Don’t count the charms of CODA: Predict Oscar winners in a year like no other

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 94th Academy Awards was that it happened at all. In a world full of distractions and doom, the Oscars have flown well under the radar, much to the attention of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC executives hoping to reverse years of downgrades.

At various other warm-up events — BAFTAS, SAGS, Critic’s Choice Awards, and more — the seemingly Ironman-like race for the Oscars has coalesced into a familiar narrative. The clearer the transformation of actors, the greater their chances of winning. Artsy and hard-hitting movies may be champions, but don’t count the crowd-pleasing gems.

If that’s the drama you’re looking for, it’s behind the scenes, as Oscar producer Will Packer tries to make a TV show that appeals broadly to honor a collection of films with only a small audience. Spider-Man: No Way Home.

While some of the competition in some of the larger categories has calcified over time, the potential for major disruption will help Oscar watchers stay tuned for Sunday. Now, let’s dive into that Oscar pool.

production design

From left to right, Josh Brolin as warlord Gurney, Oscar Isaac as Duke Leto Atreides and Stephen McKinley Henderson as Thufir, the lord of assassins, in Dune. (Warner Bros image)

One of my first thoughts watching Dog Power is how specific and lively the film is, especially for one shot in New Zealand. But the skies are open and the charm of the countryside in western Montana looks like it’s about to lose sand dunes. One of the strengths of Denis Villeneuve’s dream project is its sense of wide world development. From the brutal architecture of the concrete fort to the old world touches that show the history of the Atreus family, every object has a sense of place and history.

Original score

Denis Villeneuve in fulfilling his childhood dream of making Dune

Canadian filmmaker Denis Villeneuve tells CBC Radio’s Q host Tom Power how he’s dreamed of making Dune since he was a kid in small-town Quebec. Opening to strong reviews, Dune is just the latest in a series of beautifully constructed blockbusters that have made Villeneuve one of Hollywood’s most respected and dependable directors. 5:36

Familiar singing and power chords from Hans Zimmer for sand dunes should easily drown out the artistic twang of Johnny Greenwood’s compositions for Dog Power.

Best make-up and hairdo

Jessica Chastain appears in this scene from The Eyes of Tammy Faye. This biographical film follows Chastain as Tammy Faye Messner and her work with her husband Jim Bakker. (QUARREL)

When in doubt, remember that voters choose not the best, but the most. The clearer the transformation, the better. In that case, no one comes close Tammy Faye’s eyesa film where makeup is even part of the title.

Best editing

Tick, Tick… ​​Boom embraces the chaos of music creation

The Netflix musical Tick, Tick… ​​Boom stars Andrew Garfield as Jonathan Larson, composer Rent, and the creative crisis he goes through early in his career. It is the directorial debut of Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of Hamilton. 6:14

Smart money is active sand dunes for this category but I’m not sure the hallucinatory visions that Zendaya (and sand dunes almost three hours running) will convince voters. For a category that has been eliminated from live broadcasting, it’s a tight race. Will voters fall in love? Don’t Look Uppop art collage? Dog PowerNature portraits like Terrance Malik? my voice? Tick, Tick … Boom — post-modern music in musicals where movies flip between flashbacks with ease.

Best costume design

This image released by Disney shows, from left, Paul Walter Hauser, Emma Stone and Joel Fry in a scene from Cruella. (Disney/The Associated Press)

In a fair world, sophisticated dresses and suits meet film noir style nightmare gang will lead sir. But remember: it’s the best, not the best. So the two-tone punk fashion of cruel will take home the gold trophy.

Best cinematography

The Power of the Dog is directed by Jane Campion. (QUARREL)

Another colliding category, another melee race. Leading the pack is the remaining open and closeup views Dog Power. But don’t count west side storywith Janusz Kaminski giving the classic musical a vibrant film makeover.

Best international features

Hidetoshi Nishijima, left, and Tôko Miura appear in Drive My Car. This film is for best picture, best international feature, best director and best adapted screenplay. (QUARREL)

Do yourself a favor. Get up early. Put it in a strong coffee pot and get ready to watch Drive My Car. Three hours later, you’ll understand why this master class in slow release storytelling will win.

Best documentary features

BB King performed at the Harlem Cultural Festival in 1969, featured in the documentary Summer of Soul. (Highlight Image)

Blurry, an animated film about the plight of refugees and one man’s escape from Afghanistan, is becoming more timely every day. Nevertheless, Questlove’s Summer of the Soul concert films are filled with joy and moments of musical bliss, enough to captivate many voters.

