamation of real victims, Kayla Popsil, was absolutely dynamite and made me want to go punch everyone who has ever responded to a woman who has alleged sexual abuse with anything other than love and compassion straight in the throat.

Will win: Laura Dern. The odds are completely in her favor. And she was great in Marriage Story. Of course, she was. She’s Laura Effing Dern. But she was better in Little Women.

Best Actor

Jonathan Pryce, The Two Popes; Adam Driver, Marriage Story; Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory; Joaquin Phoenix, Joker; Leonardo DiCaprio, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood

Should’ve been nominated: Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems; Eddie Murphy, Dolemite Is My Name

I want to win: If you would’ve told my 17-year-old self in December of 1997 as I watched the girl I was in love with look up at the screen and drool all over Jack Dawson that I’d ever be on Team DiCaprio, I’d have told you to pound sand. But here we are. 

Will win: Look, Joaquin Phoenix is going to go home with the statuette. Whether you liked Todd Phillips’ Joker or not, there’s no denying that Phoenix gave an absolute powerhouse performance as the Clown Prince of Crime. Plus he lost weight, and you know the Academy can’t resist an actor who went on a diet for a role.

Best Actress

Charlize Theron, Bombshell; Renee Zellweger, Judy; Cynthia Erivo, Harriet; Scarlett Johansson, Marriage Story; Saoirse Ronan, Little Women

Should’ve been nominated: Lupita Nyong’o, Us; Awkwafina, The Farewell

I want to win: I’m going to be honest, until I read this list, I thought Megyn Kelly played herself in Bombshell, so I’m going to go with Charlize Theron. I do reserve the right to change this to Cynthia Erivo after I watch Harriet with my daughter tonight. 

Will win: All signs are pointing to Renee Zellweger at this point. By all accounts, it’s the one really bright spot in what was otherwise a bland, formulaic biopic.

Best Director

Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood; Todd Phillips, Joker; Bong Joon-ho, Parasite; Martin Scorcese, The Irishman; Sam Mendes, 1917

Should’ve been nominated: Greta Gerwig, Little Women; James Mangold, Ford vs. Ferrari

I want to win: Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is my favorite movie that I saw in 2020. Parasite is the best movie that I saw in 2020. A movie that is equal parts family drama, horror, dark comedy, and social commentary should collapse under the weight of its own ambition, but it’s never less than perfect. I’m not into foreign film because I don’t like to read, but I’ll never miss another Joon-ho project. 

Will win: At this point, I think it’s a toss-up between Joon-ho and Mendes and I wouldn’t be upset with either of them. I’ve already praised Parasite and 1917 is an absolute masterwork in warfare storytelling. I think Joon-ho walks away with it.

Best Picture

1917; Parasite; Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood; Joker; The Irishman; Jojo Rabbit; Little Women; Marriage Story; Ford vs. Ferrari

Should’ve been nominated: Uncut Gems; Avengers: Endgame

I want to win: Here’s the thing, I really liked all nine of these movies. All of them were in my Top 25 of 2020 and all but Marriage Story were in my Top 15. But my favorite was Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood. Quentin Tarantino’s patience in telling the story along with his always great writing and some dynamic performances make it a movie I’ll revisit over and over and I’d love to see it win.

Probably will win: This is a tough one. 1917 has a lot of momentum, but so does Parasite. And we all know that the Academy loves a story about its golden age, so I think Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood has a great shot as well. Currently, the odds are on 1917 bit it’s a pretty close race. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood takes home the industry’s most coveted prize on Sunday, February 9th. 

There you have it. Those are my picks. You can trust me or you can look at the odds. But remember, I’m always right.

Jeremy Calcara is a contributing member of the Feelin’ Film team. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.


FF+ How To Train Your Dragon 3, Oscar-Nominated Short Films & 2019 Oscar Predictions

In this week’s episode of FF+, Aaron reviews an animated trilogy finale, we discuss all 15 Oscar-nominated short films, and then we give our 2019 Oscar Predictions with confidence points. There is also a giveaway included in this episode so tune in to find out how you can win a Blu-ray copy of the outstanding film Burning.

New For You (How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World) – 0:04:24

Reviews of Oscar-Nominated Short Films (Live-Action, Animated, Documentary)  0:10:11

2019 Oscar Predictions – 1:08:53

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Rate/Review us on iTunes and on your podcast app of choice! It helps bring us exposure so that we can get more people involved in the conversation. Thank you!

Oscar Locks

It’s an annual tradition in my house. I spend 9 months of the year trying to convince myself that I don’t care at all about movie awards. I don’t need fancy, self-important awards shows to tell me what’s good. Sure, I’m not a critic, but I’m a dude who watches a whole lot of movies. I can decide for myself what’s good. Then, once December rolls around, I’m a triggered, angry mess for 3 long months as the awards roll in for all of the movies that I didn’t end up seeing. Well, not this year. This year, I’ve seen more movies than ever before and I’m ready to not be disappointed come time for Oscar’s big night. So for your reading pleasure, here’s a list of a few of the awards I’m looking forward to with a film/actor or two that should’ve been nominated but wasn’t, the nominee I want to win, and the nominee that I believe will win.

