The Watchers

The Watchers

Sunday, 13 November 2016

For Your Consideration: Possible Contenders For Awards Season 2017

Just like Christmas, it feels like awards season starts earlier and earlier every year. Well, this year, that's especially true. It actually starts tomorrow- 14th November 2016- as the Critics' Choice Awards have been brought forward by a month or so meaning that the blog is going to start filling up with awards season shenanigans about two weeks early (usually it'd start with the Independent Spirit Awards towards the end of the month). So, as usual, welcome if you like this sort of thing and apologies if you don't.

[Edit 14/11/16: The Critics' Choice Awards television nominations were announced today; the movie nominations will be on Thursday 1st December. I've updated the timetable below accordingly]

So I've had a look in the crystal ball and come up with some films which I think might get a good showing during this awards season. Virtually all of these have yet to open in the UK so it's all wild prognostication. I might be well off the mark with a lot of these.

La La Land is Damien Chazelle's follow-up to the frankly brilliant Whiplash. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a jazz pianist and an aspiring actress respectively, it won the People's Choice Award at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (usually a good sign of award season success). Expect to see Gosling and Stone nominated for Best Actor and Actress respectively (Stone won the Best Actress accolade at the Venice Film Festival this year) with the film getting Best Picture awards and maybe even Chazelle as Best Director. 

I wouldn't be at all surprised to see The Birth Of A Nation getting nominated a lot. A biopic of Nat Turner (a literate slave who orchestrated an uprising in the South), written, directed and starring Nate Parker, it's got a lot of the usual awards season bait in it.  Winning the Audience award and the Grand Jury Prize at this year's Sundance Film Festival and given the success of 12 Years A Slave, I think this stands a good chance of featuring heavily. 

Certain Women might not be everyone's cup of tea, but this portmanteau picture following the lives of three women in a small town in Montana looks like it will do well. There's the possibility of Best Actress nods for Laura Dern and Michelle Williams, or even a Supporting Actress nod for Kristen Stewart. Yes, that Kristen Stewart. Bella-Swan-from-Twilight Kristen Stewart. As implausible as it may sound, she's getting a lot of love for her performance in the film. And in a world where Matthew McConaughey has an Oscar and Donald Trump has become President of the USA, it's not beyond the realms of possibility for this to happen. 

Manchester By The Sea, Kenneth Lonergan's thoughtful drama about a man forced to look after his teenage nephew after the death of his brother (the boy's father) might do well, with Best Actor accolades for Casey Affleck and potentially Best Supporting Actress for Michelle Williams and Best Supporting Actor for Lucas Hedges as the nephew. 

Amy Adams seems virtually guaranteed to get her sixth Oscar nomination this awards season, although whether it's for her lead role as an art gallery owner facing up to her past in Tom Ford's Nocturnal Animals or her performance as a linguist helping out the military to translate alien communications in Denis Villeneuve's Arrival is yet to be seen.

Biopics tend to get a good run out during awards season, so I fully expect at least some of these films to get a mention:

Bleed For This, based on the story of boxer Vinny Pazienza who recovered from a severe car accident to fight in the ring again. Miles Teller could be in the frame for Best Actor whilst Aaron Eckhart could also be nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Vinny's trainer Kevin. 

Lion, starring Dev Patel, which tells the story of a young Indian boy who is adopted by an Australian couple and then uses Google Earth twenty-five years later to find his biological family. Patel might be up for Best Actor, whilst Supporting Actress nods could go to Rooney Mara as his girlfriend and Nicole Kidman as his adoptive mother. 

Sully, Clint Eastwood's latest film about pilot Chesley 'Sully' Sullenberger who landed his damaged plane on the Hudson avoiding massive loss of life. Tom Hanks will probably get Best Actor nods for it, with the possibility of Supporting Actor plaudits for Aaron Eckhart. Potentially Eastwood as Best Director too. 

Christine, the tragic true-life tale of 1970s news anchorwoman Christine Chubbuck, could see Rebecca Hall getting nominated for Best Actress. 

Hidden Figures, Theodore Melfi's biopic of the three female African-American mathematicians who calculated John Glenn's launch into orbit. There could be Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress nominations for Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. 

Queen Of Katwe, the inspirational true-life story of chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi. There could be Supporting Actor and Actress nominations for David Oyelowo as chess coach Robert Katende and Lupita Nyong'o as Phiona's mother Harriet. 

The timetable for the major awards in 2017 is as follows:

Film Independent Spirit Awards
Nominations announced: November 22nd 2016
Awards ceremony: February 25th 2017

Critics' Choice Awards
Nominations announced: December 1st 2016
Awards ceremony: December 11th 2016

Golden Globes
Nominations announced: December 12th 2016
Awards ceremony: January 8th 2017 (hosted by Jimmy Fallon)

Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards
Nominations announced: December 14th 2016
Awards ceremony: January 29th 2017

Writers' Guild Of America (WGA) Award
Nominations announced: January 4th 2017
Awards ceremony: February 19th 2017

Producers' Guild Of America (PGA) Award
Nominations announced: January 10th 2017
Awards ceremony: January 28th 2017

BAFTA Film Awards
Nominations announced: January 10th 2017
Awards ceremony: February 12th 2017

Directors' Guild Of America (DGA) Award
Nominations announced: January 12th 2017
Awards ceremony: February 4th 2017

Golden Raspberry Awards (Razzies)
Nominations announced: January 23rd 2017
Awards ceremony: February 25th 2017

Academy Awards (Oscars)
Nominations announced: January 24th 2017
Awards ceremony: February 26th 2017

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