The Road to the 90th Oscars, Part I: Before the (Glittery) Storm

This is the first in a series of articles checking in on the Oscars race in the lead-up to the ceremony on March 4.

I’m very excited to be posting on the new site for the first time! I’m even more excited that it’s to post the first in what I am planning to have be a series of increasingly manic prognostications leading up to the 90th (!) Oscars on March 4. Yes, I know that that is still three long months out, but the road to the Oscars is already well underway – Indie Spirit nominations have been announced, SAG and Golden Globe ballots have been sent out, and the National Board of Review and the NY Film Critics Circle will be announcing their winners this week. Here are some of the major milestones to watch for over the next few months:

NYFCC awards – November 30
LAFCA awards – December 3
Golden Globe nominations – December 11
Golden Globe awards – January 7
Critics Choice awards – January 11
Producers Guild awards – January 20
Oscar nominations – January 23
Directors Guild awards – February 3
Writers Guild awards – February 11
BAFTA awards – February 18
Independent Spirit awards – March 3
90th Academy Awards – March 4

Hollywood is a town that loves to hand out awards. This is just a sampling of the honors different groups will be giving out between now and March 4, but the ones I’ve singled out here are the ceremonies that are commonly seen as the best predictors of the horserace that ultimately shakes out (except for the Golden Globes. Those are just amusing at this point, although they did shift their date forward this year in an attempt to remain relevant. Good luck with that, Hollywood Foreign Press Association).

There are a lot of different ways I could format this, but at least for this first post what I’ve decided to do is to go with the format that works so well in Cookie Monster’s Snubbies posts and start a bunch of threads themed around different award categories (e.g., Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Animated Feature) below, along with my thoughts on the current frontrunners and other contenders to get the discussion started. I’m not planning to devise predictions for every single award category yet (although I will likely add Adapted and Original Screenplay in future posts, and will eventually do a post about all of the craft categories as well as shorts), but there will be a general discussion thread if you have really strong opinions about, say, production design or sound mixing. If you think there’s a better way to structure these moving forward, please let me know!

NOTE: This is not meant to be the equivalent of a year-end “Best Of” list. This is based as much around scuttlebutt among film critics and people who actually get paid to prognosticate as it is around what films I’ve had the opportunity to see so far this year and the sort of movies I see as targeted “Oscars bait.” That said, I will be sure to * the films I’ve actually seen!