Animated Feature

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Incredibles 2, Mirai

Wreck-It Ralph 2: Ralph Breaks the Internet, Isle of Dogs

Should’ve been nominated: I’m going to start off here with a pretty boring opinion, but I think the nominations here were pretty good. I haven’t seen Ralph Breaks the Internet or Mirai, but all of the other three were great movies that I really enjoyed.

I want to win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. This movie is a game changer in the world of animation. It’s funny, smart and gorgeous to look at. I can’t wait for my next opportunity to visit the Spider-Verse.

Will win: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Supporting Actor

Sam Elliott, A Star Is Born; Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Sam Rockwell, Vice; Mahershala Ali, Green Book; Adam Driver, BlacKkKlansman

Should’ve been nominated: Hugh Grant, Paddington 2. The Paddington sequel was one of the first 2018 films I saw and Grant’s performance as aging villainous stage actor Phoenix Buchanan has remained my favorite throughout the entire year.

I want to win: Sam Elliott and his glorious mustache or Adam Driver. Sam Elliott because I love Sam Elliot and the small amount of time he gets in A Star Is Born is very, very good. Adam Driver is just dynamite in BlacKkKlansman. I’m always impressed when someone plays a role of someone who is playing a role and Driver does it about as well as anyone I’ve seen.

Will win: Richard E. Grant. I haven’t seen Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but he seems to be winning everything else.

Supporting Actress

Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk; Amy Adams, Vice; Rachel Weisz, The Favourite

Emma Stone, The Favourite; Marina de Tavira, Roma

Should’ve been nominated:Rachel McAdams, Game Night. She’s a total delight and boasts a comedic timing that is absolutely on point in the funniest movie of the year. “But she’s a lead, Jeremy,” you might say. And you’d be right, but so are Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone.

I want to win: Regina King. I haven’t seen the movie, but I hear she’s great and I think the Academy finally makes up for snubbing her work in Jerry Maguire in 1996.

Will win: Regina King

Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, Vice; Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born; Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody

Viggo Mortensen, Green Book; Willem Dafoe, At Eternity’s Gate

Should’ve been nominated: Ethan Hawke, First Reformed. Paul Schrader’s film is criminally underrepresented in this year’s nominations. Sure it got a screenplay nod, but it very easily could have gotten a director and picture selection as well. Being left off of those lists is understandable. It was a strong year in film. What isn’t understandable is Ethan Hawke not being recognized for what is arguably the best work he’s done in a very long and storied career.

I want to win: Bradley Cooper

Will win: Christian Bale. Rami Malek does have momentum in this race, but for some reason, Hollywood is really keen on Vice. And Bale’s transformation just to get in character is easily the best part of Vice.

Actress in a Leading Role 

Lady Gaga, A Star Is Born; Glenn Close, The Wife; Olivia Colman, The Favourite

Melissa McCarthy, Can You Ever Forgive Me?; Yalitza Aparicio, Roma

Should’ve been nominated: The list here is really long. Regina Hall (Support The Girls) and Amandla Stenberg (The Hate U Give) both have strong arguments. But if you would’ve told me that Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade was simply video of an awkward teenage girl being filmed without her knowledge, first I would’ve thought that was super creepy, but second I totally would’ve believed you. That’s how amazing Elsie Fisher is in that film.

I want to win: Lady Gaga

Will win: Glenn Close. Because no one has seen The Wife and the Academy hates me.


Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman; Alfonso Cuarón, Roma; Adam McKay, Vice

Yorgos Lanthimos, The Favourite; Pawel Pawlikowski, Cold War

Should’ve been nominated: Bradley Cooper, A Star Is Born. I don’t understand how Adam McKay got a nomination over Cooper in this race. Vice is fiercely adequate as a film, but from Adam McKay it’s hardly a stand-out. It’s an angrier The Big Short with the smugness turned up to 11. I don’t think it should’ve been shut out, there are some legitimately great performances that deserve to be recognized, but it doesn’t belong anywhere in the vicinity of this category or Best Picture.

I want to win: Spike Lee, BlacKkKlansman. Some people might call a win for Lee a career achievement award. I think those people would be wrong. BlacKkKlansman is one of the most important films of the year and Lee presents it in a package that is funny, intriguing, intense, and uncompromising.

Probably will win: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma. I’m not sure if it’s the dog crap or the naked martial arts, but people are super into Roma. In all seriousness, it is a beautiful film and every moment feels crafted with love. I wouldn’t at all be upset to see Cuarón go home with the statue.


Best Picture

Black Panther, Green Book, BlacKkKlansman, Roma, A Star Is Born

Vice, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite

Should’ve been nominated: Blindspotting. It’s better than anything else on this list. Full stop. No snark, no quips, it’s better than anything else on this list.

I want to win: A Star Is Born is my favorite movie nominated, but as an unashamed lover of superhero movies, I’d love to see Black Panther go home a winner.