Best animation features

The Madrigal Encanto family appear in this photo. Songwriter Lin-Manuel Miranda says the film’s focus on family relationships is found in his songs. (Disney)

What could possibly compete with the released film? We’re Not Talking About Bruno? Charm will salsa get to the podium, but if you haven’t watched The Mitchells vs. Machines, You are missing one of the most original cartoons in years.

Best original screenplay

Leonardo DiCaprio, left, and Jennifer Lawrence costar in the latest film from The Big Short director Adam McKay. (Netflix)

It’s not easy to win here. Will voters choose sentimental stories? Belfast? The firm determination of the tennis father King Richard? I would love to see fans Worst People in the World, a beautiful film about the romantic ruin of Norway, take home the prize. But I suspect the Academy’s progressive voters will film climate change metaphors Don’t Look Up a winner.

Best adaptation scenario

Go take a risk here. Easy money is there Dog Power, written by Oscar-winning auteur Jane Campion herself. But I suspect (or hope for) good intentions surrounding Maggie Gyllenhaal’s persistence The Lost Princess will cause irritation.

Best supporting artist

This image from Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story shows Ariana DeBose as Anita, left, and David Alvarez as Bernardo. The film seeks to enhance the representation of the original 1961 Latinx characters. (Niko Tavernise/20th Century Studios/The Associated Press)

When west side story yet to make waves this Oscar season, Ariana DeBose’s vibrant performance as Anita is the key to winning.

Best supporting actor

This image released by Apple TV+ shows Troy Kotsur, left, and Marlee Matlin in a scene from CODA. (Apple TV+/The Associated Press)

Perhaps the most certain thing this season, Troy Kotsur will triumph over his performance as a cruel and cursing father. CODA. The fact that the deaf actor was long ready to retire before auditioning for the role made the win even sweeter.

Best Actress

The Eyes of Tammy Faye: Jessica Chastain review stirs Oscar buzz

Jessica Chastain’s bubbly appearance is undeniable in this intimate look at the life of televangelist Tammy Faye Baker, says CBC film reviewer Eli Glasner. The Eyes of Tammy Faye opens in theaters on September 17. 6:23

If this were a tribute to the most daring performance, it would be Kristen Stewart for her role as Diana, Princess of Wales, in Spencer. To take such a beloved icon and inhabit a character without fear, in doing so gives us a real woman, shaking with frustration, is simply incredible. That said, the award will be given to Jessica Chastian as Tammy Fayeto add a new layer of vulnerability to familiar TV caricatures.

Best Actor

Image released by Warner Bros. This picture shows Will Smith in a scene from King Richard. (Warner Bros./The Associated Press)

I think what Andrew Garfield achieved as screenwriter Johnathan Larson in Tick, Tick … Boom nothing less than a magic trick, but he wasn’t even in the conversation. While I’d like to see Denzel Washington piss off his grounded version Macbeththe race seems to depend on Will Smith in King Richard and Benedict Cumberbatch at Dog Power. As he often does, Cumberbatch completely disappears into the role of Phil’s stinky banjo-hitting ranch hand. But I suspect all of his acting methods won’t be able to counter Smith’s enchantment attacks. The Academy likes Will. We love Will. As Richard Williams, Smith gave us something to root for, while stretching his acting muscles.

Best director

While there’s been a lot of talk about Steven Spielberg’s love for the past few weeks, take a look at Campion taking home his first Oscar as a director. Dog Power. “The West where nobody shoots guns” is how Canadian producer Roger Frappier described it. Instead, it was the carefully calibrated secrets that the Campion expertly drew.

Best pictures

Emilia Jones stars in CODA as Ruby, the only hearing person in a family of four, as she joins her school choir and sets her sights on a prestigious music college. (Apple TV+)

For months now, it seems Dog Power destined to be the best picture winner. The way Campion incorporates a western setting with new sensibilities and a surprisingly gay subtext fits perfectly into the modern Oscar formula. But something strange happened in the race to the podium. CODA, a heartwarming film about a singer who fights with her deaf parents, is starting to win awards. Many awards. Could it be? Dog Power peaking too early? Can Campion Comments at the Critics Choice Awards hurt movie chances? Or will the lingering bias towards Netflix be part of the disapproval? But keep in mind, as Clayton Davis of Variety told me, the Oscar race isn’t about the most beloved movie. That’s what I like the most. With dog power, you like it or not. But thanks to preferential voting, CODA could be the second choice of many voters. With a mushy feel-good story centered around an authentic deaf family, CODA can save the message that Oscar voters want to convey.

Jackson Wintringham

"Coffee aficionado nerd. Troublemaker. General communicator. Gamer. Analyst. Creator. Total brew ninja."

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