OSCAR CIRCUIT: Is ‘A Quiet Place’ Positioning Itself for an Academy Run?

The look of the film year from April is more of a business tactic than a practical one that will yield correct “guesses” this far out.  In trying to prepare for these Oscar Circuit columns, week after week, it points to the “too early” factor and just throwing stuff into the wind and seeing where it blows.

Going into May, where summer blockbusters will hold a barring on the next few weeks, “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Deadpool 2,” and “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” will undoubtedly be climbing the all-time box office ranks while still trying to keep one eye on end-of-the-year honors.  All their predecessors have had mini-bouts with Oscar before and will hope to gather much more attention than their last outings.

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

In going through the cycle of the first four months of the year, everyone is trying to identify the “Get Out” or “Grand Budapest Hotel” in the bunch.  “Black Panther” will look to hold onto the top grossing film of the year, but it presents one of the first opportunities for Marvel to do battle outside of the standard Sound and Visual categories.  Ruth E. Carter looks destined for love in Costume Design (at least on the nomination standpoint) while the makeup and hairstyling crew will be hard to ignore, assuming they survive the savage bakeoff.

John Krasinski’s taut horror-thriller “A Quiet Place” has emerged as a force this year, making an impressive amount of money while gaining the critical acclaim it so richly deserves.  Looking down the barrel of this new and ever-evolving Academy, can the film find wiggle room in races like Original Screenplay, and possibly some techs?  Production Design and Cinematography are well on the table and either of the sound categories will viable by the branches.

There will also be drums banging for some of the acting displayed in particular Emily Blunt and Millicent Simmonds.  Blunt, who hasn’t found her way to an Oscar nod despite performances such as “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” and “Looper” on her resume, is sublime as a pregnant mother desperate to stay silent.  She would be an inspired choice she could be in Lead Actress.  Simmonds, who broke out in last year’s “Wonderstruck,” does so much with so little but will likely settle for love from the Critics Choice Young Performer nomination.

Outside of those two films, the awards strategists will be relentless in making voters remember the parts they liked about “Ready Player One,” “A Wrinkle in Time,” and “Annihilation.”

There will be some that will make you a believer in “Paddington 2” and its chances at Best Picture with its 100% Rotten Tomatoes score.  We’re reserving a bit of judgment for now.

Take a look at the latest updates and chime in with your own thoughts in the comments below.


Best Picture: “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Director: Barry Jenkins, “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Actor: Willem Dafoe, “At Eternity’s Gate”
Best Actress: Saoirse Ronan, “Mary Queen of Scots”
Best Supporting Actor: Timothée Chalamet, “Beautiful Boy”
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, “Untitled Dick Cheney Biopic”
Best Original Screenplay: “Peterloo”
Best Adapted Screenplay: “Boy Erased”
Best Animated Feature: “Incredibles 2”
Best Production Design: “Mary Queen of Scots”
Best Cinematography: “First Man”
Best Costume Design: “Mary Queen of Scots”
Best Film Editing: “If Beale Street Could Talk”
Best Makeup and Hairstyling: “Black Panther”
Best Sound Mixing: “A Star is Born”
Best Sound Editing: “Black Panther”
Best Visual Effects: “Mowgli”
Best Original Score: “Mary Queen of Scots”
Best Original Song: Unknown song from “Mary Poppins Returns”
Best Documentary Feature: “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?”
Best Foreign Language Film: “Sunset”

What do you think?


Written by Clayton Davis

Clayton Davis is the esteemed Editor and Owner of Born in Bronx, NY to a Puerto Rican mother and Black father, he’s been criticizing film and television for over a decade. Clayton is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association where he votes and attends the kick off to the awards season, the Critics Choice Awards. He also founded the Latino Entertainment Journalists Association, the first Latino-based critics’ organization in the United States. He’s also an active member of the African-American Film Critics Association, New York Film Critics Online, International Press Academy, Black Reel Awards, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association. Clayton has been quoted and appeared in various outlets that include The New York Times,, Variety, Deadline, Los Angeles Times, FOX 5, Bloomberg Television, AOL, Huffington Post, Bloomberg Radio, The Wrap, Slash Film, and the Hollywood Reporter.


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