Probably will win: Roma. If I’m being honest, picture is the only category where I really don’t have any idea what’s going to win. I’d love to think that A Star Is Born would have a good chance because of how well it’s performed at the box office since it’s release in October, however that’s hardly an indicator of awards success. Roma is currently the odds on favorite, most likely due to it nearly sweeping the critic awards so far this year. But I think this is looking like a pretty tight race, so I’d keep checking in over there until you have to turn in your picks for the office Oscar pool.


There you have it. Those are my picks. Get your bets in on time. I’ll take 60% of your winnings and you can cover any losses (there won’t be any). And as a bonus for making it this far, I’ll give you one more quickie: I don’t want to be over-dramatic, but if “Shallow” doesn’t win Best Original Song, I’ll light myself on fire. Your move, Academy.

Jeremy Calcara is a contributing member of the Feelin’ Film team. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter to be notified when new content is posted.


2018 Oscar Predictions

Ready for the Oscars this Sunday? The Feelin’ Film team — Aaron White, Patrick Hicks, Steve Clifton, Don Shanahan, and Jeremy Calcara — are here to tell you just who will be taking home those glorious golden statues. Below you will find five definitive lists of who will win at the 2018 Oscars, followed by a brief explanation by one team member of why they made that choice. We believe that these are all objectively correct predictions. Do with that as you will, and if you’re in an Oscar pool this year – GOOD LUCK!


Best Picture

Aaron – GET OUT






Best Actor


Aaron – Gary Oldman

Patrick – Gary Oldman

Steve – Gary Oldman

Don – Gary Oldman

Jeremy – Gary Oldman


Best Actress


Aaron – Frances McDormand

Patrick – Frances McDormand

Steve – Frances McDormand

Don – Frances McDormand

Jeremy – Sally Hawkins


Best Supporting Actor


Aaron – Sam Rockwell

Patrick – Sam Rockwell

Steve – Sam Rockwell

Don – Sam Rockwell

Jeremy – Willem Dafoe


Best Supporting Actress


Aaron – Allison Janney

Patrick – Allison Janney

Steve – Allison Janney

Don – Allison Janney

Jeremy – Allison Janney


Best Director


Aaron – Guillermo del Toro

Patrick – Guillermo del Toro

Steve – Guillermo del Toro

Don – Guillermo del Toro

Jeremy – Guillermo del Toro


Best Adapted Screenplay








Best Original Screenplay


Aaron – GET OUT

Patrick – GET OUT

Steve – GET OUT


Jeremy – GET OUT


Best Cinematography


Aaron – BLADE RUNNER 2049

Patrick – BLADE RUNNER 2049

Steve – BLADE RUNNER 2049


Jeremy – BLADE RUNNER 2049


Best Costume Design








Best Film Editing


Aaron – I, TONYA

Patrick – DUNKIRK





Best Makeup and Hairstyling








Best Original Score








Best Original Song


Aaron – “This is Me” from THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

Patrick – “This is Me” from THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

Steve – “This is Me” from THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

Don – “Remember Me” from COCO

Jeremy – “Remember Me” from COCO


Best Production Design


Aaron – BLADE RUNNER 2049






Best Sound Editing



Patrick – DUNKIRK





Best Sound Mixing



Patrick – DUNKIRK



Jeremy – DUNKIRK


Best Visual Effects








Best Animated Film


Aaron – COCO

Patrick – COCO

Steve – COCO

Don – COCO

Jeremy – COCO


Best Foreign Language Film








Best Documentary Feature




Steve – ICARUS




Best Documentary Short


Aaron – HEROIN(E)

Patrick – EDITH + EDDIE



Jeremy – HEROIN(E)


Best Animated Short








Best Live-Action Short







BEST PICTURE: How did I get this draw? LADY BIRD was my favorite film of 2017, but it’s too benign for Oscar voters. GET OUT would be a statement win, especially in our current social climate, but I just don’t think older voters are going to push a horror film to the top. For me that leaves THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI and THE SHAPE OF WATER. The preferential ballot and lack of a directing nom for Martin McDonough indicate to me that THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is vulnerable, even though it keeps hanging around and over performing everywhere. I’m counting on enough voters dropping it low on their ballots, where I think THE SHAPE OF WATER will garner enough top votes to push it over the top. Ask me again tomorrow and I’ll probably tell you something different. – Steve

BEST ACTOR: As much of a lock as there has ever been, Gary Oldman’s transformative performance as Winston Churchill in the Best Picture-nominated DARKEST HOUR is sure to be recognized for its greatness. This performance feels like total immersion into the character with his veins seemingly about to pop at any time, and his stutters and pauses perfectly capturing the enormous pressure weighing Churchill down. Oldman has already won almost every major award for Best Actor thus far and will rightfully take home the Oscar, too. – Aaron

BEST ACTRESS: If you were to add up all the lead-up awards (as I have), this would be a neck-and-neck contest between Sally Hawkins of THE SHAPE OF WATER and Frances McDormand for THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. The way I see things shaking out, this might be the one Oscar Martin McDonagh’s film wins all night and it’s probably the right one in this Year of Women. Slot McDormand over Hawkins in a race closer than we’ll ever see. – Don

