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OSCARS: Celebrating 9 Years of Awards Circuit With New Predictions for the Academy Awards and Emmys

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Awards Circuit turns 9 years old today. As always, we thank all the readers for your continued engagement with us over the years. We strive to bring you unbiased commentary on not just the awards race, but on film, television and more.

To celebrate today, we’ve brought you several different “Awards Circuit Anniversary Celebration Top 9” articles from our writers. Make sure you check them all out.

Today also brings official updates to the Oscar Predictions and the beginning of the Emmy Predictions.

On the film side, Focus Features still looks to have one of the strongest upcoming slates. With Joe Wright’s “Darkest Hour,” Stephen Frears’ “Victoria and Abdul,” and the still untitled film from Paul Thomas Anderson, they could fit very nicely into an awards season. With acting possibilities in Gary Oldman, Daniel Day-Lewis and Judi Dench, be prepared to see Focus Features everywhere at the forefront of the year.

After showing their power last year, Paramount Pictures is back with a four-pack that is sure to draw some notice. George Clooney’s “Suburbicon” test screened recently in California, with reports coming in suggesting that it will surely be a contender this year. Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing” showed footage at CinemaCon and the early buzz is strong with this one. From those who have read the script, star Matt Damon has a meaty role to sink his teeth into, as do supporting players Kristen Wiig and Hong Chau. The other big possibility is Alex Garland’s next feature “Annihilation” with Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaac. With all this, Paramount also has Darren Aronofsky’s “Mother!” in the pipeline.

I find myself intrigued by 20th Century Fox as well, as they will unleash “The Greatest Showman” with Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams in tow. They are also trying to expedite the shooting and release of Steven Spielberg’s still untitled film, formerly known as “The Post,” with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. That should keep things interesting until the bitter end.

With those two, Fox also has “The Mountain Between Us” with Idris Elba and Kate Winslet and the remake of “The Murder on the Orient Express” from Kenneth Branagh. There will be some that will bang the drum for “Logan” from the first half of the year, but until proven otherwise, I wouldn’t hold my breath for such wishes. If there is a blockbuster contender in the works from the studio, it may be the third installment to the “Planet of the Apes” franchise titled “War for the Planet of the Apes.”

Another big studio in the mix this year will be Warner Bros., delivering Oscar hopefuls in the anticipated sequel “Blade Runner 2049” from Denis Villeneuve and “Dunkirk” from Christopher Nolan. Those films hope to perhaps go down the road of technical juggernauts like “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Gravity.”

With A24 holding the Best Picture crown for last year’s “Moonlight,” all eyes are on them to produce something extraordinary once again. Based on the source material, “Lean on Pete” looks to perhaps have the goods. However, the collective blogosphere seems to be most excited for John Cameron Mitchell’s “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” which is debuting at the Cannes Film Festival. We’ll also be paying special attention to Yorgos Lanthimos’ follow-up to the “The Lobster” called “The Killing of a Sacred Deer,” also premiering at Cannes.

If you’re looking for a smaller studio to make waves, Open Road will unleash “Marshall” from Reginald Hudlin this year. In this fiery political climate, a look at the first African-American Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall may just do the trick for AMPAS.

Lionsgate has hopes for “The Glass Castle,” their most baity project, with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson. They may also have a shot with “Granite Mountain” and “American Assassin.” Only time will tell.

Fox Searchlight Pictures looks exceptionally strong with “Battle of the Sexes,” with the co-directors of “Little Miss Sunshine” helming, and a recently anointed Emma Stone starring. Sprinkle in Steve Carell and you have a bonafide contender to go into the start of the season. Jitters have been at a fever pitch since they also nabbed Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” which sounds like it’s everything we need from a creative director at the moment. Based on the first trailer, “Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri” from Oscar nominee Martin McDonagh may bring more than just an acting shot for Frances McDormand.

Sony Pictures Classics seems to have the narrative written for them with “Call Me By Your Name,” which has all the makings of an Oscar player. Expect Armie Hammer and the script to be huge forces during the season based on early word of the project.

The streaming studios are showing themselves as contenders this year, as Netflix will bring “Mudbound” from Dee Rees to the fray. From 50,000 feet, you can already see the film comfortably sitting at the table for SAG Ensemble based on the killer cast that includes Jason Mitchell, Garrett Hedlund and Carey Mulligan. The streaming company also has Angelina Jolie’s next outing as a director titled “First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers” and Duncan Jones’ highly anticipated sci-fi thriller “Mute.” Also in their arsenal, “Okja” from “Snowpiercer” director Bong Joon-Ho and “War Machine” from David Michod.

After Amazon Studios won two Oscars for “Manchester by the Sea” last year, they hope to repeat that love with their two “wonders.” “Wonderstruck” from Todd Haynes, which pairs him back up with Academy Award winner Julianne Moore, has many checking this off as a possibility. And then there’s Woody Allen’s next venture “Wonder Wheel,” with Justin Timberlake and Kate Winslet, that could offer up an interesting choice for voters. Amazon has also opted to bring “You Were Never Really Here” from Lynne Ramsay to Cannes where it could begin something for overdue actor Joaquin Phoenix.

Universal Pictures sat out of the race last year but they’re looking to bounce back with Garth Davis’ sophomore follow-up “Mary Magdalene” with Rooney Mara. The studio also shows promise with “The Snowman” from Tomas Alfredson and “Thank You for Your Service” from Jason Hall (writer of “American Sniper”), in his directing début. We’re also open to the possibility of “Felt” being a player, with an acting shot for Liam Neeson as the man who broke the Watergate scandal.

STX Entertainment is hoping to show force this year with “Molly’s Game” from writer/director Aaron Sorkin, which stars the talented Jessica Chastain. We’re also awaiting a title for that Nash Edgerton project.

Annapurna Pictures is distributing their first feature, “Detroit,” from Kathryn Bigelow, and it could shake things up in August. Perhaps an acting contender could exist in its stars John Boyega and/or Will Poulter.

And finally, there’s Walt Disney Pictures, which looks to catapult the eighth installment in the “Star Wars” franchise into the Best Picture race. By tally and key category nominations, it could be argued they were very close with “The Force Awakens.” Perhaps “The Last Jedi” has the goods instead?

Oscar Predictions have been updated accordingly. Along with that, the first set of predictions for the Emmys have been released in the top races of Drama Series, Comedy Series, Limited Series and TV Movie.





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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