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Willem Dafoe’s Bobby Hicks was the glue that held life at the Magic Castle Inn and Suites together. His presence there not only kept the place in business, but his character brought a paternal presence to it’s residence. I’m glad he got a nod for the nomination, but it’s hard to beat out a film with two strong supporting leads. Sam Rockwell edges out Woody Harrelson for the win. – Patrick

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: I would argue that this is Oscar’s toughest category this year. All five women nominated gave performances that commanded the screen every time they appeared. Given what we’ve seen in awards season thus far, all signs seem to point to Allison Janney winning her first Academy Award for her portrayal of Tonya Harding’s mother LaVona Fay Golden in Craig Gillespie’s I, TONYA. Janney has long been one of Hollywood’s most reliable actresses and she absolutely becomes Golden in a darkly funny role as the unrelentingly awful mom (and lover of tropical winged creatures). If there’s any justice in the world, she’ll agree to share the trophy with that bird. – Jeremy

BEST DIRECTOR: In a very deep category, it’s wonderful to see Hispanic (Guillermo del Toro for THE SHAPE OF WATER), black (Jordan Peele for GET OUT), and female (Greta Gerwig for LADY BIRD) diversity.  That’s promising for the state of film, but there can only be one winner and it’s going to be Guillermo del Toro.  Since January, him winning the Golden Globe, the BAFTA, and, most importantly, the DGA Award from his Directors Guild peers seals his Oscar victory. – Don

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Earlier in this awards season, THE DISASTER ARTIST was running away and hiding with this category as the preordained choice of cult and niche cinephile fans. As soon as that Hollywood in-joke of a film hit general audiences, it died a death about as quick as the film it’s based on. Surging ahead instead is CALL ME BY YOUR NAME, adapted by veteran screenwriter James Ivory, who has never won the Big One after years of Merchant-Ivory awards bait offerings. This is the place for voters to throw this topical LGBT message film a bone and to cap a respected career for Ivory. – Don

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: This was once wide open, but it seems to have settled into a two horse race between GET OUT and THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. As much as I really want to see Greta Gerwig on that Oscar stage, I fear support for LADY BORD is starting to wane, and it could get shut out completely. I really believe Jordan Peele and GET OUT are going to squeak by with this one. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is pesky, but with no persons of color considered a threat for an acting win, you can bet the Academy will want to honor their commitment to squashing #OscarsSoWhite in some fashion, and Peele is very deserving here.  – Steve

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins has been nominated for Best Cinematography 14 times and somehow, inexplicably, he has gone home with empty hands 13 of them so far. This has to be the year the Academy finally recognizes his staggering greatness, right? BLADE RUNNER 2049 was sadly skimmed over in major categories, but my thinking is that the critically acclaimed film will still win some technical awards, including this one. The one contender that has performed well on the award circuit and could yet again spoil Roger’s party is most likely Dan Laustsen for his gorgeous work in THE SHAPE OF WATER. But that film will win plenty of other awards. This one goes to Deakins. – Aaron

BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Um, really? Was there ever any doubt as to what film was going to win Best Costume Design. The movie is called PHANTOM THREAD for goodness sake. Besides that, the stunning costumes add to the overall tone of the entire film and make it the most worthy recipient of the Oscar. – Patrick

BEST FILM EDITING: Last year, Patrick defined Film Editing this way: “Pacing would be the operative word to describe the quality of a well-edited film. Did it flow? Did each scene lead well into the next? Were there abrupt changes to the tone of the film as a result of the way it was pieced together?” Well, this year there are a few films that likely good take home the award, chief among them being DUNKIRK, BABY DRIVER, and I, TONYA. I wouldn’t be surprised if any of these win, but the award circuit buzz seems to favor I, TONYA and this feels like a year when we’re going to see several films taking home multiple statues. – Aaron

BEST MAKEUP/HAIRSTYLING: As the bald man of the group, it is my absolute honor to judge and handicap this category. I know my sugar-honey-iced-tea. For me, the fact this is the one remaining Oscar category to still skate by on three chincy nominees instead of a full field of five is ridiculous. Surely two more films could have been honored to compete. Of the three, this is duel for “Best Lead Character Transformation” more than anything else, and Gary Oldman’s disappearance into Sir Winston Churchill for DARKEST HOUR will win over making Jacob Tremblay as ugly as he is cute in WONDER. – Don

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: 2017 seemed to be the year of what has come to be known as modern minimalist music in film. BLADE RUNNER 2049 and DUNKIRK, scored by Hans Zimmer, really dive deep into this style. Desplat’s THE SHAPE OF WATER, however, takes a different approach, and really becomes another character in the film. Beautiful and haunting, and a lock to take home the award. – Patrick

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: Sigh, the best song never seems to win the Oscar, and the frontrunner all along has been “Remember Me”, from COCO. It’s nice and sentimental, but it isn’t particularly memorable outside the confines of the film. I’m expecting the Academy voters to finally honor the true best song and go with “This is Me”, from THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. This song has become a global anthem of inspiration, and has made a star out of powerhouse singer, Keala Settle. – Steve

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: This award could easily go to THE SHAPE OF WATER, but like with Best Cinematography this seems like the proper place to recognize BLADE RUNNER 2049 and in a year with so many worthy nominees of high quality, this one goes to the futuristic world over the fairy tale one.  – Aaron

BEST SOUND EDITING: It might seem a little odd that a film that was repeatedly criticized in its initial release for having dialogue that was hard to hear is now the odds on favorite to win the award for best sound editing. But upon further examination audiences realized that they were hearing exactly what Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo and Mark Weingarten wanted them to hear in Christopher Nolan’s DUNKIRK. Nolan’s completely immersive film makes the viewer feel like they’re on the beach at Dunkirk largely because of the deft hand with which this crew recreates the sounds of war. BABY DRIVER may sneak up and take this one, but my money is on DUNKIRK. – Jeremy

BEST SOUND MIXING: Every year we talk about how the difference in Sound Editing and Mixing is so small that usually the same film wins both. While I do think BABY DRIVER’s unique style could change things up this year by winning Sound Editing, ultimately I believe both awards will go to the relentlessly visceral sound of DUNKIRK. Honestly, in any other year DUNKIRK would be a slam dunk, but BABY DRIVER does give me pause due to how integral sound is to it as well.  – Aaron

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: I’m not going to apologize for supporting what I think is the runaway pick in this category. That’s not to say the other four nominees aren’t worthy. They clearly are. But when you can get me to cry from watching a digital ape act on screen, you’re doing something right. I also believe this will be Andy Serkis’ indirect Oscar for his performance as Caesar because both need each other to make this success story what it is.  – Patrick

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Pixar typically has a stranglehold on this category, and this year is no different. The first of their films set south of the border is a celebration of family and following your dreams, with all of the classic Pixar bells and whistles thrown in. They have no competition here. COCO it is. – Steve

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: There was some trading going on among Feelin’ Film contributors regarding who would be given the opportunity to highlight this category and after a long fight that ended in Patch struggling but ultimately succeeding in yelling “UNCLE” through his tears, I won the opportunity. I’m picking Ruben Ostlund’s THE SQUARE here. Why? Because I saw the trailer and I like Elizabeth Moss. The Swedish film, which is about an art installation at the X-Royal Art Museum in Stockholm, has received rave reviews and won the Palme d’Or at Cannes. It’s going to win. – Jeremy

BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE): The odds on favorite to take away this year’s statue for best documentary feature is Agnes Varda’s FACE PLACS. The doc, that follows the famed director and the artist known only as JR while they travel the countryside of France and take large photos of the people they find there, has stolen hearts of viewers everywhere it has played. This will be Varda’s second Oscar in less than a year after having been given the Academy Honorary Award back in November. – Jeremy

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: The dreaded “short” categories will make or break your Oscar ballot. This year is a toss up, but I’m leaning toward EDITH + EDDIE, a story about physical abuse of the elderly, sure to tug at a few heartstrings and anger a few people along the way. – Steve

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: This year’s nominees were all strong contenders, and my favorite isn’t even the one I think SHOULD win. GARDEN PARTY stands above as a visually stunning display of animation on top of a left field plot (if you could call it that) with an ending that is the perfect exclamation point to its tale. But I think my favorite of the five will take home the statue this year. DEAR BASKETBALL is a fantastic balance of words, visuals and music, wrapped up in a visceral experience that isn’t forgettable, at least not to me. (This may end up being first time an NBA player will have won an Oscar which will be crazy in and of itself). – Patrick

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT: As a nice get with press credentials, I’ve actually been lucky enough to see all five of these obscure films. I don’t have to throw a dartboard and guess like most everyone else. In this unfortunate era of mass shootings, the absolutely harrowing experience that is DEKALB ELEMENTARY reenacting at true story of a school secretary talking down a would-be school gunman is, far and away, the best of this bunch. – Don

Agree with our picks? Disagree? Want to share your own? Leave us some feedback. We’d love to discuss them with you. Thanks for reading!

2017 Oscar Predictions

Ready for the Oscars this Sunday? The Feelin’ Film team — Aaron White, Patrick Hicks, Steve Clifton, and Don Shanahan— are here to tell you just who will be taking home those glorious golden statues. Below you will find four definitive lists of who will win at the 2017 Oscars followed by a brief explanation by one team member on who they think should win each award. We believe that these are all objectively correct predictions. Do with that as you will, and if you’re in an Oscar pool this year – GOOD LUCK!

Aaron White Patrick Hicks Steve Clifton Don Shanahan
Best Picture La La Land La La Land  La La Land  La La Land
Best Actor Casey Affleck Denzel Washington  Denzel Washington  Denzel Washington
Best Actress Emma Stone Meryl Streep  Emma Stone Emma Stone
Best Supporting Actor Mahershala Ali Michael Shannon  Mahershala Ali  Mahershala Ali
Best Supporting Actress Viola Davis Viola Davis  Viola Davis  Viola Davis
Best Director Damien Chazelle (La La Land) Damien Chazelle (La La Land)  Damien Chazelle (La La Land)  Damien Chazelle (La La Land)
Best Adapted Screenplay Moonlight Moonlight  Moonlight  Moonlight
Best Original Screenplay Manchester by the Sea Manchester by the Sea Manchester by the Sea Manchester by the Sea
Best Cinematography La La Land La La Land  La La Land  La La Land
Best Costume Design La La Land Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them  Jackie La La Land
Best Film Editing La La Land La La Land  La La Land  La La Land
Best Makeup and Hairstyling Star Trek Beyond Star Trek Beyond  Star Trek Beyond  Star Trek Beyond
Best Original Score La La Land La La Land  La  La Land La La Land
Best Original Song “City of Stars”

(La La Land)

“City of Stars”

(La La Land)

 “City of Stars”

(La La Land)

“City of Stars”

(La La Land)

Best Production Design La La Land La La Land  La La Land  La La Land
Best Sound Editing Hacksaw Ridge Hacksaw Ridge  Hacksaw Ridge  Hacksaw Ridge
Best Sound Mixing La La Land Arrival  La La Land  La La Land
Best Visual Effects The Jungle Book The Jungle Book  The Jungle Book  The Jungle Book
Best Animated Film Kubo & the Two Strings Zootopia  Zootopia  Zootopia
Best Foreign Language Film Toni Erdmann The Salesman  The Salesman  Toni Erdmann
Best Documentary Feature O.J.: Made in America O.J.: Made in America  O.J.: Made in America O.J.: Made in America
Best Documentary Short The White Helmets 4.1 Miles  The White Helmets The White Helmets
Best Animated Short Film Piper Pearl  Piper  Piper
Best Live-Action Short Film Timecode Silent Nights  Timecode  Ennemis Intérieurs

BEST PICTURE: An instant classic, this magical new Hollywood musical managed to capture our hearts and make us sing. With Astaire/Rogers like chemistry, Gosling & Stone transform the vision of Damien Chazelle & Justin Hurwitz into a heart-wrenching, romantic, sad, and poignant new masterpiece. This isn’t just a Hollywood love letter to itself, it’s a portrait of two people wrestling with how to pursue their dreams and love simultaneously – something far more than just aspiring actors can relate to. Not just the best film of 2016, but the best film in years. Or, if you’re asking me, the best film ever. – Aaron
Should Win:   La La Land

BEST ACTOR: Up till the last hours before I had to write this, I had seen three of the five actors in contention. The two that were left happened to be the ones that are the heavy favorites. Though I have now seen Casey Affleck make me sad in “Manchester by the Sea,” and though he has one about a thousand more of the “other” awards for best actor this season, The SAG, which hasn’t missed predicting this category in the last decade, has Denzel Washington taking home the golden trophy. So I am leaning in the Denzel camp for this one. – Patrick
Should Win:   Casey Affleck

BEST ACTRESSWithout question, this is has been the most competitive major category during the entire Oscar race.  When the National Board of Review opened the awards season honoring Amy Adams for “Arrival,” we thought we knew where this category was going.  For the Oscars, she didn’t even get nominated.  The winds have danced that much.  “Elle” star Isabelle Huppert represents this year’s Charlotte Rampling as the revered foreign actress with clout.  She and Natalie Portman for “Jackie” have been trading the majority of minor wins since November.  It’s Emma Stone who has been surging late and looking unstoppable.  She has nowhere near the total number of precursor wins as either Huppert or Portman, but she won the ones that carried favor, the Golden Globe, the SAG, and the BAFTA, in the homestretch.  Expect her star to be fully born this Sunday as the eventual winner.  That said, her performance pales in comparison to the powerful and transcendent work of Portman as the former First Lady and societal icon.  She is likely knocked a little as a contender because she won so recently for “Black Swan.”  I don’t care if you’ve won already.  If you were the best, you get to win again and everyone else has to raise their game. – Don
Should Win:   Natalie Portman

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: “And the Oscar goes to….Mark Rylance!”  That was a year ago, and my ballot had it’s first ding early into the show.  I hate that.  So this year I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out if we were going to have that Rylance moment play out again.  It’s not unheard of in the supporting categories.  While not as shocking as the Rylance incident, Christoph Waltz surprisingly won in 2013 for “Django Unchained” over the frontrunner, Tommy Lee Jones.  I’ve been looking for every reason to pick Dev Patel here, just to be edgy and so I could gloat if another upset comes to fruition.  But at the end of the day, I have to go with Mahershala Ali, for his surreal performance in “Moonlight.”  Expect this ceremony to be more political than ever, and nothing gives a middle finger to the current administration more than an African American Muslim portraying a gay man in a movie, giving a speech to the world on prime time television.  And if that’s not enough, Ali’s turn was realistically the best of the bunch. – Steve
Should Win: Mahershala Ali

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Honestly, this category is a little unfair.  As a “supporting” actress, Viola has tremendously more screen time in “Fences” than her fellow nominees in their films.  Everyone else, from Michelle Williams to Naomie Harris, have “that-one-really-good-scene” and not much more.  Viola Davis is a force the entire 139 minutes of Denzel Washington’s film.  She should be competing in the lead actress category.  She wins here with ease and, the best part is, she deserves to.  This was a cornerstone performance in a career that should have been crowned five years ago with “The Help” when she was robbed by Meryl Streep. – Don
Should Win:   Viola Davis

BEST DIRECTOR: It would be a surprise if anyone other than Damien Chazelle were to win this award.  He has the Globe and the DGA; the clearest indicators of Oscar success in this category.  There is a lot of love for Barry Jenkins, and “Moonlight” is poised as the spoiler in the event the “La La Land” juggernaut falters, but if the Academy chooses to split Director from Best Picture again as they’ve been wont to do recently, I see “Moonlight” taking picture and Chazelle holding on here.  Based on much of the logistical nuances of filming “La La Land,” it feels to me like Chazelle earned every accolade he’s received. – Steve
Should Win:    Damien Chazelle

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAYThis category of the Big Eight experienced an eligibility shift when Tarell McCraney and Barry Jenkins’s screenplay for “Moonlight” was deemed an adapted screenplay from its earlier incarnation as a proposed play and not an original work, where it just won the year-end award from the Writers Guild of America.  Its presence squelches the chances of the other four nominees.  If “Moonlight” wasn’t here, this would be a category for “Arrival” to win, likely becoming its only win of the night.  Now, Denis Villeneuve’s film will go home empty-handed.  “Moonlight” will win and, with the likely “La La Land” tidal wave going all the way to Best Picture, this is the exact right place to honor 2016’s most important narrative feature.  The “will win” and the “should win” rightly match in this category. – Don
Should Win:   Moonlight

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: The writing categories are always two of my favorites. The best writing can elevate an otherwise mediocre film and it’s something that excites me when done at a high level. “La La Land’s” writing is better than some give it credit for, but not Oscar worthy. “Hell or High Water” and “Manchester by the Sea” were both superbly, tight, realistically written stories that I adored. In fact (with “La La Land”) those three make up top 3 films of the year. It’s incredibly hard to choose here, and my head wants to say that Sheridan’s work for “Hell or High Water” deserves this, but my heart knows what Lonergan’s script for “Manchester by the Sea” did to me.  – Aaron
Should win:   Manchester by the Sea

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: I was really torn on this one. One of the things that stood out to me about “Arrival” was the way in which the visual storytelling was equally as powerful as the verbal (ironically, the theme of language was visualized rather than textualized in this one). However, I’m always equally as impressed with the creative use of camera work (particularly single tracked shots for long periods of time) and when you have an opening scene like the one from “La La Land” to set the stage for a beautiful looking film, I have to give the Oscar to “La La Land.” – Patrick
Should Win:   La La Land

BEST COSTUME DESIGNThe vibrancy of this category is far-reaching, but only two films of the five are real contenders.  “La La Land” costume designer Mary Zophres is the odds-on frontrunner for her primary colors and the film’s juggernaut popularity.  In terms of resume, Zophres also did the Hollywood backlot fashion for “Hail, Caesar!”  Chasing behind her is my preferred pick, Madeline Fontaine’s work on “Jackie.”  Her sharp period recreations were inspired and flawless.  Not a thread was dull or out of place.  Expect “La La Land,” but love on “Jackie.” – Don
Should Win:   Jackie

BEST FILM EDITING: Pacing would be the operative word to describe the quality of a well-edited film. Did it flow? Did each scene lead well into the next? Were there abrupt changes to the tone of the film as a result of the way it was pieced together? These are questions I asked myself, reflecting on the five nominees, of which “Moonlight” is the lone film I haven’t seen. From the four that are left, it feels like a tough call. Each story felt complete. Nothing stood out as jarring or visually disconnected. I’d personally like to give the Oscar to “Hacksaw Ridge” (a personal favorite from 2016) but my head says, all things being equal, give it to the movie that is dominating the nominations. – Patrick
Should Win:   Hacksaw Ridge

BEST MAKEUP/HAIRSTYLING: “Suicide Squad” was a mess, and no one in Hollywood is likely to garner any praise on it here.  “A Man Called Ove” is a foreign film that no one had ever heard of before all of the fallout from the Trump Muslim ban threw that category into turmoil.  So by default, “Star Trek: Beyond” seems the de facto winner in the Makeup & Hairstyling arena for this year.  And let’s face it, you’re going to be up taking a bathroom break or making another tray of canapés for your guests as soon as this category gets mentioned. – Steve
Should Win:    Star Trek: Beyond

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: GRRR. This one frustrates me for a number of reasons. Of the five nominations, I have only seen two of the films (“La La Land” and “Passengers”), so clearly I am going to be biased towards those. But of those two, the clear favorite, “La La Land”, doesn’t scream Best Original Score to me. Soundtrack? Heck yeah. But if I’m thinking about instrumental music that helps elevate a film, “Passengers” did that, from the opening scene to the closing credits. Oh well, here’s to those who dream. – Patrick
Should Win:   Passengers

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: I would love nothing more than to see Audition (The Fools Who Dream) take this award.  Watching Emma Stone belt that out in “La La Land” was simply surreal, and you can expect that performance to be copied in many a high school musical audition for the foreseeable future.  However, City of Stars is going to win this one.  It’s a justifiable win, as the song is not only well done, it serves as the backdrop for the entire experience that is “La La Land.”  More than just a song, City of Stars is the harmonious glue that binds the film. – Steve
Should Win:    Audition (The Fools Who Dream) (La La Land)

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: I could draw this out, but I won’t. Formerly known as Best Art Direction this award belongs to “La La Land.” It’s incredible sets and mesmerizing dream-like sequences are all wonderfully designed and frankly nothing else comes close.  – Aaron
Should win:   La La Land

BEST SOUND EDITING: AKA. One of two categories I never can differentiate between. I did research to help clarify what makes this different from Sound Mixing, and based on the ever reliable internet’s definition. Editing refers to the sounds that make up the movie, while mixing refers to the culmination of those elements that make the film great. And while I think “La La Land” could conceivably take home the mixing category, my vote goes to “Hacksaw Ridge.” The battle alone in the movie makes it worthy of the Oscar. – Patrick
Should Win:   Hacksaw Ridge

BEST SOUND MIXING: Let’s keep it real.  Sound Mixing is another of those bathroom break categories, but also one of those categories where you can either sink or soar in your Oscar pool.  Conventional wisdom says when in doubt, pick “La La Land” this year.  But the Academy does love it’s war films, and likes to reward good war films (defined here as films also nominated for Best Picture) with wins in the technical categories.  So there are justifiable reasons to be looking hard at “Hacksaw Ridge” to steal this one.  But I’m predicting a split in the sound categories this year, with “Hacksaw Ridge” grabbing one in the Sound Editing category; so feel confident in riding the “La La Land” train to victory here.  Need some historical facts to back it up?  Musicals lend themselves more to the mixing category.  Look back to 2003, when “Chicago”, which went on to win Best Picture, grabbed the Sound Mixing Oscar, but relented the Sound Editing award to “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” – Steve
Should Win:    La La Land

BEST VISUAL EFFECTSThe blockbusters reign here in Best Visual Effects.  The fanboy vote would go to “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” but there is more dazzle in galaxies closer than those far, far away.  Vegas will tell you that “The Jungle Book” will win and I can see why with the Disney clout and the volume of its entirely green-screen work.  My personal pick would be “Doctor Strange.”  They were the only effects this year that made my eyes pop and my jaw drop.  The film was the best use of 3D I’ve seen in years.  To me, this one’s not even close.  Sorry, Bill “Baloo” Murray. – Don
Should Win:   Doctor Strange

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Here we most likely have  showdown between the Disney film packed full of references and championing a very timely message all about inclusion and the stop-motion gem from Laika. While “Zootopia” may likely win an Oscar because it’s (buzzword) “relevant”, “Kubo & the Two Strings” is the film that features truly cutting edge animation and offers a complex, moving story. It’s the only animated film in my Top 10 of 2016 and the only one I want to own and watch over and over again. If you must blink, do it now. Hopefully when you open your eyes Laika will be celebrating a much deserved Oscar win. – Aaron
Should win:   Kubo & the Two Strings

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Leading well into the month of January, this category was “Toni Erdmann’s” (Germany) to lose.  But then President Trump enacted a Muslim ban, effectively alienating, well, just about everyone.  Enter the plight of director Asghar Farhadi, who all of a sudden might not be allowed into the country to enjoy the spoils of becoming an Oscar nominee for his film “The Salesman” (Iran).  Since “Toni Erdmann” is an almost three hour slog that most voters aren’t likely to want to invest in to see if it’s even worthy, expect the political middle finger to once again extend in the direction of Washington, with “The Salesman” the beneficiary of Hollywood’s version of humanitarian justice being served. – Steve
Should Win:    Who cares

BEST DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE): This is a category stacked with incredible films (and many others worthy that weren’t nominated). Several of them deal with race, but the one that stands out most is “O.J.: Made in America.” It is an extraordinary portrait of one icon’s rise and fall, told through a much broader and more important lens of race relations in America going back 50 years. I was mesmerized for all 7+ hours of this documentary’s running time. My mind was constantly blown as this film dug deeper and deeper. This should be required viewing for all Americans.  – Aaron
Should Win:   O.J.: Made in America

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Let’s be honest, this is one of, what I like to call, “dartboard categories,” where you guess is about as good as anyone else’s.  As a credentialed film critic in Chicago, I have all five of these nominees available to me to view as screener links, but I haven’t made the time to catch them yet.  My dartboard is busy holding up pictures of people I despise.  So, I’m going to lean on some precursor data.  “The White Helmets” won this very category from the International Documentary Association. That’s good enough for me. It gets my dartboard dart as a personal pick.  – Don
Should Win:   The White Helmets

BEST ANIMATED SHORT: The ability to tell a complete story is a huge undertaking, but to do it in 5-7 minutes is even more daunting. Couple that with animating the thing and you’ve got, well, a worthy Oscar category. Admittedly I’d only seen one of these films until recently (“Piper”). I have now seen four of the five and I have to tell you, only one stands above all others. In a time when optimism feels necessary in film, one of these shorts stood out as encompassing that in the most sincere way. – Patrick
Should Win:   Pearl

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT: So, yeah. Um… “Timecode” definitely has the coolest name. – Aaron
Should Win:   Timecode

Agree with our picks? Disagree? Want to share your own? Leave us some feedback. We’d love to discuss them with you. Thanks for reading!